Saturday, May 31, 2014

From Ian:

Palestinian Propagandists are Losing Their Touch
To be sure Palestinian propagandists from the West Bank had their helpers in the West. For example, Charles Enderlin, the man who helped broadcast the Al Durah video to French viewers in 2000, has a lot to answer for. Jews are fleeing the hate he helped promote.
But nowhere is this harvest of hate more evident than in Palestinian society itself. In lying to the world about the cause of their suffering, Palestinian elites are lying to themselves and the people they lead.
The anti-Israel and anti-Jewish messaging that Palestinian elites have promoted to Westerners for the past few decades reveals that the inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are a long way off from establishing and maintaining a democracy, making peace with Israel and coming to grips with the modern world.
They live in a demon-haunted world of their own making. The end result will be disaster for the Palestinians and possibly for the rest of the world.
New book claims Israel spied on Bill Clinton
The allegations in the book, reported by Newsweek on Friday, are the latest in a series of reports regarding Israeli spying on US targets. The reports have been vehemently rejected by Israel and largely dismissed by American officials.
The new book, however, by British-Israeli political scientist Ahron Bregman, cites purported verbatim transcripts of the Clinton-Assad calls which he says he obtained through “private sources.”
Bregman writes in “Cursed Victory: A History of Israel and the Occupied Territories,” that Israel also listened in as Syria’s foreign minister called the elder Assad to report on private meetings with US officials. The author further claims that he received transcripts of confidential talks between Clinton and then-prime minister Ehud Barak, as well as a letter marked “SECRET” from Clinton’s secretary of state Madeleine Albright to Barak’s predecessor and current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the Americans promised to check with Israel first before offering any peace proposals to the Arabs. (h/t Yenta Press)
Exposing the Human Shield Industry
Here’s one example of how this industry works: On the night of September 30, 2013, IDF troops opened fire at two Palestinians who were trying to sabotage the Israel-Gaza border fence, killing one and wounding the other. Both men later proved to be unarmed, so that’s naturally how the story was reported: Israel kills two unarmed Palestinians.
Four days later, I happened to be visiting friends whose soldier son was home on leave. It turned out his unit was involved in this incident, and he was furious over what the media reports left out: Standing just a few hundred meters behind the two men, he said, was a group of armed Palestinians waiting to see whether the attempt to break through the fence succeeded. In other words, the soldiers had every reason to believe the men sabotaging the fence were part of a much larger infiltration attempt, even though they couldn’t be sure those two were themselves armed (it was night, they were moving, and they were partially obscured by the fence). Thus the soldiers did what responsible soldiers do when facing an attempted terrorist infiltration: They used lethal force to stop it.
Brussels May Be Lying About Museum Shootings, Professor Claims
A Swiss professor wrote on Facebook that Belgian officials may be part of a conspiracy to falsely present the Brussels Jewish museum shootings as anti-Semitic.
Tariq Ramadan, a Geneva-based lecturer on Contemporary Islamic issues at Oxford University in Britain, speculated on Tuesday that the slaying of four people last week at the Jewish Museum of Belgium was a deliberate attack on Israeli secret agents.
“The two tourists targeted in Brussels worked for the Israeli secret services,” Ramadan wrote, citing media reports.
“The [Belgian] government does not comment,” Ramadan wrote. “Coincidence. Is this a case of anti-Semitism or a maneuver to divert attention from the real motives of the executioners? We oppose all slaying of innocents and racism but at the same time, it’s time they stopped taking us for fools.”

Friday, May 30, 2014

  • Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
People aren't only getting sick of BDS in US universities.

The University of Sussex Students Union held a referendum on the question:
Should the Students’ Union endorse a boycott of Israeli academic and cultural institutions?

The motion failed to pass by a vote of 904-649.

Unfortunately, even the "no" vote argument was framed as anti-Israel:

No one can deny the suffering of the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government. For too long, they have been deprived of their sovereignty, as well as their basic civil and human rights, at the hands of a ruthless military occupation. At Sussex, we have a proud tradition of standing up for the victims of injustice and oppression. This cannot be an exception.

But this referendum is not about solidarity with the Palestinian people. Throughout the history of the conflict, Israeli academics have been known for their outspokenly left-wing and pro-peace views. According to Sari Nusseibeh, the Palestinian president of al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, ‘if you look at Israeli society, it is within the academic community that we’ve had the most progressive pro-peace views and views that have come out in favour of seeing us as equals… If you want to punish any sector, this is the last one to approach.’

The academic boycott of South Africa was a result of the apartheid policy to restrict the black population’s access to higher education. Within the legal borders of the state of Israel, there is no such policy. A significant percentage of Israel’s students are Arab Palestinians. And while advocates of a boycott may point to the fact that the Israeli military restricts access to higher education within the occupied territories, this is a result of military rule and occupation, not the policies of Israeli universities themselves.

An academic boycott of Israeli universities would be a form of collective punishment. Israel’s entire academic establishment cannot be held responsible for the actions of its government, as just as in Britain, our students and lecturers often disagree entirely with our government’s actions.

We cannot afford to lose the moral high ground when it comes to our solidarity with the Palestinians – this only serves to strengthen the arguments of chauvinistic right-wingers who will point to this boycott as an example of anti-Semitic prejudice. Widely considered as one of the most prominent activists for the Palestinian cause, Noam Chomsky has stated in numerous interviews that an academic boycott ‘will only strengthen support for Israel’, and will seriously hurt Palestinians in the process.

Instead, we should be encouraging co-operation with critical and progressive elements within Israeli academia. Otherwise, we risk isolating Israeli students and lecturers solely by virtue of their nationality.
This anti-boycott argument shows, very clearly, how embedded the lies and distortions of the Israel-hater are in British universities.

Nothing about how hypocritical it is to single out Israel and only Israel as a place to have an academic boycott, while every truly repressive regime on the planet is not subject to such discussions by the oh-so-progressive students who pretend to care so much about the oppressed. The students are not being taught the most basic critical thinking skills.

Even so, while it is not a victory for the pro-Israel side, it is a big loss for the haters.

