Tuesday, December 08, 2015

From Ian:

JCPA: Fatah, with Mahmoud Abbas at the Helm, Confirms the Confrontation Strategy toward Israel
The Fatah Central Committee gave its backing to a strategy that combines the terror intifada with diplomatic and legal moves in the international arena aimed at achieving recognition of the state of Palestine as well as an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders with no political quid pro quo from the Palestinians.
The Fatah Central Committee, convened on Sunday, December 6, 2015, at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah. Fatah is led by Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) who also serves as president of the state of Palestine, chairman of the Palestinian Authority, and leader of the PLO.
Total Support for the Knife Terror and the Al-Quds Intifada:
The Central Committee did not condemn the acts of violence and terror being perpetrated by Palestinians as part of the Al-Quds Intifada, which is also called the Knives Intifada. On the contrary, it characterized the foiling of terror attacks as “executions,” chose to call the perpetrators “heroes,” and promised to assist their families. The Palestinian leadership thereby gave full backing to the continuation of the terror wave against Israel.
Preparing to End the Security Cooperation with Israel:
Here the Central Committee fully endorsed Abbas’ threat voiced during his address to the United Nations that the Palestinians will stop honoring the agreements with Israel insofar as, in their view, Israel is not committed to implementing them. The Palestinian leadership no longer sees Israel as playing any part in the attainment of international recognition of the state of Palestine; instead the leadership is trying to gain such recognition independently via the UN Security Council. Thus, by taking an approach that circumvents negotiations, the Palestinian leadership seeks to compel a full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, including a withdrawal from east Jerusalem, without the need for any political quid pro quo on the Palestinians’ part.
Continuing the Lawfare against Israel in the International Arena:
The Palestinian leadership hewed to the line of all-out confrontation with Israel. An important aspect of this approach is the legal arena. They regard the legal route as a force multiplier that can nullify Israel’s right to self-defense and afford legal and international legitimization for ending the “reality of occupation” and for the “right” of the Palestinian refugees and generations of their descendants to implement the “return” to their homes and property within the sovereign state of Israel.
Claiming Palestinian Ownership of the Western Wall:
The wording indicates that the Palestinian leadership, with Abbas at the helm, denies the Jewish right to the area of the Western Wall and regards it as a sacred Islamic site that is an inseparable part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
'Hamas planned massive attack on Sderot during Protective Edge'
The Israel Defense Forces was able to thwart a major Hamas terrorist attack in the southern town of Sderot last summer, Southern Brigade commander Col. Dado Bar-Kalifa revealed Monday.
Speaking of Operation Protective Edge with bereaved families at a Hanukkah candlelighting ceremony, Bar-Kalifa said the military had indication that a clash between IDF soldiers and Hamas terrorists emerging out of a tunnel dug near Kibbutz Nir Am had effectively prevented a terrorist attack in Sderot.
Four soldiers, including Lt. Col. Dolev Kedar, 38, commander of the Gefen Battalion of the IDF's Bahad 1 officers' training base, were killed in the July 22, 2014 clash.
"While I cannot go into details, I can tell you that the Nir Am tunnel attack was mistakenly named, before we learned of the enemy's plans to reach Sderot," Bar-Kalifa said.
The terrorists killed in the clash "planned to lead 60 terrorists to the heart of an Israeli community, where they planned to embark on a killing spree and abduct soldiers and civilians," he said.
The World's Most Moral Army
Is the Israeli military a paragon of morality and wartime ethics? Or is it an oppressive force that targets innocent Palestinian civilians and commits war crimes as a matter of policy? Colonel Richard Kemp, who was the commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, was in Israel during its war against Hamas in 2014, and analyzes whether Israel's military is ethical, evil, or somewhere in between.

Swedish PM: Stabbing attacks in Israel not terrorism
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven further strained his country’s relationship with Israel Monday, saying he does not consider stabbing attacks in Israel to constitute terrorism.
“No, it is not classified as [terrorism],” Lofven said in an interview to the Swedish news agency TT. “There is an international classification regarding what constitutes or does not constitute [terror]. As far as I know, the [knife attacks in Israel] are not defined as terror.”
Later in the day, Lofven contacted TT again to clarify his message, fearing what he called a “misunderstanding.”
“I meant that it was unclear if the knife attacks are organized by a group classified as a terrorist organization,” Lofven told the agency. “Nonetheless, the attacks themselves do constitute terror.”
