Thursday, January 28, 2016

From Ian:

Anne Bayefsky: UN fails to learn lessons of Holocaust. It focuses on showmanship
Analogizing Palestinians to the Jewish victims of the Nazis: that’s how the UN is marking this week’s “International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.” The epicenter of modern antisemitism on a global scale is not somewhere over there, but in the middle of Turtle Bay.
For public tour groups, and their busloads of impressionable American students from around the country, the UN ‘s permanent “Palestine” exhibit has now been arranged to be within a few feet of the UN’s permanent Holocaust exhibit.
This week’s activities follow suit.
On January 25, 2016, a temporary exhibit called “Holocaust by Bullets” was opened in the UN visitors’ lobby. The painstaking research of the French organization Yahad-In Unum substantiates how two million Jews were shot to death in the presence of normal folks all over Europe.
But “Holocaust by Bullets” follows the UN’s December exhibition, which is titled “Palestinian Children: Overcoming Tragedies with Hope, Dreams, Resilience and Dignity.” That month-long display in the visitors’ lobby consisted of scenes of Palestinian children suffering from “devastating” wanton, unprovoked Israeli “operations.”
Father Patrick Desbois opened Yahad-In Unum’s exhibit by explaining that his team locates the bodies of Nazi victims and then honors the dead. He is driven to ensure that Europe does not bury “all its values” by building its future on unacknowledged and unvalued human beings in mass graves.
Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour opened December’s exhibit with a different set of values – incitement for Palestinian children to kill more Jews. As Mansour explained: “we are so proud that in this popular uprising, the backbone of this uprising are the youth of Palestine.”
Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt: We have gone back to the Middle Ages and face religious war with the fascists of radical Islam
If the 20th century could be characterised as a battle between territories, then I believe the 21st century has seen a return to the religious wars of the Middle Ages. The rise of Isil has followed fifteen years since 9/11 where Islamic religious terrorism has become the premier menace to democracy. In fact, the attacks on 9/11 ended the 20th century, in which secular totalitarian ideologies, such as Nazism and Communism challenged the existing world order and world peace.
One of the many challenges this new war poses is that it goes against the tolerant, inclusive society that has developed in the Western World over the last fifty years. For that reason, the first reaction of many is to divorce terrorism from religion. Many feel that the only way to protect religious freedoms is to deny radical elements. We need to understand the fact that there are radicalised aspects within many faiths, in particular Islam. Its fascist offshoot, Isil, is a strain of Islam and must be treated as such. These interpretations of Islam must be denounced but we must realise that we have now entered a religious war.
Islam, as it is practised today in some parts of the Middle East, is similar to Christianity in the premodern times, it has not yet developed or learnt to integrate into society. Therefore, by definition, it is entirely medieval and contrary to the basic tenets of a liberal state or democracy. But it would be ridiculous to assume that more than one billion Muslims are radical and dangerous. Instead we need to learn to differentiate between those strains that have developed and those strains that are a genuine danger to the developed world.
MEMRI: For International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Publishes Holocaust Denial Video
Today, January 27, 2016, International Holocaust Remembrance Day and the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published on his official website a three-minute video clip titled "Are The Dark Ages Over?" In it, he expresses doubt about whether the Holocaust actually happened, rages about Europe's ban on public questioning of the validity of the Holocaust, and hints at a conspiracy on the part of Western Europe and the U.S. – which champion freedom of speech yet at the same time prevent open discussion of whether the Holocaust happened, and rages about Europe's ban on denying the Holocaust.
Khamenei attacks what he calls the hypocrisy of the West that champion the value of freedom of speech yet prevent any discussion of whether the Holocaust actually happened. This silence about the Holocaust that is imposed by the West on their citizens, he hints, is a conspiracy by the Western countries and the Zionist regime, aimed at establishing falsely, justification for Israel's existence, as it expels the Palestinians.
