Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas, Hamas, Flirting With Syria's Assad
Like Abbas, Haniyeh also called for a "political solution and national understandings" in solving Arab disputes.
But while a rapprochement between Hamas and the Assad regime would only serve the Islamist movement's interests and help it rid itself of its growing state of isolation, especially in the aftermath of the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt, the renewal of ties between the Palestinian Authority and Damascus does not bode well for the future of the peace process.
The Assad regime is not going to change its position toward peace with Israel to appease Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Abbas's gestures toward Assad will only bring him closer to Iran, Hizbullah and radical Palestinian groups that oppose any peace process with Israel.
Seth Frantzman Terra incognita: Saudi Arabia’s Security Council charade
The Saudis talk a good game about Islam and the Arab world, so why can’t they lead 22 Arab states and the 57 Muslim-majority states to do something about Syria? They whine about Iran, so why don’t they go fight the Iranians? When the Saudis had the chance to fight Iran they bribed the Iraqis to die in droves for them in the 1980s, then turned around and begged the Americans to fight Saddam in 1990. The whole world has been abused by the kingdom, but rather than stand up to its charade at the UN, the world begs and the analysts take their tantrums seriously.
The Saudis should never have been offered a seat on the Security Council. It is time to stop handing out presents to cruel and backward countries.
Why won’t Harriet Sherwood tell readers about the suspected terror affiliation of Shawan Jabarin?
To learn more about the story we contacted Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s legal advisor, who told us, via email, that previous ICC prosecutors have already rejected similar arguments presented by Al-Haq (an NGO whose funders have included the Ford Foundation, Christian Aid, and the governments of Holland, Spain, Ireland, and Norway), and that it was unclear what they are hoping to accomplish.
Regarding Al-Haq, which has a history of characterizing terrorist activities as legitimate “resistance”, Herzberg offered the following comment:
Al Haq should be careful what they wish for. ICC jurisdiction over the situation in the West Bank would apply to Palestinians as well as Israelis. Given that Al Haq’s director Shawan Jabarin has been alleged by the Israeli Supreme Court to be a senior activist in the PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] terrorist organization, he himself could be a potential target for investigation by the court.
Facebook Lifts Ban on Beheading Videos
The social networking site Facebook has decided to allow users to post video footage of beheadings, reversing a temporary ban on the material.
The videos will be allowed to remain on the site if those posting them are condemning the beheadings, and not celebrating them. Images which “glorify violence” will still be banned.
Israel’s Peres: ‘Not All of the IDF’s and the Air Force’s Strength is Open to View’
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Tuesday warned the world that Israeli’s technology, especially as reflected in the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market, where Israel is a leader, allows the Jewish state to keep the extent of its military power under wraps.
Visiting the UAV program at the Palmachim Air Force Base, along with IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and GOC Air Force Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, President Peres said, “Not all of the IDF’s and the Air Force’s strength is open to view. Whoever derides us and seeks to harass us should take this into account.”
Rock Attack: Arab Mob ‘Had Murder in Their Eyes’
Five people were injured Tuesday morning in a massive rock ambush near Jerusalem. An Arab mob hurled large stones at passing cars with Israeli license plates.
Arutz Sheva spoke to one of the injured, Rabbi Kfir Getz. In a conversation held as an ambulance took him to a Jerusalem hospital, Rabbi Getz recalled the terrifying attack, and the split-second change that he says saved his life.
Independent’s coverage of Palestinian terror again highlights perpetrator’s family
The Independent’s coverage of this latest terror incident consisted of the following photo (and accompanying caption) in a photo story titled ‘Pictures of the day: West Bank simmers as Palestinian anger builds in face of occupation’.
In addition to the misleading nature of the caption – which seriously downplayed the potentially lethal attack – the Indy’s decision to highlight the family of the perpetrator mirrors their use of photos in a story on July 28 about Israel’s decision to release 104 Palestinian ‘pre-Oslo’ prisoners – a group largely consisting of terrorists who murdered or attempted to murder Israeli citizens.
Arab American faces charges for 1969 J’lem bombing
An Arab-American community activist from the Chicago suburbs was arrested Tuesday on immigration charges for allegedly lying about her conviction for a deadly bombing more than 40 years ago in Israel.
Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, 66, spent a decade in an Israeli prison for her involvement in a 1969 attack that involved bombs planted at a crowded Jerusalem supermarket and a British consulate, according to a federal indictment. Only one bomb — one of two placed at the supermarket — exploded, killing the two people and wounding several others. Israeli authorities have said the attacks were planned by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
PA's UN Envoy Blames Israel for Lack of Progress in Peace Talks
Speaking during a debate in the Security Council on the Middle East, Riyad Mansour said that “tangible progress remains elusive” in the peace talks, The Associated Press reported.
Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor struck a similarly dim tone at the same debate. Both sides lashed out at each other for recent violence and gave no signs of budging on long-held stances that have obstructed peace prospects for decades.
Hamas Claims Responsibility for 2012 Tel Aviv Attack
Hamas on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a 2012 Tel Aviv bus bombing attack, hours after IDF and Shin Bet forces killed one of the attack’s planners.
In a statement, Hamas’s “military wing”, the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, said that the attack was carried out by a terror cell consisting of three members, one of which was Mohammed Assi, the 28-year-old terrorist who was eliminated Tuesday after holing up in a cave near Dolev, in the western Binyamin region.
Druze community of Israel to President Peres: Help our brethren in Syria
Members of the Druse community are increasingly concerned about their brethren in Syria, Sheikh Muwafaq Tarif told President Shimon Peres on Sunday.
In June this year, Druse leaders, following a meeting on the Golan Heights, sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the request that their co-religionists in Syria be given a haven in Israel, especially those who as students left the Golan Heights to continue their studies in Syria.
Turkey Preventing U.S. Institution From Displaying Genocide-era Artwork
Turkey has reportedly pressured the Obama Administration into forcing the Smithsonian Institution to cancel an official display of the historic Genocide-era "Armenian Orphan Rug." The ANCA is deeply troubled that foreign interference, from Ankara, appears to be preventing the Smithsonian from displaying this historic Genocide-era artwork.
"We hope and expect that our government will, as a matter of principle, reject foreign efforts to censor how Americans view a truly pivotal chapter in the history of America's emergence in the early 20th Century - notably during the Armenian Genocide - as an international humanitarian power," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Any barriers to the display of the Armenian Orphan Rug should be removed, and this important piece of artwork made available to the American public."
Turkey outing of Mossad a betrayal, say former spies
Such an incident by Turkey, a 60-year NATO ally of the United States, would be a betrayal of a Western fraternity of spies, he said.
"It's easy to imagine lots of Western countries shutting down an Israeli operation," he said. "I can't imagine any Western country ever ever cooperating with the Iranians to compromise and kill Israeli agents. That would never happen."
It's a sign that Turkey and its prime minister cannot be trusted with sensitive information and equipment, Gerecht said.
"If anything is going on with the Turks that you don't want the Iranians to know about, it should be stopped," he said.
Iran 'Gifts' Russia with Copy of US Drone
Iran has presented Russia with a gift of an exact copy of an advanced US spy drone.
The UK's Guardian newspaper has reported the copy of the US ScanEagle drone was given to Russia at a meeting between the two countries' air force commanders earlier this week in Tehran.

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