Wednesday, April 12, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: "Promised Land" = Land where Jews will be exterminated
When Fatah-run Awdah TV asked Palestinians about their views regarding US President Donald Trump's "rise to power", one woman explained that "Jews" mistakenly understand the term "the Promised Land" as "a promise to them," however, the real promise is that Allah will "gather" and "exterminate" them:
Fatah-run Awdah TV host: "Dear viewers, our question today is: Are you optimistic about the rise to power of American President Trump?"
Palestinian woman: "We always put our hopes in Allah. This is the promised land. The Jews think it is promised to them, but what was promised was to gather them in order to exterminate them by a divine decree."
[Fatah-run Awdah TV, Pulse of the Homeland, Feb. 19, 2017]
Palestinian Media Watch has documented Fatah leader Abbas Zaki expressing the same belief that Allah will bring together all the Jews/Israelis in Israel so that Palestinians can kill them:
"I believe that Allah will gather them so we can kill them. I am informing the murderer of his death."
[Official PA TV, March 12, 2014]

France's War to Delegitimize Israel
Officially, France prohibits any form of boycott against Israel. In 2015, the Court of Cassation confirmed a 2013 decision regarding the illegality of boycotts and the call for boycotts in France. Under the law, in 2013, BDS France was fined €28,000 (USD $30,000) by a local French court, after a call made in 2010 by 14 activists to boycott Israeli products in a supermarket. In addition, each of the 14 activists was fined €1,000.
However, according to a report recently released by NGO Monitor, the French government continues to fund NGOs openly hostile to Israel and to fund NGOs that support and promote boycott campaigns against Israel.
France, while its Ministry of Foreign Affairs is officially claiming the necessity of peace and secure borders for Israel, is discreetly financing organizations and NGOs openly hostile to Israel. NGO Monitor's meticulous report reveals that France is no friend of Israel but more and more of a prime mover in the war against Israel to delegitimize it. The masks already fell when French government supported the shameful UNESCO resolution to deny any tie between Jews and Jerusalem and the more than shameful UNESCO resolution saying that Western Wall of the Jerusalem's Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE was "occupied territory." Now it is clear, France is at war with the Jewish state.
MEMRI: Jordanian Researcher Ironically Compares 10 Western Scientific Breakthroughs In 2016 With 10 Arab World 'Breakthroughs' In Killing And Destruction
Muhammad Abu Rumman, a researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan and a writer for the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, published an article highlighting 10 notable Western scientific achievements from 2016, including the detection of gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein, and the discovery of a ninth planet in the solar system, and compared them to 10 notable "achievements" in the Arab world during that year, including the perfection of the car bomb, the "development" of the concept of lone wolves and barrel bombs, and the destruction of archaeological sites. Abu Rumman implicitly invites readers to compare these achievements and draw their own conclusions.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"The BBC website published the 10 biggest scientific achievements of 2016, which include: the discovery of the gravitational waves that Einstein discussed 100 years ago; the arrival of the [Juno] probe to Jupiter; the discovery of a ninth [planet] in the solar system nicknamed 'Nine';[2] the discovery of a 99 million-year-old dinosaur tail preserved in amber; the finding of the largest prime number [yet discovered], which has 22 million digits; the development of a tiny disc that can store 360 terabytes of data and last for 14 billion years; stem cell injections for patients who suffered [a stroke due to] blood clots in order to restore motor function; the discovery of a new type of blind cave-dwelling fish that can climb walls; the first landing by a rocket [at sea after completing its mission]; and transplanting a chip in a paralyzed patient's brain, enabling him to move his fingers.
"Now, let us think of the prominent Arab achievements, both scientific and non-scientific, during 2016:
"1. The car bomb tactic, which ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra excel at, which transforms basic primary materials into a devastating mechanism of killing, without the need to develop inventions and carry out complex scientific research as is done in the West. It is enough to pack a large amount of explosives into a car, don an explosive vest, and embed yourself in the ranks of the 'enemy' in order to injure and kill dozens and cause horrid destruction. ISIS has announced that, according to a recent study [it conducted], in the recent period there have been 1,112 martyrdom operations, all of whose perpetrators obviously died, and that during that period, they killed a large number of people on the other side.

Politico’s Dubious Chabad Story Receives Widespread Criticism
This, apparently, is a new low for Politico.
