Tuesday, July 21, 2015

From Ian:

PMW: PA education: A recipe for hate and terror (a comprehensive report)
Palestinian Media Watch has prepared a comprehensive report on Palestinian Authority education. It includes chapters on names of schools (dozens named after terrorists), school activities (e.g., visiting homes of terrorists), statements and activities of educators (e.g., presenting murderers as role models and promising a world without Israel), schoolbooks, informal education (children reciting poems on kids' TV programs: e.g., Jews are monkeys and pigs; Tel Aviv is "occupied Palestine"), and a chapter with examples of honoring Hitler.
The report was prepared for and will be presented today at the 7th World Congress of Education International (EI), the international organization of teachers' unions, which is meeting this week in Ottawa, Canada. PMW was invited by the Association of Secondary School Teachers in Israel, after the association was notified that the congress, which brings together nearly 2,000 teachers and educators from all over the world, is planning to vote on several anti-Israel resolutions that include calls for boycott of Israel and support for BDS.
PMW has prepared this report documenting that hate, Antisemitism and honoring of murderers are fundamental elements of PA education, and showing the PA's central role in undermining peace. When then Sen. Hillary Clinton joined PMW to release PMW's report on PA schoolbooks in 2007, she said the PA education "profoundly poisons the minds of these children" and called some aspects of PA messaging "child abuse." This report documents that nothing has changed since then. The PA continues to poison the minds of its children. (Click to view the report in PDF)
French prosecutor closes case on suspected Arafat poisoning
A French prosecutor on Tuesday said there was no need to pursue an inquiry regarding the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whose widow alleges he was poisoned.
“The prosecution gave the opinion that the case should be dismissed,” the prosecutor’s office told AFP.
Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris at the age of 75 in November 2004 after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
His widow Suha filed a case in 2012 at a court in Nanterre, north of Paris, saying he was murdered.
The same year, Arafat’s tomb in Ramallah was opened for a few hours allowing three teams of French, Swiss and Russian investigators to collect approximately 60 samples.
Who are the ICC judges who ruled against Israel on the ‘Mavi Marmara’?
Three International Criminal Court judges who were not household names probably anywhere but in their home countries gained fame or infamy last week.
Judges Joyce Aluoch of Kenya and Cuno Tarfusser of Italy voted 2-1 against Peter Kovacs of Hungary to order ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to seriously consider reopening her file on the May 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla, a file which she had closed saying that the case was not grave enough for the ICC.
The focus of the file was the country of the island of Comoros, functioning according to many as a front for Turkish IHH activists, asking the Bensouda to open a full criminal investigation against IDF personnel and potentially security cabinet decision-makers.
The charges: alleged war crimes related to the IDF’s killing of 10 passengers (it has maintained in self-defense) aboard the Mavi Marmara ship which was part of a flotilla which tried to break the Gaza blockade.
Who are these three judges and what might have brought them to bring the ICC closer and deeper into the Israeli-Arab conflict than at any prior point?

UN singles out Israel as worse violator of “economic and social rights”
Yesterday, July 20, the UN’s Economic and Social Council adopted a resolution, singling out Israel as the only and thus worse violator of the “economic and social rights” in the world, for violating the rights of the Palestinian people and those of the Golan. The resolution entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” and proposed by South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China with the support of Turkey, was adopted with 42 in favor (including all the European countries) to 2 against (Australia, United States) with 2 abstentions (Honduras, Panama).
The resolution condemned Israel for a long litany of violations, including the construction of settlements and of the security barrier, settler violence, exploitation of Palestinian resources, home demolitions, the blockage in Gaza, the state of Palestinian prisoners and many more. No other country has been singled out for condemnation in ECOSOC’s week-long Coordination and Management meetings.
After the introduction of the resolution by South Africa, the Syrian Ambassador took the floor and accused Israel of facilitating terrorist attacks again Syrian cities and civilians. He also accused Israel of “destroying the soil of the Golan, exploiting its resources, burning its products and other racist policies” in order to drive the Syrian citizens of the Golan away.
