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Monday, February 29, 2016

From the official website of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un:
Ismail Ahmed Mohamed Hasan, Palestinian ambassador to the DPRK, hosted a reception at his embassy on Friday on the occasion of the birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il.

Present there on invitation were Yang Hyong Sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, and officials concerned.

The ambassador said in his speech that Kim Jong Il's revolutionary career is an outstanding example as a state leader possessed of brilliant idea and creative caliber. He devoted himself to the freedom of the country and its people's happiness and the victory of the oppressed people's struggle, the ambassador noted, adding:

The Korean people are making a fresh leap and innovations in all fields for building socialist economic construction under the leadership of Marshal Kim Jong Un who is leading the all-out advance for building a thriving nation as the successor to the cause of President Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Yang Hyong Sop said that Kim Jong Il made great contributions to firmly defending the country, the nation and the destiny of socialism and ensuring the peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the world with his original Songun politics.

He noted that the service personnel and people of the DPRK would surely build a paradise of the people, a reunified powerful nation on this land as desired by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, rallied close around Kim Jong Un.

He said that the DPRK government and the Korean people would as ever send invariable support and solidarity to the just cause of the Palestinian people for regaining the legitimate national rights.
Birds of a feather.

(h/t בחור טוב)


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From Ian:

Howard Jacobson: Anti-Zionists are fools if they think they have a monopoly on compassion
Instead, this being Israel Apartheid Week, allow me, one last time, to address the charge made frequently against anyone for whom Zionism isn’t a dirty word, that such a personage wilfully and maliciously conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism in order to discredit the former.
Since I am one of the personages so charged, no matter that I have never conflated the two, I will repeat my innocence of the accusation. No, I do not say that an anti-Zionist must be an anti-Semite. Might I ever have said it? Perhaps where anti-Zionism comes to mean that Jews can go to hell in a handcart I might have thought it; but where the anti-Zionism is contingent not eschatolgical, a condemnation of a particular series of political choices and events, not an indictment of heartless expansionism lodged forever in the Jewish character, then no, I am not a conflator. Condemn away, I say.
What I do, however, maintain is that an anti-Zionist might be an anti-Semite and, in some instances, demonstrably is. Whatever its originating motives, anti-Zionism has become, for those who want to use it this way, a get-out-of-jail-free card. Anything can now be said about Jews under cover of anti-Zionism, as though, because an anti-Zionist need not be an anti-Semite, it must, by a perverse logic, follow that he never is.
What those who warn against confusing Israel-hatred with Jew-hatred must answer is why the two frequently confuse themselves. The recent alleged goings-on at Oxford and other campuses suggests that the distinct line which anti-Zionists wish to see drawn between their ideology and anti-Semitism is not respected within their own movement. Call a Jew a Zio, perpetuate the blood libel and mutter of worldwide Jew conspiracy, and you either betray the purity of intention you claim for your cause, or you demonstrate there was never such a purity in the first place.
I won’t play the game of “you suspect my motives so I suspect yours”. I simply ask of those who believe I cannot make a distinction whether the blurring they see is theirs not mine. Look into your hearts. How innocent are you?
David Cameron is no friend of the truth
Last week, in what became a widely discussed incident here in Israel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a discussion at the British Parliament, called Israeli construction in East Jerusalem “genuinely shocking”, while insisting at the same time, that he is a “great friend of Israel”.
What's genuinely shocking, is David Cameron's historical ignorance, hypocrisy and utter lack of moral clarity.
From the Islamic theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, through the Sunni-Shia blood baths in Iraq and Syria, to all the offshoots of the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and Muslim brotherhood across the entire length of North Africa, the Islamic Mideast is producing some of the most horrifying levels of rampant murderous violence and persecutions the world has seen in the 21st century.
In the 20th century, the Arab and Islamic mideast was ethnically cleansed of its Jewish population, people who had lived across many parts of the region for more than 2,000 years. Now in the 21st century, religious persecution of the remaining ancient Christian communities, along with other ancient minorities, is occurring before our eyes, as they are brutally persecuted and ethnically cleansed across many parts of the Islamic Mideast and Africa.
Gallup: Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel
Gallup released today its annual survey of American opinion regarding Israel and the Palestinians.
The survey shows that support for Israel versus the Palestinians remains near historical highs, slightly up from last year:
Americans’ views about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remained steady over the past year, with 62% of Americans saying their sympathies lie more with the Israelis and 15% favoring the Palestinians. About one in four continue to be neutral, including 9% who sympathize with neither side, 3% who sympathize with both, and 11% expressing no opinion.
This data shows, as I have argued frequently, that the “Israel Lobby” is the American people. That support is organic, not imposed by political donors or lobbying groups.