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: BDS Activists Are Troublemakers, Criminals
At university campuses in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe, they are hailed as heroes campaigning for Palestinian rights. But in Ramallah, ironically, activists belonging to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement are seen by the Palestinian Authority [PA] as trouble-makers and law-breakers.
For some PA officials, BDS is a movement that acts against the true interests of the Palestinians. They say that the actions of those promoting BDS make the Palestinians appear as if they are not interested in peace and coexistence with Israel. BDS activists in Ramallah have succeeded in preventing several planned meetings between Israelis and Palestinians in Ramallah and east Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority is also worried that BDS is harming the Palestinians' relations with other countries. The most recent example of BDS efforts to damage Palestinians' relations with friendly countries occurred a few weeks ago, when the "anti-normalization" activists tried to disrupt a performance by an Indian dance troupe in Ramallah.
A journey through Twenty-First Century antisemitism
Some Of My Best Friends: A Journey Through Twenty-First Century Antisemitism, by Ben Cohen
Review by Karl Pfeifer
This well-edited volume contains selected thought-provoking articles by Ben Cohen, written in this century. His subject is the crude, violent “Bierkeller” antisemitism and the polite, modulated, ostensibly reasonable antisemitism, called nowadays “anti-Zionism” and so often expressed in the “progressive” camp.
Ben Cohen is not making sweeping judgments about the Left, but he calls a spade a spade and does not spare the rhetorical rod from those who engage in any form of antisemitism.
There is a foreword by Anthony Julius, the lawyer who successfully defended Deborah Lipstadt when she was sued by the Holocaust denier and antsemite David Irving.
Sarah Honig: A Small Tragedy
These verses were recited to Pope Francis when he visited Yad Vashem this week. He was also given a replica of a painting by the underage poet, an inmate of the Lodz Ghetto. He shook hands with several Holocaust survivors, including Abramek’s stepbrother Eliezer Gyrnfeld.
Sarah Honig was the first to publish Abramek’s story back on July 7, 1989 in the Jerusalem Post. Here is the feature exactly as it appeared then:
At 13, Abramek was writing bright and beautiful poetry, far in advance of his years. He, and his words, came to an end in Auschwitz. By chance, some small memory of him was salvaged.
What child doesn’t, at some point in time, indulge in day-dreams of flying, of satisfying an as-yet unjaded curiosity to see and explore the wonders of the world?
David Singer: Palestine – Pope’s Political Power Play Promises Pandemonium.
The visit of Pope Francis to Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem this week proved that His Holiness is just as fallible – and gullible – as a host of other world power brokers like US President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and the negotiators representing the Quartet – the European Union, the United Nations, Russia and America.
All had plunged into the political mire that constitutes the 130 years old Arab-Israel conflict believing they could resolve it – but ultimately discovered it was destined to become their political graveyard.
The Pope’s descent into the political hell-hole that comprises former Palestine was totally unnecessary.
Regrettably the Pope chose to turn what should have been a purely spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land into a highly contentious political one.

  • Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
I don't know if I will do this every week, but people liked last week's roundup, so....

Of course, this week was dominated by my original coverage of the Beitunia Pallywood incident (all posts here.)

My Synchronized video of the Beitunia incident (created Saturday night but improved later in the week) was the first and IMHO best video analysis that proved really beyond any reasonable doubt that the gunshot that corresponds to Nadim Nawarah's falling down was from a rubber bullet, and that there is no way Israeli fire killed him in the way that the medical examiner described it.

On Monday I put forth my theory that Nadim Nawarah was shot in the leg by a rubber bullet . I still think it is likely, even though the IDF claims that the first bullet, fired by an unauthorized soldier, was fired at a wall. The other alternative, of course, is that Nawara was good at reacting fast to the sound of the gunshot to fall down and create a scene, as we saw in the failed attempt I publicized in my post A botched attempt at Pallywood: "The Hopper"

That video was picked up by other media like Breitbart and has so far received 16,000 views on YouTube. My other video taken from the extended CCTV footage, showing how absolutely no blood was spilled by the supposed shooting of two youths with bullets that ripped through their midsections, is almost at 10,000 views. The videos get far more publicity than my posts do.

People who can get past the idea that Palestinian Arabs have a history of faking injuries and deaths can see that there is far, far more to Beitunia than how it is reported in The New York Times and other media. As I've said repeatedly, I dislike conspiracy theories, and I really don't know how two youths apparently died, but I do know that Nadim Nawara was not shot by Israeli forces, and the story of Mohamed Salama has serious problems as well (as I noted here.)

I also challenged the media to find real experts to help decode what happened. Only some Israeli media has interviewed actual experts, but Haaretz hasn't bothered, and neither has any of the mainstream media, in regard to squaring the facts with the videos we have. Isn't that strange?

There were increasingly bizarre theories later in the week to try to pretend that Israel somehow managed to shoot live fire at the exact same moment as the rubber bullet shot, which I took apart here. One Israeli blog even claimed that the police were shooting live fire through the rubber bullet canister, which Haaretz said was impossible or ridiculously difficult today.

Other notable posts this week:

If you like what you see, please consider donating using the PayPal buttons on the right sidebar. Thanks!

  • Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
You can find subtle Israel hatred in the most interesting places.

Think-Progress has an article about  Pope Francis' visit to the Middle East.
At the conclusion of Pope Francis’ already surprise-ridden trip through the Holy Land last week, the first Argentinian pope turned heads by spontaneously inviting Presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority to visit him for a joint “prayer summit” at the Vatican. Both leaders accepted his offer, and a date was set for a meeting at the pontiff’s apartment on June 6.
The bold move by Francis — who has virtually no formal diplomatic training — rekindled hopes of reinvigorating Middle East peace talks that collapsed less than a month ago. Yet while the announcement of the summit was welcomed by many world leaders, several commentators were quick to point out that the pope’s primary goal in holding the prayer service is probably to help establish enough good will to help protect the Middle East’s Christian minority. After all, Christians, who make up 5 percent of the population in the Middle East, continue to face stiff persecution at the hands of both Jews and Muslims in the region, and Francis told members of the press last November, “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians.” 
"Stiff persecution at the hands of both Jews and Muslims"? Is there any comparison between the thriving Christian community in Israel and the dwindling Christian communities in every single Arab nation?

Apparently not. The author seems to believe that Israel is worse. Because his link doesn't go to any article about Arab persecution of Christians and mass Christian flight from Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere. It links to PCUSA's article about "price tag" attacks in Israel!

The Presbyterian Church USA is rabidly anti-Israel and its members who write articles like that are often openly antisemitic:

For example, at an opening program of the IPMN-PCUSA annual conference, the Rev. Craig Hunter said "greed and injustice is a cancer at the very core of Zionism." In a 2010 letter to church delegates, the IPMN-PCUSA falsely accused the Jewish community of intimidating Presbyterians by sending a letter-bomb to the church’s headquarters and setting fire to a church. IPMN-PCUSA tweeted an article proclaiming “Jewish power + Jewish hubris = moral catastrophe of epic proportions.” IPMN-PCUSA also has supported virulently anti-Israel resolutions including those equating Israel with Apartheid and has been a vocal supporter of the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanction movement.

The IPMN-PCUSA Facebook page includes a cartoon of President Obama wearing weighty Jewish star earrings to suggest Jewish control of the American leaders, a common theme on the site. The IPMN-PCUSA has posted articles that accuse Jews of controlling Hollywood, the media, and American politics - and blaming Israel for the American housing and economic crisis. IPMN-PCUSA's communications chair also posted her opposition to a two-state solution and the existence of a Jewish state, something which she terms "anachronistic.” The same IPMN leader, Noushin Framke, clicked "like" on the Obama cartoon with the Jewish stars and another post that Hamas should keep Israeli Gilad Shalit hostage until Palestinians are granted a right of return.
While "price tag" attacks against churches in Israel are reprehensible, they areis hardly causing a mass exodus of Christians from Israel and they have been denounced by all Israeli leaders of every major political party. I think that Coptic Christians in Egypt would be thrilled if the worst thing to happen to them would be occasional offensive graffiti on their churches. To highlight that instead of mentioning the actual life-threatening incidents against Christians under every Arab regime is more than just an oversight. It is deliberate anti-Israel incitement, albeit low key.

The article is idiotic on many levels, not least being a complete ignorance of the role of Israel's president, but this little link betrays a much deeper problem with many "progressive" writers.

