Saturday, December 14, 2013

From Ian:

Lawrence Summers: Academic boycott of Israel is “anti-Semitism in effect”
Here is the Summers interview with Charlie Rose specifically on the ASA boycott resolution (full interview here, segment starts at 35:00)):
This particular academic boycott is much worse, it is much worse because the idea that of all the countries in the world that might be thought to have human rights abuses, that might be thought to have inappropriate foreign policies, that might be thought to be doing things wrong, the idea that there’s only one that is worthy of boycott, and that is Israel, one of the very few countries whose neighbors regularly vow its annihilation, that that would be the one chosen, is I think beyond outrageous as a suggestion….
Charlie, I said some time ago with respect to a similar set of efforts, that I regarded them as being anti-Semitic in their effect if not necessarily in their intent. And I think that’s the right thing to say about singling out Israel.
If there was an academic boycott against a whole set of countries that stunted their populations in some way, I would oppose that because I think academic boycotts are abhorrent, but the choice of only Israel at a moment when Israel faces this kind of existential threat I think takes how wrong this is to a different level.
My hope would be that responsible university leaders will become very reluctant to see their universities’ funds used to finance faculty membership and faculty travel to an association that is showing itself not to be a scholarly association bur really more of a political tool.

Jerusalem snow: UN Security Council to convene emergency session (satire)
Speaking from Ramallah the Palestinian Authority's leading cleric Sheikh Mohammed Luni Jihad asserted that the Israelis created the snowstorm specifically to punish the Palestinians and in particular to destroy the Al Asqa Mosque. While some climate scientists have disputed certain aspects of the Sheikh's claim, there is universal agreement that this kind of freak snowstorm is due to man-made global warming which is caused mainly by the Zionist control of all the world's natural resources. Al Gore and David Cameron both confirmed that the 'science was settled' for this.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was quick to agree to the special security council session, stating that there was no greater tragedy in the world today than the sufferings of the Palestinians, and that the snowstorm was a 'disproportionate response' by the Israelis to recent 'minor' provocations. The latter reference was to the totally harmless past time of Arab youths in Jerusalem to stone Jewish women and children (which in some cases does not even lead to death or serious injury). US Secretary of State John Kerry warned the Israelis that if the snow storm was allowed to continue - and hence deprive the Palestinian youths of the opportunity to stone Jews - then he would personally support a third intifada. Fortunately the Arab youths have already found inventive ways to express their frustrations in the snow.
Caroline Glick: Pollard and an American Jewish renaissance
Pollard’s case is meaningful because it is hard.
It isn’t easy to defend Pollard. He betrayed the US government.
But the government’s disproportionate and unjust treatment of him owes entirely to the fact that he is an American Jew. Until he receives justice, no American Jew can be certain that his or her constitutional right to equal protection under the law will be respected. Defending Pollard means defending Jewish rights. And defending Jewish rights also involves communal identification in a deep and significant way.
Finally, Pollard’s case is a good case to take up as a communal cause because there is every reason to believe that such communal action can succeed. As Esther Pollard wrote in The Jerusalem Post this week, during the White House Hanukka party, Obama said that clemency for Pollard is “under consideration.”
Nothing breeds success like success. A successful American Jewish campaign to secure Pollard’s release could serve as a building block to a communal revitalization and renaissance. That is, the worst act of governmental discrimination carried out against the American Jewish community could serve as the basis for a renewal of the community at a key moment in its history.
The connection between Swedish aid and Palestinian media antisemitism
Why Sweden continues to provide aid to the MDC is still a mystery. In Sidas report for 2010- 2012 and many times before it is stressed that there is no impact on developing the free democratic media that Sweden wants to create in the PA and Gaza. Sida has even been advised to end the support to the MDC.
Sida claims it wants media to help building a democratic and peaceful society. However as long as the antisemitism and the glorification of terror exist in the Palestinian media, the media will always remain undemocratic and undeveloped and can not build a peaceful society.
Unsubstantiated BBC claim re-promoted in follow-up story
