Thursday, October 29, 2015

From Ian:

Palestinian Murder of American-Israeli Poses Challenge to J Street
Will the murder of fellow-peace activist Richard Lakin spur J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and other left-of-center groups to follow Leonard Fein's footsteps and speak out?
And not just speak out in general, vague terms--but ask for specific actions, such as:
1. According to the media, one of Lakin's killers was a member of Fatah, the PLO faction that is headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas. J Street should demand that Abbas order Fatah to pay restitution to the Lakin family.
2. Peace groups should urge the Obama administration to demand that the PA hand over Abd al-Majid Dudin and other Palestinian killers of Americans to the United States for prosecution. More than 130 American citizens have been killed by Palestinian terrorists since the 1960s--yet not one of the killers has yet been brought to justice in America.
3. J Street should announce that it will no longer take part in meetings in Ramallah, the Palestinian Authority's capital, until the PA changes the names of streets and parks in Ramallah that are named after Dalal Mugrahbi, a terrorist who murdered Gail Rubin, the niece of the late U.S. Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Connecticut)--another prominent figure in the left-of-center camp.
It should not matter that Richard Lakin was a peace activist, that Joan Davenny was a friend of a Peace Now leader, or that Gail Rubin was the niece of a liberal Democratic senator. But those are the facts.
For J Street and its allies, Palestinian terrorism is striking close to home. Perhaps these tragedies will help them recognize that speaking out against Palestinian terrorism is not a right-wing or left wing issue--it is a matter of justice, on which everyone should be able to agree.
Another American Victim of Palestinian Terror: Why it Matters
American taxpayers should care for another reason: the US government sends $500 million of their tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority (PA) every year. So the public has a right to expect the government to intervene when PA employees or PA-incited terrorists murder our citizens, or when the PA names streets, parks, and soccer teams after murderers of Americans.
The American government, too, has a special obligation with regard to American victims of Palestinian terrorism.
First, there is a legal obligation. American citizens, whether they are visiting, studying, or living abroad, are still American citizens. They pay taxes just like the rest of us, and in return the US government has a legal responsibility to act when they are harmed by terrorists abroad just as it would have an obligation to act if they are harmed by terrorists within the US.
Second, the US government has a strategic obligation to act. Fighting Palestinian terrorism must be part of America’s global war on terror. Bringing Palestinian killers of Americans to trial in the US would contribute significantly to anti-terror efforts, by making it clear to Palestinian terrorists that they could face the death penalty, or at least life in prison with no hope of release in a prisoner exchange — something that is not the case when they kill Israelis.
So, yes, it is relevant that Richard Lakin was an American. It’s not just a question of narrow national pride, or ethnic solidarity, or curiosity. For important moral, legal, and strategic reasons, the American victims of Palestinian terrorism should matter to American Jews, to the American public, and to the American government.
PMW Fatah posts Nazi children's book: Don’t trust a fox or a Jew
Today, on its official Facebook page, Abbas' Fatah movement posted the cover of an Antisemitic children's book from Germany from 1936.
Posted text: "The cover of one of the children's books in Germany in 1936 whose title is:
'Trust no fox on his green meadow, and trust no Jew on his oath'"

[Official Facebook page of the Fatah movement, Oct. 29, 2015]
Israel: Abbas’s UNHRC speech is 'the banalization of the spilling of Jewish blood'
Israel charged that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “glorified” violence against Israelis and further “fanned the flames of the conflict” during his speech before a special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.
“What we have witnessed today is the glorification of terror and violence,” Israel’s Ambassador to the UNHRC Eviatar Manor told diplomatic corp in Geneva hours after Abbas’s speech.
“What the Council allowed today is the banalization of the spilling of Jewish blood,” Manor said.
In his speech to the UNHRC Abbas said that the violence in the last few weeks was fueled by built up frustration over Israel’s “occupation of Palestine” and changes it had made to the status quo in the Al-Aksa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Abbas made no mention of the 11 Israelis killed by Palestinian assailants in some 30 attacks against Israelis since the start of October. Instead he accused Israel instead of “extra-judicial killings” and “war crimes” against his people.

