Monday, December 30, 2013

From Ian:

Sherri Mandell: I’m glad my son’s murderers have not been found
Please, Israeli government, I beg you: Don’t go looking for my son’s killers. The ones who cruelly beat Koby and Yosef to death with rocks, the barbarians who attacked two eighth grade boys — my son and his friend — who were on a hike near our home in Israel. Please don’t find them. Don’t apprehend them and put them in jail and make my family and me sit through a long trial and sentencing, where my heart will quake and my stomach will constrict and I will feel that I am about to faint.
Don’t find them guilty and put them in jail. Because I don’t want the torture of knowing that these killers will find their way to freedom one day, will be greeted by their mothers with hugs, while my son and Yosef lie in the ground. I could not bear to go through what 26 Israeli families are going through today: betrayal by the government that is supposed to protect them.
Fogels' Son Asks: Why Are they Releasing Murderers?
11-year-old Roi Fogel, whose parents and three siblings were brutally murdered by Arab terrorists in the Shomron town of Itamar in 2011, wants to know why the Israeli government is releasing terrorist murderers.
Unreported by the Guardian: Details on latest Palestinian prisoners to be released (& their victims)
On December 28th the Israeli Prison Service published the list of prisoners scheduled for release later this week, representing the third round of four scheduled releases agreed upon by Israel’s prime minister as a ‘goodwill gesture’ to get the Palestinians to resume peace talks.
As we have noted previously, many newspapers (including the Guardian, Independent, and Irish Times) have whitewashed the violent crimes of the prisoners being released and all but ignored the victims. So, in addition to details about the perpetrators and their crimes, we’ve also included some information on the Israeli (and Palestinian) victims.

