Sunday, December 13, 2015

From Ian:

Defense experts back IDF’s 2014 Gaza campaign, claim critics are invoking wrong set of laws
Armies of the world would be rendered far less effective if they were forced to operate under the same restrictions as the IDF during last summer’s Gaza campaign, a group of former military and defense leaders from nine countries claim in a new report released Friday.
Following a months-long investigation into the 50-day conflict, the High Level Military Group — made up of retired generals and defense officials from Germany, Colombia, India, Spain, Australia, the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Italy — found that Israel not only abided by the laws of armed conflict, but far surpassed their requirements, despite damning reports by the UN and non-governmental organizations that accused the IDF of potential war crimes.
The group had already defended Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, submitting their preliminary findings to the UN Human Rights Commission’s probe into the operation, but the group’s final 80-page report goes far beyond their initial assessment.
“Our findings were diametrically opposed to the UN report,” Col. Richard Kemp, one of the document’s authors and the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, told The Times of Israel on Thursday, blasting the lack of military expertise by the United Nations commission that investigated the conflict. “The UN report was done too quickly and was done by the wrong people.”
High Level Military Group report contradicts UK media narrative on #Gaza War
If you were to base your conclusions about the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas solely on reports in the British media, you’d possibly believe that not only did the IDF fail to take adequate precautions to avoid civilian casualties, but that it may have even targeted Palestinian children.
So one-sided was the coverage, and so lacking in necessary context when reporting on civilian deaths, that the vast moral asymmetry between Hamas fighters who cynically placed their own civilians in harm’s way and the IDF who took unprecedented measures to minimize civilian deaths eluded most observers.
Those who have, until now, rejected such Israeli ‘claims’ as merely representing propaganda will have a difficult time dismissing a new 80 page report by international military experts which concluded that Western armies would be rendered far less effective if “forced to operate under the same restrictions as the IDF”.
The months-long investigation into the war by the High Level Military Group (HLMG), made up of retired generals and defense officials from nine countries, concluded that Israel not only abided by the laws of armed conflict, but far surpassed their requirements.
Israel’s “knock on the roof” technique, telephone calls and leaflets dropped warning non-combatants to leave the area of impending attacks and missions canceled due to possible civilian casualties represented a far higher level of restraint than other Western armies, the report concluded.
Col. Richard Kemp: Royals must be allowed to pay respects in Israel
Letter published in The Sunday Telegraph, 13 December 2015.
SIR – Your article “The Royals and a long line of snubs to Israel” raises a troubling problem, and one that must be urgently resolved for reasons that go beyond the political.
The ban on royal visits to Israel dates back to the end of the British mandate and the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, which humiliated the Foreign Office, frustrating its carefully crafted plans over three decades to deny the Jewish homeland that had been promised by the Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, in 1917.
The reason was a desire to appease and inveigle the Arab countries, all of which opposed the creation of the Jewish state, in order to gain influence over them and their oil. Also tied up in this in the late Thirties was the legitimate intent to prevent an Arab alliance with the Nazis, which failed.
The Foreign Office continues to harbour a deep-seated resentment towards Israel, refusing to allow a royal visit until the Jewish state changes its policies.
In two years we will see the centenary of the liberation by British forces under General Allenby of the Holy City of Jerusalem. A total of 16,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers died in the Palestine Campaign – the second largest theatre of operations of the First World War.
Will the Foreign Office prevent royal attendance at the centenary commemoration of the war in Palestine? Will it allow its grudge against Israel to deny British soldiers who fell fighting for the Crown there an equal honour to that bestowed on their comrades in arms at Gallipoli this year, when both the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry were present?

Stabbing attempt in Kiryat Arba, terrorist shot
A female attacker was shot and wounded by IDF soldiers near Kiryat Arba on Sunday, after she tried and failed to stab an Israeli civilian, the IDF reported Sunday.
