Newsletter : 20fx0514.txt
| Previous file
| Next file
Pompeo Urges Israel to Go Slow on West Bank Annexation
By VOA News, DEBKAfile and United with Israel
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is urging Israel not to rush into plans to annex
parts of the West Bank a move that opponents say would destroy the chances for
lasting peace. Pompeo was in Israel for eight hours on Wednesday for talks with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The guest and hosts chose to forego handshakes and face masks
although they kept their distance while conversing.
Speaking to the Israel Hayom newspaper, Pompeo said he told Israeli leaders to "consider
all factors" in their annexation plans and the "many other issues related to it how
to deal with all the factors involved, and how to make sure the move is done properly to
bring about an outcome in accordance with the vision of peace."
Israel wants to annex about 30% of the West Bank. It regained its historical territory in
the 1967 Six-Day War and has occupied it ever since. The Palestinians want the West Bank
for a future state. The European Union is among those who say an Israeli annexation, which
would include the Jewish settlements, would not only wreck the chances of negotiating a
lasting peace, it would also light the fuse of even more violence.
A U.S. embassy spokesman in Jerusalem said last week that the U.S. backs Israel's
annexation plan, but only as part of the Middle East peace plan that President Donald
Trump unveiled in January. That plans calls for an eventual Palestinian state in part of
the West Bank.
Netanyahu said the new coalition government that will take power Thursday is "an
opportunity to promote peace and security, based on the understandings I reached with the
president on my last visit to Washington, in January." Under the unity deal, Netanyahu
will remain prime minister, and opposition leader Benny Gantz will be the "alternate prime
minister" for the next 18 months before they switch roles.
Pompeo and Netanyahu also discussed efforts to fight the coronavirus and what the prime
minister called another "plague in our region: Iranian aggression and terrorism."
Netanyahu said he wanted to thank the U.S. for pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal with
Iran and keeping up the sanctions.
Expressing his condolences for the IDF soldier killed on Tuesday morning in a Palestinian
rock attack, Pompeo said, "It reminds us of all of the importance of making sure that
people all across the world know that Israel has the right to defend itself [and] that
America will consistently support you in that effort."
As part of their joint remarks before Netanyahu and Pompeo met, the Israeli prime minister
noted that second on the meeting agenda, after the corona crisis, would be "something else
plaguing our region unremitting Iranian aggression and terror." Pompeo also noted
the two-year anniversary of the move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
"Much has happened since then, and much in our relationship has continued to grow in those
24 months, as well," he said, adding, "I want to thank you [Netanyahu] for that,
personally, in making that happen. It's important for America; it's important for Israel;
it's important for democracies across the world."
For some time, the Trump administration has frowned on deepening Chinese investment in
Israeli utilities and infrastructure. Pompeo chose to emphasize this point in is talks on
Wednesday. In an interview with Israel National Radio before flying out, said: "We don't
want the Chinese Communist party to have access to Israeli infrastructure and its
communications systems or anything that places Israelis in danger and therefore
jeopardizes US ability to work with Israel on important joint projects. We consider the
dangers to be very real and have shared concrete information on the subject so that you
can make your own decisions."
Touting "Israeli technology and Israeli medical expertise" and the possibility for
cooperation between the US and Israel to save lives, Pompeo added in a dig against China:
"You're a great partner, you share information, unlike other countries that obfuscate and
try to hide that information."
Poll: Majority of Palestinians Support 3rd Intifada
By World Israel News
A new poll shows a majority of Palestinians support a third intifada. The poll, conducted
in February by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, found 64% of 1,270
Palestinian adults living across Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip support a new intifada
against Israel to stop the implementation of President Donald Trump's Middle East peace
plan. Support for a new intifada was highest in the Gaza Strip (81.2%) compared to Judea
and Samaria (52.8%).
With regard to expectations of what will actually happen as a response to the U.S. peace
plan, 61% expect to see a return to an intifada, 74% expect to see peaceful
demonstrations, 66% expect that the Palestinian Authority will wage a diplomatic campaign
against Israel in the international community, and 51% expect the status quo to continue
without any major changes. With regard to the PA resuming direct communication with the
Trump administration, 76% voted against it and 11% were in favor.