David Horovitz: Victory for BDS as SodaStream’s last Palestinian workers lose jobs
Two years ago, The Times of Israel reported on SodaStream’s plant at the West Bank industrial zone of Mishor Adumim, where the Israeli carbonated beverage company was employing 1,300 workers. Of that workforce, 350 were Israeli Jews, 450 were Israeli Arabs and 500 were West Bank Palestinians. Management and staff confirmed to our reporter that pay and benefits were identical for workers in comparable jobs, irrespective of their citizenship and ethnicity.
We headlined the article, “At SodaStream, Palestinians hope their bubble won’t burst.”
On Monday, it did.
On Monday, SodaStream reluctantly announced that it was laying off its last 75 Palestinian workers, having failed to secure permits from the Israeli government for them to work at its new factory in the southern Israeli Bedouin town of Rahat. Under pressure from anti-Israel boycott groups, which launched a ferocious campaign against SodaStream and its spokeswoman Scarlett Johansson, the firm had closed its Mishor Adumim plant last October.
Hundreds of Palestinians who had been treated equitably by a fair-minded, decent Israeli firm are now out of work.
(h/t Bob Knot)
Revisiting a Scandal at Vassar
It bears repeating. Jasbir Puar, a professor of gender studies at Rutgers University, visited Vassar College to explain the Jewish state’s policy of deliberate maiming, especially of children, not with a view toward “winning or losing” or “a solution” but with a view to acquiring “body parts… for research and experimentation.” In this modernized blood libel, the vampiric Jewish state particularly craves the blood of children to serve its inhuman purposes. Several departments and programs, including Jewish Studies, sponsored Puar’s talk, and several professors attended. Yet, in a lengthy question and answer session Puar was not challenged, unless you count the questioner who worried that her focus on human beings had caused her to neglect Israel’s crimes against trees.
Mark Yudof, former president of the University of California, and Kenneth Waltzer, professor emeritus of history at Michigan State University, responded sensibly to all this in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (behind a pay wall). They noted, correctly, that Puar’s talk was part of a history of anti-Israel activity at Vassar that has occasionally crossed the line into overt anti-Semitism. They added that the Puar lecture was a new low and that faculty members and President Catharine Bond Hill ought to “confront [the] wave of anti-Semitism with… free speech and rigorous academic inquiry.” They didn’t say Puar should have been barred from speaking, though their argument implies that sponsoring her talk was breathtakingly poor judgment. They merely called on members of Vassar’s faculty and administration to challenge Puar’s claims.
This was too much for Jason Stanley, the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. It has been a while since I earned my B.A. in philosophy, but I’ll try to keep up with his argument.
Puar, Stanley begins, is a well-known scholar who has written a book “that has been cited over 1700 times.” How dare, we are to ask ourselves, Yudof and Waltzer, question someone who has been cited so many times? Suitably chagrined, we move on to Stanley’s observation that Yudof and Waltzer “[attribute] to Puar the claim that Israel allows Palestinians only the bare minimum needed to survive, and that Israel mines the organs of dead Palestinians for scientific research.” Note Stanley’s philosophical caution. One can’t be confident that Puar said these things. Unless, that is, one were to review the transcript that others obtained weeks ago from the alumni group that recorded the lecture.
Roseanne Barr in Oakland: another Jewish woman who will not be silenced
The social hall at Oakland's Congregation Beth Abraham was filled last night with people who had gathered to hear the story of comedienne Roseanne Barr's dramatic transformation into an active supporter of the state of Israel.
Seattle blogger Richard Silverstein's attempt to organize a protest fell flat and the program went on without a hitch. Good to see that no one outside of Press TV takes him too seriously.
The reality was very different. Roseanne discussed growing up Jewish in Salt Lake city. She discussed her socialist orientation, and she discussed her fascination with the story of Purim, and with Queen Esther, another Jewish woman who would not be silenced. Roseanne Barr used the talk at Congregation Beth Abraham to express her desire for peaceful co-existence in the region, stating,
"If I could get one Palestinian grandmother to join me, me and her – I would be the representative of the Jewish people and she would be of the Palestinians – we would sit down and hammer out a peace agreement and hand it to the people in power. I don't see why that can't happen. Last time I was in Israel, I sought out Palestinian women and had wonderful conversations with them, and I will probably seek them out again."
Roseanne Barr 'might be moving' to Israel
Roseanne Barr, the famous American comedian and actress, has recently become a leading advocate of Israel, and on Saturday night she revealed she may be moving to the Jewish state.
Speaking before around 200 Jewish supporters at the Conservative synagogue Temple Beth Abraham in Oakland, California, she said, "I'm going there (to Israel) for Purim, and I might be moving there, too," reports Haaretz on Sunday.
"We might all be moving there," she added to the audience. The comments were made during an event sponsored by the pro-Israeli group StandWithUs.
When asked how the American Jewish community should respond to the growing anti-Israel activity on US campuses, Barr said, "the thing that needs to happen is that Jewish donors need to stop supporting universities that allow Nazism on their campuses. I mean these Jewish donors are just sending their kids to be beat up, and it makes no sense at all."
Rubio, Trump and Israel
Rubio has been consistent in his grasp of why Israel and America are both the good guys and natural allies.
At a rally on Wednesday night, in the lead-up to the final debate before Super Tuesday on March 1, Rubio was inspired and inspiring on this point.
“We’re going to have a policy of moral clarity,” he said. “I’ll give you a perfect example – Israel. Israel is the only pro-American free-enterprise democracy in the entire Middle East. I’ll put it to you this way: If there were more Israels in the Middle East – more pro-American, free-enterprise democracies – the world would be so much safer.”
He also attacked the UN for being “obsessed” with the Jewish state. “Every week, they’ve got new resolutions condemning Israel,” he said, using this to illustrate the “new face of anti-Semitism in the world.”
As for the Palestinians, Rubio said, “They teach little kids – five-year-olds – that it’s a glorious thing to kill Jews.”
Indeed, he emphasized, “The Palestinians don’t want a deal [and] they’ve already said, ‘We want to destroy Israel.’ So what are you going to negotiate? The rate of the destruction? The date of the destruction? We will not be an impartial advocate when it comes to the issue of Israel. When I’m president, we’re going to take sides. We are going to be on Israel’s side.”
Even before Rubio announced he would be running for America’s highest office, however, he made impassioned speeches on Israel’s behalf.
Rubio, Cruz pounce on Trump’s KKK hesitation
Trump was asked Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether he rejected support from David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, and other white supremacists after Duke told his radio followers this week that a vote against Trump was equivalent to “treason to your heritage.”
“Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK?” Trump told host Jake Tapper. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”
Trump was asked Friday by journalists how he felt about Duke’s support. He said he didn’t know anything about it and curtly said: “All right, I disavow, ok?”
Later Sunday he tweeted that “as I stated at the press conference on Friday regarding David Duke — I disavow.”
Trump hasn’t always claimed ignorance on Duke’s history. In 2000, he wrote a New York Times op-ed explaining why he abandoned the possibility of running for president on the Reform Party ticket. He wrote of an “underside” and “fringe element” of the party, concluding, “I leave the Reform Party to David Duke, Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani. That is not company I wish to keep.”
JPost: Jerusalem Post Editorial: Argentina and the Nisman probe
The timing of Sáenz’s decision to file a legal brief seems to be connected to political changes in Argentina’s leadership. Indeed, it is a credit to newly elected President Mauricio Macri and to the forces of normalization in Argentina that Sáenz has come forward.
Macri, who has strong ties with Argentina’s Jewish community, pledged to illuminate the mystery of Nisman’s death. After taking office in December, he met with Salgado and Nisman’s two daughters.
A number of questions remain. Why was no gunpowder found on Nisman’s hand? What should be made of testimony that Nisman’s body was moved before a proper investigation could be conducted and that it took 11 hours from the time Nisman stopped answering his phone until police were brought into his apartment? Why is it that his apartment seems to have been wiped of fingerprints? Getting to the bottom of Nisman’s death is not just about justice for Nisman. It is not even about solving the bombing of the Jewish community center, which killed 85 people and wounded more than 300. It is about redeeming Argentina’s corrupt political system.
If Argentina’s political leaders and judicial system can bring Nisman’s murderers to justice – assuming he was indeed murdered – there is hope that Argentina will realize its true potential as an economic and cultural powerhouse.
If, on the other hand, the Nisman case and the investigation in the 1994 bombing remain obscured by a paralyzed legal system and an irredeemably corrupt political system, the unrealized potential of Argentina that Argentineans so often lament will remain out of reach.
