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Saturday, January 31, 2015

From Newsweek:

Moroccan Arab-language newspaper Al-Watan al-An has published images of French President François Hollande retouched to look like Adolf Hitler, sporting a swastika armband with the headline “the French are reopening Hitler’s concentration camps to exterminate Muslims”.

The controversial image was on the cover of Al-Watan al-An was dated yesterday, only two days after the 70th anniversary of Holocaust Day, which marks the allied liberation of the largest Nazi concentration camp in 1945 in Auschwitz, Poland, where over a million Jews, Poles and allied prisoners of war were exterminated by the Nazi regime.

Commenting on the images, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Abderrahim Ariri was not apologetic, and insisted the photomontage of the French head of state was meant to highlight the French government’s bias towards protecting its Jewish citizens and neglecting the security of French Muslims.

“This is a small part of what the French President deserves,” Ariri told Moroccan French-language weekly TelQuel.

“The government of France cannot ensure the security of Muslim citizens in France, in the same way that they do for the Jewish community,” he added.
Funny, I had no idea that the Jewish community was being so well protected. After all, only Jews have been killed in France for bias reasons, not Muslims.

And isn't it interesting that instead of demanding protection for Muslims, Abderrahim Ariri has to imply that there is too much protection of Jews, who are of course being threatened by people who come from the same part of the world that Ariri comes from?

France24 adds:
Contacted by FRANCE 24, the editor of the magazine said he did not regret the comparison between the two men nor the timing of the publication.

“I chose this photomontage myself and I fully assume responsibility for it,” Abderrahim Ariri said by telephone from Casablanca. “Since the Paris attacks I have received many emails from fellow Moroccan Muslims who live in France and who tell me they are living through hell.”

“They are in danger… I want to send a strong message to French authorities. I want François Hollande to step up security for Muslims, for their places of worship. If not, there could be abuses,” Ariri added.

According to France’s National Observatory of Islamophobia, 128 anti-Muslim acts were recorded across France in the two weeks that followed the massacre perpetrated by masked gunman at the offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo – as many incidents recorded by the rights group all of last year.
From what I can tell, the National Observatory of Islamophobia counts self-reported acts, not incidents reported to police.

There are anti-Muslim incidents in France. But as I pointed out last week, in 2014, 61% of all violent racist attacks recorded in France by police, 241, were directed against Jews, who are less than 1% of France's population. By comparison, only 55 violent racist acts were anti-Muslim. This means that in France, a Jew is nearly 50 times as likely to be the victim of bias violence as a Muslim is.

Are Muslims in France feeling so endangered that the want to move out of Europe? I mean, if they are living through hell, surely some of them must have moved back to Algeria or Tunisia or Morocco or Libya by now, right?

The magazine cover accomplished three things: it falsely shows Muslims as the major victims of racism in France, and it trivializes the Holocaust, and it minimizes the very real threats that Jews in France have to deal with every day - mostly from Muslims - that dwarfs the danger that Muslims are in.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2015 09:28:00 PM
From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Confronting European Anti-Semitism
These variations on the theme of anti-Semitism have several elements in common. First, they tend to engage in some form of Holocaust denial, minimization, glorification or comparative victimization. Second, they exaggerate Jewish power, money and influence. Third, they seek the delegitimation and demonization of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Fourth, they impose a double standard on all things Jewish.
Finally, they nearly all deny that they are anti-Semites who hate all Jews. They claim that their hatred is directed against Israel and Jews who support the nation state of the Jewish people.
This common form of the new anti-Semitism—we love the Jews, it's only their nation state that we hate—is pervasive among many European political, media, cultural and academic leaders. It was evident even among some who came to commemorate the liberation of the death camps. A recent poll among Germans showed a significant number of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Nazi supporters didn't want to hear about Nazi atrocities, but believed what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was comparable to what the Nazis had done to the Jews.
This then is the European problem of anti-Semitism that many European leaders are unwilling to confront because they have a built in excuse! It's Israel's fault—if only Israel would do the right thing with regard to the Palestinians, the problem would be solved.
Tragically, it won't be solved, because the reality is that hatred of Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the reverse: anti-Semitism is a primary cause of hatred for the nation state of the Jewish people.
Charles Krauthammer: Real threat to Jews lies in Middle East
Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of "never again" on Tuesday's 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.
It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn't happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.
The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!" Berlin, mind you.
European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It's a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself.
From the Jewish point of view, European anti-Semitism is a sideshow. The story of European Jewry is over. It died at Auschwitz. Europe's place as the center and fulcrum of the Jewish world has been inherited by Israel, now the largest Jewish community on earth.
CNN: French Terrorist Taped Rampage in Kosher Grocery Store with Chest-Mounted GoPro
Amedy Coulibaly, the main suspect for the killing of police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe and friend of Charlie Hebdo terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, attached a GoPro to his chest and filmed his raid into a Jewish market in Porte de Vincennes.
The world watched Coulibaly's hostage crisis, in which he killed four hostages just two days after the Charlie Hebdo shootings. Now, the video of Coulibaly's attack has made it to the Internet.
The French police have viewed the video and expressed concerns that it will appear in an Islamic State propaganda video. The footage has been called "gruesome" and "grisly."
French investigators have not released the recipients of the video, but it is believed that Coulibaly spent time editing and emailing the video while in the market that he held many French Jews hostage.
A GoPro video was also found in the car of the Kouachi brothers though no video of their Charlie Hebdo attack has surfaced online.

FSS? FFS: Charlie Hebdo censored by Manchester SU
At Manchester the Student Union banned the university's Free Speech and Secular Society' (FSS) from displaying Charlie Hebdo at its Refreshers' Fair.
The reasons for the censorship of the Charlie Hebdo front cover were laid out in an e-mail from the Students' Union General Secretary, Charlie Cook, and chiefly reflected the view that they found it "unsuitable for the event," and that they "could see no benefit in allowing the presence of the magazine.
"There was genuine concern its presence may cause distress and insult to others," she added.

The FSS came back with a strong response, which is worth reading in full here:
"It is a commendable goal to make people feel comfortable at university, but censorship itself is offensive. It is offensive to people who wish to commemorate the lives of the twelve people killed in Paris, [and amongst others] to those Muslims who do not condone violence and feel infantilised and patronised by the pre-emptive censorship.
"Discussion around the issue of freedom of speech and the limits of offence must necessarily include the object of the controversy. Without it, debate is stifled and discussion limited—the antithesis of what a university should promote.
German carnival drops Charlie Hebdo-inspired float after Paris attack
A German carnival has dropped plans to build a "Charlie Hebdo" float with a cartoonist forcing a pencil into the barrel of a terrorist's gun, after receiving messages from locals worried about safety if the float went on show.
Jitters about public displays of words or images that might anger some Muslims have risen in Europe since Islamist gunmen attacked the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris on Jan. 7-9, killing 17 people.
Charlie Hebdo had long specialized in ridiculing Islam and other religions and vowed no change in approach after the attack, which prompted marches by millions of people throughout France in tribute to the journal and free expression in general.
Explaining its decision, the carnival committee in Cologne said they wanted to preserve the event's lighthearted mood in the west German city and make sure no one felt afraid -- even though they had been assured by police that displaying the figures would not pose a security risk.
Mumbai Editor Arrested for Publishing Charlie Hebdo Cartoon
Authorities in Mumbai, India, arrested Shirin Dalvi, editor of the Uru Daily Avadhnama newspaper, for printing a cartoon from Charlie Hebdo. It appeared on the front page of the January 17 edition. Residents in Mumbra in Thane complained to the police about the cartoon.
Police justified the arrest "under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which bans malicious and deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings." The cartoon in question was used on the cover of the latest Charlie Hebdo issue, depicting a weeping Mohammed holding a sign that says "Je suis Charlie."
"She was arrested by us, produced in the court and granted bail," said SM Mundhe, a senior police inspector. "We are investigating the matter."
Since the incident, Dalvi remains away from her home and her children are living with relatives.
BBC's Orla Guerin ignores the elephant in southern Lebanon
Guerin's description of the border as "disputed" of course reflects the Hizballah/Lebanese narrative and she makes no effort to inform viewers of the very relevant fact that the UN determined a decade and a half ago that the area does not belong to Lebanon.
Guerin continues:
"It's been relatively quiet here since 2006 when Israel and Hizballah went to war."
Of course that war began because Hizballah initiated it with a cross-border raid accompanied by missile fire on Israeli civilian communities. Guerin's portrayal, however, promotes a false notion of equivalence and her description of the area as "relatively quiet" is no less misleading.
In addition to periodic missile fire at the town of Kiryat Shmona and its environs (see examples here, here, here and here), there have also been shooting attacks (see one example here) and placement of explosive devices on the border fence.
Nasrallah: Hezbollah is not afraid of war with Israel
In his first televised speech since a deadly attack inside the Israeli border Wednesday killed two IDF soldiers, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that his terror group "cannot be deterred" and that any Israeli action against it would not be unpunished.
"We don't fear war [against Israel] and we don't hesitate in facing it if it is imposed on us and we will be victorious, God willing," he said.
"Everyone was saying that Hezbollah would not respond because of the Iranian [nuclear] talks, or [the war in] Syria. Now they know the truth," Nasrallah told thousands of supporters in south Beirut Friday, addressing the public rally through a video link from a secret location.
Wednesday's attack, in which Major Yochai Kalangel and Staff Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini were killed when anti-tank missiles fired by a Hezbollah unit hit their convoy, was largely seen as a response to an alleged Israeli air raid the previous week near Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Twelve Hezbollah and Iranian operatives, including an Iranian general, were killed in the strike, attributed to Israel, on January 18.
Spain, Israel agree joint probe on soldier's death in Lebanon
The soldier was killed on Wednesday when the Israeli military shelled border areas following a Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy "to express his condolences and sadness at the death in Lebanon of Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo", Rajoy's office said in a statement.
"Both leaders agreed to carry out a joint Israeli-Spanish investigation to clarify what happened and to collaborate with the investigation being carried out by the United Nations."
The 36-year-old corporal was part of the 10,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, which includes 600 Spanish soldiers.
Video claims to show Israeli shelling of UN compound
The Israeli shelling that is said to have killed Lance Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo came after Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at Israeli army vehicles near the border, killing two soldiers and injuring seven. Israel responded to that attack with strikes from the air and from the ground, one of which apparently hit a UN position. Israeli leaders have sent their condolences to the Spanish government and have promised to investigate the incident.
In the video uploaded to YouTube several men are heard conversing in Spanish inside a vehicle, looking out at what appears to be a UNIFIL compound in south Lebanon.
The men's initially relaxed tones suddenly become frightened and are then replaced by screams and shouts as something explodes inside the compound, throwing dust and debris into the air.
The camera then falls to the cameraman's side as he appears to duck for cover, before the video abruptly ends.
British tabloid The Daily Star reported that the video was receiving significant media attention in the Spanish press, though it was unconfirmed that it did indeed show the incident in which Soria Toledo was killed.
'Israel: US deal will leave Iran with 6,500 centrifuges spinning, months from a bomb'
Ratcheting up a confrontation with the Obama administration still further, officials in the Netanyahu government reportedly claimed Friday night that the US has already agreed in principle to a deal that would leave Iran capable of enriching enough uranium for a nuclear bomb within "mere months."
Israel Channel 10 TV news said the deal taking shape would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium in "over 7,000″ centrifuges. It quoted unnamed Jerusalem sources saying the terms of the deal would leave Iran "closer than was thought" to nuclear weapons, "mere months from producing enough material for a bomb," and that the US has agreed to 80% of Iran's demands.
A similar report on Channel 2 news said the US was ready for Iran to keep enriching uranium in 6,500 of its 9,000 centrifuges. It also said that the US was proposing "a time limit" on the deal — possibly of 10 or 15 years — after which "Iran will be free to continue a nuclear industry."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said to have indicated to confidants that he feels he has "no choice" but to speak out against the imminent deal, including at a controversial address scheduled for March 3 to Congress, Channel 10 said. Netanyahu does not intend to speak against President Barack Obama, or to give a partisan address, or to focus overly on sanctions, but rather to talk strongly against the deal, the report said.
U.S. Senator: "Iran Has Been Killing Americans For More Than Three Decades"
Sen. Tom Cotton (R – Ark.) presented an overview of Iran's record in targeting the United States and its citizens in an op-ed published today in The Wall Street Journal. After writing that "Iran has been killing Americans for more than three decades," Cotton offered some examples.
In 1983 Iran helped finance and direct the bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, killing hundreds of American military, diplomatic and intelligence personnel. Iran has also been implicated in the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings, which killed 19 American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia.
More recently and personally for me, Iran has been responsible for the killing and maiming of thousands of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. During my tour in Baghdad leading an infantry platoon, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces. My soldiers and I knew that Iranian-supplied bombs were the one thing our armored vehicles couldn't withstand. All we could do was hope it wasn't our day to hit one. My platoon was lucky; too many others were not.

