Sunday, August 16, 2015

From Ian:

Spanish fest cancels Matisyahu gig over refusal to endorse Palestinian state
The Rototom Sunsplash Reggae Festival called off the formerly Hasidic rapper’s August 22 show, with organizers saying Matisyahu had refused to comply with their demand to pen a statement or a video message backing “the Palestinians’ right to a state.”
Festival organizers were driven by intense pressure from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the reports said. Artists scheduled to perform at the event threatened to cancel their appearances if Matisyahu were to perform because he was “seen to represent Israel.”
The organizers gave Matisyahu an ultimatum, telling him if he would “sign such a declaration [publicly affirming his support for the Palestinians, he] can perform,” according to Spanish daily, El Pais.
Although not Israeli, Matisyahu has visited and performed in the Jewish state multiple times.
In a statement on Facebook, Rototom organizers said that the move was linked to “the festival’s sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation of its territory by Israel.”
The front page of the Valencia-based festival’s website features a two-and-a-half hour video on pro-Palestinian activists holding Palestinian flags and decrying Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip.
Local BDS activists welcomed the move after accusing the Jewish rapper of being a “Zionist” and “defending a state that practices apartheid and ethnic cleansing” on a link posted on his Facebook page. (h/t Yenta Press)
Arab Bank reaches settlement with US victims of Hamas attacks in Israel
Jordan’s Arab Bank settled a case with hundreds of plaintiffs that could be worth billions of dollars, ending the most dramatic terrorism finance case against a major bank in US history.
The settlement was confirmed Friday by Michael Elsner, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, and a spokesman for Arab Bank. Terms were not disclosed.
It comes nearly a year after the US New York jury found the $46 billion bank liable; four months after the bank lost a shot at a retrial; days before a damages trial was set to start; and 14 years after some of the terrorist attacks in question took place.
The highly public trial lasted five weeks and revisited some of Hamas’s worst attacks, including the August 2001 Sbarro suicide bombing in Jerusalem that killed or wounded 130, and a range of 24 other terrorist attacks during the second intifada.
A total of 297 plaintiffs who were injured or are family members of those murdered in the attacks that took place from 1998-2004, which were financed via Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah’s al-Shahid Foundation, sued the bank in 2004 for allowing itself to be used as a conduit for the terrorism funds.
The 10-year history of intense legal battles, included trying to get the bank’s “secret” client documents located in Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian areas.
The US Supreme Court already had weighed in once pretrial and could have been asked to weigh in again post-trial, while the US State, Justice and Treasury departments fought over whether the US government should accede to Jordan’s requests to intervene in the case.
Jordan had claimed that Arab Bank, by far the country’s largest, was so crucial to the country’s economy that a multi-billion dollar judgment could lead to economic and political instability and devastation, possibly damaging crucial US-Jordan counter-terrorism cooperation.
David Horovitz: Obama’s Iran deal: A fight to a very bitter end
July 14, the day the P5+1 powers announced they’d finalized an agreement with Iran aimed at curbing its rogue nuclear program, may well turn out to have been the deal’s finest day. In the month since then, opponents of the accord have seen their prospect of blocking it in Congress rise from slim to, well, not quite so slim. Here are 12 insights into what began to a significant extent as a battle between President Barack Obama, chief advocate of the “best” and only deal, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leading opponent of the “stunning historic mistake,” and has now become a struggle between the president and an anguished chunk of his own Democratic Party’s legislators.
1. Flaws in the deal. What is most helping the deal’s opponents is elements of the deal itself. As American legislators have familiarized themselves with the small print, some have taken on board opponents’ protestations that the accord legitimizes Iran as a nuclear threshold state; that the inspection process of suspect sites is unworkable; that Iran is given leave to continue its R&D so that it can speedily break out to the bomb come the day; that the sanctions relief is premature and would be irreversible; and that the deal provides Iran with vast amounts of money that it will surely use to wreak more havoc in the region and sponsor terrorism worldwide.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz actually volunteered this last concern in a webcast with American Jews Thursday that had been intended to alleviate opposition. “We are concerned about some possible escalation in their support for terrorism, meddling in the region in terms of stability,” Moniz said, unprompted. “Obviously Hezbollah terrorism is an example.”

