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Thursday, February 28, 2013

UC-Irvine researchers excited by Israel's water management

From Zvi:

We are accustomed to hearing bad news from UC Irvine. Last year, UC Irvine's student senate voted to join the ranks of the BDS (a.k.a. Bigotry and Double Standards) movement. UC Irvine allowed a group of hate-filled hooligans to repeatedly and aggressively attempting to silence Amb. Michael Oren.

Today, the news is of a very different kind.

A group of Irvine water researchers is visiting the region, exploring opportunities to share knowledge and to collaborate. I should say, first of all, that being water researchers, these visitors adhere to a point of view that is progressive and environmentally focused. For them, the water shortages in the middle east and around the world are looming crises that must be addressed soon in order to stave off disaster. They recently published a study on water losses in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran over the years from 2003 to 2009. The researchers were invited to Israel by Friends of the Earth - Middle East.

In National Geographic Water Currents, Prof. James Famiglietti, director of the Hydrologic Modeling Center at the University of California – Irvine comments on their recent visit to the Technion.
Technion University was our first stop on this water journey,, where we met with researchers at the Grand Water Research Institute (GWRI). During our conversation at Technion, we learned about the Israeli tools to allocate, reuse, and distribute water and how academic research improves these tools. Israel’s water monitoring and allocation system is phenomenal – every drop of water, from freshwater resources to desalinated water, is accounted for, priced accordingly, and delivered to the end-user. ....

For we Californians, it was surprising and inspiring to hear about the innovative strategies in place to meet agricultural water demands and, even more so, that the farmers were completely in support of these policies. ...

As our discussions at Technion illustrated, the support for such innovative management policies begins with knowledge transfer to stakeholders. For example, the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture hosts annual meetings that farmers, academics, and decision makers attend with the goal of sharing their respective water experiences and to work toward more efficient water practices. A core aspect of that effective communication is creating practical, actionable results rooted in technical research. During our discussion at Technion, we repeatedly heard an emphasis on interdisciplinary research, bringing together economists, engineers, hydrologists, and politicians to guide those actionable results for water management. Technion is one of many universities that are part of the Middle East North Africa (MENA)Water Centers for Excellence project, sponsored by USAID. This platform provides the foundation for collaboration between researchers throughout the MENA region including in Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Jordan.

The concept of a “water research network” is lacking in the United States, as is the connection between researchers and decision-makers at the local, state, and national levels. In Israel, this model of collaboration has resulted in meticulous monitoring of water resources to inform water management policies and the subsequent support from all stakeholders. If we could shift our water management paradigm in the United States to effectively link researchers, policy-makers, and local stakeholders with open lines of communication, the outcome could be groundbreaking.

Our meeting at the GWRI at the Technion left us with many ideas for potential collaboration between our research center at UC Irvine and the Technion. On a technical level, we discussed a wide variety of potential research topics, ranging from the development of a 3D groundwater model; the evaluation of the linkages between water and soil management at a global scale; the use of enviromatics to better manage and monitor regional water systems; and optimization of land-surface and water management models to better reflect the reality of water demand and supply. On a broader level, our meeting provided a glimpse at new strategies and tools that we, in California, can use to more effectively manage water resources, link stakeholders, communicate knowledge, and develop policies to sustainably manage our resources.

This Israel-California knowledge transfer model is an exciting venture, and we hope that over the duration of our trip we will find more ideas, collaboration opportunities, and links with civil society, academic, and governmental agencies.
Universities and researchers around the world need to reject bigotry, double standards and lies, and instead actively support collaboration with Israeli researchers. They do not need to do this for the sake of Israel; rather, they should do it for the sake of their own societies.

Thursday Links Part 2

From Ian:

Norwegian minister admits Palestinian incitement funding
The Norwegian Secretary of State has stated on national television that Norway helps fund Palestinian incitement
The Norwegian government appears to be one of the first European countries to be reconsidering its untargeted aid to the Palestinian territories on the basis of recent reports into incitement and anti-Semitism.
The issue, covered in depth by The Commentator, arises from the fact that Western governments give money often without conditions, to fund the budget of the Palestinian Authority. This has led to reported abuses of the cash, including the paying of terrorist salaries, rabid and frequent anti-Semitism and incitement in school textbooks, and the dedication of cultural events and organisations to known terrorists.

Norwegian State-Owned TV Links Country’s Funding of PA to Promotion of Hatred Towards Israel (VIDEO)
Norwegian state-owned TV, NRK, recently aired a 10-minute report on the PA’s incitement against Israel through hate speech in government sanctioned media. The report followed on the heels of a report by Palestinian Media Watch which drew a direct connection between the PA’s promotion of hatred and terror glorification and the Norwegian funding of the PA, at 300 million kroner a year ($52,628,700).

The PA promotes terror, the UK pays for it
While PA officials readily speak to Western audiences of their determination to reach peace with Israel, a very different story is presented to their domestic audience.
The imagery and language of hate broadcast in the Palestinian Authority’s name is well documented. From maps replacing the State of Israel with “Palestine”, to images of children carrying weapons, and cultural events named in honour of notorious Palestinian terrorists. And this has all been done with very little condemnation from the international community, including the United Kingdom.
This litany of inflammatory material fundamentally harms the peace process and hopes for a two-state solution. Ignoring incitement and hate education because we do not want to ‘rock the boat’ will not help us along the path to peace and it does not provide the steady foundations needed for peaceful co-existence.

A Web of Hate: European, U.S. Laws Clash on Defining and Policing Online Anti-Semitism
European laws on the issue, however, are not uniformly applied across the EU. Even the European Court of Human Rights does not offer an accepted definition for “hate speech,” instead offering only parameters by which prosecutors can decide if the “hate speech” is entitled to the protection of freedom of speech. Prosecutors therefore exercise a great amount of discretion, as do policemen, who must classify the act as a hate crime or not, and judges, who must assess which action or speech is likely to disturb public order. “That assessment can be subjective,” Naamat said.

Breaking the Silence leaked EU report on Israel
Left-wing NGO behind leak of annual EU report that slams Israel for its Jerusalem and settlement policies.
The far-Left NGO Breaking the Silence was behind a leak on Wednesday of the annual report put together by heads of EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah, which blasted Israeli policies, saying “settlement construction remains the biggest single threat to the two-state solution.”

As is the case each year, one diplomatic official said, the damning report generates headlines, but does not have much of an impact on overall EU policy. Nevertheless, he added, even if the findings and recommendations don’t become official policy, that they are leaked to the press ensures they will be “picked up by the chattering classes, and become accepted as conventional wisdom.”

MK Ben-Dahan: Stop EU’s Pro-PA Endeavors
MK Ben-Dahan slams EU report on settlements, suggests Israel respond by stopping Europe’s pro-PA building in Judea and Samaria.
MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) had strong criticism Wednesday for a European Union report that recommended a boycott targeting Israelis living in Judea and Samaria. The EU also condemned construction in majority-Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.
“We are again witness to blatant interference in internal Israeli policy, in such a way as to give one-sided support to the Palestinians,” he said. EU consuls should be reminded that the British Mandate has been over for some time, he added.

Neo-Nazi Parties Threaten to 'Upend European Parliament'
Anti-Defamation League urges United States Congress to mobilize a united voice against the return of political anti-Semitism.
Calling the election of neo-Nazi parties to European parliaments “one of the most alarming setbacks in the fight against anti-Semitism,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged members of the United States Congress to mobilize a united voice against the return of political anti-Semitism.

Isi Leibler: Germans lurching toward anti-Semitism
There is growing resentment against Jews, who are blamed for imposing excessive emphasis on collective German guilt for the Holocaust.
Benz equates Islamophobia with anti-Semitism, alleging that critics of Islamic practice are reminiscent of Nazi anti-Semites attacking the Talmud. He recently challenged the fact that the Muslim terrorist murders in Toulouse had an “anti-Semitic dimension.” He dismisses concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood as being reminiscent of anti-Semitic phobias like The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and bizarrely complains that drawing attention to the fact that Muslims comprise 70 percent of Berlin prison inmates is comparable to Hitler’s ravings over “the fact that 89% of Berlin pediatricians in the 1930s were Jews.”

For Jews, the positive side of Germany is the evident abundance of pro-Israeli and even philo-Semitic rank-and-file Germans in all walks of life. Yet simultaneously, the intensifying efforts by left-wing activists uniting with Muslim extremists, and occasionally even Nazis, to demonize Israel and promote anti-Semitism, provide valid grounds for concern about a future for Jews in Germany.
The situation is likely to further deteriorate drastically after the culmination of Angela Merkel’s term as chancellor.

‘Split personality’ phone solves major security breach
Red Bend’s new dual-persona Android OS platform for Samsung phones provides a better solution to the ‘BYOD dilemma’
When employees were using their company-issued devices strictly for company work, system administrators had a large measure of control over how that data could be used — a crucial security feature, especially nowadays, as cyber-attackers and hackers develop ever more sophisticated tactics to steal data. There are many solutions out there to ensure data safety on dual-purpose devices, but few are as elegant as the one that data security company Red Bend has developed for Samsung, which was introduced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.
There’s a golden rule among network security administrators: the more exposed a device is to the Internet, the less secure it is. When a device is used strictly to interface with a company’s mail or data server, it’s easy to set up a secure data pipe for communications that is unlikely (or at least less likely) to be compromised by hackers.

Egypt searching for Hamas terrorists in Sinai

Isn't this interesting?
The Interior Ministry is searching for 500 Palestinian citizens who are allegedly Hamas members, and who are accused of illegally entering the country in between 14 and 24 February, security sources said.

Three of the individuals are suspected of terrorist activities, said the sources, who requested anonymity.

The ministry allegedly received intelligence that Palestinians were staying in apartments and hotels in Cairo’s Azbakeya district, but left two days ago after being tipped off prior to a police raid.

Police found four weapons in the apartments and two Palestinian passports, one of which allegedly belonged to an individual who had previously been arrested for ties to a Lebanese terrorist cell.
Egypt isn't embracing Hamas in the manner that Hamas expected. There were (probably false) rumors yesterday in the Egyptian press about Hamas threatening the Egyptian army over demolishing some of the Rafah tunnels.

But hard evidence of Hamas terrorists in Egypt is not going to help matters for the Islamic movement in Gaza.

"Price tag" attack last week was fabricated by Arabs

From Ma'an last week:
Armed settlers attacked a village south of Nablus overnight Wednesday and torched six cars, a Palestinian Authority official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, said dozens of residents of the Esh Kodesh settlement outpost entered Qusra village firing heavily.

They torched six cars, belonging to Raed Musbah, Abed Taher, Yousef Odeh, Yasser Abu Rida, and Nashat Fawzi, Daghlas told Ma'an.

Villagers confronted the settlers, Daghlas said. A large force of Israeli soldiers entered the village and also clashed with locals, he added.
An investigation has determined that the Palestinian Arab claims are fabricated.
A police investigation revealed that residents of the village burned the vehicles, and accused the residents of the nearby outpost, Esh Kodesh, of the act. Six vehicles were burned a day after severe clashes erupted between residents of Korsa and residents of the nearby outpost, and the Palestinians were quick to also invite the media and human rights organizations who expressed shock at the act attributed to settlers.

Police said that the “evidence” supplied by Arabs that Jews had undertaken the attack – an Israeli identity card left at the scene – was fabricated. The ID card belonged to a soldier who, on the night of the attack, was stationed far from the Arab village. He had apparently lost the ID card, with Arabs finding it and holding onto it, apparently for an event just like the one that occurred in the village last week.
(h/t None)

"Right of Return" conferences in Boston - and Rafah

Anti-Israel activists are organizing a "Right of Return" conference at Boston University for April.

They will be presenting pseudo-scholarly papers discussing how to legally destroy Israel. The conference materials themselves say this:
While asserting the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to and live in their homeland, we also principally affirm the right of Israelis to live in Palestine as well.
Assuming, ab initio, that there will be no Israel after "return."


In case anyone is fooled by the seeming gravitas of papers submitted to the conference at Boston U., we can see in the abstract linked things like
Application of international law on refugee rights and internally displaced persons indicates that Palestinian refugees have valid restitution claims to land and property located in present-day Israel. UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions further reaffirm the refugees’ right of return.
This is simply false. While there was one UNSC resolution (237) that called on Israel to facilitate the return of any Arabs who fled in 1967, Israel did so. The word "right" was never mentioned in UNGA 194, and indeed it was interpreted by the UN itself in 1950 as not to apply to the situation today.

But why expect honesty in a paper designed to facilitate the destruction of the Jewish state?


Luckily, Hamas doesn't try to clothe their desire to destroy Israel in faux academic garb. Here are photos from their recent "Right of Return" conference in Rafah:




EoZNews Video: A hareidi response to the Israeli draft

This week  I was given the opportunity to be given a personal tour of the headquarters of the Belzer Hasidic movement in Jerusalem.

The building complex is very impressive and I plan to post a video of the tour of the huge synagogue itself soon.

While being showed around, I spoke to the Belzer representative, Yechezkal Friedman, about the major issues being discussed today concerning the hareidi community in Israel today, specifically the idea of being drafted for army or national service, the perception that the hareidim are freeloaders off of Israeli society and the hareidi economic model.

Whether you agree with the haredi movement or not, it is worthwhile hearing their point of view, which is a little more nuanced than how it is reported in most Israeli and world media. (One point that Friedman made that I didn't follow up on was that the Belzer opposition to national service was specifically for those who are young, 18 or so; he said that he did not know whether the Belzer Rebbe opposed older members - say, 27 year olds - doing some sort of service. This might point the way towards an agreement of sorts.)




Thursday Links Part 1

From Ian:

Oxford students overwhelmingly vote down Israel boycott
Jewish groups hail 69-10 tally, but motion will still likely appear on agenda at national student union confab next month
Aslan-Levy, who was also present at the vote Wednesday night, said he hoped that other British universities would follow Oxford in voting down BDS measures.
“Tonight Oxford students showed that their commitment to intellectual freedom is unshakeable. In rejecting calls for a boycott against Israel by a seven-to-one margin, we demonstrated resoundingly that we want Oxford to continue to cooperate with Israeli academics, trade with Israeli businesses and — yes — debate with Israeli debating societies,” he said.
He told The Times of Israel that students had been puzzled about why they were being asked to support a motion promoting an academic boycott.
“Students don’t think the role of a student union is to be making foreign policy,” he said. “They were confused why they were asked to embrace a boycott of Israeli universities – they were confused about the point. There was a strong belief that such motions are divisive.”

Video: Zionist Student Protest Counters Pro-Arab Demonstration
Arabs and leftists held a protest outside the Tel Aviv University on Wednesday, in support of the terrorist prisoners in Israeli jails.
The protesters called out racist remarks against Jews.
They were countered by Jewish students and activists of the Im Tirtzu movement, who held a counter-demonstration at the same time in support of the activities of the IDF and the Israeli security forces.
The counter-protesters made ​​it clear that supporting terrorists is a moral deformity, as they put it, and that anyone who supports terrorists being held in prisons “supports terrorism in general and those who act to harm innocent civilians.”

CiF Watch complaint to PCC prompts Guardian to begrudgingly revise Rachel Corrie op-ed
After many months, and a series of correspondences between Sela, the PCC and Guardian editors stubbornly resistant to admitting error, the Guardian begrudgingly agreed to amend their editorial to acknowledge that the Israeli court ruling contradicted claims that Corrie was preventing a home demolition on that day.


MEMRI: Lebanese Lecturer Hassan Jouni: Rich Jews Sent Poor Jews to the "So-Called Holocaust"


Saudi Cleric Saleh Al-Maghamsi: In His Death, Bin Laden More Honorable Than Any Infidel VIDEO

Syrian tank shell lands in Israeli Golan Heights town
Amid reports that Assad’s forces have left the Syrian side of the Golan, errant fire is first spillover incident since mortars fell over the border in November
A tank shell fired from Syria landed in the Golan community of Alonei Habashan late Wednesday morning, the first such incident since several mortars landed in the Golan in November.
No damage was reported. The shell, believed to be an errant shot from a battle between Syrian government forces and rebels, landed in an open area and did not explode. Sappers later disarmed it.

