Thursday, June 08, 2017
NETANYAHU-HALEY AGREE TO TRY TO SCRAP UN RESOLUTION ON SETTLEMENTS.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE
Netanyahu, Nikki Haley agree to try to scrap UN resolution on settlements — report-JUNE 7,17-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley have agreed to work to overturn UN resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlements — passed without US opposition in the final months of Barak Obama’s presidency — Channel 2 news reports.The resolution, which passed in December 2016 with 14 yes votes and an American abstention, said Israeli settlements have “no legal validity” and represent “a flagrant violation under international law.” Israel reacted furiously to the resolution, denouncing it as “shameful.”US President Donald Trump condemned the vote at the time, questioning the efficacy of the United Nations, and promising that “things will be different” when became president.Haley has has also promised a different approach than the previous administration.“The days of Israel bashing are over” at the UN, she told the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby in Washington, DC, last week. “That happened but it will never happen again,” she said of Resolution 2334. “You’re not going to take our number one democratic friend in the Middle East and beat up on them,” she said.Furthermore, she declared then that when Resolution 2334 was approved, “the entire country felt a kick in the gut. We had just done something that showed the United States at its weakest point ever,” Nowadays, by contrast, she went on, “everyone at the United Nations is scared to talk to me about Resolution 2334. And I wanted them to know that, Look, that happened, but it will never happen again.”Currently on an official visit to Israel, Haley told Netanyahu on Wednesday that she was actively working to change attitudes toward Israel at the UN.“We’re starting to see a turn in New York. I think they know they can’t keep responding in the way they’ve been responding,” she referring to countries that routinely bash the Jewish state at the UN’s various agencies.Overturning Resolution 2334 would require a new Security Council motion with the support of a majority of its members, and not vetoed by China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States.
6 things you didn’t know about the Six Day War-50 years later, small anomalies that, if not forgotten, have faded into the recesses of memory-By Ron Kampeas June 6, 2017, 12:26 am-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
JTA — The three paratroopers casting eyes upward at the Western Wall. The troops reveling in the waters of the Suez Canal.The sweeping views of a Galilee no longer vulnerable to shelling from atop the Golan Heights.Not to mention Naomi Shemer’s anthem “Jerusalem of Gold,” reissued after the Six-Day War with a new verse celebrating access to the Old City. Or the settlements, the Palestinians, the tensions, the violence.These – and many others – are the images, memories and challenges that persist after 50 years of triumph, soul searching and grief.But there are anomalies – small, telling wrinkles in what the war wrought – that, if not quite forgotten, have faded into the recesses of memory.They are worth reviving to deepen our understanding of an event that changed Jewish history.For 20 years, Jews paid fees to a symbol of Palestinian prideIn the wake of Jerusalem’s reunification, its mayor, Teddy Kollek, was faced with a dilemma: Jewish neighborhoods were sprouting up in the eastern part of the city. Any attempt to extend electricity to them from the electricity provider in Israel would likely elicit local and international protest because the world did not recognize Israel’s claims to the city.Kollek’s solution: Allow the Palestinian-run Jerusalem District Electric Company, or JDEC, predating Israel’s establishment, to continue providing power in and around the Old City, including the new Jewish neighborhoods.So until 1987, Jews living in the Old City and the new neighborhoods received electric bills that seemed a mirror image of their other utility bills: First the text was in Arabic, then in Hebrew.The JDEC held exclusive rights to a radius of 50 kilometers, or 31 miles, around the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Old City site believed to be the site of Jesus’ burial.After 1948, Israel assumed responsibility for providing electricity to western Jerusalem.The JDEC, which had become a symbol of Palestinian aspirations for independence, was helmed by Anwar Nusseibeh, the scion of an ancient Palestinian family.According to the 1999 book “Separate and Unequal,” about relations between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem, even after the JDEC’s limited capacities were exhausted by the rapidly expanding demand, Israeli authorities balked at extending the Israel Electric Corp.’s reach into eastern Jerusalem. Instead, the Israeli company sold capacity to the JDEC.In December 1987, the government finally – quietly – shifted total responsibility for the Jewish neighborhoods to the Israeli company.“Separate and Unequal,” penned by three Israelis – Amir Cheshin and Avi Melamed, two former municipality liaisons to the city’s Palestinian population, and journalist Bill Hutman – cited the conundrum as an example of the balancing act that Israeli officials had to perform: Maintaining a Jewish claim to the entire city, while at times deferring to Palestinian nationalism, in order to keep the peace.“Israel could not expect to wipe out an important Palestinian national symbol without a reaction, possibly a severe reaction, from the Palestinian public,” they wrote.The JDEC still exists, albeit providing electricity only to Palestinian residents.-King Hussein longed for peace — and liked his Israeli hardware-During most of his reign, King Hussein of Jordan sought a peaceful arrangement with Israel, taking a cue from his beloved grandfather, King Abdullah I, whom he saw assassinated in Jerusalem in 1951 because he was seeking peace with Israel.Like his grandfather, he sought peace in secret but did not escape opprobrium – and was wary of meeting Abdullah’s fate. Hussein felt he had little choice but to join President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt in saber rattling against Israel in 1967 – Nasser, wildly popular in the Arab world, had already taunted the king as being subservient to Israel.Moreover, Israel had humiliated Hussein a year earlier with a massive daylight raid into his territory to exact revenge for an attack carried out by Palestinian Fatah troops, who then operated with relative impunity from Jordanian soil.According to historian Martin Gilbert’s “Jerusalem Illustrated History Atlas,” on June 4, 1967, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol relayed a message to Hussein: “We shall not initiate any action whatsoever against Jordan. However, should Jordan open hostilities, we shall react with all our might and (Hussein) will have to bear the full responsibility for all the consequences.”At 8:30 a.m. the following day, Jordan started shelling western Jerusalem, and at 9:30 a.m., Hussein broadcast, “The hour of revenge has come.”That kind of talk and the ensuing bloody battles — plus prior years that witnessed the destruction of Jewish