Monday, March 14, 2016

From Ian:

Col Kemp: The West’s fight against terrorism is anemic
Arguing for the authorization of airstrikes on Syria in the British House of Commons recently, British Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn — a life-long campaigner against war — noted succinctly that we know this about Islamic State: They are fascists, and we have to defeat them.
Experience makes plain that when terrorist movements control territory where they can organize and train, the threat increases exponentially. The United States, the United Kingdom and our coalition partners must intensify our anemic action to destroy the Islamic State.
Coalition airstrikes alone will not defeat the Islamic State, nor end Syria’s brutal civil war. Ground forces will be necessary to take back and hold territory in urban centers in Syria and Iraq. We cannot predict the ultimate makeup of such forces. But we can be certain that they will face an unconventional enemy that will act with utmost brutality and pay no heed to the rules of warfare.
This is the fundamental challenge our democracies face.
We are confronted by ruthless Islamist death cults that pervert the rules of war to achieve victory and have no respect for basic humanity.
The Slipperiest Slope of Them All
President Obama came into office promising to turn the page on a chapter of American history defined by two wars in the greater Middle East. His consistency in delivering on that promise is admirable, as is the focus with which he has learned from and sought to avoid his predecessor’s mistakes regarding the use of American force abroad.
Ironically, however, Obama’s fixation on closing one chapter led him to decisions that opened a new one that reads very similarly. This new war on ISIS—Obama’s war—which began in August 2014, can be traced to two errors of judgment. Jeffrey Goldberg’s article on “The Obama Doctrine” reveals that these errors were driven by the president's determination to keep his promises to the American people and to avoid the mistakes of the past.
The first mistake was Obama’s retreat from Iraq—the withdrawal not just of U.S. forces, but even more so of diplomatic energy and leverage, which, successfully deployed, might have mitigated the collapse of the Iraqi political experiment and thus blunted the rise of ISIS. After Iraq held its (pre-American withdrawal) elections in 2010, the Obama administration took a hands-off approach to Iraqi domestic politics, and it failed to replace the American military presence with a robust set of civilian, economic, and other partnerships to sustain American influence. In 2011, my last of about two years working on Middle East policy in Obama’s State Department, we were planning for sharp cuts in civilian programs for Iraq alongside the military drawdown—and over the next two years, U.S. economic aid to Iraq dropped nearly 50 percent. The administration had ample warning about the damage Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s sectarian and power-hungry behavior was having on Iraqi security and stability. But the president and Vice President Biden, who managed the Iraq portfolio on Obama’s behalf, chose to do very little to constrain Maliki as he began to unravel the tentative political bargains between Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds within federal Iraq.
Americans don't always know everything
The root of the problem for many American administrations, including the current one, is the American tendency to assess the Middle East through the prism of American concepts, as if the people living in the region are American citizens who adhere to an American logic, worldview and political culture. It turns out, however, that protestors in the streets of Arab cities are not necessarily social activists; Islamic movements don't exactly champion equality and human rights; and local tyrants, like Bashar Assad and the spiritual leader of Iran, neither resemble American political adversaries on the campaign trail nor common street thugs acting violently on the streets of American cities.
It comes as no surprise that an administration that views the crime-filled streets of Chicago and violence in the Middle East through the same lenses has sought to appease the region's thugs through restraint and patience, not to mention weakness, and has responded in similar fashion to the world's current mafioso-of-the-moment, Vladimir Putin. In actuality, however, Obama has not secured the goodwill of his adversaries and enemies in the region. Quite the opposite -- from the moment they smelled weakness they rose up in a manner of defiance they had never before dreamed possible. At the same time, the Americans squandered the trust of their allies, who felt abandoned and under threat.
Obama's approach to the Middle East has included two crucial aspects that together had far-reaching and disastrous consequences, not only for America's status in the region but for its inhabitants. On the one hand, Obama naively sees the Middle East through rose-tinted glasses, befitting his belief that the region and its people seek modernity and democracy, and that the basis for tensions between them and the U.S. is America's belligerent behavior, highlighted by George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq. On the other hand, Obama's approach also comes with the cynicism of a cold and calculating businessman trying to cut his losses by selling depreciating stock. In other words, when the reality of the region blew up in his face, he chose to disengage from it while leaving Washington's friends and allies to fend for themselves.
