Friday, February 28, 2014

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Those three no’s – reworded
This in effect is Abbas’s counterpart to Khartoum’s no-negotiation stipulation. Abbas has set up a hurdle so high that, without duplicitous pretense, it becomes unsurpassable and thereby makes genuine negotiations a farce.
Next comes Abbas’s present-day equivalent to Khartoum’s no-recognition proviso. While not identical in wording, its bottom line is no different from the 1967 prototype. Abbas repeats insolently that recognition of Israel as the legitimate nation-state of the Jewish people is out of the question – not now, not ever, no way, nowhere, under no condition.
This isn’t a negligible semantic equivocation. It means a refusal to accede even to the 1947 UN Partition Resolution minimum which determined that the Jewish people deserve a state. To crush said UN Resolution, seven Arab armies attacked the overwhelmingly outmanned and outgunned newborn Israel but lost, triggering their piteous lamentations to this day.
As long as the very notion of the rightful existence of a Jewish state is repudiated, the irredentist ambition to eradicate Israel as a Jewish state will fester and rule out even a remote likelihood of a true and lasting peace.
Why Israel No Longer Trusts Europe
Despite these discouraging experiences, every Israeli military action against radicals in Gaza or Lebanon is met with protests in Europe. Which doesn’t inspire confidence in Israeli leaders that Europe would accept Israel’s right to self-defense if a future Palestinian state in the West Bank became a similar hotbed of extremism and revisionist politics.
It is always comfortable for Europeans to demand that Israel make hard decisions for peace. But Europe must now ask itself some hard questions, too. What guarantees could Europe offer Israel in return for a Palestinian state to protect it if the peace experiment failed and radicals took over the West Bank? Would Europe be ready to offer membership in NATO and the European Union if the Israelis asked for it?
I am not sure there are any promising answers to these questions. But if all Europe has to offer Israel is criticism and disapproval, then it will be part of the problem, not the solution.
Watchdog Group Highlights Anti-Israel Credentials of Amnesty International’s Researchers
As Amnesty International published an anonymous 85-page report condemning Israel on Thursday, NGO Monitor, the Jerusalem-based charity watchdog, highlighted the backgrounds of Amnesty’s researchers, several of whom were full-time anti-Israel activists before joining the human rights group.
Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s international legal counsel, told The Algemeiner on Thursday, “We are not sure who wrote the report because Amnesty doesn’t say — in violation of NGO fact-finding guidelines established by the International Bar Association.”
The cover photography from the report was courtesy of Haim Schwarczenberg, who describes himself as a “photographer and activist in Israel” on the anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss, to which he contributed a report last year. Schwarczenberg’s Facebook account features a stream of hundreds of photos showing Arabs igniting tires to hurl at soldiers, aiming slingshots, and, of course, throwing rocks at the Israel Defense Forces.
Herzberg said that what NGO Monitor has been able to confirm is that “the Israel researcher based in London, Deborah Hyams, was a human shield in Beit Jala; the Amnesty US Israel researcher, Edith Garwood, used to be a member of the International Solidarity Movement. Also, another one of the researchers, Rasha Abdul-Rahim, describes herself as ‘a ranty Palestinian activist‘ on Twitter.”
Naughty NTB doctors amnesty international report
Apart from the cheek of the Amnesty International, it is much more serious that the Norwegian news agency NTB resorts to doctoring the Amnesty report in order to smear Israel (they must have suffered badly from withdrawal pains, there has been pretty much nothing that could be blamed on Israel for several months now) by adding a word that appears nowhere in the AI report: Atrocities.

Caroline Glick: The Israeli Solution
Part Two presents the case for Israeli sovereignty from the perspectives of demography, international law, history and civil liberties.
Far from transforming the areas into a race-based state, as Israel’s opponents threaten, such a move by Israel will free the Palestinians from life under the PLO’s terror supporting kleptocracy and provide them with full civil and legal rights as permanent residents of Israel.
They will also have the right to apply for Israeli citizenship.
Even if all the Arabs of Judea and Samaria were to become Israeli citizens, Israel would retain a strong two-thirds Jewish majority. And it would avert the only real demographic threat. That is the threat posed by a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria which would permit millions of hostile, foreign-born Arabs from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria to immigrate to its territory.
How Will Obama Soothe Abbas’s Rage?
The path to peace won’t be found by soothing Abbas’s rage at being maneuvered into having to accept negotiations when signing a deal is the last thing he wants to do. Rather than returning to his default position of pressuring Netanyahu, the keynote of President Obama’s involvement should be making it clear to Abbas that he must accept the framework. The Israelis have already paid dearly, with concessions that included the release of over 100 Palestinian terrorist murderers and a de facto freeze in settlement building outside of their settlement blocs that would be retained in any agreement, in order to persuade Abbas to come back to the table last year. It would be outrageous for Obama to respond to Palestinian blackmail by simply acquiescing to their demands and expect Israel to proceed without the assurance that the framework will be kept in place.
