Sunday, August 31, 2014

From Ian:

Honest Reporting: Melanie Phillips Calls For New Strategy to Present Israel’s Case
Ms. Phillips stated that Israel needs to reframe the entire narrative about the Middle East, firstly by educating the uneducated through teaching the history of the Jewish people and Israel, through exposing the Muslim and Arab anti-Semitism so prevalent even among so-called moderates in the Middle East, and to position Israel at the forefront of the global battle for civilization by reclaiming the word Zionist for the moral high ground where it belongs.
She stressed that Zionism is an integral part of Judaism and to be hostile to Israel or Zionism is to be hostile to Judaism.
Israel should delegitimize the delegitimizers by calling the United Nations to account, particularly UNRWA’s relationship with Hamas and the credibility of the UN Human Rights Council as a mechanism for empowering dictators and rogue states.
Ms. Phillips also urged Israel to hold its allies to account for their silence in the face of years of demonization and delegitimization and the constant incitement against Israel and Jews.
Melanie Phillips: Western Jewry - Paying the Price for Gaza

Reveal UNRWA's bluff
It was quite ironic that during the fighting in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces was shot at from facilities of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, and had to return fire, as over the years no one defended the existence of UNRWA more than the IDF and the Israeli defense establishment. But now, with the fighting over, it is time for Israel to do what it should have done decades ago -- remove the layer of protection and legitimacy it grants to UNRWA. Israel should recognize UNRWA for what it is -- a hostile Palestinian organization that perpetuates the dream of the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel -- and treat it accordingly.
Israel's policy on UNRWA was set by the defense establishment. It was based on the premise that UNRWA was "the lesser of two evils" -- or as a Defense Ministry official put it to me, "UNRWA is crap, but Hamas is more so." This is a narrow view of the issue. Even if UNRWA itself does not attack the IDF directly, it ensures that there will always be someone to do so in the future. Under a thin veil of humanitarian activities, UNRWA acts with a clear political agenda, aimed at perpetuating the situation of Palestinian refugees and fostering the dream of their return to Israel. This is how UNRWA builds the ideological foundation for the next generation of fighters against Israel.
The Australian, Editorial: Left on the wrong side of history
Further muddying the public space, activist group Australians for Palestine failed to correct a falsehood in a recent email newsletter that misrepresented a photograph of a group of dead children as victims of the Gaza conflict. In a letter to the editor today, Sonja Karkar from Australians for Palestine admits the image was used “inadvertently” and that no correction email was sent out. The hypocrisy of the Left and its rampant moral equivalence makes a rational debate on national security and the threat posed by extremists more difficult. The murderous rampage of the Islamic State, whose warlords have Israel, the rest of the Middle East, much of Asia and some of Europe in their sights, shows what is at stake in quashing the caliphate. Apologists for Hamas and those who would turn a blind eye to the Islamic State barbarism are on the wrong side of the moral ledger of history and humanity.
The Prime Minister spoke yesterday about the atrocities perpetrated in Iraq — beheadings, crucifixions and mass executions. He reminded us of our nation’s obligations under the UN’s doctrine of a responsibility to protect those facing slaughter in Iraq. “This is as near to pure evil as we are ever likely to see,” Mr Abbott said, and urged our nation to strive for a better world. Yet, this bracing dose of reality for our nation, and those like our own, is greeted by the sadly predictable, but utterly obnoxious, refrain of “mission creep” from those unable to discern our nation’s vital interests.
The threat of terrorism for us is real, but the slaughter of innocents is occurring right now. We must be part of the mission to end this, rather than indulging in the moral emptiness of the Green Left.

A "Captive Mouthpiece" Demonizes Israel
Rev. Hanna Massad does not mention that perhaps Hamas actually wants the blockade to end so it can bring in more weapons and cement to build attack-tunnels so it can "finish the job."
Hamas does not just admit to using human shields, it brags about using human shields. Why does Massad have to inject an air of uncertainty about Hamas's use of human shields when no such uncertainty exists?
