Wednesday, September 30, 2015

From Ian:

Abbas: Palestine a state under occupation, no longer bound by Oslo accords
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the PA would cease to abide by agreements signed with Israel, including the 1993 Oslo accords, claiming Israel had shown that it, too, was no longer committed to them.
“So long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us, cease settlement construction and release prisoners, Israel has left us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to these agreements,” Abbas told the UN General Assembly in New York.
Israel, he said, must now “fully assume all its responsibilities as an occupying power… our patience for a long time has come to an end.”
The Israeli government later rejected the speech as “deceitful” and called for renewed peace talks.
Full text of Abbas’ 2015 address to the UN General Assembly
Full text of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ address to the United Nations General Assembly, September 30, 2015.
EoZ December 02, 2010: Fayyad says he will no longer abide by Oslo Accords
Fayyad said during his weekly radio show on local Palestinian radio stations Wednesday that the Palestinian National Authority 'will not be a prisoner to the restrictions of Oslo'.
Netanyahu: Abbas’s speech filled with lies, direct talks best way forward
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly was filled with falsehood and promoted incitement, charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office as Israel once again called on the Palestinian leader to resume direct talks.
“Abu Mazen’s [Abbas] speech was filled with falsehoods that will only promote incitement and disaster in the Middle East,” the PMO said.
Netanyahu is already in New York, where he is expected to address the UN General Assembly on Thursday evening Jerusalem time.
The reaction released by his office, did not respond to Abbas’s threat to dissolve the 1993 Oslo Accords that govern relations between the Israel and the PA.
But the PMO did address Abbas's opening statements at the start of his speech, in which he accused Israel of trying to violate the status quo on the Temple Mount by allowing Jewish visitors to the site.
The Abbas "Bombshell"
If one person can stand at the UN and unilaterally declare a state, I advise the leader of the Kurds, the Catalans, the Druze and any other ethnic groups that feel entitled to have their independence to make their way to the building and do so.
It is, therefore, the European Union and several European governments, including France and the Netherlands, that are complicit with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in knowingly and purposefully violating their own, signed agreements. Moreover, according to the Oslo Accords, the PA was designated as an interim body, not a permanent one.
If one really wants to help the Palestinians, one will try to help rid them of their corrupt and repressive leaders; not reinforce them. The Palestinian people deserve better than this.
Abbas: No bilateral talks with Israel while it's an occupying power
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the latest Israeli overture for direct talks and called instead for a multilateral peace process on the eve of his major address to the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
“The peace process must be multilateral. The same pattern of negotiations imposed for years will not work, because Israel is the occupying power,” Abbas said in an opinion piece published Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.
“Israel controls our territory, natural resources, economic affairs and our daily lives, violating every fundamental human right of the Palestinian people. We cannot directly negotiate with a power that has this level of control and exhibits such contempt for the rights and existence of our people,” Abbas wrote.

On This Day: Al-Dura and the Advent of Pallywood
It’s hard to believe that it is 15 years to the day since the image of 12-year-old Gazan Mohammed al-Dura crouching next to his father behind a barrel, caught in the crossfire, became the defining image of the Second Intifada.
Israel was accused of killing al-Dura based on the heavily edited footage of a Palestinian cameraman working for France 2 TV and its reporter Charles Enderlin.
But what really happened? Our video below is as relevant today as it was when we first posted it in 2008. It chronicles the beginning of “Pallywood” – Palestinian efforts to stage false footage for broadcast in the mainstream news.
It’s hard to miss the similarities between false footage that’s shown being filmed in 2000 as the Second Intifada was getting started and what has since occurred on numerous occasions including Israel’s military operations in Gaza.
PMW: Palestinian music conservatory condemned peacebuilding with Israeli musicians
The Palestinian Authority adamantly opposes peacebuilding between Israelis and Palestinians. Whether at joint sporting events for children, women's embroidery groups, or at conferences promoting coexistence, Palestinian Media Watch has shown that the PA condemns meetings that bring Palestinians and Israelis together.
