Monday, August 17, 2015

From Ian:

IDF plans for possible Syria operation as jihadist, Hezbollah threats mount
The Israeli military is preparing for a possible ground operation on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in the event of sustained rocket strikes or coordinated terror attacks against Israel either by Sunni jihadists or Hezbollah operatives.
The number of Islamists flooding into the area close to the border with Israel has the IDF on high alert, Channel 2 reported Sunday, adding that the military held a large-scale drill last week simulating a possible advance into Syria and the evacuation of Israeli civilians from border communities.
According to a Channel 10 report Sunday, the drill included preparation for a scenario in which Islamist forces launch a sophisticated, multi-pronged attack on Israeli troops, similar to attacks against Egyptian security forces in Sinai in recent months.
The IDF is also planning for a possible Hezbollah offensive directed by Iran, with an IDF source saying that hundreds of Hezbollah members are present in the Golan, and that Tehran has been behind several recent attacks against Israel. Israeli officials have routinely raised concerns over the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters using positions in the Syrian Golan, partially held by rebel forces, to attack Israel.
“It’s clear that Iran is behind all of the terror attacks here [in the Golan] in the past two years,” the IDF officer said Sunday during a briefing with reporters. “The Iranians are using the border – they establish units – whether it’s [Jihad] Mughniyeh, [Samir] Kuntar, and more – to carry out [the attacks].”

Iran׳s Al Quds Force builds forward command near Israeli border, but war isn't on the horizon
On Sunday the IDF gave Israeli military reporters a tour in the area of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights and later there was a briefing with senior commanders in the Northern Command. As is usually the case with such briefings, facts and assessments were presented. They were rather routine. There certainly was not anything dramatic in the IDF's comments that suggested a change, an increased state of preparedness or higher level of alert.
But to drive 200 km. from Tel Aviv in each direction and to go a whole day without filing news? No way. So after the tour and the briefings, journalists were filmed in a fighting stance with the northern Golan Heights border fence in the background, delivering reports on an IDF plan for a ground attack in Syria.
Indeed, this possibility was also brought up, but it was a marginal piece in a presentation of a number of hypothetical scenarios.
Imagine the response from media, politicians or the public if the chief of staff or another senior army official would say that the IDF has no plan and is not prepared for the worst case scenario. Of course the IDF prepares for every possibility, even the most difficult. This is the role of the commanders: to prepare the IDF for every situation, scenario or eventuality.
However, the few sentences uttered by the officers giving the briefing about the possibility of the IDF taking control of territory in Syria, and even conquering a village or two on the border, were on the margins of what was said. These sentences were intended to explain that this is only one scenario that was practiced in a wide-ranging exercise that was carried out recently by the IDF's 210th Regional Bashan Division to prepare for a situation in which one of the terror groups, like the Nusra Front or Islamic State would try to break through the Golan border to attack IDF soldiers in the way that the Sinai Province of the Islamic State (formerly known as Ansar Bayit al-Maqdes) are doing against the Egyptian army.
Video: IDF Kills Iran-Sponsored Golan Terrorists
The IDF published video Sunday of an incident from last month in which it eliminated terrorists who infiltrated the northern Israeli Golan Heights from Syria. The terrorists, who set off on their mission from the village of Hadr in Syria, intended to plant powerful bombs and set them off against the IDF.
A senior military source in the Northern Command said that Iran was involved in all the recent terror attacks in the Golan. “The Iranians are behind all of the attacks and attempted attacks,” he said. “In the internecine fighting between them, [the battling forces in Syria] are also using chemical weapons, and we take this into account.”
“When one gazes deep into Syria from the peak of the Hermon,” the officer added, “one does not see a Syrian state anymore. Assad's grip on the ground is gradually weakening, and yet, there are still many forces loyal to the regime, including 180,000 in the regular army, and another 60,000 defending communities, 15,000 militiamen and about 5,000 Hezbollah men.”
"All these have turned Syria into a terror arena and the IDF treats it as such. The IDF understands that any small terror attack can cause the relatively quiet situation to deteriorate into war, and that is why scenarios are constantly being drilled.”

Why is there LGBT silence on Iran?
