Wednesday, December 16, 2015

From Ian:

2 Palestinians accused of bomb plot on Israeli Embassy in Berlin
Two Muslim Germans, both reportedly Palestinian, who were arrested on suspicion of planning an attack on the Israeli Embassy in Berlin were brought before a German court on Wednesday.
The men, both aged 21, were arrested in June while trying to prepare an explosive device from firecrackers. The police found a large quantity of supplies for building a powerful explosive device in their possession, Israeli news site Ynet reported.
The suspects have been identified only by their first names — Muhammad and Ali — as per German law.
Officials said they made preparations between December 2014 and July 2015 to carry out an attack on the Israeli Embassy or some other Israeli or Jewish institution, having possibly been inspired by the Islamic State.
They were accused of “preparation of an act of violence that would gravely endanger the security of the state,” according to the charge sheet.
PMW: Official PA TV to kids: Israel will cease to exist
In two recent broadcasts, official Palestinian Authority TV emphasized the PA message to children that Israel's existence is only temporary and will eventually cease to exist. The host of the program Children's Talk stated that Israel is "all ours" and that it "will return to us."
The host explained that Israeli towns like Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth are in "the '48 lands" - a PA reference to all of Israel. Following general PA education policies, she instructed a young boy that "this information should be inside of us all the time."
Official PA TV host: "My friend, do you know what the '48 lands are?"
Boy: "Yes, the occupation of lands by the Israelis in the year 1948."
Official PA TV host: "These are the lands that are under the occupation's [Israel's] rule at the moment. Do you know cities from among them, can you remind me - the '48 lands?"
Boy: "In the diaspora?"
Official PA TV host: "No, the '48 lands: Haifa -"
Boy: "Haifa, Jaffa, Acre."
Official PA TV host: "Correct, and Nazareth and many more cities in these lands. We will mention them in the coming episodes, Allah willing. I apologize Yazan, I do not mean to embarrass you, I mean that this information should be inside of us all the time. The occupation must know that we fully believe and are confident that all of this land belongs to us, the '48 [lands] (i.e., all of Israel) are all ours and will return to us, right?"
Boy: "Yes, of course."
[Official PA TV, Nov. 13, 2015]
PA TV to kids: Israel is “our land... it will all exist under the name of ‘the State of Palestine’’’

Palestinian Lies Kill

An Impossible Standard for Israel
As has been witnessed during Israel’s conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah, there is now every incentive for other terror groups from ISIS, to the Taliban, to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to employ human shields as a weapon against law-abiding democracies. They know that by hiding behind civilians, they can achieve a wide range of strategic objectives. If a western military aborts an attack on a target for fear of harming any civilians being abused as human shields, then that is an automatic win for the militants. If a western power decides that the military necessity of hitting that target justifies the possible collateral damage, then the loss of life that might occur can subsequently be exploited by terror groups as a means for further inciting local enmity against the West, allowing them to better recruit for their own cause.
Particularly troubling is how all of this now plays out in the West itself. Terror groups with a total disregard for the wellbeing of their own populations know full well how a high civilian casualty rate can be made to play out in the court if public opinion. Journalists, international observers, campaigners, and many in government; all apparently suffer from having an incredibly poor grasp of where international law and, particularly, the laws of armed conflict stand on a whole range of issues. As we’ve seen with Israel’s wars, world opinion now expects Israel to conduct its wars without anyone being harmed. Civilian casualties are automatically taken as proof of wrong doing and malicious intent on the part of Israel. Equally, more casualties on one side than on the other must point to gross and reckless disproportionality.
Of course, the fact that Israel went to very great lengths to avoid civilians while seeking to achieve its military objectives and yet was still hauled over the coals by the international community should concern us greatly. But perhaps of even more concern should be the fact that we appear to be moving toward a scenario in which every western war against terrorists will inevitably be held up as illegitimate. This report should begin by prompting world leaders to reconsider how they view Israel’s military activities. But then it should prompt some much deeper thinking about how they intend to fight and win their own wars while also holding Israel to the impossible standard that they currently do.
