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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last night I went to a Harlem Globetrotters game. It was enjoyable, although they did not seem to be quite as skilled as the Globetrotters I had seen on TV decades ago when they had Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon. There was some excellent passing and alley-oops, but not too much of the trick shots or dazzling dribbling that I recall seeing as a kid.

But I also watched their opponents, the team that always loses, the Washington Generals.

During this year's tour, the shtick is that the Generals have regrouped and are thirsting for revenge, wanting to recapture the glory of their last win, in 1971. It is called the "Washington Generals Revenge Tour."

Of course, the Generals lost. That's what they are meant to do. They are booed when they are introduced, and in this particular show, they openly "cheated" and lost (of course) anyway.

But I was interested in their history, and the history of the Generals has an interesting tie to US Jewish sports history.

The original owner of the Washington Generals was Louis Herman "Red" Klotz, Klotz was an early basketball star in Philadelphia high schools and colleges, winning player of the year in 1939 and 1940. He was part of the Baltimore Bullets championship team in 1948, making him - at 5'7" - the shortest player ever to win an NBA championship.

Afterwards, Klotz bought one of the original basketball teams, the Philadelphia Sphas. of the now defunct American Basketball Association.

"SPHA" was an acronym for South Philadelphia Hebrew Association. Their original uniforms even had those initials in Hebrew!

In the late 1920s and 1930s, the Sphas were the best basketball team in the world.

The original owner and coach, Eddie Gottlieb, sold the Sphas so he could buy the Philadelphia Warriors in the new NBA, and the ABL became a minor league.

In the early 1950s, the Sphas played the Globetrotters a couple of times:

[Klotz] won many games with the Sphas, and one day on the ballroom at the old Broadwood Hotel in Philadelphia they beat the Harlem Globetrotters in a straight up game. The great Goose Tatum, the first clown prince of basketball, the man who invented the skyhook, met Klotz at half-court and said in a threatening voice: “That will never happen again.” And the next time they played, the Sphas won again. And that is about the time when Globetrotters owner Abe Saperstein approached Klotz and asked him to put together a team that would play the Globetrotters night after night all over the country, all over the world. Of course, there would be an understanding. People were coming, after all, to see the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters. It was one of those moments in a man’s life. Red Klotz loved to play basketball. He loved to coach basketball. And he loved to win. The Globetrotters would give him a chance to do the first two.

“We’ll give you a run for your money,” Red Klotz said to Saperstein.

“I’m counting on it,” Saperstein said in return.

Klotz then borrowed some cash to buy a Green De Soto — the Green Hornet, they would all call it — and he began his life as a player, owner, coach, driver, psychiatrist, motivator and inspirational leader for a team he decided to name after Dwight D. Eisenhower: The Washington Generals.

Besides owning and coaching the Generals, Red Klotz was also a player. He would willingly allow the Globetrotters to make a fool out of him. But he always took his role seriously.

There are rules for being a Washington General (to use their most general name).

1. The Generals are allowed — expected, even — to play completely legit on offense. There are no limitations. If they can beat the Globetrotters defense, they can score every single time down the court.

2. The Generals are allowed to play defense as hard as they want when the Globetrotters are not in one of their reams. For about 40% of every Globetrotters game, the basketball is straight up.

3. When the Globetrotters DO go into one of their reams, it is the Generals’ responsibility to play the stooge and make the Globetrotters look as good as possible. They are expected to play their roles with gusto and verve. Red Klotz had his pants pulled down thousands of times — he would always take pants duty first few games of every tour to give the other players time to settle in. He always tried to look as shocked and embarrassed as possible. In his mind, Red often said, his job was to play Ginger Rogers to the Globetrotters’ Fred Astaire, that is to do everything the Globetrotters did with the same joy and expertise but to do it going backward.

Then there was that now legendary game in January, 1971, in Martin, Tennessee - the last game the Generals ever won (possibly under the name the New Jersey Reds; they had a number of different team names even as they never had a home game).

Klotz’s place was not in the paint. He was a shooter, still is a shooter, and on that day in Tennessee he started to make a few long jumpers. Eddie Mahar, a shooting guard from Brooklyn, made a few shots. Sam Sawyer, a forward from Atlantic City and someone who would become one of Klotz’s closest friends, worked hard inside. The Globetrotters seemed weary or uninterested. And nobody noticed the scoreboard.

Nobody noticed, that is, except for Red Klotz.

The game stayed close. The Globetrotters did not do as much show as usual that day in Martin, Tenn. The great dribbler Curly Neal wasn’t playing — he apparently had an injury of some sort — and the showman Meadowlark Lemon seemed to Klotz and others to be in a bit of of a fog. So they played basketball. In the fourth quarter, the New Jersey Reds got hot. Every one of their shots seemed to drop. The Globetrotters kept missing. This much everyone agrees upon. The score tightened.

The Globetrotters could have gone into their show at any point, scored every time down the floor, and put an end to the drama. The Reds would not have been able to do a thing to stop it. But for reasons that were never revealed, and perhaps never quite understood, the Globetrotters played the final minutes straight up. There were 3,600 people in the stands that day, and not one of them was quite sure what was happening. The players themselves were not quite sure what they were doing. Maybe the monotony had simply crumbled their resolve. Maybe they all just wanted something different, something that was unlike the day before and the day before that and the day before that. Whatever, the game grew close.

And then … well, nobody would ever seem to remember the details. In one version of the story, the Reds built a startling 12 point lead in the final minutes and the Globetrotters had to stage a furious comeback. In another, the game was tied at the end of regulation and went into overtime. Fairy tales, you know, have different endings in different parts of the world. The only thing anyone seems certain about is that the Globetrotters led 99-98 with scant seconds left when Red Klotz got the ball about 25 feet away from the basket and fired one of those two-handed set shots that had made him the best in the city and won him the girl and carried him through a war and landed him the childhood dream of traveling around the world. It went in of course, like it went in when he was 12 years old. The Reds led 100-99.

There were, according to the newspapers, three seconds on the clock. The timekeepers stalled the clock long enough for Meadowlark Lemon to take the game-winning shot, a hook shot, the sort he had made about as many times as Red Klotz’s set shot. The buzzer sounded. The ball bounced away. The New Jersey Reds or Washington Generals or International All-Stars or whatever you would like to call them had won the game. It was, mathematically, the greatest upset in the history of sport. Red Klotz and his team ran off the court in triumph. The crowd’s reaction was some mix of shock and uncertainty. In time, Red Klotz would remember them booing (“It was like killing Santa Claus,” he would say many, many times), and certainly most did boo. But in the days afterward, when he talked to the small-town reporters who asked, he would remember that some people cheered too.
Klotz was 50 years old when he made that game-winning shot.

He died this past July, at the age of 93, and I hadn't seen his name in any of the lists of notable people we lost this year. But while he holds the record for the most basketball games lost, he knew exactly what he was doing.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 08:00:00 PM
From Ian:

CAMERA's Top Ten MidEast Media Mangles for 2014
1. Hate-Indoctrination and Incitement Ignored
No issue was more glaringly and indefensibly neglected by most of the media than theoften grotesque demonizing of Israel and the Jewish peopleby the Palestinians and the wider Muslim/Arab world. Instead of reporting the hate-indoctrination prominently and continuously for what it is -- a central driving force for violence and fundamental threat to peace -- media outlets such as The New York Times typically ignored the phenomenon orcharacterized it as merely an accusation by Israelis rather than an objective reality.
Few instances of such media malpractice were as blatant as The Times' censoring of Secretary of State John Kerry's strong denunciation of incitement as the cause of the massacre of Jews at prayer in Jerusalem's Har Nof synagogue. Kerry's emphatic statement was first included in an online version of the New York Times story but later entirely excised by the time the printedaccount reached readers.
Lydda 1948: The Dog That Didn't Bark
In his July 2014 Mosaic essay, Martin Kramer dismantled Ari Shavit's assertion that "Zionism carrie[d] out a massacre" at Lydda in 1948 – a claim Shavit has spread not only in his book, My Promised Land, but in his New Yorker article, "Lydda, 1948: A City, a Massacre, and the Middle East Today." Kramer recently presented his findings to an Israeli audience that included Lydda veterans and others intimately familiar with the 1948 war – who expressed surprise and anger at Shavit's allegation. This post provides still another reason to doubt Shavit's claim: in 1948, The New York Times covered the April "massacre" at Deir Yassin and the later operation at Lydda – but reported no "massacre" at Lydda. And for the reasons set forth below, it is virtually certain that the Times would have reported it if it had occurred at Lydda.
Currivan and his editors would have considered a Lydda "massacre" the following day "news fit to print" – to put it mildly. But Currivan's next report on Lydda, datelined July 12 (published on July 13) reported the capture of Lydda and Ramleh "on this all-important front" and noted that Lydda "had offered considerable resistance at first and suffered heavy casualties as a result." Currivan's succeeding report, datelined July 13 (published July 14) reported "the complete capture of Lydda," with the exception of a holdout of Arab fighters at the police station, and noted that Arab civilians had suddenly departed Lydda after its capture. In none of his reports did Currivan report anything remotely approaching a "massacre."
This is the journalistic equivalent of the non-barking dog: (1) the Lydda operation occurred three months after Deir Yassin, which the Times had covered; (2) Lydda was a significant strategic site; (3) the Times had an experienced war correspondent covering the Lydda operation; and yet (4) the Times reported no "massacre" there. A massacre at Lydda would have been a major development and important news. But there was no bark from the Times.
Lies and Falestine
A while ago I came across a paper written by Jeremy R. Hammond entitled "The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel." In his diatribe he begins his bitter prolonged discourse based on the assumption, purveyed by those ever so sad losers of Nachba fame, that there was an entity, a "country" if you may, called "Palestine". So allow me to debunk the false claim of a existence of a country whose sole inhabitants were "unjustly" usurped of "their" land known as "Falestine".
Here are true historical facts.
The word 'Palestinian' is never found in Scripture. The term 'Palestine' is used four times in the King James Version (Exodus 15:14) Philistia (פְּלָשֶׁת); Isaiah 14:29, 31 (O Philistia) but never as synonymous with either the land of Canaan or the land of Israel. The Hebrew word is פְּלִשְׁתִּים, Plištim and referred to a small region also known as Philistia (Psalms 60:10, 87:4, 108:10), the land of the Pelishtee, or Philistines. It occurs 286 times in the Masoretic text of the Hebrew bible (of which 152 times in Samuel 1), whereas in the Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Bible, the equivalent term phylistiim occurs only 12 times, with the remaining 269 references instead using the term "allophylos" ("of another tribe").
"In the New Testament, the term Palestine is never used. The term Israel is primarily used to refer to the people of Israel, rather than the Land. However, in at least two passages, Israel is used to refer to the Land: (Matt. 2:20-21)

Edgar Davidson: Is anti-Zionism the same as antisemitism? (satire)
The standard defence against any accusation of antisemitism nowadays is to claim that you are an anti-Zionist (generally considered by the main stream media to be a good, liberal, enlightened position) and not an antisemite (generally considered by the main stream media to be a very bad thing). So, following on from my previous posts (the difference between the Nazi boycott of Jews and the Israel boycott movement, and what leftists really believe) I have produced a chart below which obviously confirms that anti-Zionism and antisemitism have absolutely nothing in common.
IsraellyCool: The Strange Case Of The Undead Palestinian Woman
Ma'an News reports on a strange hospital incident involving palestinian Amal Taqata, about whom I posted in the past.
"A Jewish settler assaulted a Palestinian woman being held under armed Israeli guard three weeks ago at a Jerusalem hospital, Ma'an has learned.
Yousif Matya, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner's Society, said in a statement that Amal Taqatqa, a Palestinian woman from Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem who is being treated from gunshot wounds, was attacked by a Jewish Israeli while sleeping in her bed at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital in West Jerusalem."

