Friday, May 31, 2013

  • Friday, May 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Arabiya:

The editor of the world’s biggest pan-Arab newspaper has hit out against Middle Eastern journalists, saying they lack objectivity and are “more politicized than you would ever imagine”.

Adel al-Toraifi, the editor-in-chief of the London-based Asharq al-Awsat, slammed media standards in the Arab world, claiming that many journalists let their personal views get in the way of the story.

“Journalists in the Middle East are political activists. They are not true journalists,” said al-Toraifi.

“Whenever you open a discussion, instead of it becoming a fact-checking debate about journalism, it somehow disintegrates into a political exchange. [It’s] the extreme siding, or the extreme manipulation… either victimization of one group or demonization of another.”

Al-Toraifi called for “more professionalism” among regional journalists.

“It’s not a problem for any journalist to have views… You can respect human rights, but you should not transform into a political-rights activist, or a lobbying person, at the expense of your own journalism and reporting,” he said.

The problem is most severe among private media channels, compared with those under government control, al-Toraifi said.

“I think some satellite [TV stations] and some newspapers in the past 10 years have done more damage than what government-sponsored media has done in the past six decades,” he said. “When it was sponsored by the government it had, somehow, some red lines. When it wasn’t sponsored [by the government] it indulged itself in demonizing schemes… You would be reading something which cannot stand in a court in Europe or America. It’s a kind of reporting which is not reporting.”

Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News, broadly agreed that some media outlets in the Arab world lack objectivity.

“We must stick to standards of ethical journalism and apply them to our practice. Many outlets talk about ethical journalism but don’t practice it… Some Lebanese TV channels are regularly highlighting figures that promote sectarianism rather than condemn it,” he said.

“I don’t think it is ethical to shed light on figures promoting sectarianism. It is perfectly acceptable for sectarianism to be discussed in an analytical manner, but not to be promoted in a way that dangerously stirs public opinion”.

Standards have declined in the wake of the Arab Spring, Ahmad added.

“Objective journalism is descending due to tightening rules on journalists, especially after the recent acceleration of events over the past five years, and the lack of clarity in attitudes,” he said. “Instead of having a social dialogue about events and incidents, most opinions are rather eliminating or eradicating each other”.
Asharq al-Awsat isn't too bad as far as Arab media go, but Gulf News has no problem printing out-and-out lies.
  • Friday, May 31, 2013
From Ian:

Latma: Europe responds to its random violence and Shimon's World of Fun!

Israel ‘the most threatened state in the world,’ says PM
Facing the threat of thousands of enemy rockets, Israel’s home front is more vulnerable than ever, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday at a meeting concluding this week’s home front drill, which tested the country’s readiness for chemical and conventional rocket attacks.
“We are deep in the era of missiles that are aimed at civilian population areas,” Netanyahu said during a meeting of the Emergency Economy Committee. “We must prepare defensively and offensively for the new era of warfare. The State of Israel is the most threatened state in the world. Around us are tens of thousands of missiles and rockets that could hit our home front.”
Muslims Combating Anti-Semitism
A small, but increasingly vocal number of Muslims are rejecting radical hate speech and combating anti-Semitism in the Muslim world. In the recent Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism held this week in Jerusalem, Palestinian Media Watch director, Itamar Marcus and Dr. Boaz Ganor organized a panel discussion with Muslim activists actively rejecting hate rhetoric.
Expert: Holocaust Denial is Prevalent and Dangerous
Holocaust denial is another form of anti-Semitism which is prevalent today and must be fought, Dr. Mario Silva told Arutz Sheva.
Dr. Silva, chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, took part in the 4th conference of the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism which was held in Jerusalem this week.
After state panel's Mohammed al-Dura report, France 2 hits back at Israeli government
France 2 TV and its correspondent Charles Enderlin are threatening to take legal action if Israel does not hand over all information collected by government panel on Palestinian boy killed in intifada.
Douglas Murray: After Woolwich, what will change?
The decapitation of a British soldier on a street in London is the latest disgusting new low in this country’s experience of Islamist terror. But everything else in the aftermath of the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby is hideously familiar. What the country has gone through since last Wednesday is the same endless turning over of clichés about terror which we have now heard for years. But one thing is clear. Nothing will be done. This country simply will not deal with the extremists. Not just because part of our political leadership does not want us to, but because those who do want to do something cannot.
Memri: Inspire Praises Woolwich Beheading As 'Vengeance'
In an article titled "The Dear Price and the Constant Turmoil", which appears in the 11th issue of Al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula's (AQAP) Inspire Magazine, a writer going by the nickname Muhammad Al-San'ani praises the perpetrators of the Woolwich attack and the Boston bombing, which he defines as vengeance for Muslims killed by Westerners. He encourages Muslims to emulate these attacks in order to drown the West in "turmoil."
Australian Islamist justifies 9/11 and terrorist attacks VIDEO
Muslim Blood More Dear than That of Western Victims
Memorial to be Unveiled for Israeli Attack Victims in Burgas
A memorial will be erected in the Bulgarian seaside town of Burgas, where a bus bombing at Sarafovo airport killed five Israeli tourists last year.
The July 18, 2012 attack, which is widely blamed on the Hizbullah terror organization, resulted in the murder of five Israelis, including a pregnant woman, a Bulgarian bus driver, and the alleged perpetrator of the attack.
Israeli scientists match Cairo Geniza fragments
A team of computer scientists and programmers in Jerusalem, working in collaboration with Tel Aviv University, says it has achieved a breakthrough in piecing together the disparate fragments of the Cairo Geniza.
Canada’s oldest synagogue celebrates 150
A grand ceremony to dedicate British Columbia’s first synagogue will be reenacted on June 2, exactly 150 years to the day following the establishment of Congregation Emanu-El in downtown Victoria, the picturesque capital of Canada’s western-most province.
‘Weeds’ star forgoes suburbia for an unrecognized stint in the desert
Just a year later, Alexander Gould, the actor who played Shane from the age of 10 through 18, was sitting in a bare bones kiosk in Yeruham, sipping a bottle of peach-flavored Fuze, his favored soft drink during the 10 months he spent living in Israel while on the Nativ College Leadership program. He was at the tail end of his stay, having spent the last four months living in the Negev desert town teaching English to local elementary school kids.
Israeli scientists develop bionic eye for people born blind
The bionic lens stimulates the corneal nerves in the eye’s external part, which are connected in the brain to areas that process sensory information.
The compressed information is transmitted, after being electrically amplified, from the minute camera by wireless technology to a bionic contact lens in the eye. The proposed lens will have some 10,000 tiny electrodes enabling cornea stimulation. “The cornea is the richest eye part in sensory nerves and has tens of thousands of sensory points to which the tiny electrodes on the lens can connect with,” says Zalevsky. (h/t Zvi)
‘Waze sale to Facebook crashes over relocation dispute’
It appears that the Facebook-Waze deal — in which the world’s largest social network would acquire the world’s most popular social mapping app for drivers — is off.
Reports on several tech websites Thursday said that talks between the two companies had broken down, apparently over the insistence by Facebook that Waze relocate its operations abroad, and Waze’s insistence that it remain in Israel, the sources said.
Your secret is safe with IBM Haifa
When your bank outsources customer service to India, how can the financial institution ensure that your data won’t fall into the wrong hands so far away from headquarters?
And what if your HMO shares files with an outside pharmaceutical research firm and inadvertently reveals your chronic illness?
Israeli-Developed ‘Earthquake Proof Table’ Added to MOMA Permanent Collection (VIDEO)
The “Earthquake Proof Table,” was a project conceived at Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. MOMA’s board recently inducted the “Earthquake Proof Table” into its permanent collection at the department of architecture and design.
Israel, Cyprus in underwater electricity cable deal
The so-called "Euro-Asia Interconnect," with a capacity to transfer 2,000 MW, is "a historic event -- no more Israel as an economic island," Israel Electric Corporation CEO Yiftach Ron Tal said at the signing.
Additional underwater cables are to connect Cyprus and mainland Europe via Greece, which was also part of the agreement signed in the Jerusalem bureau of Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau.
IDF Blog: Celebrating 65 Years of Defense

May 31st, 1948: On this day, 65 years ago, Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, founded the Israel Defense Forces. It hasn't always been easy, but over the past six and a half decades, we IDF soldiers have never wavered: looking danger in the eyes, confronting fear with bravery, and making the impossible possible. We do not take our responsibility lightly. We have the sole duty of protecting the existence of the State of Israel, and we promise to pass this sense of duty and devotion on to future generations of soldiers.
Happy Birthday, IDF
  • Friday, May 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
This is not much of an exaggeration.

Hamas "Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Ghazi Hamad, spoke at an event today to mark the third anniversary of Israel's raid on a Gaza flotilla. He seemed to be very happy that nine IHH members were killed.

Hamad said that as a result of the incident, Turkish relations with Hamas are the best they have ever been. he also said that the raid resulted in "a quantum leap for the expulsion and isolation of the Israeli occupation and Israel is more isolated than ever."

Kemal Ataturk, a former adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan who attended the ceremony, declared that "Turkey will not accept the Israeli apology, and there will be no normalization; we do not reconcile with the occupation, before lifting the siege on Gaza." He also lied when he said "The Turkish ship was a humanitarian initiative carrying aid, with the aim of ending the inhumane blockade of Gaza" - in fact, the Mavi Marmara had no aid.

An Islamic Jihad spokesman at the ceremony said that the dead Turks achieved far more than they had hoped for - for they have achieved martyrdom.

The Gaza speakers sure sound like they belong to a death cult.
  • Friday, May 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Warning: Graphic violence in this trailer.

It's unclear which side Hezbollah is on.

(h/t Tablet)
  • Friday, May 31, 2013
From Ian:

Palestinians Threaten Their Own Businessmen by Khaled Abu Toameh
Many of those responsible for the "anti-normalization" campaign are, in fact, affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction.
The campaign of intimidation against Palestinian businessmen will not only foil Kerry's plan to boost the Palestinian economy, but also scare away potential investors from launching badly needed projects in the West Bank.
The campaign has already resulted in the cancellation of scheduled meetings between Palestinian and Israeli businessmen. Once again, the biggest losers are the Palestinians.
Those who are threatening businessmen do not want to see economic prosperity in the Palestinian territories. Instead, they want Palestinians to continue living in misery and frustration in order to keep alive the fight against Israel.
Sarah Honig: Nasrallah’s harangue
For Hezbollah, Assad’s fall would spell its own. Hezbollah stands to lose everything and this is why it is fully embroiled in Syria’s civil war. Not only can Hezbollah act as Iran’s proxy but it has no option but to do its utmost to tilt the scales in Assad’s favor.
Abbas' hit parade
Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas has drawn up a list of 120 terrorists he wants Israel to release as a precondition for restarting talks The U.S. has urged Israel to consider the request But should Israel release a rogues' gallery of murderers in exchange for sitting at the negotiating table?
MEMRI: Palestinian Authority TV Salutes Hamas Terrorist Mastermind Abbas Al-Sayyed on His Birthday

Sayyed was responsible for the Netanya Park Hotel Passover bombing.

IRS May Have Targeted at Least Five Pro-Israel Nonprofits, Investigation Reveals
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), already the subject on an ongoing national scandal due to its admission of targeting conservative groups, may have also targeted at least five pro-Israel organizations in the auditing process, an investigation by the Washington Free Beacon revealed. Some of the organizations, which clashed with the Obama administration’s opposition to Israeli construction beyond the 1949 armistice lines (commonly known as the “Green Line”), allege that the administration purposefully coordinated the actions of the IRS.
Pension Fund TIAA-CREF Declines to Vote for Israel Boycott
The asset management giant, which manages $520 billion in pension funds, received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to “take no action” on a submission by the BDS activists. This followed a warning issued to the company by Shurat HaDin, an Israeli civil rights group, that passage of the resolution would violate New York and Federal law.
Will Jordan be the Next Arab State to Fall?
Bordering the attention-grabbing countries of Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Jordan is sometimes overlooked by the media and by policy experts because of its peace with Israel, its close alliance with the United States, and its relatively liberal socio-economic system. Underneath this façade of stability, however, is a country plagued by a number of economic and social issues that threaten to plunge Jordan into the chaos of the “Arab Spring” upheavals.
When Assad shells rebels, Israel goes on alert and learns
Colonel Zvika Haimovich of the air defence corps said southward launches against Syrian insurgents by President Bashar al-Assad's forces gave Israel mere seconds in which to determine it was not the true target - a distinction that could prove crucial for warding off an unprecedented regional conflagration.
Netanyahu to spend another $350 million so every Israeli has gas mask
Amid heightened tensions with Syria, PM concludes nationwide chemical defense drill by ordering ministries to equip 100% of residents with protective kits
McCain crosses paths with rebel kidnapper
U.S. Senator John McCain was photographed with a known affiliate of the rebel group responsible for the kidnapping of 11 Lebanese Shiite pilgrims one year ago, during a brief and highly publicized visit inside Syria this week.
Italian models claim they were paid for pro-Assad demo
Sixteen Italian models were allegedly hired to participate in a fake demonstration, in Rome, in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to The Times.
The pro-government sit-in took place in Rome’s Santi Apostoli square, on November 22, 2011, as the civil war in Syria was intensifying.
Russian manufacturer to sell 10 MiGs to Syria
A Russian arms manufacturer says it is signing a contract to deliver at least 10 fighter jets to Syria.
Russia: S-300s to Syria – Only in 2014
Sources in Moscow have confirmed that Syrian President Bashar Assad was bluffing when he claimed that S-300 anti-aircraft missiles had already been delivered.
The S-300s that Russia has promised Syria will be delivered only in 2014, they said.
Netanyahu Tells Putin: We’ll Destroy S-300s
Israeli PM warns Russia that weapons to Syria will not be allowed to become operational.
U.N. Investigators Say Most Syria Rebels Not Seeking Democracy
Most Syrian rebel fighters do not want democracy and the country's civil war is producing ever worse atrocities and increasing radicalization, independent U.N. investigators said on Tuesday.
State Dept. notes ‘marked resurgence’ in Iran-sponsored terror
Iran-sponsored terrorism showed a “marked resurgence” last year, the State Department said in its annual report on terrorism.
The report released Thursday named the al-Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, its ministry of intelligence and Hezbollah, its ally in Lebanon, as behind the resurgence.
Iranian Assassin Sentenced
The Iranian-American man who attempted to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador in a foiled terror plot was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday afternoon, the Drug Enforcement Agency announced.
Hungarian Jews protest naming Budapest street after anti-Semite
Amid a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Hungary, the umbrella organization of Hungarian Jews has protested the naming of a Budapest street after an anti-Semitic author.
Norway’s FM: We won’t punish the PA for terrorist salaries
Despite harsh criticism against the Palestinian Authority’s support for terrorist convicted prisoners is not applicable for Norway to cut economic aid to the Palestinians.
  • Friday, May 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Over the past couple of days the Arab media have been reporting on the discovery of mass graves of Arabs in Jaffa.

The Al Aqsa Foundation made the discovery and naturally they want the world to assume that these Arabs were killed by Jews:

Six mass grave sites dating back to the 1936 Palestinian uprising and the 1948 Nakba were discovered around the Jaffa cemetery, the al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage reported Wednesday, revealing hundreds of bodies of Palestinians killed by Zionist forces.

“During [the foundation’s] repair and maintenance work on the [Kazkhana] cemetery, we discovered nozzles to dig into the ground where we found the mass graves...including hundreds of skeletons and human remains of rebels, martyrs and civilians who perished during the Nakba,” head of the Islamic Movement in Jaffa, Sheikh Mohammed Najem, said in the report.

The foundation has proved the remains date back to the victims killed in the 1948 war, whether from bombings and shelling of residential neighborhoods or snipers located around the city, the report said.

