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Officials: 'There Are 15 Terror Tunnels Under Gaza Border'

By IsraelNationalNews.com

Israel's State Comptroller will release the report on Operation Protective Edge on Tuesday, two and a half years after the conflict. Senior officials in the Security Cabinet and elsewhere said Sunday that Hamas currently has at least 15 attack tunnels, and their remarks raised questions about the efficacy of the operation's achievements as declared by the political and security establishment following the 50-day conflict.

According to a report by Channel 2, officials said that Hamas currently has attack tunnels which cross under the border from Gaza into Israel. The IDF had announced at the end of Operation Protective Edge that it had destroyed all attack tunnels. These may, however, be tunnels built after the operation, as Hamas diverts cement allowed into Gaza for civilian reconstruction and uses it to build tunnels.

There have been a significant number of accidents in the tunnels, causing speculation about whether Israel has developed methods to cause tunnels to collapse, and what those suspected methods might be. Speculations run from man-made tremors to lower grade cement. The government has not answered questions on the subject.


Israeli Minister Discusses Eliminating Hamas with Robots

By YnetNews.com

Minister Ayoob Kara spoke at a Be'er Sheva cultural event about a "robot that will eliminate the heads of Hamas and (Hamas leader) Hassan Nasrallah" without endangering soldiers in hostile territories.

"After what happened in Lebanon and Gaza I don't want to send soldiers," Kara said. "There are technological surprises on the way. Among other things, I can send a robot to Gaza that will fight all the heads of Hamas. It will identify them from afar and fight them from within."

To answer the interviewer what did he mean by that, he requested, "Don't ask me where I get my information from," adding, "I'm talking about a robot that is operated beyond the border and locates people with long distance radar targets. It cannot be destroyed, it can only destroy."

Intrigued, the interviewer asked what happened if it was shot. "It doesn't damage it because it (the robot) is made from special material," the minister responded. "It can then go down tunnels and chase after those rats and eliminate them. It doesn't go back without eliminating them."

Surprised to hear all of that, the interviewer asked Kara "Isn't that science fiction?" to which Kara responded "If we would have asked about drones several years ago, would we have believed that it was possible?"


After that Kara elaborated, "Shimon Peres was a fan of mine. He spoke to me before he passed… we spoke about this subject. Since he was an extraordinary man and a confidant, he told me where it was being made in the US. It's a matter of two to three years (before being ready). The robot to eliminate Nasrallah and the heads of Hamas is on its way. No need to send soldiers there."


WZO: 'Jews are Taking Down Their Mezuzahs for Fear of Anti-Semitism'

By IsraelNationalNews.com & JTA

Swastikas and other anti-Semitic elements have been drawn on vehicles, playgrounds and school walls in New York City. The NYPD launched an investigation, but Yaakov Hagoel, the vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization and Head of the Department for Activities in Israel & Countering Anti-Semitism, attempted to discover what could lead to the rise of so many anti-Semitic incidents in a major American city like New York.

"This process has been underway for the last 10 years. Each year there are more anti-Semitic incidents around the world. Each year is even more difficult than the previous one. It happens all over the world and the US, and is part of a global process," Hagoel said.

"We're trying to figure out why. There have been major economic problems in the world over the past decade. There are problems with immigrants who come from majority Muslim countries. And there is the combination of classic anti-Semitism which brings about hatred of Jews from the traditional Christian religious motives and which joins with the modern anti-Semitism of Muslims who express hatred of the Jews and the State of Israel."

He said that the US has less anti-Semitism than Europe, "but the trend of increasing anti-Semitism is the same." Hagoel praised President Donald Trump's condemnation of recent anti-Semitic incidents in the US. "There is no doubt that the trend is global, but should also look on the bright side. The US government responded; President Trump spoke about the need to counter anti-Semitism. This should not be taken for granted.

"We don't see many world leaders putting their cards on the table and saying things clearly. In this matter there should be zero tolerance," he added, praising US Vice President Mike Pence for personally helping to restore a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis where nearly 200 headstones were knocked down.

According to Hagoel, the act of restoring the cemetery is important in a time when Jews are afraid to appear Jewish. "One of the problems is the way again Jews respond, and the response is not good. Today, many Jews do not walk around with Jewish symbols out of fear. In many homes in Europe they have taken down the mezuzahs or moved them inside of the house, because they have such fear of just being [known to be] Jewish."

He said that the WZO and the Israeli government must combat this trend by working to strengthen Jewish identity in the communities of the Diaspora in addition to encouraging Aliyah. Otherwise "the result will be assimilation."

In several related events, Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum has called on online retailer Amazon to remove books that deny the Holocaust from its websites. Dr. Robert Rozett, director of the Yad Vashem Libraries, sent an email to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, requesting that he immediately remove the books from the sites.

"It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers' reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein," Rozett wrote in the letter, the Jerusalem Post first reported.

"Once again, given the presence of anti-Semitism around the globe, which has become more prevalent in recent years, we strongly urge you to remove books that deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust from your store," the letter said.

Amazon has removed books that deny the Holocaust from online stores in countries where Holocaust denial is illegal, but they remain available in the United States and the United Kingdom. Among the books still available on Amazon's U.S. and U.K. online stores are "Did Six Million Really Die?" by Richard Harwood; "The Six Million: Fact or Fiction?" and "The Myth of the Extermination of the Jews."

