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Moscow Distorts 1974 Golan Disengagement Deal Invoked by Israel

By DEBKAfile

Russia media Sunday responded to Israel's invocation of its 1974 disengagement agreement with Syria – to accommodate Syrian refugees – by misreading it as meaning: "Israel wants only pro-Assad troops to enter the conflict zone near Israel's de facto northern border and take control over it at the border." DEBKAfile: The historic 1974 agreement mandated Syria's military withdrawal from the disengagement zone; it was not a license to cross in, as the Russians are pretending. Moscow hides the fact that both signatories, Israel and Syria, agreed that the only force permitted to enter the zone is UNDOF and this deal held up for decades until the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. Moscow, moreover, chooses to pretend that Israel's northern border is only "de facto."

Syrian Rebels of Tafas Go Over to ISIS, Spark Battles Closer to Quneitra

By DEBKAfile

Heavy fighting erupted early Monday, July 2, in the southern Syrian town of Tafas. A rebel group suddenly joined ISIS's local faction, the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, and sparking fresh clashes with Russian-backed Syrian and Hizbullah forces. DEBKAfile's sources note that it has added a new complication to the negotiations being conducted non-stop among the US, Russia, Israel, Jordan and the Assad regime in an effort to stem the warfare before it reaches the Israeli and Jordan borders of southwest Syria. As of Monday morning, the talks centered on a Russian proposal for the rebels to hand over their heavy and medium weapons against a guarantee that the Syrian army will stay out of their terrain. The rebels will be allowed to remain in charge of the local government offices they established in the war years, but the Russians insist on Assad regime civilian officials coming in to conduct daily affairs, including water and food supplies. Russian officers will oversee the transition process. In their parallel negotiations with Israel, the Russians are stressing that these arrangements, if agreed on for the Daraa region on Jordan's border, will be the model for Quneitra opposite Israel's Golan. Tafas lies northwest of Daraa and south of Nawa, which was the source of a major refugee exit to the Israel border over the weekend. The clash in Tafas, therefore, brings the battlefield closer to the Israeli border. The Russian brokers had counted on this town of 100,000 becoming the first important venue for their ceasefire-cum-surrender deal to take effect. But it was derailed by the local rebel leaders' decision Sunday night to go over to the ISIS offshoot in preference to surrendering to Assad's army. The Khalid ibn al-Walid Army commands the Yarmuk junction of the Israeli-Jordanian borders opposite the southern Israeli Golan villages of Ne'ot Golan, Lahavot Habashan and Hamat Gader. Several thousand Syrian rebels have now augmented its estimated 2,500-3,000 fighters. The concern now is that this ramped-up fighting organization will attract more rebel groups, especially in the Quneitra region, and establish a solid new anti-Assad alliance in the southwest. This presents Israel with a dual threat: an aggressive army of fighters dedicated to ISIS rising on its Golan doorstep and a Syrian-Hizbullah assault on Quneitra for cutting them down.

Gaza Terrorists Breach Israeli Border; IDF Opens Fire, Killing One

By World Israel News

The IDF opened fire Monday afternoon on four terrorists who infiltrated the border fence separating Gaza from Israel. The four attempted to set on fire an abandoned army outpost in the southern section of Gaza. One terrorist was killed. Another was critically wounded and transported to a hospital for medical treatment. A third terrorist was captured and transferred to the custody of security forces for interrogation. No one on the Israeli side was injured. "Our forces fired at four terrorists who infiltrated the border fence and tried to set on fire an abandoned sharpshooters' tower. The terrorists were armed with cutters and flammable materials. IDF soldiers identified the terrorists and fired at them," the IDF stated.

