Sunday, November 08, 2015

From Ian:

PMW: All of Israel is "Palestine" according to Abbas' National Security Forces and Governor of Ramallah
Following the Palestinian Authority policy of portraying all of Israel as "Palestine," two recent Facebook posts by the PA National Security Forces presented Israeli cities Haifa and Acre as "Palestine" and "occupied."
Posted text: "A photo from Palestine The old Wadi Nisnas neighborhood of Haifa"
[Facebook page of the PA National Security Forces, Nov. 3, 2015]
Posted text: "Good evening occupied Acre" [Facebook page of the PA National Security Forces, Nov. 1, 2015]
A few days ago, PA Chairman Abbas himself referred to all of Israel as an "occupation," and asked the UN Human Rights Council "how long this protracted Israeli occupation of our land [should] last?"
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA has presented all of Israel as "Palestine" numerous times. The PA does this on maps in schoolbooks, maps in the offices of PA officials and maps in public places, such as sculptures in town squares showing maps of Israel and the PA areas, depicted as "Palestine."
PMW: Songs promoting violence become Palestinian hits
Popular song in Ramallah: "I'm coming towards you, my enemy, We're going down from every house with cleavers and knives"
For months, Fatah-run TV playing song famous for motivating Palestinians to attack Israelis:
"The revolution of a people holding rocks... Allah is with us. He is stronger and greater than the Children of Zion"
Songs that encourage Palestinians to use "cleavers and knives" against Israelis, riot, and throw rocks, are being heard in the streets of Ramallah and are popular among Palestinian youth:
"The owner of the stall selling discs on Al-Irsal Street [in Ramallah] said that the discs of national songs make up 90% of his sales at the moment because the prevailing national sentiment causes people to buy them... From another stall near the El-Bireh cultural center the song 'I come out to you, my enemy, from every home, neighborhood and street' is heard." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 2, 2015]
The song "I come out to you, my enemy, from every home, neighborhood and street" was posted by Abbas' Fatah movement on its Facebook page already in November last year, only a few days after terrorists murdered 5 Israelis in a synagogue with butchers' knives and guns as documented by Palestinian Media Watch. As reported in the PA daily, that song is very popular at the moment, along with other "national songs." The lyrics of the popular song include the following call to butcher "the enemy":
"I'm coming towards you, my enemy, We're going down from every house with cleavers and knives,
With grenades we announced a popular war. I swear, you won't escape, my enemy, from the revolution and the people. How will you escape the ring of fire, while the crowds are blocking the way?"
[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Nov. 22, 2014]
Michael Lumish: Judenrat: Beinart
Peter Beinart is a Judenrat.
This is to say, he acts as an agent and intermediary of the enemies of the Jewish people while claiming to be a friend to the Jewish people. This is not to say that Beinart is disingenuous. I have no reason to doubt that he believes every word he says.
Recently, at the rather non-traditional Beth Chayim Chadashim Progressive synagogue in Los Angeles, he said this:
While we condemn Palestinian violence, we must recognize this painful truth: that Israeli policy has encouraged it," Beinart told his audience. "Israel has encouraged it by penalizing Palestinian nonviolence, by responding to that nonviolence by deportations, teargas, imprisonment, and the confiscation of Palestinian lands. Hard as it is to say, the Israeli government is reaping what it has sowed.
Can we agree that anyone who justifies violence against the Jewish people in the Middle East by the much larger hostile Muslim majority is not a friend to either Israel or the Jewish people? And why do I get the sense that of all the peoples on the planet, it is only Jewish people who are forced to even ask the question?
There is no other people, or nationality, who, if under attack by a long-standing enemy, gives the benefit of the doubt to those within that nation who justify, and thereby encourage, the violence against his or her own people.
Shmuley Boteach: Roger Waters' unnatural preoccupation with Jews
In a lengthy interview with Rolling Stone magazine this week, former Pink Floyd front man and Israel-hating obsessive Roger Waters demonstrated his all-consuming preoccupation with the Jews.
He speaks about watching Jewish Life Television late at night and reading about “old local Jewish ladies” who organize protests against him. Like most anti-Semites, he peddles central Jewish coordination theories, asserting that pro-Israel efforts, such as this very column, are organized by the prime minister of Israel’s office. “Hasbara, the arm of the Prime Minister’s Office that we all know starts with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. It’s very organized, and I see it all over my Facebook page all the time. It’s this hugely organized thing.”
