Monthly Archives: May 2021

Anti-Semitism – When Staying Silent Isn’t An Option

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By Tamar Schwarzbard
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Jerusalem, Israel — May 27, 2021 … Goebbels. Baby killer. Genocide collaborator.  Murderer. Pig.

Dirty Jew.

These are just some of the names I’ve been called this past week. 

As the person behind some of Israel’s official social media accounts, I’m used to reading hundreds of comments critical of Israel on a daily basis. But the amount of hateful comments, of users calling for violence and attacks on Israelis, of tweets and posts that disguise antisemitism as anti-zionism, have made my job during normal times look like paradise in comparison. 

The last ten days have been overwhelming in many senses, as our Digital Diplomacy Department at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs works around the clock to share Israel’s reality with the world. The most difficult part has not been the long hours, but the curtain that’s been lifted from my eyes as I read some of the most dangerous rhetoric online regarding Jews and Israel- the same rhetoric that was once taboo but has now become mainstream and even praiseworthy, thanks to social media, misinformation and extremists. 

Celebrities like Bella Hadid march alongside Palestinians chanting “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a phrase used by terrorist organizations as a call to arms for the annihilation of Israel.  Instead of being criticized for advocating to cleanse Israel of its Jews, they are lauded as human rights activists, applauded with heart emojis and comments from ignorant people thanking them for supporting Palestine. 

Commentators like John Oliver and Trevor Noah accuse Israel of war crimes, almost expressing disappointment that there were fewer Israeli casualties thanks to the Iron Dome, all while sitting in their comfortable studios thousands of miles from Israel or the Gaza Strip. 

Celebrities like Chance the Rapper retweeted messages from the official State of Israel account showing data on rockets fired at Israelis, while accusing Israel of genocide. I am sure these people think they are saving lives, but their misinformation ends up endangering innocent lives on both sides. 

Let me be clear, what Hamas has done to Gazans and to Israelis is awful. No Israeli with any moral compass wants to see innocent Palestinian children being killed or being used as human shields for terrorists. The pictures coming out of Gaza are heartbreaking. 

Watching so many so-called “human rights activists” on social media calling out Israel for protecting the more than 70% of its population currently under rocket fire, while ignoring the human rights abuses that Hamas inflicts on the Palestinian people this week and every day is a distortion of reality. 

Where were the human rights activists when Hamas decided to launch a rocket from a preschool this week? Where were the human rights activists when Hamas (twice) bombed a humanitarian convoy from Israel facilitating the transfer of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza? Where were the human rights activists when Palestinian activists terrorized innocent Jewish civilians in LA, New York, London and Toronto this week? 

Where were the human rights activists when three teenage Israeli boys were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists in 2015, one of them an American citizen? 

People keep talking about the lack of symmetry in this conflict and they are absolutely right. There is no symmetry between a terrorist organization like Hamas whose charter calls for the “annihilation of the Jewish State,” and a democratic government protecting its people from ongoing rocket-fire for the past two decades. 

Apparently, there is also no symmetry when it comes to Hamas’ attempts to murder innocent Israelis to the Palestinian deaths in Gaza, because not enough Israelis have died.

It’s easy to retweet empty messages from celebrities who call for “freeing Palestine” and shame Israel without having any context of the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It’s easy to question the legitimacy of a Jewish State without studying the 3,000-year long history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. 

Today, everyone with more than 5,000 followers on social media deems themselves an expert, using their keyboards to provide solutions to a conflict which has cost thousands of innocent lives and has yet to be solved by some of the brightest minds and most experienced leaders in the world. It’s easy to use buzzwords like genocide without ever having even experienced war, belittling the murder of millions of Jews, Rwandans and others who were sent to their deaths in concerted and organized extermination efforts. 

But you know who is calling for genocide? Hamas- whose charter says  “The Day of Judgement will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jews will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of God, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”  Thanks to social media, Hamas has been rebranded as a resistance group that is simply protecting the Palestinian people. Online activists may not be aware of Hamas’ true face because there was no Twitter when Hamas was carrying out suicide bombs in restaurants, buses and community centers. 

And where are all of these so-called experts on genocide when it comes to the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust? On clubhouse, denying the Holocaust and exploiting Jewish suffering to promote Hamas’ narrative. 

