Tuesday, February 24, 2015

From Ian:

Latma: We'll be the Judge, episode 3
The third episode of the Israeli satire program "We'll be the Judge," from the creators of Latma's Tribal Update, Israel Channel 1, February 19, 2015.


Phyllis Chesler: Justice for Jews
Jews are commanded to pursue justice—true justice.
“The wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceeding fine”—so said Euripides as did Sun Tzu (“The wheels of justice grind slow but grind fine”) and Longfellow (“The mills of God grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small”).
When it comes to justice for Jews, we have often received precious little or been forced to wait for thousands of years for it.
Now, a stunning moment is upon us. After a decade of litigation, and after a seven week civil trial in a Manhattan federal court, a jury has found that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) are liable for the deaths and injuries of ten American families plus the estates of four victims. These attacks took place on an Israeli street, at a crowded Israeli bus stop, inside an Israeli bus, and in a cafeteria at Hebrew University.
This decision, which of course can be appealed, nevertheless makes it crystal clear that the PLO and the PA are not “moderate,” “peaceful” groups but are, in fact, terrorist entities, just like Hamas and Hezbollah.
The 11 families at the heart of the landmark PA terror trial
The families on Monday were awarded $218.5 million in damages, which may be tripled under the US Anti-Terrorism Act. The PA and PLO have vowed to appeal the verdict, which incriminated them in the terror attacks in and around Jerusalem between 2001-2004.
While none of the families of the victims or survivors were present in the courtroom on Monday as the decision was announced, their attorneys were hailed the “historic” verdict.
The Israel Law Center’s Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who was involved in the case, said that while the verdict would not bring the defendants’ relatives back, it “is an important measure of justice and closure for them after their long years of tragic suffering and pain.”
Here are the stories of the 11 families behind the landmark trial:



PMW: Historic verdict against PA in lawsuit by terror victims
PMW submitted two expert opinions to the court as well as hundreds of certified translations and PA TV videos showing PA promotion of terror from 2000 - 2004 (the period relevant for this trial).
In addition, PMW provided documentation of the PA's support for terror and acceptance of responsibility after the terror attacks. PMW showed that the PA celebrates terror attacks and rewards terrorists with ‎high salaries and other benefits, including some of the terrorists involved in the specific terror attacks of ‎this lawsuit.‎
PMW also supplied material documenting that the PA to this day continues to pay salaries to all terrorist prisoners, including terrorist prisoners involved in the terror attacks connected to the trial. The lead trial lawyer, Kent Yalowitz of Arnold & Porter, said: "The PA and PLO policies of financial inducements and rewards for terrorism that are at the center of this case unfortunately continue today, more than a decade later." [Jerusalem Post, Feb. 24, 2015]
Yalowitz also focused on the ethical side of the victory:
"I am truly privileged to have had the opportunity to represent these amazing families and join them in their quest for justice against those who have devastated their lives forever."
[Jerusalem Post, Feb. 24, 2015]
Verdict against Palestinian Authority could spell trouble for Abbas at ICC
If the ICC prosecutor is on the fence, a major decision like this – and maybe more like it following – could push the narrative far enough in Israel’s favor that the prosecutor could be concerned about being viewed as having indirectly assisted terrorists.
Israel or Israel-supporters could even try to use the US decision, though it is a civil damages case, to push the ICC to intervene against the PA, dating back to the second intifada.
Until now, PA President Mahmoud Abbas had no personal risk going to the ICC, as the Gaza war at most, put Israel and Hamas at risk.
Investigating the second intifada could put him and his inner circle at legal risk – producing a situation where the ICC would be reliant on Abbas providing evidence against Israel, which in turn could present equally damaging testimony against him.
Though this is only one verdict and one bad day for the PA, which it may successfully brush off, Israel and its supporters have already made good on the threat that the PA’s use of “lawfare” could boomerang in unpredictable ways.
NIF Lawyer Testified for PLO at Landmark Terror Trial
An extreme left-wing Israeli attorney, Michael Sfard testified as an expert witness for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) during the trial, as he has previously provided paid testimony on behalf of the PLO. This is consistent with his previous lawfare work for extreme left wing Israeli organizations funded by The New Israel Fund (NIF).
Sfard is an attorney for a number of organizations who are funded by the New Israel Fund related organizations, including Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and Al-Haq, a leading anti-Israel “lawfare” NGO, on a lawsuit filed in Canada seeking a judicial declaration of Israel’s guilt in committing “war crimes” and deeming the security barrier illegal.
