Sunday, February 22, 2015

From Ian:

Palestinian stabs Israeli, neutralized by mayor
A man was stabbed in the abdomen near City Hall in Jerusalem Sunday evening.
The victim, an ultra-Orthodox man in his 20s, was moderately wounded in the attack in Tzahal Square.
The assailant was an 18-year-old Palestinian who was residing illegally in Israel.
Mayor Nir Barkat and his security team apprehended the attacker, who was taken to police for questioning.
Barkat told Channel 2 he was on the way to the municipality headquarters for a meeting when he saw the attack unfold.
He and his security guard confronted the attacker and got him to drop the knife, Barkat said. They then pinned him down.
PMW: Columnist in official PA daily:US and Israel direct Islamic State terror in Europe
The Palestinian Authority and Fatah continuously repeat the libel that Israel and the US are collaborating with the terror organization Islamic State. The cartoon above shows a Jewish man with a black flag similar to that of Islamic State, holding an automatic weapon and a blood-dripping knife. The flag displays a white Star of David and the inscription: "Jewish State in Israel and the Levant," meant to mimic the terror organization's name "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant." The cartoon was posted on the website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission. [Jan. 29, 2015]
In early January, Fatah Central Committee and PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat also made remarks comparing Israel and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Islamic State. According to official PA TV, Erekat said that "there was no difference between the terrorism practiced by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's gang [Islamic State] and Israeli terrorism." [Official PA TV, Jan. 6, 2015] Erekat later explained his statements as referring to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu only. [Official PA TV, Jan. 5, 2015]
Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf reiterated the claim that Israel is worse than the Islamic State, when responding to then Canadian foreign minister John Baird's request that Erekat apologize to Netanyahu:
"The occupation is the worst form of terrorism, no less abominable than the terrorism of the Islamic State, and in fact [even] more abominable." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 17, 2015]
Fatah Central Committee Member Sultan Abu Al-Einein: How Come ISIS Does Not Attack Israel?


UN’s steady Israel-bashing reveals true face of a failed system
Every time a U.N. committee writes a report about Israel or resolutions are adopted criticizing the Jewish state, it further marginalizes the United Nations as a reliable venue for conflict resolution, and proves once again that the world body cannot speak with credibility on these issues.
Soon, the United Nations Human Rights Council will once again turn its attention to the annual “Item 7” on its agenda. That is the basket of anti-Israel resolutions taken up each session that speaks to the heart of this credibility gap. The voting blocs at the U.N. always march in lockstep, blindly castigating Israel. If they were honestly interested in a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they would realize that condemning Israel year after year contributes only to un-meetable Palestinian expectations and justifiable frustration on the part of Israel.
In turn, Israel then sees an organization unfairly obsessed with Israel at the expense of addressing serious fires burning in the Middle East and elsewhere. You would think Israel’s critics would try carrots, but instead they keep applying bigger sticks.
Therein lies the problem with the forthcoming “Schabas report,” the expected support once again for Item 7, and by extension, a failed United Nations system.
Israel demands UN condemn Iran's Holocaust-themed cartoon contest
Israel’s top representative to the United Nations is demanding that the world body condemn the Iranian government for hosting a contest featuring Holocaust-themed cartoons.
Ron Prosor wrote a letter over the weekend to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and global delegates urging them to publicly censure the contest, which is scheduled to take place this coming April.
The contest organizers said the event is a response to the massacre of journalists at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last month. The magazine was targeted due to controversial cartoons it had published depicting Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, in humorous situations.
The organizers argued that the event is in line with Western values that preserve humans’ right to freedom of expression.
The contest winners will receive awards, while one cartoon will be chosen for exhibition at a museum featuring Palestinian works of art in Tehran.



Honest Reporting: BBC Rejects Tim Willcox Complaints
The BBC’s complaints procedure is a drawn-out process. HonestReporting and many others initiated complaints concerning Tim Willcox’s outrageous reporting in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket terror attacks in Paris.We have now received a detailed response from the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit.
In response, HonestReporting Managing Editor Simon Plosker said:
The BBC’s latest response to the Tim Willcox affair is yet further evidence that the BBC cannot be trusted to investigate its own journalistic failings. While this may be a provisional finding, there’s no reason to believe that we are looking at anything but a complete whitewash.
