Saturday, November 30, 2013

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Bloodlust and lies
Thus started the Nazi-financed, three-year Arab revolt – an uprising that was every bit as deformed as the misnamed Arab Spring. Haj-Amin’s ambitious undertaking cost thousands of lives, but paradoxically it fortified the emergent Jewish state, which would achieve independence 12 years later.
Haj-Amin wasn’t the odd-man-out. He gave expression to his people’s overwhelming vehemence. Already in 1937 Josef Goebbels praised Arab “national and racial awareness,” noting that “in Palestine they hoist Nazi flags and deck their homes with swastikas and portraits of Hitler.”
Arabs were among the first to latch onto Nazi ideology.
Undisguised fascist parties proliferated – from Syria’s Nationalist-Socialists headed by Anton Saada to Ahmed Hussein’s Young Egypt. Haj-Amin was the kingpin.
Israel and Creation Myths
Had there been no war, there would have been no dispossession, and yet, there still would have been a thriving Jewish State in former Palestine. Arab property was neither coveted nor needed before the war, although occasionally it was plundered and appropriated afterward. (But the same is true for thousands of Jewish homes and property that ended up in Arab-controlled Palestinian areas, i.e, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, not to mention the millions of Jews plundered in Arab countries in revenge for the “Naqba.”)
To conclude, many currently existing nation-states, besides the US, “willed” themselves into existence often by throwing off the rule of a foreign power (e.g. Greece, India, Pakistan) or were born out civil war (e.g., South Korea, Eritrea). Israel is no different, and has no less of a right to exist than any of those nations. And all of the claims that somehow Israel is an artificial entity with no right to exist is just a myth.
The world has been sorely remiss in remaining silent in or acquiescing to the blatant lies the anti-Israel forces spread. The issue is not simply historical accuracy and fairness. Palestinian Arab hatred, intransigence and violence is fueled by this false narrative of Israel’s illegitimacy. Peace will only be possible when Palestinian leadership and its supporters are forced to confront and acknowledge the truth: The Palestinian Naqba was self inflicted. It’s time for Palestinians to own up to that fact, to put an end to their “righteous” warfare, and for them to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors.
International "law" as the anti-Zionist Bible
Consider the latest parallel case when Israel was slammed for violating international law on occupation while Morocco, another "occupier", came away with a handshake and a deal.
The slammer and the deal maker was the European Union. Lawyers advised that no law stopped Europe making a fisheries deal with Morocco over occupied waters in Western Sahara. Allowing European companies to drill for oil in those waters, despite a UN legal opinion that it would violate international law, was also no problem. ‘Thank you very much,’ said the fatcats of Brussels. Morocco was happy too; the EU offered to pay a royalty for access to the occupied zone.
Hillel Neuer: Reports that Israel joined the UN Human Rights Council’s Western group are premature
Contrary to several news reports, admission to WEOG in Geneva does not mean membership on the 47-nation council. Israel like every other UN member state automatically has the status of an observer state at the council. Whether a state is one of the 47 voting members of the council, or one of its 146 observer states, all (except Israel) essentially belong to one of the five regional groups.
Contrary to exaggerated reports in the Israeli media, the country’s admission to WEOG would have zero effect on the Arab states’ continued ability to target Israel through excessive, one-sided and disproportionate resolutions, urgent sessions, and the special agenda item that focuses on Israel at every council meeting.
Amer Studies Assoc May Boycott Israeli Univs, Reveal Ignorance
In other words, all those who blathered on, urging the ASA to approve the resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions presumably would prefer that there were no Palestinian Arab institutions of higher learning.
Because not a single one of the 19 degree granting institutions serving the Arab Muslim population of the “West Bank” or Gaza existed before 1967.
Several universities were established in the 1970′s, including the University of Palestine, which is located in Gaza, and was founded in 1972. Prior to the “Occupation,” Egypt controlled Gaza and maintained the Palestinian Arab population living there under unrelenting military rule.
French court fines boycott-Israel activists for discrimination
A French court imposed a $1,300 fine on members of an anti-Israel group who called on supermarket shoppers to boycott Israeli products.
The Court of Appeals of Colmar near Strasbourg fined each of the group’s 12 members individually on Wednesday for their participation in a pro-boycott activity in 2009-2010, which the court qualified as “provocation to discrimination.” The court also gave the activists a suspended jail sentence, according to a report by the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities.
Mother of 2-Year-Old Victim of Rock Throwing Attack Speaks Out
The mother of a two-year-old toddler was still in shock on Friday, as Avigail Ben-Zion recovered in a Jerusalem hospital from injuries sustained by rocks thrown at their moving car by four Arab teenagers on Thursday evening on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
“Avigail will be fine,” Shirin Ben-Zion told Channel 2. ”She has a fractured skull, and we wait. I never thought that something like this could happen. Initially, I thought it was an accident, but then I realized very quickly that what crashed into us wasn’t any vehicle.”
Referring to her assailants, Ben-Zion was at a loss for words: “I can not talk about them as people – those figures who decided to hurt kids, I have nothing to say about them.”
Toddler injured by stone-throwers in Jerusalem not news for the BBC
The BBC’s Jerusalem Bureau is some eleven minutes’ drive from the location of the incident in which Avigail was injured. Twenty-four hours later, no report on the attack has appeared on the BBC News website. Readers of the website can, however, instead learn all about Orthodox beauty salons in Jerusalem.
Abbas: We'll Never Give Up on a Single Demand
While no official ceremony was scheduled Friday in the PA to mark the November 29, 2012 vote of the UN General Assembly, in anniversary comments published a day earlier, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas pledged to do everything possible to establish a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem.
The comments were published by the official PA news agency Wafa and quoted by AFP on Friday.
Abbas said that he would "never give up an ounce of the Palestinians' demands nor sign a peace agreement that failed to meet the aspirations of the people."
PMW: Song glorifying violence at PA Arafat memorial
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the Palestinian Authority often chooses this song to be performed at official events. Recently, it was performed at an event under the auspices of Abbas. The song was also recently performed in a historical context at an event celebrating Palestinian musical folklore arranged by the PA Ministry of Culture.
Sunni, Shi’a Strife Brings Uncertainty to Israel
“Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” an anonymous source told the Sunday Times.
“Most of the Middle East has an interest in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. At the moment it seems the world powers, led by America, are going to cave in to Iran. So you don’t really have a choice, you need to cooperate with the ‘devil’ as you see it,” Karsh told JNS.org.
“When Netanyahu is campaigning against Iran’s nuclear weapons, while America has this romance with [newly elected Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani, many Arabs are saying right now, ‘Well thank God someone is doing it,’” Ajami said.
Fueled by Iran’s desire for regional hegemony, the Sunni and Shi’a battles are unlikely to abate anytime soon, forcing Israel look for unlikely new partners, covertly or not, to confront its most dangerous enemies.
“Israel and Saudi Arabia agree on most things, they could almost have a silent partnership. They don’t have to acknowledge it. You won’t be seeing the Star of David flying in Riyadh anytime soon, but I think strategically, in view of the Iranian assault, there is a covert understanding between Saudi Arabia and Israel on what this region should look like,” Ajami said.
Obama Sides With Putin, Assad, and Khamenei
The outlines of a deal emerged: Assad would stay, Iran’s coffers would be refilled and its nuclear project continued in most of its important aspects, and Russia would have a partner. And President Obama would get his deal. Not a perfect deal. Not a “this justifies the Nobel Peace Prize” deal. But a deal.
Oh, yes, and the Iranian regime would be safe from military action as long as the conversation continues. Indeed, at least one report indicates that the White House made clear to Israel and Saudi Arabia, who have been huddling in the corner a lot of late, that military action against Iran will not be tolerated.
Thus has the United States become the guarantor of the Iranian and Syrian regimes, and of Russian interests in the Middle East. How far we’ve fallen.
‘Secret talks with Iran led Obama to shelve strike on Syria’
The issue of Assad’s chemical weapons use came up in the secret US-Iran contacts held in recent months in Oman, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Friday, and it quoted unnamed Israeli intelligence and security sources asserting Obama’s change of heart was affected by those contacts.
The report speculated that Iran persuaded Assad to agree to dismantle his chemical weapons capability in return for Obama not carrying out the intended attack.
‘US freed top Iranian scientist as part of secret talks ahead of Geneva deal’
The secret back channel of negotiations between Iran and the United States, which led to this month’s interim deal in Geneva on Iran’s rogue nuclear program, has also seen a series of prisoner releases by both sides, which have played a central role in bridging the distance between the two nations, the Times of Israel has been told.
In the most dramatic of those releases, the US in April released a top Iranian scientist, Mojtaba Atarodi, who had been arrested in 2011 for attempting to acquire equipment that could be used for Iran’s military-nuclear programs.
Iranian Nuclear Envoy Slams Israeli 'Aggression'
Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) slammed Israel on Friday, accusing the Jewish state of attacking its neighbors and committing atrocities.
"Israel, sitting on 200 nuclear warheads all of them targeted at Muslim cities ... is crying wolf about nuclear proliferation,” the envoy, Reza Najafi, told the UN nuclear agency.
US offers to destroy Syrian chemical arms offshore
The US has offered to help destroy some of the most lethal parts of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile at an offshore facility, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons said Saturday.
The international organization’s director-general, Ahmet Uzumcu, said in The Hague, Netherlands that the US government will contribute “a destruction technology, full operational support and financing to neutralize” the weapons, most likely on a ship in the Mediterranean Sea. The weapons are to be removed from Syria by Dec. 31.
Watchdog says Syria most dangerous country for journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said on Tuesday that the civil war in Syria posed the greatest danger for working reporters in conflict areas.
“Syria remains the most dangerous country in the world for journalists,” CPJ said. “At least 55 journalists have been killed covering the conflict since 2011, with local journalists comprising 90 percent of the fatalities.”
Swiss lawmaker excluded from party after saying Israel is "on path of carbonization"
Swiss lawmaker Denis Menoud was excluded from the populist Geneva Citizens' Movement (MCG) on Friday after commenting that Israel was "on the path of carbonization" following the signing of the interim nuclear deal with Iran, AFP reported.
His comments, written on his Facebook page on Tuesday, caused an uproar in the party, leading party president Roger Colay to condemn his words and demanding him to resign.
Johanne Gurfinkel of CICAD, a Swiss group that monitors anti-Semitism, called on Menoud to “publicly apologize for his statement.” Gurfinkel also asked Menoud’s rightist MCG party to take a stand against “this type of hateful comments.” (h/t Bob Knot)
Swiss alderman seeks ban on Hanukkah ceremony
A city council member from Geneva has warned his municipality against allowing a public Hanukkah event, which he said would violate Swiss law.
“I’m not afraid of being called anti-Semitic, because my request is not directed at a religious community [but at] the authorities, which do not comply with the law by issuing an authorization for this event,” council member Pierre Gauthier is quoted as telling the Tribune de Geneve daily newspaper this week.
BBC does a makeover on Hannukah
Readers celebrating Hanukkah may be rather surprised to learn that, according to that article, that they are in fact marking the rededication of the Temple after the “victory of the Maccabees against the Syrians”.
Where did Lewis glean that curious piece of information? It appears to have been taken from the source to which he links in that section of his article: a page titled ‘Hanukkah’ on the BBC Schools website. There, teachers and students seeking information (presumably factual) from a site which is self-promoted as “educational resources from the BBC” are told that:
  • Saturday, November 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Global Post:

From LaLiberte
A local deputy from Switzerland's populist Geneva Citizens' Movement (MCG) was excluded from the regional party on Friday for appearing to support the destruction of Israel.

Denis Menoud wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday that following Iran's historic nuclear deal with the West, "the key thing is that Israel is on the path to being incinerated."

His words caused an immediate outcry, with the Swiss Jewish rights group CICAD demanding the party "make a stand regarding this type of despicable remark."

Menoud, who later deleted the post from the page, told the Swiss newspaper Tribune de Geneve his remarks had been taken out of context.

"The point was the agreement with Iran... Israel is the loser, strategically and politically, from this plan. Anything else is a toxic and abusive interpretation," he said.
From Times of Israel:
A city council member from Geneva has warned his municipality against allowing a public Hanukkah event, which he said would violate Swiss law.

“I’m not afraid of being called anti-Semitic, because my request is not directed at a religious community [but at] the authorities, which do not comply with the law by issuing an authorization for this event,” council member Pierre Gauthier is quoted as telling the Tribune de Geneve daily newspaper this week.

In a letter to the mayor, Gauthier, who is the secretary of a not-for-profit called “Geneva Secular Coordination,” cited Switzerland’s Law of Foreign Worship, which states that “no celebration of worship, procession or any religious ceremony is allowed on public roads.”

He urged the mayor’s office to cancel a public candle-lighting event on Mollard Square scheduled for Dec. 3. The organizer of the event, Rabbi Mendel Pevzner of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, told the Tribune, “This is not a religious event but a moment of sharing, open to all faiths. Since 1991, we have never encountered a problem.”
(h/t Bob Knot)

  • Saturday, November 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Continuing our series....

Friday, November 29, 2013

From Ian:

The Two-State Delusion
While Israelis consistently poll in support of a Palestinian state, the reasons for abandoning the idea have multiplied over time. Palestinian nationalism with its malignant and rogue features remains committed to destroying Zionism. The Fatah media and school curricula indoctrinate the Palestinian people and youth to disparage Jews as "evil" and Israel as a "cancer." Palestinian military forces train for the possibility of future fighting with Israeli military forces, and Palestinian diplomacy, like the recent failed attempt to get the U.N. to grant it unconditional statehood, remains the stuff of wily bazaar bargaining in a diplomatic war of attrition. It is clear that the Palestinian public has never really accepted the two-state solution as a final end to the conflict. This was given vivid expression in the last interview by the late Faisal Husseini, the prominent PLO leader, who infamously compared the Oslo process to a Trojan horse that would bring about Israel's demise. More recently, Abbas Zaki, Fatah Central Committee member, confessed that "it's not acceptable to say we want to wipe Israel out … It's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself." (h/t NormanF)
Hold the phone. Who are you calling a Palestinian?
The word “Palestinian” has always been difficult to define. For a start, there has never been a state called “Palestine”, so how can you define Palestinians? There has never been a Palestinian currency, monarch, capital city or defined international border.
In fact, at the end of the Ottoman empire in 1918, Arabs living in the area now covered by Israel and Jordan preferred to be known as Syrian. It was the incoming Jews who were calling themselves “Palestinian”, following the name of the area under British mandate control.
In Israel, an Arab village builds mosque with Chechen help
Bankrolled largely by Chechnya and named after its former leader Akhmad Kadyrov, who was slain by Islamist militants in 2004, the glimmering shrine tells of this small Israeli Arab community's historical ties to the restive Russian province.
Abu Ghosh residents say their forbears were Chechens who came five centuries ago to then Ottoman-ruled Palestine. With the advent of modern Zionism, the villagers were quick to forge an alliance with the Jewish state founded in the war of 1948.
Failure of the Two-State Solution: A Reply to Ian Lustick
Blaise Pascal once noted, “The first moral obligation is to think clearly.” In his “Two-State Illusion” (New York Times Sunday Review, Sep. 15), Ian Lustick provides proof that Pascal was right. By getting most of his details just wrong enough to inform sloppy thinking, Lustick reaches conclusions that are profoundly immoral. Since Obama’s and Kerry’s thinking on the issue resembles Lustick’s, it should be helpful to see where Lustick goes wrong.
Two “dirty secrets” lie at the root of the failure of the “two-state” solution, one on the Palestinian side and one on the Israeli. People involved with the discussions are aware of them, but because they identify the fundamental flaws with the Oslo “peace process,” much of academia and the media go to great lengths not to mention them, and Lustick certainly doesn’t.
Salah: Knesset Has No Right to Discuss the Temple Mount
Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the radical Islamic Movement in Israel, says that the Israeli Knesset has no right to discuss matters pertaining to the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount, and that all of its decisions on the matter are null and void.
In an interview published Wednesday in Hamas publication Falastin, Salah said that "we will continue to monitor all of the Israeli plans that have as their goal the city of Al Quds [Jerusalem - ed.] and the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Knesset's intervention in the matters of Al Aqsa is null and void, and anything that stems from something that is null and void, is null and void itself."
Shaath: 'We Will Stay in Negotiations Just to Release Prisoners'
Nabil Shaath, one of the senior officials in the terrorist organization Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), has declared in a Maariv interview Friday that the PA will remain in talks until all of their terrorist "prisoners" are released - despite admitting that talks have tanked.
"We have committed to negotiations for a period of 9 months, and by then we hope to see all 104 of our prisoners released," Shaath claimed. He also noted that if not for the release of the more terrorists, PA negotiators would have left the peace talks entirely - just as they threatened to do earlier this month.
MK Shaked urges Tel Aviv mayor to pull plug on Nakba film festival
Habayit Hayehudi faction chairwoman MK Ayelet Shaked implored Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Thursday to cancel an upcoming film festival focusing on the Nakba, the Arabic term meaning "catastrophe" that Palestinians and Israeli Arabs use to describe the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem during Israel's War of Independence.
"I was shocked to discover that Tel Aviv Municipality was helping produce an anti-Zionist film festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque. A review of the event's line-up clearly shows that the films represented at the festival are of an anti-Zionist nature," said Shaked.
Poll: Majority of Israelis Believe Settlements to be Legal
A strong majority of Israelis believe Jewish settlement in the West Bank to be legal under Israeli law, a new poll shows.
The survey, conducted by New Wave Research on behalf of Regavim, found that 60 percent of Israelis view the settlements to be legal, while only 16 percent consider them to be illegal. 24% were unsure.
‘Turkey’s ban on Israeli flights could bring down El Al’
Air traffic between Israel and Turkey has soared by over 150 percent since the 2010 Gaza flotilla episode sent bilateral ties hurtling into the abyss. But only Turkey is benefiting from the increase: The total number of Turkish airline flights out of Ben Gurion Airport each week has reached a staggering 112. The total number of Israeli airline flights on the route: zero.
For reasons Jerusalem blames squarely on Ankara, Israeli airlines have been unable to fly to any destination in Turkey since 2007 and are locked out of the market. As first reported by The Times of Israel, Shkedy on October 22 sent a letter to Netanyahu in which he demanded Israel preclude Turkish airlines from flying to Israel as long as Ankara prevents Israeli airlines from competing, or at least halt the expansion of Turkish companies.
Honest Reporting: Oborne Back to Bashing the “Israel Lobby”
Oborne is clearly not the right person to comment on the dangers of the Iranian nuclear program and even less so when this gets mixed in with his obsession with the image of an all-powerful lobby even when this holds no water. Even Oborne himself concluded in his 2009 program that he hadn’t found anything even faintly resembling a conspiracy.
Fast forward to 2013 and all Oborne will find is the very legitimate fears of Israel when it comes to the Iranian nuclear threat and the very legitimate right of Israel and its supporters to express those fears to the international community.
Kanye West defends Obama, saying he lacks Jewish connections
Speaking on "The Breakfast Club" morning radio program on New York Hip Hop and R&B station Power 105.1, West said: "Let me tell you something about George Bush and oil money, and Obama and no money. People want to say Obama can't make these moves, or he's not executing. That's because he ain't got those connections. Black people don't have the same level of connections as Jewish people. Black people don't have the same connections as oil people. You know we don't know nobody that got a nice house. You know we don't know nobody with paper like that, that we can go to when we're down."
The incident did not mark the first time that West had made comments which raised eyebrows among Jews. In 2011, he was booed at a concert in England after comparing himself with Adolf Hitler.
FIFA upholds Ukraine sanctions for Nazi salute
FIFA said Wednesday that its appeals committee confirmed Arena Lviv is barred from staging qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup. The stadium hosted three matches at the 2012 European Championship.
Ukraine must also play its first home qualifier on the 2018 program in an empty stadium.
Lone Soldiers celebrate ‘Thanksgivukkah’ together in capital
According to the IDF, there are presently approximately 5,000 Lone Soldiers, or Diaspora Jews who volunteer to serve in the IDF without having their parents living in the country. While the soldiers are assigned surrogate families, many face challenges acclimating to a starkly different life in Israel.
“I knew this would be challenging,” said Adam Ota, 19, a soldier from Japan, who celebrated his first Thanksgiving.
“I miss my family, but we frequently Skype, so I still see them all the time.”
Ota, the grandson of Holocaust survivors on his mother’s side, said he joined the IDF because he was inspired by his grandfather, who fought in the War of Independence after being liberated from Hungary.
Wounded Soldier Honored at Lighting Ceremony for Jewish Unity
On Thursday, Rabbi Menachem Kutner, Director of the Chabad Terror Victim's Project (CTVP) and former IDF soldier Kfir Levi lit the candles together in a special program by Jewish unity organization Korov Lalev (lit. Close to the Heart).
Rabbi Kutner explained to Arutz Sheva that the soldier, who was badly wounded in Gaza in 2002, demonstrates the modern epitome of light and life in the spirit of the Hanukkah holiday.
IDF Blog: The Miracle of Hannukah Finds New Meaning in the Lives of IDF Soldiers
In honor of the miracle-inspired holiday of Hannukah, we bring you a series of stories from around the IDF – stories of soldiers that, in keeping with the holiday, are truly miraculous. Check back throughout all eight nights of Hannukah for more enlightening stories.
Largest European Menorah Lit in Berlin's Victory Gate
Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag (parliament), spoke at the ceremony, reminding that "recently we marked 75 years since the (Nazi) pogrom 'night of broken glass' (Kristallnacht). In those times Germany left the cultured world for several years, and in those times many people had a good reason to believe that those events indicated the beginning of the complete end of Jewish life in Germany."
Lammert added "today, not for the first time, but for the tenth time, we are celebrating the holiday of Hanukkah here in Berlin...in the most central square of Berlin. It's a great expression of the changes that Berlin has seen since the Nazi regime."
Russia: Publicizing the Miracle of Hanukkah in Moscow
Chabad Rabbi Berel Lazer, fulfilled the commandment to publicize the miracle of Hanukkah in a big way Wednesday night: by lighting a giant hanukkiah outside of Moscow's Red Square in Russia.
Lazer made the blessing over the miracles "in those days and in these times," a traditional Hanukkah blessing over the candles, in front of a symbol of the modern miracle for Soviet Jewry: the downfall of the USSR.
Report: Pope Francis to visit Israel in May
A senior unnamed Israeli source quoted by CNN said that the papal visit has been tentatively set for May 25-26.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to travel to the Vatican next week and meet with Pope Francis. He will extend an official invitation to the pontiff to visit the Holy Land.
Israeli wins jiujitsu world junior championship
Almog competed in the under-87 kg (192 lbs.) category for youth. Before entering the finals, he prevailed against an opponent from Romania in a mere 20 seconds. This was the quickest match of the entire championship, earning him a special trophy.
In the semifinal and final, Bretsch encountered rivals from Turkey and defeated them. Two years ago, Almog won the European championship for his age group.
He says that one of the most significant moments was when they played the Israeli national anthem. "When I heard Hatikvah sung from the podium it was an amazing feeling."
New Movie Shows Brave, Tragic History of Gush Etzion
Kfar Etzion was the decisive battle. Mothers and children had been evacuated to Jerusalem when the defenders realized that the beleagured Hagana could not send forces to defend them. They never saw their fathers and husbands again. After a heroic battle - a day before Israel's independence was declared - the surrendering defenders of Kfar Etzion were killed in cold blood by the Arab forces, despite their raising a white flag. Only 4 survived.
Now residents of the region have created a new memorial for the 21st century: a professionally produced film that portrays the region’s history, including the Jewish settlement in the 20th century, and the brutal destruction of that settlement during the war.


Why Isn’t the World More Thankful to Israel?
This is only a sampling of Israel’s many humanitarian missions over the years. There have been more including sending a team to Cameroon in 1986 after a poison cloud emerged from a lake killing hundreds of villagers and a group of medical professionals to Central America in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Mitch. I could also mention that while the world fiddles around with Syria, over 100 Syrians have temporarily escaped the ravages of war there and gotten treatment in Israel. In recent weeks two Syrian babies were born in Israel too.
  • Friday, November 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Gotta try to keep up with what the kids are listening to nowadays...




  • Friday, November 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From World Bulletin:

Zionists are responsible for all the bloodshed in the Islamic world and Turkey's role is critical to resolve the problems in the region, head of the the International Compound for Proximity of Islamic Sects Ayatollah Sheikh Mohsen Araki, told press members in Istanbul on Thursday.

"Acting together of all the Muslims in the world is a duty of our religion. When the Zionist state had entered into our region for the first time, their goal was not only to slaughter Palestinians, but also to kill all the Muslims and destroy all the moral and material sources of them," Araki told.