Remember the murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998 for being gay? Remember the galvanizing effect that horrific act had – not only on the larger LBGT community, but on the American soul? That was one Matthew Shepard.
There are at least 146 Matthew Shepards in Iran.
And yet, the LGBT community has been largely silent on the deal with the Iran – with one major exception: the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay Republican caucus. Their full-page ad shows a dead man hanging from a gallows. The text of the ad reads: “Secretary Kerry: This is about more than nukes! Right now Iran is executing gay people and people merely suspected of being gay. Why are John Kerry and the Obama administration even contemplating regarding a nation guilty of terrible human rights abuses against gays, Jews and women by lifting sanctions? Human rights can’t be ignored in these negotiations. Tell John Kerry this is a bad deal.”
This ad was run in March – months ago.
Directly Defending Israel at the International Criminal Court
Israel – our greatest ally in the Middle East – is taking fire from all sides. At the ACLJ, we’re aggressively fighting back with a multipronged legal strategy to defend Israel’s right to defend its citizens against an onslaught of terror.
Through our international affiliate with consultative status at the United Nations (U.N.), the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), we have just submitted an amicus curiae brief to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to stand with Israel against false war crimes prosecutions attempted to be initiated against Israel for merely defending its citizens. Our submission argues that that the ICC Prosecutor’s prior decision not to start an investigation against Israel was proper and reasonable.
The Comoros, a Member State of the ICC, filed an application with the Prosecutor’s office alleging that Israeli forces had committed war crimes. After a review of the facts and law, the Prosecutor decided not to start an investigation because the alleged crimes were not of sufficient gravity to warrant an investigation.
The Comoros appealed the Prosecutor’s decision not to investigate, and the Pre-Trial Chamber agreed with The Comoros’ flawed legal analysis. Applying an ambiguous standard of review and legally flawed analysis, the Pre-Trial Chamber requested the Prosecutor to reconsider her decision, holding that the Prosecutor erred in her decision not to investigate.
In our amicus brief submitted to the Appeals Chamber of the ICC, we have argued that the Prosecutor’s decision was reasonable given the facts and well within the bounds of her discretion.
10 injustices Pollard’s release will never fix
The official announcement that Jonathan Pollard will be paroled as of Nov. 21, having served 30 years for transmitting classified American documents to the Israeli government, is a welcome — if much-belated — development. The fact of his prospective release, however, must not be allowed to overshadow the injustices of his life sentence — and 30-year prison term. Here’s why:
1. The life sentence was unprecedented
Pollard’s sentence of life imprisonment in 1985 was then — and remains today — unprecedented, excessive, grossly disproportionate and unfair, and amounts to a denial of equality before the law. No other American who has pleaded guilty to spying for a US ally has ever been sentenced to life. In such cases, the usual sentence is no more than eight years, with actual time served averaging two to four years or less.
3. Caspar Weinberger’s secret declaration
Pollard’s sentence was imposed as a result of the submission — after the plea bargain and again in violation of it — of a prejudicial, ex parte affidavit to the sentencing judge by then-Secretary of Defence Caspar Weinberger. Pollard never saw the Weinberger Declaration, nor was he able to challenge it. In his submission, Weinberger claimed that Pollard had compromised American national security, was guilty of “treason,” and should never be released. However, in a 2002 interview, Weinberger admitted that, in retrospect, the Pollard matter was “comparatively minor.” Nevertheless, the secret Weinberger Declaration has continued to underpin the falsity of the allegations against Pollard, and to undermine the validity of his case and defence, whether in seeking appellate review, or clemency or parole.
Jewish Aleppo, Lost Forever
The northern Syrian city of Aleppo, once a pillar of Jewish existence worldwide, is slowly being destroyed by the fighting that has engulfed Syria for the past 17 months. Last week, a Free Syrian Army rebel warned that soon “there will be nothing left to destroy in Aleppo.” Imagine Rome or Paris destroyed by civil war in the social media age.
