Tuesday, January 27, 2015

From Ian:

The Delirium of Anti-Zionism
In 1975, when the UN infamously declared that Zionism is a form of racism, Daniel Patrick Moynihan defiantly stood before the General Assembly and informed the delegates that the UN had just granted “symbolic amnesty” to the murderers of the six million Jews. The increasingly common accusation that Israel is in some way replicating the crimes of Nazi Germany is certainly in part an effort to give that same amnesty, as well as to belittle the Nazi crime itself. This effort by anti-Israel activists to hijack Holocaust commemorations with an anti-Zionist message is of course a vicious–albeit clumsy–attempt to invalidate Israel’s very right to exist. These people inhabit a historically illiterate narrative in which they wrongly believe that the world powers simply handed the Jews someone else’s country as an afterthought following the Holocaust. By distracting from Nazi atrocities against Jews while accusing Jews of equal crimes against Palestinians, they seem to believe that they are nullifying the Jewish claim to statehood.
It is a similar ignorance about the history of anti-Semitism that allows everyone else not to see how this is nothing less than the latest manifestation of an ever-mutating Jew hatred. This malady has an unending appeal because of the way it always promises to liberate mankind, in one way or another, by “solving” the Jews. It was with great optimism that a former minister of the Dutch government recently expressed the opinion that transferring all the Jews from Israel to the United States would herald a new era of world peace. Of course, by the same logic it is the selfish Jews clinging to their state who bear ultimate responsibility for entrapping mankind in the ongoing horrors of war.
Anti-Semitism always expresses itself through the prevailing value system of the time. In Nazi Germany it was pseudo race-science, and in the Soviet Union Marxist doctrines, that were employed against the Jews. In the Middle Ages it was the teachings of the Church that fulfilled this role. Today, as human rights and international law are being hijacked to demonize the Jewish state, the UN is assuming a similar role to the one that the medieval papacy once had. It was encouraging then to hear Bernard Henri-Levy denouncing the delirium of anti-Zionism from the General Assembly chamber, voicing a truth that is all too rarely expressed. (h/t NormanF)
Jeffrey Goldberg: Hamas Warns: Give Us Money Or We'll Become Terrorists
Buried in an Agence France Presse article about the failure of international donors to pay the $5.4 billion they've pledged to help rebuild Gaza is an absolute gem of a quote:
A Hamas official warned recently that the territory could become a breeding ground for extremism unless promised reconstruction is accelerated.
"Our message to the world, which is scared of terrorism and extremism, is that the delay in rebuilding Gaza and the continuing blockade against it will make it a ripe environment for the spread of extremism and terrorism," Khalil al-Haya told a Gaza City meeting of the movement's representatives in the Palestinian parliament.

I'm struck more by the credulity of the reporting in this article than by the actual statement from Mr. al-Haya. Of course it is in the nature of Hamas to believe itself to be non-extremist, and of course it is in its nature to threaten violence if it doesn't get paid. (To understand Hamas and its extremist views, read its charter, and to survey a catalogue of its violence against civilians over the years, simply Google "Hamas bus bombings.")
NPR: Journalist Documents Anti-Semitism In A Swedish City
Journalist Petter Ljunggren wore a Jewish skullcap and Star of David pendant to covertly film the anti-Semitism he experienced in the Swedish city of Malmo. NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Ljunggren.
Over the past few years, the Swedish city of Malmo has earned a reputation for anti-Semitism. Members of Malmo's small Jewish population say that walking in some of the city's Muslim neighborhoods wearing a skull cap, a kepah, is to risk verbal abuse and possibly worse. Well, that risk has now been documented by Swedish television journalist Petter Ljunggren. Ljunggren wore a cap and also a Jewish star pendant in Malmo while secretly filming. One scene captures him fleeing a group of increasingly agitated young men as eggs are thrown at him from nearby windows. Later, a young man from that neighborhood describes how on that night, he'd gotten a text telling him to egg the Jews.

Khaled Abu Toameh: How Iran Is Encircling the Gulf and Israel
With bases in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, Iran has surrounded all the oil fields of the Persian Gulf. This encirclement can be comfortably backed with Iran's ongoing nuclear weapons program.
The Iranians already have Hezbollah sitting on Israel's northern border. All they need now is another terror group sitting in Gaza to the south, in order to create a similar encirclement. And they are working hard to achieve that goal.
"We welcome any party that supports the Palestinian cause." — Osama Hamden, Hamas leader.
