Wednesday, September 19, 2018

19-Sep-18: Kol Nidrei night stabbing attack at entrance to Jerusalem's Old City

A Palestinian Arab launched a stabbing attack on a Jewish pedestrian outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls on Tuesday evening, the night of Yom Kippur. Times of Israel quotes an Israeli police statement reporting “an attempted stabbing attack” near Damascus Gate, saying “a police unit at the spot neutralized the suspect.

The Palestinian Authority’s health ministry said the attacker was shot dead by Israeli police.

The thwarted attacker is said to be a 26-year-old male from Qalandiya on Jerusalem's north side. Haaretz names him as Mohammed Yusuf Sha'aban Alian and says he was in Israel illegally. It refers to a screwdriver as the attack weapon and the location as Jerusalem's Hanevi'im (Prophets) Street which leads to the square outside Damascus Gate. Israel National News has post-attack police camera footage here.

The reliably-despicable Ma'an News Agency ["Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian for alleged attack"] spells the knifer's name Muhammad Youssef Shaaban Elayyan and reveals that
"Israeli authorities sealed off the street in the al-Musrara neighborhood surrounding the scene for several hours, preventing local residents from accessing it. The Israeli authorities then transferred Elayyan's body to an unknown location after holding his body at the scene for about three hours."
This may seem like a parody but it's representative of how the European-financed Ma'an routinely reports Arab-on-Israeli terror.

We're searching for announcements in the Arab media of the attacker being formally elevated to martyrdom.
UPDATE Thursday September 20, 2018 12:05 am - We didn't have to wait long. The Arabic version, but not the English of course, of the Ma'an news report is headlined "Video and photos - A martyr shot by the occupation in Jerusalem". Other Arabic reports praising the thwarted stabber as "martyr" are all over the web - see . An Arabic tweet from Palestine Information Center announces that in the Kafr Aqab and Qalandia "refugee camps" they were going to hold strikes Wednesday to mourn "the martyr".]
For reasons related to the time of year and pressures at home, we have not yet written about the shocking murder-by-stabbing this past Sunday of Ari Fuld Hy"d by a Palestinian Arab eleventh-grader in the Gush Etzion Mall. But iy"H we will.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

13-Sep-18: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?

The Oslo Accords are signed at the White House exactly 25 years ago today, on September 13, 1993 | Shimon Peres, Israel's foreign minister, signs  as Israel's prime minister Yitzhak Rabin; President Bill Clinton and the PLO's Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas look on. [Image Credit: J David AKE/AFP]
One of the most interesting things we do here is look at what the Palestinian Arabs think. As we explained in our most recent attempt to do this ["16-Jul-18: What do the Palestinian Arabs want? What do they believe? What do they think?"], looking at accurate, well-collected and intelligently analyzed opinion poll data is
invariably more valuable by far than media guesses about what the Palestinian Arabs think and want. Claims are made freely and often about Palestinian Arab aspirations. Very often, though, the data tell a story that's at total variance from what's being claimed about them... [source
Bluntly, much of what the mainstream media claim about Palestinian Arab public opinion is just plain wrong. We make that statement on the basis of carefully reviewing the work of a Palestinian Arab organization called The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR). It's headed by a respected professional, Dr. Khalil Shikaki. We have no personal connection with him or his work. His reputation for objectivity is why we pay attention. Here are some of our previous analyses:
Here are some insights we found PSR Public Opinion Poll Number 69, published yesterday (Wednesday September 12, 2018). It's based on survey data collected face-to-face in the previous week from a total sample size of 1,270 Palestinian Arab adults.

Political leaders?

From our perspective and with Arab-on-Israeli terrorism very much on our minds, the most clear-cut insights have to do with Mahmoud Abbas, the fading president-for-life of the Palestinian Authority:
  • More than six out of ten Palestinian Arabs want him to resign. This is very slightly higher than the last poll showed. Broken down, the rejection stands at 52% in the West Bank; 78% in the Gaza Strip.
  • An overwhelming majority disagree with his most important domestic policies. Overall about half of the Palestinian Arabs now see Abbas' PA as a burden rather than an asset.
  • So where do they want power to reside? Well, fully two-thirds are against his decision (incapable at this stage of being implemented) to disarm the terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
  • Furthermore, most reject his demand that Hamas hand control over the Gaza Strip to the so-called reconciliation government controlled by his PA. 
  • Related to this, most Palestinian Arabs say they support Hamas’ efforts to reach a long-term Tahdia agreement with Israel even if the reconciliation government cannot be created. (Tahdia or Tahdiya is an Arabic word that is usually translated cease-fire or calming-down. It does not mean truce or peace.)
  • These data points show that Hamas gets more overall trust and backing now than Abbas and his Fatah/PA/PLO factions. But both get less support than they had when the last survey was published three months ago.
  • In party-political terms, if elections (which were last held since 2006) took place for the Palestinian Legislative Council and its 132 seats, 27% say they would support Hamas (down on the summer poll results); 36% would vote for Fatah (also down on the summer results); all the other parties combined would get 10%. The 28% who say they are undecided would be more numerous than Hamas' voters. By comparison, Hamas defeated the long-dominant Fatah in those 2006 elections, ending up with 76 seats out of the 132. Chaos ensued, followed, in June 2007, by the eruption of open fighting between the armed forces of Fatah and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The winners of the blood-bath (the physical one, not the electoral one) were Hamas who have held on tightly to control until today. No parliamentary elections have happened in the ensuing 12 years, and none are realistically in prospect.
  • But leaving aside the factions and focusing on the personalities, the picture gets confusing. If a two-horse election race had been held last week: 
    • If it were Mahmoud Abbas up against Ismail Haniyeh (of Hamas), Abbas wins 47% to 45%. 
    • If instead of Abbas, the Fatah candidate were the imprisoned murderer Marwan Barghouti, he would steamroller Haniyeh by the substantial margin of 58% against 37%.
The role of the United States?

It's no secret that the Palestinian Arab leadership is having a hard time with the Trump Administration. How have such moves by the US as ending most of its cash aid to the PA, cancelling its contributions to UNRWA, moving its Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem affected Palestinian Arab opinion?
  • An overwhelming 90% now view the US as biased towards Israel.
  • Half want their leaders to absolutely reject what the pollsters call the US “Deal of the Century” - the terms of which no one has actually seen yet - because "it will certainly be bad for Palestinians"
  • Moreover, most oppose the resumption of any dialogue with the US.
  • Most also are against going back to negotiations with Israel. 
How bad are things?

