Friday, December 27, 2013

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: What the Palestinians and Arabs Think of Kerry's New Ideas
In an interview with Voice of Palestine radio, Abed Rabbo continued his unprecedented criticism of both Kerry and his proposals. "Washington does not have the right to determine where our borders would be," he declared. "We won't allow Israel to slice off any parts of our land. If the Americans want, they can give Israel parts of California and Washington. This land belongs to the Palestinians."
The Arab League's rejection of Kerry's ideas not only complicates his efforts to achieve a deal between Palestinians and Israelis, but also ties Abbas's hands. It is hard to see how Abbas would be able to retract his position now that the Arab League has also rejected Kerry's ideas.
Kerry will now have to launch a new diplomatic campaign to convince the Arab League to change its position. And for the Arab countries to do that really would take a miracle.
A Year of Biased Reporting: Why the New York Times Won
When HonestReporting readers were asked to choose the “winner” of the 2013 Dishonest Reporting Award, the prevailing displeasure was best summed up in a one-line email:
“The NY Times bludgeoned Israel all year.”
Much of the resentment focused on the paper’s op-ed section. A steady parade of commentaries disdainfully dismissing Click here for the runner up Dishonest Reporting Awards Israel’s Iranian anxieties certainly cemented the Gray Lady‘s award in the latter part of 2013. This wasn’t surprising. HonestReporting’s long-term study of the Times’s opinion section found similar problems in 2012.
But the NY Times built up a bona fide case to win this award even without the issue of op-eds.
’Tis the season to bash Israel
This is an ugly attempt to apply replacement theology (in which Christians are said to have superseded the Jews in a covenant with G-d) to the Palestinian assault on Israel. In Abbas’s reversed and warped world, the Jewish and Christian Jesus has been replaced by a Palestinian Christ, and Christianity is under attack by the Jews, not by the Arabs and Muslims.
Few Christian leaders, and no prominent Western journalists, publicly took Abbas to task for arrogating Jesus to Palestinian propaganda.
Turning the other cheek, they apparently thought, alas, that challenging Abbas just wouldn’t be in the Christmas spirit of justice, peace, charity and love.
Unfortunately, Abbas’s perverse and perfidious statement is in keeping with the Palestinian Authority’s ongoing denial of Jewish history and rights in the historic Land of Israel. It doesn’t augur well for the peace process.
American Studies Association Members Defend Israel Boycott by Citing Anti-Semitic 9/11 Truther
It appears no one told the American Studies Association that when attempting to fend off accusations of bigotry, it’s best not to cite a bigot.
In a sign that the organization is feeling the heat from outside opprobrium, the ASA’s Caucus on Academic and Community Activism has posted a defense of its Israel boycott. The statement offers tacit acknowledgment of the fact that over 40 universities–including almost the entire Ivy League–have condemned the ASA’s action. In response, the ASA Caucus lists other academics who have endorsed the boycott and calls for supporters to renew their membership or join the ASA. Unfortunately for those attempting to exonerate the ASA from charges of prejudicial treatment of the Jewish state, one of the six scholars the ASA Caucus cites is Richard Falk, a known 9/11 truther and promoter of anti-Semitism.
By day, Falk serves as the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories, where his support for the terrorist group Hamas has been so blatant that the Palestinian Authority tried to get him fired. The United States and Canada have also called for him to be dismissed, and he has been censured by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. But Falk’s most objectionable conduct has actually taken place outside the U.N.’s halls.
Sabeel Hosts 9/11 truther Richard Falk
What does a promoter of antisemitism, a shill for terrorists and a conspiracy theorist do when his UN position expires?
Apparently, he goes on a speaking tour for Sabeel
Academic boycotters don’t want done unto them what they did unto Israelis
Professor Lynch has been in a public battle with the Coalition since May, when then opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said a Coalition government would ensure “no grants of taxpayers’ funds are provided to individuals or organisations which actively support the BDS campaign”.
