Saturday, January 24, 2015

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: The Case Against the International Criminal Court Investigating Israel
It is telling that Hamas has expressed satisfaction with the decision of the ICC to open an investigation of Israel’s military action during the recent war in Gaza. The hypocrisy of a terrorist group that boasts of its multiple war crimes expressing satisfaction that the victims of these war crimes are being investigated for trying to stop rocket and tunnel attacks, should be evident to any reasonable person.
More significant is the response of the US, which issued the following statement: “We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor’s action. The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiation, not unilateral actions by either side.”
Ocampo acknowledges that the principle of “complementarity” precludes an ICC investigation of Israel unless “there are no genuine national investigations of the crimes committed under its jurisdiction.” I am familiar with the Israeli legal system and its mechanisms for investigating alleged war crimes. There is no country in the world with a legal system that is more responsive to claims made by victims of war crimes. At the apex of the Israeli legal system is its Supreme Court, which is widely admired by lawyers around the world. If it were to be ruled that the Israeli legal system does not provide the required complementarity to deny the ICC institution jurisdiction as “a court of last resort,” then no nation would pass that test. The United States will never, and should never, submit itself to the jurisdiction of an international court that does not regard the Israeli legal system as a satisfactory fulfillment of the principle of complementarity.
On balance, the decision to open an investigation against Israel at this time will harm prospects for a peaceful resolution of the conflict and will harm the credibility of the ICC. It is a serious mistake and should be rescinded.
The Folly of Partition: ICC Ruling Seals Fate of Gaza Residents
The ICC’s decision effectively rejects a century of Jewish reconciliation efforts: acceptance of partition, failure to annex and populate the West Bank, and the recognition of a new independent Arab entity in areas known until very recently as Judea and Samaria.
Tragically, partition has served the interests of neither Israelis nor Gazans. Quite the contrary, it has both condemned nearly two million people to a fate worse than death on one side, and placed nearly eight million people within range of rocket fire on the other.
Israel, a vibrant, thriving – if wildly imperfect – exercise in Middle East democracy, will weather the tempest being kicked up by a pack of lawyers in The Hague.
However, this is a dark day for those forsaken men, women, and children living under Hamas’ jackboot of hate and terror.
The ICC, by delegitimizing one sovereign nation’s right to defend itself, has granted the Islamist Jihadists cover to commit acts of exceptional barbarity inside the Gaza Strip – and unleash another wave of violence against Israel and its allies in the near future.
WH: Houthis 'Legitimate Political Constituency'
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki has continued the Obama Administration’s whitewashing of radical Islamist groups, referring to the Houthis of Yemen as a “legitimate political constituency.” The Houthis’ slogan is simple: “Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory to Islam,” echoing similar slogans utilized by Shiite terrorists in Iraq and supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, considered a terrorist group by the United States since 1997.
Psaki said, “The Houthis are a legitimate political constituency in Yemen and have a right to participate in affairs of the state. We urge them to be a part of a peaceful transition process. That said, we condemn their use of violence and are concerned by their non-compliance with agreements they have been signatories to.”
The White House has also whitewashed the Muslim Brotherhood; only last month the White House rejected a July petition signed by more than 200,000 Americans in a single month demanding the Obama Administration label the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
Obama Will Not Attend 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz Liberation
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will represent the United States at the 70th anniversary ceremony for the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp on Tuesday—rather than President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden—while other countries are slated to send their heads of state.
Tuesday’s ceremony will likely be the last major anniversary where a significant number of survivors of the Nazi camp are present. About 300 are expected to attend, and most of them are in their 90s or older than 100. Nazi authorities killed 1.1 million people at the camp, mostly Jews, which was liberated by the Soviet army in January 1945.
The New York Times reported on the foreign dignitaries that would be present:
"A preliminary list of those attending includes President François Hollande of France, President Joachim Gauck of Germany and President Heinz Fischer of Austria, as well as King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. The United States delegation will be led by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said he would not attend because his schedule was too crowded and because he had not received an invitation. Museum officials said no head of state had received one. Mr. Putin had attended the 60th anniversary ceremony in 2005 — it was Soviet troops, after all, who liberated the camp in 1945 — but relations between Russia and Poland have soured over the conflict in Ukraine."

