Monday, September 30, 2013

Last May, I reported on a disgusting cartoon published in Norway's Dagbladet. Here is my translated version:

As I noted then, this cartoon was clearly aimed at the tiny Jewish community in Norway:
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, [cartoonist] Drefvelin is clearly aiming this cartoon at the minuscule Jewish population of Norway, not the growing Muslim population.
Now the Press Council of Norway has declared that the vile cartoon is not antisemitic.

PFU Secretariat pointed out in its proposal to the opinion that in the Norwegian media hass a tradition of caricature with very wide latitude, and those who feel wronged or violated should not have a veto over what can be published.

"This is an important, a fundamental issue for the press and freedom of expression such that even if this strip was aimed at one particular religion, I would have acquitted Dagbladet," said Martin Riber Sparre in Today's Market.

He added that if the Jewish community felt threatened by the comic strip, it was a matter for the police and not the PFU.
I would still love to know why the artist would say that he chose to depict the people attacking the child as members of the tiny Jewish community rather than the far more numerous Muslim community.

We know the reason, of course - the Jews aren't going to threaten to murder him, unlike Muslims. So it is far safer to characterize Judaism as a bloodthirsty religion than to worry about ruffling Islam's feathers.

Over time, incidents like these ensure that there would be real hatred against Jews in Europe. This specific cartoon could be explained away, of course, but the cumulative effect means that Jews will be perceived as barbarians in Norwegian media.

(h/t Ian and IsraelWhat)
From Ian:

'Israeli Apartheid? I Know What Apartheid Really Is'
After participating in a two-day conference held in Jerusalem last week, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, a member of the Parliament of South Africa and founder of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), vocalized why calling Israel an apartheid state actually "minimizes the pain of apartheid."
Meshoe, along with 25 other international members of parliament, is one of the chairmen of the Israel Allies Caucuses, which represent hundreds of members of Congress and Parliament around the world. Under the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF), these caucuses coordinate international activity on Israel-related issues.
Daphne Anson: "Christian Palestinianism ... The Inverted Mirror Image Of Christian Zionism"
Below is a very disturbing insight into the malicious phenomenon dubbed "Christian Palestinianism" as exposed by Dr Paul Wilkinson, of Hazel Grove Gospel Church in Stockport, Cheshire and author of For Zion’s Sake: Christian Zionism and the Role of John Nelson Darby. In this talk a couple of years ago (but no less valuable for that) he demonstrates the political revisionism, replacement theology, and repugnant teachings of organisations like Sabeel that promote a movement in which "The Holocaust is resented, not remembered," that ignores the violence to which Israel is subject, and that aims to portray Jesus not as what he was, a Jew from Judea, but as a "Palestinian born under occupation".
Muslim scholar: 'I refuse to let Islam fall captive to the Islamists'
There is such a thing as a different kind of Islam. Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a student of pluralistic Islam, is a British physician specializing in sleep disorders. She is also an author, a newspaper columnist and an associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York. Her paper on "The psychological manipulation of Islam in the service of terror focusing on the cultural phenomenon of suicide bombing," made her the first physician and first Muslim woman to be selected as a 2010 Templeton-Cambridge Fellow in Journalism at the University of Cambridge.
Ahmed arrived in Israel last week to attend the 13th International Counterterrorism Conference, hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, where we met. For us, who are accustomed to anti-Israeli positions, her sympathetic views on Israel breed hope that there is such a thing as a different kind of Islam.
Europe wouldn’t allow it, why should Israel?
More importantly, even without legislation, there is no country that allows foreign donations for radical political NGOs that undermine the country’s founding ethos. There is not one country in Europe that dreams of funding one of the bodies in Germany dealing with the rights of refugees from central Europe. And of course, there is not one European country that would deliver money to an NGO in the Czech Republic or in Poland promoting the German right of return (if such an organization existed).
Double Standards
Those are the rules in Europe. So why do official government bodies in Europe heavily fund NGOs promoting the destructive fantasy of the Palestinian right of return to Israel? Why is there a European fortune, according to a report by NGO Monitor, behind a conference of an extreme left Israeli NGO preaching the “right of return?” There is, after all, no “right of return” for the tens of thousands of exiles inside Europe who were deported in the 1940s, and certainly there is no funding for NGOs dealing with this issue. The idea of return contradicts the European Human Rights Court ruling in the matter of refugees in Cyprus and regarding Germans deported from Poland. So why are principles that are widely accepted in Europe practically and legally turned upside down when it comes to the Middle East?
European MPs: Why We Support Israel
Three members of the European Union parliament who were in Jerusalem last week for the Israel Allies Caucuses spoke to Arutz Sheva about why they support Israel.
Italian representative Magdi Christiano Allam cited Israel’s freedom of religion, and said he hopes that Europe will come to realize that only Israel will guarantee freedom of worship at the many holy sites in Jerusalem.
Netherlands representatives Bastiaan Belder explained why Europe needs healthy ties with Israel – and why he is concerned that the EU’s current policy may come across as “double faced.”
Barry Rubin: The region: How the far Left controls campuses
What was he talking about? Jews? He explained that he had just come from a meeting where it had been made clear that the university had a problem: It was getting Arab money, but on the secret condition that while it was for teaching about the Middle East, none of it could be used to teach about Israel. The purpose of the meeting had been how to solve this problem. The solution? Simple: They would call the institution to be created the “Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.” It was explicitly expressed that this was how the problem would be dealt with.
Quigley expressed his disgust to me.
Ever since then, I have referred to that institution as the “Center for Contemporary Arab Money.”
Jewish Group Takes California State University Trustees to Task Over Anti-Israel Professor
AMCHA Initiative, a national organization fighting anti-Semitism on college campuses, is taking the Board of Trustees of California State University to task over a CSU-Northridge mathematics professor’s use of the school’s name and resources to promote the boycott of Israel.
In what could be a precedent-setting move, AMCHA is asking the university’s trustees, meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday at their annual summit, to respond to specific California legislation that bars university employees from using school resources, in this case email and web hosting, to support a boycott.
Camera: Personifying C-SPAN's Tolerance of Anti-Israel, Anti-Jewish Callers
The record, clearly shown by video clips and transcripts at C-SPAN Watch, proves that Washington Journal routinely accepts callers' anti-Jewish racism and anti-Israel defamation including blaming Jews for problems throughout the world. No other ethnic or religious group has been subjected to such continuous and virulent defamation on the network. Israel is the only country defamed on a regular basis by a cadre of determined, indulged callers who are rarely challenged by hosts or guests.
One of the most troublesome aspects of this chronic problem is C-SPAN management's complete indifference to it – a refusal to respond to complaints or acknowledge it in any way. C-SPAN is long overdue, whether due to ignorance or design, to correct Journal's journalistic malpractice of allowing inflammatory, antisemitic fallacies to be disseminated to millions of potential viewers. Cable television viewers should e-mail, call or write TV providers (cable or satellite) and urge them to call for an end to this chronic problem. Keep in mind that a portion of your cable/satellite fees supports C-SPAN.
What makes US-Israeli intelligence co-operation exceptional?
Simply put, it takes a rather large journalistic leap to assert that the NSA is routinely sending unminimized information about U.S. citizens to Israel without any protection measures.
The fact remains that the U.S. is engaged in sober and even-handed intelligence gathering. Of course the United States should and does share intelligence with Israel as many of the same people and terrorist groups would target both countries. It is hard to get too concerned up about what Israel might do with any unminimized information that might come its way. They have very real threats along their borders and beyond. It is most likely that their resources are devoted to the terrorist groups and hostile governments in their own neighborhood, rather than the email I just sent my parents.
Will Norway’s New Government Crack Down on Anti-Semitism?
Earlier this month, conservative candidates in Norway won landslide elections, deposing the Labour party majority that has ruled for nearly a decade. Many are hopeful that the new government will address social intolerance in Norway, including the rampant anti-Semitism affecting a population of nearly 2,000 Jews.
But Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, an author who has written extensively on the prejudices facing Norway’s Jewish community, is skeptical that Norwegians will be able to forget their prejudices. He uses the phrase “part-time anti-Semitism” to describe common attitudes and to highlight the general public’s susceptibility to bias.

