Sunday, January 18, 2015

From Ian:

Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam
In 2007, as part of this playbook, the OIC launched the Islamophobia Observatory, a watchdog group based in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, with the goal of documenting slights against the faith. Its first report, released the following year, complained that the artists and publishers of controversial Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad were defiling “sacred symbols of Islam . . . in an insulting, offensive and contemptuous manner.” The honor brigade began calling out academics, writers and others, including former New York police commissioner Ray Kelly and administrators at a Catholic school in Britain that turned away a mother who wouldn’t remove her face veil.
“The OIC invented the anti-‘Islamophobia’ movement,” says Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a frequent target of the honor brigade. “These countries . . . think they own the Muslim community and all interpretations of Islam.”
Alongside the honor brigade’s official channel, a community of self-styled blasphemy police — from anonymous blogs such as LoonWatch.com and Ikhras.com to a large and disparate cast of social-media activists — arose and began trying to control the debate on Islam. This wider corps throws the label of “Islamophobe” on pundits, journalists and others who dare to talk about extremist ideology in the religion. Their targets are as large as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and as small as me.
The official and unofficial channels work in tandem, harassing, threatening and battling introspective Muslims and non-Muslims everywhere. They bank on an important truth: Islam, as practiced from Malaysia to Morocco, is a shame-based, patriarchal culture that values honor and face-saving from the family to the public square. Which is why the bullying often works to silence critics of Islamic extremism.
“Honor brigades are wound collectors. They are couch jihadis,” Joe Navarro, a former supervisory special agent in the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, tells me. “They sit around and collect the wounds and injustices inflicted against them to justify what they are doing. Tragedy unites for the moment, but hatred unites for longer.”
Douglas Murray: 'Religion of peace' is not a harmless platitude
This is a problem with Islam — one that Muslims are going to have to work through. They could do so by a process which forces them to take their foundational texts less literally, or by an intellectually acceptable process of cherry-picking verses. Or prominent clerics could unite to declare the extremists non-Muslim. But there isn’t much hope of this happening. Last month, al-Azhar University in Cairo declared that although Isis members are terrorists they cannot be described as heretics.
We have spent 15 years pretending things about Islam, a complex religion with competing interpretations. It is true that most Muslims live their lives peacefully. But a sizeable portion (around 15 per cent and more in most surveys) follow a far more radical version. The remainder are sitting on a religion which is, in many of its current forms, a deeply unstable component. That has always been a problem for reformist Muslims. But the results of ongoing mass immigration to the West at the same time as a worldwide return to Islamic literalism means that this is now a problem for all of us. To stand even a chance of dealing with it, we are going to have to wake up to it and acknowledge it for what it is.
Abbas’ terror-hypocrisy continues - Fatah praises killers of 8
Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas’ Fatah movement continues to glorify killers of Israelis as “heroes” and “Martyrs.”
On Jan. 17, 2002, terrorist Abd Al-Salam Hassouna shot and killed 6 and wounded dozens at a bat-mitzvah celebration in Hadera. Anticipating the anniversary of this “heroic operation” and the killer’s “Martyrdom-death,” Fatah posted a photo of the murderer holding a rifle and praised him and other “Martyrs” as “torches on the path to victory and freedom”:
“With an M16 he opened fire on many Zionists, killed 9 and injured dozens, until his rifle jammed. Our Martyrs are torches on the path to victory and freedom.”
[Facebook, “Fatah - the Main Page,” Jan. 15, 2015]


Howard Jacobson examines the fanaticism of Glenn Greenwald
Those who have followed our posts fisking the extremist commentary of former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald will likely enjoy a recent meditation by critically acclaimed writer Howard Jacobson which examines Greenwald and the issue of ideological fanaticism.