JCPA: The Nuclear Deal: No Pause in Iran’s Vow to Destroy Israel
Iran’s Supreme Leader is the Main Agitator for the Destruction of Israel
Sixteen years after his death, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s founding vision — that the eradication of Zionism is an inevitable precondition for redeeming contemporary Islam — keeps guiding the current generation of Iran’s religious, political and military establishment. To him the destruction of Zionism was an axiom never to be questioned or strayed from and an objective to be perpetually and actively pursued. According to this vision, Israel should be fought as part of a protracted global struggle between Islam and the West, which “planted intentionally the Zionist Entity in the heart of Islamic World.”
Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was faithful to this doctrine, making it the centerpiece of his foreign policy; current President Hassan Rouhani, his successor for the last two years, is also faithful to this doctrine, just less obvious. Notwithstanding, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei bears the torch and is the chief agitator for the extermination of Israel, spreading this message worldwide over social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, books and addressing various target audiences in English, Arabic and Persian.
The Iranian religious, political, intellectual and military elite support and repeat Khamenei’s messages. Members of the Iranian Army high command (as opposed to the Revolutionary Guards) have even declared their willingness and capability to destroy Israel, once the leader’s order is given. Practically speaking, the regime’s intelligence and international subversion agencies, mostly the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, massively support anti-Israel terror groups and stage repeated conferences in Iran dedicated to denial of the Holocaust and to the deligitimization of Israel’s right to exist.
Iranian hardliner: The supreme leader opposes the nuclear deal
Khamenei has not publicly approved or disapproved the deal. However, he repeatedly has offered words of support for his country's nuclear negotiators. Moderates also believe the deal would have never been reached without Khamenei's private approval.
Iran's parliament and the Supreme National Security Council will consider the agreement in the coming days. The deal calls for limiting Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions.
Shariatmadari said in the editorial that many parts of the deal threaten Iran's independence, security and "the sacred system of the Islamic republic of Iran" and that it would be "disastrous" if Tehran implements the accord. He did not specify which parts of the deal he thought were problematic.
He also referred to a speech by Khamenei last month during which the ayatollah said, "Whether this text is approved or disapproved, no one will be allowed to harm the main principles of the (ruling) Islamic system."
The editorial noted: "Using the phrase 'whether this text is approved or disapproved' shows his lack of trust in the text of the deal. If His Excellency had a positive view, he would have not insisted on the need for the text to be scrutinized through legal channels ... It leaves no doubt that His Excellency is not satisfied with the text."
Iran must lead 'resistance axis' to fight US influence in Mideast, Khamanei aide says
Iran and its allies must do all in their power to curb American influence in the Middle East, a top adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
According to official Iranian media, Ali Akbar Velayati said that the "resistance axis" of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories is "not only to fight against the dominance of foreigners in their countries" but also to roll back US hegemony.
Velayati said that the Western powers are conspiring to divide Syria after "failing in its military aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq."
“Syria is the golden ring of resistance against the Zionists,” he said.
Despite the nuclear deal recently struck with the major powers, Iranian officials have continued to make statements that appear to give the impression that the regime is still intent on assuming a hostile posture toward the West.
Just days after the agreement was struck, Khamenei tweeted a warning against any military action against Iran by what he called the "aggressive and criminal US."
All the president's lies
A few weeks ago, U.S. President Barack Obama went on The Daily Show to tell its viewers that "the people" supported the Iran nuclear deal and that one should not get silenced by "the money" and "the lobbyists" trying to convince them otherwise.
Despite these, and other strenuous efforts by the White House, thousands of people from across the political spectrum gathered in New York's Times Square to protest the deal, calling upon Congress to undo the damage.
At this point, Obama sent Secretary of State John Kerry to make sure the message was received. Kerry went on CNN to say that if the deal was blocked by Congress, it would be because Congress had been influenced by the Israel lobby, alluding in not-so-subtle ways that anyone opposing a U.S.-Iran alliance was in the pocket of "Big Jew" and thereby corrupt and disloyal.
Sound familiar?
