Thursday, December 31, 2015

From Ian:

Terror thwarted: 'East Jerusalem men planned to set off bomb in Eilat hotel'
Two Israeli citizens of east Jerusalem were indicted Thursday on charges that they plotted to blow up a hotel in the southern resort town of Eilat.
According to the indictment, the two suspects, Halil Nimri and Ashraf Salaimeh, met while working at the same hotel in Eilat. Some two months ago the pair met and decided to carry out a terror attack against Jews in order to "get revenge" against Israel for its actions during the current terror wave, the indictment added.
One of the suspects wished to avenge the death of his childhood friend, Fadi Elon, who was killed while carrying out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on October 4. Halil first suggested carrying out a stabbing attack aimed at killing a religious Jew. Ashraf argued that the two could be apprehended while carrying out such an attack and therefore the act would have no meaning. Therefore, he suggested carrying out a terror attack by placing a bomb at a hotel in Eilat. Halil agreed to the plot, according to the indictment.
The two began carrying out surveillance of the hotel and following the movements of groups of religious Jews who checked in. One of the suspects searched the Internet for information on preparing an improvised explosive device.
PMW: Abbas' Fatah celebrates 51 years of murder and vows to continue
Abbas' Fatah movement chose to celebrate 51 years of violence and killing to mark the 51st anniversary of its founding. It posted the above image on its Lebanese website, where the number 51 is made up of a knife, a bullet and a rifle. The text says "Revolution until victory."
[Falestinona, website of Fatah's Information and Culture Commission in Lebanon, Dec. 12, 2015]
On Facebook, Fatah's official page cheered the results of its terror attacks - what it calls "sowing terror" among Israelis - and posted a picture of a masked Fatah fighter with the words:
"Half a century of sowing terror in the eyes of the sons of Zion"
‎[Official Facebook page of the Fatah ‎Movement, Dec. 29, 2015] ‎
Another post, this time with a masked Fatah fighter with a rifle, vowed to "redeem the homeland with blood":
"We march, we are not afraid of the fire and we do not fear death. With blood we will redeem the homeland and saturate its ground. The anniversary is approaching."
[Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Dec. 26, 2015]
The knife in the logo above is particularly relevant at the current time amid the surge of Palestinian terror attacks, many of which have been stabbings. Since October, 10 Israelis have been killed and 72 wounded in stabbing attacks. In total, 25 Israelis have been murdered and 259 have been injured during the current terror wave.
Throughout the surge in violence, Fatah has emphasized its support for violence against Israelis in general and for stabbings in particular.
Other posters and images glorifying the rifle and violence have been posted recently by Fatah on Facebook, Twitter, and on Fatah's official websites.
Official PA TV accuses PMW director Itamar Marcus of “incitement against Mahmoud Abbas”

Samir Kuntar: ‘Resistance hero’ or sex monster?
Some new disturbing facts are emerging about the character of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar who was assassinated in an airstrike attributed to Israel earlier this month.
Sources that were were familiar with Kuntar have described him to Lebanese daily newspaper, The Beirut Observer as no less than a “sex monster.” The report, that was later confirmed to The Jerusalem Post by Syrian rebel sources, says that since his release from Israeli prison in 2008, he has has had a series of sexual affairs – some with the women being pressured and intimidated by Kuntar.
The website for The Beirut Observer ceased to operate following the publication of the report and sources in Lebanon suspect that a deliberate hacking attack took down the site to prevent the report from being seen.
The sources say that when Kuntar visited his “working office” on the outskirts of Damascus, women were brought to him to “release his stress.”' One of the women who was involved with Kuntar was the widow of a terrorist who fought with the arch-terrorist and was killed after a bomb exploded in his car (an action that was also attributed to Israel).
Even inside Hezbollah, fighters were surprised to hear the warm words that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said after Kuntar's death, and the promises to avenge him. “Is this a way that a ‘hero of the resistance’ behaves?” the sources asked.

All the president's men
It was only a month ago that the saga of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard was finally laid to rest when, after three decades in a U.S. federal prison, he was "released" under draconian, hurtful and humiliating terms, as though he poses a clear and present threat to the security of the United States.