(h/t Ronald)

From Ian:

Minister praises policemen who stopped suicide bombing
“Your vigilance and professionalism led to the capture of a terrorist with an explosive belt,” Aharonovitch told the policemen in a phone conversation shortly after the Friday morning incident.
“You prevented an attack and saved lives, and I’m proud of you and your professional excellence,” he said.
The incident took place on Friday morning, when Border Policemen saw a Palestinian man, a 20-year-old Nablus resident, walking toward them at the Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank. The man was wearing a heavy coat, despite the 35-degree-Celsius heat (95 degrees Farenheit). The policemen called on the man to stop, at which point he lay down in the road.
The suspect then allowed policemen to remove his coat, revealing what looked like an explosive belt on his person. He admitted that it was indeed a bomb.
A terrorist with an explosive belt was caught at the intersection Tapuach Samaria

Sarah Honig: Proportional to the threat
Trying to get inside Jennifer Rene Psaki’s head is one heck of an intellectual challenge. The pearls of wisdom that habitually escape the lips of this US State Department spokeswoman are often no less than stupefying, so it must be edifying to get a handle on what inspires them.
She is the gauge of just how disliked we are. Our tendentious, left-dominated, agenda-driven media has turned Psaki into the adjudicator of our international standing. If she isn’t pleased, we are in obvious trouble. Her pronouncements open our news broadcasts and star on our front pages.
Thus we quaked the other day, awaiting her judgmental input following the deaths of two Arabs in Bitunia (near Ramallah) on May 15. They took part in irredentist disturbances to decry Israel’s Independence anniversary as a catastrophe – Nakba – their loaded characterization of our existence.
Psaki unequivocally put us in the dog-house when she encouraged “the government of Israel to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation to determine the facts surrounding this incident, including whether or not the use of force was proportional to the threat posed by the demonstrators.”
Ouch! We are well-familiar with that demand for proportionality. It never augurs well for us.
‘Hamas pays hundreds of youths to harass Jews at Temple Mount’
Israel arrested a major Hamas figure earlier this month as he attempted to infiltrate the country via the Allenby Bridge crossing, the Shin Bet security service revealed Thursday afternoon. Mahmoud Toameh, a “top-ranking overseas operative of Hamas,” gave the security agency a wealth of details about the activities of the radical Islamic group during his interrogation, it said, including its funding sources, international activities and activities inside Israel. Notably, he revealed that Hamas pays hundreds of young Israeli Arab citizens to harass Jews seeking to enter the Temple Mount area.
Toameh was arrested on May 14, the Shin Beit said, and formally indicted on undisclosed charges on Thursday.
In his interrogation, Toameh revealed that Hamas works with the Islamic Movement (an Israeli organization that promotes Islam among Israel’s Arab citizens) to keep Jews from entering the Temple Mount compound, by retaining a group of young men to harass and throw stones at Jewish visitors. These men, who ostensibly are studying Islamic theology at the site, are paid a monthly salary of NIS 4,000 to NIS 5000 ($1,150-$1,440) for their activities, the Shin Bet said. (h/t Bob Knot)

Story here, h/t JJ.

This poster series continues to go strong - some 5000 views every week, from all over the world.

People are hungering for the truth about Israel and it is hard to argue with straight facts showing how minorities in Israel are treated as well or better than they are in almost any nation, and how there are no limits to what they can accomplish.

  • Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Arabiya:
A prominent Saudi cleric has declared that online conversations between men and women are religiously forbidden and has warned that they may lead to committing sin.

According to Saudi daily al-Eqitisadiya, Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Saudi Committee of Senior Scholars, said that chatting online through social networks falls under the forbidden “khulwa” (a religious term describing a situation where a man and a woman are alone in a private area).

Sheikh al-Mutlaq, speaking on a local Saudi radio show, warned that “the devil would be present when women talk to men” and urged women not to talk to males, even if the purpose of the discussion is to obtain guidance and advice.

Saudi social media users took to the Internet to express mixed reactions regarding his statement.

Whilst some users praised the cleric and said that he was right, most other users ridiculed him and his views by saying things such as “why don’t they (religious clerics) just ban women all together?”

Meanwhile, others wondered if direct messages could cause accidental pregnancy.
Soon the Saudi religious police might open up their cyber division!

But will they sentence the violators to virtual lashes?

  • Friday, May 30, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Morocco World News:

Ghislaine Taibi, who works for a French-speaking private Moroccan channel has been harshly criticized by many Moroccans for a recent visit she paid to Israel. A picture of her holding the Torah [sic] while standing adjacent to the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem has set social media ablaze.

The bulk of comments on the picture associate Taibi to the Zionist cause in a derogatory way and attack the private channel 2M. “Pigs go back to their origins,” read one of the comments. “Truth need be revealed about this filth,” read another comment referring to Moroccan channel 2M.

...Asked on how she reacted to some Moroccans’ negative reactions to her visit to Israel, Taibi answered, “I’ve never considered responding to these trivial and unjustified attacks, carried out by people who don’t even know the real reasons for my visit there, and who ignore the principles of my work as a journalist.”

Taibi explained that her very first motivation for visiting Israel was her job as a journalist, a job that consists of “hunting news regardless of where it is found.” The second reason for her visit to Israel, she further explained, is her intention to write a book about religions, which she intends to announce very soon.

“The reasons for my visits to Israel are only professional and scientific,” she told Febrayer.

“Supporting peace and coexistence between both sides (Palestinians and Israelis) is what matters most,” declared Taibi. “The two sides are yearning for peace, except for those extremists who are fighting against the willingness of their people,” she added.
Taibi also visited the Church of the Nativity during her trip. She didn't get nearly the same reaction to posing with Christian religious objects as she did in the photo above where she is holding a Hebrew book of Psalms.

Which goes to show that her Moroccan critics weren't as insulted at her visit to Israel as they were with her associating with anything Jewish.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
IBSI (Institute for Black Solidarity with Israel) Director Dumisani Washington speaks at Hillel UCLA on Dr. King's pro-Israel legacy, Israel's multiethnic society, the formation of BASIC, and the racism and hypocrisy of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

From Ian:

Explaining Why So Many Palestinians Are Still Refugees (REVIEW)
As the authors elucidate, UNRWA’s steadfast espousal of the Palestinian “Right of Return” reveals both the degree to which it has been politically co-opted and compromised by its constituency, and that it is a position at odds with the United Nations’ own Charter; such a right “necessarily entails the dissolution of Israel as such… Jewish sovereignty as envisioned by the Zionist movement and the 1947 Partition Plan, would be ended and Jewish political and cultural rights necessarily curtailed.” In other words, for both AFSC and UNRWA, an initial commitment to humanitarian aid and relief became heavily politicized, reflecting the complexities of merging philanthropic (or religious) intention with geopolitics and regional conflict.
Romirowsky and Joffe are exhaustive in their research and consistent in describing an aspect of the Palestinian refugee historical experience that has heretofore been neglected in the scholarly and policy literature.
The dilemma the global community faces – building social and economic progress along with a political resolution that brings stability (if not peace) – is ultimately hampered by an agency of its own creation that pursues its agenda at the expense of the greater goal. UNRWA bears culpability for enlarging, intensifying and prolonging a refugee calamity it was intended to ameliorate. AFSC’s pragmatic withdrawal from Palestine refugee relief five decades ago, juxtaposed with UNRWA’s persistent re-entrenchment even in the face of decades of the breakdown of agency operations and the collapse of its chartered goals, should be a clear signal that a different strategy is necessary in the pursuit of Palestine refugee relief and the question of the resolution of the refugees’ status.
Musings on the Subject of Nakba Day
It behooves us, then, to make a list of other apolitical and neutral examples of human suffering to demonstrate that there are no political agendas behind the choice of which events are selected to be commemorated and mourned.
First, a day of commemoration for the tragic losses in property values by white slave owners in the American south, stripped of their slave assets, as a result of the loss of the Confederacy in the American Civil War, would be a great step in the direction of neutral apolitical honoring of human rights and dignity.
Second, we should be holding special campus days of commemoration and empathy for male rapists who have been injured while violently raping women. Their bruised knees and knuckles and scratched faces are human tragedies that all compassionate members of society must honor and respect in the name of neutral human rights and apolitical dignity.
Judith Butler’s Mythologies: “Truthiness” in the Philosophy of BDS
Although she denies being a spokesperson or leader of anything, few who have been following recent discussions concerning the BDS (Boycotts, Divestments, Sanctions) movement for restrictions aimed against Israeli academics on American college campuses would fail to recognize her name as one of its prime symbols. And it is in this case precisely the symbolic power of a name (since her books are unreadable for most non-specialists) that is at issue.
Butler lends credibility to an otherwise quirky, retrograde, and at least sometimes anti-Semitic push to reject Israel’s very right to exist
in any conceivable two-state solution whatsoever to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (BDSers would prefer to liberate all of Palestine, “from the river to the sea”), because of her intellectual cache as one of today’s leading, trend-setting cultural “theorists.” The tribe of theorists, by the way, are supposed to be, like the extinct race of philosophers before them, lovers of wisdom–souls so drawn to the truth that they’re willing to run risks for it. Such at least is their reputation among the impressionable; when they aren’t, by contrast, being dismissed by cynics (like the philosophers before them) for pretensions to mere radical chic. Or worse.

