Saturday, November 21, 2015

From Ian:

Teen girl among 4 wounded in stabbing attack in Kiryat Gat
A 13-year-old girl was among four people stabbed in a terror attack in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat on Saturday evening, Israel Police reported.
A manhunt is currently underway for at least one assailant who stabbed the four people in a rampage beginning outside a soccer stadium in the city, before fleeing the area.
The attacker is believed to have been injured after being hit by a car while fleeing, according to Hebrew media reports.
Police were looking into the possibility that there was more than one assailant. A police helicopter arrived on the scene to aid in the search.
“It appears as though there was one attacker, but we always investigate the possibility that others were involved,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri told The Times of Israel
Residents of Kiryat Gat have been told to stay indoors for the moment, police said.
Douglas Murray: Of Two Minds About a Singular Peril
Two parts of the same brain. The first tells us that to be properly “European” we must allow anyone who wants to come here to come here; we must be against borders and for multiculturalism. The other part of the brain watches and waits. It can see that the new arrivals are not only coming in unprecedented numbers but are bringing unprecedented problems. The first part of the brain pretends they will assimilate and that given time Islam will go through its own “reformation”. The second part of the brain starts to realise that we may not have that time.
What will be the long-term effects of this? I would suggest that, as noted scholar of Islam Daniel Pipes has pointed out, the European publics will migrate further and further to the political right. And in reaction the European political class will migrate further and further to the left. You can already see it. In Sweden one liberal newspaper editor responded to the latest polling triumphs by the until-recently pariah Sweden Democrats by saying that he would be happy to flood Sweden with ISIS fighters in order to punish the Swedish electorate for voting for the Sweden Democrats. That isn’t such an unusual instinct. It is the same instinct that made one female refugee aid-worker and her colleagues hush up her recent rape at the hands of some recent arrivals. They feared that mentioning the rape might exacerbate anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe. This instinct fears that the European publics are far-Right extremists just waiting to break out, and the sad irony is that only by treating them in such a way for such a long time could anyone ever make them so.
The part of our brain that has fallen for the myths all these years has pushed restrictions on speech and behaviour and it is pushing them now. Sitting beside Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN lunch the other week in New York, Chancellor Merkel was heard by a microphone that was still live asking Zuckerberg what he was doing to stop Europeans writing anti-immigration things on Facebook. “We’re working on it,” was his reply.
And so we see the manner in which our continent will blow—restricting legitimate concerns and dismissing honest fears as dishonest bigotries. The only good news is that this suicidal part of our European mind, which has been the dominant part for several decades now, is beginning to lose ground to the part of the brain that still has some survival instinct. Perhaps it will succeed in wrestling back our collective mind. Perhaps it will be too late. What is certain is that after the dead of Paris are mourned the European publics will ask of their politicians why they have spent years setting the scene for just such attacks to happen. After the firebombing of Charlie Hebdo’s offices the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, criticised the magazine’s publication of cartoons of Mohammed, saying, “Is it really sensible to pour oil on the fire?”
The European publics are beginning to ask, “Who made our societies into this fire?” There will be many physical casualties to come. But the next political casualties should be the entire political class who fed us lies for years because they themselves would not face up to some bitter truths.
Maajid Nawaz: ISIS Is Just One of a Full-Blown Global Jihadist Insurgency
As for my fellow Muslims, many have pushed back against the call to address Islamism head on and refute it by asking why they should apologize for something that they have little or nothing to do with. Again, this is an incredibly unhelpful and inconsistent rebuttal to what is everyone’s social duty. Just as we Muslims expect others to speak up and defend us against anti-Muslim bigotry—even, and especially if, they are not Muslim—likewise we must speak up against Islamist theocracy. It is not only our duty but the least we can do to reciprocate the solidarity we rightly expect from our fellow citizens.
Our political leaders have been restricting the definition of this problem to whichever jihadist group is causing them the biggest headache at the present time, while ignoring the fact that they are all borne of the same Islamist ideology. Before ISIS emerged, the U.S. State Department strangely took to naming the problem “al Qaeda-inspired extremism,” even though it was not al Qaeda that inspired the radicalism. Rather, Islamist extremism inspired al Qaeda. And in turn, ISIS did not radicalize those 6,000 European Muslims who have traveled to join them, nor the thousands of supporters the French now say they are monitoring.
