Sunday, December 06, 2015

From Ian:

Why does the British Royal Family visit Saudi Arabia but not Israel?
A trip to Jerusalem by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1994 illustrates some of the difficulties.
His mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, is buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and Prince Phillip went to visit her grave.
The princess is revered in Israel because she opened the doors of her Athens palace to a Jewish family seeking refuge from the Nazis during the Second World War.
She is counted as one of the "Righteous Among Nations", an Israeli title given to those who saved Jews from Nazi death camps. Today, she is honoured at Israel’s national Holocaust memorial alongside Oskar Schindler, the German industrialist who rescued hundreds of Jews and inspired the film Schindler’s List.
But despite Israel’s warm feelings towards his mother, Buckingham Palace said the Duke’s visit was private and he was not there in an official capacity.
The contorted explanation mirrors Jerusalem’s own tortured geography. The Mount of Olives is in the eastern side of the city, which Israel captured in 1967. Israel claims East Jerusalem as part of its “complete and united” capital, but Britain considers the area to be occupied territory.
Any Royal visit would also have to be balanced by meetings with the Palestinian Authority, which brings a new set of sensitivities. Boris Johnson discovered the possible pitfalls last month when he was forced to cancel meetings in the West Bank after angering Palestinians by denouncing calls for a boycott of Israeli goods.
Some Israelis have long believed that the Foreign Office blocks any Royal visits because of its supposed domination by Arabist diplomats.
Legal Insurrection: Matisyahu rocks Ithaca – Huge Win for Artistic Freedom
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been targeting American Reggae musician Matisyahu because he is Jewish and refuses to denounce Israel.
In the summer of 2015 an international firestorm of controversy erupted after BDS succeeded in getting Matisyahu banned at the Spanish Rototom Reggae festival. The ban was reversed only after an international outcry, including denunciations by the Spanish government and a leading Spanish newspaper that the action amounted to religious discrimination.
So when Matisyahu booked an appearance in Ithaca, NY, as part of his world tour, it was not long before the local BDS crowd, including our own BDS “star,” sought a boycott of the event and planned a protest.
But it didn’t work.
There was a substantial backlash in favor of artistic freedom. Ithaca resident Linda Glaser wrote a powerful op-ed in The Ithaca Journal, Let Jewish artist perform in Ithaca:
Artistic freedom is the right of every American, as it is based on the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. The Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East (ICU-CME) supports the right of American musician Matisyahu to perform and to be heard free from intimidation at the State Theatre of Ithaca.
Untrue statements are being spread by the Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine about Matisyahu to justify their discrimination against him. Because he is a prominent Jewish artist who refuses to take an anti-Zionist position, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) supporters around the world are attempting to block his cultural and artistic expression.
As Matisyahu has said, “I have always believed in the power of music to unite all people, regardless of religion, politics or geography.”
We urge the Ithaca community to stand for artistic freedom and reject the boycott of American musician Matisyahu.

I attended the concert last night, and it was great.
Mordechai Kedar: There is a partner
In addition, Israel has to remain in control in the villages and surrounding areas of Judea and Samaria in order to prevent the formation of a terrorist contiguity uniting the discrete city-emirates, but Israel can then offer citizenship to the residents of these villages who make up only about 10% of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria. The other 90% can stay in their independently run city-states.
These are the broad parameters of a program based on the "partner" to be found in each city-emirate, the natural, traditional leadership of the large clans in each city. Israel must negotiate with each emirate and reach an agreement with each one on the issues of electricity, water, waste, roads, industry, agriculture, traffic, security, the use of ports and airspace, and the boundary lines of each. If the emirates wish to form a federation, so be it. That doesn't pose a problem as long as their territories are not allowed to be contiguous.
The PLO, the organization that runs the Palestinian Authority, never agreed to the existence of the state of Israel as a Jewish state, and is therefore not a partner for peace. Israel, however, has a partner in each Judea and Samaria city. Israel must bring about the collapse of the PLO and PA, the two entities preventing a lasting peace agreement with the residents of Judea and Samaria, who will then be able to establish thriving emirates on the lines of Dubai, if not even better.