The Price of Unjustifiable Murder
Indeed, Abbas may believe, as Arafat did, that more violence only generates greater interest in the Palestinian cause. Abbas, Arafat’s longtime aide and the organizer of atrocities, still remembers that it was Arafat’s embrace of terror that put the Palestinians on the political map. Moreover, like ISIS and other Islamist terror groups, Fatah understands that the root of its legitimacy isn’t in peacemaking but in demonstrating the élan that comes with inflicting ruthless terror.
But there may be limits even to what European elites would be willing to do for a Palestinian Authority that can’t really be differentiated from its Hamas rivals. Nothing Abbas does, no matter how awful, would be enough to motivate Europe to embrace the Israelis. But an undeniable embrace of terrorism by Abbas is inconsistent with his carefully honed image as peacemaker, an ideal to which many in the U.S., Israel, and Europe have held. Support for a terrorism double standard that exempts Palestinians from the consequences of their actions is not inexhaustible.
After playing both ends against the middle for so long, Abbas may have made a major miscalculation. He will never have a more sympathetic American president than Obama, but rather than take advantage of this situation, he chose to stall and then start competing with Hamas. Though he and other Palestinians have trained themselves to think that violence always pays, he fails to understand that this time it may actually have the opposite effect on their prospects. With the world distracted from the myth of the centrality of the Palestinians by ISIS and the wars in Syria and Iraq, the Palestinians are on the verge of rendering themselves completely irrelevant. The Palestinians are watching their opportunity for peace and statehood dissolve in the gore of a stabbing intifada that is disabusing even their most ardent apologists. Though the stalemate does neither side much good, it is impossible to imagine anyone caring much about a national movement that cannot even pretend to distance itself from random slaughter. The price of unjustifiable murder may be political oblivion for its practitioners.
The countries where a majority of Muslims want to live under sharia law
The legal framework based on the moral and legal code of Islam is rarely out of the news.
The most extreme interpretations of Sharia are being enforced by Isis and Boko Haram, it is railed against by Republican presidential candidates, and the Independent recently revealed how Sharia councils in Britain are locking women into "marital captivity" and doing nothing to officially report domestic violence.
But how do Muslims feel about Sharia ?
An international Pew Research Center poll of Muslims, conducted in 2013, found that this varies widely across countries - shown in the above graphic produced by Statista.
Respondents were asked if Sharia should be the official law of the land in their country.
In Afghanistan, 99 per cent said yes, with Iraq (91 per cent), the Palestinian Territories (89 per cent), Malaysia (86 per cent) and Niger (also 86 per cent) the countries next most in favour.
Official source: Baby boy injured in Monday terror attack lost his leg
Both the Hadassah Medical Organization and the family of the 18-month-old boy - religious immigrants from France - who was seriously injured in Monday’s vehicular terrorist attack refused to confirm a report in the Jerusalem Post's sister paper Maariv that the toddlers leg had to be amputated under the knee.
The toddler is the only victim still being held at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem.
Meanwhile, Shaare Zedek Medical Center reported on Tuesday that five of Monday's victims were hospitalized there.
One woman in moderate condition is attached to a respirator and ventilated in the intensive care unit. A man who was wounded and in moderate condition underwent surgery and is being treated in the orthopedics department. Another woman is in the ear-nose-and-throat department, and two others are under observation in good condition.
Three IDF soldiers hurt by gunfire after ramming attempt in W. Bank; 2 terrorists killed
Two terrorists who tried to ram their vehicles into security forces were killed, and Palestinian gunmen fired on IDF soldiers during an incident-filled raid on the Kalandiya Refugee Camp overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Three soldiers were also lightly injured in the raid by friendly fire, when shots were fired at one of the car ramming terrorists.
The Binyamin territorial Brigade, together with Border Police, Judea and Samaria District Police, Givati Brigade infantry units, and Duvdevan undercover soldiers entered Kalandiya in the middle of the night to arrest security suspects and carry out weapons searches.
The security forces encountered a very violent disturbance, which began with Molotov cocktails and rocks, the army said. Then, masked Palestinian gunmen appeared, and opened fire at the soldiers. There were no injuries among security personnel in the shooting attacks. The armed attackers quickly vanished after opening fire.
Shortly afterwards, two Palestinian drivers entered vehicles and attempted to run over soldiers. Both terrorists were shot dead on the scene by IDF soldiers.
