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Friday, February 28, 2014

The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)  just unveiled a report called "Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative." The report is book-length, 324 pages long.

It took two years and dozens of authors to write this.

The Foreword says:
There is general agreement that the current state of the Arab world warrants serious concern. Observers concur that the Arab countries appear to be at a development impasse, evidenced by persisting knowledge gaps, fragile economies and the prevalence of human injustice. But when it comes to the reasons for the status quo, or what it will take to change it, agreement gives way to heated debate.

This report, entitled “Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative”, suggests an alternative to the present predicament. Readers may wish to study its ideas and
recommendations, take up those which they find relevant and reflect constructively on how to adapt others that may seem contentious. The report results from an ESCWA initiative conducted with a group of distinguished Arab thinkers from various schools of thought, occupations and regional backgrounds. What unites this eclectic group is a common belief in the role of the Arab world and a shared desire to protect its future. Its members firmly agree on the main aims and recommendations of the report, if not with every detail in it.

In the overview, it says in a pull-quote: Israel’s policies threaten the security of all Arab citizens

Yes - every single Arab citizen is threatened by Israel.

In the speech launching the report, Rima Khalaf, Executive Secretary of ESCWA and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, said:

The effects of fragmentation have blighted all Arabs; observers cannot but notice the consequences of decades of division and underdevelopment. It is an explosive combination of threats and challenges, characterized by unconstrained foreign interference and human misery.

Foreign interference comes in various forms, such as violations of Arab rights and dignity, but its worst manifestation is the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the Syrian Golan Heights and Lebanese territories, in flagrant breach of all international conventions and resolutions.

The authors of the report claim that the damage caused by Israeli policies is not limited to occupation activities, but they believe that aggressive Israeli policies, including its support for discord aimed at establishing Arab sectarian mini-States and its nuclear programme that is not subject to international monitoring, pose a continuous threat to the security of Arab citizens in the region as a whole.

The most dangerous of these policies is Israel's adamancy that it is a Jewish State, which violates the rights of both the Muslim and Christian indigenous populations and revives the concept of state ethnic and religious purity, which caused egregious human suffering during the twentieth century.

The report claims that Arab rights would not have been trampled; Jerusalem would not have suffered under Judaization policies, land confiscation and the expulsion of populations; and Muslim and Christian holy shrines would not have been desecrated if Arabs had stood united and coordinated their efforts, or at least met their existing commitments to joint defence.
This sure sounds like the UN is saying that Israel shouldn't exist, and if only Arabs had been united, that scourge would never have arisen.

It is not surprising that when you get a bunch of Arabs who disagree about everything in a room to write a report about Arab problems, the one thing they will all agree on is to blame Israel. Privately they might think differently, but you will never find any of them to admit it publicly.So naturally the report will be top-heavy on blaming Israel for everything, especially their own disunity. From the report:
Before the State of Israel was established in 1948, the Zionist movement sought to thwart any Arab attempt at unity, or even cooperation. Post-1948, this policy extended to supporting civil wars in the region and sowing sedition among various groups. Israel took advantage of the sectarian and ethnic diversity of Arab countries, stoking feelings of injustice among minorities. In Lebanon, Israel supported certain parties in the civil war and sought to divide the country into a series of sectarian cantons. In the Sudan, it played a role in encouraging secessionist tendencies. In Morocco, Israel sought to strengthen its relations with Amazigh factions, but failed to penetrate the Moroccan social fabric.
Every page of the report indicates that the Arab world will never live with the Western world. It praises Nasser lavishly, even quoting his refusal to speak to Israel after the 1967 war to negotiate Israeli withdrawal from the Sinai.

You will not often see a UN report that praises a war of aggression, but when Israel is the object of such a war, then it becomes admirable:
Israel was to remain an obstacle to Arab unity. It occupied further Arab territories during the 1967 Six-Day War, which ended in the disastrous defeat of the Egyptian army. From then until his death, Nasser waged a war of attrition against Israeli occupation and sought to rebuild the Egyptian army in preparation for another war. He did not live to see the Egyptian army launch a surprise attack on Israeli positions and achieve a military victory in the 1973 October War, with the cooperation of several Arab States and the support of their peoples.

There are lots of lies and ridiculous assumptions in this report - downplaying if not ignoring Arab corruption and infighting and highlighting that the major problems are really everyone else's fault.

You really have to wonder why any enlightened nation give any respect to this thoroughly corrupt, immoral organization.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/28/2014 04:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Richard Silverstein’s racist abuse of Chloe Valdary continues: calls her a ‘house slave’
So, Silverstein, a Comment is Free contributor, has now called Valdary a ‘Negro Uncle Tom’ and a ‘House Slave’!
This blog has previously exposed Silverstein’s defense of Hamas, his suggestion that Israel behaves like Nazi Germany (and, of course, his faux scoops), but after his latest racist outburst is there really anyone who can honestly claim that the Seattle-based Jewish blogger represents anything resembling liberal values?
Anelka gets five-match ban for ‘quenelle’
Nicolas Anelka’s future in English football was in the balance after the former France striker was given a five-match ban on Thursday for making a gesture widely condemned as anti-Semitic.
The Football Association found the French striker guilty of an “aggravated breach” of their rules for making the ‘quenelle’ playing for West Bromwich Albion in a Premier League match away to West Ham in December.
That saw the 34-year-old banned and fined £80,000 ($133,368).
'X Factor' Israel's Rose gets warm welcome upon return to Philippines
Rose Fostanes, the Filipina care-giving singer who took home first prize on Israel's X-Factor, returned to her home country on Wednesday to a warm welcome.
Appearing on popular evening talk show, Aquino and Abunda Tonight, hosted by Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino, who are known as the country's "King and Queen of talk," Fostanes showed off her pipes.

Ugliness of BDS hits University of Windsor
A student executive’s office was broken into and vandalized on the eve of a controversial referendum at the University of Windsor.
Today marks the first of three voting days of an undergraduate student referendum that seeks official endorsement of the growing Israeli Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement.
Jake DeJong, vice-president academic affairs, arrived at the university at 9 a.m. this morning to discover vandals entered his locked office the evening prior, ransacking it and defaced a Support our Troops flag with the Star of David and the word “ZIONIST” above it in blue spray paint.
From UCLA's Bruins Against BDS
Bruins against BDS:"We’d like to thank you for hearing and considering all sides of the issue presented to you and fairly representing our voice on this campus for 9 hours at the USAC meeting on Tuesday, February 25th. We understand that this was not an easy decision for many of you. In no way do we claim the results of the vote as a victory. It is deeply saddening that all sides are left feeling extremely hurt by the hateful comments that were said during public comment. It is truly disappointing to see a campus so divided."

After nine hours of ripping the council and the community apart, not a single mind was changed, not a single vote was altered.
An open letter to President John Sexton from the NYU student community
The following is the full text of the letter presented this morning to the NYU administration by Meredith Shevitz, Rachel Millhauser, and myself regarding the anti-Israel conference taking place at NYU this weekend. Though I am usually opposed to reactivity, given the nature of this event and the press it has received, we felt that we could not in good conscience remain silent. Many thanks all of those who spent countless hours on the letter’s composition; you make me proud to be a part of this community.
BBC omits vital background information in Temple Mount rioting story
The photograph chosen to open an article headlined “Israeli police and Palestinians clash on Temple Mount” which appeared on the Middle East page of the BBC News website on February 25th is captioned as follows: Temple Mount art
“Palestinians scuffled with Israeli police officers when denied entry to the site after the morning’s unrest”
In the absence of any clarification regarding “the morning’s unrest”, reasonable readers might well mistakenly conclude that the “clash” mentioned in the headline was brought about as a result of Palestinians being “denied entry to the site”.
Hackers ‘aggressively’ targeting US Jewish groups
US Jewish groups face “a more concerted and aggressive effort” from Internet hackers, the national community’s security arm said in an alert.
“It is imperative that all IT departments understand how to mitigate the threat and are up-to-date on the necessary technologies and processes to use in order to be proactive and prevent these incidents,” said an alert Tuesday from the Secure Community Network, an affiliate of the Jewish Federations of North America and of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
“It is apparent that we are currently facing a more concerted and aggressive effort by those attempting to disrupt and deface organizations’ websites and networks,” the alert said.
Israeli Envoy: Anne Frank Vandalism Does Not Represent Japan
The books, a gift from the embassy and the Jewish Community of Japan, were donated as police hunted those responsible for defacing copies of the much-loved book, which tells the tale of a young Jewish girl in Amsterdam who ultimately died in a Nazi concentration camp.
"Our first reaction actually was a little bit of a shock," Peleg Lewi, the embassy's deputy chief of mission, said at a ceremony in of Suginami, whose libraries were a main target.
"Japan is so known in Israel ... as a pacifist and as a very secure country. So this kind of act really made a big impression on us," he was quoted by AFP as having told reporters.
"But I think that everybody understood that it's a single act that does not represent Japanese people," Lewi emphasized.