Coincidentally, Aleppo had already been in the news thanks to a new book and a lengthy New York Times Magazine article about one of the city’s most famous claims to recognition: the Aleppo Codex of the Hebrew Bible, said to have been complied in Tiberias in the 10th century and ransomed by the Jews of Cairo from the Crusaders after their conquest. After a short but monumental stay in the hands of Maimonides, it wound up in Aleppo, where it was kept hidden in a crypt lining the walls of the city’s great synagogue for the next 600 years. The codex, believed to be the oldest manuscript containing the entire Hebrew Bible, was smuggled out of Syria in the 1950s thanks to the courageous efforts of a handful of Aleppine Jews. Like a segment of Aleppo’s Jewish community, the codex found a home in Jerusalem, where it sits under lock and key at the Israel Museum.
What made Jewish existence in Aleppo so unique and vibrant? For thousands of years, Aleppo was an unofficial capital of the Sephardic Jewish world. Fueled by wealth from international trade and waves of Jewish immigration, the city’s Jews sustained a pious community revered for educational excellence and as a guardian of traditions with roots in ancient Israel. Aleppine folklore—some even say that one of King David’s generals personally laid the foundation for its great synagogue, now located at the heart of fighting—hints at the prestige of the city in Jewish history.
But the city is lost, and Jewish existence has been all but erased from its cobbled streets. Remarkably, what has not disappeared is the Aleppine way of life in diaspora communities spanning the globe.
Israel denies holding truce talks with Hamas
Israel has not held any recent ceasefire negotiations with Hamas, the Prime Minister’s Office said Monday evening, after days of reports of an imminent comprehensive agreement on removing the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip in return for a long-term truce.
“Israel is officially clarifying that there have been no meetings with Hamas, not directly, not through another country and not through intermediaries,” said the PMO in a statement. “Regarding relations with Turkey, that agreement is still far off,” the statement added.
The repudiation came shortly after a senior official in Jerusalem denied the claims in a similarly worded statement.
“There is no negotiation on a long-term ceasefire with Hamas, not through Turkey, not through Qatar, not through [former peace envoy] Tony Blair and not in any other way,” the unnamed official was quoted by the Walla news website as saying.
Khaled Abu Toameh: 'Hamas opposed to ending ceasefire with Israel even if hunger-striker Allan dies'
Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials on Sunday held meetings in the Gaza Strip to coordinate their moves in wake of the continued hunger strike of Palestinian inmate Mohammed Allan.
Allan, who is affiliated with Islamic Jihad, remains in critical condition in Barzilai Medical Center. He has been on hunger strike for the past two months in protest against his administrative detention.
Islamic Jihad has threatened that it would resume its terror attacks against Israel if Allan dies.
Sources in the Gaza Strip claimed that Hamas remains opposed to ending the current cease-fire with Israel, even if Allan dies. According to the sources, Hamas made it clear to Islamic Jihad leaders that the only response to Allan’s death should come from the West Bank and not from the Gaza Strip.
Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab accused the Israeli government of seeking to “assassinate” the hunger striker. He said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was fully responsible for any harm done to Allan.
State: We would consider freeing hunger-striker if he agrees to 4-year exile
The State Attorney's Office said Monday that it is willing to consider releasing the Palestinian prisoner currently on a hunger strike if he agrees to leave the country for a period of four years.
The State Attorney's Office on Monday submitted a written response to the High Court of Justice in advance of an afternoon hearing on a petition to release Muhammad Allan, who is in critical condition amid a 64-day hunger strike.
At the hearing, the High Court said that nothing has changed on the legal front since the prior ruling that an administrative detention was legal. They set a separate meeting for Wednesday to discuss the issue from a medical perspective.
Adalah, the rights group who submitted the petition for Allan's release rejected the gesture.
As of Monday, the High Court pushed off making the decision.
BBC claims prisoner’s terror group affiliations ‘alleged’
Apparently the BBC has not seen the following at the Qatari site ‘Al Araby Al Jadeed’:
“Naser Allan says Israel arrested his son, Mohammed, in November 2014 and placed him under administrative detention for two six-month periods. He says his son was imprisoned from 2006-2009 for affiliation with the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad.”
Neither, it seems, has it noticed the following at MEMO:
“Palestinian resistance faction Islamic Jihad warned on Friday that it would end the ceasefire between Palestinian factions and Israel if its member Mohammed Allan dies, Quds Press reported."
Likewise, the demonstrations organised by the PIJ in support of Allan appear to have escaped the BBC’s attention, as has Hamas’ opposition to the PIJ’s threats of violence.