properties in eastern Jerusalem and Hussein’s refusal for 19 years to allow Jewish access to the Western Wall — left some Israelis wondering whether Hussein truly sought peace.The answers came over time – King Hussein drove Fatah out of Jordan in 1970 and in 1973 waited out the Yom Kippur War. In 1986, he came close to signing a peace deal with Israel.In 1994, symbols bold and subtle made evident that Hussein had earned the trust of leading Israelis. The king was present at Israel’s Arava terminal when Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed a peace treaty with his Jordanian counterpart, Abdelsalam al-Majali.The next day Maariv, a newspaper then owned by the Nimrodi family, published a full-page photo captioned “1965, collection of Yaakov Nimrodi,” with no other comment. Nimrodi, the clan patriarch, was Israel’s leading private arms dealer.In the photo, a smiling King Hussein is cradling an Israeli-manufactured Uzi submachine gun.When did Israel unite Jerusalem? Did it unite Jerusalem? “The future belongs to the complete Jerusalem that shall never again be divided,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said two years ago on Jerusalem Day, which marks the Hebrew calendar anniversary of Israel’s capture of eastern Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.The adjectives vary – “complete,” “united,” “indivisible” — but the meaning is clear enough: Israel will never cede an inch of the Jerusalem it reunited.Except when it formally reunited Jerusalem is not so clear: 1967? 1980? 2000? Ever? On June 27, 1967, less than three weeks after the war’s end, Israel’s Knesset passed ordinances that allowed Israeli officials to extend Israeli law into areas of their designations. The next day, the Interior Ministry acted on those new ordinances, extending Israeli law into the areas that now constitute the Jerusalem municipality. They included 28 Palestinian villages, the Old City and what had been defined by Jordan as municipal Jerusalem.So, June 28, 1967, apparently is when Israel “united” Jerusalem. Except Ian Lustick, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, published a widely cited paper in 1997 that showed unification was not necessarily the intention of the 1967 ordinances.An Interior Ministry news release on June 28, 1967, said the “basic purpose” of its order was “to provide full municipal and social services to all inhabitants of the city.” Absent was any expression of political purpose.Not long after, Abba Eban, then Israel’s foreign minister, told the United Nations that the ordinances had a practical, not a national consequence.“The term ‘annexation’ is out of place,” he said. “The measures adopted related to the integration of Jerusalem in the administrative and municipal spheres and furnish a legal basis for the protection of the Holy Places.”As Lustick noted, even within these parameters, anomalies persisted: For decades, Jordanian curricula prevailed in Palestinian schools in eastern Jerusalem.In 1980, the Knesset passed a Basic Law – what passes in Israel for a constitution – declaring united Jerusalem to be Israeli. “The complete and united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” it said.But left out of the law was a definition of what constituted the “complete and united” Jerusalem. It took until 2000 for the Knesset to pass an amendment to the 1980 Basic Law specifying that Jerusalem was defined by the Interior Ministry order of June 28, 1967.So was 2000 when Israel formally set down in law what constituted the united, indivisible, complete Jerusalem? Not exactly, according to a Haaretz analysis in 2015, which said the 1980 law is essentially declarative: Nowhere does it include the words “annexation” or “sovereignty.”Marshall Breger and Thomas Idinopulos, in a 1998 Washington Institute for Near East Policy tract, “Jerusalem’s Holy Places and the Peace Process,” suggest that these are distinctions without a difference and say that Israeli court decisions that treat eastern Jerusalem as essentially annexed should be determinative.-The first Jewish settlement in the captured territories-There are plenty of dramatic markers in the history of the return of Jews to the areas Israel captured in the Six-Day War:The first homes reoccupied by Jews in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, in 1969; the Jews, led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger, who moved into a Hebron hotel to mark Passover 1968 and would not leave until the government allowed them to establish the settlement that would become Kiryat Arba; the settlers who would not leave the area of Sebastia in the northern West Bank until the government in 1975 allowed them to establish Elon Moreh.But the first settlement? That would be Merom Golan, a kibbutz originally named Kibbutz Golan, when Israelis quietly moved in on July 14, 1967, just over a month after the war.Why the urgency? A clue is in who founded the kibbutz: Israelis from the eastern Galilee, who had suffered potshots and shelling from Syrian troops for years.The Israeli attachment to the West Bank and to Jerusalem has been from the outset one defined by emotion, history and identity. Occupying and settling the Golan Heights — an area traditionally not defined as within the boundaries of the biblical Land of Israel — was seen as a matter of security and practical necessity: Israel, atop the Golan, was less vulnerable.These days, Merom Golan is a resort.-That ancient church in Gaza? It was a synagogue-The Western Wall, Qumran, Shiloh, King Herod’s tomb – the Six-Day War was a boon for historians seeking evidence of ancient Jewish settlement in the Holy Land.Most of these sites are in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. But a team of archaeologists rushed to the Gaza Strip within weeks of its capture.Why? In 1966, Egypt’s Department of Antiquities announced the discovery of what it said was an ancient church on Gaza’s coast. Examining the pictures in the Italian antiquities journal Orientala, Israeli archaeologists immediately understood it was no church – it was a synagogue.Visible in one photograph was a Hebrew inscription, “David,” alongside a harpist – King David.According to an article published in 1994 in Biblical Archaeology Review, by the time the Israelis reached it a year later, the David mosaic had been damaged – evidence perhaps that the Egyptians understood that the biblical king’s depiction validated claims of ancient Jewish settlement and sought to erase it.They set about excavating the site, which turned out to be one of the largest Byzantine-era synagogues in the region.At the foot of one mosaic they found the following inscription: “(We) Menahem and Yeshua, sons of the late Isai (Jesse), wood traders, as a sign of respect for a most holy place, donated this mosaic in the month of Louos (the year of) 569.”