Cotton also referenced Iran's support for terror, noting that the State Department described it as the "the worst state sponsor of terrorism."
Joint Mossad-CIA operation killed key Hezbollah leader Mughniyeh in 2008
The assassination of the Hezbollah operations officer Imad Mughniyeh who was killed in 2008 in a car-bombing in Damascus was widely attributed to Israel in the foreign media. But according to a detailed report on Friday in The Washington Post, the killing of one of the world's most wanted terrorists was the result of a joint Mossad-CIA operation.
US involvement in the killing of Imad Mughniyeh was confirmed to the news outlet by five former US intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to the report, the CIA obtained the legal authority to kill the Hezbollah leader because it was able to prove that, "he was a continuing threat to Americans," through his connection to the arming and training of Shiite militias in Iraq that were targeting and killing US forces.
Imad Mughniyeh's son Jihad was killed earlier this month in an airstrike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that has been attributed to Israel. Besides Mughniyeh five other Hezbollah operatives and six Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel were killed in the attack.
Among other terrorist attacks against US citizens, Mughniyeh the father was linked to the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US servicemen.
Mughniyeh was also implicated in the 1992 suicide bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed twenty-nine people and the 1994 attack on the Jewish community center in the Argentinian capital that killed 85.
New York Times Forced to Correct Netanyahu Speech Timeline
The New York Times has continued its apparent bias against Israeli Prime Minister with a story Friday wrongly alleging that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Speaker of the House John Boehner's invitation to address Congress before President Barack Obama's was notified. In fact, Netanyahu only accepted after the White House knew about the speech. The story has since been corrected online, but the incorrect version will misinform print readers today.
And here is the correction at bottom, online:
"An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner's invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before."
US, UK condemn latest Israeli plan for settler housing as 'illegal, illegitimate'
The United States and the United Kingdom on Friday both condemned the Israeli government's plan to issue new tenders for housing units in the West Bank.
Israel published tenders on Friday for the construction of 450 new housing units in the West Bank, a move that critics denounced as a political gesture ahead of a March general election.
Ariel Rosenberg, spokesman for Israel's Housing Ministry, said the government was simply remarketing tenders that had failed to sell when they were initially offered last year.
'Israel knew about about the Gaza tunnel threat but did nothing about it'
Heavy criticism has been directed against the political and security establishments regarding the IDF being unprepared for the scope of the Hamas tunnel threat during last year's Operation Protective Edge.
On Saturday, former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, who is also the number two candidate for the Knesset on the Koolanu list, added his own harsh critique of the government, accusing it of knowing about the threat prior to the war and allowing it to continue.
Galant said that the attack tunnel threat began many years before last summer's war, and that during his tenure that coincided with Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, ninety-two tunnels were destroyed.
Posing a rhetorical question, Galant asked if it was, "possible that the state of Israel knew that the tunnels from Gaza led into nurseries in Israeli villages near the border, did nothing about them and even covered up their existence?"
"It cannot be that they did not prepare a plan to deal with the threat and at the same time say they did not know about it," he said at a cultural event in Holon.
Iraqi Yazidis Appeal to Israel for Military Aid to Fight Islamic State
An Iraqi Yazidi military commander has made an appeal to Israel for military aid to help in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.
"We appeal to the Israeli government and its leader to step in and help this nation, which loves the Jewish people," Lt. Col. Lukman Ibrahim—a fighter in the Sinjar Protection Forces, a Yazidi militia—told Al-Monitor.
"We would be most grateful for the establishment of military ties—for instance, the training of fighters and the formation of joint teams. We are well aware of the circumstances the Israelis are in, and of the suffering they have endured at the hands of the Arabs ever since the establishment of their state. We, too, are suffering on account of them," Ibrahim added.
Numbering around 1 million adherents, the Yazidis are a Kurdish ethnoreligious group that is linked to Zoroastrianism and other ancient Mesopotamian faiths. Their homeland is centered around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
Israeli Knesset Members Move to Bar Arab MK Zoabi From Elections
Member of Knesset Danny Danon (Likud) and the Yisrael Beiteinu party have joined forces in filing a petition with the Israeli Central Election Committee to bar controversial Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from participating in the March 17 elections.
Zoabi, who was suspended from the Knesset for six months last October after saying the Hamas kidnappers and murderers of three Jewish teenagers were "not terrorists," is slated sixth on the Joint Arab List's ticket, formed last week after the Balad, Ra'am-Ta'al, and Hadash parties— fearing they would fail to pass the election threshold—decided to merge.
The petition, filed Thursday with Central Elections Committee Chairman Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, stated that Zoabi's outspoken support of Palestinian violence against Israel, as well as past statements in which she denied Israel's existence, are in violation of Basic Law: The Knesset.
Egypt's decision to ban Hamas' armed wing only serves the Zionist occupation, Hamas says
An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organization, a ruling in keeping with a systematic crackdown on Islamists by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Sisi said on Saturday Egypt faces a tough, prolonged campaign against militancy. "(It) will be difficult, strong, evil and will take a long time," he said in comments broadcast on state television after meeting top military officers.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which the authorities have also declared a terrorist group and repressed thoroughly since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013.
"We reject the Egyptian court's decision against Qassam Brigades. It is a political, dangerous decision that serves only the Zionist occupation," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, referring to Israel's control over Palestinian territories.
A source close to Hamas' armed wing signaled the group would no longer accept Egypt as a broker between it and Israel. "After the court's decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters," the source told Reuters.
Abbas's Arch Rival Reportedly Given Serbian Citizenship
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's arch rival, the exiled Mohammed Dahlan, has been granted Serbian citizenship, AFP reported on Friday, citing the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).
"Dahlan, his wife and four children, a nephew and five key political supporters were all granted citizenship between February 2013 and June 2014," BIRN said.
The news portal provided a link to a page from the government gazette of December 11, 2013, in which the decision to grant Dahlan citizenship was published.
The decision, signed by then prime minister Ivica Dacic, went unnoticed until reported by BIRN.
"Dahlan is credited with facilitating Abu Dhabi's promised investment of billions of euros in Serbia," BIRN said, referring to pledges of financing from the United Arab Emirates, where Dahlan currently resides, including a multi-billion-euro plan to redevelop Belgrade's waterfront.
The government in Belgrade refused to confirm a link between the passports given to 12 Palestinian Arab, all linked to Dahlan, and the Gulf country's planned investments, the report said.
Stephen Sizer lies in his "apology", and the Diocese of Guildford publishes his lie
Stephen Sizer's book Christian Zionism (2004), p.251, footnote 170:
For allegations of Israeli complicity in 9/11, see 'Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001′, Sunday Herald, 2 November 2003,
Stephen Sizer in 2010 on his blog:
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, for example. On the anniversary of 9/11 he wrote a provocative piece entitled The Mother of All Coincidences. Here's a flavour: [...]
"6. Bush's unprovoked war against Iraq destroyed one of Israel's two main enemies. 7. 9/11 put America in what may turn out to be a permanent state of war with the Muslim world – a key goal of the neoconservative. But I've seen no hard evidence to date that 9/11 was a plot by America's far right or by Israel or a giant cover-up. Just, perhaps, the Mother of All Coincidences."

