Tuesday, August 19, 2014

From Ian:

Chloe Valdary: It is not enough
We may think that it is sufficient to sit with folded hands and silent lips on our college campuses and ignore groups that claim we have no right to live in our land.
But it is not enough.
We may think that it is sufficient to overlook the mainstream media’s invectives spewed at us — both their subtle biases and overt accusations hurled at us — that these will eventually pass, and that since there is nothing new under the sun, disregarding such things will make them go away.
But it is not enough.
We may think that it is sufficient to refrain from challenging our professors who claim our state is a racist one, and who claim that Jews are not entitled to self-determination; that Jews are not allowed to defend themselves; that Jews are not allowed to live anywhere we desire — especially not in our heartland, Judea & Samaria.
But it is not enough.
Fear (of global anti-Semitism) and loathing (of Obama) in New York
When pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the street in New York’s Diamond District on July 25, Kerri Lavine furiously ran outside the store where she works. She just couldn’t take it anymore.
Lavine wasn’t the only one to rush outside. Scores of people joined the spontaneous pro-Israel counterdemonstration, seeking to drown out chants of “Free Palestine” and “Free Gaza” with chants of “IDF.” Because the Diamond District, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, is home to many Jewish owned and operated stores, the pro-Palestinian march was seen as a march against them as much as against Israel.
“I am just so enraged about everything that’s going on. My heart is over there and I can’t stop watching the news,” Lavine said in a subsequent interview, speaking from behind a glass display case of twinkling diamond eternity bands and earrings. Fearing business repercussions, the 52-year-old asked the store not be named.
Across the city, from the Diamond District to the Upper West Side, from Murray Hill to the Lower East Side, New York Jews were quick to share their views on Israel, Operation Protective Edge and the Obama Administration’s handling of the crisis.
Palestinians: The Invented People.
“The history of the Palestinian people goes back as far as”… This is where Arab “historians” disagree.
Some say the “Palestinian people” have a proud 4000-year history; others say 10,000 years, 30,000 years, and even –don’t laugh- 200,000 years, which makes the Neanderthals pretty young people compared to the “mysterious Palestinians”. But although Arab historians do not agree on the “insignificant” details like the age of the “Palestinian people”, they do agree that this people is incredibly ancient-far more ancient than Jews, Romans or Greeks.
In the glorious history of the “Palestinian people”, there is only one “small” problem; nobody in history ever found them.

“Anti-Zionist” activism: then and now
I take Saul O’s point that the BDS campaign against Israel is in some ways disturbingly reminiscent of Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses in the 1930s. But I think it’s more accurate to compare most of today’s anti-Israel activism to the Soviet Union’s campaign against Zionism, which began in earnest after the 1967 war and continued into the 1980s. One focus of that campaign was contrasting “good” Jews (the supposed majority who rejected “Zionist imperialism”) with “bad” Jews (those who supported Israel, or wanted to emigrate there).
In 1983 the Soviet government established the “Anti-Zionist Committee of the Soviet Public,” with carefully-chosen Jewish members.
Meanwhile the Soviet Union was suppressing Jewish cultural and religious life, and Jews were subject to arrest for teaching or studying Hebrew.
It turned out Dragunsky and the others were, like Rick in “Casablanca,” misinformed when they said most of the Jews who wanted to emigrate from the Soviet Union had done so. When they finally got the chance, 1.6 million Jews and their family members departed– almost a million of them for the Zionist state.
The Gaza War: Appearance vs. Reality
Now, after an expectedly inconclusive end to Operation Protective Edge, several major Palestinian terror groups will begin to prepare for expanded attacks on Israel. Such attacks, possibly in cooperation with certain allied jihadist factions (perhaps even with the Islamic State, [IS], which is now slaughtering its way across Iraq), could include chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction. Over time, especially if Iran transfers some of its growing inventory of nuclear materials to terror groups, Israel could even face Palestinian-directed nuclear terrorism, perhaps launched from trucks and ships, as well as from nuclear-tipped rockets and missiles.
