Sunday, January 10, 2016

From Ian:

Police open criminal investigation of far-left Israeli activist
The Israel Police have opened a criminal investigation into a far-left activist who was shown on an investigative journalism TV program last week boasting about how he helps Palestinian security forces find Palestinians who sell land to Jews.
In the hidden camera footage aired by Channel 2’s “Uvda” on Thursday night, Ezra Nawi can be seen boasting about how the Palestinian land owners are tortured and later killed after taken into custody by the Palestinian Authority’s Preventative Security Service.
“Straight away I give their pictures and phone numbers to the Preventive Security Force,” Nawi is heard saying in reference to the Palestinian Authority’s counterintelligence arm. “The Palestinian Authority catches them and kills them. But before it kills them, they get beat up a lot.”
The footage was part of a segment on Uvda about a group of Israelis who posed as far-left activists in order to infiltrate Israeli human rights NGOs working in the West Bank.
Guardian once praised Israeli ‘activist’ who helps kill Palestinians selling land to Jews
In 2009, the Guardian published an official editorial titled ‘In Praise of Ezra Nawi’.
Nawi is a Jewish Israeli ‘human rights activist’ with the group Ta’ayush, a “grassroots movement of Arabs and Jews working to break down the walls of racism and segregation”.
Prior to the editorial, the Guardian had published an op-ed by contributor Neve Gordon which was even effusive in its praise of the “pro-democracy, human rights activist”.
Fast forward to 2016.
Uvda, a respected news magazine on Israel’s Channel 2, just revealed that two Israeli “human rights activists” – including Ezra Nawi – bragged, in an exchange caught on film – that they “entrapped” Palestinians interested in selling land to Jews and subsequently turned them in to the Palestinian Authority.
Remarkably, they turned these Palestinians in even though they acknowledged – in the video secretly recorded by another NGO – that they likely faced torture or murder by the Palestinian secret police.
Haaretz outs IDF hero who infiltrated B'tselem, Ta'ayush
The Haaretz newspaper has exposed the alleged identity of the young man who infiltrated leftist groups as part of an investigative report that was aired on Channel 2 last week.
The man, who was planted in the leftist groups by a group called Ad Kan, recorded the most damning documentary materials aired on the show, by use of a hidden camera. His identity was kept secret on the show, and the IDF, too, refrained from making it public when he was awarded the Chief of Staff's citation for his courage in Operation Protective Edge.
According to the Channel 2 report, the man – who was referred to by the pseudonym "Arik," was the one who asked the IDF to keep his name secret, in order to make it possible for him to continue to infiltrate the leftist groups.
The investigative report has severely damaged the groups' image as being concerned with "human rights," by exposing that senior members of B'tselem and Ta'ayush have been informing on Arabs in Judea and Samaria who wish to sell land to Jews, in the knowledge that this leads to their arrest and torture by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which issues death sentences to people who sell land to Jews.

Famed leftist writers unruffled by B'tselem exposé
Famed leftist writer AB Yehoshua, who is a member of the public council of B'tselem, sees nothing wrong with the fact that senior activists in B'tselem and Taayoush have been informing on Arabs who tried to sell land to Jews and handing them over to the Palestinian Authority security mechanism, where they can expect to be tortured and sentenced to death.
Nationalist-conservative website Mida contacted several members of the organization's public council following the exposé broadcast last week on a Channel 2 in the hope of eliciting some kind of condemnation, following the revelations. However, none was forthcoming.
AB Yeshoshua, who has received the Israel Prize for Hebrew literature and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other awards, instead supported the organization for informing on the would-be land sellers.
"Selling of land needs to be clear and to be written down in the land registry," he said. "You cannot hide the sale of land by one person to another. The [Palestinian] Authority's mechanisms and the mechanisms of a formal body that we recognize and about whose existence we are glad. We want transparency. Everything that is done here – I want transparency. Including in the Palestinian Authority. Including land sales – everything must be transparent."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Study: Death Penalty Primitive Ritual Unless Imposed By Muslims (satire)
Research by a team of scientists testing the status of capital punishment has determined unequivocally that under most circumstances, the application of the death penalty constitutes an indicator of irredeemable barbarism, unless the system under which the penalty is administered is run by Arabs or Muslims. In such a case, say the scientists, capital punishment is chemically transformed into at most an offense of lesser egregiousness than the sale of land to a Jew.
