Wednesday, January 21, 2015

From Ian:

“I Am Nisman”
Nisman had been building the case against Iran and Hezbollah for their involvement in the AMIA bombing since 2005. In May 2013, he issued a lengthy indictment charging one Lebanese Hezbollah operative and seven Iranians, including former President Akbar Rafsanjani, with involvement in the attack. One of the Iranians indicted, Mohsen Rezaei, is currently a high official in the Iranian government, while others have served it in diplomatic and military capacities. The indictment came only months after the Kirchner government entered a controversial agreement with the Iranian government agreeing to establish a “Truth Commission” to examine the AMIA bombing.
At the time, President Cristina Kirchner hailed the agreement as a historic one that “guarantees the right to due process of law, a fundamental principle of international criminal law.” It would have allowed five judges (none Argentine or Iranian) to question those allegedly involved in the bombing, offering effective immunity for the perpetrators. Last year, an Argentine federal court barred the implementation of the agreement and ordered the courts to reinstate all extradition orders against the suspects in the bombing.
This is why Argentines are taking to the streets demanding, “Enough with the lies.” It is not simply because the Argentine government dragged its feet in investigating the bombing two decades ago, and it is not because justice has been so woefully delayed in this case. It is because Alberto Nisman, the principal champion of the truth in this sordid affair, stood ready to present evidence that the Kirchner government attempted to trade impunity for oil, and he paid for it with his life.
Initial reports detected no gunpowder residue on Nisman’s hand. The only note found in his apartment seems to have been one he left for his housekeeper: a shopping list for the coming week. Friends, colleagues, and journalists alike report that Nisman did not appear to be suicidal. Yet he did appear to be aware that his days were numbered. “I might come out of this dead,” he told reporters on several occasions. One can only hope that in the weeks and months to come, the people of Argentina continue to pressure their government for the truth, uncompromised and uncorrupted by deals with criminals.
Argentine Hostel Popular With Israelis Targeted in Violent Antisemitic Attack
A group of Israeli tourists has been forced to leave a hostel in Lago Puelo, a national park in Argentina’s Patagonia region, following a violent antisemitic attack which left ten people injured.
Argentine newspaper Clarín reported that three assailants carried out the attack against the Onda Azul hostel, which is popular with Israeli backpackers. Sergio Polak, the owner of the hostel, said, “There were several hours of terror. They shouted, ‘f***ing Jews, you are stealing Patagonia.’”
Israeli website 0404 reported that there were no casualties among the Israeli group, comprised of youngsters who have just completed their army service. However, Polak confirmed that there had been “serious damage” to his property and that the assailants had also stolen the belongings of several guests.
In a separate radio interview, Polak said that the assailants were locals and had been identified. He added that this was not the first time that his hostel had been the target of an antisemitic attack, noting that two cabins had been burned down during the Jewish holiday period in October last year by an assailant who threw a Molotov cocktail. Polak also said that INADI, Argentina’s official anti-discrimination body, had received several complaints in recent weeks concerning antisemitic behavior and attitudes on the part of several local hoteliers and businesses.
Another hostel popular with Israelis in the town of Bariloche, also in Patagonia, was targeted by local antisemites last year, who warned the owners not to accept Israeli tourists. In 2012, the Chabad House in Bariloche, another popular hangout for Israelis, was targeted three times in a single month.
Orim Shimshon: Moderate Muslim mask slips and reveals Jew hatred
FYI: Orim is talking about Ammar Nakshawani, described in Wikipedia as:
"Ammar Nakshawani (born 1981) is a British Iraqi Islamic historian, lecturer, and author. He is listed as one of the The 500 Most Influential Muslims, and is the youngest person on the list at the age of 32. He is one of the most discussed English language Shia speakers in the world today."




JPost Editorial: The AMIA probe
Argentinean president Nestor Kirchner, Cristina Kirchner’s late husband, said the failure to prosecute those responsible for the AMIA attack was a “national disgrace.” The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, was among those who signed a petition 10 years ago calling for justice, but to no avail.
Iran has ruthlessly used a combination of intimidation and economic benefits to influence policy decisions in countries such as Argentina. The AMIA bombing and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, in which 29 people were killed and 242 were wounded, were in retaliation for then-president Carlos Menem’s decision – as part of a wider reorientation toward the West – to terminate training of Iranian nuclear technicians in Argentina and the transfer of nuclear technology to Iran.