The PLO, Hamas and Islamic Jihad want only wars, death and destruction, while peace between Israel and the Emirates will lead to growth and prosperity.

A portrait of the terrorist as a young man, or woman
After 20 years interviewing Palestinian terrorists in jails, Likud MK Anat Berko tries to explain the motivations of the current attackers
“I don’t accept the idea that these are lone wolves. This wave of terror is directed from above. The incitement is insane. It’s on TV, satellite broadcasts, in mosques, on the street and in schools, including East Jerusalem, in schools that we actually pay for. It’s so bad that it’s a surprise that not everyone is a terrorist. If you look at the website of the Palestinian Authority, they speak of all of Palestine, pre-1948, not just pre-1967.”
As for how to stop the current wave of terrorism, Berko says, “We have to think out of the box, not just do regular things but conduct a more sophisticated war that understands the enemy.”
For instance, she says, “we have to make the attack not worthwhile from the point of view of the terrorist and their family, so families start controlling their young people. The family should pay a price. It doesn’t have to be with house demolitions, it can be with other punishments like fines.”
PA official Erekat raises Israeli ire with terrorist condolence visit
The top Palestinian official in charge of peace negotiations has drawn Israeli condemnation for paying a condolence visit to the family of a Palestinian man killed last Thursday while carrying out a shooting attack near Jerusalem.
In images posted by the Palestinian Alawael News Agency, Saeb Erekat, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, was pictured alongside the governor of Jericho and other local Fatah officials sitting with the family of Mazen Aribeh and offering their condolences on Saturday.
According to Alawael, during the visit Erekat stressed Palestinians’ right to resist Israel until they achieve their own state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Aribe, an officer in the PA’s security services, shot an Israeli soldier and bystander in an attack near the Hizmeh crossing Thursday. He was killed by forces at the scene. His two victims suffered light to moderate injuries.
Jerusalem-Based Palestinians Raise Money For Terrorist’s Family
Last year, a Jerusalem-based Hamashole by the name of Ibrahim Akkari mowed down some Israelis in his car, killing one and injuring a dozen others. He then left his car carrying a metal bar and began attacking police, before being turned into worm food.
Last week, we demolished his home in the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem.
So what did some of his Jerusalem compatriots do? They launched a fundraising campaign to rebuild the house of he who they call a “martyr,” claiming to have collected 95,000 shekels within 6 hours of launching it.
This is sort of the Bizarro world version of fundraising campaigns for the victims of such terrorists, like we saw with the recent Litman-Biegel wedding, where funds were raised not only for the new couple but also the widow/mother of the terror victims.
IDF raids pro-Hamas printing shops in Hevron
IDF forces, Border Police and Judea and Samaria District Police arrested eight wanted suspects overnight Saturday. Three of these are suspected of "popular terror" and participation in violent riots against civilians and security forces.
In a joint operation by the IDF Civil Administration and other military units, equipment was seized from the Infinity and Lamsat printing shops in Hevron. The printing shops were targeted after they distributed materials containing incitement and messages of support for Hamas.
In the course of searches in the village of Idna, in Judea, Reshef Battalion warriors from the Artillery Corps found an improvised M-16 rifle.
Dozens of pipe bombs found in Gush Etzion village
The IDF and Border Police carried out a large-scale operation over the weekend that led to the discovery of illegal military equipment in Judea and Samaria.
As part of an effort to prevent terror attacks, the IDF's Etzion Brigade and Maglan unit, along with Border Police, entered the village of Beit Ummar, in Gush Etzion. While there, they uncovered dozens of pipe bombs and a handgun that were hidden underground and intended for use in attacks. The objects have been taken for explosives testing.
In addition, the Rotem Battalion arrested a Palestinian man with two knives in Huwara, near Shechem. The Reshef Battalion also arrested a Palestinian with a knife near Hevron.
