Saturday, June 27, 2015

From Ian:

What’s Israel supposed to do? Ask the UN for help?
Hamas, the gang that controls the Gaza Strip and hopes to destroy Israel, makes war in its own peculiar way.
It conducts a terror campaign by randomly sending unguided missiles across the border, traumatizing the civilian population. Rather than using its payments from Iran to feed its own people, it spends a fortune digging tunnels under the border to Israel, infiltrating the country from beneath the ground. It places artillery on top of apartment buildings and beside schools, so that Israel’s attempts to destroy the artillery will kill as many Palestinians as possible. Hamas built a military command centre underneath Shifa hospital, which Israel built for the Gaza population.
Having counted the dead, Hamas announces the fatal casualties, attempting to shame Israel for mass killing. This is an original form of propaganda warfare, suicide-by-proxy.
If someone attempts to arrange a cease-fire between the combatants, Hamas at first refuses to co-operate, then finally signs on and accepts praise for its peace policy. Eventually, it breaks the cease-fire. Between wars Israel maintains a permanent one-sided cease-fire, having no reason to attack Gaza; in 2005 it closed its Gaza settlements and removed its military forces from the Strip. Hamas can always re-start the war, arousing the ire of their soldiers by complaining about Israel’s enforcement of Gaza’s borders. The borders are shut to keep Hamas from importing arms but Hamas depicts it as hard-hearted retaliation. (h/t Josh Korn)
Students Supporting Israel: Breaking the Silence
This week the United Nations Human Rights Committee published a report on the Israeli operation in Gaza - Operation Protective Edge. Ironically enough, right after the report was published, the Palestinian organization Hamas, which is recognized by the United States and the European Union as a terror group, congratulated the UN on aspects of the commission's findings mentioning that Israel committed War Crimes. The UN has officially lost its sense of morality by announcing that the Israel Defense Force committed War Crimes in Gaza. As the British Commander to Afghanistan Colonel Richard Justin Kemp said in the past conflict in Gaza "We know that the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare".
One of the organizations that provided testimonies for the UN report was “Breaking the Silence”. The testimonies they provided are being spread around the world and used as anti-Israel propaganda by different campus groups, such as Students for Justice in Palestine. Thus, it comes as no surprise that out of all of the organizations that represent Israeli soldiers, Breaking the Silence was the only one invited to speak by the Human Rights Committee, even though they don’t represent mainstream Israeli society or veterans. In this article, I would like to share my truth, to break my silence.
I was born in Israel, a first generation Israeli in my family, and most of my relatives and friends currently live in Israel. My family lives in the city of Ashdod, where Israeli citizens have no more than thirty seconds to run for shelter from Hamas rockets. One of my biggest heroes is my younger cousin Daniel, who just started first grade. Daniel was six years old during Operation Protective Edge. I tried to Skype Daniel and his brother Tal (an 8 year old) as much as I could throughout the war. At some points during our conversations the siren would go off and the rockets would start flying. I had a brief second to ask my cousins “Aren’t you afraid?” Their answer was: “We aren’t, those are just rockets. We must run now, we will talk to you later.” Tal and Daniel hung up the phone and ran for shelter, while I stayed frozen on the other side of the line. For a few minutes I kept repeating to myself their response. “Those are just rockets.” I realized that I must break the silence and tell my family’s’ story, because young kids should not grow up this way. My cousins, like thousands of other Israeli kids, should not have to run away from Hamas’ rockets.
Douglas Murray: ‘Religion of peace’ is not a harmless platitude
The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault.
In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when ‘Jihadi John’ cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the ‘Islamic State’ and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. It is what President François Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris. And it is what David Cameron said yesterday after 38 people, mainly British, were murdered on a beach in Tunisia and a man was beheaded in France.
All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent.
If politicians are so worried about this secondary ‘backlash’ problem then they would do well to remind us not to blame the jihadists’ actions on our peaceful compatriots and then deal with the primary problem — radical Islam — in order that no secondary, reactionary problem will ever grow.
Yet today our political class fuels both cause and nascent effect. Because the truth is there for all to see. To claim that people who punish people by killing them for blaspheming Islam while shouting ‘Allah is greatest’ has ‘nothing to do with Islam’ is madness. Because the violence of the Islamists is, truthfully, only to do with Islam: the worst version of Islam, certainly, but Islam nonetheless.

