Israël actueel - 10 en 11 januari 2018 (onvertaald Israëlnieuws).
Netanyahu: UNRWA needs to pass away.
Netanyahu: UNRWA needs to pass away.
KNETANYAHU: UNRWA NEEDS TO PASS AWAY:
PM Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday 7 Jan. 2018 opened the weekly cabinet meeting on the issue of stopping USA support for UNRWA. "I completely agree with Trump's sharp criticism of UNRWA. This is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem and also perpetuates the narrative of the so-called right of return in order to destroy the State of Israel. UNRWA needs to pass from the world," Netanyahu said. There is a UN commission for the treatment of the other refugees in the world. This absurdity must be stopped." Netanyahu said he also told the Americans that he believed UNRWA funds should be transferred gradually to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, which deals with refugees worldwide. (Arutz-7)
As an Israeli Member of Knesset, Einat Wilf, put it: "No other refugees in the world are afforded refugee status for generations. Even the charter by which UNRWA was created maintains that it was supposed to be only a temporary institution.” A report from the Global Research in International Affairs said UNRWA actually helps promotes terrorism and holds Palestinians back from rebuilding their lives. It charged UNRWA schools with becoming hotbeds of anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Semitic indoctrination and recruiting offices for terrorist groups. It said also UNWRA facilities are used to store and transport weapons, actually serving as terrorist military bases. Indeed, during Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge, on several occasions Hamas rocket stockpiles were found stored in UN schools in the Gaza Strip.
TERRORISTS KILLED 20 ISRAELIS IN 2017:
More Israelis died in terrorist attacks in 2017 than in 2016, despite a significant drop in the number of attacks, according to data the IDF released on 6 Jan. 2018. Twenty Israelis were killed and 169 were wounded in 99 terrorist attacks originating in Judea & Samaria in 2017. It was nevertheless a large decrease from the 93 killed and 882 wounded in the 100 terrorist attacks originating in the same area in 2014. Twenty-eight Israelis were killed and another 360 wounded in 226 attacks in 2015. Since October 2015, Palestinians have stabbed, run over and shot Israeli soldiers and civilians, including some foreign tourists, in a wave of violence in Judea & Samaria. Security forces, including the Shin Bet intelligence agency, IDF and police, have increased their efforts to uncover unofficial workshops producing illegal weapons, carrying out near-nightly raids in Judea & Samaria, shutting down weapons factories and confiscating arms, greatly reducing the number of illegal explosive devices and other weapons that could end up in the hands of attackers. (J.Post)
ISRAEL COMPILES BLACKLIST OF BDS GROUPS TO BE BARRED FROM COUNTRY:
The Strategic Affairs Ministry under Gilad Erdan has compiled a list of organizations it says promote the boycott of Israel, and will cooperate with the Interior Ministry to block members of those groups from entering the country, media sources reported 6 Jan 2017. The blacklist currently covers around 20 groups the ministry says are part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) and which it says consistently and openly work to delegitmize Israel. These include BDS groups from Italy, France, South Africa, Scandinavia, and the Jewish American group Jewish Voice for Peace. The ministry plans to begin enforcing the blacklist in March 2018. Last week the government approved a plan setting aside $75 million to fight BDS. The plan, which would entail the largest monetary investment yet by Israel specifically toward combating the boycott campaign, calls for setting up a not-for-profit organization whose board will be made up of government officials and donors from abroad. The new organization’s avenues for action would include public campaigns, lobbying, arranging for solidarity visits to Israel by opinion shapers, establishing new and social media presence, and interacting with pro-Israel organizations worldwide for coordinated action with a focus on Europe. (Times of Israel)
BY 2040, MUSLIMS PREDICTED TO OUTNUMBER JEWS IN THE USA:
Muslims will replace Jews as the United States’ second-largest religious group by 2040, according to projections by the Pew Research Center. Muslims currently make up some 3.45 million people living in the USA, or about 1.1 percent of the total population, while a major Pew study last year suggested some 6.7 million Americans, or 2.1% of the population, identify as Jews. But that gap is unlikely to last, the group said in a recent statement, explaining that “our projections suggest that the USA Muslim population will grow much faster than the country’s Jewish population.” The Muslim share in the overall USA population has grown quickly, from 0.4% of all Americans in 2007 to 0.9% in 2014, according to a previous 2014 study by Pew. Jews’ share grew too, but more slowly, from 1.7% to 1.9% in the same period. The fastest-growing religious identity in the USA is “unaffiliated,” which grew by 6.7 percentage points in just seven years, from 2007 to 2014, from 16.1% to 22.8%. (Times of Israel)
AHMADINEJAD ARRESTED FOR INCITING PROTESTS:
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been arrested by Iranian authorities, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported 6 Jan. 2018. Ahmadinejad is accused of inciting anti-government protests. He had reportedly attended a rally in which he publicly criticized the government. "Some of the current officials live away from the problems of the people and concerns, and do not know anything about the reality of society," the former Iranian president reportedly said at an anti-government rally. "What Iran suffers from today is mismanagement and not lack of economic resources," he charged. "The government of President Hassan Rouhani believes that they own the land and that the people are an ignorant society that does not know," Ahmadinejad said. "The people are angry at this government because of its monopoly on public wealth." Anti-government protests have been going on in Iran since late Dec. 2017. A total of 21 people have died and hundreds have been arrested since they started on 28 Dec. 2018. (INN)
REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS ‘IRAN HAS DEFEATED UNREST SPURRED BY ISRAEL AND FOREIGN ENEMIES’ :
Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on 7 Jan. 2018 that "Iran's revolutionary people along with tens of thousands of Basij forces, police and the Intelligence Ministry have broken down the chain of unrest created by the United States, Britain, the Zionist regime (Israel), Saudi Arabia, the hypocrites (Mujahideen) and monarchists." Parliament met behind closed doors on Sunday to discuss the unrest with the ministers of interior and intelligence, Iran's police chief and the deputy commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard, state television said. The previous day, videos on social media showed a heavy police presence in cities, including Khorramabad in southwestern Iran where on Wed. 4 Jan. 2018 social media posts showed protesters throwing stones at riot police. The protests have drawn largely young people and workers as well as members of the educated middle-class. A police spokesman said most of those arrested were "duped" into joining the unrest and had been freed on bail, but, the leaders of the unrest are held by the judiciary in prison." Tehran University Vice-President Majid Sarsangi said the university had set up a committee to track the fate of students arrested during the unrest. A member of parliament said about 90 students were detained, 10 of who were still not accounted for. Analysts have warned that protests in Iran may be dying down, but a giant powder keg remains. (Ha’aretz)
ORTHODOX CHURCH LEADER PELTED WITH EGGS AND SHOES IN BETHLEHEM:
The head of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem visited the city of Bethlehem on 6 Jan. 2018 for Christmas celebrations, but he did not receive a warm reception. Protesters lobbed eggs at Patriarch Theophilos III's convoy, while one woman beat at the car with a shoe. The patriarch was visiting Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity for services to mark Orthodox Christmas Eve. Christmas falls on 7 Jan for most of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The church, a major land owner, is entangled in a dispute over property sales. Its majority Palestinian congregation is infuriated that it is selling off or leasing tracts of land, in some cases to Israeli or Jewish-owned companies. There have been calls for Theophilos to resign. (Washington Post)
RECORD TOURIST FIGURES FOR 2017 CREATE 25,000 NEW JOBS:
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said Sunday, 7 Jan. 2018 at the opening of the cabinet meeting that 2017 was a "historic turning point" for incoming tourism, with more than 3.6 million tourists arriving in Israel, an increase of 700,000 over the past year. Levin said the revolution in tourism was attained by new methods of marketing as well as encouraging airlines to open routes and collaborating with large travel agencies worldwide. He added that income from tourism passed 20 billion shekels and created 25,000 new jobs. (INN)
Mike Pence is coming to Israël.