And in Philadelphia, vandalism at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery was discovered on Sunday. The damage was found across the entire cemetery with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of headstones affected, the local ABC affiliate WPVI reported. The discovery comes nearly a week after over 150 headstones were discovered overturned and damaged at the Chesed Shel Emeth Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. It is not known who committed the vandalism or if the motive was anti-Semitism.

Israel's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emanuel Nahshon in a statement called the cemetery vandalism in Philadelphia "shocking and a source of worry," and noted that Israel has "full confidence in U.S. authorities to catch and punish culprits. Evil and hatred must be stopped. Now," the statement concluded, in the first such direct address to the U.S. government since the beginning of the Trump administration a little over a month ago.

At the Rhode Island School of Design, a swastika made with human feces was found in a dormitory bathroom, The existence of the swastika was confirmed by the school on Thursday, but reportedly was discovered a week ago. It was discovered in a gender-neutral bathroom, according to reports. The incident is being investigated as an act of vandalism and a potential hate crime, Rhode Island Public Radio reported.


A Rabbi in Iran—the Neturei Karta's Fight Against Israel

By YnetNews.com

The two-day Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada held last Tuesday and Wednesday in the Iranian capital of Tehran was a great opportunity to spout anti-Israel rhetoric for opponents to the Jewish state, including for a select few ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Among the 80 delegations participating in the pro-Palestinian conference held every four years were representatives of Neturei Karta, a radical Haredi group that opposes Zionism and call for a dismantling of the State of Israel, believing that Jews are forbidden to have their own state until the coming of the Jewish messiah, therefore regarding the existence of Israel as provocation and rebellion against God.

Among the suits and the keffiyehs, as an anti-Zionist among equals, was Neturei Karta spokesman Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss, wearing traditional Haredi clothing and a scarf adorned with the Palestinian flag. A scion of a famous family in anti-Zionist circles, Weiss listened intently to one of the most vitriolic speeches heard lately against Israel by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called the Jewish state "a fake country" and a "dirty chapter" in history, claiming it is a "cancerous tumor" that must be dealt with "step by step" until "the full liberation of Palestine."

In the past, Weiss and other followers of the Neturei Karta group have met with Iran's former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after his denunciation of Israel in his speech to the UN. At the time, Weiss claimed, "We know that he (Ahmadinejad) is not the enemy of the Jews and that he has a Jewish community in his country that he respect, defends and even supports."

On the criticism against him that followed the publication of his photographs with people widely known to defame Israel, Weiss explained that "Iran's leader is not against the Jews, but against the Zionist regime," even accusing that "for centuries, God has told us that the Bible is our protection and that the Zionist leadership, for its heresy and deviation from the ways of God, ignores the warnings written in it, which could bring catastrophe on the Jewish people as we can even see today. That is what we are against."

Centered in New York and London, the Neturei Karta group is comprised of only several hundred across the globe, yet, even so manages to be split in its members' opinion of Weiss and his faction. His objectors believe that one should not cross the line between a conceptual objection to Israel's existence and an open support (albeit vicarious) in the armed fight against it and the killing of Jews.

The dispersed group's roots are planted deep in the anti-Zionist ideology of the Satmar Hasidic sect, which openly opposes the state of Israel. This ideology is based in the opinion of its founder, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, that according to the Bible, one should not rebel against the nations of the world or force the salvation of the Jewish people. His conclusion was that the Zionist movement and the establishment of the Jewish state was a violation of the Jewish people's oath to God.

The standard-bearers of this ideology are the Orthodox Council of Jerusalem, a radical anti-Zionist group and a minority in the Haredi community. Its people do not acknowledge the state of Israel, refuse to receive any state funding from the Israeli authorities or to endorse voting in the elections, and don't use state services.

Its members often engage in violent demonstrations against Sabbath desecration, autopsies, or archaeological excavations, which they all regard as sins, and are noted for their poverty and extreme religious strictness and strong opposition to the state, which they see as "fake" and causing ideological and educational confusion and as an entity that must be eliminated.

Some of the group's members even show sympathy towards radical Islamists, who they believe have similar interests to theirs. In their eyes, Israel's international standing, the threats to its existence and its many enemies are all proof that the oath to God should not have been broken and that Israel should not have been established. They see that as the reason for the world's aggression towards the Jews, not anti-Semitism.

Naturally then, they believe that the Holocaust is the proof that the establishment of Israel was a rebellion, one the UN surrendered to following the results of the war. A belief clearly showed in the graffiti they sprayed at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in 2012, which called the Holocaust a "Zionist interest."

Even though the Satmars' interpretation is widely disputed, their anti-Zionist outlook has also influenced the main Haredi movement and all its factions. This main movement's dissimilation is mainly from the state's symbols: It doesn't recognize the state's national holidays, and its representatives in the Knesset (United Torah Judaism) had kept from taking ministerial positions for years and acted as deputy minister with ministerial authorities until the High Court invalidated this practice.

Another resemblance between the different Haredi factions is their contempt for the Religious Zionist movement, which praise the State of Israel and see it as a fundamental step towards salvation and the coming of the messiah. The consensus within the Haredi public, among both the anti-Zionists and the moderates, is that the Religious Zionists' worldview made them lose their minds, to the point that they can't even see the state's faults.

Today, the Haredi movement expresses their beliefs not with aggression towards the state, but by an indifference towards it: Patriotism is nonexistent, IDF recruitment rates are extremely low and if they are abroad they most likely will not immigrate to Israel.


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