UN approves Palestinian rights NGO that Israel says is linked to Hamas
A group that Israel says is linked to Hamas was approved for accreditation Monday by the United Nations.
Israel created a resolution to stop the London-based Palestinian Return Center's accreditation, which the UN committee overseeing non-governmental organizations in the UN held a vote on Monday.
According to an Israel Radio report, 13 countries supported Israel's resolution against the PRC, including the United States, Germany and most European countries. However, the resolution failed because 16 countries voted against the resolution and 18 abstained.
In June, after it was first announced that the UN committee had granted accreditation to the PRC, Israel's mission to the UN fiercely opposed the move and said the group promotes "anti-Israel propaganda in Europe" and is linked to Hamas.
In response to those statements, the PRC denied ties to Hamas and said that it would launch legal action against Israel's UN mission over what it claimed were Israel's "defamatory and damaging accusations against the center before the UN NGO committee."
European Union Blasts Israel for Policies Towards Palestinians
The leaders of the European Union slammed Israel for its policies towards the Palestinians, especially the “forced transfer” of Palestinians.
In a joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the 28-nation bloc, the EU said it “reiterates its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscation—including of EU-funded projects—evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, illegal outposts, settler violence, and restrictions of movement and access.”
In particular, the EU called on Israeli authorities “to halt plans for forced transfer of population and demolition of Palestinian housing and infrastructure in the Susya and Abu Nwar communities.”
But the EU also criticized the Palestinian Authority for not taking stronger action in reasserting control over Gaza, which is ruled by the Hamas terrorist group.
EU to pitch new formula in bid to jump-start peace talks
EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini, fresh from her role in the Iran nuclear deal, said she was working on an idea for an “international support group.”
“We have invested a lot as the EU” in trying to revive the moribund Middle East peace process, Mogherini said after a meeting of the bloc’s 28 foreign ministers in Brussels.
“The idea of an international support group is one that we will explore in coming weeks. We will come back to it once I have discussed it with regional actors,” she said.
Mogherini, a former Italian foreign minister, said the torturous but ultimately successful Iran talks showed that even the toughest problems could be resolved through diplomacy.
Pro-Israel caucus in US House of Representatives aims for Jerusalem recognition
Allies of Israel in the US House of Representatives submitted a bill Monday that would enable Congress to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on American documents.
The bill calls for moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. It would also challenge the recent Supreme Court decision that prevented Jerusalem, Israel from being written on the passport of a child born in the city.
The bipartisan resolution was initiated by Congressional Israel Allies Caucus members Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Gene Green (D-TX) and co-sponsored by 23 other congressmen.
"Expressing the sense of Congress that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and therefore, consistent with the location of other United States embassies, the United States embassy in Israel should be located in Jerusalem," the resolution says.
The resolution is the first expression of Congressional support for American recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel since the Zivotofsky v. Kerry Supreme Court decision last month.
Jeremy Corbyn: Balfour Declaration was “imposed” by Jewish members of British cabinet.
CST, in an important post about the questions Corbyn must answer about his radical affiliations, argued that “the problem is not that Corbyn is an antisemite or a Holocaust denier – he is neither”. The problem, CST wrote, “is that he seems to gravitate towards people who are, if they come with an anti-Israel sticker on them”.
However, comments made by Corbyn at a Labour Party hustings last night at JW3 at the very least raise troubling questions about his own views about Jews. The question, posed event moderator Jonathan Freedland, concerned the upcoming 100 year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration – a statement of support made by the British Government for the establishment of a national home for Jews in Mandate Palestine.
So, it certainly seems (based on the clip as well as several sources who reported these comments) that Corbyn said the Balfour Declaration was “imposed”[he now claims he said “opposed”] by Jewish members of the British government.
However, neither Lord Balfour, the foreign secretary for whom the declaration was named, nor the prime minister he served under, led by David Lloyd George, was Jewish. Further, the only Jewish member of George’s cabinet, Edwin Montagu, was an anti-Zionist Jew who actually opposed the Balfour Declaration!
