Monday, November 09, 2015

From Ian:

Likud politicians slam Zoabi for Israel-Nazi comparisons at Holocaust event
Firebrand MK Hanin Zoabi of the Joint (Arab) List was bitterly criticized by leading Likud politicians for a speech at a Holocaust memorial event Sunday in Amsterdam, where she equated Nazi Germany’s genocide against the Jews to current Israeli policies toward Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.
Zoabi’s speech, which included allegations that Israel was engaged in ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, drew ire from senior Likud politicians, who castigated the lawmaker’s attendance at the event marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht and one of whom demanded she be removed from the Knesset.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely on Monday called Zoabi’s participation in the event “a mockery,” and said the Israeli Arab MK “uses the tragedy of the Jewish people to spread her slander and lies while she herself encourages terrorism and the murder of Jews.”
Zoabi also faced a backlash from Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who told Channel 10 Sunday evening that her speech should be grounds for her removal from the Knesset. Levin described Zoabi as a “fifth column” and called on the High Court to disqualify her from serving in the Knesset. (h/t Max Mendelbaum)
Scandal: Jews not invited to Swedish Kristallnacht commemoration
The organizers of an anti-Nazi event in Sweden face controversy Monday, after declining to invite the Jewish community to the event.
"Umeå against Nazism" will run in the city of Umeå on Tuesday and Wednesday, commemorating Kirstallnacht, or the "Night of Broken Glass," the massive 1938 pogrom against Austrian and German Jews which is seen as marking the start of the holocaust.
But, absurdly, Jews will not be invited.
The organizers claim that inviting the Jewish community presents a security risk, reports, citing anti-Semitic and anti-Israel protests present at past events.
"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," organizer and local Workers' Party member Jan Hägglund told locals. "The Jewish community wasn't invited because we assumed they might be uncomfortable around that sort of thing."
Critics claim that Hägglund's omission must be due to the crowd he invited to the event, implying that it could only be far-left or anti-Israel - thus creating the environment which justified the "security risk."
Meanwhile, the event's Facebook page appears to even downplay the Jewish community's role in the event, instead conveying a generalized, vanilla message of tolerance - not opposition to anti-Semitism.
Actress Mayim Bialik Tweets Support for Howard Stern’s Latest Attack on ‘Antisemite’ Roger Waters
Jewish actress Mayim Bialik had words of praise for radio giant Howard Stern who once again blasted Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters for his vocal anti-Israel activism.
“@HowardStern, lets discuss our shared unfashionable views on israel. Name a time. Much respect,” Bialik tweeted on Sunday.
She was responding to comments made by Stern on his Sirius XM satellite show last week. “For some reason, it’s become very important to Roger to tell artists where to perform,” Stern said on November 3rd. “There’s so many countries with histories of abuse and slavery, but he’s very focused on Israel. To me, he comes off like an antisemite.”
According to Rolling Stone magazine, Stern noted that defending Israel “isn’t fashionable,” but urged his listeners to not be “fooled” by Waters and his anti-Israel sentiments. He said: “It is a tremendous distraction for Arab leaders to say, ‘Let’s get the Jews, let’s get Israel, it’s all their fault.’ As long as their poor people are focused on Israel they don’t wake up and realize who is stealing their money. Their lives aren’t getting any better from all this crap.”
Historians Now Claim That Roger Waters Was Once In A Band (satire)
Historians at the University of Cambridge’s King’s College dropped a bombshell this morning: that noted Anti-Semitic crank outspoken critic of Israeli policies Roger Waters was once in a popular band that played music that people enjoyed listening to. The Daily Freier spoke by phone with Professor of Contemporary British History Baba Booey for details on this breakthrough discovery.
“This is really quite remarkable, but prior to being known for drawing the Star of David on pigs and being creepily obsessed with Bar Rafaeli, Mr. Waters was in a rather successful band known as ‘Pink Floyd’ during the latter half of the 20th Century.” Professor Booey continued. “Archival history from the pre-Internet era seems to indicate that young people would often paint their dormitory walls with fluorescent paint, turn on blacklights, and play this music on a constant loop. Apparently marijuana may have been involved. And unlike Mr. Waters’ current manifestation, this early ‘proto-Waters’ seemed to enrich the lives of others and actually make people happy. Fascinating, really.”
Professor Booey then played a sample of Mr. Waters’ early music for the Daily Freier. The music was rather excellent, although it was a bit derivative of Syd Barrett’s works.

Watch: Naftali Bennett's 'most anti-Israel interview ever'
Israel's Education Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett has been through plenty of interviews with international media outlets, many of them overtly hostile.
But none as hostile as one published Sunday with DW's Conflict Zone host Tim Sebastian, he said.
