Saturday, September 26, 2015

From Ian:

Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: We Are the New Nazis
The campaign on social media against the singer and the TV show also provides proof of increasingly racist sentiments among our people. We automatically dismiss anyone wearing a kippa because we assume he is a "settler" who hates Arabs and Muslims. It is embarrassing to read many of the comments posted by Palestinian activists concerning the singer's religion and kippa.
With such attitudes, how can we ever make peace with Israel? If hosting a Jewish singer on a Palestinian TV talk show has drawn such fierce opposition and denunciations, what will happen the day any Palestinian leader signs a peace treaty with our Jewish neighbors?
How many times have Palestinians appeared in the Israeli media during the past few decades? Has anyone ever heard of such protests by Israeli Jews? Israeli media outlets have even been conducting interviews with some of Israel's worst enemies, including Palestinians who mercilessly killed innocent Jews. Still, we never saw disgusting and racist reactions like the ones posted on social media after the interview with the Jewish singer.
Over the years, we have taught our people to hate not only Israel, but Jews as well -- as is already cemented in the Hamas charter. We have done this through incitement in mosques, media outlets and public rhetoric. We have now reached the same stage as Germany's Nazis -- the same thing, ironically, we falsely accuse the Jews of being -- where our people consider the appearance of a Jew on a Palestinian TV show an act of "treason" and a "crime." In reality, it is we who are the New Nazis.
The case of the Jewish singer shows that the BDS and "anti-normalization" folks are nothing but a group of racist brown-shirts working to destroy any chance of peace and coexistence between Palestinians and Israel. Their hysterical reaction to the TV interview with Yehezkel proves that our people are continuing to march backward, toward more extremism, racism and Nazism.
David Collier: My Yom Kippur with Max Blumenthal
Having spent a July evening listening to Max Blumenthal at his book launch for his written account of last year’s conflict between Gaza and Israel, it then became a struggle to find an opportunity to read the book itself. I engage anything and everything on the Israel / Arab conflict and usually it is critical to do so with internet access close at hand as a way of gauging the veracity of source material.
Blumenthal is not an experienced historian or military or political commentator and having read the first few pages, the book appeared to be little more than the type of rabid anti-Zionist and unsupported opinion piece that can be found daily on any Islamic web site. So reading Blumenthal is a different type of challenge, and digesting his latest work could only be undertaken with no distractions. Yom Kippur provided the perfect opportunity, Max had my undivided attention; I became the perfect captive audience.
I had discussed Blumenthal’s tale of the cause of the conflict after the talk, so I won’t dwell on it here, and it is represented in the book in a haphazard fashion. Apparently, Israel simply wanted the war because it makes them a profit, shows off their latest weapons and keeps Gaza’s population down by killing children. In his desperation to blame the build-up itself on Israel, Blumenthal creates a scenario in which 2 terrorists spontaneously celebrate the absolute failure of a mission. I call it ‘Blumenlogic’. The entire tale is venomous nonsense.
But in the book, Blumenthal quickly blames Israel for the conflict and moves on, so apart from a single Dayan quote from 1956 that suits his purpose, there is no backdrop to the post 2005 conflicts. If Blumenthal knew history, he would understand Israel had offered to take Gaza and *all* its refugees in an attempt to solve the problem in 1949. He would know also that in 2005 Israel presented the Arabs all of Gaza as a first-step opportunity, and received a terror enclave in return. Gaza today is the result of the persistent Arab rejection of Israel’s existence.
Seal Refutes Jewish History Deniers
In this context the battle over archeology isn’t merely a scholarly debate but a vital part of the effort to deny the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn. By trashing an area that was loaded with precious artifacts buried over 30 centuries, the Palestinians hope to convince the world that Jews have no claim to Jerusalem, let alone any part of Israel, including the areas inside the 1967 lines.
The significance of the seal is that it shows the level of activity that is consistent with it serving as the site of the capital of ancient Israel. Since denying the existence of David’s Kingdom might hurt the case for Zionism’s legitimacy, destroying evidence of that history is key to their agenda. That’s why they trashed the Temple Mount and also why the volunteers of the Temple Mount Sifting Project that is painstakingly going through the material they removed from the historical site is so important.