But for all his loathing of Israel, including flying pigs with Mogen Dovids on them as his concerts, comparing Israel to Nazi Germany and Israel’s policies to the Holocaust, and publicly condemning far more successful performers such as Jon Bon Jovi for performing in Israel, Rogers insists he is not a Jew-hater. “It’s not the Israeli people, not Jews, not Judaism. I would never dream of attacking them.”
It’s a refrain from that Waters has peddled many times before, including an open letter to the UK’s Daily Telegraph last year. “It is not, however, true that I am an anti-Semite or that I am against the Israeli people. I am neither of those. I am a critic of the policies of this government of Israel.”
Don’t believe him. Here’s why.

Elliott Abrams: Kerry, Rabin, the PLO, and the “Peace Process”
This is a 2015 version of the medieval “blood libel,” a central feature of anti-Semitism for centuries. So this is what the PLO is making of its observer status in the UN: instead of working for peace, it works to spread hatred of Jews. I spent a few minutes on-line today looking for the repercussions of these despicable claims, and sure enough you can easily find them being repeated all around the globe.
Legally the United States is required to permit a PLO mission to the UN, I believe, but there is no reason to have a PLO mission in Washington. It does nothing to advance peace–not when the ambassador of the PLO to the UN is spreading anti-Semitic hate and the head of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, is saying things like this: “Al-Aksa is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet.” And this: “Each drop of blood that was spilled in Jerusalem is pure blood as long as it’s for the sake of Allah. Every shahid (martyr) will be in heaven and every wounded person will be rewarded, by Allah’s will.”
Rabin would have been completely familiar with the lies, the incitement, and the terrorism we now see, having experienced all of them. His own daughter said years ago that he wasn’t a “blind man” and would have reacted to it all. We honor Rabin by honoring his dedication to Israel’s security, not by appropriating his name for administration policy at a moment when Israel is once again facing exactly the conduct from which he spent his life defending his country.
Elliott Abrams: Accuracy, Settlements, and The New York Times
In an editorial on November 6th about Israeli-US. relations, The New York Times states as fact something that is simply false: “new settlements have been pursued so aggressively by Mr. Netanyahu that the land available for a Palestinian state may already be foreclosed.”
Secretary of State Kerry has made similar statements recently, and it is quite remarkable that such a fact question can be gotten so wrong. First, the term “new settlements” has a meaning: it does not mean expansion of existing settlements, nor the creation of a hilltop outpost of a couple of trailers. There has simply not been an aggressive creation of new settlements under Mr. Netanyahu, and in fact there have been close to zero new settlements. Second, there has not even been an aggressive expansion of “old” or existing settlements. Settler populations have grown steadily, on both sides of the security fence, but the Netanyahu government has very clearly restrained that growth. Settler protests, and the fact that many settlers vote for parties other than Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud, attest to this, but more significantly so do the statistics released annually by the government of Israel. Consulting those statistical reports is apparently beyond the capacity of the Times.
Those who wish to oppose or criticize any growth in population in the settlements have reason to complain, but the claim that new settlements are quickly gobbling up all the land in the West Bank is a fantasy. It is false. The “peace map” or “Google Earth map” of the West Bank shows very little change during the Netanyahu years. It should not be too much to ask for accuracy on such points when The New York Times writes yet another of its endless and dreary attacks on the government of Israel.
ICC top court keeps ‘Mavi Marmara’ war crimes allegations against Israel alive
The International Criminal Court’s top body late Friday kept the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla war crimes allegations against Israeli commandos and war-policy- making officials alive, ruling that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda must delve deeper into the case before she closes it.
The ruling prolonged internal drama and disagreement among the ICC’s own bodies over whether to dive further into the Israeli-Arab conflict than it ever has before, which would bring Israeli soldiers closer to the real possibility of war crimes trials.
There is disagreement over the issue even within the ICC Appeals Chamber, the institution’s top body. Friday’s vote saw a razor thin 3-2 majority voting against Bensouda’s appeal to keep the case closed. In an earlier lower court ruling by the ICC Pretrial Chamber, the vote had also been split 2-1, ruling against Bensouda over how to handle the flotilla raid.
In November 2014, Bensouda closed the file, saying that while the IDF’s conduct in the incident seemed to her to display elements of war crimes, the 10 activists killed by the Israel Navy commandos simply did not constitute a high enough body count to warrant her involvement, since she focuses on mass killings.
Bensouda’s decision was to end her review of the Mavi Marmara raid at a preliminary stage, without ordering a full criminal investigation, let alone filing indictments, and was viewed by the pro-Israel side as a first ICC victory.
But the victory did not last long.
