Tuesday, October 25, 2016

From Ian:

Middle East’s ‘demons’ now an unstoppable force, writes veteran correspondent
In the closing sentence of “The Age of Jihad: Islamic State and the Great War for the Middle East,” Patrick Cockburn gives a chilling warning to his readers.
“The demons released by this age of chaos and war in the Middle East have become an unstoppable force,” the veteran Irish foreign correspondent writes.
Existential threat is a phrase so overused in the political discourse of the Middle East nowadays, that it often tends to lose value or meaning. But for millions of citizens across Iraq and Syria, according to Cockburn, the term is an extremely frightening and very real prospect.
“The whole area is disintegrating,” says Cockburn, who has worked as a journalist in the Middle East for the past four decades.
“There are multiple reasons for this,” he explains. “Some are oil states. These look powerful, because they’ve got a lot of money. But they are much more fragile than they appear because the money is concentrated on the top.”
Mismanagement of oil revenues is a huge problem for many Middle Eastern states right now, Cockburn believes. Primarily because of the hierarchical structures within governments they helped to create, exacerbating corruption and sectarianism in equal measure.
The journalist cites Iraq as a typical example of a nation state where badly managed oil revenues has resulted in a chaotic failed state.
The Funeral of the Oslo Accords
Despite the unceasing waves of murdering innocent Israeli civilians, Western politicians speak as if Israel were not under attack. The politicians are not interested in hearing what Palestinian leaders say when they call for the ethnic cleansing of Jews.
These Western leaders can well imagine what those consequences would be if the Arabs had their way: genocide. One can only assume they are pleased with that.
In private, some people say that the burial of Shimon Peres was also the burial of the Oslo Accords and of a never-ending "peace process" that brought only war.
Understanding that the economic relations between Israel and Europe could deteriorate, Netanyahu set about negotiating free trade agreements with China, India, South Korea and Japan, and he signed economic and military cooperation agreements with seven African countries also threatened by Islamic terrorism.
Against all odds, Israel is now in a much stronger position than it was even a few years ago.
Palestinians announce year-long campaign against ‘crime’ of Balfour Declaration
Palestinian officials announced a year-long campaign to commemorate 100 years since the “crime” of the Balfour Declaration, official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported Monday.
Activities and events will take place worldwide, will be launched on November 2 and end on November 2, 2017 — the 100-year mark since British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour announced his government’s intention to establish “a national home for the Jewish people” in the Land of Israel.
Signed by Balfour in 1917, the declaration was seen as giving the Zionist movement official recognition and backing on the part of a major power, on the eve of the British conquest of the then-Ottoman territory of Palestine.
Calling the declaration a “colonialist project,” Taysir Khalid, a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said Monday the new Palestinian effort was intended “to remind the world and particularly Britain that they should face their historic responsibility and to atone for the big crime Britain had committed against the Palestinian people.”
In July the PA said it was preparing a lawsuit against the British government over the 1917 document that paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel.

Sen. Ted Cruz: America’s missed UNESCO opportunity
This rather clumsy attempt to erase Israel seems a tactic better suited to the Islamic Republic of Iran than the United States of America, and it is evidence that the Obama administration is not done with the Jewish state. And as it has been so often over its millennia of history, Jerusalem is going to be ground zero.
Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, he may well have selected a rare issue on which there is robust, bipartisan consensus in Congress. I was pleased to send a letter with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and thirty nine of our House and Senate colleagues from both sides of the aisle last week to members of UNESCO’s Executive Board urging them to oppose the “Occupied Palestine” resolution on the grounds that it was an unconscionable attempt to re-write Jerusalem’s history.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will meet this week to consider yet another resolution that again denies the historical connection of the Jewish people to holy sites in Jerusalem, so Rep. Ros-Lehtinen and I are sending another bipartisan, bicameral letter urging opposition to this biased resolution as well. Numerous recent archeological excavations have provided scientific proof reaffirming Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem. Furthermore, Israel actually protects the rights of religious minorities to freely observe their faiths in Jerusalem.
Congress has clearly demonstrated our commitment to the US-Israel alliance. We must also remain vigilant in our upcoming lame-duck legislative session to guard against Obama administration attempts to restore UNESCO funding or take other action to undermine Israel. America should be rallying our friends and allies to oppose these insidious UNESCO resolutions that attempt to undermine the historic connection of the Israeli people with all of their country, including their capital, Jerusalem.