The poll looks at how ordinary people feell about the overall condition of where they live. The results are bleak. What proportion think their conditions are "positive"?
  • In the Gaza Strip, a whopping 5%
  • In the West Bank, just 19%.
  • Overall, 77% worry that reductions in foreign aid from the US and others will generate more unemployment growth, more poverty and still further deterioration in daily living conditions.
  • Who's to blame for all this awfulness? 43% say it's the PA and its head, Mahmoud Abbas - and note that Gazans are twice as likely to say this as West Bankers. 24% blame Hamas. 8% say it's Egypt that caused the problems. 17% say it's "others". 
  • Presumably making matters even worse, 59% of Palestinian Arabs - not surprisingly, given the nature of the two regimes in question - say they cannot criticize the Palestinian Authority (except to the pollsters) without fear. And 77% say there is corruption in the PA's organs 
  • A third of all Palestinian Arabs say they want to emigrate if they can. This trend is much stronger in Gaza (about 50%) than in the West Bank (22%). 
  • Two-thirds - and this holds equally true in Gaza and in the West Bank - favour allowing the "armed battalions", meaning terrorist factions and their weapons, where they currently are.
  • 68% support (and 25% oppose) the PA decision to cease security coordination with Israel. At the same time, 69% think the Palestinian Arab leadership will never actually implement that decision.

Has life gotten better or worse since the Oslo Accords were signed between Arafat's PA and the government of Israel in 1993? And how will peace look when it arrives?
  • 73% say "conditions today are worse" than before Oslo.
  • 36% blame this on Israel for "refusing to end its occupation"
  • 35% say its the failure of the "international community" to press Israel harder
  • 65% believe the Oslo Accords "damaged the national interest".
  • Support for the two-state solution has risen slightly compared with three months ago: 47%.
  • When asked to choose among (a) the two-state solution, (b) the one-state solution and (c) any other third solution, the two-state solution wins with 53%.
  • At the same time, 56% say the two-state solution is no longer practical because of Israeli settlement. 
  • Do they agree that the chances for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state side-by-side with the State of Israel in the next five years are slim or nonexistent? Yes, say 72% of Palestinian Arabs.
  • And for 30%, the preferred next stage entails waging armed struggle against "the Israeli occupation”. 39% say "negotiation is the most effective means of establishing a Palestinian state next to the state of Israel".
  • Don't expect or look for coherence or consistency.
  • 80% think the Arab world doesn't see Palestine as "its primary cause", which sounds right to us.
  • Depressingly, 57% "believe that Israel’s long-term aspiration is to expand the state of Israel to stretch from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and to expel the Palestinian population". 
The biggest challenge?

What do Palestinian Arabs see as the most serious problem facing their society today? They're facing in numerous different directions.
  • 27% say poverty and unemployment 
  • 25% say the "occupation" and "settlement" activities (they mean by Israel)
  • 22% say corruption in Palestinian Arab public institutions
  • 20% say the "siege" (they mean by Israel) of the Gaza Strip
  • 3% say the absence of national unity.
All in all, it's hard not to feel a sense of despair when confronted with views like those on which the PSR reports each 90 days. So much effort, so much news-reporting, so much foreign aid, so much waste... so little of anything constructive to show for it - except that a plurality of them now agrees that it's poverty that tops their list of challenges. 

But they're hopelessly divided on that too. 

And catastrophically ill-served by venal political operatives and self-serving insiders who have never shown the smallest interest or ability in addressing that vital issue among the many on their people's agenda.

This post, like a number of others before it, has been translated to Polish ("Co myślą palestyńscy Arabowie?") by courtesy of Malgorzata Koraszewska over on the Listy z naszego sadu website. Our sincere thanks to her, and great appreciation to readers of this blog in Poland.

Friday, August 31, 2018

31-Aug-18: Lessons learned from the world's moral-arbiter-in-chief

Prince Zeid in his official "exit" speech [Video grab from this source]
Owing to specific circumstances in our personal lives, we have a larger-than-usual sensitivity to the double-talk of self-important public officials.

Still, we try to stay polite, considerate and respectful. We sometimes keep silent even when we feel the overwhelming urge to speak rudely and try to take those figures down a notch.

We're suspending the silence today to speak out about the man, Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who has just ended a term as "the world's moral-arbiter-in-chief" (according to this US report at the time of his appointment) and one of the most powerful operators in the United Nations civil service.

Mr al-Hussein's previous roles have included being Jordan's ambassador to the UN for seven years, and then Jordan's ambassador to the US and Jordan's ambassador to Mexico. And by the way, he's a cousin of Jordan's current ruler, King Abdullah II.
(It might be surprising to know he's also the next in line to the throne of Iraq - which currently doesn't have a king and probably never will again. The Hashemite clan of which Zeid is a member were granted royal domain over what we know today as Syria, Jordan and Iraq by the British in the 1920's. The last ruling Hashemite king of Iraq, Faisal II, was executed in 1958
USAToday commentary pointed out "the prince's lifelong ties to the Jordanian regime headed by his cousin... Zeid has not commented on Jordan's abuses, and some have questioned his suitability for the human-rights post". 
Is all of this relevant? Judge for yourself.)
Looking back at his four-year term as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Jordanian prince went on the record a few weeks ago saying he will give his UNCHR successor the same advice his own predecessor, Navi Pillay, gave him — “be fair and don’t discriminate against any country” and “just come out swinging”.

Here's the encounter we had with him. We're not sure he's quite the swinger he thinks he is.

But first a word about us. We are the parents of Malki, a child murdered at 15 in an especially savage Hamas terror attack on a pizzeria filled with children. For close to seven years and counting, we have been campaigning to have the mastermind of the massacre arrested where she now lives as a free citizen - in Jordan - and extradited to the United States. Why the US? Because our daughter held American citizenship and under American law the perpetrator of an act of terror in which a US citizen is killed can be brought to justice in a US federal court. The mastermind's name is Ahlam Tamimi; she has been on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list since March 2017.

