Saturday, June 25, 2016

From Ian:

The European Parliament Rewards Hate
Hats off to the British. Aside from all the other reasons to applaud Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (i.e. democracy, national sovereignty), it has voted to secede from an enabler of Palestinian terror and hate education. And if that accusation sounds harsh, consider what transpired in the EU Parliament on the very day of the Brexit referendum.
While the British were voting, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was addressing the EU Parliament in Brussels. By any objective standard, the visit didn’t start off well: Upon arriving, Abbas immediately rejected a personal plea by the parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who happened to be in Brussels at the same time. But things quickly got worse when Abbas started speaking.
Abbas’s speeches are always full of anti-Israel slander, and this one was no exception. He accused Israel of “massacring” Palestinians’ “history, heritage, identity and geopolitical entity.” He termed the Israeli “occupation” the longest in history and deemed it uniquely evil, “unlike anything that has happened to any other people anywhere in the world,” to quote one reporter’s live tweeting of the speech (I haven’t managed to find a transcript); in reality, of course, not only have there been many longer occupations, but few conflicts have ever entailed so little bloodshed. He accused Israel of being “fascist” and “racist,” of committing extrajudicial killings, and of turning “our country into an open-air prison.” All this is pretty standard, as was the conclusion, in which he paid lip service to his willingness to make peace with the monstrously evil country he just described.
But even by Abbas’s standards, this speech was exceptionally vile in two respects. First, he accused Israel of responsibility for all terrorism worldwide, ludicrously asserting that “Once the occupation ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world.” After all, Israel is clearly the reason why Muslims are killing fellow Muslims by bombing mosques, schools, and hospitals in Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan, right?
Then, he resurrected a medieval blood libel, accusing Israel of poisoning Palestinian wells. Granted, he was speaking in Arabic, and this accusation wasn’t in his prepared English translation; but the simultaneous translator rendered it into English, and Israeli reporters had no trouble hearing it; thus one has to assume it was audible to EU parliamentarians, as well.
Abbas walks back claim rabbis sought to ‘poison’ Palestinian wells
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday backed away from his claim that rabbis had called to poison Palestinian water, saying he hadn’t intended to offend Jews, after Israel and Jewish groups said his statements were promoting blood libels and anti-Semitic tropes.
“After it has become evident that the alleged statements by a rabbi on poisoning Palestinian wells, which were reported by various media outlets, are baseless, President Mahmoud Abbas has affirmed that he didn’t intend to do harm to Judaism or to offend Jewish people around the world,” his office said in a statement.
In his speech to the Parliament of the European Union in Brussels on Thursday, Abbas claimed accusations of incitement by the Palestinians were unfair as “The Israelis are doing this as well… Certain rabbis in Israel have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed.”
A story reported in the Turkish press earlier in June claimed a rabbi had made such a call, though the story was quickly debunked.
His office said he “rejected all claims that accuse him and the Palestinian people of offending the Jewish religion. [He] also condemned all accusations of anti-Semitism.”
Abbas did not walk back his assertion, also contained in his EU speech, that terrorism worldwide would be eradicated if only Israel withdrew from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israel excoriated Abbas on Thursday as a peddler of lies, with the Prime Minister’s Office saying he “showed his true colors” and “is lying when he claims his hand is outstretched in peace.
“Israel waits for the day Abbas stops peddling lies and inciting [against Israel]. Until then, Israel will continue to defend itself against Palestinian incitement, which fuels terror,” the statement said. (h/t Yenta Press)
Some Cover, Others Cover Up, Abbas Anti-Semitism
Some news organizations did cover Abbas’s libel with appropriate focus. Reuters, for example, pointedly addressed the issue in the lede of its article, “Abbas says some Israeli rabbis called for poisoning Palestinian water”:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israeli rabbis on Thursday of calling for the poisoning of Palestinian water, in what appeared to be an invocation of a widely debunked media report that recalled a medieval anti-Semitic libel.
Even Diaa Hadid, a New York Times correspondent whose coverage of Israel at times has been dreadful, emphasized the importance of the story with a powerful opening paragraph:
Echoing anti-Semitic claims that led to the mass killings of European Jews in medieval times, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority accused rabbis in Israel of calling on their government to poison the water used by Palestinians.