A study in the monthly journal Humanist Yobs Pretending Objectivity on Civil Rights, Israel, Terrorism, and Equality (HYPOCRITE) observed the scientific status of the death penalty in various societies in recent decades, and determined that when Western authorities mete out the penalty, they are to be denounced as violating human rights. However, an as-yet-unidentified chemical or environmental factor evidently makes the same phenomenon in Arab or Muslim societies far less objectionable, as indicated by the level of funding and attention its opposition attracts. In fact, say the scientists, the unknown factor or factors appears to make some non-Western applications of capital punishment either a necessary evil or a noble act of defense against imperialism or other destructive forces.
The HYPOCRITE researchers looked specifically at the application of capital punishment in the United States, where rigorous academics have confirmed the brutality, primitiveness, and questionable morality of the policy, and then compared the same academic sources’ reaction to the same phenomenon in the Arab and Muslim worlds. In terms of the latter, the same scholars, who obviously bring scientific and academic rigor to everything they do, describe Arab-Muslim capital punishment in terms that range from lack of culpability born of not being Western to outright praiseworthiness of zealously defending the rule of laws that protect the population from the predatory activities of non-Arabs or non-Muslims.
Memorial for 'martyr' Samir Kuntar held - in Berlin
The December 28 event was sponsored by the Shia Islamist Al-Mustafa Association in Berlin, and entitled "Samir Kuntar: Leader, Martyr and Symbol."
Kuntar was released from an Israeli prison in 2008 as part of a prisoner swap with Hezbollah. He was perhaps the most widely-known and reviled symbol of anti-Israel terrorism for his role in a 1979 attack, in which he murdered 31-year-old Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter Einat. An Israeli policeman was killed as well in a subsequent shootout, and Einat's mother accidentally smothered her two-year-old daughter Yael in an attempt to stifle her cries and prevent them from being discovered by the kidnappers.
In his speech at the event - given in Arabic and translated by MEMRI - Sheikh Hassan Shahrour, head of the Al-Mustafa Association, hailed Kuntar as a "leader and martyr, the liberated prisoner, a man who is a symbol."
"The enemy could not stand seeing the martyr Samir Kuntar free and waging resistance, so they assassinated him," Shahrour said. "Samir Kuntar's blood makes the enemy lose sleep. His pure blood, along with the blood of all the other martyrs, will haunt the enemies of Allah for all eternity."

Shin Bet busts Hamas cell in Hebron that plotted shooting attacks against Israelis
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) broke up a Hamas cell recently that plotted shootings on Israeli targets around Hebron, the intelligence agency said on Sunday, marking the third disrupton of Hamas terrorism plots in recent weeks.
According to the intelligence agency, a joint operation with the IDF led to the arrest in November 2015 of a three-man Hamas terror cell based in Hebron, whose members planned to fire on Israeli traffic on Route 35 near the West Bank city.
Operatives allegedly purchased an M-16 rifle and a handgun. The cell was allegedly headed by Muhammad Ali Kawasme, 38, who recruited members of the cell. Kawasme's brother, Hassam Ali Kawasme, orchestrated the kidnap and murder attack on three Israeli teenagers in June 2014 in the Hebron area.
Kawasme was joined by Imad Hashamun, 32, a Hamas operative, who served time in prison for past Hamas activities, and two additional Hamas members named by the Shin Bet at Amar Awiwi, 29, and Hasam Hashalmun, 24, according to the investigation.
During questioning by the Shin Bet, it emerged that the suspects drove along Route 35 on a number of occasions to locate the best place to fire on Israeli vehicles, and purchased firearms during their preparations.

Hamas reveals why it published new Shalit videos
According to Riya, the real reason was in order to show the documented kidnapping of Shalit, and portray it as a huge success and victory for Hamas. One which allowed them to hold negotiations with Israel from a position of strength for the release of hundreds of prisoners.
“We are aiming to embarrass the occupation forces and in essence refute the Israeli claims regarding the abduction. We want to depict the ethical and moral difference between the military arm of Hamas, that is labelled a terrorist entity by the world, and the racist Israeli military that treats Palestinian prisoners in a shameful and harsh manner. We hope to create bewilderment within Israeli society,” said Riyan.
Riyan went further to say that another main goal is to directly attack the morale of IDF soldiers and their families as well as affect the Israeli political system by abducting soldiers.