'Jews are the Only People Blamed for Their Own Murders'
Contrasting the worldwide outcry over the racist mass-murder of Black churchgoers in Charleston to the international reaction to murders of Jews by Arab or Muslim terrorists, Rabbi Boteach called out what he said was a clear double standard.
"I'm sick and tired... when we're able to name South Carolina as a hate crime - which it absolutely was... a monstrous abomination of hate, a White hater killing nine innocent African Americans - you think it's any different when Jews are slaughtered because they're killed in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem)?
"But there we start hearing there was a 'provocation,' because we dared live in their neighborhoods! There was a provocation because Israel built a wall to keep the murderers out!" he added, referring to the security fence in Judea and Samaria.
"We are the only nation on earth who are murdered and we are not even accorded the dignity of victimhood! We are the culprits, we incited our own murder!"
Destroying International Law by Tying the West’s Hands
In short, it’s impossible for any country to comply with the laws of war when fighting terrorists, because it will be presumed guilty unless proven innocent, and the only evidence acceptable to prove its innocence is by definition unobtainable. And lest anyone miss the point – or labor under the delusion that this precedent won’t be applied to other countries as well – Davis underscored it in a subsequent interview with Haaretz. Asked what solution international law does offer “to a situation in which regular armies of democratic countries fight against terror organizations in the heart of populated areas,” she replied scornfully, “My job is not to tell them how to wage a war.” The claim that “international law needs to develop standards that more accurately deal with military operations” is unacceptable, she asserted; the only acceptable changes are “to make protection of civilians stronger” and thereby make waging war even more impossible.
But the self-appointed interpreters of international law are targeting nonmilitary tools against terrorism no less vigorously, as another development this week made clear. Responding to a bill approved by Israel’s cabinet last week to allow jailed terrorists on hunger strike to be force-fed, the UN’s under-secretary-general for political affairs declared that such legislation would be “a contravention of international standards.” The Israel Medical Association’s ethics chairman similarly declared the bill a violation of international law, saying force-feeding has been defined as a form of torture.
Yet letting hunger-striking prisoners die in detention is equally unacceptable to the self-appointed experts. So what solution does that leave? MK Michal Rozin of the left-wing Meretz party put it perfectly: “Instead of force-feeding them, which humiliates them and puts their lives at risk, we must address their demands.” After all, if you can neither force-feed them nor let them die, capitulation is the only option left.
Thus the bottom line is the same as that emerging from the UN’s Gaza inquiry: International law leaves democracies no options in the face of determined terrorists except capitulation. You can’t fight them, because then you’re guilty of war crimes. But you also can’t arrest and jail them, because they can simply start a hunger strike, which entitles them to a get-out-of-jail-free card.
The result, as Prof. Amichai Cohen perceptively noted in a report submitted to Davis’ commission, is that these self-appointed experts are destroying the very idea of international law with their own two hands. Because why should Israel – or any other country – make an effort to comply with international law “if the international system itself does not recognize [the effort’s] efficiency?”
War Crimes in Gaza: Filmmaker Takes Cameras Deep into Hamas Territory
Just as another “Freedom Flotilla” is sailing to Gaza, veteran filmmaker Pierre Rehov’s latest film War Crimes in Gaza will be shown next week to the European Parliament under the auspices of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Pierre Rehov’s film should also be seen by the International Criminal Court, which has just received files documenting what it claims are “Israeli war crimes.”
This 55-minute film is superb and packed with both visual, factual, and historical information. If everyone on board this flotilla watched this film—and if they were open to reason—they would turn back.
Going undercover into Gaza, Rehov is able to show us some of the wealthy mansions and villas of Gaza, the bustling malls and supermarkets, luxury cars, and well-dressed people at beachfront resorts—so different from the usual visual narratives of disinformation. Rehov shows us those as well: The weeping Palestinian civilians amidst rubble telling tales of IDF atrocities and devastation.
Undercover, Rehov has frightening footage of Hamas training children as young as six how to kill; the torture and public corpse-desecration of anyone whom Hamas suspected was a ‘collaborator’ or anyone whom they viewed as an opponent; Hamas’s omnipresent but hidden “civilian” army in Gaza; the location of Hamas missiles and guns in heavily populated civilian areas; how different Hamas missiles look than IDF missiles once they have hit their target—and much else.
After Terror Attack in France, Israeli Minister Calls on French Jews to ‘Come Home’
Israel made an impassioned call to French Jews to immigrate to Israel, after the latest terrorist attack in France at a factory in Lyon on Friday.
