Sunday, April 15, 2018

From Ian:

Israel rebukes German paper for claim Jews took Arab land to create Israel
An Israeli diplomat in Berlin reprimanded leading weekly Die Zeit for the cover story of its current issue, which argues that Jews from across the globe “settled Arab lands” to build the State of Israel.

“@zeitonline, friendly reminder: Jews have been living in this land since the time of King David, King Solomon and Jesus,” embassy spokeswoman Adi Farjon tweeted on Thursday.

The article’s headline, “Israel at 70: Why is There No Quiet in This Country?” triggered outrage over the omission of historical facts.

The paper asserted that “Jews from across the world settled Arab lands and simply created facts out of which the State of Israel grew.”

Responding to the omissions in the article, the Anne Frank Educational Center wrote on its Twitter feed that the “historical background of the founding of Israel is not mentioned [nor] centuries-old antisemitism & the Shoah.”

The Frankfurt-based organization added: “Why did Die Zeit not write that since Israel’s creation in 1948 its existence has been threatened?”
Netanyahu: The West should treat Iran the same way it treated Syria
The same resolve the US, Britain and France showed in standing up to Syrian President Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria needs to be shown in preventing terrorist states and organizations from getting nuclear capabilities, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a phone conversation Saturday night with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Netanyahu, who was referring to Iran, spoke about this conversation at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

US President Donald Trump has given the European powers – France, Britain and Germany – until May 12 to fix the Iranian nuclear agreement signed in 2015. If it is not satisfactorily altered, he has warned, he will walk away from the deal.

Netanyahu reiterated that Israel fully supported Trump's decision to act against Assad's use of chemical weapons, and added that Jerusalem welcomed the French and British participation in the mission.

Netanyahu said he told May that “the important international message that was given with the attack was zero tolerance for the use of non-conventional weapons. I added that this policy also needs to be expressed in preventing terrorist states and organizations from obtaining nuclear capabilities.”

UN Watch: Corbyn wants ‘dialogue’ with Assad, sanctions on Israel
Jeremy Corbyn’s latest calls for “negotiations for peace” and “a political settlement” in response to Assad gassing to death his own people are part of a pattern whereby the UK Labour Party leader calls for “dialogue” with murderers he likes, as when he called the Hezbollah terrorist group his “friends” with whom the UK should promote “peace, understanding and dialogue.”

In marked contrast, however, when Israel has taken military action to defend itself against Hamas terrorist attacks and rockets fired at civilian population centers, Corbyn’s response is not to call for negotiations, but rather to demands sanctions and “justice” against Israel. As shown below, he has never called for sanctions or justice in regard to Syria.

Corbyn continues to say intervention in Syria should only take place through the UN. Which Russia has repeatedly vetoed…

IDF destroys ‘longest and deepest’ Hamas cross-border attack tunnel
The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday announced it destroyed a sophisticated Hamas attack tunnel, leading from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, over the weekend.

The tunnel was the “longest and deepest” underground passage discovered in Israel thus far, according to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

It passed under the border in an area where Palestinian protesters have recently clashed with security forces, the army said.

A military spokesman said the tunnel was dug by the Hamas terrorist group and was connected to a “kilometers-long” network of other passages under the Gaza Strip.

The tunnel reached “tens of meters” into Israeli territory in the area of the northern Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli community of Nahal Oz, the army said. It was constructed after the 50-day 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to the IDF.

It was detected using new technologies and methods that the IDF has deployed against the terror tunnel threat and was disarmed over the weekend, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said.
The IDF Thwarts a Hamas Terror Tunnel

IDF Blog: Technological Laboratory for Tunnel Detection and Location
As part of the effort to locate and thwart terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip, the IDF established a unique technological laboratory which has a specific goal of detecting and locating tunnels. The Gaza Division, under the command of Captain B, created the laboratory two years ago. Captain B is an electrical engineer and a chemist by training and works with some of the best minds in a variety of technological and research positions, including physicists, engineers, intelligence personnel and geologists from the Technology and Logistics Branch.