This did not happened overnight and could not have emerged from a vacuum. ISIS propaganda is good, but not that good. No, decades of Islamist propaganda in communities had already primed these young Muslims to yearn for a theocratic caliphate. When surveyed, 33 percent of British Muslims expressed a desire to resurrect a caliphate. ISIS simply plucked the low-hanging fruit, which had been seeded long ago by various Islamist groups, and it will now require decades of community resilience to push back. But we cannot even begin to do so until we recognize the problem for what it is. Welcome to the full-blown global jihadist insurgency.

Ben-Dror Yemini: Fear has engulfed Europe
If France wanted to really make a difference, it should have clamped down on the radicals a long time ago, just like Israel should have banned Raed Salah, and the other supporters of destruction and bloodshed, a long time ago. But it didn't happen because the belief that "we need to let them blow off steam" is as common in Europe as it is in Israel.
We have to admit: In communities where Chalghoumi and his like are outcasts, and Tariq Ramadan and Raed Salah are heroes - the fight against jihad is far from over. Where intellectuals from the forces of progress show understanding towards and justify terrorism - and that happens a bit too often in the free world, including in Israel - the fight against jihad becomes much harder.
Europe is entering a new era. It's a bit more anxious than Israel, which is already accustomed to such situations. It reminds me of a quote from American intellectual Sam Harris: "The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet." It's not just that the Europeans have yet to realize it. In Israel, as well, we have to admit, there are those who insist on not realizing it.
Brendan O'Neill: After Paris: where’s our fire?
Tariq Ali revealed the thinking of London’s leftish, bookish classes when, after Paris, he said on Verso’s website that ‘the West is NOT morally superior to the jihadis’ (his capitals). This is not an isolated view. Let’s not forget that Obama himself recently said of Islamist violence that we in the West should get off ‘our high horse’ and remember the ‘terrible deeds’ we committed ‘during the Crusades and the Inquisition’. The West cannot meaningfully fight ISIS, not because it lacks weapons, but because it lacks moral resources; because it does not believe in itself, or its anthems, or its values or history.
In earlier times, something like ISIS would have been a perfect, much-welcomed foil for Western liberalism. Today, Western liberal traditions are in such a parlous state that our leaders cannot even contrast themselves convincingly, in a sustained, more-than-lip-service way, against a group like ISIS. People say ISIS cannot defeat the West, and they’re right. But this misses the point. It is the already existing sense of defeatism in the West, our defeat of ourselves through the abandonment of Enlightenment ideals and the embrace of the cults of relativism and historic self-loathing, which actually fuels ISIS and invites them to assault us.
It’s not defeat by ISIS we should be worried about; it’s Western self-defeat. Many say a strong response to Paris would have unpredictable consequences, and that’s true. But not responding has consequences, too. Serious ones. It advertises our societies’ moral frailty and emboldens the enemy. We should be angry about Paris. In fact, many of us are furious. Are you? Then let’s start a fire; a raging moral, intellectual fire.
Bassam Tawil: More Palestinian and Western Mistakes
The Palestinian "victims" -- victims of their own credulousness -- are known as shuhadaa, martyrs for the sake of Allah, victims of the misconception that Allah wants us to die for him. But Allah forbids us to murder. Muhammad forbids us to murder. The Qur'an forbids us to murder.
Europeans, in general, obviously want the Jews dead -- so long as the murder cannot be traced back to them. They seem to be hoping that their boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, combined with Arab and Iranian "hit men," will do the job for them.
Also tragically, it has taken Mahmoud Abbas too long to realize that the ultimate objective of Hamas, the local representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood, after killing Israelis, is to have this violence cost the Palestinian Authority its existence in the West Bank. There, they openly plan to set up another Islamic emirate, like the one in the Gaza Strip.
The knife-wielding Palestinian children -- and the other young people who commit murder -- are also not a spontaneous occurrence. They do not simply "spring" full-blown from "imperialism," "Syrian bombings" or an "endangered Al-Aqsa." They are the product of a careful, methodical, ongoing tactic of brainwashing about how glorious it is to become a shaheed [martyr] by murdering.
We do need to liberated, but not from the people you think. We do not need help being liberated from Israel, which, even if it is harsh, has always been fair to us, but from the self-satisfied diplomats even now -- in our name -- swanning down the glossy halls of Europe.
Amnesty International: Palestinian Terror Attacks ‘Reprehensible and Unjustified’
The human rights organization Amnesty International—which is known for its harsh criticism of Israel—strongly condemned the spate of Palestinian terror attacks on Israeli civilians over the past week, saying the attacks “displayed a clear contempt for human life.”
