Wednesday, November 25, 2015

25-Nov-15: A stabber outside Jerusalem's main transit hub and how the mainstream media helped put him there

Jerusalem's main transit hub [Image Source]
On busy Jaffa Road in Jerusalem at the point where the city's main transit hub, the Central Bus Station, is located, a young Arab man was stopped yesterday (Tuesday) by the security guards who are stationed there to oversee the well-being of tens of thousands of locals and visitors who daily pass by or enter or exit the modern structure.

The young Arab was asked some urgent questions after a passer-by who noticed him walking along the light-rail tracks just opposite the station alerted them and said the fellow, aged (as we now know) 19, had been checking what appeared to be a knife concealed inside his coat. Knives inside coats are no longer a strange or rare thing here. They demand an instant response.

The Arab, a resident of the Jerusalem Old City, was promptly taken into custody. Times of Israel reports today that he was arrested and confessed to being there so as to carry out a terrorist attack on unsuspecting Israelis. A knife was indeed found hidden in his clothes during a body search.
Police said the suspect initially denied he was planning on using the knife to carry out a stabbing attack. He was later transferred to the Special Operations Squad in the Jerusalem District Police’s Central Unit for interrogation, where he admitted he intended to carry out a terrorist attack. He said he had taken the knife from his home before riding the light rail to the Central Bus Station, where he searched for an appropriate victim... [Times of Israel]
Hadil and Nurhan Awad, cousins, intending murderers, aspiring terrorists.
Ages 14 and 16. The backstory is the real story and it's unreported
This, along with the fast-rising toll - 75 stabbing attacks, 21 killed, about 190 injured - among Israeli victims of the wave of Arab savagery in the past few weeks - makes it incomprehensible to us that a report on a central Jerusalem stabbing attack can have been so poorly done by a leading British news channel.

Daily Mail Online prides itself on being one of the world's busiest web-based news sites. Checking now, we see their current daily "article views" for today is just under 28,000,000. Not too shabby. We can't say the same for the way they reported the matter of the two Palestinian Arab girls, cousins Hadil and Nurhan Awad, aged 14 and 16, from Qalandiya on Jerusalem's northern periphery. We described ["23-Nov-15: Central Jerusalem's shuk - two slashers attack and are stopped"] how they rode the light rail into central Jerusalem in order to launch a frenzied stabbing attack on innocent shoppers, using only two pairs of (absolutely deadly) scissors. They were stopped very forcefully, but only after doing serious damage and being caught in the act by security cameras. The Daily Mail's report is a classic of its kind: "Shocking moment two Israelis shoot Palestinian teenager dead and wound another after they threaten them with scissors in Jerusalem"

Shocking it is. Shocking that with 21 funerals of Israeli victims in the past few weeks of vicious thuggery, the Daily Mail's editors can allow an article to appear under a headline that focuses on the victimhood of a teenager killed by "Israelis" after she threatened them with scissors - with no indication in the headline of the frenzy of murderous stabbing attacks of similar kind happening all over this country.

And utterly shocking that the Daily Mail and most of the mainstream media have failed to focus attention on (a) the violent deaths of three Palestinian Arab children, each one of them aged 16, each one of them clutching sharp instruments in their fists, each one of them trying to kill innocent Israelis, each one of them shot dead by alert Israeli security, all killed in a single day - this past Monday; and (b) the shameful, hideous process, overseen by the Fatah/PLO/PA leadership under the unspeakable Mahmoud Abbas, of programming children to hate, to demonize and then - the logical consequence - to murder Jews.

These children didn't wake up with blood lust one morning out of the blue. It's the end-stage of a process that takes a huge, multi-dimensional effort, with education (school curriculum) and religion (the mosques) being the central components.

It's a tragedy that so few serious reporters and their editors see the recounting of this process as core to the reporting of the current Arab-on-Israeli barbarism and to the ongoing child-abuse conducted by Palestinian Arab society at all its levels (including the most senior). It's hard not to see reporters and their editors as complicit in this process.

25-Nov-15: Stabbing at Al-Fawwar checkpoint

The Al-Fawwar security checkpoint
The knife-wielding terrorists are out and engaging in their savagery again today.

An Israeli was stabbed and seriously injured this morning (Wednesday) at the Al-Fawwar junction, close to an Arab town of the same name three kilometers south of Beit Haggai on Route 60, south of Hebron.

The attacker was a Palestinian Arab who, according to Haaretz, emerged from a vehicle armed with a knife and lunged at the Israeli (we assume an IDF soldier, but that's not confirmed). His attack was stopped by IDF gunfire and the attacker killed.

His victim, a man in his twenties, has stab wounds to the upper body and has been rushed to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Worth recalling that an Israeli truck driver, Avraham Asher Hasno, 54, from Kiryat Arba, came under rock-hurling attack at about the same location just a few weeks ago. Ynet says he stepped out of his vehicle to go after the attackers and was then run down by a commercial vehicle and critically injured. He died at the scene soon afterwards, leaving a bereaved his wife and seven children. The driver of the truck turned himself in to the Palestinian security authorities soon afterwards claiming that the collision was an accident and that he had fled the scene out of personal fear. Two weeks later, the Defence Ministry announced that Mr Hasno was being recognized as a victim of a terror attack. Turns out the driver who handed himself in had been involved in a physical clash with his victim a day earlier.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

24-Nov-15: Another Palestinian Arab vehicle-ramming terror attack at Israel's Tapuah Junction

The scene about 8 am at Tapuah Junction. The attacker's vehicle is in the
center of the photo [Image Source: Video screen grab]
The Palestinian Arab violence in Israel got off to an early start today.

At Tapuah Junction, a busy intersection, transit interchange and hitch-hiking point on Route 60 in the Samaria district that attracts hostile attention for those reasons alone, there has been yet another vehicle-ramming attack.

Shortly after 8 this morning (Tuesday), a Palestinian Arab driving a fairly new and shiny black Volkswagen Polo with PA license plates (we see this in the video) drove at high speed into a cluster of commuters standing at one of the Tapuah bus stops.