The 25-minute interview includes a relentless grilling of the Minister, who maintains his composure despite some provocative questions.
Among other points, Bennett insisted that the conflict will continue indefinitely until "the Muslim world accepts Israel's right to exist -we were here way before Islam ever started."
He also repeated his strong opposition to the formation of a 23rd Arab "Palestinian" state in Judea and Samaria.
Bennett vs. Sebastian - Fighting for Israel in hostile interview (h/t Yenta Press)

New docs reveal Third Grade Anti-Israel event much worse than thought
On Friday morning, September 18, 2015, the third grade classes at the Beverly J. Martin School in Ithaca, NY, heard a presentation on “human rights” by Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi and local anti-Israel activists, including Ariel Gold of the local chapter of the anti-Israel Jewish Voice for Peace.
On Sunday night, September 20, Legal Insurrection broke the story, Anti-Israel activism hits elementary school in Ithaca, NY. Because of Tamimi’s notoriety for exploiting children in videotaped confrontations with Israeli soldiers, Tamimi’s mere appearance in a third grade class raised suspicions about the event.
After our report, a firestorm of controversy erupted, with the Superintendent of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD), Dr. Luvelle Brown, conducting an investigation, after which he issued a statement that the event was “politically skewed, inflammatory, and not endorsed by the Ithaca City School District.”
The Superintendent’s statement, though, contained few details of his investigation.
But now Legal Insurrection exclusively has obtained documents pursuant to a Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) request that show the event was even worse than we thought.
While numerous documents, including a video of the event, have been withheld by ICSD, what was produced is enough to declare without doubt that the event was an anti-Israel presentation in which both the activists and the teacher leading the discussion skewed the conversation against Israel to the extent that one or more students were incited to express hatred of Israel.
The reaction to Brown’s statement from anti-Israel activists was furious, with JVP national launching a petition drive claiming the statement was part of an effort to silence Palestinian voices. The activists involved claimed that the event was just about peaceful coexistence and was not anti-Israel. Based on those activists’ representations, a letter writing campaign was launched demanding that Brown retract his criticism of the event. We now know that these complaints about the Superintendent’s handling were not based on fact.
Europe – and echoes from the past
As a million anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist migrants flood Europe they find a host continent in support of their anti-Israel passion.
As Jews commemorate Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazi brown-shirts burnt Jewish books, burnt down synagogues with Jews inside, and led a boycott against Jewish businesses; European politicians are drafting a plan to stick another Yellow Star on Jewish products from Judea & Samaria.
They call it 'labeling West Bank products' but this takes no account of the fact that, as a result of any permanent peace agreement which is impossible given the anti-Semitic, rejectionist and violent character of the Palestinians, both the Barkan and Mishor Adumim industrial areas will remain as an integral part of Israel.
These factories give gainful employment to hundreds of Arabs who work alongside Israeli Jews.
Yet, the European Union seeks to brand Israel with a discrimination they fail to employ against any other country.
They take no consideration of the fact that they were witnesses, in effect guarantors, of the Oslo Accords that gave Israel the authorized civil and military administration over what is known as Area C in the disputed territories.
When their double standard and delegitimization tactics are used exclusively against the Jewish state it can only been seen by fair-minded thinkers as a resurrection of European Kristallnacht.
Europe a lost cause for Israel? Not so fast
Europe, many Israeli and American Jews will tell you, is a lost cause as far as Israel is concerned. With anti-Israel sentiment more virulent than ever, illustrated among other things in the European Union's shameless move to label Jewish-made goods from Judea-Samaria, most non-European supporters of Israel would argue there's simply no hope.
But the participants at last week's First Jerusalem Leaders Policy Summit would beg to differ.
The Summit brought together dozens of conservative politicians and experts from the United States, Europe, Israel and India, for what was more than a simple show of solidarity with Israel at a difficult time. As its key organizer told Arutz Sheva last week, the Summit's purpose was twofold: highlighting and cementing Israel's common cause and shared values with other democracies, while simultaneously charting a common strategy for dealing with mutual threats.
Among the panelists who took part in the two-day event was a sizable contingent of ardent supporters of Israel from an unlikely source: the European Parliament.
Each of the European Parliament Members (MEPs) I spoke to stressed that while the EU may currently be dominated by anti-Israel voices, a strong and outspoken group of primarily conservative MEPs were standing up for the Jewish state - and they represent no small number of European citizens whose support Israel can and should enlist to mount a fightback.
A Conversation With Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Firebrand Minister of Justice
Ayelet Shaked is an anomaly in Israeli politics. She’s a successful female politician in a landscape governed almost entirely by the male graduates of the Israel Defense Forces’ elite units. She’s a secular woman who had ascended the ranks of a religious party. And she’s a computer programmer who found herself, after a brief and meteoric rise, as Israel’s minister of justice.
