Thursday, December 14, 2017

14-Dec-17: Understanding what happened after Wednesday night's Gazan rocket attack on Israel

Haaretz says (rather blandly) three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel yesterday (Wednesday): 
Two were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and one fell into an open area as alarm sirens sounded in southern Israeli districts and cities including Sderot. Magen David Adom emergency responders said that a 30-year-old man wounded his leg while running for cover, and two others were being treated for shock. The rocket fire on Israel from the Gaza Strip Wednesday evening is returning the residents of the Gaza border region back to a state of tension they haven’t experienced since Operation Protective Edge over three years ago. No less [sic] than 15 rockets have been fired into Israeli territory since U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem, and although the Israel Defense Forces has been showing restraint, it will have a hard time holding back for much longer. 
Others say there were four, not three, and the difference points to something significant:
On Wednesday night, four rockets were fired from Gaza at southern Israel. Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, a third struck an open field and the fourth fell short of the border and hit a school in the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli officials... [Times of Israel, today]
So that's five Arab-on-Israeli attack rockets intercepted in mid-air and brought down by the amazing, life-saving, defensive Iron Dome system so far this week. 

As far as we know, neither Haaretz nor any non-Israeli news source has drawn attention to how yet-another Fell Short rocket dispatched on its murderous path towards Israel failed to cross the border and fell onto the heads of hapless Gazan Palestinian Arabs.

This time it struck a school according to Israeli assessments:
Beit Hanoun’s Ghazi al-Shawa public school, according to Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry liaison with the Palestinians.
Given the late-night hour, it was probably empty of students. But who really knows? And just imagine the reaction if it was an Israeli attack that view up a Gazan (almost certainly meaning UNRWA) school. Does anyone think The Guardian (which has a documented interest in Gazan schools being attacked) will give its readers any insight into this latest school bombing.

Fell Shorts are never reported by the terrorist regime in Gaza. If they did, they might have to own up to the utter contempt they have for harming their own side. Fell Shorts are very rarely reported by major news agencies.

By way of response, Israel this morning (Thursday) imposed a closure of its Gaza crossings:
Israel announced the closure of its Gaza border crossings on Thursday in response to daily rocket fire from the enclave over the past week after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital stoked Palestinian anger. [Reuters, this morning]
An Israeli source adds:
The army said the Kerem Shalom Crossing, from which goods enter and leave the Strip, as well as the pedestrian Erez Crossing would be shuttered beginning on Thursday, in light of “security events and in accordance with security assessments.” It was not clear when the crossings would reopen, the army said. A military spokesperson said that in “humanitarian cases” Gaza residents may be allowed to pass through the Erez Crossing, but that this would be contingent upon approval from Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s chief military liaison to the Palestinians, known formally as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). [Times of Israel, today]
CNN's reporting on this ["Israel closes Gaza border crossings", CNN, today - archived here in case they change the text] maintains CNN's not-exactly-stellar record for perspective and fairness:
The Israeli military said it will close border crossings into Gaza beginning Thursday until further notice "due to the security events and in accordance with security assessments."
The crossings being closed, Kerem Shalom and Erez, are the only two on the Israeli border left. Israel has closed border crossings when tensions are high, some which have not been reopened to date. The territory is also under a naval blockade by the Israeli navy. Kerem Shalom is the crossing point where goods and supplies are brought into Gaza; Erez is the point where people cross. Shutting the two points effectively cuts off Gaza from the rest of the world by land, save for its small Egyptian border, which is generally closed. The territory is also under a naval blockade by the Israeli navy.
(Yes, Israel's navy gets mentioned twice. There's something about sailors in uniform.)

CNN has an interesting way of looking at this. Gaza, which everyone knows views Israel as its sworn enemy and which is busily attacking Israelis with rockets and tunnels at this moment, is shut off "from the rest of the world" by Israel closing its border this morning. Oh, "save for its small Egyptian border" which is "generally closed".

The word agitprop was invented for silliness of this CNN sort.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

12-Dec-17: Thwarted knifing attack near Ariel [UPDATED]

According to a Times of Israel report, IDF soldiers broke up a riotous crowd near the Arab village of Salfit, located south of the Israeli city Ariel earlier today. The Arabs were hurling rocks at the Israelis who eventually gave chase and caught one of them at the edge of Salfit. He is said to have drawn a knife on them, prompting them to open fire, according to a Hadashot TV report. The would-be stabber was hit in the head and is being treated in hospital for his injuries.

UPDATE 6:00 pm December 12, 2017 The narrative has just gotten considerably cloudier and more troubling. In an updated report, "Palestinian shot by soldiers wasn’t carrying a knife, IDF finds", Times of Israel says
The army on Tuesday launched an investigation after soldiers shot a Palestinian who they said appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket, though no such weapon was recovered at the scene. In a statement, the IDF said troops spotted a group of Palestinians approaching the fence around the Ariel settlement “in a suspicious manner.” The soldiers opened fire at one of the suspects after he “appeared to pull a knife out of his pocket,” the army said. However, upon searching the area, near the Palestinian village of Salfit, the military found no knife, indicating the soldiers apparently opened fire in error. Israeli army medics treated the wounded Palestinian on the scene, before taking him to the hospital.“The incident will be reviewed,” the army said. The army’s statement, released Tuesday evening, conflicted with earlier reports from the afternoon, which claimed the injured Palestinian had been throwing rocks at soldiers and when confronted by them, took out a knife and tried to stab them.
Ynet adds this:
Several Palestinians suspected of trying to tamper with the security force near Ariel advanced on an IDF force. One of them inserted his hand into his pocket in a manner that resembled drawing a knife. In response, the IDF force shot and struck him.
Mistakes on the battlefield and under conditions of stress, and even tragic mishaps - they're not new and in large measure they're inevitable. We're confident the IDF's investigators and legal teams will approach this in a professional, ethical way.

Monday, December 11, 2017

11-Dec-17: Sunday's Jerusalem stabbing victim: an update

The victim, Asher Elmaliach
The Sunday knifing attack on a private security guard at the busy entrance to Jerusalem's Central Bus Station ["10-Dec-17: A stabbing attack on a security guard shuts down Jerusalem's main bus station"] appears to have made little impact on global news channels.

Even less attention, in the nature of things, is being paid to how the victim is doing. That's inexcusable.

