Sunday, March 29, 2015

From Ian:

Richard Kemp: The US must confront Tehran: Achieving cooperation through coercion
Namely, Iran must stop exporting terrorism; stop destabilizing the Middle East; and stop threatening other countries with annihilation.
Without Iran’s full compliance with those terms, America should not contemplate a deal. Given that existing sanctions caused Iran to capitulate, as regime survival became an increasing concern, intensifying, not removing sanctions will ensure a much better deal.
The talking points being advanced by Obama administration officials – that additional sanctions will deter a deal – are leitmotifs of regime propaganda and should be discounted, unless the US is willing to simply surrender.
As a presumptive Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, Barack Obama visited the Israeli town of Sderot, where he toured the “Kassam Museum” containing the remains of hundreds of rockets fired at that city, courtesy of Iranian sponsorship. Today, in addition to Gaza, Iran effectively controls four Arab capitals: Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus and Sana’a.
An Iranian weapons pipeline into Gaza poses a tactical threat to America’s ally, Israel, as well as to Egypt.
However, the impending Iranian choke-hold on major trade routes in the Middle East underscores a strategic threat to the entire West. It would be a grave mistake to ignore these alarming developments in the context of nuclear negotiations.
Based on US experience battling Iran in Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond, it is clear Iran will respond to the absence of American pressure with increased aggression. The question lawmakers must ask themselves is whether America will push back now or be forced out of the region later. To prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the US must demonstrate strength, not flexibility.
Sides said to reach tentative nuke deal paring centrifuges
Iran and six world powers have reached provisional agreement on key parts of a deal sharply curtailing Tehran’s nuclear program, Western diplomats in talks in Switzerland said Sunday.
One of these diplomats said Iran had “more or less” agreed to slash the number of its centrifuge machines by more than two-thirds — to under 6,000 centrifuges — and to ship abroad most of its stockpile of nuclear material to Russia.
As negotiators in Lausanne raced to nail down by midnight Tuesday the outlines of a deal, due to be finalized on June 30, the diplomats cautioned, however, that things may change.
Members of the American delegation denied that the sides had reached an agreement on a draft, Israel Radio reported.
Iranian diplomats also denied that any tentative agreement on these points had been struck, saying that any reports of a specific number of centrifuges and exporting its stockpiles were “journalistic speculation.”
Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday against the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, as Iranian and Western officials in Lausanne, Switzerland were rushing to reach a framework agreement by an end-of-month deadline.
“After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting, one of the last for his outgoing government. “The Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is dangerous for mankind and must be stopped.”
Netanyahu told ministers that he had spoken with Republican leaders in the US Senate and “conveyed our serious concern regarding the arrangement with Iran at the nuclear talks. This agreement confirms all our fears and exceeds them.
“While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil,” he said, referring to recent unrest in Yemen.
Defecting Iranian Journalist: U.S. at Nuclear Talks 'to Speak on Iran’s Behalf’
An Iranian journalist who defected from his country while covering its ongoing nuclear talks has revealed startling information regarding America’s position at the negotiating table.
Amir Hossein Motaghi, who reportedly was employed at Iran’s state-run Iran Student Correspondents Association, told a London-based Iranian opposition channel that the U.S. was shilling for Iran in the ongoing negotiations over the regime’s nuclear weapons program.
“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” Mottaghi told Irane Farda, according to UK’s The Telegraph.
Motaghi had previously worked on President Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 election campaign as his public relations manager, before moving over to working as a journalist in the tightly-censored country.
He is now seeking political asylum in Switzerland, after utilizing his opportunity to cover the talks in order to flee his home country.
The Telegraph reports that Motaghi was a friend of imprisoned Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who remains under detention without being charged of any crimes. (h/t Yenta Press)



Obama’s hypocrisy with Netanyahu
When Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei declaims “Death to America!,” as he did in a speech last week, an unruffled White House brushes it off as “intended for a domestic political audience.” Doesn’t it cast doubt on Tehran’s trustworthiness? Not to worry, Obama’s press secretary assured CNN. Iranian negotiators have “demonstrate[d] a willingness to have constructive conversations.”
