Tuesday, February 09, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Syria and the real demographic threat
Unfortunately, despite the collapse of Syria and Iraq, and despite the rising threats to Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, for the most part, Israeli analysts continue to base their view of Israel’s options moving forward – particularly in relation to the Palestinians – on a regional map that is no longer relevant.
Sunday the Labor Party endorsed party leader Isaac Herzog’s plan to unilaterally withdraw from much of Judea and Samaria. Given the regional population changes, the notion that Israel can transfer more land along its eastern flank to the chronically unstable, and hostile Palestinian Authority today is reckless at best. For all their weaknesses, both the Jordanian and Lebanese regimes are far stronger than the PA. And they have been unable to stop the refugee flows across their borders.
It is impossible to imagine that a Palestinian state on the western side of the Jordan River could block refugee flows from the east, particularly when the Palestinians demand the free immigration of millions of ethnic Palestinians from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
The demographic transformation of Jordan and Lebanon in recent years shows that the greatest demographic threat to the remaining states in the region is not natural growth, but refugees from states that have collapsed. The integration of Palestinians into Israel is far less dangerous to the long-term survivability of Israel than the influx of millions of refugees from neighboring states into a Palestinian state on the western side of the Jordan River.
In the hopes of keeping the Syrians displaced by the war in their country from turning to Europe for refuge, last week Western countries held a donor conference for Syria in London.
Speaking at the conference King Abdullah warned that Jordan is at a “boiling point,” and told the West to commit to donating $1.6b. over the next three years before the “dam bursts.”
Unfortunately, the dam is already leaking. And if Israel doesn’t want to be flooded as well, the time has come to understand that old thinking about demography – and just about everything else – is no longer relevant.
3 Arab MPs suspended from Knesset following PMW report
3 Arab MPs suspended from Knesset after PMW exposed their meeting families of terrorists and their standing for "a minute of silence for the souls of the "Martyrs"
Two Israeli Parliamentary committees met yesterday in response to Palestinian Media Watch's report on Thursday, which exposed that three Arab MPs from the Balad Party met with families of terrorist murderers and stood for "a minute of silence for the souls of the "Shahids" (Martyrs). A video of the father of Baha Alyan - murderer of three Israelis, was posted by the Balad Party on its Facebook page, where the terrorist was referred to as "The Shahid (Martyr) Baha Alyan."
The Knesset House Committee met first and invited PMW director Itamar Marcus to present the information documenting the meeting of the Arab MPs. The Committee passed on its recommendations to the Knesset Ethics Committee which voted to suspend two of the MPs, Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas, for 4 months each, and the third MP, Jamal Zahalka, for 2 months.
As part of his testimony, Itamar Marcus stressed the severity of the Balad Party's referring to the murderers as Shahids. He first explained the Islamic meaning of the words, citing a sermon from PA TV in which the PA Minister of Religious Affairs explained that: "The Shahid has merit with Allah, a merit that no one else has..."
PMW report triggers political storm in Israel
Palestinian Media Watch sparked a political storm in Israel on Thursday by releasing a report in Hebrew that documented that three Arab members of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, met with families of terrorists who recently attacked and murdered Israelis.
The meeting with the terrorists’ families was condemned all across the political spectrum from Prime Minister Netanyahu who said “those who comfort terrorists’ families don’t deserve to be Members of the Knesset,” and other heads of government, to leaders of the opposition parties (Their statements appear below). PM Netanyahu also asked the Attorney General and the Parliamentary Ethics Committee to investigate the Israeli Arab MPs.
As the political storm continued, PMW Itamar Marcus was invited to speak today in the House Committee of Israeli Parliament, which met to discuss different courses of action to take regarding the Israeli Arab MPs who met with terrorists’ families. Marcus showed committee members the original documentation exposing the meeting and showed additional documentation of Arab MPs defending the meeting.