If it does, it is because this theme of dual loyalty has been around as long as Jews have existed. It has proven to be an effective method of intimidation, as it speaks to our history of living off the goodwill of our hosts throughout the Diaspora. Before the creation of the State of Israel, we relied on the kindness of strangers and neighbors for our safety and survival, always being just one recession or plague away from flight. America used to be the exception to that rule. There, immigrants were Muslim-American, Indian-American, Chinese-American, Jewish-American -- and this hyphenated symbol of acceptance connoted a melting pot mentality, allowing individuality alongside inclusion, with neither surpassing the other. When Jews across the world were forced into assimilation, America told them they did not have to be. But the minute the Obama administration started implying that opposition to the Iran deal was un-American and disloyal, that inclusiveness got fitted with strings.
William Kristol: Does Israel Stand Alone?
“Because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support. The United Nations Security Council has unanimously supported it. The majority of arms control and nonproliferation experts support it. Over 100 former ambassadors who served under Republican and Democratic presidents support it.” President Barack Obama, August 5, 2015
Let’s for the moment ignore the fact that many other countries, especially those with the most at stake, are in fact privately appalled by the Iran deal. Let’s stipulate that Israel stands publicly alone.
So what? If the United Nations Security Council had existed in October 1938, it would have rushed to support the Munich agreement signed with Germany by the P2+1 of the day, Great Britain and France plus Italy. The majority of arms control and foreign policy experts would have supported it. Former ambassadors who had served under Republican and Democratic presidents would have supported it. In fact, while the United States was not a party to the agreement, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made it publicly known that he had cabled British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, “Good man.”
Little Czechoslovakia—not invited to be a party to the negotiations and of course not a party to the agreement—stood alone. And as Churchill put it the next week: “All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness. She has suffered in every respect by her association with the Western democracies and with the League of Nations.”
Canada Leads on Opposing Iran Deal
President Obama claims, as Bill Kristol noted in his editorial in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, that no country in the world has expressed opposition to his deal with Iran, with the exception of Israel. But that's not accurate. Canada, the United States' biggest trading partner—and, traditionally, its closest ally—has made it clear it wants no part of an agreement normalizing relations between Iran and the West.
When details of the agreement were released last month, Canada's foreign affairs minister, Rob Nicholson, had this to say:
Iran continues to be a significant threat to international peace and security owing to the regime’s nuclear ambitions, its continuing support for terrorism, its repeated calls for the destruction of Israel, and its disregard for basic human rights.
We will examine this deal further before taking any specific Canadian action.

That last sentence is not the typical contentless politician-speak; it contains real repercussions. Canada will not be lifting its sanctions against Iran—in stark contrast to the United States and Europe if the deal takes effect.
Can the US trust Europe to punish Iran if it violates the nuclear deal?
Schumer’s stated concern about the European Union partners echoes warnings by critics of the deal who say that Europe’s fragile economies lack the discipline to cut trade with Iran should it violate the terms of the deal. But European supporters of the agreement argue that Europe has already proven its willingness to cut trade, and that Iran’s economic dealings will work to increase compliance, not diminish it.
“The resumption of an economic cooperation with the West will boost the gradual liberalization of the Iranian regime and allow it to respond to demands for democracy from civil society,” JCall, Europe’s liberal pro-Israel lobby, similar to J Street in the United States, wrote in a statement.
Europe’s recent track record suggests it has the discipline to walk away from Iranian money. When the European Commission first imposed sanctions against Iran in 2007, it cut a booming trade of 25 billion euros (then worth some $42 billion) between Iran and EU member states to around $7 billion last year.
Promoting stricter sanctions against Iran was easier for the United States, whose trade with Tehran — just $318 million in 2007 — is in any case limited by legislation set in place in the 1980s. (US trade with Iran has gradually decreased since then to less than $1 million in imports and $186.5 in exports last year.) But the economic situation in the European Union has worsened since 2007, with the union having been badly hurt by the global financial crisis the following year and struggling to maintain the integrity of its financial bloc and currency.
European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, vowed to renew sanctions if Iran fails to comply. But with two of the three EU partners suffering from stagnant economies and rising unemployment, many share Schumer’s skepticism on whether this will actually happen.