But there is no “domestic political audience” allowance for Netanyahu. If he says one thing today and something different tomorrow, the American president’s wrath knows no bounds.
Perhaps Netanyahu should be flattered that Obama holds him to such a high standard of constancy. The president has certainly never demanded it of himself. On a whole slew of issues, Obama has adamantly taken one position, then cast it aside when it was politically advantageous to do so.
He stoutly told AIPAC that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel. Then he took it back.
He endlessly promised voters that if they liked their existing health plan, they could keep it. Then he took it back.
He repeatedly explained that he didn’t have the authority to unilaterally change or ignore immigration law. Then he took it back.
He coldly warned Syrian dictator Bashar Assad that any use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” calling for a military response. Then he took it back.
Time after time, the president has come down clearly on one side of a controversial policy debate, only to walk away from it and end up on the other side. “We cannot simply pretend that those comments were never made,” says the White House witheringly about Netanyahu. Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama.
Putin Congratulates Netanyahu and Tells Arabs Jerusalem Is their Capital

Putin’s conversation with the Prime Minister, according to the Kremlin, covered talks on coming to an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.
On Saturday, the Russian leader addressed the Arab League Sharm el-Sheikh and said:
Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in East Jerusalem. Russia will continue to contribute to achieving this goal through bilateral and multilateral channels.
He also stated that problems in the Middle East cannot be decided with foreign intervention. Presumably, there are exceptions, such as declaring that Israel should surrender unified Jerusalem.
Nasrallah is Angry As Iran’s Isolation Grows
Iran’s puppet in Lebanon, Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah, is angry.
He’s angry at Saudi Arabia for attacking the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, trying to prevent Iran from taking over Yemen.
He’s angry at Palestinian Authority chieftain Mahmoud Abbas, who openly expressed support for Saudi Arabia.
He hasn’t said anything yet about Hamas, but they also expressed support for Yemen and the Saudi coalition.
As Iran makes its way to becoming the North Korea of the Middle East, Nasrallah is angry that Iran isn’t receiving support from his fellow anti-Israel terrorist groups.
But it makes sense, the Middle East is breaking back down into its traditional battle lines.
The Iranian Shi’ites and the Hezbollah Shi’ites are fighting against the Syrian citizens, who are mostly Sunnis.
Syrian Opposition also Opposes Nuclear Iran
Sheikh Moaz al-Khatib, former head of the Turkish-Qatari branch of the Syrian opposition, was in Washington and made a declaration that did not attract enough attention. He strongly opposed a nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran and hinted at his concern over the talks between the American and Iranian foreign ministers, John Kerry and Mohammad Zarif.
Khatib stated that a nuclear agreement would put Syria at the mercy of Iran, which already occupies it, and would escalate the Shiite-Sunni war in Syria far beyond Syria’s borders – a hint at Sunni terror in the streets of Europe.
Although it is not clear why Khatib came to Washington, presumably he was invited to help plan joint U.S.-Muslim Brotherhood steps leading to a solution in Syria. Indeed, he made some proposals. Now that he has expressed adamant opposition to the nuclear agreement, however, the Obama administration will probably be “reassessing” its relations with him
Daniel Pipes: Why Yemen Matters
The Middle East witnessed something radically new two days ago, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to a plea by Yemen's president and led a 10-country coalition to intervene in the air and on the ground in the country. "Operation Decisive Storm" prompts many reflections:
Saudi and Egypt in alliance: Half a century ago, Riyadh and Cairo were active in a Yemen war, but then they supported opposing sides, respectively the status-quo forces and the revolutionaries. Their now being allies points to continuity in Saudi Arabia along with profound changes in Egypt.
