Tuesday, April 22, 2014

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Our Blood Is More Precious Than Jewish Blood
A Palestinian Authority [PA] minister who equated Jewish blood with Palestinian blood has been strongly condemned by many Palestinians, including his own family.
The attacks and threats against PA Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud al-Habbash serve as a reminder of the extent to which Palestinians have been radicalized over the past few decades.
The uproar began when al-Habbash, in a meeting with Israeli journalists in Ramallah, was asked about the recent terrorist attack near Hebron that killed police officer Baruch Mizrahi on Passover eve.
In response, al-Habbash said, "We reject all forms for violence, whether they are directed against Israelis or Palestinians. Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed."
The attacks on al-Habbash have come from Palestinians representing all walks of life, including the ruling Fatah faction in the West Bank.
Zakariya Zubeidi, a well-known former leader of Fatah's terrorist group, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, called on al-Habbash to apologize to
the Palestinians. "If your blood is like the blood of the Zionists, our blood is not,"
Zubeidi declared.
The Sources of Egyptian Anti-Semitism
Anti-Semitism in Egypt is not merely a form of bigotry. It forms the basis on which its adherents interpret and understand the world. As such, at the forefront of those concerned by its widespread adaptation by the country’s leaders and intellectuals should be Egyptians themselves—at least those who care enough about the country’s future and wish it well. As Walter Russell Mead has argued: “Rabid anti-Semitism coupled with an addiction to implausible conspiracy theories is a very strong predictor of national doom.”
Anti-Semitism is one of the pillars of socio-political life in Egypt. A country consumed with such madness cannot become a flourishing liberal democracy. Egypt should not be doomed to such a condition. Those who seek a better future for their country must begin by combating the vicious monster head on, before it consumes them. (h/t messy1a)
Netanyahu to Palestinians: When you want peace, let us know
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the Palestinian Authority on Monday, saying that its threat to dissolve and the ruling Fatah faction’s efforts to forge unity with Hamas indicate a lack of desire for peace.
“Today, we saw the Palestinian Authority speak of dismantling itself and also talking about unity with Hamas,” the premier told revelers at a Mimouna celebration in Or Akiva. “They should decide – either dissolve, or enter into a union with Hamas. When they want peace, they should let us know. Because we want a genuine peace.”



Abbas’s Latest Bluff Shouldn’t Scare Israel
The latest instance of this effort is the report that Abbas is planning not only to return to the United Nations for a pyrrhic pursuit of international recognition but also is thinking about formally dissolving the PA and ending its security cooperation with Israel. In theory, this would present an enormous challenge to the Israelis. They have no appetite for directly administering the West Bank, which is, contrary to the constant talk about Israeli “occupation,” under the rule of the PA. At the same time, they also benefit from cooperation with Abbas’s large security forces to help keep the peace in the area and stop terrorism.
But in spite of these problems this is a bluff Israel should call. As much as there is good reason to worry about would happen if the PA did disappear, Abbas and his corrupt Fatah administration have far more to lose from such a decision than even the Israelis.
Dismantle the Palestinian Authority? Not likely
At least three Palestinian threats have become a recurrent ritual, repeating themselves every few months: (1) the resignation of Mahmoud Abbas from the presidency of the Palestinian Authority; (2) the resignation of top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat from his post (a step he has already taken countless times throughout his illustrious career, and yet there he remains); and (3) the dissolution of the Palestinian Authority.
So first it should be made clear: A scenario in which the Palestinian Authority is dissolved is possible, but its probability is low, very low. The discussion in recent days over the possibility of the PA being dismantled has been held mainly in the Israeli media, with little to no presence in the discourse of the Palestinian media and among PA leaders.
Palestinians deny considering dismantling PA if talks fail
“No Palestinian is speaking of an initiative to dismantle the Palestinian Authority,” chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP. ”But Israel’s actions have annulled all the legal, political, security, economic and operational aspects of the prerogatives of the Palestinian Authority.”
Senior PA official and Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub said publicity surrounding the threat to dismantle the PA was “nonsense” and the prospect was unfeasible. He told Israel Radio that negotiations should continue, and said that even the radical Hamas movement, with which Fatah has been seeking to mend ties, has a “pragmatic wing willing to live with a Palestinian state along the 1967 lines.” (h/t Jewess)
PA Officials Deny Threats to Disband, Say it's 'Israeli Plot'
But now, several PA officials have denied the reports, and claim that Israel is orchestrating the "plot" to see the PA dismantled.
"Now, [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu has said the PA must choose between self-destruction or reconciliation with Hamas," an anonymous PA source told Ma'ariv Tuesday, accusing Netanyahu of "wanting the PA to be put in formaldehyde."