Her candor is real. After having served as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office director between 2006 and 2008, Shaked eventually found it hard to keep her criticism of the Likud party private, choosing instead to abandon her political home and join The Jewish Home, the religious Zionist party led by her friend and political partner Naftali Bennett. Her outspoken opinions and assertive style first won her a seat in the Knesset and, eventually, her own portfolio, not to mention the disdain of many in Israel’s media and academic elites.
The ire of her ideological opponents wasn’t far from the minister’s mind when we met last month at her hotel suite in Washington, D.C. She had just finished speaking before hundreds of Israeli-Americans, brought together by the Israeli American Council. Or perhaps “speaking” is a misleading term: Shaked was interviewed on stage by Israeli TV anchor Dana Weiss, who delighted at subjecting the young minister to an all-female Israeli modern-day version of Frost/Nixon. Shaked held her own, tackling one tough question after another. Back in her quarters, shortly before midnight, she seemed relieved to be away from the stage. Hers is the kind of politics that works best one-on-one, and she spoke candidly about everything from her disdain for J Street to her strong opinions on the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She was too tired to struggle in English, even though her command of the language is good. The translation below is mine.
JCPA: Do the Palestinians Want Two States?
Israel, along with its efforts to bring an end to the wave of terror, has been busying itself with a series of historiosophical questions such as: Will the war last forever? (Apparently for as long as the Palestinians cling to their far-reaching demands and to the above-described strategy of struggle.) What is the connection between the Palestinians and the Holocaust? What would Rabin have done had he not been assassinated? (He was very distant from the whims of Peres and the left and very suspicious of the Palestinians, especially after they hoodwinked Israel on the matter of the “Oslo Accords.” For him peace was a means to ensure the existence and security of the nation-state of the Jewish people, as his last speech to the Knesset also makes clear.) Does the Palestinian use of the term “the Israeli people” reflect their opposition to the establishment of a nation-state for the Jewish people? Mahmoud Abbas himself has again declared that he will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He provides a plethora of excuses and three real reasons as well: such recognition would nullify the “right of return,” make it harder for the Israeli Arabs to promote Palestinian interests within the Israeli political scene, and would require a change in the Palestinian narrative. Those are exactly the reasons why Israel insists that only such recognition, which the Palestinians refuse to grant, can guarantee real peace.
In his speech to Congress in May 2011, Netanyahu did not demand that Abbas become a Zionist and recognize the Jewish people’s right to a state in the land of its forefathers. It would be sufficient, he said, for Abbas to accept that Israel is the (democratic) nation-state of the Jewish people, without connection to the question of a right. Just as many Zionists now recognize the Palestinian people’s right to a nation-state in its land in the framework of the permanent settlement, so long as it does not constitute a threat to Israel’s security, so must the Palestinians be required to recognize the Jewish people’s right to a democratic nation-state in the land of its forefathers.
The notion of being rescued from this situation by a unilateral separation, which some on the Israeli left have been raising of late, is not feasible under the current circumstances for the same reason, namely, that the Palestinians will not agree to it (see the Gaza precedent). The idea of one state, too, lacks all logic and feasibility. The only possible solution is that of two states for two peoples with mutual recognition. It has not died; it simply has not yet been born because the Palestinians, and the Europeans who support them, refuse to allow its birth.
Michael Oren: How President Obama can aid Israel's security
Senior Iranian commanders, collaborating with Hezbollah, have already tried to launch terrorist attacks against Israeli targets on the Golan. Israeli intelligence expects the number of Iranian troops in Syria to expand dramatically over the coming months, just as Hezbollah -- currently armed with 150,000 rockets -- receives many millions of dollars in sanctions relief from its sponsors in Tehran. Intimidated and outgunned, United Nations observers in the area have essentially disintegrated. For the first time in more than 40 years, the Golan could again become a catalyst for war.
That is, unless Israel is empowered to keep the peace. Controlling the Golan more than twice as long as Syria did, Israel has transformed this once-barren war zone into a hub of high-tech agriculture, world-class wineries and pristine nature reserves. In contrast to the West Bank with its large and often hostile Palestinian population, the Golan is home to a small number of Druze who are closely tied to their proudly Israeli kinsmen. Israel should continue to settle the Golan with those committed to its defense and development. And the United States has every interest in encouraging those efforts.
While hosting Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Obama could acknowledge the fact that the Golan can no longer be exchanged for peace with Syria because Syria no longer exists. He could recognize Israel's immense contributions to the region's security and the dangers that increasingly jeopardize it. By backing Israel's historic claims, the United States could send a potent message to the entire Middle East -- that the Golan Heights will never again be a battlefield.
