Tuesday, September 29, 2015

From Ian:

David Collier: The festering swamp of anti-Zionism
In theory it is possible to be an anti-Zionist and not be antisemitic. At its core, Zionism is simply the belief of the right of Jewish people to be independent. Strict opposition to Zionism could come therefore, from people who are anti-nationalists; ‘one-worlders’ who see borders and nation states as arcane unwanted relics with no place in the coming ‘golden age’.
Back in the real world, the ‘non antisemitic’ anti-Zionist would have nothing to do with a movement like BDS simply because BDS is the flagship of the BNC, a coalition of groups supporting an independent Palestine. BDS singles out Israel as a nation and supports nation status for Palestinians and everyone else, everyone that is except the Jews. A non antisemitic anti-Zionist supporting BDS is simply a fool or a contradiction.
In reality, anti-Zionism is to antisemitism what a swamp is to Malaria. Regardless of its reason for being, the core essence of the swamp cannot fail to provide a fertile breeding ground for Malaria. Antisemitism is therefore the swamp fever of anti-Israeli movements and there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to change that. The only way to clear the disease is to drain the swamp, which is why movements like BDS should be restricted from entering any publicly funded building and opposed everywhere it materialises. Not standing up to BDS, giving it a chance to breath (as with the University of Exeter) directly contributes to a growth of antisemitism.
It is in this swamp that we see the 3-way marriage between left wing idealists, Islamists and rabid antisemites. It is there that antisemitism does what all diseases do, mutating to find a different way of multiplying and attacking. It will attach itself to any and every cause, any and every body of thought. It is why we witness the most absurd partnerships in the name of gay rights, human rights, democracy, academic freedom and free speech, each in turn becoming infected by seeking mutual engagement with the Palestinian cause. Supporting movements like BDS in any way promotes and spreads antisemitism; it must because it is within its genetic make-up. Left wing idealists who permit this activity are not only guilty of creating the very environment in which antisemitism breeds, they are incapable of restricting its growth; just like Malaria in a swamp.
Ben-Dror Yemini: BDS: The lies and the truth
The following short answers do not attempt to defend this government, or any other government of Israel. They are meant only to refute some of the false claims that are uttered time and again against Israel.
Serious accusations have also been heard from within Israeli’s academia and the Israeli media. Here, too, you can hear the accusation that Israel is an apartheid State. Here, too, there are people who claim that Israel is involved in genocide. Israelis claim that the IDF treats the Palestinians the same way the Nazis treated the Jews. The fact that such claims are heard in Israel does not make them true. It is simply proof that Israel is a vibrant democracy, with freedom of speech that allows for the expression of false accusations.
The problem is that throughout the world such claims gain very serious platforms. “Factual” claims are not examined, even though a simple examination would lead to their dismissal.
The ideas presented here are not intended to be a political stance. It is a presentation meant to fight incitement, propaganda and demonization, and facilitate a fair political debate.
Max Blumenthal tells lies about #Israel – a continuing series
It's all on the record: Blumenthal lied, for example, when misquoting Zionist founding father Chaim Weizmann. He lied when claiming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the September 11 attacks. He lied when falsely attributing a statement to Ariel Sharon. He lied when misquoting CAMERA. He lied about supposed Zionist collaboration with Nazi Germany. He lied about Israel opening dams to flood the Gaza Strip. He lied about Israeli Bedouin; about a Netanyahu-backed "Jewish state" law; about Israeli funding for a radical NGO; about Israeli support for a Palestinian state; and about the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians.
So why wouldn't he lie, on Chicago public radio, about the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel? Below, in chronological order, are some of Blumenthal's falsehoods on the Sept. 21 edition of Wordview.
Doctors Without Borders Openly Supports Hamas, Condemns Israel
As an internationally recognized humanitarian organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders, aka MSF) is viewed by many as apolitical, solely concerned with improving the well-being of people in need. In truth, MSF has strayed far from its goal of providing emergency medical aid, and it has violated its own pledge to observe “neutrality and impartiality.” Instead, it is taking advantage of its reputation to engage in anti-Israel political warfare.