-The quiet reunifications-This was the myth: Between 1949 and 1967, the heart of a city identified since the beginnings of history with the Jews had been made Judenrein.The myth was largely based in fact, but there were exceptions: Every two weeks, a convoy of Israeli troops would travel through Jordanian Jerusalem to Mount Scopus, the Hebrew University campus that remained Israel’s as part of the 1949 armistice. Intrepid non-Israeli Jews occasionally passed through the Mandelbaum Gate, the gateway between Jordanian and Israeli Jerusalem. Muriel Spark, the Scottish novelist, captured the danger in such a crossing in her 1961 novel “The Mandelbaum Gate.”And then there were stories like this one: In 1991, the building where I owned an apartment obtained permission from the municipality to add rooms and balconies. The contractor subcontracted some of the work. One day, a gregarious Palestinian subcontractor came by to measure my balcony for the railing he would build.But the contractor disappeared just before completing the job. I paid others to complete the work and asked around for the number of the subcontractor.He lived in Silwan, the ancient neighborhood abutting the Old City. I called.A woman speaking fluent Hebrew answered; this in itself was striking. It was not unusual for Palestinian men, who worked throughout Israel, to speak Hebrew, but it was a rarity at the time to encounter a Hebrew-speaking Palestinian woman. Moreover, her Hebrew was unaccented and flawless.She was the subcontractor’s mother. Of course he would come and install the railing, it was gathering dust in their yard, and he had forgotten my exact address, she said not only that, but I wasn’t to pay him a shekel extra, he had been paid for his work and wouldn’t hear of it.I couldn’t resist asking her to explain her Hebrew.She was Jewish, born and raised in Jerusalem. She had married a Palestinian Muslim before independence. And she remained in Silwan after the war. Did she reunite with family? Yes, she said, immediately after the Six-Day War, but would not elaborate.The subcontractor came by.“I spoke to your mother,” I said.“Yes,” he said and smiled.I asked the neighbors who had used the same contractor, I asked other Jerusalemites, and no one expressed surprise.They had heard similar stories of excommunication and then tentative reunification. How many were there? No one knew. No one compiled these stories. There was no shame to the phenomenon, but neither was there a celebration of it.It seemed unresolved, like so much else about the Six-Day War.
Analysis: 50 years since the Six Day War-Why peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians keep failing-On the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, earnest diplomats and a new US president seem as eager as their predecessors to bring peace to this troubled place — and as blind as those earlier failed do-gooders to the animating roots of this conflict-By Haviv Rettig Gur June 5, 2017, 11:40 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
For the past 50 years, Palestinians and Israelis have been subjected to the uniquely corrosive institution of belligerent occupation. For fully 25 of those years, they have been subjected to the almost equally scarring peace process that tried to end it. That’s not a flippant comment. The peace process managed to stimulate and intensify the centrifugal narratives on either side: it incentivized Hamas’s steady escalation in brutality, the corresponding — and, for peace prospects, devastating — Israeli public disillusionment, and the anxious race by the ideological settlement movement to expand Israeli settlement deep inside the West Bank in any way it could. It brought all the anxieties, terrors and resistance of a real peace — without delivering the sides any closer to reconciliation or resolution.And that’s no accident. The peace process was forged by a class of individuals possessing an exceptionally well-developed capacity for selective blindness. Some Israeli leaders — Yitzhak Rabin, for instance — believed they could forge with PLO leader Yasser Arafat the sort of cold but dependable standoff Israel had maintained with each Egyptian dictator since Anwar Sadat. Other Israelis — Yossi Beilin is one example — believed they were negotiating a real reconciliation, apparently because they themselves yearned for it so intensely that they could not really fathom that it might not be reciprocated by the other side. Both of these sorts of Israelis were determined to ignore the domestic Palestinian discourse advanced by Arafat and others that resisted reconciliation, elevated the ideological rejection of Israel to the level of civic religion and openly glorified brutality against Israelis — and that was in the happy early years of Oslo peacemaking, the mid-1990s to which more than a few of today’s despairing progressives look for inspiration.The Palestinian side, too, was gripped by a strategic blindness that transformed peacemaking efforts into a recipe for permanent war. The PLO turned to peace talks after the First Gulf War, when American power in the region was on the ascendant. It was a strategic concession, not a historic turnaround. The fundamental Palestinian predicament, even today, is not in any simple sense the specific Israeli presence in the West Bank. Fatah was founded in 1964, not 1967, and saw its mission as addressing a deeper and older problem than the one being marked this week — the problem of a nation dispossessed of its homeland, and whose very identity coalesced around that loss. It is Israel itself, invasive, Jewish, a standing reproach to Arab powerlessness and decline — and more galling, to Muslim incapacity in defending the shrines at Jerusalem’s sacred center.With such deafening emotions pulsing through Palestinian political discourse throughout the years of peace processing, perhaps it is no wonder no Palestinian leader ever seems to have paused, looked carefully at the Israelis across the divide, and discovered that this challenge to the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim worlds was no mere colonialist political project, as so much Arab propaganda has proclaimed over the decades. They might have noticed that Jewish Israelis had a distinct culture and shared history, their own language and identity — and more to the point, nowhere else to go. This realization would have made the strategic turn toward terrorism taken by Hamas and parts of Fatah during those peacemaking years nonsensical. One can murder colonists until they return to their home country or tyrants until they abandon their unjust oppression. But how does one terrorize a nation with nowhere else to go? The Israelis are no more capable of resolving the Palestinians’ primordial predicament of displacement — for example, by fulfilling their redemption fantasy of return across the Green Line — than the Palestinians are of leaving this land quietly to the Jews.Earnest diplomats and ideologues, too-clever politicians with dreams of Nobel Prizes, all bathed in global adulation and funds, and all stubbornly blind to the most fundamental anxieties and yearnings of the two sides — this, too, is part of the legacy being marked on the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War.