Monday, April 28, 2014

From Ian:

Kerry the false prophet
US Secretary of State John Kerry continues to sermonize, disseminating self-fulfilling prophecies, whose incendiary warnings not only place the onus on Israel for failed peace talks, but worse could be construed as justification for the Arabs to spill Israeli Jewish blood in greater quantities.
In his latest statements as reported on Monday, Kerry warned that Israel could become an “apartheid state,” like South Africa if it doesn’t continue on its ‘two-state solution’ path, which of course involves Israel making suicidal land concessions to the Palestinian Authority.
While official Israeli Hasbara outlets were quick to point out that last week’s reported Hamas/PA unity agreement reveals the PA’s true disposition, those of us who have been awake during the past 20+ years of Oslo, never doubted that the PA/PLO remains till this day a ruthless anti-Semitic terror organization bent on Israel’s destruction.
Nevertheless, while reportedly Kerry had something to say about both sides, it was Israel, the only democracy in the region, which this false prophet felt necessary to drop the A-bomb (apartheid) on.
Ariel: Ashton 'Spit in Our Face on Holocaust Memorial Day'
Housing Minister Uri Ariel slammed European Union Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton Sunday for supporting the Hamas-Fatah unity deal. “On the eve of Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Memorial Day, she spit in the face of those who fight against terror around the world," he accused. "European support for the deal will encourage Hamas terror, and will ensure that Europe loses it moral authority as a party that can help solve the conflict.
In a statement, Ashton said that even if Hamas was considered to be a terror group by the EU itself, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority must continue. “Negotiations are the best way forward,” she said. “The extensive efforts deployed in recent months must not go to waste. The EU calls on all sides to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid any action which may further undermine peace efforts and the viability of a two-state solution. The fact that President Abbas will remain fully in charge of the negotiation process and have a mandate to negotiate in the name of all Palestinians provides further assurance that the peace negotiations can and must proceed," she added.
Holocaust denial -- part of Palestinian narrative
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas finally says that "the Holocaust is the most awful crime every committed against humanity in the modern age" and accepts that Holocaust Remembrance Day is "an especially mournful day," the burden of proof is on him to show he's not just sputtering remarks to be left by the wayside. The Palestinian experience, you should know, has for years conveyed conflicting messages, sometimes even antitheses.
And it is within the framework of this existence that Abbas' rehashed Gaza partner puts on a children's play complete with ovens "showing how Israel burns Palestinians inside"; a crossword puzzle in the official PA newspaper defines Yad Vashem as "the center for perpetuating the Holocaust and such lies"; and even Jibril Rajoub, a popular interviewee in Israeli media, lets himself flip historical incidents from the Holocaust on their heads.
Official PA daily: Israel "enthusiastically imitates everything the Nazis did to them"
This evening is Israel's annual Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. Sadly, the Palestinian Authority continues to demonize Israel, libeling it as behaving like the Nazis in its treatment of Palestinians. In op-eds that appeared recently in the official PA daily, Israel was accused of "enthusiastically imitat[ing] everything the Nazis did to them" and Zionism was said to be based on "racism," "arrogance" and the "Masada Complex." One article also stated that Israel built its security fence not in response to Palestinian terror attacks, but because of Israel's "Jewish ghetto worldview."
Palestinian Media Watch reported that senior PA official Jibril Rajoub recently referred to Israel as "this criminal, fascist, Nazi occupation " [Official PA TV Live, Feb. 26, 2014], and he subsequently stated that Hitler "could have learned" from Israel "about the concentration camps, the extermination camps." [Official PA TV, April 4, 2014]

Enough is Enough: Time to Get Tough With Abbas
What, then, should Israel do? Netanyahu is right to hope that history repeats itself, and that the agreement with Hamas falls apart. But we can do more than hope, which is why it’s encouraging that a bipartisan consensus is emerging on Capitol Hill to suspend aid to the Palestinian Authority; given Abbas’s decision to violate existing agreements by romancing Hamas, we should expect no less.
In the coming days, there will be much agonizing over whether a two-state solution— which all parties say they want—is achievable. The return of Hamas to the center stage makes that far less likely.
Indeed, following the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt last year, Hamas was actually looking more isolated than ever. Abbas could have used that reality to renounce Palestinian rejectionism once and for all. Instead, he’s doing exactly what critics accuse Netanyahu of doing: sacrificing long-term peace for questionable political goals. Preventing him from doing so—by countering Palestinian unilateralism, freezing aid, and cutting contacts with any Palestinian agency that includes Hamas representatives—is the only appropriate American response.
