Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Monday, March 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
I noted in February that only ten nations sent their congratulations to Iran on the anniversary of its revolution.

April 1 is the anniversary of the actual establishment of the Islamic Republic in Iran. (No fooling.) And so far, only one nation seems to have congratulated Iran on this occasion - Jordan:

King Abdullah II sent two cables to Iranian Supreme Leaders Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani congratulating them on the anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The King wished the Iranian leaders continued good health and the Iranian people further progress and prosperity.
One really has to conclude that Jordan simply does not trust the United States to curb Iran's nuclear and geopolitical ambitions, and that King Abdullah has decided that he needs to play nice with Iran. If Iran/Syria/Hezbollah wins the Syrian civil war, Jordan will be on the front lines, and Abdullah knows a thing or two about surviving in the Middle East.

Trusting the US to commit to helping its allies is no longer part of Jordan's calculus.

From Ian:

Peres: Israel a living monument to the six million
The State of Israel is a living memorial to the lives of six million Jewish men, women and children who were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust, President Shimon Peres said Sunday during a ceremony in the Austrian capital.
“The Judenplatz was at the heart of a vibrant, thriving Jewish community, [but] from the 176,000 Jews of Vienna, only 5000 remained after the dark chapter of the Holocaust,” Peres said.
“The State of Israel is our victory. A fortress of triumph against the dark hand of the Nazis. A home to the memory of our six million brothers and sisters. A promise to the survivors of the horrors. A hope for the future of the Jewish People.”
Why are Feminists not Standing up for Israel?
Beyond all this legal and social inequality there is the matter of domestic violence against women. Rape is usually not seen as a criminal offense. Honor killings exist in many of the Arab societies, including that of the Palestinian Authority. It is legal for women to be beheaded, burnt alive, stoned, and tortured for “immoral” behavior such as adultery or having sexual relations with a non-Muslim man. They are also forbidden to marry non-Muslims. On the other hand, polygamy is legal in a number of Arab countries.
Given her scholarship on the history of sexuality, Professor Duggan must surely be familiar with the sad condition of women in all Middle East countries except Israel, where women have full social and political rights. Can we expect her as the leader of ASA, to organize a conference on that sad condition and to call for equality and justice for women in the Arab countries? If not, she may be judged guilty of indifference to the problems of women.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians Condemned for Visiting Nazi Death Camps
But there is also good news. Many readers came to the defense of Professor Dajani and the students who visited the Nazi camps to learn about the Holocaust.
Responding to the criticism, one reader wrote, "Frankly, these responses are theatrical. Academics went on a tour and that's all. There's no need to politicize an insignificant visit."
Another reader who voiced support for the visit said, "We have politicized everything expect for the embezzlement of public funds. Is it okay to steal millions of dollars from the people and not okay to have an academic study mission?"

  • Monday, March 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
An interesting and seemingly accurate look at how Egyptians look at the peace treaty 35 years after Camp David:

An independent economic source, who asked to remain anonymous, told Ahram Online this week that as part of a plan to deal with severe energy shortages, “which might lead to electricity cuts of over five hours a day across the nation during the summer,” the authorities are considering all options, not excluding the import of natural gas from Israel “at a price that could probably be much higher than that Israel was charged when it imported gas from Egypt.”

A government source declined to confirm the news but said that no decision would be taken on the matter “most probably” before the inauguration of a new president this summer.

The export of natural gas from Israel constitutes another element of otherwise stable but limited Egyptian-Israeli trade and economic cooperation.

Trade and economic cooperation have been generally the most stable factor of the bilateral relations between Cairo and Tel Aviv which were was established 35 years ago when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty in March 1979.

Trade between the two countries dropped somewhat after the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but government officials in Cairo say that this drop is possibly incidental.

“Cooperation in natural gas has been very stable for many years despite the suspension and trade dispute that occurred after the 25 January Revolution removed Mubarak -- but this is the case with trade cooperation in general, limited and stable,” said a government official.

Trade cooperation between Egypt and Israel has been generally focused on the textile industry -- with Egypt, Israel and the US being members of the Qualified Industrial Zone that allows Egyptian products that have an Israeli component free access to the US market.

Other than this there has been a generally stable export-import cooperation of a limited list of commodities that are generally integrated into non-Israeli commodities before they find their way to the Egyptian market.

“It is very unfortunate that we cannot be pragmatic and say this particular country has good quality and inexpensive commodities and we are going to import from it because it is in our interest; after all these years an Israeli commodity on say the shelf of a supermarket would not be picked up except by a few people -- if we assume that any supermarket would at all dare to carry, say, Israeli fruit juice,” said a member of the Egyptian business community who has been doing business with Israel.

Like the vast majority of Egyptian entrepreneurs who cooperate with Israeli counterparts, the businessman insists on being anonymous and on keeping a low profile for fear of being “stigmatised as dealing with the enemy.”

