Wednesday, September 30, 2015

From Ian:

Watch: Terrified Jewish Children Hounded by Muslim Mob
A hassidic child cries, clinging to his father's hand as an angry mob hounds them, hurling anti-Semitic abuse.
Scenes not from Europe in the early twentieth century, but from the streets of Jerusalem's Old City on Sukkot, 2015.
Muslims in the holy city have been rioting for more than two weeks now, clashing with police and attacking Jewish residents. Several people have been injured and one man - 64-year-old grandfather Alexander Levlovich - was murdered by Muslim terrorists who hurled rocks at his car, causing a fatal crash.
Arab Muslim rioters claim their actions are in order to "protect" the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount from Jewish "invasions"; Jews note such "invasions" are merely peaceful visits to the Temple Mount (not even the mosque itself), which is Judaism's holiest site, and that the violence is meant to prevent them from visiting the Mount and even to drive from the Old City altogether.


Humiliated Father Describes Old City Assault
Yehonatan Levy, the haredi father who was assaulted and humiliated by an Arab mob in Jerusalem's Old City Monday, described the ordeal in a television interview Wednesday morning, on Channel 20.
The video that shows Levy and his two sons emerging from an alleyway has been widely circulated and photos of his sons crying in fear as he walks onward, silent and grim-faced, were disseminated worldwide by news agencies.
Levy said that the event began several minutes earlier, as he and his sons were making their usual route toward the Western Wall, in honor of Sukkot. They were initially accosted by women, he said, and these women were then joined by men. He described being kicked and spat upon. His son's kippah was knocked to the ground and when the father tried to pick it up, it was kicked away from him three times.

WATCH: Palestinian Kicks Jewish Baby In Stroller
Following the disturbing scenes of palestinians screaming in hatred at the Jewish man and his young, petrified son in the old city of Jerusalem comes this even more disturbing scene.


Iranian Commander on Mecca Stampede: The Jews Did It
Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said that last week's stampede near Mecca which killed over 1,100 Muslim pilgrims may have been a "deliberate crime" on the part of the Saudis and the Israelis, reports the Fars News Agency [FNA].
On Monday Jazzayeri told the FNA that
"Given the usurper Zionist regime's infiltration and influence on the al-Saud, there is a growing possibility that the crane crash incident at the Grand Mosque [which killed over 100 and injured hundreds more two weeks ago] and the death of thousands of people in Mina were the result of deliberate crime.
"Given the eyewitness accounts and the increasing possibility that the two painful and regrettable incidents at the Grand Mosque and Mina have been the result of intentional action, fact-finding groups from all Muslim states have the responsibility to decrypt this al-Saud crime."

He also claimed that making the Grand Mosque in Mecca unsafe and insecure is a major policy of the US and Israel.
The stampede occurred during the ritual known as "stoning the devil" in the tent city of Mina, about two miles from Mecca. At least 169 Iranians died in the incident which claimed 1,100 lives [according to Fox News; the FNA's tally is 2,000].
PreOccupiedTerritory: Suspiciously, No Jews Killed In Mecca Stampede (satire)
Given the precedent of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Virginia, in which many in the Muslim world believe no Jews were killed because they had been warned to stay home, authorities have quickly latched onto the similarities between the stampede’s outcome and that of 9/11, noting that coincidence alone was not enough to explain why no Jews seem to have been among the Mecca dead, said a Saudi investigator who spoke on condition of anonymity.
“While I cannot confirm hard evidence of any specific cause other than a systemic failure, the irregularity of no Jews dying in this stampede raises more than a few eyebrows,” he said. “Naturally, it would have to appear that the catastrophe was an accident, so the initial evidence would have to be consistent with human error, or some unfortunate confluence of circumstances. The red flag is the utter lack of Jewish deaths – not just in the stampede or its aftermath, but in the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It strikes us as curious, to say the least, that not a single Jewish death was recorded in the country not only on the day of the stampede, but for decades.”
Indeed, the mysterious and suspicious lack of Jewish deaths is not restricted to Saudi Arabia. Certain towns and villages in Eastern Europe appear to have recorded no Jewish deaths since 1942, and until the first half of the sixteenth century, no Jewish deaths at all were registered in the Americas.



Don’t get cozy with ‘problem’ Iran, Netanyahu to warn UN
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu intends to use his upcoming speech at the United Nations to tell the world that Iran remains the root cause for the unrest in the Middle East, he told reporters Tuesday.
