Friday, December 13, 2013

From Ian:

The legal case for Judea and Samaria
If we were to make a gross generalization, the world has adopted the Palestinian narrative as it relates to the legal status of the territories. Even those who negotiate on behalf of the State of Israel, men and women who officially adhere to the party line that Judea and Samaria, the cradle of Jewish civilization and peoplehood, is not occupied territory, have long ceased to make this statement publicly, just as they haven't even bothered to make use of a long list of legal and historical arguments that support this position.
While it may seem that this train has long left the station, we were surprised to suddenly learn that for months now a counterattack has been waged over "the historical, legal truth." This is a campaign that is being waged by hundreds of jurists from Israel and abroad who aren't making do with the usual "rights of our forefathers" or "Zionism" rejoinders which are now devoid of currency in the international arena and the High Court of Justice.
Why Israel is boycotted
The attempts to boycott Israel or mark its products, interfere in its ancient geography or mark it as racist, fascist or Nazi are the current political expression of Israel's ancient characterization as "a nation that dwells alone." The return to Zion is the Jewish nation's return to history, to life as a sovereign people in its ancient homeland. Calls for boycott were made even before the establishment of the state. While these calls came from the extremist factions at the time, they moved toward the center as the years went by, particularly after 1967. That was when we came back to the cradle of our nationhood, to the historical places most closely connected with our identity. Most important, we came back to Jerusalem, which is also linked with the identity of the world's nations. The fight against Israel -- which is a fight against history's law of the return to Zion -- is evidence of how hard it is for Israel's opponents to deal with the Jews' return to life after having been in a state of living death for so long. That is why we and our products are marked, why the badge of shame is being placed upon us once again, why we are being isolated and boycotted. This is our adversaries' way of saying: "You are not one of us."
EU shows it’s unhappy to fund divided, dysfunctional Palestinians
But stopping funding for Gaza may just be a prelude to much broader measures. European officials have been mulling the possibility of cutting funding to the PA altogether if talks between Israel and the Palestinians fail to bring about tangible results. This is a possibility not all officials like mentioning; some prefer to present the cup half full: Europe will significantly increase funding if talks succeed, one diplomat said.
A key word in the new European report is “conditionality.” Europe feels it has been doling out billions of euros in aid to the Palestinian Authority with no mechanism of checking its impact or benefit. That, it seems, is about to change; Europe will demand more accountability from the Palestinian Authority and stop treating the Fatah-Hamas schism as a temporary situation.
Idiotic EU official defends paying Palestinians not to work
The story was widely reported and brought the following letter to the editor of The Financial Times, from an EU official:
Sir, While I appreciate the welcome coverage given to the vital work being done by the EU in Palestine, your report “Brussels criticised for paying Gaza civil servants who no longer work” (December 11) is misleading. Indeed, it would have been useful to remind your readers that the existence of the Palestinian Authority, and its ability to provide basic services to its citizens, is a precondition for a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This has been the cornerstone of EU policy on the conflict, fully supported by all member states. In this context, the European Commission and the member states have considered it vital that the Palestinian Authority is able to support its workers in the West Bank and in Gaza as a key element of a future Palestinian state.
Jerusalem slams Dutch water company’s ‘self-righteous hypocrisy’
Israel on Thursday condemned the “self-righteous hypocrisy” of Dutch government-owned water company Vitens, after it emerged that the company still cooperates with the water authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. On Tuesday, Vitens had announced it would cease working with Israel’s national water supplier Mekorot because it provides water to Jewish communities in the West Bank.
“This only confirms yet again that Vitens’ move regarding Mekorot is heavily tainted with self-righteous hypocrisy and has nothing to do with international law,” the spokesperson of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Yigal Palmor, told The Times of Israel Thursday. “Cowardly caving in to pressure by radicals and extremists will only encourage more iniquitous actions, and Vitens’s verbose moralizing will bring them more of this kind.”
Government shelves Prawer Plan on Bedouin settlement
The controversial Prawer Plan to solve the issue of unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev will be scrapped, one of the bill’s chief architects announced Thursday.
Former minister Benny Begin, who worked on the bill with Ehud Prawer, head of policy planning in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, told reporters at a press conference that “the prime minister accepted my advice to delay bringing the Bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev to a Knesset vote.”
Another missed opportunity
All of this would be acceptable if nixing the law actually served the interests of one side. But this is not the case. Most of the Bedouin who hope for economic and social advancement understand that Begin-Prawer's land settlement could have solved their problem. But in the Arab sector a pattern of behavior has been established where nothing reasonable or effective can be undertaken if it involves cooperating with Jews.
After CounterPunch Interview ADL Accuses Roger Waters of ‘Conspiratorial Anti-Semitism’
After formerly defending rock star Roger Waters from charges of anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has concluded that the former Pink Floyd bassist is an anti-Semite.
The latest stance from the ADL follows the publication by CounterPunch magazine of an interview with Waters in which he compared Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, and referred to the “Jewish lobby” as the reason why so few celebrities have joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Roger Waters: The professional liar
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is the most prominent anti-Israel movement in the West. It is neither a peace movement nor an anti-occupation movement. It is a movement that supports the destruction of the State of Israel in order to establish a single state in its stead. The BDS movement’s leaders declare this openly and publicly. Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame has in recent years become one of BDS’s most important and celebrated spokespeople. Waters gives frequent interviews to explain his position. It is important to pay attention to what he says in order to expose how this industry of lies works.
The anti-Semitic stench of Pink Floyd
I’ve read some heavy-duty attacks on Israel and Jews in my time, but they pale beside the anti-Semitic diatribe recently offered by Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s co-founder and former front man. In an interview with CounterPunch online magazine, Waters experienced a Jew-hating colonic where he purged himself of all the racist refuse that had accumulated in his putrid system and clearly required release.
Good people opposing academic boycott of Israel
I don’t know what the outcome will be regarding the proposal by the American Studies Association to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The membership voting ends December 15.
While the proposal took pro-Israel and/or pro-Academic Freedom academics by surprise, it was years in the making by devoted the BDS activists who now run the ASA and some other academic associations.
The vote will not be the end. Pro-Israel and/or pro-Academic Freedom academics and groups will need to assess how to oppose the mob rule that increasingly determines the very thing that should not be subjected to mob rule, academic freedom.
American Studies Association purges their Facebook page of critical comments
If you visit the site today (at least as of this morning) you will see that it has been cleansed of every posting relevant to the boycott posted yesterday (December 11).
Under normal circumstances, I’d take solace in the notion of hypocrisy being the complement vice pays to virtue. But what are we to make of an organization that, in attempting to shut down inquiry with their Israeli colleagues is ready to first shut it down among its own members while simultaneously sending out e-mails urging people to participate in “discussion and healthy debate”?
The Disinformation Age
Around the time the Newseum announced it would put members of a designated terrorist organization on the Journalism Memorial Wall, we learned that Ahmed Haidar, an employee of al-Manar, was already there. It's unclear when he was so honored. What is clear is that the Newseum knows al-Manar is owned by Hezbollah -- and that both are designated terrorist entities.
As with the al-Aqsa employees, it is not certain that Haidar ever actually contributed to any journalistic products whatsoever. In its designation of al-Manar, the U.S. Treasury Department noted that some of those on the organization's payroll are "engaged in pre-operational surveillance for Hezballah operations under cover of employment by al-Manar."
In other words, "just because you carry a camera and a notebook doesn't make you a journalist."
A Tour of New York Times Editorializing
A brief CAMERA video documents a number of recent examples of anti-Israel editorializing in the supposedly impartial New York Times news pages.