“To all the Jews of France I say: Come home!” Israeli Immigrant Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin said, amid news that a radical Islamic terrorist attacked a U.S. chemical firm in France, killing one.
“Antisemitism is growing, terrorism is rising and according to reports ISIS is committing murder in broad daylight,” said Elkin.
He said Israel was prepared to absorb French Jewish immigrants “with open arms,” adding that Israel was expecting a wave of immigration.
“The absorption staff at Ben Gurion International Airport are expected to work overtime this summer,” he said, calling immigration absorption a “primary concern for the Israeli government.”
Cameron: UK must prepare for ‘many’ dead in Tunisia
British Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday warned the country to prepare for the fact that “many” of those killed in the attack on a Tunisian beach resort were British.
Tunisian authorities have so far identified eight Britons among the 38 killed on Friday, making it the biggest loss of British life from a terrorist incident since the July 7 bombings in London in 2005, when 52 people were killed. Officials in Tunisia indicated that most of the dead were Britons.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and posted a picture of the man who it said carried out the killings, Seifeddine Yacoubi.
“I’m afraid that the British public need to be prepared for the fact that many of those killed were British,” Cameron said in a televised address from his Downing Street residence.
He added: “These were innocent holidaymakers, relaxing and enjoying time with their friends and families.
“Like the victims in France and Kuwait yesterday, they did not pose a threat to anybody. These terrorists murdered them because the terrorists oppose people and countries who stand for peace, tolerance and democracy wherever they are in the world. But these terrorists will not succeed,” he added.
Tunisia gunman ‘laughed’ as he shot victims
A gunman who shot and killed 38 people at a Tunisian beach resort on Friday, most of them British tourists, was “laughing and joking” as he mowed down his victims, UK media reported Saturday, quoting eyewitness reports.
One man told Tunisian radio station Mosaique FM “He was laughing and joking around, like a normal guy. He was choosing who to shoot.
“Some people, he was saying to them, ‘You go away,'” the witness said. “He was choosing tourists, British, French.”
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and posted a picture of the man who it said carried out the killings, Seifeddine Yacoubi.
UK beefs up security after report of IS bomb plot
The Sun newspaper claimed police foiled an attack on a London parade Saturday after an undercover reporter who obtained details on the plot alerted counter-terrorism officials.
According to the Sun, an IS official told the reporter: “”It will be big. We will hit the (unbelievers) hard, God willing. Hit their soldiers in their own land.”
Police did not confirm the report, saying only that security forces “remain alert to terrorist threats” and that it was “helpful” when journalists share information.
Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters there will be “heightened security” at events paying tribute to Britain’s military. He did not elaborate.
Police said security is also being beefed up for the annual gay pride parade in London Saturday.
Britain’s terrorism threat remains at “severe,” the second-highest level, meaning an attack is considered highly likely.
The BBC, terrorism and ‘consistency’
When two terrorists armed with a gun, knives and axes walked into a Jerusalem synagogue in November 2014 and slaughtered early morning worshippers, the BBC did not categorise that incident as a terror attack.
“One outstanding – although predictable – feature of the BBC’s coverage is that despite the fact that the core story was about a terror attack perpetrated on the congregation of a synagogue, in all of the above reports the word terror and its derivatives were never used directly by the BBC. References to terrorism came only in the form of quotes from Israeli officials (placed in inverted commas by the BBC), from Israeli interviewees or from the US Secretary of State in the filmed report of his statement to the press.”
When at least one terrorist armed with a rifle walked onto a beach in Tunisia in June 2015 and gunned down equally unsuspecting tourists, the language used by the BBC in some of its coverage was very clear.
Coverage of the other attacks which took place on the same day in France and Kuwait also employed the word terror.
One can only imagine what the public and parliamentary reaction would have been if – as it did following the January terror attacks in Paris – the BBC had promoted the view that the word terrorist was too “loaded” for use in coverage of the murder of British holiday makers in Tunisia.
But the fact that in this case appropriate use of the word terror was seen in some of the BBC’s coverage of these attacks only serves to further highlight the inconsistency of its practice and the absence of universality in its professed avoidance of making “value judgements”.
French beheading suspect was allegedly involved in 2012 attack on Jewish teen
Yassin Salhi, suspected of carrying out an attack at a French industrial gas factory on Friday, was also allegedly involved in an anti-Semitic attack in 2012.
Salhi, 35, a married father of three, is known to have ties to Salafist radicals in France, and was under surveillance from 2006 to 2008.