And if President Obama continues to prioritize his political legacy over the national security interests of the United States—which would be a secure and sovereign Israel—Congress at least should have the courage to lead this charge.
In Wake of UNESCO Resolution, Lawmakers From 17 Countries Sign Document Demanding International Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital
Lawmakers from 17 countries signed a declaration Thursday calling for “international recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided, eternal capital of the state of Israel.”
The move came in response to last week’s UNESCO resolution omitting any Jewish link to the Temple Mount and Western Wall, a decision the document calls “disconnected from reality” and “incorrect.”
Nineteen parliamentarians presented the declaration to Israel’s Deputy Minister Michael Oren, who delivered it to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Oren called the UNESCO resolution “unacceptable” and said it “must be fought against in every way possible.”
He praised the lawmakers for “the signing of the declaration…against UNESCO” as “one of the steps we will take against this atrocious decision.”
Oren added, “We will continue to emphasize the eternal connection between the Jewish people and our eternal capital for ever and ever, which nobody in the world, and certainly not UNESCO, can break.”
PA warns UNESCO members they’d better support upcoming Jerusalem vote
As another UNESCO vote on a resolution that omits Jewish ties to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem nears, the Palestinian delegation to the organization has threatened the international community, allegedly saying it will introduce text even harsher toward Israel if the resolution does not get full support from the world body.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Committee, currently convening in Paris, is set to vote on the text, which deals with alleged Israeli violations in Jerusalem’s Old City and is similar to a controversial resolution passed by the body’s executive board earlier this month.
In a letter sent to the 21 member countries of the World Heritage Committee on Monday, the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations to UNESCO argue that they had made great efforts “to keep on the Jerusalem Decision consensual language” and that it had been endorsed by all members of the committee.
In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Times of Israel, the Palestinian and Arab delegations say they learned that “a few member states are still hesitant whether they can commit to our agreement… or not.”
This hesitance is seen “as a retreat from the consensual language,” the diplomats wrote. They expect their draft to be adopted by consensus and without a vote, they added.
“Otherwise,” the letter continues, “the delegation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the delegation of Palestine would and according to the rules of procedure be obliged to consider other options.”
The letter does not spell out what these would be, but Israeli officials said the Palestinians, worried about recent diplomatic setbacks at UNESCO, are threatening to further harm the organization’s reputation by pushing through blatantly biased resolutions.
Mexican synagogue vandalized twice after Jews lobbied against UNESCO vote
Vandals broke glass windows, smashed furniture, and painted graffiti on the walls of Mexico City’s Agudas Ajim synagogue in two separate attacks.
The attackers used red paint simulating blood to write the word “perros,” which means dogs, and the letter “A” for anarchy, in last week’s incidents.
The vandalism occurred after local Jewish leaders launched a public campaign to urge government officials not to vote in favor of a UNESCO committee proposal that denies Jewish ties to Jerusalem holy sites.
Mexico voted in favor of the resolution and the fight was apparently lost. However, on October 17, the country changed its vote to abstention and fired its Jewish ambassador to UNESCO, Andre Roemer, for protesting against the initial vote, according to a statement.
New UNESCO Resolution Challenges Agency’s Historic Connection to Relevance (satire)
UNESCO, the Ben Stiller to the international community’s Smithsonian Museum, is tasked with protecting the treasures of different cultures from themselves and each other. Following the uproar about the Jerusalem Holy Site resolution, UNESCO apparently decided to one-up itself earlier today by challenging its own historic connection to relevance in the international sphere.
“We’ve had a presence on the international stage for generations,” an anonymous UNESCO source told TMB. “But recently a number of member states have decided that that just isn’t so. It’s kind of insulting, but what can you do?” Despite the resolution, senior members of UNESCO have maintained that, like horny teenagers, they can’t control what comes out of their members.
Most people are quick to point out that UNESCO resolutions are non-binding so there aren’t really any consequences to the agency’s potential separation from relevance. But regardless, most people get upset when their culture is disregarded like some worthless T-Rex skeleton in the Smithsonian Museum.