Iranian General: Israel Stealing Iran's clouds

By AFP
An Iranian general on Monday accused Israel of manipulating weather to prevent rain over the Islamic republic, alleging his country was facing cloud "theft," before being contradicted by the nation's weather chief. "The changing climate in Iran is suspect," Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, head of Iran's Civil Defense Organisation told a press conference, semi-official ISNA news agency reported. "Foreign interference is suspected to have played a role in climate change," Jalali was quoted as saying, insisting results from an Iranian scientific study "confirm" the claim. "Israel and another country in the region have joint teams which work to ensure clouds entering Iranian skies are unable to release rain," he said. "On top of that, we are facing the issue of cloud and snow theft", Jalali added, citing a survey showing that above 2,200 meters all mountainous areas between Afghanistan and the Mediterranean are covered in snow, except Iran. However, Iran's meteorological service struck a skeptical note. General Jalali "probably has documents of which I am not aware, but by meteorological knowledge, it is not possible for a country to steal snow or clouds," said the head of Iran's meteorological service Ahad Vazife, quoted by ISNA. "Iran has suffered a prolonged drought, and this is a global trend that does not apply only to Iran," Vazife said. "Raising such questions not only does not solve any of our problems but will deter us from finding the right solutions," he added, in an apparent reference to Jalali's claims. The general's allegations of weather pilfering were not the first time an Iranian official has accused the country's foes of stealing its rain. Former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2011 accused Western countries of devising plans to "cause drought" in Iran, adding that "European countries used special equipment to force clouds to dump" their water on their continent.

Jewish Leader: Over 40% of Young Germans Don't Know What Auschwitz Is

By YnetNews

Jewish community directors from around the world, taking part in a World Jewish Congress meeting in Israel, say anti-Semitism is on the rise in many parts of Europe not because of government policies but because of increasing public sentiments; `We have an undemocratic community which keeps growing and voting for extremists,' said French Jewish leader. Itamar Eichner|

More than 40% percent of young Germans have no idea what Auschwitz is and 20% of Hungarians hold anti-Semitic views, Jewish leaders said this week during the annual National Community Directors' Forum of the World Jewish Congress held in Israel. According to the Jewish leaders, anti-Semitism is on the rise in many parts of Europe not because of the governments' policy, but because of feelings spreading among different parts of the public. Robert Ejnes, the executive director of CRIF, an umbrella organization of French Jewish organizations, mentioned the French government's strong support of the Jewish community. "Is France an anti-Semitic country? The answer is no," he said. "Is there anti-Semitism in France? The answer is yes. President (Emmanuel) Macron has declared that anti-Zionism is a new form of anti-Semitism. Former Presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy made strong statements on the matter too.

"We have the strongest legal system to fight anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial," Ejnes added. "Are the laws always implemented efficiently? That's a good question. In the past 20 years, 12 people have been murdered in France for being Jews. Anti-Semitic attacks make up 50% of hate crimes in the country. "We have an undemocratic community which keeps growing and voting for extremists. We aren't attacked merely because we are Jews, but also because of the values we represent. We are very concerned about the forces fighting democracy." Daniel Botmann, managing director of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, pointed at the rise of the far right and Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement as the main source of anti-Semitism. That fact, he said, along with the public's surprising ignorance on Holocaust issues, has prompted the government to take significant steps to curb anti-Semitism. "More than 40% of young Germans don't know what Auschwitz is. That's a thought-provoking situation. Good relation with the government are not enough. We have to work from the bottom, in schools, with young people, by holding a dialogue between Jews and non-Jews. We need stable relations with the civil society, because anti-Semitism is not just a Jewish problem. Anti-Semitism is anti-democratic and threatens the entire society, not just Jews." Péter Kunos the executive director of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary, noted that recent surveys showed "20% of the population in Hungary—in other words, 2 million people—shares strong anti-Semitic sentiments, but the government is making efforts to guarantee that the country's Jewish population will be able to live securely." The comments were made by members of a WJC delegation, which includes some 60 Jewish community directors from 50 countries around the world, as part of the organization's annual National Community Directors' Forum. This is the fifth time the forum convenes at the initiative of WJC CEO Robert Singer, and the first time it convened in Israel, in honor of the state's 70th anniversary.

Happy Entebbe Day

By Yakov Kirschen
On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris, carrying 247 passengers and 12 crew members, was hijacked by Palestinian Arab and German terrorists. The hijackers landed the plane at Benghazi, Libya and flew it from there to Entebbe in Uganda, 4,000 kilometers from Israel. Once in Entebbe Airport all Jews and Israelis were taken hostage while other passengers were freed. The situation seemed hopeless. Here in Israel a dark depression enveloped the country. Then, on July 4, 1976, the Israeli Government announced the incredible and amazing news of the liberation of the Jewish and Israeli hostages by IDF commandos.

Forty-two years have passed since that miraculous and mind-blowing day, but for me, and I am sure, for many others, the "Fourth of July" will always be "Entebbe Day."


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