The incident took place on the road leading from Kiryat Arba to the Jewish settlement in Hebron. The IDF spokesperson’s office said that soldiers saw a Palestinian woman with a knife try to attack an Israeli civilian and opened fire, wounding and subduing the attacker.
The woman was evacuated to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem in moderate to serious condition.
No other injuries were reported in the attack.
'The terrorist attacked the soldier, my son jumped on him'
Former Knesset member Orit Struck expressed pride for her son Yitzhak’s heroic act after he jumped on a terrorist in Hevron, saving the life of an IDF officer.
"I still cannot believe that it happened," she recounted to Arutz Sheva. "The terrorist attacked the soldier in the head and hands and his whole face was full of blood. Yitzhak saw that the weapons holders were still so far away and so he jumped on the terrorist, breaking his arm because of the power of his hit."
"He wrestled the terrorist off soldier and the terrorist stabbed him in the leg, and then he saw that the weapons holders were in close enough range so he moved aside to let them shoot the terrorist without getting hurt."
"Yitzhak was only lightly hurt, thank God. We are now leaving Shaare Zedek hospital, but not before going to hug the soldier, who thank God seemed better, and he'll be fine," continued Strook.
Stabbing Terrorist Eliminated

Suspect in Tel Aviv terror attack indicted for murder
A Palestinian man who allegedly stabbed two Israelis to death and wounded a third in a Tel Aviv attack on November 19 was indicted for murder Sunday at the Tel Aviv District Court.
Raed Masalmeh, 36, was accused of taking a nine-inch knife from a grill restaurant where he worked in Tel Aviv and fatally stabbing Reuven Aviram, 51, from Ramle, and Aharon Yesiav, 32, from Tel Aviv.
Masalmeh expressed regret for his actions and shed a tear while reenacting the crime earlier this month, police said. He said he was driven to carry out the attack by the pain he felt for the situation of the Palestinians.
After taking the knife, the charge sheet said, Masalmeh went to the second floor of the Panorama building and, seeing Aviram and another dozen men who’d gathered for the Jewish afternoon prayer, assailed him and stabbed him multiple times.
Aviram managed to flee and shout “terrorist” before collapsing. Masalmeh then stabbed Yesiav nine times in the torso.
The worshipers quickly closed the door and struggled with Masalmeh for a few minutes as he tried to force entry.
Arab indicted for inciting terror attacks on Facebook
An indictment was filed Sunday with the Jerusalem Magistrates Court against Sur Baher resident Mohammed Abu Kaf on eight counts of incitement to violence and terror attacks.
According to the indictment, Channel 10 reported, Abu Kaf, 21, posted on his Facebook page in October several direct calls to violence and terror against Israeli civilians and security forces.
Moreover, he posted a video inciting viewers to carry out stabbings and car-ramming attacks.
In the clip, a masked terrorist stabs a man in an IDF uniform. A caption underneath reads, in both Hebrew and Arabic, "You will die, leave our land [...} we are messengers of hell for you sons of Zion."
The video also portrays an attack on an Israeli military base, in which terrorists throw firebombs, simulated stabbing attacks against policemen in Jerusalem, as well as a young man burning several Israeli flags.
IDF prepares to demolish West Bank home of terrorist who ran over 4 IDF soldiers
The IDF on Sunday prepared a home for demolition belonging to a terrorist who ran down four soldiers with his vehicle last week. Acting under orders from the security cabinet, units from the IDF Artillery Corps Reshef Battalion and the Civil Administration "mapped out" the home of Muhammad Salam in the West Bank village of A-Luban.
Salam is the terrorist who attempted to carry out a vehicle ramming attack near Beit Aryeh on Thursday.
Four IDF soldiers were wounded in that attack, when a black Isuzu vehicle plowed into the soldiers as they were carrying out a road-security mission, then sped away.
The Shin Bet and IDF arrested the driver early on Friday during a raid.