Jordan, whose citizenship Tamimi (a close blood relative in multiple ways to the current Palestinian Arab "icon" Ahed Tamimi) holds, though she calls herself a Palestinian, refuses to extradite her even though it signed an extradition agreement with the US in 1995. The US says the treaty is in full force and effect and there's no real doubt that's true.

On April 4, 2017, we emailed a personal letter to Mr Zeid in New York via three senior staffers each of whom who acts as his spokesperson and each of whom was separately addressed.
Re: Extraditing Ahlam Tamimi 
We were pleased to see the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, speak forthrightly [link] four days ago about how states must (a) honor their treaty obligations, (b) act on legitimate arrest warrants and (c) respect the great importance of the global struggle for justice and against impunity.  
Prince Zeid was addressing the failure of his own homeland, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, in relation to a notorious fugitive from justice, the president of Sudan, who ought to have been arrested when he came to Jordan. 
We are the parents of Malki Roth who was murdered in 2001 in the horrific Hamas attack on women and children in a pizzeria in the center of Jerusalem. Malki was 15. Fourteen other people were killed and 130 terribly injured. 
The mastermind of the attack is a Jordanian woman. She was eventually arrested and confessed to all the charges. She was convicted on 15 counts of murder and was sentenced to multiple life terms. Her sentence was drastically commuted eight years later in the 2011 deal Israel made with the Hamas terrorist organization to secure the release of an Israeli captive. She has lived free in Jordan since then, proudly taking "credit" for the murders and basking in the status of celebrity. 
Our daughter was a US citizen. Under US law relating to acts of terror, her killer must face justice in the US. The US formally requested some time ago that she be extradited by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. But Jordan has refused. The woman, Ahlam Tamimi, is subject to a US arrest warrant and appears on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list
We are respectfully asking that the High Commissioner speak as clearly and forcefully to the King and government of his homeland, Jordan, about Tamimi as he did four days ago in that other matter. We ask him to tell Jordan that, in relation to Tamimi, it must (a) honor its treaty obligations, (b) act on legitimate arrest warrants and (c) respect the great importance of the global struggle for justice and against impunity.  
We appreciate you conveying this to the High Commissioner.  
Frimet and Arnold Roth
Jerusalem, Israel
We expected the silent treatment from the spokespersons (yes, the irony of their job-titles versus their actual performance is not lost on us). And that's what we got. Instead an OHCHR staffer responded to one of our follow-up notes with these kind sentiments:
Thank you for your message and sorry for the delay in acknowledgement - I can assure you that all messages received by this office are taken seriously, with only one problem being that there are too many of them from across the world, with many serious crisis and violations still ongoing, and too few people and resources to handle all of them. Your message is of course well received, including by the Executive Office of the High Commissioner (where I belong) and the MENA section of the Office. It will be given proper attention - I can assure in this - and you will receive a response upon due consideration. With full understanding and sincere sympathy for your loss. 
We wrote again briefly, several more times with little to show for it. When our wait had stretched to three months, we sent this:
UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

July 17, 2017

The chain of correspondence below, initiated by my wife and me on April 4, 2017 and addressed to your office ended in silence.

Not silence from us, since we are vociferous in attempting to fight the apathy of international bodies who by their passivity and passive resistance contribute to injustice.

Silence from your High Commission.

Today being International Criminal Justice Day and having just read some lofty and inspiring words [here] issued on the occasion by your office, I am making this additional attempt at trying to penetrate the barrier.

I am not optimistic that this time, more than three months after our first letter, you will respond. But I feel the need to try once again. As the parents of a child murdered by a Jordanian woman who is, and is treated as, a national Jordanian hero and given safe harbor by the Jordanian government despite its valid 1995 extradition treaty with the United States, we are outraged by the injustice and even more by the silence of those who ought to be speaking out and joining with us.

Arnold Roth

cc Joaquín Alexander Maza Martelli
President, United Nations Human Rights Council
Eventually, on August 30, 2017, we got this response to our request for a small dose of human rights and justice from the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights. It came from Prince Zeid's Chief of Office - Executive Direction and Management, in Geneva.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Roth,

I wish to acknowledge receipt of your various communications below to the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Most of all we wish to express our most sincere condolences on the death of your beloved daughter Malki Roth in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2001.

Please accept our apologies for the time it has taken to respond to your request that the High Commissioner take action regarding extraditing Ahlam Tamimi to the United States. The Office’s legal department has reviewed this matter in detail. While we understand and appreciate your request for assistance, please be advised that the United Nations High Commissioner’s Office nor the High Commissioner himself do not have the mandate or jurisdiction to address the complex legal issues involving extradition between States and the extra-territorial application of US criminal statutes involved in your request. As such, the Office is most regrettably not in a position to intervene in the matter as requested.

It is our sincere hope that your persistent advocacy and commitment to the cause of justice, accountability and human rights will lead to a successful fight against impunity globally, and specifically in memory of your beloved daughter.
But we hadn't asked him to intervene. What we did request was that he "speak as clearly and forcefully to the King and government of his homeland, Jordan, about Tamimi" as he had done just a few days before our first letter. We understood that we were flogging a dead horse.

We then had time to reflect. How, we asked ourselves, does a seasoned diplomat who declines to get involved in international treaty matters that happen to put his own cousin in an unpleasant light use his exalted platform? What kind of apparently non-complex legal issues is he ready to address?

Well, how about these human rights issues for instance? Each of them is a case from the past few weeks and months where Prince Zeid did find it possible to speak out:
  • Reminding "all states" to "abide by their treaty obligationsor else face "weakening the global struggle against impunity, and for justice" [source] - almost exactly what he refused to do for  our cause.
  • Warning Israel not to use "excessive force, following the many deaths and injuries sustained by Palestinians, including children, in Gaza";  over the past month. For the record, the prince and his office have consistently ignored the central and critical role of Hamas in whipping up the rioters and their violence, physically bringing them to the Israeli border, encouraging women, children and infants to serve as human shields, using live weapons including incendiary devices and guns and bombs. 
  • Sharing his deep concern over proposed Israeli legislation that would "violate international law" and "have far-reaching consequences" that would "seriously damage the reputation of Israel around the world” [source]. Nothing too complex there, right?
  • Calling [here] for an "independent investigation" into the death, allegedly at the hands of Israeli forces of a Gazan Islamist amputee, Ibrahim Abu Thuraya. On any fair-minded view, the role of the terrorists in Thuraya's demise - as outlined in this CAMERA report - raises questions that ought to have been reflected in the UN official's efforts to seek justice but were not.
  • Sending out a warning letter on his office's letterhead advising some 130 global and 60 Israels companies that they are "in breach of international law" because of their activities in Israel and liable to be added to a blacklist. The companies include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor, Priceline, Airbnb, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola, Israel Aircraft Industries and Ahava among many others. It's been called "the latest incarnation of the decades-long Arab boycott and yet another singling out of Israel by the UN... The intent and impact is anti-Semitic,” according to an expert in UN matters and legal advisor for NGO Monitor [here].
This depressing logo decorated the rejection letter
we received months after we made our request
Israel, as others have noted, takes a prominent role in his organization's activities. And not in a good way.