Why Palestians can’t make peace
If you needed any more clues as to why a final Israeli-Palestinian settlement remains so elusive, consider the case of four Arabs who accepted an invitation for the holiday of Sukkot in the nearby Israeli settlement of Efrat on Thursday: The Palestinian Authority arrested them.
The invite from Oded Revivi, the Israeli mayor, was intended to promote peace — and the four men (Riyad Abu Hamad, Yakoub Mousa Abu Hamad, Farouk Mousa Abu Hamad and Mohammad Ahmed Abu Hamad) surely took it in that spirit. Can’t hurt to get to know the neighbors, can it?
Except that the PA insists on boycotting the settlements — it won’t accept any Israeli presence outside the 1967 borders, no matter that it’s been half a century.
On Sunday, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu took to Facebook to slam the arrests as “further proof of the Palestinian refusal to make peace” and rally global demands to free the unfortunate peacemakers.
That apparently embarrassed Palestinian officials into releasing the four — while claiming they’d really only been held for questioning and for their own protection in the wake of threats made on social media.
PA releases Palestinians arrested for visiting settler mayor’s sukkah
Four Palestinians arrested late last week for attending a sukkot holiday event in a West Bank settlement were freed on Sunday evening, Channel 2 News reported.
The report said that the Israeli army’s chief coordinator with the Palestinian Authority, the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, had been instrumental in securing the men’s release. It did not give further details.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had earlier castigated human rights groups for remaining silent over the men’s four-day detention.
The four Palestinians were arrested Thursday after attending a Sukkot celebration in Efrat, a settlement outside of Jerusalem. During the holiday, it is customary for Jewish hosts to invite guests for meals inside the sukka — a tent-like structure meant to symbolize the dwellings that ancient Israelites used during 40 years in the desert after being released from slavery in Egypt.
A senior Palestinian security official said Sunday that “any Palestinian cooperation with settlers is viewed as violating the law, as he cooperates with the enemy.” He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the matter.
Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, who hosted the gathering, called on the Palestinian Authority to release his guests.
Air force hits Gaza after rocket siren wails in south
Sirens warning of an impending rocket attack blared early Monday morning in communities in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council in southern Israel. The projectile reportedly landed inside the Gaza Strip.
The Code Red alarm sounded just before 7:00 a.m. on Monday. The IDF said in a statement shortly thereafter that they didn’t identify any rocket impacts in Israeli territory.
In response, Israeli air force jets struck “terror infrastructure belonging to the Hamas organization in the northern Gaza Strip.” Palestinian media also reported Israeli tank fire at Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in either incident.
Earlier this month, tensions between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip flared after a series of rocket launches into Israel and Israeli retaliation.
One of the rockets hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot and exploded in the middle of a street, causing some damage to the road, cars and nearby homes. Three people were hospitalized after suffering anxiety attacks.
Mysterious flaming streak appears over Tel Aviv
Israelis in central Israel reacted with bewilderment and some concern Monday to the sight of an orange-yellow ball of fire streaking slowly but surely across the early evening skies.
The flaming apparition was visible for several minutes from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea.
“It looked like a ball of fire followed by trail of flames,” Eliran of Herzliya told Channel 2 News.
Haim from Netanya said: “It could be a crashing plane, a meteor, I have no idea.”
A woman identified as Dana told Ynet she thought she was seeing “a missile or a shooting star…it was very strange.”
Liberman to Palestinian paper: Israel would ‘completely destroy’ Hamas in next war
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman threatened to destroy Hamas “completely” in a future war, but told the Palestinian Al-Quds newspaper in an interview published Monday that Israel has no interest in initiating a new offensive in Gaza.
The hawkish Yisrael Beytenu party leader told the Arabic newspaper that Israel would be the first to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip, lift the blockade and build crucial economic infrastructure in the Palestinian territory — such as a seaport and airport and industrial zones — if rocket launches, attack tunnels and gun running were to stop.
Israeli officials have expressed support for helping construct a seaport in the Gaza Strip, so long as there’s Israeli oversight to prevent the import of weapons to the Palestinian enclave.
Liberman’s remarks were published the same day rocket sirens sounded along the Gaza border after a rocket was fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave.