One cannot deny that a policy of inaction can be beneficial on occasion and can prevent volatile situations from escalating. But the result of Obama's policies -- or lack thereof to be more precise -- is that on his watch the Middle East has not only become far less stable but is now a more dangerous place where far more lives have been lost to war than at any time during Bush's presidency, when American soldiers were sent to fight in the region.
If Obama would have listened to Israel, he could have learned from its firsthand experiences -- that while you can disengage from Gaza and Lebanon, those places will not disengage from you and will continue chasing you to your doorstep.

Oren: Obama has selective memory on Middle East
The former ambassador was dismayed to read Goldberg write that "Some of [Obama's] deepest disappointments concern Middle Eastern leaders themselves," among whom "Benjamin Netanyahu is in his own category," because he deemed him "too fearful and politically paralyzed" to bring about a two-state solution.
"Bibi is in a category by himself?" Oren asked. "More than [the late Lybian leader Muammar] Gaddafi, [Syrian dictator Bashar] Assad, [former Eyptian president Hosni] Mubarak, and [former Iranian president Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad?" Oren complained that Obama did not give credit to Netanyahu for steps he took toward the Palestinians or hold accountable Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who he did not mention in the interview, for rejecting repeated American peace initiatives.
"The article is missing the faintest reference to Abbas," Oren said. "This shows prejudice against Arabs, as if they have no role to play and are mere two dimensional props for receiving Israeli concessions. Abbas walked away from the negotiating table. Why don't Palestinians ever bear responsibility for a failed peace process? Why is it only on Netanyahu's shoulders?" When Goldberg asked Obama what he had hoped to accomplish with his controversial June 2009 speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, he said “My argument was this: Let’s all stop pretending that the cause of the Middle East’s problems is Israel.”
But Oren said everything he was told by Obama and his advisers during his tenure in Washington proved that Obama indeed thought Israel and its conflict with the Palestinians was the core conflict and responsible for all the region's problems.
Acts of War by Any Other Name
Today, Adel al-Jubeir is Saudi Arabia’s minister of foreign affairs. If Iran had its way, he would be dead. Moreover, Jubeir’s assassination, having occurred on American soil and which would likely have been accompanied by American collateral causalities, could have sparked a war.
Mannsor Arbabsiar, a 58-year-old car salesman from Texas, was the unlikely instrument of Iranian terrorism. In 2011, he was recruited by his cousin, a senior official with Tehran’s Quds Force, to orchestrate a bombing in Washington D.C.’s Cafe Milano where then-Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Jubeir was dining. The operation was thwarted before it could be executed and, with direct links to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei having been established, the State Department brought the rhetorical hammer down on Iran.
The plot was part of a “marked resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism,” a State Department statement read. “Arbabsiar was an enemy among us,” declared US Attorney Preet Bharara, “the key conduit for, and facilitator of, a nefarious international plot concocted by members of the Iranian military.”
It was an act of war, and representatives of the United States talked about it in terms that were appropriate for such a grave act. A bipartisan group of legislators began calling the plot an attack on the sovereignty of the United States. The White House heaped scorn upon Iran, and the Treasury Department issued a set of targeted sanctions on five individuals linked the plot. Then, nothing.
The Obama administration had higher priorities than preserving the faith of a longtime ally in Saudi Arabia and punishing Iran for what would have been a casus belli had the assassination attempt been successful. Only toward the end of his second term has it become clear that Barack Obama’s goal was always to rehabilitate the Iranian regime so that it could serve as a pillar of stability in the Middle East. No provocation would deter them from pursuing that objective. None, it seems, including further attacks on American interests on U.S. soil.
Iran says US court order on 9/11 compensation ‘ridiculous’
Iran on Monday rejected as “ridiculous” a US court ruling that the Islamic Republic pay more than $10 billion in compensation over al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks.
A New York court last week ordered Tehran to pay $7.5 billion to victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon — and $3 billion to insurers over related claims — after ruling that Iran had failed to prove that it did not help the bombers.
