Thursday, October 31, 2013

  • Thursday, October 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Monitor has a very sobering article:
On July 22, 2013, all 28 European Union (EU) countries unanimously agreed to add Hezbollah’s military wing to the EU list of terrorist organizations. But less than three months later, Europe has opened its doors to Hezbollah as a special guest. On Oct. 12-14, the French Foreign Ministry received Hezbollah deputy Ali Fayyad of the Lebanese parliament as a guest lecturer for French diplomats, analysts and experts; he explained how Paris was wrong and Hezbollah was right.

...Once there, Fayyad met with officials of the Middle East department and the center of analysis and exploration in the ministry, where he gave a two-hour introduction and question-and-answer session.

According to Hezbollah sources, the French have decided to open up to Hezbollah, the most powerful Shiite organization in Lebanon, and are ready to start a new phase of French and European dialogue with the party, while the party asserts that it is adhering to all its positions and choices.

But what has changed in these three months? Hezbollah circles confirmed to Al-Monitor that since the EU’s decision in July, it was clear to the party that the issue was not serious and did not reflect Europe’s actual convictions. Even before the decision was issued, three European ambassadors in Beirut visited Hezbollah officials and informed them that they were not personally convinced about the decision. They also noted that their governments were not convinced about the decision that was about to be issued. Even after the decision was issued, a record number of meetings were held between Hezbollah officials and European diplomats in the Lebanese capital. Even the EU ambassador to Lebanon, Angelina Eichhorst, visited Hezbollah’s international relations official Ammar Moussawi as well as Hezbollah cabinet ministers Mohammed Fneish and Hussein Hajj Hassan, within just one week of the decision.


Those watching the relationship between Paris and the southern suburbs of Beirut (Hezbollah’s stronghold) may note the various reasons behind the French and EU decision to invite Fayyad. Those reasons can be summarized as follows:

First, the French move came within the context of the recent American-Iranian openness. It is a factor that cannot be ignored with regard to the French initiative. It is as if those in Paris and Europe are trying to tell the Americans: “We are not mere followers or implementers of your policy. If Obama can contact President Hassan Rouhani, we too can host Hezbollah and hold dialogue with it directly.” Such French and European calculations don’t have to be read negatively. They can be interpreted positively: “Fine. You [the Americans] have decided to open up to Tehran. We too can help in this direction. And this is a small example of that.”

Second, Hezbollah’s visit to the French capital came in the context of the putative Russian-American agreement on Syria and the nearing of the Geneva II conference, in which Iran is likely to participate. It is clear that any settlement of the Syrian crisis will open up large horizons in the Levant, politically and especially economically. On the political level, there is the impression that the “Syrian solution” will be a model to be replicated to redraw the Levantine map as a whole and to resolve the wars and crises of most countries in the Arab region. That includes Lebanon, which France has historically cared about. Ending the Syrian war will also open up major investment opportunities in reconstruction and in energy sources and transportation routes in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean (Syria and Lebanon). Hezbollah is a key player in both countries and has a big impact on the developments there.

Third, those who are familiar with Hezbollah’s capabilities and its influence as a political force realize that the Shiite organization is present beyond Syria and Lebanon. It is present in Iraq, in all its detailed political composition. Some in Beirut say that representatives of the Iraqi political forces meet regularly in the cafes of Beirut’s southern suburb, where they discuss the outcome of their meetings with Hezbollah officials. Hezbollah is also present in Palestine, although to a lesser extent than before, given that its relations with Hamas have cooled somewhat. But Hezbollah still has contacts with Hamas and with other Palestinian factions. Hezbollah even has varying degrees of influence in Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait and even Saudi Arabia and various Arab Gulf states, where Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah can influence public opinion in each of these countries....

(h/r Herb)
YNet reports:

An IDF force apparently came under mortar fire emanating from Gaza Thursday night while operating on both sides of the border fence as part of the efforts to uncover additional parts of an underground terror tunnel that was located in the area a month ago. The force returned fire.

Palestinian sources reported that an IDF tank opened fired at a terror cell belonging to Hamas' armed wing - the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, which was situated east of the city of Khan Younis in south Gaza.

The Palestinians further reported that during exchanges of fire between terrorists and IDF forces near the city of Abasan in south Gaza, a Palestinian terrorist was killed and another was wounded, apparently from IDF tank fire. The Israeli forces were targeting a . The Palestinians identified the terrorist who was killed as Rabiya Barakeh, 21.

According to the Palestinians, the incident followed the limited entry of IDF forces into Gaza, near the border fence, but Israeli officials said the forces operated beyond the security fence but still within Israeli territory.

From IsraelNewsFeed (@IsraelHatzolah):

The tweets were coming fast and furious when I posted this, so it seemed like a good idea at the time....(this comment may be dated by the time you read it)

From Ian:

Extinguishing the Fires of Anti-Israel Agitation (REVIEW)
In Financing the Flames, we finally get the real answer to the question, as Edwin Black meticulously details how anti-Israel efforts are being funded by non-Arab nations (such as the United States and Great Britain) and by presumably non-aligned, well-intentioned private donor groups – some Jewish, which are then implemented by misguided Jews and Jewish organizations.
In other words, the Jewish gifts for socially-conscious fund raising and media wizardry, if indeed such things exist, are ironically being used against Israel.
We learn from Financing the Flames how these funds have created an industry-of-confrontation against Israel, and have led to careers for many of Israel’s adversaries.
Author of ‘IBM and the Holocaust’ Takes Apart NIF Funding Sources in New Book (INTERVIEW)
The book, “Financing the Flames,” takes a hard look at the many non-profits funded by NIF, the role of the historically anti-Semitic Ford Foundation in propagating hate materials in 2000 and 2001, and how that ethos and funding transformed into NIF. Black also highlights many of the grievances long made by watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch and others, showing general readers the payments, effectively subsidized by U.S. tax payers, and received every month by Arab terrorists sitting in Israeli jails.
Financing the flames from a mobile home in Florida
Those who wonder whether Palestinians and Israeli can reconcile and co-exist in peace must also confront the fact that foreign influences are working to make that more difficult. In the case of the internationals at Deir Istiya, the foreign intervention reaches all the way into the United States, and to a humble trailer located off the road, deep in the woods of Florida.
JPost Editorial: Israel and the Rights Council
This was accompanied by nebulous carrots dangled before Israel. One is that Israel will cease being the sole geopolitically unaffiliated country at UN forums in Geneva.
Presumably, at some unspecified date, Israel will be coopted to the Western European and Others Group, as it is in New York’s UN forums.
The other carrot is that moves will be undertaken, again at an unspecified time, to release Israel from the dishonorable unique status accorded it at the UNHRC under Agenda Item 7. This turns Israel into a permanent subject of debate at every council session. No other country has a compulsory agenda item reserved for it.
These promises are far too vague to constitute tangible diplomatic achievements. They certainly do not justify Israel’s reversal of an eminently justified policy.
CFR: What is the U.S. position regarding the legality of Israeli settlements? by Elliot Abrams
U.S. officials have tried to avoid an argument over the legal status of the settlements, instead urging that expansion is a bad policy. The use of the term "illegitimate" rather than "illegal" suggests a desire to express disapproval as a political judgment without getting bogged down in arguments over the international legal status of the Palestinian territories and Israel's actions in them.
Douglas Murray: Are we losing the war for the soul of Islam?
The extremists may have a bad interpretation of Islam, they may have a wrong interpretation of Islam, but for very many people it is also a perfectly plausible interpretation of Islam. We do not acknowledge this because we do not want to.
In February 2011 America's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, was asked about the Muslim Brotherhood at a House Intelligence Committee hearing. He declared the Brotherhood to be a "largely secular" organisation with "no overarching agenda".
Whatever his title, Mr Clapper is clearly a man of no curiosity or intelligence. Since its founding in 1928 the agenda of the Brotherhood has been absolutely clear. It desires to impose sharia and restore the caliphate.
Jewish groups launch pro-circumcision task force
Responding to recent attacks in Europe on ritual circumcision, Jewish groups convened a special task force in Brussels to mount a “proactive defense” of the practice.
“The days of waiting around to firefight individual attacks on brit milah are over,” said Philip Carmel, European policy adviser for the European Jewish Congress, in reference to the non-medical circumcision of 8-day-old Jewish males for religious reasons.
Report: Deal in works to reveal fate of IAF navigator Ron Arad
A Kuwait newspaper reported Wednesday that a deal was coalescing by which Israel would be given new information on prisoner of war Ron Arad in exchange for Iran receiving information on four Iranian diplomats who went missing near Beirut during Lebanon’s civil war in 1982. The report comes 27 years after IAF navigator Arad was taken as a prisoner of war by the Lebanese Shi’ite group Amal. (h/t Bob Knot)
Helping the Methodists with their Israel boycott questionnaire
The UK Methodists have put out a questionnaire to help them construct a briefing on the arguments for and against boycotting Israel. As the deadline looms we offer some help
British Methodists have until November 4, to complete a questionnaire on what they think about BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) against Israel. We thought we'd offer a bit of help. Here are the questions with our answers underneath them and in italics:
Daphne Anson: Adelaide BDSers Scrubbing The Uncomfortable Truth (videos)
In the City of Churches, BDSers get busy with the scrubbing brush when, in two separate incidents earlier this year, they find subversive messages from a pesky supporter of the Zionist Entity who got there ahead of them chalked on their patches in the Rundle Mall.
In the first video, which, like the second, features well-chosen supplementary footage from elsewhere, BDSers in their familiar green t-shirts discover that their patch bears the chalked label "Danger Propaganda Zone" followed by the very appropriate "Boycott Real Racism":
Israeli Law Center Sues Australian Academic for BDS Campaign
Israeli law center Shurat HaDin has filed a legal suit in the Australian federal court against the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University in Australia Jake Lynch for supporting the the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Satanic Israel and Other Acts of Refined Anti-Semitism at York University
Then I saw a press release, plastered all over the place, announcing that Satan has donated $25 million to York University, signed by Gloria Suhasini, Senior Media Relations Officer at York University. Normally, I would think that something like this is a bad joke, but at this notorious university you can’t dismiss any possibility.
The Humiliation of Palestinians in Arab States

French Jewish Leader Says Climate for Jews in Country is ‘Not Pleasant’
According to i24 News, Curkierman said France “is facing three distinct forms of anti-Semitism. First, there is the rise of the far right, including the growing public acceptance of National Front party; on the other hand, there is the anti-Semitism of the far left, originating with pro-Palestinian activists calling for a boycott of Israel. Cukierman described this type as ‘anti-Semitism dressed up as anti-Zionism.’
Finally, anti-Semitism prevails among young suburban immigrants, ‘predominantly Muslims,’ who are ‘eager to commit violence when they see a Jew a yarmulke.’”
Jewish Actress Lisa Kudrow Talks Anti-Semitism, Her Son’s Bar Mitzvah in Revealing Interview
Jewish actress Lisa Kudrow opened up about her past experiences with anti-Semitism in a recent interview with the Saturday Evening Post, describing how in college she faced a dispiriting backlash because of her religion.
“In college there was more anti-Semitism than before college, because there were people who never met a Jew before. A friend of mine, when she found out I was Jewish, said, ‘Really? Oh, I don’t like Jews,’” she shared.
Thank You Pastor John Hagee
The Jewish community owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Pastor John and Diana Hagee. On November 7, at the Grand Hyatt in New York, notable community leaders and friends of Israel will gather to say thank you. Professor Elie Wiesel, Ari Fleischer, Malcolm Hoenlein, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, and others will add their voices to the chorus of praise.
Israel’s Mekorot Wins Contract to Create Water Master Plan for Azerbaijan
The project is part of a wide memorandum of understanding between Mekorot and Azerbaijan’s government that calls for water treatment within its capitol city of Baku, building a command and control center, and treating water contaminated by radioactive sources. So far, Mekorot has provided monitoring laboratories and sampling equipment, and has been training Azerbaijani officials at seminars in Israel.
Israel and Japan to Collaborate in Agricultural Research
Israeli Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir announced Monday that the Israeli and Japanese governments will establish a joint research and development fund after a meeting with Japanese Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo.
US LGBT leaders praise Tel Aviv’s support for Gay Cente
American LGBT leaders from advocacy organizations, government and academia visited the Gay Center, owned and operated by the city of Tel Aviv.
“None of us are aware of another municipality where they are solely funding the LGBT community center,” said Malcolm Lazin, executive director of the Equality Forum, a national and international LGBT civil rights organization with an educational focus.
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark to Israel’s Peres: ‘I Will Remember this Visit for the Rest of My Life’
On a state visit to Israel, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark told Israeli President Shimon Peres, who thanked Danes for saving Jews during the Holocaust 70 years ago, that he “will remember this visit for the rest of [his] life.”
“On a personal note, it is fantastic to be in Israel and to visit so far the museum and to witness also the part that tells a positive story during World War II about Danish Jews being shipped and rescued on small boats across from the shores of eastern Denmark to Swedish shores, that was a very bold act of good Danish citizens who came from all walks of life and who did not hesitate to act when it was very necessary,” the crown prince said. “For me this is something personal but today our two countries commemorate this. I will remember this visit for the rest of my life.”
CNN is reporting that a White House official has confirmed that Israeli warplanes struck a military base near
the Syrian city of Latakia this morning.

Israeli officials have refused to comment.

Al Arabiya also reports the story, citing "exclusive sources":
Israel was behind a series of explosions that rocked a Syrian air base in the northern Latakia province, Al Arabiya television reported on Thursday, quoting exclusive sources.

