Wednesday, September 25, 2013

From Ian:

Why Does UN Have Two Distinct Groups of Refugees, One for Palestinians and for Everyone Else?
Huffington Post blogger Diane Bederman tackles the issue of refugees in her latest blog, revealing a double standard in the treatment and definition of refugees worldwide. As Bederman’s commentary points out, with 43 million refugees worldwide, why does the UN have two distinct groups of refugees, one for Palestinians and and one for everyone else? According to Bederman:
“There are currently 43-million uprooted victims of conflict and persecution worldwide. There are two distinct groups of refugees and service providers: The UNHCR overseeing 10.4-million refugees worldwide; and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) caring for 4.8-million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the “occupied” Palestinian territory. In 2005 UNRWA had a staff of 24,300, and $339 million to support 4.1-million Palestinian refugees in just five territories (or $83 per refugee), while UNHCR, with a staff of 6,450 had $992 million to support 19.2-million refugees and asylum seekers in 116 countries (or $52 per refugee).
Where's the Palestinian Nelson Mandela?
Secondly, though he was in favor of a Palestinian state, Mandela insisted it be obtained through peace negotiations. And above all, he reiterated on a number of occasions Israel's right to exist with secure borders. In particular, in a speech in October 1999 he said, "I cannot conceive of Israel's withdrawing if Arab states do not recognize Israel with secure borders."
In a world where Israel Apartheid week is hosted in cities and on university campuses, where the call for a crusade for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel has been voiced, and where Palestinian textbooks fan the flames of hatred and violent revenge against Israel, the lack of a Palestinian Mandela willing to lead his forces in peace negotiations with the State of Israel is a dramatic denial of the moral purpose of the great South African who should be a role model.
Melanie Phillips: A devastating truth
What are those facts?
The first is that the Arab-Israel nine decade-plus war is not a boundary dispute about the division of land. It is a war of extermination by Arab aggressors against the internationally-agreed right of the Jews to govern themselves in their own historic homeland.
The second fact is far more devastating. The single most important reason why this Arab-Israel war continues apparently without end is that, from the very start, first the British and then the Americans and the EU have rewarded Palestinian Arab aggression and punished its Jewish victims or pushed them to surrender. Not surprisingly, the Palestinians have therefore been encouraged to continue to attack Israelis with impunity, to this very day.
CIF Watch: CiF Watch prompts Guardian correction: Evidently, Jews didn’t ‘storm the mosque’
We’re thankful that Guardian editors belatedly (if only implicitly) acknowledged the fantastical nature of the claim that Jews were ‘storming the mosque’ “for Yom Kippur.”
EU: What’s Fine for Spain Is Unacceptable for Israel
Recent news reports from Spain beautifully illustrate why nobody should take the European Union’s pretensions to moral superiority seriously–and especially not when it comes to Israel. Spain is now committing virtually every “abuse” the EU sanctimoniously accuses Israel of, without a peep of protest from its European peers.
For instance, Spain recently erected checkpoints along its border with Gibraltar that are creating real hardship. The checkpoints have lengthened travel times from 45 minutes to two hours for cross-border commuters and also increased costs, since people who used to drive now combine foot travel and taxis to reach work on time. These are precisely the complaints Europeans routinely level at Israeli checkpoints: that they undermine the Palestinian economy by increasing the time and expense of commuting to work or moving cargo. (h/t MtTB)
Kenyan Foreign Minister: “We Are Not Going to Apologise for Being Friends with Israel
There’s a striking contrast between the reaction to terrorist attacks in countries like India or Kenya and attacks in Europe and America. In the former there are no apologies and a relentless desire to go after those responsible.
Oh sure President Uhuru Kenyatta sounds a lot like a Western leader talking about how diversity is our strength and praising the people standing in line to give blood. But then he says things like this, “They shall not getaway with their despicable, beastly acts. Like the cowardly perpetrators now cornered in the building, we will punish the masterminds swiftly and painfully.”
On the other hand there’s the rather blunt statement of Kenya’s foreign minister. “We are not going to apologise for being friends with Israel and other nations,” said Amina Mohammed.
Israeli forensics experts in Nairobi helping with attack aftermath
Israeli forensics experts are helping the Kenyan government comb the site of the terrorist takeover of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya’s cabinet secretary said on Twitter Wednesday.
Francis Kimemia wrote on Twitter that, “Leading forensic experts from other countries allowed to join including ISRAEL, USA and UK but Kenya leads.”
Israeli Military Support in Nairobi Highlights Longstanding Ties
As Kenyan troops battle to end the bloody siege at Nairobi's Westgate mall, which has already killed at least 62 people and left nearly 200 wounded, report have been circulating that a team of Israeli military advisers were flown in as early as Sunday morning to help Kenyan security forces root out Islamist terrorists and rescue the remaining hostages.
Such reports should come as no surprise, as the Jewish State has long viewed East Africa as a region of major strategic and economic importance.
"Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea are three countries which are crucial for Israel because they act as a buffer zone in a region which is seeing Islamic fundamentalism growing at a rapid pace," said Galia Sabar, head of African studies at Tel Aviv University.
Israeli Minister Steinitz Compares Nairobi Mall Attackers to Palestinian Terror Groups (INTERVIEW)