He then calls on the Muslim ummah, in a religious message, to come together to fight Israel and her Western patrons, because it is they who are perpetrating the real "Ignorance" – Jahiliyya – a reference to the era of ignorance that preceded the advent of Islam.
The clip also features images of leading European Holocaust deniers such as Roger Garaudy, Robert Faurisson, and David Irving, and highlighted the alleged persecution of them by Western authorities.
Supreme leader of Iran marks Holocaust Memorial Day by publishing Holocaust denying video
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, has marked Holocaust Memorial Day by publishing a Holocaust denying video on his official website.
While nations around the world remembered the millions of people who were killed in Auschwitz and other concentration camps, Iran’s hardline leader questioned whether the Holocaust “is a reality or not”.
Khamenei's website promotes the video with a banner across its homepage, featuring a montage of images, including one of Adolf Hitler.
Wednesday was also the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland where more than one million people were killed during World War Two. The majority were Jews and the former extermination camp is the world's biggest Jewish cemetery.
Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis attempted to annihilate all of Europe’s Jews. In one of the largest genocides in history, approximately six million Jews were killed by Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime and its collaborators.
Khamenei's message comes as President Hassan Rouhani tours Italy and France, attempting to drum up trade and diplomatic links after his country signed a historic deal to limit its nuclear ambitions.

Israeli man seriously wounded in stabbing attack
An Israeli man was wounded Wednesday night in a terror stabbing at a gas station outside the West Bank settlement of Givat Ze’ev, north of Jerusalem.
The victim was treated by medical teams at the scene. The Magen David Adom first-aid service said he was stabbed in the upper body and moderately to severely wounded. He was rushed to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for further treatment, police said.
Witnesses at the scene said the suspected terrorist attempted to flee the area, but was caught by civilians who alerted security personnel. According to police, the Palestinian terror suspect was subdued and arrested by security forces.
Nati Ostri, a volunteer for the Hatzalah rescue service who treated the victim, said police arrived in force immediately after the attack and prevented the stabber from attacking others.
Bookseller to realize terror victim’s dream of mini urban libraries
Israel’s largest bookseller will implement the dream of terror victim Shlomit Krigman, who envisioned creating a system of mini urban libraries to encourage reading.
Steimatzky Books said it would implement the free, community-run initiative at bus stops across the country to honor her memory and her love of books, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Thursday.
“After hearing of Shlomit’s project, we decided to preserve her memory this way so that everyone can enjoy books and reading, just like she wanted,” the bookseller said, according the report.
Krigman sustained serious injuries during a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on Monday and died of her wounds the following day. She was spending time with her grandparents in the settlement when she was attacked by Palestinian terrorist while shopping at a local grocery store.
She had recently completed her bachelors degree in industrial design at Ariel University, submitting an outline of her idea for her senior project.
 Is It ‘Human Nature’ to Kill Jews?
On Tuesday, the UN Security Council met to discuss "The Situation in the Middle East." But instead of tackling the difficult problem of how to end the civil war in Syria that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives or the rise of ISIS, the UN preferred to devote its time and energy to Israel's continued presence in the West Bank, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon rationalized Palestinian terror by declaring, "it is human nature to react to occupation."
Ban ignores the fact that Israel has repeatedly offered the Palestinian Authority statehood and withdrawal from almost all of the West Bank. If the goal of the Palestinians were truly statehood, they would have jumped on the deals put on the table in 2000, 2001, and 2008, all of which would have granted them sovereignty over this territory as well as a share of Jerusalem. But Palestinian leaders have never been willing to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders might be drawn. That's why all discussion of Palestinian "frustration" is deeply misleading.
The Palestinian refusal to negotiate peace has made it obvious that the widespread belief that the settlements are the obstacles to peace is absurd. Palestinian public opinion continues to view the Jewish presence in any part of the country as unacceptable. Whether Jews are sitting in a cafe in Tel Aviv or in a West Bank settlement, Palestinians think they deserve death. It is not "human nature" that drives Palestinians to seek out random Israelis to stab or shoot, but rather a Palestinian ideology that views territorial compromise as treason.