Ties between Israel and Sweden have soured in recent weeks following a series of comments by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom criticizing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and suggesting a link between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the terrorist attacks in Paris last month, claimed by the Islamic State.
Those Who Would Fight To The Last Palestinian
The stabbing of an Israeli Jew near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Monday afternoon has added to what is now a very long list of attacks in what is being called ‘The Intifada of Knives’. The perpetrator, a Palestinian, is the latest in a very long list of attackers shot and killed by the Israeli security forces. He was also the latest to sacrifice his life whilst, on all the evidence to hand, doing nothing to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood.
Those behind the incendiary rhetoric, which encourages this seemingly endless conveyor belt of ‘martyrdom’, appears to be willing to lay down the lives of generation after generation of young Palestinians. That they achieve nothing but bloodshed, and overwhelmingly that it is blood shed by Palestinians, does not deter them.
The activists have their supporting useful idiots in the West, who from the comfort and safety of their homes, cheer the Palestinians on to their deaths. The ‘From the River to the Sea’ brigade never stop to think that they are part of the problem that gets a lot of Palestinians killed.
At this point the useful idiot may begin to cry about oppression. They argue that anyone who criticizes Palestinians for stabbing elderly women in the street does not understand the frustrations of the occupied. No matter that the majority of the occupied do not set out to murder civilians, the self-righteous, self-hating Westerner, prefers the romance of the oppressed rising up, no matter how many of the oppressed die whilst so doing.
The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, headed by President Abbas, stops short of condemning the current wave of murders. They know that if they do, their waning legitimacy in the eyes of the armed radicals will so diminish that they may end up being killed.
Palestinian killed during clash with IDF in Bethlehem
A Palestinian man was killed in a clash with IDF forces in the West Bank Deheisheh refugee camp south of Bethlehem early Tuesday.
The incident took place after a day of violent confrontations following a Palestinian terror attack in Hebron that left one Israeli seriously wounded and the Palestinian attacker shot and killed by security forces.
Malik Akram Shaheen was shot by IDF soldiers during an overnight raid in the camp, according to Israeli and Palestinian media sources. Different reports suggest he was either 19, 20 or 21.
Shaheen sustained a bullet wound to the head and suffered heavy bleeding. He was taken to a Beit Jala hospital where he died of his injuries, according to the Palestinian Maan news agency.
Security forces nab suspected knife terrorist in Ramallah hotel
The IDF, guided by intelligence from the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency, raided a hotel in Ramallah overnight between Monday and Tuesday, arresting a man suspected of taking part in an attempted stabbing on October 30 at Tapuah Junction.
The suspect, Bassal Abu Alia, whose year of birth is 1989, and is a resident of the village of Muayaer in Binyamin, allegedly took part in the attempted stabbing attack with another suspect, and was injured in the process.
He was initially evacuated by Red Crescent paramedics to a Nabalu hospital, and then transferred to a Ramallah hospital. In the past week, the Shin Bet said, he hid out in a Ramallah hotel, trying to evade arrest by Israel.
"Bassal has been transferred to Shin Bet questioning," the agency added.
5 Arab Israelis arrested for IS support, planning terror attacks
Israel has arrested five Israeli Arabs from Nazareth on suspicion of supporting the Islamic State and preparing to carry out terror attacks, the Shin Bet security service announced Tuesday.
The cell’s members, all reportedly members of the same family, were arrested in October and November in a joint operation of the Shin Bet and Israel Police, according to officials.
The men were named as Abd al Karim Ihab Abdel Rahman Suleiman, 22; Mohammed Ihab Abdel Rahman Suleiman, 18; Abdel Karim Jamal Ali Suleiman, 23; Mohammed Salah Mohammed Suleiman, 19 and Murad Mohammed Salim Suleiman, 27.
The five relatives held secret meetings and trained in the use of weapons ahead of planned attacks in Israel, according to the Shin Bet. Over the past year, the suspects became more religious and expressed support of the Islamic State and the so-called jihad against apostates.
Court sentences 4 terrorists for planning to kill Jews on Temple Mount, e. Jerusalem attacks
Tuesday’s sentencing was a second round of setting prison terms for those involved in the Temple Mount attack plot, with a first round of sentencing having occurred on November 30 against three other east Jerusalem Arabs for similar crimes.
