Saturday, January 31, 2015

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Confronting European Anti-Semitism
These variations on the theme of anti-Semitism have several elements in common. First, they tend to engage in some form of Holocaust denial, minimization, glorification or comparative victimization. Second, they exaggerate Jewish power, money and influence. Third, they seek the delegitimation and demonization of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Fourth, they impose a double standard on all things Jewish.
Finally, they nearly all deny that they are anti-Semites who hate all Jews. They claim that their hatred is directed against Israel and Jews who support the nation state of the Jewish people.
This common form of the new anti-Semitism—we love the Jews, it's only their nation state that we hate—is pervasive among many European political, media, cultural and academic leaders. It was evident even among some who came to commemorate the liberation of the death camps. A recent poll among Germans showed a significant number of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Nazi supporters didn't want to hear about Nazi atrocities, but believed what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was comparable to what the Nazis had done to the Jews.
This then is the European problem of anti-Semitism that many European leaders are unwilling to confront because they have a built in excuse! It's Israel's fault—if only Israel would do the right thing with regard to the Palestinians, the problem would be solved.
Tragically, it won't be solved, because the reality is that hatred of Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the reverse: anti-Semitism is a primary cause of hatred for the nation state of the Jewish people.
Charles Krauthammer: Real threat to Jews lies in Middle East
Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.
It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.
The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!” Berlin, mind you.
European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It’s a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself.
From the Jewish point of view, European anti-Semitism is a sideshow. The story of European Jewry is over. It died at Auschwitz. Europe’s place as the center and fulcrum of the Jewish world has been inherited by Israel, now the largest Jewish community on earth.
CNN: French Terrorist Taped Rampage in Kosher Grocery Store with Chest-Mounted GoPro
Amedy Coulibaly, the main suspect for the killing of police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe and friend of Charlie Hebdo terrorists Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, attached a GoPro to his chest and filmed his raid into a Jewish market in Porte de Vincennes.
The world watched Coulibaly’s hostage crisis, in which he killed four hostages just two days after the Charlie Hebdo shootings. Now, the video of Coulibaly’s attack has made it to the Internet.
The French police have viewed the video and expressed concerns that it will appear in an Islamic State propaganda video. The footage has been called “gruesome” and “grisly.”
French investigators have not released the recipients of the video, but it is believed that Coulibaly spent time editing and emailing the video while in the market that he held many French Jews hostage.
A GoPro video was also found in the car of the Kouachi brothers though no video of their Charlie Hebdo attack has surfaced online.

FSS? FFS: Charlie Hebdo censored by Manchester SU
At Manchester the Student Union banned the university’s Free Speech and Secular Society’ (FSS) from displaying Charlie Hebdo at its Refreshers’ Fair.
The reasons for the censorship of the Charlie Hebdo front cover were laid out in an e-mail from the Students’ Union General Secretary, Charlie Cook, and chiefly reflected the view that they found it “unsuitable for the event,” and that they “could see no benefit in allowing the presence of the magazine.
“There was genuine concern its presence may cause distress and insult to others,” she added.

The FSS came back with a strong response, which is worth reading in full here:
“It is a commendable goal to make people feel comfortable at university, but censorship itself is offensive. It is offensive to people who wish to commemorate the lives of the twelve people killed in Paris, [and amongst others] to those Muslims who do not condone violence and feel infantilised and patronised by the pre-emptive censorship.
“Discussion around the issue of freedom of speech and the limits of offence must necessarily include the object of the controversy. Without it, debate is stifled and discussion limited—the antithesis of what a university should promote.
German carnival drops Charlie Hebdo-inspired float after Paris attack
A German carnival has dropped plans to build a "Charlie Hebdo" float with a cartoonist forcing a pencil into the barrel of a terrorist's gun, after receiving messages from locals worried about safety if the float went on show.
Jitters about public displays of words or images that might anger some Muslims have risen in Europe since Islamist gunmen attacked the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris on Jan. 7-9, killing 17 people.