“Deliberately attacking civilians is contrary to one of the most fundamental principles of international law and can never be justified,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.
On Thursday, Palestinian terrorists killed five people—including three Israelis, an American yeshiva student, and a Palestinian—in attacks in Gush Etzion and Tel Aviv.
Amnesty, however, also condemned Israel for its “pattern of unlawful killings, including extrajudicial executions, by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians and a series of attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian civilians and homes over the past two months.”
Palestinian woman arrested with knife at Hebron security post
A 27-year-old Palestinian woman was arrested Saturday morning near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron, on suspicion of planning to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli security forces at the site.
The woman sparked suspicion from Border Police troops and Judea and Samaria district police at the post, when she continued to approach them after they asked her to stop, Channel 2 television reported.
The police officers overpowered the woman, and found a knife in her possession. The woman was taken in for questioning.
A similar incident occurred Friday, when police at the site arrested a Palestinian teenager also suspected of planning a stabbing attack. The 15-year-old raised suspicions of Border Police officers stationed next to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Channel 10 television reported, and was detained at gunpoint after failing to heed a command to stop.
A security check revealed that the youth had a knife in his possession, leading police to believe that he had been planning to carry out an attack. He was held for questioning.
Israel shuts down Palestinian radio station in Hebron for incitement
Israel Security Forces stormed a Palestinian radio station in Hebron early Saturday morning, claiming it had incited its listeners to harm Israeli civilians, according to Palestinian daily Ma'an.
In a joint military operation conducted by the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Civil Administration, security personnel shuttered al-Khalil (Hebron Radio), confiscating equipment and leaving a warrant ordering the station closed for six months.
“The action was taken after broadcasts containing incitement were aired by the station,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The al-Khalil radio station has repeatedly broadcasted content which promotes and encourages terror and acts of violence against Israeli civilians and security forces,” the statement added.
In a similar operation conducted earlier this month, Israeli military forces operating in the Palestinian areas of the West Bank shut down a Fatah-affiliated radio station alleged to have broadcast incitement-filled content.
East Jerusalem man arrested for making, selling explosives to terrorists
Police announced on Friday morning that it arrested an Arab-Israeli for creating explosive devices and selling them to terrorists for use in the Hebron area.
The suspect, a resident of the capital's Shuafat Refugee Camp, was arrested on Monday near Ma'aleh Adumim.
Last month, police arrested two Palestinians in the Ma'aleh Adumim area who hid one of the devices in their car that was allegedly made by the Jerusalem man. Another five Palestinians were arrested at the beginning of the month in the same area when another device made by the man was found hidden in the taxi they were riding in.
The devices were probably meant for use against Israeli security forces operating in Hebron or surrounding areas, police said.
The suspect is the owner of a mechanics garage in the camp where he made the bombs in his shop, police said.
Who Killed Five Yesterday? CNN Won't Say "Palestinian attacker."
In two articles about terror attacks that killed an American teen and several others yesterday, CNN assiduously avoided telling readers the identity of the attacker.
This seems to be a selective problem at CNN. The network had no trouble mentioning that “Jewish extremists” were thought to be responsible for a deadly arson in Duma recently. And after a gang of teens beat up a Palestinian in Jerusalem several years ago, CNN mentioned Jewishness no less than six times in one article.
But when Palestinian terrorists killed five people yesterday in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, seemingly decided its reporting, and its readers, don’t need such detail. Having initially ignored the two fatal attacks, the news organization finally covered the story. But it pinned the West Bank attack on an “unidentified gunman.” And about the Tel Aviv attack, it mentioned only that “two people” — meaning two Jews — “were killed,” with the passive voice covering up the Palestinian identity of the attacker.
If the Jewish identity of attackers was relevant in those earlier reports — it was relevant, and was one of the basic five Ws of the story — then the Palestinian identity of yesterday’s attackers are equally relevant.
Foreign Ministry reveals name of Israeli killed in Mali terror attack
The name of the Israeli that was killed in the Mali terror attack Friday was released for publication by the Foreign Ministry Saturday afternoon.
Condolences to the family of Shmuel (Sammy) Benalal were conveyed by the ministry after they confirmed his death earlier in the day. Benalal was in Mali on business when the attack occurred that saw 19 people murdered.