In yet another example of the Palestinian aversion to what they call "normalization" with Israel, the Palestinian Edward Said National Conservatory of Music recently "condemned the deception" it had "fallen victim to" at a music festival in France when the organizers "added an Israeli band at the last moment." The Palestinian conservatory viewed this addition as something not done "innocently" but as part of a conspiracy to "promote Zionist ideology." Another cause for offense on the part of the conservatory was the fact that the festival program implied that Palestinian and Israelis met to "exchange ideas and engage in dialogue," something utterly opposed by the conservatory:
Denis MacEoin: Deceit, not Justice: Palestinian Lies Peddled Again
Why would Israel trust Palestinian intentions? Especially since 1988 was also the year in which terrorist group Hamas issued its infamous Charter, in which it states (in Article 13) la hall li-'l-qadiyya al-Filastiniyya illa bi'l-jihad, "There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except through Jihad," and that "Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement," and that "initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors," while calling for the slaughter of all Jews in the world. Why does Kazak ignore this?
That evidence should be more than enough. The rest of Kazak's article is full of further distortions, putting words into people's mouths, and deliberately misrepresenting the Israeli position. Given the errors and misrepresentations exposed here, and that this information has been in the public domain for decades, one can only conclude that Mr Kazak has been knowingly dishonest and deceitful in his portrayal of historical and political information. Alan Johnson and everyone who has read Kazak's diatribe deserve an apology, but I fear none is likely to be given.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict has turned out to be one of the most resistant to compromise and solution in history. It has cost thousands of lives; exposed Israelis to wave after wave of terrorism; denied Palestinian Arabs a future free from hatred and self-destruction; and resulted in wars, suicide bombings and endless anger. Countless generous offers of peace and co-existence from Israel have been turned down, out of spite or simple intransigence. Palestinians insist that they will never recognize a Jewish state; will never agree to secure borders for Israel, and that they will continue to sacrifice their lives and the lives of their children.
At the heart of this unending strife lies a body of historical and political facts that, properly understood, could lead in time to a result that will give freedom to the Palestinians and a guarantee of survival to the Jews. But when a writer on one side distorts, conceals, and refashions those facts and dares to title his invective "Justice, not Deception," those who seek peace feel trapped in a cycle of bias and culpable enormities. If we cannot escape from Orwellian misdirection and double speak, we can never find the truth and act on it. Ali Kazak may never understand that. He will, no doubt, continue to peddle lies.
Anne Bayefsky: Racist Tyrants, Polygamist Islamists, Despots of Every Stripe: Why Are We Funding the U.N.?
The parade of dictators and despots taking the U.N. stage on Monday, as the organization marks its 70th anniversary, was nothing short of spectacular. As were the lies they told without batting an eye to a friendly and respectful audience. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has his hand out for an additional $20 billion this year, so let’s look at what American taxpayers are getting for their large chunk (one-quarter) of the U.N’s bills.
Xi Jinping, President of China, said “we must endeavor to meet” the goals of “democracy and freedom.” Meanwhile, he is an iron-fisted ruler of an undemocratic state where 1.3 billion people languish without civil and political rights.
Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, said that without the U.N. — “unique in its legitimacy” — “we would be left with no other rules than the rule of force.” This from a megalomaniac who gobbled up Crimea and now occupies other parts of Eastern Ukraine by force. Putin also said, “Everything that contravenes the U.N. Charter must be rejected.” Except apparently Chapter 1, article 1, which commits the organization to maintaining international peace and security and suppressing acts of aggression.
David Collier: Trouble on Mars, urgent meeting of General Assembly (satire)
Following the announcement that water has been found on Mars, the Palestinian delegation to the UN has asked for an emergency session of the General Assembly to discuss what they claim is a clear infringement of their basic human rights. The Palestinian spokesman has declared that the Palestinians were on Mars first, that the water is historically theirs and NASA are guilty of war crimes.
It is claimed NASA ethnically cleansed and then demolished a major Palestinian region, ‘Al Hara’ that was historically sited just near the crater of Agassiz. Yasir Sulieman, a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon claimed that his grandfather’s house was demolished, he still has the key and that it was the destruction of the house that caused the damage to the pipes, eventually leading to the water spillage NASA claims it ‘found’. “It is my water” Sulieman sighed, clenching the key in his fist and sadly pointing to a spot in the sky that used to be the local cafe, his grandfather once played backgammon in.