Stephen Sizer's apology for a Facebook link he posted this past week (2015):
"I have never believed Israel or any other country was complicit in the terrorist atrocity of 9/11, and my sharing of this material was ill-considered and misguided."
Why has the Diocese of Guildford "welcomed" his apology, and published it on their website, when it is so demonstrably untrue?
Student Leader: 'Hamas & Shariah Law Have Taken Over UC Davis'
The pro-Israel community on campus staged a walk-out from the divestment hearing, highlighting the fact that the anti-Semitic resolution was "toxic" and "damaged lives."
However the actual divestment vote was overshadowed by a member of the UC Davis student senate, Azka Fayyaz, captioning a photo on Facebook that "Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis. Brb crying over the resilience."
The UC Davis student paper, The Aggie, noted that Azka Fayyaz was one of the eight senators to vote in favor of the resolution.
"The student senator's statement that Hamas and sharia law is taking over UC Davis is alarming," a Hillel International spokesperson told TruthRevolt. "BDS supporters have aligned themselves with a terrorist entity and an ideology that would impose strict religious-based restrictions on everyone. If this is what BDS is about, it's even worse than anyone thought. We hope that students of all faiths see this evidence that this is a hate-filled movement."
In her bid to become a student senator, Fayyaz asserted that she aimed to implement, "a holistic campus calendar to creating a more robust Club Finance Council, and actively working with administration for an expansion of quiet spaces for study, reflection and prayer." On a separate occasion Fayyaz helped display a poster likening Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler.
Embattled Brandeis President Resigns
Beleaguered Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence announced he would resign at the end of the school year, releasing a statement to members of the community. Lawrence wrote, "After careful consideration, and in close consultation with the Board of Trustees, I have decided to step down at the end of this, my fifth academic year. For the time being, I am looking forward to returning to full-time scholarship and teaching as a senior research scholar at Yale Law School."
Lawrence has presided over one of the most contentious school years in the school's history. It included the decision last April to rescind an invitation to speak given to noted spokesperson Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to the revelation in July from Truth Revolt's Daniel Mael, a Brandeis senior, of a faculty listserv that smoldered with anti-Israel sentiments, to a dispute in December between Mael and Brandeis University student Khadijah Lynch, an undergraduate representative for the Department of African and Afro-American Studies who tweeted of the ambush/murders of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, "lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f**king country."
Antisemitic British Baroness Jenny Tonge Pressures UK Jews to Condemn Israel
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a member of Britain's House of Lords with a long record of inflammatory, often antisemitic, statements against both Israel and the British Jewish leadership, has again been pressuring British Jews to collectively condemn Israel.
Earlier this week, Tonge tabled a written question in the House of Lords in which she asked "Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to encourage Jewish faith leaders in the United Kingdom publicly to condemn settlement building by Israel and to make clear their support for universal human rights."
Tonge's question, which comes against the background of rising antisemitism in the UK, was quickly condemned by Jewish campaigners.
British News Networks' Shameful Treatment of the Holocaust (VIDEO)
In case anyone still has any doubts with regard to the opinion of British news networks such as the BBC on Jews and Jewish issues, two videos that emerged this week with regard to Tuesday's International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz paint a grim picture.
The theme of the below episode of the BBC show The Big Questions was actually the question, "Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?"
The question itself is concerning, and extremely offensive to the victims of the Holocaust and their descendants—and not only Jewish victims, because it implies that the Holocaust was not the grievous atrocity that it was and that its victims are exaggerating its significance, perhaps for some sinister motivation of social or political gain.
Would an American television program ever pose a question such as, "Is the time coming to forget about 9/11?" Would that program then actually engage in a debate on the topic? It's doubtful that such a program would air smoothly without an enormous outcry, and rightfully so.
Jordan threatens to execute IS prisoners if pilot harmed
The Jordanian government has reportedly threatened to execute IS-affiliated prisoners already sentenced to death if a Jordanian pilot held captive by the terror group is harmed.
According to a report in the Kuwaiti paper al-Rai quoting Jordanian sources. Jordan relayed a message via a third party to IS telling the group that the trials of "jihadist prisoners close to ISIS" may be expedited.
The family of a Jordanian fighter pilot said Saturday it has received no word on his fate since the militants threatened to kill him earlier this week.
The Islamic State group purportedly threatened to kill Lt. Mu'ath al-Kaseasbeh by Thursday unless Jordan released a female al-Qaeda prisoner, Sajida al-Rishawi, from death row. Jordan has said it cannot release her without proof the pilot is alive.
Iran To Try Washington Post Reporter "Soon" on Unspecified Charges
Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Post, issued a statement calling for the release of Rezaian.
"We have yet to hear any accounting of any charges against Jason, who after six months in custody has still not been provided access to a lawyer. It is appalling and outrageous that Jason remains behind bars. A fair and just approach by Iran's judiciary could only result in his immediate release."
Two weeks ago, Iran announced that it had indicted Rezaian on unspecified charges. Iran's handling of the case prompted Rezaian's brother to charge that the government has "bent or broken their rules, and ignored the constitutional requirements that they have, in how they handle a detainee."
An editorial in the Post last month asked, "If Iranian officials are unresponsive in the case of Mr. Rezaian, how can they be expected to deliver on commitments they make with respect to the nuclear program?"
Holocaust documentary shown in Iran for first time
A documentary film featuring footage from the Auschwitz death camp has been broadcast to Iranian viewers, exposing many of them for the first time to the atrocities and mass-murder committed by the Nazis against the Jews.
The documentary, titled "Germany's Führer," was broadcast on Holocaust Memorial Day by Manoto1, a London-based satellite TV station, and was shot by an Iranian film crew which visited the site. The film details the Nazis rise to power in Europe and discusses the stages leading up to the execution of the Final Solution for the extermination of the Jews.
The showing of the film coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day and marked 70 years since the camp was finally liberated by the Soviet army.
Owning a satellite dish in the Islamic Republic is forbidden by the government, but nevertheless, the documentary was estimated to have been viewed by scores of Iranians.
It is unclear to what extent the film actually managed to change the deeply rooted opinions of many Iranians who maintain the Holocaust was fabricated or perpetrated by the Jewish people as a means to garner world sympathy.
Merkel, Orban to Mull Over Anti-Semitism in Hungary
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she will visit the Great Synagogue in Budapest, and discuss with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the rising anti-Semitism in Europe, during her visit to Hungary on Monday.
Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, announced that during Merkel's visit to Budapest she is to discuss with Orban general issues regarding the European Union (EU), but also invest time to examine anti-Semitic incidents and the growing racism in Europe in recent months, and will likewise visit the central synagogue in Budapest.
"The risk of xenophobia must be recognized wherever it is in Europe, and we must reject it. It has to be that way in Germany, like any other country in the European Union" said Seibert.
He also addressed the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party, whose leaders tend to speak against the Jews and asked to make a list of Jews living in Hungary "because they pose a risk to the state," they said.
All-time record car deliveries for Israel in January
Car deliveries in Israel in January are expected to total 32,000, up from 27,000 in January 2014.
Despite deflation, slower growth and a stagnant capital market, the new car market is boiling over in Israel. Initial data received by "Globes" shows that next week figures will be published for an all-time high of 32,000 new vehicle deliveries in January, up from 27,000 cars in January 2014.
Market sources say that a large part of the deliveries have been to leasing companies that stop ordering new cars in November so as to wait for the new models. Consequently December deliveries were half the monthly average. In addition, importers brought in a large number of cars in December ahead of the green tax update at the start of January. Most of the cars have already been released from customs and excise thus paying the old tax. Consequently deliveries in January took place swiftly and were not delayed until February for logistical reasons.
An estimated 25-40% of new deliveries are luxury cars with Audi delivering 900 vehicles in January and Mercedes over 500 with record numbers also for BMW and Mini.
IBM fetes its 'children' on accelerator Graduation Day
"I'm a good Zionist," IBM Israel Country General Manager Rick Kaplan said of himself, and as part of that "job," he promotes Israeli tech around the world. As he told a crowd of over 300 at Tuesday's Demo Day graduation ceremony for companies enrolled in the first-ever IBM Alpha Zone accelerator for start-ups, Kaplan would like to see more countries adopt the values and creativity of the Start-Up Nation.
But on second thought, what works here might not work elsewhere. "It's true that there are good start-ups and entrepreneurs elsewhere," said Kaplan. "But then I realize that to make a real Start-Up Nation, you really need Israeli start-ups." The creativity and capabilities of Israeli entrepreneurs are what puts Israeli start-ups on a higher plane, and makes Israel the start-up Mecca that it has become, he said.
If that's the case for run-of-the-mill Israeli start-ups, it's especially true of the companies that have gone through the Petah Tikva-based IBM Alpha Zone accelerator, said Kaplan. "Alpha Zone fits perfectly with IBM's way of doing business," he said. "The start-ups in the Alpha Zone accelerator are using IBM technology in creative ways, building the applications and service of tomorrow that will bring real change to the world."
IBM was so proud of its start-ups, said Kaplan, that the graduation event was being broadcast live to IBM's many facilities around the world – an honor usually reserved only for top-level events, such as presentations by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/31/2015 07:20:00 PM

Friday, January 30, 2015

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: The wrong end of a municipal drain-pipe
The Charlie Hebdo massacre (as distinct from the subsequent slaughter at the Jewish supermarket) turned the spotlight on Muslim proclivities for righteous rage. Instantly the West’s elected headliners fell over themselves to declare that Islam is a peace-loving religion whose meek adherents only aspire to win a modicum of respect.
As part of our urgent re-education and re-immersion in the cult of multiculturalism, the mantra that the bloodshed “has nothing to do with Islam” was drilled into us nonstop. This, it was repeatedly chanted, is the correct way for us to think. Deviations from the prescribed diktat would be sternly denounced in the name of freedom.
Perhaps that’s why the dismal fate of Saudi citizen Raif Badawi didn’t much move the agenda-setters who so warily safeguard our inalienable right not to veer from their infallible guidelines.
Badawi, 31, fell victim to precisely the same Muslim muzzling as did the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, but he is geographically distant and, therefore perhaps, his pain is less in the enlightened faces of opinion-molders.
But the fact still remains that he suffers appallingly only because he dared take an independent stand.
That’s his one and only crime.
Must Watch: Baroness Deech Pulls No Punches In Opposing UK Recognition of “Palestine”
In the latest parliamentary debate in the House of Lords on UK recognition of palestinian statehood, Baroness Deech tells it like it is.

Britons loathe Israel more than Iran, survey finds
Britons feel more “unfavorable” to Israel than any other country worldwide except North Korea, a survey found.
The survey — taken in August and published Thursday by Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs — showed a massive surge in negative attitudes toward Israel since the previous such study, two years earlier. Thirty-five percent of Britons said they “feel especially unfavorable towards” Israel in the 2014 survey, compared to 17% in 2012.
That figure meant that Israel is regarded more unfavorably by Britons than Iran — 33% in the 2014 survey, compared to 45% in 2012. Only North Korea fares worse — regarded as especially unfavorable by 47% in 2014, compared to 40% in 2012.
Commenting on the dramatic rise in hostile attitudes to Israel, the compilers noted that, “The survey was conducted in August 2014 at a time when … Israel was engaged in a military operation in Gaza against Hamas that caused large numbers of civilian casualties.”

Dear Ahmed…
You have been jailed for your Pro-Israel activism. Then again you wore a shirt with the word peace written in Hebrew on TV in Egypt…so you must of seen that one coming–fair or not. You lost your family, your friends, you have been called a traitor…and your response: “To try and fail. Then to try and fail, and fail again. They will call you stubborn. Then try again and succeed. They will call you determined. While they are busy calling you names, you are busy improving. This is Israel. This is the Jewish people.”
I think what struck me most when we spoke was that you are a proud Muslim. You don’t see religion as the problem or let’s say the force behind the fighting, terrorism and wars…you see the issue with religious leaders that must take responsibility for today’s hate.
You and I are so similar. We like to laugh. Except you smoke which is gross. I told you to stop. After all death threats and being pro-Israel is really enough to get you…I refuse to finish that sentence.
I know it is really late Ahmed, but I hope you write back. Just so you can tell me something good. Or funny. Or comforting.
And just when I felt too tired to hit refresh one more time…the most refreshing thing happened. A response from Ahmed:
“Please lets rock the world together and try to give people hope that PEACE is right around the Corner. Trust me all we need is for one to take the step towards the other instead of avoiding and Hating each other.
Just a Step dear Molly.”
‘Show me evidence Israel wasn’t behind 9/11’, asks vicar Stephen Sizer
However Sizer seemed to defend his actions in an email to the Jewish News, saying: “I would welcome articles you can recommend refuting the allegations.” Noting that many Americans feel 9/11 was “an inside job,” Sizer added: “It is essential the public become convinced of what happened before and after 9/11. Inevitably the truth will upset many people if it is shown by further investigation that the official explanations are shown to be deficient.”
He added: “Encouraging research and debate on all aspects of [9/11] is not anti- Semitic… Suppressing discussion on such grounds will fuel suspicion, not remove it.” Arkush said he was “extremely concerned that a Church of England minister could possibly have considered it appropriate or becoming to his position to advertise such racist nonsense”.
Sizer, Vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, has previously been accused by the Jewish community of linking to extremist content and over the language he used. In 2013, the Church instigated disciplinary proceedings following a formal complaint from the Board. Sizer maintained that his views were not anti-Semitic, but directed at Israeli policy towards Palestinians.
Michael Lumish: “Palestinian” Cartoons
We have to somehow make it clear that the malice within the Arab-Israel conflict is not equivalent on both sides.
That is, there is no morally equivalent “cycle of violence” between Arabs and Jews.
The far larger Arab nation, which gobbled up the entire Middle East shortly after the death of Muhammad, has kept its imperial boot on the head of the Jewish people – thereby keeping our numbers artificially low – in that region for fourteen centuries, until the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I and the seemingly phoenix-like establishment of Israel in 1948.
Arab and Soviet propaganda, since at least the 1960s, has slowly convinced well-meaning western liberals that the children of Holocaust survivors are the bad guys and, weirdly enough, use an inversion of a biblical story to do so.
Everyone knows the legend of David and Goliath.
According to the Bible, Goliath was a giant Philistine warrior and David was a kid, but the future king of Israel, and they fought a millennia before the birth of Jesus, and almost two before the birth of Muhammad.
David defeated Goliath with his sling, of course.
Ryan Bellerose: Even Their Flag is Colonized
You can tell a lot about a people by the flag they choose for their people.
My people’s flag is a white infinity symbol on a blue background, which symbolizes the Metis people and our refusal to die. We believe our people are eternal and can never be broken. The infinity symbol shows that our culture will live forever.The colour is important as well – it should be blue which represents the Metis of the Northwest company; if its red it represents the Hudson Bay company.
I also like the Israeli Flag and its symbolism. The color blue comes from a dye called Tekhelet which came from a marine snail. This color is important in Jewish culture, since they have a commandment to have one of the threads of their Tzitzit (tassels) “so that they may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them.” (Num 15:39) The skills to make this dye were lost during one of the many times of upheaval, but seem to have been brought back in recent times.
The Magen David is a relatively new symbol, dating to the 11th century but there are some examples of it from much earlier, such as the ancient Synagogue at Tel Humm, which contains stones dating back to 3 or 4 CE with this symbol on them.
All in all, a pretty interesting flag that displays a love of the culture and tradition of the Nation of Israel.
Last, we have an interesting flag, the one that the Arabs now calling themselves palestinians chose for themselves. Let’s look at this flag.
It is a red triangle with black, white and green stripes on it.

