Police detain 8 Palestinians for not intervening in Old City stabbing

Police detain 8 Palestinians for not intervening in Old City stabbing


Two released after questioning, six to appear in court on suspicion they did nothing to stop fatal knifing of Adiel Kolman in Jerusalem

Security forces at the scene of the fatal stabbing by a Palestinian terrorist of Adiel Kolman in the Old City of Jerusalem, March 18, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

Police on Tuesday arrested eight Palestinian residents of Jerusalem’s Old City on suspicion that they witnessed Sunday’s fatal stabbing of an Israeli by a Palestinian terrorist and did nothing to intervene.

“As part of the ongoing investigation into the stabbing attack at the beginning of the week, it was clear at the scene that the attacker had clear intentions to carry out the terror attack,” police said in a statement.

Adiel Kolman, 32, a father of four, died of his wounds several hours after he was knifed in the Old City’s Muslim Quarter by 28-year-old Abd al-Rahman Bani Fadel from Aqraba, near the West Bank city of Nablus. Fadel was shot dead at the scene by police.

Police detained the eight bystanders, aged 15 to 67, on suspicion that they “saw what was going on and did not act to prevent or minimize the injury to the murdered civilian.” Failing to prevent a crime is itself a misdemeanor, according to Israeli law.

Adiel Kolman, who was killed in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old city on March 19 2018 (Courtesy)

Two of the detainees were released after their interrogation and six others were to be brought to court for hearings on the extension of their remand.

Kolman was buried Monday in the central West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashachar, where he lived.

Once common in the Old City, stabbing attacks have waned in recent months. However, tensions have been on the rise around Jerusalem since US President Donald Trump recognized the city as Israel’s capital in December. This month, he also announced that the US Embassy would be moving from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14.

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Civil Liberties for Europe, spun off of Soros’ Open Society Foundation, tried to convince the German Foreign Ministry to intervene against a controversial Hungarian law targeting Soros’ NGO donations

George Soros.. (photo credit: PASCAL LAUENER / REUTERS)

Balázs Dénes, the head of a new organization directly funded by Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros, was recorded speaking about the organization’s method of leveraging foreign governments’ influence on other countries, in leaked materials from a meeting in Amsterdam in January.

Dénes is the Berlin-based executive director of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, which was spun off of Soros’ Open Society Foundation (OSF) in January 2017.

In the recordings of Dénes’ meeting with a person, who he thought was a supporter, he talked about his organization’s work to pressure Hungary to overturn a law limiting foreign funding for NGOs, an attempt to limit Soros’ activities in the country. The European Commission had said previously that the law goes against EU values.

Dénes’ remarks show a focused effort to influence Hungarian law by leveraging German influence on the country. He detailed attempts to convince Germany to put heavy economic pressure on Budapest to revoke the NGO law, because German companies have invested heavily and are major employers in Hungary.

When it comes to the NGO law, Dénes said, “We work very hard. I’m having a meeting this week with a think tank, an organization which is influencing the German government, and the foreign ministry of Germany, and I’m bringing them copies of the law, just translated from Hungarian, and I’m explaining to them what they can do against it.”

Asked how Germany can fight a Hungarian law, Dénes pointed to Mercedes, Audi and electronics brand Bosch’s factories in Hungary.

“Germany, because of the German investors and German companies, is an influential player in Hungary, so if the German Foreign Ministry wants something, they can, they have means,” Dénes said.

The organization is also “creating a task force, a group of lawyers who know how to use EU law in Hungary and these countries to protect the rights of NGOs.”

Hungary’s nationalist government and many of its policies have been criticized by fellow EU countries and human rights groups. Jewish groups and others have protested the government’s moves to honor former Hungarian leader and Nazi collaborator Miklós Horthy, who oversaw the murder of over half a million Jews.

The Hungarian government sparked controversy last year with a campaign against Soros’ pro-migration stances. The campaign featured Soros’ smiling face with the words “let’s not leave Soros the last laugh,” and spurred incidents of antisemitic graffiti around the country.