In one of the ramming attempts, three soldiers sustained light wounds from friendly fire in the course of attempts by the army to fire on the attacking vehicle. The injured soldiers were taken to hospital.
Gaza terrorists detonate explosive device on border; IDF patrol returns fire
Terrorists in Gaza activated an explosive device on the border between the southern Strip and Israel, targeting an IDF patrol. There were no injuries among soldiers.
The unit returned fire into Gaza, the army said.
Investigation Clears Police Officer Who Killed ‘Scissors Terrorist’
A police investigation ordered by the offices of the attorney general and government prosecutor has cleared a police sapper of criminal intent of shooting shot dead a terrorist attacking bystanders.
The two teenage female terrorists brandished scissors to stab people at the city’s Mahane Yehuda open market last month. One of them managed to lightly wound a 70-year-old Arab before the police sapper at the scene shot her and her accomplice.
A video showed one of the women on the ground after being shot and then the police officer shooting her again and killing her, prompting the government attorneys to demand an investigation on suspicion of murder.
The investigators concluded, after three days of questioning, that since there was no sound with the video, there was no way to contradict statements by the police sapper that he first ordered the woman to drop the scissors and shot only after she refused.
IDF Court Acquits Arab Who Severely Injured Woman of Attempted Murder
The Ofer military court in Judea and Samaria acquitted an Arab who threw stones and severely injured a woman driver of attempted murder, stating there was not high enough a probability that throwing stones at vehicles would cause death. The court convicted the defendant, Ali Hamamrah, of causing grievous bodily harm instead, Ha’aretz reported Tuesday.
Hamamrah, along with four friends, threw stones at Israeli cars near the town of Beitar Illit in November 2012, during the Pillar of Defense operation in Gaza. The stones hit four cars, one of which was driven by Ziona Kala, who was badly injured: her jaw was broken and she suffered internal bleeding in the brain.
On Rosh Hashanah this year, 64-year-old Alexander Levlovitch lost control of his vehicle near the Palestinian neighborhood of Sur Baher in eastern Jerusalem when his car was hit by stones. His car then hit a power pole and landed in a ditch. Levlovitch died after sustaining critical wounds in the crash. As a result of the public outrage that followed, in late September Israel’s security cabinet unanimously voted to approve a temporary series of measures meant to clamp down on rock-throwing. The measures, set to last for three years, imposed a minimum four-year prison term for Arabs who throw rocks and Molotov cocktails, including for minors between the ages of 14 and 18, as well as fines for their parents and the cancellation of their welfare benefits.
Arab who repeatedly stabbed police officer 'not a terrorist'
The Haifa district attorney's office on Wednesday morning submitted an indictment to the regional youth court against a 16-year-old Arab, accusing him of attempting to murder a Border Patrol officer at Nahariya's central station late last month.
The attacker, a resident of the Israeli Arab village of Abu Snan located to the southeast of the northern coastal city where the attack occurred, stabbed the officer repeatedly in the back and head - and yet the indictment did not accuse him of committing a terror attack.
No mention of "nationalist motives" were given in the indictment, as apparently the attacker's version of events was given credence by the attorney's office.
According to the assailant's lawyer, the Arab stabber suffers from "emotional distress" and stabbed the officer to try and get him to shoot him and thereby commit suicide. Why the Arab stabbed with the intent to murder the officer if he hoped to be shot by him was not explained by the lawyer.
New medical guideline may see terrorists treated before victims
New guidelines announced Tuesday by the Israel Medical Association may dramatically change the way paramedics treat wounded individuals following terrorist attacks, potentially prioritizing terrorists over victims.
The directive, issued by the IMA's Ethics Committee, effectively changes existing triage guidelines. Under the current directive, patients are not to be prioritized solely on the basis of injury severity but also on the principle of "charity begins at home," meaning treating the victims of a terrorist attack before the terrorist himself, even if it appears the attacker's wounds are more serious.
Under the revised directive, patients are to be prioritized on the basis of medical considerations only. This means first responders may face situations where they must treat a terrorist before tending to the victims.
The IMA's Ethics Committee is the only body in Israel authorized to set the ethical standards for medical care, and medical and other emergency personnel on all levels are bound by its guidelines.