Israeli TV interviews Itamar Marcus - PMW report sparks political storm in Israel

Palestinian “Moderate” Leaders
When Barack Obama or his shills at the State Department aren’t busy apologizing to the Muslim world for America’s imagined misdeeds or thanking the Iranians for kidnapping our sailors, they’re usually excoriating Israel for “creating obstacles to peace” while the other side – the so-called Palestinians – generally escape criticism. Palestinian Authority incitement and outright anti-Semitism are all but ignored by the Obama administration as is the fact that 6% of the PA’s budget is earmarked toward paying the salaries of convicted terrorists or their families. Since a substantial portion of that budget is subsidized by the U.S. taxpayer, it places the administration of being in the odd position of being an accessary to terror.
The incidents and examples of Palestinian Authority incitement are too voluminous to note in this piece but there are a few recurring themes. Jews (and sometimes Christians) are routinely referred to as apes, pigs or monkeys. Ancient blood libels accusing Jews of kidnapping Arab children for the purpose of using their blood in preparing Passover Matzah are regurgitated with regularity and lastly, those who engage in terrorism and murder are extolled as heroes or Shahids. They or their families are often rewarded with cash payments or lucrative job opportunities. Some have even had public places named after them.
Two watchdog groups, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) have done an outstanding job documenting and compiling the data relating to Palestinian incitement and anti-Semitism and their viewing should be mandatory for State Department staff. I doubt that will ever happen under an administration besotted by the concept of tearing Israel’s ancestral and historic heartland away from its people.
Barry Shaw: How the Western media and world leaders have Israeli blood on their hands
When people of sound minds display clear signs of deviation from reality it demands of us to examine the symptom and expose the defect.
For quite some time, Israelis and others that have clear-eyed views of the world have been increasingly troubled by leading influence and opinion makers who seem to have wandered off into some unvirtuous virtual world of their own.
From an Israeli perspective, it is a world where the roles of victim and aggressor have been flipped, where the language of legality and illegality has been switched, falsehood is promoted as news and truth goes missing.
Let’s begin at the top with the much criticized statements made by United Nations chief, Ban Ki Moon, about the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When he said that “Nothing excuses terrorism,” this was simply a throat clearing exercise before going on to do just that, excuse Palestinian terrorism.
While Israel is enduring daily assaults by Palestinian terrorists for six months, the Secretary-General said about the murder of Israelis. “It is human nature,” he said, “to react to occupation…”
No, it is not “human nature” to grab a knife or a gun and go hunting for Israeli Jews to kill, including the targeting of young women and children, and for someone of Moon’s stature to say such things is appalling.
He claimed that Palestinians are provoked by “despair” when the truth is they are driven by the religious imperative and the hope of achieving fame and glory exhorted and incited by their corrupt leadership. It is not “occupation” that incites the violence. It is the continuous Palestinian terrorism and rejectionism that prolongs the “occupation.” How can it be otherwise, the Palestinians have constantly rejected offers of statehood since 1947 and beyond.
Wouldn’t it be more honest to admit that Palestinian terror is not about the absence of their state but the existence of the Jewish state?
Breaking: Israeli jogger wounded in suspected Gush Etzion terror stabbing
A Palestinian knife attacker on Tuesday evening stabbed an Israeli civilian, moderately wounding him at the entrance to the Neve Daniel settlement in the West Bank's Gush Etzion bloc.
The assailant fled the scene after the attack and security forces were conducting large sweeps in search of the suspect.
Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated the approximately 30-year-old stab victim, who was fully conscience, to the Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Security forces cordoned off roads in the area and erected checkpoints in an attempt to locate the suspect.
Netanyahu: Israel needs fences on all borders to keep out ‘predators’ in region
Israel needs to erect a fence around the entire country to protect itself from “beasts” in the neighborhood, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on a tour in the south of a fence being erected along the Jordanian border.
