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RELIGION, ISLAM, AND ATHEISM

Posted by Paul Eidelberg, January 01, 2015

If the essence of religion is a commitment to altruism, and if altruism is rooted in the concept of man's creation in the image of God, then Islam is not a religion but a perversion of religion, as well as a denial of the moral unity of the humanity. Islam should therefore be regarded as paganism with the veneer of monotheism. The mere fact that Muslims use children as human bombs or as human shields, thus sacrificing their own children in the name of Allah, is comparable to Canaanites who sacrificed their children to Baal.

It follows that the language of contemporary public discourse errs most seriously when it identifies Islam as a religion. As others have observed, Islam is a political ideology. Thus understood, we should regard the leaders of this ideology, such as the Mullahs of Iran and the leaders of more than fifty Muslim states, as despots engaged in a monumental deception if not in willful self-delusion. These Muslims use the language and accouterments of religion to (1) garner respectability; (2) augment their power; (3) recruit the ignorant; and (4) fill their coffers.

Moreover, by wearing the mantle of religion, these despots disarm non-Muslims, especially western liberals steeped in skepticism and moral pluralism, who are reluctant to expose Islam as a fraud lest they be accused of bigotry, the pejorative label of the secular mind.

The above criticism is not ethnocentric. The falsity and pernicious character of Islam - and let us not be misled by nice Muslim acquaintances - can be substantiated by citing the views of the great Arab philosopher al-Farabi on the one hand, and the renowned sociologist Ibn Khaldun on the other. Both of these scholars rejected Islam with contempt. While al-Farabi deemed Islam irrational, Ibn Khaldun regarded Islam as "savagery." Sadly, were it not for the existential threat Islam poses to Civilization, the preceding disparagement of Islam is unfortunate, for this psychotic and ferocious "religion" has endowed a billion and more worshipers of Allah with some "meaning" to their otherwise ferocious and meaningless lives. At stake in this candid assessment is the survival of civilization.

As Lou Harris has observed, civilization possesses four prerequisites: a stable social order, the co-operation of individuals pursuing their own interests, the ability to tolerate or socialize with one's neighbors, and a hatred of violence. Clearly, Islam lacks these prerequisites of civilization. Hence it is all the more remarkable that Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-born psychiatrist, now living in the United States, arrived at the unpleasant conclusion that Islam is not a civilization!

We dare not remain silent about these ugly facts. We dare not be silent today as the world was silent in the 1930s about Nazism and its ascendency in Germany, whose imperialistic ambitions are comparable to those of Islam. For today Islam has access to weapons of mass destruction. We dare not distract ourselves by playing golf while Iran, the spearhead of Islam, is animated by the malediction "Death to America," and vows to "Wipe Israel off the map." That so-called moderate Muslims don’t rise against this scourge of humanity is a commentary on its character.

The threat posed by Nazi Germany could have been nipped in the bud years before it invaded and conquered Belgium and France, to say nothing of the Nazi the death camps of which democracies, steeped in moral relativism, were silent. Today this relativism is ensconced not only in academia, but in the American White House! Today, while Islam is animated by a militant and fraudulent religion, America is steeped in "evangelical atheism."

Epilogue. I hope to offer soon a positive message. But bear in that a rotting foundation must be removed before constructing a sound edifice.

Paul Eidelberg is an American-Israeli political scientist, author and lecturer, and is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, with offices in Jerusalem. He is also president of the Yamin Yisrael Party. Contact him at foundation612.12@gmail.com


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THE PALESTINIANS' REAL ENEMY: EUROPE

Posted by Dave Alpern, January 01, 2015

The article below was written by Bassam Tawil who is is a scholar based in the Middle East and regular contributor to the Gatestone Institute web journal. This article appeared December 28, 2014 on Gatestone Institute International Policy Council and is archived at
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4991/palestinians-enemy-europe

  • To prevent this Palestinian State that Europeans seem determined to push down our throats, many people are discussing a "Palestinian Spring" revolution. They simply do not know what else to do to protect ourselves from these "Goodists" of Europe.

  • Do they honestly think we will have better lives in a "Palestinian State"?
  • What we talk about is how the Europeans and their diplomats are paying our leaders to kill the Jews for them -- with their money but with our lives -- so that they can finish the job without getting their hands dirty and still keep on feeling good about themselves.
  • ISIS operatives are already in Egypt, ready to take over the Sinai Peninsula, and with their eyes set on Libya. Is this what the Europeans really want?

Listening, in both English and Arabic, to the latest speeches of Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas and his fellow Fatah Central Committee members, we get the uncomfortable feeling that the Palestinian State, now being promoted in Europe, will not only be a threat to the stability of the entire region, but to us who have to keep living here, as well to those countries in Europe who promote it.

As Palestinians discuss among themselves -- far from the diplomats in their five-star hotels -- rather than accept this "gift" that Europe seems determined to push down our throats, many people increasingly see no choice but to launch a "Palestinian Spring" revolution. It would not be, as you might think, to rid them of Israel but finally to rid us of our wretched leadership and corrupt system of government -- and to stop the European counties that are imposing this brutal system on us by financing it.

We have been fortunate enough to see from Israel how a democracy works. So although a Palestinian Spring revolution might cause chaos in the region and elsewhere for a while, its chances of success are far more assured than in the other places in the Middle East, where it has been tried but has not always succeeded.

We do not want to do this, of course, but if we are forced by Europe to have this corrupt dictatorship called Palestine, terrorist groups such as Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad, and ISIS will flood the West Bank in less than week, and our lives will be even worse than what we have now. We simply do not know what else to do to defend ourselves from these "Goodists" of Europe.

The Palestinian leadership, which represses people rather than confers with them, would of course deny all this to the European diplomats. The Palestinian leaders just want to keep the funds coming and keep their jobs. And of course, the European diplomats do not talk to us, the man on the street, the frustrated rest of us. They only talk to each other, their "counterparts," as they call them, in their air-conditioned meeting rooms and hotels.

What we talk about is how the Europeans and their diplomats are paying our leaders to kill the Jews for them -- with their money but with our lives -- so that they can finish the job without getting their hands dirty and still keep on feeling good about themselves.

And they evidently think that we cannot see through this plan. And to thank us they will to trap us under another corrupt Arab dictatorship?

It is not the fault of the Israelis. In a weird way, the Israelis are just the other victims whom the Europeans -- in collusion with our leaders -- are manipulating us to hate. The Europeans pay our leaders to shape how we think. It is a brainwashing that never lets up.

The Europeans put their own people on trial for "hate speech" when they have said nothing but the truth; and yet they pour millions into non-stop propaganda and bloodthirsty hate-speech on our government-controlled TV -- the only kind we have here. They fund any baseless sewage our leaders can think up.

The usual claim is "occupation," but the Israelis are only "occupying" the West Bank because we -- in the form of Jordan -- occupied land promised to them, and then repeatedly attacked them.

A more recent claim is "settlements," but the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] was formed in 1964, before there were any "settlements," so what exactly was it planning to "liberate"? If you look at any Palestinian map to this day, it encompasses the entire country of Israel. To the Palestinian Authority and many Arabs and Muslims, all of Israel is one big "settlement." Last week, Fatah Central Committee member Tawfiq Tirawi said, "Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and Nazareth are Palestinian, despite the Americans and the Israelis." Next week it will be some other pretext.

What is becoming more and more clear is that just about everything going wrong here can be laid at the feet of Europe, at the feet of the leaders there who fund and cheer on the corruption and lawlessness which they would not tolerate in their own countries for a minute, but which they expect us to.

Palestine is here, exactly where it always was. It has been lived in for 4000 years, by Arabs, Christians, Jews and anyone else who showed up. The Roman Emperor Augustus called it Iudaea. Later, in 135 CE, the Romans renamed it Syria Palaestina in an attempt to sever all connection to it by the Jews.[1] It was part of the Ottoman Empire until its dissolution in 1918, then called Palestine again under the British Mandate. After Israel's war of Independence in 1948, it was and still is called Israel.

There never has been a Palestinian state. Ever. The West Bank was Jordanian, the Golan Heights were Syrian and the Gaza Strip was Egyptian.

The truth is that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been trying to turn the State of Israel into the State of Palestine. He has been trying to create confusion in Europe and at the UN -- evidently, unfortunately, with some success. He has been falsely accusing Israel of committing "genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Regardless of the fabricated numbers issued by Hamas, more than half of the 2,000 Gazans killed over the summer were Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist operatives, not "innocent civilians." It was Hamas that ordered its own people onto the roofs of apartment buildings in Gaza while Gazans were firing rockets, mortars and missiles into Israel. It was Hamas that used its own people as human shields to prevent Israel from being able to defend itself, or, when it did, so there would be more Palestinian "dead babies" to show to the intimidated television crews, to make Israelis look villainous.[2]

It is Hamas that expresses in both its charter and daily statements the intention of committing genocide on the Jews -- not the Israelis, the Jews.

Article 7 of the Hamas charter openly calls for the genocide of the Jews, an act "legitimized" by Islam, as part of the religious legacy of Muhammad's oral tradition (the hadiths).[3]

Abbas has also been calling for a "peaceful popular resistance" against the Israelis, by "using all available means" within "international law" -- courtesy of Europe. "The Palestinian resistance," evokes brave Frenchmen daring to attack Nazis, not Palestinian terrorists driving cars into people, emerging from tunnels to kill and kidnap kindergarteners, or slaughtering old men while they are praying.

The truth is that Mahmoud Abbas' appeals to world leaders are to help him circumvent the Israeli government, peace negotiations and legally binding peace agreements, all in order to achieve a Palestinian state unilaterally -- without having to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and without reaching a final status agreement with it.

If I were Israeli, I would understand that when Mahmoud Abbas says he wants a safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, as well as full control of air and sea lanes, he means he wants to receive arms from Iran without interference.

So, are we actually accusing the Jews of "genocide" while it is we who are striving kill all of them and drive them "into the sea"? Are the Europeans actually buying this nonsense? We all ask ourselves: If Europeans like to feel so righteous about themselves, then why are they acting as the accomplices and accessories to criminals? Does that not make them criminals, too?

It is Abbas, who, instead of distancing himself from Hamas's ISIS-like dreams of establishing an Islamic Emirate on the ruins of Israel, has yoked himself to the same Islamist terrorist ideology. He and his close associates are not only trying to sidestep negotiations to which both sides committed themselves in the 1995 Oslo II Accords, but they daily keep whipping up violence. He also clearly seems to be to be hoping that European countries and the United Nations will recognize Palestine as a state even before it promises to end the daily violence, which now will be funded even more lavishly, thanks to the new Palestinian rapprochement with the major funders of terror, Qatar and Iran.

siding
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (r) meets with the Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mashaal in Qatar, July 20, 2014. (Image source: Handout from the Palestinian Authority President's Office/Thaer Ghanem)

It is clear that Abbas, despite constant tensions, instead of siding with Muslims who genuinely believe in peace, and who condemn terrorist organizations such as Hamas and ISIS, actually sides with Hamas. Hamas is his partner in the "Unity Government" between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Both Palestinian governments commit war crimes and distort the true meaning of Islam.

Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority, Fatah and Hamas continue to promote violence. The government-controlled PA TV calls for attacking Israelis, and daily honors terrorists and calls for funds to be given to their families.

Much of these funds are supplied by the European Union, with no transparency or accountability despite years of efforts to have the amounts of this funding made public, as is required by law in the EU's own mandate. Therefore, we have no choice but sadly to conclude that the EU is just as cynical and corrupt as the sclerotic dictatorship to which it is trying to consign us.

Mahmoud Abbas and his associates in the Fatah Central Committee have been continually escalating their anti-Israeli rhetoric -- the result of his surrender to the might of Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Instead of trying to beat Hamas, which is clearly beyond his capabilities, he has joined Hamas -- the coward's way out ever since Hamas threw him out of the Gaza Strip in disgrace in 2007, when he barely escaped with his life.

Hamas has continued to try to kill Abbas, as he found out to his shock last summer. But apparently, Abbas keeps on hoping. s the proverb says: a Muslim doesn't let himself get bitten by the same snake twice.

Hamas follows the Muslim Brotherhood's murderous ideology, which seeks only to impose itself on the entire world, in direct contravention of the Qur'an, which states that people are not to be converted to Islam by compulsion (Qur'an 2:256). Even Jordan's King Abdullah II, in the United Nation on September 24, 2014, said that there was a civil war in the Islamic world between the terrorist extremists and genuine Muslims.

If European leaders really cared about us, instead of sending money to us to help rid them of the Jews, they would help us find a better leadership -- a leadership that would care about the daily lives and well-being of its people instead of just taking more and more free money from Europe. It is now a big business for the Palestinian leaders, and comes with no conditions; why should they stop? Even now, after the crushing defeat of Hamas, no one in Europe has even suggested that Hamas should be disarmed and the Gaza Strip demilitarized as a condition before funding its rebuilding.

Do European leaders honestly think we will have better lives in a "Palestinian State"? At least now we do not have Hamas occupying more land and exchanging the abuses we suffer now for religious fanatics' abuses that would be even worse.

If we are going to be honest with ourselves, as we here can see here every day on the ground, Israel has never called for the destruction of the Palestinians; and research strongly suggests that they have never tried to "destroy the Palestinians" or any other ethnic group -- not Christians, Muslims, Kurds, Yazidis or Copts.

Israel has never said or done anything that indicated any plan to destroy the Palestinian people. On the contrary, Israel, while protecting itself, has done its utmost not to harm Palestinian civilians, even though it could inflict untold damage if it wished. We laugh about how fortunate we are to have Israel as our "enemy;" that everyone should have an enemy like that. Can you imagine what a massacre of the Jews -- and Christians and others -- would be like if Iran or ISIS had the weapons Israel has?

On the contrary, it is we, the Palestinians, who for decades have been calling for the destruction of the "Zionist entity" and for driving the Jews into the sea. Some of us still act to achieve that aim.

The current leadership here, of course, has, as usual, been seeking to turn these feelings of rising anger and frustration against Israel. But increasingly the people here see through that and keep talking about the literally hundreds of millions of euros a year the Europeans are giving to the leadership and politicized so-called "human rights charities" to keep it that way.

Here, people are now saying that the real problem is not Israel and, certainly -- laughably -- not the lack of a peace accord, as much as the Americans, like Neville Chamberlain 1938, might like to have one to wave at gullible viewers.

Israel is tough, yes, but has largely been fair -- more than one can say for other countries in the region. Israel, so long as it is not provoked, has been a remarkably decent neighbor. Not everything is perfect by far -- there are problems and have been unspeakably savage revenge attacks by a few Israelis here and there. But those have always been exceptions, and have always been severely condemned and punished by the Israelis, not celebrated and glorified, as with the Palestinian leadership.

It is to this Palestinian leadership whom these European leaders would like to abandon us: a government that not one of them would want to live under for a day.

ISIS operatives are already in the Sinai Peninsula, planning how to take over Egypt, and with their eyes set on Libya.

Is this really what the Europeans want?

Notes:

[1] H.H. Ben-Sasson, A History of the Jewish People, Harvard University Press, 1976, page 246. "When Archelaus was deposed from the ethnarchy in 6 CE, Judea proper, Samaria and Idumea were converted into a Roman province under the name Iudaea."

[2] Terror Tunnels: The Case for Hamas's Just War against Hamas by Alan M. Dershowitz. Rosetta Books, 2014.

[3] Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (saas) as saying " The last hour would not come unless the Muslims fight the Jews. The Jews. The Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say, 'Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.'" AbdallaSahih Muslim, Kitab al-Fitan wa Ashrat as-Sa'ah, Book 41, 6985.

Contact Dave Alpern at daveyboy@zeqint.net


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PA TO JOIN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Posted by Israel_politics2, January 01, 2015

PA to Join International Criminal CourtAliyah Figures at Highest in a Decade; France Leads the Way Leading Publishing House Wipes Israel Off Its Map'Israel Must Take Off the Kid Gloves With the PA'IDF Lets Arabs Plow on Jewish Land in SamariaFrench Anti-Semitic Comedian Abandoned by AlliesStudy Shows Greenhouse Emissions Helping Tropical ForestsPolice Chief Awards Elite 'Arab' Undercover Unit

1. Report: PA to Join International Criminal Courtby Arutz Sheva Staff

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas is to apply immediately to join the International Criminal Court, senior officials said Wednesday, after the UN Security Council rejected a resolution to recognize the PA as a "Palestinian state". Abbas will sign the Rome Statute later Wednesday, adhering to the founding treaty of the ICC, where the Palestinians could potentially sue Israeli officials for war crimes, several top officials told AFP.

Meanwhile, the PA is to meet Wednesday over the next steps in its campaign for statehood after the failed UN bid. Abbas was to gather with top officials in his base of Ramallah at 1630 GMT and brief them on his plans in a speech to be broadcast live by PA television.

Meanwhile the PA's unity partner Hamas responded sharply, with Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum responded to the UN vote, telling AFP "this was a unilateral decision taken by Abu Mazen (Abbas) who has taken the Palestinian decision-making process hostage." He called it a "new failure" by Abbas.

The PA had warned that if the resolution failed, they would seek to join international organizations including the International Criminal Court, and seek to sue Israel. Such a move would be a direct violation of previous agreements signed with Israel.

The text's failure had been likely ever since the Palestinians unveiled a first draft in September which drew strong US opposition for setting a 12-month deadline for reaching a peace deal and 2017 as the date by which Israel would have to cede Judea and Samaria, expelling all Jewish residents and withdrawing its military presence.

In the event, the resolution failed to secure the necessary nine votes in the 15-member council to pass and Washington was spared the diplomatic embarrassment with Arab allies of wielding its veto.

The Palestinians have had the option of applying for membership of the ICC and a raft of UN agencies since late 2012 when it won recognition as a UN observer state.

But they had agreed to hold off during nine months of abortive US-brokered peace negotiations with Israel that collapsed in mutual recrimination in April.

The apparent decision to turn to the ICC could backfire, however. By joining the Rome Statute the Palestinian Authority - and particularly Hamas - will also be exposed to potential Israeli lawsuits for war crimes including the deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians and use of Palestinian civilians as human shields.

In a recent interview, the PA's envoy to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) admitted the PA has no hope of pressing charges against Israel in international courts - because Palestinian terrorist groups are far worse violators of international law themselves.

2. Aliyah Figures at Highest in a Decade; France Leads the Wayby Arutz Sheva Staff

Wednesday marks the last day of 2014, and year-end figures released today by The Jewish Agency for Israel and Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption show it has been a record year for aliyah (immigration).

Around 26,500 new immigrants arrived in Israel in 2014 marking a 32% increase over last year and a ten-year high - all this despite Hamas's summer terror war against the Jewish state.

France led the list of countries of origin for the first time ever, with almost 7,000 new French immigrants, more than double the 3,400 who came last year. The sudden increase comes partially as a response to the skyrocketing of violent anti-Semitism in the country, and has led the Jewish Agency to advance programs encouraging and facilitating aliyah for French citizens.

While France may top the list, Ukraine saw the largest increase in immigrants, with numbers shooting up by 190% compared to last year and reaching 5,840. There too the increase is partially explainable by the ongoing instability and conflict in the country. However, the majority of immigrants came from stable, advanced nations.

"2014 was a year of record-breaking Aliyah. This year also saw a historic shift: for the first time in Israel's history, the number of immigrants who came to Israel from the free world is greater than that of immigrants fleeing countries in distress," said Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky.

Sharansky continued "this trend is evidence of Israel's attractiveness as a place where it's good to live, as well as of the success of our joint efforts to promote aliyah and strengthen connections between Jews around the world and the State of Israel."

"As we forecast further increases in aliyah from around the world, I very much hope the next government continues to join The Jewish Agency in maintaining aliyah encouragement and immigrant absorption as top priorities," he concluded.

French aliyah - 10,000 next year?

Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver (Yisrael Beytenu) joined in praising the figures, saying "this year we mark a ten-year record of aliyah and a 32% increase over last year in the number of Jews who reached the conclusion that they have no other country."

"I am excited to see the fruits of our many efforts to encourage aliyah, but we have not yet reached our goal. Our ministry continues to work together with all relevant parties to promote the ingathering of the exiles, a vision that has accompanied the people of Israel since the state's establishment," said Landver.

"We expect that some 10,000 new immigrants will come from France alone next year, and we will surpass 30,000 immigrants from around the world – and even more," predicted the minister.

The year-end statistics revealed that aliyah from Western Europe, driven by the sharp rise from France, rose by 88% to a total of 8,640 immigrants.

Aliyah from the former Soviet Union rose by 50%, reaching 11,430 with the notable increase from Ukraine. Likewise, aliyah from the United States remained strong reaching 3,470, an 8% increase from last year.

Over half of the immigrants in 2014 were under the age of 35, with 5,300 of them being children. The oldest immigrant made aliyah at the age of 104 from France, while the youngest was a 20-day-old infant from the US.

Around 2,500 of the immigrants work in engineering and technological fields, and over 1,000 doctors and health professionals made aliyah, along with roughly 600 artists and athletes.

3. Leading Publishing House Wipes Israel Off Its Mapby Ari Soffer, Ari Yashar

One of the world's largest publishing houses is distributing school Atlases in Middle Eastern countries which totally erase any reference to the State of Israel, it has been revealed.

HarperCollins' subsidiary Collins Bartholomew, which specializes in maps, are selling "Collins Middle East Atlases" to English-speaking schools in the Gulf states which depict Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Collins Bartholomew told The Tablet that the reason they wiped Israel off their maps was that including the Jewish state would be "unacceptable" to their customers in the Gulf states.

They added that the change to remove Israel was meant to incorporate "local preferences" - apparently the local preference that Israel not exist.

The Bishops' Conference of England and Wales condemned HarperCollins for the move, with Bishop Declan Lang of the Conference's Department of International Affairs telling the paper "the publication of this atlas will confirm Israel's belief that there exists a hostility towards their country from parts of the Arab world."

"It will not help to build up a spirit of trust leading to peaceful co-existence," added Lang.

Dr. Jane Clements, director of the Council of Christians and Jews, also spoke to The Tablet about the maps, saying they delegitimize Israel for the students who use them.

"Maps can be a very powerful tool in terms of delegitimizing 'the other' and can lead to confusion rather than clarity. We would be keen to see relevant bodies ensure that all atlases anywhere reflect the official UN position on nations, boundaries and all political features," said Clements.t

4. 'Israel Must Take Off the Kid Gloves With the PA'by Shimon Cohen, Ari Yashar

Amid the hullabaloo of primaries voting for Likud on Wednesday, Arutz Sheva spoke with the party's Deputy Environmental Protection Minister Ofir Akunis about the vote, as well as the Palestinian Authority's (PA) failure the night before with its UN Security Council resolution.

The PA unilateral demand for recognition as a state and Israeli withdrawals by 2017 did not achieve the needed nine votes, which in any case would likely have led to an American veto shooting down the move.

"The Israeli attempt to convince the world to reject unilateral moves has succeeded," said Akunis. "We succeeded in convincing important countries that you can't breach agreements and bring an arrangement viewed by the Palestinians as a victory. I'm happy for the Palestinian failure."

Akunis's comments refer to the fact that unilateral moves such as the one taken by the PA at the UN is in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

The response to the move, according to Akunis, is that "we need to apply sovereignty on Judea and Samaria. Their unilateral move needs to be hit by a clear response - applying sovereignty and pushing settlement."

PA chairperson Mahmoud Abbas now reportedly is determined to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) to sue Israel for "war crimes," to which Akunis says "we have to take off the kid gloves."

"From the other side there's an attempt to goad Israel by all means. The world rejected this process and it's possible to convince other sources to reject the Palestinians on all fronts," said Akunis. "The Western world is sobering up and understands that there's no partner on the other side."

While the world might be starting to understand there is no partner, Akunis said he is relatively certain Hatnua chairperson Tzipi Livni doesn't understand that. She recently joined with Labor to form a list that polls estimate could get roughly as many seats as Likud.

"I don't trust her. She will never admit to her failure (in peace talks). She said that we need to sit in a room and talk even when she knew that it was impossible. There's no peace partner on the other side," said the deputy minister.

Speaking about the primaries and upcoming elections in March, Akunis said "I haven't changed my positions and I don't intend to change them. I always supported the settlements, I'm a supporter of the whole land of Israel (including Judea and Samaria), oppose a Palestinian state and am for building throughout the country."

"I don't change positions and I reason that if we stand firmly on this position in the Likud in general elections we'll gain voters," he added.

According to Akunis the upcoming elections don't place Likud against the political "center," but rather against the left, which he says includes Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party, Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid, Labor and Meretz.

5. IDF Lets Arabs Plow on Jewish Land in Samariaby Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar

Arab farmers in the Shiloh Bloc of Samaria, where Arab assailants have in the past caused massive damage to Jewish agriculture, prepared to arrive Wednesday to plow adjacent to the Jewish communities of Esh Kodesh and the Yeshuv Hada'at Farms, under the permission of the IDF.

The plowing was given permission by the IDF's Civil Administration which manages Judea and Samaria given that the region has yet to be annexed, and apparently was given after the Arab farmers turned to the High Court claiming ownership to the land.

However, the High Court has yet to discuss the case and there is no evidence backing up the ownership claims - that hasn't stopped extremist leftist groups from influencing decision makers to allow the entrance to farmland adjacent to Jewish houses.

Arab residents of the towns Jaloud and Kusra are to arrive to plow accompanied by members of the radical left, after Jewish residents demonstrated against the move Tuesday night, marching towards the town Migdalim on a path passing not far from Kusra.

There has been high tension between Esh Kodesh and Kusra, after 25 Jews touring the area were nearly murdered back in January. Despite Arab claims that the Jews were in Kusra to commit "price tag" vandalism, it was revealed the Jews were nowhere near the village when a mob of Arabs attacked them.

"People doing 'price tag' don't go in the middle of the day, don't go about without means of defense, and don't do it in a group," argued Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir at the time.

The lands being opened for Arab farmers to plow on Wednesday are adjacent to Esh Kodesh, Ahiya and Yeshuv Hada'at in Samaria's Binyamin region.

"Defense Minister (Moshe) Ya'alon is using the residents to conduct a cynical political process and try to wink at Likud voters from the leftist side of the map," read an announcement by residents. "It's a shame that the defense minister appointed for the security of the residents brings Arabs in to plow inside the communities, thereby critically harming their security."

The permission for the plowing is made more ironic by the fact that the IDF destroyed 600 fruit trees in Esh Kodesh in January, on the same day just before the clash near Kusra, which many charged was caused by the Arab residents feeling emboldened by the IDF activity. In addition, there have been attempts to frame Esh Kodesh residents of harming Arab agriculture in the region.

Shevah Stern, head of the Likud's "National Headquarters" faction and a candidate in the Likud primaries running for the party's Knesset list, requested that Ya'alon prevent the plowing adjacent to Jewish houses due to the security risk.

"It is unthinkable that something like this should occur," said Stern. "I turn to the defense minister personally from deep familiarity with him and say, Ya'alon, don't let this lethal danger happen. The plowing is under IDF permission, and in your hand (is the ability) to stop the danger. I and all residents of Shiloh Bloc rely on you and ask you not to disregard the matter."

"I hope that a true and long-reaching solution will be reached to deal with the Palestinian requests that an not based on anything, and I will act from within the Knesset to strengthen the security of Judea and Samaria residents in particular, and of all Israel," concluded Stern.

6. French Anti-Semitic Comedian Abandoned by Alliesby Ben Ariel

Dieudonne, the anti-Semitic French comedian who made headlines last year over his "reverse Nazi salute" is making headlines again, this time as his own friends turn against him over his connections with racist groups.

The British Independent newspaper reported on Tuesday that several black supporters of Dieudonne, including former bodyguards, have turned against him, complaining of his increasingly close connections with white, allegedly racist, groups in France and what they claim is his supposed obsession with personal enrichment.

Their disillusionment is based partly on Dieudonne's alliance with Alain Soral, an essayist and activist who has himself been accused of anti-Semitism. These ill-sorted comrades – the campaigner against the oppression of black people and the former official of the far-right Front National – launched a political party last month called Reconciliation Nationale.

In response, reports the Independent, former supporters of Dieudonne have started an internet campaign to undermine the black comedian's fervent support base in the poor, multi-racial suburbs surrounding French cities. Among other things, they have posted on the internet an extraordinary exchange of emails earlier this year allegedly sent between Soral and a Guinean model called Binti Bangoura.

Soral, 56, is a champion of traditional family values and an overtly anti-Semitic polemicist, but also a self-declared "expert on picking-up women", who has published a book on the "sociology" of pick-up techniques and has claimed 700 conquests. Bangoura claims that after an email exchange, Soral suggested a relationship and sent an inappropriate image of himself. When Bangoura, 33, rejected Soral's advances, he allegedly sent her further emails in which he said, among other things, that "whites think black women are wh**es, which most of them are" and "your fate will be to be a wh**e for Jews".

Bangoura has started a legal action against Soral for racial abuse, noted the Independent. Soral did not deny making the comments but said they had been "taken out of context” as part of an "outpouring of mud" to discredit his alliance with Dieudonné.

Dieudonne is the inventor of the quenelle gesture, a reverse Nazi salute that has become extremely popular in anti-Semitic and extremist circles across the French-speaking world and worldwide.

Despite Dieudonne's insistence it is a gesture of discontent against the establishment, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has called it a "gesture of hatred" and "an anti-Semitic gesture."

He was widely accused of promoting anti-Semitism and already has a string of convictions in France for hate speech and other related offences, and saw his performances banned by French authorities due to their virulently anti-Semitic content.

Other former supporters of the comedian claim that – despite frequent appeals for money to pay his fines for anti-Semitic comments – Dieudonne is very wealthy man. They complain that the comedian has failed to invest money in the causes for downtrodden people he champions in his shows.

A former Dieudonne bodyguard, named only as Jessie, told the newspaper Liberation, "In truth, they don't give a stuff about Palestine, the black cause, or social inequalities."

7. Study Shows Greenhouse Emissions Helping Tropical Forests by Arutz Sheva Staff

A new research study led by NASA has reversed commonly held theories about carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, finding that the emissions in fact are absorbed by tropical forests at a higher rate than they are released by them, leading to a boost in growth in the forests.

The study found tropical forests absorb 1.5 billion tons of CO2 annually, using it to grow. Overall the forests and other vegetation absorb around 2.7 billion tons of CO2, about 30% of the amount emitted by humans, reports the British Daily Mail.

"This is good news, because uptake in boreal forests is already slowing, while tropical forests may continue to take up carbon for many years," said Dr. David Schimel, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California who headed the study.

Data until now had been interpreted to suggest tropical forests were releasing more CO2 than they absorb. But the new study finds the opposite is true - tropical forests use much more CO2 to grow at faster rates than previously thought.

The research led by Schimel was published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, and was based on computer models, satellite imagery, data from forest plots and photosynthetic experiments, all coming together to detail how forests absorb CO2.

Schimel warned that given the results, the disastrous effects of deforestation in tropical forests takes on whole new dimensions, and that they should be preserved by all means.

"The future tropical balance of deforestation and climate sources and regrowth and carbon dioxide sinks will only remain a robust feature of the global carbon cycle if the vast tropical forests are protected from destruction," stated Schimel.

8. Police Chief Awards Elite 'Arab' Undercover Unitby Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino on Tuesday visited a base in the Judea and Samaria region of the Border Patrol's special mista'aravim unit, an elite squad of undercover forces disguising themselves as Arabs to covertly stop terror.

In the course of his visit, Danino presented commanders of the unit with the Police Commissioner's Shield of Excellence award for the unit's impressive accomplishments over the years.

This is the second recognition Danino has given the unit recently; during Hanukkah in a visit with President Reuven Rivlin to a base in Judea, he awarded two mista'aravim soldiers a decoration for outstanding performance in a recent arrest of a terrorist while showing bravery despite the high risk to their lives.

While at the base on Tuesday, Danino was given an overview of the secretive unit's activities and met with the combat soldiers.

"In a period in which terror raises its head in the world and in Israel, the people of Israel have someone to rely on," said Danino. "Anonymous and daring warriors who act without fear, far from the limelight to defend every resident of the state."

"I came to express my appreciation and thanks to you, the mista'aravim unit of Judea and Samaria, whose actions are not exposed to the public eye, whose deeds in their overwhelming majority are not published and cannot be published, but whose contribution to the security of civilians of the state cannot be measured in gold," continued the police chief.

Danino stated "in my name and in the name of the Israeli police, I came to thank you. I am proud of you, the entire police is proud of you and also the entire public."

The unit's missions have led to the complicated and classified arrests of hundreds of terrorists, many of them coming just a step before the terrorists conducted lethal attacks on innocent civilians.

Counter-terrorism is the specialty of the mista'aravim with their unique abilities to infiltrate the Arab street and go unnoticed while assuming numerous identities. For many years the unit has tipped the scales in Israel's favor during the unrelenting fight against Arab terrorism.

Rare video footage (in Hebrew) showing the unit's activities arresting terrorists in Gaza, as well as their training methods to ensure Arab civilians and human shields are not wounded in the course of their missions.

Contact Israel_politics2@yahoogroups.com


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WHY PALESTINIANS OPPOSED ABBAS'S STATEHOOD BID

Posted by Daily Alert, January 01, 2015

The article below was written by Khaled Abu Toameh who is an Israeli Arab journalist, lecturer and documentary filmmaker. Abu Toameh writes for The Jerusalem Post and for the New York-based Gatestone Institute, where he is a senior distinguished fellow. He is a producer and consultant for NBC News since 1989. His articles have also appeared in numerous newspapers around the world. This article appeared December 31, 2014 on Gatestone Institute International Policy Council and is archived at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4998/palestinians-statehood-bid

  • "We are opposed to return to a path of 'futile' negotiations. Our people have the right to pursue resistance in all forms." — From an appeal by six Palestinian groups to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, against the resolution he submitted to the United Nations.
  • The widespread opposition among Palestinians to Abbas's statehood bid is a clear sign that many Palestinians remain opposed to any form of concessions to Israel. It is also an indication of fierce opposition among Palestinians to the resumption of peace talks with Israel.
  • "Hamas will not accept anything less than all the lands that were occupied in 1948." - Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar
  • .

It is ironic that while Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas worked hard to win the support of the international community for his statehood bid at the UN Security Council, he failed to persuade many Palestinians to back his move.

Palestinians representing various factions, including Abbas's own Fatah faction, publicly came out against the draft resolution that was presented by Jordan at the U.N. earlier this week, and which failed to pass a Security Council vote yesterday.

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The U.N. Security Council votes on the Palestinian statehood resolution, December 30, 2014. (Image source: UN/Evan Schneider

Their main argument is that the resolution compromises the rights of the Palestinians and includes concessions to Israel that are unacceptable to most Palestinians.

The fierce opposition to the resolution shows that Abbas does not have a mandate from his people to embark on such a move. Abbas's critics accuse him and a number of his advisors of "hijacking" the decision-making process and acting on their own.

Fatah and PLO leaders say they were never consulted about the resolution, which calls for setting a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.

Jamal Muheissen, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said that he and his colleagues learned about the draft resolution from the internet. They argue that Abbas and his top advisors had never presented the resolution to PLO and Fatah leaders before submitting it to the Security Council.

Several Palestinian factions even called on Abbas to withdraw the resolution from the Security Council -- an appeal that fell on deaf ears.

Hours after the resolution was submitted to the Security Council in New York on Monday, six Palestinian groups issued an urgent appeal to Abbas to withdraw immediately, claiming it compromises Palestinian rights on refugees, prisoners, Jerusalem and borders.

The Palestinian groups that issued the appeal against the resolution are: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Popular Front-General Command and Al-Sai'qa.

These groups are opposed to the resolution not only because of the purported concessions it offers on the issues of refugees, prisoners, Jerusalem and borders, but also because it calls for a resumption of peace talks with Israel under the auspices of the US. "We are opposed to a return to the path of 'futile' negotiations," the groups said in a joint statement. "Our people have the right to pursue resistance in all forms."

Some Palestinians vowed to work toward thwarting the resolution; saying they would not allow Abbas and a few Palestinian officials in Ramallah to "turn their back on a majority of Palestinians."

Hassan Asfour, a former Palestinian Authority minister and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, advised Abbas to "throw the ominous resolution to the nearest wastebasket."

Asfour added: "There's still a chance for President Abbas to return to his people before it's too late. It's time for Abbas to return to the national oath he made to defend the homeland and the legitimacy of the Palestinian cause."

Other Palestinians have accused Abbas of "high treason" for submitting a resolution that does not meet the national aspirations of the Palestinians and offers "far-reaching and dangerous" concessions to Israel.

Palestinian political analyst Fayez Abu Shamalah called for a commission of inquiry to hold those behind the resolution accountable.

"The unclear nature of the resolution represents political treason at the highest level," he charged. "The Palestinians have been deceived."

The widespread opposition among Palestinians to Abbas's statehood bid at the Security Council is a clear sign that many Palestinians remain opposed to any form of concessions to Israel. It is also an indication of fierce opposition among Palestinians to the resumption of peace talks with Israel.

Those who opposed the Palestinian resolution also argue that Abbas should have gone instead to the International Criminal Court to file "war crimes" charges against Israel. For many Palestinians, punishing Israel should take priority over any peaceful establishment of a Palestinian state.

But the opposition to the resolution, which envisaged a two-state solution, also shows that many Palestinians continue to believe that violence, and not diplomacy, will bring them closer to achieving their goals.

As Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar put it, "This Palestinian resolution is catastrophic and has no future on the land of Palestine. The future belongs to the resistance. We will continue to work to liberate all the land and achieve the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Hamas will not accept anything less than all the lands that were occupied in 1948."

Contact Daily Alert at dailyalert@list-dailyalert.org


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HAPPY NEW YEAR TO Y'ALL !!!!

Posted by Fred Reifenberg, January 01, 2015

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Contact Fred Reifenberg by email at freify@netvision.net.il


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COURT BARS TEARING DOWN TERRORIST'S HOME BECAUSE HE FAILED TO KILL GLICK

Posted by GWY123, January 01, 2015

The article below was written by Tzi Ben-Gedalyahu who is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press. This article appeared January 01, 2015 and is archived at
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/court-bars-tearing-down- terrorists-home-because-he-failed-to-kill-glick/2015/01/01/

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Tour guide Yehuda Glick (right) leading a group on Temple Mount.

The Israeli Supreme Court has accepted a petition by a human rights group arguing that the home of the Jerusalem Arab who nearly assassinated Yehuda Glick should not be demolished.

Regarding the terrorists from the Har Nof massacre, the justices rejected the appeal against Israel's destroying the homes of the terrorists.

The court also ruled that the home of a tractor terrorist can be destroyed.

Glick was almost killed but made a miraculous recovery and stood on his own today for the first time since he was shot four times in the chest two months ago.

The human rights lawyers argued that the policy has not undergone a legal review for several years, and that demolition of homes as punishment and deterrence violates international law against collective punishment.

The justices stated there are "moral dilemmas" with the policy, but that the gravity of the murders justifies Israel's policy.

Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, who wrote the ruling for the panel of three justices, warned that security officials in the future will have to provide evidence that the policy is effective.

That puts the defense establishment in the position of having to prove an hypothesis. How can it provide evidence that terrorism would be worse if homes were not destroyed?

How can it prove that the policy works? Because there were "only" two deadly terrorist attacks a month instead of four?

Or perhaps the court wants to know if victims like Glick "only" were wounded and not killed?

On the other hand, the justices did have the intelligence to note that there is no need to destroy the home of the Jews behind the gruesome murder by fire of an Arab youth. Their reasoning was, according to the court, that the almost universal denouncement of the murder by Jews makes it obvious that demolition is not needed to deter other Jews from killing Arabs.

Contact GWY123 at AmericanZionist@yahoogroups.com


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US WILL TURN THE SCREWS ON ISRAEL ...

Posted by GWY123, January 01, 2015

Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Notice on thing missing from this article? Yes. Zaki Shalom assumes we actually buy into the "two state solution" mantra. [He doesn't try to explain why the "two state solution" is a genuine "solution".] Will the United States Attempt to Renew the Political Process after the Israeli Elections?

This article was written by Zaki Shalom who is a member of the research staff at the Institute for National Security Studies and the Ben-Gurion Research Institute at Ben-Gurion University. He has published extensively on various facets of Israel's defense policy, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the role of the superpowers in the Middle East, and Israel's struggle against Islamic terror. His work has also focused on the study of Israel's nuclear option, both in historical and contemporary perspectives. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including Israel's Nuclear Option: behind the Scenes Diplomacy between Dimona and Washington (Sussex Academic Press and Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 2005), and Ben-Gurion's Political Struggles, 1963-1967: A Lion in Winter (Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2006). This article was published January 01, 2015, as INSS Insight No. 651

After the Israeli elections, the US administration might intensify its efforts to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Moreover, despite President Obama’s image as a lame duck, the fact that he is nearing the end of his second term in office may actually stir him to expend greater energy to promote an Israeli-Palestinian political settlement, in part through increasing pressure on Israel to soften its positions. Furthermore, it is not inconceivable that when he brings the weight of his office to bear on the Israeli government to renew talks with the Palestinians, the administration will make use of the "political tsunami" Israel has experienced over the last few months. It is possible that some members of the US administration estimate that the post-election Israeli government will thus be more flexible both on the notion of renewing the talks and on mutually agreeable understandings with the Palestinians, if only to prevent heightened tension with the United States.

In a December 18, 2014 conversation with 28 European ambassadors, US Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that until after the Israeli elections on March 17, 2015, the United States will not allow the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. In Kerry's view, insofar as such a resolution would be framed without the input of the Israeli government and would challenge its policies, adoption would only strengthen the elements in the Israeli right opposed to the peace process. Kerry did not rule out some kind of future Security Council intervention in the peace process, but refused to go into detail. His remarks came in advance of the Palestinian Authority's attempts to promote a Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and calling for an end to the occupation by 2017. The Palestinians subsequently defied the United States position that the initiative at the Security Council was unacceptable, and on December 30, 2014, submitted their proposed resolution. The resolution, however, failed to muster the required Security Council majority, thus obviating any need for a US veto.

Kerry's statement and the US vote are in line with the administration's Middle East foreign policy principles, as expressed in a speech given at Bar-Ilan University on December 9, 2014 by US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. In terms of the Israeli-Palestinian political process, the ambassador emphasized that the administration is committed to achieving a settlement based on the two-state vision and that it continues to look for ways to renew the talks, while remaining opposed to unilateral steps on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. Nonetheless, the administration feels it is not realistic to expect the talks to be renewed before Israel's coming parliamentary election.

In an aside, the ambassador advised against drawing hasty conclusions from the recent United States midterm elections. His comments, like statements made by Kerry on the political process, were almost certainly meant to express the Obama administration's reservations regarding the widespread sense in international and Israeli circles that United States resolve and effectiveness on the international arena in general and in the Middle East in particular have weakened, and that this weakness has become more pronounced because of the political divide in the administration's own institutions. The assessment that the President will find it difficult to advance any policy not to Israel's liking relies in part on the fact that the Republicans, with their strong show of support for Israel, now control the Congress, and they will likely not allow the administration to bring all its potential pressure to bear on Israel in an attempt to promote the political process. However, as the ambassador explained, the fact that the administration is working with a Republican Congress does not mean that US foreign policy will be paralyzed, particularly as the US constitution gives the president wide foreign policy latitude.

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, passed by Congress with a decisive bipartisan majority, defining Israel as a "major strategic partner" of the United States. The act includes several practical paragraphs designed to enhance Israel's strategic relations with the United States and its strategic capabilities. Paragraph 3(6) of the act, speaking of strategy and policy, states that "It is the policy of the United States...to support the Government of Israel in its ongoing efforts to reach a negotiated political settlement with the Palestinian people that results in two states living side-by-side in peace and security." This statement again indicates that in tandem with its commitment to strengthen Israeli security and its strategic relations with the United States, the administration is determined to take steps designed to advance its own national interests, including the renewal of the Israeli-Palestinian political process.

These various developments suggest that after the Israeli elections, the administration might intensify its efforts to bring the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Moreover, despite President Obama's image as a lame duck, the fact that he is nearing the end of his second and last term in office may actually stir him to expend greater energy to promote an Israeli-Palestinian political settlement, in part through increasing pressure on Israel to soften its positions.

Furthermore, it is not inconceivable that when he brings the weight of his office to bear on the Israeli government to renew talks with the Palestinians - whether, as will be determined by the elections, such a government is led by right wing parties or by parties from the center of the political map - the administration will make use of the "political tsunami" Israel has experienced over the last few months. The growing international recognition of a state of Palestine, especially by governments and parliaments in Europe, reflects the shrinking support for Israel's positions on the Palestinian conflict. It is possible that some members of the US administration estimate that the post-election Israeli government will thus be more flexible both on the notion of renewing the talks and on mutually agreeable understandings with the Palestinians, if only to prevent worse tension with the United States and a deepening of the rift between the two countries.

Contact GWY123 at AmericanZionists@yahoogroups.com


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OBAMA'S 2014, A RECORD YEAR--

Posted by Midenise, January 01, 2015

The article below was written by John D. Trudel., who has authored two nonfiction books and five Thriller novels: God's House, Privacy Wars, Soft Target, Raven's Run, and Raven's Redemption. He graduated from Georgia Tech and Kansas State, had a long career in high-technology, and wrote columns for several national magazines. He lives in Oregon and Arizona.

Indeed, fact checkers had a field day with President Obama this year. The Washington Post alone awarded him a total of 47 (actually 49; see update below) Pinocchios, plus one Upside-Down Pinocchio (the worst possible rating).

Here they are, in chronological order:

"Unprecedented inspections help the world verify every day that Iran is not building a bomb." (Two Pinocchios, 2/6/14)

"We've got close to 7 million Americans who have access to health care for the first time because of Medicaid expansion." (Four Pinocchios, 2/24/14)

"We didn't have billions of dollars of commercials [for ObamaCare] like some critics did." (Two Pinocchios, 4/4/14)

"Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns ... in 2014, that's an embarrassment. It is wrong." (Two Pinocchios, 4/9/14)

"Thirty-five percent of people who enrolled through the federal marketplace are under the age of 35." (Two Pinocchios, 4/22/14)

"[Republicans'] willingness to say no to everything - the fact that since 2007, they have filibustered about 500 pieces of legislation that would help the middle class just gives you a sense of how opposed they are to any progress[.]" (Four Pinocchios, 5/9/14)

"I want to announce a few more steps that we're taking that are going to be good for job growth and good for our economy, and that we don't have to wait for Congress to do. They are going to be steps that generate more clean energy, waste less energy overall, and leave our kids and our grandkids with a cleaner, safer planet in the process." (Two Pinocchios, 5/16/14)

"At the beginning of my presidency, we built a coalition that imposed sanctions on the Iranian economy, while extending the hand of diplomacy to the Iranian government." (Three Pinocchios, 6/2/14)

"When you talk about the moderate opposition [in Syria], many of these people were farmers or dentists or maybe some radio reporters who didn't have a lot of experience fighting." (Three Pinocchios, 6/26/14)

"So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class." (Three Pinocchios, 7/15/14)

"If Congress fails to fund it [the Highway Trust Fund], it runs out of money. That could put nearly 700,000 jobs at risk." (Two Pinocchios, 7/16/14)

"Keep in mind, I wasn't specifically referring to ISIL [as a jayvee team]." (Four Pinocchios, 9/3/14)

"Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth." (Two Pinocchios, 9/25/14)

"If we hadn't taken this on, and [health insurance] premiums had kept growing at the rate they did in the last decade, the average premium for family coverage today would be $1,800 higher than they are. Now, most people don't notice it, but that's $1,800 you don't have to pay out of your pocket or see vanish from your paycheck. That's like a $1,800 tax cut." (Two Pinocchios, 10/17/14)

"Health care inflation has gone down every single year since the law [ObamaCare] passed, so that we now have the lowest increase in health care costs in 50 years-which is saving us about $180 billion in reduced overall costs to the federal government and in the Medicare program." (Three Pinocchios, 11/6/14)

"We've created more jobs in the United States than every other advanced economy combined since I came into office." (One Pinocchio, 11/11/14)

"Well, actually, my position hasn't changed [on immigration executive action]." (Upside-Down Pinocchio, 11/18/14)

"Understand what this [Keystone XL pipeline] project is. It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else." (Three Pinocchios, 11/20/14)

"If you look, every president - Democrat and Republican - over decades has done the same thing. George H.W. Bush - about 40 percent of the undocumented persons, at the time, were provided a similar kind of relief as a consequence of executive action." (Three Pinocchios, 11/24/14)

(Updated to add this entry) "The history is that I have issued fewer executive actions than most of my predecessors, by a long shot. ... If you ask historians, take a look at the track records of the modern presidency, I've actually been very restrained." (Two Pinocchios, 12/31/14)

Contact Midenise at midenise@zahav.net.il


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PALESTINIAN ICC MOVE FOLLOWS INTENSE NGO LOBBYING

Posted by Ted Belman, January 01, 2015

This article is from NGO Monitor. It appeared January 01, 2015 and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603590?utm_source=emailcampaign2126 &utm_medium=phpList&utm_content=HTMLemail&utm_campaign= ISRAPUNDIT+DAILY+DIGEST+JAN+1%2F15

Decade-long campaign by European government-funded groups, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty

The decision by the Palestinian Authority to sign the Rome Statute, a step towards joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), follows more than a decade of intense lobbying and propaganda campaigns by NGOs (non-governmental organizations). These groups promote legal warfare, or "lawfare," against Israel, according to Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.

Detailed research by NGO Monitor documents the role of NGO superpowers such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as European-funded NGOs Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al Haq, Diakonia, and FIDH, in lobbying for such a move.

"Attempting to litigate the highly charged Arab-Israeli conflict in the ICC could spell the end of the court, and the NGOs and their European funders will be responsible," said Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor Legal Advisor. "While the Palestinian leadership and the NGOs may get some short-lived propaganda victories in their political war, they may soon find they got more than they bargained for."

NGO Monitor notes that European governments are major funders of the NGOs involved in these campaigns, often through secretive and irresponsible processes that lack transparency and accountability. Palestinian Center for Human Rights is funded by the EU, Norway, Ireland; Al Haq receives funding from Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and Norway; and FIDH is funded by France, EU, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland. Diakonia, a Swedish church-based NGO, is primarily funded by the Swedish government.

One of the main mechanisms for supporting legal warfare against Israel is the Secretariat, a joint funding framework of Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University, the Secretariat has supported NGOs' legal campaigns in accordance with the Palestinian political narrative and goals.

"Ironically, in order to convince governments to support the ICC, Human Rights Watch has argued for years that the court would never be exploited for political maneuvers by the Palestinians." continued Ms. Herzberg. "Once again, Human Rights Watch has been proven wrong."

The campaign to prosecute Israeli officials at the ICC is bolstered by Israeli NGOs, such as Adalah andYesh Din, which promote the falsehood that the Israeli justice system lacks due process in order to justify efforts for politicized international "war crimes" cases. Both are funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund (NIF).

Ms. Herzberg concluded, "Given that the Palestinians have committed tens of thousands of war crimes against Israeli civilians, they may find themselves facing prosecution not only for war crimes but crimes against humanity and genocide."

Contact Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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EXHIBITION "ITBACH EL YAHUD" (MURDER THE JEWS)

Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 01, 2015

"The power of the word" shows art work in which is displayed the writing, "Itbach el Yahud" "Daa"s" (Meaning ISIS), and "In blood and fire we will redeem Palestine".

This week' at Sapir College, they are presenting the exhibition "The Power of the Word" which, according to the college's definition on its Facebook page: "Is attempting to bring and express in art form the actual civil conflicts that have received forms and new faces in the recent months."

In the frame work of the exhibition there is a display of the work of the artist David Reev and it exhibits three hamsas ("Latifa's hands) on them are embedded the captions: "Daa"s" (ISIS), "Itbach el Yahud" and "With blood and fire we will redeem Palestine".

Attorney Avital Tzhor approached the college President Prof. Omri Yadlin demanding that the exhibits are removed from the exhibition stating: "These type expressions are not within the legitimate artistic or political conversation of the state of Israel, and they constitute direct contribution to the increasing radicalization and incitement against Jews and Israel processes, while legitimizing terrorism and calls for racism."

Furthermore, attorney Tzhor noted that, "As an Israeli academic institution that is awarded funding from the state, the Sapir College must not give a platform to racist and terror supporting expressions, disguised as a legitimate artistic exhibit."

Subsequently, attorney Tzhor approached the prime minister and the acting finance minister demanding to activate Provision of Section 3(b) of the Foundations of the Budget and reduce the budgets transferred to the college, because it provides support for incitement to racism, for violence and terrorism and also for the support of armed struggle, or acts of terrorism by an enemy state.

The exhibition "Itbach el Yahud" violates the freedom of expression," the students of Sapir College say. I think it gives a seal to Arab-Muslim terrorism.

Students at Sapir College say: "A strike in the name of freedom of expression." I propose they move to Gaza, or join ISIS but the exhibitors of this exhibition have no room in Israel!

The Sapir College student association claims that the provocative exhibition may violate the relations between Arab and Jewish students at the institution's fabric. "The words represent the discourse in the Middle East". Is the fabric of relations between Arab and Jewish students at the institution depends on the delivery to the home service of terrorists and their supporters? If so, shame on the college. Remove all those involved in this exhibit form, let them go to study in Gaza or Ramallah!

The hamsa exhibit on which is inscribed Itbach el Yahud was stolen and in my opinion it is good it was stolen. Here is why and who is behind the "theft":

The hamsa on it inscribed the caption: "Iitbach el Yahud" was not stolen, rather simply someone removed it from the wall and tore it into small parts to stop the incitement in public against the Jewish people.

Unbelievable! Jews, in their Jewish sovereign state of Israel, in an academic institution that is supported by the state, by all taxpayers' funds, are going brainwashed in favor of the incitement, violence, and murder, almost daily, against them.

The students are going head down in an Israeli college that has become the homeowners' association of terror and does not serve as a home for progress, education and peace.

And there are no reactions, no heroism and no tiny bit of self-respect and clear and strong dissent that in the Jewish state this will not happen. Defending Israel does not end as soon as one ends his or hers military draft service.

Then again, the hamsa was not stolen. It was taken down from the wall, with pride, and was thrown under the chair in the room adjacent to the exhibition hall and there is its place, with head down, under the chair!

Lexicon has a meaning, lexicon can kill, words can kill.

Contact Nurit Greenger at http://ngthinker.typepad.com. This article is archived at http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/exhibition-itbach-el-yahud-murder-the-jews/


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NY Times Discusses P.A. Lawfare

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 01, 2015

Jodi Rudoren's headline about the P.A. going into lawfare is, "Palestinians Set to Seek Redress in a World Court." Redress implies rectifying. That's taking the P.A. side. Actually, the P.A. violates its agreements and is terroristic. The P.A. needs rectifying, not Israel.

Why is the P.A. joining the International Criminal Court (ICC)? Rudoren tells us it is to pursue statehood. No, it is to defame Israel. Defamation is a step toward destruction. Those Muslims want not a state for its own sake, they want to destroy the Jewish state. This is the goal of jihad, which the NY Times masks.

The switch to lawfare came after the Security Council rejected a statehood resolution that would "end Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory." There never was a "Palestinian" country, so there is no occupation. So when Abbas refers to Israeli "aggression" against "our country" he is lying about "our country" and is lying about "aggression." The many attacks he incited or planned against Israel is the real aggression there.

He asserts that in his region, the "Palestinian cause is the key issue to be settled." I'd say the key issue is whether the Mideast Muslims can stay civilized or whether they will continue to rampage in jihad as ISIS and Iran are doing. The Palestinian Arabs have no cause, it's contrived to justify jihad.

The State Dept. opposes the lawfare, which it thinks impedes what "most Palestinians" want. He implies they want statehood. They don't. They want to seize Israel.

What they want is negative, just jihad.

Rationalizing Abbas' application to the ICC, an Arab leader said that Abbas had to try something new to restore credibility lost to Hamas. The article does not explain why Hamas is more popular than Fatah and Abbas. Here's why. Hamas fought Israel, whereas Abbas negotiated. Diplomacy failed, and the war was self-destructive. But fighting is honorable, those people believe. They didn't mind that Hamas fought via war crimes. As a whole, that is a barbarous people. They don't deserve a state nor international support. Why doesn't the Times explain all that? I think the reason is that the Times is anti-Zionist. It rarely lets in a good argument for Israel.

PM Netanyahu considers the application to ICC an aggressive, unilateral act. Is he right? Not discussed. Also unstated is that that act is banned by the Oslo Accords, ratified by the P.A., U.S., and Israel.

A photograph shows Abbas marking 50 years of the Fatah movement. No hint is given that Fatah committed numerous terrorist acts, murdering thousands of Israelis.

Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) is identified as having filed war crimes complaints against Hamas. Abbas said that his application to the ICC means that other P.A. officials could become sued as a result. That is not complete and not correct. The Times should have consulted Shurat HaDin. Abbas knows that Shurat HaDin has prepared a lawsuit against him as a citizen of Jordan, which already belongs to ICC, and was holding off in case he didn't join the ICC.

A Palestinian Arab academic criticized the P.A., but in doing so, referred to Israel as a "de facto apartheid regime." That is slander. What kind of a newspaper repeats slander without at least asking for specifics and giving the other side an opportunity to rebut? The Times leaves readers with false defamation as "information.'

ACCOMPANYING EDITORIAL

The editorial alleges a "Palestinian dream of an independent state." Can the editors really not know that the whole propaganda apparatus, including what is called education, promotes the Islamist dream of destroying an independent state, Israel? Most of the P.A. people have been indoctrinated to believe that. Don't Times editors read polls of P.A. residents?

If the editors were frank about this, they would have no excuse for advocating a "two-state" set-up.

PM Netanyahu is steadily expanding Jewish communities in the disputed Territories, and that makes a two-state set-up decreasingly likely, the editors assertion. But they cite no examples. He authorized one new community. Others get more houses, but remain within their boundaries. Jewish communities sit on no more than 5% of the Territories, so the notion of a great expansion and inability to set up an Arab state are exaggerated.

How unfortunate, it is, feel the editors, that Abbas applied to the ICC, because that "has given Israeli hardliners new ammunition to attack the Palestinians and reject peace talks." Since the P.A. is engaged in jihad, what the Times calls "peace talks" are jihadist attempts to gain by diplomacy what they can't win by force of arms. Israelis who oppose jihadist diplomacy are not "hardliners" but sensible. Most Israelis agree with them. However, the editors call them a name, to make them seem a minority and to slight their views. It's easier to defame a patriotic Israeli view than to debunk it.

The editors refer to P.A. intent to bring charges against Israeli officials. But Israel doesn't commit war crimes, the P.A. does. Its charges would be fabricated. The P.A. is hoping that the ICC will be as unfair to Israel as is the UN.

The editorial hope is that these events will prompt both sides to compromise for peace. Israel has made many compromises, the P.A. has not. Nor do the Times and State Dept. itemize any tangible compromises they expect of the P.A., only what they want of Israel. They fail to acknowledge that what they want would deprive Israel of defensible borders. I take all that as proof of bias against Israel and disinterest in peace.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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MAKING JUDEA AND SAMARIA JUDENREIN

Posted by Paul Eidelberg, January 01, 2015

Jews in modern times have exalted men with silver tongues. Perhaps this is why Benjamin Netanyahu has been PM longer than any of his predecessors, despite his not very courageous reputation.

How else are we to account his interminable "negotiations" with the Fatah-led Palestinians on the one hand, and his failure to suppress Hamas on the other - despite Israel's overwhelming military power?

His timidity can't be explained away by American constraints and world opinion, for that is precisely why dauntless courage is required of any Israeli Prime Minister.

Churchill did not have at his disposal the enormously disproportionate power over Nazi Germany that BB has over Fatah or Hamas. BB never even thinks of victory, judging from his long standing rejection of proposed abrogation of the Oslo Agreement, and despite its having been violated countless time by the Palestinian Authority (PA), as Netanyahu's own office has recorded.

In fact, so far as I am aware, he has never publicly complained to the United States about the PA's ceaseless violations of the security arrangements prescribed by the Wye Memorandum which he himself consummated in October 1998, even though Wye obligates the United States to oversee those security arrangements.

It were as if the Likud leader, no less than any Labor leader, does not want to return to status quo ante regarding the disposition of Judea and Samaria. This means that, like Labor, BB wants Judea and Samaria to be in the hands of the Arabs lest this heartland of Israel become a haven for a prolific Jewish population that would render Israel's secular parties politically impotent.

I am suggesting that there is a surreptitious and mutually self-serving agreement between the Likud and Labor parties - in effect a Machiavellian accord - to make Judea and Samaria Judenrein.

Contact Paul Eidelberg at foundation612.12@gmail.com


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THE IMPROBABLE ROMANCE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND AZERBAIJAN

Posted by Algemeiner, January 01, 2015

The article below was written by Alina Dain Sharon who is a journalist fluent in several languages, she had contributed reporting for several international and U.S.-based news outlets, including the Deutsche Welle broadcasting organization in Bonn, Germany and the JNS.org news service in the US. Her worked has also been published by the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, Germany's Juedische Allgemeine Wochenzeitung, the Jerusalem Post, the South African Jewish Report, the Toronto Jewish Tribune, the New York Jewish Press and more. This article appeared January 01, 2015 on Algemeiner and is archived at
http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/01/the-improbable-romance-between -israel-and-azerbaijan/

Since its founding in 1948, Israel has found Muslim-majority allies hard to come by. Yet an improbable romance continues to develop between the Jewish state and Azerbaijan.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon took a surprise trip to Azerbaijan in September, marking the first-ever visit by the holder of his position to a Muslim-majority nation in the Southern Caucasus region. Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and former president Shimon Peres have also visited Azerbaijan, and Azeri dignitaries have made the trip to Israel. Though it is most often attributed to a shared interest in combating the threat posed by Iran, experts say the blooming Israeli-Azeri friendship goes much deeper.

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Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon (pictured at left, in center, holding rug) meets with representatives from the Jewish community in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, on September 10, 2014. Photo: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90.

"Having a close link with a Shiite-majority nation helps shatter the notion of an Islamic rejectionist front against Israel," said American Jewish Committee (AJC) Executive Director David Harris, who in 2012 received the "Dostlug" Order of Friendship, Azerbaijan's highest honor for a foreign citizen, from Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. "For Azerbaijan, located in a tough neighborhood, Israel is a very valued source of economic and strategic assistance."

While warm Israeli-Azeri ties have received increased media attention of late, the phenomenon is not a new one. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, recalled a sympathetic environment for Jews and Israel when the 52-member umbrella group visited Azerbaijan in 2006.

"We were taken aback by the welcome we received, by the freedom enjoyed by the Jewish community, the fact that Israeli flags fly in the synagogues, that when we met with Jewish students on campus and asked them about anti-Semitism, they said they never experienced it, nor anti-Israel expressions, except from very limited groups," Hoenlein said.

Dr. Avinoam Idan-the senior fellow with the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore as well as a University of Haifa professor-told JNS.org that Azerbaijan often comes under attack from violent Islamist groups, including some sponsored by Iran, which borders Azerbaijan in the south. The chief foreign policy concern of Israel in recent years, meanwhile, has been the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program.

"Azerbaijan also views strong ties with Israel and the Jewish world as an important part of achieving strong ties with the United States, which have waned in recent years," said Idan, who served for seven years in the Israeli embassy in Moscow during the fall of the Soviet Union, when he was intimately involved in establishing diplomacy between Israel and the Caucasus nations.

"Azerbaijan is geopolitically a very strategic country," said Hoenlein. "There are tens of millions of Azeris living in Iran. The [Jewish community and Israeli] relationship with central Asian countries, generally, I think is very important. They are under pressure from Russia, from Islamic fundamentalists, from Iran, from Wahhabism, and we have to do a [good] job to help bolster them."

Yet Azeri officials prefer to downplay the role of the Iranian threat in their nation's relationship with Israel. Mammad Talibov, counselor of political and legal affairs at the embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington, D.C., told JNS.org that "we always point out that our bilateral relations are neither linked with, nor aimed against, any third parties."

"Simply put, our relationship with Israel is not about Iran," he said. "It is about Azerbaijan and Israel. We have robust economic relations, especially in the area of technology, [and] defense ties, and [we] work together to promote peace and tolerance. We are also proud that the Azeri Jewish community serves as a bridge between the two nations."

Asim Mollazade, a member of the Azeri parliament and chairman of the country's Democratic Reforms political party, expressed the same sentiment. He told JNS.org that Iran "is not so important [of a] factor in making Azerbaijan and Israel friends and partners," and that the "basis of our relations is [the] historic links between Jews and [the] Azeri people."

Mollazade, however, did acknowledge that both Azerbaijan and Israel face threats in their respective turbulent regions, chief among them "international terror," which means "cooperation on security issues is important for our partnership."

Rafael Harpaz, Israel's ambassador to Azerbaijan, told JNS.org that there are currently about 30,000 Jews in Azerbaijan, though the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee estimate is about half that number. The Azeri Jewish community includes the "Mountain Jews" (who have lived there since the 5th century AD), Ashkenazi Jews, and a small number of Georgian Jews.

"I have never been in a place like this in my life. You see what happens in Western Europe, but here you can [openly] waive an Israeli flag outside," Harpaz said in an interview translated from Hebrew.

Last year, when a new Torah scroll was dedicated at a synagogue in the Azeri capital of Baku, the ceremony was attended by Muslim, Russian Orthodox Christian, Albanian-Udi Christian, and Catholic leaders.

"Where else in the world can you see such a thing?" Harpaz asked rhetorically.

Idan said that while anti-Semitism was prevalent in the more Slavic parts of the Soviet Union, Jewish life in the southern Caucasus countries-mainly Azerbaijan and Georgia, where there were large Jewish communities-"was even during Soviet times a completely different reality." People like Aliyev, the current president, grew up having very positive relations with Jews.

"Aliyev often cites his Jewish teachers as having a very formative influence on him," Idan said.

"We are proud of [our] centuries-old traditions on inclusiveness," said Talibov. "Azerbaijan and Israel are friendly countries, and Jewish citizens of Azerbaijan are proud citizens of our nation. We see this as very normal."

In Israel, meanwhile, there is a large community of Jewish immigrants from Azerbaijan, who made aliyah from the 1970s through the early 1990s, at the time of the Soviet Union's collapse.

Idan noted that at the government level, Azerbaijan was one of the only Muslim-majority nations that did not publicly criticize Israel during the recent Gaza war, despite pressure to do so from other Muslim countries and from some Azeris who called for an embargo on oil sales to the Jewish state. Azerbaijan supplies 40 percent of Israel's oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline.

"Israel doesn't have experience in the field of energy [in areas like drilling, exporting, and financing]. We just recently discovered natural gas, [and] we don't have many energy engineers," said Harpaz, meaning Israel learns about those disciplines from Azerbaijan.

Israel, in turn, has greater experience than Azerbaijan in fields such as trade, telecommunications, cyber-technology, agriculture, medicine, and tourism.

"We are willing to share [expertise] with our friends the Azeris," Harpaz said. "There is a lot of activity by Israeli companies [in Azerbaijan]."

In early December, during the BakuTel-2014 20th Azerbaijan International Telecommunications and Information Technologies Exhibition, President Aliyev himself visited the national pavilion of Israel. Fourteen Israeli companies participated in the exhibition.

Israeli cultural delegations, from groups like the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, have also visited Azerbaijan. Currently, the Azeri national airline Azal flies twice a week between Baku and Tel Aviv. Azal did not stop flights to Israel during this summer's Gaza war, even when other airlines—including American carriers-temporarily did so.

Aliyev's positive attitude about Israel was also evident back in 2009, when then Turkish Prime Minister (and now president) Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly chastised Israel's president, Peres, during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

"When it comes to killing, you (Israel) know well how to kill people," Erdogan said at the time. What was not publicized, according to Idan, is the fact that immediately after the encounter between Peres and Erdogan, there was a private meeting scheduled between Peres and Aliyev. But after Erdogan's comments, Aliyev "decided to open his meeting [with Peres] to the media and he made an effort to clearly show his support for Peres and Israel," said Idan.

Yet Aliyev is not a controversy-free figure. Allegations of financial and electoral corruption have long been associated with his government. Most recently, the Azeri government ordered the arrest of journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who is known for reporting on corruption in Azerbaijan. Many viewed her arrest to be politically motivated.

"Broadly speaking, we are deeply troubled by restrictions on civil society activities, including on journalists in Azerbaijan, and are increasingly concerned that the government there is not living up to its international commitments and obligations," said U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

Jewish leaders Hoenlein and Harris both took issue with sentiments that internal developments in Azerbaijan should affect Israel's relationship with the country.

"Countries that have demonstrated friendship to their Jewish communities—even though their records on human rights issues and other things are not perfect, and we know that-we have to try to encourage them to change, but at the same time to recognize the progress that has been made and the importance of the relationship with them," Hoenlein said.

"Full democracy and transparency can take decades to develop," said Harris. "And if these were the sole litmus tests for foreign relations, then both the U.S. and Israel would have far fewer partners."

Despite its warm relationship with Israel, Azerbaijan does not yet have an embassy in the Jewish state. Talibov called this a "technical issue," saying his country is "working with the Israeli side on the matter."

Idan said that the lack of an Azeri embassy in Israel may stem from Azerbaijan's fear of backlash from Iran and other Muslim-majority nations. Yet the case of Azerbaijan proves that "having an embassy is not a condition for the advancement of relations between nations," he said.

"[Azerbaijan] is a fairly rare example of a Muslim country on the one hand, and on the other hand a country that has such a close relationship with a country like Israel," said Idan.

Contact Algemeiner at editor@algemeiner.com


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IRAN IS GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

Posted by YogiRUs, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Jeffrey Goldberg who is an American-Israeli journalist. He is an author and a staff writer for The Atlantic, having previously worked for The New Yorker. Goldberg writes principally on foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. This article appeared December 30, 2014 on The Atlantic and is archived at
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/12/iran-getting-away -with-murder/384095/?elq=dae65906ec494070bd320095690f1619&elqCampaignId=3962

curtain
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the man behind the curtain in Syria. Reuters

In an interview in late 2006, I asked then-Senator Barack Obama to talk about the challenges to rational deterrence theory posed by the behavior of rogue states. "Whatever you want to say about the Soviets," Obama answered, "they were essentially conservative. The North Korean regime and the Iranians are driven more by ideology and fantasy." of Sunni radicalism.

Earlier this year, I asked Obama the following question: "What is more dangerous: Sunni extremism or Shia extremism?"

His answer was revealing, suggestive of an important change in the way he has come to view the Iranian regime. He started by saying, as would be expected, "I'm not big on extremism generally." And then he argued-in part by omission-that he finds the principal proponent of Shiite extremism, the regime in Tehran, more rational, and more malleable, than the main promoters of Sunni radicalism.

"I don't think you'll get me to choose on those two issues," he said. "What I'll say is that if you look at Iranian behavior, they are strategic, and they're not impulsive. They have a worldview, and they see their interests, and they respond to costs and benefits. And that isn't to say that they aren't a theocracy that embraces all kinds of ideas that I find abhorrent, but they're not North Korea. They are a large, powerful country that sees itself as an important player on the world stage, and I do not think has a suicide wish, and can respond to incentives. And that's the reason why they came to the table on sanctions."

Since becoming president, Obama has made the argument that Iran could be induced, cajoled, and pressured into compromise, a view that has been proven provisionally, partially, correct: Sanctions, plus Obama's repeated (and, to my mind, at least, credible) threat of military action, convinced Iran to temporarily halt many aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief. But Obama and his international partners have been less successful at bringing Iran to permanent denuclearization.

Without Iran's assistance, Assad would have fallen a long time ago.

A long-term, verifiable arrangement that keeps Iran perpetually a year or more from nuclear breakout is surpassingly important for the national security of the United States (as Obama noted in this interview); for the health and safety of America's friends in the Middle East; and for the cause of nuclear nonproliferation in the world’s most volatile and dangerous region. Over the past year, the two sides of international nuclear negotiations have apparently moved somewhat closer to each other, and when the second round of talks came to an end without achieving a deal, both sides agreed that yet another negotiation extension was in order. As Iran and its interlocutors move into what stands to be the fateful year for these negotiations, a credible deal does not look to be achievable; so far, at least, the Iranians seem unwilling to make the truly creative concessions necessary to meet the West's minimum requirements.

Especially if a deal is ultimately proven to be unachievable, another question will arise: Is the price the U.S. has paid to reach this elusive deal too high? An admirable aspect of Obama's foreign-policy making is his ability to coolly focus on core issues to the exclusion of what he considers to be extraneous matters. This is also, however, a non-admirable aspect of his policymaking, in particular when the subject at hand is Iran’s role in supporting the killer Assad regime in Syria.

Obama seems to believe that a nuclear deal is, in a way, like Casaubon's key to all mythologies: Many good things, he believes, could flow from a nuclear compromise. In an interview last week with NPR's Steve Inskeep, the president suggested that a nuclear agreement would help Iran become "a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules. "This, he said, "would be good for everybody. That would be good for the United States, that would be good for the region, and most of all, it would be good for the Iranian people."

This is a wonderful notion, the idea that the end of Iran's isolation could lead it to moderate its more extreme impulses. But there isn't much in the way of proof to suggest that Iran's rulers are looking to join an international order whose norms are defined by the United States and its allies. In fact, there is proof of something quite opposite: Iran seems as interested as ever in becoming a regional hegemon, on its own terms. And its supreme leader, and his closest confidants, have made it clear, over and over again, that he is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.

Across the greater Middle East, Iran's efforts to extend its influence have been blunt and brutal: It supports Shiite insurrections in Yemen and Bahrain; it attempts to manipulate Lebanese politics through its Beirut-based proxy, Hezbollah; it intervenes in Gaza and against the already-fading hope for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Arab crisis; and certainly its unceasing threats to eradicate a fellow member-state of the United Nations, Israel, suggest that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has a vision for Iran that differs from Obama's.

But nothing underscores the Iranian regime's imperialistic, hegemonic nature more than its support for the Assad regime in Damascus. Without Iran's assistance, Assad would have fallen a long time ago. The death toll in Syria is more than 200,000; half of Syria's population has been displaced. These dark achievements of the Assad regime would not have been possible without Iran. Thousands of Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps troops and advisers, plus Iranian weaponry, have made all the difference for Assad. As a recent study by the Middle East Institute states:

It is no longer accurate to describe the war in Syria as a conflict between Syrian rebels on the one hand and Bashar al-Assad's regime forces "supported" by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRG), Hezbollah, and Iraqi militias on the other. Most major battles in Syria-along the frontlines of regime-held areas-are now being directed and fought by the IRG and Hezbollah, along with other non-Syrian Shi'i militias, with Assad forces in a supportive or secondary role. ...

One result of this heavy Iranian involvement in the war in Syria has been a change in the nature of the relationship between the Syrian and the Iranian regimes. From historically being mutually beneficial allies, the Iranian regime is now effectively the dominant force in regime-held areas of Syria, and can thus be legally considered an "occupying force," with the responsibilities that accompany such a role.

There was no commensurate effort made by opponents of Assad to help those Syrians who were trying to overthrow him. President Obama called on Assad to go, but kept the U.S. on the sidelines through the first years of the Syrian civil war, for reasons he has explained in many places, including here.

Today, the U.S. and its allies are fighting in the Syrian theater, but they are fighting Assad's putative enemies, the Sunni extremists of ISIS, not Assad and his Iranian allies. And yet ISIS is a derivative problem of a larger crisis: Without Assad-which is to say, without Iran-there would be no ISIS "caliphate" in Syria in the first place. The midwives of ISIS are Assad, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, and Ayatollah Khamenei.

If Assad had been overthrown early in the civil war, a more moderate, multi-confessional Syrian government could have plausibly emerged to take its place. The early rebels, who frightened the Assad regime to its core, were not seeking to build a cross-border caliphate on a foundation of medieval cruelty; they were simply seeking to remove Assad's boot from their necks. As the Assad regime, with Iran's invaluable help, recovered from the first blows of the rebellion, many Sunni Syrians, seeking help everywhere but finding it mainly among radicals, became radicalized themselves. This was an explicable, if not justifiable, reaction to the mortal threat posed by what they saw as a massed Shiite threat.

Earlier this year, in a conversation about the Obama administration's Middle East strategy, Senator John McCain brought me up short when he criticized the president for launching attacks on a symptom of the Syrian civil war, ISIS, rather than its root cause. He told me that the U.S. should be battling the Assad regime at the same time it attacks Sunni terrorists. I asked him the following question: "Wouldn't the generals say to you, 'You want me to fight ISIS, and you want me to fight the guys who are fighting ISIS, at the same time? Why would we bomb guys who are bombing ISIS? That would turn this into a crazy standoff.'"

McCain answered: "Our ultimate job is not only to defeat ISIS but to give the Syrian people the opportunity to prevail as well. ... If we do this right, if we do the right kind of training and equipping of the Free Syrian Army, plus air strikes, plus taking out Bashar Assad's air assets, we could reverse the battlefield equation."

There is even less reason to believe today that the Free Syrian Army, such as it is, is capable of fighting the Assad regime (and ISIS) effectively. So at this late stage, McCain's policy prescriptions may be unrealistic. But his diagnosis of the core problem seems tragically accurate.

"I don't think ISIS would exist if Bashar al-Assad had been removed two or three years ago," McCain told me when we revisited the question earlier this month. He was on his way out until the Iranians brought in 5,000 Hezbollah fighters, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps came in, to train Assad's troops and provide them with weapons, including the barrel bombs, which are horrible weapons of war."

McCain argues that the Obama administration has avoided confronting Assad in part for fear that doing so would alienate Assad's patrons in Tehran, the same men who are in charge of the nuclear file. "The whole theory hinges on a major breakthrough in the nuclear talks, that once they get their deal, Iran will stop funding Hamas, stop supporting Hezbollah, stop destabilizing Yemen, that they'll join us in fighting extremism. So they have to get a nuclear deal at all costs, and not do anything in Syria. This is just so farfetched it's delusional."

I wouldn't go so far as to call proponents of this theory delusional, but let's say that they are not approaching the issue of leverage in an effective way. Gary Samore, a former Obama administration official who was in charge of the National Security Council's Iran nuclear file, told me this month that he would use Iran's deep exposure in Syria to U.S. advantage.

"Confronting Iran forcefully in Syria and Iraq increases chances for a nuclear deal because Iran will only meet our nuclear demands if it feels weak and vulnerable," Samore wrote in an email. "Conversely, Iran's sense that it is winning in Syria and that it is indispensable in Iraq decreases chances for a nuclear because the Supreme Leader won't make nuclear concessions if he feels strong and ascendant."

Is it likely that Obama will move toward a policy of containing Iran in Syria, and away from his more accommodationist stance? Arab states that count Iran as an enemy and the U.S. as a friend have asked him repeatedly over the past two years to treat Iran as a root cause of the Syrian catastrophe. But Obama appears focused solely on achieving a nuclear deal with Iran, in part because he seems to believe that Iran is ready to play the part of rational and constructive actor, rather than extremist would-be hegemon. I hope he's right, and I hope he achieves a strong nuclear deal, but I worry that he is empowering an Iranian government that isn't about to change in any constructive way. In the meantime, the Iranian regime continues to get away, quite literally, with murder.

Contact YogiRUs at YogiRus@aol.com


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EXPLAINING THE PAST - LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE

Posted by Moshe Feiglin Campaign Headquarters, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Shmuel Sackett who is a religious Zionist leader. He co-founded both the Zo Artzeinu and Manhigut Yehudit political movements in Israel. During the 1990s Zo Artzeinu opposed the Oslo Accords through civil disobedience.

As I am sure you know by now, yesterday's Likud primaries didn't work out the way we expected. We worked very hard at advancing Moshe to a high point on the Likud list, but Moshe managed only to win spot #27 - considered an unrealistic spot in the March 17th general election.

I must state that Moshe was not the only good, solid Knesset member that Likud members rejected; Tzippy Hotoveli - a Deputy Minister in the current government - won just one spot before Moshe (#26), which is ALSO considered very unrealistic.

To understand what happened to Moshe, please read this quote from the Maariv (NRG) website:

"Two weeks ago, we reported about a deal being worked on against Feiglin. The goal of this deal was to insure that Feiglin receive an unrealistic spot on the Likud list and it succeeded exactly as planned. The deal was orchestrated by Prime Minister Netanyahu and implemented via Knesset members Chaim Katz, Yariv Levine, Zev Elkin and Danny Danon"

How nice...

While we understand the system and realize that every candidate has to worry and push him/herself, we will never understand why candidates actively work AGAINST others in the same party. Thanks to the hard work of these politicians, the current Likud list contains two former members of Kadima and SIX people who SUPPORTED the Gaza Expulsion Plan. Do the members of Likud really prefer these people to Feiglin and Hotoveli?

Based on yesterday's results, our strategy team sat today (at my house) for over 4 hours to discuss our next move and we are happy to report that we have set forth a very serious action plan.

We will be revealing this plan to our membership on Monday night - 7PM - in a hotel in Jerusalem. (Exact location is being worked on)

At that time, Moshe will deliver the keynote address and will explain our direction.

Without revealing the plan, allow me to simply state the following: While we do not plan on taking the Likud to court for (yet again) election cheating, nor will we be challenging the results in any way, we do not plan on "taking a breather". Our future is clear and bright and our focus of building alternative leadership remains our top priority. We will continue our dream of turning Israel into a strong and proud Jewish State and we will not rest for a minute until that goal has been achieved.

Please do not feel bad or sorry for us. Hashem only does good things - even though it may not seem clear at the time. The events which we have been reading in the recent Torah portions, specifically about Joseph and his brothers, seem very odd and difficult, yet when the master plan was revealed, it all came together. We are there as well. Yesterday's setback will only be temporary and we promise to IMMEDIATLEY bounce right back up and keep moving closer to the goal.

A lot of rumors will be flying around and we do not plan on denying any of them! On Monday night, things will be made very clear and we are certain you will love the direction we have chosen.

Thank you for your support, trust and confidence. Stay on the team - we still have a job to do!

We will publicize a full report on the conference for all those who cannot make it.

Contact Moshe Feiglin Campaign Headquaters at moshe-feiglin@mflinkud.com


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NEW STUDY PROVES CONCLUSIVELY UN DIDN'T INTEND TO FORCE ISRAEL BACK TO '49 ARMISTICE LINES

Posted by Sergio HaDaR Tezza, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Carl in Jerusalem. Carl in Jerusalem blogs at Israel Matzav. This essay is archived at
http://israelmatzav.blogspot.de/2015/01/new-study-proves-conclusively-un-didnt.html

rostow

Draftsman Eugene Rostow argued for years that UN Security Council Resolution 242 was not intended to force Israel back to the 1949 armistice lines. Now, in an upcoming article in the Chicago Journal of International Law, Northwestern University Professor Eugene Kontorovich proves by comparing 242 with five other Security Council resolutions that dealt with territorial withdrawals that Rostow was right: The Security Council never intended to try to force Israel to withdraw to the '49 armistice lines and never intended to make 'settlements' illegal.

Kontorovich cites five pre-167 UN withdrawal resolutions obligating withdrawals of: the USSR from Iran in 1946, the parties to the Israeli-Arab 1948 war to withdraw to positions held on October 14 in 1948, North Korea to withdraw from South Korea to the 38th parallel in 1950, Belgium to withdraw from Congo in 1960 and India-Pakistan to withdraw to August 5 positions in 1965, as decisive in explaining the resolution.

He writes that the USSR had to withdraw from "the whole" of Iran, that Belgium had to withdraw from "the territory" (whereas 242 is missing the definite article "the") of Congo and that the other three resolutions give definitive dates or markers for withdrawal.

In contrast, Kontorovich writes that 242 intentional dropping of "the" and leaving out of a set date or geographic marker shows that the UN intentionally left the issue vague - which he argues could be a decisive proof for the pro-Israel reading of the resolution that Israel only has to withdraw from some territories as agreed in negotiations.

Next, the article cites 13 more territorial withdrawal resolutions post-1967 running all the way up to a 2012 resolution ordering Sudan and South Sudan to withdraw to their set borders where the word "the" appears five times, signifying an obligation of a complete withdrawal, and the other resolutions also appear to signal a full withdrawal.

Former UN Ambassador and Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs Director Dore Gold responded to the article saying, "Unfortunately there are voices that believe the whole discussion of the absence of the definite article 'the' in 242 is being picky. What they don't understand is that the language of the resolution was drafted at the highest levels of US government at the time."

Contact Sergio HaDaR Tezza at nutella59@UCLA.edu


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CENSORSHIP, "MENTAL ILLNESS" OVERRUN FRANCE

Posted by Midenise, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Guy Milliere who is senior fellow of the Gatestone Institute, is also a Professor at the University of Paris. He has published 27 books on France, Europe, the United States and the Middle East. He is the authors of thousands of articles published in France, Israel and the United States. His last book, The Resistible Rise of Barack Obama, is an analysis of the policies and consequences of the Obama administration. He is working on an autobiography, Dissident, that will be published next Spring. This article appeared January 01, 2015 on Gatestone Institute International Policy Council and is archived at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4999/censorship-mental-illness-overrun-france

  • France is a country where so-called "anti-racist" organizations, heavily subsidized by the government, fight for the most part only a single "racism": "Islamophobia."
  • It is now a country where the only people allowed to speak freely of Islam to large audiences are those who describe it as a religion of peace and unlimited love.
  • People prosecuted and fined for uttering critical remarks on Islam, such as Christine Tasin, say out loud what thousands think without daring to speak.
  • Polls show that French citizens in ever-increasing numbers are concerned about the rising proportion of unintegrated Muslims in the country, the endless expansion of no-go zones, the increasing number of Islamic converts, and the "replacement" of the French people.
  • "Mental patients," screaming "Allahu Akbar," are storming France
  • .

France is now a country where critical remarks on Islam are systematically banned from mainstream media and where any negative sentence about the Muslim religion leads to fines, payment of damages, and censorship.

And it is a country where so-called "anti-racist" organizations, heavily subsidized by the government, fight for the most part only a single "racism": "Islamophobia."

Words such as "Islamism" or "radical Islam" have disappeared from the vocabulary of journalists and politicians, and are replaced by fuzzy words: "radicalism" and "extremism".

The only people apparently allowed to speak freely of Islam to large audiences are those who describe it as a religion of peace and unlimited love.

Take, for example the recent case of Christine Tasin, a founder of Riposte Laique [Secular Response].

She went to Belfort on October 15, 2013, to make a video news report on a temporary slaughterhouse installed for the Muslim feast day of Eid El Adha, which commemorates Ibrahim's obedience to Allah in offering to sacrifice his only son. Upon her arrival at the slaughterhouse, the manager asked her to leave. He also called her an "Islamophobic racist." She answered that she is, actually, Islamophobic, but not racist; and added that "Islam is rubbish." The verbal exchange was filmed. Muslim associations filed complaints against her.

verbal
Christine Tasin engages in a verbal exchange on October 15, 2013, which led to here being charged with the crime of making "statements likely to provoke rejection of Muslims."

On August 9, 2014, a court declared Tasin guilty of making "statements likely to provoke rejection of Muslims," and she was sentenced to a heavy fine of 3,000 euros ($3,700).

Tasin responded by saying that the court had acted as if it were an "Islamic court" and that it was showing "submission to Sharia." She appealed the judgment. The appeal judgment, delivered on December 18, constituted a repudiation of the first judgment; all charges against Christine Tasin were dropped.

The same day, a case against Marine Le Pen, president of the populist National Front party, concerning statements she made in 2010 about the "occupation" of the street by illegal Muslim prayers, was also dropped.

Some might think that these two decisions are encouraging signs, showing that the French justice is not completely muzzled and that some judges still maintain an independent spirit.

A broader look, however, calls for caution. In the previous months, many French who publicly criticized Islam and its consequences were severely condemned by France's justice system:

On June 5, Pierre Cassen and Pascal Hillout, two other members of Riposte Laique, were sentenced to an extremely heavy fine of 21,200 euros ($26,000) for having written that "street prayers, veils and mosques" were "symbols of occupation and conquest."

On April 10, author Renaud Camus was fined 4,000 euros ($5,000) for having said in 2010 that Muslim culture was slowly "replacing" French culture.

Three years earlier, in February 2011, writer and political journalist Eric Zemmour was sentenced to a fine of 1,000 euros ($1,250) and a payment of 10,000 euros ($12,500) to various associations and leagues. He had said during a talk show that "the majority of drug dealers in France are black and Arab Muslims." The judges considered this was an "incitement to racial discrimination."

Zemmour is currently facing a media storm because of an interview he granted to an Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, in which he said that "Muslims have their own Civil Code, the Koran" and live "in neighborhoods that the French are gradually leaving." He added that France faced a "risk of chaos and civil war," and that Muslims might have to go. In writing his article, the Italian journalist used the word "deport". Zemmour did not use the word; he was, nevertheless, accused of having used it.

Countless complaints were filed against him. The main French "anti-racist" organizations asked all his employers to fire him. One of them, I-television (a rolling news TV channel), did so immediately.

The French Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, called for street demonstrations against Zemmour. This is the first time in the history of modern France that an Interior Minister has publicly called for street demonstrations against a journalist.

