Saturday, March 21, 2015

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Guess Who's Not Speaking at the J Street Conference?
J Street -- the lobby group that claims to be "pro-Israel" and "pro-peace" -- is anything but "open" to centrist views that are critical of its policies. It has invited several prominent anti-Israel speakers to address its national conference, including Saeb Erekat, one of the Palestinian Authority's chief negotiators, who has repeatedly accused Israel of war crimes, and committing massacres in the West Bank. It has also invited speakers who are generally pro-Israel but who strongly oppose the current Israeli government. The one group of pro-Israel advocates who never get invited to J Street conferences are those of us who are somewhat critical of J Street, particularly with regard to its policies toward Iran and other issues involving Israel's security. I know this because I have repeatedly sought an opportunity to address the J Street conference. I have personally implored Jeremy Ben-Ami, the head of J Street, either to allow me to address the conference, or to sit down with me for a public conversation in front of the group's members. He has adamantly refused. We have publicly debated and discussed our differences in front of non-J Street audiences, but he has never allowed me to engage him in the marketplace of ideas in front of his own followers.
This is more than ironic. It is hypocritical, especially in light of J Street's demands that other organizations, such as Hillel and AIPAC, be open to speakers who are critical of Israel. What's good for Hillel and AIPAC, is apparently not good for J Street -- at least by J Street's own standards.
Why then is J Street so determined to deny its members the opportunity to hear divergent views from center-leftists like me? Because its leaders are afraid that if I were allowed to address its conference, I would tell its members the truth about J Street -- a truth they try hard to conceal, particularly from college students who are lured into the J Street fold under false pretenses. The key to J Street's success in increasing its membership rolls is its ability to speak out of both sides of its mouth. To those on the hard left, it offers anti-Israel and pro-BDS speakers, support for the mendacious Goldstone Report, and opposition to keeping the military option on the table as a last resort in preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Why Islam Needs a Reformation
“Islam’s borders are bloody,” wrote the late political scientist Samuel Huntington in 1996, “and so are its innards.” Nearly 20 years later, Huntington looks more right than ever before. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims. In 2013, there were nearly 12,000 terrorist attacks world-wide. The lion’s share were in Muslim-majority countries, and many of the others were carried out by Muslims. By far the most numerous victims of Muslim violence—including executions and lynchings not captured in these statistics—are Muslims themselves.
Not all of this violence is explicitly motivated by religion, but a great deal of it is. I believe that it is foolish to insist, as Western leaders habitually do, that the violent acts committed in the name of Islam can somehow be divorced from the religion itself. For more than a decade, my message has been simple: Islam is not a religion of peace.
When I assert this, I do not mean that Islamic belief makes all Muslims violent. This is manifestly not the case: There are many millions of peaceful Muslims in the world. What I do say is that the call to violence and the justification for it are explicitly stated in the sacred texts of Islam. Moreover, this theologically sanctioned violence is there to be activated by any number of offenses, including but not limited to apostasy, adultery, blasphemy and even something as vague as threats to family honor or to the honor of Islam itself.
Cuba calls to “eliminate” UN Watch speech on Israeli elections as lesson for dictatorships
Statement by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer to the UN Human Rights Council, 17 March 2015, Agenda Item 4, “Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention”
Mr. President,
Today the whole world is watching as millions of Israelis, Jews and Arabs, go to the polls to elect 120 members of parliament and a prime minister. Twenty-four parties are running, including left and right, secular and religious, and a joint Arab list that is predicted this time to win more than ten percent of the seats.
The whole world is watching, to see the results.
But my question today, Mr. President, is whether members of this United Nations Human Rights Council is watching — not the results, but the process.
Now, in this session the Council is planning to condemn Israel for violating human rights in at least four resolutions, which is four times more condemnation than is being directed against Syria, Iran, and North Korea.
Cuba calls to "eliminate" UN Watch speech on Israeli elections as lesson for dictatorships

UN singles out Israel for Condemnation On Treatment of women
Israel's Counsellor of Human Rights, Nelly Shiloh: "Remember this date, March 20 2015. Today the CSW will probably end its annual most important meeting by singling out Israel, again. What a way to mark 20 years since the Beijing declaration!
The goal of this forum is to advance the rights and interests of women around the world through productive and professional dialogue. However, it seems that the sponsors of this resolution would sooner score cheap political points than address the important subject at hand.
