The Second Kristallnacht

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alina Zienowicz)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Alina Zienowicz)

While the Palestinians have submitted a U.N. resolution to the U.N. Security Council that sets hard deadlines for Israel, on Wednesday European Parliament approved an anti-Israel resolution of their own – one supporting the recognition of Palestinian statehood. Israel Hayom’s Dan Margalit likens these attacks from all sides on the Jewish state and its people to anti-Semitism of the past:

There was a second Kristallnacht in Europe on Wednesday. It didn’t happen at night, but during the day; it did not involve violence, but words; there was no burning of synagogues or attacking of Jews, but there was a trampling on the noble words “never again.” From all sides, they pushed toward something alarming, painful and unnecessary. The Europeans came equipped with a cynicism that feeds off the minority of extremist Muslims in their countries, and the Israelis came equipped with ambivalence, filled with helplessness and problematic considerations.

The European parliamentarians sided with the Palestinians. They drew a permanent border and set a deadline, and now there is nothing left to discuss in negotiations. They even wiped away Hamas’ stain of terrorism. We should just thank God they didn’t sign the resolution with the words “Allahu akbar…”

A tsunami of unfairness is blowing hard toward Israel from Europe … The Palestinians presented their proposal — the highlight of the campaign against Israel — to the Security Council on Wednesday night.

It is certainly very late to prepare, but it is not too late.

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Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 9:27 AM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Should Submit Its Own Resolution to the UN

(Photo: wikicommons/ Patrick Gruban)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Patrick Gruban)

The Palestinians submitted a draft to the United Nations Security Council today that calls for a 12-month deadline for a peace deal and set 2017 as the deadline for a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In light of this resolution, Dr. Emmanuel Navon writes that Israel should submit its own U.N. draft demanding that the Palestinians drop their “right of return” and that the UNRWA be disbanded:

Rather than lobbying the United States to veto the PLO resolution, and rather than trying to convince France to drop its own supposedly more benign draft, Israel should submit its own resolution to the UNSC.

The Israeli resolution would demand a Palestinian renunciation of the so-called “right of return” and a UN commitment to dismantle the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) within two years. This way, UNSC members would have to vote on two resolutions: one that demands an unconditional and total Israeli withdrawal (the PLO proposal), and one that demands an unconditional and total end to the cynical perpetuation of the Palestinian refugee problem (the Israeli proposal). UNSC members that claim to support the two-state solution will then have to explain why they are willing to impose one ingredient of that solution (i.e. ending Israel’s partial control of the West Bank) but not the other (i.e. ending the Palestinian claim, clearly incompatible with the two-state solution, that six million Arab “refugees” should be granted the option of becoming residents and citizens of Israel).

The PLO’s refusal to end all claims against Israel (including the claim that the descendants of the 1948 refugees should have a “right of return” to Israel) is the reason Yasser Arafat rejected the December 2000 Clinton proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 96% of the West Bank) and the reason Abbas rejected the September 2008 Olmert proposal (which would have granted the Palestinian state 99% of the West Bank, after land swaps). Abbas admittedly has said that he does not intend…

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Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at 8:45 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hitler Urged Christmas Boycott of Jewish Stores

(Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

(Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

Today’s international calls to boycott, divest, and sanction the Jewish state and its people are driven by a rise in anti-Semitism. They eerily mirror this JTA article from today’s date in 1935 that found Adolf Hitler calling for a similar ban:

The Voelkischer Beobachter, Hitler’s paper, today contributed its bit toward the Christmas spirit of “Peace on earth, good will to men,” with publication of a proclamation urging “true Germans” to avoid doing their Yuletide shopping in Jewish stores.

The proclamation, especially directed to Berlin residents of sections where shops are not picketed, asks that the boycott of the stores be observed “even though Aryans are employed and German-made goods are sold.”

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 8:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

EU Removes Hamas from Terror List

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

The European Union (E.U.) and its member nations have become increasingly anti-Israel and supportive of radical Islam, and this has culminated in a legal ruling that the EU must strike Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations. The Times of Israel reports that despite the EU’s claim that this is a mere “technicality,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out against the decision:

The Palestinian Islamic group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen, a European court ruled on Wednesday.

The move, described by the European Union as a technicality, quickly drew Israeli condemnation and praise from the Gaza-based organization.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the EU to return the group to the terror list, saying Israel was “not satisfied with EU’s explanations that taking Hamas off the terror list is a ‘technical matter.'”

“The burden of proof falls on the EU, and we expect it to permanently return Hamas to the list, so everyone will understand that it is an inseparable part of it — Hamas is a murderous terror organization that emphasizes in its charter that its goal is to destroy Israel,” he said in a statement …

The EU had asked Israeli officials not to cause a public row over the affair, according to Channel 10, and Jerusalem had kept quiet until Netanyahu’s statement Wednesday.

