Monday, May 18, 2015

From Ian:

The UNRWA farce: Nothing more than a blatant travesty of human integrity based on a political agenda
Why is it that the Palestinian method of inciting hatred and killing people over what they term as the “Naqba’ that occurred 67 years ago, is still considered a valid cause? Why is it that we never hear about the millions of other people around the world who were displaced from the lands of their forefathers owing to war or political unrest? The list of people who were forcibly exiled or who fled their war ravaged homelands for safety zones in recent history is so long that it makes the mind boggle, it represents far greater numbers of refugees than the Arabs of Palestine, whose status of ‘refugee’ has been maintained by a special United Nations Agency (UNRWA) that functions with a different set of criteria than any other UN refugee agency. Hence the facts that nearly all of Europe’s forty million refugees were settled in under two years following the end of WW11, whilst nearly seven decades later the Palestinians have been left to stagnate as ‘pawns’ to be used in their immoral struggle against Israel. It is flabbergasting that according to the ‘special criteria’ set out by UNRWA, the Palestinian refugee count stands at around 6.5 million worldwide…one in three refugees worldwide being Palestinian! Currently 3.8 million of those ‘Palestinian refugees’ and their descendants are registered with UNRWA; a staggeringly big number considering that there remains only a mere 30,000 to 50,000 of the originally displaced people created by the Arab Israeli war in 1948.
All other refugees have learned to cope and move on. But the United Nations is maintaining and prolonging this farce of millions of people known as ‘Palestinian refugees’ which is nothing more than a blatant travesty of human integrity based on a political agenda.
There has never been much interest or horn-blowing shown to any of the world’s far worse refugee problems.
Abbas to Syria's Palestinian Refugees: Go to Israel or 'Die in Syria'
Faced with the suffering of their own people, the Palestinians' leadership recently decided not to help. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected a deal with Israel brokered by the United Nations that would allow Palestinian refugees living in Syria to resettle in the West Bank and Gaza. Abbas stated unequivocally that "we rejected that and said it's better they die in Syria than give up their right of return." The Palestine Liberation Organization has also ruled out any military action to help the 18,000 or more refugees who are trapped in the Yarmouk camp near Damascus.
Abbas's cold-blooded response reveals something fundamental about Palestinian society and identity. Far more than territory, the key Israeli-Palestinian issue is the idea of a Palestinian "right of return"—the belief in a legal and moral right of Palestinian refugees, and more importantly their descendants from around the world, to return to ancestral homes in [Israel's part of] what was once Mandatory Palestine. This belief is so vital to Palestinian national identity that their leaders would rather they die than give it up and have a chance to live.
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of December 1948 supposedly codifies this "right." However, a closer look reveals it to be conditional: "refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and … compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return." The resolution also calls for the United Nations "to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees and the payment of compensation."
Interestingly, all the Arab States in the UN at the time (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen) voted against the resolution, since it implicitly accepted the partition of Mandatory Palestine that recognized the Jewish right to a state. But the actual text of the resolution has been irrelevant since the beginning; Palestinian identity has crystallized around the dream of an unconditional "right of return," as has Palestinian propaganda to the world.
IDF official: If our war crimes probes no good, all of the West's are no good
With a veiled threat to the International Criminal Court, a top IDF legal division official said on Monday that “if others say that our investigations” into war crimes allegations are insufficient, then “the entire Western world” must realize that their investigations will be declared insufficient.
IDF Deputy Magistrate Advocate General Col. Eli Baron’s statement, at the Israel Bar Association Conference in Eilat, was the first major statement by a high ranking IDF official since ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda last week issued what was interpreted as a warning to Israel to cooperate with her office more quickly on her preliminary examination of war crimes allegations in the 2014 Gaza War.
Bensouda implied she might be stuck deciding whether to open a full criminal investigation against Israeli soldiers solely based on evidence from Israel’s human rights critics, if Israel did not provide her with its own evidence on the Gaza war soon.