Soros’ OSF is the main backer of Dénes’ organization, of which he said in the Amsterdam meeting: “We got a million dollars from the Open Society Foundations. Because it’s a OSF spinoff…It means that my project was running at OSF, and after four years, when we said, ‘Okay, now we’re ready, we can establish this thing,’ the OSF, Soros told me that, you know, we give you three million dollars, for the next three years.”

In the recording, Dénes also explained how the European Civil Liberties project in the OSF, which then became the separate organization funded by the OSF, came to be and what its goals were.

“The big reason why I was recruited five years ago by OSF was the recognition that at the moment in Europe, there is no human rights group which is able to control the EU,” he stated.

Control is the ability “to fight back on certain things, and, and that’s a very important ‘and,’ to organize people and launch public campaigns and mobilization,” he explained.

Soros, who is worth $8 billion according to Forbes’ 2018 billionaires list, is a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor based in the US, who runs his own hedge fund, and is a prominent philanthropist supporting human rights and mostly left-wing causes. His philanthropy has turned him into a bogeyman for right-wing politicians in many countries. Some of the criticism of Soros has featured antisemitic themes, in the vein of conspiratorial libels about Jews trying to control the world.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Soros of being responsible for a campaign against the government’s plan to deport Sudanese and Eritrean migrants to a third country in Africa. A 2016 leak of internal reports from Soros’ OSF on the now-defunct website “DC Leaks” showed that he donated to Breaking the Silence, which collects testimony from IDF veterans claiming war crimes, and Adalah, an Israeli-Arab legal aid organization, both of which have spoken out against Israeli actions in international forums.

Another of Soros’ grantees is the New Israel Fund, a clearinghouse for Israeli civil rights groups, which received $837,500 from 2002 to 2015. Soros is also a funder of J Street, which calls itself pro-Israel and lobbies in Washington DC against the current Israeli government’s policies.

Confirming his remarks in the recordings, Dénes told The Jerusalem Post that he was not suggesting German companies divest from Hungary, but that “if the German Foreign Ministry wants to achieve something in Hungary, their voice is probably strong enough to be taken seriously, because of the German investments in Hungary.”

As for whether it would be legitimate to push Germany to influence Hungarian laws, Dénes said “when those laws are not in line with the EU, and not in line with the Lisbon Treaty and the Fundamental values of the EU, I do think that is an option…The EU is seeking action at the moment because of the law I’m referring to. It’s not an innocent law regulating taxation or anything else, it’s a law limiting the rights of NGOs, because of which there are EU procedures at the moment.”

Dénes differentiated between expressing an opinion on legislation and influencing it: “We don’t influence legislation, we talk to decision-makers and the people directly, but we have no other means to influence legislation.”

When he said “control the EU,” Dénes explained that his remarks were meant “in the sense that what the EU does in terms of human rights should be watch-dogged by civil liberty organizations. Human rights NGOs should be able to exercise a watchdog function over any public institution…An international organization such as mine should be able to tell different foreign governments what could be their policy over another government’s policy. I see no problem with that.”

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Alan Dershowitz – What Is a ‘Refugee’?

What Is a ‘Refugee’? The Jews From Morocco Versus the Palestinians From Israel

Alan Dershowitz

Moroccan Jews arriving in Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

This article was originally published by The Gatestone Institute.

A visit to Morocco shows that the claim of Palestinians to a “right of return” has little historic, moral or legal basis.

Jews lived in Morocco for centuries before Islam came to Casablanca, Fez and Marrakesh. The Jews, along with the Berbers, were the backbone of the economy and culture. Now their historic presence can be seen primarily in the hundreds of Jewish cemeteries and abandoned synagogues that are omnipresent in cities and towns throughout the Maghreb.

I visited Maimonides’s home, now a restaurant. The great Jewish philosopher and medical doctor taught at a university in Fez. Other Jewish intellectuals helped shape the culture of North Africa, from Morocco to Algeria to Tunisia to Egypt. In these countries, Jews were always a minority but their presence was felt in every area of life.

Now they are a remnant in Morocco and gone from the other counties. Some left voluntarily to move to Israel after 1948. Many were forced to flee by threats, pogroms and legal decrees, leaving behind billions of dollars in property and the graves of their ancestors.