I really don’t understand; we have a peace deal and we cannot do business, it has been 35 years since this peace treaty was signed and still it is a big issue if someone said let us do business with Israel or let us benefit of their agricultural expertise,” he said.
The article also looks at security cooperation throughout the years and how Egyptians still consider Israel the enemy:

For the near future, nobody is expecting any serious changes in the profile of Egyptian-Israeli relations: a cold peace that is executed essentially at the official level and that fails to get Egyptians, even those who were born after the peace treaty was signed in 1979, to think of Israel as anything but an enemy state with which Egypt has a peace deal.

“They think because the history curricula in school does not refer to the horrors that Israel did to us in the years before the treaty and that it is still doing to the Palestinians that we will think of Israel as we think of any other state -- well, no, we don’t think of Israel as anything but a hostile state,” said Sarah, a 21 year-old Egyptian who graduated last year from the law department at Cairo University. “Israel is built on the stolen land and broken lives of Palestinians; it is the enemy,” she said.
If anyone thinks that a "peace treaty" with a Palestinian Arab state would be any warmer than this, they are crazy.
  • Monday, March 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel's News1 reports that the grand Tiferet Yisrael synagogue (also known as the Nissan Beck shul), one of the two most prominent domed synagogues in Jerusalem before Jordan destroyed them all in 1948, has been approved for rebuilding, in a plan that was first mentioned in 2012.

Only the west and south facades remain from the original building. Here's a postcard showing its interior in 1901:

Naturally, the idea of a historic synagogue being built in the Jewish Quarter on its original spot is regarded as a terrible crime by Israel's peace partner - you know, the people who claim that they would respect all religions in any peace agreement.

Official PA news agency Wafa reports:

Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the head of Jerusalem Affairs, Ahmed Qurei ('Abu Ala'), said the scheme to build a synagogue 'Jewel of Israel' is a disaster threatening the future of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, pointing out that Israel continues Judaizing the holy city.

In a press release Thursday evening, Qurei warned of ...the Israeli scheme aiming to build a synagogue in the old city, which is just 200 meters from the Al-Aqsa mosque, located on the western side.

It is noteworthy that this scheme provides for the restoration of an old synagogue, noting that this synagogue was built on the ruins of an Islamic chapel, and will consist of three floors above the ground and will be covered with a huge dome that will rise about 24 meters high.

Qurei noted that ..this would be the third synagogue of its kind in recent years; previously the "Hurva" synagogue and the "Ohel Yitzchak" , and said that all these synagogues were built on the ruins of a pure Islamic endowments.

...Qurei highlighted that the occupation authorities seek to marginalize and change the status quo to the greatness of Islamic architecture that characterizes the Old City of Jerusalem through its buildings, .... as the occupation authorities try today to obscure the view of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock .

That, by the way, is the "threat" - Muslims insist that their buildings be the highest ones in the city, and the Jewish Quarter is on a hill, meaning that the Hurva and Tiferet Yisrael domes are taller than the Dome of the Rock. This is what really bugs them.

For context, here's what Tiferet Yisrael looked like  (domed building on the left), looking up from the Temple Mount in the 1920s.

From Ian:

Different Standards For Different Rocket Attacks
Terror supporting, genocidal regime launches rockets at the territory of a liberal democracy. Sound familiar?
In this case, however, South Korea “returns fire” when attacked by its neighbor according to the above headline in The Guardian. It is clear that South Korea is responding to an act of aggression.
But what happens when Israel returns fire in response to Palestinian rockets from Gaza?
Why is it that even when Israel is fired upon, the headlines still manage to portray Israel as the aggressor? Or at a minimum the moral equivalent of the terrorists who fired the rockets in a so-called “cycle of violence”:
But then Israel couldn’t possibly be judged by different standards to other democracies under fire. Could it?
All part of the phenomenon we call “it all started when Israel fired back.”
Amb. Alan Baker: The straw that broke the camel’s back (or Kerry’s latest blunder)
To seriously presume that the 1947 UN General Assembly partition resolution – rejected by the Arab states because it had the gall to refer to a Jewish state – together with an ambiguous, unwilling and artificial reference by Arafat to “Israel in brackets”, given in an utterly different context which itself was deemed insufficient by the then US administration, could, in any way or form constitute an acceptable alternative to a clear, unequivocal acknowledgement by the present Palestinian leadership of its acceptance of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People, is incomprehensible to say the least, and openly deceptive at the most.
It belies any understanding on your part as to the importance and centrality of Israel’s requirement in the present negotiating context.
Israel’s leaders have repeatedly stressed this centrality since Israel’s April 2003 official response to the Quartet-sponsored “Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”, according to which: “....declared references must be made to Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.”
Mr. Secretary, one might have expected, in light your position and function as convenor and mediator in the present Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, that you would refrain from making more public value judgments as to whether Israel’s position is, or is not “a mistake.”
David Singer: Kerry’s Credibility Crashes As Abbas’s Intransigence Increases
On 19 March Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at The City University of New York – Peter Beinart – provided this advice to Abbas: “I have a suggestion for Mahmoud Abbas. The next time Benjamin Netanyahu demands that you recognize Israel as a “Jewish state,” tell him that you’ll agree on one condition. The Israeli cabinet must first agree on what “Jewish state” means. That should get you off the hook for a good long while. Israel has never been able to define the term “Jewish state.”
The good Professor was obviously unaware that the term “Jewish State” had been defined for the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in evidence given by David Ben-Gurion on 7 July 1947:
“What is the meaning of a Jewish State? As I told you before, a Jewish State does not mean one has to be a Jew.
It means merely a State-where the Jews are in the majority, otherwise all the citizens have the same status.
If the State were called by the name “Palestine,” – I said if – then all would be Palestinian citizens If the State would be given, another name – I think it would be given another name – because Palestine is neither a Jewish nor an Arab name. As far as the Arabs are concerned, and we have the evidence of the Arab historian, Hitti, that there was no such a thing as “Palestine” at all: Palestine is not an Arab name. Palestine is also not a Jewish name. When the Greeks were our enemies, in order not to annoy the Jews, they gave different names to the streets. So, maybe the name of Palestine will be changed. But whatever the name of the country, every citizen of the country will be a citizen. This is what we mean. This is what we have to mean. We cannot conceive that in a State where we are not in a minority, where we have the main responsibilities as the majority of the country, there should be the slightest discrimination between a Jew and a non-Jew.”