After the nuclear accord with Iran, the international community appears to have accepted the notion that Tehran, ostensibly barred from reaching nuclear weapons capability for a decade, no longer poses a grave danger to Israel and the Middle East at large — but in fact the opposite is the case, he said.
The international community now views the Iranian nuclear threat as eliminated since the deal stipulates Tehran’s uranium enrichment remain under the “red line,” he said, referencing a cartoon bomb prop during his speech at the UN General Assembly in 2012.
In his address to the same body this Thursday, he intends to present the various problematic aspects — “in word and deed” — of Iran’s current behavior, he vowed.
Anti-Semitism in Iran: Jews in the crosshairs
One does not have to claim that the Iranian regime’s leaders are totally irrational to recognize that the degree of anti-Semitic irrationality in the regime provokes understandable anxiety that Iran might actually use a bomb if it had one. Again, prior governments in modern history often adopted seemingly irrational policies despite the often obvious costs of doing so.
Similarly, the anti-Semitic mindset of the regime should warn against seeing it as anything but the greatest danger to the region. Combating Iranian expansion, particularly if sanctions are lifted, should be the major priority of the West. Tactical alliances with a regime that holds such views is short-sighted and should be rejected out of hand.
And this is the rub – if anti-Semitism indeed is a strategic imperative of the regime, one that it is not forced to abandon even as it gains international legitimacy as a result of the nuclear deal, then Israel and the Jewish people could be an even more attractive target of its animus in the near future.
So let’s learn the lessons of history.
When a regime is obsessed with conspiracy theories about Jews, it is not only a threat to the Jewish people themselves, but to civilization itself.
Indeed, we rationally must be prepared to confront even the most irrational actors and their views, especially it comes to the oldest hate.
Argentina's Dead Prosecutor and Why Deals with Iran Never Work
As Americans reflect on months at the negotiating table with Ali Khamenei, the new film Los Abandonados (“The Abandoned”) demands a deeper look at another Iran deal: the one Argentina made to absolve the perpetrators of the largest terrorist attack in their history.
Part historical account and part spy novel, Los Abandonados tells the story of the death of Alberto Nisman, an Argentine prosecutor who was found dead of a gunshot to the head the day before he was to testify to Congress. He was to accuse President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of making a secret deal with the Iranian government to protect Hezbollah-linked terrorists. The terrorists in question are the orchestrators of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), the worst terror attack in Argentina’s history and the worst attack on the Western Hemisphere prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Nisman was found dead on January 18, and his death remains unsolved. Nearly half a million Argentines took to the streets of Buenos Aires in February and March demanding justice, many believing that Nisman was right, and Iran was operating within their borders. Some held signs reading “Islamic Fundamentalists Killed Nisman.”
The Nisman shooting made only marginal headlines in the United States, but the beauty of Los Abandonados is that director Matthew Taylor does not expect you to know who Alberto Nisman is, much less have a vivid memory of the AMIA bombing. If you are surprised– and alarmed– to hear that Hezbollah is actively operating in Latin America, then this is the film for you.



The IAEA inspection at Parchin – a farce in three acts
And there are more far-reaching ramifications to the conclusion of the Parchin case. Parchin would be the last undeclared site to be inspected under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA ). Requests to inspect such sites in the future would have to be based on information presented to the P5+1, the EU and Iran. It is hard to envisage any country divulging the source of its intelligence information to Iran (and Russia and China).
Parchin and Fordow, the Iranian underground enrichment facility, would probably not have been inspected under these conditions, and these are but two examples.
It is most unfortunate that the politicians, in their haste to conclude an agreement, gave up on the most basic of professional principles, thus paving the road for shortcuts that would provide the wrong answers and put in doubt the assurances that the world so needs. The Parchin case is but one sad farce that presages others.
House Republicans Consider Suing Obama for Withholding Side Deals on Iran’s Nuclear Program
House Republicans are still considering a lawsuit and other measures to prevent the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal and the provision of billions of dollars in sanctions relief to Tehran, according to one of the leading lawmakers opposed to the agreement.
Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview that the Obama administration still needs to address a “serious legal question” about the nuclear deal and the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which allowed Congress to evaluate the agreement before it was fully implemented. According to the review act, lawmakers were supposed to be granted access to the text of the agreement as well as “any additional materials related thereto, including annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreements.”