Bennett calls to annex 60 percent of West Bank
Bennett, a coalition hawk who heads the Orthodox-nationalist Jewish Home party, was one of two senior government officials Sunday to float the idea of Jerusalem extending sovereignty to Area C of the West Bank, which Israel maintains civilian and security control over as part of the Oslo Accords.
“We are not going to reach a peace agreement in the foreseeable future,” Bennett said in a speech to foreign journalists. “I think we need to be realistic about what we can achieve.”
Bennett said he advocated giving the Palestinians “autonomy on steroids” in areas of the West Bank they already control, while annexing the remaining 60 percent of the West Bank that Israel rules and that contains the vast majority of settlements.
Erekat: Israeli Occupation the 'True Terror,' Not Hamas
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sharply criticized the Hamas-Fatah unity pact the two terror groups signed last week. PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas, he said, “made a pact with Hamas, and we hope he chooses to leave it and return to the path of peace...Instead of making statements that are designed to appease the international community, he must cease this pact with Hamas, which calls for the destruction of Israel.”
Erekat said in the interview that Israel's continued presence in Judea and Samaria was the main stumbling block to a peace deal, not the fact that Abbas pursued a unity agreement with a terror group that repeated Sunday that it would never recognize Israel's right to exist. “I do not believe we can continue to try and make peace with a government that continues to construct settlements,” said Erekat. “How can you build settlements and claim you are in favor of the two-state solution?” As long as Israel did not implement a building freeze in all of Judea and Samaria and most of Jerusalem, there would be no further talks, said Erekat.
Palestinians say will seek membership of international bodies
The PLO's central council on Sunday adopted a plan to pursue attempts to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements, according to a statement from the governing body of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
The council, under the auspices of president Mahmud Abbas, "affirms the need for the Palestinian leadership to continue membership of UN agencies and international conventions, under the Palestinian plan that was adopted", the Palestine People's Party secretary general Bassam al-Salhi said in a statement.
Hamas Calls Holocaust ‘Made-Up Story’ Ahead of Yom HaShoah
Ahead of Yom HaShoah (Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day), the Hamas terrorist organization—which last week signed a unity pact with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party—issued a statement Saturday that called the Holocaust “a made-up story without foundation.”
On Sunday, Abbas was quoted by the Palestinian news agency WAFA as calling the Holocaust “the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era.” But at his weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Abbas’s alignment with Holocaust-denying Hamas is more notable than his remarks.
The Palestinians and the Holocaust
In the past few weeks, several reports highlighted the vitriolic backlash that followed a visit by a group of Palestinian students to Auschwitz at the end of March. The controversial visit – apparently the first of its kind – was organized as part of a joint program on Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution with the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and was led by Al-Quds University professor Mohammed S. Dajani.
The media reports on this visit leave little doubt that Professor Dajani reacted to the abuse and threats directed at him with admirable courage and integrity; it is also clear that he greatly inspired the students who participated in this trip. Moreover, the organizers of this program obviously had only the best of intentions. Yet, it is arguably deplorable that nobody seems to have made an effort to use this opportunity to teach the Palestinian students about the collaboration of Haj Amin al-Husseini with the Nazis. As one of the Palestinian students who visited Auschwitz reportedly noted afterwards: “It is a strange thing for a Palestinian to go to a Nazi death camp. But I would recommend the trip.”
Mahmoud Abbas: Still A Holocaust Denier
In fact, contrary to the Times‘s claim, Abbas has acknowledged the reality of the Holocaust for decades. He just thinks that the Jews helped perpetrate it. His doctoral dissertation didn’t claim that the Holocaust never took place (though it did quibble with the numbers), or that it wasn’t a terrible atrocity. Rather, as the Times itself reports, Abbas argued that the Zionists joined forces with the Nazis to inflict that atrocity on European Jewry. In other words, he cleverly crafted a position that allowed him to acknowledge the Holocaust while still blaming the Jews for it.
And Abbas has never repudiated this stance. On the contrary, he has consistently reasserted it and defended it from criticism. Thus, as recently as last year, he told Al-Mayadeen, a Beirut TV station affiliated with Iran and Hezbollah, that he “challenges anyone who can deny that the Zionist movement had ties with the Nazis before World War II,” adding that he had “70 more books that I still haven’t published” demonstrating the purported partnership.