Should Iran be permitted to become nuclear-capable, as now seems a certainty, it could send ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads against Israel, as it has repeatedly threatened to do, despite the stipulations in the UN Charter that member states are prohibited from threatening each other. Israel's Arrow ballistic missile defense system would require a 100% rate of success, but no such system of perfect reliability is possible.
Israel has always tried during war to keep its essential counterterrorism operations in Gaza consistent with the established rules of international humanitarian law. By contrast, Palestinian violence has been persistent in violating all rules of engagement, despite the signed Oslo II Interim Agreement of 1995, Article XIV of which states that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip shall be completely demilitarized.
NY Post slams Obama's 'unforgivable' Israel policy
Headed "Obama deserts an ally in wartime," the editorial said, "What kind of ally refuses to send you desperately needed weapons when you're smack in the middle of a war? Apparently, that's what the Obama folks did with Israel, which is caught up fighting with Hamas. It's unforgivable."
The editorial was referring to the Obama administration's decision to put arms transfers to Israel on hold due to the fighting in Gaza.
"If Israel suffers, and its terrorist enemies are emboldened, America's own security interest abroad will be harmed," the editorial said.
"And if any ally still trusts us to have their back, they won't anymore.
"The president is letting his personal pique get the better of him. It's unwise. And certainly no way treat a friend in wartime."
Jackie Mason: Thank God for the Republican gentiles
Thank God that the fighting in Gaza has stopped for the moment. If Israel sneezes, Hamas and the others may start the fireworks again and Israel will again be forced to defend itself.
If that happens, I’ll say thank God for the Republican gentiles.
The fact that Jews have always been so helpless is the reason that Diaspora Jews are so amazed by the military power of Israel and the unbelievable heroism of its troops. It is amazing that while Hamas rains rockets on the State of Israel, the guilt-ridden liberal Jews of America can’t find any reason to condemn it: They can’t feel comfortable unless they see the Palestinians as victims of Israeli oppression. To create the idea that a Hamas terrorist is a victim is as much a fantasy as saying that Adolf Hitler was a victim of the Jews.
Every Jew is raised to think it’s his moral obligation to help and love the weak and the underdog.
And if he can’t find one, he needs to invent one.
Sainsbury’s Funding Hamas?
Let us however look for a moment at Sainsbury the corporate. BDS has taught us to follow the money. Their single largest shareholder is the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar (26%). This means that the Qataris received dividends of $250,000,000 from the retail chain in the last two years. (That’s a lot of tomatoes, nappies, chickens etc).
Why is this important? Well on two accounts Qatar have achieved meaningful prominence in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In the first instance, Qatar (along with the other bastions of Western democracy, Turkey and Iran) have become the key political ally of Hamas in the world. So much so that even John Kerry felt the need to kneel (metaphorically) to them diplomatically in an effort to find a way to leverage influence over Hamas. Secondly and even more importantly, Qatar are the main paymasters of this terrorist organization (recognized as such by the UK, EU, US and Canada). And we know what they have been doing with this money (tunnels, rockets etc).
Whilst I would love a world in which boycotts had no part to play, I just wonder if this latest and rather bizarre action by a rogue manager within the Sainsbury’s chain sheds some light on a more important reason to think again about buying groceries in their stores.
The next time you see “live well for less” think about the tunnels dug and the rockets made with the profits generated from you custom at Sainsbury’s. Just saying!
Anti-Zionism Always Equals Anti-Semitism
This marks a new low in anti-Zionist agitation but also illustrates that despite the hair-splitting by some ideologues and their apologists the distance to travel between hatred for Israel and that directed at all Jews isn’t very far.
This protest also illustrates the intellectual bankruptcy of those claiming to protest Israeli actions in the name of human rights. Those who have taken to the streets against Israel as well as storming stores with Israeli or kosher goods say they support “Free Gaza.” But what, in fact, they are supporting is not a free Gaza but a Hamas-ruled Islamist state. Their protests are implicit endorsement not so much of the right of Gazans to go about their lives without being subjected to attack as they are backing of Hamas’ genocidal war on Israel. Were they actually the least bit concerned about the Palestinians who have been killed or wounded in the fighting they would, instead be directing their protests against the strip’s Hamas rulers who have squandered foreign aid on the infrastructure of terror including tunnels aimed at facilitating cross-border raids and an arsenal of thousands of rockets that have rained down on Israeli cities.