Report: Nasrallah's Hizbullah Deputy Injured or Killed in Syria
The second-in-command to Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has been injured -- and may have been killed -- in an attack on a convoy by Syrian opposition forces.
Naim Qassem, deputy to Nasrallah, was wounded Tuesday in the blast along with several high-ranking Syrian officers, according to the Lebanon-based al-Mustaqbal newspaper.

Iranian Officials: The Jews Are Responsible For The Massacre Of Muslims In Myanmar
As part of the demonizing of Jews and Judaism in Iran, officials and mainstream media have accused the Jews of playing a considerable role in the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar in the summer of 2012. This report will review some of these statements, as well as Iranian cartoons conveying the same message.

Expert: Stuxnet part of long-term effort to stop Iran nukes
New evidence shows that the virus has been active in Iran’s Natanz facility almost since the day it opened in 2007
Researchers at antivirus company Symantec said they had gathered evidence that earlier versions of the code, which they called Stuxnet 0.5, was already seen “in the wild” as early as 2005, although it wasn’t yet operational as a virus. Stuxnet, said Symantec Tuesday, was the first virus known to attack national infrastructure projects, and according to the company, the groups behind Stuxnet were already seeking to compromise Iran’s nuclear program in 2007 — the year Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, where much of the country’s uranium enrichment is taking place, went online,

Gaza’s massive haul of devil rays sparks big fish story
Palestinian fishermen catch hundreds of the endangered species and lay them out on beach, prompting absurd online feeding frenzy
The Giant Devil Ray, indigenous to the Mediterranean Sea, is listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The reason Gaza fishermen said that the fish had not been seen in these numbers in several years may have been a result of overfishing in the Mediterranean and a subsequent ban on fishing that would further endanger the species.
The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean — to which Israel is a party, but the Palestinian Authority is not — issued a ban on trawling below 1,000 meters and driftnet fishing, likely significantly reducing bycatch fishing of devil rays.

Ethiopian woman chosen as "Miss Israel"

From JTA:
Yityish Aynaw, a former Israeli army officer, became the first Ethiopian-Israeli to win the Miss Israel pageant.

A panel of judges awarded the title to Aynaw, a 21-year-old model who came to Israel about a decade ago, at the International Convention Center Haifa on Wednesday.

"It's important that a member of the Ethiopian community wins the competition for the first time," she was quoted by Israeli media as telling the judges in response to a question. "There are many different communities of many different colors in Israel, and it's important to show that to the world."
In the interest of fully informing my readers of all relevant background information, without the slightest hint that I have any gratuitous motives, here is Aynaw together with her competition:


Praising Palestinian Arabs for not lynching an Israeli doctor

The bigotry of soft expectations:

An expert anesthesiologist from Israel secretly visited a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank to treat a man injured by Jewish settlers, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

Micha Shamir, of Hadassah Resuscitation School and Service, and an Israeli nurse went to Nablus on Sunday to move a 27-year-old Palestinian who was seriously injured by settlers in Qusra, the Hebrew-language daily Maariv reported.

"Going to Nablus was dangerous and I had several moments of fear," Shamir told Maariv.

The patient was being treated in a local hospital but his life was in danger and the hospital sought medical help from Israel. Officials contacted Shamir to ask if he would go to Nablus without a military escort.

"I did not think twice before I agreed," the anesthesiologist said.

A Palestinian vehicle waited at the entrance to Nablus, and the driver sped past Palestinian protesters who were clashing with Israeli troops near a military checkpoint.

Shamir spent over an hour examining the patient before they could move him, Maariv said.

The injured man was then evacuated by ambulance to a nearby Israeli military base where a helicopter was waiting to take him to hospital in Israel, according to the report.

As they left the Nablus hospital, the Israeli medics saw dozens of Palestinians gathering near the hospital.

"The way we were escorted was praiseworthy. The Palestinian security used an ambulance and some security patrols for camouflage to secure our mission."
It goes without saying that an Israeli doctor publicly going to Nablus to save an Arab life would be in danger of being lynched by the people he is trying to help. Otherwise, this wouldn't be a news story.

But lets give kudos to the PA for not allowing Shamir to be brutally murdered. Yay!

The double standard isn't only that Israel is expected to act in ways that no other Western country is; it is also that the Arabs aren't expected to even act like responsible adults. As I said in my talk last week, until the world starts expecting Arabs to act more maturely than toddlers with guns, they won't.

Erdogan calls Zionism a "crime against humanity"

From Hurriyet Daily News:
Islamophobia must be recognized as a crime against humanity in the same fashion that Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism should be, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday.

Speaking at the “Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, the prime minister underlined the rising trend of fascism across the Europe. “We are facing a world in which racist attacks have gained momentum, terrorism has claimed more lives, and religions and sects treat each other with less understanding,” Erdoğan said.

Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity,” Erdoğan said.
UN Watch slammed the comparison at the UN-sponsored conference, and notes the irony that Erdogan's statement itself is anti-semitic:
"We remind secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his predecessor Kofi Annan recognized that the UN’s 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution was an expression of anti-Semitism, and he welcomed its repeal." [UN Watch said.]

UN Watch urged all members of the Alliance’s High Level Group, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, “to denounce remarks that fundamentally contradict the very purpose of a forum supposedly dedicated to mutual tolerance.”

“Erdogan’s misuse of this global podium to incite hatred, and his resort to Ahmandinejad-style pronouncements appealing to the lowest common denominator in the Muslim world, will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel.”
Erdogan is saying that Jewish national self-determination is a "crime against humanity," which is by any yardstick an anti-semitic statement.

 Will NATO or the UN condemn this vile expression of hate given at a UN-sponsored conference?

(h/t Gidon Shaviv)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood member appointed to lead an Egyptian state TV channel

From Egypt Independent:
Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud, a known Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, has appointed a Brotherhood member to take over as chief of state-owned Nile News Channel, according to anonymous sources Wednesday.

The sources from State Television said Yasser Al-Dakany has taken the top job at Nile News and will be in control of its programming and news bulletins.

Dakany is the head of the Brotherhood's satellite channel Egypt 25. If confirmed, Dakany will replace Ahmad Sharaf, who accuses the minister of turning the channel into a Brotherhood mouthpiece.

On Wednesday, Sharaf told Al-Masry Al-Youm “Everyone knows that the minister fears my tendencies, whether professional or political, especially because I am against the brotherhoodization of the media owned by the state, while he wants to control the news sector,” Sahraf added.
Another wonderful Spring feeling.

Wednesday Links Part 2

From Ian:

Talk of dual-citizen disloyalty in Zygier affair simply irresponsible by Gerard Henderson
If the likes of Saul or Walker had specifically referred to the (alleged) dual loyalty, or divided loyalties, of any other group or nationality they almost certainly would have been publicly rebuked. But it seems a different standard applies when accusations are made against Jewish Australians and Australian/Israeli dual nationals.
The Jewish community in Australia spends considerable funds guarding its synagogues and schools from attack. Some costs are also borne by state and federal police. In such an environment, it is irresponsible in the extreme for prominent Australians to imply some of their fellow citizens are disloyal.

Barry Rubin: Who Will the Muslim Brotherhood Heed: Allah or Tom Friedman (and such people)? No Contest
Sigh. Forgive me. I really don't want to write this article but it is too good a case study of the contemporary Western foreign policy reporting, debate, and elite attitudes toward international affairs. And doing a better job is vital because this task involves the fate of millions of people; matters of war and peace; the most basic interests of the United States; and the decency of intellectual discourse.
I refer of course to: Thomas L. Friedman's latest effort, "The Belly Dancing Barometer." Hey, tens of millions of lives are at stake so that's worth a flippant title and a goofy concept, right?

Hamas warns Obama against Temple Mount visit
Trip to Jerusalem’s holiest site would be ‘a diplomatic catastrophe,’ Islamists declare; mufti sets three conditions for presidential tour
Responding to unconfirmed rumors that US President Barack Obama intends to visit the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during his trip to Israel next month, the Hamas terror group warned the American leader against the idea on Tuesday, calling it “a diplomatic catastrophe,” and local Muslim leaders set stiff conditions for a presidential tour there.
A statement issued by Hamas called Obama’s potential visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located at the southern perimeter of the Mount, “an imminent danger which the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem have never faced.”

