Friday, June 27, 2014

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz, Irwin Cotler: Pollard’s release is a matter of justice
US President Barack Obama’s response to President Shimon Peres’s request for executive clemency for Jonathan Pollard was to refer the matter to US Attorney-General Eric Holder.
Indeed, as it happens, a group of American constitutional and criminal law scholars and practitioners, including six Harvard law school professors, Obama’s alma mater, have written to the president (full disclosure – we are two of the signatories and organizers of the letter) requesting the commutation of Pollard’s sentence to time served. In our letter we argue that “such commutation is more than warranted if the ends of justice are to be served, the rules of law respected and simple humanity secured.”
Lib Dem Friends of Palestine promote Atzmon
Even though Gilad Atzmon’s vile views have been widely condemned by anti-racists, including many pro-Palestinian activists, Lib Dem Friends of Palestine have promoted his racist attack on Ed Miliband’s speech to the LFI on their Facebook page.
"As the Brits were expressing their disapproval of ‘Red Ed’ and his clumsy politics, the Labour leader found the time to socialise with the Jewish Lobby. The following is Ed Miliband’s speech to LFI (Labour Friends Of Israel), the same Zionist Lobby group that funded Blair’s government as it drove Britain into a criminal war in Iraq.
In his speech, Ed Miliband affirms his deep Zionist affiliation. The verdict on his reign is clear, Miliband should never have been the leader of a major British political party. He would have been better suited for a position as a local Rabbi or a part time job as an Israeli consular.

Britain doesn’t need a ‘Friend of Israel’ in Number 10 Downing Street. It needs friend of the British people, an ally of truth and justice and not a Zionist merchant. It needs a humanist and a universalist, instead of an imbecilic tribal operator who sees the world from a kosher perspective driven by the primacy of Jewish suffering.
The following speech serves to convince every proud Brit that the time is ripe to cleanse British public life of Zionists and Jerusalemites. Britain needs to search for its path back to Athens, ethics and the universal so that it can reminds itself its greatness and its role in Western civilization."
This is the kind of statement one would expect to be endorsed by neo-Nazis, not Liberal Democrats. Lib Dem Friends of Palestine have now removed the link, and weakly apologised for ‘any offence caused’. This is not good enough. Who posted this and how will they be dealt with?
Give this Israeli soldier in America a round of applause
November 21st of 2012, Hen Mazzig was walking down Shaul HaMelech street in the heart of Tel Aviv when an ear splitting explosion ripped through the air. The gut wrenching sound echoed across the apartment and office buildings for several seconds soon to be replaced by sounds of agony, then sirens. A Dan commuter bus, No. 142, was running its usual route when at twelve noon Muhammad Mafarji used his cell phone to detonate an explosive device packed with nails and shrapnel. Hen was a block away. Hen knows the value of peace.
Honorably discharged in June of 2012 Hen was not ready to settle down just yet, so when he was offered a job to serve as a Seattle based Shaliach for the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, he jumped at the opportunity.
This new assignment was an eye opener for a self described left of center Israeli. In just the first few months on the job Hen had been called every name imaginable, had been verbally assaulted, physically threatenedand was asked by the sponsors of an event to leave a venue out of fear for his safety. Hen details some of these experiences in his viral Times of Israel (over 22,000 shares) “An Israeli Soldier to American Jews: Wake up!”.

Sarah Honig: The chicken or the egg?
Britain is gobsmacked. Its TV screens feature seemingly stricken Muslim parents, from urban hubs like Cardiff, denying any responsibility for or knowledge of their sons’ escapades in bleeding Syria.
Their moaning is indispensable to a novel storyline that’s fast gaining resonance in Europe’s insincere political- correctness and Orwellian Newspeak. It’s subtle but nevertheless significant. It’s about “Europeans who have been to Syria,” who have emerged therefrom somehow tainted with extremism and might thereby become, a tad unexpectedly, dangerous.
Yes, a newfangled brand of terrorist seems to have suddenly surfaced in Europe’s pleasant lands but polished European manners prohibit us from characterizing him as Arab or Muslim.
Global powers got Mideast recipe wrong — official
In a wide-ranging interview, Anders Johnsson said global players have repeatedly got the recipe wrong by seeing elections as the end of a process rather than the beginning.