Haaretz: 'Ramming Car Fled the Scene'
What happens when Pixar's "Cars" meet a Haaretz news story about a Palestinian attack? Anthropomorphic vehicles ram soldiers and flee the scene.
Haaretz's page-one article yesterday ("Four soldiers wounded in car-ramming") begins: "Four soldiers were wounded when a car deliberately drove into them at the Beit Arye junction in the West Bank yesterday afternoon."
It's very doubtful that the car made a deliberate decision to drive into the soldiers. In fact, it's probably safe to say that the vehicle did not make any decision of any kind.
Nevertheless, further assigning agency to the personified attacking vehicle, the article also states:
The car crashed into a military vehicle after hitting the soldiers, wounding its driver.
The soldiers were standing near the military vehicle when a speeding car rammed three of them. It then crashed into the vehicle and wounded its driver as well.
The ramming car fled the scene, but it was later found. . .
 Analysis: On border with Gaza, IDF quietly reconfigures itself
Along the tense border between Israel and northern Gaza, southern Israel is experiencing the calmest period in 15 years, as Hamas continues to recover from the damage it sustained from Operation Protective Edge two summers ago.
Yet the quiet is deceptive, and what is visible to the eye along the border is less telling than the low-profile preparations for future hostilities that are being made on both sides of the border.
Hidden from view, amid multi-story buildings of northern Gaza, Hamas resumed construction of a network of attack tunnels aimed at getting terrorists into Israel in any future conflict. It has filled buildings in neighborhoods like Shejaiya, the scene of intense fighting in 2014, with new weapons and lookouts, and it has resumed domestic rocket production, relying on Iranian funding and know-how.
On the Israeli side, filled with green farming districts that surround the town of Sderot, the IDF's Northern Gaza Brigade has activated a new deployment pattern, based on the idea of territorial defense, rather than mere border patrols.
The basic goal of the new concept is to respond very rapidly to any surprise attack from Gaza, and gain control of the situation, thereby preventing Hamas cells from infiltrating Israeli communities, where they could go on killing sprees, or carry out kidnappings.
Maajid Nawaz: How to Beat Islamic State
To win against the jihadists, isolate them, undercut their appeal to Muslims and avoid a ‘clash of civilizations’
Airstrikes against Islamic State must also be supported by an international ground force, a few thousand in number, and fronted by Sunni Arabs. These should be backed by an international squad of special forces and support staff, all of whom are focused on dislodging Islamic State from its strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa. As for the question of Mr. Assad, as part of a deal with Russia and Iran, the Syrian regime should be kept intact, but Mr. Assad must go.
Such actions may weaken Islamic State’s operational capacity but will not defeat its ideological appeal. The Islamist extremism that first inspired al Qaeda and then Islamic State will continue to inspire others. Islamic State was not alone in radicalizing the estimated 6,000 Europeans who have traveled to join them. That many recruits couldn’t have emerged from a vacuum. Islamic State propaganda is good, but not that good.
In fact, decades of Islamist propaganda had already primed these young Muslims to yearn for a theocracy. The same YouGov survey I cited above found that 33% of young British Muslims expressed a desire to see the resurrection of a world-wide caliphate. Islamic State has simply plucked the low-hanging fruit seeded long ago by other Islamist groups operating across Europe.
Reversing this campaign will require decades of work by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, but the endgame must be to render the ideology of Islamism intellectually and socially obsolete.
Ex-Givati soldier left Israel to join ISIS, says source
An Israeli army veteran from the country's Arab minority has joined Islamic State insurgents in Syria, an Israeli security official said on Sunday, confirming a local media report.
Authorities say dozens of Muslim Arab citizens have illegally traveled to Islamic State's Syrian or Iraqi fiefdoms, raising concerns they might return radicalized and trained to carry out armed attacks at home.
Arabs make up 20 percent of the Israeli population and are generally exempted from military service while most Jewish citizens are drafted. A few Israeli Arabs volunteer for the army or paramilitary police, however.