Of course, even if there were in fact Zionist Jews in the government, the argument putatively advanced by Corbyn buys into the very same narratives about malevolent Jewish power cited by Cameron as among those toxic ideas which give rise to extremism.
Especially in the context of record levels of antisemitism recorded in the UK last year, anti-racists within the Labour Party need to hold Corbyn accountable for such an odious and historically inaccurate claim.
(According to a subsequent report in The Jewish Chronicle, Corbyn meant to say “opposed”, not “imposed”.)
UK Labour Party candidate denounces Palestine recognition
UK Labour Party candidate Liz Kendall spoke out Tuesday against the government’s call for the United Kingdom to recognize the State of Palestine in October 2014, saying it was “not the right thing to do,” the Independent news site reported.
Kendall, who is running for the leader of the British Labour party to replace Ed Miliband after he stepped down following the party’s defeat in the March elections, spoke at a town hall meeting, hosted by the British Jewish Chronicle newspaper.
“The question asked about hostility [between the Labour Party and the Jewish community] and I think that really did come to a crunch in the vote on the House of Commons on recognizing the Palestinian state,” she said.
Russia To Move ISS Astronaut Training To Crimea, Reviving Discussion About US Stance On Annexation
A Russian official recently confirmed plans to move International Space Station training sessions to facilities in Crimea next year -- a decision that media outlets have previously speculated could put the United States, which has opposed the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, in an awkward position. The U.S. would either have to send its astronauts there, essentially recognizing Russia's ownership, or leave astronauts untrained, which means they're automatically disqualified for flight certification, NBC News reported.
The U.S. embassy in Moscow did not comment to the Moscow Times about how the countries would handle this. Russia NASA official Sean Fuller told the paper he hadn't heard that Roscosmos was considering moving the center.
But Yury Lonchakov, head of the cosmonaut training center in Russia, told TASS on Friday that plans to shift survival training to Crimea were in motion. Astronauts will participate in exercises in the mountains and waters of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in March 2014.
PreOccupied Territory: European Space Agency To Avoid Orbit Over West Bank, Gaza (satire)
The European intergovernmental agency that promotes and pursues space flight and space exploration has adopted new procedures for its space vehicles, most prominently a provision that no craft traverse any area of sky directly over territories occupied by Israel, lest that be considered an endorsement of Israel’s presence there.
The European Space Agency followed the lead of the European Union, its largest financial contributor, which this week voted to label all imported products originating in Israeli settlements beyond the 1948 ceasefire line. While Israeli-Palestinian agreements call for the final status of those areas and communities to be determined in negotiations, those negotiations have barely taken place over the last several years, with each side blaming the other for the continuing impasse. In the meantime, Europe has by and large decided to back the Palestinian claim to the land regardless of those agreements, and seeks to pressure Israel into acquiescing to Palestinian territorial demands. The space agency’s move will be implemented for every mission scheduled for launch after December of this year, and the directors of current, ongoing operations will be instructed to minimize wherever possible any orbit, launch, or reentry trajectories over the Gaza Strip. Golan Heights, and West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
In practice, say space flight officials, avoiding those areas will mean no passing over Israel’s pre-1967 boundaries, either, since almost any orbital paths over the occupied zones would involve passing over Israel immediately before or after. ESA officials called the result unfortunate, but necessary. “It is necessary to make this statement of non-endorsement of Israeli occupation, and if that requires us to seemingly non-endorse Israeli existence as well, that is a consequence we are willing to bear,” said ESA spokeswoman Ann de Semmitte. “All of our 22 member nations are behind this new set of procedures.”
Knesset passes bill increasing punishment for rock-throwers
If it becomes law, the bill will establish the penalty for rock-throwing as from 10 to 20 years, depending on the circumstances.
The legislation is meant to change the current law, which does not differentiate among the dangers of rock-throwing, pointing out that throwing a large rock at a moving vehicle has more deadly potential than throwing small rocks at stationary soldiers.
The law increases the punishment for throwing rocks or objects at a civilian vehicle to up to 10 years in prison. If a police car is targeted, the punishment would be identical to that for aggravated assault of a police officer, up to 20 years.