Family of Israeli held in Gaza stages protest outside prison
Dozens of protesters gathered outside a prison in central Israel on Monday morning to rally for the release of Avraham Mengistu, 28, an Israeli captive reportedly held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The protest, spearheaded by the Mengistu family, was timed to coincide with visiting day for Palestinian prisoners in the Hadarim prison. According to Channel 2, the family planned to speak to the Palestinian prisoners’ families, in an effort to convey an appeal to Hamas to release the Israeli-Ethiopian captive on humanitarian and medical grounds.
During the protest, Mengistu’s brother boarded a bus of Palestinian visitors and distributed flyers in Arabic calling for his brother’s release, an Army Radio correspondent wrote on Twitter.
The protesters, meanwhile, confronted the prisoners’ families with signs reading: “Abera’s mother wants to visit him, too” and “You visit your families, while Abera’s mother doesn’t know where he is,” using a nickname for Mengistu.
“We came here to tell Hamas that holding a man who is mentally ill is an unprecedented crime,” said Ilan Mengistu, the brother of the captive, according to Channel 2. “We demand his immediate release so that he can receive treatment.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: PA accuses Israel of carrying out 'field executions' on Palestinian youth
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday accused Israel of carrying out “field executions” of Palestinian youths and said it would file charges with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The accusation came following Saturday’s incident near Nablus, where a Palestinian assailant was shot to death after stabbing an IDF soldier. The attacker was identified as Rafik Kamel al-Taj, 18.
The PA Foreign Ministry claimed that al-Taj was “executed” and left to bleed to death. It also claimed that the IDF prevented medical teams from saving his life.
“The ministry affirms that the filed executions practiced by the occupation forces against Palestinian teenagers is in accordance with the policy of the Israeli government and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu,” the ministry said in a statement. “They are also in line with the inflammatory instructions that give the occupation soldiers a green light to facilitate the opening of fire and the killing of Palestinians.”
Egyptian and PA Rabble-Rousing Reports Provoke Trouble
"Israeli defense minister storms al-Ibrahimi Mosque," blares the headline of an headline this week, referring to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's visit to the Machpelah Cave in Hevron. The article actually proceeded to quote the Islamic director of the Machpelah mosque as saying that the "incident" comes in the "framework of the Israeli occupation to turn the mosque into a Jewish synagogue."
As is well-known, and widely-ignored in the Arab media, the city of Hevron, and especially its Machpelah Cave, have been holy to the Jewish People ever since the Patriarch Abraham buried the Matriarch Sarah there 3,590 years ago – more than 2,000 years before Muhammad was born.
The PA's WAFA agency went the Egyptian report one better when it put Ya'alon's title in quotation marks, calling him the "Israeli 'Defense' Minister." It stated not that Ya'alon "stormed in" to the site, but rather that he "broke in." The report termed his visit "provocative."
Both reports referred to the throngs of Jewish visitors who were expected to arrive at the Machpelah Cave today (Thursday) – but in a puzzling manner. The Egyptian report noted that the Israeli forces were preparing to "shut down the mosque… to allow settlers to celebrate a feast on September 1."
5 Palestinians indicted in deadly West Bank attacks
Israel’s military prosecutor on Monday indicted five Palestinians suspected of committing terror attacks that killed two Israelis in the West Bank in recent weeks.
Danny Gonen, 25, was shot in the upper body in an attack near the settlement of Dolev, northwest of Jerusalem, in mid-June. He was transferred by IDF helicopter to Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he died soon after.
Gonen, from Lod, and a friend of his were driving in the West Bank when they were flagged down by a Palestinian man who was seemingly asking them for assistance. He then pulled a gun out of a bag he was carrying and opened fire at point-blank range, mortally wounding Gonen and wounding his friend.
Malachy Rosenfeld, 25, from Kochav Hashachar, was killed in a drive-by shooting near the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel, north of Ramallah, at the end of June. Three other people were wounded in the attack that killed Rosenfeld.
Israeli Arabs From Jerusalem, Ramla Indicted for Trying to Join Islamic State
Two Israeli Arab men—eastern Jerusalem resident Feras Sheritach and Ramla resident Hamis Adnan Hamis Salame—have been accused of traveling to Turkey with plans to join the Islamic State terror group.
