Sunday, December 27, 2015

From Ian:

'The only country ISIS fears in the Middle East is Israel'
A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country – Israel.
In an interview with the British Jewish News, Jurgen Todenhofer recalls his brief time behind enemy lines during which he spoke with ISIS fighters.
“The only country ISIS fears is Israel,” Todenhofer, a former member of the German parliament, told Jewish News. “They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them.”
The writer said that ISIS wants to lure British and American forces into Syria and Iraq, areas where it thinks it has an advantage.
“They think they can defeat US and UK ground troops, who they say they have no experience in city guerrilla or terrorist strategies,” he told Jewish News. “But they know the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting against guerrillas and terrorists.”
Todenhofer said that ISIS was “preparing the largest religious cleansing in history” and that he was “pessimistic” that the threat it poses could be neutralized. He added that the Paris attacks was just the first of “a storm” that is coming to Western cities.
“They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger. We can’t defeat them with our current strategy. These people [the IDF] can fight a guerrilla war."
Analysis: The truth behind ISIS leader's threats against Israel and Jews
The Iraqi Army is on the threshold of liberating the key city if Ramadi, which is a strategic crossroads, and sooner or later, it will turn its attack on the biggest city that ISIS holds - Mosul.
The leaders of ISIS, with Baghdadi foremost among them, are on the radar of western intelligence agencies and Russia, and are forced each night to shuttle themselves from one hiding place to another. In such a situation of constant threat, it is natural that their priorities shift to personal survival instead of strategic military planning.
Regardless of this precarious position, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, as well as the group's "Sinai Province" affiliate, are facing criticism and being mocked in the Arab world because they fight Arab regimes and their Muslim brothers, including those from their own Sunni group, and have forgotten the Palestinian struggle and the Jews in Palestine.
The release of the new recording shows that, despite their brutality, Baghdadi and his helpers are listening to the criticism. The comments were more along the lines of propaganda and boasting, but they must not be taken lightly. ISIS has a presence near Israel's borders in Sinai and the Golan Heights and can attempt to attack from both directions by launching missiles, setting landmines, or even trying to infiltrate into Israeli territory.
However, ISIS also knows that if it makes such an attempt, at least from Syria, the Israel Air Force will respond with greater force than that used in the surgical strikes carried out by the US and the other members of the coalition. Therefore, there is no need to fear: Israel is still a low priority for the Islamic State.
The Real Threat to Palestinian Christians: Radical Islam
The Christians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are no different from their brothers in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Libya, who face a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing at the hands Islamist groups. Yet Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders want the world to blame only Israel for the predicament of Christians.
The PA's decision to cancel Christmas celebrations had nothing to do with Israel or the "intifada." It came after threats by Muslim extremists to target Christians and their holy sites.
On Christmas Day, Muslim Palestinians hurled stones at the car taking the head of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land to Bethlehem. It would not surprise anyone if next year the PA decides to cancel Christmas celebrations for "security reasons."
If, in the media and the international community, this strategy of turning a blind eye to the Muslim persecution of Christians continues, next year's Christmas in Bethlehem is sure to be an even less happy one.

Watch: Police on horseback eliminate terrorist in Jerusalem
Israeli police have released footage showing mounted officers eliminating an Arab terrorist in downtown Jerusalem.
The incident, one of two terrorist attacks over Shabbat, took place Saturday afternoon at IDF Square in central Jerusalem, not far from the Municipality building.
In the video, alert officers can be seen approaching the man on horseback, after noticing him acting suspiciously. As they approach, the terrorist draws his knife and, after quickly backing off, the officers open fire, wounding him and then shooting him dead as he continued to attempt to stab them.
Thanks to the alert officers no one was injured in the attack.
Watch: Terror Attack Thwarted in Jerusalem

2 Palestinians attack soldiers near Nablus, are shot dead
Two Palestinian men stabbed an Israeli soldier Sunday in a village south of the West Bank city of Nablus Sunday, the army said. The suspected attackers were shot dead during the attack and the soldiers were lightly and moderately injured.
The troops received treatment for their injuries on site from Magen David Adom paramedics. They were being evacuated to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.
One suffered stab wounds and the other sustained light injuries from gunfire directed at the attackers, paramedics and the army said.