The most bizarre part of this incident is that according to palestinian and Arab sources, Amal Taqata had previously died.
"A Palestinian young woman Amal Taqatqa suffered serious injuries Monday morning and died later on after being shot by Israeli occupation forces for allegedly trying to stab an IOF soldier.
Eyewitnesses told the PIC reporter that Israeli forces suddenly opened heavy fire towards a young woman at the entrance to Beit Fujar town near Gush Etzion settlement located to the north of al-Khalil."
Divest This: That Will Be the BDS Year That Was
Like many a political motivation, my return to blogging at Divest This! earlier this year was motivated more by pique than by a sense that things were spinning out of control.
For every couple of years, a specific BDS story (the American Studies Association last year, the Olympia Food Coop a few years back) gets up my nose, perhaps because it involves the boycotters manipulating and harming others for their own lame purposes, a phenomenon I learned about (and have been reacting to) ever since divestment first crossed my path in Somerville, MA.
Unlike Somerville, the BDSers "won" with the ASA, even if their "victory" involves nothing more than insisting that their boycott has meaning when not one American Studies department (nor even the ASA itself) has demonstrated a willingness to actually implement or enforce it.
How campus speech codes silence the pro-Israel community
The infamous Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns and "apartheid week" displays on college campuses are not the only threat to Jewish students. A much greater threat looms: the inability for students to publicly defend their beliefs. While universities claim to be havens of open debate and intellectual curiosity, they are in reality black holes of political correctness. On campus, only certain ideas are worthy of consideration and Zionism is definitely not one of them. This culture doesn't just threaten members of the Jewish community, who are terrified to challenge those who accuse Israel of the most heinous crimes. Rather, it threatens all of us who value free speech and its ability to encourage criticism, debate, and original thought on college campuses.
While speech codes are thought to be a thing of the 90s, the truth is that college students today are facing the most serious threats to their civil liberties. From "trigger warnings" to "free speech zones," universities are slowly training students to become hypersensitive and incapable of deviating from ideologies that are in vogue.
U. of Illinois: Donors Didn't Derail Salaita Hiring
Having spent considerable time interviewing the key players and reviewing reams of documents pertaining to the decision to refuse a tenure track position to Steven Salaita, the academic better known now for his tweets than for his scholarship, the faculty Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign released its report last week, just a moment before Christmas.
As one might expect from the professoriate these days, the report contains no broad strokes of moral clarity and condemnation, which, to the chorus of Salaita's supporters, itself qualifies as some sort of victory. It's not: not only does the committee stop short of calling for Salaita's restoration, it also cites "legitimate concerns" about whether Salaita's anti-Israel expressions on social media make him ill-equipped to stand before a classroom.
Such small illuminations are all good and well, but they add up to little more than footnotes to the Salaita story. One of the report's other points, however, looms much larger. It is this: "On July 21," reads the report, "the Chancellor began receiving emails protesting the appointment of Dr. Salaita because of his tweets. Many of these emails have been made public as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request, and the fact that some came from donors has been widely reported. The Chancellor has stated that donors in no way influenced her actions with regard to Dr. Salaita. This investigation found no evidence that they did." This assertion is seconded in the report by James Montgomery, a prominent civil rights attorney and a university trustee who had cast the sole vote in support of hiring Salaita.
Independent's list of most read articles in 2014 features anti-Jewish columnist
In studying and posting about UK media coverage of the summer war between Israel and Hamas, we concluded that the Independent arguably surpassed the Guardian in the level of malice and vitriol directed towards Israel and its 'Zionist' supporters in articles and op-eds.
Over a the course of a few days in mid-July, the Indy published an article by Adam Withnall seemingly characterizing a few dozen Sderot residents applauding attacks on Hamas targets as an act of almost unparalleled human cruelty; one op-ed by Robert Fisk which actually blamed the Western media for being too soft on Israeli "blood-letting", and another op-ed by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown which accused Israel of engaging in a policy of ethnic cleansing.
But, perhaps the most egregious example of unrestrained anti-Zionist malice during that period was provided by Mira Bar-Hillel, in an op-ed on July 11th titled 'Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport', which suggested that the views towards Palestinians by some Israeli leaders were arguably on part with the genocidal rhetoric espoused by the Nazis.
Promoted and quoted: the BBC's preferred NGO contributors in 2014
So which NGOs were the most quoted and promoted in BBC Israel-related content in 2014? Among the local NGOs contributing to BBC produced material either in the form of quotes or by means of inadequately identified interviewees, the organization appearing most was B'Tselem, followed by the PCHR. This does not however include the indirect amplification of the agendas of those two organisations, along with Al Mezan, by means of the BBC's repeated promotion of the Gaza Strip casualty figures for which they were primary sources.
Among the foreign NGOs promoted, quoted and amplified in BBC Israel-related content during 2014, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign received the most exposure – mainly via coverage of its summer anti-Israel demonstrations in the UK and its involvement in the campaign against SodaStream - followed by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
BBC's end of year 'In Pictures' feature continues to promote unverified Gaza casualty stats
As we see, over four months since the end of the conflict and despite the existence of more up to date information showing that the civilian/combatant casualty ratio cited above is most likely inflated, the BBC has made no effort to update the information it provides to audiences and continues to quote the UN figures which were problematic from the onset. Neither is there any evidence to suggest that the BBC has independently verified the statistics it promotes in the weeks since the ceasefire came into effect.
The footnote added belatedly to the BBC article on casualty figures which was revised due to political pressure stated:
"We expect to return to this subject at a later date."
That has not happened and the BBC's continued blind promotion of unverified statistics is clearly not only an issue in terms of accuracy but, as time goes on and the BBC continues to stubbornly and inexplicably ignore later work done on this topic, it also obviously becomes a growing issue of impartiality.
UNbiased BBC
Surely this fails every test for neutrality? The 'brave' child with the Palestinian flag 'confronts' armed Israeli soldiers. Tugs at your heartstrings.
Some might call that child abuse. I would call it blatant propaganda against Israel. In reality the child was in no danger unless, of course, someone off camera decides to up the ante and start a riot. Even then, I would expect an IDF soldier to protect the child.
John Cantlie: British journalist 'writes article' in latest issue of Isis' Dabiq magazine
The piece, entitled 'Meltdown', appears as the final article in the sixth issue of the group's Dabiq propaganda magazine, and carries his name on the byline.
It is unclear whether the experienced journalist wrote the piece himself, was put under duress, or if his name was simply added to someone else's work.
The relatively informal article begins by predicting the collapse of the US dollar, and goes on to argue for the benefits of using gold as currency.
It goes on to argue that Isis's decision to mint its own currency in its occupied areas in Iraq and Syria, which it calls the Islamic State, a "smart move".
JPost Editorial: Engaging Iran
Obama said the Iranians should take advantage of the opportunity to lift international sanctions, "because if they do, there's incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of Iran and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules – and that would be good for everybody."
For those of us with the mindset of a liberal democrat, Obama's argument makes perfect sense. But totalitarian regimes work according to different rules. While leaders of liberal democracies use their charisma and the power of their arguments to garner support and build consensus, the dictator's skills are different. Ruthlessness and a willingness to sacrifice any person, value or cause for the sake of maintaining control characterize the autocrat. Identifying and exploiting an opponent's weaknesses are essential for survival.
Heads of state hailing from liberal democracies tend to project their own values onto dictators, convinced that, like themselves, dictators are ultimately governed by basic moral principles and can be reasoned with.
In contrast, totalitarian regimes see an attempt to compromise, to find a middle ground, as weakness that they are quick to exploit. Dictators must be stopped by force, history has shown.
IRGC Weekly To Saudis: 'Iran Has Many Options For Harming Saudi Arabia
Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which have been extremely tense in recent years, are now deteriorating further as oil prices continue their downward trend. Iran is accusing Saudi Arabia of waging an oil war against it with the aim of damaging the Iranian economy – which is almost entirely dependent on oil revenues. Additionally, in recent days, Iranian spokesmen, most of them affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), have issued threats against Saudi Arabia.
On December 10, Iranian President Hassan Rohani called the decline in global oil prices the result of political planning by countries in the region, hinting at Saudi Arabia, and stressed that the Iranian people would not forget this "betrayal" and would "respond to it." Earlier, on December 21, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said, while on a visit to Syria: "This time, we will not forget which countries schemed to lower the price of oil." On December 15, the IRGC weekly Sobh-e Sadeq threatened that Iran would use "all the means at its disposal against Saudi Arabia," and on December 27, Amir Moussavi, a former IRGC diplomat who today directs the Strategic Studies and International Relations Institute, said, "Saudi Arabia's move is a suicidal step in the struggle against Iran in the region... So far, Tehran has held back, and has acted in moderation, but it seems that this time, this playing with fire is a type of suicide... Saudi Arabia is certain that Iran will not respond easily, but it seems that this time the situation is different, and if necessary Saudi Arabia's economic interests in the region and in the world will be harmed."
U.S. names more Iran targets for sanctions
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on nine new targets, saying the entities and people targeted had supported Iran's efforts to avoid sanctions and backed the government's human rights abuses, including censorship.
U.S. Treasury Department officials said in a statement the latest move was part of an effort to enforce existing sanctions while the United States and other countries continue to negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program.
"Although we do not support the imposition of any new nuclear-related sanctions while negotiations are ongoing ... we have made clear, by word and deed, that we will continue to enforce our existing sanctions," Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen, said in a statement.
The newly named targets include five people and one entity for their role in helping the Iranian government buy or acquire U.S. currency, according to the department.
Iran Hangs Seven on Christmas
The Iranian regime hanged seven citizens on Christmas morning and at least 12 others in the days before and after the holiday, according to Iranian dissidents monitoring the human rights situation.