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office filed an indictment against Sheritach, 18, accusing him of flying to Turkey to cross from there into Syria and join the terrorist organization as a combatant or in a combat support role. Sheritach has been living in the U.S. in recent years.
Israel’s Central District Court will hold a hearing on Sept. 2 at the request of Salame’s attorney to discuss his case. Salame, 21, was arrested following a joint investigation by the Shin Bet security agency and the Israel Police’s central investigative unit. The court agreed to send Salame to the prison parole board to determine a potential alternative to detention while he awaits trial.
PreOccupied Territory: IDF Almost Done Testing Airplane Vanishing Device (satire)
Among the most successful aspects of the development has been the elimination of all traces of IDF involvement in the disappearances, which have been attributed to weather, technical malfunctions, pilot error, and other system failures – everything but the actual cause, the IDF’s Aircraft Squelching System (ASS). ASS is designed to operate up to 20,000 kilometers from a target, meaning not only that no airplane on Earth is safe, but that most satellites in low-Earth orbit are also at risk. IDF representatives insisted they have not tested ASS on objects in orbit yet, but acknowledged that the first obvious space targets are reconnaissance and communications satellites.
“We are less than a year away from being able to cause a system failure in almost any civilian aircraft, and a good number of airborne military systems,” said a senior IAF officer who spoke on condition of anonymity. “ASS works on craft as small as drones.”
The technology behind ASS is a closely guarded secret, but it evidently does not use explosives or projectiles of any kind. “We believe that ASS involves emissions of some sort that disrupt an aircraft’s sensors, possibly some gaseous matter, but it is impossible to tell without more information,” said aviation expert Seymour Butz. “It’s relatively easy to add scorch marks to the pieces later, and convince even forensics experts that the cause of a crash was a surface-to-air missile.”
The IAF officer said the IDF had developed countermeasures in case ASS is aimed at Israeli aircraft. “I’m not at liberty to discuss the technology, but essentially, the defensive system is a mirror-image of the offensive one. We call it Special Systems Armor, or SSA. It’s basically ASS backwards.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Senior PA official warns Abbas of corruption: 'Our political system is dying'
Tawfik Tirawi, a senior Fatah official and former PA General Intelligence chief, has criticized President Mahmoud Abbas for failing to implement major reforms and refusing to share powers with others.
In a letter to Abbas and Fatah leaders that was leaked to Palestinian media outlets, Tirawi said the recent diplomatic achievements scored by the PA leadership in the international arena were insufficient in the absence of large-scale reforms.
Addressing Abbas, the top Fatah official wrote: I urge you to take an objective approach and call for a serious, sincere, in-depth and wide discussion to address the questions of the current phase. This discussion should not be restricted to the inner circle that has made matters worse. Frankness for the sake of fixing the political system is a badly needed duty before it’s too late.”
Tirawi reminded the president of what Abbas once said – that absolute power leads to corruption. “Where are we standing today with regards to your statement?” Tirawi asked. “Our situation has become fragile. Don’t think that the achievements scored by Palestine in the international arena will remain registered under your name as long as you refuse to accept criticism. Our political system is dying.”
Israel Nabs Rocket Building Materials Smuggled to Gaza
A media gag order was lifted on Monday morning, revealing that customs workers at the Nitzana Border Crossing into Gaza together with general security services thwarted the smuggling of two tons of fiberglass cylinders into Gaza at the start of the month.
The fiberglass cylinders were discovered in a suspicious shipment, which according to the statement of the Gazan importer was supposed to contain only clothes and fabrics. An investigation unearthed the cylinders, which are forbidden for import into Gaza.
General security services estimate that the fiberglass was intended for usage by terrorists in Gaza, since it is a basic raw material used in constructing long-range rockets.
Illustrating the danger, fiberglass rockets were fired at Kibbutz Palmachim located to the south of Tel Aviv during last summer's war.
A similar smuggling attempt was thwarted just last week at Kerem Shalom Crossing, when fiberglass threads hidden in a shipment of equipment for Gazan schools was discovered. The school supplies were being shipped in ahead of the start of the school year.
