Sunday, February 01, 2015

From Ian:

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: The Return of Anti-Semitism
Last Tuesday, a group of Holocaust survivors, by now gaunt and frail, made their way back to Auschwitz, the West’s symbol of evil—back to the slave-labor side of the vast complex, with its mocking inscription Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work makes you free”), and back to the death camp, where a million and a quarter human beings, most of them Jews, were gassed, burned and turned to ash. They were there to commemorate the day, 70 years ago, when Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz and saw, for the first time, the true dimensions of the greatest crime since human beings first set foot on Earth.
The moment would have been emotional at the best of times, but this year brought an especially disturbing undercurrent. The Book of Genesis says that, when God told Abraham what would happen to his descendants, a “fear of great darkness” fell over him. Something of that fear haunted the survivors this week, who have witnessed the return of anti-Semitism to Europe after 70 years of political leaders constant avowals of “Never again.” As they finished saying Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for mourners, one man cried out, “I don’t want to come here again.” Everyone knew what he meant. For once, the fear was not only about the past but also about the future.
The murder of Jewish shoppers at a Parisian kosher supermarket three weeks ago, after the killing of 12 people at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, sent shivers down the spines of many Jews, not because it was the first such event but because it has become part of a pattern. In 2014, four were killed at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. In 2012, a rabbi and three young children were murdered at a Jewish school in Toulouse. In 2008 in Mumbai, four terrorists separated themselves from a larger group killing people in the city’s cafes and hotels and made their way to a small Orthodox Jewish center, where they murdered its young rabbi and his pregnant wife after torturing and mutilating them. As the Sunday Times of London reported about the attack, “the terrorists would be told by their handlers in Pakistan that the lives of Jews were worth 50 times those of non-Jews.”
IsraellyCool: History Channel Knows How To Have A Lot Fewer Problems And Jews
Well, yes, if by “problems” you mean Jews (and Christians) then yes, I’m sure there would be fewer Jews in the middle east today were it not for the existence of little Israel, the only oasis of sanity in the Middle East today.
Here’s where that line was taken from: a trailer for a forthcoming History Channel look at WW1.
Aside from the nonsense about Britain and France breaking up the Arab states: what Arab states? Britain and France CREATED the Arab states. As Anjem Choudry said in his interview a couple of weeks ago with Voice of Israel, modern nation states are an anathema to Islam. The Ottoman empire was a loosely governed amalgam of tribal areas.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that the only recognisable nation today that should have been created is Israel! If anything created a lot of problems, it was the overlaying of Arab nationalism onto an Islamic base: perhaps they should have left the Arabs as highly fractured, waring fiefdoms and not encouraged to band together in nations at all. Because the only thing Arab nations have ever agreed on is hating Israel (and the Jews who run it).
Trailer about WW1: world better without Balfour


The Hypocrisy of Iran's Holocaust Cartoon Contest
The purpose of the contest, according to the organizers, is to highlight Western hypocrisy over the value of free speech. Following the attack on Charlie Hebdo, people around the world expressed solidarity through the ubiquitous "Je Suis Charlie" slogan, indicating a defense of the newspaper's right to satirize religious piety. Critics of the newspaper, though, pointed out that Muslims weren't offended by Charlie Hebdo's irreverent speech. They were instead insulted that white Parisians mocked religious values held by France's immigrant population, a group that has long been marginalized within French society. And according to Massoud Shojai Tabatabai, one of the organizers of the 2006 conference, the Western commitment to free speech doesn't always include denying the Holocaust, which remains a criminal offense in countries like Austria.
"Why is it acceptable in Western countries to draw any caricature of the Prophet Mohammed, yet as soon as there are any questions or doubts raised about the Holocaust, fines and jail sentences are handed down?" Tabatabai told the Observer that year.
