Sunday, July 12, 2015

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: Suffering from blindness
Serious leaders like al-Sisi, Jimmy Carter and John Kerry foolishly think there is a connection between jihadist attack worldwide and the Palestinian problem. It used to be 'look at the Jews for blame,' now it's 'look at Israel for blame'.
Unlike the leaders of other Arab countries, Egypt's president has no delusions with regards to Islam. Several months ago, al-Sisi chose to make a dramatic speech about Islam in the most important religious institute: Al-Azhar University.
He firmly asserted that there is a problem with the direction Islam is being carried in, and called for a revolution from within. Here is a leader who doesn't suffer from blindness. But even the Egyptian president still has a problem in one area. Al-Sisi met with a delegation from the American-Jewish Committee. According to reports in the Egyptian press, he told them that "resolving the Palestinian problem will eliminate one of the main reasons for joining terror organizations."
That same day jihadists murdered, among others, 44 people in Nigeria and 14 others in Kenya. In the first 19 days of Ramadan, 1,899 people were murdered by jihadists, an average of close to a 100 per day. None of them had anything to do with the Palestinian problem.
JPost Editorial: India-Israel axis
Many parallels can be drawn between BJP and our Likudled government. Both seek to strengthen what they see as a more authentic national identity – Hindutva in India, Jewish in Israel – while maintaining a robust democracy.
Both countries face threats from Islamist terrorists who are motivated to violence not by anything India or Israel has done, but by what the countries represent.
And ultimately, caving in to extremist Muslim dictates is bad for India. Muslim countries have next to nothing of consequence to offer India. Even cheap oil and gas can be acquired on the open market. The days of a powerful OPEC cartel is over.
In contrast, Israel has much to offer. Farmers of all faiths can benefit from Israeli expertise in drip irrigation. Startups in Bangalore and Hyderabad see Israeli firms as role models.
And Indians rightly have high regard for the society that has fostered such impressive innovation.
Combine all this with Modi’s leadership style of publicly expressing what India and Indians actually believe and value. Modi is right to conclude that India is strong and proud enough to abandon its practice of doing one thing and saying another. By ceasing to treat Israel as a “mistress,” Modi is affirming the values and goals to which he hopes his own people will aspire.
Update: Arrest Made in Anti-Semitic Paris Gang Attack on 13-yr old Jewish Boy
One arrest has been made and a suspect detained by Paris police so far in the the gang beating of a 13-year-old Jewish boy last Monday (July 6) after he left the Colonel Fabien Jewish Day School.
The traumatized victim, who has not been identified due to his age and the risk such identification poses, spent his Sabbath trying to recuperate from the trauma of the beating he received at the hands of six teens possibly of “African descent.”
The boy was attacked by the gang after leaving the building in the 19th arondissement, near Gare du Nord train station, according to the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l’Antisémitisme (BNVCA).
Sammy Ghozlan, president of the watchdog organization, issued a statement condemning the attack. “He was spotted as a Jew because he was wearing a kippa,” the group said in a statement on its website.
“Take that, dirty Jew!” one of the attackers shouted at him while they were beating him, the victim told investigators. One of the members of the group also stole his cell phone before they fled the scene.

An unlikely alliance between Hamas and Islamic State
While Hamas is far from reticent about showing off the drones it has sent into Israel several times over the past year, it appears that the Jewish state is not the only target of the terror group’s covert UAV activity.
Last December, the unmanned aircraft were given pride of place at a military parade to mark the group’s 27th anniversary, including a drone that Hamas claimed had been in operation during the conflict that summer. And it is becoming clear to Israeli officials that intelligence-gathering for military operations is not the sole purpose of the craft.
When a Hamas drone crashed on Israel’s side of the Gaza border fence two weeks ago, it was picked up by IDF officials and examined by the various intelligence agencies. They discovered that the drone, in addition to monitoring events inside Israel, was also photographing Gaza’s border with Egypt.