Official contact between the PA and the U.S. was suspended by PA President Mahmoud Abbas
in December 2017 after Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Sixty-percent
of those polled think Trump deliberately wanted the Palestinians to reject his Mideast
peace plan so that Israel can annex the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, while 34%
think he expected the Palestinians to fold easily under pressure. Meanwhile, 49% of the
poll participants believe the most vital Palestinian goal should be to end Israeli
"occupation" in Judea and Samaria and build a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as
`Virus of Hate': Anti-Semitic Rhetoric Links Israel and Jews to Corona Outbreak
By World Israel News
Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs published a new report "The Virus of Hate"
detailing recent anti-Semitic rhetoric linking Israel and Jews to the coronavirus. The
report highlights, through detailed examples, the common anti-Semitic coronavirus motif
and libels shared by both "classic anti-Semitism" against Jews and "new anti-Semitism"
against the State of Israel.
According to the report, classic anti-Semitism is "consistent with the centuries-old
tradition blood libels against Jews, including for spreading viruses and plague. This
anti-Semitism is perpetrated by the radical right in the North America and Europe and, to
a minor extent, by the general public and the radical left."
New anti-Semitism is "consistent with the campaign to delegitimize Israel. This
anti-Semitism is perpetrated by governments and quasi-governmental actors, terror
organizations and civil society, specifically: Iran, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and
the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement."
The report points out that "the leaders of the BDS movement and the delegitimization
campaign against Israel have insisted that their anti-Zionist and anti-Israel rhetoric was
not anti-Semitic, but rather, legitimate political criticism. Now, however, the current
wave of hateful rhetoric relating to the coronavirus demonstrates simply and clearly how
both classic anti-Semites on the far right and far left Israel delegitimizers, including
BDS, are using a common anti-Semitic motif and libel."
According to the report, this common motif is the equation of Jews and/or Israel to the
coronavirus with the libel that Jews and/or Israel are using or spreading the virus for
political or economic gain. The report quotes U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat
Antisemitism Elan Carr, who says that "anti-Semitism, in order to remain relevant, always
adapts to current events." The current coronavirus outbreak has provided a perfect "test
case," says the report, for observing how the new anti-Semitism of the BDS movement is
really just a modern adaptation of the same old hate.
Bosnian Catholic Cardinal Plans to Honor Nazi Collaborators in Memorial Service
Bosnia's most senior Catholic clergyman plans to host a memorial service on Saturday
for Croatian civilians and soldiers of the Nazi-allied Ustasha forces, the Dnevni Avaz
daily reported. Jews in Bosnia and Israel's embassy to that Balkan nation are protesting
the plan, titled "Mass for Bleiburg," and to be held at Sarajevo's Heart of Jesus
Members of the Croat pro-Nazi Ustasha militia committed some of the goriest anti-Semitic
murders documented in World War II. In May 1945, partisans killed tens of thousands of
Ustasha soldiers and supporters who had fled to the Bleiburg environs in Austria, as the
Allies progressed on Adolf Hitler's Germany and its allies.
In recent years, commemorations of Nazi collaborators, including state and church
officials, have become commonplace in Eastern Europe, where many regard them as patriots
who fought Russian Soviet domination. Many of the partisans, who were armed by the Soviet
Union, were communists. The Ustasha also murdered thousands of Serbs.
The Jewish Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a nonprofit representing local Jews, in a
statement Sunday called the planned Mass a "memorial service for criminals responsible for
the suffering of Sarajevans." The Israeli Embassy in Tirana, Albania, wrote in a rare
rebuke: "We join the call of many leaders and of the Jewish community to the Catholic
church to reconsider their initiative."