The problem is that any self-respecting journalist would confront Massad with a follow-up question about Hamas's ideology and violence, but not the folks at Christianity Today.
IDF shoots down drone that entered Israeli air space from Syria
The IDF shot down a drone that entered Israeli air space from Syria on Sunday.
The air force fired a surface to air Patriot missile to intercept the drone, which had come from the Quneitra region in Syria, adjacent to the Israeli border.
"The IDF will not tolerate a breach of the State of Israel's sovereignty," the army said.
Army sources said the drone likely belonged to the military of the Assad regime, and strayed into Israeli airspace by accident.
Fijians negotiating with Islamist captors of 44 peacekeepers
The Fijian military said Sunday that it was pursuing negotiations with the Syrian Islamic rebel group which kidnapped 44 UNDOF peacekeepers in the Syrian Golan Heights Thursday, but still had not received word on where the soldiers were being held.
Fiji has been told that the men were unharmed and were being treated well, but “we still at this stage cannot confirm the exact location of our troops. We are continuing negotiations at all levels,” said Brig. Gen. Mosese Tikoitoga, head of the Fijian army, according to a Reuters report.
“However, we are still very concerned that we cannot confirm at this stage their exact location, whether they are still in Syria or whether they have been moved to neighboring countries,” the general added.
72nd Gaza war casualty: Sgt. Shachar Shalev, 20, succumbs to wounds
An IDF soldier injured during Operation Protective Edge died of his wounds on Sunday, bringing the Israeli death toll in the war to 72.
The soldier was identified as Sgt. Shachar Shalev, 20, from Alonei Habashan in the North. Shalev, a soldier in the Paratroopers Brigade, was injured during operational duty in southern Gaza on July 23, 2014.
Shalev had been hospitalized at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.
The news of Shalev's death came just two days after IDF Sgt. Netanel Maman, 21, from Gan Yavne, died on Friday morning, succumbing to wounds sustained from a rocket attack last week.
Shalev’s death brings the toll from Operation Protective Edge on the Israeli side to 72, with 65 of them soldiers.
According to Magen David Adom, there were 842 Israeli casualties during the fighting.
Netanyahu: Toppling Hamas remains an option
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave interviews to the country’s three television networks over the weekend defending the Gaza operation, and saying that driving Hamas from power has not been removed from the agenda.
“I never removed the goal of toppling Hamas, and I am not doing that now,” Netanyahu told Channel 2, saying, however, that Israel faces numerous other security challenges.
“When I look around and see al-Qaida on the fence [the border with Syria], ISIS [Islamic State] moving toward Jordan and already in Lebanon, with Hezbollah there already, supported by Iran, I defined the goal in the cabinet of delivering a hard blow to Hamas, and we did that.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah blasts Hamas for stealing humanitarian aid during Gaza operation
The statement accused Hamas “militias” of committing the ugliest crimes and encroachments during the war against Fatah members in the Gaza Strip.
It said Hamas representatives shot and beat dozens of Fatah members, some of whom were transferred for medical treatment in Ramallah, Hebron and Nablus.
The statement said Hamas also placed more than 300 Fatah members under house arrest, exposing them to Israeli air strikes.
Other Fatah members were kept in Hamas prisons during the war, which also endangered their lives, the statement said.
Fatah said it preferred to remain silent toward the Hamas “crimes” during the war out of keenness to preserve Palestinian unity.
Fatah also accused Hamas of confiscating food and medicine sent to the Gaza Strip from the West Bank and other countries. It said Hamas distributed the aid among its men in mosques and sold some of it in the black market. (h/t Alexi)
Rudoren Misreports by Ignoring Palestinian Polls
So, unfortunately, Palestinians do not just want, as Rudoren claims, a two-state solution in which the country of Palestine and the country of Israel live side-by-side in peace. If that were really the case, the conflict would have been solved a long time ago. The reality is that Palestinians also demand the right to send millions of Palestinian "refugees" (really mostly the descendants of refugees) into Israel, which would quickly destroy the country from within.
Jodi Rudoren ought to know all this, but if so why doesn't she report it? And if she doesn't know it, well, that's why the term "teachable moment" was invented.
