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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday linkdump

Stellar links from Ian, as always:

‘The Western Wall and the State of Israel will be ours forever,’ says Netanyahu
Lighting eighth candle of Hanukkah in Jerusalem, prime minister responds to Palestinian claims that Kotel is ‘occupied territory’
“The Western Wall and the State of Israel will forever belong to the Jews, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday night, as he lit the eight candle of Hanukkah at the Wall, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
“In recent days, I have heard that the Palestinians are saying that the Western Wall is occupied territory,” said the prime minister, referring to a speech in Gaza last week by Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal marking the terrorist organization’s 25th anniversary, in which Mashaal said that the Palestinians “cannot recognize” Israel’s legitimacy and would fight relentlessly against the Jewish state. Dating from the Second Temple era, the Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remnant of the outer wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple, the holiest site in Judaism.”

Challah Hu Akbar: The Last Month Without a Rocket or Mortar Fired from Gaza into Israel Was...
"There has not been a single month since at least 2007 in which the # of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel was 0."
"Thus far in December, there have been no rockets or mortars fired from Gaza into Israel. Will this be the first month in 5 plus years without a rocket or mortar being fired from Gaza into Israel?"

Why are Christian charities bashing Israel?
Unfortunately, mixed in with some Christian charities' good work is an alarming amount of hostility toward the Jewish state. It smacks of opportunism
"Israel sets the gold standard for human rights in the Middle East, treating its enemies, minorities and dissidents with far greater humanity than any other country, regime or political movement in the region. Instead of acknowledging this reality, Church World Service promoted the demonization of Israel.
Apparently, the people who run these charities have concluded that treating Israel fairly doesn’t help their bottom line and that anti-Zionism is an integral part of their brand."

BBC Watch: BBC amplifies PA claim that corruption is due to “occupation”
The Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the European Union – Leila Shahid – appeared on ‘Hardtalk’ (broadcast on the BBC World Service) on December 14th 2012.
Shahid’s statement that Israel “killed 1,400 civilians” during Operation Cast Lead went uncorrected, as did her use of the phrase “67 borders”. Most seriously, her claim that Palestinians were “ethnically cleansed” in 1948 raised a barely audible and certainly incomprehensible grumble from Sackur, but was not properly refuted.

No funds for BDS backers - Bishop
PUBLIC funds must not be given to groups that support the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, the opposition insists.
"The Australian reported on Monday that AusAID gave $47,000 to the University of Sydney's Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies in 2010. It has also received $131,000 in Australian Research Council grants.
The centre has been attacked by the government and opposition, academics and leaders of the Jewish community since The Australian revealed its head, Jake Lynch, citing his centre's BDS support, had rejected a request for help from Israeli academic Dan Avnon. Professor Avnon is credited with developing the country's only civics curriculum designed for Jewish and Arab school students.
Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop ramped up her criticisms of the BDS movement and demanded Foreign Minister Bob Carr make a public statement denouncing BDS in the light of recent comments he has made over Israel."

Ed Koch on Chuck Hagel as Defense Secretary: “It Would be a Terrible Appointment”
"Koch says that since his election, Obama has acted in support of Israel. “He has been stalwart since the election, nobody has stood up as well as he in support of Israel, I hope he continues with that,” he said. But the appointment of Hagel, he concluded, “would be a great mistake.”

The upheavals in ME and their impact on the Kurds
The past hundred years were perhaps the worst in Kurdish history, including division among different states, campaigns of assimilation and even genocide. But the 21st century heralds new and better things.

Saudi Textbooks Retain Hateful Refrains
Schoolchildren primed with pre-persecution slurs against ‘infidels.’
"The education minister acknowledged that reform of grade 1-12 textbooks was needed but indicated it was not a government priority. I also met with Saudi Justice Minister Muhammad al-Issa and asked him why the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” an infamously anti-Semitic fabrication at the time of the Russian revolution, is included in the textbook on Hadiths (traditions of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad) where it continues to be taught as historical fact. The Saudi justice minister said that the Protocols is treated as part of Islamic culture because it is a book that has long been found in plentiful supply in Saudi Arabia (one of the relatively few non-Muslim books to be so), and was a book that his father had in his home."

Tehran warns Ankara over NATO missile system
Iranian military commander cautions Turkey against having ‘Zionist defense line’ on its territory
“Patriot missiles are a defense line for the Zionists and a result of (the West’s) concerns over Iran’s missiles and Russia’s presence to defend Syria,” he said. “Western countries approve the deployment of Patriots on the Syria-Turkey border as they design a world war,” he said in a separate quote carried by state TV’s website.

Canada-Iran Crisis: Canada Accuses Iran Of Subversive Activity On Its Soil
Canada's Foreign Ministry strongly objected to Mohammadi's statements, warning Tehran to stop using its embassy in Ottawa to recruit Iranian-Canadians to serve the Islamic Republic’s interests.
"Iranian-Canadians have rejected the oppressive Iranian regime and have chosen to come to Canada to build better lives," a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement to the National Post. "The Iranian embassy should not interfere in their choices. Canadian security organizations will act to prevent threats and intimidation of Canadians."

Militants' threaten Pakistan church school for Malala support
Authorities in Pakistan have held three people over a threat to bomb a church school in Islamabad unless it paid them $51,000 (£38,000), officials say.
"A letter sent to the school, apparently by a little-known militant group, demanded cash for not bombing it.
It accused the church school of offering prayers for Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was injured by a Taliban gunmen in October."

Der Spiegel essay: Our ‘nation of perpetrators’ is still under the spell of its Nazi past
In plaintive article, author whose grandfather served in the Nazi SA says Germany is still dominated by its dark history
"Kurbjuweit cited a poem by celebrated German author Günter Grass that heavily criticized Israel — with which most Germans were in agreement, according to a survey — as one example of the rise of anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism and xenophobia in Germany. “Of course Germans can criticize Israel, and I too cannot endorse the Netanyahu government’s settlement policy,” he wrote. “But I think that we have to find a special tone, and that we can’t argue without taking history into account. Grass, a man of words, wasn’t able to find this tone.”

British Jews rail against Hebrew-less list of languages approved for school study
Forcing students to learn a second language that isn’t Hebrew detrimental to Jewish education, Board of Deputies warn
"The proposal was “extremely detrimental to our community’s identity, as language — including modern and classical Hebrew — is a vital ingredient to understanding our faith and culture,” Laura Marks, a senior vice-president in the Board of Deputies was quoted as saying.
Marks reportedly urged the British government to expand the list to include more than “just a narrow range of languages.”

Israeli delegation brings urban water expertise to India
“There is a an almost uncanny fit between India’s needs in the urban water arena, and what Israeli companies are able to offer,” so says Abraham Tenne, VP Desalination at Israel’s Water Authority following a visit last week to India. The visit was one implementation of an agreement signed this past February between the two nations aimed at fostering cooperation, with a focus on urban water management.
The delegation of Israeli water experts included, in addition to Tenne, Oded Distel, head of Israel NewTech, Zohar Yinon, CEO of the Jerusalem Water Authority “Hagihon” , and Elisha Arad of the Standards Institute of Israel.

Visit Israel!
Following last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense, which severely harmed tourism, the Tourism Ministry announces it is investing NIS 15 million in a new campaign overseas as well as one in Israel to promote tourism to South.
“Israel is also seeing an increase in tourism from emerging markets such as Brazil, India and South Korea.
The ministry recently launched a campaign to rehabilitate domestic tourism to the Southern region under the slogan, “It’s so good you’ve come South.”