Here's an update from this morning (Monday):
The condition of the security guard stabbed in the chest by a Palestinian terrorist at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station Sunday has stabilized, doctors at Shaare Zedek Medical Center said Monday morning. Asher Elmaliach, 46, sustained serious injuries when he was stabbed in the heart Sunday afternoon. He showed early signs of awakening, but remains unconscious and connected to a respirator in the intensive care unit, a hospital spokesperson said. [Times of Israel, December 11, 2017]
For people who pray, please keep Asher Ben Tamar in your thoughts. Thank you.

11-Dec-17: Another Gazan rocket attack this evening

Times of Israel says there has been another Gazan rocket attack on southern Israel this evening (Monday). "At least one rocket", it reports, resulting in Israel Defense Forces "retaliatory fire".
A short while ago, projectiles were launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel,” the military said in a statement... An impact of the Gazan missile was not identified, the army said, but reports indicated the missile landed in an open area near the border fence in the Eshkol region, opposite the southern Strip. No alert sirens sounded in the Gaza border region. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Israel responded by targeting Hamas posts in southern Gaza with tank fire and an air strike, the army said. “The IDF hold Hamas responsible for these aggressive acts originating from the Gaza Strip.” Palestinian media reported that Hamas positions in Khan Younis were hit by the Israeli fire... Tensions have been rising since Wednesday, when US President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Hamas on Thursday had called for a new intifada against Israel... ["IDF hits Hamas posts after missile fired from Gaza", Times of Israel , December 11, 2017]
Because it is so close to the rocket-rich, terrorism-addicted Gaza Strip, Israel's Eshkol region has
been the target of thousands of rocket attacks since 2000. Despite Iron Dome coverage in the region, usage of the system is generally limited to populated areas and allows other rockets to land in open areas. As a result, there has been widespread damage to farms, vehicles and various outlying structures. During the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict, farmers reported massive damages to their crops due to rockets landing in open fields. On 26 August 2014 a mortar shell fired from Gaza was reported to have killed one person and seriously wounded two others... [Wikipedia]
Other than via Israeli news channels, tonight's rocket attack - as is often the case - gets no coverage from any news media anywhere as of 8:15 pm Monday night.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

10-Dec-17: A stabbing attack on a security guard shuts down Jerusalem's main bus station

The alleged attacker is pinned down by police
and security in an image from social media
A knifing attack reported a little after 2:15 pm this afternoon (Sunday) has left a security guard badly injured and undergoing treatment at Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek Medical Center. Israel National News gives his age as about 25.

The attacker was stopped by means that are not yet clear but is reported to be alive. One source [here] describes him as a Palestinian Arab male of 24. Photos of his knife, dripping with blood, are circulating in the social media.

Times of Israel says the victim was unconscious by the time he reached the emergency room. It adds:
According to police, the suspected terrorist is a 24-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. His name was not released. It was not immediately clear how he entered Israel, specifically if he had a work permit or if he had done so illegally. After he was subdued, the suspect was stripped to ensure he did not have a suicide vest or other weapon hidden under his clothes.
The Central Bus Station area, near the main entry point to Jerusalem and always congested during the afternoon peak hour, is now affected by police barriers and shut-downs.

Associated Press quotes Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld saying the guard was seriously wounded Sunday and his attacker arrested. The Magen David Adom medical service says a 30-year-old male suffered a stabbing wound in his upper body:
The incident appeared to be the first attack since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The announcement set off protests and demonstration across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and demonstrations around the world.
But let's be clear. Terrorism isn't a protest. Or a demonstration.

UPDATE 6:30 pm December 10, 2017: Times of Israel says the victim, an employee of a private security firm, is older than originally reported:
"Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service said they tried to stop the bleeding and applied bandages during the five-minute ambulance ride to the hospital. The victim, 46, was taken to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment where doctors were battling to stabilize his condition and save his life, said Dr. Ofer Merrin, the head of trauma center. “The knife, unfortunately, hit his heart. His condition has stabilized, but I cannot say that there’s not threat to his life because, like I said, he’s in serious condition,” the doctor said, adding that he was unconscious and connected to a respirator."
We don't have his name yet.

UPDATE 7:40 pm December 10, 2017: We're told the name (for prayer purposes - in Jewish tradition, the name of the mother is invoked) of the critically injured security guard is Asher ben Tamar. He could use everyone's prayers.

The knifer, according to Israel National News, is a 24-year-old Palestinian Arab from Nablus (in Hebrew: Shechem), who goes by the name Yassin Abu Al-Keraa. [Others write it Yasin Abu al-Qur’a,] He is being treated for his injuries. A Facebook post he uploaded today is translated as  “For Allah’s sake we rose up, we wish to raise the banner…to let our religion [Islam] exult once again, and to make the Al Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount] once again be resplendent... Please let our blood be spilled – for it is of little matter to spill one’s blood for our homeland, for Jerusalem, and for the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

Saturday, December 09, 2017

09-Dec-17: Friday night rocket-reminder of Gazan rage

Sderot [Image Source]
We're just getting to the developments of the Shabbat just ended, with Tzeva Adom incoming-rocket warnings being sounded three times on Friday evening, after the onset of the Sabbath, in a broad swathe of southern Israel communities. Ynet reports that residents of those cities, towns and homes within shooting distance of Gaza vicinity "who were forced to flee Friday to shelters and protected areas due to rockets being fired from Gaza said Saturday they knew it was coming, but knowing never makes it any easier."

Israel National News:
A rocket fired from Gaza exploded on Friday evening in the city of Sderot in southern Israel. The rocket caused damage to several vehicles but there were no physical injuries. The attack on Sderot was the third rocket attack on southern Israel within several hours. Earlier on Friday evening, Gaza-based terrorists fired two rockets towards southern Israel. One of the rockets was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. A second may have exploded in an open area. There were no physical injuries or damages in either attack.
Providing some background, Times of Israel adds that
Hamas, an Islamist terror group which seeks to destroy Israel, has called for a new intifada in response to US President Donald Trump’s recognition on Wednesday of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday evening praised as a “blessed intifada” the violent protests held by thousands of Palestinians across the West Bank and in Gaza throughout the afternoon. Two Gazans were reported killed in what Israel said were violent protests at the Gaza border fence and a third was badly injured. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire and other attacks emanating from the Strip, which the terror group still overwhelmingly controls despite handing over some power back to the Palestinian Authority.
And over at JewishPress.com, this:
Studied and deliberate editorial disinterest about Israeli victimhood ensures
most people have no idea what the terror directed at Israelis does
[Image Source]
Southern Israeli residents were warned to remain near their shelters and safe spaces after the first Red Alert incoming rocket warning siren shattered the calm of a Sabbath evening at around 6:11 pm, sending families racing to safety in Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev, Eshkol and the Ashkelon Coastal Regional Council districts. That was followed up shortly after by another at around 7:07 pm, sending families back to the shelters in Sdot Negev and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council districts. A third warning siren activated at around 10 pm, again in the Sdot Negev and Bnei Shimon Regional Council districts. “Due to alarms activating recently in the communities in our area, we are asking residents as a precaution to remain near shelters or protected spaces,” said the announcement from the Sdot Negev Regional Council... ["Sabbath Quiet Shattered Friday Night by Rocket Fire on Southern Israel", December 8, 2017]
Other than by parts of the Israeli news media, Friday night's multiple rocket attacks on southern Israel are ignored by most of the global news-reporting industry. Most people in most places have no idea they happened. (Israeli counterattacks, if and when, are bound to get far wider coverage.)

