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Journal Archives

An Arab, Muslim, and Israeli Officer at the Center of a Storm

[quote]For Ms. Samri, a 44-year-old Israeli officer and spokeswoman, police work has been a calling since she joined the force nearly 20 years ago. What makes her devotion all the more unusual is that she is an Arab Muslim citizen of Israel, putting her squarely in the storm of competing loyalties and emotions stirred up by the violence that she has been broadcasting about.

Over the past month, Palestinian assailants using knives, guns and their vehicles as weapons have attacked Israelis, often several times a day, and many of the suspects have been fatally shot by police officers, soldiers or civilians at the scene, generating a furor that has engulfed both sides.

Ms. Samri, whose steady stream of WhatsApp updates starts early in the morning and continues into the wee hours, says she has no inner conflicts about her role amid the surge in violence.

“Democracy is law,” she said. “I believe in the law, not because I want to be more Jewish than the Jews. I am a proud Arab with Palestinian roots, and I am the proudest Israeli.”




Superintendent Luba Samri with members of a SWAT team at Police Headquarters in Jerusalem. Credit Rina Castelnuovo for The New York Times

‘I came to defend Israel,’ says immigrant cop who shot attackers

A young French immigrant serving in the Border Police was praised by commanders and local leaders on Friday after shooting two Palestinian assailants as they tried to stab her and a second policeman in the West Bank.

The head of Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, who arrived at the scene and spoke with the corporal, said that the officer had told him: “This is why I came to Israel. To defend the nation.”

The two men attempted to stab Cpl. A and her partner as they inspected vehicles at the Tapuah Junction. According to a police statement, the attackers arrived at the intersection on a motorcycle, dismounted and advanced towards the officers with knives in hand.

Dagan called Cpl. A “a hero” for preventing “a big disaster.”

“I realized that if I hesitated for a second the policeman beside me would no longer be alive,” Cpl. A told the press afterwards. “I didn’t think twice. I cocked my weapon and shot them.”

One of the Palestinians was killed while the other was critically injured, according to police. The Border Policemen were not hurt. {/quote]


Pope says denying Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism


Pope Francis marked the 50th anniversary of the turning point in the Catholic Church’s relations with Jews on Wednesday with a sharp condemnation of anti-Semitism, saying attacks on Israel’s right to exist were a form of hatred.

To attack Jews is anti-Semitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also anti-Semitism,” Francis told a delegation from the World Jewish Congress (WJC). “There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the State of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.”

Francis called for greater interfaith collaboration in the face of religious extremism. He devoted his usual Wednesday general audience to explaining to the Catholic faithful in St. Peter’s Square the importance of the “Nostra Aetate,” or “In Our Time” declaration, which revolutionized the church’s relations in particular with Jews.

The statement was one of the most important documents to emerge from the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that brought the church into the modern world. It said Christ’s death could not be attributed to Jews as a whole, recognized the shared spiritual patrimony between Christians and Jews and decried all forms of anti-Semitism. [/quote]


French high court: BDS activists guilty of discrimination


Judges upholds ruling against activists who called to boycott Israeli products; French law prohibits targeting of nations for discrimination

France’s highest court of appeals confirmed earlier rulings that found promoters of a boycott against Israel guilty of inciting hate or discrimination.

The rulings passed on Tuesday by the Paris-based Court of Cassation confirmed the convictions of 12 individuals by the Colmar Court of Appeals in connection with their 2009 and 2010 actions in supermarkets near the eastern city of Mulhouse.

The individuals arrived at the supermarket wearing shirts emblazoned with the words: “Long live Palestine, boycott Israel.” They also handed out flyers that said that “buying Israeli products means legitimizing crimes in Gaza.” [/quote]


Egyptian Activist Hangs Israeli Flag, Calls for End to Media’s ‘Dishonest Reporting’ About Jewish

Egyptian Activist Hangs Israeli Flag, Calls for End to Media’s ‘Dishonest Reporting’ About Jewish State

An Egyptian-Muslim peace activist expressed strong support for Israel on Monday and called on major media outlets to halt their biased coverage of the Jewish state.

In a video posted on Facebook, Ahmed Meligy criticized the media’s “dishonest reporting” and “brainwash methods” in relation to the current wave of violence in Israel. Filming from Egypt, he spoke to the camera with Israeli and Egyptian flags hanging on the wall behind him. After proclaiming his passion for his home country, the activist said he hung the Israeli flag as well because Israel has the right to be recognized “in a proper, decent, honest way.”

Meligy specifically mentioned the BBC and The Washington Post for “undermining what’s going on in Israel to the point that they are trying to bury it, so the world won’t know.” He cited specific headlines from both media outlets, which report on Palestinians being killed, but fail to identify them as terrorists and attackers.

“Israel has the right to be recognized. What’s going on has to be mentioned fairly without these cheap tactics,” he said. “This [the biased reporting] has nothing to do with honesty. This has nothing to do with integrity and it’s a shame.”

The Egyptian activist urged the public to become the “true news reporters,” saying, “It is our duty to act and show the world what’s going on in Israel.”[/quote]


Children's show in Gaza praises Palestinian attackers as 'true heroes'


A children's television show in the Gaza Strip hosted a show where the kids praised Palestinians that have stabbed Israelis during the current wave of violence as "true heroes."