Analysis: Why Palestinian attacks have shifted from Jerusalem to West Bank
According to diplomatic sources, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas issued a directive 10 days ago to halt all attacks in Jerusalem and instead place the focus on Judea and Samaria, with a special emphasis on the Gush Etzion and Hebron areas.
Israeli officials say that the attacks committed against Israeli civilians and passersby generated fierce international criticism. By concentrating their efforts in targeting soldiers in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinians believe that they could soften the blow of global public opinion.
Ever since the attacks have shifted to Judea and Samaria, security forces say there has been an overall drop in the violence. It appears that Israel has a much easier time dealing with knife-based terrorism aimed at soldiers than it does stopping attacks in the alleys of Jerusalem.
The sharp decrease in the number of attacks could be attributed mostly to the tighter security cooperation between the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the IDF, and the elite units of both the army and the police in the Judea and Samaria theater. The dragnet and wave of arrests carried out in the last week is the most extensive since Operation Brother's Keeper, the code-name for the effort to track down the three kidnapped teenagers.
In the last week, over 200 wanted Palestinians have been arrested throughout the West Bank. The security forces have been active in detaining Palestinians from various villages, towns, and refugee camps. Of those arrested, 53 belong to the Islamist Hamas movement.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Kerry: Palestinian leaders must stop incitement
The Palestinian leadership must cease inciting to violence and offer something concrete to Israelis, US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday.
It is “absolutely vital” for Israel to take steps “that empower Palestinian leaders to improve economic opportunity and the quality of their lives on a day to day basis,” Kerry said in a speech in Washington to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
It is “equally important,” he said, “for Palestinian leaders to cease the incitement of violence and offer something more than rhetoric.”
Instead, the Palestinians need to “propose solutions that will contribute in a real way to the improvement of life, to the reduction of violence and to the safety and security of Israelis,” Kerry said.
His speech came the same day that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, said that “Israel is systematically violating the principles of international law and acting as a state above the law,” and called for International “protection” for the Palestinians.
Palestinian Child Soldiers: The Horrifying Silence
The use of child soldiers is an unquestionable evil. This is because when child soldiers are used not only can’t their be any winners, but it makes any kind of real peace that much harder to attain. There is a line that is attributed to Golda Meir, “We can forgive them for killing our children, but we cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” No sane person wants to kill children, it is abhorrent to us, against our very nature and biology. The use of child soldiers is designed to either kill the enemy or force the enemy to become a child killer, with all of the vast psychological damage that would do to someone. It’s a double attack, a physical attack, but much more harmfully, it is a vicious psychological attack. I can’t imagine the heartache I would feel if I had to make the choice of killing a child or letting that child kill me or others. How can anyone be expected to remain whole after being forced to make that choice? The damage is so much worse than loss, I would expect that it would damage a person’s soul. Beyond that, this strategy destroys or poisons an entire generation of Palestinian children, and the Palestinians have already lost too many generations children, both as soldiers and civilians. This strategy literally kills the future of the Palestinian people.
How can this sort of atrocity be ignored by the world? Why don’t we hear anything from the press about this? While I see reports and resolutions about child soldiers all over the world, why don’t we see anything about it here? Why is this allowed to continue without comment. We Israelis don’t even talk about it. We cower at the idea of the International Criminal Court, but the case against the PA and Hamas is much stronger and getting stronger everyday as both of these governments blatantly, publicly and admittedly continue to use child soldiers.
IDF Expects Terror to Continue for ‘Weeks to Come’
The IDF expects the current wave of terrorist attacks, including rock-throwing and firebombings, to continue “in the coming weeks.” In a letter obtained by The and sent by a brigade commander to residents under his command in Judea and Samaria, he wrote:
The challenge we face is not a short-term issue and from what I know, it will continue in the coming weeks with the understanding that there are many factors that influence the security situation.

The IDF, Border Police, police and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and civilian security forces continue to work night and day to return to residents a sense of security. The army has significantly beefed up patrols and guard posts on Highway 60, the major artery linking northern Samaria with Gush Etzion, Kiryat Arba-Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills. The brigade commander also wrote:
I promise we will get through this period and, God willing, return security and the feeling of security.