Thursday, December 07, 2017

07-Dec-17: Gazan rockets fired at southern Israel this evening may have crashed into Gaza

The whipping up of furies among Palestinian Arabs and those who stand with them continues apace in the wake of the decision by the White House to finally take formal notice of Jerusalem being the capital city of Israel these past seventy years.

It's still early evening and the reports are somewhat contradictory. Israel National News says this about the rocket attack that happened around 6:15 this evening (Thursday):
Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Israel Thursday evening. Warning sirens [Tzeva Adom] were sounded in the Shaar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon (Ashkelon Coast) regional councils in the western Negev Thursday evening. Shortly after the sirens were sounded, an IDF spokesperson reported that two rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. Both of the rockets landed in open spaces. There are have been no reports of injuries or of damage. The rocket fire comes after the Hamas terror organization which rules the Gaza Strip warned that the “gates of hell” would be opened in the region following President Trump’s announcement Wednesday that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
But other sources, including the Jerusalem Post, Haaretz and this Australian source quoting the IDF say the two rockets fell short - meaning they crashed ob the Gaza side of the border. This happens frequently and the injuries to Gazan Arabs along with the property damage are often hushed up. We will adjust this report once we know for sure.

Reuters says of Gaza that
dozens of protesters gathered near the border fence with Israel and threw rocks at soldiers on the other side. Seven protesters were wounded by live fire, one was in a critical condition, the [Hamas-controlled] health ministry said... Member of armed groups including from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, appeared at a news conference in Gaza, their faces hidden by masks and called for a resumption of armed resistance in the West Bank.
Xinhua, reporting from Gaza, said around 7:15 pm that not two but six Gazan rockets were fired at Israel in the previous hour. It also focused on the public statements of the Islamists:
The Islamic Hamas movement called on Thursday for a Palestinian "popular uprising" against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital... "Tomorrow [Friday] will be a day of public anger and the launching of an uprising under the name of Intifada of Jerusalem Freedom," said Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh during a public speech. He reaffirmed that Friday would be "the beginning of a new movement" to fight Israel's plan of occupation of West Bank and Jerusalem. "Trump will regret this decision," said Haniyeh... Describing Trump's recognition as "a turning point in the history of the Palestinian cause," the Hamas leader stressed that Jerusalem "has always been the source of victory, the beginning of revolutions and the starting point of uprisings."
Most people with whom we talk here think we're likely to experience less calm in the hours and days ahead.

UPDATE Saturday night, December 9, 2017: Times of Israel reported late last night (Friday) that "the Tawhid al-Jihad group claimed responsibility for the attack on social media. The small, radical group is affiliated with al-Qaeda." The Wikipedia entry for the the group claiming to have fired the rockets says
Jahafil Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad fi Filastin (Arabic: جحافل التوحيد والجهاد في فلسطين‎, "The Armies of Monotheism and Jihad in Palestine") is a Sunni Islamist Palestinian group in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai peninsula, and is the branch of al-Qaeda in Gaza. The establishment of the group was publicly announced on 6 November 2008, with communiqués vowing loyalty to al-Qaeda, after having "received the messages of Osama bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri." Various forms of the "Tawhid al-Jihad" label have appeared in relation to developments in the Gaza Strip. The size of the group is not publicly known.
A group of the same name claimed to be behind the kidnapping and murder in 2011 of Vittorio Arrigoni, a high-profile foe of Israel described in various sources as a pacifist supporter of the Palestinian cause, a member of the Palestinian-aligned International Solidarity Movement, and a blogger reporting from the Gaza Strip. He had been living there after sailing in on one of the flotillas to Gaza in 2008. The terrorist regime of Hamas blamed his murder on Israel, unsurprisingly. Some time later, it became evident that this same offshoot of Al Qaeda - or a group using the same name - were actually responsible. We wrote about the tragic affair in three past posts: "14-Apr-11: Gazan jihadists grab Italian journalist, threaten to murder him in name of glorious revolution"; "15-Apr-11: For the record, Hamas is blaming Israel for the murder of the Italian hostage" and "20-Feb-13: Following up a 2011 Gaza murder".

Monday, December 04, 2017

04-Dec-17: After Thursday night's murder-by-stabbing, two arrests - and a transplant

The murder victim, aged 19
A young Israeli man, barely out of high school and serving in his country's military so so many of his peers, was murdered on Thursday night around 9:30 pm outside the shopping mall in Arad, a desert city of about 25,000 inhabitants. (As out of the way as it is, Arad is where Israel's most celebrated novelist, Amos Oz, lives.) He was evidently heading home for the weekend.

His name is Sgt. Ron Yitzhak Kokia and he was 19. He served in the Nahal Brigade, an infantry unit whose base is located near Arad. The funeral took place on Sunday.