It takes technological, intelligence, and operational efforts, working together, to locate and thwart terror tunnels. The laboratory itself is the technological branch of tunnel detection and uses innovative ground research such as scanning cavities and their dynamics. The laboratory also works to improve existing technologies, striving to develop new discovery and mapping techniques. The laboratory personnel work closely with the intelligence personnel, engineering forces, and other units in the field until the tunnel is located. Once a terror tunnel is detected it’s monitored until finally thwarted.

The combination of technological, intelligence, and operational activity have drastically improved the rate of terror tunnel detection drastically. Over the last few months, the laboratory has successfully located and thwarted five terror tunnels. The lab also received a certificate of excellence from the Head of the Technological Brigade in the Technology and Logistics Branch.
Technological Laboratory

PA official: Egypt asked Hamas to stop Gaza protests
Senior Egyptian intelligence officials who visited the Gaza Strip on Saturday reportedly asked Hamas leaders to halt the weekly mass demonstrations along the border with Israel.

The Egyptian delegation, headed by Sameh Nabil, who is in charge of the Palestinian portfolio in Egypt’s General Intelligence Service, entered the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing with Israel.

A Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah said that the Egyptian officials demanded during their talks with Hamas leaders in Gaza City that the terror group end the protests, which began three weeks ago as part of the so-called March of Return.

“The Egyptians are worried that the confrontations along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel could lead to a serious deterioration,” the official told The Times of Israel. “The Egyptians are also concerned that the clashes could move to the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.”

Egypt has refused to open the Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip on a permanent basis, a decision that has drawn sharp criticism from Palestinians living in the coastal enclave.
IsraellyCool: Palestinian Medics Initially Blame Israel For Deaths of Terrorists Killed In “Work Accident”
Earlier today, 4 palestinians were killed in a blast. Palestinian medics immediately pointed the finger at Israel.

An explosion in the southern Gaza Strip killed four Palestinians on Saturday, the local health ministry said.

Medics at the scene in the Rafah area said it was caused by an Israeli tank shell.

But an Israeli military spokesman said the army was not involved. “We have no knowledge of any Israeli strike in the area,” he said.

Local residents at the hospital morgue identified the four dead men as members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group. Islamic Jihad did not immediately confirm the men were members.

But it turns out these were indeed terrorists who suffered a premature explodation.
NY Times finds “journalists,” no terrorists among Hamas rioters
We shouldn’t be surprised, but once again The New York Times has twisted itself into a pretzel as a means to defame Israel.

Of the recent tire-burning Hamas riot at Israel’s border, the Times editorializes that Israel purposely targeted Yasser Murtaja, who was shot and killed while supposedly serving as a Palestinian Arab journalist. The Times is outraged that this should have happened – while, in the same breath, admitting that Hamas is a “ruthless” organization, which “has drawn tens of thousands of Palestinians to Gaza’s border with Israel.”

In that case, what have we got? We’ve got “the fog of war.” This means there’s no telling what really happened.

There’s even a chance that this journalist was downed by purposeful “friendly fire.” Hamas and the other Islamist terrorists do it all the time.

They did it when they staged the Mohammad al-Dura incident, which prompted the bloody Second Intifada, which we recorded on page 147 of “The Bathsheba Deadline,” where we also recorded Daniel Seaman, Israel’s press secretary at the time, who found that media manipulation is the rule between Palestinians and journalists.

Quote from the BBC Gaza correspondent Fayad Abu Shamala at a Hamas rally in Gaza –

“Journalists are waging the campaign shoulder to shoulder together with the Palestinian people.”
AP and Times of Israel Correct, "Explosive Bullets" Charge
After intervention by CAMERA, the Associated Press and Times of Israel have commendably corrected stories relaying the outlandish claim that gunshot injuries with exit wounds larger than entry wounds are evidence of "explosive bullets." You can find further details on that here.

Haaretz, which also published the misleading story, has thus far neglected to correct their copy.

We've contacted editors at Haaretz, and will update this space as needed.

Update: To its credit, Haaretz has also corrected its piece.
BBC report on latest Gaza violence follows established pattern
On April 13th the BBC News website published a report about the third consecutive Friday of rioting along the Israel-Gaza Strip border. Titled “Fierce clashes continue at Gaza-Israel border fence“, the article was promoted on the website’s main homepage and ‘World’ page as well as on its ‘Middle East’ page and it included the same themes – and omissions – seen in previous BBC reporting (see ‘related articles’ below) on the same story.

