June 2, 2020

In-Depth Issues:

Qatar's Al Jazeera Broadcasts Islamist Cleric's Appeal to "Kill the Jews"  (MEMRI-TV)
    On May 16, 2020, Al-Jazeera broadcast an interview with Dr. Abduljabbar Saeed, Head of the Quran and Sunnah Department in Qatar University's Shari'a faculty.
    He said: "We will liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea, from its northern border with southern Lebanon to Um Al-Rashrash [Eilat] in southern Palestine. Palestine includes all its soil, every grain of its sand."
    "The Prophet Muhammad said: 'Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.'...I believe that all the rocks and all the trees will be fighting the Jews along with the Muslims and will call upon the Muslims to kill the Jews."
    "These are Allah's promises and laws that govern us....Victory is achieved through the blood of martyrs and over the skulls of the enemies." 

Russia Recruiting Syrian Mercenaries to Fight in Libya (Daily Sabah-Turkey)
    Russia has started recruiting fighters in eastern Syria - including from the Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigade, made up of Palestinians in Syria - to join Gen. Khalifa Haftar's forces in Libya, the Deir al-Zour news outlet Naher reported Sunday.
    A similar transfer of 600 mercenaries from Syria's Homs province took place earlier.
    See also British Mercenaries Offered $150,000 to Fly Helicopters for Gen. Haftar in Libya - Gareth Browne (Telegraph-UK)
    Five former Royal Marines and RAF personnel were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to the opponents of Libyan Gen. Haftar.
    The men were forced to flee to Malta four days after their arrival.

U.S. to Replace Tombstones in Military Cemeteries that Have Swastikas - Ben Harris (JTA)
    The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it will replace the gravestones of German prisoners of war buried in U.S. military cemeteries that bear the Nazi swastika.

Video: Technion Gives Prosthetic Hands to Children (Jerusalem Post)
    Using innovative 3D printing technology, scientists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have been creating prosthetic hands for amputee children, an info-video revealed on Sunday.
    The finished prosthetic is able to hold lightweight objects and provide the children a better sense of balance.
    The most immediate benefit is psychological, as the children no longer feel that their amputation makes them unusual and instead have a "cool bionic hand" to impress their friends with.