He continued by giving examples, "Zionist enemies make every kind of plans to create hostility among us. There are their hands in every war, in every bloodshed. They are again responsible for what has happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. They are behind the plots laid in Egypt. We see the same thing in Libya and Bahrain. They want us to conflict and wage war all the time. They don't want us to resolve our problems by ourselves."
Araki is the head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.
From Ian:

Bayit Yehudi's Ben-Dahan: Kerry giving legitimacy to terror, not a worthy mediator
Bayit Yehudi deputy minister Eli Ben-Dahan lashed out at US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday night, saying that he had given legitimacy to terror and was not worthy to serve as mediator to Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The deputy religious services minister made the comments at the consecration of a new synagogue in the West Bank settlement of Etz Efraim. His remarks followed a suspected terror attack in Jerusalem on Thursday evening in which a two-year-old girl was wounded when her family's vehicle was pelted with stones.
"Earlier a girl in Jerusalem was hurt by stones from a terrorist," Channel 2 quoted Ben-Dahan as saying. "John Kerry, who warns us of an intifada does not understand the Middle East and he is not worthy to be a mediator when he goes back to his country. His words give legitimacy to this terrorism."
Baby Seriously Injured in Muslim Rock Ambush
A two-year-old baby was seriously injured Thursday when Muslim terrorists hurled rocks at the car she was in, at the entrance to the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in southern Jerusalem.
A Magen David Adom (MDA) team gave the baby initial medical care and took her to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital. She suffered a serious head injury.
PM Vows to Catch 'Criminals' Who Injured Baby
"I am always moved by being here, in the place where Jewish history was formed, to large extent. This is the Zion that we dreamt of returning to, and this is Zion that we have returned to. Since then, we have been busy building our land and our state, and we are always under challenge."
"The first thing that I'd like to do this evening is to send wishes of speedy and full recovery to the small baby girl who was wounded by criminals here in Jerusalem," he said. "We will find these criminals and we will bring them to justice. We will safeguard our city."
"I think that you must have noticed in the last few days that our security forces are focusing on finding the perpetrators of evil. They succeed in this, and they will succeed in this case, too."
Four arrested in Jerusalem stoning attack that injured toddler
The suspects, Arab men aged 15 to 20, were brought for a remand extension before the Jerusalem District Court Friday morning, police said. The court extended their remand until Monday.
The four, residents of the Arab neighborhood of Sur Baher, are suspected of hurling rocks at the vehicle in which two-year-old Avigail Ben Zion was traveling with her parents in Armon Hanatziv, a predominantly Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood just over the Green Line.
'I Hoped Adelle Would Be the Last' Injured Infant
Adva Bitton, mother of the infant Adelle who was nearly killed in March by a rock thrown at the family's car near Ariel in Shomron, said the similar rock attack in Jerusalem Thursday night brought her right back to the day of the attack.
Islamic Jihad Leader Calls for Rebellion Against PA
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group has called on "the Palestinian people" to rebel against the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria, and urged them not to respond to summons for questioning by PA police as an act of defiance.
The Iranian-backed Islamist group has harshly criticized the PA and its security forces over a series of "political arrests", as the PA - which is dominated by Mahmoud Abbas' secular Fatah party - has sought to consolidate its control over Judea and Samaria by rounding up members of rival factions.
UN Distributes Fuel to Gaza in Midst of Crisis
Robert Serry, UN Middle East special coordinator, said Thursday that fuel "purchased by UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) and distributed by the UN" is coming in through the Kerem Shalom crossing from Israel.
Serry added that while the amount "doesn't resolve the fuel crisis in Gaza, ...it does provide a safety net, we hope, for the coming two to three months for those critical installations here."
Al-Aqsa TV Filler Tallies Terror Attacks by Hamas
In a 2-minute TV filler broadcast by Al-Aqsa TV, Hamas dramatizes various types of attacks, giving a tally: 38 stabbings, 487 shootings, and so on.

Iran
Netanyahu vows to banish ‘darkness’ of Iran nuclear program
Speaking at the Western Wall for a Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony, Netanyahu compared Iran’s nuclear program to a darkness that would be forced out by Israel, referencing a popular children’s song for the holiday.
“We came to drive out the darkness, and the largest darkness that threatens the world today is a nuclear Iran,” he said. “We are bound to do all we can to prevent this darkness. If possible we will do this diplomatically, if not we will act as ‘a light unto the nations’.”
'Washington Post': White House omitting facts about Iran nuclear deal
In other words, according to the Post's Editorial Board, "the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. In contrast, a long-standing US demand that an underground enrichment facility be closed is not mentioned."
According to the editorial, the most troubling aspect of the Geneva interim deal is that it provides for a "sunset clause" in the comprehensive agreement, meaning even the long-term deal would not be finite, and Iran could return to uranium enrichment and plutonium production at some point in the future after sanctions have been removed.
You know it’s a bad deal when...
You know the accord reached in Geneva last weekend between the P5+1 and Iran is a bad deal when the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, proclaims that the accord does not recognize Iran’s “right to enrich” uranium, and five minutes later the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, says it does.
Woe to us that Zarif speaks with more credibility than Kerry. Officials in Washington have now confirmed the Iranian interpretation by commenting on the record that it is “not realistic” to expect, even in a further accord, that Iran will agree to zero enrichment.
Dem to Obama: Don't fix Iran's airplanes
A senior Democrat is lashing out at a provision of the nuclear deal with Iran that could make it easier for the country to repair its aging fleet of civilian aircraft.
A little-noticed provision of the deal paves the way for U.S. companies such as Boeing and General Electric to inspect and repair Iran's American-made planes inside Iran. But Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs panel and a hawk on Iran, says the planes could be used to promote terrorism and support Syria's Bashar Assad.
Iranian FM: Tehran won’t attend nuclear talks if ‘Zionist regime’ present
A report by the country’s official news agency IRNA quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Islamic Republic “would not attend a meeting in which the Quds [Jerusalem] occupying regime participates.”
“We consider the Zionist regime as the biggest danger to the region and the world,” Zarif told the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), according to IRNA.
Amidror: Iran Deal a ‘Failure, Not a Triumph, of Diplomacy’
In a New York Times Op-Ed, Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli National Security Council, slammed the outcome of the Geneva deal with Iran, as “a failure, not a triumph, of diplomacy.”
Entitled, “A Most Dangerous Deal: The Iran Agreement Does Not Address the Nuclear Threat,” Amidror wrote, “The agreement represents a failure, not a triumph, of diplomacy. With North Korea, too, there were talks and ceremonies and agreements — but then there was the bomb. This is not an outcome Israel could accept with Iran.”
North Korea 'Restarting Its Reactor'
IAEA chief Yukiya Amano told the agency's 35-member board Thursday that North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex appears to have re-started its reactor. But the agency says without access to the site, IAEA inspectors cannot draw a definite conclusion.
North Korea destroyed the cooling tower at Yongbyon in 2008 as a confidence-building measure in talks with South Korea, China, the United States, Japan, and Russia.
But in September, a U.S. research institute said satellite imagery of the site showed activity that could mean North Korea is reviving the reactor.
How sloppy US diplomacy is empowering Iran
Dr. Michal Yaari, an expert on Saudi Arabian foreign policy from the Open University and Bar Ilan University, said that Riyadh’s greatest concern is that the US will to ignore Saudi Arabian interests and focus on Iran. “Outwardly, they have been relatively cordial. They did not attack the Geneva agreement outright, they only hinted at their objections,” he said. “But beneath the surface, Riyadh understands that Washington may choose to proceed in a way that conflicts with Saudi Arabian interests, causing a crisis.
Iran, she clarified, “is their greatest enemy. On the religious front, there’s the hostility between the Sunnis and the Shiites. On the ethnic front, there’s the Arab-Persian conflict. From a security perspective, since Iraq disintegrated, no power has been able to stand in the way of Iranian hegemony in the Persian Gulf. And politically, there are the Iranian attempts to weaken the monarchies in the region. They see an Iranian threat everywhere they turn. So while Tehran may not have the upper hand in all of the conflicts in the region, it certainly is not losing its battles.”
UK PM Cameron to Britain’s Jews: ‘I Share Your Skepticism Over the Iran Deal’
UK Prime Minister David Cameron told Britain’s Jewish community at a Chanukah reception, “I share your skepticism over the Iran deal.”
“An enemy of Israel’s is an enemy of mine… but in my judgement this is the right step to take,” Cameron said, after lighting Chanukah candles with the UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak at a reception held at 10 Downing Street, the UK’s Jewish News reported on Thursday.
“I know there will be great skepticism, I know there will be great worry,” the prime minister said. “All I will say to you tonight is that I share your skepticism, I share your worry. I don’t have any starry-eyed view about what this Iranian regime offers. We only got to where we are because of the very tough sanctions.”
BBC WS fails to disclose Iranian regime connections of ‘expert panel’ member
So there we have it: undiluted Iranian regime propaganda broadcast to tens of millions of listeners around the world by the ‘reputable’ BBC World Service in the guise of an “expert” opinion, and with complete abandonment of the editorial obligation to make the connections of that “expert” known to audiences.
‘Israel spied on embassies in Lebanon,’ says Hezbollah MP
A Hezbollah member of the Lebanese parliament on Thursday accused Israel of tracking the movements of UNIFIL members and international ambassadors in the country, allegedly using a chain of surveillance positions along its border with Lebanon.
At a special meeting hosted by the parliament’s media and telecommunications committee, and which was attended by the ambassadors of 27 countries and UNIFIL representatives, the head of the committee MP Hassan Fadlallah said Thursday that “[an] attack on a sovereign country in this way goes beyond international resolutions and conventions, as it includes an assault on freedoms and privacies [sic],” according to Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.
Report: Hezbollah Policing Lebanon Streets
Hezbollah operatives have set up checkpoints to inspect every car entering the Dahieh district controlled by the armed political organization. Since the double bombing of the Iranian embassy on November 19 that killed 25 people, Hezbollah has been wary of further attacks on Iranian institutions in Beirut. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by Abdullah Azzam brigades, a Lebanon-based Al-Qaeda affiliate.
“Young people are walking around with radios, checking every car that wants to enter the Dahieh quarter, and there are whole streets closed to traffic due to security concerns,” Lebanese sources were quoted as saying by Asharq Al-Awsat.
Saudi Cleric: Women Driving Ban Protects Against Evil
Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, in a speech delivered Wednesday in the western city of Medina, said the issue of giving women the right to drive should not be "one of society's major concerns."
The kingdom's most senior cleric called for "the matter to be considered from the perspective of protecting society from evil" which, according to him, included letting women drive.
  • Friday, November 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, this video shows an Al Qaeda group in front of a large crowd in Alatareb in the northern Idlib province.

