Tuesday, February 23, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The lie of pro-Palestinian activism
For them, the Palestinians whose rights they claim to champion are nothing more than means to another end.
Indeed, how dare he teach people who claim to care about the Palestinians about the Palestinians? How dare he say that Palestinians are people, and are not driven only by their collective hatred of Israel and rejection of its right to exist? How dare he mention that Palestinians have the right to work wherever they want and that Jews in Judea and Samaria aren’t inherently evil and actually provide livelihoods for thousands of Palestinians who work with them? How dare Eid come to University of Chicago and mention that neither Fatah nor Hamas have built governing institutions built on the notion that Palestinians have the right to freedom, but rather they have built institution geared toward forcing the Palestinians to seek Israel’s destruction, while trampling their human rights? How dare he not bow and scrape before SJP and accept its positions as a condition for speaking on campus? And so, once again, last Thursday we learned the big lie at the heart of the supposedly pro-Palestinian movement. None of its members – whether from SJP, J Street, or any of their comrades – care about the Palestinians or their rights.
All they care about is attacking Israel.
None of this is new information. It’s been obvious for several years now that the pro-Palestinian movement is merely a means to demonize Israel and its supporters. The only real question at this point is what is it going to take for US law enforcement bodies, legislatures and university administrations to finally take action against these hate groups, to the benefit of Palestinians, Israel and the cause of human rights?
Richard Millett: Israelis accused of rape and organ harvesting at SOAS.
Last night SOAS lecturer Rafeef Ziadah hosted SOAS’ first “Israel Apartheid Week” panel event in front of 300 students and it wasn’t long before the sickening propaganda started flying.
Sahar Francis of Addameer, a prisoner support group, said that Palestinian hunger striker Islam Hamed was threatened with rape by his guards and that Israel’s prison authorities hoped he would die so the courts would implement a “forced feeding bill”.
She continued that Israel has been rumoured to harvest organs from its own car accident victims and from dead Palestinians. However, she said, she couldn’t confirm this (search Israel Advocacy Movement on Facebook to see the video of Francis).
Steven Salaita, an American author, who was once hired and immediately fired by an American university was also on the panel. He claimed last night this was because his course, in which he would humanise indigenous Americans, was too emotional for Americans to cope with.
He spent most of his 20 minutes last night viciously attacking those who support Israel. He asked what a student should do when someone expresses a visceral attachment to Israel. He answered:
“Allow a Zionist’s internal conflict to exist. Exacerbate it!”
He said that “humanising Palestinians undermines the Zionist project” and so Zionists associate Palestinians with Hitler and “have a fear of binationalism which is actual democracy” (this drew huge applause and cheers).
He continued that “Israel directs so much of its violence at children and takes more Palestinian land for water and agriculture”.
Douglas Murray - Highlights 'Defeating ISIS'

Israeli Self-Defense Isn’t Debatable
More to the point, Israel’s right of self-defense in the face of terror is being openly questioned by those who purport to defend human rights. The fact that armed Israelis have stopped many of those Palestinians who have attempted to slaughter Jews in the course of their attacks has been treated as being unfair to the terrorists. Most prominently Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has labeled the deaths of attempted murderers as “extrajudicial executions” and demanded international investigations of Israel’s actions.
The argument is similar to the outcry against Israel during the summer of 2014 when IDF counterattacks aimed at silencing Palestinian rockets that rained down in their thousands on Israeli cities and towns. At that time, Israel’s actions were treated as being somehow unfair because the Jewish state prioritized defending its citizens with the Iron Dome batteries while Hamas used bomb shelters for its arsenal and hid behind civilians who wound up being killed in the crossfire. Since more Palestinians have died trying to kill Israelis than the number of Jews they have actually slain, the contest is viewed as yet another example of Israeli beastliness to Palestinian victims.
