Thursday, February 07, 2013

Thursday links: Hagel wants "reverse optics" on Israel, Zionists banned from hate speech event, BBC still calls Hezbollah terrorists "militants"

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: Paying People to Hate You
"And so it was that I found myself once again in a meeting in the twilight world of Brussels -- an ugly city filled with ugly buildings, ugly overpriced food and overpaid officials. The objective of any visit must always be a hit-an-run: to get in and get out as swiftly as possible, The only reason to go is to try and inject some sense into a city so starved of it. When, therefore, asked to address the matter of what the European Union might do to tackle anti-Semitism, the answer is easy: "Stop funding anti-Semites." What is hard is that this is Brussels, where words are meaningless and nothing makes any sense."

Michael Coren with Douglas Murray: The new anti-Semitism in Britain VIDEO

Britain's PM hasn't visited Israel in seven years
Isn't it about time you hopped on a plane to the Middle East, Mr Prime Minister?
"Britain has a long and somewhat embarrassing history with regard to the Middle East conflict. Our politics is easily misled, our media is often overtly biased and public opinion is apathetic at best, and hostile to the Jewish state in most cases. These are, of course, symptoms of the long-peddled untruths by those that refer to themselves as the 'pro-Palestinian' lobby. These groups masquerade as peaceniks yet insist upon their logos being Palestinian flags draped across Israel in its entirety, and their unofficial anthem remaining, "From the river to the sea".

Hagel Vote Postponed; New Audio Surfaces
"Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Joel B. Pollak reported today that audio of a 2007 speech--just outside the five-year timeframe of the committee's request--recently surfaced. Hagel, speaking to a conference of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, said that the U.S. needed to "reverse optics" in its relationship with Israel. "

Richard Millett: Middlesex University bans concerned public from Free Palestine Society hate speech event.
"The event was the Free Palestine Society’s The Case for Boycotting, Divesting, and Sanctions against Israel held last night. The speakers were Lauren Booth, John Rees and Asghar Bukari. The location was Middlesex University in Hendon, a highly Jewish populated suburb of London."

BBC still describing Hizballah as “militants” after Bulgarian announcement
"When a terror attack took place on a bus-load of newly arrived Israeli holiday-makers in Bulgaria last July, some of the BBC reporting on the subject was fairly dismissive of Israeli assessments of the involvement of the Iranian-backed terrorist organisation Hizballah."

UN cuts ties with official tied to false Gaza tweet
De facto firing comes after probe into Kulhood Badawi's tweeting of photo of dead Palestinian falsely attributed to IDF shelling.
"Kulhood Badawi, a veteran public affairs officer in the Jerusalem branch of the United Nations Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has been "separated" from the UN, say officials in New York.
The de facto firing, publicly explained as a contract non-renewal, comes shortly after the conclusion of an internal investigation lasting almost a year.
The investigation conducted by the UN Development Program centered on a February 2012 Twitter post containing the photograph of a dead Palestinian girl, who Badawi insisted was killed by the IDF during its shelling of Gaza.
Subsequent investigations revealed that it was in reality an archived Reuters photo originally taken in 2006."

New US report shows excessive spending on PA security services
"Nevertheless Palestinian Security services took up over 31% of the Gross Domestic Product in the PA for 2011. On a population of just over two million (Hamas in Gaza has its own security apparatus) the PA maintains 64.687 security employees. That means one member of the security services for every thirty civilians. This must be a world record."

PA gives man 1 year prison for criticizing leaders By Khaled Abu Toameh
The PA sometimes uses a 50- year-old Jordanian law that bans “extending one’s tongue” against the monarch to suppress critics.

Israel Closes Haifa Airport Amid Growing Tensions in the North
The Israel Defense Forces has ordered the closure of Haifa Airport amid growing tensions with Syria and Hezbollah.
"The closure may be related to “mock raids” the Israeli air force has been conducting over Lebanon, according to the Lebanese Ministry of Information.
But the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told Israel Hayom that the “security needs relating to the air space in the area have been addressed.”