Bernadette Meehan, National Security Council spokeswoman, said in an email that, “President Obama will be in India, on a long-scheduled trip.”
Obama cuts India trip short to visit Saudi Arabia
President Obama has cancelled the end of his trip to India to fly to Saudi Arabia in the wake of the death of the country's king and growing instability in the region, U.S. and Indian officials said Saturday.
The officials said Obama will fly from India Tuesday, skipping a planned trip to the Taj Mahal.



Whoops: White House spokesman inadvertently wishes away Netanyahu
The question Earnest was asked at the White House briefing ran as follows: “You said that the president wants the Israeli prime minister to share his view on Iran. Is that safe to say that you would welcome a change of Israelis’ prime minister?”
The spokesman, evidently not registering the second part of the question, responded: “In fact we would. And that’s a case that we’ve made to him on many occasions. And a case has been made at a variety of levels. But ultimately it’s the responsibility of the Israeli prime minister to pursue a national security strategy that he believes is in the interests of his country. The president happens to have a difference of opinion, which is: he believes that it is worth pursuing this diplomatic option with the Iranians. And he believes that doing so is not just in the national security interests of the United States, but it’s in the national security interests of our closest ally in the region, which is Israel.”
Once Earnest had completed this answer, the follow-up question was: “So you’d welcome a new person in the prime minister’s job in Israel after March 17?”
Dismayed, Earnest spluttered a little.
A voice called out: “The question was whether you’d welcome a new Israeli prime minister.”
Said Earnest, realizing his error: “I’m sorry, I thought you said ‘welcome a new position taken by the Israeli prime minister.’ But you said ‘do we want a new Israeli prime minister’. That is obviously a…” (h/t Bob Knot)
Press Sec Earnest Asked Whether Obama Wants To See Netanyahu Replaced


Kerry: Don’t blame Muslims for violent extremism
In a speech calling for a global effort against violent extremism, Kerry said it would be a mistake to link Islam to criminal conduct rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors.
“We have to keep our heads,” Kerry said. “The biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes…that their faith utterly rejects,” he added.
“We will certainly not defeat our foes by vilifying potential partners,” the top US diplomat said. “We may very well fuel the very fires that we want to put out.”
Sissi said on Thursday that Egypt and France battle the same enemy by waging war against Islamic extremism and terrorism.
Islam is a tolerant religion, he said, but in the past two to three decades it has become more associated with violent extremism.
“The terrible terrorist attacks which we have seen and this terrible image of Muslims is what led us to think that we must stop and think and change the religious discourse, and remove from it things that have led to violence and extremism,” Sissi said.
“We need a new discourse that will be adapted to a new world and will remove some of the misconceptions,” he said. “No one should believe that they have the truth with a capital T.”
New York Times: Netanyahu speech to Congress will harm Israel-US bilateral relationship
The paper said invitations of foreign leaders are normally arranged by The White House and it accused Boehner of a "hostile attempt to lobby Congress to enact more sanctions against Iran, a measure that Mr. Obama has rightly threatened to veto."
The Times titled the piece 'Playing Politics on Iran,' and accused both Boehner's Republican party and Netanyahu alike of using the speech for political ends.
"Republicans apparently see value in trying to sabotage any possible success for Mr. Obama, even if it harms American interests."
As for Netanyahu, the editors wrote that ahead of Israel's March 17 election, the prime minister, "apparently believes that winning the applause of Congress by rebuking Mr. Obama will bolster his standing as a leader capable of keeping Israel safe."
"It’s hard to see how disrespecting an American president whom even he [Netanyahu] says has significantly advanced Israel’s security can benefit his country," the editors commented.