As with the startling archeological work at the City of David site just outside the current Old City walls that has been supported by New York philanthropists Daniel Mintz and Meredith Berkman, the stone seal refutes the deniers of Jewish history. Try as they might to call the Old City “traditionally Palestinian” or “Arab East Jerusalem,” all you need to do to confirm Jerusalem’s Jewish roots is to start digging.
The only just solution to the problem of the Temple Mount is to preserve the mosques and the right of Muslims to pray there (which is not in question) while also protecting the right of Jews to visit their sacred place. While Israel is falsely accused of undermining the fragile peace of Jerusalem by the United Nations, the only ones who are guilty of fomenting violence are those Palestinians that are engaged in an effort to deny Jewish history and Jewish rights.

Palestinian Groups Ahead of ISIS in Destroying Antiquities
A Pattern: First destruction, then denial
In 1996, acting without either permits or archaeological supervision, the Waqf brought in heavy machinery and began illegal construction. It did so while falsely claiming to be renovating a pre-existing mosque, one archaeologists deny ever existed.
Despite a court order to cease—which was met with Palestinian riots—unilateral construction by the Waqf continued with bulldozers and trucks being used to excavate and remove 6,000 tons of earth and dump it in the Kidron Valley. Subsequently, archaeologists claimed to have found Jewish artifacts among the rubble. The director of Israel's Antiquities Authority, Amir Drori, called the Waqf's act an “archeological crime.” Attorney General Elyakim Rubenstein referred to the purposeful destruction as “an assault on Jewish history.” One Temple Mount item—found dumped in the Valley—was recently deciphered, revealing it to be an ancient stamp seal from the 10th or 11th century BCE (“Tiny stone seal from King David era found in Temple Mount fill,” Times of Israel, Sept. 24, 2015).
In the summer of 2007 the media was “mute” as CAMERA noted renewed construction with heavy tractors by the Waqf that damaged other ancient Jewish artifacts and structures.
Statements by Palestinian leadership reveal the reasons for their actions. An Aug. 1, 2015 official Palestinian TV broadcast incited violence against Jews on the Temple Mount by repeating the claims of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, that Jewish history in Jerusalem is a “delusional myth” (“Incitement over Temple Mount Leads to Palestinian Violence, Again,” Sept. 16, 2015).
In seeking to destroy Jewish history in Jerusalem and elsewhere, some Palestinian Arabs are—similar to the more widely covered actions by ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or Islamic State in the Levant—attempting to rewrite history for their political ends. Major media would do well to note that ISIS is far from original in its revisionism by demolition.
Want To Really Help Refugees?
Forget the pope: The only truly important dignitary visiting New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. That’s because Abbas, unlike most of his powerful peers, may actually hold the key to world peace.
Don’t laugh. If the strong signals coming from the rais’ office are to be believed, Abbas is likely to take the stage next Wednesday and declare the Oslo Accords dead. This, to all but a handful of sentimentalists, nearly all of whom live in Tel Aviv, is a major opportunity. If Abbas truly believes the age of Oslo to be over, there’s a good argument to be made that he ought to give back every shekel his people have received in international aid for the past 21 years.
If this strikes you as ridiculous or cruel, take a moment to revisit the financial records. That is, if you can find them: In 2013, the European Court of Auditors, an independent E.U. regulatory body set up to monitor the union’s income and spending, discovered that $2.64 billion of European aid investment in the West Bank and Gaza between 2008 and 2012 alone was squandered—lost to mismanagement and corruption. Look back further, to Oslo’s early, euphoric days, and you’ll discover many more billions you just can’t find.
Is the Iran Appeasement Fight Over?
Though some critics still hold onto the hope that the courts will someday rule it to have been passed in violation of the law, the battle over the Iran nuclear deal is over. The American political world has moved on to the next contentious issues that will divide the country and even Israelis seem, for the moment, now more focused on the uptick in Palestinian terrorism than Iran. But it would be a mistake to think that the battle over the sea change in American Middle East diplomacy that President Obama wrought with the nuclear deal is over.