French Comedian: ‘One Can be Jewish and Not be Completely Disgusting’ (VIDEO)
New York based French Jewish artist, activist and Algemeiner blogger Ron Agam said that “These incendiary remarks are the culmination of an attitude often found in French media where Jews are often demonized for their support of Israel.”
“These two minutes set off a huge storm within the Jewish community in France, including outrage and demands of resignation addressed to CANAL+,” Agam said. “The indignity is mounting daily; the realization that such words of extreme gravity can be pronounced on TV is creating a feeling that it is OK to lash out with anti-Semitic remarks.”
Chinese billionaire to fund joint China-Technion program
The richest man in Asia is giving $130 million to the Technion to build a research center in China. Li Ka Shing, estimated to be worth some $31 billion – and, according to Forbes, the world’s eighth-richest man – is funding the joint project between the Technion and Shantou University, located in Guangdong Province.
The new center, to be called the Technion Guangdong Institute of Technology (TGIT), will be located on its own 330,000 square meter campus to be built by the local government, while the Li Ka Shing Foundation (LKSF) will fund projects and programs at the new center. LKSF is the main funding arm for Shantou, providing nearly all of the school’s HK$6 billion endowment. The $130 million gift for the joint Technion-Shantou project, meanwhile, constitutes the largest gift ever to the Technion, and one of the largest to any Israeli school.
Cultural pride, and unlikely guests, at Kurdish Jewish festival
Muslim visitors travel from Syria and Iraq to join their brethren at the annual Saharane celebration in Jerusalem
“The Kurdish people you know are in four lands, and you go to Israel, a country like Israel — a powerful country, a big country — and you see Kurdish people there, and they are powerful, it makes you very very happy. I thought I will go and see old people, but I saw young people dancing, singing, it was really great.”
Seeing an immigrant Kurdish community thrive was especially exciting for Darwish.
“Before I came to Israel, I thought, no, nobody helps us, no one gives us anything. But now that I was there, and I saw the people, I say why not, these people are Kurdish, and they are strong, and they get help from Israel. And I think that between Kurdistan and Israel the relation is very good. (h/t Zvi)
First Egyptian Righteous Among the Nations honored
The Berlin-trained Dr. Mohamed Helmy is credited with saving 21-year-old Anna Boros Gutman and her family, whom he helped starting in 1942.
During a wave of Jewish deportation in the city, Helmy hid Gutman in a cabin he owned in Berlin-Buch, where she stayed until almost the end of World War II. Her parents and grandmother were hidden separately
Denmark marks 70th anniversary of rescue of Jews
A ceremony has been held in Denmark to mark the 70th anniversary of the evacuation of 7,300 Jews during World War II to prevent their deportation to a Nazi concentration camp.
At Copenhagen’s synagogue Sunday, Jewish community leader Finn Schwarz told several hundred people it was “almost a miracle” that the October 1943 operation in Nazi-occupied Denmark dodged German patrol boats to deliver the Jews across a waterway to neutral Sweden.
The Story of the Jews Episode 5/5 - Return

  • Monday, September 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
It is no secret that a major weapon used by the Palestinian Arabs has been to co-opt the English language and use  phrases like "illegal occupation" or "West Bank" or "historic Palestine" or "1967 borders"  that become mainstream even when they are inaccurate or nonsensical. It is also no secret that they have used this weapon to great effect to subtly brainwash the world towards a false narrative and history.

The official PA news agency, WAFA, has used a new phrase dozens of times since last year. They now almost invariably refer to Jews peacefully visiting the Temple Mount as...."Jewish fanatics."

From today's WAFA press release:
Israeli fanatics resumed Monday provocative tours of the yards of al-Aqsa Mosque, an Islamic holy place, in Jerusalem’s Old City, said witnesses.

They said some 40 Israelis toured the compound in small groups under heave police protection.

No contact was reported between the Israelis and Muslim worshippers at the site.
Last week:
The clashes that have occurred almost daily in al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and provoked by Israeli police measures against Arab worshippers and tours by Jewish fanatics continued to dominate the front page headlines in the three Palestinian Arabic dailies on Thursday.
The earliest use of that phrase to describe devout Jews who want to respectfully visit their holiest site that I found was from April 2012, when they transitioned from calling the Jewish visitors "settlers" into calling them "fanatics."

In Arabic, they still refer to them as "settlers," which is equally inaccurate.

The obvious reason for their choice of the word "fanatic" in English is to deflect the idea that Jews have basic human rights to practice their religion. By any reasonable yardstick, Jews should have an (at least) equal rights to visit the Temple Mount as Muslims do. Palestinian Arab leaders, who have perverted the entire field of human rights into something grotesque to serve their own selfish interests, are very sensitive to how that same weapon can be used against them. So they are subtly trying to equate Jews who are peacefully visiting their holiest site with Al Qaeda-type fanatics, implying that these Jews are violent and unstable.

As we've seen in countless videos of Muslims throwing rocks and debris from inside their own "third holiest site," the truth would reveal something quite different.

This use of the phrase is meant to make the West comfortable with the idea of denying Jews their own human rights.

Has Human Rights Watch ever asserted the right of Jews to ascend the Temple Mount? No. In fact, the phrase "Temple Mount " is completely absent from their site; but they refer to Ariel Sharon's visit to the site as if he visited the "Al Aqsa Mosque" - which he didn't - and they called that "provocative."

There's another victory for the Arabs who twist language to eliminate Jewish human rights.

So here we see the birth of another example of how Palestinian Arabs will create and endlessly repeat lying phrases to brainwash the West. So far, they have a very good track record.

This is just one more attempt.
From TheBlaze:

Hobby Lobby President Steve Green isn’t just the head of a popular craft chain. He and his family also own, oversee and operate “The Green Collection,” one of the world’s largest collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts (there are over 40,000 ancient relics and texts). A recent discovery within this fascinating compilation is making headlines this week, as it is believed to be the oldest Jewish prayer book ever found.

The small text, which had a Carbon-14 test that placed its origins to 840 A.D., is likely to provide fascinating insight into early Jewish culture. And, as a press release announcing the find highlights, it “may well be the earliest connection today’s practicing Jews have to the roots of their modern-day rabbinic liturgy.”

Plainly stated: It’s a big deal.

The document is in its complete parchment and original binding, factoids that are quite stunning considering its age. Written in Hebrew, the script is described as “archaic” — so old in fact that it uses Babylonian vowel pointing (a system that is no longer in use).
The Forward adds that it appears to be a Sabbath prayerbook with the addition of 100 benedictions that should be said every day.

Frustratingly, the Green Collection did not release any photos of the text of the siddur itself, instead giving out three separate photos of the outside (slightly translucent)  cover.

While the Babylonian pointing system is archaic, the text itself would be easily readable to any modern Hebrew reader, so this purposeful hiding of even a single page of the text from the world smacks of hubris. We will have to wait for late 2014 or early 2015 for the Green Collection to publish its research.

The current oldest Siddur manuscript known is that of R' Saadiah Gaon which is at Oxford, from the late 9th century. I could not find any images of that siddur online either.

(h/t Yerushalimey)

  • Monday, September 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Received via email, people you can write to in order to protest the apparent inclusion of anti-Israel propaganda in Irish school curricula that I mentioned recently:

It has been extremely difficult to establish who is actually funding this booklet but it seems, the booklet was funded by the Education for Reconcillation,which is a project run by the CDVEC (now CDETB) who received the money through PEACE III who get their funding from the EU

We must now speak out loudly against this material being used in Irish schools, it clearly is intended to push a one sided agenda onto Irish school children.

The material is available for schools in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland..

It is vital that you speak out now,

Please email the following organisations

Education for Reconciliation

Chairperson of CDVEC now CDETB, Cllr Paddy Bourke -

Object to the Chairperson that CDVEC (now CDETB) used public funds to promote one sided anti Israel material for schools. Ask why was Irish and EU tax payers money used to produce such material ? Did he agree with supporting and funding this material produced by CDVEC, Sadaka Ireland and The Centre for Cross Border Studies.

Peace III Programme , (Funded by the Special EU Programmes Body)

Please object to EU funding being used to promote such one sided partisan material.

The Centre for Cross Border Studies - Mairead Hughes (Finance Officer)

Once again object to the material which they produced in conjunction with Sadaka Ireland and CDVEC, Enquire how much money they gave to produce this material ?

Minister for Education - Northern Ireland - John O'Dowd -

Write to express concern that this material will be available for schools across Northern Ireland

Minister for Education - Republic of Ireland - Ruairi Quinn

Write to express concern that this material will be available for schools across the Republic of Ireland.

We stress the need to remain polite, It may be worth including in your mails concerns about Roger Waters hardline bias against Israel and antisemitic behaviour.