It was announced today (Monday) that two men are being held in connection with the killing. Haaretz says
Two Israeli Bedouins were arrested Monday for their role in the lethal stabbing of an Israeli soldier in what Israeli officials say was terror attack in southern Israel last week... The soldier was waiting at a bus station adjacent to a local mall at the time of the incident. The Shin Bet security service said Monday that the assessment is that it was a terror attack and the two had planned the stabbing in advance. They are not affiliated with any group and were not known to have ties to terrorist groups or ideologies.
Ron Kokia is brought to burial in the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery
in the suburbs of Tel Aviv [Image Source]
Times of Israel adds:
The assailants stole the soldier’s gun and fled the scene, prompting a widespread manhunt across southern Israel. Two suspects from southern Israel were arrested a day later, but the information was not immediately cleared for publication. On Monday, that gag order was partially removed. According to the Shin Bet, one of the suspects admitted during an interrogation to murdering Kokia. “He even led Shin Bet investigators to retrieve the soldier’s gun,” the service said in a statement. Beyond saying that the stabbing had a “nationalistic motive,” the Shin Bet would not comment on a specific trigger for the attack. Suspects often cite a recent event or incident involving a family member or friend when confessing to a terror charge. “The interrogation of the suspects is ongoing,” the Shin Bet said... The soldier was waiting for a ride near a mall in the southern city at approximately 9:30 p.m. when he was attacked. When medics arrived at the scene, they found him in critical condition, unconscious and without a pulse, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service... His family donated his organs, Army Radio reported.
It's worth pausing for a moment to absorb that last point. In another place, Ron's father Boaz Kukia is quoted saying: "Our whole family has an ADI donation card [indicating willingness to have organs removed for transplanting into others after the donor's death] and saving lives is a supreme value". The nobleness of spirit that allows people to speak that way as they bury a child is a wondrous thing.
 
External view of Arad's shopping mall [Image Source]
And Associated Press (via the New York Times) gives this context:
The Shin Bet would not identify them [the men who were arrested] Monday, but Israeli media reported they were likely Arab Bedouins from the southern Negev desert... Since September 2015, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. 
There's more about how Israel's ADI card system works here. It's operated by Israel's National Transplant Center, established by the Ministry of Health in 1994 to be the authorized and independent body for managing and coordinating organ donation and transplantation in Israel. The ADI website says more than a thousand adults and children and adults in Israel currently need a transplant; some 700 are waiting for a kidney transplant, about 150 for a liver transplant, about 70 for a lung transplant, about 120 for a heart transplant:
Only 250 people on the waiting list will have the chance of a transplant in the course of the next year and about 100 will die waiting. And each year, hundreds of new patients join the waiting list.
We saw a report that the murdered young man's corneas have already been given to a transplant recipient.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

03-Dec-17: Peace: What do Palestinian Arab insiders mean when they see it slipping away?

Al-Habbash [Image Source]
Our partners-in-peace, the Palestinian Authority and its president-for-life Mahmoud Abbas, are taking pains once again to lay out how peace is going to come about, and how not.

As reported earlier today ["Abbas aide: Jerusalem recognition will destroy peace", Israel National News, December 3, 2017], a senior adviser to Abbas, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, evidently reacted yesterday to news reports that US President Donald Trump is likely to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as soon as Wednesday.

A brief extract of his views:
“Any American declaration of recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – if there is one – would mean total destruction of the peace process," said Al-Habbash, who was quoted in Israeli media. “The whole world will pay a price for any change or harm to the political reality of Jerusalem,” he warned. The Yediot Aharonot newspaper noted that Al-Habbash made the comments with Abbas standing at his side, meaning that Abbas fully backed the remarks. “The Arab states stand by us, especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and the entire Arab-Islamic nation is united in one position,” Al-Habbash further claimed.
This Al-Habbash is no stranger to our blog even if his name is not so well recognized. He's the central player in "15-Jan-14: How jihadist messages heard in the Palestinian Arab villages go unreported in the wider world", and "2-Jun-14: Palestinian government ministers and the political necessity of speaking out of both sides of the mouth depending on who's listening". Starting in 2014, he has been serving as a Supreme Shari’ah Court Judge, as Chairman of the PA's Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice and as Mahmoud Abbas’ Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs. Until 1994, he was an up-and-comer in Hamas.

In the earlier of the two pieces, we described him as a man "with a powerful megaphone" who
is today a certified PA/Abbas insider, a cabinet minister who is more influential in the villages of the PA regime's fiefdom than most of its other politicians. This is because of what he does for a living: after earlier stints as minister of agriculture and minister of social affairs, he has served as minister of "waqf and religious affairs" since 2009... In a society where religion plays such a deadly important role, the influence of Al-Habbash is tremendous, even if most analysts and reporters are oblivious to it.
And in the June 2014 post, we said
Al-Habbash is hectoring his assembled audience of Palestinian Arab VIPs, including the "moderate" Mahmoud Abbas who heads the PA, on how the young men who are pointlessly and violently laying down their murderous lives in the name of jihad in Syria ought to think again and go do it in Jerusalem.
It's a shame this Koran-thumping, rabble-rousing man of extreme violence and major influence who explicitly wants to see more and more young Palestinian Arabs die in the service of the Abbas presidency isn't better known. Perhaps he will be now.

His Saturday statement on how a shift of the United States embassy to Israel's capital city will "destroy peace" has a lot packed into it. It doesn't convey anything especially new; you can see what he said of an almost identical nature nearly a year ago ["Abbas aide: Moving American embassy a 'declaration of war'", Israel National News, January 9, 2017]. But for sheer hypocritical double-talk, it ought to get more attention.

[Image Source]
It's a shame that mainstream analysts don't try to take it apart. When Al-Habbash says violence (and from past experience, he means extreme, lethal violence) will flow from a diplomatic move on the part of the Trump administration, here's what it would be different from:
  • Training Palestinian Arab children to kill and be killed -- that would not destroy peace
  • Distorting elementary and secondary school text books in such a way that a child learning a lesson in basic arithmetic would be unwittingly taught to hate Israelis -- that would not destroy peace
  • Paying imprisoned Palestinian Arab terrorists once they are behind Israeli bars and when they are eventually released -- that would not destroy peace
  • Declaring publicly via the mass media that the blood of dead Palestinian Arab children "fertilizes" the soil of their land and prepares it for a brighter Jew-free future -- that would not destroy peace
  • Weaponizing Palestinian Arab children by encouraging them to pine for towns, cities and regions that have been parts of the State of Israel for seven decades, and not just to pine but to plan to struggle and kill and be killed for them as children or as adolescents or eventually as adults -- that would not destroy peace
  • Operating a national budget that is designed from the get-go to be drastically dependent on foreign aid and particularly on funding from UNRWA (and especially for education in all its aspects) and that enables far fewer quality schools, innovative colleges and excellent universities and trade-schools -- that would not destroy peace
  • When the head of the PA "pledges" that "there will be no Israelis in Palestine... not a single Israeli - civilian or soldier - on our lands" once a "resolution" has been achieved -- that would not destroy peace
The fact that Jerusalem has never been the capital city of any Arabic entity is pushed off the page both by demagogues like Al-Habbash and by the reporters who quote them.