But other news organizations, including the Associated Press, ignored Abbas’s antisemitic comments even while covering Abbas’s speech.
The Wall Street Journal took it a step further. Not only did the newspaper ignore the Palestinian leader’s hateful remarks in coverage of the speech, but it even framed Abbas’s remarks as being moderate relative to a speech by Israeli president Reuven Rivlin:
The refusal of Mr. Abbas comes as an ironic finale to the two leaders’ visits to the Belgian and European capital.
In a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, it was the Israeli president who brought the unpopular message that there were no prospects of a final peace deal in the near future and that a recent French initiative to revive negotiations amounted to little more than “negotiations for negotiations’ sake.”
Syrian Refugees vs. Palestinian "Refugees" at UN "Human Rights" Council, June 22, 2016

Senator questions Palestinian aid directed to stipends for convicted murderers
US Senator Dan Coats, Republican of Indiana, called for an end to US aid to the Palestinian Authority this week until the body ceases its program of providing stipends to convicted murderers.
Delivering remarks from the Senate floor, the senator said he is increasingly concerned that US taxpayer dollars go to funding programs that incite further Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians.
For decades, the Palestinian Authority has maintained a program that provides regular monthly stipends to men and women convicted by Israel of murder or terrorism. Members of Congress have long repudiated the program, but it has never been enough for the legislature to suspend its annual aid– the PA's lifeblood.
The funding program was moved in 2014 from PA to Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) control, ostensibly to avoid controversy over Congress' direct funding of the PA.
"This system of payments has been formalized and expanded by President Abbas in presidential directives," Coats said. "Palestinian terrorist prisoners are regarded by the PA as patriotic ‘fighters’ and as employees of the government of the Palestinian Authority."
"We will identify the amount of money that flows from the PA to the PLO for this purpose and cut US assistance by that amount at least," the senator continued. "If that partial cut-off of US aid is not sufficient to motivate the Palestinian Authority to end this immoral system of payments to terrorists, I will propose a complete suspension of financial assistance until the policy is changed."
The 9/11 of South America: Looking back at the AMIA bombing of 1994
Joseph Humire of Centre for a Secure Free Society talks to Ezra Levant of about the largest Islamic terror attack in the West until 9/11: The bombing of a Jewish centre in Argentina in 1994.

Stop blaming the victims of the Tel Aviv cafe terror attack
The victim-blaming narrative that says that Israel’s so-called “occupation” of the West Bank is responsible for Palestinian violence has been getting a lot of air time since the murder of four by a terrorist in Tel Aviv earlier this month. It has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Politico, and has even been parroted by the mayor of Tel Aviv himself.
This narrative ignores decades of history, and has no more truth to it than the vile claim that LGBT people deserved the Orlando attack. Israel’s military presence in the disputed territories of the West Bank is the result of Arab violence against Israel, and not the cause of it.
Israel took control of the West Bank as a result of a defensive war, during which Jordan used its positions in the West Bank to attack to Israel. After the Palestinian Authority rejected the Israeli offer at Camp David to leave most of the West Bank and all of Gaza in 2000, then-PA President Arafat intentionally started the Second Intifada.
The much-maligned checkpoints and separation barrier were put in place in response to the Second Intifada, and they have saved many lives. Palestinian leaders again rejected an Israeli offer of independence and statehood in 2008, and ended negotiations in 2014.
The assertion that an attack on Israeli civilians in a coffee shop is a consequence of “Palestinian despair” or “frustration over the occupation,” therefore, doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. To claim that the violence is caused by the “occupation,” or by the checkpoints or by the “Apartheid wall,” is to invert cause and effect.
Partner for Peace?
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit.
On June 25 2006, an Israeli soldier Gilat Shalit was captured by Hamas militants in a cross-border raid. Deprived of his Geneva convention rights, Hamas held him underground for over five years, until his release in a controversial 2011 prisoner exchange.
On the anniversary of his capture, Palestinians have taken to social media, vowing more kidnapping of Israelis
Gaza-based pro-ISIS group urges Muslims on social media to donate for weapons
Over the past several days, a Gaza-based Salafi jihadi group that supports Islamic State kicked off its annual fundraising campaign on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Telegram.
