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Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Links Part 2

From Ian:

Dore Gold: The Time for a Final Status Agreement Has Passed
In light of developments over the last few years, there has been a growing realization in Israel that the chances of reaching a complete final status agreement with the Palestinians are presently extremely small. This is not just an ideological position coming out of certain quarters in Israel, but it is also the professional view of practitioners who have been involved in the political process itself.
Last June in an interview in Haaretz, Professor Itamar Rabinovich, Israel’s former ambassador to Washington and head negotiator with Syria, reached this very conclusion. He added, as part of his proof of this point, that “the bold proposals” by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert were not even responded to by the Palestinians. Looking back on Olmert’s far-reaching proposals, Mahmoud Abbas himself told The Washington Post on May 29, 2009 that the gaps between the parties were just too wide.

PA: Keep Jerusalem Runners Away from Mosque
The Palestinian Authority warned Israel not to use the Jerusalem Marathon as an attempt to “Judaize” the city
With the Jerusalem Marathon set to take place March 1, the Palestinian Authority is warning Israel not to use the race to “Judaize” the city, presenting it as a “unified capital of Israel,” said the chairman of the PLO's action committee, Ahmed Qureia. Qureia is also the head of the “Al-Aqsa Department” in the PA, and on Sunday he warned Israel to ensure that marathoners stay away from the Temple Mount, where the mosque is located.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Getting the Apartheid-Israel equation right
The obscene comparison of Israel with apartheid South Africa also ignores the fact that Israel is the first country in the history of the world to airlift tens of thousands of black men, women, and children to become free and full citizens in its borders, as Israel did with Ethiopian Jews.
Indeed, the comparison of the Palestinians, rather than the Jews, to black South Africans, is unfortunate and misdirected. Whereas Black South Africans inspired the world with their decency and humane capacity for peaceful coexistence with their white brethren even after having been so grievously wronged, our Palestinians brothers have tragically embraced hatred, terror, and racism. Arab newspapers are filled with grotesque caricatures of ethnic characteristics of Jews. Innocent Palestinian youth are brainwashed by the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah to grow up and blow up Israeli buses. Nelson Mandela rose to become the foremost statesman of the world by preaching forgiveness and reconciliation. Yasser Arafat fathered international terrorism and then stole hundreds of millions of dollars from his own people who continue to live in abject poverty despite being the largest per capita recipients of international aid in the world.

Overtones of Antisemitism in York University Boycott
The Costcutter supermarket at the University of York has initiated a boycott of Israeli goods at the behest of the newly formed Palestinian Solidarity Society (PSS). The first product taken off the shelves was Jaffa oranges, a company that PSS has accused of profiting from production in settlements. However, customers are still able to buy Iranian pistachios, whose industry, unlike that of Jaffa oranges, actually has a close connection to the oppressive Iranian government.
Standforpeace, a Jewish-Muslim interfaith organization focused on countering extremism notes: “In 2000, Patrick Clawson from the Washington Institute, reported, ‘while he was president, [Hashemi] Rafsanjani shut down a magazine that had the temerity to publish a petition from the pistachio growers of the Rafsanjan region complaining about how his family had monopolized the trade to its profit.’ Two years later, Michael Rubin, writing in the Wall Street Journal, noted that ‘former President Hashemi Rafsanjani … controls more than 70% of Iran’s multimillion dollar pistachio trade.’ Unsurprisingly, Iranians often refer to Rafsanjani as the ‘King of Pistachios.’”

Isi Liebler: Candidly Speaking: Reviewing the case of Prisoner X
Anti-Israeli elements in Australia, supported by sections of the media, tried to exploit the situation in order to besmirch Israel’s image.
In response to questions, the Australian foreign minister did indicate that Australia would conduct further investigations but it was unclear whether this related to an apparent breakdown in communications between the Australian authorities and ASIO or to a broader level.
Anti-Israeli elements in Australia, supported by sections of the media, tried to exploit the situation in order to besmirch Israel’s image. One prominent anti-Zionist Jewish extremist, on Australia’s national radio, accused his fellow Jews of harboring dual loyalties and claimed that the Jewish school system was a breeding ground for brainwashing children to settle in Israel.

Contender for papacy accused of anti-Semitism
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras has compared ‘Jewish controlled media’ to Hitler
JTA – In a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that one of the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI is an anti-Semite.
Responding to a list published last week after the resignation of Benedict, which identified Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras as a possible successor to the current pope, Dershowitz wrote: “He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media — which they, of course, control, he said — to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are ‘protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.’

Israel fears for Tunisia's Jews
North African country's Jewish community suffering from wave of anti-Semitic attacks, including shattered gravestones, fiery protests and verbal violence. Israel urges world to intervene in crisis
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has instructed Israel's representatives abroad to ask the international community to pressure Tunisian government officials to safeguard the North African country's Jewish community, heritage and property.
The order was issued following fears for Tunisia's 2,000 Jews due to the hostile anti-Israel atmosphere in the country and anti-Semitic statements made by religious clerics.

The riddle of the Czech-Israeli alliance
The ranks of Israel’s staunch supporters in the European Union may be thinning, but Benjamin Netanyahu’s government can still count on a loyal champion: the Czech Republic.
As the European Commission braces for a crackdown down on Israeli settlement products, the Czech president-elect, the Cherub-faced social democrat Milos Zeman, declares unwavering support for a pre-emptive strike against Iran.
A mishap? Hardly.

IDF claims victory in Pillar of Defense social-media war
Social-media experts say official Israel effectively conveyed its narrative to unprecedented numbers
The eight-day conflict, which ended with an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire that has held for the three months since, saw six Israelis killed, about 170 Palestinians killed (120 of whom were engaged in terrorism, according to the IDF), Gaza rocket fire hitting as far north as Rishon Lezion, and the Iron Dome defense system intercepting 84% of the rockets at which it was fired. It also marked the first time Israel beat the Palestinians in hasbara — public diplomacy — said Sacha Dratwa, the IDF director of new media.
How does he know? “This was the first time the foreign media asked more questions about our Twitter activity than about our bombings in Gaza.”

Spy-tech used to inspect bell peppers
Advanced detection technique developed by US intelligence agencies guards Israeli consumers from hazardous substances in crops
A major Israeli agricultural conglomerate announced Sunday that it was using advanced detection techniques originally developed by the FBI and CIA to ensure its crop of bell peppers is free of dangerous pesticides, chemicals or bacteria.
Ein Yahav, which oversees 120 cooperative farms responsible annually for 34,000 tons of produce for the domestic and export markets, said the new technology can identify minute amounts of more than 300 types of hazardous substances, even if they are blended together, part of what the company said is a quest to provide “the maximum security technology allows” to the consumer.
The company uses a “minimal amount” of pesticides on its products and tests the soil, air and water on the farms it oversees for hazards, according to the Ein Yahav website.