Three years ago, Salhi and another man allegedly hit a Jewish teenager and Salhi allegedly hurled anti-Semitic abuse at him while they were traveling on a train from Toulouse to Lyon.
IS and al-Qaeda seek ongoing summer wave of terror, TV report says
Islamic State and Al-Qaeda are bent on sparking a continued wave of terrorism in Europe and the Middle East over the rest of the summer, an Israeli TV report quoted unnamed Western intelligence sources saying Friday night, hours after a series of terrorist attacks hit three continents and left hundreds dead and injured.
Noting that an Islamic State spokesman, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, called on Tuesday for Muslims to engage in jihad and become martyrs during the current holy month of Ramadan, the Channel 10 TV report quoted the sources saying that IS and al-Qaeda are both encouraging “lone wolf” attacks and working to orchestrate more sophisticated strikes.
Friday’s attacks — in France, Tunisia, Kuwait and Somalia, as well as ongoing killings in Syria — were likely not coordinated, but underlined Islamist groups’ determined encouragement of terrorism, Israeli commentators said.
The TV report noted that IS, which claimed responsibility for several of Friday’s attacks, is marking a year since it declared a caliphate last June 29.
Palestinian Leaders Deserve to be Hauled Into the International Criminal Court
One element of the PA strategy that should be noted is that Israel is not the only potential target of this effort. Abbas knows that even if the court takes up bogus war crimes allegations against Israel, it will be obliged to address the far more substantial charges that can be laid at the door of his Hamas rivals. It was Hamas, after all, that started last summer’s war and launched thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli cities and town intended to kill and maim as many civilians as possible. While the PA won’t assist efforts to investigate Hamas, that would be a fringe benefit of incitement against Israel.
But Hamas is not the only Palestinian force that is guilty of crimes worthy of investigation. The PA has also funded terrorists and incited terror via its official media. Moreover, shining a light on the terrorism conducted by Palestinians last summer may also land Abbas and aide Jibril Rajoub in court. The Israel Law Center is preparing to send the ICC its own indictments of the PA leadership for acts of terror committed by Fatah affiliates directly under Abbas’s control.
Using their formidable propaganda machine assisted by an international press that is always prepared to judge Israel affair, Palestinians have been able to demonize the Jewish state in the court of international public opinion. But any real court, even one as biased as the ICC against Israel will also have to look at the far more credible criminal charges that can be laid at the feet of both sets of Palestinian tyrants. Once investigations begin, PA is as vulnerable as Hamas no matter how much sympathy they generate in a Europe where anti-Semitism is on the rise. By going to court, they have opened a Pandora’s Box with consequences that few can predict.
Meanwhile, even an administration that is as biased against Israel as that of President Obama must look on this pointless exercise with dismay. Those who refuse to admit that the Palestinians are not interested in peace have ignored their repeated refusals to accept offers of statehood from Israel. But ignoring an effort to prosecute Israel rather than negotiate with it won’t be quite as easy. It’s time for President Obama to do more than have spokespersons condemn the court gambit. He needs to warn Abbas that he stands to be finally cut loose by an administration that has wasted too much political capital and good will in fruitless efforts to aid the Palestinians at Israel’s expense.
‘UN resolution on Palestinian state is dangerous – even if US plans to veto it’
French MP Meyer Habib is worried.
As an observant Jew with children in Jewish schools in Paris, he is worried about anti-Semitism in his home country and the popularity of radical Islam. He’s also worried about his government’s relations with the other country in which he has citizenship, Israel – especially France’s plan to ask the UN Security Council to call for a Palestinian state on the 1949 armistice lines.
Habib voiced his concerns to French President François Hollande while the two were returning from a visit to Italy on Sunday.
“I tried to tell the president on our flight that, in my opinion, it is counterproductive to go to the UN and try to force Israel’s hand. The great powers should push parties to negotiate, that is the only way to reach a good agreement. I think he listened. He said he would update me,” Habib told The Jerusalem Post from his office in Paris the next day.
Habib said he got the impression from Hollande that France thinks the US will veto its resolution anyway, but the MP maintained that the government would be making a mistake to pressure Israel in this way, even if it is certain it will be vetoed.
According to Habib, the UN resolution would give the Palestinians the state they want, with nothing in return – without them recognizing Israel as the Jewish state or giving up the right of return.
Instead of a UN resolution, France should push both sides to negotiate, which is the only way to bring peace, he posited.
