Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Links Part 2

From Ian:

Human rights group adopts Hamas' version of Gaza offensive, claims Israel
A total of 14 missile strikes, some seemingly delivered by drones and, including four, according to HRW, that “appeared to involve fixed-wing aircraft dropping aerial bombs,” have been highlighted in the investigation as being of concern. But looking at Israel’s operation as a whole, the questions still remaining over the 14 strikes -- into one of the most crowded civilian zones on the planet -- suggest that in not less than 1,486 cases Israel did seek to ensure that the overwhelming majority of targets – equating, according to HRW’s own figures, to more than 99 percent -- were indeed carefully selected. They suggest, too, that the selection of targets was to ensure there was a minimal loss of Palestinian civilian casualties.

Honest Reporting: PLO Wants to Roll Back the Clock
Good grief: Everything Areikat’s asking for now was on the table at Taba 2001.
And what’s the progress Areikat refers to? The Palestinians broke off the Taba talks, the second intifada raged on, Yasser Arafat was replaced by Mahmoud Abbas and his do-nothing doctrine. Israel withdrew from Gaza and Hamas simply took over and continued firing rockets. The PLO all but bailed out of Oslo with its unilateral statehood bid.
Progess? What progress?
If Taba is good enough for the Palestinians now, why wasn’t it good enough then?

Is territorial discontinuity a real obstacle?
Territorial division between Gaza and the West Bank is not an obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state.
GEOGRAPHICALLY, THERE are five kinds of states: contiguous, with a homogeneous territory (such as Germany and Brazil); prolonged, with an extended territory in latitude or longitude (like Chile or Mozambique); irregular (like Greece); perforated, with sovereign states within its territory (like Italy with San Marino and South Africa with Lesotho and Swaziland); and fragmented, with a discontinuous territory interrupted by seas or by other states.
Among fragmented states are Russia (with Kaliningrad in European territory), the US (with Alaska), Denmark, Philippines and Japan (with archipelagos), Malaysia and Oman.

Douglas Murray: A model of diversity
There’s nothing quite like diversity. Take Manchester. It has a large Muslim population and a lot of gays. What could possibly go wrong?
Last week Manchester University’s Student Union played host to the ‘Global Aspirations of Women Society’. This appears to be a front group of the extremists of Hizb ut-Tahrir and therefore by no means does what it says on the tin.
Anyhow – as the university’s student newspaper puts it:
‘A speaker at a Students’ Union affiliated society workshop said that homosexuals would be executed in an ideal Islamic state, describing the practice of two men kissing as an “atrocity.”
1st year Middle Eastern studies student Colin Cortbus attended a public meeting at the Students’ Union last Wednesday 13th February organised by Global Aspirations and asked the chairperson of the meeting whether “in the Islamic society in which you strive for,” they would “feel comfortable, personally and morally, to kill a gay man.”

Daphne Anson: Demonstration In Melbourne Against Geert Wilders (video)
Organised by Students For Palestine, and with the comrades from Socialist Alliance inevitably participating, here's a demo in the Melbourne suburb of Somerton on 19 February against the appearance of anti-Islamist campaigner Geert Wilders at a public meeting organised by the Q Society.

BBC Watch: “Significant strands of thought” at the BBC
As we have noted here before, Abdel Bari Atwan – the Gaza-born editor of the London-based Arabic language newspaper ‘Al Quds Al Arabi’- is a regular guest on several BBC programmes on both radio and television, despite his frequent voicing of often frankly offensive opinions.
Readers will probably not be surprised to learn that Atwan is now promoting the notion that:
“… the French military intervention in Mali is designed not only to protect its own interests in the region but to benefit Israel.”

Kerry to bypass Israel in first Middle East trip
Newly instated US secretary of state to visit key American regional allies, but will wait to accompany Obama to Jerusalem
Secretary of State John Kerry will make his first official trip overseas next week, a jam-packed travel agenda that includes meetings in nine nations across Europe and the Middle East.

Report: Hagel Said Israel Headed Toward Apartheid, Netanyahu a ‘Radical’
“I am sitting in a lecture by Chuck Hagel at Rutgers,” Wagner wrote in the email. “He basically said that Israel has violated every UN resolution since 1967, that Israel has violated its agreements with the quartet, that it was risking becoming an apartheid state if it didn’t allow the Palestinians to form a state. He said that the settlements were getting close to the point where a contiguous Palestinian state would be impossible.”
“He said that he [thought] that Netanyahu was a radical and that even [former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi] Livni, who was hard nosed thought he was too radical and so wouldn’t join in a coalition [government] with him. … He said that Hamas has to be brought in to any peace negotiation,” Wagner wrote.

Supporter of Iranian dictatorship brought Chuck Hagel to Rutgers University for 2007 speech
A pro-Hezbollah, pro-Hamas candidate for the Iranian presidency, a man linked to Iranian-controlled front groups, brought former Republican Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel to speak at Rutgers University in 2007, according to another professor on campus.
Hooshang Amirahmadi, who led Rutgers’ Center for Middle Eastern Studies when Hagel came to campus, is the founder and president of the American-Iranian Council. He arranged for Hagel’s speech on March 2, 2007, the faculty source told The Daily Caller.

Study finds sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in France
614 incidents in 2012 represent a 58 percent increase over the previous year says SPCJ report
“2012 has been a year of unprecedented violence against Jews in France,” according to the report, which referenced the shooting murders of a rabbi and three Jewish children on March 19 by an Islamist radical at a Jewish school in Toulouse.

Why Jews should stand against Christian oppression
Of all the countries in the Middle East, only in Israel is the Christian population growing and flourishing.
So why should I as a Jew care about the fate of Christians? Firstly, having been victims for thousands of years it is our obligation to care and reach out to victims of discrimination, religious intolerance and extremism. Secondly, it is our responsibility to stand up for religious freedom and specially for those moderate and tolerant values promoted by most of these Christian minority groups. Moreover, Christians are rediscovering their Hebraic roots and are strong supporters of Israel, as they see its rebirth as the actualization of the biblical prophesies and of their divine mission to assist with the return of Jews to their promised land.
It is incumbent on my people to ensure that at least in the area where there is Jewish suzerainty, discrimination against Christians does not occur, and I have satisfied myself that of all the countries in the Middle East, only in Israel is the Christian population growing and flourishing.
(The writer is the chairman of the South African Zionist Foundation)

American superstar Alicia Keys to make Israel debut
One of the leading musical artists of the last 10 years will arrive in Israel for the 1st time on the birthday of her country.
American superstar Alicia Keys, one of the leading musical artists of the last 10 years, will be arriving in Israel for the first time on the birthday of her country – July 4th.
The winner of 14 Grammys will perform at the Nokia Center as part of her Set the World on Fire tour in support of her new album, Girl on Fire. Keys most recent highprofile appearances were at last month’s Super Bowl where she sang the National Anthem, and at this month’s Grammy Awards where she performed a duet with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine.