Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Wednesday links: Flying shoes, the EU and Hezbollah, South Korea loves Israel

From Ian:

Suit: Money funneled by former ‘Ground Zero’ mosque imam to finance lavish lifestyle
Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf pocketed money for trips, real estate and a fancy car, the suit charges
“The ex-“Ground Zero” imam, his pockets stuffed with donations given to Islamic nonprofits, splurged on a high-flying lifestyle that included expensive trips with a New Jersey gal pal, a stunning new lawsuit charges.
The married Feisal Abdul Rauf fleeced the Malaysian government for $3 million and a Westchester County couple for $167,000, according to a lawsuit filed by the couple, businessman Robert Deak and his wife Moshira Soliman.
The money was given to help Rauf’s two nonprofits, the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which work to combat anti-Islamic sentiment”.
Instead, the controversial imam used some of the cash to provide lavish gifts and getaways to a woman identified as Evelyn Adorno, who shared “a personal relationship with Rauf,” said Deak’s attorney, Jonathan Nelson.

Mali Reveals the Media’s Gaza Bias
"Yet when it comes to Islamists in Gaza, suddenly all moral clarity disappears in an avalanche of clichéd images and headlines ignoring the most basic truths. France can launch military attacks about 2,000 miles south of its border in response to an Islamist threat that endangers nobody in France, but Israel is vilified if it responds militarily to deadly rocket attacks targeting its civilians from two miles to its south."

What brings Obama to Israel?
As observers scratch their heads and wonder why the US president would make the trip, the simple answer may be: because he said he would

Honest Reporting: A Super Bowl of Silly BDS Coverage
The Guardian joins BDS nitpicking over a SodaStream factory’s West Bank location. The “sizzle” is that SodaStream happened to advertise during the Super Bowl.
Is every single BDS press release a story for The Guardian?
US condemns Turkey’s ‘inflammatory comments’ on Syria
Washington says FM Davutoglu’s call for Syria to retaliate for alleged Israeli airstrike doesn’t help resolve civil war
"The US State Department on Tuesday said it lodged a complaint with Ankara for inflammatory statements made Saturday by the Turkish foreign minister calling on Syria to retaliate against last week’s alleged Israeli strike.
Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters that the US was very troubled by the “inflammatory comments” made by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday."

U.S. must recognize Israel's control of the Golan
Syrian civil war should prompt U.S. to change its policy
"As the crisis in Syria intensifies, Israel's appreciation for the Golan will go beyond the sentimental to an actual real-time appreciation for the security it provides.
The time is ripe for the United States to show tangible support for its closest ally in the Middle East. The time is ripe for the United States to help maintain the Golan as an Israeli safe space for Arabs and Jews away from the brutal carnage of the nearby Syrian civil war. Now more than ever, it is time for the U.S. to recognize the Golan for what it is: Israeli."

Analysis: EU treats Hezbollah with its own logic
Political interests of some EU states dictate organization's stand on Hezbollah, which won't change because of Bulgarian report.
".. when it comes to Hezbollah, the EU has a logic all its own. An example of this came last month when the EU-observer, an online newspaper devoted to EU politics, reported that the union’s top counterterrorism official, Gilles de Kerchove, said responsibility for that blast will not necessarily qualify Hezbollah for the terror blacklist.
“There is no automatic listing just because you have been behind a terrorist attack,” he said in a comment that forces a double-take."

Kerry to Europe: Cut Funding to Hizbullah
U.S. Secretary of State urges Europe to cut off funding to Hizbullah after Bulgaria blames the terror group for the Burgas bus bombing.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday urged Europe to cut off funding to the Hizbullah terror group, after Bulgaria blamed Hizbullah for an attack that killed five Israeli tourists in July.
"We strongly urge other governments around the world -- and particularly our partners in Europe -- to take immediate action to crack down on Hizbullah," Kerry said, according to AFP.

Bystander chucks his shoe at Ahmadinejad during Cairo visit VIDEO

4 arrested in Egypt after shoe thrown at Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
"Egypt's security arrested four men who were protesting outside a Cairo mosque, where the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was praying.
The men, including a Syrian, belong to the ultra-conservative Sunni Salafist movement.
One man threw a shoe at Ahmadinejad, a Shiite, who was never in any danger."

Despite sanctions, Ahmadinejad offers loan to Egypt
During 1st trip to Egypt by an Iranian leader in 34 years, Ahmadinejad offers Morsi "credit line" to cash-strapped leader.
"Iran has offered to lend money to cash-strapped Egypt despite being under international economic sanctions itself over its nuclear program, visiting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted on Wednesday as saying.
The two countries do not have diplomatic relations but Egypt's first Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, gave Ahmadinejad a red-carpet welcome on Tuesday when he became the first Iranian leader to visit in more than 34 years."

Democracies must care for Pakistan’s minorities
Governments of the world’s leading democracies still continue to gloss over Pakistan’s minority rights violations
"Hell-bent on creating a feudal, irrational order based on the fanatic Wahhabi-Deobandi version of Islam, these obscurantist, reactionary forces have increasingly prevailed upon the state to resort to policies that would make the lives of people of all other faiths and values living in the country miserable.
In the process, the plight of Pakistan’s minorities has gone from bad to worse over the years. Most of the minorities in Pakistan – Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Baha’i, Buddhists, Zoroastrians (Parsis), Ahmadis, Shi’ites and Mohajirs – non-Muslims and non-Sunni Muslims both – have either resorted to exodus or conversion."

Living with hope in the shadow of the bomb
Like Israel with Iran, South Korea faces a hostile neighbor closing in on nuclear weapons. Unlike Israel, however, it’s not talking about military intervention
"Many Koreans believe that Jews win more Nobel Prizes than others because of the wisdom hidden in the Talmud. That’s why an abridged version of the Talmud can be found “in every household” in South Korea, the country’s Ambassador to Israel Kim Il-Soo said during a recent interview.
“That makes our two nations understand each other better,” he said.

Unlikely Coupling: Iranian-Israeli Rita to Perform at UN (VIDEO)
Rita, the Israeli-Iranian singer who has been a cultural bridge between the otherwise diametrically opposed nations, will be appearing at the UN on March, 5. The show will be titled “Tunes for Peace” and seeks to “build bridges, foster inner-cultural dialogue, and connect people to people,” according to a flier for the event. The performance will take place in the General Assembly Hall.

Israel’s OurCrowd spreads investment joy, and risk
Crowdfunding is quickly becoming a popular model for start-up fundraising, and an Israeli group has taken the model and run with it

IDF Saves Life of 13-Year-Old PA Boy
An IDF medical team on Sunday saved the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian Authority dialysis patient.
"An IDF medical team on Sunday saved the life of a 13-year-old Palestinian Authority dialysis patient whose life was in danger due to the worsening of his condition.
"We received a call around nine in the morning from the Chief Medical Officer of the Judea and Samaria Division informing us that there was a boy hospitalized in the Jenin hospital in need of further intensive care," said Lt. Abed Rabah, Medical Officer of the Menashe Regional Brigade in the Judea and Samaria Division, according to the blog of the Israel Defense Forces."


Ha'aretz Admits 'Land Grab' Story Unfounded

Europe OK with Occupation – and With Hezbollah (h/t Bill)

JPost: (h/t Josh)
A university professor who believes Israel created Hamas and argues that it is a victim of dehumanization by Israel, rather than the other way around, was supposed to provide an unbiased opinion on Israeli textbooks?

British Philosemite Julie Burchill: “Israel is the perfect country in every way. My only criticism is that it could stand to be quite a bit bigger.”