It will no longer be necessary to prove that the rock-throwers intended to harm anyone, which is currently a major obstacle in trying to convict them.
“It’s absurd that, until now, the burden of proof was on the prosecution,” Shaked said ahead of the bill’s first reading. “The law will put the responsibility back on the rock-throwers and will assume that whoever throws a rock means harm.
Rocks kill.
Gaza Salafists threaten Hamas with rocket fire on Israel
Jihadists in the Gaza Strip have threatened to fire rockets at Israel in response to a Hamas crackdown on extremists in the Palestinian territory.
The threat came in reaction to the arrest of terrorists suspected of targeting members of Hamas’s armed wing Sunday with a series of bombings.
“The Salafists have decided to respond to these crimes and these blows dealt by Hamas by pointing rockets towards the occupation (Israel) and carrying out reprisals,” said a statement released online late Monday.
Hamas police arrested a dozen “mujahedeen” after Sunday’s explosions, which destroyed five cars.
The jihadist statement accused Gaza’s rulers of staging the blasts as an excuse to crack down on Salafist extremists.
Hamas Taunts Israel: You'll Never Get Info on Fallen Soldier
Golani Brigade combat soldier First Sergeant Oron Shaul was killed last July 20 by Hamas infiltrators in the Gaza Belt region during Operation Protective Edge, and now a year later his body remains captured by Hamas.
Marking a year since the abduction of Shaul's body, Hamas's "armed wing," the Al-Qassam Brigades, published a statement claiming that Israel will never obtain any information about "the captured soldier Oron Shaul" despite its advanced intelligence capabilities.
"Today the hope of the prisoners (jailed terrorists - ed.) to obtain freedom soon is renewed, while the enemy is in an embarrassment on this issue, and is helpless despite its use of all the intelligence means at its disposal in an attempt to obtain any scrap of information about its captured soldier," read the statement.
Hamas gave the impression that Shaul was captured alive as it has on other occasions, even though the IDF confirmed he was killed when the APC (armored personnel carrier) he was in was hit by a Hamas RPG (rocket propelled grenade). Further putting a dent in the credibility of the Hamas claim is that the terror group has not given any evidence that Shaul is alive, or actively pressed for a prisoner swap as would be expected if they had a live soldier in their clutches.
Israel says it no longer treats Syrian Islamist rebels inside country
A senior IDF officer said Monday that Israel no longer treats casualties from the Syrian civil war who are members of the al-Nusra Front, a rebel group affiliated with al-Qaeda. He acknowledged there had been some previous, inadvertent cases in which such rebel fighters were able to “infiltrate” Israel’s humanitarian medical assistance program.
The officer was responding to comments made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who claimed Israel has been helping the rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“According to his statements, Israel is behind the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State,” the IDF officer said. “It is important to note that only few al-Nusra Front fighters managed to infiltrate Israel to receive medical treatment here, and over the past month this has stopped and will not happen again. We are conducting checks at the border in order to prevent this.”
Israel has for several years been treating wounded from the Syrian civil war, some in a field hospital at the border and others in medical institutions inside the country. Critics aligned with the embattled Assad regime have accused the Jewish state of assisting rebels, including radical Islamists.
In Hamas’s embrace of Sunni Saudi Arabia, a slap to Iran
A high-level Hamas delegation headed by the group’s politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, visited Riyadh last Friday to meet with King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, and a host of Saudi officials. The makeup of Hamas’s team was noteworthy, as it included Mashaal’s deputy, Moussa Abu Marzouk, and Saleh al-Arouri, the movement’s Turkey-based official suspected of guiding recently exposed terror cells in the West Bank, as well as the abduction-killing of three Israeli teenagers last summer. Arab media rushed to note that it was the first such meeting in over three years.
The Hamas daily al-Resalah cleared some of the fog surrounding the visit on Sunday, reporting that Saudi King Salman had requested that Hamas and Fatah empower him to replace Egypt as mediator in the reconciliation efforts between the two groups. Mashaal, the report said, came to Riyadh carrying a written “letter of empowerment” for Salman, while Fatah leader and PA President Mahmoud Abbas refused to do so.