Palestinians: Boycott Jerusalem marathon
PLO says route through eastern part of city is an attempt to assert Israeli sovereignty; municipality calls it a ‘symbol of co-existence’

‘Spontaneous’ Arab Riots a Message from PA to Obama
Former IDF general says ‘spontaneous rage’ riots are a message to Obama and Netanyahu, aiming at restarting Israel-PA talks.

Two Arrested For Suspected Links to Toulouse Gunman
French police arrested two men in city of Toulouse in connection with Islamist gunman Mohamed Merah's March killing spree.
The pair, aged 23 and 20, were being held in detention and questioned over their links to the self-proclaimed, Al-Qaeda inspired shooter who killed a rabbi, three Jewish children and three French paratroopers in and around Toulouse.
They are suspected of providing "logistical help" to Merah, who was shot dead during a police siege.

German soccer squad battles neo-Nazi violence
Extreme right-wing fans increasingly use Borussia Dortmund games to attack enemies and spread messages of hate
Dealing with a surge of right-wing extremism among its fans, Borussia Dortmund has long used social workers at games to defuse tense situations and help promote tolerance.
This month, however, the social workers themselves ended up being attacked by a group of neo-Nazi fans, with one of them beaten badly in a stadium bathroom.
It was one of many recent incidents that highlight how Germany — and Dortmund in particular — is still dealing with grim reminders of its dark days of racism, intolerance and violence.

Dutch TV program prompts call for anti-Semitism probe
Interviews with immigrant students showed admiration for Hitler and hatred of Jews
“The interviewees appear to be partly aware of the Holocaust, but approve of the mass murder of Jews,” the Hague-based CIDI wrote.
One of the interviewees said on camera: “I am more than pleased with what Hitler did to the Jews.” Another said: “I hate Jews, period. Nothing you do will make me change my mind.”

New implant is alternative to spinal fusion
The Israeli company Premia Spine is offering a unique and – it believes – better option. Its trademarked TOPS (Total Posterior Solution) System aims to revolutionize the spinal implant market in the same way that total hip and total knee replacement systems made hip and knee fusions a thing of the past.

Waze named world’s best mobile app
Israeli navigation app steered itself to the industry’s top honors at the Mobile World Congress.
Mobile navigation and traffic community app, Waze, is definitely headed in the right direction. The Israeli startup has been named Best Mobile App for 2013.
The world’s fastest-growing community-based traffic and navigation app triumphed over the likes of Flipboard, Square and Dropbox to take the “Judges Choice – Best Overall Mobile App” prize at the 18th Annual Global Mobile awards.

Wow - a PalArab video that demands the end to Arab discrimination against them

I have noted throughout the years the official Arab discrimination practices against Palestinian Arabs.

An apparently Palestinian Arab YouTube channel called "Palestinian Refugees" made a professional  video about this problem, and demands full citizenship rights for Palestinians in Arab countries.

As the channel description says:
Since the Naqba, Palestinian Refugees mainly settled in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

Over the decades we have been denied citizenship of our host countries, we have been denied the ability to own property and work in numerous professions. This channel is dedicated to our silent human rights crisis - perpetrated by our own brothers.



This type of criticism of Arab states for their systematic discrimination against their Palestinian Arab brethren is practically unheard of as Arab and PalArab leaders use these people as pawns against Israel and ignore their own human rights.

Unfortunately - probably out of fear - the person or people behind this initiative are anonymous, although apparently Jordanian.

I can only recall one Arab researcher who has ever looked at this problem as honestly as this film does.

Wednesday Links Part 1

From Ian:

In the Apartheid Oscars, Arab states win hands down
Those who berate the West for its orientalism towards the Third World, quoting the late Edward Said‘s eponymous book, ignore the fact that much of society under Muslim domination was built on the exploitation of women, Jews (and Christians) and blacks. Not only are all Arab countries strong contenders in the Apartheid Oscars, but Saudi Arabia would win hands down. At the bottom of its obscene pecking order are women, non-Muslims and slaves.

Pink Anti-Semitism Is No Different from Brown Anti-Semitism by Alan Dershowitz
Now this pinkwashing campaign is coming to the City University of New York. A pinkwashing conference is being sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Studies Center at The Graduate Center on April 10-11, 2013. It will be yet another hate fest against Israel, but this time it will cross the line into classic anti-Semitic tropes. Don’t be fooled by its benign pink hue, or its academic pretext. At its core, the newly-fashioned charge of pinkwashing is little different from the old-fashioned charges leveled by brown-shirted anti-Semites—namely, that neither the Jews nor the Jewish state ever does good things without bad motives. And this time, the hate conference is being cosponsored by the Philosophy and Psychology Departments and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York—as well as by the Center for The Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University.
Shame on anyone who exploits his or her sexual orientation to promote anti-Semitic bigotry. And shame on anyone who sponsors those who practice pink anti-Semitism.

Palestinians Exporting Terrorists to Syria Where Next? by Khaled Abu Toameh
In contrast to claims by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas leaderships to the effect that the Palestinians are not taking sides in the conflict, Palestinians are involved in the fighting in Syria.
The Palestinians who are heading to Syria have been told their ultimate mission is to liberate Palestine "from the river to the sea."Once they get rid of Assad, they are told, they will move to their next station -- Jordan. From there, their jihad will take them to Israel, where they and their friends in Jabhat al-Nusra [The Support Front] hope to create a pan-Islamic state ruled by Sharia laws.

Elaborate surveillance operation raises concerns about broader Hezbollah attacks
While most of the attacks were thwarted or failed, the accumulated intelligence shows that Hezbollah is learning from its mistakes, employing the tactics of professional intelligence operatives to cover its tracks and expanding its threat, according to current and former U.S. officials, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing nature of the inquiries.
“In the beginning, they clearly emphasized speed over tradecraft,” said Matthew Levitt, a former counterterrorism official with the FBI and Treasury Department and author of the forthcoming book “Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon’s Party of God.” An analysis of the more recent plots shows a shift in tactics, said Levitt, who said the Cyprus case in particular “underscores a very patient, careful and calculated tradecraft.”

PMW: Norwegian TV reports on PMW documentation of PA hate incitement



An extremist named Sharmine Narwani finds a home at ‘Comment is Free’
It isn't an easy title to win, but Sharmine "Dignity Rockets" Narwani is probably the most loathsome of all the Huffington Post bloggers, past or present. We've documented in the past her hatred for America, Israel (of course), and Huffington Post bloggers who dare to say stuff that she doesn't like. She's a liar, an anti-Semite, and a propagandist, not to mention a proud terrorism supporter. If all that doesn't convince you, check out this page of quotes here.

Egyptian court orders Gaza tunnels destroyed
Porous border a threat to Egypt’s security and destabilizes the Sinai Peninsula, security official says

Hamas Calls to Kidnap IDF Soldiers
Hamas, taking advantage of the rioting in Judea and Samaria, calls on terrorists to kidnap IDF soldiers.

Gaza rocket hits Israel. Obviously Israel's fault.
BBC reporting on the Middle East is no longer even biased, it's just a joke...

Facade of Neutrality Masks UN Bias
UN condemned the firing of a rocket from Gaza into Israel, while blaming spur of violence on Jewish state.

‘Iranians in Gaza, guiding rocket development’
Revolutionary Guard officials are helping Hamas and Islamic Jihad extend their range, report says

For third time in 2 years, ‘Iran fails to launch satellite’
Report of latest setback comes a day after Israel successfully tests Arrow 3 missile interceptor

Syria Trumpets UN Election to Senior Post
Ban Ki-moon was silent at meeting that named Assad Rapporteur of Decolonization Committee

Syria claims Turkey enabling al-Qaida
Damascus complains to UN that Ankara enables terrorist organizations "to receive funding and arms, enter Syrian territory.”

Senior Turkish politician chooses Israel for stem cell treatment
Former Finance Minister hopes groundbreaking therapies will cure renal failure.

Morocco film searches out Jews who left for Israel
Once home to some 300,000 Jews — the largest community in the Arab world — Morocco is taking a fresh look at its long history with Judaism
Hundreds of members of Islamist and left wing political groups demonstrated outside the Tangiers Film Festival earlier this month against a documentary about Moroccan Jews living in Israel. They claimed that director Kamal Hachkar was promoting “normalization” with the Jewish state.