IDF doubles units deployed in Gush Etzion
In light of the continuous spate of Palestinian knife attacks on Israelis in the Gush Etzion junction area, the IDF has doubled the number of units securing the area.
Military sources told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the move is part of a wider effort by the Judea and Samaria Division and Central Command to protect civilians from knife terrorism plaguing the Gush Etzion junction very frequently in recent days.
“We are preparing for this wave of terrorism to become prolonged, and we are preparing for the potential of an escalation,” one of the sources said. “We are adjusting the way we activate forces to deal with knife attacks.”
Col. Roman Gofman, commander of the IDF’s Gush Etzion Brigade, issued instructions to step up patrols around a gas station in the area, and at other spots prone to knife attacks.
Concrete blocks have been set up around bus stops and hitchhiking posts, and cameras, which dot the area, help the IDF investigate past incidents and evaluate the security situation.
Beit Hagai mother of eight slashed by terrorist near Gush Etzion junction
A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a mother of eight in the back at the Gush Etzion junction late Wednesday afternoon.
Nirit Zimora, of the Beit Hagai settlement in the South Hebron Hills, was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem with the knife still in her back.
She underwent surgery and was listed in satisfactory condition.
Security forces surrounded and arrested the terrorist. This is the third attack in the Gush Etzion region since Sunday and the second at that junction.
Condition of Gush Etzion stabbing victim improving
Shaare Zedek Medical Center announced Thursday morning a slight improvement in the condition of the woman injured in a stabbing attack outside the Rami Levy supermarket in Gush Etzion.
After being stabbed and moderately wounded by an Arab terrorist Wednesday afternoon, the woman was evacuated to the Jerusalem hospital with the knife still in her back.
The knife's blade was removed from her spine during surgery and she is now being treated in the intensive care unit, in stable condition.
A similar attack occurred Tuesday evening, when a soldier was stabbed by two terrorists at the Gush Etzion Junction.
The 19-year-old was evacuated to Shaare Zedek in moderate condition, with stab wounds to his upper body; the two terrorists were shot dead by security forces on scene.
Hebron: Two knife-wielding Palestinians shot dead in separate incidents
The West Bank town of Hebron was the scene of two separate knife attacks against security forces on Thursday morning, resulting in the shooting deaths both Palestinian assailants.
A Palestinian assailant stabbed and lightly wounded an IDF soldier in the head near a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday morning.
The officer quickly recovered from the attack and chased the assailant who tried to stab a border policeman at the scene.
Another Border Police officer standing nearby shot and killed the knife-wielding assailant, according to a police statement.
The soldier was treated at the scene and transported by Magen David Adom ambulance to the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem.
The attack occurred on the sidelines of a violent clash between Palestinians and security forces near a checkpoint on the road in between the Kiryat Arba settlement and the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Critically Wounded Soldier Regains Consciousness, Recounts Shooting Attacker; Palestinians Praise Terrorist
The Israeli soldier critically wounded in a stabbing attack at an intersection near the West Bank village of Beit Anoun on Monday regained consciousness on Wednesday morning after being in a medically induced coma.
Remarkably, he remembered many of the details of his brush with death, Israeli Channel 2 reported.
From his bed at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Sgt. Gilad described being stabbed and – while bleeding profusely – shooting and killing his attacker.
Hospital staff told Channel 2 that what saved Gilad’s life was the emergency treatment he got from paramedics at the attack site, as well as the swift action of police, who cleared traffic for the ambulance to pass.
According to Channel 2, this was not the first time Gilad’s family has been summoned to the hospital under dire circumstances. Just over a year ago, Gilad’s brother was critically wounded during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, but survived.
The terrorist who stabbed Gilad was later identified as Raed Jaradat. According to Palestinian Media Watch, Jaradat was honored late Monday on the official Facebook page of Fatah, the organization dominating the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.
Suspected Afula terror attack was attempt at suicide by cop, indictment says
According to the indictment, "the background to the incident was the emotional state of the defendant and her prior suicide attempts. She decided to try and commit suicide again, among other reasons because of a romantic relationship that had ended."
The indictment describes how Zidane arrived at the Afula bus station at 1pm on October 9th and "posed as someone committing a stabbing attack with the goal that security personnel would shoot and kill her."
