Sunday, May 18, 2014

From Ian:

Robert Fulford: The villainization of Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Much of the commentary treated this decision as unfair, a case of a frightened university surrendering to political correctness. As Ruth Wisse, a distinguished Harvard professor, wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “In Nigeria, Islamists think nothing of seizing hundreds of schoolgirls for the crime of aspiring to an education. Here in the United States, the educated class thinks nothing of denying an honorary degree to a fearless Muslim woman who at peril of her life, and in the name of liberal democracy, has insisted on exposing such outrages to the light.”
But lately, much of the discussion has turned against Hirsi Ali. She now stands accused of a crime against multiculturalism: She has failed to be moderate. She has overstated her case, possibly even made a mistake or two. She once called Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death.” She believes democracy and Islam are at war. No doubt about it, she’s not afraid to be harsh.
As a result, journalistic opinion has transformed her from victim to villain. The New Republic has said that her various statements are so extreme they make her unworthy of honour. Salon magazine argued that her view of Islam is the same as the bigotry that informs U.S. foreign policy. The Economist stated what it considers a rule: “Wholesale condemnations of existing religions just aren’t done in American politics.” Apparently they violate some sort of national code of ethics.
European Union, you stand accused of funding terrorism and subversion. How do you plead?
To somehow alleviate that poverty and enable the ‘moderate’ Palestinian leadership to function, the European Union (and also many European governments, including that of United Kingdom) donates considerable amounts of taxpayer money to the PA. In fact, the EU (not oil-rich Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates or Qatar) is the PA’s largest donor. Ostensibly, European funds are not used to pay the ‘contracts’ of jailed terrorists, but the salaries of Palestinian civil servants; for instance, the Gazan teachers who, having been sacked by Hamas following its takeover of the Strip, are now being paid by the PA (with EU funds) to… not teach. But the issue is much more serious than just wasting European taxpayers’ hard-earned money. In fact, the fact that those funds cover civil servants’ salaries allows the PA to free-up other funds to pay the jailed terrorists.
Funding terrorism is illegal; paying for teachers’ salaries isn’t. But the effect is the same – in practice Europe’s ‘generous donation’ contributes to rewarding and incentivising terror.
And that’s not the only way in which European politicians misuse our money. Both the EU and several European governments also fund extremist organisations in Israel. Let’s examine, for instance, the case of the so-called Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD). This organisation cites among its donors the EU Commission and the Government of Spain.
The Guardian's problem with anti-Semitism
Let's imagine that an authoritative survey found evidence of widespread prejudice against black people. Let's suppose it found countries where a majority of people bought into anti-black stereotypes and prejudices, the kind promoted by the KKK or other white supremacist groups. We would be rightfully horrified and appalled by such attitudes, and would abhor those who sought to justify them.
But such is the Guardian's fanatical obsession with Israel that when it comes to anti-semitism, a different set of rules applies. Apparently Jewish victims of prejudice don't deserve sympathy and, in some ways, deserve the opprobrium heaped upon them.
That is the only conclusion one can draw from an appalling op-ed that appeared in the paper yesterday. The article, 'Anti-Semitism should not be waved around like a propaganda tool', by Donna Nevel and Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark was a response to a survey from the Anti Defamation League which found that roughly 1 in 4 adults around the world held deeply anti-Semitic beliefs. It was based on polling more than 50,000 adults in over 100 countries, representing nearly 90 percent of the world's adult population.

CiF Watch prompts revision to Guardian op-ed justifying Palestinian antisemitism
The op-ed not only defended the Palestinians’ belief that Jews have to too much power in the world, and that Jews in the diaspora are more loyal to Israel than to the countries where they reside, but actually accused ADL, the Jewish civil rights group which commissioned the poll, of using the results to “silence and intimidate those who don’t share their unwavering support for Israel”.
Shortly after our post, we contacted Guardian editors and pointedly asked them how the op-ed could possibly be read as anything other than a defense of classic antisemitic tropes, and whether they were comfortable tacitly legitimizing such racism.
To their credit, they at least partially agreed with our analysis – and decided to delete the entire paragraph justifying the dual loyalty canard.
PA incitement behind soaring anti-Semitism, Netanyahu says
Official “incitement” by the Palestinian Authority stands behind a sky-high rate of anti-Semitism in the West Bank and Gaza, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
His comments came several days after a survey by the Anti-Defamation League found that 93 percent of people in the Palestinian territories harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, the highest rate in the world.
“This is the result of the Palestinian Authority’s unceasing incitement, which distorts the image of the State of Israel and the Jewish People, as we have known in other places in our past,” Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting.
UN to discuss UNRWA's definition of Palestinian refugees
The United Nations is scheduled on Monday to discuss revisions to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The discussion will focus, among other things, on an initiative by the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists which calls for reforming the manner in which a Palestinian refugee is defined.