The attack in Hawara was the fifth stabbing or attempted stabbing of the day.
The Palestinian health ministry said that the attackers were aged 17 and 23.
Terrorist stabs soldier near Central Bus Station in Jerusalem
A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a soldier on Sunday near the Jerusalem Central Bus Station, on Hazvi Street, near the corner of Yermiyahu Street, according to Magen David Adom.
Pedestrians stopped and attempted to help the soldier stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived at the scene.
Paramedics provided medical treatment to the young man approximated to be about 21-years-old who was in moderate but stable condition following a stab wound to his upper body.
He was taken to Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem for treatment and was later listed as being in light condition.
According to Israel Police, the 30-year-old terrorist was apprehended by a nearby security guard until officers could arrive at the scene.
Security forces arrest Palestinian woman in attempted stabbing attack in West Bank
Israel security forces arrested a Palestinian woman on Sunday morning who tried to stab a security guard at the gate of Ma'aleh Shomron, a settlement in the West Bank, according to police reports.
A car approached the security fence around the settlement. As security forces approached the car, the woman in the driver's seat threw a knife at the officers and attempted to escape. The woman was arrested and taken into custody.
There were no injuries reported in the incident.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians call on Abbas to reject PM’s apology over Ramallah incident
A senior Palestinian security commander said that a formal apology was issued on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the incident.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat was quoted as saying that the incident illustrated the routine “humiliations” and “utter disregard” that Israel has for Abbas and the PA.
Hassan Khraisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said that Israel’s apology was an attempt to draw a distinction between Abbas and the Palestinians.
“Netanyahu’s apology was aimed at showing that President Abbas receives special treatment from Israel, while the Palestinians are facing violence and death,” he said.
Khraisheh called on Abbas to reject Netanyahu’s apology by emphasizing that Abbas is “part of the Palestinian people and not a different party that receives different treatment from the occupation.”
Hamas leader touts strength, says group growing in West Bank
Hamas’s leader in Gaza boasted that his group was “many times stronger” than the last time it fought Israel, in a speech marking the seventh anniversary of a previous war with the Israeli military.
Appearing at a celebration organized by the police force of the Strip on Sunday, Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of the group in Gaza, praised Hamas’s performance in Operation Cast Lead, a three-week war fought with Israel in 2008-9.
Haniyeh spent much of his speech touting the terror group’s strength, saying that they were “many times stronger” since the last conflict with Israel in 2014, and the next time Israel decides to invade Gaza, it will pay “an even bigger price.”
He also told the crowd that “in 2016, Hamas in the West Bank will be just as powerful as in Gaza.”
Arab who threw grenade at yeshiva sentenced to prison
The Tel Aviv District Court sentenced terrorist Mohammed Hafez Cundus to 27 months' imprisonment Sunday, for throwing a grenade at a yeshiva in the city.
In early September, Cundus arrived outside the building on a motorcycle with hidden plates and without a license, carrying the stun grenade in his gloved hands.
He threw the stun grenade at the building, on Tel Aviv's Toulouse St., without removing the pin. The building holds a synagogue and a hesder yeshiva.
A few meters later, Cundus lost his balance on the scooter as a result of careless driving, and hit two parked cars; he fell and he injured his scooter as well. Good Samaritan civilians at the site helped him back on the scooter, where he then fled the scene.
During interrogation he said that he did so because of hostility toward Religious Zionist Jews everywhere, specifically "settlers" whom he said want to dominate the rest of the country, and he wanted to threaten them and make them leave the city.
Judge David Rosen ruled that "the defendant was acting out of hostility toward the Jewish public wearing knitted kippot (yarmulkes), in order to threaten the synagogue and yeshiva and make them and others like them to leave the city."
‘I’m not angry,’ says daughter of man killed in crossfire during attack
The daughter of Ofer Ben Ari, who was killed by mistaken police fire while attempting to prevent a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, said Saturday that she feels no anger towards the policewomen who shot her father.
Ben Ari, 46, and Reuben Birmajer, a rabbi in the Spanish program of the Aish Hatorah yeshiva, were killed in the stabbing attack by two Palestinian terrorists at the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City on Wednesday.
“I’m not angry at all at the policewomen. They did their duties and tried to neutralize the terrorists,” said Ofek Ben Ari.