Menem admitted after the AMIA bombing that he feared for his life. Nisman, who had over the years received his own share of death threats from the Iranians, blamed Menem for not doing enough to pursue investigations.
The strong-arm tactics of Iran’s mullahs are well known. The CIA estimates that between 1989 and 1996, the Hezbollah network carried out 200 serious attacks around the world killing hundreds of people. Today Iran is expanding its influence by involving itself in nearly every conflict in the region, from Yemen to Iraq to Syria.
The Islamic Republic has succeeded in wreaking havoc and exerting influence through purely conventional means. Imagine what it would be capable of doing if it gets nuclear weapons.
Iran must be prevented from obtaining nuclear weapons while at the same time, the AMIA investigation must be carried out thoroughly until its conclusion.
Alberto Nisman Death: Argentine Investigators Discover Unidentified Finger and Footprints in Passageway Connected to Apartment
Argentine investigators have discovered unidentified finger and footprints in an outdoor passageway connected to the apartment of Alberto Nisman, the State Prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, who was found dead in his bathroom from a gunshot wound on Sunday.
While the Argentine government insists Nisman’s death was a suicide, evidence has emerged over the last two days which casts doubt on that claim. In the latest intriguing development in the case, the newspaper El Littoral reported that investigators had found a third point of access into Nisman’s apartment. Previously, the Argentine authorities had said that there were only two entry points to the apartment, one through the main door and the other through the service entrance.
The passageway where the prints were discovered contains air conditioning units that are connected to each apartment in the luxury Le Parc residence in Buenos Aires where Nisman lived. Small metal doors are located at each end of the passageway, and investigators are currently trying to establish whether one of these could have been used to enter Nisman’s apartment.
No Gunpowder Found on Nisman’s Hands, Investigating Prosecutor Reveals; Argentine President Implies Global Conspiracy at Work
Viviana Fein, the prosecutor running the inquiry into Nisman’s death, was speaking after an electronic scan was performed on Nisman’s hands to determine whether they carried traces of gunpowder. Nisman was found yesterday in the bathroom of his Buenos Aires apartment lying in a pool of blood, with a .22 caliber pistol by his side.
The scan was “unfortunately negative,” Fein said during an interview with a local radio station. Some observers immediately rounded on Fein’s use of the word “unfortunately” as inadvertently revealing the government’s determination to prove that Nisman – who was investigating the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in 1994, in which 85 people were murdered, and who had just produced a 300 page report accusing President Fernández de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, and other officials of covering up the involvement of Iran and its Hezbollah operatives in the attack – died by his own hand.
Fein also claimed that while traces of gunpowder were absent from Nisman’s body, there was no evidence of another person having been present at the scene. “We must await the results of the blood we found on the weapon and in the apartment, all that is compared directly with the DNA,” she said.
The findings disclosed by Fein today coincide with another revelation certain to damage the suicide theory. Jorge Kirzenbaum, the former head of the Argentinian Jewish communal organization DAIA, said he had spoken to a member of the Nisman family who had visited the scene of the tragedy. According to Kirzenbaum, the relative reported seeing a note that Nisman had left for his housekeeper asking her to buy food and other household items on Monday – the day that Nisman’s body was discovered, and the day he was due to appear before a parliamentary committee to outline his latest allegations. This was further proof that Nisman “had no intention of committing suicide,” Kirzenbaum said.
Argentina prosecutor’s ex-wife: He didn’t kill himself
The ex-wife of a prosecutor who accused Argentine President Cristina Fernandez of protecting the masterminds of a 1994 bombing does not believe an initial finding that he killed himself on the eve of his testimony before congress.
While acknowledging that investigators need time to examine the facts, Judge Sandra Arroyo was clear in answering reporters who asked Tuesday whether her ex-husband’s death was a suicide. “No,” she said.
Karen Armstrong: Islamists murdering French Jews “had nothing to do with anti-Semitism”
English author Karen Armstrong is widely identified as one of the Western world’s most popular writers on religion. She recently said the following in an interview with a Dutch blog: “The supermarket attack in Paris [in which four Jews were murdered] was about Palestine, about Isis. It had nothing to do with antisemitism; many of them are Semites themselves. But they attempt to conquer Palestine and we’re not talking about that. We’re too implicated and we don’t know what to do with it.”