There is absolutely nothing indigenous about this flag. Not one single, solitary piece of it symbolizes anything to do with the land they claim. Not a single thing differentiates this flag from the flags of other Arab Muslim countries. Then again, the palestinians have no distinct “palestinian” culture so it should hardly be surprising that the flag they created and chose for themselves is nothing more than a celebration of Arab colonialism. It is not the only evidence that palestinian arabs are colonizers who celebrate the colonization of indigenous people, but it’s another piece of an obvious puzzle.
They are colonizers. Hell, even their flag is colonized.

Why Is the Islamist Death Cult So Appealing?
Why, then, do people who are not clinically insane throw themselves into this kind of insanity? Why do they do so even in the world’s wealthiest and most peaceful of countries? They do so because the apocalyptic dreams and the cult of hatred and murder and the yearning for death are fundamentals of modern culture. They enlist because they are unhappy, and the eschatological rebellion against everyday morality satisfies them. The Islamist idea, in its most extreme version especially, offers every solace that a mopey young person could desire. It proposes an explanation of unhappiness. It ascribes the alienation to a conspiracy. Its stipulation of Jewish evil justifies the joys of loathing and murder. It promises a radiant future.
Meanwhile, it offers the joys of romantic costuming, which have always figured prominently in the totalitarian appeal. Instead of the black shirts of Mussolini’s men, or the brown shirts of the Nazi paramilitaries, here is the Islamic State’s black uniform, which the Brothers Kouachi went to some trouble to don in order to slaughter the Charlie cartoonists. And the jihad offers the glamour of suicide. It is a sexually marvelous suicide, to be awarded posthumously and preposterously with the delights to be had from 72 virgins. But the jihad issues its call to suicide also by offering something not at all preposterous or false. This is posthumous fame and glory among one’s fellow jihadis, during the interim before their own martyrdom. Le Monde has reported that, at a high-security prison in France, when the news of the Paris attacks penetrated into the cellblocks, some of the prisoners spent two days screaming “Allahu Akbar” in triumph—a news report that would have caused the Brothers Kouachi and their comrade Coulibaly, the third gunman (himself a disciple of Beghal, the disciple of Bin Laden), to weep in joy, if only they had lived to hear about it. Of course they knew this was going to happen. That is why they did it.
The Islamophobia myth
Last time I checked, there was no widespread Western movement that sought to destroy the Islamic way of life, or to convert the Moslems to Christianity or any other religion. Even the neoconservatives who sought to redeem the world through democracy did not seek to disrupt Islam in the process.
To be sure, some Muslim groups may see the temptation of Western society as a threat to their way of life much the same way Haredim view the modern and integrated society as a threat. The Haredi response is to maintain insular communities that protect adherents from external influences. It is not to seek to impose their standards on Jewish communities across the world. Live and let live.
At the heart of this conflict are two opposing fears: the paranoid fear of Islamists that the West wants to destroy their way of life when no such sentiment has ever been expressed, and the fear of the West that Islamist terrorists will attack symbols of their modern society and kill thousands of innocents, given half a chance, with the stated aim of transforming the entire world.
Now, whose fear is the irrational one?
Lost Violin of Auschwitz Plays Again
A violin thrown some seventy years ago from a train transporting French Jews to the Nazi Auschwitz death camp will sound in the concert hall of the Berlin Philharmonic on Tuesday night, along with other instruments once played by victims of the Holocaust.
A French railwayman caught that unknown passenger’s violin and gave it to his daughter to play.
Years later it found its way into the hands of Israeli violin-maker and restorer Amnon Weinstein, whose extraordinary collection comprises violins embodying their former owners’ tragic histories and stories of survival.
Tuesday marks 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops. Around 1.5 million people, mainly European Jews, were gassed, shot, hanged and burned at the camp in southern Poland during World War Two.
Tuesday’s concert will also feature one of Weinstein’s violins that had belonged to a member of Auschwitz’s prisoner orchestra.
The orchestra played while inmates were marched to work and to entertain guards. The ability to play often saved lives.
HuffPo Posts Anti-Semitic Screed on Holocaust Remembrance Day
Yes, the article contained scare quotes around the number six million. Because it’s not like we’re certain that there were that many dead Jews, right? The awkwardness of this open Holocaust pooh-poohing led the Post to issue a rare editor’s note:
"This blog previously contained quotation marks around the six million figure on Holocaust deaths. The author did not mean to cast doubt over the figure, it was meant as a quotation. We apologise for any offence this caused."
What, exactly, was the author quoting? Nobody knows. Unless it was Norman Finkelstein.
The author continued in this vein. After dismissing Jewish worries about rising European anti-Semitism resulting in mass exodus from France (“it’s heartening to see the number of Jews that have pointed out the economic circumstances tied to these departures”), Eribo then turns to the Jewish conspiracy more broadly:
"Let’s not forget that nowadays, Jewish lobbying and interest groups are quite powerful in the UK and the US. Israel, the country viewed as the Jewish homeland, is a powerful country with even more powerful world allies."
Well, guess that means the Holocaust doesn’t matter any more. Clearly, anti-Semitism has been stamped out, as evidenced by this author suggesting that the Jews are supremely powerful and that Israel is the supposed Jewish homeland rather than the actual Jewish homeland.
IRGC-Affiliated News Agency: The Holocaust Lie Is Gradually Being Exposed; Those Who Claim It Happened Will Be Shamed
The Iranian regime consistently denies the Holocaust, and utilizes its Holocaust denial to claim that Israel's existence is illegitimate. This view is shared by the regime's officials, headed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and by their media mouthpieces.
On January 28, 2015, the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which this year was also the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Fars news agency, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), published an article titled "The Holocaust – An Example Of The West's Rewriting Of History Based On Superpower Interests." The article stated that the "Holocaust lie" was slowly being exposed worldwide with the help of today's rapid communications, which allow deniers to disseminate their views. It further stated that those who insist that the Holocaust really happened base their arguments on falsified and unsubstantiated documents that fail to prove any mass extermination of Jews or any decision by the Nazis to carry out such a move. Another claim presented in the article was that the number of crematoria barely sufficed for incinerating the bodies of those who died from disease, let alone the bodies of millions of Jews. The founders of Zionism, it said, saw Hitler's antisemitism as an opportunity to concoct a myth of the Holocaust in order to promote the establishment of a state for the Jews. Furthermore, the judges in the Nuremburg trials relied on documents that they had not verified.
Clash On Al Jazeera: Egyptian Writer: The Entire World Recognizes Holocaust 'Indisputable' Why Can't Arabs
The U.S.-based Egyptian author Magdi Khalil and Tunisian scholar Shakir Al-Sharafi recently clashed in a heated TV debate on freedom of speech, following the January 2015 Paris attacks. "The Jewish Holocaust is an indisputable and irrefutable fact," said Khalil. "Why is it only the Muslims who deny the Holocaust?" Al-Sharafi, for his part, cited French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, said that Germany and Europe were still "paying the price for this imaginary Holocaust, and added that the Charlie Hebdo attack had been a conspiracy, filmed in advance. The debate aired on Al-Jazeera TV's show "The Opposite Direction" on January 20, 2015.
Pew: Sharp racial split on whether it’s okay to publish Mohammed cartoons
Fascinating but frustrating, as asking if it’s “okay” is just about the vaguest way to phrase a question related to blasphemy. The “not okay” group could include people who think it’s impolite but tolerable to publish; people who think publishers should choose not to publish, whether out of sensitivity or fear; and people who think there oughta be a law.
However the question is being processed, though, the racial split keeps showing up in polls like this.
Note the gender gap too. This is the second major poll I’ve seen on Mohammed and blasphemy since the Charlie Hebdo massacre and there are noteworthy differences by race, sex, and party in both. When YouGov asked a few weeks ago whether the media should publish satires of religion generally, they found Republicans at +14 and Democrats at -9. When asked whether Charlie Hebdo behaved responsibly by publishing the cartoons, men were +34 and whites were +27 while women were just +6 and blacks were -16. On the follow-up question of whether publications should publish satires of a particular religion, men were +25 and whites were +10. Women were -16. Blacks were -34. That YouGov poll was taken immediately after the Hebdo shooting, though; the racial and gender gaps in today’s poll, taken several weeks later, are a bit smaller, with women now +19 on the question of whether it’s okay to publish. So there’s a hopeful note in an otherwise depressingly divided result. It could be that the Charlie Hebdo slaughter is reorienting American public opinion towards greater support for free speech.
Arab Media Reactions To Paris Terror Attacks – Part IV: Conspiracy Theories – The Paris Attacks Are The Work Of France, The French Right, The Jews, Israel
As with the 9/11 attacks, conspiracy theories concerning the January 2015 terror attacks in Paris, at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and at a Jewish supermarket, spread throughout the Arab world and Iran; they claim variously that the attacks were the work of France, the French right, the Jews, and/or Israel.
Among the conspiracy theories – which were published alongside numerous articles condemning the attacks – were those that claimed that France was behind the attacks, with the aim of justifying a military invasion of Libya, just as the U.S. had carried out 9/11 to provide a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. Some propagators of this conspiracy theory urged Muslims not to apologize for the attacks because they were in no way responsible for them.
Others stated that the French right had carried them out, seeking to embarrass the French government and increase its own power in parliament. Articles blaming the Jews and Israel, which included anti-Semitic themes, argued that the attacks were intended to undermine Arab/Muslim-Europe relations, rein in Europe's current pro-Arab drift, and, most of all, block official European institutions' support for a Palestinian state.
These conspiracy theories were harshly criticized by some Arab writers, who argued that they disregarded reality and called on Arabs and Muslims to recognize that some Muslims had indeed committed and were still committing terror operations and that this was rooted in economic, social and cultural factors that needed to be addressed.
New French Anti-Jihad Campaign: 'You Might Be A Terrorist If...'
In the weeks since the attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the country’s government has spent $480 million to stop Islamic radicalization. One of its new materials: a checklist of the “first signs” a person may be becoming a terrorist sympathizer, including “suddenly changing eating habits,” “not listening to music” and “rejecting family members.”
Other symptoms listed in the handy infographic include frequenting extremist websites, changing their clothing habits and dropping out of school.
The hitch is that many of French government’s alleged symptoms of jihadi behavior mimic the behaviors of socially withdrawn young men, including those who are most prone to recruitment by terrorist cells.
The Daily Caller News Foundation entered several of the checklist’s symptoms into the popular online self-diagnosis tool on WebMD, and found possible conditions ranging from adult depression to bulimia to mononucleosis.
Muslims Gloat at Paris Kosher Market 2 Days After Attack
Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly murdered four Jews at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris earlier this month while taking hostages and later being shot by police - just two days after the heinous attack, Muslim youths were outside the store gloating.
A group of French Muslims posted photos of themselves in front of the supermarket to Facebook just after the attack, making rude gestures with their middle fingers in the pictures, reports the French-language Le Monde Juif which provided screenshots.
In the caption of the photos posted by user "Abdellah du Futur" reads vile messages such as "Charlie's a mother (expletive)." The statement is a reference to the "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) campaign of support after Islamist terrorists murdered 12 at the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo for making cartoons of Mohammed, founder of Islam, two days before the supermarket attack.
Another caption reads in French "Allahu Akbar ratatatata ahhhh," mimicking the shouts of Allah is Greater shouted by Muslim terrorists, the sounds of gunfire and the victims' cries of pain.
BBC to investigate presenter’s Israel questions at Paris protest march
The complainant alleged that Willcox’s questions were “misleading in that it linked the Paris killings in a kosher supermarket with events in the Middle East,” and that the “question displayed bias against Israel.”
Andrew Bell, director of the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit, said the network was happy to investigate, and he confirmed that its editorial guidelines stipulated that the channel’s portrayal of people “should avoid careless or offensive stereotypical assumptions.”
Bell, who said the BBC had received a large number of complaints on the subject, added that the outcome of the investigation would be published by February 23.
Meanwhile, former Welsh Nationalist Party leader Lord Dafydd Wigley issued an apology on Wednesday for comparing the deaths at Auschwitz with possible fatalities that might result from Trident nuclear submarines.
The issue in question was the government’s reported plans to move the Trident submarine base in Faslane, on Scotland’s River Clyde, to Pembrokeshire on the coast of Wales. The government subsequently denied such plans.
In a BBC interview, Wigley said that his party would have been “tremendously opposed” to the move. Asked if such a move might bring jobs to the area, he replied, “Look, this week we have been remembering what happened in Germany before the war. No doubt there were many jobs provided in Auschwitz and places like that, but that didn’t justify their existence, and neither does nuclear weapons justify having them in Pembrokeshire.”
StandWithUs: Shutting Down Free Speech on Campus