“We are preparing a multi-year project to encircle Israel with a security fence, to defend ourselves in the Middle East as it is now, and as it is expected to be,” he said. In addition, he said. A plan is also being drawn up to fill in the gaps in the security fence in Judea and Samaria.
“They will say to me, what are do you want to do, protect the mansion? And the answer is, yes. What, we will encircle the whole country with a fence and obstacles? The answer is an unequivocal yes.” he said.
“In the neighborhood in which we live we need to protect ourselves against beasts,” he added.
Netanyahu said it will cost billions of shekels to complete the project, and will be spread over a number of years.
IDF questioned terrorist who killed Hadar Cohen before attack
IDF forces a month ago raided the home of and interrogated one of three Arab terrorists behind the deadly attack in Jerusalem last week, Channel 10 revealed on Monday.
Border Police officer Hadar Cohen was killed and another female officer wounded when the three Arab youths - armed with automatic weapons, knives and explosives - opened fire at the Damascus Gate.
Israeli forces arrived at the youth's house in Kabatiya in early January as part of a standard warning procedure over the youth's posts on Facebook, which signaled he was preparing to carry out a terror attack.
The youth's posts started after his 16-year-old friend, known as the terrorist "selling Krembo," was eliminated by security forces at the Jalame checkpoint in October as he attempted a stabbing attack.
Among the things the young terrorist posted on Facebook were such statements as, "I'm coming to join you," and praising "the martyrs" who conducted additional attacks.
Heroines in green
In this current wave of terrorism, it's hard to ignore the sign of the long hair flowing out from beneath some of the Border Police helmets. The excellent female fighters have become an inextricable part of the forces, and they enjoy full equality. The Border Police was the first security brigade to integrate women into combat roles, and today, after completing grueling basic training, they serve in the most combatant positions in the most sensitive areas: checkpoints, patrols, ambushes and arrests of terrorists.
"This is very demanding service," says 1st Sgt. Chen Cohen, who is stationed in Jerusalem.
"The sense is one of satisfaction with a huge desire to contribute to the state and a lot of desire to protect the lives of civilians -- even knowing that in our jobs, we could find ourselves in painful situations, even have to give our lives," Cohen says.
"The female fighters' routine is intense -- at flashpoints, we work around the clock along with the guys," she adds.
Like many of her colleagues, as soon as Cohen finished basic training she was present during difficult incidents, which have included rock throwing, stabbing attacks and car ramming attacks.
"We have a lot of motivation. There is fear, but it doesn't stop us. We know how to put aside our feelings, and when you're facing a threat, you operate the way you learned to operate," Cohen explains.
"The Border Police are the country's bulletproof vest," they say in the brigade, and its female fighters are an inseparable part of that vest. The growing involvement of Palestinian women in this past wave of terrorism has increased the need for female troops, who can conduct thorough checks on potential female terrorists, even body searches. That makes the female soldiers vulnerable and requires them to keep their cool.
Honest Reporting: Terror, Israel, and What the News Won’t Tell You
Wednesday afternoon, Jerusalem. The Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to Jerusalem’s Old City, a place where crowds of people come every day to work, shop, live and pray. Three Palestinian terrorists approached the Old City, carrying hidden knives, automatic weapons and explosives. When police officers questioned the men about their suspicious behavior, the Palestinians took out the hidden weapons, opened fire and began stabbing.
Police officers returned fire, killing all three assailants, averting a potentially enormous massacre. One police officer was injured and another killed: 19 year old Hadar Cohen.
How does news media usually report attacks of this sort around the world?
Last August, a would-be attacker boarded a train in Paris carrying a similar arsenal to the attackers in Israel (knives and automatic firearms). Several unarmed, off-duty US servicemen noticed the assailant preparing to fire his machine gun and subdued him before he could open fire. Almost every headline said that the Americans had “averted a massacre,” or “overpowered a gunman,” and some articles even referred to the soldiers as “heroes.”