On December 4th the BBC News website published a follow-up to a story it featured last July concerning an Iraqi man who was marooned at Almaty airport after he tried to enter Kazakhstan without a visa.
The latest story links back to the original article by the BBC’s Central Asia correspondent Rayhan Demytrie in which the unsubstantiated and apparently gratuitous claim that “Israel won’t allow him to travel to the Palestinian territories” still appears.
In the follow-up story, Mohammed al Bahish’s Iraqi origins are completely erased and he is curiously portrayed solely as “Palestinian”.
Into The Fray: Wacko in Washington
Blueprint for a horrific future
There is much that has been left unsaid about the disastrous direction in which US foreign policy is headed. But even from the abbreviated critique that has been laid out above, one thing clearly emerges.
The agenda being aggressively advanced by Obama and Kerry is founded on myth and/or malice.
It is prolonging the conflict by propagating and perpetuating pernicious fictions and falsehoods.
History will prove it to be a blueprint for a horrific future – for Jews and Muslims alike.
PA Formally Refuses to Recognize Jewish State
Abbas' rejection of US Secretary of State John Kerry's proposals in Ramallah Thursday night came after similar remarks to a public radio station earlier in the night. The PA source confirmed Friday that Abbas "has rejected the ideas" presented by Kerry.
The source also revealed that Abbas had given Kerry a letter on "Palestinian red lines," which include his "refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state."
EU to Offer Massive Aid Package to Israel, Palestinians if Peace Deal Reached
The package—spearheaded by the foreign ministers of Germany, U.K., France, Spain, and Italy—is reportedly worth billions of euros and would include incentives such as increased access to the EU market, closer cultural and scientific ties, facilitation of trade and investment, promotion of business-to-business relations, enhanced political dialogue, and security cooperation, Haaretz reported.
But according to Maariv, the EU’s resolution on the package also called Jewish construction in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem an “obstacle to peace” and expressed “deep concern with regard to incitement, violent incidents in the occupied territories, house demolitions and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza.”
French town honors killer of US, Israeli diplomats
A majority of aldermen in the city council of Bagnolet east of the French capital voted on Wednesday to make the Lebanese citizen Georges Ibrahim Abdallah an honorary resident, calling him a “communist activist” and “political prisoner” who “belongs to the resistance movement of Lebanon, his country,” French media reported Friday.
Abdallah, a founder of the Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Faction, was captured in 1984. A French court sentenced him in 1987 to life in prison for “complicity in the assassinations” in 1982 of Charles R. Ray, a US military attaché serving in Paris, and Yacov Bar-Simantov, a second counsellor at the Israeli embassy in Paris.
Israel-Bashers Let the Bedouin Rot
Let there be no mistake about the fact that Israel’s leftist foes don’t give a damn about the Bedouin. Bringing water, sewage, electricity and educational services to camps that can stretch out for miles in places throughout the desert is impossible. While most of the existing Bedouin towns can be left in place, the most far-flung need to be consolidated if the people who live there are not going to be left in shacks with no connections to the country’s first-world economy. Connecting them to the grid means some have to move.
Much like the descendants of the 1948 Palestinian refugees, the Bedouin only serve a purpose to Israel-bashers if they can be portrayed as victims of the Zionists. They don’t care that the main purpose of the Prawer-Begin plan was to help the Bedouin. Those who claim to demonstrate on their behalf have done nothing for either group. Indeed, the more miserable their existence, the better they like it. Any deprivation faced by this population is fine, so long as it serves to make the Israelis look like exploiters. The crocodile tears they shed for the Bedouin will be swiftly forgotten as they move on to other issues and Israelis who argued about it will similarly push them to the back of the national agenda.
Jury Withholds Winners of Badil’s “Al-Awada” Caricature Contest
Palestinian NGO Badil announced that the “jury decided to withhold” the winners of the “Best Caricature” category in this year’s “Al-Awada Awards” contest. In previous years, awards were given to blatantly antisemitic submissions.
On May 5, 2010, Badil awarded second place in the category and a $600 monetary prize to a blatantly antisemitic cartoon, featuring a grotesque caricature of a Jewish man standing over dying Arab child and holding a pitchfork dripping with blood. The man is standing on a platform inscribed with “1948” and the Star of David, labeling the establishment of Israel as murderous and evil.
Stand With US: Palestinian Leaders Glorify Violence