Historic case against Bank of China for millions in terror financing dismissed
Possibly the most significant and contentious terror financing case ever filed in New York has been dismissed after a bruising nine year fight, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The case against the Bank of China, one of China’s five largest state-owned banks, created massive diplomatic headaches in Israel, China and US relations.
The case, which was really two parallel cases, involved over 20 families of American victims of terror attacks which took place in Israel from 2003-2008, including the families of the murdered Daniel Wultz, Emil Almaliakh and others.
It was widely reported that the Chinese threatened to cancel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit to China in May 2013 if he did not try to help kill the case which the Israeli government originally pressed forward.
Astoundingly, the case was actually dismissed on August 27, but its dismissal has been kept under wraps by the parties with no reports about its dismissal to date.
Websites for the plaintiffs Shurat Hadin and the Wultz family either reflect that the case is ongoing or have no indication that the case has ended, but the Post started to obtain information about the closure on Friday and officially confirmed the closure on Sunday.

Four Israelis hurt in West Bank car-ramming, 2 seriously
Four Israelis were wounded, two of them seriously, in a car-ramming terror attack at Tapuah Junction in the West Bank Sunday morning.
A group of Israelis was waiting for a bus at the site. The driver approached the intersection, then accelerated into the waiting crowd, according to witnesses and police.
The wounded were all evacuated to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.
The Magen David Adom rescue service confirmed that the victims were all civilians.
The two Israelis who were seriously injured were men in their 20s. They were hospitalized in stable condition.
A woman, also in her 20s, was lightly injured in the attack. She is pregnant.
The driver, identified by authorities as 22-year-old Sleiman Shahin from Ramallah, was shot and killed by Border Police forces at the junction.
'My sense of security was destroyed in one moment'
Six-month pregnant Malka Wasserman recounts terrifying moments of car-ramming attack at Tapuach Junction.
Injured terror victim Malka Wasserman recounted Sunday the car-ramming attack at Tapuach Junction in Samaria, in which three others were wounded.
The six-month pregnant Wasserman is a resident of Elon Moreh; she suffered light wounds to her stomach in the attack.
"We were standing at Tapuach Junction. I wanted to get to Elon Moreh, when suddenly a car came, cut toward the intersection and rammed into us directly," Wasserman told Arutz Sheva from Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.
"He struck three of us all at once, I and two others," she added. "They were injured and I only fell after them."
"After that the shooting started; we tried to get up," Wasserman continued. "We felt that we are not safe in our own country."
 Israeli injured in stabbing attack in northern West Bank
An Israeli man was seriously injured in a stabbing attack on Sunday near the West Bank settlement of Alfei Menashe.
The victim, 48, was able to drive to a nearby IDF checkpoint after he was attacked, near the Palestinian village of Nabi Ilyas, which lies along Route 55.
Magen David Adom paramedics attended to the man before he was evacuated to Meir Hospital in the Israeli town of Kfar Saba for further treatment.
According to reports, the man said he had stopped to shop in a stall inside the Palestinian village when he was jumped by two men who stabbed him.
The assailants escaped the scene and security forces were combing the village and the surrounding area for them.
Palestinian woman stabs Israeli guard, who shoots her
One Israeli was lightly wounded in a stabbing attack at the entrance to the West Bank city of Beitar Illit.
The wounded Israeli was a civilian security guard in his 20s, who was posted to the city’s main entrance road.
The attacker was identified as a Palestinian woman from Bethlehem, 22-year-old Halawa Alian.
She was shot by the victim after stabbing him, and conflicting reports first suggested she may have been killed. The IDF said she was still being treated by medics who were evacuating her to hospital.
As per police regulations, the woman lay on the sidewalk until a police sapper team confirmed she was not wearing an explosive device. Only then were medics allowed to treat her.
'I fought to be a combat soldier, now I'm fighting for life'
Orel Ozeri, the 20-year-old soldier seriously injured in a car-ramming and stabbing near Gan Shmuel last month, has spoken out for the first time about the attack and her recovery.
"I was in a coma for 13 days, sedated, breathing through a ventilator and teetering between life and death," Ozeri told Yedioth Ahronoth. "It was a miracle [I survived.]
"I was training near Hevron and made my way back to my base in the north," she recounted. "I was waiting at a bus stop near Gan Shmuel when I saw an elderly couple. I gave them my place to sit, and in the meantime spoke on the phone with a friend."
"When I hung up, the terrorist rammed into me hard."
The terrorist, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, drove his car quickly toward the bus stop, ran over Ozeri, got out and stabbed three other people before he was neutralized by security forces.