Since the announcement Palestinians have been gathering near the Al-Aqsa Mosque to denounce this latest action by NASA, calling on Palestinians everywhere to begin a 3rd intifada, until human rights and justice for the Palestinians has been achieved. Video footage has now emerged of a NASA astronaut beating football playing Palestinian children with freeze-dried foods. Blogs such as Elder of Ziyon and UK Media Watch have attacked the footage, claiming the astronaut is clearly not on Mars, the kids are hardly playing football and it is doubtful the video is genuine. In response Pallywood productions CEO, Ahmad Arafat suggested criticism of the video is simply a form of propaganda and denial and how much more evidence of blatant human rights abuse is necessary before the world sits up and takes notice. The footage has since gone viral and #NASAWARCRIMES is now trending on Twitter. A petition to arrest the top NASA administrators if they step foot in Europe has been launched on and gathered tens of thousands of signatures within hours.
Minister Yisrael Katz's Gaza Solution: Give Them a Seaport
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) has a clear vision for Israel's future vis-a-vis Hamas, he revealed in an exclusive interview with Arutz Sheva on Wednesday - and it does not include restarting peace talks.
"What they [the Left and international community - ed.] are talking about involves concessions and other handovers of territory, which will certainly not improve the security situation," Katz began, speaking less than 24 hours after Hamas fired rockets at Israeli citizens in Ashdod. "We have seen where it led in the southern sector."
"At the same time, the current situation can not continue," he added. "We must pursue an agreement that will lead to disconnecting us from Gaza's citizens and at the same time preserving the security and Israel's deterrence."
Katz cited the situation between Israel and Lebanon, wherein the Lebanese know that Israel will respond with force in the event serious shooting begins along the northern border; another war would put Beirut at risk, he said, and thus the situation keeps that border relatively quiet.
He added that the Gaza situation is "absurd," since Israel has a responsibility to remedy the situation, but without the power of deterrence.
Report: Israel to Sponsor Two New Palestinian Authority Cities
Israel is willing to help the Palestinian Authority (PA) build two new cities in northwest Judea-Samaria, Lebanese media reported Monday - this, in addition to the city of Rawabi, which is already under construction.
Coordinator of the Goverment Activities in the Territories (COGAT) commander Major General Yoav Mordechai, PA "Prime Minister" Rami Hamdallah and PA Civil Affairs "minister" Hussein al-Sheikh met on September 9 to discuss the plans, Al-Akhbar revealed.
During the meeting, Mordechai reportedly said that Israel is ready to present a plan to connect gas lines from Israel to Gaza, to authorize use of 3G service in the PA, and support new technological developments in the PA.
Both COGAT and the PA have denied the meeting ever took place, with Mordechai stating to Walla! News that the quotes "are lies, and that's an understatement."
"As for statements that we intend to build another city in Samaria, this is an idea presented to us by a Palestinian entrepreneur, and are in the initial stages of the approval process," he added.
Migration Crisis: "Islam Will Conquer Europe Without Firing a Shot"
The failed foreign policies of the EU and the US under President Obama, have brought the Arabs to the brink of chaos, and destroyed regimes which, even though they were not democratic utopias, at least provided governance and public order. These failed policies have abandoned the Arabs to the atrocities of the Sunni Islamists and to the murderous proxies of the Iranian Islamic Revolution -- and are ultimately the cause of the tsunami of refugees beating at the gates of Europe.
Now the EU and Obama want to bring the catastrophe of Gaza to the West Bank.
The American FDA is more careful with experiments on animals than the White House is with experiments on the people of the Middle East.
Every time the Palestinians have taken steps against the Israelis, we have hurt no one but ourselves, and are left with -- nothing.
Analysis: German, Austrian Jews worried about anti-Semitism from refugees
The growing influx into central Europe of refugees from Muslim-majority countries with a deeply rooted culture of lethal anti-Semitism has started to jolt Jewish leaders and journalists into an examination of dangers inherent in the mass migration.