Attacker after being stopped
[Image Source]
Israel National News quotes the first responders of Magen David Adom saying that four people, all in their twenties, are injured. Two are ranking officers in Israel's citizen military, the IDF (where commuting from home to base or office by public bus, as these people seem to have been doing, is a commonplace): a Lieutenant Colonel and a Colonel. One has suffered what are termed moderate injuries - evidently to the stomach and head. The other three are injured lightly in the limbs. All four were rushed to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva,

The attacker was stopped by gunshots from patrolling Border Guard forces at the scene. We know he or she was alive at the end of the attack, though neutralized; there are no details we can find for now about his/her condition or fate. What's important is the attack was stopped and a worse outcome averted.

24-Nov-15: How the emerging European reality feels to some of us

From the Dry Bones Blog:

And to be Swedish in Sweden, Danish in Denmark, British in the UK, Belgian in Belgium. And of course Egyptian in Egypt and so on. This is, naturally enough, not a political observation but a practical, existential one, the reality of which needs to be on the minds of, well, everyone everywhere.

Monday, November 23, 2015

23-Nov-15: A third knife-wielding Arab boy is dead in terror attack

The Arabic news site, Alquds, says today this photo shows the site
of the attempted stabbing [Image Source]
This post is about a low-profile terror attack today that has gotten almost no news coverage: also about little examined matters like where the terrorists come from, how they got there, who sent them and what this might mean for us and for peace and the future. They're serious existential questions.

According to Israel National News:
An Arab attempted a stabbing attack in the Hatmar Junction (also known as the Territorial Brigade junction - ed.) in Samaria on Monday afternoon, close to 3:00 pm. The stabber was eliminated by IDF soldiers at the scene before he was able to harm anyone.
This is the same checkpoint where another terror attack was done just yesterday. As Israel National News reported that, a little after 9 am Sunday a Palestinian Arab woman launched a stabbing assault on Israeli pedestrians in a place the article calls Brigade Square in the Samaria district. She failed to inflict any injuries on anyone. The attempt itself came to an end when a vehicle driven by a former head of the Samaria Regional Council deliberately plowed into her in order to thwart her obvious intentions, immediately after which IDF soldiers on duty at the site, acting on the relatively-new "shoot-to-kill-terror-attackers-in-the-act shot and killed her in the act.

Today's attack is reported in the Arab media with a few more details.

This version comes from International Middle East Media Center, self-described as "a joint Palestinian-International effort [that] combines Palestinian journalists' deep understanding of the context, history, and the socio-political environment with International journalists' skills in non-partisan reporting." It got started in 2003. Just how non-partisan is something we can discuss.

In any event, here's part of the IMEMC report:
Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager on Monday afternoon after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at the Huwwara checkpoint south of Nablus, Israel's army said. An Israeli army spokesperson said that as the Palestinian approached the checkpoint, he "drew a knife and attempted to attack a soldier." She said that the soldier "responded to the immediate danger" and opened fire on the Palestinian, "resulting in his death." The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the alleged attacker to Ma'an News Agency as Alaa Khalil Sabah Hashah, 16. 
If they're right, this makes the hapless attacker at Huwwara Checkpoint the third Palestinian Arab 16 year-old child (yes, child) to be killed in the same day, today, while carrying out an attack on Israelis with a knife in his hand. We posted about the other two here and here.

Not for the first time, we ask ourselves and our readers how a society engineers things such that it produces children of 16 and less ready to kill and be killed in an undeclared war. Conveniently, one part of the answer popped up today via Twitter:

Via Twitter today
Erekat's pompous declaration ("just practising their right to self-defence") perfectly channels the condescension of the Palestinian Arab political elite that for decades has provided the foundation for relentless Palestinian Arab failure and self-destruction.

He is the Palestinian Authority's prodigious Senior Vice-President for Strategic Resignations [here's a partial list: "Erekat may resign after failing to secure future for Palestinians", Gulf News, November 4, 2015; "Abbas rejects resignation of Palestinian peace negotiator Erekat", Jerusalem Post, November 17, 2013; "PA's Erekat: I didn't resign", Ynet, October 31, 2013; "Despite Resignation, Longtime Peace Negotiator Erekat Carries On as Before", Forward, March 2011; "Saeb Erekat resigns as chief Palestinian negotiator", February 12, 2011, BBC; "Palestinians' Top Negotiator Quits", SKY News, May 16, 2003; "Palestinian cabinet resigns", BBC, September 11, 2002].

Erekat's public, bald-faced lies ["Erekat: Media’s Favorite Liar Resigns", Honest Reporting, February 14, 2011] are the stuff of legend. But not among Palestinian Arabs; in his home market, he incites, prods and urges as effectively as the worst of the PA insiders.

There is no single step we can think of that would be more helpful towards the emergence of a genuine peace-focused political process on the Palestinian Arab side than Erekat's actual, authentic resignation and removal from the "peace-making" process.

But beyond that, and setting aside the decades of corruption, venality, kleptocracy and child-abuse of the deceased Yasser Arafat, no one is entitled to a larger share of the credit for the perpetual downward spiral in the prospects for a better future (or any future) of Palestinian Arab children than their current president, Mahmoud Abbas.

Holding arms high to signify honour and respect, PA President
Mahmoud Abbas honours arrival in Ramallah of convicted terrorists - all of them
murderers - freed under US pressure from Israeli prison,
August 14, 2013.[Image Source]
Elected to a four year presidential term 11 full years ago, the autocratic Abbas - frequently called "moderate" by journalists and public figures who don't know better - seems not to have missed an opportunity during all his extremely well-compensated years in power to elevate the standing of terrorists in Palestinian Arab society to the status of heroes and role-models. He has been at the forefront of Palestinian Arab society's one and only effective undertaking: the glorification of violence and terror.