Charlie Hebdo had long specialized in ridiculing Islam and other religions and vowed no change in approach after the attack, which prompted marches by millions of people throughout France in tribute to the journal and free expression in general.
Explaining its decision, the carnival committee in Cologne said they wanted to preserve the event's lighthearted mood in the west German city and make sure no one felt afraid -- even though they had been assured by police that displaying the figures would not pose a security risk.
Mumbai Editor Arrested for Publishing Charlie Hebdo Cartoon
Authorities in Mumbai, India, arrested Shirin Dalvi, editor of the Uru Daily Avadhnama newspaper, for printing a cartoon from Charlie Hebdo. It appeared on the front page of the January 17 edition. Residents in Mumbra in Thane complained to the police about the cartoon.
Police justified the arrest “under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which bans malicious and deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” The cartoon in question was used on the cover of the latest Charlie Hebdo issue, depicting a weeping Mohammed holding a sign that says “Je suis Charlie.”
“She was arrested by us, produced in the court and granted bail,” said SM Mundhe, a senior police inspector. “We are investigating the matter.”
Since the incident, Dalvi remains away from her home and her children are living with relatives.
BBC’s Orla Guerin ignores the elephant in southern Lebanon
Guerin’s description of the border as “disputed” of course reflects the Hizballah/Lebanese narrative and she makes no effort to inform viewers of the very relevant fact that the UN determined a decade and a half ago that the area does not belong to Lebanon.
Guerin continues:
“It’s been relatively quiet here since 2006 when Israel and Hizballah went to war.”
Of course that war began because Hizballah initiated it with a cross-border raid accompanied by missile fire on Israeli civilian communities. Guerin’s portrayal, however, promotes a false notion of equivalence and her description of the area as “relatively quiet” is no less misleading.
In addition to periodic missile fire at the town of Kiryat Shmona and its environs (see examples here, here, here and here), there have also been shooting attacks (see one example here) and placement of explosive devices on the border fence.
Nasrallah: Hezbollah is not afraid of war with Israel
In his first televised speech since a deadly attack inside the Israeli border Wednesday killed two IDF soldiers, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that his terror group “cannot be deterred” and that any Israeli action against it would not be unpunished.
“We don’t fear war [against Israel] and we don’t hesitate in facing it if it is imposed on us and we will be victorious, God willing,” he said.
“Everyone was saying that Hezbollah would not respond because of the Iranian [nuclear] talks, or [the war in] Syria. Now they know the truth,” Nasrallah told thousands of supporters in south Beirut Friday, addressing the public rally through a video link from a secret location.
Wednesday’s attack, in which Major Yochai Kalangel and Staff Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini were killed when anti-tank missiles fired by a Hezbollah unit hit their convoy, was largely seen as a response to an alleged Israeli air raid the previous week near Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Twelve Hezbollah and Iranian operatives, including an Iranian general, were killed in the strike, attributed to Israel, on January 18.
Spain, Israel agree joint probe on soldier’s death in Lebanon
The soldier was killed on Wednesday when the Israeli military shelled border areas following a Hezbollah attack that left two Israeli soldiers dead.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telephoned his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy “to express his condolences and sadness at the death in Lebanon of Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo”, Rajoy’s office said in a statement.
“Both leaders agreed to carry out a joint Israeli-Spanish investigation to clarify what happened and to collaborate with the investigation being carried out by the United Nations.”
The 36-year-old corporal was part of the 10,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, which includes 600 Spanish soldiers.
Video claims to show Israeli shelling of UN compound
The Israeli shelling that is said to have killed Lance Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo came after Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at Israeli army vehicles near the border, killing two soldiers and injuring seven. Israel responded to that attack with strikes from the air and from the ground, one of which apparently hit a UN position. Israeli leaders have sent their condolences to the Spanish government and have promised to investigate the incident.
In the video uploaded to YouTube several men are heard conversing in Spanish inside a vehicle, looking out at what appears to be a UNIFIL compound in south Lebanon.