Though the current American administration, like its predecessors, has made it very clear that it has not forgiven Israel for sending the Jewish analyst to spy on the American intelligence community, it emerged this week just how hypocritical and self-righteous the White House's attitude actually is.
While Pollard was wasting away in his cell, the National Security Agency, at the behest of the White House, was busy eavesdropping on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conversations with his aides, U.S. lawmakers, and American-Jewish groups.
It seems that the fading echoes of the scandalous Snowden affair, during which the extent of the U.S. surveillance program was revealed to include eavesdropping on other friendly leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have not deterred U.S. President Barack Obama, who, despite the embarrassment and apologies, continued to pursue a policy of double standards with the U.S.'s "closest ally," Israel.
NYPost Ed: Why Team Obama’s Israel spying should be a major scandal
The last is especially critical: Careful rules govern how the National Security Agency can handle such intercepted conversations, and it’s not clear they were followed.
But it’s also significant that Team Obama apparently had no problem with spying on Americans engaged in legitimate political activity — in this case, trying to block the president’s dubious nuclear deal with Iran.
The White House took pains not to leave a paper trail. As one senior official told the Journal: “We didn’t say, ‘Do it.’ We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it’.”
As former Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams writes in National Review, what happened here is that “the administration faced a battle in Congress and it spied on the other side” — successfully, we’d add, since the Iran deal went through.
Had a Republican administration done this stuff, Democrats on Capitol Hill would be gearing up Watergate-style investigative hearings and talking impeachment. As Abrams notes, it ought to be a major scandal now. (h/t MtTB)
Israeli Intelligence Minister Rejects ‘WSJ’ Report Saying Netanyahu, Advisers Leaked Information About Iran Talks
Israeli Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Yisrael Katz rejected a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday that claimed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked sensitive information about nuclear talks between Iran and world powers to undermine negotiations, in the run-up to the announcement of the nuclear deal earlier this year.
“Israel doesn’t act in any way to submit information within the US, to any authority in the US. We’re careful,” said Katz. The information used by Netanyahu and his advisers was gathered by Israeli intelligence, the Journal report said. The report also alleged that the National Security Agency had been spying on Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders.
Speaking to Israeli website Ynet, Katz said Israel would submit a formal protest if it turns out to be true that the National Security Agency was indeed spying on Netanyahu or Israeli officials. “Israel does not spy on the United States and we expect our great friend the US to treat us similarly,” the intelligence minister said, according to Ynet. “If this reported information turns out to be true, Israel must submit an official protest to the US government and demand a cessation to all such activities.”
Former Pentagon official Harold Rhode told The Algemeiner on Wednesday that the Journal’s claims indicated that the US was moving away from the principles of its founding fathers.
“If the American establishment believed in the principles of the founding fathers, then something like what appeared in the Wall Street Journal most likely would never have happened,” he said. “America’s founding fathers founded the United States on the Biblical principles of Mt. Sinai. In other words, the US and Israel were founded on the same principles.”
Congress intel committee to probe US spying on Israel
He said his goal would be to “get the facts” about the situation.
“We’re going to play this right down the middle and determine whether or not somebody did something wrong,” Nunes said by phone from California.
Later Wednesday, the chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and its national security subcommittee sent a letter to NSA Director Michael Rogers requesting documents and a briefing about the process.
Congressmen Jason Chaffetz and Ron DeSantis wrote that the Journal report raises “questions concerning the processes NSA employees follow in determining whether intercepted communications involved members of Congress, and the latitude agency employees have in screening communications with members of Congress for further dissemination within the Executive Branch.”
According to the Journal report, some of the exchanges in question involved Israeli strategy around the Iran nuclear deal that Netanyahu ardently opposed, as did congressional Republicans. In some cases the NSA overheard Israeli officials trying to convince undecided lawmakers to oppose the deal, which Congress ultimately failed to block.
Rubio: Spying situation 'might be worse' than what public thinks
Appearing on "Fox & Friends" ahead of a campaign event in Pella, Iowa, Rubio, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, reiterated on more than one occasion that he wanted to be "very careful" about discussing the politically fraught topic.