That is why otherwise uncontroversial recitations of the extremely restrictive rules of engagement that Israeli troops labor under can become the source of fierce debate. Thus, while Netanyahu and Yaalon are right to reaffirm the humane principles that Israel stands for, Eisenkot would do well to remember that his country is fighting on more than one front. And though the IDF must worry more about terror than about fending off biased criticisms from hostile nations like Sweden, its leader should be more careful about feeding characters like Wallstrom more ammunition.
Whatever the political context of the general’s statements, the real issue that the Jewish state must focus on is not restraint — about which there is no real debate inside the country — but why Palestinians and their cheerleaders are so eager to delegitimize Israeli self-defense. The goal of the “stabbing intifada” like that of every other offensive undertaken by the Palestinians is to chip away at Israeli morale and its foreign support. Palestinians continue to view the murder of all Jews as heroic and to believe that Israel has no right to exist within any borders. It is those beliefs that motivate the terrorists and force Israeli soldiers into having to make split-second life and death decisions to defend themselves and civilians. They deserve support for their efforts, not sniping from domestic or foreign critics.
Watch: IDF operation nabs weapons stashes in Arab villages
While most Israelis slept, IDF forces were hard at work last night in the hills of Samaria, locating illegal weapons hidden in Palestinian Arab villages.
Such raids are mounted on a daily basis, as part of security forces' efforts to stem the tide of terror attacks.
During the operation, soldiers seized a number of weapons including M-16 assault rifles, pistols, bullets, magazines, night-vision goggles, binoculars and other military equipment used in the preparation of terror attacks, as well as drugs.
Further south, in Judea, IDF forces demolished the homes of two terrorists who murdered five people on the same day.
IDF razes West Bank homes of two Palestinian terrorists
Israeli troops demolished the homes early Tuesday of two Palestinian terrorists accused of killing five Israelis in twin attacks last year, the army said.
IDF engineers accompanied by Border Police officers destroyed the homes of Raed Masalmeh, 36, in the West Bank village of Dura, near Hebron, and Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub, 24, in village of Dir Smat, also near Hebron, the military said in a statement.
Earlier this month the High Court of Justice issued temporary injunctions against demolition orders for Masalmeh and al-Kharoub’s homes in response to petitions by their families.
Both attackers are in Israeli custody.
Pictures published on social media purporting to be from the home demolitions showed troops standing among rubble.
Masalmeh admitted stabbing to death Reuven Aviram, 51, and 32-year-old Aharon Yesiav, and wounding a third person in an attack on Jewish worshipers at the Panorama office building in south Tel Aviv on November 19. He has been indicted for murder at Tel Aviv District Court.
Just hours after the Tel Aviv attack, Mohammed Abdel Basset al-Kharoub, 24, from the village of Dir Smat near Hebron, shot dead three people and wounded four others near the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut.
WATCH: Play showing IDF's 'field executions' of Palestinian children performed in Gaza
Members of the Progressive Student Union Bloc in Gaza preformed on Sunday a play called "knife intifada," demonstrating the execution of Palestinian children by IDF soldiers in the West Bank.
The play was part of the ceremonies for the 47th anniversary of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and was watched by leaders of the Democratic Front, student representatives and representatives of the Palestinian factions in Gaza.
The play presented day-to-day experiences of Palestinian youth facing the "cruel Israeli occupation" at the security barriers in the West Bank. It describes, for example, a Palestinian girl walking to school, while IDF soldiers at the barrier start yelling at her, emptying her school bag on the floor and confiscating a Palestinian flag that was in the bag.
Another scene presents a young boy playing with his ball while IDF soldiers yell at him to stop and go home, pointing their guns at him. After the boy continues playing, a soldier confiscates his ball, blows it up with his gun and throws a knife on the floor. The boy then takes the knife and the soldiers aim at him and shoot him, while Israeli journalists document the ostensible "stabbing attack" carried out by the boy.