The announcement, in April 2008, that Abbas was 
awarding the Palestinian Authority's highest medal, the Al Quds Mark of Honor, to two convicted female terrorists currently serving terms for murder in Israeli prison left [us] trembling with rage. One of them, Ahlam Tamimi, murdered fifteen men, women and children in the terror attack on Jerusalem's Sbarro restaurant in August, 2001. Among the victims was [our] own fifteen year old daughter, Malki... [Our April 23, 2008 blog post]
A sober commentary at the time pointed out that
Conferring the Al Quds Mark of Honor is decided at the discretion of the Palestinian Authority’s president, and he alone has the final say when choosing the Palestinians to be honored with the medal... ["Abbas: A "Moderate" Honoring Terrorists", Honest Reporting, April 15, 2008
To say it bluntly: the unrepentant mass murderer Ahlam Tamimi, our daughter's killer, embodies for Mahmoud Abbas precisely the kind of Palestinian Arab personality worthy of the highest regard and emulation. (It happens that he reversed his decision a short time later but only because of intense pressure from outside the PA. He left little doubt that the original decision to bestow honor on two female killers of Jews conveyed a message in which he personally believed.)

Today's three dead 16 year olds, all about the same age our murdered daughter Malki was when she was murdered by the people who groomed them too, join the long list of Palestinian Arab lives - many of them the lives of children - thrown away for nothing other than to serve the vanity, greed and weakness of this hateful, bigoted, kleptocatic octogenarian fraudster.

23-Nov-15: Second knife-wielding Arab child shot dead this afternoon trying (and succeeding) to murder a Jew

The scene of today's killings [File photo from the August 2015 terror
attack at the same location]
Traveling into Jerusalem from the Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion airport areas requires making a choice: either Highway 1, currently under massive reconstruction, or Route 443. That's the route we generally choose: a busy 4-lane highway almost its entire length, that passes Modi'in and works its way to the northern edge of the capital, coming close to Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority has its base. 

As drivers wend their way up through the hills, there's a gas station which was the scene of a serious terror attack ["10-Aug-15: Stabbing attack at a highway gas station near Jerusalem"] three months ago. We described it as
the pleasant and well-run Dor Alon gas station, an Arab-operated business a few minutes drive south of Modi'in, and one of the two public fueling points on the busy intercity highway. By far most of the drivers pulling in there for fuel or refreshments are non-Arabs. We have been regular customers there for years.
Another terror attack was executed at the very same location this afternoon, this time with lethal consequences for one of the victims.

From Ynet:
A terrorist killed a 20-year-old Israeli man at around 3pm on Monday at a gas station on Route 443, on the same day that a series of other attacks wounded several others, including a Palestinian. A preliminary investigation showed that the Israeli man and woman had arrived at the gas station when the Palestinian terrorist tackled the driver as he exited the car. The terrorist stabbed and killed the man and lightly wounded the woman. An officer at the scene shot and killed the terrorist. 
The identity of the young Israeli man was announced around 7 this evening: according to the Jerusalem Post, he is Ziv Mizrachi, 20, a soldier serving in the IDF.

Palestinian Arab sources identify the perpetrator of the attack, who was himself shot dead on the spot, as Ahmad Jamal Taha, a boy of 16, from an Arab village in the Ramallah they identify as Qutna. (We can't find a place on the map with that name.) Another teenage killer, whose life will now be celebrated by Palestinian Arab society for the homicide he managed to pull off in the last seconds of his short life. And the second 16 year old Palestinian Arab child-terrorist to have been killed today holding a knife while executing an act of hateful savagery. 

It's a pathetic indictment of the failed blood-lusting society that nurtured them and that seeks to sacrifice yet more of its children on the altar of their pseudo-political death cult.

23-Nov-15: Central Jerusalem's shuk - two slashers attack and are stopped

From the Machane Yehuda Shuk website
In the most central of central Jerusalem locations - the shuk or open air market - a cowardly attack this morning on ordinary people in the name of... what?
Two Arab women attempted to carry out a stabbing attack near Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market on Monday morning, police said. Two people were reported lightly injured in the attack, according to Magen David Adom rescuers on the scene. One victim was an 80-year-old man and the second was a 27-year-old man with injuries to his hand, according to MDA. They were taken to local hospitals for treatment. One of the attackers was shot on the scene by security forces and died of her injuries, according to police. The second was captured by police officers. The attackers reportedly used scissors to slash at shoppers in the market. [Times of Israel]

This image is widely deployed today right across the Arab
and Palestinian Arab news media. It shows the two girls on the
ground, shot, and in a bad way while Israelis look on,  It does
not show their frenzied attack though videos of that do exist.
UPDATE Monday 23-Nov-15 at 5:00 pm:
The attackers were not women but girls. Two Palestinian Arab girls, sufficiently pumped full of hate and disdainful enough of their own well-being - something that can be done by means of a certain sort of education in which, as it happens, Palestinian Arab society excels - carried out the attack. As is often the case, they were entirely indiscriminate about their victims, looking for basically anyone in the area. (There's a couple of minutes of chilling security camera video here recording them hanging around near the shuk, at the light rail stop, checking out the passing crowds and presumably waiting for the right moment to pounce.) And that's who they found around 11:30 this morning: anyone. They ended up, as Ynet reports, slashing and injuring an elderly man, described as an "80-year-old who suffered head wounds", Yussuf Alharoub, who is himself a Palestinian Arab resident of Bethlehem (we're doubtful he's much more than 70). He is being treated at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital and doing well. There is a second injured victim, a 27-year-old Israeli male. His injuries, which are moderate, may have come from a ricocheting bullet fired by one of the Israeli security people who pounced on the two teenage-girl attackers. Times of Israel says the two attackers looked like were “about 12”, and were chasing after two elderly women to slash them with their scissors when they were both shot and stopped by police. They are cousins, named by the Palestinian news site Ma'an as 16-year-old Hadeel Wajih Awwad who was shot dead in the midst of the attack, and 14-year-old Norhan Awwad. who was also shot but survived. She was rushed to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center for emergency surgery. Both are from Qalandiya on the north-eastern edge of Jerusalem. Needless to say, the dead girl is now termed "martyr" in the Arabic media (here for instance) which universally calls the knifing attack "alleged". Tragically, the Arab world accepts these fabricated distortions as literal truth. This then further feeds their fury and guarantees more such attacks, more such deaths and injuries, and more such abuse and waste of children's lives. We expect to be shortly seeing mourning tents and proud parents and uncles and aunts. The tragic state of Palestinian Arab society, 2015.

23-Nov-15: Monday morning rocket fired at southern Israel

Another missile flung indiscriminately in the general direction of Israel (it's a time-honored strategy) was fired off in the past few minutes by the rocket men of Gaza.