-Enter President Trump-“There are many things that can happen now that could never have happened before,” US President Donald Trump proclaimed on his visit to Israel last month as he declared his desire to finally bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians.There is little doubt among Israelis that Trump earnestly hopes to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli media has dwelt at length on his appointment of two of his closest confidants, son-in-law Jared Kushner and trusted adviser of two decades Jason Greenblatt, to the task. It hardly matters whether he is motivated by magnanimous humanitarianism, hard-nosed policy thinking or merely the validation of an outsized ego; all three motivations were at work with his predecessor Barack Obama, most Israelis will tell you, and presumably all three will be present in his successor’s efforts as well.But perhaps Israelis and Palestinians can be forgiven their skepticism of this latest effort, even as their leaders go out of their way to show a willingness to cooperate so as not to be blamed for the coming failure.Repeated debilitating failure has had one positive outcome: there is less blindness among ordinary folk on either side. Most Palestinians no longer believe the Israelis can be dislodged. Most Israelis do not believe the current state of Palestinian politics is able to reciprocate Israeli concessions with peace. Whether one laments or celebrates these realizations is beside the point; they constitute an awakening for each side to some of the fundamental realities and anxieties of the other.-Urgency-The cynical despondency that now grips Israelis and Palestinians is arguably healthier than a half-blind, violence-inducing peace process, but pessimism alone does not absolve the sides from the unvarnished realities that still cry out for resolution.After 50 years, many Palestinians now ask if it is still reasonable to expect that they will ever become free of Israel, and if it is not, what that might mean for their future. Other Palestinians — the divides are as well-worn and predictable as everything else in this long-running war — will point to the passage of time as proof that implacable, immovable Israel is no mere political problem, but a cosmic-spiritual one to be overcome through tenacious sacred war. Israelis, too, divide in all the old ways. Some lament the self-made trap Israel laid for itself by allowing settlements to grow in the West Bank, others lament the self-made trap the Palestinians laid for themselves by making previous Israeli withdrawals end in bloodshed and disaster, and still others celebrate a simpler story: the 50-year anniversary, a Biblical yovel, of the Jews’ return to surging success in their once-and-future spiritual heartland.All these visions and anxieties are ultimately arguments about the passage of time, about the meaning and purpose of history.It is the sheer durability of the occupation, after all, that makes it a bad thing, that turns a legal instrument originally conceived by the authors of the Fourth Geneva Convention as a means for protecting civilians in wartime into the permanent powerlessness and confining liminality in which West Bank Palestinians live, and which gives their situation its moral urgency and resonance.As a new generation of earnest diplomats champs at the bit for a chance at resolving this stubborn conflict, and as the very real suffering of two peoples calls out for a solution no one has yet been able to deliver, it is worth examining the two sides’ deeper impulses and assumptions that have been so steadfastly ignored by the peacemakers of yesteryear — and without which no new peace attempt is likely to end any differently from the previous ones.-Which Abbas?-Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas seems to embody a great many opposing impulses in the Palestinian national movement. Ostensibly the heir to Arafat’s violent meshing of Islamism and anticolonial nationalism, the octogenarian Abbas has spent the better part of the past two decades battling against the very violence and terrorism that Arafat so eagerly promoted. Yet like his predecessor, he has gone to extraordinary lengths to lionize and celebrate the killers of Israeli civilians, naming city streets and schools after them and providing large budgets for their families’ welfare from the PA’s paltry treasury.The contradictions don’t end there. Abbas demands Palestinian independence, but has vehemently opposed unilateral Israeli withdrawals such as the 2005 pullout from Gaza, as though how Palestine is liberated is more important to him than that it is liberated.Abbas’s relationship with Israel’s Arab citizens is no less bewildering. One example: He is adamant that they must never be given citizenship in the new independent state of Palestine.In 2009, in a conversation with Palestinian negotiators leaked to the British daily The Guardian, Abbas was asked point-blank by an Israeli Arab member of the PA’s negotiating team if he, the Israeli, would be eligible for Palestinian citizenship.“The answer, strategically, is no,” Abbas replied. “You should stay where you, protect your rights are [sic] and preserve your community. You don’t need a passport to prove that you are a Palestinian. In 1948, Palestinians in Israel were 138,000 and now above a million. That homeland is your homeland. You must remain there and this does not detract whatsoever from the fact that you are Arabs and Palestinians…Raise two banners. Equality [in Israel] and an independent state for your brothers in the occupied territory.”This was not a one-off comment. Five years later, in a November 2014 interview with the Egyptian daily Akhbar al-Yawm, translated by MEMRI, Abbas said, “Netanyahu once told me that it was an ‘idea from hell,’ from his perspective, for him to give me the Triangle [an area in northern Israel densely populated with Arab towns] and everything in it. It was occupied in 1949 and at that time it had 38,000 residents. Today, it probably has about 400,000 residents. I said: ‘I will not take anyone. Forget it, because honestly, I will not allow, or force, any Arab to relinquish his Israeli citizenship.’ You might be surprised, but this is important. As far as I’m concerned, this is sacred.”Not only would he refuse to give Palestinian citizenship to Palestinian-Israelis, he would refuse to accept any part of Israel where Palestinian-Israelis live as part of a newly liberated Palestinian state.He didn’t stop there. “For example, in the fourth round of the release of our Palestinian prisoners [as a trust-building measure during the 2014 peace talks], 15 of the 30 are 1948 Arabs [i.e., Israeli Arabs]. [The Israelis] told me: ‘Take them to the West Bank and they will relinquish their citizenship.’ I told them: ‘This is impossible. They should return to their homes and retain their citizenship.’ As far as I’m concerned, Arabs remaining citizens of Israel is a sacred matter.”That round of talks broke down at the end of 2014, so Abbas wasn’t put to the test, but the question remains: Would he have condemned these Israeli Arabs to continued incarceration just to prevent them from losing their Israeli citizenship? In 2013, when then-UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon told him that Israel had agreed to allow terrified Palestinian refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war to go to the West Bank, Abbas, by his own admission, rejected the Israeli offer because of Israel’s precondition: that the refugees sign a document in which they forgo the “right of return” to areas within Israel.He fights terror and praises it. He seeks an independent Palestine alongside Israel, but not one that is home to Palestinian-Israelis. And he seems to prefer — indeed, to view as “sacred” — that Palestinians remain incarcerated in Israeli prisons or trapped in Syria’s killing fields than that they surrender their claims to Israeli citizenship or “return” into Israel’s borders.