Some apologists for Islamist anti-Semitism suggest that while anti-Semitism is wrong, one should try to understand that the source of the anti-Semitism is Israel’s policies in “Palestine.” Suggesting that it’s somehow rational and perhaps acceptable to hold all Jews around the world morally culpable for the real or imagined misdeeds of the Israeli government is bad enough.
Armstrong seems to go further, and suggests that Islamists murdering French Jews isn’t a result of anti-Semitism nurtured or exaggerated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and isn’t about hating Jews at all, but is in fact somehow related to (I think, it isn’t entirely coherent) ISIS’s attempt to conquer Palestine, as if murdering Jews in France is a logical battlefront in the war on the Israeli government.
Many European Jews scared to identify as Zionists
Speaking at the organization’s annual meeting in Tel Aviv, the heads of the WIZO branches in France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden described the difficulties facing their constituents in a Europe in which Jewish nationalism is decreasingly acceptable.
“There is a very bad atmosphere around Jewish people,” said Joelle Lezmi, the president of WIZO France.
“People do not have the right to wear kippot; Jewish people are afraid to put on their Star of David; Jewish people have no place to say I am Jewish, just to say I am Jewish. If you are to say ‘I am a Zionist’ it’s quite a revolution.”
A similar situation exists in Sweden, admitted Susanne Sznajderman, Lezmi’s Swedish counterpart.
“People self-censor themselves. They hear anti-semitism, but do not act, because they don’t feel safe in reacting,” she said, condemning her government’s “very weak leadership” on this issue.
Can Europe Convince Jews Not to Leave?
The EU faces a "huge challenge" to reassure Jews about their future in Europe after Islamist attacks in Paris, a top official said Wednesday as it discussed fresh counter-terror measures.
European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said the 28-nation bloc was determined to respond in keeping with its core values of tolerance and inclusion, promising a new strategy would be ready by May.
"Today we see in some of our member states that a majority of the Jewish community is not sure that they have a future in Europe," he said.
"I think this is a huge challenge to the very foundation of European integration," he added.
He said the issue was more important than the single European currency or internal markets or other initiatives.
It is a "fundamental value" that everyone has a place in Europe no matter what his or her creed or background is.
Timmermans said Europeans must use education and other tools "to make sure that we don't lose part of our population to extremism, to fanaticism, to exclusion."
Jewish School Children 'Trained to Hide Under Desks' in Event of Paris-Style Attack
Jewish children in Britain are being drilled on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. The Independent reports that children aged 10 and 11 in north London have described how they are trained to play “sleeping lions” by hiding under their desks when they hear an alarm.
Speaking on the BBC’s Today programme this morning, one pupil said he realised there were concerns of a Paris-style attack in the UK. “Sometimes I’m very worried about the current situation because after happening to Paris it could happen to England,” he said.
Another explained the drill: “When the alarm goes off we do a thing called sleeping lions. We all go under our desks or chairs and cover our heads with our hands,” with a classmate adding: “Sometimes it is [scary] because you’re not really sure if it’s real or not.”
Watchdog: Belgian public schools becoming ‘Jew-free’ zones
A Belgian watchdog on anti-Semitism warned that the country’s public schools are becoming “Jew-free” zones because of harassment.
Joel Rubinfeld, president of the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism, made the remark in an interview for the weekly Le Vif/L’Express published earlier this month. He revealed that the only Jewish student at the Emile Bockstael high school in Brussels left following harassment and threats from classmates after she posted a picture of an Israeli flag on Facebook.
The school “has become Judenfrei, there are no more Jewish students there,” Rubinfeld said, using the German-language term that the Nazis applied to locales which had been rendered “free of Jews.”
Rubinfeld also said that a growing number of parents are being forced to pull their children from public schools all over Belgium.
According to the weekly, the last Jewish student at Emile Bockstael, identified only as Sarah, posted a picture of herself holding the Belgian flag alongside the Israeli one in summer. She received 288 abusive comments, including threats, on Facebook, also by classmates and other pupils she did not know.
Muslim kosher market hero becomes French citizen
The Muslim store employee who saved seven French Jews during the terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket was made a French citizen.