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
This horrific video was allegedly taken in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. Reports say that it shows the execution of a child by the Syrian Islamist group ISIS in front of a large crowd.

Just a reminder as to what kind of neighborhood Israel is in. Not to mention how little Israel's neighbors care about violence that cannot be blamed on Israel.

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ben Ehrenreich writes that the bullets that killed the youths in Beitunia were not fired by the Israeli shooters in the CNN video, but from an entirely different group:

In the LARB article I quoted a doctor who treated both boys and who told me that their wounds were without question caused by live fire. Nuwara was shot in the chest, Abu Thaher in the back: both bullets passed through their bodies, leaving exit wounds. The rubber-coated steel bullets used by the IDF can and often do penetrate the skin and can be lethal, but they cannot pass entirely through a human torso even when fired from a relatively short distance. I interviewed four eyewitnesses to the killings, all of whom said live fire was used. (The concussion from a live shot sounds differently than that of a shot when rubber-coated bullets are fired. I have met 11-year-olds in the West Bank who can accurately tell what sort of munitions are being fired by ear alone. All four of the eyewitnesses I interviewed had witnessed many such clashes and knew the difference well.) Three of them testified that they saw Israeli commanders choosing targets and pointing them out to snipers just before each boy was killed.

One thing is worth noting: the bullet that killed Nadim Nuwara was almost certainly not fired by the soldier caught on the CNN video. It was almost certainly a coincidence that he fired his weapon at approximately the same moment that Nuwara was hit. And he almost certainly was shooting rubber-coated bullets: the video is hazy, but his rifle appears to be equipped with the sort of extension that is attached to the barrel of an M16 to allow it to fire rubber-coated bullets. Mohannad Darabee, one of the witnesses I interviewed, told me repeatedly that he was sure the shot that killed Nuwara did not come from the group of Border Police who had gathered on a driveway just uphill and slightly back from the road. Darabee walked me to the spot where Nuwara fell, and to the spot from which the Border Police (and the now-suspended soldier) had been firing. The corner of a building stood in the way: there was no line of fire that would have allowed those soldiers to hit Nuwara.

However, another, larger group of Israeli soldiers had gathered behind a concrete blast wall on the edge of a parking lot about 200 meters from the spot where Nuwara was hit. (See image above.) It was there, Darabee said, that he saw a commander choosing targets through binoculars. Those soldiers had an unimpeded shot at Nuwara. Forgive me if this is all a bit hard to visualize: The Guardian produced a graphic that maps it all out. But I want to make this very clear, because the waters have been muddied considerably, both through deliberate obfuscation and by speculation about a video that reveals less than it appears to: the fact that the soldier caught on video by CNN was apparently firing rubber-coated bullets only confirms the accounts of eyewitnesses who testified that the bullet that killed Nadim Nuwara was likely fired by another group of soldiers gathered at the edge of the parking lot. Abu Thaher, who was shot an hour earlier, and was standing in the middle of the road, easily visible from the Border Police officers’ perch, could have been killed by either group.
I responded:

The CNN video doesn't only show two shots of rubber bullets - it has the sounds of the shots. The first two shots recorded sound the same and the first one corresponds with Nawara's falling down.

Are you saying that the Israeli police in the other area shot live fire at exactly the same time both times? That would be unbelievable.

The Guardian had also reported of another group of Israeli troops to the south with a clear line of sight. I have no reason to doubt that some border police were there are well. However, we conveniently don't have video of them to see what kind of weapons they were firing. Apparently the dozen or so journalists at the scene, all witnessing gunshots from two directions, didn't bother to photograph one of the groups of soldiers doing anything aggressive. Moreover, this theory would also assume that the CNN videographer, who would have definitely been able to tell the difference between gunshots straight ahead of him and shots from his left, ignored the actual source of the gunshots!

More to the point, however, is that if there really were Israeli shooters at this other location using live fire, and if every child in the West Bank can distinguish between live bullets and rubber bullets by sound, then the CCTV video makes no sense.

All of the people in the video use the building to the right (west) in the clear CCTV video as cover from being shot. Why would they remain in an exposed position where live bullets could kill them? Many times throughout the CCTV video we see them flinch and run for cover - always in the direction away from the "CNN shooters," closer to the building, never out of the line of sight of this new mysterious second group of Israelis that were supposedly shooting at them. They aren't nervously looking down the road, even in the footage after the first incident that supposedly came from the new southern position. They aren't seeking cover from these supposedly obvious sniper shots.

There is one exception: at 14:46:05 of the CCTV video  we see everyone run away at once from something, running north, but with no discernible flinching that a gunshot would generate.

It takes several minutes before people re-appear, many from inside the building. But no one ducked into the building as one would expect if they wanted to take cover as quickly as possible. Also, some of them ran into the street - into a more exposed position (other angle video) and not around the corner. My guess is that this quick evacuation was either a false alarm that someone shouted out or maybe the sound of a tear gas canister coming that way.

Notably, no one reacts this way during either of the alleged shooting incidents on video. If the shots came from this other position, the crowd would react very differently.

So this new theory has no objective evidence, and the lack of audio evidence in the CNN video makes it highly unlikely, at least in the case of Nawara. Even the video of the incident with Mohammed Thaer doesn't show anyone looking in the direction of, or taking cover from, the supposed mysterious second shooter with the completely different sounding bullets from the completely different position.

If Ben Ehrenfeld can dig up more video from his journalist buddies showing the second Israeli position, by all means, let's see it. But the CCTV footage shows nothing that would support this new theory, which at the moment sounds more like a conspiracy theory than anything that has solid evidence.