"I felt the blow and flew a couple meters forward," Ozeri described. "The terrorist hit me several times with his vehicle and the next thing I remember is all the people around me at the hospital in the intensive care unit. I was in shock. I woke up to a completely different reality."
Top commander: Lack of PA supervision fueling terror
Ayoush (Transliteration of 'Judea-Samaria' in Hebrew - ed.) Square outside of Beit El has become the center of hostilities once again during this terror wave - as it did during the Second Intifada.
A top IDF official reflected on the square's significance Sunday.
"Even during Operation Protective Edge, there was nothing here that showed that Ayoush Square is a symbol for Palestinians," Col. Yisrael Shumar, commander of the Binyamin Brigade, reflected in an interview with Army Radio on Sunday afternoon. "This is the entrance to Ramallah, the main government for the Palestinian Authority."
"They [the PA - ed.] had an interest in keeping the place clean and quiet," he said. "But right now they do it less."
The lack of PA supervision has ignited the region, he added, noting that the PA's incitement had provided fuel for a generation of young terrorists.
Palestinians are turning themselves in to PA
Two Palestinians wanted by Israel for acts of terror have turned themselves in to Palestinian authorities and are thus likely to escape Israeli prison.
Israeli police make formal extradition requests to the Palestinian Authority, including for terrorist suspects, but in the vast majority of cases in recent years the PA rejected them. But it did detain the suspects for extended periods of time, particularly when they are in the ranks of Hamas.
The main reason the Palestinians don't extradite suspects to Israel – even those believed to have murdered or attempted to murder Israelis – is concern that Mahmoud Abbas's security forces will be seen as traitors who collaborate with Israel. For example, two months ago Palestinian police officers were dismissed after forcibly arresting Palestinian demonstrators in Bethlehem.
"They both apparently knew they were being searched for by Israeli intelligence and realized it would be better to turn themselves in to the Palestinian forces," said security sources. "We are not seeing the 'revolving door' phenomenon we had in the second intifada, when the PA would detain terrorists for a few hours and release them. Someone who is arrested today can be imprisoned for years, but if he's not tried, as soon as he gets out Israel arrests him and puts him on trial."
Sources in the defense establishment have emphasized shortcomings – Palestinian security forces are working around the clock to avoid further escalation and arrest Hamas operatives in coordination with Israel, but according to senior officials their actions are insufficient. "These suspects can spend a long time in Palestinian prison without a sentence, and in the end they are released," said a source.
JPost Editorial: Camera ready
There is perhaps no clearer illustration of how warped is the Palestinian view on the issue of the Temple Mount itself and the historic Jewish connection with it than the words of Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti Muhammad Hussein.
This Islamic scholar recently declared to his interviewer on Channel 2 that the biblical Adam built the Dome of the Rock shrine, which has been an Islamic place of worship since “3,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago.”
He denies that there was ever a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, which he says has been an Islamic holy site “since the creation of the world.”
It seems Muslim clarity regarding the site has been lost over the years. In 1924, Jerusalem’s Supreme Muslim Council published a guide to al-Haram al-Sharif (the noble sanctuary), the Arabic name for the Temple Mount. The English version, available online, states, “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.” It also describes the construction of the Dome of the Rock, completed in 691 CE, and of the Aksa Mosque two years later.
US pressure on the PA to stop incitement and end the violence should include bolstering Jordan’s role in restoring the peace, which will best be served by installing the surveillance cameras. They are an objective way to refute Palestinian incitement alleging Israel’s violation of Muslim sensibilities on the Temple Mount. Video cameras around the Mount providing 24/7 live coverage of the place should be publicly accessible to all the world on an Internet site – just like the Western Wall’s Kotel Cam. The times clearly demand an Aksa Cam.
Al-Aqsa preacher: Israel 'lying' about Temple Mount
A preacher at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday accused Israel of “lying” when it says the Temple Mount is holy to Jews.
The preacher, Mohammed Salim, declared that the compound belongs solely to Muslims, claiming that the proof is in its name “Al-Aqsa” (lit. the extreme). In light of this “fact”, claimed Salim, the question is “how the Jews are lying about their sovereignty and claim that the Temple stood on this mountain?”
Salim stressed that the Muslims are the sole owners of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and that praying in it is the right of Muslims. Control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the entry of Muslims is a matter of their own and no one has the authority to intervene but Muslims, said he added.