The Defense Relationship with Israel Makes America Safer
The U.S. and Israel are far closer than many realize on our core issues. As President Obama's deputy assistant secretary of defense for Middle East policy from 2012 to 2015, I traveled to Israel over two dozen times to discuss the deepest threats to our nations and how to preserve Israel's "qualitative military edge." Last week, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter reinforced his priority that America's military must develop an insurance policy should Iran back away from the nuclear agreement.
The defense relationship with Israel makes America safer. Israel has the military and intelligence capabilities of no other nation in the Middle East. It provides the U.S. critical intelligence, joint military exercises, and technology. Defensive technological cooperation can find better ways to shoot down enemies' missiles, defend against cyber attacks, and detect weapons smuggled through tunnels on Israel's border.
The battle scars over the Iran nuclear agreement are not as deep as the shared interest in holding Iran accountable to the deal, and deterring and responding to Iran's destabilizing threats. A joint monitoring group for the Iran nuclear deal should be created. Its purpose should include discussing Iran's destabilizing activities in the region that go beyond the nuclear issue - Iran's significant conventional forces in the region, its terrorist attacks, and cyber capabilities.
U.S. officials express growing confidence bomb downed Russian plane
Sources: Israel provided intercepts
At least some of the intelligence intercepts being used to assess what happened to the jetliner came from Israeli intelligence, according to a U.S. official briefed on the intelligence, and a diplomatic source.
The communications were captured by Israeli intelligence focused on the Sinai, and passed along to the United States and Britain, the sources said.
Israeli officials would not comment on the claims.
Egyptian officials, who are in charge of the main crash investigation, have taken a more cautious line on the bomb theory, with Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of the investigation, telling reporters Saturday that "all the scenarios" remained on the table.
"We don't know what happened exactly," he said.
Muqaddam said Egypt had not been provided any information or evidence tied to reports suggesting that a bomb took down the flight, and urged the sources of the reports to pass along related evidence to Egyptian investigators.
But if some of the intelligence is Israeli in origin, it could be an impediment to intelligence sharing over the crash.
Ex-Obama official: 'Jewish power bubble' has popped
A former aide to US Secretary of State, John Kerry, used unusual – some might say, offensive – language, to describe Jewish influence in Washington.
Laura Blumenfeld, one of three Jewish former aides involved in Kerry’s failed peace negotiations, spoke on a panel at the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly, which began Sunday.
According to Haaretz, Blumenfeld – who served as Senior Policy Advisor on Kerry's Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations team from October 2013 to February 2015 – was asked about tension between the White House and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in recent years.
“There were a lot of days we spent bickering with the Israelis over what they were saying about us and what they were doing to them. I think it is part of a larger phenomenon and ties into the Jewish community,” Blumenfeld reportedly explained. “As Jews acquire more and more political power, it became almost like a housing bubble or a real estate bubble. There’s almost been a Jewish bubble and I think we saw it pop over the summer. “
Scientists at the Technion Build Turbine to Harness the Sexual Tension Between Netanyahu and Obama (satire)
Ahead of their high-profile meeting in Washington this week, a team of scientists at Haifa’s prestigious Technion Institute have managed to harness the animosity sexual tension between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama to power a small turbine on the Israeli Coast just south of Haifa. The Daily Freier attended a press conference where the lead scientists explained this fascinating breakthrough.
“It is actually a rather simple concept” explained Doctoral Student Gideon B. “The intense feelings these men have for one another actually charge the ions in the air around them with opposite yet attracting polarities. If properly captured, these ions can then generate a very powerful electric current. This current in turn spins turbines allowing us to generate several Megawatts of power, the exact level depending on whether or not Jeffrey Goldberg has published a column that day”
At this point, co-moderator Alex G. played a short video demonstrating the concept. “So in the turbine itself, we play a constant newsfeed of the two men interacting in public……OK, so here we have the two leaders awkwardly hugging on a tarmac……..And now we have them publicly contradicting one another at a joint press conference, like a bickering couple……And now we have a picture of them staring into one another’s eyes. It looks like they can’t stand each other, but it’s really a thin line between love and hate. You can literally feel the excitement in the air. I don’t know about you, but the hair on my arms are sticking out right now.”
PA 'discouraged' by White House statements on peace
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday said it was “discouraged” by recent American statements concerning the future of the peace process with Israel, the Ma’an news agency reported.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, was quoted as having told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the situation had "reached a dangerous crossroads" that could have ramifications for the entire region, and it was important for all actors to take responsibility.
He said recent United States statements did not serve toward that end, and were particularly discouraging in light of what he termed Israel's "ongoing policy of arrests and shootings without a valid reason."
