Friday, November 22, 2013

From Ian:

A water war in Israel? Hardly
Detractors of Israel often seem so overtaken with critical fervor that they miss the truths that may seem obvious to more fair-minded observers of the Middle East.
Take, for example, Saree Makdisi's attack on Israel for supposedly cutting off Palestinians' access to water. He wrote in his Op-Ed article Monday that Israel uses 80% of the West Bank’s groundwater and makes it practically impossible for Palestinians to find new sources of water.
Such misleading claims do a disservice to the Palestinians by diverting attention from steps that can bring about a real improvement in water access for Palestinians. Israel can be instrumental in bringing about such an improvement. Genuine friends of the Palestinians would do well to inform themselves of the real water situation in Israel and the West Bank rather than be misled by the same tired diatribes to which we have regrettably grown accustomed. They'll be surprised by what they discover.
Richard Millett: My provocative question to the panel at “Israel tortures Palestinian children” event.
With a room full of teachers, Abu Eqtaish who works for an organisation dedicated to child welfare and Abu al Reesh who has been able to make something positive out of his teenage rock-throwing and imprisonment I was hoping, although not expecting, that someone might have at least a word of sympathy for the family of one year old Yonatan Palmer, who now lies in his tiny grave because of another Palestinian rock-thrower.
And so I asked Abu al Reesh and Abu Eqtaish my “provocative question”.
'Damaged' New Israel Fund Plans New Campaign
The controversial New Israel Fund (NIF), which supports a variety of ultra-leftist organizations in Israel, admits it has taken a pummeling from the grassroots-Zionist Im Tirtzu group, but promises it will launch a new strategic drive in three months' time.
According to left-wing paper Haaretz, NIF President Brian Lurie, and CEO, Daniel Sokatch, describe as “momentous” an upcoming meeting of the NIF board of directors, scheduled to be held in Israel in February, at which, Sokatch says, “new strategic directions will be set.”
CAMERA: EAST JERUSALEM: Setting the Record Straight
Do Jews have a right to settle in eastern Jerusalem? What are the legal issues regarding sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem'? Is Israel's annexation of eastern Jerusalem legitimate? The media often blurs these distinct questions together as one, answered with the facile and misleading conclusion that Israel is guilty of breaking international law. But without looking at the complex historic and legal considerations that underlie each of these questions, the media prevents news consumers from understanding one of the primary issues in the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict.
This backgrounder addresses some of the common media misrepresentations regarding Jerusalem.
Obamageddon in the Middle East
The easiest way to tell that Obama has run out of things to do in the Middle East is his desperate pivot to the peace process. The never-ending peace process, which is now on its fourth administration and its sixth prime minister, is the gift shop in the museum of the Middle East. It’s the place you stop by on the way to the exit because it’s convenient and everyone back home expects some souvenir peace t-shirts.
In 2013, the West Bank and Gaza are more irrelevant to events in the Middle East than ever before. Like toddlers left alone in their high chairs, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have spent the last year whining that no one is paying attention to them. And no one in the Arab world is paying attention to them because suddenly killing Shiites has become more of a priority than killing Jews.
Natfali Bennett: Talks 'Aint Going Nowhere'
Speaking to veteran presenter Charlie Rose, Bennett spoke his mind about a range of topics; from his own political career to negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and the Iranian nuclear standoff - although for Israeli audiences not that much new was covered.
When asked what brought a successful hi-tech businessman into the gritty world of politics, the Jewish Home party head said he traced that decision "to one moment," after he was called up for military reserve duties during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
Palestinian negotiator Ishtayeh insists on resignation
On Thursday, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi called on the Palestinian leadership in a radio interview to “prepare to turn to the UN without waiting for the failure of negotiations with Israel,” Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported.
Fatah: Israel is “the enemy of all nations of the world”
A Fatah official based in Lebanon recently explained that Yasser Arafat was involved in "all liberation movements in the world; in South America, in Asia, in Africa, and had a part in all these revolutions." The official, Fatah's Director of Communications in Lebanon Rifat Shanaah, claimed that Arafat "taught them" that Israel is "the racist entity, the enemy of all nations of the world" and that "it bears responsibility for insecurity everywhere because Israel exists in order to create conflicts - sectarian and ethnic conflicts in the Middle East."
34,600 Palestinians working in Israel without permits
The number of Palestinians from the West Bank working Jewish settlements there and in Israel has increased from ninety-six thousand in the first quarter of the year to 103 thousand in the third quarter.
The numbers were released in a report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.
51,000 of the Palestinian workers employed in Israel had work permits while 34,600 did not have permits, according to the report.
Palestinian Authority Builds Illegally in E1
The investigation of Regavim movement indicates that hundreds of portable structures have already been built around Ma'ale Adummim and Highway 1, which extends all the way to the Dead Sea. The buildings are made of metal plates, allowing rapid construction as the Palestinian Arabs generally operate on weekends, when the Supervisory Unit of the Civil Administration is on leave.
