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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

From MEMRI:



Jordanian businessman Talal Abu Ghazaleh said that there was an “easy solution” to the Palestinian problem: “Let every Palestinian return to Palestine and every Jew return to his own country.” Abu Ghazaleh said that he decided not to return to his home in Jaffa, because MEMRI - which was monitoring “all our broadcasts, including this one right now” - “consider my statements to be antisemitic because I want to cleanse Palestine of the Jews.” Abu Ghazaleh made these comments during a BBC Arabic TV interview on January 9. The MEMRI video Abu Ghazaleh refers to can be watched here: http://ift.tt/2iTilzE

Interviewer: "Have you been back to Jaffa? Have you gone to see your home...?"

Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "No, I haven't. Do you want me to tell you why on air?"

Interviewer: "Why not?"

Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "I need courage for this. I was interviewed on Abu Dhabi TV on economic matters. At the end of the interview, the TV host decided to ask me about the solution to the Palestinian problem. She asked: 'Is this a vicious circle with no solution?' I said that the solution is easy. 'What is it?' she asked. I said: 'Just like the Jews believe in the Right of Return, we Palestinians believe in the Right of Return. Let every Palestinian return to Palestine and every Jew return to his own country.' The first to leave should be the Israeli foreign minister at this time, Lieberman, whose job is secure. I'm prepared to secure jobs for them all, and to run an international plan to transfer them. They won't need to worry about passports or visas, because they all have dual citizenships – Israeli citizenship and citizenship of his country of origin.

"Israel has this organization called MEMRI, which monitors all the broadcasts, including this one right now. Its job is to determine whether something that was said is antisemitic. They consider my statements to be antisemitic, because I want to cleanse Palestine of the Jews."

Interviewer: "So that's why you didn't return to Jaffa."

Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "Therefore, I am a wanted man, an antisemite, in their view."
You can't make this up.

(h/t Josh K)



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From Ian:

'This Man Is a Spite Machine'; Obama Blasted on Social Media for Appointment of Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council
Outgoing President Barack Obama’s choice on Tuesday of top aide Ben Rhodes to serve on the US Holocaust Memorial Council drew a slew of online ire over Rhodes’ controversial record on Israel-related issues.
Rhodes — whose role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications will come to an end on Friday with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump — was a leading advocate of the Iran nuclear deal and a vocal critic of Israeli settlement policies.
“So Ben Rhodes, who is a veritable enemy of Israel, Obama appoints to Holocaust Memorial Council,” American Spectator Managing Editor Melissa Mackenzie tweeted. “The man is a spite machine.”
UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer tweeted, “No joke: Obama names aide who bragged of whitewashing Iran’s Holocaust-denying regime to Holocaust memorial council.”
Appointing Ben Rhodes to Holocaust Memorial Council is massive Obama middle finger of triumph
Who is Ben Rhodes?
He’s the Obama communications operative who admitted to deceiving the American public and manipulating the media in support of the Iran Nuclear Deal. (He also ran the Benghazi disinformation campaign.)
David Gerstman wrote a devastating takedown of the deal and Rhode’s deception last May, Grand Deception: How Obama and Ben Rhodes Lied Us Into the Iran nuke deal. Read the whole thing.
Part of Rhodes deception was to create the media narrative, and a media echo chamber, pushing the claim that negotiations were a byproduct of the rise of a moderate faction in Iran. It was a lie meant to suggest that the Iranians were moving away from their genocidal desire to destroy Israel and thus an agreement which legitimized and legalized Iran’s nuclear program was not a worry.
In fact, we know that the nuke deal puts Iran on a certain path to be in a position to produce and deliver a nuclear weapon down the road, and that’s assuming Iran honors the deal. And that supposed rising moderate Iranian government is nowhere to be found. Flush with cash and renewed international business connections, the Mullahs are as violent as ever and increasingly throwing their military weight around in the region.
For Obama to appoint the man who deceived us into putting 6 million Israeli Jews in danger on the Holocaust Memorial Council is a big FU by Obama to critics of the Iran nuke deal.
Eugene Kontorovich (PODCAST): Scholars On Israel And The United Nations
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on the U.S. decision to abstain from a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements has triggered intense debate on the future of U.S. policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
We discuss President Obama’s legacy on Israel and Palestine and U.S. policy going forward with Eugene Kontorovich, professor of law at Northwestern University and contributor to the Washington Post's Volokh Conspiracy blog, and Rashid Khalidi, professor of Arab studies at Columbia University and author of numerous books on the Middle East, including Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East.