The sudden, overt rapprochement between revolutionary Hamas and conservative Saudi Arabia — both followers of Sunni Islam — is unsurprising given the gradual decline in Hamas’s relations with Iran in recent years. It is not just money that Hamas is after (although given its financial pitfalls, some cash certainly couldn’t hurt), but more importantly, a new patron in a region increasingly defined by its sectarian divides.
Hezbollah, Amal and Hamas Resolve to Unite Efforts in Fight Against Israel
A delegation representing the Lebanese Shia Amal political party and terror group Hezbollah visited Hamas offices in Lebanon this week and resolved to work together to fight Israel, Hezbollah affiliated Al-Manar reported on Monday.
The delegates, which included Hezbollah’s press chief Sadreddine Dawood, and chief of refugee affairs Abu Wael Zalzali, met with Jihad Taha, a member of the political leadership of Hamas in the El-Buss refugee camp north of Tyre on the southern Lebanese coast.
The visit coincided with the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival, and was intended to “stress the deep ties that bind the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples,” Al-Manar said.
Those assembled at the meeting expressed hopes that “the coming days will carry with them goodness and promises of victory against all of the enemies of [the Muslim community], chief among them the Israeli enemy…”
In a statement issued following the gathering, the assembled delegation added, “what is required today is denying this enemy, which is constantly trying to sneak up on all of us, with any opportunity, and to unite behind the project of resistance and confrontation.”
Hamas executes officer for leaking where terror chief was hiding
A commander in the military wing of Hamas was executed Monday for allegedly giving Israel information on the whereabouts of Hamas leader Muhammad Deif, Hamas sources said.
Muhammad Shtiwi had been under Hamas arrest since January for allegedly revealing the location of the shadowy terror mastermind during last summer’s Gaza conflict, the TV report said.
Deif, 51, was targeted in an August 19 IDF strike on a home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of the Gaza Strip. Deif’s wife and two children were killed in the bombing, but Deif survived, Israeli security sources confirmed several months later.
The Hamas sources said Shtiwi confessed to collaborating with Israel, and to other crimes including weapons sales to the rival Islamic Jihad terror group.
The Israeli news site NRG said he was tortured during the months of his captivity. It said he was executed by members of the Hamas military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
Hamas TV claim that tunnel runs from West Bank to Temple Mount debunked
Palestinians in the West Bank have been caught in the past on video using ropes and ladders to climb over the security barrier around Jerusalem to enter Israel. Now Hamas' Al Quds TV station claims that the organization has managed to dig Gaza-style tunnels from beyond the security barrier to Al-Aksa Mosque in the heart of the Old City.
But according to Israel's Channel 10, the tunnel featured in the report is fake and was a Hamas propaganda stunt to raise Palestinian morale and to mock Israel.
The Al-Quds video shows Palestinians trying to squeeze past a narrow space that is blocked by a large cement cube. The result of the effort of squirming through the underground area is shown at the end of the video which shows the Palestinian man praying at Al-Aksa.
All of the branches of the Israeli security forces told Channel 10 that the cement cube seen in the video is a blocking obstacle placed in an underground water passage.
Channel 10 noted that the journalist in the video does not herself attempt to bypass the supposed tunnel, though she does provide the reason for its construction.
"Due to the occupation, youth are forced to reach Al-Aksa to pray even if it means risking their lives," she said.
Toyota Issues Urgent Recall Following Gaza Explosions (satire)
Toyota has ordered an immediate recall of all Corollas in the Gaza area following a mysterious set of explosions.
A spokesman for the Japanese car giant said, “We’ve had problems with the AC on the 1992 models before, but to be honest we’ve never had a whole bunch just spontaneously combust. It’s a mystery we must get to the bottom of.”
Hamas commander, Abu Hamar, said, “I hope it goes without saying that we will be blaming the Jews for this. I know that IS have threatened us with death recently, but frankly when you’re used to being followed around by an Apache gunship, you tend to take these threats with a pinch of salt.”