WaPo Editorial: U.S. Must Be Ready To Walk Away From Bad Nuke Deal With Iran
In response to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s recent speech opposing international inspections of military sites or revealing Iran’s past nuclear work, President Barack Obama and the United States “must be ready” to “walk away rather than accept a bad deal,” the editors of The Washington Post argued in an editorial published Thursday.
It’s possible that the ayatollah’s speech was a bluff intended to improve Iran’s bargaining position. A more disturbing possibility is that Iran’s ruler is setting the precedent for disregarding a deal sometime after it is concluded and after the regime pockets the tens of billions of dollars in immediate financial relief it could receive.
Whatever the case, the Obama administration must resist the temptation to respond with eleventh-hour concessions. On the contrary, the compromises already struck in the preliminary accord make it essential that the United States insist on terms for inspections and timed sanctions relief that cross the Khamenei lines.
In its essence, the agreement would place an enormous bet that Iran will moderate its ambitions and lose its taste for nuclear weapons over the next decade. In exchange for restraining its enrichment and other nuclear work for 10 to 15 years, Iran would gain the lifting of almost all international sanctions, providing it with a revenue stream it could use to escalate the wars it is fighting or sponsoring around the Middle East. When the accord lapsed, Iran would immediately become a nuclear threshold state, with a breakout time “almost down to zero,” as President Obama put it.
Israel Project CEO: Deal Must Include Dismantlement Of Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructure
By changing course and “halting the Iranians’ path toward nuclear capability,” the Obama administration could reverse what is potentially “one of the greatest missteps” in history and strengthen the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, Josh Block, the president and CEO of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed published today in The Baltimore Sun. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
A final nuclear deal must guarantee the dismantlement of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, linked with fully transparent inspections and verifications of Iran’s nuclear-related sites any time and anywhere. Anything short of these prerequisites will greenlight the Iranian terrorist regime’s insidious clandestine nuclear activity.
Along with mandating full disclosure of Iran’s suspected military dimensions, Iran’s ability to breakout must be capped unconditionally. The lifting of nuclear restrictions after 12 to 13 years currently outlined in the Lausanne framework cannot occur if we are to remain dedicated to completely preventing Iran from acquiring and using nuclear weapons.

Block also argued for increasing sanctions, noting that the sanctions already imposed on Iran have been effective.
To be clear, economic sanctions were working. Last winter, the Islamic Republic of Iran was facing a balance of payments crisis, and its economy was on the brink. Rather than capitulating once again to Iranian deceit, economic pressure should be increased to give Iran the choice the sanctions were originally intended to provide: Face steadily increasing economic pressure or, as the Obama administration used to put it, “dismantle its nuclear program.”
Sen. Menendez, In Letter To Kerry: Leaving Iran On Nuclear Threshold Would Be A Bad Deal
Sen. Robert Menendez (D – N.J.) wrote in an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry today that an nuclear deal that leaves Iran “as a threshold nuclear state” would be an unacceptable deal. In his letter, Menendez stated that recent demands made by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are “unacceptable.”
Ayatollah Khamenei made a speech on Iranian state television in which he stated that ‘All financial and economic sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Congress or the U.S. government should be lifted immediately when we sign a nuclear agreement,’ that ‘inspection of our military sites is out of the question and is one of our red lines,’ and that freezing Iranian research and development ‘for a long time, like 10 or 12 years, is not acceptable. Only days before, the Iranian parliament voted to ban access to military sites, documents and scientists as part of any future deal with the P5+1 countries.
These demands are unacceptable – they presuppose that the government of Iran will act in good faith, when it has shown itself in the past to be an untrustworthy negotiating partner. If Iranian negotiators intend to adhere to the provisions demanded by Ayatollah Khamenei and Iran’s parliament, I urge you to suspend the current negotiations with Iran.
A deal that allows sanctions to be lifted before Iran’s government meets their obligations, without intrusive inspections to safeguard against a continued covert nuclear program, and that leaves Iran as a threshold nuclear state, is a bad deal that threatens the national security of America and our allies, and must be rejected.
Iranian FM: West must stop ‘excessive demands’
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a nuclear accord was possible if Western powers stop their “excessive demands” from Tehran and “accept the realities,” Iran’s IRNA news agency reported.
Zarif met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna Saturday to kick off crunch talks seeking to seal a historic nuclear deal by a June 30 deadline.
The meeting came as diplomats on both sides said that the accord curbing Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief was far from done.