Border Police thwart stabbing attack at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem
According to police, in Tuesday's incident, a Border Police unit saw a woman who aroused their suspicions near Damascus Gate and approached the suspect. During the inspection, when the woman was asked to hand over her bag, she pulled out a knife and attempted to stab the officers.
The officers responded quickly, and succeeded in gaining control of the suspect. Police described her as a 16-year-old Arab Jerusalem resident.
There were no injuries in the incident.
In a separate incident on Tuesday morning, a 13-year old Palestinian girl with a knife was stopped as she walked toward the gate of the West Bank settlement of Karmei Tzur in Gush Etzion. She was holding a number of school books in her hand.
The security guard asked her to stop and lie down on the ground, because Palestinian school girls do not usually enter the settlement, particularly in the morning, according to a Gush Etzion Council spokesman.
When she did so, she dropped the school books which had hidden the knife she also had in her hand. It too, fell to the pavement, the spokesman said..
Israel delays return of Jerusalem terrorists' bodies
Only a few hours before Israel was to deliver the body of the first of ten Arab terrorists it has agreed to return, the Israel Police announced to the lawyer representing the terrorists' families that the delivery is to be postponed until tomorrow.
Mohammed Mahmoud claimed to Yedioth Ahronoth that police did not disclose the reason for the delay, but he estimates it was intended to calm the outcry over the agreement reached between the government and the families of the terrorists from eastern Jerusalem.
The agreement, first reported on Monday morning, stipulates a night-time funeral with only the family members present. Each family will give a monetary guarantee to the police that will not be returned if the conditions are breached.
'If Israel wasn't occupying West Bank, Palestinian kids wouldn't need to kill Jews'
Ghattas said that he was acting as a mediator between the families and the state.
The lawmaker also acknowledged that the participants at the meeting stood up and read an Islamic tract in honor of “the martyrs of Palestine.”
“We went to the meeting that was supposed to be closed and business-oriented because we knew that if word got out it would do damage to the cause,” Ghattas said. “At one part of the meeting we stood up and read a passage [from the Koran] in honor of all of the martyrs of Palestine. It’s not meant to encourage [violence] or to provoke. It was more of a historic custom.”
The Balad deputy told Army Radio that the moment of silence was not unlike the custom observed on Israel’s holidays in honor of fallen soldiers and Holocaust survivors.
“The moment of silence gave us a very strong feeling, a feeling that we are a nation like any other,” Ghattas said. “There is no nation that recognizes and honors its victims like the Jewish people. These are noble customs. The terminology on both sides is different, so a murderer to you is a victim of the occupation in the eyes of my people.”
“If [Israel] wasn’t occupying the West Bank, these children would not have to kill Jews,” the lawmaker said. “Both the government of Israel and Gilad Erdan should want to compromise on the issue of releasing the bodies.”
Abbas asserts terror wave 'revenge' for Duma
Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas met Monday with Arab-Israeli journalists in Ramallah.
Abbas asserted the Israeli government should ask itself "why a 13-year-old child is throwing stones and trying to hurt others?"
"The answer," he argued, "is that these kids saw what happened in Duma with the Dawabshe family and the assassination of Abu Hadir. They are fed up. Give us the rights (to al-Aqsa) and everything will calm down. "
Regarding his meeting with the families of the terrorists, Abbas said, "These are the families of martyrs. What does Israel want? That I tell them to go to hell? That is not going to happen."

UN chief condemns synagogue arson in Gush Etzion
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday condemned the arson attack on a synagogue in the town of Givat Sorek in Gush Etzion, and called for a thorough investigation to quickly bring the perpetrators to justice.
At the same time, he also called “on all sides” to refrain from “inflammatory actions or statements”.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, the UN chief condemned the attack, in which a makeshift tent being used as a synagogue and the scrolls inside were destroyed.