Singling out Israel for condemnation, among all the nations of the Middle East – and the nations of the world, is not only unfair. It is absurd."

Why does the left downplay antisemitism? All forms of racism should be abhorred
Even before the Kemp lecture, the student protesters Lynch became involved with declared that they were there to defend Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the extremist group which has been exposed as having spread antisemitic propaganda and incitement against Jews on the streets of Sydney. Hizb-ut-Tahrir, whatever their legal status, cannot be defended by any genuine anti-racist. If the radical left with which Lynch and his fellow protesters are affiliated are prepared to defend their civil rights, they must not excuse their anti-Jewish racism – a duty of which they have thus far failed.
When progressives downplay or diminish the threat of antisemitism in the diaspora because of Israel – or, worse, fuel it – they do not extend to us those equal rights they purport to stand for. Progressives do more than dishonouring their values in this case, they diminish the unique history of Jews in Australian (and western) society, failing to acknowledge and defend us as equal, regardless of our relationship with or opinions about Israel.
The left must act to repair its straining relationship with Jews and once again take up opposition to antisemitism as its cause. Antisemitism is, like all forms of racism, to be abhorred and condemned unequivocally, not reduced and marginalised by games of comparison and mitigation. It is not a partisan issue and it cannot be up to the right to own the unqualified outrage it deservedly generates. The left, and the values it holds, are far too proud and dear to our hearts for that.
Meet the Aussie academic who hates debate
Students at the University of Sydney disrupted a speech being given by former British army colonel Richard Kemp on Monday. Kemp was addressing an audience on the topic of how states can deal with terrorism and insurgency, in light of Australia’s engagement with the Islamic State.
Anti-Israel protesters burst in chanting: ‘Richard Kemp, you can’t hide / You support genocide.’ They stood on chairs, shouted through megaphones, and had a tussle with security guards. But the biggest scandal was when an associate professor at the university, Jake Lynch, an avowed supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, allegedly got up and waved money in the face of a Jewish attendee.
You can watch the video of how it panned out here.
Accounts of what took place vary greatly. Lynch’s version of events is that he was merely threatening to sue another attendee if she did not stop physically assaulting him. But as tempting as it is to lose yourself in the juvenile he-said-she-said, the fact remains that a group of university activists, including an actual professor, felt the compulsion to shout down those who hold opposing views, rather than take them on in debate.
Kemp summarised this grim spectacle well: ‘The behaviour of the protesters and the academics was an affront to the core ideals of the university — the freedom to speak, the freedom to assemble and the freedom to engage with ideas and opinions.’
It’s time someone reminded Australia’s self-righteous professors that it’s actually their job to debate ideas.
Jeffrey Goldberg: PM has ‘weeks’ to prove he supports two-state solution
President Barack Obama is unlikely to make the effort to save Israel from UN pressure on Palestinian statehood, the well-connected US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg estimated Friday, amid the current deep crisis in ties between the two countries’ leaderships.
“President Obama is not particularly interested in spending political capital on behalf of [re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu in order to block a resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood,” Goldberg wrote, summing up ties in the wake of the Likud leader’s election victory on Tuesday.
Although Netanyahu on Thursday walked back his pre-election renunication of support for a Palestinian state, “it is obvious that the White House is not buying the walk-back,” Goldberg wrote, in an article Friday entitled “Israel’s Dangerous Predicament.”
UN's Ban to Netanyahu: Commit to two-state solution with the Palestinians
Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's election victory UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Netanyahu on Friday and urged him to renew Israel's commitment to a "two-state solution" to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to clarify on Thursday comments made during his election campaign that a Palestinian state would not emerge under his tenure.
"The secretary general reiterated his view that the two-state solution was the only way forward and urged the prime minister to renew Israel's commitment to that goal," AFP quoted Ban's spokesman as saying.
"The secretary-general also urged the prime minister to release the tax revenue currently held by Israel but owed to the Palestinian Authority," the statement added.
Security Challenges of the New Israeli Government
A new Likud-led government will take office in Jerusalem in the upcoming weeks. The government will have to face many security challenges emerging from the turbulent strategic environment.
The most important issue is Iran. The US is racing toward an agreement that will legitimize the nuclear threshold status of Iran. Many key Mideast powers have signaled their displeasure with the nascent accord, as well as their desire to develop uranium enrichment capabilities on par with Iran.
