Death toll from Israel’s Syria strikes rises to 21: monitor

Syrian air defense batteries respond to Israeli missiles targeting Damascus. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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Death toll from Israel’s Syria strikes rises to 21: monitor

  • The strikes carried out late Sunday and early Monday hit several positions and assets held by Iran and its allies in Syria
  • Israel has warned it will continue to target positions in Syria

BEIRUT: The death toll from Israel’s latest bombardment of military targets in Syria rose from 11 to 21, a war monitor said Tuesday, adding that most of those killed were Iranian.

The strikes carried out late Sunday and early Monday hit several positions and assets held by Iran and its allies in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

An initial toll of 11 has now risen to 21, the head of the Britain-based Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, said.

“There are 15 foreigners among the dead, including 12 from the Iranian forces,” he said. “Six Syrians from the regime were also killed.”

Israel has warned it will continue to target positions in Syria held by Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.


How Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process

Updated 22 April 2019
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How Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process

  • Brooklyn-born rabbi who demanded forced emigration of Arabs and inspired Israel’s far right is latest subject of Arab News ‘Preachers of Hate’ series
  • As a member of the Israeli parliament, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and force their emigration

JEDDAH: As Israel’s most right-wing government in living memory prepares to take office, the outlook for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process has rarely been more dismal.

After his narrow election victory this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clinging to office by assembling a coalition of Knesset members with no interest in peace. They range from far-right ultra Zionists to overt racists. Many, in particular the Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power” party, are acolytes of Meir Kahane — a Brooklyn-born rabbi who co-founded the militant Jewish Defense League in 1968,  joined the West Bank settler movement and established an extremist Israeli political party.

It is because of this toxic legacy that Kahane is the subject today of Preachers of Hate — the Arab News series that exposes extremist clerics of all religions and nationalities, places their words and deeds in context, and explains their malign influence on those who follow them.

As a member of the Knesset, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and force their emigration. 

In the end he proved too extreme even for the Israeli far right; he was disqualified from running for office, and was eventually assassinated in New York in 1990.

Kahane’s hatred lives on, however, in Israel’s continuing rejection of the Palestinian people’s entitlement to basic human dignity, far less a meaningful peace process and an independent state.

As the leading academic and Arab News columnist Yossi Mekelberg writes today: “Few people have contaminated the discourse within Israel with sheer hatred and anti-Arab bigotry as much as Meir Kahane.”

 

Also Read: Meir Kahane: A torch to fuel anti-Arab hatred