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Monday, March 31, 2014

I noted in February that only ten nations sent their congratulations to Iran on the anniversary of its revolution.

April 1 is the anniversary of the actual establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran. (No fooling.) And so far, only one nation seems to have congratulated Iran on this occasion - Jordan:

King Abdullah II sent two cables to Iranian Supreme Leaders Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani congratulating them on the anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The King wished the Iranian leaders continued good health and the Iranian people further progress and prosperity.
One really has to conclude that Jordan simply does not trust the United States to curb Iran's nuclear and geopolitical ambitions, and that King Abdullah has decided that he needs to play nice with Iran. If Iran/Syria/Hezbollah wins the Syrian civil war, Jordan will be on the front lines, and Abdullah knows a thing or two about surviving in the Middle East.

Trusting the US to commit to helping its allies is no longer part of Jordan's calculus.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 08:42:00 PM
From Ian:

Peres: Israel a living monument to the six million
The State of Israel is a living memorial to the lives of six million Jewish men, women and children who were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust, President Shimon Peres said Sunday during a ceremony in the Austrian capital.
“The Judenplatz was at the heart of a vibrant, thriving Jewish community, [but] from the 176,000 Jews of Vienna, only 5000 remained after the dark chapter of the Holocaust,” Peres said.
“The State of Israel is our victory. A fortress of triumph against the dark hand of the Nazis. A home to the memory of our six million brothers and sisters. A promise to the survivors of the horrors. A hope for the future of the Jewish People.”
Why are Feminists not Standing up for Israel?
Beyond all this legal and social inequality there is the matter of domestic violence against women. Rape is usually not seen as a criminal offense. Honor killings exist in many of the Arab societies, including that of the Palestinian Authority. It is legal for women to be beheaded, burnt alive, stoned, and tortured for “immoral” behavior such as adultery or having sexual relations with a non-Muslim man. They are also forbidden to marry non-Muslims. On the other hand, polygamy is legal in a number of Arab countries.
Given her scholarship on the history of sexuality, Professor Duggan must surely be familiar with the sad condition of women in all Middle East countries except Israel, where women have full social and political rights. Can we expect her as the leader of ASA, to organize a conference on that sad condition and to call for equality and justice for women in the Arab countries? If not, she may be judged guilty of indifference to the problems of women.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians Condemned for Visiting Nazi Death Camps
But there is also good news. Many readers came to the defense of Professor Dajani and the students who visited the Nazi camps to learn about the Holocaust.
Responding to the criticism, one reader wrote, "Frankly, these responses are theatrical. Academics went on a tour and that's all. There's no need to politicize an insignificant visit."
Another reader who voiced support for the visit said, "We have politicized everything expect for the embezzlement of public funds. Is it okay to steal millions of dollars from the people and not okay to have an academic study mission?"