“We are aiming to attack the morale of Israeli soldiers, as was evident during the abduction of Shalit on social media and various internet sites. This together with attacking the morale of the families of abducted soldiers, and encouraging them to apply pressure on the Israeli government to conduct more talks and release more prisoners. This will happen after they see how pleasantly Shalit was treated at the hands of Hamas.”
PA detains Palestinian journalist over exposé on Henkin killers
Palestinian journalist and head of Nablus Television, Salim Suweidan, was arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces on Friday, following the broadcast of a piece revealing that suspects in the Henkin murders were in effect handed over to Israel by the PA, local sources said Sunday.
Although it is not clear whether Suweidan actually wrote the piece, or simply authorized its broadcast, he is nonetheless said to be in the custody of PA security forces, and was to be referred to the public prosecutor’s office on Sunday.
The piece in question was an investigative report broadcast Friday about the October 1 murder of Israeli couple Naama and Eitam Henkin in front of their four children, by a Hamas cell. During the piece, freed prisoners and “special sources” revealed to Nablus TV details that they claimed to have heard directly from the perpetrators of the attack.
Fatah spokesman tapped to head Palestinian broadcasting division
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday appointed Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf as General Supervisor of the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) and the official news agency Wafa.
The two institutions are considered the PA’s most significant media outlets and serve as a mouthpiece for the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
PBC consists of Palestine TV and the Sawt Falastine (Voice of Palestine) radio station.
The appointment of Assaf came days after Palestine TV aired ran a 45-minute interview with senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub in which he implicitly criticized Abbas and the top brass of the PA.
Rajoub said that Palestinians were suffering from a “moral and leadership crisis.” He also praised the Palestinians involved in attacks against Israelis over the past three months.
Following the interview, Abbas and some of his aides expressed outrage with Palestine TV for providing Rajoub with a platform to sound his criticism of the PA leadership.
The Jihad Against Jewish Hebron
Many journalists have been turning to me of late, trying to understand why 60 percent of the jihadist terrorism that Israel has suffered in the latest wave of violence has emanated from greater Hebron, with almost forty knife, car ramming, shooting, and rock attacks directed at Jewish civilians and soldiers in this area over the last three months alone.
Though the Australian journalist tried to portray herself as objective, it was clear from her line of questioning that she sided with the Israel-is-the-occupier-of-someone-else’s-land narrative. Every time I tried to explain that Jews are indigenous to the land of Israel and have every right to live here, she would counter with a question intimating that “settlers” are limiting Palestinian freedom of movement, creating friction, stymieing the peace process, and basically have no right or good reason to be here.
While some of the reporters I speak with have a clear agenda, there is something extra-hypocritical when an Australian claims moral superiority on land rights issues. We Jews are an ancient people with an ancient connection to this land, but this judgmental Australian, whose ancestors recently colonized a continent and subjugated its people, had the audacity to look down on me and call the Jewish presence in Hebron an “occupation.”
What made hearing her intellectual dispossession of the Jews all the more frustrating was the fact that the conversation was taking place literally across from the Machpela Cave – the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron. This 2,000-year-old structure, built atop 3,800-year-old tombs, is stylistically identical to the Second Temple’s Western Wall in Jerusalem because both were built by King Herod. The building was originally designed to pay homage to the people interred there, as recorded in the book of Genesis: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah. Today, it is considered the oldest structure in the world that still serves the purpose for which it was originally designed.
Jordan to form judicial committee to 'inspect Israel's violations' at Temple Mount
Jordan has been appointed to form an international judicial committee to inspect Israel's "violations" on the Temple Mount, Jordanian daily Al-Rai reported on Sunday.
This role was assigned to Jordan, which is internationally recognized as the preserver of the holy places in Jerusalem, during a conference that took place recently in Egypt, assembling Arab judicial experts.
The committee's chairman will be the lawyer Faisal Hizahi, an international judicial specialist, who said that the committee will inspect and document all the violations that harm the holy places in Jerusalem, and start criminal procedures against Israel in the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
In addition, Hizahi stated that the white paper submitted by the committee emphasized the central role of Jordan's king, Abdullah II, in inspecting the daily violations committed by Israel in Jerusalem and forming a united international stance towards them.
The recent wave of violence between Israel and the Palestinians erupted following a Palestinian campaign aimed at "saving Al-Aksa from the Judafication efforts of Israel."
