Thursday, December 19, 2013

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: UK: Charities for Terrorists
Bad charities use the "halo effect" as a kind of smokescreen. Sometimes -- as in questions of ethical investment -- there are questions about the input of the charity's trustees. On other occasions the abuses are so serious that they should really be a matter for the police.
To take just the most serious example, there are organizations that still enjoy all the tax and other advantages of charitable status in this country, but that are actually banned as terrorist entities in some of our nation's closet allies. Sometimes this is deliberate, sometimes accidental. Just recently it was revealed that money from UK charities may have been filtered to the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab. Such activities – covering a range of communities – are a national disgrace. Yet they continue.
Europe Turns Blind Eye to Anti-Semitism
The central part of OSCE's mission is the requirement for member states to collect information and monitor anti-Semitic incidents in their home states. Yet, in its most recent annual report for 2012, also released last month, only 27 of the 57 OSCE Member States submitted official statistics. Among the countries that did not submit the required official statistics include: France, Hungary, Greece, Russia and Belgium -- some of the very countries identified by FRA as having the highest levels of anti-Semitism.
Quite simply, without reliable data on anti-Semitic incidents, how can governments and Jewish communities properly assess levels of anti-Semitism or propose remedies?
With anti-Semitism in Europe having reached a level unprecedented since the end of the Holocaust, serious questions must be asked of the EU about its resolve to tackle this oldest and most enduring form of hatred, when it cannot even agree on how to define anti-Semitism or comply with the most elementary laws to help combat it.
Elliot Abrams: Fire Falk
The special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories of the United Nations Human Rights Council is an extremist named Richard Falk. Falk is an embarrassment to the council and the U.N. whose only activity is to use violent and extreme language to denounce Israel -- most recently for "a criminal intention that is genocidal."
Canada has denounced Falk for these remarks and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said this: "Canada completely rejects and condemns the appalling remarks made by Richard Falk, United Nations special rapporteur to the Palestinian territories, in which he accused Israel of 'genocidal' intentions.
UN Watch: PLO mocks Canada for calling on UN to fire Falk—even though it did the same in 2010, secret cable reveals
This morning it tweeted: “Canadian FM Baird says that UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk makes ‘anti-Semitic’ statements. Does Mr. Baird know that Mr. Falk is a Jew?”
Yet only three years ago it was the PLO itself which, as Wikileaks reveals, secretly asked the U.S. government for help in firing Falk. The “visibly upset” PLO delegate objected not only to Falk’s support for Hamas, but also to his penchant for Holocaust comparisons.
It’s About the Settlements, Stupid
The hold of traditional Muslim society on young Palestinian Arabs, especially young women, is deteriorating: as they gain access to secondary and tertiary education, young Arabs have fewer children and more careers. And the most effective agency for the emancipation of young Arab women is the settler movement. Ariel University across the so-called Green Line is full of young Muslim women in headscarves studying computer science, and the leaders of the Ariel community–Haredi Jews–work with local Arab leaders to recruit talented students.
There is a parallel to what I called the “peace of the aging” in Ireland. The Irish got older. The drunken IRA killers I met in Belfast in 1970 as a student journalist had no intention of making peace. They were having too much fun at war. By 1996, when former Sen. George Mitchell presided over the Good Friday Agreement that formally ended the low-intensity civil war in Northern Ireland, those who were left had families and mortgages.(h/t NormanF)
For first time, Palestinians back framework peace agreement
Erekat said that based on the July 29 start of negotiations, they are to end on April 29. “We are not talking about a peace treaty on the 29th of April. We are talking about a framework agreement,” he told journalists.
He described a framework deal as a comprehensive agreement that could be turned into a detailed peace treaty in six to 12 months.
