Thursday, January 02, 2014

From Ian:

Even Peaceniks are terror targets
Winston Churchill famously remarked “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”
I’ve often suspected the reason some Jews join with our enemies is that the belief that if they support terrorists who want to destroy Israel and the Jews, they will be spared. Many learn too late that it doesn’t matter if you’re a self-hating Jew who is happy to denounce Israel and your fellow Jews; to a terrorist you are still a Jew.
MEMRI: Yemeni Columnist Denounces Custom Of Calling Jews 'Descendants Of Apes And Pigs'
Dr. Youssuf Al-Hadhiri, a columnist for the Yemeni paper 'Aden Al-Ghad, came out against the practice of Muslim clerics and preachers to call the Jews "descendants of apes and pigs" and entrench this expression in the Muslim public discourse. In a recent article, he discusses the Koranic verses that are the source of this expression in order to prove that it is false, and argues that the use of this expression only damages Islam. (h/t Bob Knot)
In Europe, Elites Create the Atmosphere That Allows Popular Anti-Semitism to Grow
One group cloaks its prejudice in high minded rationalizations. The other openly appeals to people’s most base hatreds. The elites might never personally assault anyone or espouse violence. However, they create an atmosphere that allows others to more freely engage in anti-Semitic actions. It is not a matter of one group being worse than the other. It is that both are necessary for the perfect storm. This storm might take a very long time to gather to gale force—but the atmospheric elements increasingly seem to be falling into place.
Yet, before reading this as a license to panic, let’s remember how different things are today than in the Europe of the 1930s. Even before Jews protested and demanded a response to Anelka’s salute—something we can freely do today—political leaders, commentators, and public intellectuals were already condemning it as an expression of racist and anti-Semitic prejudice. Many among them were clear about seeing the ideas underlying the silly hand gesture as a threat to the kind of society in which they wish to live.
Dieudonné, Anelka, and Parker have all responded defensively, variously insisting that their actions have nothing to do with anti-Semitism or were misconstrued. Thankfully, no one believes them.