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Pompeo: U.S. Could Make Moves Against International Criminal Court in "Coming Days"
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the American Enterprise Institute in a podcast on May 29: "You'll see in the coming days a series of announcements not just from the State Department, from all across the United States Government, that attempt to push back against what the ICC is up to....This is not a court in the sense of what we would understand here in the United States:...independent, with all the rights and due processes."
        "We also never gave consent, and understand international law, one of the key features of exercise of power by bodies such as the ICC is that you say if you want to be part of that. We never signed up for it....And now this court has become corrupted and is attempting to go after the young men and women of the United States of America who fought so hard, and they did so under the rule of law in the most civilized nation in the world."
        "We will never let that happen. We're working along many fronts to prevent it from happening. They're doing this not just to us, but to Israel, where they're beginning to look into what took place in the West Bank. Again, it's completely inappropriate, it's completely inconsistent with international law....I think that the ICC and the world will see that we are determined to prevent having Americans and our friends and allies in Israel and elsewhere hauled in by this corrupt ICC."  (U.S. State Department)
  • BDS Co-Founder Says Goal Is End of Israel
    In an interview in Arabic on May 21 with the Gazan Voice podcast, co-founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti explains that "If the [Palestinian] refugees return to their homes [in Israel] as the BDS movement calls for, if we bring an end to Israel's apartheid regime and if we end the occupation on lands occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, what will be left of the Zionist regime?"
        "There won't be any Zionist state like the one we speak about [in present-day Israel]....The Palestinian minority will become a Palestinian majority of what is today called Israel."  (JNS)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: The U.S. Peace Plan Reverses Past Pressure for Israeli Concessions - Amnon Lord
    In an interview published Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "All the diplomatic plans proposed to us in the past asked us to concede swathes of the Land of Israel, return to the 1967 lines and divide Jerusalem. To take in [Palestinian] refugees. This [the U.S. peace plan] is a reversal. We aren't the ones being forced to make concessions, rather the Palestinians are."
        "If they see fit to meet and accept about 10 stringent conditions - including Israeli sovereignty west of the Jordan River, preserving a united Jerusalem, refusing to accept refugees, not uprooting Jewish communities, and Israeli sovereignty in large swathes of Judea and Samaria, etc. - the [diplomatic] process will move ahead....If they consent to all this, then they will have an entity of their own that President Trump defines as a state."  (Israel Hayom)
  • IDF Ordered to Prepare for Application of Israeli Law in Parts of West Bank - Lahav Harkov
    Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday instructed IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi to accelerate preparations for the possibility that Israel will apply Israeli law to parts of the West Bank, after he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Trump administration officials. Gantz told Kochavi to speed up preparations for "diplomatic steps on the agenda in the Palestinian arena."
        "President Trump's peace plan is an opportunity to set and promote permanent borders for the State of Israel," Gantz told a meeting of his Blue and White party in the Knesset on Monday. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:
  • Linking the Murder in Minneapolis with Israel's Efforts to Defend Itself Against Palestinian Terror Is a Big Lie - Jonathan S. Tobin
    As always, some of those looking to exploit the tragedy in Minneapolis are attacking Jews. Asserting that Jewish groups that have facilitated trips to Israel by American first responders and police are somehow responsible for killings of unarmed blacks by U.S. cops is not only untrue, it's a classic example of an anti-Semitic blood libel since it seeks to blame Jews for crimes for which they bear no responsibility.
        The training Americans get in Israel actually focuses on the antithesis of stereotypical police brutality by seeking to promote community engagement and nonviolent policing that would make confrontations less likely.
        The mission of the Israel Defense Forces is to defend the people of Israel against foes which have not given them a day of peace in the 72-year history of the country. Its record in protecting civilian lives, including Palestinians who are used as human shields by terrorists, is unmatched.
        Intersectionalism is a thinly disguised form of anti-Semitism. It is hate masquerading as advocacy for the oppressed. It is vital that all decent people reject the attempts to smear Israel and its American friends by associating them with incidents like the Minneapolis murder. (JNS)
  • Mahmoud Abbas' Strategy of Selective Compliance - Dan Diker and Khaled Abu Toameh
    When Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced on May 19, 2020, that he and the PLO are absolved of the agreements and understandings with Israel and the U.S. including on security matters, most news media and the Western diplomatic community did not see the move as a material breach of the Palestinians' legal obligations under the Oslo Accords.
        Since assuming the role of PLO and Palestinian Authority chairman in 2005, Abbas has declared his intention on numerous occasions to end security and other cooperation with Israel. His statements, threats, and actions reflect a broader strategy of selective compliance with agreements.
        Dan Diker is a foreign policy fellow at the Jerusalem Center. Khaled Abu Toameh is a veteran journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades. (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

  • The Palestinian leadership is in a state of mental paralysis with regard to the U.S. peace plan. Besides denunciations and rejection, the Palestinian leadership has nothing else to offer. This is counter to the interests of the Palestinian people.
  • The same, failed Palestinian leaders have been leading for the last four decades. Despite their failures, they have either retained their positions or have been promoted. Few self-respecting and productive Palestinians want to be part of that failed group of policymakers.
  • In 2000, 2008, and 2014, the Palestinian Authority refused to accept peace proposals based on a two-state solution formula. Today, those previous peace proposals look very attractive compared to the Trump peace plan. Do not waste the Palestinian people's lives waiting for a better proposal to present itself. It might never happen.
  • President Donald Trump, and his ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, described the Trump peace plan as "a basis for negotiations." They did not say take it or leave it. Why not come to the negotiating table with an alternative proposal?
  • The Palestinian political elite are financially comfortable with their monthly stipends, cars, drivers, and Israeli-issued VIP passes. The rest of the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank do not have those luxuries, but they see what the leaders have.
  • President Mahmoud Abbas, your legacy can either be leaving the Palestinians in limbo, as they are now, or taking the courageous and arduous road of resuming peace negotiations.

    The writer, former editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem-based Al-Fajr, is a founder of the Palestine Center in Washington.

Daily Alert was founded by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in 2002.
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.