Sunday, April 20, 2014

From Ian:

Peter Beaumont wants you to believe that Jews oppress Christians in Jerusalem
Israel, on the other hand, is the one country in the region where the Christians are free, the population thriving, and their numbers growing.
Yet, despite the fact that Israel is the only safe haven for Christians in the Middle East, the Guardian’s new Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont filed a report employing quintessential Guardian trickery on the issue: imputing Israeli intolerance from a few highly questionable accounts that are, at the very least, completely devoid of context, while ignoring the far more egregious crimes against Christians by Palestinian Muslims.
His report, Christian pilgrims in Jerusalem find their path to the Via Dolorosa is an ever harder road, April 20, all but ignores the larger story, that tens of thousands of Christians were able to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher as part of Easter celebrations in Jerusalem’s Old City, and characteristically focuses on a few sporadic complaints.
J Street Student Leaders to Repair Brandeis-Al Quds Relationship UPDATED: Students for Al Quds get $10,000 grant after heckling former IDF spokesman

The students—Eli Philip and Catriona Stewart—serve as the copresidents of Brandeis’s J Street U group. They most recently drew headlines for heckling a former IDF soldier who was speaking on campus.
The Al Quds dialogue initiative comes at a critical time for Brandeis, which is facing a fierce backlash for rescinding an honorary degree from the Islamic human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
The J Street leaders were awarded the $10,000 as part of the Davis Projects for Peace program, which encourages students to “design grassroots projects for peace.”
Philip and Stewart wrote in their grant proposal that they are seeking to “create a framework for long-term student dialogue between Brandeis University and Al Quds University.”
Meet the Craziest Anti-Israel Boycotter
The BDS movement is nuts. But even within every nutty movement, there is a horrifying walnut of insanity that no one can crack.
And that brings us to Kat-Yang Stevens.
...In other words, she’s a lesbian who took too many useless college courses before dropping out to annoy people full time.
The last one is the least surprising and the least confusing. And of course she has a zine. Because it’s 1982 on her planet. You can order an issue for only $13 or you can buy five cups of hot coffee and spill them all over yourself. I’m not sure which is a better use of your money.
She hates Keystone, accuses environmental groups of racism and claims to have narrowly avoided the “school to prison pipeline”. Apparently that’s a major problem for spoiled Taiwanese brats living in occupied New York.
Also she claims to have PTSD (what unpaid full time community organizer doesn’t?) and is constantly being victimized by fellow lefties, who, for some inexplicable reason, claim that she’s insane, when she’s only confronting their white supremacism. Also she likes to refer to herself in the third person using gender neutral pronouns to define her identify.



Europe: Slaughter Of Jews Kosher, Kosher Slaughter Not (satire)
The continent with the bloodiest history when it comes to Jews has evolved into a paragon of concern for the defenseless, as country after country considers or adopts a ban on the Jewish practice of shechitah, in which an animal is rendered permissible by Jewish dietary law. Various European countries or districts have deemed the practice cruel to animals, often the same countries – such as Denmark – that shoot and butcher giraffes and lions simply because the expense of caring for them is inconveniently high.
Similar humanitarian concerns are behind the drive to outlaw ritual circumcision in some parts of Europe, though such a ban has yet to become law. “Our chief concern is the need to deny there is anything unique to humans, or any individual human,” says Catherine Ashton, who is spearheading a European Union project to erase the unique heritage and connection of Jews to the land that spawned them.
September 11 turned Carr against Israel
At the start of the dinner Carr [former Australian Foreign Minister] came over to talk to me… To my surprise, Carr seemed quite shaken by the 9/11 attack. He said to me that he had now come to the conclusion that the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 had been a mistake.
Carr stated his belief that the Arab world would never accept the creation of a Jewish state and that Islamists would continue to target Western nations.