"Well, I want to be very careful. I’m on, a member of the Intelligence Committee, so obviously I want to be very careful of what I say about information of this kind. Obviously people read this report, they have a right to be concerned this morning about it," the Florida Republican said of the Journal's story, which had the headline "U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress."
"They have a right to be concerned about the fact that while some leaders around the world are no longer being targeted, one of our strongest allies in the Middle East — Israel — is," he remarked. "These are all concerns, and they’re legitimate."
Argentinian Author Compares Palestinian Terrorists Who Killed His Israeli Brother to Nazis
Renowned Argentinian author Marcelo Birmajer leveled sharp criticism at the Palestinians carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis, the Israeli news site nrg reported on Wednesday.
Birmajer, whose brother Rabbi Eduardo (Reuben) Birmajer was murdered in a Palestinian stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate last week, said his sibling’s killers were no different from the Nazis who had murdered his grandfather’s family in Europe.
Birmajer made his comments at a memorial service for his brother, held at the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires and attended by diplomats and leaders of the country’s Jewish community.
At the ceremony, Birmajer commented on his filial relationship. “You weren’t the brother of a famous author. Instead, I’ve always said, I’m the brother of a rabbi.”
He went on: “There’s no territorial conflict or political problem. We haven’t done anything bad in the land of Israel. To the contrary, we built the best state in the world. Israel is the most extraordinary state in the world, the most humane, educated, liberal state, the state which has the most respect for its minorities. [Israel] is the best thing that happened in the 20th century.”
Terror victim’s son: 'We will not let our enemies break us'
Genady Kaufman did not want to give up on life, his son David said on Wednesday as he eulogized his father who had succumbed to wounds he sustained in a December 7th terror attack in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“You gave your all to everything you did,” said David as he looked at his father’s shroud covered body. It lay on a gurney in the street in front of the Cave of the Patriarchs where he had worked as a gardener.
The 41-year old man, who had immigrated from the former Soviet Union, was stabbed by a Palestinian as he waited at the bus stop outside the Cave of the Patriarch.
Genady had finished work and was on his way to his home in the nearby Kiryat Arba settlement, where he also worked as a security guard.
David recalled how he his father had struggled to stay alive for over three weeks at the Sha’are Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. “Even after you were wounded you continued to fight. You didn’t give up, even when the doctors didn’t think you had a chance. You did not want to leave this world easily,” said David.
IDF soldier lightly wounded in West Bank ramming attack; assailant shot
A Palestinian terrorist lightly wounded an IDF soldier Thursday in a vehicular ramming attack targeting Israeli security forces on patrol near the West Bank city of Nablus.
IDF forces shot and killed the attacker at the scene at Habitot Junction, located between the Palestinian town of Huwara and the Israeli settlement of Tapuah.
IDF medics evacuated the approximately 20-year-old victim to the Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva.
Security forces cordoned off traffic between Tapuah Junction and Yitzhar Junction in light of the incident.
The Huwara checkpoint has been a flashpoint site for attacks in recent months.
4 Arab Israelis arrested for arms dealing, rioting
Israeli security forces in November arrested four Arab Israelis on suspicion of illegal arms dealing and taking part in riots, the Shin Bet domestic security service said Thursday.
The operation was carried out jointly by the Shin Bet and police special forces, the security service said.
The detainees were named as Yahya Farid Ibrahim Abu Hajlah, 22; Firas Ismail Muhammad Faki, 18; Muhammad Taysir Atman Fiyumi, 22; and Uday Kaid Hassan Kharbosh, 21. All four are residents of the central Israeli town of Jaljulia, near Kfar Saba.
According to the Shin Bet, the operation began with a joint investigation with the IDF, which led to the arrest of Fiyumi as he returned from the West Bank city of Nablus following a meeting with weapons sellers to discuss the purchase of a gun.
The remainder of the detainees were arrested in the wake of Fiyumi’s investigation, during which it emerged that he was both an arms dealer and a supporter of the Palestinian terror group Hamas.