Egyptian cleric: Christianity started as worshiping Jesus' penis, and it gets better

From MEMRI:



Following are excerpts from an address by Egyptian cleric Abu Islam, which aired on Al-Omma TV (via the Internet) on Feburary 13, 2013.
Egyptian cleric Abu Islam: I swear to God the Almighty – and believe me, I am not lying – that the Church worship originated in the worship of the penis. I swear to God. This is documented in dozens of pictures.

Let me tell you something – it's indecent, but true. Take a look at a picture of Jesus, and you'll see a penis, right here. Or is it on this side? Oh, it's on the right side. A penis, right here. There are many pictures like this. They worship it.

[…]

[Christian women] raise cats and dogs as a substitute for husbands. They train their dogs to play the husband. I swear to God, I am not lying. They buy dogs for this purpose. They train dogs to play the husband on them. Christian women do that.
The face he makes when he conjures up a mental picture of Jesus' penis is nothing short of hilarious.

By the way, isn't there a law that Muslims like to demand that makes defamation of religions illegal? Anyone think Abu Islam has been arrested in the past two weeks?

Since I can't help myself, I looked up the actual image behind Abu Islam to see if I could discern a penis. I couldn't, but perhaps the more imaginative of my readers can find it (click to, um, enlarge.)


Evidence Iran is working on a plutonium bomb

From The Telegraph:
The Telegraph can disclose details of activity at a heavily-guarded Iranian facility from which international inspectors have been barred for 18 months.

The images, taken earlier this month, show that Iran has activated the Arak heavy-water production plant.

Heavy water is needed to operate a nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, which could then be used to make a bomb.

The images show signs of activity at the Arak plant, including a cloud of steam that indicates heavy-water production.

Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been unable to visit the facility since August 2011 and Iran has refused repeated requests for information about the site, which is 150 miles south-west of the capital, Tehran.

Western governments and the IAEA have held information about activity at Arak for some time.

But today’s exclusive images are the first to put evidence of that activity into the public domain.

The striking image of steam over the Arak heavy-water complex is a vivid demonstration that the regime has more than one pathway to a potential nuclear weapon....[T]he new images of Arak highlight the progress Iran has made on facilities that could allow it to produce plutonium, potentially giving the country a second option in developing a nuclear weapon.

Other images of the area around Arak show that numerous anti-aircraft missile and artillery sites protect the plant, more than are deployed around any other known nuclear site in the country.

The missile defences are most heavily concentrated to the west of the plant, which would be the most direct line of approach for any aircraft delivering a long-range strike from Israel.
The Arak complex has two parts: the heavy-water plant and a nuclear reactor.

Unlike the heavy-water plant, the reactor has been opened to examination by inspectors from the IAEA. 
The country still lacks the technology to reprocess plutonium and use it for a weapon.

But North Korea has successfully developed that technology, and some analysts speculate that Iran could do the same.
Wikipedia provides some background:
Because they do not require uranium enrichment, heavy water reactors are of concern in regards to nuclear proliferation. The breeding and extraction of plutonium can be a relatively rapid and cheap route to building a nuclear weapon, as chemical separation of plutonium from fuel is easier than isotopic separation of U-235 from natural uranium.

...Due to its potential for use in nuclear weapons programs, the possession or import/export of large industrial quantities of heavy water are subject to government control in several countries. Suppliers of heavy water and heavy water production technology typically apply IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) administered safeguards and material accounting to heavy water.
(h/t Yoel)

Egyptian documentary on Jews of Egypt might be pretty honest

Al Ahram has an exclusive preview of a new film, four years in the making, called "The Jews of Egypt" - and it describes  how they were expelled.

While many Egyptians routinely deny that Jews were expelled from their country, the preview here seems to show pretty definitively that they were indeed methodically thrown out.



I expect that this film will stir up at least as much controversy as the film about Moroccan Jews has been receiving there.

The film will be released on March 6.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday Links Part 2

From Ian:

14 successful counterassaults on Israel’s legitimacy
An American group is distributing a new analysis of what works in the fight against those seeking to isolate the Jewish state
In isolation, the lessons learned from these two campaigns might not be useful for other communities facing BDS efforts. However, a new report by the Israel Action Network (IAN) has analyzed these and a dozen other successful attempts to combat delegitimization, part of an effort to find common denominators and identify best practices going forward.
“If there’s one thing these 14 cases tell us, it’s that a nuanced approach matching the messengers to the target audience is what works best,” says Geri Palast, IAN’s managing director. “These case studies reinforce the idea that the most effective way to reach people is to show the human face of the Israeli people and their narrative. And that we cannot reduce the complexity of the conflict to a single soundbite.”

Liberals Claim Global Warming Causing Violent Unrest in Middle East
Global warming, or climate change as environmentalists prefer to call it during colder seasons of the year, is now considered a root cause of Middle Eastern violence, according to liberals.
The Washington D.C. based liberal think tank Center for American Progress is hosting a panel with Tom Friedman, Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Michael Werz this Thursday discussing the Center's new volume on “Climate Change and the Arab Spring.”

Farrakhan Cheers Hagel’s ‘Jewish Lobby’ Comment
Chuck Hagel may not be having much luck winning over Republican senators, but at least someone is aware of his moral fiber — Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Yesterday he delivered his annual address at the Saviours’ Day convention in Chicago, Ill. In the speech, he praised Hagel for standing up to the “Jewish lobby,” and said Hagel was being punished only for stating what Farrakhan has argued for decades.

The Israeli Version of ‘Argo’ Is Even Better
The unbelievable story of Israel’s last military diplomat in Iran
If you saw this year’s Best Picture-winning film Argo you might have appreciated how real and intense the film made the plight of six American diplomats trapped in Tehran seem.
In an (excellent) interview with Fresh Air, director/actor Ben Affleck let it slip that, without extensive information on the minute-by-minute happenings of the operation, the film had taken some creative liberties with the story. If you’re looking for the real thing, I’d recommend this story about Brig. Gen. Itzhak Segev’s mission to get 32 Israelis, who were in Tehran as the revolution began, out of the country.

Iran Slams Hollywood Over 'Argo' Oscar Win
Iran, upset over the film “Argo” winning the Academy Award for best movie, says the movie "lacks artistic value."
"This anti-Iran movie lacks artistic value," Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini was quoted as saying on Monday by the official IRNA news agency.
"It was awarded the top honor through a massive financing and advertisement campaign ... so that it attracts more attention worldwide," said Hosseini, who also accused Hollywood of targeting the Islamic Republic.

Oscars: Iran gives Michelle Obama sleeves
Michelle Obama's brief video appearance at the Oscars proved too racy for Iran's state news agency, which took it on itself to PhotoShop the First Lady's shoulderless dress into a more modest outfit.

Dozens protest anti-Semitic bullying at Danish school
Rally comes after principal says she’s advised Jews to study elsewhere because of harassment by Arab pupils
The protesters at Saturday’s rally outside the Radmandsgades elementary school in Norrebro, a suburb north of Copenhagen, held up Israeli flags and signs reading “Today we are all Jews.”
The demonstration was in response to recent statements by Lise Egholm, a retiring headmistress of the Radmandsgades school, who said the bullying of Jewish children by Arab classmates forced her to advise Jewish parents not to enroll their children in the school.

IDF Blog: 24h In the Life of a Soldier: Facing Hezbollah on the Israeli-Lebanese Border
The area near the Israeli-Lebanese border is beautiful. The rainy season has painted the area green. We’re joining a group from the Herev Battalion, most of whom are Druze soldiers permanently stationed at Israel’s northern border. Their base is only ten meters away from the border. You can clearly see the Lebanese villages on the other side.

Israel’s high-tech ambassadors take to the road
Israeli start-ups can help out the country’s image, even as they make connections at international trade shows, says the Tsav 8 group
One of the best places to spread that alternative Israel narrative is at one of the most important international tech trade shows, the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which takes place in Barcelona. And a group called Tsav 8 has, for the past five years, taken upon itself the task of preparing the nearly 2,000 Israelis who will be attending to answer the hard questions about Israel — and to spread the word about how the Start-Up Nation has changed the lives of hundreds of millions for the better.

EoZ talk in Herzliya (slides plus audio)

Last Tuesday, I spoke at a gathering of pro-Israel activists in Herzliya. My topic was "How Israel can win the information war."

As usual, I am placing this video up so everyone can watch and listen to how fast I speak:



Thanks again to the organizers, Israel Muse and Batzi, and to Yarron for the sound (my recorder did not work, and his was better anyway.)