The Macri government faces formidable challenges in reversing the legacy of more than a decade of Kirchnerism. But few challenges are more formidable than overcoming the forces that have prevented clarity and justice in the Nisman case and in the Jewish community bombing.
Peres against BDS: Nothing will deter me from fighting for Israel
Former President Shimon Peres addresses Johannesburg Jewish community in event saluting Israel • South African security deploys around event as anti-Israel BDS protesters stage demonstrations • Peres to protesters: In Israel, racism is a crime.
While anti-Israel BDS activists staged protests outside, former President Shimon Peres addressed the Jewish community in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday, dismissing criticism leveled by the protesters against Israel.
"Any threats or attempts to hurt us and Israel will not deter me from standing on this stage and fighting the just war of the State of Israel. I am proud to stand here tonight," Peres said in his keynote address.
Streets were closed off across Johannesburg ahead of the event, and security forces were deployed to ensure that the BDS protests did not get out of hand. Peres' office issued a statement before the event saying that the boycott movement had not succeeded in harming the event, which aimed to strengthen the Jewish community in Johannesburg and salute Israel.
In his speech, Peres said that "you are a warm, Zionistic and loving community. I know you are going through difficult times and I come to you today with a strengthening message of love from the citizens of the State of Israel."
Seth Frantzman: Oberlin College’s free speech shield for racism and fascism
And as nice as the US tradition of free speech is, it doesn’t mean those with views like Joseph Goebbels automatically get the right to teach a class.
The Karega case at Oberlin symbolizes the way in which attacks on Jews, including “Rothschild-AIDs” conspiracies and other racist bigotry, are not seen as deserving of widespread solidarity or even offense. A similarly homophobic, sexist or Islamophobic professor, or one who had vile views regarding black people, would be met with mass student and faculty protests. Claim that Jews control the world, though, and it’s fine. Claim that AIDs is a Jewish conspiracy, no problem. Call IS “Islamic” and it’s offensive; call it a “Mossad operation” and that’s fine.
You’d think faculty and students would at least be offended by ignorance, if not racism, but they remain silent.
It’s unfortunate that faculty and students are not outraged.
But Jews can still show America that they don’t accept the “free speech” shield for anti-Semitism. If Facebook posts reminiscent of 1930s anti-Semitism don’t galvanize a mass protest at Oberlin then it’s the US Jewish community that has lost its willingness to stand up and say “enough.” When faculty who express hate against Jews are defended by their university, and show no contrition, the only proper place for Jewish people is civil disobedience and direct action. Oberlin has signaled its unwillingness to examine vile racism. Either people decide today that claiming the Rothschilds spread AIDs is unacceptable coming from faculty, or they let it pass and surrender the rights of Jewish students not to be subjected to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by their professors.
Racism on social media is not “personal,” it is public, and faculty who express bigotry must be confronted. Failure to confront them lends legitimacy to their views.
‘Radical’ Irish commentator Eamonn McCann and false Zionist quotes
Eamonn McCann is a “socialist activist” and Irish political commentator who often regales readers with anti-Zionist agitprop so hyperbolic that it could have originated from Soviet Department for Agitation and Propaganda.
McCann has expressed support for Hamas and Hezbollah, hurled a version of the ‘Zionism equals racism’ charge, evoked the ‘chosen people’ canard, suggested that Jews falsely cry antisemitism to stifle debate on Israel and ruminated over whether “rich Zionists” control US foreign policy.
In his latest intellectually unserious attack on Israel, published at the Belfast Telegraph (Silence deafening over Netanyahu’s disgusting racism, Feb. 24), McCann complains that there’s a dearth of critical scrutiny over the racist sins of the Jewish state. As you’ll see, what McCann refers to as Israel’s “compendium of bigotry” involves a few alleged quotes by Israeli prime ministers, all either taken out of context, distorted or otherwise misrepresented.
Palestinians are “wild beasts”.
The first example McCann cites is Netanyahu’s alleged reference “to Palestinians” as “wild beasts”, a ‘racist’ charge, he complains, that didn’t elicit even a “mild condemnation in the mainstream media”.
McCann is wrong on two counts.
Cancellation of Israeli Diplomat’s Appearance at Leeds University Sparks Row Between Organizers and Pro-BDS Group
An Israeli diplomat’s appearance at a major British university was cancelled at the last minute Wednesday under disputed circumstances, The Algemeiner has learned.
The University of Leeds claimed the student group that sponsored a public interview about the Iran nuclear deal with Israeli Embassy spokesman Yiftah Curiel had cancelled the event; the group — — the Politics and International Studies Society (POLIS) — said the student union, under pressure from a pro-Palestinian student organization, was behind the cancellation.
According to a university statement obtained by The Algemeiner, POLIS cancelled the event because it was “unable to secure speakers who could offer alternative viewpoints.”
POLIS denied this claim its Facebook page, stating that the Leeds University Union’s assertion the cancellation was due to “matters relating to the paperwork and lack of time” was unsatisfactory, because the event had been “several months in the planning and had sufficient provisions to ensure an informed and lively discussion.”
Renowned Movie Producer Robert Lantos Weighs In On Jew-Hate At York University
An open letter from Robert Lantos, Canada's most prominent film producer and the driving force behind hit movies such as Eastern Promises and Barney's Version:
Dear Dr. Shoukri,
I have observed over the years the transformation of York University from an academic institution into an incubator of hate and violence against the Jewish people. The disgraceful intimidation of Jewish students on your campus, coupled with the relentless defamation of Israel and your indifference to it all, have no place in a peace loving, liberal democracy like ours.
Under your watch, the university has lost its way as a place of learning, tolerance and diversity. You have taken shameful refuge behind legal cover and invoked neutrality in the anti Semitic mural controversy, which itself is symptomatic of the overall toxic environment on your campus. You stay on the sidelines rather than use the power of your office to stand up to the storm troopers who turn your institution into a podium for the incitement to violence against the Jewish people. In my film Sunshine, there is a character who, after the genocide of Hungary's Jewish population, asks an eyewitness, "How could you just let it happen?" A bystander with the power to intervene who chooses to do nothing ceases to be a bystander. He becomes indistinguishable from the perpetrator. If you are not part of the solution Dr. Shoukri, you become part of the problem.
I urge you, in your capacity as President of York, to take immediate and concrete action to remove the offensive mural as the first step toward restoring an atmosphere of peace and respect on your campus. Sweep Jew hatred to the gutter, where it belongs.
Sincerely,
Robert Lantos, CM
Oscar-nominated Palestinian: I don’t represent a country or a people
A British-Palestinian director whose Oscar-nominated short film deals with the Arab-Jewish conflict has said he does not view himself as representing a people or a political faction, only himself.
“If I win the Oscar I will be winning for me, not for any country or people,” Basil Khalil told Haaretz Sunday ahead of the ceremony in Los Angeles.
Khalil’s film comedic film “Ave Maria” depicts the unlikely cooperation between a settler family who crash their car into a West Bank convent just before Shabbat, and the nuns, under a vow of silence, who try to help them get back on the road.
The humor is derived both from the barrier posed by each side’s religious obligations, and from the fact that, far from depicting a picture of rosy coexistence, the film makes it clear that the only reason the two sides work together is that they can’t wait to get away from each other.
“I wanted to make a comedy, and to say something about normal human beings and awkwardness, and about a culture clash — without political slogans being thrown around everywhere,” Khalil told Haaretz. “Politics and slogans one can get for free on the nightly news.”
Sourcing an anti-Israel libel promoted on BBC Radio 4
When anti-Israel campaigner Ken Loach appeared on BBC Radio 4’s ‘The World Tonight’ on February 25th, one of the more delusional allegations heard by listeners (and the competition was tough) was that during the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, Israeli troops “executed” Hebrew speakers in the Gaza Strip.The World Tonight 25 2
“Will they go to Gaza and see the rubble? Will they see the schools that were bombed by Israel in 2014? Will they see the hospitals that were targeted by Israel? Will they see the places where families were herded together and then executed? Will they hear about the people who were asked if they spoke Hebrew and if they spoke Hebrew they were executed?”
Not only was that allegation – and the many others – not questioned or challenged by the BBC’s Ritula Shah but Loach was not even asked to provide a source for such a serious charge. Hence, we decided to look for its source ourselves and the search did not take very long.