Faced with incessant complaints and attacks, Riposte Laique decided in March 2013 to relocate its operations and its website to Switzerland, where laws are less severe and where judges are less politicized than in France.

France is nonetheless the country where the two perpetrators of the worst anti-Semitic terrorist attacks committed in the name of radical Islam on European soil were born and raised: Mohamed Merah, the killer of three Jewish children and a rabbi in a schoolyard in Toulouse in March 2012, and Mehdi Nemmouche, the murderer of four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014.

France is also the main European provider of jihadist recruits to the Islamic State. More than 1,000 French citizens are fighting in Syria and Iraq. Two of them have been spotted in a beheading video.

Polls show that French citizens in ever-increasing numbers are concerned about the rising proportion of unintegrated Muslims in the country, the endless expansion of no-go zones, the increasing number of Islamic converts, and the "replacement" of the French people.

Christine Tasin, Pierre Cassen, Pascal Hillout, Renaud Camus, and Eric Zemmour say out loud what thousands of people think without daring to speak.

Judicial harassment exacerbates frustration and leads many to believe that the mainstream media and leaders of major traditional parties lie about the facts and conceal the truth.

The National Front is now the top political party in France. Marine Le Pen is presently leading the polls for the 2017 presidential election. Her victory is unlikely, but it is no longer impossible. The "risk of chaos and civil war," evoked by Eric Zemmour, is constantly growing.

On December 20, Bertrand "Bilal" Nzohabonayo, walked into a police station in Joue-les-Tours, in the Loire Valley, and, screaming "Allahu Akbar" ["Allah is Greater"], stabbed three police officers. He was then shot and killed. The police and media said immediately that he was a not an Islamist but a "mental patient," although they later admitted that he seemed to be a supporter of the Islamic State.

On December 21, another man (no word yet on his identity), also screaming "Allahu Akbar," drove his car into a crowd in Dijon, and was then captured by police. The police and the media also said that he was a "mental patient," but they admitted he has family ties in North Africa.

On December 22, a third man, also screaming "Allahu Akbar" ploughed his van into a Christmas market in Nantes. He then stabbed himself, and is in hospital. The police and the media said that he was a "mental patient." He will be sent to an insane asylum.

No one knows how many "mental patients" are ready to act and scream "Allahu Akbar" in France. Police unions have said that if too many "mental patients" decided to act, the police would not able to protect the population. They added that there were not even enough police to protect police officers likely to be attacked.

Mental patients, screaming "Allahu Akbar," are storming France.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, "We have never faced such a danger." He has not defined the danger. He decided to send a thousand soldiers to patrol the streets. He did not say if they were supposed to fight mental illness.

On December 23, a fourth man screaming "Allahu Akbar" was arrested for "violent behavior" in the city of Le Mans. He was sent directly to a psychiatrist, of course. He is a "mental patient." Authorities strangely said he might be "contagious."

Contact Midenise at midenise@zahav.net.il


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"PALESTINE" AND THE ICC

Posted by Eretz Israel Shelanu, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Reuven Berko.Dr. Reuven Berko has a Ph.D. in Middle East studies, is a commentator on Israeli Arabic TV programs, writes for the Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom and is considered one of Israel's top experts on Arab affairs. This article appeared December 31, 2014 on The Investigative Project on Terrorism(IPT) and is archived at
http://www.investigativeproject.org/4715/guest-column-palestine-and-the-icc#

The Palestinian Authority's latest unilateral attempt to gain recognition as a state without negotiating any concessions failed Tuesday. But other mischief remains in play, including Wednesday's move to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Earlier this month, "Palestine" was upgraded from "observer entity" to "observer state" at the ICC. It was another milestone on the Palestinian Authority's road to international recognition as a state without having to negotiate directly with Israel, make any concessions, or commit to a genuine dialogue for peace, a unilateral stem directly violating both the Oslo Accords and UN Resolution 242. Countries supporting the move know - but are apathetic to the fact - that their actions only reinforce the PA's intransigence and destroy any motivation the Palestinians might have had to compromise on any issue that would bring about a just peace for both sides.

The Palestinian Authority's dream to try Israel in the ICC for so-called "war crimes" in the Gaza Strip is the height of absurdity. The PLO won international recognition after it claimed to have abandoned terrorism against Israel. If its operational wing, the Palestinian Authority, manages to penetrate the international legal network, sign the Rome Convention and bring Israel to trial for its activities in the Gaza Strip, senior PLO and Palestinian Authority figures will immediately find themselves in the ICC accused of their own crimes.

The Palestinian national consensus government, with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister and Mahmoud Abbas as "president," is a coalition with Hamas, whose suicide bombers blew themselves up in Israel on busy streets and in crowded public places and caused thousands of deaths and maimings, to say nothing of abducting and murdering three teen aged boys just six months ago. The Palestinian government is responsible for the war crimes committed by Hamas this past summer, including launching long-range rockets at densely populated cities, among them Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and sending its death squads to murder Israeli civilians indiscriminately.

Israel conducts military operations against Palestinian terrorism with pinpoint precision and in accordance with the best international legal and moral criteria. This past summer, as always, it warned the civilian population before it attacked terrorists, whose leaders had fled like rats into the basements of hospitals to wait out the war. In contrast, Palestinian terrorist organizations deliberately attacked the Israeli civilian population; they uttered no word of regret or sorrow, and certainly did not appoint a committee to investigate.

While Palestinians bemoan their failure to carry out a mass slaughter of Israeli civilians and destroy the country's infrastructure, mainly thanks to the Iron Dome aerial defense system, Israel is undertaking a comprehensive examination of complaints lodged by Palestinians, Israelis and the international community regarding possible illegal actions taken by Israeli soldiers and officers during Operation Protective Edge.

No country comes close to Israel in following the letter of the laws of warfare. Arab countries, many of which are currently engaged in mutual slaughter, cannot even approximate Israel's conduct when it comes to morality. Needless to say, no Palestinian or other terrorist organization has ever examined its own behavior the way Israel constantly does.

There are many Palestinians honest enough to admit - although not brave enough to do so publicly - that if they had the weapons Israel does, not one single Israeli would be left alive. Article 7 of the Hamas charter decrees the total annihilation of all the Jews in the world. Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas' partner in the Palestinian national consensus government, had the unmitigated gall to stand before the UN General Assembly and accuse Israel of genocide.

The Palestinians have received symbolic recognition for their "state" from the parliaments of Britain, Spain, France, Sweden and the EU, but they still have a long road to statehood if they cannot come to terms with Israel.

Hamas's recent attacks on the Israeli civilian population and the current chaos engulfing the Middle East have forced Israel to take extreme precautions regarding its security and not to accept any of the more adventurous international solutions for the conflict which will endanger its security. The regional conflicts and massacres in the Middle East show the Palestinian issue isn't the key to peace. This chaos clearly indicates that there is no connection between the general regional tragedy and the Palestinian issue. Nevertheless, there are still many people who cling to the fiction that resolving the Palestinian issue will, like a magic wand, cure all the ills of the Middle East.

It is obvious that the Gulf states, rather than dealing with the marginal Palestinian issue, are deploying to face the threat of a nuclear Iran, the drop in oil prices and America's weakness in dealing with the Middle East. In view of the worsening schism between the Russian-backed Shi'ite bloc of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on the one hand, and the Sunni bloc of the rest of the Arab-Muslim world on the other, the repeated demands of the emir of Qatar (with Turkish backing) to solve the Palestinian issue while encouraging the Islamic terrorist organizations are ridiculous. Qatar, Turkey and their friends in the EU behave as if the utterly irrelevant Palestinian issue had anything to do with the current situation in the Middle East.

In reality, the Palestinian issue is not even floating around the perimeter of the Middle East's problems, despite Qatar's efforts to bring it center stage. It is grotesque that, aside from Arab extremists in Israel who support Qatar and Turkey, Israeli extremists are indulging in provocation to aggravate problems unnecessarily. These provocations include the settlements, the fairly unnecessary Jewish national homeland law and the obsession of the Messianic Jews with praying on the Temple Mount although it is forbidden by Jewish religious law. The attempts of extremist Jews to change the status quo serve only the unfounded claim of Palestinian subversives that Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger of destruction.

Furthermore, the Shi'ite regime in Tehran, blithely ignoring America's pathetic declarations, marches steadily towards an atomic bomb. It is also becoming clearer that the Iranians have tightened their hold on Sana'a, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. In the meantime, the Sunni states suffer from internal schisms, polarized by Turkey and Qatar, which support the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, ISIS and other Islamist terrorist organizations in the Middle East and Africa. The terrorist organizations, the fruit of the poison tree of Qatar and Turkey (which has given a safe haven to Hamas arch-terrorist Salah al-Arouri) are an internal threat to the Arab regimes, as the Muslim Brotherhood is an internal threat to Egypt. Turkey and Qatar.

Qatar patched up relations with Egypt and the Gulf states recently, but supports the terrorist organizations with money, arms and training bases, revealing its agenda to exploit the chaos in the Middle East to impose a radical Islamic regime on the region, a new Ottoman Empire, at the expense of enlightenment and progress.

The situation is explosive, anomic and rife with contradictions. Turkey, in its desire to destroy the Assad regime and the pro-Iranian administration in Baghdad, supports terrorist organizations such as ISIS. It also supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, endangering Israel and Egypt, both American allies. America, Turkey's ally in NATO, bombs ISIS, thereby strengthening the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon (Hizballah) axis, sworn enemies of America's other ally, Israel, instead of weakening it. And when Israel allegedly strikes strategic weapons meant for Hizballah, the enemies of the Assad regime, among them Turkey and ISIS, are immediately strengthened and Israel is condemned by Russia, which supplied the weapons to Syria and attacked Ukraine.

Within the Middle East's tangle of tragedy, refugees, destruction and slaughter, ISIS issued the Islamic laissez-faire for the rape of women taken captive: Yazidi women, Christian women, Jewish women. The manifesto of sexual horror appeared alongside the bombings, destruction of mosques and churches on the heads of worshippers, murders and beheadings that have made incomprehensible the steps taken by Europe against Israel, an island of sanity in a sea of Islamist madness. They have turned the UN commission headed by William Schabas, a proud anti-Semite, who is supposed to investigate objectively the "war crimes" committed by Israel into yet another chapter of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Schabas, the man who will judge Israel's actions, has accused the Jewish state of war crimes in the past, has refused to classify Hamas as a terrorist group, and has a record of defending Iran's nuclear weapons program as understandable and a defensive necessity.

The European Union, long an enclave of regression and a cat's paw for violent radical Islam, is trying to destroy Israel. Although Hamas has launched thousands of rockets at exclusively civilian targets (they only hit military bases when they fly off course) and is developing longer-range and more lethal rockets, the EU countries take no notice. They refuse to understand that the Palestinian Authority can barely rule the West Bank and has no chance of competing with Hamas' popularity in the Gaza Strip, especially now that the Europeans, in their endless folly, have taken Hamas off the list of terrorist organizations.

Abbas has even threatened to stop the Palestinian Authority's security coordination with Israel, a delusional idea because it is Israel that keeps him in power. Without Israel, the Palestinian national consensus government is a lost cause. In 2006, without security coordination with Israel, Fatah lost the Gaza Strip to Hamas, which threw Fatah supporters from the rooftops of high-rise buildings and kneecapped others. Abbas, a notorious Holocaust denier, deliberately uses the figure six million when counting the number of Palestinians scattered around the world as "refugees." It is a pathetic attempt to link the Palestinians to the number of Jews slaughtered by the Nazis in Europe. In reality 600,000 original Arabs fled Israeli territory in 1948 and their descendants can in no way be considered refugees today. Abbas cynically clutches the so-called "right of return" of the "six million Palestinian refugees" as a way to destroy Israel demographically.

It is absurd that the Jewish people, one of the oldest civilizations in the world, has to seek recognition and permission to exist from the newly-formed Palestinian Authority, itself torn by internal strife and power struggles. However, demanding that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is meant to show, at the symbolic-semantic level at least, that the Palestinians are sincere in their desire for peace. Unfortunately, Abbas cannot bring himself to do that. Instead he uses the pulpit of the UN to declare that the Jews "pollute" the holy places of Islam and Christianity in Jerusalem.

While Abbas bemoans the fact that Palestinians with no claim whatsoever on Israel cannot move en masse into its territory, he and the rest of the world conveniently ignore the absurd situation in which the descendants of the original refugees living in various Arab countries are not citizens, do not have the "status" of refugees, cannot hold most of the well-paying jobs, and basically have no civil rights at all. Israel, on the other hand, took in 800,000 Jewish refugees expelled from the Arab countries, without receiving reparations for the trillions of dollars of assets they were forced to leave behind.

EU leaders, reading from texts scripted by the Islamist terrorist organizations, are far more "shocked" by the so-called "war crimes" committed by Israel than by what their own ancestors did to the Jews, which can never be forgiven. The Europeans, who bear the responsibility for what happened to the Jews in Second World War, are trying to represent the Israelis as committing worse crimes than the Europeans who willingly, and in some cases eagerly, co llaborated with the Nazi, as a way of shifting the mark of Cain from their own foreheads. They have to accept and openly declare that not one single Palestinian will enter Israel under the fictitious "right of return" and that if the "six million" Palestinian refugees want to return, they will return to the Palestinian state that may actually be established some day (a catastrophe in its own right).

Allowing "Palestine" to change its status in the ICC from "observer entity" to "observer state" is not a solution to any problem the Palestinians may have. Rather, it is another roadblock on the peaceful road to statehood. If the Hamas-Fatah terrorism conglomerate receives legitimacy from the nations of the world, the day is not far off that ISIS will have the same status with the support of the EU, and the Islamic Caliphate will achieve its manifest destiny. The recent dangerous European court decision to take Hamas off the list of terrorist organizations is another milestone on Europe's suicidal race to hell. The Americans, in the meantime, use their veto in the Security Council to support Israel, although facing the global typhoon of radical Islamism and terror they are like Hans Brinker, finger in the dike (Israel) to keep the tsunami of Islamist terrorism from engulfing Europe.

Contact Eretz Israel Shelanu at list@eish-l.org


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JIHADI DEBATE OVER JAMAAT ANSAR AL-DAWLA AL-ISLAMIYA FI BAYT AL-MAQDIS

Posted by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, January 02, 2015

I have previously written about the group 'Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis' ('The Group of Supporters/Partisans of the Islamic State in Bayt al-Maqdis') here and here.://www.aymennjawad.org/2014/08/jamaat-ansar-al-dawla-al-islamiya-fi-bayt-al-1. Based on the data at the time (which was before Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis' pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State [IS] to become 'Sinai Province'), my conclusion was that the group appeared to function as IS' network in Gaza, acting as a supplier of fighters- most notably claimed 'specialists'- to IS in Syria/Iraq, while apparently doing propaganda work for IS under the guise of 'Ansar al-Shari'a- Gaza.'

However, it is now clear that there is considerable controversy even within pro-IS circles about the nature of this claimed group, whose statements are solely released via the IS-aligned jihadi forum al-Platform Media. Most notably, critics assert Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis does not have meaningful visual evidence to substantiate its existence, a line made on the assumption that there is no overlap with the group calling itself 'Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Gaza' under whose name a video was released of claimed operations against Israel during the summer 2014 war. Emblematic of these criticisms is a series of tweets put out by pro-IS Twitter user "Khilad al-Qurashi" (@saeb_f4), who wrote on 21 December 2014:

1. It is from the failing of God- Almighty and Exalted is He- for the Salafi groups in Gaza that they are in a state and condition that does not endure for them. For you see how from the one group, dozens arise in defection.

2. The Gaza arena is filled with Salafi jihadi groups. Each one brags in its own way but does not live up to its words.

3. The greatest calamity is that the manhaj [program] of all the groups is one, and their aqeeda [creed] is one! And the majority of them (thanks to God), practise the religion of God Almighty in following/adherence to the Islamic State, may God make it mighty.

4. The witness from the talk: the motives and reasons for them to come together are more than the motives for separation. Despite that, they are separated, and God is the one from whom help should be sought.

5. To illustrate the truth of my words: indeed you will find groups in the little strip of Gaza from one end to another calling themselves Ansar al-Shari'a.

6. For example: you will find an Ansar al-Shari'a in Rafah different from the Ansar al-Shari'a in Gaza [city], which is different from the Ansar al-Shari'a present in the al-Wasta area.

7. As for Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis, which we are now discussing, I say:

8. There is no group that has appeared in Gaza whose personalities or at the very least whose soldiers we have not known. As for you, not one of you has appeared!

9. And it is from our right that we do not deal with unknown persons and we warn against you. And there are things you do that show that he who publishes your statements is lavishing praise on what he does not know. And God is the one from whom help should be sought.

10. How can you claim the blowing up of the Yabous Christian association in Rafah, and say in your statement that it is a Rafidite [Shi'a] association, despite the fact that all know it is an association affiliated with the Christians?

11. If it were not done by you or there is a mix-up in the matters, you must retract your statement. For all know that the fingers of accusation for the blowing up of the association are pointing at the followers of Dahlan [key one-time Fatah figure in Gaza].

Al-Qurashi adds a brief note about the prominent pro-IS Palestinian account 'al-Nusra al-Maqdisia' that is playing a role in the organized unofficial IS support network on Twitter, affirming:

15. As for al-Nusra al-Maqdisia (with the existence of some reservations about them), they do not understand that we [IS-aligned people] are against support [nusra] for the Islamic State [...]

16. For all Salafi jihadis in Gaza consider themselves among the soldiers of the Islamic State.

Al-Qurashi's point, to be sure, is a sound one making the crucial distinction between 'nusra' ('support') and 'bay'ah' ('pledge of allegiance') in Arabic. For IS, it is not enough merely to show 'nusra', one has to declare bay'ah. Al-Qurashi concludes with an address to Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis:

17. We ask you, oh Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis, to demonstrate some sense of reason and declare yourselves to Gaza's groups.

18. For the field is filled with conspirators and traitors who want to embroil the Salafi jihadi movement in greater difficulties. Is this the issue you are concealing?

Conversely around the same time, al-Platform Media user "Abu al-Layth al-Hashimi al-Baghdadi" wrote a lengthy post "in defence of Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis":

Since the rise of Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis and its descent to the field of jihad with all force and weight, it has dealt with the present situation in word and deed. And unlike others, we have only gotten to the point of hearing of its existence on social media sites and forums.

And subhanu Allah, the mujahideen of the group do not hesitate to undertake any work whether in Gaza or the West Bank without both many of the people and even brothers in manhaj hastening and competing to attack them! And they characterize the group with unfitting qualities that should also not come from a monotheist Muslim. So what is the matter with you!! [And what]'s gotten into you! Oh brothers of manhaj...

By God, it is as though I see the hatred and malice emanating from your eyes out of resentment and hatred of them.

Is this an imposition on whoever bears the banner after your retreat and delay? Is this an imposition on whoever stretches forth his hand to you and calls on you to show solidarity, unity and agreement on united work? For they have only seen from you harshness, denunciation and belittling of the extent of their work. But also the matter has come to the point that you attribute their jihadi work and their killing of the three settlers in the West Bank to the Hamas movement even as it did not claim the deed...Is it to this degree resentment has blinded you?! Is it to this degree arrogance has blinded you?!...Oh you who have attacked the brothers in Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya, who made you authorities over the Salafi jihadi movement in Palestine?! And who are you to speak in the name of the Salafi jihadi movement in general to accept those you accept and condemn those you condemn?!

Why do you rush to attack them, pursuing the matter with an unrighteous face, and accuse the group falsely of publishing releases stolen from you? For by God, you must show me only one release it announced on al-Minbar al-'Ilami al-Jihadi [al-Platform Media] or Twitter that shows their stealing your releases! Who are you not only to speak in the name of the Salafi jihadi movement but also to distance yourselves from what they did to a Rafidite association?

[...]

Oh sons of the Sunna and Jamaat [Sunnis], why do you not rejoice in the striking of a Rafidite association?...You have said that the damages to the association were simple but if you yourselves had bothered to read the group's statement where they said that the explosive was small in size and it is but a warning that if things continued and the Shi'a were not prevented and their associations were not closed, the next one would be greater! [...]

It should be noted that the latter post does not address the criticisms or points raised by al-Qurashi in a substantive way. Based on the competing lines of argument, it seems a better assessment of Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis is that at best it is not *the* IS network in Gaza-Sinai but rather just a tiny underground group among a number of pro-IS entities in what is a very fragmented Salafi jihadi movement, which is not at the present time wholly aligned with IS as al-Qurashi claims. Note though in particular al-Qurashi's instructive comments on the existence of multiple 'Ansar al-Shari'a' brands, for example. An obvious question for observers is that if Jamaat Ansar al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi Bayt al-Maqdis were *the* IS network in the area, why does it not simply merge with Jamaat Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis to become part of Sinai province? The group may well have funnelled some specialists via Sinai to the Syria-Iraq arena to have representation in IS' ranks, but the group's real significance on the ground is somewhat in doubt. Its membership may well comprise no more than a handful to a couple dozen individuals, with a token presence in the West Bank.

The issue of multiple divisions and lack of unity within the Salafi jihadi movement in Gaza also points to its shortcomings in potential to undermine the Hamas government. Faced with weak and fragmented rivals, Hamas may not feel the need to launch a comprehensive crackdown at the risk of hurting its image as a 'resistance' movement to Israel, tolerating the departure of these ideological types to the Syria-Iraq battlefield where they are unlikely to be able to return to Gaza. In short, things are still very much in Hamas' favour in Gaza, and while the IS brand may prove more and more appealing to its Salafi rivals, that does not necessarily lead to a united organized movement to pose a serious challenge to Hamas' rule now or for the for seabble future. At the minimum, a timescale of 5-10 years should be expected for a meaningful shift in dynamics, if any.

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a graduate from Brasenose College, Oxford University, and a Jihad-Intel Research Fellow at the Middle East Forum. This article appeared January 02, 2015 and is archived at
http://www.aymennjawad.org/2015/01/jihadi-debate-over-jamaat-ansar-al-dawla -alContact Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi at list@pundicity.com


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LAWSUIT AGAINST REVLON CEO FOR RACIST, ANTI-SEMITIC REMARKS

Posted by Arutz Sheva, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Tova Dvorin who is a News correspondent for IsraelNationalNews/Arutz Sheva. English geek. Coffee addict. And always up for an interesting conversation. This article appeared January 02, 2015 on Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/189443#.VyOouUKVsWM

CEO allegedly said he 'can smell black people,' 'Jews stick together,' launched tirade against Americans.

lawsuit

A discrimination lawsuit has been filed against Revlon cosmetics CEO Lorenzo Delpani, according to the New York Post, for making bigoted remarks against African-Americans, Jews, and Americans in general.

Delpani, an Italian native who rose to the position in 2013, allegedly made a number of the comments during business meetings according to the plaintiff, former Revlon scientist Alan Meyers.

The CEO, who is also said in the suit to have personally bullied Meyers, said that he was "surprised" that there were not more Jews in the company as the main shareholder, Ron Perelman, is Jewish.

His reasoning was that "Jews stick together." He added that he was thankful that Perelman "isn't like that anymore."

Delpani also made comments against black people, saying that he "could smell a black person when he entered a room" after a meeting in South Africa.

The suit claims that Delpani also hated "dirty" and "small-minded" Americans, and that he couldn't wait to get back to a "real" country, and once launched a tirade in which he compared America to Islamic State (ISIS).

Meyers was specifically targeted by Delpani as well, he claims, and was fired from the company after four years when he complained about company-wide issues and Delpani's behavior. He is seeking punitive damages for the stress the ordeal has caused him, which include numerous health problems.

Revlon responded that they would "aggressively fight these baseless claims and this frivolous action," according to the Gazette.

Arutz Sheva, also known in English as Israel National News, is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism. Contact Arutz Sheva at news@israelnationalnews.com


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JOINING INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT WOULDN’T GUARANTEE PALESTINIANS A WAR CRIMES CASE

Posted by Daily Alert, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Jodi Rudoren who became Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times in May, 2012, after 14 years as a reporter and editor at the paper. She previously served as the paper's education Editor, deputy metropolitan editor and Chicago bureau chief. This article appeared January 01, 2015 on The New York Times and is archived at
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/world/middleeast/court-membership-wouldnt -guarantee-palestinians-a-war-crimes-case.html?_r=0

The political fallout from the Palestinian move Wednesday to join the International Criminal Court is likely to be swift and profound.

Israel is expected to withhold tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority, restrict officials' travel and possibly advance settlement activity in sensitive spots in the West Bank. The United States Congress may cut off $400 million in aid to the Palestinians. The already dim prospects for renewing peace talks now seem null.

But legal repercussions from last summer's war between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, or Israel's settlements, would take longer and face many hurdles.

The cases Palestinians plan to bring against Israel, and potential counterclaims against Palestinian officials, are unlike any the International Criminal Court has tackled in its dozen-year history. The Hague court, facing new scrutiny after the collapse last month of its case against the president of Kenya, may be wary of wading into the fraught politics of the Middle East, though doing so could help it rebuff longstanding criticism of its emphasis on pursuing African despots.

"It may jump at the chance because it's under fire," Geoffrey Robertson, a British lawyer and author, said of the court, which he follows closely. "This is an opportunity to get out of the endless African wars and to do something which is very much in the public eye, and very much of public importance," he added. "It would be a new and possibly productive way to deal with the cloudy legalities."

But other legal scholars said the United Nations' estimate that about 1,500 civilians were killed in Gaza might not meet the court's threshold for "unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity."

Michael P. Scharf, the dean of the Case Western Reserve University law school in Ohio, said that past cases "involved hundreds of thousands or at least tens of thousands of deaths," and that the court "requires that they be committed as part of a policy or plan, and not simply incidental to attacks on enemy targets." As for the settlements, Robbie Sabel, an international law professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said delving into them would put the court in the awkward position of essentially defining the borders of a Palestinian state.

"Up to now the crimes they have dealt with are mass murders and rapes, not where a border is, an issue which is clearly political," said Mr. Sabel, a former legal adviser to Israel's Foreign Ministry. "My assumption is that on the political issue of where the border should be, whether East Jerusalem should be part of the Palestinian state, they would hesitate."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said in a statement Thursday that he expected the court to reject the Palestinian Authority's "hypocrite application at once," but experts on international law said the court has indicated that it would not reject the application. Israel, like the United States, is not a member of the International Criminal Court, but Dore Gold, an adviser to Mr. Netanyahu, said Thursday, "the arena is not just The Hague."

"If they want to open up the legal arena, Israel has many tools," Mr. Gold said on Israeli radio. Citing cases in which victims' families have sued Iran in American courts for sponsoring terrorism, he added, "if there is property belonging to the Palestinian Authority in the United States and the Palestinian Authority is involved in terror attacks against Israeli citizens, we can help them with claims all over the world."

The papers the Palestinians signed Wednesday acceding to the Rome Statute, which established the court in 2002, will soon be delivered to the United Nations secretary general and distributed to the court's 122 member countries. There is then a 60-day waiting period before any member state can ask the court's prosecutor to look at the Palestinian situation, or she could decide to do so on her own. A self-defined "court of last resort," it would have to determine that Israel's justice system had not genuinely addressed accusations of war crimes.

There are also technical questions regarding the contours of Palestinian territory, the definition of Palestinian citizenship and the timetable for potential cases. Even preliminary inquiries can last for years.

Some experts say any incidents since the court was created are fair game, while others say the court can deal only with matters since the United Nations General Assembly upgraded Palestine's status to nonmember observer in 2012, or perhaps only after the Palestinian Authority joins the court in March. Shawan Jabarin, director of the human rights group Al Haq, said the Palestinians would submit a request for retroactive jurisdiction to last June 13, to coincide with the period being considered by the United Nations Human Rights Council's commission of inquiry.

Mr. Jabarin said the commission, with which Israel has refused to cooperate, would provide an initial report in March that could serve as a road map for the Hague court. Separately, his group and others have been documenting allegations of Israeli war crimes in Gaza, and are working with the Palestinian Authority to prepare complaints about Israeli settlements.

"The crime is not just the rape and the widespread killing or something like that, but also to transfer civilians and to confiscate land and to destroy property," Mr. Jabarin said. "It's a different way of rape, it's a different way of killing, it's a different way of destruction."

The court defines a war crime as "the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the occupying power, of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies." Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory Israel captured from Jordan in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967; experts said settlers were unlikely to face prosecution, but charges could be aimed at government officials who provided incentives to lure them.

"Crimes of aggression" may be added to the court's mandate in 2017, possibly including the annexation of lands - which Israel undertook in East Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights - military occupation and the blockade of coasts, as many international critics refer to Israel's restrictions on Gaza's waterways.

But the court has not yet dealt with such issues. Experts said thousands of complaints had been submitted - one in 2011 urging that the pope and three top Vatican officials be prosecuted for "abetting and covering up" the sexual assault of children by priests - but very few pursued. (The church abuse case was not.)

In November, the court's chief prosecutor declined to investigate the Israel Defense Force's deadly storming of a flotilla of ships delivering aid to Gaza, saying the "small number of victims" was not sufficiently grave. Joining the court would also open Palestinians to prosecution. Shurat HaDin, an Israeli legal organization, pre-emptively sent complaints to The Hague against President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and Khaled Meshal, a leader of the militant Hamas faction, as well as one about Turkey's occupation of Cyprus in 1974, hoping this would deter prosecution of Israelis.

Mr. Scharf, of Case Western, said any action in The Hague was "likely to unfold over a period of several years," if at all. Gaza "is not a case the I.C.C. prosecutor is eager to take on, given its immense geopolitical implications," he said in an email, and although settlements "may be inconsistent with international law," the court was "highly unlikely to consider them a crime against humanity or war crime."

After the criticism she faced over the Kenya case, he added, "I would think the I.C.C. prosecutor would be more cautious."

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org


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THE END OF THE MONOPOLY OF ISRAEL'S

Posted by Yoram Ettinger, January 02, 2015

"The demographic issue has become a source of profound controversy in Israel. Many see the demographic processes as a threat to the future of Israel as a state that is both Jewish and democratic, thereby necessitating rapid disengagement from the Palestinians, whether by means of a negotiated settlement or unilateral steps. Others dispute the need for panic, pointing instead to data indicating much more moderate trends: the Jewish majority will continue and even grow, both in the State of Israel proper and in the whole of the western land of Israel, certainly if the Gaza Strip is excluded...

"...In 2013 the Institute for Zionist Strategies published an updated, comprehensive study... The most significant differences [from the "demographers of doom"] indicate that the number of Palestinians in the PA is lower by 0.7-1.3 million than the number presented by the more alarmist approach and the data of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Moreover, the data shows a Jewish majority in all of [the area west of the Jordan River] today and a more significant majority in the coming two decades, especially if the Gaza Strip is excluded from the equation.

"This study contends that despite the forecasts of a demographic disaster, the Jewish population of the land of Israel has grown significantly over the last 120 years. According to the report, in 2012 the population in western Israel reached 10,755,000 (differing from Prof. DellaPergola's 12 million), which included a greater Jewish population of 6,332,900 (i.e., those who are eligible for Israeli citizenship according to the Law of Return though not necessarily Jewish according to religious law, or individuals unaffiliated religiously who nonetheless align themselves with the Jewish people); 4,109,000 Muslims (2,726,000 in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank); 181,000 Christians (52,000 in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank); and some 132,000 Druze. The rate of the expanded Jewish population is 59.14 percent of the total population of the western land of Israel [and a 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria pre-1967 Israel]...

"The study indicates a decreasing trend in the annual growth of the Arab population and a much more drastic decrease starting in 2030. It attributes the decrease in Arab annual growth and rates of reproduction to improved educational levels, the expansion of urbanization and modernization trends, the emigration of Arab youth abroad, and the aging of the Arab populations, leading to an increase of death rates. In fact, the continuation of the trend, alongside the increasing natural growth rate of the Jews in Israel, leads to equal rates of natural growth of Arabs and Jews...

"Similar assessments may be found in the work of Yoram Ettinger and Guy Bechor, who speak about erroneous demographic notions. According to Ettinger, the inflation of the number of Palestinians living in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is a Palestinian reaction to waves of Jewish immigration to Israel meant to scare the Jewish population and Israel's leadership; [according to the first Head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics] it is 'a civil intifada.' Ettinger also speaks of false demographic projections. In 1967, for example, the demographic establishment called on Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to withdraw from Judea and Samaria lest the Jews become a minority by 1987. In August 1988, Arnon Soffer warned of an Arab majority by 2008. Soffer and DellaPergola had ruled out further significant waves of Jewish immigration, but nonetheless more than one million immigrants arrived from the Commonwealth of Independent States. Ettinger sums it up as follows: 'The claim that the Jews are doomed to become a minority west of the Jordan River and that geography must be conceded in order to save demography is either phenomenally mistaken or scandalously misleading.'

In December 2013, Ettinger presented the findings of a comprehensive demographic study...These findings support the trends he had previously identified and findings presented in a comprehensive study conducted by the Institute for Zionist Strategies. The three key points of the study are:

a. The number of Arabs in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is 3.1 million, not 4.4 million as claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics;

b. The number of Arabs in the West Bank is 1.7 million, not 2.7 million as claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics;

c. In the area west of the Jordan River (excluding the Gaza Strip) there is a solid Jewish majority of 66 percent benefiting from emerging demographic trends...

"For many years, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics ignored data on net-emigration, instead noting thoroughly unrealistic positive net-immigration data (50,000 annually)... However, data actually indicates Palestinian net-emigration of some 20,000 annually....

"The data provided by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on deaths is much lower than what is reasonable by any demographic standard. This is a familiar pattern, attributable in part to the Palestinians' desire to continue enjoying the support of international organizations provided on a per capita basis.

"More than 300,000 Arabs carrying blue Israeli identity cards live in Jerusalem. They are counted twice - once by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics [as Israeli Arabs] and once by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics [as West Bankers]. This is also true of [over 100,000] Palestinians who become Israeli citizens or residents as a result of family reunifications..."

Shabbat Shalom and Happy New Year!

Ambassador Yoram Ettinger is a consultant on US-Israel relations as well as the Chairman of Special Projects at the Ariel Center for Policy Research. Formerly the Minister for Congressional Affairs to Israel's Embassy in Washington, DC, Ettinger also served as Consul General of Israel to the Southwestern US. He is a former editor of Contemporary Mideast Backgrounder, and is the author of the Jerusalem Cloakroom series of reports. Contact him at yoramtex@netvision.net.il And visit his website: http://yoramettinger.newsnet.co.il.


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FATAH PROMOTES VIOLENCE AND MARTYRDOM-DEATH TO MARK ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

Posted by PMW Bulletin, January 02, 2015

On occasion of the 50th anniversary yesterday of "the Launch" of the Fatah movement in 1965 when the organization carried out its first terror attack against Israel by attempting to blow up the National Water Carrier, Fatah is still promoting violence as "legitimate resistance" and Martyrdom-death as an ideal to strive for.

During December, Fatah posted several items on its official Facebook page that either promote the use of arms to fight Israel or encourage Palestinians to seek death for Allah. One text compared Mecca with Jerusalem:

Posted text and text on image:

"If the ground of Mecca is for worship, the ground of Jerusalem is for Martyrdom-death (Shahada)." [Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Dec. 12, 2014]

worship2

Another text described Fatah as the movement that "has taught us to love the homeland, and to love to die for it":

Text on image: "We owe much to Fatah. It is looking at us with Yasser Arafat's eyes, and is revealed to us through his black keffiyeh (head dress), so that we may take shelter in its shadow and keep its revolutionary symbolism. O young [Palestinians], Fatah is calling you. It is the mother that bestowed on us all the tenderness, hope, honor, dignity and pride. It has taught us to love the homeland, and to love to die for it. It has taught us that the right can neither be taken [away] nor given."

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page", Dec. 30, 2014]

revealed

Other posts glorified the rifle or advocated the use of weapons, as this post:

Posted text: "Take up your arms again, so that your enemy won't find rest"

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page",

Dec. 22, 2014]

A picture of a masked Fatah fighter holding a rocket also illustrated this message, with the text:

"We were created to resist - the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah's military wing) - Al-Asifa Army"

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page",

Dec. 30, 2014]

created

masked

Another Fatah Facebook post contained a video in honor of Fatah's anniversary. This image, showing pictures of Arafat and PA Chairman Abbas, is a poster from the video displaying the text:

"Fatah will carry on the struggle in all its forms until the liberation of the land and the man."

[Facebook, Fatah - The Main Page, Dec. 22, 2014

liberation

Similarly, the following text emphasizes the ongoing "revolution": "Fatah - a revolution that never dies."

[Facebook, Fatah - The Main Page, Dec. 23, 2014]

revolution

In October 2014, when Palestinians were rioting and carrying out terror attacks in Jerusalem, Fatah posted the following statement and image, also encouraging the use of violence:

rioting

At the time, Palestinian Media Watch documented many such statements and even direct promotion of terror attacks by Fatah, and PA leaders who called for "sacrifices and blood". Even PA Chairman Abbas implicitly encouraged violence when he told Palestinians to prevent "in any way" Jews from going to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Fatah has also used its anniversary to glorify past terror attacks. One Facebook post included a poster from the 5th anniversary of "the Launch" of Fatah, on Jan. 1, 1970, showing images of what appear to be terror attacks in various Israeli cities.

launch3

Posted text and on image: "Fateh everywhere; Lydda [Lod], Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat"

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page", Dec. 29, 2014]

Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch(http://www.pmw.org.il), is an authority on Palestinian Arab ideology and policy. He was Israeli representative to the Tri-Lateral Anti Incitement Committee established under the Wye accords, and has written reports on Palestinian Authority, Syrian and Jordanian schoolbooks. Nan Jacques Zilberdik is an analyst at PMW, focusing on the opinions and messages of the Palestinian Arab leadership as transmitted to the Palestinian Arab public, with an emphasis on the impact on peace, messages and values communicated to children, and glorification of terrorists.


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IT WAS A ROUGH ROAD FOR U.S. FOREIGN POLICY IN 2014

Posted by LinkedIn Pulse, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Carl Schreck who is an American biologist specializing in comparative endocrinology of fishes, best known for his contributions to our knowledge of stress in fish. This article appeared January 01, 2015 on LinkedIn Pulse and is archived at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/rough-road-us-foreign-policy-2014-maha-hamdan

When Islamic State (IS) militants seized the Iraqi city of Fallujah in January, U.S. President Barack Obama likened the current crop of jihadists to a "JV team," compared to Al-Qaeda.

Six months later, IS jihadists overran Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, which they still control. Three months after that, Obama vowed to vanquish "these terrorists [who] are unique in their brutality" and warned that they could pose a threat to the United States "if left unchecked."

The militant group's unexpected and meteoric rise was among the numerous crises in the turbulent foreign policy waters the Obama administration navigated in 2014, from a hot war in Ukraine to talk of a new Cold War with Russia, an ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis in Syria, to a seemingly unbreakable impasse in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

"Overall, the year has created the impression that it's an administration that's besieged," former U.S. State Department official David Kramer told RFE/RL.

Foreign policy analysts say 2014 proved to be a year in which various international crises diverted Obama's energies from the domestic front and compelled him to deploy American military and economic might to try to stamp out fires in various corners of the globe.

"I think the president has made pretty clear that he would like to, as he says, focus on 'nation-building at home,'" said Richard Fontaine, a former National Security Council staffer under Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush. "And the problem is that the world isn't going to let him or any other president do that to the exclusion of the rest of the world."

Strange Bedfellows In Syria

The rise of IS militants also presented complications in Obama's handling of the raging civil war in Syria, where he says President Bashar al-Assad has lost legitimacy for "ruthlessly murder[ing] thousands of his citizens."

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel conceded in October that Assad "derives some benefit" from U.S. military action targeting IS militants, who are also battling Assad's forces. Obama said weeks later that Washington is not considering coordinating with Assad to fight IS forces.

"There's no expectation that we are going to in some ways enter an alliance with Assad. He is not credible in that country," Obama said, adding that his administration was also not discussing removing Assad.

The issue of balancing the fight against IS militants and the White House's position on Assad was the subject of a memo sent by Hagel to Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, in October in which he expressed "concern about overall Syria strategy," a senior U.S. official told CNN.

A month after he wrote the memo, which was first reported by The New York Times, Obama accepted Hagel's resignation amid reported tensions between the Pentagon chief and the president's closest advisers.

Hot War, Cold War

The so-called "reset" policy with Russia launched in Obama's first term had been on the rocks at least since President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012 after a four-year stint as prime minister.

But the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Kremlin ally, in February amid massive street protests in Kyiv and other major cities sparked a series of events that plunged U.S.-Russian ties to lows unseen since the end of the Cold War.

The Kremlin proceeded to invade and annex Ukraine's Crimea territory in March, and fighting then erupted between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists that U.S., EU, and Ukrainian officials accuse Moscow of backing.

Since the conflict between Ukrainian forces and the separatists exploded in April, more than 4,600 people have been killed in eastern Ukraine. The conflict has left more than half a million people internally displaced and forced hundreds of thousands of others to flee the country, according to UN officials.

The Obama administration and EU allies imposed several waves of sanctions against senior Russian officials and wealthy businessman close to Putin in order to punish Moscow for its role in the conflict.

These measures, Obama has argued, are taking a significant toll on the Russian economy, which has seen its currency’s value plunge and is facing a potential recession amid tumbling global oil prices.

But U.S. lawmakers have criticized the White House for not taking a more forceful stand against Russian aggression, including by providing lethal military aid to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, pro-Russian rebels continue to control areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, however, and 85 percent of Russians approve of the job Putin is doing as president, according to a November poll by the respected Levada Center.

'Poison' Atmosphere

The collapse of U.S.-brokered peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in April marked the second unsuccessful attempt by the Obama administration to facilitate a lasting agreement and strained ties between Washington and Tel Aviv.

Months after the talks ended in an impasse, Israel launched a massive offensive in the Gaza Strip in a campaign to halt rocket fire by Hamas militants into Israeli territory. The Israeli operation left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians, while dozens of Israeli soldiers were also killed.

The pressure on Washington as a broker in the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate continued in December when the Palestinian Authority announced a draft UN Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands by November 2016 -- a move rejected by Israel.

'Big News'

The Obama administration did boast of major foreign policy successes in 2014, including a landmark agreement with China on climate change last month.

Under the agreement, which the White House described as "big news" in announcing it on Twitter, the United States would slash its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025 compared to 2005. China, meanwhile, announced that its emissions would peak in 2030.

Meanwhile, negotiations by the United States and other world powers with Iran over its nuclear problem have not fallen through completely. The sides failed to reach a comprehensive deal with Iran on its nuclear program by the self-imposed November 24 deadline but have have extended the deadline until July 1, 2015.

A deal could be complicated by a push by U.S. lawmakers to impose further sanctions on Tehran, which Western powers fear could obtain nuclear weapons. Iran claims its nuclear program is intended exclusively for peaceful purposes.

Question Of Strategy

Obama faced withering criticism in 2014 for what political opponents describe as a lack of strategy and vision for his foreign policy, which 54 percent of Americans disapproved of as of December 9 compared to 50.7 percent at the beginning of the year, according to the Huffington Post's poll tracker, based on regularly updated data from 25 pollsters.

Much of this criticism has, unsurprisingly, come from Republican lawmakers, though officials from his own party questioned his approach to global crises as well.

After Obama told reporters in September that "we don't have a strategy yet" for combatting IS militants in Syria, U.S. Senator Al Franken (Democrat-Minnesota) wrote in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder that he was "troubled" by the comment.

The White House, meanwhile, ultimately did formulate what it called a strategy to "degrade and destroy" IS militants, one that included waves of air strikes targeting jihadists both in Iraq and Syria and authorizing the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to Iraq.

It was a dramatic re-engagement of U.S. military forces in Iraq for a president who fulfilled a campaign promise in 2011 by declaring an end to the American-led war in Iraq and bringing U.S. troops home after nearly a decade of conflict there.

Obama has repeatedly reassured war-weary Americans that U.S. military personnel in Iraq will be advising local forces and not be sent into combat.

Fontaine, the former NSC staffer and president of the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, told RFE/RL that Obama's reluctance to move boldly on several policy fronts -- including with "meaningful arming of the Syrian rebels" and a residual force in Iraq -- can be traced to his wariness of his predecessor's policies.

"Some of the worries the world has and some of the events that have happened are at least arguably due in part to the desire to pull back from what the Obama administration saw as the excesses of the Bush administration's engagement abroad," Fontaine told RFE/RL.

Whether Obama's last two years in office will offer any respite on the foreign policy front remains unclear.

Less than a week before his resignation was announced, Hagel told the U.S. political talk show host Charlie Rose last month that his greatest concern is whether the United States and its leaders are "going to be able to get through this time, which is a very defining time and a difficult time."

"I told [Obama] not too long ago, 'I don't know of a time that's it's been more difficult to be president of the United States or lead in this country than right now," Hagel said.

Contact LinkedIn at news@linkedin.com


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HARPER/CREMATIONS PRESENTS

Posted by Marion Dreyfus, January 02, 2015

Hey, kids, try these on for size.

Our new textbooks, history books and fashionable geography, revised, updated and revisited.

The New York Times wrote an op-ed asking why, if the Republic found the election of Robert Dole so onerous, the people didn't hold a plebescite or something, a second election, to rectify the uncomfortable win of the WWII hero and Republican, husband of Liddy Dole. (And she likes this pet-name under this formulation.)

The war in the disputed Falklands, waged by the British under PM Margaret Thatcher, assisted by an aged Winnie Churchill well past his sell-by date, was alas lost to the Argentinians, and the Brits turned tail and returned, frigates between their navy, to the emerald Isle, but without their legendary millennial territory. It is now, of course, dubbed the Malvinas everywhere, including the UK texts taught to the largely Wahhabist students of the UK.

Kim Jong Il, still ill, hands over the North Korean barrens to his daughter, Kim jong Kimberly, a pretty little thing also fond of basketball. She is engaged to an American athlete, Dennis Rodman, who has just left the bedside of his former fiancee, Angela Basset.

Sen. Edward Kennedy succeeded in re-election after he decided against driving Mary Jo Kopechne home following a senatorial after-hours carouse with senate aides attended by all female secretaries and all-male Senate staffers. Kennedy is happily ensconced in a retirement home in Boca, frequently entertaining his playboy nephew, William Kennedy Smith, who is occasionally up to his old tricks of climbing trees as a prank, peering into women's dorms. Hyannis, the longtime Kennedy family preserve, is now in the possession of Steve Jobs, still going strong in his creative electronics mold, though considerably poorer, given the failure of his pet computer innovations of the '90s and '00s.

And this: Saddam Hussein, still living large in hius capacious palace in Baghdad, has genially handed the reins of his Iraqi domain to paradigms-in-chief, Cusay and Uday, for managerial continuity. The Hussein brothers appear often in the backrooms of clubs, dragging attractive young wives of other men into their lairs for a touch of R&R (rape and recuperation). Iraq continues its long, slow smolder as it is kept in check by the Hussein brothers. Achmadinejad, the little sad grocer in Tehran, is said to be becoming expert in the mystic arts of Hom's major industry, exotic carpet weaving. His silken output command fees in excess of $10,000 for a room-sized floor covering. Guaranteed to last. Diplomats to Iran's little peacable kingdom are as usual enjoying the embassy with its luxe pools and amenities. Iran has been most cordial to our vast embassy crew, and they write home to regale Stateside families how much they enjoy the sunny clime, as well as the frosty AC.

The Antarctic, now in the bearish sphere of USSR influence, has been declared a Nyet-Go zone, as the Soviets and Vladimir Putin extract minerals and precious commodities from the icy substrate, thereby increasing their country's output to oil, wooden nested dolls, and permafrost extracts.

Three NASA projects are slated to attempt landing on the Moon, as it is expected that a fine source of cheese maybe thus explored. First-time viewers are eagerly anticipating the landing, and the Space station to be set up is expected to lure in mucho dinero to the NASA boom down in Cape Truman.

Having won the war, Japan has instituted mandatory Kan'ji coursework in all secondary schools, and lunchrooms across the land feature wasabi and sushi-but the soy sauce is modified sodium from that current in Tokyo, as scientists have realized the toll taken on little stomachs by too much NaCl. The Deutsche curricula have been suspended for the past 60 years, as the Midnight Sun emperor decided German was too taxing on the throat and vocal chords of most speakers. And since the Japanese beat all the rest of the armies in 1949, Germans and Germanic were dispensable.

Or this: The bastard child of Stanley Ann Dunham, a multi-married amateur anthropologist and former pornographer's model for a petty Communist drug seller cum photographer in Chicago, was successfully aborted, following the Roe v. Wade court decision. And Ms. Dunham married a local boy, moved to Tallahassee, and began teaching Cultural byways of the Middle East, having instead of her first abortee child two others, both Caucasian, who have become credits to her race. Both are moderate socialists in good standing, dabbling in comic-book culture at every Comic Con to grace their sector of successful Detroit c.2014, and both have purchased but rejected the annals of radicalism peddled by one Saul Alinsky.

Oh, and President Ted Cruz recently jailed former SecSt Hillary Clinton for crimes linked to Benghazi, along with an unspecified number of coconspirators involved in the ambassadorial conflagration and deaths of many American servicemen and diplomatic corps. Her dresser and fashion consultant, Huma Abedin, was given special dispensation to visit Ms. Clinton, a widow, in jail for style consults every month or so. She has sort of renounced her Muslim Brotherhood linkage. Time will tell.

The State of Israel, a never-was, has been economically excised from the atlases of Harper/Cremations, so as not to damage the feelings of clients in the Middle East, those who ply their dinars and dirhams to revise textbooks to suit their mindset and wallets. Funded by the great gas and oil finds in the Med, named Qeviathan and Kamarisk, they have money to burn. So from the Sea to the Sea, Jordan, peaceful Syria and Mahmoud Abbas run a quiet casino of Mafia-like accountability and cautious income. All are invited into the Magic kingdom.

Contact Marion Dreyfus at dreyfusmarion@hotmail.com


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HOW CAMPUS SPEECH CODES SILENCE THE PRO-ISRAEL COMMUNITY

Posted by Ted Belman, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Alexandra Zimmern who is an Events Officer at National Review Institute, Revised and edited letters sent to the United States Trade Representative, Wrote and published summaries of bilateral and regional free trade agreements for the USDEC. This article appeared January 02, 2015 on Israpundit and is archived at http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603620?utm_source

College students today are facing the most serious threats to their civil liberties.

students

The infamous Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns and "apartheid week" displays on college campuses are not the only threat to Jewish students. A much greater threat looms: the inability for students to publicly defend their beliefs. While universities claim to be havens of open debate and intellectual curiosity, they are in reality black holes of political correctness. On campus, only certain ideas are worthy of consideration and Zionism is definitely not one of them. This culture doesn't just threaten members of the Jewish community, who are terrified to challenge those who accuse Israel of the most heinous crimes. Rather, it threatens all of us who value free speech and its ability to encourage criticism, debate, and original thought on college campuses.

While speech codes are thought to be a thing of the 90s, the truth is that college students today are facing the most serious threats to their civil liberties. From "trigger warnings" to "free speech zones," universities are slowly training students to become hypersensitive and incapable of deviating from ideologies that are in vogue.

But unlike the 90s, universities are now controlling speech in a much more insidious manner. Speech codes today manifest in vague and poorly written policies that try to protect students against harassment, sexual assault, and bullying. Seemingly, these policies serve the best interest of students who face these issues on campus. But practically, they give university administrators the power to punish students for harmless speech protected by the First Amendment, while ignoring due process for the accused.

It is shocking how many universities have such policies. Lehigh University, for example, defines harassment as "...unwelcome statements, jokes, gestures, pictures, touching, or other conducts that offend, demean, harass, or intimidate." I suppose they weren't planning to invite Sarah Silverman (or any other decent comedian) anytime soon. Georgetown University’s Code of Student Conduct includes punishable measures against incivility defined as behavior that "disrespects another individual." Since when is being disrespectful a crime? In Minnesota, St. Olaf College has a policy that disallows "creating or posting material that is offensive" on a campus computer. In other words, no emailing political memes, cartoons, or opinion articles...all of which could potentially offend someone.

Therein lies the real danger. How can we punish students or professors for saying something that might be understood as disrespectful? And should universities have the authority to decide what does and does not fall under these definitions on a case-by-case basis? For many students, the positions that conservatives take on social issues are offensive: anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, etc. But that shouldn't mean that these positions are illegitimate and that those who hold these opinions should be discriminated against. These policies, though, allow for exactly that.

The problem for Jewish students is that showing support for Israel on campus can be very offensive to anti-Israel students. Despite being the only progressive democracy in its region, many college students are absolutely convinced that Israel is to blame for all the problems of the Middle East. University departments, professors, and student groups are all actively pushing an anti-Israel agenda through divestment campaigns, apartheid week protests, and bigoted propaganda. They create a colonialist narrative that depicts Israelis as powerful white Westerners taking over an indigenous and vulnerable Arab population. As such, students regularly accuse Israel of crimes against humanity and label her supporters as promoters of those crimes.

Emboldened by anti-free speech policies created by administrations and by a "PC" culture, students are outraged when their peers try and pollute their egalitarian learning environment with offensive ideas (i.e. a Jewish state). So when pro-Israel students openly defend Israel against her haters, breaking down the intellectually homogeneous bubble Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and its followers try to create on campus, students are left with no other option but to silence their opponents.

Examples of this are endless. In 2011, SJP at Rutgers barred Jewish protestors from their 'free and open to the public' event that equated genocide in the Holocaust to destruction in Gaza. While most guests entered for free, as advertised, those with Jewish garb were forced to pay an entrance fee or leave.

At UCLA, in an attempt to silence his message and demonize his character, anti-Israel students disrupted the then US ambassador to Israel, Michael Oren, during his speech on campus. The first one to do so shouted, "Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech" as he took the stage. Others joined in, cheering, booing, and screaming at him while he tried to address the audience.

Perhaps one of the most egregious assaults on campus free speech happened in 2006 at San Francisco State University. Members of the College Republicans, in an anti-terrorism protest, stomped on the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah (both US-designated terrorist organizations). The student protestors were unaware that these flags contain the word "Allah" inscribed in Arabic. Offended by the protest, a student went to the administration complaining that the demonstration created a "hostile environment." Officials agreed and soon after informed the president of College Republicans that the school would be taking disciplinary action. Were the College Republicans being insensitive to their peers? Perhaps. But insensitive speech is protected speech and cannot be criminalized by universities.

At my own school, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the newly formed pro-Israel organization Madison Israel Club (MIC) has already experienced the dangers of idea discrimination. A student leader in MIC recently submitted an opinion piece to the student newspaper discussing matters related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In it, the author argues that the core issues in the conflict, such as Hamas' vile use of human shields, are often ignored in American media and on college campuses.

Shortly after he emailed the op-ed to the newspaper, a student editor responded with some suggestions. She asked if she could change the sentence that read, "Hamas regularly uses its own civilians as human shields" to "[Hamas] has been implicated in using its own civilians as human shields" (emphasis added). Doing so, the editor claimed, would allow the author to make his point while not conclusively stating that Hamas has in fact used civilians as human shields. This fact, she wrote, "has no definitive proof."

While her claim that there is no definitive proof that Hamas uses civilians as human shields is in itself troubling (there is overwhelming video and photographic evidence of this), perhaps what is most disturbing is her push to change the author's message...in an opinion piece. Must all editorials be based entirely in objective, definitive, empirical evidence? If that were the standard, surely they would never be able to allow anti-Israel authors who accuse Israel of apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and genocide to publish anything, ever.

I would argue that these anti-Israel claims are rooted in intolerance, perhaps even anti-Semitism. Still, they should not be silenced because of their offensive nature. Opinion articles are supposed to be full of controversy, bias, and information that may or may not be agreeable to readers. If we are concerned about egalitarianism then the answer is not to limit speech, it is to encourage it. It is not the place of college newspaper editors or university administrators to determine what kind of material college students can or cannot be exposed to.

The anti-speech movement on college campuses has implications far beyond the pro-Israel movement. It is a dangerous trend towards stifling debates and dismissing legitimate points of view. Ironically, the effort to create tolerance and equality by being overly cautious about what is said has only created an atmosphere of fear for those who have unpopular opinions. Administrators need to be training students to think critically and openly, rather than granting them the ability to filter ideas that may be unpleasant and punishing those who stir harmless controversy. The real education, after all, is not in the classroom. It is outside-where students consider, challenge, and debate their ideas. To destroy these critical opportunities is to destroy the educational process itself.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com This article was published January 02, 2015 in Israpundit and is archived at http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603620?utm_source=emailcampaign2127&utm_medium


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NY Times Discusses P.A. Lawfare

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 02, 2015

Jodi Rudoren's headline (NY Times, 1/1/15, A1) about the P.A. going into lawfare is, "Palestinians Set to Seek Redress in a World Court." Redress implies rectifying. That's taking the P.A. side. Actually, the P.A. violates its agreements and is terroristic. The P.A. needs rectifying, not Israel.

Why is the P.A. joining the International Criminal Court (ICC)? Rudoren tells us it is to pursue statehood. No, it is to defame Israel. Defamation is a step toward destruction. Those Muslims want not a state for its own sake, they want to destroy the Jewish state. This is the goal of jihad, which the NY Times masks.

The switch to lawfare came after the Security Council rejected a statehood resolution that would "end Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory." There never was a "Palestinian" country, so there is no occupation. So when Abbas refers to Israeli "aggression" against "our country" he is lying about "our country" and is lying about "aggression." The many attacks he incited or planned against Israel is the real aggression there.

He asserts that in his region, the "Palestinian cause is the key issue to be settled." I'd say the key issue is whether the Mideast Muslims can stay civilized or whether they will continue to rampage in jihad as ISIS and Iran are doing. The Palestinian Arabs have no cause, it's contrived to justify jihad.

The State Dept. opposes the lawfare, which it thinks impedes what "most Palestinians" want. He implies they want statehood. They don't. They want to seize Israel. What they want is negative, just jihad.

Rationalizing Abbas' application to the ICC, an Arab leader said that Abbas had to try something new to restore credibility lost to Hamas. The article does not explain why Hamas is more popular than Fatah and Abbas. Here’s why. Hamas fought Israel, whereas Abbas negotiated. Diplomacy failed, and the war was self-destructive. But fighting is honorable, those people believe. They didn't mind that Hamas fought via war crimes. As a whole, that is a barbarous people. They don't deserve a state nor international support. Why doesn't the Times explain all that? I think the reason is that the Times is anti-Zionist. It rarely lets in a good argument for Israel.

PM Netanyahu considers the application to ICC an aggressive, unilateral act. Is he right? Not discussed. Also unstated is that that act is banned by the Oslo Accords, ratified by the P.A., U.S., and Israel.

A photograph shows Abbas marking 50 years of the Fatah movement. No hint is given that Fatah committed numerous terrorist acts, murdering thousands of Israelis.

Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) is identified as having filed war crimes complaints against Hamas. Abbas said that his application to the ICC means that other P.A. officials could become sued as a result. That is not complete and not correct. The Times should have consulted Shurat HaDin. Abbas knows that Shurat HaDin has prepared a lawsuit against him as a citizen of Jordan, which already belongs to ICC, and was holding off in case he didn't join the ICC. (On 1/2/15, the same reporter acknowledged that Shurat HaDin filed ICC lawsuits against Abbas, to pre-empt him.)

A Palestinian Arab academic criticized the P.A., but in doing so, referred to Israel as a "de facto apartheid regime." (That is slander. What kind of a newspaper repeats slander without at least asking for specifics and giving the other side an opportunity to rebut? The Times leaves readers with false defamation as "information."

ACCOMPANYING EDITORIAL

The editorial alleges a "Palestinian dream of an independent state." Can the editors really not know that the whole propaganda apparatus, including what is called education, promotes the Islamist dream of destroying an independent state, Israel? Most of the P.A. people have been indoctrinated to believe that. Don't Times editors read polls of P.A. residents?

If the editors were frank about this, they would have no excuse for advocating a "two-state" set-up.

PM Netanyahu is steadily expanding Jewish communities in the disputed Territories, and that makes a two-state set-up decreasingly likely, the editors assertion. But they cite no examples. He authorized one new community. Others get more houses, but remain within their boundaries. Jewish communities sit on no more than 5% of the Territories, so the notion of a great expansion and inability to set up an Arab state are exaggerated.

How unfortunate, it is, feel the editors, that Abbas applied to the ICC, because that "has given Israeli hardliners new ammunition to attack the Palestinians and reject peace talks." Since the P.A. is engaged in jihad, what the Times calls "peace talks" are jihadist attempts to gain by diplomacy what they can't win by force of arms. Israelis who oppose jihadist diplomacy are not "hardliners" but sensible. Most Israelis agree with them. However, the editors call them a name, to make them seem a minority and to slight their views. It's easier to defame a patriotic Israeli view than to debunk it.

The editors refer to P.A. intent to bring charges against Israeli officials. But Israel doesn't commit war crimes, the P.A. does. Its charges would be fabricated. The P.A. is hoping that the ICC will be as unfair to Israel as is the UN.

The editorial hope is that these events will prompt both sides to compromise for peace. Israel has made many compromises, the P.A. has not. Nor do the Times and State Dept. itemize any tangible compromises they expect of the P.A., only what they want of Israel. They fail to acknowledge that what they want would deprive Israel of defensible borders. I take all that as proof of bias against Israel and disinterest in peace.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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CALIFORNIA BEGINS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DRIVERS LICENSE PROGRAM

Posted by Jonathan Garthwaite, January 02, 2015

The article below was written by Kevin Glass who is Director of Policy and Outreach at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. This article appeared January 02, 2015 and is archived at
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/kevinglass/2015/01/02/california-begins-illegal-immigrants-drivers-license-program-n1937969?utm_source=thdailypm&utm_medium=email&utm_ campaign=nl_pm&newsletterad=thpm1Townhall

license

Under California's Safe and Responsible Drivers Act, illegal immigrants will be able to apply for drivers licenses this year. Before, a legal social security number was required for a license in California, but under the new law as many as 1.4 million illegal immigrants are expected to be granted licenses.

California on Friday will start taking driver's license applications from the nation's largest population of immigrants in the country illegally.

California is one of 10 states that now provide licenses to immigrants in the country illegally. The licenses issued to immigrants without legal status will include a distinctive marking and are not considered a valid form of federal identification.

As the AP notes, this wouldn't be the first state to provide drivers licenses to illegal immigrants, but it would be opening the largest illegal immigrant population in the country to a program that would grant drivers licenses.

Contact Jonathan Garthwaite at THeditor@TownHallmail.com


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AL SHARPTON'S THUGGISH "FUND RAISING"

Posted by Edward Cline, January 03, 2015

Having had my stomach full of news about Al Sharpton, the card sharp of racism, I decided to search the Internet for more information on him. Quite by chance in the course of my search I happened upon a few articles which detailed how Adolf Hitler was able to persuade so many German businesses and industries to support the burgeoning and noisy NSDAP (the National Socialist German Workers Party, or the Nazi Party) from the 1920's on up through his accession of the Chancellorship in 1933. I read many of these articles and book reviews, suspecting, and as it turned out, rightly, that Al Sharpton's methods of garnering public and not-so-public support and money for his National Action Now (NAN) organization, emulated those of Hitler and the Nazis.

A black "NSDAP," or, if you will, a National Socialist Black Workers Party (NSBAP)? Or, just plain NAN? Sharpton professes much interest in and anger over the plight of the "economically oppressed and exploited" black man. If there is any truth to Sharpton's rants, it is that the Democratic Party and its economic policies are responsible for black unemployment and also its "social" policies of keeping blacks dependent on government largesse (aka, handouts and entitlements). Or, as some pundits would have it: Keeping them on the welfare state plantation. But this is something Sharpton will never recognize or permit. Manumitting blacks from Democratic possession and thralldom would liberate them from him and from government dependency.

Hitler's addresses to German businessmen were, to put it mildly, preliminary shakedowns. Later, after he seized power in 1933, would come the arm-twisting, openly soliciting the "cooperation" of big business - or else face nationalization and/or a one-way trip to a concentration camp.

Reading up on how Hitler cajoled, persuaded, and subtly threatened German business executives and tycoons to support the Nazi Party with financial donations or at least to speak well of it or not actively oppose it concerning the Party's vision and plans for economic recovery, I noted that Sharprton's extortionate methods differ not a whit from Hitler's.

Hitler gave over 5,000 speeches during his career as a political activist and agitator and later as Fuhrer. He spoke frequently at business get-togethers and formal meetings of various business associations. At the same time, most of these businessmen and associations gave in nearly equal sums to the various competing parties that were vying for political power in the Reich of the Weimar Republic, except to the Communists. Like many American companies today seeking protection from expected political mischief, they played both sides of the fence and then some.

Sharpton apparently studies the field of American businesses to spot ones that might be open to boycotting and public browbeating over alleged discriminatory practices against blacks (and sometimes against Latinos) and makes his move. In typical "community organizer" style, he employs the Alinsky tactic of targeting a "mark," isolating it, and fulminating against it with as much fiery media-friendly bombast as his limited vocabulary can muster. He invents problems where none before existed. Sooner or later the "mark" caves under scurrilous publicity (with a big assist from the MSM), makes concessions, and donates money to NAN.

Like his ally in race politics, Jesse Jackson, Sharpton poses as a firebrand for justice, but his notion of "justice" is of the liberal, Progressive brand, "social justice." He declaims in his semi-literate, raucous way for entitlements rather than civil or natural rights. His sole skill has been to set fire to asbestos. He is a career arsonist of racial harmony with a vested interest in social turmoil and political conflagrations and likes to see that harmony go up in smoke. He is a racist and race hustler with a stake in racism. Without racism, real or imagined, he, like Jesse Jackson, would be an obscure Baptist preacher in a store-front church no one would have any reason to know about.

The New York Post's article of June 15th, 2008, "Rev. Al Soaks Up Boycott Bucks" listed several companies that were subjected to Sharpton's card sharp tactics.

Anheuser-Busch gave him six figures, Colgate-Palmolive shelled out $50,000 and Macy's and Pfizer have contributed thousands to the Rev. Al Sharpton's charity. Almost 50 companies - including PepsiCo, General Motors, Wal-Mart, FedEx, Continental Airlines, Johnson & Johnson and Chase - and some labor unions sponsored Sharpton's National Action Network annual conference in April [in 2008].

Terrified of negative publicity, fearful of a consumer boycott or eager to make nice with the civil-rights activist, CEOs write checks, critics say, to NAN and Sharpton - who brandishes the buying power of African-American consumers. In some cases, they hire him as a consultant.

Most corporate donors enter Sharpton's House of Contrition and Reparations with their eyes wide open and with little doubt about the nature of their "support" - that it's nothing more than Mafia-style "Pay us not to break your windows or your kneecaps" protection money.

"We support those that support us," wrote Sharpton and the Rev. Horace Sheffield III, president of NAN's Michigan chapter, in a letter to American Honda. "We cannot be silent while African-Americans spend hard-earned dollars with a company that does not hire, promote or do business with us in a statistically significant manner."

More briefly, Sharpton promises not to put the squeeze on companies that surrender to his extortion.

In 2003, Sharpton targeted American Honda for not hiring enough African-Americans in management... Two months after American Honda execs met with Sharpton, the carmaker began to sponsor NAN's events - and continues to pay "a modest amount" each year, a spokesman said.

Extortion is extortion and it is a criminal offense.

"I think this is quite clearly a shakedown operation," said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center in Virginia, a conservative corporate watchdog. "He's good at harassing people and making noise. CEOs give him his way because it is a lot easier than confronting him."

Unlike Hitler, who was maneuvering for the German chancellorship, Sharpton isn't aiming for the White House (except as a frequent guest of Barack Obama when they probably yuk it up over the number they're both pulling on the country - "We're fixin' those gun-clingin' honkies real good, ain't we, Bro?"). The Conservative Tribune has a more dramatic way of listing all the companies Sharpton has in his pocket.

Not all the media is duped by Sharpton's antics and pose as a "civil rights" advocate. Not even National Public Radio (NPR), the federally licensed and subsidized emitter of the party line, denied Sharpton's deleterious role in race relations. Kelsey Dallas of the Deseret News reported last August, during the Ferguson riots and destruction:

His presence in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City following the recent police-involved shooting deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner raise the question: Do Sharpton's regular appearances detract from the strength of his message? [Note: Garner wasn’t shot.]

In January 2013, NPR published an in-depth look at Sharpton's daily life, parsing the many myths that surround his civil rights work.

"The Rev. Al Sharpton has spent nearly all of his adulthood in the spotlight, earning both praise and condemnation," NPR explained. "He has been called a race-monger, anti-Semite, shameless self-promoter and a shakedown artist who has used the threat of protest to extra corporate donations for his civil rights organization, National Action Network. (But) he's also respected for his commitment to nonviolence and asked a judge for leniency for the man who stabbed him."

Sharpton recently met with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, police commissioner William Bratton and other faith leaders in the wake of Garner's death to discuss the relationship between community members and law enforcement officers. The Wall Street Journal reported Sharpton was a polarizing figure in the discussion, criticizing Bratton's policies. Sharpton will be in New York again Aug. 23 to lead a march protesting police's role in Garner's death July 17.

Sharpton is no more "committed to nonviolence" than was Hitler in annexing Austria and invading Poland. Or France, or Belgium. He has an amorphous army at his beck and call to picket companies with noisy chants and to commit violence, invariably drawn from the Left.

The only thing Sharpton's mobs lack is uniforms by Hugo Boss.

The New York Post reported in 2008:

NAN, which began humbly in Harlem in 1991 with Saturday-morning rallies at PS 175, now boasts 45 chapters across the country. The group lobbies for African-American rights and raises awareness of issues such as police brutality and racial profiling. "Sharpton went national just like a franchise," said Flaherty. "Each of these local chapters can now hit up businesses for support in their communities."

NAN, a tax-exempt nonprofit, closely guards its corporate largesse. Most companies also keep the sums secret, and some would not divulge them. The corporations interviewed by The Post viewed their relationships with NAN as friendly and beneficial.

Anheuser-Busch states on its Web site that it gave the group "between $100,000 and $499,000" last year.

It would be fair to assume that since 2008, Anheuser-Busch has forked over to NAN at least $1 million not to have its Clydesdales poisoned or castrated.

Before and after two New York City policemen were murdered by a Muslim in Brooklyn, Sharpton was engaged in anti-police rabble-rousing and was partly responsible for inciting the murders.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared on Sunday that MSNBC activist host Al Sharpton and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder were guilty of inciting the murder of two police officers in Brooklyn over the weekend.

On Saturday, NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were shot to death while sitting in their patrol car. The suspect eventually turned the gun on himself after police caught up with him at a subway station. Messages posted to his social media accounts indicated that the suspect intended to commit violence against law enforcement officers in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown...

"For [President Obama] to embrace Sharpton," Carlson opined, "Who is just an open bigot and a criminal and a tax cheat, who's been whipping up race hatred in New York for all these decades. For the president of the United States to embrace this guy as a personal friend, an adviser, to show up at the NAN meetings, to have him in the White House again, and again, and again, and again, to endorse his message -- boy, no wonder you've got craziness going on in the streets."

Carlson should not be so surprised that the current President of the United States would fraternize with a thug. After all, he nominated another racist thug, Eric Holder, to be his Attorney General. Obama and Sharpton are birds of a feather. However, as Newsmax reported on December 20th:

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik told Newsmax that Saturday's execution-style shooting of two uniformed police officers was ultimately encouraged by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Rev. Al Sharpton - and "they have blood on their hands."

"de Blasio, Sharpton and all those who encouraged this anti-cop, racist mentality all have blood on their hands," he said. "They have blood on their hands." The two officers were shot about 3 p.m. while sitting in their marked car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn by a man identified as Ismaaiyl Brinsley.

He wounded his girlfriend in a shooting in Baltimore before driving to New York and ambushing the officers, according to the New York Daily News.

Brinsley, who reportedly belonged to a gang, later killed himself on a crowded Brooklyn subway platform as police closed in on him. He bragged on his Instagram page just hours before that he wanted to kill police officers, the Daily News reports.

Investigators said that Brinsley was avenging the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown by killing the officers.

Kerik told Newsmax that the officers' deaths resulted from a climate created by de Blasio, Sharpton and other New York City officials.

This guy's intent - based on that Instagram post - was retribution for Eric Garner and Michael Brown," he told Newsmax. "The people who encouraged these protests - you had peaceful protesters who were screaming 'kill the cops' - the so-called peaceful protesters.

"Who was encouraging these protesters? De Blasio, Sharpton and other elected officials and community leaders. They encouraged this mentality. They encouraged this behavior."

Well, so does Islam. I'm surprised that CAIR and Louis Farrakhan haven't weighed in much publically on the issue. Brinsley posted on his Facebook page a quotation from the Koran, verse 8:60: "Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah." I can picture Sharpton nodding his head in agreement. Strike terror, and then pick their pockets.

Columnist Michelle Malkin touches on Sharpton's criminal past in her October 19th, 2009 column, "Yes, let's talk about Al Sharpton's racial demagoguery, shall we?" in which she all too briefly describes Sharpton's Tawana Brawley hoax in 1987, his provoking anti-Semitic riots in Brooklyn in 1995, and his fatal Freddy's Fashion Mart adventure in Harlem in 1995.

Al Sharpton is just one "poster child" among many Progressive radicals dedicated to stirring up racial conflict and overall social turmoil. He is the spawn of moral relativism, who, in an age of reason, would not have a chance to rise above his mean malevolence to attain anything more than the obscure notoriety of a loud-mouthed bigot.

In a civilized society, his basic nasty character would get him into barroom fights and more often than not deservedly have the crap beat out of him, either by a "cracker" (his favorite term for whites) or by a "brother" who also would have had enough of his mouth.

Edward Cline is an American novelist and essayist. He is best known for his Sparrowhawk series of novels, set in England and Virginia before the American Revolutionary War. Contact him at skeen66@gmail.com


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LEGALIZATION OF AMONA IN COALITION DEAL

Posted by Ted Belman, January 03, 2015

The article below was written by Ido Ben-Porat, and Ari Yashar and published today January 02, 2015 on Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/189436# .VznwHUKVsWN

evacuation

Jewish Home MKs Ayelet Shaked and Orit Struk arrived at Amona in Samaria on Thursday, where they met with residents and promised to take action against the High Court ruling last Thursday ordering the destruction of the entire town within two years.

In the meeting the legal circumstances were discussed - there is no evidence behind the Arab land claims against the town and not even an Arab claimant; further, large parts of the community have been legally purchased. The MKs then spoke about political actions they are hoping to take for the town.

"The Jewish Home legal crew will prepare in a future coalition agreement clauses arranging the legal status of settlement in Judea and Samaria," said Shaked, possibly referring to an adoption of the 2012 Levy report which proved Israel's presence in the region is legal under international law.

The call for action echoes those made by Shevah Stern, head of the Likud's "National Headquarters" faction, who called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to commit to legalizing Amona ahead of the elections.

It also echoes calls by Rabbi Yair Frank, the rabbi of Amona, for Likud and Jewish Home candidates to obligate themselves to defending Amona.

Attorney Avichai Boaron, a resident of the town who is a candidate in Jewish Home primaries, told the MKs about the legal complexities of the town's status and the danger of the precedent-setting High Court ruling.

"The court didn't accept the position of the state, both regarding the land which doesn't have a concrete claimant on it, and also allowed an unspecific claimant that has no connection to the land to sue the residents and be paid by them," said Boaron.

The attorney continued "these two points in which the position of the state wasn't accepted in effect pave the way legally for the evacuation of thousands of homes, built dozens and more years ago and located on private property that has no concrete claimant against it. This ruling essentially invites the submission of numerous petitions by leftist organizations against old building on private property."

Struk on Thursday condemned the High Court ruling, particularly by comparing it to the court's decision on Wednesday to suspend the demolition order on the home of Mu'taz Hijazi, the Islamic Jihad terrorist who tried to murder Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com This article was published Today in Israpundit and is archived at http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603631?utm_source
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26 WAYS THE MEDIA BOTCHED THEIR REPORTING ON THE LATEST BENGHAZI REPORT

Posted by The Heritage Foundation, January 03, 2015

The article below was written by Sharyl Attkisson who is an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist, is a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal. She hosts the Sunday morning news program "Full Measure" and wrote the New York Times bestseller Stonewalled." Send an email to Sharyl. This article appeared December 31, 2014 on the Daily Signal and is archived at
http://dailysignal.com/2014/12/31/26-ways-media-botched-reporting-latest -benghazi-report/?utm_source

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U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other members of his diplomatic mission, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith and U.S. embassy security personnel Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods were killed in the attack on Benghazi. (Photos: Wikimedia Commons)

It neither "exonerates" nor "debunks."

It specifically states that it is not the final word on Benghazi.

Yet national press outlets claimed all of the above about the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi released on Nov. 21.

It neither "exonerates" nor "debunks."

It specifically states that it is not the final word on Benghazi.

Yet national press outlets claimed all of the above about the House Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi released on Nov. 21.

This is a Daily Signal news analysis. See more of Sharyl Attkisson's reporting.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. We'll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

The Washington Post stated that "the panel's findings were broadly consistent with the Obama administration's version of events," though many of the administration's versions of events have been discredited or proven incorrect.

USA Today portrayed the report as a sweeping effort that "cleared the Obama administration of any wrongdoing" and the Associated Press claimed the report concluded "there was no wrongdoing by Obama administration officials," though it didn't examine most aspects of the administration's actions regarding Benghazi. For example, the committee did not attempt to dissect White House actions or decision-making. And it did not generally "assess State Department or Defense Department activities" (page 4).

What the House Intelligence Committee did do was focus on a narrow slice of Benghazi: the intelligence community. As such, the report largely defends the CIA.

It is nothing more or less than another in a series of compartmentalized investigations into the Benghazi debacle.

The House Armed Services Committee focused on actions of the Pentagon, largely serving to defend military interests. The Accountability Review Board focused on actions of the State Department, though it chose not to interview some key players, such as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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An armed man waves his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi late on Sept. 11, 2012. (Photo: Getty Images/Newscom)

Each investigation occurred over a different time period amid two years of evolving accounts by Obama administration officials as new information filled in blanks or contradicted previous official accounts. In some instances, investigations produced findings that contradicted one another or documentary evidence.

And no single investigation on Benghazi to date has heard from all relevant witnesses or had full access to complete information.

So why did some in the news media adopt the spin of Democrats such as Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff, who claimed the report "completely vindicated" the White House?

Some media even used the charged language of the Obama administration, disparaging those investigating the many contradictions and unanswered questions as "conspiracy theorists."

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The Accountability Review Board focused on actions of the State Department, though it chose not to interview some key players, such as then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.(Photo: Olivier Douliery/Newscom)

The Huffington Post claimed the Intelligence Committee report "torched conspiracy theories." AP and USA Today claimed it "debunked a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies." Slate likewise stated that the committee had "debunked Benghazi conspiracies."

The articles advance limited and sometimes inaccurate representations of the committee report. They fail to acknowledge the countless documented instances in which the Obama administration provided false or conflicting information about Benghazi and hid information entirely from public view.

Contradictions

At times, the committee report-as it defends the intelligence community's performance during Benghazi-flies in the face of evidence. It relies heavily on witnesses who have previously given inaccurate information or testimony: then-CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

1) The committee concluded, "the CIA ensured sufficient security for CIA facilities in Benghazi." Yet security was insufficient to prevent terrorists from overrunning the CIA Annex, killing two of the four Americans who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2012.

2) The committee found "no evidence" of a "stand down order." But that is at direct odds with testimony from some eyewitnesses. Three security operators stated they were given a "stand down" order in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

3) The committee appeared to focus on technical utterance of the words "stand down" and "order" rather than the spirit of the allegation: that willing responders were delayed or prevented from providing urgent help. For example, the committee acknowledged that CIA Annex team members "wanted urgently to depart the Annex" to "save their State Department colleagues" but that the chief of base in Benghazi "ordered the team to wait" to assess the situation (page 21). Also, the committee didn’t address the case of the Foreign Emergency Support Team in the United States, which began "packing its bags" to respond to Benghazi, only to have the State Department block its deployment.

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National Intelligence Director James Clapper (Photo: Pete Marovich/Newscom)

4) The committee found "no evidence" of "denial of available air support" and stated that, "he CIA received all military support that was available" (page 24). But testimony provided earlier to the House Armed Services Committee acknowledged that the military could have launched an F-16 fighter jet and decided against it.

"The mentality of everybody was, [launching an F-16] doesn't make sense. ...Now, in hindsight, 20/20, we know that there was another attack at 5:15 in the morning," U.S. Africa Command General Carter Ham previously testified.

In addition, the president's principle military adviser, Maj. Gen. Darryl Roberson, previously acknowledged in testimony to another congressional committee that military aircraft could have buzzed the hostile Benghazi crowd to try to scatter it.

"So there is a potential you could have flown a show of force and made everyone aware that there was a fighter airborne," Roberson conceded to the House Armed Services Committee.

Further, there were U.S. military assets in Djibouti that remained untapped. A former U.S. ambassador to East Africa stated, "The [Benghazi] compound was under siege for almost nine hours. The distance of 1,900 miles is within the range of the 'combat ready' F-15s, AC-130s and special forces."

5) The committee found “no evidence of an intelligence failure." Yet there was obviously an intelligence failure, since terrorists bearing heavy arms and rocket-propelled grenades planned and successfully executed multiple attacks on the Benghazi compound and Annex.

Another intelligence failure documented by the committee is the flawed analysis by a Washington, D.C.-based CIA officer who reportedly convinced Morell to advance the YouTube video narrative even though the CIA station chief on the ground in Libya had said that was not the case.

6) The committee accepted Morell's claim that the talking points were not on the agenda of a Sept. 15, 2012, White House Deputies Committee meeting prior to U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice's advancing the incorrect spontaneous protest narrative on Sunday TV talk shows (page 29). However, internal emails show that Obama Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes specifically convened the meeting to discuss various agencies' disputes about the talking points.

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Michael Morell, acting director of the CIA, arrives at a closed briefing Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, in Washington, D.C, concerning the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/Newscom)

7) The committee accepted Morell's testimony that changes to the talking points were "in no way due to White House political influence" and were just "a reflection of how little we knew at the time" (page 30). However, documents show the State Department had voluminous information about terrorist links and had already notified Libya, in no uncertain terms, that Ansar al-Sharia was responsible for the attacks.

Inconsistencies

Though the Washington Post claimed the committee's findings were "broadly consistent with the Obama administration's version of events," they differed in many substantive respects.

1) The Obama administration initially claimed no security requests were denied. But the committee confirmed the State Department repeatedly denied security requests (page 16).

2) The Obama administration initially claimed there was "a robust American security presence inside the compound, including a strong component of regional security officers." But the committee found there was a handful of State Department diplomatic security agents who were apparently unarmed when attacked.

3) The Obama administration repeatedly blamed the attacks on a mob motivated by a YouTube video and initially claimed there was no meaningful evidence of terrorist involvement. But the committee stated that all of the Obama administration officials interviewed "knew from the moment the attacks began that the attacks were deliberate terrorist attacks against U.S. interests. No witness has reported believing at any point that the attacks were anything but terrorist acts" (page 25).

4) The Obama administration initially claimed, in March 2013, that government press officials made no changes to the Benghazi talking points. But the committee found that CIA public affairs officials made three critical changes to the talking points (page 30).

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President Barack Obama talks with Ben Rhodes. (Photo: Amanda Lucidon/The White House

5) Morell initially claimed he had no idea who changed the Benghazi talking points. But the committee confirmed that Morell was directly involved in making and overseeing key talking points changes to remove mention of terrorism and al Qaeda.

6) The Obama administration initially claimed the attacks were an outgrowth of protests. But the committee found "there was no protest" (page 2).

"Exoneration"?

Although USA Today claimed the committee "cleared the Obama administration of any wrongdoing," the actual report makes numerous references to administration officials doing things wrong.

1) The committee confirmed that the Obama administration's public narrative blaming the attacks on a YouTube video was "not fully accurate."

2) The committee stated that the process to develop the inaccurate talking points was "flawed" and "mistakes were made."

3) The committee found that Morell wrongfully relied on his incorrect analyst in Washington, D.C., instead of his correct chief of station in Libya, who explicitly stated the attacks were "not spurred by local protests" (page 27).

Furthermore, the "Additional Views" appendix to the committee report, submitted by Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and three other Republicans, found the following:

4) Morell "operated beyond his role as CIA deputy director and inserted himself into a policy-making and public-affairs role" when he removed references to terrorism from the talking points (Appendix 1, page 7).

5) Morell provided testimony that was "at times inconsistent and incomplete" (Appendix 1, page 7).

6) The Obama administration failed to exert "sufficient effort to bring the Benghazi attackers to justice" (Appendix 1, page 8).

7) The Obama administration's response to the attacks was marred by "inadequate interagency coordination" and "devoted inadequate resources to this effort and lacked a sense of urgency" (Appendix 1, page 8).

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Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Newscom)

8) Senior State Department officials, including then-Secretary Clinton, placed U.S. personnel "at unnecessary risk" by dismissing "repeated threat warnings" and denying requests for additional security (page 2).

9) Senior U.S. officials perpetuated the "YouTube" narrative that "matched the administration's misguided view that the United States was nearing a victory" over al-Qaeda.

10) The administration's "failed policies continue to undermine the national security interests" of the United States.

11) There was a "failure of senior U.S. officials to provide for the defense of U.S. interests against a known and growing terrorist threat."

12) The State Department "failed to provide sufficient security for its facility in Benghazi" (page 3).

13) The Obama administration perpetuated a "false view of the terrorist threat" that "did not comport with the facts" (page 4).

Missing the Mark

Even as some news reports stated that Republicans had in essence "exonerated" the Obama administration on all counts, Chairman Rogers attempted to correct the mischaracterizations.

In an op-ed published Dec. 10, Rogers stated, "Some have said the report exonerates the State Department and White House. It does not."

rogers
House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

He went on to state that his committee looked only at narrow questions as they pertain to the intelligence community. For that reason, he said, the committee did not interview key eyewitnesses from the Department of Defense and the State Department.

It remains unclear how so much news reporting could miss the mark as far as it did.

One news article claimed the Intelligence Committee report concluded Rice innocently relied on bad intelligence on Sept. 16 when she advanced the spontaneous protest. Yet the actual report clearly states that the committee has no idea what the White House communicated to Rice before she presented the talking points.

A news article unequivocally stated that "it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call" on the nature of the attacks. Yet the report is clear that it did not examine the role of political appointees or figures in the White House, State Department or Defense Department.

Eight Investigations

In reporting on the House Intelligence Committee's Benghazi report, numerous news outlets headlined that there have been seven investigations on Benghazi and that an eighth is underway-the House Select Committee on Benghazi.

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Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (second from right), chairs the first public hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The implication is that Benghazi has been more than thoroughly examined and those who support continued inquiry are beating a dead horse.

Indeed, eight investigations might be overkill if each had been comprehensive and duplicative, and had turned up no new information. But each has uncovered new facts or different versions of facts as Obama administration accounts have continue to evolve.

The necessity of further investigation isn't a function of how many probes have been held, but of their depth and quality as well as the contradictions unearthed and the quantity of outstanding questions. In those respects, one easily could argue there haven't yet been enough investigations into Benghazi.

The Heritage Foundation is an American conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C. The foundation took a leading role in the conservative movement during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, whose policies were taken from Heritage's policy study Mandate for Leadership. Heritage has since continued to have a significant influence in U.S. public policy making, and is considered to be one of the most influential conservative research organizations in the United States. Contact The Heritage Foundation at morning@heritage.org


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A VIEW FROM AARON'S WINDOW

Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 03, 2015

Aaron Adirim holds half an hour radio talk show each Saturday, at 6:00 p.m. on KRLA AM 870, Los Angeles. That is where I heard of Aaron. What got me so interested in him to have asked to interview him is not the top of technology window manufacturing plant he owns, which he regularly advertises on the radio station, but his rare and so very positive and "right on" views on life and the real world we live in.

On the last day of 2014 I drove to meet Aaron at his factory. We immediately "clicked". That is because his world and life views are catchy and should spread like wild fire.

The interview was "all over the map." I tried to navigate it but my interviewee has so much to say and tell he simply jumps from one topic to another. He is as genuine as genuine comes.

Sitting in his large and comfortable office, my first question was: "How come you are always so positive?"

AA: "The world is so complicated and it is rather difficult to find your space under the sun to be comfortable and happy."

Born in Riga, today the capital of Latvia, then part of the USSR. In 1974, young Aaron, then 26 year old, with nothing but his shirt on his back and with the values of the old world he left behind embedded in his soul, all alone and without command of the English language he arrived to the USA.

Aaron continues replying to my question, "How come you are always so positive?": "Living in a society where I am judged by what I represent, here in America, and not by how many members of my family are communists, which is how communist USSR mistreated its citizens, makes me have a positive outlook."

"The values I took with me and along which I live by comprise my character and personal values. I do not love money, rather personal accomplishments drive me."

"My way of thinking is that in my pact what you do is more valuable than having money. When I used to earn $90.00 a week I thought that making $200.00 a week will make me rich and happy. However, reality is much different. Reality is that whether you earn $200.00 a week, or $400.00 a week it will not bring happiness into your life. It is because you will always spend more than you have earned. After all, I met many rich people who were miserable."

