Saturday, February 13, 2016

From Ian:

CAMERA: Palestinian official takes time off from glorifying terrorists
H.E. Shukry Bishara, a finance minister for the Palestinian Authority (PA), omits much while claiming that “Aid to Palestine promotes peace and prosperity” (February 9)—perhaps omissions and distortions are essential to his fallacious argument.
Bishara claims that “Palestine” is “a dedicated partner for peace.” Yet, the PA has continued to celebrate terrorists who murder Jews. Five days before Bishara’s commentary was published in The Hill, PA President Mahmoud Abbas—currently in the tenth year of a single elected five-year term—hosted 11 families of terrorists in his office. Palestinian leaders rewarding terror is the rule, rather than the exception.
On Oct. 13, 2015, the PA Ministry of Education announced that it would plant olive trees and place signs with the names of Palestinian terrorists killed while attacking Israelis, among them Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, who murdered two Israelis and stabbed a two-year old child in what official PA media celebrated as a “martyrdom operation.” Halabi was also posthumously awarded a law degree and soil from the al-Aqsa mosque was brought to his grave by Abbas.
Besides offering praise, memorial degrees and tributes, the PA has incited terror attacks against Israelis. In a Sep. 16, 2015 speech that preceded the current “stabbing intifada,” Abbas said, “We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.” This exhortation, played on official PA TV and featured on the PA’s Web site, can hardly be considered the words of a “partner for peace.”
When not glorifying or inciting terrorists, the PA is paying them.
CAMERA Letter Refutes False Commentary by Hill Contributor
Josh Ruebner offers to give Sen. Tom Cotton a geography lesson because the Arkansas Republican opposes discriminatory labeling of imports from Israeli settlements (“The West Bank and Gaza Strip are not Israel, Sen. Cotton,” February 8). It's Ruebner who needs a vocabulary lesson.
Ruebner, of the “U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation,” refers to “the Israeli-occupied Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem)….” But he also says “the ultimate disposition of these Palestinians lands can only be determined through bilateral negotiations.” If they're “Palestinian lands,” their disposition's already been determined. If their “ultimate disposition … can only be determined through bilateral negotiations,” then the territories in question are disputed, not Palestinian.
Ruebner notes that “in 1967, the United States played a seminal role in getting the United Nations to adopt Security Council Resolution 242, calling on Israel to withdraw ‘from territories occupied' in that year's war, which include the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” Resolution 242 does more than call on Israel to withdraw from some but not necessarily all territories it won in self-defense in 1967. It calls for “secure and recognized boundaries,” which Israel's pre-'67 armistice lines with Jordan on the West Bank and Egypt in the Gaza Strip manifestly were not. Israeli withdrawal, whatever its degree,is envisioned as the result of successful negotiations deciding the disposition of the territories, not something required prior.
Meanwhile, the resolution's co-author, U.S. Undersecretary of State Eugene Rostow, noted Jews as well as Arabs have claims in the territories. As for “the illegality of Israeli settlements,” as Ruebner puts it, the League of Nations Palestine Mandate, Article 6, calls for “close Jewish settlement” on the land west of the Jordan River. The mandate, including Article 6, is upheld by the U.N. Charter, Chapter XII, Article 80. The United States long ago endorsed Great Britain's exercise of mandatory powers, including Article 6 (Anglo-American Convention, 1924). Claims to the contrary, whether made by Ruebner, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, or even U.S. administrations may be propagandistic, diplomatic, or political, but not legal.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Perpetuating the conflict
If a member of France's National Assembly had dared visit the Sint-Jans-Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels, the home of some of the November 13 Paris terror attack perpetrators, and observe a minute of silence with the families of the murderers, he would have had to flee directly to Syria. He'd only be able to return to France in handcuffs. Excuses like "you have to understand the cultural context" would have been rejected out of hand. But MK Ayman Odeh dares complain about Israeli democracy. He's got some nerve.
The outrage at the three Balad MKs was not about their humanitarian mission to return the bodies of the terrorists and comfort bereaved families. The outrage exploded because of their show of solidarity with the families of the murderers, which was also expressed in a minute of silence in their memory. Odeh, by the way, claims there was no minute of silence. Really? Jamal Zahalka told Danny Kushmaro: "There was a minute of silence, as is the Palestinian custom."
