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Friday, January 31, 2014

From Ian:

Why you should be proud Zionists
Zionism’s astounding success in building a stable democracy makes it a symbol for democracy, not only in the Middle East, but all around the world.
What do you oppose when opposing Zionism? There are many more values for which Zionism serves as an ambassador. However, these small examples can help give a clear message: Those who support the BDS movement and oppose Zionism should know that when opposing Zionism, they are in fact opposing the principles of justice, freedom and democracy.
Their fight against Israel’s right to exist is a fight for a world without these great values.

Those of us who believe in these values should join together and defend Israel against this new strategic threat.
Academic extremism threatens democratic values
It is the obligation of all academics everywhere to recognize and challenge claims that have no basis in fact or logic. Instead of ignoring historical revisionism or common sense gone awry, they should respond vocally and forcefully. Not only can offensive speech and conduct be constitutionally confronted and condemned, but responsible administrators, faculty and students have a moral imperative to do so.
Meanwhile, we must continue to confront those seeking to draw a distinction between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
As Martin Luther King famously wrote: "What is anti-Zionist? It is the denial to the Jewish people of a fundamental right that we justly claim for the people of Africa and freely accord all other nations of the globe. It is discrimination against the Jews … because they are Jews. In short, it is anti-Semitism. The times have made it unpopular in the west to proclaim openly a hatred of the Jews. This being the case, the anti-Semite must constantly seek new form and forums for his poison. How he must revel in the new masquerade. He does not hate the Jews, he is just 'anti-Zionist!'"
Barghouti’s blood libel
Indeed, it is favorite trope of the Arabs and their supporters to say that Israel deliberately targets civilians and especially children, although careful research based on mortality data [2002] shows that the exact opposite is true.
The lie that Israel targets children is a specialty of anti-Israel ‘journalists’ like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass of Ha’aretz and anti-Zionists like Alison Weir. It has particular resonance in the West, whose emotional buttons it pushes.
But like most of what comes from the mouths and keyboards of Barghouti, Levy, Hass and Weir, it is a vicious lie. (h/t Bob Knot)



