Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Links Part 2

From Ian:

LATMA: The Tribal Update discusses Obama's travel plans and the EU's Hezbollah problem

The dishonesty of ‘The Gatekeepers'
The film sends a 'simplistic political message,' implying that Israel's occupation of the West Bank stands between terrorism and peace.
Dror Moreh’s documentary, The Gatekeepers, could have been a profound film.
Instead, Moreh uses his interviews with six former directors of Israel’s top security services to send a simplistic and deeply partisan political message: If Israel withdraws from the West Bank, terrorism will subside and peace will break out.
To promote this message, the documentary engages in intellectual dishonesty and omits critical context. While most Israelis know the wider context, the average viewer probably does not, and therefore is vulnerable to the filmmaker’s biased version of the facts.
Though the film tries to portray Israel’s antiterrorism policies as counterproductive and cruel, the interviews inadvertently tell a different story. The six directors are well-spoken, deeply thoughtful, and genuinely self-critical.”

The Palestinians Never Wanted Fayyadism
The Palestinians are choosing, as they have always chosen, to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Having come into existence solely in order to oppose the return of the Jews to the country, Palestinian nationalism appears incapable of redefining itself in such a way as to give Fayyad a chance. The example of the independent Palestinian state in all but name in Gaza — which has become a platform for terrorism — makes it impossible for Israel to consider further withdrawals that would duplicate that situation in the West Bank.
Were it in the power of either the United States or Israel to make Fayyad the leader of the Palestinians they would do so. But his constituency has always been in Washington, Jerusalem and the international media not among Palestinians. Someday they may be ready for a Fayyad, but that day is not in the foreseeable future.

PMW:Is the PA lying to European governments in order to receive European funding?
European and US money donated to the PA's general budget is paying salaries not only to all Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons but also to 4,000 former security and terrorist prisoners
Palestinian Media Watch has seen statements by both the British and Norwegian governments defending their payments to the Palestinian Authority's general budget for salaries. These statements came in response to two PMW reports documenting that thousands of imprisoned terrorists are among the recipients of PA salaries. In their statements, both the British and Norwegian governments say that the PA has informed them that the PA does not pay "salaries" to terrorists in Israeli prisons, but social "assistance" payments to the prisoners' families. Minister of State Alan Duncan on behalf of Britain's Department for International Development (DfID) said: "The second [PA] payment scheme [to prisoners] is intended to assist families in need of assistance." Both governments have written that this information was received from the PA.
4,000 former prisoners receive full monthly salaries - PA Minister of Prisoners Affairs VIDEO

How US Military Aid to Fatah Actually Bolsters Hamas
Now there is evidence of Fatah-Hamas coordination in parts of the West Bank. The PA has lifted the ban against Hamas rallies, and Hamas has gained control of many West Bank mosques. Israel’s intelligence community has determined that Hamas politburo Chief Khaled Masha’al has ordered the establishment of military cells to take over the West Bank.
What Israel now faces is a worst-case scenario: PA security forces have a history of turning on Israelis. With the increased cooperation between the PA and Hamas, the likelihood of this happening again grows more likely. Statements of late by PA officials suggest such cooperation. Former PA Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, for example, has called for unity with Hamas that would “win further victories for us.” With Hamas cooperation, he said the PA would escalate “the struggle against Israel” in 2013.
However, should there be a repeat of prior attacks by PA forces, bolstered by cooperation with Hamas, dealing with the situation will be far more difficult than it has been previously. Now those PA forces are far better equipped and trained, thanks to a US policy that may have been ill-advised from the outset.

Watchdog says Iran upgraded centrifuges for nuke program
Installation represents a dramatic upgrade in the country’s controversial uranium enrichment program
VIENNA (AP) — Adding weight to its announcement of a nuclear upgrade, Tehran has shown high-level UN officials high-tech equipment positioned at its main uranium enrichment site meant to vastly accelerate output of material that can be used for both reactor fuel and atomic arms, a senior diplomat said Thursday.
The diplomat spoke to The Associated Press shortly after the officials returned from Tehran, acknowledging that their latest in a series of trips to the Iranian capital that began over a year ago again failed to reach a deal to restart an investigation into suspicions that Iran is pursuing nuclear arms.
Herman Naeckerts, who headed the International Atomic Energy Agency team that visited Iran, said “remaining differences” scuttled attempts to finalize an agreement on how such an investigation should be conducted. He declined to say whether there was progress.

Zygier was granted all his rights, and was no ‘Prisoner X,’ says legal official
Justice Ministry source says negligence charges may be filed against those who failed to prevent Mossad spy’s suicide in jail
Ben Zygier, the Melbourne-born Mossad agent who committed suicide in his cell at Ramle’s Ayalon Prison in 2010, had been granted all the rights and protections due to him under Israeli law, a top Justice Ministry official told reporters on Thursday.
Even the unusual fact that his identity was kept secret was a security measure to which Zygier himself consented, the official said, recognizing that this was beneficial to national security and to his own and his family’s protection.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not provide details of why Zygier was arrested, and what charges had been leveled against him. Avigdor Feldman, a defense lawyer who met with Zygier a day or two before he died, said the 34-year-old father of two had been charged with “serious criminal” offenses and faced long years in prison.

Israel Daily Picture: The Jews of Tiberias Revealed in 100-Year Old "Medical" Photos
David Torrance arrived in a very poor, economic backwater town in the 1880s. Under Ottoman rule, Tiberias had little in the way of employment opportunities or basic hygienic infrastructure.
Tiberias was nonetheless a center of Jewish life over the centuries, particularly after the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans. It emerged as one of Judaism's holy cities after Jerusalem, Hebron and Safed. Rabbis of the Talmud and Maimonides are buried in Tiberias. And over the last few centuries pious Jewish families and scholars made it their home.

Airport debris detector tops Israeli innovation list
XSight bids bye-bye to junk on runways
Israel’s XSight Systems, which detects runway debris that can endanger planes and passengers, has been called one of Israel’s most innovative companies by US tech magazine Fast Company. “Foreign Object Debris (FOD) costs the aviation industry around $13 billion per year,” and is a major safety risk, Fast Company wrote about XSight, naming it one of the top 10 Israeli innovators for 2013. The XSight system “has emerged as one of the leading solutions, using hybrid radar and electro-optical technology to detect junk on runways,” the magazine wrote.