Hamas Asks You to Buy a Dam in the Negev
Thus, rather than dismiss this story or laugh it off, serious observers of the Middle East ought to be paying more attention to it. Until Palestinian factions stop blaming Israel for the weather, purveyors of Jew hatred will continue to dominate their politics and keep alive false hope about Israel’s eventual destruction. Rather than worry about enticing Abbas back to the negotiating table where he will continue to prevaricate and try to avoid making a decision about ending the conflict or Fatah-Hamas unity, Kerry should realize that an Arab and Muslim world that is willing to believe such hateful nonsense is not likely to accept a Jewish state in their midst no matter where its borders are drawn. (h/t Bob Knot)
Murdered Israeli fails to evoke the Guardian’s sympathy
Whilst the report itself is relatively fair, it’s nonetheless troubling that in two stories devoted to an incident which clearly began when an Israeli soldiered was killed by a Lebanese soldier, neither the titles nor accompanying photos convey any information about the Israeli victim. Additionally, in looking back at prior Guardian reports on lethal Palestinian terror attacks over the past two years, we weren’t able to find even one which included a photo of the Israeli victim.
The Guardian’s failure to humanize Israeli victims of terror stands in stark contrast to their often fawning coverage of Palestinian terrorists and their families.
Dead Gaza BDS Advocate Sought Israeli Medical Care
Eyad El Sarraj, a prominent psychiatrist in the Gaza Strip, died on Wednesday, Dec. 18. El Sarraj was 70 years old. He died of complications from Leukemia.
Throughout his professional life, Sarraj was a fierce proponent of resistance to the “Israeli Occupation” and vigorously promoted boycotts of Israel. But when his health failed, Sarraj sought medical care in Israel. He died at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, where he had been receiving treatment for more than a month.
US, Germany Threaten IDF Not to Move Academies to Mt. Scopus
The United States and Germany have issued an ultimatum to the IDF, a report Thursday said: No American or German army officers will work with IDF training academies if the army goes ahead with plans to relocate them to Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.
The ultimatum could explain why Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced earlier this week that the plan to move them was to be delayed. Sources said that the IDF has begun looking for other sites for its military program as a result.
It should be noted that Mt. Scopus is under complete Israeli sovereignty, and has been since the state was declared in 1948. Mt. Scopus was assigned to the Jewish state as part of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, but was occupied by Jordan until the 1967 Six Day War, when it was liberated by Israel.
Political Correctness Blamed for Hebrew U Violence
The Knesset's Internal Affairs and Environment Committee discussed the worrying situation at the Mount Scopus campus of Hebrew University, where students are exposed to daily harassment by local Arabs, who act with apparent impunity.
College Group Uses ‘Game Show’ to Dehumanize Israel
I attended “Battle of the Bulls” hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of South Florida. In this game-show style competition, participants from seven student organizations were asked to answer highly skewed, dehumanizing questions about the state of Israel.
SJP said the purpose of this event was to educate students about the Israeli “occupation” in an entertaining manner. In actuality, this event did not educate, but rather spread blatant falsehoods to audience members.
Anti-Semitic attacks drive record levels of French aliyah
In an overcrowded conference room in the heart of Paris’ 14th arrondissement, a hundred French Jews are losing their patience.
They have gathered at the Paris office of the Jewish Agency for Israel for a lecture on immigrating to Israel, but the agency staff is running behind. Its 20 staffers are coping with a 57 percent jump in the number of French Jews moving to Israel over the last year and a surge of applications. In addition to four weekly public talks, they are struggling to finish 30 applicant interviews each day.
Growing anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish hatred in the Netherlands
This article discusses increasing anti-Jewish hatred in the Netherlands, in particular due to the growing Muslim immigrant population there. Though the Dutch government has been traditionally friendly to Israel and there has been proportionately less antisemitism there compared to in other European countries, shocking slanders appear about Israel in the mainstream Dutch media and there has also been an academic boycott of Israel. In addition, Dutch politicians have been afraid to address this rising antisemitism and anti-Jewish hatred for fear of losing the Muslim vote. As a result, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Jews to remain in the country, making the future of the Dutch Jewish community uncertain.
After six-year hiatus, Israeli planes to fly to Turkey again
The director of Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority, Giora Romm, on Tuesday signed a document with his Turkish counterpart at the end of bilateral talks that took place in Turkey, according to TheMarker business newspaper. Israeli airlines reportedly expect to resume landing in Turkish destinations starting next summer.