Chicago Jewish Federation comes out against Iran deal
Chicago’s influential Jewish federation has come out against the Iran deal.
After a three-hour discussion by the board of directors, “a majority opinion emerged and was adopted: to call on Congress to oppose the JCPOA as originally submitted, and to ask legislators to work with the Administration to produce better solutions addressing Iran’s nuclear program,” the board said in a statement released Saturday.
With annual revenue of nearly $100 million, the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is a major religious and philanthropic organization. In the statement, released a full month after the deal was announced, the federation’s board claimed to represent “the diversity of our beloved Chicago Jewish community.”
Almost 300,000 Jews are estimated to live in metropolitan Chicago, though the vast majority of American Jews do not belong to Jewish organizations.
The board expressed gratitude for the Obama administration’s focus on the Iranian nuclear threat, but went on to say that the Iran deal should be strengthened, war is not the only alternative to the deal (Obama has claimed it is) and Israel is being singled out.
Trump: Israel was sold out by Kerry and Obama
Donald Trump, speaking to a crowd in Iowa on Saturday, vehemently re-emphasized his disapproval of the Iran deal crafted by Secretary of State John Kerry last month.
"Well you're going to have to be forceful action, very, very forceful action," Trump said. "You cannot let Iran-let me tell you this-nor can Israel. Israel was sold out by Kerry and Obama. You cannot let Iran have a nuclear weapon. You can't have it. When they march down the street saying death to Israel, death to the United [States]. You can't let it happen. It will not happen. Believe me, it will not happen here."
This is not the first time that Trump has utilized pro-Israel rhetoric, or mentioned Israel's defense during his venture to win the Republican primary.
Referring to Obama as "one of the worst things that has happened" to the Jewish state, Trump has attempted to position himself as the only solution to repairing the Israel-America relationship, which he argues has been ruined by the Obama administration.
In a recent interview to a Jewish news outlet, he stated that he is the only true supporter of Israel in the 2016 presidential race. His candor may be a bit confusing, however, as nearly all 13 GOP hopefuls have been vociferous in their commitment to Israel and have all condemned Obama's policies towards Israel, as well as the president's treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
US Democrat to Propose War Authorization Against Iran
Alcee Hastings, a member of the US House of Representatives from Florida, has joined the growing list of Democrats who are opposing the recent nuclear deal with Iran.
Hastings recently announced that he considers Iran to be a significant enough threat that he is preparing an authorization to go to war in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons. He says that he will introduce his bill on September 8, in Congress's first session following the summer break.
Even though Congress still has to vote in order to accept the nuclear agreement, Hastings says that it is an "absolute necessity" to make the use of military force a possibility "regardless of how Congress votes."
Representative John Larson (D-CT) has already drafted a war authorization, though Larson's would only allow the US to intervene is Iran proves to not comply with its responsibilities.
Sole GOP senator who weighed support for Iran deal to vote no
Flake said the benefits are outweighed by severe limitations placed on Congress and the US government’s ability to respond to Iran’s non-nuclear behavior.
“While Congress has received assurances from the administration that it does not forfeit its ability to impose sanctions on Iran for behavior on the non-nuclear side, these assurances do not square with the text of the [Iran agreement],” Flake said in the statement
While the deal “does contain benefits in terms of limiting Iran’s ability to produce sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon for a period of time, particularly at its known nuclear facilities…these benefits are outweighed by severe limitations the [agreement] places on Congress and future administrations in responding to Iran’s non-nuclear behavior in the region,” he went on.
Flake’s opposition to the deal all but guarantees that no Republicans — at least in the Senate — will back the deal, which Obama hopes will form a cornerstone of his foreign policy legacy by preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon for more than a decade. The White House offered no specific reaction to Flake’s announcement, but pointed out that in the last week, seven Democrats have announced their support.
All told, 20 Senate Democrats have backed the deal, with one — New York Sen. Chuck Schumer — opposing it. Forty-six House Democrats have supported the deal, compared to 10 who are opposed.
‘Hamas-Israel deal imminent,’ to the dismay of Palestinian factions
Hamas is about to sign a “comprehensive” agreement with Israel for the lifting of an eight-year blockade placed on the Gaza Strip in return for a long-term ceasefire, a senior Turkish official said on Sunday.