The comments were a response to remarks attributed to White House officials last week. The officials, quoted in Haaretz, admitted that President Barack Obama had concluded that in his time left in office the Israelis and the Palestinians will not be able to reach a peace treaty and would, therefore, encourage Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take steps to prevent a “one-state solution” during their meeting at the White House on Monday.
The comments on the “two-state” solution come amid a continued push by Western countries for Israel and the PA to resume peace talks.
Muslims, Leftists and the Jewish Voice for Peace are among 38 groups giving Netanyahu attention while asking others to boycott him.
A whopping 38 organizations are planning to picket Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington, starting today (Monday).
One particularly thorny stop on the Prime Minister’s itinerary will be his appearance at the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP) on Tuesday, where he will be interviewed by its president Neera Tanden.
The child of Indian immigrants from Massachusetts, Tanden worked for the 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign and served as domestic policy director for President Barack Obama’s second presidential campaign.
The usual suspects – American Muslims for Palestine, the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee, Code Pink, Jewish Voice for Peace, RootsAction and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation – served up petitions with 26,300 signatures, demanding that CAP cancel the event.
These groups essentially argued that there’s no way a progressive would even dream of having a dialogue on Palestine except with Palestinians.
US retaining UNESCO board seat despite Palestine membership flap
The United States has succeeded in its bid to remain on UNESCO’s executive board, the only way to wield American power at the world’s cultural and scientific agency now that the US government is no longer funding it.
The victory follows a US diplomatic charm offensive aimed at fending off resistance to its re-election. Following a special visit by US Secretary of State John Kerry to Paris-based UNESCO, Switzerland withdrew its candidacy and a Monday morning deadline expired for others to throw their hats into the ring — paving the way for the American re-election.
The US bid to remain on the board had been expected to run into resistance after the country stopped paying its dues following the body’s decision to admit Palestine in 2011. US law prohibits contributions to international organizations that recognize Palestinian statehood.
As a result of its financial arrears, the US lost its vote in UNESCO’s general conference in 2013. The seat on the executive board was thus the last remaining formal tool of American influence at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which the US co-founded in 1945 following World War II.
Canadian Zionist Group Says New FM Dion’s Pledge to Become ‘Honest Broker’ With Israel is Concerning
The Canadian chapter of Christians United for Israel, one of the world’s largest pro-Israel groups, expressed concern over just sworn-in Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion’s promise to have Canada become an “honest broker” with Israel.
“As a candidate to become Prime Minister, [Justin] Trudeau had promised to maintain the substance of Canada’s exemplary relationship with Israel, modifying only the tone,” the group said in a statement released on Friday. “However, just sworn-in Stephan Dion promises his ministry at Foreign Afffairs will return to the role of ‘honest broker’ vis a vis Israel.”
“Israel already has many ‘honest brokers’ among the Europeans. What Israel, a democracy surrounded by terrorist states and dictatorships needs is friends it can count on,” the group said.
“Canada needs to maintain the moral clarity to differentiate between sister democracies and violent, terrorist states if it is to strengthen and help its many strong friends and allies among whom Israel has always been counted,” CUFI Canada said.
The group was responding to comments by Dion criticizing the way former Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper had conducted Israel policy. Dion said Harper made Israel a partisan issue and damaged the strength of Canada’s relationship with Israel, according to iPolitics.
1,500 Jordanians Approved to Work in Eilat, Highlighting Increased Cooperation with Israel
A group of 172 Jordanians arrived in Eilat on Thursday to begin working in that city’s hotels, an initiative of Interior Minister Silvan Shalom to bolster cooperation between Israel and its eastern neighbor. 1,500 Jordanians are expected to participate in the program.
Shalom greeted the workers Thursday saying, “This is a day of celebration for Israeli-Jordanian cooperation, a celebration for the two nations and a celebration for Eilat,” Shalom said in during the welcoming ceremony. “It is a move that will strengthen ties between Israel and Jordan, improve service in Eilat hotels and prevent illegal migrants from working in Israel.”
The program is the latest sign of increased cooperation cooperation between the two nations. Jordan’s King Abdullah, whose religious trust manages the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, recommended the installation of cameras as a means of reducing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, although the proposal hasn’t been implemented yet. And earlier this week, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon revealed that Jordanian and Israeli pilots had both participated in the Red Flag military exercises in the United States in July.
Russian weapons chief: S-300 deal with Iran has been signed
Russia and Iran have signed a contract on Moscow’s delivery of the advanced S-300 missile defense system to the Islamic Republic, Sergei Chemezov, chief executive of Russian state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec, said Monday.
“The contract on delivery of S-300 to Iran has not only been signed by the sides but has already entered into force,” Chemezov said at the Dubai Airshow-2015, according to Russian media.