Israel’s response was to attack the ICC Prosecutor’s move and her preliminary probe in which she recognized a State of Palestine.
Jerusalem still vehemently rejects the idea of a State of Palestine, especially regarding any issues relating to the ICC.



PA says it’s awaiting Hague okay to push war crimes allegations
The Palestinian Authority on Monday urged the International Criminal Court in The Hague to set a date for the submission of documents regarding what it says are crimes committed by Israel in the West Bank and during the last summer’s 50-day-war in the Gaza Strip.
According to PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, the authority is still awaiting the court’s authorization in order to submit the documents, which it may do by the middle of June, Israel Radio reported.
ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said in an interview with The Associated Press last week that she hadn’t received any information from either side regarding last summer’s Gaza war and urged Israel and the Palestinians to provide such information.
The Palestinians accepted the court’s jurisdiction in mid-January and officially joined the ICC on April 1 in hopes of prosecuting Israel for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza conflict.
German Foreign Minister, Jordanian King Push for PA-Israel 2-State ‘Solution’
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spent Saturday in Jordan meeting with King Abdullah II discussing how to restart final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The two also talked about bilateral ties, the Middle East, and how to combat terrorism.
But in a joint news conference held by Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and his German counterpart, the two told reporters the whole world is “unanimous” in its agreement that Israel and the PA must negotiate the establishment of a new Arab country for Palestinians.
Last Wednesday, the Jordanian monarch had met in Berlin on the same topic with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Abdullah called the issue of talks between Israel and the PA “the most persistent problem in our region” while in Germany. Merkel also noted that she had told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin during their visit together that Germany was “concentrating on a two-state solution” as well.
Abu Mazen is not an “Angel of peace”
I do not know how Pope Francis got the idea to call Abu Mazen “Angel of Peace”. It was an odd choice. Abu Mazen never gave the impression to be so firmly committed to peace. On the contrary, he put insurmountable obstacles to it, especially if you consider the ceaseless incitement to hatred against the Israeli people. Some of the statements from the speech he delivered before the UN are adequately clarifying on the matter.
Once again, we had to listen to words like “genocide”, and hear references to the International criminal court. He sees all Israelis as criminals. Abu Mazen is the man who agreed to name a square after Dalal al Mughrabi, the female terrorist who led the slaughter of 35 Israeli civilians on a bus, including 12 children.
The terrorists responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people, including women and children, are regularly glorified in the public discussion. They are the heroes of Abu Mazen’s masses , while the Government pays monthly salaries to the imprisoned terrorists’ families. The official daily newspaper of the Palestinian Authority published a cartoon celebrating the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June 2014.
Sorry, Your Holiness, But Abbas is No Angel
As I noted last week, the decisions being taken by the Vatican and other European states won’t advance peace. To the contrary, such moves only encourage Abbas to continue to refuse to negotiate with Israel. The only path forward for a two state solution to the conflict is for the Palestinians to be given statehood only after they have made peace with Israel and not before. Abbas and his predecessor Yasir Arafat have repeatedly refused Israeli offers of peace and statehood. To this day, he refuses to sign any deal that recognizes the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.
That alone should be enough to deny Abbas the title of “angel of peace.” But that isn’t the only reason. Abbas was a longtime deputy to arch-terrorist Arafat and played a role in organizing and financing many acts of brutal terrorism. But unlike other world leaders who might have employed violence in his youth and then became a statesman, Abbas has never really changed. He is the same man who wrote a doctoral thesis that centered on Holocaust denial at Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University that was published in 1984. He continues to embrace and honor terrorists, such as the murderers with the blood of innocent civilians on their hands that were released by Israel in order to ransom Gilad Shalit from his Hamas captors. Just as important, though he occasionally makes statements about wanting peace when speaking to Western audiences or the international media, his official PA media incites hatred against Jews and Israel on a regular basis.