MK Haneen Zoabi explained after the visit that the important thing was the struggle against the occupation. Indeed. Like her party members, she is talking about the 1948 occupation, not the 1967 one. She rejects the Jews' right to have a state of their own. She doesn't just support the "resistance," she also encourages it. And she, the so-called secular woman, also called to "put religious ceremonies and religious institutions in the center of the struggle," as well as "to cancel the security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and replace it with resistance."
And to those who insist on not getting it, "the resistance" ("al-Muqawamah") is also, and perhaps mostly, terrorism against Jews. And according to Zoabi, "there is no such thing as Palestinian terrorism." Not even the murder of the three yeshiva students. There's only a "legitimate struggle" and "resistance." It's no wonder Hamas views her as a heroine. Zoabi and her friends insist on perpetuating the conflict and perpetuating terrorism, they've been the Palestinians' catastrophe for the past 100 years of conflict. They're leading them from one disaster to the next, and they insist on carrying on.

Clifford D. May: Winning an unconventional war
War is — and always will be — hell. The Law of Armed Conflict is not meant to change that — only to make it a little less hellish. There are weapons you agree not to use. In exchange, your enemy doesn’t use those weapons against you. You treat captured combatants humanely. You expect the same when your soldiers are taken prisoner.
It’s a rational and enlightened concept and, in the global war of the 21st century, it has failed spectacularly. Those who call themselves jihadis feel bound only by their reading of Islamic law — not by the Geneva Conventions and other international obligations and restrictions.
Some people find this simple truth elusive. Recall the widely publicized 2004 exchange between then-Sen. Joe Biden and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft. The former impatiently instructed the latter as to why he considered it vital that the United States not use coercive interrogation methods — torture, in his view and that of others — against al Qaeda militants.
“There’s a reason why we sign these treaties: to protect my son in the military,” he said. “That’s why we have these treaties. So when Americans are captured they are not tortured. That’s the reason. In case anybody forgets it. That’s the reason.” It appears not to have occurred to Mr. Biden that al Qaeda recognizes neither international agreements nor the logic of reciprocal restraint.
In theory, this creates a conundrum: Should Western militaries continue to abide by rules their enemies flout? In practice, there is no debate: Combatants from democratic societies aspire to conduct themselves morally and honorably — irrespective of the barbarity exhibited by their enemies. Those enemies are not shamed by this disparity — they are encouraged by the advantages that accrue to them.
Missing More Than ‘P’ in Palestine
The latest nonsensical controversy coming out of Israel concerns a speech given this week by a Likud member of the Knesset during a debate about the future of the two-state solution. Seeking to cast scorn on the Palestinians’ ambitions for a state of Palestine, Anat Berko said that there was some irony in the fact that the Arabic alphabet has no letter “P.” Palestinians refer to the country as Falastin. Her point was that the name of their country was not authentically Arab or reflect the idea that Arabs had been on the land from time immemorial as they claim. This provoked scorn from Arab members of the Knesset as well as some Jewish members. The story was picked up by the international press including the New York Times and is being interpreted by Israel’s critics as more proof of the Netanyahu government’s unwillingness to make peace, its insensitivity and even racism.
The charge of linguistic racism is a bit of a stretch even for the most fervent of Israel-bashers. This is, of course, overblown. Berko, an academic and a child of immigrants from Iraq, may be a member of Netanyahu’s party but she doesn’t speak for him or the government. During the debate during which Berko spoke, Netanyahu reiterated his support for a two-state solution. But the prime minister, like the head of the country’s left-wing opposition, has recently said, agreed that it was impossible under the current circumstances because the Palestinians aren’t willing to settle for dividing the country rather than destroying Israel.
The point is, the thing that is preventing the creation of a state of Palestine alongside Israel isn’t the “P” that Arabic speakers don’t pronounce or the mockery of backbench Likudniks like Berko. But it might be a useful exercise for those that continue to blame Israel for the absence of peace to ponder the question to which Berko was alluding. Though the question of the origin of the word Palestine is tangential to today’s conflict, the reason why Palestinians continue to refuse to make peace is not.
Why Bibi’s Fence Isn’t Trump’s Wall
Israel’s left-wing critics had a field day this week when, during a tour of Israel’s border with Jordan, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his plans “to surround the entire state of Israel with a fence.” The project would extend fencing that already exists along the country’s borders with Gaza and Lebanon that are run by hostile powers and is also intended to include features that would prevent the building of tunnels underneath any obstacles such as those used by Hamas in 2014 to facilitate kidnapping and murder raids inside the country. Given the increasingly chaotic situation in the region with ISIS terrorists on the loose in the Egyptian Sinai as well as the threat of the Islamic State in a Syria where central authority has collapsed, the measure is nothing more than common sense. But that isn’t how Israel’s detractors are viewing it.