I asked: "Why were they miserable?"

AA: "I learned to live with what I have and be happy. They do not."

Aaron wants to leave for the world a legacy of meaning. He wants to create something that people would find valuable, that would make more people happy from what they do regardless how expensive or inexpensive it is. That is the way he lives by.

When I listen to Aaron, many thoughts run through my head. He makes you think, he makes you evaluate your own life. His life experience may not be that much different than of many other people's life experience only that he handles matters so differently, so refreshingly.

When he turned 40 he already accomplished all he wanted. Loving wife, good home life and success in business. He met all his goals at that time. However, he was miserable and could not figure out what is the purpose of going on with life. From his home back in Latvia he learned to be responsible and take care of everything around him but forgetting himself in the process. He sunk into a deep depression that lasted two years. During that time he self-analyzed himself and his surroundings daily. At the end his self-analysis he had found the answer and from that moment on he became fulfilled, satisfied, content and most curious individual.

I asked: "The gist?"

AA: "I discovered what I like without considering the surroundings; it was not money or things. It was fulfilling my needs first. I made a conscious and subconscious decision to never allow the negative to take over my life and never allow anger to fester."

During the years of depression and self-analysis, he gave consultation to clients only upon their request; he did not seek to work.

One client was a national window manufacturer. His advice did not sound right to that client who thought Aaron's idea will not work, is somewhat crazy.

Aaron saw a challenge right in front of his eyes. He had to prove to himself his ideas can and will work. He was going to create something that does not exist but will work. In New York, where his life was well established, he packed up his belongings and family and drove, almost non-stop, across country to Los Angeles, a new territory, where he had no ties or connections but where the weather was more favorable. "I am not afraid of 'just do it,'" he asserts.

Aaron was 55 year old then. To start anew was no easy task. But remember, he has found his peace and he had no fear because he knew who he is and what he wants to do.

"And what has happened is Los Angeles?" I asked.

AA: "I started a window company (http://www.cdwindows.com/) and I was back to taking care of others, today over 40 families. The same cycle, different person, still impulsive but most content."

Aaron holds two masters degrees in journalism and marketing and advertising from NYU. He speaks five languages and has traveled the world.

We go back to Q and A: "What does it mean to be a positive individual" I asked.

AA: "To me, that means separating the bad from the good. When something bad happened to you, it is in the category of life happens. Close the chapter, deal with it, and get over it and with it. You are a happy individual because you are happy with yourself, "he say while sitting content is his chair after recently dealing with some health issue. I say, try it yourself, it may work for you too.

At work, at his staff meetings he does not go over sales and how many windows were sold. He teaches his staff how to be happy. "A happy salesperson brings in the sale," he explains, "and the achievement, without the pressure, only with a happy face makes him or her successfully happier."

"Risk is everything," says Aaron. He came to California, an unknown territory and started a window company with a design that did not exist. Today, his 16 years old well-managed company is proud of its 16,000 satisfied customers. With 750,000, top of the line in design and engineering, windows and doors later he takes his energy elsewhere.

Aaron is a great believer is advertising and he has been advertising on radio for a decade. With that he gets a chance to speak about his windows, as well as he is an avid listener to radio programs. "Some luck has played here, and our reputation is implacable," he says proudly. Each radio personality he has met and was advertising his windows on his show wanted to talk with him not only about the company and its products but also about his approach to life, which was projecting from Aaron's soul and being. Dennis Prager from KRLA 870AM; Bill Handel from KFIAM; Doug McIntyre from KABC 790AM; Howard Stern, Jim Thornton from 1070 in Los Angeles, Rick Dees and many others all talked about Aaron's California Deluxe Windows (CDW) company.

After having his commercials on radio for almost a decade, radio people started involving his own voice in his radio commercials. Thereafter radio account executives suggested he will go on radio live to speak a little about his company and the products and service it offers. Listeners' response was overwhelming so the Radio management decided that instead of a one minute commercial with his own voice they will extend the platform to a talk show. Aaron agreed to first conduct half an hour show, now each Saturday, at 6:00p.m, on KRLA 870AM, Los Angeles. "I never prepare for the show. I do not have a script, yet, I never repeat the subject twice," he claims.

My last question: "From where do you learn, from where your life's wisdom comes?"

AA: "First, from living life. Second, by finding the things that make me happy, regardless of who say what and the obstacles that may be but are not. Always be more daring and curious than you are normally. Do not be afraid of anything, let life happen to you."

It is the first day of the year 2015. If you redirect your thinking, if you choose to find happiness within your life frame, you may be just as happy and content as Aaron Adirim is. Try it, according to him it will work.

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at nurit.nuritg@gmail.com. Visit her blog: http://ngthinker.typepad.com


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ISRAELI DRUZE SOLDIER RETURNS HOME WITH HIS IDF BUDDIES TO GET MARRIED DIRECTLY FROM OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE

Posted by Israel Commentary, January 03, 2015

The Druze community number close to 120,000 in Israel. They live primarily in the Galilee and the Golan Heights, and are classified as a separate religious group, with their own courts and their own jurisdiction in matters such as marriage, divorce, and adoption.

The Druze religion has its roots in Islam, but although some members consider themselves "Muslim," they have been recognized as a separate religion. During the reign of the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt, in the 10th and 11th centuries, the Druze religion was formed, combining tenets of Islam with the philosophy of the Greek and Hindus. The Druze do not accept converts. They believe that anyone who wanted to join the religion had a chance to do so in the first generation after it was started, and that everyone who is alive today is reincarnated from a previous generation.

The religion is heavily monotheistic, and has ties to the world's three main religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Their prophets include Moses, John the Baptist, Jesus and Mohammed. Their most revered religious figure is Jethro, father-in-law of Moses. A tomb built over his believed burial site, at the Horns of Hittin near the Kinneret, is a gathering place for members of the Druze faith, and every April, the Druze meet there to discuss matters pertaining to the community.

Despite a few holy sites which have become official gathering places for the Druze, the Druze generally spurn the concepts of ceremonies and rituals. There is no official liturgy or prayer book, no holy days or fast days, and no pilgrimages. They accept 'The Seven Precepts', which they believe are the essential components of the Pillars of Islam. The precepts, which form the core of Druze faith, include truthfulness in speech, belief in one God, protection of others, and the belief that every hour of every day is a time to reckon oneself before God. Druze believe that the various rituals and practices adopted by the three major faiths have turned those believers away from the "true faith."

The first Druze began settling in modern-day Lebanon and northern Israel centuries ago, and the largest Druze community in the Galilee is called Daliyat el-Carmel, situated on the Carmel Mountains. During the British Mandate, the Druze purposely kept out of the Arab-Israeli conflict; when the 1948 War broke out, the Druze fought on the side of Israel. A minority of Druze who live in the Golan Heights protested when the Israelis annexed the land from Syria, following the Six Day War. Few of them have accepted full Israeli citizenship, and remain Syrian citizens.

The rest of the Druze, however, are full members of Israeli society. The Druze have mainly found employment in the fields of social work, security services, and prison personnel. A new program has been started to help the Druze gain entry into Israel's lucrative high-tech sector. They have also become prominent members of the IDF and of the Knesset, where they hold a disproportionate number of seats relative to the size of their community. In addition to holding prominent military and political positions, the Druze are active in the realms of sports, media, the arts, and literature.

Israel Commentary israelcommentary@comcast


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ISRAEL'S GOOD NEWS NEWSLETTER TO 15TH MAY 16

Posted by Michael Ordman, January 04, 2015

ISRAEL'S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Switching off antibiotic resistance. Researchers at Israel's Weizmann Institute have found new RNA-control switches ("ribo-switches) for genes encoding antibiotic resistance and discovered that these switches are actually "turned on" by the antibiotics themselves. The switches could be turned off by future treatments.
http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/life-sciences/switching-antibiotic-resistance

Israeli doctors save "no chance" Cyprus baby. (TY Beverly) No newborn with a heart defect like that of Cypriot baby Vassilios had ever survived. But Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center was willing to treat him. After an anxious journey to Israel, Hadassah surgeons achieved the "impossible" and after 10 days Vassilios and his happy parents returned to Cyprus.
http://www.hadassah.org/news-stories/cyprus-newborn-saved.html

Hadassah saves Al Quds student with organ failure. (TY Beverly) Palestinian Arab student Sara al Katzroy collapsed whilst jogging. She was brought from Jericho hospital to Jerusalem where Hadassah doctors used a Molecular Adsorbent Recirculation System (MARS) to save her liver. Sara now wants to become a nurse.
http://www.hadassah.org/news-stories/sara-katzroy.html

Doctors save Palestinian Arab boy who fell into boiling jam. (TY Barbara Sofer) One of Barbara Sofer's 68 reasons to love Israel includes this amazing report of how doctors at Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center managed to save the life of Mohamed - a Palestinian Arab toddler who fell into a vat of boiling jam.
http://hadassahinternational.org/supermodel-naomi-campbell-visits-childrens-ward-at-hadassah/

Eye spy. Two people have regained their eyesight after receiving the corneas of the late former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who died March 17 after a long battle with cancer. Avraham Gian, 81, and an unnamed 70-year-old woman received the corneas at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/meir-dagans-corneas-give-sight-back-to-2-israelis/

Heart implant is a success. (TY Atid-EDI) UK medical journal The Lancet reported the first implants of the interatrial shunts from Israel's V-Wave (see previous newsletters). In less than 1 hour, each of 10 Canadian patients suffering poor left ventricular function received new implants and were discharged home next morning. http://vwavemedical.com/2016/03/28/first-human-results-v-waves-interatrial-shunt-published-lancet/
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2900585-7/abstract

ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL

Alcohol/Smoke-free Woodstock. Jerusalem's Sobar Music Center is presenting the first-ever alcohol/smoke-free Community Woodstock festival on 8th Jun. Sobar provides an exciting and safe environment for teens and young adults from all over Jerusalem.
https://www.facebook.com/events/962238330550676/ http://www.sobarjerusalem.net/

An Israeli photo for Mother's Day. Although Mother's Day is not a holiday in Israel, this photo of an Israeli mother who has just given birth to triplets, will be an eye-opener to anyone believing lies from the BDS idiots.
http://www.israellycool.com/2016/05/08/photo-of-the-day-tripletwashing-edition/

When things don't go right. A computer glitch meant that an entry to a Chinese auction run by Israeli cancer charity Ezer Mizion didn't get processed. Ezer Mizion called the donor to apologize, refund the donation and give a prize. The donor was so impressed that they not only refused the refund but they donated more.
http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/will-he-be-upset/

Aid to victims of Canadian wildfire. Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID is helping many of the 90,000 evacuees from the wildfire in Alberta, Canada. IsraAID volunteers are providing social and psychological support. Once the fires have been extinguished another IsraAID team will go in to help clean up the debris.
http://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-ngo-helps-canadians-in-crisis-due-to-devastating-wildfire/

US and Israel expand energy cooperation. US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Yuval Steinitz, Israel's minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, have signed an agreement to foster R&D, drive down the costs of clean energy technologies and encourage collaboration between top energy scientists.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-and-israel-ink-pact-to-expand-energy-cooperation/

China signs seven more agreements. (TY Hazel) Israel and China have signed seven academic cooperation agreements with Chinese universities. These include the establishment of joint Israeli-Chinese study institutes, as well as investments in student exchange programs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeOSvKTT7wM
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-china-announce-260-million-shekel-academic-cooperation/

Another agreement with NSW. The Agricultural Research Organisation of Israel and the University of Sydney signed an agriculture agreement focusing on teaching, training and research activities in the areas of dairy, poultry and aquaculture. It follows a (1st May) R&D agreement between New South Wales and Israel.
http://www.jwire.com.au/israel-agritech-nsw/

2 million likes from Brazil. The number of Brazilians who have "liked" Israel's Ministry of Tourism Facebook profiles in Portuguese has exceeded 2 million. It is part of the ministry's strategy to attract pilgrims from Brazil to visit the Holy Land. Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world. http://www.timesofisrael.com/brazilian-facebook-followers-of-israeli-tourism-exceed-2-million/

Thousands of Egyptian Copts visit Israel. (TY Hazel) So far in 2016, at least 5,700 Coptic Orthodox Christians have travelled from Egypt to Israel - one thousand more than for the whole of 2015. The Copts previously banned pilgrimages to Israel, but in Nov 15, the new Coptic Pope Tawadros II came to Jerusalem.
http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/111353-160428-thousands-of-egyptian-copts-visit-israel-after-decades-of-boycott

NATO upgrades Israel's status. (TY Hazel) NATO has upgraded its ties with Israel. Israel will now be able to open offices at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's headquarters in Brussels and complete a credentialing process for its representatives. The step "will help boost Israeli security", said PM Netanyahu.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-04/nato-upgrades-ties-with-israel-amid-mounting-regional-threats

Israel at 68 is not isolated. Ambassador Yoram Ettinger writes about Israel's links with NATO, Turkey, India, China, plus tech giants such as Oracle, Cisco and Intel.
http://theettingerreport.com/Overseas-Investments/At-68---is-Israel-isolated-.aspx

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Water tech for Sau Paulo. Professor Jerson Kelman is CEO of SABESP - the water company for Sau Paulo, Brazil's financial center, with a population three times that of Israel. He has come to Israel to learn how Israeli tech can help SABESP overcome Sau Paulo’s water shortages.
http://israelnewtech.com/2016/04/sau-paulo-water-utility-sabesp-ceo-visits-israel-in-search-of-water-technologies/

Desalitech wins award - in Abu Dhabi. Israel's Desalitech won the Breakthrough Water Technology Company of the Year award at the 2016 Global Water Awards in Abu Dhabi. Desalitech's closed-circuit reverse osmosis desalination system counters the slow build-up of salinity in aquifers and waterways.
http://www.thetower.org/3300oc-israeli-founded-firm-wins-global-water-award-in-abu-dhabi/

Second in International Robotics competition. A team of students from Israel's Rothschild-Hashomron High School in Binyamina came second at the prestigious international FIRST Robotics Competition in St. Louis, USA. Over 20,000 students from 24 countries pitted their robots against one another in completing set tasks.
http://unitedwithisrael.org/israeli-team-takes-second-place-in-prestigious-high-school-robotics-contest/

Unhealthy food banned from Israeli schools. New Israeli Education Ministry guidelines prohibit selling or serving of sweets, snacks, and sugary or fatty foods to school and kindergarten students throughout Israel. Replacements include low-fat spreadable cheeses, avocado, whole-wheat pasta and bread, fruit and vegetables.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/soda-sweets-and-schnitzel-nixed-from-school-menus/

Cleaning solar panels in India. Israel-based Ecoppia is building a plant in India to manufacture its robotic solar cleaners at a new, state-of-the-art facility near Chennai. Ecoppia's robotic cleaning system uses controlled air flow to push the accumulated dirt off the solar panels
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-solar-panel-robot-cleaners-outsourced-to-india/

Don't pay the bad guys. The technology of Israel's Tipalti ensures that companies never make payments to individuals or companies that are on government watch lists. Tipalti did $2 billion of sales last year.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-payment-tech-helps-keep-companies-off-terror-watch-lists/

Dyson fan shows Israeli air quality status. British engineering giant Dyson has linked up with Israel's BreezoMeter to allow users of Dyson's new Pure Cool Link fan to compare indoor air quality, humidity, temperature and pollen count with outdoors. Nearly 9,500 Londoners die annually from exposure to pollutants.
http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/156309/why-dysons-israel-link-a-breath-fresh-air

3D printers refurbish Israeli planes. Israel Air Forces' Aerial Maintenance Unit is using 3D printers to print aircraft parts in order to keep 30-year-old planes flying. The technology has attracted original manufacturers Boeing and Lockheed to see how the upgrades can make the planes perform even better than when new.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/3d-printers-make-30-year-old-air-force-planes-better-than-new/

ECONOMY & BUSINESS

Seven million barrels of oil. The latest estimate of Israel's Hatrurim oil reservoir, north of the Dead Sea, is 7 million barrels - worth around $321 million at today's prices.
http://unitedwithisrael.org/oil-field-near-dead-sea-found-to-contain-7-million-barrels/

Another $0.9 billion of reserves. Israel's reserves of foreign currency shot up another $900 million at the end of April to another record - $95.685 billion. The Bank of Israel is trying to counter the strength of the Shekel. http://www.boi.org.il/en/NewsAndPublications/PressReleases/Pages/05-05-2016ForexReserve.aspx
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israels-foreign-currency-reserves-rise-sharply-1001122288

First incubator agreement with China. (TY Hazel) Israel's Alon MedTech Ventures incubator, is signing a cooperation agreement with Tsinghua University, one of China's leading universities. This is the first cooperation agreement of its kind between an Israeli technology incubator and a Chinese entity.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-incubator-teams-with-chinese-university-1001113554

Israeli chocolate for China. Israeli chocolatier Max Brenner opened its first branch in China. The Beijing branch, located at THE PLACE mall in the city's financial district, is the latest of 65 worldwide storefronts. The company also recently opened the doors of its fifth Japanese branch, near Tokyo Disneyland.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-max-brenner-launches-first-chinese-branch-1001121399

Hainan airlines begins Beijing - Tel Aviv route. (TY algemeiner) China's Hainan Airlines has begun operating a direct Beijing - Tel Aviv route three times a week. Hainan Airlines is China's largest privately-owned airline. Israel is to increase its annual marketing budget for China from 1 million to 15 million shekels.
http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2016/5/6/chinas-hainan-airlines-begins-beijing-to-tel-aviv-route#.Vy0so_krLIU

Prize for best Olympic startup. Israel's Hype Start-Up Foundation is offering a 100,000 Euro ($113,000) prize to attract startups, entrepreneurs and veteran companies to develop apps and technology that will enhance the Olympic experience for fans, broadcasters, players, and anyone else connected with the games.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/olympic-tech-champ-to-get-e100000-via-israeli-start-up-group/

Another purchase for Frutarom. Israel's Frutarom has paid $8.2 million for Germany's Extrakt Chemie - maker of natural extracts including some used to treat liver diseases, digestive problems and prevent infections. Frutarom's fifth acquisition of 2016 is active in Denmark, Switzerland, France, Austria and Australia. Frutarom also has opened a state-of-the-art center for R&D, marketing, and production in Johannesburg, South Africa. http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-frutarom-acquires-germanys-extrakt-chemie-1001121435
http://www.frutarom.com/FrutaromNew/Templates/showpage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=178&FID=618&PID=889&IID=2329

Intel spends $1 billion in Israel annually. (TY Atid-EDI) Global microprocessor manufacturer Intel spends an annual average of $1 billion on procurement from 1,000 different Israeli suppliers. The company has spent $10 billion on procurement in the Israeli market over the past decade.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-intel-israeli-procurements-worth-10b-in-past-decade-1001114133

Security eyes are opened wider. (TY Atid-EDI) Israel's Magal S3 has acquired Canada's Aimetis for around $14 million. Aimetis’ IP video management software will enhance the state-of-the-art perimeter intrusion detection systems developed by Senstar - a subsidiary of Magal.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-magal-acquires-canadian-co-aimetis-for-14m-1001114468

CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT

Opening more doors. (TY Nevet) I reported previously (27th Dec) about "Open a Door to Israel" - the nine giant screens, shaped as doors, which visitors open to learn about Israel's heritage, music scene, family life, education and innovation. Here is a new video about the exhibition, which is now in Paris.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mj3o6tkcdIk

Tel Aviv opens its doors. Open House Tel Aviv (May 26-28) will open up to the public 140 of its most architecturally and historically notable private buildings. http://www.batim-il.org/ToursEng.aspx?batim
http://www.touristisrael.com/houses-from-within-tel-aviv-2/1690/

Salvador Dali's Zionist works. A selection of 25 paintings from Salvador Dali's little-known "Aliyah" series has gone on private display in New York. The biblical and Zionist-themed paintings were commissioned in 1967 for the 20th anniversary of the state of Israel.
http://www.algemeiner.com/2016/04/11/little-known-zionist-series-by-salvador-dali-goes-on-private-display-in-nyc/

Helen Mirren to host Genesis Prize ceremony. Oscar-winning actress Dame Helen Mirren is to host Israel's Genesis Prize ceremony on 23rd June in Jerusalem. Dame Helen said "My connection to Israel and the Jewish people has truly been a part of making me what I am today, and I am very excited to be returning to this great country."
http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/156207/dame-helen-mirren-host-jewish-nobel-prize%E2%80%99-ceremony-jerusalem


Beyonce commissions Israeli designer. Israeli fashion designer, Inbal Dror, is designing a line of dresses for Beyonce's much-anticipated world tour "Formation." The award-winning singer fell in love with the dress Dror designed her for the Grammys earlier this year. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Crazy-in-love-Beyonce-commissions-Israeli-fashion-designer-for-Formation-world-tour-453617

20 Eurovision stars visit Israel. (TY Jacques) A month before the 61st Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm on May 14, 20 international artists were invited to a three-day-trip across Israel. Plus, a promotional video and a new hi-tech video of the Israeli entry "Made of Stars" set against Tel Aviv's Azrieli towers.
http://israelbetweenthelines.com/2016/04/14/israel-calling-eurovision-2016/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT038hgq9Lw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpWKfcjXcp0

Good start for Israeli golfer. Israel's 24-year-old Laetitia Neck, the first golfer from Israel to qualify for the LPGA Tour, surged into a two-shot lead in the opening round of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Prattville, Alabama. She ended the tournament at eight-under-par and tied for 15th place, winning $17,659. http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/LPGA-Tour-Israeli-golfer-Beck-sets-flawless-pace-in-Alabama-453299
http://www.lpga.com/players/laetitia-beck/98139/results

Israel beats Iran to win 12 karate medals. A delegation of Israeli youth won 12 medals in an international Shinkyokushin Karate event in Lucerne, Switzerland, overcoming a team from Iran along the way. Over 300 competitors from 18 countries took part in the event.
http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Israeli-youth-overcome-Iran-for-Israeli-event-gold-453252

Another gold-winning Judoka. Israeli judoka Gili Cohen won the gold medal in the up to 52kg category at the Grand Slam Baku tournament in Azerbaijan. She defeated Italian rival Odette Giuffrida, winning the highest honor of her career so far and significantly increasing her chances of competing in the Rio Olympics.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-judoka-wins-gold-at-grand-slam-in-baku/

THE JEWISH STATE

Happy 68th birthday. Jerusalem Post's Barbara Sofer lists 68 reasons to be proud of Israel as it celebrates its 68th Independence Day. There is one that I hadn't reported previously - included now in the Medical section. And TY Sharon for this article showing how Israelis journey from Yom HaShoah to Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-Human-Spirit-68-newest-reasons-plus-1-453220
https://rjstreets.com/2016/05/11/from-yom-hashoah-to-yom-haatzmaut/

Lighting the torches. I reported previously (on 1st May) that Christian leader Father Gabriel Naddaf will light a torch at the Israeli Independence Day torch ceremony. Other honorees include the widow of Israel's first astronaut, a deaf Holocaust survivor, a Nepal aid worker, IDF soldiers and everyday heroes.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/ilan-ramons-widow-to-light-independence-day-torch/

Robots play Hatikvah on xylophone. As part of their holiday series, Technion students have built something special for Israel's Independence Day - the world's most Zionist robot.
http://www.timesofisrael.com/meet-the-worlds-most-zionist-robot/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvi5ccoE5Qs

Come home for a visit. JNF Missions are experiences unlike any other. In addition to visiting many of the cultural, religious and historical highlights of Israel, JNF Missions transcend the boundaries of a standard trip and provide participants with a deeper connection to the land and people of Israel.
http://www.jnf.org/travel/missions/

Outstanding Zionist immigrants. (TY Janglo) There are six winners of the Sylvan Adams Nefesh B'Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize for 2016. The award recognizes outstanding Anglo Olim - veteran and recent - who encapsulate the spirit of modern-day Zionism by contributing in a significant way towards the State of Israel.
http://www.nbn.org.il/boneizion/

NYC boy donates all his Bar Mitzvah money to Israel. Noah Helfstein from New York has donated all his Bar-Mitzvah money, $76,000, to bring the first-ever "Maker Bus" - a mobile technology lab - to less fortunate children throughout Israel. The advanced 3D printer on the bus allows the production of almost any object.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4790256,00.html

Contact Michael Ordman at michael.goodnewsisrael@gmail.com


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DELUSIONAL, DESTRUCTIVE LEFT VS INCOMPETENT, IMPOTENT RIGHT

Posted by Martin Sherman, January 04, 2015

Israel faces a twin peril, far more menacing to its survival as the nation-state of the Jewish people than the Iranian nuclear program or a Palestinian state.

avigdor
Avigdor Liberman and Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The minute we leave South Lebanon we will have to erase the word Hezbollah from our vocabulary, because the whole idea of the State of Israel versus Hezbollah was sheer folly from the outset. It will most certainly no longer be relevant when Israel returns to its internationally recognized northern border.

- Amos Oz, "Try a Little Tenderness" (Interview), Haaretz, March 17, 2000

The ultimate test of this agreement will be a test of blood. If it becomes clear that [the Palestinians] cannot overcome terror, this will be a temporary accord and... we will have no choice but to abrogate it. And if there is no choice, the IDF will return to the places it is about to leave in the upcoming months.

- Yossi Beilin, Ma'ariv, November 26, 1993

The nightmare stories of the Likud are well known. After all, they promised Katyusha rockets from Gaza as well. For a year, Gaza has been largely under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. There has not been a single Katyusha rocket. Nor will there be any Katyushas.– Yitzhak Rabin, radio interview, July 24, 1995

I realize that what follows may raise a few eyebrows -m some in disbelief, some in disapproval. I have no doubt it will ruffle feathers - on both sides of the political divide - but if the unpalatable truth is to be dealt with, it must be addressed squarely and honestly.

For unless the problem raised in this column is adequately addressed before the election, it will, like the ones before it, be meaningless, with roughly the same policy being adopted, no matter which party wins, and no matter what they promise their electorate. Indeed, the only difference is likely to be in the degrees of enthusiasm or reluctance with which they adopt it.

Grave twin peril

Today, Israel is facing a twin peril, far more menacing to its prospects of survival as the nation-state of the Jewish people than the Iranian nuclear program or a Palestinian state.

This is the threat entailed in Israel's wildly delusional and dangerous - and at times decidedly disloyal - political Left, on the one hand; and a hopelessly impotent and incompetent political Right, on the other.

Indeed, were it not for the existence of both these components of the dual danger, it is quite possible that neither the Iranian nor the Palestinian threats would exist - or at least, both would be greatly diminished.

If the Left were not so dangerously delusional, it would not matter that the Right was so hopelessly incompetent. Alternatively, if the Right were not so appallingly incompetent, the dangers entailed in the delusions of the Left would be far less severe.

It is the simultaneous occurrence of these components that generates the deadly combination, which renders Israel not only incapable of contending effectively with the harrowing range of external threats it faces, but in fact sustains, indeed intensifies them.

The guru, the architect and the general

The three introductory excerpts starkly underline the veracity of this grim assessment.

The one from author Amos Oz, widely revered ideological guru of the political Left; the second by former left-wing politician Yossi Beilin, arguably the principle architect of the Oslo Accords; the third, and perhaps the most stunning, from the late Yitzhak Rabin, lionized as "Mr. Security," responsible for the practical implementation of those accords.

On the one hand they illustrate how utterly out of touch with reality the left-wing proponents of political appeasement and territorial concession are. On the other, they bear damning testimony to the hopeless ineffectiveness of the right wing.

In view of the catastrophic failure of the Left's policy paradigm, it is inconceivable that anyone continuing to espouse such hazardous hallucinations could still be, not only politically relevant, but comprise a significant, arguably dominant component of mainstream political life in Israel.

The fact that the Right has not been able to marshal the intellectual depth, ideological vigor and political acumen to dispatch this demonstrably delusional doctrine to the garbage heap of history, with all the scorn and ridicule it so richly deserves, is as incomprehensible as it is inexcusable; that advocates of this dangerously detrimental dogma not only persist in peddling their fatally flawed formula, but can still mount a credible challenge for leadership of the nation, is beyond belief.

Oslo the defining divide

In Israeli politics, of course, the real divide between what is called "Left" and "Right" is determined far more on positions on defense and foreign policy, than on socioeconomic matters.

Indeed, an avowed free-market advocate, who avidly supported a policy of dovish concessions, would be considered a Leftist. By contrast, a strong advocate of enhanced social welfare who held uncompromisingly hawkish views would be considered a right-winger, even an "extremist" - a term somehow reserved only for that side of the political divide - which in itself is a reflection of rightwing political ineptness.

(Accordingly - as a methodological aside - it is quite plausible that changing the prevailing political jargon from the misleading "Left vs Right" to a "Doves vs Hawks" divide, may not only be far more appropriate, but have practical implications in the marketability of hardline positions that extend well beyond the realm of mere terminology. But that is a topic for a separate column.) In this regard, the Oslo process was in many ways a seminal event that crystallized the essential fault line that separated Left from Right and threw it into sharper relief than ever before. For the first time, overt support for what once had been a bipartisan anathema - i.e. Palestinian statehood and negotiations with Arafat’s PLO - became an acceptable part, indeed the hallmark centerpiece of mainstream left-wing political identity.

With impressive resolve, resources and resourcefulness, the radical Left managed to convert a position that was not only negligibly marginal, but borderline treasonous, into a respectable mainstream opinion, and a fashionable badge of enlightenment and moral superiority to be proudly flaunted.

Dramatically disproven but never discarded

This in itself is a harsh indictment of the political capability of the Right. But things are much worse.

For little has changed despite the horrendous consequences of the endeavor to implement the Oslo agenda, that wrought trauma and tragedy on tens of thousands of Israelis, and death and destruction to even more Palestinian Arabs.

Thus, with facts and logic in its favor, with prudence and experience on its side, the Right has been manifestly incapable of vanquishing its left-wing rivals.

Inexplicably, despite the fact that the Left's political credo of "land-for-peace" has been dramatically disproved, somehow it has never been discredited - and certainly never discarded.

After all, ever since ceding the Sudetenland to the Nazis in 1938, the endeavor to appease despots by offerings of territorial sacrifice has failed catastrophically. In the context of the Arab-Israel conflict, territorial retreat - whether negotiated or unilateral - has failed whenever it has been attempted: Almost immediately as in the 2005 Gaza disengagement; within months in Judea-Samaria, which erupted into a gory post-Oslo surge of suicide terrorism; after several years in south Lebanon, following the IDF's ignominious flight in the wake of Ehud Barak's capitulation to left-wing NGOs in 2000; or after several decades as in Sinai, which is fast deteriorating into a savage jihadist-controlled no-man's-land, with no good outcomes remotely conceivable.

But for the grace of God...

One can only shudder at the thought of the situation Israel would now be in, had it heeded the exhortation of the land-for-peace proponents who urged relinquishing the Golan Heights to Assad, whom they deemed was someone Israel could “do business with" - i.e. surrender land to.

It is only by the grace of the good Lord (or Lady Fortune), rather than prudent Israeli policy, that we are not facing the grim prospect of Islamic State platoons deployed on the shores of Lake Kinneret and the murderous al-Qaida affiliate the a-Nusra Front on the cliffs overlooking the city of Tiberias and the greater part of the Galilee.

Yet amazingly, in a recent poll, when asked, "In light of the spread of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, has this affected your stance regarding Israeli territorial concessions in the West Bank?" almost 75 percent of left-wingers surveyed said their attitudes had been unaffected; while almost 20 percent were now more ready to make such concessions. Not a single person who identified themselves as "Left" indicated that he/she was less inclined to make concessions in view of the rise of Islamic State! Even more astonishing - and unmoored from reality - is the left wing's response to last summer's military campaign in Gaza, as reflected in the manner in which it is gearing up for the election.

The persistent public support for the Left - especially for a seemingly revitalized Labor Party headed by the dodgy duo, Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog - reflected in current polls dramatically underscores how ineffectual the Right has been in conveying its credo to the electorate.

Impervious to facts; immune to reason

For the indelible lesson that Operation Protective Edge should have seared into the national consciousness is that it starkly illustrated the hazards of a short 50-km. border, abutting the sparsely populated rural South.

How then could any political entity be taken seriously when it is so impervious to facts and immune to reason that it ignores this lesson? How could any political entity garner support for a policy that advocates establishing a long 500-km. border that not only abuts the heavily populated urban Center, but places the country's only international airport within mortar range, and its main traffic arteries within tunnel reach? But this fiasco is, in many ways, merely the continuation of the exasperating and demoralizing phenomenon the voting majority has had to endure since the mid-'90s - the bizarre spectacle of parties with (relatively) hawkish platforms, repeatedly winning elections, but then almost immediately thereafter embracing the failed policy of the defeated dovish rivals, which they urged voters to reject.

It would be far more than an empty cliche to state that although the Right regularly wins elections, it never really gets into power.

(For a detailed explanation of this highly detrimental and distortive characteristic of the Israeli political system, see my previous columns "Understanding Politics in Israel: The Limousine Theory" and "The Limousine Theory (con't.): Irrefutable illustrations; egregious examples.")

Half-baked and harebrained

There is little way to account for this dismal result other than the intellectual bankruptcy of the Israeli Right.

For with so much in its favor, the fact that it has not consigned the demonstrably dangerous delusions of the Left to political oblivion - or at least to irrevocable irrelevance - can only be accounted for by its impotence and its incompetence.

There are no good reasons for the current depressing political outcomes - although excuses abound in abundance.

It is not a matter of disparity in resources.

The Right ostensibly has held the reins of government for well over half a decade, but has done nothing to harness the resources at its disposal to promote - at home and abroad - the political credo it was elected to promote.

In the field of private philanthropy, too, there are excuses not reasons. After all, for every George Soros on the Left, there is a Sheldon Adelson on the Right. Sadly, nearly all the philanthropic funds available on the Right have been channeled into causes which however noble, can make little impact - even if they are hugely successful - on the strategic outcomes crucial to the future of the country.

Finally, there is the matter of the Right's alternative to the Left's land-for-peace paradigm.

For years, the Right refrained for offering any detailed alternative and restricted itself to repudiating the Left's two-state prescription.

For this it was severely, and rightly, criticized.

Lately, several alternatives have been proposed.

Regretfully, most of these have been, at best, half-baked, at worst, hare-brained, and likely to produce outcomes no less undesirable than the two-state paradigm they were intended to replace.

In previous columns I have critiqued several of these proposals, and in the coming weeks in the run up to the election, I will revisit them with the hope of inducing positive changes.

For unless there is a far-reaching enhancement in the intellectual fare offered the voter, the grim choice confronting him/her will once again be between a delusional Left and an incompetent Right.

Martin Sherman (www.martinsherman.org) is the founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies www.strategicisrael.org.


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TURKEY - AMERICA'S UNACKNOWLEDGED PROBLEM

Posted by BESA Center, January 04, 2015

adopting

Turkey is formally a NATO ally. But Erdogan-led Turkey has not behaved as an ally or a friend of the US for years. It is a mystery why the Obama Administration refuses to acknowledge that Turkey is a Trojan horse in NATO, and that Ankara undermines American interests in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Turkey is a NATO ally, and President Barrack Obama has called the current President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his best friend. But Erdogan-led Turkey does not behave as an ally or a friend of the US. This is not a new development.

Erdogan and his Islamist party, the AKP, have ruled Turkey since 2002. Erdogan's Turkey has gradually distanced itself from the West, adopting domestic and foreign policies fueled by Ottoman and Islamist impulses.

Turkey has been on the road to an authoritarian regime for several years. Infringements on human rights have gradually increased. In truth, Turkey has never had a political system with checks and balances able to constrain attempts to consolidate power around one politician. In recent years, Erdogan has weakened further the few constitutional constraints against the 'Putinization' of the Turkish political system.

The longer Erdogan rules, the more power hungry he seems. His authoritarian personality becomes clearer every day. The press is hardly free. Erdogan arrests even Islamist journalists that are critical of his policies. His party has infiltrated the judicial system and the police. Foci of power, such as the bureaucracy, the banking system, industrial associations and trade unions have been mostly coopted by the AKP. Opposition political parties are largely discredited. The military, once active in politics as the defender of the Kemalist secular tradition, has been successfully sidelined.

From a realpolitik perspective, the domestic political developments, deplorable as they may be in Turkey, could be ignored by the democratic West as long as Ankara continues to be a useful ally. Unfortunately, Turkey no longer qualifies as a trusted ally.

The most recent examples of nefarious Turkish behavior are its support of ISIS and Hamas. Turkey is playing a double game on the issue of the Islamic State. It pretends to cooperate with the US policy in the attempt to contain radical Islam, but actually Turkey supports ISIS. It allows volunteers passage through Turkish territory to join ISIS in Iraq. ISIS receives logistical support via Turkey, and sends its wounded militants for treatment there. Turkish military forces stood idly by the besieged city of Kobani, just across the Turkish border, while the Islamists killed Kurdish fighters. Finally, Turkey denies the American air force access to Turkish bases; forcing the US to use far away bases when attacking ISIS targets.

Turkey is also openly supporting another radical Islamist organization - Hamas. Despite the fact that the West regards Hamas a terrorist organization, Ankara regularly hosts Hamas representatives that meet the highest Turkish dignitaries. Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, has a rabid anti-American position. Moreover, Salah al-Aruri, a senior Hamas operative, operates out of Istanbul. Recently, the Turkish branch of Hamas was involved in a series of attempts to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel, and in orchestrating a coup against the current leadership of the Palestinian Authority.

Such behavior should not surprise policy makers in Washington. In 2003, Ankara denied the request from Washington to open its territory so that the US military could attack Saddam Hussein's forces from two separate fronts.

AKP-ruled Ankara also defied American preferences on Syria, a country allied with radical Iran and on the American list of states supporting terrorism. In January 2004, Bashar Assad became the first Syrian president ever to visit Turkey. In April 2009, the two states conducted their first ever joint military exercise. No other NATO member had such close relations with the authoritarian regime in Damascus, which has been closely allied with Iran for several decades.

Turkey further deviated from the Western consensus in 2008 by hosting Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir twice. Bashir, who was charged with war crimes and genocide in Darfur, presided over an Islamist regime.

Turkey even welcomed the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for a visit in August 2008. No Western country has issued such an invitation to the Iranian leader. Additionally, Erdogan congratulated Ahmadinejad immediately after his re-election in June 2009. When it comes to Iran's nuclear threat, Ankara, unlike its NATO allies, has refused to adopt the U.S. stance on harsher sanctions, fearing in part the economic consequences of such steps. In June 2010, Turkey voted at the UN Security Council against a US-sponsored resolution meant to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran.

Turkey also has consistently defied advice from Washington to tone down its anti-Israel statements and mend relations with an important American ally. All American efforts in this direction have failed.

There is also a clear divergence between the US and Turkey on important global issues such as Russia and China. For example, the US. wanted to send ships into the Black Sea via the Bosphorus Straits during the Georgia war in August 2008. Turkey flatly denied several such requests on the pretext that the military vessels were too large. Moreover, Turkey proposed the creation of a regional security framework involving Turkey, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, that left out a NATO role. More blatantly, Turkey has failed to participate in the Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia during the recent Ukraine crisis.

Dissonance exists also with regards to China. While the US fears the rise of China, Turkey sees this country as a potential economic partner and not as a problem. It held military exercises with China. Ankara even considered purchasing anti-aircraft systems from Beijing, an incredibly brazen position for a NATO member!

It is not clear why Washington puts up with such Turkish behavior. The Obama administration seems to be unable to call a spade a spade. It refuses to acknowledge that Turkey is a Trojan horse in NATO, and that Ankara undermines American interests in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Prof. Efraim Inbar is Director of the BESA Center. A veteran authority on the Arab-Israeli conflict and strategic developments in the Mideast. Expert on Israeli strategic doctrine, public opinion on national security issues, nuclear matters, U.S. Middle East policy, U.S.-Israel relations, Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy, and Israel-Turkey relations. Contact BESA Center at besa.centr@mail.biu.ac.il


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HUNDREDS OF LOST JEWS DISCOVERED IN MUSLIM INDONESIA

Posted by Jeremy Gimpel, January 04, 2015

In the largest Muslim country in the world, hundreds of Jews have rediscovered their lost Jewish identity. Rabbi Tovia Singer joins Jeremy Gimpel in-studio to discuss the remarkable story of how he was invited to speak for three days in Indonesia, and while there discovered lost Jews from Peru, Holland and Asia and never left. Today, he serves as a rabbi in Jakarta. Listen to how these pioneers of spirituality are now living as Orthodox Jews among Muslims at the end of the world. Rabbi Singer tells Jeremy that, "this is a sign that we are approaching the Redemption as more lost souls are returning to their source."

Jeremy Gimpel is an educator, politician and presenter of "Israel Inspired", a podcast that has had 12 million views on YouTube. He is also the Deputy Director of the World Mizrachi Movement. Contact Jeremy Gimpel at Jeremy@voiceofisrael.com


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"NOT A CRISIS"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 04, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas would certainly like us to think it is a crisis. He wants us cringing in fear. But he's going to be disappointed on this score:

On Wednesday, Abbas made a show of filling out membership forms for a variety of international organizations. But filling out forms is not applying.

On Friday night, that step was taken, when Riyad Mansour, Palestinian Arab envoy to the UN - acting on behalf of the "State of Palestine" - submitted to the Secretariat of the UN in New York applications to join some 20 international treaties. Key among these was the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court at the Hague. (The Rome Statute is the founding treaty of the ICC.)

A UN spokesman confirmed receipt of the documents and said they were being reviewed.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.635071

~~~~~~~~~~

The process of joining the ICC requires 90 days from the time the application is submitted. But Abbas didn't even wait for the ink to dry on the application he filed before moving forward. On Thursday morning the PA filed a request with the Dutch Embassy (the court is in the Hague, in Holland – the Dutch have a consulate in Ramallah) requesting that Israel be investigated for alleged war crimes committed during the 50 days of the Gaza war this summer.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-files-war-crimes-complaint-against-israel-at-icc/

I see this as grandstanding and not a move that has legal legitimacy at all. But what we're seeing is that Abbas, who hesitated for some time in filing with the ICC, seems ready to go full steam ahead now, and is talking about leveling every charge he can come up with against Israel, including retroactively. I even read about the idea the Palestinian Arabs have that they can charge Israel with "war crimes" because of the "settlements."

~~~~~~~~~~

The ICC has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals (not states) for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It is able to exercise its jurisdiction only when certain conditions are met. The process is not simple or automatic. In point of fact, it is exceedingly doubtful that what Abbas is attempting to do will yield anything resembling the results he says he wishes to achieve.

The ICC will not take seriously any petition registered by the PA for investigating Israeli officials until "the State of Palestine" is recognized as a member of the Court.

It is Fatou Bensouda, of Gambia, Chief Prosecutor at the ICC, who has responsibility to make this initial determination.

fatou

Should she, after initial consultations, decide that Palestine is a state, qualified to lodge complaints, she must then determine whether these complains merit investigation. If she does determine so, she would begin with a preliminary investigation. But this in no way guarantees that a full criminal investigation would follow.

Says international law professor Robbie Sabel, of Hebrew University:

"I assume that they will start a preliminary examination. But the prosecution will soon find that it's an entirely political issue, and unless Israel goes mad and decides to start committing mass atrocities, which it won't, the prosecutor will be reluctant to proceed with an actual criminal investigation."

Determination of a basis for a full investigation depends on many factors, including complex issues of jurisdiction and gravity.

Generally, charges can only be brought for alleged crimes committed in territory over which a state has jurisdiction after that state has joined the Court. The charges against Israel for events that occurred last summer would be questionable. The fact that these charges involve Gaza further complicates the matter, because it may be determined that Hamas and not a "Palestinian state" is in charge there.

Then there is the question of whether charges could be brought against Israel for "settlements," as Israel is not a member of the court and the court only has jurisdiction over crimes committed within the territory of members of the court.

And there is the fact that the court, according to the Rome Statute, the jurisdiction of the court is limited to the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole...unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity."

http://www.timesofisrael.com/palestine-at-the-icc-a-headache-israel-might-be-able-to-live-with/

Even in the unlikely event that Abbas were to succeed in achieving a full criminal investigation against key Israeli figures, there would be no final result for years because of the complexity of the process.

~~~~~~~~~~

According to Alan Baker, international lawyer and director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, this entire action seems to be a PR bluff that Abbas hopes will pressure the US into agreeing to a Security Council Resolution. Might be. PA officials are already making noise about calling for another vote at the Security Council. As there are now new temporary members of the Council, more predisposed to supporting a "Palestinian state" unilaterally established, the US would have to veto to block it.

~~~~~~~~~~

My guess, however, is that Abbas is severely overplaying his hand, if he thinks he can pressure the US. The State Department has registered great irritation with Abbas over this behavior, and there are members of Congress calling for penalties (withholding of funding) because of the ICC gambit.

~~~~~~~~~~

The question is whether Abbas is really seeking a SC resolution that "creates" a state. There are yet other ways of looking at the situation. And so I share here an article by Yishai Schwartz in the New Republic that seems to me an astute analysis of Abbas’s gambit. Things are not always what they seem to be on the surface, and where Abbas is concerned it's best to seek the devious motivation. (Emphasis added)

"...on Wednesday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally requested membership in the International Criminal Court. Coming in the middle of Israeli elections, these actions-which are sure to infuriate Israelis and strengthen the Israeli right-seem rather self-defeating, and Americans committed to Mideast peace are bewildered... "The New York Times editorial board warned that 'Mr. Abbas's actions will almost certainly make the situation worse, setting back the cause of statehood even farther. By taking this tack before the Israeli elections, which are set for March 17, he has given Israeli hard-liners new ammunition to attack the Palestinians and reject new peace talks.'

"Underlying these responses is the assumption that Palestinian leadership...would prefer to negotiate with [Netanyahu's] more conciliatory alternatives, Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni. It is this assumption that creates the apparent conflict between Palestinian priorities (a negotiated settlement with Israel) and actions (weakening Israeli doves in the middle of election season). This assumption is faulty. Palestinians likely view Netanyahu's opponents as wolves in sheep's clothing; Herzog and Livni appear reasonable to the world but are unlikely to offer anything that Palestinians consider acceptable. In the absence of a prospective agreement, negotiations are about optics of blame rather than substance-and in that world, Netanyahu is Palestinians' best option.

"Imagine for a moment that a sudden surge brings the Israeli center-left to power. From the statements and past actions of figures like Livni and Herzog, we have a fairly good sense of what to expect: respectful and earnest negotiations that culminate in an offer similar to-and likely less generous than-those offers made by Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert to Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. These offers were both, of course, rejected as inadequate for Palestinian needs. And in the years since, the position of the Palestinian leadership-on refugees, on Jerusalem, on borders-has only hardened and gained more international legitimacy. The gap between the parties has only widened from a decade ago, but even then the truth was clear: The most that Israelis will offer is less than the least Palestinians will accept.

"Abbas knows this...he must...recognize that politically, a right-wing Israeli government is a diplomatic triumph. International support for Palestinians plummets when Israel is led by leftist leaders who make concrete offers...[that the PA is going to refuse]..."

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120684/palestinian-moves-un-icc-will-help-netanyahu-israeli-elections

~~~~~~~~~~

As to Israel's response to Abbas's ICC membership application, it is, as would be expected, furious.

The announcement has already been made that Israel has frozen the transfer of about $125 million from tax funds collected for the PA.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4610793,00.html

The PA is screaming "theft," but it owes the Israeli Electric Company a fortune.

~~~~~~~~~~

In addition, Israel is "weighing the possibilities for large-scale prosecution in the United States and elsewhere" of PA officials including Abbas.

These cases might be put forward via "non-governmental agencies and legal groups that can file lawsuits abroad," rather than via the Israeli government.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-mulls-icc-lawsuits-against-top-palestinian-officials/

~~~~~~~~~~

At the opening of the weekly Cabinet meeting this morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that:

The Palestinian Authority is "opting for a confrontation with the state of Israel" and "we will not sit idly by. We will not allow them to drag IDF soldiers and commanders to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

"...it is the heads of the Palestinian Authority, who struck an alliance with the Hamas war criminals, who should be held accountable.

"The IDF will continue to defend Israel with determination and force, and just as they defend us, we will defend them with the same determination and force."

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=22571

Appropriately said. However, if Netanyahu has received advice that the PA efforts at the ICC will likely come to nothing, there is, as well, a bit of grandstanding in this statement – with regard to not allowing them to drag IDF soldiers to the ICC, etc. Grandstanding, as in, it's an election time and the nation must know that I am strong.

~~~~~~~~~~

This leads me directly into a brief discussion of what I have termed the political circus...

Actually, I realized a while ago that while this metaphor is catchy - with its image of multiple activities going on at once, with someone on a high wire and a second person seeking to control lions, while a third is balancing balls in the air - it delivers the wrong message. For a circus suggests fun activity, and I don't notice many - with the possible exception of Naftali Bennett - who are having fun where this election campaign is concerned. Quite the contrary. It is an amorphous and somewhat ambiguous affair, with far far too many tensions.

The Likud has held its primary - to determine its list for the elections - and I conceded readily enough that I am disappointed in the results, which were less solidly nationalist/right wing than I had hoped they would be.

As was to be expected, Netanyahu soundly trounced challenger Danny Danon to head the list; Danon is number 10 on the list. Following Netanyahu in the top 15 slots are Gilad Erdan - not someone to get excited about, then Yuli Edelstein, Yisrael Katz and Miri Regev - all quite good. But in slot six, a weak Silvan Shalom, followed by Moshe Ya'alon, who has been a severe disappointment. Number eight is a top notch Ze'ev Elkin, with a weak Tzachbi Hanegbi following. Yariv Levin and Ofir Akunis - slots 12 and 15 - are both top notch, with Yuval Steinitz and Gila Gamliel both OK but not enormously strong. Avi Dichter, in slot 20, is not good news.

Should Likud garner 24 mandates, then the passionately Zionistic Ayub Kara would get back into the Knesset, and I would love to see that.

Missing is Tzipi Hotovely, who had been a fiery MK with some good instincts. And Moshe Feiglin, whose ouster, it is being strongly suggested, involved machinations behind the scenes.

elections

There is no "Wow!" for this list, no matter how delighted Netanyahu declared himself to be.

~~~~~~~~~~

I spoke above about the fact that Bennett may be having fun. He "starred" in a couple of entertaining recruitment videos for Habayit Hayehudi.

The recruitment has now ended, but a vigorous drive increased the number belonging to the party, which will have an effect on the primary for this party, yet to come. Bennett seems to be stretching to make the party as inclusive as he can. (See below.) The slogan that has been adopted is that the party is for "those who love the people of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel."

~~~~~~~~~~

Lieberman, head of Yisrael Beitenu, is all over the place, and coping with significant corruption charges - not against him but rather several members of his party. Painful. Shameful.

Eli Yishai, who did make a nationalist statement a while ago, has not yet clearly defined the nature of his party. While Shas, from which he withdrew, is imploding. Head Arieh Deri - embarrassed by a video in which deceased religious head Rav Ovadiah Yosef severely criticized him - submitted a resignation, but has since hinted he will continue to lead the party.

And the Herzog-Livni duo? As far as I am concerned, the less said about them the better. Perhaps it is here that the circus metaphor most aptly fits, because I see them as clowns. Their positions, their criticisms of the government, do not seem truly serious at all. But - go know! - according to the polls, there is a segment of the population that would vote for them.

Enough said for one go-round.

~~~~~~~~~~

Ahmed Tibi, an MK who heads the United Arab list - Ta'al is loyal to the Palestinian Authority, even though he holds Israeli citizenship. This is commonly known. He once served as an advisor to Arafat. Yesterday he led a procession to the Temple Mount and raised a Palestinian flag there, declaring, "Al-Quds [Jerusalem] is Arab and the capital of Palestine and the Al-Aksa mosque is a place of Muslim prayer."

http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/MK-Tibi-raises-Palestinian-flag-on-Temple-Mount-386578

Are we crazy, that loyalty to the State is not required of those who sit in her Knesset? With this, we are charged with being apartheid.