Northeastern Univ. Professor Abuses Platform To Preach Anti-Semitism
An alarming video posted by Americans for Peace and Tolerance on YouTube shows Muhammad Shahid Alam, a Northeastern University professor, boasting about violating free speech of pro-Israel students at the university. Toward the end of the video, Alam is recorded stating, “if there are one or two people who want to say it [pro-Israel comments], they don’t because they sense that they will get no support from the class.” Pleased to have stifled free speech in the classroom, he proudly states that the “young people know the truth” -- or perhaps, are too intimidated to contradict his version of it.
Unsurprisingly, many Jewish students have reported feeling targeted and intimidated in his classroom, not feelings typically associated with an allegedly open academic environment. This is not the first time that a professor has silenced a pro-Israel student in campus. CAMERA’s past article, Anti-Israel Professors, delved into the significance of this serious problem that pro-Israel students are facing throughout the country. In fact, due to the increase in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks made by professors, the AMCHA Initiative was created. The organization recently published a list of over 200 anti-Israel Middle East Studies Professors.
Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, wrote an article for Campus Watch in which he noted that Alam denies the continuity of Jewish history and, therefore, the Jewish association with the land of Israel, to justify the destruction of the Jewish state.
M Shahid Alam Brags about Violating Free Speech of Northeastern Pro-Israel Students

Christian Century’s Response to Algemeiner Article is Beneath Contempt
Two days after The Algemeiner published my article detailing how James M. Wall, former editor of the Christian Century (CC) joined the editorial board and started writing for Veterans News Now- a website that promotes anti-Semitic propaganda, the CC’s executive editor, David Heim, issued a statement entitled, “On the Century‘s relationship with James Wall.”
The statement, issued on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, reads as follows:
James Wall is listed on the Christian Century masthead as a “contributing editor” along with other former editors and staff members. He has not been involved in editing the magazine since his retirement in 1998.
James Wall did a lot for the Century as editor, but he doesn’t speak for the magazine now. His title “contributing editor” reflects our appreciation for his contributions here but is not an endorsement of what he writes elsewhere.
BBC pot calls the Russian media kettle black
Those observations may indeed be accurate and justified, but one does have to note the irony of the fact that the BBC finds it worth pointing out to audiences that the Russian state media’s failure to report that “insurgents frequently fire from residential areas” is one method used to influence the public’s perception of the hostilities in Ukraine.
After all, it took the BBC itself no fewer than thirty-six days to get round to telling its audiences that “at times” terrorists in the Gaza Strip “have operated from civilian areas” in its coverage of last summer’s conflict between Hamas and Israel. And when members of the public complained about the corporation’s failure to report adequately on the issue of terrorist missile fire from residential areas, they were informed that “[i]t was very hard for journalists in Gaza to get to see rockets being fired out”.
If the BBC is serious about safeguarding its reputation as an accurate, impartial and independent reporter of news, it might care to examine how – and why – its own reporting of the conflict between Hamas and Israel was tailored to influence public opinion in ways apparently not all that different from those used by Russia’s non-independent media outlets.
The BBC and the Houthi logo
Seeing as no attempt was made to explain that logo in Safa Al Ahmed’s report, audiences might perhaps have turned to the BBC News website’s profile of the group titled “Yemen crisis: Who are the Houthis?“. There they would have found that same logo appearing in a picture captioned “Houthi supporters took part in weeks of protests calling for fuel price cuts and a new government”.
So does that logo have anything to do with fuel prices or demands for political reform in Yemen? Well, no – and its recurrent appearance is not coincidental because that banner is actually the official emblem of the Houthis, as explained by the New York Times:
“It includes the words “Death to America, death to Israel, damnation to the Jews.” Houthis shout it when they march, wear it on arm patches, paint it on buildings and stick it onto their car windows. When pictured, those words are rendered in red, framed by “God is great” and “Victory to Islam” in green, on a white background.
Sometimes the red words are shown dripping blood.”
BBC double standards on terrorism surface yet again
In the ‘through the looking glass’ world of the BBC, a UK-based organization which was proscribed by the British government on the basis of its engagement in the glorification of terrorism can be described as a “Terrorist organization” (with a capital T, no less) whilst other groups appearing on the same list of proscribed organisations but operating elsewhere are regularly described in BBC content in euphemistic terms such as “the Lebanese militant movement” or “the Palestinian Islamist militant group, Hamas“.
The Charlie Hebdo terrorists carried out an attack not only directed at the staff of that particular publication but also with the intent of sowing fear and self-censorship in the wider Western media. They sought to terrorise journalists – and Western society in general – into complying with their particular politico-religious demands just as terrorists of all stripes do the world over. Tarik Kafala’s claim that the correct terminology for those who gunned down seventeen people in cold blood is “loaded” means that the BBC cannot tell this story accurately and impartially to its audiences.
That fact will come as no surprise to anyone who has been monitoring the BBC’s inconsistent use of the word terror and its habit of hiding behind the smokescreen of “value judgements” it claims are implicit in that word’s use and may “raise doubts about our impartiality”.
My Sympathy to Jewish People When I Read the Constitution of 1814
In less than five minutes the second paragraph of the constitution which was written in 1814 catches my attention. In 1814, the Norwegian constitution was written to declare an independent Norway out of the hands of Denmark.
The following is what the second Article -paragraph- of the first edition of the constitution says:
“The Evangelical-Lutheran religion remains the public religion of the State. Those inhabitants, who confess thereto, are bound to raise their children to the same. Jesuits and monastic orders are not permitted. Jews are still prohibited from entry to the realm.”
Anti-Semitic Politician Becomes Greek Defense Minister
A Greek politician who claimed that Jews "don't pay taxes" has been elected as Defense Minister, Greek media reported Thursday night, amid already-high concerns over rising anti-Semitism in the country that is only expected to worsen following recent elections.
Panos Kammenos of the Syriza party made the comments during an interview with Greek Ant-1 TV, according to New Greek TV, on December 18 - just days after the drive-by shooting at the Israeli Embassy in Athens.
Local Jewish leaders were outraged at the comments.
"It is a disgrace that a leader of a party in Parliament does not know that Greek Jews are equal citizens and subject to the all the rights and obligations of every citizen," the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece stated in response at the time, noting that Jews pay the same taxes as Greek Christians.
Austrian anti-Semitic attacks nearly doubled in 2014 — watchdog
The Forum Against Anti-Semitism recorded 255 incidents last year, compared to 137 in 2013, the watchdog group reported earlier this week.
It was the highest figure recorded since 2008, surpassing the previous record year of 2009 by more than 22 percent, or 55 incidents.
Similar increases have been recorded in Belgium and France during and following Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Of the 255 incidents documented in Austria, nine were physical attacks and 57 were cases of vandalism. Threats and insults that occurred on the street or in public spaces numbered 21 and cases online hate speech deemed by the watchdog to be of a criminal nature totaled in at 83.
A start-up’s 21st-century upgrade to a $4-trillion business
Today, travelers can get quotes for airline travel online; taxi passengers can order rides with an app; and drivers can get up-to-the-second data on what routes to take and which ones to avoid. But in the international shipping industry — a business worth about $4 trillion — things are done today as they were decades, even centuries, ago.
“It’s totally inefficient,” said Zvi Schreiber, CEO of Israeli start-up Freightos. “Unlike with air travel, for example, where passengers can get quotes on multiple airlines and order tickets in a matter of minutes, it takes days to get a price quote on shipping cargo. Agents are the go-between to locate ships, determine routes, figure out pricing, etc.”
There’s no reason why shipping, like so many other things, can’t be automated, Schreiber believes — so he started Freightos, a company that is determined to bring shipping into the 21st century.
Israel’s Wix Web Platform Company Unveils Super Bowl Ad [video]
The Israeli–based web platform company Wix has unveiled its commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl football game this Sunday.
Wix’s message is that it offers a web solution for every business or even individuals who want to create a website.
The 30-second spot will cost Wix approximately $4.5, and a longer version of the commercial can be seen below.
It features former Green Bay Packer Brett Favre, four other retired football stars and actor Rex Lee
Israeli Geneticist Wins Norwegian Prize for Cancer Research
Norway’s largest charitable organization, the Olav Thon Foundation, has announced that its first international research award in medical and natural sciences will go to Prof. Yosef Shiloh of Tel Aviv University (TAU) and Prof. Judith Campisi of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in California. The two scientists will split the prize money of approximately $660,000.
The foundation, which invests heavily in medical research, recognized Shiloh, the Myers Professor of Cancer Genetics and Research Professor of the Israel Cancer Research Fund at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine, for his pioneering research on the mechanisms that maintain the survival of human cells and the stability of human genetic material
“A prize means scientific recognition,” said Prof. Shiloh. “Scientists do not work in order to get prizes or any other monetary benefits, but the award of a prize means that our work is recognized by our colleagues, and this is probably the true reward of a scientist.”
Rare Einstein postcard from Jerusalem fetches 56K
Just a few photographs and postcards exist from Albert Einstein’s sole visit to pre-state Israel in 1923, and what might be the most quirky of them was just sold at auction for $56,250.
Boston-based RR Auction conducted last Thursday’s sale of Einstein memorabilia, including a postcard he wrote to Zionist leader Authur Ruppin during Einstein’s twelve-day tour of the Holy Land. Sold to an anonymous bidder, the postcard recalls Einstein’s deepened commitment to Zionism following the completion of his theory of general relativity in 1915.
In his brief postcard note to Ruppin, Einstein wrote of “unforgettable days” and “cheerful company” while staying in Jerusalem. Throughout Palestine, Einstein was greeted like a beloved statesman, the target of swarming crowds and — outside the home of British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel — a cannon salute for the world’s first celebrity scientist.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2015 04:00:00 PM
Ma'an pretends to report some news:
An Israeli settler attempted to kidnap an 18-month-old Palestinian toddler in the Jabal al-Mukkabir neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Thursday, witnesses said.