Lassana Bathily, a 24-year-old immigrant from Mali, was granted citizenship at a Paris ceremony on Tuesday after his application, initially filed last summer, was expedited in response to a public campaign on his behalf.
At the ceremony, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve stood next to Bathily.
“People tell me I am a hero. I am not a hero. I am trying to stay myself,” Bathily said, NBC News reported.
Bathily, who has lived in France for nine years, received a standing ovation at the end of his speech, when he said “I am very happy. Long live liberty! Long live friendship! Long live solidarity! Long live France!”
France charges four over Paris terror attacks
Four men with ties to one of the gunmen responsible for three days of terror in the Paris region are the first to be charged in connection with the attacks that left 17 people dead, plus the three gunmen, the Paris prosecutor said Wednesday.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said that four men were handed preliminary charges overnight of association with terrorism. They are suspected of providing logistical support to Amedy Coulibaly, who shot a policewoman to death on the outskirts of Paris and then killed four Jewish hostages at a kosher supermarket. The four were jailed until a further investigation.
We Can’t Allow ‘No-Go Areas’ On The Internet, Says Former MI6 Chief
In a public speech, Sir John praised Prime Minister David Cameron for raising the issue of no-go zones in Britain’s cities, saying: “The Prime Minister was right when he was saying last week we can’t afford to have complete no-go areas. We cannot have no-go areas in our communities where the police cannot go, because that just allows space for the evil-doers to ply their trades.”
The same applies for the virtual world, he said, where radicals are allowed to spread their ideology unchecked. “If you allow areas which are completely impenetrable then you might feel comfortable that your communications are private and no one else can see them, but so are those who are trying to do you down and undermine your society.”
And he blamed Edward Snowdon for throwing “a massive rock in the pool,” causing the “informal co-operation that worked well between most technology companies and communication companies and security services” to break down. Those relationships remain seriously damaged, he said, although he conceded that the Snowden disclosures had opened up a debate about balance between privacy and security.
“These new developments in technology and in communications are vastly advantageous to our economies and to our way of life and to family cohesion,” he said. “But if technology companies allow to be developed areas which are simply impenetrable, you are inviting problems.
France foiled attack at anti-Semitism conference, report says
Jihadists arrested last year in Lyon were planning to carry out a terrorist attack at a Jewish group’s conference about anti-Semitism, a French newspaper reported.
The five suspects who were arrested in a series of sweeps by French police between Sept. 16 and Sept. 18 were planning to strike on Sept. 18 at an event organized in Lyon by the regional branch of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities and organizations, according to a report Tuesday in the Le Progres daily.
An unnamed police officer who is in charge of the investigation confirmed to the daily that the suspects were arrested following the interception of a September 5 telephone conversation in which they discussed their plans.
Among the five arrested are Karim and Reda Bekhaled, two brothers who are believed to have been involved in recruiting radical Muslims to fight in Syria, along with the remaining three suspects. Reda Bekhaled was heard discussing the plans in the recorded conversation.
The police officer said the brothers “had the ambition of dying as martyrs” and “planned to carry out imminently an act of violence.”
Israeli Book Chain to Sell Charlie Hebdo as Gaza Islamists Vent Fury Against Latest Edition
Israel’s national Steimatzky’s book store chain plans to add Charlie Hebdo to its magazine racks, Israel’s Ch. 2 News reported Tuesday.
More than 7 million copies of the latest edition of Charlie Hebdo were sold worldwide after Islamist terrorists killed 12 employees in an attack on the publication’s offices two weeks ago. Steimatzky announced that copies would go on sale locally as of next week.
The January 14 edition features a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign saying, “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie), with a headline above the cartoon reading, “Tout Est Pardonne” (All Is Forgiven).
A single copy of the magazine costs 35 shekels ($8.90 USD) and the first distribution outlet is set for Ayalon Mall in Ramat Gan, next to Tel Aviv, according to the firm, which has distributed copies of the satirical magazine in the past.
A Cartoonist Urges Restraint – Except When it Comes to Israel
Those who are familiar with Sacco’s graphic novels about the Arab-Israeli conflict will note the irony of that “driving them into the sea” reference in The Guardian. In Sacco’s vivid imagination, Westerners are shown driving Muslims into the sea. But in the real world, that phrase is best known in connection with an historical event where it was actually employed: the attempt by five Arab armies, in 1948, to slaughter the Jewish residents of the newborn state of Israel—to perpetrate a Charlie Hebdo massacre, writ large.