From around late 2001, I noticed a change in Carr’s attitude towards Israel.
There was also the political factor. There are numerous references in his diary to the importance of the Muslim Arab vote, especially in Sydney’s western suburbs.
Which, if accurate, suggests that Carr is his own way is an enabler of terrorism. He shows terrorists that killing people is a very effective way of changing a politician’s mind - particularly on Israel.
JPost Editorial: Adele’s sad saga
Our short-term memory is all too often woefully deficient. Three-year-old Adele Biton, who couldn’t recite the Four Questions at her family’s Seder on Monday night, offers a heartbreaking case in point.
Doubtless the Jewish nation boasts collective memory as no other. We just participated in the Passover Seder that recounts events from well over three millennia ago. Indeed, the Seder’s raison d’être is to pass on shared heritage to the younger generations.
That said, few among us recall that last March, Arab terrorists threw rocks at the family car in which Adele traveled. Adva Biton drove it and her three young daughters were its passengers. As the vehicle drove near Ariel, a hail of stones caused it to crash. All its occupants were wounded.
Adele’s fate was worst. A fist-sized rock struck her directly in the head. The medical odds were that she wouldn’t survive. Somehow nevertheless, doctors at Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petah Tikva kept the toddler alive.
Police, Arab rioters skirmish on Temple Mount
Sunday’s renewed violence accompanied the rare coincidence of both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Easter, which has drawn thousands of Christian faithful to Jerusalem’s Old City. The police dispatched large numbers of officers across the historic area of Jerusalem to help maintain security.
Five young Palestinians were also arrested at the site overnight after they attempted to scale the wall to gain access. The five were found in possession of tear gas, police said, prompting an official investigation. Two others were arrested in connection to rock-throwing on Friday, a police spokesperson said.
Alarm over Reported Deal with Vatican for David's Tomb
The agreement allegedly contains two elements. The first is Israel's forgoing the levying of property tax and other taxes for all “churches, holy sites, prayer houses and cemeteries.” The second is the transfer of the “Last Supper room” on the floor above David's tomb to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land (Custodia Terræ Sanctæ).
Rabbi Yaakov Sevilia, an activist for King David's Tomb, told Arutz Sheva Sunday that there is also a deal between Christians and Muslims, according to which the Muslims will retain control over the Temple Mount whereas Mount Zion will become Christian property. He cited journalist Gulio Meotti, who contributes regularly to Arutz Sheva, as the source for this knowledge.
Rabbi Sevilia emphasized that the tomb is, without a doubt, the burial place of King David, and mentioned a recent book – “The Secret of David's Tomb” – as containing proof of this claim.
Thailand steps up security for Israelis after terror plot
The chief of the city’s Metropolitan Police Bureau, Kamronwit Thoopkrachang, was quoted as saying the Israeli embassy had sent a letter requesting extra protection for tourists. The police chief had assigned his deputy to oversee stepped up security measures for Israelis in Bangkok, the report said.
These included the deployment of extra police to the areas specified by the embassy, the report said.
The letter also thanked police for arresting the two suspects — Lebanese-French citizen Daud Farhat and Lebanese-Philippine citizen Yousef Ayyad — both of whom have been on the Thai immigration watchlist for possible Hezbollah ties.
Fatah spokesman accuses al-Qaeda leader of ‘Zionism’
The spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party accused al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri of “Zionism” following the latter’s scathing attack on Fatah and Abbas.
In an audio interview published Friday night on a Jihadi website, al-Zawahiri lashed out at Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Fatah el-Sissi and US President Barack Obama, but dedicated special attention to the PA.
“Errors by Mahmoud Abbas don’t surprise me, for he is a traitor who sold Palestine,” Zawahiri said.
“I am surprised however by two groups: the first are those who carry out Islamic work but insist that this traitor is the legitimate president,” Zawahiri said, apparently alluding to Hamas. “And the other group is Fatah, which claims to be a national liberation movement but has become a movement which sells out its homeland and its citizens.”
Fatah celebrates suicide terrorists who killed 8 and wounded over 100
Fatah's Facebook "Main Page" recently posted pictures and texts honoring two female suicide bombers. One picture is of suicide terrorist Ayyat Al-Akhras, who blew herself up near a supermarket in Jerusalem on March 29, 2002, killing two and wounding 28. The accompanying text calls her a "hero" and promises her "allegiance to your pure blood."
Another suicide terrorist honored by Fatah was Andalib Takatka, whose suicide bombing killed six and wounded 85 in Jerusalem.