The jail sentences were a mixed bag with all defendants being convicted of some crimes and getting jail time, but all of the defendants also being acquitted of the worst crimes like attempted murder.
The head of the cell, Nor Hamdan, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for contact with a foreign agent, illegal military training and crimes related to illegal weapons possession and development.
Hamdan’s deputy, Imah Shaar, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for similar crimes, but minus contact with a foreign agent and with the addition of obstruction of justice.
Omar Vuzvuz and Amjad Razam were each sentenced to 10 years in prison for similar crimes, but without either the contact with a foreign agent or obstruction of justice charges.
Poll: Most Israelis say terror wave is no intifada
A majority of Israelis say the ongoing string of terror attacks that have killed more than 20 people and wounded dozens more since the start of October do not qualify as an intifada.
According to a poll released Tuesday by the Israel Democracy Institute, a majority of both Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs say the current wave of stabbing and shooting attacks, which began in October, is a “limited uprising” and not an intifada. The Second Intifada a decade ago killed some 1,000 Israelis in a series of suicide bombings.
Israeli Jews and Arabs disagree over whether the attacks are being planned by the Palestinian leadership. Sixty-one percent of Jews say the Palestinian leadership has been involved in the attacks, while 58 percent of Israeli Arabs say the attacks are spontaneous.
The two groups are also split on whether an Israeli-Palestinian accord would reduce the violence. Seventy-one percent of Israel Jews say it would not, while 72 percent of Israeli Arabs say it would.
Terror in London But Not Terror in Jerusalem
In recent days London has experienced a similar incident to the many Palestinian stabbing attacks that have taken place against Israelis over the past few months.
An attacker, who was later found to have material linked to Syria and global terror on his cellphone, slashed passersby at a London Underground station while shouting “this is for Syria, my Muslim brothers.”
As far as the UK security forces are concerned, this was an act of terrorism carried out by a radicalized individual. Indeed, the Daily Mail’s Mail Online makes it quite clear in its headline and opening sentence that this is terrorism.
Facebook vs Golda
Last year, at the beginning of the Gaza conflict, we posted an image of Golda Meir with the most famous quotation attributed to her: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”
With all the evidence of Palestinian indoctrination of children to hate Israelis, we felt that her message was as timely as ever. After all, both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority regularly use their own media to glorify acts of terrorism. Last year this contributed to an all-out war while this year, we see almost daily attacks on innocent Jewish men, women, and children, often times by young Palestinians.
Quite a few of these acts have resulted in the deaths of the attackers by Israelis defending themselves. When interviewed, the parents of many of these would-be killers have expressed pride that their children died while trying to kill Jews.
So doesn’t it seem reasonable to assert that the Palestinian hatred of Jews may be stronger than the love of even their own children?
So we were shocked when we received a message from Facebook that said our picture of Golda had been removed because it violated Facebook’s community standards.
Yes, that’s right. According to Facebook, our picture of Golda Meir would lead to a “genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.”
Of course, a quick Facebook search finds that the group “Death to America and Israel” is still very much alive, posting all sorts of garbage.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Study: One More Attack And Jews Will Abandon Whole Zionist Enterprise (satire)
A new report by the Palestinian Ministry of Misinfomation points to a surprising development in the decades-long resistance to Israel, whereby a single additional attempt by Palestinians to harm Israeli Jews will make the latter pack up and leave forever, en masse.
The study, released yesterday, confirms many long-held assumptions in Palestinian society, primarily the one that continued assaults on Jews would make them realize they don’t really belong, and would therefore abandon their family, cultural, historical, and religious ties to the land, as well as their agricultural, scientific, and economic achievements, and go elsewhere, presumably to the countries that spent centuries mistreating Jews before Israel was created. The report authors note that the practical implications of the study findings dovetail with established Palestinian policy and rhetoric, which include both incitement to attack Jews and the glorification and financial support of those who do so.
A key point of the report’s analysis turns on the discovery that whereas persistent misery experienced by Palestinians only hardens their collective resolve, Jews can be frightened away by the mere thought of a Palestinian youth with a kitchen knife. That datum helps to explain the shrinkage of the Israeli Jewish population since the Resistance began: in 1948 there were as many as six hundred thousand Jews in the country, but by 2015 the figure had shrunk to a mere six million.