The arguments laid out by the BBC make me wonder if the Editorial Complaints Unit reviewed a completely different piece of footage to the rest of us. Let it be clear: Tim Willcox should be held accountable for the appalling statements and questions that he broadcast from Paris that day. Clearly, the BBC is unwilling to make this happen.
Bill Nye: European Jews should ‘Get to know’ Neighbors
Bill Nye the Science Guy recommended “get to know your neighbors” to European Jews facing anti-Semitism on Friday’s “Real Time” on HBO.
After host Bill Maher reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was urging Jews in Europe to come to Israel, Nye said “the people have never been there [Israel] they live — grew up in — whatever, Germany or France.”
After Maher responded “it’s a shame that they should have to move,” Nye stated “they probably won’t either, because it’s not their home.”
Rob Reiner then remarked “but you can understand it. There were German Jews that lived in Germany during the second world war, and that was their home. And, at a certain point, if your life is in danger, you want to be go some place where you’re going to be protected.”
Nye then argued “so what do you do about it? I think you get to know your neighbors. That said, it’s going to take — what does it take, a century, something like that?”
Washington Post National General Assignment Reporter Elahe Izadi remarked that “right-wing, populist political parties” were a part of the problem of anti-Semitism in Europe, before addressing Nye’s point with “a lot of European Jewish leaders this week have been saying, in response to those [Netanyahu’s] comments that Europe is our home and this is the culture we helped build. And the leaders are expressing — the leaders of those countries are expressing support, but what is the next step, how are they going to combat this in their countries?”
Bill Nye's Advice To European Jews Fearful For Their Lives: They Should Get To Know Their Neighbors


1,000 join Muslim ‘ring of peace’ outside Oslo synagogue
The event in the Norwegian capital follows a series of attacks against Jews in Europe, including murderous terror attacks in Paris in January and in neighboring Denmark last week.
One of the eight independent organizers of Saturday’s event in Oslo, 17-year-old Hajrah Arshad, said the gathering shows “that Islam is about love and unity.”
“We want to demonstrate that Jews and Muslims do not hate each other,” co-organizer Zeeshan Abdullah told the crowd, standing in a half-circle before the white synagogue. “We do not want individuals to define what Islam is for the rest of us.”
“There are many more peace-mongers than warmongers,” he added.
Netanyahu ‘astonished’ over continuing nuclear talks
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticized the international community for negotiating with Iran while taking no steps to curb its sponsorship of global terrorism, as top American and Iranian diplomats attempted to hammer out a deal in Geneva.
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, the prime minister said that it was “astonishing that even after the recent IAEA report determined that Iran is continuing to hide the military components of its nuclear program, the nuclear talks are proceeding.”
“Not only are they continuing, there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks,” Netanyahu said. The deadline for the six world powers and Iran to reach a political agreement about Tehran’s unsanctioned nuclear program is March 31.
His comments came as US Secretary of State John Kerry was set to arrive in Geneva Sunday for renewed talks with his Iranian counterpart on Tehran’s nuclear program, after warning “significant gaps” remain ahead of the deadline.
Ask your Congressperson to attend Netanyahu's Speech. Here's How you can help.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address a Joint Session of Congress next month. This is an important opportunity for our elected officials to hear directly from the leader of one of our closest allies, but partisan politics are getting in the way.
President Obama has declined to meet with the Prime Minister. Vice President Biden and 2 dozen members of Congress are putting partisan politics ahead of our relationship with our only real ally in the Region, and have announced that they too will boycott the Prime Minister's speech to Congress.
The extremists at Jewish voice for Peace have been relentlessly lobbying Congress to "skip the speech" on social media. We need to fight back.
Congressional representatives who are planning to skip Netanyahu's speech to Congress
Via the Whip List at the Hill : Here is a list of the Congressional representatives who are planning to skip Netanyahu's speech to Congress
House (22)
Senate (3)
White House rebuffs report of AIPAC snub over Netanyahu
A White House source denied that an upcoming meeting of leading pro-Israel lobby AIPAC would be shunned as payback for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress, in a report published Sunday.
The unnamed official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, accused Netanyahu’s supporters of a “psychological warfare” ploy for circulating rumors that the White House will only send a low-ranking representative to the coming meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to make the prime minister’s current rift with the US administration seem like an issue with US Jews too.
“Netanyahu has a difficult problem with Obama and with the administration,” the source said, according to Haaretz. “Now he’s trying to turn it into a problem between the Jews and the Obama administration.”
