Monday, December 23, 2013

From Ian:

The 2013 Dishonest Reporting Awards
With the world watching Syria, Egypt, and Iran so closely in 2013, Israel was relatively less of a lightning rod for the international media.
Still, Israeli-Palestinian negotiators were nudged back to the peace table, and Benjamin Netanyahu spoke out against the shortcomings of Iranian nuclear diplomacy. US-Israel relations were strained by differences on both issues. Everything else was either just a detail, or simply paled in comparison to those bigger issues.
We thank our readers for sharing their thoughts on the year that was. Here are the 2013 Dishonest Reporting runners-up.
Douglas Murray: Anti-Fascists Caught Looking the Wrong Way?
UAF [Unite Against Fascism] are not alone in this. The group Hope not Hate appears to have set people up for targeting in exactly the way they claim "fascists" do.
Now that Adebolajo has been sentenced, perhaps UAF -- and other groups like it -- might give serious thought to how this situation came about. As should those politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who are publicly associated with UAF as founding signatories.
The wider question, of course, is the more important: How is it that when violent fascism returned to Europe, the "anti-fascist" groups were all caught looking the other way?
Khaled Abu Toameh: Has Kerry Heard of the Palestinians' "Hitler"?
Abbas, it seems, has lost control not only over the Gaza Strip, but also his Fatah faction. The widespread support for "Hitler" [Jamal Abu al Rub] reflects the state of dissatisfaction with Abbas and his top aides. Some Palestinians see the recent events as the beginning of a mutiny against Abbas. The mounting tensions are an indicator of what awaits Abbas if and when he signs a deal with Israel.
What the U.S. seems not to understand is that a weak, divided and discredited Fatah will never be able to sign any agreement with Israel.
Even worse, Fatah's internal problems are good news for Hamas and the enemies of peace.
Listen to the Words of the Palestinians
The biggest failure in the American diplomatic quest to midwife the State of Palestine has been a failure to listen to the Palestinians, who don’t hide much. (One wag said that generally parties to a negotiation lie on the outside and tell the truth in private; the Palestinians, however, lie in private and tell the truth in public.) This is a failing not only of the present administration, but it is reaching a fever pitch as Secretary of State Kerry alternately cajoles and threatens the parties to accept his view of what the disposition of their conflict should entail.
Erekat: No direct talks with Israel in weeks
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Monday that there have been no direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in several weeks and that the two sides were meeting separately with the Americans in efforts to advance negotiations.
“There have not been direct meetings for some time,” Erekat was quoted by Maariv as saying. “The meetings taking place now are between us [the Palestinians] and the Americans on the one hand, and the Israelis and the Americans on the other.”
Erekat also rejected a report Sunday that a framework agreement put forth by US Secretary of State John Kerry has been agreed to, stressing that the details were still under negotiation. (h/t Bob Knot)
Report: U.S. Will Present Framework Israel-PA Peace Agreement by End of Month
The United States intends to unveil a formal framework peace agreement to Israel and the Palestinian Authority by the end of the month, senior Arab League sources revealed to the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. According to these sources, cited by Israeli daily Ma’ariv on Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said during a meeting of the League held over the weekend in Cairo that the Americans are trying to salvage the talks between the parties through the framework agreement.
US offers to guard Jordan Valley, Palestinians say
The London-based pan-Arab daily A-Sharq al-Awsat on Monday quoted Palestinian sources to the effect that the Americans had changed their position, moving closer to Palestinian demands in the face of stiff Palestinian resistance to the idea of a continued IDF presence on the border.
NGO Monitor: ´Tis the Season 2013: How Anti-Israel NGOs Manipulate Christmas
These organizations often use offensive and inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols, holiday messages and cards, nativity scenes, and other items. This year, verses and prayers that promote anti-Israel themes are prominent, polarizing Jewish-Christian relations and exacerbating an already complex and violent conflict.
The abuse of Christmas messages is part of a broad international campaign to introduce political warfare against Israel into churches. As seen in NGO Monitor’s “BDS in the Pews” project, Palestinian Christian NGOs, such as Sabeel and Kairos Palestine, provide the theological and ideological frameworks for these attacks.
Abbas, PLO lash Israel in Christmas messages
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas released a Christmas greeting Monday, calling Jesus a “Palestinian messenger” and implying that Israel persecutes Christians.
“As we Palestinians strive for our freedom two millennia later,” he wrote in a statement, “we do our best to follow his example. We work with hope, seeking justice, in order to achieve a lasting peace.”
Honest Reporting: PLO Claims Jesus Was Palestinian
And what would happen today if a Jewish boy like Jesus decided to enter Palestinian-controlled areas? Most likely he’d have to lead his donkey through a hail of stones being thrown at him on the road.
The video itself is the usual Palestinian narrative of victim-hood and Israeli oppression. But when it comes to co-opting Jesus Christ, claiming him to be a Palestinian for their own propaganda, it’s clear just how far the Palestinians are prepared to go to distort history and religion for their cause.
Irish4Israel – A Year in Review newsletter
2013 has been a hugely busy year for Irish4Israel. As a group we started 2013 with less than 2,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook.
On the 17th of January the Cork Poetry week hosted Lyor Shternberg, in keeping with our belief in supporting Israeli cultural events, we promoted the event and saw a large crowd turn out to hear Lyor’s lovely poetry.
January 20th saw Trocaire cancel their anti-Israel school literature and this was thanks to the very many of you who contacted Trocaire to raise your objection to their one sided propaganda for schools.