A former government consultant on education, Benalal recently served as the CEO of the Telos Group Ltd., a private consulting firm that specialized in international development of education in third world countries.
Born in Venezuela, Benalal, 58, made aliya as a youth and later settled with his wife and three children near Jerusalem in Tzur Hadassah.
Benalal's had also been a faculty member at the Mandel School for Educational Leadership, where he taught and wrote curriculum. He had also served as an advisor and wrote curriculum at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem .
His background also included having previously worked as a headmaster of a Jewish school in Mexico.
The Foreign Ministry also said that one Israeli was rescued in the aftermath of the attack.
Family of Israeli killed in Mali terror attack ‘stunned’ by death
Benalal, who worked as an educator with the Mandel Foundation charity and as a consultant to various governments around the world, leaves behind a wife and three children.
“We are shocked and in pain. We hope all the relevant bodies are working to bring him back to us as soon as possible,” the family said in a statement, according to Channel 2.
A friend of the victim said Benalal was “a man you couldn’t help but love.
“He tried to help Third World countries, to better their education systems and give hope to young people,” Tzvi Raviv told Ynet.
“I lost a very good friend, he was like a brother,” Raviv said.
Another Israeli citizen, who was not named, was rescued by security forces, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
The siege ended after some nine hours when local and French special forces carried out a dramatic floor-by-floor rescue, according to local television and security sources. The assault was claimed by al-Qaeda affiliate the al-Mourabitoun group, led by notorious one-eyed Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar.
UN Security Council votes unanimously to destroy Islamic State
The resolution says the Islamic State group “constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security” and expresses the council’s determination “to combat by all means this unprecedented threat.”
The measure is the 14th terrorism-related resolution adopted by the UN’s most powerful body since 1999.
It was adopted a week after violent extremists launched a coordinated gun and bomb assault that killed 130 people in Paris which the Islamic State claims it carried out. It also comes eight days after twin suicide bombings in Beirut killed 43 people, and three weeks after a Russian airliner crashed over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula killing all 224 people on board — both attacks also claimed by IS.
The resolution “unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms” these and earlier “horrifying terrorist attacks” carried out by the Islamic State this year in Sousse, Tunisia and Ankara, Turkey.
The resolution calls on UN member states “that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures” against the Islamic State group and all other violent extremist groups “to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria.”
This does not constitute an authorization for military action, however, because the resolution is not drafted under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter which is the only way the United Nations can give a green light to the use of force.
The resolution urges UN member states “to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing on terrorism.”
Surveillance led police to suspected Paris terrorists’ hideout
A Belgian jihadi suspected of masterminding the deadly attacks in Paris last week was traced to a suburban apartment building, where he was later killed in a police raid, after security forces learned of his whereabouts while listening in on phone conversations of his female suspected accomplice, Reuters reported Saturday.
According to Reuters, following a series of attacks in Paris, which left at least 129 people dead and hundreds more wounded, police focused their efforts on Hasna Ait Boulahcen, a 26-year-old woman who was already under surveillance for a drug-related investigation.
Ait Boulahcen was known to have ties to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, 27, suspected of orchestrating the Paris attacks. Phone surveillance revealed that Ait Boulahcen was residing in a building in Saint-Denis, and investigators were able to determine that Abaaoud, originally believed to be in Syria, was in fact in France and staying with the woman at the suburban apartment.
Both Abaaoud and Ait Boulahcen were killed in a chaotic and bloody seven-hour raid on the Saint-Denis apartment on Wednesday. Abaaoud was identified based on skin samples. Ait Boulahcen was initially believed to have blown herself up during the raid, but investigators later determined that she had not detonated an explosive device and herself and was probably killed during the shootout.
Eight more people were arrested during and after the raid.
Members of the BRI, a special unit of the French Police, at work in the northern Paris suburb of Saint-Denis, on November 18, 2015, as French Police special forces raid an apartment, hunting those behind the attacks that claimed 129 lives in the French capital five days ago. (AFP/ Kenzo Tribouillard)
On Wednesday, Paris prosecutor Francis Molins said that investigators found a cell phone in a garbage can outside the Bataclan concert hall in eastern Paris where 89 of the victims of Friday’s carnage died. It contained a text message sent about 20 minutes after the massacre began. “We’re off, it’s started,” it read.
Molins said investigators were still trying to identify the recipient of the message.
French authorities have said most of the Friday terrorists — five have been identified so far — were unknown to them.