Arabic-speakers getting their act together: Through Israel's early decades, Arabs dreamt of uniting militarily against it but the realities of infighting and rivalries smashed every such hope. Even on the three occasions (1948-49, 1967, 1973) when they did join forces, they did so at cross-purposes and ineffectively.
How striking, then that finally they should coalesce not against Israel but against Iran.
This implicitly points to their understanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a real threat, whereas anti-Zionism amounts to mere indulgence. It also points to panic and the need to take action resulting from a stark American retreat.
Arab leaders agree to press Yemen airstrikes until rebels withdraw
Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen will continue until Shiite rebels there “withdraw and surrender their weapons,” a summit of Arab leaders decided Sunday, as they also agreed in principle to forming a joint military force.
The decision by the Arab League puts it on a path to potentially more aggressively challenge Shiite power Iran, which is backing the Yemeni rebels, known as Houthis.
A Saudi-led coalition began bombing Yemen on Thursday, saying it was targeting the Houthis and their allies, which include forces loyal to Yemen’s former leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
At the summit, held in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby read a final communique outlining the leaders’ views.
Houthis Copy Hamas Tactics and Use Civilian Shields to Hit Saudi Planes
The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are using civilian houses to launch anti-aircraft attacks against Saudi planes, said Saudi Gen. Ahmed bin Hasan Asiri, who said:
They’ve put anti-aircraft batteries over buildings, forcing us to bomb these areas, resulting in collateral damage.
Iran has denied it is backing the Houthis, a claim no one believes, and the use of civilian shields is a classic tactic used by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah and Hamas terrorist organizations.
Saudi Arabian warplanes bombed Houthi positions in Yemen for the fourth consecutive day Sunday while the Iranian-backed forces approached the Saudi border and threatened to carry out suicide bombings.
Pre-dawn strikes Sunday targeted an arms depot in the capital of Sanaa and a military airbase near the international airport.
Armed Houthi Women Vow to Fight U.S., Saudi Arabia, Israel
At a rally in the Al-Jawf province of Yemen, veiled Houthi women brandished weapons and protested what they called the "Zio-Saudi aggression against Yemen," vowing to fight America, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. A report on the rally aired on the Yemeni Al-Masirah channel on March 28, 2015.


Abbas Calls on Arab States to Attack Hamas
Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas used the platform of the Arab League summit in Sharm el-Shekh, Egypt, this Saturday to attack his "unity partner" Hamas, making a subtle call for the Arab states to take military action against the Gaza-based Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.
Speaking at the 26th summit in the southern Sinai peninsula, Abbas made reference to the campaign of airstrikes launched last Thursday by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries against Iran-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels in Yemen - the Houthis have overthrown the government while rapidly expanding their control.
"I hope that the Arab countries will take the same policy they employed in Yemen for all Arab countries suffering from internal conflict - like Palestine, Syria, Libya and Iraq," Abbas said according to Yedioth Aharonot, in an open jab at Hamas in Gaza.
Making Abbas's comments calling for military intervention in "Palestine" all the more pointed is the fact that just two days earlier, Abbas's adviser on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who also serves as PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge, made similar remarks.
Abbas's Advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash in Friday Sermon: Like Houthis, Hamas Should Face an Iron Fist
In a March 27, 2015 Friday sermon, PA Chief Islamic Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash, who serves as religious affairs adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that "All coups against the legitimate rule in the Arab world must be crushed with an iron fist," like the Houthis in Yemen, and "first and foremost, the [Hamas] coup against the legitimate Palestinian rule." The sermon was broadcast on the official Palestinian Authority TV channel.


Ancient Egyptian brewery found in downtown Tel Aviv
Nothing beats a cold one on a hot Tel Aviv summer evening, a sentiment it seems was shared by the ancient Egyptians.
Archaeological excavations at a construction site in the White City found remains of a 5,000-year-old brewery belonging to a Bronze Age Egyptian settlement, Israel’s Antiquities Authority announced Sunday.
The site, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, is the northernmost Egyptian site from the Early Bronze Age.