The inventor of that defamation is a man who has made a career out of lying about Israel – Max Blumenthal – and in 2014 he touted it at the so-called ‘Russell Tribunal on Palestine’, with further amplification from Rania Khalek at ‘electronic Intifada’.
George Galloway booed at Brexit rally
Galloway’s reemergence in the Brexit context is making some waves. While Galloway’s anti-Semitism may appeal to the nativists among the Brexit supporters, it is apparently alienating others.
Last week, Galloway was the surprise guest at a Brexit rally, and not all in the audience were pleased. According to Huffington Post:
A huge anti-EU rally in Westminster ended on a controversial note this evening after more than a hundred people walked out as George Galloway took the stage.
The Respect Party leader was unveiled as the special guest at the end of the Grassroots Out event, prompting cries of “anti-Semite” from some in the crowd.
As people flocked from the hall, organisers were seen by the Huffington Post UK telling security staff to “shut the doors” in fear of a mass walk out.
One man who walked out told the Huff Post UK: “He’s a despicable person: anti-Israel, supporting terrorist organisations, supporting Hamas, supporting Hezbollah.”
George Galloway’s firm goes bust, owing £100,000 tax
George Galloway’s firm through which he channelled pay from Iranian TV has been wound up owing £100,000 in tax, The Telegraph can disclose.
Miranda Media Ltd was compulsorily liquidated after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) took it to court over a debt of £100,284.76.
Mr Galloway, who says the debt “is nothing like that”, set up second firm Molucca Media as action loomed. It has assets of £150,000.
The former MP, who is standing for London mayor and is the far Left’s most senior campaigner trying to take Britain out of the EU, set up Miranda Media in 2007. It handled income from lucrative deals such as presenting on Press TV, an Iranian state channel with a London base.
He was by then well-known on mainstream TV, not least for reality show Celebrity Big Brother, where he pretended to be a cat licking milk off actress Rula Lenska.
2 months later, anti-Semitic graffiti remains at Polish Jewish cemetery
Over two months after anti-Semitic and pro-Islamic State graffiti was spray-painted at a Jewish cemetery in central Poland, the offensive inscriptions have yet to be removed, according to a Channel 2 news report Sunday.
The graffiti, which vandals painted at the Jewish cemetery in Sochaczew in December, includes the slogans “Holocaust never happened,” “Allah bless Hitler,” “Islamic State was here,” “Islam will dominate,” and “F**k Jews.”
At the time, the local Sochaczew Museum, which cares for the cemetery, appealed to residents of the city for help in removing the paint.
But by February’s end, the graffiti was still in place, and was stumbled upon by a group of touring Jews from the US and Israel.
“We were horrified to find the graffiti messages at the cemetery,” a man identified only as Shmuel recounted.
Swastikas and cocaine - Catholic priest caught redhanded
A video and photographs published by The Sun on Monday have landed a Catholic priest in Northern Ireland in hot water over drug use and a sizable collection of Nazi material.
The priest, Stephen Crossan, had invited friends over to his church residence for a wild late-night party after having been thrown out of another soiree.
Partygoers reported that Crossan drank heavily, and he was filmed snorting lines of cocaine.
Guests were also stunned to discover Crossan’s extensive collection of swastika flags and Nazi memorabilia, including uniforms and a Nazi-era statuette featuring an eagle carrying a swastika.
Crossan also reportedly put on a Nazi cap and performed the Hitler salute.
Germany finally pays tribute to first Nazi hunter Fritz Bauer
He was gay, Jewish, and a high-profile German state prosecutor in 1960s West Germany. But it was his dogged determination to bring Hitler’s henchmen to justice that meant Fritz Bauer was ostracised by politicians, feared denunciation as a “criminal homosexual” and received constant death threats.
Bauer, who was found mysteriously drowned in his bathtub in 1968, was Germany’s first Nazi hunter. He brought Adolf Eichmann to trial and subsequent execution in Israel in 1962 and put Nazis who ran Auschwitz in court for the first time in Germany the following year.
Yet like the Holocaust hero Oskar Schindler, the key role Bauer played as one of the handful of Germans who fought the evils of the Nazism remained forgotten for decades after his death. Fifty years on and just as the last ageing Auschwitz guards still alive are going on trial for the first time, Germany’s forgotten first Nazi hunter is being rediscovered and rehabilitated.
An acclaimed feature film about his life, The State Versus Fritz Bauer won an award at this month’s Berlin Film Festival. And last week a televised drama about him was screened on Germany’s ARD television. They follow two other films about the chain-smoking, art-loving Nazi hunter, as well as his first biography.
‘Son of Saul’ wins Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film
‘Son of Saul,” the Hungarian Holocaust drama from first-time feature director Laszlo Nemes, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday night’s 88th Academy Awards.
The film, which was partly financed by the Claims Conference, claimed the prize at the annual Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles.
The win is the second straight for a Holocaust film in the category. In 2015, the Polish film “Ida,” about a young soon-to-be nun who learns her parents were Jews killed during the war, took home the best foreign film Oscar.
Set in Auschwitz in 1944, “Son of Saul” tells the story of Saul Auslander, a Jewish inmate forced to escort his fellow prisoners to the gas chambers and help to dispose of their remains. The title role is played by Geza Rohrig, a Hungarian poet and observant Jew who now lives in New York.
The film was heavily favored to win on Sunday, having already claimed the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in May and the Golden Globe for best foreign film in January. On Saturday, it won the prize for best international film at the Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles.
Is Germany ready for ‘Son of Saul’s up-close Holocaust experience?
When it opens here March 10, the newly anointed Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, “Son of Saul,” will face a German public that is ambivalent about the subject of the Holocaust, to say the least.
Recent surveys show that many Germans have had enough of Holocaust talk: In one poll of 1,000 Germans, some 58 percent said the past should be consigned to history. Yet the new, annotated “Mein Kampf” is flying off the shelves and is currently ranked second on German bestseller lists.
What gives?
The fact is, Germany will likely never stop grappling with the Holocaust. For this chapter of German history, there is no such thing as the coveted “Schlussstrich,” German for “the last word.”
However, 71 years after the end of World War II, a new approach to opening the conversation is needed, and “Son of Saul” may well be it.
The Voice of Israel
There has never been a UN delegate to equal him. When it was time for Abba Eban to speak, delegates rushed to fill the hall at the General Assembly. It was said that housewives put down their vacuum cleaners when his distinctive voice emanated from radio or television. Henry Kissinger said of him: “I have never encountered anyone who matched his command of the English language. Sentences poured forth in mellifluous constructions complicated enough to test the listener’s intelligence and simultaneously leave him transfixed by the speaker’s virtuosity.” The Washington Post zeroed in on an important aspect of his appeal. “It is probably Abba Eban’s supreme achievement that he always judges the grievance and rights of Israel against the ennobling perspectives of history and conscience. He is a people’s advocate—but his theme is universal justice.” A less elegant but pithy tribute came from then U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles who was overheard saying to U.S. ambassador to the UN Henry Cabot Lodge: “It’s a pity we can’t have him instead of you as our delegate here.”
From 1950 to 1959, along with leading Israel’s UN delegation, Eban served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States. He went on to serve as Israel’s foreign minister from 1966 to 1974. Given his significance for Israeli politics, it’s surprising that this biography by Asaf Siniver, a professor at the University of Birmingham, is the first serious attempt to chronicle his extraordinary life. The only other biography was published in 1972 by journalist Robert St. John. It, as Siniver rightly observes, “sits more comfortably in the company of unapologetic hagiographies” than scholarship.
‘Boycotting, Fantastic!’ Says Sacha Baron Cohen as Alter-Ego ‘Nobby’ in Comedic Interview With Israeli Show Host at Premiere of ‘Grimsby’ (VIDEO)
Cohen, a Jewish-British comedic actor with unapologetically strong ties to Israel — and famous for his portrayal of characters such as Ali G, Borat and Bruno – gave Alfi a red carpet interview for his Channel 2 program “Hayom Balaila” (“Tonight”), in the guise of his latest alter-ego, Nobby, the hero of the action comedy film.
Wearing a turtle-neck shirt and underwear and carrying a can of beer — accoutrements of the English soccer-lover he plays in the movie — Cohen-as-Nobby asked Alfi where he’s from. When Alfi answered “Israel,” Nobby said, “I’ve heard about your lot, bloody doing this and that, yeh.”
Laughing, Alfi jumped in, saying, “This is Apartheid Week in London. Are you a part of that?”
“Apartheid Week?” Nobby answered, ostensibly contemplating. “Apartheid! It sounds good, actually… Oh, boycotting, fantastic, yeh, as long as they’re Jews, it’s all right.”
When asked by Alfi if he knows any Hebrew, Cohen/Nobby rattled off a phrase that translates as: “How much does three grams of cocaine cost?”
Nobby also asserted that he’s not a racist, “as long as you keep the Jews out.”



