Friday, January 03, 2014

From Ian:

Five Years Later: Operation Cast Lead and the Goldstone Report, Revisited
The Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center report: “Hamas and the Terrorist Threat from the Gaza Strip: The Main Findings of the Goldstone Report Versus the Factual Findings” published in March 2010 (pp.82-83), found that the decision by Hamas to violate the lull/ceasefire long predated the November 4 tunnel incident:
“Hamas’ unilateral decision to the end lull and the escalation it initiated played a major role in the events which ultimately led to Operation Cast Lead. On September 18, the Hamas leadership met to discuss whether or not to extend it. Opinions in the Gaza Strip leadership of Hamas were divided, while the Damascus leadership, headed by Khaled Mashaal, chief of the political bureau in Damascus, decided to bring it to an end in an attempt to achieve a new lull with better conditions for Hamas. The decision was made knowing that it would lead to an escalation. The leadership, however, assumed Hamas would be able to control and contain it. Hamas was joined it its decision to end the lull by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations.
CAMERA Prompts NY Times Correction on Gaza Shortages, "Palestinian" Cities
The newspaper commendably published the following correction on Dec. 31:
"An article on Dec. 19 about Mohammed Assaf, a Palestinian singer from Gaza who has become a star in the Arab world after winning the “Arab Idol” competition, referred incorrectly to cities in Israel Mr. Assaf sings about. While they had largely Arab populations before Israel became a state in 1948, they were not “Palestinian” in the sense of being part of a Palestinian political entity. The article also referred incorrectly to shortages of water, gas and electricity in Gaza. While Israel places restrictions on some goods coming into Gaza, and many Palestinians blame Israel for shortages, they were worsened by Egypt’s closing of smuggling tunnels and by a tax dispute between the militant Hamas faction, which governs Gaza, and the Palestinian Authority."
BBC Watch: As Sharon’s health deteriorates, BBC updates profile claiming he sparked second intifada
As can be seen in the screenshot above, that article also links to the newly updated profile of Ariel Sharon which – despite its recent amendment – features repetition of the long-promoted BBC myth that the second Intifada began because of Sharon’s pre-coordinated thirty-four minute visit to Temple Mount in September 2000.
That BBC myth has been previously addressed on these pages and readily available statements by numerous Palestinian figures relating to the fact that the intifada was pre-planned have been presented.



2014 political forecast
One year ago, I accurately forecasted in these pages that U.S. President Barack Obama would cut a deal with Iran over Israel's objections, allowing Tehran to keep its nuclear enrichment facilities and freeing itself of sanctions by promising to halt 20 percent enrichment. Precisely what happened.
I also correctly calculated that Washington would wedge Israel and the Palestinian Authority into renewed peace talks, and that Prime Minister Netanyahu would again freeze plans to build E1. I estimated that the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi wouldn't last long as Egyptian president. Bingo.
Israel has killed perpetrators of 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, says ex-envoy
In an interview with Agencia Judía de Noticias — or AJN, a Spanish-language Jewish news agency — Yitzhak Aviran, Israel’s ambassador to Argentina from 1993-2000, revealed that many of those involved in the attack had been targeted by Israel.
“The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” an AFP report quoted Aviran as saying.
Aviran castigated the Argentinian leadership, and claimed little had been done to bring to justice the Iranian authorizers and planners of the 1994 attack, or of a 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in the Argentinean capital, in which 29 people were killed.
Israel denies killing perpetrators of Buenos Aires bombing
Israel is denying a claim by its former ambassador to Argentina that Israelis killed most of those responsible for the South American county’s worst terrorist attack.
The Israeli government’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor called the claim “complete nonsense,” but declined to elaborate.
Answering the Academic Boycotters of Israel
Instead of taking responsibility for the significant and profoundly damaging action it collectively took by approving the boycott in the first place, the ASA saw the wide-ranging negative response from the academic community as an attack on the organization’s integrity, its stated solidarity with the Palestinians, and its overall credibility as an academic organization. The ASA also struck back with a well-worn tactic used by those individuals and groups who participate in the demonization and delegitimization of Israel as part of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign: the ASA reflexively, and disingenuously, accused “powerful and well-funded academic and non-academic organizations” of “mount[ing] a public campaign aimed at destroying the Association.”