However, Roskam and other lawmakers have said that they have been prohibited from viewing the “side deals” that govern the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Agency officials have said that such inspection deals typically remain confidential.
Iran Withholding $43 Billion In Restitution to U.S Terror Victims
The $43 billion in damages to American terror victims were assessed as a result of some 50 U.S. court cases in recent years, according to official government estimates.
As the Obama administration prepares to release more than $150 billion in unfrozen cash assets to Iran, Congress is demanding that these terror victims finally be awarded their money.
Sens. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) on Tuesday unveiled a bill that would prevent the Obama administration from lifting economic sanctions on Tehran until these U.S. terrorist victims are paid for the crimes committed by Iranian-funded terrorist proxy groups, such as Hezbollah, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Iranian FM Under Fire for Shaking Obama's Hand
An ultraconservative Iranian lawmaker blasted on Tuesday reports that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shook hands with US
President Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly, branding it as unrevolutionary.
The remarks came after Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency and international media outlets documented the impromptu encounter in New York on Monday.
"Dr Zarif was leaving the hall when he accidentally faced Mr Obama and John Kerry, who were about to enter. They briefly greeted each other and the two shook hands," ISNA said, citing a source close to Iran's UN delegation.
Although Kerry, the US Secretary of State, and Zarif shook hands numerous times during talks that ended with a July 14 deal on Iran's nuclear program, the handshake with Obama would be the first known between a US president and a top Iranian official since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
Rouhani: Iran Ready for Prison Swap with Americans
Tehran will work to free three Americans from its prisons if the United States releases jailed Iranians, President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday, according to AFP.
"If the Americans take the appropriate steps and set them free, certainly the right environment will be open and the right circumstances will be created for us to do everything within our power and our purview to bring about the swiftest freedom for the Americans held in Iran as well," Rouhani, who is visiting New York for the UN General Assembly, told CNN.
At least three Americans, all of them of Iranian heritage, are in jail in Iran including Jason Rezaian, a correspondent for The Washington Post who was arrested in July 2014 and accused of spying.
The two other Americans are Amir Hekmati, a former American Marine who was charged with spying, and Saeed Abedini, a convert to Christianity who gathered a Bible study group.
Emirati Business Leader Slams Obama, Euro Leaders on IranDeal
An Emirati business leader and writer has stepped out on a limb to harshly criticize the nuclear deal with Iran reached by U.S.-led world powers.
Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor slammed the side deal reached between Iran and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency in a series of articles written last month in the UAE English-language daily The National, all of which were gathered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
The Emirati businessman wrote that this deal proves that an organization “known for its professionalism and stringent monitoring” has been politicized by the agreement’s signers. Bluntly, he wrote, the signers are either seeking to cut lucrative trade deals with Iran or, in the case of U.S. President Barack Obama, are aiming to cement their legacy.
Al-Habtoor wrote that the self-monitoring arrangement agreed to by the IAEA belies Obama’s assertion that the deal between Iran and the P5+1 would enjoy “unprecedented verification.”
Iranian Weapons Ship Bound For Yemen Seized in Oman
The Saudi-led coalition said on Wednesday it had seized an Iranian fishing boat in the Sea of Oman loaded with weapons destined for Shiite rebels it is fighting in Yemen, AFP reports.
A coalition statement said that the vessel was intercepted on Saturday and that 14 Iranians and weapons including anti-tank shells were found on board.
It said that papers found on board the boat showed that it was registered to an Iranian and was licensed for fishing by the Iranian authorities.
It listed the weapons seized as 18 anti-armored Concourse shells, 54 anti-tank BGM17 shells, 15 shell battery kits, four firing guidance systems, five binocular batteries, three launchers, one launchers' holder and three batteries.
Iran female soccer team accused of manning up
Iranian soccer fans were left reeling earlier this week after eight members of the women’s national team were found to be men, the Al-Arabiya website reported on Monday.
Mojtabi Sharifi, described as an official connected to the Iranian soccer league, said that the footballers “have been playing with Iran’s female team without completing sex change operations.”
He claimed that some of the men had enjoyed a whole career as female players and only outed themselves just before retiring from their teams.
It was not clear how many of the national squad players were born as men or how long they had been playing before their surplus credentials were uncovered. Iranian female footballers notably play wearing hijab head scarves and outfits that fully cover their arms and legs.
Sharifi accused Iranian football’s governing body of being responsible for the “unethical” cock up.