Although readers once again saw use of the term ‘ancestral land’, the report made no effort was made to clarify that the vast majority of the people described as refugees are in fact descendants of refugees or that the aim of the Palestinian demand for ‘right of return’ is in fact to eradicate the Jewish state: a goal that it is incompatible with the internationally accepted ‘two-state solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Protesters want refugees to be allowed to return to ancestral land now in Israel. […]

Organisers call the rolling protests the Great March of Return.

They will culminate on 15 May, the 70th annual commemoration of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, of the displacement of hundreds of thousands of their people in the war which followed Israel’s creation in 1948.”

Yet again BBC audiences saw unquestioning repetition of casualty figures provided by the “Palestinian health ministry” – but without clarification that the ministry concerned is controlled by the terror group Hamas – which is one of the organisers of the ‘Great Return March’ publicity stunt.
Satellite photos show Syrian chemical weapons facilities hit
The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles early Saturday in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Syria a week ago, targeting what the Pentagon said were three chemical weapons facilities, including a research and development center in Damascus' Barzeh district and two installations near Homs.

Satellite photos showed considerable damaged caused as a result.

Director of the Joint Staff Lt.-Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said at a Pentagon press briefing Saturday that the "precise, effective" strike turned back the chemical capabilities of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime a decade.

The US army further communicated that strikes completely ruined the regime's chemical weapons storage sites, also successfully targeting a bunker storing chemical weapons.

The missiles were launched from American, British and French ships, submarines and jets in the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean.

Seventy-six were launched at the Barzeh R&D facility—57 of them Tomahawk missiles and a further 19 air-to-surface missiles, according to McKenzie. "We have succeeded in destroying three structures on the outskirts of Damascus," he said, "one of the regions with the heaviest aerial defense fortifications in the world."
The Importance of Striking Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center
According to a 2012 Treasury press release, the SSRC was established in 1971, and while it operates with the camouflage of "an overtly promoted civilian research function," its activities "focus on the development of biological and chemical weapons." The same press release mentions the SSRC's purchase through one front company of a precursor for soman nerve agent, plus its purchase from Iran, via another of its various front companies, of components used in the production of solid fuel for rockets.

On April 24, 2017, following Assad's sarin gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Trump administration blacklisted 271 employees of the SSRC, stating that these individuals "have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC's chemical weapons since at least 2012." In other words, during the same time frame in which Russia (and former secretary of State John Kerry) were assuring us that 100 percent of the chemical weapons were gone from Syria, the Syrian regime's SSRC was prolifically busy plowing ahead with Assad's chemical weapons program.

We also have it on good authority that during roughly that same interval, the SSRC was ordering up shipments from North Korea. According to the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea sanctions, in a report dated March 5, 2018, their investigations into weapons and dual-use shipments to Syria from North Korea turned up more than 40 shipments between 2012 and 2017 "by entities designated by Member States as front companies for the Scientific Studies Research Centre of the Syrian Arab Republic." Among these shipments were items "with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programmes."

If the SSRC was indeed struck and destroyed, the likely benefits are enormous. That would deprive Assad of one of the most diabolical laboratories of his evil regime, quite likely providing a big setback to his chemical weapons program, with the two-fer that it might also have zapped his bioweapons program. It would also send a useful message to everyone from the SSRC's suppliers, such as Iran and North Korea, to such predatory dictators as Russia's Putin and China's Xi Jinping. Destroying the SSRC with air strikes ought to drive home, in a way that no amount of UN debate and no quantity of sanctions designations ever could, that these days the U.S. and its allies are serious about their red lines.
Haley: If Assad Uses Chemical Weapons Again, ‘There Will Be More’ Strikes ‘And It Will Hurt’
United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said Sunday if Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad continues to use chemical weapons, the U.S. will again take action "and it will hurt."

Following coordinated air strikes by the U.S., Britain and France against Assad's chemical weapons infrastructure Friday night, Haley relayed to the U.N. Security Council on Saturday that the U.S. was "locked and loaded" should Assad use poison gas on his own people again.