The paranoid notion that “powerful and well-funded” interests had any desire to even notice, let alone seek to destroy, the ASA, is ridiculous.
Chicago Tribune: An academic scandal headed for Chicago
One would think that an organization dedicated to languages and literature would value Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, where academic freedom is alive and well, a free press flourishes, and there is no discrimination based on race, religion, sex or sexual preference. If the MLA wants to pronounce on international politics, why are there no sessions on countering repressive regimes such as those in Syria, Iran, Zimbabwe or North Korea, where people, for example, suffer imprisonment or worse for expressing politically incorrect ideas or adhering to the wrong faith?
Even worse, this MLA boycott "conversation" doesn't even pretend to examine both sides of the question. All of the announced speakers are on record favoring an Israeli boycott. In fact, presiding officer Samer M. Ali informed The Chronicle of Higher Education that Israel's guilt is not open to doubt but rather, "(t)he question that panelists will be debating is not whether Israel is violating the rights of Palestinians, but what to do about it."
This academic scandal headed for Chicago will not be an isolated incident, but simply the latest phase in an effort by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel to get American scholarly bodies' help in delegitimizing the Jewish state. The Association for Asian Studies, the American Studies Association and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association — all relatively small —have endorsed academic boycotts of Israel, and the "conversation" at the MLA convention is designed as the opening wedge to pry an endorsement from a larger and mainstream body.
Pro-Israel College Groups Denied Chance to Present at Modern Language Association Conference
“We believe the members of the MLA deserve to hear a far more diverse set of perspectives on the issue of academic freedom in Israel and nearby countries. The MLA members, as academics, certainly can appreciate the value of multiple perspectives on what is a very controversial issue,” ICC’s Baime said.
ICC and Hillel said they are now considering organizing a “balancing panel” discussion at a nearby location during the MLA convention. The panel would feature MLA members who oppose the anti-Israel resolution being considered at the convention.
Student Leader Calls for Universities to Fire Academics That Voted for ASA Israel Boycott
Joshua Nass, founder of Voices of Conservative Youth said he was “…calling for every single one of these academics that went ahead and voted to boycott this… to be fired by their employers. Every university that is employing them ought to… fire them, get rid of them.”
Jews for Jihad
The ASA has rightly been damaged by its Nazi-like anti-Jew resolution: it has lost members, a competing organization has been launched, and there has even been a challenge to its 501c3 status. American universities rejecting the boycott include Boston University, Brown, Cornell, Duke, George Washington University, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Northwestern, Princeton, Purdue, Stanford, Tufts, Tulane, the University of California-Irvine, the University of California-San Diego, University of Chicago, the University of Southern California, Wesleyan, Yale, and many others.
Still, the resolution itself has also done enormous damage. That ill-used useful idiots and self-loathing Jews would be given major platforms to spread such poison is astonishing. The writer of the Los Angeles Times piece declares herself a Jew two sentences into her piece. Yes, she’d have to, or the unsuspecting reader might think her a member of a neo-Nazi or jihadi group. She aligns with the worst Jew-haters in the world and yet cloaks herself in self-righteousness, while traipsing off to Gaza to speak of how “profoundly shaken” she was by the “brutality” she saw Israelis display “toward Palestinians.” What brutality did she see? She never says -- of course.
Nicolas Anelka and Dieudonne: the quenelle is an antisemitic salute
That the quenelle is antisemitic is beyond dispute. In France it has become part of a social media craze in which people find ever-more offensive places to insult Jews by doing a quenelle: this blogpost shows photographs of people performing quenelles at Auschwitz, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, at the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, outside synagogues and Jewish shops and at dozens of other Jewish sites. There is even a photograph of someone doing a quenelle outside the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school in Toulouse, where Mohammed Merah murdered three children and a teacher in March 2012:
If the people in these photographs did a Nazi salute at any of these sites they would risk instant arrest and prosecution. The quenelle is a way of getting around the law, while still getting the same thrill of breaking the taboo against antisemitism.