The child was reportedly the son of Ghassan Abu Jamal, one of the attackers who killed five Israelis in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue last November.
Who were the witnesses to this terrible crime?

Abu Jamal's brother said the child, Muhammad, was walking with his uncles when he wandered some five meters ahead of the group.

A female settler then exited a car and grabbed him, running with the child for some 20 meters before relatives caught up and freed the boy.

She released the boy and fled the scene in her car.

Witnesses say she shouted: "Arabs, Arabs, they want to kill me" during the incident
So the family of a terrorist claims that some "settler" (amazing how they know that) tried tokidnap a toddler but they heroically managed to stop her before anything could happen.

Let's do a quick cost/benefit analysis.

Is there any incentive to lying to Palestinian Arab media about being victimized by Jews?

Sure! Lying about some "settler" gets your name in the paper. It makes you sound like a hero. It demonizes the enemy. It can act as a distraction from your own crimes. It can gain you supporters.

Is there any disincentive to lying?

Only if you live in a society where lying about Israelis is considered wrong. Only if your society's media would bother checking facts and call you out if it is found that there is no evidence for your lies. Only if people would be upset at someone having the audacity of lying.

None of those criteria apply to Palestinian Arab society.

Plenty of Arab media reported this fake incident as fact. Not one bothered to go beyond the statements of a family that explicitly supports murdering Jews as the sole source of the otherwise unverifiable story. And they don't want to, because the media itself is part of the fabric of a society that is founded and dependent on falsehoods.

That's why we see so many stories in Ma'an and elsewhere about unverifiable "settler" attacks - never with photos or video, even though everyone has a video camera in their pockets. That's why there are so many stories about thousands of olive trees being destroyed but the only photo accompanying the story is a generic, staged "Arab woman wailing" photo.

The fact that Arab "witnesses" and media routinely lie wouldn't be a problem if Western media and NGOs would add the skepticism that is missing from the Arab media. But they don't. Reporters will believe other reporters' stories without question unless there is something obviously wrong. NGOs make their money off of these lies. So, unfortunately, the institutions that should be acting as watchdogs instead act like lapdogs for the lies, or at best they simply ignore the obvious lies but believe the next batch of lies that sound a little more plausible.

What a system!

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2015 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Iran - Unafraid and undeterred
From the Golan Heights to Gaza, from Yemen and Iraq to Latin America to Nantanz and Arak, Iran is boldly advancing its nuclear and imperialist agenda. As Charles Krauthammer noted last Friday, the nations of the Middle East allied with the US are sounding the alarm.
Earlier this week, during Obama’s visit with the new Saudi King Salman, he got an earful from the monarch regarding the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But it seemed to have no impact on his nuclear diplomacy with Teheran. The administration believes that Iran and Saudi Arabia will be able to kiss and make up and bury a thousand- year rivalry between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam because they both oppose the Islamic State. This too is utter fantasy.
Israel’s January 18 strike on Iranian and Hezbollah commanders in Syria showed Israel’s strategy wisdom and independent capacity.
Israel can and will take measures to defend its critical security interests. It has the intelligence gathering capacity to identify and strike at targets in real time.
But it also showed the constraints Israel is forced to operate under in its increasingly complex and dangerous strategic environment.
Due to the US administration’s commitment to turning a blind eye to Iran’s advances and the destabilizing role it plays everywhere it gains power, Israel can do little more than carry out precision attacks against high value targets. The flipside of the administration’s refusal to see the dangers, and so enable Iran’s territorial expansion and its nuclear progress, is its determination to ensure that Israel does nothing to prevent those dangers from growing – whether along its borders or at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why Is Hamas Smiling?
In 2007, Abbas lost the Gaza Strip to Hamas. Now, he seems to be losing the Gaza Strip to his rivals in Fatah.
The violent events of the past few weeks are yet another sign of Fatah's failure to get its act together, especially in the aftermath of its defeat to Hamas in the January 2006 parliamentary elections.
Over the past few years, Abbas has repeatedly declared that there will never be a Palestinian state without the Gaza Strip.
However, the internecine strife among the Fatah leadership, as well as the continued power struggle between Abbas and Hamas, mean that the chances of creating a Palestinian state while he is still in power are non-existent. If in the past Abbas was unable to visit the Gaza Strip because of Hamas, now he knows that many of his former Fatah supporters have also turned against him.
Under the current circumstances, there is not much that Abbas could do other than remain in the West Bank, where he feels safer, largely thanks to the presence of the Israel Defense Forces there.
It is time for the international community to wake up and realize that the whole idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state is nothing but a joke. The last thing the Palestinians and the international community want is another Syria or Libya or Yemen in the Middle East.
Instead of working to help each other and rebuild the Gaza Strip, the Palestinians are busy fighting and threatening each other. This is not a fight over reforms, democracy or building a better future for Palestinians. Nor is it a fight between good guys and bad guys. Rather, this is a fight between bad guys and bad guys -- and it is all over money, ego and power.
JPost Editorial: Strength in restraint
This week’s cross-border attack by Hezbollah was its expected response to an alleged Israeli attack earlier this month in the Syrian Golan that killed one of its senior operatives and an Iranian general. The nearly symmetrical assault on IDF troops by the Iranian proxy terrorist organization was a clearly calibrated retaliation designed to uphold Hezbollah’s “honor” but without escalating into a wider confrontation that might once again demonstrate Iran’s commitment to global terrorism.
But while Hezbollah is committed on the ground in Syria, fighting to uphold the regime of Bashar Assad – and reportedly not willing to risk drawing Israel into a confrontation that might endanger the stability of the shaky Lebanese government – it also strives to maintain the credibility of its threat to Israel’s civilian population; namely its stockpile of some 100,000 missiles aimed southward.
It is significant to note that Wednesday’s attack was not perpetrated as a cover operation for the abduction of soldiers, as has happened before; nor was it another assault on a bus of schoolchildren or the rocketing of a border town. Any of these hostile acts might have sparked yet another Lebanon incursion or even war.

