Change: Trump demands Sbarro murderer's extradition, tells 'Palestinians' to end incitement
One of Haaretz's editorials today speculated that ultimately, the 'Palestinians' will have to save Israel from enacting a 'two-state solution.' Israel Radio's midnight news gave two signals that the 'Palestinians' are being put in a position where they will have to behave properly, or there will be no support from the United States for a 'Palestinian state.'
First, the United States has demanded that Jordan extradite Ahlam Tamimi, who planned the Sbarro suicide bombing 16 years ago and drove the bomber to the downtown Jerusalem restaurant.
Tamimi scouted for a target before leading the bomber, Izz al-Din
Shuheil al-Masri, to the Sbarro restaurant. They arrived just before
2:00 pm, when the restaurant was filled with customers, dozens of women,
children and babies, and pedestrian traffic outside was at its peak.
departed before Al-Masri, thought to be carrying a rigged guitar case
or wearing an an explosive vest weighing 5 to 10 kilograms of
explosives, nails, nuts and bolts, detonated his bomb.
currently a television host in Jordan, has hosted Hamas arch-terrorist
Saleh Arouri (who ordered the kidnapping of three Jewish teenagers in
June 2014), bragged of her involvement in others murders of Israelis and
is considered as a symbol of the Palestinians fight.
Israel Radio reported that Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life sentences (15 Israelis were murdered in the bombing and a 16th - Chana Nachenberg - is in a vegetative state to this day), but was released as part of the 'terrorists for Gilad' trade in 2011. Israel Radio said that two of the terrorists' victims were US citizens (I think it was actually more than two - Malki Roth and Shoshana Heyman HY"D were also American citizens).
Jordan may have a tough call to make, honoring its strong alliance to
the US, with trying to avoid offending its majority Palestinian
population and an anti-extradition trend in its court system, according
to Shurat Hadin which is representing the family of the victim Chana
Nachenberg (Finers and Nachenbergs) who was grievously injured in the
bombing and remains in Israel in a coma even until now.
to Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: "We are glad that
the US Department of Justice has decided to move forward against this
notorious mass murderer. We have been requesting for a long time that
this unrepentant Palestinian terrorist be rearrested, extradited and
prosecuted by American law enforcement officials."
outrageous that Israel released this criminal with so much innocent
blood on her hands and who has publicly rejoiced that she killed 8
Jewish children. For too long Jordan has become a safe haven for
Palestinian terrorists and, hopefully, this is a change of policy for
the new Trump administration, to start to pursue the numerous
Palestinians who have killed US citizens in Israel," she said.
Nachenberg's father, Yitzhak Bennett Finer, has responded: "We applaud
the efforts of the Department of Justice in trying to bring Tamimi to
justice and we hope they'll be successful. Our daughter Chana Nachenberg
had the prime of her life taken from her because she has spent the past
15 and half years in a vegetative state on a respirator as a result of
this inhuman act of the heinous bombing of Sbarros. Her daughter Sarah
has grown up without a mother and her husband David without the love of
Jordan is highly unlike to extradite Tamimi. If the royal family is about anything, it's about self-preservation. Extraditing Tamimi (whose clan includes prominent Jordanian lawyers) would bring about fighting that has been unseen since the Black September uprising in 1970. There is almost no chance that King Abdullah will take that risk to keep the United States happy.
In a second report this evening, Israel Radio reported that the United States' Jerusalem Consulate's readout of Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt's meeting with 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen today included a demand that the 'Palestinians' stop incitement to terrorism.
During a meeting at the Palestinian
Authority’s headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas committed to combat
Palestinian incitement, the statement said. The Palestinian leader and
Greenblatt also discussed building up the PA’s security forces,
advancing the peace process, and improving the Palestinian economy.
According to the readout, Abbas told
Greenblatt that “he believes that under President Trump’s leadership a
historic peace deal is possible, and that it will enhance security
throughout the region.”
“President Abbas committed to preventing inflammatory rhetoric and incitement,” the statement added.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu has been adamant that PA-sanctioned media and school
curriculum are responsible for inciting terrorism.
The Palestinian daily al-Quds cited sources in
the US Congress who said Greenblatt warned Abbas that US lawmakers are
working to condition US aid to the Palestinians — with the exception of
security assistance — on ending incitement, including payments to the
families of Palestinian terrorists.
The PA pays monthly stipends to families who
have a member who is considered to have been “martyred,” which usually
means being killed by an Israeli while carrying out a terror attack or
suspected attack, or who is spending time in Israeli prison for
perpetrating a terrorist act.