The men’s initially relaxed tones suddenly become frightened and are then replaced by screams and shouts as something explodes inside the compound, throwing dust and debris into the air.
The camera then falls to the cameraman’s side as he appears to duck for cover, before the video abruptly ends.
British tabloid The Daily Star reported that the video was receiving significant media attention in the Spanish press, though it was unconfirmed that it did indeed show the incident in which Soria Toledo was killed.
‘Israel: US deal will leave Iran with 6,500 centrifuges spinning, months from a bomb’
Ratcheting up a confrontation with the Obama administration still further, officials in the Netanyahu government reportedly claimed Friday night that the US has already agreed in principle to a deal that would leave Iran capable of enriching enough uranium for a nuclear bomb within “mere months.”
Israel Channel 10 TV news said the deal taking shape would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium in “over 7,000″ centrifuges. It quoted unnamed Jerusalem sources saying the terms of the deal would leave Iran “closer than was thought” to nuclear weapons, “mere months from producing enough material for a bomb,” and that the US has agreed to 80% of Iran’s demands.
A similar report on Channel 2 news said the US was ready for Iran to keep enriching uranium in 6,500 of its 9,000 centrifuges. It also said that the US was proposing “a time limit” on the deal — possibly of 10 or 15 years — after which “Iran will be free to continue a nuclear industry.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said to have indicated to confidants that he feels he has “no choice” but to speak out against the imminent deal, including at a controversial address scheduled for March 3 to Congress, Channel 10 said. Netanyahu does not intend to speak against President Barack Obama, or to give a partisan address, or to focus overly on sanctions, but rather to talk strongly against the deal, the report said.
U.S. Senator: “Iran Has Been Killing Americans For More Than Three Decades”
Sen. Tom Cotton (R – Ark.) presented an overview of Iran’s record in targeting the United States and its citizens in an op-ed published today in The Wall Street Journal. After writing that “Iran has been killing Americans for more than three decades,” Cotton offered some examples.
In 1983 Iran helped finance and direct the bombing of the U.S. Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut, killing hundreds of American military, diplomatic and intelligence personnel. Iran has also been implicated in the 1996 Khobar Tower bombings, which killed 19 American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia.
More recently and personally for me, Iran has been responsible for the killing and maiming of thousands of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. During my tour in Baghdad leading an infantry platoon, Iran supplied the most advanced, most lethal roadside bombs used against coalition forces. My soldiers and I knew that Iranian-supplied bombs were the one thing our armored vehicles couldn’t withstand. All we could do was hope it wasn’t our day to hit one. My platoon was lucky; too many others were not.

Cotton also referenced Iran’s support for terror, noting that the State Department described it as the “the worst state sponsor of terrorism.”
Joint Mossad-CIA operation killed key Hezbollah leader Mughniyeh in 2008
The assassination of the Hezbollah operations officer Imad Mughniyeh who was killed in 2008 in a car-bombing in Damascus was widely attributed to Israel in the foreign media. But according to a detailed report on Friday in The Washington Post, the killing of one of the world's most wanted terrorists was the result of a joint Mossad-CIA operation.
US involvement in the killing of Imad Mughniyeh was confirmed to the news outlet by five former US intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to the report, the CIA obtained the legal authority to kill the Hezbollah leader because it was able to prove that, "he was a continuing threat to Americans," through his connection to the arming and training of Shiite militias in Iraq that were targeting and killing US forces.
Imad Mughniyeh's son Jihad was killed earlier this month in an airstrike on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights that has been attributed to Israel. Besides Mughniyeh five other Hezbollah operatives and six Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel were killed in the attack.
Among other terrorist attacks against US citizens, Mughniyeh the father was linked to the 1983 bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people, and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US servicemen.
Mughniyeh was also implicated in the 1992 suicide bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed twenty-nine people and the 1994 attack on the Jewish community center in the Argentinian capital that killed 85.
