Monday, April 24, 2017

From Ian:

Israel pauses to remember 6 million murdered in Holocaust
Israelis across the country paused for two minutes Monday morning in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered in Europe under Nazi rule as a siren pierced the clear blue sky in an annual marking of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The 10 a.m. siren was to be followed by ceremonies at schools, memorials and elsewhere in honor of those who lost their lives, as well as Shoah survivors.
The country’s central commemoration event got underway immediately after the siren at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, where dignitaries will lay wreaths next to a monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.
Among those taking part in the wreath-laying are President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein.
Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) Siren 2017
Today at 10:00 AM something incredible happens: sirens sound all over Israel and for two minutes everything stops. Today we remember the Holocaust.


JPost Editorial: Never Again
Last year on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we published an editorial calling for measures to be taken to ensure that survivors in Israel do not live out their last years in poverty.
Despite the best efforts of volunteer and professional organizations and new legislation that provide some survivors with increased benefits, the goal of providing every survivor with the care and dignity that was robbed of him or her earlier in life is still far from being achieved.
According to data provided by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors, about 25% of the country’s approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors live below the poverty line. A fifth skip meals because they do not have enough money to buy food.
A report issued last week by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira highlighted glitches within the system – whether it’s the failure to allocate sufficient financial, housing or medical assistance, or the failure to have a central authority responsible for standing up for Holocaust survivors, while pointing a finger at the government for inadequately safeguarding survivors’ rights.
“The state’s attitude toward survivors may affect the memory of the Holocaust for future generations,” Shapira’s report cautioned.
As The Jerusalem Post’s legal affairs reporter Yonah Jeremy Bob wrote, Shapira warned that time is running out and the government must improvement things for survivors, whose average age is 85.
According to the report, 16,000 survivors are waiting, some for years, to receive subsidized housing for which their eligibility has already been approved. In addition, in 2014 and 2015, NIS 60 million earmarked as aid to elderly survivors was never used for that purpose due to lack of oversight and of plans by the Social Equality Ministry to use the funds.
'The IDF is the voice of those lost in the Holocaust'
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot addressed the annual March of the Living in Poland Monday, marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Eizenkot, who led the IDF delegation to this year’s event, brought the Torah scroll held by then-Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren (later Chief Rabbi of Israel) during the liberation of the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem.
During his speech, Eizenkot emphasized the importance of the IDF’s inclusion in the March of Life and its role in sustaining the legacy of Holocaust victims and survivors.
“For generation after generation, our brothers and sisters lived scattered and separated from one another, but were joined in spirit, in their hearts, and in their vision from time immemorial to return to the land of their forefathers,” said Eizenkot.
“But before they could build a [national] home and defense forces, disaster struck, and many Jewish communities of Europe were destroyed.
“Here, on this land, they were taken off in darkened cattle cars, brutally ripped away from their families, and led away to the identical fate – extermination.
“Their only sin was being Jewish, and for that they were tortured, crushed, and put to death - because there was no one who would stand up and fight for them.”



10,000 youths mark Holocaust Remembrance Day at Auschwitz
Thousands of Jews from Israel and around the world were walking between the two parts of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in Poland on Monday in memory of Holocaust victims.
The annual March of the Living began with the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn used for Jewish religious ceremonies, at the former death camp’s notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) gate.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor led a delegation of Israeli officials joining Jewish students from around the world at the annual march marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As in previous years, the march was being led by Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, a child survivor of the Auschwitz camp.
Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, was also slated join the march for the first time. He is scheduled to speak and light a torch at a ceremony.
Many of the participants carried Israeli flags on the somber memorial march of about three kilometers (two miles) from the original Auschwitz camp to Birkenau, a much larger death camp where victims were murdered in gas chambers.
Netanyahu: Allies could have saved 4 million Jews if they’d bombed death camps in 1942
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday launched a blistering assault on Allied policy during World War II, saying world powers’ failure to bomb the Nazi concentration camps from 1942 cost the lives of four million Jews and millions of others.
Citing recently released UN documents that show the Allies were aware of the scale of the Holocaust in 1942, some two years earlier than previously assumed, Netanyahu said in a speech marking Holocaust Remembrance Day that this new research assumed “a terrible significance.”
“If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps — and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps — had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people,” he said at the official state ceremony marking the start of the memorial day.