The US government has already taken measures
to ensure its aid isn’t funneled to the families of terrorists. That
includes paying the debts of the PA directly, rather than transferring
funds into the PA’s coffers.
In the 12th year of his four-year term, Abu Dodobird may have finally found an American President who is willing to stand up to him. The 'Palestinians' must be really disappointed that Hillary Clinton lost the election. Heh.
It starts: US threatens to leave 'human rights council'
The times, they are a changing. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has issued a clear threat to one of the 'achievements' of the Obama administration - the decision to join the United Nations 'human rights council.' In a letter obtained by Foreign Policy Magazine, Tillerson has told the council that unless it reforms itself, the United States will leave.
Tillerson, in his letter to the U.N.
advocates and human rights groups, said that while the United States
“continues to evaluate the effectiveness” of the Council, it remains
skeptical about the virtues of membership in a human rights organization
that includes states with troubled human rights records such as China,
Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
“We may not share a common view on
this, given the makeup of the membership,” Tillerson told the
organizations, who have urged continued U.S. membership. “While it may
be the only such organization devoted to human rights, the Human Rights
Council requires considerable reform in order for us to continue to
If the United States ultimately were
to withdraw from the Council, that would mark a victory for one of two
factions within the Trump administration debating the future of U.S.
policy at the United Nations.
“Many who despise the Council want the
U.S. to stay in and undermine efforts by others to obsesses over
Israel—and put the spotlight back on human rights abusers the Council
regularly ignores,” said a GOP congressional aide. “But there are others
who see that as fruitless and wasted diplomatic effort.”
For the time being, Tillerson wrote,
the U.S. will participate in the ongoing session of the Human Rights
Council, to “reiterate our strong principled objection to the Human
Rights Council’s biased agenda against Israel.”
“Our aim is to fix the organization,” the Tillerson aide told FP.
Tillerson said U.S. priorities
including renewing the mandate of a U.N. Commission of inquiry into
atrocities in Syria, and underscoring U.S. support for U.N. special
rapporteurs for Iran, North Korea, and Burma. He also said Washington
would seek to renew the mandates of special rapporteurs investigating
the use of torture and promoting freedom of expression.
UN advocates said it was unclear
whether the administration is really mulling a withdrawal, or simply
putting more pressure on for reform.
Sadly, the United Nations and its constituent bodies, including the 'human rights council,' exist only to give prominence to an anti-Israel agenda. They have long since outlived their usefulness, and ought to be shut down. The land that they currently occupy on the east side of Manhattan would be worth far more as condominiums or office buildings.
Underdog Israel beats Cuba in baseball, is one win from semi-finals
If you've been in a cave for the past week, you probably don't know that Israel's baseball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Baseball Classic, defeating 3rd ranked South Korea, 4th ranked Taiwan and 9th ranked Netherlands to get there. Israel's team was ranked 41st going into the tournament, despite having ten major leaguers on its roster.
On Sunday in Tokyo, the Israeli team beat 5th ranked Cuba 4-1, and now needs just one win against top-ranked Japan or 9th ranked Netherlands (which they have already beaten) to advance to the semifinals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (If you're wondering, the US is ranked second).
Israel’s batters overcame an early 1-0
deficit, and the team’s pitchers kept the heavily favored Cuban team to
just five hits, continuing the squad’s unlikely Cinderella run.
Cuba inched ahead in the second inning with a
home run from Alfredo Despaigne, the player who singlehandedly sent his
country into the second round when he scored all of Cuba’s runs against
Australia on Thursday.
But after that, it was entirely Israel’s game.
Team Israel took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when
Zach Borenstein singled to right scoring Ty Kelly from second base.
Blake Gailen made it 3-1 with a two-out double to right that scored Nate
Israel tacked on another run in the eighth on a sacrifice bunt by Gailen that scored Borenstein from third.
Josh Zeid pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth when he got Willian Saavedra to ground out to third with two out.
The Israeli team has become the tournament’s unlikely darlings on its way to a 4-0 start in the international tournament.
Now we all know that there may not be 10 Israelis who aren't American born who know how to play baseball. So how does Israel have 10 major leaguers on its squad? It's a rule quirk.
Nearly all the members on Team Israel are American Jews. By WBC rules, a
player may compete for a country if he is eligible for citizenship
under its laws. Israel extends the right of automatic citizenship to
Jews, their non-Jewish children, grandchildren and the non-Jewish
spouses of their children and grandchildren.