(h/t Irish4Israel)
From Ian:

Israel, Colonialism, and the Arab World
Moroccan-born Bensoussan, who made his name as a Holocaust historian, argues that the Jews have been colonised thrice over.
The first wave of colonisation was Arab-Muslim. By the time the Arab conquerors had swept over the Middle East and North Africa, the Jews had been living in the region for 1,000 years.
Under Islam, according to the eighth-century Pact of Omar, indigenous Jews and Christians were permitted to practise as long as they acquiesced to the ‘dhimmi’ condition of inferiority and institutionalised humiliation. Dhimmis were exploited for specific talents and skills.
Bensoussan observes that the Islamic order was built on a ‘colonial’ notion – submission. The Muslim submits to Allah, the Muslim woman submits to her husband, the non-Muslim dhimmi submits to the Muslim. At the very bottom of the pile is the slave. Women, minorities and slaves are curiously absent from Edward Said’s postcolonial ‘bible’, “Orientalism”, Bensoussan notes.
Oslo Accords Debated at Los Angeles Conference
Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes said at the “Oslo @ Twenty” conference, organized by the American Freedom Alliance, that Israel’s key mistake is indicated by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s statement, “One does not make peace with one’s friends. One makes peace with one’s enemy.”
“One cannot ‘make peace with one’s enemy,’” Pipes said. “Rather, one makes peace with one’s former enemy.” The Palestinians “were never defeated,” and if both sides in a conflict have aspirations to win, the conflict continues, he explained.
Israel “owns peace” as the party in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that can both control its army and deliver peace, yet acted as the buyer in the Oslo Accords even though the Palestinians had no peace to sell, said David Suissa, president of the Tribe Media Corporation. Suissa’s take differed from the one offered by Bret Stephens, deputy editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, who said peace “is in the hands of the Arab world to give.”
Grand Park Hotel Celebrates Being First Five-Star Hotel in Palestine
The headquarters of the Grand Park hotel in Ramallah celebrated its coronation as the first "Five-Star" hotel in Palestine. The celebration was attended by Rula Maay’a, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Musa Hadid, the Mayor of Ramallah, the hotel’s Chairman Loay Qawas, and its General Director, Mohammad Zamlat. There was also a crowd of businessmen and representatives from many institutions.
‘ICJ treatment of Israel biased, as seen in Syria’
The American attorney had previously voiced his opinion that Syrian President Bashar Assad should be taken to court. He said actions carried out by Assad over the past two years “are war crimes and crimes against humanity and the Syrian regime must be held accountable.”
“The fact that the General Assembly referred the matter of the terror prevention fence to the ICJ so quickly… but after more than two years and 100,000 people killed,” has yet to prosecute Assad or Syria shows the system is extremely flawed, he says. “The legal system is biased against Israel, and the Syrian example proves it.”
Israel is Invited To Help Destroy WMD In Syria
However - one of Syria's most immediate neighbours - Israel - is not a member of the London Eleven and is vitally interested in the Security Council taking steps to collect and destroy such weapons.
Resolution 2118 requires Israel to disclose to the Security Council any information it holds on chemical weapons acquired by any anti- Assad forces in Syria. Israel is widely assumed to have extensive knowledge of the existence of such chemical weapons in Syria.
Israel can deny it has any information - but risks being in breach of Resolution 2118 if information in its possession is subsequently revealed.
Russia has cleverly forced the Security Council to determine the truth of Russia's claim - whilst any evidence supplied by Russia and Israel will be critical in collecting and destroying those chemical weapons.
Peres: I Doubt Assad Ever Read Anne Frank's Diary
President Shimon Peres, on a visit to the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam, compared on Sunday the gassing of millions of Jews during the Holocaust to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
"I doubt that [Syrian President Bashar] Assad read the Diary of Anne Frank, since he did not hesitate to use chemical weapons and kill innocent children and women,” said Peres, adding, “Same goes for Iran which develops nuclear weapons of mass destruction.”
MEMRI: The U.S. Administration Swallows The Lie About Khamenei's 'Fatwa' Against Nuclear Arms
In his address to the U.N. General Assembly (September 24, 2013), U.S. President Barack Obama stated: "The Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons." In fact, such a fatwa was never issued by Supreme Leader Khamenei and does not exist; neither the Iranian regime nor anybody else can present it.
The deception regarding "Khamenei's fatwa" has been promoted by the Iranian regime and its spokesmen for several years. Each time it was mentioned, the "fatwa" was given a different year of issue – for example, 2005, 2007, or 2012 – but the text of the "fatwa" was never presented.
MEMRI has conducted in-depth research with regard to this "fatwa" and has published reports demonstrating that it is a fiction.
Isi Leibler: President Obama and Israel: Looming confrontations
The US and Europe are desperate for a face-saving situation to avoid confrontation with the Iranians.
They ignore the ultimate result of the buildup of underground nuclear facilities and ballistic missiles.
Furthermore, the bitter reality is that after Obama’s inept zigzagging in relation to Syria, his threat that the US is “determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb” and will if necessary “use all elements of our power, including military force,” rings hollow and is unlikely to be taken seriously by the Iranians – or anyone else.
It must be deeply frustrating for Netanyahu to see the rogue state of Iran courted by the US and Europe, while Israel, a democracy and genuine ally of the US, is treated so shabbily. The chilling parallels with the betrayal of Czechoslovakia and Chamberlain’s policies of appeasement and “peace in our time” during the late 1930s will prey on our minds in the months to come.
Iran Knows What the West Forgot: Charm is Cheap
In this way, Ahmadinejad’s revolting persona and style made it that much easier for his successor to succeed at playing the “good cop” in any negotiations. And it is actually Iran’s hardline supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on Iranian policy, so the Rouhani theatrics are ultimately meaningless anyway. While the country’s dictator recently said that Iran can show “heroic flexibility,” he’s not actually beholden to anyone, so he can easily change his mind after buying another 6-12 months of nuclear enrichment time by “negotiating” with the West through Rouhani. To resolve a crisis that could otherwise end up as a massive regional war in the near future, Iran must: 1) stop all nuclear enrichment, 2) dismantle the illicit underground nuclear facility near Qom and the second-generation centrifuges in Natanz, 3) remove all enriched material from Iranian territory, and 4) stop the construction of the heavy water reactor in Arak.
If the international community hopes to stop Iran’s nuclear program before it’s too late, any deal with Iran must ensure that the above four steps are verifiably taken. Any lesser deal would allow Iran to continue developing nuclear weapons capabilities behind a smokescreen of promises, as the North Koreans have done. Will the West be charmed all the way to Armageddon?
Anne Bayefsky: Rouhani Gives Obama Cover to Delay and Dither
Notwithstanding years of stymieing International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors, and lying about the existence of nuclear facilities, he assured his audience: “Iran’s nuclear program… pursue[s] exclusively peaceful purposes.” The proof? “Nuclear weapons…contradict our religious and ethical convictions.” “Ethical” convictions like sponsoring terrorism, training chemical weapons enthusiasts, and questioning the Holocaust.
When the farcical spectacle was all over, Rouhani had succeeded in providing the Obama administration and the European Union with enough cover to buy into a catastrophic delay. Israel will now face an even more hostile American president, should it decide to go it alone.
‘Trust, but verify’ in Persian
Under the circumstances, before agreeing to lessen economic sanctions, the US and other nations must insist on verifiable, concrete steps that do not just delay Iran’s breakout date by a few months or a year but that effectively shut down the nuclear weapon program.
“Trust, but verify” helped end the Cold War between the US and the USSR. We should not rule out the outside chance that the same combination of openness to diplomacy and dialogue and strict adherence to due diligence will pay off in negotiations with Tehran. But while Gorbachev was presiding over a USSR on the verge of collapse, the mullahs running the Islamic Republic, though smarting from economic sanctions, have too many reasons to press ahead with their drive for nuclear weapons capability.
Rice: Sanctions stay until Iran proves it isn’t seeking a bomb
“Obviously, we and others in the international community have every reason to be skeptical of that and we need to test it, and any agreement must be fully verifiable and enforceable,” said Rice in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
She said it had been clear to Iran that it “had to meet its international obligations under Security Council resolutions and that the sanctions would remain until those obligations were satisfied.”
Israel and Others in Mideast View Overtures of U.S. and Iran With Suspicion
Saudi Arabia and other gulf states view Iran as a regional nemesis whose nuclear program is only one element of a broader effort to project power. The rivalry is made more bitter by the sectarian dimension and competition over supplying oil to the world. The Saudi leadership has long been uneasy with Mr. Obama’s handling of the Arab uprisings that began in 2011, which it sees as a threat to the regional order. The president’s overtures to Iran add to a growing impatience and exasperation among Arabs in the gulf over Washington’s retreat from threats to strike Syria, whose civil war is viewed as a proxy for the larger sectarian and strategic battle unfolding across the region.
UAE Condemning Iranian Occupation of its Territories
While the United Arab Emirates has welcomed the refreshing stance of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani, it has called upon the international community to urge Iran to respond to repeated calls for a just settlement of the islands dispute between the two countries, either through direct, serious negotiations or by referral to the International Court of Justice.
In 1971, after the British finally left the Middle East, Iranian forces occupied the islands of Abu Musa, Greater Tunb, and Lesser Tunb, located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf between Iran and the UAE. Iran continues to occupy the islands, which the UAE has been contesting to no avail.
Palestinian students riot at Gaza border crossing
Hundreds of agitated Palestinian students set to study abroad stormed a barrier gate at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip on Sunday after being denied entry to the Sinai Peninsula and forced to wait at the border terminal for several days.
On Saturday, the Egyptian army reopened the Rafah border crossing, after shutting it last week due to security threats along the border with the Hamas-controlled territory. Hamas officials said that 300 Palestinians were expected to enter Egypt daily until further notice.
Gunman kill 3 Egyptian officers in Sinai, militants post video
The Egyptian army says Gaza-based militants take part in attacks over the border and accuses Hamas of doing too little to secure the area, allegations it denies.
In the latest attacks, gunmen opened fire on a police station in the city of El-Arish in North Sinai, killing two policemen as they were eating breakfast outside the building. In a separate incident, a police officer walking in the city was shot in the head and chest and killed.
Lebanon Encroaches on Israel's Offshore Border
Official Israeli sources told the newspaper that Lebanon is about to award offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in areas that encroach on Israel's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Lebanon published tenders for offshore oil and gas exploration licenses in early September, in five blocks in its EEZ.
It is a highly provocative act which has the potential to greatly inflame hostilities between the two nations.
The reason that Israeli Jews don't trust the Palestinian Arabs is self-evident to everyone with eyes: because the PLO has have reneged on agreements in the past, such as Oslo II. They launched a terror war as a response to failed negotiations. The very first promise that Yasir Arafat made in the 1993 exchange of letters with Yitzhak Rabin, where he stated "the PLO renounces the use of terrorism and other acts of violence and will assume responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations and discipline violators" was proven a sham. Even today the terrorist offshoot of Fatah, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, is still around and still bragging of its terrorist bona fides.