On Sunday, just in time for Passover, Politico published an article by reporter Ben Schreckinger, under the tutelage of editor Blake Hounshell, about the alleged ties between Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Jared Kushner, and a “happy-go-lucky Jewish group” called Chabad, “the most sprawling Jewish institution in the world.” The article cherry-picks Chabad’s connections to “Trump’s kind of Jews,” and to “Putin’s kind of Jews,” painting an alleged web of Jewish power-ties involving Berel Lazar a.k.a. “Putin’s rabbi” that reads like “a depiction straight out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” as Bethany Mandel wrote in The Federalist.
The article was soon picked up by the Forward under the headline, “Is Chabad the Missing Link in Trump’s Russia Scandal?” The current headline reads “Politico Called Anti-Semitic For Accusing Chabad In Trump’s Russia Scandal Read.”
Politico itself changed the article lead art, from a silhouette of Chabad Jews to an image of Putin.
I was told that a source for the Politico article may have been GPS Fusion, a secretive political messaging shop out of Washington D.C. run by three former WSJ reporters responsible for the Trump dossier story.
Criticism has poured in from all sides of the spectrum.
Young ANC leader defies Israel-apartheid comparisons, sees his political future doomed
Comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa is all the rage again. A United Nations agency recently published (and the United Nations secretary general rejected) a report accusing the Jewish state of having “established an apartheid regime that dominates the Palestinian people as a whole.” Campuses around the world are currently marking Israel Apartheid Week to “raise awareness of Israel’s settler-colonial project and apartheid system.”
The question of whether today’s Israel is akin to the old South Africa was forcefully rejected by former anti-apartheid activist Benjamin Pogrund in an op-ed in The New York Times last week, once more triggering passionate discussion over the question.
The African National Congress, Nelson Mandela’s revolutionary movement that freed South Africa from apartheid and currently rules the country, endorses the Israel-apartheid comparison. In 2012, ANC chairperson and former South African deputy president Baleka Mbete accused the Jewish state of being “far worse than Apartheid South Africa.”
But in recent months, a growing number of young black South Africans — including members of the ANC’s youth division — have visited Israel and now forcefully reject the parallels drawn between the racist regime under which their parents suffered and the current reality for Palestinian Arabs — in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Prominent among them is Nkululeko Nkosi, a 23-year-old member of the ANC Youth League.
“Precisely because we South Africans know intimately what apartheid involved, we have a duty to question whether it is an appropriate term to be used in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Nkosi wrote in a recent article for a pamphlet published by “Africans for Peace,” a group trying to change the narrative about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Mattis: 20 Percent Of Syria’s Operational Aircraft Damaged or Destroyed in U.S. Strikes
Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a stark warning to the Syrian government on Monday, saying it would be "ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons."
Mattis released a statement on last Thursday's U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airfield, which Washington believes the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used to launch a chemical weapons attack two days earlier.
"The U.S. military strike against Shayrat airfield on April 6 was a measured response to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons," Mattis said. "The president directed this action to deter future use of chemical weapons and to show the United States will not passively stand by while Assad murders innocent people with chemical weapons, which are prohibited by international law and which were declared destroyed."
The U.S. military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from the Mediterranean Sea at the airfield in Homs, destroying much of the base and killing at least six people. The strikes, ordered by President Trump, were a response to the Assad's regime use of chemical weapons last Tuesday on a town in northern Syria, where over 80 civilians were killed by the gas attack, including dozens of children.
Mattis' statement provided new information on how damaging the strikes were to the Syrian military.
Tillerson: Russia must choose between US and West or Assad, Iran and Hezbollah
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday that Russia must choose between the United States and like-minded western countries or Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran and Hezbollah.
"It is clear to us the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end," he told reporters at a meeting of Group of Seven foreign ministers shortly before leaving for Moscow.
"We hope that the Russian government concludes that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Assad," he said.
Tillerson met on Tuesday in Italy with foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major advanced economies, joined by Middle East allies to forge a united position on Syria, which has been catapulted to the top of the international agenda since a poison gas attack killed 87 people a week ago.
Former Obama Official Makes STUNNING Admission About Trump Vs. Obama
According to Politico, which is not exactly the most Pro-Trump website in the media and which fawned over Barack Obama for years, a former Obama official made a startling confession, admitting after Trump’s air strike on a Syrian air base that Obama “would never have gotten this done in 48 hours … It’s a complete indictment of Obama.
