Tuesday, December 24, 2013

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Kerry’s oh-so-’90s security nonsense
Like his supporters, US Secretary of State John Kerry has apparently been asleep for the past 20 years.
Kerry has proffered us security arrangements, which he claims will protect Israel from aggression for the long haul. They will do this, he argues, despite the fact that his plan denies the Jewish state physically defensible borders in the framework of a peace deal with the PLO.
There are several serious problems with Kerry’s arrangements. But in the context of Kerry’s repeated claims that his commitment to Israel’s security is unqualified, their most glaring flaws are rooted in their disregard for all the lessons we have learned over the past two decades.
Elliott Abrams: No closer to peace
Two recent articles are reminders that he is unlikely to succeed. In the first, the Arab League says it rejects a continued Israeli troop presence on the eastern border of a future state of Palestine, a proposal Palestinians say was floated by the U.S. earlier this month. Arab League chief Nabil Al-Arabi said Saturday no peace deal would work with Israeli presence in a Palestinian state.
Why is this critical? Because Palestinian president Abbas is hiding behind the Arab League, as the second article shows: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas informed the Arab League about the upcoming proposal, saying it would contain U.S. suggestions regarding the borders of the future Palestinian state, Mohammad Sbeih, secretary-general of Palestinian affairs at the Arab League, said. Abbas told the League that "once he receives the American proposal he will not respond but will present it to Arab nations to make a joint decision."
US plan said to include dismantling all Jordan Valley settlements
The proposals, discussed by US Secretary of State John Kerry with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on his recent visits here, infuriated Abbas, who last week went over Kerry’s head and wrote a letter of protest to US President Barack Obama about his concerns.
According to the Army Radio report, the Kerry plan provides for a massively upgraded border fence along the border between the West Bank and Jordan, with the IDF maintaining sole responsibility for the border for the first 10 years of a peace agreement. After that, border authority would be shared in some as-yet unfinalized constellation between Israel and the PA.
Report: Abbas Will Oppose Official Recognition of Jewish State
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented his terms for the acceptance of a U.S.-backed framework agreement with Israel to the Arab League over the weekend in Cairo, Ma’an News Agency reported on Monday. Among Abbas’ conditions, there is to be no recognition of Israel as a Jewish State.
Ma’an’s source is Muhammad Sabih, Palestinian Affairs Representative to the Arab League.
Israel Archives document: Mossad trained Mandela
Israel State Archives has published a 50-year-old letter from the Mossad claiming it unknowingly offered paramilitary training to a young Nelson Mandela, along with documents illustrating the Jewish state's sympathy for the anti-apartheid struggle in the 1960s.
The release of the documents on the State Archives' website in the wake of Mandela's death appear to be aimed at blunting criticism of the close alliance Israel later developed with South Africa's apartheid rulers.
UN Watch: Timeline: Democracies denounce UN’s Richard Falk for racism
U.S. condemns UN's Richard Falk stooping to "new low", demands his resignation