But two US officials said that many, though not all, of those identified were on the US no-fly list.
Turkey arrests ‘scout’ for Paris attacks, local media says
Turkey’s state-run news agency said Saturday that authorities have detained three suspected Islamic State militants, including a 26-year-old Belgian of Moroccan descent believed to have scouted out the locations for the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
The Anadolu Agency said early Saturday that the two Syrians and the Belgian national — identified as Ahmet D. — were detained near the Turkish coastal city of Antalya. It says they were detained on suspicion of “aiding and abetting” the Islamic State group.
The private Dogan news agency identified the Belgian as Ahmet Dahmani, said he is suspected of having explored areas in Paris that were attacked last week.
Dogan said Dahmani was detained in a police raid at his hotel. Officials could not immediately be reached for confirmation.
Belgium’s national Crisis Center has raised its terrorism alert to its highest level in the Brussels region. The center announced on its website it had elevated the threat to Level 4, which indicates a “serious and immediate threat.”
Fingerprints now reveal that TWO of the Paris suicide bombers had entered Europe through Greece a month before the attacks
Fingerprints have revealed that two of the Stade de France suicide bombers had entered Europe through Greece last month.
Three jihadists blew themselves up outside the ground, as part of a number of attacks in Paris which killed 130 people.
Two of the bombers were Ahmed al Mohammad and Bilal Hafdi. The third person has not been identified.
At least one suicide bomber had a ticket to the Stade de France and wanted to enter the stadium before exploding, but was rejected by a security officer.
Thousands of fans ran onto the pitch at the country's national stadium after the explosions went off.
It has now emerged that two of the ISIS militants were checked by Greek authorities on October 3, according to prosecutors in the French capital.
BRUSSELS LOCKDOWN: City cites precise info on Paris-like attack threat
Americans in Belgium were ordered “to shelter in place” Saturday after local authorities warned that the threat of a terrorist attack in the country’s capital is serious and imminent.
The U.S. Embassy in Brussels also ordered American citizens to remain at home as the city was placed on lockdown in response to the terrorist threat. The national crisis center raised its terrorism alert Saturday to its highest level as Belgian police continued to search for a suspect in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
In a statement on its website Saturday the embassy informed Americans that “if you must go out, avoid large crowds.”
The warning also urged U.S. citizens to “exercise caution in public transportation systems, sporting events, residential areas, business offices, shopping malls and other tourist destinations.”
Belgian leaders raised the terrorism alert to Level 4, which indicates a “serious and immediate threat.”
Jordan's King Abdullah: This Is a War 'Within Islam'
President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton can't bring themselves to publicly acknowledge that Islam and "Muslims" are inextricably linked to terrorism. Remarkably, however, one Muslim world leader has no problem in speaking openly about the war "within Islam."
Speaking at a press conference in Kosovo Tuesday, Jordan's King Abdullah admonished that we are about to enter a "Third World War" if the civilized world does not "act fast to tackle" ISIS and other interconnected terrorist threats.
"We are facing a Third World War against humanity and this is what brings us all altogether," he said. "The atrocious Paris attacks shows that scourge of terrorism can strike anywhere and any time."
While King Abdullah has previously stated that terrorists twist his faith to suit their genocidal agenda, he has also been open in admitting that terrorism is an Islamic problem and thus it is incumbent upon Muslims to deal with it.
First Time Since Nazi-Era: Germany Considers Deploying Military to Man Streets
Here's irony for you. Rather than deal with the problem properly from the beginning for fear of being labeled "racist," Germany, overrun by terror-threats, now must resort to Nazi-era measures in order to keep its citizenry safe.
According to the Telegraph and other reports circulating, Germany is now on the verge of deploying its military to man the country's streets -- a tactic not taken since World War II.
That should bode well for their PR-campaign.
German Ministers reportedly broached the sensitive subject following Tuesday evening's bomb threat outside a soccer stadium in Hanover. The scheduled match between Germany and Holland was canceled after intelligence information surfaced signaling a potential terror attack in the area. Terrorists planed to detonate multiple explosives around the city, including at the stadium where Chancellor Angela Merkel was slated to be in attendance.
Now the country is debating if it should send in the troops.
Erdogan Rebukes Fans Who Boo Greek Anthem, Not Moment of Silence for Paris
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the boos and cries of “allahu akbar” from Turkish fans at a soccer game against Greece this week, chiding fans for booing the Greek national anthem but not mentioning that fans also appeared to boo a moment of silence for the victims of last week’s terror attacks in Paris.