Over the summer, a number of MSF publications adopted an extreme anti-Israel narrative. First was a July 7, 2015, opinion piece written by MSF-USA Executive Director Jason Cone that whitewashed Hamas attacks against Israeli — and Palestinian — civilians. In the article, Cone ignored Hamas’ war crimes, which include targeting Israeli civilians for death and using innocent Palestinians as human shields. Incredibly, Cone’s only criticism of Hamas related to its decision to ban painkillers in Gaza.
Cone said that rocket attacks against Israeli civilians are “called acts of resistance on one side and terrorism on the other.” Similarly, Cone casually mentioned the rise in “Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians (mostly settlers),” suggesting that some terrorist attacks are more acceptable than others.
In contrast, Cone showed no nuance or understanding when it came to Israeli policy: “Israeli fears of rocket fire from Gaza… and the ongoing threat of tunnel-enabled attacks… cannot justify the devastating medical and psychological consequences for Palestinians of the barriers, checkpoints, bombing campaigns, blockades, and incursions.” It is unclear what expertise an executive officer of a medical organization has that allows him to weigh military and security strategies in the complicated dynamics of an ongoing conflict.

Norwegian comic strip likens Israel to Nazis, North Korea
Dagbladet on Thursday ran the comic strip, which shows a woman at an organic supermarket unsuccessfully searching for ethically made food products.
“Organic food, huh?” the text in the first panel reads, according to a translation on Hebrew news site Ynet. “But what’s the point if the food is produced unethically?”
The next panel shows the woman holding up an orange saying: “These oranges are from Israel. You are supporting murderers.”
Next, she picks up a box of pasta to examine its label. “This macaroni was manufactured in North Korea? How did you even get this?” she asks.
In the last panel, the woman holds a box of frozen pizza marked with a swastika bearing a “Made in Nazi Germany” label and incorporating the logo of the Nazi SS organization. She says: “And this pizza is from N… What is this store, anyway?”
The Iran Deal Isn’t Stabilizing
Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have suggested that they believe the Leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran will use its $100+ billion windfall to the benefit of its citizens. After all, if the United States received a windfall equivalent to one-third of its Gross Domestic Product, Obama and the Congress would be like little kids in a candy store, pumping money into all sorts of pork and projects. Such a belief, however, reflected a combination of ignorance and naïveté about Iran. Between 2000 and 2005, the European Union tried to cultivate and moderate Iran with trade. At the same time, the price of oil skyrocketed. Hassan Rouhani, as chairman of the Supreme National Security Council, helped divert almost 70 percent of the hard currency windfall into Iran’s then-covert nuclear enrichment and ballistic missile programs. In addition, much of Iran’s manufacturing and heavy industry is under the control of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or its proxies. The IRGC cares little for the livelihood of ordinary Iranians; its mission instead is to promote and guard the Islamic Republic’s revolutionary fervor.
Perhaps this debate was academic. Kerry’s staff wanted so hard to believe that they were the vanguard of a new era. They ignored previous efforts at peace, and the lessons learned by failed outreach during the Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, and George W. Bush presidencies. Kerry and team were too busy imagining who might play them in the movies to consider that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Rouhani, the regime’s “Mr. Fix-It” might instead be playing them for fools.
There is no longer any doubt. Empowering the Islamic Republic brings not peace and reconciliation, but rather weapons proliferation and regional instability. Less than a month ago, in a single day, the Iranian and Russian press were full of stories about new arms deals and military cooperation. That has become, unfortunately, the rule rather than the exception.
Dershowitz: Obama 'Committing a Crime' with Iran Deal
During a blistering attack on Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and President Barack Obama’s Iran deal, Prof. Alan Dershowitz made the stunning accusation that Obama “realizes that what the United States is doing [with the Iran deal] today amounts essentially to a crime.”
“What is that crime? That crime is providing material support to terrorism. And, what does this deal do? It provides tens of billions, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars of material support for terrorism,” he intoned, at a demonstration by Iranian opponents of the Rouhani regime, held outside UN Headquarters in New York Monday .