At first, the Palestinian Authority kept the buildings under black tarps, to prevent photos being taken and establishing proof of illegal building. Over time, these tarps have disappeared - revealing even more buildings in their wake. All of the buildings are in Area C - the area exclusively under Israeli control. (h/t Bob Knot)
PA shuts down Islamist seminar on women in Bethlehem
The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday night banned a radical Islamic group from holding a seminar in Bethlehem under the title: “Women’s groups and societies seek to corrupt women.”
The seminar was sponsored by Hizb ut Tahrir [Party of Liberation], a radical group whose goal is to create an Islamic state or caliphate ruled by Islamic law.
CAMERA: Thomas Friedman, Iran and the ‘Israel Lobby’
Of course, there are valid arguments on both sides of the sanctions question that can be debated. But Friedman, with obsessive tunnel vision, prefers to focus his target on Israel and her Jewish supporters (even throwing in a gratuitous, unrelated jibe about Israeli settlements), while treating French and Saudi objections as inconsequential. “If Israel kills this U.S.-led deal, then the only option is military,” warns Friedman.
This is not the first time Friedman has conjured up the ugly, anti-Semitic specter of a nefarious “lobby” that uses Jewish money and votes to corrupt American lawmakers in order to mold U.S. policy to Israel’s benefit and American harm.
Elliott Abrams: There Friedman goes again
This is awful stuff. It does not seem to occur to Friedman that those lawmakers simply agree with the Saudis (and many other Arabs) and Israelis that the Obama policy they oppose is dangerous for the U.S. They are not "taking Israel's side against their own president's" but taking America's side against a policy they see as foolish and dangerous. Does Friedman think John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two of the key critics of Obama's Iran policy, are beholden to "the Israel lobby" for their re-election campaigns, for donations, for future promotion?
Al Jazeera America Floundering Amid Low Ratings
Since its August 20 launch to 40 million US homes Al Jazeera America's TV channel has only averaged 13,000 viewers a day nationwide, equivalent to a public access channel, reports the New York Post.
Al-Quds president says Brandeis counterpart ‘gone overboard’ in row over rally
Lawrence called on Nusseibeh to issue in Arabic and English a condemnation of the demonstration. Unsatisfied with a statement subsequently issued by Nusseibeh in English and Arabic, which Brandeis called “unacceptable and inflammatory,” the Waltham, Mass. university on Monday suspended its partnership with al-Quds, which had been in place since 1998. Lawrence said the university would reevaluate the relationship in the future.
Brandeis Removes Al Quds’ Nusseibeh From Ethics Center
In a move reinforcing the basis for its decision to sever ties with Al-Quds University, Brandeis University issued a statement on Thursday, Nov. 21, that Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University, will be removed from his position on the Advisory Board of the Brandeis International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.
Syracuse follows Brandeis in halting ties with Al-Quds
Syracuse University “indefinitely” suspended its relationship with Al-Quds University on Thursday, making it the second American university to sever ties this week after Islamic Jihad held a Nazi-style demonstration on the Palestinian university’s campus.
“We are very disappointed and saddened to have learned of these recent events at Al-Quds University,” said Kevin Quinn, Syracuse’s senior vice president for public affairs, in an email to The Jerusalem Post. (h/t Bob Knot)
NY Jewish Leader: Working to Stop "Knockout Game"
In the "game," also known as "Get the Jew," gangs of black youths seek an unsuspecting vicitm and try to knock them out with one punch. The anti-Semitic attacks have seen an upswing in number since September.
Rabbi Behrman noted that in Crown Heights particularly easily identifiable religious Jews have been targeted. However, he noted that the "game" is being "played" throughout the US, and beyond simple anti-Semitism it bears testimony to a dangerously violent youth culture.
UAE book fair promotes Mein Kampf and Protocols of Zion books
The ­Sharjah Inter­na­tional Book Fair (SIBF) in the United Arab Emirates, which reportedly attracted 1 million vis­i­tors from across the region last week, reportedly featured several infamous anti-Semitic books, including the noto­ri­ous anti-Semitic forgery, The Pro­to­cols of the Learned Elders of Zion.
The ten-day book fair, which concluded last week, was organised by Depart­ment of Cul­ture and Infor­ma­tion — Shar­jah Gov­ern­ment. The mis­sion of the fair, accord­ing to orga­nis­ers, was “to cul­ti­vate the love for lit­er­a­ture among peo­ple by enrich­ing their expe­ri­ence of the writ­ten word.”
Saudi Man Arrested For Giving Free Hugs
Abdulrahman al-Khayyal was arrested by Saudi religious police after offering free hugs in the capital city of Riyadh. He apparently was inspired by a viral Youtube video of a fellow Saudi, Bandr al-Swed, offering free hugs. The clip has garnered nearly 1.5 million views in three days.
EasyJet to begin direct Tel Aviv-Berlin in February
Berlin will be the company’s sixth-operating route to Tel Aviv, after London Luton, Manchester, Geneva, Basel and Rome.
In April, the government approved an Open Skies Agreement to align Israeli flight rules with EU standards and bring about competition, a move that promised to benefit low-cost carriers.
Israel First Country to Sell Innovative 3D Printed Underwear (VIDEO)
There’s no need for Israelis to get their panties in a twist. That’s because Israel is set to become the first country in which 3-D printed underwear will be available for purchase.
Tamicare shot into the headlines recently after it was reported that Victoria’s Secret was in talks with the firm to produce underwear.
Israel Daily Picture: The Chatham Library Photo Treasures Part 2, the Walls & Gates of Jerusalem
The Chatham University Archives placed all 110 colored slides from the"Holy Land Lantern Slides"online, and in this posting we present a selection to focus on the collection's pictures of Jerusalem's walls and gates.
StandWithUs: Israeli Soldiers Stories Tour


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