Thursday, May 29, 2014

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?

Soldier suspended for Nakba Day shooting
An IDF soldier from a communications unit who accompanied Border Police at a Nakba Day rally on May 15 at which two Palestinian teenagers were killed, has been suspended from his unit for firing rubber bullets at protesters that day against orders.
The IDF spokesperson’s office stressed Wednesday that there was no evidence directly linking the soldier’s actions to the deaths of Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, and Mohammad Mahmoud Odeh, 16. However, the soldier’s unauthorized shots remain under investigation, and a gag order has been imposed on further details of the case.
The Nakba Day incident has been the subject of an IDF investigation, after footage from the demonstration emerged purportedly showing the two Palestinians’ deaths after Israeli troops allegedly fired at them without provocation. Israel has insisted that soldiers only utilized rubber bullets and other non-lethal munitions to disperse rioters that day, and did not use live fire.
Seven Border Police were at the scene, along with the soldier, who was spotted in CNN footage of the event aiming his rifle at the Palestinians, as one Border Policeman shot in the direction of the rally. A few moments later, a policeman was seen snatching the soldier’s gun away from him. An adapter used for rubber bullets could be seen mounted on the soldier’s firearm.
Reuters Shoots Truth in the Foot
The problem’s more than a headline sorely lacking nuance. The lead paragraph’s even worse.
Israel has suspended a soldier in the fatal shootings of two Palestinian teenagers at a protest held on May 15 in the occupied West Bank, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.
Most people see headlines in social media feeds and web sites without clicking on the articles. The minority of people who click on the stories tend to skim the the first two or three paragraphs. Only a minority of readers who stuck with the story into the seventh paragraph will learn that — surprise! — the suspension and deaths aren’t connected.
No apparent evidence linked the soldier to either fatality, though, in the incident outside Israel’s Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The soldier was suspected of firing rubber bullets, not live ammunition, the reports said.
UNSC: Belgium Killings 'Possibly Anti-Semitic'
The UN Security Council on Wednesday strongly condemned the terror attack Saturday at a Jewish Museum in Brussels.
In a press statement, the Council members condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack, "which resulted in loss of life and injuries, and with a possible anti-Semitic motivation behind it."
Belgian Jews touched by a cappella group’s impromptu set
“At a certain point, people from the vigil spontaneously started singing Hatikva,” Fitt said in reference to the Israeli national anthem. “So we joined the singing and took it from there.”
Magevet — whose founders 21 years ago named it after the Hebrew word for “towel” as a tribute to their love of saunas — followed up with “Yerushalaim Shel Zahav” and other Israeli semi-official anthems “that all Jews share,” Fitt said.
Fitt still gets overcome with emotion when he describes what he saw at the gathering, where many Jewish parents came with their children despite the fact that police are still searching for the shooter and at least one other accomplice – both of whom have shown considerable determination in their effort to kill Jews.
Czech President Blasts Islamist Ideology for Brussels Jewish Museum Attack
Czech President Miloš Zeman said Monday that Islamist ideology rather than individual groups of religious fundamentalists is responsible for Saturday’s slaying of four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels and similar recent attacks, according to excerpts of a speech he gave at the Israeli Embassy in Prague and published by the Prague Post on Tuesday.
Zeman condemned “the hideous attack” in the speech as part of the celebration of Israeli Independence Day, the Prague Post reported.
“I will not be calmed down by statements that it is only small marginal groups,” Zeman said. ”I believe, on the contrary, that this xenophobia and this racism or anti-Semitism stem from the very nature of the ideology on which these fanatical groups rely.”
Turkey denounces Brussels Jewish museum attack
“We condemn the armed attack perpetrated in front of the Jewish Museum, and express our condolences to the relatives and family members of the four people who lost their lives,” a statement issued by the ministry read.
“We support the Belgian Government’s efforts towards arresting the perpetrators of this attack in the shortest possible time and shedding light on the causes of this serious incident.”
The ministry stressed that Turkey was committed to combating religious intolerance and xenophobia, both of which pose a “threat to humanity.”
Violences mars Jerusalem Day with Temple Mount clashes
Masked Palestinian youths attacked police officers with stones and then barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. One officers sustained light injuries.
According to the police, the stone throwing began with the site's opening in the morning hours, with Arab youths shouting out and heckling Israeli visitors, and masked youths throwing stones at the police.
A police force entered the compound and quelled the disorder, but afterwards a group of youths fled to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and began throwing rocks and firecrackers at security forces.
Report: Increase in Attacks Against Israelis in Jerusalem’s Old City
The report shows more violence in March then the three preceding months, with 157 nationalistically motivated attacks. 150 incidents were registered during February, 120 in January, and 140 in December. The lowest monthly number of attacks recorded in the past two and a half years is 80, which translates to almost three attacks a day.
The Israeli communities and neighborhoods in the Old City area are secured by civilian security companies contracted by the Ministry of Construction. These companies run a daily log of events, which depict a violent reality of often potentially deadly attacks including with fire bombs, IEDs, and firecrackers. Stone-throwing comprised 80% of the assaults, most of which ended with no injury.
Timberlake's Kotel Photo Angers Arabs
Israelis likely appreciated pop icon Justin Timberlake’s visit to the Western Wall prior to his show in Tel Aviv on Wednesday. Arabs? Not so much.
In fact, a photo that Timberlake posted to Instagram of himself at the Kotel ignited backlash from pro-Palestinian Arab activists, according to the New York Daily News.
"The Holy Land... What an experience. I will never forget this day," wrote Timberlake when he posted the picture, which included the hashtag #israel.
The photo notched over 240,000 likes, but not all of his followers were in sync with the message, the Daily News reported.
IDF to Palestinian newspaper: Stop printing Hamas incitement
Officers from the IDF Civil Administration arrived at the offices of the Al-Ayyam newspaper in Ramallah on Wednesday and asked management to cease publishing material put out by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
The content included incitement to violence, and representatives of the Civil Administration asked the publication's editor and head manager to end such publications, or face closure. The publication's management agreed to the request, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The newspaper began publishing texts by the terrorist organizations following a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement that was struck in April.
Palestinians stone Egged bus in capital, injuring 7
Jerusalem saw a series of violent incidents in and near the Old City Wednesday, including a stoning attack on an Egged bus as it traveled on Salah-a-Din Street in largely Arab east Jerusalem.
Seven passengers were lightly injured in the attack, including one who was taken to the hospital.