Fmr. FBI Counterterrorism Agent: We’ve Received ‘Nearly Zero Help’ from U.S. Muslim Community Since 9/11
Though President Barack Obama claimed that America must “enlist Muslim communities” to combat terrorism in his Sunday evening Oval Office address, former FBI Counterterrorism Agent John Guandolo said on Monday’s Breitbart News Daily (6AM-9AM EST on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125) that since 9/11, “we collectively have received nearly zero help from the Muslim Community.”
Guandolo, who pointed out on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily that a “vast majority” of U.S. mosques and Islamic centers are a part of a much larger “jihadi network,” told host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon that though Muslim community leaders “certainly give the air as if they are helping,” if one looks at the “major Islamic organizations, the major Islamic centers in the United States,” they have “condemned all of the counter-terrorism policies and they’ve gotten the government to kowtow to them, to turn only to them for advice.”
“And what advice do they give them?” Guandolo asked. “That Islam doesn’t stand for this and that everything you’re doing is the reason for what happened—9/11 is your fault because of your policies.”
As Breitbart News reported, Los Angeles CAIR director Hussam Ayloush said last week just days after the San Bernardino terrorist attacks that America is “partly responsible” for the San Bernardino terrorist attacks because “some of our foreign policy” is “fueling extremism.” (h/t Alexi)
Moderate Islam’s Real Litmus Test? Israel
Has the American Dream a better ambassador than Syed Farook? The father of suspected San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook arrived from Pakistan in 1973, determined to make a better life for himself and his family. He earned a degree in engineering, worked hard, and raised his children; one of them, Syed Raheel Farook, joined the Navy and, for his dedicated service, was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon. All the evidence we have right now, then, suggests that Farook, Sr. is the embodiment of the genus decent people everywhere so desperately seek, the moderate Muslim. In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Farook played the part well, declaring himself in complete despair and disbelief over his son’s alleged massacre.
How, then, did Farook soothe his son when junior ranted about Israel?
“I told him he had to stay calm and be patient,” Farook, Sr. told his interviewer, “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.”
It’s hardly appealing to judge a bereaved father—even the father of an alleged homicidal maniac—in his time of grief, but Farook’s comments are telling. They reveal a fundamental flaw in the convenient dichotomy we’ve set up for ourselves, insisting that Muslims came in two shades—good and moderate, bad and murderous—and that it was our duty as enlightened and gentle folk to sort the two out lest some drooling bigot jump to the wrong conclusion.
Edgar Davidson: If the response to Pearl Harbour had been the same as that to modern Islamic attacks
On the anniversary of the Pearl Harbour Attack it is worth considering what would have happened if the response would have been the same as that of the response to the 9/11 (and other) Islamist attacks against the West:
- The US would have declared a 'war against fighter aircraft' with a clear statement that 'this in no way linked to the great nation of Japan which, like Nazi Germany, is a nation of peace'.
- This might have been followed by a few sorties against Japanese fighter aircraft; but, as a token to prove there was no bias against the Japanese people, some British spitfires would also have been attacked.
- To ensure that America did not attack mainland Japan, leftists from all over the world would have gone to Tokyo to form human shields.
- There would have been years of appeasement of Japan and Germany, plus massive funding of 'moderate' Imperial Japanese and Nazi institutions.
- The media would have devoted most of its time on identifying what the US had done to invite the attacks, such as not forcing Britain to leave Singapore to allow the Japanese to invade.
President Obama Declares War on Workplace Violence (satire)
Following the fatal shooting of 14 co-workers by a couple that just happened to be affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS, President Barack Obama has declared a “war on workplace violence.”
“As the events in San Bernardino, and the Fort Hood shootings before, have shown, the perpetrators of workplace violence represent a threat to Americans and to all of humanity,” President Obama explained in a statement. “Every nation must make a choice: Either you’re with us, or you’re with workplace violence.”
Obama’s declaration bewildered investigators, who called the San Bernardino shooters terrorists inspired by ISIS, a radical Islamist group. President Obama, however, said that radical Islam had nothing to do with the killings and that he isn’t afraid to cut to the heart of the issue – people committing acts of violence against their co-workers.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinians To Terrorists In US: Use Knives; ‘Guns Upset Democrats’ (satire)
“Chief among the considerations we wish to present to you is the ambivalence so many liberals in America would feel if shooting attacks by Muslims become routine,” he continued. “Isolated incidents can be framed by Democrats as arguments for gun control, but in the event of an emerging trend, which we hope you play a part in fomenting, the attacks could become a wedge issue that divides those who sympathize with Islamist resistance to the West and those who see guns as one of the world’s greatest evils. Given the importance of the left-leaning demographic in facilitating the advancement of the Islamist vision, we urge you to adopt what we Palestinians have developed as an effective means of both sowing terror and achieving martyrdom for Allah: stabbing attacks.”
