Thursday, October 24, 2013

From Ian:

Israel should worry about the Egypt peace treaty
Fourthly, it is said by many news outlets that Egypt is looking to Russia for arms after the US aid freeze; and this will put Egypt in the same triangle of Israel's enemies (i.e., Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah) that are supported by Russia.
Throughout history, military coups have not tended to lead to democracy. Furthermore, the current coup in Egypt will neither be able to control systemic risks nor to correct itself.
On this view, Israel should support the Egyptian moderates and peaceful protesters in their struggle against the current dictator regime in Egypt. Importantly, Israel should stand against stifling freedoms in Egypt and against the propect of a Syrian scenario in the country.
If it flogged criminals, would Israel get a Security Council seat?
Much has been said and written about Saudi Arabia’s bizarre rebuff of the UN Security Council. What went nearly unnoticed is the fact that Israel announced earlier this month that it is running for a Security Council seat (in 2019). This is Israel’s first attempt since its admission to the UN in 1949 to join the organization’s most powerful body. Unlike Saudi Arabia, however, Israel stands no chance of being accepted (and declining). The fact that Israel’s bid is hopeless provides an opportunity to understand what is wrong with the UN.
Daniel Pipes: Is Russia Becoming ‘Muslim Russia’?
The stabbing death on Oct. 10 of an ethnic Russian, Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, apparently by a Muslim from Azerbaijan, led to anti-migrant disturbances in Moscow, vandalism and assaults, and the arrest of 1,200, and brought a major tension in Russian life to the fore.
Not only do ethnic Muslims account for 21-23 million of Russia’s total population of 144 million, or 15 percent, but their proportion is fast growing. Alcoholism-plagued ethnic Russians are said to have European birth rates and African death rates, with the former just 1.4 per woman and the latter 60 years for men. In Moscow, ethnic Christian women have 1.1 child.
Protecting the world's monuments from the Taliban, nature by creating digital back-ups
Kacyra said the project was born out of the heartbreak of seeing the Taliban pulverize the Afghan Buddha statues in 2001, but Gustavo Araoz, a senior preservationist who's helping CyArk draw up a list of its next 400 sites, says similar destruction is playing out in slow motion across the globe.
BBC R4 gives a platform to terrorist Leila Khaled
The attempted hijacking of El Al flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York by Leila Khaled and Nicaraguan Patrick Arguello of the PFLP on September 6th 1970 lasted some three minutes and twenty seconds according to a reconstruction later carried out by the Israel Security Agency.
On October 21st 2013 BBC Radio 4 gave Leila Khaled a platform lasting almost the same length of time from which to promote her unchallenged narrative of the event in a fifteen-minute programme titled “Hijack!” which forms part of Fergal Keane’s series “Terror Through Time”, previously discussed on these pages.
Thirty Years After Beirut Bombing, Criticism of Iranian Defense Minister’s Role
Rouhani’s defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, is not just closely aligned with Hezbollah but was directly tied to the 1983 barracks bombing. Israeli Brigadier General Shimon Shapira has documented how Dehghan, as Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander in Lebanon, centralized Hezbollah’s command infrastructure and led the group out of the Imam Ali barracks. From there Iran “controlled Hizbullah’s military force and planned, along with Hizbullah, the terror attacks on the Beirut-based Multinational Force and against IDF forces in Lebanon.”
Shapira notes that the Iranian orders to strike the U.S. barracks were intercepted by the NSA and that “it is difficult to imagine that such a high-level directive to the Revolutionary Guards in Lebanon would be transmitted without the knowledge of their commander, Hossein Dehghan.”
Leaks portray a torn White House through Syrian crisis
Jordan offered the United States the opportunity to use its land as a base for drone strikes against Syria on multiple occasions, according to an investigative report published on Wednesday.
The extensive account in The New York Times claims that US President Barack Obama repeatedly denied the offers, made as early as March during the president’s visit to the region, as well as various other lobbying efforts pursued by aides and foreign allies aimed at making Syria a priority of the White House.
Pressure increased from national security advisers and regional leaders alike as casualties mounted and momentum shifted in the months before a massive chemical weapons attack on a Damascus suburb in August.
Egypt says not interested in Israeli gas as plans LNG imports
"For importing the LNG we are working with companies, not with countries," Taher Abdel Rahim, chairman of state-run Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), told Reuters.