But the agreement is facing domestic opposition from without, as Palestinian factions consider it a potential danger to the political unity of Gaza and the West Bank as stipulated by the Oslo Accords.
In an interview with Hamas daily al-Resalah, Yasin Aktay, an adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party, said that Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal came to Ankara last week to update the Turkish leadership on the details of an agreement reached with Israel and mediated by former British prime minister Tony Blair.
Details of the imminent agreement, reported first by London-based daily al-Hayat on Thursday, have begun to emerge on Hamas news outlets as well over the weekend. According to the reports, Gaza will be allowed to import merchandise through a “floating port” located 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) off the coast. An intermediary port will be established in Cyprus, where all Gaza-bound merchandise will be scrutinized by NATO representatives.
According to Hamas daily al-Resalah, Israel would like to see a larger package deal that would include the exchange of “live and dead Israeli prisoners” held by Hamas — likely a reference to Ethiopian-Israeli citizen Avraham Abere Mengistu and a Bedouin man who both entered the Gaza Strip voluntarily, as well as the remains of Israeli soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge last summer — in return for Hamas prisoners jailed by Israel.
Likud hawk Danon vows he’ll represent PM’s ‘two-state vision’ as UN envoy
Likud hawk Danny Danon on Saturday promised to faithfully represent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s two-state “vision,” moderate his previous criticisms of the Obama administration, and “surprise his critics,” after political opponents slammed Netanyahu for naming him Friday as Israel’s next envoy to the UN.
“I’d like to address head-on some questions that have been raised following the announcement of my upcoming appointment as Israel’s ambassador to the UN,” Danon, the current minister of science, technology and space wrote in a statement.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to represent the State of Israel. Today, more than before, I have a greater appreciation of my role as a public servant and the responsibility this entails,” he declared.
An insistent opponent of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Danon nonetheless promised to put such views aside and instead champion Netanyahu’s. “As Israel’s ambassador to the UN, I will represent the Prime Minister’s policies and positions on security and peace, including his longstanding commitment to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons and his vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” Danon wrote.
PreOccupied Territory: Report: Outspoken Right-Wingers Magically Unable To Be Diplomats (satire)
A study of Israeli political trends has revealed that political figures who unequivocally support right-wing causes and ideologies become, by some unexplained and unique mechanism, incapable of adequately performing the duties of a diplomat.
The study, which looked at Opposition figures’ reaction to the appointment of Danny Danon as Ambassador to the United Nations, determined that right-wing politicians, unlike their colleague from anywhere else on the political or ideological spectrums, lack the ability to effectively advocate for their country or government. Researchers remain at a loss to explain how that lack of capacity uniquely affects leaders not allied with the political left, which, the study notes, holds a monopoly on proper ideology, policy, and advocacy.
Dr. Tzipi Livni of the Likud-Kadima-Hatnuah-Zionist-Union Institute of Political Studies, lead author of the study, explained that the response from non-right-wing elements of the Israeli political world to the appointment of Ambassador Danon demonstrates the problematic nature of right-wing figures in sensitive political and diplomatic posts. “This study is based on the known principle – known at least to those of us who have not been blinded by right-wing politics – that only a person whose expressed political views lie to the left of center possesses the ability to see situations clearly, and, in accordance with the assessment that results, speak and act properly.” She noted that because Israel’s Left has unanimously voiced misgivings, even horror, at the appointment of Danon, that appointment, by its very nature, must be unwise, short-sighted, self-destructive, and will set back Israeli relations with other countries anywhere from four decades to the beginning of time.
Mark Regev: The one-man Israeli defence force who is set to become ambassador to Britain
“Usually when you see me, it’s bad news,” Mark Regev once admitted wryly during one of his frequent appearances in the international media.
Now the man who has come to be known as the most prominent official voice in defence of Israel and its conduct during the conflict with the Palestinians is due to arrive in Britain as his country’s ambassador to the UK.
Mr Regev, the spokesman for Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be taking up the London posting as one of a stipulated number of political appointees to the diplomatic service traditionally allowed under the powers of the prime minister’s office. He will replace Daniel Taub, a career diplomat who left the post last month after completing his term.