“The powers knew, and they did not act,” he told the audience at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
“When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces,” he went on, “the powers knew and did not act.”
Trump In memory of those lost in the Holocaust, we must stamp out antisemitism
In the memory of those who were lost in the Holocaust, we must stamp out prejudice and antisemitism everywhere it is found, US President Donald Trump said in a video address to the 15th plenary assembly of the World Jewish Congress, which opened on Sunday evening in New York.
“On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history,” President Trump said. “We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.”
“The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide,” he continued. “They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.”
Quoting Theodor Herzl’s “If you will, it is no dream”, Trump added that Israel is a “great nation that has risen from the desert”.
The President reiterated his commitment to defeating terrorism, and said the US must not ignore the threats of the Iranian regime, who talks openly of Israel’s destruction. “We cannot let that ever even be thought,” he said.
More than 9.2-million canceled stamps later, Holocaust postage project recognized in Boston
For teachers tasked with introducing the Holocaust to children, a question often heard is, “How many people is six million?”
Since 2009, a charter school southwest of Boston has implemented a project to answer that question. From kindergarten to high school, students at the Foxboro Regional Charter School are working to gather 11-million canceled postage stamps from around the world — one for each victim of the Nazis’ genocidal policies, including the Shoah’s six-million Jewish victims.
During its annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust commemoration on Sunday, two of the school’s teachers received a Holocaust education award from Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council. Taking place inside historic Faneuil Hall, the gathering was addressed by local survivors and diplomats from Israel and Germany, as well as the teachers behind the Holocaust Stamps Project.
Since 2011, a select few of the 9.2-million (and counting) stamps have been used to create Holocaust-related collages, with topics including music as resistance and the “kindertransport” rescue of Jewish children. Finished works are shown at events in schools around town, ensuring that Shoah education takes place year-round in Foxboro, best known as home to football’s New England Patriots.
Special interview with Elie Wiesel's son
Arutz Sheva spoke to Elisha Wiesel, the son of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate the late Eli Wiesel.
Wiesel was in Krakow, Poland, to participate in the annual March of the Living Holocaust commemoration.
"To see this cemetery, and to see a thousand years of Polish Jewry, and some of the great names that are buried here, brings you to remember that it's not just that there was death here in Poland. There was vibrant life for Jews here, before the war, in Poland," Wiesel said.
"I don't think you can boil [the Holocaust] down to just one message," he said. "I think there was a message for the world, which very much resonated on 'we can't allow this to happen again.' Humanity should treat itself in a humane way, not in an inhumane way."
The Holocaust: Who are the missing million?
The importance of the mission to recover victims' names received global recognition in 2013 when the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco, included the collection in its Memory of the World register.
The agency lauded it as "unprecedented in human history", pointing out that the project had given rise to similar efforts in other places of genocide, such as Rwanda and Cambodia.
Despite the millions of names recorded so far, there is still a long way to go if all six million are ever to be recovered, but those behind the project remain determined.
"I personally would like that we do reach that goal, that at least among those who perished there won't be a person who remains unknown. It's our moral imperative," says Sara Berkowitz.
"Until I sit in the office and days will pass by and I won't have work to do, I'll know that we've more or less raked the universe to try to get to every name and there is no more there."
Vast German archive holds the secret to combating Holocaust denial
Israeli Holocaust survivor Moshe Bar-Yuda was a young boy in Czechoslovakia when World War II broke out. He managed to survive in Hungary by assuming false identities and made it to Palestine before the end of the war. Later, he reunited with his mother, who was released from her married status by the Tel Aviv rabbinical court in 1948, on the presumption that her husband Alfred Kastner had been murdered in the Holocaust. There were rumors that Kastner had been killed at Majdanek, or perhaps Auschwitz.
In 2008, Bar-Yuda wanted to see if he could finally get an answer as to where his father died, so he approached Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for help. A list of deportees to the Novaky camp in Slovakia from March 27, 1942 in the Holocaust remembrance center’s archives confirmed Bar-Yuda’s childhood recollection that his father had been snatched from the street as they walked on the Sabbath before Passover.
But the answer to where Kastner was killed was not at Yad Vashem. It was in Bad Arolsen, Germany, buried somewhere in a complex of six buildings filled from floor to ceiling with 30 million original documents relating to the fates of 17.5 million victims of Nazi persecution. This massive archive, known at the International Tracing Service (ITS), contains a staggering amount of material, most of it collected by Allied forces as they liberated Europe, beginning in 1943.