'Hamas activated cells to carry out suicide attacks, target Israeli political figures'
Hamas and other Palestinian factions have decided to resume suicide attacks against Israel, according to a report published by a Lebanese newspaper on Thursday.
Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, claimed that Hamas was seeking to undermine the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank through the participation of a large number of Fatah activists in the current wave of terrorism against Israelis.
The paper claimed that Hamas was now considering ordering its “sleeping cells” in the West Bank to carry out attacks inside Israel.
It said that a Hamas terror cell that was recently busted by Israel in the village of Abu Dis near Jerusalem was preparing to carry out suicide bombings inside Israel.
The report also claimed that the cell was uncovered after one of its members contacted a PA security officer and asked for forged documents for the Hamas terrorists.
An unnamed Hamas official was quoted as saying that the suicide attacks were supposed to be carried out soon. The official said that the terror cell was also planning to target Israeli security and political officials.
Huffington Post Blog Distorts the News With Anti-Israel Screed
The Huffington Post blog, which far too often functions as a magnet for Israel haters, has posted another anti-Israel screed. The author is Alex Shams, identified as an Iranian-American journalist and PhD student of anthropology at the University of Chicago. Missing from the Huff Post bio is that he was until recently based in Bethlehem, serving as an opinion editor at the Palestinian Ma'an news agency.
"Killing of Mentally Ill Palestinian Swimming Off Gaza Coast Highlights Maddening Effects of Israel's Siege" is the grotesquely misleading headline of Shams' equally distorted Huffington Post blog post about Egypt's killing of a Palestinian who illegally crossed the border. His post represents the cynical attempt to turn a story about the Egyptian-Gazan border into an anti-Israel hit piece.
Nowhere in the lengthy description of the killing of the "mentally ill Palestinian swimmer" does Shams say that Egyptian troops killed the Gazan. Instead, his clear implication is that Israeli soldiers were guilty of a heartless crime: murdering a mentally disabled Palestinian victim.
USA Today Provides Rare Look at Anti-Israel Terror
Writing for USA Today, special correspondent Shira Rubin provides readers with a brief, but surprisingly direct report on the recent terror attacks by Palestinian Arabs against Israelis—and the effects of these attacks on every day Israeli citizens (“In Jerusalem, living on edge is new normal,” Dec. 24, 2015). Surprising because such “start with the basics” coverage is comparatively rare.
The USA Today article begins by doing something not frequently done by major dailies such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, among others—quoting an Israeli civilian, in this instance a teacher named Talia Malek—who speaks about news worthy developments without equivocation.
Describing Malek’s use of public transport in Jerusalem to get to work—amid three months of “near daily attacks by Palestinians”—Rubin provides readers with an important perspective, one often missed.
“‘This is our city, this is our country, and we need to show that we cannot be intimidated,’ Malek says about her daily trips.
While noting Malek’s defiance in the face of terror, Rubin also quotes her concerns:
“Co-existence in Israel is possible… but this current situation reminds us that Palestinians see us as their enemy….And the moment that they have the chance they will—literally—stab us in the back.”
ISIS plotting 'to slaughter THOUSANDS' in 2016 in bid to spark huge FINAL BATTLE with West
The sick terror group will activate hundreds of sleeper cells in "dozens of countries" in an unprecedented bid to destabilise western governments and spark a huge military retaliation in the Middle East.
The shock claim, from one of the world's leading authorities on the death cult, comes amid fears of a New Year's Eve terror plot in London and other major world cities.
Islamic State has carried out more than 50 attacks in 18 countries that have killed 1,100 people and injured 1,700 since it declared its caliphate in 2014.
And next year will see a huge increase in both the number and scale of major terror attacks, according to Dr Theodore Karasik, a Gulf-based analyst of regional geo-political affairs who has extensively studied ISIS's behaviour.
He warned: "ISIS’s media operation is taunting its enemy to come to fight their Final Battle.
"But first, it wants to show its global reach with zeal...from cells, to lone wolves, to bedroom jihadists – to target landmarks and crowds in dozens of countries across the world."