Raining on Hamas’s parade
It is hard to grasp the monumental change that Hamas has undergone since it celebrated its 25th anniversary a year ago. Then, the head of the political bureau of Hamas, Khaled Mashaal, came to the Gaza Strip in order to mark the “great victory” over Israel in Pillar of Defense. Almost a half a million people went out to greet him during the main ceremony.
But a lot has happened since then: Hamas’s Muslim Brotherhood allies were forced out of power, the Egyptian army managed to close most of the tunnels between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, and Hamas was officially designated a terrorist organization by Egypt — at least according to the indictment against ousted Egyptian president Mohammad Morsi, whose trial begins soon. (The exact charge against Morsi is “cooperation with the terror organization Hamas.”)
Former U.S. Embassy In Iran Turned Into Anti-American Museum
The former U.S. embassy in Iran has been turned in an anti-American museum, CBS reported Friday.
The embassy, famously seized in the Iranian Revolution of 1979, is now known by hardliners as the “nest of spies.” A mural lining the staircase shows the shows the hardliners’ “deep-seated paranoia and animosity towards America,” said CBS correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.
But while hardliners still view the Unite States as their main enemy, Palmer says, millions want to move past the “clumsy anti-Americanism for a more constructive future.”
Iran arrests man accused of spying for Britain's MI6
Iranian intelligence authorities have arrested a man on charges of spying for Britain's MI6, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
The head of the Kerman region's revolutionary court, Dadkhoda Salari, told the agency the suspect made contact with British agents 11 times in recent months, inside and outside the country.
According to Salari, the suspect has admitted his guilt and he is currently on trial.
UK police arrest 3 soccer fans over anti-Semitic tweets
Police said two men, aged 22 and 24, were arrested Thursday in London and in Wiltshire, Reuters reported Friday. A third man, 48, man was arrested at his home in Canning Town in London last week on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
An investigation was triggered following a soccer match on Oct. 6 by complaints about tweets that referred to Hitler and the gas chambers in connection to a match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.
Wiesenthal Center Calls for Najwa Karam to be Fired From ‘Arabs Got Talent’ Show
The call comes following the revelation on Thursday that entertainment mogul Simon Cowell’s Syco television empire which created and licenses the ‘Got Talent’ show format, is investigating comments made by Karam last year in which she praised Adolf Hitler.
“She should be fired and everyone in the Arab world should know why,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of SWC said. “Veneration of what the Nazis did is widespread in that part of the world. It is shorthand for hatred of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Poland to honor partisan who warned about Holocaust
Poland’s parliament named 2014 the Year of Jan Karski, honoring the man who alerted the allies about the Holocaust.
Last week’s unanimous vote in the Sejm marked the centennial of Karski’s birth.
Karski, who is not Jewish, was born in Lodz in 1914 and was a courier for the Polish resistance during World War II.
He infiltrated the Warsaw Ghetto and the Izbica transit camp and was among the first to relay first-hand news of the Holocaust to the West.
Israeli start-up seeks to end roaming charges
An Israeli startup is trying to combat a common fear for international travelers: getting socked with hundreds or thousands of dollars in unexpected roaming charges for using cellphones away from home.
Cell Buddy aims to turn any smartphone into a local one. Travelers can choose from an array of calling and data plans with carriers in dozens of countries. As a result, they pay local rates — not the pricey fees charged by their wireless carriers at home.

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