We noticed that the OHCHR letter to us must have been sent in the midst of one of its many self-promotion campaigns; a cheerful-looking logo (on the right) adorned the page.

Seeing it there reinforced the painful reality that, for the global human rights industry, many human rights are clearly worth standing up for. But the human rights of a beautiful Jerusalem girl of 15 to be alive, to live free of the crushing assault of Islamist terrorists like Tamimi and the vicious, nail-enhanced bombs that serve as their sound track, are not among them.

Getting ignored or being fed insulting, offensive and nonsensical responses by public officials is an experience we have come to know from up-close and intimate encounters in the course of our efforts to get Ahlam Tamimi sent to face justice in an American court.

We're not ready to go into details yet (there are efforts underway right now beneath the surface) but we have been exposed to exceedingly shabby treatment by several top-level US diplomats and by multiple officials in the US State Department including the head of an important and highly-relevant unit. On the other hand, we are grateful for the good support we are currently getting from certain other administration officials and offices.

We wish people, including Prince Zeid himself, would ask themselves whether his deliberate silence about Jordan's refusal to extradite Tamimi to the US improve the chances that wall-to-wall support for lethal terrorism in Jordan will diminish? Or has it contributed to terrorism's steady growth in that hotbed of Islamist passions?

We were reluctant to go public with our thoughts on Prince Zeid's politicized non-response. But then he chose to launch a public relations offensive in the last moments of his time in office: 
  • He said earlier this month, for instance, that "When we feel we need to speak, we will speak". For us, however, he did not. 
  • His exit speech video on the UN WebTV site starts out with some dramatic music and sober-sounding words from Zeid: "If you don't sometimes speak out, if you don't threaten to speak out, you don't grab their attention. I would rather err on the speaking out part than staying silent... Our job is to defend the individual victims..." But we can observe that it's not all the victims.
  • A Gulf State paper wrote yesterday that bitter criticism directed against the prince from some states was something he wished "to wear with pride, convinced that there is no honour to be found in silence". We agree: none at all.
  • He declared [here] to wide media coverage that the silence of Myanmar's leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi over the oppression of Burma's Rohingya Muslim minority was "deeply regrettable". But so is his unwillingness to pick up the phone and remind his cousin in Jordan's royal capital that sending the mass murder of Jewish children to face trial is not a political issue but a straightforward moral and legal imperative. And in the case of the cousin, it's a decision he can take with the snap of a finger. But doesn't and hasn't.
We regret Prince Zeid doesn't see matters that way and that's why we are writing this today.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

29-Aug-18: Hamas and its women take center-stage again in Hevron

Image Source
The uncovering of a significant Hamas terror cell based in the Hevron area, and the central role in it taken by females, was cleared for publication in a Shin Bet announcement yesterday (Tuesday). Ynet says initial indictments have been filed in the Judea Military Court.

Some of the key disclosures:
  • A special focus on women - dozens of them from the Hevron area are reported to have been recruited into Hamas via this initiative.
  • Cell leaders received "money, messages, and instructions" from Hamas terror leaders based outside Israel - including (according to Haaretz) Haroun Nasser Adin, another of several Shalit Deal beneficiaries now operating from Turkey. (See "29-Jan-18: Freeing unrepentant terrorists and the horrors it has brought" for some commentary on the scale of the ongoing Shalit Deal catastrophe.)
  • The cell, made up of dozens of Palestinian Arabs, "promoted" Hamas activity in the area including recruiting new members for its work; coordinating via mosques; gathering intelligence; engaging in incitement via sermons and the social media; giving support to prisoners' families; transferring messages and instructions; moving funds around to finance terror.
  • An attempt, in the words of an Israel National News report, "to take control of the Hevron municipality and various charities in the city".
  • The establishment of a local committee to be the Hevron operational arm of Hamas' headquarters. 
That committee is said to be headed by a woman named Dina al-Karmi. Who is she?

Ynet gives her name as Dina al-Said. An Arab source calls her Donya Sa'id and fleshes out the description in this nauseatingly disingenuous way: "the wife a Palestinian man who was killed by the army several years ago". An unfortunate accident?

In fact, her late and not-lamented husband Nashat al-Karmi was a terrorist who (in the rather laconic words of last night's Jerusalem Post report - which to be fair may merely be echoing what the Shin Bet said) "carried out an attack in 2010 in which four Israeli civilians were killed". 

Carried out an attack? As it happens, we wrote at the time about that specific savagery:
Reuters reports today that the Hamas terrorist organization has claimed full reponsibility for yesterday's ambush and execution of four Israeli civilians. It quotes a Hamas statement saying it "announces its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron". This, in Hamas terms, was indeed a heroic operation, a classic of its kind. It was directed at a carload of two men, two women. No Israeli soldiers in the vicinity. No strategic goal other than terrorism for its own sake. The shooters, dressed in civilian clothing, fled into the night. Heroism, pure and simple. Heroism of the kind  that the world has come to know and expect from exponents of Islamicism in its various jihadist flavours. A little reported aspect of the Hamas heroism: one of the rescue service volunteers who arrived on the scene (according to the Jerusalem Post) broke down in tears on viewing the bodies. His colleagues were surprised - this is not a new experience in their line of work. Then they heard him crying out: "That's my wife!' That's my wife!' and indeed his wife is one of the four victims. Their names again (because these are human beings): Yitzhak and Tali Ames (who leave six orphans), Cochava Even Haim, and Avishai Schindler... ["1-Sep-10: Real people, real terror"]
Nashat al-Karmi's career in barbarism came to an abrupt end a couple of weeks after the murders he committed eight years ago. Here's one account of the circumstances:
Israeli forces in the West Bank have shot dead two Hamas militants they say were responsible for the killings of four Israelis last month, according to a senior Palestinian security official... Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said in a statement that the operation was "a quick response to the murder of the four Israelis"... The senior Palestinian security official said Nashat al-Karmi and Mamoun al-Natshi were killed in an early morning raid and had been identified by family members. Hamas media later confirmed the killings. The official said the two belonged to Islamist Hamas and were behind the killing of four Israelis on the eve of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that began last month. Hamas, which controls the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, opposes the talks. ["Two shot dead in Hebron", The Irish Times, October 8, 2010]
Image Source
So is this clear? Four innocent Israelis were murdered on an Israeli highway because Hamas opposes peace talks that were getting underway the following day.