Scarlett gives a damn
Blinded by the BDS crusade, Oxfam sacrificed an ally devoted to helping starving children to a litmus test that it applies to no other nation.
Companies do business in China, which imprisons dissidents by the thousands. Companies trade with Bangladesh, where workers in dangerous factories have died by the hundreds. Only Israel, which protects basic human and civil and economic rights, is forbidden territory.
With a strong, clear stand — calmly citing “fundamental difference of opinion” — Johansson becomes the highest-profile celebrity to buck the load of BDS bull. Ever more power to her, and to those who may follow her example.
Brendan O'Neill: Three cheers for Scarlett Johansson's stand against the ugly, illiberal Boycott Israel movement
There is nothing remotely progressive in this campaign to boycott everything Israeli, with its double standards about various nations’ behaviour and its shrill rhetoric about everything that comes from Israel being covered in Palestinian blood. This movement is not designed to have any kind of positive impact in the Middle East but rather is about making certain Western activists feel righteous and pure through allowing them to advertise how Israeli-free their lives are. It’s illiberal, because it effectively demands the censoring of Israeli academics and performers; it’s hypocritical, because it is led by people who are only too happy to use iPhones made in undemocratic China and to vote for the Labour Party, which, er, bombed the hell out of Middle Eastern countries for the best part of 10 years; and it has unfortunate ugly echoes of earlier campaigns to boycott Jewish shops and produce. So three cheers for Ms Johansson for taking a very public stand against this right-on pressure to treat Israel as the most evil nation on Earth.' (h/t Herb Glatter)
SodaStream plans to bring Johansson to Israel this year
SodaStream plans to bring its global ambassador, Scarlett Johansson, to Israel this year, the company said on Thursday, the same day that the Hollywood star resigned from her prominent eight-year role as Oxfam’s representative due to the controversy over her new connection to a firm with a West Bank factory.
“She has never been to Israel before. We look forward to hosting her later in the year,” SodaStream president Yonah Lloyd told The Jerusalem Post, just three days before its ad featuring Johansson was to air at Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Scarlett Johansson’s Decision to Back SodaStream Over Oxfam Puts Charity’s Anti-Israel Activism Into Spotlight
In one “win” for the BDS campaign, Herzberg described a meeting with a senior executive of an Israeli pretzel company called Bagel Bagel that was owned by Dutch multinational Unilever and relocated its factory in Ariel’s Barcan Industrial Area, over the Green Line, to open another facility in Galil, on the other side.
“He had to tell 150 weeping men that they were about to lose their jobs, in fact that they had lost their jobs, because they were shutting the factory down,” Herzberg said. “Because of a BDS campaign, 150 Palestinian families lost their livelihood. How is that a victory?”
Financial Times Reporter Implies Scarlett Johansson Quit Oxfam for the Money, Then Apologizes
The Financial Times Middle East and North Africa Correspondent, the Cairo and Beirut-based Borzou Daragahi, faced social media talkback on Thursday after implying Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, who quit Oxfam yesterday, did so for financial reasons.
“Scarlett Johansson picks lucrative #israel @SodaStream deal over @Oxfam charity backing, @FT reports,” Daragahi tweeted. (h/t Yenta Press)
Jewish voice for peace gets it wrong. Again.
Poor Jewish Voice for Peace is still trying to come to grips with superstar Scarlett Johansson's decision to remain as the celebrity spokesperson for the Israeli home carbonation device, Sodastream. In a marvelous act of fantasy or perhaps simply delusion the team at Jewish Voice for Peace has declared victory over the same incident they bemoaned as a loss just 12 hours earlier.
Last night , JVP wrote on their facebook page "Oxfam's inaction allows Sodastream shill Scarlet Johansson to quit ambassador role, rather than be held accountable for promoting policies Oxfam staunchly opposes". Its still there.
( Hmmm. Scarlet's been taking about peaceful coexistence and economic cooperation. Why does this upset JVP and Oxfam so much?)
Will ScarJo Pay a Price for Her Principles?
It is possible that Oxfam’s decision wasn’t entirely based on the anti-Israel bias of its London-based leadership. One of the leading corporate donors to Oxfam just happens to be the Coca Cola Company that has given millions to the group. That tie between a company that can be linked to obesity and bad nutrition and a charity that promotes feeding the hungry is seen as a contradiction by some and only explained by the cash that flows from Coke to Oxfam. But the fact that SodaStream is a competitor that is already eating into Coke’s market share could account, at least in part, for Oxfam’s speed in denouncing Johansson.
But even if contributions from Coke had nothing to do with Oxfam’s decision, the most important conclusion to be drawn from the way this controversy developed is the ease and speed with which a theoretically apolitical charity like Oxfam publicly embraced the BDS stand even though it meant losing the services of such an effective ambassador as Johansson.
BDS in Academia, Politics and Industry
January was an important month for BDS. In the academic sphere, the American Studies Association boycott resolution was followed by a pseudo-debate at the Modern Language Association. Both of these developments produced uniquely high press coverage and political backlash, suggesting that BDS advocates in academia can no longer rely on stealth to advance their goals.
In another sphere, however, the linkage between politics and economics has become ever clearer. As Israeli-Palestinian peace talks (as well as ongoing negotiations with Iran) continue, threats and expressions of concern regarding boycotts of Israel are intensifying, particularly with regard to Europe. The timing and nature of these statements, from both European and Israeli spokesmen, suggest boycotts are being used as a threat to pressure Israel to make concessions specifically regarding the “West Bank.”
Football Jihad: who's who in the new battle ground (satire)
One example of such a group being increasingly targeted are footballers, because an anti-Israel message from them can have instant worldwide impact. Hence, there has been a steadily increasing number of footballers taking part in what I call the 'football jihad' - and they are by no means all Muslims. The non-Muslims are typical of the ignorant youngsters you see at any university meeting or rally protesting against Israel - with their Hamas supporting T-shirts and kaffiyas, repeating unquestioningly the same lies told to them.
I have decided to maintain a log of these footballer and (as per my log of anti-Israel charities) I have awarded a number of Arafats (rather than stars) to each (where 5 Arafats is the worse possible). The list - ordered by the fame of the player - is by no means exhaustive but will be updated over time.
Obama’s Brother, ‘Best Man,’ Dons Hamas Regalia
You can say what you want about not being your brother’s keeper, but if you are the President of the United States, your closest living relative is fair game for public comment.
So here’s the issue: President Obama’s brother appears on the website of the Barack H. Obama Foundation – named for their mutual father – in a Hamas keffiya emblazoned with the words, in Arabic, “Jerusalem is ours – we are coming!”
The keffiya also includes a map which purports to be of “Palestine.” On the map, the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River are outlined in blue, beneath which is written the Palestinian Arab war cry: “From the River to the Sea!”
No, we’re not a normal family, says Obama’s Jewish half-brother
It’s pretty natural to do a double-take when talking to Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, Jewish half-brother of US President Barack Obama. Even speaking on the phone from China, Ndesandjo’s deep tones and Midwestern twang are startlingly similar to those of the president.
That’s a familiarity and connection that Obama Ndesandjo is counting on as he makes his way around the newspaper and television circuit, publicizing his self-published book, “Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery,” which deals in large part with his family and his presidential brother. Part of the book proceeds will be dedicated to his foundation, The Mark Obama Ndesandjo Foundation, whose goal is to promote cultural exchange between Asia, Africa and America, with a focus on young and disadvantaged children.
The psychology of anti-Semitism and the link to anti-Zionism
The big “give-away” is the utterly ridiculous lies anti-Semites are willing to believe about the Jewish people.
The anti-Semite relishes in his Jew hatred. It provides an outlet, a gratifying release of pent-up emotion. His fury against the Jew facilitates a catharsis of anger and frustration – it serves as a safety valve of sorts, releasing all kinds of pent-up dissatisfactions, allowing them to run riot with dizzying freedom.
Belgian lawmaker: Zionists bankrolled Holocaust
The president of Belgium’s parliament condemned the actions of a lawmaker who said Zionists were responsible for the Holocaust and performed the quasi-Nazi quenelle gesture in parliament.
“I would like to reinforce my condemnation of these hateful acts,” Andre Flahaut said on January 23 in reference to the actions of Laurent Louis, who on January 16 said in parliament, “The Holocaust was set up and financed by the pioneers of Zionism.”
Man who sent pig heads to Rome synagogue 'found'
A man who allegedly sent pigs' heads to Jewish sites across Rome ahead of Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday has been identified, police said Friday.
The 29-year-old Roman, reportedly linked in the past to far-right party Forza Nuova, is suspected of sending the heads to Rome's Synagogue, the Israeli embassy and a museum hosting a Jewish exhibition in what was dubbed a hate crime. (h/t Bob Knot)
Anti-Semitic fresco causes uproar in Poland
Alicja Kobus, chairwoman of the western city’s Jewish community, made the accusation on January 26 in an interview with the Gazeta Wyborcza daily about a fresco which depicts an anti-Semitic blood libel and which adorns Poznan’s Sacred Blood of Christ cathedral.
The fresco, which was painted by the 17th-century Franciscan monk Adam Swach, depicts a local blood libel which said Jews desecrated communion bread before its consumption by Christians. The men are seen sticking pins in the bread as a demon watches them approvingly.
Israel's Oramed a step closer in race for first insulin pill
Israel's Oramed, which is racing Novo Nordisk of Denmark to develop the world's first insulin pill, moved a step closer to its goal on Thursday by announcing successful results from a small mid-stage test.
The oral drug delivery specialist said its insulin capsule had met all primary and secondary endpoints in a Phase IIa clinical trial and it now plans to launch a larger mid-stage study in the third quarter.
QualComm founder a fan long before ‘Start-Up Nation’
Some multinationals only became aware of the Start-Up Nation after reading the book of that title — at which point they rushed in, feet first, to grab a piece of Israel’s tech magic for their companies. But others — call them the “old-timers” — knew the secret of Israel’s success years before the country’s technology prowess was in vogue.
Among those veterans is Irwin M. Jacobs, a cofounder and former chairman (now chairman emeritus) of QualComm, by far the world’s largest cellphone technology company. “In the same way that QualComm was ahead of its time in cell technology development, I was ahead of my time in seeing Israel’s potential,” Jacobs told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of this year’s Innovex event, which brought together some of the leading figures in tech from around the world to discuss new and upcoming technologies.
Despite Decades of Enmity, Israel Quietly Aids Syrian Civilians
About five weeks ago, he recalled, he had been working his land when he learned that his grandchildren had been hurt in a rocket attack. He had heard about the Israeli medical care and, ignoring the political risks, worked to bring his granddaughter here.
“When there is peace, I will raise an Israeli flag on the roof of my house,” he said.
The war has eroded once-impervious psychological barriers on both sides. This month, an Israeli aid drive led by volunteers from the Working and Studying Youth movement, Israeli Flying Aid and other local organizations collected about 20,000 items — mainly jackets, blankets and sleeping bags — to be transferred to Syrian refugees. Donors were asked to remove all Israeli labels. Barak Sella of Working and Studying Youth said there were plans to establish a website for dialogue between Israeli and Syrian youths.


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Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 04:00:00 PM
Sometimes I tweet things that people like, but I don't blog them. Which makes me feel guilty.

Yesterday, I saw posted on CUWI Facebook page an old, great cartoon that I cleaned up and tweeted - and it quickly became very popular:


My SodaStream poster, which The Forward mentioned was going viral, made it to the UK:




The Forward said it was inaccurate, and I answer them in the update to that post.

Today, I retweeted a 2011 post of mine that is relevant again, as the BDSers keep saying that "Palestinian civil society" overwhelmingly supports BDS. It turns out that "Palestinian civil society" doesn't representvery many Palestinians at all.

Yesterday I tweeted this:




Well, now it has about 7 million and counting, much more than the previous SodaStream commercial that was censored in the 2012 Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, the most popular post of mine for past several weeks has not been a recent one, but my "Apartheid?" poster page. Over 1000 hits yesterday alone! I haven't been publicizing them yet this year.

Apparently, a lot of people are preparing for this year's "Apartheid Weeks" on college campuses and they are finding my posters through search engines. It is by far my most popular post ever, with about 50,000 views on this blog alone, and countless others via emails and from people who are taking the posters (often taking off my name!) and posting them to Facebook.

Partially as a result of that (plus a couple of very popular articles this month, not to mention the online Hasby Awards) this is the biggest month for EoZ since Operation Pillar of Defense.

Shabbat Shalom!