President Donald Trump ordered the strike Friday in retaliation for Assad's reported chemical attack on the rebel-held suburb of Douma on April 7.

While Trump said Friday the U.S. was "prepared to sustain the response" if Assad continued to deploy banned chemical agents, Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters "this is a one-time shot."

"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace played the clips of the two men and asked Haley "which is it?"

"That is totally up to Assad," Haley said. "What I can tell you is the president has made it very clear that when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, we have no tolerance for it. We are going to watch out for the best interests of the American people. He made a point and hopefully Assad gets it. If Assad doesn't get it, it's going to hurt."

"I think what General Mattis was saying these strikes happened basically responding to their continued use of chemical weapons, but of course if Assad continues to go forward, there will be more, and it will hurt, and I think that he has a lot to think about," she added.
Fuming over Syria strike, Russia mulls deploying S-300 missiles
In the wake of the West's strike on Syria, Russia is considering supplying Damascus with its advanced S-300 missile defense system, a Russian general said Saturday.

A U.S.-Britain-France coalition fired over 100 missiles at Syrian targets late Friday night, in retaliation for a March 31 deadly chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma, north of Damascus.

The Pentagon named the targets struck in the operation as the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, a government body responsible for research and development of advanced weapons systems; a chemical weapons storage facility west of Homs, which the U.S. believed was the primary location of Syrian sarin and precursor production equipment, and a military command post.

The strike outraged Moscow, an ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the strike as an "act of aggression," saying, "Russia in the most serious way condemns the attack on Syria where Russian military servicemen help the legitimate government to fight terrorism."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov described the actions of the U.S., U.K. and France in Syria as "unacceptable and lawless."
Ron Prosor: Mission not accomplished
The odd claims by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the chemical attack on Douma was "fabricated" by a foreign intelligence agency, along with Russia's sweeping denials it was behind the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England are indicative of a deeper phenomenon the world's democracies will need to address in future conflicts. U.S. President Donald Trump's actions are an echo of the words attributed to the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, according to which, "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

While the U.S. airstrikes may well be behind us, the Syrian front continues to heat up. Israel must continue to carefully navigate this front, on one hand, working to prevent Iran from establishing itself militarily on the northern border and on the other hand, avoiding pushing the limits so much that the Russians position advanced S-300 or S-400 missile batteries in Syria and Israel is left with little room to maneuver either there or in Lebanon.

My greatest fear is that the U.S. airstrikes will be the final act in America's involvement in Syria. U.S. military action must not conclude with a limited tactical victory. That would only result in a long-term strategic loss for the United States. The U.S. must maintain and increase its presence in Syria in order to stand up to Russia and stand with its allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf states who know America's presence in Syria can prevent a Russian and Iranian takeover of the country. This is not just in Israel's interest but in the interest of the Middle East and the entire world.
Israel fears Trump may see job as done in Syria, leave Israel alone to face Iran
While Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu firmly backed the US-led airstrikes on Syria in the wake of its use of chemical weapons, Israeli security chiefs made clear on Saturday night that Israel fears the Trump Administration will now consider that its work in Syria is done, and leave Israel alone to face the dangers posed by Iran’s growing military presence in Syria.

Israel’s defense chiefs are also reportedly worried that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, seeing Syria under US-led attack, may provide President Bashar Assad with more advanced air defense systems — which could reduce Israel’s air supremacy in the skies of Syria and Lebanon. A Russian general indicated such an arms supply was possible in comments on Saturday.

Israel’s Channel 10 news reported on Saturday that Israel and the US held numerous discussions ahead of the US-led strike, that Netanyahu’s national security adviser spoke to British and French officials, and that these talks reflected Israel’s profound concern over the Iranian military’s growing involvement and presence in Syria.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior Israeli security source told Israeli media on Saturday night: “The attack will enable the Americans to say, we’ve done what was necessary, and withdraw from Syria.”