High Alert: Israel Locked and Loaded for Iranian Cyber Attacks
By United with Israel
The National Cyber Directorate (INCD) issued a warning on Wednesday for Israelis to be
prepared for expected cyber-attacks by Iran and other anti-Israel activists in the coming
weeks. The INCD said that as part of the annual Iranian organized "Quds Day" (Jerusalem
Day) when Iranian hackers and anti-Israel activists attempt to coordinate cyber-attacks
The annual Quds Day protests call for the destruction of the State of Israel and are also
held in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere, occurring on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month
of Ramadan. Iran has marked Quds Day since the start of its 1979 Islamic Revolution by the
late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and the Iranian regime uses the day as an annual
opportunity to gather crowds for mass "death to Israel" and "death to America" chants. The
malicious cyber activity is expected to take place this year between May 14-22 with the
goal of trying to damage Israel. From previous experience, the INCD expects hackers to
focus on corrupting and overloading Israeli websites, disseminating propaganda messages on
various platforms, and swamping phone centers.
"In general the main purpose of these groups is to produce media echoes and create panic
and fear through captivating imagery and slogans," Lavi Stockhammer, an official with the
INCD, told Israel Defense magazine. "Although these are not sophisticated attacks and
their success is limited each year, the increased reliance on technology due to the
coronavirus crisis has created a widespread attack surface that may also be exploited by
hackers, therefore, organizations must always be prepared for any scenario," he said.
Officials warned the public to be extra vigilant and suspicious during this period when
using digital space and avoiding clicking on links, opening suspicious attachments to
e-mails and providing personal information online. Recent hacking attempts include sending
SMS messages disguised as Israel Ministry of Health updates or bank messages with a link
to click on.
The INCD also reported a possible new computer virus called the "corona virus" with
hackers taking advantage of the huge discourse surrounding the corona crisis to try to
create malware using the same name. Israeli defensive measures include a national hotline
to report suspected cyber-attacks.
Israeli Researchers Create First 1-Minute Coronavirus Test
By United with Israel
On Wednesday, Israeli researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev announced
they created a new coronavirus test that generates results in one minute. The test
analyzes samples taken from nasal swabs or breath to flag those infected with the
coronavirus, the Times of Israel reported. As of Wednesday, the coronavirus had claimed
the lives of close to 300,000 people worldwide, including 262 Israelis
The Israeli one-minute test relies on a microchip to pick up the virus' effect on
biological material in the samples. "The system then analyzes the biological sample and
provides an accurate positive/negative result within a minute via a cloud-connected
system," the Times reported, quoting a statement from BGU. "The point-of-care device
automatically backs up the results into a database that can be shared by authorities,
making it easier than ever to track the course of the virus, as well as triage and treat
patients," the statement added.
Central Council of Jews in Germany Launches `Meet a Jew' Project
The Central Council of Jews in Germany has launched a "Meet a Jew" project designed to
increase contact between Germans and the country's Jews, who make up 0.2% of the
population. One of the project's over 300 Jewish volunteers from different denominational
backgrounds are paired with Germans to talk about their lives, usually in a classroom
setting. The topics can range from discussions of school life to whether or not they
observe the Sabbath, and they often touch on personal experiences with anti-Semitism.
"We realized a lot of people in Germany don't know Jewish people in person," project
coordinator Mascha Schmerling said. "The knowledge that they have about Jews comes from
history books, from school, or it's connected to the Shoah or current anti-Semitism or
sometimes through the policies of Israel."
The project is supported by the German Ministry of Family Affairs and Women. It's not
affiliated with the "Meet a Jew, Make a Friend" project that debuted in New York earlier
this year. "Our idea is really to introduce modern-day Jewish life, and to give Jewish
people a face and a voice," Schmerling said.
Lina Roisenwasser, 30, is a doctor in gynecology and obstetrics based in Berlin. She
joined an earlier version of the project, called "Rent a Jew," while studying in Mainz. "I
just think it's important that we talk to each other and that they're not just talking
about us as victims in history bookings, like we're just a chapter in German history," she
said. "I think it's important that we show that we belong to the country now. We are part
of society. We are living."
(All material on these web pages is © 2001-2012
by Electronic World Communications, Inc.)