“My father was a hero and I’m sure he supports what they did,” she added.
A third man remained in serious condition after sustaining stabbing wounds during the attack. He was not named.
Honest Reporting: Headlines Ignore Palestinian Terrorism

Guardian falsely claims that PA official Jibril Rajoub supports non-violence
A Dec. 25th Guardian report by Peter Beaumont (West Bank risks being plunged into chaos in 2016, warn Palestinian officials), on the response by PA officials to the latest wave of terror, includes the following passages:
Jibril Rajoub, a former Palestinian security head and now leader of the Palestinian Football Association, is another figure who remains close to Abbas.
Like [Mohammed] Shtayyeh, he insists that Palestinian society should pursue a policy of non-violent resistance but cannot disavow those behind the current wave of attacks, instead arguing that Palestinians need to be patient.

Rajoub may indeed support a policy of “non-violent resistance” when speaking in English to Western journalists, but here’s what he said in October, in Arabic, on official PA TV, per Palestinian Media Watch (PMW):
It’s clear that the Guardian misled readers when claiming that Rajoub “insists that Palestinian society should pursue a policy of non-violent resistance”. We’ll follow-up on this post after contacting Guardian editors to challenge them on Beaumont’s claim.
BBC’s Knell yet again politicises Christmas in Bethlehem report
The Christmas season inevitably brings with it opportunistic, politicised messaging from the BBC’s Jerusalem Bureau and this year was no different. Apparently short on fresh ideas, Yolande Knell casts local residents in the role of nativity story figures in her report titled “Christmas in Bethlehem: Hopes and fears for the future” (December 24th, BBC News website Middle East page) – a device she previously used in her 2011 seasonal report.Knell Bethlehem main
Including both text and video clips, the report promotes the themes of a low-key Christmas and economic hardship for Bethlehem residents. No mention is made of the Palestinian Authority’s instructions to municipalities to dampen this year’s celebrations or the Council of Churches’ similar dictate.
The surge in Palestinian terrorism that began in mid-September and which has obviously had an effect on the tourist industry in the region receives minimal coverage in Knell’s account, although when it is mentioned she portrays it as equivalent “Israeli-Palestinian violence” and – in line with PLO messaging – downplays the incitement fueling that violence. Instead, Knell focuses more on what she terms “protests” and “clashes” whilst erasing the agency of Palestinian rioters and terrorists sabotaging their own community’s all-important tourism industry.
BBC News Christmas report amended to remove misleading description
The original version of that article – published on the evening of December 24th – carried a different introduction.
“Across the world, Christians have begun marking Christmas with services, with Pope Francis holding midnight mass at the Vatican.
In the holy city of Bethlehem, the West Bank town where it is believed that Jesus was born, events have been overshadowed by recent violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
“There’s lights, there’s carols, but there’s an underlying sense of tension,” one pilgrim to Bethlehem, Briton Paul Haines, told Associated Press news agency.” [emphasis added]

Fortunately, that misleading description of over three months of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis was removed from later versions of the report.
Nasrallah: Revenge for Kuntar’s death will ‘inevitably come’
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah on Sunday warned that a retaliation for the assassination of Samir Kuntar last week attributed to Israel will “inevitably come,” saying Israelis should be afraid both in the country, along the border, and abroad.
In a lengthy televised address marking a week since the death of archterrorist Kuntar, Nasrallah vowed the Lebanon-based terror group would respond to the killing regardless of the “repercussions,” and likened Israeli soldiers on the northern border to “rats.”
“The retaliation to Samir’s assassination will inevitably come,” he said, according to a translation by Lebanese news site Naharnet.”The Israelis are worried and they should be worried along the border, inside Israel and outside of it… The Israelis are hiding like rats along the border.”
Nasrallah said the response was “now up to the resistance fighters.”
'Israel warns Hezbollah of crushing response if provoked'
"Israel will unleash a massive and merciless attack on Lebanon if Hezbollah retaliates for the assassination of Samir Kuntar," European diplomats told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas over the weekend.
According to the diplomats, Israel conveyed the stern warning to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah via a third party.
