Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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.

Israel reportedly adopting pro-settler study
The government-commissioned Report on the Legal Status of Building in Judea and Samaria, authored by former Supreme Court Judge Edmond Levy in July 2012 and often referred to as the Levy Report, says that Israel is not an occupying power in the West Bank.
Based on that conclusion, the report recommended relaxing building restrictions for Israeli settlers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not called for government adoption of the report, but the Haaretz newspaper reported Tuesday that Israel has taken on some of its recommendations.
Why does Israel play the “Palestine” and “Palestinians” game?
It is interesting to note that even though the region named Palestine, which was ruled by foreign entities, comprised Jordan and Syria, but the Arabs choose only Gaza, Judea, Samaria and the rest of Israel as their “native homeland”.
It is well known that if a lie is told often enough, and over a long period of time, it will become the truth. It is, therefore, not difficult to understand why the world has come to believe the lies that have been told. Since Israel herself recognises the existence of both the name “Palestine” and the so-called “Palestinians”, with no contest, it is therefore logical that the rest of the world has arrived to the very same conclusion.
Needless to say, with today’s technology, everything is verifiable, and based on history, as well as archaeology, there is absolutely no evidence of a people called “Palestinians” in any area of the Middle East and in any historical period of time.
Saudi royal turns down ex-IDF intel chief’s invite to the Knesset
Prince Turki al-Faisal, youngest son of the late King Faisal and former legendary head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate for 24 years, said Monday he would have liked to visit Jerusalem, as suggested to him by a former Israeli intelligence chief, but he will not address the Knesset without Israeli acceptance of the Saudi peace plan, which was first issued in 2002.
The exchange between Faisal and Maj. Gen. (res) Amos Yadlin, a former commander of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate, took place in Belgium, at the offices of the General Marshall Fund and was mediated by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. It is highly unusual for prominent Saudi figures to meet publicly with Israeli officials.
After discussing the failure to achieve peace in the 12 years that have passed since King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia first proposed the peace plan,
Yadlin, submitting that 74 percent of Israelis are not aware of the offer, suggested that the two countries instead look to the future. “My suggestion is for His Highness to come to Jerusalem, to pray at the mosques, which are for all practical purposes controlled by the Muslim leadership of Jordan and Palestine, and then [take] a very short drive to the Knesset and speak to the Israeli people,” he said.
A Palestinian terror government
According to unconfirmed reports from Washington, the U.S. intends to recognize the Palestinian unity government when it is established, even if Hamas does not accept the Quartet's conditions (recognition of Israel, cessation of terror and adherence to past Israeli-Palestinian agreements). The official excuse will be that the Palestinian government will be one comprised of "technocrats," that is to say experts, not political figures. This argument is not exactly convincing, as half of the ministers will be appointed by Hamas, a group that the U.S. itself has defined as a terrorist organization. The practical result is that the U.S. will ipso facto become a dialogue partner with a terrorist government.
We do not know yet who the experts (experts in what?) will be in the Palestinian government, but it must be assumed that they will not deviate from the line Hamas dictates to them.
Hamas okays Rami Hamdallah as unity government PM
Hamdallah, an academic who served as president of An-Najjah University in Nablus, was appointed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2013 to succeed Salam Fayyad, a political independent trusted by the West.
The agreement between Fatah and Hamas on Hamdallah and a number of other independent ministers was reached Monday night, said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. The final makeup of the government will be announced by Thursday, a Fatah official said, approximately a month after a unity deal between the two rival Palestinian movements was ratified on April 23.
Israel claims Turkish call for IDF officers' arrest 'tainted by political motives'
The warrants were issued in connection with the May 2010 IDF raid on the Mavi Marmara blockade-running ship in which nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists were killed after attacking IDF naval commandos. A tenth died recently of his wounds.
The court requested that Interpol issue a Red Notice for the arrest of Ashkenazi, along with former Navy chief V.-Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom, ex-Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, and former Air Force intel chief Avishai Levi.
Interpol statutes state that proceedings related to political or military affairs are not ones in which Interpol may intervene, so it is more than likely that they will not put out international arrest warrants for the four officers.