The operation led to a number of other findings, including a Hamas member with an M4 rifle and ammunition near Tulkarem.
Shots fired at IDF forces along Gaza border
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday fired at an IDF vehicle along Israel’s border with the Hamas-controlled territory, the army said.
Soldiers patrolling the southern portion of the Israel-Gaza border reported hearing gunfire in the area, and discovered multiple bullets lodged in the windshield of an IDF D9 tractor parked nearby.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
Sunday’s cross-border fire was the second such incident in three days.
Edgar Davidson: Hilary Benn the supreme hypocrite: Britain has right to defend itself from terrorists but Israel does not
Many people are praising Labour Party MP Hilary Benn for his "Churchillian" speech supporting the bombing of ISIS in Syria. Describing ISIS as 'fascists' he said:
"Can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in our self-defence against those who are planning these attacks?"
Well, apparently while he demands the UK bomb Islamic terrorists in a country over 2000 miles away in order to avoid hypothetical future attacks, he does not believe a certain other country has a right to defend itself from Islamic terrorists on its border - even while those terrorists are launching hundreds of rockets that are reaching 50% of that country's civilian population.
Indeed this would be the very same Hilary Benn who delivered the most vicious condemnation of Israel last summer when Israel finally responded to defend itself from multiple unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks.
San Bernardino shooter’s dad: He was ‘obsessed’ with Israel
Syed Farook, father of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, has described his son as negatively “obsessed” with Israel.
In an interview with Italian daily La Stampa, Farook said that he once tried to console his son by promising him that Israel would not exist in another two years because “China, Russia and America will bring the Jews back to Ukraine.”
In Sunday’s La Stampa (link in Italian) report, Farook said, “My son said that he shared [IS leader Abu Bakr] Al Baghdadi’s ideology and supported the creation of the Islamic State. He was also obsessed with Israel.”
“I told him he had to stay calm and be patient because in two years Israel will not exist any more. Geopolitics is changing: Russia, China and America don’t want Jews there any more. They are going to bring the Jews back to Ukraine. What is the point of fighting? We have already done it and we lost. Israel is not to be fought with weapons, but with politics. But he did not listen to me, he was obsessed,” Farook explained to US correspondent Paolo Mastrolilli.
San Bernardino Terrorist To Jewish Victim: 'You Will Never See Israel' has the story.
According to the pastor of one of the victims of the San Bernardino terror attack, just weeks prior to the deadly shooting, Sayed Farook told Nicholas Thalasinos—a devout Messianic Jew and fellow health inspector—“You will never see Israel.”
Pastor Bruce Dowell of the Shiloh Messianic Congregation in California told Sean Hannity on Friday’s radio show, “[Thalasino’s] wife told my wife… [Farook] said to Nick ‘you will never see Israel.’ That’s according to his wife, Jennifer and that comes straight from my wife. She was with her for the last two days.” The pastor said Farook told that to his congregant “face-to-face” approximately two weeks before the attack.
NY Daily News writer parallels San Bernardino killer with Messianic victim
A New York Daily News columnist has paralleled the San Bernardino killer and one of his victims, calling them two similarly “bigoted” and “hate-filled” men.
In an article published Saturday, writer Linda Stasi said Nicholas Thalasinos, one of the 14 victims of the December 2 bloodbath, was “just as bigoted” as Syed Farook, the man who perpetrated the massacre along with his wife.
“They were two hate-filled, bigoted municipal employees interacting in one department. Now 13 innocent people are dead in unspeakable carnage,” Stasi said in the opening graph of her column. In fact, 14 people were killed in the killing spree by Syed Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik, raising the question of whether Stasi considered Thalasinos not to be an “innocent” victim.
Stasi’s article was headlined online, “Stasi: San Bernardino killers were radical, ISIS-loving monsters — but one of their victims was just as bigoted.” Posted on her Facebook page, it was headlined with the briefer, simple claim: “San Bernardino bloodbath born of bigots.”