Oskar Deutsch, head of Austria’s Jewish community, issued a warning in a column last week in the daily Kurier, “The hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria or Afghanistan who are coming to Europe were exposed while growing up to decades of anti-Semitism. Jew-hatred was learned and promoted in schools, newspapers and social networks. Terrorism against Israeli was celebrated – such as Islamic attacks on Jewish schools, synagogues and Jewish museums in the West.”
Deutsch further warned of Islamic State fighters disguised as refugees. His concern is grounded in European reality; Islamic State and Jihadi-affiliated combatants have attacked and murdered several European Jews since 2014. For example, the French-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche, who murdered three people at the Brussels Jewish museum, was a trained Islamic State terrorist.
"Latent anti-Semitism among many of the approximately 20 million Muslims can erupt, as we have unfortunately experienced too often in the past years,” said Deutsch.
PreOccupiedTerritory: EU Makes Arabic Official Language; ‘Has The Most Speakers Here’ (satire)
The governing body decided to dismiss hundreds of French- and German-language clerks and translators to make room for candidates fluent in several dialects of Arabic, including the North African, Levantine, and East African versions, along with the pan-Arab literary dialect commonly used for speeches, poetry, and high prose. A Union official explained the decision as more or less inevitable, considering the pace at which Arabic is expected to supplant the local languages within decades.
“Already, Arabic has the most speakers here of almost any language, or will within just a few years if current migration trends remain steady,” said Raisa Weissflagg, a spokeswoman for the European Parliament. “What our member nations have done today is, essentially, recognize that within a generation Arabic will be the dominant language, and Islam the dominant culture, in Europe, and that it would be wiser to simply smooth the path toward that inevitability than waste effort, lives, and trouble fighting a losing battle.”
Along with the language switch, Parliament approved draft legislation to make sexual harassment, rape, polygamy, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and other common features of Arabic-speaking societies legal in communities with a sizable Muslim population. Individual member states will be free to set the threshold beyond which a community’s Muslim population is considered “sizable,” but other details of the legislation have yet to be finalized, such as whether or not to impose Sharia law immediately across the Continent, or to simply leave it as a recommendation for member states to implement following their own timetables.
Douglas Murray: UK: Mainstreaming Racism
On Northern Ireland, he [Corbyn] claimed that he was not in fact an obscure backbencher but was intricately involved in the peace process. Precisely the same claim has been made regarding the Middle East. Rather than admit to having spent decades palling up to the worst anti-Semites and Israel-haters worldwide, Corbyn is trying to claim that he has in fact been involved -- deep undercover, away from the eyes of any respectable negotiator – in a "peace process." Why did he meet with Eisen? Peace process. Why did he meet with Hamas? Peace process. Why did he meet with Salah? "Inter-faith issues." You would have to be a child to fall for this. Unfortunately for the Labour party and the country, many of the thousands of people who joined the Labour party to vote for Corbyn are practically children. Or adults who are at the very least radically unbothered about having as a party leader a man who has supported the violent enemies of the United Kingdom and our only democratic ally in the Middle East.
People ask how all this will go; the only possible answer is that it could go in any direction. Perhaps Corbyn will play it carefully, as he has in his first fortnight. There have been serious mis-steps for him. Refusing to sing our national anthem during a service at St Paul's Cathedral to commemorate the Battle of Britain was one such problem. His supporters said it showed principle from a man who does not believe in God and opposes the monarchy. For many voters -- including traditional Labour voters -- his refusal looked more as if it came from a man who did not have pride enough in his own country to sing our national anthem. Footage of him singing the Internationale (Red Flag) a few days earlier did not help. Of course, wiser observers could see this was all just part of a continuum: of course a man who has always supported our country's enemies would not sing our national anthem.
Perhaps Corbyn will indeed lead his party into a general election in 2020, thereby probably wiping out the Labour party as a historic political force. But we live in unpredictable times. This is an era when conspiracy theories abound, and where the internet and information technology have helped to stir up old and dark hatreds. It is just as possible that the arrival of Jeremy Corbyn at the summit of British politics heralds something else: the mainstreaming of perhaps the oldest hatreds of all.