But they should have taken me along to read the Megillah for them (I've read it from a scroll more than 70 times to as many as 800 people). Let's go to the videotape.
Israel will face the Netherlands at Noon on Monday Israel time.
The win over Cuba gives Israel a strong mental boost ahead of games against the Netherlands and host Japan to advance in the quarterfinal round, which is played as a round robin. One win in those two games could be enough to bring Israel to Dodger Stadium for the semifinals.
[Manager Jerry] Weinstein rebuffed critics who have called Team Israel really a second Team USA. "The attitude in our clubhouse is we are representing Israel. We are not the Junior Varsity team for Team USA. We are Team Israel, and make no mistake about that."
After Sunday's win, starter [Jason] Marquis noted "We have quality baseball players on this team; guys who have big league experience, a lot of young prospects who have bright futures, and a good mix of veterans who can help these guys through these tournament games."
Marquis did revel a little in becoming a role model in the United States. "It's a great story for people back home who follow the game and who are in our shoes - have Jewish heritage - to look up to players like us who may not have otherwise had that opportunity."
I don't know about that. For most American Jews your Bar Mitzva is that time when you realize that you are far more likely to own a team than to play for one.
I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted, but it's all been for a good cause. I have taken another trip to the US for work since I last posted, returning this past Thursday afternoon.
Oh yes, and a Freilichen (Happy) Purim to those of you who celebrate the holiday today, which is just about everyone outside Jerusalem and a couple of other cities.
On March 13, 1997, Jordanian Army Cpl. Ahmed Daqamseh opened fire on a
group of 7th and 8th grade girls from Beit Shemesh’s Feurst School. The girls were on a
class trip to Naharayim in the Jordan Valley, visiting the “Island of
Peace,” a joint Israeli-Jordanian tourist resort under Jordanian rule.
Seven of the girls were murdered. The massacre would have been worse if Daqamseh's weapons had not jammed. Daqamseh complained that the girls who died were disturbing his prayers.
Daqamseh was sentenced to life in prison, which is a de facto 25-year
sentence in Jordan.
Israel had signed a peace treaty with Jordan's King Hussein in 1994. At the time of the massacre, Hussein actually came to Beit Shemesh to visit the mourning families.
But since Hussein's death in 1999, Jordanians have become increasingly uncomfortable holding Daqamseh - who many Jordanians regard as a hero - in prison.
His lawyer, Hussein Mjali, praised Daqamseh in a video released in 2009. In 2011, Mjali became Jordan's
Justice Minister, and the next week joined a demonstration calling for
Daqamseh's release, sparking outrage in Israel.
In 2013, 110 of the 120 members of Jordan's parliament signed a petition calling for Daqamseh's release.
Relatives said Ahmad Daqamseh was back at his home in the village of Idivir in northern Jordan.
A Jordanian military spokesman, Amer Sartawi, said Daqamseh was released early Sunday, after serving 20 years in prison.
Daqamseh said a month ago he was very happy and thankful to all his supporters who urged his release. He had been moved to a prison wing with better conditions after spending most of his term in isolation.
Jordanian military sources said Daqamseh was released shortly after midnight, on Sunday. Several people gathered at his home to celebrate his freedom.
Family members said Daqamseh was supposed to have been freed on Monday, the 13th, but the authorities decided to release him during the night to try and minimize the celebrations.
In 2004, Daqamseh told a Jordanian weekly that he had no regret for his actions.
In an interview Daqamseh gave in 2004 to
Jordanian weekly a-Shahed, he expressed pride in his actions and said
that "if I could return to that moment, I'd behave exactly the same way.
Every day that passes, I grow stronger in the belief that what I did
was my duty."
To be honest with you, I try to ignore people on Twitter who don't have a lot of followers. Normally, it's not worth the time or the exposure I give them to respond to them. But this one has gone too far.
I'd like to introduce you to one @JamesMArcher. Here's his bio - a panoply of causes of the extreme Left, with the Democratic party being too far to the right for him.
The Israeli boy in the yarmulke is Zvi Shapiro, the son of two
secular American-Israelis. The Palestinian boy is Zemer Aloni, an
Israeli Jew. The only real aspect of the photo is that the boys were
indeed friends and that the picture was taken in their Jerusalem
neighborhood of Abu Tor,
which straddles the 1949 armistice line and contains both a Jewish and
an Arab section. The boys grew up on the Jewish side of the
neighborhood, and while they both recall interactions with Palestinians,
neither counted close friends on the other side of the line.
