Wednesday, August 19, 2015

From Ian:

‘Europe Lacks the Willpower to Confront Evil That Iran Represents,’ Says Former British Commander (INTERVIEW)
Europe is a “very weak continent lacking the willpower to stand up and confront the evil that Iran represents,” declared the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp on Monday.
Speaking to The Algemeiner, Kemp called the nuclear deal struck by world powers including the U.K., France and Germany, and Iran, “appeasement,” comparing the situation to 1930’s and and 1940’s Europe, where a series of treaties between world powers ultimately led to the outbreak of World War II.
He said there is a “deafening silence” in Europe and a lack of leadership to stand up to Iran — which he predicted would undoubtedly move to acquire nuclear weapons — and noted an overwhelming “fear of hawkishness” throughout Europe, especially among politicians and military leaders, which Kemp said includes individuals “who should know and understand the realities of the Middle East.”
But European military officials “are in a deluded world,” he continued. “Many of them don’t understand Iran.”
Stating that in Europe “we hear virtually no dissent” to the deal, Kemp claimed there has certainly been political pressure on military officials who are opposed to the July 14 agreement announced in Vienna to remain mum: “The last thing [politicians ] want is influential military leaders speaking out against the deal.”
He said he had spoken “to some generals and senior retired officials, and they’d rather just pretend the problem [posed by Iran] does not exist.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: What Are Palestinians Doing With U.S. Money?
Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah did not tell the visiting U.S. Congressmen that the $4.5 billion the Americans invested in promoting Palestinian democracy went down the drain or ended up in secret Swiss bank accounts. Nor did he tell the Congressman that the Palestinians do not have a functioning parliament or a free media under the PA in the West Bank or under Hamas in the Gaza Strip. And, of course, Hamdallah never told the Congressman that for Palestinians, presidential and parliamentary elections remain a remote dream.
The refusal of the international community back then to hold Arafat accountable was the main reason a majority of Palestinians were driven into the open arms of Hamas. Palestinians saw no improvement in their living conditions, mainly as a result of the PA's corruption. That is why they turned to Hamas, which promised them change, reform and an end to financial corruption.
The Americans and Europeans are therefore responsible for Hamas's rise to power.
One does not have to be an expert on Palestinian affairs to see that the billions of dollars have neither created democracy for the Palestinians nor boosted the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The "investment" in Palestinian democracy and peace with Israel has been a complete failure because of the refusal of the U.S. Administration to hold the Palestinian Authority fully accountable.
Unless Western donors demand that the PA use their money to bring democracy to its people and prepare them for peace, the prospects of reviving any peace process will remain zero.
Spanish festival flipflops on ban, re-invites Matisyahu
The new invitation asks Matisyahu – the stage name of the ex-ultra-Orthodox artist whose real name is Matthew Miller – to perform in his originally planned slot on the festival’s Main Stage.
“We respect the Jewish community and sincerely apologize for what happened,” the festival organizers said in a statement, according to the Spanish news site El Mundo.
“Rototom publicly apologizes for canceling Matisyahu’s concert and announces that he has been invited to perform on Saturday, August 22 at the festival, as originally scheduled,” it says.
The statement blamed the local anti-Israel group BDS País Valencià, which campaigned to cancel Matisyahu’s invitation, for “pressures, threats and coercion” efforts that threatened to “seriously disrupt the normal functioning of the festival” and “prevented the management of the situation with clarity.”
In a hint that the festival may be facing legal troubles for singling out the Jewish performer, the festival said it “reaffirms its commitment” to each person’s freedom of belief as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Spanish Constitution. (h/t Think of England)

Caroline Glick: Senator Gillibrand’s Iran gamble
In other words, she thinks that the radical Left is more powerful than AIPAC and as a result it is more important to secure the backing of the former at the expense of the latter.
Certainly, this is true today. After all, Obama is in the White House. But will this be true tomorrow, when she wants to make a move? How long does she think it will take for the consequences of the nuclear deal to become clear? Because of Flake’s decision to oppose the deal, Gillibrand is now being used as the fig leaf for the administration as it seeks to build a firewall of Democratic support for the deal to prevent two-thirds, veto-proof majorities from being formed in opposition to it. In other words, if the deal goes through, Gillibrand will be uniquely responsible for enabling the White House to pave the way for Iran’s nuclear empowerment.
Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas last Wednesday, Democratic minority leader Senator Harry Reid said he still hasn’t decided how he will vote. In his words, “When it all boils down to it, it’s a question of conviction. It’s not a political calculus for me anymore.”