BDS supporter, Bob Jones, was adamant, “It’s pretty clear that if the Zionist occupiers weren’t carrying out an illegal blockage of Gaza, then the Palestinian auto repair shops could handle this recall internally. And no I don’t know what a ‘Salafist group’ is. But if they want to hash tag #freeGaza, then they must be pretty cool.”
IDF spokesman David Blabstein commented, “It’s true that a number of Japanese saloons are vulnerable to what we call the ‘Merkava Effect’, but I’ve personally checked this morning and we’re not missing any high explosive rounds. So this one ain’t on us.
Daphne Anson: Scottish PSC Chief Napier: "Zionism makes its way forward in cold blood ... Zionism is a criminal conspiracy" (video)
Ghastly rabble-rousing stuff here. Firebrand Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign chief Mick Napier, delighting his "Muslim friends" at the London Al Quds Day rally with his demogogic denunciation of Israel and his introductory remarks declaring that "no state has the right to exist..."
Among the inevitable fan club sending congratulations on what one has called an "inspirational" speech is a message from an Irish composer and anti-Israel activist:
UK Student Union Censures Leader for Violating Israel Boycott With Coca-Cola Sponsorship
The U.K.’s largest student union criticized its newly elected president for accepting a Coca-Cola sponsorship that the union said goes against its policy of boycotting Israel, The Independent reported on Monday.
Megan Dunn, who was elected president of the National Union of Students (NUS) in April, was rebuked for accepting the sponsorship for the National Union of Students Awards 2015 ceremony. Many of the NUS’s local constituent unions boycott Coca-Cola and have accused the U.S. soft drink giant of operating factories in territories “illegally occupied” by Israel, according to The Independent.
The union’s executive council reportedly passed Dunn’s censure by a 20 to 14 vote with two abstentions. The motion criticized Dunn’s “refusal to accept that Coca-Cola is a target of the BDS movement or to release an apology for accepting their sponsorship.”
According to the NUS rules, a censure vote is a criticism of an individual or group, indicating that the union is unhappy with their actions. It is not as serious as a vote of no confidence, which calls for the official’s removal.
Senior officers of the group boycotted the annual awards ceremony in protest of the Coca-Cola sponsorship, and a number of local union representatives and officers also refused to attend, The Independent said.
Edgar Davidson: Bournemouth Action for Israel: "They really hate us"
The Facebook page of the group Bournemouth Action for Israel has the sobering account below of what happened to them when they booked a stand at the Tolpuddle Festival last weekend. It provides a very clear picture of what Israel supporters are up against in the UK and the closed minds of the leftists, with whom any attempt at reasoned argument is pointless. I am increasingly convinced that pushing the "pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, pro-peace" message does not work and nor does the "Israel is really a decent place" narrative.
Today, we arrived very early to ensure we would be there before the PSC and as we were in the process of setting up our stand, we received a visit from the organisers. They explained to us that this was going to be the busiest day of the event and that they were short staffed on security. In view of the many virulent complaints they had received about us, and although we had every right to be there, we should leave in the interest of our own and their staff's safety.
Not wishing to place the staff nor indeed ourselves in physical danger, we had no real option but to make a tactical withdrawal. Basically, we were bullied into going.
The problem with the radical left is much worse than we anticipated. THEY REALLY REALLY HATE US.
Honest Reporting: Walls, Politics, Mosques, and the Impact of Media Bias
HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl joins VOI’s Josh Hasten to review this week’s skewed media coverage of Israel.
Frankl reports on a Washington Post article about presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s call for the United States to build a southern border fence to deter Mexican migrants. The piece mentioned border fences across the world, calling Israel’s security barrier an anti-Palestinian, repressive “apartheid wall.” The New York Times ascribes political motivations to the Israeli Prime Minister’s opposition to the Iran deal. Also — did anti-Israel media coverage of the Gaza conflict feed into the massacre in Tennessee?
BBC’s summary of Khamenei speech censors pledge to support terror
As we see, the version of Khamenei’s speech presented to Western audiences by the BBC replaces the word ‘document’ with ‘deal’ or ‘agreement’. It also censors the Iranian regime’s expression of continued support for terrorism and, of course, its anti-Israel content.