The new ambassador will be one of the most high-profile members of the London diplomatic circuit, especially following the media exposure he received in his previous job.
He will also bring with him a reputation for great tenacity in putting forward his country’s case during times of crisis, and infuriating critics while doing so.
Cleric Rejects Alleged Donald Trump Plan to Establish Palestine in Puerto Rico
In an August 7 Friday sermon in Jerusalem, Sheik Issam Amira of Hizb Al-Tahrir stated that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump offered to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict by establishing Palestine in Puerto Rico and building a replica of the Al-Aqsa Mosque there.

He's probably based it all on this satirical article:
Donald Trump: Move the Palestinians to Puerto Rico (satire)

Commander Lauds Warriors Who Killed Terrorist Border Police commander tells his soldiers that they operated exactly as is expected of them.
In an effort to lessen confusion among soldiers operating in Judea and Samaria regarding the recently tightened open-fire orders, the commander of the Border Police – a combined military and police force – Deputy Commissioner Amos Yaakov, spoke Sunday with the soldiers who killed a terrorist Saturday in Samaria. The incident occurred at the junction leading to the village of Beta, not far from Tapuach.
D., the Border Policeman who was lightly wounded by the terrorist, returned to his unit Sunday. According to the soldiers, the terrorist managed to run up to them and stab D. before they realized what was happening, but they reacted swiftly.
"I felt a blow to the shoulder,” recalled D. "I turned around and pushed away the terrorist. Even before I cocked the gun, I identified the warrior at my side shooting the terrorist and neutralizing him.”
He was happy that the hospital released him quickly. “It was important to me, to return to the battalion and to my friends, as fast as possible,” said D. "I have no doubt that our preparedness is the reason that the event ended with me being lightly wounded, with the terrorist being neutralized quickly, and without any innocent civilians being hurt.”
"Suddenly, a Palestinian came out of nowhere and started to stab one of the warriors in my team,” added B., the soldier who killed the terrorist. “In a split second, we realized that this was a terror attack, and I understood that we need to act fast. I carried out fire in order to neutralize the terrorist.”
Abbas Condemns Killing of Arabs who Stabbed Border Guard Policemen
The office of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday night condemned Israel fort the “Criminal murder of the youth Rafeeq Kamil Rafeeq al-Taj,” 21, who stabbed a Border Police officer near Tapuach junction in Samaria.
The stabber was shot dead by a second Border Policeman, who stood nearby. The injured policeman is being treated for his wounds in hospital.
Earlier on Saturday, another Arab terrorist attacked a soldier at a checkpoint on route 443, which connects Modi’in with Jerusalem. According to the soldiers at the checkpoint, the terrorists walked up to them asking for water, and as they were about to help him he pulled out a knife and stabbed one soldier superficially.
The Abbas statement said “it is no longer possible to remain silent about the series of killings carried out every day by the occupation,” and “the current situation will not continue.”
The announcement insisted that Israel bears responsibility for the dangerous escalation.”
Ex-Guantanamo Bay warden to Israel: Force-feed hunger-striker immediately
In an interview to be aired Sunday night on "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on New York's AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia's NewsTalk 990 AM, Colonel Michael Bumgarner said of Israel, "Without reservation they should force feed him."
Bumgarner served as the commander of the Joint Detention Group, which is the guard force at the Guantanamo Bay detention center used by the US to house dangerous terror suspects, from April 2005 through June 2006. He faced a hunger strike by dozens of prisoners during his tenure.
Drawing on his own experience with hunger-striking prisoners, Bumgarner argued that if Israel does not force-feed Allan and prisoners like him, "You are going to have a constant breakdown within any of your institutional settings there."
Bumgarner said that by not force-feeding prisoners, Israel would be allowing prisoners to dictate the policy of the prison.
"That’s exactly what happened at Guantanamo and things got totally out of control. They thought they were influencing national decisions by their behavior…[Israel] should not allow this slippery slope of their behavior being regarded back and forth inside that prison. Because you are putting unrealistic demands and expectations of that warden running that place. I’d hate to be him.”
