Saturday, April 16, 2016

From Ian:

Congressman to Obama on UN Israel action: 'Read this letter very carefully'
At least 90 percent of the House of Representatives opposes "one-sided" action at the UN Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a letter endorsed by 394 members this week– a clear message to the Obama administration, according to one of its authors, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York.
Several congressmen worked on the letter, sent to the White House amid fresh Palestinian and European efforts to affect the conflict through international bodies.
Lowey, a Democrat and ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that the administration had vetoed similar resolutions in the past– and that its reasoning for such vetoes "still applies today."
"I feel very confident– when just under 400 members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, express their position with great clarity– that the administration will read the letter," Lowey said. "Maybe they'll read this letter very carefully."

UNESCO adopts resolution ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount
UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris on Friday adopted a resolution whose language ignored Jewish ties to the holy religious site of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall area in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The broad ranging resolution condemned Israeli actions in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. But the resolution focused in large part on Israeli actions with regard to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall Plaza.
All three major monotheistic religions — Judaism, Christian and Islam — consider the Temple Mount to be a holy site.
But the UNESCO resolution referred to the Temple Mount area solely as the Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, except for two references to the Western Wall Plaza that were put in parenthesis.
The text also referred to the plaza area by the Western Wall as the Al-Buraq Plaza.
Lapid: 'UNESCO resolution on Temple Mount will lead to death of more innocents'
A prominent member of the Knesset on Saturday strongly criticized a resolution passed by UNESCO’s Executive Board the previous day, saying if the motion was not overturned it would "lead to the deaths of innocent people".
Yesh Atid chairmen MK Yair Lapid called on UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova to cancel a resolution passed by the international body Friday which fails to acknowledge the historical Jewish ties to the holy sites of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall
"This decision is a shameful attempt to rewrite history, rewrite reality as part of the ongoing political campaign against Israel and the Jewish people," Lapid stated in the letter.
"Palestinian incitement regarding the Temple Mount - which has been proven time and time again... has already cost the lives of dozens of Israelis. Your decision only serves to extend this current wave of terror and will only lead to the deaths of more innocent people You can not evade this responsibility," Lapid added.

Treaties, Textbooks, and Ties
Whenever I express optimism about the incremental improvements in Israel’s relations with the Arab world, I always get the same question: How can I be optimistic about relations with countries whose populations overwhelmingly loathe Israel and are often anti-Semitic to boot; whose governments actively propagate such sentiments through school curricula and state-run media, while working against Israel in every possible international forum? My answer is that none of that is new. What’s new is the growing number of people in the Arab world willing to publicly challenge these attitudes. Indeed, in recent weeks, scarcely a day has passed without another example.
Perhaps the most remarkable was an offshoot of last weekend’s Egyptian-Saudi deal under which Egypt will transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Those islands can effectively blockade access to Israel’s port of Eilat, and one such blockade was the proximate cause of the 1967 Six-Day War, during which Israel captured them. The 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty returned them to Egypt in exchange for a promise of Israeli freedom of navigation in the Red Sea – a promise threatened by the islands’ move to Saudi control, and consequently, a change in the peace treaty that required Israel’s consent.
Israel gave this consent because Riyadh provided a written pledge to honor the terms of the Israeli-Egyptian treaty. Moreover, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir reiterated this pledge publicly in an interview with Arab media: “The commitments that Egypt approved [in the peace treaty] we are also committed to, including the stationing of an international force on the islands… We are committed to what Egypt committed to before the international community.”
That’s a stunning shift for a country once so opposed to the treaty that it severed relations with Egypt for daring to sign it, and which still has no diplomatic relations with Israel itself: Saudi Arabia just formally committed itself to a peace treaty with a state it officially doesn’t recognize.
Deir Yassin: another picture worth a thousand lies
To be sure, Pallywood propaganda works: when I used a screenshot of the photo for an image search, Google promptly suggested that the most likely match was the Deir Yassin massacre. Only when I searched for the image adding “Nazi camps” I got as the top result a Ha’aretz book review from December 2014 that was illustrated with the same image captioned: “Rows of bodies fill the yard of the Boelcke Barracks, a subcamp of the Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camp. Credit: Wikicommons / T4c. James E Myers.”