Humanitarian Aid Trucks Continue to Trundle Into Gaza
Monday morning saw hundreds of trucks trundling through the Kerem Shalom Crossing from Israel in to Gaza, each carrying tons of humanitarian aid for citizens in the enclave.
Regular daily shipments have continued to flow into the region through the overland crossings from Israel.
On Monday morning, 650 truckloads of material made their way through Kerem Shalom.
A commentator on the Twitter social networking site asked with some irony, “How much from Egypt via Rafah?”
PreOccupied Territory: New Lotto Game: Name Next Pretext For Palestinian Violence (satire)
Players will be able to choose from among forty different pretexts, including: Jews appearing on the Temple Mount; a fabricated water crisis; a staged killing allegedly perpetrated by Israeli forces; the death of a hunger-striking prisoner; the forced feeding of the same hunger-striking prisoner to save his life; a car accident in which a Palestinian child was killed by an Israeli vehicle and the accidental nature of the tragedy ignored; or myriad other scenarios, including an “other” field that will allow players to suggest pretexts they devise themselves.
Winning entries will be awarded a hundred shekels each, after which a drawing will be held among the winners for the full jackpot. The time elapsed between terrorist attacks will determine the size of the award: the longer the interval, the larger the payout, which will begin at 200,000 shekels and be capped at 2 million.
Dayan noted another advantage of the game over other current forms of the pastime. “The stock market tanks every time violence breaks out – this is a way to make such an unfortunate development lucrative instead.”
As World Watches: Syrian Regime Carpet Bombs Market
The toll in Syrian government air strikes on a rebel-held town outside Damascus neared 100 Monday, as the UN's humanitarian chief expressed horror and appealed for civilians to be protected.
Sunday's series of raids on the town of Douma, in the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, was one of the bloodiest regime attacks in Syria's four-year war.
They came almost exactly two years after devastating chemical weapons attacks on the same region that much of the international community blamed on the Syrian government.
The National Coalition, Syria's main opposition body in exile, condemned both the air strikes and the "lukewarm response" by the international community towards the war's civilian casualties.
At least 96 people were killed in the 10 air strikes on a marketplace, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor.
Another 240 people were wounded, and the death toll continues to rise as those in a serious condition succumb to their injuries.
Richard Millett: British Jews are living in surreal times with Corbynmania now gripping Labour.
British Jews are living in surreal times. We watched with dismay as the anti-Israel SNP won a landslide in Scotland at this May’s general election. Now anti-Israel Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn seems certain to become leader of the UK’s main opposition party according to all the polls and George Galloway is back on the airwaves of a national radio station.
And a Labour MP who heads up the All-Party ­Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism is reportedly receiving anti-Semitic abuse from Corbyn supporters including tweets calling him “utter filth” and a “Zionist stooge”. John Mann isn’t even Jewish.
There’s no let up on Britain’s radio phone-in shows. A Corbyn supporter speaking on LBC Radio recently wanted to discuss the assassinations of Lord Moyne and Count Bernadotte and the blowing up of the King David Hotel, events carried out by Jews but which took place in the 1940s.
And another caller described Corbyn as “refreshing”. This despite Corbyn’s unanswered questions, outlined by this week’s Jewish Chronicle, relating to Corbyn’s perceived support for Hamas and Hezbollah, for Holocaust denier Paul Eisen, for Reverend Stephen Sizer who has posted anti-Semitic links to Facebook, and for homophobic preacher Raed Salah who has been accused of the blood libel against Jews.
Straw Men and “Hard Zionists” in UK Political Race
While Americans keep a close eye on Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, the big political story in the UK is the likely election of a hard-left candidate, Jeremy Corbyn, as the leader of the opposition Labour Party, only one potential step away from prime minister of one of the USA’s most important international allies.
Tough questions are being asked by the UK Jewish community as well as the wider media concerning Corbyn’s associations with a variety of characters who are not only hostile towards Israel but also explicitly anti-Semitic.
Columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown goes on the attack in an opinion piece in The Independent titled “Fling mud if you must, but don’t call Jeremy Corbyn an anti-Semite.” She begins by suggesting that “hard Zionists” are involved in dirty political machinations against Corbyn:
UK Labor Party to Investigate Vile Anti-Semitic Abuse of MPs
Among his critics has been fellow Labor MP John Mann, who heads the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism. Mann, who is not Jewish, has received dozens of anti-Semitic emails and tweets over the past six week, since coming out openly against Corbyn.