Burgas bombers planned to blow up full bus remotely, officials say
Report blaming Hezbollah continues to make waves, with France saying it will look into possibility of declaring Shi’ite group as terrorsts

Germany warns Hezbollah of ‘consequences’
Bulgarian investigation finds terror group responsible for bombing that killed six

Reporter sorry for suggesting Israel bribed Bulgaria
Financial Times correspondent calls tweet saying Israel could have paid off Sofia to blame Hezbollah ‘ill-conceived’

Egyptian Official: Sinai Will Not Be Used to Threaten Israel
US secretary of defense Leon Panetta spoke to Egyptian counterpart, who affirmed Egypt's commitment to maintaining peace treaty with Israel.

Coptic Pope Tawadros II criticises Egypt's Islamist leadership, new constitution
In interview with Associated Press, Egypt's recently-enthroned Coptic patriarch dismisses country's new national charter and questions efficacy of President Morsi's calls for national dialogue

Making Freud Proud: Abbas Confuses Mohamed Morsi for Mubarak (VIDEO)

Abbas thanks Ahmadinejad for Iran's support By Khaled Abu Toameh
PA president chides leaders over visits to Gaza Strip, calls on Islamic countries to end financial crisis, "Judaization" of J'lem.

CAMERA: Where's the Coverage? Iran, #1 Worldwide in Executing Children, Elected to UNICEF Leadership
"According to its Web site, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) “is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized.” On January 23, the organization issued a press release announcing that its Executive Board had elected a five-member leadership Bureau to include the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran. You read that right.
Iran leads the world in executing child offenders, those convicted of crimes committed when they were under the age of eighteen."

Iranian Conference Decries 'Zionist' Influence on Hollywood
A rogue’s gallery of conspiratorial anti-Semites gathered in Tehran for a government-sponsored conference on “Hollywoodism.”

Pakistani Nationalist Group Describes All Enemies Including US and India as ‘Zionist’
MEMRI explained, “the organization does not differentiate among Jews, Zionism, Israel, the U.S., or India, all of which it sees as threats to Pakistan and to the cause of Islamist forces.”

Anti-Semitism in France Update
There are too many troubling things to keep up with
"Speaking of Toulouse, a woman wielding a knife was arrested out the Ohr HaTorah school–the site of last year’s shooting–after threatened a 16-year-old boy who was walking out of the school.
“According to Direct Matin, a news website and daily newspaper, the woman shouted anti-Semitic slogans and “appeared mentally unstable.”

Marmara Commission: IDF Investigations Meet Int'l Standards
The Turkel Commission, which was formed in the wake of the deaths of nine Turks on the Mavi Marmara, submits its second report.
"Netanyahu told the Commission’s members upon receiving the report, "I welcome the Commission's determination that, in general, the investigation mechanisms in Israel operate in accordance with the standards set in international law. We will consider the areas in which the Commission has made recommendations regarding changes and improvements."

Moderate Muslims in Canada stand up to fight anti-Zionism, anti-Semitism
TORONTO - If left unchallenged, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist propaganda being spread in Canada will result in violence, warned Sohail Raza, director, Council for Muslims Facing Tomorrow.
“We have a very poisonous situation at hand,” said Raza. “I have no reason not to believe that it’ll turn violent one day: it’s just a matter of time and numbers.... The Muslim population is growing and, with that, are people bringing in their issues: those numbers are growing.”
Last month, speakers at a protest outside the Pakistani consulate in Vaughan blamed Israel, Zionists and the US for terrorist attacks that killed and injured Muslims in Pakistan. A protest across from the American embassy last September featured many of the same speakers blaming Zionists and Americans for an online video, Innocence of Muslims, deemed blasphemous by some Muslims."

Say ‘Hola’ to faster Internet
Program from Israeli startup can get you to your requested page faster, even if it’s a site that is blocked in your country.
“...Hola’s Media Unblocker has turned out to be quite popular, with 7,500 downloads in just its first 10 days. The unblocker app is available as an extension to the Chrome browser – including on the Mac – and is immune to getting re-blocked, Vilenski claims.
Right now, three big US sites are available to Hola users everywhere – Hulu, Netflix and Pandora – but the rest are on their way. Vilenski tried the unblocker in China and was able to access Facebook, normally not available in that country.“The Internet was supposed to be an open platform, where everyone could communicate and anyone could see any content. This restores democracy. We’re opening things up again.”

Also, the opening of an EU-Israel air transport market (h/t Zvi)