“The Secretary-General also calls on all sides to respect the sanctity of all holy sites, refrain from any inflammatory actions or statements and reject the extremist elements that are pursuing a political agenda seeking to transform the current situation into a religious conflict,” the statement said.
The town of Givat Sorek is located on a strategic hill that overlooks the location where the three teenage boys Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped in 2014.
UK ‘concerned’ over punishment of minor stone-throwers in fatal attack
On January 28, the youths, known collectively as the Hares boys after the West Bank village they come from, were convicted for a March 2013 rock-hurling incident near Ariel that injured several Israelis, including Adele Bitton, who died of pneumonia last year at the age of 4.
In November, an official from the UK’s Tel Aviv embassy met with the IDF’s Chief Prosecutor for the West Bank, Lt. Col. Maurice Hirsch, to “raise our concerns over this case in addition to our broader concerns about Israel’s child detention policy,” British Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood stated in a written response to a lawmaker’s question about the case.
“We were informed by the Chief Military Prosecutor that the Hares boys agreed to a plea bargain resulting in their imprisonment for 15 years. We continue to monitor developments in the case of the Hares boys and raise the issue with the Israeli authorities,” Ellwood added.
The UK embassy in Tel Aviv declined to provide more details about London’s involvement in this case. “British government officials meet with Israeli officials to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest on a regular basis,” a spokesperson said.
“As part of these meetings we regularly raise issues which are of interest and concern to the British public. The Hares boys case has received significant public, parliamentary, and media attention in the UK — in our regular dialogue with Israeli officials we’ve highlighted the attention that this case has attracted.”
Lebanese politician brands Palestinian attackers ‘suicide seekers’
The leader of a minor Lebanese political party told a local television station that Palestinian teens who carry out stabbing attacks against Israelis are “suicide seekers.”
Roger Edde, a Maronite Christian who is the founder and head of the Lebanese Peace Party (Assalam), also said in the January 20 TV interview that Iran poses a larger problem for the Arab world than Israel does.
“All the people who today call to fight Israel while downplaying concerns about Iran have a problem,” he told the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen channel, according to a translation of his comments on Monday by MEMRI, an NGO monitoring Middle Eastern news.

Israeli Deputy Minister: US Preventing Closer Ties Between Israel, Gulf States (INTERVIEW)
The relationship between Israel and a coalition of Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia is being held back by US inaction in the region, an Israeli deputy minister told The Algemeiner on Monday.
“The United States is not looking at Israel’s and the Gulf states’ interests in the same picture,” Deputy Minister of Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara said, adding that Israel “is looking for new relationships in our area.”
But closer ties between Israel and the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, would not improve “if the US doesn’t push it,” said Kara, adding that the lack of pressure perhaps signaled Washington was not at all interested in fostering better relations among the countries of the Middle East.
Kara said he believes Israel and many of the Gulf countries have common enemies in Iran, Syria and Lebanon-based Hezbollah — an alliance which has been strengthened by Russian involvement in the Syrian civil war — as well as terrorist groups like ISIS.
Exclusive: IDF's upgraded battle management system designed to cripple Israel's enemies
A new version of a key battle management system received by the IDF is designed to ensure that crippling, successive, accurate strikes are leveled at Israel’s enemies in future conflicts, senior military sources told The Jerusalem Post.
The system, known as Lake Castle, was upgraded in under three months by the Military Systems for Command, Control and Management, which is made up of hundreds of young computer programmers.
The changes became operational in January.
Lake Castle, first created a decade ago, generates a centralized operations picture for military decision-makers that can be accessed by commanders at the General Staff and territorial command levels.
The new version produces battle insights much faster than its predecessor, and provides decision-makers information on how to make the most effective use of available firepower, sources said.
Israel, US gear up for large-scale missile defense drill
Israel and the United States will train together against the threat of a ballistic missile attack this month, the IDF announced on Saturday.
The exercise, named Juniper Cobra, is held every two years and is meant to prepare the two militaries for the threat of a missile attack, as well as allowing the armies to learn how to better work together.