Apartheid, Palestinian-style
In the meantime, Arabs in the Triangle, a concentration of Israeli Arab towns and villages adjacent to the Green Line, are refusing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's proposal to free them from the horrible "apartheid" and move them, on their own land, to a "free Palestine." Many residents of the territories openly miss the days of the Israeli occupation. Israel's "apartheid" reputation has led to thousands of Muslim infiltrators from Sudan to flock to our borders.
In the Quran, we are "the chosen people," but Islamic commentators say that Jews are a lesser minority who must pay a poll tax and ultimately convert to Islam or die. As far as they are concerned, Muslims may pray on the Temple Mount, but Jews are forbidden to do so. In their eyes, this is legitimate "separation" in light of the fact that the mount is under Israeli control. Acting in accordance with race theory, the Palestinian Mufti Haj Amin el-Husseini worked with Hitler to implement the Final Solution and "separate" the Jews from human existence. Now any Israeli action to prevent mass slaughter of Jews is referred to as "apartheid." (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Liberal Zionists Emerging as Toughest BDS Fighters
Rosenberg and other supporters of the two-state solution – including those who support a “limited boycott” of the West Bank for that purpose – are best positioned to see that the BDS movement is not a “peace” movement and does not aim for a Palestinians state alongside a Jewish state.
In fact, Liberal Zionists are the ones whose ideology is most threatened by BDS. When people on both sides, but especially the Palestinians, start to tilt towards a one-state solution to the conflict, the concept of democratic Israel with a strong Jewish majority is threatened. And that’s pushed Liberal Zionists to draw sharp distinctions between their own two-state agenda and the destructive measures promoted by the BDS.
Or as anti-Zionist Steven Weiss of the anti-Israel Mondoweiss website writes scornfully, “In their effort to preserve Jewish status in Israel, some of these liberal Zionists would seem to be… conservative.”
Behind RIBA boycott stands Abe Hayeem
It's not the first time that the activities of Abe Hayeem have come to Point of No Return's notice.
The motion for a boycott was passed by 23 votes to 16, with ten abstentions, after Hayeem gave a presentation to the RIBA Council.
The irony that Abe Hayeem comes from a family of Iraq Jews, themselves 'ethnically cleansed' from their homeland, did not escape commenters when Hayeem wrote a piece for the Guardian on the 'dark' colonial past of Tel Aviv:(h/t Lynne T)
Tell the International Assoc. of Architects to reject RIBA’s racist boycott of Israelis
We noted that this appalling decision represents a prime example of the racist double standards at the heart of the BDS movement, as RIBA singles out Israeli architects among the 74 members of the UIA – a list which includes Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria, among others.
It appears that the resolution was based in part on the anti-Israel activism of RIBA’s past President Angela Brady, and a dishonest and highly propagandistic presentation by an extreme Jewish critic of Israel named Abe Hayeem. Hayeem is a RIBA member, chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine and ‘Comment is Free’ contributor.
You can hear Hayeem in this audio, from an anti-Israel demo in London in 2003, accuse the “neo-fascist” government of Israel of engaging in a policy of “transfer”, “ethnic cleansing”, “state terrorism” and “apartheid” against Palestinians, and calling for a complete trade embargo against the state.
However, there’s been some push back against RIBA’s resolution by Stephen Games, a RIBA member who published an op-ed at The Jewish Chronicle condemning the organization’s bigotry and hypocrisy, and calling for the removal of their Royal Charter if the resolution is not reversed.
Dutch Christian Zionists Push Chain to End Israeli Boycott
Israeli-made products – including those made by Jews living in Judea and Samaria – are back on the shelves of Dutch stores, just in time for Passover. A boycott declared by chains in Holland has backfired, as Christian Zionist groups demanded that they halt their boycott of products from Judea and Samaria – or face one themselves.
At least one chain, Jumbo, has acquiesced, [Jumbo probably never started to boycott] and has announced that it will restore Israeli products to its shelves, including those from Judea and Samaria. (h/t Yenta Press)
We stand behind the Harvard Israel Trek
In the past two weeks, the pro-Israel community has been in an uproar.
Not because the centrifuges are still spinning in Iran. Not because a cadre of anti-Semites are trying to delegitimize the State of Israel through their craven BDS efforts. Not because a Jew was viciously attacked in France and a swastika inscribed on his chest. And not because a naïve double standard is applied by many critics of Israel who systematically ignore the violence, homophobia and trampling on the rights of women and minorities which is on exhibit daily and egregiously in so many Middle Eastern countries.
No. The community of pro-Israel activists is incensed because Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), Boston’s Jewish federation, funded a group of Harvard College students to go to Israel, and while they were there, they had the poor judgment to be photographed at the grave of Yasser Arafat. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
A Murderer’s Life and the Chances of Peace
The problem here isn’t so much the manner with which Rudoren reports the extraordinary spectacle of a government that is praised by the United States as a good partner for peace for Israel treating Salah as a hero. She interviews the family of his victim who still mourn the man who was born in Poland and evaded death at the hands of the Nazis only to be felled by an Arab who thought it was an appropriate protest to slaughter him. Tenenbaum’s daughter even says that she wouldn’t mind her father’s murderer going free—a stance that is rare among families of Israeli victims of terror and probably the reason why Rudoren chose Salah as her subject rather than some other killer—if it would lead to peace.
But the fallacy at the core of such thinking—which is the basis of the U.S. pressure on Israel to release even more such killers—is that the very fact that Palestinians treat men with Jewish blood on their hands as heroes illustrates that theirs is a culture which is not ready for peace with Israel. Only when such people are regarded as relics of an age of unreason rather than lionized by Palestinians will it be possible to imagine that they are prepared to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn and live in peace beside it. Until then, gestures such as Salah’s release only make it likely that Palestinian society will produce and honor more such killers, making peace a distant dream.
CAMERA: NY Times, Who is Demonizing?
Perhaps the newspaper, which in its news articles routinely labels Israeli leaders (but never Palestinian leaders) "shrill," "stubborn," "abrasive," "derisive," "cynical," ought to reflect on the meaning of "demonizing."
Also remarkable is the detail that Rudoren provides of the trials and tribulations of Salah and other released prisoners -- the fact that dental care is not covered, the boredom, the unsteady driving, the insufficient grants from the Palestinian Authority, and more.
Will The Times be publishing a story going into tremendous detail about the trials and tribulations of the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children left behind by those, old and young, murdered by Palestinian terrorists? Are articles dedicated to the humanization of these Israeli victims off-bounds to Times journalists, lest they themselves become complicit in Israeli "demonizing" of Palestinian murderers?
BBC’s “Obstacles to Peace”: a barrier to understanding Israel’s borders
With even the PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat having stated that Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria take up 1.1% of the land, one might wonder where the BBC sourced that bizarre 40% figure. One possibility is a report put out by the highly politicised UN OCHA in the same year that Asser wrote this article which states in its introduction that:
“The analysis shows that almost 40% of the West Bank is now taken up by Israeli infrastructure.”
Later on readers learn that nature reserves and military training areas also count as “infrastructure” for UN OCHA.
“More than 38% of the West Bank now consists of settlements, outposts, military bases and closed military areas, Israeli declared nature reserves or other related infrastructure that are off-limits or tightly controlled to Palestinians.”
The BBC’s claim that “settlements and the area they take up cover 40% of the West Bank” is therefore obviously both inaccurate and misleading.
Anti-peace BDS campaigner on judging panel of BBC Arabic competition
One of the British Council-supported projects which openly promotes the anti-peace BDS movement is the ‘Palestine Festival of Literature’ – or PalFest as it is better known. Writing about the 2012 PalFest in the Guardian, Alison Flood noted that:
“Supported by organisations including Arts Council England and the British Council, with patrons including Chinua Achebe, Seamus Heaney and Philip Pullman, it endorses the Palestinian call for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel, and states as its mission the reinvigoration of “cultural ties between Arab countries, ties that have been eroded for too long”. [Ahdaf] Soueif is its founding chair.”
Readers can find out more about the birth of ‘PalFest’ and its “founding chair” and Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron Ahdaf Soueif here. Ms Soueif is also named as one of the judges for this latest BBC Arabic/British Council film festival.
Jewish School in Antwerp Targeted by Anti-Semites
Antwerp, Belgium, a center of the world diamond business, has a substantial hareidi community, and has the reputation of being a “quiet” city when it comes to anti-Semitism. But that quiet was broken Sunday, when members of the community found anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on a building containing a Jewish school.
The school, operated by the local Vizhnitz Hassidic community, had swastikas and the name “Hitler” scrawled on it. Parents who brought their children to school Sunday morning were shocked at the sight, with the graffiti apparently scrawled on Saturday night.
Archaeologists Find Treblinka Gas Chambers
The first-ever archaeological excavations at the Nazi death camp Treblinka in Poland have revealed new mass graves, as well as the first physical evidence that this camp held gas chambers. The camp had been bulldozed in 1943. To cover their tracks, the Nazis went so far as to plant crops and build a farmhouse on the leveled ground.
Presented in a new documentary, "Treblinka: Hitler's Killing Machine," which aired Saturday on the Smithsonian Channel, the excavations revealed brick walls and foundations from the gas chambers, as well as mass graves and massive amounts of human bone, some of which was close to the ground's surface or exposed to the elements.
'Austria accepts its responsibility for Nazi crimes'
President Shimon Peres attended a Holocaust memorial ceremony with Austrian President Heinz Fischer in Vienna's Judenplatz on Sunday, after arriving for an official state visit in the country.
"Today, Austria accepts its joint responsibility with the Nazi criminals," Fischer said, adding that Austria only relatively recently began the difficult, but important, process of acknowledging its part in the Holocaust and commemorating the country's Jewish victims.
"I begin my visit to this country by bowing my head before this memorial," Peres said at the ceremony, "Paying respect to the thousands of Austrian Jews sent to death camps from Vienna."
This is why Germany doesn’t want China anywhere near Berlin’s holocaust memorial
The reason has little to do with the Holocaust itself. Instead, according to Der Spiegel, German officials fear that they would get involved in China's spat with Japan. China has frequently tried to contrast Japan's handling of it's World War II legacy with Germany's. An op-ed in Chinese state newspaper People's Daily expanded upon this theory today, arguing that the "government of China has been trying to impress the world with the sharp contrast between post World War II Japan and Germany in facing their parallel burdens of history." One source told the Japanese newspaper Asashi Shimbaum that Germany did not want a "third country" to use the monument for "diplomatic purposes."
Israel to host European weightlifting championship
Israel will host the 2014 European Weightlifting Championships starting Saturday, April 5, through Sunday, April 13.
Weightlifters from all over Europe are due to arrive in Tel Aviv this week to participate in the competition, after an ongoing Foreign Ministry strike nearly prevented them from attending.
Tel Aviv Researchers Find New Way To Fight Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer accounts for more deaths of American women than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. According to the American Cancer Society, one in 72 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and one in 100 will ultimately die of the condition.
Now Prof. Dan Peer of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Cell Research and Immunology has proposed a new strategy to tackle an aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer using a new nanoscale drug-delivery system designed to target specific cancer cells. He and his team have devised a cluster of nanoparticles called gagomers, made of fats and coated with a kind of polysugar. When filled with chemotherapy drugs, these clusters accumulate in tumors, producing dramatically therapeutic benefits.
The objective of Peer’s research is two-fold: to provide a specific target for anti-cancer drugs to increase their therapeutic benefits, and to reduce the toxic side effects of anti-cancer therapies. The study was published in February in the journal “ACS Nano”.
Famed Violinist Itzhak Perlman Says He’s Optimistic About Israel’s Future (VIDEO)
Famed violinist Itzhak Perlman has high hopes for Israel’s future, he told Huffington Post Live‘s Josh Zepps in an interview on Thursday.
“I’m an eternal optimist,” the native Israeli said, referring to the political state of affairs in his home country. “I always think ‘it’ll be okay,’ but that’s all I can think. A lot of people are saying ‘doom and gloom’ and so on. I’m hoping. I’m always hoping.”
Perlman was born in Tel Aviv in 1945, three years before the State of Israel was officially declared.
A selfie from the skies over Tel Aviv
The Israeli Air Force posted a picture on its official Facebook page on Sunday that was taken by an IAF pilot as he flew upside down above central Tel Aviv.
The Facebook post was titled "#selfie."
The photo was taken by "Maj. Ofer" in an Efroni (Beechcraft T-6 Texan II) training aircraft during a rehearsal last year for the traditional Independence Day airshow over Tel Aviv.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 06:00:00 PM
An interesting and seemingly accurate look at how Egyptians look at the peace treaty 35 years after Camp David:

An independent economic source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Ahram Online this week that as part of a plan to deal with severe energy shortages, “which might lead to electricity cuts of over five hours a day across the nation during the summer,” the authorities are considering all options, not excluding the import of natural gas from Israel “at a price that could probably be much higher than that Israel was charged when it imported gas from Egypt.”