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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Kerry, the Palestinians and the Vietnam model
After Yasser Arafat took over the PLO’s leadership in 1969, he went to North Vietnam to study the strategy and tactics of guerrilla warfare waged by Ho Chi Minh. This is also when the PLO started translating the writings of North Vietnam’s General Nguyen Giap into Arabic. Arafat was particularly impressed by Ho Chi Minh’s success in mobilizing sympathizers in Europe and in the United States. Giap explained to Arafat that in order to succeed, he, too, had to conceal his real goal and should use the right vocabulary: “Stop talking about annihilating Israel and instead turn your terror war into a struggle for human rights,” Giap told Arafat. “Then you will have the American people eating out of your hand.”
What Giap taught Arafat is that, in asymmetric struggles, the militarily weaker side can win thanks to what became an integral part of warfare in the 20th century: the media. Ultimately, Vietnam defeated both France and the United States because Giap knew how to brilliantly manipulate the media in order to convince the French and the Americans that they were sacrificing their sons for an unjust and hopeless war. This is how Giap summarized his strategy: “In 1968 I realized that I could not defeat 500,000 American troops who were deployed in Vietnam. I could not defeat the 7th Fleet, with its hundreds of aircraft, but I could bring pictures home to the Americans which would cause them to want to stop the war.” It worked.
Caoline Glick: Trying to scare Israel
Kerry is waiting for Netanyahu to agree to his framework. Until he does, Kerry, his allies and agents will escalate their threats and subversion.
So far, Netanyahu, Bennett and Ya’alon have competently exposed the lies behind the threats.
And they must continue on this course.
As we learned from Oslo and Gaza, nothing good comes from surrendering our rights and our land. And with Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem hanging in the balance, the stakes have never been higher.
American Framework 'A Step in the Right Direction'
Chairman of the Committee for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands, MK Shimon Ohayon (Yisrael Beytenu), welcomed one issue addressed in the American framework presented by US envoy Martin Indyk. The framework includes a clause granting compensation for the refugees - something Ohayon and other advocates have been waiting for.
"The issue of Jews expelled from Arab lands was never brought to the table [until now] and has been neglected for many years," Ohayon explained to Arutz Sheva Friday. "This is a historical injustice that needs to be fixed."
"I don't know what the agreement says, but I welcome anything that pays attention to the Jewish refugee issue, of course," Ohayon added.



‘US framework deal puts 75-80% of settlers under Israeli rule’
Martin Indyk, the State Department’s lead envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, told the Jewish leaders on Thursday that under the framework agreement about 75-80 percent of settlers would remain in what would become Israeli sovereign territory through land swaps; he added that it was his impression that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was not averse to allowing settlers who want to remain as citizens of the Palestinian state.
Indyk said the framework would be presented to the sides within weeks, and that there will be “no surprises” for the Israeli and Palestinian leaders, according to four people who were on the off the record call.
Khaled Abu Toameh: PLO official: Kerry's proposals offer 'general and vague' formulas about J'lem's future
Tawfik Tirawi, a top Fatah official and former PA security commander, said that Kerry’s proposals were completely unacceptable to the Palestinians.
“We don’t want framework agreements, but a final solution,” Tirawi told reporters in Ramallah. (h/t Serious Black)
PM in 1999: Jews living in Palestinian state is ‘absurd’
Makor Rishon’s Hagai Segal reported on a 1999 interview he did with the prime minister, then in his first term, in which Netanyahu called the idea of Jewish settlers living in a Palestinian state “absurd.”
“Do you know anyone who would support something like that?” Netanyahu asked. “Can you find an Israeli who agree to that? Who would agree to live under Palestinian rule? That’s absurd.”
“This is another way to say, We will wipe out these settlements by giving them over to the Palestinian Authority. It’s absurd.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah official: Palestinians interested in Iranian role in conflict with Israel
The Palestinians have an interest in Tehran playing an increased role in the region, Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, said on Thursday.
He announced that Fatah has not abandoned the option of “armed resistance” if the peace talks with Israel fail.
Quartet to meet in Munich over stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she would chair the meeting with Kerry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Quartet envoy Tony Blair, the former British prime minister.
"This meeting takes place in a moment when difficult and bold decisions need to be made. The dividends of peace for Israelis and Palestinians are enormous," Ashton said in a statement.
Reuters Headline Falsely Accuses Israel of Threatening Civilians
In fact, the article makes clear that Israel did not threaten any Lebanese civilians. Rather, Israel's Air Force chief, Major General Amir Eshel called out Hezbollah for establishing thousands of terrorist bases within residential buildings and warned that the Israeli army would not be deterred from retaliating for attacks launched from within these quarters.
UPDATE: CAMERA heard back from a Reuters editor who refuses to change the headline and suggests it is not "misleading" because the warning to Hezbollah does not "exclude" a threat against civilians, so no, this is not merely a sloppy oversight.
BBC Watch: In which BBC News abandons all pretence of fact checking
Obviously the BBC has not bothered to carry out any kind of fact checking before electing to repeat and promote unverified hearsay from unidentified passers-by. Over at the Israellycool blog is a photograph of Mubarak taken shortly after the incident and published by the Ma’an news agency in this article. As can clearly be seen, he is fully clothed and the weapon used lies beside him.
Later in the day, a Facebook posting from an advisor to the PA president described Mubarak as “a Martyr in the battlefield”:
IDF Blog: Dramatic Increase in Gaza Terror in January 2014
Since the beginning of 2014, over 28 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel by Gaza terrorists.
Fourteen of which landed in southern Israel, and five were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, as they were approaching Ashkelon built up areas.
In retaliation to these rocket attacks, IAF aircraft targeted numerous terror sites across the Gaza strip. In addition, at the beginning of January 2014, IAF aircrafts targeted a terror squad during final preparations to launch rockets at southern Israel.
IAF strikes Gaza after rocket fired at Israel
A video uploaded to YouTube claimed to show the Israeli airstrikes hitting the Gaza Strip early Friday morning.
Earlier in the evening, sirens wailed in the southern city of Netivot as a Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area outside town.
There were no injuries or damage reported in the incident. Security forces retrieved the remains of a projectile that landed outside the city, which is home to over 26,000.
Israeli Air Force Commander: ‘IAF is Operating Daily Across the Middle East’
Speaking at the Ninth International Space Conference in Herzliya on Wednesday, Israeli Air Force Commander Major General Amir Eshel said the IAF is initiating almost daily defensive or offensive actions across the Middle East, Israel’s Ma’ariv reported on Thursday.
Addressing the assembled delegates at the conference, which was organized by the Israeli Ministry of Science and Technology, Eshel praised the IAF’s operational and intelligence gathering prowess, saying that, “Our offensive actions are both broader and more precise than at any other time [in Israel’s history].”
PMW: Fatah honors two suicide terrorists
Celebrating the anniversary of terrorist Ali Ja'ara's suicide bombing in 2004, in which he killed 11 and wounded dozens, the Fatah movement posted a text on its official Facebook page today, glorifying the killer as the "quiet hero" who "succeeded in breaking the Zionists' security barriers and breaching their fortresses." Photos of the terrorist and the blown up bus accompany the text.
Arab Terrorist 'Wanted to Hurt Jews'
A Palestinian Arab terrorist who broke through a barrier of the southern Hevron Hills community of Beit Haggai Thursday afternoon wanted “to hurt Jews.”
The Arab broke through the barrier with his car, causing an accident in which his was the only vehicle involved. He was apprehended by security forces and told them that his intention was to hurt Jews. No weapons were found in his possession, however.
Hezbollah expanding drone use to Syria and Lebanon
Lebanese security sources said that the organization had spotted the vehicle, and obtained information that it had entered the Bekaa
region via the country's eastern border with Syria. "The organization is monitoring and supervising the border using drones at night," the sources said.
Beyond its deployment of drones on the Syria-Lebanon border, it appears that Hezbollah has stepped up its use of them as a tool in its struggle against political foes inside Lebanon itself. Samir Geagea, a veteran Lebanese Christian politician and senior member of the country's anti-Hezbollah March 14 Alliance, said this week that an unmanned aerial vehicle had spent several hours flying above his home in the village of Maarab, an area with many Christian residents.
Syria peace talks end first round in deadlock
After a week of talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, the opposing sides in Syria's civil war were still stuck on the question of how to proceed. Friday's closing session was expected to be largely ceremonial, with government and opposition delegates expected to meet again around Feb. 10.
Washington ‘deeply concerned’ about delay in Syria’s removal of chemical arms stockpile
In September, Syria agreed to forfeit its massive chemical weapons stockpile to be destroyed at sea under strict time constraints, under threat of military force from Washington.
But with a major deadline approaching, only 4 percent of those weapons have been delivered to Latakia, and only two cargo shipments have left the port, each carrying away roughly 15 tons of material. According to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, tasked with facilitating the removal of Syria’s arms, the Syrian regime has stockpiled at least 1,300 tons of chemicals.
Analysts: Syria Retains 95% of Chemical Arsenal, Can Likely Produce Bio-Weapons
Syria retains the vast majority of its chemical arsenal, can likely weaponize biological agents, and has restored the pace of its missile production to pre-war levels, according to a stream of analysis and reporting published on Tuesday and Wednesday. A written statement by James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, disclosed that U.S. intelligence analysts “judge that some elements of Syria’s biological warfare programme might have advanced beyond the research and development stage and might be capable of limited agent production.” Reporting on Clapper’s disclosure, The Telegraph noted that Syria’s program is sufficiently advanced that Syrian scientists may be able to create biological weapons even out of existing viruses, including out of strains of small pox.
Human Rights Watch: Assad Regime Destroyed Neighborhoods Suspected of Supporting Rebels
Over the past two years, the Syrian government has embarked on a systematic campaign to demolish large swaths of urban areas and raze entire neighborhoods in an effort to punish opposition supporters and drive suspected rebels out of strategic areas, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. The report details the destruction, by explosives and bulldozers, of thousands of residential buildings spread across seven neighborhoods in Damascus and Hama, two of Syria’s largest cities.
Former German FM Fischer in Tehran: West Give Up Support for Israel? ‘Forget it, Never’
The interaction was reported at the Iran – Israel Observer blog by Iranian-Israeli Meir Javedanfar, who attended Wednesday’s ‘Security Challenges of the 21st Century’ conference at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), where he heard the story.
“Joscha Fisher: ‘I was asked in #Iran (Tehran) by students when West will give up its support for #Israel. I told them: forget it. Never’,” he tweeted following the event.
Iran Accuses Obama of ‘Falsifying History’
Iran on Thursday dismissed as "unrealistic and unconstructive" comments by President Barack Obama that international sanctions linked to its nuclear program had forced Tehran to the negotiating table, AFP reported.
"The delusion of sanctions having an effect on Iran's motivation for nuclear negotiations is based on a false narration of history,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by state broadcaster IRIB.
US will seek death penalty for Boston bomber
The United States will seek a rare federal death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving young student accused of the Boston Marathon bombings, Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday.
Three people were killed and about 260 wounded on April 15 last year when two bombs made of explosives-packed pressure cookers went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Several of the injured lost limbs.