Abbas and the Trouble with Holocaust Commemoration
The sad truth is that the popularity of Holocaust commemoration—even on the part of many who are hostile to contemporary Jewish life—as well as the proliferation of Holocaust museums and memorials seems to reflect a preference for dead Jews over live ones. The irony is that the movement to promote Holocaust remembrance was largely born out of an effort to teach both Jews and non-Jews the perils of silence about anti-Semitism. The boom in Holocaust memorials started in the 1960s as the movements to promote freedom for Soviet Jewry and to protect the embattled State Of Israel gained greater traction in the West. It was widely understood that the clichéd refrain of Holocaust memorial—“never again”—was not merely an expression of ex post facto outrage about the conduct of the Nazis but a pledge to fight for the freedom and the lives of the descendants of the survivors.
Yet as the dustup about Abbas’s words illustrates, Holocaust commemoration has now taken on a life of its own that is utterly disconnected from any actual concern about defending Jewish lives, let alone history. (h/t Norman F)
Guardian’s Chris McGreal ‘honors’ Yom HaShoah by smearing millions of Jews
Finally, to answer a query in one of McGreel’s Tweets, the reason why the ‘Apartheid’ charge “stings” Jews so much is because, like so many other accusations leveled against us through history, it’s a vicious lie – agitprop which shares an unmistakable ideological similitude with the ‘Zionism = Racism’ narrative and other such canards associated with malicious efforts to cast Israel as fundamentally illegitimate, a state beyond the moral pale.
The lesson for non-Jews on Yom HaShoah should be clear: You can’t honor Holocaust memory nor lay claim to the mantle of anti-racism if a large percentage of the world’s living Jews have been ‘expelled from the realm of your imaginative sympathy’, and indeed the only Jews you seem to much fancy have been dead for more than 70 years.
Arabs Mock Holocaust Day, City's Mayor Steps In
Revivo and Municipality Director Aharon Atias were on their way to a Remembrance Day ceremony in the Ganei Aviv neighborhood, when a volley of dozens of fireworks was fired from the area of town where the Abu Sirhan clan resides. The fireworks were aimed at residential buildings inhabited by Jews.
Revivo stopped his car and entered the location from which the fireworks were launched. Dozens of youths from the clan began to crowd around him and Atias, in a threatening manner.
Matters heated up and Revivo alerted the commander of the Lod police station, Lt. Col. Tzvika Hasid, who arrived at the location with reinforced SWAT forces that arrested seven of the clan members.
Pity the Children: The Fight over the Temple Mount Crosses a Line
A terrifying development at Judaism's holiest site: Last Tuesday (22.4), a group of Haredi Jews, including men and children, prepared to ascend the Temple Mount after Passover. There they were met with a torrent of verbal abuse and intimidation which quickly escalated to throwing chairs, shoving and pulling. Just another case of Israeli authorities failing to assert Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount and protecting the Jewish right to visit their holiest site. While the world media ignores the event, Arabs hail it as a great "victory"
'Less than a third of illegal Palestinian buildings have been taken down'
Mordechai told the Judea and Samaria affairs subcommittee, part of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, that only 520 of the 1,646 buildings had been taken down.
"Anyone driving through Judea and Samaria can see the increased illegal Palestinian construction in Area C," Subcommittee chair Habayit Hayehudi MK Moti Yogev said. "The situation has gotten worse near the Adumim bloc, where it has become an intense industrial undertaking. There are around 35,000 illegal structures in this area, and their construction is backed and organized by the Palestinian Authority and receives funding from international groups."
Israel can’t accept the emerging US-Iran accord
Finally, we cannot ignore the fact that the world is dealing with Iran, a murderous Shi’ite revolutionary regime that seeks regional and even global hegemony; that sponsors international terrorism and stands behind the slaughter in Syria on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s side; and that has purposefully deceived the West time and time again regarding its nuclear program. Thus, Iran cannot at all be trusted to abide by any accord with the West.
Thus, the solution to the Iranian crisis proposed in the Brookings Institution paper – which I fear represents mainstream administration thinking – is unsound. None of its assumptions can be used as a good basis for an agreement: neither the assumption that a monitoring regime can guarantee identification, in real time, of Iranian violations; nor the assumption that the US will act with alacrity if a breach is identified; nor the assumption that, in the real world, Iran will truly be deterred by US threats.
