Manchester Terror Attack: What the UK Can Learn from Israel - Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld (Jewish News-UK)
Manchester was a planned terror attack. It wasn't sporadic; it was something much more sophisticated.
You need to know, and know quickly, how he got hold of the explosive device.
The British intelligence services need to use technology to pick up
on all relevant individuals, even those who were not active but who may
have known about it, and/or know what's being planned. You have to react
and respond quickly, and use the intelligence you get immediately.
In terms of the suspects, they're probably lying low, maybe moving
around. They will realize that they're now on the counter-terrorism
Deal with public awareness. People need to know that there are threats and that those threats are realistic.
There's obviously a reason why the threat level has been raised. More
support lines could be opened, as in Israel, where we receive hundreds
of calls a day, alerting us to anything suspicious.
U.S. Ratcheting Up Activity in Eastern Syria - Jonathan Spyer (Jerusalem Post)
An observable ratcheting up of U.S. and allied air and special
forces activity in eastern Syria is underway as the battle against the
territorial holdings of Islamic State is reaching its final phase.
The reconquest of Mosul in Iraq is almost done. The assault on Raqqa
city in Syria is about to begin. Pro-Western forces are pushing north
from Jordan and south from the Kurdish-controlled area north of the
Islamic State enclave.
The Iranians want to create a contiguous line of territory
controlled by themselves and their allies, stretching from Iraq into
Syria, and thence to the Mediterranean Sea and the border with Israel.
Islamic State has formed a buffer against the achievement of this goal.
When Islamic State control of Raqqa ends, who will inherit the
territory? The Americans are beginning the process of turning back the
Iranian advance by developing reliable proxies in this pivotal area to
block a contiguous line of Iranian control - which is also an Israeli
national security interest.
Notably, the outcome in eastern Syria is not of primary interest to
the Russians, who care about preserving the Syrian regime's existence
and keeping its naval investments in Latakia province on the west
The writer is a senior research fellow at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs, IDC Herzliya.
Video Shows Turkish President's Security Detail Attacking Protesters in Washington - Malachy Browne (New York Times)
The New York Times reviewed videos and photos to track the
actions of 24 men, including armed members of President Erdogan's
security detail, who attacked protesters in Washington last week.
The men kicked people lying on the ground and outnumbered the protesters nearly two to one.
Ten of the men who attacked protesters appear to be part of a formal
security detail. They dressed in dark suits, and they wore in-ear radio
receivers, Turkish breast pins and lanyards with identification cards.
Two of these men charged protesters and appeared to start the main part of the fight.
Six men who attacked protesters wore outfits resembling a summer
uniform worn by Turkish guards - khaki pants, black T-shirts and green
or brown shirts.
Three of these men charged at protesters. One man knocked two women
to the ground, and another man repeatedly punched Lucy Usoyan, a
protester, as she lay on the ground.
Some of the attackers who dressed casually and identified
themselves as Erdogan supporters played a central role in the fighting.
Erdogan watched the brawl from a black Mercedes-Benz sedan parked nearby, at the Turkish ambassador's residence.
Video of his entourage shows that at least one member of the
security detail positioned next to him rushed into the fight and started
kicking and punching protesters.
While sitting in the car, Erdogan conferred with Muhsin Kose, his
head of security. Kose then talked into his earpiece, and three security
personnel who were guarding the president's car hurried toward the
protest. The brawl began moments later, and one of these men appeared on
video punching and kicking people.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Iran Says It Has Built Third Underground Ballistic Missile Factory - Parisa Hafezi
Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the Fars news agency reported, quoting Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards airspace division.