Actually, a US president did host an Israeli PM just before elections
A check of over 50 meetings with world leaders at the White House during the Obama administration reveals that none of those meetings was conducted two weeks before any of the visitors’ elections. The closest such session was a 2009 meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, who sat with Obama in Washington just over two months before German federal elections, which she won. French president Nicolas Sarkozy spoke with Obama in 2012 less than a month before his defeat by the Socialist Francois Hollande, but that was a video teleconference, not a face-to-face at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Further back, however, there is a precedent for election-proximate White House meetings, it involves Israel, and Netanyahu was the intended victim.
In 1996, prime minister Shimon Peres, fighting a close campaign against challenger Netanyahu, visited the Clinton White House on April 30, just less than a month ahead of the May 29 elections.
Peres’s substantial lead, in the aftermath of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, was crumbling due to a series of suicide bombings in early spring. In town for the AIPAC annual conference, as Netanyahu will be, Peres met with Clinton in ostensible preparation for additional work on peace agreements with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. In the wake of the March 1996 bombing spree that killed 62 Israelis, Peres and Clinton signed an anti-terrorism agreement at a ceremony – one of three separate meetings that Peres held with Clinton that week amid myriad photo-ops.
Stop Bibi: J Street Gives Netanyahu the Sarah Palin Treatment
J Street, a George Soros-funded, far-left organization that styles itself as “pro-Israel” but spends its energy opposing Israeli policies, is trying to stop Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from addressing Congress in a special session in March.
In an email appeal, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami is urging supporters “to make sure that Congress knows Bibi’s upcoming speech to Congress shouldn’t go forward as scheduled” because “the timing here couldn’t be worse.”
In addition to J Street, the liberal Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is also opposed to Netanyahu’s speech. The ADL’s Abe Foxman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Israel issue was “too important to politicize.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also criticized the invitation.
The Zionist Organization of America fired back on Friday, urging Foxman to apologize and congratulating the 79 Republicans and 19 Democrats who had signed a letter supporting the invitation.
At UN Antisemitism Conference, Saudi Arabia Blames Israel for Rise in Antisemitism
At the first-ever informal United Nations conference addressing antisemitism, surprise attendee Saudi Arabia blamed Israeli “occupation” for the global rise in antisemitism.
“Colonization and occupation fuels antisemitism… occupation is an act of antisemitism. It threatens human rights and human kind,” said Saudi Arabian ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi, who spoke on behalf of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Countries.
Al-Mouallimi also condemned all words and acts that lead to “to hatred, antisemitism, Islamophobia.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon struck a different tone, arguing that “grievances about Israeli actions must never be used as an excuse to attack Jews.”
Amid the Gaza war last summer, antisemitic attacks in Europe and elsewhere in the world rose to their highest levels in decades, with protesters in several countries going as far as calling for Jews to be attacked and even gassed. More recently, four Jewish shoppers were killed in an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.
French Rabbi Whose Daughter Was Murdered in Toulouse Jewish School Atrocity Finds Strength to Carry On (INTERVIEW)
It’s almost three years since the Islamist terrorist Mohammed Merah walked into the Ozar Hatorah school in the French city of Toulouse and opened fire, as one eyewitness recalled, “on everything that moved.” In those terrible few moments, four innocents were brutally murdered: Jonathan Sandler, a rabbi who taught at the school, his two sons, Aryeh, 6, and Gabriel, 3, and a little girl, 8 year-old Miriam Monsonego, the daughter of the school’s principal, Rabbi Yaacov Monsonego.
This week, Rabbi Monsonego sat down with The Algemeiner to give his first media interview since the atrocity that took the life of his beloved Miriam. Visiting New York at the invitation of the World Jewish Congress for the the UN General Assembly’s meeting on the subject of antisemitism, Monsonego brought with him the unique insights that come from having experienced this age-old phenomenon in the most direct and terrible way.
Yet there is no bitterness about Monsonego, nor anger. Remarkably, some might say, he has continued to serve as the principal of the school, now renamed Or Hatorah, after it left the Ozar Hatorah network.