Terror Victims to Benefit from Sale of Iran-Owned NYC Building
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, expressed satisfaction on Friday over a New York court ruling which allowed the U.S. administration to seize ownership of a Manhattan building linked to Iran.
The ruling, handed down last week, said that the Iranian companies that own 650 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan must forfeit the building to the victims of terrorism, according to the New York Daily News.
Iran Cuts Gas Subsidies, Hikes Prices By 75%
Iran cut state subsidies on gas Thursday night at midnight, causing fuel prices to shoot up by 75%.
While Iran experienced riots in 2007 at some gas stations after subsidized fuel was first rationed, no riots were reported in the latest price jump, although Iranians did reportedly flock to gas stations to fill their cars before midnight.
The price of gas remains among the cheapest in the world in Iran, which reportedly has the fourth-largest proven oil reserves in the world, but the price hike will be difficult in a country where a quarter of adults are un- or under-employed.
First US-made missiles reach Syrian opposition forces
The weapons were not directly provided by the United States. “Friends of Syria” delivered them, he said, referring to the U.S.-backed alliance of Western powers and Persian Gulf Arab states established to support the opposition Free Syrian Army. The rebels had to promise to return the canister of each missile fired, to not resell the weapons and to protect them from theft.
Awda declined to offer further details of the provenance of the missiles. But he said the donors made clear to him that the delivery had U.S. approval, and U.S. officials have confirmed that they endorsed the supply.
“The most important thing is not the TOW missile itself, it’s the change in the policy,” he said. “It suggests a change in the U.S. attitude toward allowing Syria’s friends to support the Syrian people. It’s psychological more than physical.”
Egyptian court recommends death sentence for top Muslim Brotherhood leader and 682 supporters
Seeking the death penalty for Mohamed Badie, the Brotherhood's general guide, is certain to raise tension in Egypt, which has been gripped by turmoil since the army removed the Brotherhood from power last year.
The 37 death sentences were part of a final judgement on 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters who were sentenced to death last month. The remaining defendants were sentenced to life in jail.
Death sentence recommendations in the case involving Badie will be passed on to Egypt's Mufti, the highest religious authority. His opinion is
not legally binding and can be ignored by the court.
Holocaust Denial on Egyptian TV: Zionism Played a Role in the Holocaust

In First, Erdogan Sues Own Country Over Twitter Free-Speech Rulings
Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had banned access to both Twitter and YouTube on the eve of recent nationwide elections, a move that was widely seen as aimed at dampening discussions of a massive graft scandal that had ensnared top AKP elites including Erdogan and his family.
The bans drew global ridicule and triggered a diplomatic crisis with Europe, and were promptly overturned by Turkish courts on free speech grounds (the government restored access to Twitter but YouTube has remained unreachable). Erdogan’s lawsuit appears to claim that the Turkish state allowed Twitter to continue being accessible, and Twitter violated his privacy rights by linking to purported recordings of him discussing how to hide vast sums of money, and so the Turkish state violated his privacy rights and owes him damages.
In Further Erosion of Rights in Turkey, Islamist Group Wins Gay Ban at Campus
A university in Turkey canceled a panel debate on homosexuality after receiving threats from the Ilke Haber Ajansi media outlet, affiliated with the Sunni-Islamist-Kurdish movement known as Turkish Hezbollah (largely unconnected to the Shi’ite Lebanese movement Hezbollah). The move came days after Ankara announced plans for the segregation of LGBT prisoners.
The Ilke Haber Ajansi (ILKHA) not only condemned the event, but also targeted its organizer, academic Levent Sentürk.
However, ILKHA stated that the cancellation was not enough and said Sentürk should leave the city, also calling on him to prove that he is not homosexual.
Saudi Woman Columnist: Arab Culture Has Doubly Devalued Human Life
In her column in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Saudi columnist Lamia Al-Swailem attacked the glorification of death in Arab culture, and examined the difference between the value of human life in the Arab world and in the West. Calling on the Arabs not to accuse Westerners of not valuing Arab life, she asks them instead to examine their own culture and to demand accountability from their preachers and politicians who devalue Arab life by extolling the virtues of sacrificing this life for the nation, the land, the struggle for the regime, and so on.


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