Politico quoted Anne-Marie Slaughter, Obama’s first-term chief of policy planning at the State Department, stating, “I feel like finally we have done the right thing. The years of hypocrisy just hurt us all. It undermined the U.S., it undermined the world order.”
Politico’s article revolved around its supposition that more than anything, President Trump desires to be seen as the Not-Obama, whether it’s intervening in Syria, attempting to broker a peace between Israel and the Palestinians, or warming relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Allahpundit at HotAir has his own guess as to why some Obama former officials are deserting their guy: “Maybe … there’s a troubled conscience at work? Not just for letting Assad act with impunity for years, but for the administration lying outright to Americans to make them believe he was more compliant on ridding himself of chemical weapons than he really was.”
Another Senior Obama Official Says Admin ‘Always Knew’ Syria Still Had Chemical Weapons
A former ambassador who served during Barack Obama's presidency admitted Sunday that the administration "always knew" Syria still had a stockpile of chemical weapons, despite public assurances to the contrary.
Dan Shapiro, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and senior official on Obama's National Security Council, took to Twitter to defend the previous administration's efforts to dismantle the Syrian chemical weapon program.
"I strongly disagree with those who say Assad's [chemical weapons] attack on Idlib [Province] proves that the 2013 [chemical weapons] deal struck by Russia & the US was worthless," he wrote.
Shapiro argued that the deal, brokered by the U.S. and Russia to eliminate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's chemical weapons stockpile, successfully managed to remove and destroy all 1,300 tons of the regime's declared arsenal. He then added that the Obama administration was aware the Syrian government likely hid away part of its chemical weapons program.
"We always knew Syria likely squirreled away some residual undeclared stocks and/or production capability, now proven by Idlib strike," he admitted.
Harf Scrambles to Defend Obama-Era Syria Chemical Weapons Agreement, Says It Was Not ‘Perfect’
Marie Harf, a Fox News contributor and former spokeswoman for Secretary of State John Kerry, scrambled on Wednesday to defend the Obama-era Syria deal from 2013, admitting it was not "perfect."
The Obama administration has come under fire after the Syrian regime launched a chemical weapon attack last week that killed more than 80 people. Obama, Kerry and others repeatedly claimed credit for a deal in 2013 that rid the country of its chemical weapons stockpile.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked Harf whether she agreed with President Trump's decision to order a military strike against Syria last week.
"I did. I thought it was a good response to President Assad's use of chemical weapons," Harf said. "What I'm more focused on now quite frankly is the strategy going forward and what happens next in Syria."
Hemmer then asked Harf whether Obama was given the same military option during his presidency.
Official: U.S. Concludes Russia Had Advanced Knowledge of Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack
The United States has concluded Russia knew in advance that the Syrian regime would employ chemical weapons in a large-scale attack last week, according to the Associated Press.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime reportedly ordered the chemical bombings that hit a rebel-held town in the Idlib Province on April 4. At least 80 people were killed, and video footage of women and children fighting to draw breath because of lethal chemical gas spread around the world.
According to a senior official, a Russian-operated drone flew over a Syrian hospital while victims sought treatment, and later a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital. The official said the drone's presence revealed that Russia knew the attack was coming:
Hours after the drone left, a Russian-made fighter jet bombed the hospital in what American officials believe was an attempt to cover up the usage of chemical weapons.
Until Monday, U.S. officials had said they weren't sure if the drone was operated by Russia or Syria. The senior official said it still wasn't clear who was flying the jet that bombed the hospital.
Israeli minister slams ‘outrageous’ White House Holocaust statements
In a rare Israeli condemnation of the new US administration, Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz slammed as “severe and outrageous” Wednesday statements made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer that Adolf Hitler never used chemical weapons, but also accepted the spokesman’s apology.
Writing on Twitter hours after Spicer said Syrian President Bashar Assad was worse than Hitler because he “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Katz said that the floundering press secretary must apologize or be forced to step down.
“Sean Spicer’s statement that Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons is severe and outrageous. We have a moral obligation that supersedes policy considerations. We must demand that he apologize, or resign,” wrote Katz, a Likud minister who sits on the powerful security cabinet and is seen as close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Spicer stunned the Washington press corps Tuesday by incorrectly telling reporters that Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II. “We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. “You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said, in an attempt to amplify the magnitude of assessments that Syrian strongman Bashar Assad used sarin gas in an assault last week in Syria’s Idlib province.