- Russia Arrests Four ISIS Terrorists Preparing Attack in Moscow
Four members of an ISIS terrorist network managed from Syria, who
were preparing attacks on the Moscow public transport system, were
detained on Thursday, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB)
reported. "An explosives production laboratory, a ready-to-use
improvised explosive device with shrapnel and components for its
production have been found during searches," the FSB said, adding that
they also found "automatic firearms, ammunition, grenades, as well as
literature and videos of extremist and terrorist orientation." (RT-Russia)
- UK "Vulnerable to Terror Attacks by Jihadis Unable to Reach Syria" - Nick Hopkins and Ewen MacAskill
A British intelligence source has noted "the confluence of frustrated
travelers who would go to Syria if they could but are stuck here, and
returnees" from Syria. "Both ISIS (Islamic State) and al-Qaeda are
calling for these travelers to stay at home and attack in the West
instead. The risk seems far greater now. The risk is changing." The MI5
watchlist of people of concern has risen to about 3,000 and includes
some who have returned from Syria. MI5 only has the resources to
maintain physical surveillance on a limited number of people.
- Hamas Kills Three Men in Execution Partially Streamed on Facebook - Peter Beaumont
Hamas has killed three men in Gaza in executions that appear to have
been partially streamed live on Facebook. Hamas' interior ministry said
two men were hanged on Thursday and one was killed by firing squad for
their part in killing Mazen Faqha, a senior figure in the military
wing of the Islamist group. Since taking over Gaza in an armed coup in
2007, Hamas has executed 28 people. (Guardian-UK)
See also 3,000 Palestinians Attend Gaza Executions - Majd Al Waheidi and Ian Fisher (New York Times)
- Iran's Gen. Soleimani Declares Support for Hamas to Liberate "the Entire Palestinian Territory"
Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commander Maj. Gen. Ghassem Soleimani on
Wednesday congratulated Ismail Haniyeh on his election as the new
leader of the Political Bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement
(Hamas). Soleimani underlined the evil plots of Zionism and global
Arrogance [the U.S.] who seek to weaken the Islamic Ummah; "they are
trying to distract Ummah's jihad from its Islamic path....We
count on your efforts to place Palestine on top of Muslims' global
fight [against Arrogance]." Soleimani expressed hope that Haniyeh's
efforts continue until the liberation of Al-Aqsa and the entire
Palestinian territory. (Mehr News-Iran)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- PA Official: Trump to Launch Unconventional Peace Plan - Daniel Siryoti
U.S. President Donald Trump will launch an unconventional peace plan
based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, focusing on upgrading Israel's
relations with Arab states rather than on reaching an agreement between
Israel and the Palestinians, a senior Palestinian Authority official
told Israel Hayom. According to the official, Trump told Abbas
that if progress would be made in advancing the Arab Peace Initiative,
he would try to strike an interim peace deal that would focus on the
various paths toward a final status agreement culminating with the
creation of an independent Palestinian state and a joint
Israeli-Palestinian statement declaring an end to the conflict.
The president reportedly said that the first phase would include
some form of normalization between moderate Sunni-Arab states and
Israel. Later on, depending on how much progress is made, the U.S. would
try to launch direct negotiations between the Israelis and the
Palestinians with a set timetable aimed at finding a compromise on the
core issues. This marks a shift, since Arab leaders have repeatedly said
that normalization of relations must come only after core issues are
resolved and a Palestinian state is established with Jerusalem as its
The Palestinian official said Abbas responded by saying the Palestinians were vehemently opposed to such a move.
- Trump's Envoy Returns amid Push to Renew Direct Talks - Herb Keinon and Adam Rasgon
U.S. Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt returned to Israel on Thursday and
met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud
Abbas to follow up on conversations they had with President Donald
Trump during his visit. The Prime Minister's Office denied a report
that the U.S. was pushing Israel to transfer parts of Area C, under
Israeli control, to Area B, under Palestinian administrative
- Gaza Electricity Reduced after PA Refuses to Pay - Tovah Lazaroff
For the last few months the PA has cut electricity to Gaza by limiting
what it pays for electricity. Israel supplies 125 MW of electricity to
Gaza and the PA pays the monthly bill of NIS 40 million. This week the
PA told Israel it would only pay NIS 25-30 million a month.
Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, told BBC Arabic Radio,
"This is an internal Palestinian issue and not an Israeli-Palestinian
issue." Gaza's power plant, which had provided 120 MWs, shut down in
April, unable to pay the taxes the PA imposed on the diesel fuel to
run it. Since then, people in Gaza have lived with four to six hours of
electricity a day, which may now decline to three hours. (Jerusalem Post)
- European Ambassadors Boycott Tour of New Israeli Rail Route Because It Goes Under West Bank - Barak Ravid
Israel's Transportation Ministry canceled a tour for foreign diplomats
of tunnels for the fast Tel Aviv-Jerusalem railway line under
construction after the head of the EU delegation to Israel, Lars
Faaborg-Andersen, urged the ambassadors not to participate because a
portion of the route passes through the West Bank.
A senior European diplomat noted, however, that European diplomats
use Route 443, a highway which runs beyond the 1967 lines between Tel
Aviv and Jerusalem, and would use the new train line once it is in
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said, "The intervention of the
ambassador from the European Union and his attempt to prevent the
ambassadors from coming constitutes inappropriate interference in the
internal affairs of the State of Israel. Are they boycotting the fast
train to Jerusalem?" An official in his ministry said that a segment of a
railway tunnel that is on the other side of the Green Line is a few
hundred meters in length.
- Hizbullah Supporters Set Lebanese Minefield Alight near Northern Israeli Border Town
Supporters of Hizbullah marking the 17th anniversary of Israel's
withdrawal from southern Lebanon set fire to a field along the
Israel-Lebanon border near the northern Israeli town of Metulla on
Thursday, setting off several mines.
(Times of Israel)
President Trump's Visit to the Middle East
- Why Middle East Peace Starts in Saudi Arabia - Charles Krauthammer
President Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia, the first of his presidency, is
an unmistakable declaration of a radical reorientation of U.S. policy
in the region. Message: The appeasement of Iran is over. The idea that
the nuclear deal would make Iran more moderate has proved spectacularly
wrong, as demonstrated by its defiant ballistic missile launches, its
indispensable support for the genocidal Assad regime in Syria, its
backing of the Houthi insurgency in Yemen, its worldwide support for
terrorism, its relentless anti-Americanism and commitment to the
annihilation of Israel.
These aggressions were supposed to abate. They didn't. On the
contrary, the cash payments and the lifting of economic sanctions -
Tehran's reward for the nuclear deal - have only given its geopolitical
thrusts more power and reach.
The reversal has now begun. The first act was Trump's Riyadh address
to about 50 Muslim states (the overwhelming majority of them Sunni)
signaling a wide Islamic alliance committed to resisting Iran and
willing to cast its lot with the American side.
Ironically, the Iranian threat that grew under Obama offers a unique
opportunity for U.S.-Arab and even Israeli-Arab cooperation. Over time,
such cooperation could gradually acclimate Arab peoples to a
nonbelligerent stance toward Israel.
- For Many in the Holy Land, Trump's Visit Was a Success for What He Didn't Say - Ruth Eglash
On his first trip to the Holy Land, it's what President Trump didn't do
or say that made his visit a success: He did not discuss politics - at
least not in any depth. During his public addresses in Jerusalem and
Bethlehem, Trump talked forcefully about peace but refrained from
berating one side or the other.
Unlike his predecessor, there were no references to Israeli settlements.
He also did not mention a Palestinian state, nor the status of
On the Israeli side, leaders said the ambiguity would give both
sides the flexibility to resume negotiations and start peace-building
measures. Israel's deputy minister for diplomacy, Michael Oren, a
former ambassador to the U.S., said the two sides have been locked too
tightly into a preset formula. "This president has a different approach
to his predecessors," he said. "It also opens doors to other actors like
Israeli officials indicated they were looking for the U.S. to put
more pressure on Arab countries to accept Israel first - only then would
peace with the Palestinians be a possibility.
- Israelis Elated, Palestinians Disappointed by Trump Visit - Robert Berger
President Trump became the first sitting president to visit the Western
Wall, the last remnant of the biblical Temple and Judaism's holiest
site. Other presidents have stayed away because the U.S. does not
recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem's Old City.