“We are not a nation that is intolerant to the extent of not being able to display respect to the national anthem of a country,” Erdogan said in an interview on Turkish television on Thursday, calling the incident “incredible,” and asking, “How would we regard it if others had done the same to us?”
During a Turkish-Greek soccer game in Turkey this week, which Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had been hoping to use to promote friendship between the two countries, inviting Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to enjoy the event alongside his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish fans booed their opposition and, it appeared, the victims of an ISIS-coordinated terror attack in Paris on November 13. The fans chanted, “Allahu akbar” and booed through both the Greek national anthem and a moment of silence for victims. They also chanted nationalist slogans like, “Martyrs never die, the country will never be divided,” commonly heard in rallies against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Erdogan did not mention the moment of silence; he only condemned the boos against Greece. “We are having a friendly game and they [Greek people] are guests in our country. The Turkish nation would not do this to its guests, no matter who they are,” he concluded.
'Huge Differences' Go Unmentioned in Reporting on Syrian Refugees
Recent coverage by major news media outlets comparing Syrian refugees seeking entry into the United States to Jewish refugees attempting to flee Nazi Germany has failed to highlight key differences between the two situations.
Washington Post “World View” columnist Ishaan Tharoor claims there are similarities between Syrians fleeing both dictator Bashar al Assad and ISIS, a Sunni Muslim terror group and German Jewish refugees who attempted to flee Hitler’s Germany in the 1930’s (“Just say no to refugees? We’ve been here before,” Nov. 18, 2015).
Tharoor, whose analyses regarding Jews and Israel are too often superficial (see “Washington Post Blogger Mystified by Iran Deal and Much More,” July 30, 2015, CAMERA), here correctly states that Jews seeking entry into the United States faced “skepticism or unveiled bigotry.” “Popular sentiment in Western Europe and the United States,” the blogger says, “was largely indifferent to the plight of German Jews.”
Tharoor says that this “mood” is “worth remembering” when talking about the current debate over letting Syrian refugees into the United States, who are, similar to the Jews of 1930s Europe, fleeing a region engulfed in turmoil. Going beyond drawing a comparison, the blogger says: “Today’s 3-year-old Syrian orphan, it seems is 1939’s German Jewish child.”
Although the Post blogger is correct that there is a prejudice today against admitting large numbers of Syrian refugees, the vast majority of whom do not pose any greater security threat than any other refugees, and that there was similar reaction against Jewish immigrants in the 1930s and 1940s—the comparison is also disingenuous.
Conceding that “there are huge historical and contextual differences between then and now,” Tharoor fails to elaborate on these for his readers.
Official Green Party Spokesman: ISIS Funded By Rothschilds
A stunning intervention into the realm of geopolitics from the Green Party, whose conspiracy theorist foreign affairs spokesman has told the BBC that ISIS are funded by the Rothschilds. Loony ex-Labour MP Tony Clarke told 5Live:
“There are British oil companies such as Genel Energy, run by Nathaniel Rothschild, one of George Osborne’s friends, who are making money, who are buying oil from ISIS, who are putting money into the pot, allowing ISIS therefore to fuel their evil across the world.”
That’s right, apparently it was “the Jews” all along.
City AM report that the Green Party have been forced to retract their official spokesman’s statement and apologise:
“The Green Party and Tony Clarke apologise to Genel Energy for this false statement, which they have withdrawn and have undertaken not to repeat. The Green Party and Tony Clarke wish to publicly retract this statement and accept it to be untrue and without foundation. Genel Energy… is not, and never has been, a purchaser of oil from anyone.”
The BBC have also had to edit the programme on iPlayer to get rid of his defamatory comments. If the Greens do the decent thing and boot Clarke out, he can always rejoin Labour…
Thousands of Iranian soldiers stage mock siege of Temple Mount
Constructing a plastic replica of the al-Aksa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, Iranian media reports tens of thousands of soldiers staged exercises dubbed 'Towards the Holy City."
Thousands of Iranian paramilitary forces participated in mock drills and exercises simulating the capture of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported Friday.
Constructing a plastic replica of the al-Aksa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, "tens of thousands of soldiers" conducted staged exercises dubbed "Towards the Holy City."
The Fars report added that the drills involved over 120 Basij battalions, in which fighter-jets bombed targets in the dessert and dozens of gun-wielding squadrons representing IDF soldiers guarding the shrine replica.