The bombing targeted a shipment of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that was headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon, the sources said.
Initial rumors claim that the target was Russian SA-8 missiles en route to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Naharnet says:
Another security official said that the attack occurred in the port city of Latakia and that the target was Russian-made SA-125 missiles.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the attack.
There is a good reason Israel stays mum on events like this - because acknowledging them opens up the possibility of widening the conflict in Syria.

For an administration that prides itself on extricating itself from wars, it sure looks like it likes to try to start them as well.
  • Thursday, October 31, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
For some reason, most news outlets seem to have missed this story. From Your Jewish News, last week:

A large shipment of illegal weapons was apprehended at the port of Ashdod, Israel, according to officials.

Ashdod port workers and customs agents were stunned after discovering more than 14,000 illegal weapons on Wednesday night.

The tax authority had marked the container as suspicious, and after being placed under a scanner, customs agents decided to open it for further inspection.

When the container was opened, agents found a large number of dangerous weapons, which were hidden between clothes.

Specifically, agents found 4,000 flashlight shaped electric shockers, 1,000 iron batons, 3200 pepper sprays, 2000 slings, 4000 laser pointers prohibited for import into the Palestinian Authority and 3,500 fake Casio watches.

Police said that a 27-year-old Palestinian man of Hebron, was arrested in connection with the container. The man has a history of smuggling.
I'm not sure if I would characterize fake Casio watches as weapons....

It almost sounds like these are meant more for an "intrafada" than an intifada.

I saw this at the COGAT site. The only Israeli (English) media I could find mentioning it was Arutz-7.

From Ian:

Israel files UN complaint over PA praise of terrorist
Israel’s ambassador to the UN lodged a complaint with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday over a condolence letter sent by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the family of a terrorist killed by Israeli forces.
The IDF said Mohamed Aazi was among the planners of the bombing on the No. 142 bus in central Tel Aviv during Operation Pillar of Defense as the bus drove near the Kirya, the Israeli military’s headquarters.
“When we talk about the troubling rise of incitement and its effects on the hearts and minds of young Palestinians,” wrote Ambassador Ron Prosor, “there cannot be a more outrageous example than an incident that occurred last week. At the heart of this incident is Mohamed Assi, a terrorist responsible for the November 2012 bus bomb explosion that injured 29 civilians in the center of Tel Aviv.”
Ban: Releasing Murderers is Good, Building is Bad
Releasing terrorists is good, but approving new Jewish construction in Jerusalem is wrong, according to the head of the United Nations.
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in a statement he released on Wednesday, condemned Israel’s announcement that it will build 1,500 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
Abbas vows there will be no peace agreement unless all prisoners go free
Abbas was speaking during a reception at the Mukata presidential compound in Ramallah for Palestinians released from Israeli prison.
After hugging and kissing each one of the freed prisoners, Abbas vowed to pursue his efforts to secure the release of all inmates.
Twenty-one prisoners were released to the West Bank, while another five were returned to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas did not hold a reception for them.
Abbas welcomes 21 murderers released from prison

Guardian images highlight freed terrorist; ignores Holocaust survivor he murdered
Whilst the Guardian’s coverage of the prisoner release continues to highlight the joy of the freed terrorist and their families, the Jews (and Palestinian ‘collaborators’) they murdered continue to largely remain nameless and faceless.
BBC coverage of prisoner release in pictures
Not one image of any of the twenty-five victims of the murders committed by the twenty-six prisoners was shown by the BBC and yet again the faces of family members of the victims also remain unseen. That is not because such photographs do not exist; it is an editorial decision.
US Mideast czar slams settlement expansion
Philip Gordon, the National Security Council coordinator for Middle East policy, emphasized perceived Israeli transgressions in describing the difficulties afflicting renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in an address Tuesday evening to the annual gala dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine.
“The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement expansion,”
Gordon said, an apparent reference to new housing starts announced by Israel in recent weeks.
EU demands Israel stop settlement activity, ‘including natural growth’
“The EU deplores the recent settlement announcements. Any actions that could hamper or undermine the ongoing negotiations must be avoided,” Catherine Ashton said in a statement. “The EU has repeatedly stated that settlements are illegal under international law. It has also called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.”
French Citizen Detained for 'Spying' on Jewish Community
A French citizen was detained this afternoon for questioning (Wednesday) by civilian security guards on allegations of spying on Yitzhar residents in their homes. The unnamed man, who is suspected of taking unwanted photographs of residents and buildings in the community, may be involved in Palestinian Arab incitement in a nearby village.
Syria completes destruction of chemical arms equipment
The announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons came one day ahead of the November 1 deadline set by the Hague-based organization for Damascus to destroy or “render inoperable” all chemical weapon production facilities and machinery for mixing chemicals into poison gas and filling munitions.
Destruction of the equipment means that Syria can no longer produce new chemical weapons. However, Damascus still has to start destroying existing weapons and stockpiles. The country is believed to have around 1,000 metric tons of chemicals and weapons including mustard gas and the nerve agent sarin.
Huge explosion reported at Syrian air defense base
A Syrian air defense base near the coastal city of Latakia was reportedly destroyed Wednesday night, with multiple Syrian and Lebanese sources speculating that an Israeli strike from the Mediterranean was to blame.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a loud explosion in a Syrian army base, and Twitter users quoted eyewitnesses who said the blast occurred near Snobar Jableh, just south of the city.
Saudi resolution slams Syria’s human rights record
A draft UN resolution initiated by Saudi Arabia would strongly condemn “widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights” by the Syrian government and “any” abuses by anti-government armed groups.
Saudi Arabia, which backs rebels fighting to overthrow President Bashar Assad, has strongly criticized the Security Council’s failure to resolve Syria’s civil war and other conflicts, citing this as one reason for rejecting a seat on the UN’s most powerful body earlier this month.
Iran’s secret night flights to arm Syria’s Assad revealed
The US, a cautious supporter of Syrian rebels, has long complained about flights between Iran and Syria, saying Tehran airlifts soldiers and weapons to the Assad regime.
Last year, in the final months of her tenure as US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton struck an agreement with Iraq to intercept and search Iranian planes flying through its airspace, a measure that the government in Baghdad – which has close ties to Tehran – has shown little desire to implement.
Elliott Abrams: Meanwhile, back in Iran
The Obama administration has shown its lack of interest in Iran's human rights situation since June 2009, when the president seemed indifferent to the wave of protests that arose around the presidential election. Today we find in regime stalwarts, who have represented the Islamic republic for decades and smiled while acts of terrorism took hundreds of lives, new hope for reform. But inside Iran, there is no reform; human rights violations continue apace. The "reformer" Rouhani has appointed as justice minister Moustafa Pour-Mohammadi, whom Human Rights Watch called "minister of murder" in 2005 for his previous conduct, including hundreds of extrajudicial executions.