The Wikicommons image can be found here; its description reads: “Aftermath of the British bombing raid of 3 and 4 April 1945 that destroyed the Boelcke-Kaserne (Boelcke Barracks) located in the south-east of the town of Nordhausen and killed around 1300 inmates. The barracks was a subcamp of the en:Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camp. Used as an overflow camp for sick and dying inmates from January 1945, numbers rose from a few hundred to over 6000, and the conditions saw up to 100 inmates die every day.”
Continuing my search, I confirmed another suspicion: the tireless blogger Elder of Ziyon had already dealt with the misappropriation of this image, which he discovered three years ago when Omid Safi, a professor of Islamic Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, used the photo to illustrate a blog post on the Deir Yassin massacre. As Elder of Ziyon noted in an update, Safi eventually removed the photo and replaced it with another one – which again has apparently nothing to do with Deir Yassin, but is most likely taken from the Sabra and Shatila massacres committed by Lebanese Christian Phalangists in September 1982. Needless to say, also this image remains popular as supposedly showing the aftermath of the Deir Yassin massacre; indeed, an apparently related image is also included (#10) in the Ahram Online gallery.
World Celebrates 71st Anniversary of Victory over Nazis by Ignoring Rise of Anti-Semitism (satire)
With very few people still alive that remember the elation of finally defeating Hitler and his misleading concentration camp entry signs, many feel that it has become especially important for the international community to keep the event alive for future generations. A lot of ideas were kicked around at the United Nations, including the annual destruction of Hitler piñatas and laughing at how Germans always sound angry even when they aren’t because of their bonkers language, but what the international community settled on rings familiar to many gefilte fish gobblers.
“After much deliberation,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today, “we have decided that, in the spirit of the time, and to remember the seven-decades old event, European anti-Semitism will just be, kind of, ignored.” Levels of anti-Semitism in Europe have been on the rise in recent years, with an exodus of Jews out of Europe that would make Moses blush. As expected, Israel opposed the idea, and seemed to find an unlikely partner on the topic in Iran, whose delegation announced that because the Holocaust never happened, there was no need for this type of “celebration.”
When Democrats Debate Israel
There was some irony that the woman who was President Obama’s secretary of state for four years and who on every other issue has desperately sought to link herself to his record would stake out such a strong position on Israel’s right to self-defense and to put the onus for the lack of peace on the Palestinians squarely where it belongs. After all, Sanders’ mischaracterization of Israel’s counter-attacks against Hamas missile launchers and terror tunnels as being wrongful was reminiscent of the White House’s own criticisms of Jerusalem during the 2014 Gaza war. Sanders’ position, that Americans should believe that “Netanyahu is not right all the time,” should resonate with Democrats who were told that they must back the president against the prime minister on the Iran nuclear deal out of party loyalty and their claim that the Israeli had insulted Obama. Indeed, though Clinton had reportedly spent the better part of an hour in 2010 yelling at Netanyahu over the administration’s claim that Israel had insulted Vice President Biden, she found herself taking the position last night of the advocate for less, rather than more, daylight between the two countries.
But, irony aside and the New York venue notwithstanding, supporters of Israel had to derive some comfort from the fact that Clinton spoke about the Jewish state in a way that reaffirmed the bipartisan nature of the alliance. Though no one should labor under the delusion that a Hillary Clinton administration would be as supportive of the Jewish state as that of her husband, it was nevertheless important that the country should hear the certain winner of the Democratic contest stating some plain truths about the conflict.
Though Clinton tried to couch her stand in language that made clear that she was a strong advocate for peace and for a two-state solution, her willingness to put the blame for the conflict on Palestinian terrorism and a refusal to make peace a refreshing moment of truth in a debate that otherwise centered on two variations of liberal cant.
While Sanders claimed the problem was that Israel and the U.S. were not devoted enough to the cause of treating Palestinians with respect, Clinton got to the heart of the issue by stating that, if a state was what they wanted, they could have had it 15 years ago when the Israelis first offered them one at the Camp David summit hosted by her husband. She also dismissed his talk of “disproportionate” Israeli actions by saying that Hamas hides among civilians, in effect using them as human shields, is rarely discussed when Palestinian terror is reported by the mainstream media. Even more rare was her mention of the fact that Israel left Gaza completely in 2005, and it became a terrorist enclave run by Hamas, “So instead of having a thriving economy with the kind of opportunities that the children of the Palestinians deserve, we have a terrorist haven that is getting more and more rockets shipped in from Iran and elsewhere.”