-‘On my watch’-The apparent paradoxes that make up Abbas have their parallels in Israel’s Netanyahu. And since Netanyahu operates within a freer political domain, they are easier to find.Netanyahu has affirmed his support for a Palestinian state repeatedly and publicly, from his famous 2009 Bar-Ilan University speech to his latest comments to Trump during the US president’s visit to Israel last month. He has also, repeatedly and publicly, affirmed his opposition to such a state and promised it would never be founded “on my watch.”His supporters insist there is no contradiction here. Netanyahu backs a Palestinian state only under certain conditions (among these are demilitarization and recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state) but does not believe the Palestinians will be able to meet these conditions anytime soon. “Not on my watch” is thus a prediction, not a rejection.A careful parsing of Netanyahu’s profusion of comments on this point may prove these defenders technically correct, but the political context and timing for each statement suggest Netanyahu himself deliberately fosters the confusion. His most recent vow not to allow a Palestinian state “on my watch” was made in the last days of the March 2015 election campaign in an overt bid to woo Jewish Home party voters to Likud. That is, he made an explicit promise not to allow Palestinian statehood — no caveats about demilitarization or recognition were mentioned — to voters who oppose such a state in principle.So does Netanyahu support a Palestinian state, or oppose it? It is surprisingly hard to answer that question. Netanyahu himself may be undecided. He has a long record of upholding and even advancing peace agreements with the Palestinians. It was Netanyahu, not Labor leaders like Yitzhak Rabin or Ehud Barak, who implemented the Israeli withdrawal from Hebron in the mid-1990s, signed the last agreement actually concluded between Israelis and Palestinians, the Wye River Memorandum of 1998, and faces long-standing accusations from the leaders of the settlement movement that he is choking construction in the West Bank. Netanyahu’s unprecedented ten-month freeze on settlement construction in 2010, a concession to Obama, is entirely in keeping with this record.His opponents dismiss this history as grudging concessions to American pressure. Yet that, too, does not really explain the record. Where was this servility when the prime minister traveled to the US Congress to rail against the Iran nuclear deal under the very nose of a livid American president? Neither Bill Clinton nor Barack Obama, the two presidents who dealt with Netanyahu as premier, remember him as particularly accommodating to their desires or demands, to put it mildly.Ironically, it may be Netanyahu himself who is most responsible for the widespread view that his peace moves over the years were due to American pressure. He often talks up the significance of that pressure to deflect the intense pressure he faces from his rightist flank to expand settlements and annex parts of the West Bank.Yet it is probably equally wrong to suggest that Netanyahu is a secret dove who dresses in wolf’s clothing for domestic politics. In 2005, while then-prime minister Ariel Sharon was leading Likud into the Gaza withdrawal, it was Netanyahu who pushed a resolution through the Likud’s Central Committee formally declaring the ruling party to be opposed in principle to Palestinian statehood. His agitation forced Sharon to leave the party in late 2005 and form Kadima, shattering Likud’s activist base and collapsing its Knesset list to just 12 seats in the 2006 election. And, of course, it was Netanyahu who introduced the Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state as a fundamental Israeli precondition for peace.Across four decades of political activity and four terms as premier, Netanyahu can be found supporting peace talks and opposing them, making the case for Palestinian independence and the case against it, implementing Israel’s agreements with the Palestinians and delaying or attempting to disrupt them.-True blood-The contradictions contained in these two leaders run too deep to be ignored or brushed off as mere politicking. To foreign diplomats they can be maddening.Yet there is method in this madness. Beyond the political rhetoric, embedded in these incongruities, lies the real conflict, the one that drives the terrorism, the wars, the settlements and the bombastic oratory. It is the underlying, subterranean clash that eluded Barack Obama and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton because it is hard to see something that lies so far outside one’s own assumptions and experience.In his 2014 Akhbar al-Yawm interview, Abbas offered this explanation for refusing Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish nation-state: “We cannot recognize a Jewish state. We will stand against this enterprise, not out of obstinacy, but because it contradicts our interests…. [Israel] will not allow the return of refugees. There are six million refugees who wish to return, and by the way, I am one of them. We need to find creative solutions because we cannot close the door to those who wish to return.”And he adds: “Israel aspires to a Jewish state, and ISIS aspires to an Islamic state, and here we are, suspended between Jewish extremism and Islamic extremism. [IS leader] Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi will have an excuse to establish an Islamic state after the Jewish state law is approved. This is another matter from which we and everyone else suffer.”When Abbas refuses to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” because it would preclude the entry into Israel of millions of Palestinians from abroad, does that mean he plans to oversee such a migration? Or if, as Palestinian diplomats often say, they do not really mean to flood Israel with millions of descendants of Palestinian refugees, does that mean they can now recognize Israel as a Jewish state? What of the comparison of a Jewish state to Islamic State? Palestine is hardly secular, as Abbas knows well. The Palestinian Basic Law, passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2002, declares in article 4 that “Islam is the official religion in Palestine” and that “the principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.” Article 22, in a passage much hated by Israelis that has its roots in this Islamic religious ethos, even provides for the “welfare of families of martyrs” — including, for example, those “martyrs” who carried out religiously motivated mass murders of Israeli schoolchildren.Abbas’s Palestine does not beat around the bush regarding its religious identity. If Abbas really believed that a state should not identify itself with a religion, that “Jewish state” is ipso facto tantamount to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Islamic State, he’d be as concerned about Islamic Palestine as he is about Jewish Israel.Of course, these arguments are deflections. By pretending that Israeli leaders want him to recognize Israel as religiously Jewish — no Israeli leader has ever made such a request — he neatly