“We’ve come to Vienna to strike an agreement within the next few days, although time is not important and a good deal is more important than a deadline,” Zarif said, according to IRNA.
A senior Iranian official warned Friday that negotiations are hampered by differences not only between Tehran and the six other countries it is bargaining with but internally among the six as well.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s top negotiator, told Iran’s IRNA news agency that — while “on the whole we are making headway” — progress was slow and hard.
Negotiators are finding it difficult to fine tune which sanctions should be lifted when and how open Iran must be to outside monitoring.
CAMERA: Nuclear Free Middle East, or, The Secret Life of Walter Pincus
Washington Post columnist Walter Pincus has opined again on Israel, Iran, and nuclear weapons. And again, his compulsion to play “gotcha” against Israel cripples his analysis.
Pincus’ “Nuclear-free Middle East is worth imagining” (June 16, 2015) flawed premise leads to a flawed conclusion—just like his “Is the U.S. going too far to help Israel?” (May 17, 2012), as CAMERA noted at the time.
The Post columnist says his reading of Ari Shavit’s book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel—a key chapter of which CAMERA exposed for falsely portraying the 1948 battle for Lydda (Lod) as a “massacre at the heart of Zionism”—sparked the thought that if Israel would just agree to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, a nuclear-free Middle East eventually would emerge.
Pincus says that according to Shavit “the Iranians have been doing what Israel did…if Iran succeeds, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey and Algeria could be next.” The veteran correspondent muses:
“That thought made me realize how different this all would be if Israel, rather than opposing a P5+1 [Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council] agreement calling for new economic sanctions against Iran and threatening a military attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities, would put its energy into developing a rational NPT option.”
By this logic, nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is Israel’s fault. By its extension, other Middle Eastern countries are not independent actors with their own motivations; they only react to actions of Israel and the West. In this line of thinking, Iran—despite its own calls to “wipe Israel off the map”—wants a nuclear weapon only because Israel has had one before the treaty existed.
To Pincus, the solution is simple: Israel should quit calling for Iran—a signatory to the NPT—to abide its promises and instead propose a “rational” NPT option. How this would elicit a different response from the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, a regime that repeatedly refuses to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) he doesn’t say.
Pro-Arab activists are warning that they will charge the IDF with a war crime if it stops the flotilla.
The first of three or four boats trying to break Israel’s anti-terror maritime embargo on Gaza left the Greek island of Crete Friday morning and is scheduled to dock in Gaza on Sunday or morning.
Israel has said that the boats will not reach Gaza under any circumstances.
The Israeli Navy will stop the flotilla, as it has done in the past, but activists say that since the Marianne of Gothenburg boat flies the Swedish flag, Israel could be accused of a war crime
“War crime” is the buzz words these days, usually referring to any action by Israel that does not further the aims of the Palestinian Authority, which yesterday said it is bringing to the International Criminal Court (ICC) charges that building homes for Jews and a highway in Jerusalem are war crimes.
Pro-Hamas activists have learned their lessons from previous publicity stunts and are keeping mum on the boats’ location, a rather childish act since the IDF has enough surveillance equipment to know exactly where they are without any help from the flotilla’s public relations staff.
VIDEO: Settlers say Palestinians set fire to field near ancient Jewish cemetery in Hebron
Israeli settlers in Hebron on Friday accused local Palestinians of setting fire to a nearby field adjacent to an ancient Jewish cemetery in the biblical city.
According to the pro-settler Tazpit news agency, security officials believe that the fire was caused by arson.
Three fire crews were required to bring the blaze under control.
Settlers in Hebron told Tazpit that in recent weeks, a number of instances of arson have taken place, as is common during summer months.
The settlers said they needed to urgently summon the fire crews in order to prevent damage to the tombstones in the cemetery.
Witnesses said that the fire was started not far from the gravesites of key rabbinical figures, among them Rabbi Moshe Levinger, the settler leader who died last month. (h/t NormanF)
Video emerges of Druze mob lynching wounded Syrians
Four days after members of Israel’s Druze minority ambushed an Israeli ambulance and killed a wounded Syrian who was being transporting for medical treatment in the Golan Heights, a video of the deadly incident was leaked to the media.
The graphic footage, aired by Channel 2 Friday evening, shows several perpetrators repeatedly beating the two wounded Syrians with rocks and wooden boards, while spectators cheer and sing.
One man in particular, wearing jeans and no shirt, can be seen bringing down a wooden board over and over onto one of the Syrians on the ground.
