Sunday, December 29, 2013

From Ian:

Elliott Abrams Arafat and al-Jazeera: Manufacturing Trouble
The striking thing about the Swiss “investigation” is that it was inspired and financed by al-Jazeera. The report itself is on al-Jazeera stationery, and the opening lines reveal that the entire thing was invented by al-Jazeera. At al-Jazeera’s web site, here, huge amounts of attention are devoted to proving that Arafat was poisoned. There are an amazing 41 “news” stories and documents listed under the headline “Al Jazeera Investigates: Killing Arafat.”
The other teams were not bought and paid for by al-Jazeera and they reached the opposite conclusion. In fact this recent hullabaloo about how Arafat died represents not new science or new evidence, but an effort by al-Jazeera to create trouble. It is yet another proof that al-Jazeera continued to operate in 2013 without the restraints of a normal news medium and should not be regarded as one. The government of Qatar –which owns al-Jazeera– changed during this year; there is a new emir and some speculation that he will rein in Qatari foreign policy. Thus far he has not reined in al-Jazeera, and its pretensions to be a Middle Eastern version of CNN or BBC should be rejected. This entire Arafat/poisoning affair shows us that al-Jazeera continues to pursue political goals and to manufacture what it hopes to persuade us is “news.”
Palestinian refugees -- a reality check (part 2)
Who is responsible?
PLO Chairman and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas admitted that "Arab armies forced Palestinians to leave their homes" (Filastin A-Thawra, March 1976). On May 13, 2008, Al Ayyam, the second largest pro-Abbas Palestinian daily, claimed: "[In 1948] the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) told Palestinians to leave their houses and villages, and return a few days later, so the ALA can fulfill its mission."
The head of Britain's Middle East Office in Cairo, John Troutbeck, reported in June 1949: "Arab refugees speak with utmost bitterness of Egypt and other Arab states. They know who their enemies are. Their Arab brothers persuaded them unnecessarily to leave their homes." Sir Alan Cunningham, the last British high commissioner in Palestine, wrote on April 28, 1948 that the total evacuation was urged on the Haifa Arabs from higher Arab quarters. The U.S. consul-general in Haifa telegraphed on April 25, 1948 that "reportedly, Arab Higher Committee is ordering all Arabs to leave."
Palestine – International Scandal Checkmates Israel
The ultimate insult to individual Israeli competitors was the failure to list their country as “Israel” in the players’ biographies. Instead they were identified as citizens of “FIDE” – a place with no Capitol, area or population.
Palestinian competitors fared slightly better – players at least having their country identified as “Palestine” in their biographies – although that country too is listed without a Capitol, area or population.
One would be hard put to find a more blatant case of discrimination, racism and apartheid – – played out against children to boot.
What mindless morons representing Chess Federations in competing countries like America, Australia, England, Norway, Sweden, Canada and France allowed this farce to be perpetrated?
Palestinians: Is Abbas Being Asked to Sign His Death Warrant?
It is shocking, but not surprising, that in such a complex situation people such as the EU's Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are trying to force Israel to give up assets critical to its security. They are exerting their pressure in the wrong direction: they should instead campaign for citizenship for the Palestinians in the Arab countries, a quest that would quickly clear their heads of the nonsense of the "return;" stop the tide of money flowing into UNRWA and end the fiction of the "Palestinian refugees."
As the Arab countries -- relatively new artificial creations temporarily pasted together with the lies of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, disintegrate into their original warring tribes and sects -- Ashton, Kerry, et al are nevertheless trying to create yet another artificial state, "Palestine," which will quickly become another Islamist country, officially refusing, as a matter of policy, to recognize the State of Israel and seeking to destroy it.
Pollard’s fate unconnected to peace talks, insists US envoy
America’s envoy in Israel sought on Sunday to dampen hopes raised by news reports over the weekend according to which US Secretary of State John Kerry offered to arrange for the release of Israeli-American spy Jonathan Pollard from an American prison.