Ironically, the Israeli Arabs seem to have the very worst representing them in political parties.

~~~~~~~~~~

But there is a flip side to this story here, with Anett Haskia, an Arab Muslim Israeli whom Tibi calls a traitor.

Her three children have served in the IDF and she is encouraging Arab Israeli youth to do national service to give back to their country. She calls the Arab Israeli MKs a "fifth column bent on Israel's destruction." And she is running for the Habayit Hayehudi list.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/I-am-not-a-traitor-386456

Interesting, to say the least. Refreshing.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner18@gmail.com and visit her website: www.ArlenefromIsrael.info


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HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS OILY PETTIFOGGER ...

Posted by Paul Lademain, January 04, 2015

Juan Cole's strident anti-Israel, pro-Islamic agit-prop, apparently uttered for the purpose of fracturing the nation of Israel, is consistently pushed by Craig Brown, the co-founder of an NGO doing business as: "Common Dreams." Common Dreams publishes an online blog [http://www.commondreams.org/]; Brown promotes himself as a "progressive" and, as its editor, he selects the content for Common Dreams' Online. (His late wife, Lina Newhouser co-founded this NGO.) Brown enrolls a cadre of writers, many of whose ideals and ideations we share, but we are constantly perplexed as to why Brown hews to the views of Juan Cole, an embittered anti-Israel termagant who apparently has abstained from any research of international law associated with the founding (during the Twenties) of what was then known and internationally recognized as the Jewish Homeland of Palestine. In short, Cole focused his education almost exclusively on Islam and ignores the multi-millenial history of Jews and their communities that existed for centuries throughout the entire region of Palestine and the entire middle east --- including the region of Medina that eventually was incorporated into the new state of Saudi Arabia. Cole ignores the fact that along with the rise of fascism and its embrace by Islam and the nazi political party, Jews were driven out of their ancient homelands by Muslim forces; he ignores the fact that most of these Jewish refugees retreated to or were driven by arabist armed forces into the new state of Israel. He consistently ignores international law that established the boundaries of what was then called Jewish Palestine (now "Israel") whose borders are detailed in the treatise written by the late Prof. Howard Grief: "The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law." (FACT: Cole, as well as the US X-POTUS, Jimmy Carter and his notorious Secy. of State, deliberately ignore the plight of close to a million Jewish refugees who were driven, empty-handed, from their ancient homelands.)

We have attempted to reason with Brown on the subject of Israel and its sovereignty over the lands the arab invaders currently covet, but to no avail. His technique is to immediately dismiss any contradiction of or to his pan-arabist views and typically responds with ad hominem attacks on those who dare to criticize his anti-Israel views.

Other methods are thus called for.

I have borrowed some words written by Bernie Sanders in his opening assault on the TPP trade agreement [http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/12/31/ten-reasons-why-tpp-must-be-defeated] recently published by Common Dreams (We can only "tend to agree" with Sanders because we are in no better position than others who have so far been barred from examining the terminology and terms of the proposed Trans Pacific Partners trade treaty.)

So, here's how we would go about introducing an attack on Juan Cole's pan-arabist dramaturgy:

"Mr. Cole's proposals for dismantling the nation of Israel is a design for disaster; a schemata designed to protect the interests of the largest and wealthiest middle-eastern and northern european oil czars at the expense of the civilian population of Israel, world-wide consumers, advances in medical research and the environment, while undermining Western Values that defeated fascism and the nazi party. His malevolence toward the Jewish State is designed to destroy some of the most civilized people in the world: Jews and Muslim Israelis, alike." (This intro should be followed by one or two memorable attacks on Cole's pro-Islamic/anti-Israel blather --- and please don't expound excessively on Cole's opinions before attacking his views, which self-defeating habit characterizes what a handful of Israeli "in-tell-leck-shu-all-show-offs" tend to do as a preamble to their customarily defensive, excessively polite, and therefore ineffective rebuttals.)

FYI: here are Bernie Sanders words published by Craig Brown's online blog presented by his "Common Dreams": "The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world."

Contact Paul Lademain by email at lademain@verizon.net


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AN ISRAELI ON VACATION

Posted by GWY123, January 04, 2015

An Israeli is on vacation and is visiting a zoo in England when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion's cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside his cage, right under the eyes of her screaming parents.

The Israeli runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the Israeli brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him profusely.

A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter says to the Israeli: 'Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I've ever seen a man do in my lifetime. The Israeli replies, 'Why, it was nothing, really. The lion was behind bars. I just saw this little girl in danger and acted as I felt right.' The reporter says, 'Well, I'll make sure this doesn't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page. So, what country are you from, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?' The Israeli replies, "I'm from Israel. I serve in the Israeli army and I vote for the Likud."

The journalist leaves. The following morning the Israeli buys the paper to see news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

"RIGHT-WING ISRAELI ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH."

And that pretty much sums up the media's approach to Israel these days

Contact GWY123 at AmericanZionist@yahoogroups.com


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THE ISLAMIZATION OF BRITAIN IN 2014

Posted by Ted Belman, January 04, 2015

The article below was written by Soeren Kern who is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Gatestone Institute, and Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estrategicos / Strategic Studies Group. One of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain, the Strategic Studies Group is closely tied to Spain's center-right Partido Popular/Popular Party and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. A political scientist by training, Soeren specializes in European politics as well as US and European defense- and security-related issues. He is also an essayist on European anti-Americanism and the roles of America and Europe in the world. This article appeared January 04, 2015 on Israpundit and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603679?utm_source=phplist2130
&utm_medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=ISRAPUNDIT+DAILY
+DIGEST+JAN+4%2F15

The Muslim population of Britain reached 3.4 million in 2014 to become around 5.3% of the overall population of 64 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France and Germany.

Islam and Islam-related issues were omnipresent in Britain during 2014, and can be categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism and the security implications of British jihadists in Syria; 2) the continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain; 3) the sexual exploitation of British children by Muslim gangs; and 4) Muslim integration into British society.

What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in Britain during 2014.

In January, an analysis of census data showed that nearly 10% of the babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim. The percentage of Muslims among children under five is almost twice as high as in the general population. By way of comparison, fewer than one in 200 people over the age of 85 are Muslim, an indication of the extent to which the birth rate is changing the religious demographic in Britain.

Also in January, Muslim fundamentalists threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted an innocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account. The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, added to the growing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe.

On January 16, a Muslim woman was arrested by counter-terrorism police at Heathrow Airport as she was preparing to board a flight to Turkey. Nawal Masaad, 26, is accused of trying to smuggle £16,500 ($27,000; €20,000) in her underwear to jihadists in Syria. She and her alleged co-conspirator, Amal El-Wahabi, 27—a Moroccan who does not work and claims British social welfare benefits for herself and two young sons—were the first British women to be charged with terrorism offenses linked to the conflict in Syria.

On January 23, the head of Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit, Commander Richard Walton, revealed that 14 British minors were arrested on charges linked to the Syrian conflict in January alone, compared to 24 for the whole of 2013. He said it was "almost inevitable" that some fighters would try to mount attacks in Britain upon their return.

On January 16, British Islamist Abu Waleed outlined his vision of an Islamic state in Britain, and called for Christians to be humiliated so that they would convert to Islam. In a video, he said:

"If the Muslim sees a kaffir [non-Muslim] with nice clothes, the kaffir has to take his clothes off and give them to the Muslim. The kaffir, when he walks down the street, he has to wear a red belt around his neck, and he has to have his forehead shaved, and he has to wear two shoes that are different from one another. He [the non-believer] is not allowed to walk on the pavement, he has to walk in the middle of the road, and he has to ride a mule. That is, my dear brothers, the Islamic state."

Bristol, the city council approved a controversial plan to convert a former comedy club into a mosque. In Cambridgeshire, a Muslim group submitted plans to convert a warehouse into a new mosque. In Cambridge, locals opposed a plan to build a £17.5 million ($28.5 million; €21 million) mega-mosque, claiming it could be "front for terrorism." In Blackburn, home to nearly 100 mosques, city councilors were urged to reject a plan to open a mosque in a residential neighborhood.

In Southend, local residents celebrated after a four-year battle resulted in the closing of an illegal mosque. In Newton Mearns, south of Glasgow, plans were abandoned to build a mosque within the grounds of a school in one of the most affluent suburbs of Scotland, due to local criticism of the move.

In Catherine-de-Barnes, a tiny village in western central England, local residents objected to plans for a large, Muslim-only cemetery, which will include space for 4,000 followers of Islam to be buried, and 75 parking spaces for visitors. The village has a population of just 613, which means the cemetery could eventually hold six-and-a-half times as many people as Catherine-de-Barnes itself.

In February, official statistics showed that net immigration to the United Kingdom surged to 212,000 in the year ending September 2013, a significant increase from 154,000 in the previous year. The new immigration data cast doubt on a pledge by Prime Minister David Cameron to get net migration—the difference between the number of people entering Britain and those leaving—down to the "tens of thousands" before the general election in May 2015.

Separately, data released by the National Crime Agency showed a 155% rise in British children groomed by sex gangs during 2013.

Also in January, a Muslim extremist who hacked a soldier to death on a London street in May 2013, launched a taxpayer-funded appeal against his murder conviction. Michael Adebolajo, 29, who tried to behead the British soldier Lee Rigby with a meat cleaver, maintained that he should not have been convicted because he is a "soldier of Allah" and therefore Rigby's killing was an act of war rather than premeditated murder.

Adebolajo and his co-defendant, Michael Adebowale, 22, were found guilty by a jury in December 2013, and were sentenced on February 26. Adebolajo was given a "whole-life" prison term and Adebowale was given a minimum term of 45 years. Adebolajo's brothersaid his sibling was the victim of "Islamophobia."

On February 16, The Sunday Times reported that about 250 British jihadists who went to train and fight in Syria had returned to the UK and were being monitored by the security services. Senior officials said the high number of "returnees"—five times the figure that had been previously reported—underlined the growing danger posed by "extremist tourists" going to the war-torn region. MI5 and police said they feared that "returnees" could be preparing a Mumbai-style gun attack on civilians, possibly in a crowded public place in London.

On February 14, three Muslim vigilantes who terrorized innocent members of the public as the self-styled "Muslim Patrol" were banned from promoting Sharia Law in Britain for a period of five years.

In March, British authorities launched an investigation into the source of a document that purportedly outlined a plot by Muslim fundamentalists to Islamize public schools in England and Wales. The four-page document described a strategy—dubbed Operation Trojan Horse—to oust non-Muslim head teachers and staff at state schools in Muslim neighborhoods and replace them with individuals who would run the schools according to strict Islamic principles.

Also in March, a report entitled, "Easy Meat: Multiculturalism, Islam and Child Sex Slavery," showed how officials in England and Wales were aware of rampant child grooming—the process by which sexual predators befriend and build trust with children in order to prepare them for abuse—by Muslim gangs since at least 1988. Rather than taking steps to protect British children, however, police, social workers, teachers, neighbors, politicians and the media deliberately downplayed the severity of the crimes perpetrated by the grooming gangs in order to avoid being accused of "Islamophobia" or racism.

Meanwhile, official figures revealed that record levels of Muslims are serving jail sentences and that the numbers are still growing. Across England and Wales the proportion has risen from 8% one decade ago to 14% now. In London, the figure is 27%, which is more than double the 12% of the capital's population who are Muslim.

On March 27, ITV News reported that the problem of honor-based violence and forced marriages in England is "worse than people think," but that many people are afraid of speaking out because they do not want to be branded as being "racist." Claire Phillipson from Wearside Women in Need said:

"I have no doubt that all over the North East [England] first, second, third generation English young women are being forced into marriage.

"Schools and communities are keeping silent about it, because they are concerned that they would be called racist, Islamophobic. They don't quite know where the line between culture, religion and human rights should be drawn."

On March 13, the Law Society, the main professional association representing and governing the legal profession in England and Wales, issued ground-breaking guidance to help lawyers draft Sharia-compliant wills and estate planning documents. The move effectively enshrined Islamic Sharia law in the British legal system for the first time.

In April, the British government launched a public consultation on whether or not to introduce student loans that are compliant with Islamic Sharia law, which forbids loans that involve the payment of interest.

Critics said that the dispute over interest-bearing student loans follows stepped-up demands for Sharia-compliant banking and insurance as well as credit cards, mortgages and pension funds, which—taken together—are contributing to the establishment of parallel Islamic financial and legal systems in Britain.

Separately, Lloyds Bank was accused of reverse religious discrimination after dropping overdraft fees for Muslims but not for others. The bank said that non-Muslims would have to pay up to £80 (€97, $135) a month for an overdraft, but that for Muslims "there won't be any charges."

Meanwhile, the fast food giant Subway removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets in Britain and switched to halal (Arabic for "permitted" or "lawful") meat alternatives, apparently in an attempt to please its Muslim customers.

On April 9, Home Secretary Theresa May published her annual report on the government's strategy for countering terrorism. The report concluded that battle-hardened British jihadists returning from the war in Syria now pose the most serious threat to British security.

On April 17, the Sheffield Crown Court found Aras Hussein, 21, guilty of beheading his girlfriend, Reema Ramzan, 18, with a kitchen knife in her apartment in Sheffield in June 2013. He was sentenced to life, with a minimum of 20 years in prison.

On April 30, a jury at the Manchester Crown Court heard how Ahmed Al-Khatib, 35, murdered his wife for becoming "too westernized." The prosecution told the jury that the mother of three had been "in fear of her husband" and "believed he might one day kill her." She eventually sought help from the police and a lawyer. The prosecutor said:

"The family of the defendants were insulted that she had gone to the law. They wanted her and her children back within the family fold...Therefore, it was decided that she should either be forced to comply or be killed."

On April 19, the Charity Commission, a government agency that regulates charities in the UK, announced a crackdown on Muslim charities that send money to jihadist groups in Syria.

On April 24, British counter-terrorism officials launched a nationwide campaign aimed at encouraging Muslim women to contact the police if they were concerned that their family members or close friends might be preparing to travel to Syria to fight.

Also on April 24, a group of British lawyers launched a new organization called "Sharia Watch UK" to "highlight and expose those movements in Britain which advocate and support the advancement of Islamic law in British society." The group called Sharia law "Britain's Blind Spot."

In May, a senior adviser to Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-linked mayor of the heavily Islamized London Borough of Tower Hamlets, threatened Muslim riots unless people stop questioning the manner of his re-election. Rahman narrowly won re-election on May 23 as an independent, but the result was cast into doubt amid dozens of reports of voter intimidation and a chaotic count that took more than five days to declare a final result. Rahman was expelled from the Labour Party in 2010 after The Telegraph revealed his close links to an Islamic extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe.

On May 19, a jury in New York found Abu Hamza, the former imam of Finsbury Park mosque in north London, guilty on all 11 counts following a four-week trial. The one-eyed, handless Hamza was charged with organizing a terrorist camp in the US, taking hostages in Yemen and sending one of his followers from London to train with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The guilty verdicts followed a lengthy battle over his extradition from the UK, which began in 2004 but was only carried out in 2012. At the same time, Scotland Yard and MI5 were accused of ignoring warnings that Hamza was establishing an international hub of terrorism in London as far back as 1999. Despite Abu Hamza's conviction, Britainremains the world's leading recruiting ground for al-Qaeda.

On May 16, the Telegraph reported that Aminu Sadiq Ogwuche, a British-born "ringleader" of the Islamist group Boko Haram, responsible for kidnapping hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria, was radicalized while studying at a British university. Ogwuche, the son of a retired Nigerian colonel, was said by fellow students at the University of Glamorgan in Wales to call himself "The Lion of Allah" and threatened to cut off the hands and feet of non-Muslims while living in the UK.

On May 9, the mother of Nicky Reilly—a convert to Islam who tried to blow up a restaurant packed with diners in Exeter in 2008—told the BBC's Radio 4 that the would-be suicide bomber was turned into "a loaded gun" by Islamic extremists in Britain. The 22-year-old changed his name to Mohammad Abdulaziz Rashid Saeed-Alim in 2004 in tribute to the jihadists who attacked New York on September 11, 2001. Kim Reilly said: "They were telling him he would be in paradise with 44 virgins, and he believed it."

On May 7, Pizza Express, a British restaurant chain, revealed that halal meat was being used in all of its chicken dishes in all of its 434 restaurants across the UK. Under Islamic law, chicken can only be eaten if the bird's throat has been slit while it is still alive. A Koranic verse is also recited during the ritual. On May 15, it emerged that at least a dozen top universities, including Oxford University, have been secretly serving halal meat to unsuspecting students.

On May 30, a Somalian doctor with a practice in Birmingham was struck off the medical register after he was found by a medical malpractice tribunal to have told an undercover reporter how to arrange female genital mutilation abroad for her two nieces.

In June, Tablighi Jamaat, a radical Islamic group committed to "perpetual jihad" to spread Islam around the world, edged one step closer to building one of the world's largest mosques in London after a star Muslim opponent of the controversial project was intimidated into silence. The proposed mega-mosque would be built on a 16-acre site near the Olympic Stadium, and would have a capacity for more than 9,000 worshippers.

On June 17, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that British citizens and other Europeans fighting alongside Islamist insurgents in Iraq and Syria posed the biggest threat to Britain's national security.

But on June 22, the Financial Times reported: "The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has halved its counter-terrorism budget even as officials warn of the most severe threat to the UK from overseas terror groups since the London bombings in 2005."

Also on June 22, the Sunday Times reported that British jihadists are faking their deaths on the battlefield in Syria in an attempt to return to the UK undetected. In one instance, the martyrdom of a fighter in Syria was announced by his colleagues on social media, only for police to arrest the "dead" individual at the port town of Dover.

The Times also reported that a British jihadist using the nom de guerre Abu Rashash Britani recently posted a message on Twitter that said: "When we establish khilafah [an Islamic state], a battalion of mujahideen shud head to UK & capture David Cameron & Theresa May and behead them both:)"

Another jihadist from Birmingham named Junaid Hussain tweeted that the "black flag of jihad" will soon fly over Downing Street. He also tweeted: "Imagine if someone were to detonate a bomb at voting stations or ambushed the vans that carry the casted votes. It would mess the whole system up." Hussain re-tweeted a warning from a like-minded countryman for British people to "watch out," because "we'll come back to the UK and wreak havoc."

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old jihadist from Portsmouth named Muhammad Hassan promiseda “killing spree” of British citizens if he were ever to return to Britain.

On June 16, a new law entered into effect, which makes forced marriage a self-standing criminal offense in England and Wales and is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Research commissioned by the government estimates that up to 8,000 young women in Britain are the victims of forced marriages each year, but charities say the actual number is far higher because many victims are afraid to come forward.

On June 12, the BBC reported that some Muslim families in Britain have begun hiring bounty hunters to track down the victims of forced marriage who try to run away.

On June 25, Britain became the first Western nation to issue Islamic bonds, completing a plan that was more than seven years in the making. Investors placed £2.3 billion ($3.9 billion) of orders, more than 11 times the amount of bonds on offer.

On June 24, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said that a Sharia-compliant alternative to the conventional student loan could become available in the UK beginning in 2016. He said: "It would be a tragedy if any student, particularly a Muslim student because of concerns about so-called interest rates, were put off from going to university." He added: "This does not mean we are introducing Sharia law in the UK."

On June 6, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) admitted that non-Muslim soldiers are unknowingly being fed halal meat on military bases.

Also in June, an investigation found that all of the chicken and lamb meat being served at the University of Warwick is halal. A first-year student commented:

"It's disgusting that only Islamic meat is provided and no others. How is it acceptable for me to eat blessed meat of another religion that is different to my own? To effectively impose a monopoly on my choice leads me to question whether their religion (Islam) is prioritized over my own."

On June 9, government inspectors found that the library at Olive Tree Primary School, a Muslim school in Luton, included books that advocate stoning and lashing. Leaders of the school accused the inspectors of "Islamophobia."

In July, analysts at SITE, a group that monitors radical Islamic propaganda, reported that a growing number of British women have moved to Syria to raise children under the Islamic State. One such woman is Aqsa Mahmood, a 20-year-old woman from Glasgow, Scotland who left for Syria in November 2013.

Mahmood attended private schools and had wanted to become a doctor, but she dropped out of university without warning and vanished overnight in order to become a jihadist and marry an IS fighter. Using the jihadist name of Umm Layth (Arabic for "Mother of the Lion") Mahmood uses social media to encourage other British Muslim women to leave their families behind and join the jihad in Syria. She wrote: "Once you arrive in the land of jihad, the Islamic State is your family."

On July 3, the Inner London Crown Court sentenced six Muslims to a combined 36 years in prison for attacking two black men with a baseball bat because they were not Muslim. Judge Ian Darling said: "Not only was there a religious aspect to this offense, but there was an undoubted racial element."

On July 4, a British jihadist who uses the nom de guerre Abu Osama told the BBC's Radio 5:

"If and when I come back to Britain it will be when this Khilafah, the Islamic state, comes to conquer Britain, and I come to raise the black flag of Islam over Downing Street, over Buckingham Palace, over Tower Bridge and over Big Ben."

On July 6, a British jihadist using the alias Abu Dugma al-Britani, warned that the Islamic State would capture Downing Street and hold executions in Trafalgar Square. Using Twitter, he wrote: "Downing Street will be a base for Muslims. Trafalgar Square is where public executions will take place. Army of Islamic State is coming."

On July 8, Lord Richard Scott, a former British Supreme Court judge, called on Christians to marry Muslims to tackle Islamophobia. He said:

"Of my two sons one has become a Muslim and of my two daughters one of those has become a Muslim, and I have 12 lovely grandchildren, seven of whom are little Muslims.

"The family relationships since those events took place have been as happily familial, as close and as good as any parent or grandparent could wish.

"I do just wonder that if an improvement is needed between the faith groups, one way of promoting that might be to encourage interfaith marriages."

On July 14, a Muslim checkout worker at a Tesco supermarket in London refused to sell non-Muslim customer ham and wine because it was Ramadan. The checkout clerk told Julie Cottle that he would not touch the items because they are considered forbidden by Islam and advised her to use the self-service tills instead. When Cottle complained to the manager, he backed the worker's right to refuse to serve her because it was the holy month of Ramadan and he was fasting. Tesco later apologized for the incident and said the worker had been "spoken to.

On July 18, a government report leaked to the Guardian revealed that a group of Islamic fundamentalists, mostly men of Pakistani origin, infiltrated the management of at least ten schools in Birmingham, sometimes breaking the law in order to introduce Muslim worship and sex segregation. Their activities were unimpeded by council officials who were fearful of allegations of Islamophobia and who forced ousted teachers to sign gagging clauses rather than treating their complaints seriously as whistleblowers.

On July 28, the Star City entertainment complex in Birmingham barred non-Muslims from entering a cinema because they were not celebrating the Islamic festival Eid. One non-Muslim complained on Facebook:

"My friends family have just been refused entry at VUE cinema as they are not Muslim this is a shocking disgrace. If the shoe was on the other foot there would be uproar. Can you imagine banning all Muslims to star city because it's Christmas."

In August, data released by the Office of National Statistics [ONS] showed that Mohammed was the most popular given to boys born in Britain in 2013. Although the ONS claimed that Oliver was the top name with 6,949 boys, it was in fact Mohammed when the top three spellings for the name (Muhammad, 3,499; Mohammed, 2,887 and Mohammad, 1,059) are combined to yield 7,445 boys.

On August 21, it emerged that there are now more British Muslims fighting for the Islamic State than for Britain's military.

On August 23, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, warned that radical Islam is on the rise and "imperiling our way of life, threatening to undermine the values that have been bitterly won over the centuries." He called on Britons to "recover a confidence in our own nation's values. For too long we have been self-conscious and even ashamed about British identity." He added:

"By embracing multiculturalism and the idea that every culture and belief is of equal value we have betrayed our own traditions of welcoming strangers to our shore.

"The fact is that for too long the doctrine of multiculturalism has led to immigrants establishing completely separate communities in our cities. This has led to honor killings, female genital circumcision and the establishment of sharia law in inner-city pockets throughout the UK."

On August 26, Alexis Jay, the leader of an independent inquiry in the sexual abuse of children in Rotherham, released a horrifying report that found that gangs of mainly Muslim men of Pakistani heritage had groomed, terrorized and abused at least 1,400 girls, some as young as 11, in Rotherham over a 16-year period between 1997 and 2013.

On August 31, the Independent on Sunday reported that a House of Commons committee would launch an investigation into whether Tony Blair's Labour government knew about the Rotherham child abuse scandal as far back as 2001, but refused to act because of his government's desire to pacify Muslim communities.

On August 30, a straw poll conducted by the BBC's Saturday Morning Live Show found that 95% of respondents said that they think multiculturalism in Britain is a failure.

In September, new census data showed that the number of Muslim children in Birmingham was greater than the number who are Christian for the first time. Of Birmingham's 278,623 children, 97,099 were registered as Muslim and 93,828 as Christian. There were also 54,343 children who were recorded as following no religion, showing the rising trend of atheism in the country.

On September 12, London Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh warned that London children under the age of ten are being "trained to be junior jihadis," a disturbing sign of the growing extremist threat in the capital. He said:

"It's pretty horrendous when you hear how some of these children are being radicalized. The threat of radicalization of young people is real and this is a problem that is going to be with us not just for a couple of years, but for the next generation."

On September 5, it emerged that networks of Islamic radicals are recruiting British jihadists through mosques and prayer centers. Previously, most British jihadists were recruited via online networks. But a combination of a Turkish border clampdown and a focus by counter-terrorist police on taking down online networks has made recruitment on the ground more important.

On September 3, eight Muslim men were charged with sexually abusing girls under the age of 16. The charges followed series of police raids involving 120 officers in the Thames Valley. On September 9, five Muslim men went on trial in Sheffield, accused of trafficking a 13-year-old girl for sex.

On September 10, the government announced that Muslim students will be offered Sharia-compliant interest free student loans in an effort to get more Islamic pupils to go to university.

In September, a customer at a Leicester branch of KFC was refused a hand-wipe as it might offend Muslims. Graham Noakes, 41, said staff at the fast food chain's outlet in St George's retail park refused to give him a hand-wipe because it was against its halal policy. Staff said this was because the wipes are soaked in an alcohol-infused liquid and alcohol is forbidden in the Koran.

In October, a 75-year-old retiree was arrested for "racism" after saying "I'm not Muslim" when he was asked to remove his shoes at security at Stansted Airport. Paul Griffith was charged with causing "racially or religiously aggravated harassment, alarm or distress."

In October, a taxi company in Rochdale, a town tainted by a child sex-grooming scandal perpetrated by Muslim gangs, began offering customers "white" or "local" drivers on demand. The move came after two local drivers of Pakistani origin were jailed for their part in the rape and trafficking of young white girls.

On October 23, the BBC reported that a memorial for Lee Rigby, a British soldier who was murdered by two Muslim converts in May 2013, will not bear his name. Greenwich Council said a stone would be placed in St George's Chapel garden, opposite Woolwich Barracks where Rigby was based, but that the memorial would pay tribute to all fallen servicemen and woman. Local MP Nick Raynsford said that a Rigby memorial would attract "undesirable interest from [Islamic] extremists."

On October 16, a new report showed that in just six months, nearly 2,000 women and girls in England were treated by the National Health Service after undergoing female genital mutilation [FGM]. In September alone, 467 female patients in England were newly identified as having been subjected to FGM. The data published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre [HSCIC] were the first official figures to have been published on the numbers of FGM cases seen in hospitals in England.

On October 30, a new study found that child sexual exploitation has become "the social norm" in many parts of Greater Manchester. The report—Real Voices, Child Sexual Exploitation In Greater Manchester—estimated that nearly 650 children reported missing in towns across Greater Manchester in 2014 were at risk of child sexual exploitation or serious harm. But despite almost 13,000 reports of child sex abuse in the past six years, only about 1,000 people have been convicted. The report's author—Labour MP Ann Coffey—was criticized for failing to address the fact that many street grooming gangs are made up of Muslim men. She said it would be "wrong" to focus on "Asian" gangs targeting teenage girls.

On October 30, a Populus survey found that one in seven young British adults has "warm feelings" towards Islamic State. A tenth of Londoners and one in 12 Scots view Islamic State favorably, but sympathy for the militant group reaches its highest levels among the under-25s.

In November, British police foiled an Islamist plot to behead Queen Elizabeth at a Remembrance Day event at the Cenotaph, a war memorial situated on Whitehall in London.

In London Borough of Croydon, a couple from Afghanistan threatened to kill their daughter if she rejected a forced marriage and to behead her if she contacted authorities for help.

On November 5, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, told an international terrorism conference that his officers are "struggling to cope" with the speed of immigration and because many of those coming to Britain speak different languages and hold different views of authority.

On November 16, senior officials at Scotland Yard advised British police officers not to wear their uniforms on the way to and from work amid concerns that Islamic extremists are plotting to target them on the streets.

On November 10, The Times reported that British intelligence officials warned senior ministers that the scale of terrorist activity is so great that an attack is "almost inevitable" in the coming months.

On November 26, the British government unveiled sweeping new counter-terrorism measures which—if approved by Parliament—would give the United Kingdom some of the "toughest powers in the world" to fight Islamic terrorism.

On November 12, the BBC reported that the British Islamist Abu Rumaysah skipped bail after being arrested on terrorism charges and is thought to be in Syria, despite being banned from leaving the UK. Rumaysah left London on a bus bound for Paris after blundering police failed to confiscate his passport. On November 2, 60 Minutes aired an interview with Rumaysah, who said:

"Ultimately, I want to see every single woman in this country [Britain] covered from head to toe. I want to see the hand of the thief cut. I want to see the adulterer stoned to death. I want to see Sharia law in Europe. And I want to see it in America, as well. I believe our [Sharia] patrols are a means to an end."

On November 1, a new report by Sharia Watch UK exposed the activities of Islamist speakers on British university campuses. The report—Learning Jihad—documented how Islamists are making anti-Semitic remarks, deriding Western notions of human rights, advocating female genital mutilation and calling for a raft of strict Sharia punishments such as stoning adulterers to death.

On November 11, the new Muslim owner of the exclusive Bermondsey Square Hotel in London abruptly banned alcohol and pork from the bar and grill at the hotel, in order to run it "in accordance with Sharia law." The £220 ($340)-a-night hotel is believed to be one of the first in the UK to introduce the strict Muslim policy, but staff said the changes have caused business to plummet, with many reservations cancelled.

Also on November 11, it was reported that thousands of Muslim school children in East Lancashire were being offered a pork-based vaccine as part of a major new flu immunization program. The new nasal spray, which is made with gelatin derived from pigs, is part of a pilot project, but Muslim leaders complained that the decision not to offer an alternative was "outrageous" because they consider the spray to be 'haram' or sinful. Public Health England, which is leading the project, said in a statement: "There is no suitable alternative to [the porcine-based] Fluenz [vaccine]."

On November 13, police in Manchester arrested 13 members of human trafficking gang after a pregnant woman was duped into travelling to England before being sold into a sham Sharia law marriage. The 20-year-old Slovakian woman, who was 25 weeks pregnant, was tricked into flying to Luton airport in May believing that she would be able to meet her sister. After meeting a man at the airport who claimed to be her sister's friend, however, she was taken to an address in Oldham. She then discovered that she had been sold to a Muslim man who had paid the gang £15,000 (€19,000; $23,000) to provide her a sham marriage. Police say the purpose of the marriage, which took place under a Sharia ceremony in Rochdale in July, was to improve the man's chances of avoiding deportation from the UK.

On November 10, the BBC reported that police in Rotherham not only ignored, but actively obstructed investigations into child abuse victims, apparently because the perpetrators were Muslim. On November 19, the Birmingham Mail reported that the Birmingham City Council "buried" a politically incorrect government-funded report that revealed to sexual exploitation of young white girls by Muslim men. The author of the report, Jill Jesson, told the newspaper that the report was never published and all copies were to be destroyed. She said:

"I was employed to do the work because I think they thought I would be objective," she said. "I was told to reveal what I saw. I did – and some people didn't like it.

"Every time a news item has come on about sexual grooming of young girls and girls in care, and the link, too, between private hire drivers, I have thought, 'I told them about that in 1991 but they didn't want to acknowledge it.' I think the problem has got worse and worse over time."

On November 24, the Law Society withdrew controversial guidelines for lawyers on how to draft "Sharia compliant" wills amid complaints that they encouraged discrimination against women and non-Muslims. The guidelines advised lawyers on how to write Islamic wills in a way that would be recognized by courts in England and Wales. They set out principles that meant women could be denied an equal share of inheritances while unbelievers could be excluded altogether.

In December, a radio presenter for the BBC Radio 4's Feedback program, Roger Bolton,wrote an article for the Radio Times, a weekly magazine, in which he warned that British school teachers are afraid to teach their students about Christianity out of fear of offending Muslims. Bolton said that this was creating a generation of British youth who are ignorant about Christian culture and its role in British history. He cited a study that found that a quarter of British children indicated that they have never read, seen or heard of Noah's Ark,' that a similar proportion had never heard of the Nativity, that 43% had never heard of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, and that 53% had never read, seen or heard of Joseph and his coat of many colors.

On December 10, a new report by a human rights group exposed the vulnerability of Muslim women living in Islamic "marriages" in the UK. The report—Equal and Free? 50 Muslim Women's Experiences of Marriage in Britain Today—found that the widespread practice of polygamy has left Muslim women without legal rights upon "divorce," entirely dependent on their "husbands" for financial support, and often unable to leave sham "marriages" for fear of social ostracism or bringing "shame" to their family.

On December 11, the House of Lords held debates on female genital mutilation [FGM] and the "impact of Sharia Law on the United Kingdom." Lord Faulks, Minister of State for Civil Justice and Legal Policy, cited research that "revealed that approximately 60,000 girls are at risk of FGM in the UK." In the following debate, Baroness Cox said: "The establishment of Sharia courts or councils in this country has promoted the application of gender-discriminatory provisions in ways which are currently causing considerable distress for many women." She also asked why "polygamy is allowed to flourish" in Britain even though bigamy is illegal.

Finally, December saw the launch of the faceless "Deeni Doll," (deeni is Arabic for "faith") which is adorned with a traditional hijab headdress, but has no nose, mouth, or eyes, in order to comply with Islamic rulings regarding the depictions of facial features. The toy, which retails for £25 ($40), was designed by a former teacher at a Muslim school in Lancashire. She said:

"I came up with the idea from scratch after speaking to some parents who were a little concerned about dolls with facial features. Some parents won't leave the doll with their children at night because you are not allowed to have any eyes in the room. There is an Islamic ruling which forbids the depiction of facial features of any kind and that includes pictures, sculptures and, in this case, dolls."

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


To Go To Top

ROGER COHEN, THE NY TIMES' RESIDENT PESSIMIST; FBI PROFILES TRANSLATORS HAVING FOREIGN TIES; HOW "PROGRESSIVE" TEMPLES TREAT ISRAEL

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 04, 2015

I once entered a beautiful, sea-breezy, Gaza during Israeli rule. Mr. Cohen dramatically enters the dusty, crumpled, reeking territory of Gaza now, and finds himself "nowhere. "The difference is due to Islamic jihad instead of free-enterprise. Mr. Cohen fails to make that clear. Hence his laments for the poor residents of Gaza harm Israel's image, because he insinuates much blame by Israel.

Few people go to Gaza, he notes. That was true before the recent war. Who would want to?

Yes, Gazans are miserable. Mr. Cohen thinks that radicalizes them. How could they get noticeably more radical?

What Mr. Cohen observes is not entirely one-sided and not entirely false. That makes his sinister effect invidious. For example, I agree that the recent war "changed nothing," except that it postponed an immediate massacre of Israelis. He foresees another war, as Hamas test-fires improved rockets. So do I. We disagree on why or what to do about it.

The problem is, the last war was incomplete. Israel left Hamas mostly intact and still in charge. Israel withdrew its troops and accepts Hamas weapons testing and build-up, instead of considering that illegal activity a provocation to be ended.

Israel's truce there reminds me of the premature truce for the Korean War. Had the U.S. liberated N. Korea, we would not have to fear destruction by N. Korean lunatics now testing the nuclear means for doing it.

Israel needs to find a way to explain publicly that it recognizes the hypocrisy of most criticism of it, and that unless it achieves the destruction of the Hamas war-making machine, cease-fire now means letting Hamas resume war soon and at greater destructive capability. That is not a way of attaining what the world purports to want, an end of killing.

Mr. Cohen, on the other hand, finds it urgent to end the "lockdown" of Gaza. He does not defend that stated assumption. He forgets that the embargo started to prevent full arming by Gaza. Nor is this "lockdown" so complete, Mr. Cohen contends. When do critics of Israel acknowledge the many humanitarian exceptions to the blockade? Instead, there is a cry that Israel should let cement in for reconstruction. They forget the immorality of ending penalization of Gazans for the aggression that those Arabs generally approve of and want to continue. They forget that Hamas aggression has boosted Hamas popularity vis-a-vis Fatah. The Arab people want war!

Israel did let in cement. Enough cement has been siphoned off by Hamas to rebuild terror tunnels, a major means of waging effective war. Where are the UN inspections of cement to prevent its military diversion? Where is Mr. Cohen's complaint about the failure of that UN part of the truce? Where is his complaint that Hamas takes unfair and fatal advantage of Israel's humanitarian concessions of letting in some cement for civilian purposes, to serve military purposes? He is not fair. Have Israel's critics a sinister motive?

Instead, Mr. Cohen interviewed the director of UNRWA, to hear about the cement shortage. Mr. Cohen fails to discuss the reason for the shortage.

What makes the people of Gaza eager for another war? Mr. Cohen finds it is because they have nothing to lose, so he was told by a Hamas adviser. They may say that, but that is superficial. They've been eager for war, before. He makes them seem like people who want peace if they can get it. They always had the option of peace. But they chose war.

Islamic culture should be taken into account, in assessing what Muslims want. Mr. Cohen assumes it is as materialistic as Western culture. It is not. Muslims put religion first. Read what they say repeatedly -- they can get by on less income, because the cause (jihad) matters more to them. They don't mind dying for jihad.

Hamas and Fatah could work together to prevent violence, he believes. They need unity in order to convene serious peace talks. Unity of two terrorist organizations would produce peace? Pipe-dream.

However, he knows they are not likely to cooperate. He describes how dysfunctional they are. He appears not to realize that both factions favor violence. How could he have missed that?

The desirability of peace talks is taken for granted. What have 80 years of peace talks accomplished? What could they accomplish with religiously fanatical bigots who prefer war?

"Gaza is shameful." Moralist Cohen leaves blame hanging, thereby implying some for Israel. Shameful to whom? To Israelis who offered peace, or to Hamas that forced Israel to defend itself from war crimes?"

Hamas has a vile Charter, admits Mr. Cohen. Why doesn't he admit that Fatah has an equally vile Covenant, a charter for religious war? A moralist who wants peace should not propose empowering those who want war. A moralist should recognize evil better than Mr. Cohen does.


FBI PROFILES TRANSLATORS HAVING FOREIGN TIES

This NY Times article is a lengthy complaint and lament about the FBI profiling of Muslim translators having foreign ties.

The FBI profiling started after 9/11, and has expanded. Originally the program was for newly hired personnel having access to classified information. Now it reaches back to employees hired earlier. A long-term employee calls that unfair, but does not explain why the FBI should be more careful with newer employees.

The concern was that foreign governments could blackmail FBI employees into collaborating, to keep their relatives abroad from being harmed. Therefore, security checks become more frequent for those who are profiled. They feel discriminated against and at a dead end in their careers. Their feelings are described. They claim to be barred from certain assignments, but no evidence is given.

These people are notified of their inclusion in the program, but profess not to know why they are in it. [Isn't it obvious?]

They complain that there is no indication of their having done anything wrong, but still they are tested (Eric Schmitt, NY Times, 1/4/15, A1).

There may be some injustices here, but the article mostly is gossip. National security must come first. If the government waited until criminals are caught red-handed, where's the security?

The article omits crucial points that I wrote about, years ago:

1. When the federal government was desperate for translators of Arabic, some Israelis in the U.S. offered to translate. The FBI turned them down because they had ties to Israel and were Jewish. Their inherent loyalty was suspected, not that Israel would blackmail them over the safety of their relatives. They wanted to help their new country against a common enemy. By omitting this fact, the Times, as usual, incorrectly makes it seem as if Muslims are the only aggrieved party. There was real discrimination against Jews.

2. The article also omits reference to the extensive and dangerous Soviet infiltration of U.S. security agencies. It would help readers to understand the issue if it knew that government concerns were realistic.

Some Muslim translators of Arabic were taken on, instead of the Israelis. A couple of the Muslims were caught tipping off terrorist organizations what the government knew about arrested terrorists. How ironic! Why did the Times omit that justification for the program?

I hope that the government exercises its discretion now better than it did about the Israeli-American translators. I wish that the Muslim translators were more realistic and fair.


HOW "PROGRESSIVE" TEMPLES TREAT ISRAEL

The Times Magazine discussed the dilemma that some "progressive" rabbis and their congregations feel about their devotion to Israel at war in Gaza. They have imbibed the accusations against IDF conduct; they think Israel is occupying at least Judea-Samaria. Their solution is statehood for the P.A. Arabs, which they call a "two-state solution." (Jason Horowitz, 12/21/14, page 18).

[I put it as statehood just for the P.A. Arabs, because the Jews already have a state. It is a rather tiny state. The U.S. Chiefs of Staff thought it could not be secure.]

Congregants at Temple Micah in D.C. wept about Israeli war conduct. They railed about Israelis killing children. They feel alienated from what they call a "right-wing" government in Israel and from a U.S. Congress that acts reflexively as if Israel can do no wrong. But they also are upset by more leftist American Jews who chant, "Stop the murder, stop the hate, Israel is a racist state."

[I find the accusations against Israeli military conduct false, perverse, and prejudiced, as I have written often. Israel did not commit war crimes, but the Arabs did. Where is the "progressive" moralists' annoyance with the Arab side? The article does not cite evidence about, or give meaning to, two-state, right-wing, Congress, and what is wrong with the far leftists' chant.]

[Why shouldn't Congress side with Israel against Islamist murderers of Israelis, just as other Islamists kill Americans?"

Rabbi Zemel addressed these issues in his sermon. He said, "I am so ashamed" by the reprisal murder of an Arab boy. He denounced the ultra-nationalism that he said dirtied "the greatest ethical tradition in history.

[It is not ethical to be ashamed of what someone else does. I denounce the murder of an Arab boy and also consider it counter-productive. What the apparent Jewish murderers did is not my responsibility. Therefore, I feel no shame about it.]

[He should have explained "ultra-nationalism" and why it contradicts Judaism, based partly on nationalism. I wonder whether he got it right.]

His daughter is troubled, too, but also is troubled by Jews who are progressive except when it comes to Israel.

[The "progressive" view often supports policies that harm the middle and lower classes. Their means of political action often are illiberal.]

He asserted that one may disagree with the President of the U.S. but not the Prime Minister of Israel.

[No evidence cited. It is too easy to disagree with the Prime Minister of Israel, in a global mood of antisemitism. One doesn’t need facts or logic to do it. One just writes for the NY Times. It is getting difficult for Americans to disagree with the U.S. President, as he illegally gets the IRS and regulatory agencies to punish or repress you.]

Rabbi Zemel also declared that to solve Israel's problem, "Jewish genius" is needed.

[I find the notion of "Jewish genius" or "Yiddishe kopf" conceited.

Much of the article diverges into the fortunes of the Democratic Party [which many Reform Jews seem to confuse with, or substitute for, Judaism.]

According to Pres. Obama, some U.S. Jews feel that unless you are pro-Likud, you are anti-Israel. Liberals thought Obama willing to "push Israel toward peace."

The rabbi wonders whether Hillary Clinton would still retain a good feeling toward Israel or be tough enough to correct Israel. The article states that she had no empathy for Arab losses. [They mean "no sympathy."] On the other hand, the article contradicts itself by admitting that Hillary Clinton is an opportunist, meaning she has no principles.

[Why would they consider voting for an opportunist? Why should anyone sympathize with bigoted aggressors who want to expel or murder all the Jews of Israel?]

Sec. of State Clinton decried the "antidemocratic" tendencies of Israel's right wing.

[Clinton and Obama, whose foreign policy has been almost a total failure practically and morally, have no business forcing Israel to do anything. The author talks about democracy, but wants a foreign country to force Israel into policies that Israel's leaders were elected to avoid. That is another of the article's contradictions.]

Earlier, liberal Jews had appreciated Pres. Obama's "more nuanced" position on supporting Israel, one that reflected the debate in Israel about policy. He wanted J Street to give Israel's critics cover, so that one could agree with Pres. Obama's criticism of Israel without being thought anti-Israel.

[J Street is anti-Israel, and so is Obama. I've explained why at length, elsewhere.]

Pres. Obama has turned to other matters, such as curbing Iran's nuclear program.

[More correct would be to suggest that Pres. Obama has turned his attention to unleashing Iran’s nuclear program, as he relinquishes sanctions and Iran refuses to agree to even the little that Obama now asks.]

The problem for Jewish voters is that they routinely vote Democratic, so that Party takes them for granted and they have no Jewish influence over it.

In Jerusalem, "Muslims and Jews clashed over holy places."

[A fairer statement would be that Muslims attacked Jews at holy places."

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses are a regular feature on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at ricshulman@aol.com.


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FACTOIDS NOT FACTS

Posted by Stephen/Michal Kramer, January 05, 2015

What's a factoid? According to one definition, it's a questionable or spurious (unverified, false, or fabricated) statement presented as a fact, but without supporting evidence. (Wikipedia) Factoids are what passes for knowledge among Westerners who vilify Israel and describe it as apartheid, neo-Nazi, warmongering, and more. Advocates for Israel are often ignorant of many facts themselves, hindering their ability to easily counter the fabrications hurled against Israel. Is a primer for those who wish to have quick retorts to factoids, I present the following. It helps to keep in mind what our Jewish guide in Rome, Micaela Pavoncello, replied when I asked her how she answered Jewish and Gentile critics of Israel. Micaela said, "I tell them to go and learn something about Israel and then we can have an intelligent discussion."

"EVERYONE" KNOWS THAT:

Palestine is the original name of Israel.

No, in 132 CE the Roman emperor Hadrian renamed Judea and the Galilee, "Syria Palaestina," in an effort to eradicate the Jewish identification of the region. The Arabs were the first inhabitants of Israel.

No, Abraham and his tribe entered Canaan about 1,800 BCE. Moses/Joshua led the Israelites from the desert into Canaan in about the 13th century BCE. (www.historyworld.net). The Arabs entered the region of Greater Syria during the Arab conquest of 634 CE, after the death of Mohammed.

The Muslim faith was founded in Israel. No, Mohammed founded Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. Jerusalem is the Muslim's holiest city. No, Jerusalem is the Jews' holiest city. It is the third holiest city for Muslims, after Mecca and Medina.

Palestine is an ancient Arab country and Jerusalem was its capital. No, there has never been a Palestinian country or state. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jews for 3,000 years. Lod was the regional capital of the Palestine district for the Umayyad dynasty (661-750). After 80 years the capital was moved to the new city of Ramla. (www.ancientlod.com) Jerusalem was briefly a capital of the Christians during the Crusades, from 1099-1187.

Arabs have always been the majority in Palestine. No, the Arabs, who came lately to the region, were one of many peoples who have lived here. Except for the brief Christian reign, the only kingdoms here were Jewish, dating back to the time of King David, 3,000 years ago. In Jerusalem, Jews have been the majority at least since the mid-18th century as well as in antiquity.

Before Israel's independence, the Arabs living in Mandatory Palestine called themselves Palestinians and published the Palestine Post newspaper.

No, the Jews called themselves "Palestinians" and had institutions such as the Palestine Electric Co., the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, the Palestine Post, etc. After Israel's independence in 1948, "Palestine" was replaced by "Israel." The Arabs began to call themselves "Palestinians" after 1967. Before that they identified themselves mostly as "Arabs." The UN partition Plan in 1947 called for a Jewish and a Palestinian state.

No, the plan stipulated a Jewish and an Arab state.

The Arabs accepted the Partition Plan. No, the Arabs rejected the plan and immediately began organized attacks against the Jews. After declaring its independence in May 1948, Israel attacked five neighboring Arab countries, vowing to throw the Arabs into the sea.

No, the reverse is true.

Israel's conflict with the Arabs is over territory. No, the Arabs' goal is to replace the State of Israel with the State of Palestine, or perhaps a Caliphate. That's the reason why "Land for Peace" will never work. During the War of Independence, the Jews captured the Old City of Jerusalem and ethnically cleansed it of Muslims.

No, Jordan captured the Old City in 1948 and cleansed it of Jews, destroying all the synagogues and desecrating the graveyards. Jerusalem has been divided for most of its 3,000 year history.

No, in all of its history Jerusalem was divided only for 19 years, from 1948-1967, when the Jordanians captured the Old City.

During the 19 years (1948-1967) that Jordan annexed the "West Bank," and Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Arabs clamored for an independent state.

No, the PLO was founded in 1964 (in Moscow) and agitation for a Palestinian state gained momentum only after 1967. In 1967, the Jews perpetrated a sneak attack on Egypt and Syria, vowing to throw the Arabs into the sea.

No, it was the reverse.

The Jews have no right to build settlements (communities, that is) on "Palestinian land." No, Judea and Samaria are the ancient homeland of the Jews. Since the Six Day War, Jews have returned to communities settled before 1948 (i.e. Hebron, Jaffa, Golan Heights, Gush Etzion) or have built new communities on unused land or land purchased from its owners.

Judea and Samaria are archaic, Biblical names and the West Bank is the proper name for this "Palestinian land".

No, the term West Bank was invented by the Jordanians in 1950, to accord with the country's change of name from Transjordan to Jordan. Judea and Samaria were the names used by Britain, the League of Nations, and the United Nations in the first half of the 20th century. Incidentally, the name "Palestine" had long been anachronistic until Britain revived it for the Mandate for Palestine. (Names on maps and in atlases are inherently political and should be recognized as such.)

In 1973, on the holiest day of the Muslim calendar, the Israelis pulled a sneak attack on its Arab neighbors, vowing to throw the Arabs into the sea. No, it was the reverse.

Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, the Israelis have never made the Palestinian Arabs a peace offer.

No, the Palestinian Arabs have turned down numerous offers, even ones that included almost everything that was demanded - most notably Ehud Olmert's 2008 plan (jpost.com). In the only Palestinian Authority election, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a lifetime presidency.

No, Mahmoud Abbas was elected for a term of 4 years in 2005. His term of office ended in January, 2009, though he remains in office unofficially. Israel alone closes Gaza's borders and occupies it.

No. In 2006, the Israelis pulled all its troops and civilians out of Gaza but retained control of its borders, except Gaza's border with Egypt. Both countries keep tight control of their border crossings in an attempt to prevent terrorists and weapons entering Gaza. When the Israelis left Gaza, the Palestinians took advantage of their newfound freedom to build a viable state.

No, the Hamas leadership has continued to pursue its goal to destroy Israel, instead of building a Palestinian state.

Israel returned to Gaza after 1995 and threw Fatah party members off of rooftops. No, after Hamas won the 2006 election in Gaza, it murdered many Fatah supporters, even throwing some off of rooftops.

For no apparent reason, Israel has attacked Gaza continuously since 2006. No, Israel has been shelled by thousands of rockets since withdrawing, in addition to terror attacks across the border fence and through tunnels under the fence. After an Israeli soldier was thought to be captured by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge (2014), Israel executed a dozen Israelis in the street, ostensibly suspecting them of collaborating with Hamas (despite the fact that they had been in prison).

No, that was the Hamas regime in Gaza.

Israel is an apartheid state. No, non-Jewish Israeli citizens have equal rights with Jewish citizens. This charge can be quickly refuted by a visit to Israel, where Arabs are part of the "landscape" in entertainment and work venues, the hospitals, the universities, shopping centers, and on the streets. There are no segregated facilities.

Beyond the 1949 Armistice Line, there are restrictions on Palestinian Arabs, who have yet to come to peaceful terms with Israel. These restrictions are necessary to protect the safety of Israelis, who have suffered hundreds of terror attacks perpetrated by Arabs. The Israeli security barrier is an "apartheid wall."

No, the barrier was built to help prevent infiltrators, and also terrorists intent on carrying out bombings, murders, kidnappings, etc. It has been quite successful, largely because it is augmented by preemptive Israeli security force activities beyond the Green Line (1949 Armistice Line). About 97% of the barrier is an electronic chain link fence. The rest is a 30 ft. high wall. (jewishvirtuallibrary.com)

Some people, when learning the facts, are capable of changing their minds about the conflict over Israel. They are worth talking to. It's best not to argue with others who don't wish to be "confused" by the facts. In their case, take Micaela's advice and tell them to educate themselves before broaching the subject again.

Steve Kramer was born and raised in Atlantic City. He is an opinion journalist and author who made Aliya in 1991. Prior to that, Steve was in business in New Jersey after graduating from Johns Hopkins University.


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Ten Points Regarding the Fundamental Breach by the Palestinians of the Oslo Accords

Posted by PMW Bulletin, January 05, 2015

The article below was written by Amb.Alan Baker who is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center and the head of the Global Law Forum. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel's ambassador to Canada. This article appeared in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and is archived at
http://jcpa.org/ten-points-breach-palestinians-oslo-accords/

yarafat
Bill Clinton, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat at the White House

  • 1. The peace negotiation process as set out in the Oslo Accords was intended to lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinian People and mutual recognition of each other's "mutual legitimate and political rights" (Preamble, Oslo I and Oslo II).
  • 2. In this context Israel was prepared to compromise on the historic and legal rights of the Jewish People in the area, through agreement for peaceful relations. To this end the parties agreed in the Oslo Accords not to initiate or take any steps that will change the status of the territories pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations (Oslo II, Article 31(7)).
  • 2. Yasser Arafat, in his September 9, 1993, letter to Yitzhak Rabin, declared that "all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations."
  • 3. This overall series of commitments and obligations constitutes a contractual framework of obligations between Israel and the Palestinians, signed as witnesses and guarantors by the King of Jordan, the Presidents of the U.S. and Egypt, the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation and Norway, the EU and endorsed by the UN.
  • 3. By petitioning the UN, the International Criminal Court and international organizations to recognize them and accept them as a full member state, and by their unification with the Hamas terror organization, the Palestinians have knowingly and deliberately bypassed their contractual obligations pursuant to the Oslo Accords in an attempt to prejudge the main negotiating issues outside the negotiation.
  • 4. This, together with their attempts to delegitimize Israel among the international community and their attempted actions against Israel's leaders, has served to frustrate any possibility of realization of the Oslo Accords, and as such the Palestinians are in material breach of their contractual obligations.
  • 5. By the same token those countries supporting them are in breach of their obligations and guarantees as witnesses.

  • 6. By all legal standards, according to the accepted and universally recognized laws of contracts and international agreements, a fundamental breach enables the injured party to declare the agreement void and is freed from any further obligations pursuant to the agreement or contract.
  • 7. Therefore the fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords by the Palestinians is indicative of their conscious decision to undermine them and prevent any possibility of their implementation. As such they have rendered the Accords void.
  • 8. In such a situation of fundamental breach and according to all accepted rules of contracts and agreements, Israel has the legitimate right to declare that the Oslo Accords are no longer valid and to act unilaterally in order to protect its essential legal and security interests.

    The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org /i>


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NORWAY FUNDS EXHIBIT ERASING ISRAEL FROM MAPS

Posted by PMW, January 05, 2015

The article below was written by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch(http://www.pmw.org.il), is an authority on Palestinian Arab ideology and policy. He was Israeli representative to the Tri-Lateral Anti Incitement Committee established under the Wye accords, and has written reports on Palestinian Authority, Syrian and Jordanian schoolbooks. Nan Jacques Zilberdik is an analyst at PMW, focusing on the opinions and messages of the Palestinian Arab leadership as transmitted to the Palestinian Arab public, with an emphasis on the impact on peace, messages and values communicated to children, and glorification of terrorists. This article is archived at http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13608

Colorful paintings of maps that erase Israel and label it "Palestine" were recently displayed at an exhibition in Lebanon, funded by Norwegian People's Aid, a Norwegian NGO, whose funders include the Norwegian government and other international donors.

The above map is entitled, "This is the area of Palestine," and text on the map says the area of "Palestine" is "27,009 square kilometers," a figure that includes all of Israel. Another map shows "The borders of Palestine," listing the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. In this map, Israel is also turned into "Palestine." A third map displays "the cities of Palestine," and includes the Israeli cities and towns Beer Sheva, Jaffa, Acre, Haifa and Safed.

[http://borjcamp.com/?p=46522 accessed Jan. 4, 2015]

Norwegian People's Aid lists the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) as donors for its "development cooperation in Lebanon." [http://www.npaid.org/Our-work/Countries/Middle-East/Lebanon/Development-cooperation-in-Lebanon accessed Jan. 4, 2015]

But the funding of the exhibition of Palestinian maps that erase the existence of Israel may involve even more international donors. Norwegian People's Aid stated in its annual account from 2012 that it was also supported by the US State Department, USAID - US Agency for International Development, the EU and UN, the Dutch and Swedish ministries of foreign affairs, Germany and other governments, in addition to the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NORAD - the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Norway, Canada, the US, and all those mentioned as funders are active partners in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the maps of "Palestine" they helped fund, which present a world without Israel, are significant impediments to reaching a permanent agreement and lasting peace.

Last year, Palestinian Media Watch reported that a UN official in Lebanon posed with a "map of Palestine" that erased Israel. At the time, the UN responded to PMW's report claiming that the map was pre-1948. PMW explained that this was a poor excuse as the map clearly included a large flag of the Palestinian Authority (which was founded in 1994), indicating PA sovereignty over Israel at the present time or in the future.

The current exhibition was named "This is Palestine" and the maps were painted by Palestinian children in Lebanon. The exhibition marked the 50th anniversary of "the outbreak of the 'Palestinian revolution,'" reported the official PA daily, referring to the first terror attack that Fatah, headed by Yasser Arafat, carried out against Israel in 1965 - an attempt to blow up Israel's National Water Carrier.

Norwegian People's Aid describes the goal of its work with Palestinian refugees:

"Important struggles are the struggle to have recognition of the rights of the refugees to eventually return to their homeland after more than 60 years, and while they are staying in Lebanon the struggle for their basic civil rights and rights to basic services, to work and housing."

In 2013, Palestinian Media Watch's reports on the PA practice of rewarding imprisoned terrorists with salaries led to significant Norwegian criticism of the PA, and demands that the PA stop paying salaries to terrorists.

The following is a longer excerpt of the report on the Norway-funded exhibition:

"The 'Steadfast Children' institute held a paintings exhibition titled 'This is Palestine' at the Al-Burj Al-Shamali refugee camp next to the Lebanese city of Tyre, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the 'Palestinian revolution' (i.e. "the Palestinian Revolution in 1965 when Fatah, headed by Yasser Arafat, carried out its first terror attack against Israel, trying to blow up Israel's National Water Carrier.) The exhibition, funded by the Norwegian People's Aid organization, featured brush paintings by our nation's children in Lebanon, which were consistent with the [atmosphere of the] event and the tragic situation of our people in the refugee camps in the diaspora. The exhibition also included six additional paintings - 'the rivers of Palestine', 'the mountains of Palestine', 'the plains of Palestine', 'the cities of Palestine', 'the Palestinian national anthem' and 'the borders of Palestine.'"

Contact PMW Bulletin at pmw@palwatch.org


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FALLEN US MARINE'S FATHER RETURNS OBAMA'S CONDOLENCE LETTER WITH AN INCREDIBLE REBUKE

Posted by Midenise, January 05, 2015

The article below was written by Tim Brown who is an author and Editor at FreedomOutpost.com, SonsOfLibertyMedia.com, GunsInTheNews.com and TheWashingtonStandard.com. He co-hosts NorthWest Liberty News radio each week day from 4-5pm EST with Jim White and occasionally hosts Bradlee Dean's Sons of Liberty Radio show from 2-3CST. This article appeared January 03, 2015 and is archived at
http://freedomoutpost.com/fallen-us-marines-family-returns-obamas-condolence -letter-incredible-rebuke/

Barack Hussein Obama is strutting around, boasting of his ending the war in Afghanistan. However, let's be reminded of one United States Marine's father's reply to a condolence letter from Obama, in which he rebuked the idiot-in-chief over the rules of engagement that have led to the deaths of many of America's servicemen.

This past week, the US commander of NATO declared the end of the mission against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Obama followed up with a statement declaring, "Our combat mission in Afghanistan is ending and the longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion."

However, I want to take the opportunity to remind people of what Barack Obama has done that has resulted in the deaths of many of our men who serve in the armed forces.

letter

Steven R. Hogan, father of fallen US Marine Lance Corporal Hunter D. Hogan took the condolence letter he received from Barack Obama and wrote with his own hand the following:

"I wonder how many of these get returned to you!

"Mr. Barrack Hussein Obama,

I am deeply saddened that you are the President of the United States. You sir are an embarrassment to the Oval Office. My son, as well as most Marines I know, despise you and your lack of representation for our military.

Your ridiculous rules of engagement have caused the massive amount of casualties on your watch in Afghanistan. While we watch your media pander to your administration and clearly sweep things under the rug for you, I fully understand Marines die. You have tied their hands & feet!

I am thankful I did not serve under a Comm. in Chief such as you. I am sickened that my son had to. I wonder... I doubt that you will see this, I hope you do though!"

Steve Hogan"

Mr. Hogan, I salute you sir and express sincere condolences for the sacrifice you have made of your son. For that, I am deeply saddened and I truly mean that, never being able to imagine one of my own son's lives being sacrificed in such a manner. But more than that, thank you for stating so clearly what I have heard from other family members who have lost their loved ones under Barack Hussein Obama in Afghanistan.

Billy Vaughn, father of fallen Navy SEAL Aaron Vaughn, who died aboard Extortion 17 along with 37 others including nearly two dozen SEALs, told me the exact same when I interviewed him in August 2013. Vaughn called Obama's rules of engagement "ridiculous, if not criminal" and later would declare, "The greatest threat the US faces resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."

Yet, all that has come from the Vaughn's message about the issues regarding Extortion 17, which Billy outlined in his book "Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion" 17 as told by a Navy SEAL's Father has been nothing more than a brief congressional hearing to appease them, which has produced nothing.

Though the "end" of the Afghanistan War has been declared and Obama has claimed that Afghanistan is "not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again," Kia Makerechi says that is not really the truth. She writes:

But while the administration would like to characterize this as a victory, the end of a conflict, it's more of a re-branding. More than 10,000 United States troops will remain in Afghanistan, and just over one month ago, the president secretly expanded their 2015 combat mission to include fighting with the Taliban and/or al-Qaeda, the Haqqani network, or other insurgent groups. The expansion of duties, which was first reported in The New York Times, also allows for the use of American manned aircraft and drones. Some 4,000 NATO troops will also remain in Afghanistan next year.

According to the United Nations, 2014 is the deadliest year of the war since they began counting casualties in 2008. More than 10,000 civilians are expected to die in Afghanistan by January 1.

"For more than 13 years, ever since nearly 3,000 innocent lives were taken from us on 9/11, our nation has been at war in Afghanistan," Obama's statement about the changing missions read. The president highlighted the "extraordinary sacrifices" of troops, some 2,200 of whom have died to date during the $1 trillion war. "We are safer, and our nation is more secure, because of their service," Obama said.

Obama has sympathized with his Muslim brothers. He could care less for America's sons who give their lives in the battle under a treasonous, usurping president, who has the interests of America's enemies in mind more than the interests of America. Steven Hogan's letter merely illustrates that fact.

Contact Midenise at AmericanZionist@yahoogroups.com


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VERY TRUE

Posted by Paul Eidelberg, January 05, 2015

"The Truth can hurt for a while, but a Lie can hurt forever."

VERY TRUE ---must read and forward!

It will take a little longer to read but must read. This is not for any specific religion, but it's true!

The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim

The Beltway Snipers were Muslims

The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim

The Underwear Bomber was a Muslim

The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims

The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims

The Bali Nightclub Bombers were Muslims

The London Subway Bombers were Muslims

The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims

The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims

The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims

The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims

The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims

The Beirut U.S. Embassy Bombers were Muslims

The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Muslims

The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims

The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims

The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims

The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims

The Beirut Marine Barracks Bombers were Muslims

The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims

The First World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims

The Bombay, Mumbai, India Attackers were Muslims

The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims

The Nairobi, Kenya Shopping Mall Killers were Muslims

The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims

The Sydney, Australia Lindt Cafe Kidnapper was a Muslim

The Peshawar, Pakistani School Children Killers were Muslims

Think of it:

Hindus living with Jews = No Problem

Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem

Jews living with Atheists = No Problem

Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem

Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem

Christians living with Jews = No Problem

Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem

Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem

Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem

Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem

Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem

Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem

Hindus living with Christians = No Problem

Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem

Confusians living with Hindus = No Problem

Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem

Muslims living with Jews = Problem

Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem

Muslims living with Hindus = Problem

Muslims living with Baha'is = Problem

Muslims living with Shintos = Problem

Muslims living with Atheists = Problem

Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem

Muslims living with Christians = Problem

MUSLIMS LIVING WITH MUSLIMS = VERY BIG PROBLEM

**********SO THIS LEADS TO *****************

They’re not happy in Gaza

They're not happy in Egypt

They're not happy in Libya

They're not happy in Iran

They're not happy in Iraq

They're not happy in Yemen

They're not happy in Pakistan

They're not happy in Syria

They're not happy in Lebanon

They're not happy in Nigeria

They're not happy in Kenya

They're not happy in Sudan

They're not happy in Morocco

They're not happy in Afghanistan

******** So, where are they happy? **********

They're happy in Australia

They're happy in Belgium

They're happy in France

They're happy in Holland

They're happy in Italy

They're happy in Germany

They're happy in Spain

They're happy in Sweden

They're happy in Denmark

They're happy in the USA & Canada

They're happy in Norway & India

They're very happy in England (UK) (Loads of Welfare Benefits)

They're happy in almost every country that is not Islamic!

And who do they blame? Not Islam... Not their leadership... Not themselves...

THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!

And they want to change the countries they're happy in, to be like the countries they came from where they were unhappy and finally they will be get hammered!

Islamic Jihad: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

ISIS: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Al-Qaeda: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Taliban: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Boko Haram: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Al-Nusra: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Abu Sayyaf: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Al-Badr: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Muslim Brotherhood: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Lashkar-e-Taiba: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Ansaru: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Jemaah Islamiyah: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Abdullah Azzam Brigades: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION

Al-Shabbab Somalia: AN ISLAMIC TERROR ORGANIZATION AND A LOT MORE!!!!!!!

Think of it.

Contact Paul Eidelberg at foundation612.12@gmail.com


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THE U.S. POLITY: A WONKY FIT - SOL W. SANDERS

Posted by American Center for Democracy, January 05, 2015

The article below was written by Sol W. Sanders who is journalist specializing in Asia with more than 25 years in the region. He is a former correspondent for Business Week, U.S. News & World Report and United Press International. This article appeared January 05, 2015 in the American Center for Democracy and is archived at
http://acdemocracy.org/the-u-s-polity-a-wonky-fit/?utm_source=The+U.S.+ Polity%3A+A+Wonky+Fit*&utm_campaign=The+U.S.+Polity%3A+A+Wonky +Fit&utm_medium=email

leadership

The polls tell us that those Americans interested in politics are split almost evenly into two groups: those who approve of President Barak Hussein Obama's leadership and those critical of it.

Further analysis shows something quite basically different between the two groups — and disturbing for those of us who want a country rich in diversity but engaged in a constant healthy exchange of ideas.

The President's supporters are what my mom in her retirement among the elderly in Florida, with some envy, used to call "the alright nicks". They are members of an elite who either financially or politically — or both — have disproportionately profited from the system. They see themselves, and their nominal leader, Obama, as tapped by some unseen but knowing source to lead — especially to guide a rabble (excluding themselves, of course) which does not know its own interests and therefore what is best for them.

In fact, their numbers have recently been reinforced as the economy has marginally improved and the noise around Administration scandals and policy failures has dissipated with time in a fast moving society. (IRS persecution of political opponents, veterans dying because of ill-treatment at the VA, the sacrifice of lives at Benghazi, massive infractions of border security, mishandling of government lands, near collapse of the president's personal security – Poof! Gone With the Wind!)

The other half of the politically oriented are fervent, if sometimes highly prejudiced, critics of Obama's policies — or, indeed, the lack thereof in many avenues of leadership where he is counted among the missing. Domestically, they perceive inhibiting bureaucratic intervention or neglect of the always marginally effective governmental actions which could speed the economic recovery out of the disaster of 2007-08. Abroad, they see perennial crises deepen with a strategy of withdrawal of American power in areas where it has long been the arbiter, indeed, the presumed leader by the other foreign participants.

Any attempt by the critics to entertain a meaningful debate is largely ignored by the Obama followers whose allegiance to their leader lies elsewhere than in loyalty to issues. In reality, the Obama coalition is a motley crew whose interest in their leader is largely pro forma — that is, loyalty as a member of an ethnic or an interest group rather than based on broader issues or an attachment to ideology.

Some might take issue with this argument, of course, claiming that Obama, himself, is an ideologue of the left and has the support of what constitutes the American left in politics. That has some validity, of course. But as a scion of the amateur radicalism of the 1960s, I would argue Obama and his followers' allegiance to leftwing politics is more sloganeering with as little understanding as their 60s mentors had of the long traditions of socialism and its offspring in Western thought.

Rather, the Obama coalition is a collection of Alrightnicks. There is the rapidly growing political class of government employees headed by his appointed superbureaucrats, many circulating through the revolving door of Washington government appointments and lobbying. It doesn't take long for a visitor Inside the Beltway, the anointed circle of Washington, D.C., and some of the country's wealthiest counties in Maryland and Virginia that surround it, to know that they are passing through a world all its own — often inured from the rest of the country's trials and tribulations.

There is, of course, Obama's following among Afro-Americans — who however disenchanted with the little accomplished by the Administration in pushing the economy, and therefore the fortunes of their impoverished and crime-ridden ghettoes, feels it has no choice but loyalty to the first Afro-American chief executive. The media, of course, are kept — best explained by Pat Moynihan's dissection more than a generation ago of the capital press corps. He saw how — even before the print media began to collapse under the dynamics of the digital revolution — working class newspapermen had turned into media elite as they moved off to the suburbs to join the ruling class. There is Hollywood glitz, of course. Recently revealed cynical backstage exchanges have shown just how meaningless on both sides of the footlights Tinsetown's is the glamour that rubs off on the Administration. More difficult to explain, of course, are the small but highly influential Jewish followers of Obama — although they have in so many ways built themselves into the Establishment in the shortest order, perhaps, of any once discriminated American minority. That they ignore Obama's war on Israel is camouflaged by the increasing lack of liaison between younger Jews and Israel and the continuing barrage of empty statements from Obama's spokesmen (some of them Jews) of the unbreakable U.S. alliance with Jerusalem.

Bringing up the rear is the traditional support for any president which is part of the American political scene, backed by the increasing influence of what Harry Truman rightly described as the most powerful executive in the world, accumulating strength contrary to the efforts of the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to limit it, as the world and the U.S. becomes an increasingly complex society to govern.

Looking at these two bumping mobs, we may well be at an historic crossroads just now.

For all the myriad reasons, the electorate has seen fit not only to give the Congressional opposition its greatest strength since the 1920s, reinforced with similar movement in most of the state legislatures and governors' mansions. With what has been an all too incompetent leadership, that powerful control of the legislature branch — and has so often been argued, the courts, too, follow elections — the Republicans now have an opportunity to force a discussion of issues rather than of emotional loyalties. If they avoid the siren song of its few media sympathizers and reject "comprehensive" solutions to vast problems, but instead tend to the nitty-gritty of legislative minutiae, there will be a contest. It means avoiding such catastrophes as the pretension that myriad problems of one sixth of the economy could be solved with the bumbling as well as bogus ideology of Obamacare in a single piece of legislation.

Obama – or his most intimate counselors, whoever they are – has had a great deal of luck. But he does exhibit the art of a demagogue in directing the Greek chorus from his bully pulpit. Whether by happenstance or design, he has managed by moving immediately without the Congress on such issues as immigration and environmental regulation, to obscure the massive electoral victory of his opponents last fall. (The prostituted media helped, of course.) Someone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue obviously sees what otherwise would be a gross violation of separation of powers as the way to bull through the lame duck years.

But, for the moment at least, the ball is now in the Congressional Republicans' court. Let's see if they know how to ace it!

Contact Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld. She is Founder and CEO of the New York-based American Center for Democracy and the Economic Warfare Institute. The American Center for Democracy and its Economic Warfare Institute is dedicated to exposing and monitoring nontraditional threats to the nation's political and economic freedoms and national security.


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ISLAMIC "THINKING" IS "ANTAGONIZING THE ENTIRE WORLD"

Posted by Ted Belman, January 05, 2015

The article below was written by Raymond Ibrahim who is a Middle East and Islam specialist and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He was born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East, which has provided him with equal fluency in English and Arabic. His understanding of the two the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets positions him to explain the Middle Eastern culture to the West. This article appeared January 05, 2015 and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603698?utm_source=phplist2132&utm _medium=email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=ISRAPUNDIT+DAILY+DIGEST +JAN+5%2F15

Speaking before Al-Azhar and the Awqaf Ministry on New Year's Day, 2015, and in connection to Prophet Muhammad's upcoming birthday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a vocal supporter for a renewed vision of Islam, made what must be his most forceful and impassioned plea to date on the subject.

Among other things, Sisi said that the "corpus of [Islamic] texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years" are ":antagonizing the entire world"; that it is not "possible that 1.6 billion people [reference to the world's Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live"; and that Egypt (or the Islamic world in its entirety) "is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands."

The relevant excerpt from Sisi's speech follows (translation by Michele Antaki):

I am referring here to the religious clerics. We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before. It's inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entireumma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world. Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying "religion" but "thinking"—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world. It's antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!

I am saying these words here at Al Azhar, before this assembly of scholars and ulema—Allah Almighty be witness to your truth on Judgment Day concerning that which I'm talking about now.

All this that I am telling you, you cannot feel it if you remain trapped within this mindset. You need to step outside of yourselves to be able to observe it and reflect on it from a more enlightened perspective.

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move... because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

Note: It is unclear if in the last instance of umma Sisi is referring to Egypt ("the nation") or if he is using it in the pan-Islamic sense as he did initially to refer to the entire Islamic world.

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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2014 BDS ROUNDUP: VICTORIES, DEFEATS AND THE IN-BETWEENS

Posted by IAM e-mail, January 05, 2015

Editorial Note

The year that just ended was pivotal for the BDS movement and its opponents on many fronts. AS Alexander Joffe from the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), below states, BDS opponents take credit for the fact that no additional academic association passed a formal BDS resolution. This is widely attributed to the fact that the American Studies Association (ASA) has suffered a furious backlash to its BDS decision.

BDS proponents take credit for developing alternative ways to highlight "Israel's continuous occupation of the Palestinian territory." One of the more popular ways is to "empower" scholars in a particular discipline to launch their own private versions of BDS, be it through signing petitions or regulating access to academic publications or conference. For obvious reasons, this type of unofficial "gray BDS" is hard to fight without infringing on the freedom of academic editors and others to make decision as to who appears in their journals and or conferences. It is noted that "gray boycotters" have become proficient in camouflaging their decisions with seemingly bona fides arguments. As a matter of fact, Professor Rivka Carmi, president of Ben Gurion University identified "gray boycott" in liberal arts as one of the concern for Israel.

Students advocating BDS came up with a new technique to boycott Israeli products on campus under the notion of "microaggression." For those not familiar with the arcane language of political correctness, the concept was first used to redefine what constitutes racism and anti-minority sentiments. Unlike the more overt types of speech and behavior, microaggression is said to be committed when a member of a minority is exposed to a "brief, everyday exchanges that send denigrating messages to certain individuals because of their group membership."

Palestinian activists on campus have broadened the definition to include situation whereby some type of Israeli food or beverage is served in the cafeteria. Accordingly, serving Sabra humus at Wesleyan University should be considered an act of microaggression against Palestinian students, along with SodaStream at Harvard. Even when the ban on the products were reversed by the administrations on the two campuses – fearful of running afoul of US ant boycott laws - the resulting discourse became another "teaching moment" to educate the student body. The fact that the discourse occurred on two prestigious campuses was an added bonus.

Looking for indications of the future of BDS based on the 2014 experience, one trend stands out; clear cut victories and defeats will be increasingly replaced by the hard to fight "in between."

The article below was written by Dr. Alex Joffe is an archaeologist and historian specializing in the Middle East and contemporary international affairs. Educated at Cornell University and the University of Arizona, he is currently a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow of the Middle East Forum, a research scholar at the Institute for Community and Jewish Research, and a contributing writer for Jewish Ideas Daily. His web site is alexanderjoffe.net. This article appeared January 01, 2015 on the Algemeiner and is archived at
http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/01/on-college-campuses-semester-ends-with -big-bds-push/

The end of the fall semester saw continued BDS successes in academic organizations but failures in other areas. In political terms, recognition of Palestine continued among European countries. Coupled with American comments about possible sanctions over Israeli construction activities, the symbolic European recognition votes implies sanctions should a negotiated settlement not be reached.

The most important BDS development took place in an American academic organization. The American Anthropological Association (AAA) held several panels on BDS at its annual meeting. While no pro-BDS resolution was proposed, a resolution opposing BDS was defeated. As expected, discussions were dominated by pro-BDS speakers. The organization has also appointed a task force, made up of BDS supporters, to advise the executive committee on how to proceed with BDS and is distributing pro-BDS materials to members. It is widely expected that a BDS resolution will be introduced and approved at next year's meeting.

The AAA decision to endorse 'further debate' and thus lay deeper foundations for future BDS resolutions follows a similar decision by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) at its annual meeting in November.

The support of these academic associations for BDS is significant. Unlike the much smaller American Studies Association, the AAA and MESA are both large and may be said to represent the public face of their academic disciplines. The process by which diverse opinions are stamped out in academic disciplines and political conformity is enforced is well-documented (as is the procedure of holding political votes in association business meetings).

But the role of academic associations in this process, as clearing houses for personal contacts, forums for acceptable theories and attitudes, information regarding jobs, grants and other elements of disciplinary practice, has not been studied. The implicit endorsement of BDS by two major academic organizations will certainly intensify implicit pressures to comply within each discipline.

In this regard, in contrast to the passive-aggressive approaches taken by the AAA and MESA, the American Historical Association rejected a BDS resolution in part on the grounds that it went beyond areas "of concern to the association, to the profession of history, or to the academic profession."

In another development with wide-ranging implications, UAW Local 2865, which represents 13,000 University of California graduate teaching assistants and graduate student workers, has adopted a BDS resolution. A total of 2168 votes were cast; 1411 favor and 749 opposed. Opponents complained both before and after the vote that the union had invested considerable resources in support of the resolution and had even harassed anti-BDS members at the polls.

National UAW officials had warned the local in advance that the resolution was inimical to the local's interests and that "we would find it difficult to ask our members to support your union in a labor dispute with the University of California so long as you are engaged in activities that are fundamentally hostile to their interests."

The resolution calls on teaching assistants not to "take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel." Discussions organized by the union's BDS caucus before the vote featured speakers who made it clear that the goal of BDS was the complete elimination of Israel.

In response to the union vote, a California state assemblyman, along with a coalition of Jewish groups, demanded and has received assurances from the university administration that anti-Israel bias in University of California classrooms remains formally forbidden. The union vote demonstrates, however, the extent to which current undergraduate education and future faculty members are compromised by BDS.

Two other incidents showed the willingness of BDS supporters to politicize mundane aspects of university life. At Wesleyan University Israeli-owned Sabra brand hummus was briefly removed from campus stores at the demand of the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine. A university official denied the move political but claimed that the university was "looking into stocking multiple brands of hummus to give students a choice of products." BDS activists had targeted Sabra hummus since at least the spring, and had recently begun placing stickers on containers. In May the student government had passed a resolution urging the university endowment divest from firms involved in the "Military occupation of the West Bank."

As with earlier BDS efforts aimed at Sabra, the Wesleyan ban was swiftly reversed by the university. Sabra will be stocked by university stores along with other brands of hummus. BDS supporters decried the decision as politically motivated.

In another more symbolically important development, Harvard University's dining services temporarily removed Sodastream machines from dining halls. The Sodastream company makes carbonated water devices and is located in an Israeli industrial zone across the Green Line but will be relocating to the Negev. It has been the subject of intense BDS protests.

News reports indicated that during the spring the Palestine Solidarity Committee and Harvard Islamic Society "noticed that the filtered water machines in certain dining halls had Sodastream labels on them." One of their supporters was quoted as saying "These machines can be seen as a microaggression to Palestinian students and their families and like the University doesn't care about Palestinian human rights." After meetings between activists and university's dining services, the latter "agreed to remove SodaStream labels on current machines and purchase machines from other companies."

The story was widely circulated and the Harvard decision was subjected to considerable ridicule. In response, the university president, Drew Faust, and Provost, Alan Garber, announced that the dining services decision would be investigated and that "Harvard University's procurement decisions should not and will not be driven by individuals' views of highly contested matters of political controversy. If this policy is not currently known or understood in some parts of the University, that will be rectified now."

Harvard officials then backtracked and claimed that they were unaware that the university dining services had dropped Sodastream products. A statement from the dining services claimed they had "mistakenly factored political concerns raised by students on a particularly sensitive issue into a decision on soda machines. As the president and provost have made clear, our procurement decisions should not be driven by community members' views on matters of political controversy."

Noted Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker also released a letter he had written to Faust and Garber in which he expressed his objections and decried "the idea that students are to be protected from "discomfort" or so‐called "microaggression" when they are exposed to beliefs that differ from theirs." This type of public expression of opposition to BDS is unusual.

The Sabra and Sodastream affairs show that BDS supporters are willing to politicize areas such as university food services and represent temporary successes as outsized victories. But while these specific decisions have been reversed, the larger BDS success is inculcating the idea among students that every choice of hummus or carbonated water is a supreme ethical decision that must be made against Israel in order to fit into university culture.

In the political sphere comments attributed to the State Department suggested that the Obama Administration was considering a variety of sanctions on Israel over continued building in Israeli communities across the Green Line, and particularly in Jerusalem. These leaks were quickly denied by the administration. The message behind the leaks has been interpreted as giving license to European states to consider their own sanctions against Israel.

European states also continued to adopt symbolic resolutions recognizing the state of Palestine, moves also intended to pressure Israel regarding negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. These should also be juxtaposed with the growing trend among European cities to condemn Israel, end relationships with Israeli counterparts and to ban Israeli goods. While these moves have been rejected by political organizations such as Britain's Labour Party, the larger implication is the ongoing criminalization of Israel in Europe and acceptance of Palestinian calls for its destruction, in part through BDS.

Contact IAMe-mail at e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com


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THE ISLAMIZATION OF FRANCE IN 2014

Posted by Winston Israel News, January 05, 2015

The article below was written by Soeren Kern who is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Gatestone Institute, and the Senior Analyst for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estrategicos / Strategic Studies Group. One of the oldest and most influential foreign policy think tanks in Spain, the Strategic Studies Group is closely tied to Spain's center-right Partido Popular/Popular Party and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. A political scientist by training, Soeren specializes in European politics as well as US and European defense- and security-related issues. He is also an essayist on European anti-Americanism and the roles of America and Europe in the world. This article appeared January 04, 2015 on Emanuel A. Winston Blog and is archived at
http://winstonisraelnews.com/gaza-war-2014/gaza-war-diary-fri-sun-jan-24-2015 -day-177-179/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=gaza-war-2014#6

According to a confidential French intelligence document leaked to Le Figaro, a form of Muslim ghettoization is gaining ground within the French school system. The report says that Muslim students are effectively establishing an Islamic parallel society completely cut off from non-Muslim students.

More than 1000 French supermarkets, including major chains such as Carrefour, have been selling Islamic books that openly call for jihad & the killing of non-Muslims. A report estimates that 60% of the prison population in France, or 40,000 prisoners, are "culturally or originally" Muslim.

The Fresnes Penitentiary near Paris launched an experiment that involves isolating radical Muslim prisoners in a separate unit to prevent the radicalization of other prisoners. Muslim prisoners clashed with prison guards to protest the new measure.

An Ipsos survey found that 66% of French people believe there are too many foreigners in France, & 59% believe "immigrants do not try hard enough to integrate. According to the poll, 63% of French people think that Islam "is not compatible with French values."

The Muslim population of France reached an estimated 6.5 million in 2014. Although French law prohibits the collection of official statistics about the race or religion of its citizens, this estimate is based on several recent studies that attempt to calculate the number of people in France whose origins are from Muslim majority countries.

This implies that the Muslim population of France is now roughly 10% of the country's total population of 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union. Consequently, Islam was an ever-present topic in newspaper headlines during 2014. What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in France during 2014:

On January 1, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the most anticipated statistic of the year: a total of 1,067 cars & trucks were torched across France on New Year's Eve, a "significant reduction" from the 1,193 vehicles that were burned during the annual ritual on the same holiday in 2013.

Car burnings, commonplace across France, are often attributed to rival Muslim gangs that compete with each other for the media spotlight over who can cause the most destruction. An estimated 40,000 cars are burned in France every year.

On January 6, two 15-year-old boys from the southern French city of Toulouse—home to Mohammed Merah, the Islamist who murdered seven people in & around the city in March 2012—ran away from home to become the youngest-ever European jihadists to join the fighting in Syria since the war there began in 2011.

During a press conference on January 14, French President François Hollande revealed that more than 700 French nationals & residents—more than twice that of previous estimates—have traveled to fight in Syria. On January 19, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said more than a dozen French nationals under the age of 18 are active as jihadists in Syria.

Meanwhile, a court in Versailles on January 8 convicted Cassandra Belin, a 20-year-old convert to Islam, for wearing a full-face Islamic veil in public, & threw out her bid to have the country's burqa ban declared unconstitutional. She was also convicted of threatening three police officers at the time of her arrest, which sparked three days of rioting in the Parisian suburb of Trappes in July 2013. She was given a one-month suspended prison sentence for the clash with the police & a €150 ($200) fine for wearing the veil.

Finally, an Ipsos survey published on January 21 found that 66% of French people believe there are too many foreigners in France, & 59% believe "immigrants do not try hard enough to integrate." According to the poll, 63% of French people think Islam "is not compatible with French values."

In February, French Islamists sued the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for blasphemy for publishing a cover page that Muslims said was offensive. The League of Judicial Defence of Muslims (LDJM) brought the case before the criminal court in Alsace-Moselle, a region that was twice annexed by Germany & still retains part of the old German code, which includes the crime of "blasphemy." Blasphemy is not a crime in the rest of France.

But Alsace's blasphemy law covers only Catholicism, Protestantism & Judaism. There is no redress for Islam. The editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stephane Charbonnier (Charb) said: "We know in advance that the trial will not go through because Islam is not in the code."

The magazine's office in Paris was firebombed in November 2011 after it published special edition called "Charia Hebdo" (Sharia Hebdo) & listed the Prophet Mohammed as its editor-in-chief.

On February 17, French counter-terrorism police thwarted what they said was an imminent attack by a returning jihadist from Syria. Police said the man, identified as a 23-year-old named Ibrahim B, was preparing to strike in the southern French region of Cote d'Azur. Police found some 900 kilos of explosives in the suspect's temporary apartment near Cannes.

On February 25, a 14-year-old girl from the southeastern French city of Grenoble was intercepted at the airport in Lyon. She had a one-way ticket to Istanbul & was about to board the plane. Police were alerted after the girl sent her father a text message saying she was running away from home because she had been selected to "join the jihad" in Syria.

In March, a militant Islamist website published a series of posters calling for attacks on France & for the assassination of President François Hollande in retaliation for the country's policies in Mali & the Central African Republic.

The al-Minbar Jihadi Media Network, a well-known Islamist website, created six posters as part of a campaign called, "We will not be silent, O France." One of the posters read:

"To our lone-wolves in France, assassinate the president of disbelief & criminality, terrify his cursed government, & bomb them & scare them as a support to the vulnerable in the Central African Republic."

On March 4, a 27-year-old French convert to Islam named Romain Letellier (alias Abou Siyad al-Normandy) was convicted of using the Internet to disseminate terrorist propaganda & to promote participation in terrorist acts. A court in Paris sentenced him to one year in prison & two more on probation. The case was the first using a law passed in December 2012 that makes "cyber jihad" a crime.

Also in March, a Salafist group known as Anâ-Muslim ("I am Muslim") called for a boycott of France's local elections, which were held on March 23 & March 30. The group, which is a non-profit organization recognized by the French state, said that Muslims should not vote because "voting is an act of submission, while abstaining is an act of resistance."

On March 31, police arrested four Muslim boys (three Turkish brothers between the ages of 13 & 15, & one 17-year-old from Morocco) for gang raping an 18-year-old woman as she left the main train station in Evry, a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris. During police questioning, the minors said that they attacked the woman because she was French & "the French are all sons of whores." The boys were jailed for rape and—unusually in France—reverse racism.

In April, a confidential intelligence document leaked to the French newspaper Le Figaro revealed that a form of Muslim ghettoization is gaining ground within the French school system. The report says that Muslim students are effectively establishing an Islamic parallel society completely cut off from non-Muslim students.

The 15-page document, dated November 28, 2013, includes 70 examples—headscarves in school playgrounds, halal meals in cafeterias, chronic absenteeism during Muslim religious festivals, clandestine prayers in gyms or hallways, & so on—of the Islamizing trend in schools throughout France.

The document says that Muslims are engaged in a "war of attrition" aimed at "destabilizing the teaching staff." It adds that Muslim fundamentalists are circumventing the law that bans religious symbols in schools, & that self-proclaimed "young guardians of orthodoxy" in many schools are exerting pressure on Muslim girls.

On April 23, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve unveiled a 20-point anti-radicalization strategy aimed at preventing French citizens or residents from waging jihad in Syria & other conflict zones in the Muslim world. The plan also aims to combat the radicalization of young French Muslims at the earliest stages of indoctrination.

A counterterrorism expert interviewed by the newspaper Le Parisien said he believed the plan is aimed primarily at reassuring the public, "but in terms of effectiveness in the fight against terrorism, the effect is zero."

Others said the plan is a political ploy by President Hollande aimed at blunting the rising popularity of the anti-immigration National Front party, which captured a record number of city council seats & mayoralties in local elections held in March.

National Front party leader Marine Le Pen told RTL Radio that the government's plan is cosmetic. She said: "It does not attack the root of the problem—the speech in some mosques that are genuine calls to jihad. Nor does the plan attack recruiters & funding from foreign countries known to support terrorist fundamentalism, such as Qatar."

On April 26, the German news-magazine Focus reported that the French government paid $18 million to the Islamic State in Iraq & the Levant [ISIS] for the April 20 release of four French journalists held captive in Syria for more than 10 months.

Citing NATO sources in Brussels, Focus said that the ransom money was personally delivered by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. French officials denied that any ransom was paid, but the French newspaper Le Parisien wrote: "According to our information, the DGSE [French foreign intelligence service] negotiated directly with the rebel group. There can be no doubt that a payment was made."

The 31st congress of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France [UOIF], held in Paris from April 18-21, was turned into a Muslim anti-Jewish "hate fest" when keynote speaker Hani Ramadan—a prominent Muslim leader from Geneva & the brother of Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss professor banned from entering the United States—blamed Jews & Zionism for a litany of maladies all over the world.

"All the evil in the world originates from the Jews who have only one thing in mind, realizing the dream of Greater Israel," the French daily Le Figaro quoted Ramadan as telling the congress, one of France's largest & most prominent Islamic events. "Against these international schemes of the Zionist power there is only one rampart: Islam," he added.

In May, an ornate theater in the historic Fontainebleau Palace was renamed after the ruler of Abu Dhabi, who funded a multi-million euro project to restore the site. The 400-seat Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Theater was first opened in 1857 by Napoleon III. Critics said the renaming was a sad commentary on the future direction of France.

On May 28, Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, reported that France was the terror capital of Europe during 2013:

"A total of 152 terrorist attacks occurred in five EU Member States. The majority took place in France (63), Spain (33) & the UK (35). In 2013, 535 individuals were arrested for offenses related to terrorism, a number similar to 2012 (537). Most of the arrests occurred in France (225), Spain (90) & the UK (77). A continuous increase in the number of arrests for religiously inspired terrorism has been observed since 2011."

On May 30, police arrested a French jihadist over the fatal shooting of three people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24. Mehdi Nemmouche, a 29-year-old French national from the northern town of Roubaix, was arrested at the Saint-Charles train & bus station in Marseille during a random search for illegal drugs. He was a passenger on an overnight bus that was travelling from Amsterdam to Marseille via Brussels.

In June, Prime Minister Manuel Valls increased the government's estimate of the number of French nationals fighting in Syria to 800, including about 30 who have died in the conflict. Valls said:

"We have never before faced a challenge of this kind. It is without any doubt the most serious threat we face. We have to ensure the surveillance of hundreds & hundreds of French or European individuals who are today fighting in Syria."

On June 8, a 28-year-old non-Muslim man in the northeastern city of Reims was attacked on a train by two Muslims who said they were upset that he was eating a ham sandwich in their presence.

On July 1, the European Court of Human Rights upheld the French ban on wearing full-face Islamic veils in public. By a vote of 15 to 2, the judges ruled that the ban does not violate the European Convention of Human Rights. The ruling dismissed a case brought by a French woman against the state for breach of religious freedom.

On July 9, it emerged that 29-year-old Algerian butcher living in the southeastern French town of Vaucluse, & a "senior member" of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], were plotting to blow up the Eiffel Tower & the Louvre Museum. The man, known only as Ali M, was on his way to train with AQIM jihadists in southern Algeria when he was arrested.

On July 22, the Administrative Court of Lyon overturned an earlier ruling by the Grenoble Administrative Court that required the director of the Saint-Quentin-Fallavier penitentiary in the town of Isere to serve halal meals to Muslim inmates. The court in Lyon found that because there is already a vegetarian alternative, an additional halal meal is unnecessary.

Also in July, it emerged that more than 1,000 French supermarkets, including major chains such as Carrefour, were selling books openly calling for jihad & the killing of non-Muslims. Books such as "La Voie du Musulman" (The Muslim's Path) were distributed as part of "quot;Operation Ramadan," an initiative to promote the sale of Islamic publications in France. According to the newspaper Le Figaro, distributors ignored petitions to remove the books & French authorities had no legal basis to ban them.

In August, a poll found that a staggering 15% of people in France support the Islamic State [IS]. Among those between the ages of 18 & 24, 27% said they had a positive view of the IS, while 22% of those between the ages of 25 & 34, & 20% of those between 35 & 44 supported the jihadist group. The largest share of IS opponents was composed of people aged 45 to 54.

On August 22, police arrested two teenage Muslim girls for plotting to bomb the Great Synagogue of Lyon. The two, aged 15 & 17, were arrested & interrogated in Venissieux, a suburb of Lyon in southeastern France, & Tarbes, a town in southwestern France. The two had never met in person but had communicated via social media. They were charged with engaging in a conspiracy to commit terrorism.

On September 1, an appeals court in the northeastern town of Châlons-en-Champagne upheld a ban on a Muslim engineer from accessing nuclear sites, citing his links with "jihadist networks." The 29-year-old was working for a company subcontracted by the energy giant EDF & had been granted access to nuclear installations as part of his job throughout 2012. But in March 2013, the man was refused entry to the Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power plant. The court said management was allowed to prevent those "undergoing a process of political & religious radicalization" from accessing sensitive sites. His lawyer called it a case of "Islamophobia."

Also in September, the head of the Sorbonne University in Paris personally apologized to a student who was "humiliated" after being asked to take off her Muslim headscarf. The incident occurred on the first day of a geography class on September 16, when the female professor asked the student: "Do you plan to keep wearing that thing in all of my classes?" The professor continued: "I am here to help you integrate into professional life & this headscarf will cause you problems." After the student refused to comply, the professor told her to leave the class.

A 2004 law prohibits the wearing or open display of religious symbols in all French schools, but it does not apply to universities. The Muslim student is now calling for the professor to be disciplined so that it does not happen again.

On September 29, the French supermarket chain Auchan apologized after a weekly newspaper advertisement included a black plastic toy machine gun featuring a crescent moon & star. Auchan said it was "very sorry if some people were offended by the presence of religious symbols" on the toy gun, which was quickly withdrawn from store shelves.

In late September, eleven members of the same family—a man, his mother & two sisters, along with their respective spouses & children, including a six-month old baby—from the southern city of Nice disappeared overnight & were believed to have left for Syria. The father of one of the missing women said his daughter had converted to Islam. "I saw how religion played a bigger & bigger part in her life," he said. "Perhaps I should have reacted."

In October, it emerged that more than half of the inmates in French prisons are Muslim. The "shock figure" appeared in a report produced by Guillaume Larrive, a deputy with the opposition Union for a Popular Movement [UMP], as part of an "action plan" to tackle Islamic radicalization in French prisons. The report estimated that 60% of the prison population in France, or 40,000 prisoners, are "culturally or originally" Muslim.

On October 4, the managers of the Paris Opera issued a memo to staff ordering them to deny entry to anyone whose face is covered. The move came after a Muslim woman—apparently a wealthy tourist from the Persian Gulf—was asked to leave a performance of La Traviata at the Opera Bastille on October 3 after she was spotted sitting in the front row wearing a niqab face veil. A 2010 law bans anyone from wearing clothing that conceals the face in a public space.

On October 13, residents in the eastern city of Strasbourg alerted police when they saw a group of amateur jihadists undergoing paramilitary training in a park while shouting "Allahu Akbar"("Allah is greater") & brandishing fake machine guns. When police arrived at the scene, a group of seven Muslim men threatened them, calling them "infidels" & promising to "avenge their dead Muslim brothers."

Also in October, a French company called Capital Biotech announced the development of a so-called "Halal Test" that enables Muslim consumers to detect—within minutes—the presence of alcohol, pork or other "forbidden ingredients" in food. The company is tapping into the French halal market, which is valued at € 5.5 billion ($6.8 billion) annually.

In November, French jihadists fighting with the Islamic State released a new propaganda video in which they urge Muslims living at home to carry out terrorist attacks in France. The video states: "Allah says in the Koran, 'March forth, whether light or heavy.' What is your excuse? Then operate within France. Terrorize them & do not allow them to sleep due to fear & horror. Kill them & spit in their faces & run over them with your cars."

Also in November, the mother of a 16-year-old boy who travelled to Syria via Turkey in 2013 filed a lawsuit against the French government for failing to prevent him from leaving France. It is the first case of its kind in France. The mother, identified as Nadine D, said that despite his young age, he was allowed to leave the country without a passport, using only his national ID card. In an interview with the daily newspaper Le Parisien, Nadine said: "Given current events, the border police should have at least questioned a minor travelling alone to such a destination. Common sense should have led them to ask him why he was going there, if he had family ties there & why he was not accompanied."

On November 13, the first French jihadist to stand trial after returning from Syria was sentenced to seven years in prison. Flavien Moreau—a 28-year-old who was born in South Korea & was adopted by a French family but who turned to crime as a teenager & converted to Islam in prison—travelled to Syria in December 2012. But he managed to stay in Syria for less than two weeks because he was unable to withstand a strict ban on smoking imposed by the Islamist militants. He was detained in France in February 2013 after counter-terrorism police intercepted communications in which he said he was looking for fake ID to return to Syria.

On November 14, the Foundation for Political Innovation released a wide-ranging opinion poll that found that French Muslims are far more likely to espouse anti-Semitic views than non-Muslims. The report said: "Muslim respondents are two to three times more likely to be prejudiced against Jews. The more religious a Muslim is, the more anti-Jewish he becomes. Thus, when 19% of all non-Muslim respondents adhere to the notion that 'Jews have too much power in the field of politics,' the rate is 51% for all Muslim respondents. It is 37% among those reporting only a 'Muslim origin’ but 63% among those who say they are 'believing & practicing Muslims.'"

On November 23, French police closed down a Paris-based pro-Palestinian Islamic charity called Pearl of Hope (Perle d'espoir) for raising up to €100,000 ($125,000) for jihad in Syria & Iraq. Police say the group used legitimate charity work as a front to funnel covert funds to jihadist groups. The president the charity, Yasmine Znaidi, 34, & her partner, Nabil Ouerfelli, 22, are the first French citizens to be charged with financing terrorism since the war in Syria began in 2011. Znaidi responded by saying: "My crime is to be Muslim." French authorities say they are currently monitoring more than ten other Islamic charities & associations.

Meanwhile, the Fresnes Penitentiary, situated on the outskirts of Paris, launched an experiment that involves isolating radical Muslim prisoners in a separate unit in an effort to prevent the radicalization of other prisoners. The experiment began on October 15, but only became public knowledge on November 13, after a dozen Muslim prisoners clashed with prison guards to protest the new measure.

In December, the Administrative Court in Nantes ordered municipal authorities in La Roche-sur-Yon, a town in the traditionally Roman Catholic region of Vendee in western France, to remove a nativity scene from the town hall because it violates the 1905 secularism (laicite) law separating church & state.

Meanwhile, the mayor of the southern city of Beziers, Robert Menard, has refused to obey orders to remove a nativity scene he installed in its town hall. The mayor says he is fighting to preserve France's Judeo-Christian traditions. Observers say the government is cracking down on Christianity because it does not want to be accused of discriminating only against Muslims. "The anti-Islamic climate is causing a crackdown on other religions," sociologist Jean Bauberottold Le Nouvel Observateur weekly magazine.

On December 9, Marcel Mortreau, the mayor of Sarge-les-Le Mans, a small town in northwestern France, announced that the local school district would not be providing Muslim children with special meals that comply with Islamic law. He invoked "secularism" to justify the decision concerning 27 Muslim students out of a total of 220 students who eat at school canteens.

Mortreau said: "When we ask the catering service to make two meals, it is an additional burden. The school canteen is a public service based on the principle of secularism. One must respect the principle of religious neutrality in school canteens."

On December 17, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve revealed that French authorities have thwarted five terror attacks (he did not provide details) & dismantled 13 jihadist networks since August 2013. As of December 15, more than 1,200 French nationals or residents have left for Syria & Iraq, a figure that has more than doubled since the beginning of 2014. The government estimates that 60 French jihadists have died on the battlefield & that 185 have now returned to France. According to Cazeneuve, about one-third of French jihadists are recent converts to Islam.

On December 20, Islamic radical Bertrand Nzohabonayo entered a police station in Joue-les-Tours in central France shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is greater") & stabbed three police officers. The man, a 20-year-old French citizen who was born in Burundi, was shot dead by police. Investigators later said the "lone wolf" terrorist was a supporter of the Islamic State.

shot
Islamic radical Bertrand Nzohabonayo attacked three police officers with a knife, seriously wounding two, in the French town of Joué-lès-Tours on Dec. 20, before police shot him dead.

On December 21, another "lone wolf" shouting "Allahu Akbar" ploughed his car into pedestrians in the eastern French city of Dijon, injuring 11 people. Police said the man was "apparently unbalanced" & that "for now his motives are still unclear."

Finally, a new novel by the award-winning French author Michel Houellebecq predicted that France will be under Muslim rule in less than a decade. The book—entitled Soumission (Submission, a clear allusion to the word "Islam," which in Arabic means submission to the will of Allah)—describes how the French Socialist party helps Mohammed Ben Abbes of the fictitious Muslim Brotherhood party to become the president of France in the 2022 elections. Just days after taking office, Ben Abbes moves to speed up the Islamization of France by implementing Islamic Sharia law.

Contact Winston Israel News at winston@winstonglobal.org


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A DIPLOMAT POSES AS A FRIEND OF ISRAEL

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 05, 2015

 words of wisdom

Background: Dennis Ross, diplomat and think-tanker, wrote an op-ed made to sound fair to Israel. It's the perfect way to con readers into thinking his plan is pro-Israel. Its subtle anti-Israel bias is a specialty of the State Dept. and the New York Times, which published it. We will examine that bias.

What is Dennis Ross' record? Mr. Ross was one of several diplomats known as "Baker's Jews." Martin Indyk, Richard Haas, and Aaron Miller were the others. James Baker was the notoriously anti-Israel Secretary of State. His Jews did his dirty work against Israel. Their Jewish origin and Mr. Indyk's Orthodox practice threw people off their guard against anti-Zionist machinations.

When Pres. Clinton was ready to release Jonathan Pollard, as he had promised, Dennis Ross persuaded him not to. Mr. Ross did not argument that Mr. Pollard deserved continued incarceration. He argued for keeping Pollard as a bargaining chip. Clinton acquiesced. So Pollard was mistreated in order that the U.S. coerce a dangerous concession for Israel to give its unrepentant Arab enemies.

That Machiavellian mind set is the context in which to understand the writings of Dennis Ross. He pursues the State Dept. policy of cajoling Israel into giving up disputed Territories in exchange for a worthless Muslim promise of peace. It is worthless, because Islamic doctrine permits deceit in behalf of jihad. The P.A. has been violating its Oslo peace agreements, which Arafat told his fellow Muslim diplomats was a ruse.

Remember, the State Dept. opposed the formation of Israel, sought to rescind Jewish statehood, and basically seeks terms favoring the Arabs and criticizes only Israel.

Op-Ed: What would result from P.A. membership in the International Criminal Court? Nothing, states Ross. Membership in the Court and in other international agencies is symbolic of statehood, not its substance. The P.A. was offered a final settlement several times, but refused.

Why? P.A. culture, he asserts, is based on a sense of injustice; concessions to Israel are considered wrong. Any leader who agreed to any concessions would be ousted.

Ross suggests that Europeans who want to help the P.A. gain sovereignty should make it costly for the P.A. to refuse reasonable terms. Europe should hold Palestinian Arabs accountable for rejecting a solution.

The UN makes demands only of Israel, so why shouldn't the P.A. appeal to the UN? UN resolutions are counter-productive. They deepen Israeli distrust of foreign one-sidedness. Instead, wait out Israeli elections for an Israeli regime probably more amenable to territorial concessions. Let Israel keep the settlement blocs adjoining Israel.

If Europeans go through the UN, let them make a balanced resolution, not one which sets borders on the 1967 lines. Offer Israel something equally specific, such as: (1) "security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by itself;" (2) Withdrawal tied to the P.A. performance on security and governance; and (3) Resolve the Arab refugee issue that allows Israel to retain its Jewish character.

The P.A. probably would reject such conditions. If so, make it pay a price (NY Times, 1/5/15).

Ross's suggested conditions are deceitful. There are no decent security conditions for Israel, as the U.S. Chiefs of Staff once figured out, unless Israel has the mountainous areas of Judea-Samaria, which means most of the Territories. That means Arab withdrawal.

Why expect Israeli withdrawal to be tied to P.A. performance, when the P.A. violated all the conditions of the Oslo peace agreements without U.S. objection. And who judges P.A. performance? As if Ross doesn't know that Oslo kept it out of Israeli hands and in the hands of those who favor the P.A..

The Arab refugee issue is resolved. That is, Arabs countries barred many refugees from jobs and citizenship. Israel bears no responsibility for Arab flight that was almost entirely voluntary and in a war that the Arabs started for genocide.

Ross missed a key element in explaining why the P.A. would reject conditions. The missing element is Islam. Islam holds that once an area is conquered by Islam, it belongs to Islam permanently, and if liberated from Islam, it must be taken back. Israel is such an area. Muslims consider it anti-Islam to refrain from re-conquering Israel.

If Ross admitted the Islamic motive, then he would have to admit that the conflict is primarily religious. Religious conflicts are not open to compromise and territorial adjustment, the basis for his proposed solution.

He claims that P.A. society is based on a sense of grievance. Jihadists fabricate grievances the way imperialists always do. The real grievances are Israel's against frequent Arab aggression, terrorism, and bigotry.

Since Ross expects the Muslim side to reject conditions, why offer the P.A. still another chance to reject them?

Ross refers to reaching specific agreements or paying a price, but he does not indicate specifics or prices. In no way does he suggest how to make the P.A. accountable.

Here are some conditions for making the P.A. pay the price:

  • End foreign subsidy
  • Let European countries stop subsidizing Israeli and P.A. NGOs working to defame Israel as a step toward eradicating it
  • Declare the P.A. or at least Fatah a terrorist entity
  • Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and take it off the negotiating table
  • Recognize Jewish rights to annex further land in the Territories, based on the Palestine Mandate established for a Jewish country and based on the right to security against an aggressor.

Why does Ross speak about the P.A. paying a price without stating any conditions? Does he lack imagination? No.

Here's my guess. He is part of the State Dept. cohort that negotiates vague terms or secret terms, that the parties later argue over. The State Dept. gets Israel committed to general terms. What sounds good in principle ends up poor in practice. So much the worse for Israel!

The advice to wait for a more concession-oriented Israeli regime is cynical. The whole U.S. approach mistakes the jihad against Israel for a territorial dispute. Territorial concessions to Islam cannot end a holy war by Islam. Islam insists on conquering.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com.


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WHY IS THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT ANTI-ZIONIST; DELIBERATE FARCICAL ANTI-ISRAEL SMEAR CAMPAIGN IN UN; UK - NICE SPEECH BUT DECEITFUL DEEDS

Posted by Steven Shamrak, January 05, 2015

Why is the Israeli Government anti-Zionist?
1. While the Government restricts the building of Jewish homes, the Arabs have built a mosque 200 meters from Menachem Begin's kever.

2. There are over 3,000 illegal Arab apartments in Jerusalem. No action is taken against them.

3. While there are 18 Police Stations in Jerusalem, there isn't one Police Station in the Arab populated quarter, a den of violence.

4. In November, there were 571 assaults against Jews in Jerusalem. This is more than the total assaults against Jews in the rest of the world combined.

The government of Israel is still trying to get the acceptance of the rest of the world. They don't realize that is about as likely as European Jews getting the acceptance of the Nazis!

Where did the Leaders of the Fake People Come from?
YASSER ARAFAT Born 24 August 1929 - Cairo, Egypt.

SAEB EREKAT Born April 28, 1955 - Jordan, still Jordanian citizen.

SARI NUSSEIBEH Born in 1949 - Damascus, Syria.

MAHMOUD AL-ZAHAR Born in 1945 - Cairo, Egypt.

FAISAL ABDEL QADER AL-HUSSEINI - Born in 1948 - Bagdad, Iraq.

Note: The family of Muhammad Abbas moved to Tzfat from Damascus, Syria!

Muslim Countries Can Kill Any one They Want!
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Egyptian-troops-kill-Palestinian-youth -infiltrating-from-Gaza-386524

Egyptian border troops shot dead a Palestinian youth as he tried to cross illegally from the Gaza Strip. The three youths taken into Egyptian custody said they came for cigarettes to sell back in Gaza. (No International Condemnation of Egypt - it is not Israel!)

Food for Thought by Steven Shamrak
Before and after Israel removed Jewish families, using force, from Gaza there were no international objections and condemnations, although Israel was violating the Fourth Geneva convention which forbids "population transfer" under any circumstances! Since then terror attacks from Gaza escalated. Let be honest about the situation, so-called Palestinians are not victims - they are perpetrators of terror against the Jewish state. They are occupiers of the Jewish land - it is time to end this travesty!

ISIS Terror Arrived to Gaza
A campaign of threats to kill artists and writers for "insulting Islam" has heightened fears that affiliates of Islamic State have arrived in the Gaza strip. "Wilayat Gaza", allegedly an ally of the jihadist organisation in Iraq and Syria, warned women to show "chastity" and respect Islamic dress codes.

UNSC Rejected Resolution on Palestinian State
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4609565,00.html

The UN Security Council has rejected a Palestinian resolution calling for peace with Israel within a year and an end to Israel's occupation by 2017. The resolution failed to muster the minimum nine "yes" votes required in the council for adoption. Eight countries voted in favour of the motion - China, France, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Luxembourg - two opposed - US and Australia - and five abstained - UK, Lithuania, Nigeria, Korea, Rwanda. (Voting result has revealed the anti-Israel attitude of 'Ugly Nothing' members - by abstaining members of UNCS said that they recognize the blunt unlawfulness of the resolution by do not support the existence of Israel! There are over 36 million slaves and even more millions of genuine refugees world-wide, but as usual members of the United Nation care more about putting Israel through another humiliation.)

Deliberate Farcical anti-Israel Smear Campaign
https://www.facebook.com/sylvain.blumenfrucht/posts/10152707770340889

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to reject the Palestinians' request for a membership because they did not rank as a state. Abbas signed the document in response to a failed UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that would have set a deadline for Israel to end its occupation of territories sought by the Palestinians. (Abbas knows that this anti-Israel attempt will also fail. Instead of seeking peace, the PA is deliberately, with the help of anti-Semitic Western friends, conducting an anti-Israel campaign in order to de-legitimize the Jewish state.)

Hamas has a New Master
http://www.debka.com/article/24314/Meshaal-on-point-of-relocating-Hamas%E2%80%99 -political-headquarters-from-Doha-to-Tehran

Hamas' political leader Khaled Meshaak was forced to quit his old headquarters in Damascus after abandoning his long time host Bashar Assad. A deal struck between Egypt and Qatar could force the Hamas leader to settle in the Iranian capital. This would afford Tehran a foothold in the Gaza Strip, its second Mediterranean outpost on the Israeli border after Lebanon.

Fake People Faking Population Number
http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/12/30/inflated-palestinian-population-figures -lie-behind-talk-of-demographic-time-bomb-israeli-expert-says/

The latest demographic survey of the Palestinian population by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics overestimates the number of Palestinians resident between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan by around 1.2 million.

Why Wait for United Nations?
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/189177#.VJ9O08BDw

Likud Central Committee chairman Danny Danon, who is challenging Binyamin Netanyahu for leadership of the party, called on Israel to respond to an expected UN recognition of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the "state of Palestine" by declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria: "We must clarify in the clearest terms to the world that every unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will bring Israeli sovereignty (over Jewish land)," declared Danon. (Netanyahu is a gutless Zionist but skillful politician. For a while he managed to keep people who advocate the Zionist ideal from any real chance to be elected to the Knesset. How strange - he is a leader of a surpassingly Zionist party!)

NATO Member Becoming an Islamic Terror State
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4608291,00.html

Hamas political chief Khaled Mashal addressed a crowd at an event held by Turkey' ruling party, the AKP, and was even personally introduced by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. "Inshallah we will liberate (all) Palestine and Jerusalem again in the future," Mashal said.

Another Bogus Apology
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/189395#.Vz9Fl0KVsWN

One of the world's leading publishing houses has been forced to apologize for distributing atlases which literally erased Israel from the map. HarperCollins had been distributing the atlases via its subsidiary throughout Arab countries in the Middle East, depicting Jordan and Syria extending all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

ISIS Recruitment is anti-Israel Popularism
http://www.wnd.com/2014/12/isis-baiting-israel-in-ploy-to-gain-arab-recruits/?cat_orig=world

Recent pledges of allegiance to ISIS from Sunni jihadi groups in the Syrian Golan Heights and from Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula have ISIS poised to attack Israel from the north and south. ISIS could launch attacks on opposite ends of Israel in an effort to attract more Arab recruits, similar to what deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein attempted to do when he launched Scud missiles into Israel in the 1991 Gulf War.

Something to Learn from Muslim States
Two weeks ago Jordan put an end to an eight-year moratorium on executions and 11 men were hung at Swaqa prison. Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in terror cases following a Taliban school massacre. (Facing the threat of extreme Islamism, Muslim countries are taking deterrent steps. Israel needs to learn from them and start removing terrorists and their families from Jewish land!)

"Unacceptable" Fakery of Friendship
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4609152,00.html

The US State Department described Israeli actions as "unacceptable" 87 times in 2014, with only three countries being more "unacceptable," making Israel the fourth most "unacceptable" country. Israel ranked between North Korea and Pakistan.

Schizoid Behaviour of our Muslim 'Friends'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2887607/Morocco-bans-cinemas-screening -Ridley-Scott-bible-epic-Exodus-Gods-Kings-threatens-close-theatres-flout-rule.html

Ridley Scott's new biblical epic 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' has been banned in Egypt because of 'historical inaccuracies'. Censors objected to claims that the Pyramids were built by Jews. Cinema owners in Morocco were given a 'verbal' directive not to show the movie. (Moses is considered a prophet in Islam and Muslims, theoretically like Christians, believe in Torah. But, there is a big abyss between theory and practice! What about artistic freedom? Jews may not been built pyramids, but neither Egyptian - according to some theories, which are suppressed by official Egyptologists!)

Arab Terrorists Start Young
http://www.jta.org/2014/12/28/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/palestinian-teens -arrested-for-firebomb-that-severely-injured-israeli-girl

Two PA teens were arrested in connection with a firebombing that left an 11-year-old Israeli girl fighting for her life. Ayala, who suffered third-degree burns over most of her body, remained in serious but stable condition

Know the Enemy even in Peace Time
An Egyptian court permanently banned a Jewish celebration that has taken place since the 1979 peace deal with Israel and asked the government to remove the tomb of Jewish mystic, Rabbi Jacob Abu Hasira, where it takes place, from a list of official shrines.

No Bridges to Peace
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/29/world/hamas-turns-back-37-gaza-war-orphans- from-a-bridge-building-trip-to-israel.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=1

Hamas turned back 37 Gaza war Orphans from a bridge-building trip to Israel. They got as far as the Erez border crossing where the Hamas authorities turned them back, barring the visit at the last minute. Hamas apparently went back on an initial agreement (as usual) to allow the youths to enter Israel.

Quote of the Week:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chanukah-2014-david-camerons-speech-at-reception

"Israeli politicians and commentators use passive expressions. They talk about how other nations need to change their views instead of forthrightly putting their view. This is the language of weakness and insecurity. It comes from a perception of them in the world - the perception of being dependent on others. It is not how sovereign nations speak and behave!" - a female layer, an Internet comment

Nice Speech but Deceitful Deeds!
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chanukah-2014-david-camerons-speech-at-reception

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, spoke at Downing Street to mark Chanukah 2014. A week later the UK voted 'abstain' at UNSC Resolution on Palestinian State.

...The second dedication I make is to the state and people of Israel. Britain is a friend of Israel, a good, a candid, a trusted friend of Israel, and that is how, as long as I'm Prime Minister, it will always stay.

I know that it happened on the other side of the world, but I think the appalling events in Peshawar, where we saw 126 children murdered, I think is a reminder, whether we needed it, that there aren't bad terrorists and less bad terrorists - there are terrorists. They kill. They maim. They want to create terror by doing appalling things. The only good terrorist is one who gives up their weapons and decides to pursue their aims through peaceful means. And you know that in Israel more, perhaps, than any other country in the world. (He did not mention Jewish kids terrorized by ten of thousand rockets fired from Gaza.)

So let us be clear: there is no moral equivalence between an Israeli government that wants to defend its people and its territory against attack, and terrorists that want to kill as many people as they can with the weapons and the bombs and the missiles that they throw over Israel's borders. And this country will always be a staunch friend of Israel...(He deliberately failed to mention the so-called Palestinians at all and Hamas as a terrorist organisation in particular!)

Steven Shamrak was involved in the Moscow Zionist movement. He worked as a construction engineer at the Moscow Olympic Games project and as a computer consultant in Australia. He has a website at www.shamrak.com. He can be reached by email at StevenShamrak@gmail.com


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STEPHEN FLATOW: THE AMAZING STORY OF WHAT ONE PERSON CAN ACCOMPLISH

Posted by YogiRUs, January 06, 2015

The article below was written by Rabbi Brenner Glickman who is

Tonight, I will tell you a story. It is the true story of a seemingly inconsequential man who, driven by passion and determination, has accomplished the extraordinary. It is a David and Goliath story of our times, and it continues to unfold. When you hear this story, I think you will agree that someone needs to write a book about this man. I can't believe that no one has yet.

Our hero's name is Stephen Flatow. He is a real-estate attorney in northern New Jersey. He does title work, mostly, out of a small, cluttered office. He is well-regarded in his field, but not especially well known. He makes a living.

He is famous, however, in other circles, as an activist. His courage and determination are unmatched. This lone man has stood up to the greatest powers and has not blinked. He has challenged the State Department, the Justice Department, the courts, and the largest banks in the world. He has failed and

prevailed, stumbled and triumphed, over and over again. He does not quit. He is driven by the love of his daughter, a daughter who was killed by a suicide bomber twenty years ago. This is his story.

Alisa Flatow was a student at Brandeis University. She chose to spend a semester studying abroad in Jerusalem. After a few months in Israel, she and her roommates decided to spend a weekend at a beach resort in Gaza. This was 1995, soon after the Oslo accords, and Gaza was still under Israeli control. It seems unfathomable now, but people used to vacation in Gaza at the beach resorts. On the way to the beach, their bus was struck by a van filled with explosives. The terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the killing. even Israeli soldiers riding on the bus were killed. Alisa was severely wounded, but she did not die right away. The terrorist van was filled with shrapnel that exploded through the windows of the bus and struck her head. She was unconscious, but her body was unharmed.

The doctors called her father in America, and told him to come right away. When he landed in Ben Gurion airport, government agents met him on the runway, and escorted him straight from the plane to the hospital. By the time he arrived, Alisa was brain-dead. The doctors offered their condolences, and asked the father if he would be willing to donate her organs.

This was not a simple question. The Flatow family was Orthodox and observant. It was not customary for Orthodox Jews to donate organs, and they were not sure it was allowed by Jewish law. So the parents called their rabbi and asked what to do. He told them to donate the organs, and so they did.

That single act became a sensation in Israel. To understand its significance, I need to give a little background information. There is much in Jewish law and custom that would discourage organ donation. It has been our longstanding tradition to treat a dead body as sacred. Our custom is to watch over it, cleanse it, and prepare it carefully for burial. The body is buried whole and unaltered. That is why rabbinic authorities have generally discouraged autopsies.

But organ donation is special. It presents the opportunity to save a life. In Jewish law, the saving of a human life takes special precedence. You can violate just about all the other commandments if you can save a life. Therefore, Jewish law does not just allow organ donation, it requires it. Reform and Conservative rabbis immediately encouraged organ donation, and by the 1970s, Orthodox rabbis did as well.

The problem was that most Jews in Israel were not aware of this. The rates of organ donation were extraordinarily low. Israel was part of a European consortium of organ sharing nations, but was suspended because too few Israelis were registered donors. It was a stunning irony for a nation famous as an innovator of advanced medical technologies. The problem was that Israelis knew about the tradition of burying a body whole; they were not so aware that their rabbis allowed organ donation.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, various medical groups and the government in Israel tried to educate the public, but nothing worked. Organ donation rates were terribly low. People were desperate for organs, but few were donating. It just wasn't what people did.

And then the Flatows offered their daughter's organs to the people of Israel. The news made headlines in every newspaper throughout the nation. Her heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and corneas were able to save six lives in Israel. Notably, at least one of the recipients was Arab Palestinian. The people of Israel were amazed, and grateful. They had felt so alone in suffering against terrorism, and here this family from America made such a gesture. They felt that the world Jewish community was with them. We were one.

Days later, Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin came to Washington DC and spoke before a gathering of 12,000 American Jews. What he told them would be printed in newspapers throughout America. He spoke about what Alisa's gift meant to the Israeli people. "Today," he said, "her heart beats in Jerusalem."

There is more. After Alisa's death, the Flatows lives were shattered. Alisa's mother withdrew into herself and her home. But the father, Stephen, decided to take action. He wanted justice. It was widely reported that the State of Iran was the sponsor and financial backer of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It angered him that there were no consequences for Iran. They had funded his daughter's murderers, and no one was doing anything about it. The bomber himself was killed. The terrorist ring was being pursued by Israel. Stephen Flatow decided to take it upon himself to go after Iran.

A lawyer by training, he sought justice through the courts. He had a brilliant idea. If he and other victims of terror could file suit against Iran, they could exact punishment on the regime. They would make it costly for states to sponsor terror, and then maybe Iran would think twice about doing it again.

But there was a problem. United States law did not allow private citizens to sue foreign governments. It was expressly forbidden. So Stephen Flatow went to Washington to change the law. His senator, the Jewish Frank Lautenberg, happened to be in Israel at the time of Alyssa's death. He took a special interest in her family and drafted legislation. Flatow testified before congress, and even gained the backing of President Clinton. Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996 to make an exception to the longstanding rule. In cases of state-sponsored terror, individual US citizens could sue foreign nations for damages in US courts. It was the first victory.

It did not last. The courts threw it out. So back to Washington he went for a new law, one written specifically to override the objections of the court. Once again he sued the state of Iran in a US court. But his time, one of his allies became an adversary. The Clinton administration began to see Flatow as interfering in national diplomacy. The White House was against Iran, but they did not want Flatow dictating the terms. So the U.S. Department of Justice intervened in the case, and actually filed a brief in support of Iran and against the victims of terror. Once more, Flatow returned to Congress and this time he got a third law that gave citizens even more strength to sue foreign governments, this time with teeth.

Finally, in 1997, he received his judgment. A court ruled in favor of the Flatows and against Iran. The family was awarded $26 million in compensatory damages, and over $200 million in punitive damages.

But the issue was hardly over. How do you collect money from a rogue state? They weren't paying. Stephen Flatow devised a plan. Since the United States had ended diplomatic ties with Iran following the rise of the Ayatollah, the Iranian embassy in Washington and the residence of the Iranian ambassador have been in control of the United States Government. The State Department holds them in trust with the goal of returning them to Iran someday when relations resume. Stephen Flatow now had a ruling that said the Iranian government owed him $247 million. He sought possession of the embassy and the residence, property owned by Iran. The State Department refused. They feared that if the United States confiscated sovereign property here, our embassies and properties abroad would become threatened. So instead, they paid Flatow $20 million from US funds with the understanding that the United States would collect that money from Iran someday.

Stephen Flatow was furious. His goal was not to get money. His goal was to make Iran pay so they would stop sponsoring terror. He had won in court and he had received money, but Iran had still not paid one cent.

And this leads to the third chapter of this amazing saga. Stephen Flatow did not give up. He began to look for other assets in the United States that were owned by the government of Iran. Officially, there were none. United States sanctions prohibited Iran from doing any business in the United States, or for anyone to do business with Iran in the United States. But Flatow had suspicions that a charitable foundation in New York was actually a front, laundering money for the Iranian regime.

Why would the Iranians funnel their money through New York? Because the financial exchanges are there, and you can't get anything done internationally without going through New York's markets. Iran's economy, its nuclear weapons development, its sponsorship of Hezbollah and other jihadists groups – all required moving money across currencies. They needed a secret foothold in New York. The Alavi Foundation was established decades ago by the Shah to promote Iranian culture abroad. It owned a gleaming skyscraper on 5thAvenue in Manhattan, between Rockefeller Center and the Museum of Modern Art. Ivan Boesky used to office there. Stephen Flatow did a lot of digging, and then filed papers in court demonstrating that the foundation and the building were secretly operated by the Iranian government. And if they belonged to the state of Iran, they were subject to his financial ruling.

Stephen Flatow's case was a civil matter, but it came to the attention of a young analyst sitting in a cubicle at the Manhattan District Attorney's office. If what Flatow was saying was true, there was some serious criminal wrongdoing going on. That young analyst's name was Eitan Arusy. Before he starting working for the District Attorney, he served in the Israel Defense Force as a spokesman. He was one of the first responders to the scene of the carnage on the day that Alisa Flatow's bus was bombed. He had a special interest in the case. The district attorney's office did their own digging, and came to the same conclusion as Flatow – the Alavi Foundation was actually a front for Bank Melli, the State of Iran's government-owned national bank. But how did the Iranians do it? How did they get their money in and out of the United States? The district attorney's office soon discovered that two European Banks, Credit Suisse and Lloyds of London, were moving money and falsifying documents for the Iranians. When the FBI raided the records of the charity, they found vast deposits from Credit Suisse and Lloyds. The banks cooperated with investigators. They provided emails and memos detailing how they took Iranian money and sent it to the United States in their own names. Without admitting guilt, Lloyds agreed to pay a fine of $350 million, and Credit Suisse $536 million.

They were not alone. It was soon discovered that most of the major European banks were laundering money for the Iranians into the United States, in direct violation of US law. Barclays Bank settled in 2010, paying the United States $298 million. In 2012, ING, Standard Chartered, and HSBC also settled. HSBC agreed to pay $1.9 billion.

Then came the big one. While all these banks were making deals with the US government, two employees of BNP Paribas became whistle blowers. They shared with investigators that their bank had laundered tens of billions of dollars of Iranian money. They had also laundered money for Sudan while its regime was committing genocide.

BNP is the largest bank in France. This summer you may have seen the news. BNP became the first bank to admit guilt in laundering money for the Iranian government. They agreed to pay $8.9 billion in fines to the United States. It was far and away the largest penalty ever paid by a bank in history. The New York Times headline said it best: "A Grieving Father Pulls a Thread that Unravels BNP's Illegal Deals." A dad lost his girl. The hole in his life will never be filled. He thinks about her every day. He never gives up. He is a small-time attorney doing title work in New Jersey. But his tenacity and his grit and his smarts were beyond anyone's estimation. This one man in New Jersey uncovered an international conspiracy of bank fraud.

The story is not over. Stephen Flatow is not done. The man who instantly changed the culture of organ donation is Israel is trying to do the same here in America. He takes every opportunity to speak to Orthodox congregations to encourage organ donation. Though the rate of donation consent in America is strong at 60%, the rate among Flatow's fellow Orthodox Jews is only 5%. He is on a mission to change that.

He and his wife have also established a foundation in Alisa's name. They sponsor young Jewish women from around the world to take a semester of study in Jerusalem. The money they have received in their fight against Iran is now sponsoring women's Torah study and the vitality of the State of Israel.

And, in the months ahead, he may finally achieve his goal of making Iran actually pay. A federal judge has the ruled that the assets of the Alavi Foundation be liquidated. The gleaming office tower in New York and other properties around America will be sold and the proceeds will go to the victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism. That will be Iranian money. Finally, Iran will pay a price.

All of this because of one man in Northern New Jersey. One man who never quit.

Earlier this summer, I did my own digging and I found Stephen Flatow's contact information. I sent him an email.

Dear Mr. Flatow,

My name is Brenner Glickman and I am a rabbi with a congregation in Sarasota, Florida.

I admire you and am writing a sermon about you and your family for this High Holidays.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for Israel and America.

You are an inspiration.

He replied the same day:

Dear Rabbi Glickman,

Thanks very much for your note. But it's really Alisa who has been the source of strength and encouragement these past 19 years. As I like to remind people, I'm still her father and we do anything for our children.

Contact YogiRUs at YogiRUs@aol.com


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OBAMA CYBERSECURITY CHIEF GETS SERIOUS PRISON TIME FOR CHILD PORN

Posted by COPmagazine, January 06, 2015

The article below was written by Jim Kouri who is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a contributor to WPTF, Raleigh, North Carolina. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. In addition, he's a commentator for newsradio WPTF, Raleigh, NC, and editor of Conservative Base Magazine (www.conservativebase.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. This article appeared on CNBnews.net and is archived at http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-cybersecurity-chief-gets-serious-prison -time-for-child-porn

sentenced

The former Acting Cyber Security Director at the Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday sentenced to 25 years in prison for possessing and trading child pornography with other members of a underground child sex trafficking ring.

NBC News reports that Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was caught in an FBI sting that saw the arrests of six other visitors to a network of child pornography websites.

"Using the same technological expertise he employed as Acting Director of Cyber Security at HHS, DeFoggi attempted to sexually exploit children and traffic in child pornography through an anonymous computer network of child predators," Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said in a press release.

According to the Department of Justice, DeFoggi used a Tor-based website from May 2012 to December of 2012, in which he "accessed child pornography, solicited child pornography from other members, and exchanged private messages with other members in which he expressed an interest in the violent rape and murder of children." At one point DeFoggi sent a message to a fellow member suggesting they meet, "to fulfill their mutual fantasies to violently rape and murder children."

DeFoggi was charged with "engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography and accessing a computer with intent to view child pornography."

Contact COPmagazine at COPmagazine@aol.com


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JIHADI TERROR ISN'T "CRAZY," IT'S A MANIFESTATION OF ISLAMIC THEOLOGY

Posted by FSM Security, January 06, 2015

The article below was written by Diana West who is a journalist and columnist whose writing appears in several high profile outlets. This article appeared January 04, 2015 on Family Security Matters and is archived at
http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/jihadi-terror-isnt-crazy-its -a-manifestation-of-islamic-theology?f=must_reads

century
Victims of jihad in Australia a century apart: Alma Cowie, aged 17, and Katrina Dawson, aged 38

In the spirit of sermons and soda water, Mark Durie provides a clarifying essay that opens the historical horizons on last month's deadly Martin Place jihad siege in Australia by comparing it to a strikingly similar jihad attack against picnickers in Australia on New Year's Day, 1915 (via Ruthfully). In discussing these and other cases of "individual jihad" (including reference to the Dutch colonial experience in Aceh) where Muslim killers answer the Islamic call to jihad, Durie demonstrates that the go-to, feel-good explanations about "lone wolves" and "crazies" have no more relevance than fairy tales to explaining the chronic threat of Islam in the West.

Some excerpts below.

"From Broken Hill to Martin Place: Individual Jihad Comes to Australia, 1915 to 2015"

by Mark Durie

One hundred years ago today, a lethal jihad attack was staged against New Year's Day picnickers in Broken Hill, Australia. This attack and the recent Martin Place siege, events separated by almost exactly a century, show striking similarities. ...

The jihad attack was staged against a picnic train which was taking 1200 picnickers out on a New Year's Day in open ore trucks. Bashda Mahommed Gool and Mullah Abdullah first made inquiries at the station beforehand to make sure they would be in the right place at the right time to attack this particular train. They then positioned themselves on the side of hill around 30 meters from the tracks, and opened fire as the trucks passed. Among the victims was Alma Cowie, aged 17, shot dead. By the end of the incident the jihadi cameleers had themselves been killed by police.

The two were found to have left notes to explain that they were responding to a call to jihad issued by the Ottoman Caliphate (on 11 November 1914).

...

The phenomenon of individuals launching a personal jihad against non-Muslim infidels is nothing new. The precedents in the life of Muhammad are well-known and some of these were cited in the Ottoman ‘Universal Proclamation'. As the Ottoman fatwa indicated, the phenomenon was already a thorn in the side of colonial authorities a century ago.

In the Dutch occupation of Aceh, the phenomenon of individual Muslims killing Dutch people was frequent enough to be given a name, Atjeh-moorden 'Acehnese murders'. The Dutch authorities conducted investigations into the mental state of perpetrators of such attacks. This was not always easy: because the attacks were mounted with the intention of ‘killing and being killed' to attain martrydom, only a minority of attackers survived in a fit state to be investigated.

The Dutch wrestled for decades to understand the phenomenon. The psychiatrist R.A. Kern conducted a study of Atjeh-moorden and concluded that while Islamic theology accounted for the common pattern of the murders, this was not enough to determine which particular individuals might be triggered to mount such attacks: for that one needed to look to the personal circumstances of the individuals.

Nevertheless, repeated psychiatric studies of perpetrators showed that they were not mad. David Kloos summarized their findings: "Over the years, a consensus had formed among the Dutch that the Ajteh-moorden were committed deliberately, in 'cold blood' and thus ‘rationally'.[2] Going for individual jihad was not normally a symptom of mental instability.

...

There are striking parallels between the Broken Hill massacre a century ago, and the recent Martin Place siege.

In both cases the media puzzled over the motivation of the attackers. The Barrier Miner wrote in 1915 "The question has been asked over and over again, and by many people since yesterday morning's tragic occurrence, as to the motive of the men in attacking the picnic train with its load of women and children..."

The attackers in both cases had resided for many years in Australia and were well-known in their communities.

Both attacks were individual acts; although the 1915 attack by two individuals working together, they were not part of a larger network of jihadis, but were merely combining their individual efforts.

In both cases the attackers subscribed to the dogmas of jihad in the path of Allah, and martyrdom in Holy War.

In both cases, attackers were mobilized in response to a global call to jihad: in 1915 issued by the Ottoman Caliphate; in 2014 issued by the Islamic State. [DW: See Andrew Bostom's discussion of the Islamic State September 2014 pronouncement here.]

Both global calls to jihad had specifically invited Muslims around the world to commit individual acts of jihad by killing infidels (see here on the Islamic State's call to Muslims to run over infidels with their cars).

In both cases the perpetrators had been experiencing difficulties with the law: in the 1915 massacre, Mullah Abdullah had been convicted days before for slaughtering sheep on an unlicensed premises. In the Martin Place siege, Hojat al-Islam Muhammad Hassan Manteqi (AKA 'Sheikh' Man Haron Monis) was facing criminal charges as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and had a history of convictions for serious offenses.

There were also similarities in the way the wider community and the media responded:

In both cases the media took pains to point out that the majority of people in the Muslim community abhorred the killings, and reported that no-one from the Muslim community wished to claim the bodies (see here and here).

In both cases there were no reprisals against Muslims. However the Broken Hill German Club was burned down in 1915; the killings were considered to be linked to the World War I conflict as a whole, rather than as manifestations of individual jihadism....

Is individual jihad really a new phenomenon? Nothing could be further from the truth. It is, on the contrary, an old, old form of warfare, as old as the origins of Islam itself. The Ottoman fatwa writers knew their Koran and were qualified to draw conclusions from it, which did not differ from the long-established mainstream of Islamic teachings about jihad.

To discuss such things the term terrorism is inadequate and even misleading. It confuses experts like Professor Wesley, who attempt to lump the Martin Place siege into a conceptual grid which includes the IRA, in apparent ignorance of the well-documented history of jihadism.

Also misleading is the widely used term lone wolf, which implies social disengagement and dysfunction, including disconnection with the broader jihadi movement. This very Western secular construct overlooks the considerable attention in Islamic jurisprudence to the idea of warfare as an 'individual obligation' (fardh al-'ayn), which is incumbent upon Muslims as individuals, even if they are not enlisted in a jihad army.

The West puzzles and puzzles over jihad. The Martin Place hostage taker 'Sheikh' Monis certainly seems to have been a very unpleasant individual, and many have been tempted to write him off as 'crazy'. However what fascinates and terrifies most is the utter ordinariness of so many jihadis. Here in Australia article after article has been published in the media pointing out how normal the young men are who have joined Islamic State. We have read how they enjoy social media, made YouTube videos, do well at school, are liked by their friends, go partying, have girlfriends, support local football teams etc. And all this is related to us as if it was the most amazing news.

Given the terrifying ordinariness of the jihadis, it is tempting to apply pejorative labels to them, to write them off as deranged misfits. This is an attempt to marginalize the problem. Australia's foreign minister, Julie Bishop called it ‘idiotic' to refer to those who die in jihad as 'martyrs'.

However such attempts to push the jihad phenomenon to the edges of our rational world are doomed to fail. Instead the same question keeps arising, like a persistent itch, that the Barrier Miner put on January 2, 1915: 'The question has been asked over and over again, and by many people since yesterday morning's tragic occurrence, as to the motive of the men in attacking the picnic train with its load of women and children...'

This question will simply not go away. In reality, the will to 'go forth' for jihad is not a manifestation of craziness - many of its actors are entirely sane. It is not a manifestation of stupidity - many of its actors are quite intelligent. It is not a manifestation of social dysfunction or poverty - many of its actors come from stable and wealthy homes. It is not a manifestation of weirdness - many of its actors are quite ordinary. Nor is it a manifestation of 'morphing' trends in international relations - jihadism is as old as the hills.

Jihadi terror is a manifestation of Islamic theology. Despite the fact that so many Muslims reject jihadism, and millions of Muslims can be counted among its victims, this remains as true today as ever it has been. Yet this is something the West remains disturbingly ill-prepared to accept, engage with, or address appropriately. We stubbornly continue to seek worldview solace in misplaced explanations.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@ familysecuritymatters.org


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THE DEATH OF PATRIOTISM

Posted by FSM Security, January 06, 2015

The article below was written by Lawrence Sellin, PhD who a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of "Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution ". This article appeared December 27, 2014 and is archived at http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/the-death-of-patriotism?f=must_reads is

patriotism

The next two years will be the most dangerous in the history of the United States. It may lead to the end of American history.

The Republican establishment is powerless to oppose Obama in any significant way because they are being held hostage. Obama's lies have become Republican lies, which they have embraced and made their own.

Although the challenges facing the country present clear dangers, America will not be brought down by unsustainable debt, social chaos, a moribund economy or weakness in the face of foreign threats, all of which have been planned and instigated by our own government, but by the irreparable damage to the Constitution and representative government perpetrated by the very people, who have sworn an oath to uphold them.

Most prospective government officials, whether Democrat or Republican, now pursue office, not to support the Constitution and serve the American people, but to obtain power, and to use that power to accrue professional and financial benefits for themselves and their major donors. All the traditional means for citizens to seek the redress of grievances have now been blocked by a self-absorbed permanent political elite unaccountable to the American people.

From the perspective of the ruling class, elections are formalities, nothing more than occasions to redistribute power among select Democrat and Republican elites. For the financiers, it does not matter who wins as long as they can continue to influence policy through their lobbies and political contributions.

Ordinary Americans are little more than indentured voters to a power-hungry and greedy bipartisan dictatorship.

Case in point is the darling of the Republican establishment and pre-anointed 2016 Presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who, if elected, intends to govern like Democrat Lyndon Baines Johnson.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Bush only recently left his position with Tenet Healthcare Corp., a company that has actively supported and benefited from Obamacare. Last year Bush earned both cash and stock worth about $300,000 from Tenet and sold $1.1 million of Tenet stock in 2013.

For our ruling elite, patriotism is just a campaign slogan or a tool to extract ever more sacrifices from ordinary Americans in order to satisfy their ever-increasing thirst for power and money, all at the expense of the Middle Class.

On July 26, 2014, Anna Bernasek, reporting for the New York Times, wrote that according to a study financed by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth of the median U.S. household in 2013 was only $56,335 - a decline of a whopping 36% from the median household net worth of $87,992 in 2003.

The deathblow to patriotism was struck in 2008 when, pressured by a biased, left-leaning media, a spineless Republican leadership joined the Democrats in refusing to vet Obama in violation of the Constitution or even common sense. Out of fear or complicity, a conspiracy of silence has descended upon the public discourse regarding all questions related to Obama's background and fitness for office. Despite the enormous historical and Constitutional implications, the politicians and the media, not only have remained silent, but have actively suppressed legitimate inquiry

The self-interest of politicians and journalists has trumped patriotism. Rather than risk the truth, they have chosen to risk national survival because disclosing the truth about Obama would expose the rampant corruption of our political and media elite, reveal their acquiescence in Obama's violations of Constitution, uncover their willful ignorance of his alleged felonies and confirm their participation in the greatest election fraud and Constitutional crisis in American history.

It was the acceptance by the political-media establishment of the Big Lie that led to the fundamental transformation of America according to the dictates of the radical left and militant Islam. We have a government that has, at least figuratively, enlisted in the ranks of our enemies and is bearing arms against us.

Over the next two years, Obama will peel back his own onion to reveal its extremist core, realizing the worst excesses of the 1960s, like Bill Ayers in a black face.

Barack Obama may have presided over the death of patriotism, but he had many willing accomplices, all eager to sell out their country for thirty pieces of silver.

Contact Family Security Matters (FSM) at info@ familysecuritymatters.org


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WHAT DAVID BEN-GURION COULD TEACH DENNIS ROSS ABOUT ISRAEL, THE PALESTINIANS AND THE ICC

Posted by Saul Goldman, January 06, 2015

Beinart is utterly idiotic. Zionism is the national liberation movement of an actual nation. The Palestinians haven't in any way demonstrated that their nation can be defined by anything other than terrorism and anti-Semitism. It is a nation imbued with an evil spirit. Even the Irgun would call the British and tell them that there was a bomb about to go off. Sadly, the Israeli press thinks Beinart is an astute observer of the conflict that can be resolved reasonably (if only Israel surrenders its rights). Unfortunately, wars are not won by reason but by courage and by actually killing the enemy. The Arabs, however, will not demur on the mass murder of the Jews. The real tragedy is that too many Jewish leaders and thinkers have come to, as Aristotle would have said, the wrong opinion. The objective is not a two state solution.

The article below was written by Peter Beinart who is Associate Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York, a Contributor to The Atlantic and National Journal, a Senior Columnist at Haaretz and a Senior Fellow at The New America Foundation. He has published three books, including The Crisis of Zionism in 2012. This article appeared January 06, 2015 on Haaretz.com and is archived at http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.635551

Zionists didn't win statehood by making their opponents comfortable. And the Palestinians won't gain freedom on their knees.

gesture
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a speech in the West Bank city of Ramallah on January 4, 2015. Photo by AFP

Good editors are good skeptics. Writers assert; editors are supposed to demand evidence that their assertions are true.

Since Dennis Ross, a former American envoy to the peace talks, did not encounter such an editor before publishing his recent New York Times op-ed denouncing the Palestinian bid to enter the International Criminal Court, let's imagine how such a conversation might have gone. We'll take the op-eds' four main points in turn.

1) The ICC bid is useless
In his first paragraph, Ross declares that seeking membership in the ICC "will produce Palestinian charges and Israeli countercharges but not alter the reality on the ground." A decent editor would notice several things. First, that Ross offers no evidence for this claim. Second, that he later contradicts it by declaring – again with no evidence – that the bid "will strengthen [Israeli] politicians who prefer the status quo." So, according to Ross, the ICC bid that will "not alter reality on the ground" may in fact alter reality on the ground by producing an Israeli government more committed to settlement growth. The one thing it absolutely won't do is scare Israel into making concessions. How does Ross know this? He doesn't say.

2) The Palestinians are never held responsible
In his second paragraph, Ross declares that, "It's time to stop giving the Palestinians a pass," which implies that they've been getting one so far. Really? In 2007, the United States halted direct aid to the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won legislative elections. In 2011, Congress cut $200 million in aid after the PA sought statehood recognition at the UN. Last summer, the House Appropriations Committees passed legislation cutting assistance to the Palestinian Authority by the amount the PA paid the families of prisoners in Israeli jails. And now that the Palestinians are applying to join the ICC, Congress is considering cutting off aid again.

An editor with access to Google might ask how exactly all this qualifies as "giving the Palestinians a pass?" He or she might also ask – since Ross declares that, "peace requires accountability on both sides" – when the United States has responded to Israeli transgressions by cutting its aid. Did the Obama administration publicly threaten aid cuts in 2010 when the Netanyahu government humiliated Joe Biden by announcing new settlement growth while he was in Israel on a fence-mending trip? Or in 2011 when Benjamin Netanyahu flew to the White House to publicly reject Barack Obama's proposal for a peace deal based on the 1967 lines plus land swaps? Or in 2012 when Netanyahu practically campaigned for Mitt Romney? No, no and no. "So who, exactly," the editor might ask, "is getting the pass?"

3) It's the Palestinians' fault that there's no two-state deal
In paragraph number three, Ross declares: "Since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton's parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts last year. In each case, a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either 'no' or no response."

A smart editor would notice the silences right away. Offer number two came from Olmert, an Israeli prime minister. Ross slams Mahmoud Abbas for not accepting it without acknowledging that Abbas had a proposal too, which Olmert didn't accept. Offers one and three came from the United States. Ross blasts the Palestinians for not answering to them more positively but, strikingly, never mentions the Israeli response. In January 2001, after Clinton unveiled his parameters, his press secretary declared "that both sides have now accepted the president's ideas with some reservations." Both sides. Israeli – and some U.S. – officials believe the Palestinian reservations were more problematic. Maybe so. But Ross lets Israel off the hook entirely.

His rendition of the Kerry talks is even worse. It's true that Abbas did not respond positively to a proposal the Americans made last March. (Although since that proposal – unlike the Clinton parameters – is secret, it's hard to judge its merit). What Ross doesn't say is that Israel never accepted the American proposal either. As Martin Indyk, Kerry's special envoy for the peace process, told me, "We went beyond where Netanyahu was prepared to go to get Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) into the zone of a possible agreement. So the U.S. proposal that Abu Mazen did not respond to had not yet been agreed to by Netanyahu."

And in a post-mortem two months later, a senior administration official said that "There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort's failure, but people in Israel shouldn't ignore the bitter truth – the primary sabotage came from the settlements." Ross leaves that out too.

4) The Palestinians are professional victims
In his fourth paragraph, Ross offers a cultural explanation for the Palestinians' refusal to make peace: They're whiners. "Palestinian political culture," he writes, "is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anti-colonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate." To which our friendly editor might reply: Yikes! In the West Bank, Palestinians are denied citizenship and the right to vote in the country in which they live. They live without free movement and under martial law. Yet according to Ross, they’ve concocted a “narrative" of injustice. If only they weren't so post-modern.

Then there's Ross' idea that "Palestinian political culture" sees "concessions to Israel as illegitimate." The Palestine Liberation Organization publicly recognized Israel's right to exist as a sovereign state 22 years ago. Benjamin Netanyahu publicly rejected the Palestinians' right to the same thing last summer. Yet it's the Palestinians who suffer from a pathology of intransigence.

Reasonable people can debate the timing of the Palestinians' UN and ICC bids. But beneath these tactical questions lies this core truth: The Palestinians will get nothing while on their knees. If Benjamin Netanyahu's prime ministership has done anything, it has borne out the truth that Frederick Douglass spoke long ago: "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." As a liberal, I want the Palestinians to demand nonviolently. As a Zionist and a pragmatist, I want them to demand a state alongside Israel, not in its place. But as a Jew who this week begins reading the Book of Exodus – which calls us to "remember the heart of the stranger" – I cannot deny the Palestinians' right to demand the same freedoms that we demand for ourselves. And I cannot ask them to wait.

It would be wonderful if Palestinians could win those freedoms without causing Jews discomfort. But it hasn't happened that way because it never happens that way. People are not given freedom; they take it. "What matters is not what the goyim say," said David Ben-Gurion, "but what the Jews do." Mahmoud Abbas is finally taking that maxim to heart. He's tired of relying on the benevolence of Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama. He's doing it the Zionist way. Were Dennis Ross in his place, I suspect he would too.

Contact Saul Goldman at gold7910@bellsouth.net


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TORTURE

Posted by Midenise, January 06, 2015

The article below was written by George Everett "Bud" Day who is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Command Pilot who served during the Vietnam War. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. Service member since General Douglas MacArthur, having Received some seventy decorations, a majority for actions In combat. Day is a recipient of the Medal of Honor. The article appeared June 17, 2009 and is archived at http://myrightwingdad.blogspot.com/2009/06/fw-medal-of-honor-recipient-bud-day.html

I got shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, a Sqdn. Commander. After I returned in 1973...I published 2 books that dealt a lot With "real torture" in Hanoi. Our make-believe president is Branding our country as a bunch of torturers when he has No idea what torture is.

As for me, I was put thru a mock execution because I would not respond.. Pistol whipped on the head....same event.. Couple of days later... Hung by my feet all day. I escaped and a couple of weeks later, I got Shot and recaptured. Shot was OK...what happened afterwards was not.

They marched me to Vinh...put me in the rope trick, trick...almost Pulled my arms out of the sockets. Beat me on the head with a Little wooden rod until my eyes were swelled shut, and my unshot, Unbroken hand a pulp.

Next day hung me by the arms...rebroke my right wrist...wiped Out the nerves in my arms that control the hands....rolled my fingers Up into a ball. Only left the slightest movement of my L forefinger. So I started answering with some incredible lies.

Sent me to Hanoi strapped to a barrel of gas in the back of a truck.

Hanoi ...on my knees...rope trick again. Beaten by a big fool.

Into leg irons on a bed in Heartbreak Hotel.

Much kneeling--hands up at the "Zoo".

Really bad beating for refusing to condemn Lyndon Johnson.

Several more kneeling events. I could see my knee bone thru Kneeling holes.

There was an escape from the annex to the Zoo. I was the Senior Officer of a large building... because of escape...they started a mass Torture of all commanders.

I think it was July 7, 1969...they started beating me with a car fanbelt. In the first 2 days I took over 300 strokes...then stopped counting Because I never thought I would live thru it.

They continued day-night torture to get me to confess to a non-existent Part in the escape. This went on for at least 3 days. On my knees... Fan belting...cut open my scrotum with fan belt stroke. Opened up Both knee holes again. My fanny looked like hamburger...I could not Lie on my back or sit.

They tortured me into admitting that I was in on the escape...and That my 2 room-mates knew about it.

The next day I denied the lie.

They commenced torturing me again with 3- 6- or 9 strokes of The fan belt every day from about July 11 or 12th..to October 14 1969. I continued to refuse to lie about my roommates again.

Now, the point of this is that our make-believe President has declared to the world that we (U.S..) are a bunch of Torturers...Thus it will be OK to torture us next time when they Catch us...because that is what the U.S. Does.

Our make-believe president is a know nothing fool who thinks That pouring a little water on some one's face, or hanging a pair of women's pants over an Arabs head is TORTURE.. He is a meathead.

I just talked to MOH holder Leo Thorsness, who was also in my squadron, In jail...as was John McCain...and we agree that McCain does Not speak for the POW group when he claims that what we did was Torture...or that "water boarding" is torture.

Our president and those fools around him who keep bad mouthing Our great country are a disgrace to the United States. Please pass This info on. Feel free to use it to point out the Stupidity of the claims that water boarding...which has no after Effect...is torture. If it got the Arab to cough up the story about how he planned the attack on the twin towers in NYC ... Hurrah for the guy who poured the water.

Contact Midenise at zahav.net.il


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FRONTLINE DEFENSE

Posted by Jewish Policy Center, January 06, 2015

West Bank

An Israeli military court found Hebron resident Hossam Qawasmeh guilty of "participating in the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach and Gilad Shaer on June 12." Qawasmeh, who is said to have confessed to organizing the killings, was given three life sentences in prison.

On January 4th, the Israeli government announced it had arrested at least three Palestinians in November suspected of planning ISIS-inspired attacks against IDF troops.

Israeli settlers threw stones at a U.S. diplomatic convoy visiting the West Bank village of Turmus Ayya on January 2nd. The diplomats had been examining Palestinian allegations that settlers uprooted thousands of Arab olive trees in recent weeks. No one was injured during the incident.

Israeli troops shot a Palestinian throwing rocks at cars in the West Bank on December 29th. The man subsequently died in the hospital and the IDF said it would launch an investigation into the incident.

Authorities arrested two Palestinians suspected of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a passing Israeli car, critically injuring an 11-year-old girl. The girl suffered severe third degree burns and her father was also injured.

communities
Local residents protest the withdrawal of IDF troops from their communities. (Photo: Ynet/Roee Idan)

Israeli police arrested four Palestinians at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Jenin. A search of the suspects' vehicle uncovered numerous pipe bombs. Subsequent interrogations revealed the men planned to attack IDF personnel.

Gaza

The IDF began a controversial troop reassignment in early January, withdrawing soldiers stationed at all but the closest three towns to Gaza. Local residents protested the military's decision, but officials insist that new fences and electronic monitoring equipment will provide adequate protection.

On December 19th, Palestinian militants fired a rocket into Israel. No injuries were reported but the IDF bombed a Hamas weapons factory in response. An Israeli soldier was shot and injured during a routine patrol near Kibbutz Kissufim a few days later on December 24th. The IDF launched a retaliatory air strike that killed Hamas commander Tayseer al-Ismary. During the unrest, the IDF deployed two Iron Dome batteries near Beersheba and Netivot.

Israeli intelligence suggests Hamas terrorists are preparing for their next war with Israel, diverting dual-use materials away from civilian rebuilding efforts in order to rearm and reconstruct underground tunnels. Specifically, the group is readying new short range rockets that can fall under Iron Dome's reach. Hamas is also positioning its forces to launch new, larger-scale incursions into Israel via tunnels and the sea. On December 23rd, Hamas held a military exercise in southern Gaza, simulating cross border raids and kidnappings.

A European Union court ruled on December 17th that Hamas must be removed from Europe's list of terrorist organization. The court claimed that European Commission officials must use stronger evidence than press and internet reports to justify a terrorism designation. Legislators can appeal the decision within two months.

Hamas officials in Gaza say Qatar has not stopped funding the terrorist organization following a conflicting statement from a high ranking Egyptian diplomat. Cairo had been in talks with Doha to end financial assistance to Hamas over the group's support for insurgents in Sinai. Other sources suggest that Hamas leader in exile, Khaled Meshaal, could relocate Hamas' headquarters from Doha to Tehran, following a constructive trip and high level meetings with the Iranian leaders last month. Other reports suggest Meshaal could seek refuge in Turkey.

recep
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal meet in September 2012. (Photo: AP)

Sinai

Egyptian authorities estimate another 1,200 homes could be demolished as the government expands a 500m buffer zone to 1km along the Gaza border. Middle East Monitor reports that the military may expand the zone to up to 5km in some places.

Egyptian officials reported 14 militants had been killed during various operations in December. The Egyptian military killed a "highly dangerous terrorist" and arrested 297 other suspects during a series of raids ending on December 27th. Meanwhile, jihadists killed two troops in a roadside bombing and shot one policeman on a motorcycle the same day. On January 5th, four police officers were injured from a bomb planted at an apartment building near al-Arish.

Militants bombed the main natural gas pipeline through the Egyptian coastal city of al-Arish on December 23rd. Emergency services were able to contain the fire while the security forces attempted to locate the eight suspected bombers. Local media reported that the incident marks the 27th such attack on the Arab Gas Pipeline, which has caused a dramatic decrease in hydrocarbon exports to Jordan.

Golan Heights

The Syrian army claimed to have shot down an unmanned IDF Skylark-1 drone near the border village of Hader. Israeli officials refused to comment on the incident.

Vice News released a video report detailing how Israel's hospitals and field medics treat rebel fighters from Syria.

Lebanon

The Israeli government began work on a new underwater barrier between northern Israel and the southern Lebanese area of Ras al-Naqoura. The fence will include a sonar detection array that can alert the IDF if Hezbollah divers try infiltrating from the sea.

Contact Jewish Policy Center at info@jewishpolicycenter.org


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ABBAS DECREES LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR SELLING LAND TO ISRAELIS

Posted by PMW, January 06, 2015

Abbas decrees life imprisonment for selling land to Israelis: "Life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens"

PA Mufti and Supreme Fatwa Council: "Anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy [is] a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland"

The article below was written by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. Itamar Marcus, Director of Palestinian Media Watch(http://www.pmw.org.il), is an authority on Palestinian Arab ideology and policy. He was Israeli representative to the Tri-Lateral Anti Incitement Committee established under the Wye accords, and has written reports on Palestinian Authority, Syrian and Jordanian schoolbooks. Nan Jacques Zilberdik is an analyst at PMW, focusing on the opinions and messages of the Palestinian Arab leadership as transmitted to the Palestinian Arab public, with an emphasis on the impact on peace, messages and values communicated to children, and glorification of terrorists. This article is archived at http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=13648

Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas has announced a decree that any Palestinian who sells land "to a hostile country or its citizens" is now punished with "life imprisonment with forced labor":

"[Abbas] instituted life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens. The previous penalty for the duplicitous transfer of land was temporary forced labor."

[Official PA TV, Oct. 21, 2014]

The [Palestinian] Supreme Fatwa Council, chaired by the PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, added that selling land to "the enemy" not only violates PA law but violates Islamic law as well:

"The Council designated anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland, and [decreed that] he is to be shunned by all Muslims.

The [Palestinian] Supreme Fatwa Council, chaired by the PA Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, added that selling land to "the enemy" not only violates PA law but violates Islamic law as well:

"The Council designated anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland, and [decreed that] he is to be shunned by all Muslims."

PA TV news reported that this was in response to Palestinians who sold land to Israelis in Jerusalem in the Silwan neighborhood. (See sources below.)

Official PA TV further reported that Adnan Al-Damiri, the official spokesman of the PA Security Forces, "has confirmed that the Security Forces will settle accounts with anyone thinking of selling lands or apartments to settlers anywhere in the homeland":

Adnan Al-Damiri, official spokesman of the PA Security Forces: "We will persecute anyone who violates the sanctity of the Palestinian lands, real estate and holy places in Palestine, whatever his title, nature, ID card (i.e., Israeli or Palestinian) or place [of residence]."

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that when the PA refers to "the homeland" it includes both PA areas as well as all of Israel.

Official PA TV News reported that "the previous penalty for the clandestine transfer of land was temporary forced labor." PMW reported that in 2012, the PA sentenced a man to 15 years of hard labor for selling land "to a Jew":

"The court announced: 'The accused (N.A., 35 years old), from the village of Azzoun in the Qalqilya region, is sentenced to 15 years' hard labor, on the charge of selling land to the enemy (i.e., a Jew, see judge's words below), in violation of section 114.' In addition: 'The court is aware that the accused is the father of a family, and that he has children who suffer from illnesses. Out of compassion for the children, and since the accused has expressed remorse, the court has decided to ease his punishment and to change the duration of the hard labor to 7.5 years.' The press release said: 'The facts show that in September 2008, the accused sold his lot, part of the land in Saniria [village in Nablus region] to a Jew, with the mediation of an agent who fled for the sum of 5,000 shekels."

A similar punishment was given in 2011 to someone for selling land "to the enemy."

The following are longer excerpts of the three reports by official PA TV News:

Official PA TV newsreader:
"[PA] Chairman Mahmoud Abbas published a decision on an amendment to the Jordanian penal law (still in effect in the PA) and on its previous amendments in the northern districts (i.e., the West Bank). In the new amendment, he instituted life imprisonment with forced labor for the clandestine transfer, leasing or selling of lands to a hostile country or its citizens. The previous penalty for the clandestine transfer of land was temporary forced labor."

[Official PA TV, Oct. 21, 2014]

Official PA TV newsreader:
"The [Palestinian] Supreme Fatwa Council stressed in its meeting, chaired by the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, the prohibition on selling lands and clandestinely transferring real estate property to enemies. This came following the occupation authorities' and settlers' takeover of several real estate properties in the area of Silwan [in Jerusalem]... The Council designated anyone selling Palestinian real estate to the enemy a traitor to Allah and His Messenger, as well as to his religion and homeland, and [decreed that] he is to be shunned by all Muslims."

[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2014]

Official PA TV newsreader:
"Adnan Al-Damiri, the official spokesman of the [PA] Security Forces, has confirmed that the Security Forces will settle accounts with anyone thinking of selling lands or apartments to settlers anywhere in the homeland. In a press conference at the [PA] governmental media center in Ramallah, Al-Damiri added that the excuse of several [of the offenders] - that they hold non-Palestinian identity cards - will not protect them from the law in any way whatsoever."

Adnan Al-Damiri, the official spokesman of the PA Security Forces:
"We will persecute anyone who violates the sanctity of the Palestinian lands, real estate and holy places in Palestine, whatever his title, nature, ID card (i.e., Israeli or Palestinian) or place [of residence]. This persecution is legal (i.e., judicial). In addition, there is popular and national persecution by the Palestinian people of those who harm [its] resources and national cause."

[Official PA TV, Oct. 23, 2014]

Contact PMW Bulletin at pmw@palwatch.org


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UNRWA'S "PEACE STARTS HERE" CAMPAIGN SILENTLY DIES

Posted by Israel Behind the News, January 06, 2015

This article appeared January 05, 2015 on Elder of Ziyon and is archived at
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2015/01/unrwas-peace-starts-here-campaign.html

In 2010, to some fanfare, UNRWA launched a campaign called "Peace Starts Here."

Its flagship video, only viewed some 11,000 times in four years, uses the word "peace" a lot but never really defines what it means by peace. Not once is Israel mentioned and there is no indication that even one cent of this "peace" program is being spent on teaching Palestinian Arabs to co-exist peacefully with Israel.
Click here for the VIDEO.

Instead, UNRWA is calling all of its programs "peace" in order to raise money for the things it already does, which have nothing to do with the normal definition of peace.

If you don't believe me, here is how UNRWA itself describes the program. See if you can make any sense of it.

home

Isn't that clear?

To UNRWA, peace isn't what we normally call peace. Indeed, UNRWA spends no time or money on actually teaching its refugees that Israelis are normal human beings, let alone people to make peace with.

No, UNRWA knows that its funders lover the word "peace" so it plastered the word on top of programs that may be useful or interesting, but none of which promote real peace.

I don't know how much UNRWA spent on a series of about 18 videos showing off various programs that they all label "peace" – showing off a rehabilitation center or teaching breakdancing to Gaza kids. Each video must have cost tens of thousands of dollars. None of them besides the one shown above had over 10,000 views.

They all point back to a very slick "Peace Starts Here" webpage which also must have cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Unfortunately, you can no longer visit this page. The domain has lapsed.

How much was spent on this colossal waste of time, effort and money?

Too bad that a UN agency funded by the world's countries isn't transparent enough to tell us.

Contact Israel Behind the News at info@israelbehindthenews.com


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PASTRIES IN PLATTSBURGH

Posted by Hineni, January 06, 2015

The article was written Rabbi Yisroel Jungreis who is the rav of Hineni, the internationally-known Torah outreach organization founded in 1973 by his mother, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. This article appeared January 07, 2015 on the Jewish Voice and is archived at
http://jewishvoiceny.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=9694: pastries-in-plattsburgh--a-story-of-hakarat-hatov&catid=108:jewcy-news&Itemid=291

enjoyed
Mr. Guhrlock and his students immensely enjoyed the rugelach

students

This past June our family enjoyed a most wonderful simcha as my niece was getting married in Montreal, Canada. A serious scheduling problem emerged, however, when we learned that my son Meshulum was required to take his 9th grade algebra regents exam at his school in Brooklyn on the Friday morning after the wedding. Since we all wanted to be at this special chasuna (wedding), we decided to put our thinking caps on and devise some workable options. Truth is, at first glance, none of the choices available to us seemed to be very appealing.

Choice A: Meshulum just not attending the wedding.

Choice B: Take the regents exam on Friday morning in New York and try and catch an Erev Shabbos flight to Montreal.

Choice C: Take the regents exam in August in the middle of camp.

Choice D: Take the regents exam the following December.

Suffice it to say, these were all difficult choices,

After making some inquiries and conducting some research, I was informed that the northern most town in the State of New York (the one closest to the Canadian border) and a 90-minute drive from the wedding hall was Plattsburgh. Some of you may recognize the name as it is the home of a college in the State University of New York system. The thought occurred to me that perhaps Meshulum might be allowed to take the exam at the local high school in Plattsburgh. I then contacted the principal of the high school to find out if an arrangement such as this would be at all possible. His name was Mr. Guhrlock and he seemed quite accommodating. I had e-mailed him my son's requisite school records along with a copy of his passport and everything fell into place for the 8 am exam.

I was beyond pleased and so very grateful that Mr. Guhrlock understood our situation and was happy to make it all very easy for us. Thoughts of my father, HaGaon HaRav Meshulum HaLevi Jungreis, ZT'L, began to swirl in my head. He had always taught me that I should never go anywhere empty handed. It was then that I thought the perfect gift to express my enormous appreciation would be to buy the biggest box of the famous "rugalech" (pastries) from Schribers bakery in Brooklyn. After all, such delectable treats would be such a welcome surprise, since no one in Plattsburgh had seen or even tasted anything like this. It was the very least I could do to show my Hakoras Hatov (appreciation) for this huge favor.

After picking up my son, I asked Meshulum how he thought he did on the exam. He responded that he had passed and we were all very happy, considering he did not take the exam in a place that was familiar to him. At that juncture, Meshulum made a very insightful observation. He said, "Abba, everyone in this school was so friendly to me. It was amazing to me and I was made to feel so very comfortable." I said to Meshulum, "Wow, that's really special."

The next day I e-mailed Mr. Guhrlock with a message of my own. I told him how very grateful we were for his efforts in easing an otherwise stressful situation. I also relayed to him what Meshulum had said about everyone at the school reaching out to him in a genuine welcoming manner and with such friendliness. How wonderful it was for both the students and staff to be sensitive to a boy taking a major exam in a new environment and that included everyone in the school that he came in contact with. I told Mr. Guhrlock that he should be very proud of his fine school.

Mr. Guhrlock took no time in responding to me and said that my e-mail "made his day." In fact, he said, "I shared it with our entire student body at the very last assembly before summer vacation."

He also assured me of his further assistance by saying that if we ever find ourselves in a similar predicament we should not hesitate to contact him, BUT, he added, "don't forget the pastries."

I think the lessons that can be derived from this experience is that if someone does you a favor or even if they just did something nice, we should call or write them and let them know in no uncertain terms that their efforts were tremendously appreciated.

After all, everyone deserves a "Nachas" report.

Moreover, we never know just how much our words can impact someone (either positively or negatively) and we must be ever vigilant with them. But when we speak with genuine kindness, thoughtfulness and caring we can truly brighten someone's outlook and transform their day to one of cheer, success and confidence.

In the words of Shlomo HaMelech: "Death and life is in the tongue." Let us use our words wisely and to bring happiness to others.

Rabbi Yisroel Jungreis is the Rav of Hineni, the internationally renowned Torah outreach organization founded in 1973 by his mother, Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis. He lectures extensively on Torah related topics and delivers a weekly "Lunch and Learn" shiur in the boardroom at JP Morgan Chase. He is the co-author of Torah For Your Table published by Shaar Press

Contact Hineni at hineni@hineni.org


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"FRENETIC PACE"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 06, 2015

Where to begin in these days of turmoil, both at home and abroad?

I think I'll start at home, with the weather. A major winter storm is due to start here within hours. It is predicted that the north, Jerusalem, and high places in Judea and Samaria will see considerable snow between now and Friday. In other places there will be torrential rain, hail, thunderstorms and flooding.

snow

As long as I don't lose my electric power, I'll keep writing.