Salim also said that the Jews perform rituals in the area that “defile” the Al-Aqsa Mosque. He claimed that Muslims around the world are completely opposed to Israel's steps on the Temple Mount, and they demand to restore the situation in the period that existed before the 1967, when the area was under Arab and Muslim rule.
Protesters in Jordan: Sever ties with Israel
Protests in support of the current Palestinian Arab “intifada” and against Israel continue in Jordan. On Friday, immediately after weekly prayers in the mosques, a massive rally was held in the city of Zarqa, east of Amman.
The protesters, who responded to calls from the Islamic Movement, waved Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flags and expressed support for the “Palestinian struggle”.
Ayman Abu al-Rub, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Jordan, congratulated the young people involved in the intifada, and said that the intifada would continue despite the machinations and efforts to stop it, and stressed that the Jordanian people would continue to support it.
"People must continue with popular activities expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people and that's the least we must do for the sake of the Palestinian cause," said Abu al-Rub.
He repeated his call for the Jordanian government to stop the normalization with Israel, sever relations with it, expel the Israeli ambassador and take concrete actions to stop Israel’s "attacks" on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Islamists lead pro-intifada protest in Tunisian capital
Hundreds of Tunisians, including political figures, gathered in the capital Tunis Saturday for a demonstration in support of the Palestinian "uprising" (or "intifada") against Israel, reported AFP.
The protest was organized by the Islamist Ennahda party, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and which won the first elections in the country only to be forced to step down later.
The demonstrators assembled under close police surveillance in the city's main thoroughfare, Bourguiba Avenue, waving Tunisian and Palestinian flags as well as that of the Hamas terrorist group.
Ennahda MP Sahbi Atig said: "This is essentially a symbolic action to show our support for the Palestinian cause and uprising."
Houcine Jaziri, who had been in an Ennahda-led coalition government, said: "We are all united behind the Palestinian cause."
AP Captions: 'Incidents' in Hebron
Multiple Associated Press photo captions yesterday obscured Palestinian attacks in Hebron Friday by vaguely referring to "three incidents" or "three assaults" without any indication as to who perpetrated what against whom. For example, there were the two captions below:
The caption states:
Israeli soldiers stand guard after the military blocked the road with an earth berm at one of the exits of the West Bank city of Hebron, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. Three incidents took place Friday in Hebron, the West Bank's largest city, which has been the main area of friction in recent weeks. Hundreds of combat troops guard about 850 Jewish settlers in the center of Hebron where they live amid tens of thousands of Palestinians.
This caption states:
Israeli soldiers stand outside a Palestinian house during a search near the Tel Rumeida settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015. Three assaults took place Friday in Hebron, the West Bank's largest city, which has been the main area of friction in recent weeks. Hundreds of combat troops guard about 850 Jewish settlers in the center of Hebron where they live amid tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Who assaulted whom and how? Maybe Israeli soldiers, featured in these images, assaulted the Palestinian residents? Or the Jewish settlers, which the captions make a point to mention, assaulted Palestinians?
Bad tidings await Netanyahu on US trip
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be getting what he wants out of his trip to Washington, according to White House sources who spoke with the New York Times on Friday.
The sources claimed that Israel would not be getting an increased compensation package from the US government. Netanyahu is due to take off for Washington on Sunday in order to meet US President Barack Obama, the first meeting between the two since the signing of the Iran nuclear deal.
One of Netanyahu's central goals for the trip was to strike an agreement on a new defense deal for Israel for the next decade, including compensation Israel was supposed to receive in light of the Iran deal.
The White House sources noted that the issue would not come up in the meeting between Netanyahu and Obama, and furthermore claimed that any compensation would not be increased as had been suggested in earlier reports.
"There is no justification for an increased compensation package, especially in light of the Federal budget cuts and the current battle in Congress over the 'wastage' of the US government," a White House source said.
It was reported this week that Israel requested that the US raise its yearly security assistance sum from the current $3 billion to $5 billion. Israel's first proposal was leaked to Reuters by an Israeli source.
According to the document, Israel had been pushing for the desired $5 billion yearly aid package to run for 10 years – amounting to a total sum of $50 billion. Obama is not expected to authorize this agreement, instead granting Israel a billion dollars less.
Also overshadowing the forthcoming meeting are the soured relations between Jerusalem and Washington following Netanyahu's repeated attacks on the Iran deal, as well as his speech to Congress on the matter.
White House closes door on Pollard aliya
US president Barack Obama will not take action to enable Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard to move to Israel following his expected parole in less than two weeks, Obama's deputy national security adviser for strategic communication Ben Rhodes told Israeli reporters in a briefing late Thursday night.