Netanyahu’s comments in which he said that the Jewish state needed to act to protect its citizens against “predators” in the region — a line that was widely mistranslated as “wild beasts” — were interpreted in some quarters as more evidence of his alleged racism against Arabs. Others on the left not only disparaged the prime minister’s concern about terrorism but also made comparisons with presidential candidate Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall along the U.S. southern border and have Mexico pay for it. That was a position that some of Trump’s supporters, such as the conservative website, echoed, as it proclaimed that, “Netanyahu Goes Full Trump.”
While pro-Israel backers of Trump are happy with the comparison, their effort to link the two issues are as misguided as those of the Jewish state’s foes. Israel’s border dilemma and the one faced by American leaders are as different as the terrorists that cross Israel’s borders are from the economic migrants that illegally come into the U.S.
Cruz-backer Bickle pledges commitment to Israel, Jews, explains his Hitler comments
In Op-Ed on The Times of Israel, evangelical leader apologizes if he has ‘communicated beliefs poorly’
Bickle has made headlines in recent days after he endorsed presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, and after Cruz touted his backing.
In public sermons over the years, Bickle has focused intensely on end-times prophesies, and has predicted that Jesus will not return until Jews embrace him as their Lord and savior. He has predicted a new era of Holocaust-like conditions for Jews before the Second Coming, insisting that Jews who do not recognize Jesus as their messiah will either die or be sent to prison or concentration camps. His website claims that “Jesus ‘bound’ Himself by His own prophecy, saying He would only come back and rule in Jerusalem when Israel’s leaders ask Him to reign as King over them.”
In a 2011 sermon, Bickle cited a passage from Jeremiah 16:16 to elucidate the attempted extermination of European Jewry. “The Lord says, ‘I’m going to give all 20 million of them the chance to respond to the fishermen. And I give them grace. And he says, ‘And if they don’t respond to grace, I’m going to raise up the hunters.’ And the most famous hunter in recent history is a man named Adolf Hitler,” he told an audience.
Through the International House of Prayer, Bickle runs the Israel Mandate project, an effort to convert Jews to Christianity, which runs daily livestreaming prayer services for “the nation of Israel to receive their Jewish Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus),” according to its website.
Several American Jewish groups this week demanded that Cruz clarify his position on Bickle’s endorsement. The Anti-Defamation League, for instance, called on Cruz to repudiate the rhetoric espoused in the evangelist’s sermons, along with his inflammatory positions.
Mike Bickle: What Hitler did was an utter atrocity
The prophecies of Zechariah and Jeremiah are difficult and easily misinterpreted to the biblically illiterate. Taking Scripture out of context is routine to the secular media. But let me be clear: I have made support for Israel and the Jewish people a central part of my ministry. For the last 15 years, our ministry has hosted several two-hour prayer meetings for Israel each week.
Some have misrepresented my remarks on Hitler being among the ‘hunters’ mentioned by the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 16:16), but let me make clear: what Hitler did was evil, an utter atrocity to the Jewish people and to all of mankind. The creation of the modern state of Israel after the Holocaust is a testament to God’s enduring love for His beloved people.
When I was considering an endorsement of Ted Cruz, his record on Israel was central to my decision. I noted the way Cruz brought evangelical leaders and Jewish organizations together in a valiant effort to stop the Iran nuclear deal. I observed that no candidate for president has a stronger record than Cruz on standing with Israel, fighting radical Islamic terrorism, and combating anti-Semitism in the world. I could not and would not have supported Ted Cruz unless I were confident that he supported Israel.
Ted Cruz has been known to say, “If you hate the Jewish people, you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ.” I strongly agree.
FBI Joins Probe of Possible Terror Attack on Israeli-Owned Ohio Deli by Machete-Wielding Man
A machete-wielding man stormed a central Ohio restaurant owned by an Israeli on Thursday evening, injuring four people before being shot dead by police.