Similarly, said Steinitz, “the Palestinians – and I’m not speaking about Hamas; I’m speaking about the Palestinian Authority – they still educate the next generation of Palestinians to hate Israel, with the messages that at the end of the day Israel must be destroyed, that there is no place for a Jewish entity or a Jewish state in the Middle East, that Jews are terrible creatures that corrupt the vicinity and, therefore, must be gotten rid of sooner or later – it’s those underlying messages that young Palestinians are getting, not just from Hamas and terrorist organizations in Gaza but also the West Bank.”
Somali-American leader: ‘I tried to warn America’ about homegrown radicalization
Bihi blames CAIR with coming between his organization and the Abubakar as-Saddique mosque in Minneapolis. “It’s a big mosque,” he said. “That mosque lately has been doing works to combat al-Shabaab.” But he said when the mosque was more closely affiliated with CAIR, it was a center for recruitment by radicals. “All of our kids were going there for years. That’s where indoctrination happened,” he said.
Muslim group: ‘Who cares’ if US terrorists in Kenya mall siege
One of the most prominent and controversial Muslim-American advocacy groups says “who cares” if American jihadists were involved in the murderous terror attack on a shopping mall in Kenya.
“It doesn’t matter who’s involved in it,” Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), told The Post.
“Terrorism is terrorism, whether it is Americans involved or anyone from any nation or background. Who cares?” he said.
Israel at center of censorship controversies in Canadian universities
McGill University received an F, tying it with seven schools for second worst in the country. In 2012, the Students’ Society of McGill University told the student group McGill Friends of Israel that they had to change the name of their Israel A-Party event because executives felt it made “a mockery and/or trivialization of various oppressions some people of the world are subject to on a day-to-day basis.” The event was designed to be a counter to Israel Apartheid Week, an annual nationwide event that seeks to promote labeling Israel as apartheid.
Co-author of the study Michael Kennedy said that it was a particularly glaring transgression, considering the university permitted Israel Apartheid week events to take place without protest, according to The Gazette, a Montreal-based newspaper.
Rare Photos Show Jews in Lodz Ghetto Observing Sukkot in 1941
A series of photos documenting the observance of Sukkot in the Lodz Ghetto in 1941 were recently revealed by the Shem Olam Institute.
The photos show the ghetto’s Jewish occupants praying with the four species: the etrog (citron), and the lulav, hadas, and aravah, (palm, willow, and myrtle) required for Sukkot. The pictures also show the prisoners had built a sukkah, the special temporary dwelling for eating and sleeping throughout the Jewish holiday.
Italian cyclist Gino Bartali recognized as righteous gentile
The Jewish-Christian network, Yad Vashem said, “saved hundreds of local Jews and Jewish refugees from territories which had previously been under Italian control, mostly in France and Yugoslavia.”
Bartali, who died in 2000 at 85, had acted as a courier for the network, according to Yad Vashem, “secreting forged documents and papers in his bicycle and transporting them between cities, all under the guise of training.”
It added, “Knowingly risking his life to rescue Jews, Bartali transferred falsified documents to various contacts, among them Rabbi Cassuto.”
Tal-Ya trays focus on increasing ROI for farmers worldwide
Tal-Ya’s product is a unique tray which saves farmers over 50% in water and 30% fertilizer resources, while preventing weed-growth. But the real news, according to Tamir, is in the dramatic acceleration in crop yield, and this is where farmers are going to feel the most dramatic improvement in their Return on Investment (ROI). “Even we were surprised in field trials to see trees start to yield crops a full season before control groups. After 2-3 years it’s astounding to see a tree that has a Tal-Ya tray standing alongside one that does not. The trees which use the trays are much larger, more developed and bear significantly more crops. Within every season, yield in crops comes sooner than in control groups, shortening farmer’s time to market, creating a major business advantage,” Tamir tells us that the relatively low cost of the trays can usually be reimbursed in water, fertilizer and weed-killer savings within a season, leaving farmers to enjoy the significantly increased revenue from the larger crop yields for seasons to come.
US nudists rebuff Israel critics
An American nudist organization is firing back at critics of its partnership with Artists 4 Israel, a pro-Israel group that brings artists to Israel to “offset the fear and destruction of conflict,” according to its site.
Young Naturists America, a group in the New York area promoting nude recreation and a healthy body image, announced an A4I event in New York City to raise money for artists to travel to the Golan Heights and create art in bomb shelters.
Faster, easier, more accurate test for gastro bacteria
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about two-thirds of the world population is affected by the H. pylori bacteria, which causes peptic ulcers and gastric inflammation, and is associated with stomach cancer. The most common way to detect this type of bacteria is a blood test.
“In the US, there are 4.2 million blood tests for H. pylori every year, and that is invasive and takes days to get results,” Cohen tells ISRAEL21c from the company’s New Jersey office, which is handling the global launch of this 99 percent accurate “test and treat” device.
5 facts about Israel’s energy sector
Superstar investor Warren Buffett must have been taken aback when natural gas started flowing to Israel from the Tamar field this year. Buffet famously said, “If you’re going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel. If you’re looking for brains, look no further,” but the recent developments of Israel’s offshore gas have turned the conventional wisdom about Israel’s natural resources on its head.
In 2013, the gas is expected to add an entire percentage point to economic growth.
Iron Dome from Rafael Defense Systems

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