Seven prisoners being held in Iran's Abdelebad prison were hanged "at dawn on Christmas day," according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an Iranian opposition group.
The latest round of state-sanctioned killings—which have hit an all time high in the past year—came just days after President Barack Obama praised Iran in an interview at the White House and said that it could be a "successful" member of the international community.
Erdogan Boasts That Turkey has "World's Freest Press" As Teen Faces Trial for Insulting Him
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan boasted that his nation has the "world's freest press" Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Saturday.
"Nowhere in the world is the press freer than it is in Turkey. I'm very sure of myself when I say this," he said in a televised speech to a conference in Ankara.
"The press is so free in Turkey that one can make insults, slander, defamation, racism and commit hate crimes that are not tolerated even in democratic countries," he said.
"I've personally experienced this, so has my family," he added.
Turkey: America's unacknowledged problem
Turkey is a NATO ally, and U.S. President Barack Obama has called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his best friend. But Erdogan-led Turkey does not ‎behave as an ally or a friend of the U.S. This is not a new development.‎
Erdogan and his Islamist party, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), have ruled Turkey since 2002. Erdogan's ‎Turkey has gradually distanced itself from the West, adopting domestic and foreign ‎policies fueled by Ottoman and Islamist impulses. ‎
Turkey has been on the road to an authoritarian regime for several years. Infringements ‎on human rights have gradually increased. In truth, Turkey has never had a political ‎system with checks and balances able to constrain attempts to consolidate power ‎around one politician. In recent years, Erdogan has weakened further the few ‎constitutional constraints against "Putinization" of the Turkish political system. ‎
European Parliament: More words replace an anti-Semitism task force
The European Parliament recently voted down the proposed establishment of a special task force on anti-Semitism.
This occurred in spite of the unprecedented levels of anti-Semitic incidents in 2014 occurring within many European countries. The Parliament's decision means that the issue of a special task force dealing with anti-Semitism can only be raised again in 2019, after the next parliamentary elections.
It is important to document what is said by Jewish leaders and by some Jews in the public eye about the current anti-Semitism in their countries.
When the parliamentarians will meet five years hence, they will have this material at their disposal.
There will be little to analyze because the quotes speak for themselves.
UK soccer boss banned for jabs at Jews and Chinese
The English Football Association on Wednesday banned Wigan chairman Dave Whelan from all football-related activities for six weeks over offensive comments about Jews and Chinese people.
The 78-year-old Whelan, who accepted a charge of racially aggravated misconduct, was also fined 50,000 pounds ($78,000), warned about his future conduct and ordered to undertake a mandatory education course.
Whelan has seven days to accept or appeal against the sanction, which would be suspended until after the outcome of an appeal process. The ban would begin immediately if he decides to accept the punishment.
French Anti-Semitic Comedian Dieudonné Embroiled in Potentially Fatal Political Row
Dieudonné M'bala M'bala, the anti-Semitic French provocateur who describes himself as a comedian, has found himself on the receiving end of severe criticism from former supporters who resent his ties to Alain Soral, a white French fascist with whom he founded a new political party, Réconciliation Nationale, last month.
"Several black supporters of Dieudonné, including former bodyguards, have turned against him, complaining of his increasingly close connections with white, allegedly racist, groups in France and what they claim is his supposed obsession with personal enrichment," London's Independent newspaper reported.
At the heart of the row is a sordid email exchange between Soral – whose latest book, Understanding Empire, recycles the myth of global Jewish control – and a Guinean model named Binti Bangoura.
Report: U.K. Anti-Semitic Acts at 30-Year High
Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain occurred at a higher rate in 2014 than during any year in the past three decades, according to a British watchdog organization. The Telegraph reports that the Community Security Trust will release their 2014 figures—which will include reported violent assaults, verbal abuse, and online incidents—in February 2015, with the total number of reported incidents projected to be more than 1,000.
According to the data, there were 302 reported anti-Semitic incidents in July alone—a more than 400 percent increase from the previous July—as tensions fueled by the Israeli operation in Gaza flared across Europe and many anti-Israel protests quickly turned anti-Semitic.
Among Australian Jewry, None So Blind As Those Who Won't See
I am hardly the only Australian Zionist concerned that Jews are giving aid and comfort to those who hate Israel, and that Jews are helping to muzzle free debate on an ideology that is widely regarded as misogynistic, antisemitic, and violent, and at odds with Western democracy, let alone that Jews are abetting the concept of "Islamophobia".
The latter is, as Australian Jew Michael Burd put it in the Australian Jewish News (26 December) "an over-used term ... meant to shut down all debate and leave many an innocent person feeling like a racist".
This post by the Online Hate Prevention Institute has received "Likes" on Facebook by people who, frankly, should know better.
The attitude seen represents the thin end of a wedge which might well lead Australian Jewish leadership organisations to ban the likes of Dr Mordechai Kedar from addressing communal audiences, as the British Board of Deputies recently did.
Immigration to Israel hits 10-year high with record French influx
Jewish immigration to Israel hit a ten-year high in 2014, with over 26,500 people making aliyah over the course of the year, the Jewish Agency said Wednesday.
According to statistics released by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ministry, Israel saw a 32% rise in immigration compared to 2013, and the highest immigration rate since 2002, when 33,539 made aliyah.
For the first time since the founding of the state, France topped the list of countries from which immigrants moved to Israel this year, with over a quarter — about 7,000 people — making the leap. It was the largest single-year movement of French Jews to Israel since the founding of the state. Half that many moved to Israel in 2013.
"We expect that some 10,000 new immigrants will come from France alone next year, and we will surpass 30,000 immigrants from around the world – and even more," Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver said in a statement.
Exclusive: IDF on cusp of inaugurating robust Internet radio communication system
The IDF will activate a Radio over Internet Protocol communications network in the coming days, a senior military officer told The Jerusalem Post this week.
The RoIP network was designed and created by the C4i Branch's Maof Unit, which has some 120 military engineers and 80 supporting officers.
The communications system would allow military headquarters in regional commands, and the General Staff, to speak with field units via a secure, robust and adaptable system, and is part of a drive to integrate all of the IDF's branches. RoIP systems are generally faster to repair and restore in the case of a problems over a wide area.
"Radio over IP was invented right here, in our premises," the senior officer said. "We believe that to win wars, we still have to talk to each other, despite the developing digital communication networks."
Thousands of years of history unveiled at Tower of David's Kishle Prison
The Kishle still has the feeling of a dank prison. Birds nest in the tiny windows that let in slants of light at the top. A stairway descends to the current level of excavations, past crusader-era ruins.
"From here we see the retaining walls and sewage system, and this is just the tail of the elephant," explains Re'em. The first-century Jewish general turned historian, Josephus Flavius, mentioned a palace at this location.
"He spoke of a lot of water; baths, ritual baths, pools. Herod loved water and this is proof," says the archeologist pointing to the drainage system that goes under the Old City walls and ends at Sultan's Pool. Re'em, energetic and constantly on the move during the tour, is fluent in all the historical geography, shifting from the story of the High Priest Annas to the tale of how Jesus was brought to the palace of Herod, according to the New Testament.
Re'em envisions tourists being greeted one day by holograms in which they will see virtually the different walls from the various periods. "In this beautiful place we can see all the archeological and historical sequence of the history of Jerusalem."
Israel economy grows 2.6 percent in 2014, seen faster in 2015
Israel's economy grew an estimated 2.6 percent in 2014, its slowest pace in five years, as a summer war dragged, but is expected to pick up pace next year.
Wednesday's preliminary estimate was nevertheless higher than a prior prediction of 2.2 percent.
Despite the July-August conflict with Palestinian militants in Gaza, growth beat that of most other Western countries, with the OECD average at 1.8 percent. Israel's economy produced a record 1.1 trillion shekels (182 billion pounds) in 2014.
"Without the war, GDP would have been much higher," Oz Shimony, senior director of the statistics bureau's macroeconomics department, told Reuters after a news conference.
Jacques Wagner, pro-Zionist activist, named Brazil's defense minister
Born in Rio de Janeiro to Jewish immigrants from Poland, Wagner, a former activist with the Zionist Habonim Dror movement, was elected governor in 2007. He had previously served as minister of labor under former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
In addition to Wagner, Floriano Pesaro, a leader of Sao Paulo's Jewish community, was elected to the federal parliament in October. A member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, Pesaro published a book in September entitled, "My Path with Judaism."
As an alderman in the Sao Paulo city council, Pesaro was among the initiators of legislation which resulted in the incorporated of International Holocaust Memorial Day as one of the city's official commemorative dates, The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported.
A Jewish Ghetto Worth Saving
Something like Venice no one can do. Only God. The greatest achievement for mankind and the one that approaches it most to God, since it cannot create such wonders, is to preserve those that exist.
—French philosopher Simone Weil (Venise Sauvée 1955)
On Nov. 20, the Venetian Heritage Council, an international philanthropy founded by the fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg, pledged $12 million to restore the Venice Jewish ghetto, to salvage its crumbling heritage and turn it into a rich Jewish cultural center in time for its 500th anniversary in 2016. The project will include the renovation of what's now a small, disorganized museum, which is no testament to the rich Jewish culture that has inhabited the Venetian island for half a century, and the restoration to glory of the ghetto's five synagogues, once bustling with life.
Five best Jewish moments in movies of 2014
1 – ScarJo Uses Her Noggin
2014 was the year of Scarlett Johansson. Not only did her SodaStream ad bubble up all over the Internet, she appeared in four terrific movies. (Five, if you want to count "Her" which didn't come out until late December 2013.)
She was the supportive hostess/girlfriend in "Chef" and was back once more to beat up crypto-Nazi bad guys in "Captain America: Winter Soldier." In the hallucinatory sci-fi mind-trip "Under the Skin," which you absolutely have to see, she played a sexually voracious space alien leading men to their blissful doom. But let's award her the top prize this year for her part in the dazzlingly designed and cheerfully idiotic action picture "Lucy."
You see, in "Lucy," ScarJo's superpowers come when she's "using her mind." You can even track it on the screen. At 10% of her brain, she's just a quick-witted damsel, but by 100% she's transcending space and time and collapsing her consciousness (which fuses with all potential thought!) into a singularity.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 06:00:00 PM
This was on Fatah's Facebook page today:

The text is "We remain on your skulls." I am told that the first word, "baqiya," is often associated with ISIS.

This reminds me of a political cartoon published in Syria during the Six Day War, entitled "The Barricades of Tel Aviv:"

I've seen some people argue that the Fateh Facebook page isn't "official." I have no way of knowing who posts to the page, but I can tell you one thing: not a single fan of that Facebook page, out of 130,000 "Likes," objected to this image, nor to the many other equally militaristic images on the site.

There was another interesting picture posted there, as a bit of nostalgia. Since tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of Fatah's first terror attack, someone dug up a poster celebrating the fifth anniversary:

Then, everyone knew that "occupation" wasn't the issue - Jews having their own country was the issue. And that is just as obvious looking at this latest poster, even if the entire West chooses to be blind on that topic.

Finding offensive pictures like these are not proof that the entire society approves of violence. You can find equally offensive graphics that are racist and anti-Muslim.

The difference is that that there is immediate revulsion and condemnation when it happens in the West. And there is net to none when it happens in Palestinian territories of Arab countries.

But the complete lack of pushback for these images - the almost total lack of Arabs complaining that these are offensive and disgusting - does reveal a lot about Arab society in general and Palestinian Arab society in particular.

(h/t David G, Grant Rumley)

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 03:47:00 PM
Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page. And congratulate them on making the big time!

Brussels, December 31 - Officials at the European Commission have approved a grant to underwrite the design and manufacture of a better-insulated echo chamber for politicians, activists, and academics who oppose Israel. EC spokesman Wyrol Yessmen told representatives of several anti-Israel organizations today that the Commission had approved their application, and that work on the design and production could begin within weeks.

Critics of Israel have for years complained that they have been unable to insulate themselves completely from information or opinions that do not dovetail with their preconceived negative view of Israel, despite surrounding themselves with like-minded colleagues, blocking social media contact by opponents, and similar strategies to maintain a monolithic, self-congratulatory circle of anti-Zionists. The existing echo chamber was effective in stroking the egos of the personalities inside it, according to the organizations, but its ability to remove all dissenting viewpoints and facts contradictory to their position was less than satisfactory.

To eliminate the penetration of poisonous notions that Israel and its policies might represent positive phenomena, a group of activists, academics, and politicians formed an organization called Progressive Rights and Education Activists Combating Hard Teachings Opposing True, Honest Ethnic Cleansing of Hebrew Occupation in Indigenous Regions (PREACHTOTHECHOIR). PREACHTOTHECHOIR applied for European Commission funding earlier this year as the fighting in and around the Gaza Strip raged and organization members came to realize how difficult it was with their current resources to completely drown out or shout down people or groups who insist on justifying Israeli self-defense and legitimacy.

A more effective echo chamber, argued the proposal, would further European values by allowing critics and enemies of Israel to proceed unimpeded in their quest to pursue the removal of Jews as a significant presence from the map, a quintessentially European endeavor. "The danger posed by dissenting voices can be eliminated by preventing those voices from reaching our ears," wrote linguistics professor Noam Chomsky, in his letter of recommendation supporting the proposal.

PREACHTOTHECHOIR intends to contract with an engineer to develop the chamber. As the appropriate engineering field is acoustics, the proposal naturally mentions as its preferred candidate Professor Arthur Butz of Northwestern University, whose expertise is electrical engineering, completely unrelated to acoustics, but who has used his laurels as an "engineer" to lend credence to his 1976 book denying the Holocaust, in which expertise in electrical engineering is similarly irrelevant.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

UN Security Council rejects unilateral Palestinian statehood bid
The resolution needed nine votes in favor (out of 15) to pass. It fell one vote short, obtaining eight votes in favor (Russia, China, France, Jordan, Chad, Luxembourg, Argentina and Chile), two against (the United States and Australia), and five abstentions (Britain, Rwanda, Nigeria, Lithuania and South Korea). However, even if the resolution had passed, the U.S. would have vetoed it.
Before the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with the leaders of three of the nations that ended up abstaining, including Rwanda and Nigeria, and asked them to not vote in favor of the Palestinian resolution.
On Wednesday morning, Netanyahu said, "I want to express appreciation and thanks to the U.S. and Australia, and also special appreciation to the president of Rwanda, my friend Paul Kagame, and the president of Nigeria, my friend Goodluck Jonathan. I spoke with both of them. They personally promised me they would not support this resolution. They stood by their word, and that is what decided this battle. This was very important for the State of Israel."
After Tuesday's vote, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power said, "In recent years, no government has invested more in the effort to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace than the United States. Peace, however difficult it may be to forge, is too important to give up on.
"Regrettably, instead of giving voice to the aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis, this text [the Palestinian resolution] addresses the concerns of only one side. It is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel's legitimate security concerns.
"We must proceed responsibly, not take actions that would risk a downward spiral. We voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because we know what everyone here knows as well -- peace will come from hard choices and compromises that must be made at the negotiating table. Today's staged confrontation in the U.N. Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two-state solution."
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Palestinians Opposed Abbas's Statehood Bid
The widespread opposition among Palestinians to Abbas's statehood bid at the Security Council is a clear sign that many Palestinians remain opposed to any form of concessions to Israel. It is also an indication of fierce opposition among Palestinians to the resumption of peace talks with Israel.
Those who opposed the Palestinian resolution also argue that Abbas should have gone instead to the International Criminal Court to file "war crimes" charges against Israel. For many Palestinians, punishing Israel should take priority over any peaceful establishment of a Palestinian state.
But the opposition to the resolution, which envisaged a two-state solution, also shows that many Palestinians continue to believe that violence, and not diplomacy, will bring them closer to achieving their goals.
As Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar put it, "This Palestinian resolution is catastrophic and has no future on the land of Palestine. The future belongs to the resistance. We will continue to work to liberate all the land and achieve the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Hamas will not accept anything less than all the lands that were occupied in 1948."
Israel calls Palestinian actions at UN ‘embarrassing’
The Security Council on Tuesday rejected a resolution on Palestinian statehood, with the Palestinians failing to get the minimum nine “yes” votes (required for either adoption by the 15-member council or to prompt a possible veto by one of the five permanent members): Eight voted for the resolution and two voted against, with five abstentions.
“The Palestinians seek — and find — every opportunity to avoid direct negotiations and to walk circumventing paths,” Israel Nitzan of the Israeli mission to the UN said in a short statement. “We’ve become accustomed to their political maneuvers. But today they surpassed themselves by going all the way to the Security Council to make a mockery of it with embarrassing resolutions.
“We have news for the Palestinians – the way to achieve statehood is not paved with provocations,” he said.
Israel's Statement Following the Defeat of the Palestinian Draft Resolution