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Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 12:00:00 PM
This is a Special Achievement Hasby Award, given outside the normal nominations process, since I didn't have a category for this - and I should have.

The Special Achievement Hasby Award for grassroots activism goes to....



I've mentioned Sussex Friends of Israel before. They are a group of people who, on their own, decided to counter-protest the haters who were intimidating a shop in Brighton that was selling SodaStream every Saturday.

The greatness of SFI isn't that they are counter-protesting. Their brilliance is in how they do it. 

Every week, they come up with a different gimmick - handing out cookies or cake to passersby. They mercilessly videotape and try to interview the haters, exposing their ignorance and how little they really care about Palestinian Arabs. The contrast between the laughing, happy Zionists and the angry, clueless BDSers shows every passerby who is right. Indeed, it looks like a party every week where the pro-Israel crowd gets together to have a good time - and exposing the haters is just one of the fun activities. They have effectively nullified and turned the tables on the anti-Israel protesters.

SFI also went to protest the obscene "wall" at St. James church earlier this month.

Moreover, on their Facebook page you can see that they generate a huge number of pro-Israel posters, often with a great sense of humor.

As far as I can tell, this is a completely grassroots effort. There is no help from the organized British Jewish or Zionist community, and one gets the impression that the lack of an organized response is what helped create SFI. 

There have been other examples of Zionists deciding to create their own grassroots organizations - Calgary United With Israel is worth mentioning - but as far as I can tell, no one else has the creativity, energy and effectiveness of Sussex Friends of Israel. Their model should be replicated around the world. 

This will be the last Hasby for the year; the other categories were simply not compelling enough for me to give out awards. I will create a post to wrap up all the winners on Sunday.



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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 10:00:00 AM
From the Christian Science Monitor:

[T]hose most familiar with the factory – Palestinians who work there – largely side with Ms. Johansson.

“Before boycotting, they should think of the workers who are going to suffer,” says a young man shivering in the pre-dawn darkness in Azzariah, a West Bank town cut off from work opportunities in Jerusalem by the concrete Israeli separation wall. Previously, he earned 20 shekels ($6) a day plucking and cleaning chickens; now he makes nearly 10 times that at SodaStream, which also provides transportation, breakfast, and lunch.

As a few dozen men in hoodies and work coats trickle out of the alleys to the makeshift bus stop where they wait for their ride to the factory, another adds, “If SodaStream closes, we would be sitting in the streets doing nothing.”

Speaking anonymously on a largely deserted street, with no Israeli SodaStream employees present, all but one of those interviewed said they opposed the boycott, given the lack of alternative job opportunities in the West Bank. That underscores Israeli claims that a boycott would be counterproductive, undermining the cooperation and prosperity that could boost peace prospects in the region.

Omar Jibarat of Azzariah, the father of a newborn, is one of those who works in Israel, leaving home well before 6 a.m. for a construction job in Tel Aviv. Though he makes good money, he spends four hours in transit every day and would rather work at the SodaStream factory 15 minutes away.

“I would love to work for SodaStream. They’re quite privileged. People look up to them,” Mr. Jibarat says. “It’s not the people who want to boycott, it’s the officials.”

That’s a common refrain among the SodaStream workers who show up after Jibarat catches his ride.

Leaning up against the cement half-walls of the bus stop, jackets pulled up over their cold hands and faces and cigarette butts glowing in the dark, they blame the PA for failing to create jobs while taking a political stand against Israeli business that do.