Fars quoted one Basij commander as saying the drills were organized "to exercise preparedness to fight against possible threats in the region.”
Palestinian Poet Sentenced to Death in Saudi Arabia for Renouncing Islam
A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a Palestinian poet to death for apostasy, abandoning his Muslim faith, according to trial documents seen by Human Rights Watch, its Middle East researcher Adam Coogle said on Friday.
Ashraf Fayadh was detained by the country’s religious police in 2013 in Abha, in southwest Saudi Arabia, and then rearrested and tried in early 2014.
The verdict of that court sentenced him to four years in prison and 800 lashes but after appeal another judge passed a death sentence on Fayadh three days ago, said Coogle.
Petition launched defending UT-Austin Israel Studies Prof. against smear campaign
Ugly false accusations made by anti-Israel students.
The organized smear campaign against UT-Austin Israel Studies professor Ami Pedahzur continues unabated.
For those of you who are new to the story, the UT-Austin Palestine Solidarity Committee invaded an Israel Studies event hosted by Prof. Pedahzur (possibly in violation of the campus code), refused either to participate in the event or leave, and instead disrupted the event, ending in shouts of “Free, Free Palestine” and “Long Live the Intifada.” The disruption was led by UT-Austin law student Mohammed Nabulsi.
According to what he wrote afterwards, when Prof. Pedahzur learned after the event that two of the leaders of the disruption used online aliases of known terrorist names, he became concerned that the aggressive behavior posed a risk of escalation that worried him, particularly in light of the Paris terrorist attacks. Nabulsi has written of the need for the anti-Israel boycott movement to support Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other “resistance” groups.
The students then created an edited video purporting to show the protesters as the victims, and launched a public relations and legal campaign against Prof. Pedahzur, including a “civil rights” complaint with the University.
Numerous anti-Israel groups, such as U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and Palestine Legal issued supportive statements. Glenn Greewald tweeted out a column from the Electronic Intifada accusing Prof. Pedahzur of “assault.”
Last night a column was posted at student-run The Daily Texan by one of its associate editors, Adam Hamze, accusing Prof. Pedahzur of Islamophobia, Israeli professor must be held accountable for islamophobic comments:
US anthropological association moves closer to Israel boycott
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) on Friday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. If it receives final approval from the full 10,000-strong membership early next year, the embargo will apply to all institutions, but not individuals.
The resolution calling for the boycott passed by an overwhelming 1,040 votes in favor and 136 against, at a meeting in Denver on Friday night.
US Jewish newspaper the Forward said the resolution was sponsored by academics from Columbia University and Tufts, as well as other US educational institutes, and will bar the AAA from “formal collaborations or other relationships with Israeli academic institutions.” But, the Forward said, there are currently no such collaborations between Israeli bodies and the AAA. The boycott also means that Israeli institutions will be unable to access the AAA’s database of anthropology.
According to US website Inside Higher Ed, the resolution stresses the distinction between individuals and institutions, and states that “Israeli scholars will still be welcome to participate in AAA meetings, use funds from their institutions to attend the meetings, publish in AAA journals and take part in other AAA activities in their individual capacities. The boycott does not preclude communication and collaboration with individual Israeli scholars.”
The resolution will be presented for final approval in a further vote in the coming months, Israel’s Ynet news website reported.
In Berlin, Europe’s biggest department store takes settlement goods off shelves
Berlin’s largest department store has pulled several Israeli goods from its shelves following a European Union rule outlawing “Made in Israel” tags on products made in West Bank Jewish settlements or in the Golan Heights.
A spokesperson for KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) clarified, however, that the goods would once again be sold by the store after they are labeled in accordance with the new EU guidelines.
“We have taken the corresponding [Israeli] products out from our line of goods,” KaDeWe spokeswoman Petra Fladenhofer told German newspaper Der Spiegel. “We will, after appropriate labeling, put them back in our product line.”
KaDeWe, established in 1907 by a Jewish businessman, is the largest department store in continental Europe, serving tens of thousands of customers each day. In 1927, KaDeWe was purchased by a Jewish family business enterprise and was later boycotted by the Nazis, who finally seized the store in 1933. The department store reopened after World War II and is currently owned by a Thai company.
The EU rule on the labeling of West Bank and Golan Heights goods has triggered a fierce backlash from the Israeli government as well as opposition leaders. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the 28-nation bloc’s ruling as “hypocritical” and accused the EU of double standards. One of his cabinet members called the rule “disguised anti-Semitism.”