Dore Gold: The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN
In substance, the draft resolution also sought to prejudge the outcome of any future negotiations. How can you have a Security Council resolution that decides Israel’s future borders on the basis of the 1967 lines and in the same breath assert that you are going to have a negotiation over borders? What is there left to negotiate? UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted in the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, did not require Israel to fully withdraw from the territories it captured in a war of self-defense.
It is often forgotten that Resolution 242 was the basis of all Arab-Israeli agreements from the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace to the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles to the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli Treaty of Peace. It was also the basis of the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference that launched the peace process. True, the latest draft resolution mentions Resolution 242 in its preamble. But, by demanding a nearly full withdrawal by Israel in its operative section, the draft resolution essentially contradicts 242 in substance.
Finally, the draft resolution that was rejected exposes the strategy adopted by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president. He does not want to negotiate with Israel. Instead, he seeks to use international institutions in order to impose a solution on Israel. That is a course of action that no Israeli government can accept and the international community should not give it any support if it wants to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolved.
A stinging defeat for Abbas, but no great victory for Israel
The Palestinians plainly suffered a dramatic reverse. But Israel cannot claim an equally dramatic victory. Mustering the opposition only of the US and Australia — to a motion that was designed to impose terms that Israel has made plain it cannot accept, submitted by a Palestinian leadership that is currently part of a Hamas-backed unity government — hardly suggests widespread international empathy for Israel’s concerns.
Even the abstaining countries made clear that they back many provisions of the Palestinian resolution. The UK, for instance, “supports much of the content of the draft resolution. It is therefore with deep regret that we abstained on it,” London’s ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant said.
Perhaps the smartest way to view the vote is that it underlined ebbing support for Israel’s positions, even as reluctance to endorse an imposed solution narrowly held sway. The message was that the international community is fed up with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, believes a negotiated accord is the best way to solve it, but one way or another wants to see Israel speedily withdraw from the West Bank to enable the creation of a Palestinian state. Israel got some breathing space, nothing more. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has already spoken about going back to the Security Council when its membership is more advantageous.
There had been some speculation that the Palestinians rushed to call the vote before January 1, when the council’s constellation becomes even more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, because they wanted their resolution to fail. Wary of possible American sanctions, the Palestinians sought defeat in order to spare the US the need to veto.
Behind the UN vote: How the Palestinian bid was defeated
Israeli diplomats say that the US played a crucial role in the effort to block the Palestinian resolution which sought to set a time table for Israel's disengagement from territories for a future Palestinian state without direct negotiations.
"The US had a very significant role," said a high-ranking official at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. "Not only were they willing to veto, they also worked side-by-side with Israeli diplomats in order to prevent support for the decision within the Security Council. It's not that they just said they would vote against it. They worked. There were phone calls and messages. The American diplomatic effort is noteworthy."
Apart from the critical help from Washington, the results of the Security Council vote are also a testament of the diplomatic achievements made by the Foreign Ministry headed by Avigdor Lieberman, who marked Africa as a target for diplomatic efforts. The African nations proved themselves loyal during the moment of truth with the support of Rwanda and Nigeria.
Representing the Netanyahu government, Lieberman set out on a trip that began in September of 2009 in which he visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. In June 2014, Lieberman returned to Africa and visited Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
Visits of by an Israeli diplomat of this stature to Africa have not been seen since the days of Golda Meir as foreign minister. During her tenure, Israel had 27 representatives in Africa compared to the 10 that exist today. The wide-ranging investments Israel has made in African aid, along with the Israeli business that operate in the continent, proved to be very worthwhile.
The Palestinians’ failed UN bid: Good news for Likud MKs
It was unclear until the last minute whether the draft — which read more like a Palestinian wishlist than a serious proposal to reach an agreement — would garner the requisite nine yes votes. But even if it had, the Palestinians knew that the Americans would, if need be, use their veto.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought a showdown at the Security Council regardless. Facing pressure from Hamas and other rivals within Palestinian society, he evidently felt he needed to do something to prove to his nation that he knows how to pressure Israel.
The Palestinians had threatened repeatedly that were their resolution to be thrown out, they would apply for membership in the International Criminal Court and accuse Israel of crimes against humanity. Indeed, as soon as the Security Council vote ended, Palestinian officials started vowing revenge at the ICC, with senior sources saying they would consider signing the Rome Statute by Wednesday evening.
We shall see. Given the months of hesitation and back-and-forth surrounding the Security Council gambit, such speed would be a departure. And there are risks for the Palestinians in the ICC route too.
'UN Security Council Has Reached a New Low with PA Bid'
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman released a statement saying PA chairperson Mahmoud Abbas "continues to play a dangerously negative political game with the future of the Palestinian people."
"By attempting to impose an international solution in order to circumvent direct talks with Israel, Abbas continues to demonstrate his unwillingness to engage in direct and sincere negotiations with Israel over a two-state solution," said Foxman. "With the introduction of this resolution, the UN Security Council has reached a new low."
Detailing the vote, Foxman continued "we welcome the strong leadership of the United States joined by Australia in voting 'no.' Their 'no' votes combined with the five abstentions averted an outcome which would have been shameful."
The UN’s Latest Anti-Israel Resolution: Oh the Hypocrisy!
So who supported the resolution? The countries of Jordan, France, China, Russia, Luxembourg, Chad, Chile and Argentina. Jordan’s delegation was the one that brought the resolution to the floor of the Security Council. How hypocritical can you get? This is the regime led by the Hashemite dynasty that rules over territory that was once part of the former British mandate of Palestine and that was intended to be the homeland of the Holy Land’s Arab population. But instead, the British handed it to the Hashemites, whose origins are in what is now Saudi Arabia rather than the Holy Land itself. How this tyrannical regime can accuse Israel of illegally occupying Palestinian land when it is the real occupier of Palestinian territory defies any sense of logic. But unfortunately, this hypocrisy didn’t stop seven other countries from voting for the Hashemite-sponsored resolution.
In fact, several of the other seven states that supported the resolution are just as guilty of hypocrisy as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Israel’s presence in the West Bank is in no way illegitimate. The West Bank, more accurately called Judea and Samaria, is part of the Biblical homeland of the Jewish people, and since Israel is the embodiment of Jewish independence, it has every right to this territory. But let’s just say for the sake of argument that Israel’s presence in the West Bank was illegitimate and that there was actually an illegal occupation taking place. Even if this were all true, the governments of countries like France, Russia and China are in no position to condemn Israel because they themselves are perpetrators of illegal occupations. Perhaps someone should put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council setting a deadline for France to end its illegal occupation of Brittany, Occitania, Corsica, and Polynesia, which are just some of the territories that were unlawfully conquered by the French. How about a resolution setting a deadline for China to end its illegal occupation of Inner Mongolia, East Turkestan (in northwest China), Manchuria, and Tibet? We can top off the list with a resolution calling on Russia to end its illegal occupation of – well, over half of the land mass that it now controls – in two years or less. Of course, none of these resolutions would ever come to the floor of the Security Council, let alone be supported by anyone – unless perhaps it was Jews that occupied the aforementioned territories instead of French, Chinese or Russians. Oh, the hypocrisy!
EU Calls for Peace Talks After PA Fails at UN
In a sign of EU divisions, France and Luxembourg voted for the resolution, but Britain abstained as the measure fell one vote short of winning the nine "yes" votes necessary for adoption by the 15-member council.
Mogherini said, however, all sides still want to build a comprehensive peace agreement based on two states "living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition."
She added, "The European Union believes that setting clear parameters for the negotiations is key for their success."
Mogherini said these should "be defined on the basis" of land-for-peace UN resolutions that were reinforced by the Madrid peace process, launched in 1991, along with later diplomatic efforts.
"The EU renews its call for both parties to resume negotiations urgently and to refrain from any action further undermining the viability of the two-state solution," Mogherini said, according to AFP.
"The European Union will promote and support now more than ever efforts to achieve a lasting peace based on this two-state vision together with international partners, including in the region," she stressed.
Erekat: Palestinian leadership to meet on ICC membership push after failed UN bid
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat vowed on Wednesday that the Palestinians would return to the United Nations Security Council after the body rejected a draft resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within two years.
Erekat stated that meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership would meet to advance other plans for Palestinian statehood recognition in international bodies, including setting a date to seek official membership at the International Criminal Court.
The Palestinian Authority has said that it would seek to accuse Israel of war crimes before the ICC if it becomes a member.
Palestinian media cited Erekat as condemning the rejection of the UN resolution as "a blow to international law."
PLO: 'Outrageously Shameful' Vote Against PA UN Bid
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorist organization behind the Palestinian Authority (PA) complained loudly on Wednesday, after the unilateral PA bid demanding statehood and Israeli withdrawals was shot down in a vote at the UN Security Council.
PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said "the UN Security Council vote is outrageously shameful," reports AFP. The unilateral PA move is a breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords the PLO signed onto.
Referring to the five countries who abstained - Britain, Lithuania, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Korea - she added "those countries that abstained demonstrated a lack of political will to hold Israel accountable and to act in accordance with the global rule of law and international humanitarian law."
Hamas blasts Abbas over unsuccessful UN bid
The Gaza-based Hamas movement denounced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday for what it termed his “failure” to push through a UN statehood resolution that called for a Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines within three years.
“This was a unilateral decision taken by Abu Mazen [Abbas] who has taken the Palestinian decision-making process hostage,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told AFP, describing it as a “new failure” by the Palestinian leader.
Russia 'Regrets' That PA's Unilateral UN Bid Failed