Israeli airlines had been unable to fly to any destination in Turkey since 2007 because Turkish authorities refused to cooperate with Israel’s special security requirements. With Tuesday’s agreements, a way has been found to sort out the disagreements, effectively enabling Israeli airlines to compete for the Tel Aviv-Istanbul and other lucrative routes, the paper reported.
Israel Set to Sign Lucrative Deal With India's Gujarat State
Israel will soon be signing a deal with the Indian state of Gujarat to develop an industrial investment fund, Israel's Consul General in Mumbai, Jonathan Miller, said in an interview with Indian media. India TV quoted Miller as saying that a memorandum of understanding to open the fund be signed with top Gutjarat officials soon.
"Gujarat is a business-oriented state and this MoU will help both Israeli and Gujarat-based companies in developing and strengthening the industrial relationship,” Miller was quoted as saying.
Canada, Israel And Switzerland Are America's Top Innovation Partners
In an attempt to quantify that transnational cooperation, the US-Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF) has created a “U.S.-Israel Innovation Index” to measure bilateral research and development between the U.S. and other countries.
“We picked 16 countries that were geographically diverse, had links to US, and had strong innovative tech companies,” USISTF Executive Director Ann Liebschutz told me. “The Index measures cooperation between US and Israel as well as other countries.”
Scientists from Tel Aviv University take part in international space project
Prof. Shay Zucker – of the geophysics and atmospheric and planetary science department – who, with colleagues, will analyze data collected from the unmanned space ship. Zucker said that the “data that it will send back to Earth will be as accurate as determining the location from Earth of a grain of sand on the Moon with a millimeter’s accuracy.”
Gaia will carry a telescope and other equipment that will map with unprecedented accuracy more than a billion stars and receive a 3-D map of the Milky Way, the galaxy in which our solar system is located. The space vehicle was built by the European Space Agency at a cost of more than two billion euros.
Israeli aid workers airlifted from South Sudan
The workers, employees of IsraAID, “left with the UN yesterday and are on their way to Israel,” IsraAID director Shachar Zahavi told The Times of Israel on Thursday, adding that they were not harmed in the fighting.
The workers, along with members of other international NGOs, had been sheltered in a closed compound in the capital of Juba on Monday after a group of soldiers attempted to stage a coup d’etat.
IDF, PA Coordinate Christmas Merriment
IDF officials announced Wednesday that security restrictions will be relaxed during Christmas to allow Palestinian Authority residents who celebrate the holiday to enjoy the festivities, and to visit family in Israel.
The decision was coordinated with Palestinian Authority officials, PA security personnel, and representatives of various international bodies.
Philippines, Recovering From Typhoon, Honored by JDC for WWII Rescue Effort
Thanking one Asian country for its kindness towards Jews faced with annihilation 75 years ago and warning another not to even think about harming Israel, top Jewish officials at a Dec. 11 dinner wrapped up three days of meetings that marked the 100th anniversary of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).
José L. Cuisía, Philippine ambassador to the United States, accepted the JDC’s Or L’Olam Award on behalf of his country for giving refuge to 1,305 Jews fleeing Nazi Germany during World War II. At the same event, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob “Jack” Lew—the highest-ranking Jew in the Obama administration—cautioned any CEO, general counsel or business executives to “think again” before trying to evade international sanctions against Iran or helping the Islamic Republic acquire nuclear weapons.
Israel Museum obtains world’s ‘first Jewish coin’
The coins, dated to the 5th and 4th centuries BCE when the region was controlled by the Persian Empire, constitute “the largest collection in the world of Persian-period coins.” The collection includes a number of previously unknown varieties, the museum said. Chief among the rare artifacts is a silver drachm, an ancient coin based upon the Greek drachma, which, in clearly legible Aramaic script, bears the word yehud, or Judea.
“It’s the earliest coin from the province of Judea,” the museum’s chief curator of archaeology, Haim Gitler, said in an interview with The Times of Israel, calling the 5th century silver drachm the “first Jewish coin.


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