UN chief redoubles criticism of Israel’s ‘stifling’ occupation
Ban reiterated that “nothing excuses terror,” but added that a security clampdown will not succeed in settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The UN chief called for a return to negotiations, saying it was the “one and only path to a just and lasting solution — an end to the occupation that began in 1967” and a Palestinian state.
Ban said Palestinians had heard “half a century of statements” condemning Israel’s occupation, but that their lives had not improved.
“We issue statements. We express concern. We voice solidarity. But life hasn’t changed. And some Palestinians wonder: Is this all meant to simply run out the clock?
“They ask: Are we meant to watch as the world endlessly debates how to divide land while it disappears before our very eyes?”
Ban earlier rebuffed Israeli claims that his comments about “Palestinian frustration” stoke terrorism, his spokesman said, adding that Ban believes “nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify terrorism.”
“Stabbings, vehicle attacks, and shootings by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians – all of which I condemn — and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, have continued to claim lives,” Ban had told the UN Security Council, adding: “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.”
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Wednesday that Ban stands by “every word of his statement” to the Security Council.
Another UN disgrace
Earlier this week, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gave us a lesson in behavioral science. After he explained, during a discussion on the situation in the Middle East, that he opposes construction in the settlements, he went on to add that it is "human nature" to resist occupation. In crazy days such as these, when Israeli civilians have been stabbed and murdered for four months on end in this most recent wave of terror, we can only wonder if it is also "U.N. nature" to grant Palestinian terrorists the legitimacy to kill.
"Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process," he said. "Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth. Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism."
Ban also condemned the acts of violence while mentioning Palestinian terror, but considering his outlandish declarations in support of terror, the only conclusion we can reach is that Ban essentially condemned and justified, justified and condemned, this terrorism. It is disgraceful, it is dangerous, it is uncouth -- but mostly it is also a testament to ignorance or hypocrisy, maybe both.
Commemorating dead Jews while hating the living
Celebrating dead Jews while inciting against the living, however, is not just a European pastime. "The ‎Holocaust was a colossal crime. ... This year, we focus on 'the Holocaust and Human Dignity.' We link ‎Holocaust remembrance with the founding principles of the United Nations, as expressed in the United ‎Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As we do, we are reminded of our ‎shared obligation to assure everyone the right to live free from discrimination and with equal protection ‎under the law. Today, with a rising tide of anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry and other forms of ‎discrimination, we must do even more to defend these rights for people everywhere," U.N. Secretary ‎General Ban Ki-moon said on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.‎
Ban uttered there words the day after justifying and condoning terrorism against Jews in Israel in ‎a speech to the U.N. Security Council. "As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it ‎is human nature to react to occupation." The U.N. chief called Israeli settlement activities "an affront to ‎the Palestinian people and to the international community. ... They rightly raise fundamental questions ‎about Israel's commitment to a two-state solution." ‎
It would be nice if the world would spare us its pompous and tasteless eulogies about our dead ancestors ‎and stop inciting our murder in the present.

Ambassador Danon's Statement to Media- 1.26.16

Former Amb. Oren: UN Secretary General’s Comment on Knife Attacks “Legitimizes Murder”
Oren, currently a member of Knesset, took issue with Ban’s statement on Tuesday referring to terrorism as a reaction to occupation that is embedded in “human nature.”
“When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that Palestinian terror is a natural response to occupation, he is legitimizing murder,” Oren wrote in a Facebook post. “I suggest that the next time Ban speaks he should look at the photos of Shlomit Kreigman, Dafna Meir, and dozens of Israelis recently massacred by Palestinians. He should look at the faces of the victims’ families. He should look and feel deeply ashamed.”
Shlomit Krigman, a 23-year-old industrial design student, died after sustaining serious injuries during an attack by two Palestinian terrorists in a grocery store earlier this week. Mother-of-six and nurse Dafna Meir was stabbed to death at the entrance to her home last week. Meir’s killer was a Palestinian teenager who, according to Israel’s internal security service, was motivated to murder by programming he saw on Palestinian television.