But there's a difference between drawing an offensive caricature and participating in the negation of an established historical fact. And while Holocaust denial didn't begin with Iran, Tehran's contribution to the practice has been especially shameful. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president from 2005 to 2013, claimed that the Holocaust was a "myth" designed to protect the existence of Israel. In 2006, the year of the first cartoon contest, Tehran sponsored an international conference to "review the global vision of the Holocaust." Ahmadenijad's successor Hassan Rouhani acknowledged and condemned the Holocaust upon taking office in 2013, but neither he nor his suave, U.S.-educated Foreign Minister Mohammed Javaid Zarif have expressed regret for their country's role in its denial. Ayatollah Khameini, Iran's Supreme Leader and the man who controls the country's foreign policy, has called the Holocaust a "distorted historical event."



Neo-Nazis Plan Rally in London Jewish Neighborhood
A Neo-Nazi group has announced plans for a demonstration in a north London neighborhood that is home to Europe's largest Orthodox Jewish community.
The racist group, calling itself "Liberate Stamford Hill," says the rally is to oppose the "Jewification" of the UK, and particularly to protest Stamford Hill's local "Shomrim" neighborhood watch initiative.
The protest's organizers point to an incident last year in which signs requesting men and women to stand on opposite sides of the street were left over from a Torah scroll dedication ceremony - which some residents mistook as being aimed at the general public, causing some controversy - as "proof" that Shomrim were attempting to implement "Talmudic law" in the area.
"We are demonstrating against the illegal and unlawful Shomrim Police that are enforcing talmudic law on British streets," read an announcement on one of several Facebook pages advertising the demo. "These armed thugs are impersonating our police yet they have not been arrested in doing so, in fact, they are supported by the Metropolitan police. In Stamford Hill, Whites are openly spat at in the street and made to feel as if they are Second-Class citizens in their own country, we say ENOUGH White Man, It's time we fightback!"
Contrary to the statement, however, Shomrim are not armed at all and coordinate closely with local police - even receiving praise for their work from local police chiefs. The volunteer initiative - which exists in several other Jewish communities in the UK and US - exists solely as a response to concerns over rising crime in the area.
The event's poster claims to show a menacing-looking "Shomrim" volunteer, but is in fact a scene from Woody Allen's spoof movie "Faded Gigolo" featuring actor Liev Schreiber.
Honest Reporting: Blatant Bias and Inept Journalism in The Independent
It’s impossible to miss the blatant bias in The Independent‘s coverage of the Israeli announcement of new home building in Jewish settlements.
"The green line was laid out in 1949 armistice agreements between the armies of Israel and its neighbours after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
Israel has since breached these lines and it is now currently illegally occupying parts of the Palestinian territories."

How exactly has Israel “breached these lines?” The journalist conveniently omits a whole chunk of history which includes the 1967 Six-Day War when Israel came to control territories in a war of self-defense. And as for “illegally occupying” territory, a description that journalist Jon Stone scatters liberally throughout the article, the correct terminology would be “disputed.”
He continues:
"The Israeli government says it needs to occupy Palestine for security reasons, despite repeated resolutions from the United Nations calling for it to withdraw."
Of course, no Israel government has ever said this and one wonders where Stone is getting his flawed information. Firstly, there is technically no “Palestine” to “occupy” irrespective of whether one favors the creation of such a state. This use of terminology certainly is not appropriate for a newspaper claiming to be dealing with accurate information.
No one immune from Israeli preemptive strikes, says PM
Israel will continue to preempt enemy plans against the Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday, all but publicly confirming the country’s involvement in an airstrike in Syria last month that left at least seven Hezbollah and Iranian operatives dead.
“We have proven that nobody is immune from our intention to foil attacks against us. Thus we have acted and thus we will continue to act,” he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
The comments constitute the strongest hint yet by a senior Israeli official that Israel had carried out the January 18 strike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian brigadier general, Mohammed Ali Allahdadi.
Hezbollah and Iran have spent the weeks since the strike threatening grave consequences for Israel.
On Wednesday a Hezbollah cell fired five anti-tank Kornet rockets at a convoy of IDF infantry commanders driving along the northern border, killing two soldiers and wounding seven.