Bibi, Iran’s nukes, and military force in a changed Middle East
Jeffrey Goldberg thinks Netanyahu has Israel positioned very poorly indeed.
James Fallows’ conclusion, agreeing with Goldberg on the worldview, is encapsulated in a quote from a war-game director and retired Air Force officer in 2004:
“After all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers,” our main war-game designer, retired Air Force colonel Sam Gardiner, said at the end of our 2004 exercise. “You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work.” That was true then, and truer now.
I don’t doubt at all the sincere belief Fallows has in this conclusion. But if you unpack the work that led to it 2004, you find that it was based on a fatally flawed premise. (More on that in a moment.)
Moreover, the situation of 2004 no longer obtains. That means that the calculations of two major players must now be different. One is Israel; the other is the United States. The calculations I refer to include not merely the consequences of each party’s actions, and whether the parties’ capabilities are sufficient for the necessary task. They also include what the threat has become, and the fact that it is graver now than in 2004.
Don’t make assumptions about what I mean by that. It may not be what you thin
PM: Easier to mend US ties than bad Iran nuclear deal
The remarks came shortly after The New York Times reported that Netanyahu had reached out by phone to leading Democrats in an effort to quell the tensions around his scheduled address on Iran, in which he is likely to campaign against the White House’s stance in the nuclear negotiations.
“We can resolve procedural issues with regard to my appearance in the US, but if Iran arms itself with nuclear weapons, it will be a lot harder to fix,” Netanyahu said.
In a visit to wounded Israeli soldiers hurt in a Hezbollah strike on Wednesday, the prime minister cautioned against a deal between Western powers and Iran on its nuclear deal, and said that Israel was under an “ongoing attack” by the Islamic Republic.
Iran is “opening new fronts against us, using terrorism in the Middle East and in the entire world,” he continued.
Obama Politicized Iran Sanctions; Not Israel’s Ambassador
Up until Obama entered the White House, opposition to Iran and support for sanctions was a matter of bipartisan consensus. Though his rhetoric about stopping Iran has always been good, the president has opposed virtually every sanctions bill that has been proposed, including some that he now brags about having brought Iran to the table. An overwhelming majority of both Houses of Congress comprising members of both parties have supported increased sanctions on Iran for the past two years. The only consistent opponent has been the president. It is he who has sought to make sanctions a partisan issue by leaning on Democrats to oppose the measure out of loyalty to him. He has also stooped to exploit the resentment many Democrats feel toward Speaker Boehner as a reason to back his stand on Iran. Though Dermer may have erred by not consulting with the White House about Boehner’s invitation, the decision to turn this into a major kerfuffle is purely a product of administration politics, not an understandable desire on the part of the Israelis to aid those backing sanctions.
Let’s also note the hypocrisy of many of his critics. The same people crying foul about Dermer and Netanyahu didn’t protest when British Prime Minister David Cameron lobbied members of the Senate on behalf of Obama’s stand on Iran. Some of those veteran American diplomats who are piling on are also guilty of having very short memories. One of the key witnesses against Dermer in the Times article is former State Department official Daniel Kurtzer who said it was unheard of for a diplomat to go behind the back of a country’s government and work with its domestic opponents. But Kurtzer and the rest of the peace processers who worked for a number of administrations over the last 25 years have been guilty of doing just that whenever a Likud prime minister was in power. Both Presidents Clinton and Obama have worked tirelessly to undermine and defeat Netanyahu throughout his three terms in office in ways that Dermer and his boss would never dream of trying to do to Obama.
Say what you will about the mess that Dermer and Netanyahu find themselves in and for which they bear some responsibility. But the prime minister’s scheduled speech has become a diplomatic cause célèbre due to the partisan political games being played by the White House, not the Israelis. It is Obama that is undermining the U.S.-Israel alliance by seeking to appease Iran, not the efforts of Dermer to rally Americans behind a stand that is in the best interests of both countries.
Top Senate Democrat: Netanyahu speech causing backlash on new Iran sanctions
According to the New York Times, the senior Democrat in the Senate had a "candid" talk with Netanyahu, in which he said he thought US Speaker of the House John Boehner was wrong to invite the premier to Washington without the Obama administration's approval.
While Reid refrained from advising Netanyahu "not to come" to Washington – "I wouldn’t do that" – he did explain the planned speech was having an effect on Congress, namely, with Democratic lawmakers pulling support for new sanctions to curb the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weapons program.
"It’s hurting you," the Democratic leader said he told Netanyahu. "I said," he told the Times, "'You [Netanyahu] have to understand this. I’m not telling you what to do or what not to do, but you have to understand the background here from my perspective.'"
Reid went on to say he felt Boehner had stepped out of the bounds of protocol by extending the speaking invitation, echoing a view held by the administration. Relaying this to Netanyahu, he said Boehner's move "was not the right thing to do."
Iran vote delayed to avoid influencing Israel's election, senator says
The Republican author of new sanctions legislation on Iran is criticizing his Democratic colleagues for delaying a full floor vote on his bill.
Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois), co-author of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 alongside Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), praised the Senate Banking Committee for adopting the bill by a vote of 18 to 4 on Thursday with "overwhelming bipartisan support."
But in a phone call after the vote with The Jerusalem Post, Kirk also questioned why his Democratic colleagues seek to delay moving forward with a bill which, he says, adds pressure on Iran at a key moment in negotiations over its nuclear program, without violating any terms of the talks.
The delay is "a failed attempt to try and not influence the Israeli election," Kirk asserted. Ten Democratic senators told the president they would withhold full support for the bill until March 24, granting the president's team two months to negotiate; Israelis go to the polls on March 17.
"My preference is to take the time necessary with my Democratic partners, and to insist that a permanent delay is not viable," he said, adding: "Democratic plans to delay this indefinitely are woefully out of date."
Nancy Pelosi: Bibi Coming To Congress Might Upset Iran
The House of Representatives’ senior ranking Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, said on Wednesday she was concerned that if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the U.S. Congress in March, it may result in negative ramifications for the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran.
The fact that Israel is America’s only ideological ally in the Middle East and that Iran is sworn to the United States’ destruction did not make an appearance in the remarks of the House Minority Leader. “Such a presentation could send the wrong message in terms of giving diplomacy a chance,” Pelosi told reporters outside of a conference of fellow Democratic Party representatives.
Netanyahu will already be in the United States for AIPAC’s annual Washington, D.C. Pro-Israel conference in March. The Israeli PM is set to speak to the entire Congress on March 3.
Pelosi added that it was “not appropriate” that Netanyahu will come to speak only “two weeks before an election.” She did not comment on the fact that high-ranking former Obama administration campaign operatives are currently on the ground in Israel attempting to sabotage Netanyahu’s chances at reelection.
Sen. Cruz Asks if Obama Behind V-15 ‘Political Campaign against Netanyahu’
Sen. Cruz asked:
"This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies."
Zeldin added, “It is completely unacceptable to use U.S. tax dollars to influence the elections in Israel. State Department grants should never be given to entities working to overthrow strong allies like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We have great allies around the world, but Israel is our strongest, and a beacon of freedom in a region filled with radical Islamic extremists and state sponsored terrorism. Today, I join with Sen. Ted Cruz in calling for a U.S. Department of State investigation into this important matter.”
Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin request asked Kerry to answer eight questions:
State Dept. Says Taxpayers’ Money not Used in V-15 Campaign
The U.S. State Dept. said Thursday the American government used to fund the left-wing OneVoice group that is campaigning against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but that no grants were given after last November.
Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, “The U.S. Government grant to OneVoice Israel was for $233,500. The duration of this grant, as I mentioned yesterday but just to reconfirm, was from September 23rd, 2013 through November 30th, 2014.
” No payment was made to OneVoice after November 2014.”
The grant was for a project “to support a two-state solution,” she said.
NGO: Israel to build 450 new units in West Bank
The Israeli government on Friday published tenders to build 450 settler homes in the West Bank, the head of an NGO that monitors settlement activity told AFP, in what a senior PLO official called a “war crime.” The Housing Ministry denied the tenders were new.
“It’s the opening of the settlement floodgates,” said Daniel Seidemann, head of the Terrestrial Jerusalem group, adding that the announcements were the first since October 2014 and unlikely to be the last before the March 17 general election.
He said that the new homes were to be built in four existing settlements across the West Bank — with 114 in Adam, 156 in Elkana, 78 in Alfei Menashe and 102 in Kiryat Arba.
The Housing Ministry told Israel Radio that the tenders in question had been issued in the past, and were renewed automatically since construction did not take place after its initial approval.
A senior Palestinian official said the measure constituted a “war crime.”
Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Urge State Dept. to Halt PA Aid Due to ICC Bid
A bipartisan group of members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee wrote a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the State Department to revoke economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in response to the PA’s decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC). The PA signed the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, on December 31st of last year.
The members of Congress who wrote the letter, including Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), stated that “The United States should not support direct economic assistance to the PA until it demonstrates a meaningful reversal of this destructive course and proves it can be a willing partner for peace.” The State Department called the PA’s actions with regards to the ICC “entirely counterproductive” and said they would “undermine trust and create doubts about their commitment to a negotiated peace.” Following the signing of the Rome Statute, the Palestinians asked the ICC to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes perpetrated during Operation Protective Edge last summer. The ICC has decided to open a preliminary probe to determine if war crimes were committed.
Joining the ICC puts the PA in violation of U.S. legislation that states that no State Department economic aid can be transferred to the PA if “the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians.” The United States gives the PA around $400 million per year.
Senators pledge not to support Palestinian aid until US reviews ICC bid
Three in four US senators pledged not to support assistance to the Palestinian Authority until the Obama administration reviews the admittance of Palestine to the International Criminal Court.
“Current law prohibits economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians initiate an ICC investigation of Israeli nationals or ‘actively support such an investigation,’” said the letter sent Thursday by 75 senators to Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Although we believe it is in the interest of the United States for urgent humanitarian assistance to continue to be provided to the Palestinian people, we will not support assistance to the Palestinian Authority while you undertake a review of this matter,” it said.
It is not clear that the Palestinian Authority violated US law with its actions. The ICC prosecutor, not the Palestinians, initiated the preliminary examination of whether crimes were committed during last summer’s Gaza war, and a formal investigation has yet to be launched. Typically it takes years for examinations to become investigations.
However, some legal experts argue that by granting the ICC jurisdiction in its territory, the Palestinian Authority may be legally understood to have “initiated” an investigation.
The exemption in the letter for humanitarian assistance “to the Palestinian people” means much of the $500 million in annual US aid will likely continue, although a cutoff could affect security assistance for the Palestinians.
Outsourcing Israel’s Security to Peacekeepers
Given this abysmal record it is hard to believe that there are still those who would readily outsource Israel’s security to still more international peace keeping forces. Following this summer’s war in Gaza there had been talk of creating an EU force to police the Philadelphi corridor through which the majority of weapons are smuggled into Gaza from the Sinai. Still more alarming had been the proposal made during Kerry’s last round of peace talks that advocated for the IDF in the Jordan Valley being replaced with a foreign fighting force that would supposedly prevent a Palestinian state in the West Bank from becoming yet another terror hub.
From May 1967, when the UN willingly withdrew its peacekeepers from the Sinai so that General Nasser could remilitarize the territory in preparation for a war of annihilation against the young Jewish state, Israelis have always known that they need to be able to defend themselves by themselves. Quite apart from the fact that the UN appears to have a total disregard for the safety of Israelis–as seen with both UNIFIL and UNRWA–it will always be the case that international forces acting on behalf of international organizations, as opposed to national self-interest, will be woefully ineffective. A catalog of recent genocides are a sorry testament to the way UN forces are much better at observing and monitoring atrocities than they are at preventing them.
On the whole, most countries are simply not inclined to put their own troops at risk for the sake of other people’s peace and security. Israel knows this and should resist any pressure to outsource its security to coldly disinterested international forces in the future.
‘IDF was warned of border strike ahead of Wednesday attack’
According to an unsourced report by Channel 10, one of the possible scenarios the Israel Defense Forces was warned about was a cross-border missile attack from Lebanon. In spite of the warnings, the report said, an army convoy carrying Givati Brigade commanders visiting the area along the border was not canceled.
Two soldiers were killed in the attack — company commander Captain Yochai Kalengel, 25, from Har Gilo; and Sgt. Dor Nini, 20, from Shtulim — and seven were injured.
Fearing an attack, the IDF relocated a military checkpoint outside the village of Ghajar by a few hundred meters, to what was meant to be a more secure spot, the TV report said. But the new location was also visible from Lebanon, leaving military vehicles that gathered at the checkpoint vulnerable to Wednesday’s attack.
PLO Ambassador expresses joy over Hezbollah bombing
Following Hezbollah’s bombing in Northern Israel two days ago, which killed two Israeli soldiers, PLO Ambassador to India and regular columnist for the official PA daily Al-Hayyat Al-Jadida Adli Sadeq described the Palestinian “joy” over Hezbollah’s “operation.” He explained that Palestinians were hoping Hezbollah would kidnap Israeli soldiers that could be used as bargaining chip to demand the release of “all” Palestinian prisoners:
“The Palestinians followed the developments of yesterday's event together, full of hope that the resistance fighters (i.e. Hezbollah) would capture Israeli soldiers and hold them in order to exchange them [for Palestinian prisoners], thereby breaking Israel’s inflexibility regarding the prisoners’ issue and forcing it to free them all.” [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 29, 2015]
Attack on IDF Vehicle Might Have Been Field Test for New Iranian Missile
Iranian troops are testing a missile designed in 2012 that could potentially hamper Israeli efforts to fight Hezbollah in the future, Armin Rosen of Business Insider reported Wednesday.
"The Dehlaviyeh’s actual capabilities haven’t been proven on the battlefield yet. Iran has a history of over-hyping its weapons advances, most notoriously with the stealth fighter mock-up that Iran attempted to debut as a finished plane in February of 2013.
But Iranian troops test-fired the Dehlaviyeh during maneuvers inside Iran in recent weeks. Regime media released photos of the missile being fired during exercises in southern Iran which took during the first half of December."