Walla News said one of the Islamic State recruits previously served in Israel's Givati infantry brigade, a unit that has often operated in Gaza.
Walla did not name the man or provide details on when he left for Syria, saying only that he was a Muslim from a village in northern Israel, was estranged from his family and would have been discharged from the army in January 2014.
Islamic State can falsify Syrian passports, US report claims
A U.S. government agency report has warned that the Islamic State group has the ability to create fake Syrian passports, a federal official confirmed on Friday.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed the contents of a story by CNN on Friday about the report, but declined to provide a copy of the report.
The report says Islamic State has access to Syrian government passport printing machines and blank passports, raising the possibility the travel documents could be faked, CNN reported, citing a law enforcement source.
The CNN source added that there was also concern that because the group had access to biographical and fingerprint data on Syrian citizens, there was also a possibility of identity theft.
ABC News, which first reported the story on Thursday, said the report was released to law enforcement by the Homeland Security Investigations agency last week and raised the possibility that militants could use the documents to travel to the United States.
Russia fires warning shots at Turkish ship
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday one of its warships, the destroyer Smetlivy, had been forced to fire warning shots at a Turkish vessel in the Aegean Sea to avoid a collision and that it had summoned the Turkish military attache over the incident.
It said in a statement that the Turkish fishing vessel, which it did not name, had failed to respond to earlier warnings, but had sharply changed course after shots were fired before passing within just over 500 meters of the warship.
The incident, which occurred on Sunday morning, is likely to heighten tensions between the two nations who are seriously at odds over Syria and the Turkish shooting down of a Russian military jet last month.
Analysis: What is Iran up to?
The JCPOA also seems to have emboldened Iran to act on the international stage. Yoel Guzansky, a research fellow with the Institute for National Security Studies, told The Media Line that agreement has bolstered Iran’s non-nuclear foreign policy agenda in the Middle East, without regard for American interests. “The agreement gave Iran more confidence,” he said, while at the same time “feeling less vulnerable, more immune to criticism.”
“On the opposite side, the West is less capable of criticizing Iran on its behavior because Iran is seen to be reaching for the nuclear agreement.”
The JCPOA obliges Iran to reduce its stockpiles of nuclear material and the number of functional centrifuges it possesses. These represent the basic building blocks of the nuclear program Iran always claimed had a solely civilian purpose, which the West believed was aimed at paving the path towards nuclear weapons.
In exchange for the curtailment of this plan, the governments negotiating on behalf of the West – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany, known as the P5+1 nations - lifted economic sanctions.
Analysts as august as the former Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, believe Iran’s proxy actors in the region will benefit from increased cash flow in the months following adoption of the JCPOA.
Obama determined to lift Iran sanctions despite open questions
The Obama administration is determined to move ahead with the lifting of sanctions as early as Tuesday, despite the Islamic Republic's test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile last week, in violation of U.N. Security Council decisions.
Pursuant to the July 14 nuclear agreement with Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency has recently released a report on the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program. That report essentially said there was no evidence that Iran was actively pursuing a nuclear bomb. It also said Iran has complied with the road map to settle outstanding issues on its past activities. This paves the way for an official IAEA resolution ending the investigation into the matter.
If such a resolution is passed Tuesday -- as is widely expected -- Dec. 15 will be the official "implementation day" of the agreement, and most U.N. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be lifted simultaneously. Under the terms of the deal, the EU and U.S. are required to lift most sanctions after Implementation Day, as well.
Lawmakers plan last-ditch effort to derail Iran sanctions relief
The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency is expected to close the file on Iran's past nuclear work when it meets Tuesday, clearing the way for Tehran to get relief from international sanctions that have crippled its economy and isolated it from the global financial system.
