Allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections dominated the news cycle last year. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict hardly made a dent, confirming that the American public no longer cares a great deal about the issue. By Jim Lobe Except for the ongoing war in Syria, coverage of the Middle East by the evening news programs of the three big U.S. networks virtually disappeared in 2017, according to the latest annual compilation by the authoritative Tyndall Report. [tmwinpost] Russia and Russian-related events — as in the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in U.S. elections — ranked as the top story of the year, while…Read More... | 3 Comments
The litany of scandals affecting the Trump Administration made relatively little impact on Israel — until this week, when the revelation that classified information he leaked to Russian politicians likely came from Israeli intelligence. By Mitchell Plitnick When the history of this chaotic period is written, people will doubtless be amazed that, not even four months into his presidency, Donald Trump could have made so many mistakes, done so much wrong, and acted in such legally questionable ways. It may well be, too, that historians will look back at May 16, 2017 as the day that marked the beginning of…Read More... | 3 Comments
The 46 ISIS-associated prisoners represent only 0.3 percent of the prison population and just one-tenth of one percent of all prisoners. Some went off to fight in Syria, while others expressed support for the group on social media. By Noam Rotem As of the end of June, Israel was imprisoning 46 alleged ISIS supporters, according to data provided by the Israel Prison Service (IPS). Out of over 17,000 people being held in Israeli prisons at the end of June, 37 percent of those prisoners, 6,369 people, are classified as “security prisoners,” and the rest as criminal prisoners. The “security” classification…Read More...
The song, 'Death to the West,' 'sounds quite thematically heavy, but I’m sure audiences the world over will love the uplifting chorus,' the all-too-serious report quotes an all-too-made-up Islamic State spokesperson saying. By Oren Persico Ahead of the Eurovision singing contest slated to take place in Sweden later this month, “NRG”, a major news outlets in Israel, published an article on “all of the fears” the popular televised event is raising in Israel, Europe and beyond. Among a number of very real threats listed in the article was one allegedly posed by ISIS. Not a threat to attack the singing…Read More...
Israelis tend to warn of the 'Islamization' of Europe in the wake of attacks like those in Brussels. But the fear of Muslims in a country where Jews and Muslims must live together is simply not an option. After events like the terrorist attacks in Brussels or Paris, it has become common to hear Israelis say that "Europe is finished" or that it is being "conquered by Muslims." In fact, people say these things even when there are no attacks. Regardless of inherent racism, I do not really understand the logic behind such statements. In France, seven percent of the…Read More... | 14 Comments
Two intifadas increased Israeli willingness to make territorial withdrawals. Wars in Lebanon and Egypt led Israel to withdrawals from those territories. Despite all that, the Palestinian Authority is trying to maintain quiet and security for Israelis but receives nothing in return. If I were Palestinian I might come to a disturbing conclusion. One axiom of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that Palestinian violence pushes the Jewish public rightward. Due to violence, common wisdom goes, the willingness of Israeli Jews to make concessions or compromise decreases, and Palestinian independence or equality becomes more of a pipe dream. Only refraining from violence will…Read More... | 4 Comments
From surreal exaggerations to outright lies, Netanyahu dished up another batch of nonsense utterings to a foreign audience in Berlin this week. We picked three of the best and broke them down for you. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has something of a track record of saving his most nonsensical and demonstrably false statements for foreign audiences. Although honesty is also not his strong point on home turf, it's when he's speaking in English that he gets really creative. Less than four months after his bumbling attempt to pin the Holocaust on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem aroused equal parts derision and mirth…Read More... | 4 Comments
Text and photos by Seth J. Frantzman In August 2014 the extremist group calling itself Islamic State (ISIS) swept through a part of northern Iraq inhabited by the Yazidi religious minority. ISIS had already broadcast to the world their intention to exterminate “un-believers” and those they opposed. They had massacred 1,600 Shia army cadets at Camp Speicher on June 12, 2014 and ordered all Christians to convert or leave their homes through the areas they controlled. In August the crimes became even more brutal as they massacred men and elderly Yazidi women and sold an estimated 5,000 women into slavery. Many Yazidis describe the…Read More... | 17 Comments
Suggestions that terrorism in Paris springs from the same well as terrorism in Israel are misleading and dangerous. Erasing complexity may be a comfort in difficult days like these, but conflating the varying causes of violence won't help us end it. There are troubled currents flowing from unlikely sources these days. Terror attacks have continued to mar Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Yemen, Mali and others over the past two weeks, but the global chatter surrounding such events increased disproportionately with the attacks in France. Suddenly, two of Europe’s major capitals - Paris and Brussels - started receiving the kind of attention…Read More... | 17 Comments
A new Palestinian PR campaign attempts to recast the conflict by comparing Israeli violence against Palestinians to methods used by Islamic State. By Jacob Wirtschafter CAIRO — Eager to re-enlist Egyptian public opinion to their cause, the Palestinian Embassy in Cairo hosted a rare press conference Thursday outlining Ramallah’s current diplomatic agenda. The agenda includes a definitive UN Security Council resolution with a timeline for two states, deployment of international forces to protect the population of the West Bank, and an international fact-finding mission to determine the “root causes” of the current phase of the conflict. [tmwinpost] It’s a hard…Read More... | 3 Comments
Video by extremist Sunni group shows execution of three Eritrean asylum seekers coerced into leaving Israel last year. At least three Eritrean asylum seekers who lived in Israel and were deported to a third country were executed by Islamic State militants in Libya this past week, according to family and friends who recognized them in a video released by the extremist Sunni group. The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants is checking the possibility that additional Eritreans deported by Israel were also executed. [tmwinpost] "I recognized my relative, T., from the photos published by ISIS that appeared on Facebook before the…Read More... | 34 Comments
Forget the Right's fear-mongering: by disarming Hamas and establishing a joint force in the Jordan Valley, a Palestinian state will only serve as a security asset to Israel. By Ilan Baruch When it comes to its enemies, Israel has always had a tendency to define threats against its security according to military and terrorist capabilities. The motivation to harm us is viewed as axiomatic, and there is no point in thinking twice: every military or terror capability can be put down with our own military actions or deterrence. Israel will always prefer the military solution when possible, while ignoring the…Read More... | 27 Comments
In the latest Likud campaign video, released online Saturday, the message is that voters who cast their ballots for parties to the left of Netanyahu are throwing open Israel's borders to an invasion by the so-called Islamic State, which in Israel and much of the Arabic-speaking world is called Da'esh. The video opens with bearded men traveling in a pickup truck, flying the black IS flag with its distinctive white calligraphy. The driver of the truck pulls up beside another car and honks for the other driver's attention. The IS guy in the passenger seat leans out the…Read More... | 28 Comments
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