On Thursday, police said they arrested three more suspects in connection with Monday’s deadly attack, which was the second outburst of violence that day by members of the Druze community angered by rumors that Israel was aiding jihadist rebels. Nine suspects had been arrested on Wednesday. In the earlier attack, another ambulance was blocked and stoned, but nobody was hurt.
After Confederate Flag Ban, Major Jewish Group Demands Amazon ‘Revisit’ Policy for Nazi, Hamas Banners
While all merchandise depicting the Confederate flag has been removed from Amazon, a quick search on the website shows that it still sells Nazi SS and Hamas flags as well as other items featuring the banners, such as T-shirts, magnets and even a baby’s bib. Amazon also offers various merchandise bearing Nazi swastikas, such as jewelry and iPhone cases.
Cooper said the online retailer should explain its decision to ban the selling of Confederate flags while still offering customers other flags with hateful symbols such as the banner of ISIS, which was used in the bloody terror attack on Friday in southern France.
“I think it’ll be very hard for them to explain why they made one gesture, which is obviously a gesture against racism and extremism, and leave other symbols unaffected,” he said.
The SWC associate dean held back from calling on Amazon to ban Hamas and Nazi flags, and other hateful symbols from its site. He said a move to ban symbols of extremism all over the Internet is a mistake, not very practical and “it won’t go very far.” An alternative solution, according to Cooper, would be for online companies to resolve not to profit from the sale of items that utilize hateful symbols.
“There’s nothing wrong with full profit entities on the Internet to say, ‘you know what, that’s not why we’re in business, we don’t want to market these symbols, we’re not gonna carry them anymore,'” he said. “I think that’s an appropriate decision to make.”
 Northwestern Rabbi Decries ‘Anger Toward Jews’ on Campus After Third Antisemitic Graffiti Incident This Year
A Northwestern University Rabbi on Thursday denounced expressions of hate toward Jews on campus after the third antisemitic attack this year was reported at the school.
Staff at Northwestern’s Ryan Field, where the university held its commencement ceremony, found graffiti that included swastikas and another Nazi symbol scrawled on the windows of the stadium’s North Tower soon before the ceremony began on June 19.
The vandalism marked the second antisemitic episode at the university this month. The previous incident occurred two weeks ago when anti-Jewish graffiti was found spray-painted at a construction site on campus.
The defacement was “obviously a strong statement of hate against the Jewish community” and “a statement of anger,” said Rabbi Dov Klein, of the school’s Chabad center, in an interview with The Algemeiner. “Unfortunately, people have a lot of anger toward the Jewish people and they come up with a little bit of a window of openings to express it.”
Australian Police Raid of Neo-Nazi Groups Sends ‘Shudder’ Through Queensland Jewish Community
The discoveries this week of a bevy of Nazi paraphernalia by Australian police across Queensland sent a “shudder” through the local Jewish community, the president of the northeastern state’s Jewish Board of Deputies said on Friday.
“It is a disturbing reality these raids uncovered the vile link between right-wing extremism and organized crime,” said QJBD President Jason Steinberg.
“Revelations like this also send a shudder through the Queensland Jewish community, who have been concerned about the rise in antisemitism across Europe and other parts of Australia,” he said.
Steinberg said the solution to these problems rests in education, and he called for the establishment of a Holocaust and Tolerance Museum in Queensland to help counter the trend.
Steinberg’s comments came after Australian police arrested 61 people in Queensland this week with ties to neo-Nazi gangs.
As part of the raid, police seized a bevy of Nazi paraphernalia, including flags and symbols of the Third Reich, and even an apparent shrine filled with flags, banners, pendants and painted symbols, in a shed at one activist’s home.
Vandals daub swastika on Ukraine Holocaust memorial
A Holocaust monument in Ukraine was vandalized with a red swastika that the perpetrators painted over a Star of David symbol.
The vandalism in Nikopol, an eastern Ukrainian city located 60 miles from Dnepropetrovsk, occurred on June 16, according to a report Tuesday by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Ukraine.
Alexander Taratuta, who heads Nikopol’s small Jewish community, said he filed a complaint with police about the act of vandalism, the perpetrators of which are unidentified.
A total of about 20,000 Jews were murdered in Dnepropetrovsk alone during the German occupation of the area, according to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem.
Hebrew U., Boston Hospital Create Algorithm That Scans Genes for Diseases
The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has collaborated with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to create an algorithm that could scan as many as millions of genetic sequences from a variety of organisms for links that potentially indicate diseases.