The ITS shelves are crammed with concentration camp documents, transport and deportation lists, Gestapo arrest and prison records, and forced and slave labor documentation. The archive also includes millions of displaced persons’ I.D. cards and files, as well as post-war resettlement and emigration records. There are cemetery records for deceased forced laborers and prisoners, and concentration camp survivor testimonies taken by liberating forces. Some 2.5 million files alone contain post-WWII correspondence from people inquiring about the fates and whereabouts of their loved ones.
Japanese ‘Schindler’ a model of diplomacy at Holocaust remembrance event
The legacy of Japan’s “Schindler,” vice consul Chiune Sugihara, was celebrated as a model of diplomacy at an event held Thursday night in Jerusalem that delved into the relationship between diplomacy and the Holocaust.
Sugihara was the Japanese vice consul in Kaunas, Lithuania, between the years of 1939 and 1940. Against his government’s orders, he granted thousands of visas to European Jews, allowing them to exit occupied Lithuania and flee to Japan using the Trans-Siberian railway. When he was rushing out of Lithuania, he continued signing visas and even left signed open visas to help more Jews. He rescued thousands of Jews and is the only Japanese Righteous Among the Nations.
The American Jewish Committee Jerusalem’s annual Holocaust commemoration event featured a panel discussion between Japanese Ambassador to Israel Koji Tomita, Italian Ambassador to Israel Francesco Maria Talo and Greek Ambassador to Israel Konstantinos Bikas.
Noting the homogeneous nature of Japanese society, Tomita acknowledged that Japan lacks a communal mechanism to remember the Holocaust. “The Japanese don’t have relatives who can tell them what happened,” he said, highlighting education as the main vehicle through which to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust.
Nonetheless, he said that history textbooks are not always sufficient and that a conscious outreach to the general public is necessary. Retelling Sugihara’s story is key to these efforts.
Anti-Semitic incidents surge 86% in US in 2017 – ADL
Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States saw a massive spike of 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to new data compiled by the Anti-Defamation League.
The jump in incidents comes after a 34% increase in 2016 from the previous year.
“There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016 and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months,” the group’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
The Jewish civil rights group’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents found 541 reported anti-Semitic incidents in the first four months of the current year, including 380 episodes of harassment, 161 bomb threats to Jewish institutions and 155 cases of anti-Jewish vandalism.
Rising anti-semitism in the UK fuelled by social media, report finds
The UK has one of the fastest-rising levels of anti-Semitism in the world, a report has found.
The report, by Tel Aviv University-based researchers the Kantor Centre, found that anti-Semitism had worsened in English-speaking countries where Jewish people had historically been welcomed.
While in France and Belgium anti-Semitism dropped sharply between 2015 and 2016, incidences in the UK rose by 11 per cent and in Australia they increased by 10 per cent.
In the United States the report found that there had been a "troubling, year-long rise" in anti-Semitism directed at journalists covering the Presidential election.
The report includes an overview of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK and in around 40 other countries worldwide.
Overall violent anti-Semitic incidents fell by 12 per cent worldwide, and antisemitic incidents of all types appeared to fall in most of the countries studied.
Melanie Phillips: Not a deal but a surrender
What President Trump should be saying instead to Mahmoud Abbas and his people is that the US demands they stop waging this war of extermination, stop inculcating in their children hatred of the Jews and the goal of murdering Israelis and taking their land away from them, and stop paying terrorists’ families and glorifying mass murder. Trump should be telling them that, until and unless they do this, they will receive absolutely nothing from the US: no money, no diplomatic recognition, no concessions of any kind. Instead they will be treated as pariahs.
Because there can be no concessions whatever to an absolute evil. The intention to exterminate the State of Israel is just such an evil. And that is the agenda of the Palestinian leadership, and has been so for the best part of a century.
Anyone who still doesn’t understand this basic fact understands nothing about the Arab war against Israel. By offering the Palestinians this reported concession, Trump is offering them a reward for stopping rewarding mass murder. This is not only morally vacuous, but shows that for all his emotional support of Israel Trump does not understand the most basic fact about this conflict.