Journalist Revisits the Gaza Family Mistakenly Declared Dead
A few weeks ago, Donald Macintyre mistakenly declared the entire family of ten-year-old Mohammed Badran to be dead as part of an almost 4,000 word report from Gaza for the New Statesman. HonestReporting pointed out how the initial error, which had been corrected, cast into doubt Palestinian casualty figures, not to mention the accuracy of some of the reporting coming out of the conflict.
But it got worse when it turned out that the father of Badran who was actually killed later in an air strike, was revealed to be a Hamas operative, something that Macintyre’s report had failed to acknowledge.
So it’s to Macintyre’s credit that he has revisited the story and acknowledged some of the missing pieces in a new article for the New Statesman, albeit focusing attention on the debate over what constitutes acceptable collateral damage when targeting terrorists:
ICC: Palestine is a state, can file war crimes complaints against Israel if chooses
Ending speculation on the issue, Bensouda explained concisely that her office had concluded that following greater UN recognition in 2012, "Palestine could now join the Rome Statute."
Bensouda's op-ed, is in and of itself a highly uncharacteristic public venue for her to articulate her office's usually closely held official positions. But it appeared to be a response to the unprecedented barrage of criticism following the recent Gaza war from a range of parties that her office was artificially blocking the Palestinians from filing against Israelis.
On August 5, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki met with Bensouda to investigate in greater detail the possibility of Palestine joining the ICC's Rome Statute, which would grant it the right to file war crimes complaints with the court.
At the time, Bensouda's office merely confirmed that Palestine had not yet chosen to join the Rome Statute and, therefore, could not file any complaints.
Some had speculated that this message muddied Bensouda's readiness to accept Palestine as a state.
Ali Abunimah Advocates Solidarity With Hamas
For many years, Ali Abunimah has been a prominent proponent of “pro-Palestinian” solidarity activism, and he is often invited to speak on US campuses. As a veteran professional activist, he usually delivers smooth presentations that tend to obscure the fact that his often invoked demands for “justice in Palestine” require the injustice of doing away with the world’s only Jewish state in order to replace it with another Arab Muslim-majority state. While Abunimah’s activism focuses primarily on delegitimizing Israel and promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) to help bring about the hoped for elimination of the Jewish state, he is usually not very outspoken about the fact that he is also an ardent supporter of Palestinian terror groups like Hamas and its Al-Qassam Brigades as well as Islamic Jihad.
In view of the genocidal antisemitic Hamas Charter and Abunimah’s claims to be a “progressive” rights activist, his reluctance to reveal his admiration for the “Islamic Resistance Movement” is arguably prudent. However, during this summer’s fighting between Hamas and Israel, Abunimah has become increasingly open about his unqualified support for what he euphemistically calls the “Palestinian defense forces” and his concomitant contempt for the Western-backed Palestinian Authority (PA) under President Mahmoud Abbas. Abunimah has denounced Abbas as an “Israeli puppet” and a “collaborator;” he dismissed the Palestinian president’s announcement of a ceasefire on August 26 as “shameful talk” and asserted that “Abbas is utterly irrelevant.” By contrast, Abunimah eagerly shared “a ‘joint military communique’ from all the Palestinian defense and resistance forces” delivered by the Al-Qassam Brigades’ spokesman Abu Obaida (Abu Ubayda), whose statements Abunimah translated in a series of completely uncritical tweets that included the terrorist group’s obscene claims of victory, its threats against “surrenderist Arabs,” the ominous declaration that “No one’s word is above that of the resistance,” and the preposterous assertion that by attacking Israel, Al-Qassam’s jihadi terrorists were defending “the Muslims and Arabs and free people of the world.”
 Hamas: Any attempt to disarm Gaza is ‘worthless’
Any initiative to disarm Hamas and other militant groups in the Gaza Strip would be “worthless,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Saturday, saying such a move would be “inconsistent with international law and our people will not allow it.”