Day After Rushed White House Meeting With Jewish Leaders, Simon Wiesenthal Center Calls Out Obama Admin. on Iran
A leading Jewish human rights group called out the Obama administration Wednesday for its recent efforts to block new Iran sanctions legislation, and urged the senate to “immediately adopt the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act, which earlier passed the House with broad bi-partisan support.”
“We respectfully disagree with the White House’s push to give the Iranians more time,” said rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who also called on the President to sign the bill if it is ratified by the senate.
Nuclear chief says Iran will keep enriching to 20%
Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the Tehran parliament’s news site Wednesday that “the 20% uranium and fuel plates are being produced and built within the country,” the state-run Fars news agency reported.
“No stop has occurred in the process of the production and it never stopped before,” he continued.
Iran sentences activist actress to prison
An Iranian actress known for her political activism in support of the country's reformists has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after facing security charges, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The case over the 24-year-old actress, Pegah Ahangarani, points to the internal, and sometimes conflicting, centers of power in Iran as calls for greater openness by new President Hassan Rouhani have angered Iran's more conservative judiciary.
Egypt arrests senior Muslim Brotherhood figure
The arrest of Essam el-Erian, the deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice party, was the latest in a wide-ranging crackdown and prosecution of both the Islamist group’s leaders and its rank-and-file since the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi, who also hails from the Brotherhood.
Asst. Secretary of State: Egypt Churches Burned by Some People Who Are ‘Simply Anti-Christian’
Obama administration officials took heat from both the right and left over the White House’s brusque stance toward the interim Egyptian government, with California Democrat Brad Sherman wryly noting “we didn’t criticize Morsi’s departure from democracy, but we are criticizing Morsi’s departure.”
But perhaps the most telling moment of testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee this morning came when Elizabeth Jones, acting assistant secretary of State for Near East Affairs, was asked who was behind the burning of Coptic churches across the country.
“Some of them are just — are simply anti-Christian,” she stumbled in an answer that refused to point blame toward the Muslim Brotherhood or any other Islamic extremists.
Hezbollah Prepares for Syria Showdown in al-Qalamoun
The offensive will again pit Hezbollah fighters directly against jihadists and militant Islamists. The al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamist militias Ahrar al-Sham and Liwa al-Islamhave been reinforcing towns and villages in the region to prepare for the expected Hezbollah assault. Some reports claim that as many as 20,000 rebel fighters have poured into the region, some being redeployed from Damascus suburbs.
Saudi court sentences man for spying for Israel
A Saudi court reportedly sentenced a Jordanian national to nine years in prison and 80 lashes for spying for Israel.
Though details regarding the man or his arrest were unclear, Saudi daily al-Riyadh said a special court had determined that the accused contacted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that he spoke with an Israeli intelligence officer and sent him a picture via email. The court determined that the man agreed to work with Israeli intelligence for a fee.
According to Palestine Today, this morning a a mob of Muslims managed to start a disturbance in order to "expel" a group of about 30 Jews who were visiting the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.

The Aqsa Heritage Foundation has photos of the "settlers" being "provocative."

As far as I can tell, not only do Jews have the right to visit and to pray on the Temple Mount, but if they wanted to build a synagogue there I cannot find anything in international law that wouldn't support them wholeheartedly.

The overriding consideration in international law is the right to be treated equally, and barring Jews from the Temple Mount is about as discriminatory as possible.

Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights says:
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

In addition, Article 20 seems to prohibit the insults and incitement that Muslims engage in towards Jews on the Temple Mount:
1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Moreover, the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief is filled with articles that would prohibit banning Jews from the Temple Mount:
No one shall be subject to discrimination by any State, institution, group of persons, or person on grounds of religion or other beliefs.

For the purposes of the present Declaration, the expression "intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief" means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on religion or belief and having as its purpose or as its effect nullification or impairment of the recognition, enjoyment or exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis.

Discrimination between human beings on grounds of religion or belief constitutes an affront to human dignity and a disavowal of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and shall be condemned as a violation of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and enunciated in detail in the International Covenants on Human Rights, and as an obstacle to friendly and peaceful relations between nations.

All States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and cultural life.

All States shall make all efforts to enact or rescind legislation where necessary to prohibit any such discrimination, and to take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the grounds of religion or other beliefs in this matter.
From these articles it appears that Israel is obligated to allow Jews to visit and pray there, and to protect them from those who want to take away their rights.

It is true that this same declaration says:
Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
But this clause is referring to cases where the practitioners of the religion are the ones who are a danger to others, not when the others are so intolerant that they threaten violence. To invoke this paragraph to deny Jews' rights to the Temple Mount (which I suspect human rights organizations would do if pressed) would make the rest of that declaration a mockery.

Of course, we will never hear Human Rights Watch or Amnesty or the UN dare to defend the Jewish right to worship on the Temple Mount. Because Jews who want to do so are not considered to be worthy of protection by international law, apparently.

(I hope to expand this into a paper for ASHREI-ME.)

Mark your calendars:
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency [Iran]) - Several Iranian NGOs staged a panel discussion on Tuesday to discuss the political and social status of the Zionist regime.

Titled 'End of Israel,' the conference also gave a touch to the faltering status of Israel amid the regional developments.

Iran-based Office in Support of Palestine and the House of Young Top Citizens will staged the panel discussion under the auspices of Tehran Municipality.

During the conference, director of the pro-Palestinian research center Neda, Ahmad Soroush-nejad believed that the Zionist-dwelled areas in the occupied Palestine are so small in area that they are within the range of the Palestinian resistance rockets, adding that the geographically small area are never safe.
So it is time for Israel to expand, say, from the Nile to the Euphrates. Thanks for the advice, Ahmad!
Next, a researcher in the Islamic Center I South Africa, Hojjat-ol-Islam Abdollah Husseini, expert maintained that the Holy Koran suggests that the regime would perish in 2022.
But how does the Koran explain that Muslims would be humiliated by the poor, weak, dhimmi Jews for  74 years between 1948 and 2022? Obviously it is Allah's will.
The participants also heard from an expert in Zionism affairs, Ali Akbar Raefipour and representative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Naser Abu Sharif.
Hey, don't make fun - they're experts!
From YNet:
US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki responded Wednesday to Israel's announcement of building 1,500 units in east Jerusalem saying "We do not consider continued settlement activity or east Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations."

At no time in the course of pursuing negotiations toward a two-state solution have we condoned settlement activity or east Jerusalem construction," she added.
Two things need to be made clear.

One is that the timing of the announcement of 1500 more housing units in Ramat Shlomo was stupid. It made it look as if Israel building in its own capital is a quid pro quo for releasing murderers. The appearance of linkage is completely unacceptable.

Secondly, Ramat Shlomo is not even close to the municipal border of Jerusalem. It is an integral part of the city, even if it is slightly over the Green Line. In no possible universe is that neighborhood or area up for negotiation.

The idea that Jerusalem must become frozen in time retroactive to 1967 is, to put it bluntly, stupid. 