This is not the first time that Hamas has operated a UAV inside Egyptian territory. Four months ago, Egyptian news outlet Al Usbu reported that Egyptian radar had identified three spy drones that had infiltrated repeatedly from southern Gaza. According to the report, the drones reached the vicinity of El Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, roughly 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the southern Gaza Strip.
Mosque linked to children's suicide bombing DVD: Former chairman owned company that distributed chilling singalong film that glorified terror
The former chairman of the biggest mosque in Leeds owned a company linked to a DVD that glorified suicide bombings targeting Israelis.
The singalong video showed a young girl vowing to follow the same path in life as her mother, shown blowing herself up at an army checkpoint.
A bookshop owned by Firas al-Rawi, the ex-chairman of Leeds Grand Mosque, was identified as the 'sole UK distributor' on the DVD's cover.
The Syrian, who has since moved to Kuwait from Britain, is understood to have been arrested on suspicion of stirring up racial hatred after the video emerged in late 2007, The Times reported.
Al-Rawi, 40, ran Abrar bookshop in Leeds in 2007 and was the sole owner of import company Abrar International.
The Arabic DVD, which has English subtitles, was purchased by a child at a mosque in Bradford in 2007. Their grandfather passed it on to his local MP, Tory Philip Davies.
Second Tunisia terror attack foiled: Five ISIS extremists are shot dead in Islamic stronghold as thousands of British tourists are evacuated
Five Islamic extremists on the verge of carrying out another terrorist attack on holidaymakers in Tunisia were yesterday shot dead.
The five men were killed by Tunisian special forces as thousands of Britons fled the North African country after a security alert.
Holiday companies started flying home 3,000 people yesterday after the Foreign Office warned that another ISIS attack was 'highly likely'.
Security forces tracked down eight ISIS suspects believed to be about to launch another bloodthirsty attack on tourists, with five of the militants killed near the town of El Ktar.
The three others escaped and are still on the run, the Daily Mirror reported.
An intelligence source told the newspaper: 'Tunisian Special Forces acted swiftly as the evacuation got under way to stop them launching another attack.'
Tehran prepares for celebrations in the streets over anticipated nuclear deal
Foreign ministers from world powers are converging once again on Austria's capital on Sunday, hoping to finally end talks with Iran over its nuclear program with a deal.
The agreement is essentially complete, Iranian officials here say, and will be formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Negotiations went past midnight on Saturday, and began around 8 a.m. on Sunday morning between top negotiators from the US, European Union and Iran. The talks have been ongoing for sixteen straight days.
A senior State Department official said on Sunday that reports that a nuclear deal with Iran will be imminently announced are "speculative," shooting down a host of media reports suggesting otherwise.
"We have never speculated about the timing of anything during these negotiations, and we're certainly not going to start now," the official said, "especially given the fact that major issues remain to be resolved in these talks."
Among other outlets, The Associated Press and Reuters have quoted officials as saying that an historic nuclear agreement could come down as early as Sunday night.
Mike Huckabee uses 1964 'daisy girl' ad to warn against Iran
As the nuclear talks between world powers and Iran linger in the final stretch, and the American political arena is revving its engines ahead of the 2016 presidential election, several presidential hopefuls have tried to channel the criticism over the talks to shore up support for their candidacy.
As part of his presidential campaign, Republican candidate Mike Huckabee issued a renewed version of an iconic 1964 political ad featuring a little girl counting as she tears the petals off a daisy, and once she finishes a nuclear bomb explodes.
The ad, known as "daisy girl" when it was first used by incumbent Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1964 presidential election campaign, warned against nuclear war with the Soviet Union. The ad aired only once because of the controversy it sparked, but many believe it was a key factor in Johnson's subsequent landslide victory.
Now, Huckabee's campaign has decided to recycle the decades-old ad, but this time to warn against a nuclear Iran. In the new ad, the old footage is used with the caption "A threat to Israel is a threat to America" followed by the words "Stand with Israel" and "Reject a nuclear Iran."