In a Clubhouse discussion on the topic of the Israel-Arab conflict with a group of Americans and Iranians, someone accused me of genocide as an Israeli, moments after one of their friends in the group denied the Holocaust. 

As a Jew whose grandparents survived the Auschwitz death camps and experienced genocide first hand, I was disgusted by the flippant use of the term used to validate the Palestinian narrative, while denying the Jewish one. 

Over the past week, I’ve read comment after comment by individuals claiming to be allies of Jews, but posting statements like “it’s so sad to see Jews who experienced the Holocaust doing the same thing to the Palestinians today. What would their ancestors think?” Well, I can tell you, because my grandmother discussed her views with me over and over again. If she were still alive today, she would say that if her experiences during the Holocaust had taught her anything, it was that the Jewish people should do everything in their power to defend themselves from those who would rather see them gone, before it’s too late. 

There are many people who speak out against the millions of people who did not take action and stand by Jews in the years leading up to and during the Holocaust. Many of them are the very same people that stay silent on social media today, while Israelis and Jews around the world are attacked for their religious and national identity. 

I won’t be one of them. 

Netanyahu Meeting With Israel Security Cabinet Over Hamas

The Star Of David protecting the people of Israel.

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Tel Aviv, Israel — May 17, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now holding a security consultation at the Kirya in Tel Aviv with the Israel Defense Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff, the head of the National Security Council, the head of the ISA, the head of the Mossad and the security leadership.

Earlier, Netanyahu spoke by telephone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who reiterated her unreserved support for Israel’s right to defend itself. The Prime Minister thanked her for the action of her government against anti-semitic elements in Germany and emphasized that Hamas is committing a double war crime by firing missiles from inside civilian populations and by using civilians in Gaza as human shields.

Last night, Netanyahu spoke with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and thanked him for his country’s support of Israel’s right to self-defense in light of the terrorist organizations’ firing missiles at Israel’s cities. The Prime Minister noted that Israel would continue to strike at Hamas and Islamic Jihad in order to restore the quiet and security to the citizens of Israel.

On Friday, Netanyahu met with the Israel Defense Minister and the IDF Chief-of-Staff, at the Kirya in Tel Aviv.

“Citizens of Israel, our campaign against the terrorist organizations is continuing with full force,” said Netanyahu.

“We are exacting very heavy prices from Hamas for its intolerable aggression. The IDF has carried out extensive attacks on over 1,500 targets in recent days. We have struck very hard at Hamas’s underground activity. Hamas invested an entire decade and vast capital in the excavation of tunnels; most of it, not all, but a considerable part, is gone.

Hamas’s ‘metro’ – their subway, their underground tunnels – has been transformed from a strategic asset into a deathtrap for terrorists. I said it yesterday and I will say it again today: No terrorist is immune.

Additionally, we struck at Hamas’s UAVs and drones, as well as at their naval capability. We have destroyed massive stockpiles of missiles and rockets. We have wrecked terrorist buildings, command centers and infrastructures throughout the Gaza Strip. We are doing this while making a dedicated and humanitarian effort to minimize injury to uninvolved persons.

I salute the IDF, the ISA, the soldiers and fighters – they are all doing excellent work and we are very proud of them. I request that you, Israel Defense Minister and IDF Chief-of-Staff, convey my congratulations, our congratulations, the congratulations of the entire nation, to the brave, dedicated soldiers of the IDF and to the fighters of the ISA as well, and to the other men and women of the Israel security services who are doing extraordinary work.

With stratagems we make war [see Proverbs 24:6] and with daring we will be victorious. We are continuing to take action, even at this hour, as long as necessary to restore quiet and security to you, citizens of Israel. It will yet take time.

There is talk about international pressure. There is always pressure but all in all we are receiving very serious backing, first of all from the US.

Again, I would like to thank our good friend, President Joe Biden, and also the many other countries that have truly taken incredible steps such as flying the Israeli flag over their government buildings. We very much appreciate this. There is a reason for this support because after the reprehensible attacks, such as those in Jerusalem, against Israel’s cities, in the attempt to kill innocent Jewish citizens – we have international backing and we are using it, in our natural right to self-defense as well. This is what we did in Gaza and this is also what we are doing inside the country.