This process could allow doctors, researchers, and patients to analyze a gene’s evolutionary profile and would “change the face of biomedical research by creating the ability to identify unique disease-related genes and predict their biological functions,” said the Israeli-American research team, headed by Dr. Yuval Tabach, a molecular biologist and researcher from Hebrew University’s Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Additionally, the development “opens the door to drug repositioning, which holds the promise of new treatments for genetic diseases or cancer,” the researchers said.
Tabach, whose research paper on the subject has been published in the Nucleic Acids Research journal, said that the technique “is simple and based on the fact that genes that work together or those that play an important role in biology will be present together in organisms that need them. Conversely, genes connected to a particular function like vision will disappear from species that have lost the power of sight (like cave fish or moles), and may therefore be identified by a comparison to the genes in normal animals.”
Israeli Researchers: Smartphone App May Help Parkinson’s Patients [video]
Many patients in the latter stage of Parkinson’s disease are at high risk of dangerous, sometimes fatal, falls. One major reason is the disabling symptom referred to as Freezing of Gait (FoG) — brief episodes of an inability to step forward that typically occurs during gait initiation or when turning while walking.
Patients who experience FoG often lose their independence, which has a direct effect on their already degenerating quality of life. In the absence of effective pharmacological therapies for FoG, technology-based solutions to alleviate the symptom and prolong the patients’ ability to live independently are desperately being sought.
CuPID is a project three years in the making and the product of an eight-member European Union-funded consortium including researchers at Tel Aviv University. It strives to provide personalized rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson’s disease who experience FoG or other gait disturbances.
CuPID is a home-based, personalized rehabilitation tool in the form of a Smartphone app that harnesses wearable sensors, audio biofeedback, and external cueing to provide intense motivational training tailored to each patient. The results are monitored remotely by medical professionals, who provide quality care while enhancing patient compliance.
Jews are our cousins, say Kurds
Writing for an Israeli newspaper, flying over territory held by ISIS to a Muslim country in the heart of the Middle East could create difficulties. “Don’t worry, they love Israelis here,” Huff told me. He asked if I could bring along a prayer book. I had also been in touch with an organization called Shevet Achim, which helps children with life-threatening heart problems by flying them to Israel for treatment. “Can you bring us Polycose, a dietary powder? There is an extremely malnourished child who needs it,” their local volunteer asked. So we had two large canisters with giant Hebrew writing on them, and I couldn’t stop thinking how odd it would look at customs: a Jewish prayer book, and some canisters full of white powder.
On the ground in Kurdistan. all fears were allayed. Old peshmerga fighters cradling AK-47s reminisced about the 1960s, when Israel helped them in the war against Saddam Hussein.
“My uncle went to Israel through Iran in the 1960s to be trained. Israelis came here to the mountains to help us,” one told me. There is a warm affinity for Jews among many Kurds. “Did you know that in most Muslim countries Jews could not carry weapons and had to wear a distinctive ‘Jewish’ dress ( a sign of dhimmitude - ed),” a Kurdish professor from Syria living in Erbil noted. “Jews in Kurdistan carried weapons and dressed like us and had the tribal names of our tribes.” One Kurdish fighter was convinced there is a mountain named Peres in Kurdistan that proves Shimon Peres is Kurdish. “Israel is a brave country fighting all the time against the enemy; they are in everyday war and they are like us, except we have been fighting since before 1948 for our independence,” another Kurdish officer explained.
What's that owl doing strapped to the chest of an Israeli Border Police officer?
During a patrol of the West Bank security barrier near Jenin on Saturday, Border Police forces came across an injured female owl that could not take off and immediately took action.
"As soon as I saw the suffering owl I took off my protective vest, and picked the bird up to evacuate it for treatment," George Daviri said on Saturday.
George was the commanding officer of the Border Police unit at the time of the run-in with the owl. The Parks and Nature Authority was contacted and it advised the police that they were carrying an eagle-owl, that can weigh as much as three kilos and has a wingspan of over two meters making it one of the largest predatory birds in Israel.
"The owl found is the largest nocturnal predator in Israel. The police brought the owl to us with a serious cut to its wing and with other minor bruising," Elishai Ben-Yannay a supervisor with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority said on Saturday.
"We hope that after treatment to the wing we'll be able to release the owl back to nature," Ben-Yannay added.
"Protecting the environment and animals is an integral part of our job and in my opinion are no less important than the other missions that we carry out as fighters," George said.

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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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