MIKE PENCE IS COMING TO ISRAEL:
USA VP Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East Jan. 19-23, with other stops in Egypt and Jordan to meet with their leaders. In Israel on the last two days of the trip, the vice president is scheduled to meet jointly with PM Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, and to address the Knesset. He also is scheduled to visit the Western Wall and Yad Vashem. Palestinian leaders refuse to meet with Pence in the wake of President Donald Trump’s recognition last month of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Pence postponed a planned mid-December visit to Israel so he could preside over the vote on a tax overhaul favored by Trump. The original trip had included meetings in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority officials. On the newly scheduled trip, prior to visiting Israel, Pence will meet in Egypt on 20 Jan. 2018 with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and in Jordan on 21Jan. 2018 with King Abdullah II. At President Trump’s direction, the Vice President is traveling to the Middle East to reaffirm the commitment to work with the USA’s allies in the region to defeat radicalism that threatens future generations. The Vice President is looking forward to meeting with the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, and Israel to discuss ways to work together to fight terrorism and improve our national security.” (JTA)
DEFENSE MINISTRY PUSHING BILL CUTTING PA FUNDS OVER TERRORISTS’ SALARIES:
The PA pays an estimated NIS 1.2 billion annually to terrorists in Israeli prisons or to the families of those killed by Israel. The government will submit legislation to deduct an equivalent amount the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists and their families, from tax and tariffs Israel collects for the PA, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said this week. “I think the PA encourages and incentivizes terrorism,” said Liberman. The PA pays an estimated NIS 1.2 billion annually to terrorists in Israeli prisons or to the families of those killed by Israel. The terrorists’ salaries are anchored in PA law, and the amount increases with every Israeli they kill. The amount of the payments that the PA gives is in accordance with the severity of the crime, meaning whoever murdered gets much more money than those who just threw Molotov cocktails or rocks or only injured someone, that is direct encouragement of terror,” Liberman added. In addition, Liberman said that the longer the prison sentence the more money someone gets, such that someone who gets a life sentence for murder, gets more money. “We must put a stop to it,” he stated. (J.Post)
MAJOR JEWISH GROUPS BACK CUTTING PALESTINIAN AID:
Major Jewish organizations are expressing support for the idea of reducing USA aid to the Palestinians after President Trump mentioned the possibility last week. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said the Palestinian Authority "has proven tone deaf to every previous USA warning about its actions, so perhaps some reduction in aid would finally get its attention." He said the administration "has a right to standards for aid that it provides, and where countries violate those standards, or trample human rights, then the USA absolutely has a right to withhold aid - especially when all the USA is asking the PA to do is to negotiate. AIPAC spokesman Marshall Wittmann said, "We have supported and continue to support reductions in assistance to the Palestinian Authority based on actions such as payments to families of terrorists and violation of its peace process commitment to direct talks with Israel, instead seeking to have the international community endorse Palestinian objectives."
B'nai B'rith International said, "It is reasonable for the USA to use foreign aid as one of several mechanisms for responding to instances where its own interests, or the interests of its allies, are threatened. The Palestinians have refused to negotiate directly with Israel, have failed to comply with their obligations under previous agreements, and have chosen instead to pursue an anti-Israel, anti-USA agenda at the United Nations." David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said, "If the Palestinian Authority balks at advancing the peace process, or if it engages in anti-American rhetoric or behavior, then, of course, it's appropriate to send a strong message of disapproval, including a cut in support." (JNS)
TRUMP TELLS PALESTINIANS TO KISS AMERICAN MONEY GOODBYE:
USA President Donald Trump this week warned that if the Palestinian Authority does not become more conciliatory in its approach to Israel, then it will no longer receive American financial aid. The Palestinian leadership has painted Trump's recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as a major obstacle to peace, going so far as to reject any further American role in the peace process. Trump's White House has responded that the Palestinian Authority was itself an obstacle to peace long before he ever came to the White House. Trump himself said that was evidenced by the Palestinian regime's latest refusal to even come to the negotiating table. The president tweeted that "with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?" (Times of Israel)