“The Kazkhana cemetery has exposed the historical facts that Israel has tried to hide and erase for over 65 years relating to the massacres committed by Zionist gangs during the 1948 Palestinian Nakba,” it read.
Al-Monitor, however, shows that the source of the graves is not nearly as definitive as the virulently antisemitic Al Aqsa Foundation implies:
Researcher and historian Mahmoud Obeid, a Jaffa resident, told As-Safir, “We discovered six mass graves, two of which we dug up. Our estimate is that they contain around 200 bodies, with an unknown additional number in the other graves. The remains belong to people of different ages, including women, children and the elderly, some of which bear signs of violence.” But he indicated that “the bodies were buried following Muslim traditions, and were therefore probably victims of the nakba. But, in truth, we lack any other evidence [as to the nature of these deaths].”

According to Obeid, the coming days will reveal more about the victims buried in these graves. He stated that Jaffa residents await a legal decision by the religious affairs court to open the rest of the graves in order to ascertain what their contents are. He pointed out that “upon opening them, we might discover documents that would indicate the identities of those buried in the graves.”
Eghbariyeh, on the other hand, preferred not to commit to a single explanation and said, “Further documentation and in-depth research is needed to find out what the truth is about these graves. We are certain, however, that the remains belong to our ancestors killed by occupation forces.” The identity of those who buried them remains a mystery, as Eghbariyeh added, “We are not certain if all the remains were buried by our people, or if occupation forces secretly buried some of them, only to be later found out.”

Efforts are under way to uncover the true stories of the victims interred in the newly discovered mass graves. Eghbariyeh indicated that this task would take quite some time as the Al-Aqsa Association searches for Jaffa residents who lived through the nakba able of offering information pertaining to these graves and the circumstances surrounding their use.
They don't know the date of death, they don't know who killed them. All they know is that they were buried Islamically.

Instead of consulting historians or news accounts, the Al Aqsa Foundation will look for elderly residents who will recount fuzzy anti-Jewish rumors they heard when they were children. That will be all the "proof" they need.

However, far more Palestinian Arabs were killed by the British during the 1936 riots than were killed by the Jews in the War of Independence!

The history of British brutality against the Arabs of Palestine is not well known. I once excerpted an amazing paper that described the brutality in detail.

I just found another paper, this one unpublished and in draft format, but equally amazing in what it reveals.This paper specifically talks about how the British used the RAF to help quell the riots.

Some excerpts:

Brigadier Evetts, the senior Army officer, deliberately tempted the armed bands to attack convoys in order that the RAF could respond, a vigorous approach more akin to Callwell’s small wars than Gwynn’s policing.

The number of combined actions increased in July due to increasing rebel activity and better co-ordination. On 9 July a Hart answered a call to search an area. Finding four armed Arabs who then hid in a hut, the pilot informed the road patrol and pinned the men in a hut until the patrol arrived, rather than inflict a few casualties and let the gang disperse.59 On 19 July following an XX call, a Hart of 6 Squadron engaged fifteen rebels attacking a Jewish potash convoy on the Jericho-Jerusalem road. Another four aircraft joined the action, killing seven rebels, the aircraft being hit four times.60 On 29 July the Police warned of another ambush of a Jewish convoy on the same road. The first aircraft arrived within nine minutes of the XX call, and attacked and pinned the retreating enemy down, killing eleven of them. In July, 6 Squadron responded to thirteen XX calls and claimed to have inflicted thirty-seven enemy casualties, and reported a similar tempo for August and September.

The armed bands grew in number and size, reinforced by sympathizers from Syria and Iraq. The bands totalled around 1500 to 2000 full-time partisans – often ex-soldiers, criminals or adventurers not tied to one place - and could call on perhaps five-times as many locals for specific actions.

On 2 September the Cabinet decided on ‘intensive measures, designed to crush Arab resistance’. Lieutenant-General Dill was dispatched with a second division, the Army calling-up all high readiness infantry reservists, and expecting to govern under martial law.

...Large actions continued as 1st Division arrived. At Nablus on 24 September, the Royal Scots Fusiliers engaged several bands led by Fawzi. Aircraft responding to XX calls claimed forty-one out of the fifty enemy killed, firing 332 rounds from machine guns and dropping 33 bombs, with one aircraft hit in the radiator and forced to land, and Flying Officer Ramplini wounded in the wrist. The 6 Squadron Operational Record Book (ORB) records the moral effect of using large bombs on the population of Nablus but unfortunately there is no further explanation.

When the District Commissioner for Galilee was murdered in September 1937, the British response was immediate and aggressive, declaring the AHC illegal. The RAF flew six Arab leaders to exile in the Seychelles and removed the Mufti from his official posts. He fled to Damascus to form the Central Committee of Jihad. Rebel leadership fragmented, the urban effendi class being increasingly replaced by peasant terrorists who targeted fellow Arabs. Six peasant partisan commanders formed the titular Bureau of the Arab Revolt in Palestine. By October 1937 Arab armed bands established control over Samaria and Galilee.
In another large action on 3 March 1938 a XX call from a column of the Border Regiment, under heavy fire from high ground near the Jenin-Haifa road, was answered within fifteen minutes by four aircraft. The rebel band split into two, and was pursued by other columns and numerous aircraft sorties until dark. The rebels’ strength was estimated to be between 300 and 400 men. The British claimed to have killed sixty, over half by aircraft for the loss of one killed, and three wounded...Aircraft dropped forty-seven bombs and fired 5000 rounds.

[September 1938] For RAF armoured car crews [Air Commodore Harris] wrote] ‘as the civil-writ no longer runs, all the advice I can give them is that when in aid of the (non-existent) civil power, they should fire when they must and keep on firing as long as appears militarily essential’. He fitted his SSOs’ unmarked cars ‘with two Mauser sub-machine gangster-guns’ to ‘produce a terrific rate and spread of fire ahead to compete with the bandits dressed as Palestine police who now do much of the holdup work’. In that event of European war, Harris thought:

We must (and under such circumstances can) make up for a lack of numbers by using rougher methods with the rebels than we dare do in peace. One 250lb or 500lb in each village that speaks out of turn within a few minutes or hours of having so spoken; or the complete blotting out of a few selected haunts, pour encourager les autres’.

...Wingate’s SNS had more success inflicting casualties on Arab bands than Regular Army units whose ‘chances of contact with an enemy, who is an enemy one moment and a peaceful villager the next, almost negligible’, albeit using controversial techniques. Harris thought a gendarmerie made up of SNS-type groups, with the backing of air power, was the solution.Harris wanted more Gladiators:

In this regard the Glosters [Gladiators] are an outstanding success. Not only are they killing oozlebarts [Arab bands - EoZ] wholesale with their four front guns, and many more than the Hardys and Hinds in equivalent situations, but they are doing it, in my opinion, with vastly less risk to the crews. No 6 Squadron losses, compared with the total number of fighting crews, have been so heavy lately that one wishes, if it is at all possible, to provide the safest as well as the most efficient aircraft for their highly dangerous task of ground strafing.

He also thought ‘the only thing the Arab understands is the heavy hand and, sooner or later, it will have to be applied’.

...There was brutality by British soldiers and police in this period [late 1938-Jan. 1939]. The GOC’s explanation described the difficulty of combating a fragmented revolt, using intimidation and where the enemy hides amongst women and children. He defended the use of cordon and search operations, where those escaping were shot, and collective punishments when individuals could not be identified.
The British were engaged in what would certainly be considered war crimes today. And the casualty rates of some of these actions were high enough to justify mass graves. There is also no doubt that many civilians were also killed, although the papers I've seen are reluctant to go down that path.

Keep in mind also that (as this paper mentions in passing) Arabs were killing other Arabs during the revolt as well as in the months leading up to the 1948 war.

We can expect that the Al Aqsa Foundation will continue to claim that the apparent Arab victims purportedly discovered in Jaffa could only have been killed by Jews. History shows that this is far from obvious, and when this story gets into the more mainstream media, lets hope that the reporters are smart enough not to swallow the lies from an organization that routinely lies to further its agenda.