Authorities identified the suspected attacker as Mohamed Barry, a 30-year-old of Somali background who police say may have traveled to the United Arab Emirates in 2012. The FBI, which has joined the investigation, is probing whether the assault was an instance of homegrown extremism motivated by the mistaken impression that the restaurant owner was Jewish, according to NBC News. Security officials are worried that the incident is the same sort of “lone wolf terrorist attacks they’re trying to stop,” CBS News added.
Hany Baransi, the Arab Israeli Christian who owns the Nazareth Restaurant and Deli in northeast Columbus, believes that his establishment was attacked because of his background. “Obviously we were targeted because there’s a whole bunch of businesses around here,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “I’m the only foreigner.” However, authorities cautioned that it is too early in the investigation to identify any motive, with Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner saying that “right now there’s nothing that leads us to believe that this is anything but a random attack.”
Barry reportedly attacked the restaurant shortly after speaking with one of the its employees. While police declined to say what this conversation was about, a local news channel quoted Baransi saying that the attacker had asked about his whereabouts. The outlet added that a small Israeli flag and an Arabic phrase of welcoming– “Ahlan Wa Shalan”– were visible near the restaurant’s entrance.
According to authorities, Baransi left the restaurant for about a half an hour after this conversation, then returned and began his attack.
17-year-old Palestinian shot and killed after stabbing attempt in Hebron
A 17-year-old Palestinian girl was shot and killed after attempting to stab an IDF soldier on guard duty in Hebron by the Cave of the Patriarchs, the IDF said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
According to initial reports, IDF forces on site opened fire at the assailant once she drew a knife during a security check, subsequently succumbing to her wounds.
MDA paramedics on site attended to two victims who sustained upper body stabbing injuries.
One was a Palestinian in his thirties who, according to reports, attempted to stop the culprit. He was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for further treatment.
The other was a border police-officer who was injured lightly and did not require further treatment.
Palestinians trying to evade border cops hurt 3 near Jerusalem
Three border policemen were lightly wounded on Saturday evening while attempting to stop a vehicle carrying suspected Palestinian illegals outside a military base near Ma’ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.
Initial reports had indicated that the Palestinians had intended to attack the border policemen. However, police later said the incident was the result of the vehicle’s occupants apparently attempting to escape arrest.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said security forces had observed two people breach the security fence and enter an Israeli vehicle on a road leading to Jerusalem.
“The report was passed on to vehicular teams who began driving towards the car with the suspects,” she said. When the vehicle ran into traffic, policemen approached it on foot. When the car’s occupants noticed this, they quickly backed up in an attempted to flee “while trying to run over the policemen. The policemen who were in immediate danger shot at the vehicle” while a second border police car blocked its escape route. The suspects’ car then hit the border police vehicle, injuring the troops inside.
Obama to reluctantly sign trade bill that lumps together Israel and settlements
Legislation, hailed by AIPAC, includes anti-BDS provision with language White House says ‘contravenes longstanding US policy,’ but president will still back it
The legislation, The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015, is part of a package that was presented to the US Congress last summer. It is designed to strengthen enforcement rules, address currency manipulation and bolster efforts to block evasions of trade laws.
But the bill also includes a clause that addresses politically motivated acts to limit or prohibit economic relations with Israel — targeting corporate entities or state-affiliated financial institutions from engaging in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. This clause earned the commendation of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee).
“The provision puts the US firmly on record opposing BDS and supporting enhanced commercial ties between the United States and Israel,” AIPAC said in a statement Thursday. “This measure builds on the important work of Congress … passing into law firm anti-BDS negotiating objectives for American trade negotiators.”
Within 180 days after the bill becomes the law, the US administration will be required to report to the Congress on global BDS activities, including the participation of foreign companies in political boycotts of the Jewish State. It also includes a number of legal protections for American companies that operate in Israel.
While the Obama administration has long expressed adamant opposition to BDS tactics targeting Israel, there are several references in the legislation to “Israeli-controlled territories” or “any territory controlled by Israel” as being applicable to the terms of the bill.
Netanyahu may meet Obama in March to ink aid deal, US envoy confirms
US President Barack Obama may sit down with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next month to clinch a massive 10-year aid package, the American envoy to Israel said Thursday.
Jerusalem and Washington have been attempting to hammer out the details of the military aid deal before the current package of $3 billion annually expires in 2018.
The White House reportedly wants to wrap up the deal before Obama leaves office in 11 months, but Netanyahu has intimated he is considering holding out for a better deal with whoever wins the presidency.