“I suggest we don’t believe every media report,” Ambassador Dan Shapiro said in a Hebrew-language interview with Army Radio Sunday morning. “There’s no direct link between Pollard and the [peace] negotiations or the prisoner release. These are different issues.”
German-Palestinian Researcher Said Dudin: MEMRI Involved in Sowing Anarchy in the Arab World
Said Dudin: Do you know that Qatari gas is not sold in The Hague, but on Tel Aviv's stock exchange? As for politics, it is the Zionist leaders who are leading the sweeping anarchy, which only the idiots call "revolution" or "Arab Spring." The Zionist leaders, and I'd like to specifically mention Bernard-Henri Lévy, the criminal swindler Elie Weisel, Haim Saban and his institutes... It is the Zionist leaders who lead this, and therefore, it is no coincidence that none of the forces behind this sweeping anarchy use the slogans of the Arabs' sovereignty over their natural resources.


MIT president rejects ASA academic boycott against Israel
"On Dec. 16, 2013, the American Studies Association (ASA) endorsed a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. MIT is not a member of the ASA and has no connection to this boycott," Reif said.
"The concept of an academic boycott is antithetical to MIT values. It fundamentally violates the principles of academic freedom that are central to the excellence of MIT and American higher education," he said.
State lawmakers battle Israel boycott by university organization American Studies Association
Two state lawmakers want to strip aid from universities whose faculty participate in academic organizations that urge a boycott against Israel.
Senate co-leader Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) plan to introduce a bill that would give colleges and universities in New York 30 days to withdraw their support from groups like the American Studies Association, which recently voted for such an academic boycott.
An open letter to West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing
I was absolutely disgusted to read you have defended the clearly antisemitic gesture “la quenelle”, made by Nicolas Anelka, by saying Anelka’s gesture couldn’t be antisemitic because he was making the gesture on behalf of a comedian friend. The comedian in question is a person with a vile antisemitic history and links with the National Front and Islamist Groups. His name, Dieudonné M’bala M’bala.
Soccer Star Anelka Draws President Obama, Jay-Z and Beyoncé Into ‘Reverse Nazi Salute’ Controversy
French Muslim soccer star, Nicolas Anelka, has drawn President Obama, rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyoncé into a controversy surrounding his use on Saturday of a gesture that is widely considered to be anti-Semitic, and has been described as “the Nazi salute in reverse.”
Under heavy criticism for publicly using the gesture, after scoring a goal for British soccer club West Bromwich, the athlete tweeted a picture of Obama and the pop culture icons motioning in a way that may appear to be similar. However, a 2012 report from the time that the picture was taken said that the group was “brushing imaginary dirt off their shoulder” in “an obvious reference to the Jay-Z hit song” entitled “Dirt off Your Shoulder.” (h/t Jewess)
Netanyahu: Lebanese government, Hezbollah responsible for rockets
“We hold the Lebanese government responsible for firing that is carried out from within its territory,” Netanyahu said ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting, and noted that Hezbollah, by ”stationing thousands of missiles and rockets in apartments… is thus perpetrating two war crimes simultaneously. It is organizing the firing at civilians, just as it did today, and it is hiding behind civilians as human shields.”
The prime minister spoke after two Katyusha rockets fired from Lebanon landed west of the northern Galilee town of Kiryat Shmona. No one was wounded and there was no damage reported from the attack.
IDF Blog: Rockets Fired from Lebanon at Israel, IDF Responds
Five rockets were fired this morning from Lebanon at Israel. The attack is an inexcusable and blatant violation of Israel’s sovereignty.
Residents of Israel’s north woke up this morning (December 29) to five rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel. One of the rockets landed west of Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli city near the Lebanese border. IDF forces responded with artillery fire toward the source of the launch.
At least five rockets were fired from Lebanon, with one confirmed explosion in Israel. The IDF is currently searching for evidence of others.
PLO Calls on Hamas to Cut Ties with the Muslim Brotherhood
Several leaders from various factions in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on Saturday urged Hamas to dissociate itself from the Muslim Brotherhood, some calling the Egyptian organization a "terrorist group," according to the Ma’an news agency.