  • Monday, March 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Israel Defense:

Lebanese news agency reported a military robot moving along the barbed wire fence of Kfar Kila, along with combat aircraft. This is the first time that the IDF operates an Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle (UGCV) along the fence on the northern border.

According to the report, this is an Unmanned Ground Combat Vehicle which operates as well on the Gaza border. It can carry cameras, sensors, speakers and it can be equipped with weapon emplacements. Its purpose is to locate demolition charges and holes along the fence.
The vehicle is built on a platform of four-wheel vehicles, and is operated by the IDF's operations room near the border fence.

As stated, the project began around the Gaza Strip, and now, apparently, is extended to the northern border of Israel, apparently due to the deterioration of the security situation following the continued civil war in Syria.
See also this interesting New Republic article, "The Next Arab-Israeli War Will Be Fought with Drones: Hezbollah, weaponized robots, and a future that's already here."
  • Monday, March 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Huffington Post published one of those ubiquitous "cute animals of the week" stories.

But in the middle of all the cute dogs and tigers one can find this:

Israeli Bedouins walk next to their sheep near rally commemorating Land Day on March 30, 2014 in the Abu Quedar village, currently unrecognized by Israeli authorities, near the southern city of Beersheva. The annual Land Day demonstrations are held to remember six Arab Israeli protesters who were shot dead by Israeli police and troops during mass demonstrations in 1976 against plans to confiscate Arab land in the Galilee. There are about 260,000 Bedouin in Israel, mostly living in and around the Negev in the aria [sic] south. More than half live in unrecognized villages without utilities and many also live in extreme poverty. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

And why are the villages unrecognized? Because they built hundreds of them illegally, willy-nilly, in recent years!

The Bedouin issue is a real issue and one that requires real solutions while ensuring the rule of law. But it is not the one-sided narrative that the Israel-haters love to spout.

HuffPo, and the Getty Images caption editor, obviously prefer to use it to demonize Israel rather than treat their readers like adults and show that it is a complex problem for which the Bedouin are also to blame.

But the sheep in this photo are hardly the reason HuffPo decided to include them in the animal pictures. They just wanted another chance to bash Israel on a page that animal lovers, not Middle East news junkies, would read.

(h/t Leslie)
  • Monday, March 31, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
I recently published a Twitter conversation with someone named Gary Spedding, an anti-Israel ideologue (and, as we will see, an aspiring politician.). He started off the conversation complaining that I was right-wing and intellectually dishonest; by the end of the post I had proven that not only was he the intellectually dishonest one but that he had attempted to scrub his own history of hate from his website - and then he snidely denied ever having said disgusting statements that were attributed to him.

The method of finding his old posts and proving definitively that he was a liar was the Internet Archive project, known as the Wayback Machine.

Today, if you attempt to look at the Wayback Machine link I provided that proved his lie, you receive an error message:
And what is in that robots.txt file?

Yes, within hours of Gary being exposed as a liar, he again attempted to hide the evidence by expunging his articles from the Internet Archive!

Why is Spedding so sensitive to people researching his history of hate?

The answer comes from +972mag:

Spedding, 23, is a well-known member of the Alliance Party in Northern Ireland, and is hoping to contest a seat in next elections to the devolved Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016.
He wants to go into politics!

There is one other fact about Spedding that cements his reputation as a liar.

Spedding has written for the far left +972mag as recently as this month, and in fact used it to try to argue with me in the Twitter conversation, pretending that +972mag is an accurate and unbiased news outlet. That same +972 story talks about how Spedding was not allowed to enter Israel earlier this year:

A high-profile member of Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party and a long-standing activist for human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, Gary Spedding, was detained on arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday and told would be deported and banned from the country for 10 years. Speaking from the airport, after being held for eight hours, Spedding told +972 that the interrogating officers hacked into his mobile phone, and copied email addresses and telephone numbers. He also said no reason for his impending deportation was given, except that he was a “liar” and a “security threat.”