“The PA can say anything it wants and no one will listen because it’s not providing an alternative,” says one man, a 2006 political science graduate of Al Quds University bundled in a jacket bearing the SodaStream logo. As for reports that the company doesn’t honor labor rights, that’s “propaganda,” he says. “Daniel [Birnbaum, the CEO of SodaStream,] is a peacemaker.”
The writer did find one disgruntled employee, bolstering my thesis of the interview bias employed by Reuters' Noah Browning and Electronic Intifada's "reporter" who found possibly that same disgruntled employee (his statement sounds a lot like what EI's employee said):

One of the workers waiting for the SodaStream bus this morning says he hates the fact that he’s working in an Israeli settlement, and lies to people when they inquire about his work.

“I’m ashamed I’m working there,” he says. “I feel this is our land, there should be no [Israeli] factory on this land.”

He feels like a “slave,” working 12 hours a day assembling parts – drilling in 12,000 screws a day, he adds.
The Christian Science Monitor is hardly pro-settlement, and plenty of the article explains the viewpoint of the Israel-haters, which gives this account far more credibility.

My update to my previous post about this showed that NPR also found employees at the plant were happy. Which means that JTA, NPR, CSM and The Forward all agree that workers at SodaStream are happy, and the only ones who disagree are Reuters' Noah Browning and EI - both of which have records of, frankly, lying.

Again we see the difference between how real journalists work and how dishonest, advocacy "journalists" work. Electronic Intifada and Reuters' Noah Browning should not be trusted as being honest about anything in the Middle East.

(h/t Benny)




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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 08:11:00 AM
Over the past few days, Israel has been returning the remains of terrorists, including suicide bombers, to their Arab families.

Here's how Ma'an reported the latest announcement:

Israeli authorities will return next Sunday the remains of a young Palestinian woman held in a “numbered graves” cemetery for twelve years, Palestinian officials said Wednesday.

A committee tasked with retrieving “martyrs’ bodies” confirmed Wednesday that remains of Ayat Muhammad Lutfi al-Akhras from Duheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem will be delivered to her family at Tarqumia checkpoint to the southwest of Hebron on Sunday evening.

Six bodies have been returned recently out of 36 Israel pledged it would return.

According to the committee, freeing al-Akhras’ body brings the overall number of dead Palestinians retrieved from Israel to 100. On the other hand, remains of 281 Palestinians killed in confrontations with the Israeli forces are still held in “numbered graves” in Israel, the committee believes.

In addition, 65 others are considered missing.

Al-Akhras was killed on March 29, 2002 after she detonated an explosive belt in west Jerusalem killing two Israelis. She was 18 years old.

Why is Israel returning the bodies?

It appears that an Israeli "human rights" organization took the case to the Supreme Court - and won:

Salim Khillah, a spokesman for a committee to retrieve Palestinian remains from Israeli custody, told Ma'an on Jan. 17 that Israeli authorities had decided to return the remains of 36 Palestinians held in Israeli "numbered graves."

Khallah said Israel had agreed to return the remains as a gesture to encourage the PLO to continue with peace negotiations.

But a spokesman for an Israeli human rights group told Ma'an Thursday that the delivery of the remains was the result of a Supreme Court decision.

A spokesman for HaMoked said that the decision came in response to the organization's demands for the release of the remains of every Palestinian currently held in Israel's custody.
Reuters confirms that this was a Supreme Court decision.

Dead people don't have human rights, so presumably HaMoked sued to return the bodies to help eliminate the anguish of the relatives of the terrorists. This way they can get the honor and glory for the terror acts all over again, as is traditional.

The human rights of the relatives of the Israelis blown up by terrorists, who have to relive the attacks, don't seem to be on HaMoked's radar.



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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 06:01:00 AM
The nominees for Best Individual Example of Hasbara are:





IDF Girls Gone Wild (parts 123


And the winner is....






ED KLINGER'S NOTE ON A BDS MACBOOK 

For those who forgot, here it is:


What I like about this is that it was out of the blue. The writer of the note posted it on his Facebook page and it struck a chord in thousands of ordinary people, seeing how hypocritical the Israel-haters are. The story was all over the place in only two days.

Congratulations!



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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2014 12:30:00 AM

Thursday, January 30, 2014

These were in Smithsonian Magazine this month. They were taken by French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey.

I found very high resolution images for most of these from a Russian site. Click to enlarge.

Enjoy:








(h/t Yerushalimey)



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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2014 08:30:00 PM
From Ian:

Elliott Abrams: The EU's Mrs. Ashton and the invisible Jews
It's becoming a habit. The EU's "foreign minister," High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, cannot seem to see Jews or anti-Semitism or to pronounce the word "Jew."
In 2012 a terrorist murdered three Jewish children at a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France. Mrs. Ashton issued a statement saying that "when we think of what happened in Toulouse today, when we remember what happened in Norway a year ago, when we know what is happening in Syria, when we see what is happening in Gaza and Sderot and in different parts of the world, we remember young people and children who lose their lives." It was beyond her to acknowledge what had just happened: the murder of Jewish children in Europe for the crime of being Jewish.
She has, amazingly enough, just done it again. Her statement this week on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews. That's worth repeating: She puts out a statement to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day that does not mention Jews -- thereby advancing the project of forgetting the Holocaust and robbing it of meaning.
Sarah Honig: Moral Obtuseness
It’s highly doubtful that Ashton’s lapse is inadvertent.
Not everything can be plausibly ascribed to unintentional slip-ups. The bizarre homage Europe’s spokesperson paid to “every one of those brutally murdered in the darkest period of European history,” without even minimal reference to their identity, constitutes too great a strain on the commonsense.
Perhaps Europe in general and Ashton in particular find Holocaust Remembrance Day a troublesome, even a disagreeable onus. Hence Ashton obscured the Jewish context with a short collection of hackneyed platitudes on tolerance and human rights.
This is a cogent example of how Holocaust history is increasingly watered down, especially in Europe. Yesteryear’s physical destruction is followed up by today’s distortion of remembrance. (h/t Bob Knot)
Sorry to burst your bubble, BDS. Scarlett Johansson has parted ways with Oxfam
In response, social media erupted with the inevitable "Even when we lose, we win" announcements.
Her Sodastream debut will be during Super Bowl -Sunday Feb. 2.
Its been out for two days, and its been viewed over 4[now 5] million times. I'd call that a BDS fail.



Candidly speaking: Pollard, American Jewish leaders and anti-Semitism
For the first time, Jewish leaders are now being called upon to confront the painful anti-Semitic motivations of those engaged in the ongoing incarceration of Pollard. Admittedly, the pressures confronting the American Jewish establishment are intensifying. Presenting the case for Israel and opposing the nuclearization of Iran has already created major tensions with the Obama administration.
As the insinuations of dual loyalty become ever shriller, Jewish leaders need to review the situation and develop a strategy which will be consistent with justice and retaining their Jewish way of life in conformity with the multi-pluralism of American society.