Shmuley Boteach: Did Pope Francis Whitewash a Terrorist?
Mahmoud Abbas an angel of peace? Really? Could Pope Francis really have called him that.
I respect the Pope. Gosh, everyone respects the Pope. But I’m not Catholic and I’m not bound by any doctrine of papal infallibility.
So let’s look at the record of this “angel of peace.”
Abbas’s career as a merchant of death rather than an angel of peace stretches all the way back to the early 1970s. According to Abu Daoud, the Mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre that left 11 Israeli athletes murdered, Abbas funded the operation. And when Abu Daoud died in 2010, Abbas wrote a letter of condolence to the infamous terrorist’s family saying “He is missed. He was one of the leading figures of Fatah and spent his life in resistance and sincere work as well as physical sacrifice for his people’s just causes.”
He also spent his life murdering Jews.
Honest Reporting: Media, Not Pope, Dub Abbas an “Angel of Peace”
In other words, the Pope did not call Abbas an “angel of peace” at all. Quite the opposite. He was urging him to become an angel of peace in the future.
The National Review version was backed by the Washington Post, which also based its coverage on the official Vatican statement:
During a meeting Sunday at the Vatican, Francis presented Abbas with a bronze medal representing an angel of peace and encouraged him to commit to peace, a statement from the Holy See said.
So what accounts for the rapid spread of erroneous information? According to the National Review:
This reveals the eagerness of some in the media to paint His Holiness as some valiant advocate for the progressive cause, and thus, an ally of Palestine over Israel. If the Pope indeed called Abbas an angel, it would, in their eyes, be yet another example of his putting conservative Catholics, many of whom are likely to be pro-Israel, in their place.
Indeed, the media has long held the position that Abbas is the last, best hope for peace in the region, despite the failure of years of Abbas-led peace negotiations. But if Abbas is a man of peace, acknowledged by an authority such as the Pope, then the failure of talks must be the fault of Israel.
British media get it wrong on Pope “angel of peace” comments
The Telegraph published a version of the same AFP report used by the Guardian, informing readers that “Pope calls Palestinian leader Abbas ‘angel of peace’ at Vatican meeting”.
The headline in a Daily Mail report by Lucy Crossly on May 17th read: “Pope reaches out to the Middle East: Francis hails Palestinian leader as ‘angel of peace’ as two nuns are made the first Arabic-speaking saints in church’s history”.
A headline at The Independent, accompanying a March 16th article, claimed that “Pope Francis calls Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a ‘angel of peace“.
And, Channel 4 News also reported that the pope called “an angel of peace”.
Multiple reports in the American media included the same purported quote.
To those even minimally aware of Mahmoud Abbas’s record of praising terror attacks against Israelis, lionizing terrorists and even encouraging Palestinian violence at Jerusalem holy sites, news that the pontiff praised the Palestinian leader as ‘a man of peace’ came as quite a surprise.
In fact, it turns out that the pope’s comments to Abbas were almost certainly mistranslated by AP, AFP and other news sites, from the original Italian.
BBC lost in news agency translation of Pope’s words to Mahmoud Abbas?
The Zenit agency reported the story in Spanish using the headline “Francisco recibe al presidente palestino y le exhorta: ‘Sea usted un ángel de paz’” – “Francisco receives Palestinian President and urges : ‘ Be you an angel of peace ‘”.
So it would appear that there is a distinct possibility that rather than describing Mahmoud Abbas as an ‘angel of peace’, the Pope in fact urged or wished him to become one by taking steps to bring about a peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. That, of course, would leave readers with a markedly different impression than the version of the story promoted by the BBC.
The source of this possible misunderstanding of the Pope’s words appears to be various news agency reports. As we have seen before, it is not unheard of for the BBC to fail to fact check information provided by news agencies before reproducing their content. Clearly this story too needs urgent review in order to ensure its compliance with BBC editorial guidelines on accuracy.