Iran is not interested in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. The only thing Iran is interested in there is turning Hamas into another Iranian-backed army that would be used to attack Israel.
Israeli President Addresses Black Christian Leaders in Brooklyn
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin launched his first official visit to the United States on Sunday at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, a predominately Black megachurch and the largest church in New York City.
Speaking to the some 2,500 black congregants, including Senior Pastor Reverand Dr. A.R. Bernard and Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., Rivlin invoked the famous civil rights leader.
“I also have a dream—I have a dream that once again God will knock on our door,” Rivlin said. “I dream that Jerusalem, which is a microcosm for the world, will serve as a model for coexistence between different communities and religions. We, the Jews and Muslims, are the children of Abraham; We are all the children of God.”
Rivlin also mentioned that Jews and blacks have a shared history of struggle, and warned against Holocaust denial.
Rivlin Stresses US-Israel Relationship During West Point Visit
President Reuven Rivlin began the second day of his trip to the United States with a visit to the West Point US Military Academy.
Rivlin was greeted by the Dean of the Academic Board, Brigadier General Timothy E. Trainor and was welcomed with a Guard of Honor as well as the playing of Hatikva and The Star-Spangled Banner - the Israeli and US national anthems.
To start his visit, Rivlin laid a wreath on the grave of General David Daniel "Mickey" Marcus, considered the first IDF General, who came to Israel to fight in the War of Independence where he contributed greatly.
Marcus was shot and killed by friendly-fire during the war and was brought back to the US to be buried at West Point.
Liberman to Russia: PA's Manipulation of ICC Will Hurt You Too
Speaking about the Iranian nuclear issue and continued negotiations (which his country is a part of), Lavrov stressed that any solution must not be made at the risk of other countries in the region.
“We are convinced that only a political diplomatic solution to the issue is possible. We categorically insist that the problem is solved so as not to create any risks or threats to security of countries in the region, including of course Israel,” he said.
Liberman noted in response that Israel has so far seen no solution agreeable to everyone.
“In regards to the Iranian issue, we are following the 5+1 and Iran talks very closely. Our approach is that it’s better to have no agreement than a bad one. So far we don’t see a good agreement that would suit everyone,” he said.
Israel's Foreign Minister added that his country was keeping all options on the table.
North Korea accuses Israel of being 'dictatorial force for aggression'
North Korea this past weekend accused Israel of "representing dictatorial forces for aggression that trample down the legitimate right of the Palestinian people."
Pyongyang responded angrily to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's remark to the visiting Japanese premier last week in which the Israeli leader said that both Jerusalem and Tokyo face “formidable threats from nearby rogue states” – Israel from Iran and Japan from North Korea.
Iran, Netanyahu said, “cannot be allowed to travel the road taken by North Korea,” a path, which he said led to an agreement with Pyongyang in 1994 that “was widely celebrated as a historic breakthrough for nonproliferation, but in the end, that deal failed to prevent the dangerous proliferation that threatens all of east Asia today.”
Netanyahu reiterated his position that, until a deal is reached that dismantles Iran’s military capability, the international sanctions on Iran must be maintained.
Dem Rep: ‘A Lot’ of GOP Support For Israel ‘Has To Do With Fundraising’
House Speaker John Boehner has received quite a bit of flak from liberals for inviting Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come and speak a dual session of Congress in March.
Congressman John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, feels that some of the members’ support for Israel has to deal with fundraising.
“I am totally outraged at Speaker Boehner for doing it, I think it’s, it was deliberately designed to undermine the president — that’s close to subversion,” Yarmuth said on the Stephanie Miller Show.
Yarmuth said he also found Bibi’s speech in 2011 “inappropriate on so many levels.” Yarmuth is a Jewish member of Congress and claims to be a strong supporter of Israel.
Argentina Jewish Community Sees Nisman Death as Another Attack
Members of Argentina’s Jewish community feel like they have been attacked once again following the death of Alberto Nisman, the lead prosecutor in charge of the investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires, CNN reported on Monday.
“This is another bomb. The death of the prosecutor is another bomb for us,” Roberto Yabra, who was in his bakery a block and a half away from the Jewish Center attack when it happened, told CNN. “They keep throwing bombs at us.”
The 1994 incident was Argentina’s worst terrorist attack ever and the single worst antisemitic atrocity since the Holocaust. Eighty-five people were killed and hundreds were left wounded when a car bomb ripped through the Center. No one has yet been convicted for the bombing and Jewish members of the community worry an investigation into the attack will never be complete now that Nisman is dead, CNN noted.