Pollard is set to be released from prison after serving 30 years of a life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally on November 20, the US Parole Commission announced July 28. The conditions of Pollard's parole have not yet been released but they are expected to include a ban on him leaving the US for five years and he is to be forbidden from giving interviews.
It was still unclear Saturday whether Pollard's release will take place on Friday November 20 or on Saturday November 21, 30 years since his arrest. Pollard keeps Shabbat but it was unclear whether he will be released Friday to enable him to spend Shabbat outside of prison.
When Pollard's parole was announced, his lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, wrote that Obama has the constitutional power of executive clemency, which grants him the authority to commute Pollard's sentence to time served and allow him to leave the United States and move to Israel immediately. They urged the president to exercise that power.
But Rhodes made clear when asked by reporters that Obama would not take such action on Pollard's behalf, saying that the president does not interfere in American legal procedures.
Reform Jews cheer Joe Biden’s criticism of settlements — and his support for Israel
Thousands of Reform Jews cheered Vice President Joe Biden’s criticism of Israeli settlements, but were even more boisterous in applauding his pledge to fight the delegitimization of Israel and to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.
In a keynote address to 5,000 people at the 2015 Biennial of the Union for Reform Judaism on Saturday night, Biden acknowledged disagreements between the Obama administration and Israeli government over settlements and the Iran deal. But, he added, the “core of our alliance is as strong as steel.”
“No one, president or prime minister, can alter that no matter what they do,” Biden said.
Biden stressed the need to turn the focus on the Iran deal to ensuring that Tehran lives up to its commitments. The vice president pledged that if Iran tries to cheat, sanctions will snap back. If the Islamic Republic does cheat, he added, all options including the “use of military force” remain on the table for stopping any future Iranian pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
“We simply will not,” Biden said, “permit Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Period. Period.”
The audience cheered when he declared that “there is no excuse, there should be no tolerance for any member or employee of the Israeli administration referring to the president of the United States in derogatory terms. Period. Period. Period. Period.”
The comment appeared to be a reference to Ran Baratz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pick to serve as his media chief. After announcing the potential appointment, it surfaced that Baratz, a former university lecturer, posted on Facebook in March that Obama’s reaction to Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was “modern anti-Semitism.” He also has mocked Secretary of State John Kerry and President Reuven Rivlin.
“Not withstanding those terrible comments,” Biden said, “no one, no one, no one can undermine our relationship and the security of the Jewish and democratic State of Israel.”
Baratz has apologized — both for the comments and for not informing Netanyahu about them. For his part, the prime minister has criticized the comments but has not backed off his plans to appoint Baratz.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Baratz Retracts: ‘OK, Kerry DOESN’T Have Brains Of 12-Year-Old’ (satire)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s newly appointed Media Adviser walked back this morning derogatory comments he had made about US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying that, contrary to what he had previously remarked, he does not in fact believe that the secretary has the mental capacity of a preteen.
Pundits and politicians alike have criticized Netanyahu’s selection of Dr. Ran Baratz for the position, noting various statements Baratz had made about President Reuven Rivlin and about the two senior American officials. Baratz apologized for the remarks, which were made as a private citizen, calling them humor that fell flat, and promised henceforth to maintain conduct and tone worthy of the position he now holds. In addition to comparing Kerry’s intelligence to than of a twelve-year-old, Baratz had called President Obama an antisemite and poo-pooed President Rivlin’s importance. In his apology, Netayahu’s new adviser said he does not actually believe Kerry has the intelligence of a twelve-year-old, since the secretary has not demonstrated any such intelligence.
“It was a mistake I regret, and I undertake not to make such remarks again about Mr. Kerry,” said Dr. Baratz in a statement. “I apologize to twelve-year-olds everywhere for my insensitivity.”
Former president Yitzhak Navon buried in state ceremony
Former Israeli president Yitzhak Navon, who died Friday at the age of 94, was remembered as a beloved and influential figure Sunday in a funeral attended by current and former leaders of the nation.
Navon’s body lay in state from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. At 11:30 the formal ceremony began at the burial site on Mount Herzl, with speeches by President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former president Shimon Peres, cabinet members and family and friends of Israel’s fifth president.
The funeral was open to the public.
Navon’s widow, Miri, expressed gratitude at the funeral for “having won the privilege to be with you and live with you for 20 years. I had the privilege and saw the great, true love the people of this country gave you,” she said. Navon said her husband always strove for equality and fought racism, discrimination, xenophobia and all expressions of violence. “You were a real democrat, a liberal, a feminist and a fighter for justice,” she said.