A government source declined to confirm the news but said that no decision would be taken on the matter “most probably” before the inauguration of a new president this summer.

The export of natural gas from Israel constitutes another element of otherwise stable but limited Egyptian-Israeli trade and economic cooperation.

Trade and economic cooperation have been generally the most stable factor of the bilateral relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv which were was established 35 years ago when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in March 1979.

Trade between the two countries dropped somewhat after the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but government officials in Cairo say that this drop is possibly incidental.

“Cooperation in natural gas has been very stable for many years despite the suspension and trade dispute that occurred after the 25 January Revolution removed Mubarak -- but this is the case with trade cooperation in general, limited and stable,” said a government official.

Trade cooperation between Egypt and Israel has been generally focused on the textile industry -- with Egypt, Israel and the US being members of the Qualified Industrial Zone that allows Egyptian products that have an Israeli component free access to the US market.

Other than this there has been a generally stable export-import cooperation of a limited list of commodities that are generally integrated into non-Israeli commodities before they find their way to the Egyptian market.

“It is very unfortunate that we cannot be pragmatic and say this particular country has good quality and inexpensive commodities and we are going to import from it because it is in our interest; after all these years an Israeli commodity on say the shelf of a supermarket would not be picked up except by a few people -- if we assume that any supermarket would at all dare to carry, say, Israeli fruit juice,” said a member of the Egyptian business community who has been doing business with Israel.

Like the vast majority of Egyptian entrepreneurs who cooperate with Israeli counterparts, the businessman insists on being anonymous and on keeping a low profile for fear of being “stigmatised as dealing with the enemy.”

I really don’t understand; we have a peace deal and we cannot do business, it has been 35 years since this peace treaty was signed and still it is a big issue if someone said let us do business with Israel or let us benefit of their agricultural expertise,” he said.
The article also looks at security cooperation throughout the years and how Egyptians still consider Israel the enemy:

For the near future, nobody is expecting any serious changes in the profile of Egyptian-Israeli relations: a cold peace that is executed essentially at the official level and that fails to get Egyptians, even those who were born after the peace treaty was signed in 1979, to think of Israel as anything but an enemy state with which Egypt has a peace deal.

“They think because the history curricula in school does not refer to the horrors that Israel did to us in the years before the treaty and that it is still doing to the Palestinians that we will think of Israel as we think of any other state -- well, no, we don’t think of Israel as anything but a hostile state,” said Sarah, a 21 year-old Egyptian who graduated last year from the law department at Cairo University. “Israel is built on the stolen land and broken lives of Palestinians; it is the enemy,” she said.
If anyone thinks that a "peace treaty" with a Palestinian Arab state would be any warmer than this, they are crazy.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 04:10:00 PM
Israel's News1 reports that the grand Tiferet Yisrael synagogue (also known as the Nissan Beck shul), one of the two most prominent domed synagogues in Jerusalem before Jordan destroyed them all in 1948, has been approved for rebuilding, in a plan that was first mentioned in 2012.

Only the west and south facades remain from the original building. Here's a postcard showing its interior in 1901:

Naturally, the idea of a historic synagogue being built in the Jewish Quarter on its original spot is regarded as a terrible crime by Israel's peace partner - you know, the people who claim that they would respect all religions in any peace agreement.

Official PA news agency Wafa reports:

Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the head of Jerusalem Affairs, Ahmed Qurei ('Abu Ala'), said the scheme to build a synagogue 'Jewel of Israel' is a disaster threatening the future of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, pointing out that Israel continues Judaizing the holy city.

In a press release Thursday evening, Qurei warned of ...the Israeli scheme aiming to build a synagogue in the old city, which is just 200 meters from the Al-Aqsa mosque, located on the western side.

It is noteworthy that this scheme provides for the restoration of an old synagogue, noting that this synagogue was built on the ruins of an Islamic chapel, and will consist of three floors above the ground and will be covered with a huge dome that will rise about 24 meters high.

Qurei noted that ..this would be the third synagogue of its kind in recent years; previously the "Hurva" synagogue and the "Ohel Yitzchak" , and said that all these synagogues were built on the ruins of a pure Islamic endowments.

...Qurei highlighted that the occupation authorities seek to marginalize and change the status quo to the greatness of Islamic architecture that characterizes the Old City of Jerusalem through its buildings, .... as the occupation authorities try today to obscure the view of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock .

That, by the way, is the "threat" - Muslims insist that their buildings be the highest ones in the city, and the Jewish Quarter is on a hill, meaning that the Hurva and Tiferet Yisrael domes are taller than the Dome of the Rock. This is what really bugs them.

For context, here's what Tiferet Yisrael looked like  (domed building on the left), looking up from the Temple Mount in the 1920s.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Different Standards For Different Rocket Attacks
Terror supporting, genocidal regime launches rockets at the territory of a liberal democracy. Sound familiar?
In this case, however, South Korea “returns fire” when attacked by its neighbor according to the above headline in The Guardian. It is clear that South Korea is responding to an act of aggression.
But what happens when Israel returns fire in response to Palestinian rockets from Gaza?
Why is it that even when Israel is fired upon, the headlines still manage to portray Israel as the aggressor? Or at a minimum the moral equivalent of the terrorists who fired the rockets in a so-called “cycle of violence”:
But then Israel couldn’t possibly be judged by different standards to other democracies under fire. Could it?
All part of the phenomenon we call “it all started when Israel fired back.”
Amb. Alan Baker: The straw that broke the camel’s back (or Kerry’s latest blunder)
To seriously presume that the 1947 UN General Assembly partition resolution – rejected by the Arab states because it had the gall to refer to a Jewish state – together with an ambiguous, unwilling and artificial reference by Arafat to “Israel in brackets”, given in an utterly different context which itself was deemed insufficient by the then US administration, could, in any way or form constitute an acceptable alternative to a clear, unequivocal acknowledgement by the present Palestinian leadership of its acceptance of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People, is incomprehensible to say the least, and openly deceptive at the most.
It belies any understanding on your part as to the importance and centrality of Israel’s requirement in the present negotiating context.
Israel’s leaders have repeatedly stressed this centrality since Israel’s April 2003 official response to the Quartet-sponsored “Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, according to which: “....declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.”
Mr. Secretary, one might have expected, in light your position and function as convenor and mediator in the present Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that you would refrain from making more public value judgments as to whether Israel’s position is, or is not “a mistake.”
David Singer: Kerry’s Credibility Crashes As Abbas’s Intransigence Increases
On 19 March Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York – Peter Beinart – provided this advice to Abbas: “I have a suggestion for Mahmoud Abbas. The next time Benjamin Netanyahu demands that you recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” tell him that you’ll agree on one condition. The Israeli cabinet must first agree on what “Jewish state” means. That should get you off the hook for a good long while. Israel has never been able to define the term “Jewish state.”
The good Professor was obviously unaware that the term “Jewish State” had been defined for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in evidence given by David Ben-Gurion on 7 July 1947:
“What is the meaning of a Jewish State? As I told you before, a Jewish State does not mean one has to be a Jew.
It means merely a State-where the Jews are in the majority, otherwise all the citizens have the same status.
If the State were called by the name “Palestine,” – I said if – then all would be Palestinian citizens If the State would be given, another name – I think it would be given another name – because Palestine is neither a Jewish nor an Arab name. As far as the Arabs are concerned, and we have the evidence of the Arab historian, Hitti, that there was no such a thing as “Palestine” at all: Palestine is not an Arab name. Palestine is also not a Jewish name. When the Greeks were our enemies, in order not to annoy the Jews, they gave different names to the streets. So, maybe the name of Palestine will be changed. But whatever the name of the country, every citizen of the country will be a citizen. This is what we mean. This is what we have to mean. We cannot conceive that in a State where we are not in a minority, where we have the main responsibilities as the majority of the country, there should be the slightest discrimination between a Jew and a non-Jew.”