Here’s an excerpt from the essay, which was published in The Independent on Jan. 16th:
So how fare our investigations into what makes someone want to kill cartoonists? (I’m assuming we know why they want to kill Jews.) Maybe, before pondering the education of a jihadist, we should ask a prior question: what makes a fanatic? We were given some insight into this on Newsnight earlier this week when Evan Davis, growing nicely into his job, interviewed the lawyer, journalist and associate of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald – a man strikingly deficient in the musculature necessary to essay a smile. The subject was surveillance and David Cameron’s call for more of it. There are, I accept, differing views on this. I, for example, am for having every member of the human family watched day and night by every possible means because the human family is currently dysfunctional and can’t be trusted. But I understand why others don’t think as I do. This puts me in a different category of person from Greenwald, who allows no beliefs that conflict with his and attributes those that do to a cowardly subservience to authority. Leading Greenwald with expert gentleness into the gated hell that is his mind, Davis put the case for differing viewpoints. Nothing could have been more instructive than Greenwald’s dead expression – his mouth fixed in the rigor mortis of absolute conviction, his eyes unanimated by the pleasure of conversation or the excitement of controversy. Doubt honours a man, but this was the face of someone whom no ghost of a second thought dares visit. No consciousness of absurdity either. As for the humanity whose civil rights he champions with such icy rigidity, for that he had nothing but contempt. We are merely, if we don’t think what he thinks, the playthings of the powerful. This is the terrifying paradox of zealotry: no one hates humanity more than those who believe they know what’s best for it. I don’t, I must say, see Greenwald launching rockets any time soon. The ideologue is still a long way from being the terrorist. These, though, are the first steps. Expelling doubt. Refusing contrariety. Hating play. Making oneself the human equivalent of a weapon, implacable, well-aimed, reduced to a single function.

Howard Jacobson: I live in terror of the fanatic who has only read one story, whether he’s an Islamist murderer or Glenn Greenwald
Palestinian protesters throw eggs, shoes, at Canadian FM in Ramallah
Palestinian protesters heckled and threw eggs at Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird during a visit to the West Bank on Sunday, denouncing Ottawa's diplomatic support for Israel.
Baird was not hit, but one of the eggs smacked onto the roof of his car after a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart at the Foreign Ministry in Ramallah.
Several dozen Palestinian special forces armed with machine guns and riot gear made no effort to confront the egg-throwers among a crowd of about 100 protesters.
"You're not welcome," the demonstrators shouted at Baird.
Canada was among a handful of countries that voted against Palestinians' bid to become a non-member state at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. This month, Baird called a Palestinian move to join the International Criminal Court "concerning and dangerous".
Canada's foreign minister egged in Ramallah by protesters (h/t Yenta Press)

Why political Islam is winning
According to Hill, “Political Islam’s very purpose is not only to be incompatible with modernity, but also to oppose it, demolish it and replace it in every regard,” first in the Middle East and then in Europe and beyond.
Democracy, for Islamists, is an abomination and so are human rights, the acquisition and exchange of knowledge, diversity of opinions and freedoms for women.
Significantly, Islamism also rejects the established order of states and national borders. On all relevant issues, the writer concludes, “political Islam stands in stark opposition to the established modern world order.”
Hill claims political Islam is “winning” because the intelligentsia, i.e. the politically influential (and often self-styled) intellectuals in the West “began to declare that the building blocks of the [Western] system – the state, sovereignty, defense, etc. – were outmoded concepts” and hence, by implication, not worth defending.
EU "considering a ban on Islamophobia" after Paris attacks
Diplomatic and NGO sources in Brussels say that the European Union is now considering proposals from Muslim groups to strengthen laws against "hate speech" following the fatal attacks in Paris at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Jewish Supermarket.
The proposals are based on fears that the attacks by Islamists could provoke a backlash against Europe's growing Muslim community, leaders of which uniformly condemned the killings, while simultaneously protesting against denigration of Muhammed.
Mainstream Muslim leaders have close contacts with the European Union and its related institutions, as do the leaders of other faith groups.
The sources, consulted in the last two days, who insisted upon anonymity, said that senior EU officials were sympathetic to calls for libel and hate-speech laws to be strengthened, but were sceptical of getting support from member governments or from the European Parliament where Right-leaning parties increased their presence at last year's European elections.