The New Israel Fund has long used warfare – and fund organizations where Sfard works – and this Israeli lawyer came to New York to testify for lawyers. That is the essence of the New Israel Fund.
The radical, extremist New Israel Fund recently petitioned the Supreme Court on behalf of terrorists and their families, including the terrorist who tried to kill American-born Rabbi Yehuda Glick, the terrorist who slammed his tractor into a bus, two who drove their cars into people near train stops, and those who murdered five Israelis a few months ago in a brutal massacre during morning prayers in Jerusalem.
Israeli academic Professor Gerald Steinberg recently said of donors to the New Israel Fund that it is as an organization that “..claims to support Israel and human rights principles, they enable the highly destructive activities that do the opposite. By the time these funders acknowledge this failure and end their support, the damage will be done.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: PA calls guilty terror ruling a 'tragic disservice to the millions of Palestinians'
The PLO and the Palestinian Authority expressed “deep disappointment” over the decision by the jury in the case of “Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization et al.”
Mahmoud Khalifa, deputy Palestinian minister of information, said that the charges made against the PLO and PA are “baseless.”
He said that the New York Court ignored the legal precedent set time and again by other US courts – including a ruling last week by a Federal Judge in Washington DC, that established that US localities are not the proper jurisdiction for such a hearing.
“We will appeal this decision and we are confident that we will prevail,” Khalifa said in a first response to the verdict. “We have faith in the US legal system and are certain about our common sense belief and our strong legal standing.”
Edgar Davidson: BBC lies on behalf of the Palestinian Authority after it is convicted of involvement in 6 terrorist attacks
The jury in a New York court today found the Palestinian Authority and PLO guilty of direct involvement in six acts of terrorism in Israel that killed American citizens in each case (as well as hundreds of Israelis killed and wounded). The evidence was overwhelming, with documentary proof that the terrorists were paid by the Palestinian Authority before and after the attacks. In many cases the terrorists were members of the Palestine Authority security services and police.
Yet, in its reporting of the verdict, the BBC website has removed all reference to terrorism and therefore not only redefines American law, but is factually incorrect. The report is in clear breach of the BBC guidelines - being demonstrably inaccurate and misleading since the verdict it describes is not the actual verdict in the case.
To make matters worse the report is nothing more than an appeal on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. Normally when someone is convicted of terrorism you would expect detailed reporting of the attacks and the victims. But instead of reporting the evidence that led the jury to its conclusions, the report simply accepts the Palestinian statement of innocence, and presents the story as a kind of miscarriage of justice, even including the bizarre and irrelevant quote "The Israeli government has denied any official involvement in the lawsuit." as if to prove their case.
Pollard's Lawyers: Declassified Document Shows False Charges
Key portions of a critical classified document on which the US government has cited as justification for keeping Jonathan Pollard in jail have been declassified – and his lawyers say the government has been "dishonest" in "hiding behind the mask of 'classified information' to materially mischaracterize the nature and extent of the harm caused by Mr. Pollard."
Lawyers Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, who have represented Pollard for 15 years pro-bono, say the newly disclosed material shows that any harm possibly caused by Pollard was only "in the form of short-term disruption in foreign relations between the United States and certain Arab countries."
"That is not at all the same thing as harm to U.S. national security," they write in a World Net Daily op-ed, "and it was dishonest for the government to pretend that it is."
The government position for 30 years has been that Pollard must remain in prison because a secret note from then-Secretary of State Caspar Weinberger stated that Pollard caused greater harm to U.S. national security than had ever occurred previously.
"The government has been able to present this harsh characterization of the Weinberger declaration without fear of contradiction," Semmelman and Lauer write, because "no one representing Mr. Pollard [was ever] allowed to see the Weinberger declaration since the day Mr. Pollard was sentenced" – until now. (h/t Nate)
Now we know who to believe on Iran

On Monday evening, as details of the looming US-led deal with Iran emerged from Geneva, Israel’s most respected Middle East affairs analyst, Channel 2 commentator Ehud Ya’ari, made precisely the same suggestion. So problematic are the reported terms of the deal, Ya’ari indicated, that Israel’s two leading contenders in the March 17 elections, Netanyahu and Herzog, need to put aside their differences and make plain to US legislators that the need to thwart such an accord crosses party lines in Israel and stands as a consensual imperative.