The American attempt to offer a nuclear umbrella to forestall regional nuclear proliferation – which is a strategic nightmare – is doomed to failure. No Arab leader trusts President Obama. Therefore, only a military strike to destroy the Iranian capability to produce fissionable material needed for nuclear bombs can stop nuclear proliferation in the region.
The US is racing toward an agreement that will legitimize the nuclear threshold status of Iran.
The only country with 'enough guts' to do this is Israel. This decision must be taken by the next Israeli government. The timetable for such a strike is not to be determined by additional Iranian progress on the nuclear path, but by the perceptions of regional leaders of Iranian ambitions and power. The expansion of Iranian influence to Iraq and Yemen, in addition to its grip over Syria and Lebanon, has heightened threat perceptions. American willingness to accept a greater Iranian regional role undermines American credibility and underscores the need for Israeli action in the near future.
Watchdog Group Says Israeli Election Subject to Massive and Blatant Subversion
Professor Gerald M. Steinberg, President of watchdog group NGO Monitor, said today that Israeli democracy suffers from the “severe problem of foreign interference.” Steinberg was responding to a Washington Post article, in which he was quoted, analyzing the role of foreign money in the Israeli election.
“No other democratic country in the world is subject to such massive interference and blatant subversion,” said Steinberg.
“Groups like V-15, OneVoice, Ameinu and the powerful New Israel Fund operate entirely outside Israeli government regulations and campaign financing laws, and this must end — no democracy can allow itself to be manipulated by unaccountable and irresponsible political frameworks.”
Earlier this week, Netanyahu warned that his political opponents in Israel’s general election on Tuesday were benefiting from “tens of millions” in foreign support.
Palestinian Activist: Modern Israel Jives With ‘Racist’ and
‘Xenophobic’ Republican Party

Palestinian-American activist Yousef Munayyer bitterly compared Israel to the “racist,” “nativist” and “xenophobic” Republican Party Friday on MSNBC, while criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for being “not really interested in peace.”
Munayyer, an advocate against what he claims is Israeli occupation, called Netanyahu’s recent comments on the two-state solution a clear example of “a man who never misses an opportunity not to make peace,” while, per usual, not commenting on Hamas tactics of rocket fire against Israeli civilians and breaking cease-fires.
Guest Andrea Mitchell Reports host Peter Alexander then asked him to discuss the state of domestic politics regarding Israel, where he went on a liberal rant against the GOP.
Palestinian activist: Israel jives with 'racist' and 'xenophobic' Republicans

Watchdog: Reported Nuclear Deal Leaves Iran With Capacity for Bomb, Not Nuclear Power Plant
If Iran is permitted to keep 6,000 nuclear centrifuges, it will not be able to create enough fuel for a peaceful nuclear program, but it will be able to build a nuclear weapon, David Ibsen, Executive Director of the watchdog group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
Iran has long claimed that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
The “consensus is 6,000 centrifuges is short of the capacity necessary to generate fuel to power nuclear power plants,” Ibsen said in a written statement.
Ibsen was responding to an exclusive AP story reporting that the US and Iran had reached a draft nuclear accord that permits Iran to continue its nuclear enrichment program.
Under the tentative agreement, the US will lift sanctions against Iran, and cap Iran’s nuclear enrichment capability to 6,000 centrifuges. Iran presently has 19,000 centrifuges capable of enriching the uranium needed for a nuclear weapon. The US had previously attempted to cap Tehran’s enrichment program at 500 – 1,500 centrifuges.
The AP also reported that under the draft accord, the UN might “roll back” an arms embargo against Iran.
UANI believes that Iran can still build a bomb under such a draft agreement.
Iranian Ship Unloads 185 Tons of Weapons, Military Equipment for Houthis in Yemen
An Iranian ship unloaded 185 tons of weapons and military equipment at a Houthi-controlled al-Saleef port in Yemen, al Arabiya reports.
The Houthi militias reportedly closed the port and denied entrance to employees there. Al-Saleef port is considered the second most vital in Yemen.
The news follows last week’s economic partnership agreements between Iran and the Houthis, including a deal that promises a year’s worth of oil supply from Iran.
Iran has also agreed to provide Yemen with a 200 megawatt power plant, according to Yemeni news agency Saba.