If you're a regular reader, you probably know enough to extend this list further and further down the page. 

03-Dec-17: Understanding Jordan's king and his "holistic" approach to terror

Yesterday in Jordan [Screen grab]
Regular readers know we pay more than the usual amount of attention to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. It's where our daughter Malki's murderer lives free as a bird.

And even though
  • she has boasted over and again for the cameras and the media of her central role in the 2001 bombing attack on the people inside Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria; and 
  • she confessed in an Israeli court in 2003 to the calculated murder of 15 innocent victims, most of them children, and to having done this on behalf of the Islamist terror regime, Hamas, whose first-ever female terror agent she is reputed to be; and 
  • the US government, the US Department of Justice and the FBI want her arrested and extradited to face Federal charges in a Washington court
Jordan's ruler King Abdullah II, aware of her celebrity status among his people, has stubbornly presided over a series of measures whose effect is to spit in the eye of the Americans, to deny the validity of the 1995 Jordan/US Extradition Treaty and to ensure one of his kingdom's - and the Arab world's - most admired females remains free to pursue her career of incitement to terrorism, Islamist values and the murder of Jewish children.

Nigeria's president and entourage hear from Jordan's
king on how Jordan has defeated terror [Image Source]
Jordan is currently hosting an event variously termed (depending on which media channels you consult) the Aqaba Retreat, the Aqaba Process or the Aqaba Meetings. (Aqaba is a resort town located at Jordan's southern-most tip, adjacent to the much smaller Israeli resort of Eilat.)

Jordan's semi-official English-language mouthpiece focused on who was there in an official-sounding report yesterday ["King meets with leaders, officials as Aqaba Meetings kick off: Gathering aimed as venue to bolster security, military cooperation in the fight against terrorism", Jordan Times, December 2, 2017]:
  • "His Majesty King Abdullah on Saturday met with the presidents of a number of African countries and representatives of nations participating in the two-day Aqaba Meetings to discuss the global efforts to fight terrorism and extremist ideologies, especially in West Africa..." 
  • "The participants [include] senior officials from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Cyprus, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, Indonesia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Antigua and Barbuda, Mali, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Burkina Faso, in addition to representatives of regional and international organisations..." 
  • "His Majesty also held meetings with US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, Brazilian Minister of Defence Raul Jungmann, French Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, UK Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster, and High Representative of the African Union Pierre Buyoya... On the sidelines of the Aqaba Meetings, King Abdullah met with President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, President of Guinea Alpha Condé, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, and President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, a Royal Court statement said."
  • "The Aqaba Meetings were launched by the King to maintain international and regional coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism within a holistic approach, and to discuss security challenges in regions around the world that are dealing with terrorism hotspots, with the aim of identifying shortcomings and coordinating efforts to fight terrorism."
  • "The meetings are part of His Majesty’s initiative to reach out to countries around the world and coordinate with them on this issue, since the anti-terrorism fight “must be a joint, international effort, based on close coordination and consultations, to counter the global threats of terrorism and extremism”, the statement said... 
A brief Associated Press report makes plain what we find so perplexing about this:
Jordan's state news agency says King Abdullah II is hosting a high-level conference on fighting terrorism and extremist ideologies, particularly in West Africa... The agency says the conference is the latest in a series launched by Jordan's monarch to reach out to other nations and help coordinate the fight against terrorism... Jordan's king is seen as a key Western partner in the battle against Islamic extremism. ["West Africa is focus of Jordan counter-terrorism conference", AP, December 1, 2017]
For us, the elephant in the room is Ahlam Tamimi

Source: Al Jazeera
Abdullah has treaty obligations to the US. His father signed a 1995 Extradition Treaty with the Clinton Administration in 1995 and in its wake several Jordanian terrorists and felons were shipped off to face the US justice system. Though his media, aided by compliant reporters and editors outside Jordan, put up a facade that makes it seem extraditing Tamimi to the US is somehow problematic, it's clear that it's Tamimi and the specific crimes to which she has confessed that are the problem. And the real story. 

Though no one in the mainstream media seems to have picked this up yet, there's a clear analysis of the legal mess into which Jordan has inserted itself while giving its native jihadist killer safe harbor. See "Pressure on Jordan: Refusal to extradite mastermind of deadly 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem contravenes international law and agreements" [Michelle Munneke JD of American University Washington College of Law, in National Security Law Brief, October 28, 2017]:
This analysis means the United States should not give up on attempting to extradite Al-Tamimi. If other countries place enough pressure on Jordan due to concerns of Al-Tamimi’s danger and susceptibility to planning another attack, Jordan may change its position. Al-Tamimi is above all else, a significant danger that Jordan should take seriously—if not for the world, for Jordan’s own citizens that live amongst Al-Tamimi.
Jordan should reconsider its position and permit extradition in the case of Al-Tamimi for the safety of Jordanians, and citizens of other nations that may be subject to another attack by Al-Tamimi. Thwarting extradition not only violates the principle of comity, but it also perpetuates the international danger presented by Al-Tamimi.
But for most people, this isn't about law but simply crime and punishment. Tamimi was sent by her Hamas masters in the summer of 2001 to kill Jews. Especially Jewish children. She succeeded by all of their perverted measures. And she's now free, extremely well-compensated, raising a family and a media celebrity.

She has never denied the facts. And she has been applauded - literally - time and again in her public appearances throughout Jordan as well as in her well-publicized VIP speaking visits/travels to such countries (listed alphabetically) as Algeria (December 2011), Kuwait (July 2012 and March 2014), Lebanon (April 2012 and January 2015), Qatar (April 2012, again December 2013), Tunisia (April 2012 and November 2015) and Yemen (April 2014). 

She hosted a popular weekly TV program called “نسيم الأحرار” [Transliteration: “Nassem al-Ahrar”] meaning “Breezes of the Free” between February 2012 until September 2016.  Devoted to Palestinian Arab prisoners and their families, it appears to have been designed to bolster their morale, act as a two-way conduit of information and to encourage more of the kind of the kind of acts that turned these terrorists into prisoners in the first place. Tamimi stopped being its presenter in September 2016 at about the time she was very briefly (for a single night) taken into custody by Jordanian authorities pursuant to an Interpol arrest order at the behest of the US Department of Justice.

Tamimi and her connections publicly thank Jordan's judiciary and
leaders for getting her off the hook with the FBI and the US
Department of Justice - though the pursuit continues [Source
Jordan is a family-run business that like so many other Arab polities presents itself as a nation-state and even as a constitutional democracy, which is a real stretch given the total domination exercised by the British-installed Hashemites that have run it since the 1920s. 

