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Israel identifies kidnap-suspects as Israel-hating, Palestinian Hamas Muslims with grudges to settle

Palestinian Hamas-affinity mother declares pride for her son's alleged kidnapping of 3 Israeli teens.
Known Hamas members Amer Abu Aysha & Marwan Kawasme, suspected by Israel of kidnapping 3 Israeli teens
"Israel names suspects in kidnapping of three teens" by Avi Issacharoff | The Times of Israel, Thurs June 27

Israeli authorities on Thursday named two West Bank Palestinians as prime suspects in the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank two weeks ago.  

The two alleged abductors, Amer Abu Aysha and Marwan Kawasme, are both known Hamas members. They have been missing from their homes in Hebron’s Hares neighborhood ever since the kidnapping took place on the night of June 12 and are still at large. Israeli security forces have been engaged in a massive operation to find the abducted youths. 

The identities of the suspected kidnappers, who attended prayer services regularly at the same mosque, have been known to Israel since soon after the kidnapping, but were kept secret as the search operation continued over the past two weeks. They are alleged to have been in the car in which Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel were abducted from a hitchhiking post near the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Eztion Bloc south of Jerusalem, Israeli officials said. Other members of their Hamas group have been arrested, the officials added. 

Omar Abu Aysha was jailed for Hamas biz; son, Zayd was killed by IDF in '05
Abu Aysha, a 32-year-old locksmith, was last seen at a family gathering only hours before the kidnapping, according to his father Omar, who spoke to The Times of Israel in Hebron several days ago. Abu Aysha’s father, Omar, who has spent time in an Israeli prisons for ties with Hamas, said that his son left the family gathering abruptly without offering any details as to his destination. 

Abu Aysha’s brother Zayd, also a member of Hamas, was killed in November 2005 during a clash with IDF soldiers in Hebron. Abu Aysha’s mother told The Times of Israel that unlike Zayd, Abu Aysha was a family man who was deeply involved in the lives of his wife and three children. She said he had worked in Jerusalem as well as in Azaria, east of the city. She added that she too last saw Abu Aysha on Thursday, June 12, before the abduction, and said she did not notice anything unusual in his behavior. 

However, Abu Aysha’s mother added, if her son did take part in the kidnapping, she was proud of him and hoped he would continue to evade capture, both by Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces. The three kidnapped Israeli teens, from L-R: Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16. 

The second suspect, Marwan Kawasme, a 29-year-old barber who used to cut Abu Aysha’s kids’ hair, was detained by the Palestinian Authority and by Israel in the past. His family is known to be affiliated with Hamas. His uncle Abdullah Kawasme was the commander of the organization’s military wing in Hebron and was killed in a battle with SWAT officers in November 2003. 

Read more: Israel names suspects in kidnapping of three teens | The Times of Israel 

Netanyahu challenges Jewish journalists across the world

Speaking at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem, Israeli PM outlines main difficulties facing journalists

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there are three major challenges facing today's Jewish journalists across the world.

Speaking at the beginning of a three-day long conference for Jewish journalists from around the world called the Jewish Media Summit held in Jerusalem, Netanyahu outlined the main difficulties facing the press with regards to current events. 
Baz Ratner (Pool/AFP)
"Nine days ago, three youths were kidnapped by Hamas," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his speech, given shortly after he spoke to the father of Mohammed Karaka, 13, who was killed in an explosion near the Israeli-Syrian border earlier in the day.

"The enemies of the State [of Israel] continue to attack us, to kill children and don't distinguish between citizens," he said. "Our hearts are broken by these kidnappings and murder."
The Israeli PM then called on journalists across the world to "tell our story to our people."