Netanyahu says not too late to stop Iran nuclear deal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday there was still time to stop an Iranian agreement with world powers that, he said, would give Tehran nuclear arms.
“It is still not too late to retract the plan” being negotiated between Iran and the world powers over Tehran’s nuclear program, he stated at a ceremony marking Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War.
The United States as well as Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are in the midst of negotiations with Tehran to finalize a deal by June 30 that they say would prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions.
Iran cannot be trusted to honor the nascent deal, Netanyahu has argued.
Kerry: Iran nuke deal could be lesson for N. Korea
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday he is hopeful that the successful conclusion of a nuclear deal with Iran will send a positive message to North Korea to restart negotiations on its own atomic program.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, Kerry said he believed an Iran agreement could have “a positive influence” on North Korea, because it would show that giving up nuclear weapons improves domestic economies and ends isolation. He stressed, though, that there was no way to tell if North Korea’s reclusive leadership would be able to “internalize” such a message.
“I am sure Foreign Minister Wang would join me in expressing the hope that if we can get an agreement with Iran, … that agreement would indeed have some impact or have a positive influence” on North Korea, Kerry said.
Although Wang did not appear to respond, Kerry explained that an Iran deal could help in showing North Korea how “your economy can do better, your country can do better, and you can enter into good standing with the rest of the global community by recognizing that there is a verifiable, irreversible, denuclearization for weaponization, even as you can have a peaceful nuclear power program.”
Report: Saudis may purchase Pakistani atomic bomb
Saudi Arabia has reached out to its ally Pakistan to acquire “off-the-shelf” atomic weapons as a nuclear arms race begins to shape up with Shiite rival Iran, US sources said.
“For the Saudis the moment has come,” a former US defense official told the UK’s Sunday Times. “There has been a longstanding agreement in place with the Pakistanis and the House of Saud has now made the strategic decision to move forward.”
The anonymous former official said the US did not believe that “any actual weaponry has been transferred yet,” but declared that “the Saudis mean what they say and they will do what they say.”
Tensions between Tehran and the kingdom have grown in the past few months as Saudi Arabia stepped up its air campaign against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. King Salman of Saudi Arabia refused an invitation to attend a landmark summit hosted by US President Barack Obama last week, amid ongoing angst over US-led nuclear talks with Iran.
Former Saudi intelligence head Prince Turki bin Faisal expressed the kingdom’s desire for a nuclear weapon last month at the Asan Plenum, a conference held by the South Korean-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies. “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” he said, according to The New York Times.
Singapore bashes Iran for firing at commercial ship
Singapore on Monday condemned Iranian forces for firing warning shots in the Gulf at a commercial ship registered in the Asian city-state, calling it a “serious violation of international law.”
The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) also urged Tehran to investigate Thursday’s incident involving the Singapore-flagged Alpine Eternity which it said was in international waters.
“With regard to the reported shooting incident on May 14, 2015, involving a Singapore-registered tanker ‘Alpine Eternity’ that took place in international waters, Singapore is deeply concerned with such actions,” the MPA said in a statement.
“Such interference with navigational rights is a serious violation of international law,” it said.
“The freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce are of critical importance to Singapore and other maritime and trading nations,” it added.
PM: Jerusalem is exclusive capital of the Jewish people
"Jerusalem is the secret to our existence," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Sunday during an event marking the 48th anniversary of the city's reunification in the Six-Day War. "We will not divide it and we will not hand it over to foreigners."
Earlier, at a state ceremony at Jerusalem's Ammunition Hill (the site of a key battle in the Six-Day War), Netanyahu said, "Jerusalem has always been the exclusive capital of the Jewish people, and not of any other people. This is where our path as a nation began. This is our home and here we will stay. Jerusalem is currently enjoying one of its golden eras. We are continuing to build and develop it and to expand its neighborhoods. We have a lot more to do to improve all parts of the city, for the benefit of its inhabitants."