Toddler Orphaned in Mumbai Terror Attack is ‘Doing Well,’ Israeli Envoy Says
The Jewish toddler who lost both his parents in the infamous 2008 Mumbai terror attacks is “doing well”, Israel’s envoy in India said on Monday, The Times of India reported.
Moshe Holtzberg, now living in Israel, “is going to school. He is a very healthy, happy and a strong kid, growing up under a very complicated situation,” Ambassador Alon Ushpiz said. “He is growing up without his parents. This obviously isn’t easy.”
“He’s staying with his grandparents,” the envoy added. “Also, in this case, an Israeli was saved by an Indian citizen. His nanny took him out.”
PM to meet with WhatsApp CEO, Silicon Valley execs
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with several top Silicon Valley executives during a trip to California next week, including WhatsApp founder Jan Koum, who recently sold his company to Facebook for $19 billion.
Netanyahu is also set to sign a strategic partnership agreement with California Governor Jerry Brown to promote economic relations between Israel and the state of California. The partnership agreement is aimed at expanding cooperation in the fields of culture, academia, economics, innovation, water conservation, alternative energy, cyber defense, biotechnology, health, education and agricultural technology.
Netanyahu to sign economic cooperation deal with California Governor Jerry Brown
While the Berkeley love children are busy vandalizing grocery store hummus and convincing themselves that BDS is unstoppable, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be in California, signing an economic cooperation pledge with California governor Jerry Brown.
To all the BDS holes out there- How does it feel to be irrelevant?
A Woman of Integrity: British Actress Maureen Lipman stands by Israel
To her abiding credit, that national treasure of a British actress, Maureen Lipman, widow of the prominent playwright Jack Rosenthal, has never been afraid to voice her strong support for Israel.
As the Jerusalem Post reported a couple of years ago, when she was awarded an honorary doctorate by Tel Aviv University, Ms Lipman noted:
“There are too many bigots and extremists using anti-Zionism as a cloak for anti-Semitism. And they are whipping up a frenzy.”
Top 22 ways Israel aided Africa in last three years
On a visit to Africa in 1958, Foreign Minister Golda Meir pledged Israeli help to find solutions for severe challenges in food security, water safety and sanitation, healthcare, economic growth, community building, the empowerment of women and education.
In the years since then, the Foreign Ministry’s MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, has not only kept that promise, with myriad projects primarily in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Sudan and Uganda, but private Israeli companies and nonprofit organizations have also pitched in.
Israel: Small Nation, Big Job-Creation Potential
Georgia’s $100 million factory win from Israel proves that the small country “punches above its weight” in creating American jobs, but even greater impact could come from from solidifying the state’s reputation as a global launch pad for innovative Israeli firms, a well-known investor told Global Atlanta.
While the Caesarstone Sdot Yam Ltd. plant near Savannah will be a boon for the area, creating 180 jobs, the dollar figure is dwarfed by the price tags of recently acquired Israeli companies with Georgia ties.
In December, Given Imaging, an Israeli-founded company which makes pill cameras that take gastrointestinal photos, was bought by Ireland-based Covidien in a deal valued at $860 million. Given has long had its corporate base in Atlanta while keeping its research arm in Yoqneam, Israel.
Israel Trauma Coalition teaches resilience worldwide
Earthquake in Haiti, tsunami in Japan, typhoon in the Philippines, school shooting in France, terror attacks in Boston and Mumbai – when disaster strikes, Israel is quickly on the scene with medical and humanitarian aid.
But when the injured have been tended, the homeless housed and the hungry fed, the difficulty of healing psychological wounds begins. This is where the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) steps in, training leaders of affected communities how to help residents pick up the pieces of their lives.
Kenyan Ezekiel Koech breaks TLV marathon record
Kenyan Ezekiel Koech, 28, won the 2014 Tel Aviv Marathon Friday, finishing the 26.2 mile course in 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 40 seconds. His time was the best in the history of the race.
Koech won NIS 15,000 ($4294) for his victory.
“I am very happy with my result,” Koech said after the race, according to Ynet. “Weather was good, not so difficult. I hope to come again next year.”
Kenyans also finished second and third in the marathon.
IDF Blog: The IDF’s Minorities in Numbers and Pictures
In honor of IDF Diversity Week, we present diversity through numbers and pictures. Each year, more and more Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouin and immigrants from around the world take on the responsibility of defending Israel.
Video of Epic David Guetta Concert Atop Masada Draws Half a Million Views in 2 Days
A newly released video of renowned DJ David Guetta’s concert in Israel last October has attracted almost half a million views in the two days since it was posted on YouTube.
The epic event, attended by 20,000 people, took place atop the historic Masada fortress in the Judean Desert, 424 meters below sea level.
The video includes footage of Guetta discussing his sojourn in the Holy Land and performing his hit songs Titanium and Play Hard.
David Guetta - A Party 424 Meters Under the Sea

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/28/2014 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Those three no’s – reworded
This in effect is Abbas’s counterpart to Khartoum’s no-negotiation stipulation. Abbas has set up a hurdle so high that, without duplicitous pretense, it becomes unsurpassable and thereby makes genuine negotiations a farce.
Next comes Abbas’s present-day equivalent to Khartoum’s no-recognition proviso. While not identical in wording, its bottom line is no different from the 1967 prototype. Abbas repeats insolently that recognition of Israel as the legitimate nation-state of the Jewish people is out of the question – not now, not ever, no way, nowhere, under no condition.
This isn’t a negligible semantic equivocation. It means a refusal to accede even to the 1947 UN Partition Resolution minimum which determined that the Jewish people deserve a state. To crush said UN Resolution, seven Arab armies attacked the overwhelmingly outmanned and outgunned newborn Israel but lost, triggering their piteous lamentations to this day.
As long as the very notion of the rightful existence of a Jewish state is repudiated, the irredentist ambition to eradicate Israel as a Jewish state will fester and rule out even a remote likelihood of a true and lasting peace.
Why Israel No Longer Trusts Europe
Despite these discouraging experiences, every Israeli military action against radicals in Gaza or Lebanon is met with protests in Europe. Which doesn’t inspire confidence in Israeli leaders that Europe would accept Israel’s right to self-defense if a future Palestinian state in the West Bank became a similar hotbed of extremism and revisionist politics.
It is always comfortable for Europeans to demand that Israel make hard decisions for peace. But Europe must now ask itself some hard questions, too. What guarantees could Europe offer Israel in return for a Palestinian state to protect it if the peace experiment failed and radicals took over the West Bank? Would Europe be ready to offer membership in NATO and the European Union if the Israelis asked for it?
I am not sure there are any promising answers to these questions. But if all Europe has to offer Israel is criticism and disapproval, then it will be part of the problem, not the solution.
Watchdog Group Highlights Anti-Israel Credentials of Amnesty International’s Researchers
As Amnesty International published an anonymous 85-page report condemning Israel on Thursday, NGO Monitor, the Jerusalem-based charity watchdog, highlighted the backgrounds of Amnesty’s researchers, several of whom were full-time anti-Israel activists before joining the human rights group.
Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s international legal counsel, told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “We are not sure who wrote the report because Amnesty doesn’t say — in violation of NGO fact-finding guidelines established by the International Bar Association.”
The cover photography from the report was courtesy of Haim Schwarczenberg, who describes himself as a “photographer and activist in Israel” on the anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss, to which he contributed a report last year. Schwarczenberg’s Facebook account features a stream of hundreds of photos showing Arabs igniting tires to hurl at soldiers, aiming slingshots, and, of course, throwing rocks at the Israel Defense Forces.
Herzberg said that what NGO Monitor has been able to confirm is that “the Israel researcher based in London, Deborah Hyams, was a human shield in Beit Jala; the Amnesty US Israel researcher, Edith Garwood, used to be a member of the International Solidarity Movement. Also, another one of the researchers, Rasha Abdul-Rahim, describes herself as ‘a ranty Palestinian activist‘ on Twitter.”
Naughty NTB doctors amnesty international report
Apart from the cheek of the Amnesty International, it is much more serious that the Norwegian news agency NTB resorts to doctoring the Amnesty report in order to smear Israel (they must have suffered badly from withdrawal pains, there has been pretty much nothing that could be blamed on Israel for several months now) by adding a word that appears nowhere in the AI report: Atrocities.