The actor who plays an IDF soldier told the Palestinian news agency Watan: "We want to show the world, and the Arab people especially, how the Palestinian people – students who go to schools and universities – suffer at the Israeli barriers. We want to show the world that a guy walking towards a barrier does not intend to stab soldiers. It is the soldiers who attempt to paint him as a terrorist."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Despite BDS, Palestinians Still Supplying IDF With Terrorists To Shoot (satire)
Activists urging individuals and organizations not to maintain commercial, cultural, or other contact with Israel over its treatment of Palestinians say the Palestinians are still providing Israeli security forces with attackers to shoot, members of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement admitted today.
As BDS and other anti-Israel movements mark what they call Israeli Apartheid Week, some activists have expressed unease over the fact that the effort by and large bypasses the population that theoretically stands at the center of the BDS campaign, and does nothing to request that population engage in the same effort. While the public campaign focuses on the alleged use Israeli forces make of foreign goods and technology to oppress Palestinians, say the activists, the Palestinians themselves have directly supplied Israeli soldiers, Border Guards, and police with targets in the for of people trying to kill Jews in stabbing or automotive attacks.
This week the London Underground was plastered with hundreds of unauthorized posters highlighting the use of services and goods by Israeli defense or security entities, whom the activists accuse of abuse and war crimes against Palestinians, especially children. However, says local BDS activist Hippo Chrissie, leaders of the movement have begun to exhibit frustration with the Palestinians themselves, who have implemented no serious BDS campaign of their own, and in fact have increased their supply to those very security forces of attackers to shoot and imprison.
“Not only has the number of Palestinians working in and for Israeli interests increased recently – even in the settlements – they appear to make no effort of their own to help us help them,” lamented Chrissie. “Over the last five months, we’ve seen a massive uptick in the number of people the Palestinians have furnished the IDF for purposes of shooting them as they attempt to kill Jews, and no public campaign on the part of the Palestinian leadership to put a stop to the provision of those terrorists to Israel for shooting.”

Herzog visits West Bank settlement Ariel, says Israel must retain it
Continuing an apparent shift to the right, Israel’s opposition leader Isaac Herzog on Tuesday visited the West Bank settlement city of Ariel, and declared that it should be retained by Israel under any future peace agreement, along with the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem’s East.
With a population of some 20,000, Ariel is the fourth largest settlement (after Modiin Illit, Beitar Illit and Ma’aleh Adumim) and is situated in the heart of the northern West Bank.
Herzog, who has recently been pushing a unilateral separation plan having declared that a two-state solution is not currently feasible, said during the visit that the residents of Ariel had the same rights to security as those of Tel Aviv.
Israel reportedly preparing plan to boost Palestinian economy
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has met several times with his Palestinian counterpart Shukri Bishara in recent weeks to hammer out a plan for boosting economic assistance to the Palestinians, according to a Sunday report.
Kahlon is now slated to bring a raft of new initiatives to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for approval in the coming days, Channel 10 reported.
The plan is the result of a series of meetings between senior officials in the Israeli and Palestinian finance ministries, over the last several months, despite spiraling street violence. The last bilateral meeting of the finance officials took place last week.
The proposal focuses on both knowledge-intensive industries such as healthcare and high-tech, as well as expanding Israeli-Palestinian economic integration in the construction sector.
Defense minister: American aid package to be finalized in ‘weeks’
Marking the start of a biennial US-Israeli ballistic missile defense drill in Haifa, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Monday that a new 10-year military aid package from Washington should be finalized “in the coming weeks.”
“Israel has held talks over the last months on keeping its high-quality security in the Middle East with the goal of finalizing a budget for the next decade,” he said, speaking alongside US ambassador Dan Shapiro, after touring the USS Carney.
The US and Israel have been renegotiating the military aid package, which currently stands at $3 billion annually. Israel wants to up the amount to $5 billion annually, according to reports, and some Israeli officials have threatened to hold out until US President Barack Obama leaves office in the hopes of securing a better deal.
Wikileaks: NSA bugged Netanyahu-Berlusconi meeting on US-Israel relations
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's promised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he would help repair ties with US President Barack Obama during the nadir of ties between Jerusalem and Washington in March 2010, the Wikileaks web site reported on Tuesday.