Europe: "Je Suis Charlie"? Maybe. "Je Suis Juif"? Not Really.
To call for an end to Israel, or to its sovereignty, is now, more glaringly than ever, to call for an end to the Jews.
The four people gunned down in Paris on January 9 had not even been buried yet -- four men murdered by a Muslim terrorist just for being Jews -- when Amsterdam's pro-Palestinian student group demanded an academic boycott against Israel.
Not that they are anti-Semitic -- not a bit, insists Studenten for Rechtvaardig Palestina [SRP], which models itself on the American Students for Justice in Palestine, an organization that accuses Israel of genocide. A leader of the group, Sarah (who would not give her last name to reporters, she said, for fear of reprisals), declared, rather, "I find anti-Semitism terrible. We are against it, and we said so from our first informational meeting. I find Israel as bad as IS," she continued, "and I am Muslim myself."
Comparing Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East and a country regularly subjected to terrorist attacks, to the Islamic State would be surreal under any circumstances; but even more so when four European Jews have just been killed by Muslims, and when IS has not only applauded their murders but called on Muslims everywhere to commit more.
But it is not, it turns out, inexplicable.
State of denial in the West
Millions of people may have marched through the streets of Paris and other major French cities, but it does not change the stark reality.
Though the terrorists who slaughtered journalists at Charlie Hebdo and Jews at a kosher supermarket were killed, the terrorists have the last word.
The world media got the message. Henceforth it will carefully censor itself under strict Muslim scrutiny. No more freedom of the press for the West. The new issue of Charlie Hebdo was mentioned on major television channels, such as BBC, SKY NEWS, CNN and others – but they all carefully refrained from showing the picture of Muhammad, which took the whole of the front page of that issue.
Only a few – a very few papers – did reproduce that page. And yet the representation of the prophet was in no way disrespectful.
Belgian terror cell head reportedly arrested, with Mossad's help
Western Europe was on high terror alert over the weekend while Belgian authorities quietly cracked down on dormant terror cells, making additional arrests. Belgian authorities reported that the Israeli Mossad and the American FBI were involved in intelligence efforts to capture the leader of a Belgian terror cell uncovered in the city of Verviers last week.
On Saturday, the efforts bore fruit when Greek authorities detained four terrorism suspects, including a man believed to be the ringleader of a Belgian jihadi cell. The high-ranking terrorist Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a 27-year-old Brussels resident of Moroccan descent, reportedly fled to Greece when the cell was uncovered. In the past, during a stay in Syria, Abaaoud was featured in propaganda videos distributed by ISIS.
Abaaoud's arrest was the culmination of an operation in which more than 30 suspects were arrested in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Greece.
Belgian media reported that the cell allegedly planned to attack Belgian police or military officials. The terrorists were found in possession of police and military uniforms in addition to bombs and weapons.
ONE Cartoon Has Sent Muslims Into Christian-Murdering Rage In Niger
Violence erupted throughout Niger Saturday during the second day of protests against a cartoon that caricatured the Muslim prophet Muhammad — resulting in church arson and the deaths of several people.
Reuters reports that “stone-throwing Muslim youths” clashed with police, torched churches and looted stores during riots in the capital city of Niamey. It is unclear how many churches were attacked in Niamey. Two churches were burned in the city of Maradi and one was burned in Goure.
Niger’s second largest city, Zinder, also experienced a wave of anti-Christian violence Saturday as rioters invaded churches and the homes of Christian residents. A charred body was found in a local Catholic Church after protesters left the premises.
At least ten people were killed in the cities of Niamey and Zinder on Saturday, most of them civilians.
Top UK official urges fresh action against anti-Semitism
Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May has urged fresh action to combat anti-Semitism amid fears in the Jewish community following the terror attacks in Paris, as the country’s former chief rabbi said anxiety among Britain’s Jews was at a “record high within my lifetime.”
May said Sunday the hostage siege on the Jewish supermarket was a chilling reminder of anti-Semitic prejudice.
Speaking at a commemoration for attack victims, May said that she “never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom.”
May said efforts to combat anti-Semitism must be redoubled because Jews are integral to Britain.