Nor presumably does his son-in-law and trusted adviser Jared Kushner. Although he is an orthodox Jew, as a former Democrat voter he presumably subscribes to the group-think prevalent in such circles that airbrushes the Palestinians’ real aim out of the picture altogether as incompatible with the liberal fantasy that this is a dispute over land boundaries between two peoples with genuine but incompatible claims to that land and is thus capable of a negotiated solution. It is not such a dispute. It is instead a century-old attempt to drive out the Jews from their own historic home.
This fantasy, however, is widespread in the west and has informed its approach to the Arab/Israel dispute for many decades. In this persistent attempt to negotiate with the non-negotiable and thus reward the unconscionable, it is the single most important reason why the Arab war against Israel continues without end.
A “deal” in these circumstances cannot be a deal at all. It would be a further signal of surrender.
Exclusive: UK singles out Israel in effort to 'protect' Palestinian minors
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a tender two weeks ago for organizations interested in developing projects working toward the “protection of human rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention.”
The move raised eyebrows in Jerusalem because of a concern that Israel was being singled out for arresting minors, as Britain was not expending similar funds on projects aimed at guaranteeing the rights of underage detainees in the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip or other countries around the world and was not looking for project proposals dealing with the abuse of Palestinian minors by Hamas, such as using them as civilian shields or to build attack tunnels to infiltrate Israel.
“The British Embassy in Israel and British Consulate General in Jerusalem are accepting concept notes for our program fund,” reads the publication of the call for project proposals that appears on the British government’s official website.
According to the website, projects are being sought from “civil society, commercial organizations, governments, think tanks [and] other UK government departments and international organizations” that will “work with Israeli and Palestinian stakeholders to effect change in one of the following areas: 1. Protection of human rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention. 2. Engaging with the Israeli authorities on improving Gaza movement and access.”
Although Israeli diplomatic officials declined to respond to the call for project proposals, Jerusalem is used to dealing with questions regarding Palestinian minors in detention.
Germany is a hotbed of Iranian spy activity that targets Israel
The German Interior Ministry notified a Left Party deputy last week that agents from Iran have been some of the most active spies in the Federal Republic between 2007 and 2017, including assassination attempts on Israel advocates.
German authorities conducted criminal investigations into Iran for 22 cases of espionage, while Russia’s illicit spy activity led with 27 cases. China and Turkey both registered 15 spy cases. Syrian agents were involved in 8 espionage operations. According to the Interior Ministry letter sent to Left Party deputy Jan Korte, the federal government declared four Syrian agents persona non grata.
Other Middle Eastern and North African countries caught engaging in illegal covert operations inside Germany include Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Morocco. Germany initiated a total of 123 investigations over the last decade for espionage.
Last month, a Berlin court sentenced 31-year-old Pakistani citizen Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi to four years and three months in prison for working for Iran’s intelligence service to spy “against Germany and another NATO member.”
According to German prosecutors, Haidar Syed-Naqfi was assigned to identify Israeli and Jewish institutions and Israel advocates in Germany, France and other unnamed Western European countries for possible attacks. He monitored a German-Jewish newspaper’s headquarters in Berlin and Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society.
German foreign minister to press Israel for 2-state solution
Deep and "unbreakable" ties between Germany and Israel are part of Germany's national identity and pillars of its foreign policy, but Berlin will continue to press for a two-state solution, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday.
"With respect to the Middle East conflict, our solidarity with Israel also means working to ensure that Israel and Palestine can live side by side in dignity and peace. Only a two-state solution will be sustainable," Gabriel said in a statement released as he departed for the region.
Gabriel's visit, his first since becoming foreign minister in January, comes as German concerns about Israeli settlement building have dragged ties to their lowest point in years.
German governments have made strong relations with Israel a top priority since after World War II, going to great lengths to make amends for the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.
Gabriel was scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum on Monday and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is also scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian government officials, his spokesman, Martin Schaefer, told reporters on Friday.
JCC bomb hoaxer charged with vast list of offenses, including threats to execute children, blow up planes
Israel on Monday filed a massive laundry list of criminal charges against an Israeli-American teenager accused of making thousands of bomb threat calls and other violent threats to Jewish institutions, schools, hospitals and airlines all over the world. His alleged threats caused fighter jets to scramble, planes to dump fuel and make emergency landings, large numbers of schools to evacuate, and numerous other chaotic consequences. In some cases, he allegedly threatened to execute children he claimed to be holding hostage.