In a gambling town like Las Vegas, Reid’s statement was a tell. He isn’t certain that supporting the deal is a good bet. The retiring senator is trying to decide if he wants a nuclear Iran as his legacy.
There is still ample time for Gillibrand to reconsider her position.
If she decides to change her mind and join Schumer in opposing the deal, her move will empower many others to oppose it and so minimize the chance that the deal, which – again – guarantees Iran’s path to a nuclear arsenal will be implemented.
On the other hand, if she maintains her current stand, when the lies that comprise her defense of this deal come crashing down – and they already are – and its inevitable consequences become manifest, her hopes for the future will be destroyed.
Menendez lays down marker for Dems: Will your name be on Iran’s nuclear bomb?
New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez announced his opposition to the Iran nuclear deal today in a speech at Seton Hall University.
Menendez laid out his reasons why the deal not only was bad, but also worse than the alternatative. Hope, he said, is not a strategy.
“Whether or not the supporters of the agreement admit it, this deal is based on ‘hope’– hope that when the nuclear sunset clause expires Iran will have succumbed to the benefits of commerce and global integration. Hope that the hardliners will have lost their power and the revolution will end its hegemonic goals. And hope that the regime will allow the Iranian people to decide their fate.
“Hope is part of human nature, but unfortunately it is not a national security strategy….
“I know that, in many respects, it would be far easier to support this deal, as it would have been to vote for the war in Iraq at the time. But I didn’t choose the easier path then, and I’m not going to now. I know that the editorial pages that support the agreement would be far kinder, if I voted yes, but they largely also supported the agreement that brought us a nuclear North Korea.
Sen. Bob Corker: Congress should reject the bad Iran deal
I came to these negotiations with an open mind. Prioritizing engagement over coercion in an attempt to end three decades of animosity with Iran appeals to the American idealism in us all. And while we should strongly support diplomacy, the other side must believe there are real consequences in its failure. In this case, Iran never felt that, resulting in a very disappointing outcome for our country.
Throughout history, Congress has rejected or altered hundreds of international agreements, many of them multilateral. For the administration to say there is no other deal than this one is an effort to negate Congress’s important role and responsibility.
The administration has repeatedly stated that this agreement is about ensuring Iran does not get a nuclear weapon. Therefore, the agreement should be one that allows us to maintain leverage and ensure it is enforceable, is verifiable and holds Iran accountable.
This deal does not do that and instead leaves the United States vulnerable to a resurgent Iran wealthier and more able to work its will in the Middle East.
Congress should reject this deal and send it back to the president.
Will Billionaire Adelson Persuade Sen. Reid to Oppose Iran Deal?
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has yet to say whether he’ll support President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, angering liberal groups.
Reid told Nevada political reporters last week that he is still studying the agreement, and hinted that he wants to consult with prominent Jewish backers before he makes the decision – although he never said so outright.
“I have some papers I need study,” Reid said. “I finished reading the document, a hundred and some-odd pages. But the one thing I need to do – I have people I need to meet with. I need to meet with people who have been very good to me over the years."
“You could probably figure out who some of them are. And I haven’t done that,” he added.
According to a report on Washington-based website The Hill, Reid wants time to consult with “heavy hitters in Nevada.” It names two such "heavy hitters," both of whom are Jews: Brian Greenspun, the publisher and CEO of the Las Vegas Sun, and Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor who has a good relationship with Reid.
How Kerry Demonstrated His Contempt For Congress
Kerry’s word’s and the administration’s actions betray a deep contempt for Congress. I don’t know how any lawmaker, after seeing all this, could vote to approve the deal—at least if he or she attached any value to their office.
I don’t mean to gloss over JCPOA’s many failings that have been enumerated here and elsewhere, but the process by which the administration came to this agreement (which, by the way, hasn’t even been signed at this point) shows deep contempt for Congress. Even if the JCPOA were perfect, the unconstitutional behavior of the administration should be grounds for rejecting the deal.
Alan Dershowitz: EXCLUSIVE: Excerpt from ‘The Case Against the Iran Deal’
Face it. Iran probably will get the bomb. It has already test fired rockets capable of targeting the entire Middle East and much of southern Europe. And it claims to have 40,000 suicide volunteers eager to deploy terrorism—even nuclear terrorism—against its enemies. With a nuclear capacity, the Islamic Republic of Iran will instantly achieve the status of superpower to which Iraq aspired.
