Monday, March 31, 2014

From Ian:

Different Standards For Different Rocket Attacks
Terror supporting, genocidal regime launches rockets at the territory of a liberal democracy. Sound familiar?
In this case, however, South Korea “returns fire” when attacked by its neighbor according to the above headline in The Guardian. It is clear that South Korea is responding to an act of aggression.
But what happens when Israel returns fire in response to Palestinian rockets from Gaza?
Why is it that even when Israel is fired upon, the headlines still manage to portray Israel as the aggressor? Or at a minimum the moral equivalent of the terrorists who fired the rockets in a so-called “cycle of violence”:
But then Israel couldn’t possibly be judged by different standards to other democracies under fire. Could it?
All part of the phenomenon we call “it all started when Israel fired back.”
Amb. Alan Baker: The straw that broke the camel’s back (or Kerry’s latest blunder)
To seriously presume that the 1947 UN General Assembly partition resolution – rejected by the Arab states because it had the gall to refer to a Jewish state – together with an ambiguous, unwilling and artificial reference by Arafat to “Israel in brackets”, given in an utterly different context which itself was deemed insufficient by the then US administration, could, in any way or form constitute an acceptable alternative to a clear, unequivocal acknowledgement by the present Palestinian leadership of its acceptance of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People, is incomprehensible to say the least, and openly deceptive at the most.
It belies any understanding on your part as to the importance and centrality of Israel’s requirement in the present negotiating context.
Israel’s leaders have repeatedly stressed this centrality since Israel’s April 2003 official response to the Quartet-sponsored “Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, according to which: “....declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.”
Mr. Secretary, one might have expected, in light your position and function as convenor and mediator in the present Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that you would refrain from making more public value judgments as to whether Israel’s position is, or is not “a mistake.”
David Singer: Kerry’s Credibility Crashes As Abbas’s Intransigence Increases
On 19 March Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York – Peter Beinart – provided this advice to Abbas: “I have a suggestion for Mahmoud Abbas. The next time Benjamin Netanyahu demands that you recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” tell him that you’ll agree on one condition. The Israeli cabinet must first agree on what “Jewish state” means. That should get you off the hook for a good long while. Israel has never been able to define the term “Jewish state.”
The good Professor was obviously unaware that the term “Jewish State” had been defined for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in evidence given by David Ben-Gurion on 7 July 1947:
“What is the meaning of a Jewish State? As I told you before, a Jewish State does not mean one has to be a Jew.
It means merely a State-where the Jews are in the majority, otherwise all the citizens have the same status.
If the State were called by the name “Palestine,” – I said if – then all would be Palestinian citizens If the State would be given, another name – I think it would be given another name – because Palestine is neither a Jewish nor an Arab name. As far as the Arabs are concerned, and we have the evidence of the Arab historian, Hitti, that there was no such a thing as “Palestine” at all: Palestine is not an Arab name. Palestine is also not a Jewish name. When the Greeks were our enemies, in order not to annoy the Jews, they gave different names to the streets. So, maybe the name of Palestine will be changed. But whatever the name of the country, every citizen of the country will be a citizen. This is what we mean. This is what we have to mean. We cannot conceive that in a State where we are not in a minority, where we have the main responsibilities as the majority of the country, there should be the slightest discrimination between a Jew and a non-Jew.”