  • Friday, May 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
They are so progressive!

Iran has amended its internationally condemned law on stoning convicted adulterers to death to allow judges to impose a different form of execution, according to the revision seen by AFP on Thursday.

The controversial practice, in which stones are thrown at the partially buried offender, has provoked outcries from human rights organisations, international bodies and Western countries urging Iran to abandon it.

An article of Iran's Islamic new penal code, published earlier this week, states that, "if the possibility of carrying out the (stoning) verdict does not exist," the sentencing judge may order another form of execution pending final approval by the judiciary chief.

The article does not explain what is meant by the possibility of stoning not existing.

In Iran, executions are normally carried out by hanging.
Here's something I didn't know about stoning:
Under Iran's interpretation of Islamic Sharia law in force since its 1979 revolution, adultery is punished by the stoning of convicted adulterers.

Women are buried up to the their shoulders, but men only up to their waists. They are spared if they manage to free themselves before dying.
Well, of course, women must start at a disadvantage. After all, they are ....women.

Doesn't that sound like the ultimate reality TV show? "Escaping the Stone," with your host, Iran's biggest Western cheerleader, Juan Cole! If they answer Quran questions correctly, they can be buried in lighter materials before the stoning begins, moving from cinder blocks through sand and up to Styrofoam and confetti.
  • Friday, May 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
The 2012 Counterterrorism Report from the US State Department is a very good resource to see the big picture of what the state of world terrorism is. Here are some highlights from the specific country sections.

Iran is clearly recognized as a state sponsor of terror, and Hizballah's terror operations have accelerated:
In 2012, there was a clear resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism, through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and Tehran’s ally Hizballah, who remained a significant threat to the stability of Lebanon and the broader region. Attacks in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East were linked to the IRGC-QF or Hizballah. In fact, Hizballah’s terrorist activity has reached a tempo unseen since the 1990s with attacks plotted in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa.

...A series of terrorist attacks and foiled plots against Israeli interests abroad that began in 2011 continued in 2012. Though most of these plots were disrupted, a July 18 suicide attack against Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, killed five Israeli citizens and one Bulgarian and injured dozens, and a February 13 attack in New Delhi injured the wife of an Israeli Ministry of Defense employee. Terrorist plots were also uncovered against Israeli targets in Thailand, Azerbaijan, and Cyprus, and an attack was foiled in Georgia. Israeli officials publicly linked many of these plots and attacks to Hizballah and its Iranian sponsors. [On February 5, 2013, the Bulgarian government publically implicated Hizballah in the July 2012 Burgas bombing that killed five Israelis and one Bulgarian citizen, and injured 32 others. On March 21, 2013, a Cyprus court found a Hizballah operative guilty of charges stemming from his surveillance activities, carried out in 2012, of Israeli tourist targets, while Thailand was prosecuting a Hizballah member for his role in helping plan a possible terrorist attack in that country.]

...Hizballah-linked incidents [in Israel] included:

• According to the ISA, in early June, Hizballah smuggled 20 kilograms of C-4 explosive and an IED detonation system into Israel from Lebanon, using a network of narcotics dealers. Weapons were also seized as part of a joint ISA-Israel National Police operation that exposed the scheme. Twelve suspects were detained and questioned, and charges were filed against eight.

• On October 6, the IAF shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that entered Israeli airspace, and the IDF posted a video clip of the interception online. According to press, Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, in televised remarks on October 11, acknowledged that the group had sent the drone, and claimed its parts were manufactured in Iran and assembled by Hizballah in Lebanon.

...Hizballah, with deep roots among Lebanon’s Shia community and significant backing from the Iranian government, remained the most dangerous and prominent terrorist group in Lebanon.
Israel's efforts to combat terrorism are praised:
Israel continued to be a stalwart counterterrorism partner in 2012. It faced continued terrorist threats from Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), particularly from Gaza but also from the West Bank; and from Hizballah in Lebanon. Fourteen Israelis were killed as a result of terrorist attacks in 2012. Gaza-based Palestinian terrorist organizations continued rocket and mortar attacks into Israeli territory, and multiple terrorist attacks were launched along the Gaza security fence as well as the Israel-Egypt border. Gaza also remained a base of operations for several violent Islamist extremist splinter groups. The Government of Israel responded to these threats with operations directed at terrorist leaders, infrastructure, and activities such as rocket launching, most notably in Operation Pillar of Defense during the November 14-21 Gaza conflict.

A Hamas and PIJ-linked terrorist cell based in the West Bank also carried out a bombing on a Tel Aviv city bus, the first such attack in years, and Israel faced a wave of plots and attacks against its interests abroad that Israeli officials linked to Iran and Hizballah. Arms smuggling continued from Iran through Egypt into Gaza to Palestinian terrorist organizations. Israeli officials also continued to be concerned about the smuggling of weapons from Libya via Sudan into Gaza.
The State Department praises the PA's efforts to keep things calm, noting that there were no fatal terror attacks from the West Bank in 2012, the first time that has happened in many years. Unfortunately, it ignores the hundreds of Molotov cocktails being hurled at Jews in the West Bank, except in quoting Israeli statistics; it does not classify these as terrorist incidents on its own.

Also, very important sentences are buried:
. Limitations on PA counterterrorism efforts in the West Bank included restrictions on the movement and activities of PASF in and through areas of the West Bank for which the Israeli government retained responsibility for security under the terms of Oslo-era agreements. The limited capacity of the PA’s civilian criminal justice system also hampered PA counterterrorism efforts.
It would seem obvious that security in areas under Israeli military control is better than in Area A, but the report highlights it as if it is a problem for counterterrorism - and then barely notes that the PA's justice system remains severely underdeveloped, 20 years after Oslo.

The worst paragraph in the Israel/West Bank-Gaza section is undoubtedly this one:
According to the PA’s Palestinian Broadcasting Company’s code of conduct, no programming is allowed that encourages “violence against any person or institution on the basis of race, religion, political beliefs, or sex.” The PA continued its efforts to monitor and control the content of Friday sermons delivered in over 1,800 West Bank mosques to ensure that they do not endorse or incite violence. The PA’s ability to enforce these guidelines varies depending upon its location, and it has limited authority to control the context of sermons in Israeli-controlled Area C.
It seems unfathomable that the State Department does not challenge the PBC's assertions with the scores of examples of antisemitic and anti-Israel incitement, and praise for terror, uncovered by Palestinian Media Watch, not to mention incitement in newspapers, schools and other venues. The last sentence is ridiculous, as over 95% of Palestinian Muslims live in areas A or B, meaning that focusing on incitement in sermons in Area C - if it even exists - is nothing more than a backhanded way to criticize Israel's presence in Judaism's traditional homeland (as was the earlier sentence about the PASF.)

While this clear attempt to exaggerate the PA's counterterrorism efforts is problematic, there is a lot of very useful information in this report, and its sections on Gaza and Hamas, including weapons smuggling and terror attacks, are quite accurate.

(h/t Gidon Shaviv)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From BBC:
An armoury belonging to the Lebanese group Hezbollah has been discovered in northern
Nigeria, the West African nation's army and spy agency has said.

Three Lebanese nationals have been arrested, an army spokesman, Brig Gen Ilyasu Isa Abba, said.

The cache, including rifles, anti-tank weapons and an RPG, were found in a warehouse in the city of Kano, he said.

Nigeria's State Security Service said they were intended for use against "Israeli and Western interests".

"This is the handwork of Hezbollah," Bassey Ettang, director of the State Security Service in Kano said.

"What has just been discovered is a cell of Hezbollah and what you have seen here is a Hezbollah armoury," he told journalists in Kano on Thursday.

Brig Gen Ilyasu Isa Abba said 11 anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank mines, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and 21 RPG missiles, 17 AK-47s, two sub-machine guns and 76 grenades had been amongst the weapons found.

