Sunday, February 23, 2014

From Ian:

David Singer: Kerry Oblivious To Demise Of Palestinian Authority
US Secretary of State John Kerry and the US State Department continue to cling to the illusion that the Palestinian Authority still exists – despite PLO insistence that it does not following this Decree on 3 January 2013:
Kerry and the State Department’s inability to appreciate this major change in PLO policy became very apparent following Kerry’s visit to Paris last week to meet “President of the State of Palestine” and “Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO” – Mahmoud Abbas.
The State Department web site described Kerry’s visit in these terms:
“In Paris, Secretary Kerry will meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas to discuss the ongoing negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.”(h/t Bob Knot)
Letters from the Phantom Anti-Jewish Establishment
Hating Israel has become a small petty club for the wealthy left and the Israel Policy Forum allows assorted obscure figures to assert their status by denouncing things or demanding things under the banner of an organization whose only asset is the wealth of a few private equity backers.
The Jewish Anti-Israel left likes to pretend that it's a grassroots movement whose voice is being squelched by some nebulous Jewish establishment when in reality it is an unelected establishment using its wealth and lingering fame to shout over the majority of American Jews who support Israel. (h/t NormanF)
Arab Despots Puzzled At Ukrainian Refusal To Mow Down Protesters (Satire)
In the wake of a popular uprising in Ukraine that resulted in the deposing of Viktor Yanukovich as president, leaders throughout the Middle East are expressing bewilderment that the authorities in Kiev did not immediately resort to crushing dissent with machine guns, tanks, air strikes, and mass torture.
Following months of protests that turned violent in recent weeks, Yanukovich fled the capital city but insisted he remains the country’s legitimate elected leader despite being deposed by Parliament today. Egyptian, Saudi, Bahraini, Syrian, Turkish, and Iranian officials said they still did not understand why the Ukrainian government allowed the protests to continue after the initial unrest in November.