~~~~~~~~~~

From snow, to heavier issues regarding the Palestinian Authority:

The US State Department has criticized Israel's declared intention to withhold collected taxes from the PA because of Abbas's application for membership in the ICC. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki delivered one of her typical, vastly irritating statements: "We're opposed to any actions that raise tensions. Obviously this is one that raises tensions."

Translation: "Yes, I know the PA did something deplorable, but be nice. We don't want to make them angry now, do we?"

Well, actually, yes, I think we do.

~~~~~~~~~~

I had alluded recently to the fact that while we are about to withhold PA tax money, the PA owes the Israel Electric Company enormous sums of money. And now, lo and behold, the Israel Electric Company seems to have come to its senses. Or, perhaps more accurately, I should say that they've been given a tacit nod from the government that allows them to take a necessary and sensible position.

Israel Electric Company CEO Eli Glickman has now sent a letter to Israel's security chiefs, letting them know that there may be a certain amount of "unrest" in PA-controlled areas because a decision has been made to limit the supply of electricity in those areas. That is because the PA and the Palestinian-Arab controlled Jerusalem District Electric Company owe the Electric Company 1.7 billion shekels (well over $400 million). The PA buys the electricity from IEC and then sells it to PA-controlled municipalities.

Glickman has written that, "the debt imposes a heavy burden on the company's cash flow..." and IEC "as a supplier of an essential service that is committed to all its customers, is obligated to begin working in the coming days to collect [outstanding funds]" either by limiting supply of electricity or refusing to connect new customers.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4611713,00.html

At last!

Please do note that service will be reduced, not curtailed. And I am quite certain that nothing has been initiated that would affect service during the predicted storm.

~~~~~~~~~~

It must be pointed out that the failure of the PA to pay this bill is not an indication of a simple lack of funds, but rather of a highly inappropriate utilization of funds. There is, for example, the matter of "salaries" paid to the terrorists in Israeli jails (with the amount of the salaries higher for those who committed more heinous crimes).

And then, of course, there is the enormous corruption in the PA, so that, while the Palestinian Arabs receive the highest amount per capita in international funding of any group, a good deal of that money seems to "disappear."

Please see, "The 10 year klepto-dictatorship of Mahmoud Abbas":

"Like any dictator, [Abbas is] corrupt. His predecessor, Yasser Arafat, was accused of embezzling billions of dollars of money meant for the Palestinian people, with US officials estimating the man's personal nest egg at between one and three billion dollars. In line with his role model, after whom he named his own son, Abbas has continued this ignominious tradition."

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/No-Holds-Barred-The-10-year-klepto-dictatorship-of-Mahmoud-Abbas-386752

~~~~~~~~~~

What must be asked, however, is why the Israeli government is not simply turning over to the Electric Company the money that is being withheld, so that a good part of the money owed by the PA for electricity would be covered.

The fact that this is not the case suggests that the government knows now that the money is being held only temporarily as a gesture, and that ultimately it will be given to the PA. Or that there is at least the possibility of this decision being made, in response to international pressure.

~~~~~~~~~~

The PA application for membership in the ICC does not require the US to act – beyond, perhaps, closing a PLO office temporarily. But, according to recently passed US legislation, no funding may be provided to the PA if "the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians."

Both Israel and members of Congress are watching the situation closely.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-to-ask-congress-to-stop-funding-pa/

~~~~~~~~~~

When reports came out very recently indicating that non-governmental Israeli organizations might be the ones to pursue charges against the PA in courts outside of Israel, my thoughts went immediately to Shurat Hadin. And here you are:

http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Shurat-Hadin-readies-war-crimes-complaints-against-Palestinians-386670

"Shurat Hadin said it would be sending copies of the ready-to- file complaints to Abbas, Mashaal, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and many others so that they could see directly what they will face if they go beyond signing the Rome Statute and take the final step of filing war crimes complaints against Israelis."

They're fantastic.

~~~~~~~~~~

International lawyer Alan Baker, Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has now drafted "Ten Points Regarding the Fundamental Breach by the Palestinians of the Oslo Accords."

http://jcpa.org/ten-points-breach-palestinians-oslo-accords/

baker

It is the considered legal opinion of Ambassador Baker that (emphasis added):

In "petitioning the UN, the International Criminal Court and international organizations to recognize them and accept them as a full member state, and by their unification with the Hamas terror organization, the Palestinians have knowingly and deliberately bypassed their contractual obligations pursuant to the Oslo Accords in an attempt to prejudge the main negotiating issues outside the negotiation.

"This, together with their attempts to delegitimize Israel among the international community and their attempted actions against Israel's leaders, has served to frustrate any possibility of realization of the Oslo Accords, and as such the Palestinians are in material breach of their contractual obligations."

"...according to the accepted and universally recognized laws of contracts and international agreements, a fundamental breach enables the injured party to declare the agreement void and is freed from any further obligations pursuant to the agreement or contract. Therefore the fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords by the Palestinians is indicative of their conscious decision to undermine them and prevent any possibility of their implementation. As such they have rendered the Accords void...Israel has the legitimate right to declare that the Oslo Accords are no longer valid and to act unilaterally in order to protect its essential legal and security interests."

A very important legal opinion. But fairly meaningless if Israel does not act accordingly.

~~~~~~~~~~

Matters have not been exactly peaceful here in the political sphere, aka the "political circus." A few highlights:

There were some irregularities discovered in the voting in the Likud primary, which were challenged by Tzipi Livni. After some re-counting was done, she found herself just 55 votes shy of taking the (realistic) 20th slot from Avi Dichter. She says she is not giving up yet. There have been some other readjustments of slot assignments according to the recount. But I will not report on details until it is all final.

Netanyahu made a statement regarding campaign plans for the Likud that involved some future legislation that would change electoral procedures. But this is campaign talk. If and when such legislation is proposed, I will write about it.

~~~~~~~~~~

For some many days the Herzog-Livni duo, according to the polls, was either slightly ahead of Likud or neck and neck with it. Now polls are showing Likud pulling ahead. Predictions are that a right-wing religious coalition might be composed of as many as 69 mandates.

At present, neither the newly founded party of Michael Ben-Ari nor that of Eli Yishai is shown to make the cut-off (3.75% of the vote)for getting into the Knesset.

Shas is, unsurprisingly, showing at only a fraction of its current strength. A similar drop in mandates is showing for Yisrael Beitenu (Lieberman) and Yesh Atid (Lapid).

A word about Lapid here: He has admitted on IDF radio that he went into the Finance Ministry, "a bit power drunk...we should have listened to advice more." He sure was power drunk, and he did damage in the process. Perhaps he thinks making this confession will square him with the voters, but I do not.

Moshe Feiglin has announced that he is leaving Likud. His plans are a bit vague. Either he'll start a new party (we need another party, yes?), in which case he recognizes that he will not be in the Knesset next time around. Or he'll join with another nationalist party now, in hopes of securing a realistic place on a list. Ben-Ari has invited him; it is not clear to me at all if Feiglin has sufficient voter influence to bring Ben-Ari's party into the Knesset.