Where, I asked him, did he find the strength to continue in that role? “It’s no longer the same strength that drives me,” Rabbi Monsonego said. “It’s a different impulse.” Part of his inspiration, he continued, lies in the undiminished strength of the school, which started life in 1991 with 40 children, a number that rose, at its peak, to 200. Currently, he said, there are 160 children at the school – testament to the fact that the deadly violence unleashed by Merah failed to destroy its spirit.
Is Iran Behind the Murder of Alberto Nisman?
When the Kirchner government announced two years ago that it was establishing an independent “truth commission” to investigate the attacks with the prime suspect—Iran—the country’s Jewish community was up in arms, as was Israel. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon likened it to “inviting the murderer to participate in the murder investigation.”
It seems that the point of the truth commission was to further muddy the waters, and eventually help clear Iran of any responsibility for the attacks. Nisman found evidence that high-level Argentine officials, including Kirchner, participated in the whitewash. In return for exculpating Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, and others, including “cultural” attache Mohsen Rabbani, believed to be responsible for planning the worst terrorist attacks in Argentina’s history, Argentine agricultural products would have access to Iranian markets, and Tehran would send cheap oil to Argentina.
Cristina Kirchner and many officials in her government clearly had an interest in silencing Nisman. But there are others who have a very powerful motive. If, in Nisman’s understanding, the purpose of the 1992 and 1994 attacks was to punish Argentina for reconsidering its bilateral relationship with Iran on its nuclear file, then killing the special prosecutor into the two bombings simply underscores that Tehran considers its nuclear program as a vital interest.
With the world’s attention turned to Geneva, where Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif are negotiating a permanent agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, Tehran shifted the focus to a bathroom in an apartment in Buenos Aires, where a man of courage and integrity was murdered earlier this week. Whether or not it was Iran that killed Alberto Nisman Monday, his life work was to prove that it pulled the trigger in 1992 and 1994. His assassination reminds us of what the Iranians are capable of doing.
Nisman’s police protection team questioned over his death
The officers, along with two supervisors, are being looked at as part of an internal police investigation into the handling of Alberto Nisman’s death, a person close to the investigation told The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity. The officers are not considered suspects.
In particular, the source said, investigators are looking into the time it took two officers assigned to the door of Nisman’s building to advise their superiors that they had not been able to reach him by telephone.
Earlier this week, those two officers made declarations to lead investigator Viviana Fein, who would ultimately decide whether to try them for anything. All 10 have been suspended during the investigation, the person close to the case said.
Argentina suspects rogue agents were behind death of prosecutor probing '94 bombing
The government says Nisman's allegations and his death were linked to a power struggle at Argentina's intelligence agency and agents who had recently been fired.
It says they deliberately misled Nisman and may have had a hand in writing parts of his 350-page complaint.
"When he was alive they needed him to present the charges against the president. Then, undoubtedly, it was useful to have him dead," the president's chief of staff, Anibal Fernandez, said on Friday.
Argentine courts have accused a group of Iranians of planting the 1994 bomb, which killed 85 people.
Nisman claimed last week that President Fernandez opened a secret back channel to Iran to cover up Tehran's alleged involvement in the bombing and gain access to Iranian oil needed to help close Argentina's $7 billion per year energy deficit.
Fernandez's government called the accusation absurd.
Iran has repeatedly denied any link to the bomb attack.
Sanctions Possible for Argentina in Iran Deal as Thousands More Protest Death of Prosecutor
Argentines have been organizing rallies calling for a thorough investigation of Nisman’s death all week, and they only appear to be growing as evidence mounts that Nisman’s death was not a suicide, but possibly a targeted killing in response to his investigation of the AMIA attack. On Wednesday, thousands gathered in front of the AMIA building, where the 1994 bombing took place, killing 85 people. Organizers demanded justice for Nisman, with one man calling him another “victim” of the attack itself.
