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Report: Trump's Mideast Plan Proposes Palestinian State in West Bank

By Reuters & the Jerusalem Post

Israeli television said on Wednesday that President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan would propose a Palestinian state on 85%-90% of the West Bank, with a capital in East Jerusalem, but not including its holy sites. The Trump administration has said publication of the plan, kept closely under wraps, could be months away, and cautioned against speculation about its contents. Citing what it said was a source briefed by the Americans, Reshet 13 TV said the plan would entail Israel annexing Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank while isolated settlements would either be evacuated or their construction halted. Trump wants the proposed Israeli moves to be supplemented by territorial swaps with the Palestinians, and for East Jerusalem's walled Old City to be under Israeli sovereignty but with the joint management of the Palestinians and Jordan, the report said. It said that "most Arab neighborhoods" in East Jerusalem would be under Palestinian sovereignty as a future capital. Israel calls all of Jerusalem its "eternal and undivided capital," a status not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City, as the capital of a future state. The report made no mention of the fate of Palestinian refugees, another core dispute in the decades-old conflict, or of how the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas Islamists opposed to peace with Israel, might fit into the plan. Israeli and Palestinian officials did not immediately respond to the Reshet 13 report. A senior White House official said only: "As in the past, speculation with regards to the content of the plan is not accurate." Trump's "deal of the century," is expected to be rolled out after the elections on April 9 according to a Channel 13 News report. The report, based on a source who took part in a briefing in Washington on the plan by a senior American official, said it calls for the annexation of the large settlements and the evacuation of settlement outposts deemed illegal under Israeli law. The report said that the White House expectation was for the Palestinians to reject the plan when it is presented, but for Israel to give a positive response. The Palestinians, who have cut off ties with the US, have said that they would reject any plan Trump would put forward. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank, proposing that Israel keep 6.3% of Judea and Samaria to incorporate the large settlement blocs, and compensate the Palestinians with Israeli land equivalent to 5.8% of the West Bank. He also proposed putting the Old City and the holy sites under international control. The Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday that "any peace plan that does not include an independent Palestinian state - with all of East Jerusalem as its capital - on the 1967 borders, is destined to fail." The PA was responding to the report on Channel 13 News. Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for the PA presidency in Ramallah, said that the "rumors and leaks about the deal of the century, as well as ongoing attempts to find regional and international parties that would cooperate with this plan, are failed attempts that will reach a dead end." Any proposals pertaining to the political process, he said, should be based on international resolutions and the principle of the two-state solution.??

Tehran Nearly Captured Mossad Agents that Stole Iran's Nuclear Files

By World Israel News

Mossad operatives, who made off with 55,000 documents exposing Iran's secret plans to develop atomic warheads for their ballistic missiles, were nearly caught, Hadashot News reported. Another revelation in the report is that President Donald Trump was notified about the complex and dangerous operation ahead of time. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told him about it when they met at Davos, Switzerland. According to Hadashot, Israel briefed the U.S. about the operation to obtain its backing should things go south during its implementation. The stunning intelligence operation netted a total of 110,000 documents (half in digital form on compact discs). The Mossad lifted the information, weighing half-a-ton, by working between guard shifts and through the night at the "dilapidated warehouse" where they were being held and then spiriting them out of the country in a single night. "The nuclear deal is based on lies. It's based on Iranian lies and Iranian deception," Netanyahu said, revealing key elements from the secret documents in a televised presentation from the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv on April 30. Netanyahu stood in front of a large screen with images projected behind him. Next to the screen was a bookshelf containing file binders and next to that a display case with CDs. Just over a week later, Trump announced he was exiting the Iran deal. Trump referred to the evidence obtained by Israel in his address declaring his intention to put a stop to a deal he said he intended to leave while still on the campaign trail.

No Bones Found in Danube Sweep for Holocaust Victims' Remains

By JTA

A sonar scan of the bottom of the Danube River in Budapest revealed no human remains, a local rabbi who initiated the search for the bodies of Holocaust victims said. Volunteers for ZAKA, an Orthodox Jewish group that is based in Israel and provides emergency services as well as collection of human remains for burial, operated the sonar from the river banks on Tuesday, Slomo Koves, the head of the Chabad-affiliated EMIH Jewish federation of Hungary, told JTA, adding that the team operating the sonar will be back next month for another scan. In 2011, human remains were discovered during construction work on a bridge overlooking the Danube. DNA tests run on the bones in August 2015 found that at least nine of the 15 samples were Ashkenazi Jews from Europe and that six others could also be. In 1944-1945, Hungarian Nazi-collaborators from the Arrow Cross shot thousands of Jews on the banks of the Danube. These murders are at the heart of an ongoing and polarizing debate in Hungary about how government-led and other commemoration efforts should address the issue of complicity. The Mazsihisz Jewish federation has accused the government of whitewashing this complicity, though EMIH has disputed this. "Whether this is controversial or not is really not an issue," Koves said of his group's efforts to bring to burial Arrow Cross victims. "The only thing that matters is the major mitzvah of bringing the victims to burial." He said the government was helpful in obtaining permits for the searches.