The Islamist group, which apparently is from Iraq, executed the leader of a rival, apparently moderate Syrian opposition faction along with six of his men.

The crowd is very happy.

The execution begins at about 1:38.


  • Friday, November 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is a rather good summary of the problems with the Iranian nuclear deal. The best part, however, is that since it is in the Washington Post, it cannot be ignored by the White House.

THE FACT sheet distributed by the Obama administration about the nuclear agreement with Iran is notable for its omissions. The 2,000-word document, like President Obama’s televised statement Saturday night about the deal, stresses Iran’s pledge to cap its enrichment of uranium, delay the completion of a plutonium-producing reactor and accept additional inspections — measures that will guard against an attempt to produce a bomb while negotiations continue.

What the White House didn’t report is that the text of the accord makes several major concessions to Tehran on the terms of a planned second-stage agreement. Though White House officials and Secretary of State John F. Kerry repeatedly said that Iran’s assertion of a “right to enrich” uranium would not be recognized in an interim deal, the text says the “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters.” In other words, the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. In contrast, a long-standing U.S. demand that an underground enrichment facility be closed is not mentioned.

Mr. Obama and other U.S. officials have spoken about a six-month time frame for completing negotiations, but the agreement says the six-month arrangement can be renewed “by mutual consent” and that “the parties aim to conclude negotiating and commence implementing [in] no more than one year.” It also states that “there would be additional steps in between the initial measures and the final step,” including “addressing the U.N. Security Council resolutions.” Those resolutions order Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, but the agreement does not say whether those demands will be enforced.

The most troubling part of the document provides for what amounts to a sunset clause in the comprehensive agreement. It says the final deal will “have a specified long-term duration to be agreed upon,” and that once that time period is complete, “the Iranian nuclear program will be treated in the same manner as that of any non-nuclear weapon state party” to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran thus could look forward to a time when there would be no sanctions and no special restrictions on its nuclear capacity; it could install an unlimited number of centrifuges and produce plutonium without violating any international accord.

Administration officials say they regard Iran’s agreement to the words “long-term” in the sunset clause as a significant concession. In theory, this might mean 15 to 20 years. Iran, however, has proposed a far shorter period; we are told it was three to five years. Whatever the final compromise, it would be dangerous to allow this Iranian regime to have an unrestricted nuclear program at any time — and it surely would be unacceptable to Israel and Iran’s Arab neighbors. The United States should retain the ability to block the expiration of controls with its veto in the U.N. Security Council.

The interim arrangement, as we have said, is worthy because it checks Iran’s progress toward a bomb and is far preferable to the military action that otherwise might have been necessary. But the agreement leaves the United States and its partners at a disadvantage in negotiating the comprehensive settlement. The concessions made to Iran will have to be balanced by a major rollback of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure — with no automatic expiration date.
Meanwhile, Iran is acting as if their international isolation is history. AFP reports:
Iran and the United States are to establish a joint chamber of commerce within a month, with direct flights also planned, an Iranian official said Wednesday in a newspaper report.

“Iran-U.S. chamber of commerce will be launched in less than one month,” Abolfazl Hejazi, a member of Iran’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, told the English-language Iran Daily.

In the wake of a historic accord on Sunday between Tehran and major powers on Iran’s controversial nuclear program, Hejazi also said his country was ready to start direct flights to the United States.

After the 1979 revolution in Iran, Washington severed diplomatic relations with Tehran following the seizure of its embassy in Tehran, during which Islamist students held 52 U.S. diplomats hostage for 444 days.

According to Hejazi, the project which he said had already been registered in the United States would allow the two countries to work towards restoring ties.

Hejazi also said the government has authorized the private sector to launch joint activities and that Iran was ready to establish direct flights to the United States.
Actually, a US-Iran Chamber of Commerce had already been announced, as a private American businessman launched it in early November, in cooperation with the Iranian mullahs:
Mr. Manafzadeh says the idea for the chamber was hatched during a September meeting in New York City with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani and his chief of staff, Mohammad Nahavandian, who were visiting for the United Nations General Assembly.

"During our meeting," Mr. Manafzadeh says, "I proposed to Mr. Nahavandian that under his auspices I should register such an organization, in my office, at my expense, to work together with the Iranian-American business network to . . . advance trading with Iran." Before becoming Mr. Rouhani's chief of staff, Mr. Nahavandian served as president of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, based in Tehran.

Mr. Manafzadeh's company website shows a photo of him embracing Mr. Rouhani and "presenting a very special copy of the Holy Quran to Mr. Rouhani which was brought from the city of Mecca."

UPDATE: See also Times of Israel.
  • Friday, November 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Bladi.net:
Any Moroccans who would visit Israel could receive a sentence ranging from two to five years in prison and a fine ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 euros, according to a proposed bill criminalizing the normalization of relations with Israel.

The bill created a strong controversy in Parliament, dividing the political elite and Moroccan organizations defending human rights. Some believe that this "bill is unconstitutional and influenced by Nazi tendencies ".

Others argue that this text is a clear violation of international covenants and treaties on human rights, denouncing a bill "sterile", which would undermine the image of Morocco that supports pluralism. "

The originally proposed text, by the Moroccan Observatory Against Normalization with Israel, is supported by five political groups, including the Justice and Development Party (PJD), currently in power.

The bill condemns all forms of normalization with the Jewish state ,whether economic, political, artistic, or cultural.
A report earlier this month said that Morocco bought over $51 million worth of goods from Israel in the first ten months of this year, much more than last year. Morocco also exported some $4.2 million of goods to Israel in the same time period, a slight decline over the same period in 2012.

(h/t Yerushalimey)

  • Friday, November 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
From NYT:

There is one picture of Palestinian children studying around a small table by the dim light of gas lamps in the Beach Camp in Gaza, and another of children peeking over a sandy dune, with rows of small, uniform shacks of a desolate refugee camp in the background. In a third, a family walks across the Allenby Bridge, the father carrying two bulging suitcases, a young son clutching a white ball, heading east over the Jordan River.

These are a few of the black and white images, many of them powerful and haunting, that will eventually constitute a digital archive compiled by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the first part of which was unveiled Thursday at a gallery in the Old City here. Together, they capture the Palestinian refugee experience from the 1948 war onward, giving form to a seminal chapter in Palestinian history, identity and collective memory.
And how much context is given for these haunting photographs?

I couldn't find the specific photo of the family crossing the Allenby Bridge mentioned (update) but I found this one with its caption:


Homeless? Were their homes destroyed? Did Israel drive them out? The answer in the vast majority of cases is "no" and "no." Most arabs fled the West Bank because they didn't want to be under Jewish rule, not because Israel forced them out. This was a voluntary exodus, evidenced by the fact that tens of thousands ended up returning and that most of them stayed. These people are not "refugees" by any reasonable definition, even UNRWA's.