Report: Kerry suggests defining Israel as 'national homeland for Jews'
US Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to overcome the controversy surrounding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by changing the definition to "the national homeland of the Jews", the London-based Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper reported Saturday morning.
The report, that quoted western diplomatic sources, noted that in exchange for Kerry's initiative, the Palestinians would have to agree that the Palestinian capital would be established only in parts of East Jerusalem; it was further reported that the Palestinians have rejected the proposal.
A Palestinian source told the newspaper that the American side has expressed willingness to change the principle related to the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and make it a requisite in a permanent agreement, however the Palestinians declined.
Study shows Palestinian textbooks rife with incitement
A recent study of 150 new Palestinian Authority textbooks used by a U.N. educational body reveal widespread delegitimization of Israel and continued calls to use violence against Jews in Israel.
The survey was conducted by the Near East Policy Research Center and led by Dr. Arnon Gross, a professor in Islamic Study and veteran Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Radio. Gross' survey translated 150 new Palestinian Authority textbooks. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs 250 schools in the Gaza Strip and 100 in Judea and Samaria, claims there is no incitement in the Palestinian Authority textbooks studied in its schools.
In the books, the center found widepsread delegitimization and demonization of Israel, and a call for violent struggle instead of peace. According to the textbooks, the Jews have no rights to Israel, including to Jewish holy sites, and are not considered legitimate residents of the country. The name "Israel" appears less than a handful of times on the maps and is usually replaced with Palestine, and areas inside pre-1967 Israel are described exclusively as Palestinian.
Kerry scraps plans, rushes to Israel in an attempt to salvage flailing peace talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry broke from his travel schedule for the second time in a week to rush back to Israel on Monday to try to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The US-brokered negotiations faced a crisis over the weekend when Israel, saying it was seeking a Palestinian commitment to continue negotiations beyond an end-of-April deadline, delayed the fourth prisoner release to which it had committed to in previous negotiations.
"After consulting with his team, Secretary Kerry decided it would be productive to return to the region," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
Israel hands Palestinians proposal to extend peace talks
The fate of the US-brokered peace process could be decided within days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier, warning that “either the matter will be resolved or it will blow up.”
Netanyahu’s remarks to ministers from his rightwing Likud party came as US officials were working around the clock to prevent a collapse of the negotiations over a dispute about Palestinian prisoners.
“In any case, there won’t be any deal without Israel knowing clearly what it will get in exchange,” Netanyahu said.
US officials: We can't stop Palestinian UN statehood bid if talks fail
The United States cannot stop a Palestinian campaign to the United Nations for statehood should peace talks with Israel fail, American diplomats told The Washington Post on Saturday.
The Obama administration has been working to salvage the peace talks that have been tittering on the brink of collapse for weeks, after Israel refused to released the fourth and final group of Palestinian security prisoners on Saturday.
The Voice of One Terror Victim: ‘We Are Being Left On Our Own’
Amid conflicting reports on the Israeli government’s intentions to release a fourth wave of Palestinian terrorists as part of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, families of terror victims have not lost hope in their fight against what they believe is a destructive move for Israel, physically and morally.
Protesting in front of the Prime Minister’s office, Gila Molcho, sister of Ian Fienberg, who was hacked to death in Gaza in 1993, told Tazpit News Agency: “Ian’s murderers have already been released. They were sentenced to 90 years; one was let out in the first wave of releases, the other one in the second wave. Someone who was involved was released as part of the deal to release Gilad Shalit. On a personal level, my family has gone through this again and again; we are trying to relearn how to breathe.”
J’Accuse the U.S. State Department! Again
The son-in-law of Osama bin Laden has been found guilty of conspiracy to kill American citizens.
Suleiman Abu Ghaith was arrested in Jordan last year, sent to the US and tried in New York. While the US introduced one witness who admitted that he did not know if the accused was aware of planned “shoe bombing” airplane attacks, the majority of US evidence was based on videos of Abu Ghaith exhorting Muslims to attack America and that “the storm of planes” would not stop.
The issue of Abu Ghaith’s arrest, prosecution, and conviction based primarily on video evidence is extremely important. As I wrote previously, the woman who thought up, planned, organized, and executed (even walking with the bomber and his guitar case bomb to the restaurant) the attack at the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in August, 2001 seems to be the mirror image of Abu Ghaith, with one significant caveat. Abu Ghaith was found guilty of conspiracy to kill Americans. Ahlam Tamimi, on the other hand, actually did kill American citizens—two of them, with three more badly wounded. Yet Abu Ghaith is in jail and Tamimi has a talk-show in Amman. The question is why?
‘Abbas told Obama he wants Barghouti freed’
Kadoura Fares, a former Palestinian minister and current head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, a nongovernmental organization dealing with prisoners’ rights, said that during his meeting with Obama in the US on March 17, Abbas demanded the release of three Palestinian leaders sentenced to long prison terms by Israel during the Second Intifada for their involvement in terror activities, in addition to a complete moratorium on settlement construction.
The three leaders are Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, convicted of five counts of murder in 2004; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Secretary General Ahmad Saadat, sentenced by a military court in 2008 for his involvement in the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi; and Fouad Shoubaki, a close associate of Yasser Arafat, sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison for his involvement in organizing the smuggling of arms into the Palestinian territories in 2002 aboard the ship Karine A.
Syrian Opposition Activist Kamal Al-Labwani Makes the Case for Peace with Israel