Julio Schlosser, head of the DAIA Jewish community organization, told the crowd: “Eighty-five people were murdered in the 1994 terrorist attack, but there were many other victims who died from anguish and sadness caused by the same incident.” He read a list of names of individuals who had died “after losing their relatives” in the attack, and added Nisman to the list.
On Friday, hundreds of others gathered to protest the Argentine government’s apparent sloth in investigating Nisman’s death at the Argentine embassy in Israel. The group organizing the protest made clear that they believed Nisman’s account of what went on behind the scenes to cover up the AMIA bombing: namely, that the Argentine government agreed to help the organizers of the bombing skirt justice in order to secure a trade deal with Iran.
‘Strike in Syria targeted new, Iran-backed terror unit that planned kidnappings’
The reported Israeli strike on Syria on Sunday, in which an Iranian general and top Hezbollah commanders were among 12 killed, targeted the leaders of a substantial new Hezbollah terror hierarchy that was set to attempt kidnappings, rocket attacks and other assaults on military and civilian targets in northern Israel, an Israeli TV report said Friday.
The new terror unit involved Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh, who was killed in the strike, and who was coordinating with the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Qasem Soleimani, the Channel 2 report said. There was no suggestion in the report that Soleimani, a key figure in supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hezbollah, was in the area at the time.
The terrorist hierarchy included recruitment and intelligence departments, and was set to begin operations targeting Israel from the Syrian Golan, including “kidnappings, firing rockets and mortar shells, and using anti-tank weapons against Israeli residential areas.”
The unit was set up “with Iranian sponsorship,” the report said. Israel’s targeting of some of its members underlined that “a red line was crossed that Israel would not tolerate.”
Israel said to send calming messages to Iran via Russia
Israel has sent calming messages to Iran and Hezbollah via Russia, Channel 10 reported Friday night, clarifying that it is uninterested in an escalating conflict with Tehran or the Lebanese terror group.
The report, which cited unnamed government sources, followed days of tensions along the northern border, after Iranian and Hezbollah leaders vowed revenge for an airstrike in Syria which left 12 Iranians and Hezbollah operatives dead. The airstrike has been attributed to Israel and though Jerusalem has not officially confirmed it, anonymous government sources have admitted as much.
Iran vows to attack Israel from West Bank
Deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Lt.-Gen. Hossein Salami vowed Saturday to “open new fronts [against Israel] and change the balance of power.” In an excerpt of an interview with Salami, the IRGC’s number two said that Iran and Hezbollah would provide a “special reprisal” to the strike, according to the Tasnim News Agency, adding that opening a new front in the West Bank was in the works.
“Opening up a new front across the West Bank, which is a major section of our dear Palestine, will be certainly on the agenda, and this is part of a new reality that will gradually emerge,” Salami said in the inteview with Iran’s Arabic-language news channel al-Alam.
Report: Iranian general was killed in Israeli strike because he didn't turn off his phone
An Iranian general killed in an alleged Israeli air strike last Sunday in Syria may have died because he did not turn off his cellphone.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouria reported on Saturday that a Hezbollah investigation into the strike found that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard General Mohammed Allahdadi kept his cellphone on in a sensitive area targeted by Israeli intelligence.
According to the report, Allahdadi was in the Quneitra area on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights on Sunday with Hezbollah personnel at outposts that the Syrians and the Iranian built in order to counter Syrian rebels along with Syrian army forces. A few days before Allahdadi's visit a joint "operations room" was established with Hezbollah.
Allahdadi reportedly was killed along with his personal assistant, his driver and a more junior Iranian officer.
Iran's Geopolitical Pincer
Periodically, the CAMERA blog has posted items discussing the importance of events in Yemen. Yemen is the most impoverished Arab state, even though it borders the wealthiest Arab state, Saudi Arabia. It has long been a hotbed of terrorism, spawning what is currently the most dangerous branch [internationally] of Al Qaeda. Its government was a key partner in the war against terrorists. With the fall of the Yemeni government to an Iranian-backed Shiite militia, two major blows have been struck against the West. Al Qaeda will have a freer reign to promote terrorism. But, an even greater risk is the continuing evolution of Iran's reach in the region.
