Thursday, December 19, 2013

From Ian:

Brandeis Univ. drops American Studies Association membership over Israel boycott
Brandeis University becomes the second confirmed university to drop its Institutional Membership in the American Studies Association over the anti-Israel academic boycott.
Earlier we reported that Penn State Harrisburg would be dropping its membership. The real key will be whether universities also will refuse to allow university funds to be used to subsidize attendance at ASA events, which is how ASA makes most of its revenue.
Reader crowdsourcing project to fight American Studies Assoc anti-Israel boycott
I have received a surprisingly large number of emails of support from people outraged at the anti-Israel academic boycott passed by the American Studies Association. Almost all of those emails come from new readers.
The question many of them ask is what they can do to help me not only in the challenge to ASA’s tax-exempt status, but also to oppose the boycott.
Readers can take action themselves by contacting University Presidents and Trustees for those 83 universities who are Institutional Members of the ASA, as well as the head of the university sytem for state institutions.
Boycott of Israel a ‘Big Mistake,’ Says Former American Studies Association President
Former American Studies Association (ASA) president and Stanford University Professor of English Dr. Shelley Fisher Fishkin said she believes the ASA’s boycott of Israeli universities is a “big mistake.”
“As a scholar, I deeply value the free exchange of ideas,” Fishkin told “Academic boycotts make the free exchange of ideas impossible. For that reason, I think the ASA’s endorsement of the boycott was a big mistake.”
Indigenous? Native American Studies and Big Lies About Israel
By attempting to portray the Palestinians as the “indigenous people” of the territory on which the State of Israel and the administered territories exist and the Jews as the colonial settlers, they are perpetrating the big lie of Palestinian history. Jews are not foreigners in Israel as Europeans were in Africa. They happen to be the indigenous people of their ancient homeland and efforts to deny this isn’t scholarship. Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people and those who would deny them the same rights accorded other peoples are practicing bias, not scholarship. As with Palestinian attempts to deny the Jewish connection with the country or with Jerusalem and ancient Jewish holy sites such as the Temple Mount or the Western Wall, attempts to cast the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as one between foreign occupiers and natives is revisionist myth recast as left-wing politicized scholarship.
MLA to join fray as academic boycott debate heats up
The MLA, a professional organization of language and literature scholars, will hold a panel discussion on ”Academic Boycotts: A Conversation about Israel and Palestine” at its Delegate Assembly in Chicago on January 9.
The boycott panel is to consist of a group of prominent academics who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, movement, as well as BDS founder Omar Barghouti, but will not have a dissenting or pro-Israeli voice.
The group will be led by University of Texas Professor Samer Ali.
What leftists believe (with respect to Islam and Israel) (satire)
So the American Studies Association has voted to boycott Israeli academics (based largely on the 'testimony' of the racist communist terrorist "Professor" Angela Davis). Just in case anybody was thinking that leftists sometimes act in a hypocritical way, especially with respect to Islam and Israel, I want to make it crystal clear that this is not the case. As you will see from this list, there is absolutely no inconsistency in what leftists believe. (h/t Bob Knot)
Hamas man killed, 6 injured, in Jenin firefight with IDF
The man killed was identified as Nafa Jamil A’sadi, a Hamas operative, according to Israel Radio.
Palestinian sources said seven people were injured, including five who were in moderate condition.
An IDF spokesperson said the firefight began when Palestinians opened fire on the troops.
Second Palestinian killed during firefight in Qalqilya
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on them during operations in the West Bank city of Qalqilya early Thursday morning, the second such incident in several hours.
Israeli paratroopers entered the city to arrest a man and came under fire, shooting back and killing the wanted man, the Israeli military said. The military said they only heard of his death through later reports.
An Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said the wanted man, a member of the Palestinian security forces, was suspected of shooting at Israeli soldiers in the past.
Security Council Condemns Syrian Violence in the Golan
The United Nations Security Council on Wednesday extended the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force operating in the Golan Heights, while strongly condemning all military activity on the Golan Heights by the Syrian army and opposition fighters.
The Council warned that this activity could "jeopardize the ceasefire" between Syria and Israel, according to The Associated Press.
US adds al-Qaida-linked Palestinian to list of terrorists
A statement issued Wednesday by the State Department said Usamah Amin al-Shihabi was an associate of Fatah al-Islam, “a Lebanese-based militant group formed in 2006, whose ultimate goal is the institution of Islamist sharia law in the Palestinian refugee camps and the destruction of Israel".
Media reports have identified al-Shihabi as part of an al-Qaida vanguard in Lebanon and as having plotted attacks against Americans.
Report: Jordan closes its doors to Hamas leaders in solidarity with Egypt
According to the report, "a lot of doors of Arab capitals are closed to Hamas to show solidarity and support for the new Egyptian regime."
Tensions between Egypt and Hamas have been intensifying since the toppling of Mohammad Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party from power by Egyptian army commander General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July.
Egypt: Morsi Accused of 'Terrorist Plot' With Hamas, Hezbollah
The charges against Morsi and 35 other Islamist co-defendants include passing state secrets to a foreign country, sponsoring terrorism, and carrying out military training and other acts that undermined Egypt's stability and independence.