Israel National News reports that it crashed and exploded in the Eshkol region of southern Israel. Because it struck open land, it caused - as far as can be told at this stage - neither damage nor injuries to people.

This, it should be noted, was not and never is the intention of the terrorists. They hold huge inventories of rockets and seek to use them for purposes of terror - not defense of their homes or families, not to conquer portions of Israel, not even to offset the dominant power of the IDF. But purely for terror.

This means a desired outcome, for instance, would be to hit a school bus (this is the hour when the school buses are active) or a kindergarten or a home on the Israeli side. Thankfully, this morning, they failed. They will certainly keep trying. They have been trying for years, and have succeeded.

The Tzeva Adom ("Color Red") incoming-rocket warning system was not heard in this morning's attack, evidently because its computers and sensors estimated that landfall would be in a location where no direct harm would be caused, and therefore did not pose a threat to people or property. We are not always that lucky.

Based on experience, it is highly unlikely this rocket attack, carried out from within the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, will be reported in any mainstream news channels. An Israeli military response, if it comes, almost certainly will.

UPDATE 23-Nov-15 at 10:00 am
There has already been a second Gaza rocket attack on Israel. This one [according to i24News] came in a little after 9 this morning, about two hours after the first. No injuries. No damage. No Tzeva Adom warning siren. And, as usual, hardly any media coverage, other than within Israel.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

22-Nov-15: Getting behind the Abbases and the Haniyehs and what that means

This is going on tonight outside the home of the murderer of Hadar Buchris [Image Source]
The large crowd of Palestinian Arabs out on a chilly November night in Beit Fajjar, a Palestinian Arab town of about 11,000 people, close to Efrat, is there at this moment because a man who lived in the house is dead.

His life ended this afternoon shortly after he plunged a knife into the neck of a young Jewish woman, Hadar Buchris. The specific circumstances, the man's name, his age, are all of no interest to us at this point. (We noted them here.) Every part of the Palestinian Arab media is tonight calling him a "martyr" and relates to his deed - an attack on a defenseless, unarmed girl - as an act of heroism.

It's facile and inaccurate to view this scene only as an expression of a society flushing itself down the drain. Years of astute coverage by dedicated analysts like Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI have brought home the message, for anyone willing to take note, that Palestinian Arab society has been implanting in generation after generation of its own children a hateful and murderous bigotry that sees only evil in their Jewish neighbours, and that impels them towards acts of zealotry, savagery and self-destruction.

It's not new. It hasn't changed (at least not for the better). And no one who takes an interest in the Arab conflict with Israel has any right to be surprised by it.

For us, the significance of the crowd paying homage to today's killer is in the way it throws light on a handful of matters:
  1. Other than the readers of a few obscure blogs like ours, most people have no idea it's happening. That includes consumers of most of the world's major news channels, even those that focus time and attention on the Middle East. It's simply not reported.
  2. We can express all the abhorrence we can muster up at the men - it's almost entirely men, and boys - in the Beit Fajjar crowd. We can tell them (hypothetically) what we think of their values, and we can pour scorn on their bigotry. But nothing in their society - from their two prime ministers on down - is going to condemn them or the murderer or the murder. Nothing is going to tip them off to the idea that they are engaging in the celebration of something most people outside their region think is horrible. They don't know; they won't know. They are what they are - what their society has made them into.
  3. It's the people living far from here who are on our minds tonight. Those who give their backing to the cause represented by Fatah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad ought to look long and hard at the throng in the picture. Translated into practical terms, this is what their support achieves. This is what it means to be aligned and in solidarity with Mahmoud Abbas or Ismail Haniyeh or both. Far from condemning men who plunge knives into the necks of girls, the Palestinian Arab leaders call these heroic acts. Heroic acts! 
This is what resistance (a favourite word in those circles) means. In reality, it's self-destructive, corrosive terrorism.

22-Nov-15: The young Israeli woman stabbed this afternoon in Gush Etzion has died of her injuries

Hadar Buchris - murdered this afternoon
Tragic news: the 21-year-old Israeli woman who was the victim of a stabbing attack at Gush Etzion Junction, near Efrat, this afternoon [here], has died of her injuries.

Emergency treatment was given at the scene before she was rushed to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. She died there. Her name is Hadar Buchris. She lived in Safed, in the Galilee. At this stage, that's all we know about her life. We want to know more and will share what we learn.

Her family are entering one of the most difficult and challenging chapters that any of us ever know. May their family and friends have the wisdom to know what to say and not to say, what to do and not to do, and to provide them with the love and support of which they will now have great need.

The murderer was shot and killed by security forces at the scene. He is Wissam Tawabte (or عصام ثوابتة - Issa Thawabta, Essam ThawabtehIsam Ahmed Salman Thawabteh), a man in his early thirties from Beit Fajjar, a Palestinian Arab town of about 11,000 people, close to Efrat. In Ma'an's version of reality:
Thawabta was the third Palestinian to be killed on Sunday, after another two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli settlers after allegedly attempting to attack Israelis.
Sickeningly, every Arabic-language site and/or Twitter account we have looked at tonight declares the killer of this luminous young woman a "martyr".

22-Nov-15: Sunday: Three Arab-on-Israeli terror attacks so far and it's only mid-afternoon

Head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council being interviewed at the scene of
this afternoon's stabbing attack on a teenage girl [Source]
It's Sunday, the first day of the work week, and the wave of Palestinian Arab terror attacks - the physical expression of racist bigotry, hatred made concrete - appears to be at full strength. Victims' lives upended, attackers' lives absurdly celebrated for ugly deeds, and life goes on (mostly) for the rest of us.