The Justice Ministry said the 18-year-old hacker from Ashkelon was charged at the Tel Aviv District Court with thousands of counts of extortion, publishing false information that caused panic, computer offenses and money laundering, among other charges.
The indictment says that in addition to the previously reported threats to Jewish community centers, the unnamed teen also targeted hundreds of non-Jewish schools, airlines and airports, malls, and police stations, in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Britain, and tried to extort Republican State Senator Ernesto Lopez from Delaware. He also offered extortion services over the internet in return for compensation in the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
The Israeli indictment reveals a pattern of threats far more numerous, more vicious, and against a far wider range of targets, than previously reported.
IDF Soldier Stabbed at Jerusalem Area Checkpoint, Female Assailant Detained
A female soldier was stabbed at the Qalandiya checkpoint Monday morning, north of Jerusalem.
The female assailant was neutralized at the scene, while the soldier—an NCO in the Civil Administration—was lightly wounded in the upper body.
The woman who carried out the stabbing attack was identified as Asya Kabaneh, 41, from the village of Duma in the Nablus area.
Asya, who is a married mother of 9, said during investigation that for a long time she has been in conflict with her husband, who threatened to deport her to her family in Jordan.
The investigation also revealed that she had fought with her husband last night over the education of their children and as a result, she decided to carry out an attack in order for the security forces to shoot her because—in her words—she was fed up with her life.
'We'll be more careful next time'
The leftist organization which brought the terrorist responsible for Sunday’s stabbing attack into Israel pledged Monday to reassess its screening mechanism to ensure its day-trips program is not used to aid terrorism in the future.
On Sunday it was revealed that the Natural Peace Tour organization, which brings Palestinian Authority residents into Israel for tours and meetings with Israelis, had secured the one-day visitation entry permit for the 18-year old Arab terrorist who stabbed four Israelis in north Tel Aviv on Sunday.
Following the revelation, NPT announced it was investigating the incident, and would be temporarily suspending its tour programs inside Israel.
“We’re working with governmental agencies who approved the entry permit,” an NPT spokesperson told Army Radio. “We will be much more careful. For the time being we have halted our activities, like the [Defense Ministry’s] Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories requested.”
Two Jewish Israelis rescued from East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood
Police rescued two Jewish Israeli men from an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem on Sunday night after rocks were thrown at them.
The police officers were called to Sur Baher to retrieve the two men, who reportedly went to the area for business. Hebrew media reported that they had come to the neighborhood to sell unauthorized eggs on the black market.
Police said that they were called to the neighborhood amid a report that two Jews were being pelted with rocks. The two fled in their vehicle to a health clinic, hitting a parked car on the way, and remained there until the cops arrived.
As they left the area, a riot broke out and Molotov cocktails and rocks were hurled at a police car. There were no injuries but the vehicle sustained damaged, police said.
Israel security forces arrest Palestinians linked to violent attacks
Israeli security forces arrested 12 Palestinians overnight Monday, including six from the village of Nabi Saleh who had allegedly thrown stones at a Border Police jeep while at a gas station in early March.
Villagers threw stones and paint bombs at the security forces during the overnight raid. One family filmed the soldiers who entered their home to carry out arrests.
Border police said their forces arrested two minors and four young adults.
“As soon we had incriminating documentation of the rioters who threw stones at the jeep, we knew we would settle a score with them and arrest them,” said the Border Police commander who led the raid.
On Friday, Palestinians held a rally in Nabi Saleh in support of the Palestinian prisoners, including those jailed for killing Israelis. Protesters and the IDF clashed at the entry to the village. Young Palestinian men and teenagers threw stones at the soldiers, who in turn threw tear gas at the rioters.
84 more Hamas men quit hunger strike – Prisons Service
Dozens of Palestinian prisoners on Saturday ended their participation in a mass hunger strike, a Prisons Service spokesman said. “Eighty-four Hamas prisoners in Gilboa Prison ended their hunger strikes and were returned to their normal cells,” the spokesman said on Sunday.
Earlier in the weekend, the Prisons Service said that 100 other hunger-striking prisoners, held in a variety of facilities, quit the hunger strike
More than a thousand security prisoners, led by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who was convicted in 2004 of five counts of murder, are carrying out a hunger strike in Israeli prisons. They are demanding an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, an increase in family visitations, and an improvement in medical care and amenities.