Rosen notes that while it is uncertain that the Dehlaviyeh functions as well as Iran has boasted, if it turns out that it was the weapon fired at the IDF yesterday, “it means that Hezbollah can supplement its most effective battlefield tactic with an even more advanced anti-tank system.” That would mean that Hezbollah could “end up dictating Israel’s options in how it will respond” to future attacks.
UN Security Council Refuses to Condemn Hezbollah
An emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday night condemned the death earlier that day of a Spanish peacekeeper in the Golan Heights, but failed to address the Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah’s rocket attack on an IDF convoy, killing two Israeli soldiers and wounding seven more.
Yesterday’s cross-border attack came in the wake of escalating threats towards Israel from Iranian military officers. Hezbollah’s attack drew condemnations from Lebanese politicians as well as the wider Arab world. In a conference call hosted Wednesday by The Israel Project (which publishes The Tower), Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said that the attack could be seen as part of an “Iranian effort to expand into the Golan Heights.”
How the BBC framed the story of Hizballah’s latest attack
Framing, of course, is also facilitated by omission and in these two articles the BBC makes no effort to inform audiences of the fact that Hizballah is an internationally proscribed terror organization. Instead, the articles use terms such as “Hezbollah militants”, “fighters” and “Lebanese militant group”. Both articles include a side-bar link to the BBC’s profile of Hizballah which, as readers may recall, was given a sympathetic make-over in December 2013.
Another crucial factor affecting the framing of this story is the omission of any information concerning the various UN resolutions calling for the disarming of Hizballah, with the most recent of those being Resolution 1701. BBC audiences cannot form a proper understanding of this story if they are not informed of the fact that the party which carried out the attack, according to a unanimous UNSC decision, should not be armed and should not be operating south of the Litani River. Unfortunately, this is far from the first time that the BBC has failed to inform – and even misled – its funding public on that issue.
After Jerusalem Trains, Concrete Blocks On Tel Aviv Buses (satire)
Mayor Ron Huldai hailed the initiative as a breakthrough in providing security. The program, called Bus-Loaded Objects to Counter Killing and Harm, to Emulate Armored Devices (BLOCKHEAD), will, in a symbolic gesture, first place the barriers on buses of the number 40 line, which was the target of a stabbing attack last week. “Tel Aviv may be a forward-thinking city but we admire the way Jerusalem has handled the evolving threat of terrorist acts, and happily adopt the methods that have proved successful in addressing them,” said Huldai.
Indeed, after a spate of terrorist attacks at rail stations by Palestinians driving cars into Israeli pedestrians, the capital city placed dozens of large concrete blocks to impede vehicular access to the light rail stations, and those attempts ceased. Huldai and police commanders in Tel Aviv agreed to implement a similar preventive initiative locally. The BLOCKHEAD program was made possible by an allocation of new revenue from extortionate parking fines and enforcement policies. The feasibility of the program has also increased as fuel prices continue to drop, reducing the impact of increased fuel consumption that heavy concrete blocks on buses would otherwise exert.
“Once BLOCKHEAD is fully implemented, passengers on our buses will never have to worry about being trampled by a terrorist’s vehicle,” declared Huldai. “And as an added safety bonus, the weight of the concrete blocks will prevent buses from going more than thirty kilometers per hour, thereby reducing the risk of injuries and fatalities as a result of accidents,” though the mayor conceded that the latter benefit was largely academic, as traffic in the greater Tel Aviv area generally precludes any vehicle travelling in excess of 20.
Huldai was silent on the possible diplomatic implications of BLOCKHEAD.
IDF nabs 2 armed Palestinians on Gaza border
Israeli troops arrested two armed men who allegedly attempted to cross the border from the Gaza Strip to carry out a terrorist attack.
The suspects arrested Thursday night were on their way to carry out an attack on civilians or soldier in a town near the border, security officials told Army Radio, adding they may also have planned to take hostages.
They carried three hand grenades, a knife and a screwdriver.
Abbas Invited to Sweden After 'Palestine' Recognition
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will visit Stockholm next month after Sweden became the first major state of the European Union to recognize the PA as "Palestine," the Swedish government announced Friday.
"The visit of president Abbas, by invitation from the prime minister, is confirmed for February 10," foreign ministry spokeswoman Ulla Jacobson told AFP. "He will also meet the foreign minister, the king and the archbishop."
She said the agenda would include the Arab-Israeli peace process and "what Sweden can offer after (its) recognition" of "Palestine" in October.
Islamic State's Egypt wing claims credit for terror attacks that killed 27
Islamic State's Egypt wing claimed responsibility for a series of attacks that killed at least 27 on Thursday in some of the worst anti-state violence in months, after commemorations around the anniversary of the 2011 uprising turned deadly this week.
Egypt's government faces an Islamist insurgency based in Sinai and growing discontent with what critics perceive as heavy handed security tactics.
A series of tweets from the Sinai Province's Twitter account claimed responsibility for each of the four attacks that took place in North Sinai and Suez provinces within hours of one another on Thursday night.
Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, Egypt's most active militant group, changed its name to Sinai Province last year after swearing allegiance to Islamic State, the hardline Sunni militant group that has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria, drawing US-led airstrikes.
Calls to Kill President Al-Sisi and Egyptian Journalists on Muslim Brotherhood TV Channels

Sons of Egypt’s Mubarak freed from jail, officials say
The two sons of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak were released from prison Monday, nearly four years after they were first arrested along with their father, authorities said.
Security officials said the two, wealthy businessman Alaa and Mubarak’s one-time heir apparent Gamal, walked free from Torah Prison in a southern Cairo suburb shortly after daybreak and headed to their respective homes in the capital’s upscale Heliopolis suburb.
The two, along with their father, still face a retrial on corruption charges. Separately, the two sons also face trial on insider trading charges. They had been acquitted of other charges.
Mubarak, now 86, stepped down in February 2011 in the face of a popular uprising. He and his two sons were arrested in April that year. Mubarak remains held at a military hospital in a southern suburb of Cairo.
Egypt Revokes Death Sentences for 500 Islamic Extremists
Four years ago, many of us were glued to the TV and social media streams following the dawn of “Arab Spring”.
One of the most dramatic moments of that era was the start of massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square. After ousting the reviled Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptians used their vote to elect a Muslim Brotherhood “community organizer”; and the ensuing meltdown led to his ouster and the nation declaring the group illegal.
In April 2014, I noted the country had sentenced over 600 alleged supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president to death, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual leader — the aptly named Mohammed Badie.
Those sentences have now been revoked.
After captive swap deadline passes, Japan, Jordan cooperating on fate of Japanese journalist
The hostage crisis comes as Islamic State, which has already released videos showing the beheadings of five Western hostages, is coming under increased military pressure from US-led air strikes and by Kurdish and Iraqi troops pushing to reverse the Islamist group's territorial gains in Iraq and Syria.
About an hour before the new deadline was due to pass, government spokesman Mohammad al-Momani said Jordan was still holding Rishawi.
"We want proof...that the pilot is alive so that we can proceed with what we said yesterday – exchanging the prisoner with our pilot," Momani told Reuters.
The pilot, Muath al-Kasaesbeh, was captured after his jet crashed in northeastern Syria in December during a bombing mission against Islamic State.
Momani said separately that Jordan was coordinating with Japanese authorities in an effort to secure the release of Goto, a veteran war reporter.
Goto's wife urged both governments to work for her husband's release, saying in a statement to Reuters and other media that she feared this was his last chance.
Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ Cash
In the past several months, many of the Syrian rebel groups previously favored by the CIA have had their money and supplies cut off or substantially reduced, even as President Obama touted the strategic importance of American support for the rebels in his State of the Union address.
The once-favored fighters are operating under a pall of confusion. In some cases, they were not even informed that money would stop flowing. In others, aid was reduced due to poor battlefield performance, compounding already miserable morale on the ground.
From afar, the U.S.-approved and partially American-armed Syrian “opposition” seems to be a single large, if rather amorphous, organization. But in fact it’s a collection of “brigades” of varying sizes and potentially shifting loyalties that have grown up around local leaders, or, if you will, local warlords. And while Washington talks about the Syrian “opposition” in general terms, the critical question for the fighters in the field and those supporting them is, “opposition to whom?” To Syrian President Assad? To the so-called Islamic State, widely known as ISIS or ISIL? To the al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al Nusra?
Man Who Escaped ISIS: They Want to Plan an Attack ‘More Brutal’ than 9/11
Ahmad Rashidi was captured by the Islamic State when he went to Syria from London to retrieve the two daughters of a family friend; the teenage girls had fled England to marry Islamic State fighters. When Rashidi found one of the girls, her husband accused him of being a spy and he was taken prisoner and tortured. He later won the favor of his capturers by telling them he was a doctor; Rashidi is, in fact, a first-year medical student.
While embedded with the Islamic State for a month, Rashidi gained access to their computers and communications. He told NBC News’s Richard Engel that the group communicates with its contacts “every day” and is not worried about the West’s response to its attacks. In fact, the Islamic State was “happy” about the American military’s response of air strikes because it proved to the group’s leaders that they were considered as important a threat as al-Qaeda.
“They want to be more . . . better than al-Qaeda,” he told Engel. “This is why they need to do something more brutal than the World Trade Center.”
Man Publicly Executed Four Weeks After His Arrest
Two men were executed in Iran today. One of them was hanged publicly in central Iran four weeks after he was arrested.
Iran Human Rights, January 28, 2015: Two prisoners were hanged in two different Iranian cities today, reported the Iranian state media.
The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported that a man was hanged in public early this morning in the town of Golpayegan (Central Iran). Several thousand people were gathered at the scene of the public executions. The man who was identified as Mansour Mirlouhi (43) was charged with Moharebeh (Waging war against God) and “Corruption on earth” for participation in several episodes of armed robbery and two armed clashes in Khomein and Golpayegan resulting in death of three security forces and two civilians, said the report.
According to the report Mirlouhi was arrested on 1. January 2015 and sentenced to death on January 24 by section one of Isfahan Revolution Court. His death sentence was approved by the Supreme Court two days later on January 26 and he was hanged publicly two days after that, on January 28.
Iran, where NGOs go to die, elected Vice-Chair of UN Committee on NGOs
On January 26, 2014 the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, in charge of granting NGOs UN-accreditation, elected Iran as its vice-chair. UN accreditation or "consultative status" provides NGOs with real benefits, such as attending international conferences and events, making written and oral statements, organizing side events, entering UN premises, and having opportunities to network and lobby.
However, the very UN NGO body that accredits NGOs now includes numerous countries infamous for NGO harassment and intimidation such as China, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, Russia, Pakistan, Sudan and Venezuela. In the past, the worst abusers like China and Sudan have frequently managed to derail many applications of western NGOs.
Turkish Foreign Ministry mistakenly publishes ‘Armenian Genocide Monument’ picture
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has “mistakenly” published a picture of an “Armenian Genocide Monument” on an official day planner, prepared to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Çanakkale in World War I.
A picture of the monument in Yerevan is included on the April page of the planner.
A Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News that the picture had been “accidentally included with other photographs.”
An investigation has been launched into the mistake and the individual responsible will be punished, the official said, adding that most of the day planners have yet to be distributed.
Wife of Flogged Saudi Blogger Says His Health is Worsening
The wife of a Saudi rights activist, sentenced last year to 1,000 lashes for criticizing the Kingdom’s clerics in his blog, said on Thursday her husband’s health had worsened after the first round of flogging and that he could not survive the full punishment.
Raif Badawi, 31, a blogger and founder of the “Free Saudi Liberals” website, received 50 lashes on Jan 9. The second of 20 rounds in total has twice been postponed on medical grounds.
“Raif’s health condition is bad and it’s getting worse and worse,” said Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, who lives with her three children in Canada after being offered refuge.
“I am very concerned about him. It is impossible for a human being to withstand 50 lashes every week,” she told a news conference in Ottawa, adding that Badawi was suffering from high blood pressure.
No women allowed: Saudi Arabia wants MEN-ONLY Olympics with ultra-conservative plan for segregated games
Ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia wants to see men and women compete in separate Olympics with a controversial proposal to joint-host segregated games.
An official from the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee floated the idea of male athletes competing in his country while a female games would be held in neighbouring Bahrain.
Prince Fahad bin Jalawi Al Saud, an international relations consultant to the president of the Saudi committee, told French sports website Frances Jeux that he could see the country bidding for the Olympics with another Gulf state.
Acknowledging certain 'cultural constraints' made it difficult to imagine having women compete in his home country, Fahad said: 'Our society can be very conservative.
'It has a hard time accepting that women can compete in sports, especially in swimming.
'Wearing sports clothing in public is not really allowed. For these cultural reasons, it is difficult to bid for certain big international events.'
But Fahad maintained a compromise was possible, proposing an arrangement with another Middle Eastern country such as Bahrain.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 1/30/2015 12:00:00 PM

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