Report: Lebanon arrests three people accused of 'spying for Israel'
Lebanese security forces detained three people on suspicion of spying for Israel, the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television network reported on Sunday.
According to the Lebanese security forces, a Syrian man, his Lebanese wife and another Lebanese national admitted to taking photos and filming videos of sensitive areas in southern Lebanon, as well gathering information on security personnel. The date and location of their arrest remain unknown.
Lebanese security forces are continuing in their search for others believed to be involved in the same spy network, Al-Manar reported, adding that "several Israeli spy networks have been uncovered in the country's south."
PLO launches Facebook page — in Hebrew
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s “Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society” published its first post on the social network last week.
The outreach body, founded in December 2012, explains its vision in one of its earliest posts: “Reaching a just and sustainable solution to the Middle East conflict depends on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel on the basis of the 4 June 1967 lines and a just and agreed-upon solution to the refugee problem on the basis of UN resolution 194.”
Titled “Palestine in Hebrew,” the page’s messages are geared toward Israelis and their concerns, telling them, “The occupation is the enemy, oppressing our lives and corrupting yours.”
It employs hashtags, a kind of tagging that sorts posts by searchable subjects, that urge Israelis to act politically, such as “#be_responsible_end_the_occupation.”
And it includes high-production-value videos that counter Israeli perceptions of international moves taken by the Palestinian Authority in recent years, such as explaining in Hebrew that “the appeal to the UN” for recognition of a state of Palestine “was never meant to isolate Israel or hurt its legitimacy, but to emphasize the illegitimacy of the occupation that began in 1967 in order to end it.”
It also carries a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The page had a scant 179 “likes” by Sunday morning, though millions of Israelis are on Facebook, by far the most popular social network among Hebrew speakers.
Germany said to still pay pensions of Spain’s Nazi volunteers
Seventy years on, the German government is continuing to pay the pensions of Spanish soldiers who volunteered to fight alongside the Nazis during World War II, the UK’s Telegraph reported Thursday.
According to the report, Berlin is still honoring a 1962 agreement struck with Spanish Dictator Francisco Franco, who actively encouraged fighters to join Spain’s Blue Division, a volunteer army that assisted in the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.
As part of the agreement, Germany pays €100,000 ($109,000) annually in pensions granted to 41 soldiers and relatives of soldiers who volunteered to fight on the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1943.
Left-wing German MP Andrej Hunko said a question he tabled during a recent parliamentary discussion triggered the official admission from Berlin disclosing the ongoing pension payments.
“It’s a scandal that nearly 70 years after the war ended, Germany continues to pay more than €100,000 per year to Nazi collaborators,” The Telegraph reported Hunko as saying.
Jewish Student in Melbourne Faces Online Antisemitic Onslaught From Peers on Facebook
A Jewish student in Melbourne [Australia] was harassed with an an onslaught of antisemitic social media abuse after she asked a closed group of students on Facebook to be less offensive, the UK Daily Mail reported on Thursday.
“It’s really quite rude and offensive. Again, I don’t want to get s*** for this post so please don’t comment offensive things and just think about what could offend people. Thanks,” the student, from Bialik College in east Melbourne, wrote in a closed Australian high school group on Facebook called VCE DiscussionSpace.
But what followed the student’s plea for a more civil space, however, was a barrage of antisemitic jokes and puns about gas chambers and the Holocaust, for all 40,000 members of VCE DiscussionSpace to see.
“Jew really need to lighten up,” one student wrote. “I gas you don’t like my joke,” said another. “I apologise, please don’t be Fürhious about it,” taunted a third. Most of the students in the group are in 11th or 12th grade.
Lest we forget
Next week, on the night between November 9 and 10, the Workers' Party in the northern Swedish city of Umeå is arranging a rally in memory of Kristallnacht. Although this sounds like an honorable and well-meaning initiative, it has been met by a fair amount of criticism and pushback from media outlets and members of the Jewish community.
The organizers of the event "Umeå against Nazism" have chosen not to invite Umeå's Jewish community, nor will any Jewish speakers appear at the event. When members of that community contacted the main organizer, Jan Hägglund, a member of Umeå's local council for the Workers' Party, they were told that Jews had been excluded from the memorial because "they might perceive it as an unwelcoming or even unsafe situation."
"In previous years, we have had a lot of Palestinian flags at these rallies, and even one banner where the Israeli flag was equated with a swastika. The Jewish community wasn't invited because we assumed they might be uncomfortable around that sort of thing."