On Friday, The Associated Press reported that administration officials said the White House was planning on sending a lower-ranking official than normal to represent the administration at the annual policy conference of AIPAC, as part of giving Netanyahu the cold shoulder. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have all addressed the annual conference, attended by some 14,000 participants, in recent years.
Kerry Sets Up Israel as Fall Guy if Palestinian Authority Goes Bankrupt
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told his British counterpart Phillip Hammond Saturday he is worried that the Palestinian Authority might go belly-up might be cause for Mahmoud Abbas to cease security coordination with Israel.
Hammon, like every other leader in the European Union, also should be worried because a bankrupt Palestinian Authority would prove to the citizens in the European Union that their countries have thrown billions of dollars down the drain by keeping Abbas’ regime solvent.
The State Dept. has repeatedly said that Israel should resume turning over to the Palestinian Authority more than $100 million in tax revenues it collects each month on goods that are sent into Judea and Samaria.
The PA owes the Israel Electric Corp. hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity, which is reason enough to withhold the tax revenues. Israel always has resumed the payments until Abbas’ move last year to join the International Criminal Court.
Abbas has repeatedly threatened on different occasions and for different reasons to halt security coordination with Israel, a move that only would hasten the downfall of the Palestinian Authority. Without the help of the IDF, anarchy would reign, so no matter what Abbas does, he loses.
Israeli, UK, US Spies Cooperated to Monitor Iranian Leaders
Israeli, British, and US intelligence organizations have been working together to monitor Iranian leaders, according to a document leaked by National Security Agency (NSA) dissident Edward Snowden Sunday.
The document, leaked on The Intercept website, reveals a working relationship between the Sigint 8200 unit - referred to as the Israel Sigint National Unit, or ISNU - with the NSA and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
“The respective NSA-ISNU and GCHQ-ISNU bilateral relationships had gotten to the point that each participant recognized the need for the trilateral engagement to advance this specific topic,” the document, dated April 12, 2013, notes.
However, while the British intelligence heads heavily advocated an official trilateral relationship between the three countries, the NSA had reservations over full cooperation, and the three continue to share information as independent bodies instead of working as one unit, the document says.
Despite this, trilateral discussions between the agencies were held for the first time in January 2013 to assess the full threat of the Iran nuclear program, as well as Iranian cyber attacks against US financial organizations, which Israel indicated Tehran was fully aware of.
Iran threatens to destroy Tel Aviv if ‘Zionists’ attack
A senior figure in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps warned Saturday that should Israel launch an attack on his country, Tel Aviv would be destroyed instantly.
“If the Zionists were certain that they could win a war against us, they’d have initiated one by now, but since they don’t have the strength to do so, they do nothing but threaten,” said Mojtaba Zolnour, who represents Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the IRGC.
Should Israel nevertheless decide to strike Iran, the Islamic Republic’s missiles will fall in the heart of Tel Aviv, “even before the Zionists’ missiles will reach us,” he claimed, according to Iranian media.
Zolnour’s comments were reportedly a response to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, who said Friday that Israel was doing too much talking about Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program, and that “if you want to shoot, shoot, don’t talk.”
Iran Opening a 'Third Front' against Israel, PM Warns
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that Iran is attempting to open up a "third front" against Israel, using Hezbollah forces currently battling Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights.
Speaking at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning, Netanyahu said that "first and foremost" among the various security threats facing Israel is "Iran's attempt to increase its foothold on Israel's borders even as it works to arm itself with nuclear weapons."
"Alongside Iran's direct guidance of Hezbollah's actions in the north and Hamas' in the south, Iran is trying to also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command."
Netanyahu's comments come on the same day as a new report shed more light on the circumstances of last month's Hezbollah attack on an IDF patrol which killed two soldiers.
The PM lamented that despite Iran's aggressive actions throughout the region - where it is using Shia Islamist proxies to gain a greater foothold, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, as well as Sunni terrorist groups in Gaza and Judea-Samaria - world leaders were still seriously considering making concessions during nuclear talks.
Iran Pre-Purim Stunt: Israel Trains ISIS Terrorists in Sinai
Iran reported that an Iraqi legislator has declared that the Golani Brigade of the IDF is training commanders of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist army in the Sinai for “sabotage operations in Egypt.”