I welcome the trend of calm that we see among the Arab public; it is not absolute. We just had a car ramming attack in Jerusalem. However, all in all, we have seen a decline in this trend of violence by the Arab public and this is very important among the Arab public. I have always said that it is not the entire public and not a majority of the public but it is a significant minority, which we must deal with.

We want to exact a price from the aggressor as in all types of terrorism. To restore the quiet and security and to rebuild deterrence and governance, will take time.

In the face of these violent events, we have used the Israel Security Agency (ISA). We deployed reinforced units throughout the country and we have carried out hundreds of arrests. We are taking action against those who used violence and disturbed the peace – they will be punished.

Our goal is, first, to halt the violence. I hope that we are achieving this. Afterwards, to rehabilitate the relations between Jews and Arabs. We live together in this state and we need to get back on the track of coexistence, cooperation and partnership in the great success called ‘the State of Israel’.

I would like to say an additional word, to you, citizens of Israel. What Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran want to achieve is, first of all, as many dead Israelis as possible. The achievement that I would like to achieve, that we would all like to achieve, is, first of all, to save your lives.

Therefore, I would like to remind you that for an entire year, we changed our behavior because of the coronavirus, Covid19; we changed our routine. Thanks to our behavior, thanks to the actions we took together, we saved many lives. Therefore, I ask you all – minimize outdoor activity. Follow the directives. I am proud of your endurance.

This evening we will celebrate the Jewish holiday ofShavuot, the festival of the giving of the Torah. When the Torah was given, when we received the Ten Commandments, the people of Israel stood together, as Rashi writes, ‘As one person, with one heart.’

Thus we stand today – as one person, with one heart, with one heart in the fight for our state, one heart behind our soldiers, and one heart for our security and our future.”

Operation Guardian of the Walls – Israel Attacks Hundreds of Hamas, Islamic Jihad Targets

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

UPDATED: Jerusalem, Israel — May 12, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed the Israeli public with statements also made by the Israel Defense Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff and the head of the ISA.

“We are in the midst of a major campaign – Operation Guardian of the Walls,” said Netanyahu. “Yesterday and today, the IDF attacked hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. We have eliminated dozens of terrorists, including senior commanders. We have bombed Hamas command centers and toppled buildings that serve the terrorist organizations. We will continue to attack with all force.”

“We have just finished a consultation and assessment of the situation with the heads of the security establishment and we made decisions. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid and – I tell you here – will pay a very heavy price for their aggression. I say here this evening – their blood is on their heads.”

A 13-story building in Gaza, the largest in the area, which held Hamas offices and was used to fire rockets at Israel, collapsed after Israeli airstrikes.
The Hanadi tower was evacuated ahead of the IDF strikes. No casualties were reported.

“Citizens of Israel, we stand united against a reprehensible enemy. We all grieve for those who have been killed. We all pray for the wellbeing of the wounded. We all stand behind the IDF and the security forces.”

Netanyahu concluded: “I ask everyone, without exception, to strictly follow the directives of Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command and enter protected spaces, this saves lives. I tell you something else this evening. This campaign will take time. With determination, unity and strength, we will restore security to the citizens of Israel.”

Netanyahu Comments on Joint IDF-ISA Operation that Targeted Four Senior Hamas Commanders

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated: “I congratulate the Israel Security Agency, the Air Force, Southern Command and the Israel Defense Forces for the operation that targeted senior Hamas commanders.
Whoever attacks us – his blood is on his head.”

ISA: Four Senior Hamas Commanders Targeted in Joint ISA-IDF Operation

(Communicated by the Israeli Security Agency)

A joint ISA-IDF operation targeted senior members of the Hamas “General Staff Forum” including the Gaza City Brigade commander, the head of the cyber command and improving Hamas’s missiles and the head of its production network.

Following are the four senior commanders who were targeted in the attack:

1. Bassem Issa – Gaza City Brigade commander since 2017 and senior military official in the city. Over the years he had been involved in many terrorist attacks and also served as a leader in the organization’s production network. He led previous rounds of fighting with Israel. Targeting him will significantly affect the functioning of the brigade and of Hamas’s military arm.

