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How Anti-Israel Animus Brought Down a British Government Minister

Nov. 10 2017

Earlier this week, British media outlets reported that Priti Patel, the secretary for international development, had “secretly” traveled to Israel and met Benjamin Netanyahu and other government officials in August, unbeknownst to Prime Minister Theresa May. The Guardian proclaimed that this “covert summer trip was a gift to Israelis who seek to influence British policy.” But the supposedly sub-rosa visit was reported in the Israeli press at the time, and Israeli politicians publicly tweeted about their meetings with Patel, who has since resigned. Tom Rogan comments:

[Most likely] the real reason Patel resigned is that she recognized the forces arrayed against her wouldn’t rest until she fell. The first culprit is Patel’s own Department for International Development (DFID). Officials at DFID leaked Patel’s query to them earlier this summer over whether the British government could sponsor an Israeli aid project in the Golan Heights. One official told the BBC that Patel’s query was in and of itself “inappropriate.”

Of course, it didn’t matter that the aid project in question is specifically designed to save Syrian refugees, only that DFID officials hate the idea of supporting Israel in any way. Because the UK regards the Golan Heights as Israeli-occupied Syrian territory, DFID officials were especially furious at Patel’s conduct.

The second challenge came from the Labor party opposition. Their fury here was inherently unsurprising but had nothing to do with Patel’s breach of the ministerial code. Rather, led by the avowed Israel-hater Jeremy Corbyn, Labor embraces any opportunity to distance Britain from Israel. . .

Nevertheless, Patel should not have resigned. Instead, she should have apologized and then forced her DFID officials to look in the mirror. . . . [W]hile DFID will spend $51 million in the Palestinian territories this year and roughly $65 million next year, it has actively sponsored anti-Israel non-governmental organizations. . . .

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel & Zionism, Theresa May, United Kingdom

Hamas’s Dangerous Escalation in Gaza

June 22 2018

As Hamas has stepped up its attacks on communities near the Gaza Strip—using incendiary devices attached to kites and balloons—Israel has begun to retaliate more forcefully. In response, the terrorist group has begun firing rockets and mortars into Israel. Yoav Limor comments:

What made Wednesday’s rocket salvo different is that ‎unlike previous flare-ups on the border [since 2014], this time it ‎was Hamas operatives who fired at Israel, as opposed ‎to Islamic Jihad or the ‎rogue terrorist group in the coastal enclave. ‎Still, Hamas made sure the attack followed most of ‎the familiar “rules”—only [firing] at night and only at the ‎ communities in the vicinity of Gaza, and apparently while also ‎trying to minimize any casualties, to avoid further ‎escalation. ‎. . .

The first reason [for the shift in tactics] is Israel’s own change of policy ‎with regard to kite terrorism. It took Israel far ‎too long to define the incessant waves of incendiary ‎kites sent over the border as actionable acts of ‎terror, but once it did, the IDF began ‎systematically countering them, including firing ‎warning shots at terrorist kite cells and targeting ‎Hamas assets in Gaza in retaliation.‎

The second reason is Hamas’s own frustration and ‎distress in Gaza. Since the border-riot campaign was ‎launched on March 30, some 150 of its operatives ‎have been killed and the Israeli military has ‎carried out over 100 strikes on Hamas positions in ‎the coastal enclave, all while Hamas has nothing to ‎show for it. ‎In this situation, Hamas is searching for [some sort of victory] by declaring that “bombings will be ‎met with bombings,” as Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum ‎said Wednesday, in order to portray itself as defending Gaza from ‎Israel.‎ . . .

Hamas is banking on Israel opting against a military ‎campaign in Gaza at this time so as not to split its ‎focus from the [developments in Syria], but it is sorely ‎mistaken if it thinks Israel will simply contain ‎kite terrorism or shy away from action given the new ‎equation it has presented. ‎At some point, Israel’s patience will expire.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security