Ban Ki-moon accused of war crimes
Gershon Horowitz, a longtime Likud functionary and retired army major who writes in leftist newspaper Haaretz, proclaimed Tuesday that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is a "war criminal."
Horowitz relied on the newly published Amnesty International report, which confirmed Israel's longstanding accusation that some of the rockets Hamas fired at Israel in the 2014 Gaza war were launched from UN-controlled facilities.
The UN should have known that its facilities were being used for war crimes, he argued, and noted that ammunition, too, was stored in UN schools.
When Ban told Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he insists that the UN investigate suspicions of Israeli war crimes, he was simply going on offense because that is the best defense, Horowitz surmised.
"As the head of the organization that allowed rockets to be fired on peaceful civilians from its facilities, Ban Ki-moon must stand trial as a war criminal," he stated.
How the U.N. Let Assad Edit the Truth of Syria’s War
Its title is prosaic and its content dry, but the stark statistics in the U.N.’s annual summary of relief programs tell the story of Syria’s humanitarian nightmare. This is a country on life support: 13.6 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, Syrians are being displaced at a rate of 50 families per hour every day, and at least 1 million people in displaced persons camps receive no international aid.
But to close readers of the U.N. Humanitarian Response Plan, which was published on Dec. 29, the big surprise was what the 64-page document failed to mention. The United Nations, after consulting the Syrian government, altered dozens of passages and omitted pertinent information to paint the government of Bashar al-Assad in a more favorable light.
By comparing the final document to an earlier draft that was obtained by Foreign Policy, it is evident that 10 references to “sieged” or “besieged” areas, such as that in Madaya — the town in southwestern Syria that saw 23 people die of starvation over several months before the arrival of a U.N. aid convoy in mid-January — were removed. Gone was any mention of the program to clear mines and unexploded ordnance, such as the “barrel bombs” the regime drops indiscriminately on populated areas. Gone were all mentions of Syrian relief groups that shepherd the aid to civilians in rebel-held areas.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) indicated that the alterations were made at the behest of the Syrian government.
Swedish FM Mocked on Social Media for ‘Hypocritical’ Holocaust Statement After ‘Justifying Palestinian Terror Against Israelis’
Israelis reacted with contempt to the Holocaust Remembrance Day statement issued by the Swedish foreign minister on Wednesday, with comments on social media mocking Margot Wallström for her “gall” and “hypocrisy.”
One member of the Twittersphere — who posted a link to the statement (titled “The battle against anti-Semitism and racism must always be fought”) – was Israel-based international human rights lawyer and Middle East analyst Arsen Ostrovsky.
“You have no right, none @margotwallstrom, to speak on the #Holocaust, when you justify terror vs #Israel!” Ostrovsky wrote.
Speaking to The Algemeiner shortly after expressing his outrage, Ostrovsky expanded on his abbreviated criticism.
“It is a travesty of justice and gross offense to the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, that Margot Wallström, who has excused, justified and condoned terror against Israelis, has the chutzpah to now invoke Holocaust Remembrance Day to talk about fighting antisemitism,” he said.
Senior PFLP member calls to escalate the 'intifada'
Zaher al-Shishtari, one of the leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, on Wednesday called for the escalation of the current wave of terrorism against Israelis, which Palestinian Arab terrorist groups are referring to as the “Al-Quds Intifada”.
In a statement to Hamas’s website, al-Shishtari said that the best way to support the intifada is by signing an agreement on the establishment of a unified national leadership.
He claimed that the Palestinian people under attack and as are being “executed” and this situation necessitates the establishment of a unified Palestinian leadership.
He called on the Palestinian Authority to adhere to the decisions of the PLO Central Council in March of 2015, namely to cease the security coordination with "the Israeli occupation".