And it might be reasonable to be a little more skeptical about Palestinian eyewitness testimony.
From Ian:

Baker: Govt. Should Act Now on Sovereignty
Baker was a member of a panel headed by former High Court Judge Edmund Levy that in 2012 researched the question of Israel's “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and found that Israel could not be considered as such under international law. Baker said that it was impossible to dispute Israel's right to the Land of Israel, including Judea and Samaria, as ancient and modern history makes it clear that the land belongs to the Jewish people.
Ancient writings, from the Bible to Greek, Roman, and early European and Middle Eastern sources all attribute the Land of Israel to the Jewish people. In modern times, the defining documents of the current status of the Land of Israel, from the Balfour Declaration to the UN partition plan all recognized this historic connection as well. “This cannot be disputed,” Baker told the conference.
With that, he said, Israel could not ignore the fact that it had a large Muslim population. It was on this basis that the Oslo Accord was signed, with the final disposition of the land to be decided in negotiations. So far, Baker said, those negotiations have not gone very well, and Israel should use this fact to advance its own ideas on the matter.
In recent months, Baker said that the PA had committed significant violations of the Oslo Accords. “They changed their status, indicating to the United Nations that they wished to be regarded as a state, not an Authority as specified in Oslo. This was a fundamental violation of the Oslo Accords. In addition, they have been engaging in foreign policy-setting,” he said, by signing international agreements – also specifically forbidden under Oslo.
Without Zionism, the Temple Mount would not be as holy to Islam
“Temple denial,” however, is a recent phenomenon that stands in stark contrast with Islamic tradition.
During the early Muslim period (between the 7th and 11th centuries), the Arabs used to call Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, interchangeably, Bayt Al-Maqdis, an Arabic transliteration of the Hebrew Beit Hamikdash (Temple). A 1924 tourist guidebook published by the Supreme Muslim Council says the Temple Mount is the site of the Jerusalem Temple. Araf al-Araf, a Palestinian Arab historian who, as a close friend of Haj Amin al-Husseini could hardly be suspected of pro-Zionist sympathies, wrote in his 1951 book "Tariah Al-Quds" that the Temple Mount “was bought by David to build the Temple, but it is Solomon who built it in 1007 BCE.”
Not only is “Temple denial” a recent phenomenon; so is Islam’s interest in the Temple Mount. Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and of sanctifying only one place: the Kaaba in Mecca. In the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula. The Koran does not mention Jerusalem, and Muslim Jerusalemites pray toward Mecca. They do not take off their shoes in the space between the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Without Zionism, there would have been no Muslim sanctification of the Temple Mount and no Arab denial of the existence of the two Jerusalem Temples.
Israelis may still be divided about their reunited city; but their ideological divide is thankfully being narrowed by modern Palestinian mythology.
Do they have a right to a state?
They lie about everything. The create fake atrocities to smear the IDF (one is in progress now). They have a made-up version of history that gets wilder every day. The Jewish Temple didn’t exist, they say. “Jesus was a Palestinian,” they say. Was he an Arab? A Muslim? A Canaanite? What Temple did he throw money-changers out of? This is so far beyond nonsense that it’s impossible to respond, but it’s used to justify both their crimes and their demands.
The culture, thanks mostly to Arafat’s educational and media systems, is obsessed with death, martyrdom, and revenge. Palestinians make it clear to anyone who is prepared to listen that their greatest aspiration is to destroy the state of Israel, kill or expel the Jews, and take the land that they believe they have a right to.
In a moral sense, then, are they ‘deserving’?
The Pope mentioned the “right to live with dignity and freedom of movement.” I presume he is referring to the security barrier. But the barrier was built because allowing Palestinians total freedom of movement led to hundreds of Israelis dead from bombings and shootings. Does the Pope think they have a ‘right’ to go where they want to kill whomever they want?
What does he think?

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Ok, I've stared at the videos and photos taken during "Nakba Day" for hours. I've read all the articles I can find. I've come up with my conclusions that there is no possible way that Nadeem Nawara was shot and killed by Israeli forces.

But CNN and the New York Times, showing far less diligence, have concluded that he was killed by Israeli live fire.

OK. I'm just an anonymous blogger, with a weird and ironic name. Why should my arguments - no matter how reproducible they are and taken from open sources - hold any weight with journalists who will only quote experts? It is not like CNN or the NYT will quote "Elder of Ziyon" as an expert. And - I'm not an expert. I just lay out my arguments and let people try to disprove them, and modify accordingly.

However, the mainstream media can do something I cannot: they can ask the real experts.

CNN, laughably, showed Nawara's father and the supposed "bullet" that killed Madeem, something which Israeli experts showed was completely impossible.  But neither CNN nor Robert Mackey bothered to contact any objective Western experts to easily identify the types of weapons used or the supposed bullet or to verify the story of the bullet hole in the backpack next to the bloodless exit wound.

So my challenge to the media is to find the experts and show them the videos and photos. Get hold of the head of New York's and Los Angeles' police forensics departments. Find military ballistics experts. And report what they say, even if they contradict what you have already reported. (Please don't go shopping for only the "experts" who verify your narrative. We know that trick.)

I'll be happy to bow to the experts showing me reasonable proof for how the youths are likely to have been killed by live fire. Do you, as real journalists, have the same intellectual integrity?

Or is your narrative more important than the truth?

Unfortunately, we know the answer. CNN has lots of footage of the day's events, but they only decided to release what they felt contradicted Israeli claims. They blew it. Yet their conscious decision was to only release what they thought supports the anti-Israel narrative, and nothing that shows how many holes it has.

Imagine the goldmine of information sitting in AFP's and AP's and CNN's archives, hours of video that could shed light on the truth rather than be cherry-picked to support a predetermined outcome!

There are a few real journalists out there, who have integrity. Let's hope that some of them start doing real research, dig up the full footage,  and talk to experts who have no reason to lie.

  • Thursday, May 29, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
A fascinating story from Reuters:
In an unprecedented, three-year cyber espionage campaign, Iranian hackers created false social networking accounts and a fake news website to spy on military and political leaders in the United States, Israel and other countries, a cyber-intelligence firm said on Thursday.

ISight Partners, which uncovered the operation, said the hackers' targets include a four-star U.S. Navy admiral, U.S. lawmakers and ambassadors, members of the U.S.-Israeli lobby, and personnel from Britain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The firm declined to identify the victims and said it could not say what data had been stolen by the hackers, who were seeking credentials to access government and corporate networks, as well as infect machines with malicious software.

“If it's been going on for so long, clearly they have had success,” iSight Executive Vice President Tiffany Jones told Reuters. The privately held company is based in Dallas, Texas and provides intelligence on cyber threats.

ISight dubbed the operation “Newscaster” because it said the Iranian hackers created six “personas” who appeared to work for a fake news site,, which used content from the Associated Press, BBC, Reuters and other media outlets. The hackers created another eight personas who purported to work for defense contractors and other organizations, iSight said.

The hackers set up false accounts on Facebook and other online social networks for these 14 personas, populated their profiles with fictitious personal content, and then tried to befriend target victims, according to iSight.

The operation has been active since at least 2011, iSight said, noting that it was the most elaborate cyber espionage campaign using “social engineering” that has been uncovered to date from any nation.

To build credibility, the hackers would approach high-value targets by first establishing ties with the victims' friends, classmates, colleagues, relatives and other connections over social networks run by Facebook Inc, Google Inc and its YouTube, LinkedIn Corp and Twitter Inc.

The hackers would initially send the targets content that was not malicious, such as links to news articles on, in a bid to establish trust. Then they would send links that infected PCs with malicious software, or direct targets to web portals that ask for network log-in credentials, iSight said.

The hackers used the 14 personas to make connections with more than 2,000 people, the firm said, adding that it believed the group ultimately targeted several hundred individuals.

“This campaign is not loud. It is low and slow,” said Jones. “They want to be stealth. They want to be under the radar.”

Facebook Inc spokesman Jay Nancarrow said his company had discovered the hacking group while investigating suspicious friend requests and other activity on its website.

“We removed all of the offending profiles we found to be associated with the fake NewsOnAir organization and we have used this case to further refine our systems that catch fake accounts at various points of interaction on the site and block malware from spreading,” Nancarrow said.