According to a new report by the Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor of MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) and shared exclusively with The Jerusalem Post, the campaign urges Muslims to donate money to help buy weapons, ammunition, and parts to make explosive devices.
The fundraising campaign is going by the name, “Equip Us,” which also has a hashtag on Twitter and been endorsed by the Ibn Taymiyyah Media Center, a prominent pro-Islamic State media group.
As part of this fundraising effort, a number of Twitter accounts have been created and started tweeting articles, videos, and posting advertisements, which mention the importance of donating to jihadi groups during Ramadan.

Gaza Jihadi Wanted by Hamas Killed in Battle with Egyptian Army
A Gaza jihadi was killed on Wednesday in a battle with the Egyptian army in Sinai, Breitbart Jerusalem has learned.
Islamic State militants released a statement announcing the death of Nader Judah, 22, without disclosing details about the circumstances of his death. His family was notified.
Judah, a resident of Radwan district in northern Gaza City, escaped the Gaza Strip and joined Waliyat Sinai, IS’ Egyptian branch, after dodging Hamas arrest.
The Hamas government in Gaza accused Judah of launching a string of attacks against Hamas targets – mainly, limousines owned by top Hamas officials. The attacks were attributed by Hamas to a ring of Salafi militants, Judah being chief among them.
Following the attack, several members of the ring, including Judah, fled the Strip. Another member, Muhamad Shehadeh Dalu, was killed in April while fighting for IS in Sinai.
Dozens of Gaza jihadists, including prominent members of Hamas’ military wing, have joined IS in the last months and years, either in Sinai, Iraq or Libya.
In April, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that a Gaza jihadi fighter was killed in Libya.
Amid reports of warming ties with Israel, Erdogan hosts Hamas leader
As Israel and Ankara reportedly near a deal on normalizing ties, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday met the leader of Palestinian terrorist group Hamas for unscheduled talks.
Erdogan received the Doha-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, whose group rules the Gaza Strip, at the Ottoman-era Yildiz Palace in Istanbul, the official Anadolu Agency reported, quoting presidential sources.
Turkish press reports have said Israel and Turkey could hold final talks on normalizing ties on Sunday but this has yet to be confirmed.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday there was a “large possibility” the negotiations would take place by the end of this month.
Families demand return of KIA soldiers as Turkey, Israel renew ties
The families of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Oron Shaul planned a protest tent outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence in Jerusalem should a deal not involve the return of their sons.
Goldin and Shaul were killed when an anti-tank missile struck their APC during Operation Protective Edge against Hamas. Though neither body was recovered, the army has classed both soldiers as “killed in action” based on forensic evidence.
Shaul’s family told the press at their home that Netanyahu must not sign a deal with Ankara unless it stipulates the return of the two soldiers’ remains.
“My son went out to war in Gaza, two years have passed and he hasn’t returned yet,” Zehava Shaul, the soldier’s mother, said. She said Netanyahu has to make good on his promises and bring her son home.
Goldin’s family said that by signing a deal with Turkey, “the prime minister will fail the first significant test following Operation Protective Edge, and will give a medal to Hamas for kidnapping Goldin and [Sgt. Oron] Shaul.”
“The time has come for Israel to be the one to dictate the price to Hamas for the kidnapping and detention of soldiers, and not the way we’ve been used to in the past three years — to pay a heavy price to our foes,” Army Radio quoted the Goldin family saying.
CAIR Steps in to Handle Legal and P.R. for Orlando Terrorist's Family
According to a report at CounterJihad, calls to Seddique Mateen, father of Orlando jihadi Omar Mateen, and other relatives “are now redirected to a phone number for a CAIR attorney, and another CAIR lawyer is sitting in on FBI interviews with suspects at Mateen’s radical mosque in Fort Pierce, Fla. – even though the FBI has suspended formal ties to CAIR over the group’s association with terrorist groups.”
CAIR has been declared a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates and was named by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding operation.
Despite this status, which has been upheld by a federal judge, CAIR has a habit of involving itself aggressively in Islamic terrorism cases.
As CounterJihad notes, they held a press conference for “family members to help spin their story before investigators had a chance to talk to them” in the San Bernardino jihad case, moving within hours of the the attack to “lawyer up key witnesses and suspected co-conspirators in the plot, including relatives and friends of the shooters along with leaders of their mosque.”