“This judgement is so ridiculous… more than ever before, it damages the credibility of the US judicial system,” state television quoted an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
“Such judgements also send a very dangerous message to terrorists and to their supporters: Kill people… not only will we not prosecute, but we will even target your greatest enemies instead,” Hossein Jaber Ansari said.
“We also see the US administration as a partner in such verdicts,” Ansari said.
Saudi Journalist: Iran – Not Israel – Is The Gulf States' No. 1
On March 8, 2016, Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh wrote in his column in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah that today, Iran is the No. 1 enemy of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, supplanting the historical enemy Israel. Any citizen of the Gulf who disagrees with this assessment, he added, is a traitor.
Arguing that Iran is exploiting the Palestinian issue as a pretext for "infiltrating deep into the Arab world, shredding its Arab fabric, and dragging Arab society into supporting its expansionary plan," he emphasized that the Palestinians should expect no salvation from Iran. He also warned the Gulf Shi'ites that they were mere pawns for Iran, which was using them to promote Persian national aspirations.
Senior Saudi royal excoriates Obama for ‘Iran pivot’
Riyadh has been especially concerned by US support for Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, fearing its regional rival will be emboldened.
In an opinion piece published in Saudi newspapers, Prince Turki al-Faisal, the kingdom’s former intelligence chief and envoy to Washington, lashed out at Obama’s recent comments to The Atlantic magazine.
“You accuse us of fomenting sectarian strife in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. You add insult to injury by telling us to share our world with Iran, a country that you describe as a supporter of terrorism,” Faisal wrote.
Faisal questioned whether Obama has “pivoted to Iran so much that you equate the kingdom’s 80 years of constant friendship with America to an Iranian leadership that continues to describe America as the biggest enemy, that continues to arm, fund and support sectarian militias in the Arab and Muslim world.”
Elliott Abrams: Dangerous Illusions About Iran
Last year’s Iran nuclear agreement was sold with several powerful arguments, and among the most important were these: that the agreement would strengthen Iranian “moderates” and thus Iran’s external conduct, and that it would allow us unparalleled insight into Iran’s nuclear program.
Both are now proving to be untrue, but the handling of the two differs. The “moderation” argument is being proved wrong but the evidence is simply being denied. The “knowledge” argument is being proved wrong but the fact is being met with silence. Let’s review the bidding.
The idea that the nuclear agreement was a reward for Iran’s “moderates” and would strengthen them is a key tenet of the defense of the agreement. If Iran remains the bellicose and repressive theocracy of today when the agreement ends and Iran is free to build nukes without limits, we have entered a dangerous bargain. It is critical that Iran change, so defenders of the agreement adduce evidence that it has. And the new evidence is Iran’s recent elections. Those elections were a great victory for “moderates” and hard-liners, it is said, and they help to prove that the nuclear deal was wise.
Iran’s foreign minister defends ballistic missile test
Speaking in Wellington, New Zealand, Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran has always reserved the right to defend itself.
“Anybody who is crazy enough to attack us, we will attack back using conventional weapons,” he said. “We hope that these conventional weapons will never be used because we do believe that in a war, everybody loses.”
Zarif was responding to questions following an address to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. He’d earlier met with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to talk about trade, and on Tuesday will travel to Australia.
Iran’s Fars news agency reported last week that the tested missiles had the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” written on them.
Zarif said he hadn’t yet returned to Iran to check out those reports. When pressed about the issue, he said it was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama who were acting aggressively.
“I ask you to go ask Netanyahu why is he threatening to use force against Iran every day. Go ask Obama why he is threatening to use force against Iran every day,” Zarif said. “Why are they saying all options are on the table?”
UN Secretary General Response to Iran Missile Threat to Israel: Iran Should Use "Good Sense"
Days after Iran launched ballistic missiles in potential violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231 (adopted to implement the Iran nuclear deal), UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's sole response was to ask Iran to use "good sense." Although the missiles were inscribed with the message, "Israel must be wiped out," the Secretary General had nothing to say about Iran's threat to destroy a UN member state.