New people are joining parties at a rapid clip – including from the broadcasting world and the entertainment world. Let's see who makes the cut once lists are announced. Up-coming soon is the Habayit Hayehudi primary; not every party determines its list via primary.

~~~~~~~~~~

I close with this upbeat opinion piece by Guy Bechor: "The Arab oil era is over."

"As the Gulf states are left with no money to spend and are experiencing internal shocks, the era of destructive Arab power is coming to an end; the Israeli mind and innovation era, on the other hand, is just beginning.

"The most dramatic news in 2014 almost went unnoticed: The United States lifted the restrictions on American oil exports, and as of the first day of the new year it has begun exporting oil to the world.

"No one believed this would happen so fast, but the US is already the world's biggest oil manufacturer, bigger than Saudi Arabia, thanks to the oil shale technology which changed the world of energy...

"As the year 2015 begins, we are facing a new world: A world of a revolution of information, mind, personal strength, innovation and inventions. And in this world, Israel is a real princess...

"Israel is becoming a close friend of countries which were distant in the past but are close today, like India, Japan, China and South Korea. They too understand that those who are not innovative and lack a creative mind will just not be. And in this field, Israel has a lot to offer them, just like they have a lot to offer in return."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4611200,00.html

As I hear the wind howling outside my window, I am able to smile.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il And visit her website at www.arlenefromisrael.info


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SHURAT HADIN SUES P.A. LEADERS FOR WAR CRIMES

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 06, 2015

The P.A. applied for membership in the International Criminal Court (ICC). Immediately, Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, filed lawsuits against several P.A. leaders for war crimes. The filings ask that the accused be arrested.

More suits are involved than previous releases indicated. Newly indicted were Fatah members: PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Jibril Rajoub; and PA intelligence chief Majed Faraj. Previously indicted are Abbas, as of last November, and Hamas and its head, Khaled Mashaal, as of last September.

Fatah boasted on Facebook and elsewhere, during the recent Gaza war, that its projectiles killed and injured Israeli civilians. Those are war crimes.

Shurat Ha-Din head Nitsan Darshan-Leitner said that the P.A. wants to use the ICC to punish Israel while the P.A. gets away with terrorism against its own people and Israelis. For example, the three associates of Abbas are accused of such crimes against humanity as widespread murder and torture of P.A. residents (Avi Lewis, Times of Israel, 1/5/14 via Shurat HaDin email).

Good to see an anti-terrorist group being imaginative, sensible, and more proactive than reactive. By acting against terrorists, the organization benefits mankind as a whole. Shurat HaDin often represents Americans who suffered from terrorism.

Note that the Israel Law Center acts against those who committed crimes not only against Israelis but also against P.A. Arabs. Many NGOs commit Israel-bashing in the name of Palestinian Arabs, but the Israel Law Center actually tries to help those people.

The P.A. double standard about wanting to prosecute Israelis and not have its own leaders is typical of dictatorships but especially of Islamists. Islam feels that it is entitled to wage jihad by almost any means available, including aggression, but that non-believers have no right to defend themselves. Jihadists calls Israelis aggressors when Israelis defend themselves.

Having boasted of committing what are war crimes, Fatah won't have a comfortable defense. If it admits in court what it did, it would be confessing. If it denies what it had boasted of doing, then it would be exposed as an empty braggart.

The earlier accusations came under ICC jurisdiction because of citizenship in Jordan, a member of the ICC. I don't think Jordan would arrest Mashaal. Would Israel arrest some of the others? Abbas?

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com.


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ZARIF REJECTS ENRICHMENT

Posted by GWY123, January 06, 2015

The article below was from FARS News Agency on January 06, 2015 and is archived at http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931016001024

negotiator

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's top negotiator in the nuclear talks with the six world powers dismissed the possibility of Iran's uranium enrichment outside its borders, adding that the entire world has accepted the country's enrichment right.

"Today, no one speaks of enrichment outside Iran. Today no one has a word about (Iran's right of) enrichment in principle since today enrichment and moving towards industrialized enrichment has been accepted as an inalienable reality and no one doubts about it anymore," Zarif said, addressing Iranian legislators at the parliament on Tuesday.

"Today, no one speaks of suspending enrichment. Today no one speaks of closing Fordo (enrichment facilities) or Arak (heavy water reactor) (both in Central Iran)," he added.

Zarif referred to the fatwa (religious decree) issued by Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei that has placed a strong religious ban on the acquisition, possession and use of atomic bombs, and said even the US and western leaders lay emphasis on this fatwa as an indication of Iran's true opposition to the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).

"Today, our sides in the negotiations have well realized that Iran is committed to talks, but hates to be despised," he underscored.

In relevant remarks in December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined the nation would never give up its inalienable nuclear rights.

"Today like before we will continue our resistance on the path of the country's national interests and goals as well as our religion," President Rouhani said in a meeting with a group of elites and war veterans in Golestan province, Northern Iran.

The Iranian president reiterated that resistance would help the nation to embrace victory in all areas and achieve its goals.

"You should not have any doubt that the G5+1, the western world, the eastern world and the region all are in need of constructive interaction with Iran," President Rouhani added.

He reiterated that Iran is today at a juncture that the world has accepted its basic nuclear rights, and said, "The world today has accepted the nuclear enrichment to take place on Iranian territory."

"The world has accepted that we have Arak heavy water reactor; the world has accepted that we continue our activities in Fordo."

Rouhani underlined that the world had accepted that the time for imposing oppressive sanctions against Iran was over.

He pointed to the removal of "oppressive sanctions" as an inalienable right of the Iranian nation, and said, "You should have no doubt that Iran will become triumphant and Iran will be better off next year."

Contact GWY123 at AmericanZionist@yahoogroups.com


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FAMILY 'HONOR KILLS' INDIAN NEWLYWEDS FOR MARRYING WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT

Posted by Phyllis Chesler, January 06, 2015

dared

A young Hindu couple in the Punjab dared to marry for love—but without permission from the bride's family.

Sandeep Rani and his wife, Khushboo, knew enough to flee their homes and to seek a court order of protection, which the Punjab and Haryana High Court granted them.

They did not know enough to go into permanent hiding or to move far, far away. Instead, they returned to their home village of Mugowal and showed their court order to the local police in Hoshiarpur. Apparently, the police chose not to protect them. However, the police also claim that either the couple did not "accept protection" or did not advise the police as to their exact whereabouts. An investigation is underway.

In any event, on the night of January 3rd, the couple were killed by five masked men. They were horribly stabbed and hacked to death with knives and swords. This killing was up-close, ugly, and very personal.

One must ask why. According to our 2012 study in Middle East Quarterly ("Hindu vs. Muslim Honor Killings"), the main reason that Hindus perpetrate honor killings (and only in India, not in the West) is related to caste violations. Hindus are not supposed to marry out of their caste. However, this tragic couple belonged to the same caste—they were Dalits (formerly and shamefully known as the "untouchables" or as "the oppressed").

However, they apparently grew up in the same village. Perhaps they were members of the same sub-gotra. Hindu perceptions of honor, known as maryada in many Indian languages and as ghairat in Urdu and Pashto, are different from Muslim perceptions. Among Muslims, first cousin marriage is preferred. Hindus are not supposed to marry anyone from the same sub-caste (gotra). One wonders whether this was the killing offense. In addition, Hindus are not supposed to marry without parental or, really, paternal permission. Often, they are not supposed to choose their spouses. According to a Hindu Religious Council Leader, "Love marriages are dirty...only whores can choose their partners."

But aren't most honor killings due to female misbehavior, and aren't most honor killing victims Muslim girls and women? The answer is: No.

We found that Hindus do perpetrate honor killings and one cannot claim that this is due to Sharia law. Tribalism may be the root of this custom. We also found that at least 40 percent of the time, unlike Muslims in next-door Pakistan and in the West, Hindus honor murder young men as well as women. Muslims rarely do. Khushboo's family followed this pattern. In our study, the average age of honor-killed victims among Hindus was 22; Sandeep was 24, his wife Khushboo was 22.

Sandeep Rani's mother, Udham Kaur, has identified Khushboo's father, Sodhi Ram, as one of the killers. (She claims that his mask slipped). Also, Sandeep Rani's father, Parkash, was stabbed when he tried to protect his son.

This suggests that the couple believed they had the support of Sandeep's parents and may explain why they returned. Impoverished Dalits cannot survive without extended family networks.

Thus, Hindu views about the importance of arranged marriage, the Hindu definitions of honor where marriage is concerned, the nature of poverty, the naive but understandable attachment to one's family and native village, coupled with police inaction, all led to this latest honor killing tragedy in India.

In sharp contrast to their Pakistani counterparts, Indian government officials have vigorously condemned honor killings. In 2010, a Haryana Court sentenced five men to death for the honor murder of a young couple who had married despite being members of the same sub-caste, while also giving life sentences to the head of the khap panchayat (religious council) that ordered their deaths.

Let us also consider that while religious and tribal traditions remain barbaric, the secular democratic Indian government is at war against these customs, and that young lovers are also daring to push the traditional boundaries.

Phyllis Chesler is an American writer, psychotherapist, and professor emerita of psychology and women's studies at the College of Staten Island


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ARABS PLAN BLOODY WEDDING MASSACRE DRESSED AS RELIGIOUS JEWS

Posted by Israel_politics, January 07, 2015

The article below was written by Penina Taylor who is an international Jewish Inspirational and motivational speaker, life coach, and author. This article appeared January 06, 2015 on United with Israel and is archived at
http://unitedwithisrael.org/arabs-plan-wedding-massacre-dressed-as-religious-jews/

bloodywedding

Terrorists planned on dressing up as religious Jews before entering a wedding hall and shooting as many guests as possible. They were caught, but that ploy has worked before.

On Tuesday, the Jerusalem District court convicted three Arab residents of Jerusalem for conspiring to carry out a terror attack on a wedding hall in the Bayit Vegan neighborhood of Jerusalem last month.

Anas Awisat, Basel Abidat and Ahmed Sorour, had planned on dressing up as ultra-orthodox Jews before entering the wedding hall, posing as guests, in order to shoot everyone there.

disguise
Hamas TV promotes suicide attacks in disguise. (Photo: Palestinian Media Watch)

According to Channel 10, the terrorists selected that particular venue because Awisat had been employed at the hall and was familiar with the premises. He knew that events there usually had an attendance upwards of 1,000 people, facilitating the murder of a large number of Jews at once.

A joint operation by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the Israel Police revealed that the three had made contact with a Palestinian-Arab arms dealer, who sold them two small machine guns and an Uzi for $50,000.

During the month of December, the terrorists visited the building to survey its layout, determining where entrances and exits were located. However, they were caught before they could carry out their plans.

According to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), since last summer, Hamas has been encouraging would-be attackers to disguise themselves as religious Jews when leaving on a terror mission. Hamas repeatedly broadcasts a video encouraging such attacks, including tutorials on how to dress.

This is not a new phenomenon, however, as suicide bombers and kidnappers have long been instructed to dress as Jews in order to blend in with the crowd before committing an attack.

kawasme
Marwan Kawasme (left) and Amar Abu Aysha, murderers of three Israeli boys, were dressed like Jews.

In the 2001 Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in downtown Jerusalem, terrorist Ahlam Tamimi dressed as an Israeli university student before entering the permises. He killed 15 people and wounded more than 130.

This past summer, the two terrorists who kidnapped and murdered three teenagers – Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrah – disguised themselves as religious Jews and specifically acquired a vehicle with Israeli license plates in order to trick the boys into thinking it was safe to enter the car.

The recent massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood was carried out by terrorists who worked at a neighborhood grocery store. The terrorist who shot Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a Temple Mount equal-rights activist, outside of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center was employed by the Terasa restaurant located inside the building.

Contact Israel_politics2@yahoogroups.com


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WHO IS PREPARED TO EXPLAIN TO OUR CREATOR WHY WE COULD NOT PREVENT THIS? SWEET YEZIDI BRIDE-SLAVE-SUICIDE

Posted by Robin Ticker January 07, 2015

These are comments that we received.

Dear sister Rananah,

Thank you so much for your help and support to the Yezidi people; yes this is accurate and you now can send it and I am hoping that our Canadian Government can take some immediate steps to help and save some of those innocent Yezidis.

Sincerely,

Mirza Ismail

416-843-7973

On Friday, January 2, 2015,

Hello Mirza,

Please confirm to me that this (photographs of young Yezidi woman with husband, then her suicide after enslavement) is accurate before I send it out more. (see below)

Sincerely,

Renanah

From: Mirza Ismail

Dear sister Rananah and all,

First of all I hope you all are well.

Yes, her suicide after her enslavement is accurate; this family was my neighbour in Qahtaniya village (Till Azeer) they were very good family friend with mine. The husband's name is Adnan and I knew him personally and if you remember when we met at the office of Hon. Mark Adler, I showed you some pictures, I had a picture with a young girl, she was in brown clothes, who was able to escape from the dirty hands of ISIS, which is attached with this email; she was the cousin of Mr. Adnan. The Islamic State terrorists killed 12 men and kidnapped 22 women from this family, one of the family photo is attached.

If you have any questions regarding this family please let me know.

Sincerely,

Mirza Ismail

Chairman

Yezidi Human Rights Organization-International

(416) 843-7973

Dear Leaders and Friends,

It's time for us, under Heaven to unite against the evil destroyer of Islamist terrorism which includes ISIS and Hamas and the PA and many other groups. Answer this young girl that we will do everything we can to destroy this evil.

Sincerely,

Joe and Renanah Gemeiner

The co-pastor of Infinity Bible Church in the New York City Bronx borough (William Devlin) said that he and Ismael had spoken with about 10 women who had escaped from the Islamic State, either by crawling through bathroom windows or simply making a run for it.

Not only were the conditions in the Yazidi refugee camps "unbelievable," but, according to Devlin, "the violence toward women is (an) international disaster and it's genocidal."

"Many of the Yazidis that have been captured and enslaved have committed suicide," he said during his radio appearance on Dec. 22. "Today, we actually had the unfortunate view of a young Yazidi woman, 20 years old, who had been kidnapped from Sinjar four months ago and then enslaved and then took her own life by slitting her throat. Then ISIS, the Islamic State, actually put a picture of her dead body on their Facebook website. These atrocities continue."

courtesy
(Photo: Courtesy William Devlin) Courtesy Infinity Bible Church (New York City) Pastor William Devlin)

A young Yazidi woman, recently married, reportedly committed suicide after being abducted by Islamic State militants. She appears in these undated photos.

The United Nations estimated in October that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS, ISIL or ISIS) had executed about 5,000 Yazidi men and abducted 5-7,000 women, who were being sold or kept as personal sex slaves in houses in ISIS-controlled towns.

In a previous interview with The Christian Post, Ismael shared that he had been told by surviving friends and neighbors from his hometown in Sinjar that Islamic State militants had been keeping 6-7 women inside each of these houses and were "raping them on (a) daily basis, on (an) hourly basis."

The United Nations estimated in October that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IS, ISIL or ISIS) had executed about 5,000 Yazidi men and abducted 5-7,000 women, who were being sold or kept as personal sex slaves in houses in ISIS-controlled towns. In a previous interview with The Christian Post, Ismael shared that he had been told by surviving friends and neighbors from his hometown in Sinjar that Islamic State militants had been keeping 6-7 women inside each of these houses and were "raping them on (a) daily basis, on (an) hourly basis."

Contact Ticker at faigerayzel@gmail.com


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TEN POINTS REGARDING THE FUNDAMENTAL BREACH BY THE PALESTINIANS OF THE OSLO ACCORDS

Posted by Truth Provider, January 07, 2015

The article below was written by Amb. Alan Baker who is an Israeli expert in international law and former ambassador of the state of Israel to Canada. He is the director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a former partner in the Tel Aviv law firm of Moshe, Bloomfield, Kobo, Baker & Co. He was a military prosecutor and senior legal adviser in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and represented the Ministry of Defense at international conferences, and then joined the Foreign Ministry as legal adviser. He participated in the negotiation and drafting of agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinians. In January 2012 he was appointed by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu to the three member committee chaired by former Justice Edmund Levy to examine the legal aspects of land ownership in the West Bank. This article appeared January 05, 2015 on Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and is archived at http://jcpa.org/ten-points-breach-palestinians-oslo-accords/

yitzhak
Bill Clinton, Yitzhak Rabin, Yasser Arafat at the White House

  • 1. The peace negotiation process as set out in the Oslo Accords was intended to lead to peace between Israel and the Palestinian People and mutual recognition of each other's "mutual legitimate and political rights" (Preamble, Oslo I and Oslo II).
  • 2. In this context Israel was prepared to compromise on the historic and legal rights of the Jewish People in the area, through agreement for peaceful relations. To this end the parties agreed in the Oslo Accords not to initiate or take any steps that will change the status of the territories pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations (Oslo II, Article 31(7)).
  • 3. Yasser Arafat, in his September 9, 1993, letter to Yitzhak Rabin, declared that "all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations."
  • 4. This overall series of commitments and obligations constitutes a contractual framework of obligations between Israel and the Palestinians, signed as witnesses and guarantors by the King of Jordan, the Presidents of the U.S. and Egypt, the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation and Norway, the EU and endorsed by the UN.
  • 5. By petitioning the UN, the International Criminal Court and international organizations to recognize them and accept them as a full member state, and by their unification with the Hamas terror organization, the Palestinians have knowingly and deliberately bypassed their contractual obligations pursuant to the Oslo Accords in an attempt to prejudge the main negotiating issues outside the negotiation.
  • 6. This, together with their attempts to delegitimize Israel among the international community and their attempted actions against Israel's leaders, has served to frustrate any possibility of realization of the Oslo Accords, and as such the Palestinians are in material breach of their contractual obligations.
  • 7. By the same token those countries supporting them are in breach of their obligations and guarantees as witnesses.
  • 8. By all legal standards, according to the accepted and universally recognized laws of contracts and international agreements, a fundamental breach enables the injured party to declare the agreement void and is freed from any further obligations pursuant to the agreement or contract.
  • 9. Therefore the fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords by the Palestinians is indicative of their conscious decision to undermine them and prevent any possibility of their implementation. As such they have rendered the Accords void.
  • 10. In such a situation of fundamental breach and according to all accepted rules of contracts and agreements, Israel has the legitimate right to declare that the Oslo Accords are no longer valid and to act unilaterally in order to protect its essential legal and security interests.

Contact Truth Provider at ynz@netvision.net.il


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The Terrorist Attack on Charlie Hebdo - First Hand Account

Posted by American Center for Democracy, January 07, 2015

The article below was written by Claire Berlinski who is an American novelist, freelance journalist, travel writer, biographer, editor and consultant who lives amid a menagerie of adopted stray animals in Paris. This article appeared January 07, 2015 on American Center for Democracy and is archived at http://acdemocracy.org/the-terrorist-attack-on-charlie-hebdo-first-hand-account/

If I sound incoherent, it's because I am shaken. The reasons will be obvious.

I had no intention of reporting on this from the scene of the Charlie-Hebdo massacre. I was walking up Boulevard Richard Lenoir to meet a friend who lives in the neighborhood. But the moment I saw what I did, I knew for sure what had happened. A decade in Turkey teaches you that. That many ambulances, that many cops, that many journalists, and those kinds of faces can mean only one thing: a massive terrorist attack.

I also knew from the location just who'd been attacked: Charlie-Hebdo, the magazine known for many things, but, above all, for its fearlessness in publishing caricatures of Mohamed. They'd been firebombed for this in 2011, but their response — in effect — was the only one free men would ever consider: "As long as we're alive, you'll never shut us up."

They are no longer alive. They managed to shut them up.

The only thing I didn't immediately know was how many of them had died.

All of them, it seems, or close enough. So did two police officers who had been assigned to protect their offices. Twelve are dead for sure; I assume that number will rise; seven are seriously injured. It was at the time I was there unclear how many were wounded.

And the attackers are still at large.

Given that two police officers are dead, now doesn't seem the time to say what comes to mind about the fact that the assailants escaped. It will say this much though: if they're not dead before nightfall, I'll say exactly what comes to mind, respect for the dead be damned.

I did what I could as a journalist but — since it wasn't my plan to be one — I was there with neither a camera nor even a notebook. And it didn't seem the time to ask the police to prioritize me. There were more than enough journalists on the scene and I doubt I'd have done better than they will.

What we know is this: at least two masked attackers. Kalashnikovs. Gunmen who shouted, "We have avenged the Prophet Muhammad." Rumors of a rocket launcher, but I suspect we should wait for confirmation on that; eyewitnesses tend to get confused about these things, especially when unused to seeing them.

The latest tweet on Charlie Hebdo's Twitter account was a cartoon of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (above).

This was the worst terrorist attack in Europe since the London tube bombings of 2005. If I'm correct — I have not checked carefully — it was also the worst in France since the Nazis were running the place.

I was there only by luck: I had no desire to see this. Luck is probably not the right word. I wish I hadn't seen it. But lucky, certainly is the right word to use in noting that I was running late, and thus there a few minutes after the fact. Had I not been running late, it's fairly obvious what might have happened. They weren't discriminate in their targets.

There wasn't much for me to do. I didn't even have a pen on me. I spoke to a cameraman from France 3, to make sure I understood the facts. I didn't ask if I could quote him, so I won't use his name. But his comment summed up the sentiment. "This is the kind of thing you expect in Pakistan. And now it's coming here."

While I didn't get any photos, Buzzfeed is running a few. They warning that the images are "disturbing." I'm so sorry if you find them disturbing, readers, but take a good long look at them anyway: they're nothing compared to what I saw, and what I saw wasn't "disturbing images"; they were "people who until this morning were alive, but this afternoon are dead."

images

images2

They included figures not apt to be household names in America, but certainly household names here: Charbonnier, Cabu, Wolinski, Verlhac; all alive this morning, and all of them now dead.

President François Hollande said the trivial: "No barbaric act will ever extinguish the freedom of the press." That the statement is self-falsifying seemed to bother him little: That barbaric act literally extinguished the press. Literally. They are dead. Their freedom is thus of little relevance.

That I'm shaken is of concern to no one; my emotions are not the point. The entire city is shaken. So much that even my cab driver — I had to catch one to get home; the streets were otherwise blocked off — didn't even ask me to pay the fare. When I said I was a journalist, and in a rush to say what little I knew, his response was, "Forget about the money. Just hurry."

The assailants are as yet at liberty. I hope they'll be dead by the time you read this. But if not:. You want me too? Come get me. Because nothing short of killing me — and many more of my kind — will ever shut us up.

And if you don't believe that now, you'll believe it very soon. Because there are more of us willing to die for that freedom than those of you eager to take it from us. And soon you will find out that those of us willing to die for that freedom are also much better at killing than you.

So come and get me. Je suis Charlie.

And have a good long look at the cartoon below. Because you may have been able to kill its authors, but you sure didn't kill what they created. And nor will we ever let you.

There are things I'm not allowed to say on Ricochet. But if I were allowed to say them, this is what I'd say–though I'd add a few other words.

Go ahead. Make my day. Because you've got no idea what we're capable of when we are pushed too far. And you are more than pushing your luck.

hebo

* This article was originally published on January 7 in Ricochet under the title "First-Hand Account From The Terrorist Attack on Charlie-Hebdo."

Contact American Center for Democracy at rehrenfeld@rehrenfeld.com


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BURY THE IDEA OF A NEGOTIATED PEACE DEAL WITH THE ARABS?

Posted by Ted Belman, January 07, 2015

The article below was written by Batya Medad, who was New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. This article appeared June 01, 2015 on Arutz Sheva and is archived at
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Blogs/Message.aspx/6622#.V0c0XUKVsWM

Can Peace really be negotiated with the local Arabs aka or so-called Palestinians sic?

Israeli policy has been based on such a premise for a dangerously long time. I'm not just talking about the past few years. Many Israeli leaders have been dreaming of this since even before the beginning of the State of Israel. Labor Zionists have considered Peace to be something attainable if only we'd...

Never have mainstream Israeli leaders dared accept the unpleasant fact that there is absolutely nothing we can do to make the Arabs accept a viable Jewish state here. They, meaning we though not me and my ilk personally, have tried everything possible to show how nice, friendly and tolerant we can be. Whatever other country would accept enemy wounded into our hospitals as proof of "apology" for shooting back after being attacked? Yep, it does sound pretty dumb.

And in the sixty-six years of Israeli statehood, so many different negotiated plans have been proposed, and they've all been failures. And unfortunately most, if not all, have been unilateral concessions by Israel. Each one leaving us smaller and weaker.

The reason that the great 1967 victory of Land, in the Six Days War wasn't fully embraced by Israeli policy is that the movers and shakers of the time considered that Land to be what the Arabs wanted in exchange for peace. The Israeli leadership was wrong on both counts.

  • Jordan, at that time there was no concept or history of an Arab Palestine, was not interested in continued Jordanian occupation of Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.
  • Syria only used the Golan Heights as launching pads against northern Israel.
  • Egypt only used the Sinai as a useless buffer zone.
  • And none of them wanted peace with us, no matter what we bribed them with. That only changed once Sadat took over after Nasser in Egypt.

Here we are decades later, and after the invention of a "Palestinian People" sic, and they still don't want to negotiate peace with us, because they don't want a Jewish State in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva etc. Shiloh isn't the problem. The latest Arab tactics totally bypass negotiations with us. That's because the Israeli plan for negotiations for a "two state solution" is for Israel to have power over the new Arab state. The Arabs don't need us for a state, because so many countries and international bodies already recognize a state called "Palestine."

Ted Belman is a Canadian lawyer and editor of the IsraPundit.com website, an activist pro-Israel website. He now lives in Jerusalem. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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NAME THE DISEASE- ISLAM- IN ORDER TO SEEK THE CURE

Posted by Americans for a Safe Israel, January 07, 2015

Another Declaration of War by Islam Against the West

offended

What Offends a Muslim

We who understand the violent nature of Islam and have written and protested against it have been labeled "right wing extremists" by the media. We who have witnessed the tremendous growth in Muslim populations in Europe and have warned the Western world about the dangers it has brought have been labeled "Islamophobic." We wish we didn't have to say "we told you so", but that is exactly what needs to be said. Frankly, if the latest horrific Islamic terror attack against the French weekly satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo does not shake people out of their apathy and wake people up to the dangers of Islam, then literally, all is lost.

Islam is on the march and the Western world is in decline. When an American administration spokesperson TODAY refers to Islam as "a peaceful religion", then we have lost. When President Obama's statement about this latest Islamic terror attack in Paris, taking the lives of at least 12 innocents, and wounding many, has him name the "perpetrators" as "cowardly and evil" rather than identifying the Islamic war against the west, we have lost. When Islamic terror attacks are called "workplace violence", then we have lost.

What will it take to wake us from our slumber? What will it take to admit that we in the West have been asleep at the wheel for decades, while Islam marches on? AFSI most recently addressed this in its December 23, 2014 email.

Yes, we have been called "right wing extremists" and "Islamophobic". Yes, the mainstream press and the politically correct politicians continue to deny the inherent violent nature of Islam. As former Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann has said,"Political correctness is more potent than truth." And yes, we will continue to support Israel against the real nutcases and extremists who try to destroy Israel, world Jewry, and our Western way of life.

While Islam is a global threat, President Obama and his PC coterie continue to deny this truth. Incredibly, or perhaps, predictably, there are many examples of this denial. Here are just a few:

1. Howard Dean on MSNBC: Don't Call Paris Shooters 'Muslim Terrorists'

Howard Dean: Don't Call Paris Shooters 'Muslim Terrorists'

2. White House: Islam is a Peaceful Religion

Islam 'is a peaceful religion' - White House Press Secretary on terrorist attack in Paris

3. Financial Times Editorial Board Calls Charlie Hebdo "Stupid" For Provoking Muslims...

Charlie Hebdo has a long record of mocking, baiting and needling French Muslims. If the magazine stops just short of outright insults, it is nevertheless not the most convincing champion of the principle of freedom of speech. France is the land of Voltaire, but too often editorial foolishness has prevailed at Charlie Hebdo.

This is not in the slightest to condone the murderers, who must be caught and punished, or to suggest that freedom of expression should not extend to satirical portrayals of religion. It is merely to say that some common sense would be useful at publications such as Charlie Hebdo, and Denmark's Jyllands-Posten, which purport to strike a blow for freedom when they provoke Muslims, but are actually just being stupid.

4. The New York Daily News Report on Paris Terror Attack Blurs Out Image of Hebdo's Mohammed Cartoon:

blurs

5. Words Not Used By Obama To Condemn Paris Terror Attack: "Islam," "Muslim," "Jihad"...

Statement by President Obama on the Attack in France:

I strongly condemn the horrific shooting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris that has reportedly killed 12 people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this terrorist attack and the people of France at this difficult time. France is America's oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended. France, and the great city of Paris where this outrageous attack took place, offer the world a timeless example that will endure well beyond the hateful vision of these killers. We are in touch with French officials and I have directed my Administration to provide any assistance needed to help bring these terrorists to justice.

6. A reminder of President Obama's cowardly views toward Islam from his 2012 speech:

'The Future Must Not Belong To Those Who Slander The Prophet Of Islam'

And finally, a piece by Giulio Meotti in today's Arutz Sheva:

I Fear Being a Writer in Europe

Contact Americans for a Safe Israel at afsi@rcn.com


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ISRAEL IS A DEMOGRAPHIC BOOM STATE; STOP THE FEAR MONGERING

Posted by Lori Lowenthal Marcus, January 07, 2015

Once again an "official" report on the numbers of Palestinian Arabs v. Jews is used to herd people into the 'smaller is better' Israel-view.

official
Lots of Jews in Israel!

The Demographic Doom Bomb (DDB) threat is dropping once again. The DDB was first dropped on David Ben-Gurion, back before the rebirth of the Jewish state. Ben-Gurion was told then that Jews will become a minority in their own land in the not-too-distant future.

Today, everyone who will listen – and too many are listening – is told that soon Jews will be a minority in their own land, and that is true with a vengeance if the disputed territories are annexed.

But the people lobbing the DDB are relying on population numbers from the Palestinian Arab census bureau. That center makes several (intentional or otherwise) errors: it undercounts Arab deaths, it over counts Arab births, it double-counts Arabs, it fails to count altogether Arab emigration and it counts Palestinian Arabs living abroad.

At the same time, that census bureau undercounts the rocketing Jewish birthrate and the ever-continuing and increasing rate of Aliyah. And upon what do the Israeli Jewish demographers rely for their predictions? Why, the Palestinian Arab numbers, of course.

In 1944, an Italian demographer, Roberto Bacchi, informed Ben-Gurion that the Jewish state would be a non-starter. Bacchi warned Ben-Gurion against the undertaking because the 600,000 Jews ready to pioneer was not a sufficient critical mass.

By the 1960's, according to Bacchi, the Jews will be a minority in the state. In his best case scenario – about which Bacchi was not sanguine – by 2001 there would only be 2.3 million Jews in Israel.

Well, Bacchi was wrong then and so are his demographic theory heirs, Sergio DellaPergola of Hebrew University and Arnon Sofer, of Haifa University. Those two continue the doom and gloom prognostications, even though it's consistently been proven wrong by reality. But the predictions have taken root and multiplied, more rapidly than have the non-Israeli and Israeli Arabs in their predictions.

The reason this is relevant today, in 2015, is that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics just released a new report. It contains projections based on 2014 data. These data, like Bacchi's information, are wielded as kryptonite to subdue any thoughts about Jewish sovereignty in parts of the Middle East. Back in the '40's it was used to deter any thoughts of a Jewish state in the region at all. Now it is being used to forestall talk of annexing territory beyond the Apartheid Green Line, beyond which all foes and even some friends demand no Jew should live.

After reading one article in particular which continued the tradition of treating the truth as false and the flawed as truth, The Jewish Press sought some answers.

In a wide-ranging interview, former Ambassador and ardent iconoclast Yoram Ettinger of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group once again patiently shared why the "official" Israeli numbers are so skewed, and what that means for everyone's understanding of the DDB. Ettinger was skewered in some articles by Bacchi's disciples. But that's okay with Ettinger, so long as he's allowed to respond.

Bacchi's disciples, according to Ettinger, get their numbers wrong primarily for the same reasons he did: they failed to comprehend the enduring lure of Aliyah, and they failed to understand fertility reality both for Jews who make Israel their home and the same for Israeli Arabs.

They all vastly underestimate the will of Jews to make Aliyah to a hostile, largely inhospitable region. But Ben-Gurion and his peers built it, and boy did Jews come. And they are still coming. They are coming in numbers Bacchi could never imagine, and they keep coming despite DellaPergola and Sofer's refusal to acknowledge that reality.

The other reason their numbers are off the mark is that, despite their insistence to the contrary, the birthrate for Israelis is not consistent (as in downward spiraling) with the rest of the West, while the birthrate for Arab Israelis and those living more western-style lives is.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com. This article appeared January 07, 2015 on the Jewish Press.com News of the Jews, Israel & the World and is archived at
http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-is-a-demographic-boom -state-stop-the-fearmongering/2015/01/07/


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THE MORAL RESPONSIBILITIES THAT COME WITH POWER

Posted by Paul Eidelberg, January 07, 2015

Whether the American people likes it or not, and whether other people like it or not, the United States, having become the most powerful nation on earth, is morally responsible for maintaining law and order on this planet.

No other people on earth have the physical capacities and spiritual prerequisites as well as the experience of more than a century to fulfill this moral obligation.

Therefore, the American people, whose primary foundational document, the Declaration of Independence, proclaims the immutable and universal authority of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, the document that endows the American people with their national as well as a supra-national identity, must do everything in their power:

First, to render by lawful means their ill-chosen President, Barack Hussein Obama, a multicultural moral relativist, to political impotence.

Second, to prevent Iran, the world's leading terrorist state, from producing or obtaining nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles or any other weapon of mass destruction.

The American people must not and dare not shirk the moral responsibilities that come with power

Paul Eidelberg is an American-Israeli political scientist, author and lecturer, and is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, with offices in Jerusalem. He is also president of the Yamin Yisrael Party


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A NAME ON THE MAP

Posted by Tabitha Korol, January 07, 2015

Collins Bartholomew, the map-publishing company of world-leading publishers, Harper Collins, removed Israel from its Geography Atlas to accommodate "local preferences." In other words, in the interest of selling maps to an enemy that hopes to also wipe America off the map, the company was willing to erase Israel, as well as dispense with scruples, integrity, conscience, ethics, and credibility. Let' s take this a step further.

I understand that Muslims cannot abide truth; thus they invented the accusation of Islamophobia – to squelch all things that reveal their essence. Islam is at war with the world and reality, and has been since the seventh century. Their culture is a dedication to war and conquest, so that even their people may not grow and prosper. From the moment their children are born, they are robbed of the human spirit – freedom, creativity, imagination – and are twisted into becoming hardhearted "weapons of mass destruction" against their perceived enemies. In the name of their god, they attempt to erase the past by destroying ancient artifacts, refute history to support their own supersessionist narrative, and call "offensive" all actions that lay bare their true nature, barbarism.

Above all, Islam teaches hatred of Jews, not to mention Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians, idol worshipers and animists. But above all, it is the Jews, because Mohammed could not convert the Jews in Mecca, so he beheaded all the Jewish men. Yet, Muslims are still tied to Judaism through Abraham – and perhaps resent it. Muslims also need the Jews to blame for their failures and adversities, and while they also claim Jewish successes and world contributions for their own, it has been said that they also feel the shame of having to do so. Why else would there be a traveling world exhibition called "101 Inventions," for which they claim scholarship and ingenuity, but whose originality may be traced to Jews and other captives forcibly converted to Islam? Why else would they begin claiming Moses, Jesus, Christopher Columbus, and Albert Einstein as Palestinian or Muslim, even if there were no Palestinians or Muslims during the times of Moses and Jesus?

Each defeat in wars begun by the Muslims against the Jews was yet another intolerable humiliation, particularly when five Muslim armies (Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, Syria, and Iraq) attacked, but were bested by, what they thought would be a defenseless, fledgling, ragtag army of starved, beaten Jewish survivors from Europe. Failing in conventional warfare, they began a psychological war with the help of the uninformed, the envious, the angry, and those who are eternally predisposed to hate for their own reasons. This war includes the influential propaganda that Jewish achievements have actually been at the expense of others and that Jews are therefore the cause of every earthly ill.

Islamists have discovered that what they, themselves, do may readily be blamed on the Jews. Muslims have actually broadcast their plan to create an all-encompassing world Caliphate, but peddle the idea that it is the Jews who rule the world. It suits the Muslims to keep their brethren in a constant refugee status in Gaza and the West Bank in order to garner world sympathy (and cash) and to lay claim to territory illegally occupied by Jordan and Egypt, although the land is both legally and historically Jewish. Through the centuries, Muslims were never interested in working what was then a desolate wasteland, but now insist that flourishing Israel is theirs.

In the surrounding Muslim lands, the majority continues to live in age-old poverty and ignorance under tyrannical regimes; this too is blamed on Israel. If the rainfall is inadequate and unequally distributed through the year in this sub-tropical zone, Israel is liable for not supplying water. If their women and children die as a result of being placed among jihadist rocket launchers, Israel is impugned. They accuse Israel of Palestinian genocide, when, in fact, the Palestinian population has dramatically increased, doubling in size with each new generation; and of apartheid, when the reality is that Muslims have banned Jews from Islamic countries.

The war is also against pluralism, individual rights and freedoms, liberal democracy, and Western ideas of progress, and this has become a collective Islamic obsession. Yet the horrific crimes that Muslims commit against their fellow Muslims and Christians are swept under the prayer rug, hidden by the media and not addressed by world leaders. If the Jews cannot be incriminated for these crimes, then the mere mention of kidnappings, beheadings, honor killings, rape and assorted acts of cruelty are forbidden topics.

And this is where our schools and teaching materials fail us. Except for a perfunctory early timeline on which one might find a designation for Ancient Israelites along with Assyrians, Babylonians and other defunct civilizations, world history studies begin with Ancient Rome and Greece, although the Jews have substantially contributed to human development. The framers of our US Constitution derived their morals, ethics and standards of behavior from Cicero and English Common Law, which drew from biblical law given to the Hebrews by God. Exodus reveals that the Hebrews had a representative form of republican government, not unlike the system created in the Constitution. And while appropriate credit is given other countries, Israel's contributions in medicine, science and technology to society at large has been overlooked, as is her eternal capital, Jerusalem, which is referenced 823 times in the Hebrew Bible, 161 times in the Christian Bible, and never in the Qur’an.

Many history textbooks devote a disproportionate number of chapters to Islam. Jerusalem is cited as the city where Mohammed ascended to heaven on a winged horse, but rarely as Israel's capital. Mohammed has been praised for "impressive leadership skills" but not for his methods of rapine, brutality, and slaughter. There is never mention of Islam's butchery of 80 million Hindus in India, their skulls piled to mountainous dimensions and their cities burned to the ground; of the all-but-complete annihilation of Iran's Zoroastrians; or of the trickery used to enslave Iran's Sogdiana, take healthy men to replenish their Arab army, and annihilate the masses. Neither is there word about Muslims' killing perhaps as many as 400 million "infidels" over 14 centuries.

If today's publishers have made a small correction on a map or two when it was called to their attention, is that sufficient? Have they reviewed all their products (textbooks and maps) for accuracy? No. Absolutely not – not until they are called to task by parents and school boards, and not until the books and maps are thoroughly reviewed by trusted people, rewritten, and distributed anew. It takes the indoctrination of only one generation to completely change the nature of our country. Adding Israel and her name to a map, which can then be defaced by the "offended" students, will not bring enlightenment to a world that is plummeting into darkness.

Tabitha Korol, who began her political writing with letters to the editor after her retirement, earned an award from CAMERA (Committee on Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America) "in recognition of outstanding letter-writing in 2009 to promote fair and factual reporting about Israel." She was cited as one of America's modern-day, articulate, patriotic women in Frederick William Dame's Three American Fur Hat Fighters for Freedom. Her essays appear on Arutz Sheva, Canada Free Press, Centinel2012, Jewish Press, Maggie's Notebook, NewMediaJournal, News Nation Brewing, Dr. Richard Swier, Tea Party Express, and others. She revised a book of Holocaust survivors' accounts for publication, and proofreads/edits for a monthly city newsletter.


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JEWS COPE WITH EGYPT’S HYSTERIA AND REVISION OF JEWISH-EGYPTIAN HISTORY

Posted by Ashraf Ramelah, January 07, 2015

At the end of last month, the Egyptian courts of Alexandria delivered a verdict to ban annual visits to the historic mausoleum of Moroccan Rabbi Yacoub Abu Hasira in the nearby village of Demto. After thirteen years in the court system, the Administrative Court of Alexandria issued a definitive verdict to abolish the annual celebrations of the Rabbi's birth on the merit of evidence that Jewish visitors "violate public order and morality and use the opportunity to desecrate the land of Egypt." In response to the verdict, Israelis requested to have the tomb of Abu Hasira transferred to East Jerusalem. Egyptian authorities denied their request.

The Jewish tradition to journey to the Demto Abu Hasira tomb began in 1907. Jews from around the world -- in particular, France, Morocco and Tunisia -- made the week-long pilgrimage each year to the Demto tomb to celebrate the Rabbi's birth (December 26 through January 2). The new ruling now forbids this. Until now, Egypt has always allowed foreign Jews (except for Israeli Jews) to visit the Jewish historical landmark despite the fact that virtually all Jewish-Egyptian citizens have been expelled from Egypt since the Nasser regime – only twenty Jews reside in Egypt today.

Israeli Jews were only allowed visits into Egypt after the signing of the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Special permission was sought from the Sadat government to allow organizing celebration tours (pilgrimages) to the Abu Hasira mausoleum and shrine. This current ruling has put an end to these tours.

Who was Yacoub Abu Hasira, and why is his birthday celebrated? His original name was Jacob Ben Massoud, and he was born in 1805 in southern Morocco. Jewish narrative depicts him as an aged rabbi leaving Morocco by ship on a journey to the Holy Land. During his trip the ship sank, and he clung to a mat (hasira) until he safely reached the shores of Syria. Upon his return from the Holy Land he chose to travel by land. While transiting through Egypt he died, but the miracle of his journey to the Holy Land has been kept alive.

Critically, last month's court ruling also includes an order for Egypt's Minister of Antiquities to remove the Rabbi Yacoub Abu Hasira mausoleum from the records of Egyptian Antiquities where it is officially designated a historic monument. The tombs physical conversion into a mausoleum and simultaneous entry into the records of Egyptian Antiquities can only be considered a second miracle in the Abu Hasira story. Egypt, with its climate of relentless racial bias and paranoia against Jews, is more likely to disavow Jewish-Egyptian history than to embrace it.

But the reason for the tomb's designation has more to do with a political decision made by the ambitious former Egyptian Minister of Culture, Farouk Hosni, in preparing for his bid for the head of UNESCO and the favor he sought for that upcoming election. This occurred shortly before Egyptians and their courts began to stir up the issue of prohibiting visitors to the Abu Hasira tomb. Today, Hosni denies that the tomb conversion and upgrade in 2001 was his doing, citing a committee's responsibility for it.

However, as Culture Minister, committee decisions came through him, and now his response to distance himself from his efforts to seal Egypt's Jewish heritage only serves to highlight his bigotry. At the time, advocating for the rabbi's tomb had been politically useful for Hosni in mitigating the impact of one of his previous ideas, publicly declared, to burn all Hebrew books found on the shelves of Egyptian libraries. He was widely known for this anti-Semitic initiative (never materialized) both inside and outside of Egypt which ultimately deprived him of the UNESCO position.

Grievances from Egyptians concerning the Abu Hasira mausoleum and Jewish celebrants began as early as Sadat's 1977 visit to Israel as a form of indirect opposition to Sadat's show of friendliness toward the Jewish state. Years later, during Mubarak's presidency, a heated debate began in 2001. Poor villagers expressed gratitude for the increase in local business during the week-long visits. Although they claimed the Jews were harmless, and no harm would come to them by allowing the festivities, the opposition expressed the standard complaint that Jews in Egypt were a national security problem.

Brainwashed by mosque indoctrination and the public school system, Egyptians tend to believe that Jews coming to Egypt from Israel are spies for the Israeli government. Town's people backed by Muslim Brotherhood members in the Egyptian Parliament began a case in the Alexandria courts and won an injunction against the Jewish celebrants. A ruling was issued prohibiting the pilgrimage. But this verdict was appealed and reversed within the same year.

The warfare against Abu Hasira continued. In 2010, Jews around the world were warned by Israeli authorities and the Egyptian embassies that attending the pilgrimage might be dangerous in view of the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power and anti-Jewish graffiti smeared on the mausoleum walls. A national television talk show videotaped the Jewish Abu Hasira festivities and saw nothing wrong, but bystanders claimed they saw vicious acts. One witness recalled seeing "slaughtering of pigs in the streets." A reporter from the Egyptian press described "hysteria and half-naked dancers, unethical behavior." Chancellor Jaber Qasim, Deputy General of Sufis, ranted that, "the pilgrims are a plot and plan of Zionism to rape the nation by claiming that Jews have roots in Egypt..."

This frenzy -- fabrications and hysteria -- was the "evidence" used by the courts to decide last month's verdict -- ignorance and prejudice once again leading to the discrimination of minorities. This court ruling now sets a precedent whereby every non-Muslim religious monument, artifact and sacred place in the historic registry becomes vulnerable to the whims of Egypt's biased courts. In the first place, Egypt's courts do not have jurisdiction over the status of antiquities or the registry of monuments in the Ministry of Culture where its protection act has the absolute authority. It is not the job of the courts but rather for panels of experts to decide. Moreover, this case sets a precedent which directly contradicts Egypt's constitution – Part 1, Article 4 and Chapter 3, Article 47-50, 64 – which declares freedom of religion and respect for all religions. Israeli authorities have now launched a complaint with UNESCO where the Abu Hasira mausoleum is recorded as a historic Egyptian monument.

Ashraf Ramelah, founder and president of Voice of the Copts, has recently given testimony to the Canadian Parliament on the revolution taking place in Egypt. Please visit www.voiceofthecopts.org to read more.


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HAREDIM AND THE STATE: A POSSIBLE TURNING POINT

Posted by Robert Hand, January 08, 2015

The article below was written by Isi Leiber who is a Belgian-born Australian-Israeli international Jewish leader with a distinguished record of contributions to the Jewish world and the cause of human rights. This article appeared June 01, 2015 on the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Candidly-Speaking-Haredim-and-the-State-A-possible -turning-point-386891

Whoever ultimately forms the next government would be doing a great disservice to the nation and sowing the seeds of future disaster were they to allow themselves to be extorted by the haredim

heredim

Although election fever currently dominates the national agenda, we should also recognize that today the state is at a turning point in its evolving relationship with the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) – undoubtedly the most significant longterm challenge to Israeli society.

In 2012, the haredim accounted for one-sixth of the Jewish population. Currently they comprise 25 percent of school first-graders. They constitute the fastest-growing sector by far.

While frequently characterized as aliens, there is much in the haredi lifestyle to emulate. They shun hedonism and live modestly, focus on family values and have an exemplary commitment to charity within their own ranks and maintain their high spiritual levels despite the materialism surrounding them.

Lamentably, Ashkenazi haredi rabbis determinedly created a cordon sanitaire to protect their followers from contamination by the outside world. Whereas successful waves of aliyah have been integrated, haredim move in the opposite direction by withdrawing further from the nation and educating their youngsters to spurn the state, displaying open contempt for Independence Day and Holocaust commemorations and even refusing to include prayers for the state or the wellbeing of the IDF in their synagogues.

Unfortunately Sephardi rabbis – despite bitterly resenting the condescending manner in which the Ashkenazim patronized them – nonetheless replicated them. They increasingly substituted their traditional tolerant Sephardi lifestyle with the stringent Ashkenazi haredi approach, even emulating their black hats and Polish attire. They formed the Shas party in 1984, which at its peak in 1999 had 17 Knesset seats and today 11.

Haredi rabbis sought to compete in their display of greater zealotry. In their state-subsidized school system, even minimal secular education was banned. Ironically, today, Maimonides with his worldly knowledge would not qualify to teach in their schools.

This approach ultimately led to the disastrous haredi rabbinical injunction urging their followers to devote themselves to fulltime learning Torah and eschew worldly pursuits such as earning a livelihood – a concept utterly unprecedented in Jewish religious life. This resulted in the impoverishment of the entire community with the majority unemployed and dependent on welfare throughout their lives. With the massive demographic expansion of this sector, if the tide is not soon reversed, the nation will suffer catastrophic economic repercussions.

The exemption from military service which Ben-Gurion originally granted to 400 yeshiva students has mushroomed to 50,000 and the haredi refusal to share the burden of defending the state enrages all sections of society.

For a lengthy period, the haredi one-dimensional political parties held the balance of power, enabling them to extort disproportionate funding for their coffers, massively expanding their educational networks which exclude any secular curriculum.

In recent years they have begun to impose their standards on the wider community. Despite their long-standing contempt for the Chief Rabbinate, they hijacked the institution, facilitating the appointment of puppets, some of whom were mediocre, incomparable in stature, piety or learning to former Zionist chief rabbis such as Rabbi Yitzhak Halevi Herzog and Rabbi Shlomo Goren. The primitive depths to which haredi chief rabbis descended was exemplified with such comments by former Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, who remarked: "When yeshiva attendance is low, as on holiday evenings or prior to Shabbat, more IDF soldiers are injured and killed."

The current Chief Rabbi David Lau was only elected after undertaking not to endorse any amendments to conversions or marriage procedures without the prior approval of the extremist haredi hierarchy, headed by Rabbi Avraham Sherman.

Despite the presence of some 300,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union who are not considered halachic Jews and the urgent need for innovation and flexibility within the halachic framework to facilitate conversions, the haredi rabbinate has behaved inexcusably by placing every conceivable obstacle to deter potential converts. The total absence of compassion and the blind bureaucratic demands to prove Jewish ancestry back several generations, create havoc especially among children of Holocaust survivors and Russian Jews who frequently lack access to such documents.

The haredi rabbinate also introduced an unprecedented and draconic approach wherein conversions may be retroactively annulled. Rabbi Sherman even sought (unsuccessfully due to High Court intervention) to annul the conversions of thousands who had already been converted by state endorsed rabbis.

That such issues can be dealt with compassionately within the framework of Halachah was demonstrated by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's courageous innovative approach to the Ethiopian aliyah. Had leading Ashkenazi haredi rabbis at that time had their way, none of the Ethiopians would have been considered Jews.

Resentment against haredim intensified as evidence of corruption and malfeasance within the rabbinate mushroomed, climaxing with the indictment of former Chief Rabbi Metzger on charges of bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Yet amazingly, despite widespread loathing of corrupt and extremist rabbis, the past two decades has witnessed a dramatic increase in religious tradition and observance, especially among Israeli youth.

Polls indicate that 80 percent of Israeli Jews believe in God, 61 percent favor conducting public life in accordance with Jewish tradition, 85 percent believe it is important to celebrate Jewish festivals in a traditional manner, 90 percent celebrate the Passover Seder, 68 percent fast on Yom Kippur, 67 percent have family dinners, light candles and make kiddush on Shabbat. These polls reflect a dramatic swing of the pendulum against the militantly secular Israeli society of half a century ago. The trend had been buffered by a burgeoning number of nonobservant Israelis adopting a religious lifestyle (baalei teshuva).

No longer holding the balance of power after the last elections, the haredi parties were excluded from government. This has led to a review of some of the disproportionate funds siphoned to them and the introduction of policies designed to induce more of them into the work force.

The outgoing government initiated important legislation designed to ensure that haredim be obliged to share the burden of military or national service. However, at the insistence of Yesh Atid, the legislation included provisions criminalizing draft evasion – a populist measure only to be implemented in the future which merely provided ammunition for the haredi zealots to gain support and threaten to fill the jails with their followers. To proceed constructively in this area, this legislation should be refined and the government should rather concentrate on restricting the flow of funds to haredim refusing to serve or seek employment.

There are dramatic societal changes among the haredim. The implosion of Shas is not merely based on personality conflicts between Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai but was inevitable after the death of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, whose charisma and standing was the foundation for the party's unity and electoral success. Ethnic grievances aside, most Shas supporters are more traditional than haredi, passionately love the Jewish state and are not anti-Zionist. Those who have not been brainwashed by their rabbis would serve in the IDF.

Among the more moderate Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox, who should be described as non-Zionist rather than anti-Zionist, the recent wars have made an impact and the shocking terrorist massacre at the Har Nof synagogue has jolted many into a realization that we are one people.

There is also the extraordinary impact of Habayit Hayehudi. Naftali Bennett has brilliantly projected religious Zionism to the forefront and transformed his party to include traditional and nationalist secular elements into its ranks. He has succeeded in breaking down the iron barrier that separated the observant from the nonobservant Jews and if this process continues, it could dramatically enhance the Jewish identity of the people.

We are today at a crossroads in which polarization between the haredim and other Israelis could be reversed. This would nationally enhance traditional Jewish values and create a greater level of tolerance toward streams outside the strictly Orthodox framework. After all, what is preferable: a Conservative or Reform Jew who does not observe Halachah but believes in God and seeks to include certain Jewish traditions and values or an atheist Hebrew-speaking Canaanite who has no knowledge or exposure to Jewish tradition or history?

The new government will determine the outcome. The haredim are likely to lose seats but will remain an important bloc, presumably still offering to sell themselves to the highest bidder. Both Netanyahu and Herzog will seek to accommodate them. If they join the next government without holding the balance of power, this would not be problematic. But efforts must be maintained toward altering the socio-economic structure of the haredi community and directing it toward becoming a productive sector of the economy.

The same applies to haredi control of the religious establishment. Haredim are free to adopt whatever standards they wish for themselves, but the Chief Rabbinate must cease imposing on the entire nation their stringent halachic approaches toward personal status issues of conversion, marriage, divorce, and burial. The recent legislation which decentralizes control of the rabbinate and authorizes the establishment of municipal conversion courts under the authority of local rabbis must be extended to provide additional scope for more moderate religious Zionist rabbis to service the people.

Whoever ultimately forms the next government would be doing a great disservice to the nation and sow the seeds of future disaster were they to once again allow themselves to be extorted by the haredi zealots. They should agree to enable haredim to live their lifestyle while constructively creating conditions that will encourage them to share the burdens as well as benefits of Israeli citizenship.

Isi Leibler's website can be viewed at www.wordfromjerusalem.com.

He may be contacted at ileibler@leibler.com.

This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom

Contact Robert Hand by email at borntolose3@att.net...


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ISRAELI JEWS SUPPORT ANNEXATION

Posted by Israel_politics, January 08, 2015

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: This poll features several questions that require a tremendously dangerous leaps of faith: "appropriate security arrangements" I would strongly recommend that pollsters add a second question whenever they ask such a question: "do you believe that appropriate security arrangements exist"?]

Which of the following two possibilities would, in your opinion, better ensure the future of the state of Israel? Jews/Arabs/General Public Annexation of the territories and the establishment in the entire territory of one state under Israeli rule 41.0%/29.4% /39.1% A division of the land and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state beside the state of Israel 43.1%/58.8%/45.7% Don't know/Decline to answer 15.9%/11.8%/15.2% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

1. What is your position on conducting peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority? Jews/Arabs/General Public Strongly in favor 32.0%/73.3%/38.9% Moderately in favor 23.6%/16.4%/22.4% Moderately opposed 12.6%/0.7%/10.6% Strongly opposed 22.4%/5.7%/19.7% Don't know/Decline to answer 9.3%/3.8%/8.4% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

2. Do you believe or not believe that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will lead in the coming years to peace between Israel and the Palestinians? Jews/Arabs/General Public Strongly believe 10.2%/53.3%/17.3% Moderately believe 20.1%/20.4%/20.1% Moderately do not believe 20.2%/13.9%/19.2% Do not believe at all 45.1%/11.6%/39.6% Don't know/Decline to answer 4.4%/0.8%/3.8% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

3. In your view, did the political situation in Israel justify or not justify dissolving the Knesset and declaring new elections? Jews/Arabs/General Public I'm sure it justified it 18.6%/40.7%/22.3% I think it justified it 18.2%/29.7%/20.1% I think it did not justify it 23.9%/18.7%/23.1% I'm sure it did not justify it 31.4%/5.9%/27.1% Don't know/Decline to answer 7.9%/4.9%/7.4% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

4. Between the following two issues, which is the issue that will determine which party you vote for in the upcoming elections? Jews/Arabs/General Public The party's stance in the political-security area 32.8%/28.8%/32.1% The party's stance in the socioeconomic area 40.6%/35.6% /39.8% Both to the same extent (do not read) 18.0%/11.7%/17.0% Other/Neither of those (do not read) 4.7%/11.2%/5.8% Don't know/Decline to answer 3.9%/12.6%/5.4% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

5. Who, in your opinion, is best suited out of all the following individuals to serve as Israel’s next prime minister? Jews/Arabs/General Public Netanyahu 34.4%/8.9%/30.2% Herzog 17.7%/10.1%/16.5% Bennett 10.5%/3.3%/9.3% Kahlon 4.2%/4.9%/4.3% Liberman 5.3%/2.5%/4.9% Lapid 2.6%/2.6%/2.6% Livni 6.3%/10.5%/7.0% Don't know/Decline to answer 18.9%/57.3%/25.3% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

6. In your view, which bloc of parties has the greatest chance to form the government after the upcoming elections? Jews/Arabs/General Public The right-wing bloc 59.8%/18.8%/53.0% The center-left bloc 24.4%/51.9%/28.9% Don't know/Decline to answer 15.8%/29.4%/18.0% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

7. And which bloc would you want to form the government after the upcoming elections? Jews/Arabs/General Public The right-wing bloc 54.8%/15.7%/48.3% The center-left bloc 32.5%/63.3%/37.6% Don't know/Decline to answer 12.7%/21.0%/14.0% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

8. Which of the following two possibilities would, in your opinion, better ensure the future of the state of Israel? Jews/Arabs/General Public Annexation of the territories and the establishment in the entire territory of one state under Israeli rule 41.0%/29.4% /39.1% A division of the land and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state beside the state of Israel 43.1%/58.8%/45.7% Don't know/Decline to answer 15.9%/11.8%/15.2% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

9. Recently more and more European parliaments have been calling on their governments to officially recognize the Palestinian state. In your opinion, does recognition of a Palestinian state before a peace agreement has been signed contribute to Israel's national interest or damage it? Jews/Arabs/General Public Contributes to the Israeli national interest 10.0%/20.1%/11.7% Damages the Israeli national interest 69.8%/34.3%/63.9% Does not affect the Israeli national interest 12.9%/23.2%/14.6% Don't know/Decline to answer 7.2%/22.4%/9.8% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

10. What is your opinion on the following statement: even in return for a permanent peace settlement under U.S. sponsorship, which would include appropriate security arrangements, not even some of the settlements in Judea and Samaria should be evacuated. Jews/Arabs/General Public Strongly agree 30.0%/18.7%/28.1% Moderately agree 17.7%/21.8%/18.4% Don't agree so much 17.5%/26.9%/19.1% Don't agree at all 29.0%/19.8%/27.5% Don't know/Decline to answer 5.8%/12.7%/7.0% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

11. And what is your opinion on the statement that in the framework of a permanent peace settlement under U.S. sponsorship, which would include appropriate security arrangements, the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem could be transferred to Palestinian control? Jews/Arabs/General Public Strongly agree 18.1%/17.4%/18.0% Moderately agree 19.7%/27.0%/20.9% Don't agree so much 14.9%/24.7%/16.6% Don't agree at all 40.9%/16.0%/36.8% Don't know/Decline to answer 6.3%/15.0%/7.8% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

12. In your opinion, to what extent should Israel take into account the United States's position when it makes decisions on political-security issues? Jews/Arabs/General Public Not at all 18.7%/30.7%/20.7% Quite little 31.8%/28.6%/31.3% Quite a lot 30.4%/15.8%/28.0% A great deal 15.5%/12.8%/15.0% Don't know/Decline to answer 3.6%/12.1%/5.0% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

13. Some say it makes no difference who forms the next government and what its policy will be; the peace process with the Palestinians is stalled and there is no chance that it will advance in the foreseeable future. What is your opinion on that statement? Jews/Arabs/General Public Strongly agree 37.3%/19.3%/34.3% Moderately agree 23.3%/31.4%/24.7% Don't agree so much 16.4%/18.5%/16.7% Don't agree at all 18.5%/20.5%/18.9% Don't know/Decline to answer 4.5%/10.3%/5.5% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

14. On the political-security issue, where is each of the following parties located: on the right, in the center, on the left, or are the party's positions on this issue unclear at the moment? Habayit hayehudi (headed by Naftali Benett) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 72.2%/22.7%/64.0% Center 7.0%/10.2%/7.5% Left 3.1%/18.1%/5.6% Not clear at the moment 8.9%/44.1%/14.8% Don't know/Decline to answer 8.7%/4.9%/8.1% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Meretz (headed by Zehava Gal-on) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 6.2%/10.7%/6.9% Center 3.2%/21.1%/6.2% Left 72.2%/21.6%/63.8% Not clear at the moment 7.4%/42.9%/13.3% Don't know/Decline to answer 10.9%/3.6%/9.7% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Kulanu (headed by Moshe Kahlon) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 21.8%/9.1%/19.7% Center 30.8%/17.9%/28.7% Left 4.7%/21.5%/7.5% Not clear at the moment 25.2%/49.2%/29.2% Don't know/Decline to answer 17.4%/2.3%/14.9% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Yesh Atid (headed by Yair Lapid) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 7.7%/15.3%/9.0% Center 46.5%/17.7%/41.7% Left 23.8%/15.0%/22.4% Not clear at the moment 14.4%/45.9%/19.6% Don't know/Decline to answer 7.5%/6.2%/7.3% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

The joint Labor-Hatnuah list (headed by Herzog and Livni) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 4.9%/11.5%/6.0% Center 26.4%/16.1%/24.7% Left 50.3%/20.2%/45.3% Not clear at the moment 10.1%/45.8%/16.0% Don't know/Decline to answer 8.3%/6.4%/7.9% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Shas (headed by Aryh Deri) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 41.4%/18.9%/37.7% Center 23.3%/15.2%/22.0% Left 7.1%/19.8%/9.2% Not clear at the moment 16.6%/40.9%/20.6% Don't know/Decline to answer 11.5%/5.3%/10.5% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Ha'am Itanu (headed by Eli Yishai) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 52.1%/13.0%/45.6% Center 10.8%/18.0%/12.0% Left 1.7%/13.2%/3.6% Not clear at the moment 18.1%/50.1%/23.4% Don't know/Decline to answer 17.3%/5.6%/15.4% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Likud (headed by Binyamin Netanyahu) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 70.5%/21.9%/62.5% Center 12.0%/14.6%/12.4% Left 3.9%/17.5%/6.1% Not clear at the moment 6.9%/41.7%/12.7% Don't know/Decline to answer 6.7%/4.3%/6.3% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

Yisrael Beiteinu (headed by Avigdor Lieberman) Jews/Arabs/General Public Right 51.4%/20.2%/46.3% Center 19.3%/10.3%/17.8% Left 4.8%/16.8%/6.8% Not clear at the moment 17.2%/46.4%/22.0% Don't know/Decline to answer 7.2%/6.3%/7.0% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

15. Do you intend to vote in the upcoming elections? Jews/Arabs/General Public I'm sure I will 75.4%/49.2%/71.1% I think I will 14.1%/12.9%/13.9% I think I won't 3.3%/14.3%/5.1% I'm sure I won't 3.5%/21.3%/6.5% Don't know/Decline to answer 3.7%/2.2%/3.4% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

16. (Only for those who said “I think I will or I'm sure I will Have you already decided which party you will vote for? Jews/Arabs/General Public Yes 58.7%/63.6%/59.3% No 40.0%/33.8%/39.3% Don't know/Decline to answer 1.2%/2.6%/1.4% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

17. (Only for those who said “I think I won't or I'm sure I won't) What is the main reason that you think or are sure that you will not vote? Jews/Arabs/General Public There is no party whose positions accord with my opinions 13.2%/22.5%/20.0% It makes no difference who one votes for because it does not change the situation anyway 37.2%/25.8%/28.9% It is hard for me to get to the voting booth where I have to vote 6.0%/5.7%/5.8% I won't be in Israel on the day of the elections 10.7%/2.8%/5.0% Other 30.8%/22.1%/24.5% Don't know/Decline to answer 2.2%/21.1%/15.9% Total 100.0%/100.0%/100.0%

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone on December 29-31, 2014, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is 4.1% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.

The Peace Index: December 2014 Date Published: 07/01/2015 Survey dates: 29/12/2014 - 31/12/2014 http://www.peaceindex.org/indexMonthEng.aspx?num=287

The picture that emerges from the Peace Index survey conducted on December 29-31 (before the results of the Likud primaries were announced) indicates that the right remains the dominant political force among the Jewish public.

Who will set up the next government? About 60% of the Jewish public thinks the right-wing bloc has a better chance to establish the new government while only 24% believe the chances of the center-left bloc are better. When we asked which bloc the interviewees preferred to establish the next government, the gap had indeed narrowed a bit but the clear preference for the right remained: 55% preferred a right-wing government compared to 32.5% who preferred a center-left one. A comparison between the two questions shows that there are some who prefer a center-left government but still view the right as having better chances.

The prevailing position (52%) in the Arab public is that the center-left bloc has the better chance to form the next government, and an even higher rate (63%) also prefers that it be the bloc to do so.

To which bloc do the Jewish parties belong? Less than three months before the elections it appears that the various parties positions on the political-security issue are not completely clear. The two parties most identified in the Jewish public with the political-security right are Bayit Yehudi led by Naftali Bennett (72%) and Likud led by Binyamin Netanyahu (70.5%). Two other parties that are perceived by a certain majority as right-wing, though not as decisively as the two previous ones, are Ha’am Itanu led by Eli Yishai (52%) and Yisrael Beiteinu led by Avigdor Lieberman (51%). Shas led by Aryeh Deri is also more perceived as right-wing (41%) than as a centrist (23%) or leftist (7%) party. The parties most identified with the left are Meretz led by Zehava Galon (72%) and Labor-Hatnuah (the Zionist Camp) led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni (50%). Only two parties are identified by the highest rate as centrist on the political-security issue, though in these cases, too, not overwhelmingly so: Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid (center's 46.5%, left's 24%, right's"8%) and Kulanu led by Moshe Kahlon (center's"31%, right's22%, left's5%). The data show, therefore, that the Jewish public is not sure about the political-security location of a considerable portion of the parties, especially with regard to (in order) Kulanu (not clear's"25%), Ha'am Itanu (18%), Yisrael Beiteinu (perhaps because of what is being said about Lieberman's centralization, and Shas (17% each).

An interesting and somewhat disturbing finding in terms of political literacy is that among the Arab interviewees the highest rate of respondents (41%-50%) said, regarding each of the Jewish parties they were asked about, that it was not clear to them where it was located on the political-security right-center-left spectrum.

Who is best suited to serve as the next prime minister? The dominance of the right is also clearly evident in the Jewish interviewees’ answers to this question. At the top of the list is Netanyahu with a preference rate of 34%. Although that is not a high rate in absolute terms, it certainly stands out compared to other candidates; the next highest preference rate is Herzog’s at 18%. In other words, the rate of those who see Herzog as the best-suited candidate for the prime minister’s post is about half the rate of those who see Netanyahu as most qualified to serve in the position, something that does not augur well for Herzog and his associates. In third place is Naftali Bennett with a preference rate of 10.5%, while Tzipi Livni comes in fourth with 6%. That is, the two leaders of the clearly right-wing parties—Likud and Bayit Yehudi's are preferred by 45% of the Jewish public while the two prominent leaders of the center-left bloc receive a joint preference rate of only 24% (the other leaders who were presented to the interviewees's Lieberman, Kahlon, and Lapid's each won a few percentage points from those who prefer that they head the government, not changing the overall picture). There is, then, a leader who is definitely preferred, but he too does not enjoy the preference of more than one-third of the public, a low rate considering that he is an incumbent candidate.

The clear preference that the right-wing bloc enjoys among the Jewish public seems to raise a question about the fact that a much larger number (41%) said that the issue determining which party they will vote for is the socioeconomic one (only 33% chose the political-security issue as electorally decisive for them). For this seeming contradiction there are at least two explanations that do not preclude each other. First, it may be that many still believe that the right is better suited than the center-left to deal with the national problems in the socioeconomic area as well. Second, it is possible that the preference for the socioeconomic issue is merely a declarative statement's that is influenced by the prominence given this issue in the media discourse, while on the emotional level the public is closer to the political-security domain and will vote accordingly.

Among the Arab respondents the highest rate chose the socioeconomic issue as deciding which party they will vote for (36%, compared to 29% who chose the political-security issue). However, a high percentage (24%) either said that another issue will influence their electoral preference or that they do not know what will influence them one way or the other. As for the candidate best suited to serve as prime minister, a majority (57%) of the Arab interviewees declined to respond or did not know; this is consistent with their difficulty in locating the Jewish parties on the political-security right-center-left spectrum, as we reported above. Among those who did have a preference regarding the identity of the candidate for prime minister, Livni and Herzog received the highest rates (10% for each) while the rest of the candidates received smaller rates.

Was there a need to hold new elections and do you intend to vote? A majority of the Jewish public (55%) thinks the political situation in Israel did not justify holding new elections. The tendency to deny the need for elections is consistent with the prevailing assessment that the new government, too, will likely be formed by the right-wing bloc. As for taking part in the elections, a very large majority (89.5%) declared an intention to vote, of whom 75.4% reported that they are sure they will vote. On the question of whether the voters have already decided which party to vote for, it turns out that 59% have already decided while 40% have not yet done so. The various parties, then, can still try to convince a considerable percentage of the “floating” voters to give them their vote. At the same time, taking into account the perception of bloc affiliation of the parties we have reported on, it appears that, for the undecided, the choice of whom to vote for will mainly be between the parties perceived as belonging to the same bloc and not between parties belonging to different blocs. That is, if there are changes in the voters’ preferences, it appears that they will be mainly within blocs and not between blocs.

Among the Arabs, whose level of support for the current government has been low throughout its tenure, a clear majority (70%) sees the holding of new elections as justified. In our survey 62% of the Arab respondents said that they were sure or that they thought they would go to vote, and of these about two-thirds had already decided which party to vote for.

What is the preferred solution to the problem with the Palestinians? In the Jewish public we found a balance between, on the one hand, the rate who think that even for a peace agreement worked out under U.S. sponsorship that would include appropriate security arrangements, not even part of the settlements in Judea and Samaria should be evacuated (48%), and on the other, the rate of those who disagree with that position (46.5%). A balance also emerges in the responses to the question of which possibility would better ensure the future of the country: annexation of the territories and the establishment of a single state under Israeli rule (41%) or a division of the land and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state beside Israel (43%). However, a majority of the Jewish public (56%) now opposes the idea that in the framework of a permanent peace settlement under U.S. sponsorship that would include appropriate security arrangements, rule over the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem could be transferred to the Palestinians.

We wanted to know to what extent, in the Israeli public’s opinion, Israel should take into account the U.S. position on questions concerning a solution of the conflict with the Palestinians. About half of the Jewish public (50.5%) thinks Israel should not take it into account or should do so only a little. Conversely, 46% believe that the U.S. position should be taken into account to a great or a very great extent. In the Arab public, which apparently regards the United States as an actor that does not promote its interests, a majority (59%) thinks Israel should not take the Americans into account regarding its policy on the conflict. Given that most of the Jewish public prefers the right-wing bloc, the numerical balance between the supporters and opponents of a territorial compromise apparently indicates that some of the right's supporters in fact prefer the two-state solution, but think the right can better represent Israel's interests in permanent-status negotiations. In any case, a majority of the Jewish public (61%) thinks that no matter who sets up the next government and whatever policy it adopts, the peace process with the Palestinians is stalled and there is no chance of it progressing in the foreseeable future. In the Arab public the rate of those who think the situation is at a standstill is in fact somewhat smaller than among the Jews (51%), but it is higher than the rate of those who think there is a chance of progress in the negotiations in the foreseeable future (39%).

The involvement of international actors: A large majority of the Jewish public (70%) thinks the growing trend among European parliaments to call on their governments to officially recognize a Palestinian state before a peace agreement is reached damages Israeli's national interests. This figure indicates that even among supporters of a two-state solution, the majority does not think the initiative of these Europe parliaments is beneficial to Israel. This position is more widespread, as one would expect, among those identifying themselves as right-wing or in the center (74% in both camps), but even on the left the rate of those who think the European initiative harms Israel's national interests (53%) is considerably higher than the rate of those who believe it contributes to those interests (28%).

Negotiations indexes: General 50.7 (Jews 44.4)

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute. This month's survey was conducted by telephone on December 29-31, 2014, by the Midgam Research Institute. The survey included 600 respondents, who constitute a representative national sample of the adult population aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted in Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian. The maximum measurement error for the entire sample is 4.1% at a confidence level of 95%. Statistical processing was done by Ms. Yasmin Alkalay.

Contact Israel_politics2@yahoogroups.com


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WHAT ARE THE CHARLIE HEBDO COVERS THE TERRORISTS DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE?

Posted by The Daily Signal, January 08, 2015

The article below was written by Mike Gonzalez who is senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation, is a widely experienced international correspondent, commentator and editor who has reported from Asia, Europe and Latin America. He served in the George W. Bush Administration first at the Securities and Exchange Commission and then at the State Department, and is the author of, "A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans,". This article appeared January 07, 2015 on The Daily Signal and is archived at
http://dailysignal.com/2015/01/07/standing-french/

vigil
People take part in a vigil in Place de la Republique, Paris, France, Wed. Jan. 7, 2015, after three gunmen carried out a deadly terror attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. (Photo: Alain Apaydyn/Newscom)

On Sept. 13, 2001, two days after 9/11, the Parisian daily Le Monde published an editorial titled "Nous sommes tous Americains," or "We Are All Americans" in the language of Moliere. It shocked many, not least Le Monde’s legions of readers.

"How can we not feel, as we have in the gravest moments of our history, but profoundly in solidarity with this people and this country, the United States, with whom we are so close and to whom we owe our liberty, and therefore our solidarity," wrote the long-time editor of Le Monde, Jean-Marie Colombani.

It was an extraordinary event, not least because Le Monde is a leftist publication not exactly known for pro-American affectations. Colombani's mention of the U.S. role in liberating France from Hitler's grip was stunning. There are many grateful Frenchmen who remember the GIs, but they are usually in places like Normandy and the Ardennes, not in the Left Bank of Paris.

It is in this vein that many Americans are reacting today to the carnage in eastern Paris, where two gunmen invaded the headquarters of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and wounding many others.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation. We'll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

The crime has all the look of a terrorist Islamic attack, as Charlie Hebdo delights in ridiculing all religions, including Islam. But the reason many Americans today are feeling that Nous sommes tous Francais runs deeper than mere alliance in the war on terror. Republican fellow feelings and memories of Lafayette and Rochambeau are suddenly awakened even in the most recalcitrant New England Yankee.

The good feelings that followed 9/11 in Paris were quickly dissipated and France soon went back to being "a prickly ally," in Henry Kissinger's description. Colombani got a ton of letters from irate socialist readers who pretty much said, "I definitely am not an American."

Likewise, here we will soon go back to our uneasy relationship with France. Just not today. Today is the day to remember and honor Alexis de Toqueville, the Frenchman who understood us better than many Americans, and to repay Colombani the favor by remembering the role the French played in our independence.

Contact Daily Signal at morningbell@heritage.org


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THE WAGES OF APPEASEMENT

Posted by Steven Plaut, January 08, 2015

Dear French People! We just wanted to thank you this week in Paris near the Bastille for having recognized the "right" of the "Palestinians" to have their own "state" in Israeli lands! We hope you enjoyed our thank you gesture.

Signed, The Armed Lovers of Peace and Jihad

Offering the French Land for Peace

Never one to back down from a challenge, I have prepared a set of proposals for consideration by the French people, so they too can achieve a full, lasting, and just peace with their historic opponents.

First, we all agree that territory must not be annexed by force. Therefore, we can also agree that Germany has a moral right to demand the return of Alsace-Lorraine, for the French aggression in 1945 and its consequent occupation must not be rewarded. "A full withdrawal for full peace" should operate here. Further, France must agree to the return and rehabilitation of all ethnic Germans expelled from Alsace-Lorraine after World Wars I and II, as well as all those they define as their descendents.

But this, of course, is just the first step toward a solution, as no aggression can be rewarded—and France has much other stolen territory to return. It took Corsica from Genoa, Nice and Savoy from Piedmont; as the successor state, Italy must get back all these lands. By similar token, territories grabbed from the Habsburgs go back to Austria, including Franche-Comte, Artois, and historic Burgundy. The Roussillon area (along the Pyrenees) must be returned to Spain, its rightful owner. And Normandy, Anjou, Aquitaine, and Gascony must be returned to their rightful owners, the British royal family.

Not even this not enough for the sake of peace. Brittany and Languedoc must be granted autonomy at once, recognizing the Breton and Occitan Liberation organizations as their legal rulers. This leaves the French government in control over the Île de France (the area around Paris).

That, however, still does not solve the problem of the Holy City of Paris, sacred to artists, gourmets, and adulterers. The Corsicans obviously have a historic claim to the Tomb of the Emperor Napoleon, their famed son, as well as the Invalides complex and beyond. For the sake of peace, is it not too much to ask that Paris be the capital for two peoples? The French authorities must agree to prevent French Parisians from even entering the sacred tomb area, lest this upset the Corsicans.

The Saint Chapelle and the Church of Notre Dame of course will be internationalized, under joint Vatican-art historical auspices. Indeed, the French should consider it a compliment of the highest order that so many people see Paris as an international city.

The French have nothing to complain of. They will enjoy the benefits of peace and retain control of the Champs Elysees.

Actually, come to think of it, even the Champs Elysees may be too much. Recalling the French position that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel, perhaps the true French capital is not Paris at all, but Vichy.

Steven Plaut is an American-born Israeli associate professor of Business Administration at the University of Haifa and a writer.


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WE MUST STOP BLAMING OURSELVES FOR ISLAMIST TERROR

Posted by Daily Alert, January 08, 2015

The article below was written by Padraig Reidy who is the former senior writer with the Index on Censorship. This article appeared January 07, 2015 on The Telegraph and is archived at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/11330479/We-must -stop-blaming-ourselves-for-Islamist-terror.html

It is tempting to think the Islamic fanaticism is purely a reaction to the West, but jihadists kill because that is what they do.

We'd forgotten about Charlie Hebdo. In 2011, the satirical magazine, firmly rooted in the anti-clericalism of the French left, was firebombed after it published an edition poking fun at Islam: "100 lashes if you don't die of laughter", read the cover.

At the time, unthinkable in the light of today's attack on Charlie's office, there was "debate" over whether the magazine's cartoonists and editors had "gone too far".

Bruce Crumley, a correspondent for Time, rushed to condemn not the bombers, but the scribblers.

"Not only are such Islamophobic antics [as publishing cartoons] futile and childish," he wrote, "but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?"

He went on: "Do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody on the logic of 'because we can' was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring."

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org


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WILL THE CHARLIE HEBDO ATTACK BRING FRANCE OUT OF ITS CORNER IN THE WAR ON ISLAMIC TERROR?

Posted by Saul Goldman, January 08, 2015

The answer is that it will have no effect upon the French. They believe that by standing in the streets with a sign or slogan about liberty is sufficient. The issue is not liberty. It is about the threat that Islam poses to western civilization. These young men are fighters in their own cause. They believe just as the simple un-sophisticated farm boys who after Pearl Harbor volunteered for the Marines and Paratroopers and who took the most horrific blows that the enemy could deliver. It is not about young people that are economically dis-advantaged. After all the entire Muslim population of the MIddle East, with the exception of Israeli-Arabs, live well below western standards. The issue is that after a long period of suppression the Islamic thirst for empire has been "re-fluxed" into the Islamic gut. This is a war upon the Judeo-Christian ethos. Our problem is that in another epoch when another vicious ideology arose in Europe (Nazism) the Europeans were passive and America had to actually invade Europe in order to save the French, Italians and others from Nazism. At least at that time the British, Canadians and Australians fought with us. This time I am afraid that there are too many of the enemy already occupying England and Canada.

The article below was written by Seth Lipsky who is the founder and editor of the New York Sun, an independent conservative daily in New York City that ceased its print edition on September 30, 2008. This article appeared January 07, 2015 on Haaretz and is archived at http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.635882

And how will the free press feel, after it supported Edward Snowden or Julian Assange, if it discovers that closer state surveillance could have foreseen today's massacre?

soldiers

French soldiers patrol near the Eiffel Tower in Paris as part of the highest level of "Vigipirate" security plan after a shooting at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, Jan. 7, 2015. Photo by Reuters

The big question in the wake of the massacre at Charlie Hebdo is whether the slaughter will bring France out of its corner in the war on Islamic terror. France has seen some appalling crimes – including attacks against Jews – that could be linked, broadly, to the global war against Islamist terror. But the attack on the satirical weekly takes, by dint of its body count, things to a new level. It's hard to see how France, or any country, will be able to revert to the status quo ante.

In France, there has been a kind of quasi war measured by what is known as the Plan Vigipirate. The plan was started in the 1970s by President Giscard d'Estaing and established a national alert system. Things were stepped up under the Plan Vigipirate in 1995, after a Jewish school was bombed and attacks began on the Paris Metro. The latter, which killed eight persons and injured scores, were the work of the Armed Islamic Group, which aimed to set up an Islamist state at Algeria.

It's too soon to know the details of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, but French Francois President Hollande has declared it terrorism. The alert under Plan Vigipirate has been raised, at least in the Ile de France, to its highest level, after the assault on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters in the Rue Serpollet, which is among a labyrinth of narrow streets in the 20th arrondissement. The target can, in Charlie Hebdo, be seen as a kind of marker of the ideology of secular France.

The magazine has been particularly unbridled in its mocking Islamists from a left-of-center perspective. It stood, courageously in the view of many, for the right of satire in the wake of the publication of the Danish cartoons. In 2011, Charlie Hebdo was fire-bombed after it issued one of its most famous covers, which "renamed" the magazine Charia Hebdo. he paper, while stridently secular, had also – particularly under its previous editor, Philippe Val – tilted toward Israel.

I was reminded of that by an ex-colleague, Michel Gurfinkiel, a Paris-based pro-Israel journalist who characterized Val, a comedian, as having gone in the opposite direction of, say, Sine, another writer for Charlie Hebdo, and the comedian Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who mocks Jews, uses a parody of the Hitler salute, and is banned from performing in France. Val left Charlie Hebdo several years ago. While at the paper, he took what Gurfinkiel calls a hard line that it was inappropriate to demonize the Jewish state.

If it is confirmed that the attack was by Islamist terrorists – the audio of one film that was uploaded to the Internet appears to capture gunmen shouting "Allahu Akbar"("God is greatest" in Arabic) – all eyes will be on France to see what happens next. It's not that France has been entirely out of the fight on Islamic terror. A few hours before the attack on Charlie Hebdo, Agence France Press reported that the Charles de Gaulle, the aircraft carrier that is the flagship of the French fleet, would be deployed to the Gulf to take part in operations against the Islamist State.

France, though, has always seemed to hang back a bit. Gurfinkiel calls this a "tradition," with the French authorities "hoping to know more" by leaving hostile elements at large in France while keeping an eye on them. That starts to look like a risky strategy in an era of so-called "lone wolf" terrorist attacks. France is still more than two years away from its next presidential election, but already its former president, the relatively hardline Nicholas Sarkozy is trying to position himself for a comeback.

The impact of the attack on Charlie Hebdo could also be felt far from France, particularly because it targeted the press. The press has sought largely to stay neutral in the global war on terrorism or has tilted against the hawkish camp. But what position will the newspapers take after having expressed support for Julian Assange or Edward Snowden, if it turns out that this attack could have been foreseen by more aggressive collection and mining of the metadata?

Contact Saul Goldman at Saul Goldman at gold7910@bellsouth.net


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THE IMPASSE IN IRAQ

Posted by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, January 08, 2015

(PART 1: THE SHI'A SIDE)
It has become a truism that resolution of the current crisis in Iraq that has seen major cities — most notably Mosul — fall out of government control at the hands of the Islamic State (IS) will require some form of 'reconciliation' between the Shia majority that has led Iraq's governments since the U.S. invasion in 2003 and the Sunni Arabs, who likely constitute no more than 20-25% of Iraq's population but were seen as dominant since the formation of the modern Iraqi state. 'Reconciliation' in the predominant understanding is expected to entail some kind of central government outreach to Sunnis.

However, is that really forthcoming? If not, why not?The new Iraqi premier Hayder Abadi — hailing from the Islamic Da'wah Party of his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki — is generally seen as a more conciliatory figure than Maliki, who is in contrast widely condemned for perceived sectarian policies that led to the deterioration in the security situation.However, reconciliation must entail more than mere allocation of government positions to Sunni political figures who have become ever more detached from their constituencies. It must also include reforms on the ground that will make Sunni locals more amenable to working with the security reforms and integrate them into the post-Saddam order. One place to start would be amendments to de-Ba'athification legislation that was initiated after the overthrow of Saddam's regime and came to be seen as 'de-Sunnification'. And in that regard, nothing seems forthcoming.

The response to the Sunni protests of 2013 is instructive here. While it is widely claimed that Maliki did not attempt to make any concessions to protestor demands, such conventional wisdom is untrue. Through working with then deputy Sunni premier Saleh al-Mutlaq, Maliki allowed for meaningful reforms to de-Ba'athification to be put to parliament, but the legislation quickly died, most notably facing opposition from the Sadrists.

It is indeed telling that when it came to this rather important issue on reconciliation, Maliki comes across as the moderate, illustrating the wider Shia political spectrum's reluctance to consider such reforms, fearful at least of a supposed return to the prior Sunni-dominated order. More recent attempts at Sunni empowerment in the form of provincial autonomy have similarly been put down across the spectrum, partly due to belief that greater autonomy would only create problems akin to the constant disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Baghdad.

Today, the notion of de-Ba'athification amendments is not even put to discussion. Indeed, the rise of IS, with the collapse of conventional army divisions caused by the group's conquests in the north of the country, has only compounded the impasse, because it has helped midwife the birth of dozens of Shia militias while strengthening in particular the hand of long-established Iranian proxies (Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, Kata'ib Hezbollah, Badr), the last of which was awarded the Interior Ministry and has spearheaded military operations south of Baghdad and in the mixed province of Diyala. For the militias, the struggle is perceived — not wholly without justification — as existential in light of IS's genocidal anti-Shia sentiments.

Yet that only further damages chances at reconciliation, as the general tendency among Shia militias is to treat all Sunnis in a combat zone as IS, which has resulted in ethnic cleansing in areas like Jurf al-Sakhr (south of Baghdad) and the wider Baghdad belt area. Considering that the militias are unlikely to simply disband and will seek to exert influence, Abadi's efforts will likely only be undercut further. This is well illustrated in the recent hostility shown by Kata'ib Hezbollah to Abadi's floundering National Guard legislation that aims to create local Sunni forces to fight IS, saying it will treat the formations as an 'American-affiliated Sahwa.'

As the Iranian proxies in particular frame the recent upheaval as an American conspiracy against Iraq, such enmity is sure to create conflict and hinder a coordinated effort to roll back IS. But is the impasse wholly or primarily to be blamed on the Shia side? Stay tuned for part two, which will explore the issues regarding Sunnis and Iraq's impasse.


(PART 2: THE SUNNI SIDE)
The previous post discussed problems on the Shi'a side that hinder a more general Sunni-Shi'a 'reconciliation' in Iraq. Specifically, there is a general reluctance on the Shi'a political spectrum to address basic Sunni grievances on issues such as de-Ba'athification, and the phenomenon of Shi'a militiafication of the security forces has only further sidelined meaningful discussion of reforms to outreach to Sunnis.

However, it does not follow that Iraq's impasse is solely the fault of the country's Shi'a. Any analysis must also address the issue of Sunni rejectionism: that is, an absolute unwillingness to accept the post-Saddam order, with aspirations for 'revolution' (thawra) in the overthrow of the central government. Such rejectionism is embodied in the fact that none of the main Sunni insurgent brands accepts the notion of working within the system. Rather, believing Sunni Arabs to be at least a plurality if not a majority of Iraq's population (an erroneous belief), they all currently aim for 'revolution' with fantastical notions of the conquest of Baghdad.

Indeed, rejectionism has even more currency than during the height of the U.S. occupation as a perceived failure of the political process for Sunnis has given credence to the narrative of groups that have rejected the idea of working within the system all along, such as the Ba'athist-Sufi Jaysh Rijal al-Tariqa al-Naqshbandia (JRTN), widely considered the second most powerful insurgent group after the Islamic State (IS).

Yet, this rejectionism has also helped facilitate the rise of IS, which initially worked with other Sunni insurgent groups in bringing about the downfall of the major cities of Fallujah, Mosul and Tikrit but has since come to dominate these places at the expense of the likes of JRTN. In one case, that of rival jihadi group Jamaat Ansar al-Islam, the group has been absorbed into IS through pledges of allegiance while the remainder has disbanded and quit the field.

Despite such developments, the prevalence of rejectionism means that the wider insurgency generally remains in denial that the IS phenomenon constitutes a problem, such that there even tends to be avoidance of mentioning IS by name, with no honest condemnation of the worst of IS' excesses including the targeting of minorities like the Yezidis and Christians as well as destruction of shrines and heritage sites. The JRTN goes so far as to blame the government for these actions. Such denial and lack of attachment to reality can only amount to complicity in IS' crimes.

With belief in the inevitability of 'revolution' and fighting IS not viewed as a priority, the Sunni insurgent groups with their rejectionism and support bases prove a huge obstacle to forming a coherent local Sunni force within Iraq to push back IS. Indeed, they all denounce current premier Hayder Abadi's National Guard plans and similar hopes to incorporate more Sunnis into the security forces as nefarious schemes aimed at destroying the 'revolution' and/or provoking an internal Sunni civil war to facilitate Iranian domination. Meanwhile, the coalition airstrikes targeting IS are presented as being part of a wider international war against Sunnis and Islam.

Not all Sunni groups have avoided speaking frankly about problems with IS, but the results of localized open clashes have never gone in their favour, pointing to the weakness of a lack of a united Sunni front against IS. A case-in-point is the Salafi group Jaysh al-Mujahideen, which openly condemned IS in a lengthy tract issued in January 2014. The group clashed with IS in the locality of al-Karma in Anbar province in August 2014, but was forced to withdraw from the main town. Despite this major loss, nothing points to Jaysh al-Mujahideen members and/or leaders being open to the idea of working with the government against IS.

In sum, Iraq's current round of major instability may not be as bloody as the dark days of the 2006 civil war, but with so many obstacles on both sides hindering a major accord between Sunni and Shi'a in Iraq, this phase of conflict is set to be a protracted war over many years to come

Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a graduate from Brasenose College, Oxford University, and a Jihad-Intel Research Fellow at the Middle East Forum. Contact him by e-mail at aaj892@hotmail.com


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CHARLIE HEBDO MASSACRE AND MOHAMAD'S PRECEPT TO KILL CRITICS - JE SUIS CHARLIE OR JE SUIS DHIMMI?

Posted by Aron Aronite, January 08, 2015

The day after the attack, the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo announced that publication would continue, with the next week's edition of the newspaper to be released on the usual schedule, but with a greatly increased print run of 1,000,000 copies.

In the Planet of the Apes, there will be no more any Charlie Hebdos or Charb. Charb was mowed down along with dozen of his fellow Cartoonists and Writers in his office by Islamist gunmen who barged into the Paris office of the Cartoon magazine on January 7th 2015

Over the years this small satirical cartoonists' magazine Charlie Hebdos refused to bow down to threats of violence issued against their Caricaturing and Criticism of Islam and its prophet.

The reason why Charlies won't exist but only the likes of uncritical apes has already been prophesied by the President of world's foremost democracy –

"There will be no future in this world for those who 'blaspheme' the prophet" declared Obama-while mobs went on worldwide rampage, dragging another Charlie- an US ambassador in Benghazi besides killing scores of people, arson of churches and synagogues. The 'vast majority of peaceful Muslims' were obviously inflamed over a film that no one dared run in theatres, and still put on the Youtube-the innocence of muslims.

Instead of standing up for the American Constitution and its First Amendment, the world wide mobs were assured by her President and liberals that there would be no place in future for such 'blasphemers'.

By gunning down the entire editorial crew of Charlie in Paris, the Islamists merely showed us How so.

It is reassuring that it's now clear there won't be any future for those who critique Islam and its prophet – though that shouldn't matter since 'vast majority' as we all must agree to believe about Muslims 'are always peaceful'.

The Dhimmis are non-muslims who would be suffered a second class status; while as the Hadith spells out- 'shall ever have tongues tied and their lips clipped'.

In other words, they shall not dare utter anything about Islam besides what Islam and its clerics tell them.

Sadly, this all round submissive behavior and assurance to uphold the Threat by Islam to gag its criticism had left the few like Charlie Hebdo standing all alone in a world of dhimmis.

MOHAMAD'S INSTRUCTIONS TO KILL CRITICS

What is still ironical is that the world has agreed to this gag order by the toughs of Islam.

It still goes by the rules of its Totalitarian dogmas, and carefully keeps away from public view the real motivation of all these assaults on lives and liberties.

By pleading on behalf of Islamists and rephrasing threats our own leaders, media and establishment demands nothing short of the surrender of our freedoms.

By deflecting attention away from the source of all this violent behavior of Islamists which is very plainly in sight in their sacred texts- the very lethal ideas contained in those texts are also kept beyond any possible critical Re evaluation.

The hitmen merely execute those verses- like terrorists act out what pleases Allah, as it is described in those Scriptural texts.

Where did the killers of Charlie Hebdo journos get their idea to silence the critics of Islam and its prophet?

This not so hard to guess or fathom out, as Islam's sacred books clearly show what its founder wanted be done to the critics of the faith.

Uqba bin Abu Muayt

Uqba harassed and mocked Muhammad in Mecca and wrote derogatory verses about him (cf. Sura 83:13). He was captured during the Battle of Badr in AD 624, and Muhammad ordered him to be executed.

"But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?" Uqba cried with anguish. "Hell," retorted the prophet coldly. Then the sword of one of his followers cut through Uqba's neck.

Source: Bukhari, vol. 4, no. 2934; Muslim, vol. 3, nos. 4422, 4424.These three passages from the hadith depict Muhammad calling on Allah for revenge on this poet. See also Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, trans. A. Guillaume, (Oxford UP, 1955, 2004), p. 308 (Arabic page p. 458).

March 624: Asma bint Marwan

Asma was a poetess who belonged to a tribe of Medinan pagans, and whose husband was named Yazid b. Zayd. She composed a poem blaming the Medinan pagans for obeying a stranger (Muhammad) and for not taking the initiative to attack him by surprise. When the Allah-inspired prophet heard what she had said, he asked, "Who will rid me of Marwan's daughter?" A member of her husband's tribe volunteered and crept into her house that night. She had five children, and the youngest was sleeping at her breast. The assassin gently removed the child, drew his sword, and plunged it into her, killing her in her sleep.

The following morning, the assassin defied anyone to take revenge. No one took him up on his challenge, not even her husband. In fact, Islam became powerful among his tribe. Previously, some members who had kept their conversion secret now became Muslims openly, "because they saw the power of Islam," conjectures Ibn Ishaq.

Source: Ibn Ishaq, pp. 675-76 / 995-96.

April 624: Abu Afak

Abu Afak, an centenarian elder of Medina, belonging to a group of clans who were associated with the god Manat (though another account has him as a Jew), wrote a derogatory poem about Muhammad, extolling the ancestors of his tribe who were strong enough to overthrow mountains and to resist submitting to an outsider (Muhammad) who divides two large Medinan tribes with religious commands like "permitted" and "forbidden." That is, the poet is referring to Muhammad's legal decrees about things that are forbidden (e.g. pork and alcohol) and permitted (e.g. other meats like beef and camel). Before the Battle of Badr, Muhammad let him live.

After the battle, the prophet queried, "Who will deal with this rascal for me?" That night, Salim b. Umayr "went forth and killed him." One of the Muslims wrote a poem in reply: "A hanif [monotheist or Muslim] gave you a thrust in the night saying 'Take that Abu Afak in spite of your age!'"

These are just the few among 40 others who lost place in their future, like Obama assures those who 'blaspheme' the prophet of Islam.

So we can read clearly that the idea to kill and silence those who critique or slight Islam is very much mainstream and a core belief in its doctrines.

This must make us then ask this question- do most Muslims agree with this precept of Killing Critics of faith or not?

The motive doesn't belong to some terrorist group or a fringe that 'misinterpret' Islamic doctrines or some 'ideology' invented from thin air.

It stems from the very demonstrative precept of its Prophet and enshrined as a fundamental tenet and sacred guideline for behavior towards Criticism.

As long as Islam and its texts are revered and practiced in present form - the reaction of the Umma towards critics and any critique towards Islam, is bound to be the same as Charlie Hebdo. The precept in its Texts is clear towards violence and murder of Critics of Islam.

Islam and its hit men demand Submission to this Sharia or Sacred Law that Apostates and Critics must be silenced or risk violence and killings.

Charlie Hebdo's editor in chief and his dozen editorial team most valiantly stood up and said-

"I would rather go down die standing, than live kneeling".

Kneel down before whom?

That is what is kept beyond question- Mohamad and his words.

While Muslims accept both, without questions- the rest of humanity is also demanded that it shares the same Submissive outlook and behavior towards Mohamad and his words. Any refusal is made out as 'offensive' to 'sensibilities' and any defiance carries risk of violence and murders.

This is an unreasonable demand to ape Muslims in their attitude and behavior towards Mohamad and his words, and should humanity comply with it?

Should humanity remain quiet without questions or objections to the ideas of Mohammad, even if they are aware those ideas call for extermination and subjugation of categories of people-such as Idolators, Jews and Crusaders?

To evade this most simple and basic question is to evade humanity's worst ever existential threat.

For if we agree to 'tie our tongues', we agree to turn into Apes and make this free world a planet of the Apes.

This worldwide Conflict now is at same stage when the residents of Mecca were told that a new creed amidst them called Islam expects them to behave.

Most that resisted were killed and those who refused to shut up would be marked and eliminated.

But one Charlie Hebdo in Mecca would remain defiant as this Terrorism keeps escalating and making most submit to its demands in return for peace.

His name was Kab bin Al Ashraf, a Satirical Poet.

September 624: Kab bin al-Ashraf

Kab b. al-Ashraf had a mixed ancestry. His father came from a nomadic Arab, but his mother was a Jewess from the powerful al-Nadr tribe in Medina. He lived as a member of his mother's tribe.

He heard about the Muslim victory at the battle of Badr, and he was disgusted, for he thought Muhammad the newcomer to Medina was a trouble-maker and divisive.

Kab had the gift of poetry, and after the Battle of Badr he traveled down to Mecca, apparently stopping by Badr, since it was near a major trade route to Mecca, witnessing the aftermath. Arriving in Mecca, he wrote a widely circulated poem, a hostile lament, over the dead of Mecca.

... At events like Badr you should weep and cry. The best of its people were slain round cisterns, Don't think it strange that the princes were left lying. How many noble handsome men, The refuge of the homeless were slain.

....................................

Some people whose anger pleases me say, "Kab b. al-Ashraf is utterly dejected." They are right. O that the earth when they were killed Had split asunder and engulfed its people, That he who spread the report had been thrust through Or lived cowering blind and deaf.

....................................

I was told that al-Harith ibn Hisham [a Meccan] Is doing well and gathering troops To visit Yathrib [pre-Islamic name of Medina] with armies, For only the noble, handsome man protects the loftiest reputation. (Translated by Guillaume, p. 365)

Pro-Muslim poets answered Kab's poem with ones of their own, and that was enough for his hosts in Mecca to turn him out. He returned to Medina, writing some amatory verses about Muslim women, a mistake compounded on a mistake, given the tense climate in Medina and Muhammad's victory at Badr. For example, right after the battle Muhammad assembled a Jewish tribe, the Qaynuqa, and warned them as follows: "O Jews, beware lest God bring upon you the vengeance that He brought upon Quraysh [large Meccan tribe at Badr], and become Muslims." ... In late spring (April-June) Muhammad then expelled the Jewish tribe.

Angered by the poems and now able to strike back after Badr and the exile, Muhammad had had enough. He asked, "Who would rid me of [Kab]?" Five Muslims volunteered, one of whom was Kab's foster-brother named Abu Naila. They informed him, "O apostle of God [Muhammad], we shall have to tell lies." He answered, "Say what you like, for you are free in the matter." They set upon a clever plan.

Abu Naila and another conspirator visited Kab, and they cited poetry together, the three appreciating the art, and chatted leisurely, so the two would not raise suspicions of their conspiracy. Then, after a long time, Abu-Naila lied just as he said he would. He said he was tired of Muhammad because "he was a very great trial for us." Muhammad provoked the hostility of the Arabs, and they were all in league against the Medinans. Abu Naila complained that the roads had become impassable and trade was hampered, so that their families were in want, privation, and great distress. Kab, in effect, said to his foster brother, "I told you so."

Then the foster-brother asked him for a loan of a camel load or two of food. Kab agreed, but only on the collateral of Abu-Naila's sons. The foster-brother refused, and Kab asked for his women, but he again refused. Finally, Abu Naila offered his and his conspirators' weapons. That arrangement provided the cover they needed to carry weapons right into Kab’s presence without alarm. Kab agreed, "Weapons are a good pledge."

The two visitors departed, stopped by the other three, and told them of the plan. Not long afterwards, gathering their weapons, they went to Muhammad, who sent them off with this wish: "Go in God's name; O God, help them." They set out under a moonlit night until they made it to a fortress, one of several that the Jewish tribe had built in the rough environment of Arabia. In fact, the ruin of the fortress where Kab resided can be seen even today near Medina. They called out to him.

Kab had recently married, and his wife, hearing their yells, said, "You are at war, and those who are at war do not go out at this hour ... I hear evil [or blood] in his voice." But the custom of hospitality in the Arab world was strong. Her husband told her that they were only his foster-brother and his foster-brother's partners, adding that "a generous man should respond to a call at night, even if invited to be killed." Kab came down and greeted them. Abu Naila suggested they go for a walk. The signal to kill was as follows: Abu Naila would run his hand through Kab's hair, complimenting him on his perfume, three times. This he did, yelling, "Smite the enemy of God!" Kab mounted a strong defense, so their swords were ineffective. Finally, one of the conspirators remembered his dagger, stabbed Kab in the belly, and then bore it down until it reached Kab's genitals, killing him.

They made it back to Muhammad, but only after difficulty, since in the dark they had wounded one of their own. They saluted the prophet as he stood praying, and he came out to them. They told him that the mission was accomplished. He spat on their comrade's wound, and they returned to their families. Their attack on Kab sent shock waves into the Jewish community, so that "there was no Jew in Medina who did not fear for his life," reports Ibn Ishaq.

Ibn Ishaq also clearly shows what they did with the five severed heads- they were brought to the presence of the Prophet amid frenzied howling of Allahu akbars.

Kab al ashraf went down to his death standing-

Some people whose anger pleases me say, "Kab b. al-Ashraf is utterly dejected." They are right. On that the earth when they were killed Had split asunder and engulfed its people, That he who spread the report had been thrust through Or lived cowering blind and deaf.

Are we all Charlie hebdos?

Je Suis Charlie or Je Suis Dhimmi?

That is the question History poses before humanity today and it must make its choice.

Its most powerful President is saying- there shall be no place in future for those who 'blaspheme' Islam and its prophet.

While its hit men reenact the grim and chilling acts of murder and mayhem of 7th century Mecca.

Would it be able to truly defy the Kalashnikovs and bombs to say what Charlie Hebdo's editor Charb Stephannier said loudly in Paris?

Or what Kab in al ashraf composed walking the terrorized streets of 7th century Mecca in defiance of swords of Islam?

"I would rather go down and die Standing, than kneel down and live?"

That Submission is what Islam means and humanity is intimated and coerced into in all this Political Correctness about Islam.

"That he who spread the report had been thrust through

Or lived cowering blind and deaf"

Blind to the menacing march of a triumphant Militant Islam and deaf to the warning voices against this totalitarianism and its approach of terror.

Dr Aron Aronite is a medical practitioner by profession and a spiritualist by tradition. Contact Aronite at aurolander@gmail.com


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A EULOGY TO AN INSPIRATION, JOAN PETERS

Posted by Israel Behind the News, January 08, 2015

The article below was written by David Bedein who is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist. In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies. Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. This article appeared January 08, 2015 on Israel Behind the News and is archived at
http://israelbehindthenews.com/eulogy-inspiration-joan-peters/12351/?utm_ source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ibn-today

Joan Peters died Monday night at her home in Chicago.

Her funeral will be on Thursday, January 8 at 10 AM at Anshe Emet, 3751 N. Broadway, in Chicago.

Joan was best known for her landmark book: "From Time Immemorial," published in 1984, which caused unprecedented heartache to detractors of Israel.

Joan's book was the first academic study published in the modern era which documented how the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, perpetuates the refugee status of Arabs who were displaced, or left voluntarily, during the War of Independence.

Today, as Joan predicted would happen, UNRWA has become an integral part of efforts to undermine Israel's standing in the eyes of the world and in its own eyes.

A 1984 review of Joan's book by Dr. Daniel Pipes analyzes the strength of her research:

"Making use of work done by Kemal Karpat in the Ottoman records, Miss Peters ascertains the non-Jewish population in 1893 of the area that would later form Palestine under the British Mandate. She then divides this area into three parts: one without Jewish settlement, one with light Jewish settlement, and one with heavy Jewish settlement. She compares the non-Jewish population of each of these parts in 1893 and 1947, on the eve of Israel's independence. In the area of no Jewish settlement, the non-Jewish population stood in 1893 at 337,200; in 1947 it was 730,000, a growth of 116 percent. In the area of light Jewish settlement, the non-Jewish population grew in the same period from 38,900 to 110,900 or 185 percent. Finally, in the area of heavy Jewish settlement, the non-Jewish population grew from 92,300 in 1893 to 462,000 in 1947—or 401 percent. From these figures Miss Peters concludes that "the Arab population appears to have increased in direct proportion to the Jewish presence."

Only a year after the publication of "From Time Immemorial", the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in December 1985 that rejected all efforts to require UNRWA to help Arab refugees engage in a process of resettlement and rehabilitation.

Joan Peters had written at the time that Mordecai Ben Porat, a minister in the Israeli government was asked by Israeli Prime Minister Begin to research ways to settle the Palestinian Arab refugees in humanitarian conditions. However, Ben Porat was indeed thwarted in his efforts by the UN resolution preventing their move to new quarters, as explained above and concluded in Ben Porat's book, Will there Always Be Refugees, often cited by Peters: "Preservation of the image of miserable, homeless, and penniless refugees has... ruled out any possibility of dealing with the issues...the funds initially intended to erase the refugee problem have become a powerful instrument intent on preserving this very problem.".

In an interview published in November, 2014 in the Sovereignty magazine, published in Jerusalem, Peters updated her scathing analysis of UNRWA

"UNRWA has been perpetrating fraud against the Jewish nation and against the world since they became the only 'refugee' organ solely dedicated to one group of the world's refugees. The Arab refugees, who really ran or were displaced during Israel's War of Independence, were a small group when compared to the world’s hundreds of millions displaced during wars and strife. The Arabs were also a much smaller actual number than the Jewish Arab-born refugees forced to flee from Arab countries. But the Arabs were counted over and over, going back and forth from the refugee camps. As American congressmen have attested, fraud was committed constantly, aided by the almost totally Arab staff in the UNRWA employ",

Now for a personal word.

Joan's work inspired a metamorphosis in my career, as a social worker and as a journalist.

Twenty seven years of professional devotion to UNRWA reform emanated from the inspiration that I received from Joan Peters, whom I interviewed in 1987.

Joan Peters should be credited in her passing as the pioneer who generated concern over the fact that a bona fide agency of the UNITED NATIONS – UNRWA – actually preserves the indignity of Arabs confined to refugee conditions for 66 years under the specious premise of the "right of return" to Arab villages that existed before 1948.

Many years ago, when Joan Peters was staying at the King David Hotel, I took my children to express appreciation to her for her courage.

My I express that appreciation now to Joan Peters, as she is laid to rest.

Contact Israel Behind the News at info@israelbehindthenews.com


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THE BDS MOVEMENT: AN EXERCISE IN THE POLITICS OF DELEGITIMAZATION

Posted by IAM, January 08, 2015

Editorial Note

Ever since 1948, Palestinian academics compared Israel to a colonial state and, later, to apartheid state of South Africa deserving of boycott. The theme was picked up by Uri Davis, a card-carrying member of Matzpen who immigrated to England in the 1970s.

Yet as hard as the Palestinians tried to make the case for apartheid and BDS it did not stick. The reason was simple: in the complex logic of academic discourse, Palestinian could not persuade the larger community that they were impartial analysts. Davis, the then virtually lone Jew, was considered too much of a political activist to make a credible argument. It probably did not help his credentials when he converted to Islam, married a Palestinian woman and joined the PLO.

Enter the post-Zionists. On faculty of respectable Israeli universities, they recycled the old Palestinian charges under the guise of New History, New Sociology or New Whatever.

Ilan Pappe is a case in point. Pappe, a member of the Communist party, has a history of radicalizing his own claims about the alleged Israeli atrocities committed by Israel in 1948. Even a perfunctory look at his books illustrates the trend; from a rather tepid recall of the 1948 war in his doctoral dissertation, Pappe has graduated to ethnic cleansing and, most recently, to "incremental genocide," quoted in the article below.

In spite of shoddy and highly politicized scholarship, Pappe is a fixture in the BDS circles, incessantly quoted and summarized. It is hardly accidental that Omar Barghouti starts his review of the BDS achievements in 2014 with a reference to the "prominent Israeli historian Pappe."

After more than a decade of such fawning references, Pappe is probably convinced that he is a "prominent" historian. Here is a simple test that Pappe should take; he needs to ask himself whether he would be considered "prominent" and constantly paraded if he were an Arab. The answer is a resounding No! After all, Pappe says the same things that many Palestinian and Arab scholars have said, but no one displays them all the time. The case of Benny Morris, is also pertinent here; as long as Morris was writing books supporting ethnic cleansing, he, too, was a hero to the BDS crowd, reverentially referred to as a "prominent historian." Once Morris had changed his political ideas and adjusted his texts accordingly, he was dropped like a hot potato by the BDS circles.

Pappe probably does not have enough humility to take the test. But if he does, he would find out that he is a trophy of the BDS movement.

2014: Shattering the Academic Boycott of Israel Taboo

Israel's massacre in Gaza during the summer was its worst to date against Palestinians under its occupation. Its barbaric siege and systematic denial of basic needs to the 1.8 million Palestinians in the world's largest prison camp, the Gaza Strip, has been described as "incremental genocide" by the prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and as collective punishment and a war crime by leading human rights organizations around the world

Israel's ethnic cleansing and state-enabled fanatic settlers' violence against the indigenous Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley and the Naqab (Negev) have reached an unprecedented intensity and criminality.

Israel's parliament has shed any mask of supposed democracy, revealing the true nature Israel's regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid like never before.

Yet, the BDS movement grew exponentially in 2014, and its growth in the academic field was no exception!

Here are some highlights of the academic boycott of Israel developments in 2014:

January: A BDS panel at the Modern Language Association was received by Israel and its lobby groups as another sign of the growth of BDS in mainstream academic circles in the U.S.

February: The New York Times Editorial Board condemned attempts in the New York Legislature to pass a bill that would bar state financing for academic groups that support the boycott of Israeli universities.

Dozens of leading Irish academics signed a pledge honoring the academic boycott of Israel until Palestinian rights are respected.

March: University of Massachusetts Boston faculty and staff sign a statement endorsing the academic boycott of Israel.

People's Books Co-op votes to join the BDS movement against Israel, instituting a consumer, cultural and academic boycott of the Israeli state.

Dundee University students adopt BDS-related motions by an overwhelming majority--72.6 percent of those who participated in the vote supported the motion.

A motion calling on the Students' Union of the National University of Galway (Ireland) to actively participate in the BDS movement passes by an almost 2 to 1 margin (1,954 to 1,054 votes) during a student referendum.

April: the student senate at the University of California at Riverside vote to support a resolution sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine calling on the university to pull its investments from US companies profiting from Israel's occupation.

Graduate students at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque pass a resolution which calls for the divestment from companies profiting from human rights violations in occupied Palestine and at the US-Mexico border.

May: Philosopher and activist Grace Lee Boggs and actor and activist Danny Glover sign a statement supporting the Palestinian call for the cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

In the UK, the National Union of Students (NUS) Black Students' Conference adopts a motion in support of BDS. The Black Students campaign "represents the largest constituency of Black students in Europe and students of African, Asian, Arab and Caribbean descent, at a local and national level on all issues affecting Black students."

In the autonomous region of Catalonia in the Spanish State, a campaign for academic boycott attracts the backing of over 800 academics, students and university staff. In addition, activists forced the Secretariat for Universities and Research in Catalonia to examine the campaigner's proposals aimed at ensuring the new deals for academic collaboration with Israel do not benefit institutions and companies that participate in Israel’s occupation.

In California, the student government of the University of California at Santa Cruz passes a divestment resolution against companies involved in the Israeli occupation, the fifth of nine campuses of the UC system to do so.

In Chicago, students at DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the US, pass a divestment resolution despite conditions of fear and intimidation from Zionist groups. Students voted (54% to 46%) in favor of a referendum calling for divestment from companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar for their complicity in Israel's violations of international law and Palestinian human rights.

In Connecticut, Wesleyan University students vote to support divestment from companies profiting from Israeli military occupation in Palestine.

In Florida, the University of South Florida chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine gathers an unprecedented 10,000 signatures for a petition calling for divestment. The petition is the largest student petition in Florida history.

June: An Israeli government-sponsored conference in occupied Jerusalem prioritizes fighting BDS as a strategic threat and threatens academics that are critical of Israel with "professional humiliation."

July: In what was hailed as a victory for the global boycott of Israel campaign, the Federal Court of Australia dismisses a case waged by an Israeli-based NGO to find Sydney academic Jake Lynch in breach of the country's anti-racism laws.

The African Literature Association (ALA) "endorses and will honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. It is also resolved that the ALA supports the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement."

The Critical Ethnic Studies Association in the US endorses the academic boycott of Israel.

The Student Association (VCASA) of the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne University, Australia) unanimously votes to become part of the BDS movement.

US librarians, archivists and information workers, stressing their "ethical obligation to speak out in the face of injustice," call on their peers "to boycott and divest from companies profiting from Israel's occupation and colonization of Palestine."

August: The national executive committee of the National Union of Students (UK), which represents 7 million students, adopts BDS.

1,200 University professors and researchers in Spain demand breaking academic ties with Israel.

A letter, signed by 327 Jewish Holocaust survivors and descendants of survivors, sponsored by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and published as an ad in the New York Times, condemned Israel's "massacre" in Gaza and called for a full boycott of Israel, including of its academic institutions.

A large group of employees, faculty members, PhD students and researchers of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), in The Hague, including 7 Prince Claus prize holders, call on the Dutch government to "officially implement boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel."

Institute of Women's Studies at Birzeit University calls on "all scholars of the world, all women's organizations, all who fight for freedom and justice to take a clear stand against this racist state's continuous war crimes, genocidal acts, and violent rape culture. ...Stand by resistance to the occupation, joining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) of these "academic institutions" ...

More than 250 philosophers and political theorists call for a boycott of Israel.

Over 100 Middle East Studies scholars and librarians call for the academic boycott of Israel.

September: African National Congress (ANC) members and leaders should not travel to Israel as the party is in solidarity with the people of Palestine, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe states, calling for a "cultural, academic and education boycott of Israel, including travel bans for members and leaders of the ANC, the alliance, members of Cabinet, Members of Parliament and government officials."

October: More than 1,000 anthropologists from around the world call for an academic boycott of Israel.

Several dozen Jewish Studies professors from universities and colleges in the United States and Canada condemnright-wing Zionist group's program of spying on students and academics that are critical of Israel.

The Indian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (InCACBI) campaign to cut ties of the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi with Israel.

New York Times best-selling author Junot Díaz, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and won the prestigious MacArthur "Genius Grant," endorses the United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).

November: A high profile delegation of South African academics, former anti-apartheid leaders, educators and activists after a visit to the occupied Palestinian territory call for BDS against Israel.

The Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA), a bi-national professional association, including peace and justice scholars, activists, and educators in the United States and Canada, joins the BDS movement.

A huge win for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual conference in Washington: Participating members vote overwhelmingly, by a majority of 265 against 79, to adopt a draft resolution defending their right to boycott Israeli academic institutions.

December: Despite a costly anti-BDS campaign, divestment organizers at UCLA celebrate a milestone victory for social justice with the passage of "A Resolution to Divest from Corporations Engaged in Violence against Palestinians." The resolution passed by an 8-2-2 margin. It was sponsored by 15 student organizations and endorsed by an additional 17, making for 32 total student groups in support of divestment. UCLA's vote marks the 6th student government out of 9 at the University of California campuses to have taken a majority vote in support of divestment from corporations that violate Palestinian human rights.

University of California graduate student-workers ratify UAW 2865's resolution to join the Palestinian-led BDS movement, setting a historic precedent. The landslide, 65%-35%, vote is the first time that the membership of any major union body in the US has taken a stand against more than six decades of complicity by U.S. governments, universities and top labor officials in Israeli apartheid.

Members of the American Anthropological Association overwhelmingly defeat a resolution opposing the academic boycott of Israel, proposed by Zionist groups. Out of 700 AAA members attending the session, only 52 supported the anti-BDS vote.

Contact IAM e-mail@israel-academia-monitor.com


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"ALWAYS MORE"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 08, 2015

I begin here with a correction: When I last shared news of the electoral campaign, I mentioned irregularities in the Likud primary. And I spoke about the fact that one candidate demanded a recount and came close to securing a reasonable slot on the list as a result. This was Tzipi Hotovely, pictured below. My brain was not working when I wrote, however, and I typed "Tzipi Livni" instead. Many readers caught this. I appreciate it, because it means my readers are paying attention. But I also appreciate that just about every single reader who wrote to me indicated that he/she knew it was an error and that I meant Hotovely.

irregularities

~~~~~~~~~~

And then a tribute to a very special lady, Joan Peters Caro, who passed away yesterday. Joan was a courageous journalist, devoted to truth, who wrote "From Time Immemorial," which documented poorly understood facts about the Jewish and Arab demography in the land in the years prior to and right after the founding of the modern State of Israel. Scrupulously researched, it is considered an indispensable resource by many who care about Israel as the Jewish state.

courageous

~~~~~~~~~~

Coming back to Tzipi Livni just briefly...Arutz Sheva says she claimed yesterday that she and Herzog would make Israel "popular" again – something she maintains Netanyahu could not do.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/189633#.VK7ipZv9nIU

This position, which I find deplorable, goes a long way to demonstrating what is wrong with the left.

It is several years ago, when she was foreign minister, that she gave a talk at a conference I attended. She explained that we "had to" give away Judea and Samaria in order to make the world happy, as this was important. I got up and walked out. Would do the same today, of course.

Our positions must be based on what is best for us, and we must stand up strongly for our rights, whether this makes the world "happy" or not.

What is more, her claim that Netanyahu is responsible for the "increasing isolation" that Israel is enduring is just plain wrong. The UN and the EU are horrendously one-sided, but around the world we are forging new relationships with some states, and strengthening our relationships with others. Read about our growing ties with India, for example, or Japan. And the very quiet cooperation with the more moderate Arab states (something that would have been impossible not so long ago). We are not increasingly isolated.

~~~~~~~~~~

On the other hand, I was not exactly ecstatic about a statement made by Netanyahu on Tuesday, either:

He says he is still in favor of a "two-state" solution, as he espoused it in his Bar Ilan speech of 2009, but the Palestinian Arabs have rendered this impossible: "I don't think withdrawing settlers is practical at the moment."

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-Elections/Netanyahu-says-unlikely-settlements-will-be-dismantled-if-elected-to-fourth-term-386887

~~~~~~~~~~

I know exactly what is happening, as it is fairly obvious on the face of it: Kerry is telling Netanyahu he will support Israel in international forums. But, as the US opposes unilateral actions by the PA because negotiations are the way for the Palestinian Arabs to secure a state, Israel must be willing to consider coming back to the table to negotiate that state.

And so, our prime minister is playing both sides. Yes, sure I'm for that state, he says for public consumption, but look, the PA has made it impossible for us to proceed.

He's certainly correct, that the PA has made negotiating impossible. This is what makes the position of leftists who call for us to negotiate a state now so ridiculous. But, it is time for our head of state to say that a Palestinian state is not the way to go, in any event, because of Jewish rights in the land. He should not be going on record, once again, for that “two state solution.”

~~~~~~~~~~

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Tuesday that the Palestinian Arabs will formally become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on April 1. What is more, the court's registrar said yesterday that jurisdiction would date back to June 13, 2014.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/us-palestinians-israel-un-idUSKBN0KG1JV20150107

This is something I do not understand: retroactive jurisdiction. Bringing jurisdiction back to the middle of June means possibly giving the PA the opportunity to level charges against Israel for her actions in the Gaza war. (There are still issues regarding jurisdiction of place – as Hamas and not the PA is in control in Gaza.)

~~~~~~~~~~

Meanwhile, the State Department has declared that the US does not believe Palestine qualifies as a sovereign state and doesn't recognize it as such and does not believe that it is eligible to accede to the Rome statute."

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=22659

~~~~~~~~~~

International lawyer Alan Baker, writing for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, agrees with the US position. He says that the Secretary General should have refused to accept the request of the PA because the Rome statute limits membership to states, and explains why "Palestine" is not a sovereign state.

Says Baker:

"...the acceptance by the Secretary General of the Palestinian request is legally flawed and was determined under false pretenses – 'false' because there exists no sovereign Palestinian state, and 'pretenses' because of the pretension by the Secretary General as if such a state exists when he is fully aware that there is no legal basis for this."

http://jcpa.org/un-approves-pa-icc/

~~~~~~~~~~

Senator Paul Rand (R-KY) yesterday introduced a bill that would immediately stop all US aid to the PA, until such time as the PA withdrew its application to the ICC. The bill is entitled, "Defend Israel by Defunding Palestinian Foreign Aid Act of 2015."

http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/08/rand-paul-launches-senate-bill-to-defund-palestinian-authority/

Love it! Let's see how many Republicans stand up now.

paul

~~~~~~~~~~

There is no one reading this who is not aware of the horrendous Islamist massacre that took place at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and I doubt there is anyone reading this who is not horrified and whose heart does not go out to those killed and their families.