Hollande leads thousands of people gathered to mark a year since jihadists attacked satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket killing 12 including a policewoman
French President Francois Hollande has led thousands of people in a memorial for the victims of the attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
The low-key ceremony marked a year since one-and-a-half million people gathered in the French capital in a show of unity against the terrorist actions.
People attending the event in the Place de la Republique were searched by armed police before standing around a simple stage and a monument covered in the red, white and blue French flag. The President also made an unannounced visit to the main mosque in Paris shortly afterwards.
President Hollande unveiled a plaque next to an oak tree planted in the square in memory of the victims of the jihadist outrages that rocked France in 2015, beginning with the shootings at Charlie Hebdo.
At the ceremony, veteran rocker Johnny Hallyday performed a short song and the army's choir gave a rousing rendition of the Marseillaise.
The understated event was a far cry from January 11, 2015, when four million citizens rallied across France, in the biggest mass demonstrations since the end of World War II.
In Paris, thousands remember victims of 2015 jihadi attacks
At a ceremony Saturday evening commemorating the four victims of a jihadist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the thought of Jews leaving France because they no longer feel it is their home was “an unbearable idea.”
Valls, speaking outside the Hyper Cacher supermarket, said France without its Jewish community was “not France” and vowed to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms.
Nothing, he said, could explain an attack by a Frenchmen on fellow citizens. “Nothing can explain the killing at outdoor cafes. Nothing can explain the killing in a concert hall. Nothing can explain the killing of journalists and police. And nothing can explain the killing of the Jews! Nothing can ever explain it,” he called, to cheers from the crowd.
SHOCK: Paris Police Attacker Was Absconded German 'Asylum Seeker'
German police on Saturday raided an asylum seeker shelter where they said the man who sought to attack a Paris police station on Thursday had lived.
Police found no indications that other attacks had been planned, they said in a statement following the search at the shelter in western Germany’s Recklinghausen.
The police statement did not specify that he was an asylum seeker but a source close to the matter told AFP the man was indeed registered as one.
The man was shot dead by police after trying to storm a police station in northern Paris on Thursday, brandishing a meat cleaver and wearing a fake suicide vest. The attempted attack took place exactly one year since the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks that shook Paris.
Investigations are ongoing in close cooperation with French authorities, said police from the state of North Rhine Westphalia, declining to give further information for fear of compromising the probe.
French investigators said Friday the suspect appeared to have been identified by his family and was said to be a Tunisian named Tarek Belgacem.
Phyllis Chesler: The other face of Jihad
On New Year's Eve, large gangs of Arab, North African, and Muslim men sexually assaulted women in a large number of cities in both Germany and in Austria.
These attackers, often a thousand strong, simultaneously stuck their fingers into every female orifice; groped, licked, hit, and terrified every vulnerable woman who was out celebrating the holiday.
The traumatized women did not all report these assaults to the police because they were traumatized and because many could not identify their attackers; there were so many of them. The media also under-reported these rapes—not until one hundred German women in the city of Cologne, a number that grew to close to 400 by the weekend, reported their assaults to the police, did the matter become public.
Some media, including feminist media, refused to name the perpetrators as being of Arab or North African descent or as “Muslims.” They do not wish to be demonized as “racists” or “Islamophobes” but there is also a legitimate feminist reason.
European men rape European women every single day.  Gang-rape often characterize rapes perpetrated by young men in the West. But make no mistake:  the pattern of sexual harassment and rape in the Muslim world in general  is vastly different. Muslims in Sudan and Nigeria have perpetrated similar horrific attacks upon Christian, animist, and Muslim women. Similar atrocities took place in the former Yugoslavia, perpetrated by both Serb and Croat Christians and Muslims. Nevertheless, in an Islamist era, such Muslim-perpetrated attacks have assumed monstrous proportions.
Douglas Murray: Cologne exposes a crisis in our continent, yet parliament is debating Donald Trump
Europe is going through a period of radical change, but it is facing this with a process of radical self-distraction. Unwilling to face up to our problems we obsess over the responses to those problems. There have been some startling recent examples.
As the whole world now knows, on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, dozens of German women were sexually assaulted, apparently by some of that country’s more recent arrivals. For days the media across Europe declined to even report the story. It was only because of new media that the story began to get out at all. Then when the media did get around to reporting the story they covered it in that now-familiar way which suggests their job is not so much to report the facts as to negotiate between the facts and their fear over how the general public might react to those facts. Perhaps we should be grateful that there is any coverage a week after the attacks. After all, it took more than a decade for 1500 rapes in the north of England to make much news.