MS. PSAKI: Well, let me very clear here. We condemn and completely reject Richard Falk’s latest outrageous statements made during an interview with Russia Today. The Administration has repeatedly condemned in the strongest terms his despicable and deeply offensive comments, particularly his anti-Semitic blog postings, his endorsement of 9/11 conspiracy theories, and more recently, his deplorable statements with regard to the terrorist attacks in Boston. His most recent remarks, however, represent a new low. We do not support his mandate or his work, which has been one-sided and biased, nor do we believe he should continue to serve as independent UN rapporteur, and we reiterate our calls for him to step down from this role.
Haaretz’s Holocaust Revisionism
A new level of vileness has been reached in the pages of Haaretz. It has already published work extremely critical of the State of Israel–even running columnists that support boycotting the state. But regardless of one’s opinions on the Palestinian issue, the paper has now shown that it exists in a world entirely divorced from any Jewish consensus, and cannot claim the title of loyal opposition. It has crossed all prior bounds of decency and published a criticism of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, calling it a “myth,” and accusing its heroes of being responsible for the ultimate liquidation of the Ghetto. Despite disagreements on diplomatic, territorial, and religious issues, the memory of the Holocaust–its heroes and victims–had been the great unifying porch in post-War Jewish consciousness. Now the Holocaust is fair game too.
Bennett: Haaretz is Anti-Jewish
“In recent months Haaretz has been running an organized and precise campaign against the Jewish identity of Israel,” Bennett wrote. “Various groups, in conjunction with Haaretz, have been leading the battle. They have had articles that deny the connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel, and others against visits by students to Jewish sites.”
Why is The New York Times Silent When Hamas Says to Harvest the Skulls of the Jews?
• Hamas TV tells Palestinians it is an "act of worship" to "harvest the skulls of the Jews," and the Times is silent.
• A Hamas official publicly declares it the duty of every Muslim to wage Jihad "to annihilate" the Jews of Israel, and the Times is silent.
• Hamas TV reenacts deadly stabbing and shooting of Jews, boasting of thousands of lethal attacks and vowing "this will never stop," and the Times is silent.
The New York Times, the self-proclaimed "paper of record," habitually ignores genocidal anti-Jewish rhetoric.
Media’s Lexicon Poisons Public Perceptions of Israel
Given Israel’s undeniable historical and legal claims to Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, it is offensive to state that Jews who live there are in “settlements,” while Arabs live in nearby “neighborhoods, towns, and villages.”
Israel was not “created and founded,” as though artificially and out-of-the-blue, in the 1948 period, while India, Pakistan, Syria, and Lebanon “won their independence” in that same period. The 1948 war was a partition-rejecting multi-nation Arab invasion for Israel’s destruction, not the media’s “war that followed Israel’s creation.” That war created a greater number of rarely media-mentioned Middle Eastern Jewish refugees who were forced from vast Muslim lands that they had lived in for centuries before Mohamed.
Guess which British journalist re-tweeted Gilad Atzmon?
If you’re entertaining the notion that Bar-Hillel’s re-tweet of Atzmon did not in fact ‘imply endorsement’, consider that Atzmon’s post (The Milibands, The BBC and The Proloteriat, Oct. 13) included passages which are quite consistent with Bar-Hillel’s own complaints about the stifling of debate about Israel.
PSC patron’s Christmas smear of Israel promoted on multiple BBC platforms
As for Dalrymple’s claim of those same Christians being pressured by the Israeli government, the simple fact that the vast majority do not live under Israeli rule is enough to demonstrate the absurdity of that assertion, but of course many members of the BBC audiences listening to or reading Dalrymple’s piece will not be aware of its geo-political background. Neither will they be aware of Israel’s annual efforts to facilitate Christmas celebrations for the Palestinian Christians from the Gaza Strip and the PA controlled areas.
However, Dalrymple’s baseless smear does not come out of the blue. Although the BBC describes him merely as “a writer and historian”, Dalrymple is also a patron of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a patron of Sabeel who has a long history of anti-Israel activism under his belt, including propaganda diatribes at the Guardian and participation in the BDS-supporting ‘PalFest’.
Molhem Barakat: From Al-Qaida Reject to Reuters
Barakat tried to join Al-Qaida. After learning of the photographer’s death, Hannah Lucinda Smith wrote that Barakat was the subject of her story, My Friend, the Aspiring Suicide Bomber.
Smith adds that when Barakat began working as a photographer, he wanted to work with her. (“I refused, because I didn’t want the responsibility of an eager seventeen year old with no war zone training and little experience on my shoulders.”)
Why Do Human Rights Groups Punish Access?
Human-rights groups are an important component of civil society, even if the best-known groups—Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, Human Rights First, and various United Nations offshoots—corrupt their mission by conflating human rights with politics.
As corrosive a trend among human-rights organizations is their punishment of access. Simply put, the more open a society is to its critics, and the more access it grants outside observers, however tendentious they might be, the more human-rights organizations condemn them relative to societies which engage in large-scale abuse but slam the door to outside observers.
Kanye West wants to take back 'ignorant compliment' about Jews
He told the Chicago-based radio station B96 on Thursday that he was unaware his comment comparing Jews and Blacks would be so ill-received, adding that it was taken the wrong way.
“I thought I was giving a compliment, but if anything it came off more ignorant,” he said. “I don’t know how being told you have money is an insult.”
CareFusion invests $100 million in Caesarea Medical Electronics
American medical tech company CareFusion has that it will invest $100 million for a 40 percent minority stake in Caesarea Medical Electronics(CME), Israel’s infusion pump systems manufacturer.
CME designs, manufactures and markets a range of infusion and syringe pumps as well as related accessories and disposable administration sets for both home care and hospital settings.
AirMule successfully completes series of automated test flights
All unmanned aerial vehicles have a futuristic feel to them, but if you want something that looks like it came straight out of a science fiction film, you can’t beat a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
The AirMule, an unmanned VTOL developed by Israeli company Tactical Robotics, certainly fits that bill, and it recently achieved a milestone by completing several fully automated test flights. According to the company, the flights involved “take-offs, flights to and from a specified location and landing back at its point of origination.” Full mission demonstrations are scheduled for next year.
Spanish city opening museum on its ‘forgotten’ Jews
The Palace of the Forgotten, as the museum is called, is scheduled to open on Jan. 2. It is housed inside the Santa Ines palace located in Albaicin — a neighborhood in the southern city’s old center where many Jews used to live before 1492, when they were forced to convert to Christianity or flee.
The museum contains Judaica artifacts as well as archaeological findings such as ceramic utensils, furniture, artworks and other valuables recovered from Jewish homes. The artifacts were donated to the museum by the Crespo Lopez family, according to a report Dec. 19 by the news site Grenadaimedia.com.
Ancient Jewish Texts Found in Afghanistan to Debut Next Week
Professor Hagai Ben-Shammai, academic director of the National Library spoke to Arutz Sheva Monday about the event, and revealed that thousands of texts were found in the genizah - some dating back to the first century CE. The National Library has managed to acquire 29 texts for archival purposes.
Most of the texts were written in Ancient Persian or Arabic, and consist of legal and commercial documents, according to the Professor. The documents appeared to have belonged to a small group of people.
Israel Daily Picture: A Special Feature for Our Christian Readers
-- Christmas in the Holy Land 100+ Years Ago

Most of the photographs on this page were taken by the American Colony Photographic Department before and after World War I when the British captured Palestine after 400 years of Ottoman rule. Other pictures are from collections at Chatham University and the Irish Catholic Church.

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