Iran Daisy

Pro-Tehran Lobby Demands Iran Be Given Ballistic Missiles
A pro-Tehran advocacy group long accused of concealing illicit ties to the Iranian regime is lobbying Congress in support of a demand that America repeal a United Nations arms embargo limiting the Islamic Republic’s ability to stockpile arms, including ballistic missiles, which could be used to carry nuclear payloads, according to a copy of an email sent by the group to various lawmakers.
The National American Iranian Council (NIAC), which has long been suspected of acting as Tehran’s lobbying shop in Washington, D.C., sent lawmakers an email on Friday asserting that “the Iranian arms embargo will need to be disposed of as part of a final agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.”
The email comes roughly a week after Iranian diplomats issued a similar demand during ongoing talks in Vienna between world powers and Iran. The new condition has been blamed for grinding negotiations to a halt, as diplomats blew through a third self-imposed deadline this weekend.
The NIAC email on ballistic missiles is in step with Iran’s potentially deal-breaking demands.
“The UN embargo imposed on Iran’s trade in certain conventional arms was specifically imposed by the Security Council to deal with the nuclear dispute,” wrote Tyler Cullis, who is identified in the email as a legal fellow at the council.
Cullis writes: “Starting with [United Nations Security Council resolution] UNSCR 1747 in 2007, the Security Council imposed a ban on Iranian arms exports. The Council followed up this export ban with more comprehensive restrictions on the sale to or from Iran of certain heavy-weapons, including battle tanks, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, and the like in 2010 via UNSCR 1929.”
NIAC maintains that such restrictions should be lifted as part of a nuclear agreement, even though they are not specific restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.
A range of sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon—including analysts, former intelligence officials, as well as current and former congressional staffers—challenged both the legal analysis and motivation of NIAC’s letter to lawmakers.
Iran managed to ‘charm the world,’ says Rouhani
Iran “managed to charm the world,” its president Hassan Rouhani said Saturday in a meeting with artists, the Iranian Nasim news agency reported.
“Even if the nuclear talks fail, our diplomacy showed the world that we are logical. We never left the negotiation table and always provided the best answer,” Rouhani told the group, according to Reuters.
Rouhani’s own website offered similar sentiments Saturday. “We behaved so skillfully that if talks won’t succeed, the world would accept that Iran is for logic and dialogue and never left the negotiating table…and if we succeed by the grace of God, the world will know that the Iranian nation can resolve its problems through logic,” the website quoted him as saying.
Rouhani based his assessment of the Iranian negotiators’ skill on the length of the talks between Tehran and the so-called P5+1 group of six world powers over its nuclear program.
BlazingCatFur: Back from Al Quds Day
All in all an uneventful day. This years crowd of moderate Muslims calling for the destruction of Israel was way down from previous years totals.
I estimate 2000 at best compared to 6-8 thousand last year.
I am not sure how to account for the steep decline in numbers.
Maybe everyone was at the Pan-Am Games or maybe with Muslims massacring one another on an industrial scale in Iraq and Syria people have better things to do than chant like drunken banshees in the street.
Al Quds Day has always been a Shia thing but in prior marches there was Sunni support, that hasn’t been much in evidence these last two years.
The Sunni-Shia bloodletting has likely taken care of that.
This year was also the march of the women and children, they outnumbered the men and were as always bused in by the local Mullahs.
The JDL had a good turnout and a Kickass sound system which succeeded in drowning out the Al Quds screed.
Protester arrested at Berlin anti-Israel demonstration
Hundreds marched in Berlin on Saturday in a protest against "the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem" to mark al-Quds Day, a holiday created by Iran on which Muslims are to protest against Israel.
Several members of Neturei Karta, a Jewish religious group opposed to Zionism, also protested.
A counter-protest featured hundreds of pro-Israel demonstrators waving Israeli flags and pro-LGBT activists. A protestor was arrested during a scuffle.
Demonstrators against Israel held signs reading "freedom for Palestine" and waved Palestinian and Lebanese flags. Others held signs condemning ISIS, and some held pictures of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The Israeli embassy in Germany said it was looking into the identity of the arrestee and that the protest had been quiet and calm.