If the president’s new foray into the peace process blindly follows the familiar pattern of Obama’s past conduct in which Netanyahu is ambushed and then strong-armed into making more concessions to Abbas, it would be grossly unfair. But more than that, it would undermine any chance of ever getting the Palestinians to realize that the price of independence means accepting the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn. Peace requires a sea change in Palestinian politics. But it will also mean a similar change in the president’s knee-jerk impulse to put the entire onus for the impasse on an Israel that has already proved it is willing to take risks for peace.
BBC Watch: BBC’s Hardtalk provides platform for Saeb Erekat’s fabricated histories – part one
BBC’s Hardtalk provides platform for Saeb Erekat’s fabricated histories – part two
The February 18th edition of the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ featured presenter Stephen Sackur once again interviewing the programme’s frequent flyer Saeb Erekat. The programme is available in the UK on BBC iPlayer and an audio version was also available from the BBC World Service for a limited period of time, along with a BBC World Service podcast. In addition, the first part of the interview was uploaded by the BBC to YouTube and featured on the BBC News website, as well as on the Hardtalk webpage.
Poll: Three quarters of Israeli Jews would accept peace deal
Three quarters of Hebrew-speaking Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the Arab Peace Initiative, and more than half would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to leave the Likud and create a new party, according to a new poll published Thursday.
The survey, commissioned by the non-profit Israeli Peace Initiative, was conducted earlier this month among a representative sample of 500 Hebrew-speaking Israelis. The poll’s sponsors said it indicated that a large majority of the country’s Jews hold hawkish views regarding the peace process but would be willing to accept a deal if they understood what Israel stands to gain from an accord normalizing diplomatic and trade relations with the entire Arab world.
Police to Limit Muslim Access to Temple Mount on Friday
Israeli police have announced they will limit access for Muslim men to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound during Friday prayers to prevent possible clashes following services, AFP reported Thursday.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told the news agency that men under the age of 50 will be barred from Friday prayers, based on intelligence of plans for unrest, with security forces bolstering their presence in the area.
How Jewish prayer represents “an extreme provocation to Muslims worldwide”
So, let’s get this straight:
1. Some Jews are asking for the right to quietly pray at the site in Jerusalem holiest to their faith.
2. Millions of Muslims worldwide will, it is alleged, be provoked at the mere possibility that a faith other their own will have that right which they want exclusively for themselves.
3. And, yet, it’s the Jews in this scenario who are portrayed as the “regressive” political force?
‘Orwellian’ doesn’t begin to fairly characterize the mental gymnastics employed by journalists in order to accept such bizarre logic.
Shabak Reveals Hamas 'Inflaming' Temple Mount
According to the senior official's analysis, published in Channel 10, Shabak (Internal Security) are identifying attempts by Hamas to bring Muslim activists to the Temple Mount and have them stir up confrontations with Israeli security forces.
"A serious threat is presented by Hamas activity to inflame the Temple Mount (in protests, attacks on the Mount and violent clashes by a mob enlisted by the organization)," warns the document. "These activities are meant to escalate the security situation in the West Bank."
Arab Knesset Faction: Israel is 'Palestine's Interior'
The Arab Raam-Taal Knesset faction held a session Tuesday in which it discussed issues of interest to Arab society in what the faction's press release named “the Palestinian interior” – that is, Israel – and “the occupied state of Palestine.”
Arab MK: Jailed Terrorists Are 'Political Prisoners'
Arab MK Ibrahim Sarsour, Chairman of the Raam-Taal faction, published an announcement to the media on Tuesday, in which he reported on his meetings with jailed terrorists. Sarsour termed the terrorists "political prisoners."
The "political prisoners" Sarsour met included Dr. Mahmoud al-Rumhi and Malek Behirat, as well as Ibrahim Biadasa and Zaher Jabarin. Sarsour said the visit was meant to advance the terrorists' release, especially those who were members of the Palestinian Authority (PA) parliament who were "kidnapped" by Israel.
Iranian Official: 'We are Preparing to Liberate Jerusalem'
The Islamist Basij militia force in Tehran ran a special military exercise Thursday and Friday preparing for an Iranian takeover of Jerusalem.
​The exercise, entitled "March to Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem)," included training in the event of such a takeover, including drills for the protection of cities, assistance and rescue, dealing with social unrest, the protection of sensitive and important military centers, dealing with the invasion and landing of "enemy" (IDF) forces from helicopters, and carrying out complicated tactical maneuvers at night.
Arabs Set Police Station on Fire in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Arabs set ablaze a police station next to the Lions' Gate in the capital's Old City on Wednesday.
Aryeh King, nationalist Jerusalem city councilman and member of the municipality's Emergency and Security Committee, was present at the attack and managed to document it. According to King, police officers fled the scene.