The video then showed scenes and photographs of Palestinian stabbing attacks in Israel and their aftermath, with the man providing voice-over. “These images need not be restricted to the Zionist entity. They can be New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. And they will free proponents of gun control of the questions of conscience sparked by the conflict between solidarity with the oppressed non-westerner and disdain for the use of firearms.”
Analysts expressed skepticism regarding the video’s potential impact. “US-based Islamist terrorists don’t need to adopt the Palestinian contrivance of victimhood and underdog to achieve their goals,” explained former FBI counterterrorism agent Chic Kenchitt. “They’re looking for the biggest death toll possible, not some pretext for saying the authorities are engaging in systematic extrajudicial killings.”
“You’re probably thinking of the Black Lives Matter campaign.”
The Tolerable Level of Terrorism
This sort of modus vivendi has an indispensable premise: Muslim community leaders must be persuaded that their interests lie in cooperating with security services rather than in abetting terrorists. In the United States, a few dozen Federal prosecutions and a hundred or so well-publicized deportations of prominent Muslims in the CAIR orbit would turn thousands of Muslim immigrants into willing snitches for the FBI. Most American Muslims are reasonably successful economic immigrants, and to the extent they share the Farook family's radical sentiments, they are not willing to give up their livelihoods to put them into practice. Sen. Cruz' proposal to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization and turning the screws on its American sympathizers would preempt future attacks like the San Bernardino atrocity, and reduce the number of future attacks to a tolerable level.
France's prospects are dimmer. Muslims comprise a tenth of the population. Two-fifths are unemployed and the overwhelming majority hold radical views. How Ms. Le Pen's National Front would confront a much larger, poorer and more radical Muslim population is not pleasant to contemplate.
BBC avoidance of the word terror criticized by MPs – again
In the wake of the Paris attacks, BBC policy regarding the use of the word terror in its reporting recently came under criticism from British politicians.
“Two Tory MPs, as well as Labour’s John Mann, have called for a rethink of that policy.
Conservative Andrew Bridgen told the Daily Mail that the phrase “militants” had “the ring of placard waving strikers”.
He added: “The BBC can’t use the ’T’ word because they don’t want to be judgmental, but these are people who are willing to travel half way around the world to commit murder in cold blood.”
That view was echoed by fellow Conservative Philip Davies who said the BBC should “describe things as they are”.
“Are they not wanting to offend the IS terrorists? It is absolutely extraordinary.”
Mr Mann meanwhile said there was “no doubt” or “ambiguity” that the group should be called terrorists.”
Eagles of Death Metal Appear on Stage with U2 in Paris Concert
Members of the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal have made a surprise return to a Paris stage during a concert by U2, less than a month after suicide bombers stormed the band’s Nov. 13 gig at the Bataclan theater and killed 89 people.
U2 on Monday night was playing the last of four concerts in Paris. The last two shows had been postponed when France announced a state of emergency following the attacks that killed 130 people.
It was the first time the Eagles of Death Metal band had performed since the attacks, which band members escaped under harrowing circumstances. The band, though deeply shaken, has said it wanted to play again in Paris.
Just before the band emerged Monday night, U2 frontman Bono said there was “nothing left except to introduce you to some people whose lives will forever be a part of this city of Paris. These are our brothers. Our fellow troubadours. They were robbed of their stage three weeks ago, and we would like to offer them ours tonight. Would you welcome the Eagles of Death Metal!”
The bands then played the U2 song “People have the power.”
France considering ban on access to free Wi-fi and Tor
Le Monde newspaper revealed an internal report from the Ministry of Interior, authored by the French Department of Civil Liberties and Legal Affairs (DLPAJ) that lists two proposed bills – one around the State of Emergency and the other on combating counter-terrorism.
The State of Emergency proposal, advices the French government to forbid the use of free and shared Wi-Fi connections during a state of emergency. The Hacker News website reported that according to the French police, the reason behind restricting access to Wi-Fi is that it is apparently difficult to track suspects who use public Wi-Fi networks to communicate. In addition, during a state of emergency the police will be entitled to search houses without a warrant, tighten border controls, and ban protests.