The pro-Israel protest was organized by groups that act in support of Israel in Germany. LGBT groups joined this year to highlight Israel's treatment of that community in comparison to that in the Arab world and Iran.
‘Tony Blair negotiating with Hamas for Israelis’ release’
Former British prime minister Tony Blair has been acting as a go-between in discussions between Israel and Hamas over the release of two Israelis held captive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, according to reports.
A Hamas source told the Russian news outlet Sputnik that Blair, who more recently has served as peace envoy for the Middle East Quartet, met in recent days with Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal and other top officials.
Two Israelis, Avraham Mengistu and a second unnamed Bedouin captive, have been held in Gaza for months. A court-imposed gag order on the story was lifted Thursday following a court petition by two Israeli media outlets.
Israeli sources would not confirm the news, except to deny previous reports that Egyptian or German officials were serving as mediators. Egypt helped mediate the last major negotiation between Israel and Hamas over the release of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
Hamas preparing negotiation team to swap prisoners for soldiers' bodies
Hamas is putting together a delegation to negotiate for the release of prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for returning the bodies of IDF soldiers Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul and 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin to Israel, according to the London-based Arabic language Rai el-Youm newspaper.
According to the report, the new negotiation team will include high-ranking political and military figures in Hamas that took part in the negotiations for Gilad Schalit. The names of the figures who will participate were not yet published.
An official also said that Hamas is preparing a plan that will take into consideration Israel's demands. Furthermore, the official said that negotiations are expected to take a long time.
Hamas said on Thursday that it would provide information about the two missing Israelis in the Gaza Strip only if Palestinians who were rearrested after being released in the Schalit prisoner swap were freed.
“If Israel makes a gesture of goodwill and releases those arrested again after they were released in the Schalit deal, Hamas would also make a gesture of goodwill,” and would reveal details on possible prisoners it holds captive, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a senior Hamas official in the West Bank, told Israel Radio.
Police arrest Jewish suspects in arson at ‘loaves and fishes’ church
Police and agents of the Shin Bet security service overnight Saturday arrested several suspects in last month’s arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha in the Galilee, the Shin Bet announced Sunday morning.
The arrests came following “a covert, strenuous and professional investigation that began right after the church was torched,” the Shin Bet said in a statement. Details of the arrests, including the number of suspects and their place of residence, are under a court-imposed gag order. The suspects were being questioned by the Shin Bet.
The investigation is being led by the Nationalist Crimes Division of the Judea and Samaria Police, a unit specializing in investigating hate crimes by Jewish extremists.
“Several Jewish suspects have been arrested for the burning of the church and the Nazareth court has decided to extend their detention for the purposes of the investigation,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said in a statement of the overnight arrests.
The suspects will appear in Nazareth Magistrate’s Court on Sunday for a remand hearing, Israel Radio said. Police are seeking a remand extension.
Israel releases hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner
Israel on Sunday released Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, a senior member of Islamic Jihad, following a deal last month in which he agreed to end a 56-day hunger strike.
Adnan had been under administrative detention in Israel for 11 months. This was his 10th arrest.
Adnan's hunger strike had galvanized Palestinians behind a "battle of empty stomachs" against Israeli administrative detentions, and both sides had feared the threat of his death could hurt a shaky Gaza truce or spur further violence.
At the height of his hunger strike, when his wife warned that he was "taking his final breaths," dozens of Palestinian protesters arrived at the hospital where Adnan was being treated and vowed to "set Israel on fire and wash the Zionists with streets full of blood as vengeance for the death of the shahid [martyr]."
Palestinian who rammed car into police gets 25 years in prison
The Jerusalem District Court sentenced a Palestinian man who careened his car into four Border Police officers and an Israeli cyclist in March to 25 years in prison.
Mohammad Salima, 21, from East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood, in March confessed to assaulting Israeli soldiers in an attack that left four Border Police officers and a civilian injured on the Jewish holiday of Purim, according to a police statement.