The incidents took place as tens of thousands of Israelis flocked to Jerusalem’s Old City to celebrate “Jerusalem Day” on Wednesday.
In addition, nine Palestinians were arrested near Damascus Gate for hurling stones at Israeli officers, the police spokesman said. No troops were reported injured in the scuffle.
Abbas announces new PM, but unity government on hold
Abbas sent a “letter of designation” to Rami Hamdallah, who is currently serving as premier within the West Bank-based government, an official in Ramallah said.
“The government is ready, but there is only one problem, and that is that Fatah and Hamas reject Riyad al-Maliki as foreign minister, something Abbas is insisting on,” the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Abbas: Unity government won't take part in peace talks
During the meeting, Abbas reportedly indicated that the new government will not be involved in the peace process with Israel or in political issues that relate to Israel.
"We are working to achieve reconciliation between the West Bank and Gaza. There are two ways to do this. One of them is establishing a government of technocrats that bear no connection to Hamas and Fatah. We held discussions on potential members and anyone who had anything to do with Hamas or Fatah was left out. The government will be announced in the coming days. The second way is elections," the PA president said.
Abbas vows to uphold ‘sacred’ security coordination with Israel
One day after Hamas vowed to continue its armed struggle against Israel despite joining a unity pact with Fatah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Israeli peace activists that security cooperation with Israel would persist regardless of differences with the Israeli government.
“Security coordination is sacred and will continue whether we agree or disagree on policy,” Abbas told some 300 visiting activists during a meeting at the presidential compound in Ramallah, according to the Ma’an news agency.
EU announces new Palestinian aid - but no one knows where the money goes
About two-thirds of that money is slated to go directly to the Palestinian Authority, particularly to pay the salaries of PA "public workers." But there are serious questions as to where that aid money actually goes.
To begin with, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his inner circle have amassed fortunes since taking power. Abbas himself has a net worth estimated at $100 million. (His predecessor, Yasser Arafat, accumulated an estimated $1 billion while in power.)
In addition, official Palestinian media have used funds to produce a steady stream of anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic, propaganda and incitement.
Even more problematic, that aid helps finance generous salaries and bonuses to about 5,000 convicted Palestinian terrorists, according to The Telegraph.
US Assistant Secretary of State gives incorrect testimony to Congress about PA salaries to terrorists
Palestinian Media Watch has documented repeatedly that this is not correct. According to PA law and in practice the PA does not give stipends to terrorist prisoners' families but salaries to the terrorist prisoners themselves. PMW has already reported that the PA Minister of Prisoners vocally rejected the claim that the payments are social welfare aid to the prisoners' families, stressing instead that the prisoners receive salaries "out of esteem." This was likewise corroborated by Chairman of the PA-funded Prisoners' Club Qadura Fares when he announced that the PA had decided on a final version of the law, "which considers payments made to prisoners 'salaries,' (Arabic: ratib) to which no other term applies." [Al-Quds Internet edition, Dec. 27, 2012]
In addition, when challenged by Congressman Weber at the hearing on the Administration's Middle East and North Africa Budget Request for 2015 about possibly cutting off US funding because of the PA salary program to terrorists, Assistant Secretary Patterson twice told the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa that she "knows" that the PA "are going to try to phase that out, and we should give them an opportunity to do so."
US Assistant Secretary of State gives incorrect testimony about PA salaries to terrorists