In an later exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva, Dershowitz also stated he believed that the Republicans were “tricked” by President Obama into passing the Corker Iran Nuclear Review Amendment which, while framed as a bipartisan compromise, guaranteed in effect that the Iran deal would be approved.
We asked specifically if the Republicans are not as complicit as Obama in passing the Iranian deal, because it was the Corker Amendment made it possible for Obama to get the deal through Congress despite the majority's objection.

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Bitter Fruits of a Failed Nonproliferation Strategy
Although the Iran deal is set to be implemented, it is a mistake to regard the poorly handled negotiations that led to this dangerously flawed deal as water under the bridge. These negotiations are a prime case study that must be revisited and examined in order to assess the ability to rely on a strategy of diplomacy and negotiations to stop a determined proliferator—especially one that is a known violator of the NPT. There are important lessons to be learned for nonproliferation efforts down the road. One salient question to be probed is the degree to which this was a failure of the strategy per se, or the result of the policy failures of those attempting to execute it.
The weak result—which at the very best may delay Iran’s ability to move to a weapons capability for 10-15 years, after which any meaningful restrictions on Iran will be lifted—is a far cry from the goal that the international negotiators set for themselves only two years ago. Backing away from demands to significantly dismantle the nuclear infrastructure of a proliferator that has been deceiving the international community for years, in favor of merely delaying the inevitable outcome, is indication of the extent of the failure. In 15 years, Iran will be even better positioned to move to a nuclear weapons capability; it will then be unstoppable. Presenting this sad result as a policy victory or nonproliferation success story is misguided and wrong. If Iran becomes a nuclear state, we will all be huge losers.
The message to Iran deal supporters is simple: stop the celebrations and get back to the real world; do what can be done to improve what can still be improved. Fundamental improvements, however, will no doubt have to wait for a new administration, willing to chart a different course. For arms control researchers and analysts, the failure to stop both North Korea and Iran raises a more fundamental question: what went wrong in these negotiations, and can diplomacy work as a strategy for stopping a determined, NPT-violating nuclear proliferator?
Analysis: On Obama ignoring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his UN speech
For the first time since taking office in 2009, US President Barack Obama failed to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during his annual address to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Last year, as he stood at the same podium, Obama assured the international community that as “bleak as the landscape” appeared to be in the Middle East, America would “never give up the pursuit of peace” between Israelis and Palestinians.
But on Monday, during his 43 minute speech to the UNGA, the president was suddenly silent on the matter, awakening Israeli fears that his attention will be elsewhere in the last year-and-a-half of his presidency.
But when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Obama’s UNGA speeches have more or less mirrored American efforts on the ground to finalize a deal.
Netanyahu calls on Abbas to resume direct peace talks as he heads to UN
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to hold direct talks with Israel, prior to departing Tuesday morning for New York to address the 70th opening session of the UN General Assembly.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement that said Netanyahu “again calls” on Abbas “to return immediately to the negotiating table in order to advance the diplomatic process.”
In his UN speech on Thursday, Netanyahu is also expected to address the frozen peace process, to speak out against Palestinian incitement and against the continued rioting on the Temple Mount, such as those that occurred on Sunday and Monday.
Netanyahu heads to New York as the international community has intensified its efforts to renew the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, which fell apart in April 2014.
Abbas out of options, out of sync with angry Palestinians
Just three years ago, Abbas was the center of attention at the annual UN gathering of world leaders. He asked for, and later received, General Assembly recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
But when Abbas addresses the General Assembly on Wednesday other regional conflicts, including the war against the Islamic State group and the migration crisis in Europe, are likely to take the spotlight.
President Barack Obama made no mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his speech to the General Assembly on Monday, drawing rare public Palestinian criticism.