After anonymous sources in Jerusalem leaked to Israeli reporters in recent weeks the ostensible terms of the deal being hammered out, various spokespeople for the Obama administration contended that the Netanyahu government was misrepresenting the specifics for narrow political ends. They sneered that Israel didn’t actually know what the terms were. And they made the acknowledgement — the astounding acknowledgement for a United States whose key regional ally is directly and relentlessly threatened with destruction by Iran — that the Obama administration is consequently no longer sharing with Jerusalem all sensitive details of the Iran talks.
And yet among the terms of the deal being reported by the Associated Press from Geneva on Monday are precisely those that were asserted in recent weeks by the Israeli sources, precisely those that were scoffed at by the Administration. Centrally, Iran is to be allowed to keep 6,500 centrifuges spinning, and there will be a sunset clause providing for an end to intrusive inspections in some 10-15 years. If anything, indeed, some of the terms reported by the AP are even more worrying than those that were leaked in Jerusalem: “The idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement,” the AP said, “gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment program and slowly easing economic sanctions.” There is also no indication of restrictions on Iran’s missile development — its potential delivery systems.
Israeli officials: The world is allowing Iran to keep enrichment centrifuges
Nine years after the UN Security Council passed a binding resolution calling on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, the world powers – according to reports emerging from the nuclear talks in Geneva – are on the verge of allowing it to retain some 6,500 centrifuges.
“The trajectory is worrying,” one Israeli official said in an understatement, adding that the reports of the emerging deal are not a surprise to Jerusalem, which he said has known of the details for some time, even though the US admitted recently that it has left Israel out of the loop in recent months.
“In the beginning, the position of the world powers was that Iran should have no centrifuges,” the official said, referring to 2006 and the first of six UN Security Council resolutions on the matter.
“Then, in the interim agreement (2013), they [the P5+1] accepted the concept of some sort of symbolic enrichment, to allow the Iranians to save face.
If we are now talking about thousands of centrifuges, it is clear that we are not discussing something symbolic but a vast industrial capacity which is ultimately very, very dangerous,” he said.
Defense minister rips into deal with ‘apocalyptic’ Iran
Ya’alon did not cite specific figures or terms. He said, however, that Iran is the central destabilizing factor in the region and that it sends “unbridled” terror across the world. Any such agreement signed between “the West and this messianic, apocalyptic regime” will therefore harm Western and Israeli interests, he said, “and allow Iran to turn into a nuclear threshold state and continue its terror actions.”
In an apparent dig at Obama’s emerging policy, which seems to view Iran as the potential responsible adult in the region, Ya’alon said that the regime in Tehran “is the problem and not the solution.”
The agreement that is currently being cobbled together – with each moving part influencing a series of other, related parts – is “a bad deal,” he said, one that will allow Iran “out of financial straits and also to continue to enrich uranium.”
Ya’alon, a former army chief of staff who, as a member of the security cabinet, has differed with Netanyahu about the timing of a possible Israeli military strike against Iran, said that “we will not compromise on the security of the citizens of Israel and will act in every way, and speak from any stage, about the coming dangers.”
Expert: ‘Bad Iran deal’ neglects weaponization
Emily Landau, a senior research associate at the Institute for National Security Studies, said that not only Israeli officials and hawkish US Congressmen reject the deal, but also scores of nuclear experts from across America and Europe.
According an Associated Press report, the so-called P5+1 nations are considering allowing Iran to retain some 6,500 centrifuges if it agrees ship out most of the enriched uranium it produces or change it to a form that is difficult to reconvert for weapons use.
While reports on a potential deal have largely focused on the number of centrifuges Iran would be allowed to keep and the nature of the inspections regime, little is known about what the agreement contains that would curtail Tehran’s alleged work toward building a nuclear weapon, especially in the mysterious Parchin facility, where Iran has been reluctant to admit inspectors.
“There is some logic to that, but at the end of day, the biggest lacuna is that weaponization is not being confronted straight out and placed in the forefront of the negotiations,” Landau told The Times of Israel. “Your strongest card in the talks is to expose the fact that Iran has violated the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty for decades by working on nuclear weapons capabilities. This has to be at the center of the discussion — that Iran has been stonewalling for years, in clear violation of the NPT.”
Leader of Anti-Proliferation Org Changes Tune on Preventing Iran Nukes
The leader of a prominent anti-proliferation organization that has spent millions touting the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran is under fire for seeking to rationalize a rumored administration collapse on a key condition of the nuclear negotiations after long advocating the opposite.
Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund—which has funneled millions over the years to organizations pushing a soft line on Iran—appears to have changed his tune on the restrictions necessary to prevent a nuclear Iran since beginning work for the group in 2008.
Cirincione, a former top official at the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), has pushed diplomacy with Iran in the press and has been a key ally in the White House’s battle to sell a hotly contested nuclear deal with Tehran.
However, critics allege that Cirincione is being disingenuous, citing comments he made over a 10-year span.
In 2005, Cirincione warned about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, urging that the Islamic Republic not be left “’a screwdriver’s turn’” away from bomb-making capability.”
Ten years later, Cirincione is mocking Republicans who have issued the same warnings about Tehran.
Sorry, Al Jazeera: A Leaked Mossad Cable Doesn’t Reveal Netanyahu Lied to the UN
A cable from October 2012, apparently from the Mossad, assesses the state of Iran’s nuclear program. Al Jazeera notes that the document says that “Iran at this stage is not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons,” but “is working to close gaps in areas that appear legitimate such as enrichment, reactors, which will reduce the time required to produce weapons from the time instruction is actually given.” They contrast this with “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's 2012 warning to the UN General Assembly that Iran was 70 per cent of the way to completing its ‘plans to build a nuclear weapon’” and (in their video report) with his line that “by next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage.”
The Mossad report doesn’t actually contradict this.
Making nuclear weapons is complicated. A working warhead is the result of several distinct lines of technical development. You need enough enriched uranium to sustain a rapid chain reaction (the core of the bomb), and you need a way to induce that chain reaction (the mechanism of the bomb). (You’ll also probably want a way to deliver the bomb, a third line of technology.) Netanyahu’s argument rested on this distinction: he said that the world must draw a red line on Iran’s activities that could be useful for making a core because those activities are much harder to hide than those for making the mechanism:
Al Jazeera’s release of ‘Mossad cables’ falls short
After promising to release a bombshell of leaked secret Mossad cables, Al Jazeera’s publication of documents late Monday fell short of that mark.
As expected, Al Jazeera did not obtain an original and authentic document from the Mossad, Israel’s foreign espionage agency.
What they published was a South Africa State Security Agency (SSA) document that is based on a briefing given to them by the Mossad. The document from 2013 contains no secrets and any reader, or follower of public reports on Iran’s nuclear program, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is familiar with the facts written in that document.
The Mossad provided details in its briefing, such as the quantities of Iran’s enriched uranium at its two levels – 3.5 percent and 20% – about the development of Iran’s nuclear reactor at Arak, and its statement that Iran is “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
That assessment was correct – it isn’t possible to utilize fissile material for a bomb only with 20% enriched uranium – an enrichment of 93% is required – and Iran did not have it at the time of the document’s writing, and doesn’t have it now.
Certainly it doesn’t present any evidence of a wedge between the Mossad and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with regard to Iran’s nuclear program.
Leaked cables show CIA attempts to contact Hamas
Purported spy cables leaked to two media outlets Monday detail an attempt by the CIA to establish contact with members of the terrorist group Hamas.
One of the documents, published by The Guardian and Al-Jazeera, is a 2012 South African intelligence report saying that a CIA operative in Jerusalem “seems to be desperate to make inroads into Hamas in Gaza and possibly would like SSA (South Africa’s State Security Agency) to assist them in gaining access.”
The author of the report said that helping the CIA link up with Hamas could help the SSA “establish the collection priorities and requirements” of the CIA.
The cables also showed frustration on the part of the Palestinian Authority intelligence service over South Africa’s engagement with Hamas.
Dershowitz Rips Obama over Iran Deal, Bibi Snub
In an op-ed to be published in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, Dershowitz accuses “Obama of direct intrusion on the power of Congress and on the constitutional separation of powers” in his objections to the speech.
“What the president objects to is not that Mr. Netanyahu will speak to Congress, but the content of what he intends to say,” Dershowitz argues, dismissing protocol objections by noting that “President Obama sent British Prime Minister David Cameron to lobby Congress with phone calls last month against conditionally imposing new sanctions on Iran if the deal were to fail.” He adds that Congress has full constitutional authority to participate in foreign policy and invite speakers.
Dershowitz has harsh words for those Democrats–fewer than two dozen–who are planning to boycott the speech.