In his words: "the Secretary-General urges all concerned to act with restraint. In the current political atmosphere in the Middle East region, and so soon after the positive news of the lifting of sanctions against Iran, the Secretary-General calls on the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to act with moderation, caution and the good sense not to increase tensions through any hasty actions."
France says EU could impose sanctions over Iran missile tests
The European Union could impose sanctions on Iran over its recent ballistic missile tests, France's foreign minister said on Sunday.
The United States, France and other countries have already said that, if the missiles are confirmed as nuclear-capable, the tests, conducted last week by Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, would violate U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.
Asked whether this could trigger sanctions from the European Union, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said, "We condemn ballistic missile tests and, if necessary, sanctions will be enacted."
The tests are due to be discussed by EU foreign ministers at a meeting on Monday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose country in January imposed sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran's ballistic missile program after a series of tests at the end of last year, said the latest tests were a clear violation of U.N. Resolution 2231.
Iran Insists Ballistic Missiles Will Be Used Only to Deliver Messages of Peace (satire)
The Iranian nuclear deal is once again at the forefront of the news after the Iranian Fars News Agency reported that the Revolutionary Guard carried out testing of long-range ballistic missiles. Israeli officials are up in arms claiming there is no doubt of the intended use of the weapons, especially considering the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” was emblazoned on the missiles, in Hebrew.
Iranian ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari insists the phrase was taken out of context. “The phrase ‘wiped out’ should not be taken to mean, wiped off the map or anything to that effect. We meant it to relay that the Zionist regime must be really tired! Tired of all the conflict and bloodshed that is going on. We put it on the missile to let them know that we understand and are sympathetic.” He went on to personally ensure that a proper Farsi-Hebrew translator will be used in all future cases when phrases are to be written on missiles.
When asked whether that meant the missiles were meant to be launched at Israel, he confirmed, but only as a delivery tool for peace. “When countries deliver messages of peace, they might do so through an ambassador or even a phone call. We find that method to be old fashioned and boring. We plan to attach as many olive branches and doves to our missiles so the Zionist regime will know exactly how we feel.”
‘Revolution Eating Its Own’: Iranian Billionaire Sentenced to Death for Corruption
The Iranian regime has sentenced billionaire Babak Zanjani, 42, to death for “spreading corruption on earth,” the most serious crime in Iran’s criminal code.
According to CNN, Zanjani and two other men, deemed accomplices, were sentenced to death for embezzling billions of dollars from the national oil company. Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Ejei reportedly made the announcement on Sunday.
Zanjani, who is worth approximately $14 billion, was instrumental in helping Iran avoid the crippling sanctions imposed on it over the course of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s time in office. He found ways to channel hard currency from sales of Iranian oil.
As a result, both the United States and the EU sanctioned him. Zanjani was reportedly arrested in December of 2013 following current President Hassan Rouhani’s election into office.
Under Islamic Sharia Law, “corruption on earth” is punishable by death because of the ability it has to impact society. Sunday’s ruling can be appealed.
Iran Releases 152 Arrested for Firebombing Saudi Embassy
The Iranian government has released 152 people arrested in connection with a mob attack on the Saudi Arabian Embassy in January.
“The spokesman for the Iranian judiciary Gholam Hussein Ejani announced in a press conference that 152 detainees were released, while only two are still under investigation, stressing that the stages of the investigation will be announced later,” reported Al Arabiya.
Shiites in Iran attacked the Saudi embassy on January 2 after Saudi officials executed 47 people for terrorism, including prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei tweeted support for the cleric while Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said the Saudi kingdom will pay a “high price” for their actions.
Saudi Arabia fired back, pointing out Iran’s numerous human rights violations.
“The Iranian regime is the last regime in the world that could accuse others of supporting terrorism, considering that (Iran) is a state that sponsors terror, and is condemned by the United Nations and many countries,” said a Saudi foreign ministry spokesman in a statement. “Iran’s regime has no shame as it rants on human rights matters, even after it executed hundreds of Iranians last year without a clear legal basis.”