Thus it was no secret to Jordan's Royal Palace that Tamimi was recording a weekly tribute to terrorism-and-Islamism in an Amman studio (Amman, Jordan's capital, is where she lives). And that it was uploaded and broadcast around the world every week for years by the Hamas-owned Alquds satellite television network. Her appalling show was and still is rebroadcast by a multitude of Arabic and non-Arabic websites that stream all or some of the programming put out by Alquds. The king and his Hashemite Kingdom never had any problem with any of this. Their "principled opposition" to terror only stretches so far. 

In April 2017, an Australian TV journalist told us privately that Tamimi had been advised by the Jordanian authorities to lower her profile in the wake of a Jordanian Court of Cassation decision that Jordan's 1995 extradition treaty with the US was unconstitutional. In particular, he told us, the "Jordanian authorities have now banned her doing any media interviews". Our impression is she is taking the advice seriously for the time being. 

Before that, and for several years from her home base of Jordan, she appeared numerous times as the presenter on several Alquds TV specials - including a number of propaganda programs that went to air in the summer of 2014 as fighting raged between Hamas Gaza and the IDF. She may be the most influential and important female public figure in Hamas.

So what does the Royal Hashemite Palace and its central personage say to all this?

Nothing, at least not publicly. Nor can we expect them to respond for so long as he and they continue to be absurdly feted as central players in their "holistic" struggle to defeat the terrorists by the likes of the most senior politicians of the United States, the UK and Europe. 

Just so long as they're not Jordanian terrorists.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

28-Nov-17: In Melbourne, a would-be terrorist shooter is in police hands

Image Source
In Australia, there's a breaking story about major terrorism thwarted by alert police action. This report comes from Australia's ABC Online:
A man has faced court charged with terrorism offences after allegedly trying to get a gun and plotting to "shoot as many people as he could" on New Year's Eve. Ali Khalif Shire Ali, 20, from Werribee, was arrested at a home in Melbourne's south-west just before 3:00 pm on Monday. He appeared before Melbourne Magistrates' Court this afternoon charged with preparing to commit a terrorist attack and gathering documents to facilitate a terrorist act. He was described by police as one of their "high persons of interest", and the charges relate to actions Mr Ali took between March and April this year, and in June. Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said they believed Mr Ali was trying to get an automatic rifle to "shoot and kill as many people as he could" around Federation Square, in Melbourne's CBD [Central Business District], during New Year's Eve celebrations. Police said they moved in today because he had been having face-to-face meetings about getting a gun. Mr Ali, who police said was connected to other extremists, did not manage to obtain one, Deputy Commissioner Patton said.
Federation Square is one of the most popular spots in Melbourne to bring in the new year. Mr Ali is an Australian citizen with Somalian parents.
Another source, Melbourne Herald-Sun, describes him as "born in Australia to Somalian parents" who has lived in Victoria (the state of which Melbourne is the capital) all his life, and whose "extremist behaviour gradually escalated over time". There's something vaguely familiar about the newspaper's recounting of the accused's ordinariness:
The young man attends prayer regularly with his family at Virgin Mary [sic] mosque in Werribee. Worshippers described the family as decent members of the community and they had not noticed anything suspicious about his behaviour... The suspect’s boss Warsame Hassan said he had been working at his Footscray computer business part-time for about three months to learn new skills and had not shown any signs of radicalisation. Mr Hassan said the young man often asked to use a computer in the back of the store and usually explained that it was to sell and buy on website eBay. He had not shown any worrying behaviour, Mr Hassan said. “If I had (noticed any) then I would have told the police,” he said. “It’s very sad, it’s a shock. "He is a very quiet guy,” said Mr Hassan. “This is an absolute shock.” He said he had not been to work for about a fortnight. Detectives raided the business yesterday afternoon and seized a computer which had been used by the suspect. [Melbourne Herald-Sun, today]
The local Somali community is worried:
Somali youth leaders have condemned Mr Ali’s alleged actions. “I’m here to reassure the Australian wider community that as Australian Somalis we obviously are shocked ourselves,” Ahmed Dini said. “We want to stand together and we want to make sure that these actions never take place.” The radicalisation of disenfranchised youth was a “global threat”, the youth leaders said at a press conference today, and high unemployment and lack of education could make Australia’s Somalian youth particularly vulnerable. Mr Dini said global terror groups had easy access to youth through the internet. “When some young person excludes themselves from society... they become friends with the internet and you can find a lot of dark things on the internet,” Mr Dini said. “We’re calling upon government and also our friends in the Australian community ... help us, support us in making sure that we do what ever we can to build the capacity of our youth.” [Melbourne Herald-Sun, today]
Dini is not described any further in the article. We found these background details.

Somalis have been immigrating to Australia in significant numbers since the early 1990s in the wake of the outbreak of civil war in their country. About 80 per cent arrived under Australia's Refugee and Special Humanitarian Program. Most live in Melbourne's suburbs. A 2016 source says they number two to three thousand.

Monday, November 27, 2017

27-Nov-17: Children, knives, sacred places

The alleged knifer is taken into custody this morning [Image Source: Screen grab
from a social media video]
Knives, youths and holy sites; they're a dangerous combination. We have reported here many times on would-be attackers and thwarted attacks, and there's another today from the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hevron.

Here's what Times of Israel reported:
Border guards arrested a Palestinian teenager on Monday morning, as he tried to dodge security at a checkpoint leading to the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, police said. Suspicious officers asked him to lift his shirt and saw that he was carrying a knife in his pants, police said in a statement that noted the suspect was about 16 years old. A very similar incident took place Sunday afternoon, when police arrested a 17-year-old boy at the same place, trying to do the same thing. In both cases, the youths were attempting to get through to the site, holy to both Jews and Muslims, with a concealed blade... ["Palestinian teen arrested in Hebron with a knife", Times of Israel, November 27, 2017]
Today's thwarted attack happened around 8 this morning, according to this report from Hebrew social media.

They're legally classified as children but their plain intentions and likely ability to kill or seriously injure are clear and obvious.

It seems like just a few weeks that we were writing about essentially the same issues. In fact it was - see "08-Nov-17: Violent non-violence on the road to peace".

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

21-Nov-17: Mass-murdering Charles Manson and mass-murdering Ahlam Tamimi: Who's more monstrous?