The news reports yesterday spoke of the many tens of thousands who crowded the streets in Paris and elsewhere in France, as well as in other countries, showing solidarity with those slain ('Je suis Charlie"). It is in this report that I found just a little glimmer of hope: out on the streets, not in their homes, staring at the TV and clucking. Is the world just possibly beginning to wake up?

~~~~~~~~~~

Last I wrote, I spoke of the major snow storm predicted. I even included a lovely picture of snow falling. But a slight rise in temperatures changed that scenario here in Jerusalem. Chilling to the bone cold, but not cold enough. We had fierce weather, but it was pouring rain, and hail, and sleet. They’re talking about snow for tomorrow. We'll see...

chilling

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il And visit her website at www.arlenefromisrael.info


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FROM THE SHORES OF NOVA SCOTIA, ISRAEL'S FIRST SOLDIERS

Posted by Daily Alert, January 09, 2015

The article below was written by Rob Gordon who is a macroeconomist with a particular interest in unemployment, inflation, and both the long-run and cyclical aspects of labor productivity. He is the author of a textbook in intermediate macroeconomics, now in its 12th edition, and has completed a new book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, to be published by the Princeton University Press in December, 2015. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014 he was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association in recognition of a long career of outstanding contributions to scholarship, teaching, public service, and the economics profession. This article appeared January 05, 2015 on National Post and is archived at
http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/rob-gordon-from-the-shores-of- nova-scotia-israels-first-soldiers

The Fort Edward blockhouse in Windsor, Nova Scotia is one of the the oldest wooden fortifications still standing in North America. It played a major role in the Explusion of the Acadians in 1755, helped defend Nova Scotia in the War of 1812 and, in a truly odd twist of history, assisted in the creation of the State of Israel.

Fort Edward sits atop a wind-swept hill over looking the former mill town of Windsor. The town has bragging rights as the birthplace of ice hockey and hometown to some of the world's largest pumpkins.

But there is another less known boast; in the summer of 1917, Windsor was home to some of Israel's founding fathers and the place where the forerunner of the Israeli Defence Force was forged.

In the shadow of the blockhouse, hundreds of Jewish boys from New York, Montreal, Russia and Palestine first put on a uniform and learned how to handle a rifle. It was here that the Jewish Legion was formed up — one of the first all-Jewish military forces in modern times.

Although the legion trained in Canada, the soldiers where never part of the Canadian army. They were considered British imperial forces and came under British command.

Young recruit David Ben-Gurion arrived to train with the Jewish Legion on June 1, 1918. Like all the legion's recruits, Ben-Gurion was was paid 50 cents a day. The future first prime minister of Israel roughed in a bell tent and slept on the bare Nova Scotia earth.

"In this camp there are all types to be found among Jewish people, from the most lofty‐minded idealists and the highly educated to coarse and evil‐minded individuals, born criminals,"is how Ben-Gurion described his first impressions of the camp in a letter to his wife Paula just days after getting Nova Scotia.

One of Ben-Gurion's brothers-in-arms in Windsor was Ze'ev Jabotinsky, an ardent Zionist who was one of the co-founders of the Jewish Legion. Jabotinsky, like many of the legion soldiers, saw forming a Jewish military unit as essential to their dream of creating an Israel. While learning the ins and outs of military life in Nova Scotia in April 1918, soldier-poet Abraham Isserman wrote the following:

"A million more must follow:
You! Join in with the brave:
Or else their faith is hollow,
And Zion seeks her grave."

The coarse, the evil-minded and the lofty that Ben-Gurion trained with appear to have been well-treated by the local people of the Annapolis Valley town. One account in the local paper talks about the joyous celebration of the Jewish New Year in 1918 when 500 legionaries gathered at the Windsor opera for a kosher meal. On July 1, 1918 Windsor celebrated Dominion Day, the Jewish Legion was invited to take part but the soldiers wanted the "Jewish flag" to fly along side the Canadian and British flags.

"At first they didn't fly the Jewish flag, and our boys were going to refuse to take part in the parade. I went to the major and demanded that the Jewish flag be displayed as well, and at once he gave the order to fly the blue and white flag," Ben-Gurion wrote to his wife.

The 39th Battalion of the Windsor-based Jewish Legion was dispatched to fight the Turkish troops of the Ottoman Empire in June 1918. The legion fought in the Jordan Valley with the 39th Battalion, listing 23 dead. Many, many more were disabled or died because of malaria or other disease.

But the First World War was coming to a close and that meant the Jewish legion was be stood down by the British. Still the legion achieved what many of its members wanted; formally-trained, professional Jewish soldiers stationed in the Middle East. And many of the legion's former soldiers formed the backbone of Jewish defence teams protecting villages.

The rifle training, the marching in unison and the military mind-set learned at Fort Edward stuck with Ben-Gurion all his life. In 1996, a letter was discovered from the former prime minister of Israel to the mayor of Windsor describing the importance of what happened beneath Fort Edward in 1917-1918.

"In Windsor one of the great dreams of my life — to serve as a soldier in a Jewish Unit to fight for the liberation of Israel (as we always called Palestine) became a reality, and I will never forget Windsor, where I received my first training as a soldier, and where I became a corporal."

Today there is no mention of the Jewish Legion at Fort Edward. That should change, says Jon Goldberg of the Atlantic Jewish Council.

"Its important what happened there. Important for Canada, Nova Scotia and Israel," said Goldberg in an interview.

Goldberg had always heard rumours of the Jewish Legion, but only became fully aware of the unit and its Nova Scotia roots 15 years ago when he was shown a picture of the unit on parade at Fort Edward.

Parks Canada has studied the contribution of the Jewish legion to the history of the Fort Edward, but so far the tale of the corporal-turned-statesman, and the 1,100 Jews who joined him, hasn't been publicly etched into the fort's official history. Perhaps that will soon change.

The Daily Alert is sponsored by Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and prepared by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA). To subscribe to their free daily alerts, send an email to daily@www.dailyalert.jcpa.org


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FOUR PARIS KOSHER GROCERY HOSTAGES KILLED, ALL TERRORISTS DEAD

Posted by Ted Belman, January 09, 2015

The article below was written by Hana Levi Julian who is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism. This article appeared January 09, 2015 on Israpundit and is archived at
http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63603786?utm_source=phplist2138&utm_medium =email&utm_content=HTML&utm_campaign=FOUR+JEWISH+HOSTAGES+KILLED

Double hostage siege in Paris ends with 3 male Al Qaeda terrorists dead and at least 15 hostages free; four were killed in the kosher grocery attack.

supermarket
Hyper Kacher kosher supermarket in Paris. Photo Credit: Screenshot

As many as 15 to 20 hostages taken captive at the Hyper Kacher kosher grocery by a member of a homegrown Al Qaeda terror cell were freed, just as the sun was setting Friday evening at the start of the holy Jewish Sabbath. Tragically, four were murdered at the start of the terror attack before police were able to rescue them.

Although the terrible saga has now ended, the Association of Paris Rabbis warned members of the Jewish community to remain home and stay off the streets this Shabbat (Sabbath) because the streets are not safe in this "city still on edge." Shops in La Marais have been ordered shut for now.

French police stormed the grocery a few minutes after special forces carried out a similar operation in a location on the other side of Paris against Said and Cherif Koachi. The two terrorist brothers came out with AK-47s blazing as special forces stormed the print warehouse where they were holed up in Dammartin-en-Goele, near Charles De Gaulle airport. Both were killed in the shootout. Said was trained in Syria and Yemen by Al Qaeda in the Arabic Peninsula (AQAP) and American Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki; he led the local terror cell.

Police chose to attack after the terrorists had been awake for at least 48 hours, when their reflexes were dulled and they were suffering from the effects of severe sleep deprivation. Detonating charges set around the perimeter of the building, they began their attack with explosions and gunfire.

Kouachi brothers' co-terrorist Amedy Coulibali likewise found himself under siege by police after holding shoppers hostage for hours at a kosher grocery and finally threatening to kill his captives if his "jihadi brethren" were attacked. His hostages were freed as the last blush of the sun's rays lit the horizon to begin the Jewish Sabbath.

Ambulances on the scene gathered the injured and traumatized hostages and sped away to hospitals.

Coulibali's girlfriend and the fourth member of the terror cell, Hayat Boumeddienne, was apparently not present in the grocery attack as was reported earlier, according to media reports, although she was involved in the murder of a policewoman in Paris on Thursday. Boumeddienne escaped and was still at large by nightfall in Paris.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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BALAAM NEEDS A GOOD PR REP

Posted by Ted Roberts, January 09, 2015

I don't have a degree from the Harvard Divinity School nor am I a graduate of the Yeshiva. I did go to Hebrew school for six years and I've thought long and hard about our Chumash. I've even read it – yes, every word – more than once and I've come to the conclusion that there is one seminal message besides the obvious one that our G-d is all powerful; He monitors and judges our behavior. I'd like to add that he rewards good and punishes evil, but I see so many exceptions to that rubric that I concede it may only happen in the world to come – over the horizon of time.

But the other theme that pervades the Holy text is the imperfections of our ancestors. Strange. The Creator of man seems to be saying that every man's heart is streaked with evil. There are few perfect players in the Great play. Oddly enough, one is a Moabite – Ruth – a lady of impeccable behavior. A Moabite! One of Israel's traditional enemies. And the grandmother, no less, of David. The Chumash, as usual – regardless of political correctness – speaks truth – a Moabite in the lineage of our Mosiach!

There's another Moabite in the Chumash who, contrary to Ruth, gets a very bad press. It is Balaam, son of Peor, who is at least once in our Chumash is called a sorcerer. Not a nice occupation unless you want to be stoned to death. But that's only the beginning. He clearly is a marked man. First ridiculed, then insulted, then killed. But his misbehavior is hard to uncover. In short, he is summoned by the envoys of Balak – leader of the Moabites – who must face the Israelites in battle. Balaam's mission: curse the Israelites. The sorcerer, after consulting with G-d, turns them down. Refuses their fee. All Balak wants is for Balaam, whose reputation as a sorcerer is evidently first class, to curse the Israelite host. Balaam – faultless Balaam – says, no way "though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold". The envoys report their rejection to Balak, a king who is used to having his way. He sends a second, higher-level crew to recruit Balaam. Obedient Balaam again goes to G-d. And the Lord tells the sorcerer - who's between a rock and a hard place - go with them but only speak what I tell you.

Mystery of mysteries: The next chapter begins with "God's anger was aroused because he went".

But G-d just told him to go!! Puzzling.

And now we encounter the additional enigma of the talking donkey – a story known to all first year kindergarten kids. Balaam mounts his donkey and sets out to join Balak. But an angel of the Lord blocks their way. The animal sees him and skids to a stop. Balaam, oblivious to the donkey's vision, whips him - evidently Balaam is an animal abuser, too – whereupon the creature pleads his case and reminds his master of his years of faithful service. Finally, the Lord (doubtlessly feeling sorry for Balaam's faithful creature who has angelic vision) opens the sorcerer's eyes to the angel. At last he understands and profusely apologizes for his astigmatism.

He reports to Balak (who, remember has houses of gold and silver). "Curse the Israelites!" cries Balak. Balaam – ever G-d-fearing – consults again with his Heavenly Master. Instead, he is instructed to bless the Israelite host and we go through this scenario three times. And each time the prophet (or sorcerer, depending on your viewpoint) consults with His Majesty, in heaven, who basically goes along with the instruction; I will bless those that bless thee and curse those that curse thee.

Balaam, at the mercy of blood-thirsty Balak, defies him and blesses Israel. Incidentally, upon looking down on the Israelite encampment, Balaam blesses them with the well-known prayer: "How goodly are thy tents O Israel". Other references to the maligned prophet seem to twist circumstances – Balaam wants to curse Israel, say some commentators – G-d says no. I, the veteran of six years of Hebrew School, don't read it that way. Evidently, the biblical author has it in for Balaam – and there is a one-sentence illusion to his misdeeds at Peor.

A strange story. Balaam, who eventually follows G-d's wishes, is condemned. And comes in second to a four-footed, braying beast who can see angels while his master cannot. For some reason he is not exactly a hero in the eyes of Jewish history. I don't get it. It may be because he was a sorcerer – a blasphemous profession. Or maybe because he is an ally to the Moabite – but so was Ruth. Something rings hollow about the whole story; talking donkeys, Balaam's profession. When I get my degree from the Yeshiva I'll tell you the real story. In the meantime go to Numbers 22. What do you think?

A HERETICAL VIEW OF TISHA B'AV

Let's take a long, hard look at historical reality. Those ex-slaves called Israelites have escaped their Egyptian prison. And for the first time - like your six year old toddled off to school alone – in a strange, new world - they wandered eventually into Canaan, a land full of pagan playmates.

The Almighty, who can see beyond the curve of the horizon of time, sees the temptations and snares set by the Amalakites, Jebusites, Amorites, and Philistines to entrap his people. He lectures Israel, his young one, incessantly. He seeks to impress them with his power. He splits oceans, he creates a constitution that we call the Chumash - he uses pillars of fire and smoke to guide them through this sandy deathtrap. He incessantly warns them to stay away from the idol worshiping heathens of the arid wilderness. He obsesses on loyalty because he is a G-d of morality, while the gods of this new world have no interest in crime and punishment, mercy and justice, mitzvot and goodness.

So what do our primitive ancestors do the first time Father Moses leaves them unattended? Exactly what the mighty G-d of miracles forbade - they build, and worship with abandon, two golden bulls. Just like their pagan neighbors. Totally oblivious to miracles and sermons, they worship their inanimate idols. G-d must have done a divine double take as he glared down from his mountaintop. So much for loyalty. Well, good thing I sent Moshe with Torah, He's thinking. But maybe it should have been ten books. These people need rules.

Sad to say, our misbehavior continued. We continued to barbecue beasts like our neighbors. Prayer? Unheard of. Beneficial deeds? Who cares. We continue to barbecue so our G-d may enjoy the fragrance. Our Creator's nightmare comes true. We worship randomly and indiscriminately. Dumb and dumber, we send scent and smoke heavenward just like the Joneses next door. Eventually, all this mimicry culminates in the Temple, which I've been trying to get to for two pages. The Temple is a giant butcher shop - a racket for the Levites and a cloud on our history that almost smothers the real Judaism.

Obviously, we can't glory in its destruction since Jerusalem, too, suffered and there was terrible loss of life both in the Babylonian and Roman destructions.

But as our sages say, the fall of a great Oak permits sunlight to nourish a thousand new seedlings on the forest floor. Destruction often clears the ground for follow-on cultural new growth.

The leveling of the Temple took Judaism out of the hands of priests and Levites and put it in our hearts, put it in our home, gave a role to our women. And over hundreds of years we - along with other religions - dropped the sacrificial concept.

High places, sacred groves, granite alters lost their magic. Deeds and morality overturned sacrifice. Who needed a temple? For this invisible G-d - is and was a warmth in your heart. Indestructible, never to be destroyed. Let us worship Him instead of feeding him livestock. Our prophets chorus this from 700 BC on.

And who knew - certainly history doesn't comment - but the watching world - seeing our Temple in flames but Judaism, still alive - learned the same lesson. So, maybe there's a bright side to Tisha B'Av.

Sometimes in the study of history we need to reexamine events and institutions that have been acceptable for millennia of dull tradition - not logic, but tradition. Tisha B'Av reminds me that one of those icons is our Temple. From what we read in the Talmud and Chumash, it was the heartbeat of Judaism. Really? An abbatoir drenched in the blood of victims - a government employment office for Cohans and Levites. And a shameful identification with the customs of our heathen Canaanite neighbors - maybe not quite as bad. A lamb took the place of your newborn infant. And we disclaimed sexual activity to spur crop and livestock propagation. Yes, we had the good taste to eliminate that. So, let's not be too hard on our forbears. But basically our Temple was little more than an elaboration of our neighbor's primitive habits of worship. Exactly what our invisible, morally-obsessed G-d in the Chumash told us to avoid.

It was based on the oldest superstition in the world - Jewish or non Jewish. Before you sip your wine, spill a bit on the ground from whence it came. The gods of fire, earth, wind, and sun and fertility need a little graft - a small donation or they'd never give us more wine or rib steak or lamb chops or bread. The gods must be appeased. Furthermore, insisted the heathens, you needed children to help you work the land, so on occasion you'd murder one of them as the ultimate sacrifice. Such were the beliefs of mankind 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Don't open a new business on Tisha B'Av - the 9th day of Av. Nothing good has ever happened on the 9th of Av. On 566 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar leveled Solomon's Temple - on 9 Av 70 AD the Romans destroyed the second Temple. And for goodness sake don't get married on the 9th of Av, either, for obvious reasons. I joke. But it was a fateful date - a date drowned in Jewish bloodshed. For that we should mourn.

Dr. Ted Roberts is the founder of Pure Desire Ministries International and was the senior pastor of East Hill Church in Gresham, Oregon. Contact Roberts at te11@hiwaay.net


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ONCE AGAIN, BRANDEIS STUDENTS MASTER SELECTIVE OUTRAGE

Posted by Joan Swirsky, January 09, 2015

The article below was written by Daniel Mael who is a senior at Brandeis University and writes for TruthRevolt.org and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. This article appeared January 08, 2015 on Time Magazine and is archived at http://time.com/3660475/brandeis-free-speech -selective-outrage/

On December 20, like other Americans, I was shocked when I heard about the horrific murders of NYPD Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. There was a clear consensus across the country that their execution-style murders were barbaric and grotesque. That night, however, Brandeis student leader Khadijah Lynch tweeted, "I have no sympathy for the NYPD officers who were murdered today" and "LMAO, all I just really don't have sympathy for the cops who were shot. I hate this racist, f...ing country."

Lynch, a Brandeis junior, was an undergraduate representative for the African and Afro-American studies department. As a student journalist who frequently writes about the culture wars on campus, I knew her comments were newsworthy. Here was a student leader at a well-known American university publicly condoning cold-blooded murder. So I wrote a short blog post highlighting Lynch's public comments. These pieces usually generate a local response, but this post went viral.

This was not Lynch's first bigoted tweet. In previous tweets since deleted, she has described Brandeis as "a social themed institution grounded in Zionism. Word. That a f...ing fanny dooly." And she cannot understand why "black people have not burned this country down..." She describes herself as “in riot mode. F... this f...ing country."

After my story was posted, online commenters, both anonymous and identifiable, made morally repugnant and offensive remarks about Lynch. Some even made death threats. I immediately condemned these sentiments. A journalist does not control how others react to a story he writes.

Now, however, I am the subject of a nasty and menacing campus backlash. "Kill the messenger" appears to be the "in thing" on the Brandeis campus. Students rallied to have me disciplined. Why? Because I reported a story worthy of public attention.

Threats of violence against me have been made and a group of students demanded in an email that the Brandeis administration hold me "accountable for [my] actions" and kick me out of school just one semester shy of graduation. I was also accused of "stalking" Lynch by reporting her public tweets and thereby defaming her character because of comments made by others. The university administration sent me an email instructing me "to have no contact with...in any way, shape or form" the student who sent that email. That contact ban has since been lifted. As far as I know, I have never spoken to this student in my time at Brandeis and would fail to pick him out of a police lineup. But if I were by chance to be in a room with this student, I could potentially face trouble in Brandeis's student judicial system, as "[a]ny alleged violation(s) of these conditions should be reported to the Dean of Students Office."

In addition, the Brandeis Asian American Student Association went so far as to state that they took "no official stance on the opinions that Khadijah has expressed" but that they stood "in solidarity with" her – even though one of the murdered Brooklyn police officers was Asian. One student even wildly claimed that I supported the threats made against Lynch.

A Brandeis official called Lynch's comments "hurtful and disrespectful." She resigned from her position in the African and Afro-American studies department. When I contacted Lynch for a comment about her tweets, she tweeted, "I need to get my gun license. Asap." That tweet has also been deleted. I have now been accused of being a racist and being in bed with white supremacists since I made Lynch's public tweets more public.

In my meeting with the Brandeis public safety officials to discuss the threats made against me, I was told that I should consider changing my dorm room, and that it is a reasonable expectation that my car would be vandalized. They also recommended that I purchase mace at the local Walmart.

Violent hatred directed toward any innocent is wrong—whether it is at student leaders at a university, police officers patrolling the streets, or student journalists doing their job. That many Brandeis students exhibit selective outrage and are willing to extol the virtues of free speech, but only when that speech confirms their preconceived biases, illustrates their hypocrisy in claiming to care about "civil rights." Indeed, and sadly so, the Brandeis student body provided a louder defense of Lynch's right to condone the murder of New York City police officers, and her hatred of America, than my right to report on it.

It is the threat of violence, expulsion, and attack for voicing your views that keeps tyrants in power—as Wednesday's attack on satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo illustrates. The very marker of liberal societies is the ability to speak freely and openly regardless of who may be offended. There is no room for intimidation in the modern university, and campuses must aim to fulfill this ambition.

In a column about this incident, Alan Dershowitz wrote, "So welcome to the topsy-turvy world of the academic hard left, where bigoted speech by fellow hard leftists is protected, but counter expression is labeled as 'harassment,' 'incitement,' and 'bullying.' Imagine how different the reaction of these same radical students would be if a white supporter of the KKK had written comparably incendiary tweets."

Regardless of political ideology, it is imperative that Brandeis community members unite to reject the calls for violence or physical harm with the same fervor that we demand freedom of speech. In doing so we can help shape a better future for our community and America at large. It is our rule of law that ensures our freedom of expression and enables us to envision a more positive path forward.

Joan Swirsky has been a longtime health-and-science and feature writer for The New York Times Long Island section and the recipient of seven Long Island Press Awards. She was a science writer for The Women's Record, writing over 175 articles on the issue of breast cancer on Long Island, publicly acknowledged as driving two redesigns of the New York State Study on breast cancer and as the first journalist in America to put the breast cancer-environment relationship "on the map" of public consciousness.


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ISRAEL'S SPLENDID ISOLATION

Posted by Joan Swirsky, January 09, 2015

However, the demise of the USSR (which facilitated the 1991 revocation of the USSR-sponsored "Zionism is Racism"), the affirmation of the USA as the dominant super power, the upgraded US-Israel mutually-beneficial cooperation, and the emergence of Israel as a global commercial and military high tech power, have enhanced Israel's global standing, dramatically expanding Israel's global networking, beyond Europe, into India, China, Russia, the former Muslim Republics of the USSR, Latin America, all irrespective of diplomatic setbacks

The article below was written by Yoram Ettinger who is an editor and consultant who lives in Jerusalem. This article appeared January 12, 2015 on Kings Calendar.com and is archived at http://www.kingscalendar.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=viewnews&id=1694

Notwithstanding the conventional claim that Israel is increasingly isolated, the multinational accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers determined that 2014 was a record year of overseas investments in Israel's high-tech industries: $15bn in acquisitions of 52 Israeli startups (compared to $7.6bn in 2013), in addition to $9.8bn raised by 18 Israeli companies in overseas stock exchanges (compared to $1.2bn in 2013). Once again, Israel's impact on global medicine, health, agriculture, irrigation, energy alternatives, science, cyber, homeland security and defense, as well as Wall Street, supersedes the impact of Gaza Strip.

But, Israel is increasingly isolated...

Since 1948, a recycled assumption has maintained (e.g., the 1975 "Zionism is racism" UN resolution) that an anti-Israel global Tsunami is about to smother the Jewish State, triggering unprecedented isolation, the collapse of its international standing and the breakdown of its ties with the US, unless it committed itself -- in the unpredictable, unstable, violent Middle East - to re-dividing Jerusalem, uprooting over 500,000 Jewish settlers, and retreating to a 9-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, which is dominated by the mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria.

However, the demise of the USSR (which facilitated the 1991 revocation of the USSR-sponsored "Zionism is Racism"), the affirmation of the USA as the dominant super power, the upgraded US-Israel mutually-beneficial cooperation, and the emergence of Israel as a global commercial and military high tech power, have enhanced Israel's global standing, dramatically expanding Israel's global networking, beyond Europe, into India, China, Russia, the former Muslim Republics of the USSR, Latin America, all irrespective of diplomatic setbacks.

Thus, the Israel-India trade balance catapulted from $200mn in 1992 (following the 1991 establishment of diplomatic ties) to $5bn in 2014. According to the January 3, 2015 issue of the London-based Qatari daily, Al Araby al Jadid, the substantial improvement in the attitudes of Africa and India toward Israel reflects their growing benefits from Israel's advanced civilian and military technologies. "The shift in India's position will have an impact on the behaviour of other countries. Technology has also played a key role in the development of relations between Israel and China, which is interested in Israel's advanced technology to boost its economic capability, especially in industry and agriculture.... Israel's advanced technology developments have boosted its diplomatic ties and enhanced its security." According to Bloomberg, Israeli exports to Asia have soared significantly, from 13% in 2000 to 23% in 2014, equaling exports to the USA.

But, Israel is increasingly isolated...

The Israel-China trade balance has surged from $51mn in 1992 to almost $11bn in 2013, with China rising to Israel's second top export destination. Free trade agreement negotiations will be launched in 2015. The December 14, 2014 issue of the Wall Street Journal reported that China has joined the US, European and Russian investors, regularly visiting Israel's high tech parks in their search for companies, startups and investments. The giant Chinese insurance group, Ping An Insurance -- which has already invested in eight Israeli startups - considers the US and Israel as the two key arenas for venture investments. In 2011, ChemChina acquired Israel's Adama, a pesticides manufacturer, for $2.4 bn. In 2013, China's Fosun Pharma acquired Israel's Alma Lasers for $240mn. In 2014, China's Bright Food Group acquired a majority stake in Israel's Tnuva Food Industries for $960mn.

But, Israel is increasingly isolated...

The Israel-South Korea trade balance increased from $50mn in 1987 to $2.5bn in 2014, highlighting the surging commercial and military ties, featuring the global giant, Samsung Electronics and its two research and development centers in Israel, and additional global South Korean companies such as Hyundai Corp., Daewoo International, Posco Engineering, LG Electronics, Korea Aerospace Industries, Huneed, Firstec, KIA Motors, etc. Japanese companies are, gradually, venturing into Israel; and Singapore-based funds have invested in Israel's high tech, as demonstrated by Broad Peak Master Fund, which led a $15mn round of private placement in the Israel-Singapore Trax Technology. The Australia-based Allflex, the worldwide market leader in animal identification products, acquired the livestock monitoring and intelligent milking solutions Israeli company, SCR Engineers Ltd., for $250mn.

But, Israel is increasingly isolated...

Israel has substantially expanded its commercial and military ties with the former Muslim Republics of the USSR, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan. According to the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, "over the last twenty years, the ties between Israel and Azerbaijan have improved drastically." Israel receives reliable oil supplies from Azerbaijan, while supplying Azerbaijan with advanced weapon systems (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicles), counter-terrorism systems and training, vital intelligence on Islamic terrorism and medical, irrigation, agricultural and cyber technologies.

But, Israel is increasingly isolated...

Bloomberg reported on December 9, 2014 that the European Union signaled interest in a possible pipeline to import Israeli offshore natural gas via Cyprus and Greece, in order to reduce reliance on Russia. However, there is another option of exporting Israeli offshore natural gas through Turkey, which has been a vicious critic of Israel, while expanding it trade balance with the Jewish State: $5bn in 2014, compared to $3.4bn in 2009. The harsh British talk toward Israel is contrasted by the British walk: a 28% and 38% increase of the trade balance Israeli export in 2014 over 2013.

But, Israel is increasingly isolated... Or, not.


Joan Swirsky has been a longtime health-and-science and feature writer for The New York Times Long Island section and the recipient of seven Long Island Press Awards. She was a science writer for The Women's Record, writing over 175 articles on the issue of breast cancer on Long Island, publicly acknowledged as driving two redesigns of the New York State Study on breast cancer and as the first journalist in America to put the breast cancer-environment relationship "on the map" of public consciousness


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AMERICAN JEWISH GUILT, FROM ROOSEVELT TO OBAMA

Posted by Ira Silverman, January 10, 2015

Bad night. Couldn't sleep. "Every single French Jew I know has left Paris": Editor of Britain's Jewish Chronicle claims people are fleeing terror-hit French capital. And from Chief Rabbi of France: Flood of exodus to Israel, UK, other parts of Europe, and North America.

A once 500,000 French Jewish community, at those numbers 10% of French Islam, unassimilated, held in separate communities, no-go Zones, where police are afraid to go for fear of getting shot like in Ferguson Missouri when the communist whites link up with the Black Panthers to kill whitey and cops.

So it's now 400,000 French Jews and sinking fast. Quite the contrast to 1930s when the world knew death to Jews was coming but didn't give a damn and the American Jewish world from reform to hasidic cowered in fear and were afraid to blast Roosevelt for his closet anti-Semitism for he had an election in 1940 to worry about and isolationism was strong and no matter how many Kristallnachts occurred he was going to get reelected.

Shows the importance of Israel which was not then. Today happens to be the first parsha of Exodus to be read. Never forget that in the war years and beyond until after the Vietnam War days, large elements of the Democrat Party were international and anti-Communist and devoted to Israel's survival, but over the last say post-Reagan years the Democrat Party has gone so far to the left with George Soros money and Tides Foundation and Kerry's wife and now Obama who loves Islam and hates Israel and the pathetic American Rabbi and Jew is a disgrace afraid to cut the cord and finally say, TO HELL WITH THE DEMOCRAT PARTY THAT LIVES ON THE BASIS OF TACIT SUPPORT FOR ISLAMIC TERROR TO DESTROY JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY BOTH.

Contact Ira Silverman at ira62@optonline.net


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CHRISTIANS BURNED ALIVE: MUSLIM PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS, NOVEMBER 2014

Posted by Raymond Ibrahim, January 10, 2015

Both in the Islamic world and the Western world, Muslims continued to attack and slaughter Christians.

In Pakistan, "A mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily, according to family members who witnessed the attack," reported NBC News:

Sajjad Maseeh, 27, and his wife Shama Bibi, 24, were set upon by at least 1,200 people after rumors circulated that they had burned verses from the Quran, family spokesman Javed Maseeh told NBC News via telephone late Thursday. Their legs were also broken so they couldn't run away.

"They picked them up by their arms and legs and held them over the brick furnace until their clothes caught fire," he said. "And then they threw them inside the furnace."

Bibi, a mother of four who was four months pregnant, was wearing an outfit that initially didn't burn, according to Javed Maseeh. The mob removed her from over the kiln and wrapped her up in cotton to make sure the garments would be set alight.

Discussing this latest atrocity against Pakistan's Christian minorities, an AFP report states:

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in the majority Muslim country, with even unproven allegations often prompting mob violence.

Anyone convicted, or even just accused, of insulting Islam, risks a violent and bloody death at the hands of vigilantes.

A Christian woman [Asia Bibi] has been on death row since November 2010 after she was found guilty of making derogatory remarks about the Prophet Mohammed during an argument with a Muslim woman.

An elderly British man with severe mental illness, sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan in January, was shot by a prison guard last month.

Two days after the Christian couple were burned alive, a policeman in Pakistan hacked a man to death for allegedly making blasphemous remarks against Islam.

lynch
Shama Bibi (left) and Sajjad Maseeh, a Christian couple and parents of four children, were burned to death by a Muslim lynch mob in Pakistan because of a false blasphemy accusation. Shama was also 4-months pregnant.

Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti, President of the Pakistan Christian Congress,wrote a letter to U.S. President Obama expressing surprise that the U.S. did not even bother to condemn the crime against the murdered Christian couple:

It is surprising that neither US Administration under your honor nor US State Department even bothered to condemn this horrific crime of burning live of Christian couple by a mob living in country named Islamic Republic of Pakistan which is receiving billions of aid of US taxpayers.

I would appeal your honor to put pressure on government of Pakistan to end misuse of blasphemy laws against Christian, Ahamadiyyia and other religious minorities and condition US Aid to Pakistan on human rights and repeal of blasphemy laws.

Meanwhile, in America itself, in Oklahoma, Jimmy Stepney, a Muslim, stabbed Jerome Bullock, a Christian, after Stepney had said that Muslims need to "step up" beheadings. According to Koco5 News:

The [police] report went on to say Stepney had been making comments about beheading people.

"We were watching the news," said Bullock. "He said he felt like more Muslims need to step up to the plate and do certain thing. He was talking about beheading people."

The severity of the plight of Christians in the Middle East was further underscored by Dr. Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, who wrote:

Russia is currently considering the possibility of initiating a draft decision of the UN Human Rights Council on the protection of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa. Russian experts are now working on this document.[...]

The scale of the problems demands the coordination of international efforts to protect Christians in the Middle East.

Further initiatives, new measures and relevant discussions aimed at finding durable solutions in this regard are strongly needed. Of course, we believe that Europe, including the UK, should make its contribution to these efforts, taking into account the Christian roots of the European civilization, which are now often forgotten for the sake of political correctness.[...]

The fate of the region's religious minorities is of the greatest concern. The mass exodus of Christians, who have been an integral part of the Middle Eastern mosaic for centuries, is particularly troubling.

The rest of November's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Bangladesh: Two Christian pastors from the Faith Bible Church of God were arrested for preaching the Gospel to Muslims. They could face two years in prison if convicted for "hurting religious sentiments" and luring Muslims to convert by offering them money. The pastors deny both charges. Police arrested the pastors and 41 other people, including Muslims, after a throng of Muslims disrupted a house meeting. According to a witness: "More than 100 Muslims headed by local Jamaat-e-Islami party members and Muslim clerics gathered at the house and started barking questions at the pastors—why did they propagate Christianity in the locality and convert some of them," and who gave them permission to preach to Muslims. "The pastors replied that it did not take any permission from any authority to propagate any religion and convert people to any religion. Suddenly the Muslims became apoplectic with rage, tried to pick a fight and started jabbing the pastors' faces."

Egypt: Father Timothy Shakar, priest of St. Mina Church in Port Said, confirmed that two homemade bombs were planted near the St. Mina Church but caused no injuries, or losses of life or property. Police searched other churches in the region for more bombs.

Germany: Nine men who had earlier broken into, vandalized, and robbed several Christian churches in the Cologne area—including by stealing money from the collection boxes and liturgical vessels—were caught during a massive raid. Apparently, all of the arrested are German by nationality, but Muslim by background and heritage. Some were also identified as "Salafis"—especially fundamentalist Muslims—connected to international terrorist organizations. Some had even raised hundreds of thousands of Euros from native (and naive) Germans to support overseas "charities," the proceeds of which actually went to terrorist groups such as ISIS.

Iraq: As cries of "Allahu Akbar" emanated from surrounding mosques, Islamic State militants blew up yet another Christian church — St. George's Church and its associated nunnery in the city of Mosul — along with other non-Sunni sites. Separately, after breaking the cross from off the dome of the St. Ephrem Church dome (before and after pictures here) and selling its pews and other furnishings, IS transformed the church into a mosque and council seat for the jihadis.

East Jerusalem: Despite constant and ever bolder attacks on a church, police refuse to respond to pleas for help from the Christian congregation. According to Morning Star News, "The attacks, driven by both intent to seize property and opposition to Christianity, have been mounted by young men with ties to Palestinian militants who for more than three months have been trying to force Living Bread Church from its rented building. Church pastor Karen Dunham and others have filed at least eight police reports about the assaults." The most recent incident took place on November 5, when the gas tank of a car owned by a church volunteer was filled with sugar. On November 2, a car owned by one of the pastor's relatives was stolen. And on October 16, three American Christians were injured while trying to repair a metal security door: A crowd of Palestinian men attacked them with box cutters, sticks, clubs and pepper spray. According to the church's attorney, authorities "have their [the assailants'] pictures, they have their names, they even have their national ID numbers, and still they do nothing... The level of brute force compared to the level of lack of response of the police force there is pretty shocking... It almost seems like if someone is going to go in and murder her [Dunham], that no one is going to lift a finger."

Malaysia: Approximately 70 local residents in Petaling Jaya protested the construction of a church. They claimed the growing number of Christian places of worship in the area is part of an attempt to evangelize and convert Muslims to Christianity. An NGO, the local branch of Pertubuhan Sahabat, supported the claims of the Muslims. They argued that there are three churches in the vicinity, although close to 70 percent of the residents in the area are Muslims. According to a spokesman, "Even before the church is built, flyers on Christianity have been distributed to our homes, and this could confuse our children and divert them from the path of Islam." The vacant plot was previously occupied by squatters, a car park and several food stalls. Another local Muslim added "None of our neighbours are Christians, we can vouch for that...it is an insult to Muslims to allow a church to be built here, but none of our representatives seem to have the time to listen to us.' One demonstrator hurled large rocks at the temporary steel fence around the vacant plot.

JIHADI SLAUGHTER OF CHRISTIANS

Kenya: Members of neighboring Somalia's Islamic group Al Shabaab—"the Youth"—hijacked a bus carrying 60 passengers in the town of Mandera, near Kenya's border with Somalia. They singled out and massacred 28 non-Muslims, the overwhelming majority of whom were Christian. According to an eyewitness, "When we got down, passengers were separated according to Somali and non-Somali. The non-Somalis were ordered to read some verses of the holy Koran, and those who failed to read were ordered to lie down. One by one they were shot in the head at point blank range."

Nigeria: On November 10, a suicide bomb attack on a Christian secondary school as students gathered for morning assembly killed at least 47 people. The Islamic group Boko Haram—meaning: "Western education is forbidden"—is believed to be behind the blast. In a separate incident, Christians from the predominantly Christian city of Mubi in Adamawa state were tortured and killed after Boko Haram took control of the town. Churches and homes were torched throughout the city, which was renamed Madinat al-Islam, or "the City of Islam." In yet another separate incident, Boko Haram militants raided the mostly Christian town of Shani. According to a resident speaking to Reuters, "They rode on motorcycles and were more than 30 men. They started throwing bombs into houses...then the Boko Haram fired shots at people fleeing. They set ablaze the police station, houses and a telecom mast...I saw people fleeing, some bodies on the ground." Reuters continues: "The Sunni jihadist movement is fighting to revive a medieval Islamic caliphate in Nigeria’s north."

PAKISTANI PERSECUTION

A few days after the Christian couple, mentioned earlier, was burned alive, a 35-year-old Christian father of five known as "Mithu" was arrested on false charges by police and tortured to death in prison. According to the deceased’s brother-in-law: "It was a fake allegation, because the raiding party failed to recover any contraband from Mithu's person and his house...On the morning of Nov. 22, we were informed by Ilyas Gill, a local councilor, that Mithu had died in police custody because of heart failure... Young Christian men are made scapegoats to show police performance while the real culprits are carrying out their illegal activities right under the police's nose." Morning Star News adds: "Area police routinely round up young, impoverished Christians on false charges of drug peddling and bootlegging, and then force their families to pay heavy bribes in return for their release...family elders had seen signs of torture on the body..."

Christian families in a Punjabi village were forced to flee after a Christian man married a Muslim woman—an act forbidden by Islamic law. According to the Pakistani report, "The Muslims in this village became enraged when this occurred and began threatening them... When the news of the marriage was learned, the Muslims in Sahiwal attacked Shahab's [the Christian husband's] family as well as other Christian families in the village. The Muslims demanded that Ruksana [the Muslim wife] be returned immediately, according to Sharia which prohibits Muslim women from marrying a man from another religion... the entire Muslim community was threatening to kill Shahab's father and all of the village's Christians... The Christians' pleas for help from the local police were all in vain."

And Qaiser Ayub, a 40-year-old professor of Christian background, was arrested and charged with insulting Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The computer science professor had been a fugitive avoiding the police since 2011, when he was first accused of having written blasphemous comments on his blog.

DHIMMITUDE: GENERIC CONTEMPT AND HOSTILITY

Denmark: In an apparent replication of the Islamic world's modus operandi, Muslim refugees in the European nation are persecuting Christian refugees. According to 10news.dk, "Christian asylum seekers are repeatedly exposed to everything from harassment to threats and physical abuse by other refugees in the asylum centers, simply because they have converted from Islam to Christianity." According to Niels Eriksen Nyman, who led the study, "There are certainly many more cases around the country than the ones we hear about in the church. I hate to say it, but I'm afraid that on some of the asylum centers there are some very unhealthy control mechanisms when the staff turns their back...I refuse to support Islamophobia, but we have a serious problem here." Two recent examples: "An eight year old Christian at the Center Sandholm was bullied and beaten by the larger Arab boys on their way to school. Now the boy nolonger [sic] dares to go to school. On the island Bornholm, somebody had tampered with a Christian asylum seeker's bike so that he crashed and broke both hands."

Egypt: The Islamic State called on its followers to take the jihad to Egypt. Abu Mus'ab al-Maqdisi, a leader in the Islamic State, said in a statement titled "Advice to Egypt's Mujahidin" that "It is necessary to take the battle to Cairo, until the Sinai is safeguarded from the apostates [reference to Egyptian government] and becomes a rear base [qaeda] from which to expand the jihad." He also called on the jihadis in Egypt to "target the Copts," the nation's indigenous, Christian minority: "For targeting them, following them, and killing them is one of the main ways to serve the cause of our virtuous male and female hostages of the tyrants."

Iraq: Christian homes in Tel Isqof were looted by Kurds who, after fighting the Islamic State, took control of the area on August 17. According to Agenzia Fides, "The city of Tel Isqof was occupied on August 7 by jihadist militias who already in June had conquered Mosul. Faced with the advancing of jihadists, the civilian population, mainly Christians, had fled to the autonomous Region of Iraqi Kurdistan, leaving the city deserted. Ten days later [on August 17], with a counter-offensive the Kurdish Peshmerga had regained control of the city. But it is precisely since then that [Christian] residents periodically return to the city to check the status of their homes, and acknowledge that the doors of a growing number of homes and businesses have been forced and property looted: money and jewelry, technical equipment and electronic instruments." As in the Islamic State, most Kurds are Sunni Muslims.

Islamic State: IS issued a document breaking down the purchase prices of Christian and Yazidi women being sold as sex-slaves. Apparently these enslaved unfortunates are priced based on age— the youngest being the most expensive. The breakdown is as follows (with USD equivalency in brackets): 40-50 years old: 50,000 dinars [$43]; 30-40 years old: 75,000 dinars [$64]; 20-30 years old: 100,000 dinars [$86]; 10-20 years old: 150,000 dinars [$129]; 9 years old: 200,000 dinars [$172].

Spain: Real Madrid, a professional football (soccer) team, stripped the traditional Christian cross from its club crest as part of a deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi."It is believed the European champions' new crest, minus the Christian cross, was created so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates, where a marketing drive will take place," wrote the Telegraph. Club president Florentino Perez said, "This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates."

Syria: As of November, Raqqa, which once had approximately 1,500 Christian families, had only 23 Christian families remaining in it—the others were driven out or killed by the Islamic State. Those few remaining were unable to leave the city for lack of resources or for reasons of age and health. On November 16 they were told that they must pay $535, an exorbitant sum (as seen above, human sex-slaves are being sold for as little as $43). "In all likelihood Christian families, impoverished by the war, will not be able to pay the tax and will have to leave their homes" or convert to Islam, as many elderly, debilitated Christians unable to flee have already done.

ABOUT THIS SERIES

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic. Accordingly, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

1) To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.

2) To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Islamic Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; apostasy, blasphemy, and proselytism laws that criminalize and sometimes punish with death those who "offend" Islam; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or third-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination thereof.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Middle East and Islam specialist and author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane's Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education. He was born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East, which has provided him with equal fluency in English and Arabic. His understanding of the two the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets positions him to explain the Middle Eastern culture to the West. This article appeared January 10, 2015 on Gatestone Institute International Policy Council and is archived at http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5005/muslim-persecution-of -christians-november-2014


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THE SUICIDAL SILENCE OF SECULAR NIHILISM

Posted by Paul Eidelberg, January 10, 2015

As I wrote after gazing at the remains of the New York World Trade Center a week after 9/11, America can't win the war against Islam: America is trapped in the suicidal silence of nihilism.

Nihilism prevents America from identifying her mortal enemy, Islam. America can't identify this enemy as evil as she once identified Nazism; and this she can't do because her ruling elites, politicians and judges, academics and journalists, are trapped in the last stage of the Enlightenment, the black hole of nihilism, the philosophy of the void.

The philosophers of the Enlightenment, enough to mention Hobbes and Locke, Hume and Rousseau, were overt or closet atheists. They were engaged in a power struggle with the Church, with organized religion. Their primary target was the Old Testament on which Christianity stands or falls. They inaugurated a new world order: "Tolerance" and "Liberalism." The new world was promoted by public education. Liberalism became the dogma of democracy, of the secular democratic state. Today it's the carrier of multicultural moral relativism.

Every level of education is permeated by this relativism. Relativism undermines the convictions of any tradition-based society. It disembowels any nation that derives its identity and purpose as well as its quiet confidence from the cherished ideas of Western Civilization. Science and technology made Western Civilization the paradigm of civilization.

Multiculturalism has rendered this belief passe. Afro-Asian and feminist studies titillate college students far more than Plato and Shakespeare, to say nothing of the Hebraic ideas that were generated by America's colonial colleges, ideas that fructified America's socio-economic system.

The loss of this intellectual and cultural background has rendered America psychologically incapable of dealing with jihadic Islam as evil. "I'm okay, you're okay," is the mindless adage on American college campuses. This stupefying nihilism has even afflicted Israel, via the cynicism or moral equivalency, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Moral equivalence is enough for the U.S. to provide the consortium of terrorists called the "Palestinian Authority" with annual grants of hundreds of millions of dollars with hardly a peep from American tax-payers. No wonder: they have been anaesthetized for decades by the academic doctrine of moral relativism, which facilitated Barack Obama's path to the White House.

The multicultural moral relativism to which Obama is addicted, and which prompted him to genuflect to a Saudi despot, prevents him from calling the recent massacre in Paris an act of Islamic terrorism. Obama is not stupid; but he lives in a world in which stupidity is indistinguishable from ignorance.

Stupidity per se is incorrigible. Like catatonic schizophrenia, it's immune to logic and evidence. We live in a period of history whose mentality has been shaped by Hobbes and Hume. These atheists posited reason as the servant of the passions, above all by the Will. Today the will to denial reigns in the West, specifically the denial of evil. As the plebeian Hobbes taught, "evil" is nothing more than a word for something we dislike, a matter of taste.

Philosophy works slowly as it insinuates its way from academe to the offices of government, the media, and the market place.

The will to denial can be as powerful as the will to believe. Willful self-deception is evident in high places among fools who persist in believing that Islam is a benevolent religion. President George W. Bush called Islam a "religion of peace" the day after 9/11, celebrated by Muslims across the world screaming Allah Akbar!

The Enlightened mind cannot or dare not believe that Barack Obama's "Holy Qur'an," worshiped by 1.6 billion human beings, is punctuated with falsehood and vicious ideas such as jihad, as scholars have said century after century.

To believe that Muslims, who can be so gracious, can also be animated by Sura 9:111 of the Qur'an, which exalts the Muslim who "slays and is slain" for Allah, is an idea impossible for today's humanists to contemplate. Their minds have transcended the distinction between ignorance and stupidity: it's just "Islamophobia."

Their intellectual counterparts of the Enlightenment called religion "Superstition," which the Age of Reason relegated to the trash bin. That's where the Taliban buries Reason, which they say "stinks of corruption!" Of course, the Taliban can be dismissed as "extremists."

Here let us pause. The Taliban’s contempt for Reason exemplifies the Islamic madness that prompted the great polymath al-Farabi, a Muslim in dress only, to abandon Muhammad for the rationalism of Plato and Aristotle.

The primacy of reason as opposed to the primacy of force is a basic principle of classical Greek philosophy. It is also a principle of Jewish philosophy. The deity of Islam, however, represents pure or absolute will or power, qualified by neither logic nor justice. Islamic theology is the ideational source of Islamic jihad. It sanctifies the massacre of non-Muslims. It permits and even encourages Muslims to use their own children as human bombs against infidels. We are dealing with the most ruthless religion on earth.

The absolute hence unqualified Will of Islam's deity is the reason why Islam regards the Genesis concept of man's creation in the image of God as blasphemous. As Robert R. Reilly has observed, Islam "teaches that God is so infinitely transcendent that absolutely no comparison can be made between Him and anything else. There is nothing 'like' Him, certainly not man. The Judeo-Christian notion from Genesis of man possessing the Imago Dei is a scandalous blasphemy in Islam." [1] But this makes the Jews Islam's foremost enemy.

As Reilly points out in his seminal work, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, during the late eighth and ninth centuries, a particular sect of Islam, the Mu'tazalites, consisting of Muslims influenced by Greek philosophy, fought for the primacy of reason in Islamic theology. The Mu'tazalites were defeated in the tenth century by a rival sect, the Ash'arites. The Ash'arites held the view—now regnant in the Sunni Muslim world of which the Palestinians are a part—that Allah's omnipotence precludes human free will. The Ash'arites asserted the primacy of absolute determinism or predestination. By so doing they rejected the Mu'tazalite teaching that man is responsible for his actions. Hence, instead of a God identified with reason, the Ash'arites posited a God whose absolute free will precludes the primacy of reason in human affairs.

Given the Ash'arite supremacy in the Muslim mind, Muslim terrorists harbor no feelings of guilt in killing innocent civilians: it was the will of Allah. Hence it was only "logical" for Muslims throughout the world to scream Allahu Akbar in reaction to the slaughter of 3,000 infidels on 9/11. If this appears irrational, it must be understood (and be made known) that the primacy of will displaces the primacy of reason in Islamic theology, hence in human affairs.

The Genesis concept of man's creation in the image of God is the theological source of Jewish rationalism. We are thus confronted by a paradox. The Age of Reason, i.e., the Enlightenment, was based on a rejection of the Judaic source of rationalism. We must therefore ask what underlies the rationalism (or "Reason") of the Age of Reason.

Strange as it may seem, this Reason is based on a mirror image of Islamic theology, that is, on the primacy human will, more precisely, on the concept of man defined not as Homo sapiens but as Homo faber – man the maker. Contrary to the classical and medieval conception of reason, man can only know what he makes. He is the maker of ideas, of ideologies and technologies. He is the fabricator of capitalism and socialism, of democracy and fascism, of all religions under the sun. He is Allah in human form, unrestrained by reason or logic or justice!

It all began with the Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, the denial of given or revealed truths, of truths independent of human volition. In contrast, we see that Islam maintains that Allah, understood as pure or absolute Will, is not bound by any truths since Allah transcends reason. Islam therefore entails the moral relativism that animates the democratic world – except that this relativism applies to Allah, not to man!

Let us reformulate this bizarre conclusion. Since Allah represents pure or absolute will, Islam posits the most radical theological voluntarism. This voluntarism logically entails unqualified irrationalism, which is nothing more or less than religious nihilism.

Islam's religious nihilism appears in the present juncture of history as the antidote to the secular nihilism of the democratic world. The moral absolutism of Islam is the antidote to democracy's moral relativism.

Paradoxical as it may seem, the moral relativism prevalent in the West applies to Allah understood as pure will unbound reason and justice. Allah may thus be deemed a mirror image of democratic man.

Viewed in this light, Islamic nihilism-cum-terrorism is perfectly consistent with the ethos of democracy. But inasmuch as the secular nihilism prevalent in the democratic world logically excludes all moral constraints, there is no logical reason why America should not erase Islam from the map just as former Iranian president Ahmadinejad vowed to wipe Israel off the map, while chanting "death to America."

Conclusion. The Age of Reason has metamorphosed into an Age of Unreason as witness the failure of America to identify in a forthright manner her mortal enemy, Islam. Suicidal nihilism has silenced the most powerful nation on earth. The seeds of this nihilism were planted by the philosophers of the Enlightenment, the atheists who scorned in utter ignorance the profound ideas embodied in the Creation Narrative of the Bible of Israel. In that Narrative is the all-important concept of man's creation in the image of God. This concept, as elucidated in my book, Rescuing America from Nihilism: A Judeo-Scientific Approach, provides the only solid foundation for the primacy of reason in human affairs.

[1] Robert R. Reilly, "Bernard Lewis and the Arab Spring," Claremont Review of Books, Vol. XI, No. 3, Summer 2011, 68.

Paul Eidelberg is an American-Israeli political scientist, author and lecturer, and is the founder and president of The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, with offices in Jerusalem. He is also president of the Yamin Yisrael Party. Contact Eidelberg at foundation612.12gmail.com


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DEVOTION EQUALS HEROISM

Posted by Nurit Greenger, January 11, 2015

Yonat Daskal, a medic angel in military fatigue. The war and its heroes. For the past two and half years Yonat Daskal. Now 23 year old, is working as paramedic at Magen David Adom, what is equal to the Red Cross in Israel, national headquarters, in Kiryat Ono, Israel.

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Yonat Daskal, a paramedic in action-Photo provided by Yonat Daskal

I met Yonat when she arrived to Los Angeles to partake in Friends of Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) gala in November 2014.

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Yonit Daskal and the writer in November 2014 FIDF Gala

It took time to get her to hold an interview with me as Yonat is a busy bee, working as a paramedic as well is a first year student in the medical sciences faculty at Ariel University, in Ariel city. Her ambition is to become a surgeon. "If, after studying for three years for my BA I graduate with high grades I will be accepted to four more year of medical school," she announces her ultimate goal.

"But Ariel University does not have medical school," I noted questioning her plan to graduate as a doctor from this university? YD, putting me into the secret: "The philanthropist Sheldon Adelson is already in negotiations to build a medical school in Ariel University." She hopes that by the time she receives her BA degree, this medical school will be available to her.

"So why did they chose you to be an honored guest at the FIDF gala?" I asked.

YD: "Because I was the only female soldier to have entered, on foot, with the special Nachal Brigade into northern Gaza during Protective Edge-Solid Rock War this past summer. I was on vacation abroad when the war broke. I received the call to come back and serve." Without hesitation Yonat was on the first available flight back home." In one tough battle with Hamas there were ten wounded Israeli soldiers whom I treated. It was tough, every tough." After the rockets were fired toward us, one of the other two medics who were working with her realized that the soldiers wounded he will have to treat are his friends. "He went into a shock," she goes over the events. "There was crazy very loud noise, and deafening shooting everywhere. I grabbed his shirt, while we were going toward the wounded, and told him, 'I know that these are your friends and it is going to be difficult but we are going to be like a robot, and you have to compose yourself; we may not save all of them but we will save as many as possible; perhaps we will lose one but we will save five.' He got out of his shock frame of mind and it was awesome how the three of us, medics, worked so well together." The story she continues to tell is a one that only a person who was there can tell. "It was midnight and very dark and we were not allowed to use any light, not even a flash light. The soldiers brought the wounded to me and in the dark I was patting them and feeling their body to diagnose from where they were bleeding and where their wound was. I touched, I felt to know if they are conscious, form where they were bleeding. I treated one, and he was evacuated to be sent to the nearest hospital; I then changed gloves and went onto treat the next body, to feel him and treat him as much as I could and the chain continued and repeated itself and it felt as if it is never going to end. The army introduced dry plasma, in powder form, to which one mixes special water and that helped a lot." To one of the wounded she gave the plasma treatment after he lost consciousness and he survived, she reminisces and says again "this was great."

NG: "What happened there exactly?" I was curious to hear firsthand from the warrior medic.

warrior2

Yonat Daskal-the warrior-Photo from Yonat Daskal

YD: "Hamas fired three rockets which landed few meters away from our soldiers. The commanding officer was killed and ten soldiers got hit and I was there to treat them all."

Half an hour into her treating the soldiers, "my angel arrived," she smiles. "There was one soldier wounded in his chest and I prayed for God to be with him. All of a sudden the Deputy Battalion Commander came over to me and said, 'a heart and chest surgeon is arriving with special vehicle to evacuate all the soldiers at once. God was really with them, it was great. It was one and a half weeks, 24 hours non-stop in the battlefield and 24 hours outside Gaza. The first shower I took, after a week and a half in the battlefield, was at Barzilai Hospital. If my girlfriends saw me how I looked they would have understood why 400 soldiers surrounding me are no threat to my modesty. Nothing happened but so much did happen."

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Yonat Daskal-first on Left during Protective Edge War-Photo from Yonat Daskal

Originally. Yonat, now belongs to the IDF military reserve units, conscripted to IDF combat unit. For that she enlisted and committed to serve for three and a half years in a combat unit instead of the standard two year service, the time women serve in the IDF.

NG: "What have you gained from the service?" I asked.

Yonat smiles as she uses the word 'great' often.

YD: "First professionally; I learned and understood that I have the medical profession virus, that medicine is my professional future. As an Israeli citizen who was raised in a Zionist, religious home, in Petach Tikvah, Israel, one of the first Jewish settlements in Israel, founded in the late 1800s, I wanted to enlist as a fighter. I knew I will be able to breathe the land, to feel it. And I did. I connected to the land, to her people, got closer to the population at large and got to know the people. I grew up, and I learned what is more important, what is less important in life. Because I am religious, none of my friends, all are religious, enlisted for military service and that put pressure on me. They told me, 'the military corrupts you, it is indecent,' they claimed. But the opposite is what I experienced. Serving was the smarted choice I have made in my life thus far. Though it was rather difficult to observe my religious practices, the soldiers in my unit understood my needs in this area and helped to make my life so much easier."

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Yonat Daskal the girl among the boys-Photo from Yonat Daskal

Yonat is a real trooper. In a way I was jealous of her; I wished I could have had her field experience when I served in the IDF several decades ago.

Yonat is reluctant to go into details about the war but she told me witnessed weapons hidden in a UNRWA school. "And that is not great," she revealed her opinion.

"The IDF is amazing," she gets excited. "The Israeli military values life. It is an amazing defense force, fighting for the peace in the land and to protect the life of every citizen. The Arabs approach is wrong," she refers to the murder of four rabbis at Har Nof synagogue while they were praying. "The Arabs see a synagogue, a praying place, as a military operational room; it is a crime and all they want is war and more war." Yonat goes back to the medical profession: "The standard of medicine in Israel attests to the value of the life of the citizens of Israel," she sums up why she wants to contribute to the profession as a future doctor. "The IDF is the most humane military the world over. I assisted the Red Crescent to treat a pregnant Arab-Palestinian woman and performed the delivery in Ovdah checkpoint. I witnessed how all the citizens of Israel are treated with no connection to their religion. The IDF is the military that defends Israel not the military that defends the Jews."

What is there to say, when you interview a brave warrior, a young woman who decided to give three and a half years of her life to serve her country and she will continue doing so when she becomes a surgeon.

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Yonat Daskal at the MDA headquarters-Photo from Yonat Daskal

How about a medal of honor for Yonat Daskal, Mr. Prime Minister of Israel, whoever you will be in March 2015?!

Contact Nurit Greenger by email at nurit.nuritg@gmail.com. Visit her blog: http://ngthinker.typepad.com


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CHIEF OF STAFF: NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO MAKE CONCESSIONS TO THE IRANIANS

Posted by Eretz Israel Shelanu, January 11, 2015

Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz referred to the negotiations with Iran over the future of its nuclear program at an event in Washington. He claims Tehran is under major pressure and therefore now is not the time to make concessions to the Iranians, that could lead to a conflict

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Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, warns against concessions in the negotiations with Iran – with the deadline for the signing of an agreement on Iran's nuclear program approaching. He claimed "Iran is currently under major pressure, a pressure that has already brought about political change in Iran, so now is not the time for concessions". The comments were made at a farewell dinner in his honor at the Israeli embassy in Washington.

Gantz stressed that Israel prefers that the agreement over limiting Iran's nuclear capabilities will be achieved through peaceful means, but the outcome of the negotiations with Tehran "should be the correct results, namely – not leaving any trace of nuclear capability in the hands of Iran, which could be use by it in the future. Other results may prolong the crisis and lead to a confrontation ".

The Chief of Staff is currently in the US, having a round of meetings days prior to his resignation next February. Gantz will be succeeded by Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

Contact Eretz Israel Shelanu at list@eish-l.org


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LOVE THY NEIGHBOR

Posted by Moncharsh, January 11, 2015

Some non-Jews actually use their heads to think of the future and value what they have today.

The article below was written by Robert Tait who is the Telegraph's Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem. He was previously Iran correspondent for the Guardian, before being forced to leave when the authorities refused to renew his visa. He has also been the Guardian's Turkey correspondent based in Istanbul and Washington correspondent for the Scotsman. He spends his spare time trying to learn Farsi. This article appeared January 02, 2015 on The Telegraph and is archived at
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/11321651/Meet- the-Arab-Christians-who-want-to-fight-for-Israel.html

Army volunteers prefer to be part of a Jewish state than an Arab one

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Amir and Bishara Shalayan Photo: Robert Tait

Sitting in front of the family Christmas tree dressed in military fatigues, Amir Shalayan seemed in no doubt about his identity.

"When you go back back in religion, I consider myself a real Jew," he said, unabashed by the non-Jewish festive decorations in his living room. "Jesus was Jewish and he was observing the Shabbat (Jewish sabbath)."

Mr Shalayan is in fact an Arab Christian, a category he refers to as "Aramean", but his strong identification with the Jewish faith is offered as explanation for his keen army service. It also accounts for his vocal support of legislation that envisages officially declaring Israel a Jewish state - despite the presence within its borders of around 1.7 million Arabs, including 161,000 Christians, more than 20 per cent of the population.

The bill to designate Israel as "the nation state of the Jewish people" is supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and would deny collective national rights to the Arab minority and strip Arabic of its status as one of the country's official languages.

Plans to table the bill were delayed after the Knesset, Israel's parliament, was dissolved this month and a general election called for March, but it is certain to be a controversial issue in the forthcoming campaign.

Critics say that it will reduce the Arab population - Muslims and Christians alike - to second-class citizens in the land of their birth and ancestry.

Mr Shalayan has no such qualms, citing the recent fate of Christians at the hands of jihadist extremists in Iraq and Syria to support his case.

"I'm supporting the bill," he said. "I would rather be a second-class citizen under a Jewish state than a first-class citizen in an Arab state. "Arab countries don't have any system. They want to act according to Sharia (Islamic law). Christians have been persecuted all over the world and this is the only country (in the Middle East) that gives me the right to be Christian and practice my rituals."

Mr Shalayan, 26, is one of a small number of Christians to have volunteered,to serve in Israel's armed forces - from which his co-religionists, like other Arabs, are exempt. This is in contrast to most Jews, for whom service is compulsory.

Having spent three years in the Israeli navy, he now performs regular reserve duty and is a member of the Israeli Christians Recruitment Forum Association, which attempts to persuade other Christians to join the army. It claims to have recruited between 100 and 150 Christian volunteers since its establishment in 2012.

Mr Shalayan says his motivation is simple: Christians should assimilate in Israeli society and serve the country which protects them.

His military service and support for the Jewish nation state bill is music to the ears of Mr Netanyahu and the Israeli armed forces, which sent out voluntary recruitment notices to Christians for the first time this year in an attempt to woo young Christians into military service.

Yet they are deeply unpopular among his co-religionists in Nazareth, the biblical childhood home of Jesus where Christians account for around 30 per cent of the population of 80,000.

Most reject the idea of army service as an Israeli attempt to dilute their Arab identity and divide them from their Muslim brethren.

Around Mary's Well Square, under the shadow of a vast Christmas tree and where locals of both religions mingled in cafes, bars and restaurants, many Christians also see the Jewish state bill as likely to further weaken their status.

"I'm against Christians being enlisted in the army," aid Elias, 26, a dentist visiting Mama's Coffee Shop. He did not want to give his full name for fear of antagonizing his Jewish patients. "We are Palestinians, our ancestors were Palestinians, it doesn't matter which religion we are. If Israel lived in peace with other countries in the region and with the Palestinians, I would have no problem enlisting. But how how can you serve a country that kills your own people?"

Elias also dismissed Mr Shalayan's attempts to re-cast Arab Christians as Aramean as "ridiculous", adding: 'They are just trying to fit into the mix of Israeli society."

Israel decided this year to recognise Arameans - Christians descended from an ancient Semitic people originating in what is now Syria - as a national minority. The rule change allowed Syriac Christians to identity themselves as Arameans rather than Arab, a definition that has been seized upon by the army recruitment group that Mr Shalayan helped to found.

It is roundly rejected by Riah Abu Al-Assal, the Nazareth-based Anglican Bishop of Israel and Palestine, who has held prayer sessions with Tony Blair and participated in delegations to 10 Downing Street when he was Prime Minister.

"This is not the first time we have witnessed people in Israel of this kind," he said. "Years ago, there were people who said that the Christians here were Phoenicians and not Arabs.

"For anybody to claim and say that Christians (in Israel) aren't Arabs, I tell them you will have to change the book (the bible). This was written long before there was a conflict between Jews and Arabs."

On army service, Bishop Abu Al-Assal added. "My brother lives in Lebanon and has two sons and I have two second cousins here who are of army service age. How could they could they possibly serve when they might have to fire on their relatives in a future war?"

That conundrum cut little ice in the Shalayan household in Upper Nazareth, a mainly Jewish modern new town overlooking the historic old city. "All the Arab say, you are going to kill your own people," said Bishara Shalayan, 59, Amir's father, who set up a political movement, called Sons of the Pledge and a Facebook page aimed at encouraging Arab Christians to join the army. "We don't want to kill anybody. We want to protect ourselves and serve the country we believe. But if my brother is a terrorist, I will kill him."

Asked why more Christians had not joined his movement or followed his son to the army, he replied: "They're scared."

Contact Moncharsh at fmoncharsh@gmail.com


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A COUPLE OF CONTRIBUTIONS

Posted by Ted Roberts, January 11, 2015

BALAAM NEEDS A GOOD PR REP

I don't have a degree from the Harvard Divinity School nor am I a graduate of the Yeshiva. I did go to Hebrew school for six years and I've thought long and hard about our Chumash. I've even read it – yes, every word – more than once and I’ve come to the conclusion that there is one seminal message besides the obvious one that our G-d is all powerful; He monitors and judges our behavior. I'd like to add that he rewards good and punishes evil, but I see so many exceptions to that rubric that I concede it may only happen in the world to come – over the horizon of time.

But the other theme that pervades the Holy text is the imperfections of our ancestors. Strange. The Creator of man seems to be saying that every man's heart is streaked with evil. There are few perfect players in the Great play. Oddly enough, one is a Moabite – Ruth – a lady of impeccable behavior. A Moabite! One of Israel's traditional enemies. And the grandmother, no less, of David. The Chumash, as usual – regardless of political correctness – speaks truth – a Moabite in the lineage of our Mosiach!.

There's another Moabite in the Chumash who, contrary to Ruth, gets a very bad press. It is Balaam, son of Peor, who is at least once in our Chumash is called a sorcerer. Not a nice occupation unless you want to be stoned to death. But that's only the beginning. He clearly is a marked man. First ridiculed, then insulted, then killed. But his misbehavior is hard to uncover. In short, he is summoned by the envoys of Balak – leader of the Moabites – who must face the Israelites in battle. Balaam's mission: curse the Israelites. The sorcerer, after consulting with G-d, turns them down. Refuses their fee. All Balak wants is for Balaam, whose reputation as a sorcerer is evidently first class, to curse the Israelite host. Balaam – faultless Balaam – says, no way "though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold". The envoys report their rejection to Balak, a king who is used to having his way. He sends a second, higher-level crew to recruit Balaam. Obedient Balaam again goes to G-d. And the Lord tells the sorcerer - who's between a rock and a hard place - go with them but only speak what I tell you.

Mystery of mysteries: The next chapter begins with "God’s anger was aroused because he went".

But G-d just told him to go!! Puzzling.

And now we encounter the additional enigma of the talking donkey – a story known to all first year kindergarten kids. Balaam mounts his donkey and sets out to join Balak. But an angel of the Lord blocks their way. The animal sees him and skids to a stop. Balaam, oblivious to the donkey's vision, whips him - evidently Balaam is an animal abuser, too – whereupon the creature pleads his case and reminds his master of his years of faithful service. Finally, the Lord (doubtlessly feeling sorry for Balaam's faithful creature who has angelic vision) opens the sorcerer's eyes to the angel. At last he understands and profusely apologizes for his astigmatism.

He reports to Balak (who, remember has houses of gold and silver). "Curse the Israelites!" cries Balak. Balaam – ever G-d-fearing – consults again with his Heavenly Master. Instead, he is instructed to bless the Israelite host and we go through this scenario three times. And each time the prophet (or sorcerer, depending on your viewpoint) consults with His Majesty, in heaven, who basically goes along with the instruction; I will bless those that bless thee and curse those that curse thee.

Balaam, at the mercy of blood-thirsty Balak, defies him and blesses Israel. Incidentally, upon looking down on the Israelite encampment, Balaam blesses them with the well-known prayer: "How goodly are thy tents O Israel". Other references to the maligned prophet seem to twist circumstances – Balaam wants to curse Israel, say some commentators – G-d says no. I, the veteran of six years of Hebrew School, don't read it that way. Evidently, the biblical author has it in for Balaam – and there is a one-sentence illusion to his misdeeds at Peor.

A strange story. Balaam, who eventually follows G-d's wishes, is condemned. And comes in second to a four-footed, braying beast who can see angels while his master cannot. For some reason he is not exactly a hero in the eyes of Jewish history. I don't get it. It may be because he was a sorcerer – a blasphemous profession. Or maybe because he is an ally to the Moabite – but so was Ruth. Something rings hollow about the whole story; talking donkeys, Balaam’s profession. When I get my degree from the Yeshiva I'll tell you the real story. In the meantime go to Numbers 22. What do you think?

A HERETICAL VIEW OF TISHA B'AV

Let's take a long, hard look at historical reality. Those ex-slaves called Israelites have escaped their Egyptian prison. And for the first time - like your six year old toddled off to school alone – in a strange, new world - they wandered eventually into Canaan, a land full of pagan playmates.

The Almighty, who can see beyond the curve of the horizon of time, sees the temptations and snares set by the Amalakites, Jebusites, Amorites, and Philistines to entrap his people. He lectures Israel, his young one, incessantly. He seeks to impress them with his power. He splits oceans, he creates a constitution that we call the Chumash - he uses pillars of fire and smoke to guide them through this sandy deathtrap. He incessantly warns them to stay away from the idol worshiping heathens of the arid wilderness. He obsesses on loyalty because he is a G-d of morality, while the gods of this new world have no interest in crime and punishment, mercy and justice, mitzvot and goodness.

So what do our primitive ancestors do the first time Father Moses leaves them unattended? Exactly what the mighty G-d of miracles forbade - they build, and worship with abandon, two golden bulls. Just like their pagan neighbors. Totally oblivious to miracles and sermons, they worship their inanimate idols. G-d must have done a divine double take as he glared down from his mountaintop. So much for loyalty. Well, good thing I sent Moshe with Torah, He's thinking. But maybe it should have been ten books. These people need rules.

Sad to say, our misbehavior continued. We continued to barbecue beasts like our neighbors. Prayer? Unheard of. Beneficial deeds? Who cares. We continue to barbecue so our G-d may enjoy the fragrance. Our Creator's nightmare comes true. We worship randomly and indiscriminately. Dumb and dumber, we send scent and smoke heavenward just like the Joneses next door. Eventually, all this mimicry culminates in the Temple, which I've been trying to get to for two pages. The Temple is a giant butcher shop - a racket for the Levites and a cloud on our history that almost smothers the real Judaism.

Obviously, we can't glory in its destruction since Jerusalem, too, suffered and there was terrible loss of life both in the Babylonian and Roman destructions.

But as our sages say, the fall of a great Oak permits sunlight to nourish a thousand new seedlings on the forest floor. Destruction often clears the ground for follow-on cultural new growth.

The leveling of the Temple took Judaism out of the hands of priests and Levites and put it in our hearts, put it in our home, gave a role to our women. And over hundreds of years we - along with other religions - dropped the sacrificial concept.

High places, sacred groves, granite alters lost their magic. Deeds and morality overturned sacrifice. Who needed a temple? For this invisible G-d - is and was a warmth in your heart. Indestructible, never to be destroyed. Let us worship Him instead of feeding him livestock. Our prophets chorus this from 700 BC on.

And who knew - certainly history doesn't comment - but the watching world - seeing our Temple in flames but Judaism, still alive - learned the same lesson. So, maybe there's a bright side to Tisha B'Av.

Sometimes in the study of history we need to reexamine events and institutions that have been acceptable for millennia of dull tradition - not logic, but tradition. Tisha B'Av reminds me that one of those icons is our Temple. From what we read in the Talmud and Chumash, it was the heartbeat of Judaism. Really? An abbatoir drenched in the blood of victims - a government employment office for Cohans and Levites. And a shameful identification with the customs of our heathen Canaanite neighbors - maybe not quite as bad. A lamb took the place of your newborn infant. And we disclaimed sexual activity to spur crop and livestock propagation. Yes, we had the good taste to eliminate that. So, let's not be too hard on our forbears. But basically our Temple was little more than an elaboration of our neighbor's primitive habits of worship. Exactly what our invisible, morally-obsessed G-d in the Chumash told us to avoid.

It was based on the oldest superstition in the world - Jewish or non Jewish. Before you sip your wine, spill a bit on the ground from whence it came. The gods of fire, earth, wind, and sun and fertility need a little graft - a small donation or they'd never give us more wine or rib steak or lamb chops or bread. The gods must be appeased. Furthermore, insisted the heathens, you needed children to help you work the land, so on occasion you'd murder one of them as the ultimate sacrifice. Such were the beliefs of mankind 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

Don't open a new business on Tisha B'Av - the 9th day of Av. Nothing good has ever happened on the 9th of Av. On 566 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar leveled Solomon's Temple - on 9 Av 70 AD the Romans destroyed the second Temple. And for goodness sake don't get married on the 9th of Av, either, for obvious reasons. I joke. But it was a fateful date - a date drowned in Jewish bloodshed. For that we should mourn.

Dr. Ted Roberts is a clinical therapist and pastor with the passion and skill to bring emotional healing to the body of Christ. Contact Roberts at te11d@hiwaay.net


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ISRAEL'S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Posted by Paul Eidelberg, January 11, 2015

As per the authors request below, I'm forwarding this to you and many others. He sends out this type of publication more than once a month. From this mere summary of highlights it can easily be understood how much good comes out of tiny Israel with a population of only 6.2 million Jews. Thus its no wonder that from the east and from the west, many come here for technology and to invest. For many generations the peoples of Europe have hated and very badly treated Jews there, while the Jews there as everywhere have been peaceful and productive members of those societies. Yet they have loved, supported and imported the muslims who hate them and do them much harm, many: live off of welfare there, refuse to work, rape what they refer to as mere "meat", demand never ending concessions and in the end kill their benefactors anyway. As its said, with friends like these...Maybe one day those so very wise ones of Europe - in their own minds, will wake up and smell the coffee?

Anti-inflammatory treatment may prevent deadly infections. Ben Gurion University researchers have discovered accidentally that alpha1-antitrypsin (AAT) could prevent deadly infections in immune system-compromised patients. Lethal bacteria in mice were practically eradicated by AAT therapy within 24 hours.
http://aabgu.org/anti-inflammatory-drug-may-prevent-deadly-infection/

Wearable technology to analyze Parkinson's. (Thanks to Israel21c) Intel Israel has developed an advanced analytics platform for researching the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The system can work with smart watches linked to a smartphone and can handle 300 observations per second from each participant.
http://www.israel21c.org/headlines/wearable-technology-is-breakthrough-for-parkinsons/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJX9f8goIq8#t=139

Teva launches generic antibiotics. Israel's Teva continues to help keep down US health costs by launching generic versions of two leading antibiotics - Zyvox (linezolid), and Nafcillin - injectable antibiotics for the treatment of severe infections. Teva also has launched a generic blood-pressure treatment.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-teva-launches-generic-versions-of-two-antibiotics-in-us-1000998963
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-teva-launches-generic-blood-pressure-treatment-in-us-1000999040

Nano-particles to attack cancer. (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel's Quiet Therapeutics has developed "GAGomers," a new class of nano-particles (coated with glycosaminoglycan, or GAGs, a polysugar) that specifically target tumors and blood cancers based on a biomarker expressed on malignant tissue.
http://www.israel21c.org/headlines/the-nanoparticles-coming-to-attack-cancer/

Success in antibody cancer therapy. Israeli biotech Compugen has announced positive initial experimental results for the first two of five of its candidate antibody cancer therapy (ADC) treatments. ADC therapy uses antibodies to target proteins present at high levels in cancer cells, releasing a toxic payload to kill the cells.http://cgen.com/press-releases/2014/259-compugen-discloses-initial-experimental-results-for-predicted-antibody-drug-conjugate-targets

Early detection of colon and uterine cancer. A breakthrough by researchers at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem will allow early detection and possible prevention of colon and uterine cancers. They have discovered a genetic mutation that can identify at-risk patients.
http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=22167

Leukemia treatment gets boost. The US FDA and the European Medicines Agency have awarded Israel's stem cell therapy developer Gamida Cell orphan status for its NiCord leukemia treatment. NiCord treats acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome.http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-gamida-cell-leukemia-treatment-granted-orphan -drug-status-1000998856

Contact Paul Eidelberg at foundation612.12@gmail.com


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MURDOCH AGAINST PC; WORLD LEADERS BOW TO ISLAM

Posted by Ms Benador, January 11, 2015

"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

As I begin to write this article, a good feeling comes, the one of being validated by a powerful voice, as you will read later.

Many have learned from history books, some may have lived in a Muslim environment for a couple of years, but overall their experiences come from some mighty 30-40 years ago and, honestly, that's no better reference than a book anymore.

However, nothing can replace having recent and direct contact with Muslims in the Muslim world, work with them, become their friends, most likely because they thought they were addressing one of them, and sensed their contradictions, learned of the dire situation of their immigrant workers who have no right to import spouses or families to live with them, or the condition in which those workers are imposed to live in the Muslim world.

Come to mind, those airline hostesses, or taxi drivers, Filipinos and other nationalities, who get the "privilege" to work in the Muslim world, but have to send their hard earned money back home, because they have no right to have their families with them.

Want to speak of human rights now?

Briefly, the situation of women in the Muslim world:

Also more contradiction there: Depends of which women one is speaking about, which social class.

Are you referring to the elite, the educated, professional women who have their way and keep husbands happy while at the same time hiding all Western luxury brands of sexy jeans, sandals, you name it, underneath their burkas? Or are you speaking about the lowest class women, who are almost on slavery? Take your pick...

And, what about children's rights in the Muslim world? They teach hate to their children, they behead children who are not of their faith, and they have even made babies kick severed heads.

After last week's commotion in Paris, European leaders are trying to utter their harsh reactions towards the cowardly massacre of innocents, at Charlie Hebdo and the Paris-Vincennes Kosher Supermarket. In all, a total of at least 17 people were murdered within less than 36 hours.

But, in reality, the reaction of those leftist and corrupt "leaders" that are now steering the world into the hands of Islam, is too little too late and, above all, too hypocritical.

While condemning the attacks, even the President of France, Francois Hollande and his Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, have rejected that the murderous massacres by Islamists Jihadists have anything to do with Islam.

Here is what the French President had to say in his own words:

"First of all, I express all my solidarity to the families of the victims of the wounded but France faced up to it because when she overcomes a hardship, a tragedy for the nation and this is an obligation for us to face up to it...

I want to congratulate the courage, the bravery of the police officers of all of those who participated in these operations. I want to say to them that we are proud, proud of them because order has been given and they carried out the assault with the same result. They did this to save human lives. Those of the hostages. They did this to neutralize the terrorists. Those who had killed, but France even if she is aware that she's overcome, she can together with the security forces.

France has not finished with this threat. And so I want to call on you for vigilance. Vigilance for the state to show demonstration and together with the Prime Minister I have a reinforced even more in order to protect public places and to ensure that we can live peacefully without any time being threatened or at risk but we must be vigilant. I call on you also to unity because i expressed myself, the French people, this is our best weapon. Unity that we must demonstrate our determination to fight against anything that can divide us and first of all, to be impeccable, to be totally against any racism and anti-antisemitism. A terrible anti-semitic attack was committed today in the Kosher shop. Not to be divided means we must not make any confusion concerning these terrorists and fanatics that have nothing to do with the Muslim religion." End.

"Solidarity to families of the victims," "thankfulness to the police and the army," but no mention of Islam. The most the leftist president had to say was "...we must not make any confusion concerning these terrorists and fanatics that have nothing to do with the Muslim religion."

Sure. Except that all their orgies of violent horrors and massacres are dedicated to the one and only, "Allah hu Aqbar."

Granted, the French president added anti-semitism for good measure alright.

His prime minister, on his part, has declared "war on Radical Islam." He implies, as all of them do, that radical Islam is separated, another entity that has nothing to do with, Islam.

The globalist representative to the world, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also joined the crowd of leaders ready to condemn the attack, while leaving open the doors to whitewash Islam at large.

He said the attack was a "direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy," then added, "This horrific attack is meant to divide; we must not fall into that trap."

Of course, "democracy" is also another utensil Islamists are using to advance their goals for world domination.

Indeed, Muslims at large, as they migrate westward, are counting on democracy to live for now in their host countries, "peacefully", making believe that they are adhering to our mores, traditions and laws...until they will have the majority, which as any good student of Islam knows, will not take that long, thanks to their reproductive capabilities.

In Germany, the leftist newspaper, The Local, journalists have joined their columns behind Chancellor Angela Merkel, who "deplores the new far-right group's 'hatred'. And, as The Local states, The anti-Islam demonstrations which have rocked Dresden with 18,000 people, have been followed by others in Cologne, Berlin and Stuttgart.

Germans have even created their own anti-Islam institution: PEGIDA, the Acronym for Patriotische Europaer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West.)

As expected, pro-Muslim democratic leftists translate Patriotism into such bad words as chauvinism and xenophobia, instead of keeping it to its strict meaning: Love of country and quest for one's compatriots well-being and safety.

Added to today's roster of "globalist" leaders showing up in Paris, will be the leftist disguised in the wraps of right-wing Likud, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to support the rights of Muslim majorities no doubt and en passant, speak of the situation of Jews in France and remind that just before a new Holocaust happens, don't forget that "your home is Israel." Of course.

Next in line is Mr. Coycat, Abu Mazen, the president of a non-country who in all certainty will not condemn Islam as the fruits of its hate, their Muslim terrorists, are anyway his supporters.

Surely the French police and counter-terrorist divisions must be trembling in their pants today for what may or, worse, for what could happen.

Meanwhile, the bottom line of this side story is that, leaders worldwide have failed to do their jobs.

They were elected to protect their peoples and they have betrayed them for an Islamic agenda whose main goal is to advance Muslim world domination as swiftly as possible, given the favourable conditions on the planet.

And, whoever is on pay by others, decided to go for the softer mode to deal with the horrors taught by Islam in their prophet's book, the Koran.

Leaders, scholars, non-profit organisations who receive donations from ever dwindling donors, have cheerfully adopted the separation of Islam and terrorist violence, thus cynically advocating the innocence of Islam and Muslims in general, when the truth is that, in such a family-oriented society, there is nothing that happens without one's own family being aware of, and supporting one's actions. For even terrorists need to be nurtured and cared for. Good food, physical fitness, disciplined environment, all that is needed, plus and above all, the understanding of the cause and the commonality of interests.

Families are the best vehicle to keep terrorists fit. Naturally, they are like fish in water.

Terrorists are normal people, they look like normal Muslims or even normal people, if you will. Until the day the world learned what massacres they have committed.

And, while even Muslims scholars in the West want Islam reformed, theirs are simply hollow words.

Indeed, Islam should be reformed, but how, when the trouble is that for now, the prophet has instructed his people to massacre if need be to achieve world domination, to kill whoever does not want to convert to Islam, and so on.

For now, Muslims of all venues are only using the weaknesses of Western democracy to get implanted in our midst, they demand equal rights and they are obtaining them, as they are so civil and polite...for now.

They know full well that when the time will come, at the very most in one decade, they will be able to vote, propose sharia law to replace all the legal systems in the West.

Then, they will exert their right, and one by one will cast their vote. Overwhelmingly, they will win. And so sharia will be instituted as the law of the West.

In this path that mankind has chosen to follow, unexpectedly, a few days ago, a powerful voice has risen in the horizon as a glimmer of light in the darkness of the night.

The powerful Rupert Murdoch has said it loud and clear:

murdoch

"Maybe most Muslims [are] peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible."

Now maybe the mercenaries scholars and non-profit organizations, as well as cowardly politicians, will listen?

It is all Islam and all Muslims who are responsible for the cancerous disaster they are imposing on the world.

Simply put: Murdoch is right.

Eliana Benadoris a strategic and risk consultant, adviser, opinion writer who was the founder of Benador Associates. Her website is www.elianabenador.com. Contact Benador at msbenador@gmail.com


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THEY CAN'T KILL EVERYONE: HERE ARE THE CHARLIE HEBDO CARTOONS THAT LED TO THE MURDER OF 12 PEOPLE

Posted by Narayana Sd, January 11, 2015

The article below was written by Chez Pazienza who is an American journalist, author, television producer and media consultant. This article appeared January 07, 2015 on the Daily Banter and is archived at
http://thedailybanter.com/2015/01/they-cant-kill-everyone-here-are-the-charlie-hebdo-cartoons/

The best way to both honor the memory of those killed today and to take a stand for all that Charlie Hebdo has stood for is to publish -- over and over again -- the images that led to today's violence. It's a cliché to say that this is what they don't want you to see, but it's never been more true.

charlie

The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has spent a good portion of the past 44 years gleefully aiming its poison pens at the world's sacred cows. It's taken on the elite and the powerful, the corrupt and the unjust, and it's done it all in the name of using its absurdist sense of humor to knock down to size those who deserve to be. It's a publication that's as fearless as it is funny, evidenced by its willingness to use laughter as a weapon against radical Islam. Over the past decade, it's published several cartoons that not only depict images of the Prophet Muhammad -- considered blasphemy in Islam, punishable by death -- but take it one step further, openly ridiculing both the religious icon and the obsession of some of his followers with honoring to the point of madness the tenets of a book of stories published 1,400 years ago.

Because of that willingness to refuse to cower before a deity and religion they didn't believe in, the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo have been the targets of attacks by extremists and have lived under the constant threat of violence. And yet, despite that, they never relented, continuing to satirize Islam -- and many other faiths, to be fair -- simply because they knew doing so was not only the purest and most necessary expression of freedom, but it was fun. It was fun to take jabs at subjects that people with no sense of humor decreed they weren't allowed to take jabs at.

This morning in Paris, 12 people died for that freedom. They were killed in an attack by gunmen claiming to be affiliated with al Qaeda, gunmen who stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo shouting, "Allah hu-Akbar," and executed ten people, including two police officers who tried to stop them. Among the members of the Charlie Hebdo staff murdered were some of its most famous cartoonists, people who drew the very images that so infuriated Muslim extremists. These extremists demanded that Charlie Hebdo not publish images of the Prophet Muhammad -- and the newspaper did it anyway. These extremists demanded that even those who don't believe in their faith submit to it -- and Charlie Hebdo said, basically, "Fuck you."

The best way to both honor the memory of those killed today and to take a stand for all that Charlie Hebdo has stood for is to publish -- over and over again -- the images that led to today's violence. It's a cliché to say that this is what they don't want you to see, but it's never been more true. This isn't simply what they don't want you to see -- it's what they'll kill to stop you from seeing. But in the age of social media, they can't stop this. No matter what they do. They can't kill everyone.

p>Je suis Charlie.

voeux

This was tweeted out this morning by Charlie Hebdo. It's the leader of ISIS and the staff offers him "best wishes."

formule

From October of last year. Muhammad being beheaded by an ISIS fighter. He's shouting, "I'm the prophet, you asshole," while his killer says back, "Shut your trap, infidel."

charia

2011: Muhammad "guest edits" Charlie Hebdo. Translation: "100 lashes if you don't die laughing." This likely led the newspapers office to be firebombed a few weeks later.

stronger

The follow-up cover to the Muhammad edition. Translation: "Love is stronger than hate."

posing

As a response to the Muslim reaction to The Innocence of Muslims, a cheap movie that was allegedly the impetus for the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Charlie Hebdo published this: Muhammad posing for a camera. On the left, the caption reads, "A star is born"; on the right, it reads, "The film that will set the Muslim world on fire." Muhammad is saying in the shot, "My ass? You love my ass?"

film

This cover references the French film, The Intouchables. Translation: "Shouldn't laugh."

publication

In 2006, following the publication of the images of Muhammad in the Danish magazine Jyllands-Posten, which set off a firetorm of outrage, Charlie Hebdo republished the images and slapped this cover on the issue. Here, Muhammad is saying, "It's hard to be loved by these idiots."

depicting

In 2002, the paper ran this: a cartoon depicting Muhammad picking "Miss Potato Sack."

censored

Translation: "Charlie Hebdo must be censored."

Contact Narayana Sd at Narayana Sd at narayanasd123@gmail.com


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4 BIBLICAL SAYINGS THAT SPICE UP TODAY'S HEBREW

Posted by David Hornik, January 11, 2015

revival1

Click VIDEO here.

As I noted in the first article in this series, "In the Diaspora, Hebrew was retained primarily as a holy tongue, a language of prayer and sacred study." But with the onset of Zionist settlement of the Land of Israel in the late 19th century, Hebrew gradually became the official language of the Yishuv, the prestate Jewish community, and then of the state of Israel itself.

That, however, required a good deal of modernization and adaptation of classical Hebrew. The driving force behind that project was Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1921), a Lithuanian-born Jew who moved to Palestine in 1881 and—among much other activity on Hebrew's behalf—produced a 17-volume lexicon of ancient and modern Hebrew, sometimes working on it 18 hours a day.

If Eliezer Ben-Yehuda could see today's Israel, he would know that his labors were crowned with great success. Hebrew now permeates all dimensions of Israeli life, from scientific studies to street slang.

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva. His memoir, Destination Israel: Coming of Age and Finding Peace in the Middle East, is forthcoming later this year from Liberty Island. In addition to PJ Media his work has appeared on Frontpage Magazine, New English Review, American Spectator, American Thinker, The Times of Israel, the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Press, Ynetnews, Israel National News, Moment, and others. David has long made his home in Israel, having grown up in the U.S.; his previous book is Choosing Life in Israel.


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TEL AVIV OPERA...

Posted by GWY123, January 11, 2015

Maestro ditches opera after request to play 'Hatikva' denied Frederic Chaslin sought to play anthem in honor of the Paris victims, but Israel's principal opera company refused By Marissa Newman Times of Israel January 11, 2015, 3:55 pm 16 http://www.timesofisrael.com/maestro-ditches-opera-after-request-to-play-hatikva-denied/

A French-Jewish conductor refused to appear at the Israeli Opera for a performance on Saturday evening, after the Tel Aviv opera house's management denied his request to play "Hatikva" in commemoration of the victims of the terror attacks in France last week.

Parisian-born Frederic Chaslin had asked to say a few words and play the Israeli national anthem in honor of the 17 people killed in Paris last week — in the kosher supermarket siege and shootout at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, and a policewoman killed separately — but was told the move would upset the audience. He subsequently left the theater, and an understudy conducted the performance.

"It was refused to me," Chaslin wrote on Facebook regarding his request. "'It would upset our audience,' 'it is against the management's policies.' What management? What policy? Where am I? In a country supposed to be the sanctuary for all Jewish people in the world? Has the 'audience' of this country lost their souls?

"As a result of course I refused to conduct tonight," he concluded.

Chaslin was not immediately available for comment.

A statement from the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv-Yaffo condemned the Paris attacks, but insisted the theater must remain a haven from terror.

"The Israeli opera is pained by tragedy and its aftermath and its heart is with the French nation and Jewish community," it said.

"For the 30 years that the opera has been in operation, it has insisted on maintaining its routine even on the painful days of dozens of terror attacks and during wars. This is the way of the opera — not to allow terror to win and disturb the routine of our lives."

With the "complex reality we live in" it would be necessary to "sing Hatikva nearly every day," it said.

Chaslin, a celebrated conductor and composer formerly of the Santa Fe Opera, is the son of Holocaust survivors. He is set to conduct 10 more performances of the La Rondine opera this month, and the opera house said that to the best of its knowledge, he would conduct as scheduled.

Chaslin is also slated to appear at UNESCO later this month for a concert commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

Contact GWY123@aol.com at AmericanZionist@yahoogroups.com


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"CRISIS"

Posted by Arlene Kushner, January 11, 2015

No way to be upbeat today, even with the outpouring of protest from people grieved and furious about the terrorist killings in France.

Late Friday – before Shabbat - four French Jews were killed in a kosher market in Paris by an associate of the terrorists who attacked at Charlie Hebdo. Apparently he intended to take hostages, to trade for the release of his associates. In the end, four were shot dead and others were hidden in the market refrigerator by Lassana Bathily, a "Malian Muslim" employee [from Mali or of Mali extraction] and then rescued.

The four killed were Yoav Hattab, 21; Yohan Cohen, 22; Philippe Braham, 40; and Francois-Michel Saada, about 60.

4killed

~~~~~~~~~~

Hattab, who was studying in France, was the son of the chief rabbi of Tunis.

Leah Elyakim, of Israel, met him just weeks ago when he visited here for the first time. It had been difficult for him make his way here sooner, coming from Tunis.

"He learned Hebrew, he knew everything about Israeli history, more than any of us," she remembered.

"Every day we traveled, we walked around with an Israeli flag on his back. He said Israel was the only place he would walk freely with a Star of David or an Israeli flag. In France he never could have."

"His dream was to move to Israel and serve in the army. [He had been] "so depressed when he had to return to France. He told me, 'when I get to Paris, I'll have to hide the flag.'"

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/189773#.VLJd-Jv9nIU

So he hid the Israeli flag, but shopped at a kosher market in Paris, and that did it.

Make no mistake: These four were killed because they were Jews.

There is talk now about bringing them to Israel for burial. I consider this enormously appropriate because of the statement this makes.

~~~~~~~~~~

A dear friend of mine, who lives in Paris with her family (and will likely see this), wrote to me last night:

“Sadly this is just the beginning - finally the authorities have admitted its just a matter of when!!”

Important, this honest recognition: There are Islamist cells throughout France and it will happen again. And again. There are now reports that terrorist sleeper cells have been activated.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4613629,00.html

And there is evidence of links the terrorists may have had to either Al-Qaeda or Islamic State.