The Obama administration sees that step as a key milestone in the implementation of its signature foreign policy achievement: a deal to lift the sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran's nuclear program that will last at least 10 years. But critics of the deal see it as one last chance to stop what they see as a multibillion-dollar giveaway to a theocratic state that continues to support terrorism and defy U.N. resolutions, most recently ones barring it from developing advanced, nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
"Just this week, we learned Iran carried out another test on a ballistic missile — the delivery vehicle for a nuclear warhead — in violation of at least two U.N. resolutions," House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., said Thursday. "Rushing to close this investigation into Iran's past work, with a resolution that Congress and the American people have not seen, will demonstrate to Iran that there are no consequences for its continued obstruction and aggression."
Tehran expects that the board's acceptance of a Dec. 2 IAEA report will close the file on the possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program, even though the report said Iran had experimented with trying to build a nuclear weapon through 2009, later than had been previously thought, and was not as conclusive as many, including U.S. lawmakers, had demanded.
Argentina's new government won't seek to revive Iran deal on JCC bombing probe
Argentina's new government will not appeal a court's decision to strike down a deal with Iran over investigating a deadly 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center, a government source said on Friday, putting the long-running controversy to rest.
President Mauricio Macri took office on Thursday. Former leader Cristina Fernandez had said she would appeal the ruling last year voiding the agreement she signed with Iran in 2013 to investigate the country's suspected role in the bombing.
The memorandum would have created a joint "truth commission" made up of five independent judges from third-party countries to investigate the bombing. It would also have allowed for Iranian suspects in the case to be questioned.
Tehran denies any responsibility in the attack that killed 85 and refuses to extradite its citizens. Argentine laws meanwhile forbid trying suspects in absentia.
Netanyahu: Argentine decision to scrap accord with Iran 'very welcome'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Argentina's new president Mauricio Macri Sunday for essentially cancelling an agreement with Iran that would potentially relieve it of responsibility for the deadly bombing against the AMIA Jewish Community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.
Marci's decision not to appeal a court ruling against the agreement with Iran, something his predecessor Christina Fernandez intended to do, is a harbinger of significantly better Argentine-Israeli ties, Netanyahu said.
“This is a welcome change of direction, and I hope that we will see a significant improvement in Israeli-Argentine ties, as well as an improvement in ties with other South American countries in the coming years,” the premier commented at Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
Ciao, Cristina: The Limits of Anti-Semitism in Argentina
As the clock struck midnight in Buenos Aires last night, street celebrations broke out in various parts of the city. Residents banged pots and pans, waved the Argentine flag, set off fireworks, and sang the national anthem. Similar scenes were recorded in many other cities throughout the country.
The reason for all this joy was the end of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s second and final term in office. Since the return of democracy to Argentina in 1983, the departure of presidents from office has occurred in a variety of circumstances, but has never before sparked spontaneous street festivities.
There are many reasons why Fernández de Kirchner’s departure from the political scene is significant, but just one will be of concern here: her government exemplified the possibilities and limits of the new anti-Semitism.
IDF officer detained in Britain on war crime allegations from Gaza war
A retired IDF officer was detained for questioning in recent weeks upon landing in Britain on allegations that he was involved in war crimes during the Gaza war in the summer of 2014.
The reserves officer was questioned for hours and was only released following Foreign Ministry intervention.
The British authorities subsequently apologized to the officer.
It is thought that the officer's name was on a list prepared by pro-Palestinian groups naming IDF soldiers involved in alleged war crimes during Operation Protective Edge.
The Foreign Ministry on Saturday evening confirmed the details of the incident, and stressed that the officer was released only due to its intervention.
Last week a group of former international chiefs of staff and senior-ranking commanders, following a lengthy examination, found that Israel’s military measures to defend its population during the 50-day clash with Hamas in Gaza met, and often exceeded, the expectations of the Laws of Armed Conflict.
"Ins'Allah!": Obama Chanukah Party Attacks Islamophobia, Calls for "Justice" for Palestinians
Obama's Chanukah parties have had issues in the past. But this time it teetered over into full-blown violently offensive territory. Obama's own remarks were boilerplate inoffensive stuff. Israel's President Rivlin, a political hack who desperately sucks up to the media, was equally insipid.