BBC audiences trying to understand the significance and implications of the JCPOA signed between the P5+1 and Iran would obviously have found that information beneficial to their understanding of the reservations raised by many parties in relation to the likely effects of sanctions relief on Iran’s patronage of terrorist groups in the Middle East and beyond. The BBC, however, chose to censor that information.
Honest Reporting: BBC Denies Iran Threat to Israel
The BBC says Iran no longer poses a threat to Israel. Millions of Iranians chanted "death to Israel" a few days ago. Who should we believe?

Edgar Davidson: BBC responds to my complaint about its statement that nobody in Iran has threatened Israel for a very long time
I (along with a number of people including Denis MacEoin) complained to the BBC following a typically outrageous interview on Radio 4 with an Israeli representative.
BBC response:
The question about whether Israel faces a threat from Iran was a legitimate one for the interview with Danny Danon. However, after our editors spoke with Razia about the interview, it was agreed that her question could have been framed more clearly. The context of live radio, a developing story and a presenter responding to an interviewee’s points, should also be taken into account.
Mr Danon was allowed to give his views at length and in detail. He stated that Israel had the capability and right to defend itself - what Razia was trying to elicit in response from Mr Danon was what Israel considered to be the current threat from the state of Iran. In so doing, she was seeking to compare the very public and aggressive statements about Israel made by the previous president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, with the language used by the current president, Hassan Rouhani. Mr Danon was allowed to give a lengthy, uninterrupted response. Questioning that response does not constitute bias, it is about seeking accountability for a viewpoint. The issue of whether Iran poses an existential threat is not without controversy within Israel. The current head of Mossad has said that a nuclear Iran would not necessarily pose such a threat; two of his predecessors have been critical Mr Netanyahu’s stance on the issue.
In that context, it was absolutely correct and legitimate for Razia to ask the question.
'Bookkeeper of Auschwitz' Appeals Conviction
The defense team for former SS sergeant Oskar Groening, also known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, on Monday filed an appeal against his conviction of 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, CBS News reported.
Groening was convicted last week and sentenced to four years in prison, but will remain free until his appeals are heard. His lawyers say he deserves a sentence reduction for the amount of time it took to bring him to trial, according to CBS.
Attorney Hans Holtermann filed the appeal Monday, arguing that judges incorrectly rejected reducing the sentence because 94-year-old Groening was only brought to trial this year even though his case has been known for decades.
Kathrin Soefker, a spokeswoman for Hannover prosecutors, said her office has not yet decided whether to file its own appeal.
Nazi hunter reports Dane to police over war crimes
A top Nazi hunter on Tuesday filed a police complaint against a 90-year-old Danish man for allegedly working as a guard in a Belarus concentration camp during World War II.
“Unfortunately the justice ministry chose not to deal with this … so therefore I have come to Copenhagen to submit the complaint myself,” Efraim Zuroff, the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem director, told journalists.
A Danish book released last year claimed Helmuth Leif Rasmussen worked as a guard in the Bobruisk camp in Nazi-occupied Belarus, citing a police report from 1945.
Rasmussen, who has since changed his name and now lives in the Copenhagen area, has admitted to being part of a volunteer unit created by the Danish Nazi Party, but told daily Berlingske that he only went to Bobruisk as a 17-year-old to undergo military training.
“We were there to be trained as soldiers and the other (things) we had nothing to do with,” he told the paper.
The alleged war crimes took place between 1942 and 1943.
 Nazi-hunting couple gets Germany’s highest honor
Germany awarded its highest medal of honor to a French couple for their work bringing Nazi war criminals to justice Monday.
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld accepted the Order of Merit at the home of the German ambassador to France on Monday, The Associated Press reported.
The Klarsfelds, who met in 1960, spent four decades tracking down Nazi war criminals who had resettled around the world, among them Klaus Barbie, who was known as the “Butcher of Lyon.” Barbie was extradited from Bolivia in 1983, several years after the Klarsfelds found him.
The Klarsfelds also created a database of deported Jewish children.
