Friday, March 25, 2016

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The consequences of anti-Zionism
Following the ISIS strikes in Brussels, both Israeli and American security experts spoke bitterly of the ineptitude of Belgian security services. It is not that the forces themselves are incompetent. Rather, the experts said, their political leadership refuses to allow them to take the actions necessary to protect their country.
The Belgians, like their European brethren generally, refuse to deal with jihad. Rather than acknowledge and deal forthrightly with the phenomenon, they seek every possible excuse to ignore it.
According to senior government officials, the Belgians are among the most vociferous foes of Israel in the EU. Europe’s obsessive castigation of Israel is a central aspect of their jihad avoidance strategy. If Israel is to blame for everything, then they can save themselves by pouring billions of euros on the PA and by funding Israeli anti-Zionist subversives.
This position is of course irrational. In clinging to it, the Europeans have enabled the jihadist forces arrayed against them to gather and grow.
Consider the July 7, 2005, attacks in London. Shortly after they occurred, British investigators discovered that Muhammad Sidique Khan, who led the British al-Qaida cell that carried out the attacks, was connected to the British jihadists who carried out the 2003 suicide bombing at Mike’s Place pub in Tel Aviv, adjacent to the US Embassy.
The Mike’s Place bombers were also connected with the radical Left, having toured Israel and Gaza with an International Solidarity Movement group before carrying out their attack.
Yet, just as British authorities ignored the significance of the participation of British jihadists in the jihad against Israel 13 years ago, and disregarded the significance of the post-7/7 revelations 11 years ago, so in the intervening years, as jihadist forces grew and spread throughout the continent, rather than shed their hostility toward Israel and stop blaming it for the jihadist Islam, the Europeans expanded their onslaught against the Jewish state.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinian Campuses "More Hamas than Hamas"
While the anti-Israel activists are busy protesting against Israel on Western campuses, Palestinian students and professors are persecuted by their own Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas governments.
Let us redefine "pro-Palestinian." Instead of bashing Israel, real pro-Palestinians will demand democracy for those they champion, and scream for public freedoms for Palestinians under the PA and Hamas regimes, which have always smashed dissent with an iron fist.
PA security forces systematically target students and academics under various pretexts. Hundreds of students have been rounded up. Many remain in detention without the possibility of seeing a lawyer or a family member.
Palestinians on campuses in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have once again been reminded that they remain as far as ever from achieving a state that would look any different from the other Arab dictatorships in the region. The campus incidents, which have hardly caught the attention of the international media and anti-Israel activists in the West, also expose the media double standard about human rights violations.
In the first case of its kind under the PA, Kadoori University in Tulkarem suspended a student who hugged his fiancée in public.
The Pax Americana Is Dead. Welcome to the Age of the Godfathers.
Under the circumstances, one can expect the use of force and violence to become commonplace in the region—and since, so it seems, the use of chemical weapons in the war in Syria is no longer considered taboo, one can expect greater and greater use of non-conventional weapons. It goes without saying that the effort to acquire nuclear weapons, or at least nuclear capability, will also continue to expand from Iran to other players in the region.
The obvious result of all this is that the Middle East will become a permanently unstable region, subject to frequent convulsions and pervaded with violence and terrorism. It will become a hothouse for radical Islamic ideas and groups that will attract support among the population both within and outside the region.
The shock waves from the crisis in the Middle East have not stopped at the region’s geographical boundaries. Waves of refugees, which will only increase, are knocking on Europe’s gates, while radical Islamic ideology is seeping deeply into Muslim communities all over the world, especially in Europe, and even in the United States. As state frameworks disintegrated and chaos came to prevail in the region, the tide of migration found encouragement and rose sharply, and there is no basis for assuming that it will not continue to rise in the future.
Ironically, America’s withdrawal from playing a role in the Middle East did not save it from being criticized, both within and outside the region, as the main culprit responsible for the present crisis. This stems from the fact that the United States is perceived as the clearest manifestation of the West, and the West is perceived as being guilty of the original sins of imperialism and colonialism, and is therefore seen as the source of the region’s ills. It can be assumed that as the distress and crisis in the region intensify, the resentment of the West and the United States will increase. This being so, the United States is destined to discover what Israel discovered in Lebanon and Gaza: that it is possible to disengage from the Middle East, but the Middle East will not disengage from you.



