The grand mufti of Jerusalem, who was appointed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2006, said that no Jewish Temple has ever existed on the Temple Mount. In his interview with Israel’s Channel 2 on Sunday, Sheikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussein told audiences that the site was a mosque “’3,000 years ago, and 30,000 years ago’ and has been ‘since the creation of the world.’” Known for his inflammatory speech, after assuming the role as grand mufti, Hussein sanctioned suicide bombings as “legitimate resistance.” His remarks come as incitement from both Palestinian officials and social media continues to fuel violence across Israel in a terror wave that has lasted several weeks. So far, ten Israelis have lost their lives and countless others have been injured. President Abbas’s Fatah party continues to glorify martyrdom and terror. On its Facebook page on Friday, Fatah praised the birth of a new baby in Gaza who was given the name Knife of Jerusalem.
On Monday a 19-year-old IDF soldier was seriously injured when he was stabbed in the neck by a Palestinian near Hebron. Later in the day, the IDF thwarted another terror attack when a Palestinian man tried to stab a soldier near the Cave of the Patriarchs. On Sunday, a woman also tried to carry out a stabbing attack near Hebron but was shot. Additionally, on Monday evening, a rocket from Gaza landed in southern Israel – the second in less than a week. The Israeli government on Monday announced that a new app was being developed to help notify security forces more quickly when a terror attack occurs.
As the twenty-year anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination approaches, current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the Knesset’s memorial for the late prime minister that the government is “trying, like Rabin, to stand up to terror determinedly and without hesitation. We will fight incitement and terrorism with all our might.” The State of Israel formally marked Rabin’s assassination on Monday.
Though the nuclear deal was signed in hopes that it would move Iran into a more constructive relationship with the rest of the world, the conviction of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian on espionage charges shows that diplomatic engagement has led to a “stiffening” of Iran’s stance towards the West, Benjamin Weinthal, a research fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in an analysis published Sunday in The Jerusalem Post.
US President Barack Obama envisioned in a post-nuclear deal that Iran would “take some decisive steps to move toward a more constructive relationship with the world community.”
Iran’s blunt response was to convict the American-Iranian Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian in a Star Chamber setting earlier this month. Rezaian is widely believed to have been framed based on trumped-up espionage charges by Iran’s regime. His only “crime” was journalistic news gathering.
As a result, the expectation that Iran could be housebroken because of the over $100 billion in sanctions relief it will receive due to the nuclear deal is already limping on both legs at this nascent phase of the deal.
Weinthal noted that a European ambassador told The Christian Science Monitor on Friday that “What you have to expect is a stiffening of the Iranian position, a hardening really.” Weinthal added that in addition to showing no inclination to release Rezaian or his fellow hostages, Iran has continued its support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and the terrorist group Hezbollah.
Since concluding the deal, Iran has test-launched a ballistic missile in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, and has continued to carry out executions with such frequency that it has been criticized by the United Nations. (via TheTower.org)
Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman, who has played God in the movies, got a special tour of the Western Wall complex from Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, rabbi of the Holy Sites of Israel. Freeman is in town to film a documentary, The Story of God, about mankind’s quest to understand the divine creator. According to reports, the actor who took the role of God in Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty, is now filming a series that explores religion and rituals from around the world. “The story of God is one of the greatest mysteries and most important ideas in the world. For me, this is a personal and enduring quest to understand the divine, and I am humbled by the opportunity to take viewers along on this incredible journey,” Freeman told Variety. The crew came to Jerusalem from the Giza Pyramids in Egypt. Local media say Freeman will spend a few days in Israel before jetting off to India. The Story of God is expected to air on National Geographic Channel in 2016. (via Israel21c)
Speaking up for Israel is an act of supreme bravery in South Africa these days, particularly if you are a member of the ruling African National Congress. After more than two decades in power, the ANC is becoming discernibly more hostile to Israel with each passing year. The small number of activists inside the movement who have questioned this policy have rapidly become political outcasts.
The deep roots of the ANC’s anti-Israel campaign have made it a natural bedfellow of the cacophonous Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement in South Africa. On December 20, 2012, the ANC adopted the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel as its official policy. A resolution passed by the ANC’s International Solidarity Conference stated, “The ANC is unequivocal in its support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in its view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.”
Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, national spokesperson for the Economic Freedom Fighters party and one of the leaders of the organization BDS South Africa, hailed the decision as “by far the most authoritative endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.”
Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary-general of the ANC, issued a statement in 2014 to reaffirm the party’s stance during Operation Protective Edge. In her statement, Duarte wrote that Israel “has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps…. for the State of Israel, the notion of an eye for an eye has become perpetual massacre with merciless revenge which has lasted for more than 60 years”—a clear reference to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, and not simply its capture of Arab-controlled territories during the 1967 war, as the root cause of the conflict, Rene Smit, the social media manager of the Western Cape ANC branch, took this sentiment even further with a Twitter post featuring a openly anti-Semitic meme in which Hitler is pictured with the caption “Yes man, you were right. I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.” The ANC did not denounce Duarte or Smit’s actions.
To continue reading, click here for The Tower Magazine.