Oh, God, Don’t Put Me In Another Gaza Flotilla By the MV Mavi Marmara (satire)
It’s getting old, people. Face it: nobody cares about the stupid Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Least of all their leaders. So stop trying to organize “freedom” flotillas for people who would be just fine if their government would stop using them as blackmail fodder. They are just as much a prop in this farce as I am. And please, God, don’t let them put me in another #$% flotilla.
I used to have dignity. I used to carry passengers on a perfectly respectable ferry route. All was well and good, until the “IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation” wasted eight hundred grand to acquire me. That’s when it all started going downhill. Somebody decided it was a good idea to challenge Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, apparently under the impression that protecting one’s citizens by trying to prevent a terrorist organization from obtaining armaments is somehow illegal or immoral. I’m still trying to figure that one out. If I had a brain, it would hurt. I do have a head – dozens of them, in fact – but that’s just a naval term for an on-board toilet. You see what I mean.
Incredible photos of Israel’s bomb shelters
THE distance in southern Israel to Gaza is measured in time, not distance — how many seconds from when a rocket sounds to when it hits.
When a siren sounds warning of an imminent attack, people have as little as 15 seconds to get to a fortified bomb shelter. If you don’t make it you might be killed.
According to Israel Defence law, all buildings in the country are required to have access to a bomb shelter.
Nahariya, Israel.
Shin Bet arrests Israeli Beduin for helping two men join Syrian jihadi organization
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested an Israeli Beduin man on suspicion of aiding two men travel to Syria and join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadi organization, the domestic intelligence agency said Monday.
According to the investigation, the suspect, 23-year-old Idris Abu Al-Kia'an, of Hura in the Negev, is affiliated to the Salafi-jihadi movement, and helped his brother, Athman Abu Al-kia'an and a second relative, named as Shafik Abu Al-Kia'an, both Israeli Beduin, travel to Syria to fight against the Assad regime in the ranks of ISIS.
Israel Considering Ban on Extremist Islamic Movement
The Israeli government has begun discussions on declaring the Islamic Movement in Israel an illegal organization.
Sheikh Kamel al-Khatib, deputy leader of the organization, told the terrorist organization Hamas's journal "Palestine" on Tuesday that he was not surprised by the discussions, adding that during former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's administration the topic was raised.
Israel would be able to base the move on similar decisions last year made banning the Muslim Brotherhood, a close ally of Hamas, in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), remarked al-Khatib cynically.
Israeli TV Captures Rare Footage of Children at Jenin Terror Rally (VIDEO)
Minutes after the ceremony commences, several masked and heavily-armed men clad in webbing and brandishing real semi-automatic rifles and full-sized RPGs stride to the front of the crowd of thousands of supporters.
“Was this a time for resistance or a time for peace?” the reporter asks one.
Gesturing with his upheld double-clipped Colt M-1, “we fight because there is no peace,” he replied.
“With the Jews and the Israelis there will only be peace with this gun – that’s how you talk with Israelis,” he asserted, his voice later electronically distorted by the producers to mask his identity.
Hamas personnel tell the reporter that the armed men are a symbol of their intention to fight PA forces that are likely to soon descend on, and disperse, the militant gathering.
PA daily romanticizes suicide bomber's last hours before attack
The official Palestinian Authority daily chose to devote a full op-ed to a long, romanticized description of the last hours in suicide bomber Raed Barghouti's life. The terrorist's bombing in Jerusalem wounded dozens in 2001.
"Raed Barghouti... held the arm of his young brother, Rayyan, and took him to the market to buy him school supplies for the new school year. Later, he took him to a [photo] studio to have their picture taken together. Rayyan didn't know that this was to be his brother Raed's last picture, before he joined the procession of Martyrdom (Shahada) and Martyrs (Shahids)." [Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, May 13, 2014]
These were the opening lines of the op-ed, which went on to describe the bomber's last kind deeds (paying another brother's university tuition) and his mother's devastated reaction to the news of his "Martyrdom":
Jordan, Syria bar envoys in tit-for-tat diplomatic row
U.S. ally Jordan said on Monday it was expelling Syria's ambassador for accusing the kingdom of backing Syrian rebels, prompting Damascus to retaliate by barring Jordan's top diplomat.
