Wednesday, November 20, 2013

From Ian:

NYT: Where are your bloody photos?
Public Editor of the New York Times, Margaret Sullivan took the bold, and important step in acknowledging the volume of reader outrage following the cold blooded murder last week of 19 year old Eden Atias as he slept. The NYT admitted an error of judgment. So why have they chosen to leave the offensive news item unchanged?
Sullivan was responding to our collective horror at not only the newspapers inability to frame the report around the appropriate context of the murder (we had to suffer much ink decrying settlements as the catalyst for current tensions and the cloudy outlook for peace) but the lead photo was not related to the victim as would be expected in any news environment when reporting such an event. The photo editor’s choice? The murderers’ mother surrounded by supporters at home.
PA TV aired encrypted message from soldier’s alleged killer
According to a translation by the watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch, on May 16, the presenters of the Palestinian TV show “For You” read the following statement during a segment dedicated to messages for security prisoners held in Israel:
Before we end, we have greetings for Nour Al-Din Amar from his brother Abu Wasim [Nidal Amar] and from the family. They say to you that they are well, and that your mother is healthy again. They tell you that “the calf will soon be in the cage, and we’ll celebrate the freedom of all prisoners.”
“For You” is the most frequently watched show among Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, according to Walla.
Terrorist sent coded message via official PA TV about planned kidnapping of soldier

IDF Strikes Terror Tunnels, Weapons Factory in Gaza
The IDF carried out multiple airstrikes Tuesday evening in the Khan Younis area in Gaza. IDF sources say the strikes hit their intended targets – a weapons factory and two tunnels built by terrorist groups.
So far, Gaza media outlets have not reported casualties as a result of the attack.
IDF Targets Weapons Manufacturing Facility in the Gaza Strip