Vic Rosenthal: Why they hate us
According to the Palestinian narrative, the Palestinian Arabs suffered an enormous loss of honor when they were defeated militarily – not only by non-Muslims, but Jews of all people! – and suffered the indignities of the nakba. This honor cannot be gotten back by talking. It cannot be gotten back by Palestinian statehood. It can only be regained by the (preferably bloody) expulsion of the Jews from every inch of “Palestinian land.” The actual circumstances of the events of 1948 – who started the war, who expelled whom, who massacred whom – don’t matter any more than the circumstances under which a young woman got pregnant. Honor must be regained.
An interesting analogy is provided by Anwar Sadat. Sadat launched the Yom Kippur war to recover the territory lost by Egypt in 1967, but more importantly, to recover the honor of Egypt (defeated by Jews! How it must have stung the proud Muslim Egyptians). Thanks to the intervention of the international community, he was saved from a defeat that would have been impossible to hide. He presented the 1973 war to his people as a victory, but they weren’t fooled. A real victory that could have brought back Egyptian honor would have had to fulfill Nasser’s promise that “We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand; we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood.” Sadat ultimately did succeed in getting back every inch of the land that he lost to Israel, but he did it by talking; and talking couldn’t restore Egypt’s honor. Only blood could do that, and ultimately it was Sadat’s blood.
The lesson should be obvious. The Palestinian Arabs are not, cannot be, a partner for negotiation. Only strength can deter them from violence. That’s the easy part.
The Europeans, in the grip of a massive continental neurosis, may not be able to listen to reason. I understand that the burden of their sins is too great to bear. But perhaps we can explain that we are prepared to forgive their grandparents – if only they would stop making us their sacrificial offering, their goat for Azazel. We can remind them that they already have one Jew that went to the cross for them, and that should be enough.
Anti-Semites are self-replacing
When President Obama was elected, everyone tried to minimize the significance of his lack of love for Jews, but after his 2009 Cairo speech and his demand that a building freeze continue in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria, I sent out a press release, as then head of the National Union party in the Knesset:
"Someone who intends to be a voice for the deprived, people of color and the Third World, has pressured the Prime Minister of Israel to continue to uphold a racist decree that denies the minimal human rights of 400,000 Jews just because they are Jews. This is the type of decree that was the norm in anti-Semitic Europe and in Muslim countries. What would Obama say if this was done to a village lived in by blacks?"
I seem to have been the only one who saw Obama as a threat to our future in this land from the beginning. Today, most Israeli Jews agree with this opinion, especially after the anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334, cooked up by Obama and Kerry in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the Zionist Enterprise. Thank G-d, there are close to 7 million Jews in Israel, may their numbers increase. We will continue building in all of our land and especially in Judea and Samaria, the Negev, the Galilee and the Golan. We will continue to encourage our people to increase the size of their families. And we will call to our brothers in lands of plenty to come to the Holy Land en masse, to be ready at our side for the arrival of the Redemption, amen.
Groundbreaking Anti-BDS Conference to Be Held at EU Parliament Seeks to 'Unclog Gears' of Movement's Influence in Europe, Organizer Says
The organizer of an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) conference being held next week at the European Parliament in Brussels told The Algemeiner that the groundbreaking event seeks to “unclog the gears” of the movement’s influence on the continent.
Dafna Friedman — communications and campaigns officer of the advocacy group Europe Israel Public Affairs (EIPA) — said that activists participating in “Israel: Include. Invest. Involve” aim to “debunk false claims about the Jewish state, and show clear democratic support for upgrading relations with Israel.”
“The conversation between Israelis and Europeans is currently stuck between reverse and first gear, mainly because of the European misperception that the conflict is all about Palestinian land contiguity and the threat of Israeli settlements,” Friedman said. “Meanwhile, BDS selectively chooses to turn a blind eye to Palestinian terrorism, democracy deficit, corruption and other challenges Palestinian society needs to address.”
According to Friedman, Europeans politicians and members of the public who fall prey to this perspective pose a great danger to Israel’s safety and standing in the world. “Let’s face it. Even though Europe has arguably owned up to its antisemitic past, this third generation can fall into the same trap of nationalistic policies from the 1930s if the constant demonization of Israel over its unresolved conflict with the Palestinians carries on,” she said.
NGO Monitor: Switzerland and Hamas – the NGO Angle
According to articles published this week by Basler Zeitung (Pierre Heumann, Palästinenser kritisieren EDA, January 16) and Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal, Swiss government hosts $85,000 event aiming to unify Hamas and Fatah, January 16), the Swiss government and an unnamed Finnish NGO spent together $85,000 on a workshop in Geneva whose purpose was to promote reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
The articles explain that the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs contributed nearly $72,000, while the Finnish NGO contributed $18,000, to the event. This is not the first instance of Swiss engagement with Hamas. Switzerland has been directly involved in reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas since 2014, reinforcing these efforts mid-2016.
As reported, a Palestinian NGO, The Palestinian Center for Policy Research & Strategic Studies – Masarat, played a key role at the workshop. Hani Al-Masri of Masarat is a former member of the EU- and US-designated terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Al-Masri openly supports anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions), and published an article in 2015 titled “Boycott: an Effective Weapon.” Masarat is also a partner organization in the Oxford Research Group’s Palestine Strategy Group. The Palestine strategy group supports “resistance in all its forms including the growing global movement for boycott sanctions and divestment,” as well as the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees. The Oxford Research Group is funded, among others, by the Swiss government.
NGO Monitor: The NGOs and Funders behind the Campaign to “Save Umm Al-Hiran”
In 2013, NGO Monitor published “NGOs and the Negev Bedouin Issue in the Context of Political Warfare,” a report detailing how NGOs manipulate the issue of Bedouins in order to promote politicized agendas. To this day, NGOs continue to ignore legal decisions regarding Bedouin villages and instead utilize inflammatory rhetoric to lobby the UN, the European Union, and international media.
The violent events in the unrecognized village of Umm Al-Hiran highlight the way in which NGOs, financially backed by European governments, intensify conflict between the Bedouin community and the State of Israel.
The following politicized NGOs are active in this campaign:
BDS Starts at the Universities, and There It Must Be Defeated
In the U.S., the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS)—together with the various modes of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic propaganda that come with it—has primarily made itself felt on college campuses and in academic organizations. Looking at the movement’s origins and methods, Dominic Green proffers some suggestions for combating it:
BDS seeks to transform the atmosphere of university intellectual and social life, in order to effect changes in government and business policy. BDS activists seek to control the intellectual environment, to create a “safe space” for the indoctrination of a biased and often false view of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Thus, the practice of BDS tends toward the abuse of free speech, in that BDS activists frequently seek to curtail the freedom of others.
BDS uses strategies of exemplary stigmatization, intended to demonize the state of Israel and its supporters. Inevitably, and often by design, such intimidatory strategies include charging American Jews as complicit with the “racist” and “colonialist” Israeli state, or with “neoconservative” policies at home. While the freedom of speech of Jewish and pro-Israel students is BDS’s primary target, its strategies aim to curtail the freedom of speech of all students and faculty. . . .
The students should be treated like wayward children [whose] broad ignorance and deep sentimentality are being exploited by BDS advocates. At Vassar in 2016, the administration warned that if the student body voted to endorse BDS, the administration would cut funding for student social activities. The BDS supporters withdrew their motion. The college disco was more important than the struggle with colonialist imperialism.
Fordham U. denies students permission to form pro-Palestinian group
Fordham University will not allow students to form a Students for Justice in Palestine group because it does not allow groups that solely promote one country’s interests.
According to a Tuesday statement from Fordham, a Jesuit school in New York City, an SJP group would act more like a political lobby than a traditional campus club.
“Fordham has no registered student clubs the sole focus of which is the political agenda of one nation, against another nation,” the statement read. “The narrowness of Students for Justice in Palestine’s political focus makes it more akin to a lobbying group than a student club. Regardless of the club’s status, students, faculty, and staff are of course free to voice their opinions on Palestine, or any other issue.”
There is also no pro-Israel student group at Fordham. There is a Jewish students’ club, but its description does not mention Israel.
Bar-Ilan University study reveals manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australian public schools
Jewish students in Australian public schools are exposed to anti-Semitic, racist bullying, according to the findings of a new study presented Monday at an international conference on anti-Semitism at Bar-Ilan University.
The two-day conference, focusing on the rising threat of anti-Semitism and the struggle to combat it, marked the 20th anniversary of the passing of Israel’s 6th President, Chaim Herzog. The gathering was organized by Bar-Ilan’s Aharon and Rachel Dahan Center for Culture, Society and Education in the Sephardic Heritage, the World Zionist Organization, and the University’s Sal Van Gelder Institute for Holocaust Research.
The manifestations of anti-Semitism in Australian public schools were discovered by Prof. Zehavit Gross, Director of the Sal Van Gelder Institute for Holocaust Research, while she was conducting an unrelated study on public schools in Sydney and Melbourne with her colleague, Prof. Suzanne Rutland, of the University of Sydney.
Professors Gross and Rutland set out to research Special Religious Education (SRE) and its effectiveness on Jewish students. “As a researcher, I was convinced that a half hour of study per week is ineffective and meaningless,” said Prof. Gross in addressing the conference with Prof. Rutland. Instead, Gross and Rutland found that students and parents consider SRE very successful, and they were eager to find out the secret to this success. “To our amazement, both primary and high school Jewish students in state schools spontaneously told us that they loved to attend SRE classes because they found them to be a ‘safe place’ in the face of the anti-Semitism they were experiencing on the playground.”
Mayor of Mosman Condemns Israeli Actions in declining a synagogue invitation
Peter Abelson, the Mayor of Mosman on Sydney’s lower North Shore, expressed his opposition towards Israel’s actions in the West Bank as his reason for refusing to attend the Law Service at the Great Synagogue.Dr Abelson received a personal invitation to the annual event, held at the beginning of the new legal year, but wrote the following to Dr Benjamin Elton, Rabbi of the Great Synagogue.
“Thank you for your invitation to the Great Synagogue Law Service for 2017. I will not be attending…. I should express my deep personal concern about the gross and illegal occupation of the West Bank which creates intense international division and bitterness and, unresolved, will cause endless terrorism around the globe, including here.”
Dr Abelson’s remarks and decision to abstain from the event because of his political views have been met with considerable criticism and concern.
“The mayor is boycotting Australian Jews because he disagrees with policies of the Israeli government”, NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff told J-Wire. “Why is he wading into foreign policy and why is he holding Australian Jews responsible for policies of the government of Israel? He has a responsibility to represent his Jewish constituents; it is inappropriate for him to shun them by refusing to attend a Jewish community event.”
Jewish groups slam decision to drop Oxford Labour club antisemitism probe
Jewish groups in Britain have decried the Labour party's decision to drop its investigation into antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club after 11 months.
British media reported Tuesday that Labour’s National Executive Committee has ruled that the investigation into alleged antisemitism by two members of the club should be terminated and the students cleared.
"In her original report on allegations of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club, Baroness Royall said that there had been 'some incidents of antisemitic behavior'. Now, 11 months later, the Labour Party has dropped the investigation," said Board of Deputies of British Jews Vice President Marie van der Zyl. "This inability or unwillingness to confront what is a serious problem is damning for the party and will concern Jewish students on campus who feel their own party offers them no protection against abuse."
The Campaign Against Antisemitism organization on Wednesday described the decision as an "insult to the intelligence of the Jewish community, and adds that insult to the already traumatic injury to Labour’s once steadfast relationship with it."
FAKE NEWS ALERT: IBT Republishes Outrageous Palestinian Lies and Propaganda
UPDATE: After we contacted editors, the International Business Times removed the article.
"This story has been unpublished because it did not meet International Business Times standards."
* * *
It’s rare that a mainstream media outlet publishes something so utterly ridiculous that it defies all the known laws of professional journalism. The International Business Times, however, has managed it in spades.
Its story contains outrageous Palestinian lies and propaganda sourced from terrorist and hate sites that should never see the light of day in the mainstream media.