The directive was revised after a lengthy discussion on a petition filed by Physicians for Human Rights, which claimed the "charity begins at home" principle was in gross violation of medical ethics practiced worldwide, as well as international humanitarian law.
Professor Asa Kasher, who authored the IDF's Code of Ethics, voiced his adamant objection to the decision, calling it "absurd."
"The same goes for the scene of a terrorist attack. You can't run it according to pure medical considerations -- that's just out of the question. Say you have two people seriously wounded, the terrorist and a victim. The terrorist's wounds are slightly more serious than the victim's. Would you treat the terrorist before the victim? That's unthinkable. There is more to the scene of a terrorist attack than pure medical considerations -- as it should be. What are we supposed to tell a victim's family if he dies because we treated the terrorist first? That we're sorry but we had no choice but to treat the terrorist first? That's absurd."
UN-sponsored conference accuses Israel of 'ethnic cleansing' in Jerusalem
An official UN press release about a conference held this week in Indonesia accuses Israel of "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians.
"In Jerusalem, a policy of ethnic cleansing was pushing Palestinians out of the city. Since September, the situation had erupted," the press release states, quoting comments made at the conference.
The International Conference on the Question of Jerusalem, held in Jakarta and organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is sponsored by the United Nations. The conference included, among others, the London-based Palestinian Return Center, a Hamas-affiliated organization that was recognized by the UN earlier this year. Shawan Jabarin, the general director of a Ramallah legal center, is quoted as saying that "Since Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967, it had implemented a comprehensive policy to deepen its control over the city by weakening Palestinian presence and ties there."
"Those practices had formed the root of the current problems," he said. "But, the Palestinian people would not give up. It was time for States to sever cooperation with Israel, ban settlement products and implement sanctions. Without those and other similar actions, the situation would remain the same or worsen."
UN's Ban Ki-Moon accuses Israel of 'breeding' Palestinian terror attacks
In a message delivered on his behalf to a conference on the Rights of Palestinian people and the situation in Jerusalem organized this week in Jakarta, Indonesia, the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon said that the recent Palestinian attacks on Israelis are “bred from nearly five decades of Israeli occupation.”
“It is the result of fear, humiliation, frustration and mistrust,” he said. “It has been fed by the wounds of decades of bloody conflict, which will take a long time to heal. Palestinians youth in particular are tired of broken promises and they see no light at the end of the tunnel.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon called the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People “a body detached from reality.”
He also addressed Ban Ki-Moon’s accusation and stressed that "there is no justification for terrorism.”
"Instead of wasting your time trying to rationalize Palestinian terrorism, the United Nations should confront the Palestinian Authority to eradicate incitement coming from its highest echelons, permeating into the education system and social networks,” Danon said.
Foreign min. slams UN spokeswoman's 'alleged attackers' remarks
Israel's foreign ministry has condemned comments by a UN spokeswoman yesterday (Tuesday), in which she called Palestinians killed while attacking Israelis "alleged attackers."
Cecile Pouilly. a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), further condemned Israel for using "excessive force" to stop attacks, which have murdered and maimed hundreds of Israelis - most of them civilians.
"Since September 2015, 141 attacks have been carried out against Israelis," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded in a statement. "91 stabbings, 34 shootings and 17 car ramming have been perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists. 22 Israelis have been killed, 243 injured, 23 of them seriously. Just this Monday, 14 people were wounded in a car ramming attack, including an 18-months old baby who was seriously injured. "
"Israel rejects the use of the term 'alleged attackers' by (the) OHCHR spokeswoman. It is misleading and unacceptable," the statement continued. "These so-called 'alleged attackers' are real persons, their attacks are real, planned and carried out with murderous intent."
Media: Palestinian Terror and Israeli Responses Are Morally Equivalent
Two paragraphs in two different stories in the media demonstrate the worst aspects of the continuing coverage of the wave of terror attacks against Israelis over the past few months.
The Guardian, in a story on the Israeli seizure of 4,000 Palestinian stone-thrower dolls includes this:
During a recent upsurge in violence between Israelis and Palestinians, both sides have accused each other of inciting violence. Since mid-September, Palestinians have killed 21 Israelis in stabbings, shootings and deliberate car crashes, while Israelis have killed 117 Palestinians, 76 of them said by Israel to be assailants.