PA terrorist salaries are not social aid for families confirms wife of prisoner

Former SLA Soldiers Claim Lebanon Has 'Disowned' Them
Hundreds of Lebanese Maronites came to Saint Peter's church in the village of Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have delivered many of his most famous teachings.
But those who attended on Wednesday said Beshara Rai's historic visit would do little to change their circumstances.
Trained, financed and armed by Israel, the Christian South Lebanon Army (SLA) battled Palestinian Arabs and Shiite Hezbollah fighters during the occupation of southern Lebanon.
Many SLA veterans feel they have been abandoned by the Patriarch in their adopted home, often working in low-paying factory, restaurant or cleaning jobs, but unable to return home for fear of retribution from Hezbollah and others who considered them traitors.
Sisi sweeps to victory in Egypt's presidential vote
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the general who toppled Egypt's first freely elected leader, swept to victory in a presidential election, provisional results showed on Thursday, joining a long line of leaders drawn from the military.
But a lower than expected turnout figure raised questions about Sisi's credibility after his supporters had idolized him as a hero who can deliver political and economic stability.
Sisi captured 93.3 percent of votes cast as counting nearly came to a close, judicial sources said. His only rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, gained 3.0 percent while 3.7 percent of votes were declared void.
Saudis could Turn to Pakistan for Nukes, Congress Warned
The House Middle East and Africa subcommittee also raised the prospect that several GCC states could reconcile with Tehran and damage American interests in the Gulf.
“Now they [the GCC] perceive the administration’s zeal to reach a deal with Tehran as the U.S. selling them out to the Iranians, which would force their hands to cut their own deal with the regime in Iran,” House subcommittee chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said.
In a hearing on May 22, Ros-Lehtinen warned that the six GCC states would abandon Washington. She said this would threaten counter-insurgency and other U.S. cooperation with Gulf Arab states as well as spark a regional arms race.

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