Ex-ambassador: Obama 'fabricated' diplomatic crises with Israel
Last year, Kulanu MK and former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren received heavy criticism in some circles for his book Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide.
With the release of the book’s Hebrew edition, Oren spoke to Arutz Sheva, discussing in depth the tensions between Israel and the Obama administration and the push back he received for the English edition.
The book, which created controversy for what some considered an unfair portrayal of President Barack Obama, elicited rare public condemnations from senior officials, including former US special envoy to the Middle Easy Martin Indyk.
“When I wrote [the English edition], Martin Indyk attacked me,” Oren told Arutz Sheva.
“People got angry at me. I can say that Obama did this because he thought that if these policies were adopted, then the Arabs would come to the table. But the results were the exact opposite – it actually pushed the Arabs further away. That’s because in the Middle East if someone gets concessions without paying a price, then why pay for it afterwards? [After] all of the concessions the Arabs got right from the start from Obama they spit at him in the face.”
Joe Biden ignores Jewish Rights and the history of the Jewish State
However passionately Biden spoke about the importance of Israel’s security and America’s commitment to such, he confused the cause of safety, with the contours of the basic history of the Jewish State. At three different occasions Biden spoke about the Holocaust and the current antisemitism in Europe. He stated that Israel needs to exist
“as the ultimate guarantor of security for Jewish people around the world…Never, never, never again! And without Israel, there is no guarantee.”
The pro-Israel crowd rose to its feet in a standing ovation (video 33:30).
I was sad.
1. “Never Again” is universal. It is the moral, ethical and primary responsibility of every government to protect each and every one of its citizens. It is true that many countries throughout history have turned on the Jews. But in 2016, I expect the Vice President of the United States of America to stand a foot taller and declare twice as loud as the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls who said “if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”
”Never Again” should not just be a slogan inside of Israel; it must be the slogan of every country in the world. How could a leader of the greatest country in the world pawn off the security of Jews to Israel alone?
2. Modern Israel is the Third Jewish State. Israel was not created as a reaction to the Holocaust in World War II. It was not made as the United Nations’ pen for holding people out of harm’s way. That is a mischaracterization that President Obama has made repeatedly over his term. In his interview in The Atlantic in 2015, Obama compared the security of Jews to American blacks when he said “There’s a direct line between supporting the right of the Jewish people to have a homeland and to feel safe and free of discrimination and persecution, and the right of African Americans to vote and have equal protection under the law. These things are indivisible in my mind.”
Brookings’ ‘Takeaway’ on the ‘Stabbing Intifada’ Leaves Little
The Brookings Institution is a Washington D.C. based think-tank whose analysts are frequently quoted by the press and policymakers and are invited to testify in congressional hearings. Brookings' current president is Strobe Talbott, the former deputy secretary of state in the Clinton administration, and the institution's employment of former U.S. administration officials as a sort of “court-in-exile” has allowed analysts to stay informed about issues while out of government. Given this level of influence, it is noteworthy when the think tank writes and recirculates a brief that may misinform readers.
“A view from the West Bank: Three key takeaways” (March 21, 2015) by Khaled Elgindy, a Brookings Center for Middle East Policy fellow and former adviser to the Palestinian Authority (PA), while making some important observations about internal rivalries within the authority, misleads through omissions and easily disprovable assertions.
In his first “takeaway,” Elgindy claims that the wave of Palestinian Arab terrorist attacks, ongoing since September 2015 is “largely despair-driven, but remains individualistic and politically directionless.” However, the so-called “stabbing intifada” in which Arabs have attacked and tried to murder Israelis—sometimes successfully—with rocks, vehicles, axes, knives and guns is primarily none of those things.
Five Outrages in Bernie Sanders’s Undelivered AIPAC Speech
Earlier this week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)’s presidential campaign released the text of the speech he would have given had he attended this week’s annual convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Sanders, the sole Jewish candidate in this year’s presidential elections and the first Jewish politician to ever win a presidential primary, was also the only presidential candidate not to speak at AIPAC’s conference.