The Lebanese owner of the warehouse where "the weapons of mass destruction" had been stored in sawdust was out of the country, he said.
Which makes one wonder - how much more proof does any country need to declare Hizballah a terror organization?
  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
From Ian:

Elad Daniel Pereg: Message to Iran

In 2010 Daniel walked in front of an anti-Israel mob in LA with an Israeli flag.

WSJ: Curious IRS Timing
Why the special scrutiny for pro-Israel groups? A New York Times article in July 2010 provided a clue: Tax-exempt groups were donating to West Bank settlers, and State Department officials wanted the settlers out. "As the American government seeks to end the four-decade Jewish settlement enterprise and foster a Palestinian state in the West Bank," the Times wrote, "the American Treasury helps sustain the settlements through tax breaks on donations to support them."
Did the T-men take their political cues from such stories, or did Administration officials give them orders? Either explanation would be a violation of public trust.
Did the Palestinians Ask Obama to Target Pro-Israeli 501(c)(3)s?
Let me provide another possible clue, found in the June 16, 2009 minutes of the Palestinian negotiating unit headed by Saeb Erekat–part of the Palestine Papers published by Al Jazeera in 2011.
Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed made an additional suggestion to Erekat:
“We should also focus on the government incentives to settlers: loans without interest, land for free, agricultural subsidies in the Jordan valley. We can’t stop a pregnant lady from having a baby, but look at what we can do. We should look at the 501(c)(3) organizations in the States that make donations to settlers. Let the US administration investigate this.”
.US Treasury Openly Fighting Settlements, Pro-Israel Groups (Video)
You'll get a better treatment if you're associated with Hamas than with right-wing issues in Israel.
Alice Walker, Roger Waters urge Alicia Keys to cancel TLV gig
In an open letter posted online, Walker wrote that Keys was putting herself in “soul danger” by performing in “an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists. You were not born when we, your elders who love you, boycotted institutions in the US South to end an American apartheid less lethal than Israel’s against the Palestinian people.”
United Church of Canada boycotts Israeli companies
Canada’s largest Protestant church targeted three Israeli companies with operations in Jewish settlements for economic sanctions and boycott.
Last week, the United Church of Canada’s governing General Council approved the start of a boycott campaign, encouraging “economic action” against Keter Plastic, SodaStream and Ahava.
Guardian Letters: Desmond Tutu and the call for a Uefa boycott of Israel
Firstly, the reason Israel plays in European football tournaments is that, long before the 1967 war and the subsequent "occupation", Arab and some Asian countries refused to play Israel at any level. Secondly, if countries were stopped from hosting tournaments because of their human rights records, we'd probably have to hold the World Cup etc in Luxembourg every four years!
Lastly, the games played in Israel will be played in front of crowds unhindered by restrictions on race or gender, unlike the United Nations-sponsored Gaza marathon, which was cancelled due to the fact women were banned from running with men. The World Cup after next is in Russia which, last weekend, saw the arrest of dozens of gay rights activists in Moscow. I don't see any "show Russia the red card" protests.
Dreyfus Prison Letter Sells for $492,000 at Paris Auction
A letter by Alfred Dreyfus in which the French Jewish army captain wrongly accused of treason over a century ago protests his sentence sold for 380,000 euros ($492,000) at an auction in Paris Wednesday, the AFP news agency reported.
Newly Discovered Prisoner Journal Donated to Auschwitz
The Auschwitz-Birkenau museum said on Wednesday it had acquired a newly discovered journal written and illustrated by Polish prisoners of the Nazi German death camp in southern Poland.
The three inmates' hand-made memoirs, which include poems and pen-and-ink and watercolour drawings of gas chambers and a hanging, were donated by the widow of a US war veteran, museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel told AFP.
Israeli Company Mobileye Commercializing Automatic Driving Software
Israeli company Mobileye Vision Technologies Ltd. has unveiled a car that navigates itself without human driving using camera-based software. New York Times technology reporter John Markoff tested out the self-driving car on a drive from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea, Globes reported.
Florida hospital installs EarlySense to advance health care
Hospital Tampa is the latest US health center to adopt the Israeli-made technology that helps avoid adverse patient events.
Israeli firm, protector of 1.75 billion mobile devices, honoured
Established in 1999, Red Bend has become the go to provider of FOTA (Firmware Over the Air) updates for phones and devices made by manufacturers like Kyocera, LG Electronics, Motorola, Sharp, Sony Ericsson and ZTE. Currently, Red Bend’s technology is used by more than 80 mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and semiconductor vendors, and is present on more than 1.75 billion devices.
The Indian-Israeli olive agribusiness experiment
Over the last five years, Indian farmers have joined hands with Israeli agribusiness to produce a crop that the majority on the subcontinent have only seen in books and films: fresh, green olives.
Hot fuss as Killers head to Israel
The American pop rock band The Killers is planning to stop in Israel in October as part of its up-coming world tour, Channel 2 reported on Monday.
The band, headed by vocalist and keyboard player Brandon Flowers, will be making its first visit to Israel.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Or, perhaps, a snake playing with its food....

This video is going around...I see it in some Arabic sites and now was picked up in Walla:

(h/t Gidon Shaviv)

  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ya Libnan:
Lebanese Hezbollah militant group has ordered its former ally the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas out of Lebanon effective immediately and within hours , the Middle East Online news agency reported on Thursday.

The move, the report says, is due to Hamas support for the opposition forces fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. Both Hezbollah and Syria are allies of Iran, which provides the two with financial and military support.
Hamas representative in Lebanon Ali Baraka denied the report to Lebanese paper Aliwaa, saying Hezbollah officials in Lebanon were surprised by the report.

But media sources close to the Palestinian national liberation movement Fatah in Lebanon said a Hezbollah senior security official informed Baraka, that all of those related to Hamas on the Lebanese territory have become unwelcome.

Times of London reported last month that Hamas’ military unit has broken ties with Assad, and has begun training members of the opposition’s Free Syrian Army in Damascus.

Meanwhile, from MEMRI:

In other related news:
Gulf Arab states will consider placing Hizbullah, which is openly involved in the Syrian conflict, on its terror list, al-Rai daily quoted highly placed diplomats on Thursday as saying.

Bahrain will ask foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss "placing Hizbullah on the terror list" at a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, the newspaper said.

Bahrain currently holds the GCC's rotating presidency.

The paper did not say whether this referred to the party as a whole or just its military wing, whose men are fighting alongside government troops in a fierce battle to retake the Syrian town of Qusayr from rebels.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
From Ian:

Ya'alon, let IDF win
In light of his past and his principles, it is hard to believe Ya'alon will continue to favor the State of Israel's photogenic and diplomatic needs over the need for deterrence. This deterrence is eroding at a frightening pace.
The restraint policy of the past few months has not convinced the Palestinians to stop. It convinced them to carry on. Stone-throwing incidents have steadily increased, and on YouTube more and more videos are being posted showing IDF soldiers fleeing. This also increases the Palestinians' motivation to continue with their violent ways. If any member of the General Staff believes that running away will spare us a third intifada, he should think again.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Terrorist who killed 38 Israelis appointed PA adviser
Hussein Fayyad, one of the commanders of the terror group that carried out the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, revealed on Tuesday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had appointed him as one of his advisers.
The attack, which led to the killing of 38 Israeli civilians, including 13 children, was planned and carried out by Abbas’s Fatah faction.
PMW: International Red Cross does not prohibit use of its money for terror glorification
However, not only did ICRC not condemn the Palestinian Red Crescent's glorification of terrorists in the ceremony, it chose to justify the use of ICRC money by the Palestinian Red Crescent. The ICRC issued a statement defending their right to use donor money any way they choose, even though the issue being raised was the use of ICRC money for terror glorification:
Libel on PA TV: Israel spreads drugs to destroy the minds of Palestinian youth