Abu Zuhri told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that, if anything, Israel was the party that should be disarmed, while the international community should “ban the American administration from providing it with the weapons that are used to kill children and women.“
London-based Arab newspaper A-Sharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday that ceasefire talks will be renewed in Cairo next week. Palestinian negotiators are expected to repeat their demands for the release of Hamas prisoners held by Israel since June, as well as the establishment of a seaport and an airport in the Strip. Israel has rejected these demands, and Hamas accepted an open-ended ceasefire on Tuesday without them.
 The Real Reason for the PA and Hamas's Wage War
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Saturday promised to pay Hamas employees in Gaza their backlogged salary "as soon as possible," but one PA official revealed fears over the group's international purse-strings are behind the continuous postponement in pay.
Tensions in the wage war began with the PA-Hamas unity deal in April, after which Hamas's 40,000 employees in Gaza still were not paid backlogged wages by the new unity government even as the PA's 70,000 employees in Gaza continue to be paid.
The rage boiled over into violence, with Hamas eventually shutting down all the banks in Gaza for roughly a week, until in June a financial bail-out from Qatar temporarily stemmed the crisis; however, Hamas's launching a terror war on Israel early in July apparently put off the salary payments even further.
A solution from the PA does not appear to be imminent.
Hamas 'Victory Rally' in Abbas's Home Turf of Ramallah
After Arab citizens of Israel led by radical Arab MKs held a "Hamas victory rally" in the Galilee last Friday, Arab residents followed suit on Saturday in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority (PA) stronghold in Samaria.
Thousands of local Arabs took part in the rally, which was organized by the Hamas movement in Ramallah in celebration of the hard-hit terrorist organization's supposed "victory" against Israel in Operation Protective Edge.
The rally, held in the Al-Bireh neighborhood of Ramallah, was entitled "The Pledge of Allegiance and Victory." Hamas leaders and parliamentarians in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from different parts of Judea and Samaria took part in the celebration, accompanied by leaders of other Palestinian Arab organizations.
PA reportedly detains Hamas members in West Bank
Palestinian Authority security forces apprehended several members of Hamas during rallies organized by the group in two West Bank cities over the weekend, Hamas-affiliated media outlets reported Sunday.
According to Israel Radio, Hamas said a number of its supporters were detained while others were repeatedly harassed by PA security men at demonstrations in Tulkarem and Ramallah.
Liberman: Arab MKs who celebrated in Hamas victory rally should be jailed
Balad MKs Jamal Zehalka and Haneen Zoabi, and United Arab list head Ibrahim Sarsur, sang the Palestinian national anthem during the rally at the Kabul Regional Council southeast of Acre.
Palestinian flags draped the event, which was held under the banner “Gaza won.”
Some 2,000 people attended the event, which was organized by the Monitoring Committee of the Israeli Arab Leadership.
"Those demonstrators, which included Israeli-Arab MKs, did not demonstrate to identify with the pain of Gaza residents, rather they expressed open support for an enemy that fought against Israel for two months," Liberman wrote on his Facebook page.
"Therefore, they should be seen as traitors and as those who support a terrorist organization, they should be tried and they should be given the "right" to observe a minute of silence, as they did at the rally, inside of a prison cell."
Jon Stewart: ‘I’m not anti-Israel’
On accusations of being a “self-hating Jew,” Stewart said he had no patience for such narrow-minded viewpoints.
“Look, there’s a lot of reasons why I hate myself — being Jewish isn’t one of them,” Stewart told the reporter. “So when someone starts throwing that around, or throwing around you’re pro-terrorist, it’s more just disappointing than anything else. I’ve made a living for 16 years criticizing certain policies that I think are not good for America. That doesn’t make me anti-American. And if I do the same with Israel, that doesn’t make me anti-Israel. You cannot outsmart dogma, no matter what you do. If there is something constructive in what they’re saying, hopefully I’m still open enough … to take it in and let it further inform my position. But I’m pretty impermeable to yelling. As soon as they go to, ‘Your real name is Leibowitz!’ that’s when I change the channel.”