“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain — without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”
A job half done and how apologists completed the work of the terrorists in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre
Take a bow Mehdi Hasan, George Galloway, Nesrine Malik, Myriam Francois-Cerrah. Bravo Asghar Bukhari, Seumus Milne, Ibrahim Mogra, Tony Barber, Nabila Ramdani. and every other apologist who started even before the bodies of the murdered grew cold. I wonder if the Kouachi brothers knew they could count on you and the “BUT” brigade to complete their mission.
The Charlie Hebdo massacre was not a direct result of Muslims being offended- although this was the superficial reason given by the terrorists. Nonetheless that’s where you have chosen to focus the discussion. In fact until the slaughter most Muslims had not even heard of Charlie Hebdo. When the terrorists carried out their attack last week, they knew they were making the magazine world famous. They were willing to lay down their lives to do this.
The attack was an attack on the freedom of expression in the West. On France’s ability to ridicule one and all and not be bound to pay respect to any religion, ideology or individuals- including Islam and its figures. This is what galled the terrorists and continues to disturb and anger Islamists. The blasphemy and apostasy laws in place in Muslim countries are undeniable proof of this. The attacks were not revenge for the depiction of prophet as it’s now being presented- but an all out offensive on the foundation of our freedoms and human rights.
Attacks challenge ‘lone wolf’ terrorist theory
Every terrorist that has attempted or carried out attacks in the West in recent years — down to the Kouachi brothers who struck the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris this month — has had some level of ties to extremist groups engaged in global jihad, according to experts.
For Jean-Pierre Filiu, of Sciences Po university in Paris, the events in France and Belgium had shown “once again” that the idea of radicals acting in isolation was “an inane myth.”
“This largely fantastical figure is an intellectual creation that appeared in the United States as part of the Bush administration’s ‘global war on terror’ in 2001,” he argued.
Tunisians stage vigil for Paris victim
In what might be the first demonstration of solidarity with a murdered Jew in an Arab country, some 150 Tunisians staged a vigil for Yoav Hattab, 21, whose family still lives in Tunis. Several demonstrators criticised the 'disgraceful' silence of the Tunisian authorities.
About 150 people, including a number of Muslims, attended a memorial service Saturday night outside the Tunis Great Synagogue to honor the slain Yoav Hattab, Israel Radio reported. Hattab was the son of the city's chief rabbi ( the rabbi of the Great Synagogue - ed).
Participants lit candles and held up pictures of Hattab alongside Tunisian flags.
Some of those in attendance criticized their government's silence in the face of Hattab's death.
Hattab was killed on January 9 in an attack on the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris. He studied marketing in the city and worked in an office near the supermarket.
As Four Jews Buried, MSNBC's Ayman Mohyeldin Redirects Back to Palestinians
In a Jan. 13 broadcast about the funeral which included a discussion of the future of French Jewry, host Abby Hunstman asks: "Israel is also experiencing a rise in the return of Jews from all over Europe because of the broad rise of anti-Semitism across the EU. You’re in Israel. How is the migration being handled there?"
To which Mohyeldin responds:
Immigration from Europe particularly to Israel has always been a sensitive one given the history of Europe and what has happened there with the Jewish population. The Israeli government really affords a lot of resources to try to make that possible, to make it as easy as possible. The World Jewish Agency certainly plays a very important role in that. The issue of immigration to Israel always is a sensitive one here. The Israeli government says every Jew around the world is allowed and welcome to Israel, their ancestral homeland as they call it. But at the same time denies similar rights obviously to Palestinians born within Israel. And it is always seen from that perspective in this context. There is this tension when it comes to the issue of migration. But in terms of resources provided by the government the Israeli government really spares no effort to try to help individuals and families try to get on their feet once they arrive here in a performance that’s called “ali” and that’s the journey of coming here to Israel, to return here to Israel as the Jewish population calls it. (Emphasis added.)
In other words, according to Mohyeldin, when considering the flight of Europe's Jews in face of rising anti-Semitism, one must not lose perspective of the "context" of this sad story: Palestinians are the ultimate, perpetual victims.