“Today the cabinet will be briefed on recent events on our northern border,” Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting. “On Friday, the defense minister [Moshe Ya’alon] and I visited our soldiers who were wounded in the terrorist attack on the northern border. I was very impressed by their determination and their desire to rejoin their comrades at the front and defend our country.”
Gantz: Border villages need better defense from Kornet missile-type threat, attack tunnels
Only days after an IDF unit was hit by a Kornet missile fired by Hezbollah from a significant distance, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz warned Sunday that Israel's border villages on the northern front must be better defended from similar threats as well as from attack tunnels.
The clear implication was that Hezbollah now has long-range attack capabilities "even from kilometers away," and besides firing inaccurate rockets, now has advanced missiles like the Kornet and attack tunnels, which have radically altered the danger it can pose to border villages with virtually no warning.
Last week, Hezbollah terrorists launched five or six Kornet missiles from a distance of at least four kilometers from their targets, striking two IDF vehicles as they drove two kilometers from the international border, and killing two soldiers.
Gantz said that in the past one could count on observing movement on the border above ground to anticipate attacks, but that the new long-range capabilities and attack tunnels have changed that.
Powerful Iran general met with Hezbollah chief after Golan strike
Qassem Soleimani, a shadowy commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force, also visited the graves of Hezbollah fighters killed in the January 18 airstrike on the Golan Heights widely attributed to Israel.
Soleimani traveled to Lebanon a day after the strike, which killed six Hezbollah men and an IRGC brigadier general, Mohammed Ali Allahdadi, according Lebanese media reports.
Israeli media reported at the weekend that Soleimani appointed two Quds Force members to help orchestrate Hezbollah’s response to the strike, last Wednesday, in which two IDF soldiers were killed and 7 injured in a cross-border missile attack.
The January 18 attack highlighted the increasingly public Iranian involvement in Hezbollah’s activities, both in southern Lebanon and in Syria, where the Lebanese group is fighting in that country’s civil war to support the forces of the Assad regime.
FBI: Ex-Venezuelan Ambassador to Lebanon Fundraised for Hezbollah
The FBI has added a former Venezuelan ambassador to Lebanon and Syria to their Terrorism “Seeking Information” list, after evidence indicated that Ghazi Nasr al Din was using his position to help fundraise for the Shiite terror group Hezbollah.
Nasr al Din, a dual Venezuelan and Lebanese citizen, served both of his terms under socialist leader Hugo Chávez before his death and has also served at the head of the Shi’a Islamic Center in Caracas, Venezuela, according to the United States Department of Treasury. The Treasury designated Nasr al Din a “supporter” of Hezbollah in 2008, with Adam J. Szubin, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), stating at the time, “It is extremely troubling to see the Government of Venezuela employing and providing safe harbor to Hizballah facilitators and fundraisers.”
Al Din also served as the head of political affairs in the Venezuelan embassy in Lebanon.
On Thursday, the FBI issued a release requesting any information on Nasr al Din’s whereabouts. Nasr al Din stands accused of seeking “donations” for Hezbollah in his role as an ambassador and meeting with Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon to “discuss operations.” A local report from NBC affiliate WPTV claims the FBI believes he may he hiding in southern Florida.
BBC’s ‘In Pictures’ compromises accuracy with sloppy caption
The ‘In Pictures’ section of the BBC News website included the image below in the latest edition of its ‘Week in pictures‘ feature. The photograph is captioned:
“Sahar, girlfriend of Israeli soldier Dor Nini mourns during his funeral in a cemetery at Shtulim village near Ashdod. He was one of two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish UN peacekeeper killed as Hezbollah militants traded fire with Israeli forces on the Lebanese border.”
St. Sgt. Dor Nini and Maj. Yochai Kalangel were killed by Hizballah terrorists who deliberately targeted the vehicle in which they were travelling (and additional ones), on a road also used by civilians, with Kornet guided anti-tank missiles from around 4 to 5 kilometers inside Lebanese territory. They could not and did not ‘trade fire’ with their attackers.