“Does Obama believe that he can defeat Islamic State and terrorism or achieve security and stability in the Middle East by ignoring the continued Israeli occupation…?” Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said in a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
Washington appears to have little interest in mounting another major push for peace. A nine-month effort by Secretary of State John Kerry collapsed last year because Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t even agree on the ground rules. Netanyahu, unlike some predecessors, refuses to recognize Israel’s pre-1967 frontier as a starting point for border talks.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas adviser suggests US pressured Palestinian leader to nix UN speech 'bombshell'
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning no surprises in his speech before the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, a senior Palestinian official said on Monday.
Mahmoud Habbash, Abbas’s adviser on religious affairs, hinted that the PA president has come under pressure from the US to refrain from making dramatic announcements during his speech.
Habbash said that Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry held “difficult” talks in New York last weekend during which they discussed the PA president’s threat to drop a bombshell at the end of his speech.
Abbas did not elaborate on his recent statement, in which he said that he plans to drop a bombshell before the General Assembly.
Some of his aides later said Abbas was planning to announce a Palestinian state “under Israeli occupation” – a unilateral move that is in violation of the Oslo Accords.
PA's Erekat slams Obama for neglecting Palestinians in speech to UN
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat expressed disappointment in US President Barack Obama for failing to mention the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his speech to the UN General Assembly on Monday.
"Does President Obama believe he can defeat ISIS and terrorism, or achieve security and stability in the Middle East, by ignoring the continued Israeli occupation, settlement expansion and the continued attacks on al-Aksa Mosque?" official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Erekat as asking.
In his speech to the UN in 2013, Obama outlined what were then his primary foreign policy goals: "In the near term," he said, "America’s diplomatic efforts will focus on two particular issues: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the Arab-Israeli conflict."
"While these issues are not the cause of all the region’s problems, they have been a major source of instability for far too long, and resolving them can help serve as a foundation for a broader peace," he continued.
Egyptian leader: Palestinian plight a major ‘pretext’ for terror
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sissi said at an address Monday before the United Nations’ General Assembly in New York that resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would eliminate one of the main “pretexts” for religious radicalism and terrorism.
Much of Sissi’s address, during the UN’s annual session this year also marking 70 years of activity, was devoted to the issue of rising extremism in the Middle East.
He criticized “those who claim to have a monopoly over interpreting Islam,” without referring to the radical Islamic State organization — which is very active in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula, among other places — by name. Such radical interpreters of the religion “negate the truth of Islam’s tolerance, justice, and mercy,” Sissi said.
Rouhani, at UN, slams US for supporting ‘inhumane’ Israel
In a speech filled with assertions of Iran’s peace-oriented outlook, its desire to fight terrorism, and its willingness to engage with other nations in a quest for global tranquility, Rouhani related to Israel in only two passages, only in the negative, while referring to it as “the Zionist regime.”
First, he called on the world powers with whom Iran negotiated its July nuclear deal to strip Israel of its reported nuclear weapons arsenal. Demanding “full nuclear disarmament” in the Middle East, he said the major powers must “not to allow the Zionist regime to remain the only impediment in the way of realizing this important initiative.”
And second, he asserted that Israel’s “inhumane” treatment of the Palestinians was utilized by terror groups to justify their crimes, and that American support for Israel skewed US policy. Were it not for the United States’ “unwarranted support for the inhumane actions of the Zionist regime against the oppressed nation of Palestine today, the terrorists would not have an excuse for the justification of their crimes,” Rouhani said. Washington, he went on, was “throwing about baseless accusations, and pursuing other dangerous polices,” in defense of “regional allies” who only cultivate division.
Police enter Temple Mount after Palestinians in Aksa mosque throw stones, firebombs
The renewed violence broke out Monday morning with Palestinian protesters hurling rocks, firebombs and firecrackers at Israeli police forces. The rioters also barricaded themselves inside the al-Aqsa Mosque on the compound.
Two Palestinians — one of them a minor — were arrested. One policeman was very lightly injured.
Israel Police had imposed an indefinite ban on male Muslim worshipers under the age of 50 from entering the site after a Channel 2 report emerged Sunday night showing images indicating Palestinian protesters were planning for more violence, stockpiling rocks and setting up barricades.