"The future belongs to a unified Jerusalem. It will never be divided again," Netanyahu vowed.
Memorial Hall unveiled at Ammunition Hill on Jerusalem Day
Display includes photographs, stories of all 182 IDF soldiers who fell in the capital during 1967 Six Day War.
After 30 years of neglect, the Ammunition Hill Memorial Site revealed a new Memorial Hall, the first part of its multi-million dollar makeover on Sunday, Jerusalem Day, the celebration over the reunification of the city in the 1967 Six Day War.
Ammunition Hill was the site of a battle waged by the Paratroopers’ Brigade during the war. The outpost’s bunkers and trenches, which made the battle so difficult to win, still criss-cross the hill and have long served as a destination for school children and tourists, learning about the battle over Jerusalem.
The site, viewed by many as symbolic of the city’s reunification, remained in need of renovation for more than 30 years and was almost closed down due to lack of funds.
It was then classified as a “national heritage site,” which paved the way for plans to preserve and renovate the site.
On Jerusalem Day two years ago, the Knesset held a meeting at Ammunition Hill, approving the plans to open the hall, amphitheater and museum, and to restore the trenches.
Without Jerusalem, There is No Tel Aviv
Across the entire Hebrew calendar, Yom Yerushalayim exists as an important litmus test of the moral fiber of Israeli society. Within the day is the elemental question as to whether the entire Zionist Project rests on an ethical foundation, or whether Zionism is a colonial imperialistic project.
David Ben Gurion was not in any doubt to this question, understanding that Jerusalem was the icon of Zionism, and despite heavy international pressure, sought to make a speech there straight after the War of Independence, where he unilaterally declared in opposition to the UN, that he was moving all governmental institutions to Jerusalem, and declaring forthwith that Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish State.
“We shall not give up any part of Jerusalem willingly,” Ben Gurion said, “Just as our faith has not wavered through millennia. It holds all our national significance and hopes… to the site to which we will ultimately return…The nation that has kept faith for over 2,500 years to the covenant that was made to those who were first exiled by the rivers of Babylon – not to forget Jerusalem. The nation shall never accept being separated from Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall never accept a foreign ruler, especially after its sons and daughters have been afforded the opportunity to redeem Jerusalem from destruction and annihilation.”
Jerusalem Day: exercise sovereignty or lose it
Yesterday was Jerusalem Day. One of the events was a march through the city to the Western Wall, including the Muslim quarter of the Old City. Most of the participants are teenagers from nationalist-religious schools. There have been complaints from Arab residents that some of the marchers shout anti-Arab slogans, and that they have to close their shops and stay inside; and of course some of the Arabs throw stones and other objects at the marchers. There are also (how could there not be) left-wing Israelis demonstrating against the march.
This year there were several violent incidents. Several policemen were lightly injured. Left-wing organizations had filed a petition to the High Court of Justice to stop the march, but the court decided that there was not enough evidence that there would be ‘racist incitement’ to justify stopping the march.
Clearly it is an inconvenience to the Arab residents, and it requires the presence of several thousand policemen to prevent violence (to be honest, to keep the Arabs from killing the participants). And there will always be at least one idiot who yells “death to Arabs,” which is embarrassing. So why do it?
Because we can’t afford not to.
Poll: 92 Percent of Israeli Jews Say Jerusalem is Israel’s Eternal Capital
A new poll released in time for Jerusalem Day on Sunday revealed that a full 92% of Israeli Jews believe Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, and should remain that way permanently, Israeli daily Maariv reported.
Meanwhile, a small minority of Israeli Jews, 8% according to the same poll, disagreed with the notion that Jerusalem should be Israel’s capital, saying that the government should consider declaring Tel Aviv as the capital instead.
The survey, which was conducted by the Herzog Academic College, also explored the academic curricula in schools which relate to Jerusalem and the capital’s history.