CAMERA Prompts Improved Coverage of Palestinian Casualties
CAMERA has prompted moderately improved Reuters coverage on Palestinian fatalities since peace talks resumed in July 2013. On March 22, Reuters' Ali Sawafta reported as fact:
Including Saturday's incident, Israeli forces have killed at least 60 Palestinians and injured almost 900 since the resumption of negotiations last July.
In communications with the wire service, CAMERA noted that a review of figures from various NGOs do not substantiate the Palestinian claim that 60 Palestinians were killed since the end of July (when peace talks started) through March 22.
Thus, the United Nations' monthly Humanitarian Bulletins from Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (August 2013 - February 2014, which is the most recent monthly report available, as of press time), reveal that 38 Palestinians were killed during that time period; another two were killed during the week of March 4 -10, one was killed on March 19 (news reports), and three on March 22 (news reports), for a total of 44 Palestinian fatalities since July 30 through March 22.
Israel Under Fire For Not Letting Itself Be Under More Fire (satire)
Israel fired on a vessel transporting arms from Egypt last week, resulting in the deaths of several Palestinians and secondary explosions on the boat attesting to the presence of armaments. The organizations and activists were quick to accuse Israel of firing on innocent fishermen, whose craft has traditionally involved the conveyance of explosives across international borders under cover of darkness.
“This Israeli violation is unacceptable, and Israel must bear the consequences for not letting the Palestinians import what they wish, even if that includes materials that could harm Israel,” said Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Turnza Bleindeye. “Palestinians like to shoot at Israel and blow things up as close as possible to Israelis, and Israel will simply have to accept that.” She characterized the protective measures that Israel takes along its frontiers and coastline “unfortunate,” and lamented that Israel’s agreements with the Palestinian Authority itself assign that task to Israel.
Police arrest gang for raiding Second Temple-era tomb
Police and antiquities inspectors have arrested a gang accused of looting ancient Jewish burial caskets from a cave in the Jerusalem area, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday.
“They were caught while in possession of 11 decorated stone ossuaries — ancient coffins — that the Jewish population used for burial in the Second Temple period, 2,000 years ago,” the IAA said in a statement.
“Some of the ossuaries still contained the skeletal remains of the deceased,” it said.
The suspects, from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, were arrested on Friday as they met prospective Jewish clients at a crossing point between the West Bank and Israeli annexed east Jerusalem.
Palestinian envoy in Prague held explosives in hand
“An experimental blast carried out by experts confirms this theory,” Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said, denying earlier reports that the blast was caused by a booby-trapped safe.
Jamal al-Jamal, 56, died in a hospital on January 1, only three months after taking up his post, following an explosion that occurred soon after he opened a safe.
“The explosive was not placed on the door or inside the safe and was not there to protect the safe,” Zoulova said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
Zoulova told The Association Press that “mishandling remains the most likely option.”
Hamas Imposes Radical New Law: Lashings, Amputations, and Massive Executions
Hamas is now trying to outdo the Taliban in imposing new Shar’ia inspired draconian punishments, including amputations of limbs and massive increases in lashings and executions. A senior Hamas official told Gulf News that a new punitive law, “inspired by” Shar’ia Law, is required to replace the former and “impractical” one. The article states that there will be a minimum of 20 lashes for minor offenses and a minimum of 80 lashes for criminal cases: the death penalty will also be expanded in accordance with the Shar’ia. In addition, the new law includes cutting off the hands of a thief.
By replacing an almost 80-year old punitive law with a new radical one, Hamas has earned widespread condemnation by other Palestinian factions. Even other terrorist groups condemn Hamas’ new law.
Israel sued for the 10 Plagues
Gamal also pressed suing Israel for the “precious materials” used by the ancient Israelites in order to construct their desert tabernacle.
“We want compensation for the gold, silver, copper, precious stones, fabrics, hides and lumber, and for [all] animal meat, hair, hides and wool, and for other materials that I will mention [below], when quoting the language of the Torah. All these are materials that the Jews used in their rituals. These are resources that cannot be found among desert wanderers unless they took them before their departure.”
Israel isn’t the only country that finds itself in Gamal’s cross-hairs. In the same column he also demanded reparations from Turkey for damage caused by the Ottoman Empire during its invasion of Egypt in the 16th century, and from France for Napoleon’s invasion in 1798.
Egypt to hold May 26-27 presidential election
Egyptians will vote on May 26-27 in a presidential election that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win easily, meaning the former army chief who deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi could be sworn in as head of state by early June.
Widely seen as Egypt's de facto leader since he deposed Morsi after mass protests against his rule, Sisi enjoys backing from supporters who see him as Egypt's saviour. But he is viewed by the Islamist opposition as the mastermind of a coup that ignited the worst internal strife in Egypt's modern history.
Egyptian Actor Sobhi Recommends "The Protocols" and Says: Benjamin Franklin Warned against Jews

Erdogan claims victory, says rivals ‘will pay price’
“Those who attacked Turkey got disappointed,” Erdogan told a jubilant crowd of thousands, speaking from the balcony of his party’s Ankara headquarters after months of turmoil marked by street clashes, sleaze claims and an Internet clampdown.
“You have supported your prime minister, I thank you infinitely,” Erdogan told the jubilant crowd, his voice still hoarse from marathon campaigning for the municipal polls that were seen as a referendum on his 11-year rule.
Erdogan, 60, has been eyeing a run for the presidency in August — the first time voters will directly elect the head of state — and his midnight victory speech sounded at times like the start of his next campaign.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 12:00:00 PM
From Israel Defense:

Lebanese news agency reported a military robot moving along the barbed wire fence of Kfar Kila, along with combat aircraft. This is the first time that the IDF operates an Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle (UGCV) along the fence on the northern border.

According to the report, this is an Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle which operates as well on the Gaza border. It can carry cameras, sensors, speakers and it can be equipped with weapon emplacements. Its purpose is to locate demolition charges and holes along the fence.
The vehicle is built on a platform of four-wheel vehicles, and is operated by the IDF's operations room near the border fence.

As stated, the project began around the Gaza Strip, and now, apparently, is extended to the northern border of Israel, apparently due to the deterioration of the security situation following the continued civil war in Syria.
See also this interesting New Republic article, "The Next Arab-Israeli War Will Be Fought with Drones: Hezbollah, weaponized robots, and a future that's already here."

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 10:20:00 AM
The Huffington Post published one of those ubiquitous "cute animals of the week" stories.

But in the middle of all the cute dogs and tigers one can find this:

Israeli Bedouins walk next to their sheep near rally commemorating Land Day on March 30, 2014 in the Abu Quedar village, currently unrecognized by Israeli authorities, near the southern city of Beersheva. The annual Land Day demonstrations are held to remember six Arab Israeli protesters who were shot dead by Israeli police and troops during mass demonstrations in 1976 against plans to confiscate Arab land in the Galilee. There are about 260,000 Bedouin in Israel, mostly living in and around the Negev in the aria [sic] south. More than half live in unrecognized villages without utilities and many also live in extreme poverty. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

And why are the villages unrecognized? Because they built hundreds of them illegally, willy-nilly, in recent years!

The Bedouin issue is a real issue and one that requires real solutions while ensuring the rule of law. But it is not the one-sided narrative that the Israel-haters love to spout.

HuffPo, and the Getty Images caption editor, obviously prefer to use it to demonize Israel rather than treat their readers like adults and show that it is a complex problem for which the Bedouin are also to blame.

But the sheep in this photo are hardly the reason HuffPo decided to include them in the animal pictures. They just wanted another chance to bash Israel on a page that animal lovers, not Middle East news junkies, would read.

(h/t Leslie)

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 08:30:00 AM
I recently published a Twitter conversation with someone named Gary Spedding, an anti-Israel ideologue (and, as we will see, an aspiring politician.). He started off the conversation complaining that I was right-wing and intellectually dishonest; by the end of the post I had proven that not only was he the intellectually dishonest one but that he had attempted to scrub his own history of hate from his website - and then he snidely denied ever having said disgusting statements that were attributed to him.

The method of finding his old posts and proving definitively that he was a liar was the Internet Archive project, known as the Wayback Machine.

Today, if you attempt to look at the Wayback Machine link I provided that proved his lie, you receive an error message:
And what is in that robots.txt file?

Yes, within hours of Gary being exposed as a liar, he again attempted to hide the evidence by expunging his articles from the Internet Archive!

Why is Spedding so sensitive to people researching his history of hate?

The answer comes from +972mag:

Spedding, 23, is a well-known member of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, and is hoping to contest a seat in next elections to the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016.
He wants to go into politics!

There is one other fact about Spedding that cements his reputation as a liar.

Spedding has written for the far left +972mag as recently as this month, and in fact used it to try to argue with me in the Twitter conversation, pretending that +972mag is an accurate and unbiased news outlet. That same +972 story talks about how Spedding was not allowed to enter Israel earlier this year:

A high-profile member of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and a long-standing activist for human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Gary Spedding, was detained on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday and told would be deported and banned from the country for 10 years. Speaking from the airport, after being held for eight hours, Spedding told +972 that the interrogating officers hacked into his mobile phone, and copied email addresses and telephone numbers. He also said no reason for his impending deportation was given, except that he was a “liar” and a “security threat.”

“I flew in to Tel Aviv from London Luton at about 4 p.m. local time,” Spedding told +972. ”When I got to passport control the guy asked me to step aside and wait. After about an hour, three people came and took me to a room. They questioned me and took my phone, asking for my security code. I wouldn’t give my code but agreed to type it in to show the phone was a real phone. What I didn’t realize is that somebody is standing behind me and watching me do it. My Hebrew is not very good, but good enough to pick up he was reading out the digits I was typing to the rest of the security team. ” Spedding said the security team then logged onto his mobile phone without permission and scanned through his contacts, text messages and email, copying some of the content manually onto a notepad.

“They told me they’d hold me for nine days until my return flight, so as not to have to pay for my deportation,” Spedding said. The security team questioning Spedding then changed, and one official told him a decision was made to deport him and ban him from Israel for 10 years. “I was told this was a fact, not a threat, and there was nothing neither I or my government could do,” said Spedding, who is a dual Australian and British citizen.
Yet after that "unbiased" +972 story was published, it turns out that Spedding was lying again.