If Israel is forced into another war with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, it will be Hamas’s last war, Liberman warned: “We will destroy it completely.”
At the same time, he said, Israel has no interest in reconquering the Gaza Strip, which it evacuated civilians and troops from in 2005 in a unilateral withdrawal. That comment was an apparent turnaround from his repeated insistence in previous years that the only way to stop rocket fire was for Israel to reoccupy the Gaza Strip.
Top Palestinian daily under fire from peers for Liberman interview
A leading Palestinian daily came under intense criticism Tuesday from its media peers for “normalization” with Israel — a harsh charge among Palestinians — after it published a full-page interview with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
The deputy editor of the paper said his organization was doing its job to inform the public and decision makers.
In his interview with the Al-Quds daily published on Monday — the first-ever for the defense minister with Palestinian media — Liberman voiced his support for the two-state solution, accused PA President Mahmoud Abbas of shying away from the difficult decisions necessary to achieve peace, and said he would be the first to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip if Hamas would cease firing rockets and building tunnels into Israel, but would “completely destroy” the terror group in the event of another round of conflict.
According to an Israel Radio report on Tuesday that cited unnamed sources, the Palestinian Authority pressured Al Quds not to publish the interview, but the paper’s senior editors decided to publish anyway.
The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate on Tuesday said the Liberman interview constituted “normalization” with Israel and that Liberman used “national Palestinian media as a platform to deliver his threat and warnings to the Palestinian people.”
In apparent rift with Ramallah, Saudi Arabia halts PA funding
Without providing prior warning or an explanation to Ramallah, Saudi Arabia has been holding back financial aid earmarked for the Palestinian Authority for over six months, senior PA officials say.
Saudi Arabia had been paying $20 million a month to the PA as aid to the cash-strapped Palestinian government in the West Bank when it suddenly shut the tap.
While there has been no official announcement from either Riyadh or Ramallah, The Times of Israel has learned that the payments stopped over half a year ago with no clear reason given for the cessation.
Palestinian sources said that several emissaries from the Palestinian Authority have attempted to find out the reasons for the funding freeze but were not given full answers by the Saudi government.
The Palestinian Authority is working on the assumption that the freeze is due to an across-the-board cut in Saudi Arabia’s funding of foreign countries based on its own budgetary strains, but some sources assess that Riyadh may be unhappy with PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
In recent weeks, Abbas has locked horns with a number of Arab leaders who have been pressuring him to patch up differences within Fatah and make peace with former Gaza strongman Mohammad Dahlan, considered a main rival.
Exclusive - Palestinian Jihadi: Everyone Who Fights Islamic State Will Pay A Price
The world has not seen the last of the Islamic State despite recent setbacks in Iraq and Syria, a former member told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Abu Baker Almaqdesi, who returned to his native Gaza after being wounded in action and has been on Hamas’ most-wanted list, said the organization’s members will take the know-how they’ve acquired wherever they go, including possibly to the West.
Asked whether he meant that more lone-wolf attacks are to be expected in the Middle East or Europe, he said that anything is possible.
“I don’t know whether the brothers will remain in Syria and Iraq and integrate into the local population or return to their countries of origin,” he said. “But in any event these brothers were trained and have subscribed to the idea of the war on Islam that is led by the infidels and the Crusaders all over the world. They understand that they are the elite group that the Quran talks about who will carry the banner of Islam and jihad and fight against the nonbelievers.”
According to Almaqdesi, the latest setbacks don’t mean defeat: “When all the countries in the world, and we’re talking about all of them, including so-called Muslim states, coalesce to attack the Islam
Second Hamas man dies in tunnel ‘accident’ since Saturday
A Hamas operative died while working in a tunnel in the Gaza Strip Monday, the second death reported in recent days in the Palestinian terror group’s ranks.
Hamas’s armed wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced that Ameir Jaber Abu Tuaima, 22, died during construction of a tunnel beneath the Palestinian coastal enclave. The announcement posted on the group’s website didn’t mention the cause of death, merely stating the Tuaima died in an “accident” near the southern city of Khan Younis.
It wasn’t clear whether Tuaima died in a tunnel collapse, as another member of Hamas did on Saturday. The collapse on Saturday was the latest in a series of cave-ins to claim Palestinian lives. Over a dozen Palestinians, most of them reportedly members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, have been killed in collapses since the beginning of the year.