Here are five outrages in the text of Sanders’s speech, enumerated in no particular order:
1 – Sanders compared the democratic, pro-human rights, terrorist-condemning Israeli government and society to the anti-democratic, human rights abusing, terrorist-supporting Palestinian leadership and to Palestinian society, which is also mostly supportive of terrorism.
2 – Sanders called for an end to Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
“Peace will also mean ending the economic blockade of Gaza,” his speech states.
Here Sanders is echoing Hamas propaganda. There is no economic blockade of Gaza.
3 – Sanders called on Israel to ends its “disproportionate” responses to terrorist attacks.
Peace will require strict adherence by both sides to the tenets of international humanitarian law. This includes Israeli ending disproportionate responses to being attacked – even though any attack on Israel is unacceptable.
4 – Sanders argued that the international nuclear deal with Iran is in Israel’s best interests.
Not only did Sanders posit that the “deal will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” he scandalously argued the nuclear accord is in Israel’s best interests.
5 – Sanders treats Israel and the Palestinians as equally intransigent to peace.
Outrage in Israel: The UN is an anti-Israel circus
Resolution seeks to "blacklist" businesses active in Judea and Samaria • PM: Human Rights Council "attacks the only democracy in the Middle East and ignores the gross violations of Iran, Syria and North Korea" • U.S.: Resolution "especially disturbing."
Netanyahu said it was absurd to condemn Israel rather than deal with attacks by Palestinians against Israel and by Islamic State in Europe. "Israel calls on responsible governments not to honor the decisions of the Council that discriminate against Israel," Netanyahu said.
Danon said the council's decision was reminiscent of "a dark period in Europe when Jewish businesses were singled out. Whoever supported today's decision, should be ashamed."
The council also named Canadian Stanley Michael Lynk as its new investigator on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories following the resignation in January of special rapporteur Makarim Wibisono, citing Israel's failure to cooperate with him.
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that "the results of the vote in the 'Human Rights Council' represent further proof of this body's sick obsessiveness, which dedicates itself mostly to Israel. The Council has again proven that it is cynical and hypocritical, disconnected from reality and irresponsible."
MK Michael Oren (Kulanu), the chairman of the Knesset's Subcommittee for Foreign Policy, called on the United States on Thursday to cease taking part in the Council's activities.
President Rivlin: BDS Is Anti-Semitism
President Reuven Rivlin met with merchants from West Bank settlements that are faced with an economic boycott on Wednesday night and declared, "BDS is an expression of clear anti-Semitism, manifested in a desire to harm Israel and to question its very existence."
Central at the meeting were representatives of the organization Lev HaOlam, which, in cooperation with the Samaria Residents Council, aids small businesses in the territories dealing with boycotts of their products in different locations across the world.
Amongst other activities, the organization purchases a wide variety of products every month from business owners, and sends them in packages to more than 1,000 customers worldwide. The venture exports cosmetics, olive oil, honey, Judaica, chocolate, tea and other items.
"One cannot cast any doubt on our historic connection with the Land of Israel, with our country and our homeland. The boycotts are motivated by an opposition to Israel's existence," the president told the business owners.
Circumventing BDS and making friends for Israel
Notwithstanding BDS and the labeling of goods from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights, Israel has friends in Europe and the United States who buy made in Israel products from beyond the Green Line by subscribing to Lev Haolam’s monthly €90 package.
Founded by Nati and Yona Rom, the couple sends Lev Haolam subscribers 12 surprise packages annually that may include cosmetics, chocolates, olive oil, wine, fresh fruit and anything else produced or grown in Judea, Samaria or the Golan Heights.
Angered by the effect of boycotts on small businesses there, the Roms began their direct marketing campaign. Each package they ship includes an explanatory note about the history of the area from which the products came, from biblical times to the present day.
Over time, Lev Haolam – which is Hebrew for “heart of the world” – has built up a global following of subscribers who wish to fight the BDS boycott and stand in solidarity with Israel, and thus help small businesses in Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights survive.