The pact is fatally flawed and offers Iran two paths to a nuclear weapon: one by cheating and one by patiently waiting for it to expire. But the manner of its implementation is not an insignificant affair. Just as important is the way the U.S. will approach the Islamist state in the coming months and years as the catastrophe of Syria unfolds, and whether President Obama will continue to seek more “daylight” between his positions and that of the state of Israel.
As Iran seeks to secure regional hegemony by means of its potential nuclear threat and its deadly network of terrorist allies, the U.S. is presented with a dilemma. Will it acquiesce to the regime’s ambitions and wink at its violations of the accord or will it, as it has pledged to do, vigorously resist them? Though the administration paid lip service to vigilance against Iran while the outcome of the vote on the deal was still in doubt, as a New York Times editorial published yesterday indicates, the American left is now moving on to a position endorsing more accommodation with Iran and less with Israel.
As the Times notes with dismay, in the aftermath of its successful effort to ram the deal through Congress without benefit of a majority in either the House or the Senate or the support of the public, some Democrats are hoping to mollify Israel and its friends by taking a tough stance on possible Iranian violations and support of terrorism. Iran’s adventurism in Syria and its decision to increase its financial support of both Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists — something made possible by the enormous financial windfall that the pact gives Tehran — has unsettled a region whose balance of power has been upset by the Western approval for the continuance of Iran’s nuclear program. That has made it more vital than ever that the deal be strictly enforced and that the Iranians should be given no latitude to make mischief with the help of its terrorist auxiliaries.
“Iran Executes People, Not Agreements”: NY March Will Highlight Western Collapse Over Iran
While this may seem like high-minded conceptualism to some, Tenembaum is confident that the visual novelty of watching people walking backwards will grab the attention of passersby. “We live with what I call an ‘attentional crisis’—the methods of getting attention are getting more and more sophisticated,” Tenembaum said. “Because you never see people walking backwards—people don’t walk backwards, animals don’t walk backwards—it captures the attention and connects the artistic display with the political message.”
Since deciphering the political dimension of Tenembaum’s mobile display is probably too much to ask of harassed New York City pedestrians, Monday’s procession will be accompanied by a sign declaring, “Iran Executes People, Not Agreements.” But in Buenos Aires, where the backwards procession, or “Anti-March,” was first staged earlier this year, the display didn’t need any additional embellishment.
“Every year, the Argentine Jewish community asks a different artist to find a way to commemorate the attack on the AMIA building,” Tenembaum explained, referring to the 1994 Iranian-sponsored bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires—one of the worst anti-Semitic atrocities since the Second World War, in which 85 people lost their lives. As the artist chosen for this year’s ceremony, Tenembaum’s work had an additional resonance coming so soon after the death (likely murder) of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor investigating the AMIA bombing who unearthed the murky circumstances behind the Argentine government’s special understanding with Iran to exonerate Tehran over its responsibility for the atrocity.
In Buenos Aires, the spectacle concluded with a recitation of the names of the AMIA victims. In New York, Tenembaum is planning a similar reading once the procession reaches the UN building on Monday. Among the names that will be read out is that of Aaron Plaskin, a respected Hebrew teacher and a close friend of Tenembaum’s father, who perished in the bombing. Other names will include victims of torture and murder in Iran.
Just One of Argentina’s Presidential Candidates Ready to Level Charges Against Iran Over 1994 AMIA Bombing
About a month before Argentina’s heated presidential election, only one candidate has declared she would take Iran to task over the unresolved 1994 Buenos Aires Jewish community center bombing that left 85 dead and scores injured.
Attorney and politician Margarita Stolbizer told the Simon Wiesenthal Center that she would refer the unresolved issue of the AMIA bombing — the largest suicide attack in the country’s history — to the U.N. Security Council, presenting it as an act of Iranian aggression, a charge also alleged by the late attorney Alberto Nisman, whose mysterious death occurred earlier this year hours before he was set to testify against Argentinian President Cristina Ferandez de Kirchner.