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA identified the man killed over the weekend as Anas Abu Lashin, 22, and said he was a member of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
He was reportedly working in a tunnel in the al-Maghazi area in central Gaza when it caved in.
Making the Same Mistakes with Iran
On Sunday, the U.S. Marine Corps commemorated a melancholy milestone–the 33rd anniversary of the truck-bomb attack on the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut. The bomb struck with the force of 12,000 pounds of TNT–one of the largest nonnuclear explosions on record. Dying in the blast were 241 sailors and marines, which still makes October 23, 1983, one of the worst days in the entire history of the U.S. Marine Corps.
And who carried out this heinous attack? Who else but Iran. Oh sure, the mullahs used cut-outs and intermediaries. The blast was initially claimed by a shadowy group called Islamic Jihad. Later, it became known as Hezbollah or the Party of God. But under any name, this was (and is) an Iranian proxy organization, wholly controlled by Iran’s Quds Force. The degree to which Hezbollah serves Iranian rather than Lebanese interests is evident today in Syria, where Hezbollah fighters are dying to keep in power an Iranian-allied regime that is reviled by most Lebanese because of the long Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
It is worth remembering the Marine barracks bombing because along with numerous other attacks on the United States–from the seizure of U.S. Embassy personnel in Tehran in 1979 to the orchestration of attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq prior to 2012–Iran has never paid a serious price for its actions. Nor has it ever expressed the slightest bit of remorse. In fact, Iran continues to attack the United States even after entering into a nuclear accord with the Obama administration.
Earlier this month, Iran’s proxies in Yemen, the Houthis, launched cruise missiles against US Navy vessels not once, not twice, but three times. The U.S. actually retaliated by using its own cruise missiles to destroy three radar installations on the Yemen coastline after the first two attacks. But as I feared at the time, this was insufficient to deter further attacks.
Tehran sentences Iranian-American to 18 years in prison — report
An Iranian-American held in Tehran has reportedly been sentenced to 18 years in prison for “collaboration with a hostile government.” He is yet another dual national convicted in a secret trial since Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
The sentence handed down to Robin Shahini, a 46-year-old graduate student who lives in San Diego, is the harshest yet for those detained in what analysts believe is a hard-liner plan to use them as bargaining chips in future negotiations.
Shahini told Vice News in an interview aired late on Monday that he “just laughed” after hearing his sentence. He acknowledged supporting the protests that followed Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election, but denied being involved in any sort of spying.
“Whatever information they had is all the pictures I posted in Facebook, in my web blog, and they use all those [pieces of] evidence to accuse me,” Shahini said in a telephone call from prison.
Neither Iranian judiciary officials nor Iran’s mission to the United Nations responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The US State Department said in a statement that it was troubled by reports of Shahini’s sentence.
Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire
More specifically, though, Turkish policy in the Middle East is driven by an urgent concern stemming from its conflict with the PKK, which has been exacerbated by the group’s gains in northern Syria. The PKK has long shaped Turkey’s relations with its southeastern neighbors. Most notably, Turkey nearly invaded Syria in 1998 in an ultimately successful effort to force Damascus to stop sheltering the group’s leader. Similarly, Turkey has kept military forces in the area of Mosul for the better part of two decades, in order to conduct operations against the PKK. Ankara has always portrayed this intervention, with little controversy in Turkey, as a matter of national security and self-defense. Today, self-defense remains Turkey’s main justification for its activities in Iraq, with Erdogan repeatedly emphasizing that the presence of Turkish forces there “acts as insurance against terrorist attacks targeting Turkey.” As long as the PKK maintains an open presence in Iraq, this is also the most compelling justification, domestically and internationally, for military involvement beyond its borders.
Indeed, to all the specific ethnic, sectarian, and historical rationales he has offered for Turkey’s interest in Mosul, Erdogan has been quick to attach one additional argument: The United States and Russia continue to play an outsized role in the region despite lacking any of these connections to it. Erdogan noted that some countries were telling Turkey, which shares a 220-mile border with Iraq, to stay out. Yet, despite not having history in the region or connection to it, these same countries were “coming and going.” “Did Saddam [Hussein] tell the United States to come to Iraq 14 years ago?” he added.