“There’s a chance [Netanyahu and Obama will meet],” Ambassador Dan Shapiro told Channel 2 news Thursday night. “However, there still remains an issue of timing. We’ll see in the next few weeks how it works out.”
Netanyahu is expected to be in the US for the annual policy conference of the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby from March 20 to 22.
Israel: EU ties back on track after settlement labels row
Israel’s relations with the European Union are “close and friendly” again, Jerusalem said Friday, signaling a receding of tensions that arose last year over the EU decision to label imports from West Bank settlements.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said the sides had “overcome the crisis,” after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini spoke Friday.
While the labeling directive is not expected to change, Nahshon said Israel received had assurances that the move “is not a political step to determine future borders or to boycott Israel.”
Nahshon told journalists that Mogherini told Netanyahu that the November decision to label settlements goods “does not prejudge the outcome” of the conflict.
Quartet eyes peace push, warns chances for 2-state solution fading
The chances for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians are slipping away, the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers warned in a joint statement Friday, as it announced plans to try to kickstart long-moribund negotiations between the two sides.
The foursome said it will prepare a report on the current situation between Israel and the Palestinians, with an eye toward resuming peace talks. The new report will include “recommendations that can help inform international discussions on the best way to advance the two-state solution.”
The announcement came as representatives of the four — the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations’s Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson — met Friday on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference on southern Germany.
Jerusalemites torn over Herzog's proposal to give up Arab neighborhoods
Less than 48 hours after Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog presented a diplomatic plan at the Jerusalem Conference to relinquish Arab neighborhoods in the capital to increase security, a cross-section of Israelis expressed conflicting opinions about the radical proposal.
Immediately after Herzog contended that neighborhoods such as Shuafat and Isawiya were not critical to Jews, and that fences would help decrease Arab violence, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat retorted that conceding sovereignty over east Jerusalem would be disastrous.
“It begins with conceding sovereignty over neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city, continues with concessions in the Old City, and from there it is a short path to conceding sovereignty over the Western Wall, and indicating to the Palestinians that we will concede all our rights to this land,” he said.
However, Israelis in Zion Square on Thursday were divided over the proposal, with some agreeing that fencing off problematic Arab neighborhoods would improve security, while others said more fences would be counterproductive.
‘IDF petitions court for Breaking the Silence secret testimony’
The IDF has reportedly turned to the courts in an effort to force the controversial Breaking the Silence organization to hand over secret testimony by former Israeli soldiers about alleged abuses against Palestinians.
According to a report on the NRG website on Friday, the army is demanding testimonies that primarily relate to evidence of alleged war crimes and compliance by IDF troops with illegal orders. The State Prosecutor’s Office — officially acting on behalf of the army as the matter pertains to a civilian organization — has presented a petition to Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court, NRG said.
The legal proceedings began after correspondence by the State Prosecutor’s Office, asking Breaking the Silence to submit material to the military prosecutor, so that the army could investigate the claims, NRG reported.
The organization refused to hand over the material, and argued that the testimonies are protected by the confidentiality of sources, as is the case with journalists’ sources. The State Prosecution said in response that some of the material could be presented in such a way as to protect the sources, but Breaking the Silence declined to respond.
CUFI Declares War on Anti-Semitism
Later this month, CUFI will begin taking their message to Christians across the globe in the form of a weekly television show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). “The Watchman” will be a 30-minute weekly newsmagazine focusing on the Jewish state.
“You have America’s largest pro-Israel group, CUFI, with its over 2.7 million members, joining forces with TBN, the largest Christian TV network in the world that offers a great global platform and an even bigger heart for Israel,” explained show host Erick Stakelbeck. “TBN is serious about Israel and they want to reach younger people. Today, we have so many millennials turning against Israel.”
Stakelbeck continued, “We are going to shine a light on the threats gathering against Israel such as Iran, Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS, BDS, the UN resolutions and the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and around the world. But we are also going to spotlight all the great things happening in Israel today, everything from the high tech and medical advancements to the human rights that Israel champions.”
While CUFI is taking their efforts worldwide, including branches in Canada and Great Britain, there is a new offensive developing back in the U.S. that has been described as the “Christian war on anti-Semitism.”
Fueling the rapid growth of CUFI’s support for Israel is Christian disgust with the upsurge in anti-Semitism, notes David Brog, who is a member of the CUFI Board of Directors.