avoids the actual Israeli demand: that he recognize Israel as a Jewish nation-state, and thereby recognize the Jews themselves as a nation.This Abbas can never do.Palestinian identity was forged by the memory and continuing experience of dispossession at the hands of the century-old Jewish incursion sparked by the Zionist movement. In the Palestinian view, these interlopers, arriving under cover of European imperialism and bending their society to the task of robbing another, weaker people of its homeland, cannot claim for themselves the same legitimacy, the same authentic peoplehood, that rightfully must belong only to their victims.This is not a conflict between two nations, the Palestinian narrative insists, but between an authentic, rooted people battling a political program sustained by nefarious ideologues. Israel is at its core a “colonial” project, or “apartheid,” or “imperialist” — the specific terminology or injustice Israel is accused of hardly matters. What is important to Palestinian discourse about Israel is the category.That is, Israel is not a nation, but merely a political structure like those from which epithets like “apartheid” or “imperialist” are drawn. And that matters, because political structures can be peeled off a land or a people. Nations cannot. Nations may make mistakes, they may commit crimes, but nothing they do can lose them the one fundamental right granted to all nations by natural law: existence itself.In other words, this is not an argument about Israel’s injustices or inequalities, but about its nationhood, and thus its fundamental legitimacy.As Abbas knows well from his study of the 20th century’s Jewish refugees from Arab countries, only a small percentage of the Jews who founded Israel were motivated by deep-seated Zionist ideology. Most simply had nowhere else to go. The gates of immigration to the West were closed to all but a few of them, and none stood ready to absorb the hundreds of thousands who fled Iraq, czarist Russia, Egypt, Morocco, post-war Poland, Yemen, Syria and other countries in the last century — none except the newly established Israel, whose Jewish population swelled from 600,000 on the eve of independence in 1948 to over 1.3 million just four years later as waves of fleeing Jews sought refuge in its borders.One does not need to be a Zionist or a Palestinian nationalist to see the trap this question holds for Palestinians. If the Jews can claim the simple right to live, and the world offered them no alternative but to live here, then the Palestinians may be able to claim they were wronged, but not that this wrong was wholly and unmitigatedly evil. The Jews, too, were wronged, and had no better option in the face of their own catastrophes.What becomes of the Palestinian story of zero-sum morality and cosmic criminality if it must incorporate that sort of moral ambiguity, if it must reconsider its sacred ethos of victimhood in favor of one that sees two displaced nations clashing in a single narrow stretch of blood-soaked land? And so Arab Israeli groups such as Adalah and Mossawa propose “democratic constitutions” for Israel that rescind the Jewish right of return but open Israel’s gates to unlimited return of the descendants of Palestinian refugees. In this vision, as articulated by Abbas to his negotiators, an Israel of “equality” — that is, without a specifically Jewish identity — is to exist alongside a nation-state with a specifically Palestinian Muslim identity.And so, for Abbas, the only Palestinians who were not displaced by Israel — Israel’s Arab citizens — are the ones who must never become citizens of a new Palestine. His Palestine is a Palestine for the displaced, not the Palestine of final, comprehensive liberation that absolves impostor Israel of its innate criminality. To allow Palestinian-Israelis to become Palestinian-Palestinians is to grant Israeli Jews final and complete moral validation in their usurped land.In Abbas’s vision, Israeli Arabs are to be denied part of their Palestinian story so that Israel can be denied its Jewish one.Netanyahu is often derided for his demand that Abbas recognize Israel as a “Jewish nation-state.” Netanyahu is a politician, and perhaps deserves few allowances for raising a demand he knows the other side is unable to accommodate. But frustration with Netanyahu, so popular in Western capitals, is not enough here. Abbas has refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish nation-state for longer than Netanyahu has been demanding it, and it is Abbas, not Netanyahu, who calls this a “sacred” principle.-‘Three thousand years ago’-This sense of unequal authenticity is just as fundamental, if not as politically debilitating, to the Israeli side. In his 2012 United Nations General Assembly speech (and repeated in one way or another in countless overseas speeches before and since), Netanyahu opened his remarks with these words: “Three thousand years ago, King David reigned over the Jewish state in our eternal capital, Jerusalem. I say that to all those who proclaim that the Jewish state has no roots in our region and that it will soon disappear.”To most Israeli Jews, the Jewish right to this land seems vindicated by hoary antiquity. Arabs have lived here for a long time, sure, but not in any self-conscious sense. Al-Aqsa’s sanctity is clearly a Muslim retelling of the Jews’ original sanctification of the site millennia earlier — and so only a copy of the “real thing.” Jewish identity, and more importantly Jewish attachment to this land, is thus older and more authentic than the copycat Palestinian claims.It is crucial to grasp that this view is not held by most Jews in any conscious way. Many on the left who believe Palestinian national identity is entirely legitimate and morally compelling nevertheless perceive a hierarchy of age and historical validity between the two identities. Ours is unquestionable; theirs is good enough, true enough, believed strongly enough by them to be worth acknowledging and validating for the sake of reconciliation and peace.There are, of course, historical facts to back this Jewish narrative (there are historical facts to back most such narratives): It is true, and Palestinian intellectuals acknowledge it readily, that a distinctive “Palestinian” national identity developed slowly over the course of the 20th century, mostly in response to the pressure of Jewish immigration.But this “proof” of the Jewish hierarchy of authenticity also serves as a “proof” for the competing Palestinian one. To Palestinian nationalists, the simple farmer or town-dweller who lives in the land of his grandfathers, speaks his Arabic and prays to his Allah five times daily is not less at home in his land because he lacks the invading ideologue’s ostentatious affectations of nationalism. In the Palestinian story, the fact that Palestinian nationalism did not coalesce into European-style rhetoric and organized activism until the Jewish influx was already entrenched in the land demonstrates the elemental, unthinking rootedness of the Palestinian presence here. That the Jews raised their flags, retooled their obsolete Hebrew and built for themselves monumental edifices of political institutions — the very things so celebrated by Israeli Jews as the finest achievements of their renewed nationhood — demonstrate in their very intensity of purpose that there is something manufactured and contrived in the Zionist enterprise.