The PA has done little in the intervening years to make Israelis feel that the PLO/PA could ever be trusted again.

In Article 5 of Annex 1 of the Interim Agreement of 1995, known as Oslo II, the PA promised to provide security as well as free access for Jews to visit the holy sites in Area A, namely Joseph's Tomb and the Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho.

The PA never lived up to these promises either, and the only way Jews can visit these holy sites today are with scheduled monthly visits coordinated with the IDF under heavy security. There are still violent incidents reported at each site.

My peace plan is very simple.  Have the PA adhere to its own signed agreements relative to these two sites - just for starters.

This means that the PA would ensure normal daily access to the holy sites in Area A. They would assure that all Jews who visit are safe and feel safe.

This also means that they would have to educate their people in Nablus and Jericho that (just as they insist to the West) they have no problem with Jews, but only with Zionism. Therefore, their people should show respect to those who want to visit and pray at their own holy sites. This would involve a major publicity campaign that would result in a situation where anyone who wants to throw rocks and firebombs at the Jews would be shamed, stopped and reported by their own people. It means that kids would be taught that they must respect Jews as much as they should respect Muslims and Christians. Jewish tourists to those areas would feel free to visit nearby stores and shops safely.

The way things were before the first intifada.

If this would happen - if Palestinian Arabs would act according not only to their signed agreements but also according to their own words when they speak to Western media as far as respecting Judaism and Jews - it would cause a major shift in how Israelis think. It might take a couple of years but when coexistence returns, so would trust. With trust would come the desire for peace. And with the desire for peace would be a flexibility on the part of Israelis that has not been seen in decades. It would be driven by Israeli Jews, not by Americans cajoling both sides towards an illusory "peace."

It all comes down to trust.

Of course, as long as EU-funded NGOs, PA TV and other media, PA politicians and pundits are working overtime against an atmosphere of trust, this is impossible. But the single most effective thing that the Arabs could do, if they were interested in real peace, would be to work to re-establish trust. Without that, everything else is doomed. Israeli reciprocity is a given; after all, isn't that what Israeli Jews want more than anything else, to have normal relations with their neighbors?

On the other hand, any agreement signed without trust is worse than worthless. It is telling that the existing efforts from Oslo I to the Roadmap all were predicated on confidence building measures before peace could occur - and that basic prerequisite seems to have been dropped by the current round of talks that seems aimed at an agreement being signed without that crucial component.

Now, the question is - why aren't the EU, UN and US working towards such a self-evident requirement to establish a real state of trust? How could any shortcut plan possibly work without building trust, that basic prerequisite for peace?

Abbas, in his talk to prominent American Jews, airily stated that "Jerusalem will be an open city. They can come and go freely." Really? Jews would be allowed to freely visit the Temple Mount and the Kotel the Mount of Olives, under Abbas' desired PA security control, without fear? When the PA cannot even make that promise today, one that they signed, for Area A?

In the end, the fact that this EoZ peace plan is not tenable - that the PLO is demanding concessions without giving the Israelis any confidence that they would adhere to this foundational requirement -  is really all the proof you need that real peace is impossible.
From UNRWA, a September 26 press release:

We, members of the League of Arab States and other supporters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), met today in New York under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States to reassert our support for UNRWA’s mandate in providing assistance and protection to Palestine refugees and to identify practical ways to strengthen that support.

We welcomed Members of the League of Arab States’ engagement to achieve and sustain the 7.8% target for Arab government contributions to UNRWA’s core budget as set out in numerous resolutions of the Council of the League of Arab States since 1987.
The Arab League has been promising to fund 7.8% of UNRWA's core budget since 1987?

Forget that this amount ($50.7 million) would be less than Sweden gives UNRWA by itself. Forget what a joke it is for oil-rich Arab states, who continuously claim that the plight of Palestinian Arabs is their most important issue, bragging about pledging a mere 7.8% of the core budget (and no promises for the emergency funds UNRWA regularly demands, such as currently in Syria.)

In fact, a glance at the 2013 budget shows that the members of the Arab League pledged not 7.8% of UNRWA's core budget this year - but 3.3%! (This document only shows government contributions, not individual NGOs and foundations.)

So even the inadequate 7.8% promise is an empty lie. And traditionally the Arab states have paid far less than what they pledged!

Everyone in the Arab world knows that none of them care about their Palestinian brethren, as this cartoon showed. . But this is hushed up when they talk to the West about how important the issue is to them.
From Wikipedia:
The demographic character of Northern Cyprus changed after the Turkish invasion in 1974 and especially during the last 10–15 years. The TRNC census carried out in April 2006 showed that out of a total population of 256,644 in Northern Cyprus, 132,635, or 52%, were Turkish Cypriots in the sense that they were born in Cyprus of at least one Cyprus-born parent (for 120,007 of these both parents were Cyprus-born). In addition, 43,062 TRNC citizens (17%) had at least one non-Cypriot Turkish-born parent, 2,334 TRNC citizens (1%) had parents born in other countries, 70,525 residents (27%) had Turkish citizenship, and 8,088 (3%) were citizens of other countries (mainly UK, Bulgaria, and Iran). Based on these census data, it can be argued that 113,687 TRNC residents, or 44% of the population, are not Turkish Cypriots properly speaking, but are in fact "Turkish immigrants" or "Turkish settlers" from Anatolia. Alternative sources suggest that there are 146,122 Turkish settlers from Anatolia in TRNC (2007 figures) and that the Turkish Cypriots in Northern Cyprus are today outnumbered by the Turkish settlers, contrary to the picture presented by the 2006 TRNC census.

Almost one-third of the Turkish settlers in Northern Cyprus have been granted TRNC citizenship by the authorities of Northern Cyprus and have thus been naturalized. Settlement in Northern Cyprus, especially if accompanied by naturalization, is a violation to the Geneva Conventions Protocol of 1977, since the Turkish occupation has been declared illegal by the UN. The Republic of Cyprus government regards these Turkish immigrants as "illegal settlers" and does not include them in the population estimates for the entire island published by the Republic of Cyprus Statistical Service.[5]
So given that roughly half of the residents of northern Cyprus are illegal settlers, and the land is under illegal occupation by Turkey, certainly the EU would never consider investing in the illegal occupation, right?