Argentina leader rejects claims of cover-up in AMIA bombing
Kirchner said it was “unreasonable” to think that her government would have shielded Iranian officials suspected in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that left 85 people dead.
In remarks transmitted on national television, Kirchner said there was nothing for Argentina to gain from a secret deal with Iran, which prosecutor Alberto Nisman had alleged days before he was found dead in his apartment bathroom.
“It’s unreasonable to think our government could even be suspected of such a maneuver,” she said during an hour-long speech.
Kirchner said that reforming the intelligence services was a “national debt” the South American country has had since the return of democracy in 1983.
“The plan is to dissolve the Intelligence Secretariat and create a Federal Intelligence Agency” with a leadership chosen by the president but subject to Senate approval, said Kirchner.
Paris attacks ‘grim reminder’ of anti-Semitic threat, EU says
In a statement issued on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in both Hebrew and English, Mogherini said she joined “in commemorating a crime unparalleled in human history, a crime in which six million Jews as well as millions of other innocent victims, Roma, political prisoners, prisoners of war, disabled people, homosexuals, were murdered in Nazi death camps.”
The EU diplomat said that the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp take place “in a sobering context” — less than three weeks after radical Islamist gunmen killed four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris and 12 people at a French satirical newspaper.
“The latest terrorist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris, in which four people were murdered, is a grim reminder that violent anti-Semitism is still alive. Seventy years after the Holocaust, there are Jewish communities in Europe that again feel threatened,” Mogherini said.
“So today, more than ever, it is not enough to say ‘Never again.’ We must turn these words into action. Today, more than ever we must inform the generations born after the Holocaust about the terrible events that took place on European soil and educate them to take a stand against anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination,” she said.
Scholars doubt European ‘tolerance law’ answer to anti-Semitism
In a panel on Monday, Harvard law scholar Alan Dershowitz was one of several experts who took issue with the proposal, arguing that “the great test of democracy is to be tolerant to the intolerant,” provided that the intolerance does not deteriorate into violence, or the encouragement of violence.
“The vast majority of people living in this world are intolerant. Any moment we spend trying to legislate tolerance rather than educating intolerance is a misallocation of resources,” he said.
Jewish-French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy criticized the inclusion of anti-Semitism under the blanket definition of “intolerance” or racism.
“The answer to anti-Semitism is not tolerance,” he said, pointing to the pejorative sense of the word. Levy also distinguished between racism and anti-Semitism, saying they were actually “the opposite” as the former castigates the visibility of an undesirable group, the other has always focused on the diabolical invisibility of Jews.
Only Muslims can change the world’s view of Islam
Muslims are not the only target of religious criticism.
Examples abound of the Christian, Jewish, Hindu and other faiths being the subject of gross insult. Yet while these expressions have sparked outrage and anger, they are met with objection and denouncement: words are met with words in the marketplace of ideas. Only among Muslims are words of criticism met by the sword.
This predictable cycle proves exactly what the Dutch and French cartoonists sought to depict: the moral, educational and cultural bankruptcy of those who act barbarically in the name of Islam. The cartoons are not concerned with Islam, but with the way some Muslims exercise Islam. Nor did they create a perception. They merely reflected existing images created by extremists themselves, and those who tacitly support them, of Muslims as irrational, impulsive, logically incompetent, rationally illiterate and mentally handicapped.
While we may not want to admit it, these images are based on the stark truth as many see it today.
If this image is wrong, then we Muslims bear the burden to show otherwise. Terrorism today stems primarily from Muslims in the name of Islam, and we cannot brush off accusations about our faith just by saying that the terrorists do not act in our name. Nor can we resort to crying “Islamophobia” when the perception of violent, rights-abusing Muslims arises. For these images to change, Muslims must be at the forefront of countering Islamic radicalization in the Middle East and in our adopted countries. It is only then that the images of Muslims in satirical magazines will reflect a different reality.
Brooklyn Imam Tareq Yousef Al-Masri on Paris Terror Attacks: We Muslims Must Admit That We Are Time Bombs and We Hate Christians

V&A in row over self-censorship after Muhammad image is taken down
The Victoria and Albert museum has attempted to conceal its ownership of a devotional image of the prophet Muhammad, citing security concerns, in what is part of a wider pattern of apparent self-censorship by British institutions that scholars fear could undermine public understanding of Islamic art and the diversity of Muslim traditions.