Today, Morocco’s Jewish population is less than 5,000, as contrasted with 250,000 at its peak. To his credit, King Mohammad VI has made a point of preserving the Jewish heritage of Morocco, especially its cemeteries. He has better relations with Israel than other Muslim countries but still does not recognize Israel and have diplomatic relations with the nation state of the Jewish people. It is a work in progress. His relationship with his small Jewish community, most of whom are avid Zionists, is excellent. Many Moroccans realize that they lost a lot when the Jews of Morocco left. Some Israelis of Moroccan origin maintain close relations with their Moroccan heritage.

How does this all relate to the Palestinian claim of a right to return to their homes in what is now Israel? Quite directly. The Arab exodus from Israel in 1948 was the direct result of a genocidal war declared against the newly established Jewish state by all of its Arab neighbors, including the Arabs of Israel. If they had accepted the UN peace plan — two states for two people — there would be no Palestinian refugees. In the course of Israel’s fierce battle for its survival — a battle in which it lost one percent of its population, including many Holocaust survivors and civilians — approximately 700,000 local Arabs were displaced. Many left voluntarily, having been promised a glorious return after the inevitable Arab victory. Others were forced out. Some of these Arabs could trace their homes in what became Israel hundreds of years back. Others were relatively recent arrivals from Arab countries such as Syria, Egypt, and Jordan.

Approximately the same number of Jews were displaced from their Arab homelands during this period. Nearly all of them could trace their heritage back thousands of years, well before the Muslims and Arabs became the dominant population. Like the Palestinian Arabs, some left voluntarily, but many had no realistic choice. The similarities are striking, but so are the differences.

The most significant difference is between how Israel dealt with the Jews who were displaced and how the Arab and Muslim world dealt with the Palestinians who had been displaced by a war they started.

Israel integrated its brothers and sisters from the Arab and Muslim world. The Arab world put its Palestinian brothers and sisters in refugee camps, treating them as political pawns — and festering sores — in its persistent war against the Jewish state.

It has now been 70 years since this exchange of populations occurred. It is time to end the deadly charade of calling the displaced Palestinians “refugees.” Almost none of the nearly five million Arabs who now seek to claim the mantle of “Palestinian refugee” was ever actually in Israel. They are the descendants — some quite distant — of those who were actually displaced in 1948. The number of surviving Arabs who were personally forced out of Israel by the war started by their brethren is probably no more a few thousand, probably less. Perhaps they should be compensated, but not by Israel. The compensation should come from Arab countries that illegally seized the assets of their erstwhile Jewish residents whom they forced to leave. These few thousand Palestinians have no greater moral, historic or legal claim than the surviving Jewish individuals who were displaced during the same time period seven decades ago.

In life as in law there are statutes of limitations that recognize that history changes the status quo. The time has come — indeed it is long overdue — for the world to stop treating these Palestinians as refugees. That status ended decades ago. The Jews who came to Israel from Morocco many years ago are no longer refugees. Neither are the relatives of the Palestinians who have lived outside of Israel for nearly three quarters of a century.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of “The Case Against BDS.”

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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The White House must now figure out how to present the plan so that it is not immediately rejected by the Palestinians, The New York Times reported Sunday.

Jason Greenblatt Meets PM Netanyahu. (photo credit: MATTY STERN, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV)

The Trump administration is finishing up its Middle East peace plan and intends to make it public soon, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The White House must now figure out how to present the plan so that it is not immediately rejected by the Palestinians, the newspaper reported, citing three unnamed senior administration officials.

An unnamed senior aide to President Donald Trump compared the plan to Waze, the Israeli-developed traffic navigation software.

According to the report, the officials said the plan does not have a set of guiding principles. It gives the outlines of a peace plan and leaves the Israelis and the Palestinians to fill in the details. Also, they said, the plan also does not specifically call for a two-state solution as a goal nor for a “fair and just solution” for Palestinian refugees, though it will offer suggestions on both points.

The aides told The Times that the document proposes solutions to all the key disputes: borders, security, refugees and the status of Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have said they will not consider a US-proposed peace plan due to their anger over Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his intent to move the US. Embassy there from Tel Aviv in May. Netanyahu is less likely to be willing to make compromises, as he faces early elections due to coalition disputes and fears fallout from possible corruption charges. The plan also comes as Trump has begun the process of dealing with North Korea.