BBC’s Yolande Knell goes campaigning
Knell devotes a considerable portion of her written article to the subject of the Israeli Absentee Property Law. Significantly – especially in this case – she makes no effort to inform readers of the fact that during the 19 year Jordanian occupation of Judea, Samaria and parts of Jerusalem (the later annexation of which was not recognized by the international community), there existed a body called the Jordanian Custodian of Enemy Property which was established to handle property seized from Jews during the War of Independence.
Hezbollah Turning Southern Lebanon Homes and Villages Into Military Installations
Hezbollah is attempting to move advanced weapons into civilian areas in Lebanon in preparation for another conflict with Israel. The Iran-backed terror group has an extensive, video-documented history of exploiting Lebanese civilians, and during its 2006 war with Israel successfully created incidents in which human shields were endangered and killed.
Assad: S-300 Missiles Already Here
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that despite the portrayal by the media of a deal for advanced missiles to be purchased from Russia as a future event, the fact is that Syria has already begun acquiring the S-300 missile system from Moscow.
Our Syrian Aid Recipients: Radical Wahhabis Bulldoze Historic Mausoleum of Prophet Abraham
"From May 16, 2013: A radical Wahhabi group affiliated with al-Qaeda's Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) is seen surrounding and then destroying with a bulldozer a historic mausoleum or shrine visited by pilgrims for the prophet Abraham, who supposedly spent some time with his wife Sarah in the town of Ayn al-Arous where the shrine was built. Ayn al-Arous is located south of Tal Abyad in the Raqqa province in northern Syria.
Argentinian prosecutor alleges extensive Iranian terror activity in South America
The Argentinian prosecutor in charge of investigating the bombing at the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, has accused Iran of infiltrating several South American countries and building intelligence stations from which terrorist attacks could be planned and carried out.
U.S., Israeli Generals Paint Picture of What Strike on Iran Might Look Like
What would a strike on Iran by the U.S. and/or Israel look like? The question has been posed countless times, but perhaps few have the insight of retired US Gen. James Cartwright and Israeli Maj.Gen. Amos Yadlin, who in a recent article in The Atlantic try to imagine how an attack on Iran would play out.
Canada bans nearly all Iranian imports
Pressure on Tehran continues to mount as it was announced today that Canada is set to ban nearly all exports to, and imports from Iran.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said today that Canada has grave concerns over Iran's nuclear program and will add another 30 individuals and 82 entities to an economic blacklist.
Iran hauls off Christian pastor, shuts down church in new sweep
Government agents shut down Iran’s largest Persian-language Pentecostal church Monday, just one week after one of its pastors was arrested and hauled away midway through a worship service.
Free Saeed Abedini
What is Abedini’s crime? Did he butcher an Iranian soldier on a street corner in Tehran? Did he explode a bomb in a crowd of bystanders or on a Tehran bus? Was he arrested for conspiring to commit some atrocity against innocent civilians?
No, Abedini’s crime is his advocacy of Christianity in Iran. This is compounded by his conversion from Islam in 2000.
100,000 Christians killed each year due to faith
The Vatican has announced that around 100,000 Christians are killed each year due to their faith, in a worrying trend affected the Middle East and Africa
Troubling 'Nakba day' speech in South Africa
Hendricks (president of the Muslim Judicial Council of Cape Town) then ventures to make the outrageous statement that, “Prior to 1929, there was absolutely no evidence of the Wailing Wall.” He then proceeds to say that “The Buraq Wall is an integral part of Masjidul-Aqsa. If any Muslim believes it is an exercise of interfaith or to recognize that the Jewish people have a right to be in front of the Wailing Wall, then it is a sign of extreme arrogance and ignorance.”
Saudi self-help writer urges men to molest women in the workplace
Saudi writer Abdullah Mohammed Al Dawood has urged his 97,000 Twitter followers to molest women hired to work as cashiers in big grocery stores in an attempt to "encourage" women to stay at home.
Al Dawood, who tweeted in Arabic using a hastag that translates as "#HarassFemaleCashiers, writes "self-help books" including one called "The Joy of Talking". He comments have stoked fierce debate this week as he implied that sexually harassing women in the workplace would help protect their chastity.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
As you are no doubt aware by now, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published an obscenely anti-semitic cartoon to protest circumcision. Here is my translation:

As JPost describes it:
It showed police officers looking on as a bearded man wearing a black hat and black coat sticks a three-tooth pitchfork into the head of a blood-soaked baby while holding a book.

Another unseen person cuts off the baby’s foot with a bolt cutter as a woman in a long-sleeve shirt and a hat shows the officers another blood-spattered book and tells them: “Abuse? No, this tradition is central to our belief.” The police officers apologize “for interrupting.”
The cartoonist, Tomas Drefvelin, emailed to a Jewish organization that he had no anti-Jewish intentions:
The strip is not meant as a criticism of either a specific religion or a nation.

The cartoon is intended as a general criticism of religions (all of them) the opportunity to wriggle away from what I perceive as the abuse of children (and also the oppression of women etc, if one takes the point of the strip), by referring to faith and tradition.
I gave the people in the picture hats, and the man a beard, because this gives them a more religious character. (Many religions have a penchant for hats and beard, it appears.)

This is a classic example of people reading more into a drawing than what it actually there. I have deliberately refrained from naming any holy book and the fork, perceived as a Devil Fork, is actually just a fork.

Jew-hatred is reprehensible. It would never occur to me to draw a strip to create hatred of a people, or against individuals. Let me repeat: My criticism of religion in general, not anything else.
Dagbladet echoed Drefvelin's defense, claiming that it is as liberal as possible and therefore completely against antisemitism. They also add that it is not obvious that the baby in the cartoon is a boy.

Let's see if this argument holds water.

Two major religions mandate circumcision: Judaism and Islam.

Only Jews routinely circumcise boys when they are infants. (Some Muslims will have doctors circumcise boys in the hospital soon after birth, but not in their homes.)

Only religious Jews are associated with black hats and beards.

Muslim circumcision, and female genital mutilation when practiced,  is not a ceremony with prepared texts from prayer books.

There are only about 1300 Jews in Norway, while there are over 100,000 Muslims.

Despite his protestations, Drefvelin is clearly aiming this cartoon at the minuscule Jewish population of Norway, not the growing Muslim population.

Whether consciously or not, it seems far more likely that Drefvelin (and Dagbladet) know that they can attack Judaism without worrying about being the target of death threats - or any worries about actually being murdered.

Also, Muslims often complain about "defamation of religion." Here is a textbook example of exactly that. Yet I cannot find a single Muslim organization condemning this cartoon.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Time reported at the World Economic Forum a few days ago:
If politicians remain in their corners, business leaders are stepping up — both to pressure elected leaders to re-engage in talks and to help invigorate a West Bank economy currently overwhelmingly dependent on foreign aid, perhaps in hopes of buying time for the political process.

A group of 300 Israeli and Palestinian business leaders announced a “Breaking the impasse” public-relations campaign intended to assure reluctant political leaders that a constituency exists for taking risks for peace. “We want to provide the politicians with the feeling that the biggest part of Israel is supporting negotiations,” said Yossi Vardi, an Israeli businessman who made a fortune in hi-tech. “The biggest risk is we begin to treat the conflict like a chronic disease, that it’s something that cannot be solved.”

Vardi was joined on the podium by Munib al-Masri, a West Bank tycoon whose published net worth is $1.6 billion. “From 1999 til now we haven’t moved,” al-Masri said. “We want to move.”

Kerry added American business leaders to the mix. Without naming names or venturing into detail, the diplomat described the broad outlines of an economic project that he said has been taking shape over the past six weeks on the West Bank, “a groundbreaking plan for the Palestinian economy” that he called “bigger, bolder and more ambitious than anything since Oslo 20 years ago.” 
Kerry called the economic plan “more transformative than incremental, and different than anything we have tried before.” Kerry said the hope is “to mobilize $4 billion of investment” in the West Bank, in tourism, construction, light manufacturing, building materials and information technology, among other fields. “The preliminary results,” he said, “are stunning.” Without elaborating on the makeup of the expert “teams” he said were assembling the plans, Kerry said they estimate the GDP of the West Bank could be increased by 50% in three years and unemployment cut by two-thirds. Tourism could triple, he said, and construction could add 100,000 jobs.
Who could possibly be against such an initiative?