LinkedIn spokesman Doug Madey said the site was investigating the report, though none of the 14 fake profiles uncovered by iSight were currently active.
The easiest way to hack someone is to gain their trust, and in cyberspace this happens more easily than in the real world. Between installing malware and getting people to create accounts with passwords they are likely to have used elsewhere, this could have been a very effective operation.
From Robert Mackey of the NYT:

The Israeli military suspended a soldier who was captured on video this month firing his rifle at protesters in the occupied West Bank. Video evidence showed that the soldier fired his weapon within seconds of a Palestinian boy’s collapsing to the ground with what proved to be a fatal gunshot wound.

As the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Wednesday, the suspended soldier, seen in video recorded by a CNN producer, was a member of a communications unit assigned to document the work of combat troops and border police deployed to contain a demonstration in the West Bank town of Beitunia, near Israel’s Ofer Prison, on May 15. The CNN video appeared to show that another shot was fired by a police officer who was standing near the soldier on a hillside above the protesters.

Just seconds after those shots were fired, the CNN camera panned to show demonstrators and medics in a frantic scramble to evacuate the wounded protester, 17-year-old Nadeem Siam Nawara, who died a short time later.

...An Israeli security official who requested anonymity to comment on a continuing investigation told The Times that the soldier had been suspended from his position for firing his weapon without authorization. The official insisted, however, that the soldier had fired only rubber bullets, not live ammunition.

Doctors who examined the boys before their burials reported that they were both killed by gunshot wounds through their chests.

Mackey puts the "rubber bullet" claim as a dismissive footnote that is only believed by Israeli officials, but he says definitively that the Israeli shot "proved to be" fatal.  However, look at how Haaretz reported the story Mackey is basing his article on:

A probe into the deaths of two Palestinians killed in the West Bank village of Bitunia during a Nakba Day demonstration earlier this month took a dramatic turn on Wednesday, when a CNN video clip showed a non-combat soldier, who had accompanied his comrades on the mission, firing what appeared to be a rubber bullet during the incident.

The soldier, a member of an IDF communications division, apparently fired his bullet at around the same time that one of the Palestinians, Nadim Nuwara, 17, was killed. However, the IDF has found no evidence proving that this soldier's bullet caused Nuwara's death. The details of the case are under a military court gag order.

...The IDF has acknowledged that its troops fired rubber bullets during the incident – a fact confirmed by footage from both local security cameras and journalists. But the two Palestinians were apparently killed when they were relatively far away from the troops, which would seem to indicate that live fire was used. Yet the soldiers, officers and border policemen present at the scene have all denied that any live bullets were fired.

(The analysis done in the comments here show that the event indeed occurred within range of rubber bullets.)

Haaretz doesn't have to resort to "Israeli security officials" to see what anyone with eyes can see - that the CNN video shows a soldier shooting a rubber bullet at the time Nawara fell to the ground.

Mackey's "reporting" is editorial malfeasance.

I slightly modified my video synchronizing the CNN video and audio with the CCTV footage to make the first shot clearer and to be more explanatory:

More evidence that this was a rubber bullet comes from the anti-Israel side. (In fact, all the proof exculpating Israeli forces comes from images and video intended to do the opposite.)  A remarkable photo that apparently shows the second rubber bullet in flight was posted, I believe, on Mondoweiss, and reproduced in the comments here:

(At first I thought the object might simply be a hole in the door, but other photos show no such holes.)

The sounds of the first and second shots in the CNN video are virtually identical, meaning that they were from the same type of weapon, same type of ammunition and the same location. If this shows a rubber bullet (and it does appear to - no regular camera would catch a live bullet in flight like this and the shape is that of the rubber coated cylinder used by Israel) then the first shot that coincides with Nadeem's fall must also be a rubber bullet.

Now, there is no doubt that the Israeli border police have some serious issues to be addressed - why they apparently allowed someone to shoot who was not authorized, and why they shot rubber bullets at people who were not rioting or endangering anyone at the time. Not to mention that the person who shot the bullet against regulations was apparently from the IDF division that was supposed to be recording events like these specifically to prove what really happens when baseless accusations are leveled against Israeli forces.

There is plenty of blame to go around - but the evidence proves that Nadeem was not killed by Israeli live fire during the timeframe of these videos.  Of this there is no doubt. Even in the highly unlikely scenario that a simultaneous shot was fired from a mystery Israeli at the exact same time, we would hear the difference in sounds on the CNN audio.

What needs to be investigated is how he, or someone, really died, and that is a question that implies such a repugnant answer that no one wants to even contemplate it.

(h/t YMedad)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon

Yesterday, the foundation stone was placed for the reconstruction of the Tiferet Yisrael synagogue in Jerusalem.

I discussed previously how this grand synagogue once dominated Jerusalem's skyline and it was destroyed by the Arabs in 1948 along with dozens of other synagogues. Here is what the synagogue looked like from the Temple Mount in the 1930s, Tiferet Yisrael's dome on the left and the Hurva in the middle.

The ceremony on Tuesday night was not heavily highlighted in Hebrew media but it was mentioned in dozens of Arabic news sites.

The minister of endowments in Jordan told Assabeel that he is sending out a distress signal to save the Al Aqsa Mosque in light of this terrible event.

He claims that Tiferet Yisrael will be built on top of an ancient Muslim school.  Which makes it surprising that the Ottomans allowed the Jews to build it the first time!

He said that this is part of a systematic plan to Judaize Jerusalem and to force the Muslims out of the city, and this is a stage towards the destruction of Al Aqsa Mosque by the Jews.

Al Watan Voice also warns against this synagogue being restored, pointing out how huge it would be and how it will be used to push the fiction that Jews were ever in Jerusalem in history.

But both articles made a point of mentioning that the dome of the restored Tiferet Yisrael will be higher than that of the Al Aqsa Mosque. (The Jewish Quarter is on a hill.)

The Jordanian minister claims that this height is what makes the synagogue so "dangerous."

The other article says this is "an attempt to Judaize the space in the city of Jerusalem, and to try to disrupt the skyline that highlights the unique al-Aqsa Mosque in general, and the Dome of the Rock in particular, as well as attracting millions of visitors, Jews and foreign tourists, to push the false Talmudic narrative."

Muslims made the exact same objections when the beautiful Hurva synagogue was rebuilt a few years ago. And Mahmoud Abbas has also talked about how awful it is for the Jerusalem skyline to have synagogues that are taller than mosques.
From Ian:

BDS Movement boycotts online peace discussions among Israeli and Arab youth
Maybe it’s a fool’s errand, but at least it’s an attempt to get youth talking to each other.
Which is why it has been attacked since its inception by BDS movement supporters.