But Stolbizer is a presidential long shot, and none of the other candidate took a hard stance against Iran or the top Iranian officials that are actually on INTERPOL’s red notice list over the devastating 1994 bombing in Argentina’s capital city, such as former Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi.
Former and short-lived Argentine president Adolfo Rodriguez Saa suggested a multilateral approach involving Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela, which also has close ties with Iran. Front runner and Kirchner administration official Daniel Scioli, for his part, took the safest route and shelved the vexed AMIA bombing until after elections.
Former IDF chief says ‘hysteria’ over Iran deal is unwarranted
Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz said Friday he was not more concerned about Israel’s security following the signing of the nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers, adding that he saw the benefits of the deal which he said had prevented war. The deal, he said, was a case of the “cup half-full.”
“I refuse to get hysterical” about the nuclear deal, he told a gathering of policymakers and analysts in Washington DC Friday morning, in likely reference to official Israel’s excoriation of the agreement.
While Gantz, who ended his tenure as IDF chief in February, said a better deal may have been possible, he also acknowledged the final agreement’s success in putting off a nuclear-armed Iran for at least 10-15 years. Diplomacy, he said, had prevented war from breaking out.
Jordan Stops Imports of Israeli Goods Following Pressure From Boycott Campaign
Jordan will end its import of Israeli goods, mostly agricultural products, in response to demands of a local boycott campaign, a senior Jordanian official told London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed.
The senior official said Jordan will end imports of what he called “damaged Israeli crops,” and noted that Jordan would instead import food from Lebanon and other countries. A source in Jordan’s Ministry of Industry and Trade told al-Araby al-Jadeed that some Palestinian produce were already beginning to replace Israeli goods in the Jordanian market, such as potatoes and dates.
Manaf Magali, chairman of the Jordanian Anti-Normalization Committee, said Jordan’s decision to end the import of Israeli goods was a “victory” for anti-Israel activists. He added that there are many other “import partners” for Jordan to choose from.
“The anti-normalization committee will continue its work, in coordination with other anti-normalization bodies, to continue imposing an Arab economic embargo on Israel,” he said.
4 Palestinian youths arrested for fatal Rosh Hashanah attack
Four Palestinian youths, including two minors, were arrested on suspicion of having carried out a rock-throwing attack on a car in Jerusalem on the Jewish New Year two weeks ago which led to the death of its driver, Alexander Levlovitz.
According to a statement by the Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency, the four are residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.
They were identified by the Shin Bet as Muhammad Salah Muhammad Abu Kaf, 18, Walid Fares Mustafa Atrash, 18, and Abed Muhammad Abed Rabo Dawiat, 17. The fourth suspect’s identity was not revealed.
During their interrogation, according to the Shin Bet, the four admitted to setting out on the evening of Rosh Hashanah to attack Israeli cars.
Dawiat, according to the investigation, threw the stone that hit Levlovitz’s car, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and crash into a pole. He died of his wounds the next morning.
Foreign press group blasts IDF for attack on AFP reporters
The Foreign Press Association condemned on Saturday “in the strongest possible terms” the “deplorable” behavior of Israeli army troops who it said assaulted two journalists from a foreign news agency in the West Bank on Friday, an incident partly caught on camera.
According to AFP, IDF soldiers seized and destroyed equipment belonging to two of its journalists near Nablus, and a video journalist with the agency, Italian Andrea Bernardi, was thrown to the ground and jabbed in the side with a weapon. The agency said Bernardi was held down on the ground by a soldier, one knee on his chest, until he managed to show his press card. Bernardi suffered bruised ribs and a facial injury.
AFP said it had protested to the Israeli military over the incident and said it intended to file an official complaint.
Army spokesman Colonel Peter Lerner told the agency that the highest levels of command are aware of the incident, including the head of IDF troops in the West Bank, and that “disciplinary measures will be taken.”
“From the initial investigation it appears that the force did not operate as is expected of them, and [was] in contravention of regulations,” the army’s Spokesman’s Unit told the Israeli media Saturday.