IsraellyCool: Nurse Who Worked With Palestinians Rebuts Claims Of Anti-Israel Article
Dorothy Finlay is a nurse who lived in Jerusalem and Gaza between 1985-2013, working with palestinians in Jerusalem, Gaza and Bethlehem.
Responding to a piece in the New Zealand Herald entitled Life is confined and cruel for Palestinians on the West Bank, she draws on her experience living in Israel to challenge the article’s claims.
I can understand Dr Robin Briant’s anger at the destruction of Palestinian buildings during the time of her service with Medecins sans Frontieres in Jenin and Gaza. I too would be very upset if I did not understand the situation in the Palestinian and Gaza authority areas during the years 2003-2004 when Dr Briant describes her experience.
However, the situation now is very different, and certainly less violent, from when Dr Briant was there 13 years ago. In the years 2001-2004 over 1000 Israelis were killed in terrorist attacks.
The warped coverage of Hebron in the UK media
20 years ago today, on January 17th 1997, Israel and the Palestinian authority signed an agreement dividing control of Hebron. Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed that Israel would pull out of much of Hebron, leaving it under the control of the Palestinian Authority, and Israel would maintain control over a second part of the city. This anniversary is a good time to analyse UK media coverage of Hebron, a city which is often featured in the UK media. Much of the coverage of Hebron in the UK media suffers from serious flaws, and sometimes worse than that.
Ignoring of Palestinian terrorism in Hebron
The first systemic flaw in media coverage of Hebron is that it often overlooks or ignores the history of Palestinian terrorism in Hebron, and the role that has in the situation of the city. To understand this, one has to zoom out from a myopic focus on Hebron’s Jewish population, and look at its Arab residents.
Hebron is the second largest Palestinian city (following Gaza City) and is the largest city in the West Bank, with some 200,000 residents according to a 2015 census. However, it can cogently be argued that Hebron’s population is particularly hard-line and radical – and election results here are significant. In the last Palestinian legislative election, contested between Fatah and Hamas in 2006, 66 of the 132 seats were awarded by district – so for example, there were five seats contested in Ramallah, six seats contested in Nablus and four seats contested in Jenin. In Hebron, there were nine seats up for grabs – and all nine went to Hamas. (Hamas won the election overall with 74 seats, with Fatah coming second with 45). Hebron is the Hamas stronghold of the West Bank.
A summary of the Gaza smuggling ignored by the BBC in 2016
On the one hand, BBC audiences have frequently seen or heard restrictions on the movement of people and specific categories of goods in and out of the Gaza Strip inaccurately described as “collective punishment” or a “siege”. On the other hand, since the end of the 2014 conflict between Israel and Hamas, the BBC has shown no interest whatsoever in informing its audiences of terror-related smuggling attempts.
The result is that when the BBC tells its audiences that “Israel says” the restrictions on the import of weapons and dual-use goods into the Gaza Strip are for reasons of security, they have insufficient information to be able to put that statement – and the restrictions themselves – into the correct context.
Obviously the BBC – which claims to be impartial and is tasked with building audience understanding of “international issues” – should be reporting stories such as those above in order to help its audiences understand the real reasons for the counter-terrorism measures which include restrictions on the entry of specific items to the Gaza Strip.
German nationalist calls for end to Nazi guilt
A prominent member of the nationalist Alternative for Germany party wants to end the country’s decades-long tradition of acknowledging and atoning for its Nazi past.
Bjoern Hoecke leads the party in the eastern state of Thuringia. He said Germany needs to perform a “180-degree turn” when it comes to remembering its past.
Hoecke said Tuesday that the Berlin memorial to the millions of Jews killed in the Holocaust is a “monument of shame.” He told party supporters in the eastern city of Dresden that no other country would erect such a memorial in its capital and called instead for Germany to take a “positive” attitude toward its history.
Nazi Germany was responsible for the murder of more than 6 million Jews and other minorities before and during World War II.
White supremacist outed for having Jewish wife
A white supremacist blogger and podcast host was forced to resign from the popular “alt-right” website he had created after it was revealed that his wife is Jewish.
Mike Peinovich, who used the online pseudonym Mike Enoch, was the founder of the popular white nationalist website The Right Stuff (TRS) and co-host of the podcast “The Daily Shoah,” a play on the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.
Prior to the unmasking of his true identity over the weekend, Peinovich had been considered one of the leading figures of the emerging white nationalist movement in America, along with Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin and Richard Spencer, who helped coin the term alt-right, according to Salon web magazine.
The first cracks in Peinovich’s facade as Mike Enoch first appeared in December, when a white nationalist rival told his followers that a key figure in the movement “is morbidly obese and is married to a Jewish woman,” Salon reported.
Israel secures top-10 ranking in 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index
Moving up one spot from last year, Israel has been named the 10th most innovative economy in the world, in the 2017 Bloomberg Innovation Index.
The index, according to Bloomberg, ranks economies annually by analyzing seven contributing factors such as research and development spending and the concentration of public hi-tech companies in each country. Israel moved from 11th place to 10th this year, ousting France from its place in the top-10 strongest innovation economies.
South Korea topped the list for the second year in a row, followed by Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Singapore, Japan, Denmark, the United States and Israel.
Israel achieved first place in the "researcher concentration category," or the number of professionals – including postgraduate PhD students – engaged in R&D per million people in the country. The country was ranked second and trailed only South Korea in the "R&D intensity" category, or R&D expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).
Israel also did well in the "hi-tech density" – the number of domestically domiciled hi-tech public companies – placing third, just after the United States and France.
Veteran rocker Rod Stewart announces Tel Aviv show in June
British rock star Rod Stewart announced Tuesday that he will wrap up his 2017 world tour with a show in Tel Aviv.
The performance is scheduled for June 14, 2017, at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv, and will be the final performance of Stewart’s “Hits” tour.
The rocker also recorded a special video message for his Israeli fans, promising “a splendid night of fantastic music.”
“This is Rod Stewart here and I shall be coming to Tel Aviv on June 14, playing at Hayarkon Park,” he says in the clip uploaded to Facebook. “So don’t miss it, it’s going to be a splendid night of fantastic music where you’ll hear everything you want to hear. June 14, Tel Aviv. Don’t miss it.”



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EU-IranLondon, January 17 - Officials in Tehran followed British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech yesterday with interest, noting that if, as she declared, the UK will remove itself from the European Union, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be more than happy to offset the kingdom's departure by joining.

May gave an address Tuesday afternoon in which she announced her government's intention to complete the country's exit from the Continental union, following last year's referendum that called for such a move. The Brexit, as it was dubbed, has left other countries in the European Union uncertain as to the future of the arrangement itself, and the government of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has begun to reassure the leaders of Germany and France that Iran will step into the breach created by Brexit.

Already, economic ties between Continental enterprises and Iran have tightened, enabled by last year's nuclear deal that removed myriad economic sanctions on commercial dealings with Tehran and the businesses under its rule. European aviation giant Airbus has signed a lucrative contract for delivery of passenger and cargo aircraft, and the energy sector promises further development, in addition to the automotive and other consumer industries hungry for new markets. While British contributions to the Union outweigh Iran's potential by a considerable margin, Tehran's military and political clout in the Middle East may prove advantageous to an EU looking to expand its commercial relationships into that part of the developing world.

"Culturally and in its essence, the EU is a better fit for Iran that it is for Britain - at least under the current British government and political atmosphere," observed Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, the body's foreign relations arm. "As the Union's immigration policies and attitude toward the Arab-Israeli conflict demonstrate, we're much more on the same page as the Ayatollahs than we are with Ms. May and the voters who chose Brexit. The loss of Britain's economic might will certainly be felt, but we can manage without them, especially with the infusion of new blood, if you will, when Iran does join."

British opponents of Brexit voiced bitterness at the prospect of not participating in the Union with Iran. "As I see it there's no reason for anyone to wait before accepting Iran as a member, regardless of Brexit or no Brexit," remarked Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party. "We could accomplish so much together, since we have so many friends in common - Hamas, Hezbollah, and who knows how many militias dotting Iraq and Syria."