The BBC featured this story prominently, and wrote five versions of the story as it got new information. Only in the last version do we learn:

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said: “Mr Spedding’s entry into Israel was denied due to his involvement in organising a violent protest in Queens University, Belfast, in which an Israeli representative was attacked, and others were forced to take shelter to prevent being hurt.

“No country has an obligation to allow foreigners who have been involved in violent activities targeting its nationals to enter its territory.”

What happened in Queens University? As BBCWatch relates, quoting TheJC:
“Solon Solomon, a former legal adviser to the Knesset Foreign Affairs committee, had been invited to speak to law school students at Queen’s University in Belfast.

But he was heckled by members of the university’s Palestine Solidarity Society (PSS) and the youth wing of Sinn Féin shortly after starting his lecture about the legality of Israel’s security wall on Wednesday last week.

Sally Wheeler, the law school acting head, abandoned the lunchtime session after less than 10 minutes, and a security team bundled Mr Solomon out of the lecture theatre.

Protesters then surrounded the room where Mr Solomon and other panel members were sheltering.

When the security team eventually moved him out of the university building, protesters attacked the car he was travelling in, punching the vehicle and attempting to smash its windows.”

And one other fact also uncovered by BBCWatch from TheJC:

Contrary to Mr Spedding’s claims, the embassy said a 10-year-ban had not been imposed, but that future visits would have to be co-ordinated through the London embassy.

Spedding lied about the reason he was denied entry into Israel. He lied about the "ten year ban." He tried to hide his role in a violent protest. He goes to great lengths to hide his history as a supporter of terror and of fomenting violence.

 And the "objective" blog he writes for, +972, never bothered to report any of these facts - indeed, he is still a welcome contributor!

Who is intellectually dishonest again?

At the very end of our conversation, when I said I'd be blogging it, Spedding wrote
Well, if anyone bothers to research Spedding as he attempts to enter politics, maybe this information will do a little damage.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/31/2014 05:55:00 AM

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Last week we saw the latest example of YGSSS, or "You Gotta Start Somewhere Syndrome", where organizations claim that they are against all forms of injustice, yet they invariably choose Israel to be the first and sole target of their new-found fake morality.

We saw it with ASA (whose president coined the idiotic phrase "one has to start somewhere") and with the AAAS, writing self-righteous positions as to why they must destroy academic freedom to promote academic freedom.

The latest hypocritical organization to target Israel, and only Israel, but using the language of universal justice, is the Royal Institute of British Architects.

I just looked at their press release from last week demanding that Israeli architects be banned from the International Union of Architects. Check out their doubletalk:

On the 19 March 2014 RIBA Council passed a motion for the Institute to call on the International Union of Architects (UIA) to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects’ membership until it acts to resist projects on illegally-occupied land and observes international law and accords.

The RIBA Council vote was passed with 23 for, 16 against, 10 abstentions.

The motion was brought to the RIBA Council by Past President, Angela Brady, following previous resolutions within the International Union of Architects.

An RIBA spokesperson said: “Angela's proposal to put forward a motion was previously discussed by the RIBA International Committee at a session on how architects might raise awareness about the plight of communities affected by civil conflict and natural disaster around the world. The Committee concluded that such a sanction would not be appropriate and was unlikely to make a constructive contribution to the wider discussion.

“The motion at Council was carried with 23 members voting for, 16 against and 10 abstentions. The number of abstentions reflects the complexity of the issue and the variety of views held.

“It is not the case that the RIBA is in any way anti-Semitic.

“The RIBA International Committee will now engage with the Palestinian and Israeli associations in order to better understand their positions on this important matter.”

...The full RIBA motion, proposed by RIBA Immediate Past President, Angela Brady, was:

Since the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA resolution 13* of 2005 and 2009, the RIBA calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to suspend the membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects, until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.

*UIA's Resolution 13 (2005 and 2009) states that “The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”
It appears that Angela Brady was the spearhead for this effort. She is clearly an anti-Israel ideologue; she has tweeted "proof" from Visualizing Palestine graphics to justify her hate - and "Visualizing Palestine" consistently puts out false information in their graphics.

As to the text of the release itself: Even if you say that the West Bank is considered legally occupied, there is no international law against building on occupied territory.

When you think of "communities affected by civil conflict and natural disaster around the world," isn't the West Bank the top of the list?

Furthermore, given that Jews aren't allowed to own land anywhere in Areas A and B not to mention Gaza (and, in real terms, Jordan and beyond,) then shouldn't the RIBA be calling to expel any Palestinian, Jordanian and really all Arab architects from the UIA?

RIBA has an entire subsidiary in the Gulf and Jews have been ethnically purified from the entire Arab world and their lands stolen! 

So when will RIBA close down their Gulf offices?

No, Israel is always the first, last and only object for opprobrium from these oh-so-moral groups who care so deeply about international law. It is an amazing coincidence.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/30/2014 07:28:00 PM
Jodi Rudoren's latest dispatch in the New York Times painstakingly attempts to give equal weight to  a terrorist murderer and the the Holocaust survivor victim's family.

Well, not really. The terrorist gets about 25 paragraphs and the victims less than half that.

Muqdad Salah is a man in a hurry.

He inhales food, and bristles at lateness. His wife, Kefaya, said he expected her to make rooms immaculate immediately, “like a magician.” They married in November, and he is already pressing her to start fertility treatments.

“I want a son — or a daughter — I want someone to inherit me,” said Mr. Salah, 47, one of 78 long-serving Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails as part of the American-brokered peace talks that started last summer.

“Many times I dreamed of it in prison: I saw this house and the children, playing with toys,” he added. “I dream more now. I don’t want 10 — two is enough for me. I want to give all my energy to them.”

It has been seven months since Mr. Salah was welcomed before dawn by a cacophonous crowd in this village of 4,000 near the Palestinian financial hub of Nablus. It has been two decades since he killed Israel Tenenbaum, 72, a Holocaust survivor and security guard at a beach hotel 20 miles away in Netanya, hitting him on the side of the head with a metal rod.

For Mr. Tenenbaum’s daughter, Esti Harris, the release has only revived years of agonizing over whether her father suffered. “Did he see a person hovering over him?” she asked. “Was he in pain for that split second? Every night I would think about it before falling asleep, about that man above my father.”

Demonized as terrorists by Israelis and lionized as freedom fighters by Palestinians, prisoners like Mr. Salah have become a flash point in the troubled peace talks, whose continuation hinges on whether a promised fourth group is let go in the coming days. Amid the charged debate, these middle-aged men — 69 of them convicted of murder, 54 escaping life sentences — have begun to rebuild disrupted lives. They are earning their first driver’s licenses, leveraging $50,000 grants from the Palestinian Authority to build apartments or start businesses, searching for wives and struggling to start families.

Mr. Salah was flush with more than $100,000 saved from the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to prisoners’ families. He remodeled and refurnished his mother’s home. He bulldozed the rocky slope out back and built a 2,400-square-foot pen for livestock. He invested in a Nablus money-changing storefront in December, and, last month, bought his first car, a silver 2007 Kia Pride.

But he still wakes at 5 a.m., as he had to for the prison count. He makes coffee in an electric kettle like the one he had in his cell.

...He is not allowed beyond Burqa and Nablus for a year, or to leave the West Bank for 10 years.

“I’m getting bored,” he said, sitting in his salon under a framed portrait of himself in a quasi-military uniform bearing the honorary rank of brigadier general. “I want to travel. I want to see people. I want to breathe the air, I want to walk.”

The 78 released prisoners have complained to the Palestinian Authority that the $50,000 grants and monthly payments — Mr. Salah gets about $1,800 — are not enough to buy apartments.