"Unfortunately the prime minister is instructing the authorities to avoid eastern Jerusalem, and these are the results," charged King.
REPORT: Israel warns Lebanese gov't it will be responsible for any Hezbollah retaliation
The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah's threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources. The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.
On Monday, Israeli warplanes allegedly struck Hezbollah targets near the Lebanese-Syria border. An unspecified number of Hezbollah militants were killed in the airstrike, according to pan-Arab news channel Al Arabiya.
Syrian Jihadist Group Forces Local Christians to Submit to Islam or Face Death
The jihadist group—Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), which is mostly composed of foreign terrorists—is widely considered to be the most radical group fighting in the Syrian Civil War.
According to the document, which was posted on a Twitter account of a member of the ISIL, Christians in Raqqa were given the choices to convert to Islam, remain Christian, but submit to Islam, or face death.
According to Islamic law or “shariah,” Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule must pay a tax or “jizya” in return for protection, and become “dhimmis.”
MEMRI: Muslim Brotherhood Supporters, Opponents Accuse Each Other Of Being Jewish
In the political struggle that has been ongoing in Egypt since the July 2013 removal of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) regime of president Muhammad Mursi, between supporters of Defense Minister Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and the MB and its supporters, antisemitic discourse has played a part. Each camp accuses members of the other camp of being Jewish and of implementing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
One manifestation of the current regime's de-legitimization campaign against the MB is comparing them to Jews and Zionists. The press associated with the regime has claimed that that the global MB resembles global Zionism, and that its schemes are the same as those of the Protocols. It has also claimed that MB founder Hassan Al-Bana was Jewish, as well as several other movement leaders. A number of Facebook pages depict MB members as Jews masquerading as Muslims, and feature images of Mursi in Jewish garb and MB symbols emblazoned with Stars of David.
MEMRI: On Iranian Revolution Day 2014, Commander of IRGC Navy Says:
The Americans Will Understand When Their Warships With Over 5,000 Crew Aboard Sink To The Depths Of The Sea And They Have To Search For Their Bodies
On February 11, 2014, Iran celebrated Revolution Day, the 35th anniversary of the regime of the Islamic Revolution, against the backdrop of the start of permanent agreement nuclear talks between Iran and the superpowers, and of the ongoing struggle within Iran between the ideological stream led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and the pragmatic stream led by Hashemi Rafsanjani, on the issue of how Iran should deal with the U.S. Revolution Day 2014 was marked by regime officials' harsh anti-U.S. statements and by calls for maintaining Iranian hostility towards the U.S.
Israel Urges IAEA To Issue Full Report On Iran Nuclear Research
Israel urged the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Friday to go public with all information it has regarding suspicions that Iran researched how to build an atomic bomb.
The statement followed a Reuters report on Thursday, citing sources familiar with the matter, that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last year planned a major report on Iran that might have revealed more of its alleged bomb-relevant research, but held off as the Islamic Republic’s relations with the outside world thawed.
Iran’s rights record no better under Rouhani, US says
Rouhani is widely seen as a more moderate leader in the Islamic republic’s cleric-run government, and has led a period of detente between Iran and the West since coming into office last summer.
However, Assistant Secretary of State Uzra Zeya, who oversaw the survey, said the report includes allegations of torture, political imprisonment and undue executions, among other violations by Tehran.
“There have been some steps since the release of some political prisoners last fall, but overall I would say the situation remains poor,” he said.
Calls Grow For PM’s Resignation as Turkey Rocked by Second Round of Leaked Wiretaps
A second set of audio recordings purporting to be wiretaps of phone conversations between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal – this time with Erdogan instructing Bilal to hold out for more money in a business deal – was anonymously uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday, days after a first set of recordings, seemingly exposing efforts by the two to hide vast amounts of money from authorities, set off national calls for Erdogan’s resignation.
Reuters described the new recordings, in which Erdogan scoffs at the sum that a particular businessman is willing to bring to a transaction, as “the latest and potentially most damaging allegations in a graft scandal that Erdogan has cast as concocted to unseat him.”
Jordan arrests 10 gays for holding gathering
Jordanian authorities have arrested 10 “gays and lesbians” for holding a get-together at a party hall in east Amman, a security official said on Thursday.
“The administrative governor of the Marka area, Adnan Qatarneh, ordered the arrest of the 10 gays and lesbians after they held a reception at a party hall on Wednesday to get to know each other,” he told AFP.
“The arrests were made to prevent a disturbance of the peace,” he added, without elaborating.
New online campaign urges American Muslims to ‘drop the A-word’
The group, which goes by the name of “Drop the A-Word,” calls on Arabs living in America to stop using the words “abeed” and “abed” to describe African Americans.
In Arabic, the world “abed” and its plural form “abeed” mean “slave” or “servant.”
“We should stop using ‘abeed’ to describe or reference people of African descent,” said Majed Moughni, a Dearborn-based supporter of the group.


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