Confused in San Bernardino
After watching CNN coverage of the San Bernardino shootings, I’m very confused.
From what I understand, some guns went to a “holiday party” and shot dozens of people, killing 14 of them. The guns were accompanied by two people with mysterious motivations, but the clear problem was the lack of gun control, which would have prevented the guns from carrying out the killings.
Also, the two people accompanying the guns might have undergone a procedure known as “radicalization,” which was undefined, but might have something to do with a visit to Saudi Arabia and some telephone calls with people who are being watched for “terrorism,” or perhaps it had something to do with discussions between the two of them.
The President and the leading Democratic contender for the Presidency in 2016 both forthrightly denounced the guns and called for gun control, while very responsibly refusing to speculate on the motives of the guns’ human companions. However, a number of Republican presidential contenders were shown denying that gun control was the issue. A clip of the last one’s denial confusingly added a sentence about the President refusing to say the words “radical Islam,” though it was unclear why this had anything to do with the guns and their shootings. Perhaps I would have understood better if the Democrats were shown at greater length, to add context.
European parliament paper: EU must prepare for ISIS chemical attack on its soil
The European Union should prepare for the possibility of a chemical or biological attack on its territory by Islamic State terrorists, a new report by the European Parliament warns.
According to the European Parliament research paper, first reported on by the Daily Mail, "European governments and EU institutions need to be on alert, and should consider publicly addressing the possibility of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological, radiological or even nuclear materials."
The report warns that the group appears to have already manufactured rudimentary chemical warfare shells and used them to attack Kurds in Iraq and Syria on at least three occasions.
In addition, the paper cites multiple reports that Islamic State had several opportunities in recent years to gain access to non-conventional materials in Syria, Iraq and Libya.
US shocked by Ya'alon's criticism of its response to ISIS
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon issued harsh criticism of the United States government's lackluster response to Islamic State at a speech last week at the Saban Forum in Washington.
"The US needs to get off the fence and lead the world [in the fight against ISIS]," Ya'alon blasted. "In the current situation, Russia is playing a much more significant role than the US and we do not like the fact that countries like Jordan and Egypt are turning now to the Russians. The US must play a more significant role in the region."
Ya'alon also charged, however, that Russia had failed in its task to finish operations in Syria within three months.
Israel's Defense Minister has in the past come under hot water for remarks against the Obama administration, including two years ago calling Secretary of State John Kerry "messianic" and "obsessive" in his efforts to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
The president’s new ‘ISIS czar’ is a guarantee of continued failure
President Obama has a new ISIS czar, tasked to figure out how to battle the terrorist group — and it’s the same guy he dumped from his 2008 campaign for having met with another terror outfit, Hamas.
Well, at least the guy knows his terrorists.
Not that Robert Malley has been out in the political wilderness since he became too hot a potato for Obama’s White House hopes.
A onetime member of President Bill Clinton’s Middle East team, Malley returned to the White House last year to head the Middle East desk at the National Security Council. But he’s been under the gun before, particularly from pro-Israeli circles.
He wrote a widely criticized article saying Palestinians were getting too much blame for the collapse of Clinton’s late-term negotiations. This, despite Clinton’s statement to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat: “I am a failure — and you made me one.”
A few years later, Malley wrote that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad was eager to reach a peace deal with Israel that would enable him to sever all ties with terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
Female Canadian soldier who fought with Kurds against Isis says they are just 'a thorn in the side'
A Canadian woman and soldier who has been fighting Isis in Syria has said they are "a thorn in the side" and a "knuckle-dragging pigs" in combat.
Hanna Bohman, who also goes by the name Tiger Sun, joined the female fighting battalion of a Kurdish nationalist force in Iraq in March last year.
From her experience of fighting the extremist group, Ms Bohman said the West's perception of Isis as a powerful force is misleading.
"They're not some giant, holy juggernaut of ultimate damnation for unbelievers," she told Business Insider.