Some of the suppliers and subscribers, along with the Roms, met on Wednesday with President Reuven Rivlin at his Talbieh residence. The president was described by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan as “a true friend of settlement.”
Samaria businessmen check out the French boycott
A delegation of businessmen from Samaria headed out to Paris last week in order to see for themselves how the boycott targeting Jewish products from their region is playing out.
The delegation met with directors of French marketing chains, French members of parliament, and even tried to contact members of the BDS boycott movement in the country to investigate their motives.
French MP Claude Goasguen met with the delegation and told them, "in France there is a law against the boycott that is strictly enforced. France chose not to label products despite the instructions from the European Union on the topic."
His comment references the discriminatory EU decision to label Jewish products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
Accompanying the heads of business from his region was Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who told Goasguen that "France and Israel have a lot in common, and we should join hands."
U.S. Denounces UN Resolution on Database of Settlement Businesses
The U.S. government is decrying a resolution passed by the Human Rights Council that calls on the U.N. human rights chief to set up a database of businesses operating in settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
U.S. Ambassador Keith Harper denounced the "especially disturbing" resolution that "only serves to reinforce the council's one-sided actions against Israel" and said it exceeded the council's authority.
Pakistan, which presented the resolution, argued that the Israel settlements violate international law. It passed 32-0 with 15 abstentions, and was among 37 passed in the council's latest session that ended Thursday.
Palestinians welcome UN call for settlement database
The Palestinian Authority has hailed the decision by the United Nations to establish a database of companies working in Israeli settlements, a ruling that Israel called an “absurdity.”
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday adopted four motions on the Palestinian territories, including one calling for the establishment of a list of companies operating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Israel and the US have long accused the body of unfairly singling out the Jewish state.
Ibrahim Khreisheh, Palestinian envoy to the UNHRC, called the vote a “message of hope for our people.”
Ex Bradford Mayor, “Greater Israel” and Stupid Antisemitism
Stupid as it is, this brings us immediately to the heart of antisemitic conspiracy theory and its underpinning of anti-Israel and anti-Zionist conspiracy theory. After 9/11, the widely held accusation was that 4,000 Jews (not Zionists) were warned not to go to work in the Twin Towers, because Mossad was controlling Al Qaeda. Today, that shifts seamlessly into Mossad running ISIS.
If you didn’t watch Brother Nathaniel above, here are some quotes. (1.36) “Nobody creates chaos better than Jewmerica”. (2.02) “ISIS is good for The Jews and the lies and evasions keep pouring in”. (2.54) “Its Jews for Jihadists, that’s why it keeps gaining ground”.
Brother Nathaniel comes to us courtesy of the below Facebook posting from Khadim Hussain, the former Lord Mayor of Bradford and former chair of Bradford Council of Mosques, currently suspended from the Labour Party whilst two other offensive posts by him are being investigated. Click on the WHATSUPIC.COM article that Hussain endorses and you will find Brother Nathaniel.
Khadim Hussain may well be ignorant of the origin of the above graphic. It is, however, the standard depiction of how conspiracy theorists allege “Greater Israel” will conquer the Levant. Often, its use is explicitly antisemitic, such as when appearing in an Iranian state edition of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. It appears here in Britain in “Satanic Voices”, by David Musa Pidcock, then leader of the Islamic Party of Britain. This book alleges that Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” was a plot by: “the big finance promoters of the New World Order…the historic and modern conspiracies of freemasonry and Zionism”.
British Jewry Umbrella Challenges BBC Over ‘Misleading’ Israel Coverage
The UK Jewish community expressed dismay over what it considers to be false coverage by the BBC of the Palestinian terror wave that has rocked Israel for the past six months, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday.
According to the report, members of the Board of Deputies of British Jews met this week with James Harding, the head of the BBC’s news division, to voice this sentiment.
“We raised strong concerns about misleading headlines in reports about attacks in Israel, the lack of reports about a large number of attacks and an almost total lack of reporting about incitement and corruption in the Palestinian Authority,” Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush said in a statement released after the meeting. “We conveyed to Mr. Harding fully and clearly the feeling within the Jewish community about these matters.”