“I flew in to Tel Aviv from London Luton at about 4 p.m. local time,” Spedding told +972. ”When I got to passport control the guy asked me to step aside and wait. After about an hour, three people came and took me to a room. They questioned me and took my phone, asking for my security code. I wouldn’t give my code but agreed to type it in to show the phone was a real phone. What I didn’t realize is that somebody is standing behind me and watching me do it. My Hebrew is not very good, but good enough to pick up he was reading out the digits I was typing to the rest of the security team. ” Spedding said the security team then logged onto his mobile phone without permission and scanned through his contacts, text messages and email, copying some of the content manually onto a notepad.

“They told me they’d hold me for nine days until my return flight, so as not to have to pay for my deportation,” Spedding said. The security team questioning Spedding then changed, and one official told him a decision was made to deport him and ban him from Israel for 10 years. “I was told this was a fact, not a threat, and there was nothing neither I or my government could do,” said Spedding, who is a dual Australian and British citizen.
Yet after that "unbiased" +972 story was published, it turns out that Spedding was lying again.

The BBC featured this story prominently, and wrote five versions of the story as it got new information. Only in the last version do we learn:

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in London said: “Mr Spedding’s entry into Israel was denied due to his involvement in organising a violent protest in Queens University, Belfast, in which an Israeli representative was attacked, and others were forced to take shelter to prevent being hurt.

“No country has an obligation to allow foreigners who have been involved in violent activities targeting its nationals to enter its territory.”

What happened in Queens University? As BBCWatch relates, quoting TheJC:
“Solon Solomon, a former legal adviser to the Knesset Foreign Affairs committee, had been invited to speak to law school students at Queen’s University in Belfast.

But he was heckled by members of the university’s Palestine Solidarity Society (PSS) and the youth wing of Sinn Féin shortly after starting his lecture about the legality of Israel’s security wall on Wednesday last week.

Sally Wheeler, the law school acting head, abandoned the lunchtime session after less than 10 minutes, and a security team bundled Mr Solomon out of the lecture theatre.

Protesters then surrounded the room where Mr Solomon and other panel members were sheltering.

When the security team eventually moved him out of the university building, protesters attacked the car he was travelling in, punching the vehicle and attempting to smash its windows.”

And one other fact also uncovered by BBCWatch from TheJC:

Contrary to Mr Spedding’s claims, the embassy said a 10-year-ban had not been imposed, but that future visits would have to be co-ordinated through the London embassy.

Spedding lied about the reason he was denied entry into Israel. He lied about the "ten year ban." He tried to hide his role in a violent protest. He goes to great lengths to hide his history as a supporter of terror and of fomenting violence.

 And the "objective" blog he writes for, +972, never bothered to report any of these facts - indeed, he is still a welcome contributor!

Who is intellectually dishonest again?

At the very end of our conversation, when I said I'd be blogging it, Spedding wrote
Well, if anyone bothers to research Spedding as he attempts to enter politics, maybe this information will do a little damage.

(h/t Lampshade Orange)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week we saw the latest example of YGSSS, or "You Gotta Start Somewhere Syndrome", where organizations claim that they are against all forms of injustice, yet they invariably choose Israel to be the first and sole target of their new-found fake morality.

We saw it with ASA (whose president coined the idiotic phrase "one has to start somewhere") and with the AAAS, writing self-righteous positions as to why they must destroy academic freedom to promote academic freedom.

The latest hypocritical organization to target Israel, and only Israel, but using the language of universal justice, is the Royal Institute of British Architects.

I just looked at their press release from last week demanding that Israeli architects be banned from the International Union of Architects. Check out their doubletalk:

On the 19 March 2014 RIBA Council passed a motion for the Institute to call on the International Union of Architects (UIA) to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects’ membership until it acts to resist projects on illegally-occupied land and observes international law and accords.

The RIBA Council vote was passed with 23 for, 16 against, 10 abstentions.

The motion was brought to the RIBA Council by Past President, Angela Brady, following previous resolutions within the International Union of Architects.

An RIBA spokesperson said: “Angela's proposal to put forward a motion was previously discussed by the RIBA International Committee at a session on how architects might raise awareness about the plight of communities affected by civil conflict and natural disaster around the world. The Committee concluded that such a sanction would not be appropriate and was unlikely to make a constructive contribution to the wider discussion.

“The motion at Council was carried with 23 members voting for, 16 against and 10 abstentions. The number of abstentions reflects the complexity of the issue and the variety of views held.

“It is not the case that the RIBA is in any way anti-Semitic.

“The RIBA International Committee will now engage with the Palestinian and Israeli associations in order to better understand their positions on this important matter.”

...The full RIBA motion, proposed by RIBA Immediate Past President, Angela Brady, was:

Since the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) has paid no regard to the UIA resolution 13* of 2005 and 2009, the RIBA calls on the UIA, as the international guardian of professional and ethical standards in our profession, to suspend the membership of the Israeli Association of United Architects, until it acts to resist these illegal projects, and observes international law, and the UIA Accords and Resolution 13.