"They’re just a bunch of filthy, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging pigs who run away at the first sign of resistance."
"Really nothing more than a thorn in the side."
PreOccupiedTerritory: To Get Obama’s Attention, ISIS Renames Self ‘Global Warming’ (satire)
After years of attempting to directly engage with what it calls the Great Satan in a fateful, apocalyptic showdown, the Islamic State intends to rectify its failure to date to provoke the US into all-out warfare by renaming itself Global Warming in order to convince US President Barack Obama that it must be confronted seriously.
Self-proclaimed Caliph of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced today that the long-sought confrontation with the infidel West can only happen if the Western leadership – at its head the American president – joins the battle. A series of televised hostage executions accomplished little in that regard, and the organization began resorting to attacks on Western targets, either directly or by encouraging local terrorism initiatives. Following last week’s deadly attack in San Bernardino, California, and Obama’s failure to name Islamic terrorism specifically as the scourge to combat, al-Baghdadi said he and his henchmen realized a rebranding was in order, with the aim of casting ISIS in the role of what the Obama administration does see as an imminent threat worth fighting: climate change.
“It is not enough that we traffic in fossil fuels to power our operations,” explained the ISIS leader in a recorded video message. “It is not enough that our signature form of transportation is a fleet of gas-guzzling pickup trucks. We must do more to drive home the urgency with which this confrontation must take place if the End of Days is to come about in our lifetimes.”
“Therefore,” continued al-Baghdadi, “Western angst over whether to call us by our Arabic acronym, or by some bastardized translation, will soon be at an end, for we will take on the name of the force their leadership apparently fears most: global warming. They will have no choice but to fight, for this force represents everything they oppose.”
Netanyahu rebuffs Kerry’s warning on binational state
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday blamed the Palestinian Authority for the stalemate in peace talks and seemed to hit back at comments made Saturday by US secretary of State John Kerry, who warned that a lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could lead to the end of the Jewish state.
“Israel will not be a binational state,” Netanyahu said emphatically at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. “But in order for there to be peace, the other side must decide that they also want peace, and unfortunately that is not what we are seeing.”
Netanyahu reiterated previous claims that the Palestinian Authority has been inciting the current wave of violence, citing a visit Saturday by PA chief negotiator Saeb Ereket to the home of the family of a man who had carried out a shooting attack last week and was killed in the course of the attack.
“Not only does he not condemn the attacker; he offers condolences to the family and therefore gives support and encouragement to acts of terror,” he said.
'Kerry's actions - a series of mistakes and failures'
MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) attacked US Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday after the latter lashed out at Israel, arguing that current trends in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are leading to a “one-state” reality.
"With all due respect and gratitude to our friend the United States, the reality has proven that all of John Kerry's assessments and diplomatic actions in various sectors of the world were a series of mistakes and failures: in Egypt, Ukraine, Syria and also in Israel," Yogev blasted.
"His opinions and speeches are disconnected from the Middle Eastern reality," Yogev charged, adding that "the land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel."
"There never was a Palestinian state here and there never will be. Our responsibilities in Judea and Samaria were and continue to be our security and the strengthening of communities throughout Israel, including the fabric of the lives of Arabs living here."
"Part of the answer to terror is the certainty that we returned to Judea and Samaria to strengthen our hold on them forever," he added.
PreOccupiedTerritory: In Modern Hanukkah Miracle, Abbas’s 4-Year Term Lasts 10 (satire)
Curious and inspired pilgrims are streaming to the Palestinian administrative capital to set eyes on a development appropriate for the Hanukkah season: President Mahmoud Abbas, whose four-year term should have expired in 2009, is still in office, a phenomenon that recalls the miraculous miracle of the oil that Hanukkah celebrates.