Iranian paper shut over Clooney 'Je Suis Charlie' photo
An Iranian court has ordered the closure of a newspaper that published a picture of George Clooney wearing a badge backing French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which was attacked last week.
The Mardom e-Emruz (Today's People) newspaper ran a picture of the actor headlined "I'm Charlie too".
But conservative elements in Teheran were incensed by a catchphrase they regard as "anti-Islamic", BBC Middle East analyst Alan Johnston says.
Judges said the headline was "obscene".
No Teachable Moment as Jim Clancy Leaves CNN
With no mention of the events that presumably led to his demise, both CNN and Clancy have chosen to sweep it all under the carpet rather than address Clancy’s outburst. It’s not enough for CNN to do the right thing; the media organization has to be seen to be doing the right thing. That means a full and public explanation as to why Clancy’s Twitter meltdown was unacceptable for a prominent media personality.
Leaving CNN with what amounts to a ‘clean record’ gives Clancy every opportunity to revive his career at another media outlet (al Jazeera?).
While CNN may not have used this as a teachable moment, Jim Clancy’s removal is certainly a lesson in how force of numbers can have a tremendous impact. Between HonestReporting and a number of other concerned organizations, Clancy’s misdemeanor was exposed for all to see and led to a huge number of complaints to CNN.
Together we can make a difference. While CNN may not acknowledge it, with your help, Clancy has been held accountable for his unacceptable behavior.
PreOccupied Territory: We’re Pleased To Announce Jim Clancy Has Joined Stormfront (satire)
Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we call a win-win situation. Jim gets to throw off the liberal restraints that hobbled him for 34 years, and we benefit from the gravitas and experience of a renowned personality who spent decades in media. I urge all loyal citizens of this great White republic to make their satisfaction known.
Some will object that we cannot trust a man who spent so long in the clutches of the black-loving, freedom-hating, America-bashing mainstream media. But I say take a look at the way he went down – sparring with the Jews who control the media, including one so bold as to actually go by the name Elder of Zion! If that Twitter battle doesn’t show what Jim is made of, my friends, then we can’t trust anyone. Jim has the guts to stick it to the Zionist overlords even at the cost of his livelihood, and I respect that. I trust that. Any man willing to resort to accusations of “Hasbara” to avoid addressing his opponent’s point is a man of integrity in my book.
It was also important to secure Jim’s commitment before some other outfit snagged him. We all admire the truth that, for example, Press TV purveys, exposing the Jewish evil behind world events, and they would be in a good position to make him an attractive offer. We depend on the donations of our membership for our funding, whereas Al Jazeera, Press TV, the BBC, and other reliable, objective, anti-Jewish operations enjoy state backing. We should all be flattered that Jim thought of us first.
That he did speaks volumes about the confidence we should have in our efforts, and in the momentum we can now build. I’ve always said we have to build bridges with like-minded groups and individuals overseas, and Jim’s extensive contacts with kindred spirits in Gaza, Lebanon, and beyond will prove invaluable.
So please join me in welcoming and congratulating Jim Clancy. Let’s give him a rousing heil of applause.
Netanyahu slams ICC; Steinitz compares court decision to Dreyfus Affair
The International Criminal Court's decision to open a preliminary investigation against Israel for alleged war crimes will not deter Israel from doing what it needs to do to defend itself, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu, speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, said Israel will fight against the ICC moves with full force, and will enlist others to do so as well.
The issue is expected to be a major focus of Netanyahu’s discussion over the next two days with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visiting Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, and a visiting nine-member US Senate delegation headed by Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.
“We will defend Israel's right to defend itself, and not allow IDF soldiers to be tried by an international tribunal,” he said.
Netanyahu characterized the ICC’s decision to begin a preliminary investigation as the “height of hypocrisy and the opposite of justice.”
Israel urges allies to pull funds from ICC
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israel Radio that Jerusalem “will demand of our friends in Canada, in Australia and in Germany simply to stop funding it,” according to a Reuters report.
