Mounting Terror

Arlene from Israel

It’s not dissipating, folks, but rather getting worse. Not an enormous surprise.

Here, I hope simply to touch on a few points, starting with a correction: In yesterday’s post, where I intended my very first reference to Arafat, I wrote “Abbas” instead. Thanks to all who caught this.  I think everyone understood what I meant to say.


We’re looking at knife attacks. The most recent reported, in Gan Shmuel in the north near Hadera.  The attacker hit one person with his car, and then jumped out and knifed three others, including a 14 year old girl; a 19 year old woman who was stabbed is in critical condition.

And riots – pictured is a clash outside of Beit El two days ago.

A Palestinian protester hurls stones during clashes with Israeli forces outside Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 9, 2015. (Flash90)
Credit: Flash 90


And now a failed car bombing as well: This morning, on the road between Ma’aleh Adumim and Jerusalem, a bomb went off in a car driven by a Palestinian Arab woman with Jerusalem residency.  It was originally reported that the bomb went off by mistake.  Now I’m reading an update that says she was approached by police officers and cried “Allahu Akbar” and then detonated the bomb.  In any event, a search of the car revealed other bombs in addition to the one she deliberately detonated.  It is assumed that she was heading for a suicide bombing in central Jerusalem.  She did not die in the explosion but is in critical condition.


I’m seeing some official government attempts to be tougher, all of which are good, but none of which are enough. E.g.:

[] A four year minimum sentence will be imposed on those who throw rocks, fireworks or firebombs; fine may be imposed on minors and their parents.

[] A massive call-up of Border Police is taking place, with 1,300 – 2,000 extra police being deployed in sensitive areas.


The incitement continues, and I am very weary of reports on how Abbas is trying to calm matters down.

Yesterday, Fatah, Abbas’s party, issued flyers celebrating the “martyrs” who had died after attacking Jews.  Note the pictures of Abbas and Arafat.

The flier for terrorist Ishaq Badran.
Credit: YNet


And now Hamas has actively joined.  Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday called for “strengthening and increasing the intifada…it is the only path that will lead to liberation.”


Also on Friday, Sheikh Mohammad Abu Rajab, during a sermon in the Al Abrar Mosque in Rafah, Gaza, demonstrated the way to stab a Jew.

Sheikh Mohammad Abu Rajab ajak umat Islam perangi Israel
Credit; syamtodaynews


I am also weary of hearing about how we have to give the Arabs “hope,” which is what the push for negotiations is ostensibly all about.  The catch: every time there have been negotiations, terror has increased, with some of the worst attacks occurring during the Oslo years when (as I wrote yesterday) Israel was making major concessions, including on the division of Jerusalem.  Violence increases when Israel seems weak, and it is aimed at Israel’s destruction.


One of the more troubling and complex elements of this situation is the fact that Israeli Arabs are involved, both in the attacks and in the incitement.  I believe the attacker in Gan Shmuel is an Israeli citizen, for example.

Israeli Arabs – who live with more rights and freedom than any other Arabs in the Middle East – are not participating because they lack “hope.”  There is radicalism within this population, recruitment by Hamas, and more.  Prevalent among the radicals are those of the Islamic Movement of Israel.  This movement should have been declared illegal a long time ago, and Netanyahu is now looking towards taking this action.


Yesterday, there were major riots in the Israeli cities of Ramle and Nazareth.  In Nazareth, 1,500 Arabs took to the street to protest the “occupation.”  What occupation are they referring to?

There are two answers to this.  Either these Arabs identify with the Arabs of the PA. Or…they believe that ALL of Israel, even within the Green Line, is “occupied” because the Arabs should control everything and the Jews should be gone.

See this by Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch (with echoes of my report yesterday, emphasis here added):

”…Along with teaching that Jaffa is Palestine, the PA informs its people of the step-by-step strategy for liberating Jaffa and the rest of Israel from ‘occupation.’ For example, Fatah leader Abbas Zaki, a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, stated that ‘establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines is being negotiated by the PA because everyone knows that Israel cannot survive in the 1967 lines and will “come to an end.”

’Israel will come to an end. If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great – it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy.

’You can’t say it to the world. You can say it to yourself.’ (Al Jazeera TV, September 23, 2011)

The Palestinian population has accepted the message that the leadership’s ultimate goal is to conquer Jaffa, Acre and all of Israel ‘in stages.’ A poll conducted by the Washington Institute last year found that 60 percent of Palestinians believe that the ‘five-year goal should be to work toward reclaiming all of historic Palestine, from the river to the sea.’