Yesterday the Guardian (where any male doing anything is usually a demonstration of ‘rape culture’) finally ran a piece suggesting that perhaps we shouldn’t cover up actual, real rape-culture such as that in Cologne, conceding that it hadn’t helped much with Rotherham. The piece was predictably hailed as brave and controversial because today it has indeed become brave and controversial to report the facts. Thinking aloud about any of the repercussions of those facts, however, remains the pursuit only of a madman.
Navy: Video shows Iranian rockets launched near Truman, other warships
The U.S. military released a video Saturday showing what it says is an Iranian military vessel firing several unguided rockets near the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman and other Western warships and commercial craft.
The incident occurred Dec. 26 in the Strait of Hormuz. Navy officials released the video to Military Times in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The images show what appears to be an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel firing rockets from a distance of about 1,370 meters.
Officials with U.S. Central Command first disclosed details about the incident last month. Approximately 20 minutes before the incident occurred, the Iranians had announced over maritime radio that they would be carrying out a live-fire exercise, officials said.
Although the rockets traveled away from the Truman, firing weapons "so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law," said Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.
Iran had dismissed the U.S. claim as "psychological warfare" against the Islamic Republic.
Bipartisan Bill Targeting Iran for Terror, Missile Violations Introduced in Congress
Rep. Joe Kennedy (D – Mass.) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D – Fla.) introduced a bipartisan bill to quicken the process for imposing sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, human rights violations, and support of terrorism, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Describing Democrats as being “frustrated” and “losing patience” with the Obama administration for failing to take action against Iran over its two recent ballistic missile tests, which were conducted in contravention of United Nations Security Council resolution 1929, the Post reported that lawmakers “are introducing legislation to ensure the next time Iran violates U.S. or international sanctions in any way, they don’t have to wait on Obama to act.”
According to Kennedy, “No response is in effect, a response…if responses are nonexistent, ineffective or delayed, those are also responses.” He added, “When it comes to the enforcement mechanisms, Congress should be acting with the administration…there needs to be a mechanism to allow for stronger and more rapid response going forward.”
Arab League against Iran: Emergency meeting held to discuss Tehran's threat to security
Arab foreign ministers on Sunday accused Iran of interfering in the affairs of other Middle East states and undermining regional security, as officials met at an emergency Arab League session to discuss escalating tensions in the region.
The crisis between the Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Muslim power Iran, both major oil exporters, started when Saudi authorities executed Shi'ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Jan. 2, triggering outrage among Shi'ites across the Middle East.
In response, Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran, prompting Riyadh to sever relations. Tehran then cut all commercial ties with Riyadh, and banned pilgrims from traveling to Mecca.
Opening the emergency Arab League session in Cairo, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said the meeting "comes in light of a dangerous escalation".
Saudi Arabia said on Saturday after an extraordinary Gulf Cooperation Council meeting that it would take "additional measures" against Iran, but did not elaborate further.
'Children Are Eating Leaves Off The Trees': The Nightmare of The Siege of Madaya, Syria
In the early hours of Sunday morning, a pregnant woman and her daughter tried to sneak out of Madaya, a mountain village perched in the snow-capped peaks of southwestern Syria.
As they reached the southern edge of town, someone tripped over a landmine, and the loud blast alerted a nearby Hezbollah checkpoint of their escape. The fighters opened fire, and between the explosion and the barrage, both mother and daughter died.
Desperate escape attempts like this one — which was reported by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and confirmed to VICE News by local residents — have become more and more common in Madaya, a village of 40,000 that's been under siege since July by a combination of Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and his ally, the Lebanese militia Hezbollah.
In the past month alone, 31 residents have died from starvation, or in attempts to run the Hezbollah-manned blockade that encircles the town. A report compiled by the Syrian-American Medical Society and made available to VICE News found that a kilogram (two pounds)of flour now retails for around $100, while the average Syrian makes less than $200 each month.
Assad supporters taunt starving Syrians in Madaya with pictures of food
After years of war, barrel bombs and chemical weapons, supporters of Bashar al-Assad have still managed to find a new low.