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From The Forward:

Palestinian human rights activist’s tour of Chicago-area college campuses ended on a sour note this week, after he was heckled and threatened by students and anti-Israel protestors. 
Bassem Eid, an East Jerusalem Palestinian who is the founder and director the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, cancelled his planned lecture at Northwestern University Hillel after experiencing unpleasant encounters with protestors at previous events he held at the University of Chicago and DePaul University that week.

Eid’s February 19 talk at the University of Chicago quickly turned contentious as members of the audience took issue with Eid’s opposition to boycotting Israel and with his focus on wrongdoings of the Palestinian Authority, not of Israel.

“Dr. Bassam, do not dare talk about us [Palestinians] anymore,” a member of the audience shouted toward Eid in Arabic. “You have shamed our God… you’ve shamed us, disgraced us, you are a traitor, you are a traitor, in the name of God you are a traitor… You are worse than the Jews and we will hunt you down and find you in every place, be prepared…”

Eid’s presentation, with its shift away from the Israeli occupation, also disturbed the dovish Israeli lobby, J Street.

J StreetU, the group’s campus organization, initially agreed to co-sponsor Eid’s lecture at Northwestern. But after hearing from students who attended his talk at the University of Chicago, the group withdrew its co-sponsorship. “We found some of the things he said troubling and not in line with our core values,” said Jacqueline Soria, co-president of Northwestern J StreetU. She noted Eid’s comment that Americans do not have a role in solving the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, which runs counter to J Street’s agenda of encouraging U.S. government involvement. Eid, she said, also “spoke exclusively about Palestinian responsibility” without talking Israel’s role.

Now you see how "pro-Israel" J-Street is. A belief that real peace cannot be imposed from outside is enough to drop sponsorship of an otherwise stellar human rights activist, but especially the idea that Palestinians are primarily responsible for Palestinian suffering. Even though there are scores of groups that excoriate Israel at colleges every month, J-Street U cannot stand sponsoring a lecture that doesn't.

Keep in mind that J-Street U insists that Hillel allow anti-Israel viewpoints to be hosted there, but it cannot countenance sponsoring any opinions that are not adequately anti-Israel.



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Female driving student in Gaza, 2012
Hamas has started enforcing a six month old law that forbids driving schools in Gaza to have a male instructor teach a woman without a close relative of the woman in the car (mahram.)

Owners of driving schools in the Gaza Strip have been complaining that Hamas police have told them that there must be a mahram with any girl who wants to learn and practice driving.

Jaber Radwan, head of the Driving Schools Owners Association in Gaza, said: "Hamas security asked for the presence of a mahram with every girl trained to drive a car in order to preserve the country and its citizens."

"Schools use only qualified people with good morals."

There are 56 driving schools in Gaza and women make up 20% of the students.

Ayman Shaheen, a director of a driving school, said, "One of the trainers at the school was stopped in the center of Gaza City by security and they requested the presence of mahram with the girl."

Shaheen added that "the officer informed the driver that this is forbidden, and if we do not comply they will impose sanctions to close the schools and impose fines."

(h/t Ibn Boutros)


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From Ian:

PA TV Antisemitism: When fish in the sea fight, "the Jews are behind it"
The Palestinian Authority teaches that Jews are "evil" and the source of all bad in the world. An official PA TV host and preacher of Islam explained in his weekly education program about Islam, that as long as Jews are spreading their corruption "humanity will never live in comfort." He illustrated this with an example: "An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it":
"Humanity will never live in comfort as long as the Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land. Humanity will never live in peace or fortune or tranquility as long as they are corrupting the land. An old man told me: If a fish in the sea fights with another fish, I am sure the Jews are behind it. As Allah says: ''Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. They strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters'' (Sura 5:64)." [Official PA TV, Feb. 27, 2016]
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Antisemitism is a fundamental principle of PA ideology. Antisemitic hate speech was recently voiced by PA Chairman Abbas' advisor, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who said that throughout history Jews have represented "evil," "falsehood," "the devils" and "the satans," and accordingly Israel is "Satan's project." Islam and the Palestinians on the other hand constitute "the good" and "Allah's project":
"Jews are causing devastating corruption throughout the land" - Muslim preacher on PA TV


Isi Leibler: Despite World Challenges, Israel Is Stronger Than Ever
The same applies to Israel internationally. The US will in the long run remain Israel’s best friend and most important ally. Hopefully, the next president shall reflect the positive public support for Israel in the US and reverse the recent erosion of Israel’s international standing by restoring the close bonds between both countries.
But after our experience with the Obama administration, it is crucial that we broaden alliances. The European Union is unlikely to become a friend of Israel, but it is becoming a weaker force and we should seek to strengthen ties with individual European countries. The recent realignment with Greece and Cyprus – former adversaries – is an example. There is also the extraordinary – albeit highly delicate – positive relationship with the Russians and other East European countries.
There has also been extraordinary progress with the three major Asian countries – India, China and Japan, all of whom are today deeply engaged in trade with Israel.
Finally, the upheaval in Syria, the threat of Iran and the emergence of ISIS has brought Israel close to unspoken alliances with Egypt and some of the Gulf States including, ironically Saudi Arabia, the source of Wahhabism and the export of much Islamic extremism throughout the world. Their antisemitism remains unchanged but temporary alliances to confront the threats from the Iranians and ISIS has created strange bedfellows.
Despite the mushrooming antisemitism facing Jews in the Diaspora, especially in Europe, and notwithstanding the despicable bias the Jewish state faces at the UN and other international bodies, Israel today is in an objectively stronger position than it has ever been. But Jews and Israel must be prepared to be more flexible with their allies than has been the case hitherto. In order to be an or l’goyim – a light unto the nations – we must first ensure our own security and only then we can concentrate on tikkun ha’olam – repairing the world.
David Singer: End the West Bank Refugee Gravy Train
As of 14 September 2015, 136 of the 193 United Nations member states have been playing the PLO name-game change and recognised the “State of Palestine”.
These 136 States now need to answer two questions:
1. How can any person living in his own country still be classified as a refugee?
2. Shouldn’t the 760,000 registered Palestinian Arab refugees living in the West Bank have their refugee status revoked and be resettled and fully integrated among their fellow Palestinian Arabs?
Claiming the trappings of Statehood – whilst segregating its citizens into two different classes – is a recipe for continuing tension and future conflict.
Change the name – change the game – but be prepared to accept the consequences.