The names of the leaders of this newly-uncovered 2018 Hevron cell - the one where the loathsome al-Karmi's widow is a dominant figure - are given as Nizar Shehadeh and Faras Abu Sharh.

It's troubling, and frankly hard to understand, why almost no background details about the two men are given in any of the published reports.

The Shin Bet report rather laconically calls them "senior and well-known Hamas terrorists who had served prison terms several times in the past for their terrorist activity."

We went looking for background. We found that someone with Shehadeh's name was a figure in this 2004 BBC report:
"Israeli radio said troops in Hebron killed two men in a gun battle which broke out after they surrounded a militant hideout and dynamited it... Correspondents identified the two dead in Hebron as members of the Hamas militant organisation. Witnesses said one of them was a local Hamas chief called Murad Qawasmeh. The two-storey house they were hiding in belonged to Nizar Shehadeh, witnesses said, who was jailed by Israel six months ago for having links to a local charity that supported Hamas." ["Israelis kill three Palestinians", BBC News, November 25, 2004]
From the Sheikh Firas Abu Sharkh sermon video [here]
As for Faras Abu Sharh, that name didn't produce much so we cast our net a little wider than that specific Shin Bet spelling. (English isn't their first language.)

A "Firas Abu Sharkh", described as director of the Hebron municipality's library at the time, is named in a Hamas website report from February 2008, more than a decade ago. Turns out he had been taken into custody by the Israeli military - for no reason at all, naturally.

Then he was back as the director of the Hevron municipal library when this (Arabic) March 2017 report appeared.

He turns up in a new Palestinow report (in English) from August 6, 2018 where he is the only one of 14 Palestinian Arabs arrestees to be labeled "former political prisoner" and said to be from Hevron. We think he's the ring-leader mentioned by the Shin Bet.

A Google search of the Arabic version of his name leads to many hits including this Arabic news report from February 2009 where he's said to be a Hevron-area preacher known to many as Abu Wael and who "has been in the cells of the gangs of the security services for six months" - again, for no reason at all.

There's also a YouTube clip of Sheikh Abu Sharkh delivering a sermon in a Hevron mosque on June 13, 2014. [We have asked an Arabic-speaking friend to say what this angry-sounding man is addressing. Stand by.]

Hevron is nominally under the control of the Palestinian Authority which is essentially at war with Hamas. Tayseer Abu Sneineh, a convicted murderer and a member of Fatah (the largest faction in the PA) became mayor of Hebron in the elections of May 2017 ["Palestinian terrorist in killing of 6 Jews elected Hebron mayor | Tayseer Abu Shneineh to head biggest West Bank city", Times of Israel, May 14, 2017]. Fatah took 7 of the city's 15 seats but that was enough. 

Despite this, as the New York Times already pointed out in 2009 ["In Fatah-Governed West Bank, Solidarity With Hamas"], a complicated internal struggle goes on there:
Fatah leaders are growing deeply worried over popular reaction and support for its rival, Hamas, to the point of crushing recent demonstrations...  In a series of interviews, people here said they were enraged by the photographs and television images of the Palestinian dead in Hamas-controlled Gaza, which they consider part of themselves. They said that support for Hamas would grow as this conflict went on, and that they were intimidated by the Palestinian security forces of Mr. Abbas..."
In a formal statement, the Shin Bet said yesterday: 
"The exposure of the infrastructure proves once again that the Hamas headquarters in the Gaza Strip and abroad are directing Hamas activities in Judea and Samaria, through any means at their disposal, including through the use of women..."
The first woman terrorist in the service of Hamas was Ahlam Tamimi who murdered our daughter Malki and many other innocents in the bombing attack on the Jerusalem Sbarro pizzeria in 2001. The mutual embrace - females and Islamist savagery - has grown broader and tighter since then:
Women make good terrorists. They offer a strategic advantage in conducting terrorist attacks; as women do not conform to traditional security profiles, they typically arouse less suspicion, and their actions often garner more international media attention... [W]omen have traditionally been seen as the victims of violence, whether domestic or political. However, the historical record makes it clear that women have not just been the passive victims of terrorism, but also have played an active role. In Muslim history, although women took part in battles at the time of the Prophet Mohammed, their participation was gradually restricted, as women's roles became consigned to the private sphere... This wave of violence has not only seen women as active participants, but as proactive participants in terrorism. As the terrorist attacks continue, women will continue to play an active role in carrying out attacks, as well as mobilizing public support for further violence. ["Women’s Liberation: Violence and Palestinian Women in the Third Intifada", Haaretz, October 27, 2015]
Those calls (here for instance, and here and here and here and all over the social media) from widely-varied Arab sources, and not only Arab, for Israel to free the females being held in its prisons for terror offences come from a deep and cynical appreciation of the strategic value of women's roles in jihad. It's a fatal mistake for us to fall victim to their blandishments.

As for the gang, we think there are some more disclosures not yet made.

Friday, August 24, 2018

24-Aug-18: Nearly $1 million: What aid funds handed to the Abbas regime have done for savages who kill Jews

The only portrait we want to show in this post is this one of our
daughter, Malki. She was 15 years old when these barbarians carried
out their evil plot.
Yesterday, we published a post ["23-Aug-18: New data: How the terrorists who bombed the Sbarro pizzeria fared financially"] focusing on the sums of money that, according to computations done by the fine team at Palestinian Media Watch (for whose input we are very grateful), have funded the lifestyles of the Sbarro bombing gang and, where relevant, their heirs.