But the White House chose Susan Talve to light the Menorah. Talve is a member of the anti-Israel group T'ruah which is currently promoting assorted "soft BDS" programs. She's also a Ferguson activist. Her behavior was deeply insulting to the religious Jewish community and made it clear that the White House was determined to hijack even a Chanukah party to promote an anti-Jewish agenda.
So the general conviviality of the Chanukah party was disrupted by a crazed rant from Susan Talve in which she seemed determined to jam as many leftist talking points as possible in her limited time. Instead of talking about Chanukah, Talve blathered on about getting, "guns off our streets" and to "clean up the fires of toxic nuclear waste".
Talve screeched, "I stand here with my fierce family of clergy and black lives matter activists who took to the streets of Ferguson".
Having celebrated the race riots which destroyed a community, she pivoted to Syrian Muslim migrants. Chanukah is a celebration of the Maccabees defeating a Syrian occupation, but Talve may not even know that. Radical clergy tend to be light on the religion and heavy on the social justice.
Instead she rambled on about how the "gates of this nation would stay open for all immigrants and all refugees".
Then, not satisfied with having made a disgrace of the Chanukah ceremony, Susan Talve declared, "I stand here to light these lights to say no the darkness of Islamophobia and Homophobia and Transphobia."
Talve babbled about insuring "justice for Palestinians" and began gleefully chanting, "Ins'Allah, Ins'Allah". Or "Allah Willing". (h/t Yenta Press)
You are not a representative of the UN
When President Reuven Rivlin was elected to be the tenth president of Israel, I was pleased. After years of former President Shimon Peres trying to use his office to launch independent and alternative foreign policy initiatives, I reasoned that it would be a refreshing change to have a president who grew up on the legacy of Beitar and the teachings of Ze'ev Jabotinsky.
Now, after more than a year of Rivlin's presidency, I'm beginning to miss Peres. Israeli citizens and world leaders knew that Peres was an avowed left-winger who represented a minority of Israelis. He was a president who did everything he could to protect an unrealistic and dangerous vision of peace, for which he received the Nobel Peace Prize alongside late PLO leader Yasser Arafat. But when Rivlin, who identifies with the Right, provides Israel's enemies and those who criticize its policies with ammunition it makes thing complicated.
In 2014, just months after he was elected, British newspaper The Guardian -- known for its consistent and aggressive stance against Israel -- chose Rivlin as one of the heroes of the year, crowning him as the "country's conscience." I should have realized right then that when a newspaper like that applauds an Israeli president, that president's remarks must be problematic.
Vic Rosenthal: Rivlin’s folly
Today, December 13, the extreme-left Ha’aretz newspaper and the BDS-supporting New Israel Fund will be holding a conference in New York. The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, will be one of the speakers.
The other speakers and panelists include politicians from the most farthest reaches of left-wing Israeli politics; anti-Israel propagandists like Gideon Levy and Amira Hass; representatives of J Street, the New Israel Fund, the Union for Reform Judaism and other US organizations that oppose Israeli policy and advocate American intervention in its affairs; Palestinian Authority negotiator and famous liar (“I am a descendent of Canaanite tribes”) Saeb Erekat; representatives of various foreign-funded anti-Israel NGOs; Rob Malley, Obama’s Mideast advisor, friend of Arafat, and partisan of the Palestinian Cause; Michael Sfard, distinguished practitioner of lawfare against the Jewish state; professional Israel bashers Lara Friedman, Peter Beinart, and numerous others – in particular, Avner Gvaryahu, of Breaking the Silence (BTS).