The proposal for combating counter-terrorism suggests the banning or blocking communications of the Tor network. Tor is a free software which enables users to conduct anonymous communication. Tor user’s are able to conceal their identity and location as Tor makes it more difficult for authorities to trace user’s Internet activity. British daily the Guardian, reported on November 2013, that according to critics, Tor facilitates a dangerous “dark web” of paedophiles, drug dealers and arms traders.
The Bad-Faith Analogy Between Syrian Refugees and Jews Fleeing Nazi Germany
Indeed, a necessary consequence of broaching the Holocaust in the discussion of contentious, political debates is that one invariably characterizes those who disagree with him as, at best, indifferent to the monstrous crimes of racist genocide, and at worst approving of them. Writing about the criticisms he received for his post, Tharoor cast them all as fundamentally bigoted. “It was repeatedly argued that (with varying degrees of profanity) Muslims can’t assimilate, represent an evil religion and seek to wreak violence on the West.” While it is true that many people’s reaction to the Syrian refugee crisis has been cruel, there are several wholly legitimate, non-racist reasons to be concerned about the influx, not to mention important factual differences between the predicament of European Jewry circa 1939 and Syrians today, that render Holocaust comparisons facile.
Unlike the passengers of the doomed St. Louis, Syrian refugees pouring into Europe are not fleeing imminent death. They are leaving refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey that, though hardly ideal, are not Auschwitz. In 1939, moreover, there was no Israel to protect the hunted Jews of Europe, whereas today more than a handful of ostentatiously rich Arab Muslim countries have barely lifted a finger to alleviate the plight of their brethren. As to the deeper question of assimilation, while there were no legitimate concerns as to whether Jewish refugees from Europe shared the liberal democratic values of American society, or whether they might become susceptible to radicalization by a global terrorist movement, the same can hardly be said about today’s Syrians (this observation applies more to Europe than it does America, which does a far better job assimilating immigrants, Muslims or not). Those who, like Tharoor, breezily assert that only the ideological descendants of Father Coughlin could feel unease at the massive, sociocultural challenge facing a European continent already beset by economic stagnation and societal strife need to grapple with the fact that the assimilation of Muslim communities in Europe, even those that have lived there for generations, has been a miserable failure. They would do well to read the warning that the interior minister of Germany, the country that has led the way in opening its door to Syrians, felt compelled to issue to Middle Eastern refugees entering his country. “Everyone who comes here must know what we stand for: This country has a special commitment to the Jews and to the state of Israel,” Thomas de Mazière wrote. “This country has a very good reason to protect Jewish life and encourage its free expression. This country is a place where Jews should never again have to live in fear of persecution.” A rather frighteningly ironical coda to Tharoor’s Holocaust analogy, that.
Who said it: Stop the War Coalition or Isil?
Jeremy Corbyn is refusing to shun the Stop the War Coalition, amid concerns from Labour MPs that the campaign is "disreputable" because of its political outlook.
Mr Corbyn backs STW, claiming that it has "repeatedly called it right” on matters of British foreign policy. Critics say the group is viciously anti-West.
Former shadow cabinet minister Emma Reynolds told the BBC's Westminster Hour that a number of the organisation's members were “more anti-West than anti-war.” Meanwhile Tom Harris, a former Labour MP and Telegraph writer, recently said: "These are people who would rather take sides with Putin, or Hamas and IRA terrorists than with any democratic government".
Stop the War has made its reputation on its strident rhetoric in criticism of Western interventions abroad, but can you tell its messages apart from that of another stridently anti-West group: Isil?
How Isil make their money
Isil calls itself a state and in some ways it is one: it has a territory, it has a population, and it has a government budget - of $2 billion a year, according to one leak to a newspaper.
It even has taxes.
The group is often described as the richest terror organisation in history, though that of course depends on definition.
For a while, it certainly had a good income from oil, having taken areas of both Iraq and Syria with production facilities.
The United States, which has teams of people following and trying to intercept its financing, says that oil is no longer its major source of funding.
Watch this video which tracks how Isil makes its money, despite many of their oil wells being targetted by coalition jets.
Turkey ‘astonished’ by Iranian charges of IS support
Turkey on Sunday said it was “astonished” by Iranian accusations that Ankara is supporting Islamic State and involved in oil dealing with the jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement there was nothing in Tehran’s accusations to take “seriously.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he had warned his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani over some Iranian media reports that he and his family were involved in oil trade with IS jihadists.