Johnsson, a Swede, heads the International Parliamentary Union, a grouping of 164 legislative chambers that seeks to improve representative democracy worldwide.
He retires on Tuesday, after 16 years at the helm.
“I have seen this time and time again,” Johnsson told AFP, saying the international community pours billions of dollars into paving the way for free elections but fails to help newly-crafted parliaments find their feet.
“There is a tendency to look upon elections to a parliament as a means of justifying or legitimizing a government and to forget the rest,” he said.
“But parliamentary institutions are where all parts of society are supposed to have a say in how government policies are conducted,” he added.
BBC ignores attack on journalists in Hebron
In April of this year the BBC Media Centre published a “Joint statement issued at the BBC’s Safety of Journalists Symposium” which included these words:
“In too many countries journalists are facing serious intimidation and violence, which in turns leads to disturbing patterns of censorship and self-censorship. We stand against these abuses and today we call on the governments concerned to investigate each one of those crimes promptly and effectively so as to bring those responsible to justice.”
All the more curious, therefore, is the fact that BBC News has completely ignored a story from June 20th involving the attack by members of the Palestinian Authority’s security forces on CNN journalists covering a pro-Hamas demonstration in Hebron.
US House panel okays expanded Hezbollah sanctions
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee approved legislation designed to keep international financial institutions from conducting business with Hezbollah.
The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2014, introduced by US Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), includes a provision to sanction foreign financial institutions that knowingly facilitate the activities of the Lebanese militia and party.
Hezbollah already is subject to sanctions as a designated terrorist group. The bill extends such sanctions to third parties — an expansion that has proven effective in isolating Iran, a key sponsor of Hezbollah.
Obama seeks $500M to train, arm Syrian rebels
President Barack Obama asked Congress Thursday for $500 million to train and arm vetted members of the Syrian opposition, as the US struggles for a way to stem a civil war that has also fueled the al-Qaeda inspired insurgency in neighboring Iraq.
The military training program would deepen the Obama administration’s involvement in the more than four-year conflict between rebels and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. If approved by Congress, the program would supplement a covert train-and-assistance program run by US intelligence agencies. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Syrian opposition frustrated by limited Israeli raids
Members of the Syrian opposition have been left frustrated by an Israeli airstrike against regime targets on Sunday night, claiming that a more forceful strike coordinated with the fighting forces on the ground could have bolstered their position and boosted Israeli popularity in the Syrian Golan Heights.
The Israeli Air Force strikes hit seven targets on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, including the headquarters of the 90th Brigade near Quneitra and a number of surrounding anti-tank and artillery companies, opposition sources told The Times of Israel. According to regime sources, four men were killed in the attacks — other reports put the number at 10 — which were a retaliation for the cross-border killing of Mohammed Karakra, a 15-year-old Israeli boy.
Israeli FM Lieberman Tells Kerry Independent Kurdish State is a Foregone Conclusion; Peres Says De-Facto Kurd State is Democratic
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the emergence of an independent Kurdish state was a “foregone conclusion,” while Israeli President Shimon Peres told reporters in Washington that the “de-facto” state Kurds have created is democratic, Reuters reported.
The public endorsements come only days after Kurdish oil tanker SCF Altai was unloaded in Israel’s Ashkelon Port after having been shunned by the U.S. and Morocco to not upset the embattled Iraqi regime in Baghdad, which opposes the Kurds using their own pipeline network to Turkey to export their crude. (h/t Yoel)
Time for Israel to Help the Kurds
Today the world clamors for a Palestinian Arab state but strangely turns its back upon Kurdish national independence and statehood. The universally accepted principle of self-determination seems not to apply to the Kurds.
The brutal fact in realpolitik is that the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians have many friends in the oil-rich Arab world - oil the world desperately needs for its economies. The Kurds, like the Jews, have few friends, and the Kurds have little or no influence in the international corridors of power.
The Kurds have their own unique language and culture, which the Palestinian Arabs do not have. They have had a sense of themselves as a distinct people for many centuries, which the Palestinian Arabs have not had. They have been betrayed repeatedly in the past 100 years by the international community and its promises, while the Palestinian Arabs have been betrayed only by their fellow Arabs. On the basis of pure realpolitik, the legality and morality of the Kurds' cause is infinitely stronger than that of the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians.