Nothing currently on the table will deter Iran. Sanctions are paper protests to an oil-rich nation. Diplomacy has already failed because Russia and China are playing both sides. Sabotage, bribery—even assassination of nuclear scientists— may delay but will not prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. That leaves military threats and, ultimately, military action.
First, consider military threats. They are already coming from two sources: the US and Israel. Neither is working, for very different reasons.
The Iranians would probably give up their nuclear weapons program if their leaders truly believed that refusal to do so would produce an Iraq-like attack—an all-out invasion, regime change, and occupation. Leaders, even religious leaders, fear imprisonment and death. Only the United States is capable of mounting such a sustained attack.
The sensible scenario
As for Iran, it is still holding out. It may very well, for tactical reasons, refrain from ratifying the deal as there is currently an internal Iranian discussion regarding whether the Iranian Parliament (majlis) or the Supreme National Security Council need to approve it before Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decides. The ayatollah has yet to publicly approve or disapprove the deal. He has, however recently said that Iran’s Middle East policy is 180 degrees opposite to that of America’s and has revealed his view on agreement technicalities by clarifying that “whether this text is approved or disapproved, no one will be allowed to harm the principles of the Islamic system.” One of those principles, of course, is that foreign inspectors are barred access to Iranian nuclear facilities.
Notwithstanding, Iran will prefer renewed negotiations to war. The lifting of sanctions and the return to the family of nations remains a prime Iranian interest. Iran knows it has a lot to lose if it walks away or turns to war. Aside from the fact that returning to the nuclear negotiations table will show a pragmatic side and score points in public opinion – it is very unlikely that Iran will waive the $150 billion expected to come their way once the final deal is struck and sanctions lifted.
As the president has reiterated, the agreement with Iran is indeed historic.
It may very well reshape the post-Arab Spring or, as the Iranians refer to it, “Islamic Awakening” Middle East. International and regional reality after the agreement will not be the same. For the sake of future generations – we better, and we can improve the deal.
There are many fissures in the deal, but if the revised agreement will improve the inspections framework whereby upon suspicion Iranians will receive a 24-hour notice rather than a 24-day notice, and/or if the Iranians will truly be limited in their enrichment of uranium – forever, and/or if enforceable penalties for Iranian violations will be clearly set – then the democratic process being played out now in America will have been well worth the effort.
Obama's Legacy and the Iran Nuclear Agreement
This is a slippery slope for a progressive like Obama, who surely assumes that future generations will be more sympathetic to his worldview than his contemporaries. He may therefore reason that a charitable judgment can best be ensured by staying true to himself, as it were, even if it entails serious security risks, all the more so because his administration has deviated from these presumed future norms in other areas (e.g., drone strikes).
This may have given Obama reason to prefer a deeply flawed agreement that embodies his worldview over walking away from the table with nothing at all. Failed negotiations — or a continued succession of interim agreements that hands the ball to his successor — don't interest Steven Spielberg. At a time when prospects of an unvarnished domestic policy triumph have dimmed, and after his ambitious effort to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian talks went nowhere, the Iran negotiations were his last chance to do something big.
Whatever his reasons, Obama's approach has been to extract as many concessions from Iran as possible before he leaves office, but not leave the table without an agreement. Unfortunately, the Iranians correctly ascertained that he could not afford to take no for an answer, and that standing firm on unreasonable demands would bring American flexibility. The end result is that an "international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option," former secretary of state Henry Kissinger explained in congressional testimony early this year, soon became "an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability," with the scope of capability acceptable to the administration widening dramatically as the negotiations wore on.
Congress and the American people should give the Obama administration a fair hearing and evaluate the JCPOA on its merits, but pay no attention to the president's expressions of boundless confidence in the agreement. It's a good bet even he never imagined he'd have to settle for such a crappy deal.
Obama administration objects as Russia moves ahead with Iran missile sale
Despite a ban on arms shipments to Iran under international sanctions, Russia appears willing to proceed with the sale of advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles to the country -- in a development triggering objections from the Obama administration.
“We have long expressed our concerns over reports of the possible sale of this missile system to the Iranians,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told Fox News.
Russia, along with the U.S. and others, was a party to the recently struck Iran nuclear agreement, which keeps the arms embargo in place for five more years. A State Department official told Fox News this specific S-300 missile system is not technically prohibited under United Nations sanctions or the nuclear deal. But the department does not want the sale to proceed.
“We certainly object to it,” department spokesman John Kirby told reporters.