New York Times Forced to Correct Netanyahu Speech Timeline
The New York Times has continued its apparent bias against Israeli Prime Minister with a story Friday wrongly alleging that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invitation to address Congress before President Barack Obama’s was notified. In fact, Netanyahu only accepted after the White House knew about the speech. The story has since been corrected online, but the incorrect version will misinform print readers today.
And here is the correction at bottom, online:
"An earlier version of this article misstated when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel accepted Speaker John A. Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He accepted after the administration had been informed of the invitation, not before."
US, UK condemn latest Israeli plan for settler housing as 'illegal, illegitimate'
The United States and the United Kingdom on Friday both condemned the Israeli government’s plan to issue new tenders for housing units in the West Bank.
Israel published tenders on Friday for the construction of 450 new housing units in the West Bank, a move that critics denounced as a political gesture ahead of a March general election.
Ariel Rosenberg, spokesman for Israel's Housing Ministry, said the government was simply remarketing tenders that had failed to sell when they were initially offered last year.
'Israel knew about about the Gaza tunnel threat but did nothing about it'
Heavy criticism has been directed against the political and security establishments regarding the IDF being unprepared for the scope of the Hamas tunnel threat during last year's Operation Protective Edge.
On Saturday, former OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yoav Galant, who is also the number two candidate for the Knesset on the Koolanu list, added his own harsh critique of the government, accusing it of knowing about the threat prior to the war and allowing it to continue.
Galant said that the attack tunnel threat began many years before last summer's war, and that during his tenure that coincided with Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, ninety-two tunnels were destroyed.
Posing a rhetorical question, Galant asked if it was, "possible that the state of Israel knew that the tunnels from Gaza led into nurseries in Israeli villages near the border, did nothing about them and even covered up their existence?"
"It cannot be that they did not prepare a plan to deal with the threat and at the same time say they did not know about it," he said at a cultural event in Holon.
Iraqi Yazidis Appeal to Israel for Military Aid to Fight Islamic State
An Iraqi Yazidi military commander has made an appeal to Israel for military aid to help in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.
“We appeal to the Israeli government and its leader to step in and help this nation, which loves the Jewish people,” Lt. Col. Lukman Ibrahim—a fighter in the Sinjar Protection Forces, a Yazidi militia—told Al-Monitor.
“We would be most grateful for the establishment of military ties—for instance, the training of fighters and the formation of joint teams. We are well aware of the circumstances the Israelis are in, and of the suffering they have endured at the hands of the Arabs ever since the establishment of their state. We, too, are suffering on account of them,” Ibrahim added.
Numbering around 1 million adherents, the Yazidis are a Kurdish ethnoreligious group that is linked to Zoroastrianism and other ancient Mesopotamian faiths. Their homeland is centered around Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq.
Israeli Knesset Members Move to Bar Arab MK Zoabi From Elections
Member of Knesset Danny Danon (Likud) and the Yisrael Beiteinu party have joined forces in filing a petition with the Israeli Central Election Committee to bar controversial Arab MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) from participating in the March 17 elections.
Zoabi, who was suspended from the Knesset for six months last October after saying the Hamas kidnappers and murderers of three Jewish teenagers were “not terrorists,” is slated sixth on the Joint Arab List’s ticket, formed last week after the Balad, Ra’am-Ta’al, and Hadash parties— fearing they would fail to pass the election threshold—decided to merge.
The petition, filed Thursday with Central Elections Committee Chairman Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, stated that Zoabi’s outspoken support of Palestinian violence against Israel, as well as past statements in which she denied Israel’s existence, are in violation of Basic Law: The Knesset.
Egypt's decision to ban Hamas' armed wing only serves the Zionist occupation, Hamas says
An Egyptian court on Saturday banned the armed wing of Palestinian group Hamas and listed it as a terrorist organization, a ruling in keeping with a systematic crackdown on Islamists by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Sisi said on Saturday Egypt faces a tough, prolonged campaign against militancy. "(It) will be difficult, strong, evil and will take a long time," he said in comments broadcast on state television after meeting top military officers.
Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which the authorities have also declared a terrorist group and repressed thoroughly since the army ousted one of its leaders, Mohamed Mursi, from the presidency in 2013.
"We reject the Egyptian court's decision against Qassam Brigades. It is a political, dangerous decision that serves only the Zionist occupation," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, referring to Israel's control over Palestinian territories.
A source close to Hamas' armed wing signaled the group would no longer accept Egypt as a broker between it and Israel. "After the court's decision Egypt is no longer a mediator in Palestinian-Israeli matters," the source told Reuters.
Abbas's Arch Rival Reportedly Given Serbian Citizenship
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s arch rival, the exiled Mohammed Dahlan, has been granted Serbian citizenship, AFP reported on Friday, citing the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).
"Dahlan, his wife and four children, a nephew and five key political supporters were all granted citizenship between February 2013 and June 2014," BIRN said.
The news portal provided a link to a page from the government gazette of December 11, 2013, in which the decision to grant Dahlan citizenship was published.
The decision, signed by then prime minister Ivica Dacic, went unnoticed until reported by BIRN.
"Dahlan is credited with facilitating Abu Dhabi's promised investment of billions of euros in Serbia," BIRN said, referring to pledges of financing from the United Arab Emirates, where Dahlan currently resides, including a multi-billion-euro plan to redevelop Belgrade's waterfront.
The government in Belgrade refused to confirm a link between the passports given to 12 Palestinian Arab, all linked to Dahlan, and the Gulf country's planned investments, the report said.
Stephen Sizer lies in his “apology”, and the Diocese of Guildford publishes his lie
Stephen Sizer’s book Christian Zionism (2004), p.251, footnote 170:
For allegations of Israeli complicity in 9/11, see ‘Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001′, Sunday Herald, 2 November 2003,
Stephen Sizer in 2010 on his blog:
Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated columnist. His articles appear in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, for example. On the anniversary of 9/11 he wrote a provocative piece entitled The Mother of All Coincidences. Here’s a flavour: [...]
“6. Bush’s unprovoked war against Iraq destroyed one of Israel’s two main enemies. 7. 9/11 put America in what may turn out to be a permanent state of war with the Muslim world – a key goal of the neoconservative. But I’ve seen no hard evidence to date that 9/11 was a plot by America’s far right or by Israel or a giant cover-up. Just, perhaps, the Mother of All Coincidences.”

Stephen Sizer’s apology for a Facebook link he posted this past week (2015):
“I have never believed Israel or any other country was complicit in the terrorist atrocity of 9/11, and my sharing of this material was ill-considered and misguided.”
Why has the Diocese of Guildford “welcomed” his apology, and published it on their website, when it is so demonstrably untrue?
Student Leader: 'Hamas & Shariah Law Have Taken Over UC Davis'
The pro-Israel community on campus staged a walk-out from the divestment hearing, highlighting the fact that the anti-Semitic resolution was "toxic" and "damaged lives."
However the actual divestment vote was overshadowed by a member of the UC Davis student senate, Azka Fayyaz, captioning a photo on Facebook that "Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis. Brb crying over the resilience."
The UC Davis student paper, The Aggie, noted that Azka Fayyaz was one of the eight senators to vote in favor of the resolution.
“The student senator’s statement that Hamas and sharia law is taking over UC Davis is alarming," a Hillel International spokesperson told TruthRevolt. "BDS supporters have aligned themselves with a terrorist entity and an ideology that would impose strict religious-based restrictions on everyone. If this is what BDS is about, it’s even worse than anyone thought. We hope that students of all faiths see this evidence that this is a hate-filled movement.”
In her bid to become a student senator, Fayyaz asserted that she aimed to implement, "a holistic campus calendar to creating a more robust Club Finance Council, and actively working with administration for an expansion of quiet spaces for study, reflection and prayer." On a separate occasion Fayyaz helped display a poster likening Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler.