One of the most sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons in the world, the S-300 is capable of tracking multiple planes at once, and some versions have an interception range of up to 200 kilometers.
Israel has long sought to block the sale to Iran of the S-300 system, which analysts say could impede a potential Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities. Other officials have expressed concern that the systems could reach Syria and Hezbollah, diluting Israel’s regional air supremacy.
The agreement would allow the delivery of five systems to Iran following a nine-year delay in the $800 million deal. Russia initially agreed to sell the system to Iran in 2007 but then balked, saying at the time it was complying with a United Nations arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.
Iran buys plane to use in Syrian war - in violation of nuke deal
An Iranian airliner was sold a commercial jet for use in aiding Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, in breach of the terms of the nuclear deal signed earlier this year.
Mahan Air, one of Iran's largest domestic and international carriers, purchased the UK-made aircraft specifically for use in ferrying Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops to and from Syria, where they and other Iranian-sponsored militias are propping up the embattled Assad regime, according to International Business Times.
Mahan Air has long been used by Tehran to transport arms and military forces to Syria. The sale of the aircraft was a blatant breach of sanctions still in place under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is referred to.
Speaking at a 2011 press briefing in Washington, D.C., US under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence David Cohen described how "Mahan Air’s close coordination with the Quds Force - secretly ferrying operatives, weapons and funds on its flights - reveals yet another facet of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' extensive infiltration of Iran’s commercial sector to facilitate its support for terrorism."
That same year the US slapped sanctions on the company, accusing it of using its planes to ferry an assassin who planned to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US.
Iran 'Rocket Kitten' cyber group hit in European raids after targeting Israeli scientists
European authorities have taken action to shut down a cyber espionage operation linked to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard in the first operation of its kind since Tehran signed a nuclear treaty, according to security researchers who located computers used to launch attacks.
The hacker group - dubbed "Rocket Kitten" by security experts who have been hunting the hacker group since early 2014 - has mounted cyber attacks on high-profile political and defense figures globally since that time.
The action is likely to hamper Tehran's efforts to gather sensitive intelligence from rivals including Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, the United States and Venezuela, which were among the nations targeted.
Researchers from US-Israeli security firm Check Point Software said the 1,600 high-profile targets include members of the Saudi royal family, Israeli nuclear scientists, NATO officials and Iranian dissidents and even the wives of high-ranking generals from unnamed countries.
US Treasury targets three entities for running military goods to Hezbollah
The US Treasury designated for sanctions three entities for procuring military equipment for Hezbollah, part of an intensified bid to isolate Iran and its proxies.
The Treasury on November 5 named Vatech SARL, a Lebanon-based company; Le-Hua Electronic Field Co., based in China; and Aero Skyone Co. Limited and Labico SAL Offshore, also based in China. Also named were the owners of the entities.
According to the Treasury, all three entities have supplied unmanned aerial vehicles and material for improvised explosive devices to Hezbollah.
Adam Szubin, the acting undersecretary of terrorism and financial intelligence, has in recent months told Israeli officials and Congress that his office is intensifying its scrutiny of Hezbollah, partly to demonstrate a commitment to monitoring Iranian disruptive activities in the wake of the July 14 Iran nuclear deal reached between Tehran and world powers.
UK academics participate in Haifa U conference, rejecting calls for academic boycott of Israel
The lecturer at the Division of International Relations in the School of Political Sciences hosted 13 academics from several leading UK universities for a weekend conference about quantitative studies of conflict in international relations.
Initiated in coordination with Prof. Kristian Gleditsch of Essex University, the forum was held against the backdrop of increasing calls for the academic boycott of Israel among many UK academics.
“There was a public discussion among the union of university lecturers regarding an academic boycott of Israel.
I thought I would do something proactive on the issue of calls for a boycott so I contacted colleagues from Haifa University and we discussed the possibility to a joint dialogue and as a result we are here,” Gleditsch said.
Lutmar and Gleditsch decided to hold the conference in Israel to promote cooperation and joint scientific research in academia.
“It is important to distinguish between politics and academic scientific research – everyone has political views but there is no place for academic boycotts,” Lutmar said.
“The fact that these professors and lecturers came to Israel does not mean they endorse the government’s policies, it doesn’t mean that they agree or disagree with them, it simply means that they reject the academic boycott of Israel – there is no connection between politics and scientific academic research,” she added.
Gleditsch said she knew of no institution to actually announce a boycott.
For the Flemish region of Belgium, Tel Aviv is in "Palestine"
Mr. Joseph still can not believe his eyes after receiving a letter from the administration of the Belgian region of West Flanders.
