Daily TIP

Israel to shelter 100 Syrian orphans

Posted by Tip Staff - January 25, 2017
Saving orphans. Israel on Wednesday decided to grant refugee status to 100 children orphaned during the Syrian civil war, granting them temporary residency with a path to staying in the country permanently, Israel’s Channel 10 reported.

The policy, which follows a decision made by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, will allow the children to become permanent residents after four years, with the possibility of remaining in Israel for the rest of their lives. Immediate relatives of the orphans will also be in consideration for refugee status in Israel.

The orphans will reportedly be placed with Arab Israeli families.

Over 2,500 Syrians have been treated in Israeli hospitals since 2013, even though the two countries have been in a state of war since 1948. Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai documented one of the risky missions the IDF undertook to rescue an injured Syrian fighter in 2015. Pregnant women sometimes travel to the border in order to deliver their babies in Israel, and Israeli doctors have treated young Syrian patients with cutting-edge procedures that allowed them to walk again.

Bipartisan support for Israel. Congressmen Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) introduced a resolution to the House of Representatives on Wednesday condemning Palestinian incitement to violence and reaffirming the strong bond between Israel and the United States. Hastings said, “Even as stabbings, shootings, and car-ramming attacks occur nearly every day, the international community has failed to clearly condemn these blatant acts of terrorism.” Woodard added, “The United States has no greater friend than the State of Israel, and our commitment to its people must be unwavering...Condemning these acts and standing with our friend and ally is crucial to the safety of Israel, the region, and freedom-loving people across the world.” 

The resolution notes that there have been more than 300 terrorist attacks targeting Israelis since September 2015 and describes 266 of them; it also provides specific examples of incitement to violence by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who said just before the wave of terror began, “We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah. With the help of Allah, every martyr will be in heaven, and every wounded will get his reward.”

Abbas’ political party, Fatah, boasted in August that it had “killed 11,000 Israelis.” He has consistently refused to condemn acts of terrorism. A senior adviser to Abbas stated last June, “Wherever you find an Israeli, slit his throat.” When a Palestinian terrorist went on a stabbing spree in Jaffa that killed American army veteran Taylor Force, the PA’s official TV news station called the terrorist responsible a “martyr,” and on Twitter, Abbas’s Fatah party hailed him as a “martyr” and a “hero.” Last February, Abbas met with families of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis, telling them: “Your sons are martyrs.”

One small move for man, one giant move for mankind. Moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem comes with substantial benefits, Robert Satloff, the executive director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, wrote in the Washington Post Wednesday. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 declared the move to be official American policy dating back to the Clinton era.

A chief benefit would include “restoring balance to U.S. policy.” The United States already maintains a diplomatic facility in Jerusalem to represent Washington to the Palestinian Authority—skewing U.S. policy in favor of the Palestinians, he wrote.

“Sending a strong message that the new administration stands with the Israeli government on a major symbolic issue with high potential costs could push the Palestinian leadership to a greater sense of urgency in negotiations,” according to another Washington Post op-ed published last month. “The U.S. Embassy move could even help advance efforts to duplicate the precious Jewish-Muslim coexistence model of Samuel’s Tomb for Jerusalem’s other contested sacred spaces.”

A Saudi surprise. A news magazine with close ties to the Saudi royal family published an article by an Israeli journalist detailing the Iran-directed terrorist attacks against both the Israeli embassy and Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1992 and 1994, respectively. The article appeared in the magazine Majalla, which is published in London and, the Times of the Israel reported, is “owned by a publishing house which is chaired by a Saudi prince, Badr bin Abdullah Al-Saud, and was formerly chaired by a son of Saudi King Salman, Prince Turki bin Salman Al-Saud.” This is the first time the magazine has showcased the work of an Israeli journalist.

Argentine chief prosecutor Alberto Nisman accused Argentina’s then-President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, of blocking an investigation into the 1994 attack in return for favorable trade deals with Iran. A day before Nisman was to present his evidence to the Argentine Congress, his body was found with a bullet hole in his head.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have gradually grown closer in the face of the common Iranian threat. An article in The Jerusalem Post last August highlighted the phenomenon of local and state-run media outlets in Saudi Arabia beginning to shift their long-held position of enmity toward Israel. Recent changes include quoting Israeli officials; asking Saudis to discard their “hatred of Jews”; and calling for direct talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, free from intermediaries. David Pollock of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy branded the pivot as “the new normal,” saying that while pragmatic, behind-the-scenes dialogue between Israel and Arab countries is “nothing new,” the presence of two sides in public forums marks an undeniable turning point. “What is noteworthy today is that the issue is being actively and openly debated in major Arab media, with both proponents and opponents each having their say.”

In another sign of this slow but persistent change, Anwar Eshki, a former general who has served in senior positions in the Saudi military and foreign ministry, visited Israel last July as part of a delegation of Saudi academics and businessmen.


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