The three attacks so far:
  1. A Palestinian Arab woman armed with a knife attempted to stab an Israeli near Shechem (in Arabic: Nablus) this morning. The attack happened at a road junction near Beit El and the IDF’s Samaria Brigade headquarters. An alert driver, the well-known lawyer and public figure Gershon Mesika who served in the past as head of the Shomron Regional Council, struck the attacker with his vehicle [says Israel National News], preventing her from doing more harm. Soldiers then fired, killing her.
  2. A Palestinian Arab taxi driver attempted to ram a group of Israelis with his vehicle at a roadside location near Kfar Adumim, a community on the edge of the city of Maale Adumim, this morning. He failed to hit them and so got out of his car and launched a knife attack. An alert armed civilian then shot and killed him, according to a police report. An Israeli male in his fifties suffered light injuries to his arms, and was treated by Magen David Adom rescue service personnel. The attacker is said to be from the Palestinian Arab town of Al-Bireh, near Ramallah.
  3. An Israeli, a young woman in her late teens, suffered serious stabbing injuries to the neck when knifed this afternoon by an Arab assailant in the vicinity of Gush Etzion Junction (yes, again), near the suburban Jerusalem communities of Efrat and Alon Shvut. After emergency treatment at the scene, she was rushed by ambulance to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. The attacker is said [Times of Israel, today] to have been shot and killed by security forces at the scene. 
Three cowardly attacks on civilians. Three new Palestinian Arab "martyrs" to add to the despicable worship of savagery that has the PA and Hamas and Palestinian Arab public opinion firmly in its grip: a society spiraling downwards into uncontrolled barbarism.

We also now know the identity of the knife-equipped terrorist who stabbed four Israelis, including a girl of 13, last night in Kiryat Gat ["21-Nov-15: Quietly and with determination, Israel responds to the stabbers, shooters, rammers"]. His is Muhammad Tarada, 18 from a village west of Hebron. Arrested with him were two other members of the Tarada clan from the same village: Fares Tarada and Rafat Tarada. More background about them when we have it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

21-Nov-15: Quietly and with determination, Israel responds to the stabbers, shooters, rammers

Kiryat Gat is home to a multi-billion dollar Intel plant [Image Source]
Far from Brussels, where security is at historically-unprecedented levels in the wake of a very real Islamist threat and so is the media coverage, Israel's daily struggle with terror-minded stabbers, rammers and shooters - impelled by much the same explosive mix of religious zeal and savage bigotry, goes on.

A manhunt has been on for most of this evening - five hours of intense police activity - in a city in Israel's south that prefers to be remembered as the home of one of Intel's major micro-chip fabrication plants:
Four people, including a 13-year-old female, were wounded in a stabbing attack on King David Street in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat Saturday evening. Magen David Adom reported that the victims included the 13-year-old female, a 51-year-old male and two other females ages 44 and 56. All were in moderate condition after being evacuated to the hospital. A male teenage suspect was captured in the city a few hours after the attack; he originally fled the scene and some 250 policemen searched the area with guns drawn, on high alert. He was caught with a bload-soaked knife on the same street where the attack took place. Two of his friends gave him up to the authorities and he was subsequently identified as an illegal worker from Hebron... Roadblocks were erected at the entrances to Kiryat Gat for the duration of the search, effectively enforcing a complete lock down of the city. [Ynet, tonight]
From Israel National News:
The attack began near the city's soccer stadium and left four people wounded. The stabber managed to flee the scene, sparking a major manhunt, with security forces checking all vehicles entering and leaving the city... During their searches, police rescued a Bedouin resident of Segev Shalom who was attacked and lightly wounded by residents under the false belief that he was the terrorist... Israel Police Southern Commander Yoram Halevi announced the arrest of the terrorist, along with two other Arabs who had aided him in carrying out the attack. The terrorist has been identified as a Palestinian Arab teenager from a village near Hevron who was working illegally in Israeli sovereign territory. "The terrorist found a quiet, dark area in the yards of one of the (local) houses," Halevi said. "He hit and waited for the right time - most likely the early morning - to escape from the city."
No one expects him to be escaping soon. 

But as we noted earlier tonight, how long will it be before calls are heard for this latest stabber's release from behind Israeli bars on the now-familiar nonsense grounds that he's just a improperly-held political prisoner?

Meanwhile, we wonder how much they understand, down there in dark Hebron where tonight's knife-wielder started his journey to an Israeli prison cell, that Intel employs more than 9,900 Israelis at four cutting-edge Research and Development sites and at two world-class fabrication facilities, one in Jerusalem, Israel's thriving capital city, and one in Kiryat Gat.

21-Nov-15: Lethal journalism: Fabricating victimhood at the "moderate" Palestinian Authority

Friday's funeral for Rabbi Ya'akov Don, one of the victims of the Gush Etzion ramming/shooting terror attack
a day earlier [Image Source]
As the tools for creating and disseminating news become more widely available via the Internet, a plague of false reporting and fact distortion has become a growing factor in the incitement of gullible audiences, and eventually the taking of innocent lives. (Think of Al Durah, the children killed in the Shati refugee camp, the Jenin massacre.) We're seeing an egregious instance unfold in front of our eyes.

Ezra Schwartz, 18 - murdered
Shadi Arafa is the name of the Hebron-area Palestinian Arab who was killed in a terror attack aimed at Israelis in the suburban-Jerusalem community of Gush Etzion two days ago ["19-Nov-15: Thursday, bloody Thursday"].

Three people were murdered in the attack: Arafa, along with Rabbi Ya'akov Don, 49, a beloved, lifelong educator (well-known in Toronto for the four years he spent there as a visiting teacher at CHAT) who left a widow and four children, and Ezra Schwartz, a young man of 18 from Sharon, Massachusetts who was spending a post-high school year learning in an Israeli yeshiva and engaging in acts of volunteerism (that was brought him to the Gush Etzion area that fateful day). Five of Ezra's friends, also students from overseas spending the year in Israel, were injured, none of them very seriously.

The deaths of the three came as a result of the terrorist, attacking while behind the wheel of his Toyota sedan, opening fire with an Uzi sub-machine gun at people inside other vehicles at the always-busy Tzomet Alon Shvut road junction [video]
[F]ootage from the scene shows that after he [the attacker] drove at high speed with his gun blazing at vehicles stopped in a traffic jam, he crashed into a car and got out unharmed with his hands raised, at which point a Border Patrol officer arrested him... [Israel National News]
Rabbi Ya'akov Don, 49 - murdered
Two Israeli women were hospitalized after the attack: one for wounds suffered in the shooting attack; the other for injuries suffered in the vehicle ramming. Both were sent to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center and released the following day.

