Ed: 40: November/2015
Any use of force by Israel today against violent Palestinian groups is routinely described as "excessive" or "disproportionate". There are lots of reasons for this, but the main one is that a whole network of largely European-funded NGOs, both Palestinian and pro-Palestinian, exist solely to find ways to make such claims. They are happy to both use unreliable witness testimony and twist international law norms to hold Israel to impossible standards no one else is expected to meet.
On Sept. 21, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, a meeting that focused on staying out of each other's way in Syria. According to statements by both leaders, it seems the meeting went well. Netanyahu emphasised Israel's main concerns in Syria, namely arms shipments to Hezbollah and Iran opening a new front against Israel in southern Syria. Putin gave his own analysis of the situation, stressing that the Assad regime is weak. Both sides agreed on forming a joint committee to coordinate their military activities in Syria.
The context of the recent violence in Israel is that there has been a frightening loss of control by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its security organs over the refugee camps of the West Bank. In the refugee camps, new gangs have emerged who do not feel any respect towards Mahmoud Abbas and his PA, with the Palestinian security forces very reluctant to enter the refugee camps. Most of the stabbings we have seen over the past few weeks have emanated from the refugee camps, from these gangs.
Is the current wave of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis - mainly involving stabbing attacks on the street - a response to settlement activity and frustration by Palestinians over "lack of movement" in the peace process, as US Secretary of State John Kerry and many in the media have suggested?
Hardly. Listen to what the attackers themselves say. Overwhelmingly they say they set out to kill Jews to save Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque. Never mind that it has never been in any danger - the Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas, groups like Hamas and the Islamic Movement, Al-Jazeera and social media are bombarding Palestinians with frantic claims it is.
For days now, I have been watching in dismay as Israeli citizens face random attacks, some deadly, by Palestinian assailants on the streets of their cities and towns. Children have been orphaned, parents have lost children, and some survivors are doubtless scarred for life.
I have been waiting to see whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose false claims about Israel supposedly changing the status quo at a Muslim holy site helped trigger the unrest, would seek to calm the situation or inflame it still further.
Eitam and Naama Henkin were driving in the West Bank northeast of Tel-Aviv when bullets sprayed from a passing car took the couple's lives and orphaned their four boys, ages nine years to eight months, who witnessed their parents' murders from the car's back seat.
The five assailants were quickly arrested after the IDF found a pistol they lost at the scene. The couple, she a graphic designer and he a rabbi and historian, soon emerged as among the first victims of the most intense spate of terror attacks Israel has faced in more than a decade.
October 28, 1965 is a date which should be respected and honoured.
It was on this day, at the meeting of the Second Vatican Council, that the Catholic Church adopted the declaration Nostra Aetate, effectively acknowledging that close to two millennia of teaching of contempt towards Jews had brought about shameful, terrible real world consequences and that the only moral path was to formulate a new template for Catholic understanding of Jews and Judaism.