Not really. Here is a glossy brochure from the EU that brags about all of the projects it is proudly sponsoring there:

Nowhere in this brochure, nor in the 2006 EU resolution to help the Turkish Cypriots, is any distincton made between the natives and the illegal settlers - all of them benefit equally from the EU programs to help the environment, co-existence, farming, education, infrastructure and so forth.

By any measure, the EU is funding the Turkish settlement enterprise.

Eugene Kontorovich describes the hypocrisy in a JPost op-ed (in yesterday's linkdump)
Under guidelines prepared earlier this summer, euros would not be allowed to go to Israeli entities located cross the Green Line – or to those that have any operations there. All Israeli entities applying for funding would have to submit a declaration that they do not have such operations.

Europe claims that such a move – unparalleled in its dealings with any other country – is mandated by international law. The EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories, and thus has an obligation to keep its money from going there. Those who celebrated the move said that Israel is finally paying the international price for its occupation.

Yet it turns out that despite the guidelines, the EU still knowingly and purposefully provides substantial direct financial assistance to settlements in occupied territory – in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, that is. So the EU funds the occupation of an EU member state. Turkey’s invasion and occupation of Cyprus in 1974 was condemned the UN Security Council, and the EU’s official policy is that the Turkish occupation is illegitimate, and Turkey must completely withdraw. The EU does not recognize the Turkish government in Northern Cyprus.

Nonetheless, the EU maintains an entire separate program to direct funds to Northern Cyprus.
Projects include study abroad scholarships for students at the numerous Northern Cyprus universities (imagine such funding for students at Ariel University!); developing and diversifying the private sector through grants to small and medium- sized businesses; various kinds of infrastructure improvements (telecom upgrades, traffic safety, waste disposal); community development grants, funding to upgrade “cultural heritage” sites, and so forth. They even put on a concert.

The program basically gives grants to the Turkish business and private entities, and builds the infrastructure of the occupying government. The EU is doing exactly what its claims, in the settlement guidelines, international law prohibits.

The relevant EU resolutions and reports make no mention of any international legal question about such funding.

There are real differences between the EU’s funding policies toward Turkey’s occupied territories and Israel’s territories: the former is a much starker contradiction of the principles the Europeans proclaim to uphold. The settlement guidelines aim to regulate groups based in Israel proper, and goes out of its way to make sure no money might be incidentally spent in the West Bank (or Golan or, oddly, Gaza). Yet the Northern Cyprus project is not simply an outgrowth of standing arrangements with Turkey or Cyprus, but rather a particular funding program that by definition funds 100% occupation activities.

Indeed, the EU maintains an office in Northern Cyprus to oversee its over “1000 grant NGOs, SMEs, farmers, rural communities, schools and students,” according to an EU report.

This office liaises directly with the Turkish occupation regime in the territory.
Hmmmm. One standard for Israel, another for everyone else. Sounds very familiar.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

  • Sunday, September 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
By James Thurber, first published in The New Yorker on August 26, 1939:

Within the memory of the youngest child there was a family of rabbits who lived near a pack of wolves. The wolves announced that they did not like the way the rabbits were living. (The wolves were crazy about the way they themselves were living, because it was the only way to live.) One night several wolves were killed in an earthquake and this was blamed on the rabbits, for it is well known that rabbits pound on the ground with their hind legs and cause earthquakes. On another night one of the wolves was killed by a bolt of lightning and this was also blamed on the rabbits, for it is well known that lettuce-eaters cause lightning. The wolves threatened to civilize the rabbits if they didn't behave, and the rabbits decided to run away to a desert island. But the other animals, who lived at a great distance, shamed them saying, "You must stay where you are and be brave. This is no world for escapists. If the wolves attack you, we will come to your aid in all probability." So the rabbits continued to live near the wolves and one day there was a terrible flood which drowned a great many wolves. This was blamed on the rabbits, for it is well known that carrot-nibblers with long ears cause floods. The wolves descended on the rabbits, for their own good, and imprisoned them in a dark cave, for their own protection.

When nothing was heard about the rabbits for some weeks, the other animals demanded to know what had happened to them. The wolves replied that the rabbits had been eaten and since they had been eaten the affair was a purely internal matter. But the other animals warned that they might possibly unite against the wolves unless some reason was given for the destruction of the rabbits. So the wolves gave them one. "They were trying to escape," said the wolves, "and, as you know, this is no world for escapists."

Moral: Run, don't walk, to the nearest desert island.
It may be time to write a sequel.

The Rabbits Still Cause All the Trouble

Despite the wolves' efforts, a small number of rabbits did manage to escape to join cousins of theirs on the edge of a desert peninsula, the very desert where the rabbits' ancestors originally came from. While there were a large number of hyenas inland, who would catch and eat a few rabbits now and then, the rabbits felt safer and at home on their patch of land. They could even - for the first time in many generations - band together to fight back against their enemies to keep their tiny homeland relatively safe.

The hyenas were alarmed, for rabbits had never stood up to them before. They used to be able to catch and eat rabbits easily, but now they had to contend with traps and snares that the rabbits invented. The Hyena League asked for advice from the foxes of the world as how to best deal with the rabbits, once and for all, since the foxes had so much experience.

The clever foxes knew that the other animals never really liked the rabbits much, even when they were being eaten by the foxes. Their sly plan was for the hyenas to convince the other animals, who lived at an even greater distance, that the rabbits were threatening them. By repeating the words "aggressive killer rabbits" and "poor defenseless hyenas" and "hyenas losing their land" over and over and over again, the other animals soon started to believe that the hyenas were being persecuted and the rabbits were murdering them in droves. (Some of the animals even believed that landslides in the hyena country were caused by rabbits, since it was well known that rabbits like to dig holes.)

Eventually many of the animal told the rabbits that if only they would give part of their homeland to the hyenas, then the hyenas would be happy and the fighting would end. The rabbits, who just wanted to be left alone, tried to take the animals' advice, but the hyenas started attacking the rabbits even more. As a result, the rabbits had to build more hyena traps. The hyenas cried to the Animal Union that the rabbits were oppressing them even more. 

The Animal Union, which has a very short memory  (and whose members were secretly afraid of the hyenas themselves,) believed the accusations, and demanded that the rabbits give up a little more of their land, and then some more, saying that surely the hyenas - being reasonable animals - would eventually be happy. The dismayed rabbits tried to argue that they were the prey and not the predators, but the Union said that the hyenas seemed very convincing in their desire for peace.

The story hasn't ended yet, but it still has a moral: Don't rely on others to defend your desert island. 

(h/t Joel B)
From Sussex Friends of Israel:
Supporters of Israel came together today, to hold a Bagels Against Bigotry party outside Brighton’s environmentally friendly refill store Ecostream, to counter a planned day of action and demonstration by BDS, the anti Israel group Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.

The bagel themed party started at 11.30am outside the Ecostream store on Western Road Brighton, with supporters offering home baked cakes and salmon filled bagels for passers-by to enjoy as they visited Ecostream.

According to the Police just 45 members of the anti-Israel ‘BDS’ group attended the event billed by them as a national day of action.

Within 20 minutes of their arrival the Police moved the protesters to the opposite side of the road, where their protests were not only drowned out by the passing traffic but also obscured by regular Brighton and Hove double decker buses.

This week the Ecostream store has reported its best ever week of sales since opening in Brighton last year. During the event today there was a constant flow of customers refilling their oils, vinegars and environmentally friendly detergents, stocking up with dry goods, as well as purchasing their brand new Sodastream machines.

Sussex Friends of Israel organiser Simon Cobbs said: “The turnout from supporters of Israel, from across the country today has been superb, we outnumbered the anti-Israeli groups by at least two to one, and at the same time we had a party. I want to thank everyone for their support today, it just shows what can be achieved when the community comes together to counter bigotry and eat bagels.
More at Daphne Anson.

(h/t Rabbi Andrea)
From The Toronto Star last week:

A cache of intelligence detailing the training of Al Qaeda’s East Africa group that was obtained exclusively by the Toronto Star may help explain how a small group of terrorists carried out the deadly siege that took Kenyan authorities four days to stop.