The Pollard case goes far beyond the issue of commuting an excessive sentence meted against a Jewish spy. Its outcome will impact on the essence of the relationship between the American-Jewish community and broader American society.
MK Rotem: Christians can’t be Palestinians
Citing the Christian exodus from Bethlehem in the years since the city’s transfer to Palestinian Authority control, Rotem said Christians should not kid themselves that “in a Palestinian state you will have a good time.” He added that the State of Israel was letting them down by not drafting them into the IDF and thus accepting them “as partners in everything.”
“Your brothers are not sitting in Jordan or Lebanon. Your brothers are more here than anywhere else,” he continued. “Christians have to be a part of the State of Israel. They are citizens and so they have to be partners in everything that happens in the state. We have to encourage and adore you.”
Qanta Ahmed: Persecution of Christians in the Muslim world: We are what we tolerate
Christian persecution in the Muslim World goes unremarked upon in the Muslim world. Yet Christian existence in the Middle East, the very region where Christianity first arrived to world, is today imperiled to a degree formerly unseen in its history.
The erosion of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa region daily escalates. Rabid political Islamism, which both calls for the elimination of Christians from formerly pluralistic societies and seeds a climate ripe for sectarian violence, drives the exodus of Christians from the region.
UN body in charge of NGO-accreditation fails to dismiss application from major Bin Laden, Hamas supporter
At a 2013 UN NGO Committee session, the US representative said that the IARA was designated as a terrorist organization by the US Treasury Department in 2004 "for providing support to Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist groups. They were involved in terrorist financing ... and have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars" to terrorist organizations. The UN press release, on the other hand, described this terrorist patron as an organization "focused on humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and development".
On January 27, 2014 at the UN Committee the US delegate questioned Sudan-based IARA regarding its classification as a terrorist organization by the United States government. The representative of Sudan - a member of the UN NGO Committee - stepped in to defend the IARA on the grounds that "there was no evidence that this organization supported terrorist activities" and asked that the application "move forward". The representative of Pakistan also objected to the questions posed by the United States.
Consideration of the application will continue.
Guardian whitewashes Nathan Filer’s support for pro-terror group, ISM
Yet, in an over 1700 word story, the Guardian journalist never once mentions ISM’s terror-supporting activities nor noted the seeming contradiction of Filer’s alleged support for “peace” and “human rights” with his active participation with a group which aids and abets antisemitic extremists who intentionally murder innocent Israelis.
Indeed, one of the biggest scandals of the Guardian’s coverage of Israel and the Palestinians is the dishonest manner in which they frame the debate – the way they automatically impute good will and progressivism to nearly anyone claiming to advocate on behalf of Palestinians, even those compromised by their support for violence against innocent civilians. Such moral blind spots regarding the human rights of Israelis continue to define the ideological territory occupied by the Guardian Left.
More on Harriet Sherwood’s love letter to the “miraculous” people of Gaza
Beyond the misleading nature of Sherwood’s specific claims, the decision (presumably by Guardian editors) to use the word “miraculous” to describe Gaza’s survival is a great illustration of the fetishization of Palestinians continually on display in their reports and commentaries, most which lack the critical scrutiny that Israelis are typically subjected to. A more sober assessment of Gaza since Israel’s withdrawal in 2005 would surely evoke Abba Ebban’s dismay over Palestinians’ tendency to “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity”.
BBC ties itself in Neturei Karta knots
It would appear that Neturei Karta presents something of a conundrum for the BBC. Its description of the London demonstrators as “members of the Jewish community” clearly indicates that it does not adequately comprehend the fact that Neturei Karta has a negligible number of followers who have no contact with mainstream Jewish communities. On the other hand, the temptation to amplify the views of a handful of anti-Zionist Jews – and thereby downplay the antisemitic aspects of many an anti-Israel demonstration, meeting or conference – is apparently irresistible.
Now that members of Neturei Karta have made their support for European fascists (rather than ‘just’ Middle East ones) known directly to the BBC, perhaps the penny will finally drop.
The Economist Finally Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Cartoon
Perhaps we have an answer as the Editor’s note has now been updated to the following:
This story was originally illustrated by a cartoon that combined the Star of David with the Congressional seal. Some readers felt that the cartoon implied that Jews controlled Congress. That is not what we intended to imply, nor what we believe, so we removed the cartoon. We apologise for any offence that was caused.
We are pleased that The Economist has finally apologized and stated, for the record, that the magazine does not believe that Jews control Congress.
Having taken this step forward, will John Mickelthwait acknowledge our petition and the call to adopt the EU Working Definition of Anti-Semitism?
Anti-Normalization Absurdities
Fadi Arouri, a Ramallah photojournalist and one of the anti-normalization movement’s big names (honored by readers as one of the Dishonest Reporters of 2013), obtained a permit to enter Israel. He even showed it off on Facebook. The District Coordination Office permit is dated January 16, and Arouri can go anywhere in Israel except for Eilat.
I hope Arouri has a normal time in Israel, meeting the normal Israelis he normally chases out of Ramallah.
MEMRI: Article On Jordanian Website: The Lessons Of The Holocaust Are International; All Peoples Must Combat Racism And Extremism
On January 28, 2014, on the occasion of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the Jordanian news website almamlakahnews.com posted an article stating that the Holocaust is the most heinous crime in human history and that all peoples must learn a lesson from it. The article added that, even though the German Nazi regime has ceased to exist, antisemitism has not passed from the world, and even today we witness attacks on Jews. Hence, antisemitism must be fought, along with all other racist and extremist ideologies that ultimately lead only to bloodshed.
Young Koreans learn from Start-Up Nation
Some 100 people gathered for the Korea-Israel Entrepreneurship Forum (KIEF) Monday evening at Tel Aviv University in a program that seeks to grow economic partnerships between the two countries. Attending the event were young Korean entrepreneurs, Israeli students, Korean diplomats, Israeli tech and start-up veterans, as well as several seeking to build business ties.
The event was the closing one for KIEF, a 6-month program in Israel for 15 Korean aspiring entrepreneurs that was run together by StarTAU and Small and Medium Business Corporation (SBC). The participants were paired up with Israelis mentors, and worked at internships with companies like Wix, Ginger, Giza Venture Capital and others. Of course, they toured through Israel as well.
Hebrew U program gives foreign students Start-Up ‘taste
For English-speaking students from abroad who want to experience the Start-Up Nation firsthand, Hebrew University has started a one-year MBA program, emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation. Beginning this fall, the program, stretching over three semesters — offered jointly by Hebrew University’s Jerusalem School of Business Administration and the Rothberg International School — will offer internships as well.
‘Girlfri3nds’ gets around
Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israel’s titan Keshet Media Group, announced Tuesday that it has sold its popular British dating format “Girlfri3nds” to both Canadian and Australian networks.
The UK version of “Girlfri3nds” was spawned from the original Hebrew-language show, which premiered in Israel in 2011 and at the time broke records for non-live reality programming. The program follows three female friends searching together for long-term love, and is known for avoiding the schlock and clichés that mark so many other reality dating programs.
The Waze of agriculture
Which way will the wind blow or the crop-munching pests flow? Cosmologists, meteorologists and agronomists have tried to answer these questions since the beginning of time.
The Israeli company ScanTask is crowdsourcing data from the farm to answer these questions better, taking the guesswork and risks out of farming.
This is exactly the kind of technology that massive companies like PepsiCo, Syngenta, and Monsanto said that they needed at the recent Agrivest conference in Israel.
Israel's Cyber-Security Prowess Is Attracting Foreign Firms
Israel's cyber-security industry has grown from a few dozen companies to more than 200 in just the past three years amid a flood of hacks targeted at the country. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes more outsiders to invest in or collaborate with the country's cyber-defense industry, a Big Four professional-services firm, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, is stepping up to the plate.
Deloitte plans to open a cyber-security operations center in Israel and is looking to partner, acquire or license technologies developed by Israeli startups, executives for the firm said in interviews yesterday at the Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv. Deloitte has similar centers setup in Chile, Costa Rica, South Africa, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S.
The company that makes instructions easy
When crime-scene investigators need to check a procedure manual, or when airplane mechanics need a repair reference guide, they require clearly organized information at the touch of a button on whatever kind of device they’re holding in their hands.
Because it’s no simple task to keep updated documentation and instruction manuals at the fingertips of employees and customers, hundreds of businesses, manufacturers and government agencies – including HTC, Plantronics, Dell, Cisco, EMC, McAfee, Emerson, Hitachi, Israel Aerospace Industries and the Police Academy of the Netherlands – have purchased software and training from the small Israeli company Suite Solutions.


