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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday Links Part 1

From Ian:

Daniel Pipes: Futile Israeli Efforts to Win Ankara Back
The Government of Israel, we learned yesterday from a Turkish source, has delivered Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) equipment by ELTA, a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries that gives military aircraft protection from electronic attacks. Not only will the AWACS planes, in the wording of the Today’s Zaman article, “greatly increase [the Turkish air force's] dominance over Turkey’s own airspace” but they will also be useful to it in the Syrian civil war and vis-à-vis “tensions with Israel and Greek Cyprus over the issue of gas drilling.”

The collapse of Al-Jazeera's credibility
According to an article that appeared in the German magazine Der Spiegel, many leading journalists and TV anchors have started to leave the channel in recent months. According to one of those that has recently left, the German based Aktham Sulimen, “Before the beginning of the Arab Spring, we were a voice for change...a platform for critics and political activists throughout the region. Now, Al-Jazeera has become a propaganda broadcaster.”
According to another Beirut based correspondent, “Al-Jazeera takes a clear position in every country from which it reports – not based on journalistic priorities, but rather on the interests of the Foreign Ministry of Qatar......In order to maintain my integrity as a reporter, I had to quit."

Thomas Donilon national security adviser to President Obama: Hezbollah Unmasked
The United States applauds those countries that have long recognized Hezbollah’s nefarious nature and that have already condemned the group for the attack in Burgas. Europe must now act collectively and respond resolutely to this attack within its borders by adding Hezbollah to the European Union’s terrorist list. That is the next step toward ensuring that Burgas is the last successful Hezbollah operation on European soil.

Bulgarian FM to EU colleagues: Sanction Hezbollah
Presenting evidence from Burgas bombing probe in Brussels, Nikolay Mladenov urges Europe to finally blacklist the Shiite group as a terror organization
A senior Bulgarian official on Monday called on the European Union to adopt harsher measures against Hezbollah in light of his country’s finding that the Lebanese Shiite group was responsible for a terror attack that killed five Israelis and a local bus driver in the coastal town of Burgas last summer.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the EU’s foreign ministers in Brussels, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov implicitly but unmistakably urged the union to designate Hezbollah a terrorist group.
Asked whether the EU should blacklist Hezbollah, he responded: ”Given the fact that we’ve already made quite firm statements about where we believe the responsibility for that attack lies, I think the answer is quite obvious.”

BBC’s Jim Muir whitewashes Hizballah violations of 1701
By presenting a false picture of Hizballah’s violations of UN SC resolution 1701, Muir not only fails to fulfil his organisation’s stated aim of informing BBC audiences about the wider world and compromises the BBC’s obligation to accuracy, but he is also clearly giving oxygen to a specific political agenda which some of his mysterious “Western diplomat” sources (which, interestingly, apparently cannot be named, thereby denying the reader the ability to judge those opinions in context) seem very keen to promote. In doing that, Muir also severely compromises the BBC’s reputation as an ‘independent’ broadcaster.

IDF BLOG: Hezbollah Under Nasrallah’s Rule: 21 Years of Terror
21 years ago, Hassan Nasrallah became the leader of Hezbollah. Under his leadership, Hezbollah has committed a stream of terror attacks on both Israeli and international soil and has killed numerous innocent civilians.
Here is our roundup of 21 years of Hezbollah activity under Nasrallah:

IDF said set to build field hospital on Syrian border
After 7 wounded Syrians allowed in on Saturday, military is preparing for onrush of refugees, and wants to treat the injured on Golan Heights frontier rather than inside Israel
According to the plan, reported by Channel 10 on Monday night, the makeshift hospital will be set up close to the border in the central Golan Heights or near the Quneitra border crossing with Syria. The logic behind the move, the report said, was for Israel to be prepared to meet further possible medical pleas from additional Syrian refugees without having to take them for treatment inside Israeli territory.
The IDF reportedly expects that after Saturday’s incident, Syrian refugees will flock to Israel for sanctuary from the bloody civil war that has wracked Syria for two years and claimed tens of thousands of lives.

UN war crimes list doesn't spare Syrian leadership
Gov't forces, rebels committing war crimes, including killings, torture, UN investigators say, recommending ICC prosecution.
Rebel forces fighting to topple Assad in the protracted and increasingly sectarian conflict have committed war crimes including murder, torture, hostage-taking and using children under age 15 in hostilities, the UN report said.
"They continue to endanger the civilian population by positioning military objectives inside civilian areas," it said, with rebel snipers causing "considerable civilian casualties".

Islamists 'Islamicize' Egyptian Singer With Female Caftan
Radical Islamists tried to 'islamicize' one of Egypt's best-loved cultural icons
Among the latest victims of the new Islamist atmosphere in Egypt is the “first lady of Arabic song,” Umm Kulthum, who is regarded as the greatest female Arabic singer of the 20th century, or perhaps ever. She had hundreds of hits and was responsible for integrating Western and Arabic singing and musical styles. It was around her style of singing that the large orchestras today identified with Arabic music, sometimes consisting of many dozens of musicians, were developed. She was also a pioneer in Arabic film, starring in dozens of movies in which she sang love songs. Nearly 30 years after her death in 1975, her records still sell in the millions annually.

While a ban is unlikely, Islamists have done what they apparently believe to be the next best thing – dressing Umm Kulthum in full female Arabic caftan, a “nikab.” The covering was placed on a statue of Umm Kulthum, in the Egyptian town of Mansoura. The incident apparently occurred over the weekend. Muslim Brotherhood supporters distributed photos over the Internet.

Amazon Fires ‘Neo-Nazi-Linked’ German Security Firm
The giant Internet retailer Amazon has fired its German security firm, HESS, following reports that security staff with alleged neo-Nazi ties treated temporary workers unfairly and with contempt.
The allegations surrounding the Hensel European Security Service (HESS) came to the surface in a documentary expose broadcast last week on the ARD German television channel.
The station filmed secret footage which reportedly showed the staff intimidating foreign workers. Living quarters of temporary staff members were photographed being regularly searched without warning, and the workers underwent body searches after breakfast to ensure they had not stolen rolls from the table.

Author accused of anti-Semitism nominated for Nobel
Critics claim Romanian writer Paul Goma has practiced Holocaust denial
JTA — A writer’s association in Moldova reportedly has nominated Paul Goma, a Romanian author accused of writing anti-Semitic texts, for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
“Paul Goma’s claims to fame is only by denying the Holocaust, falsifying historical facts and anti-Semitic attacks,” Iosif Belous, vice president of the East European Association of Former Prisoners of Ghettos and Concentration Camps, is quoted as saying on Enews.md, a news site from Moldova.