Are Democrats Planning to Skip Netanyahu Speech to Congress?
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi hinted that Democrats may skip next month's address to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Asked if most House Democrats would attend the March 3 speech, Pelosi said, "I don't know."
"With all the respect in the world for the prime minister, and all the love in the world for the state of Israel, I don't know that even everyone in Israel is supportive of the invitation," she told reporters at a Democratic retreat in Philadelphia.
President Obama and the White House is still furious that House Speaker John Boehner invited Bibi. The White House is in sensitive negotiations with Israel foe Iran and Obama contends he does not want to affect the March 24 Israeli election.
Netanyahu has telephoned Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, in hopes of lessening their opposition to his visit. The calls, according to congressional aides, did not change minds.
DNC's Wasserman-Schultz *Shocked!* by MSM's Bias Against Israel
Shark Tank Media has released audio of Democratic National Committee Chairman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) expressing shock over biased coverage at the hands of MSNBC and CNN in reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
While speaking to a group of Jewish Americans in her home state, Wasserman-Schultz described witnessing first-hand -- presumably for the first time -- the bias of a media usually in her party's favor.
Readying herself for the speaking engagement, Wasserman-Schultz recalled tuning into MSNBC and immediately noticing a clear Palestinian-only perspective emerge as she watched, taking in the devastating images of the war in Gaza:
The foreign-backed campaign to unseat Netanyahu
One of these groups is named V15 -- Victory 2015. Over the weekend, the Likud Party filed a petition with the Central Elections Committee seeking an injunction against this group. V15 began making headlines last week when it emerged that it hired the same campaign advisers as U.S. President Barack Obama. But V15 is certainly not alone -- there are a large number of non-profits and organizations with a similar objective – to end Netanyahu's leadership -- working alongside them.
V15's website reveals the scope of its activities: On Friday, dozens of volunteers around the country went door to door in efforts to convince Israeli citizens not to vote for Netanyahu face to face. The activity was overseen by fully paid field coordinators. According to assessments, the group's payroll includes dozens of paid staff. The total cost is estimated at 10 million shekels.
The group's objective is to reach more than 150,000 homes before election day.
Former MK Yoel Hasson, formerly of Kadima and now number 16 on the joint Labor-Hatnuah (Zionist camp) list, claims that he holds no post in the umbrella organization called OneVoice, whose activities are linked with V15. But until this weekend, Hasson's name and picture appeared on the organization's Web page as a member of the board. On Saturday, the picture was removed.
 Likud Press Conference to Expose Obama-Labor Link
The Likud party intends to hold a press conference in Tel Aviv Sunday in which it will expose details about “V15 – Victory in 2015,” a campaign it says is using foreign money, and lots of it, to boost Labor and Meretz in the elections.
Likud has filed a motion to the Elections Committee, according to which V15 is carrying out an illegal indirect campaign with a connection to Labor and Meretz. V15 is “making criminal use of foreign sources of funding,” adding that the sums involved were “very high” and their sources unknown.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Jeremy Bird, the Team Obama community organizing campaign wizard, has come far from his early midwestern roots. He is currently ensconced in a tiny office in Tel Aviv, working to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming March elections through the V15 campaign vehicle of the Peaceworks Network Foundation.
While in Cambridge, Bird came under the wing of Edmund Hanauer, a bilious defamer of Israel. In 1972, Hanauer founded Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel. Hanauer firmly believed that Israel was able to “disregard international law, human rights and democratic values” because of the amount of U.S. aid it received.
On Feb. 25, 2002, while Bird was working with him, Hanauer penned an op-ed which ran in the Milwaukee Sentinel, “The Double Standard Must End.”
The loathing for Israel is woven through his words, even as he used a tagline with an invaluable hecksher: “Edmund Hanauer, American Jewish political scientist.”
In that op-ed, which ran just days before Bird appeared with Hanauer at a Bash Israel event at Harvard – more on that in a moment – Bird expresses outrage that President Bush condemned Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s actions as “terrorism,” while failing to similarly demand that “Sharon stop Israeli state terrorism.” That is what Hanauer considered the evil American double standard. He called it “selectively” defining terrorism.