UK Labour chief Corbyn heckled for not saying ‘Israel’ at pro-Israel event
The newly elected leader of Britain’s Labour Party was heckled for avoiding the word “Israel” as he addressed a pro-Israel group within the political party Tuesday.
Jeremy Corbyn is seen by some as hostile to Israel, and the opposition leader shied away from mentioning the Jewish state during a 10-minute speech at a Labour Friends of Israel event.
At the end of the speech, which focused on renewing dialogue between the two sides and advocating a return to the peace process, a man at the back of the room interrupted the gathering shouting, “Say the word Israel. Say the word Israel.”
The heckler was abruptly removed from the room leaving an embarrassed looking Corbyn on stage alongside his deputy leader Tom Watson and shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn. Corbyn remained on stage for the ensuing speeches but left after a few minutes when an aide announced, “Jeremy needs to leave now because he has a meeting to go to.”
Throughout the address, Corbyn did not mention the word Israel, while referring broadly to “the region” and “the Middle East”.

Corbyn speech confirmed worst concerns, Labor MK says
UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s did not say the word “Israel” once during his speech at a Labour Friends of Israel event, to the outrage of pro-Israel activists and MKs present.
MK Michal Biran (Zionist Union), who was at the event adjacent to the annual Labour Party Conference in Brighton, said on Wednesday that Corbyn’s address “was unprecedented and outrageous [in that he] chose not to mention the State of Israel even once.”
“There is no doubt that his appearance at the event confirmed our earlier concerns,” she stated. “Corbyn has to back down [from his stances] or else they may cause irreparable damage to the relations between our two countries.”
MK Erel Margalit (Zionist Union) said following the speech that he “went to the Labour Conference to unequivocally state to anyone who needs reminding that the State of Israel is stronger than ever and de-legitimization of Israel is unacceptable.”
Liberal Columnist: Anti-Semitism Shifting Ever More to the Left
A liberal columnist for The Orange County Register is noticing a prominent shift in the political left becoming increasingly anti-Semitic, despite the tendency of Jews to identify as Democrats.
In his latest op-ed titled "Jews finding less comfort on the Left," Joel Kotkin explains:
[I]n recent years, anti-Semitism and, particularly, anti-Zionism have shifted ever more to the Left.
Though he notes that remnants of bigotry remain on the Right, Kotkin believes that the security Jews once felt may finally be eroding to the point where they are finding more support from the conservative end of the spectrum in this country and abroad.
And some of the most powerful examples of the Left turning on Jews is happening not only in European universities, but also around the world through various divestment campaigns against Israel.
"The European Left, long enamored of radicals from the developing world, increasingly adopts the notion that Israel represents the ultimate political atrocity," Kotkin writes.
Berkeley, Bazian, and Barghouti Promote BDS
A member of a Berkeley, California city commission ostensibly devoted to the “social welfare needs” of “low-income residents,” who was dismissed after introducing a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolution has found a champion in UC Berkeley Department of Near Eastern studies (NES) lecturer Hatem Bazian.
Bazian provided the introduction to a September 18 lecture co-sponsored by NES and delivered by Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). An audience of approximately two hundred, comprised mostly of students and including local anti-Israel activists, twenty or so women in hijabs, and a tall man with a “Palestine” sash around his neck who, during the Q&A, claimed to work for the virulently anti-Israel online magazine Electronic Intifada, filled a large lecture hall in UC Berkeley’s Dwinelle Hall.
Before introducing Barghouti, Bazian rallied the audience to the “cause” of Cheryl Davila, the former Human Welfare & Community Action Commission (HWCAC) member. Davila was removed from her post at the outset of HWCAC’s September meeting by City Councilman Darryl Moore, who appointed her in 2009, because she refused to withdraw the “Divestment From the Israeli Occupation” resolution she sponsored. Moore alleged that Davila neglected to notify him about the controversial proposal and claimed it was a misuse of the commission. HWCAC will revise and vote on the resolution in October and if passed, it will proceed to the Berkeley City Council for a vote. The council has rejected two previous Israel divestment measures.
