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Arab Knesset Members and Palestinians Jointly Seek to Censure Israel at U.N.

By the Jerusalem Post

Parliamentarians from the Joint List have joined forces with the Palestinian Authority to seek United Nations censure of the Jewish State, Israel's Ambassador to the UN in New York Danny Danon charged on Sunday. "The Palestinian delegation, in cooperation with Knesset members from the Arab parties, is planning steps aimed at smearing Israel and damaging its image through incitement and lies," Danon said. He spoke after Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman met last week with UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo in New York to seek support for her party's battle against the newly approved Nation-State Law. The legislation's supporters say that it shores up Israel's identity as a Jewish state, while its opponents hold that it is racist and discriminates against the country's minorities. The Palestinian Authority already stated that it is likely to act against Israel at the UN General Assembly. Among the measures it is weighing is a text that would call for Israel's ouster from the UN. It is presumed that the US would block such a move at the UN Security Council, which has final say on the matter. Danon, however, complained to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein about the actions of the Arab parliamentarians, stating that it was part of a wider series of steps they have taken against the state "In the last two years, we have witnessed close cooperation between Knesset members and the Palestinian delegation in the UN, whose activities incite and defame against the State of Israel, and are celebrated on the international stage. "For example, MK Aida Touma-Sliman participated in a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation, and MK Ahmad Tibi participated in an anti-Israel event of the Palestine Conference on November 29. I find fault with the fact that acting Knesset members are cooperating with these initiatives and are cynically exploiting their positions as official representatives of the state to harm it in the international arena," Danon said. Edelstein said that those parliamentarians that were smearing Israel internationally received salaries and legislative assistance from the state. "Anyone who cooperates with the Palestinian Authority against Israel should ask themselves whether their rightful place is in the Palestinian or Israeli parliament," Edelstein said. Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairman MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) asked the House Committee to amend the parliament's ethical rules to impose harsh penalties on parliamentarians who act against Israel in the international arena. Some parliamentarians who oppose the Nation-State Law also severely criticized the Joint List politicians for seeking United Nations censure of the law. Zionist Union Party head Avi Gabbay said, "Joint List parliamentarians denigrate our country everywhere, and we will continue to fight this phenomenon." He noted, however, that the last person to complain about them should be Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, "who warmly shook [Palestinian leader Yassi] Arafat's hand, released 1,000 Hamas terrorists, lost to Hamas in Operation Protective Edge and brought [Hamas leader] Salah al-Arouri to the Gaza Strip." Twouma-Sliman said that the Nation-State Law "is an apartheid law" that is "reminiscent of dark and tyrannical regimes," adding that her party has not only a right "but a moral obligation" to work against such racism and discrimination. The appeal to the UN was made out of a deep belief that this law is not simply an internal Israeli affair, but rather has far-reaching negative implications for the State of Israel, the Palestinian people and any future attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, she said.

US Cuts More Than $200 Million in Aid to Palestinians

By VOA News and Israel Hayom
The Trump administration has cut more than $200 million in economic aid to the Palestinians. Administration officials said Friday the decision was made after a review of the funding for projects in the West Bank and Gaza to ensure funds are spent by U.S. national interests and provide value to the U.S. taxpayer. A senior State Department official said the agency will now direct the funds to "high-priority projects elsewhere." The official said the decision takes into account the challenges the international community faces in assisting in Gaza, where "Hamas control endangers the lives of Gaza's citizens and degrades an already dire humanitarian and economic situation." Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group that runs Gaza, seized the coastal territory in 2007 from the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority. That led to Israel and Egypt placing severe economic restrictions on the region. Israel says the economic blockade is needed to contain Hamas, a terrorist group that seeks Israel's destruction. It has greatly harmed Gaza's economy but failed to oust Hamas or ease the group's hold on power. Hamas, which doesn't recognize Israel, is negotiating through Egypt to ease the blockade in exchange for a truce to end recent hostilities. The Trump administration is expected to unveil soon a new policy that will cancel the Palestinians' demand for "right of return" for its refugees and the refugees status of most of the Palestinians classed as such by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, Hadashot News reported Saturday evening. The report said that the new policy, slated to be introduced at the beginning of September in a few phases. First, a U.S. report on the number of Palestinians to be defined as "refugees" will be published. The report is expected to declare that there are 500,000 refugees, approximately one-tenth of the UNRWA figure on the number of Palestinian refugees. The U.S. is also expected to reject the UNRWA definition of refugee status, which is inherited by the descendants of the Palestinians who left Israel in 1948, inflating the number of Palestinians classed as refugees worldwide, many of whom have never even seen the land in Israel or the Palestinian territories where their parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents lived. The rejection of the UNRWA definition of Palestinian refugeedom is also slated to include a cut off of funds the U.S. supplies to UNRWA in Judea and Samaria. Moreover, according to Hadashot News, the Trump administration plans to ask Israel to reconsider the mandate it gives the UNRWA to operate in Judea and Samaria, thus ensuring that Arab countries will not be able to take the place of the U.S. in funding the organization in those areas. Last month, some U.S. congressional representatives demanded that the State Department publicize a report detailing the precise figures on the number of Palestinians who became refugees in the 1948 War of Independence. Sources who have seen the report say that the State Department assessed that only 20,000 of the 700,000 Arab refugees who fled Palestine during the War of Independence are still alive and displaced from their homes. The report was compiled and classified during the administration of former President Barack Obama. Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said Saturday that the U.S. decision to cut more than $200 million in aid is meant to force the Palestinians to abandon their claim to Jerusalem. Nabil Abu Rdeneh told The Associated Press the move is part of continuing political and financial pressure on the Palestinian leadership. He said the Americans must be fully aware that there will be no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians were outraged by President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and his moving of the U.S embassy there in May. One main issue the U.S. has had with support for the Palestinian Authority had been the stipends paid to the families of Palestinians killed, injured or jailed for attacks on Israel. Israel and the Trump administration, have repeatedly demanded that those payments from a so-called ``martyrs' fund'' be halted because they encourage terrorism. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to do so. However, several former U.S. officials said that cutting back aid money to the Palestinians would only strengthen Abbas' more radical rivals in the militant Hamas movement that rules Gaza. "The U.S. is ceding space to Hamas in Gaza," tweeted Dave Harden, until recently the USAID director in the Palestinian territories. "No security professional recommends an aid cut off in Gaza. None."