The attacker identified by Palestinian Arab media as the terrorist is Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub, 24 from a village close to Hebron that is reported widely - but inaccurately - as Dir Smat. From our knowledge of the area, we think they mean the place various rendered into English as Dayr Samet, Dayr Samit and Deir Sammit. The killer's background is not our concern - though we do ask rhetorically how long it's going to be before we hear calls for the ramming/shooting murderer's release from behind Israeli bars on the customary nonsense grounds that he's a political prisoner?

But what is very much on our minds is the way our moderate, peace-seeking neighbours (excuse the deep cynicism) in the Mahmoud Abbas-dominated Palestinian Authority have turned reality on its head and declared the death of the Arab victim as another instance of Israeli malfeasance. And how little (meaning no) attention this has aroused in the mainstream news media.

The ramming/shooting terrorist was captured
unharmed. A celebrity now, his photo is
all over the Arabic-language media 
[Image Source
Here's how the editors at the European-funded, influential Palestinian Arab news source, Ma'an News Agency, tell it:
Hundreds of Palestinian mourners marched in Hebron on Friday for the funeral of Shadi Arafa, who was killed a day earlier in a shooting attack in Gush Etzion. Arafa's body was carried by mourners along Ein Sara street towards the al-Shuhada cemetery as the crowd shouted "God is Great" and slogans calling for national unity...
Official Palestinian sources said that Arafa, from Hebron, was killed by Israeli forces who opened fire during the shooting attack. Israeli sources say he was killed along with two other Israeli victims when a Palestinian gunmen [sic] opened fire with an automatic weapon. A series of attacks have been carried out by Palestinian individuals on Israeli military and civilians since the beginning of last month, leaving at least 15 Israelis dead.
In its Arabic-language on-line edition [here], Ma'an is less restrained:
A large crowd in the city of Hebron, after Friday prayers today, buried the body of the martyr [الشهيد] Shadi Zuhdi Arafa [شادي عرفة] at his final resting place in the Martyrs Cemetery in the Zoughair neighborhood in Hebron.
Ma'an's not-so-successful attempts to sound independent and authoritative are notorious. But in this case, it's the substance of their reporting that's the point. When, in their English-language edition, they write "Official Palestinian sources", they mean government ministry sources inside the allegedly-moderate Mahmoud Abbas regime, the Palestinian Authority. (There's some background here: "10-Mar-15: The not-so-moderate Palestinian Authority and the terrorism it enables".)

It's likely that every person in this crowd of Arab mourners at Friday's funeral
of Arafa in Hebron is there because his death at the hands of a
shooting/ramming Palestinian Arab terrorist has been knowingly twisted
by the moderates of the PA into another incident of "death by Israelis"
[Image Source: Ma'an
Here's an interpretation of what that means:
Israel had delivered Arafa's body to the PA late Thursday, reports the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency. His body was taken from Bethlehem in Judea to the al-Ahli Hospital in Hevron... and there official PA sources [claimed] that IDF forces who responded to the attack killed Arafa... [D]espite the fact that Arafa was killed in a blaze of gunfire rained down on vehicles by an Arab terrorist driving by, the Palestinian Authority (PA) buried him as a victim of Israel in a twisted perversion of the events... [T]he PA Health Ministry's claim was apparently good enough for the masses at Arafa's funeral on Friday, who were organized into a protest by Hamas activists that began the funeral march from a local mosque... Funerals of terrorists in Hevron have been frequently used in recent weeks to incite more terror... Arafa's funeral would seem to show that even Arab victims of Arab terror are being used to incite more attacks. ["Arab bystander in shooting attack buried as 'victim of Israel'", Israel National News, November 20, 2015
The official mouthpiece of the Palestinian Authority, WAFA, on Friday published a heart-rending account of Arafa's death at the hands of an Arab terrorist (though he is not mentioned once), focusing on the pain of his mother and his pregnant widow who became his bride only a few months before... and on Israeli culpability. The article quotes his brother:
"This is [because of] the occupation and the crimes against the martyrs... We will follow the legal procedures in order to hold them accountable and bring our case to international courts... " [WAFA]
And brazenly invents a bogus Israeli alibi:
"Israeli forces claimed that they "fired by mistake on the young Arafa during an operation in the area" [WAFA]
On Twitter [click to view], there's a bunch of Arabic-language tweets, many with accompanying photos, proclaiming Shadi Arafa's "martyrdom", laying it at the feet of the Israelis. There are hundreds of hits when you Google (in Arabic) "martyr Shadi Arafa" - try it.

These Arabic-language accounts, along with the rich resources of photos and videos, inevitably have limited impact on Western audiences like the good people reading our blog. But we need to be aware that Arabic-speaking audiences are daily incited to more and more acts of terror, vengeance and hatred by precisely this kind of cynical mis-reporting. The process is appropriately described  as Lethal Journalism. And it's high time the price of allowing its practitioners to keep doing it, and of ignoring the way it's ignored by the global news media channels, is better understood and stopped.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

19-Nov-15: In Europe, they're closing synagogues

The Malmo synagogue in Sweden was "rocked by an explosion"
in the summer of 2010
For anyone with a Jewish sense of history (such a sensibility exists), Europe keeps producing a stream of events and insights that shake a person to the core. Like this report from the World Jewish Congress today:
Swedish synagogues shut down as terror alert is raised | Thu, 19 Nov 2015
Sweden's Jewish community shut down synagogues across the country as a precautionary measure against possible attacks by terrorist groups. The chairwoman of the Official Council of Jewish Communities in Sweden, Lena Posner-Körösi, said the security situation would be re-assessed on a daily basis.
On Wednesday, Swedish police said they were hunting for a man wanted for "planning a terrorist act". An arrest warrant had been issued for the suspect, the head of domestic intelligence and counter-terrorism, Anders Thornberg, told a press conference in Stockholm.
Sweden's National Center for Terrorist Threat Assessment yesterday raised its national terror threat status to "high", the second-highest level on a five-point scale. Denmark raised its threat status yesterday too but the WJC report says the Danish community has no current plans to close its synagogues.

How surprising is all this? Not so very.

19-Nov-15: Thursday, bloody Thursday

Aerial view of Gush Etzion Junction, south of Jerusalem
[Image Source]
It's been a day of bloody Arab-on-Israeli attacks here again. We are witnessing an escalation - rammings, shootings, stabbings - but it's early to reach conclusions about what this signifies.