Similar images have been shown in exhibitions across Europe and America without prompting outrage, much less protests or a violent response. Made by Muslim artists for fellow Muslims, they come from a long but often overlooked tradition.
British museums and libraries hold dozens of these images, mostly miniatures in manuscripts several centuries old, but they have been kept largely out of public view. Fear of displaying them is apparently driven by controversy about satirical or offensive portraits of Muhammad by non-Muslims, despite the huge difference in form and purpose.
When the V&A was asked if it held any images of Muhammad after the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, it said there were none. A US expert later provided a link to a poster in its collection, with the inscription “Mohammad the Prophet of God”. That page in the database was deleted last week, but can still be found in a cached version. A spokeswoman said their original response was “an honest error”.
Belgian Authorities Arrest 3 Islamist Terrorists
Belgian security forces arrested three suspected Islamist terrorists in fresh counter-terror raids after foiling a major plot to attack police earlier this month, officials said Tuesday.
The three arrests were made in the western town of Harelbeke, close to the French border, the Belga news agency reported, citing the prosecutor's office in nearby Courtrai.
Belgium has been on high alert after two suspected terrorists were shot dead on January 15 in a series of anti-terror raids carried out in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, AFP reports.
DePaul University Site of Fundraiser for Convicted Terrorist
On February 21, 1969 a bomb exploded in a crowded Jerusalem supermarket filled with “mostly women and children” doing their pre-Sabbath shopping, killing Hebrew University students Leon Kaner (21) and Edward Jaffe (22). This was followed four days later by a foiled attempt to blow up the British Consulate. Both incidents were perpetrated by the same terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Rasmea Yousef Odeh was convicted by an Israeli court and sentenced to life in prison for her involvement in both acts of terror. She was released 10 years later in a prisoner swap, making her way to Jordan and eventually the United States in 1995.
Facing up to 10 years in prison and the prospect of losing her U.S. citizenship, Odeh plans to appeal the verdict. The anti-Israel advocacy group Students for Justice in Palestine has organized a fundraiser for her defense fund on the campus of DePaul University in Chicago.
The February 3, 2015 event is being touted as “a fundraiser to celebrate the resilience of Rasmea Odeh.” But some Blue Demon students believe this gathering serves as an indictment of SJP and their support of terrorism, not peace.
“While we’ve seen SJP use a variety of underhanded tactics on campuses across the country, this is a new level of extreme,” Mick Silverman, VP Students Supporting Israel at DePaul, told the Salomon Center. “It just goes to show that this is an organization that has no interest in a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but only seeks to continue to destabilize that situation by allying with convicted terrorists.”
This is not the first time SJP at DePaul has elicited controversy.
Anti-Israel San Mateo Bridge blockaders: Police violated our rights!
We previously reported how anti-Israel activists hijacked a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day #BlackLivesMatter protest and turned it into an anti-Israel event.
They trapped hundreds, if not thousands, of motorists by setting up a protest line at the highest point of the bridge span, and also abandoning their own cars on the bridge to block traffic.
This was an extremely dangerous maneuver.
Unlike the blockade of Route 93 in Boston, for example, there was no possibility of motorists exiting. If an ambulance or someone in need of medical care had been trapped, there would have been no way out and no way to redirect ambulances or other emergency vehicles that needed to cross the bay.
This maneuver created havoc on the bridge, with motorists driving the wrong way near the toll area in a desperate attempt to escape.
Some Urgent Questions for the Publisher of ‘The Christian Century’
If Rev. Dr. Buchanan were serious about promoting Christian-Jewish relations, he would remove the name of James M. Wall from the masthead of the magazine he edits.
But he hasn’t.
Here’s the background. Wall, who served as editor of The Christian Century between 1972 and 1999 (with two brief sabbaticals while he worked on both of Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaigns), is currently listed as a contributing editor for the magazine.
Between 1999 and 2008, Wall served as senior contributing editor for the publication, and wrote regular columns that vilified Israel, its leaders, and its supporters in the United States.
Wall’s past columns are not why his name needs to be removed from the masthead. Wall’s name needs to be removed because the man legitimizes the Jew-hatred that caused the deaths of three people in a Kansas City suburb last year – and countless more deaths in tons of other attacks.
He does this by contributing to a website called Veterans News Now (VNN), where he is listed as “associate editor.” VNN publishes the type of articles and graphics that would have fit right in on the pages of Der Sturmer and Der Volkische Beobachter in the 1930s and 40s. No responsible commentator would have anything to do with such a publication.
Nevertheless, Wall has been serving as associate editor of VNN since mid-2012.