-Homelands-The upshot of this clash of competing authenticities for any would-be peacemakers is simply this: Neither Abbas nor Netanyahu, nor anyone likely to inherit them when they leave power, shares the world’s sense of urgency.For Abbas, time is on the Palestinians’ side, no matter how quickly settlements grow or how far the Palestinian economy falls. The higher Palestinian birthrate is only part of this story. Abbas’s entire life has been defined by a fundamental assumption that guides his policy and grants him his equanimity: that the Palestinians are an authentic, indigenous people facing a fundamentally inauthentic ideological movement masquerading as a people. This view is so basic it hardly needs to be uttered. It’s even backed up by religion. Like all monotheistic faiths, Islam’s core promise is that history ultimately arcs toward justice. There will be many agonies along the Palestinians’ journey toward justice, and many battles left to fight, but there is little point in doubting the final triumph of justice.This underlying, unstated theory of authenticity and the meaningfulness of history means Abbas is in no rush to seal a deal. It is also why he sees the question of Israeli Arabs’ citizenship as “sacred.” Israel can never lose its Arab citizens, even in a land swap that would mean a larger and wealthier independent Palestine, because to separate along ethnic lines means the final, principled concession of the Israeli part of occupied Palestine not only to Jewish control, but to the Jewish claim to a right to that control.Netanyahu shares this equanimity, and for similar reasons. The Jewish presence in this land is too old, too fundamental, too much a touchstone of the intellectual and cultural history of so much of humanity to really be threatened by Palestinian demands or Palestinian demographics. The Jews, so Netanyahu believes, found strength and shared purpose in their reunification in their ancient promised homeland. Netanyahu, too, though by all reports less pious than Abbas, is at his intellectual core a monotheist, a believer in history’s purposeful arc toward justice. Nations are not dislodged from their rightful homelands — nor, even after 2,000 years of dispersion, can an authentic people remain forever scattered and divided in someone else’s land.Netanyahu prides himself on his American MBA, on his thoroughly modern view of governance and his careful stewardship of the Israeli economy during the long years of his four terms as premier. He acknowledges the strategic value of separation from the Palestinians, and may even be willing to act on it. But, crucially for would-be peacemakers, he is not frightened by it. The same sense of an unbridgeable authenticity gap gives him a similar tranquility, to the abiding frustration of his critics.-Peace-The lessons here for would-be international peacemakers are not clear-cut. It is not obvious what one does with the realization that when well-meaning foreigners step out of the room, the tug-of-war becomes one of mutually exclusive identity, not land. But perhaps one lesson might be that any hope for peace between warring legitimacies, between competing theories of the meaning of each side’s history, backed in both cases by the still-living memory of generations-long suffering, fear and exile, lies in first acknowledging the depth of the divide. The world has tried to rein in Israel, assuming that but for settlements, Palestinian politics would be magnanimous and peace-loving. And it has tried to buy off Palestinian political factions with money and honorifics, assuming that this frees said factions from the grip of the deeper war, or convinces Israelis something fundamental has changed. In the end, it is the deeper conflict that must be resolved. The anxieties it generates on both sides, the maneuvering for legitimacy and recognition, the competing demands of a land made holy by ancient custom and yearning, are as deafening today as in the past.One obvious example: How can the Jews surrender the Temple Mount, the tether at the heart of their miraculous return, their awakening, their unification from scattered, vulnerable exile, their salvation, in other words, that their lived experience tells them could not have happened anywhere other than in this ancient sacred homeland anchored by that holy mountain? And how can Palestinians give up the 14-century-old shrine at the heart of their long-trampled identity, and on which their place of honor in all the vast realms of Islam depends? These concerns are too powerful and real to the Jews and Palestinians actually engaged in this conflict to be glossed over by the diplomatic remonstrances of the frustrated John Kerrys and Madeleine Albrights of the world.The lesson, put simply, is this: No peace can be reached merely on paper. There must be recognition. Without deep-seated trust, no withdrawal of the IDF or dismantling of the Israeli military governorship in the West Bank assures either peace or actual independence for the Palestinians. More importantly, without validation of the other side’s anxieties and sense of self, none of the delicate policy work of any diplomatic or security agreement will survive its first contact with the first pious patriot who is asked to surrender his or her sacred story to make room for the impostor’s fabricated one.Unlike with Egypt or Jordan, where a cold policy-wonk’s peace was enough because neither side needed much from the other, a Palestinian state cannot extricate itself from Israel. There is too much interlocking geography here, and no viable defense agreement, even one reached with the best of intentions by both sides, could work without placing a future Palestinian state within the IDF’s defensive line against the enemies and convulsions without. West Jerusalem is not really defensible against East Jerusalem, nor Netanya against Qalqilya, or vice versa — unless all are united in a shared security vision that can only come from Palestinians and Israelis believing they are on the same side.The point here is not to call for such a reconciliation, or even to argue it is possible. It is merely to say that the animating roots of this conflict cannot be meaningfully addressed by the shallow veneers currently being applied by outsiders. To pressure Israel on settlements without a concurrent effort at reconciliation is to shore up the Palestinian waiting game. To back Israel “within the Green Line” but thereby deny Israeli Jews the sacred heart of Jerusalem is to drive most Israelis to stubbornly support the Israeli waiting game. Neither side’s leaders, after all, shares the sense of urgency that animates the diplomats from abroad.In the end, even with a fully independent state in the West Bank and Gaza, no complete separation is possible between two people who share so many geographic, religious and cultural touchstones. When cold detachment is unavailable, the only options left are hatred or friendship. Hatred is a reasonable choice when the costs of reconciliation are so high, but a century into this conflict, and five decades into the occupation, it is becoming increasingly clear that it may not be a winnable strategy for either side over the long term.