Report: Kerry suggests defining Israel as 'national homeland for Jews'
US Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to overcome the controversy surrounding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by changing the definition to "the national homeland of the Jews", the London-based Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper reported Saturday morning.
The report, that quoted western diplomatic sources, noted that in exchange for Kerry's initiative, the Palestinians would have to agree that the Palestinian capital would be established only in parts of East Jerusalem; it was further reported that the Palestinians have rejected the proposal.
A Palestinian source told the newspaper that the American side has expressed willingness to change the principle related to the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and make it a requisite in a permanent agreement, however the Palestinians declined.
Study shows Palestinian textbooks rife with incitement
A recent study of 150 new Palestinian Authority textbooks used by a U.N. educational body reveal widespread delegitimization of Israel and continued calls to use violence against Jews in Israel.
The survey was conducted by the Near East Policy Research Center and led by Dr. Arnon Gross, a professor in Islamic Study and veteran Arab affairs correspondent for Israel Radio. Gross' survey translated 150 new Palestinian Authority textbooks. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which runs 250 schools in the Gaza Strip and 100 in Judea and Samaria, claims there is no incitement in the Palestinian Authority textbooks studied in its schools.
In the books, the center found widepsread delegitimization and demonization of Israel, and a call for violent struggle instead of peace. According to the textbooks, the Jews have no rights to Israel, including to Jewish holy sites, and are not considered legitimate residents of the country. The name "Israel" appears less than a handful of times on the maps and is usually replaced with Palestine, and areas inside pre-1967 Israel are described exclusively as Palestinian.
Kerry scraps plans, rushes to Israel in an attempt to salvage flailing peace talks
US Secretary of State John Kerry broke from his travel schedule for the second time in a week to rush back to Israel on Monday to try to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The US-brokered negotiations faced a crisis over the weekend when Israel, saying it was seeking a Palestinian commitment to continue negotiations beyond an end-of-April deadline, delayed the fourth prisoner release to which it had committed to in previous negotiations.
"After consulting with his team, Secretary Kerry decided it would be productive to return to the region," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.
Israel hands Palestinians proposal to extend peace talks
The fate of the US-brokered peace process could be decided within days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said earlier, warning that “either the matter will be resolved or it will blow up.”
Netanyahu’s remarks to ministers from his rightwing Likud party came as US officials were working around the clock to prevent a collapse of the negotiations over a dispute about Palestinian prisoners.
“In any case, there won’t be any deal without Israel knowing clearly what it will get in exchange,” Netanyahu said.
US officials: We can't stop Palestinian UN statehood bid if talks fail
The United States cannot stop a Palestinian campaign to the United Nations for statehood should peace talks with Israel fail, American diplomats told The Washington Post on Saturday.
The Obama administration has been working to salvage the peace talks that have been tittering on the brink of collapse for weeks, after Israel refused to released the fourth and final group of Palestinian security prisoners on Saturday.
The Voice of One Terror Victim: ‘We Are Being Left On Our Own’
Amid conflicting reports on the Israeli government’s intentions to release a fourth wave of Palestinian terrorists as part of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, families of terror victims have not lost hope in their fight against what they believe is a destructive move for Israel, physically and morally.
Protesting in front of the Prime Minister’s office, Gila Molcho, sister of Ian Fienberg, who was hacked to death in Gaza in 1993, told Tazpit News Agency: “Ian’s murderers have already been released. They were sentenced to 90 years; one was let out in the first wave of releases, the other one in the second wave. Someone who was involved was released as part of the deal to release Gilad Shalit. On a personal level, my family has gone through this again and again; we are trying to relearn how to breathe.”
J’Accuse the U.S. State Department! Again
The son-in-law of Osama bin Laden has been found guilty of conspiracy to kill American citizens.
Suleiman Abu Ghaith was arrested in Jordan last year, sent to the US and tried in New York. While the US introduced one witness who admitted that he did not know if the accused was aware of planned “shoe bombing” airplane attacks, the majority of US evidence was based on videos of Abu Ghaith exhorting Muslims to attack America and that “the storm of planes” would not stop.
The issue of Abu Ghaith’s arrest, prosecution, and conviction based primarily on video evidence is extremely important. As I wrote previously, the woman who thought up, planned, organized, and executed (even walking with the bomber and his guitar case bomb to the restaurant) the attack at the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem in August, 2001 seems to be the mirror image of Abu Ghaith, with one significant caveat. Abu Ghaith was found guilty of conspiracy to kill Americans. Ahlam Tamimi, on the other hand, actually did kill American citizens—two of them, with three more badly wounded. Yet Abu Ghaith is in jail and Tamimi has a talk-show in Amman. The question is why?
‘Abbas told Obama he wants Barghouti freed’
Kadoura Fares, a former Palestinian minister and current head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, a nongovernmental organization dealing with prisoners’ rights, said that during his meeting with Obama in the US on March 17, Abbas demanded the release of three Palestinian leaders sentenced to long prison terms by Israel during the Second Intifada for their involvement in terror activities, in addition to a complete moratorium on settlement construction.
The three leaders are Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, convicted of five counts of murder in 2004; Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Secretary General Ahmad Saadat, sentenced by a military court in 2008 for his involvement in the assassination of Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi; and Fouad Shoubaki, a close associate of Yasser Arafat, sentenced in 2009 to 20 years in prison for his involvement in organizing the smuggling of arms into the Palestinian territories in 2002 aboard the ship Karine A.
Syrian Opposition Activist Kamal Al-Labwani Makes the Case for Peace with Israel