Fans of the Syrian leader are using social media to ridicule the suffering of a rebel-held town where thousands of civilians are on the verge of starvation.
Although social media was initially used to highlight the plight of Madaya's residents, regime and Hizbollah supporters are now using it to taunt, uploading photographs of their evening meals and cartoon characters that they say resemble the town's starving residents.
Posted under the hashtag "solidarity with the siege of Madaya", the images show plates overflowing with rice, fish and green vegetables.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Unlike Foes, Israel Stupidly Not Starving Its Enemies (satire)
Defense experts noted with some surprise today the fact that Israel’s military and security apparatus, for some undetermined reason, does not use the deprivation of food and water as a tactic to overcome opposition, even though such an approach would be both effective and in keeping with norms of behavior in the region.
While Syrian, Hezbollah, and Iranian forces besiege the rebel-held city of Madaya in Syria, reducing its population to living skeletons, and while Iran-backed Houthis apply similar tactics to the Yemeni city of Ta’az, Israeli military forces have seldom, if ever, used hunger as a weapon against its numerous foes. This trend persists, say the defense experts, despite the obvious effectiveness of starvation in weakening the opposition and either eliminating it as a threat or enabling its destruction.
“It’s more than a little puzzling that such a potent, proven tactic is simply not part of the Israeli military toolbox,” observed Jordanian General Krosmiya Naqilya. “It’s a no-brainer for the rest of us in the region: ISIS, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran – we even used the pressures of starvation against the Jewish parts of Jerusalem in 1947 and 48. But for some reason – and I’d love to have this explained to me – the Israelis don’t even disrupt the supply of electricity, fuel, and other necessities when Arabs are firing at them.” He shook his head.
Naqilya referred to the continuous stream of trucks carrying medicine, food, and other supplies even during the summer 2014 conflict with Hamas. “The irony is that people keep railing against Israel’s blockade s a ‘siege’ when there are genuine sieges going on not so far from here.” He mentioned the Yazidi communities beset by ISIS forces, a plight that prompted even the reluctant Obama administration to organize food drops last year.
French auction house pulls portrait equating Barghouti, Mandela
A French auction house canceled the sale of a painting that equates former South African President Nelson Mandela with a Palestinian militant serving multiple life sentences for murder.
The portrait of Marwan Barghouti, a senior PLO official whom an Israeli court in 2002 found guilty of terrorism and murder for planning bomb attacks on civilians, was was pulled last week following complaints by Israel’s embassy in Paris, according to the French-language news site
The painting also contains a text saying that the late Mandela, who spent many years in jail is South Africa for his non-violent fight against apartheid, “was labeled a terrorist in 1950.“
The news site did not name the auction house that pulled the item but reported that the auction was organized by Reporters without Borders, an international nongovernmental organization.
Aliza Bin-Nun, who began serving as Israel’s ambassador to France last year, wrote in a letter to the auction house that “Barghouti is a cruel murderer whereas Mandela opposed violence.”
Top Hamas Terrorist Celebrated on Twitter, 20 Years After Assassination
The twentieth anniversary of the targeted assassination of top Hamas explosives expert Yahya Ayyash was marked in the Palestinian Territories on Tuesday.
It was also marked on Twitter, with a #Ayyash_is_coming hashtag that reached more than 26 million users around the Islamic and Arab world.
Ayyash, an operative of Hamas’ Azz a-Din al Qassam Brigades, was killed in January 1996 by a booby-trapped cell phone that was passed on to him by the Israeli Shin Bet.
The bombs put together by Ayyash, known as “the engineer,” were used to kill more than 70 Israelis.
After his assassination, Hamas carried out a string of suicide bombings in retaliation, which left 40 Israelis dead. The attacks are credited with ushering the victory of Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1996 election, who was trailing 30 points behind then Prime Minister Shimon Peres in the polls.
PreOccupiedTerritory: There’s Still Time To Record Fatah Bribes As 2015 Income (satire)
By Akru Walbaissis, CPA, Palestinian Tax Authority
The calendar already says 2016, but for us accountants, the work on 2015 has barely begun. If you haven’t filed the proper documentation for the bribes or kickbacks you gave Fatah officials last year, you should get cracking. There’s still time to record bribes, extortion payments, kickbacks, blood money, hush money, and just plain old graft for 2015.