Behind the history, in other words, Ankara is all too aware of the fact that the power to do so remains the only rationale for foreign intervention that matters. In this regard, the legitimacy of Turkey’s plans for Mosul remains to be seen.
Israel postpones choosing new ambassador to Turkey
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday postponed a meeting to nominate a new ambassador to Turkey.
The meeting, scheduled for October 27, has been pushed off and no new date has been set, according to Channel 2.
A Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed to The Times of Israel that the meeting had been delayed, but did not offer an explanation.
Appointing a new ambassador is a key component of the June agreement between Israel and Turkey to restore ties.
Earlier this month, Turkish media reported that Kemal Okem, a close associate of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had been selected as Turkey’s ambassador to Israel.
Turkey and Israel have been planning to make an official announcement about their new ambassadors at the same time.
The exchange of diplomats is the last main element of an agreement signed between the two countries.
Vic Rosenthal: Are Palestinians “People of Color?”
I admit it. When I see the expression “person of color” used seriously, I stop reading. It is an indication that the writer is a fool, and probably a knave.
What does it mean? It has been around since the 1790s, but only recently has gained its present ideologically loaded meaning of “person belonging to an ethnic group that is or has been enslaved, colonized, persecuted or insulted by people of European ancestry.”
There are implications that flow from the status of being a POC. On the one hand, a POC is seen to be fragile, needing to be protected from present-day “white” oppression or compensated for prior oppression. On American college campuses, POCs demand “safe spaces” where they can be safe from demeaning micro-aggressions that “white” students, no matter how high their level of racial consciousness is, cannot seem to stop committing. Reparations, affirmative action and other benefits are also assumed to be due to POCs in order to redress historical wrongs and to overcome existing bias.
On the other hand, POCs may express their rage at being oppressed in aggressive ways, and non-POCs are expected to understand this, and even accept it.
American intellectual circles are obsessed by the concepts of oppression and victimhood, having added everything imaginable to the mix in addition to color and ethnicity. Thus it is also possible to be victimized on the basis of biological gender or the practically infinite variations of gender consciousness or sexual preference; or on the basis of religion, age, disability, poverty or employment status. I am sure I’ve missed some. The ways the various forms of oppression interact is called “intersectionality,” so papers are written about precisely how much worse it is to be an LGBT POC than an LGBT white.
DaphneAnson: "A Significant Kairos Moment": Stephen Sizer Breaks Cover
Our old chum the Anglican Vicar of Virginia Water must be counting the days to Easter Sunday next year.
That's when this seemingly unabashed defamer of Israel (how can we forget that outrageous 9/11 Facebook post of his, at left, or this exposé of his nonsense, or this and this?) and serial crusader against Christian Zionism relinquishes his parish and becomes free to indulge his political proclivities once more.
The signs are that having been more or less reined in by his bishop following that 9/11 obscenity he can hardly wait.
On 29 February this year the new charity with which our old chum will be centrally involved was registered/incorporated in London.
So far as I can tell, the vicar's name was absent from the formal documentation, Mrs Joanna Sizer (occupation recorded as 'administrator") being listed as one of the four directors, along with Garth Bruce Hewitt (occupation recorded as "priest"), Michael Charles Lawson (occupation recorded as "composer and film maker"), and John Frank Salter (occupation recorded as "retired".) Of the latter three, more below. The registered office address: 25 Gordon Road, Windsor, Berkshire, United Kingdom, SL4 3R.
NY, California universities among ‘hotspots’ of anti-Israel, anti-Semitic activity
The City University of New York in Brooklyn, Northwestern University and many of the schools in the University of California system are among the most hostile campuses for Jewish students, with high rates of anti-Semitic harassment and anti-Israel activity, researchers have found.
According to a major new study at Brandeis University into anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment on US campuses, these universities are “hotspots” for such activity.
The study, released this month, was conducted by researchers at the Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies and was based on findings from a survey taken in the Spring of 2016 among Jewish undergraduate students at 50 US campuses. All the students selected for the study were US applicants to the Birthright-Israel program, whether they attended the free 10-day trip to Israel or not. Of the more than 19,000 surveys send out to the Birthright applicants, 4,010 were completed which provided the basis for the study.