Amnesty hedges its bets over Ben White
In his 1st edition of his Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, Ben White included an essay by convicted Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy essay on Zionism in his ’select bibliography’ (p.162).
White infamously declared “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are.”
White also wrote an enthusiastic article claiming that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not a Holocaust denier, in the same week as Ahmadinejad began to invite Holocaust deniers to a conference in Iran.
Now it looks that even Amnesty are being rather more cautious with Ben White.
Elkin: Mahmoud Abbas Should Learn Some History
Deputy Foreign Minister Zev Elkin returned Sunday from a weekend in the Galilee, during which he visited the village of Pekiin, including the town’s ancient synagogue.
Elkin followed his visit with a post to Facebook suggesting that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas might benefit from a similar trip.
“Next time that Abu Mazen [Abbas – ed.] argues that the Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the land, going back thousands of years, it should be recommended that he visit Pekiin,” Elkin wrote.
Report: Congress may condition PA aid on curbing incitement
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee is considering freezing aid to the Palestinian Authority unless its continued incitement against Israel is curtailed, according to a Channel 2 report Saturday.
International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz reportedly met with congressmen to express his appreciation for the initiative.
"Maybe now, when there is international recognition and a monetary threat on the aid, the incitement will lessen," Steinitz said.
Fogel Parents Meet Children Named for the Slain
In two weeks, the town of Itamar will mark three years since the brutal murder of the Fogel family, a slaying that shocked the nation. In 2011, two teenage Palestinian Arab terrorists entered the town and murdered Ehud and Ruth Fogel and three of their six children.
In the years since the attack, 38 children have been named after Ehud, Ruth, and the murdered children Yoav, Elad and Hadas.
Last week, Ehud Fogel’s bereaved parents, Chaim and Tzila, hosted an emotional gathering in Itamar during which they met 20 of the children named for their slain son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. They and the children’s parents helped the young children to plant trees in the yard of the Fogel family home.
Syrian troops capture areas along Israeli Golan Heights
Syrian government forces captured Saturday two rebel-held areas on the edge of the Israeli-occupied[sic] Golan Heights after days of intense fighting near a decades-old cease-fire line between Syria and Israel, state TV said.
The violence came as the UN Security Council unanimously demanded immediate access everywhere in Syria to deliver humanitarian aid to millions of people in desperate need.
Russia and China, strong supporters of the Syrian government, joined the rest of the council Saturday in sending a strong message to President Bashar Assad’s government that civilians caught in the three-year conflict must be helped.
Palestinians mark DFLP anniversary with armed procession near Jerusalem
Palestinians in the village of Abu Dis, which lies just outside of the Jerusalem municipal boundaries, staged a procession over the weekend to mark the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Marxist faction and a member organization of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Dozens of Palestinians were seen brandishing AK-47 and M16 semiautomatic rifles as well as hand grenades and pistols while clad in military gear, according to Israel Radio. A number of shots were fired in the air during the festivities.
In recent months, Palestinians have increasingly been displaying firearms out in the open, particularly in the refugee camps of the West Bank, this after years in which the Palestinian Authority banned the practice.
Official: Fatah, PLO have lost control of Lebanon refugee camps
The Fatah movement and the Palestine Liberation Organization have lost control of the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, a Lebanon-based Fatah official said on Saturday.
Fatah leader in Lebanon Muneer Maqdah told Ma'an on Saturday that Lebanese authorities told the PLO to adjust the situation in order "to avoid more aggravations" which they warned could have "negative impacts" on the refugee camps and on Lebanon more broadly.
The statement comes two days after a Palestinian was identified as one of the culprits of a double suicide bombing targeting the Iranian cultural center in southern Beirut. Officials are increasingly worried that economic deprivation in the Palestinian camps in Lebanon has laid fertile ground for Wahhabi militant groups.
Netanyahu urges world powers to up pressure on Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called on Germany and other Western nations involved in nuclear talks with Iran to ensure that the Islamic Republic does not attain the ability to manufacture nuclear weapons or the long-range missile capability to deliver them.
“I see with concern that Iran believes that it will complete its plan to become a nuclear power… with the ability to create a nuclear weapon and also to build intercontinental missiles, which Iran currently is engaged in without hindrance,” he said, speaking before the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
The prime minister said that despite the interim agreement signed with the West, Iran is still pursuing three things — uranium enrichment, weapons development and the ability to deliver a payload — meaning that it is “getting everything while giving nearly nothing” in return.
Top Iranian cleric warns of ‘crushing response’ to US strike
Speaking to a crowd of students at Tehran University Friday, Tehran’s provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said, “We are eager for your options on the table.”
He was referring to statements by US and other Western officials, saying that while Western powers would pursue the diplomatic track to prevent Iran from achieving military nuclear capability, other options — such as a military strike — would remain on the table in case diplomacy proved fruitless.
Iran’s “number one option” on the table, according to Jannati, was “Down with the US.”
Over 80 U.S. Foreign Policy Figures Call on Obama to Confront Turkey Over Democratic Downward Spiral
The Daily Beast on Thursday conveyed the contents of a letter signed by what the outlet described as “more than 80 top foreign policy figures from across the political spectrum,” calling on President Barack Obama to confront Turkey over Ankara’s ongoing crackdown against civil liberties, human rights, and the rule of law.
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is increasingly undermining a central pillar of the decades-long, strategic U.S.-Turkish partnership: Turkey’s growing democracy,” reads the letter… “We are writing because of our deep dismay at this development and to urge you to make clear to the Turkish public America’s concern about Turkey’s current path. Silence will only encourage Prime Minister Erdoğan to diminish the rule of law in the country even further.”
Obama Urges Erdogan to Renew Diplomatic Ties With Israel
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke on the phone with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday and discussed with him the “importance of quickly concluding the normalization agreement with Israel.”
According to a statement issued by the White House, the two leaders discussed several other issues as well, including cooperation “to address the growing terrorist presence in Syria.”
Envoy asks Bulgaria to ban sale of Nazi memorabilia
Israel’s ambassador in Sofia asked Bulgarian authorities to ban the sale of Nazi memorabilia.
Shaul Kamisa-Raz made the request in a letter to Bulgarian government officials with copies to mayors of major cities, the Sofia Globe news website reported Wednesday.
He asked whether there were legal ways to ban the sale and, if not, whether legislation banning it could be passed. “The topic of anti-Semitism should be studied in its historical context and the threats arising from this evil properly identified. We need to know what damage and what horrors can result, ” he said.
Germany to offer consular help to Israelis in third countries
Germany will begin offering consular services to Israeli citizens in countries that have no diplomatic relations with Israel, according to the terms of an agreement expected to be signed when Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Jerusalem on Monday.
Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, Israel’s envoy in Berlin, called the offer “a special message” from the German government and said it was indicative of the importance of the relationship between the two countries, according to Reuters.
120 Israeli companies to participate in global mobile event
The "startup nation" heads to Barcelona: Some 120 Israeli companies in the mobile and app industry will showcase their technology at the world's biggest mobile event -- Mobile World Congress -- to begin Monday in Barcelona. Hundreds of mobile company representatives, smartphone application developers and high-tech entrepreneurs and innovators will flock to Barcelona for the four-day event.
Israeli developers will present their innovations at the country's tech booth. Their technologies include a smartphone with special sensors that enable medical examinations and checkups; iDTV, a digital television system that integrates built-in cameras to scan and project images; Mycheck, a checkout app that allows you to pay restaurant and hotel bills through your phone; and Keeprz, which creates a mobile platform for local businesses.
Israeli-Arab scientist gives mass e-course taught in Arabic
When the president of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology asked Prof. Hossam Haick to teach the institute’s first massive open online course (MOOC) – in English and in Arabic — the award-winning Israeli-Arab nanotechnology expert agreed immediately.
Then he found out how difficult a task he had accepted. One of the hardest aspects was translating all the cutting-edge technical terms into a common Arabic dialect.
“One of my main weaknesses is that I say ‘yes’ before I think how to do it,” Haick tells ISRAEL21c. “The idea of teaching thousands of people across the world seemed very nice to me. I didn’t know the challenges. It took nine months to put it all together.”
Deep Purple brings color to Tel Aviv
The 'explosion' on the stage started at 9:30 p.m. Saturday night and did not stop for two hours. Yes they are senior citizens but if you put your hands over your eyes you would not know that the average aged of the members of Deep Purple is 62 years old.
In the first of two shows in Tel Aviv (the second one is tonight and tickets are still available), the British nominees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rocked like it was 1972 and put on a show at the Nokia Arena that had the nearly full room of fans almost as old as the band dancing and singing along to the songs.
Israel Daily Picture: Joseph's Tomb -- What a Difference a Century Makes
The very first posting in Israel Daily Picture in June 2011 featured century-old pictures of Joseph's Tomb that we found in the Library of Congress archives. Virtually every 19th and early 20th century collection we've viewed contains pictures of the tomb. The online Keystone-Mast collection at the University of California - Riverside archives adds many more photos of Joseph's Tomb for the public's view.


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