Thursday, May 15, 2014

From Ian:

Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Blame Palestinians for Breakdown in Talks
A poll released this morning by The Israel Project (TIP) shows that voters overwhelmingly hold the Palestinian Authority (PA) responsible for the recent breakdown in peace talks and overwhelmingly agree with the stance – emphasized by both the Israeli government and the State Department – that Jerusalem can’t be expected to negotiate with an anticipated unity government that includes the designated terror group Hamas.
The group of 1,595 likely voters was among other things asked to respond to a range of “narrative” questions to evaluate how the public debate over the Palestinian unity agreement was progressing. For each question, they were asked to evaluate the Israeli position and the Palestinian position. The results were not close. Two-thirds of Americans (66%-34%) sided with the Israelis on the how the Palestinians’ move will affect the peace process:
Palestinian Reconciliation and the Rising Power of Hamas and Islamic Jihad: An Iranian Windfall
In sum, the Palestinian Authority has launched a diplomatic war against Israel complemented by the continued use of terror at varying levels of intensity. The main goal of this campaign is to secure, via unilateral measures, international recognition of the PA’s demand for Palestinian sovereignty and independence in all of the 1967 territories as an interim stage toward pressing further demands, most of all the demand for the “return” to Israel of millions of Palestinian “refugees” and their descendants. This is indeed the essence of the Phased Plan ratified by the PLO in 1974, which has now reached an advanced stage of implementation in cooperation with the other Palestinian terror organizations.
Israel is in a trap. Accepting the Palestinian conditions and capitulating to international pressure will likely lead to the rise of a hostile Palestinian state ruled by the Islamic terror organizations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad at the forefront, a state that is an extension of Iran. Moreover, should Israel be compelled to withdraw from the Jordan Valley, regional Islamist forces will feel empowered to seek the destabilization of the Hashemite regime in Jordan, once Palestinian independence is attained.
Analysis: The Coming Collapse of the Palestinian Economy
The Palestinian economy inside of Judea and Samaria is in official crisis mode. The long-term effects of the Arab Spring as well as rampant corruption have effectively brought to an end to several years of modest growth inside the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian economy
Regarding the Arab Spring, Muslim nations swept up in it have responded by dramatically increasing domestic spending. As a result, the emphasis of many governments that had once provided financial aid to the Palestinian economy has shifted, with the aim of maintaining internal stability.
According to the Palestinian Finance Ministry, NIS 630 million (roughly $182,000,000) in aid has arrived from abroad since the beginning of 2014, a 65-percent decrease from the first quarter of 2013.

CAMERA: Where's the Coverage? "Palestine was the Home of the Jew"
In August of 1947, a Middle Eastern leader wrote a letter to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). It read in part:
It is an incontestable historical fact that Palestine was the home of the Jew and of the first Christians. None of them was of Arab origin. By the brutal force of conquest they were forced to become converts to the Moslem religion. That is the origin of the Arabs in that country. Can one deduce from that that Palestine is Arab or that it ever was Arab?
The Holy Places, the temples, the Wailing Wall, the churches and the tombs of the prophets and saints, in short, all the relics of the two religions, are living symbols, which alone invalidate the statements now made by those who have little interest in making Palestine an Arab country. To include Palestine and the Lebanon within the group of Arab countries is to deny history and to destroy the social balance in the Near East.
Who wrote this?
The Maronite Archbishop of Beirut, Ignace (Ignatius) Moubarak
What Kind of Palestinian State?
The Palestinian leadership understands that it will not be able to agree to the conditions for peace set out by John Kerry. These conditions do not provide a solution for the millions of grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original 1948 refugees, who wish to "return" to Palestine.
They will come covertly accompanied by jihad fighters who gained their experience in the killing fields of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, who will accuse Mahmoud Abbas of treason, and, sooner rather than later, assassinate him and his associates and hang their bodies in the main square in Ramallah.
The new mujahideen who enter "Palestine" from Jordan will immediately join Hamas, demand a redistribution of lands and resources, wage a new terrorist campaign against Israel and turn the West Bank into a Gaza-like Islamic emirate ruled according to the Shariah.
Kerry: Fate of talks lies with Israelis, Palestinians
Only Palestinians and Israelis can decide whether to resume talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Wednesday as he met Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas for the first time since the peace process collapsed.
The top US diplomat told Abbas during almost two hours of talks in London that the fate of the peace process lies in the hands of the deeply-divided parties.
“Secretary Kerry made clear that while the door remains open to peace, it is up to the parties to determine whether they are willing to take the steps necessary to resume negotiations,” a senior State Department official said.
PM: We'll Take Peace With Just Half the Palestinians
In an interview with Japanese media Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he was asked by US Secretary of State John Kerry if Israel was prepared to make peace with only half of the Palestinians – and Netanyahu said that, for lack of a better option, Israel was prepared to do so.
“Kerry asked me if I could make peace with the Palestinian Authority alone, even though it does not rule all the Palestinians,” Netanyahu told Tokyo newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, referring to the control of Gaza by the Hamas terror group. “I said I could. I would be prepared for a deal with the part of the Palestinian people who were prepared to make peace with us,” he said.