Yet Sacco’s 2009 magnum opus on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the 388-page Footnotes in Gaza, contains exactly one panel about the 1948 war, and even there Sacco cannot bring himself to acknowledge that the Arabs’ intention was to destroy Israel. The centerpiece of the book is an Arab claim that Israeli soldiers massacred 275 Arab civilians in the Gaza city of Khan Younis during the 1956 war. Sacco, who accepts the Arab version hook, line, and sinker, says this explains why Arabs hate Israel—the killings in Gaza “planted hatred in their hearts.” That’s why he skips over the 1948 war. It would disrupt his narrative that the Arab-Israeli conflict essentially began in 1956.
Sacco was unable to locate a single Israeli soldier who witnessed, or even heard about, the alleged massacre. He relies entirely on his interviews with elderly Gazans, who regale him with gory (but often implausible or contradictory) tales. The reader is inundated with so many images of Israelis beating, harassing, and generally humiliating defenseless Arabs that it is not hard to believe the Israelis massacred some of them, too.
The notion that an anti-Jewish cartoon must include a hooked nose and some dollar bills, as Sacco suggested in his cartoon for The Guardian, is passé. In today’s world, the monstrous Israeli mass murderer can serve a similar purpose. Sacco’s definition of cartoons that are racist provocations in effect preserves an important exception: slandering the Jewish state is legitimate.
Joe Sacco has sharpened the lines of the post-Paris debate. Do provocative cartoonists share the blame for their own grisly deaths? Should satirists restrain their pens when the offended parties have at their disposal armies of jihadists—or, in the case of North Korea, nuclear missiles? Thanks to Sacco, perhaps this is also the moment to consider whether malicious cartoons of Jews are illegitimate only if the targets are Diaspora Jews.
45 Churches Burned During Anti-Charlie Riot in Niger Capital
Forty-five churches were torched Saturday in the Nigerien capital of Niamey and five persons were killed during the riots protesting caricatures of Mohammed published last week by the French weekly Charlie Hebdo, the Nigerien police announced Monday.
“Substantial damage was registered: 45 churches, five hotels, 36 pubs, an orphanage and a Christian school were looted before being burned,” the spokesman of the National Police, Adily Toro, said at a press conference.
In addition to the five deaths announced by President Mahamadou Issoufou Saturday, protests left 128 injured, including 94 in the security forces and 34 among the demonstrators, said Toro, who added that 189 people have been arrested including two minors.
Furthermore, some 300 protesters answering to opposition leaders had defied ban by authorities on Sunday morning to march on Niamey. Clashes occurred between protesters and riot police who had come to disperse them.
Why there won’t be an anti-terrorists million man march in the Arab/Muslim world
The vast majority of terrorists’ victims are Muslims. One poll after the other reassures that citizens of Arab/Muslim countries are against what the jihad-inspired terrorists do. But why is there so little public reaction against terrorists especially if most of the victims are Muslims? The answer is threefold: denial, sense of victimhood and lack of religious reformation.
Denial:
Many in the Arab/Muslim world would rather keep their eyes shut towards certain realities that they don’t like, including the fact that there are psychopathic bloodthirsty maniacs who call themselves Muslims. Denial mixed with chauvinism is huge in the Arab/Muslim world: we follow the best religion, we don’t have any homosexuals, we don’t have kids having premarital sex and definitely we don’t have terrorists. Denial is a river that runs across the Arab/Muslim world and not just in Egypt.
Sense of victimhood:
It is more comfortable to be confined in your sense of victimhood than look in the mirror and admit that something is wrong with you. This is how the Arab/Muslim world is reacting. It is so cocooned in the impression that the entire world is conspiring against it and it would rather indulge in that feeling than embrace the painful admission that there is something wrong, something rotten, within it. This is the reason why massive demonstrations would erupt when Israel attacks Gaza and kills Palestinians or when some Danish cartoonist draws the Prophet yet the massacre of school kids in Peshawar by the Taliban would trigger a much feebler response. Following the Peshawar massacre, moments of silence were held across schools in India; it was business as usual in Egyptian schools.