Fourth Jew Arrested for Calling Mohammed a 'Pig'
The Israel Police arrested a young Jewish Israeli on Sunday, after he retaliated toward an Arab mob on the Temple Mount by stating that "Mohammed is a pig."
And earlier Sunday, another young man was arrested for allegedly praying on the Mount - Judaism's holiest site - and a 14 year-old boy was arrested for unspecified reasons.
According to prominent Temple Mount campaigner Yehuda Glick, the boy was arrested after guards belonging to the Islamic Waqf claimed the tzitzit garment he was wearing over his t-shirt constituted a provocation. Police have yet to comment on that claim.
This marks the fourth arrest over insults to the founder of Islam on or near the Mount. In July, three people were arrested in one week for similar remarks.
Controversy over the phrase began after 20-year-old Avia Morris was arrested for saying "Mohammed is pig" after she faced hostile Arab women hurling threats at her on the Temple Mount - including death threats. She revealed to the press shortly thereafter that the police were unwilling to intervene to protect her until she had uttered the remarks.
The B in BDS Stands for Bull****
These same self-righteous people are silent on Syria, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, the flagrant abuse of Yazidis, and the rape, mutilation, and torture of women by ISIS. Not a peep out of the mouths of this bunch. No marches, no demonstrations, and no boycotts. This honour is reserved only for Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
At a time when Jews have been shot while touring museums and doing their Shabbat shopping, there is nothing remotely dismissive or funny about singing songs like shoot the Jew. Why is it that every time BDS want to make a point of something or protest some terrible abuses, their activities invariably result in anti-Semitism?
BDS is quite frankly anti-peace. Bullyboy tactics and double standards are contra to any peace loving individual who wants to see a just and negotiated settlement reached in the Middle East. Discourse is the only way, and boycotts and inflammatory speech destroy that.
I appeal to any peace loving, sane person to not believe the bulls*** spouted by these hate mongers. Don’t let them polarize your community or import conflicts into your country; rather give a voice to those who have no advocates speaking or marching on their behalf. Nobody will be offended by any t-shirt displaying a peace sign.
Daily Frieier Proud to Announce Launch of New Boardgame “BDS Twister”! (satire)
Today the Daily Freier is proud to announce the launch of its exciting new boardgame, “BDS Twister“! BDS Twister lets committed and self-identified “peace activists” find exciting new ways to square their progressive ideals with their tacit support of regimes under which being gay is illegal but honor killings are no big deal. Daily Freier reporter Harun Kenoğlu covered the product launch today at Ann Arbor’s “People’s Third World Anarchist Food Co-Op” with the details.
“This game is amazing” noted an excited Ethan Smith as he contorted his body on the vinyl game board. “The spinner landed on ‘Palestinian Unwed Pregnant Woman Killed by her Brothers and Cousins; They Get Six Months Suspended Jail Sentence‘, which is a tough one, but then I was able to contort my arms and shoulders and touch the circle for “Because of The Occupation”! Winning!”
An equally excited Willow Amoud explained her winning moves. “I landed on ‘Gay Youth flee West Bank for Safety of Tel Aviv’, twisted my torso, popped my elbow, which is easy ‘cuz I’m double jointed, and landed one hand on “Because of the Gaza Blockade”, and the other on “Stop Pinkwashing!” Double points!
Testing Confirms ISIS Used Mustard Gas in Syria
The United States government has test results from an Islamic State (ISIS) attack in Hasakah, Syria, from two weeks ago that confirm the terror group used a mustard agent as a weapon, intelligence and military officials told CNN over the weekend.
The U.S. is continuing to investigate an attack this week in northern Iraq that also has indications of a similar chemical agent being used, the network reported.
Officials stress the amount of chemical agent is thought to be small and the concentration low. But it is yet another sign that ISIS is in possession of mustard agent and is using it in battle.
The U.S. is still investigating the amount and sophistication of how the agent was delivered.
One official told CNN the mustard agent used in Syria is more likely precursor chemicals, rather than a complex munition, a sign this did not come from a cache of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad but was probably mixed by ISIS on its own, using agents or precursor chemicals it obtained.