Leading UK Jewish Newspaper: Brexit Vote Will Reduce Extremism, Make British Jews Safer
The editor of the United Kingdom’s leading Jewish newspaper hailed the Brexit vote on Friday, arguing that it will reduce anti-Semitism and extremism in British society.
“It’s certainly a truism that when times are troubled, the Jews are often the first target,” wrote Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle. “But the referendum demand from voters that we regain control over immigration isn’t an attack on immigrants, on foreigners – or on Jews. It’s an attack on people being denied any say on a core issue of politics.”
While acknowledging that anti-Semitism exists in British society, Pollard posited that problems for minorities are exacerbated “when the mainstream loses touch with people and the only vehicles left to make a point are extremists.”
“That has been the EU’s fundamental flaw,” he continued. “It regards voters as uncouths who need to have what’s good for them imposed on them. Just look at Greece. That’s how and when extremists prosper – and that’s when the Jews suffer.”
“Our freedom from the EU will make extremism less, not more, likely, as the pressure cooker is released,” he asserted.
Senior Iranian Official Says Brexit Vote Presents ‘Historical Opportunity’ for Tehran and Country Must Capitalize on EU’s Downfall
The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union presents a “historical opportunity” for Iran, a senior Iranian official said on Friday according to semi-official state news agency Tasnim.
On Twitter, Political Deputy of Iran’s Presidential Office Hamid Abutalebi said the UK’s decision will trigger a domino effect leading to the EU’s downfall and the Iranian government must be ready to capitalize on it.
“A great earthquake has shaken Europe and the UK has quit the European Union,” he wrote. “The stars of Europe’s union are falling down. Economic changes in south European countries, terrorism and the refugee crisis is showed that the union is about to fall. But the domino was ticked off with Brexit.”
Abutalebi claimed that Europeans long ago lost their trust in the EU and that the breakup of the remainder of the European bloc is only a matter of time.
Echoing Abutalebi’s assertion that the EU is facing imminent collapse, Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said the only way the EU — which he called a puppet of the US — can save itself is by cutting off its ties with Washington.
“The European Union is a tool in the hands of the US, and the only way for the EU survival is by declaring its independence,” he said according to Fars, another semi-official state news agency.
Jewish Studies Lecture Cancelled in EU Capital Due to Safety Concerns
Imagine if an academic lecture on Jewish studies could not be held in Washington, D.C. out of fear that participants would be unsafe. That’s exactly what happened this week in the capital of the European Union.
On Tuesday evening, Dr. Philippe Pierret, a graduate of the Sorbonne and a researcher at the Institute for Studies of Religion and Secularism, was scheduled to deliver the closing talk of the academic year at the Free University of Brussels to discuss his recent book on the history of Jews in Brussels from 1785 to 1885. But at the last minute, the event was called off due to the authorities’ inability to provide adequate security, reported Belgian paper La Libre.
“I was informed of the conference cancellation at noon by the secretary of the Institute for Jewish Studies,” Pierret told me. He speculated that the concern over security was prompted by that morning’s events, when a man wearing what appeared to be a suicide vest threatened to blow up a Brussels shopping center. The vest turned out to be fake, filled with salt and cookies.
“I think the Belgian authorities feared another real attack somewhere in Brussels because of what happened at the shopping center in downtown Brussels the same morning,” said Pierret. Jews and their institutions are considered high profile targets in Europe, particularly in Belgium, where an ISIS-linked extremist killed four at Brussels’s Jewish Museum in 2014. But when neither the army nor police could provide the needed security for Pierret’s lecture, the event had to be called off.
The incident offers a window into the chilling effect on Jewish life in Europe created by the mere threat of anti-Semitic terrorism, even when it does not actually take place.
Belgium detains 2 in new anti-terror raids
Belgian police detained two men for questioning after fresh anti-terror raids overnight, the federal prosecutor’s office said Saturday amid reports of a planned attack on a Euro 2016 fanzone.
“One man was arrested in (the eastern town of) Verviers and another man in Tournai,” close to the French border, a spokesman said.
“It is too soon to talk about a terror attack. The two men have to be questioned first,” he added.