Cleric Supports Paris Attacks in Al-Aqsa Mosque Address, Threatens Even Harsher Measures


Boko Haram Leader Abubaker Shakao Curses French President Hollande and Charlie Hebdo, Declares: Nigeria Is Dead


European 'No-Go' Zones: Fact or Fiction? Part 1: France
A 120-page research paper entitled "No-Go Zones in the French Republic: Myth or Reality?" documented dozens of French neighborhoods "where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings."
In October 2011, a 2,200-page report, "Banlieue de la République" (Suburbs of the Republic) found that Seine-Saint-Denis and other Parisian suburbs are becoming "separate Islamic societies" cut off from the French state and where Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law.
The report also showed how the problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim preachers who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law.
The television presenter asks: "What if we went to the suburbs?" Obertone replies: "I do not recommend this. Not even we French dare go there anymore. But nobody talks about this in public, of course. Nor do those who claim, 'long live multiculturalism,' and 'Paris is wonderful!' dare enter the suburbs."
Daniel Pipes: Does Europe have 'no-go' zones?
Comments by Steven Emerson on Fox News have prompted a heated debate over whether predominantly Muslim "no-go" zones exist in Europe. On Jan. 11, Emerson said they "exist throughout Europe. … They're places where the governments like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany don't exercise any sovereignty. ... You basically have zones where Shariah courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don't go in, and where it's basically a separate country almost, a country within a country."
Although Emerson, whom I admire for his moral courage and investigative skills, immediately apologized for his "terrible error" of saying that cities like Birmingham, England, "are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go," he did not address the larger question of whether no-go zones, in fact, do "exist throughout Europe" and are places where governments "don't exercise any sovereignty."
Is he right about this?
In a 2006 blog entry, I called Muslim enclaves in Europe no-go zones as a non-euphemistic equivalent for the French phrase Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones. No-go zones subsequently became standard in English to describe Muslim-majority areas in Western Europe.
Paris to sue Fox over ‘no-go zones’
The city of Paris said Tuesday it plans to sue US chain Fox News for reports that there were “no-go zones” in the French capital that police and non-Muslims avoid.
The reports in the wake of the Islamist attacks in Paris two weeks ago have been widely derided and prompted Fox to issue an on-air apology for suggesting parts of Paris and the English city of Birmingham were run under Islamic Shariah law.
“A complaint will be filed in the coming days,” despite the apology, said a source at Paris city hall.
The news channel broadcast a map outlining the so-called no-go zones, which an expert, Nolan Peterson said felt like Afghanistan or Iraq.
On Saturday a Fox news anchor apologized for “some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe, particularly with regard to England and France.
British Opposition Leader Ed Miliband Condemns ‘Questioning the Right of Israel to Exist’
Ed Miliband, the Jewish leader of Britain’s Labour opposition whose stance on Israel has antagonized many Jewish members of his party, has questioned the legitimacy of arguing that the Jewish state has no right to exist.
Addressing a meeting in Mill Hill, a north London suburb that is home to a large Jewish population, Miliband recognized the “palpable state of anxiety” that has enveloped the Jewish community since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris two weeks ago.
“The best answer to this is to stand up loud and clear against antisemitism in all its forms,” Miliband declared. “That is what I do and that is what I will continue to do. It is very important that we speak out clearly.”
The Labour leader added: “The thing that we have got to get across to people is that skepticism about some of the actions of the government of Israel is of a totally different category either of questioning the right of the state of Israel to exist or of antisemitism.”
An Open Letter to Mohammed Desai – BDS South Africa
I have tried unsuccessfully to contact you in order to have an open and respectful conversation with you. But it would seem that dialogue is not your preferred mode of communication. And given your soon to be guest, Leila Khalid’s statement that she does not believe in negotiations but rather violence, I guess this should be no surprise.
As an alternative, I would like to put some of my concerns with regard Leila Khalid’s visit forward for your perusal and contemplation. I know that she visited South Africa in 2006 so let’s for assume that her slate was clean and for a moment focus on her activities since then. To do this we will have to ignore her two hijackings of civilian planes, one where she pulled the pin out of a grenade and was only stopped blowing the plane out of the sky by an on board sky marshal.
Let us then assume then that her slate was clean and for a moment focus on her activities since then.