Those Sbarro-related payments stand at close to a million dollars and increase every month. The massively corrupt Palestinian Authority, which pays out the cash, is perpetually insolvent.

The incentive value of sums like those paid out, and continuing to be paid, month after month, in encouraging ever more Arab-on-Israeli terror is clear. Note also that the Fatah-controlled PA has had no problem in the past making payments to Hamas terrorists, even with the deep and frequently lethal rivalry that reigns among them. Abbas and Fatah bestowed the Al Quds Mark of Honor, the PLO’s highest medal, to Ahlam Tamimi (briefly profiled below) while she was imprisoned in an Israeli jail for her central role in  the Sbarro massacre. As this source notes, "Conferring the Al Quds Mark of Honor is decided at the discretion of [Abbas] the Palestinian Authority’s president, and he alone has the final say when choosing the Palestinians to be honored with the medal."

He later reversed the award because of the outcry that it attracted, but that doesn't change the point: payments and medals to terrorists and encouraging more terror remain a consensus issue in their deeply dysfunctional world.

There's much to be learned from knowing more about those Hamas terrorists - what they did, what's become of them. It's regretable that even people relatively well-informed about Israel's experience at the hands of Palestinian Arab terrorists seem to be unaware of much of the detail below. 

We offer brief profiles of the terrorists named below - with the exception of the one who appears at the bottom of the list - all of whom took part in the 2001 Battle of the Sbarro Pizzeria (names are listed alphabetically by surname). 