Zalman Shoval, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., says
Trump's stop at the Western Wall sends a powerful signal to the
Palestinians, who deny Jewish biblical and historical ties to Jerusalem.
"By going there, he's the president, which shows very, very clearly his
respect and acknowledgement for the connection of the Jewish people with
its land and with its capital," Shoval said. "All the different
messages made by President Trump are not only something heartwarming to
Israelis, but it's a clear message to the Palestinians: Be serious about
making peace and don't delude yourselves that the U.S. is not Israel's
ally and will look the other way." (VOA News)
- How Israelis See President Trump - Gary Rosenblatt
Many American Jews no doubt were surprised and annoyed to see President
Trump greeted in Israel this week with such enthusiasm by Prime
Minister Netanyahu. But Israelis are a pragmatic people with few allies
around the world. And after eight years of tension, and worse, with
Barack Obama in the White House, they are relieved to see President
Trump pledge his allegiance to the Jewish state, talk tough on Iran and
have Nikki Haley at the UN speaking out on behalf of Israel and against
the hypocrisy of the world body when it comes to the Jewish state.
Israelis are, naturally, looking out for themselves in a tough
neighborhood and welcome the prospect of their most important ally
having their back and not being shy about proclaiming that position.
At a forum marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli
war, Ambassador Dennis Ross, an American diplomat who advised four
presidents on the Mideast, noted that in the days leading up to the war,
with Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser threatening to drive Israel
into the sea, the U.S. and the UN were passive. President Lyndon Johnson
was "emotionally committed to Israel," Ross said Thursday. "But the
U.S. did nothing. The short-answer why: Vietnam." The U.S. had 550,000
troops in Southeast Asia at the time and the White House and military
were "totally consumed" with that war. The reality was that Israel was
(New York Jewish Week)
- Palestinian Hunger Strike Campaign Exposes Divides within Fatah - Lihi Ben Shitrit and Mahmoud Jaraba
The hunger strike by a thousand Palestinian prisoners begun on April 17
reflects the intra-Fatah conflict between Marwan Barghouti's supporters
and opponents. As of May 2017, there were 6,189 security prisoners. In
addition to Hamas prisoners, who are not officially participating in the
strike, the Fatah leadership in the Rimon, Negev, and Megiddo prisons,
which hold more than 1,800 Fatah detainees, have not officially endorsed
the strike due to their disagreements with Barghouti. Moreover, these
leaders convinced Fatah's Central Committee to withdraw its initial
directive making participation mandatory for all Fatah prisoners.
The Palestinian Authority - while expressing moral support for the
hunger strike - has also worked on the ground to contain protests in
solidarity with it. PA security services are worried that an escalating
civil resistance campaign could get out of hand, leading to security
chaos that Hamas could exploit. Mahmoud Abbas and the PA security
services have therefore doubled down on security coordination with
Israel in an effort to maintain control over the Palestinian street.
Lihi Ben Shitrit is an assistant professor at the School of
Public and International Affairs, University of Georgia, Athens. Mahmoud
Jaraba is a researcher and lecturer at Erlangen Center for Islam and
Law in Europe (EZIRE) and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace)
- The Palestinians Can Win If They Give Up Victim Status - Jim Hanson
After World War II, the Italians, Germans and Japanese left behind
their failed attempts at conquest and consequently they were treated to
the benevolence of the Allies and a rebuilding process that turned them
into modern nations. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have
maintained belligerence and failure to even accept the existence of
Israel in any meaningful way. Their Arab friends have made multiple
attempts to destroy Israel and failed each time. Then the Palestinians
switched to terrorism as a strategy and turned their proto state into an
international pariah. This profound failure to comprehend their
profound failure to destroy Israel has kept them in perpetual victim
Billions of dollars in aid have flowed into the Palestinian
territories. Some studies show it to be 25 times more per capita than
was spent to rebuild Europe after World War II. Yet there is little in
the way of progress and there are still "refugee" camps that have stood
for decades. Their state of perpetual grievance has prevented them from
using this largesse to build an actual state. If they were to do so,
they could dedicate themselves to the challenge of giving their people
quality of life rather than a false hope they will somehow drive the
Israelis out of Israel. (Fox News)
- President Trump Should Move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem - Lawrence Grossman
President Trump has the opportunity to right a historical wrong by
advancing international recognition of Jerusalem, the biblical capital
of the Jewish people, as the capital of the State of Israel. Although
Israel had declared Jerusalem its capital soon after the country
achieved independence in 1948, neither the U.S. nor much of the rest of
the world accepted that designation and they placed their embassies and
diplomats in Tel Aviv instead. The legal objection was that the UN
partition plan of 1947 had designated Jerusalem as an
internationalized zone that was not supposed to be part of any state.