The "Calm" That Never Was
Reporting on the January 21 attack in Tel Aviv, in which a Palestinian terrorist stabbed twelve Israelis, the New York Times chose to emphasize what it called the period of "calm" preceding the attack.
"Stabbing on Tel Aviv Bus Breaks a Fragile Calm," according to the Times' headline. Notice how that headline managed to avoid any reference to Palestinian terrorists or Israeli victims.
"Stabbing on Tel Aviv Bus Breaks a Fragile Calm," according to the Times' headline. Calm?
"The episode broke a period of relative calm that followed a spate of attacks against Israelis in October and November," correspondents Isabel Kershner and Irit Garshowitz reported.
Have Kershner and Garshowitz been on vacation since December 1? Here are some examples of "episodes" that occurred during what they think was the "calm" period from December 1 through mid-January:
On December 1, a terrorist stabbed and wounded an Israeli at the Gush Etzion Junction.
On December 3, two Israelis were injured in a stabbing at a Mishor Adumim supermarket.
The New York Times Reports the ‘Ordinary Life’ of a Palestinian Terrorist
Even when New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren is otherwise occupied, its coverage of Israel is worse than dismal; it is palpably distorted, if politely biased. Case in point: Isabel Kershner’s report (January 22) on the 23-year-old Palestinian whose knifing rampage on a Tel Aviv bus resulted in the stabbing of a dozen Israelis, several of whom are still hospitalized with serious wounds.
Terrorist assailant Hamza Matrouk, readers were informed, lived an “ordinary life” in a simple farming village in “the Israeli-occupied West Bank” (also known as biblical Judea and Samaria). Residents indicated that he was “quiet and introspective.” Yet “for young people and others in the village,” who were “angered by the war in Gaza” (now months ago) and by “recent tensions over the revered Aqsa Mosque” (tensions fomented by Palestinians on the Temple Mount, the holiest Jewish site), the knife-crazed assailant had become, predictably, “an instant hero.” As a neighbor declared: “We are proud of him. . . . Every Palestinian should be proud of him.”
Judging from her reporting, Ms. Kershner may also be proud of him. Matrouk must now be included among those individuals whose “spontaneity” is unencumbered by any organizational backing – as though Hamas, Hezbollah, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Brigade, among others, provide insufficient inspiration for terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. He “was not considered an extremist” nor, Kirshner was informed, was he “known to be affiliated with any Palestinian political or militant faction.” He was just an ordinary 23-year-old, she reported, who found electrical work where he could and considerately helped his mother in her Ramallah clothing store.
Egyptian Court Overturns Hamas Ban
Egypt's Emergency State Security Court on Monday overturned an earlier decision to list Hamas as a terrorist organization, the Ma’an news agency reported.
The court ruled that determining whether or not Hamas is a terror group does not fall under its jurisdiction.
The same court had decided in March 2014 to ban Hamas activities in Egypt and ordered the movement's assets to be seized.
At the time, Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabri filed a lawsuit against Hamas, saying it was behind attacks in the Sinai Peninsula and that Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal had planned them.
Australian Politician Joins Kurds Fighting ISIS
As Australian troops join US-led efforts to combat Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists, one of the country's political figures has reportedly taken matters into his own hands and gone to the Middle East to fight them himself.
Matthew Gardiner, a former trade unionist and ex-president of the Northern Territory branch of the opposition Labor Party, left Australia to join a Kurdish militia fighting ISIS, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Sunday according to AFP.
The 43-year-old, whose whereabouts are now being investigated by police, stands in marked contrast to around 90 Australians whom Attorney-General George Brandis says have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight, principally alongside ISIS jihadists.
American Planes Diverted After ISIS-Inspired Twitter Threats
Five planes throughout the United States were diverted or immediately grounded due to various security threats over the weekend.
A threat to a Sunday Los Angeles-to-Orlando flight that was diverted to Dallas came from a Twitter user who claimed to be a member of the Islamic State terror group. One of the tweets read, “We have planted explosives on Delta Flight #1061 from LA to Orlando, we are ISIS, we are here, you won’t be.” Another tweet directed at Delta Airlines said, “We planted explosives on board flight #1061 heading to Orlando our soldiers waiting for signal.” In a third tweet, the Twitter user wrote, “@DeltaAssist We are coming for you, ISIS is here.”
The Twitter account in question used the name of a 20-year-old British man, Junaid Hussain, who is reportedly responsible for hacking the U.S. Central Command’s Twitter account. Hussain is believed to be part of an ISIS-supporting hacking group called Cyber Caliphate.