Erdogan said that he spoke with Rouhani on the phone and told him: “You will pay a high price if it continues like that.” He added that the Iranians later removed the news from their website.
Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Bilgic confirmed the telephone conversation between the two presidents and said any attempts to distort its content were “not only immoral but also equal to hiding the truth from neighboring Iranian people.”
Russia crisis may cost Turkey $9 billion
Tensions with Russia could cost Turkey's economy $9 billion in the worst case scenario of "zero relations," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said Monday.
Moscow has imposed a series of economic sanctions against Ankara after Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian jet on the Syrian border on November 24, sparking the biggest crisis between the two countries since the Cold War.
"In the worst-case scenario, which is zero relations with Russia, we are talking about a loss of $9 billion (8.3 billion euros)," Simsek, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, told private NTV television.
The current tension is likely shave 0.3% to 0.4% off Turkey's GDP, Simsek added.
Russia's sanctions include a ban on the import of some Turkish foods and a halt on sales of holiday packages, a major blow to Turkish tourism.
U.S. Intel to Obama: ISIS Is Not Contained
A new report stands in stark contrast to earlier White House assurances that ISIS had been ‘contained.’ And it is already spurring changes in how the U.S. grapples with ISIS.
A new U.S. intelligence report on ISIS, commissioned by the White House, predicts that the self-proclaimed Islamic State will spread worldwide and grow in numbers, unless it suffers a significant loss of territory on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria, U.S. officials told The Daily Beast.
The report stands in stark contrast to earlier White House assurances that ISIS had been “contained” in Iraq and Syria. And it is already spurring changes in how the U.S. grapples with ISIS, these officials said.
It’s also a tacit admission that coalition efforts so far—dropping thousands of bombs and deploying 3,500 U.S. troops as well as other coalition trainers—have been outpaced by ISIS’s ability to expand and attract new followers, even as the yearlong coalition air campaign has helped local forces drive ISIS out of parts of Iraq and Syria.
Most of Islamic State’s arms were seized from Iraqi army — report
Decades of reckless arms trading and the poorly regulated flow of weapons into Iraq have contributed to the Islamic State group’s accumulation of a “vast and varied” arsenal which is being used to commit war crimes on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria, an international rights group said Tuesday.
Amnesty International’s report, based on expert analysis of verified videos and images, says most of the extremist group’s weapons, ammunition and equipment were looted from the Iraqi army. It says the weapons were manufactured and designed in more than two dozen countries, including Russia, China, the US and EU states.
IS swept across Iraq in the summer of 2014, capturing the second largest city, Mosul, and taking weapons left behind by fleeing Iraqi security forces, including US-supplied arms and military vehicles. The extremist group has also snatched arms from Syrian forces after capturing military bases there.
“The vast and varied weaponry being used by the armed group calling itself Islamic State is a textbook case of how reckless arms trading fuels atrocities on a massive scale,” said Amnesty researcher Patrick Wilcken.
Report: ISIS seized Hamas weapons cache
An Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated group may have taken the upper hand in the ongoing struggle for power in the Sinai desert and Gaza, a report revealed Monday.
The Sinai has recently witnessed some of the heaviest fighting between security forces and Islamists since the army ousted President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013.
Since then, Egypt has waged war on terror in the region - including against Hamas, which has close ties to the Brotherhood - and seized a Hamas weapons cache there this past summer, Yediot Aharonot reports.
But just a few days after Egyptian forces seized the convoy of arms for Gaza, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis - the Sinai group which pledged allegiance to ISIS last year - mounted a large-scale attack against Egyptian forces using weapons similar to the cache, sources revealed to the daily.
Analysts estimate that the group seized the Hamas weapons convoy shortly after Egypt acquired the cache, and then used them for their own ends despite telling Hamas the cache had been destroyed.
ISIS plot for world domination revealed in chilling detail with plans for education and industry
A document outlining how ISIS organises the vast territory it controls has been unearthed - and the terror group is far more sophisticated than we feared.
The leaked dossier outlines how the terror group is trying to build a state complete with guidelines for education, natural resources, industry, diplomacy, propaganda and the military.
The 24-page document 'Principles in the administration of the Islamic State’ gives an incredible insight into the well-funded regime.