Douglas Murray: ‘Health and safety concerns’ are now being used to censor anti-Isis artwork
On Saturday I wrote a blog recommending readers catch the ‘Passion For Freedom’ festival’s final hours in London. Thank you to all the readers who did and helped make it a packed-out show. One further detail about the show came up afterwards in the Guardian and I mentioned it at the start of my talk at Denmark’s free speech conference on Saturday. That is the fact that one of the artist’s work was removed from the show on the advice of the British police. The work in question – entitled ‘Isis Threaten Sylvania’, featuring the children’s toys Sylvanian Families - is certainly anti-Isis, but it is hard to see it as ‘potentially inflammatory’ as the police insisted. Anyhow, the work was removed because the organisers were otherwise going to be given a security bill of £36,000 and the show needed to go on.
But that is where Britain is in 2015. The police can effectively censor a show if they cite the risk of ‘community tensions’ or ‘inflammatory content’. And so the police get to decide what you and I and everyone else should be able to see. As Mark Steyn has observed, in these situations ‘health and safety concerns’ are the new ‘shut-up’. As I mentioned in my speech in Copenhagen, the art world spends most of its time talking about its ‘relevance’, ‘transgression’ and so on. In fact most art in Britain is none of these things. Which is why I keep pointing out the fact that the Islamic fanatics don’t really need to do very much of their shooting work, just a little bit – because most of the world gets the message and shuts itself up.
Rasmea Odeh appeal tactic: Intimidate the judges
The strategy is playing out on the appeal by busing supporters to protest outside the appeals court house and packing the courtroom again:
The strategy is intended to influence the judges, as the fundraising appeal raising money for the buses makes clear, quoting Rasmea’s attorneys (emphasis added):
As her defense attorneys have said since the beginning of this ordeal, “You [Rasmea’s supporters] provide public testimony when you rally outside the courthouse and then file in to fill the courtroom. Public testimony of not only the power of Rasmea’s positive influence on her friends and colleagues, and the people she organizes, but public testimony also of the fact that she did not receive a fair trial and that there are people who are going to hold the system—prosecutors and judges—accountable.
In our system you hold judges and prosecutors accountable through the judicial system, not mob rule.
Unfortunately, mob rule increasingly is coming to anti-Israel activism in the U.S., as it has in Europe. The Rasmea case is one of the testing grounds, and a preview of things to come.
The Holocaust Museum Defends Muslim Brotherhood Nazis
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was tainted from the start.
Carter created the President’s Commission on the Holocaust to pander to the Jews after endorsing a PLO state. Then Carter complained that there were too many Jews on the Commission. One of the Jews he was complaining about was a Presbyterian with a German last name, but he was too bigoted to care.
The Museum hit a new low when the Clinton administration pressured its chairman to invite Arafat, a protégé of Hitler’s Mufti who had been trained to kill Jews by a former Nazi officer. It hit an even lower low when it brought in John K. Roth who had compared Israel to the Nazis.
Now the Holocaust Memorial Museum has rolled out an "Early Warning Project" to warn of the risk of mass killings and genocide.
According to the “Project,” Israel is not at risk of genocide. Its risk assessment is lower than the UK or Panama. If another Holocaust happens, it’s more likely to take place in London or Brazil. (But the EWP also claims that America and New Zealand are at a higher risk of mass killings than Cuba even though the Castro regime, unlike New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, actually engaged in mass killings.)
Despite the constant threats to destroy the Jewish State, Iran is also rated at low risk. Instead the Holocaust Museum claims that the real threat of genocide is in Egypt which is “experiencing a mass killing episode perpetrated by the current regime against the Muslim Brotherhood and oppositionists.”
Jews don’t face genocide in the Middle East. The Nazi-influenced Muslim Brotherhood does. Muslim Nazis are the real victims of a new Holocaust.
Brussels Jewish Museum Shooter Accomplice Arrested
Belgium has taken into custody a French national suspected of having helped a compatriot shoot dead four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels last year, prosecutors said Tuesday.
France extradited 28-year-old Mounir Atallah to Belgium on July 1 on a European arrest warrant, Jean-Pascal Thoreau, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office, told AFP.