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Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2014 06:30:00 PM
Far out, man.

This is actually a YouTube playlist so there are some other bizarre SodaStream commercials that just keep on coming if you choose "Play All."



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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2014 05:00:00 PM
This short JTA article from 1948 is just begging for a researcher to write a book or two:

ROME (Feb. 20)

Arab agents are today recruiting mercenaries to fight against the Jews in Palestine from among the Yugoslav Ustashi and Chetniks and the Ukrainians, Albanians, Circassians (former inhabitants of the northwestern area of the Caucasus) and other groups here who were on Hitler’s side during the war, and are now under the care of the International Refugee Organization.

Able-bodied men, both inside and outside the I.R.O. camps, who are between 22 and 32 years of age, and who accept the Arab terms of payment–their fares to the Middle East and maintenance of their families in exchange for their pledge to serve in the Arab forces for at least one year–are being given visas by the governments of Egypt, Syria and Transjordan. Where the mercenaries are of Moslem origin they are being officially resettled by formal negotiations between the governments concerned and the I.R.O. which, however, disclaims any knowledge of what use the individuals are put to on arriving in the Middle East.
So the Arab nations did once want to accept and naturalize refugees - as long as they shared Hitler's goals for the Jews.

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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2014 03:15:00 PM
The nominees for Best Article are:



And the winner is...




Hen Mazzig

There were only three nominees for this category, but that didn't make the decision any easier. The Jaconson article is destined to be a classic and the Brendan O'Neill article is a must read.

In the end, I went with Hen Mazzig's article because it is the best example of hasbara in the classic sense: explaining things to  readers they might not know about, heightened by the first person account of his experiences.

Congratulations!

By the way, I wish I had thought of nominating this article, which is also about a peacenik getting slapped with reality. It probably wouldn't have won but it would have been a very good addition to the nominee list.

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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2014 01:30:00 PM
From Ian:

The UNRWA Reform Initiative
It is universally understood that current talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not lead to an end of the protracted Arab-Israeli war. However, there is no reason why at least one aspect of that war cannot be resolved: the continuing humanitarian crisis facing descendants of Arab refugees from 1948, who wallow in UNRWA refugee facilities under the notion they will “return” to villages from 1948 – which no longer exist.
In that context, the Center for Near East Policy Research, which has conducted news investigations and produced films on UNRWA for the past 25 years, has launched the UNRWA Reform Initiative (URI) to facilitate a policy change at UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
While UNRWA long ago adopted the slogan “Peace Starts Here,” UNRWA’s working mantra could easily be described as “War Starts Here.” UNRWA’s schools educate half a million students with the notion that they must prepare to take back their homes in what is now Israel – by force of arms.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas, Islamic Jihad Gunmen Now in West Bank
The participation of Fatah gunmen in a Hamas and Islamic Jihad rally shows that the PA and Abbas continue to face a serious challenge from their own loyalists. Moreover, it shows that there is coordination between Abbas's Fatah gunmen and Hamas and Islamic Jihad militiamen in the West Bank.
If anything, the rally that saw Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah join forces in a rare show of power means that Abbas's claim that he is fully in control of the situation in the West Bank is baseless.
Yasser Arafat allowed Hamas to operate freely in the Gaza Strip until Hamas drove the Palestinian Authority out of the area. Abbas is now committing the same mistake and could lose the West Bank to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The question is whether this will happen before or after the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Prosor calls on Security Council to recognize the signs of genocide
Prosor noted that this pattern of “defamation, degradation, and bloodshed” visibly repeated itself in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia and Darfur, and despite the warning signs, nothing was done.
“We cannot tolerate governments brutalizing their people,” he said. “We cannot rest while barrel bombs are falling on Syrian citizens, executions are on the rise in Iran, and sexual violence is rampant in the Central African Republic.”
He went on to speak about the growing anti-Semitism throughout the Middle East, including in textbooks and on state-sanctioned TV channels.
“War is not inevitable. It is not a force of nature, nor is it part of human nature. It can be prevented. But only if we stand together to denounce indifference and defend peace,” he said.



Abbas world’s No. 1 purveyor of anti-Semitism, minister says
Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas espoused more “anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli venom” than any other world leader.
Speaking at the Institute for National Security Studies on Wednesday, Steinitz said that “while Abu Mazen (Abbas) doesn’t fund terrorism, he who was a Holocaust denier in his youth now denies the very existence of the Jewish people and their right to a state.”
He was likely referring to Abbas’s 1982 doctoral dissertation, which was titled “The Other Side: the Secret Relationship Between Nazism and Zionism.”
Efraim Karsh: Michael Oren misunderstands the obstacle to peace
For an accomplished historian, Michael Oren seems to have an extraordinarily short memory.
In a recent article on CNN’s website, the former Israeli ambassador to the United States argued that in the absence of a two-state solution, “One solution could be a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian population centers in the West Bank.” This, he reasoned, would allow Israel to “end the occupation of the Palestinians, preserve its security, and perhaps lay new foundations for peace.”
But this precisely what Israel did some 20 years ago.
The Importance of the Jordan Valley Corridor
Abbas says that he will control security in the Jordan River corridor, but what he more likely will do is give a free pass to terrorists and weapons on their way to the Palestinian Authority targeting Israeli civilians and territories. There is an old Arab saying, hamiha harmiha, “The guard and the thief are one and the same.” The “miracle of peace” Abbas is trying to market to an unfortunately gullible international community is nothing but fraud and slight-of-hand. He continues to harp – endlessly – on the so-called “right of return” of the Palestinians to the territory of the State of Israel, refuses out of hand to recognize the State of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and has added a snag to the already twisted Gordion Knot of negotiations by demanding control of the Jordan River corridor.
He doesn’t intend to end the conflict and he is not planning to establish peace and coexistence with the State of Israel. He is planning to inundate it with a tidal wave of terrorism.
In-Your-Faces-Obama Bill Upgrading Israel Status Above Entire World
My favorite Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27), along with Rep Ted Deutch (D-Fla. 21), who are the top two members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, have introduced a bill on Wednesday naming Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, a title enjoyed by no one else on the planet, and encouraging enhanced cooperation on water, energy, homeland security, and missile development.
The bill also waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S., adding Israel to the list of countries whose citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they registered electronically before boarding a flight.
Some other provisions: the bill expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing important military equipment for either to use in a crisis. It also encourages the president to transfer essential military equipment to Israel to meet current and projected strategic threats.
Report: Europe Warns Palestinian Authority Against Rejecting Kerry Framework Peace Plan
European diplomats passed this message on to senior Palestinian Authority officials during closed-door conversations that were recently held in Ramallah, Walla said.
An evolution in the European attitude towards the Palestinian Authority could be detected in remarks made over the weekend by Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, according to the report. The leader of the Israeli delegation that’s currently negotiating with the Palestinian Authority said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s continued intransigence at the negotiating table will result in “the Palestinians paying the price.”
Livni’s statement was widely interpreted as her belief that the international community will blame the Palestinian Authority for the failure of peace talks, Walla said.
"Today I will die, today I will fight" - PA TV music video