Prompted to explain his initial comments, Spicer then issued a number of clarifications, saying he knew millions of Jews and other victims of the Nazis were killed in “Holocaust centers” in Nazi-occupied Europe, many in gas chambers, but that “when it comes to sarin gas, [Hitler] was not using the gas on his people the same way that Ashad [sic] is doing.”
Following sharp responses from Democratic lawmakers and American Jewish community groups, and after Katz’s initial tweet, Spicer did issue an apology, telling CNN that he had “mistakenly used an inappropriate, insensitive reference to the Holocaust — for which, frankly, there is no comparison.”
Germany denounces Spicer’s Hitler comparisons as bad idea
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman on Wednesday said contemporary comparisons with Nazi atrocities were generally ill-advised, after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer apologized for an “insensitive” analogy to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
“Any comparison of current situations with the crimes of National Socialism leads to nothing good,” the spokesman, Steffen Seibert, told reporters when asked about Spicer’s remarks.
On Tuesday, Spicer stunned the Washington press corps by incorrectly telling reporters that Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II.
His words were an attempt to illustrate the magnitude of assessments that Syrian strongman Bashar Assad used sarin gas in an assault last week on Khan Sheikhoun, a town in Syria’s Idlib province.
“We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II,” Spicer said. “You know, you had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Spicer: ‘I let the president down’ over Hitler comments
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Wednesday again tried to apologize for his comment that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons during World War II, calling it an “inexcusable and reprehensible” mistake.
“I let the president down,” the White House spokesperson said, adding that his comments distracted from “an unbelievable couple of weeks” for US President Donald Trump.
“This was mine to own, mine to apologize for,” said Spicer who has been lambasted for his comments and several failed attempts to clarify his remarks that just got him into even further trouble.
Speaking at a forum at the Newseum in Washington, DC, Spicer also appeared to apologize for making the remarks during both the Jewish holiday of Passover and Holy Week before Easter.
“It is a very holy week for both the Jewish people and the Christian people and this is not [just] to make a gaffe, a mistake like this is inexcusable and reprehensible,” he said.
“And so of all weeks, this compounds that kind of mistake.”
Spicer also said that it was inappropriate of him to draw a comparison between Hitler and Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“I should not have tried to make a comparison. There is no comparing atrocities and it is a very solemn time for so many folks,” he said.
“I got into a topic that I shouldn’t have and I screwed up.”

2013 Assad is like Hitler: Kerry | New York Post
2014 Hillary Clinton's Putin-Hitler analogy - BBC News

Germany probes possible Islamist links to soccer team bus attack
German investigators are looking into the possible involvement of Islamist militants or anti-Nazi activists in blasts that hit a bus carrying players from soccer club Borussia Dortmund, media reported on Wednesday.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said a letter left near the scene of the attack on Tuesday claimed it was in retaliation for German military reconnaissance missions against Islamic State in Syria. The paper also said the letter might be a deliberate attempt to mislead investigators.
German press agency dpa said investigators were examining a second letter, posted on an anti-fascism online portal, which said the attack was in retaliation for what it called the club's soft approach toward neo-Nazi and racist fans.
The Federal Public Prosecutor said in a statement it had taken over the investigation and would hold a news conference at 2 p.m. (1200 GMT).
Windows on the bus were broken in the attack, in which three explosions went off at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday near the hotel where the team was staying.
Stockholm attack suspect tried to join IS in Syria – reports
The Uzbek national suspected of mowing down pedestrians in Stockholm last week had tried to join the ranks of the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria, an Uzbek source told Russian agencies.
The 39-year-old suspect, Rakhmat Akilov, “fell under the influence of emissaries of the Tajik cell of the Islamic State, making attempts to take part in combat in Syria on the side of the fighters,” an unnamed law enforcement source in the Central Asian state said.
According to the source, Akilov attempted to cross Turkey’s border with Syria in 2015 but was detained.
“Given his refugee status he was deported back to Sweden,” the source said.
The source added that Uzbek authorities had added Akilov to an international wanted list in late February after a criminal case on “religious extremism” was opened against him.
Sweden must now learn from Israel how to fight terror
Sweden has now suffered its first major terrorist attack in its capital Stockholm, with four killed and many injured. A suspect for the terror attack, an Uzbek citizen by the name of Rakhmat Akilov has been arrested. He has confessed that he is the one who carried out the terror attack on orders from ISIS. The terrorists of ISIS belong to an ideology that repeatedly has attacked the democratic world recently including Orlando, Paris, Brussels, London, Jerusalem and now Stockholm. I refer to radical Islamism.
