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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Links Part 1

From Ian:

British MP ditches debate because rival is Israeli
Anti-Israel politician George Galloway claims he was misled about opponent’s identity in Oxford University face-off
British MP George Galloway quit a debate on Israel at Oxford University Wednesday after discovering that his opponent was an Israeli citizen. The Respect party legislator, who is renowned for being staunchly pro-Palestinian, stormed out of the building saying: “I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.”
Galloway was first to speak in the debate, opining in favor of the statement “Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank” for 10 minutes. But midway into his opponent’s address, in which the third-year student referred repeatedly to Israel as “we” and “us,” Galloway inquired whether the speaker, Eylon Aslan-Levy, was Israeli. Upon learning that he was, the MP stormed out of the building with his wife, claiming that he was misled.

BBC Watch: Gaza news ignored by the BBC
Can you imagine how many heart-rending, finger-wagging reports would have been produced by the BBC if Israel had taken to flooding the Gaza Strip’s smuggling tunnels in order to put them out of operation? In particular, can you imagine the outrage if – as has been claimed – such flooding operations were carried out using sewage?
It is now over a week since reports of just such actions on the part of Egypt began coming through, but so far there has not been a mention of the subject from the BBC’s Gaza reporter on any of its radio or television channels or on its website, despite his clearly being aware of the story.

CAMERA: Neglected Facts About Hunger-Striking Samer Issawi
As Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi has allegedly exceeded more than 200 days of a hunger strike, Palestinian demonstrations and NGO activity on his behalf have intensified, and so too has media coverage. Though some media outlets have demonstrated great interest in Issawi's case, that interest is decidedly selective.
Take for instance the following photograph and caption which appeared in yesterday's Ha'aretz English edition on page 2. (It did not appear in the Hebrew edition.)

Iran installs uranium enrichment accelerators
Diplomats say Tehran upgrading fissile material production, nearing ability to outfit nuclear warhead
In a disheartening signal to world powers at upcoming Iran talks, Tehran has started installing high-tech machines at its main uranium enrichment site that are capable of accelerating production of reactor fuel and — with further upgrading — the core of nuclear warheads, diplomats said Wednesday.

Michael Totten: Free Syrian Army Threatens Hezbollah in Lebanon
Hezbollah is scary good at insurgency, but counterinsurgency is emphatically not a skill in its toolbox. That’s one of the many reasons the organization has never tried to conquer the rest of the country. It can’t. It can only push people around from its own corner.

Turkish Official: Marmara Trial of Israeli Commanders ‘Political’
A top Turkish government legal official has said that his country’s in absentia trial of top Israeli commanders for their role in May 2010 Marvi Marmara flotilla incident is “political, not really judicial.” The trial will restart Thursday after first beginning in November 2012.

Report: Budapest University student council lists Jews
Hungarian anti-Semitism watchdog calls for police action on alleged files, which would violate the law
Members of the student council of the University of Budapest reportedly have compiled illegal lists of students’ presumed religion, ethnic background including Jewish origins, and political affiliation.
The files were compiled annually on freshmen by the HOK student council, according to a report published Tuesday by the Hungarian television channel ATV, which received a copy of a full list from 2009.

Israeli Scientists Create ‘Stealthy Fiber Optic Communications’
Two Israeli university professors and a PhD candidate have created a concept for “stealthy fiber optic communications.”
Developed by Ben Gurion University of the Negev’s Prof. Dan Sadot and Prof. Ze’ev Zalevsky of Bar Ilan University together with PhD student Tomer Yeminy, the new encryption method enables stealthy transmission of any optical communications signal.

Pirate bugs, the superheroes of Arava farms
Predatory wasps and other beneficial insects are taking over for chemical pesticides on many crops grown in Israel’s fertile desert.
Meet the superheroes of the insect world: “pirate bugs” that feast on thrips, aphids and other tiny pests that destroy and infect food crops.
Single-mindedly devoted to their mission, these beneficial predators have allowed Israeli farmers in the Arava region of the Negev Desert – where 60 percent of Israel’s fresh vegetable exports originate – to cut their use of chemical pesticides by about 80%.