Three major challenges

"When we look around us, I see three major challenges," Netanyahu added during his speech, listing the fight against anti-Semitism as a top priority.
"Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Western and Eastern Europe," he continued, noting that this rise was linked to the far-left, the far-right and Islamic extremism.
"We cannot accept that and I think we speak out against what is happening," Netanyahu said, adding: "You should let anti-Semites [everywhere] know how tolerant our country is."
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant/AFP
Netanyahu also addressed the ongoing crisis in Iraq, where violent clashes between Sunnis and Shiites have led to a major rift in the country.
"The ancient hatred between Sunnis and Shiites is being unleashed after the collapse of dictatorial regimes that had once contained it," said Netanyahu. "It is crucial that we prevent weapons of mass destruction from falling to Islamist regimes' hands."
"What you're seeing in the Middle East today in Iraq and in Syria is the stark hatred between radical Shiites -- in this case led by Iran -- and radical Sunnis led by al-Qaida and ISIS and others," he added, once again noting the importance of preventing the Iranian regime from laying its hands on nuclear weapons.
The conference, which is sponsored by the Ministry for Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism, and the Government Press Office, includes participants from 27 different countries.
The group of over 100 journalists includes representatives from Hong Kong to Chile, Costa Rica, and Australia among others.   (Source: i24News.TV)

L.A. candlelight vigil prays for 3 teens (1 American) kidnapped by Palestinians; Rabbi fears it's a replay of Shalit which plays to terrorist advantage

On June 19th, L.A. officials, led by Zev Yaroslavsky, joined with Jewish and Christian clergy to pray for the release of 3 teenage Jewish students (1 American) kidnapped on June 12- whose whereabouts are still unknown. Israel presumes the boys are behing held captive by Palestinians, possibly Hamas- as a result of P.A. Pres. Abbas' unity government with Hamas from Gaza. 

Christian and Catholic clergy joined rabbis of different denominations to pray for the safe release of the civilian students, Navtali Frenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer- each aged 16, and Eyal Yifrah, aged 19, who were kidnapped hitchhiking to their homes in the Gush Etzion region of Samaria.

Rabbi Moshe Parry of L.A. says that Jews should rally Israel for vengeance against hostility towards Jews or Christians. Jews, he says, must toughen-up to deter and thwart antagonism from Islamists and leftists (inside and outside of Israel) to spread jihad.

Are well-intending Jews feeding a vicious-cycle? Public pressure to free Israeli hostages ups enemy's price, contradicts Jewish law

The family of an Israeli-American teen believed to have been abducted in the West Bank says it has received an outpouring of support from friends and family back in the U.S. Naftali Frenkel is believed to have been abducted late Thursday with two other teens, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, as they were hitchhiking home from a school in the West Bank.
Since then, Israel has been on a furious search for the boys, arresting dozens of members of the militant group Hamas, which Israel’s prime minister says is behind the kidnapping. The teens have not been heard from.
US Jews pray for Israeli abductees' safety at L.A's Cong Beth Jacob. on Sun 15 June

Frenkel’s grandparents moved to Israel from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1956. Although Fraenkel, 16, was born and raised in Israel, he paid brief visits to the U.S. while growing up, said his aunt, Ittael Fraenkel.She said most of his cousins, aunts and uncles live in the U.S., mostly in the Monsey and Flatbush areas of Brooklyn as well as in upstate New York and other parts of the state. 

Frenkel’s family affirmed its trust in Israel’s rescue efforts and expressed gratitude for the nationwide support. The story has generated round-the-clock news coverage, and more than 10,000 people gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem late Sunday to pray for the teens’ safety.

Prayers for the welfare of America & Israel

As the search entered its fourth day, the ordeal continued to capture national attention with nearly nonstop updates by Israeli media.
Naftali Fraenkel and his six siblings are American citizens. His aunt confirmed the family has been in contact with the U.S. Ambassador to Israel. - Voz is Neiaz June 16, '14

Israel National News reports that the IDF arrested over 80 Hamas terrorists overnight Saturday in Judea and Samaria, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Office, as part of the wide-scale operation to find three youths. According to a military source, as quoted by Channel 10, several of the arrested were reportedly members of the "unity" government sworn in earlier this month.

The source also indicated that a large number of paratroopers and Nahal brigade soldiers had been dispatched in the region. 

Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pegged Hamas as being behind the kidnappings of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar and Naftali Frenkel, the three teens who were apparently snatched or otherwise enticed to enter a vehicle as they were hitchhiking in Gush Etzion Thursday night. Hamas has denied the allegations. 
Hamas terrorists celebrating (Photo IDF Blog)

Hamas' top leadership today is comprised of terrorists who have been “in the field” for several years, who were recently joined by older terrorists who were released from Israeli prisons in the swap deal that released Gilad Shalit. Many of those terrorists joined Hamas' Izz-a-din al-Kassam brigades, and that faction is led by two released Shalit prisoners, Yahay Sanwer and Ruhi Mushtaha. 
Noam, father of kidnapped draftee, Gilad Shalit, mounted a pressure
 campaign in '11 to force Netanyahu to capitulate to release terrorists
The Israeli and Jewish press are sensationalizing this kidnapping into a frenzy reminiscent of that stirred-up by Gilad Shalit's family in 2010-11. The lessons of that lopsided, prisoner-exchange (1027 Palestinian security prisoners released) which contributed to this (and other prior, thwarted kidnapping attempts) are being forgotten.  

Rabbi Zvi Block of Toras Hashem in Los Angeles explained in JooTube at the time of the Shalit deal how the Rambam forbids prisoner exchanges in cases where the released prisoners are apt to commit crimes in the future.

Rabbi Block explains the prohibition of getting your captive released in exchange for a terrorist who might cause the suffering of another person - the guilt for which would be upon those involved in that deal.  

In "A kidnapping with origins in the Shalit deal" in The Times of IsraelAvi Issacaroff analyzes

If Hamas is found to be responsible for an incident of this gravity, Israel is unlikely to exercise restraint. That could mean the targeting of Hamas leaders in Gaza, and the arrests of Hamas leaders in the West Bank. And that, in turn, would likely bring a Hamas response, including rocket fire from Gaza on Israel cities including Tel Aviv. So Israel could easily find itself embroiled in a strategic upsurge of hostility that would reshape the security environment for some years. Read more

How a Christian pop-star came to compose the lyrics of the second, Zionist anthem

Pat Boone reveals the story behind his composing the lyrics to what he calls "the best record I ever made, "Theme from Exodus" from the movie which introduced the Zionist story to the world.


Accompanied by wife, Shirley, at a benefit roast of Pat Boone to benefit Ryan's Reach Foundation (to aid victims of Traumatic Brain Injuries) Pat comments on the distinction between his and Andy Williams' recording of the song.

L.A congressional primary contenders present their views to Mid-East-concerned voters

Candidates Wendy Greuel and Elan Carr chat at crowd-meeter
Candidates for both L.A.'s 3rd Supervisoral District and L.A.'s 33rd Congressional District, (to succeed the retiring congressman Rep. Henry Waxman) pitched 30 Years After at its 7th Annual Pre-Election Mixer on May 15th.  The supervisoral candidates present were Bobby Shriver (former Santa Monica Mayor and City Council member) and John Duran (West Hollywood City Councilmember and former Mayor).

The presenting congressional candidates: Elan Carr (deputy District Attorney prosecutor of gang-crimes), Wendy Greuel (former LA City Controller), Matt Miller (liberal radio host and author), and Ted Lieu (Calif. State Senator representing the city of Torrance). 
The other major candidate, Marianne Williamson, didn't attend.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, June 3rd.  No particular party registration is required for you to vote for any candidate. The two candidates that receive the most votes will face each other in November. Polls close at 8pm.  Click here to find your closest polling places.

JooTube was on-scene to convey the candidates' views to the general public.
Sam Yebri: 'Why 30 Years After mixes with the candidates.'

Elan Carr for Congress: 'How my justice and Middle East orientation will benefit California and America:"

Wendy Greuel on the issues for L.A.'s 33rd District in Congress and her experience for Washington office.

Calif. State Sen. Ted Lieu stumps on his Iran divestment legislation record.

Political-office newcomer, Matt Miller, a center-left radio commentator explains his perspectives for reforming education and the GOP-dominated House of Representatives.

Former City Controller, Wendy Greuel, conveys her affinity for Persian-Jewish issues for the June 3rd election.


Why community leader, Dr. James Elist opened his home to invite L.A. political candidates to meet Persian-American Jews.

Former Beverly Hills Mayor Jimmy Delshad discusses Persian-Jewish civic activism.

Opposition to anti-Israel-policy pressure groups at Celebrate Israel Parades in NYC

 Anti-Israel policy groups funded by New Israel Fund (and other independent ones, like the ultra-orthodox, Neturei Karta) wave their banners along the Celebrate Israel Parade route up New York's Fifth Avenue.
(Buttons advance through the 10-segment, playlist). Recorded over the past 3 parades.