"The inventor of the idea that 'disbanding [the PA] is optional, is Israel itself," PA spokesman Adnan Damari claimed to Ma'an Tuesday, "[in order] to cause confusion on the PA's streets and to pressure the PA [into talks]." Damiri added that the PA was created "out of the Palestinian struggle and not as charity from Israel and the US."
Palestinian official dismisses US threats to cut aid if Abbas dissolves PA
Following reports over the weekend that the government in Ramallah could dismantle itself as a result of Israeli "intransigence," US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki warned on Monday that such a move would have implications - including financial - for relations between Washington and the PA.
Veteran Fatah leader Qadura Fares told Army Radio that officials in Ramallah were not overly concerned about the American warnings, as the main concern of the Palestinian "struggle" was the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and not the procurement of money from the international arena.
Palestinians issue list of demands for extension of peace talks
Amin Maqboul, a member of the Fatah revolutionary council, told the Palestinian newspaper al-Quds that the Palestinian Authority would agree to an extension of negotiations if Israel agreed to: announce the basis on which future talks will be held; draw the outline of the borders of a Palestinian state within the next three months; halt settlement construction; withdraw Israeli troops from the West Bank’s Area C to the lines held before the Second Intifada; release the fourth wave of prisoners that it has until now refused to set free; end what he called “disruptions” in Jerusalem, and open Palestinian institutions in the city.
Brandeis University's Anti-Israel Ethics Center
The ethics center of Brandeis University, widely criticized for its unceremonious withdrawal of an offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has a record of promoting messages deeply critical of Israel.
The center's International Advisory Board is chaired by Richard Goldstone, famous for his 2009 Goldstone Report that accused Israeli Defense Forces of having committed crimes against humanity during the Gaza War. Back in 2013, the ethics center was compelled to remove Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, president of Palestinian university Al-Quds, ​ from its advisory board after information surfaced of a "demonstration on the Al-Quds campus that included banners depicting images of 'martyred' suicide bombers and Nazi-style salutes."
Also in 2013, the center hosted Neil Hertz, Professor Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University, who gave a lecture titled "Pastoral in Palestine" which falsely accused the Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff of deliberately inflaming Jewish hatred of Palestinians because a published photo showed him giving a Passover Haggadah to two child survivors of a terrorist attack. Hertz insinuated the gift "inappropriate" because it was "symbolic" and meant to remind the surviving children that the Palestinians are the enemy, and that Israel has always overcome its enemies.
My debate challenge to Vassar pro-boycott faculty
Based on what I observed as an outsider, there didn’t seem to be any pro-Israel faculty voice on campus willing to take on publicly the BDS movement and supportive faculty. Even Hillel was silent, since it’s now an “Open Hillel” including anti-Zionists.
So I began to look for someone to sponsor a talk and/or debate by me at Vassar to present the pro-Israel side. The Vassar Moderate Independent Conservative Alliance (MICA) agreed to do so, as a debate challenge from me to the 39 Vassar professors who signed the pro-boycott letter.
The event will take place on May 5 starting at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.
Any or all of the 39 Vassar faculty members are welcome to debate me. All I insist on is equal time cumulatively. If none of the 39 Vassar faculty agree to debate, I will give a lecture on why the academic boycott of Israel should be opposed.
National Union of Journalists Rejects Israel Boycott
Just before HonestReporting went on Passover break, Britain’s National Union of Journalists voted against a controversial motion to support the BDS movement and boycott Israeli goods.
Judging from an NUJ statement, the prevailing reason for the rejection is that a boycott would make it more difficult for journalists to cover Israel.
The correct, more honorable reason to oppose this motion is much simpler, as I argued when the motion first hit the NUJ agenda. It’s okay for journalists to have their own views on Israel. But journalists who actively support BDS cross a line. They go from being neutral observers to active participants in the events they cover. That’s journalism with zero credibility. Period.
Is BDS Actually Helping Israel?
The BDS movement has become so toxic, many of the most desirable targets of BDS campaigns are distancing themselves from the movement, according to Eric Alterman, a columnist for the progressive magazine The Nation.
In an otherwise scathing critique of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s peace efforts, Alterman claimed that right-wing Israelis “take advantage” of the international distaste for the BDS movement to escape pressure to make concessions:
Anti-Conservative Eliminationist Theorist exonerates anti-Zionist Conspiracy Theorist
SPLC writer Dave Neiwert defends Max Blumenthal, with whom he co-authored anti-Palin hit piece in 2008
While I don’t agree with the politicization of the Hatewatch list — which includes critics of Islamists and Islamic extremism — at least SPLC could be consistent. If SPLC had any institutional intellectual integrity, it would include the anti-Zionist BDS movement on its Hatewatch list, as it daily spews the types of falsehoods about Israeli (see Jewish) control and money. And such polemics inspire people like Glenn Miller, even if they do not make the authors responsible for murder.