There are no Arab neighborhoods between Ramat Shlomo and the center of Jerusalem. There is empty land around Ramat Shlomo to expand (it is a small, dense neighborhood.)

 Building there does not affect any conceivable "peace" plan.  (And it is not in "east Jerusalem," but north.) 

The question is, has the State Department ever condemned Jerusalem investing in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem? Or are the condemnations only for Jews?

I think we know the answer.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This is interesting:
Egyptian security forces stormed al-Azhar University campus on Wednesday to quell student protests against the military-backed government.
It was the first time police forces have moved onto a campus since a 2010 court ruling.

The interior ministry ordered the police intervention following a request by the administration of the prestigious university, Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

Students supporting ousted President Mohammad Mursi have been holding regular protests on campus, sometimes prompting the suspension of classes.

During Wednesday’s protests students smashed windows, hurled chairs and covered walls of an administrative building with graffiti insulting the military backed interim government and Minister of Defense Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.

“Sissi is a dog. Down, down with the lord of the army,” one protester scribbled, according to Reuters. One police officer yelled: “Arrest anyone you see. Bring me those kids. If you see anyone just arrest them right away.”

Demonstrations at al-Azhar are a sensitive matter as the institution has historically taken the government side.

Islamists appear to have adopted a policy of choosing sensitive sites such as al-Azhar University to display their views instead of taking to the streets in big numbers, Reuters reported.
Video of the riots:

Al Azhar has been considered the center of "moderate Islam" for a while.

However, many Egyptians are claiming that most of those arrested were not in fact students, but outside Muslim Brotherhood agitators. In fact, one politician compared the Brotherhood infiltrating Al Azhar to Jews "storming the Al Aqsa Mosque." Nothing about Talmudic rituals, though.

Looks like the students disagree.

The rioting is spreading to other universities, like Cairo University, Alexandria U and Mansoura U.

From Ian:

France: Anti-Semitism Now Mainstream
A few weeks ago, when French Jewish actor Elie Semoun was a prime-time guest on one of the main French television channels, Canal Plus, the words of Sebastian Thoen, a standup comedian who introduced him may have been meant to be to be laudatory, but took quite a different turn: "You never plunged into communitarianism [Jewish activism] ... You could have posted yourself in the street selling jeans and diamonds from the back of a minivan, saying 'Israel is always right, f*** Palestine, wallala.' You show that it is possible to be of the Jewish faith without being completely disgusting."
Semoun was obviously ill-at-ease, but did not react. A couple hours after the show, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) issued a statement denouncing a "dangerous trivialization of anti-Semitism." The President of the TV channel responded by saying that the Jewish community had "no sense of humor." The incident occurred, however, in a context where the French Jewish community has no reason to have a sense of humor.
Anti-Semitism in Australia?
One of the reasons there has been such a spike in anti-Semitism across Europe is because the political and social leadership failed to act when the warning signs first appeared.
Today, they are playing catch up, and some may say, are even too late.
While anti-Semitism will always exist no matter where, the Australian response of zero tolerance, education and unequivocal political and social condemnation ought to be an example to all those fighting this oldest and most enduring forms of hatred.
Mom of Australia attack suspect works at Jewish nursing home
The mother of one of the suspects arrested in connection with this weekend’s beating of several Jews in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday said that her son could not be an anti- Semite as she works for a Jewish nursing home.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the mother of the accused stated that her son did not hate Jews, citing her employment as proof.
“When he’s at home he’s not racist, but when they get together they like to pick on people – it only takes drinking,” she said of her son and his friends.
The woman’s 17-year-old son as well as the other suspect arrested, who is also a minor, were out on bail for assaulting a police officer at the time of Saturday’s attack, the Daily Telegraph added.
Incident at the University of New South Wales
Two students campaigning for the ‘Voice’ ticket danced around Mr Campbell while making Nazi salutes and singing ‘Springtime for Hitler’. Both campaigners, one of whom was standing for election, have since issued unequivocal public apologies. The elected councillor has also offered his resignation to the student council. Mr Campbell has accepted the apologies of both campaigners and accepts that they did not intend to offend him or the Jewish community, but that their conduct was nonetheless antisemitic.
Academic Freedom Against Itself: Boycotting Israeli Universities
A final question. What animates the boycotters? They would, I am sure, answer, we are animated by a commitment to the securing of social/political justice, a commitment that overrides lesser commitments we might have as professionals. I’ll grant that as a part of their motivation, but another, perhaps larger, part is the opportunity to shed the label “ivory-tower intellectual” — a label that announces their real-world ineffectuality — and march under a more flattering banner, the banner of “freedom fighter.” But the idea that an academic becomes some kind of hero by the cost-free act of denying other academics the right to play in the communal sandbox (yes, this is third-grade stuff) is as pathetic as it is laughable. Heroism doesn’t come that cheaply. Better, I think, to wear the “ivory-tower intellectual” label proudly. At least, it’s honest.
EU weighs Israeli proposals to resolve settlement guidelines dispute
“Yesterday, the EU and Israel held serious and pragmatic discussions on mutually acceptable ways to ensure full Israeli participation in EU programs, notably Horizon 2020,” a diplomatic source said. “The EU side returned to Brussels with detailed suggestions made by the Israeli side: these will be considered further and will be subject to further discussion as soon as possible.”
University of Oslo instructed that their G4S ban is illegal
Several months back, the University of Oslo banned the Norwegian security services company G4S, on the very unlikely ground that its sister company in Israel is said to contribute to Human rights breaches. Not only did the University of Oslo rescind their contract with G4S, but denied them participation in the public tender for new contracts. This, the Norwegian G4S found ludicrous and intolerable and took the University to court.
Israel rejects Lebanon EEZ compromise
The disputed area covers 850 square kilometers. The triangular region has its apex near Rosh Hanikra and its base along the borders with Israel and Cyprus's EEZs. The agreement signed between Israel and Cyprus in December 2010 supports Israel's interpretation. A similar agreement signed between Cyprus and Lebanon was not ratified by the Lebanese parliament.
"Globes" recently revealed that Lebanon has already published oil exploration tenders for its waters in which the southern license border markings for Block 9 are in line with the Lebanese version of where the border should be.
Antiquities thieves nabbed at Second Temple-era site
According to a statement published by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the three Palestinian men infiltrated into Israel through an as-yet-uncompleted section of the security fence last weekend. Two of the suspects are from the nearby village of Nahalin and the other is from Bethlehem. They are suspected of hunting for coins or other precious metals. Officers found food, camping gear, digging tools and metal detectors on their persons.
NY deliveryman wins $900,000 after 16 years of anti-Semitic abuse
Much of Wiercinski’s father’s family died at the hands of the Nazis, he told the newspaper. He said he had to explain what Zyklon B was to the jury, because they were “very young.”
“When I explain how it was used in the gas chambers, they were very serious. Everybody [in the courtroom] was silent,” he told the Post.
Hi-tech flowerpot saves plants from owners’ mistakes
There are no statistics about how many houseplants die annually because they weren’t watered, or perhaps more commonly, watered incorrectly, with owners giving them too much or too little water at the wrong time. For plant owners who are watering-challenged, students at Tel Aviv’s Shenkar College of Engineering and Design have designed a “smart planter,” a flowerpot that knows how much water to dispense and when to dispense it.
GreenSpense to represent Israel at 2013 International Cleantech Open Ideas Competition
After winning the national Open Cleantech Competition in Israel, GreenSpense – which has developed an eco-friendly solution to the challenges and dangers presented by aerosol containers — will represent Israel at the upcoming 2013 International Cleantech Open Ideas Competition in Silicon Valley.
The California event is one of the most prestigious international competitions in the cleantech field.
Dutch museums identify 139 pieces looted by the Nazis
Dutch museums have identified 139 pieces of art, including dozens of paintings — one by Matisse and many by Dutch painters of varying renown such as Impressionist Isaac Israels — as likely having been taken forcibly from Jewish owners.
Richard Dawkins Perplexed by High Number of Jewish Nobel Prize Winners
Addressing the controversy surrounding a Tweet he wrote during the conferment of Nobel prizes earlier this month, Dawkins offered up something of a mea culpa, stating: “That was unfortunate. I should have compared religion with religion and compared Islam not with Trinity College but with Jews, because the number of Jews who have won Nobel Prizes is phenomenally high.”
Continuing, he said: “Race does not come into it. It is pure religion and culture. Something about the cultural tradition of Jews is way, way more sympathetic to science and learning and intellectual pursuits than Islam. That would have been a fair comparison. Ironically, I originally wrote the tweet with Jews and thought, That might give offense. And so I thought I better change it.”
Asurion acquires Soluto for $100m
Asurion, a leader in technology protection services, has paid upwards of $100 million to acquire Soluto, the Tel Aviv-based online software problem solver.
According to Hebrew media reports, the American corporation first sent an email to Soluto’s CEO Tomer Dvir about buying out the award-winning Israeli company but the young computer whiz thought it was a joke.
Peres is ‘sababa,’ Paula Abdul gushes
Abdul met with Peres on Tuesday and let him know that “everyone told me you’re so sababa, and it’s true,” using the Hebrew slang word for “cool.”
Visiting Israel for the first time after a decades-long career as a dancer, singer, choreographer and, most recently, TV talent show judge, Abdul said she was “overwhelmed with gratitude” to be in Israel, and has “wanted to come for years.”
Vatican tweets a Lou Reed tribute
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, on Monday tweeted out a verse from Reed’s song “Perfect Day.” On his Twitter account @CardRavasi he wrote: “Oh, it’s such a perfect day/ I’m glad I spend it with you/ Oh, such a perfect day/ You just keep me hanging on (Lou Reed).”
Lou Reed is why I’m a rabbi
This musical journey of Lou Reed—one that in 1965 accompanied Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable—is what inspired me along my path to the rabbinate. Through his music as life, Lou Reed reminded me of that annual obligation of crossing all boundaries with the utter seriousness of carnivale that Jews still call Purim—that “Halloween Parade”. That same album New York from 1989 is where Lou confronts the Nazi fugitives like Kurt Waldheim and anti-Semitic candidates like Jesse Jackson, so that with “Good Evening Mr. Waldheim” Lou dares to remove the mask! Reed saw the absurdity of life surrounding him and despite it all—following Fackenheim’s call for the 614th commandment not to grant Hitler a posthumous victory—he embraced life! May the memory of rock n’ roll animal, Louis Rabinowitz—Lou Reed, be a blessing, and in the final words of the Warsaw Ghetto rebbe in 1943: Es zol zich zingen a shira —“So shall the song sing itself.”
The Huffington Post has a photo essay, "29 Photos That Put All Of Our Struggles In Perspective."