ISRAEL’S CABINET CONCERNED ABOUT MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NORTH:
Israel’s political-security cabinet has met many times in recent weeks and discussed Iran's presence in Syria and Lebanon, and especially how Israel should deal with the changes taking place on the border with Syria. A recent ceasefire agreement between the USA, Russia, and Jordan left Iranian-backed militias just three miles from the Israeli border. In addition, a recent report indicated that Iran is establishing a permanent military base outside El-Kiswah, located 14 kilometers (8 miles) south of Damascus. Israel's public diplomacy systems have been very active, mainly on the diplomatic front, in warning of the danger of Iran's presence close to the Israeli-Syrian border. PM Netanyahu himself is involved in this campaign – and has recently held many conversations with leaders from across Europe. Netanyahu describes to them the situation, outlines the security assessments of the problems that may arise on the border and which create a significant threat to Israel, and asks for their support on this issue. In addition, talks are being held with members of the USA administration. In this context, Netanyahu recently told the Saban Forum in Washington, "We will not allow that regime to entrench itself militarily in Syria as it seeks to do for the express purpose of eradicating our state." (Arutz-7)
IRAN BANS ENGLISH IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS AFTER LEADERS WARNING:
Iran has banned the teaching of English in primary schools, a senior education official said, after the country's Supreme Leader said early learning of the language opened the way to a Western cultural invasion. "Teaching English in government and non-government primary schools in the official curriculum is against laws and regulations," said Mehdi Navid-Adham, head of the state-run High Education Council. (Free Beacon)
IRAN REGIME HAS SUSTAINED A SERIOUS STRATEGIC BLOW:
Even if the Iranian regime survives the recent wave of anti-government protests, "it will have sustained a serious strategic blow," says Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the IDF's intelligence research division. "All of a sudden, it became apparent that there is not a lot of support for turning Iran into a hegemonic power in the region and for the Islamic idea. It turns out that it is just an empty slogan." The current protests are about the very idea of the Islamic republic. "The protests, in large part, reflect a demand not just for reform but for a revolutionary change," he says. "The blow sustained by the regime as a result of everything that has happened in the last week is massive. Its entire legitimacy was shaken to the core. It obviously won't be able to continue to easily justify the support it provides to all kinds of terrorist organizations in the Arab sphere."
"They don't want to be a part of an Islamic republic, first and foremost. This idea of having a religious cleric dictate the conduct in the country is no longer acceptable to them. They are saying, 'We don't want to live in an Islamic republic, we want to live in an Iranian republic. This is a blow that will impact all of Iran's supporters and all its proxies - in the northern front, in Gaza, wherever there is reliance on Iran. Those who thought that Iran was an awakening giant that is progressively expanding its grip on the Middle East, and can become the regional hegemony as a Shiite Iranian axis, understand now that beneath all that power hides a weak system that can't even enlist the support of its own people. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Soviet Union prior to 1989 - inside, everything was rotten, and ultimately, it collapsed." (Israel Hayom)
ISRAELI COMPANY SAYS IT HS PRODUCED THE TINIEST CHERRY TOMATO:
The "drop tomato" is about the size of a blueberry and the Kedma company says it is the smallest one ever cultivated in Israel, perhaps even in the world. Says a grower: "It just explodes in your mouth." They say bigger is better, but in the succulent world of cherry tomatoes, one Israeli company is going smaller than ever before. It’s a point of pride in a country known for its agricultural innovation, where fruits and vegetables are taken seriously and where several strands of the cherry tomato were first invented. “The idea is that it is comfortable,” said Ariel Kidron, a Kedma grower. “You can throw it in a salad, you don’t need to cut it. It just explodes in your mouth.” The seed, originally developed in Holland, was modified to match the arid growing conditions in southern Israel. Rami Golan, of the Central and Northern Arava Research and Development center, who accompanied the project, said it was definitely the smallest ever to be grown in Israel - where tomatoes are incredibly popular. The tiny tomato, smaller than a one shekel Israeli coin, is offered in red and yellow varieties and will be presented to the public at a international agricultural fair in Israel later this month. Early indications are it could be a big hit. (Google)