Atallah was later "charged with being the perpetrator, the co-perpetrator or accomplice of a quadruple attack in a terrorist context," Thoreau said without explaining why it took so long to release the news.
The French authorities said Belgian investigating judges want to question Atallah about allegations he may have supplied weapons to Mehdi Nemmouche, who allegedly carried out the massacre in Brussels before being arrested days later in the southern French port city of Marseille.
Christian lawmakers from around the world confer in Jerusalem
Twenty-two parliamentarians from 18 countries gathered in Jerusalem Tuesday to discuss their part in deflecting threats to Israel.
The lawmakers attending the Israel Allies Foundation’s three-day Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference came from the UK, Italy, Slovakia, Holland, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Guatemala, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay, to discuss fighting boycotts of Israel, the threat of nuclear Iran to Israel and the Western world and how to keep Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital.
“Complaining about hatred and darkness is not the way of the Israel Allies Foundation.
We try to locate parliamentarians of good faith in each parliament to light a torch for Israel against hatred, discrimination and boycotts,” foundation president and former minister Rabbi Benny Elon said at the conference’s opening.
The MPs met with their Israeli counterparts, including Christian Allies Caucus chairman MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), deputy chairman MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Union) and MK Anat Berko (Likud).
'Ignore CNN - Jerusalem is the Place to Be' Mayor Nir Barkat addresses visiting MPs
Despite the Muslim violence in some parts of his city, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat struck an optimistic note to visiting parliamentarians Tuesday, noting the Israeli capital's remarkable achievements in terms of economic growth, tourism and crime-fighting.
Reiterating his goal of 10 million tourists visiting the holy city annually, Barkat noted to dozens of pro-Israel MPs from around the world that Jerusalem has already come a long way - up to more than four million visitors each year from less than two million a decade ago.
Speaking at the capital's Mamilla Hotel, he urged the visitors to look beyond negative media headlines. "Many people see too much CNN, too much television," he said.
Israel gave UK rockets from own stockpile
Israel supplied guided missiles to UK forces serving in Iraq and Afghanistan in a last-minute deal that saved the lives of British troops.
In a highly unusual move, Israel sourced the Tammuz rockets from its own strategic stockpile in response to an urgent British request in 2007.
New details on the tie-up were published this week in Haaretz. The first Tammuz launchers sent to Basra in Iraq were also mounted on hastily repainted IDF armoured personnel carriers.
The Tammuz missile was originally developed as an anti-tank weapon in the mid-1970s as part of the Israeli military’s lessons from the Yom Kippur War, when large Egyptian and Syrian armoured formations nearly overwhelmed Israel in a surprise attack. It remained officially secret in Israel until 2011.
As an easily deployable system with high accuracy and a range of 20km, it evolved into a key weapon in the fight against small and mobile terror cells.
Tel Aviv University ranks in top 10 for entrepreneurship
In its latest survey, PitchBook Data, a leading provider of data and technology to the private equity and venture capital industries, ranks Tel Aviv University as ninth in the world – and first outside the US – as the best place for an undergraduate entrepreneur to graduate from if they want to raise money for a start-up.
The 2015 edition of the PitchBook Universities Report shows that TAU, over the past five years, produced 250 undergrad entrepreneurs (founders or co-founders of tech start-ups), who between them started 204 companies. On average, those Israeli start-ups attracted $1,754,000 in venture capital investments.
All other universities on the top 10 list of undergraduate entrepreneurship successes were located in the US, and included such institutions as Stanford (which ranked first), UC Berkeley, MIT, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, University of Texas and University of Illinois (in 10 place).
Two other Israeli universities – the Technion, ranked 20th, and Hebrew University, ranked 39th – were part of the PitchBook top 50 universities for undergraduate entrepreneurship success.
Forty-three of the top 50 schools were in the US; besides the three in Israel, there were also three in Canada, and one in Ireland.
Tel Aviv ranks among world's top financial centers
The 2015 Global Financial Centers Index, released Tuesday, ranked Tel Aviv as the world's 25th top financial center.