Today, Leila Kahlid sits as a Politburo member of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) a terrorist organization so declared by the European Union, the USA and Canada. The organization took responsibility for the slaughter of 4 Jewish worshipers as well as a Druze policeman in West Jerusalem in November 2014 (an area not included in the conflict). This was the slaughter of Jews because they were Jewish. No different to the killing of the four Jews in a supermarket in Paris. No different indeed from the murder of the Fogel family in Itamar where 5 members of the same family were murdered in their beds. The dead included the parents and 3 of their children as well as a 3 months old infant who was decapitated. Both the murderers were tied to the PFLP, the terrorist organization as led by Leila Khalid. Very simply this is an organization that espouses bloodshed, even if it is of infants and unarmed worshippers.
Beauty Pageant Selfie Provides a ‘Middle East for Dummies’ Tutorial
The problem is a spirit of intolerance and rejection for the idea of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn. That is a hatred so deep that it can’t be bridged by creative diplomacy or gestures of goodwill, such as those that infuse international events like the Miss Universe contest.
It is a cliché for contestants at such competitions to say they wish for world peace when asked for their opinions about the issues of the day. But what happened to Miss Lebanon illustrates that the divisions of the Middle East run so deep and are so primal that no amount of global hooey like a beauty contest is enough to make the Arab and Muslim world forget about their antipathy for Israelis.
That one picture was worth a million words of nonsense about the Middle East conflict being a misunderstanding or a problem that could be solved with enough good will on the part of both sides. The State Department should consider it a free “Middle East for Dummies” tutorial. Until Lebanese beauty contestants are not afraid to have their pictures taken with Jews, the diplomats should not bother trying to pretend their efforts will be enough to solve the problem.
German anti-Islam leader poses as Hitler
A photo of the founder of Germany’s new anti-“Islamization” movement showing him wearing an Adolf Hitler-like mustache and hair style surfaced in German media Wednesday.
Bild daily quoted PEGIDA spokeswoman Kathrin Oertel as saying the photo of Lutz Bachmann was “a joke.”
It cited Bachmann himself as saying he had taken the picture, which shows him with a small black mustache and wet hair swept into a side-parting reminiscent of the Nazi leader, around the time of the publication of a bestselling satirical audio book about Hitler entitled “He’s Back.”
Quebec paper rapped for ‘Shylock’ jabs
A Quebec newspaper is getting flak for repeatedly using the term “Shylock” in an article on unscrupulous moneylenders.
The headline in Monday’s edition of the daily La Presse was “The New Shylocks,” and the reference also appeared several times in the article.
A sidebar explained the roots of the term – the William Shakespeare classic “The Merchant of Venice”– but failed to mention its anti-Semitic connotations going back several centuries.
The article’s author said in interviews with Canadian media that the term is commonplace in the province and was not meant to offend.
Anti-Israel cartoon breaches Australian press code
An Australian press organization has judged that a cartoon published in The Sydney Morning Herald violated press Standards of Practice by the way it linked symbols of the Jewish faith to criticism of Israel.
The adjudication, issued by the Australian Press Council, concerned a cartoon drawn by Glen Le Lievre and published by the Morning Herald on July 26, in the midst of the most recent Gaza conflict.
The cartoon depicted an elderly man with a sizable nose wearing glasses and a yarmulke, reclining in a chair emblazoned with a Star of David, and holding a remote control while watching from hilltop as a city, which by implication is Gaza, explodes.
How Have Israel and Japan Become Key Allies in Less Than a Year?
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's historic three-day visit to Israel was ended hurriedly on Tuesday due to an Islamic State (ISIS) hostage crisis involving two Japanese nationals, but his visit highlights the meteoric developments in the Israeli-Japanese alliance that has been blossoming since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's visit to Japan last May.
Just how have Israel and Japan gone from being average trade partners into full-blown allies, to the point where Netanyahu has said Israel is turning away from the West and towards Asia - and in particular towards Japan, owner of the world's third largest GDP and a global leader in technology?
A brief look back at events since the May visit reveals numerous important developments that have received little limelight as the two nations have locked into a shared trajectory.
Last June the Director of the Israel Space Agency made a first-ever visit to Japan, where he held important talks with Japan’s space-related ministries and agencies.