Violent Islamism is represented not only by ISIS that has attacked democratic Europe but also by terror organizations like Hamas that want to wipe Israel from the map, because it's a Jewish state and a democracy. Unfortunately terrorism is often relativized by politicians and journalists. It is important that we wake up realizing that we must have zero tolerance for all terrorists. We must also understand that people involved in Islamist terrorism do not necessarily have a membership in a terrorist organization, they may only sympathize with its ideology and its hatred of democracy. On the other hand, however, just because Islamist terrorists have declared war on us we mustn’t generalize about our Muslim citizens and apply a broad brush approach to them. We who stand up for the values of democracy today against the violent Islamism come from all kinds of religious and non-religious backgrounds, also Muslim.
We mustn’t allow ourselves to be intimidated by terrorists in a way that we avoid living our lives. No, we must continue to do everything that angers the terrorists and we must do it with all our might. What they cannot abide is our lifestyle, our democracy, that we are a country that is characterized by equality and secularism, and that we are a country open to minorities, like LGBT-people who are persecuted outside the Western world. What probably also annoys them is that Sweden supports efforts against terrorists like ISIS.
Let us never change who we are, what we do and what we stand for to avoid terrorism.We should not stop living.
Israel's High Court halts building in West Bank outpost
The High Court of Justice this week issued a temporary injunction against 20 permanent buildings under construction in the West Bank outpost of Kerem Reim. It also froze any transactions with regard to the project, which involves 30 lots.
The court issued its order on Sunday in response to a March petition by the leftwing group Peace Now, which also demanded an investigation against the Amana settlement organization and the Binyamin Regional Council for its involvement in the project.
The outpost is just outside Talmon, which is located outside of the route of the security barrier and is considered an isolated settlement.
The injunction comes just weeks after Israel promised the United States that it would not build new neighborhoods for settlements or allow for the creation of new outposts.
According to Peace Now, the Settlements Law, which the Knesset approved in February to retroactively legalize settler homes on private Palestinian property, would not be applicable here because Keren Reim is on state and public land. Several stretches of its access road, however, are on private Palestinian property.
While most outposts were built between 1995 and 2005, this particular community in Judea and Samaria was created as a vineyard in 2007.
Outrage sparked in central Israel as swastikas appear near synagogue
Residents of the central Israel city of Petah Tikvah awoke on Tuesday morning to an unwelcome sight on the first day of Passover. Swastikas decorated two neighborhood walls not far from a synagogue in a vandalistic act bearing a clear and very intimidating message.
The stunned residents who were greeted with the unsettling sight of Nazi-affiliated emblems alerted police to the incident and were then referred to the municipality.
"It was devastating to see this first thing in the morning and on the holiday, no less. To hurt the feelings of such a large sector in the city is an outrageous provocation, and someone has to take matters into their own hands and track down the perpetrators who are among us," one agitated neighbor told Maariv.
"It took me years back," she added, referring to the 2006 revelation of a neo-Nazi cult that had congregated and developed in Petah Tikva a little over a decade ago. The cult started by spray painting swastikas in major sites across the city, went on to spray graffiti statement in support of the Nazis and escalated to violent attacks in which cult members had stalked residents of the city and brutally attacked them.
Police arrested several suspects at the time, and some were indicted and imprisoned.
Israel arrests Hamas officials in West Bank raid
Israeli security forces arrested a Palestinian parliamentarian and a spokesman from the Hamas terror group in the West Bank city of Ramallah early Wednesday morning, reports in Hebrew and Arabic language media said.
Ahmed Attoun, a Hamas lawmaker and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was picked up by Israel Defense Forces soldiers at his al-Bireh home during the arrest raid.
Hamas spokesman Fayez Abu Wardeh was also arrested at his Ramallah home overnight.
An East Jerusalem native, Attoun was previously arrested by Israel for his involvement in Hamas politics, and was exiled to the West Bank after his release a year later from jail in 2011. He joins 13 other Palestinian lawmakers currently in Israeli custody, according to reports.
In a statement, the IDF said it arrested suspects wanted for security-related offenses in Qalandiya, al-Bireh and Hebron, and the three were handed over for questioning. It was not immediately known if Attoun and Abu Wardeh were among the three.