A word about BTS: the organization is massively funded by various foreign sources, including the EU, individual European countries and foundations associated with them, and the American New Israel Fund. BTS collects ‘testimonies’ of IDF “war crimes” or bad behavior of various types, and travels around the world preaching the gospel that the IDF is deliberately cruel and violates international law. When pressed by IDF investigators to document such behavior so violators can be prosecuted, they have been unwilling or unable to do so. Their reports have been called “propaganda, not journalism.”
Reservists call on Rivlin to boycott event critical of IDF
Dozens of reservists held a protest vigil outside President Reuven Rivlin's official residence on Saturday night, urging him not to attend the Haaretz conference in New York on Sunday, in which members of the Breaking the Silence organization are scheduled to participate.
The reservists called on the president, who is on a visit in the U.S., to send a clear message against the organization -- which brings together veteran soldiers dedicated to exposing alleged mistreatment of Palestinians by the Israel Defense Forces -- and others like it that seek to delegitimize the IDF and the State of Israel.
Their protest joins widespread criticism on social media of Rivlin's decision to participate in a conference held together with the New Israel Fund.
Breaking the Silence activist Avner Gvaryahu and controversial left-wing journalist Amira Hass are expected to speak at the conference.
BBC webpage: Israel occupying ‘traditional Arab lands’ since 1948
Here is yet another example of a BBC webpage (headed “Education”) with no date stamp which is still available online and contains inaccurate and misleading content – in this case the claim that Israel occupied land in 1948.
“In 1948 the state of Israel was created in traditional Arab lands. Its existence was challenged by neighbouring countries and, in response to attacks by Arab neighbours, Israel secured its borders by occupying lands in which Palestinians had lived for generations.”
U.S. Leftist Refuses Treatment at Israeli Hospital after Car Accident
An unidentified American human rights activist whose vehicle overturned Sunday morning refused to be evacuated to an Israeli Hospital, TPS news agency reported.
The activist, who lives in Bir Zeit near Ramallah, must have shuddered at the thought of riding in a Jewish ambulance of the “occupation” that had been sent from the Nevei Tzuf community in Samaria.
Instead, he waited for a Palestinian Authority Red Crescent ambulance to take him to his preferred destination, a hospital in Ramallah.
Whether he likes it or not, initial aid was offered by Magen David medics.
He is lucky he did not lose consciousness, in which case he would have woken up in one of those Zionist hospitals.
Netanyahu Spokesman Says Facebook Page Ranked ‘Dangerous’ by Egyptian Paper
An Egyptian publication warned against the Facebook page of an Arabic-language spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week.
“My Facebook page was ranked by an Egyptian paper as the 4th most dangerous Israeli Facebook page to Arabs b/c I communicate w/ them directly,” Ofir Gendelman, who often posts in Arabic, wrote on Twitter.
Gendelman further explained on Facebook that the Egyptian publication Al-Watan published a list of five “Israeli pages” written in Arabic, which have what it called negative effects on the minds of Arab youth. “Beware of approaching them,” Al-Watan News told its readers, according to Gendleman.
The other Israeli pages specified by Al-Watan were: that of IDF Arabic spokesperson Maj. Avichay Adraee (ranked No. 1); a page called “Israel Speaks Arabic,” which focuses on relations between Israel and Arab countries (ranked No. 2); and the “Israel in Egypt Page.” Fifth place was given to the Arabic Facebook page of pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs.
Gendelman quipped on Facebook, “I thought I was more dangerous than that.”
Middle East Truth - Trailer: The Jews and Arabs in Israel/Palestine - 100 years in 10 minutes

Report: Saudis elect 17 women in landmark local council polls
Saudi Arabians voted 17 women into public office in municipal elections in the conservative Islamic kingdom on Saturday, the first to allow female participation, a state-aligned news site reported on Sunday before all official results were announced.
The election was the first in which women could vote and run as candidates, a landmark step in a country where women are barred from driving and are legally dependent on a male relative to approve almost all their major life decisions., a news website affiliated with the autocratic monarchy's Interior Ministry, reported that a total of 17 women had been elected in various parts of the country. Some results had been announced on the official Saudi Press Agency, including the victories of four women.