Details of the exercise have yet to be released and will likely only come out when Juniper Cobra begins late this month, an IDF spokesperson said.
“This exercise is designed to improve cooperation and coordination between militaries,” the army said in a statement, stressing that the exercise is not in response to any particular threat or country.
Army chief hints at hidden efforts to counter Gazan tunnels
The IDF is working, mostly in secret, to counter the Gazan tunnel threat and has employed nearly 100 engineering vehicles on the border to locate and destroy the Hamas passageways into Israel, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said on Tuesday.
Moreover, the option of a preemptive strike is “being discussed in the places where it needs to be discussed,” Eisenkot said at a conference in memory of former IDF chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak at Herzliya’s Interdisciplinary Center.
“We have advanced capabilities,” Eisenkot said, presumably referring to the rumored tunnel detection system that Israel has been developing in response to the underground threat from Gaza.
“We are doing a lot, but many of [the things we do] are hidden from the public. We have dozens, if not a hundred, engineering vehicles on the Gaza border,” Eisenkot added.
Zoabi blasts Israeli court in interview with Hamas paper
A day after being sentenced to six months probation for insulting police officers, MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint List) on Monday gave an interview to a Hamas-affiliated newspaper and blasted the decision.
On Sunday, the Nazareth Magistrates Court sentenced Zoabi to six months probation and a 3,000 shekel fine for a July 2014 confrontation in the northern city.
As part of a deal with prosecutors, Zoabi pleaded guilty in December to the charge of insulting public officials over comments she made during the clash.
The plea bargain enabled her to avoid the far more serious charge of incitement, in return for surrendering her parliamentary immunity, admitting to the lesser charge and making a public apology.
Speaking to Hamas’s Palestine newspaper, Zoabi declared that the verdict will not stop the struggle she is waging against the Israeli government and the police’s policy of "oppression".
Family of Hamas man executed by group blames ‘personal’ gripe
The family of a commander from Hamas’s military wing who was executed by the terror group has denounced the killing as “treachery” and said it was due to a “personal” issue.
In an open letter addressed to Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal, family members of Mahmud Eshtawi “accuse influential figures within Hamas and the [Izz al-Din] al-Qassam Brigades of being behind their son’s death, due to personal differences,” the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds reported Monday.
Eshtawi’s mother also sent Mashaal and Hamas military commander Muhammed Deif a video pleading for her son’s life, Al-Quds said.
Sources familiar with the affair have described Eshtawi as a senior field commander for Hamas, and said he was executed after accusations of spying for Israel.
Egypt Begins Rebuilding Christian Churches Destroyed Under Muslim Brotherhood
The Egyptian military has started rebuilding destroyed Christian churches and properties, years after the Muslim Brotherhood tore the buildings down.
On Christmas Eve, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi apologized to the nation’s Christian population and reiterated his pledge to rebuild the churches. He initially made the promise when he took office in 2013.
“In this occasion, I want to exhort you all, let no one come between us,” he declared. “Nothing can harm us, not our economic conditions or political conditions. Unless we diverge, we can overcome anything.”
He added: “We have taken too long to fix and renovate [churches] that were burned … This year everything will be fixed. Please accept our apologies for what happened … God willing … by next year there won’t be a single church or house that is not restored.”
The military began reconstructing the churches destroyed in August 2013 after the government removed protesters staging sit-ins for then-President Mohamed Morsi. Then-defense minister al-Sisi vowed to fix the churches.
Islamic State Publishes Pictures of ‘Silent Killing’ Camp in Egypt, Flaunting 'Dozens' of New Recruits
The Islamic State has published pictures of what the group says are dozens of new recruits training in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, warning that the terrorist group would soon confront the Egyptian army.
The pictures from the training camp, chillingly named “Silent Killing,” aren’t the first to be published from Sinai, a front on which IS has invested more and more time and effort.