“This body represents no one. It is a political body,” Liberman said of the ICC. “There are a quite a few countries — I’ve already taken telephone calls about this — that also think there is no justification for this body’s existence.”
Liberman later met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird in Jerusalem and told him that the ICC probe was unjustified.
“It’s inconceivable that a terror organization is lodging a criminal petition against Israel,” he said. “Hamas used their own civilians as human shields while it fired rockets at Israel. The Palestinian Authority is making a mockery of International law.”
PA says it’ll drop war crimes suit if settlements frozen
A senior Palestinian official said Sunday that the first subject to be brought before the International Criminal Court at The Hague in the Palestinian Authority’s legal campaign against Israel would be settlement construction.
The official told The Times of Israel that land seizures in occupied territory constituted a clear violation of international law. Still, he noted that the appeal to the ICC would be withdrawn if Israel were to freeze settlement construction, and added that the Palestinian Authority had conveyed to Israel an official message to that effect, through Jordan and Egypt.
The official, a confidant of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, also threatened that security coordination with Israel would be curtailed if Jerusalem failed to transfer Palestinian tax money it has been withholding as a punitive measure over the PA’s ICC bid. “In the first stage [the cessation of security coordination] will entail a stop to arrests made by us,” he said. “We will only arrest those we decide to arrest.”
Palestinians preparing lawsuits against Israeli leaders who ordered destruction of Gaza homes
Palestinian officials are preparing cases to bring before the International Criminal Court against Israeli officials who ordered the destruction of residences in the Gaza Strip as well as other types of cases.
The home destruction files were being prepared along with lawsuits against those responsible for the confiscation of land and the building of settlements, Mustafa Barghouthi, a member of Fatah's Executive Committee told the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Sunday.
"The day will come when the government and the Israeli army commanders and all 650,000 settlers will be wanted in various countries around the world and will not be able to travel," Barghouti said.
"We will reach a day when the only line open to Israeli leaders is Tel Aviv to Washington, because the United States is the only country that does not apply the decisions of the International Criminal Court," he added.
PM: Forget Europe, We're Doing Business with Asia
With the International Criminal Court opening an investigation against Israel and anti-Semitic incidents becoming more frequent, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suggested Sunday that Israeli businesspeople change their focus from Western Europe to other areas. Such a change, he said at Sunday's cabinet meeting, would be an appropriate response to the ongoing “Islamization” and “anti-Zionist” positions countries in Europe are espousing, he said.
Instead, he said, Israel should concentrate its efforts on developing markets in the East – like in Japan, where Israeli companies were welcome, as evidenced by the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on a visit that began Sunday. “I am emphasizing markets in the East not in order to give up other markets, but we specifically want to reduce our dependence on certain markets in Western Europe,” Netanyahu said Sunday.
“Western Europe is undergoing a wave of Islamization, there is anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. We want to secure the future of Israel, by developing a variety of markets around the world,” Netanyahu added.
Report: IAF helicopter fires two missiles at Syrian Golan to thwart attack on Israel
Syrian sources said that Israeli helicopters fired two missiles into the Syrian Golan Heights on Sunday, the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Manar website reported.
AFP cited an Israeli security sources as saying the strike had targeted purported terrorists who were planning an attack on the Jewish state. Lebanese news portal el-Nashra reported that among those targeted in the strike was a senior Hezbollah commander.
The IDF said in response that it does not comment on foreign reports and Syrian state media did not mention the attack.
The missiles reportedly hit near Quneitra, not far from the border with Israel.
'ISIS in Palestine' cell members indicted in Haifa
The Haifa District Attorney’s Office on Sunday filed an indictment against seven Israeli Arabs, including a lawyer from Nazareth, for their role in attempting to set up a branch of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Israel.
The seven defendants allegedly were part of a plot to carry out terror attacks in Israel and target Druse Israelis, security personnel, and others, the Shin Bet said Sunday.
The defendants face charges of membership and activity in a banned organization (ISIS was banned by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon as of September), aiding a terror group and attempted contact with a foreign agent, for their plot to set up a branch of ISIS in Israel and eventually fight in Syria.