“Each martyrdom seeker will be trained in Somalia preferably for two months and he will only know his mission,” says one document discovered on a flash drive beside the slain body of the former African leader, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

“The brothers will be pushed through many battles to see how they react under pressure and they will be analyzed to see if they can keep their composure. They will be tested mentally to see if they are smart enough to carry out these operations.”

The documents may be dated — “Fazul,” as he was most commonly known among intelligence officials, was shot dead by Somali forces in 2011 — but looking at the former Al Qaeda leader’s meticulous planning in the wake of the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi reveals chilling clues.

The Star obtained the Fazul documents last year. Described by some counterterrorism officials as a “treasure trove of intelligence,” the material was recovered on flash drives and inside the bullet-ridden Toyota Hilux that Fazul’s driver tried to ram through a government checkpoint near Mogadishu.

While there were dozens of documents, Internet frame grabs and media reports in English, Arabic, Somali and Swahili, along with more than 50 video clips, which appear to be shot from the back of a car, two documents provide the most insight.

Training instructions are part of a planning paper titled “International Operations,” where the targets identified are in the U.K. “Our objectives are to strike London with low-cost operations that would cause a heavy blow amongst the hierarchy and Jewish communities using attacks similar to the tactics used by our brothers in Mumbai,” it says, referring to the 2008 Indian attack that lasted for three days.

Some of the targets in the Fazul document include London’s prestigious hotels and Britain’s Stamford Hill and Golders Green neighbourhoods, populated “with tens of thousands of Jews crammed in a small area.” The prestigious Eton School, attended by many members of Britain’s royal elite, is also listed.

“These attacks must be backed with carefully planned media campaign to show why we chose our targets to refute the hypocrites, clear doubts amongst Muslims and also inspire Muslim youth to copy.”
But don't call them antisemitic. They hate that.

(h/t Geoffrey)
From Ian:

Fatah Facebook: "Blood of Martyrs draws the borders of the homeland"
During the current peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Fatah chose to glorify violence and Martyrdom death as the way to determine "the borders of the homeland":
"My homeland taught me that it is the blood of Martyrs (Shahids) that draws the borders of the homeland."
That text, together with a picture of a man holding a rifle, was posted by the administrator of one of Fatah's official Facebook pages, "Fatah - The Main Page," on Aug. 26, 2013.
Sarah Honig: Thanks for the revelations
While Israel serially drew back from its positions in order to appease America and/or to coax Arabs into some modicum of accommodation, Arab orientations during all that time hadn’t budged a fraction of a millimeter.
Their only modifications were tactical. Instead of eradicating Israel in one fell swoop (which they didn’t do only because they couldn’t), they settled on slicing Israel’s salami bit by bit to deprive it of strategic depth, render it more vulnerable to predations and erode it by demonization and demoralization.
The basic premise remains that at most the de facto existence of the unwanted “Zionist entity” is acknowledged provisionally, that this entity must shrink and that Arabs have a right to deluge it.
Whenever we concede even a theoretical point, we imbue Arab obstructionism with an aura of righteous respectability in the (kangaroo) court of world opinion. We irreversibly undermine our own case.
Jewish leaders urge Abbas to publicly state his opposition to right of return
A slate of 100 US Jewish leaders wrote Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas urging him to make public his opposition to a ‘right of return’ and his agreement to a demilitarized Palestinian state.
The letter, spearheaded by the Israel Policy Forum, noted that in a recent private meeting, Abbas said an agreement would end the conflict and any Palestinian claims to “Haifa, Acre and Safed,” and that a Palestinian state would not need “planes or missiles” but a “strong police force.”
Mideast quartet seeks Israeli, Palestinian action by 2014
Meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Friday, top diplomats from the United Nations, United States, Russia and the European Union said in a statement that both sides should take “every possible step” to make ongoing US-mediated negotiations a success.
“The quartet reaffirmed its determination to lend effective support to the efforts of the parties and their shared commitment to reach a permanent status agreement within the agreed goal of nine months,” the group said in a statement released Friday.
Hitler understood propaganda, so do the Palestinians
The Palestinian narrative of victimhood, with its falsifications of history and politics, its portrayal of themselves as not only innocent but the most compelling victims in the world, its staging of events to blame Israel for atrocities they themselves have committed, its deliberate concentration on alleged injuries or deaths of children, and its achievement in persuading much of the media to accept and advance its manipulation of language and action, have all been part of its success in the propaganda war.
That success is shown by the fact that a considerable proportion of the European population accepts the Palestinian propaganda that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians, in spite of the reiteration by Palestinian leaders of their determination to eliminate the State of Israel. Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, is held responsible for the problems not only of the area but for those in the world in general.
How the EU directly funds settlements in occupied territory
Yet it turns out that despite the guidelines, the EU still knowingly and purposefully provides substantial direct financial assistance to settlements in occupied territory – in Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, that is. So the EU funds the occupation of an EU member state. Turkey’s invasion and occupation of Cyprus in 1974 was condemned the UN Security Council, and the EU’s official policy is that the Turkish occupation is illegitimate, and Turkey must completely withdraw. The EU does not recognize the Turkish government in Northern Cyprus.
Nonetheless, the EU maintains an entire separate program to direct funds to Northern Cyprus.
They even put out a nice, colorful brochure last year.
Iranian arrested in Israel on suspicion of espionage
Israeli security officials recently detained an Iranian with Belgian citizenship who officials believe is an agent of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and whose main mission was to spy on American interests inside Israel.
The agent, Ali Mansouri, was arrested at Ben-Gurion International Airport on September 11 by the Shin Bet security service while attempting to depart Israel for Belgium, the security agency said Sunday.
He was traveling under the alias Alex Mans and had been observed photographing the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and recording activity there. He was found with photographs of the US embassy and other sites.
Israel warned Kenya about terror attack, officials say
Kenya was reportedly given specific warnings by foreign countries, including Israel, that there was a high risk of a major terrorist attack in the country before last week’s violent takeover of a Nairobi mall.
Kenyan newspapers reported that, according to intelligence sources, Kenya’s chief of staff and four key cabinet ministers — treasury, interior, foreign affairs, and defense — received the warnings but failed to take action.
PA official rejects partial control of Gaza-Egypt border crossing
The Palestinian Authority does not want to return to the Rafah border crossing as part of a partial solution, Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee, said on Saturday.
Rajoub’s announcement came as Egyptian authorities reopened the Sinai-Gaza border crossing after a one-week closure.
Syrian conflict takes a toll on Palestinian aid
Displaced Palestinians are losing out to Syrians in desperate need of aid, and the United Nations is asking Arab countries to pitch in and bolster funding for its agency mandated with helping Palestinian refugees.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his counterpart at the Arab League, Nabil El Araby, are co-chairing a ministerial meeting Thursday in New York on the funding challenges that the UN Relief and Works Agency is facing.
Egyptian Journalist Heikal: All Arab Countries Have Chemical, Biological Weapons; Nazi Scientists Helped Produce Them