Times of Israel says a 16-year-old Palestinian Arab boy approached Border Patrol security personnel guarding the entrance to the ancient and sacred Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron during early Thursday morning. He managed to arouse their suspicions and they stopped and searched him. He was found to be carrying a knife which, in the context of the dozens of stabbing attacks perpetrated by Arabs on Jews since the start of October, is something that produces an immediate Israeli response. He was arrested and taken away to be interrogated. No one was injured in what could easily have become a fatal encounter.

In another part of Hebron this morning, at the Pharmacy Checkpoint (as it's known to Israelis), an improvised explosive grenade was hurled at the security personnel manning the barrier during a "demonstration" by Palestinian Arabs. Times of Israel reports injuries to one of the Israelis, a soldier, who was treated on the spot. No word at this stage about the identity of the attacker. Firebombs were hurled at the security team manning the same checkpoint three weeks ago.

There has been further bloodshed in two major terror attacks done this afternoon in metropolitan Tel Aviv and in the Gush Etzion communities a few minutes drive south of Jerusalem.

South Tel Aviv's Beit Panorama Center via Google Street View
Based on reports from Israel television news, HaaretzYnet and Times of Israel, we know of a murderous rampage early this afternoon by a Palestinian Arab male of 26, a resident of Dura, a village near Hebron, and the bearer of a fresh entry-permit issued less than a week ago and allowing him to work in Israel, according to a Channel 2 report, "came to kill Jews" in the Tel Aviv area. The attack, by knife, was done inside the large and busy Beit Panorama office/retail/workshop complex on Ben Zvi Road in the southern section of Tel Aviv. Some reports are saying he was employed in one of the Beit Panorama restaurants. The knife man, in search of Jewish victims, perhaps religious Jews as happens with sickening frequency, spotted a minyan engaged in afternoon prayers in a makeshift chapel inside a Judaica shop. There, he managed to stab three people before being subdued by an alert passer-by equipped with no weapons other than an iron bar, yet managed to stop him and hold him in place until police arrived. Haaretz says two of the Israelis, males and said to be in their thirties, died of their injuries. The third has stabbing injuries defined as moderate. The terror-minded Palestinian Arab assailant is lightly injured and in the hands of the police.

Based on an Israel National News report, it appears that a short while later this afternoon, a terror-minded attacker (and perhaps 3 - we are checking) shot at Israelis traveling in at least three vehicles, including a light bus, via an Uzi sub-machine gun (according to Channel 2 News coverage at 6:00 pm) from his car, a Toyota sedan, in the Tzomet Gevaot road junction adjacent to the Alon Shvut community.

The shooter continued on from there, ramming his vehicle into an Israeli victim at the frequently-jam-packed Alon Shvut Junction. One of the shooting victims, described by Jerusalem Post as "an approximately 18-year old... youth [who] was an American tourist"], was pronounced dead at the scene. At least seven more people are injured - two of them critically including a man of about 50 who suffered bullet wounds to the upper parts of his body. He was rushed unconscious to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem. Other casualties were taken for emergency treatment at Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek Medical Center. The attacker was shot; reports say he was "neutralized", a term which leaves some doubt as to whether he is going to be interrogated. (This video appears to show him dead beside his car.) Israel's Channel 2 News says (5:45 pm) reports the shooting deaths of two Israelis and of a third victim, a Palestinian Arab male ("in his forties") described as "evidently killed by accident".

There's still much to absorb in all of this. Israelis will be wanting to understand the implications, including the use of what is termed in Hebrew "hot weapons", a reference to the Uzi. One thing, however, is clear: the very limited interest there is here in attaching flags of Israel to people's social media avatars - experience tells us this generally fails to keep the killers out of our lives.

19-Nov-15: Time-sharing on Temple Mount: World Council of Churches knows all about it

Games Arab children play on the Temple Mount: Background here
Anyone know when Jewish hour at Al Aqsa takes place? Asking for a Zionist friend. They're not answering the phone at the WCC.
World Council of Churches | Statement on situation in Israel and Palestine | 18 November 2015 | EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE -Bossey, Switzerland... The WCC executive committee, meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 13-18 November 2015, accordingly expresses its grave concern at recent developments in Israel and Palestine, involving renewed violent attacks against people of both communities and measures entailing long-term time division of access to Al-Aqsa mosque and affecting access to other holy sites. Such measures further diminish hope in the realization of this vision.
You have to take off your kippah to a lavishly-funded, hugely influential group like this that can labor to produce a summary of the turbulence going on in the Holy Land for its top management and be so skewed about it.

Look at the two factors that lead their analysis.
  1. That safe old stand-by, the cycle of violence, where 16 year old wanna-be knifers get stopped from doing what their leaders program them to do thereby preventing more bloodshed.
  2. The most holiness-infused place in Jewish geography where Jews are forbidden to pray and are daily harassedthreatened and abused by Arabs, delusionally depicted as some sort of enforced time-share.
The appalling thing is this will reliably be swallowed up uncritically by 600 million believers, pastors and priests. (For some of our previous observations about the work of the WCC, click here.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

17-Nov-15: Rocket intercepted in the air south of Ashkelon

It's Tuesday and around 2:30 pm this afternoon, the IDF's "Color Red" incoming rocket warning system sounded alerts in parts of Israel's south. Too early to be sure of the details yet but it appears at least one rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip and was intercepted in the air. The sirens were sounded in the Shaar HaNegev region, the Otef Aza (Gaza belt) region, and in the Hof Ashkelon region. Israel's Channel 2 news says the intercept was south of Ashkelon, and brought down one rocket. No indications of injuries or damage.

UPDATE Tuesday November 17, 2015 at 6:00 pm: There is a surprising, and relatively rare, follow-on. As Times of Israel reports it,  the Iron Dome missile was fired into the air this afternoon by mistake. The detection system
reportedly mistook gunfire in the Gaza Strip for an incoming rocket fired at Israeli territory. The missile streaked across the sky before exploding harmlessly in midair, but it triggered air raid sirens in communities bordering Gaza, sending residents running for their air raid shelters. The IDF confirmed that there had not been any rocket fire from Gaza, but did not provide further details as to what caused the incident.
An expensive error, but fortunately the cost is measured in money, not in lives.