Professor Lynch’s support for BDS became headline news last year when he boycotted Israeli academic Dan Avnon, refusing to help the Hebrew University academic with his application for a Sir Zelman Cowen fellowship.
This year Professor Lynch submitted an application to the federally funded ARC for $290,000 to study the work of journalists in South Africa, Nepal, Australia and Britain.
The ARC recently rejected his application. “It could be, of course, that it was simply adjudged not quite good enough by the assessors,” Professor Lynch told The Australian. “But the Bishop statement, and the earlier evidence that AusAID … improperly took my support for BDS into account, leaves me with suspicions that this has happened with the ARC too….
Non-settlement Israeli fruit exporter faces boycott pressure in Europe
Despite the fact that its executives insist that its products are from Israel proper, and not produced at settlements or on land over the Green Line, the demonstrators call for a general boycott of its goods.
The BDS movement promotes blanket boycotts of Israel, not just Israeli settlements, with the stated goal of ending the Israeli occupation of Arab lands and granting a “right of return” to all Palestinian refugees — a position that would mean an influx of millions to Israel, and the end of Israel as a predominantly Jewish state.
IAF strikes Gaza following second rocket fired at Israel in 24 hours
The Israel Air Force struck two targets in Gaza in response to rocket fire on southern Israel on Thursday. The targets struck were a weapons manufacturing site in central Gaza and a weapons storage site in the North of the Strip.
Two Palestinians were wounded by the air strikes, Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
The IDF also said the targets were struck accurately, adding that all planes returned to base safely.
Four times less BBC Online coverage of Arafat ‘not poisoned’ stories
Previously, two reports were published on the subject of the French findings and thirteen related articles appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page in a 48 hour period on the subject of the Swiss findings, nine of which also amplified the conspiracy theory surrounding Arafat’s death.
In other words, the BBC News website devoted over four times the number of articles to the coverage of findings interpreted as moderately supporting the theory that Arafat was poisoned than it did to the two other sets of findings which found that Arafat died of natural causes.
PA Says it Will Continue to Investigate Arafat's Death
The Palestinian Authority (PA) said Thursday it would continue its investigation into the death of its former chairman Yasser Arafat, even after a team of Russian forensic experts said that he died of "natural causes", and ruled out radiation poisoning as a cause of death.
"I can only say that there is already a decision to continue (the investigation)," the PA ambassador to Russia, Faed Mustafa, told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Kerry concerned by Egypt crackdown on Muslim

Kerry and Fahmy “agreed that there can be no place for violence in Egypt and that the Egyptian people deserve peace and calm,” Psaki said.
But the secretary of state also “underscored the need for an inclusive political process across the political spectrum that respects the fundamental human rights of all Egyptians in order to achieve political stability and democratic change.”
A US official told Reuters that Egypt was going “way too far” in the crackdown, adding that the Obama administration had no intention of taking any action against Cairo in response, or following suit in labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
Lebanese politician among at least 5 dead in Beirut bombing
Lebanon’s former finance minister Mohammed Chatah, an adviser to former prime minister Saad Hariri, was among the five people killed Friday in a large car bombing targeting his convoy in Beirut, Lebanese state media reported.
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati called for an emergency cabinet meeting following the blast.
Huffington Post Serves as Promoter for Iranian Front Group
The Huffington Post not only never ran a news story revealing the shocking facts concerning Parsi and the NIAC, but it has published sixteen of Parsi’s articles since the Federal court’s September 2012 ruling (it’s been running his editorials since April 2012). And as HUFF-WATCH documented here, even after the court’s ruling, Huffington Post has continued enabling the NIAC to spew its pro-Iranian, anti-Israel propaganda.
On December 18, the Huffington Post gave Parsi the top spot on “blogger’s row” on its front page, a space normally reserved for Arianna Huffington, and her newspaper’s most prominent opinion writers.