How To Be a Jew in France
I remember very clearly the first time I felt this fear several years ago. It happened quite suddenly. I was shopping in the Galeries Lafayette department store. The vendor, a young Arab man, was very helpful and cheerful. I was trying clothes on while he was taking care of his other customers. At that period Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front was rising in the polls, and he asked me what I thought about Le Pen.
“What do you want me to think about Le Pen?” I asked him, laughing. “I would sooner forget she exists.” The young man seemed wanting to test me more: “She is the devil, but many Catholics in France admire her. Don’t you? You are Catholic and you don’t like her?” I was very surprised that discussion in a luxury shop turned so personal, but answered trying to make another joke: “Who told you I was Catholic?”
But the conversation stopped the very same minute. “Jewish!” he hissed and recoiled from me as if I was a leper. He went away and he asked his colleague to help me instead. Le Pen was no more a devil for him, but I was.
Should I have reacted that day, and how could I do that? It’s very bizarre that in Judaism so much is about the transmission, but there’s something else that most Jewish families pass on with their traditions, knowledge, and philosophy—it is this bizarre behavior when you prefer to accept aggression rather to fight it. It was that way for some in Germany during the Third Reich—when many Jews had no choice but first to accept some rules, then agree to wear a yellow star, then to abandon their homes and ultimately be murdered in the Holocaust. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Does Denmark Finally Realize That Security Isn’t Just a Jewish Problem?
The Jewish community in Denmark already struggles with a dwindling demographic and record high assimilation and intermarriage. The reminder of the very palpable security threat that it is ‎living under — as are countless larger European Jewish communities — is a brutal wake-up call to ‎the fact that there might not be much of a future left for Jews in Denmark. ‎
After the revelations, some shocked non-Jewish Danes could be seen to comment on Facebook about ‎how horrible the threat was and how awful it must be for the children and the parents of the Jewish ‎school to live with the knowledge that someone wants to kill you, simply and only because you are ‎Jewish. ‎
There is something tragic in this very late realization on the part of so many non-Jews in Denmark. The ‎tragedy is that Jews have been living in Denmark for centuries and still there is a complete lack of ‎insight and understanding on the part of the majority into what it actually means to live as a Jew in ‎Denmark. The “shock” on the part of many Danes spoke volumes of how indifferent they have been to ‎the plight of the Jews and in understanding their need for police protection in the face of the local ‎terrorist threat.‎
Since average Danes are now also increasingly becoming terrorist targets — as demonstrated by the young Danish convert’s ‎plan to bomb not only the Jewish school but also a Danish school — they might finally ‎realize that security is not only a Jewish problem. It is a societal problem.
Fighting BDS With Zionism
Peter Beinart – who supports boycotts of Israeli settlements – wrote in Haaretz about how he was recently invited by JStreet to speak at Vassar College in New York, whose student association just passed a motion supporting a boycott of Israel. He was interested to see what the situation on campus is like for Jews, and so asked about 12 Jewish students whether they thought anti-Semitism was prevalent:
They all said no, but admitted that they sometimes feel uncomfortable. When I asked what made them uncomfortable, they cited the intensely anti­-Zionist climate.
Beinart then highlights some disturbing incidents, such as when a Professor gave a speech accusing Israel of harvesting dead Palestinians’ organs, which Beinart dismisses as anti-Zionism. If that is just anti-Zionism, then it’s no wonder that the Jews he spoke to don’t see much anti-Semitism – because they might not even know what it is anymore. Demonizing Israel while justifying Hamas and Palestinian terrorists and portraying them as victims, in an attempt to remove Israel’s right to self-defense. Denying Israel’s right to exist. Ignoring all human rights violators and leveling false accusations only against Israel. All of these might be accepted as ‘only’ anti-Zionist, as Beinart evidently mistakenly believes that as long as the word ‘Jew’ is not used, anything and everything can be said about Israel and it can’t be called anti-Semitism.
As Livni visits, Swedish FM says she is against BDS
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström in Stockholm has agreed to publicly denounce the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement after a Saturday night meeting with Tzipi Livni. Wallstrom has previously made controversial statements against the Jewish state, including accusing Israel the extrajudicial executions.