14 Injured Tripping Over Selves Denying Abbas Condemned Terrorist Attack (satire)
After a delegation of left-wing Israeli lawmakers insisted that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had expressed his disgust at the Monday night shooting near Hebron that left an Israeli father dead, dozens of the leader’s representatives and aides rushed headlong to deny he said any such thing, with more than a dozen sustaining injuries in the process.
More radical Palestinian factions have accused Abu Mazen of compassion for Israelis and of betraying the Palestinian national cause by forsaking the path of direct violent confrontation to engage in US-sponsored peace negotiations. To prevent further charges that Abbas projects weakness as a result of the alleged condemnation, two aides jumped to his defense and hit their heads on a doorway. They were listed in moderate but stable condition Saturday.
Hamas: PLO doesn't Represent Palestinians
Islamist terror organization Hamas has attacked the latest statements by Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas, regarding possible reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas. It noted that by speaking in threatening terms, Abbas was not creating a positive atmosphere.
Hamas stressed that the PLO Central Committee does not represent the Palestinian people and that it is, in fact, held captive by the Fatah movement.
Hamas was responding to an interview Abbas gave to Egyptian newspaper Al Masri al-Youm, in which he said that if Hamas does not agree to hold general elections, the PLO “will make a decision at the end of April, through the Central Committee, which is the Palestinian parliament.”
Iran's 'exercise in deceit'
Israel believes Iran's Saturday announcement regarding the redesign of its Arak heavy water reactor to greatly limit the amount of plutonium it can produce is little more than an exercise to keep the negotiations going while Iran continues to work toward its goal of developing a nuclear bomb.
While the Prime Minister's Office has yet to respond to the Iranian move, International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel Hayom that "This is an exercise in deceit on the part of the Iranians. The Iranians are prepared to make concessions, but not on the most critical and threatening issue. They are protecting the core program."
Analysis: In Rejecting Missile Talks, Tehran Creates Test for U.S. Diplomacy
Dehghan’s assertion – which has been consistently underlined by top Iranian diplomats for months – is, in a strict sense, false. Multiple binding United Nations Security Council resolutions link Iran’s ballistic missile program to its nuclear activities, and UNSC Resolution 1929 has language deciding that “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.”
The Iranian posture may prove to be politically as well as substantively problematic for the Obama administration. The interim Joint Plan of Action (JPA) with Iran – providing Tehran with billions in sanctions relief – did not place any restrictions on the country’s ballistic missile program.
U.S., Terror Victims’ Families Agree on Sale of Iran-Linked New York Skyscraper
In the largest terrorism-related forfeiture in U.S. history, the U.S. government has agreed to distribute the proceeds of the sale of an Iran-linked Manhattan skyscraper and other buildings to the families of the victims of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks.
The 36-story skyscraper located on 5th avenue and West 52nd street is majority owned by the Alavi Foundation, a non-profit organization that runs Islamic centers and promotes Persian culture. A 2009 lawsuit by the U.S. government claimed that the Alavi Foundation and two minority owners of the building, Assa Corp and Assa Co Ltd, had ties to the Iranian government.
Iran Says U.S. Attitude to Choice of U.N. Envoy ‘Unacceptable’
The White House made clear on Tuesday it did not welcome Abutalebi, saying officials had told Tehran that the selection was “not viable”.
But White House spokesman Jay Carney stopped short of saying Abutalebi would be barred from entering the United States.
“The attitude of the U.S. government towards Iran’s (choice) for U.N. envoy is not acceptable. Iran has officially conveyed its views,” IRNA quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying. The spokesperson said Abutalebi was among Iran’s best and most experienced diplomats, noting he had “ambassadorship experience” in Italy, Belgium and Australia.
Hollande: We have ‘information’ Assad using chemical weapons
France has “information” but no firm proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime is still using chemical weapons, President Francois Hollande said Sunday.
“We have a few elements of information but I do not have the proof,” Hollande said in a radio interview after he was asked about reports that Assad was currently using chemical weapons.
“What I do know is what we have seen from this regime is the horrific methods it is capable of using and the rejection of any political transition,” he told the Europe 1 radio station.
Watchdog: 80% of Syrian chemical weapons shipped out
Syria has shipped out or destroyed approximately 80 percent of its declared chemical weapons material, the head of the international team overseeing the disarmament process said on Saturday.
Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said if the momentum was sustained, Syria should be able to meet its April 27 deadline to hand over all declared chemical agents.