But this photo exhibition is not designed to tell the truth or give any context. It is designed to pull the heartstrings and - explicitly or implicitly - to blame Israel for the continuing refusal of Arab nations to take care of their Palestinian Arab population.

UNRWA's quotes in the article do reveal something, though:
“This is an important piece of work,” Filippo Grandi, the agency’s commissioner-general, told reporters at the opening in the Old City. “It is a contribution to building a national heritage for the Palestinians.”

“Everyone has a right to understand, to study and feel a part of their history,” [UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness] said. “Are we supposed to engage in denial of the events of 1948? The refugee experience is an essential part of Palestinian identity.”
It is actually the formative part of Palestinian identity - meaning that UNRWA officials know very well that there was no Palestinian Arab national identity before 1948!

Indeed, UNRWA is what has pushed this artificial nationhood, which is now enshrined as fact - helping UNRWA stay in business.

If the Arab world had been pressured to integrate the 1948 refugees as every other nation has integrated refugees over the centuries, there would be no national identity for Palestinian Arabs today. It is an artificial construct that was created deliberately by Arab leader decisions to discriminate against Palestinians - a discrimination that exists today and is almost completely ignored by the world. UNRWA is part of this shocking coverup of the facts, not a force to fix them.
Christopher Gunness, an agency spokesman, said its mandate was to help the refugees and to advocate for their rights until all sides to the conflict negotiated a just and durable solution.

“What is perpetuating the refugee problem,” he said, “is the failure of the political parties to resolve it.”

Mr. Gunness added that the Palestinian refugees would have the same rights and status under any United Nations agency.
This has been a consistent lie that Gunness has given to gullible reporters for years. Here's proof that it is a lie: the UNHCR, which is responsible for all non-Palestinian refugees worldwide, has an entire group dedicated to resettling refugees in other countries. UNRWA doesn't. UNHCR has specific criteria for deciding how refugees can lose their status as refugees (for example, becoming citizens of a state.) UNRWA doesn't.

UNRWA perpetuates a bizarre situation where Palestinian Arabs living under Palestinian Arab governments in the West Bank and Gaza are still considered refugees! UNRWA perpetuates a situation where they are still living in camps even though there is no sane reason for a single refugee camp in the West Bank, Gaza or (for the most part) Jordan.

I've given many other reasons why UNRWA should be abolished in the past - like its tacit support of terrorism and  jihad. But the NYT isn't going to mention them.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Yes, there really was a dreidel - right ahead of Papa Smurf:


I have no idea what the human snowflakes in front are doing.


From Ian:

Israeli Professor Vice-President of Project Including Iran, PA
A Jordan-based scientific research project whose members include Iran and the Palestinian Authority has chosen an Israeli professor as vice president, the candidate's university confirmed.
Scientists from states participating in the project elected Eliezer Rabinovici, a physics professor at Jerusalem's Hebrew University, as vice-president of the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), the university told AFP
GW Med School: Al-Quds Exchanges ‘Would Need to be Evaluated’ After Nazi-Style Rally
Student exchanges between the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Palestinian Al-Quds University, which have not materialized since being offered in 2008, “would need to be evaluated” following the recent Nazi-style rally on the Al-Quds campus in Jerusalem.
What's With the Nazi Fascination?
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Tom Gross said that the footage proved that attempts by Al-Quds to excuse the November 5th rally as an isolated event were disingenuous:
"The emergence of a video showing another Fascistic-style, militaristic Islamic Jihad rally, on what appears to be the main campus of Al-Quds University this past May - together with Palestinian students at Al-Quds who have informed me that the student factions of both Hamas and the PFLP held similar rallies at Al-Quds University this semester a few weeks ago - calls into question the claims by the Al-Quds university authorities that the November 5 rally was a one-off event, which they claim they didn't know about until they saw the photos of it."
UN Watch: UN condemns Israel 6 times, declares ‘Year of Palestine’
The UN General Assembly yesterday condemned Israel in six resolutions, the most significant of which declares 2014 a “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.”
The new year is now liable to bring escalated politicization within UN agencies worldwide, doing nothing to help Palestinians or Israelis on the ground, while inflicting yet further damage to the world body’s effectiveness and credibility.
The one-sided resolutions were adopted in tandem with the UN’s observance Monday of its annual “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.”
The Guardian: Australia is right to challenge the UN’s anti-Israel bias
The consequences of the UN’s one-sidedness against Israel are grave. For one, it is a disservice both to Israel and the Palestinian cause. A complex struggle for national self-determination by two peoples over a territory less than half the size of Tasmania, has seen the Palestinians cast as victims, and Israel depicted as the brute. As a result, the world overlooks the true causes of the conflict, and by logical extension, is unable to see the solutions.
For example, the EU recently found that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah had squandered close to €2bn of aid from European taxpayers; aid intended to build Palestinian institutions, enfranchise the people, elevate their quality of life. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Al-Quds University is reported to have staged a Nuremberg-style rally by members of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organisation, replete with black uniforms and Nazi salutes. Yet such issues concerning incitement and mismanagement, which strike at the heart of why the Palestinians’ national goals remain unfulfilled, are routinely overlooked by the UN.
Report: Anti-Semitic incidents rise 21% in Australia
Anti-Semitic incidents in Australia rose 21 percent in the last year and are the second highest on record, according to an annual report.
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s annual “Report on Anti-Semitism in Australia” – tabled at Sunday’s annual general meeting in Melbourne – revealed 657 reports of racist violence against Jewish Australians and Jewish community buildings between Oct. 1, 2012 and Sept. 30, 2013.
Serious physical attacks were at the lowest since 2005, however, with fewer than 20.
Aussie Paper Publishes Photo, Caricatures Jews
Put aside the attitude of Amin Saikal as he almost crows with glee over the perceived blow to Israel following the signing of the Iran interim nuclear deal. The first thing that most readers will notice before reading the text of his Sydney Morning Herald op-ed is the accompanying photo.
What exactly does an uncaptioned photo of silhouetted ultra-Orthodox Jews have to do with the Israel-Iran situation?
Pope Francis Reaffirms Commitment to Jewish-Christian Relations, Regret for Anti-Semitism
Pope Francis on Tuesday released his widely anticipated first Apostolic Exhortation, which included a strong reaffirmation of dialogue with the Jewish people and an expression of regret for past anti-Semitism.
The 224-page comprehensive document, titled Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), outlines the pope’s vision for the Catholic Church.
“We [the Catholic Church] hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked,” Pope Francis wrote in the document.
‘Dolphin Boy’ gets picked up by Disney
Walt Disney Animation Studios has bought the rights for “Dolphin Boy,” an Israeli-made documentary film about Morad, an Israeli Arab teenager who was healed by Eilat’s dolphins after turning mute following a violent attack.
The purchase is the first that Burbank, California studio has made in Israel. It intends to turn the story into a feature film.
Shine keeps mobile devices happy and virus-free
While they won’t say it to the media, most security technology startups in Israel have a link to Israel’s version of the CIA, Unit 8200. But Ron Porat, who founded the anti-virus company Shine (www.getshine.com), comes from a modest background as a technician in the Israeli Air Force. Once a teenage gaming hacker, after military service he became a professional archeologist.
Seven years of digging though layers of dirt led to a sad paycheck that wouldn’t support a growing family. So Porat, now 44 with three kids, went back to the traditional workforce as a programmer and worked his way to the top.
BGU and Chinese firm to create desert research institute
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Elion Resources Group of China to create a desert institute in Mongolia. The goal of the new Kubuqi Desert Research Institute is to develop China’s desert economy.
Mr. Wang Wenbiao, the chairman and president of the multi-billion dollar construction and development company, was recently in Israel to visit BGU’s Sede Boqer and Beersheva campuses. He and 10 senior executives were so impressed with the quality of desert research that they saw they pushed for an immediate MoU.
Israel to open new industrial park with Jordan
An Israeli ministerial committee authorized the construction of a multimillion-dollar joint industrial zone with Jordan, considered to be the first large-scale project since the signing of the peace treaty between the two countries in 1994.
The industrial park, initiated by Regional Cooperation Minister Silvan Shalom, will be located in the northern Jordan Valley and comprise an Israeli and a Jordanian industrial zone connected by a bridge over the Jordan River. An Israeli ministerial committee Monday authorized initial funding for the project at NIS 120 million ($34 million) with an additional projected investment of 60 million ($17 million) over the coming years.
Meet the Israeli Startups Supported by Microsoft
Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in Tel Aviv has graduated its third batch of startups, five of which have already received an average of $1m in funding or formal proposals.
The ten graduating startups benefitted from the support of several multinational corporations participating in the accelerator program, including eBay, Comcast, Sears Israel, Saatchi & Saatchi, Y&R and Deutsche Telekom. The multinationals contributed mentoring from leading executives, help in developing technology and solutions, beta sites to test those solutions, and connections with customers.
Mexican billionaire Slim: We want to invest more in Israel
Slim said that he was touched to receive such an invitation and will be happy to visit Israel. He added, "Technology is the engine of the present era and the Slim Group will be happy to take part in additional investments in Israel. We like to have our finger on the pulse of everything regarding new technologies and I know that in this Israel is a world leader, so we are interested in Israeli developments. I'm glad that through our connection and friendship the opportunity was created for this unique visit here by the Israeli delegation to Grupo Carso." (h/t Bob Knot)
UN Conference Highlights Plight of Jewish Refugees, Fate of Iraqi Jewish Archive
On the front line of that battle, according to Jewish and Israeli leaders, is the United Nations. Since 1947, among the 687 U.N. resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 101 have referenced Palestinian refugees, but none have called attention to the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab nations.
“Over the last 65 years, the U.N. and its agencies have spent tens of billions of dollars on Palestinian refugees, but not a cent on Jewish refugees,” said Silvan Shalom—Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water, whose grandfather was once the leader of the Jewish community in Gabes, Tunisia—during a Nov. 21 conference on Jewish refugees at the U.N. titled “The Untold Story of the Middle East.”
The partition plan and Jewish refugees
Over the years, the Arab leadership exacerbated human suffering by making sure the refugees would not be integrated into their new countries. West Germany, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece and other countries all saw similar, perhaps even identical, refugee crises. But in all of those instances, the governments worked to rehabilitate the displaced people.
The Arab refugees became a prop that was cynically used by the anti-Israel propaganda machine. That is how the myth of the so-called Nakba (catastrophe) grew with each passing year. Over the years, the Arab states have deliberately ignored the human tragedy inflicted on the Jews in Muslim countries. The Jews were slaughtered and expelled and their property was expropriated. In today's terms, an equivalent of $300 billion was confiscated. This was coupled by great mental anguish.
U.S. Holocaust Survivor Reunites with Polish Savior
A Jewish boy who hid from the Nazis in a haystack was reunited in New York after 70 years Wednesday with the Polish son whose parents risked everything to save him, reports AFP.
Beaming American Holocaust survivor Leon Gersten, 79, embraced and clasped the hand of a visibly moved Czeslaw Polziec, 81, whose Polish parents saved five Jews during World War II.
Israel Wins EU ‘Reducing the Gender Gap’ Prize for Middle East
Female members of parliament from around the world have gathered in Brussels this week to celebrate advances made by women. The prize awarded to Israel was based on research from the World Economic Forum into the progress made by women in 135 countries, in terms of resource allocation between men and women and how that is reflected in gender equality in the population.
IDF Blog: #IDFWithoutBorders: Map of IDF Aid Delegations Around the World
Most of the delegations were staffed with reserve soldiers from the IDF’s Search and Rescue Unit. The national Search and Rescue Unit, under the Home Front Command, is a highly skilled force trained to execute special search and rescue missions. Although the unit – created with the goal of providing aid both in Israel and abroad – was established in 1983, the IDF has been sending medical aid delegations around the world since its founding. In addition to the rescue teams, the delegations include doctors from the Medical Corps, mechanical engineering equipment operators, rescue dog handlers and Logistics officers.
IDF Aid Delegation Returns from the Philippines