And, I ask, without a trace of irony: What do we do when part of the population of Israeli Arabs accepts the PA message and looks forward to the day when Israel will be destroyed?

Dry Bones cartoon: Kirschen, Abbas, terror, PLO,Palestinians,


Interior Minister Silvan Shalom says he will work to revoke the citizenship of Israeli Arabs who are involved in terror.

Interior Minister Silvan Shalom
Credit: Flash 90

It’s a very welcome start. The problem is that this is after the fact.


Nothing is more outrageous, more deeply offensive than those Israeli Arabs who are members of the Knesset, and continue to adhere to an anti-Israel line.  There are several of whom this is true, but the one that stands out is Hanin Zoabi, who has consistently embraced pro-Hamas and anti-Israel rhetoric.

Credit: aljazeera

The other day, Zoabi was cited by Hamas’s official journal as saying:

“Hundreds of thousands of worshipers should go up to Al-Aksa in order to face down an Israeli plot for the blood of the East Jerusalem residents. Today there are actions only by individuals and what is needed is popular support.  If only individual attacks continue without popular support, they will sputter out within a few days. Therefore the outpouring of thousands of our people will make these events a real intifada.”


An enraged Netanyahu ordered a criminal investigation of Zoabi.

The investigation had better lead to criminal charges. She should have been tossed out of the Knesset on her ear a long time ago.


Additionally, MK David Bitan (Likud) is introducing legislation that would levy fines of hundreds of thousands of shekels on MKs who incited to violence.


Two (unconnected) thoughts here, before closing:

The PA is notoriously corrupt. With all the radicalization of the Arab population of PA areas, I have no doubt that a good deal of the anger that is being vented has been generated by that PA corruption, with its failure to provide for the people.  Easier, is it not, to be furious at Israel.


Note that Zoabi was speaking of Al Aksa. At the core of the incitement there continue to be the fallacious charges of Israeli intentions of taking over the Temple Mount.  The goal here is to spark violence that drives the Jews off the Mount.

Note what Zaki, cited above, said about Israel not being able to survive within the ‘67 lines and thus coming to an end if pushed back to those lines. This is the reality behind the incitement regarding the Temple Mount.  They know that Israel would not survive without that ancient historical and religious site of the Jewish people.  Attempts to drive Israel from the Mount are intended as a step towards her destruction.


And tonight’s good news:

“European satellite operator Eutelsat Communications and social media giant Facebook said Monday they are working jointly to deliver satellite broadband Internet to connectivity-hungry sub-Saharan Africa using an Israeli satellite…

“The multi-million dollar AMOS-6 satellite, built by the Israel Aerospace Industries, will be ready for launch in 2016, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.”


Credit: Mark Zuckerberg


The Only Clarity

Arlene from Israel

Tomorrow night begins Pesach.  (tonight)

A quintessential moment in the Jewish year, providing a powerful perspective: The Almighty heard the cry of the Children of Israel, who were suffering bitter slavery in Egypt. And He brought us out.  Not an agent, but the Almighty.  “Us” because we are commanded to consider ourselves as having been rescued then.

Credit: jfjfp

In that rescue, that Exodus from Egypt, we became a nation – ultimately brought to Mt. Sinai to receive the law, which instructs us to this day.  And then brought to the land.  It is of one piece.

Let us not forget the lessons of seder night.  And may those lessons transcend what is going on in the world today.

To all who celebrate, Chag Pesach Kasher V’Sameach.


After days of tortuous dragging out of negotiations with Iran, a  “sort-of” conclusion has been announced.  The advent of the holiday makes it impossible for me to comment at length on what is currently going on.  Details will be forthcoming in my postings next week, after time spent with family and when I have returned to a “normal” writing schedule.  Here I wish to simply review fairly quickly.

There is no signed agreement. There is only a “framework”  – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action  – that will require much working out of specifics by the end of June.


Obama tonight called the agreement “historic” – if finalized it “would cut off every path” to Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, and would include the toughest inspections “ever negotiated…If Iran cheats, the world will know it.  If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it.”


Give us a break!  Only those eager to be taken in, only those who are so hungry for this issue to be put to rest, would believe this.  Unfortunately, this describes a good number of people.  Remember that Iran has a history of cheating, of moving ahead in secrecy on nuclear development.

The US speaks about re-imposing sanctions immediately if Iran were found cheating. But this is a dubious proposition, as Russia and China are likely to balk, so that Iran would be able to cheat AND have sanctions relief.

According to Jeffry Lewis, nuclear proliferation expert, “These treaties never really have an enforcement mechanism, which is, from a legal perspective, kind of weird and kind of a bummer, but totally understandable in a world of states that jealously guard their sovereignty.”  (Emphasis added)


No enforcement mechanism? This means Iran must be trusted to keep the deal?