*UIA's Resolution 13 (2005 and 2009) states that “The UIA Council condemns development projects and the construction of buildings on land that has been ethnically purified or illegally appropriated, and projects based on regulations that are ethnically or culturally discriminatory, and similarly it condemns all action contravening the fourth Geneva Convention”
It appears that Angela Brady was the spearhead for this effort. She is clearly an anti-Israel ideologue; she has tweeted "proof" from Visualizing Palestine graphics to justify her hate - and "Visualizing Palestine" consistently puts out false information in their graphics.

As to the text of the release itself: Even if you say that the West Bank is considered legally occupied, there is no international law against building on occupied territory.

When you think of "communities affected by civil conflict and natural disaster around the world," isn't the West Bank the top of the list?

Furthermore, given that Jews aren't allowed to own land anywhere in Areas A and B not to mention Gaza (and, in real terms, Jordan and beyond,) then shouldn't the RIBA be calling to expel any Palestinian, Jordanian and really all Arab architects from the UIA?

RIBA has an entire subsidiary in the Gulf and Jews have been ethnically purified from the entire Arab world and their lands stolen! 

So when will RIBA close down their Gulf offices?

No, Israel is always the first, last and only object for opprobrium from these oh-so-moral groups who care so deeply about international law. It is an amazing coincidence.
  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Jodi Rudoren's latest dispatch in the New York Times painstakingly attempts to give equal weight to  a terrorist murderer and the the Holocaust survivor victim's family.

Well, not really. The terrorist gets about 25 paragraphs and the victims less than half that.

Muqdad Salah is a man in a hurry.

He inhales food, and bristles at lateness. His wife, Kefaya, said he expected her to make rooms immaculate immediately, “like a magician.” They married in November, and he is already pressing her to start fertility treatments.

“I want a son — or a daughter — I want someone to inherit me,” said Mr. Salah, 47, one of 78 long-serving Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails as part of the American-brokered peace talks that started last summer.

“Many times I dreamed of it in prison: I saw this house and the children, playing with toys,” he added. “I dream more now. I don’t want 10 — two is enough for me. I want to give all my energy to them.”

It has been seven months since Mr. Salah was welcomed before dawn by a cacophonous crowd in this village of 4,000 near the Palestinian financial hub of Nablus. It has been two decades since he killed Israel Tenenbaum, 72, a Holocaust survivor and security guard at a beach hotel 20 miles away in Netanya, hitting him on the side of the head with a metal rod.

For Mr. Tenenbaum’s daughter, Esti Harris, the release has only revived years of agonizing over whether her father suffered. “Did he see a person hovering over him?” she asked. “Was he in pain for that split second? Every night I would think about it before falling asleep, about that man above my father.”

Demonized as terrorists by Israelis and lionized as freedom fighters by Palestinians, prisoners like Mr. Salah have become a flash point in the troubled peace talks, whose continuation hinges on whether a promised fourth group is let go in the coming days. Amid the charged debate, these middle-aged men — 69 of them convicted of murder, 54 escaping life sentences — have begun to rebuild disrupted lives. They are earning their first driver’s licenses, leveraging $50,000 grants from the Palestinian Authority to build apartments or start businesses, searching for wives and struggling to start families.

Mr. Salah was flush with more than $100,000 saved from the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to prisoners’ families. He remodeled and refurnished his mother’s home. He bulldozed the rocky slope out back and built a 2,400-square-foot pen for livestock. He invested in a Nablus money-changing storefront in December, and, last month, bought his first car, a silver 2007 Kia Pride.

But he still wakes at 5 a.m., as he had to for the prison count. He makes coffee in an electric kettle like the one he had in his cell.

...He is not allowed beyond Burqa and Nablus for a year, or to leave the West Bank for 10 years.

“I’m getting bored,” he said, sitting in his salon under a framed portrait of himself in a quasi-military uniform bearing the honorary rank of brigadier general. “I want to travel. I want to see people. I want to breathe the air, I want to walk.”

The 78 released prisoners have complained to the Palestinian Authority that the $50,000 grants and monthly payments — Mr. Salah gets about $1,800 — are not enough to buy apartments.

Their health insurance covers in vitro fertilization, which Mr. Salah plans to pursue, but not dental. Lately, Mr. Salah, who smokes two packs of Marlboro Lights daily, has been having chest pains.
Isn't that terrible? In fact, look at the title of the slide show:

Aw, poor little murderers, released for no real reason except American pressure to have worthless peace talks!

Even worse:
“I wasn’t planning it,” said Mr. Salah, whose life sentence was later reduced to 32 years. “I didn’t intend to kill him.” Asked if he regretted it, Mr. Salah said, “Of course.”
Oh, really? But he didn't say a word of regret for killing him to the Arabs who greeted him rapturously for his murder of an elderly Jew. He didn't say one word of regret to those who were cheering him at his wedding while giving him money for his "heroism."

No, he only expresses regret when the New York Times asks him a leading question to further humanize a murderer.