Palestinian Ex-Prisoner Charged With Hurling Grenade Into Jaffa Synagogue
A former Jaffa resident and former Palestinian security prisoner was indicted Thursday before the Tel Aviv District Court for throwing a stun grenade into one of the Jaffa’s synagogues.
Hafez Kondus, 57, who had served a 28-year prison sentence, was indicted for weapons offenses and racially motivated aggression for hurling a stun grenade on a building that houses a synagogue and the Shirat Moshe yeshiva. He was arrested following a joint Shin Bet and Israel Police investigation into the incident, which took place three weeks ago in the evening hours.
Riding a scooter, Kondus threw the grenade inside the building without releasing the safety pin, and then drove off. Prosecutors said they have amassed considerable evidence with which to convict Kondus, including video footage and his full confession to committing the crime.
Erekat: Netanyahu to be held responsible for crimes under new open-fire rules
Secretary General of the PLO Saeb Erekat denounced on Saturday the new Israeli security cabinet decision to modify open-fire rules against Palestinian rioters in Jerusalem, holding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responsible "for the new crimes to be committed under this new regulation," Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
On Thursday evening, the security cabinet approved a short menu of tougher steps against rock and firebomb-throwers including the easing of open-fire regulations.
One modified order allows security forces to shoot when the life of a third party is under threat. Until the change, Israeli soldiers facing violent Palestinian protests could open fire with live bullets only if their own life was in danger.
“The Israeli government continues to incite against Palestinian lives, with a culture of hate that dehumanizes a whole nation. Israel continues to ignore and gravely break its obligations under international law,” said the statement.
NDP's Andrew Cash conflicts with party leader Mulcair by endorsing antisemitic boycott of Israel
The New Democratic Party of Canada has a Jewish Problem.
It has a leader who is sympathetic to Israel as the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
But in that view, Thomas Mulcair stands virtually alone in his party. Almost all the rest of his caucus don't like Jews at all.
Of course this isn't the 1930's where you can just come out and say that you detest Jews and get away with it, particularly when you're pretending to be the "social justice" party.
So what they do is go after the only Jewish state in the world and apply standards to it that they don't apply to any other country. Canada is a country that was a colonial project of England and France, its land conquered from the First Nations. So while Canadian Jew-haters sometimes pay lip service to Native rights, they try to push a boycott of Israel for its "colonialism." That's despite the fact that Jews have been indigenous to Israel or whatever name that place took for the last 2600 years.
The NDP's Andrew Cash, seeking reelection in Toronto's Davenport riding, endorsed the antisemitic Israel boycott this week. A "viable and peaceful form of protest to Israel’s actions for those who wanted to take that route" is how he described it.
The Government of Canada, among others, considers it Jew-hate.
Corbyn in 2003: West ‘manipulated’ 9/11 to invade Afghanistan
Jeremy Corbyn, the recently elected far-left leader of Britain’s Labour Party, reportedly wrote in 2003 that the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US had been “manipulated” to frame Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization in order to facilitate a Western invasion of Afghanistan.
According to the British newspaper the Telegraph, Corbyn wrote in a 2003 article for the socialist Morning Star newspaper that, “Historians will study with interest the news manipulation of the past 18 months.
“After September 11, the claims that bin Laden and al-Qaida had committed the atrocity were quickly and loudly made.
“This was turned into an attack on the Taliban and then, subtly, into regime change in Afghanistan.”
Atheist Ex-Muslim Banned From University: ‘Could Incite Hatred’
Maryam Namazie – a secular campaigner and founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims – has been blocked from speaking at the University of Warwick, because she “could incite hatred on campus” and “insult” religion. She has condemned the “lefties” and “post-modernist” point of view espoused by the Student Union.
Iranian-born Namazie is a feminist who opposes Islamic fundamentalism, Sharia law, gender segregation and the Burka, which she describes as a “tool used to oppress women.”
The Council of Ex-Muslims organises to assist people who leave Islam, who frequently find their lives in grave danger due to Islamic apostasy laws, which call for the murder of apostates under some interpretations.