Mr. Joseph has a second home in Knokke-Heist, a posh seaside town on the Belgian coast.
Every year, he receives a form from the Western Flanders Directors in order to specify that it is his second home, and that form was sent to him on October 16th at his main residence in Tel Aviv.
Until now, Mr. Joseph thought he lived in Israel. But when he received the form, he had the unpleasant surprise to discover that for the Flemish administration, Tel Aviv is in ... "Palestine."
Mr. Joseph immediately sent an email of protest demanding an explanation from the administration of West Flanders for which he received an auto reply informing him that his email has "been received" and has been sent "to the competent services," and that he could "expect a response from them." (h/t Think of England)
9/11 apologist Mads Gilbert not welcome on MIT campus
The very first person killed on 9/11 was an MIT student, Daniel Lewin, someone I knew well. Before I moved to a dorm or even considered applying to MIT, I was a resident of Westgate Low-Rise, that collection of squat apartment buildings past Next House clustered around a playground. My mother was a graduate student in Course 11 in the late 1990s; Daniel and his young family lived in the apartment above mine. He became a second dad to me after my father was felled by a brain tumor, but my relationship with him was not unique. He was widely loved here on campus.
A Special Forces commando before enrolling at MIT, Daniel was a PhD in Course 6 flying to a business meeting for his startup on 9/11, and he died trying to prevent hijackers on the first plane from entering the cockpit. His startup was none other than Akamai, the Cambridge-based company he founded with Professor Leighton, which now handles up to 35 percent of all web traffic at any moment in time. MIT lost a loved community member and the planet lost a visionary, someone who by 31 years of age had already fundamentally changed the World Wide Web. Today, he is commemorated by “Danny Lewin Square” at the corner of Vassar and Main streets.
I was appalled to learn that next week, Palestine@MIT and the Arab Students Organization will host Dr. Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian physician and politician who openly supports the 9/11 attacks.
Elle, Platform for Palestinian Propaganda
In 2011, the popular fashion magazine Vogue dubbed Asma Assad, wife of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, "the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies." But that's ancient history, long before the Syrian spring, and then the long, dark Syrian winter, claimed hundreds of thousands of Syrian lives – many of them cut down by troops under her husband's command – and displaced millions, among them the massive waves of desperate souls washing up on European shores. Vogue was not the first magazine to lionize Asma in this manner. In 2009, Elle, another fashion magazine, declared her the most stylish woman in world politics.
While it's no longer fashionable to admire Ms. Assad, whitewashing of Palestinian violence is currently in vogue at Elle. Thus, on Oct. 30, 2015, Palestinian-American Karmah Elmusa describes the last few weeks, in which Palestinians have carried out dozens of stabbing, shooting and ramming attacks against Israelis, as well as violent clashes with Israeli security, as follows:
After living under occupation their whole lives, and with no prospect of political resolution on the horizon, Palestinian youth have taken to the streets this month in protest. ("I'm longing for Palestine while living the American dream")
Elle's misplaced admiration for Ms. Assad parallels Ms. Elmusa's admiration for one Dr. Mads Gilbert, whom she lionized on Twitter a few weeks ago as a "true humanitarian."
Anti-Semitic French Comic Dieudonne Suing for Right to Praise Holocaust Denier
French comic Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, inventor of the “quenelle” Nazi salute-like hand gesture, is presenting a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday, over an $11,000 fine he received for inviting a Holocaust-denier on stage.
In December 2008, Dieudonne awarded Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson with a prize at the Zenith theatre in Paris, which he later told a French court “was very funny.”
Faurisson began his career as Holocaust denier in 1974, when he sent Yad Vashem a letter arguing that there had been no genocide of Jews during World War II. He based his assertions on the testimony of Nazi officials such as Rudolf Höss. He testified in defense of Canadian-German Holocaust denier Ernst Zündel, and contributed to the “Leuchter Report,” a renowned Holocaust-denial publication. In 1978, Faurisson published “The Diary of Anne Frank — Is It Authentic?” The Dutch-language translation in 1985 already bore the modified title, “The Diary of Anne Frank — A Forgery.” The text questioned various elements of the Diary of Anne Frank, including the use of a vacuum cleaner by the Frank family in hiding.
The French judges disagreed with Dieudonne over how funny the event with Faurisson had been, saying the show had “crossed very far over the line of what is acceptable in humor,” and slapped him with the $11,000 fine.
Pope would like to visit Auschwitz, Polish president says
Pope Francis wants to visit Auschwitz when he visits Poland in July 2016, Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Monday after meeting the pontiff.
The Argentinian pope also expressed a desire to visit a celebrated Catholic shrine at Czestochowa when he visits the city of Krakow to mark World Youth Day, Duda told reporters, according to specialist Vatican news agency I-media.