Wikileaks placed on its website intelligence reports of a handful of conversations between world leaders from 2007 to 2011, including the conversation between Netanyahu and Berlusconi following the announcement of plans to build 1600 housing units in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shalom in 2010 during the visit of US Vice President Joe Biden.
“Israel has reached out to Europe, including Italy, for help in smoothing out the current rift in its relations with the United States, according to Italian diplomatic reporting of 13 March,” a summary of the conversation read. The Ramat Shlomo announcement was made four days earlier.
Netanyahu, according to the summary, “insisted that the trigger for the dispute--Israel's decision to build 1,600 homes in contested East Jerusalem--was totally in keeping with national policy dating back to the administration of Golda Meir, and blamed this mishandling on a government official with poor political sensitivity.”
That summary is entirely consistent with what Netanyahu was saying publicly at the time, that the Ramat Shlomo announcement was in keeping with long-standing Israeli policy in Jerusalem, and that it was not intended to embarrass Obama, Biden, or the US, but rather the result of a poorly-timed decision by a low-level bureaucrat.
Italy summons US envoy over Netanyahu-Berlusconi ‘spying’
Italy’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it had summoned the US ambassador to Rome over reports of widespread US surveillance of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, among several other European leaders.
US ambassador John Phillips was called in “for clarification on the media reports that allege Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi and some of his close associates were subjected to wiretapping in 2011,” it said in a brief statement.
According to Italy’s La Repubblica and Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, classified documents released by WikiLeaks reveal the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on leaders from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as well as the party-loving Italian billionaire.
Among the WikiLeaks documents was a cable showing that the NSA listened in on talks between Berlusconi and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Netanyahu asked Berlusconi to help him improve relations with Washington that were strained by plans for Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.
Sanders reaches out to Israelis on Facebook, gets earful
Meanwhile many of the comments on the Hebrew version of the post — which says “Lo ani, anachnu” (Hebrew for Not me, us) — are sarcastic, skeptical and mocking of the graphic and of the Independent senator from Vermont’s socialist platform.
Here are a few choice examples:
“These things are the connecting thread between socialism and nationalism/fascism — seeing a person only as part of a collective.”
“You guys do realize that when he crashes the economy, people are gonna blame Jews? One of the reasons why we’ve done so good here is because when something goes wrong people blame the president, not the Jews. Well, what happens when the president is a Jew?”
“But socialism increases racism and hate as it places every sector’s hand in the other’s pocket, and everyone’s hand into his friend’s pocket, which creates animosity between different groups in society.”
There were, however, some messages of support, as well as more than 1,500 Likes and over 500 Shares.
“Bernie you are the best, the israeli [sic] left wing supports you. Greetings from an israeli [sic] socialist!!!” one person wrote, while another said: “This speaks so greatly to your brothers and sisters of Am Yisrael!”
The Sanders campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Hamas tunnels that go bump in the night
Security officials are quietly skeptical about the reported banging and scratching in the night. Pri Gan is three miles from the border, a distance further than any known Hamas tunnel. Much of the area is soft earth, meaning it is unlikely that digging would cause banging noises.
However, even if officials don’t believe residents can actually hear digging they acknowledge the psychological toll the tunnels are taking.
“When you are afraid of something you start to see it everywhere. It comes to you in your thoughts and in your dreams,” said Arnon Avni, a spokesman for the Nirim kibbutz near the Egyptian border.
"Day by day this place is paradise but in one second it could turn into hell"
Dalia Levy, the woman who recorded noises on her mobile, asked to be identified by a pseudonym because of her frustration that the military was not taking her claims seriously.
Her husband, who has also heard the noises, recently bought a gun and whenever Israel carries out an assassination in Gaza the family leaves the area, fearing that Hamas may launch reprisal attacks.
“People need to wake up before something big happens,” she said, looking out over the green fields of southern Israel and out towards Gaza. “Day by day this place is paradise but in one second it could turn into hell.”