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From Ian:

Evelyn Gordon: The Obama/Kerry Tailwind to Terror
A few weeks ago, the security threat Israel faced from Palestinian terror looked relatively low. But then Barack Obama and John Kerry decided to meddle. The consequences were eminently predictable: They got to enjoy feeling self-righteous, while Israelis and Palestinians pay the price in blood.
Consequently, the PA felt free to ramp its incitement back up to full force. And it did, to deadly effect.
Shortly before the resolution passed, for instance, a Jerusalem Post reporter who asked more than two dozen east Jerusalem Palestinians what they thought of reported plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem couldn’t find a single one who cared. But then the PA, bolstered by the resolution and Kerry’s speech, ordered all imams under its control to devote their sermons on Friday, January 6 to why the embassy move was unacceptable and would/could/should lead to violence. After all, the world could hardly object to that. Kerry himself had said exactly the same thing. And on January 8, an east Jerusalem Palestinian carried out the car-ramming that killed four soldiers. His relatives said he did so after hearing a local imam assail the proposed embassy move in his Friday sermon.
But Palestinian incitement isn’t just deadly to Israelis; it’s even deadlier to Palestinians. Whenever violence breaks out, Palestinians always end up with the higher death toll; that’s inevitable, given Israel’s superior weaponry. Unfortunately, that has never yet deterred the Palestinian leadership from fomenting it. Thus, by reassuring the PA that it will face no international consequences for inciting, the Obama/Kerry team guaranteed bloodshed on both sides.
Two and a half years ago, I detailed how another Obama/Kerry effort to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace ended up sparking a war instead. But either they learned nothing from that fiasco, or they simply don’t care how many Israelis and Palestinians die for the sake of enabling them to posture self-righteously on the world stage. After all, they’ll be out of office at the end of the week. Israelis and Palestinians will still be here bleeding.
PMW: Trump responsible for blood in Jerusalem if he moves embassy
When the Palestinian Authority wants to prevent a political action either by Israel or other governments, one PA tactic is to threaten violence. That is precisely what is happening following US President-elect Trump’s pledge to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The following are 25 statements, threats and warnings from official Palestinian Authority and Fatah sources, selected from among many more. These are in addition to the PA threats of religious war and bloodshed that Palestinian Media Watch reported last week.
There has not been this high a concentration of warnings and threats of violence by PA and Fatah officials, since September - October 2015. At that time, the PA and Fatah leadership warned and threatened violence because Israel, they alleged, was defiling and planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The PA’s political goal at that time was to try to prevent visits by Jews to the Temple Mount. That PA incitement, which was subsequently intensified by private social media incitement, sparked many months of Palestinian terror which left over 40 Israelis and hundreds of Palestinians killed.
Trump responsible for blood
The official news agency of the Palestinian Authority, WAFA, warned in a video report that if Trump moves the embassy, he will be responsible for blood spilling in Israel/Jerusalem and the West Bank:
Trump will be responsible for blood spilled in Jerusalem if he moves US embassy warns PA news agency


Trump's UN nominee to slam world body over approach to Israel
US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be US ambassador to the United Nations will blast the world body over its treatment of Israel at her Senate confirmation hearing, reports claimed on Wednesday, citing a testimony seen by Reuters.
"Nowhere has the UN’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally Israel," Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said in the opening remarks for her appearance on Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
According to Reuters, Haley's speech also said that "any honest assessment also finds an institution that is often at odds with American national interests and American taxpayers."
Haley's expected remarks arrive at an especially strained period in the relations between the US and Israel, serving as a potential indication to the possible shift in the nature of the rapport between the world power and the Jewish State as US President Barack Obama is expected to officially leave the White House later on Wednesday, with President-elect Trump assuming office this coming Friday.