Islamic State Latest Threat to Christians in Nazareth, Childhood Home of Jesus
Christians in Nazareth, already victims of nearly institutionalized Muslim intimidation, need to contend with yet another extremist threat.
Israel’s Shin Bet security agency earlier this month announced the arrest of Israeli Arab youths from Nazareth for declaring allegiance to the Islamic State.
The Shin Bet said that during interrogations “it emerged that, in the past year, the youths obtained firearms and trained with them, while becoming more devout during meetings they held. They expressed support for ISIS [Islamic State], and praised the jihad against infidels.”
Last week, two cousins accused of being Islamic State operatives were arrested in the Nazareth area on suspicion of plotting attacks in northern Israel.
The trend in Nazareth, considered one of the holiest cities for Christians, was spotlighted by the Daily Beast on Tuesday in a piece titled, “ISIS of Nazareth: Terror Group Arrives in Jesus’s Hometown.”
ISIS poster girl 'became sex slave' before being 'beaten to death with a HAMMER'
An unnamed Tunisian woman who also travelled to Syria to join ISIS last year but later escaped, has told officials that she was kept in a house with 17-year-old Samra Kesinovic where they were forced to provide sexual services to ISIS fighters.
She said the girl had tried to escape several times, and after the last attempt, Samra had been beaten with a hammer so severely that she died from her injuries.
The Tunisian woman said they had lived together in the house and were regarded as a "sexual present for new fighters". understands Samra wrote to her family soon after arriving saying she wanted to leave because she was sickened by ISIS brutality, but she was unable to do so.
Now Austrian media sources say Samra was killed when she tried to leave the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, beaten to death by ISIS thugs.
PreOccupiedTerritory: ISIS Sex Slaves So Glad Rape Rules Have Been Clarified (satire)
Al-Baghdadi presided over the development and release of the guidelines to help his fighters adhere to proper Islamic practice as they battle to make Islam a single political entity spanning the world. Beyond the mere capture of territory, and the forced conversion or massacre of entire populations, Islamic State fighters and functionaries need practical leadership on how to conduct their affairs after the military fight itself, and its bloody aftermath, have concluded. Al-Baghdadi therefore saw fit to help his subjects uphold the details of Sharia, Islamic law, as it applies to the more mundane details of life and administration, especially the disposition, exploitation, and treatment of captive women. Until the issuance of those guidelines, said the women and girls, there was no way to predict what kind of cruel treatment they would receive each day, but now, that uncertainty has been removed.
“I don’t actually know what the new rules are, because I’m not allowed to read, listen to the radio, or otherwise try to get information,” said Isma, a 15-year-old Yazidi girl purchased by an ISIS commander this past June. “But I’ve heard talk of them, so now, at least, when my master and his cronies brutalize and violate me in unimaginable ways, I know they’re following a proper set of rules, even if I don’t know what they are.”
“We can breathe little easier now,” agreed Maryam, 14, a Kurdish girl, “that is, if I could breathe easily at all. My master gave me a cracked rib when I resisted his first few advances, and it hasn’t healed because that keeps happening. Now that I know the beatings aren’t allowed to be arbitrary, but are only justified by Islamic law when I refuse to accommodate his lust and his desire to dominate, a little bit of tension is gone.” Maryam and her sister Ada, 12, were captured at the beginning of the summer and are still being held and raped repeatedly by the same ISIS battalion commander.
Hundreds of Islamic State militants amassed at Israel's border
On Wednesday, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot toured the border in the Golan Heights along with GOC Northern Command, Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and Galilee Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Amir Baram.
The IDF has been following the rebel organizations fighting one another in the Syrian Golan, who for a year have controlled around 90 percent of the strip along the border with Israel.
The army emphasizes that these organizations, comprised of extremist Islamists, are not looking to Israel and are currently principally concerned with each other.
However, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi's threatening message to Israel last Saturday has given new meaning to the presence of two separate branches of the terrorist group on Israel's borders.
In the south, which the IDF considers to be the greater threat, IS's Sinai branch is active near the border with Egypt. In the north, a smaller – but no less extreme – group, the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, is operating in the border area.