In such a scenario, “Israel remains alone, facing the threat of Iran establishing itself on the northern border,” the source said.
Jeremy Corbyn’s rationale for opposing the Syria strike is collapsing
The Syria missile strike has been backed by the governments of Germany, Canada, New Zealand and more – but not Jeremy Corbyn. Not for him the convention of the Opposition leader supporting the government in issues of war and peace. ‘I say to the Prime Minister: where is the legal case for this?’ he told Andrew Marr this morning. The legal case has been published here, at some length. Corbyn then suggested that international OPCW inspectors should be called in to judge what had happened. But is there any doubt about what happened? Today, the Sunday Times publishes testimonies of victims of the gas attack: accounts of differing people corroborate the use of a chlorine bomb. Even the United Nations accepts that sending in international inspectors is unrealistic in the middle of a civil war. The UN comes to its judgements about poison gas use by interviewing survivors and the medics who treated them, just as the Sunday Times has now. (I gather, CNN will broadcast similar accounts later today.)

Were Bashar al-Assad to be found guilty, Corbyn then said, he should be told to ‘come in and destroy those weapons, as they did in 2013 and 2015’. Note he offers two dates: if weapons were destroyed in 2013 why should there have been the need to do anything in 2015? It’s also worth reprinting the United Nations assessment of the regularity of the chemical weapons attacks: suffice to say that having Assad agree to ‘destroy’ his chemical weapons in 2013 did not stop the litany of atrocities.
Roger Waters: Syrian Chemical Attack ‘Fake News’
Founder of the 1960s British band Pink Floyd and vehement BDS promoter Roger Waters is now in the business of echoing Russian propaganda claims that the Syrian regime did not attack its own people with chemical weapons a wee ago, and that the group that first reported the news, White Helmets, had actually staged the attack to seduce the West into attacking President Assad.

Waters made his accusation during a concert in Barcelona on Saturday night, after first telling the crowd that a supporter of the White helmets had asked to speak to them about the deadly chemical attack.

“The White Helmets are a fake organization that exists only to create propaganda for the jihadists and terrorists,” Waters asserted. “If we would listen to the propaganda of the White Helmets and others we would be encouraged to encourage our governments to go and start dropping bombs on people in Syria,” he reasoned.

“This would be a mistake of monumental proportions,” Waters declared, adding, “What we should do is be persuading our governments to not to go and drop bombs on people.”

Waters made his bizarre comments one day after the US, the UK, and France had struck Syrian chemical facilities in retaliation of the regime’s use of chemical weapons against the town of Douma near Damascus.

Amb. Dore Gold: Is President Trump Right to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital?
Since 2001, the international community has become increasingly aware of the fact that holy sites across the Middle East and South Asia have lost the immunity that they were thought to have had. The current era was ushered in by the Taliban’s destruction of the 2,000-year-old statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan. It intensified with the church bombings by ISIS in Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

This international experience is something Israelis understand well. In 1948, Jerusalem was put under siege by invading Arab armies and much of its Jewish legacy was assaulted. By the time armistice agreements were reached in 1949, some 55 synagogues and religious academies had been destroyed or desecrated. The residents of the Jewish Quarter faced exile, imprisonment or extermination. For 19 years, Jews were not allowed to visit their holy sites in Jerusalem. These experiences hovered in the minds of Israelis in 1967 when the Israeli army was ordered to retake the Old City of Jerusalem and guarantee the security of its holy sites.

How best to resolve the question of Jerusalem has defied diplomats for decades since. In 1947, the U.N. proposed that the city be internationalized. But when it was invaded in 1948, the U.N. did not lift a finger to protect its residents. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared in 1949 that Jerusalem would be Israel’s capital. It was hoped and expected that states would establish their embassies in Jerusalem as a result.
Saudi king slams Trump for transferring US embassy to Jerusalem
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday opened an Arab League summit by criticizing US President Donald Trump’s decision to transfer the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem,” the king said in a speech in Dhahran in eastern Saudi Arabia.

“East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories,” he added.

US President Donald Trump in December bucked decades of US foreign policy by formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and setting in motion plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv. The US has said the move would take place to coincide with Israel’s 70th birthday.

Israel marks its annual Independence Day — Yom Ha’Atzmaut — according to the Hebrew calendar date that this year falls on April 19. However, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the embassy is being planned for mid-May, as the State of Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948.