Israel security forces were expected to remain on high alert for a possible revenge attack in the coming days, despite the fact that Israel has not claimed responsibility for Kuntar's assassination last week. Assessments regarding a possible retaliation by Hezbollah are based on warnings by Nasrallah that his organization would respond "anywhere, anytime and any way we see fit."
Syrian media: Israel hits Hezbollah targets in Qalamoun area
Israeli warplanes hit Hezbollah targets in the Qalamoun area of Syria in a series of at least seven airstrikes, Syrian media outlets reported Saturday night.
The Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on the alleged airstrikes. Hezbollah denied Israeli raids had targeted their positions, according to Channel 2.
According to Channel 2, the IDF released a statement before the reports emerged warning that, “in the coming hours sounds of explosions may be heard in the Upper Galilee. These are initiated and controlled explosions that were planned in advance and not a security incident.”
The reported strikes came less than a week after Hezbollah-allied terrorist Samir Kuntar was killed in an explosion in his Damascus home, which has been attributed to Israel. Kuntar’s death was followed within hours by rocket strikes from Lebanon on the northern Israeli city of Nahariya.
Richard Landes: Policy Perspectives from the World of Apocalyptic Honor-Shame
I recently received a challenge from one of my less avid fans on a list-serv that I participate in. He challenged me to answer a series of policy questions from the perspective I irritatingly espouse – namely current Western policy concerning the Middle East and Islamic nations is useless at best, self-defeating, even suicidal, at worst because it ignores what I call the HSJ paradigm that focuses on honor-shame dynamics and their current vehicle, apocalyptic Jihad.
I post here my answers.
Dealing with Islam:
Right now in the West, the reigning prime directive reads: “Don’t piss them off.” We think it’s the “vast majority of Muslims” that we thus soothe, but we also encourage the triumphalists, especially with the extent of our placation, our appeasement.
Instead of thus empowering triumphalist aggression, we should pick our fights and target triumphalism. There are so many places the cultural Maginot Line of a robust civil society have crumbled, so many places to start getting serious about what Muslims ask of us and we ask of Muslims. (For a good view of one of the early collapse see, alas, France after 2ooo in The Lost Territories of the Republic.) We need to arm progressive Muslims in their fight with the forces of triumphalism, not concede repeatedly (often with a post-colonial objective) to triumphalist aggression.
Without reciprocal relations, free societies cannot exist, much less aspire to the near utopian hopes of global progressives.
Britain should do more to stop extremism in Afghanistan, warn experts
Government adviser Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces, said recent moves by Downing Street to send more military advisers to Afghanistan were welcome but not enough to counter the IS threat.
“If fighting IS in Syria and Iraq is our priority, then Afghanistan must come a close second,” he said last night.
“Not only is the Taliban an increasing threat, but there is every possibility that Al Qaeda will be restored, too.
“The real worry, however, is Islamic State, who have made real inroads into large parts of Afghanistan. Its growth is a real risk to Pakistan.
“The last thing we can have is the risk of a threat to a nuclear state.”
Despite a Taliban resurgence, which threatens to undo British gains in Helmand Province, it is IS that now presents the greatest threat to Pakistan security.
WATCH: Russia releases video of air strikes on ISIS oil tankers, facilities
Russian Defense Ministry on Friday released new videos showing its air force performing strikes against what they say are Islamic State targets in Syria.
According to the defense ministry, Russia has focused its strikes on illegal oil trade routes in Syria, having destroyed nearly 2,000 oil tankers owned by militants.
A black-and-white drone footage released on Friday showed bombs hitting what the ministry called a militants' headquarters, a training center, a weapons warehouse and a hideaway, but no exact locations were given for those targets.
Another video showed dozens of trucks on a road. According to the ministry, the video was filmed by one of its drones over Syrian-Turkish border. Trucks were also seen hit by the Russian air strikes.
Russia claimed that there continues to be oil-smuggling from Syria to Turkey.
Prominent Saudi Journalist Accuses Kingdom of Promoting Jihad
The former editor of two Saudi government newspapers harshly criticized the Saudi Arabian government for promoting extremism and allowing Saudi youth to become “criminal murderers in the ranks of ISIS.”
In a two-part article published in the Saudi government daily Al-Watan and translated by MEMRI, journalist Qenan Al-Ghamdi, the former editor of Al-Watan and of the government daily Al-Sharq, wrote that extremism is present in every mosque and school in Saudi Arabia. He also slammed the Saudi government for not enacting any laws criminalizing the promotion of terrorist ideology.