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Congress' discussion of declaring a day of thanksgiving in 1789:



Elias Boudinot was a delegate from New Jersey; Roger Sherman was a delegate from Connecticut.

Roger Sherman naturally associated giving of thanks to the Biblical accounts of the celebrations of thanksgiving at the original dedication of the Temple.

Chanukah means "dedication" - celebrating the re-dedication of the Temple.

(From NYT quoting Rabbi Meir Soloveitchik, new rabbi of New York synagogue Shearith Israel, which was founded in 1654.)

(corrected date h/t Barbara)

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Continuing with the series, I need to use up the Thanksgivukah videos by tonight.

This is pretty good, although it peters out in the end.



This one from Six13 is very, very silly. In a good way.





Since Thansgivnukah is almost gone, I have to squeeze in this Funny or Die video, which is really making more fun of absurd movie comedy premises than anything else.




If you can't get enough of the combined holiday videos, here are some that are not as good:

Thanksgivukah rap battle parody

 This one's production values are excellent, the idea is less than half-baked.

This is New Yorker droll, but didn't really do much for me.

This one tries to channel Adam Sandler, and fails miserably.

UPDATE: Just found this Chanukah/Thanksgiving video that is not bad (from a nominee for a Hasby award):

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
An earthquake shook southern Iran Thursday evening near a nuclear power plant, killing at least eight people and injuring 59 more, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Twelve of the injured were in critical condition, it said, citing Hassan Qadami, the head of Iran's Crisis-Management Headquarters.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 5.6-magnitude quake was centered about 39 miles (63 km) northeast of the Persian Gulf city of Bushehr, where the nuclear plant is located, and 7 miles (14 km) northeast of Borazjan.

The quake struck at a relatively shallow -- and therefore more likely to be damaging -- depth of 10.2 miles (16.4 km) at 5:21 p.m. local time. A reporter for the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency in Borazjan said residential buildings were damaged and electricity was disrupted to several areas, including sections of Borazjan.

The city is in Bushehr province, which is the site of a nuclear power plant that went online in 2011. There was no immediate report of how the plant fared in Thursday's temblor.

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake in May [sic] killed 39 people and injured 850 in Bushehr province, but the reactor was not affected, it said.
The other Bushehr earthquake this year was in April.

Those Mossad agents are getting better and better!

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From the ever-funny Iranian FARS news agency:


Chairman of Iran’s Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani warned that the Zionist regime is attempting to make Arab countries forget their number one enemy which is Israel itself.

The Zionist regime’s propaganda machine has been making hue and cry, since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in order for the Arabs to forget their number one enemy, Rafsanjani said.

He made the remarks in a meeting with participants of a scientific and research gathering to mark solidarity with the Palestinian people.

In relevant remarks in August, a senior Iranian legislator censured the Zionist regime's baseless claims against Tehran, saying that Tel Aviv is promoting Iranophobia to come out of isolation.

"The western people's dissatisfaction and anger at their countries' high spending for the Zionist regime has endangered the regime seriously," member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Reza Mohseni Sani said.

"So, they naturally utter such protests and threats and raise baseless claims like their allegations about Iran's efforts to acquire atomic weapons in a bid to promote Iranophobia to divert the public opinion to some unreal issues and continue their illegitimate life and use of the Western assistance," he added.
It's almost as if he is looking at my playbook!
From Ian:

Barry Rubin: Tonight I’m Gonna Party Like It’s 19[3]9
Any by the way, the Obama administration did not condemn these vicious anti-Israel statements nor did it alter any policy because of them.
Holocaust? Yawn!
Meanwhile, the U.S. policy has also hardened Palestinian Arabs’ lines, as shown in statements by leaders. In turn, the Palestinian Arabs have hardened their policy, insulting the United States. Recently, there was a situation in which a Georgetown University session ditched a Nazi speaker but still featured a Nazi professor who denied that bin Ladin had played a role in September 11.
And moreover, Professor Rima Najjar posted on her Facebook page: “What Brandeis University does not understand: Palestinian armed resistance to Zionist colonization is a path to liberation.” Brandeis University suspended its partnership with al-Quds University after the West Bank University had a rally that was meant to honor the martyrs of Islamic Jihad, in which the symbol of Israel, the Star of David, was symbolically stepped on by all demonstrators.
Israel Braces for Upsurge in Terror Attempts From New Threat – Salafi Jihad
Israel security forces are preparing for a new threat — Salafi jihad — after a terror plot was foiled by the Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday, when two suspects carrying explosives and handguns were killed in a raid in Hebron, where the sect is strongest, Israel’s Walla News reported on Wednesday.
A Salafi jihad group called “Hizb al – Tahrir” – the Freedom Party – has held demonstrations against both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The group has won popular support in Hebron, considered to be more radically religious, and in East Jerusalem, where its members were involved in violent demonstrations on the Temple Mount, Walla said.
Thousands attend funerals of Salafi terrorists
Obeidallah Nairouh said his brother had served six years in an Israeli prison for Hamas-related activities. In prison, Mohammed quit Hamas and drifted toward the Salafis, his brother said.
He said his brother was upset with Hamas for not imposing Shariah law in Gaza and spoke frequently about the need to engage in jihad.
Despite Nairouh's apparent falling out with Hamas, the terrorist group dominated his funeral march in Hebron. Several thousand mourners joined the procession. Many of them raised the green flag of Hamas and chanted, "Revenge, revenge."
EU parliamentarian attacks colleagues for celebrating Palestinian prisoner releases
The attendance by members of the European Union’s parliamentary delegation at the Ramallah celebration in honor of the released Palestinian prisoners last month was “unacceptable” and undermined the EU’s credibility as an honest broker, Italian politician Fiorello Provera said on Wednesday before leaving Israel after a four-day visit.
“It’s disgraceful behavior,” said Provera, who added that he was ashamed for the action of those delegates.
“These people [released Palestinian prisoners] are not freedom fighters. They are no heroes. They are assassins. They killed ordinary people,” Provera said.
Qatar to provide $150 million for struggling Palestinian economy
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Paris after talks with Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiyah that Qatar had agreed to provide $150 million in debt relief to the PA.
Hamdallah had said in September that the PA needed to raise $500 million by the end of 2013 to allow it to continue functioning and pay its employees' salaries.
Poll of Palestinians Shows Distrust in Negotiations, Hamas
The poll surveyed 1,200 Palestinians above the age of 18 from the West Bank and Gaza Strip in mid-November. About one-third of respondents said they prefer armed resistance over peaceful negotiations. Thirty percent of Palestinians blame Hamas for the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Twenty percent of respondents continue to trust PA President Mahmoud Abbas, compared to only 11 percent who expressed trust for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the poll revealed.
Hamas official blasts Ramallah over Gaza blackout
Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, accused the Palestinian Authority of raising the price of Israeli diesel from NIS 4.26 ($1.2) per liter to NIS 7.75 ($2.19), making Gaza’s energy bill unaffordable to the Hamas government.
“The [Palestinian] Authority in Ramallah has gone back on its promise to not increase the tax. This has rendered the energy authority in Gaza unable to pay the taxes, as it can barely pay the bill without the tax,” Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page.
Baby granddaughter of Hamas prime minister dies
The girl was brought to Israel in grave condition last week but returned to the Gaza Strip a day later after Israeli doctors concluded they could not help her.
A statement from Haniyeh’s office said the girl, named Amal, died at a children’s hospital in Gaza Wednesday.
BBC’s Knell continues the downplaying of terror from the Gaza Strip
The breathtaking banality of Knell’s downplaying of the effects of regular terror attacks on civilians is enabled by the fact that since the end of last November’s hostilities (and likewise before their ‘official’ commencement on November 14th 2012) no BBC reporter has made the 90 minute journey from Jerusalem to Sderot or Ashkelon in order to bring to BBC audiences the experiences and viewpoints of residents of those areas still subject to regular missile attacks.
The Economist misleads about American Jewish attitudes towards Israel and Iran
Further, results from AJC’s two previous polls of American Jews show 72.5 percent supporting Israeli military action in such a scenario in 2012, with 67 percent supporting such action in 2011 – indicating relatively consistent support over the past three years for a potential Israeli attack.
More broadly, a major study by Pew Global released this year demonstrated that about 70 percent American Jews are “emotionally very attached to Israel”, findings, Pew noted, which “closely resemble results from the last National Jewish Population Survey conducted in 2000-2001″.
So, it seems clear that – despite The Economist’s misleading characterizations of the polls cited – American Jewish support for Israel (including support for any future Israeli military action which may be required) shows no signs of wavering.
Fear Over Iran Deal Leads to New Regional Alliances
Until now, it had been hard to imagine Israel and Saudi Arabia publicly finding common ground, but they have on the Iranian issue. It appears that contacts between the two countries in advance of a perceived sell-out by the U.S. have been developing throughout this year and have accelerated in recent weeks. The Sunni states feel betrayed by the Geneva agreement.
“In order to understand what the Gulf States are doing on this issue,” David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told the IPT, “you have to look beyond their formal statements. When you analyse what is being said there is great concern about this amongst at least four of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] states – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and the UAE. They all see themselves as deeply threatened, undermined, and encircled by Iran.”
'Iran will still make a nuclear bomb': Israel’s ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub argues the Geneva deal endangers us all
“If you look at the region you see this very radical axis that runs from Tehran to Damascus to Beirut and actually on to Gaza, and I think that we are not alone [in being worried] about it,” he said.
“There are many countries that look on these issues and it’s a reminder that if we can rise above some of our immediate differences and paradigms we actually have an awful lot in common, many of our most fundamental strategic concerns are actually aligned, and of course we would be interested in trying to deepen relationships on that basis.”
US now indicates Iran interim deal wasn’t quite finalized
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the six-month interim period, during which Iran would take steps to rein in its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, has not yet begun. Furthermore, there are still a number of details to be worked out, she said, without specifying what points had yet to be finalized.
Her comments created confusion as to whether the much-touted interim deal, supposedly reached by P5+1 powers and Iran in Geneva in the early hours of Sunday morning, had actually been completed as claimed. Iran on Tuesday accused the US of publishing an inaccurate account of what had been agreed. And its Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an address to the Iranian parliament Wednesday that Iran would continue construction on the Arak heavy water plant, in an apparent breach of the ostensibly agreed terms.
Iran deal won’t kick in until nuclear inspections, pushing start into 2014
The International Atomic Energy Agency has inspected Iran’s program regularly over the past decade, submitting its findings to the IAEA’s 35-nation board and the UN Security Council.
But the agreement sealed in Geneva on Sunday boosts the scope and significance of the agency’s monitoring activities, making it the chief arbiter of whether Iran is keeping its end of the bargain — capping its nuclear program in exchange for some sanctions relief.
Iran deal a failure, says ex-national security chief
“Obama has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a breather from his clamorous criticism and send to Washington a team that can explore with US officials a sound end-state strategy,” Ignatius wrote. “Perhaps the United States and Israel need a back channel, outside the bombastic pressure campaign by Israeli advocates.”
The prime minister’s former national security adviser, who stepped down earlier this month, claimed that under the terms of the deal Iran will be able to maintain its thousands of centrifuges and even work on upgrading them just so long at they are not installed in uranium enrichment plants. In practice, that means Iran’s uranium enrichment capability will remain at its current level, meaning it would be available for use whenever Tehran needs it.
Poll shows Americans split on Iran deal
Americans are nearly evenly divided over the deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 world powers, with 43 percent of the public maintaining that the agreement would end up damaging US interests in the Middle East, while 41% believe the deal will curb Iran’s capability of producing a nuclear weapon, a survey found Wednesday.
Report: Satellite Imagery Shows Iran Launching Biggest Submarine Yet in Persian Gulf
Iran has launched its Fateh-class submarine, the largest it has ever built, into the Persian Gulf, and is building a second at the Caspian port of Bandar Anzali, according to satellite imagery seen by IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, which is publishing the photographs later on Wednesday.
Jane’s said that at about 48 meters, the Fateh-class is bigger than the largest subs built by North Korea, which is believed to have helped Iran produce its 29-meter Ghadir midget subs. The one being built at Bandar Anzali will also be the first submarine launched in the Caspian.
Assad lauds Tehran’s ‘resilience’ in nuclear talks
According to Syrian state media, Assad spoke with President Hassan Rouhani over the phone and lauded “the success of the Iranian diplomacy in reaching the agreement,” which was “the result of the resilience of the Iranian people, who held onto their rights, and of the Iranian leadership’s commitment to the principles of Iran’s sovereignty.”
The report said that Rouhani affirmed Tehran’s support for the Assad regime “in its war against terrorism.”
250 Hezbollah fighters slain in Damascus, rebels claim
Syrian rebels claimed Thursday that they killed 250 Hezbollah fighters and captured dozens in fierce battles in the suburbs of Damascus, while a missile attack reportedly killed 40 people in the city of Raqqa.
Hebrew media sources, citing the Lebanese al-Mustaqbal newspaper, reported the claim by the Free Syrian Army on Thursday, although the information could not be confirmed by other sources.
‘NSA tracked jihadis’ porn habits’
The Huffington Post cited a secret National Security Agency document that allegedly reveals the US agency spied on the online sexual activity of Islamist radicals in order to find ways to discredit them.
The website said the document, leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, shows the organization tracked six unnamed “radicalizers” and their visits to pornographic websites. It says the alleged electronic surveillance aimed to find their “personal vulnerabilities” to undermine their credibility.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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