After arriving at the station, Zidane stood next to a group of people – including uniformed soldiers – who were waiting to board buses. She then raised the knife "out in the open, in a threatening manner towards the people standing next to her, but did not stab anyone", the indictment reads.
Zidane then yelled at a group of soldiers "you are terrorists", which the indictment says was "done with the goal of causing them to shoot her dead."
Prosecutors referred to Zidane repeatedly as being dangerous to herself and others, because of her emotional state, and that "she has proven that she will do anything in order to carry out her goals, and will not hesitate to use any means to do so."
PM said to mull establishing a ‘special terror court’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering the establishment of a special court for security matters, he told Knesset members at a meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier this week.
According to a report published Thursday in the Hebrew-language daily Haaretz, the prime minister mentioned the special “terror court” among a list of steps either implemented or being weighed by the government in its attempts to counter Palestinian terrorists in recent weeks.
Several of the MKs at the meeting, the report said, sought clarification from the prime minister on the nature of this new court, but the prime minister did not elaborate.
The court, two MKs quoted anonymously by the paper said, would handle issues such as detention of terror suspects without charges, revocations of citizenship or residency from terrorists, home demolitions, and security offenses such as terror attacks and the funding or abetting of terrorism.
3,000 Moroccans Sign Petition Condemning Incitement to Murder Jews
At least 3,000 Moroccans signed a petition condemning what they said was incitement to murder Jews on full display during a Palestinian solidarity demonstration in Casablanca this week, Egyptian newspaper Youm7 reported on Wednesday.
The petition urged Moroccan authorities to hold rally organizers accountable for the mock executions of Jews and other inciting displays, which it called illegal. Also identified by the petition, which was titled “Moroccan Citizens Gathered Against Incitement to Kill Jews in Morocco,” were demonstrators dressed as Palestinians, with assault rifles pointed at others dressed as Orthodox Jews, and children trampling on the Star of David.
Video footage from the demonstration, reported by The Algemeiner, showed children marching and shouting “Death to Israel!” and “We will sacrifice our soul and our blood to you, Al-Aqsa,” in reference to the holy site also known as the Temple Mount.
Signatories expressed concern about the reaction of Morocco’s Jewish community, which today numbers under 3,000, and said the demonstration had offended many Muslims as well. They said antisemitism threatened the pluralism and tolerance enshrined in Moroccan law.
Hidden camera reveals: Why was a Christian activist expelled from Temple Mount?
The Danish pro-Israel, Temple Mount activist Jane Kiel, also known as Jerusalem Jane, was removed from the Temple Mount by officials of the Jordanian Islamic Waqf that administers the site on Wednesday.
Kiel came to Israel several years ago and says that since then “my destiny, my love, my heart has been here in Israel.”
A frequent visitor to the Temple Mount, Kiel was apprehended at the site on Wednesday by the Waqf official who called out to her by her name Jane.
She was told to leave the site and a colleague who was videoing her visit was told to stop recording and instructed to delete the video.
The officials were clearly familiar with her pro-Israel activism from her online activity on her website and Facebook page.
When Kiel asked why she was being removed, the Waqf official told her it was due to a video she had produced of herself singing the ‘Shema Yisrael” prayer just outside the Dome of the Rock shrine in September.
PA official: Al-Aqsa belongs to us, Israel won't intervene
A senior Palestinian Arab official declared on Wednesday that the Arabs will not allow “the Israeli occupation”, as he put it, to intervene in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, even for the purpose of installing security cameras as agreed upon with Secretary of State John Kerry.
Speaking with Hamas’s Palestine newspaper, the Director of the Department of Islamic Endowments in Jerusalem, Azzam al-Ahmed, stressed that the department receives instructions only from Jordan.
"The Al-Aqsa Mosque, whose area is ​​144 dunams, is under the supervision of the Director of Islamic Endowments, which is part of the Ministry of Religious Endowments in Amman and does not belong to any other party," stressed Ahmed.
Commenting on the prevention of installing security cameras at the Temple Mount compound, Ahmed said, "We installed the cameras according to a directive from Amman. Our position is clear and the position of the Jordanian king and the Jordanian government is clear and that is that the Al-Aqsa Mosque, its management and renovation, are the authority of the Ministry of Religious Endowments and the Department of Religious Endowments in Jerusalem, and not of anyone else, and has no connection to Israel."