Published twice a year, the GFCI, compiled by the Z/Yen Group, a London-based commercial think tank, ranks the world's 84 leading financial cities based on data from the World Economic Forum, the U.N., World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and other sources.
According to Business Insider, cities are evaluated across several dimensions, including business environment, financial sector development, infrastructure, human capital, and reputation, as well as a series of other parameters meant to gauge their financial services' diversity.
London topped the 2015 GFCI, followed by New York and Hong Kong. Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Zurich, Toronto, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. joined the three to make up the top 10 financial centers in the world.
Tourism to Israel Makes a Comeback After Gaza-War Slump
Tourism in Israel has made a comeback from its downward spiral during and shortly after last summer’s war in Gaza.
“The recovery trend after Operation Protective Edge continues apace,” Tourism Minister Yariv Levin recently stated. “I am pleased to see that the statistics [for 2015] show an increase of more than 40 percent from 2014, and an almost complete return to the 2013 numbers.”
The industry took a major hit during the war, and not only because potential tourists cancelled their trips. Many countries, including the United States, briefly banned flights from traveling to Israel, out of concern that planes were vulnerable to rocket-fire from Gaza.
Data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics show an increase in tourist entries during August, 2015, compared to August, 2014. This past August, there were approximately 213,000 tourists, which was 45% more than there were in August last year. Additionally, there was a 75% increase in day visitors during August, 2015, as compared to the previous August.
Israeli Cartoonist Wins 'Freedom of Expression' Award
Israeli illustrator and cartoonist Avital Alter was the first to receive the prestigious "Freedom of Expression" award from the Universal Tolerance Organization (UTO) this week, during its second annual Global Tolerance Forum.
Two Iranian exiles, Mohammed Mostafaei and Maryam Fagihimani, presented Alter with the award, which was produced specifically for the event, in a special ceremony in Drammen, Norway.
Alter cited Jewish religious principles in her acceptance speech, as well as Jewish customs which relate to Art.
"Art helps the world to see humanity in a new and different way," Alter explained. "Art can help us see the good and the whole, the broken and the wanting."
Kanye touches down for concert, followed by Bon Jovi
Kanye West must have a special solution for jetlag. The American rapper touched down at 2 p.m. Wednesday from Los Angeles, just hours ahead of his Wednesday night concert at the Ramat Gan stadium.
The rapper, songwriter, producer and fashion designer, also known for his marriage to the mega-celebrity Kim Kardashian, was last here in June, at the tail end of a roots trip through Armenia, with Kardashian, whose family is American-Armenian.
He offered an impromptu concert during his stop in Jerusalem, but canceled when a long day of touring tired him out.
According to public relations firm Ran Rahav, West also requested coconut water — the staple drink of many an American in 2015 — tonic water and diet peach iced tea, but no alcohol or sweets, just fruit.
When West checks out on Friday, the Dan Tel Aviv will have to quickly turn over his rooms, as rocker Jon Bon Jovi and his eponymously-named band, Bon Jovi, arrive on Friday, ahead of their Saturday night, October 3 concert in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
‘Monumental and noble’ Primo Levi anthology to hit shelves
The fall’s most ambitious literary release took 17 years to complete, runs more than 3,000 pages, draws upon the talents of more than a dozen translators and has a list price of $100.
It also features an introduction from Nobel laureate Toni Morrison.
“The Complete Works of Primo Levi” is a 3-volume set of writings by the late Italian author and Auschwitz survivor whose memoir “If This is a Man” remains a standard work of Holocaust literature. The anthology was conceived in 1998 by W.W. Norton & Company executive editor Robert Weil, who had had surprising success with a two-volume compilation of Russian author Isaac Babel and thought Levi a worthy follow-up.
“But if the publisher had known back in 1998 how long this would take I would never have gotten it approved,” Weil said during a recent interview.
Levi was world famous at the time of his death (widely believed a suicide), in 1987, but his work in the US suffered from the random treatment given to so many foreign-language authors. At least seven publishers had rights to various editions and the quality of translations was erratic enough that new translations were commissioned for virtually all of the books. Many stories and poems had never been collected in English before.

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