Jews and the Left: An alliance breaks up
After the 1967 Six-Day War, the Left reversed its earlier support for Israel and a stream ‎of left-wing anti-Zionism, sometimes converging with anti-Semitism, emerged. This sea ‎change reflected five principal factors: a) the Jewish military victory destroying the post-‎Holocaust taboo concerning public criticism of Jews; b) the generational change in the ‎Left from those who viewed Nazism and the Holocaust as defining political events to ‎younger activists more influenced by the evils of America's intervention in Vietnam; c) ‎the emergence of an independent Palestinian national movement in the form of the Palestine Liberation Organization, ‎which cloaked its nationalism in progressive rhetoric; d) the intensive anti-Zionist ‎campaign conducted by the Soviet Union and associated communist parties around the ‎world; and e) Israel's ongoing occupation of Arab territories and perceived suppression of ‎Palestinian national aspirations, which provoked widespread criticism from all parts of the ‎Left. ‎
Those left-wing Jews who had not been disillusioned by Soviet anti-Semitism in the ‎‎1950s were later confronted by the Soviet Union's support for the Arab states during the ‎Six-Day War and by the 1968 anti-Jewish campaign in communist Poland. And many ‎younger Jews drawn to left-wing ideas by the Vietnam War were alienated by the pro-‎Palestinian position adopted by much of the New Left. For some progressive Jews, ‎including myself, the final betrayal came in 2000 to 2003, when sections of the Left ‎celebrated the suicide bombings during the Second Intifada.
An Open Letter to the Jew-haters
Hamas knows that they could not beat Israel in the battlefield; they know that they can only win the war by delegitimizing Israel. The more pictures of dead Palestinian bodies, the more damage to Palestinian infrastructure, the more suffering for the Palestinian population—the more it serves their cause.
And the one thing Hamas is striving for, the one thing that keeps them fighting, refusing to cease fire, the one thing that keeps them inviting added devastation of Gaza is those despicable self-hating Jews who write and publish articles condemning Israel, claiming that Israel gives a bad name to the Jews.
You self-hating Jews are the reason these terrorists keep their terror machines up and running; you are the reason they perceive victory in the face of defeat and devastation. You are the reason Hamas will never seek peace. You are the proof that Hamas wins the battle for world opinion; they are making strides in their effort to delegitimize Israel with your help.
And your help is the fuel that lights the fire behind their irrational terror engine.
Comparing Islamists and radical leftists
Following on from previous posts which looked at the difference between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, and what leftists really believe, it is also worth now looking at the difference between Islamists and radical leftists. As the following table shows there is clearly nothing in common between these two groups.
JCPA: Across Time and Death: Iran and the ISIS Challenge
The dust of the “Arab Spring” has settled. This “Spring” was initially seen as offering hope, both to the Arabs and the West, for change and the overthrow of despots; but that hope has faded amid a bloody and chaotic reality in large parts of the Arab world. The Arab masses who inundated city streets never dreamt that the historical process they set in motion would ultimately lead to the redrawing of the Middle East’s borders, nor to the eruption of fierce conflicts dating back to the dawn of Islam that transcends borders and even continents, and are inflamed by radical new non-state elements from the world at large.
The Middle East’s haunted past keeps casting a dark shadow over the region’s future, threatening to return the region to the basic components that existed before the interventions of the Persian, Ottoman, and later, Western powers. Intervention reached its apogee with the drawing of artificial borders about a century ago in the European-designed Sikes-Picot Agreement. The new Arab nation-states failed to create a national civic identity transcending tribal and sectarian divisions, and continued to be governed, if covertly, along traditional tribal lines. Reflecting the old-new situation emerging in the region, the hashtags #SykesPicotOver and #KhalifaRestored have begun to appear in social networks discourse.