Written by an Egyptian called Abu Abdullah, outlines how kids must receive “training on bearing light arms”.
He also calls for a single identity for the terror group to unite both foreigners and locals and makes the case for establishing independent “factories for local military and food production”.
Iran tests another mid-range ballistic missile in breach of UN resolutions
Iran has carried out a new medium range ballistic missile test in breach of two United Nations Security Council resolutions, a senior U.S. official told Fox News on Monday.
Western intelligence says the test was held Nov. 21 near Chabahar, a port city in southeast Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province near the border with Pakistan. The launch took place from a known missile test site along the Gulf of Oman.
The missile, known as a Ghadr-110, has a range of 1,800 – 2000 km, or 1200 miles, and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The missile fired in November is an improved version of the Shahab 3, and is similar to the precision guided missile tested by Iran on Oct. 10, which elicited strong condemnation from members of the U.N. Security Council.
“The United States is deeply concerned about Iran's recent ballistic missile launch," Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said in a statement after the last Iranian ballistic missile test in October.
Israel Accuses Iran of Secretly Producing Gluten (satire)
In a tense press conference, Prime Minister Netanyahu made his strongest accusation to date: that Iran had a clandestine plan in place to manufacture the substance most feared by White Western Progressives: Gluten. Netanyahu walked an at-first skeptical media step by step on Iran’s dual-use bakeries, illegal import of non-EU compliant pasta, and an array of centrifuges spinning high-grade gluten out of low-grade pita bread.
The International Community reacted in panic, with multiple food co-ops in Hendon, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, and Ithaca shutting down temporarily in a panic. Ann Arbor Peoples’ Socialist Inclusive Food and Wellness Cooperative Collective Chairperson, NightSky Dyson summed up the feeling of the Progressive Community. “ When I saw Netanyahu’s speech, I thought it was going to be more of his ‘Iran’s getting the bomb’ blah-blah bullshit. But this…..this is serious. Sorry, I need to go; we’re going to need to stock up on a LOT more yogurt cultures. Wait….do you think we can blame this on the Occupation?”
The Jewish Progressive Left was equally confused. Jeremy Ben-Ami, Grand Poobah over at J-Street, summed up the feelings of angst. “I hope you appreciate how delicate this situation is. There is only one thing that my constituents dislike more than Israel Netanyahu’s policies, and that’s gluten.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas denies Clinton remark that ISIS visited Gaza
Hamas on Monday condemned Hilary Clinton, the front-runner for the nomination of the Democratic Party, for saying that an Islamic State (ISIS) commander had visited the Gaza Strip.
“This talk is untrue,” said Hamas representative Ismail Radwan. “We reject these hostile remarks.”
In a speech at the Saban Forum, an annual gathering at the Brookings Institution in Washington, Clinton said, “Israel is no stranger to terrorism. Today Israel faces growing threats in its own neighborhood. An ISIS affiliate across the border in Sinai is becoming more aggressive and sophisticated. It is responsible for the destruction of a Russian airliner. And Israeli media reported last week that an ISIS commander from the Sinai visited the Gaza Strip, raising the stakes even higher.”
Radwan said that Clinton’s remarks were a sign of “complete bias in favor of the Zionist occupation and an attempt to cause confusion, appease the occupation and win the votes of American Jews” in the next US presidential election.
The Hamas leader warned Clinton and other US politicians not to involve the Palestinian issue in the election campaign. “These remarks constitute a deviation from values and morals and a cover-up for all Zionist crimes against our people,” he added.
Israel seizes thousands of rock-thrower dolls headed for PA
Some 4,000 plush toys of rock-throwing men dressed in Palestinian garb were intercepted Tuesday at the Haifa port by Israeli authorities, who said the dolls were headed for the Palestinian Authority and were part of an incitement campaign.
Each toy has its face hidden by a keffiyah, with one arm raised and clutching a tiny toy rock. They hold banners in Palestinian colors proclaiming “Jerusalem is ours” and “Jerusalem we are coming.”
Customs officials found the dolls in a container that arrived from the United Arab Emirates and destined for the Palestinian Authority. According to the accompanying paperwork, the shipment was supposed to be clothing, rugs, and plastic products.
After being unloaded, the container was sent for inspection at a customs depot, where inspectors found the dolls along with bulbs and soles for military boots.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said in a statement that the dolls were “on their way to the Palestinian Authority with one clear intention, to poison the minds of innocent young children.”

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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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