What a strange thing SPLC has become. It assigned an anti-conservative eliminationist conspiracy theorist to vet an anti-Zionist conspiracy theorist.
How far SPLC has fallen.
The BDS smokescreen
My own belief is that the BDS people and their fellow travellers, whatever their background, are anti-Semites. They do all they can to stigmatize the Jewish state and reduce its ability to defend itself. They know that Israel is surrounded by neighbours who will never recognize its existence, much less sign a treaty developed in a “peace process” quarterbacked by Washington. The Palestinians and the Arab states who claim to support them are not hoping for a more generous Israel or a BDS-approved Israel or an Israel willing to hand over the West Bank. They are working for a day when Israel will be gone forever.
In order to satisfy this generation’s anti-Semites, Israel must meet standards that no other country in the world has ever met or ever will. At the United Nations Israel is condemned more often than all other countries combined.
It is, of course, an imperfect democracy, like Canada and all other free countries, and its human rights record could certainly be improved. But its treatment of Palestinians has never been even remotely comparable to China’s oppression of Tibetans or Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, two among many outrageous practices that apparently never trouble the students who direct their anger at Israel.
In devising their purposes the BDS campaigners have never shown even the beginning of a sense of proportion. It’s remarkable that the world needs a 29-year-old movie star to point this out.
Swedish politicians acknowledge anti-Semitism in the PA but will it change anything?
However the thing is that the Swedish politicians vote for the policies of the Swedish Church and they elect its officials, including the arch bishop. The arch bishop is who the politicians want her to be. The decision by the Church to adopt the anti-Semitic Kairos Palestina document was a bipartisan decision in which the Centre party and independent liberals (FiSK) were actively pro.
The only Swedish parties in the Church that have condemned BDS against Israel are the Christian Democrats and the Sweden Democrats and to some degree some independent right wing politicians.
Now when it is clear that Swedish politicians are aware of anti-Semitism in the PA, an authority they support and when it is clear that traditionally leftist rhetoric has infected the centric and liberal rightwing parties in Sweden: What to do? (h/t peterthehungarian)
US Supreme Court to re-examine 'born in Jerusalem' passport case
Confronting an issue fraught with Middle East politics, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear for the second time a passport dispute centering on whether Americans born in Jerusalem may list their place of birth as Israel.
The court said Monday it will review a lower court ruling that struck down a 2002 law that authorized identifying Jerusalem as part of Israel on U.S. passports. The law was passed over the objection of former President George W. Bush, and the lower court said the law impermissibly infringed on the president's power to recognize foreign governments. The Obama administration has taken the same position as its predecessor.
IAF bombs terror sites in Gaza after tense morning
The air force bombed terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip on Monday following a Palestinian attack on ground forces and rocket attacks on southern Israeli communities.
Although some damage was reported in Sderot, no one was hurt by the rockets.
Fighter jets struck three targets accurately and returned to base, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said.
Reuters cited medical sources in Gaza as saying Israel’s strikes lightly wounded two Hamas gunmen.
Defense Minister Warns Hamas: Keep Gaza Calm - Or Else
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon strongly condemned Hamas's attacks on Israel during the post-Passover mimouna celebrations on Monday night, and vowed the IDF's continued defense of Israeli citizens.
"Even today, our enemies rise up to destroy us," he said at a mimouna celebration in Modi'in, paraphrasing the Passover haggadah, "and we see that the IDF responded immediately, to send a message to the other side: this will not be overlooked."
Hamas tells Israel it does not seek escalation
Hamas on Monday sent calming messages to Israel, stressing that it was not interested in a violent escalation in the Gaza Strip and that it was not behind a barrage of rockets fired into Israel in the morning, Channel 10 reported.
Israeli military officials told said they believed another terror group was behind the attack, seeking to cause a clash between Israel and Hamas. The officials said Israel was also not interested in escalating the situation.
Monday’s attack was seen in Israel as an effort to impede upon the second holiday of Passover which took place on Monday.
Jordan slams Israel over Temple Mount violence
Jordanian officials protested what they called a “gross breach of international law and of the peace agreement between the two nations.”
They accused Israel of allowing extremist Israeli Jews to enter the compound and of attacking Muslim worshippers at the al-Aqsa mosque.