In November, Breitbart Jerusalem obtained and published exclusive images of what jihadists said was an IS training camp in the Sinai. The camp was in the same general area where a Russian passenger plane crashed in October. Russia announced the aircraft was brought down by a “terror act” and IS published what it claimed was a picture of the bomb that downed the plane.
One of the most significant elements of the camp was the Gaza-centric imagery.
One image contained a sign bearing the name of Sheikh Imam Abu Noor al-Maqdisi, also known as Sheikh Abdul Latif Musa. Maqdisi was the leader of a Salafist group in Gaza who proclaimed the formation of the “Islamic Emirate of Gaza” on August 14, 2009. One day later he was killed by Hamas forces.
PreOccupiedTerritory: UN Lauds ISIS For Including Disabled Among Executioners (satire)
The United Nations Economic and Social Council passed a resolution today commending the Islamic State for its attention to the rights of the disabled after the group’s fighters in Libya were filmed executing accused spies with the participation of a man in a wheelchair.
The resolution, which passed unanimously, cited last week’s mass execution as an example for the world to emulate, and called on other nations and militant organizations to adopt the inclusive policies of the Islamic State, which ensures equal rights for the disabled in its campaign to subjugate all of humanity by force of arms to its brand of Islamism.
“The Islamic State in Libya clearly went out of its way to facilitate the participation of a wheelchair-bound man in its everyday activities, as video evidence shows,” read the resolution, in part. “Such concern for those who might not be able to conform to the mainstream of the society is the hallmark of a progressive, open society that this council, and the United Nations as a whole, strives to advance everywhere. We hereby grant this citation of commendation to the Islamic State for upholding and promoting the rights of the differently-abled.”
Delegates to the Council spoke of the specific aspects of the video that moved them to vote in favor of the resolution. “My brother was in a wheelchair for most of his adolescent years,” recalled Mgonna Beetchu of Nigeria. “The thought that he might get to participate in the brutal crucifixion of alleged spies was never even a dream. It never occurred to us that he might enjoy the same privileges as the fully abled. But here we have a group, not even a UN member, practicing such progressiveness that it puts these-called ‘advanced’ societies of the West to shame,” he added, with more than a hint of schadenfreude.
MEMRI: Arab Writers Following Election Of Muslim Woman As Speaker Of Netherlands House Of Representatives: She Proves That West Can Accommodate The Other; We Should Learn From Western Democracies, Israel To Do The Same
Following the Netherlands House of Representatives' election of Dutch-Moroccan Labor MP Khadija Arib, a Muslim, as speaker, the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi called this move, in an editorial, a resounding response to racism, adding that it shows how well Arabs and Muslims can assimilate in the West despite their marginalization there. Also commenting was a columnist for the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, who bemoaned the fact that the Arab and Muslim world has none of the pluralism and democratic values of the West and Israel that allow minorities and women to be elected for central roles.
Mumbai attacks plotter says he worked for Pakistani intelligence
An American who helped survey targets for the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks told a special Indian court Tuesday that Pakistan's spy agency provides support to terrorists blamed for the atrocity, according to a prosecutor.
David Headley, who was sentenced in 2013 by a Chicago court to 35 years in a US prison for his role in the attacks that killed 166 people, also said he worked for Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
"Today David Headley has given certain sensitive revelations," Indian public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said outside Mumbai's sessions court on Tuesday following the American's testimony via video link.
"Firstly he said that he was working for ISI... David Headley further confirmed that ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had a close nexus with each other," Nikam told reporters.
"I did ask him how he could say that... and he said 'ISI provides financial and moral as well as military support to Lashkar-e-Taiba'," the prosecutor added.
India has long blamed the LeT for the coordinated attacks on November 26, 2008 when Islamist gunmen stormed luxury hotels, the main railway station, a Chabad Jewish center and other sites in the country's financial capital.

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