It was excavated by IAA archaeologists as part of a salvage dig before the construction of a new tower on Hamasger Street.
The excavation also yielded 6,000-year-old artifacts, including a bronze dagger and flint tools.
“We found seventeen pits in the excavations, which were used to store agricultural produce in the Early Bronze Age I (3500-3000-BCE),” dig director Diego Barkan said in a statement.
“Among the hundreds of pottery sherds that characterize the local culture, a number of fragments of large ceramic basins were discovered that were made in an Egyptian tradition and were used to prepare beer.”
Israeli Islamist leader jailed for incitement
Thursday’s ruling by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court comes after Sheikh Raed Salah, the leader of the northern wing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, appealed an eight-month sentence he received last year.
The prosecution charged Salah in connection with a sermon he delivered in 2007 in Jerusalem, Army Radio reported.
“May the streets of Jerusalem be purified with the blood of the innocent, who shed it in order to separate from their souls the soldiers of the Israel occupation, also in the blessed al-Aqsa Mosque,” he said during that sermon.
Last year, the court sentenced Salah, who has multiple convictions for incitement, to eight months in prison for incitement to violence.
IDF Sources: ISIS Accumulating Support Near Israel-Jordan Border
Islamic State has recently found a following among Bedouin tribes in southern Jordan, tens of kilometers away from the border with Israel, sources from the IDF's Southern Command claim, according to Walla! News.
Sympathy for the terror organization, IDF sources fear, may spur terror cells to be established along the border, from where terrorists will infiltrate into Israel's Aravah region and carry out attacks.
Concern is only amplified by the fact that there is no border fence between Jordan and Israel in that region, and the Aravah Division of the IDF, responsible for border security, suffers from low manpower.
Just last month, Walla! reported that seven people entered Israel illegally from Jordan, made their way to the Yotvata Kibbutz on the border, and stole vehicles before disappearing. None of the infiltrators have been caught.
Charges Against Yehuda Glick Dropped
Temple Mount rights activist and Likudnik Yehuda Glick has been cleared of charges against him Sunday, after the Jerusalem District Court dismissed a case against Glick alleging that he ignored the instructions of a uniformed police officer.
Glick was convicted by Traffic Court in late January of failure to comply to a policeman's orders, and was fined 1,000 shekel ($250) and banned from obtaining or holding a driver's license for 3 months.
In February, Glick appealed to the District Court, arguing that the policeman did not identify himself as such when pulling Glick over - and that to accuse Glick of a crime for such is a "mistake."
On Sunday, Arutz Sheva confirmed that Glick has been cleared of all charges and that he won the case - especially since he was not found guilty of any other crime.
Egypt Sentences Two for 'Spying for Israel'
A court in Egypt has sentenced a man and woman to lengthy jail terms and slapped them with large fines after convicting them on charges of spying for Israel, a judicial official said Saturday.
Their two alleged accomplices - Israeli intelligence officials - were sentenced in absentia to life terms, the official added, according to AFP.
The man, Ramzy al-Shebini, was sentenced to life, and the woman, Sahar Salama, to 15 years. In Egypt, a life term generally means 25 years.
The charge sheet claimed that, between 2008 and 2012, the two agreed to pass on to the Israelis "strategic information relating to the country's internal situation and information about the military's acquisition of German submarines."
Hamas rocket whiz gets 21 years in jail
The Beersheba District Court on Thursday convicted Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Sissi and sentenced him to 21 years in jail, four years after Israel nabbed the infamous rocket maker.
Abu Sissi, known by the sobriquet the “father of rockets,” was convicted as part of a plea bargain that saw him charged with conspiracy to commit murder, arms manufacture, membership in a terror organization and possession of weapons.
Prosecutors did not, however, seek an attempted murder charge.
The Hamas engineer has been held in Israel since he was reportedly grabbed while traveling in Ukraine in 2011, according to foreign media.
He was an official with the military college of Izz ad-Din al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, and was involved in increasing the range of Kassam rockets from six kilometers to 22 kilometers. His worked centered mainly on the rocket’s stabilizer fins and fuel chambers.