Jerusalem warns West on Iran: Don’t partner with one devil to fight another
On June 26, soon after the Islamic State, then known as ISIS, made extraordinary gains in Iraq, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on NBC’s Meet the Press that Washington’s approach should be to try simultaneously to weaken both Iran and the extremist Sunni organization.
“When your enemies are fighting each other, don’t strengthen either one of them,” he said.
Government officials said that Netanyahu has repeated that message in private meetings and conversations ever since.
During that interview Netanyahu related to the concern that the US might seek cooperation with Iran to combat ISIS, and that this might lead to less Western vigilance to keep Iran from gaining nuclear arms. Netanyahu said that the worst outcome by far would be that Iran “would come out with nuclear weapons capability.”
“That would be a tragic mistake,” he said. “It will make everything else pale in comparison. I think the ultimate and the most important goal in the Middle East is to make sure Iran does not have nuclear weapons capability, because those weapons, unlike mortars and machine guns that can kill thousands and chemical weapons that kill tens of thousands, these weapons – nuclear weapons – could kill millions. That should be prevented at all cost.”
Steven Emerson: The President’s True Colors Finally Revealed
When I first glanced at the headline on today’s Jerusalem Online and reports in the Jerusalem Post and other Israeli newspapers, I thought they must have been a satire: “Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will grantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed.” But it was not a satire. The was deadly serious, confirmed by other Israeli newspapers and sources in Cairo.
The US offering to Hamas to “guarantee” Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration’s antipathy to Israel, here it was in black and white. If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would have been Hamas, that has been known to break every commitment it ever made.
Most Israelis are happy despite troubles, poll shows
According to the poll, 85.7 percent of respondents said they were happy with their lives, compared to 14 percent who said they were "not very happy" or "unhappy." The poll was conducted from January to December 2013 among 7,400 Israelis aged 20 and over.
Despite the responses indicating satisfaction with life in general, the number of respondents who said they were happy with the country's economy dropped from 56 percent in 2012 to 53 percent in 2013. Slightly more men (55 percent) than women (51 percent) said they were happy with the economic situation in Israel, and 39 percent of those polled said they believed the economy would improve.
Asked about their personal finances, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of respondents said their families were able to cover their monthly outlays, while 35 percent said their families had difficulty doing so.
85 years since the Hebron massacre
It is 85 years ago this month since the 1929 Hebron massacre. This massacre claimed 67 Jewish lives - 133 Jews were killed across Palestine. It preceded 'occupation', the establishment of Israel, 'Palestinian' claims, and marks the abandonment, on British advice, of Jewish communities on the 'West Bank', parts of Jerusalem and Gaza. I am re-posting this blog from the 80th anniversary.
Wrecked synagogues and Jewish homes, stained with the blood of 67 Jews. Such was the scene on this day in 1929 when a mob rampaged through the ancient Jewish community of Hebron. Here are some rarely-seen photos of the destruction from the Picture-a-day American Colony collection. The leaders of the Hebron Jewish community have admitted not having seen them before.
MK Calls for End to PA Boycott of Israeli Products
The Finance Committee, headed by MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) will discuss the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s boycott of Israeli products on Tuesday, as well as its lasting implications.
"The Knesset's Research and Information Center's investigation shows the folly of the State of Israel, which allows the Palestinian Authority to celebrate at the Israeli taxpayer's expense," said Slomiansky.
"There is no limit to audacity and absurdity," he continued. "On the one hand, there are debts to the Israeli Electric Company - 1.6 billion shekel - and on the other, the PA subsidizes two companies which boycott Israel. We must put an end to this."
MK Pushes to Make Oslo Accords 'National Tragedy'
Home Front Preparedness Committee Chairman MK Eli Yishai (Shas) called to officially recognize the Oslo Accords as a national tragedy on Tuesday, during a discussion on the foiled Hamas coup in Judea-Samaria.
"The fact that we barely walked away from the expansion of Hamastan to areas of Judea and Samaria [now] controlled by [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas - every citizen must lose sleep over it," Yishai said. "Every attempt to support a Palestinian unity government will eventually be proven wrong in the face of reality."