Livni emphasized to Wallström the importance of her publicly and clearly support Israel's need to defend itself, as well as her opposition to boycotts against Israel and the BDS movement – especially during the recent wave of terror.
At the end of the meeting, Wollstrom finally agrred to publicly support Israel's right to protect itself and oppose BDS. Wallstrom also supported the principle of a two-state solution and expressed hope that relations with Israel will return to what they once were.
Pro-Israel Group Shocked by Exclusion From ‘Social Justice Week’ at Canadian Campus Due to Student Association’s BDS Endorsement
An organization that helps university students tell Israel’s side of the story was recently excluded from “Social Justice Week” at a Canadian campus, The Algemeiner has learned.
The same event, meanwhile, included a five-hour presentation called “Against Israeli Apartheid,” sponsored by the campus’s local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.
Robert Walker, Canadian Director of Hasbara Fellowships, told The Algemeiner that his organization applied for a table at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s (UOIT) Social Justice Week event after the university’s Student Association “invited external organizations to attend and share their expertise. As Hasbara Fellowships runs an initiative called ‘Israel Peace Week,’ it seemed like a no-brainer to offer this as part of a marketplace of ideas.”
He said he was quite surprised, then, to receive an email on March 3 informing him that his application had been denied.
Senior official: The Arab world is opening up to Israel, so should South Africa
South Africa should follow the course that is now being set by the Arab world and embrace Israel, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold said upon his return from a three-day trip to South Africa.
When he landed there on Thursday, he was the first director-general of Israel Foreign Ministry to visit South Africa in a decade.
The two countries have full diplomatic ties, but an otherwise ambivalent and stressful relationship, particularly in light of the government’s strong sympathies for the Palestinian people over and its strong stance against Israel’s hold on the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Gold had a pitch for the officials that he met.
“If the Arab world is opening up to Israel, why should South Africa stay on the sidelines,” Gold told them during the visit that ended on Saturday night.
Sociologists' boycott of Ariel University is 'semi-fascist,' school says
Calls by Israeli academics to boycott Ariel University are “semi-fascist,” the West Bank institution said on Monday in response to reports that sociologists plan to shun the controversial college.
A group of over 1,000 Israeli sociologists announced on Monday that they will sever all academic ties to Ariel University “since it is not located in Israeli territory,” Army Radio reported.
The head of the Israeli Sociological Society, Uri Ram, told Army Radio: “We will not cooperate with the institute known as Ariel University, which is not located within the bounds of the State of Israel.”
The move elicited an angry response from the university.
“Ariel University is surprised and disappointed over the fact that people who espouse pluralism as part of their profession are acting on the basis of semi-fascist behavioral models that preclude them from living in harmony with those who hold different views,” the school said in a statement.
“Ariel University employs people with differing viewpoints, Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, leftists and rightists from various towns and communities in Israel,” the statement read.
EU and New Israel Fund Back Conference on Palestinian Right of Return
A radical Israeli non-profit organization, Zochrot, is hosting “The 3rd International Conference on the Return of Palestinian Refugees” in Tel Aviv on March 21-23, backed by the New Israel Fund and the European Union.
According to watchdog organization NGO Monitor,
The two day event will include speakers from NGOs and academia, all promoting a Palestinian “right of return.” This so-called “right” including multiple generations has no basis in international law, is a primary obstacle to peace, and equivalent to calling for the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people.
NGO Monitor continues:
..this conference is in partnership with Badil, one of the most virulently anti-Israel NGOs. In 2012, Zochrot and Badil published a manifesto that encourages a “de-zionized” one-state solution, essentially calling for Israel to be dismantled. Badil also consistently posts antisemitic cartoons and posters on its website.
Palestinian Evangelical Leader: Yep, We're Anti-Zionists
The Christ at the Checkpoint Conference concluded today, March 10, 2016. The stated goal of the conference was to give Christians the information they needed to address religious extremism as it relates to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The conference, which is organized by Bethlehem Bible College, a non-denominational Christian institution of higher learning in the West Bank, got off to a rough start.
Invitees said some things that they shouldn’t have during the opening night of the conference, Monday, March 7, 2016.