The survey’s data showed that 48% of Israelis want the subject of Jerusalem to be taught during specially designated hours as part of the school curriculum. 24% said the subject only needs reinforcement when it comes to studying about Jerusalem Day, and 28% said the current education curriculum adequately addresses Jerusalem and its history.
Arab Rioters Attack Jerusalem March; Policemen Injured
Two policemen were lightly hurt by rocks and bottles hurled by dozens of Arabs Sunday, during a riot at Jerusalem's Shechem Gate, aka the Damascus Gate.
Police dispersed the riot and arrested two Arabs on suspicion that they threw the rocks that struck the policemen.
Meanwhile, Haaretz reported that there were some clashes between Jews on the Rikudegalim Flag Dance Parade, and local Arabs. Police “stopped a brawl between Jews and Palestinians and arrested one Palestinian,” the left wing paper said.
The Flag Dance Parade, which is held annually on Jerusalem Day, will pas through the Shechem Gate on its way to the Western Wall (The Kotel), where a mass thanksgiving service will be held to celebrate 48 years since the reunification of Jerusalem.
The organizers of the parade called on the tens of thousands of people expected to take part in it not to provoke the Arabs of the Old City. High Court judges approved the parade's path, which passes through the Old City, but stipulated that whoever calls out “racist” slogans during the march will be arrested and charged.
Arabs Attack Jewish Hikers on Jerusalem Day
The club, Amitim L’tiyulim, one of the largest hiking clubs in Israel, with over 10,000 members, began their hike at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill, going through Mount Scopus and ending at Sultan’s Pool.
The club hikes all over the country.
Every week they pick a new trail, in which to discover and investigate the land of Israel.
But as the 240 hikers in this particular trek crossed through the Shiloach neighborhood, in the old Yemenite village, they were attacked by Arab stone throwers, and one hiker, Yaakov Lubeton (32) suffered a head injury.
The group called for a paramedic, who treated the injured man, and Border Police also arrived to secure the area.
Arab MK’s Privilege
The Times of Israel readers read this last November
Police chief won’t let any more MKs on Temple Mount
His reasoning, as he explained, was that “…behavior [going to the Temple Mount] — even by MKs — can endanger public safety and security” and cannot be allowed.
The head of the national police “singled out MKs whose visits to the site have been accompanied by posts on social media…these lawmakers’ intentions were to “provoke and make remarks about changing the law on the Temple Mount [that allows Jewish visitors but bars them from praying there], which is exploited by [Muslim] extremists as a sign of a changing status quo.”
Well, we can see MK Ahmed Tibi on the Mount via social media:
PreOccupied Territory: Since When Does A Democratically Elected Government Get To Make Policy? by Aluf Benn, Editor-in-Chief, Haaretz (satire)
If Binyamin Netanyahu thinks he gets to take the lead in determining this country’s future just because his got the most votes in a free and fair election, he’s got another think coming. Since when does any democratically elected government get to make policy? That’s only for left-leaning governments. Everyone should understand that by now.
We at Haaretz applaud Opposition leader Isaac Herzog’s heroic efforts to undermine and stymie the new government’s activities. What Mr. Herzog has finally realized – and what we on the political Left have been arguing since Bibi took office for the second time back in 2009 – is that the Israeli electorate will not vote for the Left in sufficient numbers. They lean to the right. That simple arithmetic means only one thing for Israeli democracy: it only counts when it empowers the Left, and must be subverted or circumvented when it empowers the Right.
That is why having Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home Party exert influence over the appointment of new High Court judges is so dangerous. The Left’s only hope to bypass the democratically elected legislature is to head them off at the judicial pass. A Court that does not share Haaretz’s sensibilities, and the sensibilities of the Israeli Left at large, opens the door to the fulfillment of the will of the people as expressed in democratic elections, which would constitute a dangerous precedent. The slippery slope of listening to the people when they choose leaders who do not follow the enlightened ethos of Tel Aviv leads directly to the Left not getting what it wants. I need not tell you the tragedy that represents. The risk of a democratically elected government getting to implement its policies is far greater than the prospect of another bitter, expensive election campaign that will likely produce results similar to the last one. That way lies madness.