Followup on rocket that hit Ashkelon: Fatah claims it, Hamas denies it, Israel closes crossings

There have been contradictory claims out of Gaza about the rocket or rockets that hit Ashkelon this morning.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, affiliated with Fatah, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, a statement from the group said.

"We must resist our enemy by all available means," the group said in a statement emailed to reporters. "We stress our commitment to armed struggle against the Zionist enemy."

But then:
A Hamas spokesman on Tuesday denied reports that a rocket fired at southern Israel was launched from the Gaza Strip.

"This is only a lie. None of the Gaza Strip factions claimed responsibility for firing that missile, and the government is checking all the details," Ehab al-Ghussein said in a statement.
In all probability, both are lying. The Fatah group has been left all but impotent under Hamas rule, with their members being arrested and often tortured. Hamas knows very well where the rocket came from, if it didn't shoot it directly.

Luckily, Israel responded appropriately:
Israeli authorities closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings with Gaza on Tuesday, after a rocket was fired from the coastal territory, a Palestinian border official said.

Nazmi Muhanna, head of the crossings committee in Gaza, told Ma'an that Israel closed the borders as a security measure after a rocket landed near Ashkelon.

Humanitarian cases will still be processed, he added.

Tuesday Links Part 1

From Ian:

Terrorism Without End
Palestinian terrorism is a strategic weapon of disruption that confines and unbalances Israel. At a cost of millions, the sponsors of that terror have inflicted billions in economic damage. And there is no reason for them to stop. Watching Israel and America try to reason with their attack dogs amuses them and allows them to expand their own influence by offering to act as mediators.
For that same reason, Islamic terrorism in general is also not going anywhere. What the Palestinians are to Israel, Muslim terrorists are to the West and the rest of the world. They are strategic weapons which are allowed to exist because they serve the purposes of their sponsors. Like most living weapons, they occasionally turn in the hands of their sponsors, but that only makes the task of directing them at the proper targets more urgent.

PMW: PA Imam on PA TV: Protocols of the Elders of Zion is Jews' plan to "rule the world"



What the BBC classified as ‘riots’ in London become ‘protests’ in Beitounya
What is clear is that the BBC’s consistent failure to accurately report the real political agenda behind the hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners, together with its playing down of the associated organised riots in order to present them as some sort of legitimate protest, actively denies BBC audiences the ability to fully understand the real issues behind the news.
When the BBC classifies violent events in London as riots, but rebrands similar events in Jerusalem, Ramallah or Hebron as “protests”, it should not be surprised if audiences view that as a clear case of double standards.

BBC idea of ‘balance’: presenting fact and fiction on an equal footing
One would expect a Western media outlet which prides itself on its commitment to accuracy to be able to distinguish between the wheat of a scientific medical report and the chaff of agenda-driven rumour mongering. One would also expect that organisation’s self-declared role as an enabler of its audiences’ understanding of world events to cause it to refrain from presenting the factual and the fictional on an equal basis as though both were of comparative legitimacy.
Audiences do not need to go to the BBC for a dose of rumour and speculation: for that there is a whole host of agenda-driven websites on the internet. From the BBC, audiences expect facts – not to mention the ability to distinguish between an as yet uncompleted autopsy report and an “inconclusive” one.

BBC yet again conceals terror connections of Palestinian‘footballers’
The BBC, however, would apparently have its audiences believe that the only thing they need to know about these two men is that they play football. By concealing the reasons for their detention, the BBC not only fails to meet its obligations as far as accuracy goes, but also clearly tries to distort the audience’s understanding of the story, thus yet again compromising its own reputation for impartiality.

Greek comic under fire for swastika-Star of David ad
Widespread posters for entertainer’s shows imply Jewish and German responsibility for country’s financial crisis
Greece’s Jewish community has complained to authorities in Athens after a controversial entertainer used a symbol of an intertwined swastika and a Star of David to promote his night club shows.
“The design depicted on the poster fiercely insults our very religion, as well as the memory of the six million Jews, victims of the Holocaust,” said a statement from the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, addressed to the country’s Minister of Justice and officials in the education ministry
.

Polish city to ban soccer team over fans’ anti-Semitism
Officials in Lodz pledge not to rent space to group whose members played a ‘game’ of throwing blades at a painting of a Jew
A video uploaded to the fan site of the LKS soccer club, LKSfans.pl, showed fans throwing ninja blades at a picture of a Jew painted on the wall of a sports club run by the Lodz Municipal Sport and Recreation Center. Scrawled on the wall was a slogan asking fans to pay 2 zloty for “three throws at the Jew.”

Budapest U. suspends students for alleged ‘Jew’ lists
Leader denies reports that student council compiled names of Jews on campus
The rector of the University of Budapest suspended student council members suspected of listing of Jews and other minorities.
Barna Mezey on Feb. 21 ordered the HOK student council of the humanities to cease its activities following reports that its members compiled illegal lists on freshmen containing personal information on presumed ethnic background and political affiliation, the ATV television channel reported.

Iranian-born Israeli to sing at UN
Rita to perform in Hebrew, English, and Persian at first-of-its-kind ‘Tunes for Peace’ concert
Iranian-born Israeli diva Rita will perform before international dignitaries at the UN General Assembly Hall next month for a first-of-its-kind event organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN.
The performance, titled “Tunes for Peace,” will take place on March 5, and Rita and her nine-piece band will perform her hits in Hebrew and English, as well as songs in Persian from her latest album, My Joys. The concert is set to be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic, ambassadors, diplomats, and leaders of the Jewish and Iranian communities.

IDF Sends Helicopter to Save the Life of PA Arab Rioter
Israeli taxpayers laid out tens of thousands of shekels to transport to hospital by helicopter a hurt Arab rioter who attacked IDF soldiers
The incident occurred in Shechem on Saturday. The Arab was deemed too injured to be transported to a local hospital, so an IDF unit entered the city in order to vacate the Arab and prepare him for transport to an Israeli hospital in Jerusalem. The IDF unit's entry was made in coordination with PA police.
A senior IDF medical officer told Arutz Sheva that in the months since the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense, the number of riots by PA Arabs had climbed significantly, as had the number of injured Arab rioters. Consequently, the number of Arab rioters Israel is treating in its hospitals – at its own expense, of course – had also grown considerably.

PalArabs aren't so concerned when some die in custody

According to the ICHR, five Palestinian Arabs died in custody in 2011 - but it was Hamas custody, so no one cares.

At least two more died in jail in 2012, but that was in PA jails - so no one cares.

"In both areas, security forces tortured and otherwise ill-treated detainees with impunity; in Gaza, four detainees died in custody," an excerpt from Amnesty's 2012 report explained.

"Detainees were tortured and otherwise ill-treated, particularly by Preventive Security and the General Intelligence Service in the West Bank, and by Internal Security in Gaza, all of which were able to abuse detainees with impunity."

Alleged methods included beatings, suspension by the wrists or ankles, and enforced standing or sitting in painful positions for long periods, according to the Independent Commission for Human Rights.

The commission recorded 1,000 complaints of arbitrary arrests in the West Bank and more than 700 in Gaza. It said many of the PA's arrests occurred when President Mahmoud Abbas visited the UN in September.
There weren't any riots when people were provably tortured to death. No, we only see riots when a Palestinian Arab dies of an apparent cardiac arrest while under Israeli custody.

As always, the value of an Arab life is proportional to how easily his death can be ascribed to Jews.

First rocket in over three months lands in Ashkelon

From JPost:
Palestinian terrorists broke a three month ceasefire on Tuesday and fired a rocket from Gaza into southern Israel. The rocket fell on a road south of Ashkelon causing some damage to a road, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The IDF Spokesperson said there were no injuries in the incident.

The rocket failed to trigger an air raid siren, and the IDF is investigating why one did not go off.

"An explosion was heard in the Ashkelon region experts searched areas and found one rocket that struck, damaging a road but causing no injuries," Rosenfeld said.
Israel's Channel 10 says there were two rockets.

Channel 10 also reports that some Iron Dome batteries have been damaged by the flooding last month and are out of commission. Since this attack wasn't aimed at residential areas, they would not have been deployed anyway.