Hanukkah, meaning inauguration, commemorates the miraculous burning for eight days of a jar of oil sufficient for only one. The ancient Jews fighting the Seleucid Empire and its local loyalists managed to oust the Hellenist forces from Jerusalem and set about rededicating the sanctuary for divine service. In the Talmudic account, the last remaining flask of unsullied olive oil lasted long enough for new oil to be pressed and brought to Jerusalem. But whereas earlier sources such as the book of Maccabees, and the first-century works of Josephus, give no mention of the oil, the modern instance of Abbas’s four years miraculously stretching to more then ten has been amply documented by contemporary writers.
Tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world have flocked to Ramallah to witness the ongoing miracle, which shows no sign of letting up. The longer it persists, say observers, the more impressive the phenomenon, a trend that Palestinian tourism officials hope will bring even greater numbers of pilgrims. “Abu Mazen has been in office ten-and-a-half years,” noted Palestinian Authority Minister of Tourism Yusurp Deir Yahud, using Abbas’s popular nickname. “The greatness of this miracle grows by the day, for who would think that four years would last more than twice as long as four years?”
Some pilgrims were even more enthusiastic. “This goes to show ho much more authentic and legitimate the Palestinian narrative is than the Zionist fabrications,” said Aifeel Infiryer, visiting from Egypt. “Scholars debate the historicity of the Jewish miracles, but ours are here for everyone to see. Also, theirs lasted only eight days, while ours has lasted far, far beyond that.”
EXCLUSIVE - Hamas to Ben Carson: Stop Calling Us 'Hummus'!
Hamas was not amused with reports presidential candidate Ben Carson pronounced their name like the Mediterranean chickpea dish “hummus” during a forum Thursday hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition.
A video of the alleged mispronunciation went viral on Arabic social media outlets.
In response, Hamas Spokesman Husam Badran released the following statement exclusively to Breitbart Jerusalem:
Hummus is food and Hamas is a leading Palestinian movement, Mr. Carson. Historical experience shows that no one can surpass Hamas or eradicate Hamas.
Carson’s hummus pronunciation shows that he plans to lead a policy hostile toward Hamas but he will not succeed. Hamas takes its influence from its people, from the Arabs and Muslims and not from America, which always supports the Zionists.”
A person who wants to lead the U.S. and doesn’t know the name of a very important movement is not someone who can deal with serious challenges.

Carson may have just been trolling the group with his pronunciation.
Greece becomes latest EU state to reject Israel labeling policy
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited Israel late last month, and a few days later, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of the Greek decision by letter.
The decision was made just a few days before the onset of the holiday of Hanukkah, when the Jewish People commemorates its successful rejection of ancient Greek values at the expense of Torah precepts.
"We are two countries with ancient roots," Netanyahu told Tsipras during the latter's visit. "In many ways, our modern civilization in the West was forged in Athens and in Jerusalem, and … although we are ancient peoples, we embrace the future, we embrace modernity."
Hungary, too, has said it will defy the EU labeling guidelines. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said his country does "not support [the labeling] decision. It is an inefficient instrument. It is irrational and does not contribute to a solution to the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, but causes damage."
Germany appears to have not made up its mind as to whether it would label products as "made in the Israeli settlement of the West Bank." Bundestag President Norbert Lammert said last week, "We could have accepted this decision, if [it] applied to all occupied territories in the world. But since this is an exclusive decision regarding this region, it should not have been approved - and it is even less good that some are implementing it." The ruling party of Chancellor Angela Merkel also came out against the decision when it was first announced last month.
Asserting Israel's rights
There would be something very tasteless in Germany labeling Israeli goods, which is perhaps why Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said, after a meeting at a German foundation on Thursday marking 50 years of German-Israeli friendship, "Obviously, there is no question of Germany following this disastrous move."
Edelstein should not be holding his breath. Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2008 declared Israel's security to be a core state value and vowed to always stand by its side, that core value has clearly become much devalued since. This became abundantly clear when Merkel and her government decided to cheer on the infamous nuclear deal with Iran. Since then, the most senior representatives from her government and German industries have been busy visiting the mullahs in Teheran, drooling at the prospects of doing big business with one of the worst regimes in the world, which openly threatens Israel with annihilation.