Caroline Glick: The Israeli Solution
Part Two presents the case for Israeli sovereignty from the perspectives of demography, international law, history and civil liberties.
Far from transforming the areas into a race-based state, as Israel’s opponents threaten, such a move by Israel will free the Palestinians from life under the PLO’s terror supporting kleptocracy and provide them with full civil and legal rights as permanent residents of Israel.
They will also have the right to apply for Israeli citizenship.
Even if all the Arabs of Judea and Samaria were to become Israeli citizens, Israel would retain a strong two-thirds Jewish majority. And it would avert the only real demographic threat. That is the threat posed by a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria which would permit millions of hostile, foreign-born Arabs from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to immigrate to its territory.
How Will Obama Soothe Abbas’s Rage?
The path to peace won’t be found by soothing Abbas’s rage at being maneuvered into having to accept negotiations when signing a deal is the last thing he wants to do. Rather than returning to his default position of pressuring Netanyahu, the keynote of President Obama’s involvement should be making it clear to Abbas that he must accept the framework. The Israelis have already paid dearly, with concessions that included the release of over 100 Palestinian terrorist murderers and a de facto freeze in settlement building outside of their settlement blocs that would be retained in any agreement, in order to persuade Abbas to come back to the table last year. It would be outrageous for Obama to respond to Palestinian blackmail by simply acquiescing to their demands and expect Israel to proceed without the assurance that the framework will be kept in place.
If the president’s new foray into the peace process blindly follows the familiar pattern of Obama’s past conduct in which Netanyahu is ambushed and then strong-armed into making more concessions to Abbas, it would be grossly unfair. But more than that, it would undermine any chance of ever getting the Palestinians to realize that the price of independence means accepting the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Peace requires a sea change in Palestinian politics. But it will also mean a similar change in the president’s knee-jerk impulse to put the entire onus for the impasse on an Israel that has already proved it is willing to take risks for peace.
BBC Watch: BBC’s Hardtalk provides platform for Saeb Erekat’s fabricated histories – part one
BBC’s Hardtalk provides platform for Saeb Erekat’s fabricated histories – part two
The February 18th edition of the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ featured presenter Stephen Sackur once again interviewing the programme’s frequent flyer Saeb Erekat. The programme is available in the UK on BBC iPlayer and an audio version was also available from the BBC World Service for a limited period of time, along with a BBC World Service podcast. In addition, the first part of the interview was uploaded by the BBC to YouTube and featured on the BBC News website, as well as on the Hardtalk webpage.
Poll: Three quarters of Israeli Jews would accept peace deal
Three quarters of Hebrew-speaking Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the Arab Peace Initiative, and more than half would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to leave the Likud and create a new party, according to a new poll published Thursday.
The survey, commissioned by the non-profit Israeli Peace Initiative, was conducted earlier this month among a representative sample of 500 Hebrew-speaking Israelis. The poll’s sponsors said it indicated that a large majority of the country’s Jews hold hawkish views regarding the peace process but would be willing to accept a deal if they understood what Israel stands to gain from an accord normalizing diplomatic and trade relations with the entire Arab world.
Police to Limit Muslim Access to Temple Mount on Friday
Israeli police have announced they will limit access for Muslim men to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound during Friday prayers to prevent possible clashes following services, AFP reported Thursday.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told the news agency that men under the age of 50 will be barred from Friday prayers, based on intelligence of plans for unrest, with security forces bolstering their presence in the area.
How Jewish prayer represents “an extreme provocation to Muslims worldwide”
So, let’s get this straight:
1. Some Jews are asking for the right to quietly pray at the site in Jerusalem holiest to their faith.
2. Millions of Muslims worldwide will, it is alleged, be provoked at the mere possibility that a faith other their own will have that right which they want exclusively for themselves.
3. And, yet, it’s the Jews in this scenario who are portrayed as the “regressive” political force?
‘Orwellian’ doesn’t begin to fairly characterize the mental gymnastics employed by journalists in order to accept such bizarre logic.
Shabak Reveals Hamas 'Inflaming' Temple Mount
According to the senior official's analysis, published in Channel 10, Shabak (Internal Security) are identifying attempts by Hamas to bring Muslim activists to the Temple Mount and have them stir up confrontations with Israeli security forces.
"A serious threat is presented by Hamas activity to inflame the Temple Mount (in protests, attacks on the Mount and violent clashes by a mob enlisted by the organization)," warns the document. "These activities are meant to escalate the security situation in the West Bank."
Arab Knesset Faction: Israel is 'Palestine's Interior'
The Arab Raam-Taal Knesset faction held a session Tuesday in which it discussed issues of interest to Arab society in what the faction's press release named “the Palestinian interior” – that is, Israel – and “the occupied state of Palestine.”
Arab MK: Jailed Terrorists Are 'Political Prisoners'
Arab MK Ibrahim Sarsour, Chairman of the Raam-Taal faction, published an announcement to the media on Tuesday, in which he reported on his meetings with jailed terrorists. Sarsour termed the terrorists "political prisoners."
The "political prisoners" Sarsour met included Dr. Mahmoud al-Rumhi and Malek Behirat, as well as Ibrahim Biadasa and Zaher Jabarin. Sarsour said the visit was meant to advance the terrorists' release, especially those who were members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) parliament who were "kidnapped" by Israel.
Iranian Official: 'We are Preparing to Liberate Jerusalem'
The Islamist Basij militia force in Tehran ran a special military exercise Thursday and Friday preparing for an Iranian takeover of Jerusalem.
The exercise, entitled "March to Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)," included training in the event of such a takeover, including drills for the protection of cities, assistance and rescue, dealing with social unrest, the protection of sensitive and important military centers, dealing with the invasion and landing of "enemy" (IDF) forces from helicopters, and carrying out complicated tactical maneuvers at night.
Arabs Set Police Station on Fire in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Arabs set ablaze a police station next to the Lions' Gate in the capital's Old City on Wednesday.
Aryeh King, nationalist Jerusalem city councilman and member of the municipality's Emergency and Security Committee, was present at the attack and managed to document it. According to King, police officers fled the scene.
"Unfortunately the prime minister is instructing the authorities to avoid eastern Jerusalem, and these are the results," charged King.
REPORT: Israel warns Lebanese gov't it will be responsible for any Hezbollah retaliation
The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah's threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources. The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.
On Monday, Israeli warplanes allegedly struck Hezbollah targets near the Lebanese-Syria border. An unspecified number of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, according to pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya.
Syrian Jihadist Group Forces Local Christians to Submit to Islam or Face Death
The jihadist group—Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which is mostly composed of foreign terrorists—is widely considered to be the most radical group fighting in the Syrian Civil War.
According to the document, which was posted on a Twitter account of a member of the ISIL, Christians in Raqqa were given the choices to convert to Islam, remain Christian, but submit to Islam, or face death.
According to Islamic law or “shariah,” Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule must pay a tax or “jizya” in return for protection, and become “dhimmis.”
MEMRI: Muslim Brotherhood Supporters, Opponents Accuse Each Other Of Being Jewish
In the political struggle that has been ongoing in Egypt since the July 2013 removal of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) regime of president Muhammad Mursi, between supporters of Defense Minister Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and the MB and its supporters, antisemitic discourse has played a part. Each camp accuses members of the other camp of being Jewish and of implementing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
One manifestation of the current regime's de-legitimization campaign against the MB is comparing them to Jews and Zionists. The press associated with the regime has claimed that that the global MB resembles global Zionism, and that its schemes are the same as those of the Protocols. It has also claimed that MB founder Hassan Al-Bana was Jewish, as well as several other movement leaders. A number of Facebook pages depict MB members as Jews masquerading as Muslims, and feature images of Mursi in Jewish garb and MB symbols emblazoned with Stars of David.
MEMRI: On Iranian Revolution Day 2014, Commander of IRGC Navy Says:
The Americans Will Understand When Their Warships With Over 5,000 Crew Aboard Sink To The Depths Of The Sea And They Have To Search For Their Bodies
On February 11, 2014, Iran celebrated Revolution Day, the 35th anniversary of the regime of the Islamic Revolution, against the backdrop of the start of permanent agreement nuclear talks between Iran and the superpowers, and of the ongoing struggle within Iran between the ideological stream led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the pragmatic stream led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, on the issue of how Iran should deal with the U.S. Revolution Day 2014 was marked by regime officials' harsh anti-U.S. statements and by calls for maintaining Iranian hostility towards the U.S.
Israel Urges IAEA To Issue Full Report On Iran Nuclear Research
Israel urged the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday to go public with all information it has regarding suspicions that Iran researched how to build an atomic bomb.
The statement followed a Reuters report on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last year planned a major report on Iran that might have revealed more of its alleged bomb-relevant research, but held off as the Islamic Republic’s relations with the outside world thawed.
Iran’s rights record no better under Rouhani, US says
Rouhani is widely seen as a more moderate leader in the Islamic republic’s cleric-run government, and has led a period of detente between Iran and the West since coming into office last summer.
However, Assistant Secretary of State Uzra Zeya, who oversaw the survey, said the report includes allegations of torture, political imprisonment and undue executions, among other violations by Tehran.
“There have been some steps since the release of some political prisoners last fall, but overall I would say the situation remains poor,” he said.
Calls Grow For PM’s Resignation as Turkey Rocked by Second Round of Leaked Wiretaps
A second set of audio recordings purporting to be wiretaps of phone conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal – this time with Erdogan instructing Bilal to hold out for more money in a business deal – was anonymously uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, days after a first set of recordings, seemingly exposing efforts by the two to hide vast amounts of money from authorities, set off national calls for Erdogan’s resignation.
Reuters described the new recordings, in which Erdogan scoffs at the sum that a particular businessman is willing to bring to a transaction, as “the latest and potentially most damaging allegations in a graft scandal that Erdogan has cast as concocted to unseat him.”
Jordan arrests 10 gays for holding gathering
Jordanian authorities have arrested 10 “gays and lesbians” for holding a get-together at a party hall in east Amman, a security official said on Thursday.
“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told AFP.
“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he added, without elaborating.
New online campaign urges American Muslims to ‘drop the A-word’
The group, which goes by the name of “Drop the A-Word,” calls on Arabs living in America to stop using the words “abeed” and “abed” to describe African Americans.
In Arabic, the world “abed” and its plural form “abeed” mean “slave” or “servant.”
“We should stop using ‘abeed’ to describe or reference people of African descent,” said Majed Moughni, a Dearborn-based supporter of the group.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/28/2014 12:00:00 PM
Earlier today I wrote that the State Department said that Shaun Casey, the head of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, had met with Jews, Christians and Muslims on his recent, unannounced visit to the West Bank. At the same time Yisrael Medad found a third meeting that Casey had with a virulently anti-Israel Christian group during his trip.