One of those arrested is suspected of throwing rocks at vehicles on West Bank roads and taking part in violent protests against Israeli troops, the army said.
Hamas claims it arrested Palestinian who assassinated its terror chief
Hamas on Monday said its forces arrested a Palestinian for the assassination of one of its commanders in the Gaza Strip last month.
According to reports in the Hebrew-language media, the Gaza-based terror group said the investigation into the March 24 killing of Mazen Faqha outside his Gaza City home has been completed, and its findings are being handed over to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.
Hamas has accused Israel of being behind the killing, and vowed “divine punishment” for Faqha’s assassins.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday that Hamas was responsible for the killing and that it came as a result of an internal dispute.
“Today, we can say with certainty that this was an internal assassination,” he said in an interview with Yedioth Ahronoth.
He also told the paper that he “would not be surprised if before the Iranian [presidential] elections on May 19 someone assassinated the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani.”
Churches in southern Egypt will not celebrate Easter
Egyptian churches in the southern city of Minya said on Tuesday that they will not hold Easter celebrations in mourning for 45 Coptic Christians killed this week in twin bombings of churches in two cities during Palm Sunday ceremonies.
The Minya Coptic Orthodox Diocese said that celebrations will only be limited to the liturgical prayers “without any festive manifestations.”
Minya province has the highest Coptic Christian population in the country. Copts traditionally hold Easter church prayers on Saturday evening and then spend Easter Sunday on large meals and family visits.
Parliament approved on Tuesday President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s decision to declare a three-month state of emergency following the attacks, an action seen as a foregone conclusion since the legislature is packed with el-Sissi supporters. The Cabinet declared it had gone into effect as of 1 p.m. on Monday.
Iran envoy to Jordan summoned after Tehran calls king's statement 'foolish and irresponsible'
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry on Monday demanded that Iran's ambassador to Amman explain comments attributed to the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry after a spokesperson described a statement from King Abdullah II of Jordan as "foolish and irresponsible."
In an interview published by The Washington Post on April 6, Abdullah said that Iran has created "strategic problems" in the Middle East, while noting that Tehran is attempting to "forge a geographic link between...Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon."
This spreading influence, Abduallah said, was bringing Israel and Arab states closer together who see Iran as a threat, creating a real "opportunity" for better relations between neighbors in the region.
"But the problem that is [standing] between the Arabs and the Israelis is the Palestinians," the monarch added.
"The whole point of our peace initiative is for us to be the guarantors of Israel’s security," Abdullah posited. "If we can solve the Palestinian problem, then this is a new era of stability in our area, where Israelis are truly a part of the neighborhood."
In surprise move, Iran’s Ahmadinejad registers to run for president
Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has filed to run in the country’s May presidential election, contradicting a recommendation from the nation’s supreme leader that he stay out of the race.
Associated Press journalists watched as stunned election officials processed Ahmadinejad’s paperwork on Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad previously said he wasn’t going to run after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei advised him not to, saying he would instead support his former deputy Hamid Baghaei who also registered on Wednesday.
At a press conference Wednesday, Ahmadinejad called Khamenei’s comments “just advice,” and described his registering for the election as helping Baghaei, a close confidant.
UK’s foremost libel lawyer sets his sights on Israel’s enemies
You really wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of media and libel lawyer Mark Lewis. For a good 20 minutes of our interview Lewis relives — in withering detail — tiny victories over alleged anti-Semites at his old school in south Manchester.
His phenomenal memory in battles fought and won has propelled him to become one of the best-known libel specialists in Britain. Now he is bringing that steel-trap mind to bear on fighting battles for Israel — where he is the beneficiary of advanced medical treatment that may enable him to turn his life around.
Lewis’s latest victory was won last month in a new battleground — social media. He represented a food blogger and left-wing activist, Jack Monroe (who despite the name, is female), against one of the UK’s most controversial tabloid columnists, Katie Hopkins. After a war memorial was daubed with red paint, Hopkins — in error — attacked Monroe on Twitter, alleging that she had supported the action.
Unfortunately for Hopkins, Monroe comes from a military family and was furious at the allegation. She invited Hopkins to apologize — and when she did not, sued for libel, led by Mark Lewis. His tenacious work produced a stunning victory for Monroe, and an order by the court for Hopkins to pay her £24,000 — almost $30,000 — plus nearly three times that in court costs.