“As a liberal Democrat who twice campaigned for President Barack Obama, I am appalled,” he declares, warning that they are turning Israel into a partisan issue. “This will not only hurt Israel but will also endanger support for Democrats among pro-Israel voters. I certainly would never vote for or support a member of Congress who walked out on Israel’s prime minister.”
Sen. Joe Lieberman: Hear out Israel’s leader
Last week, 23 House Democrats asked Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress scheduled for March 3. But it is absolutely clear that the speaker will neither postpone nor rescind his invitation. The prime minister will be there to speak.
Therefore, I appeal to those 23 individuals and any other undecided members of Congress to go to the joint meeting and hear what the prime minister has to say. Let me suggest some good reasons why:
Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty.
Go because — regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case — you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.
Democratic senators invite Netanyahu to meet in DC
Two American Democratic senators invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to meet with lawmakers from their party during his upcoming visit to Washington, where he plans to give a controversial speech to Congress opposing the White House on Iran.
Senators Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California) wrote in a letter to Netanyahu that their intention in calling for the meeting was to “maintain Israel’s dialogue with both political parties in Congress,” Reuters reported.
The prime minister accepted an invitation last month from Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the speaker of the US House of Representatives, to address Congress, but the White House complained that Boehner had not cleared the invitation with Obama or Democrats in Congress.
UJA and JCRC Leaders Are Supporting Anti-Israel Activities
In recent days, I have written extensively urging the JCRC and UJA to ban the radical left-wing organization New Israel Fund (NIF) from marching at the annual Israel Day Parade.
The reason that NIF is allowed to participate in the parade is clear – JCRC and UJA have two leaders who are major supporters of the NIF’s radical agenda.
Alisa Robbins Doctoroff, President of the UJA-Federation of New York, is one of the most high-profile Jewish leaders in the United States. She is also a radical left-winger, who supports agendas that are well outside of the consensus of 99% of the Jewish community. Doctoroff is a donor to NIF. From funding anti-Israel reports at the United Nations to its recent advocacy for terrorists and their families who killed Jews in Jerusalem while praying, NIF is an organization about which the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoni Chetboun said, “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli Army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.”
Election give spotlight to increasingly vocal Israeli Christian community
As Israel’s March 17 election nears, some Israeli Christians are using the race as an opportunity to draw more attention to their community. Bolstered by a recent change in Israeli law that allows Christians to self-identity as a distinct ethnic group in the Jewish state, members of that faith are seeking to let their voices be heard.
“We as Christians want to live here together with the Jews, and we have own our issues and needs without any connections to the Arab [political] parties,” Shadi Khalloul, who is a candidate for the Knesset with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, told JNS.org.
In the run-up to the Israeli election, the Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land— the leading group of Catholic clergy members in Israel, and part of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem— called on Israeli Christians “to go out and vote in the upcoming elections.”
“We say to the voters and to the elected: we are deeply concerned about justice, peace and equality in this country. We care about the human being, whoever he or she is. We promote the mutual acceptance of one and all, facilitating life in justice, peace and tranquility, prosperity and solidarity,” the group of Catholic clergy members said.
PreOccupied Territory: Bibi, Herzog Agree To Televised Shouting Match (satire)
Israeli candidates for prime minister have not held a debate since the 1998 elections, but incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader Isaac Herzog announced today they would hold the first in a series of encounters in which the two front-runners would stand and yell at each other from behind lecterns.
National elections are scheduled to take place on March 17, and neither candidate had agreed until now on any format for an actual debate. Netanyahu has eschewed the notion of debate altogether, refusing to grant any opponents the credibility that standing on a stage with him would automatically confer; such a move may have contributed to his last electoral loss in 1998, to Ehud Barak. Herzog, on the other hand, insists on confronting only Netanyahu, and has repeatedly declined to appear with the heads of the other, smaller parties, hoping instead to position himself as the only viable alternative to the current premier. However, the idea of a simple shouting match found a receptive ear in both men’s campaigns, as such a medium dovetails with the entire society’s primary means of expression and communication.
“There’s little political risk in standing on a stage screaming at each other,” said Likud campaign coordinator Laika Banshi. “The Israeli electorate is sophisticated enough not to confuse such a scene, which occurs daily in the Knesset itself, with a serious political event whose symbolism and appearance carry real implications.”
Soldier Awarded for Gaza Bravery; 'I'm No Hero'
Lt. Binyamin Mamo, 22, will receive a Citation of Merit from the Head of Southern Command Tuesday, but he isn't sure what the fuss is about.