Who’s the Fool on the Middle East?
That was bad enough but the Paris conference, which was held with the connivance of the lame duck Obama administration was particularly ill-timed because the 70 nations attending know very well that the only power that can guarantee any theoretical peace deal is the United States. The notion that the Europeans or any other combination of nations can impose a solution on the parties in defiance of U.S. wishes is an absurdity. But that was, more or less, the point of the extravaganza in the City of Light. The international community was seeking to signal to the incoming Trump administration that the rest of the world wasn’t interested in waiting to hear what his ideas about the Middle East might be. That’s because they believe the new administration doesn’t understand the complexities of the conflict and ought to be ignored rather than consulted, let alone shown the deference the world’s only true superpower deserves.
Trump may be no sophisticate or policy wonk but, unlike his supposed betters, he knows why a two-state solution hasn’t yet been achieved. The Israelis offered the Palestinians a state including almost all of the West Bank, Gaza, and a share of Jerusalem in 2000, 2001, and 2008. Each time the Palestinians refused to accept the deal that gave them more or less what the world thinks they deserve. Worse than that, they have answered offers of peace with terrorism and even the supposed moderates of the PA continue to honor and subsidize terrorists and foment hatred of Israel and the Palestinians every day. Even the supposedly hard-line Netanyahu offered, according to the Americans, a withdrawal from the West Bank during the 2014 talks sponsored by Secretary of State John Kerry. Constrained by a political culture that makes it impossible for their leaders to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state, what the Palestinians want is to orchestrate the isolation of Israel; not peace with it.
As Trump said this week, the international community has coddled the Palestinians. They have subsidized their corrupt, violence-prone government and never forced them to come to grips with the need to accept that their century-old war against Zionism must end if they are to gain the independence they say they want. For all of the opprobrium directed at Trump, if he pursues—as it appears he is inclined to do—a policy in which pressure is put on the Palestinians rather than the Israelis that would actually be a constructive change from Obama’s futile quest to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their direction.
Betraying Israel
On Sunday, January 15, top diplomats from as many as 70 nations, led by the departing United States secretary of state, John Kerry, gathered in Paris to express once again their sick obsession with the creation of a Palestinian State at the expense of Israel.
With all the recent catastrophic challenges facing the Middle East, Europe, and the world, such as brutal wars of massive death and destruction, terrorism, and an ever-deepening refugee crisis, the international community has accepted the invitation of French President François Hollande to come together again to hammer out what despite all logic, they seem to think is the most monumental challenge facing the world today: the two-state solution. Sadly, the Obama administration, with Kerry’s anti-Israel speech and failure to veto an anti-Israeli UN Security Council Resolution, seems to have made a decision to spend its last few weeks galvanizing the international community to isolate and scapegoat the Jewish State and the only democracy in the Middle East.
History teaches us that after evil entities and ideologies finish with the Jews, they then go after everyone else. The establishment of a Palestinian state or even the total destruction of the only Jewish State will not stop the Islamist Jihadi cancer from spreading throughout Europe and the world. This enemy opposes the whole civilized world while Western nations foolishly focus on appeasing it in regard to pressuring Israel to sacrifice its security.
The international community must wake up soon and acknowledge the truth that a religious war is in progress between Radical Islam and the civilized, democratic, and free Western world, which includes Israel. Israel has been in the forefront of the war on Jihadist terror because it is a Western, democratic, nation located in the barbaric, primitive, Islamist neighborhood where Radical Islam originated.
Kerry Lectures Netanyahu: ‘You're Affecting the Ability to Make Peace’
In his final public remarks as secretary of state, John Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a friend. But he had a message for the Israeli leader that he explained he has repeatedly offered in private.
“You’re affecting the ability to make peace,” he said. “You’re changing the peace map, and you’re doing it unilaterally. And if you continue to do that, you’re going to have trouble also with us, because our credibility is on the line – we can’t say we’re against settlements and then turn around and turn away from an effort to try to do something about it.”
The outgoing statesman spoke with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who, in their short time on stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, focused his questions heavily on the issues of climate change and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Kerry’s responses were familiar: His only major foreign policy address since the November presidential election has been on this topic, and he is repeatedly pressed on Israel policy, including by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour this week.
Israel’s UN Envoy Tells Security Council Anti-Settlement Resolution Emboldens Terrorists
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations told the UN Security Council Tuesday that the body’s condemnation of Israeli settlements last month has emboldened Palestinian terrorism.
Danny Danon — who made his comments in the wake of the Jan. 8 Palestinian truck-ramming terror attack in Jerusalem, which killed four Israeli soldiers — said, “Hamas and Islamic Jihad, murderous terrorist organizations who are openly committed to the destruction of the state of Israel, joined the [Security Council] in welcoming” the resolution that labeled eastern Jerusalem — including the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, Western Wall, and Temple Mount — “occupied Palestinian territory.”
“The day after the Security Council vote, Fatah, the movement of [Palestinian Authority Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, posted a cartoon on their official Facebook page. It showed a dagger in the shape of a map of Israel, colored with [a] Palestinian flag. Not Judea and Samaria — all of Israel. Under the dagger was a pool of blood and next to it said, ‘Thank you,’ and listed each council member who voted for the shameful resolution,” Danon said.
Trump: Mideast peace elusive because Palestinians are ‘given so much’
US President-elect Donald Trump said his prospects of negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian deal during his presidency have been hampered by the fact that the international community has been “giving so much” to the Palestinians.
Speaking to The Times of London and Germany’s Bild just days before his inauguration, Trump further said the December UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements would only serve to harden Palestinians’ ideological positions in future peace talks.
“The problem I have is that [Resolution 2334] makes it a tougher deal for me to negotiate because the Palestinians are given so much — even though it’s not legally binding it’s psychologically binding and it makes it much tougher for me to negotiate,” he said. “You understand that? Because people are giving away chips, they’re giving away all these chips.”
But, Trump went on to say, if anyone could broker an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, it would be his Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
How New UN Secretary-General Plans to Pressure Israel
According to [a] UN source, Guterres has five measures in mind to advance a two-state solution:
• UN reporting on Israel's settlement activities in relation to Security Council Resolution 2334.
• Increased UN assistance to the Palestinian Authority through the international donor mechanism and the UN specialized agencies.
• Cooperation with the French and the other four members of the Security Council to make the two Paris conferences (June 3, 2016, and Jan. 15, 2017) a basis for a sustainable international two-state solution process.
• Dialogue with the five Security Council heads on a two-state solution process based on all Security Council resolutions.
• Establishing a P5+1 (five UN Security Council permanent members, plus Germany) framework for an Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution process (in addition to the P5+1 group on the Iran deal)...
Obama pardons Cartwright, source of Stuxnet virus leak
US President Barack Obama pardoned 64 people and commuted sentences for an additional 209 on Wednesday, among them retired Marine Corps four star general James Cartwright, the alleged source of leaked information to the press detailing a cyber attack on Iran's nuclear facilities in 2010.
Cartwright pled guilty last year to providing false testimony in 2012 to FBI agents on the matter. Obama cleared him of punishment for that transgression, the White House said.
Cartwright allegedly leaked documents on the Stuxnet virus– a sophisticated computer program that destroyed thousands of Iran's uranium-enriching centrifuges– to David Sanger, a senior New York Times reporter who wrote a book on Obama's secretive wartime tactics.
Ministers to discuss Israeli sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation plans to discuss applying Israeli sovereignty to Maaleh Adumim, Knesset Land of Israel lobby heads MKs Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayedudi) said Tuesday during a discussion in the Knesset plenum.
Kisch and Smotrich said it had been decided to present a bill on the issue to the committee this Sunday, for immediate approval after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in on Friday.
"Anyone who thinks that applying [Israeli] sovereignty to Maaleh Adumim is an obstacle to peace is talking about a peace I don't want," Kisch said. "We aren't talking about annexation, but about applying sovereignty to what is already ours. I promise [Maaleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kasriel] that we will put everything we have into promoting this bill."
Smotrich said: "The vast majority of the public supports applying sovereignty over Maaleh Adumim, regardless of any peace deal. I believe that it's a gift the Israeli people deserve as President-elect Trump is sworn is and [U.S.] policy on Judea and Samaria changes."
Israel, Jordan begin building free trade zone
When the sun emerged last Thursday after several rainy days in the Ta'anakh area in the Beit Shean Valley, the springs sparkled with a bewitching spectrum of shades of green. The air was crisp, with a pleasant odor. We passed east of Kibbutz Tirat Zvi through fields of palm trees and crops along the border fence until we reached the Jordan River and the Bezeq River. Three weeks ago, they began building Shaar Hayarden - a bridge between Israel and Jordan over the Jordan River - the only joint Israel-Jordan infrastructure project since the two countries signed a peace treaty more than 20 years ago. The enclave will become a shared industrial and business enclave with 700 dunam (175 acres) on the Jordanian side, where factories will be built, and 245 dunam (61.25 acres) on the Israel side (expropriated from the kibbutz), where the logistics support, delivery, customs, etc. will be located - including the 352-meter bridge. There is little to see so far. The bulldozers are cutting away part of the hill on Israeli side. The sand is transferred to the Jordanian side on trucks, and is steamrollered into what will be a bridge when the work is finished 18 months from now. Up until recently, the entire area was one big mine field, but the mines have been removed on both sides of the border.
Why is it an enclave? Because the area will be a closed aquarium where Israelis and Jordanians will not need passports to enter; at the same time, it will not be a border crossing between the two countries. The word "shared" is also not very accurate, because Israel is paying for all of it. The budget for building the bridge is NIS 60 million (allocated from the Ministry of Transport through the Ministry of Regional Cooperation), and the total budget for the industrial zone (on the Israeli side) is NIS 200 million.
Clashes ensue after cop, his alleged attacker killed in Negev
A policeman was killed Wednesday in a suspected car-ramming attack during clashes over home demolitions in the long-contested Bedouin town of Umm al-Hiran, police said. The driver was shot and killed by security forces at the scene.
Police identified the slain officer as 1st Sgt. Erez Levi, 34, from Yavneh, saying he was “murdered in a car-ramming attack.”
According to police sources, the driver of the ramming vehicle, identified as Yaqoub Mousa Abu Al-Qia’an, was shot and killed after driving into the police line in the southern town. “It was a terror attack that murdered a policeman,” Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel Radio.
Local residents and activists opposing the demolitions insisted that Abu al-Qia’an was not trying to ram officers, but had already been shot and lost control of his vehicle when it plowed into Levi and another policeman. Local resident Raed Abu Jihad told Israel Radio that police shot at the driver first.
Sarona Market terrorists admit to 3 murders, deny link to 4th death
The two terrorists who carried out the deadly shooting attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market in June pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three counts of murder, but denied responsibility for the death of the fourth victim of the attack.
Muhammad and Khalid Muhamra, 21-year-old cousins from the Palestinian village of Yatta, near Hebron, admitted to the murders of Ido Ben-Ari, 42, of Ramat Gan; Michael Feige, 58, of Midreshet Ben-Gurion; and Mila Mishayev, 32, of Rishon Lezion.
The prosecution plans to present evidence of the causal connection to the death of the fourth victim, Ilana Naveh, 39, of Tel Aviv, who died of a heart attack after the attack. The defense will seek to disprove any connection.
The third person accused over the attack, Younis Zayn, also of Yatta, has admitted to assisting the cousins but was not at the market. The court will determine whether he is guilty of murder or of being an accomplice to the crime.
Syrian opposition figures in Jerusalem call for more Israeli aid
Two Syrian opposition figures making a rare public appearance in Israel called Tuesday for stepped up Israeli assistance to the Syrian opposition, including help in establishing a safe zone for rebel elements in southern Syria along the Golan Heights.
Speaking to a packed auditorium at an event sponsored by the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute, Germany-based opposition activist Issam Zeitoun made a blunt appeal for help. “All Syrians have suffered under this regime. Something must be done. The Syrian people are too weak. We need the help of the international community.”
Sirwan Kajjo, a Syrian- Kurdish journalist who is wanted by the Assad regime, sought to give the audience a sense of the devastation in Syria. He said that in Iraqi Kurdistan he had met a woman who fled Damascus who had sons drafted into mandatory military service fighting for the regime and a son fighting for the rebels.
Another son had been killed and her two daughters had been forced to flee with her.
“Half a million people, mostly civilians have lost their lives,” Kajjo said. “People now say, ‘just fifty people died today.’ But one is too many. Assad has turned the deaths into numbers. I have a nephew who died fighting ISIS and a relative arrested in Damascus.”
Syrian oppositionist says Palestinians are ‘living in paradise’
A rare public meeting between Israelis and Syrians in Jerusalem on Tuesday was interrupted by Palestinian protesters who expressed outrage that Syrians would work with Israelis. The protesters met with a furious response from the Syrians, who accused them of failing to understand true oppression.
“You are living in a paradise compared to Syria,” Issam Zeitoun, a liaison for the Free Syrian Army with the international community, told the protesters as they refused to stop shouting and allow the event to continue. “You should be ashamed.”
The altercation occurred at a packed hall at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where a Free Syrian Army liaison and a Syrian Kurdish representative spoke to students at an event organized by the university’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace.
“I wasn’t surprised by what happened. I expect that people will behave like this when I speak at an Israeli institution because it is really a serious matter,” Zeitoun told The Times of Israel afterwards.
Joint Arab List MK attends rally for outlawed Islamic leader
MK Jamal Zahalka (Joint Arab List) has come under fire for attending a rally in honor of the release from prison of Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the outlawed northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel.
Zahalka sat in the first row at the event in the northern town of Umm al-Fahm on Tuesday, shortly after Salah's release. When Salah took the stage to speak, Zahalka rose to his feet and joined the crowd in their impassioned calls of "In spirit and in blood, we will redeem Al-Aqsa," referring to the mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Israel outlawed the Islamic Movement's northern branch in November 2015 on the grounds that it incited to violence, after the group repeatedly accused Israel of trying to take over the Temple Mount.
After the rally came to a close, Zahalka posted a picture of the event to his Facebook page, which he captioned, "In our unity, we will thwart the political persecution. Freedom for prisoners." In the picture, Palestinian and Islamic Movement flags can be seen.
Maor Tzemach, chairman of Go Jerusalem, an organization that advocates for the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, blasted Zahalka for the move.
Hamas, Fatah announce deal to form Palestinian unity government
After three days of reconciliation talks in Moscow, the main Palestinian parties on Tuesday announced a deal to form a national unity government prior to the holding of elections.
“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government” of national unity, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a press conference, speaking in Arabic.
After the government is formed, the Palestinians would set up a national council, which would include Palestinians in exile, and hold elections.
“Today the conditions for [such an initiative] are better than ever,” said Ahmad.
Abbas Poses With Photo of Palestinian Terrorist Who Massacred 38 Israelis, Including 13 Kids
A picture posted Thursday on the official Facebook page of Fatah, the ruling political party of the Palestinian Authority, showed PA President Mahmoud Abbas posing with a child holding a photo of a terrorist who led the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, the deadliest terror attack in Israeli history.
The photo was taken at a youth rally held in Bethlehem last month in honor of Fatah’s 52nd anniversary. Fatah marked the occasion by celebrating Palestinian terrorists, including Dalal Mughrabi, who was a Fatah member, as well as deceased leaders of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The photo was shared by Fatah with the caption “Holiday of the martyrs.”
Abbas posed with a similar poster in a photo uploaded to Fatah’s Facebook page on Friday.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Rock Thrown By Arab Magically Transforms Into Sponge-Tipped Police Bullet (satire)
Israeli defense officials expressed concern today that terrorist groups may have developed technology to change projectiles in mid-flight, after a rock thrown by a Bedouin protester struck an allied politician and was then reported as a sponge-tipped projectile used by police to disperse riots.
MK Ayman Odeh, head of the parliamentary Joint List of Arab parties in the Knesset, suffered head injuries during a protest over demolition of illegal structures in this Negev Bedouin village last night. Protesters insisted his injuries came from a sponge-tipped projectile, whereas the medics and hospital staff who treated him reported that his wound resulted from being hit by a rock. The sudden transformation of a rock into an incriminating bullet-type object has police and military experts concerned that hostile forces may be close to developing the means to change rocks into more dangerous objects even before impact, as well.
The incident occurred after a policeman at the scene was killed, and another moderately injured, in an automotive attack. Police are investigating whether the perpetrator, who was shot to death as a result, has ties to extremist organizations. According to police reports, the stone-throwing began after the fatal SUV attack, and heightened the tension between the protesters and the police who had been dispatched to provide security for demolition crews enforcing court orders to demolish the structures.
Marketing Madness or Economic Gambit: A New Mall Comes to Gaza
The very idea seems irreconcilable: a brand new shopping mall offering more than thirty retail outlets, upscale restaurants and a food court opening in the Gaza Strip — in a location, Gaza City, synonymous with poverty, unemployment and danger. In fact, according to news reports, the amount of time the new Capital Mall is open for business during it pre-opening shake-down period – from 5 to 10 pm daily – exceeded by an hour the amount of time electricity is available to the Gaza Strip.
Nevertheless, thousands of people stormed Gaza’s newest attraction, The Capital Mall, on opening day. Hundreds of shoppers from Rafah in southern Gaza to Beth Hanoun in the north have been coming to Gaza City each day to visit the new mall before the official launch.
Even the reason for the delay of the grand opening bodes ill for the project’s success: containers loaded with equipment needed to complete the mall’s construction had not been allowed to cross into the Gaza Strip from Israel and the Kerem Shalom crossing point, Mohammed Hania told The Media Line. Hania is a partner in the Badri and Hania Company, a local Gaza corporation that has been doing business there for more than fifty years and is now betting — $15 million so far — that despite the failure of two previous attempts to operate shopping malls, Capital Mall with its multiple-stories, shops, eateries, central air conditioning and modern escalators, will succeed.
Anniversary of a Shameful Day
Yesterday, the White House released a “Statement by the President” marking the one-year anniversary of the Iran Deal. The White House will probably not celebrate today’s anniversary, marking President Obama’s $1.7 billion payment to Iran, tied to the release of American hostages, which the President’s press secretary at the time called a “very good deal”–before we found out that it was paid in untraceable cash, violated a federal statute, and ignored a U.S. counterclaim–all of which combined to make January 17, 2016 a shameful day in American diplomacy.
The administration characterized its payment as a settlement of a claim at The U.S.-Iran Claims Tribunal at The Hague. During the past year, though, the administration has adamantly refused to release to the public any documents relating to the payment–not even the settlement agreement itself–stiffing the request for documents at a congressional hearing and written requests from congressional committee chairs and other members of Congress.
At the September 8 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Chairman Sean Duffy had this colloquy with a State Department witness as he sought to ferret out the basic document pertaining to a purported “settlement.”
Iran Puts Up Enormous Billboard Starring Kidnapped American Sailors
Roughly one-year after Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) kidnapped 10 US sailors, Iran is still flaunting its ability to humiliate the world’s sole superpower. The Islamic Republic has put up an enormous billboard depicting American navy men on their knees with their hands over their heads. The text on the bottom right corner of the billboard reads, “The better power.”
The now-infamous photo represenetd on the billboard was taken by IRGC thugs. This image has been used in countless propaganda materials.
According to a senior Iranian military officer, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is planning on erecting a statue of the ten US sailors, whom they briefly held captive in January. The IRGC is the branch of the Iranian armed forces responsible for capturing and humiliating US personnel found in the Persian Gulf on the eve of President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address.
The Telegraph (UK) reports, “Commander Ali Fadavi, the head of the Guard’s naval forces, said the monument of the surrendering Americans would be a ‘tourist attraction.’”