In New Year’s Address, French President Hollande Vows to Oppose ‘Anti-Semitism, Racism’
French President Francois Hollande used his televised New Year’s Eve speech to address resurgent anti-Semitism after the international outcry over French anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala’s quenelle salute.
In the speech, Hollande declared that he “will not condone anti-Semitism, racism and any form of discrimination… The values of the French Republic are not negotiable.”
Thousands march to honor Nazi collaborator in Kiev
About 15,000 people marched through Kiev on Wednesday night to honor Stepan Bandera, glorified by some as a leader of Ukraine’s liberation movement and dismissed by others as a Nazi collaborator.
The march was held in Ukraine’s capital on what would have been Bandera’s 105th birthday, and many of the celebrants carried torches.
Giant Swastika Sprayed on Kingsbridge, Bronx Center of Israel Synagogue
A four square foot Nazi swastika was spray painted in black across the front wall of the Kingsbridge Center of Israel synagogue, in Bronx, New York, the New York Post reported on Wednesday.
The Post said the “disturbing discovery” was made by the synagogue’s president at 8:30 AM on Monday when he arrived at the building after locking up at 6 PM the night before.
Nazi-looted art in the German parliament building?
The German-language daily Bild reported Monday the parliament building’s 4,000-piece art collection may contain Nazi-looted art, some with ties to infamous Nazi art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt whose collection was publicized in November in a scandal still rocking the country.
In question at the parliament, writes Bild, are some 108 works of “unknown provenance.” Specifically, two are currently being investigated by an art historian who began researching the collection in 2012.
Regimes that supported Richard Falk in 2013
On June 10, 2013, UN Human Rights Council expert Richard Falk presented a report to the plenary that called for UN Watch to be shut down. The following countries took the floor to support Falk — and to attack UN Watch.
Bennett Names 'Hot Mic' UN Interpreter as His Person of the Year
Bennett, who followed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who topped the list, was asked in turn to choose his person of the year for 2013. He chose the interpreters, particularly the United Nations interpreter who, not realizing her microphone was on, noted that the incessant emphasis on condemning Israel - for crimes real or alleged - is uncalled for and excessive.
Honest Reporting: The People’s Choice: The Top Ten Stories of 2013
HonestReporting has managed to clock up nearly 3.5 million pageviews during 2013. Here are the top ten most viewed posts of the year:
BBC Israel focus in numbers: December 2013 and year-end round up
One issue arising from the 2012 report commissioned by the BBC Trust on the subject of the ‘Arab Spring’ was that of excessive focus on one particular Middle East issue.
“Although the review does not cover the period before December 2010, some BBC executives volunteered the view that in that period Middle East coverage focused too intensively on the Arab-Israel conflict, at the expense of the wider Arab world, so that the public was more surprised by the outbreak of the “Arab Spring” than it need have been.”
It would seem that with regard to the BBC News website at least, little has changed since then, with coverage of most Middle East countries – including some of those named in that report – still very sparse indeed and disproportionate focus on the one free country in the region.
Which country does not have a capital city on the BBC website?
A country’s capital city is usually the one in which its official seat of government is located, although the Netherlands is one example of an exception to that rule of thumb. But in any case, a capital is of course defined by the people of a particular country and their government, rather than by media organisations apparently having chronic difficulties with post-colonialism.
It might perhaps be suggested that the BBC’s stubborn and anachronistic refusal to name Israel’s capital city as such is related to a reluctance to be seen as taking a stance on the issue of ‘disputed territory’ – even though the district of the city in which the seat of government is located is not in fact ‘disputed’. Well, obviously not.
The Case for Jonathan Pollard’s Release
Releasing Pollard now is the right thing to do, notwithstanding the reprehensibility of his actions. Release may be a bitter pill for many in the U.S. intelligence community to swallow. As part of a deal with Prime Minister Netanyahu to advance the peace process, President Clinton planned to release Pollard in 1998. That plan was aborted when CIA Director George Tenet threatened to resign in protest.
But the Israelis themselves have swallowed even more bitter pills at the behest of an American President. To advance the current peace process, they acceded to President Obama’s request to release a number of Palestinian prisoners. Last October, Israel released 26, most of whom had been involved in murdering Israeli citizens. Three of the prisoners had murdered senior citizens with axes. None of those released had served as long as Pollard has.
Israel survived the release of murderers. The United States will survive the release of Jonathan Pollard.
US tells Israel: There's no chance Pollard will be freed for release of Israeli-Arab prisoners
Also on Wednesday, Labor MK Nachman Shai and Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked, who head the lobby for Pollard's release in the Knesset, appealed to President Shimon Peres to push for the release of the Israeli agent.
Together, 106 MK's from the coalition and the opposition, Jews and Arabs as one, submitted a letter to President Peres, written to President Obama, pleading for Pollard's release.
Israeli Air Force Develops ‘Waze’ Technology for Fighter Pilots
The unit is currently working on a series of groundbreaking technologies that have garnered praise from hi tech companies both in Israel and around the world. On Monday, the it was officially recognized by Israel’s Chief of General Staff for its innovative and valuable software, Walla said.
One of the Horizon Unit’s most compelling projects is a software program that sends information right into a fighter plane’s cockpit – in real time. The mass of valuable data then allows the pilot to identify different types of enemy targets and make quick decisions while on the attack.
IDF’s encrypted cellphones to get upgrade
The Israel Defense Forces signed a $100 million contract with Motorola Solutions on Tuesday to produce new encrypted smartphones for the IDF for the next 15 years.
The smartphones will include a touchscreen, GPS and an eight-megapixel camera, and will allow soldiers to send secure text messages, images and emails.
8 Female Israeli Soldiers Who Shattered Barriers in 2013
Women have proudly served in the IDF since the very beginning. Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, wrote an impassioned letter to religious communities outlining the necessity of women serving and protecting Israel. Since then, women have taken increasingly high-level positions in the IDF. These female Israeli soldiers challenge stereotypes through the work they do every day.
IDF appoints first female battalion commander
IDF Maj. Oshrat Bachar made history late Wednesday when she was appointed as the Israeli military’s first combat battalion commander.
Bachar, a 35-year-old Petah Tikva native, was appointed commander of a battalion in the IDF’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps, where she has served throughout her 17-year-long military career.
Israel to name Arrow site after former US senator Daniel Inouye
Israel plans to name an Arrow defense missile facility after deceased former US senator Daniel Inouye for his contribution to Israel, marking the first time Israel has named a military facility after a non-Israeli.
“I knew Inouye for 30 years, and he was Israel’s greatest supporter in Congress,” Robert Asher, a former president of AIPAC, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.
Mayim Bialik’s coming to Israel
Bialik was best known for her lead role in the NBC sitcom “Blossom,” and has been nominated for two Emmys for her recurring role as Amy Farrah Fowler, Sheldon’s love interest on CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory.” In her private life, she holds a PhD in neuroscience, is recently divorced and writes frequently about attachment parenting, veganism and the challenges of being an observant Jew in Hollywood.
Top Israeli Jewish Philanthropies of 2013
Some of the most inspiring charities to look out for next year.
Start popping champagne bottles! We are getting ready to ring in the New Year. With tons of philanthropies and charity work, here are some of the top Israeli charities to look out for in 2014:


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