The Palestinian organizations, said al-Shishtari, must lead the Palestinian people to a large-scale intifada that will bring an end to the split in the Palestinian arena and will pave the way for a unified national leadership.
Washington Post Reports Palestinian Incitement, Still Misses Point
Why post a long critique of a short newspaper article, one that's appeared to date online but not in print? To spotlight once more a major news outlet's failure to deal comprehensively with Palestinian anti-Israel, antisemitic incitement, the effects of which help block Arab-Israeli peace and contribute to the spread of Jew-hatred worldwide.
The Washington Post's “Israel's Netanyahu blames children's shows for Palestinian terror” (WorldViews, online only, Jan. 25, 2016), is a journalistic example of “playing small.” The basketball equivalent of a boxer pulling his punches, “playing small” describes a tall athlete not using his or her physical advantage fully but rather playing like someone shorter.
“Israeli's Netanyahu blames children's shows,” by Post Jerusalem Bureau Chief William Booth, gingerly circles Palestinian anti-Israeli, anti-Jewish incitement rather than reporting it straight. In other words, it plays small.
This continues a trend in the newspaper's Israeli-Palestinian coverage. See, for example, “Washington Post Obscures the Obvious—Palestinian Hatred of Jews,” CAMERA, Oct. 21, 2015.
'Israel to invest to track potential terrorists on social media'
Israel will invest more in technology enabling it to gather intelligence on social media about potential “lone wolf” terrorists, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Wednesday.
Erdan was speaking at a session at the third annual Cybertech conference in Tel Aviv devoted to using Israel’s cyber abilities to fight the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and efforts to delegitimize Israel. Erdan is also head of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, in charge of the government’s anti-BDS efforts.
The session was organized by the Israeli American Council, headed by Adam Milstein, which is promoting ways to use cyber technology to tackle BDS. Milstein described BDS as an “existential threat” to Israel.
Erdan said that the current wave of terrorism is forcing Israel to deal with a new challenge. When the terrorism was directed by terrorist organizations, Israel knew well how to collect intelligence and thwart the attacks, he said.
Hamas lawmaker arrested in the West Bank
Muhammad Abu Tir, 64, was arrested in Kafr Aqab, north of Jerusalem, reports said.
The Palestinian lawmaker has been arrested several times in the past. In 2012 he was released from a year of detention without charges and expelled from Jerusalem, and is banned from entering the capital.
In June 2015 he was again released following an arrest.
The other 14 suspects were detained for suspected involvement in “popular terrorism” and violent confrontations with Israeli civilians and security forces, the army said in a statement.
In the West Bank town of Tulkarem, soldiers seized an M-16 rifle along with magazines, ammunition and other military equipment.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Hamas Blames Death Of 7 In Tunnel On Delay Of Waaambulance (satire)
In addition, the trouble that resulted from the delay of the waaambulance resulted in the need for more waaambulances, trapping an ever-widening circle of participants in a self-generated disaster. Further catastrophe was averted only by the loud insistence that Israel was somehow to blame for the deaths and injuries, and the renewed annual reports that Israel was flooding the Gaza Strip by opening dams that do not exist. The prevention by such means, however, is likely only to delay, not eliminate, the need for waaambulances.
Waaambulances are in constant demand among Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants, who elected Hamas to be their leaders in 2006 and continue to publicly support them. Four Hamas-led wars against Israel have brought nothing but destruction to the territory, and done more harm than good to the cause of Palestinian independence. The Israeli blockade aimed at preventing Hamas rearming for another war attracts media attention to Hamas representatives and sympathizers who complain of a “siege,” referring to Israeli restrictions that allow into Gaza whatever food, medicine, and consumer goods the people seek to import, with the exception of materials and items that can be used to produce weapons.
Those restrictions have been associated with previous waaambulance-related incidents in Gaza. An official complained in November that Israel was not allowing waaambulances into the territory, requiring that a waaambulance be summoned for him. However, nearly the entire fleet had already been dispatched to address whining over Egypt’s flooding of tunnels under the border at Rafah to prevent trafficking of arms between Hamas and ISIS in the Sinai.