Since them I found that Casey also visited Episcopal Bishop Suheil Dawani in Jerusalem. Dawani was once accused by Israel of illegally transferring Jewish-owned lands to Arabs but it does not appear that he was ever tried for this, so I don't know if the accusation was withdrawn or placed on a back-burner.

I have also discovered that Casey visited Muslim leaders - on the Temple Mount.

In a move considered precedent-setting, and the first of its kind since the occupation of Jerusalem, Assistant Secretary of State for Interfaith Affairs Sean Casey met in the dome inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque with Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab, Chairman of the Islamic Waqf in Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib al-Tamimi, Director General of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and Dr. Yousef Natsheh, Director of Tourism and Antiquities in the Islamic Waqf
According to Sheikh Tamimi [Casey] was informed of all Zionist violations related to Al-Aqsa Mosque from the incursions of settlers and abuses of Zionism and breaches.

He said: 'We have provided a detailed explanation of the conditions of Jerusalemites of uprooting and Judaization and blocking of buildings and the demolition of homes, confiscation of land and interfering with the freedom of worship and access to the holy places of all the Palestinian territories.'

The Waqf religious leaders told the assistant secretary to convey the message clearly to the American administration, especially about the violations of the occupation and carried out by extremists against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which may lead to religious conflicts all over the world if the mosque is damaged or if the state of Jordan and the Islamic sovereignty is stripped from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy sites in Jerusalem.

... In turn, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State said he wants the city of Jerusalem to have safety and security and stability, and "I will truthfully convey what I heard from all of you to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry."
I am not certain, but I do not believe that Ambassador Dan Shapiro ever crosses the Green Line from the Tel Aviv side. I see no evidence so far that Casey ever went to the Israeli side of the Green Line - every single meeting we've seen so far was in the "eastern" part of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Maybe he arrived from Jordan.

Still trying to find any Jews he might have visited. But judging from what we've seen so far, the only Jews he might deign to visit are "Rabbis for Human Rights."

By the way, I also see that he made a visit to the West Bank in 2011 as part of a Methodist delegation.

So far, nothing I am seeing about Casey is instilling confidence in this new office that he heads.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/28/2014 10:10:00 AM
Amid the joking about Meltdown Girl (and here is a well-worn Internet meme used to good comedic effect on the subject), there is something important for supporters of Israel to realize.

As commenter Max writes:
Even though many of us are enjoying this moment of schadenfreude, that video contains some clues about what we're struggling with, especially on college campuses:

1. The girl is having a purely emotional experience. To her, and millions of other impressionable college kids around the world, understanding the Middle East conflict isn't about historical facts, complex political realities, or necessary security measures. It is simply an emotional issue. Pathos-based rhetoric will very often carry the day. Many of these impressionable kids get whipped into a frenzy. Which leads to my next point:

2. To much of the pro-divestment crowd, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been reduced to a cartoon image of sadistic, imperialistic Israelis brutalizing helpless, innocent Palestinians. To them, the conflict boils down to depraved Israelis perpetrating their evil unless "we" can stop them.

This girl is probably not consciously anti-Semitic. But she's definitely been infected by this Israel-as-pure-unmitigated-evil rhetoric that's so reminiscent of some of history's more loathsome, demagogic anti-Jewish propaganda campaigns.
Indeed. The girl, Danielle Dimacali, is not an idiot. She was valedictorian in her high school class of some 700 students. The only way to understand her severe emotional reaction to a meaningless vote is to understand that she isn't using her brain when thinking about Israel.

For people like Dimacali, Israel is not the nation state of the Jewish people. - it is a shorthand meme for evil itself. It is not a place where people are born, live, love and laugh, where people care about each other and even about those who want to destroy them. It is not a place that has given back to the world far more than it takes. It is merely a symbol of racism, oppression and tyranny,  more so than its truly tyrannical neighbors.

How do people like Dimacali get infected with such hate? Simple, actually. It is because one side of the Israel/anti-Israel debate deals with facts, and the other side deals with emotions.

And emotions always win.