Italian FM elected next EU foreign policy chief
Mogherini, a 41-year-old center-left politician, has been Italy’s foreign minister only since February, drawing criticism that she lacks experience.
Mogherini was in Israel in July, just a week into Operation Protective Edge, and met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then president Shimon Peres.
Her visit included a trip to rocket-hit Ashdod, after which she said the experience showed her “the strong physical and psychological pressure, on the people.”
“As a mother I understand very well the pressure and the tension there and at the same time the number of civilian victims in Gaza is extremely worrying. I think it’s in the interest of the Israeli and Palestinian people, especially in Gaza, to stop this,” she said at the time.
George Galloway Suspect Named
He has a Facebook profile with a fair amount of public posting. This is of interest, posted yesterday at 8:44 am:
"As a Catholic, it grieves me deeply that the catholic church was confederate-in-chief in antisemitism; and their antisemitism essentially caused the most brutal murderous aspects of the Nazis…
If we fail to check Islam in precisely the same way as we, using the most advanced laws of the day, did against Catholics for centuries, then a greater antisemitism with a far greater darkness than the Nazis will be sure to follow.
Where Jews suffer, we are all doomed to suffer… eventually.
Kill the beast, it must be slain. Keep destroying it until it starts to destroy itself.
PS Catholics have paid their dues to the protestant ascendancy and are now reconciled; why does Islam get the free pass…? Now that is an infinitely more unfair form of discrimination against humanity if we fail to stop it."

I’m sure this will be discussed endlessly and it is highly interesting to note, despite Gilad Atzmon’s knee jerk calls for Jews to be spied on, he is not Jewish.
Who's afraid of the big, bad boycott?
Let's start with the conclusion: Israeli exports are not affected by the present economic boycott, nor will they be affected in the future. This is not because certain European consumer groups and the like are not trying – it is because the unique nature of Israel's exports simply does not allow for it. It's a logical concept on paper, but simply does not hold water in reality.
The most obvious example of how the boycott concept is unsustainable is Israel's trade relations with Turkey. In 2010, after Cast Lead, and the Mavi Marmara incident in particular, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who is now trying to change the laws in his country in order to become something akin to a sultan) demanded a boycott of Israel at every opportunity.
And lo and behold - just the opposite has happened. Trade relations with Turkey, both exports and imports, have jumped dramatically and are now at the highest level – and almost 100% rise since 2009, long before the Mavi Marmara.
The new business battlefields
A difference, and an irony, in the current campaigns targeting Israel, is that the more they succeed in intimidating Jews, the more they fail in their claimed goals of providing justice for Palestinians. The campaigns, often driven less by anti-Israeli or pro-Palestinian fervour than by raw anti-Semitism, are escalating, as seen in the smashing of shop windows in a Jewish district of Paris and in physical assaults on Jews. The result is an increasing exodus of Jews from many European countries and into Israel, which increases Israel’s proportion of Jews relative to Muslims and decreases the fear that Israelis have of Israel eventually becoming a Muslim-majority country — it is this fear that drives the majority of Israeli Jews to want Palestinians to have a state of their own. The more that Israeli Jews lose the fear that they might one day no longer be masters in their own land, the less likely that Palestinians will ever achieve a state of their own.
Man Unsure Whether Israel Like Hitler Or Hitler Was Right (satire)
El-Bir added that it is difficult for him to wrap his head around the possibility that Hitler initiated killings of Jews on a mass scale, since that notion could never be assimilated properly in his mind, but that only such numbers of Jews killed would be congruent with charges of Israeli genocide. If the casualty numbers from the Hamas-run Gaza health authorities are to be believed, approximately 2,000 Gazans died during Operation Protective Edge, meaning that invoking Hitler makes no sense.
“If Hitler didn’t really do anything wrong, then Israel being like Hitler is simply untrue,” continued the father of three. “Only if Hitler actually did terrible things does it make sense to mention him. I’m having a hard time with this one.”