However, according to the JC, Arkush – a trustee of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust – made a point of thanking Harding during the meeting for the BBC’s live broadcast of the commemoration.
In his statement, Arkush added, “The BBC said they were open to dialogue and we intend to pursue the conversation with the BBC on a regular basis.”
Egypt’s ‘Jewish Quarter’ wins top award at Bahrain TV festival
An Egyptian TV miniseries called “The Jewish Quarter” won the top TV award at a radio and television festival in Bahrain.
The series, which premiered in June 2015, was named best TV series at the 14th Gulf Radio and Television Festival in Manama, Ahram Online reported Tuesday.
The series, which first aired during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, is about an Egyptian Jewish family in the 1950s and focuses on the doomed romance between a Jewish girl and a Muslim man.
According to Ahram Online, the Israeli embassy in Egypt initially praised the series on its Facebook page but then reversed its opinion, writing, “The series is starting to adopt a negative approach in its views about Israel as a nation, depicting it as a monster who wants to destroy everybody.”
Egypt Launches Campaign To Replace MP Who Met With Israeli Envoy
An election for the parliamentary seat of an Egyptian lawmaker suspended for meeting with the Israeli ambassador has been set for April 15, with the campaign slated to kick off on Friday.
Tawfiq Okasha (pictured), an anti-Islamist politician and outspoken television commentator, was ousted last month following a public outcry and widespread protests in his constituency after he met with Haim Koren, Israel’s Ambassador to Egypt.
Sixteen candidates will seek to replace Okasha, who has been accused of endangering Egypt’s national security and subjected to abuse and violence, including from fellow MPs.
Okasha, who issued a public apology, appealed his suspension, saying it was illegal, but commentators unanimously agree it will not be retracted.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: Nasrallah's "Speech of the Year"
Read it carefully. He represents the threatening regional power – Iran -- and is the geographically closest significant threat to Israel, with operative cells all over the world capable of terror attacks against a long list of possible targets.
Nasrallah expended considerable time on Saudi Arabia in his speech, its war against Iran, its attempts to prevent the nuclear agreement with Iran, and on claims that the Saudis are behind the hereticizing organizations (those who call those who are against them infidels, headed by the Shiites), and that this is why Saudis "have placed us on the list of terrorist organizations."
He went on to assert that the Arab League's decision to call Hezbollah a terrorist organization is mistaken and baseless. Hezbollah, in Nasrallah's narrative, was busy fighting Israel when "those who do not like us (the Saudis) came and forced us to go and fight in Syria" (read: the Saudis serve Israeli interests…).
According to him, the Saudis do not want to talk to Iran, Syria (Assad) or Hezbollah, but aside from that, Hezbollah has good relations with all the Palestinian Arab groups. If Syria falls to ISIS or Jebhat al Nusrah, Lebanon will fall as well, which makes it crucial that Hezbollah fight in Syria despite heavy losses in dead and wounded.
Expert: Hezbollah Arms Buildup in Civilian Areas Puts “Big Target” on All of Lebanon
Experts on the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah discussed its increased dominance in Lebanon at a House hearing on Tuesday, including how the group’s activities and strategies increase the likelihood of a future, more deadly war with Israel.
“Hezbollah has made Lebanon complicit both financially and economically, as well as militarily because of all the weapons that it’s moving from Syria that it’s getting from Iran and is storing the majority of it in civilian areas,” said Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Hezbollah has essentially painted a big target on the back of all of Lebanon.” Israeli officials have warned that by moving most of its military infrastructure into Shiite villages in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah is placing Lebanese civilians at risk and using them as a human shields. “At the end of the day, it means that many, many Lebanese will be killed,” said former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror.
Badran asserted that “strategic weapons that are being moved to Lebanon, as well as Hezbollah’s entrenchment in Syria and its expansion into the Golan along with the IRGC, and the building of new infrastructure on Syrian soil, creates a situation for Israel that will, I think, accelerate upcoming future conflict which… is going to be far bloodier than we’ve ever seen on both sides.”