In reply, Sanders merely spouted about the need to recognize the problems of the Palestinians while refusing to own up to the fact that if the conflict has continued it has been by their choice. His statements were simplistic and as divorced from the reality of the conflict as a lot of the stands of the Obama administration which has done its best to create more daylight between Washington and Jerusalem since 2009. Though Sanders takes these positions while claiming to be a supporter of Israel and noting his personal connection to the country, his stands shows the breakdown of the once solid backing for the country among left-wing Jews.
But her push back, albeit delivered in the context of empty boasts about her negligible diplomatic accomplishments, made it clear that the mainstream Democratic position ought to be one that focuses on support for Israel and understands that the Palestinians are the authors of their own misery.
Danny DeVito: ‘Bernie really stood up for the Palestinians,’ Rips Hillary for Defending Israel
Danny DeVito introduced Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at a campaign rally in St. Louis, Missouri last month, and has been acting as a surrogate of sorts for the presidential candidate.
Speaking to the Daily Beast on Friday, DeVito criticized Israel’s response during the 2014 Gaza War, and ripped into Hillary Clinton for her defense of the Jewish state:
“I thought last night, in New York City, where the Israeli lobby is big and everybody is talking about Israel, Bernie really stood up for the Palestinians,” says DeVito. “Just say that you think there was excessive force the last time the Israelis attacked Gaza! No. She couldn’t say it. It’s gettin’ sticky because you don’t want the same thing to happen there that happened in South Africa. You don’t want that.”
DeVito was referring to Thursday night’s debate, where Sanders repeated his claim that Israel’s response during the Gaza War was “disproportionate.”
Kasich: We shouldn't interfere in Israel-PA conflict
The United States should not interfere in the Israeli-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace efforts unless both sides invite it to participate, Republican presidential candidate John Kasich told Haaretz in an interview on Thursday.
“I don’t think that’s our job,” Kasich said. “[PA chairman Mahmoud] Abbas is 80 years old. [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is trying to figure out what he wants to do in light of the constant violence. They have to figure out when the time is right. And then if the time is right and they ask us to be a mediator, we’re there. But I’m not going over there trying to pressure people to the table because it’ll fail.”
Kasich referred to the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement “has to stop.”
“That is nonsense, that is hate speech and it cannot be tolerated,” he told Haaretz. “I’d call people out on it. I’d call the leaders of the universities out on it. It’s garbage.”
Kasich’s comments on the Israeli-PA conflict reflect the different approaches that the different presidential candidates have taken on this issue.
Trump has in the past hinted he would be “neutral” on the Israel-PA conflict if elected president, while Cruz indicated he would not be neutral and would be on Israel’s side.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, for her part, called out both Trump and Cruz, saying they both “missed the mark.”
Alleged Brussels Terrorist Was Star Of Documentary About Successful Integration Of Immigrants
The Syrian-origin Swedish passport holder arrested in Belgium last week for his involvement in the Brussels bomb attacks is a former poster boy for Sweden’s efforts at integrating migrants into their society.
Now accused of murder, and captured on CCTV cameras carrying bags which contained the explosive devices which killed 32 civilians, Islamist Osama Krayem had once been hailed as a model of integration. A former employee of the city of Malmo, at the age of 11 Osama starred in a documentary about migrants in Sweden.
Both of Osama’s parents are Syrian migrants to Sweden, and have told tabloid Aftonbladet they wanted to see their son integrate into Swedish society. The family featured in a 2005 documentary called ‘Without Borders — A Film About Sport And Integration’, in which football-mad Krayem demonstrated how the Malmo football team had helped him settle into Swedish society.
The club had run an integration project, encouraging local migrant youth to play football. Club marketing manager Christer Girke said of the programme: “We wanted to show the importance of integration… the boys were to go to the association to see what the other Swedes did and get to know the [football] associations were important, how it can be a gateway to jobs and much more”.
Paris and Brussels: The UK Connection - Four men and a woman are held in Britain over terror offences linked to massacres
Police believe they have smashed a major British terror cell linked to the masterminds of the atrocities in Paris and Brussels after cracking a mobile phone used by one of the attackers.
Four men and a woman from Birmingham were held as officers swooped on the suspected UK arm of the fanatical group who killed 162 in Paris and Brussels in a wave of gun attacks and suicide bombings.
The raids will confirm fears that Islamic State is active in Britain after it emerged that the cell has been under surveillance for at least four months.
Police said no targets had been identified but pictures of a football stadium and shopping centres were on suspects’ phones.
The dramatic developments came after months of secret surveillance following the arrest of Mohamed Abrini, a key player in the Paris and Brussels attacks.
Yesterday a European security official claimed Abrini had made ‘multiple trips’ to Birmingham last year to meet home-grown terror suspects as it also emerged that:
Pollard still holds ‘top secret’ info, may never be allowed to leave US
The information Jonathan Pollard obtained while spying for Israel in the 1980s continues to be deemed “top secret,” and could still cause real damage to American national security, Channel 10 reported Friday, citing a written statement by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The US parole commission handling Pollard’s case, furthermore, has determined that he must never be allowed to leave the United States, Channel 10 added in a further report on Saturday. It said his lawyers were seeking to challenge this and other parole restrictions in the courts, given his desire to immigrate to Israel.
According to the TV report Friday, Clapper, in a document he submitted to US judges and the parole committee that elected to free Pollard in November, said an inquiry he had conducted showed that the knowledge Pollard gathered remained highly sensitive.
This, he said, justified placing severe limitations on Pollard’s parole from jail, despite the lack of concrete evidence that he was likely to relay the information to others upon his release.
Case against Pollard parole conditions to be reopened
The US District Court in the Southern District of New York granted a request on Tuesday by Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s lawyers to reopen his appeal against his strict parole conditions, according to a document received Wednesday by The Jerusalem Post.
Pollard was released on “mandatory” parole on November 20, 2015 after serving exactly 30 years in prison for the crime of conspiracy to commit espionage without intent to harm the United States, by delivering classified information to Israel in 1984 and 1985.
But his parole conditions require him to be monitored by a GPS device that forces him to violate Shabbat and Jewish holidays and his computers to be monitored, which his lawyers say has prevented him from being employed.
Pollard asked the court to remove the conditions the day he was released. After a December 14 hearing, the court asked the parole commission to justify the conditions. Pollard’s lawyers called the response the commission issued March 2 “a series of disjointed observations about events that occurred 30 years ago and unsubstantiated statements of US officials.”
Family Of Arab Israeli ‘Held By Hamas’ Seeks Answers
A year of uncertainty for Hisham Al-Sayed’s family finally came to an end this month when a grainy black and white photo appeared on a Hamas-affiliated television channel.
Their 27-year-old son had disappeared a year earlier from his home in the Negev desert in Israel.
But the image of Sayed’s face was the first time the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip had said they were detaining him.
“When I saw him on the video, I felt relieved of course because I knew he was there. Before that I didn’t know that he was still alive,” his father Sha’aban said from the living room of their modest home at the end of a dirt road.
Sayed is a Bedouin Muslim Arab with Israeli citizenship, without any apparent connection to the Israeli authorities, making his case particularly unusual.
How he got from his home into Gaza, which is blockaded by Israel, is unclear.
Elliott Abrams: Israel and Saudi Arabia: Good Neighbor Policy
The recent announcement that Egypt was returning control over Tiran and Sanafir islands in the Gulf of Aqaba to Saudi Arabia has gotten some attention, but deserves more. It is a moment that reveals much about current Middle Eastern politics.
In 1950 the Saudis transferred control, but in their view never sovereignty, over the islands to Egypt to protect them from what it claimed was the threat of an Israeli takeover. During a visit to Egypt by King Salman this past week, control was transferred back. (There is a reasonably fierce debate in Egypt over whether in fact President Sisi has unconstitutionally abandoned sovereign territory– or anyway as fierce as debates can be given repression and censorship in Egypt.)
During the past few years we have heard repeatedly that relations between Israel and the Gulf Arab states were greatly improved because today they have common enemies in Iran and ISIS, and a common concern about the disappearance of American hegemony in the region. What happened with the two islands this week is proof that the improved relations really do exist.
For one thing, Saudi Arabia has apparently agreed to respect the terms of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979. When that treaty was signed in 1979, the Saudis denounced it and broke relations with Egypt. Times have changed.
Analysis: Saudi-Egypt deals part of Gulf effort to unite Sunnis against Iran
Recently signed agreements between Saudi Arabia and Egypt appear to be part of a broader Saudi effort to build a regional Sunni alliance against Iran, yet the results of such an alliance are still lacking.
The Saudi-led coalition battling the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, moves by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to crack down on Hezbollah, and Gulf funding to Syrian rebels, are the strongest actions taken to date against the Iranian led Shi’ite alliance.
However, in terms of a broad military alliance that could prove effective against Iran and its allies, Saudi success is debatable.
In what appears to be part of this alliance building, Saudi King Salman continued on from his visit to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman visited Jordan’s King Abdullah on Monday, jointly rejecting Iranian interference in the region’s affairs and igniting sectarian strife, the Saudi Gazette reported.
With island deal, Saudis signal they’re warming up to Israel
The islands of Tiran and Sanafir are two tiny specks of land located at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba. “These are very small, entirely uninhabited pieces of land. There’s absolutely nothing there,” Yitzhak Levanon, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt, said Wednesday in Jerusalem.
And yet, the islands continue to make headlines. In the last 70 years, they have changed hands nearly half a dozen times. This week, Tiran and Sanafir — which historically belong to Saudi Arabia but since 1950 were ruled by Egypt and twice captured by Israel — were in the news again as Cairo agreed to hand them back to Riyadh in exchange for the creation of a $16-billion investment fund.
Given that the islands are in a strategically crucial location for Israel, it was significant that officials in Jerusalem were quick to assert that they were unperturbed about the deal.
Riyadh gave Jerusalem written assurances that it intends to respect Israel’s rights to free passage through the Strait of Tiran, a crucial lifeline to Israel’s only Red Sea port in Eilat, officials said. Equally noteworthy is the fact that the deal was only struck after an agreement was reached between all four major stakeholders — Cairo, Riyadh, Washington, and Jerusalem.
Thousands in Egypt protest transfer of islands, dozens held
Egyptian security forces arrested dozens and fired tear gas Friday at thousands of demonstrators protesting President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s decision to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Chants of “leave, leave!” directed at el-Sissi marked the first significant wave of street protests since the former army chief became president in 2014.
Riot police first cracked down on protesters in Cairo’s twin city of Giza, where demonstrators had gathered at two mosques after Friday prayers and started marching toward Tahrir Square, birthplace of the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Many carried signs reading, “Land is Honor” and denouncing the surrender of the islands. Others chanted, “The people want the fall of the regime” and “Down with military rule!”
More than 80 people were arrested in Cairo, Giza and the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, security officials said.
All unauthorized demonstrations in Egypt are illegal under a law adopted in late 2013 and security forces have, in the past, used lethal force against peaceful demonstrators. Protesters set April 25 — a holiday marking the restoration of Egyptian control over the Sinai Peninsula after years of Israeli occupation — as a new date for the second wave of protests.
Israel’s defense tech should worry Iranians, says IAI head
Iran has reason to be concerned by Israel’s defense capabilities, a senior engineer at the Israel Aerospace Industries, a government-owned company that manufactures military and civilian aircraft and products, said on Saturday.
“We are developing some of the the most advanced systems designed to give the fullest most and hermetic protection possible in the face of this kind of threat,” said Inbal Kreiss on Saturday at a cultural event in the southern city of Beersheba.
“The Iranians should of course be worried by Israel’s defense capabilities,” she said. “We are the leader in this type of technology.”
“We are working to develop these defense systems in order to protect ourselves,” Kreiss added. “We’re constantly trying to stay ahead of the newest technologies.”
Former White House Official: Obama Continues Making Concessions to Keep Nuclear Deal Alive
President Barack Obama has been “making one concession after another in response to Iran’s post-deal demands” in order to keep last summer’s announced nuclear agreement alive, former Clinton White House official Lawrence J. Haass wrote in an op-ed in the U.S. News and World Report on Tuesday.
America’s concessions on ballistic missiles and access to U.S. dollars not only mark reversals of long-articulated American positions, Haass wrote, but also serve “to expand Iran’s military capability, strengthen its economy and leave U.S. allies in the region feeling more abandoned.”
This continues a pattern of concessions that the administration made in order to reach the deal in the first place, such as discarding guarantees that the deal would include “anytime, anywhere” inspections. Haass, now a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, summed up the ongoing dynamic:
As the president and his team discarded these and other pledges during the many months of negotiations, they essentially mocked Obama’s promise to walk away from a “bad deal.” Now, in their post-deal maneuvering, they’re doing whatever they can to ensure that Iran doesn’t walk away.
Amb. John Bolton: US, Israel Missed Major Opportunities to Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities
The US and Israel “missed a huge range of opportunities over the last 10 years” to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities, a former US Ambassador to the UN told The Algemeiner Thursday evening.
Speaking on the relationship between the US and Israel during a forum sponsored by the Israel Air Force Center Foundation in New York alongside Israel Air Force Brig. Gen. Yaron Rosen, diplomat John Bolton said, “The two countries sort of look at each other and say, ‘Well, why don’t you do it first.’ The fact is a US strike could be more effective because we’ve got better capabilities.”
Bolton — who also serves as chairman of the conservative think-tank the Gatestone Institute — told The Algemeiner that the situation with Iran is becoming increasingly perilous. “I didn’t have any trouble before advocating a strike because I view this nuclear threat as extremely grave,” he said. He went on to explain that the next president of the US will face a “very dangerous” period wherein they must “do the analysis that’s required to come to a decision to use force.”
“Nobody should be under any illusions that this deal solves anything,” Bolton said.
Iran media misreports EU foreign policy chief’s criticism of its missile tests
Speaking in English, the top EU diplomat said that while Iran’s recent missile tests were not in breach of the nuclear deal signed with Tehran last year, the world powers were concerned and were urging Iran to refrain from further such actions.
“We do not see the missiles tests as a breach of the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). This does not mean that we are not concerned, on the contrary. We see this as a worrying step… Any step that could pass different messages in the region, that could escalate tensions is not welcomed from our side… We are encouraging to abstain from further steps,” Mogherini said in her statement.
The semi-official Fars News Agency, however, quoted her as saying: “We have several times said in Brussels that these (missile) tests do not violate the nuclear agreement and we are not so much concerned about it.”
Similarly, the Tasnim news agency misreported: “The EU foreign policy chief added that the tests do not contravene the JCPOA and that the EU is not worried about the issue.”
Iran’s Press TV, by contrast, did accurately quote Mogherini saying of the tests, “This doesn’t mean that we are not concerned.”
Muslim nations lambast Iran for supporting terrorism
Leaders from more than 50 Muslim nations accused Iran on Friday of supporting terrorism and interfering in the internal affairs of regional states including Syria and Yemen.
The leaders, including Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, have been attending a summit in Istanbul this week of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss a range of issues such as the humanitarian fall-out from Syria's civil war.
"The Conference deplored Iran's interference in the internal affairs of the States of the region and other Member States including Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia, and its continued support for terrorism," the OIC said in its final summit communique.
It also stressed the need for "cooperative relations" between Iran and other Muslim countries, including refraining from the use or threat of force.
Both Turkey, which has assumed the three-year rotating presidency of the OIC, and Saudi Arabia are part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State militants in Syria and are also opponents of President Bashar Assad, a stance that has put them at odds with Iran, an ally of the Syrian leader.
UCLA students labeled ‘Islamophobes’ for disagreeing with pro-Palestine agenda
The University of California, Los Angeles Graduate Student Association approved a resolution Wednesday calling those who do not support a pro-Palestine agenda “Islamophobic.”
“I really think that the whole bill was sort of a trap for the members,” one GSA representative told Campus Reform on condition of anonymity. “It was designed to put the Forum in a very awkward position, because if you vote against it you’re seen as being ‘for’ anti-Arabism and Islamophobia.”
The measure begins by listing various allegations of “anti-Arabism and Islamophobia,” some involving UCLA students and others gleaned from around the state—such as “offensive posters … portraying Palestinians, Muslims, the Muslim Student Association [MSA], and Students for Justice in Palestine [SJP] as terrorists” that appeared on several UC System campuses last year, and the “blacklisting” of UCLA students engaged in pro-Palestinian activism by an extremist website.
While most of the list did not excite much debate, the final three claims raised some concerns because they ascribed Islamophobia to students who had merely expressed criticism of the SJP student group, condemning two students for “falsely accusing” Palestinian classmates of extremism in news articles and rebuking GSA President Milan Chatterjee simply for sharing one of the articles on social media.
Daphne Anson: Aussie Jewish Day School Students Enthuse Over Palestinian Propagandist's Poetry
There's more literary anti-Israel propaganda circulating in Australia, and working its wicked way upon youth, even Jewish youth; yes, even in the community known as "the Shtetl on the Yarra" (Melbourne) and as one of the most Zionist in the Diaspora!
Last week, I blogged about how anti-Israel activist Samah Sabawi's play set in Gaza is now on the 2016 curriculum for Years 11 and 12 in the state of Victoria and how the Australian Jewish community appears to have allowed this not insignificant propaganda victory for the foes of Israel go unchallenged.
Last week, too, Samah Sabawi appeared at an event called "Fightin Words: Poetry as a Means of Resistance" at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne, a venue for egghead discussions of various sorts.
I'm not quite sure which poem or poems Ms Sabawi recited at the event, but her bitterness towards Israel and the nature of her poems can be seen here.
3D printers make 30-year-old Air Force planes ‘better than new’
Budget-challenged and ever in need of new equipment, the IDF – and especially the Israeli Air Force – has learned to adapt, recycle, and renew equipment.
“In many ways, we have become the world center of technology to refurbish equipment,” according to a senior officer associated with the IAF’s Aerial Maintenance Unit (AMU).
“The original manufacturers of the equipment come here to see our upgrades and learn from us,” the officer said. “They are especially impressed to see what we are doing with 3D printers, and how we use them to produce parts that would be impossible to produce using regular manufacturing techniques.”
What the manufacturers, among them Boeing and Lockheed, come to see is the technology that the air force is using to keep planes that have been in the air for more than two decades operating as good as new – actually better, in most cases, he said.
Israel Tests Engineering Versions of APS-Protected Troop Carrier
Israel launched operational tests this week of actively protected combat engineering versions of its locally developed Namer, a heavy troop carrier based on the Merkava Mk4 main battle tank.
Video and still photos released Wednesday by Israel’s Ministry of Defense shows three combat engineering derivatives: a bulldozer version to be operated by company commanders; a breaching and obstacle bridging version to be operated by platoon commanders; and a towing version to be operated by platoon sergeants.
Equipped with the Trophy Active Protection System (APS) against anti-tank missiles, mortars and RPGs, the combat engineering Namers will allow Israeli ground forces to deal with terror tunnels, bridge obstacles and maneuver in high-threat areas.
Tests are being conducted at the Israeli military’s combat engineering school in the south of the country, in coordination with the Israeli MoD and the Mantak Tank Production Authority, developers and producers of Namer and Merkava armored platforms.
“The combat engineering Namers endow brigade-level teams with capabilities they never had before,” said Brig. Gen. Baruch Matzliah, director of the Mantak development and production authority. “They will overcome any engineering obstacle in the modern battlefield and will allow efficient and effective, force protecting maneuvers while preserving maximum operational readiness.”
Israelis dance with Polish saviors in courtroom where Auschwitz commander tried
Some 30 Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust attended a dance organized for them by Israelis at a Warsaw venue where the commander of the Auschwitz death camp was put on trial.
From the Depths, a group established in 2014, held the dance Sunday for the Polish Society of the Righteous among the Nations at the auditorium of the Polish Teachers’ Union, which on March 11, 1947, saw the opening of the trial of Rudolf Hess. He was sentenced to death and hanged three weeks later.
“We selected the venue because of its symbolic importance, but the activity was not a political statement but part of our commitment to try to give back just a little bit to these people,” said From the Depths’ British-Israeli founder, Jonny Daniels.
Roughly 6,500 Poles have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations — the highest number of any country. Fewer than 300 of them are still alive.

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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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