"Companies like BP, Shell, BG - those are the companies working on importing LNG," he added.
Egypt's LNG plan is likely to be more expensive than piping gas from Israel due to the cost of erecting the terminal and the higher prices LNG fetches in the global spot market.
Hungary launches blitz to fight anti-Semitic image
Armed with a powerful New York public relations outfit and a pledge to commemorate the mass deportation of Hungarian Jewry, the Hungarian government is preparing to challenge what it says is an inaccurate image of a country lax in confronting home-grown extremism.
Ferenc Kumin, an adviser to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban who handles international communications, reached out to JTA last week to counter what he says are unfair perceptions of his government’s treatment of Jews and other minorities.
Former anti-Semitic Hungarian politician embraces his Judaism
Csanad Szegedi, who once accused Jews of “buying up” the country, railed about the “Jewishness” of the political elite and claimed Jews were desecrating national symbols, has been studying with local Chabad rabbis, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported this week.
Szegedi, 31, said he is keeping Shabbat and trying to observe the laws of Kashrut. “I have discovered that I can reconcile my conservative viewpoints as Hungarian and as observant Jew,” he told Welt am Sonntag.
Turkish university to host Holocaust seminar
“This is an initial, although important, step given the significance of Turkish society in the Muslim world,” said Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev. “At Yad Vashem we are witnessing interest in the Holocaust that traverses countries, religion and language.”
The project comes amid reports that members of Turkey’s Jewish community are leaving the country due to growing anti-Semitism.
Ukraine court says seized Torahs belong to Jews
A Ukrainian court has ruled that hundreds of Torah scrolls that were seized by Soviet authorities nearly 100 years ago belong to the local Jewish community and not the state archives.
The landmark decision on Wednesday came at the end of a two-year legal battle that threatened to see the scrolls confiscated from the Jewish community shortly after they were returned. The Central Kiev Synagogue can now keep the religious scrolls and not surrender them to the state archive, which had claimed ownership of them, the court ruled Wednesday.
Google Modifies Autocomplete Function After it is Found to Offer Wildly Anti-Semitic Suggestions (UPDATE)
The Anti-Defamation League told The Algemeiner that they were told by Google late Tuesday that the company was “looking into the complaint.” By Wednesday afternoon the changes had been made.
“We were pleased that they had removed some of the most offensive auto-correct results,” said the ADL’s Deborah Lauter.
U.S. Dept of Defense Orders Israeli Made Stair-Climbing Micro-Robots
Israeli robot maker Roboteam Ltd. won a fast track deal with the U.S. Department of Defense to supply it with stair-climbing micro-robots, the Pentagon’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office said, U.S. defense magazine Defense News reported.
Roboteam’s Micro Tactical Ground Robot is being rapidly deployed to special operations forces, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other users in parallel to ongoing operational tests by the Pentagon. The Pentagon’s CTTSO, the authority managing the program on behalf of the U.S. assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, said it has earmarked 100 robots for “priority fielding” to special ops forces and EOD war fighters, while another 35 are destined for domestic use by interagency tactical units.
Jews in Shanghai Exhibition in Chicago
An exhibition on the life of European Jewish refugees in Shanghai during World War II opened in Chicago on Monday, Xinhua reported. The exhibition, running from Monday to Friday, features more than 1,000 photos, 200 relics and 2,000 minutes of video interviews with Jewish refugees
New Orcam device turns the world into speech for the blind
Liat Negrin is happy to demonstrate a new Israeli technology that “sees” and reads for her. She is visually impaired with coloboma, a birth defect that affects one in 10,000 people globally.
Wearing an OrCam device clipped to her glasses, Negrin — who works for the company — can now do the smallest things that sighted people take for granted.
Low-key FIDF fundraiser still rakes in the dough
That’s right: Simon Cowell, critic extraordinaire, is officially a Zionist; and, on his way out of the gala, told me his plans to visit Israel later this year.
But the Cowell coup was hardly the evening’s redemptive triumph. Far be it from Haim Saban to get upstaged by tamping down. In the end, the host himself took to the podium to project his power and remind everyone that this festivity is really a fundraiser – $5.2 million in 2009, $9 million in 2010, $14 million in 2012 – and a whopping $20 million in 2013, a record-breaking sum. (h/t Kramerica)
Simon Cowell Sings 'Go Go Power Rangers'... For $1 MILLION (h/t Yoel)

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