Belgium remains on high alert after the March attacks on Brussels airport and on the city’s busy metro system which killed 32 people and were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.
Several of those involved in the bloodshed were also directly linked to the November attacks in Paris which left 130 dead. They were planned in Brussels and also claimed by IS.
The RTL news service, citing unnamed sources, said on its website said the man detained in Verviers was planning an attack on fans watching Belgium’s next Euro 2016 game against Hungary on Sunday.
 In Sweden, Jews pay price for sympathy for refugees
The arrival of high numbers of refugees in 2015 has compounded these concerns considerably. Here, we hear reports of regular occurrences of violence at temporary facilities housing refugees, due to racism and intolerance within this group. As a result, special homes are being set-up to protect Christian refugees, LGBT refugees and refugees where mothers travel alone with their sons. Here, we can see a lack of political will to speak out on these issues as well as minimal mainstream media attention regarding the racism or discriminatory values that this population may bring into Swedish society. As a result, there are currently no initiatives to address anti-Semitic attitudes, neither among this wave of 150,000 refugees, the majority of whom seek to make Sweden their long-term home, nor among the hundreds of thousands that arrived in previous years.
The miscalculation at the core of this situation is that any rise in Islamophobia, with the potential detrimental consequence in terms of radicalizing local Muslims, is perceived as far more dangerous than the risk of ignoring a rise in anti-Semitism.
Therefore, when responding to anti-Semitic attacks in Sweden and abroad, leading politicians regularly insert references to Islamophobia and air grievances against Israel. Striking examples include Foreign Minister Margot Wallström, who saw fit to draw a parallel to oppressive Israeli policies against Palestinians when condemning the Paris Hyper Cacher terrorist attack, as well as seek an investigation into extra-judicial killings of Arabs when commenting on Israeli police actions against terrorists. Former Deputy Prime Minister Åsa Romson also felt compelled to passionately label the current refugee crisis as “Auschwitz on the Mediterranean,” although she later withdrew this statement. Attitudes relativizing and moderating Jewish suffering can also be seen when discussing anti-Semitism in the now infamous city of Malmö. Here, organizations representing local Muslim groups draw the conclusion that Islamophobia and the situation in Israel for Palestinians are more relevant issues than anti-Semitism, and, as a result, fighting anti-Semitism from within their ranks is not a priority.
Mainstream politicians and media believe and expect that immigrants will reward Swedish generosity by integrating seamlessly into Swedish customs and values. From their point of view, there is no need to discuss or debate whether this theory actually holds in reality, and, if not, to define and implement decisive action to uproot anti-Semitism in Sweden, independent of its source. This erroneous political correctness and acceptance is a plague for Swedish society in general, but, if their vilification continues unchecked, Jews will be its first victim.
Democrats’ draft platform excludes call to end occupation
Democrats approved a draft of the party platform early Saturday, deliberating late into the evening on an amendment to call on Israel to end its occupation and building of West Bank settlements. The document includes steps to break up large Wall Street banks, advocates for a $15 an hour wage and urges the abolition of the death penalty, reflecting the influence of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
The group considered the document’s language on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, an issue that has divided Democrats. The committee defeated an amendment led by Sanders supporter James Zogby that would have called for providing Palestinians with “an end to occupation and illegal settlements” and urged an international effort to rebuild Gaza.
Zogby said Sanders had helped craft the language. Instead, the draft reflects presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s views and advocates working toward a “two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict” that guarantees Israel’s security with recognized borders “and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity.”
Clinton supporters defeated measures pushed by Sanders’ allies that would have promoted a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system, a carbon tax to address climate change and impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracking.
Independent Jewish Voices support Iran-backed, anti-Jewish Al-Quds Day
According to an investigation conducted by B’nai Brith Canada, the radical anti-Israel group “Independent Jewish Voices” (IJV) has a long history of headlining the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day hate rally at Queen’s Park.
IJV, whom B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn called a “Jewish fig leaf for neo-Nazis and anti-Semites under the guise of radial anti-Zionism”, previously posted on their Twitter and Facebook accounts links to an article on an anti-Semitic, white supremacist hate site called Veterans Today.
On April 17, 2014, IJV participated in a “Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day” vigil organized by Palestine House, which was defunded by the previous Conservative government for its “pattern of support for extremism”. During a rally in front of the Israeli Consulate, the demonstrators demanded the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners, many with Jewish blood on their hands, from the Israeli jails.