The seven defendants were arrested in a joint Shin Bet-Israel Police operation in November and December, but the case was kept under a gag order until the Haifa Court removed the order when the indictment was filed Sunday.
Terrorist Who Stabbed Two Policemen Indicted
Jerusalem's District Attorney filed an indictment Sunday against terrorist Musa Mohammed Ajlouni, 20, a resident of eastern Jerusalem.
Ajlouni is accused of carrying out the stabbing attack at a security checkpoint near the Lions Gate in Jerusalem last month. Two policemen were injured in the attack.
He is charged with two counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.
According to the indictment, Ajlouni intended to kill the two police officers by repeatedly stabbing their upper bodies, after having decided to carry out a terrorist act which would kill a police officer or an Israeli soldier and prompt his own "martyr's death."
Miss Lebanon denies taking photo with Miss Israel, says she 'photo-bombed' her
Miss Lebanon Saly Greige denied Saturday that she had deliberately taken a selfie with Miss Israel at the Miss Universe pageant.
Greige came under fire in Lebanon after Israel's contestant at the competition in Miami, Doron Matalon, posted a photo to her Instagram account, of herself, Miss Lebanon, Miss Japan and Miss Slovenia posing together.
The photo circulated on Lebanese social media, bringing a harsh backlash against Greige for posing with Israel's Matalon, the representative of an enemy state. Some called for her to lose her title over the photo.
Greige took to Facebook on Saturday, claiming that the Israeli contestant had photo-bombed her.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian university slams Hamas-linked students for instructional film on attacking Jews
The administration of the Palestinian Al-Quds University on Saturday condemned Hamas-affiliated students who made a film dramatizing the stabbing and shooting of Jews.
The short film, which was posted on YouTube, is an enactment of the murder of two Jews – a settler and a rabbi. The first is stabbed to death and the other shot by masked gunmen.
The film was produced by the Islamic Bloc student group, which is affiliated with Hamas.
In is statement, the Abu Dis-based university administration “deplored and strongly condemned the celebrating of acts of violence like killing civilians or religious figures.”
Arsonists torch car belonging to Palestinian prof. who led Auschwitz trip
The car belonging to Mohammed Dajani, the former Al-Quds University professor who led the first organized group trip of Palestinian university students to Auschwitz, was torched in Jerusalem over the weekend in an apparent arson.
Dajani posted pictures of the burned car to Facebook, with the caption: "Last night, my car was burned, and all I have to say is: Islam is my religion, and moderation is my doctrine and my way of life."
Dajani founded Wasatia, a social and political movement based on concepts of moderation, pluralism, democracy and justice that he found in the Quran, in 2007.
Dajani gained notoriety after the March 2014 trip, where he took 30 Palestinian students to Krakow and Auschwitz-Birkenau as part of a joint program on conflict resolution called “Hearts of Flesh – Not Stone” organized by Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany and funded by the German Research Foundation.
Anti-Israel Boycotters Lost at Modern Language Association, but Claim Victory Anyway
At the recent Modern Language Association (MLA) Convention in Vancouver, proponents of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement made a concerted effort to score an electoral victory for their anti-Israel campaign.
BDS and its supporters failed. I was present during the debate and votes at the Delegate Assembly, and the failure was clear.
Nonetheless BDS supporters have rushed to claim success, asserting that straw polls taken at the Delegate Assembly supported both BDS and Professor Steven Salaita (who is in a dispute with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
To make such claims requires misrepresentation of the facts of what happened. But facts matter, and a reasonable examination of the series of votes in Vancouver leads to the conclusion that BDS lost.
Report: Hezbollah Nearing Bankruptcy
Lebanese terror group Hezbollah is on the verge of bankruptcy, according to a report in Newsweek.
The terror group's financial troubles are a fallout from the dramatic slide in the price of oil, the report claimed. Hezbollah receives most of its funding from Iran, but Tehran - which is losing tens of millions weekly because of the lower prices for what is virtually its sole export - has been forced to cut allocations to “special projects,” like funding Hezbollah terrorism.