JCPA: The Knife and the Message: The Roots of the New Palestinian Uprising
The latest wave of Palestinian violence against Jews is something new, an insidious wave of seemingly un-orchestrated attacks, perpetrated by unlikely assailants, and generally untraceable to any particular organization. They were also characterized by brutality, viciousness and randomness, and the purposeful use of the knife, to drive home the intent of bringing a new and unrelenting wave of slaughter to the Jews; a message to all Israelis that neither they, nor their children, will ever be able to live in this land in peace.
As this document will show, the Palestinian president and those under his authority are indeed instructing young Palestinians what to do. Not sending them into battle as soldiers, but goading them into action through deliberate messaging, distortion and fabrication, sometimes stated openly by senior Palestinian officials, but mostly insidiously, aimed at keeping the conflict alive and portraying the Palestinians as the victims in a whitewash of terror.
There is a guiding hand in all this, the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian faction that leads it, Fatah. What is being witnessed today is the end-game of a strategy adopted by Fatah in 2009 and culminating in Mahmoud Abbas’ speech to the UN General Assembly on September 30, 2015, when he announced that the Palestinians are no longer bound by the Oslo (peace) Accords.
A television broadcast that sends a youth on his/her mission of death is part of a carefully calibrated policy of incitement and cynicism, which has brought the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a new level, one that generates terror without fingerprints, but which adroitly serves Fatah’s strategy of an endless war of attrition, by varying means, against Israel.
While the current wave of violence has succeeded in placing the Palestinian issue back on the international agenda to some degree, it has lost the Palestinians a valuable asset: the Israeli political center. Israelis have lost trust in the Palestinians and their leaders, even those Israelis who believe that Israel should relinquish the territories as part of a peace agreement between the sides.
No society can live in fear and with anarchy at its doorstep, where suspicion lurks at every turn.
Netanyahu: Palestinian terrorism not motivated by despair
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said attempts to explain Palestinian terrorism as motivated by despair were “incorrect.” Terror attacks, he said, “don’t come because of their despair and the frustration over the inability to build. They come because of their despair and the frustration over inability to destroy.”
He took issue with the desperation claim, saying it “exonerates the Palestinians from being responsible for their actions.” He noted that Arabs had attacked Jews in Israel “before the state was founded and afterwards, before there were territories and settlements and afterwards, when there was a peace process and when there wasn’t one.”
The prime minister was speaking at an event in honor of the late prime minister Yitzhak Shamir at Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
The premier added that much of the Palestinian violence against Israelis was a result of incitement. He noted that Arab attacks on Jews in Israel in the 1920s “started because of the claims of (Jerusalem’s grand mufti) Haj Amin al-Husseini, that the Jews were about to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque and build the Third Temple in its stead. Sounds familiar? The incitement continues, and the waves of terror continue.”
Twenty-eight Israelis and three foreign nationals have been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October. Nearly 170 Palestinians have also been killed, some two-thirds of them while attacking Israelis, and the rest during clashes with troops, according to the Israeli army.
Hebron snipers caught after months-long search
Israeli security forces have arrested two brothers from Hebron who are believed to have carried out a number of sniper attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers over the past few months, the Shin Bet security service announced on Monday.
The two brothers, Nasser Faisal Mahmad Badawi and Akram Faisal Mehmed Badawi, along with a number of other suspected operatives in terror organizations, were arrested in a joint Shin Bet, IDF and Israel Police operation over the past few weeks. The exact dates of many of the arrests have not been released.
The Badawi brothers have been implicated in a series of sniper attacks that injured four Israelis. The younger brother, Nasser, is a member of Hamas, the Shin Bet said.
On November 6, 2015, Nasser and Akram met on the third floor of a building owned by their father near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. From that vantage point, Nasser, 23, and Akram, 33, fired into a group of Jewish Israelis who were praying near the holy site, injuring two of them, one seriously and the other lightly.
“After carrying out the attack, the two then went on to their cousin’s wedding celebration,” the Shin Bet said, citing their confession.
Home of Eliav Gelman attacker mapped for demolition
Israeli forces mapped the home of the Palestinian attacker Mamduh Amro overnight Sunday ahead of its demolition, the army said Monday.
Amro, 26, from the village of Dura near Hebron, tried to stab Air Force reserve officer Eliav Gelman last week at the Gush Etzion Junction in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem.
Gelman, a father of two from the nearby West Bank settlement of Karmei Tzur, was hit by errant IDF gunfire aimed at Amro.
He was taken in critical condition to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where he succumbed to his wounds some two hours after the attack. He had been on his way home from his Air Force base, where he was performing reserve duty.
Israel buys armored buses in NIS 106 million deal
Israel recently requested from the Merkavim factory 71 bullet resistant vehicles for a total amount of NIS 106 million, due to the continued wave of terrorism in the West Bank and renewed shooting attacks. This is the largest transaction for the purchase of bullet-resistant buses ever in Israel.
Mars Defender model buses were requested by Egged and all other transportation companies of the regional councils in the West Bank, where the Defense Ministry participates in financing the cost for the extra protection. The price of each armored bus stands at NIS 1.5 million – almost twice than the price of a regular bus.
Some buses will replace the old armored buses that have become obsolete, while also increasing the number of armored buses and the frequency of travel on high-risk routes in the region around Jerusalem, the Binyamin communities, Hebron, and Gush Etzion. The low frequency of buses is one of the factors for extensive hitchhiking in the West Bank, which increases the risk of kidnappings. Following the abduction and murder of three boys -- the late Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah -- in June 2014, Transportation Minister Israel Katz decided to integrate armored buses in the bus routes of the local councils to transport students, but this was a temporary measure to close the gaps.
US appeals court: Terror victims can seize $9.4 million of Iran funds
Victims of a 1997 triple suicide bombing in Jerusalem have won a major US appeals court judgment involving an award of $9.4 million in damages.
The Ninth Circuit Appellate Court, which handles appeals from California court decisions, handed down the judgment on Friday in favor of a group of victims represented by Shurat Hadin’s Nitsana Darshan-Leitner in Israel, and by David Strachman of Rhode Island as US counsel.
The attack in question took place on September 4, 1997, when three terrorists set off explosives attached to their bodies as they wandered into the packed Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall in the middle of the afternoon, killing five Israelis and wounding scores more. Three of those killed were 14-year-old girls.
In 2001, Shurat Hadin helped the American families of those wounded in the attacks to begin legal proceedings against Iran due to its sponsorship of Hamas, which claimed credit for the attack.
In 2013, a lower federal court entered a $9.4m. judgment lien in favor of the families – the first time such victims had found Iranian assets in the US that could actually be transferred to them. The award stemmed from years of interest and fees on top of a $2.8m. base judgment.
PA demands control over Iran cash handouts to terrorists
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday said direct financial assistance by Iran to the families of Palestinian terrorists and attackers killed in a five-month wave of violence would be unacceptable, and called for such funding to be directed through a PA .
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a PA presidency spokesman, was quoted in local media as saying that bypassing the Authority in handing out such funds would constitute illegal interference in internal Palestinian affairs.
Tehran announced last week assistance would be offered to families of those killed in the wave of Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that erupted in October 2015. The PA official did not reject the payments, but said such aid must follow official channels.
Iran should “send this money through official channels to the [PA’s] Martyrs and Prisoners Foundation rather than relying on informal and circuitous routes,” Abu Rudeineh said.
Temple Mount cameras won't include mosques
A Jordanian team arrived in Israel on Sunday, with the goal of installing surveillance cameras on the Temple Mount in the coming days, Jordanian Waqf Minister Hail Daoud told Jordanian media.
The Jordanian Minister said that technical teams have already arrived at the Temple Mount in order to carry out technical and operational testing and determine where to place the cameras. They are scheduled to install the actual cameras later this week, he added.
An agreement between Israel and Jordan to place the security cameras was brokered in October by Secretary of State John Kerry, and stipulates that 24-hour security cameras covering the entire site would be installed in the compound, which is sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
But the project has yet to be implemented, and earlier this month there were reports that there were disagreements between Israel and Jordan on several issues, causing the delay.
Meanwhile, Jewish Temple Mount groups that have been following the reports from Jordan said Sunday that a Jordanian expert, who was interviewed by the Al-Rad network, said that a Jordanian delegation is traveling to Jerusalem to examine the final stages of the installation of cameras outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Dennis Ross and David Makovsky: The neglected Israeli-Palestinian peace process must be revived
Rarely has there been a time when less attention has been paid to the Israeli­-Palestinian conflict than today. Given the threat from the Islamic State, the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, proxy conflicts between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Egypt’s struggles with radical Islamists, it is hard to find anyone in Washington or the Arab capitals who is thinking about the Israelis and Palestinians. But the problem is not going away.
For the past five months, there have been more than 100 individual Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis. As the risk of escalation grows, both sides are becoming even more doubtful that there will ever be peace. With Palestinians divided and their leaders increasingly discredited, and a right-­wing government in Israel, the conflict is not about to be resolved. But that is all the more reason to think about what can be done to preserve the possibility of a two-state outcome, particularly with the Palestinians entering a period of uncertain succession.
Any new effort must start with defusing tension and restoring a sense of possibility. Given Palestinian paralysis, the most direct way to begin changing the climate between Israelis and Palestinians may be to affect Israel’s settlement policy by adopting a new approach on this contentious issue.
Not all settlements are equal. In May 2011, President Obama gave a speech in which he spoke of borders established in any peace agreement being based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed territorial swaps to compensate the Palestinians for the settlement blocs that the Israelis would retain. But since that time, Obama administration policy has continued to treat all settlement activity as unacceptable, effectively dismissing the distinction drawn by the president. The administration’s inability to differentiate between settlement activity within and outside of those blocs has actually bolstered the Israeli right, because most Israelis draw a distinction between the two. The Obama approach is seen as dismissing Israeli needs.
US to Israel: Build in Jerusalem for Arabs, but not for Jews
US Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit Israel next Sunday, and the Obama administration is launching an all-out effort to prevent a repeat of the diplomatic flare-up that marred his previous trip in 2010.
In what is likely to be the Obama administration’s last state visit to Israel, Biden’s visit closes out a rocky relationship between Israel and the White House.
Perhaps the most publicized dispute in that period was the so-called “Ramot Biden” incident in March 2010, when plans for a new housing project in the haredi neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo in Jerusalem were announced while Biden was in Israel promoting talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Biden issued a sharp condemnation of the plans, while then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton berated Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a 43-minute phone call.
Talk Grows About Who Will Succeed Palestinians’ Fading Mahmoud Abbas
The political weakness of Mr. Abbas became painfully clear in September, when he called a meeting of the Palestinian National Council after removing another former ally and now critic, Yasser Abed Rabbo, whom he accused of conspiring with Mr. Dahlan and Mr. Fayyad.