Two of those photos are pure Pallywood.

#8 says "The world we've come to love can often seem to collapse around us." and it shows this photo:

A Palestinian family's home in East Jerusalem was demolished in 2013 by the state municipality for not having proper safety permits. The family claimed they were still waiting for the permits to arrive.
However, I showed that the child in this photo, along with others, was playacting his anger for the cameras, as this 11 minute video proves:

Then, HuffPo places at #11, the girl known as Shirley Temper ("Wanting nothing else but to fight back.")

Here's the video, to music, showing all of Shirley's greatest hits:

Fact-checking is clearly not a major focus for HuffPo.

From Al Ahram:
An Ismailiya misdemeanour court has ordered the detention of a Suez Canal University student for 15 days, pending investigations on accusations that he insulted religion, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) said.

Sherif Gaber was arrested on Sunday after his university administration filed a report against him saying he formed a Facebook group for atheists.

Article 98 of Egypt's penal code says anyone convicted of offending religion in any form can face up to six years in prison.
That's funny. I never heard of that law being enforced against any insults to Judaism, Christianity or any religion besides Islam.
From Ian:

Is a cold war reprise coming in the Middle East?
The withdrawal of US aid from Egypt was a shock; the whole Middle East (the rational part, that is), knew full well the implications of a Muslim Brotherhood president in such an influential nation, yet the mighty US punished Egypt’s military for removing him and attempting to restore some semblance of order to the country.
In Syria, President Assad unleashes one of the worst weapons created by man. The world tweets for a couple of weeks before effectively letting him off the hook with a (Russian-inspired) solution that probably allowed the Syrians to hide as many of their chemical shells as they wanted to. Russia 1 – 0 USA .
New Iranian president Rouhani smiles pleasantly at the world and opens talks with the Americans. This is such a shock that the world immediately thinks about slackening sanctions; maybe even before all the centrifuges spin down. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan… and Israel – all look on aghast at the apparent naiveté of the West.
Toward Peace and Prosperity in Middle East
Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, Foreign Minister of Egypt for seven years, stated in a televised interview in response to President Obama's idealism, that democracy is almost impossible in the Middle East because of its culture and because of democracy's conflict with sharia laws. Unlike the American model of democracy that is based on the separation of church and state, in Egypt, the constitution clearly affirms that Islam is the official religion of the state and Sharia law is main source of legislation. Many intellectuals in the region apparently agree with Mr. Aboul-Gheit's assessment.
In addition, the Middle East, they say, particularly Egypt, is missing the essential pillars of a democratic society. Political and religious tolerance, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, freedom of expression, civil society, an effective education system, and limited government simply do not exist in the majority of the nations in this region.
'US would Never Free Terrorists'
Prof. Avi Diskin, an expert on political science at Hebrew University and the Shaarei Mishpat College, says Israel is among the only countries in the world that frees terrorists, if not the only one.
"We are truly unique," he told Arutz Sheva. The United States never did anything like that. It's true that it is truly very very important for us to be in sync with the Americans. It is true that we are extremely dependent on them, and that in order to placate them we free terrorists, but this is a process they would never undertake in their own country.”
Arab MK: Israel Must Submit to Arab Demands or Disappear
On Wednesday MK Ibrahim Sarsour of the Arab Ra'am-Ta'al party accused the Israeli government of endangering Middle East stability in failing to make peace with the Palestinians, declaring that Israel must either submit to Arab demands or disappear.
He further claimed Israel was the "sole cause" preventing advances in the peace talks because it continues to refuse to withdraw to the 1949 ceasefire lines, divide Jerusalem and let Arabs who fled in 1948 return with their descendants.
PA Takes Issue with Israel's Demand for Security
According to the report, senior Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Yasser Abed Rabbo said that Israel had adopted hardline positions and negotiations had so far produced "no tangible progress."
The so-called “hardline positions”, according to Abed Rabbo, are Israel’s demands that any agreement with the PA will ensure the continued security of Israeli citizens.
"The 1948 lands (i.e., Israel) are occupied" - Fatah official on behalf of Abbas