Wife of terror victim recalls facing attackers
In an exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, Monique Ofer recreated the terrifying moments leading to her husband Sraya's brutal murder seven months ago and her own heroic escape from the two axe-wielding terrorists looking for her.
Sraya Ofer, 62, was a retired Israel Defense Forces colonel. He had lost his brother Maj. Yitzhak Ofer, a pilot in the Israeli Air Force, when his helicopter was shot down near the Golan Heights during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Sraya was killed on October 11, 2013, exactly 40 years after the loss of his beloved brother. Two Palestinian terrorists from Hebron came to Sraya and Monique's house at Brosh Habika in the Jordan Valley. The two terrorists attacked Sraya with axes, striking him 44 times and killing him. Monique, who saw the terrorists assaulting her husband from the kitchen, ran out the front door into the night and for more than two hours, crawled slowly toward Route 90 with only one goal -- to get help and save her husband.
Israel to seek UN recognition of Yom Kippur as holiday
The U.N. officially recognizes 10 holidays, including Christmas and Eid al-Fitr. Absent from the official holidays, though, is a Jewish one. A holiday at the U.N. entails a day without meetings, committee hearings or official events. Several among Israel's delegation to the U.N. have complained that being compelled to show up to work on Yom Kippur is troublesome.
The U.N. General Assembly convenes annually in September. On years in which such meetings have conflicted with Yom Kippur, a request has been submitted and the assembly has been postponed to allow the Israeli prime minister to participate.
U.S. Congressmen Surprised by Discrimination Against Jews, Christians on Temple Mount During Jerusalem Visit (VIDEO)
U.S. Congressman Dr. Andrew Harris on Wednesday said he was “surprised” by the limited access for non-Muslims to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and the “discrimination against Jews” he witnessed during his visit, along with Congressman Ron DeSantis.
According to a video statement made during the visit on Wednesday, Harris said, “It’s a pleasure to be here on the Temple Mount, obviously an area of religious significance for many religions including Christians like myself, Jews and Muslims… but I’m actually surprised that access is so limited, and especially the discrimination against Jews above any other religion in visits to the Temple Mount.”
“It surprises me as an American, believing in religious freedom, that [such conditions]would exist,” Harris said. (h/t Jewess)
AFP Declares David’s Tomb ‘Disputed’
The definition of “disputed” has expanded to include David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, at least according to the Agence France-Presse newswire.
For some reason, the site – which is revered by some Christian groups as the supposed site of the Last Supper – was never recognised as a disputed sit-in the past. When Jordan occupied the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, Mount Zion served as a no-man’s land between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom. There, as in the rest of Jordanian Jerusaelem, Jewish prayer rights were non-existent.
But the Catholic Church never seemed to mind the non-Catholic administration of the site. No Israeli or international media described Mount Zion as “disputed” when Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land in 1964 (notably, the pontiff did not visit sovereign Israel or meet with Israeli leaders), nor was there any expectation that Jordan would cede control of the holy site to the Vatican.
Rehovot Independence Day Concert Features Anti-Israel Song
Israelis who attended an Independence Day concert in Rehovot complained that one of the music groups appearing at the event, called “Franklin,” sang an extremely offensive song that equated Israeli with Nazi Germany on the eve of World War II.
According to one spectator, he was “shocked” to be witnessing such a performance on Israel Independence Day. “I don't have a problem with the group's songs – if that's what they choose to perform, that's their choice,” the spectator said in a Facebook posting. “But I would expect the municipality to choose for an Independence Day concert artists who express the essence of Israeli identity, not those who seek a platform to criticize the state.
Why is the Government Still Funding 'Nakba Day' Events?
MK Fania Kirschenbaum (Likud-Beiteinu) on Wednesday night sent a letter to Finance Minister Yair Lapid, asking him to cut off funding to organizations that commemorate the “Nakba,” the day Israel declared independence in 1948, and hundreds of thousands of Arabs left their homes at the behest of invading Arab armies.
The Knesset three years ago passed a law demanding that the government stop funding organizations that hold such events. That law has not been enforced to a large extent, Kirschenbaum said.
The problem, she said, was especially acute at universities “The many protests taking place on campuses by student organizations – which the government is paying for with funding, and is required to provide security for as well – are legitimizing the state and the Jewish people,” she wrote. “I appeal to you to use your legal powers to prevent the use of state money for these activities.
2 Palestinian teens said killed in Nakba Day clashes
Earlier on Thursday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a proposed law defining Israel as the Jewish national homeland was the best response to Nakba, or “Catastrophe,” Day.
In a statement issued just after sirens sounded in Ramallah and elsewhere across the West Bank for 66 seconds to symbolize the number of years since the Palestinians’ defeat and displacement in the 1948 war, Netanyahu said the Palestinians were remembering “the disaster of the establishment of Israel, the state of the Jewish people.”
“They teach their children with nonstop propaganda that it’s necessary to cause the disappearance of the State of Israel,” the prime minister said while touring a sports center in Jerusalem after his return from a state visit to Japan.