The official Palestinian Authority fiscal year ended December 31, but not all the official documentation is ready. That gives you time to process all the illegal payments you either made or received, until the deadline at the end of next month. Whether you’re a small business owner paying protection money to a local Fatah bigwig or a high-power banker laundering your kickbacks through various “charities” and “trusts,” you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork to disguise, explain, or conceal all those illicit dealings.
For the simple grocery store owner hoping his daughter doesn’t get raped again for his failing to come up with cash in time, the procedure is relatively straightforward: pay the goddamn money, selling a kidney if you have to in order to produce it. Write it off as a loss caused by the Occupation. You wouldn’t believe the things you’re allowed to deduct thanks to the existence of Israel! I don’t know how any household would survive without them.
Legal Insurrection: Stunning defeat for BDS at American Historical Association
I really had expected the worst regarding the anti-Israel resolution being voted on at the Business Meeting taking place at the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
This is a stunning defeat for BDS because the Resolution was not even a full boycott resolution, it was a scaled back condemnation of Israel.
While some groups, like the American Studies Association, have become captive anti-Israel political organizations, it’s satisfying to see that at least at the American Historical Association, sanity and reason have prevailed.
UPDATES 1-10-2016:
So why did the resolution fail? A Legal Insurrection reader who is at the AHA conference wrote to me:
I am an AHA (and Alliance for Academic Freedom) member, also currently involved with anti-BDS in my Christian denomination. Since someone asked in your comment section: I was at the meeting today and know some of the organizers against the resolution. They were well mobilized, but there was also a substantial contingent of people who had simply heard about this, found the BDS push obnoxious, and showed up without making any contact with AAF people beforehand.
Pro-BDS people did not make their case as effectively and polished as I thought they would. One even said “I always thought the AHA is a progressive organization, not a conservative one,” which is absolute bogus for an academic society. At least it should be. More people lined up to speak against the resolution than for it, and the vote came quicker than expected.
In Boycott Call, Professor Saree Makdisi Flunks On Israeli Education
One day before an academic boycott resolution was soundly defeated at the Business Meeting taking place at the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting (111 to 51) , and days after the Spanish government completely rejected the notion of excluding Israeli universities and awarded Israeli Ariel University 100,000 euros (over $100,000) in compensation for having been “illegally excluded” from a competition, The Los Angeles Times places itself on the wrong side of history. With the publication Friday of an Op-Ed by Saree Makdisi calling for academic boycott of Israel, the paper demonstrates, once again, a total loss of moral clarity (“Why Israel’s schools merit a U.S. boycott,” Jan. 8).
Moreover, The Los Angeles Times, unfortunately, also places itself on the wrong side of the facts. The professor, whose Op-Eds excoriating Israel regularly appear in the newspaper despite their abundance of misinformation, once again peddles falsehoods which would earn a failing mark on a high school paper. Professor Makdisi is unfettered by journalistic or academic standards. Thus he freely, and falsely, claims “there is not a single high school in the Palestinian communities in the Negev desert in southern Israel.”
In fact, there are more than 40 high schools for Bedouin students in the Negev. According to Suzie Ben Harush, a southern district spokeswoman for the Education Ministry, “Under the supervision of the ministry of education there are 39 high schools in the villages of the Bedouin population.” In addition, she wrote CAMERA, there are three “more high schools under different supervision (two high schools of ‘sachnin’ net in Hura and Segev Shalom and one on the city of Rahat under supervision of the ministry of economy and industry.”
After Israelis barred from Malaysia, World Sailing to draft new guidelines
Israel's Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan did not have an opportunity to defend their titles at the championships after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) said that it will not be participating in the event due to the demands made by the organizers and the fact the surfers had yet to receive visas.
The ISA claimed that it was told the surfers would not compete under the Israel flag and wouldn't be allowed to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their clothes or surfboards. The hosts also said that should an Israeli win a gold medal the Israeli national anthem would not be played.
World Sailing's Executive Committee met last Friday to discuss the "recent unacceptable events at the just concluded Youth World Sailing Championship," and said it had undertaken a thorough investigation of the matter with the full cooperation of the International Olympic Committee.
"In the future the organizers (MNAs, regional organizations, national organizations, international classes, etc) of all international sailing competitions will be required to comply with specific conditions to ensure that all competitors from all countries can participate equally," a World Sailing statement read. "If these conditions are not met specific sanctions will be applied to any future international sailing competitions held in that country."