~~~~~~~~~~

French aliyah (immigration into Israel) has grown a great deal in recent years. In 2014, 7,000 French Jews came, twice the number that had come the previous year. Natan Sharansky, head of the Jewish Agency, has reported that there were 50,000 inquiries about aliyah from French Jews in 2014. With the current attack, the actual aliyah is likely to increase significantly. Numerous Israeli officials, beginning with our prime minister, are encouraging this.

Last night, Netanyahu spoke out to French Jews:

"The State of Israel is not just the place to which you turn in prayer. The State of Israel is also your home. This week, a special team of ministers will convene to advance steps to increase immigration from France and other countries in Europe that are suffering from terrible anti-Semitism. All Jews who want to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed here warmly and with open arms. We will help you in your absorption here in our state that is also your state."

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=22707

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Some French officials are disturbed by the prospect of a major Jewish emigration from France. (There are some 500,000 Jews in France – the largest Jewish community remaining in Europe.)

Of particular note is the statement by the French Prime Minister, Manuel Valis, reported by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic:

“The choice was made by the French Revolution in 1789 to recognize Jews as full citizens. To understand what the idea of the republic is about, you have to understand the central role played by the emancipation of the Jews. It is a founding principle. If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure."

http://m.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/01/french-prime-minister-warns-if-jews-flee-the-republic-will-be-judged-a-failure/384410/

I found this fascinating. They are saying they will send the army, if necessary, to protect the Jewish institutions of France.

But my response is that they should have thought about this sooner. The French Republic is about to be judged a failure not just because it has not protected the community of Jews it had emancipated long ago, but because it has not been true to its principles in a host of spheres. Because there are enclaves of Muslims ("no-go zones governed by Sharia law) right in Paris and other locales, where the French police will not enter. And because essential freedoms presumably guarded by the French nation have been sacrificed.

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Says Alex Fishman, writing in YNet (emphasis added):

"As long as Jews were the only ones getting killed, France avoided dealing with the Islamic terror. The red lights which should have been triggered several years ago didn't even flash for a second.

France has opened its arms to Islamic terror. And the bigger the failure, the larger and grander the mourning rallies. his is a rule invented by politicians to cover up their own failures...

"The French security services' failure in the past week was colossal and shameful, and indeed, France and all of Europe are being swept away accordingly in mass mourning rallies and protests of millions. (See below on this.)

"But there is not a single protest or speech which can cover up the bitter truth: The Western European countries' security services in general – and France's security services in particular – are not prepared in any way for dealing with the radical Islamic terror. Not professionally, not legally and definitely not mentally...

"Suddenly it turns out that all those red lights which should have been triggered several years ago, when the Islamic terror killed Jews, did not even flash for a second. The French security services insisted on not touching the Islamic terror, professionally and fundamentally.

"There is no legislation in France which makes it possible to deal with the hundreds of people who left France to fight along with the radical Islamic movements. There is no legislation which defines Islamic terror as a problem, and therefore there are no agents in the problematic mosques.

“The French intelligence services have zero ability to do something with the information they receive from foreign intelligence agencies about dangerous Muslims who have returned to France. And so the terrorists had no problem travelling on a train in France with Kalashnikovs in their bags. There was not a chance in the world that someone would stop them...

"Who would have thought that the French people, who invented the modern intelligence, would reach such a low point. When France wants its intelligence to be extraordinary, it is. But it just didn't want, for political reasons, to deal with the Islamic terror..."

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4613823,00.html

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There are politically correct concerns being voiced about a backlash against innocent Muslims – Islamophobia, they call it – as a result of the terror attacks. With regard to this, I share the observations of Lawrence A. Franklin writing in Gatestone (emphasis added):

"A seemingly required inclusion in most reports on the recent mass murder in Paris was the rhetorical question posed by reporters has been: "Will these events invite a wave of anti-Muslim incidents"? Since these Islam-inspired murders, however, there have been only a few anti-Muslim actions -- all against property.

"Under-reported, however, was how rapidly the assault against Charlie Hebdo migrated into an anti-Jewish mini-pogrom in the heart of Paris. What did shoppers in a kosher market, four of whom were slaughtered, have to do with the cartoon images of Mohammad? Nothing. But the assault on the HyperCacher Jewish kosher supermarket has a lot to do with the true nature of Islamic militancy.

"It seems the drawings in Charlie Hebdo offended some true believers of Islam, but the mere existence of Jews also offends them...

"In reaction to the murders in Paris, the French capital's Grand Synagogue was closed for the first time since World War II. In fact, synagogues all over Paris were closed. There were no Shabbat services this Saturday, the Jewish day of rest...In light of all the expressed concern about possible anti-Muslim incidents, claims on television, such as on CNN, that 'Muslims are the most persecuted people,' seemed jarring and wrong.

"The Grand Mosque in Paris, like mosques all over the capital, was open for business on Friday, the Muslim day of prayer. Moreover, there was little discernible increased security around the Grand Mosque. It seems French security authorities were less worried about attacks directed at Muslim institutions than were America's media commentators. Perhaps they should have spent just a little time reporting on the anti-Jewish rioting that took place in the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Trappes, a suburb of Paris?”

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5025/paris-mosque-synagogue

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It is well understood that Obama embraces the same politically correct perspective, which translates into a policy protective of Muslims. I will note here that it has made the rounds of several blogger sites that Obama's press secretary said that, in light of the terror attacks in Paris, fighting Islamophobia would be given a priority by the president. However, I have not been able to locate a primary source for this. Thus, while I have no trouble believing that this would reflect Obama's position, I cannot verify this statement.

What I can share here, however, is a piece by eminent anti-terrorist Steve Emerson, regarding the refusal to use the word "Islam" in association with terrorism:

"The first comments came from Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, who refused to even call the massacre an act of terrorism, but made sure to add the now typical non-sequitor which...routinely follows Islamic terrorist attacks, that 'Islam is a religion of peace' and therefore no [one] should associate the "extremists" in Paris with Islam.

"Then President Obama issued his own statement, but in keeping with his administration's 6 year old prohibition on using the term 'Islamic terrorism,' he simply referred to the attack as 'terrorism' -- a vanilla term conspicuously devoid of any descriptive term explaining the motivation behind the attack.”

There's more. See it here:

http://www.investigativeproject.org/4721/will-we-ever-learn-obama-white-house-cant-admit

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Emerson reports that in 2012, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said, referring to the very same Charlie Hebdo Magazine that was attacked last week:

"We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this. We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory."

So much for defending freedom of speech.

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I mention this here not only to expose the appeasement of the Obama administration, but to point out where true courage in "telling it straight" can be found now: Amongst the cartoonists. And I want to spotlight one particular cartoonist, Yaakov Kirschen, originator of "Dry Bones."

Says Kirschen:

"I don't think that the political or religious leadership in the West is up to the job. I think they are cowardly. I think they are fearful and that's what we got.

"I think what we have now, is that bizarrely, cartoonists are the front-line soldiers in the war to defend freedom of speech...I think cartoonists have become advocates and activists."

http://www.jpost.com/International/Cartoonists-The-unlikely-front-line-soldiers-387312

Kirschen is involved in a cartooning project to fight anti-Semitism and apathy regarding persecution of Middle East Christians.

You might want to lend support. See http://www.drybonesblog.blogspot.co.il/

~~~~~~~~~~

As I close today, hundreds of thousands, if not a million, people are winding up their march in Paris, a silent protest against terror. Among the leaders present are Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; Israeli Ministers Naftali Bennett and Avigdor Lieberman are also in attendance.

Something heartening about seeing such a turnout against terror. You want to believe it says something positive. But for me this has been seriously marred by the revolting presence of Mahmoud Abbas, who was not ashamed to show his face, as if he were also against terror.

A good show. But let's see what, if anything at all serious, follows.

Contact Arlene Kushner at akushner@netvision.net.il And visit her website at www.arlenefromisrael.info


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END NAZIPHOBIA!

Posted by Steven Plaut, January 11, 2015

Buried for decades deep inside the basements of the Library of Congress, researchers have just uncovered the following remarkable document dated December 7, 1942. It contains a call to the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, issued by 789 journalists from around the world and endorsed by dozens of chapters of Professors for Immediate Peace. Here is the text:

Dear Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister:

We, the undersigned journalists and professors and other seekers of peace, call upon you to use your powers and influence to put an end to the blight that is eating away at the moral fabric of the societies of the Allied nations and weakening their resolve to pursue peace. We are referring to the form of bigotry and intolerance known as Naziphobia. For too long Americans and British fellow citizens have sat by passively while certain media outfits have vilified and insulted Nazis, mocking their sacred symbols and beliefs, belittling their ideological leaders.

These manifestations of intolerance have fanned the flames of the current international conflict and have led to a prolonging of hostilities. Thoughtless English-language newspapers have even taken to referring to the Germans as "Krauts" and the Japanese as "Japs" or "Nips." Such language alienates the peoples in these countries and offends their sensitivities. This unbecomes us as civilized Western Anglo-Saxons.

We demand immediate action to end Naziphobia and to foster an atmosphere of reconciliation. We demand that Spike Lee be immediately incarcerated for his offensive song mocking the German leadership and we demand that the Congress issue an official writ of apology to the German people for that. We demand that American and British schools expose their children to the principles of Nazi ideology in order to end the demonization and allow them to understand the Other. We demand an end to derogatory newspaper comments about "Aryans." We also insist that anti-German discriminatory laws in the US and Great Britain be erased from the books and that quotas preventing migration of citizens of the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire to the territories of these countries be eliminated.

Let us recall whence the Angles and Saxons came to the British Islands in the first place and hence ultimately to the New World. Let us recall the great cultural legacy our ancestors received from these Teutons. It is time to understand the Other, not to demonize him. Let us prove our moral worthiness to our current adversaries by prohibiting publication of offensive Naziphobia propaganda and racist Reich-baiting. Let us criminalize the public burning of Mein Kampf and portraits of the Fuhrer. Let us punish those who defile the buildings of London and New York with offensive graffiti caricatures of Hitler and the Japanese Emperor.

Peace may yet be restored if we purge ourselves of these manifestations of racism and bigotry! Stop Naziphobia!

Let us move forward to peace and reconciliation!

Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments — both seriously and satirically — on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. Write him at splaut@econ.haifa.ac.il His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com.


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ISRAEL'S MINISTER WITHOUT APOLOGIES

Posted by Moncharsh, January 11, 2015

The article below was written by Bret Stephens who is an American journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013. He works for The Wall Street Journal as the foreign-affairs columnist and the deputy editorial page editor and is responsible for the editorial pages of its European and Asian editions. From 2002 to 2004, he was editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post. This article appeared January 09, 2015 on The Wall Street Journal and is archived at http://linkis.com/DGT7A

It's election season in Israel, and so far the most talked-about campaign ad features an Orthodox politician in an unorthodox role. In a YouTube video that quickly went viral, Naftali Bennett plays a fashionably bearded Tel Aviv hipster with a compulsion to say sorry - especially when he's the one being wronged.

A waitress spills coffee on him: He begs her forgiveness. His car gets rear-ended: He steps out to tell the offending driver how sorry he is. He sits on a park bench and reads an editorial in a left-wing newspaper calling on Israel to apologize to Turkey for the 2010 flotilla incident, in which nine pro-Palestinian militants were killed aboard a ship after violently assaulting Israeli naval commandos. "They're right!" he says of the editorial.

At last the fake beard comes off and the clean-shaven Mr. Bennett, who in real life is Israel's minister of economy and heads the nationalist Jewish Home Party (in Hebrew, Habayit Hayehudi), looks at the camera and says: "Starting today, we stop apologizing. Join Habayit Hayehudi today."

"For many years we've sort of apologized for everything," Mr. Bennett explains in his Tel Aviv office. "About the fact that we are here, about the fact that this has been our land for 3,800 years, about the fact that we defend ourselves against Hamas, against Hezbollah." It's time, he says, "we raise our heads and say, 'We're here to stay, we're proud of it, and we're no longer apologetic.'"

The message has proved a potent one for the 42-year-old newbie politician, who only became a member of the Israeli Knesset in 2013 and immediately took a major ministerial post. The next parliamentary election doesn't take place until March 17, which is a double eternity in Israeli politics. But Jewish Home is polling well, and Mr. Bennett is being talked about as a likely foreign or finance minister in the next coalition government, assuming it's still led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud Party.

Should a Likud-Jewish Home government form, it could represent a tectonic shift in Israeli politics. For 25 years, between Israel's capture of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Six Day War and the 1992 election of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, every Israeli government had categorically rejected the idea of a Palestinian state. Then came the 1993 Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, after which Israeli governments of both the left and right, including Mr. Netanyahu's, effectively committed Israel to the two-state solution.

Now the wheel is turning again. "The latest conflict in Gaza was a real earthquake for Israelis," says Mr. Bennett, referring to last summer's war.

"For 50 days we were incurring missiles, and they just went on and on from the very place where we did pull back to the '67 lines. We did expel all the Jews. We did everything according to the book. The expectation might have been, we'll get applause from the world - 'you're OK; it's they who are attacking you' - but what happened was the opposite. The world got angry at us for defending ourselves."

For decades, "land-for-peace" has been the diplomatically accepted equation for solving the Israeli-Arab conflict. Experience has shown Israelis that it doesn't always work as anticipated. Peace with Egypt, achieved after Israel agreed to return the conquered Sinai Peninsula, has proved durable. But Israel also withdrew all of its forces and settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and what it got was a haven for Hamas, which used it to fire thousands of rockets at Israel. Doing likewise in the West Bank seems to many Israelis a surefire way of achieving the same result over a larger territorial scale.

Mr. Bennett, however, is making a deeper point. It isn't only the land-for-peace formula that has failed Israel. The other failure is what one might call land-for-love: the notion that, even if ceding territory doesn't lead to peace, it will nonetheless help Israel gain the world's goodwill, and therefore diplomatic and strategic leverage. Instead, after 20 years of seeking peace and giving up land, Israel's diplomatic isolation has only deepened. And, as he points out, it has deepened over disputes connected to Gaza - from which Israel withdrew - and not the West Bank, where Israel largely remains.

"So why would I follow the bad model," Mr. Bennett asks, "instead of strengthening the good model?"

The "good model," in Mr. Bennett's view, is some version of the current arrangement in the West Bank, or what he calls, per official Israeli (and ancient Biblical) usage, Judea and Samaria.

"Judea and Samaria is imperfect," he allows, "but it's working. More Israelis and Palestinians are shopping together. Driving on the same roads. Working together. It's not ideal there. But it's working. People get up, go to work in the morning, come home alive."

That's a depiction that critics of Israeli policy would furiously contest, claiming that current policy gives Jewish settlers privileged access to the land while consigning nearly two million Palestinians to Bantustan-like enclaves. That, they say, risks transforming Israel from a democracy into an ethnocracy and guaranteeing international pariah status.

Mr. Bennett's answer is that it's the Palestinians who bear the blame for proving themselves unworthy of statehood. "They had all the opportunity in the world to build the Singapore of Gaza, he says. "They chose to turn it into Afghanistan." He also believes that it's better to find ways to make the best of a difficult situation than try to reach for a solution that is destined for failure. He wants a "Marshall Plan" to improve the Palestinian economy, "autonomy on steroids" for Palestinian politics - but no more.

"The truth is that no one has a good solution for what's going on," he says. "We have to figure out what we do over the next several decades. Trying to apply a Western full-fledged solution to a problem that is not solvable right now will bring us from an OK situation to a disastrous situation. So the first rule is, do no harm, which is the opposite of the Oslo process."

Worse, he adds, is that successive Israeli leaders have felt obliged to go along with a commitment to a two-state solution, even as few of them believe it's possible to achieve, at least with the current generation of Palestinians. As a result, he suggests, Israeli leaders can fairly be accused of insincerity.

"We go along with this vision that is impractical, and then, we are surprised why the world is angry with us for not fulfilling that vision. You can't say, 'I support a Palestinian state' and then not execute according to that. I think people appreciate honesty."

The comment is a not-too-subtle dig at Mr. Netanyahu, who formally embraced the idea of a Palestinian state in a landmark 2009 speech. Mr. Bennett was once the prime minister's protégé, and served as his chief-of-staff when Mr. Netanyahu was in the political opposition. But the relationship soured as Mr. Bennett went on to become director-general of the Yesha Council, the umbrella group for Israeli settlers, and became even more embittered when Mr. Netanyahu agreed in 2010 to a 10-month settlement freeze. Over the past year relations between the two men have alternated between threats by the prime minister to fire Mr. Bennett and threats from Mr. Bennett to quit the coalition.

Ultimately, the two men are contesting for leadership of the Israeli right. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, given how much they have in common. Like Mr. Netanyahu, who spent much of his early life in the U.S., Mr. Bennett has strong American roots: Both his parents immigrated to Israel from California, and his English is fluent and all but unaccented. Like Mr. Netanyahu, too, who served in the Israeli special forces, Mr. Bennett was a commander in Maglan, a unit that specializes in going behind enemy lines.

And like Mr. Netanyahu, who worked as a management consultant in Boston in the 1970s, Mr. Bennett lived and worked in New York City, where he founded and ran a cybersecurity company called Cyota, which he sold for a neat profit in 2005. Today, he notes with evident pride, 70% of Americans who bank online use software developed by his company.

One difference, however, is that Mr. Netanyahu is a secular Jew, whereas Mr. Bennett, who wears the knitted kippa common to the religious-nationalist camp, is observant. His belief in the importance of holding on to land is therefore more than just a military or political consideration. It's fundamental to his world view.

"If your vision is dividing Israel, then it makes no sense in building somewhere that's not going to be part of Israel," he says, again drawing an implicit contrast with Mr. Netanyahu. "If your vision is that you're not going to divide Jerusalem, then it makes all the sense in the world to build there. Because anyway it's yours."

Mr. Bennett is equally critical of the government's handling of last summer's war with Gaza. The war, he says, took much too long, partly in a misbegotten effort to curry international favor. "I'll just remind you, there was an endless series of cease-fires with Hamas," he notes. "And I thought it was a profound mistake to talk to Hamas down in Egypt. You don't talk to terror organizations! We go in, do what we want to do, get out; if we need to hit them hard we keep it short and keep it very intense. Why do we talk to them?"

Lest anyone mistake Mr. Bennett for an Israeli neoconservative, however, he's quick to disabuse the impression.

"I don't believe in regime change, certainly not in the Middle East," he says. "When I look at the whole arena it's always the law of unintended consequences works. Look at Syria, look at Egypt. If you ask me how to deal with everything, and it applies here also, it's effectively deterrence - meaning don't mess with Israel - it's having a strong military with a tenfold edge on all of our enemies; it's having a powerful economy; and strengthening our Jewish character. And not giving up land anymore. If we apply these principles we'll be fine everywhere."

So how should Israel- and for that matter the West - conduct a sober and realistic Mideast policy? I ask about Iran.

"Iran's goal is not to acquire a nuclear weapon today," he says. "Its goal is to acquire a nuclear weapon tomorrow. So to say that we are postponing the breakout is not the issue. The issue is, do they have a machine that can break out within a relatively short time frame. Roughly 20,000 centrifuges can produce enough nuclear material for a bomb within about four or five weeks. That's not enough time for the West to identify a breakout. To create a coalition and act, you need about two years. What we need is for the whole machine to be dismantled, not for them to press the pause button."

Mr. Bennett adds the standard Israeli refrain that the government is preparing for all contingencies and will not outsource its security, but he's quick to underscore that a nuclear Iran - with the inevitable consequent chain of Mideast nuclear proliferation - is not Israel's problem alone. "All this will flow over very quickly to the free world," he warns.

The same goes for the broader problem of radical Islam.

"Anyone who thinks - and I'm talking especially about Europe - that if you sell Israel you buy peace and quiet in Madrid and Paris, they've got it all wrong. Israel is the bastion against radical Islam hitting Paris, Madrid and London." I interviewed Mr. Bennett on Tuesday night. The following day, jihadists stormed the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, massacring 12 people. There will surely be more such attacks, possibly quite soon. Whatever readers think about Mr. Bennett as an Israeli politician, they might do well to heed his warning to the West:

"The biggest danger for any organism is to not identify that it's being threatened," he says. "I want to hope that people realize that the source of danger and risk in the Middle East is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but the deep radical Islamic vision of forming a global caliphate."

Contact Moncharsh at fmoncharsh@gmail.com


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MORE THAN A MILLION MARCH IN PARIS

Posted by Nidra Poller, January 11, 2015

march

The latest estimate is 1.5 million marching in Paris today. We have never seen anything like it. It's 5:20 PM as I start to write and the Place de la Republique is still filled with an overflow crowd that will probably never get to follow the route to the official destination at Place de la Nation, but that's not what matters.

So far there have been no reports of incidents. I didn't expect the punk jihadis to turn up and face what looks like the entire population united against them. This is probably the safest day since September 30, 2000 when a different crowd massed in Place de la Republique with posters of Mohamed al Dura and shouted "Death to the Jews." But I was concerned about crowd control. The French are notoriously undisciplined, they mill around, don't queue up, park on the sidewalk and cross against the light.

march2

But today is different. The crowd applauds the police, applauds each other and itself. There is no rush or crush. The police control the flow, there is no pushing from behind. I've never seen anything like it since I settled here in 1972. And I have seen hundreds of demonstrations of every sort. This is not a demonstration, it is an affirmation. Je suis Charlie could translate into the long awaited awakening of the democracies. Or it might be one more ocean of illusion to drown in.

march3

I walked around for hours in the Marais, up and down the side streets, up and down the boulevards, between la Republique and la Bastille. People were pouring in from all directions, walking north, south, east and west. Nothing else seemed to matter. The winter sales, a national sport, began on the fateful Wednesday January 7th. By noon that day the fervor for bargains was replaced with the horror of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Sunday, always a big shopping day in the Marais, is double triple during the sales. Hardly anyone in the shops today. No line at l'As du Falafel where fans wait patiently for an hour or more to get a table on Sunday. Every street was filled with I am Charlies on their way to Place de la Republique. The mood was calm, respectful, quietly determined. Like people at work, not like rowdy demonstrators defending special interests.

march4

There was hardly an in or out of the march. Everyone was in and it was everywhere. As if a leader had finally stood up and convoked the population to stand up and defend itself. Is François Hollande that leader? I doubt it, but he stood in the leader's stead today. Were the heads of state—about 60 in all—that flowed into Paris like the Parisians flowed into the Place de la Republique—the united front of democracies that will truly face up to and defeat jihad conquest? Hardly, but they stood in their place today.

march5

The immense spillover crowd that could not march down the designated routes on Boulevard Voltaire and Avenue de la République, filled the boulevard Temple / Filles de Calvaire /Beaumarchais wall to wall. Night is falling. What light will dawn?

Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas marched a few meters away from each other to the right and left of François Hollande. That doesn't bring anyone closer to peace, it blurs distinctions, but the idea was to have open house in Paris today. With all its contradictions. The sinister ex-comic Dieudonne tweeted his intention to join the march. Reporters without Borders did not appreciate the presence of certain heads of state that are notorious for suppressing press freedom. True, but unless I am mistaken, neither Erdogan nor Rohani was present. Much is made of the shining diversity of the crowd—"an authentic cross section of French society," according to enthusiastic journalists on the ground. I don't think that was the demographic today. It's not a question of ethnic nitpicking but a necessary search for the truth. What I saw today, as I deliberately walked against the flow of the crowd, the better to see its composition, was something more like the silent majority.

I have repeatedly ended my reports on the distressing situation in France in particular and the free world in general with words of hope. Democracies, I wrote, don't commit suicide. Even if today's "we are all Charlie" message was rather primary, it can mature. Democracy is not the happily ever after of societies composed of all the same, it is the non-violent way of negotiating differences.

march6

At least we can say that a million and a half people in Paris and hundreds of thousands all over the world offered a rousing show of hands...and feet to the aspiring caliphators in our midst. It won't be enough to send them slinking away like cowed dogs, but it is a start.

march7

Ceremonies for all the victims are scheduled tonight at the Central Synagogue, rue des Victoires, and in front of the kosher grocery store at Porte de Vincennes this evening. I will be on Voice of Israel radio at 7 PM Paris time this evening and on the Lisa Benson show at 9.

The four victims savagely assassinated by Amedy Coulibaly in the Hyper Cacher market at Porte de Vincennes will all be buried this Tuesday in Israel.

Nidra Poller is an American writer and translator who has lived in Paris since 1972. She has contributed to English-language publications such as The Wall Street Journal, National Review, FrontPage Magazine, and The New York Sun.


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A REPLY TO A MUSLIM CALIBAN

Posted by Edward Cline, January 11, 2015

On January 10th, Enza Ferreri ran on her blog spot an excerpt from the late journalist Oriana Fallaci’s predictions about the fate of Italy (and of Europe) in the face of unopposed mass Muslim immigration from the Mideast and North Africa. In the excerpt, she argues that the minuscule size of the activist, fundamentalist, jihadist element in any European Muslim population is irrelevant. It is the inescapably virulent ideology which that population also carries with it like leprous lesions that enables and emboldens the terrorism-minded among it.

The canard of "moderate" Islam, the comedy of tolerance, the lie of the integration, the farce of multiculturalism continue. And with that, the attempt to make us believe that the enemy consists of a small minority and that small minority lives in distant countries. Well, the enemy is not a small minority. And he's in our home. He's an enemy that at first glance does not look like an enemy. Without a beard, dressed in Western fashion, and according to his accomplices in good or bad faith perfectly-assimilated-into-our-social-system. That is, with a residence permit. With the car. With family. Never mind if the family is often made up of two or three wives, never mind if the wife or wives are constantly beaten up, if he sometimes kills his blue-jeans-wearing daughter, if sometimes his son rapes the 15-year-old Bolognese girl walking in the park with her boyfriend. He is an enemy that we treat as a friend. Who nevertheless hates and despise us with intensity.

He is, Fallaci continued:

An enemy who, right after settling in our cities or countryside, engages in bullying and demands free or semi-free housing as well as the right to vote and citizenship. All of which he gets easily. An enemy who imposes his own rules and customs on us.

He represents an advance force that intends to implement a total conquest of Europe to fashion a mammoth individual caliphate (with the cooperation of the behemoth European Union) or pick off each country singly to create many caliphates. He is here to aid in the conquest of Europe. He will refuse to assimilate or will assimilate only in non-essential ways, such as in his dress. He might even learn the native language. But, otherwise, he is here to command and lord it over non-Muslims. He is a foot soldier of Islam. He is "martyring" himself by enjoying a higher standard of living and an enhanced longevity not possible in his pest hole of origin. His pain and suffering stem from having to rub shoulders with the filthy kaffir and ogling the "exposed meat" of European women in their mini-skirts.

He's ready to become "radicalized" by a "religion" that is radically primitive and totalitarian. He's ready to become an "extremist" or a "militant," or an "activist militant," or a "militant activist extremist" in pursuit of Muslim "justice" – which means murder, rape, and income redistribution through taxes to support a European welfare state. Those taxes also support prisons populated disproportionately by Muslim criminals. Name me the country without a large Muslim count of inmates. It must be Patagonia. Patagonia isn't a country, you say? Well, there you are.

He carries two bayonets: Islam's, and the gilt-edged invitation of multiculturalism, diversity, and political/sensitivity correctness. Europe might be able to fight the first, militarily, and effectively (as France did in Mali, as its police and security forces did in the post-Hebdo hostage-takings), but its self-imposed Rules of Engagement with Islam forbid it to question Islam and whether or not it is benign or malign. That is an ideational conflict which the European elite (and American politicians) refuses to fight.

Fallaci regarded Islam and its occupying, parasitical populations (aka, "settlers") as a cancer that has invaded an anemic body – anemic because the governments that invited them are unable or unwilling to form any practical policies to fight the invasion, the brunt of which falls on the indigenous population in terms of crime, taxes, harassment, anti-Semitism, enforced compliance with Sharia, and threats of violence. that are "no-go" zones for the police, firefighters, and the local and national law.

No sooner had Ferreri posted her Fallaci column than a Muslim troll signed in and left a ranting diatribe against freedom of speech. He has since been answered by me and several other readers who found his assertions bizarre, ludicrous, and overwhelmingly hostile. He signed his rant with "IA" together with a link to his alleged organization – http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk.

I searched for such an organization, found several Islamic "schools" of Islamic studies in London, but none of whose URLs matched the troll's URL. A search using his URL turned up nothing.

The troll's name is Iftikhar Ahmad. A Facebook-style photograph of him was appended to his rant. A search on that medium turned up eight namesakes; not a one of them resembles him, none sports a Muslim-style beard, as he does, or any beard at all. They must be apostates.

Iftikhar Ahmad's minor discourse in his lengthy comment on the blamelessness of Islam and Muslims and the wickedness of the West is such a tongue-twisting, mind-bending instance of Islamic taqiyya that it deserves a response. It is representative of the level of deception, falsehood, and dissimulation regularly practiced by Muslim spokesmen when addressing the West, and bought whole or in diet-conscious portions by Western politicians, liberal and leftist pundits, and the mainstream media. In this column I discuss only two paragraphs of Ahmad's entire diatribe. You will need to read the whole thing yourselves.

I begin with his last paragraph. It's zanier than the best Marx Brothers routine.

The vast majority of terrorist attacks on US soil have been by non-Muslims. The vast majority of terrorist attacks in Europe have been by non-Muslims. And Muslims are more often the victims of terrorism. The Muslims today are a demonized underclass in France. A people vilified and attacked by the power structures. A poor people with little or no power and these vile cartoons made their lives worse and heightened the racist prejudice against them. Even white liberals have acted in the most prejudiced way. It was as if white people had a right to offend Muslims and Muslims had no right to be offended? The difference was, when white people were offended, they had the state, white corporate media and the threat of a right wing mob to make their point — Muslims had nothing.

Ahmad appears to be plagiarizing Al Sharpton. Whites are all devils. This is Sharpton talk in olive-skin. (That is Ahmad's complexion in his photograph). Ahmad forgets that Islam is not a race, it is an ideology subscribed to by the olive-skinned, by blacks, by Asians, and by whites. So much for that vaunted "racial prejudice" against Muslims.

Charlie Hebdo was not a part of the French "power structure"; if anything, it and Charlie Hebdo were committed enemies of each other. Muslims are not "more often" the victims of terrorism, except during Sunni-Shi'ite slugfests in the Middle East and North Africa. Non-Muslims have not conducted any terrorist attacks in Europe or elsewhere, except for the very occasional paint- or pig's-blood splattered mosque. (Total casualties: one oinker.) The vast majority have been committed by...Muslims.

Muslims are not a "demonized underclass" in any Western country. If anything, they're coddled and treated with kid gloves by governments, who go to great lengths to stop any vilification of them with speech laws. They are not a "poor people with little or no power."

At last count, President François Hollande received 93% of the Muslim vote in France during the last election, which guaranteed that he would continue his coddling policies. As for Muslims being "poor" (aka, "disadvantaged," or kept at subsistence level, but how to explain all those photographs of roly-poly, burqa- or chador-draped women roaming European streets, pushing expensive-looking baby prams?). It's a universal practice among multi-married Muslim men in every European country to collect welfare state benefits for each wife, gauged again by the number of his other dependents, such as children. These people can afford so many cars in France that they burn about a thousand of them every New Year's Eve, and shop for newer models to replace them. It must be the Muslim version of French automotive industry subsidies, similar to our bail-out of General Motors.

French economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850) discussed a similar economic fallacy: Breaking windows keeps the glassmakers in business. Someone in Moslemland must have read Bastiat’s Parable of the Broken Window, and had a brilliant, pyromaniac idea.

The next to last paragraph of Ahmad's goes:

As for the killing of Charlie Hebdo staff by two or three gunmen, I hold my head high and say that even though I don't sanction, encourage, or endorse what they did, I'm not going to shed any tears for the vicious, racist, and malevolent victims who were the target of their excess. If a drug dealer gets run over by a car in my neighbourhood, I'm not expected to do a #Je_Suis_Drug_Dealer hash tag on twitter. I have more self-respect than that as a human being and as a Muslim. I do feel some pity for the Charlie Hebdo staff. I feel sorry that they chose to live a life of hate and die a death of hate, and that they could not find the stuff of human goodness in their hearts to do something better than be the Pharonic slave driver whipping the poor Hebrews of French society under their lash. I think there should be a uniform policy against publication of material that hurts religious feelings. Freedom of speech is all very well but with freedom should come responsible behavior or laws to ensure responsible behavior. There are limits to freedom of expression. These guys TRESPASSED them. They paid the fine for doing so.

This is mostly sanctimonious drivel. Ahmad doesn't "sanction, encourage, or endorse' the “excessive" murder of twelve unarmed people, but, because they were "vicious, racist, and malevolent," that's okay with him. After all, they were as bad as drug dealers. Who'll miss them? The victims "trespassed" on his feelings and those of other Muslims, inflicting irreparable emotional and material damage. Ergo, even though Charlie Hebdo and its cartoonists never heard of Ahmad, they were "vicious, racist, and malevolent."

"Non-excessive" assaults with, say, poisoned-paint-ball guns he would likely sanction, endorse and encourage, as long as the victims were only half-murdered. Or not. However, murder is murder and I don't think Ahmad grasps that the staff of Charlie Hebdo never committed murder, so it wasn't even an issue of an "eye for an eye." Charlie Hebdo wasn't engaged in tribal/clan warfare with Muslims. The publication simply despised their "religion."

And no one ever frog-marched a Muslim and forced him to look at a cartoon of Mohammad.

I raise a hypothetical question here: Had Charlie Hebdo, instead of mocking Mohammad with grotesque caricatures, instead regularly projected him as a noble-looking moral savant, as he is depicted in the bas-relief of him in the U.S. Supreme Court (complete with his ever-handy scimitar), would Muslims have minded it so much as to commit murder? The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in 1997 mounted a challenge to have the image removed, but the petition was dismissed by then Chief Justice William Rehnquist (for rather specious reasons).

The one statement of his that defies my powers of interpretation is that Charlie Hebdo was "the Pharonic slave driver whipping the poor Hebrews of French society." It leaves me scratching my head, although it is clearly anti-Semitic. Ahmad is capable of his own "insulting" caricatures.

In conclusion, Iftikhar Ahmad is a modern day Caliban, that beast with whom ship-wrecked Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest had a love-hate relationship. There are countless clones of him out there. Ahmad apparently is a chatterbox who can talk your head off before he is moved to take it off.

Not once in his rant did he challenge any of Oriana Fallaci's statements about the perils of letting in the Huns. Or submitting to the Borg. Or admitting herds of the Walking Dead.

It was all about him and his "victimhood."

Edward Cline is an American novelist and essayist. He is best known for his Sparrowhawk series of novels, set in England and Virginia before the American Revolutionary War. This article appeared January 11, 2015 on The Rule of Reason and is archived at http://ruleofreason.blogspot.com/2015/01/a-reply-to-muslim-caliban.html


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SHE'S A MUSLIM WHO WENT ON TV TO TALK PEACE WITH ISRAEL

Posted by Ted Belman, January 11, 2015

The article below was written by Sharona Schwartz who is a Middle East correspondent for TheBlaze. Prior to joining the site, she was coverage manager at CNN's Washington bureau. She also served at the network as scriptwriter for Wolf Blitzer, State Department producer and Middle East producer. She and CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta received the Clarion award for their report, "Sabrina's Law.". This article appeared January 11, 2015 on the Blaze and is archived at
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/01/11/shes-a-muslim-who-went-on-tv-to-talk -peace-with-israel-but-watch-what-the-station-next-to-her-to-undermine-her-words/

A Muslim doctor who is a vocal opponent of radical Islam and an ardent supporter of Israel is blasting an Australian television program for plastering an interview segment in which she appeared with images depicting Israeli military strikes on Gaza even though the subject of her interview was not about the summer conflict.

This, as one of the interviewers compared radical Islamism to what he called "extreme fundamentalist Christianity" in southern U.S. states which he alleged seeks to "stamp out Judaism and other forms of religion."

Qanta Ahmed, a sleep disorders specialist who is currently involved in an Israeli-Palestinian coexistence project, this weekend described her experience back in November when she was interviewed by Australia's Weekend Sunrise program, calling it "a Muslim's ambush."

During the interview segment on Australia's Channel 7, Ahmed described Project Rozana which supports the efforts of Israel's Hadassah Hospital to train predominantly Palestinian Muslim physicians from the West Bank.

"As an ambassador for the Project, I was lock step with my ideals both as a physician and as an observing Muslim opposed to virulently anti-Semitic Islamism," Ahmed wrote on the British website the Spectator.

When she later saw the interview, Ahmed wrote, "The shock was physical as I witnessed my exploitation. At each description of the pluralism and egalitarianism I had witnessed in Israeli medicine, the screen split to show the rubble of decimated North Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war, or the launching of an Iron Dome interception missile. Then the screen split to the Security Wall, shown from the Palestinian, not Israeli side."

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While Ahmed discussed Israeli medical efforts to train Palestinian doctors, video showed aftermath of an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. (Screenshot: Weekend Sunrise)

"Mortally wounded Palestinian children, injured in conflict were broadcast liberally. The war footage had clearly been assembled in advance of my live interview without prior knowledge of what I would say. In an unseen control room, to the producers' signal, as I responded with words like 'coexistence', 'integration' or 'pluralism', a technician pulled the trigger and rolled the stock 'Israel as a terrorist state' footage; detonating my truthful and universal message. I had been reduced to an instrument of rank media opportunism," Ahmed wrote.

A review of the video also revealed one of the images wallpapered in the split screen next to Ahmed showed the stridently anti-Israel doctor Mads Gilbert in a Gaza hospital. This same doctor shortly after the 9/11 attacks told a Norwegian newspaper that he supported a terrorist attack on the U.S.

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Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, a vocal critic of Israel who once supported terrorist attacks on the U.S., also appeared in the video wallpaper next to Ahmed. (Screenshot: Weekend Sunrise)

Ahmed who calls herself a Zionist who supports Israel as the home of the Jewish people told the show, 'All of medicine and science in Israel is fully expressing coexistence collaboration. It's normal for Israeli Arab and Israeli Jewish faculty to be working together and people of Palestinian origin to be working together, but the outside world whether it's the United States or Australia often doesn't recognize that.”

One of the show's hosts, Andrew O'Keefe, tried to temper Ahmed's argument by comparing Israel with the Palestinians and likening the dangers of radical Islam with other religions, including Christianity as practiced in the U.S. South. (Note: the interview took place before both the France terror attacks and the Sydney cafe hostage-taking).

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Ahmed described the global dangers of Islamism, but images showed a bomb exploding this summer in Gaza, when Israel itself was fighting the radical Islamists of Hamas. (Screenshot: Weekend Sunrise)

O'Keefe told Ahmed that she has gotten criticism over "your insistence that the state of Israel is a refuge, the only real refuge from a potential genocide against Jews and the same I guess would have to be said for Palestine and the Palestinians."

Ahmed corrected him, saying that she's attacked predominantly because she's an "anti-Islamist Muslim" who calls Islamism a totalitarian ideology.

The program host further said, "Any religious tradition is vulnerable to being hijacked for political or non-religious purposes to inculcate extremism. I think the debate here in Australia is centered around Islam, but meanwhile in Burma we have Buddhists running riot against Muslims attempting a genocide there; we have Hindu nationalism going crazy in parts of India; the southern states of America even now there is an extreme fundamentalist Christianity that's sought to stamp out Judaism and other forms of religion. So I think it's any religious tradition isn't it?"

Ahmed said that while "any belief system can be galvanized into grounds for persecution … Islamism is extraordinary" due to the large number of its followers and powerful nations led by Islamist regimes.

"It's much bigger than some of those things you've mentioned," Ahmed said.

Now, Ahmed believes she "unwittingly collaborated in my own exploitation by the Australian broadcaster who chose to cast me not as an anti-Islamist Muslim physician volunteering in pursuit of coexistence but as a vapid tool serving the malignant media construct of a two-dimensional anti-Semitic caricature of Zionism."

"This is neither journalism nor broadcasting; it's pure pro-Hamas propaganda," Ahmed wrote. "The producers hadn't bothered to insert Hamas foot-soldiers which include recruited Palestinian children and youth who wage war on Israelis, nor reveal the damage wrought by its hundreds of rockets on Israeli civilians (of whom 23% are non Jewish – mostly Sunni Muslim), nor did Australians see the industrially rendered labyrinth of Hamas tunnels so central to the recent conflict."

"Weekend Sunrise prostituted my goodwill in the service of personal or official anti-Israeli and pro-Hamas propaganda," she wrote.

"This is what Israel faces, that which no other nation embattled with the lethal threat of Islamism wrestles: the battle over narrative. ...Only Israel must be denigrated, reviled and excoriated in her efforts to secure citizens and territories from the ambitions of genocidal anti-Semitic Islamism," Ahmed wrote.

"To be whored out as I strive as an ambassador for a philanthropic mission with universal reach, to be debased as an instrument despite my decades long authority as a physician and Muslim humanist is nothing but obscene," she concluded.

TheBlaze reached out to the Australian station by telephone Sunday seeking comment, but an employee who answered would not provide any email or telephone contact information for those in position to comment.

Update: Later on Sunday, Weekend Sunrise hosts Andrew O'Keefe and Monique Wright penned a scathing response in the Spectator insisting they had not exploited Dr. Ahmed.

"To suggest that we came with any agenda, either designed to promote Hamas or to debase you, is insulting in the extreme," they wrote. "To impugn our show and our staff publicly and in such a hostile and defamatory fashion based solely on your own preconceptions about supposed media bias is plainly unethical."

O'Keefe and Wright wrote that the interview segment showed that they were "very sympathetic" to Ahmed's argument on Islamism and expressed interest in both the Jewish-Muslim cooperation project at the hospital and her own presentation of Israel as a pluralistic nation.

"Your suggestions that you were somehow set up as a stooge, that you were in any way 'ambushed' or exploited, or that our producer Iman had anything other than your best interests at heart in constructing the segment, are completely false," they wrote

Of the Gaza footage, they offered a few explanations, including that some of it was shown without referencing the conflict.

As they described other parts of the footage, the television personalities suggested that Palestinian-Israeli tensions are a cause for Islamist hostility, though Ahmed made the argument that extreme Islamist ideology is innately anti-Semitic.

"Other parts of the footage was, perhaps, too bluntly illustrative of tensions between Muslim and Jewish populations in Israel and Palestine, on which so much of the Islamist hostility you discussed is based," they wrote.

"And admittedly, we did use some footage that was inappropriate to what you were discussing at the exact moment it was played, but was very illustrative of what had been discussed prior to its display i.e. the grave injuries, both psychological and physical, sustained by children as a result of ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestine," O'Keefe and Wright wrote. "This was merely an issue of timing and was in no way intended to cast you as 'tool serving the malignant media construct of a two-dimensional anti-Semitic caricature of Zionism.'"

"There was nothing 'deliberate' or 'opportunistic' about it," they wrote, adding, "As a 'veteran media commentator' you must know that, from time to time, especially when the hosts veer off script to follow a particular train of thought of the guest, the wrong vision goes up at the wrong time. For that, I apologize. Sometimes these things happen on morning television."

"We have here apologized for our minor mistake. You should seriously consider apologizing for your baseless and libelous comments against our staff," the Australian hosts added.

Ted Belman is a retired lawyer and the Editor of Israpundit. He made aliya from Canada last year and now lives in Jerusalem, Israel. Contact him at tedbel@rogers.com


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INVITING VIOLENCE IN PARIS

Posted by John Cohn, January 11, 2015

Just days after France voted for the failed attempt to grant Palestinian Arabs an independent state in the disputed West Bank territories, Paris fell victim to terrorist attacks. While there has been outrage over these killings, as well as global concern that there not be backlash against innocent Muslims, the synagogues of Paris were closed this weekend but French mosques were open, reflecting where the real danger lies. Pictures of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas marching in the front row with genuine world leaders in Paris were soaked with irony as well as the blood of decades of terrorists' victims. Palestinian Arabs arguably invented modern terrorism and have mastered the art of inciting violence and killing civilians. Giving Abbas a place reserved for World leaders or formal sovereignty over Gaza and the West Bank will result in more murders not less.

The article below was written by Reuters Staff and appeared January 11, 2015 on the Jerusalem Post and is archived at
http://www.jpost.com/International/France-foreign-leaders-to-march-together-in-show-of-solidarity-after-attacks-387357

Security forces on the highest alert for the event, which will be attended by about 40 heads of state and government.

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Thousands of people to attend a solidarity march. (photo credit:REUTERS)

PARIS - Dozens of world leaders including Muslim and Jewish statesmen linked arms leading more than an one million said participants in an unprecedented march under high security in Paris to pay tribute to victims of Islamist terrorist attacks.

President Francois Hollande and leaders from Germany, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Britain and the Palestinian territories among others, moved off from the central Place de la Republique ahead of a sea of French and other flags. Giant letters attached to a statue in the square spelt out the word Pourquoi?" (Why?) and small groups sang the "La Marseillaise" national anthem.

An organizer of the said the turnout could surpass one million.

"Fantastic France! I am told there could be as many as 1.3 million to 1.5 million of us in Paris," Francois Lamy, the lawmaker charged by the ruling Socialist Party with organizing the rally, tweeted.

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World leaders including Netanyahu and Abbas flank French Presdient Francois Hollande at Paris solidarity rally. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The silent march - which may prove the largest seen in modern times through Paris - reflected shock over the worst militant Islamist assault on a European city in nine years. For France, it raised questions of free speech, religion and security, and beyond French frontiers it exposed the vulnerability of states to urban attacks.

"Paris is today the capital of the world. Our entire country will rise up and show its best side," said Hollande in a statement.

Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the weekly Charlie Hebdo known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions as well as politicians. It ended on Friday with a hostage-taking at a Jewish deli in which four hostages were killed.

Overnight, an illuminated sign on the Arc de Triomphe read: "Paris est Charlie" ("Paris is Charlie").

A video emerged featuring a man resembling the gunman killed in the kosher deli. He pledged allegiance to the Islamic State insurgent group and urged French Muslims to follow his example. A French anti-terrorist police source confirmed it was the killer, Amedy Coulibaly, speaking before the action.

DISSENTING VOICES

"We're not going to let a little gang of hoodlums run our lives," said Fanny Appelbaum, 75, who said she lost two sisters and a brother in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. "Today, we are all one."

Zakaria Moumni, a 34-year-old Franco-Moroccan draped in the French flag, agreed: "I am here to show the terrorists they have not won - it is bringing people together of all religions."

Among many children brought along to the march, Loris Peres, 12, said: "For me this is paying respect to your loved ones, it's like family ... We did a lesson about this at school."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were among 44 foreign leaders marching with Hollande. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu - who earlier encouraged French Jews to emigrate to Israel - and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were also present.

Immediately to Hollande's left, walked Merkel and to his right Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. France has provided troops to help fight Islamist rebels there.

While there has been widespread solidarity with the victims, there have been dissenting voices. French social media have carried comments from those uneasy with the "Je suis Charlie" slogan interpreted as freedom of expression at all cost. Others suggest there was hypocrisy in world leaders whose countries have repressive media laws attending the march.

The official estimate on attendance is due to be announced later. A 1995 protest against planned welfare cuts brought some 500,000-800,000 people onto the streets of the capital, while a 2002 rally against the far-right National Front's then leader Jean-Marie Le Pen afer he got into the run-off of that year's presidential election drew 400,000-600,000.

Twelve people were killed in Wednesday's initial attack on Charlie Hebdo, a journal know for satirizing religions and politicians. The attackers, two French-born brothers of Algerian origin, singled out the weekly for its publication of cartoons depicting and ridiculing the Prophet Mohammad.

All three gunmen were killed in what local commentators have called "France's 9/11," a reference to the September 2001 attacks on US targets by al Qaeda.

The head of France's 550,000-strong Jewish community, Roger Cukierman, the largest in Europe, said Hollande had promised that Jewish schools and synagogues would have extra protection, by the army if necessary, after the killings.

France's Agence Juive, which tracks Jewish emigration, estimates more than 5,000 Jews left France for Israel in 2014, up from 3,300 in 2013, itself a 73 percent increase on 2012.

While there has been widespread solidarity with the victims, there have been dissenting voices. French social media have carried comments from those uneasy with the "Je suis Charlie" slogan interpreted as freedom of expression at all cost. Others suggest there was hypocrisy in world leaders whose countries have repressive media laws attending the march.

Contact John Cohn at john.r.cohn@gmail.com


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NETANYAHU DELIVERS EMOTIONAL SPEECH AT PARIS SYNAGOGUE MEMORIAL SERVICE, HIGHLIGHTS THREATS POSED BY 'RADICAL ISLAM' AND IRANIAN REGIME

Posted by Algemeiner, January 11, 2015

The article below was written by Anica Pommeray who is a writer at the Times of Israel. This article appeared January 11, 2015 on the Algemeiner and is archived at
http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/11/after-mass-rallies-hollande-and-netanyahu- join-paris-grande-synagogue-ceremony-live-stream/

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Protesters at the rally against terrorism on Sunday. Photo: Anica Pommeray.

Paris, January 11 -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a passionate and emotional speech at the Grand Synagogue in Paris tonight, where both he and French President Francois Hollande attended a special memorial service.

Netanyahu said that "radical Islam," and not "ordinary Islam," was the enemy, along with the Iranian regime.

"The radical Islamists do not hate the West because of Israel; they hate Israel because it is an integral part of the modern world," he declared to loud applause. "We cannot let Iran achieve nuclear capabilities. Israel stands with Europe, and Europe must stand with Israel."

Netanyahu told the service, "Those who murdered Jews at a synagogue in Jerusalem and those who murdered Jews and journalists in Paris are part of the same problem. We must condemn them and fight them!"

Netanyahu also reassured Jews wishing to immigrate to Israel of a warm welcome. "Any Jew who chooses to come to Israel will be greeted with open arms and an open heart, it is not a foreign nation, and hopefully they and you will one day come to Israel," Netanyahu announced, ending his speech with the rousing words "Am Yisrael Chai! Am Yisrael Chai!" ("the people of Israel lives!")

The crowd at the synagogue enthusiastically joined in with Netanyahu. The service ended with the singing of both the French National anthem, "La Marseillaise," and the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikvah."

In opening remarks at the gathering, Jo al Mergui, head of the Consistoire Israélite Central de France, said "Today France was in the streets, all of France...and the Jews of France were also in the streets to defend freedom of expression, to defend Charlie [Hebdo], to defend our democracy...because the Jewish people are democracy."

"Through our History, the Jewish people, who have always been confronted with hatred, have never hated others... he added. "The synagogue may be the only place of worship where no one has ever supported the hatred for others".

"The hatred of Jews and the hatred of democracy are the same thing and must be fought in the same way...I no longer want to hear that Jews are afraid. We are not afraid."

After reading the names of the 17 victims of last week's terrorist attacks, France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia asked the crowd "what would France be without fraternity?"

"The French people has done its duty. Until now, we always felt isolated. But that is not the case anymore...Now everyone must assume his or her personal duty".

"It is in times like these that we must not live in sadness and mourning but in joy. That is what our faith teaches us. To change sadness into joy, that is what I wish for all of you”.

Earlier on in the day, nearly two million people gathered in Paris and hundreds of thousands reportedly marched throughout the country, in a wave of "national unity marches" sparked by the deadly terrorist attacks. People were heard singing the national anthem La Marseillaise and chanting "Charlie" and "terroristes, assassines" (terrorists, murderers) throughout the streets of the French capital. Along with the now famous "Je Suis Charlie" slogan, people could be seen holding signs saying "Je suis Charlie, je suis policier, je suis juif" (I am Charlie, I am a police officer, I am Jewish) and "Le rire est plus fort que la terreur" (Laughter is stronger than terror).

World leaders, including Netanyahu, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas joined the beginning of the march.

They observed a minute's silence before the march began.

Dan and Yoni were among the demonstrators posted at Place de la Republique, at the heart of the Paris rally. Dan, 19 who lives just outside the city, expressed how the recent events filled him with emotion. "Our thoughts are with the victims' families today," he told The Algemeiner. "We were at the HyperCacher ceremony yesterday evening and we've been following the news non-stop for the past days." Regarding the consequences recent events may have on the country's Jewish community, Yoni, also 19, believes it is important to for French Jews to stay in France. "If we all leave, then they win!"

Yvelise and Isaac, who have both lived in Paris for most of their lives, also joined the march on Sunday, holding a French flag in their hands. Though they wouldn't have missed the opportunity to participate in such an historic event, the couple expressed their disappointment in the rally's message. "We are not 'only Charlie'," Isaac told The Algemeiner. He "believes that "French media does not talk enough about the antisemitic acts that occur in the country." "Politicians are doing their job... [Prime Minister Manuel] Valls made a beautiful speech yesterday," Isaac continued, "but the media has to talk more about what is happening to Jews."

Manuel Valls spoke to journalists shortly after leaving the rally to participe in a highly-anticipated ceremony at the Grande Synagogue of Paris. "The antisemitic dimension of [this attack] must be constantly recalled," Valls said. "What a beautiful day this was. Paris is the capital of the world today," he added, reiterating a declaration by President Francois Hollande made earlier in the day.

The Algemeiner Journal is a New York-based newspaper, covering American and international Jewish and Israel-related news. Contact Algemeiner at editor@algemeiner.com


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IF THE TERRORISTS ARE NOT MUSLIM...

Posted by Errol Phillips, January 11, 2015

This was written by Joe Pags and it appeared at Pitchfork Patriots and archived at
https://pitchforkpatriots.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/some-snarks-and-some-thoughs/

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Contact Errol Phillips at ep@pinehurst2.com


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THE MENDACIOUS MAPS OF PALESTINIAN "LOSS"

Posted by David Hazony, January 11, 2015

The article below was written by Shany Mor who is a writer living in Paris and a former director for foreign policy on the Israeli National Security Council. This article appeared January 2015 on The Tower and is archived at http://www.thetower.org/article/the-mendacious-maps-of-palestinian-loss/

Anti-Israel activists often use doctored maps to show Israel's supposed malfeasance over the past century. Such claims are made by people who, in the best case, have no knowledge of the facts, and in the worst case, have no moral compass.

You can't walk very far on an American or European university campus these days without encountering some version of the "Palestinian Land Loss" maps. This series of four—occasionally five—maps purports to show how rapacious Zionists have steadily encroached upon Palestinian land. Postcards of it can be purchased for distribution, and it has featured in paid advertisements on the sides of buses in Vancouver as well as train stations in New York. Anti-Israel bloggers Andrew Sullivan and Juan Cole have both posted versions of it, and it occasionally creeps into supposedly reputable media sources, like Al Jazeera English.

Indeed, it recently appeared as a "Chart of the Day" in the UK's respected magazine New Statesman. Beneath it was a tiny line of text listing its sources as the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and a CIA atlas from 1973. Given that the maps included information far more recent than 1973, the source struck me as slightly dubious. I contacted the staff writer who created the feature and asked him about it. He was very reluctant to admit that he had lifted it from anti-Israel propaganda sources, so he directed me to the 1973 CIA atlas. Unfortunately, nothing like the series appears in the CIA World Factbook and nothing like it could have appeared in an atlas published decades before several of the events it claims to portray. The writer then apologized for not being able to track down his sources any further and explained that he no longer works at New Statesman. He has moved on to The Guardian, and given that particular publication's attitude toward Israel, he should have no trouble fitting in.

There is a reason why those who make use of these maps avoid examining their provenance or proving their accuracy: The maps are egregiously, almost childishly dishonest. But they have become so ubiquitous that it is worth taking the time to examine them, and what their dishonesty can teach us about the Palestinian cause and its supporters.

In whatever form they take, the “Land Loss” maps show very little variation. The standard version looks something like this:

map01

Sometimes, a fifth map is added, this one dated 1920, showing the entirety of what was once British Mandatory Palestine in a single solid color, labeled "Palestinian." This accomplishes the seemingly impossible and makes the series of maps even more dishonest than before.

Whether made up of four or five maps, the message of the series is clear: The Jews of Palestine have been assiduously gobbling up more and more "Palestinian land," spreading like some sort of fungal infection that eventually devours its host.

There are some outright lies in these maps, to be sure. But the most egregious falsehoods transcend mere lies. They emerge from a more general and quite deliberate refusal to differentiate between private property and sovereign land, as well as a total erasure of any political context.

This final point is especially crucial. It goes to the question of whether the Palestinians actually "lost" this land and the context of that alleged "loss." We could quite easily, for example, make a panel of maps showing German "land loss" in the first half of the 20th century. It would be geographically accurate but, without the political context, it would tell a completely misleading story amounting to a flat-out lie. And that is precisely what these maps are: A lie.

Taking each map in turn, it is easy to demonstrate that the first one is by far the most dishonest of the lot. As far as I have been able to determine, it is based on a map of Jewish National Fund (JNF) land purchases dating roughly from the 1920s. The JNF was founded to purchase land for Jewish residents and immigrants in then-Palestine, and was partly funded through charity boxes that were once found in almost every Jewish school and organization in the West. Ironically, this map often adorned those ubiquitous boxes.

The dishonesty of using an out-of-date map for pre-1948 Jewish land purchases is actually relatively minor. So is not omitting the political context: After 1939, Jews were forbidden from making any further land purchases by British authorities, a measure taken as a sop to Arab terrorism. Even the deceptive use of JNF land and only JNF land as a proxy for the entire Palestinian Jewish presence is but a trifle compared to the epic lie represented by this map: It deliberately conflates private property with political control.

They are not at all the same thing. The simple fact is that none of pre-1948 Palestine was under the political authority of Arabs or Jews. It was ruled by the British Mandatory government, established by the League of Nations for the express purpose of creating a "Jewish National Home." It was also—contrary to the claims of innumerable pro-Palestinian activists—the first time a discrete political entity called "Palestine" existed in modern history. And this entity was established in order to fulfill a goal that was essentially Zionist in nature.

But this lie is compounded by another that is even more epic in scope: Labeling every single patch of land not owned by the JNF as Arab or Palestinian. This was quite simply not the case. We have incomplete data on land ownership in modern Palestine, and even less on Arab property than Jewish property, partly due to the very complicated nature of property law in Ottoman times. But anyone’s map of private property in Mandatory Palestine from this period would be mostly empty—half the country is, after all, desert. It would show small patches of private Jewish land—as this map does—alongside small patches of private Arab land, as this map shamelessly does not.

The next map is labeled 1947. This is inaccurate, as any other date would be, because the map does not represent the situation on the ground in 1947 or at any other time. Instead, it represents the partition plan adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 as UN Resolution 181. It called for two independent states to be formed after the end of the British Mandate, one Jewish and one Arab.

Needless to say, the resolution was never implemented. It was rejected by a Palestinian Arab leadership that just two years before had still been allied with Nazi Germany. The day after its passage, Arab rioting began against Jewish businesses, followed by deadly Arab attacks against Jewish civilians. Events quickly escalated into all-out war, with Arabs laying siege to major Jewish population centers—cutting off all supplies, including food and water. In some places, the siege worked, but for the most part, it was resisted successfully.

At this point, with partition rejected by the Arabs and no help from the international community in sight, the Jews declared independence and formed what would become the Israel Defense Forces. The Arab states promptly launched a full-scale invasion, whose aims—depending on which Arab leader you choose to quote—ranged from expulsion to outright genocide. And the Arabs lost. At war's end in 1949, the situation looked roughly like the third map in the series—the first of the lot that even comes close to describing the political reality on the ground.

I say "close" because it too is remarkably dishonest. It is only because one's standards of dishonesty have been stretched so far by its predecessors that it almost seems true. But, alas, it is not. The map is dated 1967. What it shows are the so-called "armistice lines," i.e., the borders where the Israeli and Arab armies stopped fighting in 1949. These lines held more or less until 1967. As far as Israel's borders are concerned, then, the map accurately presents the situation over those 19 years.

But what lies on the other side of the line, in the territories that are today called the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, is again presented in radically dishonest fashion. These lands were not—not before, during, or after 1967—"Palestinian" in the sense of being controlled by a Palestinian Arab political entity. Both territories were occupied by invading Arab armies when the armistice was declared in 1949, the Gaza Strip by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. The latter was soon annexed, while the former remained under Egyptian military administration. This status quo lasted until 1967, when both were captured by Israel.

In the 1967 Six Day War, which was marked by Arab rhetoric that was sometimes even more genocidal than 1948, Israel also took the Golan Heights from Syria and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, more than trebling the amount of land under its control. Israel has since withdrawn from more than 90 percent of the land it occupied—mostly in the Sinai withdrawal that led to peace with Egypt. Unsurprisingly, there are no heartfelt "Israeli Land Loss" maps representing this.

The first three maps, then, confuse ethnic and national categories (Jewish and Israeli, Arab and Palestinian), property and sovereignty, and the Palestinian national movement with Arab states that ruled over occupied territory for a generation. They are a masterpiece of shameless deception.

As we move to the fourth map, shameless deception is the only thing that remains consistent. This map, usually labeled either 2005 or "present," purports to show the distribution of political control following the Oslo process and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The patches of Palestinian land in the West Bank are areas handed over to the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, mostly under the 1995 Oslo II agreement. Expanding upon the autonomy put in place after previous agreements in the Oslo process since 1993, this agreement created a complex patchwork of administrative and security zones, splitting the West Bank into areas of exclusive Palestinian control, joint control, and Israeli control. It was meant as a five-year interim arrangement, after which a final status agreement would be negotiated.

Final status talks did indeed take place. But no agreement was reached. As in 1947, the principal reason was Palestinian rejectionism. This time, the Palestinian leadership rejected a state on over 90 percent of the West Bank and 100 percent of the Gaza Strip. They then broke their pledge not to return to the "armed struggle" and embarked on a campaign of suicide bombings and other terrorist atrocities that were not only morally indefensible but lost them the trappings of sovereignty they had gained over the previous decade.

After tamping down the worst of the violence, Israel decided to leave the areas of the Gaza Strip it had not evacuated a decade before. The withdrawal took place in 2005. Two years later, the Islamist group Hamas took over the Strip in a violent coup d'etat. Since then, there have been two Palestinian governments—the Hamas regime in Gaza and the Fatah-led regime in the West Bank.

Both of these regimes are marked with the same color on this fourth map, thus failing to acknowledge the split between the two regimes, though it is the first map in the series to correctly label areas under Palestinian Arab political control. Nonetheless, it does not distinguish between the sovereign territory of the State of Israel—or, in the case of East Jerusalem, territory that Israel claims as sovereign without international recognition—and territories in the West Bank that, according to agreements endorsed by both sides, are under Israeli control until a final status agreement.

Taken together, what we have is not four maps in a chronological series, but four different categories of territorial control presented with varying degrees of inaccuracy. Those categories are private property ("1946"), political control ("1967" and "2005"), and international partition plans ("1947"). They are presented in a fashion that is either tendentiously inaccurate ("2005"), essentially mendacious ("1947" and "1967"), or radically untrue ("1946").

An honest approach would look very different. It would take each of these categories and depict how they developed over time. For example, basing ourselves on the most blatantly deceitful map, 1946, we might want to show the chronological development of private property distribution. But we'd first have to adjust the original series’ 1946 map by labeling only Arab property as Arab, rather than simply filling in the entire country with the desired color. It would be a lot of data to collect, and then we'd then have to repeat the effort for other years appropriate to the discussion: Perhaps 1950, after Israel and Jordan both instituted Absentee Property Laws; 1993, just before Palestinian self-rule began; or 2005, just after the disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank. The maps would have to be consistent as well, showing Arab property inside Israel as well as Jewish property in the West Bank and Gaza. I don't know if anyone has bothered to collect all this data, and I'm not sure what it would show in any case. What argument would it advance? That Jews and Arabs should be forbidden to buy land from each other?

On the other hand, the categories of political control and international partition plans are quite easy to map out over time. Since the concern of those publicizing the maps above is Palestinian control of land, we can illustrate this with a more honest series of maps showing areas of political control, using the same years as the original—adding one for clarity.

map02

As seen above, 1946 has exactly zero land under Palestinian Arab control—not autonomous, not sovereign, not anything—as it was all under British authority. We could go further back in time, to the Ottoman era, for example, and the map wouldn't change in the slightest. 1947 sees no changes to the map, as Palestine was still under British control. Before the war in June 1967, control is divided between three states, and none of them is Palestinian. The 2005 map would be exactly as it is presented in the original series, showing the very first lands ever be ruled by Palestinian Arabs qua Palestinian Arabs. To clarify this a bit more, I have added a map from 1995, showing the withdrawals undertaken during the first two years of the Oslo process, just up to but not including the 1997 Hebron Protocol.

In fact, if we zoomed in a bit more, we would see how the peace process of the 1990s resulted in the first time a Palestinian Arab regime ruled over any piece of land. This occurred in 1994 with the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and Jericho. That control steadily expanded over more and more land during the years leading up to the failed final status talks. Much of it was then lost during the second intifada, but eventually regained as violence died down, and the Gaza disengagement even expanded it slightly. All of these Palestinian land gains have taken place in the last 20 years and every square meter of it came not from Turkey or Britain or Jordan or Egypt, but from Israel alone; and nearly all of it through peace negotiations.

It is true that this is a smaller amount of land than that controlled by Israel—which is nonetheless an extremely small country by global standards. More importantly, however, it is small compared to what could have been ruled by a Palestinian state had the Palestinians not rejected partition and peace in 1947 and again in 2000. That is, had the Palestinians been motivated by the interests of their own people rather than the wish to destroy another people.

One could very easily create a theoretical series of maps that would begin in 1947 and show the distribution of political control, not as it existed, but as it could have existed. In contrast to the previous series charting political control over the years, this series would map out the international proposals to partition the country. It would begin with the Peel Commission's 1937 partition plan, through the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) partition resolution, and end with the Clinton Parameters of 2000—which were very close to the rejected offers made by Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Barak earlier that same year at Camp David and Ehud Olmert eight years later. But these international efforts to partition the land would be incomplete without a word or two about each side's reaction to the proposal.

map03

Here too there is a continuing trend of losses for the Palestinian side. Not loss of land, but loss of potential. Each successive rejection left the Palestinians with less and less to bargain with. Surely, there is a lesson in this. But it seems that, if the Palestinians are ever to learn it, it will not be with the help of their Western supporters.

We could also make a set of maps that would present a story of Jewish "land loss." It would begin with the first iteration of the British Mandate, before Transjordan was split off and Jewish land purchases and immigration banned. We are forever being reminded that the Palestinians have supposedly conceded 77 percent of their historic claims already, implicitly saying that all of Israel proper somehow belongs to them. But territorial maximalists on the Israeli side are not wrong when they use the same standards to claim that they have given up 73 percent of what was promised to them, including Transjordan. It is the business of pro-Palestinian activists to privilege one of these claims over the other; but in fact, both are equally wrong: The idea that the Israeli "concession" of Transjordan entitles Israel to 100 percent of the West Bank is as absurd as the Palestinians' claim that their "concession" of Haifa entitles them to the same.

A series of actual Israeli withdrawals, however, could fill a rather long series of maps. It would include the 1957 withdrawal from Sinai, the Disengagement of Forces agreements in 1974 and 1975, the staged withdrawals stemming from the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty in 1979 and 1982, the withdrawal from most of Lebanon in 1985, the staged withdrawals undertaken according to the Oslo Accords from 1994 to 1997, the unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, and the complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. These maps, unlike those used by pro-Palestinian activists, have the benefit of being accurate, but I am not sure the case for "Israeli Land Loss" would convince anyone but the most partisan and ignorant of Israel's supporters.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the bankruptcy of the "Palestinian Land Loss" myth is to compare it to a similar situation elsewhere.

An equally absurd set of maps could be drawn up of the Indian subcontinent before and after the end of British rule. It could start with a 1946 map of the entire subcontinent, labeling any private property owned by Hindus as "Indian" and the rest as "Pakistani." Hindus, after all, are 80 percent of India's population today, just as Jews are 80 percent of Israel's. It is absurd to consider anything not privately owned by Hindus under British rule as "Pakistani" when the state of Pakistan did not yet exist, but that is roughly the same as labeling anything not privately owned by Jews under the Mandate as "Palestinian."

We could then put up a partition map from 1947, with West and East Pakistan next to a much larger India; as well as a post-partition map—perhaps from 1955—showing the land losses along the Radcliffe Line. Finally, we could draw a map from 1971 with East Pakistan shorn off into Bangladesh. A fervently dishonest person might call this series "Pakistani Land Loss," but it would be such an obvious piece of fiction that no one could possibly take it seriously.

And no thinking person can take "Palestinian Land Loss" seriously. It is just as absurd and just as much a fiction. But it is also, in its own way, extremely destructive. Because these maps and the lies they propagate only encourage Palestinian rejectionism and violence; and as illustrated above, these have always left the Palestinians with less than they had before

map04

David Hazony is an American-born Israeli writer, translator, and editor. He is editor of The Tower Magazine, and a senior member of The Israel Project. Contact Hazony at info@thetower.org


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SORRY BUT I AM NOT CHARLIE HEBDO

Posted by Kit Goto, January 11, 2015

About 6 years ago during the height of wide spread of violent protects in the Islamic world against the western publications of the famous satirical carton of prophet Mohammad, Singapore government did advise its multi-media to exercise great responsibility in their reporting, in particular, the publication of that carton. Not many countries in the world really understand the importance of respecting one another's belief systems, traditions and cultures. Maybe they are blinded by such nice sounding slogans of freedom of expressions and human rights without knowing what they actually mean. Or are they reacting in such a manner to an alarming rise of radical Islam today? Singapore government has learned a lot from its early days of governing a multi-cultural society.

To start off, I am all for free speech and expression. I am even running a campaign to push for the repeal of the sedition act. But no, I am NOT Charlie Hebdo.

What's in it for free speech and expression? To walk about naked on the streets, to watch porn in public, to ridicule another religion, race, or even class of society as you like.... in the name of freedom of speech & expression.

Can I be allowed to say anything just because I feel like it?

Can I just walk around the mall and call anyone stupid if I don't like their face?

Can I walk into a church and scream "Jesus is naked on the cross"?Can I walk into a temple and say "you guys are really unconcerned about the smoke from the joss sticks"?

Nope. That's not freedom of speech & expression. It's a misuse of fundamental liberty. Freedom of speech & expression can never, and should never be absolute.

There has always been a fine line between freedom of speech & expression and respect. It is sick and insensible to say that I should be allowed draw a cartoon ridiculing the faiths of others in the name of freedom of speech & expression.

This very unfortunate incident has unraveled two ugly truths:

1. the constant demonising of Islam in the West.

2. the extremism of certain religious groups.

But what's even more unfortunate, is how many people overlooked the earlier one.

With the constant taunting against the Quran & Prophet Muhammad, was Charlie Hebdo expecting the 1.6bil Muslim population to just sit down and let it be 'entertainment'?

Google the Charlie Hebdo cartoon dressed in a militant outfit and holding an AK47. It reads: "Still no terrorist attacks in France - Wait, we have until the end of January to send our best wishes."

That is not freedom of speech and expression. That is provocation.

To every action, there would be a reaction. And was this something Charlie Hebdo foreseen? I leave that to your wise judgment.

Now I am not saying that the killings are justified. It is not, and shall never be justified. Two wrongs don't make one right. An eye for an eye makes the world go crazier.

So what's the problem here?

What I see is a hypocritical and self-righteous Western culture and media, ridiculing the Islamic world in the name of freedom of speech and expression.

Think about it.

Mahasiswa Ganyang

Contact Kit Goto at k.goto@gmail.com


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PARIS ATTACK: SENSE & NONSENSE; UNDERSTANDING TURKEY

Posted by Richard H. Shulman, January 11, 2015

What shall we make of the atrocities inflicted by Radical Muslims? Unfortunately, Westerners, vent without studying and generalize from ideological preconceptions. Logical analysis of facts is a lost art. Freedom of speech should be exercised more responsibility and modestly, instead of stating crude opinions as if truisms.

One Muslim stands out for decent insight. The liberal media treats him as all sinner and no saint. That is President al-Sisi of Egypt. He isn't confused. He makes no excuses. He declared frankly that Islam should re-form. Islam should not be a religion that people have to fear being killed by.

Some other Muslims genuinely oppose the Radicals. The media usually ignore them. One of them in Germany, however, a trainer of Muslim teachers, did get full coverage in the New York Times of 1/10/15.

The Wall St. Journal and New York Times have been discussing the Paris attack and, I think, misunderstanding many issues. The Times quotes people of different viewpoints, many mistaken or unreasonable. What views and what issues?

One view is that all religions are violent, commonly referring only to the three Abrahamic ones. Spreading the blame is a common way to exonerate one religion. But it doesn't exonerate Islam to defame other religions as being equally bad.

As evidence against Judaism and Christianity, people citing Bible stories. That is not evidence. People who have not studied the Bible, the history and the culture are not qualified to interpret the Bible. Nor is it fair to judge Christianity and Judaism by the Bible, because those two religions evolved far beyond the Bible.

By contrast, Islam has not evolved much. It prides itself on being perfect and finished. Its ethos remains 7th century. The two modernizing religions overcame primitive views.

Mixing the picture, Islamic scholars in the Middle Ages tried to reduce the bitterness and violence of their religion. Their rulings have become disregarded.

Islam considers its original theories still applicable today. It retains its stories and injunctions about hating non-believers. Judaism considers its stories more applicable to the past and more descriptive than prescriptive.

A contradictory view is that Islam is not violent, and that the Islamists distort Islam. When non-Muslims assert this, they may be ignorant. When Muslims assert it, they probably are practicing the Islamic principle of defending the faith by deceiving non-believers.

Islam started violently. Muhammad set the example of beheading and enslavement. His goal was to convert or kill, except that Christians and Jews could be spared death but humiliated. Islamists remind Muslims to follow the founder's example except for sparing "people of the book."

Roiling Islam is that after early centuries of triumph, they experienced centuries of backwardness. This confuses and dismays Muslims. They were promised a role of superiority. But they can see their societies failing. Nevertheless, they can't get themselves to follow successful examples. They become fighting mad.

Daniel Pipes explains the mind-set of Radical Muslims. First, Islamist terrorism seeks to impose Islamic law. Terrorism succeeds when it intimidates opponents. Terrorist attacks that are scantily publicized have minimal effect. More often, however, the increasingly brutal Islamist terrorism angers opponents. They will resist imposition of Islamic law. [The surge in Iraq succeeded because Islamists alienated Sunni tribes.]

Islamist bombing in Madrid did coerce Spain into removing troops from the Mideast. However, these terrorist attacks backfired:

  • "9/11 removed Islamism from the shadows where it had flourished, stimulating an American-led "war on terror" and a large increase in anti-Islamic sentiment;
  • The 2004 massacre of school children in Beslan poisoned Russian attitudes toward Muslims and helped Vladimir Putin consolidate power;
  • The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing locked down a large metropolitan area, giving millions a first-hand taste of Islamist oppression.
  • Wednesday's killing of twelve in Paris created a national mood of defiance that put Islamists on the defensive as never before. If the first hours anticipate future developments, a significant portion of the French electorate will demand more effective measures against radical Islam."

Why do Islamists persist in counter-productive attacks? Dr. Pipes attributes it to their inclination to violence and their anger. They enjoy committing violence against enemies, as a sign of their superiority. They also gain a feeling of power. They feel they have recovered honor by striking back at Christendom, which has surpassed Islam in wealth and productivity.

Preoccupied with revenge, they fail to plan strategically. They invoke the opposition that ultimately will defeat them, just as it defeated the earlier totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and the USSR (Daniel Pipes, The Washington Times, 1/9/15 http://www.danielpipes.org/15347/how-terrorism-harms-radical-islam). Appeasers of Islam try to suggest that the Islamists have kidnapped the religion. No, Islamists are following it or restoring it. Appeasers also try to minimize the problem by asserting that most Muslims are not Islamists. Polls show that in many Muslim and Western countries, at least half the Muslims approve of the imposition of Islamic law. That is the basic goal of the Islamists.

Even if most Muslims are not Islamists, that would not mean there is no problem. There certainly are enough Islamists to commit mayhem and even take over Yemen, Turkey, the Palestinian Arabs, almost Somalia, and, for a while, Egypt.

Making the gauge of Islamist influence on whether Islamists are the majority is a Western misconception. Minorities can rule dictatorships.

Daniel Pipes has concluded that in the long run, Islamist brutality and its menace to other Muslims is so great, that Muslims will turn strongly against it. Muslims are the most numerous victims of Islamic terrorism, so, naturally, they will become its greatest opponents.

He also notes the falling population in many Muslim countries. They won't be ale to sustain jihad.

But in the meantime, they make great trouble. They will radicalize many Muslim youths.

We hear Muslims condemning acts of terrorism. That is prudent, but many celebrate terrorism. Abbas subsidizes terrorists. Arab Muslims don't even consider many of those acts to be terrorism. An Arab UN delegate may propose a code against terrorism, but exempt Muslim attacks on Israel as "resistance." But it is not who is fought that determines whether an act is terrorist. The criterion is how they fight. If dirty, and if targeting civilians, it is terrorist.

Palestinian Arabs generally approve of wresting Israel from the Jewish people. They admit that to pollsters. Haven't the appeasers of Islam read those polls?

Many Europeans are sidetracked by the issue of resentment of Muslims, because of the attacks. By sidetracked, I mean they will think the resentment is the major problem. It isn't. Radical Islam is the major problem. If non-Muslims over-react, however, they will produce problems. Mob action against Muslims would be both wrong and counter-productive. Besides, as Daniel Pipes points out, we need Muslims to help fight terrorism.

The Establishment notes that radical non-Muslim political parties in Europe are raising objections to Muslim immigration. Some of those parties are demagogic. Let the Establishment take the wind out of the sails of the demagogues by resolving the immigration problem! Otherwise, the Establishment itself is partly to blame.

The Establishment tries to silence and repress immigration reform. Repression is not working, because the Islamist problem is growing. The Establishment contends that Europe must retain its free immigration policy and especially its granting of political asylum. However many Muslims are not political refugees, they just sneak in. As for political asylum, at what point will Europeans realize that they are admitting dangerous people? Is their motto, "Let's give political asylum to defeated but intolerant Syrian Islamists, because we believe in tolerance"?

As the newspapers point out, so many Muslims immigrate into France, that police haven't the resources to monitor sufficiently.

Part of the opposition to immigration is due to existing high unemployment, acknowledges the NY Times of 1/8/15. The reset is chauvinism. The Establishment, however, has forfeited the credibility to set a moral tone against natives attacking mosques, because it long has condoned Islamist immigration and influence.

The Wall St. Journal warns the U.S. that although it has a better record of integrating immigrants, American culture is more fragmented now. Its leaders are no longer confident in Western values. Internet agitators can swoop in and radical Muslim youth. Islamists are emboldened by U.S. military retreat. [Excessive multi-culturalism and pro-Muslim political correctness and censorship impede national self-defense.]

The Journal believes that we need stronger surveillance, just when the Left is campaigning against it. Strong self-defense requires leadership that the U.S. now lacks.

What to do? The Journal would consider arresting or exiling citizens who visit terrorist zones and join in jihad. Also recommended is tracking Muslim student groups and clerics. What an obvious mistake it was to have campaigned against New York City police for the legal monitoring it did (Ed., 1/10/15).

We also need to end phony hate speech rules on campuses. U.S. leadership should explain the problem instead of, under Pres. Obama, obscuring it and trying to make the problem seem limited.

Western countries shouldn't be allowed to bar non-Muslims from certain cities or neighborhoods.

In other words, we need a comprehensive defense of our democratic and tolerant culture, not just a military and police response.

UNDERSTANDING TURKEY

President Obama considered Erdogan, head of Turkey's Islamist party, as a friend and U.S. ally. Pres. Obama persisted in that view even after Erdogan pursued Islamist policies and dictatorial power. What are the views of Turks and the policies of Erdogan about women? Here is what a Turkish reporter finds.

At a feminist conference, Erdogan said that women must not be treated as equal to men. The Deputy Prime Minister Armc said that women should not laugh in public, it is not chaste. In their country, domestic violence, abuse, and sexual discrimination are typical. On the average, men kill three women a day, including by "honor killing". One third of marriages are underage.

A third of Turks (the statistics apply both to men and to women) believe that women should be beaten, if they "deserve it," 60% that women should obey men, and 25% think it sinful for both genders to work in the same office. Erdogan said that boys and girls should not sit together at universities.

Turkish women vote for Erdogan (Burak Bekdil, Hurriyet Daily News, 11/28/14 http://www.meforum.org/4902/erdogan-on-women).

Interesting that Muslim women have been indoctrinated into believing they should be subservient.

Richard Shulman is a veteran defender of Israel on several web-based forums. His comments and analyses appear often on Think-Israel. He provides cool information and right-on-target overviews. He distributes his essays by email. To subscribe, write him at richardshulman5@aol.com.


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THE TWITTER WARS BETWEEN JAMAAT ANSAR AL-ISLAM SYRIA'S FACTIONS

Posted by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, January 11, 2015

As I documented in my previous post, Jamaat Ansar al-Islam's Syria branch, whose parent Iraqi branch came to an end in August 2014 after most of its members gave allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) with the remainder quitting the field, appears to have had a two-way split reflected in a war between Twitter accounts. The Syria branch's previous official Twitter account- @ansarulsham- is claiming the dissolution of the group and allegiance to IS following the real example of Iraq, while @ansarulislam_sh claims to be the new official Twitter account of the Syria branch and denies allegiance to IS, saying that @ansarulsham has been hijacked. The question is which account represents the majority, and if it's @ansarulsham, whether that means the end of Jamaat Ansar al-Islam in Syria too. My conclusion so far has been that some serious defections have likely occurred but the schism is not fatal to those wanting to retain the group's separate identity. This post will document the ongoing evidence emerging from the Twitter wars between @ansarulsham and @ansarulislam_sh, and will accordingly be updated when necessary.

As of today, the latter account is promising a statement on how @ansarulsham got hijacked. @ansarulsham has just responded:

"Expect a visual release of the 'Ansar al-Khilafa' camp for the group before the blessed pledge of allegiance. No one has remained from the group except those who followed their preference and wanted to separate from the group [i.e. the bulk that pledged allegiance]. So they have begun to stir up lies and doubts such as Abu Khateeb who fled to Turkey from the lands of the Dawla [IS] with its banner, and with the thinnest hope is the one who left the land of Islam and escaped to the land of kufr [disbelief] and makes attacks and curses. He and others whom we do not wish to mention by name assert that the group is its own thing. We assert that the group with its amir and amirs of its divisions have given allegiance...And whoever venerates names, adopts them and adopts them as a goal, we did not come to this state of affairs previously for reason of these closed minds. And we thank God that he has guided us to this state...It suffices and satisfies us that we are based in the land of the Caliphate and see the Shari'a of God ruling over our necks. We also bear arms, head out with might, and fight the enemies of the religion to the objection of the cursers and doubters based in the shadow of the Tawagheet [forces of idolatrous tyranny] and tweet and curse the upright manhaj [direction/program]: the manhaj of implementing the rule of the law of the Lord of the Worlds."

Update (11 January)

The Twitter account @ansarulislam_sh responds with a new full statement. I would note the following:

1. The statement is disingenuous regarding the obvious question of why there have been no new media releases from Jamaat Ansar al-Islam's Iraq branch since August 2014. It gives a more generic explanation of a reduction in media profile for the group as a whole (no distinction made as regards branches, which is of course the group's ideal). Yet one may then ask why there was an Eid al-Adha media release from the Syrian branch but nothing from the Iraq branch, with the latter's silence on that matter breaking a tradition spanning years.

2. The statement somewhat misrepresents the August 2014 statement put out in the name of Jamaat Ansar al-Islam by Islamic State loyalists claiming dissolution of the group: that did not apply to Jamaat Ansar al-Islam as a whole but rather was just claiming dissolution of the Iraq branch and urged the Syrian branch to follow its example. Theoretically of course, the brand still exists, but when the overwhelming majority of its members have pledged allegiance and the remnant who have not pledged have quit the field, with many of them actually residing in the Kurdistan Regional Government-controlled Kirkuk city, then it has ceased to exist for all intents and purposes. In this context, note the testimony of one of those remnant guys- Abu Bakr al-Iraqi- who had previously told me some 90% of the group in Iraq had pledged allegiance, but recently added to another person that "inside Kirkuk [city] which IS did not enter, pledges of allegiance en masse/in groups have not taken place."

3. Therefore, this back and forth does not change my prior analysis as of 8 January. The Iraqi branch has effectively ceased to exist for now but the Syrian branch still survives. In this back and forth, each side is simply pushing its own partisan narrative. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Below is my preliminary translation of the statement.

Jamaat Ansar al-Islam
Central Media Administration.
Statement: 451
19 Rabi al-Awal/10 January 2015

Statement for the people

[...]

In this critical time in the history of the Ummah in which the external and internal enemy has gathered with all its ranks against the Muslims, the fair observer finds that every just, agreeable Muslim is full of eagerness and interest in lightening, even if by a simple bit, the burden of oppression on them from eviction, forced displacement and death from the cold in the refugee camps.

And we as the group of Ansar al-Islam had previously announced that we would reduce the media presence and issuing of statements for reasons that concern us and that we would focus on operational aspects...for the service of Islamic work generally and jihad in particular. And we were determined not to preoccupy ourselves with responses and media controversies and especially in that regard what serves the enemies' interest and increases division and separation among the Muslims and especially the companies who are the fuel of jihad, the support of the Ummah, and the ansar [supporters/partisans] of this religion, except that some compel us to go out of our silence such that we must issue a clarification and respond. And in that regard there is the jamaat ad-dawla ['group of the state'- i.e. IS, not recognizing its claims to statehood- cf. Jabhat al-Nusra], and that is because of their putting out false statements every now and then that Jamaat al-Ansar has pledged allegiance to them, that the group has dissolved itself, and that this is the group's last statement.

[...]

Although it is no new thing from the following of the people in the matter that we have attacked this sort of talk from them since the beginning of 2005 after the occupation of Iraq with their claims that Jamaat al-Ansar has come to an end and no one has remained, all the way until today, for once we hear that the group has come to an end and another time that it had pledged allegiance- and this was recently and not the last time in the month of Shuwwal 1435 AH/August 2014. And at that time they claimed that the ansar had given allegiance to the Dawla [IS], had dissolved their own group and confirmed this statement as the last of their releases.

And we affirm with certainty that the one near and far should know that these words are falsehoods, and especially anyone who knows the ansar and the manhaj of the ansar, having counted and heard of the number of statements of allegiance of the ansar to the Dawla, the falseness of those claims should be clear to him as well as their inconsistency, but they have no respect for the intelligence of their readers but also they show disdain for whoever follows them and reads about them and for them.

And the surprising thing from the disturbance of the people is that the ansar who had been judged by them [i.e. IS] as apostate Sahwa are also the ansar of bida' [innovation: a pejorative], with receptions and welcome celebrations held for them when some of those people pledge allegiance- and such events are publicised with the use of media deceit to inflate the numbers. But also attending these events and pledging allegiance in front of the cameras are those whom no one from the group knows and have never been among the ansar for one day. So the strange thing- and it's not strange- for the people is that those who had been judged the apostates yesterday have become their brothers today by nothing more than a pledge of allegiance, as though the pledge must translate to their reception.

Indeed this matter has revealed something: namely, the power of the truth that the ansar bear as well as the soundness of their manhaj, while they [the IS guys] believe from the defect within them both that their version of Shari'a will not be fulfilled especially in Iraq except by destroying Ansar al-Islam, and that there must also be the deliberate exaggeration of the allegiance of a group of members differing in their true numbers, whether more or less: and they [those members] are in part compelled, [and in part etc.] forced, wishing, hating, aware of their [IS'] evil, guarding their own lifeblood, leaving something behind for the ansar, sitting and refraining from jihad, and such people were with the Ansar one day two years ago. And [the intended result] is that anyone who sees the affair will think the Ummah has given them allegiance.

Verily we affirm to all the Muslims and the mujahideen of Jamaat Ansar al-Islam that the rumour of our allegiance to Jamaat ad-Dawla is completely divorced from reality. Further, the law, situation on the ground, the evidence, and the just of the Muslims and the Sunni mujahideen groups close to us and those among whom we live and whose interests and burdens we share and bear with them may bear witness that Jamaat al-Ansar is actually present on the ground.

And indeed the group has continued to adhere to the pledge on which its imams and leaders set out as well as those who shed blood under its banner and those who are confined in the prisons of the Tawagheet [idolatrous tyrants] and remain steadfast under the sting of the whips of the apostates and disbelievers, and enduring in the face of the oppression of the oppressors and the overlording of the forces of extremism from the people of aggression and arbitrariness. Further, the group has not ceased bearing the banner pure, clean and firm on the basis of what the Ummah of Islam has agreed on from the principles by God's permission.

And we give good tidings to all of them that we remain just as they have known us from before, and we are just as our Lord- exalted is He in the highest- has protected us by His favour, and we have not drifted or been pulled away to the projects of negligence during all these years despite the abundance of pressures, temptations, and the many offers to alleviate what had afflicted us from need and poverty. So by God's force and power, we will not be pulled away or enter into projects of negligence- the projects whose falsity the knowledgeable ulama' have borne witness against and that they are not binding on any of the Muslims. We are a people who follow and do not innovate.

And whatever portends- whe