7 Things Women in Saudi Arabia Still Can't Do
1. Go anywhere without a male guardian.
Saudi women must accompany a male relative, known as a ‘mahram’, whenever they venture out of the house. Mahram accompanies the women at all times, including for shopping trips and visits to the doctor.
2. Drive a car.
Although there is no official law that bans women from driving, the country’s deeply held religious beliefs prohibit it, with some clerics argue that female drivers “undermine social values.”
24 Israelis win prestigious EU young researcher grants
Twenty-four Israelis were awarded last week the European Research Council's prestigious Starting Grants for young researchers.
Tel Aviv had the most recipients of any academic institutions in Israel with eight researchers taking home grants, and for the second year running, the third largest number of recipients of any institution eligible to receive the grant.
It lagged slightly behind the 12 grants awarded to the French National Center for Scientific Research, and the 10 receiving by the Max Planck network of institutes in Germany.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem trailed Tel Aviv University with five grant winners and both the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot and the Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa had four.
Rounding out the list were researchers from three other Israeli universities: the University of Haifa, Bar-Ilan University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Taking into account Israel relatively small population, Haaretz calculated, the Jewish state places first among countries earning the grants.
Israel to co-host 2017 EuroBasket championship
In 2017, for the first time in its history, Israel will be among the hosts of the European basketball championship, the basketball world governing body FIBA announced Saturday.
As one of the host countries, Israel will automatically qualify for the EuroBasket championship round.
Six teams, including Israel, will face off in a knockout group phase at Tel Aviv’s Menora Mivtachim Arena between August 31 and September 5, 2017.
This year’s European basketball championship was the first to be hosted by multiple countries and FIBA says it opted to follow the same path for the 2017 edition due to its “unprecedented success.”
FIBA made the announcement in a press conference in Munich, Germany, on Saturday afternoon, with Finland, Romania and Turkey named as the tournament’s other co-hosts. The final two knockout rounds will take place in Istanbul.
‘HMT Dunera,’ the scandal and the salvation
The refugees retained unpleasant memories of their original deportation by troopship to Australia, on which they had been scandalously treated by the British army warders – but there was one positive and amazing thing to be thankful for, of which they only became aware much later.
The Dunera had been followed by a Nazi submarine, of which the crew were not aware. The U-boat was eager and ready to torpedo what it thought was a warship carrying many British soldiers. But the U-boat crew soon became aware of the considerable amount of debris that had been thrown off the boat by the warders, and picked up some of it to inspect it.
When they saw that it contained much in the way of German letters and literature, they concluded that the military boat was not carrying troops to Australia but rather German POWs, and the U-boat commander decided to spare the ship. Thus the boat, the lives of its crew, the warders and the internees were all saved thanks to the harsh and scandalous treatment that had been meted out to the internees by the British army warders.
WATCH: Israeli mission to UN seeks peace through music
The Israeli mission to the United Nations is sponsoring a multi-nation project involving one piece of music played by 11 musicians from six continents.
The “United Pianos” project was produced by CRC Media together with Israeli musician Idan Raichel and composer Tomer Biran, who have created a special rendition of a melody from Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”
The video features pianists from Israel, Turkey, USA, Vietnam, The Bahamas, Germany, India, Australia, Russia, South Africa and Poland. The pianists represent the nations of the world, and include men and women, Jews, Muslims and Christians, playing together and conveying a message of peace and inclusion. Meytal Cohen from LA, known for her viral drumming videos on YouTube, makes a special appearance in the video as well.
The video shows each pianist in his or her home country, playing a part of the arrangement, as the player’s national flag appears in the top left-hand corner of the screen. The two-minute piece is a riff on the theme symbolizing Peter from Sergei Prokofiev’s masterpiece, written – remarkably – over the course of four days in 1936.
UNITED PIANOS | World's first 22 hands piano piece

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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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