Embattled Brandeis President Resigns
Beleaguered Brandeis University President Fred Lawrence announced he would resign at the end of the school year, releasing a statement to members of the community. Lawrence wrote, “After careful consideration, and in close consultation with the Board of Trustees, I have decided to step down at the end of this, my fifth academic year. For the time being, I am looking forward to returning to full-time scholarship and teaching as a senior research scholar at Yale Law School.”
Lawrence has presided over one of the most contentious school years in the school’s history. It included the decision last April to rescind an invitation to speak given to noted spokesperson Ayaan Hirsi Ali, to the revelation in July from Truth Revolt’s Daniel Mael, a Brandeis senior, of a faculty listserv that smoldered with anti-Israel sentiments, to a dispute in December between Mael and Brandeis University student Khadijah Lynch, an undergraduate representative for the Department of African and Afro-American Studies who tweeted of the ambush/murders of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, “lmao, all i just really dont have sympathy for the cops who were shot. i hate this racist f**king country.”
Antisemitic British Baroness Jenny Tonge Pressures UK Jews to Condemn Israel
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a member of Britain’s House of Lords with a long record of inflammatory, often antisemitic, statements against both Israel and the British Jewish leadership, has again been pressuring British Jews to collectively condemn Israel.
Earlier this week, Tonge tabled a written question in the House of Lords in which she asked “Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to encourage Jewish faith leaders in the United Kingdom publicly to condemn settlement building by Israel and to make clear their support for universal human rights.”
Tonge’s question, which comes against the background of rising antisemitism in the UK, was quickly condemned by Jewish campaigners.
British News Networks’ Shameful Treatment of the Holocaust (VIDEO)
In case anyone still has any doubts with regard to the opinion of British news networks such as the BBC on Jews and Jewish issues, two videos that emerged this week with regard to Tuesday’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz paint a grim picture.
The theme of the below episode of the BBC show The Big Questions was actually the question, “Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?”
The question itself is concerning, and extremely offensive to the victims of the Holocaust and their descendants—and not only Jewish victims, because it implies that the Holocaust was not the grievous atrocity that it was and that its victims are exaggerating its significance, perhaps for some sinister motivation of social or political gain.
Would an American television program ever pose a question such as, “Is the time coming to forget about 9/11?” Would that program then actually engage in a debate on the topic? It’s doubtful that such a program would air smoothly without an enormous outcry, and rightfully so.
Jordan threatens to execute IS prisoners if pilot harmed
The Jordanian government has reportedly threatened to execute IS-affiliated prisoners already sentenced to death if a Jordanian pilot held captive by the terror group is harmed.
According to a report in the Kuwaiti paper al-Rai quoting Jordanian sources. Jordan relayed a message via a third party to IS telling the group that the trials of “jihadist prisoners close to ISIS” may be expedited.
The family of a Jordanian fighter pilot said Saturday it has received no word on his fate since the militants threatened to kill him earlier this week.
The Islamic State group purportedly threatened to kill Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh by Thursday unless Jordan released a female al-Qaeda prisoner, Sajida al-Rishawi, from death row. Jordan has said it cannot release her without proof the pilot is alive.
Iran To Try Washington Post Reporter “Soon” on Unspecified Charges
Martin Baron, the executive editor of the Post, issued a statement calling for the release of Rezaian.
“We have yet to hear any accounting of any charges against Jason, who after six months in custody has still not been provided access to a lawyer. It is appalling and outrageous that Jason remains behind bars. A fair and just approach by Iran’s judiciary could only result in his immediate release.”
Two weeks ago, Iran announced that it had indicted Rezaian on unspecified charges. Iran’s handling of the case prompted Rezaian’s brother to charge that the government has “bent or broken their rules, and ignored the constitutional requirements that they have, in how they handle a detainee.”
An editorial in the Post last month asked, “If Iranian officials are unresponsive in the case of Mr. Rezaian, how can they be expected to deliver on commitments they make with respect to the nuclear program?”