Their health insurance covers in vitro fertilization, which Mr. Salah plans to pursue, but not dental. Lately, Mr. Salah, who smokes two packs of Marlboro Lights daily, has been having chest pains.
Isn't that terrible? In fact, look at the title of the slide show:

Aw, poor little murderers, released for no real reason except American pressure to have worthless peace talks!

Even worse:
“I wasn’t planning it,” said Mr. Salah, whose life sentence was later reduced to 32 years. “I didn’t intend to kill him.” Asked if he regretted it, Mr. Salah said, “Of course.”
Oh, really? But he didn't say a word of regret for killing him to the Arabs who greeted him rapturously for his murder of an elderly Jew. He didn't say one word of regret to those who were cheering him at his wedding while giving him money for his "heroism."

No, he only expresses regret when the New York Times asks him a leading question to further humanize a murderer.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/30/2014 05:00:00 PM
Gaza worker packaging cherry tomatoes, 2006
Islamic Jihad mouthpiece Palestine Today has an interesting short article:

"Israeli" dealers said that prices of tomatoes in "Israel" rose this morning in the wholesale markets, bringing the price per kilo to between 8 to 9 shekels.

Just last week, the price was only 5 and a half shekels, and according to "Israelis" traders the price of tomatoes will rise through the end of this week, bringing the price per kilo between 12 to 13 shekels.

In the markets of Gaza and the West Bank there was also a rise in the price of tomatoes to up to 3 shekels per kilo.

The question is whether "Israel" will import tomatoes from the Gaza Strip to cover the deficit in "Israeli" markets?
(Yes, they always put scare quotes around "Israel.")

As far as I can tell, no Gaza agricultural goods have been sold to Israel since the initial closure except for a shipment of lulavim last year.

Perhaps tomatoes would be a better bargaining chip for Israel instead of releasing terrorists.

Oh, sorry, I forgot - win/win solutions involving Israel aren't acceptable to Arab culture. And we must respect that culture.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/30/2014 03:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Galloway: Zionists Sent Gunmen to Ukraine to Force Ukrainian Jews to Move to Palestine
The accusation that Israel is somehow supporting the Svoboda and Right Sektor parties in Ukraine will remind readers of when Galloway claimed that Al-Qaeda was being supplied with chemical weapons in Syria by Israel. He then lied to the British Parliament, claiming he had said "no such thing".
Last week, Breitbart London reported another blatant Galloway lie, wherein he claimed that he had never refused to debate an Israeli – an incident caught on camera that resulted in him being accused of being a racist.
Galloway said at the London School of Economics, "I didn't refuse to share a stage with an Israeli. I share stages with Israelis all the time." But a video from last year shows him stating, "I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled."
Ali Oops: Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah shows his ignorance again
From the Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah: Is Ali all atwitter because Israel's Arrow missile defense system has the potential to save Israeli lives?
What Ali describes as "teaching hate and violence" at Israel Science Day in Rabin Square is in reality the Arrow Weapon System - Israel's national missile defense system. The Arrow defense system is designed to track and disable into missiles above the earth's atmosphere, high enough to disable chemical, biological or nuclear warheads safely. Arrow is designed to save lives, Ali. You run a website about the Middle East. Its time to get up to speed on some basic facts.
If Ali Abunimah really cared about teaching "hate and violence", you'd think he'd have said something about the latest public art in Gaza.
Netanyahu lambastes ‘hypocritical’ UN rights panel
Speaking in the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the UN Human Rights Council, which voted in a series of five resolutions condemning Israel over the weekend, was hypocritical in its “absurd” focus on Israel.
“Over the weekend, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel five times, this at a time when the slaughter in Syria is continuing, innocent people are being hung in the Middle East and human rights are being eroded,” Netanyahu said.
“In many countries free media are being shut down and the UN Human Rights Council decides to condemn Israel for closing off a balcony,” he said, echoing previous speeches in which he denounced the international community for criticizing Israel for settlement construction while allowing executions, lack of freedoms and other human rights violations to be perpetuated in the Middle East.
“This is absurd,” the prime minister said. “This march of hypocrisy is continuing and we will continue to condemn it and expose it.”

Iran MP says UN human rights envoy is Mossad, CIA agent
Earlier this month, special rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed filed a report with the UN Human Rights Council blasting Tehran’s faltering human rights record, and its “lack of adherence to the rule of law as well as a failure to investigate complaints and to bring human rights violators to justice.”
MP Seyyed Hossein Naqavi Hosseini was quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying, “All fair and independent human rights bodies are well aware that Shaheed works as an agent for the Zionist regime and also the CIA.”
He said Iran was “familiar with the man’s character,” Fars reported, without elaborating on what Hosseini meant.
Shaheed is a former Maldivian foreign minister who was elected to the UN post almost three years ago.
Iran Names 1979 U.S. Embassy Hostage-Taker Its UN Envoy
Iran has named a member of the militant group that held 52 Americans hostage in Tehran for 444 days to be its next ambassador to the United Nations.
The Iranian government has applied for a U.S. visa for Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s former ambassador to Belgium and Italy, who was a member of the Muslim Students Following the Imam’s Line, a group of radical students that seized the U.S. embassy on Nov. 4, 1979. Imam was an honorific used for Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Relations between the Islamic Republic and the U.S. and its allies are beginning to emerge from the deep freeze that began when the self-proclaimed Iranian students overrun the embassy and took the hostages. The State Department hasn’t responded to the visa application, according to an Iranian diplomat.
Revolting Race-Baiting By Extremist Jewish Voice for Peace
JVP stands shoulder to shoulder with conspiracy theorists
They provide cover for the anti-Semites who chant "Zionist Scum your time has come" at JVP sponsored events.
They conspire to silence points of view that dispute their limited vision.
They promote events with anti-Semites
They bastardize and belittle traditional Jewish rituals and practices
They accept membership from those who exploit and degrade the Jewish people
It is rather far afield for an organization that claims to represent "Jewish values"
Guardian contributor claims ALL Palestinians jailed for terror crimes are ‘political prisoners’!
However, there is, evidently, another word some use when characterizing the Itamar murderers and others with Israeli blood on their hands: Political Prisoners.
This term was employed recently by ‘Comment is Free’ contributor Martin Linton. Linton, you may recall, is a former British MP (and chair of Labour Friends of Palestine) who warned in 2010 that “there are long tentacles of Israel in [the UK] who are funding election campaigns and putting money into the British political system for their own ends.”
Linton’s ‘CiF’ op-ed (‘Release Marwan Barghouti. He can be Palestine’s Nelson Mandela‘, March 28), which contained praise for the terrorist mastermind so fawning it could be mistaken for a parody,
PA: Talks can go on if Israel frees 1,000 prisoners
The Palestinian Authority has rejected a purported Israeli offer to release a new group of 400 Palestinian security prisoners if the Palestinians agree to extend peace talks for another six months, The Times of Israel learned Sunday.
On Saturday, The Times of Israel learned from a Palestinian source that Jerusalem, backed by Washington, offered to release 400 more prisoners of Israel’s choosing, in addition to a fourth and final group of longtime terrorism convicts who were set to go free this weekend – on the condition that the Palestinian Authority agrees to prolong the ongoing negotiations beyond the April 29 deadline.
However, on Sunday, the Palestinian leadership rejected the offer and presented a counteroffer of its own to American mediators – that Israel release 1,000 more prisoners, of the Palestinian Authority’s choosing. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also demanded that Israel freeze settlement construction and transfer some Area C regions to the Palestinian Authority’s control.
In exchange, peace talks would be extended until the end of 2014.
Netanyahu: No deal to release prisoners without clear benefit for Israel
Speaking at a meeting of Likud ministers, Netanyahu said that Israel would not make a deal to free the prisoners "without a clear benefit for Israel in return." He acknowledged that negotiations to come to an agreement could potentially "blow up."
Israel said it is willing to release a fourth batch of convicted Palestinian terrorists, but not if the Palestinians say that they will end the negotiations directly after the release, a highly-placed Israeli official said Saturday night.
Poll: Majority opposes prisoner release
A majority of Jewish Israelis -- 63.2 percent -- oppose going ahead with the fourth stage of the Palestinian prisoner release in exchange for an agreement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to extend the current peace negotiations, an Israel Hayom-New Wave Research poll has found.
Slightly more than 15% support the release as long as it does not include Israeli Arabs, while 13.2% said they have no opinion. Only 8.3% expressed support for the release.
Why not just shut down the prison system?
Since Israel is releasing the worst prisoners it has in its cells, why not just release everyone?
What justification is there for keeping lesser criminals in jail, when the ones who have committed genuine atrocities — crimes against humanity even — are going free? Why should the embezzlers and common thieves stay in jail when the mass murderers are walking?
Shortage Of ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ Cards Hinders Prisoner Release (satire)
Parker Brothers, which produces the cards, has hit unexpected snags in their manufacture. Israel has no alternatives to the orange cards, as Parker Brothers has a monopoly on the product. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has tied continuing the negotiations to implementation of the release, but Israel insists it remains unable to do so.
The previous prisoner release proved particularly traumatic to Israelis, as it included a large number of Palestinians who had murdered Israelis. Having rent their garments over the affair, many Israelis see any further release as mortgaging their future against highly unlikely returns.
“Netanyahu is emptying the community chest and we gain nothing in return,” said a spokeswoman for families of the victims of terrorism. “It is time to stop giving murderers a free pass. as it is, we treat these monsters far too well while they’re imprisoned. We might as well be putting them up in houses and hotels. Our families’ lives are not bargaining chips.”
“This bankrupt proposal will not pass Go,” she stressed.
PA minister: Israel's goal "is to remove the Al-Aqsa Mosque"