Quenelle salute may breach anti-hate laws, French minister says
“This gesture is a gesture of hatred, it’s an anti-Semitic gesture and all those who perform it should know — they can’t deny knowledge — that they are performing an anti-Semitic gesture, an inverted Nazi gesture,” Valls said at a Tuesday news conference in Paris.
Spreading hateful gestures with intent to offend is illegal according to French law. Valls’s statements about the quenelle — the strongest by a French senior official — were interpreted by analysts from several French media as an indication that he may be planning to extend the prohibition to the quenelle.
How Sussex Friends of Israel are fighting back against the boycotters
There is a “war” going on in Brighton, with grandmothers as troops and cakes and bagels among the weapons.
The conflict involves a band of pro-Israel supporters who have adopted an imaginative approach to the business of combating activists who support a cultural and commercial boycott of the country.
The group is called Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI)and consists of local Jews, Christians and members of Brighton’s gay and transsexual community.
Together they have taken on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement which have targeted an Israeli-owned shop in the city centre.
Israel ranks 6th favorite country for Americans
The Jewish state was viewed favorably by 61 percent of American surveyed in early November, according to a Pew Research Center survey released this week. Israel is sixth behind Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Brazil.
An Upstart Chinese-Israeli Automaker Has Sold Its First Car
Six years after its formation, Chinese-Israeli brand Qoros has sold its first car.
The 50-50 joint venture between Chery Automobile and Israel Corp. aims to “develop Western-standard vehicles for China’s domestic market as well as for export.”
Knesset aims to be world’s greenest parliament
In a statement, parliament said plans include building a 4,500-square-meter (yard) solar panel field to produce electricity, automatically shutting computers at the end of the day, measuring the amount of water used for irrigation and consumption as well as various other energy conservation drives. It said the initiatives will cost NIS 7 million (about US$2 million).
Israel, US conduct successful joint test of Arrow 3
A successful test flight of the Arrow 3 interceptor missile was conducted Friday in a joint operation by the Israel Missile Defense Organization and the US Missile Defense Agency.
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, the missile was launched over the Mediterranean Sea, and flew in an exo-atmospheric trajectory, reaching space.
PlaySight gets tennis players backhand compliments
The story of this Israel startup could be the setting for the next TV hit: Imagine three Israeli partners in big high-tech companies since leaving the army, where they worked on top-secret weaponry and war simulators. After taking that experience into 15 years of building technologies sold to some of the world’s biggest defense clients, they started looking for something new.
Tennis, anyone?
The Trials and Hopes of a Jordanian Muslim Named Yitzhak Rabin
Yitzhak Rabin Namsy is, by all appearances, a regular Israeli teenager. The 17-year-old wears a Jewish skullcap, keeps the Sabbath, and upholds many of the faith’s other commandments (mitzvot). Like many Israelis his age, he dreams of enlisting in the Israeli army and fighting as a combat soldier on behalf of the Jewish state. Yet there is nothing normal about Namsy’s life story, beginning with his first and middle names, given to him in memory of the former Israeli prime minister, who was assassinated in 1995 just a few months before the boy’s birth. Then there’s the fact that Yitzhak Rabin isn’t even officially Jewish, let alone Israeli, but a Jordanian Muslim. Forced to flee his country of birth when he was a baby, Yitzhak, along with his parents, has been living as an exile in Israel for nearly 16 years—all because of a name.
Israeli Christians in Nazareth Launch New Website to Encourage Tourism
The website, which is still under construction, is being organized by Israeli Christian and former IDF Captain Bishara Shlayan, a merchant seaman from Nazareth who has become outspoken new leader of the Israeli Christian community seeking to build Jewish-Christian ties. Shlayan is also leading efforts to form a new Israeli-Arab Christian political party called B’nei Habrit and to build a 100-foot statue of Jesus in Nazareth.
“The site will symbolize the attraction of the global Christian community to the city of Nazareth and the support of the world community to the Christian communities in Israel,” the website says.


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