Police Spokeswoman Luba Samri said police had tried to negotiate with the Waqf — the Islamic religious authority that oversees the compound — to call for calm, but talks failed and police entered the compound to seize the “dangerous devices intended to harm visitors to the site and police and endanger their lives.”
Palestinians threw rocks, firebombs and firecrackers from within the mosque at police, Samri said, adding that the firebombs sparked a fire at the entrance to the mosque. Waqf guards didn’t prevent the “desecration of the sanctity of the place,” she said.
Who Is Instigating Muslim Violence at the Temple Mount?
On the eve of the Succot Holiday, Muslims again decided to initiate violence. As you can observe in this video clip photographed by the Israeli Police, from several vantage points, rocks are thrown, Roman candles are shot off, firebombs are tossed (also into the archaeological gardens outside and south of the Temple Mount) and other mayhem is caused.
What caught my eye in particular was a Qadi, a Muslim clergyman, standing among the crowd
There he is, and he doesn’t seem to be attempting to halt the violence. Indeed, many adults are mulling around and no one seems to be attempting to halt the youth from their criminal deeds, all done even before the police enter the compound.
I wonder who he is and I hope police intelligence or the GSS are on to him. And if he is innocent of my suppositions, all the better.
If anyone is ‘contaminating‘, Jews are not the ones doing so. And, by the way, Abbas already employed the term ‘contamination’ previously but few noticed.
‘This is not yours,’ Arab MK yells at Jews on Temple Mount
Knesset member Jamal Zahalka of the Joint (Arab) List took to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Tuesday morning to confront Jewish visitors to the site, which is revered by both Muslims and Jews.
“Crazy criminals, you’re all Kahanists, fascists, racists, get out of here, you hurt Muslims,” he could be seen shouting at a group of Israeli Jews, in video footage of the incident.
Zahalka was referring to the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, a mentor of the Jewish ultranationalist cause, whose Kach movement was banned as a terror organization in both Israel and the US.
A police officer at the scene stood between Zahalka and the group, at which point the MK told him, “Why are you letting them in? It’s a disgrace; only to hurt Muslims’ feelings. This is not yours, get out of here, go home, you’re not wanted.”
Jordan's Abdullah: We reject threats to our holy places and the Arab character of Jerusalem
The monarch said it is the world’s obligation to find solutions and provide relief for the millions of refugees in the Middle East, including Palestinian refugees.
“Today, we are haunted by the images of thousands of refugees on the shores and borders of Europe seeking hope far away from their homeland,” he said. “In Jordan, we have been faced with this challenge since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.”
Abdullah also mentioned the recent tensions and violent clashes on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, saying Jordan condemns any disturbances at Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites.
“The Hashemite custodianship of Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian sites is a sacred duty,” he told the General Assembly.
“We join Muslims and Christians everywhere in rejecting threats to the Arab character of this holy city,” he said.
Security forces arrest 2 terror suspects for gas station 'revenge' firebombing
Security forces announced on Tuesday the arrest of two members of an alleged terror cell from the village of Awarta, near Nablus, on suspicion of hurling a Molotov cocktail at a gas station and igniting a fire. The incident occurred in the settlement of Ali in August.
On August 14, the Samaria gas station was targeted in an arson attack, and red graffiti affiliated with the PFLP terror organization was spray painted at the scene.
In a joint Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), IDF, and Israel Police - Judea and Samaria District operation, security forces arrested two Palestinians, described by the Shin Bet as PFLP operatives, on suspicion of carrying out the attack.
Evidence gathered by a police crime scene investigation unit, and the testimony of a female eye witness, led to the arrests, the domestic intelligence agency stated.
It named the suspects as Majdi Kuarik, 22, and Ahmed Abdat, 23.
IDF strikes Syrian military targets in response to stray fire into Israel
Cross-border fire originating from Assad regime army positions resulted in Israeli retaliatory fire on Sunday.
The Syrian projectile exploded in an unpopulated area of the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries or damage.
No warning sirens went off as the projectile’s trajectory did not threaten built-up areas, the IDF said. It was the second incident of stray Syrian cross-border fire in two days.