Terror-supporting PA official to speak at Hebrew U
The Truman Center at Hebrew University in Jerusalem is to host Dr. Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who serves as the Advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and as the Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari'ah Justice. Al-Habbash is being invited to debate MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Al-Habbash has spoken openly in favor of terrorism against Israelis and said that “the land of Palestine will be returned only via violence.” He has also spoken in support of terrorists themselves when he said “There is no higher rank in the eyes of Allah that the rank of a martyr.”
The Truman center wrote on the invitations which it sent out to the event that “the two speakers will discuss and argue about some of the burning issues regarding the recent security situation: The wave of terror and the intifada of the individual, child martyrs, the Gaza tunnels, the strengthening of ISIS in the Middle East, the rise of Islamic extremism, the Palestinian Israeli conflict and the peace process.”
Following the invitation being issued to Al-Habbash, the director of Im Tirzu’s student group at the university, Haim Frenas, wrote to the Minister of Education and director of the Council for Higher Education in Israel Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) and to the Truman Center demanding that the invitation to Al-Habbash be rescinded due to his open support of terrorism.
Palestinians confront dilemma of working in the settlements
Israeli companies argue that they are helping Palestinians in the West Bank - employing about 36,000 - by giving them a far better salary than in Arab-owned businesses.
Meanwhile, a report last month, titled "Occupation, Inc.", Human Rights Watch said the 1,000 Israeli businesses, mainly manufacturing plants, in the West Bank operate in violation of international law because they were built on occupied land, and it called on them to cease settlement activities.
"Settlement businesses depend on and benefit from Israel's unlawful confiscation of Palestinian land and other resources, and facilitate the functioning and growth of settlements," HRW said.
The zones, the report said, contribute to a two-tiered system that "provides preferential treatment to Jewish Israeli settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians." In many cases they also use Palestinian resources, especially quarries in the West Bank.
West Bank businesses deny exploiting Palestinian workers and say they offer much-needed employment.
Most of the Israeli businesses in the West Bank are located in 16 industrial zones. They produce about $600 million of goods annually - a small amount in Israel's $300 billion economy.
Rash of Gaza suicides points to rising poverty, despair
Media in Gaza reported on Friday that a Palestinian fell to his death from the sixth floor of a building in Rafah in the southern Strip. Less than 24 hours later, reports emerged to the effect that the man, who was in his 20s, had committed suicide.
A week earlier, a 33-year-old Palestinian, a resident of Bani Suhaila, near Khan Younis, doused himself with flammable liquid and set himself on fire. At first it was reported that he had done so because of a financial dispute with his father. His parents denied this.
A few days before that, there were reports of another young Palestinian man, from the center of the Gaza Strip, found dead in a field. The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.
Is this a coincidental accumulation of suicides by young males with mental issues, or are we looking at a rise in suicides stemming from the dreadful economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza?
Gaza women turn heads with bike rides
Four Palestinian women have turned heads in the Islamist-run Gaza Strip by doing what would pass unnoticed in many other places in the world: riding their bicycles.
The women are bucking tradition in the enclave hit by three wars since 2008 and under Israeli and Egyptian blockade.
One of them says that beyond enjoying simply going for a ride, she also hopes to make a statement.
Many people encourage and admire them, they say.
Others however insult or resent the women in their 20s and 30s because, in their view, they are violating Islamic decency.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Church Excommunicates Galileo For Saying Earth Does Not Revolve Around Them (satire)
Ecclesiastical officials in the Church of Palestine have placed a ban of excommunication on Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei for strong evidence of his expressing heresy in the form of claiming the world does not revolve around the Palestinians.
In an announcement by a spokesman for Palestinian Pope Notinnocent VIII, the scientist, inventor, philosopher, and mathematician Galileo Galilei of Florence, Italy, was placed under a ban from receiving Church sacraments until such time as he recants his heresy. Galilei has long insisted that his astronomical observations prove that the Earth orbits the sun, and not the Palestinians.