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 sought to rectify this, pointing
out that "international law and custom" gave each nation the right to
choose its capital. But for 21 years, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W.
Bush and Barack Obama have waived enforcement of its provisions. The
current six-month waiver expires June 2. The writer is director of publications at the American Jewish Committee.
50 Years Since the Six-Day War
- Review: Christian Broadcasting Network Docudrama "In Our Hands - The Battle for Jerusalem" - Jerry Gordon
On Tuesday, the eve of Jerusalem Day in Israel, upwards of 400,000
people in 700+ theaters across America watched the engrossing, and at
times emotionally charged, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)
production of "In Our Hands-The Battle for Jerusalem." Those of us who
were young adults in 1967, with fear and anxiety were glued to
transistor radios waiting to hear whether Israel would survive
"In Our Hands" depicts a dinner given by a Jewish family in
Jerusalem on the eve of the battle. An 86-year-old grandmother, a
refugee from the Jewish Quarter in the Old City overrun by Jordanian
legionnaires in 1948, brings out an Israeli flag that had been taken
down when she and 1,600 others were forced to leave at the end of the
siege. She gifted it to a paratroop commander with the hope for
returning it to fly from the Temple Mount. There is also archival color
footage of the breach of Lions Gate and audio of the race to the
Western Wall and Temple Mount, amidst sniper fire.
(New English Review)
See also View 5 Video Excerpts: Movie "In Our Hands" Brings Liberation of Jerusalem to Life - Miriam Elman
Filming took 17 days using Israeli crews and more than 100 actors and
extras. In the remarkable reenactments of the fighting, filmed on
location, the film transforms into a compelling and emotional Israeli
version of "Band of Brothers."
Basically, "In Our Hands" underscores the resilience of the Israeli
people against unbelievable odds. Jerusalem Day marks the day when a
2,000-year historical injustice was reversed.
The writer is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University. (Legal Insurrection)
See also Christian Docudrama about Six-Day War Becomes U.S. Box Office Hit - Nirit Anderman
- The Beginning of Israeli Rule in Judea and Samaria - Maj.-Gen. Rephael Vardi
At the outbreak of the Six-Day War, Rephael Vardi was commander of the
Jerusalem District. On June 7, 1967, he was appointed chief of staff to
the commander of IDF forces in the West Bank and in December
became commander of the West Bank. Maj.-Gen. Vardi was the principal
figure in the government of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in the decade after
the 1967 war. Here he discusses the beginning of Israeli rule in the
West Bank. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
- Video: Media Myth - East Jerusalem Is Traditionally Arab Territory
Only between 1948 and 1967 was eastern Jerusalem exclusively Arab, after
Jordan occupied it and expelled the area's Jewish residents, destroyed
its synagogues, and desecrated the historic Jewish cemetery. Jewish
presence in eastern Jerusalem goes back to King David in 1004 BCE and
Jews continued to live there ever since.
The New York Times reported on May 30, 1948, "The Jews have
been eliminated from the City of David for the first time since the
sixteenth century. Except for 60 years in the sixteenth century they are
believed to have been there continuously since the return from the
Babylonian captivity [after 539 BCE]." Next time journalists say "East
Jerusalem is Arab," send them this video.
- In Photos: The Story of the Liberation of Jerusalem a Century Ago - Lenny Ben-David
This year marks the centenary of a fierce World War I battle that
rescued Jerusalem's entire Jewish population from starvation, plague,
exile, and death.