If Merkel did nothing to oppose the Iran deal -- which is much more threatening to Israel's security than any European labeling could ever be -- she will do very little to oppose European labeling of Israeli goods. At any rate, the opposing should have been done years ago, when the decision was made in the European Union, and not now after the fact. Merkel may have had the best intentions in 2008 -- who knows -- but she has certainly not followed up on them in practice since. Empty words and diplomatic niceties do not substitute genuine friendship.
Tel Aviv cooperative boycotts Judea-Samaria produce
A Tel Aviv cooperative's decision to boycott produce manufactured in Judea and Samaria has sparked outrage among Israelis, who quickly lashed out on social media.
The cooperative, which runs every Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Tel Aviv's southern Florentin neighborhood, recently announced that it would not be accepting vegetables and organic produce grown "over the Green Line."
"Suppliers from the settlements are not welcome in deference to the ideology of some members of the coop," the cooperative's initiators explained, according to Channel 2. They added that some 70 families refused to buy produce manufactured in "the occupied territories."
Furious Israelis responded to the ban on Judea-Samaria products by calling for a boycott of the cooperative itself.
FIT TO PRINT? Our Latest Feature: Scrutiny of the New York Times (starting with its fishy business in Iran)

His article—“Iran’s Fellow Travelers at the New York Times“—is a vital one for media executives and staffers to read and to discuss publicly. Kirchick writes that for $7,195 (not including airfare to and from Tehran), journalists at the Times are serving as tour guides to Iran for adventurous travelers who can afford the 13-day treks being offered for sale.
For example, editorial board member Carol Giacomo is helping lead a group that is there right now, despite the fact that international sanctions against the Islamic Republic have yet to be lifted. And on December 27, Times writer Elaine Sciolino—a former chief of the paper’s Paris bureau who is evidently now working for the company’s travel bureau—will head to Tehran to help lead another group. (The six trips currently planned through December 2016 are “SELLING FAST,” notes the Times Journeys travel section.)
At the same time that the newspaper is raking in money from its Iran trips, as well as helping tourists spend cash that will help bolster Iran’s economy (and regime), the Times has published columns imploring the Iranian government to release Jason Rezaian—the 39-year-old Washington Post correspondent who’s been in prison on espionage charges for 502 days.
In his Foreign Policy article, Kirchick writes: “While the [New York Times] has been demanding the release of an American journalist—one now facing a prison sentence of indeterminate length—some of its own journalists, under the auspices of their employer, have been engaging in a commercial enterprise that benefits his captors.”
Guardian casts Jewish billionaire as ‘invisible hand’ controlling GOP politics
Sheldon Adelson is an American billionaire who’s donated huge sums of money to Jewish and non-Jewish causes in the US and Israel. He also is a major donor to the Republican Party. Despite the huge sums he’s provided to GOP hopefuls in past presidential contests, his success has been mixed at best.
In 2012, he spent millions on losing GOP primary candidate Newt Gingrich. Then, following Gingrich’s withdrawal from the race, Adelson spent millions more on the party’s nominee Mitt Romney.
Barack Obama of course defeated Romney in the November general election – which came as a shock to Guardian readers warned as they were about the control Adelson exercised over the political system.
Despite Adelson’s 2012 failures, the Guardian has again published a political analysis warning that this one Zionist Jew represents ‘the invisible hand which guides Republican fortunes’.
"Trump and co: pleasing the billionaire who guides Republican fortunes "
The headline is problematic for two reasons. First, in 2015 it seems odd to describe Adelson as “invisible”. Indeed, it would be hard to find any serious student of American politics who isn’t aware of his role within the Republican Party.
More troubling of course is the decision – presumably by sub-editors – to evoke such historically toxic imagery evoking the wealthy Jew stealthily controlling political outcomes.