They described them as “political prisoners” and “our heroes” and chanted repeatedly the following slogans: “Netanyahu and Hitler are the same; the only difference is the name”, “Israel and [the] Nazis are the same; the only difference is the name” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, a euphemism for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel.
Elias Hazineh, former President of the Palestine House, who was investigated by Toronto Police in 2013 for hate speech after he told a cheering crowd at al-Quds that Israelis should be shot if they didn’t “get out of ‘Palestine”, warned the Canadians of the “Zionist menace” to Canada: “Zionists are taking over Canada. They are taking over our government. Zionism is racism and they are taking over our government. Zionism is racism. Zionists are taking over our government. Zionists are taking over the Canadian government. Zionists are taking over the Canadian government. The Zionist movement is a racist movement. It is taking over our government. The Zionists are taking over our government. The Zionists are taking over our government. Be careful, wake up Canada, wake up, Zionists are taking over the country.”
Missiles Everywhere
Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) major general Yaakov Amidror is talking about the M-600 missile. It's a fairly accurate ballistic missile that weighs more than a Hummer H2 and carries a formidable warhead. The M-600 can also deliver chemical weapons. A single M-600 could wipe out a good chunk of Times Square and maim and kill people four football fields away from the point of impact. Hezbollah has a lot of M-600s.
Amidror, Israel's former national security adviser, is asked what the next war between Israel and Hezbollah will look like. "We are not looking for war," says Amidror. "But suppose Hezbollah launches an advanced missile like the M-600 at the Kirya, the IDF military headquarters in Tel Aviv, or a large apartment complex in Jerusalem. Our defense technology quickly finds the launcher. It is right under a 22-story residential building in Beirut. We can now see in real time the launcher being moved back under the building to reload."
"We have just minutes to act," explains Amidror. "The IDF will have to take out the launcher because the next missile can cause enormous damage in Israel. But to take out the launcher means the 22-story building may fall. We would try to use precision-guided missiles to protect civilians but the target is hard to reach. We will try to warn the residents but the timing is tight. That building will almost certainly be hit. And the images in the international media will almost certainly be awful." But, asks Amidror, today a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, "What alternative do we have?"
No good one, since the building in the scenario described would be a legitimate military target. So say a bevy of international military law experts, including Geoff Corn of the South Texas College of Law in Houston, who has studied IDF targeting policies: "After exhausting all feasible efforts to reduce civilian risk, IDF commanders must resolve the decisive question: Is the potential for civilian harm excessive in comparison to the advantages the attack would provide? When you talk of an M-600 in the hands of an enemy that targets vital military assets or the civilian population—even if that apartment building is full—launching the attack will be necessary to mitigate the threat."
Professor Corn is well aware of what will happen next. "The international community will look at the images and will note that the immediate cause of destruction was Israeli munitions. But—and here is the kicker—both legally and morally, the cause of these tragic consequences will lie solely at the feet of Hezbollah."
Nasrallah: As long as Iran has money, we'll have money
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged on Friday that his group had lost fighters in Syria, but vowed to continue to be involved in the war there.
Speaking in remarks broadcast on the Shiite group's Al-Manar television and quoted by AFP, Nasrallah said that the offensive on the city of Aleppo was the "greatest battle" in Syria.
He stressed his group would "increase our presence in Aleppo... because the real, strategic, greatest battle is in Aleppo and the surrounding area."
Nasrallah also announced that 26 Hezbollah fighters had been killed in the offensive this month, a rare admission of casualties for the group.
He spoke at a commemoration event for Mustafa Badr al-Din, the Hezbollah commander killed in an explosion on May 12 near Damascus international airport.
Hezbollah has in the past blamed the elimination of its leaders on Israel, but in the case of Badr al-Din, it said that “Islamist extremists” were behind his killing, without naming any particular group.
The Generals Take on Obama
Arguably, Barack Obama’s biggest failing is his inability to act more like a wartime commander-in-chief. He seldom if ever tries to rally public opinion toward the goal of defeating adversaries such as the Taliban and ISIS, and he generally commits the minimal number of forces to these battles under the most restrictive rules of engagement and timelines possible. This causes considerable heartburn among the troops he sends into harm’s way and their commanders.
This week, that angst has come out into the open in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. In all three theaters, military officers are protesting the administration’s actions, or lack thereof, in a way that would be big news if it had happened under a Republican like George W. Bush. These stories deserve more coverage than they are getting—a lot more:
Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, nominated to get a fourth star and take command of Africa Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military has identified ISIS targets to strike in Libya but has not received White House approval to hit them. “That makes no sense, does it?” Senator Lindsey Graham asked. Waldhauser replied, “No it does not.”
At another point in his testimony, Waldhauser said, “I am not aware of any overall grand strategy at this point” in Libya. That statement is as accurate as it is damning, and helps to explain why the military hasn’t received authority for air strikes: It doesn’t make much sense to drop bombs if there is no idea of what strategy the military forces are supposed to be pursuing.
ISIS and Archaeologists Equally Delighted over Newly Discovered Ruins in Jordan (satire)
Archaeologists have used satellite imaging to discover an ancient structure buried near the historic city of Petra in Jordan, you know, the site in Indiana jones and the Last Crusade.
“This find is incredible!” exclaimed archaeologist Dr. Lucy Peatbog. “This discovery gives us a better sense of how civilizations in this area lived thousands of years ago. What’s next? We discover Atlantis, Xanadu, maybe those Clinton emails? With this tech, I’d believe it.”
But ancient history fans aren’t the only people thrilled by the find. ISIS has now expressed interest in a visit to Petra to see the new excavations.
“What a great find for ISIS,” exclaimed leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “We love ancient sites. Well, more accurately, we love to destroy them. Churches, Assyrian statues, cultural heritage sites, bits of painted Styrofoam left over from the filming of Stargate, you name it! Blowing up historical ruins is our second favorite activity, just behind removing people’s melons. Sometimes we do a combo, like the time we filmed ourselves beheading that old guy in Palmyra, he just wouldn’t shut up about how important it all was. Honestly, we expected nothing less when the media focused on what we blew up rather than on what we did to the professor. That was a great marketing boost for us.”
“We’ve heard it’s possible the original residents of Petra performed human sacrifices at this site. Horrific! Thank Allah that we are here to make the world a better place.”
Top economies ease penalties on Iran over money laundering
The world’s major economies on Friday suspended anti-money laundering measures against Iran for a year despite concerns that the Islamic Republic uses its financial sector to protect criminal enterprises and fund terrorist activity.
The announcement is another sign of progress in Tehran’s campaign to return to the global economy after last year’s nuclear accord.
At a meeting in South Korea, the United States and the 36 other members of the Financial Action Task Force welcomed Iran’s commitment to address shortcomings in how it tackles money laundering and fights terrorism financing. The Iranians also are seeking technical assistance in their efforts.
To protect the international financial system, FATF members are supposed to apply countermeasures against any country on the organization’s blacklist. The body, which meets three times a year, said banks should continue applying due diligence in business relationships and transactions with Iranian individuals.
If Iran fails to make progress over the next 12 months, “FATF’s call for counter-measures will be re-imposed,” it said in a statement. “If Iran meets its commitments under the action plan in that time period, the FATF will consider next steps.”
Iran cracks down on ‘vulgar Western’ dog owners
Dog lovers in central Iran are in uproar after authorities began confiscating their pets in an apparent crackdown on the “vulgar Western culture” of canine ownership, Iranian media reported Saturday.
One unnamed dog owner in Shahin Shahr in Isfahan province told Iran’s Shahrvand newspaper that officials had shown up suddenly at his house last week.
“We were shown a piece of paper indicating they were from the municipal veterinary office. They came in and took away our dogs under the pretext of vaccination,” he said.
The owner was told he could recover the dog after its vaccination, but when he went to the vet’s office they had no record of his case.
Instead, the newspaper said the confiscations were the result of a crackdown launched by local prosecutor Mohsen Boosaidi.
“Keeping and caring for dogs is haram (forbidden) according to religious leaders,” Boosaidi told the Fars news agency on June 19.
Turkey: Jewish Cemetery Attacked by 'Unknown Assailants'
When Jews visited the cemetery of their community members in the southern Turkish city of Hatay on June 19, the Fathers’ Day, they saw the wall of the cemetery broken, the gate torn down and the grave stones damaged.
