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Today's News

Aug. 23, 2017





 UN: North Korea Ships Chemicals for Syria’s Weapons Program

 By DEBKAfile and Reuters


A new UN report confirms that North Korea has been shipping items to the Syrian government agency responsible for the country's chemical weapons program. Two such shipments were intercepted in the last six months by UN member states, says the report which was submitted to the Security Council.


Under investigation is “prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea).”  The shipments may have been part of a Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation contract with Syria. The trading corporation—Pyongyang's main arms dealer—was blacklisted in 2009 by the Security Council.


The North Korean and Syrian missions to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States. However, diplomats and weapons inspectors suspect Syria may have secretly maintained or developed a new chemical weapons capability.


During the country's more than six-year long civil war the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has said the banned nerve agent sarin has been used at least twice, while the use of chlorine as a weapon has been widespread. The Syrian government has repeatedly denied using chemical weapons.



 Can Putin Keep Hizbullah from Israel’s Borders?

 By DEBKAfile (Analysis)


Israel’s northern borders with Syria and Lebanon were on edge this week, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepared to raise Israel’s concerns about southern Syria at a critical meeting with President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.


The Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem noted that he would be accompanied by Mossad Director Yossie Cohen. He has just returned from a failed attempt in Washington to draw the Trump Administration’s attention to the deteriorating security situation on Israel’s northern borders, where Russian Muslim troops are already in position.


Our sources report that he left Washington empty-handed for three reasons: 1. The White House was inundated in political crises on the home front. 2.  President Donald Trump had resolved to cut to the bone any US military involvement in the Syria conflict outside of the war on the Islamic State. 3.  Trump refused to hear of any compromise on his deal with Putin for cooperating in Syria, especially in the creation of de-escalation zones for gradually winding down the conflict.


Furthermore, as Syrian government and pro-Iranian forces gain ground, the Syrian anti-Assad rebel front is breaking up, except for the Islamic State and other Islamist groups. Some former rebels are throwing in the towel or crossing the lines to Assad’s army. The disintegration of the Syrian resistance, if not halted, will sooner or later reach the rebel groups entrenched on the Syrian Golan. Israel will then see the buffer which served it as a security barrier for the past four years melting away.


Even if a Russian guarantee against Syrian and pro-Iranian forces reaching the Golan border is offered by Putin to calm Netanyahu’s worries, it will be of limited value - first, it was refused by Washington and second, it is unlikely to be respected. Although Russia is in a dominant position for determining Syria’s agenda, it is not the sole arbiter in Damascus. Iran and Hizbullah - and even Bashar Assad - are quite capable of taking matters in their own hands and embarking on a limited expedition for heating up the border with Israel - if only as a reminder to Putin, Trump and Netanyahu that Israel will not be permitted to determine the situation on that border, only their own interests.



Two Jewish Converts to Islam Join ISIS



The Shin Bet intelligence agency has gathered information about 20 Israelis who joined the ranks of the ISIS terrorist organization in Syria, Channel 2 News reported. The vast majority of the Israeli citizens who joined ISIS were Israeli Arabs. However, two of the terrorist group's Israeli recruits were born Jewish, although it is not known if they are halakhically so. The two had immigrated to Israel from the former Soviet Union and later changed their religion. They are currently listed as Muslims in the national registry.


Another Israeli who joined ISIS is an Israeli Arab from Fureidis in northern Israel who served in the IDF in the past, and decided to fight for ISIS in Syria. The Shin Bet drafted the list of Israelis following an amendment to the Citizenship Law that allows the revocation of the citizenship of Israeli citizens who have joined terrorist organizations, even without their presence.


On Monday, the list was transferred to the Interior Ministry. The ministry will begin the process of revoking the citizenship of the 20 Israelis who joined ISIS. When the process is completed, those who join ISIS will become stateless and will not be allowed to return to Israel or to travel freely throughout the world.



Officials from Largest US Islamic Charity Promote Anti-Semitism

 By World Israel News


Senior officials of Islamic Relief (IR), the largest Islamic charity in America, promote anti-Semitism, reports Islamist Watch, a Middle East Forum (MEF) project. The chairman of IR-USA is Khaled Lamada, a prominent Egyptian-American who has a long history of involvement with Muslim Brotherhood-linked organizations. He is not shy in publicly expressing his support for Islamist causes. His social media accounts are filled with Muslim Brotherhood insignia.


According to the Islamist Watch report, Lamada promotes hateful attitudes toward Jews and admires violence against Israel. Lamada has circulated text praising the “jihad” of the “Mujahidin of Egypt” for “causing the Jews many defeats.” He has shared posts on Facebook that praise Hamas for inflicting a “huge defeat” against the “Zionist entity.”