Terror victims organization petitions High Court against Palestinian prisoner release
As the Israeli government prepares to release 26 additional prisoners convicted of acts of terrorism before the signing of the Oslo Accords, the relatives of terrorism victims are also planning a large-scale demonstration in faint hopes of foiling the move.
Almagor is arguing that the government has exceeded its authority by releasing Palestinians who are residents of east Jerusalem, and thus holders of Israeli identity cards.
Protest to Take Place Outside Home of Jerusalem Terrorist
Khalaf is an Arab resident of Jerusalem who holds Israeli citizenship, who was arrested in 1992 for his role in attempting to carry out a terror attack with two other terrorists. Besides, Khalaf, four other Jerusalem Arabs are set to be released.
The group will meet outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem and from there march to the American Consulate. They will then proceed to the home of Khalaf, located in the Old City.
US deal will trade off ‘Jewish’ Israel for 1967 lines — report
US Secretary of State John Kerry will offer Israeli and Palestinian negotiators a political trade-off: Israeli recognition of the 1967 lines as a basis for the future Palestinian state, in return for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, Palestinian sources told the Saudi daily Al-Watan on Sunday.
According to the sources, the mutual recognition will constitute the core of a framework agreement to be signed by the end of January, and negotiated in greater detail during the following months.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Erekat: Peace talks have failed, PA should seek statehood recognition
Chief PLO negotiator says Israel foiled talks, adds denying Jordan border for Palestinian state "is clear step towards apartheid."
The peace talks with Israel have failed and the Palestinian Authority should seek membership in international agencies and forums, Chief PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat declared Monday.
Erekat’s announcement came as another top PLO official, Jamal Muheissen, reiterated the Palestinians’ rejection of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s new ideas for security arrangements between a Palestinian state and Israel. (h/t Jewess)
It’s going to get bad fast between Israel and the US
As Israel faces concerted pressure, lethal violence and international opprobrium because of the failure of US-generated talks that themselves have brought violence, the Jewish state can perhaps take some solace that at least one neighbor understands their predicament — their new kindred spirits in the Saudi royal family.
“He’s so wounded,” said influential Saudi Prince Alaweed bin Talal, referring to Obama. “It’s very scary. Look, the 2014 elections are going to begin. Within two months they’re going to start campaigning. Thirty-nine members of his own party in the House have already moved away from him on Obamacare. That’s scary for him.”
Not only for him, your Highness.
Ya'alon: EU boycott preferable to rockets on Ben-Gurion Airport
Assailing the West as "paternalistic," Ya'alon said that instead of them explaining to him, with all of his experience on the ground, how he misunderstands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we need "to explain to Europe why they're wrong."
He also complained that some in the West were what he considered obsessed with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the solution to all problems in the Middle East when really he said that it is currently clear that "problems in Tunisia and Egypt have nothing to do with us." (h/t Bob Knot)
Buried by the ‘Times’
Here is how propaganda works: It gives pride of place to certain articles and omits or minimizes – buries – others; presents opinion pieces as if they are objective news – and then supports such “news” with opinion pieces in the very same issue; presents compelling but often misleading and wrongly captioned photos to accompany the biased news; and it does so every single day.
Sometimes this is done blatantly, more often it is a steady stream of low-level disinformation. Newspapers and websites will also inflate and sensationalize something minor and deny, omit or bury something that is quite major.
Trinity College Profs issue letter rejecting anti-Israel academic boycott
As mentioned last week, a group of 21 professors issued a highly pejorative letter excoriating the President. The letter was reported as reflecting faculty opposition to the boycott opposition.
Apparently other professors, however, are pushing back against the narrative that the faculty supports the boycott, issuing its own letter of support for the President and Dean of Faculty.
Anti-Israel academic boycotters play victim
ASA decided to make itself a weapon in the worldwide BDS war on Israel, a war which seeks Israel’s delegitimization and destruction.
BDS is the mother’s milk of anti-Semitism spreading throughout Europe and the world, and ASA has become one of its teats.
Regardless of how this plays out, ASA is no victim.
Israel's Christian Awakening
The Christian awakening in Israel goes beyond joining the IDF. Some Israeli Christian leaders now demand that their history and heritage be taught in state schools. "Children in Arab schools in Israel learn only Arab-Muslim history," says a report prepared by Mr. Khaloul and submitted to Israel's Ministry of Education, "and this causes the obliteration of Christian identity."
Some Israeli Christians even recently established a new political party, headed by Bishara Shlayan, a stocky, blue-eyed former captain in the Israeli navy who told me that he once beat up an Irish sailor in Londonderry who called him an "[expletive] Jew." The new party is puckishly called B'nai Brith ("Children of the Covenant"), and Shlayan says it will have Jewish as well as Christian members. Nazareth's mayor, Ramez Jaraisy, recently told the Times of Israel that Shlayan was a "collaborator" with the Israeli authorities.
"The current Arab political establishment only brought us hate and rifts," says Mr. Shlayan. "The Arab-Muslim parties didn't take care of us. We are not brothers with the Muslims; brothers take care of each other." Mr. Shlayan, who advocates better education, housing and employment for Israeli Christians, says he also dreams of turning Nazareth into an even busier tourist spot by erecting the world's biggest statue of Jesus.
Should this Christian awakening succeed, it would be yet another notable shift in the balance of power among religious groups in the Middle East.
Islamic groups call for NYE to be cancelled
A Malaysian Muslim group has called for New Year’s celebrations to be cancelled because they reflect Jewish culture and will cause Muslim youths to commit sins.
A top Muslim cleric in the Asian state also said the New Year should be recognised with pray and religious speeches rather than parties.
New York Times probes anti-Semitism in Hungary
The survey, published online Tuesday, asks respondents whether they experienced anti-Semitism and considered emigrating as a result, among other questions.
“An openly anti-Semitic political party has gained power in Hungary’s Parliament in recent years, fueling fears that the Eastern European nation is experiencing a rise in anti-Jewish sentiment,” the paper wrote in an introduction to the online survey form.
Jerusalem Set to Approve Program Aimed at Bringing Thousands More French Jews to Israel
The Israeli government is expected to approve a program aimed at bringing thousands of French Jews to the country over the next three years, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Friday.
A budget is currently being prepared for the initiative that intends to redirect Jews who are currently emigrating from France to other parts of the world to consider Israel as a viable alternative.
PwC: Israeli tech exits worth $7.6b in 2013
This is divided between mergers and acquisitions totaling $6.45 billion and IPOs (in Tel Aviv and New York) totaling $1.2 billion.
These numbers make 2013 the year with the second highest exit figures in the past decade, after 2006. But if two very large acquisitions of public companies that year Mercury by HP and M-Systems by SanDisk - are discounted, then 2013 leads by a long way.
Israeli IPO Wave Expected in 2014
“I think 2014 will be the year for more IPOs,” said Nimrod Kozlovski, a partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners. “The home run in Israel is if you go IPO on Nasdaq, and I think that more companies in Israel now are lining up, trying to go to Nasdaq.”
Mr. Kozlovski said the Israeli startup industry has matured to the point of creating 15 to 20 companies that could launch an IPO next year on New York, London or Tel Aviv exchange.
Elbit gets $229 mln Australian battle management system deal
Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems said it was awarded follow-on contracts worth $229 million to supply battle management systems to Australia's Department of Defence.
The project will be performed over a three year period by Elbit Systems of Australia, the company said on Sunday.
IDF Blog: 13 Inspiring IDF Stories from 2013
2013 is coming to an end, but it leaves behind hundreds of stories to remember. In honor of the new year, we bring you the 13 most moving IDF stories that we told in 2013.
Reflections of a one-armed warrior
It is nearly four years since the loss of my dominant arm, which was taken from me by rocket near the border of Gaza when I was a fresh-faced IDF recruit.
When I look back at my difficult recovery, before my return to combat, I can’t help but feeling blessed. The interim was rough but, without knowing it then, I gained insights that still benefit me today. In the period directly following my injury I already learned the most important lesson, one which continues to serve me well today: how to take it one day at a time.

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