Hezbollah vows to attack US forces 'defending ISIS' in Iraq
In a statement released Sunday, the Iranian-backed organization active in Iraq and in the Syrian civil war, claimed: "the United States increasingly intervenes in Iraq's issues with its presence in the Iraqi joint operations command."
While the US army says it is sending reinforcements to Iraq to help the international coalition vanquish ISIS, Hezbollah Brigades' statement claimed the opposite.
"ISIS, the stepdaughter of the Americans, is taking its last breaths, so the Americans dispatched their ground troops to protect the "clinically dead" body of ISIS," Hezbollah Brigades' statement read.
"We have vanquished the American occupation with our quality and quantity in the past and we will continue attacking them, with our resources significantly increased. Iraq's streets are still filled with the ruins of their vehicles that destroyed our explosive devices, and those injured by their soldiers are still hospitalized.
"The occupation's coward soldiers should understand that however protective their vehicles are, these vehicles will become an obstacle for them and they will burn to death inside them," the statement read.
Dr. Mordechai Kedar: The real reason Russia is leaving Syria
From the start, Russia's goals in Syria were limited and concentrated on the rebel organizations and not on Islamic State, which by now controls close to 70% of Syrian territory, mainly sparsely populated desert located in the eastern part of the country. Most of the Russian bombings were intended for the rebel organizations, some supported by the West, that threatened Assad's government in the fertile, industrialized and populated western part of the country.
From the start it was clear that Russia had its own interests in mind, not Syria's, meaning that the objective was not to restore all of Syrian territory to Assad's control, but create an independent entity – an Alawite Emirate – in northwest Syria, on the Mediterranean coast and the northwestern mountain ranges, allowing Russia to use the ports located there – Latakia, Tartus and Banias – and the nearby airports for Russian military purposes.
The tactical situation Russia created over the past few months allows Assad to attend the Geneva Peace Conference from a position of strength, knowing at the same time that he must reach some sort of agreement with the opposition because the massive Russian aid he has been receiving is not going to continue for long. Putin has also intimated to Assad that his remaining in power is not really all that important to Russia. This is the reason the Russians made sure to film themselves flying some of their planes out of the country, taking along the equipment necessary for their use. They wanted Assad to see it happening and begin to take things seriously.
Syrian opposition group reaches out to Israeli public in Hebrew
It's not a Purim prank: A Syrian opposition figure has turned to the Israeli public in Hebrew, through The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Ma'ariv Hashavua, in order to deliver a message.
"We call on all of the national forces to oust the tyranny, and only afterward, we will choose the form and character of the state," reads a message to the Israeli public, delivered by a third party to Ma'ariv Hashavua.
The Ghad al-Suri movement (Syria's Tomorrow), led by Ahmad Jarba, was officially established in Cairo last week. The movement expressed great interest in sending a message to the Israeli public upon its establishment.
Ma'ariv Hashavua has learned that the movement's diplomatic bureau was helped in translating their message by an Arab Israeli woman who lives in London.
Obama Admin Indicts Iran in Hack Attacks on U.S. Banks, Dam
The Obama administration unsealed a federal indictment Thursday charging seven Iranian government-backed hackers with cyber crimes as the result of multiple attacks in recent years on several U.S. banks and a New York dam, according to officials.
The indictment accuses the Iranian government and its Revolutionary Guards Corps of orchestrating and conducting a years-long cyber attack on at least 46 U.S. financial institutions and a dam based outside of New York City.
The coordinated hack attacks took place between 2011 and 2013, with intrusions into U.S. financial institutions lasting nearly 200 days, according to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who briefed reporters Thursday morning on the case.
Lynch described Iran’s attack as “large-scale and coordinated,” noting that Iran’s goal was to cripple America’s economy and wreak havoc on these financial institutions, which faced tens of millions of dollars in damages as a result of the attacks.
“These attacks were relentless, they were systematic, and they were widespread,” Lynch said. “We believe they were conducted with the sole purpose of undermining the targeted companies” and disrupting U.S. financial markets.