Lithuania Admits its Citizens Murdered Jews during Holocaust

By Israel Hayom

The government of Lithuania has officially accepted responsibility for the mass murders of Jews Lithuanian citizens carried out during the Holocaust, according to a document obtained by Israel Hayom. The document states that 95% of the Jews in Lithuania at the time of the Holocaust were killed and called the deaths "a great tragedy for the Lithuanian state and society….It is regrettable that Lithuanian civilians were personally involved in the mass killings organized by the Nazis," the document reads. The document was written and disseminated ahead of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's historic visit to Lithuania last week, the first by an Israeli prime minister, and in response to criticism by Jewish organizations such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center that Lithuania sweeps the murder of Jews by its citizens under the rug. On Friday, Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, participated in a memorial ceremony for the 70,000 Jews of Vilnius who perished during the Holocaust. Lithuanian Prime Minister Sabulous Skvernelis; Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius; and chairwoman of the Jewish community in Lithuania Fania Kukliansky were all in attendance. Speaking at the event, Netanyahu said, "An unpardonable crime was committed here. 70,000 Jews were murdered in cold blood by the Nazis and their collaborators. Altogether, 200,000 Jews were murdered here and in other places in Lithuania. "Standing here today we remember all those who perished and all that was destroyed. … We also salute the heroism of those Lithuanians who, unlike collaborators, risked their own lives … and they saved many Jews. We will always honor their memory," Netanyahu said. Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum archivists have found some 26,000 previously unknown identification cards belonging to Jewish citizens in the national archives in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania. The cards represent about two-thirds of the Jewish population in the city before the Second World War. They were found as part of a wide-ranging effort to locate any documentation of Jewish heritage in the former Soviet Union and Baltic region. The cards were kept with a collection of all ID cards issued by the local population authority in Kauna, to Jews and non-Jews, from 1920 to 1940. Each resident received a copy of their card, while the local authorities kept the original for internal use. The identification cards contain personal information, including first and last name, father's name, date of birth, profession, nationality (Lithuanian or Jewish) and a photograph and signature of the resident. The cards were moved during the war and returned to the city's archives following liberation. These new records will provide information about Jews who were killed in the Holocaust and their stories lost.

Rabbi Denounces WhatsApp: 'Destroying the World'

By IsraelNationalNews.com
Yeshivat Kisei Rahamim head Rabbi Meir Mazuz strongly criticized WhatsApp users and said the app "destroys the world…. One should take things upon oneself for Rosh Hashanah; for example, to throw away the bad devices. There could be a simple phone that so to speak is fine, but it has WhatsApp, and this WhatsApp is destroying the world," said Mazuz during his weekly shiur, as quoted by Hadrei Haredim. He later spoke of a case where a man from Netivot divorced his wife for someone he met on the app. "Let him not think that the world is devoid of justice; the world is not devoid of justice. The children are miserable; one week here, one week there... he tore them up ... So what have we gained from all these devices?" pleaded Mazuz. "Once people used to be happy ... A person thinks he's 'advanced', they're not advanced, and they walk in darkness. They tear up their families and their children forever, so you have to stay away from it. Even a person who requires it for his work should use only the minimum. If it's possible to do without it - it's preferable. I gain nothing from all this; I have a phone like my father's fathers did, a phone where you say 'hello?' with no 'voicemail' or anything," he added.

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