Yemen is torn by a power struggle between the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in the north, and the internationally-recognized President Abedrabbu Mansorur Hadi, who has set up a rival seat in the south with the backing of Sunni-led Gulf Arab states.
Key Democrat Calls White House Argument on Iran Deal “Preposterous”
Rep. Brad Sherman (D – Calif.), a leading member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the Obama administration’s plan to ensure the nuclear deal currently being negotiated with Iran would prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon “preposterous,” The Hill reported yesterday.
Blinken retorted, “If Iran makes an agreement, it will make it with the full knowledge that if it violates the agreement, there will be severe consequences.”
United Nations sanctions were imposed on Iran though six U.N. Security Council resolutions after Iran’s failure to adhere to its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). The terms of a leaked draft of a deal would leave intact Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact, in violation of its NPT obligations.
At the committee hearing yesterday, Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.) discussed a bipartisan letter Congress was sending to the administration urging a Congressional role in shaping a nuclear deal with Iran.
Four-Fifths of House Members Urge Congressional Role in Iran Nuke Deal
Over 360 members of the House of Representatives, including majorities of both parties, signed a letter notifying the White House that Congress won’t enact permanent sanctions relief for Iran unless representatives are convinced that the terms of the nuclear deal being negotiated will “foreclose any pathway to a bomb.”
According to The Hill the letter, which was written by Rep. Eliot Engel (D – N.Y.), read, in part:
Should an agreement with Iran be reached, permanent sanctions relief from congressionally-mandated sanctions would require new legislation.
In reviewing such an agreement, Congress must be convinced that its terms foreclose any pathway to a bomb, and only then will Congress be able to consider permanent sanctions relief.

According to The Hill, Engel’s call is not for preemptive legislative action, but rather for Congress to vote on a deal after it is concluded. In remarks before a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing yesterday, Engel, the ranking member of the committee, explained the rationale behind the letter:
Make no mistake: Congress will play an important role in the evaluation of a final deal. Again, I want to say that I will not stand by and allow Congress to be marginalized. Any permanent repeal of sanctions is, by law, Congress’s discretion. And before we do that, we must be completely convinced that this deal blocks all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear bomb.
Congress Seeks to Cut Off Taxpayer Funding For Iran Deal
Congressional leaders have begun pressuring their colleagues to cut off all U.S. funding for the ongoing talks with Iran over its contested nuclear program as the Obama administration rushes to hash out the details of a deal in the coming months, according to multiple sources and a letter that will be sent next week to appropriators in the House of Representatives.
With the deadline approaching, congressional Republicans have been exasperated by the Obama administration’s efforts to prevent them from having any oversight over the deal.
Reps. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) and Lee Zeldin (R., N.Y.) are now petitioning their colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee to prohibit all taxpayer funding for the talks, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
This would purge all U.S. funds available to Obama administration officials for travel abroad, hotel stays, and any other activities related to the P5+1 talks with Iran.
Obama Praises Iranian Dictator in Nowruz Address, Throws US Allies Under Bus
President Obama sent out his annual Nowruz (Persian New Year) message on Thursday, hoping to “speak directly” to the “leaders” of Iran in a highly politicized message meant to garner support for an upcoming nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.
In the video, the President mischaracterizes the reality of Iran’s political system, while trashing dissenters of his upcoming nuclear deal with Iran. He even finds time to praise Iran’s dictator for his supposed fatwa against nuclear weapons–and speaks of Iran’s “leaders” as if the despotic regime is governed by a legitimate parliamentary democracy.
President Obama states:
The days and weeks ahead will be critical. Our negotiations have made progress, but gaps remain. And there are people, in both our countries and beyond, who oppose a diplomatic resolution. My message to you–the people of Iran– is that, together, we have to speak up for the future we seek.
The President seems to imply that critics of the Iran deal–such as the vast majority of Congress, the State of Israel, and other American allies–are the “people” in “our countries and beyond” who “oppose a diplomatic solution.” In framing his statement, Obama suggests that those opposed to his nuclear deal want to go to war with Iran, and that their concerns over a bad deal are not legitimate.
AP Reporter Questions State Dept on 'Over the Top' Condolences to Iran's President

Kerry: US in ‘no rush’ for nuclear deal with Iran
US Secretary of State John Kerry said “substantial progress” has been made toward ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program will not lead to weapons development, but important gaps still stand in the way of an agreement.