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Gaza worker packaging cherry tomatoes, 2006
Islamic Jihad mouthpiece Palestine Today has an interesting short article:

"Israeli" dealers said that prices of tomatoes in "Israel" rose this morning in the wholesale markets, bringing the price per kilo to between 8 to 9 shekels.

Just last week, the price was only 5 and a half shekels, and according to "Israelis" traders the price of tomatoes will rise through the end of this week, bringing the price per kilo between 12 to 13 shekels.

In the markets of Gaza and the West Bank there was also a rise in the price of tomatoes to up to 3 shekels per kilo.

The question is whether "Israel" will import tomatoes from the Gaza Strip to cover the deficit in "Israeli" markets?
(Yes, they always put scare quotes around "Israel.")

As far as I can tell, no Gaza agricultural goods have been sold to Israel since the initial closure except for a shipment of lulavim last year.

Perhaps tomatoes would be a better bargaining chip for Israel instead of releasing terrorists.

Oh, sorry, I forgot - win/win solutions involving Israel aren't acceptable to Arab culture. And we must respect that culture.

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
From Ian:

Galloway: Zionists Sent Gunmen to Ukraine to Force Ukrainian Jews to Move to Palestine
The accusation that Israel is somehow supporting the Svoboda and Right Sektor parties in Ukraine will remind readers of when Galloway claimed that Al-Qaeda was being supplied with chemical weapons in Syria by Israel. He then lied to the British Parliament, claiming he had said "no such thing".
Last week, Breitbart London reported another blatant Galloway lie, wherein he claimed that he had never refused to debate an Israeli – an incident caught on camera that resulted in him being accused of being a racist.
Galloway said at the London School of Economics, "I didn't refuse to share a stage with an Israeli. I share stages with Israelis all the time." But a video from last year shows him stating, "I don’t debate with Israelis. I have been misled."
Ali Oops: Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah shows his ignorance again
From the Electronic Intifada's Ali Abunimah: Is Ali all atwitter because Israel's Arrow missile defense system has the potential to save Israeli lives?
What Ali describes as "teaching hate and violence" at Israel Science Day in Rabin Square is in reality the Arrow Weapon System - Israel's national missile defense system. The Arrow defense system is designed to track and disable into missiles above the earth's atmosphere, high enough to disable chemical, biological or nuclear warheads safely. Arrow is designed to save lives, Ali. You run a website about the Middle East. Its time to get up to speed on some basic facts.
If Ali Abunimah really cared about teaching "hate and violence", you'd think he'd have said something about the latest public art in Gaza.
Netanyahu lambastes ‘hypocritical’ UN rights panel
Speaking in the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said the UN Human Rights Council, which voted in a series of five resolutions condemning Israel over the weekend, was hypocritical in its “absurd” focus on Israel.
“Over the weekend, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel five times, this at a time when the slaughter in Syria is continuing, innocent people are being hung in the Middle East and human rights are being eroded,” Netanyahu said.
“In many countries free media are being shut down and the UN Human Rights Council decides to condemn Israel for closing off a balcony,” he said, echoing previous speeches in which he denounced the international community for criticizing Israel for settlement construction while allowing executions, lack of freedoms and other human rights violations to be perpetuated in the Middle East.
“This is absurd,” the prime minister said. “This march of hypocrisy is continuing and we will continue to condemn it and expose it.”

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Daily Mail:
A mother's invention that gave her wheelchair-bound son the chance to walk has been launched onto the worldwide market.

A Northern Ireland company has turned Debby Elnatan's idea for a walking harness into a product that could transform the lives of countless disabled children.

Mrs Elnatan, a music therapist, came up with the concept to help her young son Rotem, who has cerebral palsy.

She designed a support harness that would enable Rotem to stand upright and, by attaching it to herself, let parent and child take steps together.

After a global search for a company to mass-produce her "Upsee", the Israeli mother chose Northern Ireland-based manufacturer Leckey, which has a long track record in making equipment for children with special needs.

After successful trials with families in the UK, US and Canada, the Firefly Upsee was today launched globally.
'It is wonderful to see this product available to families across the world,' said Ms Elnatan, who was at the official unveiling at the Leckey factory in Lisburn.

'When my son was two years old, I was told by medical professionals that "he didn't know what his legs are and has no consciousness of them".

'That was an incredibly difficult thing for a mother to hear. I started to walk him day after day, which was a very strenuous task for both of us. Out of my pain and desperation came the idea for the Upsee and I'm delighted to see it come to fruition.'

The Upsee allows infants and small children to stand and achieve repetitive walking training with the support of an adult.

It includes a harness for the child, which attaches to a belt worn by an adult, and specially-engineered sandals that allow the parent and child to step simultaneously, leaving their hands free for play and other tasks.

Interestingly, ABC News and Independent didn't mention that the inventor is Israeli. Most other news sources did.

Come on, BDSers. Add it to your lists of things to boycott!