French-Jewish lawmaker Meyer Habib decried the decision and said the European Union failed to combat the “modern cancer that is jihad.”

“We need to open our eyes! Yesterday the Taliban killed 120 children. IS, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Taliban — each one is a separate branch on the same tree: a tree of hatred and terror.”

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the ruling a victory for the Palestinian nation and for its rights. Barhoum’s counterpart Sami Abu Zuhri said it was a correction of a political mistake by the EU.

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel

Supporting Christians in the IDF

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

(Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO/ASHERNET)

In Israel, Christians are not required to enlist in the IDF. Yet The Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum advocates a shared destiny between Jews and Christians for the benefit of Israel. The forum sees special value in the IDF recruitment of Israeli Christians, both to participate in the defense of the Jewish state and to promote the integration of Israeli Christians into the country.

The Fellowship supports this effort and has allocated hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid the organization, both to support its ongoing activities and to help feed needy Christian families this Christmas season.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also a supporter. Haaretz reports that Netanyahu recently visited a forum event in Nazareth, where he lauded Christians serving in the IDF:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Upper Nazareth on Sunday night to attend an Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum event in honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Hundreds of people attended the event, including many soldiers. The forum, headed by Father Gabriel Nadaf, encourages Christian Arabs to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.

Netanyahu told the crowd of how he had accompanied his son Avner to the enlistment office on December 1. The very next day, he noted, Nadaf accompanied his own son, Jubran, to the enlistment office, and, like Avner, Jubran volunteered for combat service.

“We are brothers, we are partners – Christians and Jews and Druze and Muslims who defend the State of Israel,” he said.

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 2:15 PM  | Stand For Israel

Fallen Israeli Police Officer Honored with Baby Name

(Photo: Daniel Bar On)

(Photo: Daniel Bar On)

Last month’s terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue left five dead, including a Druze police officer who helped stop the terrorists, saving many lives in the process. The Times of Israel reports that Zidan Saif, the officer who was killed, has now been honored by a family who named their newborn son after him:

The uncle of the Druze policeman killed in the Har Nof synagogue attack in Jerusalem last month said that Zidan Saif’s family was touched by the outpouring of support.

Saif’s uncle, Sheikh Mohmoud Shef, pointed to a New York Jewish couple who named their son Zidan as a touching example of that support.

“The fact that everyone is so earnest, both in the United States and in Israel, makes them feel like part of our family,” said Shef. “We’re so thankful. The fact that a baby is going to have his name is such a huge honor for us.”

Alexander Chester, a corporate real estate attorney, told The Times of Israel that he and his wife, Jennifer, a medical resident at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, wanted to make sure that Zidan Saif’s name would be perpetuated within the Jewish community, naming their son Yaakov Zidan.

“The four rabbis who were killed left behind many children, so it can be assumed that their names will live on through their grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” said Chester.

“We wanted to have [Zidan’s] name called among the Jewish people for all time.”

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 11:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Over 100 Children Killed in Taliban Attack on Pakistani School

(Photo: wikicommons)

(Photo: wikicommons)

In the latest international terror attack, at least 126 people have been killed in a Taliban attack on a school in Pakistan. Haaretz reports that of the dead, more than 100 were children:

More than 100 children were killed in a Taliban attack on a military school in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday. The total death toll reached at least 126, with 122 people injured, local officials said, in the worst attack to hit the country in years.

The attack started with the Taliban storming the school in Peshawar in the morning hours and shooting at random …

The overwhelming majority of the victims were students at the army public school, which has children and teenagers in grades 1-10. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the assault and rushed to Peshawar to show his support for the victims.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Reuters journalist at the scene heard heavy gunfire from inside the school as soldiers surrounded it. Helicopters swooped overhead and a fleet of ambulances ferried wounded children to hospital.

“Many are in the operation theater now in critical condition, undergoing treatment,” said Lady Reading Hospital official Ejaz Khan.

Military officials at the scene said at least six armed men had entered the military-run Army Public School. About 500 students and teachers were believed to be inside.

“We were standing outside the school and firing suddenly started and there was chaos everywhere and the screams of children and teachers,” said Jamshed Khan, a school bus driver.

A teacher said that the attackers targeted the school while exams were taking place.

“After half an hour of the attack, the army came and sealed the school,” a teacher told a private television channel outside the besieged school.

“We were in the examination hall when the attack took place,” he said. “Now the army men are clearing the classes one by one.”

Taliban spokesman Muhammad Umar Khorasani told Reuters his group was responsible for the attack.

