The Day In Israel: Thursday Aug 26th, 2010


The PA has dealt with opposition to the direct talks with Israel.

By beating the living daylights out of those voicing it.

mahmoud abbasPalestinian Authority security forces on Wednesday used force to prevent dozens of Palestinians in Ramallah from voicing their opposition to the US-sponsored direct talks with Israel.

PA security agents and policemen who stormed the building, where the press conference was supposed to be held, first turned off the lights and then beat some of the participants.

The policemen also beat cameramen, Khaled Milhem and Aysar Barghouti before confiscating their equipment. The two work for the local Al-Watan TV.

The incident is an indication of growing tensions among Palestinians in light of the PA leadership’s decision to abandon its previous conditions for conducting direct negotiations with Israel.

Many Palestinians have strongly condemned the PA leadership for “succumbing” to US and Israeli pressure by agreeing to negotiate with Israel unconditionally.

Following the incident, PA President Mahmoud Abbas decided to establish a special commission of inquiry to look into charges that PA security forces had used excessive force to prevent the conference from taking place.

A statement issued by Abbas’s office said that he showed “instant interest in the state of chaos that prevailed during the meeting at the Protestant Club [in Ramallah].”

But of course Abbas showed an interest in a “state of chaos.” It is what he is aiming to replace the state of Israel with.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

2:32PM: Today’s been a real riot. But once again, I am left asking “Is the palestinian version of events really what happened?”

Or should that be versions.

Here’s what Ynet reports:

Dozens of youths hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at Border Guard officers in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan Thursday morning. The forces dispersed the rioters, who also attacked firefighters.

A spokesman for the Jerusalem Fire and Rescue Services said the rioters torched four vehicles, two scooters, trees, trash cans, and a guard post.

Palestinians said the clashes broke out at around 4 am after masked Jewish residents of the neighborhood tried to enter a mosque in the area. The Palestinians, who were awake because of Ramadan, saw the intruders and alerted the youths who started the riots. Jerusalem Police are probing the incident.

Which leaves me wondering: if they were masked, how do the palestinians know they were Jewish residents? It is not like the phenomenom of a masked palestinian is unheard of.

And then there’s the Ha’aretz version:

According to the demonstrators, the clashes began when settlers tried to break down a gate leading to a mosque courtyard.

“At three a.m., four settlers arrived and asked to open the gate so they could take a shortcut to a spring,” said Mahmoud Karin, a resident of the neighborhood and an employee of the Silwan information center. “One of the [Muslim] worshippers saw them and yelled to them to find out what they were doing and they fled,” he said.

Palestinians began hurling rocks at settlers’ homes following the incident, and local security personnel began firing shots into the air.

No mention of masked intruders; and here they were trying to break down a gate leading to the mosque courtyard and/or requesting palestinians open the gate, rather than trying to enter the mosque.

Let’s see what the investigation yields. Color me skeptical.

12:10PM: Israelis are to serve on a UN force for the first time.

An Israeli police delegation will leave for Haiti to serve as part of a U.N. multinational force, marking the first time Israelis will serve on a U.N. force.

The 14 police officers attended a ceremony at the Western Wall on Monday ahead of their scheduled departure on early next week.  The delegation constitutes the first-ever Israeli group to serve in active duty under the command of the United Nations. The police officers will remain in Haiti for an extended period of time.

“You are Israel’s true face,” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told the officers during a meeting Wednesday. “This mission will demonstrate to friends and foes alike that Israel is always willing to contribute and volunteer anywhere and at anytime. It is important for people to see Israel beyond the conflict and to see that this is the real Israel. We are not only strong materially, but also strong in spirit.”

Two police officers in the mission reportedly delayed their weddings to participate in the mission.

6:55AM: UNIFIL announced the completion of its investigation of the LAF attack on IDF forces along the Lebanese border in the beginning of the month of August, confirming its preliminary conclusions that the tree in question was located inside Israel’s border.