These days Lewis, 52, is a partner in the prestigious central London Seddons law firm and is renowned as the leading figure in breaking the phone-hacking scandal which led to the closure of one of Rupert Murdoch’s most cherished newspapers — the hugely circulated News of the World.
Irish college to host conference on academic boycott of Israel
Trinity College Dublin is slated to hold a conference in September in which academics will call for an active ban on Israel in the name of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, according to the Jewish Chronicle this week.
The event, which is expected to take place in the Irish capital on September 12, is organized by a group named 'Academics for Palestine' and will feature academics who will speak in favor of boycotting educational institutions in the Jewish state.
A website promoting the conference offers several strong statements in support of an academic shunning of Israel, such as: "Across the world, academics and students have responded to the Palestinian call for boycott by refusing to cooperate with Israeli higher education institutions on grounds of conscience."
The slated anti-Israel event has drawn criticism, particularly due to Trinity College's strong, decades-long ties to Israel and to Judaism, which were expressed recently when the university's student union voted twice against the introduction of a BDS policy, with the last vote determined by a "significant majority" just last week.
A spokesperson for the college told the Jewish Chronicle that any decision on the boycott of Israel would be made by the university's board and not by its student union.
Guardian falsely claims Bassem Tamimi merely opposes Israeli settlements
However, benignly characterising Tamimi as “a vocal opponent of Israeli settlement[s] in the West Bank” is highly misleading. In addition to expressing support for violence and sharing antisemitic posts on his Facebook account, Tamimi has been very clear that he opposes the continued existence of Israel as a Jewish state in any form.
Here’s what he told Mondowiess.
“If we really want a humanitarian solution, it must be the one state solution, same rights for everyone,” Tamimi proposed. He looked to “the South African model” as a resolution for the conflict in Israel-Palestine, stating “we need to live in a state with one person, one vote, with the same rights.”
And a one-state solution is not enough if it does not include the Right of Return, he insisted. “The right for refugees to return is the main issue in the Palestinian struggle.”

CAMERA’s Dexter Van Zile covered a talk given by Tamimi in Cambridge, MA, in 2015, and similarly reported that Tamimi made clear that, in his view, Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state is the core of the problem.
If the Guardian wants to encourage a fact-based, reasoned debate about the merits of Australia’s refusal to allow Tamimi into the country, the least they can do is avoid misleading readers by failing to reveal the Palestinian activist’s well-documented record of intolerance and anti-Zionist extremism.
BBC News recycles a confusing Amnesty euphemism
On April 11th the BBC News website published an article titled “Death penalty: Global executions fall 37% since 2015 – Amnesty” which is little more than a rehashed version of the press release put out by Amnesty International on the same day to launch its annual report on the subject of judicial executions.
In that article, BBC audiences find the following paragraph:
“Meanwhile, Belarus and authorities within the Palestinian territories resumed executions in 2016 after a year’s hiatus, while Botswana and Nigeria carried out their first executions since 2013.” [emphasis added]
Who exactly are those “authorities within the Palestinian territories” and how did that odd and confusing phrase come to be included in the BBC’s report? The answer to the latter question is found in the AI press release which states:
“Belarus, Botswana, Nigeria and authorities within the State of Palestine resumed executions in 2016…” [emphasis added]
St. Louis man accused of JCC bomb threats pleads not guilty
A St. Louis man accused of making eight bomb threats against Jewish institutions, allegedly in a plot to take revenge on a former romantic partner, pleaded not guilty to cyberstalking.
Juan Thompson, 31, made his plea on Monday in a New York City federal court, BuzzFeed reported.
He is facing cyberstalking charges for threats against Jewish community centers and the Anti-Defamation League, which federal prosecutors say were copycat crimes during a wave of nearly 150 bomb threats to Jewish institutions since the beginning of the year.
Thompson, who has worked as a journalist, reportedly made some of the threats in the name of a former romantic partner he had been cyberstalking and some on his own in an attempt to portray himself as the victim of a frame-up.
Swastikas, hate graffiti found daubed on Virginia JCC, church
Swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti were found daubed on a suburban Washington, DC, Jewish community center and a nearby church, local authorities said on Tuesday.
Fairfax County Police spokeswoman said an investigation had been opened into the vandalism incidents at the JCC of Northern Virginia and the Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale, Virginia.
“Hitler was right,” swastikas and the “SS” symbol were found spray-painted on the exterior of the JCC building.