I spoke about this in my 2010 Hasbara 2.0 lecture, but since no one wants to watch a movie-length lecture, here is a ten minute section on this very theme, along with what Zionists must do to even the playing field.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/28/2014 08:01:00 AM
After my two posts expressing concern over Shaun Casey, the head of the State Department's Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, and his silent visit to the West Bank with some viciously anti-Israel (and antisemitic) Christian leaders, I asked Matthew Lee of AP if he would ask the State Department about what happened on this trip. (Lee is well known for his relentless questioning of State Department officials. )

He kindly agreed and submitted the questions yesterday. Here was the exchange that happened at today's press briefing:

QUESTION: Okay. So then, on the meetings that Mr. Casey had --
MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.
QUESTION: -- with the religious leaders, including some that are allegedly anti-Israel, can you – what do you have to say about that?
MS. PSAKI: Sure. Well, during his recent trip to the region, Special Advisor Shaun Casey met with a wide range of religious leaders, from the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian faiths. So this is – part of the context here is, of course, very important.
QUESTION: Okay, wait. Just before you go on, he did not just meet with Palestinian and Christian leaders? He met with all members of all their different faiths?
MS. PSAKI: Correct. Exactly.
QUESTION: Or leaders of all --
MS. PSAKI: Exactly.
MS. PSAKI: And this was, of course, part of our ongoing outreach to religious communities vis-a-vis the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. He also met with local interfaith organizations and international faith-based development groups, and he hopes to continue to engage on an even more diverse range of religious voices in future visits. As you know, this is kind of a newer position and he just came to the State Department a couple of months ago, so this serves an interesting utility in terms of reaching out to faith groups around these important policy issues.
QUESTION: And what do you think of the concerns expressed by some in Israel that he met – that he was giving credibility, credence to anti-Israel figures?
MS. PSAKI: Well, I think I would point to the fact that he met with a very broad range of officials from across the faith spectrum. And it’s important to us, it’s important to Mr. Casey, to hear from a range of officials, to have a dialogue with them. And that was the pure purpose of his engagement.
QUESTION: Right. Well, there was one specific meeting that caused some extra concern. Do you – can you say anything about that?
MS. PSAKI: I don’t have anything more to say about it.
QUESTION: All right. 
My very simple question is - what Jewish (and Muslim) leaders did he meet? No one seems to know.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/28/2014 05:00:00 AM

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I mentioned on Monday that Haaretz made up some numbers of Israelis who boycott settlements pretty much out of thin air, because Gush Shalom assumed that everyone who visited their webpage listing settlement products were boycotters.

People then asked in the comments where to get this list so they could buy these products themselves!

Usually, when you see lists of Israeli products made by Jews across the Green Line, they are mostly wines and artwork. This is all very nice but I would like something more practical.

Luckily, the people who hate Israel already spend hour upon hour trying to figure out which products are made in Israel and in Judea and Samaria, so we don't have to!

And one product that Israelis excel at are toys.

According to the hate site Inminds, no less than five toy manufacturers with international reputations are based out of, or have factories or stores in, the settlements. These toys help children develop cognitive and motor skills. If the haters want to boycott them and keep their kids at a disadvantage because of their disgust for Jews living across a non-existent border, that's fine by me.

TinyLove makes innovative toys for babies. Check out this video, showing only one of their many products:

Inminds, while telling us to boycott Tiny Love, mentions that "in 2004 the company held a 25 percent global market share for musical mobiles and activity gyms."

The boycotters also helpfully inform us that "the popularity of Tiny Love products has opened the doors for the marketing of Shilav children's clothing abroad, which has also proved successful." And that "one of the stores of Tiny Love parent company Shilav is located on the West Bank in Shilat in no-mans land."

Isn't that great? The haters do the research for us!

Any parent that decides do deprive their baby of these award-winning toys because of their hate for Israel  is a pretty lousy parent. Then again, who would have guessed that people who are so obsessed with telling others to boycott the Jewish state were bright to begin with?

Now we know where to get the perfect gifts for families welcoming newborns. They are wonderful to help with a baby's development, they are Israeli products, and they drive the haters insane. How much better can it get?

More great toy companies in upcoming posts.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/27/2014 10:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Scarlett Johansson defends herself for first time since Super Bowl SodaStream ad which saw her dropped as Oxfam ambassador for breaching charity's Israeli boycott
She quit her role as Oxfam ambassador in a row over her controversial Super Bowl advert for SodaStream - and chose to keep her links with the Israeli fizzy drink firm.
Now speaking for the first time since she severed her ties with the humanitarian group, Scarlett Johansson insists she never saw herself as a role model in the first place.
In an interview with Dazed magazine, Johansson did not directly address the row with Oxfam, but said: 'I don’t see myself as being a role model; I never wanted to step into those shoes.
The 29-year-old actress said she had a 'fundamental difference of opinion' with the charity after it said it opposed all trade from Israeli settlements because they say it is illegal and denies Palestinian rights
Forgotten Even By Us: Judaism’s Historic Ties to Israel
With Palestinian Arabs claiming Canaanite descent, the Jewish people must make their case for their historical ties to the land of Israel. The biblical era, from Israelite origins in the land through the Second Temple’s destruction, is well-known in the West. The tenacious continued Jewish presence thereafter isn’t.
Former President Carter voiced a widely-believed misperception when he wrote regarding the year 135 CE: “Romans suppress(ed) a Jewish revolt, killing or forcing almost all Jews of Judaea into exile.” But the forgotten fact is that the Jews never left.
The great significance of this, stated by eminent British historian James Parkes, is that Jews have always had strong ties to the land due to the “heroic endurance of those who had maintained a Jewish presence in The Land all through the centuries, and in spite of every discouragement,” which gave the Zionists’“real title deeds.” Every ruler in between was a foreign invader, and mostly non-Arab at that. The homeland Jewish Yishuv saw them all arrive and depart.
Irreconcilable Conflict
Literary editor of the New Republic Leon Wieseltier is calling a new book written by his TNR colleague John Judis, a senior editor, “shallow, derivative, tendentious, imprecise, and sometimes risibly inaccurate” and also “insulting” and “nasty.”
The scathing remarks are contained in an email Wieseltier sent to historian Ron Radosh praising his negative review of the Judis book, which argues that Israel should not exist. Marty Peretz, the longtime former editor of TNR, remarked in 2010 that on the Middle East, “John Judis knows zero.”

What went right in the State of Israel?
The pessimists who proclaim the deterioration of Israel’s international standing might remember the old Jewish saying, “What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth.” Their perception is inaccurate though their concern is loudly voiced.
Unfortunately for them, these boycotters are slow to appreciate the resilience of the State of Israel in responding to the fallacious Palestinian narrative that they have accepted.
The Israeli economy is strong and stable and has escaped most of the problems caused by the global financial crisis of recent years that was responsible for a decline in world trade growth and a reduction in global import demand.
Israeli GDP in 2012 increased by 3.3 percent, and GDP per capita by 1.5 percent. The driving force in the economy was the high tech industry, which was responsible for exports worth $21.5 billion. The high tech companies, mostly in pharmaceuticals, electrical components, chemicals, and aircraft, were responsible for 52 percent of the value of total exports.
BDS and the Oscars: How Screenwriter Ben Hecht Defied an Anti-Israel Boycott
Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht said he “beamed with pride” when he heard the news on that autumn afternoon in 1948: The British had declared a boycott against him. By day, Hecht was the highest-paid screenwriter in Hollywood, but by night his typewriter had been cranking out fiery newspaper ads denouncing England’s Palestine policy. Now he was going to pay a price for his unbridled opinions.
Feb. 28 will mark 120 years since Hecht’s birth, an auspicious anniversary, perhaps, to consider his response to a dilemma that friends of Israel now face daily: how to respond to an anti-Israel boycott.
BDS: You Can’t Fight for Justice With Hypocrisy
Less than a week before Israel Apartheid Week opened on college campuses across the U.S. and UK, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired the first shot in Israel’s defense. Referring to the founders of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) as “classical anti-Semites in modern garb,” Netanyahu said the time has come to delegitimize those who delegitimize Israel.
Netanyahu was likely referring to people such as Omar Barghouti, one of the main founders of the BDS movement and its chief ideologue.
Barghouti claims his movement is opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. His own statements, however, demonize Israel and fall well beyond the scope of legitimate criticism. At a speech in Los Angeles earlier this year, for example, Barghouti claimed that IDF soldiers shoot Palestinian children “for sport” just because they are “bored.”
The Case for Israel and Academic Freedom
I appeared on Tuesday evening, February 25, 2014, at Ithaca College for a talk on The Case for Israel and Academic Freedom.
The appearance was in response to the appearance at Ithaca College of Cornell Professor Eric Cheyfitz, a vocal supporter of the anti-Israel BDS movement and particlarly the American Studies Association academic boycott of Israel.
Here’s the video of my talk. Be sure to watch the question asked by a BDS supporter and my answer at the 54 minute mark)