Reuters first reported that Iran plans to sign the contract for four of the S-300 Russian missiles as soon as next week.
US Black Churches Rally in Support of Israel
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), has rallied several major African-American churches in Detroit in support of Israel.
Eckstein spoke on Sunday before the congregations of the Second Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ at the New St. Paul Tabernacle; the mega-church Third New Hope Baptist Church; and Family Victory Fellowship.
“We know that you take very seriously the biblical imperative to stand with Israel, and every day you show the world that Israel is not alone,” Eckstein said.
“The people of Israel and the Jewish people around the world can have confidence that you stand united with them, for peace for the Jewish State and for all peoples in the Middle East.”
Invoking the historic black-Jewish alliance of the Civil Rights movement, Eckstein called on church members to be ever more vigilant in their support and defense of the Jewish state.
The Sorry Spectacle of Obama’s Pro-Iran Deal Jews
AIPAC is a lobby and it is spending money and it is true that many of those who are speaking up about the deal’s weakness are friends of Israel. But Obama knows all too well that lobbying and spending money are tactics employed by advocates on every side of every issue in Washington. To single out Jews for doing so as the president has done isn’t merely unfair. It’s an invocation of the Walt-Mearsheimer “Israel Lobby” thesis that insisted support for Israel was being bought by Jews. Moreover, talking about Jews, money and dual loyalty are standard themes used by anti-Semites for generations. The president knows this, as do his Jewish defenders. To claim that his comments are merely an innocent rendition of the facts is to ignore both context and history. Though the president’s fans say they are being unfairly targeted, they are the ones who are trying to silence his opponents.
The problem for Obama’s pro-Iran deal Jews is that the agreement isn’t an easy sell even for those who aren’t Netanyahu fans. As Leon Wieseltier, a liberal who despises the prime minister, pointed out in The Atlantic last month, the deal is terrible because it doesn’t do what the president said was his goal: stopping Iran’s nuclear program. Instead, it gives it international approval and puts Tehran in an even stronger position to get a bomb as well as pursuing regional hegemony and its war on Israel once the pact expires in a decade.
Few of Obama’s Jewish supporters are enthusiastic about the chances of détente with Iran, without which the deal doesn’t make much sense. But having been saddled with an almost indefensible position, Obama’s Jewish defenders are reduced to saying that it’s unfair of the critics to point out what the president has been doing to smear those who are trying to stop him. Obama, who now demands that Democrats back him or be branded as disloyal, has shattered the bipartisan consensus that Iran had to be stopped. That’s enough motivation for many Jewish liberal Democrats. That doesn’t make them necessarily evil or self-hating but neither is it any more praiseworthy than the conduct of that small group of Republican Jews who backed the elder Bush when he attacked the Jewish community and Israel.
The Iran deal deserves to fail on its merits. So, too, do the lame arguments of Obama’s Jewish apologists.
In pictures: Hezbollah’s child soldiers
In July 2014, Hezbollah buried a 16-year-old fighter, Muhammad Ali Hussein Awada, who had been killed fighting Syrian opposition militants in the mountainous Lebanese-Syrian border zone. The revelation of his age, observers noted at the time, implied the Party of God – straining to hold larger swathes of territory with fewer men – had abandoned its former requirement that all fighters sent into live combat be at least 18 years of age.
Since then, evidence of Hezbollah sending children – defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as all people under 18 – to the frontlines of the war in Syria has mounted steadily. The pro-Hezbollah website, which publicizes funerals of the militia's fighters killed "in confrontation with the mercenaries of disbelief and Wahhabism" – a reference to Sunni militants – has to date published photos of over two dozen "mujahideen martyrs" who appear likely to have been under 18.
When the case of one obviously juvenile fatality, that of 15-year-old Mashhoor Shams al-Din, came to light in April 2015, the Party issued a statement denying he was killed fighting in Syria, claiming instead that he succumbed to a "saddening accident" in south Lebanon. Syrian opposition activists had asserted he was killed fighting in Syria's Qalamoun region; the same place 16-year-old Awada was killed the previous year.
Hizbullah Deputy Sec.-Gen. Sheikh Naim Qassem: We Have Pledged Allegiance to Khomeini and Khamenei

Khaled Abu Toameh: PLO official: Iran considering appointing ambassador to State of Palestine
Iran has discussed the possibility of appointing an ambassador to Palestine, a senior PLO official said Tuesday.