"The time has come for the State of Israel to recognize the Oslo [Accords] as a national tragedy," Yishai continued. "For the citizens of Israel there is no difference between Hamas, Hezbollah and IS [ISIS]. These are three terrorist groups who want to see the end of Israel, and the Oslo Accords served and [continue to] serve this vision."
Police Recommend Trying Arab MK Zoabi for Incitement
According to the police investigation, there is enough of a basis of evidence to find the Arab MK guilty of charges against her, which center around an incident in early July, when Zoabi verbally abused two Arab police officers in a Nazareth courthouse.
Zoabi poured a string of inciteful verbal abuse on the Arab policemen, saying "they are cooperating against their own people, we need to clean the floor with them," "let them fear from the shabab (youth)," and "we need to spit on their faces."
The findings of the Lahav 433 unit will be brought in the coming days to the State Attorney's office for the decision of the Attorney General.
Ethics committee to investigate Arab MKs’ trip to Qatar
The Knesset Ethics Committee will discuss a trip by three Arab Israeli MKs to Qatar, which Israel accuses of funding Hamas, following an official request by an MK and outpouring of criticism by other Israeli politicians Monday.
The committee will investigate all the details of the trip by Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka, Hanin Zoabi, and Basel Ghattas, including the source of funding and its purpose, as per the request of Yesh Atid MK Yifat Kariv.
Several reports in recent days suggested that the trio may have met with former party member and suspected Hezbollah spy Azmi Bishara.
Three Israeli Arabs Arrested for Robbing Holocaust Survivors
The three men, residents of Baka al-Gharbia in their 30s and 40s, allegedly committed a brutal break-in and robbery at the home of two Holocaust survivors.
Police believe that robbery was carried out last May, after one of the suspects worked as a plumber for a couple living in central Netanya. The suspect believed the survivors had hidden money in the apartment, and planned an intricate attack on the couple.
According to the victims, the three knocked the door down of the apartment, hurling the 93 year-old owner to the ground before he could refasten the latch to his home.
PA daily: Israel fabricated kidnapping of three teens as pretext for Gaza war
The accusation that Israel fabricated the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens as a pretext for initiating the Gaza war appeared this week in an op-ed by a regular columnist the in the official Palestinian Authority daily. Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12, 2014.
"We are now at the beginning of the third month of the broad Israeli aggression against our people, its unity, its reconciliation and its national project. The occupation (i.e., Israel) planned this aggression, which began on June 12, after the failure of peace negotiations [with the PA]...
The aggression began on June 12 following a fabricated event for which no one took responsibility, that is, the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens." [Op-ed by Yahya Rabah, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16 2014]
220 Wounded, Dead as Libyan Civil War Rages in Tripoli
According to reports from public officials in Libya, a total of 220 people have been killed or wounded in a 48-hour period, and residential areas are subjected to mortar and rocket fire around the clock.
In addition, several neighborhoods have been cut off from electricity, and trade has been stymied from fear of injury and death. Hundreds of people have fled their homes and attempted to find refuge elsewhere throughout the city, officials said.
Hope has remained for the Libyan government to fight back, since the terrorists are thought not to possess any warplanes and the assault has been mainly through mortar and artillery fire.
The Libyan government only has an outdated and highly limited air force, officials say, and would not be able to counter air attacks.
Obama hails elimination of Syrian chemical weapons
US President Barack Obama on Monday said the elimination of Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile is an important achievement against the spread of dangerous weapons of mass destruction, but warned that Syria’s government now must follow through on pledges to destroy its remaining weapons production facilities.
Obama also said concerns about omissions and discrepancies in Syria’s declaration to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the group that oversaw destruction of the weapons, must be addressed.
A Swiss research group warns that Syrian terror groups now possess anti-aircraft missiles.
A Swiss research group has published a report that explains why the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has banned U.S. flights through Syria air space.
The Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey research organization released a report Tuesday warning that armed terror groups in Syria possess portable anti-aircraft weapons.