She was invited to speak by the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists’ Society. However, in a statement republish by Namazi, the Student Unions said:
“There a number of articles written both by the speaker and by others about the speaker that indicate that she is highly inflammatory, and could incite hatred on campus. This is in contravention of our external speaker policy.”
Celeb wedding makes front page BBC news but terror doesn’t
None of the above was reported on the BBC News website. The only terror-related incident (although not defined as such to BBC audiences) which did receive coverage during the same week involved a Palestinian woman who was shot after trying to stab a soldier in Hebron.
On the other hand, visitors to the BBC News website on September 25th did find a vacuous written report about Bar Rafaeli’s wedding on the site’s main homepage, on its ‘World’ page and on its Middle East page. In addition, a filmed report on the same topic appeared on the website’s Middle East and ‘Video’ pages.
Yes – a supermodel’s nuptials really were deemed more newsworthy by the self-styled “standard-setter of international journalism” than missile attacks, stoning attacks and firebomb attacks on civilians or attempts to smuggle bomb-making materials into a terrorist-run enclave.
Nasrallah welcomes Russia’s growing role in Syria
The leader of Lebanon Hezbollah terror group has welcomed what he described as Russia’s growing “combat presence” in Syria, saying it would have a significant impact on the war in the neighboring country.
Moscow has denied that it is building up its presence in Syria to protect its long-time ally, Syrian President Bashar Assad, but says instead that it wants to help him fight the Islamic State group.
Hassan Nasrallah said Friday that the deployment of Russian warplanes and precision missiles, as well as “resources with operating teams” was a “great development” that would influence the situation on the ground.
Report: Syria arming Hezbollah with 75 Soviet-era tanks
The Syrian army has given dozens of Soviet-era tanks to the Islamist Hezbollah organization to help battle its enemies, Kuwaiti newspaper Alrai reported Saturday.
According to the report, the move comes as Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Russia have launched a “joint operations room” to coordinate their campaign to defeat the extremist Islamic State group, which has captured swathes of Syrian territory during the country’s four-year civil war, as well as the opposition groups, some linked to al-Qaeda, seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The newspaper quotes official sources as saying that each party will be responsible for particular areas of Syria, with Russia operating in Latakia, Hama and some parts of the Aleppo province, while Iran will be defending the capital Damascus and down to Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. The report also states that some 100 Iranian special forces trained in urban warfare have arrived in Damascus
Hezbollah will reportedly be taking up positions around Homs, where the ancient city of Palmyra — now largely decimated by Islamic State — is located. The Syrian army has received substantial support from thousands of fighters dispatched from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon — and most notably fellow Iranian client Hezbollah.
US-trained Syria rebels gave ammo, equipment to Qaida group: official
The Pentagon said a group of US-trained Syrian rebels had handed over ammunition and equipment to al-Qaida's affiliate in the country, the Al-Nusra Front, purportedly in exchange for safe passage.
The startling acknowledgement contrasted with earlier Pentagon denials of reports that some fighters had either defected or handed over gear.
"Unfortunately, we learned late today that the NSF (New Syrian Forces) unit now says it did in fact provide six pickup trucks and a portion of their ammunition to a suspected Al-Nusra Front (group)," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.
Colonel Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for Central Command (CENTCOM), which is overseeing efforts against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, said the fighters had handed over the gear in exchange for safe passage in the Al-Nusra operating area.
BREAKING Five-Person $500 Million American-Trained Syrian Rebel Force Seizes Damascus (satire)
In the latest success for President Obama’s policy towards Syria, the five moderate Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military – at a cost of $100 million per soldier – have taken over the Syrian capital and are on their way to uniting the country under their rule.
“While we have invested more than $500 million in taxpayer money in arming this force, our money has clearly been well spent,” U.S. Commander Lloyd Austin told Congress. “Those who claimed that we couldn’t decisively impact a complex civil war spanning two countries with scores of hostile militant groups by training a handful of soldiers have been proven wrong.”