2 Arab Israelis allege torture by Palestinian police
Two Arab Israelis from central Israel on Thursday claimed Palestinian security forces had tortured them during their month-long detention in a West Bank facility on drug allegations.
The two brothers, from the city of Ramle, were arrested in November in Beitunia, close to Ramallah, by the Palestinian police, and released on Tuesday at a checkpoint near the West Bank settlement of Beit El. Upon their release, they were detained for further questioning by Israeli police.
The brothers were arrested on suspicion of establishing a marijuana growing business. They claimed that they were tortured while they were held in the Palestinian facility, including being hung upside down for hours at a time and tied up in order to pressure them to confess. They also maintained they were not given enough food and were denied the opportunity to shower.
Israel’s Civil Administration, a unit of the Defense Ministry that manages the day-to-day operations of the West Bank, was only notified of their arrest two weeks after the incident. The brothers’ father said that he contacted the Israel Police’s Judea and Samaria Division in the West Bank about his sons’ arrest, but they ignored his request to push for their release.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Fatah officials slam PA for preventing Palestinians from clashing with IDF
For the second time over the past week, Palestinian Authority policemen on Wednesday prevented Palestinian protesters from marching towards the Beit El Junction north of Ramallah.
Wednesday’s protest was organized by Fatah on the occasion of the 51st anniversary of its first attack against Israel.
Last Friday, PA policemen used force to disperse dozens of protesters who were also planning to march towards the Beit El Junction and clash with IDF soldiers stationed there.
That protest was organized by various “national and Islamic” factions in the Ramallah area.
Some of the protesters and journalists accused the policemen of physically assaulting them and called for in investigation. The factions strongly condemned the PA leadership for instructing the security forces to break up the protest.
Senior Fatah officials who participated in Wednesday’s protest expressed anger over the PA police crackdown.
Israel seizes armor plating being smuggled into Gaza
Border officials this week thwarted an attempt to smuggle armor plating into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
An Israeli truck hauling spare car parts aroused the suspicion of workers in the Defense Ministry’s Border Crossing Authority, according to a statement.
When they examined the truck, authorities found several bulletproof plates, which could have been used to fortify terrorist strongholds in Gaza. This was the first time the border crossing authority has discovered an attempt to smuggle armor into the Strip, the ministry said.
The Defense Ministry does not yet know who is responsible for the smuggling attempt. The Israel Police, Shin Bet, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories’ unit (COGAT), the Customs Authority and Border Crossing Authority have opened an investigation into the matter, according to the Defense Minsitry’s statement.
Egypt launches airstrikes on IS affiliate in Sinai, killing 15
The Egyptian air force began intensive airstrikes on Thursday morning against a local branch of the Islamic State group in Egyptian Rafah, near the border with the Gaza Strip, local media reported.
Palestinian sources were quoted by the Walla news site as saying that Egyptian fighter jets were entering Gaza’s airspace in their attacks on the Wilayat Sinaa group (formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis), which has claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks on Egyptian soldiers and civilians over the last two years.
Sky News Arabia reported that 15 people had been killed in the airstrikes.
Egyptian officials said Thursday that militants in the restive northern Sinai had shelled a home near a security checkpoint in Rafah, killing an entire family of five and wounding a teenage neighbor.
Egyptian Air Force jets enter Gaza airspace in bombing raids
The Egyptian Air Force (EAF) began intensive bombardment near the Gaza Strip this morning in the area surrounding the Egyptian town of Rafah. According to Palestinian media reports EAF planes entered into the airspace of Gaza itself.
The target of the air raids are positions belonging to ISIS's Egypt branch, known as "Sinai Province." Arabic language Sky News reported 15 fatalities thus far due to the bombings.
Hamas at times helps ISIS supporters in the Sinai Peninsula by supplying them with weapons and supplies smuggled out of the strip. Reports of bombings within the strip itself have increased tensions between Egypt and Hamas.
Egypt: President Calls for Islamic Reform Again in Muhammad Birthday Speech
During a speech marking the anniversary of Muhammad’s birth, Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi again made historic remarks speaking to Islamic scholars about the need for religious freedom and acceptance of all religions.