"We will in no way allow Israel to intervene on the issue of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or on any other issue,” stressed Ahmed, who continued, "The Al-Aqsa Mosque is sacred, and any harm to it would endanger everyone, and that is a clear red line."
Qatari minister says Israel is 'offending 1.5 billion Muslims'
Qatar’s Foreign Minister on Wednesday ruled out the possibility that his country would cooperate with Israel, accusing the Jewish state of “offending 1.5 billion Muslims”.
Speaking to Al Jazeera and quoted by Haaretz, the minister, Khalid Al Attiyah, said, “I don’t think we are in a position to have any cooperation with Israel at this stage” in the absence of a peace process.
He proceeded to accused Israel of being provocative regarding the status of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
“You are offending 1.5 billion Muslims when you are talking about the Masjid Al Aqsa…and we have raised the flag before,” said Al Attiya, who warned that the current unrest is a "third intifada" that could become "the worst intifada" yet.
“The people who went to the street… [were] born after the Oslo Treaty and they saw there is no hope,” he claimed.
Honest Reporting: Audio: The Violence is Not Random
The New York Times ALMOST got it right in a story about Palestinian terrorism when they said that Palestinian leaders “seemed” to fan the violence and even celebrate the killers. But the PA does not just “seem” to be engaging in incitement — they outright glorify terrorism and promote terrorists as heroes.
Need proof? The Palestinians recently named a street after the man who stabbed two Jews to death in the Old City. Most people have not heard that story because of the media’s failure to cover Palestinian incitement. You can demand they do by signing our petition.
Yarden Frankl on the Mottle Wolfe Show discusses the accuracy of media coverage and what is NOT being covered.
How the Guardian just legitimized a Palestinian conspiracy theory
And, in the Guardian, a report by their Middle East editor Ian Black on Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN Human Rights Council included the following passages:
Shortly after Abbas made his appeal at the UN human rights council in Geneva on Wednesday soldiers shot a Palestinian dead at a security checkpoint in the West Bank town of Hebron, where hundreds of militant Jewish settlers live and there is also strong support for the Islamist movement Hamas.
Maan, the Palestinian news agency, cited unnamed witnesses saying that Israeli troops shot the man 11 times and planted a knife by his corpse. Israel TV reported that he had tried to stab soldiers and had been “neutralised”.

Of course, the only evidence presented in the Maan report – as Black himself acknowledges – are the claims of unnamed activists.
So, was Black, a journalist with decades of experience covering the Middle East, really unable to contextualize the accusation by noting the popularity of such wild conspiracy theories in the region? In Black’s view, are Israeli and Palestinian “claims” regarding the incident in Hebron equally credible? Was his reaction to Palestinian claims about the knife being planted not at all influenced by the plethora of evidence over the last month demonstrating the undeniable reality of dozens of such attacks?
As Sternthal observed in her CAMERA post, the job of journalists covering the region is to deliver facts, not to uncritically repeat, thus legitimizing, unfounded allegations which only serve to reinforce the growing Palestinian incitement industry.
Disturbing themes in BBC coverage of the wave of terror in Israel
Had BBC audiences received comprehensive information over the past four weeks on the topic of the incitement concerning Temple Mount which has been put out by Palestinian Authority sources and officials of the highest level (among others), they might have been able to understand what causes those “deaf ears”.
Likewise, had they been informed of the religious motifs evident in much of that incitement, they would have been better placed to join the dots between the whipping up of anger to a point at which young Palestinians murder Jews on the street in Jerusalem and the murders of cartoonists and Jews in a shop in Paris or a British soldier on a London street.
But of course the topic of the incitement fueling this wave of terror – and in particular that disseminated by the ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority and its ‘secular’ president – has been studiously avoided by the BBC over the last few weeks, except when alluded to briefly using the standard ‘Israel says’ formula. The reason for that is that the religious aspect of this story is one which does not comfortably fit into the BBC’s wider narrative and so it has been consistently sidelined in favour of ‘contextualisation’ featuring ‘occupation’, ‘humiliation’ and ‘failure of the peace process’.