As part of a plea deal, Salima was found guilty of five counts of attempted murder.
Salima was also ordered to pay NIS 260,000 ($69,000) in damages to the victims of the attack, Israel Radio reported.
Police said Salima told investigators that he plotted to harm Jews for a week beforehand.
PMW: “Palestine is more precious than my ‎sons,” says women’s rights activist
The Palestinian Authority has successfully cemented Martyrdom-death for Allah - Shahada - as an ideal that Palestinians should strive for. In addition, it has convinced Palestinians that dying for "Palestine" gives them the high status of Martyr for Allah.
On one program about a Palestinian youth who was "martyred," the PA TV narrator stated that "Palestine" is a mother who "when she conceives, says to the baby in her uterus: 'You were created only to be free or to die as a Martyr.'" [Official PA TV, June 8, 2015] (See video above)
A host on another PA TV program questioned Palestinian mothers' expressions of joy about their sons' "Martyrdom," saying that the world sees the Palestinian woman as someone "devoid of maternal feelings who makes sounds of joy when her son dies as a Martyr." Palestinian women's rights activist Amal Al-A'araj answered that mothers are willing to sacrifice a son because "Palestine is one, the sons are many. I can give birth to 10 or 12, and I know people with 15, 16, and more, but Palestine is one."
When challenged on this, she added that a Palestinian mother is joyous at the Martyrdom-death of her son because "she witnessed the result of the values she instilled in her son," but that she is also sad and not devoid of emotion because she "cries first, and then makes sounds of joy":
Mothers’ feelings when sons are martyred: “Palestine is one, the sons are many”‎

Pro-Morsi Protest on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount [video]
On Saturday night, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi held a protest on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, the Jewish people’s holiest site.
Jews have been forbidden entry onto the Jewish Holy site during the month of Ramadam, and the Israeli police actually forbid Jews to pray on the Temple Mount when they are actually allowed to go up, out of fear of Muslim riots and the Waqf.
But Arab/Muslim protesters supporting the radical Islamic Hamas terror organization and Muslim Brotherhood face no restrictions when openly holding their political protests.
Israel has apparently given up any pretense of sovereignty on the Temple Mount.
Disney Flotilla to Set Sail for Gaza (satire)
In efforts to put a friendlier face on attempts to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, has revealed that Hamas is currently in negations with Disney Cruise Lines to be a corporate sponsor of the next Gaza flotilla.
Speaking to The Israeli Daily using voice distortion technology, the senior Hamas leader said, “This next phase of lifting the siege will generate positive international support, create good PR spin, and generate a new source of revenue. We cannot continue to rely on those Persians. Sure they chant Death to America, Israel and now the House of Saud, but we could be on the Iranian shit list again tomorrow.”
In a conversation with The Israeli Daily, Hamas Minister of Tourism, Mahmoud al-Zanzibar, presented an overview of the new flotilla strategy. “The occupiers are not the only ones with an eye for lucrative business opportunities and big idea money making schemes. Gaza Tourism and Disney Cruises have teamed up for blockbuster fun entertainment and blockade busting drama. “
“Disney would get exclusive signage rights on all vessels, along with a cross-promotional merchandising tie-in with Pirates of the Caribbean 5,” he disclosed.
“Captain Jack Sparrow is rumored to be part of the deal and would make a guest appearance aboard the flotilla before it sets sail. Hamsa, hamsa. Fingers crossed.”
“Yes, it’s Zionist Hollywood,” al-Zanzibar ended. “But those Zionists are pro-Palestinian.”
Wapo Op-ed Written by Al Qaeda-Aligned Jihadists
The Washington Post ran an opinion piece from Syrian Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham criticizing US policies, giving an unusual platform to a group that has allied with supporters of Al Qaeda.
The piece, posted online late Friday and penned by the group's foreign relations head Labib Al Nahhas, excoriates the strategy of US President Barack Obama's administration in Syria, calling it an "abject failure."