Speaking after a week of nuclear talks with Iran, Kerry said Saturday that the US wasn’t rushing for an agreement even as a March 31 deadline looms for a framework agreement.
He said fundamental decisions needed to be made and stressed that world powers and Iran have an opportunity right now for a diplomatic solution.
Kerry was departing later Saturday for London to meet with European allies, before returning to Washington.
The US secretary of state also said world powers were “united” in their nuclear talks with Iran, amid speculation of splits with France.
France Demands Full Disclosure of Past Iranian Nuclear Work as Negotiators Adjourn Without Deal
The P5+1 nuclear talks with Iran adjourned for the weekend amid a growing rift between France and the United States over French insistence that no further concessions be made until Iran gives “a full explanation of evidence” of its past military nuclear research, The Guardian reported today.
The sharpest split is between the US, which had proposed a scheme for a phased lifting of UN sanctions in return for concrete Iranian actions to limit its nuclear programme, and France, which wants to offer only a symbolic easing of the punitive measures imposed over the past decade.
Diplomats say the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, telephoned the French delegation in Lausanne to ensure it did not make further concessions, and to insist that the bulk of UN sanctions could only be lifted if Iran gave a full explanation of evidence suggesting it may have done development work on nuclear warhead design in the past.
“We have been negotiating with Iran for 12 [years]. We shouldn’t be rushed into an agreement which will have to be comprehensive,” the French ambassador to Washington, Gerard Araud, tweeted during the talks. “For France, any agreement to be acceptable will have to give concrete guarantees on all issues. We won’t bypass any of them.”
4 men charged in attack on Israeli tourists in Argentina
Four Argentines have been charged in an attack on Israeli tourists in a popular area of Patagonia.
Guido Sebastian Otranto told The Associated Press on Friday that three men had been charged with assault, robbery and resisting arrest. The fourth was charged with covering up the attack by hiding in his apartment objects that had been stolen.
Otranto said the attack happened on January 19 at the Onda Azul hostel in the tourist area of Lago Puelo, about 1,056 miles (1,700 kilometers) south of Buenos Aires. It began with gunshots in the air and rock throwing, and then the assailants entered the hostel and beat several Israeli tourists while making anti-Semitic slurs. In total, a dozen people, including police officers, were injured.
Baker Creating J Street Challenge for Jeb
The announcement that former Secretary of State James Baker was one of the advisors to Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign created a minor stir a few weeks ago. As our Michael Rubin noted at the time, Baker’s long record of hostility to Israel and consistent backing for engagement with rogue regimes ought to make him radioactive for a candidate seeking to brand himself as a supporter of the Jewish state and a critic of the Obama administration’s foreign policy. But Baker’s status as a faithful family retainer for the Bush family might have given Jeb a pass, especially since, as Michael wrote, another far wiser former secretary of state — George P. Schultz — is considered to be Jeb’s top foreign policy advisor. But the news that Baker will serve as a keynote speaker at the upcoming annual conference of the left-wing J Street lobby ought to change the conversation about this topic. Coming as it does hard on the heels of the president’s open threats to isolate Israel, having someone so closely associated with his campaign serve in that role at an event dedicated to support for Obama’s hostile attitude toward Israel obligates Jeb to not let this happen without saying or doing something to disassociate himself from Baker.
Baker won’t be the only celebrity in attendance at the conference. White House chief of staff James McDonough will also be there signaling the president’s approval for his faithful liberal fans. That’s an encouraging development for a group that, despite its boasts about supplanting AIPAC as the voice of American Jewry on Israel, has struggled for influence even during the administration of a president they ardently support. J Street has little juice on Capitol Hill, as only hard-core left-wingers tend to endorse their proposals with the overwhelming majority of members of both political parties rightly understanding that AIPAC remains the address for the pro-Israel community.
Even the Obama administration has often bitterly disappointed J Street, especially during the president’s re-election campaign, when the White House made clear that its focus was on appeal to the mainstream pro-Israel community, not its left-wing base. In 2012, the president not only addressed the AIPAC conference but also went farther toward the pro-Israel community on the Iran nuclear issue than ever before.
Jeb Bush Condemned Over Speech at Anti-Israel Conference
Leading talk show host and best-selling author Mark Levin assailed Jeb Bush last night over the revelation that one of his top foreign policy advisers, James Baker, will keynote an anti-Israel conference this weekend.