Details of the conditions will be published later this week
New York Times Admits to Leaving Out Context
In a follow-up post, the reporter, Hadid, told Sullivan she was surprised that not one, but four of the people interviewed said they were taken out of context:
I wrote this story really because I wanted to pay tribute to Haifa’s unique culture, and particularly how Palestinian citizens of Israel had carved their own dynamic, liberal scene in the city. For that reason, I was mortified to find out that at least four people I had interviewed felt that I had misrepresented them in the story, and that it had garnered more criticism than any other story I have written in nearly a decade of coverage the Middle East.
It is very revealing that the main complaint from those interviewed is that their political views were left out of the article.
The irony is that we agree.
The hatred of Israel espoused by the people she interviewed should have been included in the article so that readers would understand that their liberal views end when it comes to peace and coexistence.
But we do credit Sullivan for being responsive to the readers concerns and conveying them to the reporter.
Pat Boone to make Israel debut at age 81
Legendary pop crooner Pat Boone has been to Israel many times as an evangelical supporter of the country. But on March 1, the 81-year-old American crooner will put his mouth where his money is, when he makes his musical debut in Israel at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv.
Boone made his mark in the 1950s as a rock & roll contemporary of Elvis Presley and Rick Nelson. With his hush puppy shoes, clean cut demeanor and novelty tunes like "Speedy Gonzales", Boone provided palatable versions of raucous rockers like "Ain't That A Shame" by Fats Domino and "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard and ranks number 9 – ahead of artists like The Beach Boys and Aretha Franklin - in Billboard's listing of the Top 100 Artists 1955-1995.
“I always treasured the reputation I had – to be considered a square guy, but I winced sometimes when people compared me unfavorably to Elvis,” Boone told The Jerusalem Post in 2010. “Elvis’s career seemed much more exciting, even though I was matching him hit for hit. I had more hits than anyone in the ’50s except for Elvis and I ran a very close second."
Hush! Deep Purple heads back to Israel
Hard rock pioneers Deep Purple announced their sixth performance in Israel, headlining the Rockstar Festival taking place May 22 in Rishon Lezion.
Five of the band’s veteran rockers, including vocalist Ian Gillian, drummer Ian Paice, bass player Roger Glover, guitarist Steve Morse and keyboardist Don Airey, now all in their sixties, will perform in the one-night festival.
The concert set list will include the band’s most popular hits, said local promoter Udi Appleboim, including “Smoke on the Water,” “Child in Time,” “April” and “Highway Star,” as well as songs from Deep Purple’s most recent 2013 album, “Now What?!”
Israeli startup’s suitcase follows you around
Israeli startup NUA Robotics has unveiled a prototype for luggage that uses Bluetooth technology to sync with a smartphone app, locate its owner, and follow along.
The case also features an anti-theft alarm, a USB port for charging electronic devices on the go, and can send real-time data, including its weight and location, to the app.
“Any object can be smart and robotic,” the co-founder and CEO of NUA Robotics Alex Libman told Mashable on Thursday. “We want to bring robots into everyday life.”
NUA unveiled its design at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Nevada last week. Of the thousands of companies represented at the annual show, NUA ranked an impressive 323, placing it within the top 92% of all the companies in attendance.
King David is coming to TV screens near you
The heroic life of the legendary Jewish King David, the prototype of the Messiah who ruled Israel 3,000 years ago, is set to come to your TV this March, and the creators of the show promise to try to stay true to the source material from Samuel I.
The show, Of Kings And Prophets, was to be released in Fall 2015, but the pilot was reshot and a new cast was gathered, with a new airtime set for Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. starting March 8, reports Deadline on Saturday.
“This show is set 1,000 BC, and it needs tender loving care,” said Adam Cooper, explaining the delay and decision to redouble efforts on the series.
Cooper together with Bill Collage is creating the show for ABC. The two previously worked as co-writers on Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings, which came out in 2014 and was promptly panned by critics.
At a TCA panel on Saturday, Cooper said he and Collage "were pretty bruised by how that came out, the criticism about whitewashing is something that matters to us very much." The two told the panel that as a result of that experience, they sought to gather a more diverse cast than the standard white European actors they had representing the Exodus story set in the Middle East.
“We look for the best cast possible,” said Cooper. “We do it with an eye toward diversity, but also with finding the best cast possible.”
BBC: IsraAid in Yorkshire (h/t Daphne Anson)

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