Israel to UNHRC: Release of Palestinian terrorists shows we're serious about peace
Israel’s willingness to release Palestinian prisoners who killed its citizens shows that it is serious about peace, Ambassador Eviatar Manor told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, as his country made its first appearance before that Geneva based body since it cut off ties a year-and-a-half ago.
“All of them have blood on their hands; all of them have murdered Israelis. Their release, I believe, illustrates Israel’s determination to reach an agreement with our Palestinians neighbors that will, once and for all, end the conflict,” said Manor. He is Israel’s representative to the UN in Geneva.
Cardassians versus Israel at U.N.
Unconscionably, Israel was pressured diplomatically to participate especially by the United States and Germany. In the case of the United States it is disappointing that President Obama did not stand up for Israel. In the case of Germany there’s another reason this is particularly galling.
NGO-Monitor lately has documented the degree to which Germany – both the government and foundations – fund anti-Israel NGO’s. Part of the UPR process involves the testimony of stakeholders, in this case, NGO’s. Among the German funded NGO’s are Adalah and Miftah, both of whom are listed as stakeholders.
In short, Germany’s saying, “Go stand for trial; we’ve paid for the witnesses against you. But don’t worry.”
By comparison, Cardassian justice almost seems fair.
UN's Falk Seeks Int'l Court Decision on Israeli 'Occupation'
Richard Falk, the United Nations’ human rights expert who has a history of anti-Israel statements, is at it again.
On Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, Falk said that if renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) fail, the UN General Assembly should turn to the International Court of Justice and seek an opinion on “the legal consequences of Israel's occupation of land claimed by the Palestinians."
BBC promotion of the myth of a non-violent first Intifada
Beyond the blatantly political use of the phrase “Israel occupation army” which is obviously inappropriate for an organization which professes to adhere to standards of impartiality, Kafala clearly intentionally misleads audiences by inaccurately stating – very insistently, one notes – that those involved in perpetrating the violence of the first Intifada were “at no stage armed with guns”.
Adopting the Palestinian narrative of “resistance”, Kafala goes on to state:
“Much of the Palestinian resistance was non-violent. It included demonstrations, strikes, boycotting Israeli goods and the civil administration in the occupied territories, and the creation of independent schools and alternative social and political institutions.”
Al-Jazeera's not-so-secret agenda
The absurdity in all this is that the emir of Qatar, who owns the supposedly democracy-loving al-Jazeera, sentenced the Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami to life in prison, which has since been transmuted by pardon to 20 years.
He was found guilty of insulting the emir and calling for his ouster through his poems. Meanwhile, Qatar's emir calls for the release from Egyptian prison of al-Jazeera reporters who incited against Sisi.
Report: Terrorists to Set New Record in 2013
The report cited the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), which reported that terrorism hit a record high in 2012, and that so far attacks have been even more frequent in 2013.
There were over 8,500 terrorist attacks worldwide in 2012 and nearly 15,500 people were killed by terrorism, the group reported. The data showed a major increase compared to 2011, with attacks up by 69% and fatalities up by 89%.
The previous high for attacks was set in 2011, while the previous year in which the most people were murdered by terrorists worldwide was 2007.
Syria's Assad unleashes 'Starvation Until Submission Campaign'
At an army checkpoint that separates government-held central Damascus from eastern suburban towns earlier this month, a thin, teenage boy on a bicycle circled a soldier and begged to be allowed to take a bag of pita bread, a staple food, into the eastern suburbs. The soldier refused but the boy kept begging for "just one loaf".
The soldier finally shouted: "I'm telling you, not a single morsel is allowed in there. I don't make the rules. There are those bigger than me and you who make the rules and they're watching us right now. So go back home." The soldier, visibly upset, exhaled quietly and deeply when the boy slipped out of sight.
The Syrian War is Not What Romantics Want it to Be
The opposition also has to consider the relative strength of Bashar Assad. Assad started with a base of support that cannot switch sides; more than one-third of the Syrian population is Kurdish, Christian, or members of other minority groups that rely on the secular, nationalist Assad government to protect them. The FSA’s hopes that the U.S. would enter the battle have been dashed, and any hope that Israel would do so was never realistic. Today, Assad is a partner to the U.S.-Russian agreement on OPCW and the removal of the chemical weapons arsenal; it was a small price for Assad to pay to ensure that the U.S. wouldn’t attack militarily. Russia again supplies the government with arms openly. And Israel’s “red lines,” while effectively maintained, have not helped the rebels at all.
The FSA is literally between the rubble and mass graves, and the choices are stark: to continue fighting both Assad and the jihadist militias while watching its fighters defect and its people suffer ever more death and destruction, or to admit defeat by Assad and negotiate a new arrangement to try to oust the jihadists. It will be an enormous victory for Iran, Russia, and Assad, and a corresponding loss for the Saudis (and other Sunni interests) and, of course, the Syrian people. But it cannot be unthinkable.
Groan: Prince Charles Blames Civil War In Syria On Global Warming…
The Prince of Wales used his keynote speech at the 9th World Islamic Economic Forum in London this evening to warn of the political and economic dangers of climate change, and used Syria as a “terrifyingly graphic” example of the adverse effects of climate change on vulnerable populations.
Syria: 'Over 60,000 Iranians fighting alongside Assad forces'
"In Siria, there are over 60,000 fighters from Iran," said Ahmad Jarba.
For this reason Iran should not attend Syrian peace talks
dubbed Geneva II scheduled to take place next month, Jarba said.
"Iran cannot take part in 'Geneva II' while it is killing the Syrian population," he told Arab and western foreign ministers gathered in London to meet Syrian opposition officials.
Dennis Ross: How to negotiate with Iran
Finally, do not waste time. Iran will likely attain an undetectable nuclear capability by mid-2014, and perhaps even earlier, leaving scant time to both negotiate and verifiably implement a deal. It appears that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif may have offered a timeline at Geneva for wrapping up negotiations. But given Iranian nuclear progress over the last 18 months and earlier unexplained activities, negotiators ought not accept a schedule that stretches beyond the point when it becomes impossible to prevent a nuclear Iran by other means. Implementing and making known a strict deadline for talks can dissuade Iran from using diplomacy as a cover while sprinting for the bomb, and reassure Israel so it does not feel compelled to act alone.
Experts: Iran May Be Readying Ruse To Activate “Invulnerable” Plutonium Reactor
A heavy-water plutonium reactor that Iran has committed to bringing online would become “invulnerable to military attack” once Iranian scientists activated it, according to analysis conveyed today by TIME. The explanation is straightforward:
Because it is not yet up and running, the Arak heavy-water reactor has remained in the background of the nuclear controversy. But it looms larger every day. The reason: once Arak goes online, the option of destroying Iran’s nuclear program with air strikes becomes moot. The reactor is essentially invulnerable to military attack, because bombing one risks a catastrophic release of radioactivity. In the words of Israel’s last chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, who piloted one of the F-16A’s that cratered Iraq’s Osirak heavy-water reactor in 1981 before it was due to become operational: “Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl, and no one wants to do that.”
Iran shuts down newspaper, cites anti-Islamic article
State TV reported Monday that Iran's media supervisory body banned the daily Bahar, citing a law authorizing media closures over articles deemed to violate Islamic values or insult Islam.
Bahar published an op-ed article on Wednesday that expressed doubts the Prophet Muhammad had appointed a successor — a statement that contradicts the beliefs of Shiite Muslims.
Iranian envoy prompts removal of Finnish university report highly critical of Tehran
Iran’s ambassador to Finland, Seyed Rasoul Mousavi, intervened at the Finnish National Defense University to compel the removal of a research paper from the university’s website, because the document critically examined Iran’s nuclear program and its treatment of Israel, women and minorities.
The research paper was removed on Saturday.