PLO Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani was quoted by the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency as saying that he discussed the possibility of Iran's ambassador to Jordan serving as the non-resident ambassador to the State of Palestine with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Majdalani said he discussed the matter with Zarif last week when he traveled to Iran to discuss ways of boosting ties between the PA and Iran in the aftermath of the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Majdalani said his talks in Iran focused on three issues: boosting bilateral relations, the Syrian crisis and the dispute between the PA and Hamas.
During the visit, the PLO official delivered a letter from PA President Mahmoud Abbas to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Abbas not welcome in Tehran, Iranian official says
Denying reports of a rapprochement between Iran and the Palestinian Authority, an assistant to Iran’s parliament speaker said on Wednesday that his country had rejected numerous requests by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to visit the Islamic Republic.
“They’ve asked to visit Iran more than once and we’ve refused and have never yet said yes,” Hussein SheikhoIeslam, an adviser to parliament speaker Ali Larijani on international affairs, told Hamas daily al-Resalah.
“Iran diligently supports the resistance and its fighters,” he added, in reference to more hard-line Palestinian groups.
PLO official Ahmad Majdalani told Chinese news agency Xinhua last week that he had discussed details of Abbas’s visit to Tehran planned within the next two months. The PA has been attempting to bolster its ties with Iran amid a cooling in relations between its main political rival Hamas and the Islamic Republic.
In Newly Released Video, Jay Leno Mocks Kerry’s Leg Injury: ‘It’s Hard to Cycle When You’re Backpedaling’ (VIDEO)
Newly released footage of comedian Jay Leno’s opening number as emcee at the Genesis Prize awards ceremony in Jerusalem in June shows the comedian poking fun at Secretary of State John Kerry and his nuclear negotiations with Iran.
“Kerry broke his leg while riding a bicycle,” Leno said at the event, referring to Kerry’s cycling accident in France at the end of May. “In his defense, do you know how hard it is to ride a bicycle when you’re backpedaling? It is very hard to do.”
The famed former Tonight Show host also took a stab at President Barack Obama’s strained relations with Israel, telling the audience not to confuse the president’s healthcare policy known as “Obamacare” with his Israel policy, which Leno billed “ObamaDon’tCare.”
Joking about Israel’s political system, Leno said the Jewish state must be “the purest democracy in the world because it seems like every voter has their own political party.”
Jay Leno's opening monologue at the 2015 Genesis Prize Award Ceremony

Jpost Editorial: Matisyahu’s message
Let’s not mince words: The attack on Jewish hip-hop singer Matisyahu was motivated by blatant anti-Semitism.
Nothing else explains why only Matisyahu, the most visibly Jewish performer invited to an annual reggae music festival in Benicassim, Valencia, was subjected to a grilling on political opinions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When he refused to declare his unconditional support for the creation of a Palestinian state, Matisyahu was disinvited.
It is reprehensible that any artist should be interrogated by thought police or cultural commissars on his or her political opinions as a condition for participating in a festival or other public forum that provides exposure for the artist’s art.
This is particularly true when the artist’s political views are largely unknown and tangential to his or her art.
Matisyahu’s songs have touched on themes related to Judaism, such as “Jerusalem,” based on Psalm 137 that expresses the Jews’ longing for a perfected world. Other lyrics are influenced by hassidic thought.
Honest Reporting: BDS May Regret Getting Matisyahu Banned from Festival
While the festival is absorbing the bulk of the condemnations (and reportedly considering re-inviting the artist), the BDS movement is claiming credit for the victory, calling it a “cry of popular solidarity.”
It may be a victory they will come to regret. The real cry of solidarity, clearly, is with Matisyahu, who already enjoys the support of fans across the world. And that audience will only grow from the sympathetic coverage he’s receiving across the globe.
The story also highlights the vast difference in what the BDS likes to say and what it actually does in the world. As the Wall Street Journal aptly put it: “Remember the Matisyahu affair the next time proponents of the anti-Israel boycott, divest and sanction movement insist their aim is to promote Palestinian rights, not anti-Jewish bigotry.”
And if people start to forget, just remind them.
After barring Matisyahu, Sunsplash Apology Cites BDS "Coercion," "Threats."
Make what you will of the apology by Rototom Sunsplash, organizers of the Spanish reggae festival that directed anti-Semitic demands at Jewish singer Matisyahu before ultimately barring him from performing.
Whether or not the apology is sincere or sufficient, at least one passage in their statement rings true:
Rototom Sunplash admits that it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià because it was perceived that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened.