Mr. Abbas had called the session, the first since 1996, to “realign” the P.L.O.’s Executive Committee and banish Mr. Abed Rabbo. But it never materialized. Mr. Abbas also said he would make an important declaration about Palestinian tactics and hinted he would dismantle the Palestinian Authority. But he did neither. At the time, Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said there was an internal struggle over nominations.
But in another sign of the sensitivity about succession, Mr. Tirawi, along with other key Fatah members like Qadura Fares, refused interview requests.
“We worry that the Palestinian Authority is getting weaker,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security and strategic affairs. “It’s very hard to decide who will be the leader because if you say who you prefer, you damage him in the eyes of those there.”
Elkin: Israel must overhaul Palestinian education when PA inevitably falls
The political weakness of Mr. Abbas became painfully clear in September, when he called a meeting of the Palestinian National Council after removing another former ally and now critic, Yasser Abed Rabbo, whom he accused of conspiring with Mr. Dahlan and Mr. Fayyad.
Mr. Abbas had called the session, the first since 1996, to “realign” the P.L.O.’s Executive Committee and banish Mr. Abed Rabbo. But it never materialized. Mr. Abbas also said he would make an important declaration about Palestinian tactics and hinted he would dismantle the Palestinian Authority. But he did neither. At the time, Tawfiq Tirawi, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, said there was an internal struggle over nominations.
But in another sign of the sensitivity about succession, Mr. Tirawi, along with other key Fatah members like Qadura Fares, refused interview requests.
“We worry that the Palestinian Authority is getting weaker,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of public security and strategic affairs. “It’s very hard to decide who will be the leader because if you say who you prefer, you damage him in the eyes of those there.”
Settler group accuses EU envoy of supporting ‘terror state’
A settler group on Sunday released a video that accused the European Union’s ambassador to Israel of working to “establish a terror state.”
The video accuses Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the Danish head of the EU’s delegation in Israel, of “undermining Israel’s sovereignty, ignoring the law, building wherever he wants and establishing a terror state — on Route 1!” The group was apparently referring to prefabricated homes built in the E1 area between Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim.
The accusation relates to mobile homes presented by the EU to Palestinian and Bedouin families living in the West Bank area east of Jerusalem, which Israel has charged amount to illegal construction by the European umbrella body.
“Andersen must be restrained!” flashes onto the screen at the video’s conclusion, alongside a mockup photo of Andersen with a Hannibal Lecter mask across his face.
Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold was quick to criticize the video on Sunday evening. His office released a statement saying that he “condemns the disrespectful way the European Union ambassador was presented.”
Women activists to launch freedom flotilla to break the siege on Gaza
The Freedom Flotilla coalition has announced that a women's boat to Gaza is expected to set sail for the Strip soon in order to break the blockade on the coastal territory and express solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle against Israel.
In an interview with the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds on Monday, Dr. Essam Youssef, the head of the Popular International Committee to support the Gaza Strip, said that his organization will announce the launch of the flotilla on International Women's Day on March 8. He explained that the announcement will take place on this day in order to illuminate the persistent struggle of Palestinian women to win freedom.
Youssef added: "The flotilla is not only aimed at breaking the siege but also at bringing hope to the Palestinian people with the support of civil society institutions, women's organizations and international activists."
"In order to achieve these goals, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition has decided to launch a popular campaign with the participation of activists from all around the world that will challenge the siege on Gaza, draw the world's attention to Palestinians’ distress in general and to Gazans' distress specifically."
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition suggested several ways to support the campaign: release a message supporting the initiative, spread the event during International Women's Day or donating money to the campaign.
PA Rules Out Turkish Proposal For Gaza ‘Safe Passage’
The Palestinian Authority will oppose an EU-brokered proposal to create a maritime route between Gaza and Cyprus, a PA official has said.
Azzam Elahmad, head of the Fatah negotiating team with Hamas, said that the PA ruled out a proposal recently made by Turkey as part as its reconciliation drive with Israel.
Ankara suggested that the ongoing closure of Gaza could be alleviated by a safe passage to Northern Cyprus.
Israel is also inclined to reject the initiative so as not to risk its relationship with the Egyptians, who wish to maintain pressure on Hamas-ruled Gaza, Israeli media reported. Israel also fears Hamas would use the end of the naval blockade of Gaza to smuggle mass quantities of weaponry by sea.
The Palestinian Authority does not wish to upset Cairo, said Elahmad, but another reason for rejecting the route is that the PA does not recognize Turkish-ruled Northern Cyprus.
“We recognize only one Cyprus, integral and indivisible,” he said. “We do not recognize Turkish Cyprus. We will not condone the division of the island, and we will never forget Cyprus’ steadfast support of the Palestinians in our most exacting periods.”
Netanyahu hails report ranking Israel 8th world power
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday celebrated a recent report listing Israel as the 8th most powerful country in the world during a Likud faction meeting.
The report was published by US News & World Report last month, and was conducted together with BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, based on a survey of 16,000 people from four regions who were asked to associate 60 countries with specific characteristics.
It found that while Israel came out an overall 25 out of the 60 total, in the field of "Power" Israel came in 8th. The Power subranking lists a country's power in terms of being a leader, being economically influential, politically influential, having strong international alliances and a strong military.
"Israel was ranked as the number eight power in the world based on three things: military power, international influence, and - pay attention, this is what they say - international alliances. It isn't me who chose to say that," said Netanyahu as reported by Yedioth Aharonoth.
"They rank us on our international power and our international alliances," emphasized Netanyahu. He did not note that the same report ranked Israel as 25 overall. It ranked Israel 21 in terms of Entrepreneurship, and 34 in Quality of Life.
Senior Hamas official: Considerable improvement in our relations with Egypt
Hamas' foreign relations chief Osama Hamdan has revealed that the relations between the Palestinian terror organization and Egypt are witnessing a considerable improvement.
In an interview with Turkish Anadolu news agency, Hamdan said that Hamas is holding conversations with Egyptian authorities in order to develop bilateral relations between the parties. Hamdan added that such a development may improve humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip.
Hamdan refused to give details about the rapprochement between Hamas and Egypt and did not answer questions about an expected visit by a Hamas delegation to Egypt. However, he stated: "We want our relations with Egypt to be strong."
In what appears to be an attempt to placate Egypt in light of Hamas’ renewed rapprochement with Iran, Hamdan said: "Egypt has an active role in the area and our relations with other states will never come at Egypt's expense."
WATCH: Hamas emulates ISIS beheadings in Gaza propaganda
While the vast majority of Arab violence during the ongoing wave of terror against Israel has emanated from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, much of the propaganda, incitement and instruction to terror has come from Hamas-affiliated outlets in Gaza.
That propaganda is continuing apace, as illustrated by a selection of clips from Hamas media gathered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
The clips are from a number of public demonstrations of terrorists' skills, held in front of large crowds in Gaza and aired on Hamas's TV stations and on the internet. They appear aimed at inspiring further shooting and knife attacks by glorifying the perpetrators of previous such attacks, as well as urging a resumption of suicide bombings - something Hamas cells in Judea and Samaria have been attempting to carry out for some time now, though unsuccessfully.
Among other things, the demonstrations feature a reenactment of the murder of Rabbi Eitam and Dalia Henkin in front of their two children - a shooting hailed as "the heroic Itamar attack", after the Jewish town in Samaria close to which it took place.
Israeli envoy to Egypt: I won’t be deterred by shoe-throwing
Haim Koren, the Israeli ambassador to Cairo whose recent meeting with an Egyptian lawmaker sparked a shoe-throwing protest in parliament on Sunday, said the incident has not deterred him from strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries.
“I meet with [Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah] el-Sissi and members of his government regularly,” Koren told Israel’s Channel 10 television on Sunday evening. “Both countries have a shared interest in fighting terror organizations like the Islamic State and Hamas.”
Koren went on to tell the TV station that bilateral meetings between Israeli and Egyptian officials — aimed at strengthening relations between the two countries — would proceed, despite the scuffle in parliament earlier in the day.
“I can say that relations with Egypt are very good,” Koren added.
Egypt has full diplomatic relations with Israel, but directly dealing with the Jewish state remains deeply taboo in Egyptian society.
Egypt Rejects Israeli Offer to Hold Friendly Soccer Match
Egypt rejected an Israeli offer to hold a friendly soccer match between their national teams, the Saudi-owned pan-Arab news outlet Al Arabiya reported on Sunday.
Speaking to Al Arabiya, Azmi Mugahed, the Egyptian Football Association’s (EFA) spokesman, revealed that Israel had recently sent the EFA the request to hold the match, the second time it had done so since 2010. Egypt rejected the offer both times, Mugahed said, adding that no patriotic Egyptian could ever accept such an offer.
“We will never permit or agree to a match either with the Israeli national team or with any [Israeli] soccer clubs,” Mugahed said. “The idea of playing against Israel is entirely inconceivable, and is rejected by the people of Egypt.”
BBC News frames Iranian elections as victory for ‘reformists and moderates’
And audiences found the term “moderate conservative” used in this article and a subsequent one to describe a man implicated in the 1994 AMIA bombing and the murders of Iranian dissidents.
“Early results gave former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a moderate conservative, and Mr Rouhani the most votes for the assembly, which is composed of mostly elder and senior clerics.”
The BBC is of course not the only Western media organization to be reporting on the Iranian elections in this euphemistic manner. The Wall Street Journal, however, has unpacked some of that journalistic framing.
“Western media are nonetheless describing the results as an “embarrassing defeat” for the regime’s hard-liners and the moderates’ “best nationwide electoral showing in more than a decade,” as the Associated Press put it. Of particular note are the results in the capital, Tehran, a national barometer where on Sunday it appeared that candidates on the moderate list had swept all 30 seats in the Majlis.
Some moderates. Consider Mostafa Kavakebian. The General Secretary of Iran’s Democratic Party, Mr. Kavakebian is projected to enter the Majlis as a member for Tehran. In a 2008 speech he said: “The people who currently reside in Israel aren’t humans, and this region is comprised of a group of soldiers and occupiers who openly wage war on the people.”
Report: Western Intelligence Agencies Anticipating Imminent Iranian Space Launch; Fear Carrier Rocket Capable of Holding Nuclear Warhead
Western intelligence agencies believe Iran is about to launch a satellite into space, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Sunday.
According to the report, the satellite will be launched by the Islamic Republic’s orbital carrier rocket, Simorgh. Aside from the serious intelligence-gathering that this will provide Tehran, the report said, the West fears the launcher will be used for military purposes, as well, due to its capacity to reach deep into Europe and carry nuclear warheads.
A number of weeks after North Korea successfully launched a satellite into space, Iran began to gear up for its own launch, which intelligence sources assess will take place within a few days from now. According to Channel 2, this assessment is based on Western satellite photos revealing that the launching site in the Iranian city of Semnan, some 200 kilometers from Tehran, is ready.
These photos show many vehicles driving around the area of the launching site, carrying what are believed to be components of the Simorgh rocket, the largest two-phased missile developed by Iran.
In addition, the Iranian space agency has issued warnings about the possibility of an imminent launch.
Iraqi Researcher Abdel-Hussain Shaaban: Our Complete Rejection of the West Stems from Backwardness