The magazine interviewed several Lebanese who claimed to be Hezbollah members, and complained that they had not been paid for several weeks. Others said that they were being denied medical care and pensions.
In addition, Hezbollah has less money in its “slush funds” to bribe politicians. According to the report, a Druze politician affiliated with the terror group saw his monthly “take” reduced from $60,000 to $20,000, while another's payoff was cut to $15,000 from $40,000.
Hezbollah chief says senior member was spying for Israel
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorist group confirmed on Thursday that a senior operative in the organization has been apprehended for spying for Israel.
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said the man in question held a senior position in a “sensitive” Hezbollah security unit and was detained five months ago.
“We consider this to be a very dangerous thing, and we are dealing with it with extreme sensitivity,” Nasrallah said during a three-hour interview with the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV station.
The confirmation comes weeks after local newspapers published unconfirmed reports that a high-level Hezbollah member had been spying for Israel, identifying the suspect as Mohammad Shorba. Nasrallah did not name the alleged spy.
Islamic State throws men off building for ‘being gay’
Islamic State has published disturbing pictures of what it says are the executions of two homosexual men in Iraq — shown being thrown off a high-rise rooftop to their deaths.
The organization has also released images of two men being crucified for theft, and a woman being stoned to death for infidelity.
The two men, accused of being gay, are seen being led to the edge of a tall building as a large crowd gathers below to watch. The men are then photographed falling through the air. A later photograph shows their broken bodies laying on the ground.
Additional photographs show two men accused of stealing as they are tied crucifix-style to a metal frame, their eyes blindfolded as a masked IS member reads the charges.
Swedes mark 70 years since Wallenberg’s disappearance
Nearly 200 people gathered in Stockholm on Saturday to light candles and mark the 70th anniversary of the disappearance of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews from the Holocaust.
“It’s important to be here and to remember, not only because he saved the lives of Jews, but also because he is a model of civic courage,” said Lisa Ronnback, 42, who attended the memorial with her daughter.
The commemoration was for “Raoul, and for all those who have made a difference,” said Michael Wernstedt, president of the Raoul Wallenberg Academy, a leadership program.
“These past weeks, events have shown that it’s important to defend democracy,” Wernstedt said, urging demonstrators to light a candle “for all those who spread light.”
The Auschwitz survivor who adopted the camp chief’s grandson
For a Holocaust survivor, meeting the offspring of one’s tormenters would be difficult enough. The prospect of developing a close friendship with them, even familial warmth, would seem utterly impossible.
Yet this is just the sort of unlikely relationship struck between a woman who was subjected to horrific Nazi medical experiments at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp, and the very grandson of that camp’s notorious commander, according to the Vice news website.
In 1944, at the age of ten, Romanian-born Eva Mozes Kor was captured by the Nazis and — along with her twin sister — was subjected to savage medical experiments at Auschwitz carried out by Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele. Mengele, who had a particular interest in twins in his work, is believed to have victimized approximately 1,500 pairs throughout the war. Only around 200 of those pairs survived.
Critically wounded Gaza war vet to kick off triathlon
An IDF soldier who was mortally wounded in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge last summer, will leave his hospital bed to launch the Israman triathlon on January 30, Israeli media reported Sunday.
While serving in the IDF’s elite Egoz reconnaissance unit, Ohad Ben-Yishai, 20, received critical shrapnel wounds to the head during the July 19-20 battle of Shejaiya, on the outskirts of Gaza City.
The battle saw 13 soldiers killed by Hamas gunmen, including seven who were trapped in an outmoded armored personnel carrier that was hit by an anti-tank missile. Many of the casualties belonged the IDF’s Golani Brigade.
Ben-Yishai is undergoing a process of rehabilitation in a hospital in central Israel, and is still paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
His father, Shimon Ben-Yishai, will participate in the triathlon and said that after months of intensive care his son will cheer him on from the sidelines, marking perhaps a return to a semblance of the normalcy that they knew before the war.


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