Iranian President Calls Trump’s Vow to Rip Up Nuclear Deal ‘Empty Talk’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to dismantle the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is “only empty talk.”
“I don’t think he can do much when he goes to the White House,” Rouhani said at a news conference on the one-year anniversary of the lifting of international sanctions against Iran, Reuters reported. He noted that Trump cannot unilaterally end the international agreement, signed between the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran in July 2015.
Trump “doesn’t understand” that the pact — or, as the president-elect repeatedly called it on the campaign trail, “the worst deal ever negotiated” — is actually “good for the United States,” Rouhani added.
“[I’m] optimistic about the future of the nuclear deal,” the Iranian leader said.
House bill would target Iran's airline and test its nuclear deal
House Democrats and Republicans are considering a bill that would require incoming president Donald Trump and his intelligence chiefs to investigate Tehran's use of its state-run civilian airline to ferry military parts and figures to its battleground in Syria.
The bill is part of a larger effort by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illinois) to interrupt Iranian business with two of the world's largest aerospace companies, Boeing and Airbus. His new bill, titled the Terror-Free Skies Act, was introduced with Brad Sherman (D-California) and Lee Zeldin (R-New York).
Iran argues that blocking or impeding its access to Boeing and Airbus products would violate a nuclear deal it brokered with world powers in 2015. That agreement, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, includes a provision which commits the US to "allow for the sale of commercial passenger aircraft and related parts and services" for "exclusively civil aviation end-use."
But that last clause– "exclusively civil aviation end-use"– has some members of Congress convinced that Iran's airline deals can legally be halted, in full compliance with the JCPOA. That's because the US Treasury Department, State Department, and intelligence agencies all assess that Iran Air and its subsidiary, Mahan Air, are complicit in illicit arms transfers to Lebanon-based terrorist organization Hezbollah and in the assistance of Syria's embattled president, Bashar Assad.
The Treasury Department marked Iran Air in 2011 for providing services to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. "Commercial Iran Air flights have been used to transport missile or rocket components to Syria," the department warned.
Turkey: Reina Nightclub Jihadi Captured with $200,000 and Islamic State Women
The Turkish government has announced the capture of Abdulkadir Masharipov, who reportedly confessed to the massacre of 39 people at Istanbul’s Reina nightclub on New Year’s Eve.
Authorities have allowed multiple media outlets into the apartment where they arrested Masharipov and found piles of money in different denominations and desperately scribbled notes, believed to have been written by the female Islamic State recruits sharing the space with Masharipov.
The suspect was arrested early Tuesday morning in Esenyurt district, Istanbul, in an operation that witnesses told the anti-government newspaper Cumhuriyet was extremely noisy and lasted approximately 20 minutes. To find the perpetrator, Turkish authorities said law enforcement officials screened more than 100,000 hours of surveillance camera footage in the two weeks following the attack. Turkey deployed 2,000 police officers to Istanbul to work on capturing Masharipov, who eluded law enforcement for an excess of two weeks.
In addition to Masharipov, police found three female Islamic State recruits in the apartment, who have also been detained. The pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak has identified the women as “Dina A. from Senegal, Aysha M. from Somalia and Tene Trare from Egypt.” Masharipov’s son reportedly was also present in the apartment.
Ft. Lauderdale Terrorist: I Carried Out Attack On Behalf Of ISIS
After confessing to his crime, Fort Lauderdale terrorist Esteban Santiago told the FBI that he carried out his attack on behalf of ISIS.
At a bond hearing Tuesday, FBI special agent Michael Ferlazzo testified that Santiago claimed he had been in contact with fanatic Muslims via jihadi online chat rooms.
The FBI agent didn’t reveal details of the agency’s ongoing investigation, including whether Santiago was directly in contact with ISIS militants, but he did make clear that the terrorist who took the lives of five people at an airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on January 6 believed he was fighting for the Islamic State.
At the very least, Santiago was inspired by ISIS. So far, ISIS has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
One thing is clear: Santiago’s airport attack wasn’t a spontaneous expression of lunacy. In fact, the would-be terrorist may have revealed his jihadist inclinations before the mass shooting. “Federal authorities in Alaska said Santiago told them prior to the attack that he was hearing voices and that his mind was being controlled by the CIA,” reports CNN.
BREAKING
After Commuting Manning’s Sentence, Obama to Resuscitate Bin Laden (Satire)