The big question is whether Hamas will crack down on the group that fired the rockets. Since the cease fire, the number of goods entering and leaving Gaza have increased significantly; it will be interesting to see how both the IDF and Hamas react to this.


Monday, February 25, 2013

UK displays stunning hypocrisy over Jaradat death

From Al Ahram:
The UK has expressed its concern at the death of Arafat Gradat who died in Israeli detention last Saturday.

“It is important that the Israeli authorities conduct a full investigation into the circumstances of his death," a UK foreign Office spokesperson told Ahram Online. This investigation should include the Palestinian allegations of mistreatment of Garadat, he added.

Garadat”s family says their son, 30, died from torture in the Israeli Megiddo prison.

Israel Prison Service, however, says Garadat died because of what appeared to be a heart attack.
And how well is the enlightened UK treating its own detainees?

A total of 333 people have died in or following police custody over the past 11 years, but no officer has ever been successfully prosecuted, according to a watchdog's report.
----
1,433 people in England and Wales have died either in police custody or following other police contact since 1990, according to data compiled by Inquest, a charity specialising in the investigation of contentious deaths.

950 deaths took place in custody, 317 following a police pursuit, 112 were the result of a road traffic incident involving a police vehicle and 54 were police shootings.

The highest total was recorded in 2003, when 104 such deaths were recorded. Fourteen of these fell within the operational jurisdiction of the Metropolitan police, of which one was a shooting.

In 2011 there were 23 deaths in police custody, seven following police pursuit, one involving a police vehicle and two from shooting.

Keep in mind that these victims were not in prison, and had not yet been charged with any crime when they died. In other words, many of them were in administrative detention.

I call for 1,433 full-blown international inquiries into the circumstances of each and every one of these deaths in the UK, and international sanctions if any of them are proven negligent or malicious by teams of third party investigators whose own political views must be ignored when choosing them.

I mean, it's only fair.

(h/t Anne, Petra)

Another reason to love the Jewish state

Seen today in Jerusalem:


(The bus would alternate its message between its destination and "Happy Purim.")

Monday Links Part 2

From Ian:

Op-Ed: Hagel’s $160 Billion 'West Bank' US Troops Deathtrap
Hagel, at Obama's bidding, plans to send troops to Judea andSamaria (the "West Bank") where they would soon be victims of Hamas terror. It's in writing. An investigative report.
There is only one reason that Chuck Hagel was picked by President Obama to be US Defense Secretary, and why Obama will go nuclear to get him confirmed:
Hagel is the only person alive now dumb enough to deploy US “peacekeeping” troops to what is surely a "West Bank" deathtrap. Don’t believe me??! Well, in early 2009, two years after Hamas violently took over Gaza, Hagel along with a ragged has-been crew of “Israel Lasters” had some strong “recommendations” for the incoming President Obama.

PA Officials Warn Obama Over Visiting Al-Aqsa
PA leaders: Obama should not visit the Al-Aqsa mosque in a way that might compromise its "Muslim sovereignty".
Obama will be arriving in the region in the spring, and PA media has been speculating that he will visit the site of the mosque. The White House, however, has announced neither the dates of Obama's visit nor its itinerary.
Sheikh Akrameh Sabri, head of the higher Islamic council and former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said that Obama must enter through a gate that was not under Israeli auspices.
"Any visitor is welcome to Al-Aqsa, but they should follow the regulations of the Waqf and enter through the Lions' Gate and not through Mughrabi Gate, to ensure Muslim sovereignty," he said at a press conference and was quoted by AFP.

Barry Rubin: Islamists to West: Put Up Your Hands and Hand Over Your Property! By Barry Rubin
Oh, and Israel is supposed to be the bad guy because it defends itself against muggers.
It’s bad enough to be mugged repeatedly but it’s even worse to provide the weapons and money for the assailants, while also praising them. But that’s precisely the moral of the story as far as Obama Administration policy is concerned: Except for a few exceptions who won’t play nice (ie, al-Qaida) if you’re nice to the terrorists and they’ll be nice to you.
Oh, by the way, this is how most of the “international community” advises Israel to behave.

J Street is a dead end
In the final analysis, only Israelis bear the responsibility for determining their future. American Jews who are deeply concerned about Israel’s future have a right to speak out, but the place to achieve a two-state solution is in the diplomatic arena. The place to advocate changes in Israel’s policies is within Israel’s democratic process and the plethora of American- Jewish organizations, many of which take a strong pro-peace position.
It is not in Washington, lobbying the US administration. On the US-Israeli relationship American Jews must stand united. J Street leads only to a dead end.

Arab Filmmakers to Celebrate Genocide
The filming of “Khaiber” is just the latest instance of major TV productions in the Arab world (which are often broadcast in prime time during Ramadan) being used to promote anti-Semitic themes. Egyptian TV’s “Knight Without a Horse” blockbuster centered on the forged “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” canard. Echo Media Qatar has previously produced a film blaming the Jews for the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
But the “Khaiber” film is especially significant because it blends ancient hatreds with contemporary hopes for a similar destruction of the Jews. The goal of such a film is to dehumanize the Jewish people and to delegitimize their rights, especially to self-defense.

Fearing growing anti-Semitism, Congress calls special meet
Human rights subcommittee hearing to tackle anti-Jewish hatred in Europe
WASHINGTON (JTA) — The chairman of the US House of Representatives subcommittee on human rights convened a hearing on anti-Semitism, saying it is worsening, especially in Europe.
The hearing, called by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), will take place Wednesday.
“It is getting demonstrably worse all over the world, but especially Europe,” Smith, who also co-chairs the US Helsinki Commission, the congressional body monitoring human rights, told JTA. “The Middle East is a cauldron of anti-Semitic hate, but much of that hatred is spilling out through the Muslim Diaspora and through satellite television.”

IDF Reservists Fight Back Against ‘Inciting’ Oscar-Nominated Film
The Israeli NGO Consensus recently launched an online campaign to present a counter-narrative to what it calls “the ongoing incitement against IDF soldiers in the movie ‘5 Broken Cameras,’” as stated by the organization in a statement Sunday.
Consensus, which describes its activists as “Guardians of the IDF spirit,” claims to be a non-political organization; its membership is comprised of hundreds of reserve and non-commissioned IDF officers. Its mission, the statement says, is to protect the IDF’s reputation, its soldiers and its commanders in the public relations and media arenas.

West Ham owners threaten 'harshest sanctions' against fans taking part in anti-Semitic chanting towards Tottenham
West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan will take a zero-tolerance stance on any discriminatory chants from their fans aimed at Tottenham when they meet at Upton Park on Monday.
The clash at White Hart Lane in November, which Tottenham won 3-1, was marred by a minority of West Ham fans engaging in anti-Semitic chanting.

Arrow 3 Tested Successfully
The anti-missile system is intended to intercept high altitude ballistic missiles.
The Arrow 3 will be able to intercept ballistic missiles with longer ranges than the ones that Arrow 2 can bring down, and it will do so at higher altitudes. It is part of the multi-layer defense system that is intended to protect the state of Israel, which also includes the Iron Dome system and the Magic Wand system.

Tel Aviv sets ‘Harlem Shake’ record
70,000 gather in central square to dance like lunatics to latest craze
Obama or no, Tel Aviv became home to the largest “Harlem Shake” dance video yet over the weekend, hosting some 70,000 people in front of the Tel Aviv Museum shaking their moneymakers to the international and not-at-all annoying hit, according to organizers

George Galloway can't even get his anti-Israel agenda to be self-consistent

From George Galloway's Facebook page:
A number of questions have recently arisen I need to deal with. Firstly if people want to talk to the Palestinians they need to contact the Palestine Liberation Organisation. This is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and has been for many decades. ... Apartheid Israel is a cancer at the heart of the middle-east. Only it's replacement by a bi-national democratic state from the Jordan River to the sea will cure this. That is what I am fighting for.
Hmmm. So the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of Palestinian Arabs - yet Galloway meets with Hamas while they are opposing the Fatah-dominated PLO.



But let's take him at his word. If he really supports a bi-national state then either he doesn't believe that the PLO accepts Israel's existence, which is still their official position, or he knows that the PLO really doesn't accept a two state solution. It would be interesting to know which is correct - is he a liar or does he support liars?

