Newsletter : 18fx0703.txt
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Moscow Distorts 1974 Golan Disengagement Deal Invoked by Israel
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
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
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
Iranian General: Israel Stealing Iran's clouds
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"
"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
Jewish Leader: Over 40% of Young Germans Don't Know What Auschwitz Is
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
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
"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
Péter Kunos the executive director of the Federation of Jewish Communities in
Hungary, noted that recent surveys showed "20% of the population in Hungaryin other
words, 2 million peopleshares strong anti-Semitic sentiments, but the government is
making efforts to guarantee that the country's Jewish population will be able to live
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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