Holocaust documentary shown in Iran for first time
A documentary film featuring footage from the Auschwitz death camp has been broadcast to Iranian viewers, exposing many of them for the first time to the atrocities and mass-murder committed by the Nazis against the Jews.
The documentary, titled “Germany’s Führer,” was broadcast on Holocaust Memorial Day by Manoto1, a London-based satellite TV station, and was shot by an Iranian film crew which visited the site. The film details the Nazis rise to power in Europe and discusses the stages leading up to the execution of the Final Solution for the extermination of the Jews.
The showing of the film coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day and marked 70 years since the camp was finally liberated by the Soviet army.
Owning a satellite dish in the Islamic Republic is forbidden by the government, but nevertheless, the documentary was estimated to have been viewed by scores of Iranians.
It is unclear to what extent the film actually managed to change the deeply rooted opinions of many Iranians who maintain the Holocaust was fabricated or perpetrated by the Jewish people as a means to garner world sympathy.
Merkel, Orban to Mull Over Anti-Semitism in Hungary
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she will visit the Great Synagogue in Budapest, and discuss with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban about the rising anti-Semitism in Europe, during her visit to Hungary on Monday.
Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, announced that during Merkel's visit to Budapest she is to discuss with Orban general issues regarding the European Union (EU), but also invest time to examine anti-Semitic incidents and the growing racism in Europe in recent months, and will likewise visit the central synagogue in Budapest.
"The risk of xenophobia must be recognized wherever it is in Europe, and we must reject it. It has to be that way in Germany, like any other country in the European Union" said Seibert.
He also addressed the Hungarian far-right Jobbik party, whose leaders tend to speak against the Jews and asked to make a list of Jews living in Hungary "because they pose a risk to the state," they said.
All-time record car deliveries for Israel in January
Car deliveries in Israel in January are expected to total 32,000, up from 27,000 in January 2014.
Despite deflation, slower growth and a stagnant capital market, the new car market is boiling over in Israel. Initial data received by "Globes" shows that next week figures will be published for an all-time high of 32,000 new vehicle deliveries in January, up from 27,000 cars in January 2014.
Market sources say that a large part of the deliveries have been to leasing companies that stop ordering new cars in November so as to wait for the new models. Consequently December deliveries were half the monthly average. In addition, importers brought in a large number of cars in December ahead of the green tax update at the start of January. Most of the cars have already been released from customs and excise thus paying the old tax. Consequently deliveries in January took place swiftly and were not delayed until February for logistical reasons.
An estimated 25-40% of new deliveries are luxury cars with Audi delivering 900 vehicles in January and Mercedes over 500 with record numbers also for BMW and Mini.
IBM fetes its ‘children’ on accelerator Graduation Day
“I’m a good Zionist,” IBM Israel Country General Manager Rick Kaplan said of himself, and as part of that “job,” he promotes Israeli tech around the world. As he told a crowd of over 300 at Tuesday’s Demo Day graduation ceremony for companies enrolled in the first-ever IBM Alpha Zone accelerator for start-ups, Kaplan would like to see more countries adopt the values and creativity of the Start-Up Nation.
But on second thought, what works here might not work elsewhere. “It’s true that there are good start-ups and entrepreneurs elsewhere,” said Kaplan. “But then I realize that to make a real Start-Up Nation, you really need Israeli start-ups.” The creativity and capabilities of Israeli entrepreneurs are what puts Israeli start-ups on a higher plane, and makes Israel the start-up Mecca that it has become, he said.
If that’s the case for run-of-the-mill Israeli start-ups, it’s especially true of the companies that have gone through the Petah Tikva-based IBM Alpha Zone accelerator, said Kaplan. “Alpha Zone fits perfectly with IBM’s way of doing business,” he said. “The start-ups in the Alpha Zone accelerator are using IBM technology in creative ways, building the applications and service of tomorrow that will bring real change to the world.”
IBM was so proud of its start-ups, said Kaplan, that the graduation event was being broadcast live to IBM’s many facilities around the world – an honor usually reserved only for top-level events, such as presentations by IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.


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