The announcement of the May opening for the embassy was welcomed by Israel and met with widespread anger among the Palestinians, prompting calls for enormous protest events, the largest of them planned for the Gaza Strip.
Arab leaders meet to unify ranks with eye on Iran, Jerusalem
Saudi Arabia used its perch as host of an annual gathering of Arab leaders on Sunday to push for a unified stance against rival Iran as the regional powerhouses vie for the upper hand in wars in Syria and Yemen.

Saudi King Salman told leaders from across the 22-member Arab League that Iran was to blame for instability and meddling in the region. He said Yemeni rebel Houthis, backed by Iran, had fired 116 missiles at the kingdom since Saudi Arabia went to war in Yemen three years ago to try and roll back Houthi gains there.

The summit took place in the oil-rich eastern Saudi city of Dhahran, a location that may have been selected by the kingdom to avoid cross-border Houthi missile strikes that have targeted the capital, Riyadh, and southern border cities.

While locked in proxy conflicts in Yemen and Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran also back opposing groups in Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq.

The summit this year takes place after the US, Britain and France launched dozens of airstrikes early Saturday at sites they said were linked to Syrian chemical weapons program. President Bashar Assad and his close ally, Russia, have denied government forces ever used such weapons.
It's okay to detest Geraldo
Over at Fox News, his latest gig, he’s been pitching his Israel hatred as he once hawked his Al Capone caper…each case meant to mislead, to tease and to deceive.

Currently, he’s cheerleading Hamas Palestinian Arabs who come each week to murder Jews, a fine thing if you ask Geraldo. But even without asking, just the other day, he announced himself favorable to the Second Arab Intifada, in which more than 1,000 Israelis were killed, regrettable only, he says, that he missed out on the action, from the Arab side of things.

Read it here as he says, “I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel…” In short, he’s on a tear demonizing and cursing the Jewish State.

A Haman for our time, whom we are compelled to detest.

Regrets, he’s had a few, or so you’d think. But from failure to failure, over some 50 years, Geraldo manages to pick himself up and botch things up all over again.

Yet they keep hiring him…as when pretending to be a war correspondent he got it awfully wrong in Afghanistan and worse in Iraq. Wikipedia has the info.
Fake News Sites and the UN in Demarcation Dispute (satire)
In a surprise announcement today, editors of the largest satirical news websites have declared that they are forming a new international organization with the central mission of “maintenance of international peace and security”. Following the UN decision to make Syria the head of their chemical weapons watchdog, just days after Assad’s alleged chemical attack in Ghouta, the conglomerate said: “Since the UN seems to be doing our job, it’s time we did theirs – it’s not like they’re good at it”

The head of the new organization, Alfred E. Neuman, noted that this isn’t the first time the UN has used its power to create headlines that encroach on humorous news sites’ field of business, citing previous decisions such as: Saudi Arabia being elected to the UN Women’s rights commission, singling out Israel as the only violator of women’s rights, and previously electing Qadaffi’s Libya as chair of the UN Human Rights Commission.

The Mideast Beast has reported that it will recruit Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström onto staff. “Her line about putting the Saudis in charge of Women’s rights so they can learn about women is comedy gold”.

In related news, the UN Secretary General is being investigated for insider trading after selling Facebook shares short on the stock exchange. Suspicions arose after an unnamed source quoted him saying: “Appointing Syria to the chair of the disarmament forum will f#%k up Zuckerberg’s fake news-detecting algorithms.”
Haaretz publisher derided for 'racist' tweet
Scathing criticism on social media over a Haaretz article prompted publisher Amos Shocken to tweet a racist attack over the weekend, only to delete it later.

The cover story for Haaretz's main supplement this past Friday, in anticipation of Israel's 70th Independence Day, was dedicated to "Selecting the most hated Israeli song."

Under the headline, "This tune has to stop (urgently)!", several of the newspaper's reporters selected an Israeli song they detested. Topping the list was Israel's national anthem "HaTikva," alongside Naomi Shemer's seminal Six Day War-era song "Jerusalem of Gold."