Christian Community in Northern Iraq About to Vanish Forever
Sadly, what has happened in Mosul has happened all over Iraq. What was an estimated 1.5 million Christian Iraqis (5% of the population) in 2003 has now dwindled to a tiny fraction of the number, an “overwhelming majority” leaving the country due to the escalation of violence at the hands of the militant radicals. The Roman Catholic Chaldeans, the Armenians, the Syriac Orthodox, and the Greek Orthodox communities have all but vanished in the war-torn country.
Caryl does note that there are some “faint glimmers of hope” for the restoration of Mosul’s multi-faith community, with reports of efforts by some Muslims to protect the city's churches from looting and Islamists attempting to "assuage the fears of religious minorities in the city." However, Caryl argues, Iraqi Christians "can hardly be blamed if they're unwilling to bank on these faint glimmers of hope — the jihadists' record speaks too eloquently against them."
JPost Editorial Iranian threats
Besides Obama’s promises, however, there are very few reassuring signs that Iran is willing to comply with even the most basic demands made by the US and other members of the P5+1.
The two sides have reached tentative understandings on reducing the amount of plutonium – a second route to fuel for a bomb besides enriched uranium – that will be produced by a heavy-water reactor under construction near the town of Arak. And there are reports of a possible compromise that would turn a deep underground facility called Fordow, where there are 3,000 centrifuges, into a “research facility.”
NYT: Lack of Iran Transparency Means Any Nuke Deal “Shrouded By Uncertainty”
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Iranian negotiators have continued to deny the West access to Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, even as the P5+1 global powers are trying to hammer out an agreement that would force Iran to put its atomic program beyond use for weaponization:
"Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is considered by Western intelligence officials to be the closest thing Iran has to J. Robert Oppenheimer, who guided the Manhattan Project to develop the world’s first nuclear weapon. For more than a decade, he has been identified as the relentless force behind on-again, off-again programs to design a nuclear warhead that could fit atop one of Iran’s long-range missiles — a complex set of technologies that are a critical factor in how long it would take for Iran to build a weapon. As the keeper of Iran’s greatest nuclear secrets, he looms over the talks that he never attends."
Ukraine: Batallion Backed by Jewish Billionaire Sent to Fight Pro-Russian Militias
Despite cease-fire declarations, pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian militias are still reportedly clashing at several locations in south-eastern Ukraine.
Among those going into battle from the Ukrainian side are some 500 trained fighters in the self-declared Azov battalion, backed by Jewish energy magnate and Dnipropetrovsk region governor, Igor Kolomoisky, according to Israel’s Ma’ariv daily.
Russian Jewish billionaires sing ‘Hallelujah’
If time really is money, then the song that producer Igor Sandler recorded on Tuesday at his Moscow studio not only will be the longest tune ever released, but may be among the costliest to make.
That’s because the people singing in Sandler’s bid to enter the Guinness Book of World Records database include Russian Jewish billionaires whose time is a pretty expensive commodity.
Still, they convened on Tuesday at the request of the Russian Jewish Congress to record a three-hour-long cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which organizers plan to submit to the editors of the record book under the category: “Longest Officially Released Song.”
Jewish Man Selling ‘Christoozas’, Mezuzas for Christians
A Jewish man from Queens, N.Y., is seeking to draw Christians into the Judaica market with a Christian version of the mezuzah, aptly named Christooza.
Henry Zabarsky’s product consists of a hollow plastic cross containing a piece of prayer-inscribed parchment which, like the traditional Jewish mezuzah, is intended to be affixed to doorposts, the New York Post reported on Monday. The 43-year-old financial adviser said he got the idea when visiting a “very religious” Catholic client of his in Rockaway.
Israeli nanotech innovation can ‘smell’ bombs
The system, designed by Tel Aviv-based Tracense Systems, can detect even the smallest amounts of material, according to Dr. Ricardo Osiroff, the company’s CEO.
“Our ‘laboratory-on-a-chip’ nano-sensors can detect a wide range of chemical threats, such as explosives, chemical and biological warfare agents, in air, solid and liquid samples, at extremely low concentrations, unmatched by existing technologies,” said Osiroff. “Our system meets and beats the capabilities of dogs and other animals.”