Iranian Official Calls to 'Wipe Out the Zionist Regime'
Iran is continuing to threaten to retaliate against Israel for an airstrike last week, in which Iran's General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was killed.
On Monday, a senior official in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, General Ramezan Sharif, declared that the airstrike “will accelerate the collapse of the Zionist regime.”
“Undoubtedly, the bloods shed in the front of awakening the Islamic Ummah have provided the ground more than ever for wiping out the Zionist regime,” Sharif said in Tehran, according to the Fars news agency.
He called on Muslim states to unite and said that the Islamic countries should desist from provoking rifts and use all their capacities to fight “the child-killing Zionist regime” instead.
Another Iranian official, General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, said that the airstrike justified “striking painful blows at the Zionist regime.”
Atomic Agency Director: We Can’t Confirm That Iran’s Nuclear Efforts Are for “Peaceful Activities”
It cannot be confirmed “that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities,” Yukiya Amano, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog of the United Nations, said in an address in Indonesia on Friday.
As far as Iran is concerned, the Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of nuclear material declared to us by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement.
But we are not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
NYTimes: U.S. Should Learn to Live with Iran-Backed Syrian Regime
President Barack Obama’s retreat on insisting that President Bashar al-Assad leave power was endorsed in an editorial in The New York Times yesterday.
But the unsettling truth is that the brutal dictator is still clinging to power and the United States and its allies are going to have to live with him, at least for now.
Mr. Kerry seemed tacitly to acknowledge as much recently when he urged Mr. Assad to change his policies, while omitting the usual call for him to leave office. …
Facebook blocks access to pages ‘insulting the Prophet Muhammad’ after Turkish court's ruling
Facebook has blocked access to a number of pages in Turkey for “insulting the Prophet Muhammad,” following a ruling from an Ankara court. The move comes against the risk of the site being completely blocked in Turkey by the authorities.
The Gölbaşı Office of Penal Court of Peace ruled to block access to the pages late on Jan. 25, within the framework of a probe being conducted by prosecutor Harun Ceylan, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The court also ruled that access to Facebook would be entirely blocked if the rulings for related pages are not implemented.
Report: TV Host, Comedian Chelsea Handler Embarks on Secret Film Project in Israel‏
Celebrated American comedian, actress, author, and television host, Chelsea Handler arrived in Israel with a video crew on Sunday to oversee a secretive film project in the Jewish state, Israel’s Walla Celebs News site reported.
The star arrived, ostensibly, to take part in a major fundraising event, one said to be attended by many of Israel’s glitterati, in addition to the undisclosed filming.
In mid-December, Handler finalized the details of the fundraiser, apparently for the Tal Center for Integrative Oncology at the Sheba Medical Center, according to Ynet News.
Handler and her team according to the few details which were divulged by her production associates, will be filming at sites in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as at familiar tourist sites during her several-day stay.
The material is expected to be broadcast by a television network in the US.
‘Princess’ takes a bow at Sundance
This year’s Sundance Film Festival is not without Israeli representation.
In addition to Censored Voices, a controversial documentary about the military censorship encountered by soldiers during Israel’s Six Day War, audiences have also had a chance to view Princess, a dark, morbidly wacky coming-of-age tale from director Tali Shalom-Ezer.
Equal parts disturbing and beautiful, Princess follows a 12-year-old girl, Adar (Shira Haas), who is uncomfortably aware of the sexual relationship between her mother and her mother’s boyfriend.
Adar is right on the cusp of puberty and her own sexual awakening, a fact that imbues every scene, especially those playful, touchy encounters with her mother’s boyfriend, with a perverse sense of shame and boundary-pushing.
Princess premiered at the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival and won a slew of awards, including Best Feature Film and Best Actress.
Israeli woman gives birth at 56
A 56-year-old woman from Kiryat Malachi gave birth to her first child, a healthy boy weighing 3.01 kilograms (6 pounds 10 ounces), at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot on Sunday.
Tammy Trona, who came to Israel from Ethiopia during Operation Solomon in 1991, tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for many years, but never gave up.
"After many attempts to get pregnant, I decided to take a break, but my niece gave me strength and told me, 'Tammy, don't give up.' Soon after that conversation I became pregnant, and I and my family were overjoyed," Trona said.
"I have no words to describe the medical team's dedication and courtesy. They kept me and the baby safe and healthy. I'm just so excited to hold this gift in my arms."

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