170,000 rockets are aimed at Israel’s cities, says IDF intel head
The head of Israel’s most powerful intelligence agency depicted Wednesday a changing battlefield in which offensive cyber capabilities will, in the near future, represent the greatest shift in combat doctrine in over 1,000 years. For now, though, he said, the 170,000 rockets and missiles pointed by enemy states at Israel represented the most pressing threat, a danger he placed even above Iran’s rogue nuclear program.
“Cyber, in my humble opinion, and you don’t have to agree with me, will be revealed in a not very long time as a revolution greater than the creation of gunpowder or the usage of the aerial space at the start of the past century,” said Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the head of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate. Kochavi, a former infantry officer, called the possibilities inherent in cyber warfare “nearly limitless, and that is not a metaphor.”
IAF chief: Israel will destroy Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, even ones in residential areas
The unusually explicit threat by air force chief Major-General Amir Eshel appeared to be part of an effort by Israeli officials to prepare world opinion for high civilian casualties in any new confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel says Iran and Syria have supplied improved missiles to Hezbollah, which fought the technologically superior Israeli military to a standstill in a 2006 war in Lebanon.
"We will have to deal aggressively with thousands of Hezbollah bases which threaten the State of Israel and mainly our interior," Eshel said in a speech, citing Beirut, the Bekaa Valley and southern Lebanon among the locations of the bases.
Other Israeli officials have alleged that Hezbollah uses Lebanese civilian homes as missile silos or gun nests. Eshel said the guerrillas sometimes had entire floors of residential buildings ready, under lock and key, to be used in combat.
Murderer of Israeli Students Given Cash Prize, Employed, Promoted
MURDERER’S REWARD
Rabbo was a special case – he had been imprisoned the longest of any of the murderers who will be released for this round of “peace talks.” Rabbo, now 49 years old, granted freedom instead of his two life sentences, was given $110,000. And his upcoming wedding will cost him nothing. In addition, PA leader Abbas “promoted” Rabbo to the position of Major General in the “Palestinian Army.”
So, two barely twenty-something Jewish Israeli college students were slaughtered for the crime of being Jewish. They are dead, and their blood has not been avenged.
Abbas' advisor who praised murderer now calls shooting terrorist "heroic Martyr"
Abbas' advisor who once praised a murderer as "heroic fighter" now praises another as "heroic Martyr" "who ascended to Heaven... in the battlefield while challenging the Zionist enemy."
Today, a Palestinian named Muhammad Mubarak shot at an Israeli checkpoint north-east of Ramallah. He was consequently killed in the ensuing exchange of fire with Israeli forces.
Shortly after the shooting, Abbas' advisor Sultan Abu Al-Einein praised the terrorist on his Facebook page, calling him "our heroic Martyr":
Hamas to allow 120 Fatah leaders back into Gaza
Hamas will allow more than 120 Fatah officials banished from the Gaza Strip during the Islamist group’s violent takeover in 2007 to return to the Palestinian enclave in a bid to advance reconciliation efforts with its Ramallah-based rival.
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told satellite news channel Al-Kitab Monday evening that Hamas would soon let some Fatah leaders return to the Strip, and release a number of Fatah political prisoners from Hamas prisons, in a bid to push forward the reconciliation process.
Egypt military offensive kills 8 militants in Sinai Peninsula
Egyptian military officials say that troops backed by helicopters and armored vehicles have killed eight militants in the northern Sinai Peninsula, part of a continued offensive against rising militancy in the volatile region.
The officials say that the dead included a senior member of an al-Qaida-inspired militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has claimed responsibility for a wave of bombings and suicide attacks since the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
The Wednesday air raids and assaults in the Sheikh Zuweid border town come less than a week after militants in the area shot down a military helicopter with a shoulder-fired missile, killing all its crew and alarming authorities about the use of sophisticated weaponry.
Iran can now build and deliver nukes, US intel reports
In the “US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper reported that Tehran has made significant advances recently in its nuclear program to the point where it could produce and deliver nuclear bombs should it be so inclined.
“Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas — including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors, and ballistic missiles — from which it could draw if it decided to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,” Clapper wrote. “These technical advancements strengthen our assessment that Iran has the scientific, technical, and industrial capacity to eventually produce nuclear weapons. This makes the central issue its political will to do so.”
New Statements, Published Memoirs Trigger Analyst Concerns Over Iran FM’s Ideological Extremism
Analysts are expressing increasingly pointed concerns that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif may lack either the ability or the willingness to help secure a comprehensive deal between Iran and the West that would put Tehran’s nuclear program verifiably beyond use for weaponization, with his recently published memoirs and multiple recent interviews all being marked by intransigent rhetoric and maximalist negotiating positions. Ali Alfoneh and Reuel Marc Gerecht, both senior fellows at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, reviewed Zarif’s Mr. Ambassador: A Conversation with Mohammad-Javad Zarif and flatly assessed that “the affable foreign minister turns out to be every bit as religiously ideological as the radicalized student activist he was in the late 1970s.” Zarif emerges as a dogged ideologue who remains committed to exporting the Islamic Revolution beyond Iran’s borders, even as he lacks the domestic power base that would allow him to deliver concessions being promised to the West.
IRGC Brig.-Gen. Panah: We Can Hit Any American or Israeli Target with Our Long-Range Missiles


U.S. Treasury Officials Warn Turkey Over Economic, Diplomatic Rush Back Into Iran
Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erodgan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had for the better part of a decade cultivated close ties with the Iranian regime, providing valuable economic and diplomatic lifelines to Tehran in the face of Western efforts to isolate the Iranians. Bilateral relations between the two countries were severely strained during the opening years of the Syrian conflict, though Turkey’s role as a sanctions-busting pipeline for Iranian assets remained. Turkey’s rush to fully reenter Iran’s markets since the announcement of the Joint Plan of Action (JPA) has come at such a pace that it has wholesale threatened the White House’s insistence that the relief provided to Iran was “limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible.” Turkey has pursued diplomatic rapprochement at a similar pace, and Turkish media announced Tuesday that Iran and Turkey will establish a high-level cooperation council during a Tehran visit that Erdogan will leave for Wednesday.
Hackers attack European Jewish Press website
Turkish hackers breached the European Jewish Press’s news website Wednesday night, paralyzing the site and replacing the homepage with a picture of a Turkish flag shaped like a mushroom cloud, according to the EJP.
“This is not the first time a Jewish site is hacked by hackers on the Internet,” EJP editor-in-chief Yossi Lempkowicz said. “This is clearly an attempt to silence a Jewish information site.”
Why has US not designated IHH as a terror group?
It has been implicated in the millennium bomb plot targeting Los Angeles International Airport. It openly led a campaign to break Israel's blockade on Gaza -- meant to block supplies and weapons from reaching Hamas terrorists. It has also been implicated in a Libyan gunrunning operation aimed at supplying Syrian rebels that allegedly involved an al-Qaida linked figure.
And now, six of its offices were raided Jan. 14 by Turkish authorities in connection with an investigation of al-Qaida.
The Turkey-based IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation has been designated as a terrorist group by U.S. allies Israel, Germany and the Netherlands.


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Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2014 12:00:00 PM

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