(h/t Dror)

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
A couple of weeks ago commenter "Bob Knot" put together an incredible piece of investigative journalism exposing the lies of the anti-Israel writers who claimed that Israel deliberately shot the feet of innocent Palestinian Arab football players.

One of those writers was Dave Zirin of The Nation.

Even though he, and The Nation, were repeatedly contacted about the overwhelming proof that their reporting was completely wrong, there was never any response.

Three days before I published Bob's expose, Zirin published a much longer piece trying to make his earlier lies look like a consistent, long standing policy of Israel against Palestinian Arab football, using older examples. Zirin's newer piece defends his earlier reporting by disparaging those who doubted him.

I expected to get the typical barrage of hate mail from the usual suspects: the darkest corners of the Internet that believe on principle that Palestinian life is cheap if not entirely without value. At most, these e-mails are as nettlesome as spam.

The part of the response that was truly jarring however was the numerous private queries I received from prominent members of the media. I am choosing to keep their identities private because their correspondence to me was private and I will respect that. The queries contained no curiosity about Israel’s possible expulsion from FIFA. They all instead openly doubted that the shooting of the two young men had even taken place. Was I sure this really happened? When I pointed to my initial sources, the response by numerous people was, “Do you have any sources that are not Palestinian?” One person, writing for a major sports website, sent me numerous queries that I did not respond to, and then when the facts of the shooting appeared in the Israeli paper Haaretz, said to me, “Forget previous queries. I see news of the shooting on Haaretz. Never mind.” The assumption of mendacity affixed to Palestinian sources spoke volumes.

His defense of course was destroyed by the piece I published. The photos clearly showed that they were not shot in the way described besides dozens of other inaccuracies. The Palestinian Arab sources indeed were proven to be mendacious.

Zirin then attempted to prove that his earlier lies are supported by a pattern of Israeli actions seemingly aimed deliberately at Palestinian Arab football players.

Bob has taken Zirin apart again, and it is devastating.

Dave Zirin targets Israel but shoots himself in the foot instead.
“A Red Line for FIFA? Israel, Violence and What’s Left of Palestinian Soccer” is a beyond pathetic, one-sided, unsubstantiated claim that Israel deliberately targets “Palestinian” football players.

Dave Zirin on March 10, 2014:
Yes it is certainly true that I don’t have a document signed by Benjamin Netanyahu calling for a systematic attack on the Palestinian national team. What I do have are names: real people, with real families, whose lives and deaths are testament to a story that needs to be told.

Absolutely, the world needs to know the truth. Shame on Dave Zirin for telling lies again and again . Integrity and accuracy are foreign to him.

This is the “untold” story of the “Palestinian” football players”:

Ayman Alkurd
He was a 34-year-old member of the Palestinian national soccer team. Alkurd was killed during the 2009 Operation Cast Lead when a missile was sent into his home in Gaza.
No, that is incorrect. Ayman Ahmed Al-Kurd was 28 year-old (born on July 12, 1980). He played for Jabalia Youth Sports Club until the day of his death, and, no, he was not a member of the Palestinian National team at the time.
Ayman was a terrorist that also played football; he joined the ranks of Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades in 2004. He was martyred on January 5, 2009 by Israeli artillery shells while in combat gear in the Salateen neighborhood (Beit Lahia).
Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades confirms that in a statement in English and in Arabic on their Website.

Lots, lots more.

  • Sunday, March 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Haaretz reported:

A group of 30 Palestinian students arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Thursday, in what is believed to be the first organized visit by Palestinian students to a Nazi death camp.

The students are spending several days in Kraków and Oświęcim guided by two Jewish Holocaust survivors.

A news blackout on the trip was requested by the organizers. The presence of the Palestinian group at Auschwitz-Birkenau is being reported here for the first time.

The students from Al-Quds University and Birzeit University, near Ramallah, are participating in a joint program on Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution with the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

The program’s aim is for Israeli and Palestinian students to learn about the suffering that has helped shape the historical consciousness of the other side.

Last week, a group of Israeli students visited the Dheisheh refugee camp, located south of Bethlehem, to learn about the Palestinian experience of suffering during the founding of Israel in 1948 ­­– known to Palestinians as the Nakba (“the catastrophe”).

The reactions of each group will be studied by a group of PhD psychology students to see whether exposure to the conflicting historical narrative helps the students to understand their enemy, and facilitates efforts toward reconciliation and coexistence.

The Palestinian side of the program is directed by Mohammed S. Dajani, professor of American Studies at Al-Quds. Because of the Palestinian freeze on joint projects with Israeli universities, the Palestinian students are participating under the banner of Prof. Dajani’s Wasatia movement of moderate Islam.
We mentioned the tiny and quite anomalous Wasatia party previously.

Al Quds University came out with a strong statement distancing itself from the idea that they would support Arab students learning about the Holocaust.

Al Quds University denied any relationship with the visit carried out by an Al Quds lecturer along with a number of students to an extermination camp for the Jews.

The statement said that university lecturer Dr. Mohammed Dajani and the students involved acted in their personal capacity, and they were not representatives of the University, adding that the university lecturer took a personal leave of absence was not within the mandate from the university.