Monday, November 16, 2015

16-Nov-15: The terror in Paris: An odd and disturbing view from Stockholm

The most hunted terrorist in Europe, in a 2014 video clip from
the midst of the Syrian bloodbath [Image Source: MEMRI]
A year ago, Sweden's foreign minister Margot Wallström went to Cairo. It was her first official visit to anywhere outside the EU.

Sweden was one of about fifty countries represented in a conference that sought to figure out how to rebuild Gaza in the wake of the destructive 2014 war between the Hamas Islamist regime and Israel and to collect money for that purpose. (Israel has a vital interest in seeing things get better in Gaza but understands that for deplorable reasons this is not going to happen under Hamas.)

We know now the Cairo conference was not the biggest of successes: the Iranian mouthpiece PressTV reported half a year later ["No home rebuilt in Gaza after 2014 Israel war: UNRWA", April 23, 2015] that things were barely moving. According to Chris Gunness of UNRWA, his agency had gotten funding that barely enabled it "to reconstruct 200 of the 9,161 houses totally destroyed." What a mess.

But not for Ms Wallström. She got back to Stockholm quite pumped up, reporting in an interview to Radio Sweden [here] that Sweden was hailed by the Palestinian Arabs as
"heroes... [because] we plan to recognise the Palestinian state. That is why we are placed in a category of heroes here... They are very pleased and hope this will inspire others. One also believes it is courageous of us to lead the way and so have been very well received."
It's easy to imagine Ms Wallström getting a kick from the sort of attention she received in Cairo. On the whole, 2015 has not been a fun year for her and her ministry. Fawning attention, as well as admiration and respect, have been in short supply. This is particularly true of its (and her) broader Middle East strategy. Even we ripped into it - see "20-Mar-15: A peek into how Middle East politics work in reality". Fair warning: don't read it if you're looking for flattering observations about Sweden's foreign minister.

Friday night's Swedish TV interview with the country's
hapless foreign minister [Image Source: Screen Capture]
Now, in the wake of Friday night's horrific terrorism inflicted on Paris, we get a sense of where that uplifting feeling of being someone's hero has brought Margot Wallström and the government in whose name she speaks. 

This past Friday night, she was interviewed on SVT2T, a Swedish television station, mere hours after the ISIS attacks on multiple Paris venues that left more than 130 dead, hundreds more injured and a great city in deep shock and bewilderment. Asked if she was concerned about the radicalization of Swedish youth including those who fight with Islamic State, she said there was cause for concern, not only in Sweden but everywhere. And an underlying cause:
"To counteract the radicalization [in Europe]," Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström said in a televised interview only hours after the Paris attacks, "we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East in which... the Palestinians see that there is no future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence." [Wall St Journal]
(A special shout-out to David Metzler, a Swedish-speaking Jerusalemite whose blog post on the Times of Israel site [Justifying Paris] first drew attention yesterday to the stunning Wallström rationalization for Islamist mass-casualty terror.)

Israel's foreign ministry responded with a scathing announcement earlier today. It manages not to mention Ms Wallström by name, heightening (we think) the impression that in Jerusalem it's seen as personal:
The Swedish foreign minister has consistently demonstrated bias against Israel and exhibits genuine hostility when she indicates a connection of any kind between the terrorist attacks in Paris and the complex situation between Israel and the Palestinians... Whoever fatuously attempts to create a link between radical Islamist attacks and the current problems between Israel and the Palestinians is fooling himself, his people and international public opinion. [Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem - November 16, 2015]
Fatah's sickening view: No need for Arabic-to-English translation
It would be unkind, too simple and, in a serious way, misleading to treat the Wallström formulation (Middle East situation = desperation or violence = Paris restaurant patrons are machine-gunned) as constituting a moment of Swedish madness. In fact, it meshes with the line currently taken by the Palestinian Authority. 

The Facebook page of Fatah, whose head is the PA president Mahmoud Abbas, advances the case that it was Israel that played the key enabling role in the shootings and bombings in Paris, when it published a cartoon (that's it over on the right) depicting
a conniving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overlooking Paris with a telescope beside a smiling ISIS terrorist wielding an assault rifle. [The Investigative Project, today]
It gets even more explicit. It's reported today that a featured op-ed in the Palestinian Authority's official daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, says the Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency, orchestrated Friday night's Paris massacres.

Sweden's foreign minister may have been having a very bad Friday. Or she may actually believe the counter-factual and deeply offensive "explanations" she offers for the ISIS savagery in France. We're not sure. But there's little doubt her views do pretty accurately reflect those of large numbers of people.

Something about which we have no doubt is that she will have failed to persuade - and does not represent - Abdelhamid Abaaoud. He's the jihadist suspected by French authorities of masterminding Friday's attacks in Paris:
Abaaoud, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Umar al-Baljiki, has been on the run since police stormed a jihadist cell in the eastern Belgian town of Verviers in January... Abaaoud is from Molenbeek, a poor district in Brussels, in which at least one of the Paris attackers and a number of people arrested in subsequent raids had spent time... In an interview with IS's online magazine, Dabiq, in February, Abaaoud said he had recently arrived in the group's self-declared caliphate after fleeing Europe following the raids in Verviers. [ABC Online, today]
In a MEMRI video clip from March 2014 [online here], Abaaoud delivers a monologue from a trench in Syria, stating that it is "nice to see... the blood of the infidels". He makes no mention of Israel, Palestine or desperation. He does however ask rhetorically "What can be sweeter than martyrdom in the path of Allah?"

It would be a mistake to dismiss this lust for death and blood as among the reasons young European Moslems are making their way to the killing fields of Syria. And from there to the boulevards and cafes of Paris.

Most of us have our own ways of feeling good about ourselves and life. We now know something about what brightens the Swedish foreign minister's mood, and the same for Europe's most hunted Islamist. Each, in his and her own way, is delusional and simplistic. Each undermines the logic of the other, but the views of both are, in the end, marginal. When it comes to the lethal dangers of terror, the rest of us - and our political leaders - cannot afford to be sucked in by self-serving ideological cant.