Polish Prosecutors Announce Probe of Anti-Refugee Rally Over Burning Effigy of Orthodox Jew
Prosecutors said they launched a probe of Wednesday’s demonstration, attended by dozens at a portable stage in front of city hall, at the request of Wroclaw Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz.
According to a spokeswoman for the prosecutors, investigators were trying to determine whether protesters broke the law by publicly insulting people based on ethnicity, race, religion or nationality — which is punishable in Poland by up to three years in prison, according to the report.
Jonny Daniels, founder and executive director of Holocaust education initiative From the Depths, said the incident marked a pattern of antisemitic incidents in the country, which he said are often ignored by the authorities.
“Unfortunately, this incident is following a pattern of antisemitic events in Poland that are simply not being taken seriously by the authorities,” he said. “You have antisemitic graffiti all over major cities like Kraków and antisemitic chants at football games and none of these are ever dealt with.”
“Poland needs to deal harshly with these acts of racism, be it, from the smallest incident to the burning of an effigy, because unfortunately as we’ve seen in the past when right wing extremists demonize a race and jokingly burn an effigy of them, it doesn’t take too long until they start burning actual people,” he told the Algemeiner.
Germany withdraws Eurovision contender after uproar on anti-Semitic, homophobic lyrics
Germany withdrew its contender for next year's Eurovision song contest on Saturday following a backlash from critics who accuse the R&B artist of using anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs in his songs.
Xavier Naidoo, a singer of Indian and African heritage whose albums have sold millions, was selected as Germany's candidate by public broadcaster ARD on Thursday, but the uproar in newspapers and social media prompted a swift change of heart.
"Xavier Naidoo is a wonderful singer who isn't racist or homophobic in my view," ARD executive Thomas Schreiber said in a statement. "It was clear that he is someone who polarizes but the ferocity of the reactions surprised us. We misjudged."
Top-selling newspaper Bild questioned the choice of Naidoo on its front page on Friday. Anetta Kahane, founder of well-known anti-racism group the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, described his selection as "problematic".
New Australian partnerships for The Technion
The Technion in Haifa has signed Memoranda of Understanding with Macquarie University in Sydney and the University of Western Australia ...
“The Technion, Israel’s foremost high-tech, scientific and engineering university, is continuing to build collaboration with other leading universities throughout the world,” said Technion Australia president Dr Ruth Ratner.
“With its track record in innovation and particularly through its alumni, entrepreneurship, the Technion is a hotly sought after partner by the world’s leading universities. It receives two requests each day and as a relatively small university (13,000 students and 600 faculty) it has had to become selective in choosing partners.”
“In this context, for the Technion to sign agreements with two Australian universities within 6 months is a testimonial to the quality of research at these universities and a reflection of the high esteem that each holds for the other,” she said.
Both agreements facilitate student exchange and academic exchange as well as research collaboration.
Jewish Philanthropist Treats 400 U.S. Soldiers to a Quality Meal
In the true spirit of tzedakah, and the Jewish propensity to feed everything that moves, Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and philanthropist (and Mir Yeshiva grad) Shlomo Rechnitz jumped at the opportunity to buy hearty meals for an army of 400 on Wednesday. During a stopover in Shannon, Ireland, on his way to visit Israel, Rechnitz, a healthcare businessman and serial do-gooder in the Jewish community, noticed hundreds of U.S. soldiers noshing, on, well, pretty shvach provisions. Rechnitz wanted to provide them with an upgrade, and after negotiating with their commander, he gifted up to $50 for each solider to use at a restaurant of their choosing.
Beaming with gratitude, Rechnitz thanked the soldiers for protecting him, his family, and Israel. “I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he told the troops, to a standing ovation.
“I’ll take it off my taxes, don’t worry,” Rechnitz added, jokingly. Seems pretty kosher to me.
First video of Jonathan Pollard free again First video released of Jonathan Pollard as a free man after serving 30 years in prison.
New video footage shows Jonathan Pollard free for the first time, shortly after being released from prison after 30 years.
Meanwhile, the White House has clarified that President Obama does not intend to ease Jonathan Pollard's released conditions.
Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes gave a statement to reporters that "The president does not have any plans to alter the terms of his parole."
Shortly after he was released, Pollard's lawyers submitted an appeal asking that the restricted terms be canceled.

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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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