There is an appalling moral equivalence at work here. While The Guardian’s Peter Beaumont writes that “both sides have accused each other of inciting violence,” is this really the case? Is there anything remotely equivalent or comparable on the Israeli side to the Palestinian incitement that has manifested itself in public encouragement to violence from the Palestinian leadership and social media campaigns actively promoting the murder of Jews?
The BBC Completely Ignores Palestinian Terrorism
Since the beginning of December 2015, the BBC News website has published one report on the subject of the ongoing wave of terrorism against Israelis. That December 4th article came after a 10-day hiatus in reporting on terror attacks in Israel, and was followed by a further 10-day (to date) hiatus, during which the BBC refrained from covering any Palestinian terror attacks, including the December 14 vehicular attack in Jerusalem, which was claimed by Hamas.
A terrorist from East Jerusalem plowed his car into a group of Israeli civilians at a bus stop at the entrance to Jerusalem on Monday afternoon, injuring 14 people. A 15-month-old baby was badly hurt, and two other people were moderately hurt, one of them a woman in her 70s. The infant’s mother was also among the injured.
Police named the terrorist as Abed el-Muhsen Hassuna, a 21-year-old resident of the neighborhood of Beit Hanina. He was shot dead as he tried to exit the car. A new axe and a new screwdriver were found in the vehicle.
Haaretz: Incitement to Kidnap Soldiers is "Political Activism"
Who is Khalida Jarrar? And what were her crimes, if any? That depends on whom you ask.
If you ask Haaretz, Khalida Jarrar is a "political prisoner" who was punished for her political activism and that alone. (Previously, following her indictment, Ha'aretz characterized her as a "feminist activist in a left-wing Palestinian party.")
According to Haaretz, her indictment is "based at least in part on dubious evidence, including vague hearsay, evidence and testimony obtained under pressure."
Haaretz's conclusion regarding the verdict, therefore, comes as no surprise:
Jarrar's trial once again proved the intolerable contradiction between the rule of law and the principles of justice, on one hand, and the military justice system on the other. The latter has no relationship to the former.
If, on the other hand, you ask the Israeli military justice system (as Haaretz had previously done), it turns out that Jarrar was initially brought to trial on 12 counts of security offenses, of which she was ultimately convicted in the framework of a plea bargain where she admitted to two of the counts: a) belonging to the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and b) having incited Palestinians to kidnap Israeli soldiers.
Paris Prosecutor’s Office Arrests Two in Connection to Hyper Cacher Attack
According to the AP, the Paris prosecutor’s office detained two people on Tuesday for questioning in connection to the terrorist attack at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Vincennes, where four people were killed, including the gunman and a police officer, two days after the Charlie Hebdo shootings.
The suspects—Claude Hermant, a mercenary currently detained for arms trafficking, and his wife—were arrested in Lille; police are investigating a potential arms connection between the couple and Amedy Coulibaly, the Hyper Cacher attacker who claimed to have committed his crimes on behalf of ISIS. Coulibaly was shot by police while executing his plan in January.
CNN reports “there’s no evidence of a direct connection between the couple and Coulibaly, but some weapons found in Coulibaly’s arsenal are thought to have come from Hermant or his wife, through a company she managed, according to the Paris prosecutor’s representative.”
Austria arrests two suspects ‘linked to Paris attacks’
Austrian police have arrested two people with suspected links to the November Paris attacks, prosecutors said Wednesday, with an Austrian newspaper reporting the two are French citizens posing as refugees.
“Two people coming from the Middle East were arrested over the weekend,” Robert Holzleitner, a spokesman for prosecutors in Salzburg, told AFP. “Indications of a possible link to the Paris attacks are currently being investigated.”
He added that the two were arrested in a center for refugees in the western Austrian city “on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization.”
The Kronen-Zeitung daily reported online that the two are French and that they entered Austria in October together with members of the terror cell who carried out the November 13 attacks in the French capital that killed 130 people.
Facebook, Google, Twitter Agree To Delete 'Hate Speech' In 24 Hours
Germany said on Tuesday that Facebook, Google and Twitter have agreed to delete hate speech from their websites within 24 hours, a new step in the fight against rising online racism following the refugee crisis.