According to the report, the campuses were not selected randomly, “but were purposely sampled based on the estimated size of the campus Jewish population, geographic diversity, public/private status, selectivity, and prior evidence of high levels of anti-Israel hostility or anti-Semitism.”
In Response to Brandeis Report on Campus Antisemitism, Major Groups Say Students More Willing, Prepared Than Ever to Fight Back
Jewish and pro-Israel students are more willing and better organized than ever to fight back against antisemitism on US campuses, the heads of major campus watchdog organizations told The Algemeiner this week, in response to a newly released Brandeis University-sponsored report on the growing phenomenon and its link to the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, head of the AMCHA Initiative, said the report’s findings are in line with research conducted by her own organization. She was referring in particular to a key finding of the study that “one of the strongest predictors of perceiving a hostile climate towards Israel and Jews is the presence of an active Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group on campus,” and that “discomfort talking about Israel” is “closely related to the presence of an SJP… suggesting that the rhetoric deployed by such groups often causes students to withdraw from discussions.”
“The BDS movement [of which SJP is a member] calls on its adherents to engage in ‘anti-normalization’ behaviors to aggressively stifle all pro-Israel expression, which frequently results in incidents involving anti-Jewish assault, harassment, destruction of property, discrimination and suppression of speech,” she said.
David Brog, executive director of the Maccabee Task Force, said, “The good news is that the gains made by the BDS movement are far from permanent. As the study showed, there are still pro-Israel students on campus who want to make the case for Israel, to share the truth — their truth — about Israel. When we empower these students, we can begin to take back the territory SJP and others have invested so many years in winning.”
Europe to Israel: More avocado, please!
The Israeli avocado season is underway, and health-conscientious Europeans are keeping a watchful eye on this super fruit’s journey from orchard to cargo hold to their local grocery store.
High on the lists of global health fads, the avocado is in hot demand. And the Israeli avocado specifically is an extremely popular commodity.
“There is an increase in avocado demand every year. Israeli farmers can’t keep up with the demand,” Itzik Cohen, CEO of the Israel Fruit Growers Association, tells ISRAEL21c. “2016 looks like it will be a very good year for business.”
According to Cohen, Israel exported 60,000 tons of this creamy fruit in 2015. This year, the Israeli Agriculture International portal announced that it expects an avocado yield of almost 100,000 tons of fruit. Of that, 70 percent will be earmarked for export.
Because avocados can grow in a wide range of soil, orchards stretch from the coastal plain to the Jordan Valley and Upper Galilee.
Israeli, Cypriot officials to meet for natural gas talks
Senior energy officials from Israel and Cyprus were scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the development of two natural gas fields, Aphrodite and Yishai, which lie on the maritime border between the two nations.
Shaul Meridor, the director general of Israel's National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry, was to meet with his Cypriot counterpart, Stelios D. Himonas, the permanent secretary of Cyprus' Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Ministry. The meeting is the latest effort to finalize an agreement that would pave the way for joint projects on those fields.
Meridor is also scheduled to fly to Athens on Thursday to discuss the building of a pipeline to carry Israeli natural gas to Cyprus and Greece, and from there to other European countries. The discussions on this project have picked up speed in light of the expected development of the large Leviathan gas field off the Israeli coast and Israel's decision to grant more exploration rights next month.
Israel may also be able export gas to Europe through Turkey and Egypt.
World Economic Forum says Israel is 2nd best on innovation
The World Economic Forum’s 2016-2017 Global Competitiveness Report shows that Israel is the second best place for innovation in the world, following Switzerland. The annual report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 138 economies.
Israel also ranks high on university-industry collaboration in R&D (3rd), company spending on R&D (3rd), quality of scientific research institutions (3rd), PCT patents (5th), availability of latest technologies (6th), and availability of scientists and engineers (8th).
The Global Competitiveness Report’s competitiveness ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which was introduced by the World Economic Forum in 2005. The WEF says scores are calculated from 12 categories: institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic environment, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labor market efficiency, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.
“The report is an annual assessment of the factors driving productivity and prosperity in 138 countries. The degree to which economies are open to international trade in goods and services is directly linked to both economic growth and a nation’s innovative potential,” reads a statement.

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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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