Jewish-American Businessman, a 9/11 Survivor, Among 21 Killed in Nairobi Terrorist Attack

By JTA & AFP

Jason Spindler, a Jewish American whose life was changed when he survived the 9/11 attack in New York in 2001, was killed in a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. He was in a meeting when terrorists burst into the office and opened fire. The assault with guns and explosives claimed the lives of 21 people as it unfolded Tuesday in the complex, which includes a 101-room hotel, spa, restaurant and offices. All five of the terrorists were killed before an operation by rescue forces to rescue trapped civilians and clear buildings ended 20 hours later. The Al-Shabaab statement was entitled: "Al-Quds (Jerusalem) will never be Judaized," according to SITE. The shooting attack, claimed by the Somali Islamist terrorist group Al Shabab, claimed 21 lives. Shabab said it was motivated in part to commit the attack by President Donald Trump's recognition in 2017 of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Spindler, a young investment banker in 2001, helped save lives in New York on 9/11, friends told The Washington Post. The experience led Spindler to leave investment banking, earn a law degree from New York University and join the Peace Corps. He was in Kenya as a social entrepreneur, helping others start small businesses as a means of alleviating poverty. An avid climber, he maintained a goofy sense of humor: In November, on Facebook, he posted a picture of the Finger Board Room in his Houston hometown synagogue, Beth Israel, and captioned it "Synagogue or climbing gym #badclimbingjokes." Spindler's Houston-based family was flying to Kenya to retrieve his body and would hold a funeral service for him on Monday on what would have been his 41st birthday. His brother, Jonathan, confirmed the family's tragedy via Facebook. "It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my brother, Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Jason was a survivor of 9-11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell!" Jonathan's post read.

South Florida Jewish Politician Says Rep. Rashida Tlaib Might `Blow up Capitol Hill'

By JTA

A Jewish politician in South Florida suggested that Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American who just entered Congress, might "blow up Capitol Hill." Anabelle Lima-Taub, a Hallandale Beach commissioner since 2016, also called Tlaib a "Hamas-loving anti-Semite" in a Facebook post. The post, which also included a link to an online petition to oust Tlaib from office, was removed Monday after being up for nearly a week. It drew outrage in the local and national media. Lima-Taub, a native of Israel, wrote in the post: "A Hamas-loving anti-Semite has NO place in government! She is a danger and [I] would not put it past her to become a martyr and blow up Capitol Hill." The American Jewish Committee was critical of her remarks. "We have serious disagreements with @RashidaTlaib, but this hateful rhetoric directed towards her is disgusting," AJC tweeted. "We call on the Broward County Commission to take appropriate action against the commissioner in question." Her commissioner colleagues condemned the post but did not call to discipline the junior commissioner. Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, has called for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a reduction in foreign aid to Israel. This month, she suggested that backers of a series of pro-Israel bills "forgot what country they represent," raising the specter of the dual-loyalty charge. Lima-Taub was born in Haifa, and grew up in New York, according to the Hallandale Beach government website. She told the NBC Miami affiliate that she stands by her post. "I urge anyone that was offended by it, especially some of the self-righteous colleagues that I have, to research and Google BDS, Google Hamas, Google Hizbullah, look up CAIR and look up Rashida Tlaib's affiliations with these groups," Lima-Taub said.

Morgan Freeman Plays God in New Israeli Ad

By the Jerusalem Post
Morgan Freeman is playing God - again. This time the veteran actor appears in an ad campaign for Tadiran, an Israeli company that produces air conditioning units. The commercial, which began airing this week, features Freeman joking about being mistaken for the voice of God – due to his roles in Bruce Almighty and his booming, signature narration. "Believe me folks, I am NOT God," he says in the commercial. "Far from it. Except in my own home, where I can control the weather. Almost like God Himself." According to Ynet, Freeman was paid $300,000 to appear in the campaign. In a statement, Tadiran would only say that the full campaign cost millions of shekels to produce, and was filmed in Manhattan. Tadiran said Freeman has been chosen to be the company's spokesman for the next three years, as he "suited us like a glove."

But not everyone is thrilled to see the Israeli company partner up with the 81-year-old Oscar winner. Some Israeli women's groups think Tadiran should not have partnered with a man who was accused of a litany of sexual harassment allegations. Last year, eight women accused the actor of unwanted verbal and physical advances in the workplace. Several said he would regularly comment on their appearance and touch their lower back or stare at them. Freeman said while he may have used "misplaced compliments or humor" in the past, he never assaulted any women. National Geographic halted production of his documentary series, The Story of God, and then resumed several months later after its investigation found "no incidents of concern during any of our work with Mr. Freeman." But some groups are not convinced. "The decision of Tadiran to connect itself to someone who has been recently accused of more than eight allegations of sexual harassment - acts he didn't deny, but explained away with a weak apology - does not advance us as a society toward a safer future," said Miriam Zalkind, director of the Israel Women's Network's policy and legislation department. "We are sure that the public will prefer to buy its electronic items from companies that don't choose to do business with a man who acts that way towards women." Orit Sulitzeanu, the director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, pointed out that - after the allegations - Visa and Pepsi dropped Freeman from their campaigns. "It is sad that Tadrian thinks that these are the values with which they want to identify," Sulitzeanu told Ynet. "This choice is puzzling and outrageous, and conveys a disconnect from the public, an avoidance of reality and spits in the face of sexual assault victims." Tadiran did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

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