Beyond that, the Facebook page promoting the event has also made sure the Jews are far from front and center on November 9, but chooses instead to highlight the issue of immigration and racism in general, making the pogroms against Jews a mere afterthought.
The organizers of a Kristallnacht-memorial in the town of Uppsala are guilty of a similar "oversight" as they advertise the event "Commemoration of Kristallnacht" without mentioning Jews or synagogues even once. Their description of Kristallnacht reads: "On the night between November 9 and 10 in 1938, 91 people were killed, 3,000 people were sent to concentration camps and 1,000 temples were destroyed." Just like that, Jews are turned into random people and synagogues are miscellaneous temples, diluting the memory they claim to want to honor.
Winnipeg Jews and Filipinos to Gather for Joint Kristallnacht Commemoration, Pay Homage to Role of Philippines in Rescue of Jews During Holocaust
For the first time ever, an annual event held in Winnipeg, Canada, to mark the anniversary of Kristallnacht will be attended by the Canadian city’s Filipino community, the Winnipeg Free Press (WFP) reported on Thursday.
On Monday, the Winnipeg Jewish community will be honoring the role of the Philippines in the rescue of Jews following the fateful pogrom, also known as the “Night of Broken Glass.”
The event, called the “Philippine-Jewish Connection,” is taking place at the Asper Jewish Community Campus on Nov. 9, which marks the anniversary of Kristallnacht. On that date 77 years ago (Nov, 9-10, 1938), an estimated 100 Jews were murdered, and another 30,000 sent to concentration camps by paramilitary forces in Germany and Austria, who also destroyed 7,000 Jewish businesses, ransacked schools and burned down hundreds of synagogues.
Following the widely reported pogrom, “It became clear that German and Austrian Jews were no longer safe in their homes and would need to seek shelter elsewhere. But the doors to elsewhere largely remained closed,” wrote the WFP.
With innovative tire, Israeli start-up reinvents the wheel
Google and Apple are working on cars that drive themselves, and the rest of the auto industry is touting smart, Internet-connected cars. But while the upper part of the car – the engine, passenger compartment, and body – have been upgraded over the years, little if anything has been done to improve tire technology.
But that is about to change, thanks to an innovation developed by Israeli start-up Galileo Wheel. According to CEO Alon Hayka, Galileo has “developed the first innovation in tire technology in five decades. One hundred years ago the bias (diagonal) ply tire was invented, and fifty years ago they developed the radial tire. We have a new design that will solve many of the problems with tires, especially for agricultural, industrial, and military use.”
Once Galileo conquers those fields, the company will turn its attention to the huge consumer market – specifically to owners of SUVs and recreational Jeep-style vehicles, said Hayka. “Our design is ideal for use on and off road, because it provides better control, a wider footprint, more stability, and the ability to transform between tire and track mode, depending on what terrain the vehicle is riding on.”
Using its proven technology – in the past, Galileo tire designer and Chief Technology Officer Avishay Novoplanski developed designs for tires that could climb stairs – the company recently turned its attention to the $10 billion agriculture vehicle business, designing tires for tractors, farm trucks, and other other agricultural vehicles. Galileo, along with Mitas, a Czech company that is one of the world’s largest producers of tires for agricultural vehicles, produced a beta model for the commercial market, which Hayka believes will be on the market in the next year or so.
Israel, Jordan, Close to Issuing Bid for Red Sea–Dead Sea Canal
Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom said that Israel and Jordan have completed the formulation of an international tender to dig the Red Sea–Dead Sea canal and it will be published soon, Israel Radio reported. The planned canal will pass through Jordan’s territory and run 4.25 billion cubic ft. of water annually into the Dead Sea from the Gulf of Eilat. Of that, 2.85 billion cubic ft. will be desalinated in Israel, and Jordan will receive more than a quarter of the desalinated water.
Minister Shalom made the announcement at a reception for some 170 Jordanian citizens who started working in hotels in Eilat. More than 1,000 Jordanians are expected to join them soon, replacing the Sudanese and Eritreans migrant workers currently employed in the city’s hotels.
The historic Red Sea–Dead Sea canal project began with a memorandum of understanding signed in Washington by Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian Authority leaders on Dec. 9, 2013.
The “Two Seas Canal” will be a conduit (via pipes and brine canal) running from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. It will provide potable water to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, bring sea water to stabilize the Dead Sea water level and generate electricity to support the energy needs of the project. The canal project is part of the plans to create institutions for economic cooperation between Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians, in the Dead Sea and through the Jordan Valley.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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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