The spokesman, Father Saebi Erekatti, denounced the Florentine astronomer in severe terms, accusing him of harboring and spreading malicious, destructive lies about the orientation of the heavenly bodies. “Everyone knows the situation and fate of the Palestinians is the central issue plaguing humanity for the last seven decades,” he asserted. “To claim that something else lies at the center of the solar system – nay, of the universe itself – is to engage in willful denial of one of the basic tenets of existence and to corrupt the minds of the masses.” To reverse the excommunication, said Erekatti, Galilei must withdraw his conclusions and submit to the authority of the infallible Palestinian pope.
Lebanon seeks to appease Saudi Arabia following its decision to stop aid to the country
The Lebanese government has declared that it is necessary that Lebanon and its Arab brothers overcome obstacles and stabilize their relations, relating to the recent crisis in Lebanon's relations with Saudi Arabia following the latter's decision to stop delivering aid to the Lebanese army.
On Friday, Saudi Arabia announced that it was halting its $3 billion aid package to the Lebanese army in what an official called a response to Beirut's failure to condemn an attack on the Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran in December. However, many Saudi political analysts suggested that the suspension of aid was actually a Saudi reaction to the failure of negotiations for the release of the Saudi prince, Abdul Mohsen bin Walid, who was caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Lebanon in November. Analysts say that by halting the aid, Saudi authorities are trying to exert pressure on the Lebanese government to force Hezbollah, which is trying to extort the kingdom in exchange for the prince's release, to be more flexible in its demands.
Gathering for an emergency meeting Monday evening to discuss Lebanon's stance towards the Saudi decision, the Lebanese government, divided between Hezbollah representatives and the opposing al-Mustaqbal camp, headed by Saad Hariri, attempted to reach an agreed statement regarding Lebanon's relations with the Saudi kingdom.
The government statement read: "Lebanon will never forget the Saudi hosting of the Taif conference that put an end to the Lebanese civil war, as well as the Saudi contribution to Lebanon's rehabilitation following that war."
"We will also never forget that Saudi Arabia has hosted and continues hosting hundreds of thousands of Lebanese civilians."
Veteran nuclear expert: Iran deal could make things worse
In the 2000s, the Iranians proposed putting these subjects in the talks. The West decided that to get an agreement, it should focus only on the nuclear program,” he said. “I do not agree with that.”
Referring to the agreement itself, Asculai said, “Despite what President Barack Obama has said, there is no ability to look at undeclared [nuclear sites]. Getting access to those would mean explaining to Iran why inspectors are going.”
He described the failure to inspect such sites as a considerable flaw in the deal. Additionally, the agreement “does not look at the actual developments of weapons – not nuclear material – but the weapons,” he stated.
He described both of those mistakes as being very significant, adding that the world will likely have to face the consequences further down the line.
“The nuclear agreement postponed conflict by a number of years. But if conflict comes later, it will be much worse. Iran can do many hidden things,” he said.
Furthermore, claims by Obama that intelligence agencies “will know” if Iran transgresses the clauses of the deal, are questionable, Asculai said.
“Based on historical perspectives, intelligence does not know everything.”
Hitchens attacker dead in Syria
One of the members of the fascist Syrian Social National Party who attacked the late Christopher Hitchens in Beirut in 2009 for defacing one of their neo-swastika posters has died fighting for the fascist butcher Assad in Syria.
Video shows Damascus synagogue still intact
The Franjieh synagogue, the last functioning synagogue in Damascus, appears in good condition, according to a recent video clip on Ynet News.
This short video shows a man (possibly Albert Cameo) opening it up. There are just 16 elderly Jews remaining in the war-torn city. They are 'under the protection' of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad.
The Franjieh synagogue is the only known synagogue remaining in or near Damascus after the Jobar, or Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, was bombed in 2014.

Canada Friday Sermon by Imam Shaban Sherif Mady: Rome Will Be Conquered like Constantinople Was

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