Some commentators are trying to draw attention to Iranian moves. Charles Krauthammer's column in the Washington Post, "Iran's Emerging Empire" discusses what is taking shape in the region, from Lebanon, to Syria and Iraq to Yemen.
In order to completely encircle Israel, Iran still must overcome large geographic obstacles - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. But new permutations are conceivable. Saudi Arabia, ruled by a perpetual gerontocracy, may not prove as durable as it currently appears, especially if the United States decides to pursue a policy of disengaging from the region. Although Turkey is a regional Sunni competitor to Shiite Iran, under its current leadership, which has shown a penchant for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic outbursts, it may be open to some form of collaboration with the Iranians against Israel.
It would be helpful to American audiences if the media that focuses so much attention on Israel and the Palestinians would devote more resources and space on their pages to what Krauthammer refers to as the emerging Iranian Empire.
Palestinian man caught with knife near President’s Residence
An East Jerusalem man was apprehended Friday night wielding a large knife as he was walking near the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, in what police suspect may been part of a plan to carry out a terror attack.
The man, an 18-year-old resident of the capital’s eastern neighborhood of Issawiya, was being questioned by police.
The unnamed suspect aroused the suspicion of a security guard at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the official home of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and called the police, Israel Radio reported. The knife was concealed on his person.
Petition Calls for Israel to Honor Muslim HyperCacher Hero Lassana Bathily
A British woman has started an online petition urging Israel to honor Lassana Bathily, the Muslim worker who saved seven Jews by hiding them during the January 9th HyperCacher supermarket terrorist attack in Paris.
“Lassana is an exemplary candidate for an official honor from Israel, and he is a shining example to citizens globally,” Ella Bennett says in her petition. “Not just in France but also in Israel, in the Islamic States, and in the Western world. He is an excellent example to all citizens that religion does not murder, that the principle of the human right to life trumps all other rights.”
Bathily, 24, hid Jewish customers in a cold-store when gunman Amedy Coulibaly stormed the kosher supermarket in Paris and killed four people. France has already granted the 24-year-old French nationality as a reward for his heroism, though he claims, “People say I’m a hero but I’m not a hero. I’m Lassana.”
“I was motivated by the successful petition in France to have Lassana honored with French citizenship,” Bennett said about starting her own petition, according to the UK’s Jewish Chronicle. “As someone who is both Jewish and black I can relate to what he did on a number of levels.”
Dutch Jews demand government deploy troops near synagogues
Dutch Jews asked their government to post troops outside synagogues to match security measures in France and Belgium.
The plea came in letters addressed to mayors by officials from a number of Jewish communities in the Netherlands following an Islamist’s slaying on Jan. 9 of four Jews at a kosher supermarket near Paris, the De Telegraaf daily reported Thursday.
“Now that Jewish targets in Belgium and France are guarded by the army, we ask why not in the Netherlands,” the report quoted a letter signed by the Dutch Israelite Religious Community, or NIK, as saying. “Surely, the threat is the same.”
Some Dutch synagogues have police protection, while others have no armed guards, according to the daily. Some communities are reporting a drop in synagogue attendance because of growing insecurity, it said.
Japan Pledges $100 Million for Gaza Reconstruction
During a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Abe said, regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict: “We are concerned about the deteriorating situation between the two sides since the last year. I exchanged views with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas and found they are real friends.”
Abbas thanked the Japanese Prime Minister for his appearance, stating that “Palestinians will never forget Japan’s support for Palestine.” Abbas continued, demanding that the Israeli choose either “peace or settlement expansion,” which refers to Israeli Jews building houses in disputed lands.
Abe’s announcement comes as the Islamic State terror group has demanded a sum of $200 million dollars for the release of two of its citizens. In a video released on Tuesday, an ISIS jihadist threatened that, should Japan not pay the ransom money within 72 hours, they would kill Japanese hostages Kenji Goto Jogo and Haruna Yukawa.