The Fars News Agency, one of the Islamic Republic’s propaganda tools, quoted Wahhab al-Tayee, a member of an Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite Muslim faction, that the ISIS is nearing “annihilation” in Iraq and Syria and “has been transferred to Egypt under the name of Daames (the Islamic State in Egypt and Sudan).”
The news agency’s website features a picture of Israeli soldiers with the caption “Zihadists.”
The Free Syrian Army’s website also disseminated the story.
What is the basis for the story?
Al-Tayee said, “The serial killings of Egyptian militaries in the Sinai vindicates the veracity of this claim” that the elite Golani officers are teaching the ISIS.
Report: Fight Against ISIS Has Tightened Israel-Jordan Relations
The fight against Islamic State (ISIS) has helped strengthen the relationship between Israel and Jordan, a senior security source stated Wednesday night.
"The relationship between Israel and Jordan is very good," the source stated to Walla! News on condition of anonymity, adding that the fight against ISIS has given the two countries a shared goal and common ground.
"The common interest is to add regional stability," he added.
Both Israel and Jordan are fighting against ISIS from within, as Israel struggles to cope with ISIS cells from within Hamas's and the Palestinian Authority's territories and from at least 30 Israeli Arabs who are estimated to have become radicalized and joined the group.
New Likud Ad Reminds the US Opposed Foundation of Israel Too
Amid an ongoing confrontation over the Iran nuclear deal being formed by US President Barack Obama's administration, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has come out with a new ad saying he is not afraid of disagreement - and pointing out that the US also opposed the establishment of Israel.
"1948, (David) Ben-Gurion stands before a fateful decision: the establishment of the state of Israel. The American Secretary of State strongly opposed," recalls the ad. "Ben-Gurion, in opposition to the position of the American State Department, declares the establishment of the state."
"Would we be here today if Ben-Gurion didn't do the right thing?" poses the video, followed by the Likud slogan "only Likud. Only Netanyahu."
Elections Committee Rejects Likud Petition Against V15
The Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Salim Joubran rejected Sunday a petition filed by the Likud party against the organization Victory 2015 (V15).
Joubran also ruled that Likud must field the expenses of NIS 8,000 ($2,000) for each defendant - Meretz, the Zionist Camp, Hatnua, V15, and the One Voice organization - named in the petition.
"This petition which began with a loud outcry is ending with a weak whimper. The conduct of the petitioner raises the question of if there was even a reason to file the petition in the first place," Joubran wrote in his decision.
At a press conference several weeks ago, Likud MKs presented what they said was evidence that V15 is working with non-Israeli interests to swing the election toward Zionist Camp chairpersons Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni.
A Response to the Delusions of S. Daniel Abraham
S. Daniel Abraham’s Blog Post, “This Election is on Whether the Jewish State will stay Jewish”, continues the theme I have written about before: that almost all Jews want peace with the Palestinians, but none have an actual plan for achieving it. The right acknowledges this and does its best with a bad hand, while the left tries to bluff its way to peace without really getting into the details of how the peace process will be different this time. Ironically, the so-called idealistic right has become the realists, and the so-called pragmatic left has become the messianic idealists.
Mr. Abraham, who is an American billionaire, is on the left, suffering from the ailment of Oslectacy, the failure to move one’s beliefs from the ecstasy of the hope of peace during Oslo to the reality that the Palestinians do not, and will not, make peace with a Jewish state in the land of Israel.
Mr. Abraham purports to love Israel – and yet, like others who “love” Israel (and need to “save it” from Bibi), advocates a path that would clearly lead to the loss of more Jewish life. And his “love” cannot stop him from his disgraceful use of the South African example, not to directly label Israel as an apartheid state, but to insinuate that it is or will become one.
Will Leftists Boycott Elections because Ballots Printed in Samaria?
Ballot slips for the March 17 elections are being printed in Karnei Shomron, a Jewish community that is located in Samaria and part of the “occupied territories: whose produce is boycotted by leftists.
The Sirugim website reported Sunday that “Yisrapot” won the tender to print the slips of paper with the acronyms of the 16 parties running in the elections.
Two weeks ago, Meretz leader Zahav Gal-On refused to accept a bottle of wine given to her because it was produced in Judea and Samaria.
If the “Boycott Yesha” movement is true to its ideology, its cheerleaders won’t vote March 17.