El-Bir is not alone in his confusion, says Joe Goebbels, who studies media manipulation and public opinion in the Arab world. “There is no end to the contradictions an Arab must face in his encounters with news. Jews are supposed to be descended from apes and pigs, but these simian and porcine people have also somehow managed to outfight them despite being outnumbered, over and over again. Israel has a burgeoning high-tech industry, a flourishing democracy, and a successful economy that is simply out of place in the Middle East. So are the Jews subhuman, or are they superhuman, capable of controlling the media, the banks, and whole countries, without leaving a trace of evidence?”
“You know who else confronted those contradictory notions about Jews?” said Goebbels. “Hitler.”
Celebrating 5 years of CiF Watch!
Last week, CiF Watch celebrated its 5th anniversary.
In our inaugural post on Aug. 24, 2009 we announced our intention to combat antisemitism and anti-Israel bias at the Guardian, and “to regularly post articles exposing the bigoted and one-sided nature of [their] obsessive focus on Israel and, by extension, the Jewish people.”
Honest Reporting: Brangelina Wedding Leaves Israel Jilted
We wish Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt a hearty mazal tov on their recent wedding. Jolie has, at times, been estranged from her father, actor Jon Voight. According to reports, Voight was “not invited” to the private ceremony in France.
What has this got to do with Israel? Absolutely nothing of course.
But this did not stop The Independent from attempting to add an Israel angle to the story with this headline?
Firebomb Attack on Historic Jerusalem Home Wounds One
Arab terrorists on Saturday night threw a molotov cocktail at "Beit Meyuhas," an historical Jewish home from the 19th century CE in the City of David area just south of Jerusalem's Old City.
In the firebomb attack one 45-year-old Jewish man was wounded lightly, suffering first and second-degree burns to his head.
Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics gave the wounded man medical treatment before transferring him to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
Security forces hunting for suspects after 3 explosive attacks in West Bank
Security forces have launched a search for suspects after three explosive attacks occurred in Samaria on Sunday.
In the first incident, an explosion was reported at Rechalim Junction, near Tapuah Junction in the northern West Bank, in an area used by Israeli hitchhikers. There were no damages or injuries in the attack.
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a police bomb disposal unit was dispatched to the junction, cordoned off the area, and ensured that there were no additional bombs around.
Shortly afterwards, Rosenfeld said, two pipe bombs were hurled at Jit Junction, near the scene of the first attack. The pipe bombs were thrown at a main road hitchhikers use.
"These attacks might have been coordinated," Rosenfeld said. "Border Police and the IDF are searching the area to see if there are additional explosive devices." Police and the army have heightened security in the area ahead of the start of a new school year, Rosenfeld added.
4,000 Dunams in Judea and Samaria to Become State Land
A government spokesperson announced Sunday morning that following instructions issued by the political echelon after Operation Brother's Keeper, 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of Judea and Samaria land will be declared state land, opening the possibility of further construction in the region.
The spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) stated that "the process was enabled after a thorough examination by the Civil Administration's zoning crew."
According to a military spokesperson cited by AFP, the land is near Gevaot, to the south of Beit Illit in Judea.
Extreme leftist groups and Arab residents of Judea and Samaria will have a month and a half to submit opposition in the courts to the process of incorporating the 4,000 dunams into state land.
By declaring the area state land, the Knesset would enable the construction and expansion of Jewish communities in the region, although the process may take long years to complete.
Palestinians pan Israeli West Bank land appropriation
In an angry reaction to the announcement, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat called for diplomatic action against Israel.
“The Israeli government is committing various crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land,” he told AFP.
“The international community should hold Israel accountable as soon as possible for its crimes and raids against our people in Gaza and the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”
ISIS says forcing detained pilots to train militants: report
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria said in a recent tweet it is forcing detained Syrian pilots to train militant fighters to fly stolen aircraft, CNN Arabic reported on Saturday.
In an account reportedly associated with the militant group, ISIS said in a tweet the pilots were abducted when the group gained control over the Tabqa military airbase in Raqqa Province.
ISIS seized the airbase earlier this month. The major airfield houses warplanes, helicopters, tanks and other artillery and ammunition, which were also confiscated by ISIS, according to several media reports.