After commuting the prison sentence of former army intelligence analyst and WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning, President Obama announced Tuesday that he planned to also reverse the 2011 killing of former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
“Mr. bin Laden’s 10 years on the run and six years of death are more than enough punishment for his offenses,” Obama said in a statement announcing his decision to find bin Laden’s body and attempt to bring him back to life. “Like Ms. Manning, Mr. bin Laden is the true victim here. He was not a terrorist; he was just confused.”
Details on Obama’s decision were sparse, as bin Laden has been deceased for more than five years, with his body deposited in the Arabian Sea. Details of the recovery and resuscitation, Obama said, will be left to his successor.



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Ida2at, which appears to be a pro-Palestinian Egyptian intellectual website, decided to publish Joseph Goebbels with essentially no comment except that it "sheds light on the nature of Nazi antisemitism."

The accompanying graphic, shown above, equates the swastika and the Star of David.

It is published in the section of the website called "The Palestinian Cause."

The article includes this:

The Jew has corrupted our race, soiled our morals, undermined our values, and broken our strength. He is the reason we today are the pariah of the whole world. As long as we were German, he was a leper among us. When we forgot our German nature, he triumphed over us and our future.

The Jew is the plastic demon of decay. Where he senses filth and decay, he appears from his hiding place and begins his criminal slaughter of the peoples. He puts on a mask of friendship before those he wants to betray, without the innocent victim noticing that his neck is already broken.

The Jew is uncreative. He produces nothing, he only trades in products. With rags, clothing, pictures, gems, grain, stocks, mining shares, peoples, and states. And everything that he deals in was stolen somewhere and somehow. As long as he is against a state he is a revolutionary; as soon as he has power he preaches peace and order so that he can enjoy his theft.

“The Jew is also a human being.” Certainly. None of us has ever doubted it. We only doubt that he is a decent human being.

The Jew is our greatest misfortune.
This was not a critical essay on Goebbels. There is not one negative word about this article, which in many ways has been mirrored thousands of times in Arabic media. It was an excuse to publish the purest form of antisemitism under the guise of education..




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I've looked at both antisemitism and what I've called misoziony (irrational hatred of Israel) for a long time, and yet I'm still astonished at stories like this (I edited the two stories together):

Syrian opposition figures making a rare public appearance in Israel called Tuesday for stepped up Israeli assistance to the Syrian opposition, including help in establishing a safe zone for rebel elements in southern Syria along the Golan Heights.

Speaking to a packed auditorium at an event sponsored by the Hebrew University’s Truman Institute, Germany-based opposition activist Issam Zeitoun made a blunt appeal for help. “All Syrians have suffered under this regime. Something must be done. The Syrian people are too weak. We need the help of the international community.”
As the conference progressed, several Arab students began yelling at the Syrian speakers and reprimanding them for entering a dialogue with Israel. "The Golan has been occupied since 1967; you're a traitor and a conspirator!" yelled one of the student protestors. Zitun answered the students by saying, "Shame on you; you live in paradise compared to Syrians."
 Kajjo and Zeitoun’s remarks were repeatedly interrupted by Arab students angry that they were breaking a taboo and according a kind of recognition to Israel. “You are a disgrace to Syria” one student shouted at Zeitoun.

After a tense few moments, she and another student left the hall, and she said outside.

“They shouldn’t ask for this help from Israel. Our people are dying here, we are Arab.”

But the shouting continued: “You should be giving voices to the voiceless, not pandering to the occupation,” a woman shouted.

Zeitoun defended the appearance. “We should be everywhere including Israel to explain the Syrian problem to the world, to convey their voices,” he said.
These Arabs are complaining that Syrians who are desperate to save thousands of lives and are willing to ask anyone for help are "conspirators" with Israel and "traitors" to Syria.

And these are Arab students who are attending Israeli universities!

Begging Israelis to help save Syrian lives is treacherous - but attending classes at Hebrew University is perfectly fine.

This goes beyond political positions. It is beyond deranged.  The irrational, hypocritical hate of Israel and Jews goes way beyond any normal explanation.

It is a psychosis, and it should be studied as such.

Everyone who assumes that these young people are just expressing their considered opinions on a matter are wrong. These students are engaging in a public expression of insanity and hypocrisy that goes so far beyond normal that it can only be described in psychological terms, not as an understandable reaction to reality.

Everyone who has tried to explain historic antisemitism and its more modern version of anti-Zionism has missed the issue. The real answer is that some people simply are consumed with hate that is so pervasive that it overrides any other human attribute including self-preservation. It cannot be explained any more than schizophrenia can be explained. It may be chemical.

It is time that psychiatrists started to look at the hate shown by anti-Zionists and antisemites from a clinical viewpoint. Because it sure isn't going to be solved with facts, logic, or anything less than full-blown intervention into the sick mental processes of the haters.

(h/t Yoel)




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AFP reports:

The main Palestinian parties on Tuesday announced a deal to form a national unity government prior to the holding of elections, after three days of reconciliation talks in Moscow.

"We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on (Palestinian leader) Mahmud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government" of national unity, senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad told a press conference, speaking in Arabic.

After the government is formed, the Palestinians would set up a national council, which would include Palestinians in exile, and hold elections.

"Today the conditions for (such an initiative) are better than ever," said Ahmad.
Palestinian media has not made a big deal over this. They continue to write about how Hamas and Fatah are insulting each other.

This small part of the AFP article might explain why:
The non-official talks in Moscow began on Sunday under Russian auspices with the goal of restoring "the unity of the Palestinian people." Representatives came from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other factions.