2. Jamaa Tahla – Head of Hamas’s cyber command, leader of its missile improvement project and head of its R&D department. He was Muhammad Deif’s right-hand man a main leader of the effort to build up the organization’s strength; targeting him is a significant blow to that effort.

3. Jamal Zebeda – Head of projects and development for Hamas’s production network, was a main force behind the organization’s rocket production network. He held a Ph.D in mechanical engineering with a specialty in aerodynamics. He had various technological skills, was one of Hamas’s leading R&D experts and was also engaged in advancing projects to build up the organization’s strength.

4. Hazzem Hatib – Chief engineer and deputy head of Hamas’s production network.

Other senior figures who were killed in the attack during which Hamas’s main R&D facility, including much equipment, was destroyed:

Sami Radwan – Head of the military intelligence technical department

Walid Smali – Head of the production network industrial equipment department

Approximately ten additional terrorists from the Hamas production and R&D networks were also killed.

Israel Under Attack – Netanyahu Holds Assessment at IDF HQ

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 11, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today, at Israel Defense Forces Southern Command headquarters, held an assessment of the situation with the Israel Defense Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff, the head of the National Security Council, GOC Southern Command and other senior officials.

“I have just finished – at IDF Southern Command – an assessment of the situation with the Israel Defense Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff and GOC Southern Command,” said Netanyahu.

“We are in the midst of a campaign. Since yesterday, the IDF has made hundreds of defensive attacks against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. We have targeted commanders. We have hit very many quality targets. The conclusion of the meeting is to further increase the force and pace of the attacks.

Hamas will receive blows here that it did not expect. I know that this also entails patience and a certain sacrifice on your part, citizens of Israel.

A damaged home at a targeted residential neighborhood in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon after rockets were fired by Iran backed Hamas terror organization in Gaza.
(Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, two of our people have been killed. I ask all of you to listen to instructions and strictly follow the directives of IDF Home Front Command. It saves lives.”

Netanyahu concludes: “We still have a way to go and we will do so together with responsibility and full backing for the attacks that the IDF is making and will make.

I would also like to say something to Israeli Arabs. There were wild disturbances here yesterday, which we cannot tolerate, by young hotheads. Our directive is to do everything to maintain law and order. I expect all public leaders, especially leaders of the Arab public, to stand up and condemn these disturbances and do everything to restore the quiet.

We have given instructions that police units be reinforced with additional Border Police battalions. We will reinforce them as necessary in order to maintain law and order in the State of Israel. Here as well, the cooperation of all Israeli citizens is needed.”

Every red dot marks air raid sirens in Israel over the last hour: Israel is under attack.

The Israeli city of Tel Aviv is under fire from a barrage of over 130 terror rockets launched by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.
In Holon, a southern suburb outside of Tel Aviv, a Hamas rocket struck a passenger bus. 

In a tweet in the immediate aftermath of the Hamas terror rocket attacks, the IDF warned: “One of the 100s of rockets that were just fired from Gaza toward Tel Aviv and central Israel exploded on a civilian bus.”

“Hamas’ intentions are clear: kill Jewish civilians. We won’t stand by and let this happen.”

Israel Defense Forces Message To The Citizens of Gaza:

The IDF is striking Hamas weapons stores hidden inside civilian buildings in Gaza. Although Hamas wants to put you in harm’s way, we urge you to stay away from Hamas’ weapons sites and get to safety.
Our goal is only to strike terror.

Europe Paying Terrorists For Jerusalem Violence

Israel Security Agency: European Funds Intended for Humanitarian Activity Diverted to Financing Popular Front Terrorism in Jerusalem

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years. In 1,000 B.C., King David conquered Jerusalem and made it the capital of the Jewish kingdom. His son, Solomon, built the first holy Temple about 40 years later. Israel recaptured East Jerusalem, where the Western Walls stands, from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War, thus under international law, creating one, unified Jerusalem. There is no East Jerusalem. There is no occupation. Any mention of an East Jerusalem is part of a Jihadist propaganda campaign that also states Jesus was a Palestinian. Under the Israeli democratic government there is freedom of religion for all Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Jerusalem, Israel — May 7, 2021 … As violent clashes break out at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem today, the last day of Ramadan, it is now being disclosed by Israeli Intelligence that a financing network for the Popular Front terror organization has been funded by assistance agencies and NGOs operating in Europe.