The report points out that no one outside of the Trump administration has seen the plan document, and that the people who wrote it — Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman – had no previous experience in diplomacy. But the three men reportedly met last week with Netanyahu for several hours while he was in Washington, D.C., to address the annual AIPAC policy conference and meet with Trump.

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Crohn’s gene mutation identified in multinational study

Israel21cCrohn’s gene mutation identified in multinational study

ISRAEL21c Staff

Researchers surprised to discover that the same mutation has already been pinpointed as a factor in Parkinson’s disease risk.

Image of DNA by Double Brain/

 A major international research group — including scientists from Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem and University of Haifa — has discovered a genetic mutation associated with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects between three and 14 people out of every 100,000 in any given year.

The study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, shows that people who carry the mutation in the LRRK2 gene are at high risk of developing the disease.

Surprisingly, this mutation has already been identified in the past as a factor increasing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Prof. Gil Atzmon of the University of Haifa, one of the partners in the study, explains: “The practical significance is that we can already identify carriers of the gene at a young age and recognize that they are in a risk group and need constant monitoring and adjustment of lifestyle in the hope to lower the chance of disease outbreak.”

Prof. Gil Atzmon. Photo courtesy of the University of Haifa 

Crohn’s is particularly prevalent in two main age groups: 15 to 30 years and 60 to 80 years. The reasons for the development of the disease remain unclear, but may involve a combination of environmental, genetic and immune factors.

“The 1.6 million Americans who suffer from IBD have long been searching for answers when it comes to the painful and confounding conditions that afflict them, including Crohn’s disease,” said Karen Berman, CEO of American Society of the University of Haifa.

The study involving some 50 researchers from Israel, the United States, Canada and the UK sought to examine whether any mutations of specific genes are more common among Crohn’s patients. The initial examination related to 5,700 people of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, including both Crohn’s patients and those without the disease.

Atzmon explains that the genetic affinity among Ashkenazi Jews makes them a kind of “family” in genetic terms, thereby facilitating the identification of a clear association between gene mutations and the expression of the disease.

Moreover, Crohn’s disease is particularly prevalent among Ashkenazi Jews, and they are the ideal group to study the impact of genetic changes.

After the findings were obtained, the researchers examined the genetic association among a much larger group of some 25,000 subjects from around the world.

The findings showed that a specific mutation in the LRRK2 gene creates a statistically significant distinction between those with and without Crohn’s disease. The mutation is almost twice as prevalent among patients as among people without Crohn’s.

Atzmon suggests that since the mutation leads to functional changes in the coded protein, the probability that a carrier of the mutation will develop the disease is particularly high.

Connection between Crohn’s and Parkinson’s

The finding that the same mutation also increases the probability of developing Parkinson’s was unexpected, according to Atzmon, since to date researchers have not identified any similar or associated mechanisms involved in Crohn’s, a bowel disease, and Parkinson’s, a degenerative brain disease.

“One possibility is that there is no connection, and that this gene is responsible for different and unrelated functions in the body. Another possibility we examined is that the enhanced expression of an area in this gene encourages phosphorylation, influencing a cascade of events each of which leads in turn to the outbreak of either or both of these diseases,” said Atzmon.

The significance of the new finding is that it will be possible to use a relatively simple genetic test at a very young age to determine whether someone is a carrier of this genetic mutation. If they are, medical monitoring will enable intervention in the early stages of the development of Crohn’s disease.

Even more importantly, carriers will have the opportunity to adjust their lifestyle habits in order to reduce drastically the chance of an outbreak of Crohn’s – for example, by quitting smoking (or not starting to smoke), trying to reduce stress and emotional anguish, avoiding processed industrial food, and so forth.

“In the longer term,” Atzmon concluded, “the development of a drug that can respond both to the risk of Crohn’s and the risk of Parkinson’s could be a real breakthrough that will be beneficial for large numbers of people.”

The other Israeli researcher in the study was Shai Carmi of the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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