The segment, which aired on Al-Kitab TV on October 4th, showcased a discussion about the current situation between girls who were dressed in the traditional keffiyeh and hijab, and hailed the attacks against Israelis.

One of the girls said “Glory and eternity to our pure martyrs. We salute their families, and we revere the young heroes who have sacrificed their lives for Jerusalem, and who carried out all those great heroic acts.” The host of the show, who is also a young, added that “We love them and kiss their hands, because they are true heroes."


Encouraging more martyrs, she said that one day they would be honored by “all the museums of the world.”

She finished by saying that “The Israelis fight with missile and tanks, but we fight with stones. We are not afraid. They are more afraid than us. They love life."[/quote]


“I Love Adolf Hitler”: BDS at South African Universities

The claim that Israel is an apartheid state is especially salient in South Africa. And students who don’t toe the party line often find themselves ostracized—or worse.

Speaking up for Israel is an act of supreme bravery in South Africa these days, particularly if you are a member of the ruling African National Congress. After more than two decades in power, the ANC is becoming discernibly more hostile to Israel with each passing year. The small number of activists inside the movement who have questioned this policy have rapidly become political outcasts.

The deep roots of the ANC’s anti-Israel campaign have made it a natural bedfellow of the cacophonous Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in South Africa. On December 20, 2012, the ANC adopted the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel as its official policy. A resolution passed by the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference stated, “The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.”


The precipitous growth of the BDS movement in South Africa began with Thabo Mbeki’s presidency, from 1999 to 2008, and stemmed from his unusual fascination with the Arab-Israeli conflict, as chronicled by RW Johnson in the book Will South Africa Survive? Mbeki’s belief was that now that South Africa had been liberated from apartheid, the natural next step was to free the Palestinians from Zionism—caricatured as a colonial movement dispossessing and expropriating the native population. In South Africa, Mbeki saw with his own eyes an oppressive white minority regime—just ten percent of the total population—which had imposed itself upon a non-white majority, creating in the process an oppressive class-system that had to be overthrown. Mbeki likened the Palestinian struggle to the South African experience on several occasions, such as his opening remarks at the United Nations African Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in 2004, and at an Al-Jazeera forum in 2010. As chronicled in RW Johnson’s book How Long will South Africa Survive?, the Mbeki administration saw the necessity of using the same methods against “Apartheid Israel” as had been used against the Boers in order to achieve the same result. Boycotts, divestment, and sanctions were those methods, and Jews (cast in the role of whites) handing over power to the rightful owners of the land (Palestinians, cast in the role of blacks) was the intended outcome.




US sends 'message' to Abbas with $80 million aid cut

The Obama administration is cutting aid to the Palestinians by $80 million in what congressional sources describe as a "message" to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The State Department notified lawmakers on Sept. 25 of its intention to reduce economic aid for the West Bank and Gaza Strip from $370 million to $290 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Al-Monitor has learned. The news of the 22% cut from the department's initial request follows mounting criticism from Congress about Palestinian "incitement" in the rash of stabbing attacks that have left at least 10 Israeli civilians dead over the past three weeks.

"We need to dial up pressure on Palestinian officials to repudiate this violence," said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The committee voted unanimously Oct. 22 on a resolution taking Abbas and other Palestinian leaders to task for "incitement" of violence against Jewish Israelis, both for recent statements that Israel wants to change the status quo on the Temple Mount and for longtime hate-mongering in Palestinian schools and media. While some Israeli right-wingers such as Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel have advocated for more Jewish access to the controversial site, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has largely maintained the status quo. [/quote]


Abbas’s brother-in-law gets life-saving heart surgery in Israel

[quote]Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s brother-in-law underwent life-saving heart surgery at a private hospital in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Hebrew media reported Thursday.

He was hospitalized at the Assuta Medical Center in northern Tel Aviv’s Ramat Hachayal neighborhood. The surgery was successful and he was said to be recovering in intensive care.

Despite recent tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel approved the entry of Abbas’s wife’s brother to receive treatment in Tel Aviv, Walla reported. The report didn’t name Abbas’s brother-in-law. [/quote]



Kuwaiti writer's support for Israel provokes social media backlash

[quote]Abdullah al-Hadlaq has provoked a backlash for his views on Israel's right to defend itself against the "terrorism of Palestinian knives"

A Kuwaiti columnist known for his pro-Israeli views provoked a storm of criticism on social media when he wrote this weekend that Israel had a legitimate right to defend itself against the "terrorism of [Palestinian] knives".

Abdullah al-Hadlaq was referring to the recent wave of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories some have dubbed "the intifada of knives", because of the number of stabbing attacks against Israelis.

Hadlaq's latest article, The terrorism of knives and the right of Israel to self-defence, was published in the Kuwaiti daily al-Watan on 17 October, but had apparently been taken down by the morning of 19 October.

"With the increase of [Palestinian] crimes, and the terrorism of knives against Israeli soldiers... and against innocent civilians," Hadlaq wrote, "Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and kill [Palestinian] terrorists, whatever their age, children, youths, male and female, is clear," Egyptian news site Rassd reported. [/quote]


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