“If I had to identify a core value of our members, it is their belief that anti-Semitism is evil. They are sensitive to it. And when they see it, they want to confront it,” said Brog.
Major Jewish Group Rallies Behind Soccer Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo Following Attacks Over Israeli Commercial (VIDEO)
A major US Jewish organization announced its support for soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday after the athlete was attacked on social media for starring in an Israeli commercial.
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement that Ronaldo was “unfairly attacked by anti-Israel activists” for his appearance in an ad for HOT, an Israeli cable company. He said the athlete was the victim of an “ugly smear campaign which attempts to stigmatize any celebrity who participates in anything Israeli.”
“Here is an athlete who has both Israeli and Palestinian fans and has reached out to all,” Greenblatt added. “His appearance in an Israeli commercial has nothing to do with politics or ‘choosing sides’ and we commend him for not succumbing to the campaign which seeks to demonize every aspect of Israeli life.”
The HOT commercial features the Real Madrid player alongside a trio of Israeli comedians, known as Ma Kashur, who debate which is faster: Ronaldo or their HOT Internet connection.
JVP: Climate Change? Its Israel's fault
Great find from Rabbi Danny Gordis:
Jewish Voice for Peace has just come out and blamed Israel for climate change.
Speechless. Just speechless.

The Progressive Left Has A Jewish Problem
So how did we arrive at this juncture? Why is there so much anger and resistance whenever antisemitism is put on the table? The argument seems to be that Jews are “white people”, and therefore they cannot truly be oppressed or subordinated. Instead, they are an extension (we are told) of the same white power structure that the progressive left wishes to undermine, a view that is alarmingly conducive to antisemitic ways of thinking (of which more anon). Consequently, Jewish claims of antisemitism are consigned to the same moral and intellectual plane as white American claims of “reverse racism”; a ridiculous, paranoid, and desperate plea for victim status, often used as a discursive tool to silence or derail discussions of genuine oppression, that need only be waved away and dismissed on its face. And that is precisely what happens each and every time the issue of antisemitism is raised in the progressive/social justice arena: “accusations of antisemitism are used to silence legitimate criticism of Israeli policies”.
Antisemitism is simply not taken seriously by progressives, because they are unable to see Jews as a legitimately oppressed group. We’re assimilated, we’re well off, we’ve “made it”, so to speak. Comparisons to Irish and Italian immigrants are exceptionally common here. Like them, we are “really” just a group of “white Europeans” who, despite having experienced a certain degree of discrimination and cultural hazing in the past, have long since been accepted and incorporated into the dominant Western cultural paradigm. The most glaring flaw with this analogy is that, contrary to popular opinion, we are still not part of the dominant narrative, and more importantly, antisemitism was NOT temporary. It is a structural, longstanding prejudice that is thoroughly ingrained in Western culture. It is just as much of a reality now as it was back then, and in a multitude of ways, is arguably worse. Irish people and Italians, by contrast, cannot make the same claims.
ISIS Recruits Demand “Safe Spaces” at U.S. Universities (satire)
Not since we all tried to figure out whether that damn dress was blue and black or white and gold has the public been as polarized as it is now by the topic of “safe spaces” on U.S. college campuses. Safe spaces are normally demanded by those who see themselves as being part of minority groups worthy of protection from criticism or offensive language. Many universities have, like a guy who buys a tiger because he thinks it’ll make a stylish sofa, happily adopted the idea of safe spaces without really thinking the concept through to its logical conclusion. Recently, college students persuaded by ISIS propaganda have begun demanding their own safe spaces, arguing that they fit all the same criteria as minorities that started the trend. The Mideast Beast spoke with one of these young dreamers, though he wished to remain anonymous to avoid “undue discrimination.”
“We just want one place on campus where we can meet and not be yelled at,” said the source. “Everywhere we go people hate on us and our way of life. People call us ‘terrorists’, despite the fact that we identify as ‘freedom fighters.’ We just want a space where we can be ourselves without outside judgment.” While at first glance, this claim is as absurd as a “porcupillow” (a pillow made out of porcupine quills, patent pending), it seems that because there is no system in place for determining which groups are actually deserving of safe spaces, these jihadlings may qualify – they represent a minority (ethnically and religiously) that sees itself as having been oppressed by the West in general and white culture specifically, and they hope to convince outsiders that their way of life doesn’t merit stigmatization. So, it appears that the tiger is destined to eat the guy that really should have just gone to Ikea, all because people didn’t realize that when you grant special status to ideas you find appealing, you end up empowering ones you disagree with as well.
