27 Shevat 5778
12 February 2018
Fantastic Quotes from the International Jurists’ Conference in Jerusalem yesterday:
“The words of Omar Barghouti and the BDS movement are the same rhetoric used by the Nazis. Last week, I decided that the Frankfurt municipality would no longer do business with banks that run BDS accounts; we are an economic capital in Europe, and I hope that this step will lead other banks to follow us.”
Eva Becker, Mayor of Frankfurt, Germany
“Calling for a boycott is a means of coercion and not persuasion. It does not serve the basic principles of democracy, but rather undermines them by preventing free exchange of ideas and ideas. As such, it does not deserve the constitutional protection of other forms of political expression.
Esther Hayut, Chief Justice of the Israel Supreme Court, speaking about why she supports the Israel anti-BDS law which permits individuals and institutions to sue entities that publicly call for a BDS boycott of Israel.
“We, jurists from around the world from 24 countries, spanning six continents, have gathered in Jerusalem as a legal network to combat delegitimization against the State of Israel.”
The joint closing statement from the more than 200 attendees to the conference.
The News on the Israel Street
Palestinian terror in the last 24 hours . . .
More than 30 Palestinian terror attacks were reported yesterday to Rescue Judea and Samaria, rotter, and hakolhayehudi.
Some of those attacks were carried out by Palestinian terrorists at Hizma, Hevron (various locations), Mount Hevron, Ma’aleh Shemesh, Tekoa, Kochav HaShahar, Halhul, Givat Ronen, Kiryat Arba, Itamar, Hawara, Budrus, Al-Fawwar, Turmusayya, Qalqilya, Silwan, and Qalandiya.
More on the bombing of Syrian and Iranian positions two days ago . . .
The head of the IAF is calling the attack on Syria “a phenomenal success.”
*Israel now estimates that half of all Syrian air defenses were destroyed.
*Israel believes that 12 strategic Syrian and Iranian military positions were virtually destroyed (8 Syrian, 4 Iranian).
*Various international media put the number of Iranian and Syrian soldiers killed at somewhere between 30-100.
More on the downed F16I Israeli jet . . .
According to the pilot and navigator of the jet, their plane was not hit directly by a missile–but by shrapnel from a missile that exploded nearby. That shrapnel made the plane impossible to fly and necessitated their ejection.
Meanwhile, the IAF said yesterday that it supports the decision to evacuate the plane, but is continuing to look at “pilot error” as the underlying cause of the crash believing that the pilot and navigator may have missed a warning signal that they were in the sights of the incoming missile.
Meanwhile, the Russians continue to spread their influence . . .
It turns out that nearly a week ago, Russia signed a military cooperation agreement with Lebanon that permits its access to Lebanese air bases, airspace, and ports.
Of course, this is not really anything new. Russia has been fighting with Iran and Hezbollah for several years now–and what is Lebanon, if not a powerless province of Iran and Hezbollah?
What has happened to European Jewry?
The Foundation for Jewish Heritage in conjunction with Hebrew University in Jerusalem has produced the first comprehensive look at “historic synagogues” in Europe. The results below can be found on the group’s website: Foundation for Jewish Heritage.
The finding is that that there are 3,318 such historic synagogues. This may seem an impressive number, but the underlying details are devastating insofar as European Judaism is concerned.
Of the 3,318 historic synagogue buildings that exist, only 759 now house “active synagogues.”
What about the other some 2500 synagogues? What has happened to them?
285 are abandoned; and 27 are under reconstruction. No information is available as to the status of another 175 or so.
As for the rest:
684 are now private “dwellings”, 222 are non-Jewish cultural centers, 197 are office buildings, 178 are museums, 120 are churches, 108 are warehouse storage facilities, 100 are retail shops, 68 are schools, 61 are factories, 45 are sports facilities, 38 are restaurants, 38 are “houses of culture”, 35 are libraries, 27 are art galleries, 24 are fire departments, 19 are cinemas, 18 are garages, 17 are hospitals/clinics, 14 are “memorials“, 14 are theaters, 12 are archival respositories, 11 are workshops, 10 are mosques, 9 are social clubs, 8 are bakeries, 8 are banks, 7 are police stations, 5 are bath houses, 2 are funeral parlors, 1 is a Sikh temple, and 1 is a Freemason lodge.
Such is a snapshot of European Jewry steadily dwindling on the European continent.
The Latest Bizarre Twist in the Alleged Netanyahu “Scandals”
As you probably realize by now, your humble servant has been loathe in recent months to report on any of the “news” surrounding Cases 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 involving PM Netanyahu that the police have been investigating.
In the first place, it is impossible to tell what is real and what is fake any more. In the second place, your humble servant finds the active role played by the police in leaking “information” to the Israeli media appalling. The police’s obvious effort to try the case in the leftist press that detests Netanyahu is beyond biased; it has become, to use Netanyahu’s term, a “witchhunt.”
Nothing is off limits to the press any more. Not Netanyahu’s friends, not his wife, not his children, not even his dog. It is the worst sort of yellow journalism.
Where do things stand now?
If you can believe the police, they are going to recommend that Attorney General Mandleblit indict Netanyahu for bribery in Case 1000. Apparently, the bribery was that in return for thousands of dollars of cigars, champagne, etc., Netanyahu asked then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to help billionaire Arnon Milchan get a long-term visa to the U.S.
I thought that Prime Ministers, Presidents, and all sorts of politicians intervened on behalf of folks all the time—gifts or not. Isn’t that their job?
In case 3000, the police are apparently going to recommend that Netanyahu’s brother-in-law David Shimron and several figures in the IDF be indicted for corruption in the purchase of German submarines.
As for cases 2000 (the Yedioth Aharnot case involving press coverage for Netanyahu), and 4000 (Bezeq and the Communications Minister connection), no indictment recommendation will apparently be made.
The recommendations for indictments were supposed to be handed over to the Attorney General by the end of this month.
And then a bombshell struck this weekend, in the form of a incredibly bizarre interview given by the Israel Police Commissioner/Inspector General Roni Alsheich on the television program Uvda.
Against all normative police behavior, Alsheich decided to open up about the investigations, but even more, to bizarrely imply that Netanyahu had hired private investigators to collect information about police officers involved in the Netanyahu investigations.
Alsheich was eager to point out that he believes there is a Netanyahu-led conspiracy against him and his cohorts. He even declared that he had informed the Attorney General of this conspiracy last year.
However, when Attorney General Mandleblit asked him for evidence to back up his claim last year, Alsheich had none.
And when the television interviewer on Uvda this weekend asked him to provide evidence, Alsheich had none.
In short, Alsheich came across as some half-baked, unhinged, conspiracy theorist.
All of which left Israelis, even those Netanyahu-haters on the “left”, scratching their heads in befuddlement.
So where does all of this leave us today?
PM Netanyahu is rightly crying foul, asking how any investigation managed by Alsheich can possibly be fair. Attorney General Mandleblit has ordered the police not to send him any recommendations pending various rulings by the High Court of Israel. Various citizens have filed suit against the police demanding that they forego “recommendations” all together–and merely give information to the Attorney General.
In a word, the whole situation is a “mess.” A bizarre one at that.