Russian police arrest ‘terrorist’ nanny with child’s severed head
A black-clad woman holding the severed head of a child and reportedly shouting “I am a terrorist” was arrested by Russian police outside a Moscow metro station on Monday, the Russian news channel RT reported.
In a video, the woman can be heard screaming: “I’m a terrorist. I want you dead. Look, I’m a suicide bomber, I’ll die; the end of the world will come in a second.”
She said she had been cursed and destroyed “so many times,” and announced: “I hate democracy. I’m a terrorist.”
The Investigative Committee of Russia said in a statement that firefighters had found the body of a child aged or three or four, which bore “signs of violent death,” after dousing a blaze in an apartment block in Moscow. An initial probe pointed to the child’s nanny, who is suspected of murdering the child and setting the apartment alight after the child’s parents and older sibling had left, the statement said.


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After months of negotiations, there will be a Palestinian version of the worldwide "Got Talent" TV series.

But unlike all the other editions, this one is meant to be political.

Instead of saying that this show will help highlight Palestinian Arab talent, the producers have said explicitly that "the objectives of the program are based on the primary goal to deliver a message of Palestinian talent suffering under occupation and successive crises and give them a chance to appear on the local, regional and international level."

The program is not only for Palestinians in the territories. They want Israeli Arabs (what they call "1948 Palestinians") and people of Palestinian descent who were born in other countries to participate as well, in order to maximize the propaganda to push the "right of return."

The world would have a lot more respect for Palestinians if they didn't base their entire self-image on the negation of Israel. This program proves yet again that Palestinian identity is not strong enough to stand on its own and it would not exist without its apparent mandate to demonize Israeli Jews at literally every possible opportunity.



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EU Observer has an article about how the EU is biased - for Israel.

The piece is ridiculous, because its underlying assumption is that Israel is one of the world's worst violators of human rights. So, the author complains, there are no sanctions on Israel as there are for other countries - without mentioning that these are for things like selling arms to countries like Afghanistan and Sudan.

But perhaps more interesting than how the author twists facts is the author himself.

Martin Konecny heads the European Middle East Project (EuMEP), a Brussels-based NGO.

I had never heard of EuMEP, so I did a little research.

It has no logo. 

It has no Facebook page. 

It doesn't even have a Twitter account (although someone already had the @eumep account.)

It also does not have a functioning web page, even though the domain was registered nearly a year ago. Here is all that it says:

EuMEP is a new and independent project in Brussels that promotes a just and effective EU policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. EuMEP believes that the EU can and should use its leverage to induce respect for international law and help resolve the conflict. EuMEP combines analytical work and advocacy, working closely with a number of leading NGOs and experts. EuMEP supports security, freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians.

This of course means that it is meant to convince the EU to pressure Israel, and only Israel, to make unilateral concessions. No one says that Palestinians should be pressured to respect international law, even though they have violated more than their fair share and no one talks about it.

But what has EuMEP done? And who works for it?

I have not been able to find a single employee outside of Martin Konecny himself.

Yet as director of this invisible organization, Konecny has managed to get himself quoted as an expert in various articles about how important it is for the EU  to act against Israel. He has also been used as an expert for meetings at the UN.

He also tweets implicitly anti-Israel cartoons:

The DNS registration for the domain gives an address of Huidevettersstraat 165 in Brussels. The occupant at that address is and NGO called Broederlijk Delen, an anti-poverty organization that also supports "peaceful resistance" by Palestinians.



Even though EuMEP has no apparent staff, no presence and no output, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund gave it it $70,000 last year for "peacekeeping." And that's just the one funder I could find.

It proves the point that Bassem Eid made when he said that many will throw lots of money at any anti-Israel NGO. Especially when they try to hide their anti-Israel agenda with a message of "peace."

Konecny did not respond to my request for information about the organization.


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