Al-Ghamdi writes that Saudi Arabia contributes the highest number of its youth to terrorism all over the world. He also notes that school children are so indoctrinated with fanaticism by their “illiterate mothers and grandmothers” that they accuse their peers of heresy for watching movies.
“Our sons are still marching en masse to become cannon fodder in civil wars and [to serve as] criminal murderers in the ranks of ISIS in every war or terrorist crime around the world. [Saudi youths] form the majority in every arena of so-called jihad. The wellsprings of extremism and fanaticism still [exist] everywhere in our country, to the extent that some boys and girls in our schools accuse other boys and girls of heresy or of straying from the right path just for mentioning some pictures [they liked] or some movies they saw.”
He also says that Saudis have become obsessed with trivial matters relating to Muslim modesty such as how one dresses, if a man shaves his beard, or if a woman styles her eyebrows.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Arab Gulf States Would Take Refugees, But Gee, Mom Staying There Now (satire)
Sources in the oil-rich nations of the Persian Gulf report that those countries would be more than happy to welcome a sizable number of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and other conflict zones in the Muslim world, but, wouldn’t you know it, their mother just decided to come stay with them for a bit, so, sorry, there’s no room right now.
Millions of displaced Syrians and Iraqis have flooded into Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, with many others opting to make the hazardous journey to Europe, where hope of a better life awaits. Countless more remain internally dislocated within those war-torn lands, with refugee agencies struggling to provide the necessary aid. European governments have criticized countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman for paying mere lip service to the notion of helping the unfortunate peoples of crumbling Iraq and Syria, while doing precious little to remedy the crisis. A spokesman for the Saudi royal family explained that they would open their doors to refugees seeking asylum in a heartbeat, but Mom came to be with them on an open-ended trip, so, they apologize, but maybe some other time?
“We feel awful about this – the timing is just terrible, I know,” offered Crown Prince Wihaf Noroum Ibn Saud. “But you know Mom. She’s very particular about the neatness of the place, and it’ll just be awkward for everyone if we throw the gates open. Maybe ask again after she goes back home, in, say, three Julys from now? I’m sure we’ll be able to take some people by then.”
Clinton e-mails show she is dangerous to Israel?
Past e-mail exchanges between presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her confidants reveal that a Clinton presidency would likely be a hostile one, according to a report by Makor Rishon's weekend magazine, Dyokan.
The report cites remarks made to and by Clinton in e-mail exchanges with her advisers and prominent friends, which were made public after the scandal surrounding her private e-mail server broke.
Makor Rishon sees the e-mail exchanges as indicating that Clinton and her advisers are often unrealistic in their expectations regarding the Middle East. As an example of this, it cites an August 2010 exchange between Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter, who was Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department. Slaughter suggested that Clinton endorse "The Arc," a plan by the Rand Corporation that would see $6 billion invested in infrastructures connecting Gaza with Judea and Samaria.
The proposal ignored the fact that Gaza had been taken over by Hamas.
"Here is the link to the video of The Arc., a national infrastructure trunkline for a future Palestinian State developed by the RAND Corporation," she writes. "It is only 8 minutes long, but a great overview of the Arc vision and its potential for enabling peace in the region. I promise you it is worth it."
"That is a great practical idea," Clinton replies. "Thx for sending. I'd like to discuss next week."
"I'm so glad you took the time to see it," Slaughter answers. "It's both practical/achievable and visionary."
Turkey to Israel: No renewal of ties without unlimited access to Gaza
Turkey is demanding that Israel permit unfettered access to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as one of the conditions before it renews diplomatic ties with Israel, according to a report in Saturday editions of the Hurriyet Daily News.
The report states that the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not accept any Israeli restrictions on the flow of Turkish aid to the Palestinian coastal enclave.
Turkish negotiators have reportedly presented this demand to Israel in negotiations over the restoration of diplomatic ties that were broken off following the crisis precipitated by an Israeli raid on a blockade-running flotilla bound for Gaza in 2010.
Hamas, for its part, has not received any signs from Turkey regarding a rapprochement with Israel and fears Ankara will drop its demand for the lifting of the Gaza blockade as a prerequisite for normalizing relations with Jerusalem, a senior Hamas official said on Wednesday.