The association's goal is to fundamentally change the objectives of UNRWA's activities. It argues that while other relief organizations seek to resettle refugees, UNRWA dedicates itself to preventing the resettlement of Palestinians. Additionally, while in other organizations the number of refugees is limited to those who fled their countries, UNRWA inflates its numbers by including all the descendants of the original Palestinian refugees from the War of Independence in 1948.
All That’s Left in London – Planning Oslo 3
What a strange coincidence. Yossi Beilin was spotted flying out of London’s Heathrow airport on Thursday afternoon.
Beilin was the initiator of the secret “behind the government’s back” effort that brought the PLO and their terror into Israel, via the Oslo Accords.
US Secretary of State John Kerry was also in London at the same time, ostensibly for “different reasons”, and met with Tzipi Livni for”“an opportunity for them to catch up since the pause in the negotiations.”
Later that evening, Israel’s peace negotiator Tzipi Livni met with PA president Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the failed peace process, as part of what was supposedly a private initiative on her part.
As it happens, Kerry also met with Abbas while they were there. (h/t Bob Knot)
Jewish Home calls on Livni to resign over Abbas meeting
Sources in the right-wing Jewish Home party called on Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to quit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on Saturday night, saying that her meeting Thursday in London with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was in breach of official policy.
“Tzipi Livni long ago lost all contact with the Israeli voter, and in her recent meetings has finally become a satellite that has lost all contact with earth,” the Jewish Home sources said in a statement. Livni, the sources said, “voted in the cabinet in favor of freezing the peace process due to the Fatah-Hamas pact, and then flew to London to contravene that selfsame decision. If she finds it difficult to fulfill the cabinet’s decisions, the exit door is open.”
Rise in Terror Attacks Against Jews in Jerusalem
Jewish residents of Jerusalem suffered from 157 separate terror-related incidents in March, IDF Radio revealed Sunday, in a record upswing in attacks from Palestinian Arab terrorists.
Terror attacks against Jewish Israelis have been on the rise in Jerusalem, which saw 150 incidents in February and 140 in January. On average, Palestinian Arabs attack a Jewish Israeli 2.5 times per day each month; the number of attacks per month has not dipped below 80 since November 2012.
The attack rate is highest near Jewish holy sites, the survey shows, including the City of David near Silwan, Jerusalem's Old City, and the Mount of Olives. 80% of attacks include throwing projectiles, and of those, 2% are firebombs or Molotov cocktails; most attacks do not cause injuries or damage.
Defense/IDF Arrests Thirteen Terrorists Overnight
The IDF arrested 13 Palestinian Arab terrorists overnight, it announced Sunday, in light of increased tensions in Judea and Samaria.
A military spokeswoman told AFP Sunday that the suspects - all wanted for "illegal activities" - were apprehended in Hevron and Bet-Lehem, as well as in two Arab settlements north of Ramallah.
Security forces and IDF staff increased patrols in Judea and Samaria last week, after two Palestinian Arab anarchists were killed during violent clashes outside the Ofer Prison.
Tel Aviv U. Students Call to Expel Memorial Day Desecrators
A Jewish group demanded Sunday that Arab students who desecrated the sounding of the siren on Memorial Day be expelled from Tel Aviv University. The student group, named simply “Israelis," said that the Arabs played loud music and shouted anti-Israel and anti-Semitic epithets as students stood at attention, honoring the soldiers who fell in battle for the country.
The Arab students in question are residents of one of the University's dormitories, and continued their desecration throughout the sounding of the siren, despite protests from Jewish students. After the event, a heated argument continued on Facebook, with one Arab student saying that Israel should be “ashamed of itself, and keep its ceremonies quiet.”
"The Jews – Once So Oppressed, Now So Oppressive": Odious article by ABC broadcaster
Last week Goers visited Palestine with the Australian Friends of Palestine (its home page carries that set of misleadingly mendacious maps) and South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon, who found the situation in Hebron "heart-breaking" according to press reports.
In today's Adelaide Sunday Mail Goers has an article entitled "The Shame of Israel's Palestinian Apartheid" in which he demonises Israel from start to finish. It is as offensive an article as any that I have ever read in Australia (and, believe me, I've read a lot of newspaper articles dealing with Jews and Israel, and should be protested by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry).
The article begins on a hyperbolic note, and continues in lacrymose mood:
"Jesus wept. In Palestine, Jesus wept and so did I. I weep for the Palestinians living under the Israeli apartheid ...'

I'm not begrudging Goers his sympathy towards Palestinians. But this is a damning dangerous article.