The newspaper's editors also added a feature to the supplement, published under the headline "The day Ben Gurion was hung," describing in great detail how the execution of first prime minister David Ben Gurion, along with other senior officials from Israel's nascent period including Yitzhak Sadeh, Yigal Alon and Menachem Begin, would've looked like.

The article was accompanied by an illustration showing Israel's founding father hung from the gallows.

The supplement aroused outcry on social media in short order, with many users criticizing the paper. Responding to one of them, Ravit Dahan, Shocken tweeted, "You're insolent. My family was part of Zionism's leadership while you were still climbing trees.
IDF to shutter West Bank, Gaza Strip crossing points ahead of Independence Day
The army said Sunday that it will enforce a total shut down of all crossing points into Israel from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a security precaution ahead of the upcoming Independence Day celebrations.

“In accordance with instructions from the government and a situations assessment by the IDF, a general closure will be placed on Judea and Samaria, and all the border crossings between the Gaza Strip will be closed from Monday, April 16,” the IDF said in a statement, using the Hebrew term for the West Bank region.

The army said the closure will begin at midnight Monday evening.

Israeli citizens will be permitted to move between the West Bank and Israel. Israeli civilians are not permitted to enter the Gaza Strip at any time.

“The closure will be lifted on April 19 at midnight Thursday, in keeping with a situations assessment,” the statement said.

During the closures, movement through crossings will be permitted on a humanitarian basis, for doctors and special circumstances, on approval by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the army noted.
Israel counts 23,645 fallen personnel, terror victims since 1860
After Israel united to remember the murder of six million Jews on Holocaust Memorial day, the country is now preparing to mark Memorial Day for the thousands of IDF soldiers and security personnel who have fallen in the line of duty, along with victims of deadly terror attacks since the founding of Zionism.

Since last Memorial Day, 71 names of security personnel have been added to the list.Thirty IDF veterans disabled in attacks and who died as a result of their condition have also been added to the death toll.

In total, the number of Israel’s fallen in the line of duty since 1860 stands at 23,645.

According to the latest figures, published by the Family and Commemoration Division at the Ministry of Defense, there are 8,929 bereaved parents currently living in Israel, 4,849 IDF and security personnel widows and thousands more children who have lost a parent in the course of operations and wars or during terror attacks.

The National Insurance Institute of Israel (NI) said on Friday morning that civilians murdered in enemy activity since Israel declared its independence in 1948 stands today at 3,134.

The number includes 122 foreign citizens, who were murdered in terror attacks in Israel and 100 Israelis who were killed abroad.
PodCast: Honest Reporting CEO, Joe Hyams
This week on IsraelCast, we were joined by Joe Hyams, the CEO of Honest Reporting. With a media and marketing background, the London-born Hyams joined Honest Reporting in 2005. He trains Israel supporters the world-over in the identification of media bias and effective responses in the digital age, and directs the organizations growth and operations from Jerusalem.
The BBC, Iran and faux objectivity
The corporation supposedly committed to providing its funding public with “impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them” was obviously reluctant to inform its audiences whether or not Iran is building up its military presence in Syria and whether or not it supplies arms to its proxy Hizballah.

“Iran and Israel are long-standing enemies, and Iran has been accused of deliberately building up a force inside Syria, Israel’s north-eastern neighbour. […]

It has also been accused of supplying weaponry to Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah, an enemy of Israel which has a strong force in Syria.”

Since publishing a report in November 2017 about ‘claims’ that Iran “is establishing a permanent military base inside Syria”, the BBC has not produced any follow-up reporting on that topic, meaning that audiences are unable to judge for themselves whether or not those ‘accusations’ have any basis.

Likewise, despite both Hizballah’s leader and Iranian officials having publicly confirmed that Iran supplies weaponry to its Lebanese proxy (in violation of UN SC resolution 1701), the BBC continues to serially beat about the bush on that issue too.

Quite how the BBC thinks that ongoing self-censorship and faux ‘objectivity’ serves its commitment to enhance the understanding of its funding public is of course unclear.
Iran: YouTube Shooter Justifies Our Persecution of Bahai People
In a piece penned by state-run outlet Fars News Agency about the accused YouTube shooter Nasim Aghdam, Iran admits to persecuting the Baha’i faith to which Aghdam belonged.