The annual conference of the activist group J Street features an array of anti-Israel speakers, including proponents of the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divest (BDS) movement, which seeks Israel’s destruction, and advocates for the terrorist group Hamas.
Jeb Bush’s selection of Baker as a foreign policy adviser has sparked concern among conservatives and in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities. Baker is infamous for his hostility to Israel, having said during his tenure as secretary of state in the George H.W. Bush administration, “F—k the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway.” Baker is also a supporter of President Obama’s Iran negotiations.
“Jim Baker, much like Barack Obama, has always had a hate on for Israel,” Levin said. “This antipathy toward Israel is well documented. Baker wanted the U.S. to punish Israel for destroying Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor [in a 1981 airstrike]. He hated Netanyahu as early as 1990, barring him from entering the State Department’s building. And last but not least, Baker co-wrote the Iraq Study Group’s 2006 paper that recommended among other things that the United States tilt its foreign policy away from Israel and toward Syria and Iran—advice that Obama seems to have taken to heart.”
Anti-BDS Conference Debuts in California as J Street Gathers in D.C.
This weekend, two staunchly opposing groups, Stand With Us and J Street, will hold conferences on opposite coasts, setting opposing agendas for U.S.-relations at a time when those relations are in danger of taking a turn for the worse.
In Washington, D.C. left-wing, George Soros-funded and purportedly “pro-Israel” lobby group J Street will hold its fifth annual conference, replete with criticism of Israel’s government and newly-reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In Los Angeles, California, the Stand With Us organization will hold its first anti-BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) conference, designed to train activists in resisting some of the same tactics and ideas that J Street will feature.
J Street does not endorse BDS but has given BDS advocates a platform at previous conferences to express their views. J Street’s President Jeremy Ben-Ami had attempted to shut down Netanyahu’s address to Congress earlier this month.
Facebook Post Promoting Pro-Israel Conference Attracts ‘Foul Antisemitic Abuse’
A Facebook post advertising a pro-Israel conference in London was targeted with antisemitic comments by social media users, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
Organizers of the We Believe in Israel conference said they were “shocked by the foul antisemitic abuse” written on their Facebook page ahead of the event, which is scheduled to take place on March 22. One user, who calls himself James Lisk, wrote on Monday, “Holocaust. Biggest fabrication in history. And they get away with mass murder hiding behind the fact they are the persecuted Jews.”
“What a complete load if s*** – the only reason they haven’t been wiped out is because half of the American defence secretaries are Jewish. They can’t hide the lies forever,” the user added. “And then I hope those accountable will be brought to justice.”
Another antisemitic post read: “Scum bags dogs, dirty filthy b*****ds , I pray you Zionists pigs burn as long as the hell fire burns. You are the worst of the worst. Every Palestinian you have killed , I pray to Allah you Zionists pigs never get forgiven.”
Douglas Murray: Meet Saudi Arabia’s top cleric. Like Isis, he also thinks churches should be destroyed
Today a quick game of ‘spot the difference.’
First, here are some photos, released yesterday, of Isis pulling down the crosses on ancient churches and desecrating Christian holy sites in Mosul, Iraq. They admit to doing this because they wish to destroy all records of pre-Islamic civilisation and because, they say, they are following Islamic law.
And then secondly we have Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti speaking at a conference in Kuwait on Tuesday. There Saudi Arabia’s top cleric, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, called for the destruction of all churches on the Arabian peninsula. He explained that this is necessitated by Islamic law.
So perhaps the first part of the game should be ‘spot the difference’. The second part might be: ‘and which one is our ally?’ Answers below.
Sweden's Foreign Minister Reviled as an Enemy of the Prophet
Evidently, Sweden's Foreign Minister was unaware that that by criticizing Islamic sharia customs, such as flogging a blogger a thousand times and the ill-treatment of women, she was, in fact, seen as turning against Islam itself.
There appears to be a genuine but concerning lack of knowledge in the Swedish government about Islam and Islamic affairs.
"It makes no difference what she says. In Islam, it is for Muslims to determine whether or not one has criticized their religion." — Johannes J.G. Jansen, author and historian of Islam.
From a Muslim perspective, any criticism or infringement of sharia law and Muslims' obligation to wage jihad [war in the service of Islam] is a violation of their freedom of religion.