IDF Blog: First-Person Testimony: I Watched a Firebomb Aimed at a School Bus Fly Towards Me
Shoval is a combat photographer for the IDF. It’s his job to document the IDF’s activities in Judea and Samaria, and terrorist attacks committed against Israeli civilians in the area. In a terrifying moment last week, he found himself caught in the middle of one of those attacks.
Last week, I saw my life flash before my eyes, and felt the terrible fear of dying.
Report: Israel Defense Forces Searching Northern Border Towns for Hezbollah Tunnels
A senior security source told the website that Israel, citing the recent discovery of two tunnels from the Gaza Strip, is increasingly worried that Hezbollah might have established a passage connecting south Lebanon to northern Israel.
Israeli concerns prompted a survey of the village of Metula, located near the southern Lebanese village of Kfar Kila, the source said.
Hamas Tunnel-Digging Unit Uncovered
Al Jazeera, the Arab media network based in Qatar, sent a correspondent to accompany a group of Hamas diggers who were filmed below ground preparing infrastructure for firing rockets. Using electric jackhammers to dig a tunnel through the packed rock, sand and soil, the Hamas operatives described their preparation for the inevitable next round of hostilities with Israel. They can spend weeks at a time underground without being detected, one operative explained.
Gazan Lion Cubs Named After Missiles, Fighting
The male and female cubs were born Monday, reports AFP.
One is named "Fajr (dawn)" after the Fajr missiles Hamas fired at Israel, while the other is named "Sijil (clay)" after the Hamas name for Pillar of Defense, "Operation Stones of Clay." (h/t Bob Knot)
Ramallah shooting targets car of top Fatah official
Unidentified gunmen in Ramallah opened fire Tuesday morning at the car of Sufian Abu Zaida, a senior Fatah official.
Abu Zaida, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, was not in the car when the attack took place, shortly before 7 a.m. At least 20 bullets hit the vehicle.
There is no credible US military option, and 9 other pointers from Jerusalem
As has been publicly unmistakable for the past 10 days, Israel and its key ally the United States are deeply at odds over the terms of an interim deal that may well be concluded shortly between the P5+1 countries and Iran. As talks on that deal resume in Geneva on Wednesday, the following are 10 pointers and insights on Israel’s assessments, positions, and possible actions.
US Military Chief: We Would Back Israel in Event of Iran Strike
According to the International Business Times, Dempsey noted that the US still has a 'deep obligation' to Israel in the event of a military conflict with Iran. Dempsey declined to give details, but emphasized that the two countries still have a special alliance during this period of heightened tensions in the region. "That is why we are in constant contact and collaboration with them," he confirmed.
CNN notes that Dempsey also credited Israel with being "an example of what could be" in the Middle East. "If we had one of my Israeli counterparts sitting here, they would tell you that most of the Arabs living in Israel have a better life than the Arabs living in the rest of the region and that is true," he said.
Negotiation 101: Democracies Keep Agreements, Dictatorships Cheat
President Barack Obama will attempt to convince Senators from both parties today that Congress should not slap new sanctions on Iran for failing to halt nuclear enrichment. But there are many reasons to reject the president’s request, especially the fact, noted today by former Bush administration official Douglas Feith, that while democracies tend to keep agreements, dictatorships like Iran and the Soviet Union routinely violate them.
In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Feith warned Americans not to trust Obama’s promises that sanctions, once relaxed, could be strengthened again:
Iran concedes recognition of its ‘nuclear rights’
Since the start of talks on Iran’s nuclear program, Iran has asserted it has a right to enrich uranium — and the United States has disagreed. Both have refused to budge over nearly a decade of negotiations. Until now.
Iran has suddenly gone public with a significant concession on the eve of a new round of talks with six world powers this week in Geneva. It still insists that it has a right to the program, but it now says that the six no longer need to publicly acknowledge its claim,[!] opening a way to sidestep the dispute and focus on more practical steps both sides can agree on.
France says Iran comments on Israel complicate nuke talks
Hollande was referring to comments attributed earlier to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking to a gathering of the Basij force, which is controlled by Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard.
In them, the Iranian leader referred to Israel — “the Zionist regime” — as “the rabid dog of the region.”
Speaking to some 50,000 members of the paramilitary volunteer militia, Khamenei also said Israel was ripe for collapse.
Iran’s State-Owned Natural Gas Company Faces Collapse
Iran’s state-owned gas company said over the weekend that it is facing collapse, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The chief executive officer of state-owned National Iranian Gas Company said the company has declared bankruptcy with a debt of $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Ronald Lauder Says ‘Only France Stands Between Us and a Nuclear Iran,’ Mocks Wendy Sherman
Lauder also mocked the U.S. point person in the negotiations, Wendy Sherman.
“The chief U.S. negotiator in Geneva is a person named Wendy Sherman, she was the point person who negotiated with Kim Jong-il to keep North Korea nuclear power free, and we all know how well that turned out,” he said.
For Obama, Iran Talks Are Also About Testing the Limits of American Jewish Power
Not only has the White House defined Israeli concerns as manipulative and deceptive, but they have also gone a step further, by identifying the threat to global peace as Israel’s temerity in voicing such concerns, rather than Iran’s decadelong push for a bomb. AIPAC’s push for another round of sanctions, administration officials say, will limit President Barack Obama’s diplomatic flexibility with the Iranians and set the United States on “a march to war.” Further congressional pressure on the Iranians, the New York Times says, is “urged on by Netanyahu.”
Israelly Cool: Iranian Jews Thank Khamenei For Non-Existent Anti-Nuclear Fatwa
The Iranian Jews are a persecuted minority that will do whatever it takes to keep living, and openly supporting Iran and Khamenei like that is expected. I cannot blame them for the useful idiots they have become.
The media and anti-Semitic online hacks , however, will push this story as far as they can in an attempt to discredit Israel by claiming that “Real Jews support Iran”. (h/t Bob Knot)
What was the true target of the Beirut bombing?
Solomon suggested that the Iranian cultural attaché at the embassy in Beirut, Sheikh Ibrahim Sayyed Ali Ansari, who appears to have been killed in Tuesday’s blast, may yet prove to have been a high-level target. For one, he said, he worked in the same part of the embassy as Shateri, and, as was the case in Argentina during the 1994 AMIA bombing and Mohsen Rabbani’s involvement there, the cultural attaché is frequently a Quds Force member. Moreover, he said, over the past month alone Ansari had met with Sheikh Hashem Safi al-Din, the head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council and the heir apparent to Nasrallah, should his life unexpectedly end; Sheikh Naim Qassem, deputy Sec. Gen. of Hezbollah; and Muhammad Raad, the ranking member of Hezbollah’s parliamentary delegation.
Car bomb in Sinai kills at least 10 Egyptian police
The officials said the car bomb struck the bus on the road between the border town of Rafah and the coastal city of el-Arish. The soldiers belong to the 2nd Field Army, which is doing most of the fighting against militant Islamists waging an insurgency against security forces in Sinai. The bus was on its way to Cairo, the officials said.
Al Qaeda Commander Clarifies: American Civilians Fair Game
His clarification of Al-Zawahiri's fatwa does appear to be consistent with recent statements by the Al Qaeda chief in which he praised the Boston Bombing - which specifically targeted American civilians - and called for more "lone-wolf" attacks of the same kind.
Al-Aanisi also reaffirmed Al Qaeda's opposition to participation in democratic political processes, saying that it would be an implicit acceptance of the very western systems the group is fighting to destroy.


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