Lamada is not the only promoter of anti-Semitism running America’s largest Islamic charity, the report shows. Last month, Islamist Watch uncovered anti-Semitic social media posts by another senior official of IR-USA, Yousef Abdallah, who published a story romanticizing “martyrs” who provided guns to “kill more than 20 Jews” and “fire rockets at Tel Aviv.”


Abdallah’s other posts included references to Jews as “stinking,” and claims that “the Jews put the outside wall of Al Aqsa [the mosque in Jerusalem] on fire.” Abdallah also liked a Facebook comment that calls on God to wreak “revenge on the damned rapists Zionists. O God they are no challenge for you. Shake the Earth beneath their feet and destroy them as you destroyed the peoples of Ad, Thamud and Lot.”


Another IR-USA staff member, Omar Shahin, who is currently not employed by IR, preached in 2002: “You will keep on fighting with the Jews until the fight reaches the east of Jordan river then the stones and trees will say: oh Muslim, oh (servant) slaves of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”


“That IR-USA’s chairman and his staff appear to hate Jews is not particularly surprising,” MEF stated. “That this extremist, terrorism-linked, Jew-hating charity has enjoyed millions of taxpayers’ dollars and dinners at the White House, however, is utterly perplexing.”


Although Islamic Relief is a designated terrorist organization in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it enjoys the support of governments and other charities all around the world, including $370,000 from the US government in 2016, along with millions of dollars from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and other European countries.


Islamist Watch has previously exposed that these public funds serve to subsidize Islamic Relief’s funding of Hamas-linked organizations in the Gaza Strip. Across the globe, Islamic Relief branches are led by Islamists with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist causes, Islamist Watch points out, and Islamic Relief’s US branch (IR-USA) is no exception.



Russian Mother Deported After  Losing Citizenship Upon Husband’s Death

 By The Jerusalem Post


A Russian mother was deported from Israel on Monday, after her Israeli partner passed away and she thus lost eligibility to become an Israeli citizen.


Her two children, Galina and Boris Levinshtein, aged 30 and 31, made aliya 14 years ago; they were eligible for citizenship according to the Law of Return as their paternal grandfather was Jewish. Their mother, Lia Makushina, has been living and working in Israel as a cleaner for the past six years. Her common-law marriage status with her partner Oleg, allowed her to obtain temporary citizenship and she was in the process of obtaining permanent citizenship.


But after the death of her partner earlier this year, the Interior Ministry summoned Makushina, 57, took away her ID card and terminated her citizenship process, according to an impassioned Facebook post written by her son. “So, after six years in Israel, a woman whose Israeli spouse is buried here and whose two children and grandson are Jewish citizens of Israel, she lost everything in one day,” Boris wrote on a Facebook page he set up titled: “Don’t deport my mother.” His efforts have thus far been in vain, however, as he spoke to The Jerusalem Post just before he boarded a flight to accompany his mother back to Russia.


The family had appealed to the humanitarian committee of the Interior Ministry, only to be answered with an order that she leave the country within 14 days. They appealed this decision, but were rejected. After Lia’s ID card has been taken, she was given a tourist visa to stay in Israel until August.


“We are law-abiding citizens so if we see her visa is until August, she won’t stay here illegally,” Boris told the Post, but he means to continue to campaign for his mother to be able to return to live in Israel. He is appealing to the ministry to allow her to continue the process of obtaining permanent citizenship from the point where it was stopped after Oleg’s death.


The Population and Immigration Authority released a statement saying that “attempts to find a solution with the family were unsuccessful and Mrs. Makushina may visit her family as much as she wishes. Our mother has been living here for six years and for her to return as a tourist is not fair,” Boris told the Post. “She feels that this is her home. She is more of a tourist in Russia than in Israel.” Boris and Galina are Lia’s only children.


“We underwent the conversion process and we have lived here for 14 years. Israel is our home. I served in the army, I completed my undergraduate degree I’m starting my Master’s degree at the Technion university. My sister has established a family in Israel and gave birth to a sweet baby named Michael this year. We are good citizens who contribute to and love the state,” he emphasized in his Facebook post.


In a direct appeal to Interior Minister Arye Deri, Boris wrote: “Is procedure stronger than the love between a mother and her children? Is it so easy to deport a woman whose entire life is here in the Land of Israel? I have no doubt what your answer will be and I have no doubt that you know very well what love is between a mother and her children.  Therefore, we ask you, Minister, to work for a change that will enable our mother to live her life with the thing that is most dear to her – her family.”