Obama has the unmitigated gall to say there is no daylight between Israel and the US with regard to the security of Israel. This deal, he claims, is the best way to protect Israel.  He’s slick – attempting to sideline Netanyahu as an aggressive individual who prefers tough sanctions or even a military attack to this splendid deal that solves everything.

Israeli officials say they will continue to fight this agreement until its date for being finalized in June.

They referred to the framework as “a capitulation to Iranian dictates.” Speaking on condition of anonymity, they called it “a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement.” If finalized, it would make the world “far more dangerous.”

The agreement, they maintained, constitutes “international legitimization of Iran’s nuclear program” whose “only purpose is to build nuclear weapons.” (Emphasis added)


We have yet to hear from members of Congress – but we will.


I note, as well, that all Western negotiating partners are not on board with the same enthusiasm that Obama exudes.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and President Francois Hollande welcomed the “framework” but expressed the opinion that there was much work to do to before there could be an acceptable deal.


I share this, from Omri Ceren of The Israel Project (emphasis added):

“[Iranian Foreign Minister] Zarif just finished his speech…some of what Zarif revealed has already generated controversy. There was a lot of braggadocio in the speech: no closing of facilities, R&D will continue on Iran’s scientific schedule, enrichment will continue, the heavy water at Arak will be modernized, etc.

“Perhaps most relevant to people who have been following the day-to-day in Lausanne, is that Zarif confirmed the U.S. has completely caved on the Fordow concession that the AP blew open on Thursday. Recall that Fordow is the underground bunker, built into the side of a mountain, which the Iranians emptied and made into an illicit enrichment facility. The assumption had always been that the Iranians would have to close it under any reasonable deal.

“President Obama was saying as late as 2012: ‘We know they don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordo in order to have a peaceful program’

“The Iranians simply said no…So the Americans caved and said that they could keep it open as a research facility, but they had to remove all the centrifuges for storage…there was a lot of talk of Iranian flexibility when they accepted it…Then this week, it emerged that in fact the Iranians would be allowed to keep centrifuges spinning inside the mountain.

“But instead of spinning uranium, the centrifuges would be spinning germanium or similar non-nuclear elements. Centrifuges spin isotopes into lighter and heavier elements, thereby enriching’ the material. That’s what they do. In fact that’s all they do. The administration has gone all-in on a talking point can be defeated by a Google search for ‘centrifuges enrich germanium’…

This isn’t a minor point. The concession has the potential to gut the whole deal.”

“[It] allows…centrifuge R&D beyond the reach of the West- since the process is the exact same process, Iran will have a hardened facility where it will be able to research and develop N-generation centrifuges. Zarif bragged from the stage in Lausanne that Iranian R&D on centrifuges will continue…the development of advanced centrifuges would give the Iranians a leg up if they decide to break out, and will put them instantly within a screw’s turn of a nuke when the deal expires.

“[It] leaves Iranian nuclear infrastructure running beyond the reach of the West – if the Iranians kick out inspectors and dare the world to respond, the West will have zero way to intervene…”



A bit of clarification here, regarding the Fordow site and the enrichment of germanium:

“…the centrifuges could only be used to enrich germanium, zinc, and other non-fissile materials. But the centrifuges are identical in design to those used for uranium enrichment, and can quickly be retooled for uranium enrichment.

Critics are concerned that Fordow could be used to perfect advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges using uranium stand-ins and in a location secure from outside attack.”



And in closing, this additional information just in from Omri Ceren:

“The issue of sequencing sanctions relief – how, when, and to what extent sanctions will be lifted in exchange for Iranian compliance – was one of the key sticking points over the last week…

“Achieving an understanding on sanctions would have to be counted as a major achievement, and it’s already being claimed as such. But there’s something wrong here. I haven’t figured out what it is yet, but I’m pretty sure I don’t like it…

“The EU/Iran joint statement says sanctions will be terminated ‘simultaneously’ with Iran implementing its obligations…

“The White House factsheet says sanctions will be suspended ‘after’ Iran has taken ‘all’ of its nuclear-related steps…

Zarif is already saying the White House is lying about how sanctions will be lifted… (emphasis added)

“The last time Zarif accused the Obama administration of lying on a factsheet was after the JPOA was announced, in the context of granting a ‘right to enrich.’ He was 100% right and the Americans were 100% wrong.

“It’s not clear what the actual sanctions deal is, but it’s worrying that there are already differences…If the Iranians are right, then the White House is again misleading journalists and lawmakers about the actual scope of their concessions.”