4 children said killed in crossfire in Egypt’s Rafah
The casualties were caught in the crossfire, Israel Radio reported. The report did not detail which terror group was battling with Egyptian forces.
Powerful explosions were heard in the area, the radio said, and reports emerged that mortar shells had been fired.
Earlier Thursday, an Egyptian affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed a colonel and three soldiers in North Sinai, where it is spearheading a deadly insurgency.
Wednesday’s bombing in North Sinai’s provincial capital of El-Arish targeted the troops’ armored vehicle when it was engaged in a search operation, security officials and emergency services said.
Another 12 soldiers were wounded in the blast.
The Dangerous Fantasy behind Obama’s Iran Deal
So how can the White House justify such a lopsided deal?
Legendary national-security expert Richard Perle said it best in a recent interview with Secure Freedom Radio:
Their concept is that the terms of the agreement and the likely consequences if the Iranians choose to do what they are able to do under the agreement don’t matter because this agreement is somehow going to magically transform an Iranian regime that regards the United States as the great Satan and engages us through the subvention of terrorism in many places throughout the world. . . . And so for people who hold this view — and I believe the president is among them — the details of the agreement and the consequences of the agreement are of no significance. They are making an enormous and I think an improvident bet. This bet is that this agreement, which satisfies what the Iranians are looking for, will somehow lead the Iranians to become our friends. In this they are certainly mistaken.
That’s the utter absurdity of the Iran deal in a nutshell: Its details don’t matter, because it is meant only to transform Iran into an American ally, against all reason. Because Obama knows he could never sell such a utopian plan to the American people and the U.S. Congress, his administration used the mostly incoherent agreement as a pretext.
But giving Iran everything it wanted in a nuclear agreement won’t lead it to rejoin the community of civilized nations and become a friend of the U.S. All indications from Tehran say the opposite: the regime’s character remains unchanged, and if anything it has become a more influential and destabilizing actor in the Middle East since it signed the nuclear deal. As a result, America’s friends and allies in the region are increasingly worried about a growing threat to their security and U.S. credibility has been further diminished.
Here’s hoping Obama’s successor can repair the damage.
Report: Iran deploys Hezbollah to get its old ally Hamas back
Hezbollah is expected to start mediating soon between Hamas and Iran in order to reconcile between both parties and bring Hamas, which is financed today buy the Gulf states, back into Tehran's fold.
London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday that the new mediation comes after Iran failed in its previous attempts to convince Hamas to announce its support for Iran in the Islamic Republic’s battle with Saudi Arabia for regional supremacy, in exchange for Iranian financial aid.
According to the report, Naim Qassem, the deputy secretary-general of Hezbollah, has invited the deputy chairman of Hamas' political bureau, Mousa Abu Marzouk, to Lebanon to meet senior Iranian officials, including officers in Iran's Revolutionary Guard.
The reported meeting is expected to take place after the end of reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah that will start in Doha in February.
Although it is desperate for money, Hamas will not easily relinquish its alignment with Saudi Arabia and take Iran's side. Doing so will paint Hamas in the Sunni world as a traitor that collaborates with a regime which is accused of starving Syrian children to death.
Report: Iran Is World’s Leading Executioner of Children
The Islamic Republic of Iran leads the way in invoking capital punishment upon minors, forgoing a past pledge to do away with the death penalty for citizens under eighteen, Amnesty International said in a report released Monday.
Iran “has continued to consign juvenile offenders to the gallows, while trumpeting as major advances, piecemeal reforms that fail to abolish the death penalty against juvenile offenders,” Amnesty writes in its report, titled: “Growing Up on Death Row: The Death Penalty and Juvenile Offenders in Iran.”
The Amnesty report documents the execution of at least 73 minors inside Iran over the past ten years, stating that an additional 160 juveniles are lined up for execution on death row.
The New York Times reports that this may lead to doubts over whether Iran is truly trying to reform the rights of minors.