According to Egyptian Streets, President Sisi urged reform of Islamic discourse and called on Islamic scholars to send Christmas greetings to Christians. In the televised speech to Islamic scholars, President Sisi stated, “We talk a lot about the importance of religious discourse… In our schools, institutes and universities, do we teach and practice respect for the others?” He continued, “We neither teach or practice it.”
Egyptian Streets quoted President Sisi during the speech, stating, “God did not create the world for the ‘ummah’ [Arabic for ‘nation’ or ‘community’] to be alone. [He didn’t create it] for one community, but for communities. [He didn’t create it] for one religion, but for religions.”
President Sisi continued, “Can I impose upon someone pressure, physically or morally, to change their religion? Would God accept this?… What are we afraid of? Are we custodians of people’s minds or choices? No, we are not. In religion specifically, no. Each of us will be judged independently… and [people] will have to answer [for their choices and what they choose to believe].”
He also stated during the speech that “he does not allow anyone to tell him Christians should be treated differently.”
Egypt jails Muslim scholar for suggesting Islamic reform
An Egyptian court has reduced the jail term for a Muslim scholar convicted of "insulting Islam" on his television show from five years to one, judicial officials and his lawyer said Tuesday.
Islam al-Behairy faced an uproar in April after remarks he made on his program "With Islam," in which he called for reforms in "traditional Islamic discourse."
On his show on private satellite channel Al-Kahera Wel Nas, Behairy often questioned ancient Islamic preachings and centuries-old interpretations of the faith.
That came as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has repeatedly urged reforms in interpretation of the faith.
But Behairy's views outraged the influential Cairo-based Sunni Islamic learning center Al-Azhar, which claimed the program did not advocate "reforms" but rather "were insults to Islamic heritage."
Santa chased, converts to Islam in anti-New Year celebration demonstration
Men dressed as Ottoman janissaries chased Santa Claus in a street show protesting the celebration of New Year's Eve in western Turkey, which ended with Santa converting to Islam.
As the show proceeded, Santa was brought to face a qadi, an Islamic judge in the Ottoman era, after he was caught by the janissaries, the Ottoman elite infantry units.
The act, staged by members of the nationalist-Islamic Grand Unity Party (BBP) in the province of Bolu, highlights anti-New Year's Eve celebrations sentiments in Turkey, where the festivity is widely deemed to be associated with Christianity.
Turkish media have reported education authorities in some districts of Turkey have sent notices to schools banning New Year's Eve celebrations.
This year's demonstration comes after a similar one by the BBP last year, in which Ottoman janissaries chased Santa on the streets and then took him before the sultan. The sultan then banished Santa from the city.
PreOccupiedTerritory: PLO To Kill 1000’s Of Palestinians So Israeli Genocide Looks Real (satire)
Tired of population statistics not bearing out the oft-repeated charge that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians, officials among the various factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization agreed on a plan today to massacre thousands of Palestinians to bring the figures in line with those accusations, and thus lend greater diplomatic, moral, and political weight to their own position.
Representatives of Fatah, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and several other groups voted unanimously to adopt a policy of murdering their countrymen with the aim of making Israel look bad. While some of the participants could only take part via satellite or the internet, given Israeli security measures to keep them away, all were able to register their support for the move.
The plan is slated to take place in up to three stages. In Stage One, Fatah gangs will round up and massacre thousands of Palestinians. If the world fails to react as if Israel has committed genocide, larger gangs will be formed, to bring the death toll into the tens of thousands. If that level of mass murder similarly proves insufficient, other PLO member groups will be recruited to supplement the killing and reach for six figures, which will guarantee that genocide has taken place by anyone’s definition.
Outside staunch anti-Israel circles, the accusations of Israeli genocide have been dismissed as either exaggerations or fabrications, even among those who sympathize with the Palestinian plight. In fact the Palestinian population has steadily increased, and at a much greater rate following Israel’s capture in 1967 of areas previously occupied by Jordan and Egypt, containing the bulk of the Palestinian population. Such statistics gave the lie to previous accusations of genocide.

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