Kerry’s grotesque love letter
When Margaret Thatcher died in 2013, the U.S. sent no senior dignitaries to her funeral. Next to Winston Churchill, Thatcher was the most consequential prime minister the U.K. had in a century, and she was an indispensable ally to the U.S., in the Cold War and the first Gulf War too. But the only representative from Barack Obama’s administration was the local ambassador.
Various retired American officials attended, including Hillary Clinton. But, like Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger, she was no longer in office. It was an Obama snub.
Just like two weeks ago at the great Paris march in defiance of the Muslim terrorist attacks in that city. Forty-four world leaders attended; Canada sent a cabinet minister. But from the Obama administration: just the local ambassador.
Why? Why did Obama snub the U.K., by some measures the greatest U.S. ally? Why did Obama snub France, America’s first ally?
Contrast those diplomatic slights with the shocking press release issued by John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, upon the death of Saudi Arabia’s dictator, King Abdullah last week.
“This is a sad day. The United States has lost a friend, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and the world has lost a revered leader,” the press release started.
A revered leader? A theocrat, a fascist, a dictator for life, whose government financially and morally bankrolls Muslim terrorism around the world? A polygamist with an estimated 14 wives, plus countless mistresses?
Army shoots dead Palestinian throwing firebomb at car
Paratroopers identified two men hurling firebombs at cars near Yitzhar, south of Nablus. The troops fired at the two, killing one and hitting another in the leg. The second man was promptly arrested, the military said.
The army told Ynet News the section of road in question had suffered dozens of rock-throwing and firebombing attacks over the past year, and said the troops had been deployed in the area for the express purpose of finding such assailants.
The IDF noted that troops had been instructed to use live fire against anyone throwing firebombs.
Last week the military prosecution submitted an indictment against two Palestinian teens in connection with a December firebombing attack south of Nablus that left 11-year-old Ayala Shapira critically wounded.
Israeli arrested for fighting with Islamic State in Iraq
A resident of Nazareth was indicted in Israel on Sunday for joining up with the Islamic State terror group and taking part in fighting in Iraq.

Maharan Yosef Hachmi Chaldi was arrested by the Shin bet security service three weeks ago, officials said Sunday.
Chaldi was stopped in Ben Gurion Airport as he was returning from Iraq via Turkey.
According to the indictment, in the beginning of October 2014, Chaldi, an Israeli citizen, left for Syria through Turkey and from there carried on to Iraq.
Palestinian Authority Criticizes Hamas for Importing Israeli Products
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party criticized Hamas for allowing the import of Israeli products into Gaza, according to a report by Khaled ABu Toameh.
The Fatah party said “Boycotting Israeli goods is a national, religious and moral duty.”
Apparently reducing the quality of life down in Gaza is a Palestinian Authority imperative.
There is no word when the Palestinian Authority will stop importing electricity and water from Israel, or when the average PA Arab will be giving up their made-in-Israel Milky snacks.
Hamas says Egypt no longer a viable mediator with Israel
A source close to Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said Saturday the group no longer recognizes Egypt as a broker with Israel, following an Egyptian court’s decision to label the group a terrorist organization.
Meanwhile, Egypt announced plans for a unified task force to combat militants in the Sinai peninsula as its president vowed a long and difficult battle against terrorism.
“After the court’s decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters,” a Hamas source told Reuters on Saturday, hours after the court’s ruling. Cairo has long been a go-between for both parties and has played a pivotal role in brokering a number of ceasefires in Gaza, including at the end of last summer’s war.
Ismail Haniyeh, the group’s former prime minister in the Gaza Strip, lambasted Cairo over the announcement, saying “you [Egyptians] have lost your sense of justice.”
Jewish Students Confront Anti-Semitism At UC Davis
For several weeks Boycott proponents whipped the campus into a venom filled frenzy against the Jewish state – culminating in a sure to pass resolution against Israel. The small minority of Israel supporting, mostly Jewish students never stood a chance against the angry mob.