Nahhas claimed that in its quest to not support radical groups in Syria, American policy has so narrowly defined the term "moderate" that it excludes most opposition groups in the country, including Ahrar al-Sham.
He said Ahrar al-Sham has been "falsely accused" of being close to radical group Al Qaeda and "unfairly vilified" by the Obama administration.
The Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most powerful rebel groups in Syria, has allied with Al Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front in fighting against the Syrian regime and the Islamic State (ISIS) extremist group.
That alliance managed to quickly push regime forces out of key towns in the northwest Idlib province in the last months.
Ahrar al-Sham, Nusra and ISIS have been targeted in US-led air raids in Syria that were launched in order to destroy the ISIS group in Iraq and Syria.
ISIS flyer shows beheaded Statue of Liberty waving group's flag
In a threat to the U.S., the Islamic State group is circulating an image that shows a decapitated Statue of Liberty waving the group's flag.
At the bottom of the image, the phrase "Coming Soon" is written in English and Arabic.
The image began circulating shortly after it was reported on Saturday that Hafez Saeed, the top Islamic State commander in Afghanistan, had been killed in a U.S. drone strike.
Star of David painting 'offensive' in Morocco
A Moroccan artist was forced to take down a painting bearing the Star of David at her exhibition in a public gallery in Casablanca.
Chama Mechtaly was told by the authorities and gallery director she could face jail if she did not remove the painting, which they said might offend some people, especially religious extremists. She eventually complied, and only the caption was left on the white wall: Moroccan flag revisited. The exhibition, entitled Zikaron ('Memory in Hebrew') ended on 8 July.
Mechtaly, who has Amazigh, Muslim and Jewish roots, explores questions of identity in her work and is particularly interested in the unrecognised contribution of Jewish and Berber (Amazigh) women to Moroccan identity. She believes that recognising Jewish identity is essential to understanding Moroccan identity.
"We talk a lot about pluralism and tolerance in Morocco", Mechtaly wrote on her Facebook page, "but this talk is not reflected in reality and in the public school system. The reality is that Jewish and Amazigh identities in Morocco are either folklorised or ignored."
Children are being made to choose between being Muslim or Jewish, Arab or Berber, she contends - a 'divisive mindset that does not work in a globalised world'. It also goes against the Moroccan Constitution, which recognises the Jewish and Amazigh components of Moroccan identity.
Until 1915, the Moroccan flag bore a six-pointed star recalling the seal of Solomon. It was replaced with a five-pointed star by the French resident-general, Hubert Lyautey.
Jewish organizations call on Samsung to denounce accusations of Jewish cabal blocking deal
Jewish organizations over the weekend denounced what they say are anti-Semitic statements in the South Korean media blaming Jews for attempts to block a corporate merger between two subsidiaries of the Samsung conglomerate.
The Anti-Defamation League and the Simon Wiesenthal Center have called upon the Asian country’s government and on Samsung to repudiate the claims, which have appeared in a number of business publications supportive of the deal.
The target of the opprobrium is Paul Singer, the Jewish head of the Elliot Associates hedge fund, which owns a seven percent stake in Samsung C&T, which seeks to merge with Chiel Industries.
According to South Korean financial publication MoneyToday, “Elliott is led by a Jew, Paul E. Singer, and ISS [an advisory firm that analyzed the merger] is an affiliate of Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), whose key shareholders are Jewish. According to a source in the finance industry, Jews have a robust network demonstrating influence in a number of domains.”
Meanwhile, Mediapen, another local publication, asserted that Jews are known to wield enormous power on Wall Street and in global financial circles” and that it is a “well-known fact that the US government is swayed by Jewish capital.”
Jewish money, it reported, “has long been known to be ruthless and merciless.”
Neo-Nazi 'Flash Mobs' to Target London Jews?
Following two failed attempts to target London's Jewish community over the past several months, a fringe far-right group has announced a third anti-Semitic campaign in the British capital.