He was also involved in the production of various types of projectiles, including mortar shells and several types of rockets.
Palestinian Arrested for Prank Calls Over Fake Terror Attacks
A 27 year-old Arab man has been arrested by the Judea-Samaria District of the Israel Police on Sunday, after he made multiple false reports of 'terrorism' in the region and single-handedly raised the IDF alert level.
The suspect will be kept in police custody until a hearing on Monday.
Moked 100 hotline officials in Judea-Samaria reported that they had received multiple calls about potential terror attacks several weeks ago; makeshift IDF checkpoints were established in response and soldiers swept the area.
These calls were eventually revealed to have been false plants, however - leading to an effort to find the suspect and arrest him.
Haniyeh Reveals Israel Offering a Gas Pipeline to Gaza
Hamas deputy politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh said over the weekend that Israel agreed to providing a gas pipeline to Gaza's power plant - the plant has shut down on numerous occasions given Hamas's reliance on smuggling tunnels to Sinai that Egypt recently began cracking down on.
While speaking at the Al-Shati "refugee camp," Haniyeh, who formerly was the Hamas government's prime minister, promised a prepayment for public workers in Gaza stranded several months without salaries, particularly those who were employed by Hamas after it seized power in 2007.
There has been a wage war between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) since the two signed a reconciliation deal last April and created a unity government, which has claimed bureaucratic issues are fouling up its ability to transfer wages to Hamas employees - although the financial impact of funding a recognized terrorist group is expected to be the real incentive.
Turning his attention to the faulty electricity in the Hamas stronghold of Gaza, Haniyeh said Israel had agreed to an arrangement by which it will provide gas to the local power plant.
15-Year-Old Hopes He’s Not Too Old To Fight For Hamas (satire)
Yusuf Hijazi looks at the towering wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, and wonders whether he, too, might be blocked from achieving his life’s dream. Hijazi, 15, longs to serve as a soldier in Hamas, fighting the Zionist enemy, but worries that his advanced age will dissuade the Islamist group from accepting him into its military ranks.
Yusuf was born into a fighting family: his father served time in an Israeli prison for involvement in mortar fire against settlers that injured several children, and two of his three brothers – he also has a sister – were killed last summer during Israel’s incursion into Gaza to stop rocket fire at Israeli communities. Nasser, 12, and Jibril, 10, were transporting ammunition between Hamas hideouts when an IDF mortar shell hit nearby and ignited the RPG projectiles they were carrying. Yusuf, 14 at the time, had been confined to the family home to help take care of his ailing mother, and resentment still colors his voice when he recalls the war.
“It’s probably too late for me to get into Izzedin Al-Qassam,” laments Yusuf, referring to Hamas’s military wing. “Three years ago, for sure, a year ago, maybe, but now? I doubt they’d accept me. There are just too many younger guys out there – I’m basically over the hill as far as Hamas is concerned.”
Melbourne theatre’s anti-Israel partners
Hot on the heels of learning about anti-Semitism at a the Red Rattler a fringe Sydney theatre –
- comes news that a mainstream theatre in Melbourne has entered into a sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways, which is wholly owned by the government of terror-supporting Qatar.
Now you’d think such a regime would be avoided. Yet the prestigious Melbourne Theatre Company was happy to enter into a sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways that will see the airline open an exclusive lounge. It announced
“Proudly supporting the Qatar Airways MTC Lounge”
MTC is delighted to welcome Qatar Airways as a Major Partner. The partnership reflects both companies’ commitment to offering world-class experiences, premium service, and promoting Melbourne as a world-class arts and travel destination.
The all-new, exclusive Qatar Airways MTC Lounge at Southbank Theatre is available exclusively to MTC Members and VIPs. The Lounge operates one hour before all mainstage evening performances at The Sumner Theatre…
Take a stand against ‘antisemitic’ conference at Southampton University
The conference “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy,Responsibility and Exceptionalism” is described by the organisers as “the first of its kind and constitutes a ground-breaking historical event … it is unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish State of Israel.”