Soon afterwards, the IDF artillery struck two Assad regime artillery posts.
Citing the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen television station, Israel Radio reported that a Syrian deputy battalion commander suffered moderate wounds from the Israeli fire.
The report said Israel fired four missiles at an artillery battalion that belongs to Division 90 of the regime’s army in Quneitra.
Putin: We respect Israel's interests, but are concerned over its attacks on Syria
Following a 90-minute meeting on Monday with US President Barack Obama on the conflict in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was concerned with Israel's Sunday strike on Syria, that was prompted by cross-border fire originating from Syrian army positions.
"We respect Israel's interests related to the Syrian civil war but we are concerned about its attacks on Syria," Putin said, according to Army Radio.
The Syrian projectile exploded in an unpopulated area of the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries or damage.
In the meeting of the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Russia and the United States agreed on Monday to look for a diplomatic end to the Syrian civil war but clashed over the central question of whether Syrian President Bashar Assad should retain power.
World Bank Blames Israel, Egypt for Lack of PA-Gaza Growth
The World Bank warned of the "high risk" of renewed Israel-Palestinian conflict if the political and economic status quo between the two sides persists, in a report released Tuesday.
"The persistence of this situation could potentially lead to political and social unrest," it said. "In short, the status quo is not sustainable and downside risks of further conflict and social unrest are high."
The percentage of the population living under the poverty line has reached 39 percent in Gaza and 16 percent in the Palestinian Authority (PA) .
It said the "Palestinians are getting poorer on average for the third year in a row. Donor support has significantly declined in recent years," especially for the Hamas-run Gaza.
Unemployment "remains high, particularly among Gaza's youth where it exceeds 60 percent, and 25 percent of Palestinians currently live in poverty," the World Bank said.
Economic Crisis Driving Hundreds to Cross Over from Gaza into Israel
Some 15 Arabs on Monday crossed the border fence into Israel from the Gaza Strip in six different attempts. It was the highest number of infiltrations across the fence in one day since the end of Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, Walla reported.
In one case Monday morning, an IDF force arrested four Arabs who had crossed the fence in southern Gaza. The four were interviewed and transferred to Shin Bet custody. Towards the evening, three unarmed Arabs were arrested, having crossed the fence at the Eshkol Regional Council in the western Negev. They too were taken for questioning. Additional cases were recorded throughout the day.
In recent weeks, there has been a growing stream of infiltrators from the Gaza Strip into Israel, because of the difficult economic situation in Gaza. This year more than 200 have crossed the fence, were arrested and interrogated by the Shin Bet. Adult infiltrators are imprisoned, while minors are returned to the Gaza territory.
Hamas: All of Israel is Ours
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh pushed for Palestinian Arabs to rededicate themselves to resisting the "Zionist Occupation" on Sunday, in a speech in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha.
In his speech, Haniyeh claimed that Israel was attempting to "Judaize" Jerusalem, as well as Judaism's holiest site, the Temple Mount.
"The occupiers want to change the characteristics of the history, geography and culture in Jerusalem, but our people, led by men and women clinging to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and around Beit al-Maqdis, stand against this attack and this war, with heroism and courage in their hearts, and they stress that this is our country," he said.
Haniyeh also said that Gaza, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and "conquered lands of 1948" (i.e. Israel within 1949 Armistice lines - ed.) exist only for the sake of Jerusalem, and that, "regardless of price or victims," and that the "Occupation will not escape the punishment of our struggle."
Terrorists Burn Down Bethlehem Church, Palestinian Authority Blames ‘Electrical Malfunction’
Islamic extremists set fire to the St. Charbel Monastery in Bethlehem over the weekend, and Christian leaders in Bethlehem—a Palestinian Authority-governed area of the West Bank—have demanded that the Palestinian government do more to prosecute the criminals responsible for the reported arson attack.
Father Gabriel Naddaf, an Arab-Israeli Christian, blamed “Palestinian extremists” for burning down the church.