Lebanon: Four Dead Amid Rising Tensions in Hezbollah Stronghold
Four people have been killed in a gun battle in the eastern Lebanese town of Baalbek, a stronghold of the Shi'ite Hezbollah terrorist group, highlighting ongoing tensions over the civil war raging in neighboring Syria.
Shi'ite supporters and Sunni opponents of Hezbollah traded small-arms fire in running battles in the Bekaa Valley town last night. Two of the dead were identified as Hezbollah members, while the other two were identified as Ali Mustapha al-Rifai and Ali Sami al-Masri. It is not clear whether the latter two men were killed fighting Hezbollah forces, or were bystanders caught in the crossfire.
Special Report: Hezbollah gambles all in Syria
In the photograph the two robed men stand shoulder-to-shoulder, one tall and erect, the other more heavyset. Both smile for the camera. The picture from Tehran is a rare record of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meeting Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi'ite paramilitary group.
Taken in April during a discreet visit by the Hezbollah chief to his financial and ideological masters, the photograph captured a turning point in Syria's civil war and the broader struggle between Sunnis and Shi'ites, the two main branches of Islam. It was the moment when Iran made public its desire for Hezbollah to join the battle to help save Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, diplomats said. At the time, Assad and his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, were losing ground to an advancing Sunni insurgency.
Bahrain's FM says Hezbollah leader Nasrallah is a 'criminal'
Bahrain's foreign minister slammed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Tuesday for criticizing the Sunni-led Gulf kingdom's treatment of its opposition Shi'ite population, AFP reported. "The people of Bahrain are above being addressed by a criminal whose hands are stained by the blood of innocents in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq," Khalid al-Khalifa wrote on his Twitter account.
Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood Lashes Out At “Zionists” Over Egypt Anti-Brotherhood Moves
Brothers in Jordan are not only displeased with Cairo’s actions, but they’re pretty sure they’ve located the culprit driving the effort:
“The coupists are trying to reestablish oppression and tyranny as well as absolute military rule. They want to silence opposition and turn everyone into followers.”… Bani Rsheid said the ruling “shows that the military rulers are going through a deep crisis and that they are weak and confused. Every day the coup’s agenda, which is linked to the Zionists and some countries in the Gulf, becomes clearer,” he added.
Muslim Brotherhood moves office… to London
The Brotherhood already maintains a London presence through which it was previously running the administrative affairs of the organisation. The London headquarters is a “research centre” headed by Ibrahim Mounir, former member of the Guidance Bureau and former Secretary General of the international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Iran hacked U.S. Navy computers
As President Obama appeals for better relations with Iran, unnamed U.S. officials are pointing fingers at Iranian hackers for spying on U.S. Navy computers.
U.S. officials are saying that Iranian government or state-sponsored hackers penetrated an unclassified U.S. Navy computer network used for email and the “service’s internal intranet,” the Navy Marine Corps Internet, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Greece arrests leaders of neo-Nazi party
Four top officials of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party were among a flurry of arrests of party members Saturday, in an escalation of a government crackdown after a fatal stabbing allegedly committed by a supporter.
It is the first time since 1974 that sitting members of Parliament have been arrested.
Turkey’s Crumbling Domestic and Foreign Policies Risk Downward Economic Spiral
The decline of the Brotherhood in Egypt left Erdogan “raging on a daily basis,” according to Georgetown-based Turkey expert Michael Koplow. His vitriol against Egypt ended up triggering economic retaliation, and more broadly his alignment against U.S. allies who backed the army cost Turkey precious import markets in the Gulf.
Now Turkey’s even losing the ability to export soap operas, to say nothing of an array of other goods:
My Grandfather, the Nazi Mass-Murderer
A steely-eyed Nazi killer picks off Jewish prisoners with a rifle from a balcony in a concentration camp in 1944. More than six decades later, a Nigerian-German woman who has studied in Israel thumbs through a book about the sniper and is shocked to learn the man is her own grandfather.
In a memoir published this month with the chilling title "Amon: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me", Jennifer Teege recounts her dark family secret and the extraordinary story of how her own life became enmeshed with one of history's grimmest chapters.
Teege is the child of a Nigerian student and the German daughter of Amon Goeth, the commandant of the Plaszow concentration camp outside Krakow in today's Poland who featured in Steven Spielberg's 1993 Holocaust drama "Schindler's List".
Israel Daily Picture: The British Imperial War Museum; Presenting General Allenby Entering Jerusalem in 1917
Photographers accompanied the Imperial British Army forces throughout the battles of World War I in Palestine, starting at the Suez Canal in 1915 and continuing through the capture of Damascus in 1918.
The grand scale of the fighting in Palestine is not fully recognized today even by historians, with attention often focused on the European front. One statistic may put the fighting into perspective: The British army suffered more than half a million casualties; the Turks even more.
  • Sunday, September 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon

Details here.

But he's Western-educated! And he has such a nice smile!

I think we can trust him this time.

(h/t Ian and Yoel)

Arabic media are reporting that Sheikh Sabri Abu Diab, imam of a mosque in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood, is claiming that the Jewish ties to Har HaZeitim - the Mount of Olives - are fictional.

Diab claims that although the Ottoman government allowed limited numbers of Jews to be interred there, the hundreds of acres of the Mount are mostly filled with fake Jewish graves that were created only for Jews to grab more Jerusalem-area land.

In reality, the Mount of Olives has been a Jewish graveyard since First Temple times. Some 150,000 Jews are estimated to be buried there.

Tens of thousands of gravestones were desecrated by Jordan during the 19 years that the world considers a "status quo."

Here is a photo of the gravestones being used as stairs for an Jordanian army camp:

And here is a gravestone used to help build a latrine in Jordan:

Indeed, the only people ever to fake graves in Jerusalem to grab land are, naturally, Muslims.

But these are just competing narratives, and the Arab lies must be respected as much as historic truth, right? That seems to be the rule in the Middle East nowadays.

  • Sunday, September 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,

Judging from the news over the past few days, it appears that for a Muslim leader to sort-of grudgingly admit that the most well-documented historical fact even occurred is considered praiseworthy.

That is a pretty good example of how the media assumes a priori that Muslims must not be held to the same standards as normal human beings.

Right now, we have Israel being held to impossibly high standards far beyond what any Western nation at war has ever been held to while Arab and Muslim nations are held to absurdly low standards.

One day, when the West starts to judge everyone by the same standards, we can start to have real progress towards peace.
  • Sunday, September 29, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Arabiya:
Saudi women seeking to challenge a de facto ban on driving should realize that this could affect their ovaries and pelvises, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan, a judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association, told Saudi news website

Driving “could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees,” Sheikh al-Luhaydan said.

Saudi female activists have launched an online campaign urging women to drive on Oct. 26.

Al-Luhaydan's statement drew immediate reaction on social media, with many Saudis ridiculing his “great scientific discoveries.” An Arabic Twitter hashtag “Women_driving_affects_ovaries_and_pelvises” was created and is going viral among Arab users.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

From Ian:

JPost Editorial: Obama’s misguided linkage
Obama is correct about Iran. It is undisputable that an Islamic Republic ruled by mullahs with nuclear weapon capability would be exceedingly destabilizing. The Islamic Republic, either directly or through its proxies, is involved in numerous conflicts in the region from Syria and various Gulf states to Iraq and Afghanistan. Tehran arms, trains and supports Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border. And according to a recent report by the pro- Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, it has resumed its support for Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Obama is wrong, however, about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Arab Spring that began in Tunisia, spread to Egypt and sparked sectarian violence in Syria had absolutely nothing to do with Israel’s “occupation” of the West Bank. In each of these countries, and elsewhere, popular uprisings unfolded on the backdrop of socioeconomic inequalities and a rejection of old and corrupt autocratic regimes.
Caroline Glick: Obama's power and its limitations
Were Netanyahu to defy Obama and order the IDF to attack Iran's nuclear installations, he would be pushing the boundaries of the US political consensus less than Menachem Begin did when he ordered the air force to destroy Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. He would also be pushing the US consensus less than Rabin did when he embraced Yasser Arafat in 1993.
No, Israel cannot say no to everything that Obama wishes to do in the Middle East.
And yes, it needs to make concessions where it can to placate the White House. AIPAC's decision to take a bullet for Obama on Syria may have been the better part of wisdom.
Israel has three-and-a-half more years with Obama. They won't be easy. And there is no telling who will succeed him. But this needn't be a catastrophe. Our cards are limited. But we have cards. And if we play them wisely, we will be fine.
‘Iran already has a nuclear bomb,’ Israeli paper claims
Some Israeli government analysts believe Iran already has at least one nuclear bomb, an Israeli journalist wrote in an article published Friday.
Shalom Yerushalmi, writing in the national daily Maariv, said that “government security sources up to date on development in Iran,” told him recently that Tehran has crossed all points of no return and already has its first nuclear weapon, and maybe more.
Iran State-Media Claims CNN ‘Fabricated’ Rouhani Holocaust Remarks
On’s home page Wednesday morning, the main headline asserted that Rouhani, in an interview with network reporter Christiane Amanpour, said that the Holocaust happened: “Iran’s New President: Yes, the Holocaust Happened.”
Fars however, categorically denied the claim that Rouhani addressed the Holocaust by name, saying the network “fabricated” the story, adding the word ‘Holocaust,’ among other conciliatory phrases, to its translation.
Rouhani Fever and CNN
Finally, Iranian-born Ali Alfoneh, a senior researcher for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told CAMERA that Karami's translation, which contrasted sharply with that provided by CNN, was essentially accurate. He also pointed out that the Farsi transcription posted on the Iranian president's website is accurate.
But Amanpour, at least, continues to stand by her translation. It is time for CNN's senior editors to forthrightly address this controversy. They need to either stand by their translation by going through word by word and showing where the word "Holocaust" appears and where the word "reprehensible" appears. Viewers deserve a straightforward answer from the network. If CNN does not disagree with Fars — or with the translations by Ahmari, Karami and Alfoneh — the public deserves a prominent, clear correction and apology.
The West, Rouhani, and Iran’s anti-Semitism
The world community has no reason to doubt that Rouhani’s “charm offensive” and his Holocaust obfuscations are little more than an effort to paint lipstick on a pig. The West needs to accept that the Iranian regime is anti-Semitic, and use its statements on the subject, especially in Persian, as a litmus test of the depths of its extremism as well as its sincerity.
We need to recognize that because the Rouhani Holocaust “tangle” is yet another indication of the Iranian regime’s utter lack of trustworthiness as it seeks to convince the West to lift sanctions over its nuclear program.
If Iran won’t admit to its own anti-Semitism, a philosophy embedded in the soul of the regime, how can it be trusted to tell the truth about anything? Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was a bigot, but at least he didn’t insult the world’s intelligence by claiming that he was anything other than a bigot.
As Holocaust dispute flares, Khamenei aides rap Rouhani for conciliatory gestures
According to a report in the New York Times Wednesday, the Iranian paper, Kayhan, which is close to Khamenei, “expressed horror over the possibility that ‘the clean hand of our president would for moments be in the bloody clench’ of [US President Barack] Obama.”
“We need to gain something from the Americans, before we pose and smile with them,” the report quoted Hamid-Reza Taraghi, an official who trusted with interpreting the speeches of Khamenei, as saying. “Of course, Mr. Rouhani also needed to convince some at home that he is not making any wild moves.”
Shoes, eggs & rocks at Rouhani’s airport reception
Iranian protesters threw shoes, eggs and stones on Saturday at the car of President Hasan Rouhani, back from a five-day trip to New York to speak at the UN General Assembly.
The president got a mixed reception at the airport, as several dozen hardline Islamists chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” as his motorcade drew away. Others attempted to obstruct the road by praying on the pavement, the New York Times reported.
New York Times reporter Thomas Erdbrink, who is based in Tehran, described the airport scene as chaotic, with one person almost being run over by the convoy.
Dore Gold: The holes in Rouhani's charm offensive
But the State Department study showed that while Iran still had ample oil and gas, which could supply Iran for at least 200 years (in the case of gas), Tehran actually had very limited supplies of uranium ore, especially if it had plans of eventually building seven nuclear reactors for the production of electricity. In fact, if Iran's domestic supply of uranium ore was inadequate for a nationwide program of electricity production, it was more than sufficient for the production of a respectable number of atomic weapons every year. For the U.S., this was a red flag indicating that the argument that Iran only wanted a civilian program was completely disingenuous and what it really sought was a full scale nuclear weapons program.
Rouhani Participates in Military Parade Where Sign Calls for Israel’s Destruction
Just prior to his speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took part in his country’s military parade, which included trucks carrying Shahab-3 missiles and signs calling for the destruction of Israel, Israel Hayom reported.
This information was revealed by former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. and Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs President Dore Gold.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas Threatens Egypt, Israel And Palestinian Authority
Despite the show of force, Hamas would never dare to initiate a military confrontation against the Egyptian army. Hamas will find it easier to fire rockets at Israel than launch terror attacks against the Egyptians.
Hamas is fully aware that such a confrontation would spark a harsh response from the Egyptians -- one that would surely lead to the collapse of its regime. Previous confrontations between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces would then look like children's games compared to a clash with the Egyptian or any other Arab army.
That is why Israel needs to be prepared for the possibility of another war with Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip.
The Phantom BDS Victory
It doesn’t seem to have been enough for Baltzer to sell one blatant lie, she feels the need to try her luck with a second, not only claiming that the decision to get out of the transportation business has something to do with BDS but also that Veolia lost $16 billion in contracts due to BDS campaigning. It might be nice to see some kind of evidence for that assertion.
This isn’t the first time and I doubt it will be the last the people are sold outright lies by the BDS movement with regards to Israel. There is something terribly insidious about a campaign that feels the need to lie in this way. How can Baltzer expect her organisation to have any credibility at all when she behaves this way?
Violence, Arrests in Eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria
Three Arab rioters were arrested for throwing rocks Friday, following disorders at the Damascus Gate (Shaar Shechem in Hebrew) to Jerusalem's Old City. Another youth was arrested following a disorder next to the Church of All Nations on the Mount of Olives.
At the same time, additional disorders broke out in the area of the Rockefeller antiquities museum, across the street from the Flower Gate (Shaar Haperahim in Hebrew). Jerusalem District police, deployed with reinforcements since the early-morning hours in anticipation of pre-planned violent disorder, dispersed the rioters.
About 100 Arabs rioted next to Rachel's Tomb, between the Israeli capital and Bethlehem. They threw rocks at Israeli security forces.
French diplomat involved in scuffle with troops to be expelled
In a highly unusual diplomatic incident, a French diplomat involved in an altercation with Israeli troops in the West Bank last week will leave the country in December, Israeli media reported Friday.
An Israeli official told the Israel Hayom daily that the decision to expel Marion Fesneau-Castaing was made without harming Franco-Israeli ties.
Foreign Ministry Rips UN's 'One-Issue' Pillay
Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched a scathing broadside Thursday against the UN's High Commissioner of Human Rights, Navi Pillay, following a statement by her office regarding the demolition of illegal Bedouin structures.
"Once again, Ms. Pillay, via a statement issued by the High Commissioner's spokesperson on 24 September 2013 has published a misconceived, inaccurate and misleading statement, illustrating the institutionalized, dysfunctional, and hypocritical stance of the High Commissioner of Human Rights towards Israel," the MFA wrote.
India warns Jewish groups to tighten security
The call came following the interrogation of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal by the National Investigation Agency in New Delhi, as well as in the wake of the Islamist attack on an upscale mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to New Delhi Television (NDTV), Bhatkal told investigators that Jewish establishments in Mumbai have been surveyed by Indian Mujahideen members for possible terrorist strikes. The Islamist militant group reportedly was trying to seize Jewish hostages to trade them for terrorists, the Hindustan Times reported.
Hamas Arrests Fatah Gunmen in Gaza
Four members of the Fatah affiliated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades group have been arrested by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The arrests were reported by the PA-based Maan news agency, who said the four, yielding weapons, delivered a vitriolic press conference from the Al Ghafri Tower in Gaza City. The report said after journalists left, Hamas men surrounded the building and forced the Aqsa fighters to unmask before they were detained.
UN votes to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons
The final resolution states that the Security Council will impose measures under Chapter 7 if Syria fails to comply, but this would require adoption of a second resolution.
It bans Syria from possessing chemical weapons and condemns “in the strongest terms” the use of chemical weapons in the Aug. 21 attack, and any other use. It also would ban any country from obtaining chemical weapons or the technology or equipment to produce them from Syria.
Assad: We have weapons that could blindside Israel
Syria has deterrent weapons, more advanced than anything in its chemical arsenal, that could blindside Israel in mere moments, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed Thursday.
“Originally, we produced chemical weapons in the 1980s as a deterrent to Israel’s nuclear capabilities,” Assad said in an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated, Lebanon-based Al-Akhbar newspaper, adding that “today, we have weapons that are far more important and sophisticated and that can blindside Israel in the blink of an eye.”
UN Investigating Seven More Chemical Attacks
The additional alleged attacks took place between March 19 and August 25.
This latest development comes as a team of UN experts prepares to complete its mission in the country on Monday, as part of a plan to dismantle Syria's chemical weapons stockpile.
Russia to help guard Syrian weapons sites
Russia says it is ready to help ensure security for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.
Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirming that Russia would help guard the facilities where the weapons are being destroyed.
Jewish tombs reportedly defiled in Aleppo
Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists reportedly demolished several ancient Jewish mausoleums in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
The graves were located in the historical town of Tadif, according to the semi-official Iranian FARS news agency and other Iranian news outlets. The terrorists reportedly belong to the al-Qaeda-backed al-Nusra Front.
Slave labor in Qatar: a test for Al-Jazeera
Now this is an interesting story, and FIFA, the international body ruling the World Cup, will have to pay it some attention, as will the International Labor Organization.
But will Al-Jazeera? Al-Jazeera is owned by the emir of Qatar, and never has covered Qatari matters fairly -- if at all. A story embarrassing to the country, and to the emir, is almost certain to be ignored -- especially in the main Al-Jazeera broadcasting in Arabic. Now there is a new station, a chic and sleek Al-Jazeera America (built on the carcass of Al Gore's failed TV network). Al-Jazeera America has new names and bright colors, and claims to be unbiased, and free, and not just a cat's paw for the emir.
Qatar: the migrant workers forced to work for no pay in World Cup host country


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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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