Remorseless murdering psychopathic thug. And Charles Manson.
Charles Manson died on Sunday in California. The BBC report of his death says he was
the notorious cult leader who directed his followers to commit a string of brutal murders, and who became a symbol of the dark side of 1960s counterculture... In 1969, his followers, known as the Manson Family, killed nine people. Among the victims of the killing spree was heavily pregnant Hollywood actress Sharon Tate, wife of Roman Polanski. One of Manson's young followers, Susan Atkins, stabbed Tate to death and scrawled "PIG" on the home's front door with the actress's blood. Four other people at Tate's home were brutally stabbed to death. The next day, a wealthy couple in Los Angeles, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, were also killed by the clan. The killings became known collectively as the Tate-LaBianca murders.
He was a monster on a mission. At his June 1970 trial in a Santa Monica, California, courtroom, the prosecution said Manson wanted the killings to spark a race war he called “Helter Skelter”. Manson was convinced the lyrics of a song of that name on the Beatles’ “White Album” contained coded messages describing that war.

Although Manson was not personally present at the scene of the killings, he was convicted of murder for directing his followers, and sentenced to death. After the California Supreme Court ruled in 1972 that the death penalty was unconstitutional, this was commuted to life with the possibility of parole . But he spent the next 45 years of his life behind bars. He was denied parole no fewer than 22 times, the last time in 2012. [Source: CBS News]

Manson's conviction arose from the murders of nine people. By  comparison, our daughter's murderer was convicted in an Israeli court - after confessing to all the charges - of the murder of fifteen people. (A sixteenth person, a young mother, has been comatose from the moment of the Sbarro pizzeria explosion more than 16 years ago until today.) Tamimi has said for the record that she wished the toll were higher.

Like Manson, Ahlam Tamimi is a woman with a mission. But unlike Manson, she never needed to ask for parole which, in any event, the court which tried and sentenced her strongly recommended should be perpetually refused. But she walked free anyway, thanks to the catastrophic Gilad Shalit Deal of 2011 ["19-Oct-11: Haaretz: Shalit prisoner swap marks 'colossal failure' for mother of Israeli bombing victim"]. And did we mention that she is regarded as a national hero throughout the Arab world? And had her own TV program to propagate her values throughout the Arabic-speaking world from January 2012 until September 2016? (The program continues but she is no longer its presenter.)

Living free as a bird in Amman, Jordan, where she was born and where her family lives, she has happily (very happily) boasted of the central role she took in the planning and execution of the Sbarro pizzeria massacre. She has spoken of the pride she felt when fleeing the scene of the massacre that awful day, in the company of exultant fellow Arabs who were elated by the fresh news of a massacre in the center of Jerusalem. She has said on camera that she wished she could have told them it was she who did it.

She presented the evening news a few hours later on a Palestinian Arab television station in Ramallah called Istiklal, opening naturally enough with big news of a "resistance" activity in "Occupied Jerusalem" and the many dead Jews, especially the many dead Jewish children. How that evil creature's heart must have soared.

 Charles Manson sticks his tongue out at
photographers as he appears in a Santa Monica
courtroom in California, June 25, 1970
[Image Source]
Also unlike Manson, she had no need of Beatles' lyrics. As she explained here ["08-Oct-17: Why kill religious Jewish children? Because, says Hamas celebrity-jihadist, this is a religious struggle"], her religious faith was all the motivation she needed to murder Jews. She is a devout Muslim.

Because she was an actress, the most memorable of Manson's victims was Sharon Tate. Her being pregnant injected an especially painful note of poignancy to the coldness of her tormentors' zealotry. One of Tamimi's victims, an American woman pregnant with her first child (and herself the only child of her parents) was not in movies. Few will remember her name or the striking goodness of her life. The memory of Shoshana Yehudit Heyman Greenbaum is honored by her many devoted high school students and friends, and by the work of Partners in Kindness.

Connecting unfathomable evil to good deeds is a classic Jewish response. The life of our daughter Malki - another of Tamimi's victims - is honored by The Malki Foundation. If you have not heard of it and want to know what it does, please have a look at The Malki Foundation Blog.

Ahlam Tamimi, confessed murderer, might die in a US jail. But some challenging things would have to happen first. US Federal criminal charges against her were unveiled in March 2017. That same day, her name was added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list and her face appeared on English and Arabic editions of an FBI "wanted" poster in which she is described, accurately we believe, as armed and dangerous. But meanwhile she is free as a bird, living with her husband and child in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, less than 90 minutes drive from Jerusalem where she achieved her fame. The Jordanian authorities have told the US that even though there has been a signed and fully-in-effect Extradition Treaty between the two countries since 1995, they now say it was invalid from day one and they refuse to extradite her.

In the Arabic text, Tamimi and her family express fealty and
thanks to the Jordanian power structure
Tamimi and her connections have expressed effusive thanks and praise [here] to the Jordanian judiciary. In Arabic (we use machine translation) they appreciate the intervention which allows Ahlam Tamimi "to live safe and secure under the banner of Hashemite under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein" instead of being flown out, handcuffed, to the US. The Arabic article in which they say this (there is no English language article reporting their words) is accompanied by the portrait over on the right, showing Tamimi with a Jordanian flag, her fingers flashing V for Victory, and a smile on her face.

Keeping their gratitude in mind, note that Jordan's king exercises vast powers:
"Jordanian governments last no more than 15 months before they are dissolved by royal decree. This seems to be done in order to bolster the king's reform credentials and to distribute patronage among a wide range of elites. The king also appoints all judges and is commander of the armed forces." ["Jordan Background and US Relations", Congressional Research Service, Updated to November 14, 2017]
Talk of Jordan being a constitutional monarchy ignores reality. It's a closely-held family business.

Notwithstanding Jordan's argument, several felons have been extradited by the Jordanians to the US since it came into effect and are in US prison cells today.

[Image Source: Video grab]
An important legal article, "Pressure on Jordan: Refusal to extradite mastermind of deadly 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem contravenes international law and agreements", published last month in the National Security Law Brief argues that the Jordanian claims are "without merit", concluding that
the United States should not give up on attempting to extradite Al-Tamimi... Jordan should reconsider its position and permit extradition in the case of Al-Tamimi for the safety of Jordanians, and citizens of other nations that may be subject to another attack by Al-Tamimi. Thwarting extradition not only violates the principle of comity, but it also perpetuates the international danger presented by Al-Tamimi.
Meanwhile Jordan's king, Abdullah II, has made two triumphant visits to Washington so far this year, one in January, one in March. President Trump visited him in Jordan in May, and they met again in New York in September when the president praised him for "fighting terrorism of all kinds in the region". If anyone in the White House is aware in even the smallest way of our efforts to get Tamimi extradited, or of the duplicitous way Jordan is thumbing its nose at its treaty obligations with the US over her extradition, they are keeping it very close to their chests.