Clashes broke out between worshipers and Israeli security forces at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem where tens of thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered for Friday prayers of the Ramadan. 

Recent reports indicate several injuries, including at least 12 Israeli police officers, and 35 Palestinians, including two in serious condition, during the riots, according to the Red Cross.
The incitement to violence continues as the leader of the Jihadist terror organization Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh sent a direct message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling him “not to play with fire. 

Who pays for terrorism in Israel?

It was revealed by the Israel Security Agency that financing was transferred to Palestinian institutions and organizations in Judea and Samaria that are affiliated with the Popular Front and which operate under the guise of humanitarian assistance centered on the ‘Health Committees’.

In the ISA investigation of those involved, it became clear that these organizations operated using fraud and deception in many European countries in order to receive large-scale financing worth millions of Euros.

It was also learned that a considerable portion of the financing was used to fund the terrorist activities of the Popular Front.

The method:

Popular Front organizations deceived assistance organizations in Europe using various methods – reporting fictitious projects, transferring false documents, forging and inflating invoices, diverting tenders, forging bank documents and signatures, reporting inflated salaries, etc.

The considerable financing that was received was transferred – inter alia – to payments for the families of Popular Front ‘martyrs’, salaries for terrorists, recruiting new members, advancing and strengthening terrorist activity, funding Popular Front terrorists in Jerusalem and the dissemination of Popular Front messages and ideology.

During the ISA investigation, the suspects turned in considerable material that demonstrated the scope of the fraud carried out by Popular Front institutions regarding European countries. The information indicates the large-scale diversion of funds from the official political institutions in Europe to Popular Front terrorist, military and organizational activities in Judea and Samaria.

Indictments are due to be filed soon in the Judea Military Court.

A senior ISA official said: “The ramified financial activity advanced by the Popular Front joins a long series of terrorist activities foiled by the ISA in recent years. The Popular Front is a murderous terrorist organization that was responsible for – inter alia – the 23 August 2019 murder of Rina Shnerb. The ISA will continue its timely actions against the terrorist and financial operations of the Popular Front, an organization that is unceasing in its efforts to undermine stability and security in Judea and Samaria and to promote terrorist activity against Israel.”

Today, Israeli Police reported that “police troops began using riot control measures in Jerusalem in an attempt to restore order after violent riots broke out at the Temple Mount, during which hundreds of suspects started throwing rocks, bottles and other items towards our forces.”

“We will not allow the disruption of order, any form of violence and attempts to harm officers while taking advantage of the freedom of religion and using it to promote a violent incident that includes hundreds of worshipers starting to riot and hurting police officers,” Israeli police stated after the police regained control at the Temple Mount. 

Netanyahu Visits Injured From Mt. Meron Disaster

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel — May 3, 2021 … Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, visited the injured in the Mt. Meron disaster.

“I have just finished visiting patients who were injured in the Mt. Meron disaster,” said Netanyahu. “I was impressed by the marvelous care that they are receiving from the medical staff here just as I was impressed by the rescue operation, which undoubtedly saved lives including those of several patients here.”

“We are praying for their well-being. One of the parents told me the sentence that summarizes everything: ‘Here one reveals that the people of Israel has one heart.’ Our heart is with the injured and all of us hope and pray for their full recovery.”

Israel State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman said today that he will launch a special investigation of Friday’s Mount Meron disaster in which 45 people were killed and more than 150 were injured.

“This was a disaster that could have been prevented. Now it is incumbent upon us to evaluate and probe how to prevent another incident like this,” Engelman said at a news conference.

Netanyahu declared this past Sunday “as a day of national mourning” and asked people to “come together for the sake of the families and pray for the well-being of the wounded.

The Israeli authorities had advised participants not to make the annual pilgrimage to the northern town of Meron this year due to Covid-19 risks.

The prime minister commended the efforts of the “very fast police rescue and operation” adding that we “owe them great thanks for preventing a much bigger disaster.”