Spanish court revokes Netanyahu 'war crimes' warrant
Spanish judges canceled on Thursday an earlier decision to register Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and six other officials as war crimes suspects, and said it had been a jurisdictional error.
Spanish daily El Diario – cited by JTA – reported that the ruling, by two judges from Spain’s National Court, concerned Netanyahu and six other Israeli officials: former defense minister Ehud Barak, former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, current defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, former interior minister Eli Yishai, former minister Benny Begin and former Navy commander Eliezer Marom.
Judge Jose de la Mata, from the same court, had determined last month that the seven were suspects in connection with a complaint over the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. De la Mata ordered police and national guard forces to notify him immediately if Netanyahu or the other named Israeli officials entered the country.
However, a panel that supersedes de la Mata ruled that “The 2nd section of Penal Court found the judge adopted this measure without jurisdiction as the issue had been closed last June” – according to a statement by ACOM, a pro-Israel Spanish group based in Madrid.
Police grill artist for defecating on Israeli flag
Police questioned a controversial artist last week for the fifth time over a video she published last year in which she defecated on the national flag.
Natali Cohen Vaxberg posted a video online of herself defecating on the country’s national flag. She was placed under house arrest for a few days in November 2014, several months after it was released.
Vaxberg, who has gained notoriety for similar stunts, was detained for questioning and placed under house arrest in Tel Aviv last November for defiling a national symbol, a police spokeswoman told AFP at the time.
The police told Haaretz Saturday that anytime there’s suspected criminal activity, officers investigate, and that the decision to press charges was up to the relevant authorities. (h/t Jewess)
NGO Monitor: If Europe Fails to Act, Is Restrictive Legislation Unavoidable?
Legislative proposals, such as the one introduced by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and discussed today (Sunday) by the government, might be unavoidable if European countries continue to fund anti-peace groups through secretive processes, Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor warns. The bill would require NGOs that receive funding from foreign governments, to register as foreign agents.
“I have previously opposed various proposals to penalize Israeli political NGOs that receive millions of shekels from foreign governments (a total of 135 million NIS has been reported, January 2012-August 2015) for use in promoting false allegations of war crimes and fueling boycotts,” said Professor Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “My hope was that the public debate and exposure of the facts, both in Israel and among the European governments, media, and parliaments that provide the money, would lead to changes in policy. But without action by European funders, the Israeli government may have no choice but to act.”
Unlike private funding for NGOs, which is generally transparent to comply with regulations in the donors’ home countries, foreign government processes which fund NGOs are often secret and violate national sovereignty. Israel cannot legislate rules for Europe, but it can regulate Israeli NGOs, and demand foreign donations be made public and known – without limiting such donations or impeding freedom of speech. Instead of legislation, NGO Monitor has proposed a framework for agreed guidelines to regulate this external government funding.
Justice minister blasts left-wing NGOs: Lies are weapons
A new bill demanding increased transparency from nongovernmental organizations that receive extensive foreign funding is set to go to a vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.
The bill, proposed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, reflects recent controversy over the aims of left-wing NGOs and concerns that some of them may be using foreign funding for defamation campaigns against Israel.
If passed into law, the new transparency regulations will apply to all NGOs that receive more than 50% of their funding from entities abroad.
Organizations that fall into this group will have to state the sources of their funding in their public reports, in all written communication with public servants and elected officials and in workplace meetings.
In their annual reports, they will be obligated to name the foreign entities from which they received funding in the relevant year.
AP Ignores Reported ISIS Threats to Christmas in Bethlehem
Palestinian security forces in Bethlehem are reportedly on high alert over fears of ISIS attacks on Christian tourists during the holiday season, but since Israel can't be implicated, the Associated Press' Daniella Cheslow can't be bothered to report it.
Twice this month, on Dec. 5 and again on Christmas, Cheslow highlighted the subdued holiday season in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, "dampened by months of Israeli-Palestinian violence."
In her singular focus on the Israel angle, Cheslow missed another factor which likely also "cast a pall over the celebrations" for both locals and tourists, alike: Islamic extremism.