Mann has retweeted a number of the abusive messages, although many of them have since been deleted by the social media company for hate-speech violations.
The MP told the Sunday Express many of the abusers had openly expressed support for Corbyn, once more highlighting his troubling ties with extremists.
"I have very serious concerns about Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters," he said.
"I’ve received some vicious antisemitic abuse and I’m expecting the Labour Party to take action against this."
"This began six weeks ago when I challenged the membership system. I said it was crazy. This was something I’ve done several times, including in Parliament on May 10, before Corbyn was a leadership candidate," he added, referring to fears the left-wing party's lax membership system could allow extremists from both sides of the spectrum to attempt to influence the results.
"I warned the system would lead to all sort of groups joining in. It is a mad system open to abuse by everyone, from the far-right to the far-left.
"It seems I was right. I have been described as a servant of the Israeli Prime Minister, a Nazi Zionist, a Zionist scumbag. This is all because I chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism."
The Huffington Post Defends HuffPostArabi, Its Pro-Jihad Hate Site
This week, Breitbart News reported on the background of HuffPostArabi’s two top editors – Wadas Khanfar and Anas Fouda – described by some as “Jihadists in suits.” Both men have been arrested by Arab governments on charges that they support the Muslim Brotherhood.
During his tenure at Al Jazeera, Khanfar weaponized the Doha-based network into a “hard-line” platform for the Muslim Brotherhood, former diplomats and independent research institutes have argued.
Fouda, who has reportedly admitted that he’s been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood since 1988, remains a loyal admirer of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a hate-preacher and the spiritual leader of the Brotherhood. An analyst has recently described him as “bread and butter MB.”
There remains no evidence that Arianna Huffington’s newest partners at HuffPostArabi will forgo their Islamist past and become the arbiters for true change in the Middle East. There are no signs thus far that HuffPostArabi has adapted a more open, more liberal platform that truly distinguishes itself in the region. Instead, the website continues to attract radical Islamist voices.
In addition to Breitbart News’ previous reporting on a handful of individuals voicing their controversial opinions on the pages of HuffPostArabi, we have found that additional pro-jihad voices are being given prominent placement on the webpage.
One of the Arabic site’s newest contributors is Abdul Rahman Yusuf al Qaradawi, a man known in the region not as the “Egyptian poet” title that complements his byline, but as the son of the aforementioned Muslim Brotherhood chief Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Glasgow pays out over art looted by Nazis from Jews
It was lodged by the heirs of the tapestry’s previous owner, Emma Budge, and a payout has been agreed by Glasgow City Council following a decision by an expert panel.
The council said it has led the way in attempting to identify objects that may have been acquired as a result of Nazi atrocities and insisted it has a “moral duty” to put the mistakes of the past right.
The 81cm x 78cm tapestry depicts the pregnant Virgin Mary and Saint Elizabeth, the mother of Saint John the Baptist.
It is a fragment cut from a larger tapestry and fashioned into the shape of an ecclesiastical cope hood.
It was owned by Mrs Budge, an art collector born in Hamburg who had obtained American citizenship.
She and her husband Henry lived in the US for many years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, where they accumulated wealth through his involvement in banking and the expansion of the railways.
But following her death in Hamburg on 14 February, 1937, her family was forced to sell her art collection.
Is the chandelier in the residence of Scotland's political leader looted Nazi property?
The Scottish government is making inquiries as to whether a large chandelier in Bute House, the official residence of the first minister of Scotland, was property that was looted by the Nazis during World War Two.
According to a BBC report the drawing room chandelier was found in 1945 abandoned in the northern German town of Cleves and sent back to Bute House by the English interior designer Felix Harbord who was working for then resident of the house, Lady Bute.
"One day he came upon this chandelier abandoned in one of the streets of Cleves and had it packed in empty munitions boxes, which he addressed to No. 6 Charlotte Square," a Scottish government guidebook recounted in 2001, the BBC reported.