Since Russia was part of the alliance ranged against Germany and the
Ottoman empire, Jews of Russian origin were viewed as a potential fifth
column. Ten thousand Jews left Jerusalem in one week. Most of the houses
were closed because the inhabitants were dead, or deported, exiled, or
in prison. By summer 1917, the city of Jerusalem and its Jewish
residents were nearly eradicated. Some 2,700 orphans wandered the
After capturing Beersheba in October, British forces,
supplemented by fighters from Australia and New Zealand, turned toward
Jerusalem. The hilltop of Nebi Samuel (tomb of the Prophet Samuel three
miles north of Jerusalem) was the scene of a November battle between
three British and three Turkish divisions.
After the Turks appealed to their German allies for help in
defending Jerusalem, the German General Erich von Falkenhayn did not
send reinforcements because he did not want the relics and the holy
places damaged because of severe fighting. Falkenhayn, the commander of
the Turkish and German armies in Palestine, instead ordered the retreat
of Turkish soldiers so that Jerusalem would not be destroyed.
- Ireland's Overlooked "Oskar Schindler" - Michael Riordan
In World War II, Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, an Irish priest and Vatican
diplomat, was wanted by the Nazis. "Monsignor O'Flaherty left the
safety of the Vatican to run his escape line," said Jerry O'Grady,
chairman of the Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty Memorial Society in the
priest's hometown in Killarney, Ireland. "The Gestapo had a price on his
head and they tried to kidnap him many times." The Society is
preparing an application to Yad Vashem to have their local hero, who is
credited with concealing hundreds of Jews from the Gestapo, listed as
Righteous Among the Nations.
In the last years of the war, O'Flaherty organized a group of
priests, anti-Fascists and diplomats to help shelter Jews, escaped POWs
and refugees. He set up a network of safe havens in rented apartments
and religious houses throughout Rome. Claudio-Ilan Jacobi, now living in
Israel, is one of the Jews O'Flaherty saved. "I saw the Monsignor many
times," Jacobi wrote in his statement for Yad Vashem. "He helped my
mother, my grandparents and me find refuge from the Nazis. He got false
papers for us from the Vatican as well as food cards. I remember the
great appreciation my mother had for all he did." (Times of Israel)
50 Years after the Six-Day War, We Shouldn't Lament Israel's Power to Protect Itself - Jonathan Miller (Alabama Media Group)
In May 1967, Gamal Abdel Nasser, the President of Egypt, who had
joined in a military alliance with Syrian President Hafez el Assad,
daily promised to "drive Israel into the sea." Jews around the world
were anxious beyond belief. It was scant more than twenty years since
the liberation of the death camps in Europe and the odds were
overwhelming that the next cataclysm against our people was soon to
begin. In a stunning six-day victory, Israel defeated the combined Arab
armies, reunited Jerusalem, took the Golan Heights and made its way to
the Suez Canal.
It is difficult for Israel to extricate itself from the
obligation of having to send its young people to the territories in
uniform to oversee other people's lives. Israel uprooted 8,000
long-time inhabitants of Gaza to make the territory Jew-free with the
hope that without an occupation Gaza could transform itself into a
Singapore. We know from history that this was a terrible mistake which
has exacted an enormous cost on Palestinians and Israelis in terms of
suffering, treasure and death.
Some opinion-makers have opined that the Six-Day War was a
catastrophe. I cannot agree. It is far better that Israel won the war
decisively than were it to have lost the war entirely. It is not hard to
imagine the nature of the bloodbath that would have occurred on the
streets of an Arab-occupied Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.
Israel's adversaries refuse to accept its existence and the
existence of Jews living in the Land of Israel. That is the root of the
problem, going back more than a hundred years. Once that is solved,
everything else will fall into place.
be honest, there is something crazy about lamenting the fact that we
Jews have the power to protect ourselves and that we will no longer be
subject to the bullies and murderers who have tormented us.
I would rather live with the moral struggle of the past 50 years than
die the good death of a martyr to another round of anti-Jewish hatred