This description of coercion and threats matches similar accounts by artists who been prior targets of bullying at the hands of BDS extremists. As we've noted here in the past, Italian author Umberto Eco called their ideas "absolutely crazy" and "fundamentally racist"; Irish writer Gerard Donovan referred to them as "idiots" who try to bully and cajole and are guilty of "outright intimidation”; the band Dervish was intimidated by what it described as their “avalanche of negativity”, “venom” and "hatred"; and jazz musicians Erik Truffaz, Jack Terrasson and their manager Christophe Deghelt slammed the "sheer harassment" and "blatant denigration" at the hands of "intellectually dishonest" activists motivated by "intolerance" and "pathological hatred."
Matisyahu and the BDS Anti-Semitism Connection
Some supporters of Israel, especially those on the left, are often quick to urge other Jews not to speak of anti-Semitism and BDS in the same breath. They believe that appeals on this line will alienate young people, especially those who have been reared on the narrative of a sinful Israel and suffering Palestinians that populate many college campuses where such campaigns have support. They believe BDS must be opposed but only gently and never by connecting the dots between the boycotters and overt and more traditional forms of Jew hatred.
But it must be understood that what BDS advocates fits that discriminatory formula. That applies to the positions of those who either tacitly or overtly support the Hamas position that all of Israel and not just the West Bank is “occupied” territory that must be liberated and become part of a Palestinian state. But it also sticks to those who believe Israel must be bludgeoned into submission and forced to give up all claim to Jerusalem and the West Bank. What the latter fail to understand is that Israel’s enemies around the world don’t make any distinctions between Jews in Tel Aviv and remote West Bank settlements. But what they do wish to do is to single out Jews — whether they are college students or pop stars — and force them to disavow Israel in order to further efforts to destroy it.
No one should worry too much about Matisyahu’s future. But allowing BDS to gain a foothold at Hillel groups, umbrella Jewish community organizations or merely treating them as acceptable speakers on the public square lends legitimacy to an idea that is steeped in bias and hate no matter how acceptable some of its adherents may seem. That’s why there needs to be zero tolerance for BDS activists or groups within the Jewish community or on college campuses. Anti-Semitism is sweeping through Europe in a way that is making the lives of European Jews increasingly untenable. It is vital that American Jews work to ensure that this virus, which is being driven in no small measure by BDS, doesn’t spread here. A movement whose ultimate purpose is economic war on Israel and which seeks to target Jews in this manner must be branded for what it is: a new form of anti-Semitism, thinly cloaked in a façade of sympathy for Palestinians.
Spain condemns cancellation of Jewish musician at reggae festival
The Spanish government condemned on Tuesday a Spanish reggae festival's decision to cancel a concert by an American Jewish musician after he failed to reply to a demand to clarify his position on Palestinian statehood.
The cancellation of Matisyahu at the week-long Rototom Sunsplash festival in eastern Spain - following pressure from supporters of sanctions against Israel over its policies towards Palestinians - prompted protests by Jewish groups.
Spain said it rejected boycott campaigns and any sign of anti-Semitism, while reiterating its support for an independent Palestinian state through bilateral negotiations.
"Imposing a public declaration (from Matisyahu), puts into question the principle of non-discrimination on which all plural and diverse societies are based," the Spanish foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
Spanish Newspaper Ed: Unacceptable discrimination
He is the only musician performing at Rototom, which is funded with public money, who has been demanded to make such a statement, and to make matters worse, he has been asked to do so solely on the grounds that he is Jewish: as said, he is not an Israeli national. When Miller refused to comply, the organizers of Rototom decided to cancel his appearance, scheduled for the final night of the eight-day festival. But the Spanish Constitution explicitly forbids any type of discrimination on the grounds of “birth, race, sex, religion, opinion, or any other personal or social condition or circumstance.”
It is absolutely unacceptable that in the Spain of the 21st century, individuals and organizations can still demand that somebody explain themselves in ideological terms in order to be able to exercise their profession, and takes us back to the dark days when everybody was required to prove their religiosity and purity of blood.
Anti-Semitism and discrimination on the grounds of ideology cannot be tolerated and must be stood up to. Criticism of Israel’s policies and defense of the Palestinians cannot be used as cover for systematic persecution of those who hold different views, or because they are Jewish. Spain’s politicians need to speak out about this scandal that questions this country’s commitment to free speech and thought.
Multiple inaccuracies and BDS whitewashing in BBC News’ Matisyahu story
The BBC’s characterization (also seen in the caption to the main image illustrating the article) of the BDS campaign as “pro-Palestinian” rather than anti-Israel is clearly rendered all the more absurd in light of this story. The claim that the BDS campaign “calls for a boycott of Israeli goods…” is inaccurate: the campaign also includes the boycott of Israeli academics, artists, sports persons and more.