"With the help of Edinburgh antique dealers, Lady Bute traced suitable replacements for the missing pieces of glass and successfully assembled and installed the light fitting in the Drawing Room at Bute House," the guidebook read.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, suggested in a 2008 report that the chandelier may have been looted from the British collecting point in Germany or it may be an object looted from legitimate German ownership. 
Some time after Harbord left his post in Germany it was discovered that some of the recovered art objects stored there had been stolen according to a Sky News report.
Waze cofounder tells how $1 billion sale to Google really went down
In the weeks that preceded Google’s $US1.15 billion purchase of Israeli map app Waze, there was a constant stream of leaks about the deal, and about a bidding war between Google, Facebook, and Apple.
The sale was a milestone for Israel’s young-but-huge startup community: The first Israeli consumer app company to be bought for $US1 billion-plus. In an instant, the whole “Startup Nation” decided to quit aiming for fast exits and build billion-dollar companies instead.
Among Israel’s tight-knit tech scene, some say the leaks were orchestrated by Waze’s top PR person at the time. Waze’s CEO at the time, Noam Bardin, later wrote about the deal, saying one of Waze’s “mistakes” was to sell off too big of a chunk of the company to venture investors in its Series A financing, hinting that Waze felt obligated to sell because of its investors.
Business Insider recently met with Waze co-founder and former CEO Uri Levine, the only one of Waze’s co-founder executives who didn’t go work at Google after the deal closed.
He’s working as an angel investor to a bunch of startups (many come from his own ideas), and as chairman for one of them, FeeX.
Could NeoTop’s water spheres save California?
The hypnotic video footage of millions of black plastic “shade balls” rolling into Los Angeles’s reservoirs has mesmerized the world.
It has also sparked a tidal wave of interest in NeoTop Water Systems, an Israeli startup that has scientifically proven that its patented spheres – designed to be job-specific as opposed to the balls California has so far deployed — decrease evaporation of reservoirs, save precious water and reduce growth of algae to preserve a healthy ecosystem.
The Israeli company’s second-generation product is set to be unveiled at the upcoming WATEC Israel 2015 international exhibition of water technologies, October 13-15 at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
“Our product is very different from other solutions,” Noam Levy, CEO NeoTop Water Systems (formerly Top-It-Up), tells ISRAEL21c. “Our spheres have a sophisticated design and they’re the only system now on the market that cools the water.
Like the LA shade balls, the Israeli floating spheres block sunlight. But thanks to their ability to act as mini cooling towers, they also reduce surface temperatures, algae and evaporation by up to 94 percent.
India to start Jewish heritage tours for Indian-origin Jews
With India renovating Jewish heritage sites in the country, India's envoy to Israel has appealed to young Jews of Indian origin to utilize the ease of travelling to the land of their forefathers and to contribute in strengthening bilateral ties by connecting to their roots.
"We want to tell the world proudly about the rich Jewish life in India with your efforts we are working to preserve the Jewish heritage in India. We hope to have a package tour to Jewish heritage sites in Mumbai and elsewhere by early next year," Ambassador Jaideep Sarkar told more than 3,500 Indian— origin Jews gathered here from all over Israel to celebrate the 3rd National Convention of Indian Jews in Israel.
Earlier this year, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis during his visit to Israel had said that his government would take initiatives to preserve the Jewish heritage sites in the state as it looks to promote tourism.
"The state government is planning to celebrate the year 2017 as 'Visit Maharashtra year'. By that time we would create lot of circuits for tourism. I feel that if we could preserve the erstwhile Jewish heritage, lot of tourists could come there," Fadnavis had said.
The Paravoor and Chennamangalam synagogues in Cochin were recently renovated and could emerge as major attractions for the 25,000-strong Cochini Jews living in Israel. (h/t billposer)
Israeli paratroopers train in 1957
Soldiers leap from planes and parachutes plummet through the air as IDF men and women undergo intensive parachute training in this newsreel from 1957.
According to the announcer, “The idea arose out of the Sinai Campaign, when Israeli paratroops landed 200 miles behind the Egyptian lines and disorganized most of their communications.”
The IDF Paratroopers Brigade has existed since 1951.
After the Mitla Pass Jump triumph during the Sinai Campaign, the brigade went on to achieve many more military successes for Israel — including liberating the Old City of Jerusalem and the Western Wall during the Six Days’ War.


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