Comic Garry Shandling dead at 66
The performer, who had been relatively healthy, called emergency 911 for help himself and suffered an apparent heart attack, his publicist, Alan Nierob, told Reuters. He added that Shandling had no history of heart disease, "zero."
Lieutenant Brian Elias of the Los Angeles County medical examiner's office confirmed the entertainer apparently died of natural causes. "There's nothing suspicious about the case, whatsoever," Elias said.
Tributes to the innovative performer, known for a somewhat socially awkward, nervous comic persona, immediately poured in from the comedy world at news of his death.
Fellow comedian Kathy Griffin, who just a few days ago posted a photo of herself with Shandling and actor Bob Odenkirk on social media, said on Twitter: "Sunday, my longtime friend Garry Shandling was here, making every1 laugh. I loved him. I'll miss our talks the most."
Retired late-night television host David Letterman, whose NBC show was offered to Shandling, and declined, when Letterman moved to CBS in 1993, said in statement: "Stunned and sad about Garry. Great stand up, great writer. Television shows are classics."
Other comedy luminaries paying tribute to Shandling included Steve Martin, Ricky Gervais, Amy Shumer, Jimmy Kimmel and John Cleese.
IsraellyCool: BBC Is Learning About Autism From Israel
There’s a new series about autism that’s just started screening on the BBC in the UK. It’s called “The A-Word” and this is the trailer.
The thing is, of course, this is a UK re-write of an Israeli drama:
UK public broadcaster BBC One is working on an adaptation of Israeli scripted format The A Word.
The series is thought to represent the first time a British broadcaster has acquired and remade an Israeli scripted format, though US channel Showtime’s UK remake of Prisoners of War is popular on Channel 4.
Endemol-owned Fifty fathoms, which is part of Tiger Aspect Productions, is producing the 6x60mins show. Peter Bowker (Blackpool, Occupation) is writing the script.
One to watch out for on BBC One
The BBC’s Easter weekend schedule includes a programme titled “In The Footsteps Of Judas” which will be shown on BBC One at 09:00 local time on Friday, March 25th.In the footsteps of Judas
“To mark Good Friday this one-hour documentary sees one of Britain’s best-loved vicars, Kate Bottley, re-open the case against the Bible’s most notorious villain – Judas Iscariot.
Kate’s journey takes her from her parish in Nottingham to Jerusalem, where she pieces together the events leading up to the Crucifixion. Why did Judas betray his Master at his most desperate hour? And on a day when we remember that Jesus died for all our sins, is Judas excluded from that forgiveness?
Technion’s artificial nose inventor makes ‘Good Guy’ list
Professor Hossam Haick of the Technion, whose groundbreaking research has led to the creation of technology that can smell out cancer, is one of the world’s most “Good” people, as listed by GOOD Magazine, an international publication that recognizes researchers for the benefits of their work for humanity. Haick, said the magazine, is one of the 100 most influential people in the world who are changing the world in a positive manner.
The GOOD 100 are “spearheading change” in the areas of science, education, and business, said the magazine, and Haick, among them, “refuses to accept the existing reality as the end of the story. Not one of the 100 people we have chosen operates out of a desire for fame – which is precisely why it is important to recognize their activity.”
Haick is best known for developing the NaNose technology that can be used to detect cancer by mechanically “smelling” elements in the breath of potential victims. Cancer tumors produce chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which easily evaporate into the air and produce a discernible scent profile. Haick’s NaNose chip detects the unique “signature” of VOCs in exhaled breath. In four out of five cases, the device differentiated between benign and malignant lung lesions and even different cancer subtypes.
Books of Esther Found in Hidden Warsaw Ghetto Synagogue Brought to Israel
Three Books of Esther scrolls read on Purim during the Holocaust were recently found in a hidden synagogue at the Warsaw Ghetto after a wall in an old building in the ghetto collapsed.
Researchers at the Shem Olam Institute, also known as the Faith & Holocaust Institute for Education Documentation and Research in Kfar Haroeh, made the discovery of the scrolls.
The scrolls were transferred to a storage archive at the institute. Two of the scrolls were in good condition but the third was burnt and nearly disintegrated.


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Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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