The event will be addressed by over 80 academics from Universities around the world, including the USA, Britain, Australia and Israel. The organisers, who include Southampton law professor Oren Ben-Dor and George Bisharat, professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law; have said that the conference will “engage controversial questions concerning the manner of Israel’s foundation and its nature, including ongoing forced displacements of Palestinians and associated injustices.” Ben-Dor and Bisharat have committed themselves in the past to the delegitimisation of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian State.
The majority of speakers at this one-sided conference support a boycott of Israel include Richard Falk, the former United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories and anti-Zionist Israeli academic Ilan Pappe.
In deference to the principle of freedom of speech, The Academic Friends of Israel are not calling for cancellation of the conference. Nor are we calling for a more balanced program. Such bigotry cannot be balanced.
Please sign our petition which calls on the University of Southampton to distance itself from the upcoming conference by removing it from campus, in order to avoid giving the event credibility and official approval to bigotry and Antisemitism.
Kippas Against Hate
Last week, three Jewish teenagers wearing kippot (skullcaps) were physically assaulted and verbally abused at the Zone, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The South African Jewish Board of Deputies responded with this statement:
“The SA Jewish community hopes that this incident was an isolated one. Unlike many other parts of the world, Jews in South Africa have always been able to freely identify as such in public spaces without fear of being victimised. We are determined to do everything that we can, to ensure that this continues.We therefore call on South Africans, Jewish or not, to attend a film-screening at a cinema of your choice this Saturday night 28 March, wearing a Kippa or hat.
As proud South African citizens our freedom of movement, religion and association are guaranteed by our Constitution. #KippasAgainstHate.”
Anti-Semitic fans pressure Hungarian band to cancel Israel gig
Members of a Hungarian punk rock band said they would ignore pleas and anti-Semitic comments from fans who want the band to cancel its upcoming concert in Israel.
The bass player of the rock band Tankcsapda, Lukacs Laszlo, said his group, which is popular in far-right circles, will travel in June to play in Tel Aviv despite the criticism it has received on social networks since announcing Israel’s inclusion for the first time in the band’s European tour, the news website index.hu reported.
“Anyone who knows us knows we do not get involved in politics and ideology,” Lukacs said. “On tour, we want to perform wherever possible.” On Israel, he added: “If Die Toten Hosen, Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden and Metallica play there, why shouldn’t we?”
But some of the band’s fans reacted with anger to the news of the Israel performance. One user wrote on Facebook profanities about circumcised penises. Another posted a picture of a kippah emblazoned with the band’s logo.
A third user wished “the artificially created entity of Israel be wiped off the face of the earth” and wrote profanities about Tankcsapda’s musicians.
One-staters get BBC WS platform for promotion of BDS, ‘resistance’ and ‘apartheid’ trope
Notably, Coomarasamy refrained from informing listeners that the election to which he referred took place in 2005, with no election having been held since and the winner’s four-year term of office having expired six years ago. In breach of editorial guidelines on impartiality, Coomarasamy also made no effort to ‘summarise the standpoint’ of either of his interviewees or to clarify the political ideologies of the organisations with which they are involved. Worse still was Coomarasamy’s failure to challenge Barghouti’s advancement of the ‘apartheid’ trope.
Mustafa Barghouti: “I hope so, but we still have to see. It’s not enough what they said. What we need is actions and not just talks. In reality Netanyahu is trying to deceive everybody. What matters is not only what he says although he said very clearly that he is not going to allow a two state solution and all his statements were racist and practically he officially declared Israel as an apartheid state – a segregation state. Nevertheless…”
JC: “Well yeah…but he did …he said today though…he said he was committed to a two state solution provided the conditions allow it. So he has softened his stance…”
MB: “No, no, no; he is deceiving you. He’s deceiving you, deceiving the world media and deceiving everybody and that’s why I said what matters is what he does and what he does on the ground is settlement activities at a rate that is unprecedented. The settlement activities are destroying the possibility of a Palestinian state. In reality he is conducting a campaign to end the possibility of two state solution and he’s said it to win votes.”