The claim that the BDS campaign’s ‘end game’ is to pressure Israel to comply with “international law” is fundamentally misleading. The link provided leads to the BDS Campaign’s website and the BBC makes no effort to accurately, impartially and independently inform readers to which so-called “international law” it refers. If, for example, the BBC can direct audiences to the text of the “international law” enshrining the BDS campaign’s demands for the dismantling of the anti-terrorist fence and the ‘right of return’ of Palestinian refugees to Israel, it should clearly do so.
As ever, this article fails to clarify to BBC audiences that the practical outcome of that latter demand would be an end to Jewish self-determination.
In other words, this ostensible impartiality box ticking ‘explanation’ of the BDS campaign is once again nothing more than whitewashed amplification of its own PR with no meaningful clarification to audiences concerning the campaign’s real political agenda.
This developing story of the bullying of an American Jew because of his ethnicity should clearly have clarified to the BBC (which has hitherto failed to cover the issue of the BDS campaign accurately and impartially) what that campaign is really all about and prompted it to begin providing its audiences with objective information on that topic. Obviously that did not happen.
Jewish Rapper Matisyahu Pulls Out of Spanish Festival after Organizers Refuse to Condemn Inquisition (satire)
Jewish-American rapper Matisyahu has come under fire after pulling out of a Spanish reggae festival after the festival’s organizers refused to publicly disavow the Spanish Inquisition.
Matisyahu was originally scheduled to play at Spain’s Rototom Sunsplash festival this Saturday. Festival organizers, however, said Matisyahu contacted them this week and asked them to write a public letter or produce a video clearly stating their opposition to the Catholic Monarchy’s policies in the late 15th and early 16th century.
“Matisyahu kept insisting that we clarify our personal views, which felt like clear pressure to agree with his political agenda,” one of the event’s organizers explained in a Facebook post. “Honestly it was appalling and offensive, that as the one Spanish festival at which he was performing he was trying to coerce us into political statements.”
Matisyahu’s cancellation is part of a growing movement aimed at isolating Spain over a variety of policies, including the forced conversions of Jews and Muslims during the Inquisition, bullfighting, and the country’s 96-percent debt to GDP ratio. Supporters of the movement have gone as far as harassing musical artists performing in Barcelona and demanding American diners remove the “Spanish Omelet” from their menu.
MK’s official email listed in Ashley Madison website leak
An Arab member of Knesset was seemingly caught using marital affair service Ashley Madison, after his official Parliamentary email address was among the 32 million users of the cheaters’ website whose information was stolen and released online Wednesday.
Joint List MK Taleb Abu Arar’s Knesset email,, was confirmed as a registered user on the Ashley Madison website, and according to a database listing what was in the dump, “the email address was confirmed by the account owner.”
Ashley Madison’s website is known for its slogan “Life is short. Have an affair.” It helps connect people seeking to have an extramarital relationship and is owned by company Avid Life Media.
Abu Arar, a Bedouin politician who holds polygamist views, denied any connection to the website, telling Channel 2 that he’d filed a complaint with the police because someone hacked his email address.
He said the hacker “signed up my email in order to damage my good name, and a complaint has been filed against the site, and the site which exposed the source of the registration.”
6000 Boys Graduate Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terrorist Military ‘Summer Camp’
The Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization held a graduation ceremony Tuesday for the 6,000 Gaza boys who this summer attended its Youth Military Camp in Khan Younis.
Hundreds of Gaza children — budding guerrilla fighters — were dressed by “camp counselors” in battle fatigues and taught to apply the requisite black camouflage grease beneath the eyes on the skin of their young faces.
Palestinian boys participate in a graduation ceremony from the youth military camp sponsored by Islamic Jihad movement in Khan Yunis.
Then they were handed guns with which they showed off their new prowess in aiming and firing weapons at enemy targets (read: Israelis and Jews.)
Boys ages 8 to 21 participated this year in the Fohtwat al-Nassir” military camp run by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Al Aqsa Brigades military arm, the terror group announced.