Instead, authorities have chosen to “whitewash their continuing violations of children’s rights and deflect criticism of their appalling record as one of the world’s last executioners of juvenile offenders,” Amnesty states in its report.
Iran leads the way as an executioner of juveniles, and is joined by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen as executioners of minors. There are also minors on death row in Maldives and Nigeria, the Times report adds.
French car-maker Peugeot returns to Iran
French car-maker Peugeot will return to Iran in a partnership deal with a local manufacturer worth 400 million euros ($436 million), according to an agreement signed Thursday during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France.
The deal will see Peugeot work with the manufacturer Iran Khodro, with the first vehicles expected to roll off the production line in 2017.
It makes Peugeot the first Western car-maker to announce a return to Iran since sanctions were lifted against the country after it signed a deal to limit its nuclear program.
Peugeot and its French partner Citroen will work with Iran Khodro to produce 200,000 vehicles a year using parts manufactured in Iran.
On Holocaust Remembrance Day, Iran Cartoon Contest Has Policy Implications
Calling the cartoon contest “blatantly ugly overt antisemitism,” ISGAP’s Small said Holocaust denial is the basis of the Iranian regime’s ideology, which is seeded in radial jihadist thinking.
Ken Jacobson, the Anti-Defamation League’s deputy national director, told that Iran’s Holocaust denial is “not per se about the Holocaust. It’s about vicious antisemitism [going on] in the world. It’s an attack on the Jewish people, and it’s a threat.”
Last year’s Iranian Holocaust cartoon contest, organizers said, was a response to international support for such an endeavor following the Islamist terror attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo over its publication of cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed, whose depiction is taboo in Islam. Iranian contest organizers said they’re trying to show that those who defend cartoons depicting Mohammed can’t have it both ways. Iran started the Holocaust cartoon contest in 2006 after a Danish newspaper published cartoon depictions of Mohammed.
With the US now more closely tied to Iran following the nuclear deal, that’s all the more reason to closely monitor Iran’s actions to “understand we’re dealing with a very dangerous regime, to keep tabs on them and keep pressure on them [regarding the regime’s] antisemitism and terrorism,” said Jacobson.
“We’ve been saying to the [Obama] administration, ‘You’ve got to be clear about their human rights violations, support of terrorism…and take sanctions against them if they violate the [nuclear] agreement,” he said.
French Jews appalled by Iranian president’s visit on Holocaust remembrance day
French Jews protested against the arrival to Paris of Iran’s president, saying it was particularly unacceptable because it fell on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Hassan Rouhani, who was supposed to visit France in November but postponed his arrival because of terrorist attacks that killed 130 in Paris that month, landed in the French capital on Jan. 27.
In 2005, the United Nations designated that date to commemorate the genocide because that was the day that the Red Army reached the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.
“The world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day while France welcomes the Iranian president,” CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, wrote on Twitter. “We say ‘no’ to Rouhani,” CRIF also wrote.
Rouhani’s five-day visit to Italy and France, which will end Friday, is the first by an Iranian president in nearly two decades, as Tehran seeks to rebuild economic ties and secure new trade deals following the lifting of international sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.
Speaking Tuesday at the French National Assembly, the French lower house, lawmaker Meyer Habib, who used to be CRIF’s vice president, cited Iran’s track record of promoting Holocaust denial, threatening to destroy the Jewish state and its human rights violations as incompatible with French values, and those being commemorated on Jan. 27.
Topless Femen activist hangs from Paris bridge in anti-Rouhani protest
A topless activist from the international women's rights movement Femen hung from a bridge in Paris on Thursday, in protest over Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's visit to the French capital.
Her chest painted with the Iranian flag, the activist staged a mock execution, as a banner hung from the Debilly Footbridge above her, reading "Welcome Rouhani, executioner of freedom."
"We organized this public display as a little reminder of the fact that every year, more than 800 people are sentenced to death in his country," Femen France's spokesperson Sarah Constantin explained.