The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is the official international boycott organization. The American Studies Association adheres to its academic boycott guidelines.
PACBI issued a statement calling for a boycott of this year’s YaLa conference, Boycott YaLa-Young Leaders Group and Its Online Normalization Conferences:
Washington Free Beacon: Professors Engage in Anti-Semitic Rhetoric on Secret Listserv
The highly charged rhetoric about Israel, revealed last week on a leaked listserv, show that some professors involved in the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) resolution to boycott Israel are motivated by the belief that Jewish people are nefariously pulling the strings in American academia.
The leaked comments have spurred accusations of anti-Semitism in the MLA’s ranks and prompted outrage among Jewish leaders who say that this type of discourse is motivated by a deep seated bias against Jewish people and the state of Israel.
The charges of anti-Semitism were underscored by a controversial Facebook posting by one of the professors involved in the debate questioning the deaths of 6 million Jewish people in the Holocaust.
Other professors involved in the debate referred to colleagues who oppose the boycott measure as “Zionist attack dogs” and claimed that they “control and twist the media.”
South Africa’s de Klerk: Israel not an apartheid state
As opposed to the racial segregation in South Africa, “you have Palestinians living in Israel with full political rights,” and “you don’t have discriminatory laws against them, I mean not letting them swim on certain beaches or anything like that. I think it’s unfair to call Israel an apartheid state. If [Secretary of State John] Kerry did so, I think he made a mistake.”
In April Kerry had said that Israel was liable to become an apartheid state if, in the absence of a two-state solution, it chose to annex all or part of the West Bank without granting full citizenship to the Palestinians. He later retracted his remarks.
After the interviewer interjected to clarify that Kerry had stressed that Israel was not at present an apartheid state, de Klerk said that in a future scenario, Israel could only be deemed “apartheid” if it became a binational state and its binational government discriminated against Arabs.
“The test will be, do everybody living then in such a unitary state — will everybody have full political rights? Will everybody enjoy their full human rights? If they will, it’s not an apartheid state,” he said.

Caroline Glick: Our world: Pope Francis’s unfriendly visit
The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.
Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.
Consider first Francis's behavior at the security barrier.

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From The Daily Star, Lebanon:

Merkava tank destroyed in Sidon [sic]

Political activists in Sidon Saturday blew up a replica of the Israeli-made Merkava tank as part of celebrations marking Resistance and Liberation Day.

Plumes of smoke ascended from the southern coastal city of Sidon’s Martyrs Square after activists blew to pieces a replica of the infamous war vehicle they spent 261 hours assembling.

“When we were building the replica we were full of enthusiasm and we were eager to finish building the Merkava so that we can destroy it ,” Ibrahim Jomaa one of the event’s organizers told The Daily Star. “We want to destroy it as a form of revenge from Israel that killed our people in Lebanon and Palestine.”

“We were brainstorming an unconventional means to mark the anniversary of the withdrawal of Israel from south Lebanon and we agreed that we’ll reproduce a generation 4 Merkava tank and destroy it as the occasion draws nearer,” Jomaa added.
"Oooooh, look how powerful we are, we can destroy what a papier-mâché tank!"

And how great is the line "We were eager to finish building the Merkava so that we can destroy it"? Sort of sums up the attitude of terror-supporting Arabs, doesn't it?

(h/t Michael)
The PreOccupied Territory weekly satirical column continues...

Jerusalem, May 27 - Turkey asked Interpol yesterday to issue a Red Notice for a number of former top Israeli military commanders in connection with the deaths of ten protesters in a 2010 raid on a Turkish flotilla to Gaza, but Israeli analysts expect the group to end up imprisoned in Israel on various corruption-related charges before any international action is taken, in keeping with recent trends in Israeli politics.
The Turkish government seeks life imprisonment for all of the Israeli personnel involved directly or indirectly in the Mavi Marmara incident, in which a ship trying to break Israel's naval blockade of the Gaza Strip was stormed and commandeered by Israeli commandos. The IDF continues to insist that it encountered violent resistance that justified its use of gunfire that killed nine and caused the death of a tenth from injuries this year. A Turkish court is trying various Israeli officers in absentia, a move that may prove moot at a time when countless former senior Israeli figures are being investigated, tried, and sentenced on corruption, ethics, and other charges that carry incarceration sentences.
Even heads of state or not immune, as two presidents have been tarnished by criminal allegations, with one serving jail time for rape. Myriad ministers have faced probes related to corruption and obstruction of justice, including prominent party leaders and the current foreign minister. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was recently sentenced to six years behind bars for accepting bribes, which was only the most recent in a series of other, inconclusive investigations of similar charges.
The plague of corruption and misconduct has not spared the military echelons; one recent candidate for Chief of the General Staff had his nomination withdrawn after allegations surfaced that he had misappropriated public land and forged a letter libeling rivals for the coveted position. Senior law enforcement officials have also figured prominently in corruption scandals. It is widely assumed that graft thrives at every level, leading some analysts to predict that by the end of the decade, 90% of Israel's politicians, generals, and other government figures will be serving time.
Turkish officials acknowledged the challenge, and suggested that political opponents of Prime Minister Erdogan could serve as alternative residents of the allocated prison space.
From Ian:

Michael Lumish: So, Just What is a “Palestinian,” Anyways?
The Philistines, of course, were a seafaring people of the Aegean islands.
They were one of the rivals for regional dominance competing with the ancient Israelites along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea over one thousand years before Jesus of Nazareth walked the land.
They were, needless to say, not a people from the Arabian peninsula and were in no way the forebears of those who conquered the Land of Israel in the seventh century.
This is to say that the ancient enemy of the Jews, the Philistines, are in no way related to the contemporary Arabs who have, for some reason, taken a Latin name that refers to a Greek people.
Syria’s Oldest Synagogue, Destroyed by Assad
The Jobar Synagogue was one of the holiest Jewish sites in Syria and contained priceless historical artifacts. Now it’s destroyed—and the opposition says Assad is to blame.
Syrian Arab Army forces flattened the Eliyahu Hanabi Synagogue in the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus over the weekend. The attack not only wrecked a site that’s at least 400 years old. It may have destroyed thousands of irreplaceable Jewish artifacts contained inside the synagogue, according to opposition leaders and photos obtained at the site.
The area where the synagogue once stood has been under bombardment by the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for months. The Syrian regime is laying siege to the town, one of the few rebel strongholds in the area. It’s all part of what the opposition calls Assad’s “scorched earth” policy, which includes random and violent attacks on civilian populations. (h/t Yenta Press)
US supports case against Arab Bank financing terror, but worries of foreign policy fallout
In a major decision that will impact the high-profile Arab Bank terror finance case in the US and the future of terror financing cases, the US government late Tuesday told the US Supreme Court that it supports the Arab Bank case going to trial, but also undermined the case's strength.
The context of the decision was Arab Bank's interim appeal to the US Supreme Court to reverse a lower US court decision which could seriously hurt the bank's chances of winning at trial.
The case itself, which has been featured on CBS News's Sunday Morning program, involves allegations that Arab Bank facilitated massive transfer of funds to Hamas leaders and institutions, as well as to the families of imprisoned Hamas members and suicide bombers, via Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah's al-Shahid Foundation, mostly between 1998-2004.

  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Karim Younis, one of the Arab murderers who have been in Israeli prison the longest, is complaining that the PLO didn't do enough to get him and his fellow prisoners released in the planned fourth batch.

Younis wrote a harsh letter to Palestinian leadership saying that they dropped the ball and that they should quit their jobs and return to their mansions.

"This means that we are over the past nine months we lived in a spiral of deception and empty promises and commitments," he wrote.

He also called the failure of negotiations aimed at his release an "unforgivable crime," saying the negotiations were "miserable and shameful that no one can justify or defend it, so everyone runs away from the face of what actually happened and the tragic consequences because of it. "

He said to Palestinian officials, "get out, do not look behind you, just go to your palaces and mansions, just go and leave your office keys to those who can act responsibly."

Meanwhile, prisoners have been holding a hunger strike for over a month and the Palestinian Arabs are getting very frustrated that the media and NGOs have largely ignored this story. So naturally they are attacking - the Red Cross.
Palestinian activists on Wednesday closed the Red Cross' al-Bireh office in protest against the organization's "silence" regarding an ongoing prisoners' hunger strike, the organizers said.