"I don't feel like a hero,” he told Israel Hayom's Lilach Shoval. “I did what I had to do. Long ago, in the Yom Kippur War and the Six Day War, people did heroic deeds. When they defined me as a part of that... I don't deserve something that big.”
In Protective Edge, Lt. Mamo was a platoon commander in the 52nd Battalion of the 401st Armored Corps Brigade. His citation is being given for two events. In the first, Lt. Mamo's tank ran over two terrorists.
The terrorists were firing on IDF forces but were located between Mamo's tank and another force, and if he fired on them – he ran the risk of hitting the other IDF force. Lt. Mamo decided to take an unusual step and run over the terrorists. With his head outside the tank turret, as expected of a commander, he instructed his men to drive forward and run over the terrorists, and then drive in reverse and run over them again. He then threw a grenade to make sure the terrorists were neutralized.
Early Release for Arab who Ran Over Girl on Yom Kippur
The Nazereth District Court on Tuesday accepted the petition of Assad Shibli, the Arab driver who killed the young Jewish girl Tal Zino on Yom Kippur Eve in 2007, and reduced his nine year sentence granting him an early release.
On September 21, 2007, when the streets were empty for Yom Kippur, Shibli and an accomplice entered the Jewish town of Kfar Tavor in the north at high speed on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), and headed directly for a group of children milling about near the town's synagogue on their bicycles. They executed a “wheelie” and smashed into nine-year-old Zino, killing her.
Shibli drove on after hitting Zino, going up on the sidewalk before hitting a pole and flipping the vehicle.
According to a Jewish witness from Kfar Tavor, Shibli – who lives in the nearby Bedouin village of Assad a-Shibli – drove recklessly near the local gas station two weeks before the incident, and threatened a Border Police volunteer: “wait and see what will happen on Yom Kippur.”
The Arab driver was sentenced to nine years for manslaughter but submitted a petition, which had been rejected three times in the past, before the court accepted it on Tuesday.
IEC Returns Power After Cutting Off Electricity to the PA
The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has returned power to Palestinian Authority areas it briefly cut off from the grid Monday afternoon, in protest over the PA's refusal to pay the nearly half a billion dollars it owes.
Earlier Monday, chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Yiftah Ron-Tal announced at the 12th Jerusalem Conference on Monday that in the coming hours, IEC will start limiting power supply to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Judea and Samaria.
IEC announced late last month that "due to a mounting debt worth nearly 1.8 billion shekels ($459 million), we have decided that...electrical supply will be cut," with the cut to include an hour each morning and another hour at night, until the PA starts to pay up.
State Department 'Concerned' Over Cutting of Electricity in PA
The United States on Monday expressed its dissatisfaction after the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) briefly cut off power to Palestinian Authority areas, in protest over the PA's refusal to pay the nearly half a billion dollars it owes.
“We’re concerned about the impact on the ground of any cuts to basic services, including electricity,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
“We remain very concerned about the continued viability of the Palestinian Authority if they do not receive funds soon, either in terms of the resumption of monthly Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenues or additional donor assistance,” she added, repeating statements she made last week.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas warns it could 'surprise' Israel more than last Gaza war
Hamas said on Monday that it would surprise Israel more than it did during last summer’s military confrontation.
“The resistance will startle the enemy [with] more than the surprises it had during the last war,” said Hamas’s senior representative, Salah Bardaweel.
Bardaweel, who was speaking to Palestinian reporters in the Gaza Strip, said that while Hamas does not want a confrontation with Israel, it is not afraid of one.
“Those who think that the resistance will collapse are living in an illusion,” he added.
“Hamas won’t allow a situation where it is turned into a scapegoat of Zionist elections or accounts.”
PA TV distorts history: Palestinians fought Romans in ancient times
PA TV reporter: "The settlers invaded an ancient tomb... an ancient rock-cut cave built by the Greeks. The Palestinian rebels used it as a hideout during their war against the Romans... Through recurring invasions and by holding Talmudic ceremonies (i.e., Jewish prayers) in ancient tombs, the occupation is trying to manufacture a new history that legitimizes its occupation."
[Official PA TV, Dec. 27, 2014]
Note: The Jews, not Palestinians, fought the Roman Empire in Judea from 66-73 and again from 132-135CE. After the Jews were defeated, the Romans changed the name of the region from Judea/Israel to Palaestina to punish the Jewish nation for their unsuccessful rebellion. The claim that "Palestinians" fought the Romans is historically inaccurate, as "Palestinians/Palestine" did not yet exist.