The picture was taken by Ricki Rosen,
an American photojournalist who has been covering the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 26 years. Rosen snapped the photo on
assignment for Maclean’s, the national news magazine of Canada, for a
cover story about the Oslo Peace Accords. Rosen said that the magazine’s
art director was so specific in what he wanted that he even drew her a
picture — one boy in a yarmulke, the other in a keffiyeh shot from the
back walking down a long road, which was supposed to symbolize the road
to peace. He didn’t care whether the boys were actually Israelis or
Palestinians, nor did it occur to him that the Palestinian’s keffiyeh
would be styled in a way more typical for elderly Palestinian men than
for young boys.
“It was a symbolic illustration,” said Rosen. “It was
never supposed to be a documentary photo.” She also took other
real-life photos for the same article.
Eyeless in Gaza: How Hamas controls the media in Gaza
For those of you who are in London on Monday night, here's a film you don't want to miss. It's called Eyeless in Gaza, and as the title of this post indicates, it shows how Hamas controls what's reported out of Gaza through intimidation. But that's only half the story. Here's a preview.
“It’s something I call ‘group think’,”
explains Himel. “Group think isn’t a malicious attempt to lie or
distort the truth, but there is a strong herd instinct of what is
allowable and what is not.
“When you look at reporting on the Middle East
in general, the same model is used. The Syrian conflict was described
as a fight for human rights and the Arab Spring was hailed as a revolt
against brutal dictators.
“What often happens is the group think will
significantly distort what’s really going on when you are reporting
something – and if you violate group think you can be in a lot of
As a case in point, the film highlights the
naval blockade and subsequent raid by Israeli forces on a Palestinian
freighter named Karine A in 2007. The vessel was found to be carrying 50
tons of weapons, including short-range Katyusha rockets, anti-tank
missiles and explosives.
But as the documentary notes: “Very little of
the weapons found…made it to the media. Instead, the news focused on
flotillas trying to break the naval blockade.”
Why, then, did journalists focus more on the flotillas than the success of the Karine A operation?
Himel explains: “The group think is that an
unjustified blockade is causing hardship for the people of Gaza. They
can’t get basic food, they can’t move around, they can’t get to family
in other places. The media will be attracted to things that strengthen
“So a flotilla coming in trying to save the
besieged people of Gaza, like those besieged in Leningrad in 1942, is
appropriate, whereas if you are talking about a naval blockade that’s
stopping arms getting in, you are instantly making the picture more
complex – and that doesn’t sit well with editors.”
The consequences for journalists who veered away from the accepted narrative can be extreme.
When RTV reporter Harry Fear tweeted that Gaza
rockets had fired into Israel, he was immediately expelled from the
area by Hamas officials, while Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul was
imprisoned and tortured for being critical about the governing
authority in Gaza.
“You pay the price,” says Himel.
There is, however, also another element, which
Himel believes underscores the very reasons why the Israel-Gaza
conflict is reported in the way it is.
“The real story is there’s a really serious war of beliefs going on, that’s the basis for all of it.
“But editors don’t want to say it, because
that means it’s a religious war and you begin to realise how sensitive
and complex the whole issue is.”
That decision not to report the conflict as one based on religion has
also effectively blocked out mention of Hamas and its anti-Semitic
I would say it's much more malicious than Himel thinks it is. Let's start with the Karine A. The Karine A happened in January 2002 before this blog existed, not in 2007 as Himel has it. But the 2007 date is convenient. The so-called 'blockade' of Gaza started after Hamas gained control of the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007. In January 2002, Israel actually controlled Gaza.
The 'flotillas' have nothing to do with the Karine A and everything to do with the anti-Semitic Europeans (who stand behind the flotillas), who promote the most pernicious lies about Israel and Jews. In fact, it is the Europeans who have done more to keep the dream of 'Palestine' replacing Israel God Forbid than even the Arab states. The Arab states have tired of the 'Palestinian' lies.
But like the inconvenient fact that our war with Hamas is a religious war, the media also prefers to ignore the inconvenient fact that Europe still dreams of finishing what Hitler started.
I would still go see Himel's movie, because it's important that someone is at least raising the issue (although Matti Friedman is the guy who really brought the issue up), but given his sloppy reporting on the Karine A, I have to wonder what the movie is really going to say.
To get you thinking, I want to show you the full video from 2014 by an Indian television crew - a video that is quite rare - of which you saw a small clip in the preview above.
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-five years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 12 to 33 years and eight grandchildren. Three of our children are married and a fourth is engaged! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com