The Iran expert and researcher Alan Salehzadeh wrote in his 42- page study, entitled “Iran’s Domestic and Foreign Policies,” that “ Iran does not approve of the existence of Israel and wishes to see it destroyed.”
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
Al Quds has an article today about how the Israel Museum is erasing Palestinian (Arab) history in its exhibitions, by either "stealing" archaeological artifacts from Canaanite times or by not mentioning the history of Arabs in the region.

I don't know how accurate the article is, but I looked at the Israel Museum website and found this:

Mona Hatoum

Current Disturbance, 1996

Mona Hatoum, Palestinian, born Beirut 1952, lives in London
Current Disturbance, 1996
Installation: Wood, wire mesh, lightbulbs, computerized dimmer switch, amplifier, four speakers
280 x 550 x 504 cm
Gift of Wendy Silverman, Thomas Schulhof, and Michael Schulhof, in honor of their parents Hannelore and Rudolph Schulhof, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum

Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum creates deeply personal and political works relating to the body, the artistic language of Minimalism, and the condition of exile. In Current Disturbance, she used varying electrical current in lightbulbs to generate effects of sight and sound. The bulbs fade on and off randomly and at various levels of intensity. Sometimes the current makes a crackling sound, and at other times a humming. It is like a malfunctioning nerve center in which some of the synapses fail to connect.

In formal terms, the rather pure geometric grid is minimalist; in associative terms, it recalls a prison cell, a camp, territory that is out of bounds. There is no entrance or exit, so viewers can only walk around this closed-off no-man’s-land, an empty inner space that nevertheless implies a human presence or absence. The flickering lights, like hundreds of tiny lighthouses, transmit a message of warning but perhaps also of hope of rescue.
The installation has traveled to museums throughout the world but it is apparently owned by the Israel Museum.

I'm not saying that this isn't art - it looks like a powerful piece, even if it is overtly political and anti-Israel. I would question whether it belongs in this museum at all.

The point is that even the Israel Museum is hosting anti-Israel Palestinian Arab art, so the charge that it erases the PalArab viewpoint is clearly baseless.
Yemen's Sheikh Abd Al-Azim Al-Huthi has declared that the jihad against the "Houthi infidels", the Shiite sect in Yemen that has been waging a civil war against the government over the past decade, "is better than the jihad against the Jews." because these Shiite rebels "are enemies of Allah and His Messenger"

"It does not make sense to fight the Jews as long as the Houthi group exists," said Sheikh Huthi.

Don't worry - the Houthis won't become Judeophiles any time soon. Their logo says "God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Damn the Jews, Power to Islam."

(There are rumors that Tehran instructed the Houthis to get rid of the "Death to America" part of their slogan! The rest of it is OK, though.)

It's so comforting to know that my people are now second in line for slaughter by Yemeni Sunnis. This makes them moderate!

Perhaps the well-known Islamic slogan should be changed to "First the other Friday people, then the Saturday people, and only then the Sunday people."
The purported leader of a state that virtually the entire world agrees must exist greets people who have murdered Jews.

That's not news anymore.

What is amazing is that no western leader finds these images to be disgusting.

No academic notes the hypocrisy of a "peace partner" welcoming, in person, murderers and terrorists.

No mainstream journalist or editorialist says the obvious - that a people who lionize murderers are clearly not deserving of any Western support, let alone a state.

There is not one word of condemnation from the enlightened West that Mahmoud Abbas - personally and proudly - poses with and praises people with blood on their hands.

Photos that would instantly torpedo the career of any other politician on the planet are not newsworthy when the politician is "President of Palestine."

The world agrees:  Palestinian Arab leaders are moderate, peace-loving victims and that the people that their people murder are evil colonialist oppressors who deserved to be shot, stabbed and bludgeoned to death.

There is no other interpretation.

At the end of this video showing the celebrations, one of the murderers says, to the cheers of the crowd, "All of Palestine from the river to the sea":

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Belgian professor wrote an opinion piece on the website of RTBF, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, saying that Israel is a racist state. (He based this mostly from reading Ha'aretz.)

RTBF has a Facebook page as well, and this article was linked there as well.

Some of the comments, predictably, are insanely antisemitic.

You know, having killed Christ is not enough for them...the Jews in France are also racist! :)

Every Jew is racist to another human because for Jews they are like dogs ... they can kill a non-Jew and will not be condemned ...

Goldstein refused to do anything to save the life of a Gentile - this was not a personal quirk, but simply an command of the Talmud on which it is based.
These comments remain up on the page after moderation.

The Philosemitism blog reports that the person in charge of the page, Ms. Françoise De Their, answered that "Comments are moderated as soon as possible by the editorial departments concerned, in accordance with professional, legal and ethical requirements."

The French Community of Brussels Minister of Culture and Media, Fadila Laanan, responded that "I was assured that the comments are still on RTBF page of this social network are within the limits of the debate and are acceptable."

Incidentally, Laanan's parents were born in Morocco.

(h/t Rudi)


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