Fatah Official Accuses Hamas of Stabbing Him in Samaria
As the "unity partners" of Hamas and Fatah appear to be sliding into war in Gaza, Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday tried to downplay the stabbing, a day earlier, of a Fatah official. The official accuses Hamas of trying to assassinate him.
"Some people are trying to create chaos but we will not allow anybody to undermine the security and stability of citizens," Abbas said according to the official PA news agency WAFA. "Any individual who took part in this criminal attack will be subject to punishment by law."
Before the statement, Abbas spoke with Fatah official Munir al-Jaghoub, who was stabbed numerous times last Friday after prayers outside a mosque in the town of Beita near Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria, reports the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency.
PreOccupied Territory: Israel Quickly Hides Dams To Undermine Gaza Flood Claims (satire)
Israel Defense Force engineers are working intensively to conceal a series of dams that were opened in order to flood the Gaza Strip with rainwater, aiming to contradict news reports of the induced flooding.
Nearly three battalions of engineers and support troops are laboring around the clock as of yesterday, when Agence France-Presse first reported on the opening of the dams and the consequent deluge of parts of the besieged Gaza Strip. A concurrent deluge of PR efforts also launched to deny the existence of such dams, including hacking Google Earth’s satellite image database to erase evidence of the dams that line the Israeli border with the coastal territory.
The efforts bore partial fruit as AFP and several other outlets retracted the story, but it continues to spread on social media and Arab news organizations that are apparently ignoring the follow-up activity. Mainstream outlets have either issued corrections or removed the links to their stories, but not before human rights activists and other media personalities captured the images and persisted in publicizing the story.
Engineering battalion commander Major Kastahh told a reporter his men had been working in multiple shifts to either dismantle or camouflage the eleven dams that Israel has maintained along the Gaza border for the specific purpose of flooding the territory to make life miserable for the Palestinians there. He said he expected the project to be completed by Wednesday morning, and that eight of the eleven dams would remain useful for the same purpose. The other three would be dismantled, but in the long term the army would replace them with huge, better-concealed pipes with valves that could be opened and closed at will in order to further oppress Gazans yet make it appear that their flood-induced misery had nothing to do with Israel.
ISIS abducts at least 90 from Christian villages in Syria
Islamic State terrorists have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group that tracks violence in Syria said on Tuesday.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants carried out dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.
Syrian Kurdish militia launched two offensives against the militants in northeast Syria on Sunday, helped by US-led air strikes and Iraqi peshmerga.
This part of Syria is strategically important in the fight against Islamic State because it borders territory controlled by the group in Iraq, where it last year committed atrocities against the minority religious Yazidi community.
New UN report suggests ISIS liable for genocide of minorities in Iraq
According to a new UN report released Monday, atrocities committed by the Islamic State are liable to be officially classified as genocide.
"Many of the violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL [Islamic State] may amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide," the report says.
A joint effort issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq and the UN high Commissioner for Human Rights, the report details the abuses against Turkmen, Shabaks, Christians, Yazidi, Sabaeans, Kaka’e, Faili Kurds, Arab Shi'ite communities and posits that at least 165 executions were carried out by the Islamic State group's 'courts' in the areas it controls.
The charge of genocide is described in the report as "a deliberate policy aimed at destroying, suppressing or expelling these communities permanently from areas under their control."
PreOccupied Territory: Online Retailers Endorse Al-Shabaab’s Threat To Attack Malls (satire)
E-commerce giants such as Amazon expressed approval today for the announcement by Somali terrorist organization Al-Shabaab calling for attacks on “Jewish-owned” malls around the world.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliated militant group in the Horn of Africa attempted to take its message and strategy onto the global stage yesterday with a message encouraging Muslims to attack retail shopping centers, taking aim at what they view as strongholds of Western and Jewish wrongdoing. The management of various large malls across the US – notably the Mall of America in Minneapolis – have beefed up security and tightened their contacts with law enforcement agencies as a result. In the meantime, online sellers such as Amazon, Overstock, Land’s End, and others are expressing satisfaction at the turn of events.
“Our hold on the retail market has never looked more secure,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. “Our marketing strategy will now of course incorporate reminders that customers are more than eight times as likely to face deadly terrorist attacks at a shopping mall than they are shopping online.”


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