The Jordanians said they placed full responsibility on Israel for maintaining security and peace in the Temple Mount. (h/t Bob Knot)
Abbas calls Holocaust ‘single greatest tragedy in modern-day history’
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the Holocaust the “single greatest tragedy in modern-day history” during a meeting with a visiting American rabbi in Ramallah on Sunday.
According to Rabbi Marc Schneier of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, a Jewish-Muslim interfaith group, Abbas agreed to make a public declaration on behalf of Holocaust-remembrance efforts around the world, as well as to speak out against attempts to ban circumcision and ritual slaughter in several European countries.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: "Prisoners Day"
While the Palestinian Authority is calling on the international community to punish Israel for imprisoning Palestinians, its own security forces continue to hold hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians in prison, some tortured, some without trial.
This year alone, the Palestinian Authority has arrested 357 Palestinians accused of security/political offenses, 42 of whom are university students.
Of course, the arrests continue to be ignored by the mainstream media in the West. This is a story that does not reflect negatively on Israel, so is therefore not considered worthy of being reported to Western audiences. (h/t Bob Knot)
Fatah officials set to head to Gaza for unity talks
Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told Ma'an that he is optimistic about the upcoming talks and believes they will likely yield results.
As a gesture to the PA, Hamas said they will release ten 'Fatah-affiliated' prisoners, signalling warming ties between the factions.
"We are going to Gaza not to propose new suggestions, but rather to carry out a clear mission which is to end the state of disagreement and address three decisive issues," al-Ahmad said.
Israel is monstrous mosque-eating soldier
One of the libels continuously repeated by the PA is that Israel is planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and everything else on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem - in order to build what the PA refers to as the "alleged Temple."
Official PA TV reiterated this libel when it broadcast on its show Circle of Events a cartoon from the Jordanian newspaper Al-Dustur, which depicts Israel as a monstrous soldier gorging on the Dome of the Rock Mosque, while a Hamas activist holding a flag with the word "Land" and a Fatah activist holding a flag with the word "Day" commemorate the Palestinian Land Day. [Official PA TV, March 30, 2014]
Similarly, on the same day, Chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestinian National Council (the legislative body of the PLO) Khaled Mismar accused Israel of scheming to tear down the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

US Synagogue network urges Jews not to walk home alone
The National Council of Young Israel has urged US synagogue-goers not to walk home alone during the final days of Passover.
The security precaution is one of several emailed to those affiliated with the national modern-Orthodox synagogue network last week in response to last Sunday’s shooting attacks at Jewish communal institutions in Overland Park, Kansas.
KC shooting suspect said world should be rid of Jews
Frazier Glenn Miller, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Cross, called the American Friends of Kiev hotline on March 30 and spoke with Rabbi Menachem Siegal, director of the United Jewish Communities of Eastern Europe and Asia, the New York Post reported Saturday.
Miller attacked Siegal for raising money for Jews who he said “cause all of the problems” and “destroyed the whole economy in the United States and the world,” Siegal told the Post. He also said, according to Siegal, that “Hitler should have finished off the job in Europe by coming to the United States and getting rid of every Jew.
Mayor resigns over support of Kansas killer’s views
Marionville Mayor Dan Clevenger offered his resignation at a special Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday night; the resignation was effective at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.
The aldermen had voted 4-1 to start impeachment proceedings against the mayor.
Residents who attended the meeting overwhelmingly called for his resignation or impeachment.
Hidden in a 74-Year-Old Newreel about Palestine: The Foundations of What Would Be the State of Israel
We were intrigued by one 8-minute silent film entitled Peasant Farmer Plugs Field With Bullocks, 1940.
The film open with an Arab peasant tilling his field with a primitive plow. But after that 10-second segment the films shows Jewish settlers building a new community in the Galilee, Jewish farmers plowing and irrigating their fields, a street scene in what appears to be Tel Aviv, Jews praying at the Western Wall, doctors and students on Mt. Scopus' Hadassah Hospital and Hebrew University. There are also segments showing the Arab shuk and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount.
We invite readers to identify the location of the "barn raising" photo above and to "plow" through other films to find noteworthy scenes.

Commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day With the IDF on the Internet
In a few days, we will commemorate the memory of the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust and the bravery of all those who stood up against Nazi barbarism. This year, the IDF is putting together a special social media project. With your help, we will pay tribute to Holocaust survivors across various social networks.
With three simple steps, you will be able to contribute to Holocaust remembrance. Post a photo of yourself together with a Holocaust survivor on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #WeAreHere. Also be sure to include his or her name, age, and place of residence.
We will then create an index of all of the photos you tagged, and build an interactive map according to location. This will contribute to commemorating those who were lost, and produce a dynamic memorial to those who remain across the globe.


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