Breitbart's Ben Shapiro Crashes UCLA Hearing, Anti-Israel Divestment Fails
Tuesday night, the UCLA Undergraduate Students Association Council (USAC) considered a resolution calling for the university to divest from businesses that supposedly “profit from the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank.”
Braving hundreds of anti-Israel speakers and protesters, Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro, a UCLA alumnus, took the microphone and delivered a fiery lecture to the student council and the protesters, exposing the true motive of the so-called Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement: Jew-hatred.
Ben Shapiro at UCLA: "BDS is just another form of anti-semitism"

Heard At The UCLA Divestment Debate
There were more than a few who let their obvious anti-Semitism flag fly, almost proudly. The one speaker who said that IDF soldiers who were there to speak were “intimidating;” another who quite intentionally referred to the IDF as “IOF” (“Israel Occupation Force”), a typical insult to those who protect Israel. The self-described “queer” who accused Israel of pinkwashing was actually rather humorous, with his lecture about not using words like “gay” or “homosexual” to describe his people, followed by his assertion that gays are treated well in the Middle East (not Israel, where being gay is not illegal nor punishable by death, but in the rest of the Middle East). While listening to him and the Jewish youth who were speaking for JVP, I couldn’t help but wonder how their speeches would play in Gaza or Ramallah and would happily organise a mission for them to get there.
We oppose Israeli Apartheid Week because…
As “Israeli Apartheid Week” arrives at Western university campuses, Jewish students have decided they won’t take the slander lying down. Hundreds are now participating in the #Rethink2014 campaign by snapping pictures of themselves holding up messages explaining their opposition to the annual hate-fest. The tactic borrows from the hugely successful “I Need Feminism” campaign, in which students expressed their support for feminism through messages on a whiteboard.
Here are my personal top-ten favourites, in reverse order:
You are #Rethink2014

More Utter Stupidity From The "There Was A State Called Palestine" Brigade
They've appropriated the Palestine Football Team that toured Australia just before the Second World War in support of their ludicrous thesis, assuming wrongly that the team consisted of Arabs.
They've enlisted maps supposedly of venerable age, and, as in all these ventures into a past that was not as it was but as they would like it to have been, made fools of themselves in the process.
And now they're using a postcard addressed by Golda Meir in 1930 as another piece of "evidence" for their false claim.
Look, for instance, how it's been utilised on the Facebook page of the disgusting CUFP (for the lowdown on that antisemitic group and its founder see my previous post):
It really does seem that such ignoramuses genuinely believe that before 1948 there was an independent Palestinian state with its own government. (h/t Norman F)
Poland and the chocolate factory
Since that time the family has continued to fight for its factory.
“The Polish government told us it had been nationalized according to Polish law — but said the owners were supposed to receive compensation — which they did not. That’s the most frustrating thing: They’re not complying with their own law,” says Lynn.
Bruno’s grandson, Bradley Schramek, and Wilhelm’s granddaughter, Nomi Rom, are now ostensibly 50-50 heirs to the family business. Their chances of seeing any recompense are slim in a Poland that still has not legislated a Holocaust restitution law or enacted any streamlined procedure for such claims.
Jewish foundation to deliver books to Israeli Arab kids
A foundation that distributes free Jewish books to Jewish children in North America and Israel is launching an initiative to deliver Arabic books to Israeli-Arab preschoolers.
The Harold Grinspoon Foundation’s PJ Library and Sifriyat Pajama, PJ’s sister program in Israel, have collectively given away more than 10 million books in nine years.
The new initiative for Israeli Arabs is called Maktabat al-Fanoos, Arabic for “Lantern Library,” and will distribute Arabic children’s books to 45,000 preschoolers living in Israeli-Arab communities. Some 215,000 Jewish preschoolers in Israel receive Sifriyat Pajama books.
Vandalized Japanese ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’ copies replaced
The books, a gift from the embassy and the Jewish community of Japan, were donated as police hunted those responsible for defacing copies of the much-loved book, which tells the tale of a young Jewish girl in Amsterdam who ultimately died in a Nazi concentration camp.
“Our first reaction actually was a little bit of a shock,” Peleg Lewi, the embassy’s deputy chief of mission, said at a ceremony in the residential area of Suginami, whose libraries were a main target.
A better potato for India, via Israeli tech
When he visits family on vacation from his post at Israel’s Vulcani Agricultural Research Institute, Dr. Akhilesh Kumar is always struck by the two very different New Delhis he experiences. One is the city of haves, where people can phone up a fast food joint and get a nice meal delivered. The other is the city of have nots, down in the street, among the penniless, hungry beggars that the delivery person has to wade through to make his delivery. “The food is there, but it isn’t getting to everyone,” Kumar said. “The problem in India is not a lack of food. In truth, India grows enough food to feed itself.”
The problem isn’t one of poor agriculture, but poor distribution, Kumar told The Times of Israel in an exclusive interview. “The biggest crop in India is the potato, and in fact India is the second largest producer of potatoes in the world after China (the country produced 45 million metric tons of potato in 2012, approximately 12.2% of total global potato production). But those potatoes are mostly produced in the winter, and when harvest time comes, there is a glut on the market.
Jersey’s efforts to enhance Israeli relationships well received at London event
Minister Bennett addressed an audience of 50 invited guests and spoke about innovation, entrepreneurship and deregulation in Israel.
Attendance at the breakfast briefing forms part of a busy programme of activity aimed at building positive business relationships with Israel. In December, Chief Minister Senator Ian Gorst led a three-day visit to Israel, organised by Locate Jersey, and participated in a plenary session at the Globes Israel Business Conference in Tel Aviv. Details have also just been announced for an ‘Island Innovators [un]Conference’ from 3 – 6 April, featuring Israeli serial entrepreneur Yossi Vardi.
Israel lights way for tech start-ups
Israeli technology expert Oren Gershtein is a true believer in his homeland's start-up incubator programme, which New Zealand wants to replicate.
While Israel is better known for its long-running conflict with the Palestinians, the country is also a heavyweight player in the world of innovation, with the third largest number of listings on New York's tech-heavy Nasdaq stock exchange after the United States and China.
Many of the world's technology titans - including Google, Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Intel - have research and development operations in the small, Middle Eastern country.
China Buys Its Way Into Israel's Tech Scene
Israel's technology scene has recently spawned several global sensations, and the Chinese are getting in on the action.
In an interview, Israeli Chief Scientist Avi Hasson said his office worked with China on dozens of joint technology projects last year. Three years ago, there were none. Chinese billionaire Li Ka-Shing — an investor in Waze before Google bought the Israel-rooted company for about $1 billion — is now the most active foreign investor in Israel, Hasson said.
"We are seeing more and more Chinese activity in Israeli high tech," Hasson said. "Investment in venture capital by strategic and institutional Chinese investors, direct investments in companies and also acquisitions. This is very welcome."
Ben-Gurion University Start-Up Wins $1 Million ‘Cybertition’
Thirty-five cyber-security companies competed. The winning company, Titanium Core, works to repel cyber attacks on mission-critical systems and prevent attacks in real time. It will receive a $1 million investment and working space in JVP’s laboratory in Beer Sheva, Israel.
“Our patented technology can provide an unbreakable security layer around core, mission-critical systems… This funding, along with the guidance of the Cyber Labs incubator, will allow us to bring our vision to market and ensure that this technology can be used to protect the world’s critical IT assets,” said Dudu Mimram, co-founder and chief technology officer for Titanium Core.
The company was founded by Mimram, Director of Telkom Innovation Laboratories at BGU Prof. Yuval Elovici, and Ph.D. student Mordechai Guri.
Israeli missile-defense system for passenger planes passes live-fire test
Eitan Eshel, head of research and development at the ministry, said Wednesday that testing of the “Sky Shield” system was “100 percent successful.”
Wednesday’s tests involved firing live missiles, which were all successfully deflected.
The system integrates laser technology with a thermal camera to protect aircraft against missiles fired from the ground. It deflects missiles fired at aircraft by changing their direction.
Eshel did not say when the system, under development for about a decade, would become operational.
Running for Holocaust survivor
Some 35,000 runners will descend on Tel Aviv this Friday to participate in the city’s annual marathon, including Australian Ambassador Dave Sharma.
Partnering with Aviv Lenitzolei Hashoah (Spring for Holocaust Survivors), runners and spectators can cheer on the ambassador as he runs the half marathon to raise awareness for the plight of Holocaust survivors in Israel.
“It is an issue that resonates quite deeply with Australia,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
“Remembrance of the Holocaust is a large part of the Jewish community in Australia and it is an area of Jewish history that we take a close interest in,” he said.
Australia today has one of the highest rates of Holocaust survivors in the world, having absorbed around 35,000 of them following WWII, second only to Israel.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/27/2014 06:00:00 PM

In an Al-Arabiya TV interview, Kuwaiti columnist Fouad Al-Hashem, talking about the tendency of the Arab peoples to idolize leaders, said that they "need to have large portions of their brains examined."