“I condemn with all my heart the laxness of the Palestinian Authority in protecting Christian holy places it controls. I also hope that all the Christian leaders who demonstrated when the Church of Bread and Fishes near Tiberias was burned down will also demonstrate against this terrible act,” Naddaf wrote on Facebook. Naddaf called on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to handle the matter with the same “seriousness and severity” that the Palestinians appear to demonstrate when investigating incidents that occur inside of the State of Israel.
Christian leaders in Bethlehem joined Naddaf in condemning the Palestinian Authority—who blamed the fire on an “electrical malfunction.”
British Tourist Dies During Anti-Israel Bicycle Trek
A 50-year-old man on a bicycle trek, organized by the anti-Israeli organization, MAP-UK, died as his group passed by the settlement of Karnei Shomron, on Monday.
The man had passed out a short time earlier, but reportedly, other members of his bicycling group told him he was OK to continue the bike trek.
After the man collapsed a second time on Highway 55 and they called for an ambulance, emergency medical teams from nearby Karnei Shomron and the IDF came out to save him.
Despite working on him for around an hour, the emergency crews were unable to save his life.
Israel named ‘Palestine’ on map given to Paris schools
Responding to parents who complained about the distribution at public schools of a map which labeled Israel as “Palestine,” the City of Paris said it was the result of “a simple production error.”
The city’s media department gave the explanation in a statement it published Friday about the distribution earlier this year to elementary school pupils of a calendar that contains a map of Europe and parts of the Middle East.
The map, which ends north of central Israel the West Bank, designates the territory of Israel included in it as “Palestine,” alongside Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. In addition to omitting Israel’s name, it contains no mention of Saudi Arabia and Jordan, though it contains parts of those countries, according to a reproduction of the map published by the news site Jssnews.com.
PMW: PMW documentation basis for Norwegian city’s debate tomorrow about cutting ties with Nablus
Following Palestinian Media Watch's report that Nablus placed a monument in a city square to honor a Palestinian terrorist involved in the murder of at least 23 Israelis, a Norwegian councilman proposed his city cut its sister city ties with Nablus. PMW was notified by Councilman Danielsen that the formal proposal is scheduled for tomorrow Sept. 28, 2015.
Reporting on the Norwegian actions, the Palestinian daily Al-Quds wrote that PMW "denounced the sister city relations" between Nablus and the Norwegian city of Stavanger, and that PMW's report "caused the severing of relations" between the two cities.
Subsequently, PMW sent additional documentation to the Norwegian councilman exposing that Nablus' creating a monument for terrorist killer of 23 Naif Abu Sharakh is not an isolated action but part of a consistent municipal policy.
Daphne Anson: Corbynistas At The Seaside
Our old friend Sandra and other anti-Israel activists, some wearing fashionable Corbynistic "Jez we can" badges, rant outside the Labour Party's autumn conference headquarters in Brighton regarding the party's employment of guards from security firm G4S, which evidently also provides security for representatives of the Zionist Entity, and demanding that the new leader give G4S its marching orders. Joining in the action is Labour MEP Julie Ward.
France: Jews, Muslims Forced to Wear Red Discs Around Necks
A school in central France has hailed back to the Middle Ages this week, after forcing Jewish and Muslim students who do not eat pork, as well as vegetarians, to wear red and yellow discs around their necks.
The Piedalloues primary school in Auxerre, in Burgundy, forced eighteen students to wear the discs, in order to ensure that cafeteria workers did not give them pork or meat.
The practice was withdrawn this week after outraged parents and local officials compared the practice to wearing yellow stars, as mandated by the Nazis, the Telegraph reports.
The mayor immediately ordered the practice be halted after one day, Christian Sautier, director of communications in the mayor’s office, confirmed.
“When we learned about it, we fell out of our chairs,” he added.
France has a long history of forcing Muslims and Jews to wear distinct garb. Along with the yellow star, the discs are perhaps most reminiscent of the "Jew hats" in Italy and France during the 11th and 12th centuries; the pointed caps were mandated by the Fourth Council of the Lateran of 1215.