Oh, right - the beneficiaries.

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad blasted the plan and the Palestinian Arab businessmen who support it, saying that it is simply a version of Netanyahu's "economic peace" plan and therefore should be rejected, as it would "have a negative impact on the Palestinian reality."

Another group of prominent Palestinian Arabs issued a statement calling for the "Palestinian people to reject this new attempt to deny our inalienable rights, first and foremost [the rights of] return and self-determination, against the billions of promised dollars. The biggest beneficiary would be the Occupying Power, which controls our economy and our trade. In the second place it will benefit a small handful of Palestinian capitalists who put profits above all that is ethical and nationalist, [instead they] accept the extension of the Zionist economy."

Of course, nowhere was this initiative linked to any other. But many Arabs believe fervently that if Israel benefits from anything, Arabs must be the losers - the zero-sum mentality that underlies so much thinking and that Westerners simply cannot understand.

However, the underlying theme that is absolutely consistent through decades of Jewish-Arab interaction is that the ultimate goal is to uproot the Jewish state from the Middle East, whether through war, through "peace agreements" where the Arab side gives up nothing concrete, through lawfare or through fake appeals to Western values like human rights that are utterly ignored in the Arab world. Any plan that results in Israel being perceived as more permanent will always be rejected by the Arabs, no matter how "moderate."

The West simply doesn't get it, because such a mindset is so alien to us. But for any real progress to be made, anyone who truly wants peace needs to acknowledge and work with how the other side really thinks, not how we all wish they think.
  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
A number of Arab newspapers are reporting that members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan are buying large plots of land in the Jordan Valley, acting as middlemen for Hamas ownership of the land.

Is Hamas preparing for a possible fall of Jordan's government, so they could be positioned to attack Israel with rockets from the east?

Or are they trying to have another front ready in case of another Fatah-Hamas civil war?

Their map of "Palestine" in their logo doesn't include the parts of Palestine outside the British Mandate, so it doesn't appear that they are trying to try to acquire Palestinian land in Jordan.

  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Masry al Youm:

Salafi MPs made controversial statements during a Shura Council session Tuesday. The Shura Council is currently the sole legislative body in Egypt after the dissolution of the People’s Assembly in June.

An MP of the Salafi-oriented Nour Party called for banning ballet in Egypt, describing it as “the art of nudes,” while another MP from the Salafi-oriented Asala Party suggested disbanding the National Council for Women (NCW).

Nour Party member Gamal Hamed said yesterday that ballet performances at the Opera House spread immorality and obscenity to the people.

Hamed’s comments came during a meeting of the Shura Council's Culture, Information and Tourism Committee, in which the budget for the Opera House for the new fiscal year was being discussed.

Hamed clarified that he is not against the arts in general, but that he opposes "nudity" in the name of art or under the banner of cultural slogans.
I'm sure that a compromise can be reached, and Egypt will open the world's best Burqa Ballet:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
It's been a while since I had an open thread, and I'm too busy today to post much more, it is.

If it would be covered in batter and cut into tiny pieces, it could be a shredded threaded breaded dreaded thread.

  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013
From Ian:

Another scandalous session of the UNHRC By Anne Bayefsky
It is opening week of another session of the UN’s top human rights body, the UN Human Rights Council, and anti-Semitism will once again be promoted around the globe via an organization built on the ashes of the Jewish people and sworn to hatred’s eradication.
Fighting anti-Semitism with subtlety - and vision
Analyzing this soft anti-Semitism, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the former US ambassador to the UN and New York’s liberal Democratic Senator for 24 years, lamented decades ago that “anti-Semitism has become a unifying global ideology of the totalitarian Left. An intense propaganda campaign, begun in the Soviet Union in the 1970s... was designed to undermine the legitimacy of the State of Israel by explicitly compar[ing] Zionism to Nazism.”
PM lashes out at ‘anti-Semitic’ Israel critics
“What is fashionable today is to say: ‘Well, I don’t hate Jews – I just don’t think they should have a state’ or, effectively, that their state is an illegitimate one that doesn’t have a right to exist,” said Netanyahu, asserting that to deny the Jewish people’s right to a state was anti-Semitic.
France arrests six in connection to Toulouse shooting
French police on Tuesday arrested six men suspected of being accomplices of Islamist terrorist Mohammed Merah.
Four of the suspects were arrested in Toulouse, where last March the 23-year-old radical shot and killed a rabbi and three Jewish children outside their school, just days after killing three French soldiers
French university slammed for play featuring Goldberg, the greedy money dealer
She was reacting to a statement by Richard Prasquier, former president of the CRIF umbrella organization of French Jewish communities, who said a theater play entitled “Your Children’s Role in the Global Economic Recovery” was “grossly anti-Semitic.”
“How else would one describe a play in which a greedy money dealer called Goldberg presses a family to invest their life savings in repugnant causes,” Prasquier wrote. He added that the play included a reference to two Nazi-hunters named “Cohen 1 and Cohen 2,” who abandon their cause for cash.
Robert De Niro to visit Israel in June
Robert De Niro, considered one of the greatest American actors of all times, will arrive in Israel next month to attend the Israeli Presidential Conference and take part in President Shimon Peres' 90th birthday celebrations, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned.
Anything’s possible
Yityish “Titi” Aynaw was crowned this year as the first Ethiopian-born Miss Israel.
She was also picked by The Jerusalem Post last week as one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world. Aynaw joins a list that includes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the US Treasury Secretary, the founder of Google, and supermodel Bar Rafaeli. The fact that Aynaw appears on this list is proof that immigrants are successfully integrating into Israeli society.
University of Haifa to mark Christian, Arab holidays
The University of Haifa will become the first Israeli university to give days off to the student body for Christian and Arab holidays.
The university senate voted Sunday to give off for Christmas; Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan; and Eid al-Adha, the Druze Feast of the Sacrifice, Haaretz reported. A special committee with student representation had recommended the action.
Righteous Gentile Honored Following Work of Kansas Teens
A walkway in Warsaw has been named in honor of a Polish woman who is credited with saving 2,5000 Jewish children during the Holocaust, after students in Kansas succeeded in bringing the story of the righteous gentile to the attention of Polish officials.
Jewish Writer Howard Jacobson Presented with a Pig at Literary Festival (VIDEO)
Jacobson, who is British, was presented with a pet pig at the Telegraph Hay Festival as part of his winnings for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction.
Speaking to a reporter, Jacobson said that as a Jew, he took no umbrage with the Festival’s choice of gift.
Top 12 new fruit and vegetables species developed in Israel
Since the first half of the 20th century, Israeli agricultural wizards have been partnering with Mother Nature to bring new fruit and vegetable varieties to the global market, from vividly colored squash to seedless peppers.
Every year, Israel exports more than $2 billion worth of produce – tomatoes are its fourth-largest commodity — and is among the world’s top developers of better-looking, better-tasting, disease-resistant and more nutritious varieties.
Qatar seeking to bolster trade ties with Israel
Coming to promote high-tech cooperation, Prince Khalifa Al-Thani’s upcoming visit will mark the first official stopover in Israel by Qatar royalty.
Controlling Emergency Relief from the Sheltered War Room
However, there is another side to air raid drills, and that is a practice session for the emergency services that would be needed in case the drills turned into reality.
Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel's national emergency rescue service, relied upon for ambulance and cardiac emergency needs, took the opportunity to practice their war routines very seriously. Arutz Sheva went to MDA's sheltered war emergency control room to see how the preparation for response to ABC - atomic, biological and chemical - attacks is organized.
IDF Blog: IDF Soldiers Assist Palestinian Farmers

Israel Daily Picture: Journal Article Abstract: The Zionist Message Hidden within Antique Pictures of the Holy Land
A 110-year-old trove of pictures taken by the Christian photographers of the American Colony in Jerusalem provides dramatic proof of thriving Jewish communities in Palestine.
Hundreds of pictures show the ancient Jewish community of Jerusalem’s Old City and the Jewish pioneers and builders of new towns and settlements in the Galilee and along the Mediterranean coastline. The American Colony photographers recorded Jewish holy sites, holiday scenes and customs, and they had a special reason for focusing their lenses on Yemenite Jews.
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
I found this report from Iran's PressTV to be amusing:
Tunisians have held a demonstration in the capital, Tunis, in protest against the presence of foreign-backed militants in Syria, Press TV reports.