PreOccupied Territory: Liberal Jews Aghast At Youth Without Reflexive Hate For Israel (satire)
A just-released poll confirms fears about a disturbing trend among American Jewish youth, many of whom apparently do not automatically foam at the mouth with hateful rage when Israel is mentioned.
First noted several years ago by Hillel directors concerned about students leaving the country to join ideologically driven, gun-toting “defense” forces, those formerly radical views are becoming mainstream. Communal leaders fear that the burgeoning rejection of what students now describe as anti-Zionist “indoctrination” will shift attitudes towards Israel and challenge the convictions that melded a diverse group of American Jews into a solid Democratic voting bloc capable of opposing its own interests time and time again.
Discussions with 18-24-year-olds showed that the rejection of traditional Jewish values such as self-victimization, immediate and hostile criticism of anything pro-Israel, and baseless hatred of Jews holding slightly different beliefs, is on a continuing and possibly irreversible decline. If that happens, experts fear, the familiar face of American Jewry will change forever.
The students are not shy about discussing their newly acquired convictions. “All my life, I’ve been told by my temple rabbi, teachers, and my parents that Israel was an embarrassment, that she was in danger of losing her democratic heritage and moving closer to being a country where minorities can be gunned down by the authorities for any or no reason,” said Sara Strawman, who grew up in a Detroit suburb. “Then I discovered in college that poverty and racism exist right here in America. I always thought that Israel was the only place with those problems, and that J-Street was the legitimate, representative voice of American Jewry. Why didn’t anyone tell me otherwise?”
5 Terrorists Arrested Near Samaria Town Slated for Destruction
Five Arab terrorists were apprehended on Friday, roughly an hour before Shabbat began, adjacent to the community of Amona in Samaria which the High Court last December ruled to have destroyed within two years.
Security forces identified the five armed suspects in the El-Mashash wadi (valley) adjacent to Amona.
The security coordinator of nearby community Ofra, an IDF patrol and a representative of the Binyamin Regional Council security department, quickly deployed and arrested the terrorists on the spot.
Near the site an Israeli car had been damaged by gunfire, as a bullet struck the front windshield, and in addition a hunting rifle was found at the site. The suspects were taken in for investigation.
Two Pipe Bombs Force Road Closure in Samaria
Route 465 was blocked by police for some time Sunday morning following the discovery of two pipe bombs in Samaria.
The road was closed near the entrance to the Elisha pre-military academy located next to the Tzofit neighborhood in the West Binyamin community of Neve Tzuf.
At first it was reported that the road had been blocked as a result of a suspicious object. But when police sappers arrived on the scene, they found two pipe bombs, which had been hurled at the preparatory academy's gate but had not exploded.
The bomb disposal squad neutralized the pipe bombs and subsequently reopened the road to traffic.
Home is where the (danger) heart is
When a visiting New York mental-health counseling student asked residents of Gaza border communities why they stay despite the constant threat of missile attack, they answered in one word: Home.
“It struck me that they said ‘This is my home and I don’t want to leave.’ After 9/11, we saw the same thing; many people didn’t want to leave Manhattan — this place that potentially could be a target — because it’s home and they love it,” says Gillian Hammond, a second-year graduate student at SUNY-New Paltz University’s Institute for Disaster Mental Health.
Hammond and six classmates accompanied the institute’s director, Prof. James Halpern, on a 10-day January trip arranged through Ben-Gurion University (BGU) to learn about psychological first aid in Israel’s South and how Israeli coping strategies might be helpful in their work in the United States.
She tells ISRAEL21c that although Americans tend to experience disaster (such as a hurricane or school shooting) as an isolated event, whereas Gaza-area Israelis live with an undercurrent of constant stress, she noted some significant similarities.
“One of the biggest commonalities we’ve been talking about is the importance of people’s homes,” Hammond says. “We saw that a strong community gets people through and provides comfort and support since everyone is going through the same thing.”
PreOccupied Territory: Idiotic, Selfish Behavior In Snow Surging In Popularity Among Israelis (satire)
Residents of this city are reporting an upswing in stupidity and narcissism related to snow, matching a national trend.
The second snowfall of the season hit Jerusalem Thursday night and Friday, bringing out the irresponsible jerk in hundreds of people whose idea of appreciating the weather involves driving ill-equipped vehicles on icy, slushy streets and parking their cars so as to effectively block one lane of the main ambulance route from the dispatcher. The relative rarity of accumulated snow in most parts of the country also means few, if any, of the drivers have experience with such potentially deadly hazards as black ice, when an all-but-invisible sheet of frozen water covers a portion of the road and negates any traction a car’s tires might provide.