The New Yorker Profiles Omri Casspi’s Israel Trip for NBA Stars
Omri Casspi, the first Israeli player in the NBA, brought fellow basketball stars to Israel this summer so they could see his home country for themselves. A profile of the trip was published in The New Yorker on Thursday.
Casspi explained founded a charity last year to challenge negative perceptions about Israel propagated by the American media.
“Throughout my six years in the league a lot of players asked me about Israel. ‘How is it over there?’ ‘I’ve heard good things,’ ‘I’ve heard bad things,’ you know. So why not come with me? You can see it through my eyes and through your own eyes—a different perspective from what you’ve heard,” Casspi said on the phone from Israel, where he is training with the country’s national team.
The trip included Casspi’s Sacramento Kings teammates, two-time All Star Caron Butler and Team USA center DeMarcus Cousins; former Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans of the New Orleans Pelicans; Iman Shumpert of the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers; and Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks.
Soldier Who Lost His Arm Runs Berlin Marathon
In October of 2012, IDF Captain Ziv Shilon was seriously wounded in a Hamas attack near Gaza and lost his arm.
On Sunday, almost three years after the incident, Shilon participated in the 42nd Berlin Marathon. He crossed the finish line after 42 kilometers (26 miles) and four hours of running.
Speaking to Channel 2 News after the marathon, Shilon said, "I feel fantastic, it was a huge challenge that I set for myself a long time ago. I practiced quite a bit. I began this journey from a place where, for almost two years, I had not done any physical activity because of the serious trauma my body suffered, and after a long journey I got far with a lot of falls along the way.”
Even though his injury was to his arm and not to his legs, Shilon explained that it was nevertheless difficult to run a marathon.
"Because I have only one hand, I found it difficult to balance my body and learned little by little how to do it,” he told Channel 2, saying he was motivated by friends who accompanied him in the marathon and came especially from Israel.
'Lessons of Survival' on Simon Wiesenthal to be Shown in Israel
The tenth anniversary of the death famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal takes place this September and as part of the Special Commemorative Series memorializing the legendary figure, there will be screenings of "The Lessons of Survival, Conversations with Simon Wiesenthal" ( Finland, 2014), a film produced by internationally acclaimed European film director, writer and philanthropist Inna Rogatchi.
She and her husband, artist Michael Rogatchi, will be in Israel for the screenings, each to be followed by a Director's talk and Q&A sessions, set for Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa on October 6th, 7th, and 8th, 2015.
The film had its European Premiere at the European Parliament and has been successfully shown around the globe, including at the Memorial de la Shoah (Paris),and the Illinois Holocaust Museum ( Chicago) where historian Jerrold L. Schecter, former Time Magazine Moscow Bureau Chief wrote: "Inna Rogatchi's film is a magnificent work; the stories in it are fantastic; and there is obviously much new material in the documentary."
It was featured at the International Jewish Film Festival in Australia, leading its director Eddie Tamir, to write: "Inna Rogatchi's film is the only documentary on this legendary figure which I can call 'Simon Wiesenthal Unplugged' "

Rare 1,500-year-old old mosaic discovered depicting streets, buildings of ancient Egypt
A rare 1,500-year-old mosaic, depicting a map with streets and buildings from ancient Egypt, was displayed by the Antiquities Authority on Tuesday, two years after it was discovered during an excavation conducted with the help of area school children in southern Israel.
“This extraordinary mosaic served as the floor of a church dating to the Byzantine period,” said IAA spokeswoman Yoli Shwartz at a Tuesday morning press conference at Kiryat Gat Industrial Park, where the relic was unearthed.
“It was removed from the site for the purpose of conservation, and was recently returned to its permanent location in the industrial park.”
IAA archaeologists Sa’ar Ganor and Dr. Rina Avner said the appearance of buildings on mosaic floors is a rare phenomenon in Israel.
“The buildings are arranged along a main colonnaded street of a city, in a sort of ancient map,” said Avner. “A Greek inscription preserved alongside one of the buildings exposed in the mosaic indicates that the place which is depicted is the settlement Chortaso, in Egypt.”

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