Sussex Friends of Israel counter the BDS
This chance meeting was to be the start of a gutsy, determined, non-denominational pro-Israel group, ‘Sussex Friends of Israel’, whose members counter the BDS actions of the Brighton and Hove PSC – Palestinian Solidarity Campaign in all weathers. Snow, sleet, hail and rain. Disgusted by the boycott, the two men decided they would go back to their communities to form a plan of action.
The group (which later became Sussex Friends of Israel) grew rapidly. People of all denominations in Brighton were made aware of the EcoStream boycott and many started to turn out every week to counter the BDS.
Crude stereotyping of ‘expansionist’ Israelis in BBC 3 comedy show
A BBC Three comedy show called ‘The Revolution Will Be Televised’ (made by Hat Trick Productions) is described on the BBC website as a:
Apparently having run out of “politicians, multinationals and tax-shy corporations”, episode 6 of season two of the programme (available here in the UK only on BBC iPlayer), which was broadcast on December 15th and 19th, turned to other subject matter.
The segment billed in the programme blurb as “The Israeli Embassy is expanding, no planning permission required” opens with an animated sequence which suggests bringing up “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” at dinner parties,
Guardian mourns Eyad Sarraj, a Palestinian who once asked: Are Jews evil by nature?
What exactly does it take to disqualify a Palestinian from being canonized as a liberal human rights activist by the Guardian Left? This question came to mind when reading a Guardian obituary for Eyad Sarraj, who died recently at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem where he was being treated for cancer.
The obit was written by the Guardian’s former associate foreign editor Victoria Brittain, a Palestine Solidarity Campaign patron who recently penned a spirited defense at ‘Comment is Free’ of radical Islamist preacher (and suspected al-Qaeda operative) Abu Qatada.
Hamas-Repping, ‘Certified Self-Loathing’ Jewish Lawyer Indicted Over $3M in Income
Stanley L. Cohen, a Manhattan based Jewish lawyer who made a name for himself representing members of terror groups, has been charged in a Manhattan court for wire fraud and for failing to report more than $3 million in income, the New York Post reported.
Cohen, whose clients have included Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook and Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, faces up to 20 years jail-time. He also currently faces similar charges made last year in a Syracuse court.
On his Twitter account Cohen refers to himself as a “Certified Selfloathing’ Jew” and an “AntiZionist.”
Vandals desecrate Russian synagogue with pig’s head
Representatives of the Jewish community of the city, which is located 600 miles west of Baku, Azerbaijan, found the pig’s head at the entrance to their synagogue on December 20. They believe the perpetrators are also responsible for English-language graffiti on the building’s external wall, which read: “Happy Tu B’Shevat, Jewish Pigs.”
Syria’s ‘destroyed’ ancient synagogue is still intact
Contrary to a flurry of reports, the 2,000-year-old Jobar Synagogue in Damascus has not been destroyed during the Syrian civil war, and is now being guarded by locals, The Times of Israel was told on Sunday. A photograph was provided that appeared to confirm that the synagogue interior is largely intact.
Despite reports that valuable artifacts from the synagogue, including its Torah scrolls, were being held hostage by an Islamist extremist rebel group, the objects are actually being held in safekeeping after being removed from the building, The Times of Israel was also told, although there was no way to independently verify this.
David Mamet Developing a Miniseries for Fox
David Mamet is working on a miniseries for Fox, Variety reports. He's signed a deal to develop a seven-part limited series based on the seven deadly sins, and he would write at least three episodes, including writing and directing the first installment. There are no firm plot details yet, but apparently "the themes invoked by the seven deadly sins will serve as a backdrop of a series of interconnected stories [that] reflect on the human condition," which is both encouraging (sounds cool!) and confusing (but not at all like something that would air on Fox!).
Cyprus likely partner as Israel mulls gas exports, but Turkey beckons
Israel is studying its options for exporting its natural gas riches in the eastern Mediterranean, but instability in neighboring Egypt and friction with former ally Turkey are blocking possible undersea pipeline links with them to take the gas to Europe.
That leaves a joint export operation with neighboring Cyprus, which will be the next big offshore gas producer in the region, looking like the frontrunner -- for now, at least, because war-divided Cyprus lies at the center of a long and seemingly intractable dispute with Turkey.
Israel gives Intel’s two-in-one’s a big boost
Intel is feeling pressure from the changes in the market – especially from the iPad, which doesn’t use Intel components. In response, Intel has created a line of products that function as both tablets and laptops – with a lot of help from the company’s Jerusalem engineering team.
While “Intel Inside” is a term that applies to most of the desktop computers, servers, and laptops sold, it doesn’t apply to what has emerged as the most important market segment of computing today – the tablet market, in which Apple’s iPad reigns supreme. The iPad and many other tablets use processors made by ARM Holdings – and considering that tablets, and especially iPads, are outselling laptops, Intel has been feeling some pain from the current market situation.
Israel Daily Picture: If the Library of Congress Archives Was Our "Mother Lode," the University of California Museum of Photography Is the "Father Lode"
Today, we introduce you to the incredible collection of glass plates and film negatives in the University of California - Riverside Museum of Photography where many of their 250,000 stereoscopic plates and 100,000 negatives are now online. This posting is Part 1 of several future features.
Since the Library of Congress' American Colony collection served as our "mother lode" of photos, we refer to the UCR's immense collection as the "father lode." Indeed, many of the photographs found in other collections are but copies, often in poor condition, of the vintage pictures at UCR.

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