Politicians, students and human rights activists as well as the family members of young men recruited by foreign-sponsored armed groups in Syria gathered in front of the foreign affairs ministry building to voice support for Damascus.

The protesters slammed foreign countries for “interfering” in Syria’s internal affairs.

“Qatar is the base for this Zionist project. It is financing terrorists while Saudi Arabia is arming them. They are killing innocent civilians in order to empower Israel and its allies,” a protester said.

The demonstrators also called for the resumption of diplomatic ties between Tunisia and Syria.

“The Zionist imperialistic project is clear. Israel and its allies want to divide the Muslim world and to occupy Syria, but this scenario will never happen. We call for the return of the Syrian ambassador to Tunisia,” the Popular Committee to Support Syria’s Khadija Belhaj said.

Another demonstrator asked the Syrian government to release his mentally-retarded son who was recruited by militants in the Arab country.

Demonstrators also expressed their support for resistance against Israel.

Iran, Hezbollah, and Syria are the last line of resistance against the Zionist enemies. Israeli conspiracy will not break the will of freedom fighters…,” Tunisian scholar Mohamed Abdel Adhim said.
Those Qatari and Saudi Zionists strike again!

It is telling that Iran's major rhetorical weapon is still using anti-Israel feeling, clueless that most Arabs have higher priorities nowadays.

Notice also that Hamas is off Iran's list of "resistance" to Israel. It is only a matter of time before they are considered Zionist as well.

Assabeel and other Arabic media are reporting that a wealthy Saudi businessman has offered $10 million to anyone who killed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Abdullah Mohammed Al Anzi, who is a supporter and financier of the Syrian rebels, has already reportedly donated some 30 million Saudi rials to the rebels. The reports say that Anzi offered the bounty for Nasrallah's head, and will even pay up if the killer is a Shiite.

I don't know if he would pay the IDF for assassinating Nasrallah. Some things are beyond the pale, after all.

  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013
From Ian:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: The Problem of Muslim Leadership
I've seen this before. A Muslim terrorist slays a non-Muslim citizen in the West, and representatives of the Muslim community rush to dissociate themselves and their faith from the horror. After British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death last week in Woolwich in south London, Julie Siddiqi, representing the Islamic Society of Britain, quickly stepped before the microphones to attest that all good Muslims were "sickened" by the attack, "just like everyone else."
This happens every time. Muslim men wearing suits and ties, or women wearing stylish headscarves, are sent out to reassure the world that these attacks have no place in real Islam, that they are aberrations and corruptions of the true faith.
Dutch school stalls Shoah memorial to avoid vandalism
Last week, the De Telegraaf daily reported that the school dropped the plan following objections by local residents who said a Holocaust plaque might not be acceptable to some members of Schilderswijk’s sizable Muslim population, but Brasjen said he was not aware of such objections.
Barry Rubin: Can the U.S. Government Buy Moderation in the Middle East? No!
Can the Obama Administration turn radicals into moderates with money?
Way back in 1979, shortly after the Iranian revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini said that people in the West didn't understand revolutionary Islamism. "They think," he explained, "the revolution is all about the price of watermelons. It isn't." In other words, this is an ideological cause not a money-making attempt where people can be bribed.
Netanyahu: We Anticipate a Deterioration
Israel is gearing up for a deterioration in the regional situation, with a growing number of new threats facing the Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, the AFP news agency reports.
Netanyahu made the comments as he watched an exercise simulating the response to a chemical attack on a residential neighborhood in Jerusalem as part of an annual civil defense drill.
92nd St. Y to Embrace Another Israel Hater: Alice Walker
In addition to lots of other anti-Israel activity, Alice Walker was front and center with Roger Waters as the two of them attempted to block Carnegie Hall from hosting the Israeli Philharmonic in October, 2012. Now Alice Walker is scheduled to appear at the 92nd Street Y on Thursday, May 30.
Guardian provides PR for failing BDS campaign against EU football championship in Israel
Whilst this campaign, like so many other abysmal attempts to isolate Israel by the anti-Zionist left, will certainly fail, it’s important to contextualize BDS in all of its manifestations as the political derivative of various Arab (and Soviet) led boycotts which have been used for many decades as weapons in the war against Israel. In its modern incarnation BDS represents the main component of the “Durban strategy” – adopted by the NGO Forum of the UN’s Durban Conference (2001) – adopted by pro-Palestinian groups to completely isolate Israel by promoting economic, academic, cultural and even (as in this case) sporting boycotts of Israel.
CAMERA: Financial Times Fantasy Air Strikes in Ramallah
You don't need to live in Ramallah, or travel weekly to Gaza, Hebron, Nablus and Jerusalem, to know that there have been no air strikes in Ramallah -- random or otherwise -- in something like 10 years. And with all due respect to Hill, his "good perspective" does not stretch back that far. According to the article, he and his wife arrived in Israel in May 2012, moved on to Ramallah sometime later. A photo caption at the top of the article (see screen capture below) repeats the false claim that there are air strikes in Ramallah.
3-Year-Old Critically Wounded in Rock Attack Released from Hospital
Three-year-old Adelle Biton of the West Bank Jewish community of Yakir, who was critically wounded in an Arab rock attack two-and-a-half months ago near the city of Ariel, was released from Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikva on Sunday, Israel International News reported. According to the report, her life is no longer in danger, though she is only partially conscious.
Abbas’ Adviser Calls Israel-PA High-Tech Meeting ‘Unacceptable’
The adviser, Sabri Saydam, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency that Palestinian Authority companies should reconsider their participation and “give priority to Palestinian interests.”
He added that the companies should not act independently of the PA union of high-tech firms.
What could be wrong about Israeli and PA high-tech companies talking to each other, especially since officials from 11 high-tech companies, including Microsoft and Cisco, are to attend?
Hamas to Abbas: ‘Abducting soldiers is at the heart of our culture’
The kidnapping of IDF soldiers is at the heart of Palestinian culture, a military Hamas spokesman said on Tuesday, responding to a speech by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas called such abductions alien to Palestinian norms.
Report: Obama Asks for Plan for No-Fly Zone Over Syria
The White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast on Tuesday.
Report: 'Solid Proof' of Assad's Chemical Weapons Use
Reporters working with the French paper Le Monde may have solid proof that chemical weapons were used in Syria. The reporters spent several weeks with rebels on the front lines of Syria’s bloody civil war, and returned with samples of weapons used by President Bashar Assad’s army.
Syrian rebels near Israel border stole UN’s armored trucks
A Syrian rebel group that twice abducted United Nations peacekeepers near the Israeli border in the past three months stole several UN vehicles, a UN Peacekeeping spokesperson acknowledged to The Times of Israel — including at least two sophisticated armored personnel carriers.
An Israeli expert warned that the sophisticated UN-marked vehicles could be used in surprise border attacks on IDF targets.
BBC trumpets Hizballah narrative of ‘resistance’
The move by EU countries to finally designate Hizballah as a terrorist organization is, of course, both necessary and long overdue. Whilst Jonathan Marcus’ analysis of the reasons behind that shift may be useful, the fact that he is apparently unable to avoid the temptation of adopting and promoting the terrorist organisation’s own narrative with regard to the euphemism of “resistance” does not enhance BBC audience’s understanding of Hizballah or the basis for its designation.
Nasrallah's worn out rhetoric
Now, as Assad, the Iranians and Hezbollah slaughter Syrians and Palestinians, Nasrallah has become a farce whose time is over. The Sunni Arabs expect the West to eliminate Iran, Assad and Nasrallah for them. Israel must not intervene because there is a good chance that this axis will crumble on its own.


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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