Precursors are chemicals involved in production stages for toxic chemicals, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
U.S. to Flip a Coin to Decide Which Side to Support in Syrian War (satire)
Torn between focusing their efforts on overthrowing Shia President Bashar al-Assad and fighting the expansion of the Sunni terror group ISIS, U.S. military officials have announced the nation will flip a coin to decide which side it will back in the Syrian civil war.
“We kept going back and forth between trying to overthrow Assad and then bombing ISIS, but eventually we realized it was pointless,” explained Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. “We just have to pick a side and stick with it through thick and thin.”
The military originally planned to have a series of meetings to weigh the pros and cons of each course of action and arrive at an informed decision. However, after reviewing the United States’ track record of choosing between the lesser of two evils, officials decided they were better leaving it up to chance.
“We picked Saddam when he was fighting Iran, then bin Laden when he was fighting the Russians. Now we’re siding with Iran because they’re fighting ISIS,” explained Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. “I can’t remember the last time we got one of these right. At least with a coin flip, we have a 50-50 chance of getting it right.”
Israel delivers emergency aid to Myanmar
The Israeli Embassy in Myanmar has sent a truck load of food, medicines, mosquito nets and hygiene packs to flood-ravaged Myanmar, as monsoon rains and subsequent floods and landslides displace nearly 1.3 million people in the Southeast Asian nation.
Ambassador Daniel Zonshine headed the Israeli aid delegation to the Tharrawaddy area to assist victims of the severe flooding. The Israeli aid included a truckload of food, medicines, mosquito nets, water purification tablets, and hygiene packs.
The Israeli Embassy in Yangon says it will continue helping the flood victims together with MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
Local Tharrawaddy residents reportedly received the Israeli team with open arms, and the Myanmar government conveyed its appreciation for the assistance.
At Tower of David, ancient stones host modern art ode to Jerusalem
When the Tower of David, an ancient military citadel, was first turned into a museum in 1921 during the early days of the British Mandate, its first exhibit featured works by artists from the local Bezalel Academy of Art and Design.
Nearly a century later, the museum, known for its focus on the city’s past, is hosting an exhibit of the intensely modern yet historically relevant work of two industrial designers, both longtime Jerusalemites and Bezalel professors.
“It’s one thing to talk about the past and tell the story – of course we’re doing that,” said museum director Eilat Lieber. “But to bring art to these special spaces is to say something about the present.”
The exhibit, “Objective,” showcases commissioned work from Haim Parnas and Ezri Tarazi — fellow graduates of Bezalel as well as good friends.
Both designers were born in Jerusalem (Parnas is a 16th-generation Jerusalemite), and the museum asked them to create collections expressing how the city has influenced them. The curator, Smadar Keren, chose to exhibit their responses on separate, parallel platforms that run the length of the gallery in an effort to highlight the artists’ different approaches to design.
JPost Editorial: Top Marks
In our fast-paced news environment, little attention was paid to the decision by Standard and Poor’s to uphold Israel’s A+ rating along with its “stable” outlook. Although this was judged of marginal interest by news editors, it matters a great deal to each and every one of us.
To appreciate just how important the S&P announcement really is, we can only hypothesize about the ear-piercing ruckus that would have erupted had S&P opted to downgrade Israel’s credit rating.
Glad tidings rarely qualify as newsworthy for the mass media. However, this is truly good news.
S&P, which has in its recent history fearlessly downgraded the biggest and mightiest economies – including that of the US a few years ago – has concluded that Israel’s fiscal consolidation is proceeding according to plan, the economy is growing soundly, and the debt-to-GDP ratio has declined.
WATCH: Israel snags slot at 1970 World Cup
In this footage from the Sydney Sports Ground, Israel and Australia battle in a preliminary match for the chance to qualify for the 1970 World Cup in Mexico.
After beating Australia in a previous preliminary game, Israel tied with Australia in this match and earned admission to the finals — a success the nation has yet to repeat.
According to the announcer, it was an agonizing game: “The home team establish a territorial advantage, but Israel remain cool under constant pressure.”
At the end of the game, the white-jersied Israeli team rejoices on the field, having reached a new milestone in the Jewish state’s history. Or, as the narrator puts it, “Australia fails to add to their tally, and thus Israel is to go to Mexico in quest of soccer’s greatest prize.”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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