The cemetery includes the graves of Jews and Armenians, as well as of Muslims. The Jews of the city were deeply saddened and concerned, reported the Turkish daily newspaper Birgun.
The neighborhood of Emek where the cemetery is located in the Hatay province, which is on the border of Syria, is known to be home to many jihadists such as Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) and al Qaeda members.
Hatay, or Alexandretta, where the ancient district of Antioch (Antakya) is also located, used to have large Jewish communities for centuries.
Kansas City Man Charged With Threatening Jewish Congregation
A man from Kansas City has been charged with threatening a Jewish congregation in the city of Overland Park.
Forty-year-old Brian Wachter, who was arrested June 22, appeared before judges in a county court via video on a charge of making a criminal threat against the Jewish congregation of Beth Shalom.
The charge involves the violation of Kansas Statute 21-5415a by allegedly making a threat to “commit violence communicated with intent to place another in fear, or to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities of any building, place of assembly or facility of transportation, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such fear or evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities,” according to Kansas City’s Fox 4 News.
Wachter’s bond was set at $25,000, and he has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
A new noninvasive monitoring test for bladder cancer
The Israeli company Nucleix has developed a simple, inexpensive urine test to monitor bladder cancer, which has the highest lifetime treatment cost per patient of all types of cancer.
Bladder EpiCheck is expected to be available in Europe in the third quarter of 2016, says Nucleix President and Chief Operating Officer Opher Shapira. Right now, the product is undergoing advanced clinical trials in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Israel.
“We expect to earn the CE mark this summer, and probably next year we will start clinical trials in the US and then apply for FDA approval,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
Shapiro explains that because bladder cancer has a high rate of recurrence, patients must be monitored invasively every few months after initial treatment. Nucleix therefore saw a market need for a noninvasive “liquid biopsy” assay using body fluids rather than body tissues.
Study shows medical cannabis effectively relieves pain
Medical marijuana users experience significant pain relief and improvement in function while suffering only minor side effects, according to a new study by Prof. Pesach Shvartzman of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).
This was the first study on the characteristics of patients who have permission from the Israel Health Ministry to receive treatment with medical marijuana.This type of therapy has become popular and accepted over the last few years in Israel, with approximately 20,000 registered users and 50 more approved each week by the Health Ministry.
“Although medical cannabis has been legal for a decade and is licensed to patients to relieve pain and other symptoms, there has been no information about the users themselves,” Shvartzman explained.
The study examined more than 2,000 cancer and non-cancer patients using medical marijuana with a focus on their socioeconomic characteristics, dosages, previous treatment, treatment safety and side effects, as well as overall treatment effectiveness. Patients were interviewed by telephone in the first three months of treatment and subsequently every four months for two years.
Analysis: The legacy of Entebbe - Israel's last heroic hurrah
In its 68-year history, Israel has witnessed four events which left an unprecedented impression domestically and even more so internationally.
These events in chronological order were:
• The screening in 1960 of Exodus, the epic film based on Leon Uris’s book;
• The capture of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1960;
• The smashing victory in the Six Day War in June 1967 against three Arab armies; and
• The Entebbe raid in 1976, which will mark its 40th anniversary on July 4.
All of them were formative experiences which captured the world’s imagination, and portrayed Israel as a daring and pioneering nation whose leaders were ready to take high risks to defend the country and its people in far-away lands in pursuit of national goals.
The bold, courageous, yet adventurous decision to send IDF troops to rescue 105 hostages from a hijacked plane held in Uganda also cemented the image of Israel as a determined role model in fighting terrorists wherever they are.
What also contributed to the admiration of Israel and elevated its image was the timing: The operation took place on the Fourth of July, the 200th US Independence Day.
It was not an easy decision. At first the government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, was reluctant even to think about the military option, and was ready to genuinely engage in negotiations with the German and Palestinian terrorists – even knowing that it would lead to giving in to the terrorists’ demands to release 40 Palestinians from an Israeli prison.
Then the military and intelligence chiefs slowly convinced Rabin and his defense minister, Shimon Peres, that against all odds, a rescue operation was viable. Rabin agreed to consider it.

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