The New Dawn Party - which models itself on the neo-Nazi Greek Golden Dawn Party - announced on its Facebook page late last week that it would be holding yet another provocative rally in an area with a large Jewish community on the pretext of opposing the Shomrim neighborhood watch patrols, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
"The next liaised 'Oppose the Shomrim' demo will take place in September in Finchley," the message read.
It comes just over a week after a second controversial neo-Nazi rally - initially planned for Golders Green, in the heart of London's Jewish community, but moved after pressure from anti-hate campaigners - took place in central London.
But despite the publicity surrounding that event the rally itself was derided as a failure, with less than two dozen Nazis from several small far-right factions turning up to wave Palestinian and Confederate flags, in contrast to some 200 counter-protesters.
Synagogue bomber trial to stay in Bergen County
The trial of Aakash Dalal and Anthony Marco Graziano will take place in Bergen County, according to a ruling Friday afternoon by Superior Court Assignment Judge Bonnie J. Mizdol.
This appears to have removed the last legal hurdle to scheduling a trial for their alleged responsibility for attacks on five Bergen County synagogues in December 2011 and January 2012.
Judge Mizdol also ruled that the trial will be overseen by a judge from a different county. Last month the state Supreme Court decided that the trial could not be overseen by a Bergen County judge, given that he allegedly made death threats against two Bergen County judges. These threats are expected to be evidence for a second set of charges against Mr. Dalal, involving alleged death threats against a member of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office made while Mr. Dalal was in prison unable to raise bail for the synagogue attacks.
The Supreme Court left it to a Bergen County judge to decide whether to have a outside judge brought into the Bergen County courthouse to preside over a Bergen County jury, or whether to move the entire trial to a neighboring county.
Israeli start-ups cook up better food tech in ‘The Kitchen’
Food technology – using high-tech tools and methods to make a better meal – has taken off in recent years, and a new incubator, called The Kitchen, seeks to bring out the best in Israeli food.
The food tech incubator, based in Ashdod, opened in January with clean, brightly lit, offices and labs. Although they’re still mostly empty, Amir Zaidman, vice president of business development of The Kitchen, hopes to fill them soon.
“We’re trying to find start-ups that are tackling major issues the food industry is facing,” Zaidman said at a recent event that brought together dozen potential candidates to see what The Kitchen offers. “We’re trying to create an ecosystem and community in food tech that doesn’t exist yet.”
The program, in partnership with the Strauss Group, was awarded a government franchise to invest in food-related start-ups for the next eight years. The incubator will host start-ups from the food technology community in Israel. They plan to tackle issues including alternative sources of protein, spoilage of food in the supply chain, quality assurance and food safety, and robotics in food manufacturing.
Netanyahu Tours Beersheba with Steve Forbes, Hails City’s Tech ‘Revolution’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — joined by billionaire Steve Forbes, owner of the Forbes magazine — on Thursday toured Beersheba and the southern Israeli city’s Advanced Technologies Park at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Netanyahu discussed the area’s potential in the field of high-tech.
“What we are seeing in Beersheba is very significant progress, a global revolution,” he said.
According to Netanyahu, that revolution affords Israel a great deal of financial clout, along with military and security strength. But he said, “It requires a detachment from the regular templates and establishing a vision.”
Netanyahu told Forbes, “This is the future. The future of the global economy depends on the Internet economy, and that cannot grow without cybersecurity. We need to find solutions to safeguard banking systems, electronic systems, and air transportation. Cyber defense is a necessity, and it is our intention to be the leader in this field.”
The tour was also attended by Be’er Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, BGU President Professor Rivka Carmi, and the head of Israel’s National Cyber Bureau, Dr. Eviatar Matania.
“The true wealth of the State of Israel doesn’t lie in natural gas fields, rather in the quality human capital currently gathering in the Negev, in the academic institutions and the best intelligence and teleprocessing minds that come through here,” said Danilovich.