JPost Editorial: Syrian opacity
The nations of the world are gathering this week in New York to attend the United Nation’s 70th General Assembly. The open clash between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin over what to do in Syria has already eclipsed all other issues.
And this very public clash puts Israel in an uncomfortable position as it attempts to maintain a policy of opacity regarding the events unfolding in Syria.
Speaking to the UN General Assembly on Monday morning, Obama rejected the idea of Bashar Assad remaining in power as part of a negotiated settlement in Syria.
The notion of partnering with “tyrants like Assad who drop barrel bombs on innocent children” is out of the question, Obama said, adding that the US is willing to “work with any nation, including Russia and Iran” to end the conflict in Syria.
PM: Syria will not be used as Iranian base to attack Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified on Tuesday after landing in New York ahead of his address to the U.N. that he will not allow Syria to be used as a base for Iranian attacks on Israel.
Netanyahu's stance echoed the sentiments of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz who said on Tuesday that keeping Iranian forces inside Iran would be a top priority in all talks with the U.S. and other world powers.
Steinitz also told Army Radio, "No one wants to see Russian military forces in the Golan Heights. That is also cause for concern. Russia is still the second strongest military power in the world. But we certainly don't want to see Iranian forces right next to Israel."
In a similar vein, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, who toured the Gaza border communities on Tuesday and stopped to celebrate Sukkot in Kibbutz Saad, said, "We have interests, and when they are threatened, we take action and we will continue to take action."
Russian Arms: to Syria Today, Tomorrow to a "Demilitarized Palestine"
In the time it would take an Israeli tourist to finish an Israeli breakfast, Russia deployed close to a thousand Russian special operations soldiers to Syria. No UN resolution. No discussion. No nothing. "President" Assad, the genocidal mass-murderer of hundreds of thousands of Sunnis, merely "invited" the Russians to come, and they came.
The Russians came with mobile anti-aircraft missile batteries, various Russian special forces and nuclear submarines armed with enough nuclear bombs on the one submarine to incinerate the practically the entire world. If ever a terrorist Palestinian state is formed in the "West Bank", any Palestinian terrorist president can, and will, just as easily invite the Russians into their new country within a day. Before Israel, or anyone will know it, Russians and their anti-aircraft missile batteries will line the Green Line. The moment that happens, start saying Kaddish for Israel.
What exactly are Israel and Netanyahu going to do the afternoon of the morning during which Russia slips a thousand Speznetz paratroops into the newly formed "West Bank Palestine"?
Far-fetched? Well, despite the accelerating proliferation of jihadi groups faster than you can say "Alluhu akbar," and Obama's cash infusion of 150 billion dollars into the Iran leading-state-sponsor-of-terror, Prime Minister Netanyahu is still talking about a "Palestinian State". With European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Netanyahu declared: “I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he declared.
Russian lawmakers okay airstrikes, troops in Syria
Russian lawmakers voted unanimously Wednesday to let President Vladimir Putin send Russian troops to Syria. The Kremlin sought to play down the decision, saying it will only use its air force there, not ground troops.
Putin had to request parliamentary approval for any use of Russian troops abroad, according to the constitution. The last time he did so was before Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.
The Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, discussed Putin’s request for the authorization behind closed doors Wednesday, cutting off its live web broadcast to hold a debate notable for its quickness.
Sergei Ivanov, chief of Putin’s administration, said in televised remarks after the discussion that the parliament voted unanimously to give the green light to Putin’s plea. The proposal does not need to go to another legislative body.
Ivanov insisted that Moscow is not going to send ground troops to Syria but will only use its air force “in order to support the government Syrian forces in their fight against the Islamic State” group.
Russia begins airstrikes in support of Assad, demands US planes keep out
Russian warplanes began bombarding Syrian opposition targets in the war-torn nation's north Wednesday, following a terse meeting at which a Russian general asked Pentagon officials to clear out of Syrian air space and was rebuffed, Fox News has learned.
A U.S. official said Russian airstrikes targeted fighters in the vicinity of Homs, located roughly 60 miles east of a Russian naval facility in Tartus, and were carried out by a "couple" of Russian bombers. The strikes hit targets in Homs and Hama, but there is no presence of ISIS in those areas, a senior U.S. defense official said. These planes are hitting areas where Free Syrian Army and other anti-Assad groups are located, the official said.