PA report: Chances of 3rd intifada 'very high'
A report compiled by the Palestinian Authority's security forces that was leaked to the media over the weekend, however, warned that chances of a third intifada are very high. The report recommended that the PA formulate contingency plans to combat the possibility that a violent uprising would erupt, so that it would not be "dragged after the street like in the Second Intifada."
The report details the various difficulties Palestinian security forces encounter while trying to thwart attack perpetrated by lone terrorists.
OPCW: Syrian Chemical Weapons Removal to Miss Deadline
The operation to destroy Syria's chemical weapons program will miss its December 31 deadline, Mail & Guardian reported Saturday.
Franz Krawinkler, head of logistics for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), confirmed to Austrian state television Saturday that bad weather has delayed the transport of crucial supplies for the mission.
Egypt: 5 killed as police clash with protesters
In at least seven southern provinces, security and local officials said that the authorities turned to armed civilians from anti-Islamist and pro-government families to provide support to security forces, help guard police stations and churches and confront pro-Morsi rallies.
One high-ranking Interior Ministry official said that this is part of a bigger deal between the security apparatus and the big clans in the south, the most conservative part of Egypt, which has a strong tradition both of inter-family feuding and of Islamist militancy.
Blast hits near military facility outside Cairo
Initial reports suggest that the Sunday explosion was caused by a hand grenade thrown at the building in Anshas, a village in Sharqiya province that houses a number of military facilities. The officials spoke anonymously in line with regulations.
Attacks on security targets have become frequent following the July 3 ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. A Sinai-based militant group has claimed responsibility for a Tuesday car bomb at a Nile Delta security headquarters that killed 16.
Report: Muslim Brotherhood signs pact with al-Qaeda
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood movement has signed a pact with the al-Qaeda-affiliated radical Salafi organization Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which claimed responsibility last week for a terror attack in the city of Mansoura, security sources told the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper.
According to the sources, the Muslim Brotherhood has an alliance with another al-Qaeda-affiliated organization. Meanwhile, senior Muslim Brotherhood member Ibrahim Al-Sayed said the Egyptian government's decision to declare the movement a terror organization was meaningless and would not harm the movement.
Israel’s ‘robot revolutionary’ wins top prize
The robot revolution is a lot more advanced than most people realize. While robots are (correctly) assumed to carry out the will of their masters via detailed programs inserted into their memories, at least one Israeli researcher has developed a method for robots to “think” on their own. Professor Gal Kaminka, of Bar-Ilan University’s Department of Computer Science and Gonda (Goldschmied) Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center is one of Israel’s, and the world’s, leading contributors to intelligent robotics – the science of using artificial intelligence to make robots “smarter” – and this week he was awarded the prestigious Landau Prize for Arts and Sciences in the robotics category for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of science.
Israeli Researchers Link Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Proteins
Hebrew University research teams have found how bacteria can survive treatment with antibiotics - even when the strain is not inherently antibiotic-resistant.
The discovery, which was published this week in prestigious science journal Nature Communications, could possibly improve treatment methods for bacterial infections.
Plumbers in Portugal find 14th-century ritual bath
Jorge Alarcao, an archeologist who was called upon to study the structures, told the paper: “This could be the only discovery of its kind made in Portugal.”
The structures appear to be mikvahs, or ritual baths, predating the 14th century which were designed for Jewish women, according to Alarcao.
“It could be the most important archeological discovery made in Coimbra over the past 70 years,” Coimbra Mayor Manuel Machado told the paper.
Israel Daily Picture: Remarkable Pictures of Jewish Communities in the Middle East
Today, we present the UCR's vintage pictures of the Jews of Iraq. Suffering from pogroms, persecution, and confiscation of property, most of the Jews of Iraq left the country by 1951. The "Jews of Iraq" is Part 1 of a series that will include vintage pictures of Jews of Egypt, Syria and Turkey.


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