For example, the Christian mayor of Beit Jala, where the conference was held, compared Israel to ISIS. That’s not a good way to establish the credibility of Palestinian Christian leaders in the West Bank.
Terror Cakes! Bake Sale for Gaza
Saturday, March 12 was National Cake Sale Day for Gaza
There is very little on the Web about the results of this new initiative, although there were some tasty images available of the pastry arts in the disputed territories.
Oh, yeah. Let them eat cake.
Man Denied Visa Thinks He’s So Important That Zionists Did It (satire)
A pro-Palestinian activist whose application for a visa to enter Australia was denied believes for some reason that he is so prominent and dangerous that the sinister forces of the International Zionist Conspiracy™ saw to it that the application was rejected, as if they have nothing better to do.
Ali Abunimah, who runs the website Electronic Intifada, arranged a series of speaking arrangements in Australia and applied for the requisite travel documents, only to be informed this week that he would not be granted permission to enter the country. While the ostensible reason for the rejection was stated as a function of the bureaucracy surrounding possible payment earned for his activities while in Australia, Abunimah and his supporters just know that it was the dark machinations of the Zionist overlords who really run Australia, who determined he is so powerful and threatening to their hegemony that they could not countenance his addressing crowds of bigots of marginal political importance.
The activist, whose site and Twitter account traffic in anti-Israel propaganda, but who has struggled to attain genuine political impact beyond an echo chamber of like-minded agitators and terrorism apologists, evidently harbors the delusion that the all-powerful Zionists, who control vast global wealth and pull the strings behind most of the world’s governments, consider his operation anything more than an amusing sideshow, if they notice it at all, explains Zionist Conspiracy analyst Alex Jones.
‘We Live in Constant Fear,’ Says One of Eight Remaining Jews in Terror-Torn Iraq
Eight Jews remain in terror-torn Iraq, hesitant to leave their homes, the Hebrew site nrg reported on Sunday.
“We live in constant fear,” one woman, a 60-year-old dentist, told the Israeli news outlet over the phone from her home in the Iraqi capital.
The backdrop for this exclusive story, nrg explained, is the World Culture Festival, organized by the Art of Living Foundation — headed by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar — and taking place in New Delhi, India. The festival is being attended by a non-Muslim Iraqi parliament member, who serves as a kind of caretaker and sponsor for these Jews – and who requested anonymity for the interview.
This MP, it was revealed, also met several times with Israel’s representative at the conference, Deputy Minister for Regional Cooperation Ayoob Kara.
According to the Iraqi lawmaker, seven of the eight remaining Jews in his country are women; all reside in Baghdad; none has family; and all are elderly, educated professionals or businesspeople. The MP told nrg that these Jews possess substantial property across Iraq, barely managing to protect it from hostile attacks, including at the hands of the government.
Miami Muslim leader posts Holocaust denial, support for KKK
A local Muslim leader in Miami, Florida, has been exposed for posting virulently anti-Semitic material online, including Holocaust-denial and support for the KKK.
Sofian Abdelaziz Zakkout, the Director of the Miami, Florida-based American Muslim Association of North America (AMANA), posted his rantings on his Facebook page, which were then picked up by Frontpage Magazine.
In one post last February, Zakkout posted an article from the White Supremacist Realist Report website entitled "How the Holocaust was faked," which begins: "The alleged ‘Holocaust’ of ‘6 million Jews’ at the hands of Adolf Hitler and National Socialist Germany during WWII is the biggest lie ever foisted upon humanity."
As is common with most Holocaust denial sites, the same website has in the past celebrated Adolf Hitler as "the greatest leader in modern Western history, and offer unparalleled inspiration and guidance to us all," while simultaneously claiming the Holocaust never happened.
Boston Catholic Memorial parents blame Jews for starting slurs
The Boston Catholic Memorial high school, whose students chanted “You killed Jesus” during a playoff basketball game against largely-Jewish Newton North High School, alleged Sunday that the chant followed slurs from the Newton crowd.
The Washington Post cited parents of the Catholic Memorial students who said that they heard Newton North High School fans shouting “sausage fest”, and the Boston Globe reported that Newton fans chanted “Where are your girls?”
