Matters are certainly not smooth. Not here – and I’ll come to that. But worse, on the other side of the Atlantic. America is in a great deal of trouble.
And so I begin by recommending Gloria Greenfield’s latest film, “The Fight of Our Lives.”
The film addresses the two-fold threat to Western civilization. From without: with Islamists seeking to infiltrate. And from within: where progressives threaten society’s very foundations. That threat from within makes society more vulnerable to the Islamist threat.
See https://www.thefightofourlives.com for a trailer and a list of upcoming screenings.
I could write several posts on information that is coming to me about what’s going on in the States. Before turning my focus back to Israel, I want to look at one particularly alarming situation in the US – leftist indoctrination in public schools. This is happening across the country. A few examples (all emphasis added):
 At the website of a school in Minnesota, Black Lives Matter is praised and a quote from the BLM website is reproduced: “We are committed to disrupting the Western-proscribed nuclear family structure requirement…”
 In Philadelphia schools, students in lower grades were required to work on “The Revolution is Always Now” coloring book.
 To enhance “cultural diversity,” students at a school in Maryland were ordered to copy the Islamic creed “Shahada” which includes, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”
 An on-line course is being developed for middle school teachers instructing them on how to blend mathematics with “social justice” topics. Example: a lesson that looks at “Unpaid Work Hours in the Home by Gender.”
I am not making this up. I could not. This information is not from “Fight of Our Lives,” although its points powerfully illustrate its thesis. It is from the David Horowitz Freedom Center, which was involved with the film and is working actively to stand against this phenomenon in the schools:
Turning back to Israel…
One of the problems I am seeing – so very relevant today – is that we are not tough enough on terrorists and their families. Matters have improved, but consistently strong action is not clearly delineated. Too often, proposals and announcements about what we are thinking of doing stand in place of concrete steps.
Earlier this week, “Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) announced…”that he had informed 12 Jerusalem Arabs that their status as permanent residents may be revoked in accordance with an amendment made last week to the Entry into Israel Law.”
May be? Where is the clarity?
“All of those Deri spoke to are either members of Hamas or otherwise involved in terror. Some of them were directly involved in terror attacks, and others were indirectly involved.”
Last year, Deri did revoke residency for 11 relatives of a terrorist.
Sometimes there is hesitation to take action on the part of the government or some arm thereof.
Sometimes the Court intervenes. There was a ruling regarding the illegality of deporting the family of terrorists to Gaza, for example.
law bloggertations were forbidden on the grounds of “disproportionality,” a concept I am very hard put to understand here.
There are efforts to circumvent this on-going, with legislation advancing. Some MKs are very angry.
Deputy Minister Michael Oren recently tweeted that, “Soldiers who catch terrorists while carrying out attacks must be ordered to shoot to kill not neutralize.” A terrorist is said to be “neutralized” when he no longer poses a threat. Oren argued, however, that sometimes a terrorist is thought to be neutralized and then attacks again.
I’m with him. This is the issue, by the way, that ultimately landed Elor Azariya in prison.
Lastly, I was pleased to see this:
Eight Arabs who were determined by police to have been on the street when Adiel Kolman was murdered were arrested. Two were subsequently released.
“Israel Police will act to complete the investigation of the suspects and bring to justice any of them who could have prevented and/or reduced the attack’s chance of success…”
Each chapter in the on-going saga of Mahmoud Abbas grows wilder than the one before.
The other day, Ambassador David Friedman put out a tweet regarding the horror of the recent terror attacks. He then added, “Such brutality and no condemnation from the PA!”
Apparently this angered Abbas, who hauled off at Friedman during a speech in Ramallah:
“The United States legitimizes settlements. That’s what American officials do, and at their head, in Tel Aviv, is David Friedman. He said, ‘They’re building on their own land.’ The son of a bitch, they’re building on their own land? He himself is a settler, and his entire family are settlers.”
(An editorial note: some media sources reported that he said “son of a dog,” which lacks a certain edge, and, likely, a certain authenticity. I never engage in obscenities; what we are talking about here is a legitimate word that means female dog.)
As you might imagine, this comment went over big at the While House. Friedman, speaking at the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism, suggested that Abbas’s statement was anti-Semitic.
Last week I picked up a report that I could not confirm, and so chose not to repeat, regarding the intention of the Trump “peace team” to indefinitely postpone release of their “peace plan.” This week I read something similar in Arutz Sheva, which cited an Israeli official, who said:
“The US administration wants the plan to be productive, and therefore will wait for calm – which, in the meantime, is nowhere in sight.”
Additionally there was a citation from a source in the US administration, who says the wait could be very long.
And so I mention it now, even though this is still unofficial and not being carried broadly by media here – at least not yet.
Here is how Jason Greenblatt responded to Abbas’s recent statement (emphasis added):
“The time has come for President Abbas to choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity.
“Notwithstanding his highly inappropriate insults…the latest iteration being his insult of my good friend and colleague Ambassador Friedman, we are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence. We are finalizing our plan for peace and we will advance it when circumstances are right.”
This is quiet confirmation of the fact that release of the plan will be delayed. But it is not a clearly worded official announcement and I do not think there will be one. Greenblatt will not say that the members of the team throw up their hands in frustration, despairing of anything constructive from Abbas.
Instead, he takes the high ground, giving Abbas a “choice,” which he knows very well is no choice at all for this man, and declaring commitment to the “Palestinian people.” He is giving Abbas the rope to hang himself.
I would note here, however, that if the Trump administration is awaiting Abbas’s successor in the hopes he will be more amenable to “peace,” they will have a long wait.
We’ve reached the spring equinox and here in Jerusalem the weather is magnificent, with bushes and trees blooming in abundance.
I want to see this as a harbinger of good things to come.
It is really good news that twenty-five of the families that were expelled from Amona last year hope to move in to their new community, Amichai, on Sunday. Sewers and water are already hooked up, and work in progressing on electrical connections.
There has been so much anguish with regard to this situation, so much doubt as to resolution.
The families look forward to being in new homes in time for Pesach. Fifteen additional families should follow shortly after.
See here for a video that takes us down the road of the community-in-process.
Avigdor Lieberman has now become the first Israeli defense minister to visit Rwanda, strengthening ties with this African nation. In the capital, Kigali, he met with met with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Defense Minister James Kabarebe (whom I believe is in the picture below), and Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
Drawing on a combination of excellent intelligence and cutting edge technology, Israel has been on a roll with regard to destroying Hamas tunnels. This past Saturday night, two more were destroyed and Hamas was prevented from reconstructing a third.
Ten years after this critical operation was carried out in secret, the IDF has now gone public concerning our successful destruction of a Syrian nuclear facility. The message could not be more pertinent: We can and will do what needs to be done to protect ourselves. Of course, we benefit the region at the same time.
Read the fascinating story, as offered by the IDF Spokesperson’s office:
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.