The development came after Pentagon officials, in a development first reported by Fox News, brushed aside an official request, or "demarche," from Russia to clear air space over northern Syria, where Moscow said it intended to conduct airstrikes against ISIS on behalf of Assad, according to sources who spoke to Fox News. The request was made in a heated discussion between a Russian three-star general and U.S. officials at the American Embassy in Baghdad, sources said.
France Launches Criminal Probe Against Assad
French authorities have launched a criminal probe of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's regime for alleged war crimes committed between 2011 and 2013, sources told the AFP news agency.
Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary war crimes inquiry on September 15, a source close to the case told the news agency on Tuesday. A diplomatic source confirmed the launch of the probe.
The investigation is focusing on evidence provided by a former Syrian army photographer known by the codename "Caesar," who defected and fled the country in 2013, bringing with him some 55,000 graphic photographs of scenes from the brutal conflict.
IDF strikes four Hamas military targets in response to Gaza rocket fire
The Israel Air Force attacked four Hamas military installations Wednesday morning in response to a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip the previous evening.
"The attack took place in response to... a rocket attack on the State of Israel earlier this evening, which was intercepted by an Iron Dome battery," the IDF stated.
An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery intercepted at least one rocket over the southern city of Ashdod on Tuesday after air raid sirens sounded in the region.
"The IDF will not tolerate terrorists opening fire onto Israeli territory and will continue to act severely against any attempt to disturb the peace of communities in the South," the statement went on to say, adding that Israel holds Hamas responsible for the attack.
According to the IDF, a single rocket was fired at Israel in the attack.
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades Reveal 40 Mile Range Rocket
The military wing of Fatah in Gaza, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, say they have developed a rocket with enhanced capabilities to match the needs of their relatively small organization. Marking the terror group’s 15th anniversary, the Brigades expressed their eagerness to “confront the occupation at any time.”
Abu Jihad, spokesman for the Brigades’ rocket production department, said the new missile reaches up to 40 miles “deep inside the Zionist enemy.” The rocket is named K60, as in 60 km (which is 37.282272 miles). Abu Jihad also mentioned the Israeli siege on Gaza and how hard it is to produce weapons under such conditions.
20,000 Israelis Ignore Terror and Visit Gush Etzion
Approximately 20,000 Israelis from all over the country visited Gush Etzion on the first day of Chol HaMoed Tuesday, numbers that regional council chairman Davidi Pearl said prove the strong connection between the area and all of Israel.
He added that the throng of visitors shows that terror cannot intimidate people.
Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Uri Ariel visited the Givat Oz V’Gaon park adjacent to the Gush Etzion junction. The area was dedicated to the memories of the three yeshiva youth were murdered by Hamas terrorists last year.
Thousands of tourists also traveled through Gush Etzion to visit the Patriarchs’ Cave (Maharat HaMachpela) in Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills.
Travelers reported a heavy presence of IDF patrols on Highway 60 to deter Arabs from trying to murder Jews with rocks and firebombs.
Israeli Security Forces Increase Ambushes to Apprehend Palestinian Rock-Throwers
The IDF, Border Police and Israel Police have set up dozens of ambushes throughout Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), to catch Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails, Israeli 0404 News reported on Sunday.
According to the report, this is not the first time security forces have used ambushes to combat the phenomena, which have been taking place for the last two years, particularly in the Jerusalem area. But, as a military official told 0404 News, due to the recent escalation, “We have stepped up our forces in locations that are known to have flare-ups of violence, and fighters are setting up ambushes in order to identify suspects.”
He added, “Whenever necessary, we aim fire, but that is only if [perpetrators] are endangering civilians or security forces.”
Hevron Rioter's Rock Injures Japanese Tourist
A female tourist, reportedly from Japan, suffered a head injury Tuesday during riots in Hevron.
She was near the so-called Hashoter Checkpoint at the time. Medical teams treated her on the location and evacuated her to a Jerusalem hospital.
She can be seen in the embedded video, crouching after the injury and being directed to an ambulance.
A foreign tourist was also injured on Tuesday when Arabs hurled rocks at the taxi he was in.
The incident occurred near Augusta Victoria, in the A-Tur neighborhood of Jerusalem. The man is described as suffering light wounds.
A team of Border Police chased after and caught the perpetrator. He is reportedly 11-years-old.
Political furor erupts after Arab MK berates Jews on Temple Mount
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) called on Joint (Arab) List Chairman Ayman Odeh to remove Zahalka and two of his colleagues from the party, a political alliance forged between Israel’s four Arab-dominated parties before the last general elections in March.