But Aggies for Israel leader Julia Reifkind is not one to stand silent in the face of hate. Addressing the standing room only auditorium, Reifkind expressed her disgust and defiance of these proprietors of the oldest hatred. As she concluded her remarks she called upon those on the side of truth and justice to join her as she walked out of the senate chamber. This is what she said.
“To those of you who have brought this toxic resolution forward today, with the knowledge it will pass, I say this to your so called “victory”… You have divided our campus and damaged lives. And I tell you now, you have not won. The real victory belongs to us. We will continue to celebrate our beliefs on this campus and keep the integrity of our message strong. … This is our victory. And we who are victorious need not legitimize the words spoken in this empty hearing. So if you are here tonight in opposition to this resolution, I invite you now to Stand UP. Stand up and join me in walking out of this room.”
ASUCD Passes Resolution in Support of Divestment From Israel; Katehi Issues Statement in Opposition
UC Davis joins UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Riverside as UC schools to pass Israeli Divestment resolutions through their student governments.
Yesterday morning Chancellor Linda Katehi issued a statement. She wrote, “Last evening the ASUCD Senate passed a resolution urging the UC Board of Regents to divest from four corporations that, according to the resolution, ‘aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine.’”
She stressed, “This, however, does not reflect the position of UC Davis or the University of California system. The investment policy for the University of California system, including UC Davis, is set by the UC Board of Regents. The Board and Office of the President issued a statement regarding student resolutions that urge the Board to divest from companies doing business with Israel. The statement reiterates the Board’s position that this type of call to action will not be entertained.”
Chancellor Katehi continues, “We recognize that this is a sensitive topic for many on our campus, one that is very personal and emotional. It is for this reason that we must exercise sensitivity, restraint and respect in relation to the issue. Prior to the debate last night, those in attendance were reminded of our Principles of Community. We affirmed the right to freedom of expression, but also affirmed our commitment to the highest standards of civility and decency toward all.”
Meet the UC Davis student who celebrates Hamas and Sharia: Azka Fayyaz.
Who is Azka Fayyaz, the Student Senator at UC Davis who celebrated BDS as a victory for "Hamas and Sharia " on her campus?
There is nothing in her campaign statement that indicates she will use her position to advocate for divestment There is nothing in her campaign platform to indicate her support for avowed terror groups.
If divestment wasn't part of the platform that led to the election of Azka Fayyaz, why does anyone think she has a mandate from the student body to proceed in that direction? There is nothing in her platform to indicate her extremist politics.
Jewish fraternity in California defaced with swastikas
Two swastikas were painted on the walls and steps of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house, located just of the campus of the Sacramento-area school.
Some Jewish organizations and students on campus claim the vandalism, which Davis police are investigating as a hate crime, is the result of a weeks long feud between pro-Israel groups and boycott, divestment and sanctions organizations on campus..
Last week, Associated Students of UC Davis voted to recommend the University of California board of regents divest its holdings in Israeli companies, a move the fraternity vocally worked against. Pro-Israel activists staged a walk-out during the vote in protest.
“From that bill, there have been Facebook posts that have been unbelievably derogatory toward Jews,” Fraternity Vice President, Nathaniel Bernhard, told the local Fox News affiliate.
Swastika painted onto UC Davis Jewish Fraternity


Daphne Anson: An Appalling Advertising Outlet For A Respectable Aussie College
The Chisholm Institute is a respected provider of further education in Australia. Imagine my friend's surprise, then, when he clicked on a Facebook link and was confronted with the following:
How appalling that a respectable and respected institution should be (against its will or knowledge I have no doubt) featured in an ad on such a page. My friend assumes he is seeing this ad because the fact that he attended a similar college to Chisholm appears in his Facebook profile.
Strange what Facebook tolerates, eh?