Beyond that, he refers to Israel as an "apartheid state" presumably because it is a Jewish state that discriminates against non-Jews. Yet the PLO's constitution for the "State of Palestine" says:

Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.
It also says:
Palestinian people are part of the Arab Nation. Arab Unity is an objective which the Palestinian People shall work to achieve.
This constitution, which was written by Galloway's "sole legitimate representatives" of Palestinian Arabs, is explicitly discriminatory against Jews on both the religious and national levels.

Isn't that apartheid?

Galloway cannot even put forth a consistent, cohesive position in a simple Facebook post. The reason is clear: when it comes to Israel, he is not liberal nor conservative. The only real consistency he has vis a vis the Middle East is that he hates Israel, Israeli Jews and Jewish nationalism. Everything that can help bring about the destruction of a liberal democracy in a region of misogyny, bigotry, anti-Westernism and religious fundamentalism - anything that opposes Israel - is considered inherently moral by this hypocritical blowhard.

Exclusive interview with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat

The mayor of Jerusalem has a question for those who want construction to be frozen in the eastern part of Jerusalem.

What do you really mean? Because we've just been investing over a halfa billion shekels on infrastructure and roads (in the Arab sector.) We're building 500 classrooms in the Arab sector...And we're registering many, many buildings for the residents of east Jerusalem. My question was, what do you mean by 'freeze.' Freeze everything? Or, God forbid, is somebody hinting, 'Wait a minute. Before you give someone a permit, check him out. If he's Jewish, freeze him, if he is Muslim or Christian give him a license'? ...Is somebody hinting to us to look at the color of his skin, to look at his religion before we give him a permit and a  license? 
Usually I don't get any answers back.

In an exclusive interview with Elder of Ziyon, Mayor Barkat  decried what he called "triple standards" that critics demand of the municipality of Jerusalem. The mayor described all other cities as having one standard,  and Jerusalem as being held to a higher standard - which he has no problem with. But the third standard, which is unacceptable, is one that holds that Arabs can build illegally wherever and whenever they want, and that if the city provides services to them it is criticized but if it doesn't then it is accused of neglect. Instead, Barkat described his vision for a united Jerusalem, with one law and equal rights for all.

Barkat also stated that there are some ten thousand permits for apartments registered in Arab areas of Jerusalem over the past four years, a far cry from the way that anti-Israel groups characterize the issue. "Don't listen to too much media," he joked.

I asked him about neighborhoods like Isswiya, where non-Arabs have been nearly lynched more than once. He answered that Jerusalem's murder rate is 1/20th that of major American cities and the crime rate was also much lower, but also that things are being done to make it better. He disagreed when I said that Har HaZeitim has been a dangerous place to visit, saying that things are much improved there and it is now perfectly safe.

The full interview can be viewed here:

Monday Links Part 1

From Ian:

Missing Peace: Study shows: Second Intifada was planned by the PA
JCPA researcher Jonathan Halevy now published a study in which he presents compelling evidence about Arafat’s personal responsibility for the outbreak of the Second Intifada and about the fact that the uprising was planned by the PA directly after the failed peace talks at Camp David in July 2000.
What Halevy didn’t mention however, was that Sharon’s visit had been coordinated with Jibril Rajoub of the Palestinian Authority. He made arrangements with Shlomo Ben Ami who was minister of Foreign Affairs in the government of Ehud Barak.
Marwan Barghoutti’s involvement in organizing the Second Intifada was described by Halevi but he omitted Barghoutti’s admission that he had mobilized the masses on Palestinian TV on the eve of the outbreak of the Intifada.
The way the PA operated in the week leading up to the Second Intifada is similar to what is happening now.

Exposing the UN's dirty little secrets
A gathering of the tortured in Geneva shames the UN Human Rights Council by giving victims not perpetrators a platform to tell their story
They came to bear witness to the crimes committed by some of the very members of this esteemed UN body. Naturally, at the Palace of the Nations, where over 80 international officials, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, will over the coming days address the Council, there will be no space for these brave freedom fighters.
This is why UN Watch, together with over 20 other NGOs, organized the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy last week. Now in its fifth year, the annual summit does the sort of work the UN shies away from. It gives the victims, not the perpetrators, of state terror a podium.

JPost Editorial: Wrong Cause
Palestinians have ignored the fates of journalists arrested, beaten, censored and arrested by their own political leadership.
Inexplicably, Palestinians – and Israel’s Arab citizens – have chosen to champion the causes of these hunger-striking terrorists and others while ignoring the fates of journalists arrested, beaten, censored and arrested by their own political leadership, which for four years now has been ruling without democratic legitimacy. Under the circumstances, what prospects for peace can US President Barack Obama hope for when he visits the region next month?

PA gives no indication of calling for West Bank calm
Following death of Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jail, 4,500 Palestinians send back food in protest; Palestinians throw stones at security forces in Hebron area; PM reportedly orders transfer of tax revenues to PA.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent a message to the Palestinian Authority to calm tensions in the West Bank on Sunday as Palestinians rioted and threw stones at security forces near Hebron.
However, a senior aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave no indication the Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank,
would issue any call for calm, and blamed Israel for the spike in unrest.

Beware Turkish Hypocrisy
The Syrian war has undermined Turkey’s “no-problems-with-neighbors” strategy and exposed its bluster. In August 2011, Turkey threatened military action against Syria but only if other nations joined it. In June 2012, Syria shot down a Turkish warplane over the Mediterranean. The Turkish response: consultations with NATO followed by much sound and fury. So when Israeli warplanes allegedly attacked Syrian military targets earlier this month, one would have expected Turkey to praise tiny Israel for taking risks to address a regional threat that the much bigger Turkey has found too daunting to confront alone. Instead, according to the Turkish daily Hurriyet, Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu urged Syria to attack Israel, suggested that Assad’s inaction was due to “a secret agreement” with Israel, and vowed that Turkey would not sit still in the face of an Israeli attack on any Muslim country. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

Erdogan: Assad a ‘mute devil’ for not defying Israel
Turkish prime minister calls on world leaders to speak out against Syrian president for his crimes against his people
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received several rounds of applause at a government communications forum in the United Arab Emirates, which has joined other Gulf nations in backing Syrian rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad.
“We will not remain silent in the face of the cruel dictator, the mute devil, who mercilessly carried out massacres against his own people, but who has remained silent and unresponsive toward those who have occupied his own territories for decades,” Erdoğan told the gathering in Sharjah, just north of Dubai.

Preparing for the Fall of Jordan
The question is, will the world sit idly by and allow yet another Arab country, one that is bordered by a warring Syria to the north and an unstable Iraq to the east, to either be taken over by Muslim fundamentalists or to deteriorate into civil war and bloodshed? Or will they spend a tiny fraction of the time and money that is invested in endlessly trying to force Israel to accept the ill-advised and impractical two-state solution to help develop a stable Palestinian state east of the Jordan River, one that can be developed to satisfy the national aspirations of the Palestinians and in doing so finally lay the groundwork for solving the supposedly unsolvable Arab-Israeli conflict?

UN Experts Investigate Iranian Shipment Seized in Yemen
UN experts in Yemen on Sunday investigated an Iran-linked arms shipment which authorities intercepted in January, the official Saba news agency reported, according to AFP.
The UN team, escorted by army general Nasser al-Taheri, inspected the contents of the ship which Saba said includes surface-to-air missiles, Katyusha rockets, explosives, ammunition and surveillance systems.

'Eco-Bridge' Under Construction on New Jerusalem-TA Highway
Work has started on a new “eco-bridge” that will allow wildlife to flourish as vehicles travel daily between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
For decades, the area where the road is being built has been forested, and an ecology has developed there which includes animals such as deer, mountain goats, boars, and others. In order not to ruin the ecology of the road, it was decided to construct an “eco-bridge” for animals over the new section of the highway. The eco-bridge will be a green area indistinguishable from the surrounding forest, enabling animals to easily pass between both sides of the highway.

Co-opting the smartphone revolution for the elderly
An Israeli company has developed a platform that will put the 55+ crowd in charge of their data
For many people, smartphones have become constant companions – sources of information, communication centers, and even safety nets, enabling them to contact others for help when they’re in a jam. Not everyone can benefit from smartphone use, though; many elderly people have a hard time learning how to use these devices, either fearful of new technology, or intimidated by different ways of doing things.