We also note how they have fared since setting out to execute a massacre on a 'battlefield' deliberately chosen by the plot's barbaric mastermind, Ahlam Tamimi, for its attractiveness to Israeli children during their school holidays.
  • Jamal Abu al-HijaHeaded Hamas’ military wing in the Samaria city of Jenin. In addition to his role in the Sbarro attack, he had direct involvement in the bombing of a full commuter bus traveling from Haifa to Tzefat at Meron Junction (9 killed, 38 injured, September 4, 2002). After being arrested and tried, he was sentenced to 9 life terms of life imprisonment plus 20 years. Career status: For now, continues to reside in an Israeli prison cell.
  • Qeis Adwan: Emerging as a popular leader in the student union of the notorious An Najah National University in Nablus (they honored the Sbarro bombers by erecting an on-campus replica of the destroyed pizzeria the month after the massacre), he became a senior manager in the Hamas terror hierarchy. Described by the New York Times as an "inventive bomb maker", he is said to have taken responsibility for the murdering of no fewer than 77 Israelis. He played a managerial role in several of the most savage Hamas atrocities including the Sbarro massacre, the bombing of the Nahariya railway station (3 killed, 94 injured, September 9, 2001), the Passover bombing of Netanya's Park Hotel (29 killed, 64 injured, March 27, 2002), and the bombing of the Arab-run Matza restaurant in Haifa (16 killed, 40 injured, March 31, 2002). Career status: Permanently terminated by Israeli security forces in the northern Samaria city of Tubas on April 5, 2002
  • Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri: The human bomb planted by Hamas in general and Ahlam Tamimi in particular outside the Sbarro location. We described the circus-like spectacle of the very public funeral given to his remains here: "5-May-14: The making of a martyr: it takes more than a village". An extract from what we wrote: "Back in August 2001, starting just a day or two after the Sbarro massacre, al-Masri's father was 'marketed' to both the BBC and the Australian Broadcasting Corp as a lover of peace and as a worthy interview subject. We know this because both the [Australian] ABC and the [British] BBC approached us, astoundingly asking that we take part in double-headed interviews: on one side, the freshly-bereaved father [Arnold Roth] of a child blown up just a few days earlier by a human bomb; on the other, the parent of the human bomb himself. We declined both invitations with considerable puzzlement and anger. We soon had cause (as we wrote here) to wonder what kind of soul-less reporter thinks that sort of proposal is moral and professional. Are you reading this, Tim Palmer?"  Worth mentioning that reports of payments being made to al-Masri's parents have never been in serious doubt since his father, Shuhail Ahmed Al-Masri, comprehensively blurted out the facts in a television interview with NBC [archived here]. It's likely that the regular payments to the voluble, proud and honored al-Masri parents from Arab Bank were separate from and in addition to the Martyrs' Fund payment they presumably still get until today from the Palestinian AuthorityCareer status: Permanently terminated when he pressed the detonator on his chest inside the pizzeria and the guitar case filled with nails and explosives did its horrible work.
  • Abdullah Jamal BarghoutiManufactured the explosives-packed guitar case that al-Masri, the human bomb, carried into the pizzeria. We describe Barghouti and his egregious barbarism in this post: "1-Jul-13: 66 acts of murder make him a hero in parts of the Arab world. What does this tell us about parts of the Arab world?" He's "the self-confessed murderer of 66 people including 9 in the July 2002 bombing at the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; 11 in the March 2002 bombing of Jerusalem's Cafe Moment; 10 in the December 2001 triple-bomb outrage on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall; and 15 (most of them children, including our 15 year old daughter Malki) in the August 2001 massacre at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria in August 2001." His most famous quote: "I feel bad because the number is only 66. This is the answer you want to hear? Yes, I feel bad because I want more." [Quoted on a CBS site]. At his trial, evidence was produced to show that Barghouti's high-profile relative (nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize with the enthusiastic backing of Desmond Tutu, a South African church figure) Marwan Barghouti - a prominent Palestinian Arab political figure now himself serving several life sentences for murder - paid Abdullah Barghouti $500 build the bomb. This came on top of the $117,000 he received for his troubles from Hamas, according to evidence given to the courtCareer status: Currently serving a sentence of 67 terms of life imprisonment.
  • Bilal Yaqub Barghouti: Recruiter and member of the Hamas cell and, according to Haaretz: “The senior Hamas activist behind the Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem, Bilal Barghouti, told interrogators that Marwan [Barghouti - the Nobel candidate] hid him for a few days while Israel was hunting for him and gave him a weapon when he left.” Convicted January 16, 2003 – sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment (see judgement), his only words to the court at the conclusion of his trial on terrorism charges, and this is a direct quote, were: "Thank God. I regret that I did not kill even more people than I did kill"Career status: Still in an Israeli prison
  • Muhammad Wael Daghlas: Active member of the Sbarro attack team, taking a role in its planning and execution. Arrested April 9, 2001 and convicted on terror charges on January 16, 2003. Sentenced like Ahlam Tamimi and Bilal Barghouti to 16 life terms.Career status: Released, like Ahlam Tamimi, in the 2001 Shalit Deal and now alive, unrepentant and completely free. (It has been suggested to us he may be living in Qatar.)
  • Ayman Adnan Muhammad Halawah: Also known as Iman Halaweh - a Hamas explosives expert. Took a lead role in the Sbarro assault, and was involved in other terror attacks on Israeli civilians including the March 28, 2001 attack on a group of boys waiting in the parking lot of the Neve Yamin gas station near Qalqilyah for a ride to their yeshiva in Kedumim (two were killed, one was critically wounded, another had moderate injuries) and the mass-casualty human bomb attack on the Tel Aviv beach Dolphinarium (June 1, 2001)Career status: Never arrested. Passed away from violent causes on October 22, 2001 - one source [Dawnsuggests Israeli forces were involved.
  • Ahlam Aref Ahmad al-TamimiSince we have written literally hundreds of posts about this vicious embodiment of female savagery, we will be brief now. Born in Jordan in 1980; moved to Nabi Saleh, north of Jerusalem,  in about 1998 to live there with fellow members of the notorious Tamimi clan. Then to Ramallah, while attending a nearby university, working as a part-time reporter and becoming the first woman terrorist in the ranks of the Hamas Islamists. Masterminded the bombing of the Sbarro pizzeria after selecting it for the large number of Jewish children it attracted. Arrested September 14, 2001; convicted by an Israeli court on September 23, 2003. A 2006 report quotes Tamimi saying from her Israeli jail cell: "I'm not sorry for what I did. We'll become free from the occupation and then I will be free from prison." Sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment. Released October 2011 in the catastrophic Shalit DealCareer status: Freed in the Shalit Deal and "exiled" to where her parents and most of her siblings live: Amman, Jordan. She is there today, living with a husband, Nizar Tamimi, who is also an unrepentant murdering terrorist, in his case for Fatah, and their child. The husband also receives monthly payments from the Abbas regime. Ahlam Tamimi was added to the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list in March 2017; there is a $5 million prize for information leading to her arrest and conviction. She is not in hiding and for most of her years in Jordan she has been working in the service of Hamas, making a weekly TV program for them along with other special promotional appearsances. We are deeply into a campaign to have the US put real pressure on Jordan to extradite Tamimi under the 1995 Jordan/US Extradition Treaty. So far, Jordan has refused on grounds that we, and many of the experts we have considered, consider bogus and an embarrassment to Jordan's relations with the West.
  • Finally, the case of Nizar Tamimi, Ahlam Tamimi’s cousin and since 2012 also her husband. Both husband and wife are unrepentant terrorist-murderers. Both walked free in the catastrophic Shalit Deal. And both are beneficiaries of the Palestinian Authority's disgraceful, foreign-funded Rewards for Terror scheme. They may be the only double-income terrorist family to qualify under the blood-soaked incentive scheme. Nizar Tamimi was convicted of the 1993 murder of Chaim Mizrachi, along with two other close Tamimi relatives. (Another member of the clan, Bassem Tamimi, father of media starlet Ahed Tamimi and uncle of Nizar, was also charged but released under strange circumstances. Nizar Tamimi was sentenced to life in prison but released October 2011 in the Shalit DealCareer status: Nizar Tamimi now lives in Jordan with his wife Ahlam Tamimi and their family. How much has he earned from the Fatah/PA/PLO scheme so far? At least $92,057 from the time of his arrest until he walked free in the Shalit Deal. This is not included in the total on the PMW poster. What, if anything, did Nizar Tamimi earn from the PA in the nearly seven years after he walked free? The PMW experts say he would probably got a one-time release grant of $6,000 on top of the stipend he had been receiving during his 18 years behind bars. He would be entitled, as a released prisoner who served 15 to 20 years, to a privileged position and commensurate salary in the PA with the seniority of Colonel or higher. Calculating what this means in practice is complicated by the fact that he and his wife live in Jordan.
If there's outrage among Palestinian Arabs in whose name taxpayer-provided funds are donated so that killers can be rewarded, there's no sign of it at all. Quite the opposite: as a July 1, 2016 article by Eli Lake for Bloomberg ["The Palestinian Incentive Program for Killing Jews"] notes:
"[T]he prisoners and the families of the prisoners themselves are actually paid a higher wage than what most Palestinians earn for nonviolent work... [P]ayments to terrorists' families are exceedingly popular these days. Ziad Asali, the president and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, told me that in recent years the media and politicians have elevated these payments to something "sacred in Palestinian politics." Asali said the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, and others are too weak to stop it. "This is where we find ourselves now. The vast majority understand there has to be an end to violence; it's not serving the Palestinians in any way," Asali said. "But I think nobody really has the stature and clout to confront these issues publicly."
Sbarro: Tending to the maimed
We're less disposed to seeing Abbas' actions as due to lack of stature or clout. 

Here's what has happened in the wake of the Taylor Force Act, a US law that authorizes the American government to cut back portions of US aid to the Palestinian Authority
"until it stops paying stipends to terrorists in Israeli prisons, released terrorists and the families of shahids, the Arabic word for martyrs – terrorists who die while carrying out violent acts", 
in the words of a recent Jerusalem Post analysis.

From May 2014, Palestinian funding of the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs was removed from the PA budget so that the Abbas regime could more easily
disguise the fact that it is the PA that finances the payments to imprisoned and released terrorists... This institution was made subordinate to the PLO [instead of to the PA] in order to mislead the donor countries.” [source].
That same Israeli report from April 2018 now shows that
On March 4, 2018, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas approved the PA’s 2018 budget, in the sum of around NIS 18 billion (around USD 5 billion). The budget specifies the allocation of funds to government ministries and various bodies. The budget includes two items dealing with the allocation of funds to two institutions subordinate to the PLO that assist terrorists and their families...
Meaning the incentive scheme for more terror is once again openly included in the PA budget.  Reflecting the state of mind of the somewhat-dried-out Mahmoud Abbas, they no longer demonstrate any visible concern about being criticized. They do however care about Palestinian Arab public opinion. And their voters - little reported but demonstrably true - want more incentives for terror, not less.