The university said it has been committed to cut its relationship with Israeli universities since 2009 by the University Board.
But it appears that Al Quds will cooperate with Israeli universities when it wants to:

The Technion, known as Israel’s MIT, is working along with Al Quds University, a Palestinian institution for higher learning in Abu Dis, in order to attempt to remove pharmaceutical residues from waste-water, an environmental problem that plagues both Israeli and Palestinian societies. Presently, whenever one takes any sort of medication, the residue of the medications get mixed up with the water supply whenever someone uses the bathroom. The re-used water then seeps into agricultural crops and adversely affects the environment. Both the Technion and Al Quds University are committed to collaborating to fix this health hazard that harms ecosystems within the Holy Land.

The project is sponsored by the Shimon Peres Center for Peace, which works to build peaceful relations between Israelis and Palestinians via collaboration and dialogue, and the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.
So the issue doesn't seem to be cooperating with Israeli universities so much as being aghast at the idea of Palestinian Arabs learning to be even slightly sympathetic to Jews.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

  • Saturday, March 29, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Usually I don't get into Twitter arguments, because they are a waste of time, but CiFWatch pointed out a conversation where I was being insulted by someone called Gary Spedding. I tried to make my position clear, but his responses and backtracking become hilarious.

It started when journalist Yair Rosenberg asked NYT reporter Jodi Rudoren if she can follow up on a post I did about how PA school Facebook pages had posters that denied Israel's right to excist:

  1. Hey : Wondering why younger Palestinians are more likely to oppose a two-state solution? See their schools:
  2. Question should really b whether YOU support academic freedom or not. Continuous rejection of Palestinian narrative
  3. No, the question is whether these schools constitute the exception or the rule, which is why I tagged a reporter, .
  4. You sound just like an anti-peace agreement dissident in Northern Ireland - rejecting right of others narrative
  5. You have completely misunderstood my tweet. It's not about what should be taught, it's empirical question re: what is
  6. I mean, you use EoZ as a credible source when there is mountains of far more thorough documentation on the issue.

So I added all the context I could about how I found what I found, which Spedding took as evidence I was hiding something in my post:
Image will appear as a link

Image will appear as a link

Of course...because I was representing reality of Palestinian Arab social media run by their own schools.

Image will appear as a link

Backtracking and changing the subject again, of course. Because deep down Spedding knows I'm right and he cannot find a single social media post, not subsidized by an NGO, that would show Palestinian Arab students (or teachers, for that matter) willing to say they are willing to live side by side with Israel in a permanent peace.

Of course, when Westerners come and visit the students and teachers will tell them what they want to hear in English. But if a Fatah official visits a school talking about the right of violent resistance, will any student argue? It is laughable. Yet Spedding pretends to believe otherwise.

By the way, Spedding's  accusations that I am dishonest in my posts and not being objective is the height of hypocrisy. As we were tweeting, others dug up stuff Spedding had written before on his own blog (quoted in JPost):

Hamas rockets are and should be condemned but they also need to be understood in order to progress forward with any plan for peace and justice. It does not excuse Hamas rocket fire but it explains it in an accurate way to state that the home-made rockets of hamas are a desperate attempt by angry and desperate people who join up with militant groups at taking out revenge against Israel the 4th most well equipped and armed army in the world and against israeli civilians (which is totally unacceptable and unjustifiable in terms of attacking civilians).

He also wrote, months after the Fogel family was massacred:
The J’post article sickening invokes the cloudy and unclear death of the Fogel family an attack which I have the report and pictures of in my email inbox from the day after it happened. I find it sick that the J’post is still using this attack for political gain suggesting Palestinians are to blame when there has been no further information, news or otherwise released about the murders since the IDF conveniently caught two Palestinians kept them in torture for a month until they ‘confessed’ and then announced they had caught the killers despite the evidence and speculation of it being the work of a migrant worker from asia.
That was of course an unproven rumor that was being tossed around by Israel haters and found, by the time of his writing, to have been thoroughly debunked.

But after this was exposed, Spedding removed his blog posts! 

Gilead Ini, of CAMERA, takes it from there, responding to Spedding's response to my UNRWA school webpage expose:

Tweet text
Image will appear as a link

Spedding claims that he never posted such a thing, and there is no evidence, so (he implies) Ini must be lying. And so is Sam Westrop, who also joined the conversation, and who was the one who quoted Spedding's disgusting words in the Jerusalem Post.

So is there still any evidence of this article written by Spedding on his blog on July 26, 2011 that he later deleted? Why, yes there is, thanks to the Wayback Machine and the (better than mine) search skills of @lsorang :

So we have proof Spedding purposefully expunged his post and now denies ever having written them.

Which tells you all you need to know about the intellectual honesty of Gary Spedding - who accuses me of being intellectually dishonest without giving a smidgen of proof!

Another major fail for the Israel haters.

(More on this lying, hypocritical, terror apologist idiot here.)

(UPDATE: Original post only had evidence that Spedding's rant existed but not a screenshot of his actual words, @lsorang found the actual post.)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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