None of the dangers, however, dissuade those hundreds, perhaps thousands, of residents from descending en masse on centrally located Sacher Park and frolicking in the snow and ice without so much as a pair of waterproof gloves. Individuals who would never, under normal circumstances, expose their bare skin to ice for more than a few seconds, apparently see little problem with spending lengthy periods of time handling snow with bare hands or soaked gloves in near-freezing temperatures.
Anti-Semitism: Appointment Of Jewish Woman To UCLA Student Court Questioned Because Of Her Faith
In America, someone's faith should not be considered when investigating whether someone could be an effective judge, but when UCLA's Undergraduate Students Association interviewed Rachel Beyda, a well-qualified candidate looking for a position on the student court, the questioning began, “Given that you’re a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community […] how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view in your position?”
According to HAAM, the UCLA Jewish student's newspaper:
"Appointed by USAC [Undergraduate Students Association Council] President Avinoam Baral, she proved herself to be extremely qualified for the position at every step of the interview process. All USAC council members present agreed that she was a perfect fit for the position."
But before they agreed, Beyda faced an onslaught of questions about whether a Jewish woman could serve.
After the first question (above) was asked by council member Fabienne Roth, President Avinoam Baral rejected it, saying, "questioning a candidate’s ability to remain unbiased simply on the basis of her being a member of a particular community is an inappropriate question that we would not feel comfortable asking student members of other communities."
But the line of questioning continued. The College Fix reported, "A second council member, Negeen Sadeghi-Movahed, posed the same question using less obvious terms. A third council member piggy-backed on the previous questions by asking Beyda what she thinks constitutes a conflict of interest."
IsraellyCool: Daily Beast Uses Taylor Swift To Promote Anti-Israel Slander
I don’t really follow celebrity gossip much, but someone (OK, it was Jono) brought this piece from The Daily Beast to my attention:
Taylor Swift, Queen of the Zionists?
Is there a coming pro-Palestinian backlash against Taylor Swift? . . .
It’s still up in the air whether or not the “Shake It Off” songstress will seal the deal to perform in Israel this year. But if she does, it’s safe to say that her decision will cause controversy.
“Just as during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa artists were expected to not cross the picket line and perform in Sun City, artists today should heed the Palestinian boycott call and not help Israel whitewash its denial of Palestinian rights,” Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation told The Daily Beast. “Taylor Swift can stand on the right side of history by refusing to perform in Israel, which will send a very clear message that there cannot be business as usual with an apartheid state that commits war crimes such as the killing of more than 500 Palestinian children in Gaza this past summer.”

Writing about celebrities is simply no excuse for printing slanders from a propaganda group as truth, with no rebuttal. If you choose to write about celebrities, write about celebrities. It may be true that this is an area in which quotes from people who have no idea what they are talking about regularly pass for “news.” But when Asawin Suebsaeng chose to write about politics, he incurred the same obligation that an actual journalist would have, to at least make a pretense at being factual.
Irish Independent Gets Careless With the Facts
Eamon Delaney‘s book review for the Irish Independent of one author’s experiences in the Middle East does not appear at first sight to be contentious.
However, it includes the following statements:
Her first [Dervla Murphy's book], entitled A Month by the Sea – Encounters in Gaza, described conditions in the crowded Mediterranean strip of Gaza, which is surrounded by Israel, run by Hamas and sustained by smuggling.
Gaza is not “surrounded by Israel.” It also has a border with Egypt, which is also blockading the Hamas-controlled Strip.
Referring to the West Bank / Judea & Samaria, Delaney states that the territory is:
Surrounded by a huge wall and chopped into zones by the Israeli military.
Except the area is not “surrounded by a huge wall.” Firstly, considering the territory borders Jordan, it cannot considered to be “surrounded.” Secondly, Israel’s security barrier is not a “huge wall” but is over 95 percent chain link fence.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Senior Fatah official in serious condition after stabbing attack
A senior Fatah official in the West Bank was stabbed and seriously wounded on Friday.
Munir al-Jaghoub, who heads Fatah’s Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization, was attacked after walking out of a mosque in his village of Beita, south of Nablus.
The 39-year-old official was rushed to Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus, where he underwent surgery and was reported to be in serious condition.