Jeff Dannick, the JCC’s director general, said discovering the graffiti on the first day of the holiday of Passover was particularly disheartening.
“As painful as this is, it’s even more painful for it to happen on Passover,” Dannick told NBC Washington.
Glowing bacteria are used to hunt landmines in Hebrew U study
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem say they may have found a way to remotely detect unexploded landmines by using a combination of lasers and molecularly engineered bacteria that glow in proximity to the explosives.
Buried landmines, which injure or kill 15,000-20,000 people each year, emit tiny quantities of explosive vapors which accumulate in the soil above them. This observation prompted the Hebrew University researchers, led by Prof. Shimshon Belkin of the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, to use bacteria that emit a fluorescent signal when they come into contact with these vapors to detect the mines.
They enclosed the bacteria in small polymeric beads, which were then scattered across the surface of a test field in which real antipersonnel landmines were buried. Using a laser-based scanning system, the test field was remotely scanned and the researchers were able to determine the location of the buried explosives.
About half a million people around the world suffer from mine-inflicted injuries and more than 100 million such devices are still buried in over 70 countries. The major technical challenge in clearing minefields is detecting the mines. The technologies used today are not much different from those used in World War II, requiring detection teams who risk life and limb by physically entering the minefields.
Don Rickles’ Rabbi Says About the Late Insult Comic: ‘From the President to Frank Sinatra, He Made Us All Feel Like Equals’
Famed insult comic Don Rickles “did not discriminate” and made everyone feel like an equal target of his jokes, his former rabbi said in an obituary for the Jewish comedian published by TIME magazine on Friday.
Rabbi David Wolpe of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles said that for Rickles, who died at the age of 90 last week, “everyone was fair game,” whether it be a president or American singer Frank Sinatra, and that his humor was a “great leveler.”
The rabbi added, “To call Don Rickles politically incorrect is intellectually incorrect. He was in a certain way the epitome of political correctness… The only people he would not insult were the vulnerable, those who would be wounded by his words…As Daveed ben Mordecai is laid to rest, the world has not only lost someone who made us laugh; it will have lost someone who saw people the way we aspire to be seen: flawed but resilient, and all, ultimately, the same.”
In the obituary, Rabbi Wolpe also shared that he was the target of many comedic insults by Rickles over the years. The rabbi said he believed that despite his harsh words, Rickles — dubbed “the most famous insulter in the world” — got away with the “jocular savagery because you knew — you really knew — that deep down he was kind and intended no harm. So the cannon blasts — and his sheer relentlessness — came as a shock, and once the laughter started, there was no stopping.”
American Jewish Actress Mayim Bialik Says About Passover: ‘It’s Often the Healthiest 8 Days of the Year for My Family’
Jewish actress Mayim Bialik said on Sunday that the Passover holiday was “often the healthiest eight days” of the year for her and her family.
Bialik, a star in the CBS comedy series “The Big Bang Theory,” made the revelation on Facebook and explained that during Passover “we don’t eat out, we cook all of our meals and we use mostly vegetables, fruits, salads, and a few fancy dressings to make meals interesting.”
The 41-year-old mother-of-two added that her ex-husband was a “real Pesach ‘purist’ [who] hated any prepared matzah products” and his influence turned her into a “‘whole foods’ Pesach person” who eats extremely healthy during the holiday.
Passover begins on Monday at sundown.
Last month, Bialik — a distant relative of the late famous Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik — published a refutation of anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour’s claim that one cannot be a Zionist feminist.
8 stunning churches to see on an Easter trip to Israel
Pilgrims flock to the Old City of Jerusalem to walk the Stations of the Cross and visit significant sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (which just underwent renovations), as well as key areas of interest in the Galilee where Jesus and his disciples lived and preached.
Israel boasts many beautiful and historic churches of various denominations. If you’re coming for a visit, ISRAEL21c suggests visiting the following eight standouts suggested by Israeli tour guide Jacob Firsel, author of Go to Galilee: A Travel Guide for Christian Pilgrims.
1 St. Anne’s Church, Jerusalem
Situated near the Lion’s Gate and Station 1 on Via Dolorosa in the Old City of Jerusalem, this reconstructed Crusader church under the auspices of the White Fathers is “simple and majestic, with unbelievable acoustics,” Firsel tells ISRAEL21c. The Catholic church’s name is due to its traditional designation as the site of the home of Jesus’ maternal grandparents, Anne and Joachim.

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