Hamas and Fatah Unite in Judea, Samaria for ‘Nakba’
As a sign of continued progress towards “unity” Palestinian Authority officials announced that Hamas terrorists will march together with Fatah to mark the ‘Nakba.”
It is the first time in nearly ten years the two factions will coordinate and appear together at events that lament the “catastrophe” of the rebirth of the State of Israel.
Marches are expected in all Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and the flags of the Hamas terrorist organization will fly freely together with those of the PA.
Hillary Clinton talks tough on Iran at Jewish conference
She offered a bleak assessment of Iran’s recent track record and urged US negotiators to take a firm stance at talks, which have been taking place this week in Geneva.
“We are arriving at a crucial juncture,” Clinton said, adding that “the progress of Iran’s nuclear program may be halted but it is not dismantled and Tehran has not yet lived up to its obligations or the concerns of the international community.”
She emphasized that the US and its allies “have to be tough, clear-eyed and ready to walk away and increase the pressure if need be” and stressed that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”
Khamenei lashes Israel in Twitter rant
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei lashed out at Israel on Twitter Wednesday, calling the Jewish state a “fake nation” and the “most wicked terrorists.”
“#Israel was initially established thru oppression, massacre & lie; an invader aided by UK expelled #Palestinians out of their homes. #NakbaDay,” he wrote on the eve of Nakba Day, the date on which Palestinians and their supporters mark the creation of Israel as a national tragedy.
“During the over half a century since the existence of #fake Israeli state, suppression, lies & deception have been central to Israel’s survival,” read another tweet.
Iran said to block Viber, introduce new Internet filter
Viber users in Iran initially reported difficulties while communicating with each other via the application, and later reported they were unable to send or receive text messages at all, the National Council of Resistance of Iran said.
Islamic Republic officials did not confirm whether the regime was responsible for blocking the phone and messaging service, which was developed in Israel and recently sold to a Japanese company for $900 million.
The State Committee for Determining Criminal Web Content, the government agency in charge of web filtering, announced earlier this month that a number of messaging sites and applications would soon be blocked, including Whatsapp.
Syrian rebel officer: We could work with Israel to oust Assad, quietly
The officer was “extremely pleased” to read statements by Israel’s former chief of military intelligence Amos Yadlin, who called on Israel Monday to introduce moral considerations to its list of strategic transgressions that could merit unilateral military intervention in Syria.
He said that the Free Syrian Army could cooperate with Israel tactically against Assad, while leaving the question of the disputed Golan Heights to a later stage. But Israel, like the US, seems to be hesitant about toppling the regime for fear that the alternative may be worse.
“Our only war at the moment is against the [Assad] regime, which destroyed the country,” he said. “That is our real enemy.”
Turkey-Israel deal reached, awaits Netanyahu’s approval
A deal to end the four-year-old feud between Turkey and Israel is imminent and could be signed as soon as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returns from his trip to Japan, The Times of Israel has learned.
Jerusalem and Ankara agree on all outstanding issues that thus far have stood in the way of an agreement to fully restore bilateral ties to their pre-Gaza flotilla level, a knowledgeable source told The Times of Israel. Now it is up to Netanyahu to make a final decision to approve the deal, the source said.
Outrage in Turkey as adviser to prime minister kicks mine disaster mourner near scene of tragedy as violent protests sweep country
Yusuf Yerkel, one of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's aides, has admitted kicking a protester who was being held on the ground by Special Forces police officers.
The incident, which has led to widespread anger on social media, occurred as Erdogan visited Soma in the wake of the coalmine tragedy.
When Erdogan tried to show concern during his visit he was heckled. Protesters shouted ‘murderer!’ and ‘thief!’ and he was forced to seek refuge in a supermarket, surrounded by police.
Video footage emerged later that purported to show Erdogan embroiled in a scuffle of his own with someone at the Soma mine, but it was not possible to discern from the clip precisely what had taken place.
MEMRI: Major French Islamic Website Joins Trend Of Denigrating Leaders By Calling Them Jewish: Claims Qadhafi Was A Jew
Middle Eastern media often present Arab leaders as "Jews" in order to denigrating them. Recently, this practice was also picked up by, the leading Muslim website in France. On April 21, 2014, this website, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, published an article by its most prominent author, René Naba, on the "Jewish origins" of Mu'ammar Qadhafi. The article repeats an old rumor that circulated in the Arab media that the former Libyan dictator was a Jew.
9/11 Museum Refuses to Censor Al-Qaeda Film
Amidst a barrage of controversy and criticism, the 9/11 museum officials stand firm in their decision to air a documentary on Al-Qaeda without censorship of Islam-related language.
The 911 Museum will open to the public on May 21, 2014, with a preview period for 9/11 families and survivors from May 15, 2014 to May 20, 2014.
Included is a 7-minute documentary titled, “[T]he Rise of Al-Qaeda.” It shows footage of Al-Qaeda’s journey over the prior several years on the way to 9/11, from its training camps to a series of terrorist attacks. The film will be adjacent to a room displaying photos of the 9/11 hijackers.


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