Modern day Nazi salute sweeping Europe, expert warns
A neo-Nazi gesture, regarded by anti-Semitism researchers as a modern day Nazi salute, is rapidly spreading among anti-Semites in Europe and is being used by individuals to fly under the radar of strict anti-hate speech laws in parts of the continent.
The “quenellle” signal, extending one’s right hand toward the ground while the left hand grasps the shoulder, was devised by Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a controversial French comedian who has been condemned in court several times for anti-Semitic remarks.
Simon Cowell’s Syco Investigating Lebanese ‘Arabs Got Talent’ Judge Who Admires Hitler’s ‘Persuasive’ Speeches
The Lebanese host of ‘Arabs Got Talent,’ an international franchise of Simon Cowell’s Syco television empire, is in hot water with the UK parent company for saying how much she admired the public speaking abilities of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, in an interview on Lebanese MTV, the UK’s Jewish News reported on Thursday.
Lebanese singer Najwa Karam, who has sold 50 million records and was the Arab face of the L’Oreal cosmetics line until last year, when asked on the Arabic-language interview program ‘Talk of the Town,’ in an episode aired on June 28, 2012, if she could choose attributes from six famous men to create the “ideal man” the first idea to pop into Karam’s head was Hitler’s “persuasive” speaking ability.
Romanian FM: ‘Burn kike’ song merits prosecution
Romania’s foreign minister has called on his country’s judiciary to prosecute the parties responsible for the airing of a Christmas carol about burning Jews.
Titus Corlatean made the statement Thursday following international uproar over the public broadcasters TVR3’s television transmission last week of a song by the Dor Transilvan ensemble, which celebrated the Holocaust.
Pakistani Blogger Calls For Reform In Textbooks:
Recently, Pakistani blogger Bakhtawar Bilal Soofi examined the influence of school textbooks on young children in Pakistan and they subtle ways in which they come to imbue negative ideas about other religions and communities.[1]
Soofi, whose blog post titled "An Intolerant Educational System Made Me Indifferent To The Death Of Non-Muslims" was published on the website of The Express Tribune daily, suggested ways to inculcate pluralistic thinking among Pakistani youth.
IDF Blog: 5 Technologies that Keep the IDF on the Cutting Edge
Groundbreaking technologies are advancing the IDF’s capabilities and eliminating threats. With these advanced tools in the hands of its soldiers, the IDF protects the people of Israel.
In a major speech last October, IDF Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz described the wide-ranging threats facing Israel in the near future. According to the Chief of Staff, the IDF could be forced to contend with anything from missile strikes on military sites to large-scale battles and cyber attacks that would paralyze Israel’s infrastructure.
A Clean Tech Air Force By 2033: That’s the IAF’s Green Goal
In the past two years, the Israel Air Force has been undergoing a huge change for the greener, and is using clean technology from around the world to become a net-zero-energy air force by the year 2033.
With the dramatic increases in the prices of gas, water and electricity in the past few years, coupled with military budget cuts, the Israel Air Force has been doing everything possible to switch over to systems that will bring significant energy savings over the next few years and into the future.
States hope to repeat Mass.-Israel tech success
Overall, job growth at the Israeli companies grew five times faster than the state’s overall employment growth rate from 2010 to 2012. Over that period, revenue at Israeli-founded companies in the state grew three times faster than in the Massachusetts economy overall, with revenue growth double that of the state’s most important IT and professional services sectors, including life sciences, the study showed.
The data explains the rush of US states to set up deals with Israel, organizing partnerships with government and academic institutions. The study identified 16 governors and nine mayors who have conducted trade missions to Israel since 2010, all of them touting their state as the best destination for Israeli start-ups seeking to expand to the US.
Part 2: The Church of Ireland Library's 115-Year-Old Photographic Treasure
We present here Part 2 from the Church of Ireland Library's photographic collection of pictures taken by David Brown in 1897.


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