The very next day, on December 19, Huffington Post published the inflammatory headline story alleging that Menendez and AIPAC were “saboteurs.”
How does one reconcile these acts and omissions with the public statements that Huffington has made about her “newspaper’s” journalistic integrity and principles?
Iran develops new generation of uranium centrifuges
Thursday’s announcement came following a push by a significant number of Iranian lawmakers to legislate the enrichment of uranium to 60 percent purity — 12 times the cap Iran agreed by Iran as part of a deal reached with the US and world powers in November.
At 60% pure uranium 235, Iran could quite quickly convert its stockpiles of enriched fissile material to weapons-grade uranium, a major concern of Israel and the United States. Iran contends, however, that its nuclear weapons program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.
No halt to executions while EU delegation visits Iran
The five-member delegation was led by the chairwoman of European Parliament's friendship delegation with Iran, Tarja Cronberg from Finnish Greens and included Cornelia Ernst, German communist; Isabelle Durant, Belgian Greens; Marietje Schaake, Dutch Liberals; and Josef Weidenholzer, Austrian Social Democrats.
During their Dec. 13-18 visit at least 38 death sentences were carried out official Iranian media sources said. This while many executions in prisons are conducted in secret and news of those is rarely released.
News that Bugs Bunny may be Jewish sends Gilad Atzmon into a rage
Writing at Veterans Today, an aggregator for conspiracy-oriented and right-wing extremist websites, Atzmon wrote the following:
I guess that when we talk about Hollywood’s indoctrination in the context of Jewish Power, we should feel free to refer to the Zionist outlet as well as the ‘noted Jewish cinematic historian’.
Of course, Atzmon’s response to Ben-Zvi’s article wouldn’t come as a surprise to readers of this blog. As we’ve noted previously, Atzmon is a prolific anti-Semite who has engaged in ‘Holocaust Revisionism’ while simultaneously arguing that, if Hitler’s genocide did occur as historians “claim”, the mass murder of six million Jews can at least partly be explained by Jews’ villainous behavior. On this latter note, he’s claimed that Hitler’s views about Jews may one day be vindicated.
Sweden has failed to condemn and act against all anti-Semitism
If we do not have politicians in Sweden who can admit the existence of obvious anti-Semitism and act against it where will it end? Are we now not able to act upon anti-Semitism and racism wherever it may be found and whatever the consequences are of doing so? Are we then still in Sweden? I do not believe so. I want the old Sweden back that firmly and consistently stands up against anti-Semitism and corrupt leaderships and I want a new Sweden that can really understand the situation Israel is in. I want a Sweden where our politicians can admit they have made a misstake funding the PA. That would be the Sweden I would be proud of. Now I can not be proud.
Israel’s Christian Population Continued to Rise in 2013
According to recent figures released by Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, there are roughly 161,000 Christians living in Israel, equaling about 2 percent of the population and an up from 158,000 in 2012.
Nearly 80 percent of these Christians are Arab, while the majority of the remaining 20 percent are largely from the former Soviet Union.
Muath from Hebron recovers after surgery, next to kids from Ghana, Gaza
“A child with a serious heart defect who isn’t treated is sentenced to death,” Berlowitz said, beaming with pride when he mentioned that, to date, SACH has treated and saved the lives of 3,300 children from 48 countries.
Of those, roughly half were Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, SACH Executive Director Simon Fisher said. He said the organization’s operations, including the Heart of the Matter project with the Palestinian Authority, has had a beneficial influence on Israel’s image among the Palestinians by facilitating day-to-day positive interactions.
Abu Danash told this reporter that his neighbors and family raised no objections when they heard his child was to receive treatment in Israel, because they knew medical care was better there and that the Israelis — the Jews — were helping them. He said that there were two different stories of Israeli-Palestinian interaction — one of intifada and violence, and the other of cooperation. He gave a strong indication he favored the latter.

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