Some Catholic Memorial fans said they considered these chants to be offensive slurs, ascribing homosexuality to the all-boy school students.
Risa King, a Catholic Memorial parent, said she heard anti-gay chants coming from the Newton side. “This is nothing new,” she said in an e-mail. “At every game our boys get taunted like this by most schools that we play. … We’ve just never complained before.” Other Catholic Memorial parents and supporters reported hearing similar shouts.
Ad agency CEO allegedly ‘hates those f*cking Jews’
The CEO of a major American advertising agency is being sued by one of his employees for a host of allegations, including making crude anti-Semitic remarks and racist speech.
Gustavo Martinez, chairman and chief executive of J. Walter Thompson, allegedly used the phrase “f*cking Jews” during conversations with employees and also called black people “monkeys.” In addition, the company’s communications officer, Erin Johnson, alleges that he told her in front of other company employees: “Come here, so I can rape you in the bathroom,” then grabbed her around the neck and laughed.
Martinez became CEO at JWT in 2015, having moved from IPG’s McCann in 2014. The New York Post, reporting on the incident, says the lawsuit alleges that Martinez told other employees that he wanted to “rape them into submission.”
Johnson claims in the lawsuit, filed at the Manhattan Federal Court, that when she complained about Martinez’s conduct to executives at JWT and WPP, he retaliated by cutting her bonus and leaving her out of executive meetings.
How sleep apnea causes heart attacks – and how Israeli tech helps
Itamar Medical, one of the first companies in the world to embrace the idea of a link between heart disease and sleep apnea, is now the only company in the world offering cardiologists a platform to track, treat, and manage apnea in their patients.
The cardiologists are embracing it, according to CEO Gilad Glick.
“After years of standing by the theory of a direct connection between heart disease and sleep issues, the medical establishment has endorsed our ideas, and our international symposium here in Tel Aviv on the subject was enthusiastically attended and embraced by cardiologists visiting from around the world,” said Glick. “With our Total Sleep Solution, cardiologists and other doctors for the first time have an easy way to take care of dealing with an important but difficult-to-implement care solution for heart patients.”
Glick was speaking on the sidelines of the 13th International Dead Sea Symposium on Innovations in Technology, Treatment & Prevention of Cardiac Arrhythmias, held in Tel Aviv last week. During the event, Itamar held its own mini-symposium on “Sleep Apnea and Arrhythmias,” reviewing the recent research highlighting the strong connection between sleep issues and heart problems and presenting ways for cardiologists to integrate sleep management into their treatment plans.
Hiker finds rare 2,000-year-old gold coin in northern Israel
A hiker recently found a 2,000-year-old Roman gold coin of which there is only known to be one other example, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday.
The coin carries an image of the Emperor Augustus, founder of the Roman Empire, who ruled from 27 BCE until his death in 14 CE, and was minted by Emperor Trajan in 107 CE.
Only the British Museum in London has another coin like it, which, until the recent discovery, was thought to be the only one in the world.
Laurie Rimon, of Kibbutz Kfar Blum, was hiking with friends in the eastern Galilee in the north of country when the group arrived at an archaeological site. Rimon saw something shiny lying on the ground in the grass and, after picking it up, realized she was holding an ancient gold coin. The group contacted the IAA, which quickly sent a representative out to the location.
1.3 million Israelis to volunteer on 10th anniversary of Good Deeds Day
Some 1.3 million Israelis are expected to do some good on Tuesday as part of the tenth annual Good Deeds Day, a project encouraging people to volunteer and give back to the community.
Good Deeds Day was initiated by Ruach Tova (“Good Spirit”), a nonprofit organization that is part of the Ted Arison Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Arison Group.
Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Good Deeds Day has expanded its activities in Israel - where one in eight Israelis is expected to take part - and has become a global endeavor including some 68 countries which are set to mark the day abroad on April 10th.
“This initiative, born ten years ago, has crossed international borders and has become an international cause uniting through its simplicity, and because of the ability of each one of us to connect to and take part in the initiative,” said businesses woman and philanthropist Shari Arison, initiator of Good Deeds Day.

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