PA Media Accuse Settlers of ‘Mission Impossible’
Jews from the Hebron area “destroyed and uprooted hundreds of olive saplings” northeast of Hebron on Sunday, according to the Ma’an News Agency, based n Bethlehem.
This is the same Ma’an that constantly reports of IDF “attacks” that never happened. It also reports of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount as “invasions” or “storming” of the holy site.
Eighty acres?
That is 880 yards by 440 yards. The average olive orchard consists of approximately 120 trees per acre, which means the settlers roamed through 9,600 trees, and no Arab called the IDF to stop them?
The village where the alleged vandalism took place is the same place where settlers supposedly 1,000 trees last month.
Turkish top cleric in Gaza: Israel must be prosecuted for rights violations
Mehmet Görmez, president of Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs was in the Gaza Stip on Sunday where he said that Israel has used internationally banned weapons and violated religious and human rights against the Palestinians, Al Sabah newspaper reported.
Gormez was in Gaza at the invitation of Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Yusuf Ismail al-Sheikh.
The cleric said Israel must be prosecuted for its violations.
Görmez also met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, according to the report.
Haniyeh praised Turkey's assistance to the Palestinians, saying was an indication of the "reliable and sacred" bond with Turkey, Al Sabah reported.
Turkey to Help Hamas Rebuild 19 Destroyed ‘Missile Mosques’
Turkey has offered money to Hamas to re-build 19 mosques that were used to store or launch missiles on Israel before the IDF destroyed them in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio reported Monday morning.
Mehmet Gormez, president of Turkey’s Presidency of Religious Affairs, is visiting Gaza for the first time in what may be a warm-up for a long-promised visit by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan
Gormez said everything Hamas and condemned Israel for “violating human rights” in Gaza by attacking missile-launching sites, many of which were located in mosques, schools, cemeteries and U.N.-financed buildings.
Palestinian-Jordanian Professor: Hamas Should Not Implement Islamic Law and Chop Off Hands and Heads
Dr. Ahmad Nofal, a Palestinian-Jordanian professor of Islamic law, said that Hamas should not implement Islamic law. "You are being ensnared by [ISIS]," he said. "They stone women and chop off hands and heads." Nofal's address aired on Yarmouk TV on December 19, 2014.


Damning videos of Samaha sting emerge
Lebanese watched with shock and horror Thursday night as local TV channels broadcast videos showing former Minister Michel Samaha and police informant Milad Kfoury discussing plans to carry out bombings targeting Lebanese religious figures and politicians.
The footage was taken by a hidden camera that Kfoury carried during several meetings with Samaha.
In one of the videos, taken at Samaha’s house in the Beirut neighborhood of Ashrafieh, the former minister says that preachers in north Lebanon, whom he describes as “thugs,” should be targeted with bombs.
He also hands Kfoury money in return for carrying out the attacks, and assures him that he will be protected after the plan is implemented.
In a second video, Samaha was more precise regarding the targets of the operation, stating that Akkar MP Khaled Daher should be killed.
“You can kill MPs, Khaled Daher, his brother,” Samaha said.
A third video shows Samaha moving explosives from his car into Kfoury’s in the parking lot of the former minister’s house in Ashrafieh.
Nasrallah dismisses rumored ill-health as ‘psychological warfare’
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Saturday dismissed rumors he suffered a heart attack, saying he isn’t suffering from any health problems.
Earlier this week, rumors circulated on Arabic Internet sites that Nasrallah was admitted to a hospital in southern Beirut, a Hezbollah stronghold, after suffering from a stroke or heart attack.
“All reports in the media about my health are incorrect,” Nasrallah said in an address aired on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV. He also called on people to “ignore those rumors because they’re part of psychological warfare” against Hezbollah.