Which surely means more terror ahead, not less.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

23-Aug-18: New data: How the terrorists who bombed the Sbarro pizzeria fared financially

The numbers in the chart below are a dramatically-upward revision of data that were released two weeks ago. They take account of more members of the Hamas gang that carried out the August  9, 2001 atrocity at Jerusalem's Sbarro pizzeria. The bottom line in this new chart - US$843,841 - is almost three times the first calculation.

Our thanks to the good people of Palestinian Media Watch who focus energy, determination and sustained effort on bringing to light the heavily-camouflaged, massively-destructive Rewards for Terror scheming that is at the core of the Palestinian Authority's ethos and actions.

[Since posting this, we compiled some background on which terrorists received generous payments from the PA for their involvement in the Sbarro atrocity. It's here: "24-Aug-18: Nearly $1 million: What aid funds handed to the Abbas regime have done for the savages who kill Jews"]
The Mahmoud Abbas regime's slavish devotion to financially incentivizing ever more terror among its people is highlighted in this news report from ten days ago.

Headlined "Hamdallah: We are continuing to provide all types of support to the prisoners", the report carried by the notoriously pro-terror Ma'an News Agency on August 13, 2018, and reprinted by Palwatch here, says
"[PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah met today (Monday) [Aug. 13, 2018] with a delegation from the [PLO] Commission of Prisoners' Affairs led by Director of the Commission Qadri Abu Bakr in his office in Ramallah... The prime minister again emphasized the firm position of the leadership – led by [Palestinian Authority] President Mahmoud Abbas and the government – and its commitment to pay the allowances (mukhassasat) of the families of the martyrs (shahids) and prisoners, despite the Israeli occupation’s decision and its threats to deduct these allowances from the Palestinian tax money [referring to Israeli law to deduct terror salaries from PA tax money]. Hamdallah emphasized that despite the challenges, the provision of all types of support to the Commission of Prisoners' Affairs in its lofty and patriotic activities for our brave prisoners in the occupation's prisons is continuing. He also emphasized that the prisoners are the spearhead of the Palestinian struggle, and that they are the ones who have sacrificed the years of their lives for our just cause."
Lofty and patriotic: words to keep in mind when thinking about the calculated Arab-on-Israeli murder of children.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

21-Aug-18: A global day of tribute to terror victims? Yes, we were a bit surprised too.

Image Source: The UN
A media release from the United Nations explains that it has decided that today, August 21, 2018, should be known as the International Day of Remembrance, and of Tribute to, the Victims of Terrorism.

Unless you're a diplomat accredited to the UN in New York City or one of the speakers in the multimedia presentation that is at the heart of the commemoration, you might not know.

We're not in those categories. So we knew nothing about the whole thing till we stumbled across a link this morning.

The goal, as explained by the UN Secretary General, is uplifting:
For the first time, we have gathered in one place the testimonials of individuals whose lives have been affected by terrorism, to hear first‑hand how this has impacted their lives, and what they have achieved.  I applaud the courage and resilience of everyone represented here.  I thank those who are with us here today and who are willing to speak out against terrorism, and I thank the thousands of others who stand up and speak out every day, everywhere. We are here for you and we are listening to you. Your voices matter.  Your courage in the face of adversity is a lesson inspiring us all. Commemorating the forthcoming International Day of Remembrance, and of Tribute to, the Victims of Terrorism on 21 August is an opportunity to recognize, honour and support victims and survivors, and to lift up the voices of those left behind. The United Nations stands in solidarity with you.
How to say this politely? As terror victims, the parents of a child murdered by an Islamist terrorist in the service of Hamas, our experience hasn't brought us to feel that the UN - or really anyone else in the world of major organizations - stands in solidarity with us.

Actually, quite the opposite. We're working hard to get the mastermind of the terror attack that took our Malki's life to be extradited from her cosy, well-funded comfortable life as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan's leading celebrity jihadist and brought to a federal court-house in the United States. So far, that process has been moving slowly as readers of our blog probably know.

We have not viewed it and don't know yet whether it's accessible online. But the multimedia presentation described in the UN's promotional materials reminds us of an opportunity we were given a few years ago to testify about what being victims of terror does to a person.

Arnold Roth was a guest of a European association of terror victims which undertook a project to record the experiences and thoughts of a couple of dozen assorted terror victims with very different outlooks. The film-making took place in Madrid, Spain, in March 2014. The timing coincided with major Spanish events commemorating what they call 11-M, referring to the events of March 11, 2004 when the catastrophic Islamist terror attack on Madrid's trains took place [see our blog post "8-May-14: Madrid moments"].

It wasn't, and still isn't, entirely clear what the eventual goal of the project was. It does appear that demonstrating 'resilience' against 'radicalisation' was involved. In some respects, it might still be a work in progress.

The 2014 project's English language portal is here, under the title "The Voices of the Survivors Against Radicalisation". (There's a fine summary video here.) As far as we know, not much marketing effort (and we're trying not to sound unkind to the good people involved in its making) was ever devoted to creating serious awareness. Or else we just missed it.

Since video presentations about being victims of terror are getting attention in New York City today, here in the clip below is what that project of four years ago did with Arnold Roth's testimony. It seems it was posted to YouTube about a year ago.

All the videos in that 2014 set were translated into a variety of languages. Not all the speakers spoke in English (most probably did not) and the intended audiences can choose from among Russian, Arabic, French, Spanish, German and Italian sub-titled versions. Not a small undertaking.

While Arnold is comfortable speaking in public, and had a good idea of the points he wanted to convey - especially about how poorly terrorism is understand by commentators and politicians, and the sometimes disastrous ways terrorists are treated - the video doesn't quite deliver what he had in mind.

Once we saw the final product, we realized his aims were probably not a terrific match for what the sponsors of the project sought to achieve. For instance, he explicitly mentioned Hamas and Ahlam Tamimi - who plotted the assault on the Sbarro pizzeria - at several junctures for the obvious reason that they are central to the difficult times we have endured and they continue to play an embittering role in our lives today.

Those parts of the interview, however, did not survive the editing suite. This probably explains the slightly choppy nature of the final product and its abrupt changes of tone and subject matter.

If this momentous day, and the things it seeks to remember and to pay tribute to, got some attention where you live via the media or in other ways, we would be glad to hear about it.