When Lia reaches the age of 65, she could be eligible to request legal status in Israel according to a procedure that applies to elderly and single parents whose children are Israeli citizens. But Boris feels the age limitation is unjust and is campaigning to change it. “If they let these people in at the age of 65, why cause years of suffering by separating a family?” Boris asked in his interview with the Post.


He also opined that from an economic perspective it is illogical. “Who would take her for work at the age of 65?” he asked, noting that if she could remain here in Israel she would continue working and saving money for her retirement.


“I think from both moral and economic considerations to bring her at a younger age would be easier on both the parents and the children,” he said, noting that if she comes at 65 according to the elderly single parent regulation, her children must prove that they can support her financially.


Russian Israeli MK Ksenia Svetlova, of the Zionist Union party, has been trying to help the Levinshteins, and slammed Lia’s deportation as “outrageous. They have a clear policy that if you are not Jewish you are not entitled to stay here. I think it damages Israel’s perception of a democratic state that also takes consideration humanitarian needs – and this is clearly a humanitarian need,” she said, noting that the state should at least offer Lia the option of residency, if not of full citizenship.


Svetlova plans to send a letter to President Reuven Rivlin, calling on him to step in on the matter. “He is the last hope. He has a very large heart and should understand that this is not human, it’s not Jewish, to separate a mother from her children,” she told the Post. She noted that she deals with dozens of cases of this kind but sees no glimmer of hope for change under the current government.


“We are seeing a sharp incline toward the uncompromising ultra-Orthodox side,” she lamented opining that a reform is needed in the Interior Ministry and that “the whole procedure and attitude should change.” The Post did not receive a response to a request for comment from Interior Minister Arieh Deri’s spokesman.




                                     The Holocaust in the Third Reich  as Depicted in Hollywood Cartoons


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Popeye: Spinach fer Britain



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I can't speak for you, but my grandparents came to the United States to find a refuge from "change." They came to The United States where their basic freedoms were guaranteed by the Constitution; where they could build a future on this solid ground.

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Air France flew from the U.S. to Israel during the early 1950s. They flew Lockheed Constellations and the flying time was 20 hours.

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 Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost

By Don Canaan (Commentary)

This year marked the 34th anniversary of the return of the Sinai by Israel to Egypt--a day of mourning by many of the 2,000 settlers who settled and later were forcibly evacuated by Israeli authorities under the command of Ariel Sharon, from the seaside city of Yamit on the Mediterranean.

Yamit was former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's dream--a projected seaport and city of 250,000 founded on the Sinai sand dunes overlooking date palm trees and the blue Mediterranean--a populated buffer between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the other side of the Suez Canal.

Some alternate historians say Moses and the children of Israel passed near the site of Yamit 3,500 years ago as they wandered for 40 years through the Sinai Desert on their way to the proverbial land of milk and honey.

Since April 25, 1982 only the whine of the desert wind weaves its currents through the crevices of destroyed homes, businesses and monument--a memorial to the young men who died during the 1967 Six Day war.

Christians, Jews and Muslims died during three Arab-Israeli wars and battles that took place in the Sinai in 1956, 1967 and 1973--Egyptian and Israeli--young people who fought and died in that desolate, forsaken desert wasteland.

The modern-day chariot carrying Egyptian President Mohammed Anwar al-Sadat hugged the intermittently green coastline of Sinai on its historic mission to Jerusalem. Israelis glancing upward into the clear night sky saw merely a jet banking gently to the northwest.

Official Israeli government policy was that the settlers had to be removed and the army came and forcibly removed the remaining diehard residents. The Jerusalem Post described the scene: Apocalypse had arrived in Yamit and in the dust and noise and destruction one could wander freely. Dozens of bulldozers and giant mobile air hammers were loose in the city like a pack of predatory beasts."

April 25, 20011 marked the 29th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Yamit and Sinai and a cold peace between long-term enemies.

That gift of peace silently glided overhead as the Sabbath disappeared and the stars appeared. At 8:01 p.m. Sadat's jetliner landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and the first minutes of a then potential peace came to the Middle East.

Old enemies became new friends. The crowds roared its approval when Sadat shook hands with Moshe Dayan. A person standing nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post, said Sadat told Dayan, "Don't worry Moshe, it will be all right."

The peace treaty between the two nations was signed on March 26, 1979 and on April 25, 1982; the events that had started on a November day at Camp David came to fruition. Sinai was returned to Egypt. Yamit was bulldozed to the ground. But Anwar Sadat did not live to see that day. He had been assassinated seven months before.



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