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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thursday links part 2

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: Pure Speculation: HRW Statements on Gaza and Prisoner X
"HRW possesses neither the military expertise nor the appropriate fact-finding methodology to make these assessments and conduct proper investigations. Such judgments require knowledge of the military intelligence possessed by Israeli commanders at the time of the strikes, and information on intent of the officers. In contrast, HRW’s “evidence” consists solely of its inability to identify “indication[s] of a legitimate military target at the site at the time of the attack” and Israel’s refusal to explain its operational decisions to the NGO.
HRW’s press release is its seventh document relating to the November 2012 fighting in Gaza and Southern Israel. The disproportionate obsession and political agenda are further seen by HRW’s decision to conduct “field investigations” on that particular conflict, at a time when the UN estimated that over 10,000 people were killed in the Syrian civil war in the month of January 2013 alone.
HRW’s statement also denounced Israeli investigations, claiming that they “were not conducted by trained military police investigators or dedicated to investigating alleged laws-of-war violations.” Therefore, HRW did not wait for a response from the IDF, dealing with HRW’s cases and other attacks, which is anticipated “by late February.”
In fact, Israeli investigations meet international standards, as noted by Judge Mary McGowan Davis (empanelled by the Human Rights Council to lead the follow-up committee to the Goldstone Report), Judge Richard Goldstone, and the Turkel Committee. The real reason HRW does not want to wait for the IDF report is because it will demonstrate that HRW’s claims are baseless, as happened with Israeli responses to the 2009 Gaza conflict and the 2006 Lebanon War."

Prisoner X
"HRW’s Israel-based staffer Bill van Esveld was quoted extensively in an Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) exposé on “Prisoner X,” reportedly an Australian-Israeli Mossad agent who hanged himself in prison in 2010. As noted by most media reports, the entire episode remains unconfirmed and speculative."
"In fact, as reported in Israeli media and contrary to van Esveld’s claims, Prisoner X was represented by a lawyer, was informed of the charges against him, and was in the process of negotiating a plea bargain shortly before he committed suicide. His family was aware of his imprisonment and was in contact with him. Moreover, Israel’s Supreme Court was also aware of the arrest and ruled on whether the security circumstances warranted a “gag order.”

The Arab Spring is great, says leading Israeli analyst
Yigal Carmon, founder of MEMRI, believes the current revolutionary shift is an essential first step in the Arabs’ long road ‘to ‘join humanity’
“People were warning us about the rise of Islamism, but from day one my attitude was exactly the opposite: I was shining,” said Yigal Carmon, founder and president of MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute. Carmon’s assessment, as someone who hails from the heart of Israel’s security establishment, might bear particular significance.
“It is indeed an Arab Spring,” he told The Times of Israel this week, “where people are fighting for freedom, putting their lives on the line every day against dictatorship. There can be no other name for it.”
Before the Arab Spring, Carmon said, the Middle East was “a frozen swamp of repression, on every level.” But that stagnation, which he said left Arabs and Muslims “outside the world in its progress,” is gone, never to return.

Is Israel really to blame for Gaza's water shortages?
Israel has met and exceeded expectations in terms of the supply of water to the Palestinian people. So why are Palestinian and British politicians still playing politics with this issue?
"An argument that makes as little sense in theory as it does in practice. To get the facts straight from the outset is important, as misinformation propagated by the delegitimisers of the Jewish state often leads to erroneous beliefs being implanted in the minds of journalists, activists and, importantly, legislators. Take a look at what passed between Israel and Gaza just last week, here. and here.
How else could an Early Day Motion in the British Parliament have been tabled blaming the Israeli government for a situation that the World Bank claimed in 2009 would make the Gaza strip ‘uninhabitable’? But the World Bank didn’t blame Israel and a similar report by the United Nations stated that while Operation Cast Lead intensified the problems already faced, Gaza’s problems were “due to underinvestment in environmental systems, lack of progress on priority environmental projects and the collapse of governance mechanisms.

Belgian Nazi Parade Makes Mockery of Holocaust
ADL expressed outrage that participants in UNESCO-affiliated festival dressed as Nazis and paraded through the streets of Belgium.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has expressed outrage that a group of participants in the UNESCO-affiliated Aalst festival dressed as Nazi SS officers and paraded through the streets of Aalst, Belgium on a rail car reminiscent of those used to deport Jews to concentration camps during the Holocaust.
Photos in the Belgian media showed the men dressed in full Nazi regalia with a Hassidic Jewish boy character on a rail car, decorated with posters depicting pails labeled, “Zyklon,” the chemical used in the Nazi gas chambers.”

Yaalon Hizbullah Armed, Waiting
Israel must not be lulled into false security by quiet in the north, Yaalon warns.
"While northern Israel is now enjoying relative quiet, “we must not be lulled into false hopes,” Yaalon warned. “Hizbullah is armed with tens of thousands of rockets and missiles and is supported by Iran,” he explained, “and in Syria the civil war and instability continues, and is likely to bring unrest to the border near to where we stand right now.”
“Now, too, the best of our sons and daughters are ready to deal with the threats from north and south, from near and far, and with our enemies’ unwillingness to recognize our right to exist in peace and security as the national homeland of the Jewish people, in any border” Yaalon declared."

Rocket Preparedness Drill to be Held in Schools
Israeli children will practice moving briskly to their “safe spaces,” getting to a shelter and hiding from rockets on Thursday.
"Israeli children will have the opportunity to learn a new lesson on Thursday as they practice moving briskly to their bomb shelters and hiding from rockets in as many other safe spaces as possible.
The Ministry of Education is holding the nationwide exercise in kindergartens and schools to test the preparedness of every educational institution in Israel in the event of a rocket or missile attack while children are playing outside during recess."

Jewish Israeli Soccer Star Banned from Training With Club in Dubai
"Jewish Israeli soccer star and Swansea City (UK) striker Itay Shechter has been forced to miss his club’s week-long training decampment because it’s taking place in Dubai. The UAE and Israel do not have diplomatic relations and Shechter could have been arrested and deported if he tried to enter Dubai as the United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel as a state."

Israeli helps India rehabilitate polluted river
Technologies developed in Israel to recycle the country’s precious water resources are being used to help save India’s Noyyal River.
“Prof. Yoram Oren first saw how chemicals from textile dyeing factories were poisoning India’s Noyyal River during a year-long stay in the country’s southernmost state three-and-a-half years ago.
Oren, an expert on water desalination from Ben-Gurion University, spent his sabbatical year setting up a water research laboratory at Karunya University in Tamil Nadu state. A passionate advocate of water rights, he saw the effects of river pollution on local people, agriculture and wildlife and decided to return to Tamil Nadu and help local water experts save the dying Noyyal.”

Savior of Thousands of Jews Honored Posthumously
Varian Fry, an American journalist responsible for aiding thousands of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, was honored posthumously.
"The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) posthumously honored Varian Fry, an American journalist responsible for aiding thousands of Jewish refugees during the Holocaust, with the ADL Jan Karski 'Courage to Care' Award.
The award was presented posthumously to Fry on February 8 during the League’s National Executive Committee Meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, where it was accepted on behalf of the family by his son, James Fry."

Richard Silverstein gets owned and duped on twitter.
Israelly Cool: Australian Foreign Minister Rips Silverstein a New One