Israeli in contact with Syrian Opposition : Obama let ISIS ‘cancer’ metastasize
US President Barack Obama could have “wiped out Islamic State quickly” if he had acted earlier, but now that the group has spread and strengthened, it will be more difficult, said an Israeli Druse who is in frequent contact with the Syrian opposition.
Mendi Safadi, an Israeli Druse who served as former Likud deputy minister Ayoub Kara’s chief of staff, has independently met with members of the liberal and democratic Syrian opposition who oppose the Islamists and want friendly relations with Israel.
Safadi, who met with senior opposition officials last week, has traveled in the region, met with activists, and relayed messages from them to the Prime Minister’s Office.
He was responsible for relaying the congratulatory letters from the Syrian opposition to then President-elect Reuven Rivlin.
Hezbollah lowers fighting age as it takes on Islamic State
Lebanon’s militant Shiite Hezbollah organization has begun sending fighters as young as 16 to the battlefields of Syria, an indication that the Shiite army is being stretched between fighting Sunni jihadis in Syria and a desire to keep a cutting edge in reserve for a possible future showdown with Israel.
Until now, Hezbollah had required fighters to be at least 18 years of age. The lowering of the age restriction could indicate that the Iran-backed party is feeling hard pressed as its cadres fight from Aleppo in north Syria to Deraa Province in the south, as well as dispatching advisers and trainers to the new battlegrounds of Iraq.
The party leadership is holding back experienced fighters specifically trained to fight Israel, such as anti-tank missile units and long-range rocket teams. But the organization now finds itself engaged in a war against ruthless Sunni militants from the rugged mountains of east Lebanon and across Syria to the borders of Iraq and Iran that is slowly transforming the way Hezbollah sees its military role.
Yazidi and Christian Leaders to Unite in Geneva, Demand UNHRC Action
Breen Tahseen, an Iraqi diplomat whose father, Prince Tahseen Saeed Bek, is the leader of the Yazidi people, will join together with leaders from the Iraqi Christian community at a rally tomorrow in Geneva calling for the UN Human Rights Council to meet urgently on the destruction of minorities in Iraq.
Organized by the Geneva-based non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, the rally will call on UN rights chief Navi Pillay to take action to convene an urgent session of the 47-nation council on the ISIS atrocities in Iraq against minorities, echoing a recent appeal by more than 20 MPs and human rights activists.
UN Watch has also arranged for the Yazidi and Christian leaders to meet with key diplomatic figures in the UNHRC system.
Today's Multicultural Moment: 15% Of Frenchmen, 7% Of Brits Back ISIS
Up to 15 percent of French people said they have a positive attitude toward the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The share of ISIS supporters is largest among France’s younger generation, a new poll says.
Twice as many French people expressed a positive reaction to Islamic State (IS) militants than in Britain, where the number of people favorably disposed to the IS stands at 7 percent, and Germany, where a meager 2 percent of the respondents sided with the IS, according to a poll carried out in July among 1,000 people aged over 15 years (over 18 in Britain) in each country. The poll was conducted by ICM Research for the Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya.
US Blacklists IS Leader as 'Global Terrorist'
The US State Department blacklisted a senior terrorist in the Islamic State (IS; formerly known as Islamic State in Iraq or the Levant, or ISIS/ISIL) on Tuesday, designating him as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist" and prohibiting transactions with him under US law.
"The Department of State designated Abu Mohammed al-Adnani as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism," the Department stated Tuesday. "The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons engaging in transactions with al-Adnani, and the freezing of all property and interests of al-Adnani that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the possession or control of U.S. persons."
A United Nations (UN) blacklist has been implemented as well.
Islamic State Threatens to 'Drown Americans in Blood'
The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group that has seized large parts of Iraq threatened the United States on Monday it will attack Americans "in any place" if U.S. airstrikes in Iraq hit its people.
According to Reuters, the threat was made in a video published by the group.
The video, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and victims of snipers, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood".
Saudi Woman Sentenced to 50 Lashes for 'Cursing the Morality Police'
A businesswoman in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to receive 50 lashes for defending the reputation of her café against what she claims are "lies" by the nation's morality police that the café had breached ethical standards.