BBC News finds Halloween costume newsworthy – terror victims and missile attack not
If you happen to get your news from the BBC News website, you might be under the false impression that the wave of terror in Israel has come to an end. The last mention of any of the still ongoing attacks came in an article published on October 24th and the last report on incidents appeared on October 22nd. The news that a third victim of the terror attack on a Jerusalem bus on October 13th succumbed to wounds sustained in that attack has not been reported by the BBC.
However, those visiting the BBC News website on October 27th discovered that the corporation has not entirely lost interest in Israel related topics. Whilst ignoring yet another missile attack from the Gaza Strip and several stabbing attacks, editors did find it essential to inform audiences that “Walmart’s Israeli army Halloween costume sparks controversy“.
IsraellyCool: More “Poop” Than “Scoop”: Embarrassing Fail From The Mirror
Emerged online? Hardly! This “scoop” related to an event which is 3 years old – and is none other than the “incident” staged by the Tamimis, which really put Shirley Temper on the map.
Here is what seems to have happened: A pathological Israel hater named CJ Werleman tweeted this on October 22:
Because Israel haters love recycling (in addition to lying and fabricating).
Journalist Elle Griffiths saw this and thought she had the makings of a great story: a real-life, modern day “David and Goliath” story. So she rushed to get it published, without doing the minimum of due diligence.
Like a simple Google search for ‘palestinian girl israeli soldier’. Or a reverse image search.
Heck, Shirley (and her brother) was all over the news recently. How could a journalist miss that?
Why is it that an unpaid blogger like me does such due diligence for everything I publish, yet this journalist does not bother?
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Newsmen Accused Of Witchcraft For Conjuring ‘Witnesses’ (satire)
The official Palestinian news agency Ma’an found itself on the receiving end of sorcery accusations today, following several weeks of instances in which the agency’s reporters created witnesses out of thin air to dispute Israeli reports of Palestinian attacks on Jews.
Prosecutors at the Palestine Office of Public Enforcement confirmed today (Thursday) they are opening an investigation into Ma’an on possible charges of witchcraft. In dozens of cases over the last several weeks, the announcement said, Ma’an has cited numerous eyewitnesses who, apparently by magic, both saw events that video footage and other evidence do not corroborate, and denied the willing participation of Palestinians in any stabbings or other attacks.
Prosecutor Salem Salem detaled for reporters fifteen sample incidents over the last week alone in which Ma’an cited “witnesses” who saw Israeli forces “plant” a knife on or near the body of each neutralized attacker, or who saw Israelis attack or harass the accused attacker before the latter reacted. In every case, said Salem, “We have been unable to confirm the existence of these witnesses through normal human channels, leading us to suspect that Ma’an has conjured those people when reporting on the events, an act that violates our criminal code.”
While Palestinian criminal law is not specifically Islamic, many Islamic sensibilities are incorporated in to the code, among them the ban on all forms of magic. If convicted, the relevant journalists may face penalties as severe as execution, although some legal experts acknowledge the mitigating circumstances of maintaining the national Palestinian image of absolute victimhood vis-à-vis Israel. Editors and other supervisors of the accused persons might also face disciplinary action, but the nature of that action is left to the discretion of the judiciary.
World Health Organization Links Falafel and Hummus to Religious Fanaticism (satire)
Days after releasing a report linking processed meat to cancer, the World Health Organization has unveiled a disturbing new study that examined the dietary habits of individuals from countries around the world and determined that people who consume a high amount of falafel and other chickpea-based food items are at significantly higher risk of being involved in an intractable religious or sectarian conflict.
“Our studies found that test subjects who consumed falafel or hummus three times a week or more were more likely to establish a caliphate, be beheaded due to their belief in a hidden imam, or live in a makeshift trailer in an illegal settlement outpost in the Judean hills out of a heartfelt believe that it’s the will of God,” the WHO noted in their report. “Anyone looking to reduce their risk of such outcomes is urged to consider eliminating ground chickpeas from their diet immediately.”
The revelation came as a shock to many falafel lovers, who were unaware of any connection between consumption of the Middle Eastern street food and religious radicalization.