CAMERA Prompts Improved Coverage of Palestinian Casualties
CAMERA has prompted moderately improved Reuters coverage on Palestinian fatalities since peace talks resumed in July 2013. On March 22, Reuters' Ali Sawafta reported as fact:
Including Saturday's incident, Israeli forces have killed at least 60 Palestinians and injured almost 900 since the resumption of negotiations last July.
In communications with the wire service, CAMERA noted that a review of figures from various NGOs do not substantiate the Palestinian claim that 60 Palestinians were killed since the end of July (when peace talks started) through March 22.
Thus, the United Nations' monthly Humanitarian Bulletins from Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (August 2013 - February 2014, which is the most recent monthly report available, as of press time), reveal that 38 Palestinians were killed during that time period; another two were killed during the week of March 4 -10, one was killed on March 19 (news reports), and three on March 22 (news reports), for a total of 44 Palestinian fatalities since July 30 through March 22.
Israel Under Fire For Not Letting Itself Be Under More Fire (satire)
Israel fired on a vessel transporting arms from Egypt last week, resulting in the deaths of several Palestinians and secondary explosions on the boat attesting to the presence of armaments. The organizations and activists were quick to accuse Israel of firing on innocent fishermen, whose craft has traditionally involved the conveyance of explosives across international borders under cover of darkness.
“This Israeli violation is unacceptable, and Israel must bear the consequences for not letting the Palestinians import what they wish, even if that includes materials that could harm Israel,” said Human Rights Watch spokeswoman Turnza Bleindeye. “Palestinians like to shoot at Israel and blow things up as close as possible to Israelis, and Israel will simply have to accept that.” She characterized the protective measures that Israel takes along its frontiers and coastline “unfortunate,” and lamented that Israel’s agreements with the Palestinian Authority itself assign that task to Israel.
Police arrest gang for raiding Second Temple-era tomb
Police and antiquities inspectors have arrested a gang accused of looting ancient Jewish burial caskets from a cave in the Jerusalem area, the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Monday.
“They were caught while in possession of 11 decorated stone ossuaries — ancient coffins — that the Jewish population used for burial in the Second Temple period, 2,000 years ago,” the IAA said in a statement.
“Some of the ossuaries still contained the skeletal remains of the deceased,” it said.
The suspects, from the West Bank, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, were arrested on Friday as they met prospective Jewish clients at a crossing point between the West Bank and Israeli annexed east Jerusalem.
Palestinian envoy in Prague held explosives in hand
“An experimental blast carried out by experts confirms this theory,” Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova said, denying earlier reports that the blast was caused by a booby-trapped safe.
Jamal al-Jamal, 56, died in a hospital on January 1, only three months after taking up his post, following an explosion that occurred soon after he opened a safe.
“The explosive was not placed on the door or inside the safe and was not there to protect the safe,” Zoulova said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.
Zoulova told The Association Press that “mishandling remains the most likely option.”
Hamas Imposes Radical New Law: Lashings, Amputations, and Massive Executions
Hamas is now trying to outdo the Taliban in imposing new Shar’ia inspired draconian punishments, including amputations of limbs and massive increases in lashings and executions. A senior Hamas official told Gulf News that a new punitive law, “inspired by” Shar’ia Law, is required to replace the former and “impractical” one. The article states that there will be a minimum of 20 lashes for minor offenses and a minimum of 80 lashes for criminal cases: the death penalty will also be expanded in accordance with the Shar’ia. In addition, the new law includes cutting off the hands of a thief.
By replacing an almost 80-year old punitive law with a new radical one, Hamas has earned widespread condemnation by other Palestinian factions. Even other terrorist groups condemn Hamas’ new law.
Israel sued for the 10 Plagues
Gamal also pressed suing Israel for the “precious materials” used by the ancient Israelites in order to construct their desert tabernacle.
“We want compensation for the gold, silver, copper, precious stones, fabrics, hides and lumber, and for [all] animal meat, hair, hides and wool, and for other materials that I will mention [below], when quoting the language of the Torah. All these are materials that the Jews used in their rituals. These are resources that cannot be found among desert wanderers unless they took them before their departure.”
Israel isn’t the only country that finds itself in Gamal’s cross-hairs. In the same column he also demanded reparations from Turkey for damage caused by the Ottoman Empire during its invasion of Egypt in the 16th century, and from France for Napoleon’s invasion in 1798.
Egypt to hold May 26-27 presidential election
Egyptians will vote on May 26-27 in a presidential election that Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win easily, meaning the former army chief who deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi could be sworn in as head of state by early June.
Widely seen as Egypt's de facto leader since he deposed Morsi after mass protests against his rule, Sisi enjoys backing from supporters who see him as Egypt's saviour. But he is viewed by the Islamist opposition as the mastermind of a coup that ignited the worst internal strife in Egypt's modern history.
Egyptian Actor Sobhi Recommends "The Protocols" and Says: Benjamin Franklin Warned against Jews

Erdogan claims victory, says rivals ‘will pay price’
“Those who attacked Turkey got disappointed,” Erdogan told a jubilant crowd of thousands, speaking from the balcony of his party’s Ankara headquarters after months of turmoil marked by street clashes, sleaze claims and an Internet clampdown.
“You have supported your prime minister, I thank you infinitely,” Erdogan told the jubilant crowd, his voice still hoarse from marathon campaigning for the municipal polls that were seen as a referendum on his 11-year rule.
Erdogan, 60, has been eyeing a run for the presidency in August — the first time voters will directly elect the head of state — and his midnight victory speech sounded at times like the start of his next campaign.


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