Saturday, September 14, 2013

From Ian:

Israeli Poll: After Syria, Jewish State Can’t Trust Obama on Iran
In a new Israel Hayom poll, a majority of Israeli Jews—66.7 percent—characterized U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of the Syria crisis as “not successful.” Meanwhile, 65.3 percent said that given Obama’s conduct regarding Syria, he would not be able to successfully deal with the Iran nuclear program.
A plurality of Israeli Jews—49.7 percent—said Obama’s decision to delay a military strike against Syria was wrong, while 32.8 percent said he made the right choice.
Karl Vick’s Latest Dispatch From Jerusalem is Just Laughable
According to Vick, Israel then fell in love with President Obama. He is now “being hailed as a model of principled resolve, a Churchillian figure,” he claims.
“Rather than focusing on what Obama could not do — line up anywhere near a Congressional majority for a military strike — Israelis focused on what he did: Use the consistent threat of military force to extract a promise from Syria and its most powerful patron, Russia, to remove tons of chemical weapons from Israel’s northern border,” Vick writes.
Unashamedly, the backup for his grand pronouncement on the consensus, mood and ultimate “verdict” of “Israelis” amounts to a series of handpicked opinion quotations from a total of two notoriously left wing Israeli newspapers.
Mark Steyn: American Ineffectualism
Every American ally is cringing with embarrassment at the amateurishness of the last month.
For generations, eminent New York Times wordsmiths have swooned over foreign strongmen, from Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer-winning paeans to the Stalinist utopia to Thomas L. Friedman’s more recent effusions to the “enlightened” Chinese Politburo. So it was inevitable that the cash-strapped Times would eventually figure it might as well eliminate the middle man and hire the enlightened strongman direct. Hence Vladimir Putin’s impressive debut on the op-ed page this week.
Guardian publishes essay on Oslo by one-stater who blames Jews for antisemitism
The 20 year history of Oslo, Shlaim claims in his CiF essay, has vindicated Edward Said’s characterization of the agreement “an instrument of Palestinian surrender, a Palestinian Versailles”, and predicts that “as long as Netanyahu remains in power, it is a safe bet that no breakthrough will be achieved in the new round of talks.”
Shlaim, it should be noted, perfectly represents the Guardian’s institutional hostility to Zionism, as the Oxford affiliated new Israeli historian (who’s been roundly criticized for his shoddy research) has characterized Zionism as the greatest single threat to Jews, blaming Israeli Jewish behavior for the upsurge of anti-Semitism throughout the world.
United Nations' Syria chemical weapons report "overwhelming," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says
The secretary-general said it was a "failure" that the U.N. couldn't resolve the ongoing conflict, a statement that sent some shock waves around the corridors of U.N. headquarters.
"It's an incredible situation that the Security Council has not been able to adopt any single resolution, even humanitarian, even humanitarian issues, not to mention political and security issues," said Ban. "They are divided. I am very much troubled by this. This is failure by the United Nations."
Obama amenable to toothless Syria resolution, say officials
Senior White House officials said Friday that President Barack Obama may be open to a UN resolution to secure Syria’s chemical weapons that does not include the threat of military force for failing to abide by the agreement.
The officials say Obama retains the authority to launch a strike, but Russia is expected to veto a resolution that includes a military trigger.
The officials also outlined for the first time a timetable for negotiations with Russia over Syria’s chemical weapons. The officials say they will know within a few weeks whether that effort has the necessary traction.
Syrian opposition: Don’t let Assad stall while he keeps on killing
Syria’s main opposition group in exile was “deeply skeptical” Friday about Damascus signing an international treaty banning the production and use of chemical weapons, saying a U.N. resolution was needed to enforce compliance.
Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian TV that his government would start submitting data on its chemical weapons stockpile a month after signing the convention.
Thriving Nazi Memorabilia Auction Business Highlights ‘Perversity’ of Collectors, ADL’s Foxman Says
The twisted niche entered the mainstream in the U.S. when Bill Panagopulos’s auction house, Alexander Auctions, then located in Stamford, Connecticut, sold journals written by concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele during his exile in South America. Now Panagopulos has resurfaced, this time near Washington D.C, and his business is doing better than ever.
Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League and a Holocaust survivor, told The Algemeiner, “Nazi memorabilia is best understood in context, and we would prefer to see it permanently housed in a museum on the Holocaust.”
British Jewish Group Knocks Campaign Criticizing Israeli Medical Treatment of Palestinians
Great Britain’s largest Jewish representative body on Friday criticized a campaign in England that focuses on the negative impact of security precautions on Palestinian patients seeking to enter Israel for medical treatment.
The Zionist Federation said the campaign launched by Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) last week was done so “without providing any necessary context, or mentioning that thousands [of Palestinians] are admitted (to Israel for treatment) every year.”
Pro-Israel New Yorkers Hold Symbolic UJA-Federation Check Burning
On Thursday evening, September 12, a group of between 50 and 75 staunchly pro-Israel New Yorkers attended the latest effort to publicly expose what they are calling Donor Fraud in the institutional Jewish community.
Their campaign is called, “Close Your Wallets,” and they are hoping to encourage Jews to withhold their donations to Jewish institutions until specific guidelines regarding the use of that money are adopted.
The loosely organized group whose leader is Richard Allen, head of JCC Watch, has been gathering outside Jewish institutions on a regular basis for several years. They do this in an effort to draw attention to the use by large Jewish institutions of Jewish charitable donations to support anti-Israel activities and anti-Israel individuals.
Turcas Petrol Proposes 470 KM, $2.5 Billion Pipeline to Connect Israel’s Leviathan Gas Well to Turkey
Turkish pipeline operator Turcas Petrol has proposed to develop and construct a $2.5 Billion, 470 km pipeline to connect the country to Israel’s Leviathan natural gas platform, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Friday.
Speaking at an international energy conference held in Paphos, Cyprus, on Thursday, Matthew Bruyza, a senior executive at Turcas Petrol and a former U.S. diplomat, said the pipeline could transport 16 billion cubic meters of gas from Leviathan to the southern Turkish ports of Cekisan or Mersin.
Bruyza said the pipeline would be an attractive venture, despite the political risks arising from the strained relations between Israel and Turkey. He said, “Our company and other companies are prepared to take the risk on themselves if the venture is hurt or even torpedoed by political developments.”
Study shows Yom Kippur’s empty roads make for cleaner air
Few, if any, Israelis drive their cars on Yom Kippur, especially in large cities. For those not attending services in synagogue, the preferred method of transportation is biking (many of those bike riders aren’t eating; recent polls show that close to 60% of Israelis fast on the Day of Atonement). The bottom line is that the biggest source of air pollution, the exhaust generated by vehicles, disappears for the day.
According to Levy’s study, the impact on pollution levels is almost immediate. Levels of nitrogen oxide (the building block of smog) drop by 83–98% at different sites in the Tel Aviv area, ozone levels fall significantly, and nitrogen dioxide levels fall as well. The research takes 15 years’ worth of pollution data and analyzes it in order to come to its conclusions.
The Jewish Hunger Games – Released in Time for Yom Kippur! (VIDEO)
The Jewish Hunger Games: Kvetching Fire, a spoof of The Hunger Games, posted to YouTube Thursday by actor Jonathan Rudnitsky, follows Katniss Everstein, Peeta Hummus/Effie Trinketson and more as they try to overcome their temptation to…eat.
On its surface this may seem a trivial challenge, but just tell that to a Jew. As the lead character—whose male companion tells her, “It’s only 24 hours of fasting, it can’t be that bad,”—says,”You don’t get it, you’re a gentile.”
US customs warns Sukkot travelers their etrogs face inspection
U.S. authorities’ new travel guidelines for Sukkot allow passengers to bring the traditional “four species” on board airplanes, but customs regulations warn travelers that their etrogs (citron fruit) face inspection and that European willow twigs are banned.
“TSA’s screening procedures do not prohibit the carrying of the four plants used during Sukkot – a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron – in airports, through or security checkpoints, or on airplanes,” the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement, noting the dates of this year’s Sukkot holiday, from Sept. 18-25. The TSA notice noted that all passengers undergo security screening at checkpoints.

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