Then a month later the Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry made his own first-ever trip to Israel, where the Israel-Japan Business Forum discussed joint investments in start-ups, hi-tech research and development (R&D) and cyber security.
Samsung, Verizon rush to invest in Israel’s ‘next WhatsApp’
Israeli start-up Rounds believes it is the future of live chat – and it’s backing up that claim with a newly-announced $12 million Series B round of funding.
It’s not just the money; it’s the group behind the investment, which includes the investment groups of communications and device giants Verizon and Samsung, with the round being led by Sequoia Capital – the sole investor in wildly popular chat app WhatsApp.
In fact, according to Rounds co-founder and CEO Dany Fishel, his app may just be the next WhatsApp. Like that popular chat app, Rounds lets you set up chat groups with friends, allowing any member of the group to communicate with others at the same time, or individually. The difference is that with Rounds, users get to see their friends, since the app utilizes not only text, but voice and video as well.
Samsung makes second big Israel investment in a week
Korean tech giant Samsung will invest $10 million in Israel patient monitoring firm EarlySense, part of a $20 million financing round.
“EarlySense has developed and brought to market a unique, breakthrough technology that will improve the lives of consumers through health parameter sensing and monitoring,” said Gonzalo Martinez de Azagra, head of Samsung Ventures Israel, the company’s investment arm. “Our investment is evidence of our belief in the need to bring sensors to hundreds of millions of consumers and we will do all that is in our hands to contribute to EarlySense’s accelerated growth.”
In business since 2004, EarlySense developed a system that monitors patients who are sick enough to require continuous tracking, but are unwilling or do not need to be connected physically to monitors and sensors. Designed for use in non-emergency room or even home settings, the system uses sensors embedded into a mattress or chair cushion to monitor heartbeat, respiration rate, and movement. It operates on the theory that the more a patient moves around in bed, the healthier they are, in general.
What boycott? Tel Aviv continues to innovate
From the Economist:
Tel Aviv ranks just behind Silicon Valley with the second highest density of start-ups in the world.
The global ranking of startup ecosystems was based on a 50-variable, 8-component index, which included Startup Output, Ecosystem Differentiation, Entrepreneurial Mindset, Funding, Company Performance, Talent, Support Infrastructure, and Trendsetting Tendencies.
Hows that boycott going, btw?
IMF offers positive outlook for Israel in 2015
A new report by the International Monetary Fund offered a favorable forecast for Israel's economic growth in 2015, pegging it at 3 percent amid otherwise conservative projections for the global economy.
The IMF's projections attributed the sluggish growth in Israel's economy to the overall slowdown in Europe's economy, as well as to Operation Protective Edge, waged in the Gaza Strip last summer. The projections coincide with the growth forecast released by the Bank of Israel on Dec. 29.
"Global growth is forecast to rise moderately in 2015-16, from 3.3 percent in 2014 to 3.5 percent in 2015 and 3.7 percent in 2016, revised down by 0.3 percent for both years relative to the October 2014 World Economic Outlook," the IMF said Tuesday in a statement posted on its website.
Only four nations' projections exceeded Israel's growth forecast: China's economic growth in 2015 was set at 6.8 percent, followed by India (6.3 percent), the United States (3.6 percent) and Mexico, whose economy is projected to grow by 3.2 percent.
American Jews Discover that Israel is Yummy
Many Jews from abroad come to visit Israel, where they take in the impressive ancient history and modern wonders of the Jewish state, but on one unique Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants are given an in-depth tour of what makes Israel "yummy."
In Taglit's unique culinary trip, being held as a niche group for the program's free ten-day visits to Israel, participants learn about Israeli cuisine, visiting organic farms in the desert, boutique wineries and markets, while meeting chefs and generally having a gourmet good time.
A guide on the culinary trip told Arutz Sheva that many of the participants are chefs, and that the goal is to teach them not only about Israeli history, but also "to teach them about the culture through eating, obviously, which is the best thing to do."
Mckayla, a participant on the trip, termed it a "bonding experience with the land through food," and said she would be leaving the trip with recipes and "as much food as we can bring back."
"What makes Israeli food special is the mix of cultures that have spent thousands of years in this place, (it) is the Jewish homeland, and finding a cuisine that speaks to us," opined Jason, another participant on the tour.


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