Beate Klarsfeld in 1968 received a one-year prison sentence, later reduced, for slapping Kurt Kiesinger, then chancellor of Germany, in a discussion about his wartime work for the Nazis.
In 1991, she was detained in Syria for protesting the country’s protection of wanted Nazi Alois Brunner.
Sorry colonel, Israel had real original recipe chicken, research shows
Had the Bible been seeking a stronger selling point, God might have promised the Hebrews a land flowing with milk and delicious chicken dinners, at least according to new research published Tuesday.
A team of researchers excavating the site of Maresha in the southern Judean plain say they found evidence that chicken and eggs, were consumed in the region well before other antiquity sites.
“It’s accurate to say that Israel is where the chicken business was invented,” doctoral student Lee Perry-Gal told The Times of Israel. “Jewish chicken soup, Kentucky Fried Chicken – it all has its roots in the Hellenistic city of Maresha in central Israel.”
“At some point in between 200 and 400 BCE, the residents of Maresha began raising and eating chicken, as well as eggs, which we also have no evidence was eaten before this period,” said Perry-Gal, referring to an archaeological site near the Beit Guvrin caves in central Israel. “That changed, and chicken became a part of the culinary culture of Israel – and eventually the rest of the Western world.”
Iconic Nazi-built Berlin stadium to host Maccabi games
Europe’s largest Jewish sporting event is coming to Germany for the first time, bringing more than 2,000 Jewish athletes together from around the world to compete at a site constructed by the Nazis for the 1936 Olympics.
The decision to host the 14th European Maccabi Games in Berlin was a difficult one, said organizer Alon Meyer, but should be seen as a “signal of reconciliation” 70 years after the end of World War II.
“There were a lot of people who said that they would never in their lives step again on German soil and we have to respect that,” Meyer, the president of Maccabi Germany, told a group of foreign reporters on Monday.
But he said “we are a new generation … and the question of guilt is long resolved.”
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said it is a strong message to hold the event on the site of the 1936 Olympic Games held under the Nazi regime, which killed some 6 million Jews in the Holocaust.
“This is the stadium where the Olympic games were exploited by Hitler,” he said on RBB radio. “To hold on that spot a Jewish sporting event like the Maccabi Games, that is an important and nice message.”
Lou Lenart, US pilot ‘who saved Tel Aviv,’ dies at 94
Israeli war hero Lou Lenart, an American fighter pilot who led an Israeli air attack during the War of Independence that fended off an Egyptian raid on Tel Aviv, died Monday at the age of 94.
Lenart, who also fought in World War II and went on to become a Hollywood producer, died of kidney and heart failure at his home in the central Israeli city of Ra’anana.
His funeral will be held Wednesday at the Kfar Nachman Cemetery in Ra’anana. High-ranking officers of the US Marine Corps and Israeli Air Force are expected to attend, according to Lenart’s wife, Rachel Nir.
Lenart was born Layos Lenovitz, the son of Jewish farmers, in 1921, in a small Hungarian village near the Czech border. To escape the prevalent anti-Semitism, the family moved to the United States when Lenart was 10. His parents settled in the Pennsylvania coal-mining town of Wilkes-Barre, where he was the target of anti-Jewish taunts.
Burgas Bombing Victims, Including 5 Israelis, Remembered 3 Years Later
A memorial ceremony was held Monday at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria to mark the three-year anniversary of the terrorist bombing there, in which five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian bus driver were killed.
A still-unidentified perpetrator set off a bomb on a bus parked at the airport. Immediately following the attack, Israel accused the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah of being responsible for it. Bulgaria later said that evidence pointed toward Hezbollah’s culpability. A year after the bombing, the European Union put Hezbollah’s “armed wing”—but not the rest of the organization—on its terrorism blacklist.
Yaakov Preiss, whose son Elior was killed in the attack, spoke at Monday’s ceremony and called on Europeans to “stop being naive.”
“Terrorist organizations do not think like you,” Preiss said. “Agitators use democracy to incite. This freedom of speech will cause you to lose your children in terrorist attacks.”

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