The Vatican did not immediately confirm that Francis planned to visit the former Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz, which was visited by both his predecessors, Benedict XVI and John-Paul II, during their respective visits to Poland.
A Vatican statement said the pope and Duda had discussed the situation in Ukraine and the Middle East and Europe’s migrant crisis, which is a very sensitive subject in Poland.
Dep. FM heads for Munich to memorialize '72 Olympics massacre
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) will head for Munich, Germany, on Tuesday to lay the cornerstone for a memorial room for the eleven Israeli athletes murdered there in the 1972 Olympic Games.
Ahead of the trip, Hotovely met Sunday morning with two of the widows of the athletes, Anka Spitzer and Ilana Romano, as well as Esther Roth-Shahamorov, who was a member of the Israeli delegation to the 1972 Olympics.
The widows spoke with Hotovely about their slain husbands and about the ongoing struggle to memorialize them and to reveal the entire truth about the murderous terror attack.
Eleven Israeli Olympic team members were taken hostage and eventually murdered, along with a German police officer, by the Black September Palestinian terror group during the 1972 Summer Olympics. German neo-Nazis gave the attackers logistical assistance.
Local police killed five of the eight Black September members during a failed rescue attempt. They captured the three survivors, but West Germany later released them following an airliner hijacking later that year. Mossad responded to the release with Operation "Spring of Youth" and Operation "Wrath of God", tracking down and killing terrorists involved in the massacre.
London Mayor Boris Johnson tours Tel Aviv with a focus on EdTech
Looking to strengthen economic ties between Tel Aviv and London, London Mayor Boris Johnson on Monday embarked on a tour of the city's high-tech highlights, giving particular focus to education technology.
“London is the natural tech partner for Israeli firms looking to expand," he said. "With access to a world class talent pool and a booming digital economy it is no surprise that Israeli tech companies are making London their home and choosing the London Stock Exchange as their international market for expansion.”
The mayor kicked off the day with a visit to the Tel Aviv Stock exchange, though he is competing with it to attract Israeli companies. Some 16 Israeli tech firms worth a combined combined market value of £3.7 billion (NIS 21.9 b) are presently listed on London Stock Exchange markets, and Johnson was not shy about wanting to attract more, especially for companies looking to expand to European markets.
In a meeting at Google Campus in Tel Aviv, British companies on the delegation mingled with Israeli start-ups. James Layfield, who runs a shared workspace called Central Working, said he was seeking to expand to Tel Aviv. Neil Small, the director of virtual reality architecture start-up Lucid, said he hoped to learn the Israeli market, and explore local technology.
Tel Aviv Global, a mayoral initiative to raise the city's international stature that has signed cooperation agreements with Berlin and Paris, was looking to create a similar arrangement with London.
Israel Saves Lives of Arab and African Children, US Health Group Lauds Effort (VIDEO)
The American Public Health Association (APHA) this week praised a video produced by the Israel Collective, a project of Christians United for Israel, showcasing an Israeli charitable organization and medical center dedicated to saving the lives of children regardless of race, religion, or culture.
Presented in Chicago on Nov. 3 at the 143rd APHA Annual Meeting & Exposition, the video — titled “The Heart of Israel” and shown during the APHA Global Film Festival — was recognized as an “Official Selection” by the public health advocacy group.
The video features the work of Save a Child’s Heart (SACH), a non-profit that provides life-saving heart procedures for children from developing countries. The group’s executive director, Simon Fisher, notes, “To date, the organization has saved the lives of more than 3,500 children from 48 countries here in Israel at the Wolfson Medical Center.”
“We are very proud that this represents the best of Israel, based on the core Jewish values that each and every one of us has been brought up on, and that value is life,” he says.
Orphaned son of Mumbai victims to lead Chabad emissaries in psalms
Moshe Holtzberg, the orphaned son of the Chabad House directors in Mumbai, India, killed by terrorists in 2008, was scheduled to lead thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries in the recitation of psalms.
Moshe, who is nearly 9 and lives with his grandparents in Afula, Israel, was scheduled to lead the recitation on Sunday night in New York at a gala dinner concluding a week of programming as part of the annual International Conference of Chabad-Lubavitch Emissaries.
Moshe’s nanny, Sandra Samuels, escaped from the Nariman Chabad House carrying 2-year-old Moshe in November 2008 after it came under siege. Four other Jewish victims were killed, including Moshe’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.
The attacks on several Mumbai sites over four days by an Islamist Pakistani group, including two hotels and the train station, left 166 dead and hundreds injured.
Samuels was given permanent residency status in Israel to be with Moshe after the attack.
“He is said to be a happy, healthy boy,” according to

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


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