Ukrainian legislator toasts Adolf Hitler
A video of a Ukrainian opposition lawmaker saluting Adolf Hitler made its way online this weekend, only days after his country’s President apologized for Ukrainian collaborators’ role in the Holocaust during a state visit to Israel.
In the video, Artyom Vitko, the former commander of the government backed Luhansk-1 Battalion and now a member of the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko, can be seen sitting in the back of a car wearing camouflage fatigues and singing along to a song by a Russian neo-Nazi band extolling the virtues of the Nazi dictator.
“Adolf Hitler, together with us, Adolf Hitler, in each of us, and an eagle with iron wings will help us at the right time,” Vitko sang, saluting the camera with his water bottle as the car’s sound system blared “Heil Hitler.”
Vitko’s pro-Nazi sentiments emerged immediately on the heels of party leader Oleh Lyashko denunciation of President Petro Poroshenko for for his recent comments apologizing or Ukrainian complicity in the Holocaust.
Malaysians investigated after Israel unable to send youth to sailing championships
World Sailing announced on Sunday that it is holding an investigation and seeking clarification from the Malaysian Organizing Authority of the Youth Sailing World Championships after Israel was unable to send a delegation to the event in Langkawi, Malaysia.
Israel's Yoav Omer and Noy Drihan will not have an opportunity to defend their titles at the championships, which got underway on Sunday, after the Israel Sailing Association (ISA) said last week that it will not be participating in the event due to the demands made by the organizers and the fact the surfers had yet to receive visas.
The ISA informed World Sailing, formerly called the International Sailing Federation, the International Olympic Committee and the hosts that Israel will not be taking part as the organizers demanded that the surfers would not compete under the Israel flag and wouldn't be allowed to use any symbol identifiable with Israel on their cloths or surfboards. The hosts also said that should an Israeli win a gold medal the Israeli national anthem would not be played.
Israeli ed-tech startup finds early stage users in Dubai
There was nothing too remarkable about the email that Raz Wasserstein, co-founder of education technology start-up Remini, received from one of its early users.
The user said how much they liked the product, how well both students and parents were responding and offered up a suggestion for a new feature.
The only strange thing was the signature: The email came from a school in Dubai.
“We were regularly checking our users, and we started to see names like Ahmed, Fatima, Amer, and then we realized they were coming from the United Arab Emirates,” Wasserstein recalls.
Remni is a company that offers an internal social network for schools, where teachers can post updates on students for parents and relatives to see and to document a child’s experiences. Several schools in Dubai picked up the application, and eagerly corresponded with the founders.
Keep snoring; your sleep partner won’t hear you
Snorers of the world have an array of devices at their disposal to muffle their deep sleep sounds. There are umpteen how-to guides and earplug kits for the partners-of-snorers community. But nothing has proven a definitive solution.
Now, an Israeli tech team says it has an answer: An active noise cancellation technology to silence the sound.
The Silent Partner device, according to its makers, is the world’s first smart patch to quiet snoring noise.
It does not try to open the nasal cavities of the snorer, as other devices do, but rather emits a counter white noise. This pioneering approach is claimed to create a 23-centimeter silent zone around the snorer so that bedfellows may sleep without disturbance.
US Veterans Affairs issues national policy for ReWalk
A huge step forward for ReWalk Robotics, the Israeli exoskeleton developer and manufacturer, following an announcement by the US Department of Veterans Affairs that it is issuing a national policy for the evaluation, training and procurement of ReWalk Personal exoskeleton systems for all qualifying veterans across the United States.
The VA policy, which is exclusive to ReWalk Robotics exoskeleton systems, is the first national coverage policy in the United States for qualifying individuals who have suffered spinal cord injury.
“This historic policy will provide access to our life-changing technology for thousands of veterans across America,” said ReWalk CEO Larry Jasinski. “We want all US veterans with a spinal cord injury to know that they now have a path to securing their own ReWalk Personal exoskeleton system.
“The policy outlines a sound process to educate, train and importantly, to provide individual veterans with a ReWalk Personal device so that they may walk at home and in the community. We expect this landmark national policy will substantially improve the health and quality of life of many veterans in the years ahead,” Jasinski added.
ReWalk is the only FDA cleared exoskeleton system in the US, with clearances for both personal use at home and in the community, as well as for the rehabilitation setting.

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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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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