MIGRATING BIRDS IN ISRAEL EATS HUMANS FLESH FOR COMING AGAINST ISRAEL-JERUSALEM
11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog (RUSSIA/ARAB/MUSLIMS) a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers (EAST OF THE DEAD SEA IN JORDAN VALLEY) on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog (RUSSIAN) and all his multitude:(ARAB/MUSLIM HORDE) and they shall call it The valley of Hamongog.(BURIEL SITE OF THE 300 MILLION,RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS)
12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.(OF ISRAEL)
16 And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.(OF THE ISRAEL-GOD HATERS)
17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.(OF RUSSIAN/ISLAMIC HORDES AGAINST ISRAEL)
18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;(AGAINST ALL NATIONS ARMIES THAT COME AGAINST JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL)
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:TOBOLSK)
4 And I (GOD) will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE RUSSIA-MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.(AFRICAN MUSLIMS,SUDAN,TUNESIA ETC)
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back,(RUSSIA-ARAB MUSLIM ISRAEL HATERS) and leave but the sixth part of thee,(5/6TH OR 300 MILLION DEAD RUSSIAN/ARAB/MUSLIMS I BELIEVE) and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR ATOMIC BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
12 said killed in Tehran as parliament siege declared over-39 injured in twin attacks claimed by Islamic State on Iran’s parliament building and highly symbolic Khomeini mausoleum-By Times of Israel staff and Agencies June 7, 2017, 3:21 pm
Gunmen and suicide bombers stormed Iran’s parliament and the shrine of its revolutionary leader on Wednesday, killing 12 people and injuring 39 in the first attacks in the country claimed by the Islamic State group.The attacks ended after a standoff lasting several hours, during which the gunmen holed up in parliamentary office buildings.IS released a video of the attackers from inside the building via its Amaq propaganda agency — a rare claim of responsibility while an attack was still going on.A voice on the video praises God and says in Arabic: “Do you think we will leave? We will remain, God willing.” Another voice repeats the same words. The two appeared to be parroting a slogan used by IS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, who was killed in Syria last year.ISIS releases video filmed by one of their militants inside #Iran parliament. Can someone recognize accent of the fighter? pic.twitter.com/Qe351ZjMnM— Wladimir (@vvanwilgenburg) June 7, 2017-Police said all the attackers had been killed by around 3 p.m. (10:30 GMT), some five hours after the attack started.The Sunni jihadists of IS consider Shiite Iran to be apostate, and Tehran is deeply involved in fighting the group in both Syria and Iraq.The assaults began mid-morning, when four gunmen burst into the parliament complex in the center of Tehran, killing a security guard and one other person, according to the ISNA news agency.Another video of the Parliament, intense shooting can be heard #Iran pic.twitter.com/GDrd5z130k— Michael Horowitz (@michaelh992) June 7, 2017-An interior ministry official said they were dressed as women and entered through the visitors’ entrance.At roughly the same time, a team of three or four assailants entered the grounds of the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who led the 1979 Islamic revolution, killing a gardener and wounding several other people.Iran’s emergency services said a total of 12 people were killed in the two attacks and 39 were wounded.Two of the attackers at the shrine, one of them a woman, blew themselves up, while another detonated a suicide vest on the fourth floor of the parliamentary office building.#BREAKING#Iran shooting-Moment of explosion on western wing outside Imam Khomeini shrine. pic.twitter.com/4U0OCYyEel— Mehr News Agency (@MehrnewsCom) June 7, 2017-A picture on social media showed police helping staff escape through windows.Large crowds gathered around cordons to watch as police struggled to disperse the crowds.Parliament was in session as the attacks unfolded and members were keen to show they were undeterred, continuing with regular business.Some posted selfies of themselves looking calm, even as gun battles raged in surrounding office buildings and snipers took position on nearby rooftops.The speaker of Iran’s parliament described Wednesday’s terror attack as a “minor incident,” the Iranian Mehr news agency reported.Ali Larijani chaired business-as-usual proceedings within the parliamentary chamber while gunfights went on elsewhere in the building.He described Iran as an “active and effective hub for combating terrorism” and said terrorists wanted to undermine this.As he spoke, some lawmakers shouted, “Death to America.”State news channels said parliament had gone back to work shortly after the first reports of gunfire, while other channels avoided reporting on the attack altogether.An official at Khomeini’s mausoleum in south Tehran said “three or four” people had entered via the western entrance and opened fire, according to the Fars news agency.The intelligence ministry said there had been a third “terrorist” team that was neutralized before the attacks started.The city was on lockdown for several hours, with streets blocked and parts of the metro closed. Journalists were kept away from the shrine by police.Latest on #Tehran: Iranian security forces have surrounded parliamentary building where gunmen might be holding hostages. pic.twitter.com/vZIQC8keYh— Rudaw English (@RudawEnglish) June 7, 2017-“I was passing by one of the streets. I thought that children were playing with fireworks, but I realized people are hiding and lying down on the streets,” Ebrahim Ghanimi, who was around the parliament building when the assailants stormed in, told The Associated Press. “With the help of a taxi driver, I reached a nearby alley.”Police helicopters circled over the parliament building and all mobile phone lines from inside were disconnected. The semi-official ISNA news agency said all entrance and exit gates at parliament were closed and that lawmakers and reporters were ordered to remain in place inside the chamber.Interior Minister Abdolrahman Fazli told ISNA he had convened a special meeting of the country’s security council.Jihadist groups have clashed frequently with security forces along Iran’s borders with Iraq and Afghanistan, but the country has largely escaped attacks within its urban centers.The intelligence ministry said in June 2016 that it had foiled a plot to carry out multiple bomb attacks in Tehran and around the country.IS published a rare video in Persian in March, warning that it “will conquer Iran and restore it to the Sunni Muslim nation as it was before.”Iran, the predominant Shiite power, has been helping both Iraq and President Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria to battle IS.The jihadist group is under increasing pressure in both countries, having lost significant territory in the face of offensives now targeting its last two major urban bastions, Raqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.Militant groups are also known to operate in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan province, which borders Pakistan and has a large Sunni community.Jaish-ul Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran accuses of links with al-Qaeda, has carried out several armed attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.The Kremlin, which has been fighting IS in Syria and Iraq together with Iran and Syria’s Assad, condemned the attacks in Tehran and called for greater coordination in the fight against the group.“Moscow decisively condemns such terrorist attacks,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that “the continuation of a series of terror attacks again underlines the need for coordinated actions in the fight against terror and IS.”United Arab Emirates also condemned the attacks.“Our position on terrorism is very clear… Any terrorist attack in any country, in any capital, directed at innocent people is something that the UAE abhors and the UAE condemns,” state minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash told AFP.The European Unions high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, sent her condolences to the victims of the Tehran attacks and said she was following events very closely on this “very sad day again.”
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