They need to know that the things Tamimi, the fugitive from US justice, stands for are no less monstrous than those of Manson and his "family". But far more dangerous than Manson since she's alive and free, incredibly influential on a scale that non-Arabic speakers cannot grasp, and protected by powerful friends.

---

[This post, like a number of others before it, has been translated to Polish ("Masowy morderca Charles Manson i masowa morderczyni Ahlam Tamimi: kto jest większym potworem?") by courtesy of Malgorzata Koraszewska over on the Listy z naszego sadu website. Our sincere thanks to her, and great appreciation to readers of this blog in Poland.]

Friday, November 17, 2017

17-Nov-17: Ramming/stabbing attack Friday morning at entrance to Efrat

Today's attack vehicle: The driver had a knife
and used it too [Image Source]
There has been an Arab-on-Israel attack in Gush Etzion, just south of Jerusalem this bright, sunny, late-Autumn morning (Friday). The first reports appeared on social media around 8:15 am.

From Times of Israel:
A Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into two people, seriously injuring one of them, before getting shot while trying to stab soldiers in the central West Bank on Friday morning, the army said. The driver of the vehicle, who has yet to be named, rammed his car into the first victim, a 70-year-old man, who sustained a light head wound, at the Efrat South junction, medics said. He continued down the road to the nearby Gush Etzion Junction where he hit another Israeli man, 35, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service. The second victim was initially said to have been lightly-to-moderately wounded, but the hospital downgraded [sic] his condition to serious, with a brain injury. The army said the driver then got out of his car with a knife and tried to stab soldiers. “The soldiers responded by firing towards the attacker, resulting in his injury,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. According to the hospital, the terrorist was in critical condition.
Ramming followed by stabbing: it's classic Palestinian Arab textbook jihad. At this stage, the indications - unconfirmed - are that the terrorist is being treated at one of the two Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem and is alive but in bad condition after being shot.

Israel National News says the older of the two Israeli victims, David Ramati from the nearby community of Kiryat Arba, was run-over by the attacker and his van. He is being treated for his injuries at Shaarei Zedek Medical Center.

The younger victim was struck by the same vehicle but at a different nearby location, and is being treated for serious head injuries at Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Karem hospital.

The same source says (and at this early stage, we will be looking for confirmation) that the terrorist who executed the attack is a seventeen year old Palestinian Arab. This means he is a child in the eyes of the law and will therefore be entitled to the attention and protections of the new Bill proposed to the US Congress by Rep. Betty McCollum
a Democrat representing the families of Minnesota’s Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives. In 2000, Congresswoman McCollum made history as only the second Minnesota woman elected to serve in Congress since statehood in 1858. McCollum represents the residents of Minnesota's capital city, St. Paul, as well as all of Ramsey County and most of Washington County...
From her November 14, 2017 media release:
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) today introduced legislation— the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act, H.R. 4391 — to prevent United States tax dollars from supporting the Israeli military’s ongoing detention and mistreatment of Palestinian children... “This legislation highlights Israel’s system of military detention of Palestinian children and ensures that no American assistance to Israel supports human rights violations,” Congresswoman McCollum said. “Peace can only be achieved by respecting human rights, especially the rights of children. Congress must not turn a blind eye the unjust and ongoing mistreatment of Palestinian children living under Israeli occupation.”
JMs McCollum's co-sponsors are Representatives Mark Pocan, Earl Blumenauer, André Carson, John Conyers, Jr., Danny K. Davis, Peter A. DeFazio, Raul Grijalva, Luis V. Gutiérrez, and Chellie Pingree.

The legislation has the endorsement of
  • American Friends Service Committee
  • Amnesty International USA
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Churches for Middle East Peace - which offered this commentary: "We must ensure we are not supporting the continued trauma inflicted on Palestinian youth entangled in the Israeli Military Detention system...”
  • Defense for Children International - Palestine
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 
  • United Church of Christ
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Mennonite Central Committee
  • Presbyterian Church (USA)
  • U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights
  • United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
  • United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.
If any of these groups has ever criticized, let alone condemned, the overt weaponization of children systematically carried out on an ongoing basis by Fatah (through its Palestinian Authority extension) and Hamas, we have seen no signs of it.

We sent her a Tweet on Wednesday which has evidently not yet received her staff's attention:


What a shame if Rep McCollum's misguided initiative [see "The NGOs that Wrote McCollum’s Legislation on Children’s Rights"] were to continue on its way without the author explaining how she rationalizes sanctioning Israel's security policies while she and her law turn a blind eye to the Palestinian Authority's open and explicit child-weaponization.

Vicious Arab-on-Israeli terror attacks like this morning's are the direct result of that kind of silly and dangerous moralistic preening. Maybe someone could ask Rep McCollum where she stands on Arab-on-Israel ramming/stabbing attacks like today's. And whether she sees her Bill stopping them or encouraging even more. And whether any of that matters to her.

UPDATE November 17, 2017 at 11:30 am: The attacker, according to the Arabic edition of Ma'an News Agency's website, is Izz al-Din Ali Abu Rmeishan Karaja. He's from Halhoul, a town close to Efrat which has produced a significant number of terrorist attackers in the past few years (click Halhoul for our posts on previous attackers from there).  And he is 17, so the law sees him as a child. They have a photograph of him (which we will not show) here. It's very likely being circulated right now as he becomes a celebrated hero. Depending on how the recovery process goes, he's headed to becoming either (a) a lifetime recipient of a massive Palestinian Authority financial windfall - what we call the Mahmoud Abbas Rewards for Terror scheme; or (b) a martyr whose life will be honored and celebrated in their circles.

UPDATE November 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm: The younger of the two Israeli victims is Even Ezer (Ebenezer) Holaring, 35, is still in very serious condition at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital according to Israel National News tonight. They say he's a member of Kiryat Arba's Bnei Menashe community of Jews whose origins are traced to India. His family, including six children under the age of 13, is going to need lots of support of a social, spiritual and emphatically material nature - see the details at the special Gush Etzion Foundation website page that has been set up to gather support for them here.