Austin was originally mocked when he told Congress that the half-billion dollar program had produced just five combat-ready soldiers. By investing $100 million on each soldier, however, American trainers were able to ensure that these troops were nearly invincible. By Thursday, both President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and ISIS troops were surrendering en masse to the pro-American fighters.
Going to Mecca has Killed 4,000 Muslims in 40 years
Making Haj may be one of the deadliest things for a Muslim to do. The latest "stoning the devil" accident, in which Muslim pilgrims to Mecca reenact an ancient pagan ritual involving Mercury, has led to a huge death toll that currently stands at 717 dead and 863 wounded.
"Stoning the devil" has been a killer for Muslims before.
This problem could be solved if the Saudis cared enough to stop shoving huge masses of frenzied people into small spaces. But the Saudis don't care. And the Muslim devil fetish has claimed some 1,500 lives so far.
There are wars that have killed less people. And that's not all of it.
Mecca seems to have killed around 4,000 Muslims. And this isn't even terrorism. It's not any kind of calculated violence. It's just basic Islamic practice. There's just something fatal about Islam.
Still this is probably a step up from the days when making Haj to Mecca was a good way for the locals to cheat their Muslim pilgrim brothers, especially Africans, and then sell them as slaves. That's one of those little politically incorrect parts of history we aren't supposed to discuss.
Poll: One-Third of Americans Would Refuse to Hide a Jew During the Holocaust
The scientific poll is part of a marketing plan for 'Return to the Hiding Place,' a movie about Christians helping Jews during the Holocaust.
One-third of American adults, if alive during the Holocaust, would refuse to hide a Jew from the Nazis.
That data comes courtesy of a scientific poll conducted as part of an odd marketing ploy to promote the digital release of the film Return to the Hiding Place, which tells the true story of Christians who risked death to shelter Jews from Nazis seeking to ship them off to death camps during World War II.
The film, in fact, is similar to 1975's The Hiding Place, only this time around the story is told from the perspective of a physics student who refuses to join Germany's Nazi party.
Return to the Hiding Place was released theatrically last year and managed impressive business on a per-screen basis. It then played in hundreds of churches through EchoLight Studios, the company run by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum. It was released on and iTunes on Sept.15, and a two-disc DVD set with both The Hiding Place and Return to the Hiding Place was released through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Peter Spencer, who directed and co-produced the movie, got the idea for the poll when star John Rhys-Davies — during a Hallmark Channel appearance to promote the movie — asked Home & Family co-hosts Cristina Ferrare and Mark Steines if they'd have risked the lives of their own families to hide a Jew from Nazis.
Ferrare was adamant she would, while Steines said he wouldn't have been able to put his family in such danger.
Nine fabulous and unusual places to visit in Israel
The Old City of Jerusalem. The Dead Sea. Masada. The Sea of Galilee. We’d never suggest you skip any of Israel’s iconic tourist sites. But if you’d like to include some off-the-beaten-track destinations to your itinerary on a first or repeat trip, ISRAEL21c has some suggestions for you.
“These are things that introduce a side of Israel you don’t expect to see, like cherries on top of the usual experience,” says Steve Zerobnick, vice president and content development director for Keshet: The Center for Educational Tourism in Israel. “For instance, who would think to go to a kibbutz to find one of the leading art venues in Israel?”
Zerobnick and other Keshet guide-educators helped us compile this list of lesser-known places to provide an insider’s view into Israeli society, geography and history. We grouped them here from north to south. These are only a drop in the bucket, so please share your favorite hidden gems in Israel to the comments section.
Michael Douglas gives Yom Kippur speech
Film star Michael Douglas delivered a speech at a temple in a New York City suburb on Yom Kippur.
Douglas — who this summer received the Genesis Prize, informally known as the “Jewish Nobel” — spoke to more than 1,000 worshipers Tuesday night at Temple Shaaray Tefila, the New York Post reported.
In his 20-minute unannounced speech at the Reform congregation in Bedford, New York, Douglas described how he is “reconnecting” with Judaism and recalled how his famous father Kirk Douglas experienced anti-­Semitism when he first began working in Hollywood.
Much of the speech was about the need for the Jewish community to be inclusive, according to the Post.

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