This of course would have been the appropriate juncture for Coomarasamy to clarify to listeners that Barghouti’s claim that “settlement activities” have been “unprecedented” under the governments headed by Netanyahu are inaccurate, but he failed to correct that deliberately misleading impression.
Israel Partners With Lockheed Martin on National Cybersecurity Curriculum
The Israeli Ministry of Education announced a partnership with the U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin to enrich Israel’s cybersecurity curriculum for high school students.
The partnership, which was discussed during the recent CyberTech 2015 conference in Tel Aviv, is aimed at increasing the number of Israeli cyber and computer science professionals.
“Israelis place a high cultural value on technology and innovation, which today requires an equally highly skilled and knowledgeable cyber workforce to protect it,” said Joshua Shani, chief executive of Lockheed Martin Israel. “We are excited to lend our expertise to developing that workforce for the benefit of Israel’s economy and national security.”
The head of the Technology and Information Administration at the Israeli Ministry of Education, Dr. Ofer Rimon, said the ministry “invests resources in expanding the number of students studying math, science, and technology in high levels, and fostering and training teachers.”
Israeli doctors save life of Iraqi toddler with heart defect
Maryam Mansour, an 18-month-old Iraqi girl whose family fled the Islamic State, had a serious heart defect. She and her family reached northern Iraq, and from there were recently flown to Israel, where doctors at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem performed a lifesaving operation on the child.
Maryam, whose family are Iraqi Christians, was evacuated to be treated at Hadassah by the Shevet Achim organization, which works to obtain treatment in Israel for children throughout the Middle East born with cardiac problems.
Maryam underwent surgery a few days ago at the Pediatric Cardiology Department. Professor Eldad Erez, head of the hospital's Congenital Heart Surgery Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, led the team of surgeons.
The operation was complicated and took several hours. When the procedure was complete, it was declared a success and Maryam was listed in stable condition. She will, however, require long-term treatment to recuperate.
Professor Azaria Rein, head of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology, said that Maryam's condition was "rare and complicated."
IsraelDailyPicture: WW100: When Jerusalem Met Gallipoli 100 Years Ago; When Turks Met Jews on the Battlefield
World War I began in Europe in the summer of 1914 with major battles between the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary versus the Triple Alliance of the United Kingdom, France and Russia. The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) joined with the Central Powers and attacked the British at the Suez Canal in January 1915.
The Zion Mule Corps and Gallipoli
In The Zion Muleteers of Gallipoli, the author Martin Sugarman, wrote, "In March 1915 the Zion Mule Corps became the first regular Jewish fighting force to take active part in a war since the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt 2000 years ago. Some of its men later formed the core of what was to become the modern Israeli army."
The Jewish corps was formed in British-held Egypt and consisted of local Egyptian Jews, Jewish exiles from Turkish-ruled Palestine, and British officers. Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson commanded the unit; officers included Zev Jabotinsky and Yosef Trumpledor who were expelled from Palestine.
Borat Rhapsody! Queen's manager confirms Sacha Baron Cohen will star, write, produce and direct Freddie Mercury biopic
It has been confirmed that Sacha Baron Cohen will play Freddie Mercury in a Queen biopic.
The British actor - famous for his controversial roles as Ali G, Borat and Bruno - will also produce, write and direct the film, according to the band's manager Jim Beach.
Beach announced the news on Thursday night at the Artist & Management Awards at London's Troxy.
'You have probably followed the saga of the famous Queen-Freddie Mercury biopic which has been developing in Hollywood for the last seven years,' the manager told the audience.
'An important breakthrough is that we have now managed to persuade Sacha Baron Cohen to write, produce and direct this movie, and he has also agreed to star.'


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