The government has been trying to get social platforms to crack down on the rise in anti-foreigner comments in German on the web as the country struggles to cope with an influx of more than 1 million refugees this year.
The new agreement makes it easier for users and anti-racism groups to report hate speech to specialist teams at the three companies, German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said.
“When the limits of free speech are trespassed, when it is about criminal expressions, sedition, incitement to carry out criminal offences that threaten people, such content has to be deleted from the net,” Maas said. “And we agree that as a rule this should be possible within 24 hours.”
Germany last month launched an investigation into the European head of Facebook over its alleged failure to remove racist hate speech.
US to demand visas for some Muslim EU citizens
The US Congress struck a huge spending deal overnight including a measure that will tighten the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by excluding certain travelers deemed by Washington to be a risk, AFP reports Wednesday.
Republican and Democratic negotiators included the measure in a catchall spending package agreed to late Tuesday and unveiled in the dead of night that sets federal expenditures at $1.149 billion through September 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year.
The text, which is expected to be voted on by Thursday, includes the legislation adopted by the House of Representatives last week which excludes citizens from VWP countries who are also dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan.
It would also exclude anyone from the 38 participating nations - including 30 in Europe - who has traveled to those four countries, or to a country Washington has listed as supporting terrorism, since March 2011.
Such foreign nationals will not be barred from traveling to the United States, but they will be required to obtain a visa prior to their visit through standard means, which includes a face-to-face interview at a US consulate.
EU Army Plans Allow German Soldiers To Take Control Of Borders Without Consent Of National Governments
A European Army is now one step closer to becoming a reality, just over 18 months since Britain’s former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg branded warnings that the EU was aiming for such expansionism a “dangerous fantasy”.
Mr. Clegg, among others, have gone quiet with his usual derisory treatment of the EU army warnings in the last few months, as top EU policymakers have elaborated upon their ideas for a pan-European Border and Coast Guard.
Now it looks like the plans are not just formalising, but going further than anyone thought possible, with documents outlining what an EU army would look like, including the ability to take control of national borders without the consent of the government of the nation in question.
In theory, this would mean that EU army members could seize border controls, or lackthereof, from countries like the United Kingdom without the permission of the country’s leaders or elected representatives.
'Sharia Police' Preacher Charged With Recruiting For Islamic State-Linked Jihadists
‘Sharia Police’ vigilante force founder, Sven Lau, has been arrested on the suspicion of supporting a terrorist organisation in Syria.
One of Germany’s most prominent Islamist preachers, 35-year-old Mr Lau is a German convert to Salafi Islam, a radically literal Sunni sect. He was arrested today in the town of Mönchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, reports Deutsche Welle.
The former ‘Sharia Police’ Islamist is accused of supporting the Syria-based Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar or Army of Emigrants and Supporters (JMA), a group listed as a terrorist organisation in Germany. In fact the Federal Prosecutor’s office believes Mr. Lau was the main contact person for JMA in Germany’s Rhine region in 2013.
In September the JMA pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, but the breakaway wing that Mr. Lau is accused of supporting earlier threw its weight behind Islamic State (IS).
Mr. Lau is suspected of recruiting two jihadists in and around the western German city of Duesseldorf, and giving both financial and logistic support to the terrorist organisation under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. It is thought that he bought three night vision devices for the terrorists, and to have delivered 250 euros ($275) in cash to a Syrian-based German jihadist combatant.
Mr. Lau has attracted the attention of German law-enforcement authorities for some time. As Breitbart London previously reported, he was accused of being an IS recruiter after several visits to Syria where he says he drove ambulances delivering aid. He denied supporting IS when those charges were made, and a lack of evidence meant he was not convicted. His lawyer has not yet commented on the new allegations.
The Hamas 'legacy'
Hamas declared that it has carried out more than 80 suicide attacks against Israel and fired more than 15,000 rockets its way. All of this with the explicit intent to murder as many Israeli civilians as possible. Summer after summer, year after year, and notably so since Israel ended its "occupation" of Gaza. And there is no international coalition calling to eradicate Hamas. Even its classification as a terrorist organization is not iron-clad among European Union institutions. Israeli airstrikes and responses are framed as "war crimes." Above all, we are subject to repeated calls to hold negotiations with Hamas. At the same time, the disengagement from Gaza led world leaders to pressure Israel to do the same in Judea and Samaria -- which will cause irreversible damage that could end not only with another Hamas regime, but even with Islamic State members on the outskirts of the Jordan Valley.