"The renewed pace in movements is positive and necessary to ensure progress towards a tight deadline," Kaag said.
Egypt's TV Satirist Off Air Until After Elections
A Saudi-owned satellite television network says Egypt's top satirist will be off the air until after the upcoming May presidential election to avoid influencing voters.
The Middle East Broadcasting Center said Saturday that Bassem Youssef will be off the air to show "respect for the election process, and to strive to avoid influencing Egyptian voters' orientation and public opinion."
Youssef is often compared to U.S. comedian Jon Stewart. MBC began airing Youssef's show in February after an Egyptian private channel suspended it last fall for attacking "symbols of the state."
Turkey denies plans to leave World Wide Web for 'alla turca' Internet
Turkish authorities have denied that they are considering abandoning the World Wide Web to establish their own web alla turca with a "ttt" protocol instead of the conventional “www” amid the government's efforts to rein in global websites, including Twitter and YouTube.
The Communications Ministry has denied in a statement that Minister Lütfi Elvan had ever suggested such a groundbreaking formula during an informal meeting with journalists in Parliament on April 19, as Hürriyet had reported.
Earlier, daily Hürriyet had reported that Elvan argued countries could establish their own domains.
"Instead of www, a ttt system could be formed. Turkey and other countries could establish their own domains. Such a move would detach the Internet systems from each other. This is a controversial issue," Elvan was quoted as saying by daily Hürriyet.
The reported suggestion drew an immediate response from Member of European Parliament Andrew Duff, who Tweeted, “The man [Elvan] is clearly an idiot.”
Antisemitic attacks have escalated with the firebombing of a synagogue in the Ukraine. Watch the video of the attack...
The debate as to whether or not the flyer passed out to the Jewish community in Ukraine was an “official” document or not, and whether it was sent by the Russians or the Ukrainians, is abhorrent.
The fact is, someone deigned it appropriate to bring overt anti-Semitism into the fight between the Russians and Ukrainians, and that is all there is to it.
As JewishPress.com pointed out, it’s not going to stop at threatening letters. At 2 AM, Saturday morning, the Nikolayev synagogue in Ukraine was firebombed multiple times, as the anti-Semitism escalates.
The attack was caught on the shul’s CCTV system, and posted online by Yisroel Gotlieb, the son of the city’s Chief Rabbi Sholom Gotlieb.
Ukraine prime minister blasts anti-Jewish leaflets
Members of the Jewish community in the pro-Russian protest hub of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine said Friday that they were left shaken by the distribution of tracts demanding the registration of Jews.
Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said he wanted to “make a clear statement and urge the Ukrainian military and security forces and Ukrainian Department of Homeland Security urgently to find these bastards and to bring them to justice,” in excerpts from an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” which is set to air on Sunday.
Ukrainian Anti-Semitism Not as Bad as Russia's
Stephen Pollard, writing in Sundayexpress.com, notes that the recent anti-Semitic leaflet distributed in Ukraine demanding Jews register or be deported might make Russia look more philo-Semitic than Ukraine, but that theory is false. Pollard, whose grandparents fled Poland and Latvia in the late 1800’s, notes that Vladimir Putin disingenuously used reported Ukrainian anti-Semitism as an excuse for his invasion of Crimea and his threat to enter eastern Ukraine, saying he was acting in that fashion because he wanted to save the Jews.
Yet, as Pollard writes, “Under President Putin there may not be state-sponsored anti-Semitism but ultra-nationalist anti-Semitic groups flourish, aided by the security services. State-run broadcasters regularly feature anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists.”
Pollard is quite aware of historical Ukrainian hatred of Jews, noting the 1941 massacre of 11,500 Jews by the Nazis with Ukrainian help and the butchery of 70% of Ukrainian Jews, amounting to over a million people during the Nazi era. But he also notes that Dnipropetrovsk has the largest Jewish community centre in the world, and Jews are not afraid to live openly as Jews in Ukraine, unlike Russia. Dnipropetrovsk’s Chief Rabbi Kaminezki said of Putin’s claims of Ukrainian anti-Semitism, “What Putin is saying about anti-Semitism in the Ukraine is mostly just a lie to divide us.”
Thousands celebrate Easter in Holy Land
Thousands of pilgrims from around the world celebrated Easter in the Holy Land, commemorating the day when according to Christian tradition Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem two millennia ago.
Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal led Mass at the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem on Sunday. The site is where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, worshipers prayed and lit candles at the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus.
Easter was also celebrated in Gaza where less than three thousand Christians live among about 1.7 million Muslims.
Christian communities in the Holy Land, as well as elsewhere in the Middle East, have been declining in recent years due to regional turmoil.


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