PLO Commission for Prisoner Affairs Chairman Issa Qaraqaa denied that prisoners ended their hunger strike. “The opposite is true,” he told Wafa, the official Palestinian Authority news site.

How New is the New Hamas Charter?
The Arab states that reject Israel today forget that they themselves would not exist without the Mandate system – a point seldom if ever acknowledged in public forums where the legitimacy of Israel is debated.
If there is any Palestinian desire for a two-state solution, it is questionable: according to current maps of "Palestine," and the New Hamas Charter, it is supposed to be on its neighbouring state, Israel; not next to it. The wish of Palestinian leaders to have a Palestinian state is never realized solely due to the unending rejection of their Jewish neighbour.
Article 19 of the New Charter repeats that there will never be peace so long as Israel still exists. It declares: "We do not leave any part of the Palestinians' land, under any circumstances, conditions or pressure, as long as the occupation remains. Hamas refuses any alternative which is not the whole liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea."
PA blames Israel for domestic violence
The Palestinian Authority (PA) bureau in charge of women's affairs is blaming Israel's “violation of human rights” and its alleged “siege” of Gaza for the recent rise in domestic violence.
In an official statement issued on Sunday, the bureau condemned all crimes of violence against women and the murder of women, and demanded that the relevant authorities take aggressive measures to stop them.
It also demanded that criminals not be allowed to escape the law, even if the crime is an honor killing.
According to Islam, the father is the head of the family and has the responsibility and obligation to ensure that all members of the family observe Islamic law. In certain circumstances and under certain conditions, he is permitted to use limited violence for the purposes of education. In a number of Muslim countries, an honor killing is taken into account when issuing a lenient sentence. In many cases, the father or brother carries out the honor killing.
Honor killings have been on the rise in the PA in recent years, leading the UN organization for women to decry the rising rates.
Obama’s hidden Iran deal giveaway
When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.
“Iran had a significantly higher number of individuals, of course, at the beginning of this negotiation that they would have liked to have seen released,” one senior Obama administration official told reporters in a background briefing arranged by the White House, adding that “we were able to winnow that down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.”
But Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren’t telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.
In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as “civilians.” The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”
In reality, some of them were accused by Obama’s own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran.
Iran’s Presidential Elections Are an Elaborate Charade
The upcoming elections in the Islamic Republic have generated headlines in the Western media that, Amir Taheri writes, seem to misunderstand that this is a sham contest:
Every four years, Iranians and others interested in Iranian affairs are invited to participate in or at least observe what is presented as a dramatic quest for power by rival factions defending sharply different programs. Thus a few weeks of excitement are created out of thin air to give the impression that the peculiar system created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini is an Islamic version of the cursed democracy promoted by the “infidel.” The show is also used to blame all that is wrong in the country on the president in charge for the past four years and, almost always, end up re-electing him for four more years. . . .
To add more spice to the mix, the regime and its lobbyists in the West also urge support for the candidate supposed to be farther from the “supreme leader,” Ali Khamenei. . . . For Khamenei, [however], the presidential election is nothing but a four-year endorsement of the Khomeinist system, a kind of referendum on the regime’s legitimacy rather than a choice of an individual president. . . .
Why Isn’t Qatar Named as a State Sponsor of Terrorism?
On Saturday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited the Gulf emirate of Qatar, home to a large and sophisticated American air base crucial for U.S. operations in the Middle East. Jonathan Schanzer hopes that Mattis exerted pressure on Qatar to crack down on the terrorist financiers who operate in its borders with impunity. And, serious as this problem is, it is not the only one:
Qatar harbors the bad guys, too. In 2015, two senior Taliban officials traveled in and out of Qatar to meet members of the notorious Taliban Five—high-level prisoners from Guantanamo Bay who were traded to Qatari custody by the Obama administration for the American prisoner Bowe Bergdahl. The Qataris facilitated the swap through the Taliban embassy they helped set up in Doha. Leaked cables show U.S. officials have long worried about how the Taliban and others may “exploit Qatar as a fundraising locale.”
There is also the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which enjoys safe haven in Qatar and also raises plenty of cash.
Outgoing leader Khaled Meshal has long operated out of Doha. The Hamas military official Saleh Arouri—suspected of masterminding the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, sparking the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel—is [also] now reportedly in Qatar after being booted from Turkey. . . .




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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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