Russia expressed regret at the failure of the Palestinian Authority (PA) resolution at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, describing it as a "strategic error."
"Russia regrets that the UN Security Council did not manage to adopt the draft resolution," Russia's envoy to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said after the vote late on Tuesday.
"We consider this a strategic error," he told the council in footage broadcast by the Rossiya 24 state news channel.
Voice of America Wrong on American Veto
Voice of American incorrectly reports in the lead of its article on the failed Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations:
"The United States has vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Palestinian statehood that demanded Israel withdraw from the occupied territories."
Likewise, the VOA headline incorrectly states that the U.S. vetoed the Palestinian resolution:
'Israel Must Take Off the Kid Gloves With the PA'
The response to the move, according to Akunis, is that "we need to apply sovereignty on Judea and Samaria. Their unilateral move needs to be hit by a clear response - applying sovereignty and pushing settlement."
PA chairperson Mahmoud Abbas now reportedly is determined to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) to sue Israel for "war crimes," to which Akunis says "we have to take off the kid gloves."
"From the other side there's an attempt to goad Israel by all means. The world rejected this process and it's possible to convince other sources to reject the Palestinians on all fronts," said Akunis. "The Western world is sobering up and understands that there's no partner on the other side."
While the world might be starting to understand there is no partner, Akunis said he is relatively certain Hatnua chairperson Tzipi Livni doesn't understand that. She recently joined with Labor to form a list that polls estimate could get roughly as many seats as Likud.
"I don't trust her. She will never admit to her failure (in peace talks). She said that we need to sit in a room and talk even when she knew that it was impossible. There's no peace partner on the other side," said the deputy minister.
Fatah maps and imagery anticipate a world without Israel
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of "the Launch" (Intilaqa) of the Fatah movement in 1965 when the organization carried out its first terror attack against Israel, Fatah has posted on its Facebook page numerous maps and logos that completely erase the existence of Israel.
Central to the visual images is the map of "Palestine," used by both the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, which includes both the PA areas and all of Israel, thus denying Israel's existence in any borders.
IDF court convicts Hamas mastermind in June kidnap, murder of 3 Israeli teens
The IDF military court on Wednesday convicted Hussam Hassan Kawasme of being the mastermind behind the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June.
Kawasme was convicted based on his own confession of planning and financing the attack.
The Ofer Military Court indicted Kawasame in September.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested him on July 11, on suspicion of assisting the killers and of hiding the victims’ bodies in land he owned in Hebron, security forces said.
On June 12, Hamas members kidnapped Gil-Ad Sha’er, 16, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, as they waited for a ride outside the Alon Shvut settlement in Judea. The Shin Bet named the two chief suspects as Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aisha.
The two chief suspects were killed in a shootout with the IDF near Hebron in September. Article In Praise Of Stabbings, Vehicular Attacks And Other Forms Of Resistance: Israel Can Manufacture Advanced Missile Systems, But Cannot Protect Its Citizens From Knife Attacks
Dr. 'Adnan Abu 'Amer, a Palestinian journalist and Gazan university lecturer, recently devoted his regular column on to the November 18, 2014 attack on the Jerusalem synagogue and to other recent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Abu 'Amer praised the "creativity" of the Palestinian attackers who, he said, have begun using simple weapons like knives and stones that are readily available everywhere. Such weapons, he added, are particularly effective because they can be used by a lone attacker, and the Israeli security apparatuses are unable to stop this attacker before he strikes. According to Abu 'Amer, the rise in stabbing attacks attests to a growing spirit of self-sacrifice in Palestinian society.
Rivlin holds bar mitzvah celebration for terror survivors
President Reuven Rivlin held a bar/bat mitzvah celebration for children who were survivors of terrorist attacks.
Some 50 children attended the celebration on Monday, including three orphans. Also participating in the program were children who lost siblings in terror attacks.
The children began the day with a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem and ended it with a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, where Rivlin congratulated them “on reaching the age of mitzvot.”
“Even at the most happy of occasions we do not forget our loved ones, the father, mother, brother or sister, who aren’t able to celebrate with us here today,” Rivlin said. “There is a price to our being Jewish, to our independence, sometimes the price is too high, and almost always the price we pay is unbearable. An unbearable price that each one of you knows firsthand, but there is also a lot of power and strength which should be remembered.”
A Month After Joining IDF, Christian Arab Pastor’s Son Recounts Beating, Cries of ‘Traitor’
Despite being attacked because of his father’s support for IDF recruitment among Arab Christians, the son of Father Gabriel Nadaf says a month into basic training that “I’m not afraid,” Israel’s Channel 2 News reported on Tuesday.
“I did not have to enlist, I volunteered for the army because I live in this country and I want to contribute. For years I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.
And not only that. 18-year-old Jubran Nadaf, who recently completed a basic training course for radio technicians and will soon begin his duties, hopes to continue on to officer training later in his service.
A year ago, a 21-year-old Arab Nazareth resident was arrested on suspicion of attacking Jubran with an iron bar, and his father reports being regularly threatened.
“They told me I was a traitor and beat me,” Jubran said of the ordeal, which required a three-day hospitalization for his injuries.
Police Chief Awards Elite 'Arab' Undercover Unit
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino on Tuesday visited a base in the Judea and Samaria region of the Border Patrol's special mista'aravim unit, an elite squad of undercover forces disguising themselves as Arabs to covertly stop terror.
In the course of his visit, Danino presented commanders of the unit with the Police Commissioner's Shield of Excellence award for the unit's impressive accomplishments over the years.
This is the second recognition Danino has given the unit recently; during Hanukkah in a visit with President Reuven Rivlin to a base in Judea, he awarded two mista'aravim soldiers a decoration for outstanding performance in a recent arrest of a terrorist while showing bravery despite the high risk to their lives.
Drill at Negev Back-up Airport for Hamas Rockets
In response to the incessant Hamas rocket barrage during Operation Protective Edge that led international airlines to impose a temporary flight ban on Ben-Gurion International Airport in mid-July, Israel concluded a drill on Tuesday to have an alternate airport in the southern Negev for just such instances.
Ben-Gurion decided to hold a drill of closing the airport and operating instead the IAF's Ovda Military Airport located 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat in the Negev, which indeed was used during the flight ban.
In the drill which began earlier in the week and concluded on Tuesday, various airlines, the police, the Interior Ministry, ground services companies and all units of the Airports Authority took part, reports Walla!.
Hannibal Directive: Exclusive tapes reveal details of IDF's Black Friday
Take a look inside the IDF's Hannibal Directive and the events leading up the capture and death of Givati Battalion Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, one of the IDF's heros during Israel's 50 day war with Hamas. Ynet has obtained footage which has never before been or seen heard of the events of August 1st, which has become known as Black Friday.
Four months after Sec.-Lt. Hadar Goldin was captured (and later killed) during Operation Protective Edge, and only days ahead of the Chief Military Prosecutor's decision on whether to launch a criminal investigation into the conduct of the IDF officers who led the pursuit after the captive soldier in Rafah, audio recordings from the IDF's communication system obtained by Ynet shed light on the dramatic moments of that fateful Friday morning.
The recordings shed light into a dramatic event in which Sec.-Lt. Goldin was captured by Hamas operatives and taken into a Hamas tunnel after a fire fight broke out between IDF tropps and Hamas cell operatives as the IDF was patrolling the area for terror tunnels.
IDF: Leaked recordings from Gaza rescue mission are incomplete
The Israel Defense Forces Military Police has launched an investigation to determine who was behind the leak of radio communications from the ill-fated attempt to rescue Lt. Hadar Goldin during Operation Protective Edge.
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said Tuesday that the "after-action review of the incident has yet to be completed, rendering any analysis conducted on the basis of such recordings incomplete, irresponsible and inaccurate in a way that departs from the debriefing material currently being processed. We regard this matter [the leak] as a serious breach."
The IDF said it was unfortunate that such recordings were aired because they could hurt the families of those who died in the incident.
Amulet urging 'Slaughter the Jews' stolen from art exhibit
An amulet bearing the Arabic expression "Itbah al-yahud" ("Slaughter the Jews") in Hebrew letters has been stolen from a controversial art exhibition at Sapir Academic College in Sderot.
The exhibition, called "The Power of the Word," is curated by Liav Mizrahi and includes three hamsas, hand-shaped amulets popular throughout the Middle East, created by artist Gad Wellnitz and decorated with the words "ISIS," "Slaughter the Jews," and "In blood and fire we will redeem Palestine."
Dvir Kali, a former member of the IDF's elite Shayetet naval commando unit and a student at the college, has taken responsibility for the theft of the hamsa. In a Facebook status update, Kali wrote that he took the amulet off the wall and "ripped it into little pieces."
Honor Killings in Gaza
Honor killings have a sad history throughout the Muslim world. Many families deliberately and systematically kill wives and daughters if there is any suspicion of the women bringing “dishonor” to the family. The cause of such shame may come from actual or feared adultery, refusal to marry a designated spouse, or even dressing inappropriately. The cultural rationale for the honor killings is that by murdering the offending women, honor is restored to the families.
Gaza and the West Bank are similar to other parts of the Muslim world regarding the reasons for honor killings. However, the recent spike in the number of killings in the territories has been very dramatic and atypical. In 2011, there were five such murders in the territories. The number of homicides jumped to 13 in 2012, and doubled again to 27 in 2013. In just the first two months of 2014, 8 honor killings were reported by Palestinian media sources, a pace that would have put it on course for nearly doubling again.
By comparison, in Afghanistan an estimated 150 women are killed each year in honor killings. Afghanistan has over eight times the population of Gaza and West Bank, and 18 times Gaza alone. Therefore, on a proportionate basis, the Palestinians now kill twice as many women in honor killings as Afghanistan (or over three times as many if one only counts Gaza where most of the murders take place).
Top German MP: Merkel should condemn Turkey for hosting Hamas official
The presence of top Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal at a conference of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party prompted German Green party politician Volker Beck on Tuesday to slam the Merkel administration for failing to criticize Turkey for hosting a Hamas representative.
Beck, a leading Green Party deputy in the Bundestag and human rights expert, initially tweeted to Merkel administration spokesman Steffen Seibert on Monday: “@RegSprecher a Turkey that sees itself as a partner of Hamas is not a partner of D [Germany] or the EU.”
Beck microblogged the tweet to his more than 53,000 followers.
In response to a Jerusalem Post query about Beck’s Tweet, a spokesman for the Merkel administration wrote on Tuesday, “The Federal government took notice of the corresponding media reports. The position of the Federal government to Hamas is sufficiently known.”
BBC Asia interview with Hamas leader on Iranian alliance