These police checked her café for breaches of morality, and the men claim a few of her employees ran away because they were illegal. But the businesswoman argued and said the police were liars. She was then arrested and found her guilty of "cursing the morality police." A judge in Jeddah sentenced her to 50 lashes. Though she appealed the conviction, the appeals court in Mecca upheld the sentence.
The morality police’s formal name is The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). Their job is to monitor public behavior according to the Wahhabi School of Sunni Islam. A few “crimes” include homosexuality, fornication, attempts to convert anyone away from Islam, and socializing with unrelated males and females. The police make sure stores abide by the Muslim dietary laws and close at prayer times.
Slavery’s modern face in the Middle East
The world doesn’t need more reasons to be angry at the governments of the Middle East, but the West should nevertheless know about their cruel treatment of labour. When we deal with these states, we should understand the meanness that lies deep in their societies — beginning with how they construct their gleaming buildings and how they treat their maids and nannies.
Much of the manual labour in these countries, and much of the domestic work, is performed by people who in the 19th century were known as indentured bond-slaves or coolies. The British Empire abolished slavery in the 1830s, the U.S. in the 1860s, but in 2014 much of the Middle East treats foreign workers as slaves. This week a journalist in Nepal wrote that “the kafala system keeps hundreds of thousands of Nepali in slave labour conditions.” It is widely accepted — and the more you learn about it, the worse it looks.
Kafala is a system that governs construction and domestic migrant labourers in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf States. When workers arrive, they must immediately surrender their passports to their employers. In Saudi Arabia that applies as well to professionals, such as doctors.
Israeli-developed antibodies weaken flu’s defenses
It may be far from your mind in the mid-summer heat, with beaches full of sunbathers — but researchers in Jerusalem have developed antibodies that may boost the body’s resistance to the winter flu.
The antibodies – proteins that fight disease – may help the immune system eliminate influenza by interfering with the ability of the virus to hide in the body’s cells, the researchers found.
Recently published in the journal Science, the findings could point the way to more effective flu-fighting drugs.
“Altogether, the novel antibodies we have developed will allow our immune system to respond more efficiently to a wide variety of influenza infections,” said Yotam Bar-On, a doctoral candidate in immunology and cancer research, who led the study under Prof. Ofer Mandelboim at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Ancient Coins From Time of Jewish Revolt Against Rome Unearthed
Ancient bronze coins dating back to 69/70 C.E., the time of the Jewish revolt against Rome, were discovered in an archeological excavation of an ancient village in Israel. The village itself was discovered by construction workers expanding a highway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The 114 coins contain an image of a lulav and two etrogim—two of the four species of the Sukkot holiday—and the Hebrew inscription “Year Four,” in reference of the fourth year of the revolt. On the other side of the coins another inscription reads, “For the redemption of Zion.”
Polish Motorcycle Rally Remembers Righteous Among the Nations
A group of Polish motorcyclists went on a rally across Europe as a tribute to Jan Karski, a Righteous Among the Nations, also known as “the man who tried to stop the Holocaust”.
This year Poland marks 100 years since the birth of Karski, who died in Washington in 2000.
Karski was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1914 under the name Jan Kozielieski. After completing his academic studies he started to work for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With the outbreak of the WWII, Karski joined the Polish underground “Armia Krajowa”. The fact that Karski spoke several languages led him to travel to many European countries where he tried to expose the horrors of the Holocaust and convince world leaders to take actions.
Forget ice: Take the hummus challenge
Ice Bucket Challenge out, Hummus Tub Challenge in.
Three IDF soldiers have given a twist to the popular internet meme to benefit the ALS Foundation in the fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease, smearing their faces in pasty hummus instead of pouring freezing cold water on their heads.
The soldiers said the absurd endeavor, which they called Hamas vs. Hummus, was meant to emphasize the many great qualities of the Middle Eastern dip in contrast with the lesser qualities of the Gaza-based terror group.
“Hamas is a terrorist organization that threatens the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis,” 26-year-old Corey Feldman, the brains behind the challenge, said in the video.
“Hummus, on the other hand, is delicious.”


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