The rise and fall of a forgotten Phoenician city (and its connection to the Israelites)
The first truly 'international' period around the Mediterranean was in the fourteenth and thirteenth century BCE, the period archaeologists call the Late Bronze Age, when the region of present-day Israel was dominated by Canaanite city-states. Extensive maritime activity is attested in this period between polities over a vast range, from Mesopotamia to the Atlantic coast of Iberia. But in a complex process that culminated around 1200 BCE nearly all the political entities that were involved in these networks collapsed – the Mycenaean centers in Greece, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia (modern Turkey), the city-states of Canaan and Syria, most famously the city of Ugarit, and even mighty Egypt was considerably weakened.
What happened next? It is usually assumed that the main beneficiaries of this collapse were the inhabitants of the great Phoenician centers in Lebanon, such as Tyre and Sidon, who eventually, around 850-800 BCE started to colonize the West Mediterranean and their activities were long remembered in Greek and Latin history and myth. However, new evidence from Tel Dor, the major port town on Israel's Carmel coast (just east of Kibbutz Nahsholim) shows that the process was more gradual and complex.
More than 30 years of excavations have unearthed a Phoenician city that was extremely prosperous and indeed truly cosmopolitan after the 1200 BCE collapse. It boasted monumental administrative structures, among the largest known around the Mediterranean and it maintained close commercial connections with Cyprus, Egypt and other Phoenician port cities.
Hate mail won’t stop Mayim Bialik: ‘Coming to Israel is a political act’
Actress Mayim Bialik is known for many things, among them old and current TV shows Blossom and The Big Bang Theory, her PHD in neuroscience, and her love for Israel. Last week she combined her passion for the holy land and her successful acting gig as the Big Bang Theory’s Amy Farrah Fowler, drawing an international CBS team to Israel for a photo shoot.
"I went with them to Paris two years ago and when they asked me where I wanted to do it this time, I said Israel." She tells The Jerusalem Post."I was amazed they took me up on it." A large portion of her crew came from France, Italy and England, had never visited Israel before and came exclusively to work. "I think that's kind of amazing," Bialik enthuses. She describes the crew's response to Israel as “overwhelmingly positive.”
"The country is far more complicated and fantastic than they had imagined and they can go back and report that Israel is a beautiful place that people can tour and take children to and it has great food and nightlife...that's an amazing outcome," she states.
Bialik notes that the only thing that slightly marred the trip was a stream of hateful messages on social media regarding the very fact that she was in Israel. She says she has received many messages over the years on her social media accounts with language as strong as "Hitler should come and finish the job.” Bialik tends to block the people behind these messages, saying she doesn't like her social media account to be a platform for fighting and disinformation.
"Me coming to Israel is a political act simply because there are people who don't believe in Israel's right to exist," she remarks, adding that this reality is "sobering" for her as an American Jew. "The fact that I'm visiting is enough for people to call for the destruction of the Jewish people." Bialik emphasizes that this type of sentiment is not connected to her politics, but her simple presence in Israel. "I'm very clear on what anti-Semitism looks like."
The Holocaust survivor recognized, belatedly, as a Korean War hero
After surviving the Holocaust and a year in a notorious Nazi concentration camp, Tibor Rubin fought as a U.S. Army infantryman in Korea, displaying the kind of raw courage associated with Hollywood war movies in going on to spend more than two years as a prisoner of war.
The bravery displayed by the Hungarian-born Jew in singlehandedly repelling an assault by hundreds of North Korean troops and capturing scores of enemy soldiers in a subsequent encounter went unrecognized for more than 50 years. His commanding officers recommended Rubin for the Medal of Honor, but his sergeant — a virulent anti-Semite — refused to send in the papers. The commanders were killed in combat and Rubin’s acts of courage were forgotten.
That wrong was finally corrected in 2005 when a decades-long campaign involving soldiers who fought alongside Rubin and were with him in a Chinese-run POW camp came to fruition as President George W. Bush presented the 76-year-old veteran with the nation’s highest award for valor.
“Single Handed” is a story of endurance, bravery and determination that rivals that of Louis Zamperini, the hero of Laura Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken,” the best-seller about a World War II aviator who survived 47 days on a life raft in the Pacific before being held captive and tortured in a Japanese prison.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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