UNIFIL announced today (Wednesday, August 25) that it had completed its investigation of the August 3rd incident that occurred between the Lebanese Armed Forces and the Israel Defense Forces, and verified its preliminary conclusions that Israel had operated within its own borders when Lebanese sniper fire targeted Israeli soldiers. The IDF had been pruning a tree that each side claimed to be within its own territory, when the Lebanese army used live fire towards the IDF force operating in the area, killing a senior officer, and provoking an exchange of fire. UNIFIL announced that while “both the LAF and IDF cooperated fully with the UNIFIL team during the investigation”, their completed report “confirms the preliminary conclusions” in which UNIFIL had determined that the tree in question was located inside Israel’s border.

The preliminary conclusions had emphasized that the “trees being cut by the Israeli army were located south of the Blue Line on the Israeli side”, as stated by UNIFIL military spokesperson Lt. Col. Naresh Bhatt following the event. Moreover, as explained to Israeli Army Radio the day following the event, Hungarian diplomat and UNIFIL spokesman Milos Strungar noted that, “the IDF had coordinated the pruning work along the border with the Lebanese Army through UNIFIL. The IDF had informed UNIFIL that it would be pruning a tree on the northern side of the border fence, but south of the international border line.”

Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas said in today’s statement that, “UNIFIL’s investigation report is a result of a professional and impartial work. It is based on the facts and all the evidence available to UNIFIL at this stage. We hope this report will assist the parties to prevent the reoccurrence of such a serious and tragic incident. I emphasized to both sides that the incident of August 3rd, 2010 must remain an isolated event.”

IDF senior officer Lt. Col. (res.) Dov Harari was shot and killed when Lebanese forces began to open fire, and IDF Officer Capt. Ezra Lakia was severely injured during the incident. Two LAF soldiers and one Lebanese journalist were also killed in the ensuing exchange of fire.

Meanwhile, at the time of this post, I was hardpressed to find the mainstream media reporting this. Besides Israeli media outlets,  I found this MSM report which did it’s best to bury the favorable-to-Israel-results by using the banal headline UN mission’s report on clash between Israel and Lebanon completed, and waiting until the fourth paragraph to mention the results.

6:42AM: Pro-Israel group Z Street is suing the IRS for discrimination.


Z STREET, a pro-Israel non-profit corporation, filed a lawsuit in federal court today charging that the IRS violated the organization’s First Amendment rights.  The suit was filed after Z STREET was told by an IRS official that its application for tax-exempt status has been delayed because an IRS policy requires consideration of whether a group’s views on Israel differ from those of the current Administration.

“Not only is it patently un-American but it is also a clear violation of the First Amendment for a government agency to penalize an organization because of its political position on Israel or anything else,” said Z STREET president Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a former First Amendment lawyer.   “This situation is the same as if the government denied a driver’s license to people because they were Republicans or Democrats. It goes against everything for which our country stands.”

Z STREET filed for tax-exempt status in January of this year and, despite having met all of the requirements for grant of this status, the application has been stalled.  An IRS agent told Z STREET’s lawyers that the application was delayed because of a Special Israel Policy that requires greater scrutiny of   organizations which have to do with Israel, in part to determine whether they espouse positions on Israel contrary to those of the current Administration.

Z STREET is a Zionist organization that proudly supports Israel’s right to refuse to negotiate with, make concessions to, or appease terrorists.  Z STREET’s positions on Israel and, in particular, on the Middle East “peace process” differ significantly from those espoused by the Obama administration.

If Z STREET had tax-exempt status, its donors would be able to deduct contributions from their taxable income. The IRS’s refusal to grant tax-exempt status to Z STREET has inhibited the organization‘s fundraising efforts, and therefore impeded its ability to speak and to educate the public regarding the issues that are the focus and purpose of Z STREET.

The lawsuit, Z STREET v. Shulman, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, was filed today in the United States District Court for the  Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

As Solomon posts:

If you’re not a little disturbed by this, you should be. Z Street is having its status held up to see if they’re in line with Obama Administration policy? And the government admits this? It sounds outrageous.

Even more interesting is that this seems to be directly in line with what J Street and other leftists were calling for, just a short time ago, in what appeared to be a coordinated attack against administration critics and those whose ideas of supporting the Jewish State differed from their own.


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