"Among them are women, feminists, homosexuals, and free-thinkers who are rotting on death row, just because they are free-thinkers. And Francois Hollande doesn't take any of this into account. He is welcoming him [Rouhani] at the Elysee Palace this afternoon to have a quiet cup of tea and sign a few contracts, and to sell him a few Airbuses. It shows that Francois Hollande doesn't care about human rights; the only thing he cares about is business," she added.
Turkey leaves dead Kurds to rot in the streets
During the Turkish general election of June 7, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) got 13.1 percent of the votes and prevented President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP government from reaching a supermajority, with which Erdogan could have changed the constitution and assumed dictatorial powers. Then in August, democratically- elected Kurdish mayors and politicians in some Kurdish towns in Turkey’s Kurdistan region demanded their right to self-rule, which they call “democratic autonomy.”
Since then, there has been constant massacre and ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish population in southeastern Turkey, which should actually be called Kurdistan.
Several Kurdish districts under curfew have been devastated by bombs, tank and artillery fire. At least 10,000 Turkish soldiers and special operations police have reportedly been deployed in Kurdish neighborhoods.
Sweden Govt Impounds Turkish Ship Carrying TONNES Of Explosives, Rockets, Ammunition
The Swedish government is holding a Turkish owned cargo ship loaded with explosives and rockets bound for the Middle East, with experts voicing concerns it could be an explosion risk.
Turkish-owned, Panama-flagged Whiskey Trio has been detained by the Swedish transport authority over the “unseaworthy” condition of the ship an the poor environment for the crew, which have been described as unhygienic. Denouncing the condition of the freighter, the transportation workers union press release described the craft as “a rusty ship with poverty wages”.
Another called it the “worst ship” he had “ever inspected”.
The major concern over the elderly ship is the cargo, which includes “tonnes” of explosives, rockets and ammunition in 13 containers bound for an unconfirmed port in the Middle East, possibly in Yemen or Oman by way of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Montenegro. Investigators have discovered bare 380-volt cables and other ignition risks, and an explosives expert has said if the cargo went up, it could take out the whole harbour town of Varberg together with its 30,000 inhabitants.
The ship was due to unload some of these in Sweden, but port authorities got to it first. The ship had called at a number of other European ports before being intercepted in Sweden, and the last call had been in Sheerness in the United Kingdom.
Egypt Cancels Private Screening of Award-Winning Israeli Film
Egypt’s Culture Ministry canceled a planned screening of an award-winning Israeli comedic film, The Band’s Visit, Haaretz reported Wednesday.
A screening of the 2007 film about an Egyptian band visiting Israel was scheduled for last Sunday at the cultural center in the city of Beni, Egyptian media reported.
The film’s director, Eran Kolirin, told Haaretz that the screening was a private and unofficial event.
“A few people, maybe students, organized the independent screening of the film, probably in some community center. In fact, because it was unofficial, it was exciting and gladdening. I received an invitation for the event on Facebook, and after that one of the organizers approached me and asked if I could send a video, so they could show me before the screening or afterward. But before I managed to do it, a journalist called to ask for my response to the cancellation,” Kolirin said.
The Band’s Visit has won eight Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of America’s Academy Awards. The specific motive behind the screening’s cancellation was unclear from the Haaretz report.
Teen 'planned to pack a kangaroo with explosives, paint an ISIS symbol on it, and let it loose on police' in Anzac Day terror plot
A teenager allegedly planned to pack a kangaroo with explosives, paint it with an Islamic State symbol and set it loose on police officers in an Anzac Day terror plot, a court has heard.
Sevdet Ramadan Besim, 19, is also accused of plotting to run down and behead a police officer at a Veterans' Day ceremony in Melbourne last year.
He has been ordered to stand trial in the Victorian Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to four terror charges.
Besim, from Hallam, in Melbourne's outer south-east, was arrested along with four alleged conspirators in April 2015 - a week before Anzac Day. He has been in custody since.

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