Lamis Deek of the National Lawyer's Guild shows her true colors
In one day, over 28,000 people have watched New York City Councilman David Greenfield on youtube, calling out protesters for what he described as "Naked blind Anti-Semitism" after a resolution recognizing the Holocaust was repeatedly disrupted.
No, an apology is not forthcoming from the protesters and their enablers.
From Lamis Deek, a self described "human rights attorney" and National Lawyers Guild Activist.
Lamis Deek is for "dignified freedom". But not for the Jews, apparently.
This so-called "human rights" attorney just called a New York City Councilman a "liar" and a "pig' because he expressed his dismay that a NYC Council's resolution on the Holocaust was disrupted. She evoked the classic "dual loyalty" slander that is exclusively directed towards Jews. And she called him "racist" for standing up for political dissidents, Jehovah's witnesses, and gays who perished at Auschwitz .
Again, Lamis Deek has proven that 'When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.'
German companies ‘helped build Syria’s chemical stockpile’
German companies were likely instrumental in building Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal, and the German government has endeavored to prevent these companies’ dealings from coming to light, according to a damning report in German newspaper Der Spiegel.
The German daily reported late Friday that Berlin has had for the past 16 months a list of companies provided by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which allegedly supplied the Syrian regime with technology and materials used to develop and build up its chemical weapons stockpile.
But instead of investigating those companies, the government has classified the document and refused to give any details on its contents, saying releasing the information would “significantly impair foreign policy interests” as well as violate the companies’ constitutional rights to trade secrecy.
The paper speculated that the government had several reasons to do so: Besides embarassing Germany on the global stage, releasing the report would cause internal strife on issues of government regulation of trade, as well as reflect badly on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own ruling party and its former leader, ex-chancellor Helmut Kohl.
One of two Japanese IS hostages reportedly killed
One of the two Japanese hostages held by the Islamic State terrorist group has reportedly been beheaded.
In a new video released Saturday, the jihadists offer to exchange the remaining hostage for a female terrorist held in Jordanian prison. Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi is accused of taking part in a 2005 suicide bombing in Amman, organized by al-Qaeda in Iraq, in which over 35 people were killed. Her suicide vest failed to detonate according to reports, and she survived the attack. Her husband was the second suicide bomber.
The video posted Saturday by IS-linked tweeps is different from previous beheading clips released by the group. In this particular one, the remaining hostage Kenji Goto Jogo is seen holding a photo of a beheaded Haruna Yukawa and no decapitation is shown on camera. In addition, an audio voice-over purporting to be Goto announces the beheading and the terrorists’ demand.
The “Yemen Model” Goes Down in Flames
Yemen has been cited a couple of times in recent years by the Obama administration as a model for what it wants to accomplish in the Middle East. In 2011, after an Arab Spring uprising in Yemen, the administration helped to engineer the peaceful transfer of power from longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh to vice president (and staunch American ally) Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. This was hailed as a model of democracy ascendant. More recently in September 2014 Obama hailed Yemen, along with Somalia, as a model of the kind of “small footprint” approach he favored for fighting terrorism–sending American advisers and drones but not combat troops.
The last few days have brutally exposed the falsity of these claims, which is no doubt why Yemen went entirely unmentioned in the State of the Union. The Houthi militia, a Shiite group armed and supported by Iran, has overrun Sana, the capital, and seized the presidential palace. It only agreed to release President Hadi after he agreed to share power with them. This does not sit well with Sunni tribes who are threatening war on the Houthis, which will undoubtedly draw them into league with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terrorist group which has taken responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, the main sponsor of the Hadi government and major adversary of Iran and its proxies, is vowing to cut off all aid to Yemen as long as the Houthis are in control. Yemen, in short, is on the verge of plunging into a Libya-like or Syria-like abyss, which would certainly make it representative of Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East but not in the way the president intended.
State Dept Spox Grilled Over Yemen: So 'Anarchy Is Not Enough' To Close US Embassy?