“The Baha’i faith is not recognized by the Islamic Republic and its followers claim that they have been facing restrictions and bans in the country,” Fars News wrote in a piece titled, “Nasim Aghdam’s Baha’i Faith Indicates Underlying Realities.”

It added, “Muslims believe that Islam’s prophet (PBUH) was the last of 124,000 divine messengers sent by God and hence do not regard Bahai’ism as a divine faith.”

Fars News wrote, “A small community of Baha’is live in Iran now.”

According to the State Department’s International Freedom Report from 2005, “The largest non-Muslim minority is the Baha’i community, which has an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 adherents throughout the country.”

Aghdam published many posts on her YouTube channel and Facebook page – both of which have been deleted by the companies – about her Baha’i faith, which Fars News detailed in the piece to build an argument against the minority population.
Saudi scholar: Jews in Hollywood implementing ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’
A Saudi scholar claimed that Jews are implementing the contents of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” by using Hollywood to “target us” and preoccupy the masses with arts, sports and theater.

While stressing that there is no proof of the authenticity of the notorious anti-Semitic forgery, Sheikh Sa’ad ibn Abdullah Al-Humayd, a professor of Hadith Studies at King Saud University in Riyadh, said this didn’t matter since what appears in the book “has been translated into reality.”

He said the conspiracy that Jews are trying to take over the world by using their wealth could have been intentionally distributed by Jews who concluded it would benefit them.

“Some people question the authenticity The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and indeed, we have some questions about this book,” said Sheikh Al-Humayd in an interview with the Saudi Wesal TV channel. The interview, which aired on March 21, was highlighted and translated on Thursday by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“It’s not clear how the news about so secret an organization can spread everywhere, especially since these people hold such power, as we all know,” added the sheikh. “However, if we look at reality, we see that what appears in this book is implemented.”
Israel wins second-largest number of cybersecurity deals globally
Israel accounted for the second-largest number of cybersecurity deals globally, behind the US and ahead of the UK, a new report compiled by New York data firm CB Insights shows.

The report shows that Israel accounted for seven percent of the cybersecurity global deal share in the years 2013-2017, still way behind the US, which accounted for 69% of the global deal share, but higher than the UK, which accounted for 6% of the pie. Canada accounted for 3% and China for 2% of the global deal share, the report showed.

The report selects 29 cybersecurity startups — which it calls cyber defenders — who are early- to mid-stage “high-momentum companies pioneering technology with the potential to transform cybersecurity,” the report said.

Out of these, six are Israeli firms, ranking the so-called Startup Nation with the second-highest concentration of cyber defenders, after the United States.
Screenshot of some of the over 400 parameters BioCatch checks (Photo credit: Courtesy)

The Israeli firms that made the list are: BioCatch, a startup that analyzes behavioral and physiological parameters to help with fraud prevention and detection; Aqua Security, which enables enterprises to secure their virtual container environments and bridges the gap between DevOps and IT security; IRONSCALES, a maker of anti-phishing technologies; and D-ID, which has developed a technology to help enterprises protect users’ faces from unauthorized, automated face recognition technologies
President to give Waze driving tips to Independence Day revelers
To honor Israel’s 70th Independence Day, President Reuven Rivlin will be dishing out recorded navigation instructions to Israeli users of the driving application Waze. The file of guidelines with his voice will be available to users starting from April 19, and for just one week.

Rivlin recorded the instructions during a visit to the Israeli company’s Tel Aviv headquarters which has developed a GPS navigation software that works on smartphones and tablets and is used by some 100 million users globally to navigate to their destination and to bypass traffic jams.

During his visit, Rivlin met with Waze CEO Noam Bardin and with the firm’s employees.

“Every technological solution that helps Israeli citizens go out to the beautiful paths of our country and discover new, attractive places makes me happy,” said the president during his visit. “The most exciting projects in my eyes are those that bring together the groundbreaking Israeli innovation with our tiny country, where every story lies behind every path, and I hope that we will help citizens reach their independence day celebration events with joy and, more importantly, more cautiously.”

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