‘Sophisticated’ bomb on Somalia plane passed airport X-ray
A bomb that detonated in a Somali plane earlier this month, blowing a large hole in its fuselage before the aircraft was able to land safely, was a “sophisticated” device that was able to get through X-ray security checks at Mogadishu airport undetected, CNN reported, quoting a source close to the investigation.
It was not immediately clear how the X-ray machine was fooled, or whether the bombers’ “success” in getting the device through security has wider implications for airport security elsewhere.
The news network speculated that the machine may have been an older generation single-view machine still used in less developed countries, rather than a newer multi-view machine.
It also mentioned that some African countries do not use Explosive Trace Detection technology (ETD) in which passengers are swabbed to find minute quantities of explosives.
Diplomats Fall Short of Securing Syria Ceasefire as Allies Question American Credibility
Fabius’ criticism of the Obama administration’s resolve echoed sentiments expressed by Syrians civilians and rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, many of whom say that they have been abandoned by Washington. A New York Times report on Wednesday described the despair over the lack of American support as reaching “a new level” in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, which is experiencing a severe humanitarian crisis after the launch of an intense Russian airstrike campaign two weeks ago. According to the Times, anti-Assad rebels had long worried that the Obama administration did not truly want them to win, lest a sudden regime change solidify the power of Sunni extremists, but thought that the U.S. was at least willing to help them fight until the Syrian government could be pressured to engage in diplomatic negotiations. The perceptions of these rebels have recently shifted, however, and “now they fear that the United States and its allies may actually let them lose.”
The Times added that Kerry has been subject to intensifying criticism after he was approached last week by a group of Syrian relief workers following an international aid conference for Syria in London. According to one of the workers, the group asked the secretary to put more pressure on Russia and the Syrian government to cease attack on civilians, but Kerry “seemed to blame the opposition for refusing to participate in United Nations-led talks in Geneva, and when the Syrians mentioned that 230 barrel bombs had fallen on Aleppo that day, he corrected them, saying it was 180.” Kerry also reportedly said that the rebels would be decimated in three months time.
When pressed as to whether Kerry was “badgering” the Syrian opposition, State Department Spokesman John Kirby said that Kerry was simply objecting to the rebels placing “preconditions” on attending negotiations about Syria’s future. An editorial in The Washington Post last week pointed out that the rebels’ preconditions, such as a halt to the bombing of civilians and the end to sieges by Assad’s forces, were called for by United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, which was supported by both the U.S. and Russia.
Bashar al-Assad vows to retake total control of Syria
President Bashar al-Assad poured cold water over the international community's hard-fought efforts to win a ceasefire in Syria on Friday, saying he intended to carry on fighting until he had returned the entire country to his control.
In an interview, Mr Assad said the "political" and "military" tracks to end the war in Syria were separate, meaning he would keep up his attempts to win the war even if peace talks went ahead.
"We have fully believed in negotiations and political action," he told the French news agency AFP. "However, if we negotiate, it does not mean we stop fighting terrorism."
He said he would be able to retake all the territory he had lost in less than a year if supply lines to the rebels from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan were cut, but otherwise "the solution will take a long time and will incur a heavy price
Analysis: Moscow’s alliance with Iran and Hezbollah threatens strategic Israeli interests
Saudi Arabia has deliberately provoked a dangerous crisis with Iran and regional escalation by executing a prominent Saudi Shi’ite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr. The heightened tension has raised serious doubts concerning the UN diplomatic initiative, supported by Russia and the US, to end the war in Syria.
After the Russian intervention, the US decided to escalate its campaign against the Islamic State by stepping up its airstrikes in support of Kurdish and Arab fighters, and engaging in some level of ground commando operations.
It is still unclear whether Russia has a plan on how its adventure in Syria might end and whether its new military assets on the ground, like the modern fighters and S-400 anti-aircraft missiles, will remain there.
Given this backdrop, it seems the longer the Russian military campaign in the region lasts, the stronger Moscow’s alliance with Iran, Hezbollah and possibly Iraq will become. This alliance threatens strategic Israeli interests with regard to Iran and Hezbollah.
The deep Russian military involvement in Syria is slowly leading to a de facto restructuring of regional alliances, putting US and Western influence in the Middle East and beyond at risk and creating new scenarios for potential clashes with the Russians.