The identity of the assailants was unknown and no group claimed responsibility for the attack. On Saturday, Palestinian Authority security forces arrested a number of suspects.
A PA security source said that Jaghoub was also attacked on Thursday night while he was driving his car near the village.
Hamas Slams Egyptian Media Over 'Incitement and Deception'
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri on Saturday slammed what he described as a campaign of "incitement and deception" by a number of Egyptian journalists against the Palestinian people in Gaza.
According to the Ma’an news agency, Abu Zuhri denied reports that Palestinian Arabs have been traveling via tunnels into Egypt recently, denouncing what he called a "Zionist-like" network that had spread the rumors and sought to sow discord between Egypt and “Palestine”.
All of the tunnels under the border area, he said, have been destroyed and both Egyptian and Palestinian Arab security forces have been guarding both sides of the borders.
Similarly, Hamas interior ministry spokesman Iyad al-Buzm denounced the "attempts to accuse the Gaza Strip of (culpability in) the ongoing events in Egypt."
New IS video shows Kurdish fighters in cages
The Islamic State jihadist group released a new video on Sunday purporting to show captured Kurdish peshmerga fighters paraded through Iraqi streets in cages.
The video shows 21 captives presented as 16 peshmerga fighters, two Iraqi army officers and three policemen from Kirkuk, a city about 240 kilometers (150 miles) north of Baghdad.
The captives, in orange jumpsuits with their heads lowered, are led to cages in a square surrounded by concrete walls and masked IS fighters carrying pistols.
A bearded man in a white turban warns the peshmerga against fighting IS.
Then the caged captives are shown being paraded through the streets on the back of pick-up trucks, as dozens of residents and armed men look on.
Italians welcome IS with ‘travel tips’
The tape, released earlier in February, included a warning that Libya, a few hundred kilometers across the Mediterranean, could be used as a staging ground for attacks on Italy and that IS fighters were “at the south of Rome.”
After the release of the tape, Islamic State supporters began using the hashtag #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome to signify the impending advance of the self-styled caliphate on the city and on the seat of the Catholic Church in the Vatican.
But while some in Italy fear the risk that terrorists, mingled among boatloads of migrants, could reach Italy from Libya, others have greeted the prospect with humor.
They exploited the #We_Are_Coming_O_Rome Twitter hashtag to offer mock travel advice to IS operatives, including warnings about Rome’s terrible traffic congestion and restaurant recommendations.
Inside the stunning $55m Tel Aviv penthouse Madonna has her eye on (but she might have competition from Natalie Portman too)
She may once have dreamed of San Pedro, but nowadays Madonna's heart is set on the vibrant city of Tel Aviv - as, it seems, is Natalie Portman's.
The stars have been wowed by a new uber-modern development, Meier-on-Rothschild Tower, in Israel, which features glass walls and panoramic sea views.
When the development was first announced in 2013, Madonna was pictured clutching a brochure for the development - and now the project is nearing completion, the star is reported to have reopened discussions of a purchase.
The computer-generated graphics, which Madonna will have seen in her brochure, show glass walls, double-height ceilings and panoramic views of the city.
From the top of her tower, Madonna would be able to see the city's main beach-front promenade - filled with joggers, buggies and the city's version of Boris bikes by day and bustling bars by night.
The iconic 42-storey Meier-on-Rothschild Tower has been designed by Pritzker prize-winning architect Richard Meier whose previous achievements include the Barcelona Museum of Art and the Getty Centre in Los Angeles.
IsraellyCool: Scarlett Johansson, L’Chaim!
It has been a while since we mentioned actress Scarlett Johansson, since she stood up to the BDSHoles and promoted Israeli company Sodastream.
But I’m posting about her now, because she’s just formed a new girl group.
Scarlett Johansson’s past musical projects have included an album of Tom Waits covers, a Serge Gainsbourg-inspired collaboration with Pete Yorn and a role in Bob Dylan’s vintage “When the Deal Goes Down” music video. Now, she’s not just going pop, she’s going – as she puts it – “super-pop,” fronting a band featuring Holly Miranda, Kendra Morris and Julia Haltigan. Este Haim, the oldest of the Haim sisters, plays drums.
Este Haim is part of the pop rock band Haim. Her father is former Israeli football player Mordechai “Moti” Haim.
Yep, another reason for the BDSHoles to hate her.
As for us, we still think she’s the bee’s knees.


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