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on January 16, 2014.

Fouad Al-Hashem: The late Saudi author Abdallah Al-Qusaimi wrote in one of his books that the Arabs are "all talk." The truth is that the Arabs are, in fact, "all mental" – they need to have large portions of their brains examined.


I've come to believe that the entire issue of the robbing of Palestine was not just in order to establish a homeland for the Jewish people, but to enable the Arab and Muslim rulers to go on peddling this cause. Thus, they have turned their peoples into laughingstocks, and have managed to rule their countries.

Take Saddam Hussein, for example. As a Kuwaiti, this example is the most relevant to me. When he invaded Kuwait, he threatened to hang the bodies of the Americans from the walls of Baghdad. During his trial, Saddam said to the judge: "Without the Americans, neither you nor your father could have dragged me here."

Interviewer: Besides, despite everything that Kuwait did for Iraq, when the moment came, Saddam decided to invade Kuwait, not Jerusalem.

Fouad Al-Hashem: This is another indication of the stupidity of this leader, who is still considered a hero by millions of Arabs. Saddam had already won the hearts of 90% of the Kuwaitis, and did not need to invade Kuwait and occupy it with his tanks. If only he had been smarter... I kept asking myself whether he was a collaborator, a madman, or a fool.


In my view, on Judgment Day, 90% of the inhabitants of Hell will be Arabs and people who pretend to be pious Muslims.


When Operation Cast Lead broke out between Hamas and Israel, I was one of the harshest critics of Erdoğan and his inflammatory statements. I warned the Arab youth and the Gulf citizens about him, and I was sentenced to prison for this. If not for the integrity of the Kuwaiti justice system, I would have spent months behind bars because of my articles against Erdoğan. People followed him as if he was a new prophet.

Today, however, 4-6 years later, Erdoğan has been exposed, and people see someone different from the man they used to idolize.

Hizbullah has also become disillusioned with Erdoğan. Nasrallah himself used to refer to him in his speeches as "the good Erdoğan," and used to place him on the same pedestal as Ché Guevara and the great freedom fighters, whose people still talk about them to this day.

Even Hassan Nasrallah, who talked about bombing "beyond Haifa" – where have his aspirations shifted to? Talk of "beyond Al-Qusayr" and "beyond Aleppo" has replaced "beyond Haifa" and "beyond Tel Aviv."
Notice that even intellectual Arabs, those engaged in self-criticism,  take it for granted that it is desirable to bomb Israel.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/27/2014 04:00:00 PM
AP's Josef Federman writes:

Israel has opened a new front in its attempts to halt weapons smuggling to Hezbollah, striking one of the group's positions inside Lebanon for the first time since the sides fought a war eight years ago.
Hezbollah attacked Israeli soldiers in a border incident in 2010. An IDF soldier was shot and killed on that border in December. There have been a dozen rocket attacks on Israel from Lebanese territory in recent years.

But Arab attacks from Lebanon to Israel are meaningless, in AP's estimation. Only Israel acts aggressively and recklessly. Just read on:

This week's airstrike, meant to prevent the Islamic militant group from obtaining sophisticated missiles, is part of a risky policy that could easily backfire by triggering retaliation. But at a time when the Syrian opposition says Hezbollah has been striking major blows for President Bashar Assad's government in neighboring Syria by ambushing al-Qaida-linked fighters there, it shows the strategic importance for Israel of trying to break the Syria-Hezbollah axis.
Hezbollah firing rockets or shooting soldiers isn't a risky policy. Hezbollah illegally acquiring advanced missiles isn't a risky policy that could backfire. Israel having the audacity to defend itself, though, is a risky policy.

While Israeli experts agree that Israel would never want to help al-Qaida, in this case Israel and the al-Qaida-linked fighters have as a common goal opposing Hezbollah and its alliance with the Syrian government. This puts them at least indirectly on the same side.
Say what?

Would AP ever report that the EU and USA, by demanding that Assad step down, is "indirectly" on the same side as Al Qaeda??

What is sad is that this sort of biased, amateur reporting is the norm.

(h/t Irene)

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/27/2014 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas: Teaching Human Rights is Against Palestinian, Islamic Culture
What is also worrying Hamas is that UNRWA is seeking to teach Palestinian children about the disastrous repercussions of wars and violence by depicting a child burning a military uniform. "This does not serve the cause of human rights," the Hamas official said. "They want to raise children on calmness."
The Hamas protests forced UNRWA to suspend its plan to teach the subject of human rights in its schools. Some Palestinians criticized UNRWA for "succumbing" to threats, while others said they were aware that the international agency had no choice but to comply.
In an attempt to calm Hamas, UNRWA denied that its school curriculum contravened Palestinian tradition and culture.
A spokesman for UNRWA said that his agency consults with "all components of Palestinian society" about its human rights courses.
Hamas's real problem with the UNRWA curriculum is that it could spoil the Islamist movement's ongoing efforts to stir the hearts and minds of Palestinian children to wage jihad against the "enemies" of Islam.
Hamas wants Palestinian children to be taught how to become suicide bombers and seek the death of Jews and "infidels."
Israeli Foreign Ministry report on PA incitement with links to PMW reports
This week, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release criticizing Palestinian Authority incitement. The government's release included a section entitled "Examples of Incitement" with examples taken from Palestinian Media Watch reports. PMW welcomes the Israeli government's utilization of our findings. Below is a shortened version of the MFA press release into which we have added links to the original PMW bulletins to enable viewing of the videos, reading of the full translated texts and citation of the original sources:
IAEA nixed delicate report on Iran nuclear program
A UN report on Iran’s nuclear program was shelved by the International Atomic Energy Agency for fear that publicizing sensitive information contained within the report would anger Tehran and harm the international community’s efforts to reach an interim agreement with the Islamic Republic, Reuters reported Thursday.
Sources familiar with the subject told the news agency that the IAEA had planned last year to issue the report, which contained what one source called worrying information about the state of Iran’s nuclear program. This may have included new information on the possible military aspects of the program.
But officials decided against it after Iran and Western powers announced they would begin negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear aspirations.