A Jordanian foreign ministry statement gave Syrian Ambassador Bahjat Suleiman, a former general and intelligence chief, 24 hours to leave. It said he had violated diplomatic protocol by posting repeated comments on social media that criticized Jordan and its Gulf allies.
"Mr Suleiman used the territory of the kingdom as a platform to level unfounded accusations in more than one statement and post...this was despite repeated warnings for a long while," the statement on state news agency Petra said.
In a tit-for-tat move, neighboring Syria declared Jordan's charge d'affaires in Damascus persona non grata in response for what it said was an unjustified move to expel its ambassador, Syrian state television said.
Jordan’s ticking time bomb
For decades the Muslim Brotherhood has remained the most prominent political rival of the Hashemite regime and its impact was significantly amplified in 2011-2013 by the organization’s region-wide ascent following the uprisings of the Arab Spring.
However, the deposition of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt and suppression of the Brotherhood’s pan-Islamic aspirations significantly diminished the organization’s domestic influence.
Now, al Qaida linked factions fighting in the Syrian civil war supply the most attractive brand of Islamist ideology for direct import into Jordan. As a result, the kingdom faces immediate challenges from the country’s nascent Salafist jihadist movement, and a long-term threat for the evolution of domestic Islamist militancy.
Reemerging in 2009, the Salafist jihadist movement in Jordan maintains a constituency of nearly 5,000 adherents, residing predominantly in the town of Zarqa, hometown of al-Qaida’s former second-in-command and chief of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi. Claiming responsibility for three coordinated suicide bombing attacks targeting Amman hotels in 2005, Zarqawi was later killed in a joint US-Jordanian counter-militancy operation in Iraq.
Chemical weapons team ‘safe’ after Syria kidnapping scare
The world’s chemical watchdog on Tuesday denied a report by the Syrian government that investigators and their drivers on a fact-finding mission were kidnapped, saying the group was “safe” and returning to base after an attack.
“All team members are safe and well and heading back to their operating base,” Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons spokesman Michael Luhan told AFP.
Farsnews: Iran has foiled Zionists’ Islamophobia, Iranophobia plots, says Foreign Minister Zarif
Addressing the Seventh General Assembly meeting of the Islamic Radios and Televisions Unions on Monday, Zarif lashed out at the West and Israel for their attempts to spread Islamophobia and Iranophobia in the region and the world.
“The Islamic Republic has targeted the Zionists’ Islamophobia and Iranophobia propaganda campaign for turning Iran’s (nuclear) case into a security issue, and it has somehow stopped their heavy, long-term and horrible investment in this regard,” Zarif said.
Iran-IAEA Agreement Contains Significant Loophole
It was reported Wednesday that Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reached an agreement that Iran will provide the IAEA with information about “large-scale high-explosives experimentation in Iran” by August 25. However, the text of the announcement contains a significant omission.
While the joint announcement has language agreeing to “a technical visit to a centrifuge research and development centre,” it doesn’t specifically mention an inspection of the Parchin site, where Iran is suspected of having carried out the high explosive experiments in question.
Iranian Actress Apologizes after Threatened with Flogging for Kiss at Cannes
Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Benjamin Weinthal put the Cannes kiss controversy into the context of a larger “war on women” in Iran.
“Morality police” chase down women who violate the country’s dress codes and mete out oral warnings and fines. Some women were taken into custody.
The clerical, male establishment posture toward the female gender recalls the Irish author Oscar Wilde’s famous line about fundamentalist orthodoxy: ‘Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.”

Last month, Iran was elected to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women.
Zuckerberg called to Tehran court
A judge in southern Iran has ordered Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear in court to answer complaints by individuals who say Facebook-owned applications Instagram and WhatsApp violate their privacy.
Semiofficial news agency ISNA quoted Ruhollah Momen Nasab, an official with the paramilitary Basij force, as saying Tuesday that the judge also ordered the two apps blocked.
Another Iranian court last week had ordered Instagram blocked over privacy concerns. However, users in the capital, Tehran, still could access both applications around noon Tuesday. In Iran, websites and Internet applications have sometimes been reported blocked but remain operational.

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