Regev charged that Zahalka and the two other Balad MKs “have no place in the Israeli Knesset,” “do not serve the public who elected them,” and were “causing damage.”
MK Avigdor Liberman called on Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to indict Zahalka for incitement to violence.
Liberman, who leads the right-wing opposition party Yisrael Beytenu, said Zahalka should be put on trial for “assaulting Jews and police.”
“Law enforcement authorities must act forcefully in the face of this rioting, which is another element of Joint List members’ efforts to inflame the atmosphere on the Temple Mount and harm Jews visiting there,” Liberman said.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), a proponent of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to bar the entry of Arab MKs to the compound on grounds of incitement.
MK Zoabi: Israel More Like Nazi Regime Than I Am
Radical MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint List) stressed Tuesday that Arab "resistance" to Jewish activity on the Temple Mount will continue, while also hinting that Israel's policies paralleled the Nazi regime.
"It's rude and bullying to compare the demand to defend Muslims' right to pray at their holy sight to the Nazi regime. Everyone knows who is closer to the Nazi regime - MK Hanin Zoabi or the State of Israel and Minister [Ze'ev] Elkin," Zoabi told Army Radio.
"Every time there is an invasion - and this is an invasion and not a right - of settlers, extremists and police, there will be resistance."
Zoabi's incendiary remarks come after a frenzy of condemnation following the publication of footage of MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint List) berating Israeli police over allowing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount.
A Tale of Two Church Fires
The story is a familiar one. A church is set on fire and suffers extensive damage. Officials say they are investigating. The fire is an outrage, but for some reason it hasn’t gotten much traction in the international media.
The fire in question took place on Sept. 26, 2015 at the St. Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem, a Maronite institution. (The Maronites are part of the Roman Catholic Church headquartered in Rome.)
Ma’an, a Palestinian news agency has published a very brief story on the fire, but for the most part, the fire has not gotten much coverage in Western media outlets. Israel National News reported that the Palestinian Authority has been “strangely silent” about the fire, and that the PA says the fire was an electrical fire.
It’s an important story that calls for further coverage, but aside from an article in Asia News, which indicates that the fire was the work of Islamic fundamentalists, people interested in such things will have to go to blogs or to Facebook for more information.
On his Facebook account, Father Gabriel Naddaf, an Orthodox Priest living in Israel, issued a statement in response to the fire and the PA’s silence in which he faults the PA for not condemning what he has concluded was an act of arson. “It is exactly this type of attitude by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority that encourage vandalism and terrorism against Christian sites as Palestinians extremists know that they will not be brought to justice or punished for their acts.”
By way of comparison, another church fire, this one in Israel, got an extensive amount of coverage. When the Church of the Beatitudes was set on fire in June, media outlets throughout the world covered the event.
For example, The Independent, CNN, and The New York Times all covered the story the same day of the fire.
Hackers Take Out Saudi Websites over Teen's Crucifixion Sentence
The Anonymous hacker collective has knocked out several Saudi Arabian government websites, in a campaign to pressure Riyadh to release activist Ali al-Nimr.
Al-Nimr, a member of Saudi Arabia's Shia minority, was sentenced to be beheaded and crucified for taking part in 2012 anti-government protests. His death sentence was confirmed by a Saudi court last week, prompting international outcry given the already controversial decision to appoint Saudi Arabia to chair the UN Human Rights Council.
Rights groups say al-Nimr was forced to sign a confession under torture, which led to his conviction for a range of crimes including terrorism charges. They also note that under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - to which Riyadh is a signatory - it is illegal to execute a child under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed. Al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested.
As of Sunday morning, hackers appear to have taken down a long list of Saudi government websites, including the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Civil Service, Saudi Airlines and even PSATRI, the Gulf Kingdom's military technological center.
131 dead in alleged Saudi airstrike on Yemen wedding
The death toll from an alleged air strike on a Yemeni wedding soared Tuesday to 131, including women and children, as the Saudi-led coalition denied it was behind the incident.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemned Monday's reported bombardment, saying intentional attacks on civilians were considered a "serious violation of international humanitarian law".
Residents said the Arab coalition, which launched an air war on the Huthi Shiite rebels in late March, was behind the attack on the wedding in Wahijah village near the Red Sea city of Mokha.
But the spokesman for the Riyadh-based coalition, Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri, denied any involvement.


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