SJP Running Amok
Much of this failure is simply due to the fact that the student body they yearn to speak for does not share their opinions, which is why the only “victories” SJP has managed to eke out came from student councils the Israeli haters have deliberately packed with people who will happily vote “Yes” on divestment, despite knowing that position represents nothing like campus consensus (which effectively strips those “Yes” votes of any meaning).
The fact that no one considers student council votes on international affairs as representative of anything means that those all-night hate sessions have become an end in themselves since it allows the SJP types to engage in orgies of Israel hatred before a captive audience. But like the Apartheid Walls and mock checkpoints they routinely set up to harass students, such activity only manages to convince more and more people that SJP is nothing more than a bunch of rude fanatics.
Now a normal political organization might step back and realize that such behavior is actually counter-productive to their cause. But as I’ve noted again and again on this blog, BDS is NOT a normal political movement. For the type of behavior we’ve seen on campuses, particularly in the last month or two, only makes sense when you realize that for SJP types, the student body is not a group of real human beings who need to be won over, but a set of extras (or props) meant to serve as a backdrop for anti-Israel agitprop performances.
The PLO Promotes Open Hillel
The PLO promotes Open Hillel, proving, once again, that you are known by the company that you keep

Jewish students at SFSU: Never stop dancing
On the Shabbat after 9/11, Rabbi Michael L. Feshbach of Temple Shalom in Maryland concluded his drash with these words, taken from the scene of another attack, thousands of miles away:
The bomb blew the place to smithereens. Twisted metal and shattered lives was all it left behind. The screams and the sirens were quiet now. The hustle and bustle of two nights before was replaced... by a ghastly, ghostly silence. But some intrepid soul had been back to visit. That was clear. There was a sign hanging on what was once the entrance to the collapsed building. There were words on the sign. And the words were a promise. The sign at the entrance to the Dolphinarium Discotheque in Tel Aviv has three Hebrew words on it. They are the words you are receiving now.
They are a pledge. And a promise. And a way of life, all in one. They are words which hit at the core of our being. Or at least of who we often claim to be. At a time of terror, they are among the most inspiring words I have ever heard. What are the words? The sign says, I am told, just this:
"Lo Nafsik Lirkod. We will not stop dancing."
My friends. Bring these words with you when you leave this place tonight. Keep them with you for a while. Bring them in to your own soul. Chew on them, and ponder them, and figure out for yourself what it means to you.
Lo Nafsik Lirkod. We will not stop dancing.
Where’s the BBC coverage? Journalists beaten up in Beitunia
As regular readers of the BBC News website’s Middle East page will know, the subject of abuses against journalists is sadly not an infrequent topic there, with current articles on that page addressing the topic of two Times journalists attacked in Syria and the ongoing trial of the Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt, which has received a lot of BBC coverage. The same issue is also often addressed in other sections of the BBC News website, with some of the more recent reports having come from Hong Kong, Ukraine and Crimea.
But what happens when the instigators of violence against journalists are members of the same profession? On May 16th two journalists working for the Israeli outlet Walla News were attacked in Beitunia.
Terrorism: the Larousse version
With this in mind, I recently visited the site of the revered French encyclopedic dictionary Larousse to read through its definition of "terrorism.'' It was simply excellent: clear, crisp, well formulated and, of course, "objective." Yet another item on the page has left me nonplussed.
The site offered the first lines of an entry devoted to the same term on the online version of Larousse.
It was illustrated with a photo of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin against the backdrop of his country's flag.
Thus Larousse, the classic reference book and guarantor of objectivity in the minds of millions of French and Francophone people worldwide, is of the view that there are no better avatars for terrorism than Begin and, to a lesser extent, Israel. Not, for instance, al-Qaida nor the Hamas or Hezbollah, the Italian Red Brigades, the Shining Path of Peru, or the OAS anti-French organization in Algeria.
UN Concerned Over Violence Against Women in the PA
The UN organization for women on Friday decried the rising rates of violence against women in the Palestinian Authority, after a woman was slain this week, raising the year's total so far to 14.
UN Women in Palestine said in a statement quoted by the Ma’an news agency that the organization is "seriously concerned" about the killing, highlighting that the "worrying increase in the rate of femicide, from 13 in 2012 to 28 in 2013, demonstrates a widespread sense of impunity in killing women."
Femicide usually refers to violence perpetrated by partners or relatives of a woman, encompassing primarily lethal forms of domestic violence.
Persecuted Christians flee Iran, find hope and homes in Germany
Iranian-born Muslims who converted to Christianity are breathing new spiritual life into communities across Germany, where they are fleeing to in increasing numbers to escape persecution back home.
Men and women, who have been sentenced to the lash or worse for apostasy - converting from Islam - are forming a thriving community of Christian ex-pats in German cities and towns. The Iranian immigrants seek asylum, or simply pay up to $30,000 to enter the country illegally with a fake passport, a new name and plans to start their lives over in new churches.