“Life is in Allah’s hands, but I am not suffering from any health problems,” Nasrallah said.
Egyptian Cleric: ISIS Is Better than the Shiites
In video addresses posted on an Internet channel on April 29 and 30, 2015, Egyptian cleric Sheik Dr. Ahmad Al-Naqib criticized ISIS, but said: "there is no doubt that they are much better than the criminal Rafidites [i.e., Shiites], who kill the Sunnis because of their Sunni identity." AL-Naqib is a lecturer on education at Mansoura University.


Iraqi Poet: Democracy Is a Bad Word, Terror One of the Most Beautiful Words in the Quran
In a recent TV interview, Iraqi poet As'ad Al-Ghurairy said: "The greatest conspiracy of all is embodied in the word 'democracy'," which, he said, he considered a "bad word." The word "terror," on the other hand, was derived “from one of the most beautiful words in the Quran," according to Al-Ghurairy, who cited the Quranic verse "Strike terror in the hearts of the enemies of Allah and of your own" to support his claim. The interview aired on Al-Ghad Al-Arabi TV on May 6.


Turkish gov’t ignores 2014 court request to seek Interpol Red Notice for Israeli officers
The Turkish government has failed to seek the issuance of an Interpol Red Notice for the Israeli commanders involved in the 2010 fatal raid on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara, despite almost a year having passed since a Turkish court issued arrest warrants for the officers.
An Istanbul court last year issued an arrest warrant for four top Israeli commanders for their role in the deadly raid of the Mavi Marmara in 2010 that left eight Turks and a Turkish-American dead and dealt a devastating blow to Turkish-Israeli relations.
An Interpol Red Notice is, as the highest-graded international police alert used to communicate information about crimes, criminals and threats to their counterparts around the world, the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today.
In May 2014, the Istanbul 7th High Criminal Court ordered the arrest of retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, retired Israeli Navy commander Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom, retired IDF Chief of Defense Intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin and retired Israeli Air Force intelligence head Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi.
Erdogan's Dream: The Sultan Rules
Therefore, the key to understanding the aftermath of the June 7 election is to watch the HDP's performance. If it fails to win 10% of the national vote, it will get no seats in parliament, and most of the seats it would have won will be AKP's – courtesy of the Turkish electoral system.
With the same percentage of votes, the AKP can win 280 or 330 seats depending on whether the Kurdish party makes it into parliament or not, and thus fail or succeed in amending the constitution for an "a la Turca" presidency. Unfair? Not in a country where justice is mere triviality.
Erdogan has won nine elections since 2002 – three parliamentary, three municipal, two referenda and one presidential. But he is not happy with the powers the Turkish constitution grants him. He wants more. He wants to be Turkey's elected Sultan. He does not want to be a "poor Obama." He wants, as he says, "to get decisions done." Once he has given orders, there should not be judicial, constitutional or parliamentary checks and balances. His decisions should get done -- just like a Sultan's.
Ottoman sultans did not get elected. If Erdogan wins, Turkey will be even more polarized and increasingly less manageable: he will be the president not of the whole country, but less than half of the Turks, with the other half hating him more than ever. If he fails, an in-house fight within AKP will probably break out, with many unhappy but so far silent AKP political figures starting to fire in every direction.
June 7 is all or nothing for Erdogan. He will either be the solitary man living in an isolated presidential palace in Ankara, hands tied by constitutional restrictions, still dreaming of a ballot-box sultanate, or he will become the first ballot-box Sultan of the Turkish Empire of his dreams.
Erdogan Reads Nationalist-Islamist Poem for Centennial of Gallipoli Battles
On the centennial marking the Gallipoli battles, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recited a nationalist-Islamist poem titled “Du’a.” Against the backdrop of footage of people paying homage to those killed in the war, Erdogan’s voice is heard saying: “Give us strength! Do not leave these fields of Jihad without fighters, my Allah.” The video was posted on the Internet on April 20, 2015.


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