Following news that the Yemeni government resigned amid conflict with the country’s rebels, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was grilled by reporters who questioned why “anarchy is not enough” of a reason for the U.S. to close their embassy in Yemen.
“In terms of the embassy, what’s the status of that?” asked the Associated Press’s Matt Lee.
“Of course, the safety and security of our personnel is of paramount importance,” said Psaki. “We are prepared to adjust our presence if necessary, but there has been no change in our security posture.”
“So, basically, anarchy is not enough to get you to adjust your presence?” Lee asked pointedly.
Why is Westminster Abbey honouring the king of a country where Christianity is banned?
Private Eye will have a field day when it comes to the tributes being paid to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia – it’ll be like beheading fish in a barrel (for adultery). Among the tributes paid to the people’s medieval theocrat was one by David Cameron
Then there was Angela Merkel, who said King Abdullah’s policies ‘brought him and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia respect and recognition. With wisdom, foresight and great personal dedication, he strove for a cautious modernization of his country and for dialogue between the Islamic world and the West.’ Considering women still aren’t allowed to drive, I think cautious is a bit of an understatement.
Likewise with the IMG’s Christine Lagarde, who said Saudi King Abdullah was a strong advocate of women ‘in a very discreet way’:
Control everything in your home with a wave of the hand
The Israeli company eyeSight Technologies, a leader in the field of computer- and machine-vision solutions since 2005, has just launched a new product that might make the clutter of multiple household remote controls a thing of the past.
Onecue is a small, unobtrusive, standalone device that interfaces with TV sets, satellite and cable boxes, DVD and Blu-ray players, stereos, Xboxes and other remotely controlled electronic equipment or electrical appliances.
Currently compatible with Apple TV, Nest Learning Thermostat, Philips Hue and a number of others, the new gadget — launched at the end of November and listed by CNN as one of 36 “coolest gadgets of 2014” — is a simple tool for today’s “smart” home.
According to eyeSight CEO Gideon Shmuel, Onecue is actually easier to master – even for those of us who are not technologically inclined – than the remote controls and apps it is replacing.
Israeli Company Wins Award, Grants for Creating Synthetic Fuels from Industrial Waste
Heavy industries generate a lot of heat and emit a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere. An Israeli startup, NewCO2Fuels (NCF) turns these two streams of waste into profitable products and recently won an award and two major grants for its innovation.
For millions of years, plant life has been turning water and carbon dioxide (CO2) into energy. Today, many entrepreneurs are copying natural photosynthesis to find a good use for the dangerously excessive CO2 in our air. But these solutions aren’t widely adopted by industry without government incentives to offset their cost.
NCF has developed a technology that transforms industrial water and CO2 waste into a hydrogen-carbon monoxide synthetic gas or syngas for short. That syngas is then turned into profitable products such as liquid fuels, plastics and fertilizer.
It’s not only an attractive business model but also sustainable, as the conversion process is fueled by concentrated solar energy or byproduct heat from the industries themselves.
“There are a lot of industries using high-temperature heat to produce things like steel, glass and cement, by burning fossil fuel,” explains CEO David Banitt. “They waste a lot of heat and emit a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere. We take these two streams of waste and turn them into profitable products.”
Israel’s mobile technologies for disabled find mass market appeal
Israeli technology firms catering to the country's disabled war veterans are exploring ways to bring their innovations to the mass market with applications that make mobile phones easier to use.
Israel, with its thriving start-up scene and large number of military veterans, is a natural incubator of technology for the disabled, some of which is proving useful to able bodied users as well.
"That's the secret sauce to go to scale," said Andrew Johnson, an analyst with market research firm Gartner Inc.
A phone for the blind developed by Project Ray also allows drivers to operate a device without taking their eyes off the road, while Sesame Enable's hands-free phone, crucial for paralysed users, offers convenience to all.
Voiceitt, which developed an app for people with speech impediments, is exploring ways to help voice-recognition software understand a more diverse range of accents.
Johnson added that phone manufacturers are beginning to incorporate disability technology as standard, providing a platform for more specialised apps.


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