“The growing number of Iranian Christians fleeing their homeland to come to Germany should alarm us that Iran's regime is getting more and more radicalized and repressive - on a daily basis,” Saba Farzan, a German-Iranian expert on human rights, told
Opinion: Erdogan is beyond the pale
The impressions that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's public appearances have left behind are barely believable: bodyguards and advisers kicking critics and demonstrators, while he himself, according to eye-witnesses, lashed out at young girls in a supermarket. Instead of comforting the families of victims of the terrible mining disaster in the western town of Soma, trying to show that he empathizes with their suffering, promising to find and bring to justice those responsible, the Turkish leader's behavior is beyond the pale. The self-control demanded of those in his position has long since disappeared.
These events don't bode well for the impending anniversary of the start of the Gezi protests on May 28. The main concern of the handful of environmentalists, students and academics who took to the streets a year ago was the protection of Gezi Park from an ambitious construction project on Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul, but now the very peace of Turkish society seems to be at stake.
Erdogan, whose candidacy for the presidency is thought to be a certainty, is unlikely to change his mind if he does indeed rise to the position of head of state. His immediate election in the first polls on August 10 may yet be in doubt, but he will almost certainly claim the post in the run-off two weeks later. Though his core voters in the coal-mining province of Manisa will now likely turn their backs on him, it's highly unlikely that Erdogan and his conservative-Islamic governing party the AKP will lose much of the 50 percent of votes it usually takes.
Meet New York's black Nazi: confused Swastika-wearing cabbie can't understand why he's been banned
A Dominican New York City cab driver who proudly calls himself a Nazi and denies the Holocaust has been suspended for wearing a swastika arm band while working.
Gabriel Diaz, 27, says his rights to free speech were violated by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) when they suspended his operator’s license Friday – barring him from getting behind the wheel.
‘If a Muslim can drive a cab wearing a turban, if a homosexual can walk around with a big rainbow flag, why can’t a person like me wear a Nazi armband?’ Diaz asked the New York Daily News. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Court upholds extradition over 1980 French bombing
A Canadian appeal’s court on Thursday rejected a bid to stop the extradition of a Canadian university professor accused of a deadly 1980 bombing of a Paris synagogue.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario denied Hassan Diab’s appeal of a 2011 court decision and the Canadian government’s order to extradite the University of Ottawa sociologist to France.
Both requests are “dismissed,” the court said in its decision.
Inaugural trek to take cyclists from Auschwitz to Krakow
Cyclists will make the nearly 50-mile trek from Auschwitz to Krakow to symbolize the rebirth of Jewish life in Poland.
The inaugural Ride for the Living, organized by the Krakow Jewish Community Center, is set for June 6. The event takes its name from the March of the Living, which each year brings thousands of young Jews to Auschwitz to commemorate the Holocaust. The ride is expected to become an annual event under the patronage of Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich.
Permanent Link to Ticket Run Prompts ‘Backstreet Boys’ to Add 2nd Israel Show
After selling out a midsummer performance here in under two hours, the Backstreet Boys’ Israeli promoters have added a second show to satisfy avid fans of the 90′s mega-hit pop stars, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
Set to appear on July 29 and 30th at Ra’anana’s 8,000-seat Amphipark outdoor bandshell, the 90′s crooners’ Israel shows are part of their current “In A World Like This” tour.
Example to the World: IDF Speaks to NATO on Women’s Roles
The Women’s Affairs Advisor to the IDF Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Rachel Tevet-Wiesel, participated this week in the annual conference of NATO’s Committee on Gender Perspectives, which took place at the organization’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Representatives from about 30 countries attended the conference to discuss the integration of women in militaries throughout the world.
During the conference, Brig. Gen. Tevet-Wiesel spoke to global military representatives on the IDF’s opportunities for women, which are considered advanced relative to those of other militaries. She attributed Israel’s success, among other things, to its requirement that women serve in the military alongside men. “Israel is considered one of the most progressive countries in the world [on this issue],” she explained. “The number of women in senior roles is high relative to other countries because of obligatory service,” she said.
Israeli discovery could reverse Alzheimer’s damage
One of the most important objectives of Alzheimer’s research has been to figure out ways to protect brain cells from these senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. In a study published in the May edition of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Tel Aviv University Prof. Illana Gozes describes how NAP, a snippet of a protein essential for brain formation, has been proven in previous studies to protect cognitive functioning. Loss of NAP exposes cells to physical damage that eventually destroys them, but applying proteins with NAP-like properties makes them healthy again.
It’s just such a protein that Gozes and her team have discovered. The research, she said, could eventually lead to development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s.

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