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 12:00:00 PM
We're reported on Sheik Yassin Al-'Ajlouni, the Jordanian preacher who ruled that Jews should have a place of prayer on the Temple Mount - and then retracted the ruling when he was heavily criticized.

Silly Yassin, thinking that he could get out of trouble by merely repenting for his horrible idea that Jews have a right to worship on their holiest spot.

Sheikh Al-'Ajlouni has been arrested for issuing his original fatwa, on the orders of the Administrative Governor of the Irbid Governorate.

I'm not sure what law he violated.

At the same time, the "General Mufti Department" Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Sheikh Ajlouni demanding that the Ministry of Education take "appropriate administrative action" against him "for issuing random fatwas that hurt the feelings of Muslims, and affected the Jordanian efforts to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque from Zionist attacks."

Ajlouni is a physics teacher,

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 10:00:00 AM
Egyptian courts may have decided this week that they don't want Jews to visit the gravesite of Yaakov Abuhatzeira, making up ludicrous excuses to bar Jews from the country, but not all Arab countries are following suit.

There are a series of pilgrimages to the gravesites of famous rabbis in Morocco throughout the year. One of them is happening around now, as Jews of Moroccan origin from around the world are visiting the grave of Rabbi David Ben Baruch Hakohen Azogh.

These pilgrimages are known as hiloulot and they take place on the anniversaries of the rabbi's deaths. Many are also celebrated at Lag B'Omer in the spring.

Moroccan news media are quite supportive of the influx of Jewish pilgrims, even the ones from Israel. There were a number of sympathetic articles about this most recent pilgrimage to the town of Taroudant where Rabbi Azogh's grave is. The articles note how these pilgrimages are opportunities for members of Moroccan Jewish families now spread throughout the world to have reunions.

There is even a ten minute news video about the visits that seems to be very supportive of the influx of Jews to Morocco. Note one interviewee is clearly from Israel.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 08:00:00 AM

From The Telegraph:

HarperCollins, one of the world's largest publishing houses, sells English-language atlases to schools in the Middle East that omit Israel.

Collins Middle East Atlases show Jordan and Syria extending to the Mediterranean but do mark the position of the West Bank.

“The publication of this atlas will confirm Israel’s belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world. It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence,” said Bishop Declan Lang, the chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department of International Affairs, to The Tablet.

“Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of de-legitimising 'the other' and can lead to confusion rather than clarity. We would be keen to see relevant bodies ensure that all atlases anywhere reflect the official United Nations position on nations, boundaries and all political features," added Dr Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews.

However, Collins Bartholomew, the subsidiary of HarperCollins that specialises in maps, said that including Israel would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and the amendment incorporated “local preferences”.

The Tablet said it had discovered the customs officers in one unnamed Gulf country only permitting the import of school atlases once Israel had been deleted by hand.
The description of the book at their resellers emphasizes that it is meant only for schools in "Middle East" countries. well, all of them except one:

An ideal school atlas for young primary school geographers. Content is specifically designed for schools in Middle East countries. It enables students to learn about the world today by exploring clear and engaging maps, study satellite imagery, understand key facts and statistics, and learn how maps and atlases work.

The atlas has been developed specifically for schools in the Middle East. It has been designed to stimulate and inspire students with its syllabus specific content.

The maps give in-depth coverage of the region and its issues. Topics included in the atlas help pupils to understand the relationship between the social and physical environment, the regions’s challenges, its socio-economic development and inter-relationships with neighbouring regions and the wider world.
But their main webpage for the book doesn't mention the caveat of its intended audience.

HarperCollins describes itself this way:
We love maps! We have done for almost 200 years, and we've been a leading publisher of maps and atlases all that time. Our focus is to produce clear, up-to-date, and informative map products to enable you to find the information you need quickly and easily.
"Informative" being a relative term.

People who produce schoolbooks, as well as people who create maps, have an obligation to their profession to ensure accuracy. To hear HarperCollins defend itself because the intended audience doesn't like reality is as poor an excuse as one can imagine. Should science textbooks include creationism for that reason?

Here's another map from the book.

(h/t Adam Levick)

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 12/31/2014 05:19:00 AM

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