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 9:06 AM  | Stand For Israel

Sydney Siege and Monitoring Extremists

(Photo: flickr/ Karl-Ludwig Poggemann)

(Photo: flickr/ Karl-Ludwig Poggemann)

This weekend’s hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, which came to an end yesterday, is only the latest terrorist act perpetrated by radical Islamists – those associated with an organized terror organization, or those acting on their own. Writing at Commentary, Max Boot says that these two types of terrorism are related, as groups like ISIS are inspiring those who act alone:

In the annals of terrorism, 2014 will be notable for two trends: the rise of ISIS, eclipsing al-Qaeda, and the rise of “lone wolf” terrorists carrying out heinous attacks with little if any help from anyone. The two trends are, in fact, related, because ISIS is now becoming as much an inspiration for violent fanatics as al-Qaeda once was.

Both trends are evident in Australia which saw a 16-hour siege of a cafe in Sydney carried out by a 50-year-old Iranian immigrant calling himself Man Haron Monis, a self-styled sheikh who has preached an extremist gospel and recently converted from Shiite to Sunni Islam. His own lawyer calls him a “damaged goods individual” who was apparently on bail in two different criminal cases–he is charged “with being an accessory before and after the fact in the murder of his ex-wife, Noleen Hayson Pal, who was stabbed and set on fire” and with “the indecent and sexual assault of a woman in western Sydney.” In yet another case, he “pleaded guilty in 2013 to 12 charges related to the sending of poison-pen letters to the families of Australian servicemen who were killed overseas.”

What a charmer. A marginal, criminal character, Monis was apparently spurred into taking hostages because he was exercised about Australian military actions, in cooperation with the U.S. and other allies, against ISIS.

There is little that anyone can do to anticipate such random attacks but there is more that can be done to monitor known extremists such as Monis.

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 8:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Sydney Gunman’s Failed Message

(Photo: wikicommons/ Axiom292)

(Photo: wikicommons/ Axiom292)

Yesterday we reported on the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, as well as its resolution. The gunman has been identified as a radical Islamist, which was clear during the incident, because of the flag hostages were forced to hold up. Michael J. Totten writes about this particular flag’s meaning – a meaning that the media covering the situation missed:

A radical Islamist seized hostages in a café yesterday in Sydney, Australia. Sixteen hours later police shot him dead. At least two of his captives died and several others are seriously injured.

Shortly after he took over the café, he forced some of the hostages to hold a black flag up to the glass for news cameras to photograph. It is known variously as the black standard, the jihad flag, and the Salafist flag. It’s similar in some ways to the Saudi flag. It’s also similar to the black flag of the Abbasid caliphate.

Anybody who flies it is potentially dangerous.

Salafism is a relatively recent Islamic ideology (less than 150 years old) that arose as a reaction against 19th century Western imperialism in general and the liberal Western ideas that began percolating into the Middle East at the time, which was not ruled by Western imperialists but mostly by the (Turkish) Ottoman Empire.

Salafists wish to remove all modern “innovations” from Islam and to bring back the 7th century version as practiced by Mohammad. They also wish to build a caliphate—a state—based on the 7th century model. Some of them would be content to do this non-violently, but others are a little less, shall we say, patient.

So an individual won’t necessarily be violent just because he’s a Salafist—especially not in the Persian Gulf region where their numbers are huge—but Al Qaeda and ISIS are the armed wings of the Salafist movement.

When the Australian gunman forced his hostages to hold that flag up to the glass, he was identifying himself as a Salafist. But no one in media seemed to know what that flag is….

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Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 8:45 AM  | Stand For Israel

Shin Bet Foils “Pregnant” Suicide Bomber Plot in Tel Aviv

(Photo: Shin Bet)

(Photo: Shin Bet)

As we pray for a peaceful resolution to the hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, and as we see more and more terrorist attacks worldwide each week, some good news comes out of Israel. The Times of Israel reports that the Shin Bet – Israel’s internal security service – has thwarted a suicide bombing plot that was to take place in Tel Aviv:

A Palestinian terror cell planning a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv and other attacks was thwarted over the last several months, the Shin Bet security service said Monday.

Five suspects hailing from Jenin and the village Attil in the Tulkarem area of the West Bank planned to infiltrate into Israel by acquiring a permit for the female member of their group to receive medical care in Israel.

She was then to dress as a pregnant Jewish woman and detonate an explosive belt in Tel Aviv, the Shin Bet said in a statement.

The cell members admitted under Shin Bet interrogation to planning to carry out shooting attacks, detonate a mine next to a bus carrying soldiers, and kidnap a soldier as well, according to the internal security agency.

The five were arrested between October and November by IDF forces working with the Shin Bet and police, but the information was only cleared for release Monday.

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Monday, December 15th, 2014 at 9:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

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State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
An Inspiring Time of Year

Hanukkah, which begins next week, is a festive time for the Jewish people. But it is also much more than a celebration for families. It is a moving, inspiring story of God’s protection and provision that is especially meaningful this year in light of recent events in Israel and around the world.

Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »


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