Italy Beefs Up Security After Islamic State Announces Pope Francis Is 'in the Crosshairs'
Il Tempo reported that according to their sources within Italy’s intelligence services, the Islamic State plans on “raising the level of confrontation” with Pope Francis because he is the “greatest exponent of the Christian religion."
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said to Catholic News Agency, after catching wind of the IS threats: “There is nothing serious to this. There is no particular concern in the Vatican.”
Earlier this week, however, Italy issued an official terrorism alert, largely because of increased concern about the threat posed by the radical Islamist group. Rome cautioned that IS could hit “sensitive targets” throughout Italy and its embassies abroad, including that of the Holy See. Deputy interior minister Filippo Bubbico warned that churches, mass transit stations, seaports, and airports were all at risk. “ISIS poses an international and European security threat, and we in Italy feel particularly exposed,” said the deputy interior minister.
Iran says possible response to new U.S. sanctions could not be 'pleasant'
Iran's possible response to new U.S. sanctions could "not be pleasant", its foreign minister said on Sunday, raising the prospect of tit-for-tat retribution against the Islamic Republic's old adversary weeks ahead of fresh nuclear talks.
Iranian leaders reacted with dismay to Friday's announcement that Washington was going to penalize a number of Iranian and other foreign companies, banks and airlines for violating sanctions against Tehran, most of which are tied to a decade-old dispute about its nuclear program.
Washington said the moves were a signal that there would be no let-up of sanctions while international talks were underway to ease the economic measures in exchange for Iran's agreement to curb its nuclear activities..
Daniel Pipes: Basting Turkey's new prime minister
As Turkey's 26th prime minister, Davutoglu faces a bubble economy perilously near collapse, a breakdown in the rule of law, a country inflamed by Erdogan's divisive rule, a hostile Gulen movement, and a divided AKP, all converging within an increasingly Islamist (and therefore uncivil) country. Moreover, the foreign policy problems that Davutoglu himself created still persist, especially the Islamic State hostage emergency in Mosul.
The unfortunate Davutoglu brings to mind a cleanup crew arriving at the party at 4 a.m., facing a mess created by now-departed revelers. Happily, the contentious and autocratic Erdogan no longer holds Turkey's key governmental position; but his placing the country in the unsteady hands of a loyalist of proven incompetence brings many new concerns for the Turks, their neighbors, and all who wish the country well.
Impatience grows in Turkey over Syrian ‘guests’
Erdogan has maintained an “open door” policy for all those fleeing Syria’s civil war, with the result that there are now some 1.2 million Syrian refugees living in the country.
Some 285,000 Syrians are accommodated in refugee camps in the south and southeast of the country but a far greater number of 912,000, according to official figures, are now living in Turkish cities.
It is these refugees who have become the source of an upsurge in tensions in Turkey, where local authorities appear to have been initially poorly prepared for the huge influx.
The refugees have become an increasingly visible presence in cities including Istanbul, with entire families huddled together on carpets and begging in the middle of the pavement in the city center.
UN hosts Historic Counter-Anti-Semitism Confab
On Monday September 8th, 2014, at 1:15 p.m., the UN Permanent Mission of Palau, and the Engr Aja Eze Foundation are sponsoring a conference on “Global Anti-Semitism: A Threat to International Peace and Security” at the United Nations Headquarters facility in New York City.
The counter-anti-Semitism conference will feature speakers who will explain how the rising tide of anti-Semitism will have a catastrophic effect on the safety and security of the world.
The opening statements will be made by H.E. Dr. Caleb Otto, Amb. UN Perm. Mission of Palau, and H.E. Mr. Ron Prosser, Amb. UN Perm. Mission of Israel. Other noted speakers will be Ms. Brigitte Gabriel, of ACT for America; Mark Langfan, Arutz Sheva UN Correspondent/Security Analyst; and Pastor Mario Bramnick, Chief Liaison for Israel and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
“There is no better place in the world to hold a anti-anti-Semitism conference than the United Nations, HQ. It’s a vital forum to fight this resurging scourge,” said Langfan, who will be presenting his graphic analysis of the strategic dangers to Israel and the world.