How Israel became a water superpower
When Seth M. Siegel, author of “Let There Be Water: Israel’s Solution for a Water-Starved World” began his book tour, he expected to get a lot of questions about Israel and the Palestinians. He didn’t even rule out the possibility that pro-Palestinian activists, angered by the book’s message that Israel is a world leader in water management and conservation, would demonstrate at his lectures.
But that didn’t happen. Instead, “I have been dumbstruck by the response.”
Siegel has been traveling around the United States speaking on university campuses, to Jewish groups, to policy groups, at the UN and to groups of business executives and water engineers. He estimates the number of interviews and lectures he has given since the book was published in September to be at least a hundred, and he is still touring, with dates being scheduled to next October. In addition, the book has appeared on the New York Times and Los Angeles Times’ bestseller lists.
“People are excited by the message of the book — that there is a solution for the coming global water crisis — and they come up to me afterward, I don’t mean one or two, but significant numbers of people. They tell me they want to come visit Israel and learn from Israel.”
What they want to learn, explains Siegel, is how a country that is 60 percent desert and whose population increased tenfold since 1948 not only has enough water for itself, but in fact has a surplus and even exports water to its neighbors. In the 1930s British economists predicted that all of Palestine — including today’s Gaza, Israel and the West Bank, had enough water to sustain 2 million people. Today, the area is home to more than 12 million people, a feat that Siegel attributes in large part to Israel’s first-class water planning and management.
6,000-year-old tool found in Israeli desert cave depicts earliest use of 'pure' lead metal
A lead tool discovered in Israel what archaeologists say depicts the earliest evidence of use of the metal by humans. The tool was found in a cave in north of Negev desert, in southern Israel.
The lead object, weighing 155.8g, was found attached onto a 22.4cm long wooden shaft and dates back to the Late Chalcolithic period, roughly 6,000 years ago from the present. "The lead object was found attached to an intact wooden shaft in a field survey at Ashalim Cave, in the northern Negev Highlands. Radiocarbon dating of the shaft provided a calibrated date of ca. 4300–4000 BCE," the researchers wrote in a paper published online in the 2 December issue of the journal, PLos ONE.
Chemical analysis of the metal has revealed that the ancient tool was made of "almost" pure metallic lead, the researchers said of the find from the Late Chalcolithic period, which is already known for metallurgical works. According to the researchers, the lead used in the tool may have been extracted from its ores found in the Taurus Mountains in Anatolia, Turkey. "Either the finished object, or the raw material, was brought to the southern Levant (Israel)."
"The study of the Ashalim Cave object, the only pre-4th millennium lead artefact ever uncovered in the Levant, sheds new light on the early metallurgy of lead, its sources, and its technological role at the formative stages of metal production," the authors wrote.
Indigenous in Jerusalem
The discovery of Hezekiah’s royal seal impression in the Ophel excavations “vividly brings to life the Biblical narratives about King Hezekiah, and the activity conducted during his lifetime in Jerusalem’s Royal Quarter,” says the Hebrew University.
It’s much more than that! The unearthing and deciphering of the 2,700-year-old bulla in excavations by the Temple Mount is proof-positive of the Jewish people’s deep roots in Jerusalem. It is reaffirmation of entrenched Jewish rights in Jerusalem.
This is doubly important at a time when some academics and archeologists deny the veracity of the Biblical narrative of ancient Israel, and many Palestinians assert that the Jewish people have no history and no national rights in Jerusalem.
Consider: Everybody from UNESCO, to the Palestinians, to the hard Left, and Biblically- skeptical archeologists at Tel Aviv University, have objected to the two-decade-long excavations of the Ophel and Jerusalem’s City of David, the lower slope of the Temple Mount.
Through great adversity and persistence, Prof. Eilat Mazar and her Israel Antiquities Authority and Hebrew University colleagues have unearthed some of the earliest known artifacts in the city, dating as far back as the 12th and 11th centuries BCE. These include evidence supporting the historicity of the biblical kings David and Solomon, founders of the Judean dynasty.

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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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