“Smell” is a manifestation of specific molecules, and each smell gives off its own specific chemical qualities. So detecting an odor is just a matter of figuring out which molecules are being “smelled” – no biggie for modern science. Several systems already do just that, using analytical chemistry-based equipment.
EndoPAT wearable health device takes Japan
Israel’s Itamar Medical has signed a strategic marketing and distribution agreement for its EndoPAT device with premier medical device maker Nihon Kohden Japan, one of Japan’s largest medical device manufacturers. The agreement follows in the wake of two recently concluded strategic agreements with Philips and Medtronic.
EndoPAT is a thimble-like fingertip sensor that non-invasively assesses arterial health and the risk of cardiovascular events. The test takes 15 minutes.
Israeli Bio-Tech in Nasdaq IPO; Miracle White Blood Cell Injection Can Save Diabetics From Gangrene (VIDEO)
Israel-based MacroCure Ltd. filed a prospectus to raise up to $300 million on the Nasdaq, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Wednesday.
MacroCure’s CureXcell takes white cells from healthy donors and activates them to speed up the healing process, and was shown to heal most diabetics risking a leg amputation from gangrene, afflicting 15 percent of people who get the disease.
CureXcell is injected into the wound and was tested on 5,000 patients in Israel, where it’s already been approved to treat chronic wounds, such as pressure ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and post-operative wounds, including deep sternal wound infection, post cesarean operation, post orthopedic surgery, and post abdominal surgeries.
Israel’s Financial Algorithms gets $4B buy bid, report says
An unidentified foreign company has offered $4 billion for Financial Algorithms, a programming service-provider for hedge funds and traders, Calcalist reported today without saying where it got the information.
Financial Algorithms, founded in 2001 with offices in Herzliya, Israel, is considering the offer, Calcalist said on its website, naming possible buyers as Chicago-based Citadel LLC or New York-based Renaissance Technologies LLC.
Bionic steps toward a miracle
Last week I had the privilege of bearing witness to another spectacular achievement of Israeli innovation, a more human and personal tale than the storied company IPOs and acquisitions which make the business headlines in Israel and abroad. I watched as my friend, Marine Corps Captain Derek Herrera, who was paralyzed after being shot in Afghanistan, got out of his wheelchair and walked by using ReWalk, a biomechanical exoskeleton developed in Israel.
ReWalk is a wearable, motor-driven robotic system worn as an exoskeleton. The device detects shifts from a user’s balance, and interprets these into movement, causing the legs to walk in a natural gait. ReWalk was developed by Dr. Amit Goffer, a Technion graduate and himself a quadriplegic. Time Magazine named ReWalk one of the top 25 inventions of 2013 (Derek is pictured). Derek is currently the first US military veteran and the first person in California to have ReWalk.
Qanta Ahmed: An underground fortress of healing
I am again in Haifa, here to explore Israel’s extraordinary Sammy Ofer Fortified Emergency Hospital at Rambam Medical Center- the world’s largest subterranean hospital. I had heard about it during my first visit to the Rambam Medical Center as part of my tour of The Technion’s medical campus last spring, but at the time it was still under construction and it would be almost a full year before I would get to visit it.
Rambam Medical Center is the referring center for twelve district hospitals, as well as the United Nations Forces stationed in the region, the Israeli Defense Forces of the Northern Front and the United States’ Sixth Fleet. It provides what’s known as quaternary level care — advanced levels of highly specialized medicine not widely available. Partly because of location and largely because of expertise, Rambam Medical Center is the largest and most experienced trauma receiving hospital in the whole of Israel. In a battleworn country intimately familiar with trauma, mastery in trauma is a hard-won and hotly contested accolade indeed. Rambam Medical Center’s abilities are measured the way medicine is always judged, by the stark mathematics of survivorship. More victims of trauma survive when treated here than anywhere else in the nation.
Guns N’ Roses Guitarist Rocks Solo Acoustic Version of Israeli National Anthem – Hatikva (VIDEO)
Ok, fans, question time. What do: Guns ‘n’ Roses shred-meister guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (aka Ronald Jay Blumenthal), “Hard Rock Hotel”, “Las Vegas” and Israel’s ”Hatikva” (The Hope) national anthem… all have in common?
I know, you’re probably thinking, “Hmm, ‘One of these things is not like the other,’ would fit in here,” right?

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