In other words, it is incumbent on Muslims to "terrify" non-Muslims (referring to the Koran 8:60). But when they succeed, Muslim spokesmen accuse their frightened victims of suffering from "Islamophobia," and demand that Western authorities denounce and persecute people beset by the psychiatric malady.
There is nothing, however, to indicate that Margot Wallström and other members of the Swedish government have been driven by fear. They have no knowledge of what orthodox Islam is about, and evidently believe that the religion is benevolent and peaceful, but unfortunately hijacked or misinterpreted by evil men.
Saudi Arabia Suspends Visas For Swedish Nationals Amid Human Rights Disagreement
Saudi Arabia has stopped issuing business visas to Swedish citizens, according to Stockholm’s foreign ministry.
Furthermore, Riyadh will not renew the current visas of Swedish citizens living in Saudi Arabia, a senior Saudi official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The Saudi official revealed that the decision came in response to Sweden’s recent criticism of Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights.
Sweden confirmed Saudi Arabia’s move.
“We have received information that Saudi Arabia has stopped giving business visa to Swedish citizens,” said Erik Boman, a spokesman for Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, Reuters reports.
Riyadh’s move marks the latest developments of a diplomatic disagreement between the two countries stemming from Wallstrom’s criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses.
UAE recalls envoy to Sweden over criticism of Saudi Arabia
The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday that it has recalled its ambassador to Sweden to protest comments made by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom criticizing neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The move comes one week after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Sweden after Wallstrom strongly criticized the women's rights situation in Saudi Arabia and the flogging in January of a Saudi blogger convicted of insulting Islam and breaking Internet laws.
The official UAE news agency, WAM, reported that Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also summoned Sweden's Ambassador to the UAE Jan Thesleff to formally condemn the "abusive remarks" made about Saudi Arabia and its judicial system.
Put Bird on your finger and rule your digital world
Four years ago, investors rejected Rami Parham’s concept of a wearable device for interacting with one’s digital environment based on finger movement sensing. But he didn’t give up, and when the wearable technology wave hit in 2013, Parham’s MUV Interactive was in the right place at the right time.
In June, MUV will start shipping its ring-like Bird to the few thousand customers who pre-ordered the revolutionary wearable. Later on, MUV will launch Sphere, a device that is installed on the ceiling (like a light bulb) to project content from connected devices onto any surface via touch, motion and voice.
Coupled with Bird, Sphere will enable users to answer the phone by tapping on a chair, or watch TV on a kitchen counter, heralding a new way of living enhanced by the Internet of Things (IoT).
“This startup can turn your sofa into a smartphone,” predicted Bloomberg Business. While, Gartner listed the Israeli company as a “Cool Vendor in Human-Machine Interface.”
“So many people told us this was impossible,” Parham tells ISRAEL21c. “In 2011, VCs didn’t understand why we’d want a wearable solution. Maybe I could have quit and moved on, but then the wearable era started and the biggest companies got into it, so I was the first to get funded because I already had the patent. Those same VCs are now in open negotiations with us to invest in the company.”
Israeli archaeologists shed light on tool use of early humans
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have found animal remains and residue on ancient tools, shedding light on prehistoric methods of animal butchery.
The team analyzed cut marks left on elephant bones found in the Revadim Quarry, west of Jerusalem, to contend that the animals were butchered by prehistoric hand-axes and scrapers used by early humans who once inhabited the region.
Employing advanced research methods, the team examined the surfaces of tools found at the site to determine their function and search for organic material that might offer the researchers additional clues.
Through their analysis, the Tel Aviv University team was able to identify traces of plant and animal matter that provided evidence of the uses of prehistoric flint tools for the first time.
Finnish Christians celebrate 25 years of aiding Russian aliya
Christian Zionists in Finland celebrated the 25th anniversary since their community began helping Russian-speaking Jews immigrate to Israel, or make aliya.
The commemoration took place earlier this month, with the arrival to Helsinki of the second bus this year of Russian-speaking Jews who came from St. Petersburg to make aliya through what is known as the “Finnish Route.” The 30 passengers flew to Israel after staying for three days at the homes of Christian volunteer hosts.
The March flight will be followed by another flight next month — part of an arrangement that, since it was formally established in 1990, has brought approximately 20,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union to the Jewish state.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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