Palestinians Must Abandon ‘Right of Return’ Claim
Palestinian identity is synonymous with three things, the ‘right of return,’ the permanent, sanctified struggle with Israel, and permanent recognition of their status as refugees, dispossessed at the hand of Israel with the connivance of the international community. A corollary demand is that the international community must sustain them as ‘refugees’ through UNRWA until the Palestinians themselves, somehow, declare the ‘refugee crisis’ resolved.
Palestinian national identity is predicated on winning a zero sum struggle with Zionism, not a vision of a state of their own. There are sentimental images of restoring the status quo ante, an imaginary Arab Palestine of plenty; indeed, the ‘right of return’ is founded on the one hand precisely in such vague sentimentality, as well as inventive interpretations of ever-motile ‘international law.’ But clear proposals for a Palestinian state and its institutions, and how that state will be grounded in a society and with social, legal, and cultural principles, remains vague. Except, of course, from Hamas, whose Muslim Brotherhood-derived goals have been both articulated and, now, tested, in Gaza. In the meantime, however, the embrace of statelessness and trauma is unending.
Kerry’s framework reportedly left Abbas fuming in Paris
The report, which received no official confirmation, said Abbas exploded with rage over the US secretary’s proposals, and described them as “insanity.” The PA president threatened to “overturn tables” and to go back on the flexibility he had shown in order to facilitate US-led peace efforts, according to Al Quds.
The paper suggested that Abbas’s subsequent invitation to meet US President Barack Obama at the White House was a form of damage control on the part of the Americans. A date has yet to be set for the visit. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Obama on Monday.
Report: Obama to pressure Netanyahu into accepting Kerry framework proposal
Undeterred by the failed efforts of his predecessors to clinch an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty, US President Barack Obama is planning on getting more involved directly in the negotiations.
According to The New York Times, the president is expected to appeal to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to adopt a framework plan for final-status peace negotiations.
According to the report published Thursday, administration officials said this week the US president was gearing to take more of an active role in the process when he first meets Netanyahu on Monday, and later in March with Abbas.
Palestinians reject US push for peace talks beyond April
A senior Palestinian official on Thursday rejected US moves to extend an April deadline for nine months of hard-won talks with Israel to culminate in a framework peace deal.
“There is no meaning to prolonging the negotiation, even for one more additional hour, if Israel, represented by its current government, continues to disregard international law,” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.
Official said to confirm informal settlement freeze
According to a report in Yedioth Ahronoth on Thursday, Jordan Valley regional council chief David Elchaiiani asked Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit last week why construction was being held up in the settlements that he administers, even in projects that had received approval from the defense minister.
He was told that the order had come from on high not to advance construction plans in settlements outside the major blocs.
US to broker investment into Palestinian economy
The United States is convening an investors conference to help the Palestinian economy.
The conference, to take place March 8-9 in Prague, is tied to the US bid to bring about a peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel. It will be organized by the ambassador to the Czech Republic, Norm Eisen, who is close to President Obama and the US Jewish community.
Anne Patterson, an assistant secretary of state, said Tuesday that the Prague conference would include Palestinian officials; figures who have been deeply involved in Israeli-Palestinian peace brokering such as Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, and Madeleine Albright, a former US secretary of state; and 50 businesses.
PMO: Israel will not change status quo on the Temple Mount
Israel will not change its policies on the Temple Mount, the Prime Minister’s Office made clear on Wednesday, a day after a Knesset debate on the issue triggered angry political reactions in the Arab world.
“The policy of the government of Israel has been and continues to be the maintenance of the status quo at the Temple Mount, including freedom of access for all faiths to the holy sites,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, told The Jerusalem Post. “The government has no intention of changing this policy.”
'There is No Temple Mount, Only Al-Aqsa Mosque'
Following on the historic Knesset debate over Jewish prayer rights and Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, the Interior Committee chaired by MK Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) discussed Jewish entry to the site on Wednesday morning.
The discussion was punctuated by provocative statements by Arab MKs, foremost among them Taleb Abu Arar (Raam-Taal) who claimed the Jews have no reason to visit the 3,000 year old site of their First and Second Temple, in a fine example of historical revisionism.
"Jews have nothing to look for at the Al-Aqsa Mosque," spouted Arar. "It isn't the Temple Mount, it's the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Al-Aqsa Mosque belongs to the Muslims and not the Jews, and it is on occupied land."
Arab League Contemplates Turning to UN Over Al-Aqsa
The Arab League discussed on Wednesday the possibility of filing a complaint to the UN Security Council over alleged “Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa compound”, the Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an news agency reported.
The discussion was part of an “emergency session” that the Arab League called on Tuesday, at the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy.
The discussion came in response to Tuesday’s Knesset debate about extending Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
IDF Blog: Amnesty International Report Ignores Palestinian Violence
In its upcoming report, Amnesty International wholly ignores the substantial increase in Palestinian violence initiated over the past year, and shows a complete lack of understanding as to operational challenges the IDF faces.
2013 saw a sharp increase in rock hurling incidents, gravely jeopardizing the lives of civilians and military personnel. 132 Israelis were injured during that year alone, almost double the number in 2012. This is no surprise considering that over 5,000 incidents of rock hurling took place, half of which were along main roads.
IDF kills wanted Palestinian man near Ramallah
A Palestinian died during an IDF raid on his home in the West Bank town of Birzeit on Thursday, the military and a Palestinian security source said.
“After the army left the house and the town, the body of Moataz Washaha, 22, was found,” the Palestinian source said.
The army confirmed the death of a “Palestinian suspected of terror activity.”
“After the suspect was called upon to turn himself in, he barricaded himself inside his house,” the army said in a statement.
Soldiers responded with “live fire” and recovered an assault rifle, it added.
In first, Christian Arabs recognized as own minority
The law would extend the number of panel members from the current five to ten, adding a representative for the ultra-Orthodox, Druze, Christian, and Circassian populations, as well as for reserve duty soldiers, women, immigrants, and the elderly.
While the law is, in theory, meant to boost employment among Israel’s minorities, Israeli Arab MKs have accused Levin of undermining Arab identity and creating a divide in the Israeli Arab community by advancing the the legal status of Christian Arabs in Israel, at the expense of Muslims.
Report: IDF Texted Gaza Residents Asking for Information on Terror Tunnels
The Ministry warned citizens against cooperating with Israel, Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm said.
According to Hamas the Israeli text messages read: “If you have information about the presence of a tunnel near the border fence, call this number as soon as possible [number omitted] and we will promptly respond.”
Hamas claimed however, that Israel’s attempts to bust underground smuggling operations by communicating with Gaza residents are doomed to fail since the “Palestinian people are loyal to the cause of national liberation.”
Report: Israeli Strike Destroyed Missiles Potentially More Powerful Than All Hezbollah’s Rockets Combined
An unnamed senior Israeli security official told TIME magazine that Israel destroyed surface-to-surface missiles in a Hezbollah convoy, crossing from Syria into Lebanon on Monday, which were extremely dangerous because of their ability to carry very heavy warheads.
TIME wrote on Wednesday that the “Israeli official indicated they could carry warheads heavier and more dangerous than almost all of the tens of thousands of missiles and rockets Hezbollah now has pointed toward Israel.”
According to TIME, the strike was “the seventh known operation since the Syrian civil war began in 2011 and was an expression of Israel’s only clear policy regarding that deadly conflict: that it will not let Syria’s war become an opportunity for the militant group Hezbollah to improve its anti-Israeli arsenal.”
Report: El-Sisi Won’t Run for President of Egypt
Egypt’s powerful defense minister General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi will not run for president, according to an official Egyptian government source, ending widespread speculation that he will seek the office.
“He is expected to continue in his post until all the issues regarding the election laws are resolved,” the government source told Reuters.
Assad arrests kin of opposition delegates to talks
Washington was “outraged” by reports that the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad “has arrested family members of the Syrian opposition coalition delegation to the Geneva II peace talks, designated delegates as terrorists, and seized delegates’ assets,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
“We call on the regime to immediately and unconditionally release all those unfairly arrested,” she added in a statement.
Among those held was Mahmoud Sabra, the brother of Geneva delegation member, Mohammed Sabra.
In America’s Absence, Israel Acts in Syria
This, then, is a reminder of how Israel acts as somewhat of a restraining force in the Middle East. It also reaffirms the wrongheadedness of the commonly heard assertion that Israel and its dispute with the Palestinians is a regional destabilizer, that without the “Israel problem” the region would calm down and the Islamic world would forget its enmity for America. The latest strike by the IAF against Hezbollah forces attempting to transfer Syrian weapons to its Iranian proxy army in Lebanon is yet another example of how in the absence of decisive American action, Israel instead is acting to prevent the further deterioration of security in the region.
Syrians to become world’s largest refugee population
Syrians could soon overtake Afghans as the world’s biggest refugee population, with their numbers expected to pass 4 million by year’s end, a top UN official said Tuesday.
High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres spoke as the international community sharply urged Syria to comply with a new Security Council resolution demanding that President Bashar Assad and the opposition provide immediate access for humanitarian aid.
Pakistan: Where conspiracy theories can cost a child's life
Since 1978, when the World Health Organization’s Expanded Program for Immunization was launched in Pakistan, conspiracy theories about polio have been rampant. While the supposed conspirators change frequently, the myth is usually the same and involves someone attempting to rid the world of Muslims — Zarmina and her fellow health workers have heard that the polio vaccine is part of a Western (or US or Jewish) conspiracy to sterilize all Muslims, or that Mossad or the CIA is orchestrating the campaign to kill Muslims outright.
“When the polio vaccination program was initially launched, international organizations didn’t take into account that there was very little engagement with the local government,” said a senior World Health Organization official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Because the drugs and information was all coming from another country, people became very suspicious of vaccine programs.”

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 2/27/2014 12:00:00 PM

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