Moreover, even as frustration builds due to growing global hypocrisy -- or, perhaps, ignorance -- we cannot forget that this monster conquered Gaza via democratic elections, which were forced on Israel by the United States after the disengagement. The latter insisted upon "free" and democratic elections in Gaza, despite the warnings from Israeli officials and even from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' emissaries. They were deluded in their belief that it was possible to tame the terrorists. If only we gave them a population, a state and bureaucracy, they would become moderates. And more than anything, "they will have something to lose." This lesson was certainly not learned by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
With 10 years of Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, there is no civilian side to the story. It is a militant organization that does nothing for its citizens -- no schools, no universities, no employment and no health care. Each of these services has suffered dramatically since the disengagement. Hamas is prepared to lose everything as long it can continue with terrorism. So when countries around the world voice anger over the blockade on Gaza and call for the Palestinians to be freed from the occupation, we must remind them that the only occupation Gazans are under is that of the Hamas terrorists that they voted into power.
Israel unfazed as Egyptian fighter jets penetrate its airspace
Egyptian military jets entered Israeli airspace on several occasions in recent months during raids on Islamic State affiliates in the Sinai Peninsula.
The airspace violations were brief and did not elicit a response from the Israeli military.
According to Ynet the incidents were the first known instance since 1973’s Yom Kippur War that Egyptian fighter jets flew over Israel.
Last month, underlining the potential for miscalculation in such circumstances, two Turkish F-16 jets shot down a Russian plane which Ankara said violated its airspace, sparking a bilateral crisis.
Egypt has been operating extensively against Islamic State affiliates in Sinai in recent months, as jihadists have increasingly attacked both military and civilian targets in the region.
Lebanon fails to elect president - for the 33rd time
The Lebanese parliament failed for the 33rd time Wednesday to elect a president, despite cautious expectations that a consensus had formed around politician Suleiman Frangieh, a childhood friend of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Lebanon has been without a president since May 2014, when the mandate of Michel Sleiman expired, because the country's Christians, Sunni and Shiite Muslims and Druze cannot agree on a candidate.
Under a power-sharing agreement, the president is always drawn from the Maronite Christian community, the prime minister is a Sunni and the parliament speaker a Shiite.
Speaker Nabih Berri scheduled a new session for January 7 after the required two-thirds of MPs - 86 out of 128 - was not reached, the National News Agency reported.
Only 45 lawmakers showed up.
Elliott Abrams: The fight over Lebanon's presidency
It is rare for the prime minister of any country to call its government "worthless," but Prime ‎Minister Tammam Salam of Lebanon just did. For 19 months, ‎Lebanon has been unable to elect a president, and its government is largely paralyzed. Even ‎collecting the garbage has been a problem, leading to the creation of a protest group called ‎‎"You Stink" whose name reflects what happens when refuse is left in the streets.‎
But the situation is not comic. In fact, the paralysis reflects the power of Hezbollah and ‎Syria. Under Lebanon's constitution, its president must be a Christian, but Christians have ‎been divided about whom to select. Now, the Christian notable who is closest to Syrian ‎President Bashar Assad, Suleiman Franjieh, is close to winning the presidency. As the ‎Lebanese Information Center put it:‎
"In a supposed compromise agreement this November, Future Movement head Saad ‎Hariri nominated Christian leader Sleiman Franjieh as president. The Franjiehs have close ‎family ties to the Assads of Syria, and Sleiman had formed a close relationship with Hafez ‎al-Assad's eldest son, Bassel, and later with his brother Bashar. Franjieh is head of the ‎Marada Party, which is influential in a small area in northern Lebanon. He holds extreme ‎views, calling Hezbollah military mastermind Imad Mughniyeh a Lebanese legend and ‎proudly brandishing his loyalty to Assad and Hezbollah."‎

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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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Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs


Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report DCI-P double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Euro-Mid Observer Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness Haaretz hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement Indonesia international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco music Muslim Brotherhood Nakba Natural gas Nazi News nftp NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat Omar Barghouti Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart Petra MB poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shujaiyeh Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

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