Report: Egypt is Digging Water Reservoirs to Destroy Palestinian Tunnels Between Sinai and Gaza
The Egyptian army has begun digging deep water reservoirs for fish farming along the border with Gaza to loosen up the soil and inundate it with waters pumped in from the Mediterranean, as a method of combating and destroying tunnels leading from Gaza into the Sinai peninsula, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
The Egyptian army began digging these water reservoirs two days ago, within the buffer zone Jerusalem and Cairo agreed that Egypt could create along the border with Gaza. As it currently stands, a thousand meters in length have currently been dug, reaching depths of up to 20 meters.
The Egyptian army has also begun pumping in sea water into these fishing reservoirs through huge hoses and pumps, in order to increase the water’s filtration into the depths of the soil.
As the water dried up in the reservoirs, by being drained into the soil, the Egyptian army pumped in more water in order to ensure that the depths of the earth beneath the reservoirs would become completely saturated with the water.
The purpose is to completely immerse the underground tunnels and lead to their collapse by loosening up the surrounding soil, and by doing so, make the soil unsuitable for digging future tunnels.
Typhoid Outbreak Hits Palestinians from Syria's Yarmouk Camp
Typhoid has broken out among Palestinian residents in from the besieged Yarmouk camp in the Syrian capital Damascus, a UN agency said Wednesday.
The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said it had been able to confirm the outbreak after gaining access to residents of the camp sheltering in the nearby Yalda neighbourhood.
"UNRWA has had its first access to civilians from the besieged Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, Damascus, since 8th June," UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said in a statement.
"We can now confirm a typhoid outbreak among this UN-assisted population with at least six confirmed cases," he added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 21 million people are infected with typhoid every year, and an estimated 216,000 to 600,000 die.
The disease is caused mainly by Salmonella typhi bacteria in food or water contaminated with the faeces or urine of infected people.
ISIS Beheads 82-Year Old Antiquities Scholar, Hangs His Body From Ancient Roman Column
Khaled Asaad was a scholar and archeologist charged with overseeing and protecting the amazing ruins at Palymra, a remarkably preserved, 2,000 year old ancient Roman city in Syria and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Asaad has spent 50 years at the ancient city. Early Wednesday it was reported that Asaad was beheaded by ISIS, who captured Palmyra took him hostage earlier this year. His body was hung from one of the ancient Roman columns at the important historic site.
The Islamists of ISIS have a particular contempt for historic and artistic artifacts and treasures, which they routinely and ignorantly destroy, and the fate of the site has been the source of much concern since ISIS took it over.
"Just imagine that such a scholar who gave such memorable services to the place and to history would be beheaded ... and his corpse still hanging from one of the ancient columns in the center of a square in Palmyra," Syrian state antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim told the AP. "The continued presence of these criminals in this city is a curse and bad omen on (Palmyra) and every column and every archaeological piece in it."
UNESCO has previously stated that the destruction of Palmyra's ruins would be "an enormous loss to humanity". Earlier this year, ISIS bulldozed the 3,000 year old city of Nimrod, an act described by the director general of UNESCO as "a war crime."
Call for action to stop Islamic State 'funding UK plots with student loans'
Security experts today called for new controls over student and payday loans as they warned that it is “frighteningly easy” for Islamic State supporters in Britain to use the money to fund terror attacks here.
The demand comes in a report on terrorist financing by Royal United Services Institute, which says the loans are “ideal for the limited costs associated with lone actor or small cell attacks”.
The report adds that several cases have already been uncovered in which such loans have been used to finance terror plots in the UK.
Despite this, it warns that existing powers are inadequate for dealing with “low budget terror” in Britain and focus too heavily on stopping the flow of cash to Syria and Iraq.
It says that an “urgent recalibration” of “disruption efforts” is needed to prevent domestic extremists from exploiting student and payday loans. It suggests that “pre-paid” cards or other restrictions could be imposed to stop the money being spent on violence.
Hamas naval commandos arrest dolphin who 'spied for Israel'
The Palestinian daily Al-Quds claimed on Wednesday that Hamas has captured a dolphin used by the Israeli navy to attack members of its armed wing, Eziddin al-Qassam.
Quoting sources in the Gaza Strip, the paper said that the Israeli dolphin was captured off the shores of the Gaza Strip a few days ago.
The sources said that Hamas naval commandos noticed “suspicious movements” of the dolphin. When they followed the dolphin, they discovered that it was carrying a device to monitor underwater activities.
The sources claimed that Hamas “frogmen” managed to seize the dolphin and take it to the shore. They discovered that the dolphin had been equipped with a remote control monitoring device and a camera.
According to the sources, the captured device is able to fire small arrows that could kill any person or seriously injure who dives deep into the sea. (h/t Bob Knot)

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