Specifically, Morsi and a number of other senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders stand accused of revealing state secrets to Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, and forging an alliance with Hamas and Hezbollah - both of whom are close to Iran - to provide military training for Muslim Brotherhood supporters, who would launch attacks against Egypt's interim government upon their return to the country.
Iran nuke deal quietly collapses
Less than a month after it was hailed as “a great diplomatic coup,” the so-called Geneva accord to halt Iran’s nuclear ambitions seems to have come unstuck.
The official narrative in Tehran is that Iran signed nothing. “There is no treaty and no pact,” says Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, “only a statement of intent.”
Originally, Iran’s official media had presented the accord as a treaty (qarardad) but it now refers to a “letter of agreement” (tavafoq nameh).
Iran FM: We can resume 20% enrichment within a day
“The structure of our nuclear program has been maintained and the 20 percent enrichment can be resumed in less than 24 hours,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told a gathering of Iranian students in Tehran.
He added that “the structure of the sanctions and the antagonistic atmosphere created by the West against Iran is falling apart,” according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Iran Sanctions Are a Thing of the Past
Past comments and more recent reports have strongly indicated that the U.S. has warned Israel against moving without its approval. But the fact that Obama himself has said that he “would not expect the prime minister (Netanayhu) to make a decision about his country’s security and defer that to any other country,” means that the administration has accepted this position at least for the purpose of public posture.
The more that Administration officials are confronted on this point, and the more they are challenged to reinforce it, the harder it will become for them to back away from it if an Israeli strike becomes a reality.
Additionally, for Iran, which has shown just how seriously it takes Israel’s red lines by being so careful not to cross the threshold Netanyahu announced at the UN in September of last year, the military threat will begin to return. The mullahs are operating on the assumption that the U.S. will never strike their reactors, but if they get the impression that it may allow Israel to do so, they may be forced to reevaluate their estimations.
'Israel may attack Iran's heavy-water reactor'
S. Fred Singer, a physicist who was formerly chief scientist of the U.S. Department of Transportation, wrote in The Washington Times on December 15 that the Geneva Interim Accord on Iran's nuclear programs may trigger Israeli military action.
"As these talks continue and drag on, look for a startling development: Israel may attack Iran's heavy-water reactor -- now being completed near Arak -- arguing that Iran does not need to manufacture weapons-grade plutonium if its nuclear programs are truly peaceful as claimed. Not being involved in the interim agreement, Israel would be free to act," Singer writes.
Elie Wiesel Says ‘Iran Must Not Be Allowed to Remain Nuclear’ in Full Page Ads in NYT, WSJ
In the ad, Prof. Wiesel asks “should the civilized nations of the world trust a regime whose supreme leader said yet again last month that Israel is ‘doomed to annihilation,’ and referred to my fellow Jewish Zionists as ‘rabid dogs?’”
He tells readers that we must “appeal to President Obama and Congress to demand, as a condition of continued talks, the total dismantling of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and the regime’s public and complete repudiation of all genocidal intent against Israel. And I appeal to the leaders of the United States Senate to go forward with their vote to strengthen sanctions against Iran until these conditions have been met.”
UN General Assembly condemns Iran, Syria for rights abuses
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday condemned Syria for widespread human rights abuses and expressed concern about such violations in Iran and North Korea, but it welcomed pledges by Iran's president to improve in some areas.
The resolution on Iran was approved with 86 votes in favor, 36 against and 61 abstentions, and the draft on Syria was adopted with 127 votes in favor, 13 against and 47 abstentions. The resolution on North Korea was passed by consensus, but some states publicly disassociated themselves from the text.
U.N. Adopts Iran’s ‘World Against Violent Extremism’ Act
The United Nations overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to adopt an Iranian and Syrian authored resolution that calls on nations across the globe to denounce violence and extremism.
The U.N.’s General Assembly voted by consensus to approve the “World Against Violent Extremism” (WAVE) Act, which critics lambasted as hypocritical, given Iran’s designation as one of the global leaders in executions and state-sponsored terrorism.
Iran: Bomb Attack Kills Three Revolutionary Guards
The men, who were travelling in a car at the time, were working on a "construction project" near the city of Saravan, in the southeastern "Sistan-Balochistan" province, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to Tasnim news agency.
It is the latest in a string of attacks by Sunni groups against Iranian authorities in the region, which is a hotbed of ethnic and religious separatism and opposition to the regime in Tehran.
Report: Iran, Syria smuggling weapons to Hezbollah through Iraq
According to the report, this method of smuggling arms has been agreed on by the two sides two months ago.
A source in the Iraqi ruling party told the paper that while senior Iraqi officials aide Tehran and Damascus in smuggling weapons to Hezbollah, Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is unaware of it.
Will Tehran step up its covert war?
There is no telling what else these groups may do to attack Saudi Arabia or its allies under the banner of defending their financial, ideological, and military patrons in Tehran.
Amid the flurry of debate over Iran’s trustworthiness and willingness to transform itself into a responsible regional power, the destabilizing presence of the Quds Force cannot be ignored. Rapprochement with Iran cannot go handin- hand with ignoring the promotion of violent Shi’ite Islamic extremism. Anyone who allows Iran to enrich uranium without demanding that Tehran reign in the Quds Force will be complicit in placing the tentacles of terrorism within reach of the world’s most dangerous weapons.

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