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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday links

From Ian:

How Algeria lost its Jews
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the exodus of the Jews of Algeria. The exhibition at the Jewish Museum in Paris has been attracting wide interest into this neglected aspect of French, Jewish and Algerian history.
"The issue has been neglected by France because the 130,000 Jews were subsumed into the great mass of pieds noirs – the 800, 000 French settlers who fled Algeria. It’s been neglected because the loss of Algeria, the jewel in the crown of France’s colonial empire, was a humiliation which French society was glad not to be reminded of. It’s been neglected by the Jews because they too saw themselves as Frenchmen. It’s been neglected by Israel because, unusual among the 850,000 Jewish refugees from Arab countries, 90 percent of Algerian Jews went to France and not Israel. It’s been neglected by independent Algeria because it has chosen to erase all traces of Jewish presence, culture or history."

Buried Christian Empire Casts New Light on Early Islam
Archeologists are studying the ruins of a buried Christian empire in the highlands of Yemen. The sites have sparked a number of questions about the early history of Islam. Was there once a church in Mecca?
"After the triumph of Islam in the 7th century, the church was torn down and stripped of its treasures, and a mosque was built on the site. As Barbara Finster, an archeologist from the Bavarian city of Bamberg, discovered, some of the columns in the mosque came from the wrecked church, while some of the church's magnificent mosaics were sent to Mecca, essentially as booty."

UN Watch Dissident Egyptian Blogger Launches Peace Mission to Israel
"GENEVA, Dec. 23 – As reported today by the New York Times, Maikel Nabil, one of Egypt’s most famous human rights dissidents and democracy bloggers — a former political prisoner who is also his country’s most outspoken supporter of peace with Israel — has arrived in Jerusalem on a peace-building mission, where he will deliver university lectures, meet with leading public figures and peace activists, and visit the Palestinian territories."

PMW: "No one has removed the rifle from the equation" - Fatah official Jibril Rajoub
Fatah Central Committee member, Jibril Rajoub: "This is a popular struggle. We still believe in all forms of the struggle. No one has removed the rifle from the equation. However, for us, the struggle is a means, and the end is freedom and independence."

Israel to join NATO ops despite Turkey tension
Approval to join 2013 NATO activities follows granting of Turkish request for deployment of Patriot missiles along Syrian border.

PM in TV interview blitz: Kotel isn’t occupied
Netanyahu rejects charges that approval of building plans is related to election campaign.
“I said to them, would you accept it if you could not build in your capitals?” Netanyahu recalled. “My fundamental position is that we live in a Jewish nation; Jerusalem became that nation’s capital over 3,000 years ago. We will build in Jerusalem because it’s our right,” he said.
Had the Jewish people bowed to international pressure, the State of Israel would not have been created, the Six Day War would not have been fought, the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak would not have been bombed and Petah Tikva and Kfar Saba would never have been built, Netanyahu told Channel 1."

'Hamas preparing for West Bank takeover'
The Sunday Times' claims Hamas instructed its sleeper cells in West Bank to prepare for armed struggle to overtake the territory.
"The Sunday Times claimed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had been warned by Israeli intelligence services of Hamas's possible usurpation of power, and quoted what it described as a close Netanyahu associate as saying: “Bibi [Netanyahu] understands the geopolitical changes in the Middle East. No way would [he] give up an inch of the West Bank - he is convinced that the intelligence assessment about a Muslim Brotherhood [Hamas] takeover is solid.”
The Sunday Times also alleged that relations between Hamas and Iran were on the upswing after a brief cooling off period; relations were strained when Sunni Hamas abandoned its support of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Shi’ite Iran's primary ally in the region.

CAIR Leader Mimics Hamas in Calling for Israel’s Destruction
On November 15, McGoldrick tweeted, “Palestine is a land occupied by foreign settlers. They [Hamas] have the right to resist, to defend themselves, ‘by any means necessary.’”
"The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, brokered by Egypt, took place on November 21. However, that did not stop McGoldrick from tweeting and posting to his Facebook page one week later, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” When McGoldrick said that “Palestine” was “land occupied by foreign settlers,” he wasn’t referring to Gaza and the West Bank; he was referring to all of Israel."

Rebels threaten to storm two Syrian Christian towns
Insurgents claim government troops are using the towns as a base; commander orders locals to ‘evict Assad’s gangs’ or face attack
"Abdul-Fidaa accused regime forces of taking positions in the two towns in order to “incite sectarian strife” between Christians and the predominantly Sunni opposition. Assad belongs to the Alawite minority sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam.
The threat comes just two days after a UN team investigating human rights abuses in Syria accused anti-Assad militants of hiding among the civilian population, triggering strikes by government artillery and the air force."

Turkish Police Raid Dorms, Arrest Marxist Student Protesters
Turkish police raided university dorms and arrested 12 students last week following protests against PM Erdogan at a university event.
Erdogan came with massive security at the Middle East Technical University on Dec. 18 to attend a ceremony to mark the launch of Turkey's Gokturk-2 satellite. The prime minister arrived with 105 security vehicles, 20 armored cars, one “intervention tank” and 2,500 police officers, according to the report.

Yoram Kanuik novel to become US television series
New Regency to turn popular Israeli book into a weekly half-hour satirical black comedy.
New Regency is the latest US production company to take a cue from Israeli culture. The firm recently announced its intentions to turn popular Israeli writer Yoram Kanuik’s 1994 bestseller, Magic on Lake Kinneret, into a weekly half-hour satirical black comedy in the United States.

Israeli birth control product wins Gates grant
Not yet out of the lab, Hervana’s non-hormonal, long-acting and non-invasive solution could be a game-changer for women in developing countries.
The Israeli company behind a new contraceptive won a $1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop and test its formulation for a safer, long-acting, non-invasive contraceptive solution, and also won second place in a startup competition at the Israel Life Sciences Biomed Conference in Tel Aviv last May.

After first-round success, Microsoft accelerator lines up its new start-ups
Thirteen of Israel’s best start-ups are enrolled in what the software giant believes is the country’s – maybe the world’s – best program to help them succeed
The Azure accelerator was considered a big success in Microsoft, so much so that the Israeli model is being utilized in India and China, and is likely to be exported to other countries as well, said Weisfeld. “We’ve got a great physical plant for them and a fantastic mentoring program, with over 100 top professionals who work with the start-ups regularly. And the accelerator staff is here to help them all hours of the day or night.”
It’s a program that is appropriate for a “start-up nation,” he added — and one that will help keep Israel that way.