“I always wondered why, after moving from London to Iraq, my interests began shifting from birdwatching and rap music to beheading Christians and Yazidis,” explained former ISIS member Jihadi John. “Now it all makes sense.”
Saudi Prince Apprehended in Largest Drug Bust in Beirut History
A Saudi Prince and four others were detained at Beirut Airport on Monday on charges that they were trafficking a massive drug supply to customers throughout the region.
Prince Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz, a member of the extensive Saudi Royal Family, and four other unnamed Saudi citizens attempted “to smuggle about two tons of Captagon pills and some cocaine” through Beirut Airport, a Lebanese security source told AFP.
“The smuggling operation is the largest one that has been foiled through the Beirut International Airport” in the nation’s history, the unnamed source added.
Captagon is a brand name for fenethylline, a popular drug that has been consumed by individuals fighting in the Syrian civil war. It is used as a stimulant for the militants on the ground, who have been engaged in an ongoing war since 2011.
The giant supply of drugs was being loaded onto a private jet for transport into Saudi Arabia, the unnamed official said, adding that the five Saudis were still being held for questioning, according to the report.
Saudis Admit 'Mistake' in Bombing Doctors Without Borders in Yemen
While the Obama administration deals with the fallout from bombing a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan, the Saudis have a similar situation on their hands in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against Iran-backed Houthi insurgents.
The organization, also known by the acronym MSF after its French name Medicins Sans Frontieres, claims that five airstrikes from the Saudi coalition struck its clinic in the Haydan district in Yemen’s northern province of Saada. A spokeswoman told CNN the facility serves 200,000 people in the area and has treated 3,400 casualties since May.
According to the CNN report, officials from the Yemeni Health Ministry confirmed the bombing, while claiming that “most of the victims treated there were ordinary civilians and that the facility treats very few families or relatives of Houthi loyalists.”
The head of the MSF project in Yemen, Hassan Bourcenine, told the New York Times that “the hospital was hit by several airstrikes while roughly a dozen patients and staff members were inside. The operating theater and maternity ward were struck. The staff evacuated the hospital between strikes, and one staff member was slightly injured in the escape.”
Jailed, flogged Saudi blogger wins EU rights prize
Raif Badawi was honored with the award as a symbol of the fight for freedom of speech — an announcement greeted with a standing ovation Thursday at the European Parliament assembly in Strasbourg, France.
“I urge the king of Saudi Arabia to free him, so he can accept the prize,” Parliament President Martin Schulz said.
Schulz described Badawi as “an extremely good man, an exemplary man who has had imposed on him one of the most gruesome penalties that exist in this country, which can only be described as brutal torture.”
Badawi is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of insulting Islam and breaking Saudi Arabia’s technology laws with his liberal blog. He also was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, spread over 20 installments, and fined $266,000. The flogging has been suspended since he received 50 lashes in January, a punishment that sparked international outrage.
Western governments have condemned Badawi’s treatment, and rights groups including Amnesty International have campaigned for his release.
Spoiler: Benny Gantz wasn’t captured by Iraqi forces
Rumors that a high-ranking IDF officer had been captured while working alongside Islamic State forces began circulating on the Internet last week, beginning on assorted websites dedicated almost solely to starting and perpetuating conspiracy theories and later being picked up by the Iranian government’s official mouthpiece Fars news.
An Israeli brigadier general or colonel — the reports vary — from the Golani Brigade named Yussi Elon Shahak was allegedly caught by Iraqi forces, the websites claim.
“The Zionist officer is ranked colonel and had participated in the Takfiri ISIL group’s terrorist operations,” the Fars News Agency claimed an Iraqi commander said.
The assertion was backed up with a photograph of the offending officer and turned into a readily sharable graphic, which was promptly shared on Facebook and Twitter.
In fact, the photograph does not show a brigadier general or a colonel, the man in it is not named Yussi Shahak and all of the so-called proof offered falls apart almost immediately when held up to any level of scrutiny.
While no discerning person could believe the bogus claim, for the sake of thoroughness The Times of Israel has broken down the allegations, as presented by the conspiracy theorizers, fact by fact for your enlightenment and entertainment:

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 22,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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