"Today we are shutting down the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross because it has failed to play the role it should to protect Palestinian prisoners, especially hunger strikers," the organizers said.

Protesters blocked the doors of the office and denied entry to employees.

Arabic media every day describes how the prisoners are at death's door and deteriorating badly. The impression I get is that they are hoping that one manages to die, so that the media will start writing about them and raising this never-ending whinefest to a higher priority than troubles in Syria and Egypt and Libya and Iraq, where hundreds of people are actually, you know, dying.
  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
More footage taken from the extended "Nakba Day" CCTV video in Beitunia shows an attempt to fake an injury for the cameras that doesn't pan out.

Now that we have established that people faked injuries for the cameras, what else might have been faked?

(All posts on this topic here.)
  • Wednesday, May 28, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
Now that the entire hours-long footage of the CCTV cameras from the Nakba Day incidents in Beitunia are available, interesting facts are emerging.

We can see cameramen arriving at both incident scenes about ten minutes ahead of time, even sitting on the same object directly in front of where the youths are supposedly shot. We see a youth hopping around on one leg, pretending to be injured, and his buddies calling an ambulance over, only to see him walking around normally by the time they arrive.

But here's one thing I thought was a bit more interesting:

The medical reports for both youths claimed that the bullets ripped through their bodies and exited out the other side. We have seen no blood on any of the still photos anywhere near the entrance or exit wounds.

But the video shows that the ground where they were supposedly shot through has no bloodstains at all. 

Truly amazing.

By the way, Walla reports that there were two medical reports issued for Nadim Nawarah. In the first there was no exit wound at all, but after his father went on TV claiming to have seen a bullet hole in Nadim's backpack and a (clearly unfired) bullet within, then the medical report was changed to suddenly find an exit wound.

So, what other lies have been given out by the oh-so-ethical Palestinian Arab coroner?

(h/t asherpat)

(All posts on this topic here.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Ian:

Shmuley Boteach: Pope Francis’ Failure to Confront Evil
No one can deny that Pope Francis is a man who walks the walk. While many disagree with his neo-socialist world-view, who can feel anything but respect for a world leader who eschews the perks of office to champion the poor and the oppressed? The Pope is also courageously confronting the Church’s obsession with abortion, gay marriage, and contraception in favor of spiritual values that directly address the materialism, narcissism, and rot of the modern world.
But there is one area where the Pope must do more. And that’s in his confrontation with evil. Over the past few days we’ve heard the Pope repeatedly invoke the need for Middle East peace. We have seen him walk a tightrope of neutrality between Israel and the Palestinians. But as the world’s foremost religious voice, can he afford to be silent in the face of a grotesque moral affront? When the Pope prays at an Israeli security barrier in front of graffiti that compares Bethlehem to the Warsaw Ghetto, he has taken neutrality to an extreme and risks being party to trivializing the Holocaust.
Pope Francis, who is a global inspiration and a great light of the Church, must learn from the poor example of his predecessor not to be vague when it comes to mass murder. Platitudes about Middle East peace that refuse to condemn Hamas terrorism or its genocidal charter’s against the Jews risks compromising the great Pope’s moral standing. A security fence built solely to protect innocent Israelis from being dismembered dare not be compared to a fence designed to cage Jews prior to their gassing.
The Pope can surely find a different place to pray.
Pope, Netanyahu spar over Jesus' native language
Pope Francis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traded words on Monday over the language spoken by Jesus two millennia ago.
"Jesus was here, in this land. He spoke Hebrew," Netanyahu told Francis, at a public meeting in Jerusalem in which the Israeli leader cited a strong connection between Judaism and Christianity.
"Aramaic," the pope interjected.
"He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew," Netanyahu shot back. (h/t MtTB)
The meanest bastards in history VIDEO
So the Pope celebrates Mass in Bethlehem, but they can’t turn down the volume of the PA system at the nearby mosque?
Somebody was apparently trying to make a point, in case anyone wondered who’s in charge in Bethlehem.
UN Watch: What happened to the U.N.?

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
This video was shown on El Balad TV earlier this month:

It shows a supposed letter from Binyamin Netanyahu to Al Jazeera, which says something like, "A special thanks to Al Jazeera  for what you did on our behalf in the Arab world, and we are beholden to it for its acts of incitement against our enemies the State of Palestine and against the Egyptian army." (I know I'm missing some words I couldn't make out.)

I grabbed as much of it as I could from the screen:

Ya gotta love people who will believe literally anything as long as it fits into their bigotry.

  • Tuesday, May 27, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Al Aqsa Foundation published this video taken this morning, which illustrates - according to them - "Jewish settlers storming and desecrating the Al Aqsa Mosque."

It of course shows the opposite. It shows Muslim usurpers performing Koranic chants at Judaism's holiest spot, while a group of Jews respectfully tour the site.

But you won't find even Israeli headlines that mention the simple fact that Muslims are the thieves, even as Arab newspapers from Egypt to the Gulf have articles daily warning of "Jews storming the mosque" and "performing Talmudic rituals."

Invariably, the "storming" looks exactly like the scene above.

This article is warning about plans for Jews to visit their holiest site on Jerusalem Day tomorrow "to establish Talmudic rituals and dances in the Al-Aqsa Mosque" and the Al Aqsa Foundation is imploring Muslims to block Jews from entering.
From Ian:

Daughters of Brussels shooting victims: 'They'll always be with us'
Shira and Ayelet Riva, daughters of the Israeli couple killed in the Brussels Jewish Museum shooting, write final letter to parents as their bodies land in Israel: 'We know that they'll always be in our hearts and souls.'
"We couldn't ask for better parents. Loving, caring and good-hearted, who most of all wanted the best for us," wrote Shira and Ayelet Riva in a letter in memory of their parents Emanuel and Miriam Riva, who were killed in the shooting at the Brussels Jewish Museum Saturday, just hours after their bodies arrived in Israel.
In the final letter to their parents, the daughters (16 and 15 years old) wrote that "they went abroad to celebrate their 18th anniversary. Before the trip they promised us we would do a lot of things together after they return, but they won't come back to us.
Tel Aviv couple to be laid to rest; Brussels shooter still at large
The bodies of Emanuel and Mira Riva, the Israeli couple killed in Saturday's shooting at the Brussels Jewish Museum, will be laid to rest at Tel Aviv’s Kiryat Shaul cemetery at 5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, as investigators continue searching for the perpetrator still at large.
A lone gunman entered the museum with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and opened fire, killing the Rivas and one other, injuring a fourth person. The fourth victim died on Monday.
Belgium sends museum murder file to terrorism prosecutor
Deputy public prosecutor Ine Van Wymersch told a news conference that “the file is transferred to the federal” level, but she refused to say whether or not it was being reclassified as a terrorist act.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack on Saturday, Joel Rubinfeld, who heads Belgium’s league against anti-Semitism, told AFP it clearly “is a terrorist act” as a man had been seen driving up and entering the museum before opening fire inside and running off. He added that the act was the result of a “climate of hate.”
Brussels gunman was wearing video camera, sources say
Belgian media reported Monday morning that the gunman who killed four people in an attack Saturday at the Brussels Jewish Museum carried out the act while wearing a portable video camera on his chest.
If true, the behavior would be reminiscent of that of Mohammed Merah, who filmed himself killing four people at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, March 2012.
“Sources involved in the investigation” informed several news sites that while reviewing one of the museum’s security videos, it was observed that the suspect was bearing a GoPro brand camera that may have documented the event.

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