6 arrested in Land Day-eve demo in E. Jerusalem
Several demonstrators and four journalists — among them a photographer from Agence France-Presse and another from Reuters — were slightly injured by projectiles fired by police during the incident, near the walled Old City’s Damascus Gate.
The AFP photographer, who was hit on the head, was treated in a local hospital and discharged.
The demonstration, which included over 100 Palestinians, was to mark the eve of Land Day when Arab Israelis and Palestinians in Israeli-annexed east jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza hold protest rallies.
PA arrests dozens in raid on Islamist mosque — report
The raid was part of what critics say is a campaign of harassment against Islamists by Palestinian security forces.
Baher Saleh, a spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir, told the Palestinian Safa news agency that PA security surrounded a mosque in El-Bireh, a suburb of Ramallah, during a weekly religious class, arresting dozens of party members both inside and outside the mosque.
“The security forces turned the environs of El-Bireh’s grand mosque into something resembling military barracks,” Saleh told Safa. “They beat the party supporters in a barbaric way, exposing the security mentality on which these agencies were raised.”
PA: Boycott Products from Settlements
The PA has unsuccessfully attempted to boycott Israeli goods in the past. Just two days ago, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported that the PA has seen an increase in imports from Israel.
The PA’s imports from Israel in January, 2014, grew at a rate of 17.2%, while imports from other countries were down 16.4% compared to January of 2013.
The numbers come after a report last month indicated that 70% of the PA's imports were from Israel, with imports worth $3.5 billion entering the PA from Israel.
Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Commemorate Slain Leaders with Militant Parades

Muslim Societies Unsure Why Honor Killings Not Enhancing Their Honor (satire)
A rise in the number and frequency of “honor killings” in this coastal territory has political and religious leaders wondering how many more young women must be killed by their families before the desired level of honor is attained.
Over the last three years the number of such killings has increased sharply, doubling twice since 2011. Local Imams and Hamas officials say that the killings are necessary to preserve the honor of a girl’s family when she enters a relationship that might or might not be romantic, but has definitely not been approved by the other males in her life, because a girl cannot be trusted to make her own decisions. A girl or woman who defies the will of those male relatives shames the family, and the honor of the family can then only be maintained when one or more of those males kills the woman.
Egypt court sentences 2 supporters of Morsi to death for throwing rivals off roof
The agency said the court in Alexandria found the men guilty of murdering a child and a young man in the coastal city during mass protests that demanded Morsi’s reinstatement after he was removed from power by the military.
The roof incident happened July 5 of last year, two days after Morsi’s ouster. It was one of the most dramatic acts of violence on a day in which 16 other people were killed in Alexandria.
One of those killed was nine-year-old Hamada Badr, who witnesses including an Associated Press journalist said was stabbed and then thrown off the roof. Another man in his twenties was hurled to his death and Morsi supporters were seen beating his lifeless body.
The father of the nine-year old said the verdict was partial vindication. (h/t Rabbi Burns)
Nasrallah: We don't want war with Israel but resistance the only option
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday that his Shi’ite organization was not seeking a new war with Israel, although continued armed resistance was the only option for Lebanon and other countries in the region.
“We are not looking for a war, but Israel is wrong to conclude that we will not enter a war because of our fighting in Syria.” Nasrallah told a rally of supporters via a television link from a secret location in South Lebanon. “The resistance today relative to that in June 2006 (the Second Lebanon War), is stronger economically, it has more manpower and greater skill, and it has higher morale.
Echoes of the Holocaust in two TV specials
The mass killing of six million Jews ended nearly 69 years ago, but almost every month we discover a new aspect of the Holocaust, its aftermath, and its impact on future generations.
Witness, for example, two new television specials. One is Treblinka: Hitler’s Killing Machine, which uncovers new scientific evidence on the existence and mechanism of the death camp.
The second, Sosúa: Make a Better World, is an offbeat teen musical recalling a barely remembered footnote to the plight of Jewish refugees fleeing Germany and Austria.
New find may bring Nazi-tainted art trove to $2b.
The saga of the trove of artworks hoarded away under the Nazis by the son of art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt was given a new twist this week with the discovery of a third house in a town in the Austrian state of Styria that may well contain further pieces of art.
The location of the third house in Bad Aussee next to the salt mines where the vast majority of the art looted by the Nazis had been stored had been unknown until now, because it had been in the hands of Hildrebrand’s cousin Wolfgang, who had also gathered art for the Nazis. On the same day that its location was revealed, Austrian officials also admitted that they had apparently “missed” another 180 paintings from a previously discovered residence that had “suddenly” been discovered.
Twitter Users Rank Israel in Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2014
Online travel deal website TravelSupermarket listed Tel Aviv, Israel, as one of the most searched-for destinations among Twitter users in 2014, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
The Israeli city ranked No. 6 on a list of the top 10 “hot spots” that are garnering the most traveler interest online so far this year. TravelSupermarket analyzed data from across its site and combined it with Twitter metrics on what countries and cities are most talked about by users to compile the list.
S&P affirms Israel's A+ credit rating
International financial services and credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's affirmed Israel's international credit ratings and economic outlook as positive on Friday, giving it an A+/A-1 score. "In our opinion, Israel's fiscal consolidation is on track, bolstered by extra one-off revenues in 2013 and upward revisions to GDP due to new calculation methodologies," the company said in a statement.
"Fiscal consolidation is taking hold in Israel, following the passage of the 2013-2014 budget and as a result, we expect a modest decline in the general government debt burden. The stable outlook reflects our view that the government will continue to consolidate the public finances and that the effect of security risks on the Israeli economy will be contained," the statement said.
Sderot snaps back
At the Passover Seder each year, the Jewish people recite: “This is what has stood to our fathers and to us, for not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us.”
“In every generation there are those who attempt to destroy us,” echoes Rabbi David Fendel, chief rabbi of Sderot’s yeshiva, with over 400 students. “However, we stand strong.”
On the roof of the yeshiva stands a hanukkia constructed from terrorist rockets.
When lit on Hanukka,it represents the eternal radiance of the Jewish spirit.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 3/30/2014 01:00:00 PM

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