Russia PM says world has slipped into ‘new Cold War’
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that strains between Russia and the West have plunged the world into a “new Cold War.”
With tensions high over the lingering Ukraine conflict and Russia’s backing of the Syrian regime, Medvedev said: “All that’s left is an unfriendly policy of NATO against Russia.”
“We can say it even more clearly: We have slid into a new period of Cold War,” he said, speaking at the Munich Security Conference.
“Almost every day we are accused of making new horrible threats either against NATO as a whole, against Europe or against the US or other countries.”
Medvedev criticized the expansion of NATO and EU influence deep into formerly Soviet-ruled eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War.
Turkish FM: Russia targeting schools, hospitals in Syria
Turkey's foreign minister said on Friday that Russia was targeting schools and hospitals as part of its bombing campaign in Syria.
Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Mevlut Cavusoglu put the blame squarely on Moscow for the wave of tens of thousands of people who have arrived at the Turkish border over the past week.
"Why do these people have to leave their homes? They stayed there (in Syria) for five years, despite all these terrors from the brutal regime. But because of the Russian bombings - and Russia continues, despite the agreement we made last night, Russia continues bombing the civilians. They killed 16 civilians this morning, they even targeted schools and hospitals as well - therefore these people fleeing, they are fleeing from the Russian bombings," he said.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev rejected accusations on Saturday that his country's forces have bombed civilians in Syria, saying this was "just not true".
Saudi Arabia to send planes to Turkey for Islamic State fight
Saudi Arabia will send aircraft to NATO-member Turkey's Incirlik air base for the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was reported as saying on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia has resumed its participation in air strikes against Islamic State in recent weeks and US Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday welcomed its commitment to expand its role.
"Saudi Arabia is now sending planes to Turkey, to Incirlik. They came and carried out inspections at the base," Cavusoglu told the Yeni Safak newspaper, adding it was unclear how many planes would come and that the Saudis might also send soldiers.
Saudi officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Cavusoglu's remarks.
US President Barack Obama has ruled out sending US ground troops to Syria. But Saudi Arabia this month offered ground forces to fight Islamic State and Cavusoglu said Turkey and the Saudis would support a coalition ground operation.
IsraelDailyPicture: The U.S. Navy Saved the Jews of the Holy Land 100 Years Ago
We have written previously how the United States Government rallied to save the Jews of the Holy Land from famine and expulsion by the Turkish army during World War I. But we are now adding an important historic document from that episode showing the vital involvement of American Jewry and the United States Navy exactly 100 years ago.
At the start of the war, Jewish men were forcibly conscripted into the Turkish Army, a devastating locust plague ravaged the land in 1915, Turkish troops were looting supplies in preparation for their attack on the Suez Canal, charitable funds from European Jewish communities for the Jews of Palestine were cut off, and plans were being drawn up by the Turks to expel the Jews from the land. The United States Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau, warned American Jewish leaders of the danger to the Jews of the Holy Land and appealed to them for funds.
The American government had not yet enterred the war and U.S. aid could still get through. But to ensure that the money and supplies would not be stolen by rapacious Turkish officials, the U.S. secretary of state approved the use of American warships for the deliveries. Thirteen U.S. ships were used for the deliveries and for providing passage to Jews expelled from the land by the Turks.
Yael Naim is France’s singer of the year
French-Israeli singer Yael Naim was declared France’s singer of the year Saturday in the 31st Victoires de la Musique, the country’s equivalent of the Grammys.
Naim (whose name in Hebrew means pleasant) won the prize, awarded annually by the French Ministry of Culture, for the second time in her career (the first was in 2011) for her album Older, recorded in collaboration with French multi-instrumentalist David Donatien. In 2008 she won a Victoires prize for album of the year, for a selection of songs recorded with Donatien simply titled Yael Naim and David Donatien.
Her prize for Older gives her label, Tot ou Tard, two wins this year. The other was for an album by newcomer Vianney.
Older was also nominated in the album of the year.
Naim, 38, was born in Paris but lived in Israel from the age of 4 to 21 and served in the IDF, in the military orchestra.
Her music career was massively boosted when Apple picked a song from her debut album, New Soul, and used it in an ad for the Macbook Air laptop computer.
From Hizbullah Terrorist To Jewish Rabbi h/t IsraellyCool

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