Clashes at Stockholm protest against neo-Nazis
Swedish riot police briefly clashed with counterdemonstrators at a neo-Nazi rally in Stockholm on Saturday, two weeks before a parliamentary election.
Police said four police officers and three civilians were slightly injured in the violence that erupted on the sidelines of a march by about 150 members of the far-right Party of the Swedes.
Thousands of people gathered in downtown Stockholm to protest peacefully against the march, but a few dozen masked activists attacked police with firecrackers, bottles, eggs and panels from a security fence.
When Jimmy Carter met Wonder Woman
Gadot posted the picture on Saturday, noting that she ran into the statesman at an airport.
“Off to a new project, guess who I ran into in the airport?? It’s not everyday that you get to meet with a Nobel prize winner former president Jimmy Carter. So humbled I am star struck,” she wrote.
While the picture received over 60,000 “likes” within about eight hours, it also drew a barrage of scathing comments about Carter’s views on Israel.
“Gal please don’t hang with people who hate Israel. Love you,” wrote one commentator.
“I’m surprised he touched a Jew,” said another.
“It’s not an honor to take a picture with this bigot racist Antisemite,” declared a third fan.
Other comments accused Carter of being a “Nazi,” “a well known anti-Semite,” and a supporter of the Hamas terror group.
Gaga gives go-ahead for TLV show
After a summer of heartbreak for Israeli music fans, with cancellations from Neil Young, The Backstreet Boys and Lana Del Rey among others, producers of Lady Gaga’s planned September 13 concert in Tel Aviv confirmed Sunday that the provocative pop star’s show will indeed go on.
The multi-talented singer-songwriter, who burst onto the world stage with her 2008 album “The Fame,” will perform at Yarkon Park as part of her world tour, dubbed “artRAVE: The ARTPOP ball.” The tour is named in honor of Gaga’s third studio album, Artpop, which was released last November and features such hit singles as “Applause,” “Do What You Want” and “G.U.Y.”
She played Tel Aviv once before, in August 2009.
Israeli IPO’s world-beating 73% surge leads August rally
Mobileye NV (MBLY), the technology company that went public a month ago, led gains among U.S.-listed Israeli stocks in August as investors shrugged off concern that the seven-week Gaza conflict will weaken the economy.
Mobileye has surged 73 percent to $43.22 since listing in New York on July 31, the biggest rally among all companies globally that raised $500 million or more in the past three months. Caesarstone Sdot-Yam Ltd. (CSTE), the maker of quartz counter-tops, climbed 20 percent in August, the second-best performance on the Bloomberg Israel-U.S. Equity Index, which rose 4.8 percent.
While signs have emerged that the Gaza fighting is starting to curb output at some Israeli businesses, hurt tourism and cut into consumer spending, investors have shown little concern, instead bidding up stocks in line with gains being posted in the U.S. and other major global markets. The performance of Mobileye and Caesarstone, which has more than tripled since its 2012 listing, could help bolster demand for more Israeli initial public offerings, according to Josef Schuster, the founder of Chicago-based IPOX Schuster LLC.
Aqua Shield thwarts marine terrorism
One of the prominent events in Operation Protective Edge was the elimination of a Hamas terrorist squad sent by sea to Zikim on the Ashkelon coast in order to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack. The thwarting of the attack was unquestionably a very great achievement in many aspects: the rapid operational response, the encounter between the IDF unit and the terrorists, and above all the early detection of the threat, which made appropriate preparation possible.
The scuba terrorists who made their way from the Gaza Strip to Israel came through an area of shallow water a few dozen meters from the coast, where swimming is possible, but the water is not deep enough for naval vessels to patrol and operate there. The advanced detection systems, however, can also cover shallow water, which makes it difficult to penetrate Israel territory from this area. This unsuccessful terrorist strike exposed the problem of the threat of marine terrorism, a threat that has already been worrying the world for several years. Israel's Aqua Shield system, which gives marine terrorists no chance, makes it a global leader in this field.
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