ISIS executes second Japanese hostage
Islamic State militants said on Saturday they had beheaded a second Japanese hostage, journalist Kenji Goto, after the failure of international efforts to secure his release through a prisoner swap.
The hardline Islamist group, which controls large parts of Syria and Iraq, released a video which seemed to show the beheaded body of Goto and threatened further attacks on Japanese targets. Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said the video appeared to be genuine.
Islamic State had said Goto, 47, was held along with a Jordanian pilot. Efforts to win their release had focused on the possible release of an Iraqi would-be suicide bomber jailed in Jordan 10 years ago. The video did not mention the pilot.
Jordan doing ‘everything’ to secure pilot held by jihadis
Jordan vowed Sunday to do all it could to save an airman held by the Islamic State group after the jihadists killed a Japanese journalist they had been holding.
The kingdom “will do everything it can to save the life and secure the release of its pilot,” Maaz al-Kassasbeh, who was captured by the jihadists after his plane crashed in Syria in December, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momeni told the official Petra news agency.
IS has been demanding the release of a convicted Iraqi jihadist on death row in Jordan in exchange for Kassasbeh’s life, a demand the government has expressed readiness to accept provided it is given proof he is still alive.
“All state organizations have been mobilized to secure the proof of life that we require so that he can be freed and returned to his home,” Momeni said.
Berlin Imam: Women Should Be Confined to the Home and Never Say No to Sex with Husband


Saudi Historian: Our Women Should Not Be Allowed to Drive Lest They Get Raped


Serbian president urged to apologize for Holocaust remarks
Serbian human rights groups called on Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic to apologize for saying at a Holocaust commemoration that Nazis targeted Jews because of their over-representation in certain professions.
Nikolic “is spreading stereotypes about the Jewish people, saying that this minority was “over-represented in prestigious professions,'” said the January 28 statement signed by a number of Belgrade-based human rights monitors and civil society groups.
Among the signatories were Belgrade representatives of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights.
In his speech on January 27, Nikolic said that for the Nazis, “the biggest threat was seen in the Jewish people, probably on the account of their characteristics and being prominent in the prestigious professions in the domains of finances, art and science,” according to a report by the government-run broadcaster, Voice of Serbia.
PreOccupied Territory: Trees Totally Oblivious Tu Bishvat Coming (satire)
The trees in this wooded patch of the city remain completely unaware that the country around them is preparing to celebrate them on Wednesday, sources within the arboreal community report.
Jewish tradition cites the fifteenth day of the month of Shvat, a winter month, as the “New Year for Trees.” The occasion chiefly refers to how fruit tithes may be grouped, but in recent decades has become a celebration of the Jewish connection to the land of Israel through its produce. The pine, olive, acacia, almond, carob, and other species of tree, whether fruiting or not, have shown no sign of knowing, let alone caring, that Israelis intend to celebrate them in any fashion.
Experts attribute the apparent aloofness to a highly evolved sense of patience among trees. “It takes a long time for a tree to reach real maturity,” notes botanist Alon Oren of Bar-Ilan University. “Unlike humans, who never really mature. Trees have no need for our fickle sensibilities, and our tendency to seize every moment.”
Superbugs may meet their match in TAU discovery
If the world doesn’t watch out, bacteria that just a few years ago were held at bay by antibiotics could reassert themselves in an aggressive and deadly manner. Drug-resistant bacteria are already responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, and that could climb to millions in the coming decade if something isn’t done.
So far, the response of science has been to develop ever-stronger antibiotics. But researchers at Tel Aviv University believe they have a solution that will be a lot more effective in the long run. The TAU solution uses fire to fight fire – inserting a virus that makes the antibiotic-resistant bacteria “sick” and weak enough to be killed off by drugs.
In a paper published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Prof. Udi Qimron and a team from the Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine showed how a bacteriophage – a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium – changes the DNA of bacteria, crippling the activity of a protein that allows it to maintain its cell structure. Without that protein, the bug essentially collapses on itself. It’s destroyed completely, or becomes easy pickings for current antibiotics.


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