And what was accomplished? "Within 48 hours, we will call on (Palestinian leader) Mahmud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government."

In a couple of days they'll ask Abbas to consider the idea.

In other words, nothing happened - except that Russia is showing how it wants to be more of a player in the region, and the Palestinians are anxious to see that happen on the eve of a Trump administration.

Notably, Islamic Jihad was part of this, and wants to be involved in any unity government. So the mythical unified PA would be dominated by three terror groups, not just two.




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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

From Ian:

In Secret Recording, Participants at ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ Conference Heard Attacking America as ‘World’s Greatest Imperial Power’
In a never-before-released recording obtained by The Algemeiner of part of a closed-door anti-Zionist student conference at Virginia’s George Mason University in November, participants are heard accusing the United States — “the world’s greatest imperial power” — of enabling and perpetrating crimes in the Middle East.
The blatant anti-Americanism was voiced at the 2016 National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) conference, during a panel on “Syrian-Palestinian Liberation.” Panelists included Palestinian-Syrian activist Wael Elasady, co-founder of Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights, and International Socialist Movement member Ashley Smith.
In the tape, Elasady is heard blaming US “imperialism” for facilitating the Assad regime’s alleged war crimes in Syria and for causing regional instability, which allows the world to turn a blind eye to Israel’s “ethnic cleansing of Palestine, increas[ing] its Judaization of Jerusalem and expand[ing] its settlements without repercussions.”
Smith said that while he saw the conflict in Syria as a “popular uprising of the people…for democracy, for equality, for a liberation from a tyrannical regime,” he took issue with those on the Left who viewed the struggle purely through the lens of “imposed American imperialism.”
He specifically called out activist journalist Max Blumenthal for “reversing his position” on Syria — first referring to the civil war as a “right of revolt” of the people, and then calling it a “‘color revolution’ orchestrated by the US with the project of regime change.”
Who’s Really Behind the Academic Boycott Against Israel?
The USACBI might protest that they cannot be held responsible for Al-Awda’s racism and support for violence, and it goes without saying that well-meaning supporters of academic boycotts should not be considered guilty by association. Yet the USACBI itself has demonstrated that it is, at minimum, very tolerant of extremism and hate.
Steven Salaita and Jasbir Puar continue to hold prominent positions in the organization, despite being repeatedly exposed for using classic antisemitic slurs to slander and dehumanize Israelis. As a matter of policy, the USACBI boycotts all, “academic activities and projects involving Palestinians and/or other Arabs on one side and Israelis on the other,” unless the Jewish and Israeli side agrees in advance to effectively oppose its own right to self-determination. This is not a stance an organization that is genuinely committed to justice and peace would ever take.
The USACBI cannot claim to support principles like justice, equality and non-violence while gaining significant financial benefits from what can only be described as a hate group. At a time when antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of racism increasingly threaten campus life, there is no place for political agendas that fan the flames of hatred and further divide our diverse communities. Al-Awda’s deep involvement in campaigns like the one that was waged against Israeli academics in the MLA is yet another reason why people of conscience should stand up for their values and reject the academic boycott.
The road to peace can only be found through building bridges of understanding and tolerance between peoples, not through further alienation and estrangement. It seems nothing could be more true and relevant in today’s Middle East.
Alan Johnson: Showing up to defend Israel’s right to exist (not lying in bed)
Why am I speaking at an academic conference on Israel’s right to exist at University College Cork (UCC) in March? After all, ‘International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Exceptionalism and Responsibility’ is the conference cancelled two years ago by Southampton University following protests from the Jewish community.
I am attending because I believe – like Marshall Brickman, Woody Allen’s co-script writer for the Oscar winning film Annie Hall – that ‘showing up is 80 per cent of life.’ Brickman added ‘Sometimes it’s easier to hide home in bed. I’ve done both.’
What does it mean to ‘hide home in bed’ when it comes to defending Israel’s right to exist in today’s intellectual culture? And what does it mean to ‘show up’?
‘Hiding in bed’ can take many forms.
It can mean creating lots of nice warm echo-chambers where Israel’s friends get together, tell each other how right they are, how perfect Israel is, and cheer each other up. Nothing wrong with that. Israel’s friends need to be heard and we all need a bit of cheer sometimes.



The many faces of anti-Semitism
It seems most Israelis do not grasp the depth of what is happening in Europe or the United States with regard to anti-Semitism.
To be sure, the Jews in Israel feel "normal," and it is hard for them to fathom that the "eternal Jew" imbued in them is the source and target of hatred. Today, though, we find ourselves in a new era, when the term "anti-Semitism" is no longer valid. The word "anti-Semitism" pertains to the time when nation-states and democracy were blossoming, when Jews were citizens as individuals but did not stand as a nation.
Anti-Semitism also took on the form of hatred toward Jews. This was influenced by Christian and Muslim theology, which created "anti-Judaism."
Now, after sociologists have proclaimed the end of the modern era, anti-Semitism appears in a form called "anti-Zionism." At the core of all three versions -- which are the same thing cloaked in different attire -- is the humiliated Jew, stripped of legitimacy, denied any justification for living according to the accepted norms of the times, attacked in a tangible way.
Our debt to Raoul Wallenberg
Most would agree that Raoul Wallenberg was one of the greatest humanitarians in history. What this young architect and makeshift diplomat achieved in less than six months is remarkable.
From the day he arrived in Budapest, on July 9, 1944, until January 17, 1945, when he was literally snatched by the Soviets, he managed to save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews from the claws of the Nazis and their local henchmen.
He did so with courage, imagination and a sense that he had no other option.
In order to further his objective to spare as many lives as possible, he cajoled, seduced, bribed and threatened. Knowing the German affection for official paperwork and stamps, he designed colorful protective papers (Schutz-Passes) which had no juridical value but offered a certain degree of immunity to the holders, portraying them as “Swedish subjects awaiting return to Sweden.”
Wallenberg also orchestrated a vast life-saving operation, run by fellow diplomats and an army of volunteers, by establishing a great number of Swedish Safe Houses, where a crowd of refugees received food, medical care and relative protection from harassment by the Germans and their local Arrow Cross accomplices.
By the end of 1944, Soviet forces were about to finish the encirclement of Budapest and Raoul understood very well that the war was coming to an end. His main preoccupation was how to help the Jewish refugees in the aftermath, once the Soviets took the city.
Seth Frantzman: Obama: The Anti-Mandela legacy
But his initiatives, from the Cairo speech onward, are not part of a conspiracy, merely a reflection of Obama’s sense that he was selected to reform decades of failed US policies. He wanted to roll back the US hegemony that developed after the Cold War. But instead of using the good will that came of that and the inspiration many found in his words, he failed time and again. Obama was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, yet his watch has seen wars around the world. Even as his administration ends the US is sending hundreds of Marines off to Afghanistan to continue the 15-year never-ending war. The Taliban is back.
Islamist extremism has infected more of the world. Guantanamo prison is still open. Remember how closing it was going to be the first thing Obama did? Mandela also won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1993. He left the presidency after one term in 1999, having exerted gargantuan efforts to lead the country to multi-racial democracy and not allow chaos and violence to sink the project. His policy legacy in South Africa was mixed. He was not able to realize all the hopes of black South Africans and his political party has struggled since to aid the poor and disenfranchised who were its constituents. He failed to address the growing AIDs epidemic. He kept up relations with those like Gaddafi whose aid during the anti-Apartheid struggle he remembered. But Mandela’s message was one of modesty and real leadership.
James Reini wrote at Al-Jazeera about the passing of Obama’s presidency; “So long and thanks for all the speeches.” That’s a fitting tribute. Obama believed that words can assuage policy errors and make right every problem. This dovetails with how European leaders have confronted the problems of the past 20 years. If you just speak enough, and it sounds intelligent, then the problem will go away. Problems with immigration and failures to integrate? Give a speech.
Islamist terrorism and the creeping police state to confront it? Give speeches.
But the problems of the world require more than talk. There’s no evidence that the replacement for Obama has any sort of Mandela quality. But the problems of the world will eventually find their way to the doorstep of every country and if a Mandela is not forthcoming they may end up with a different type of transformational leader. What countries learn in the end is that they need more than words and rose-colored glasses.
Douglas Murray: Is Tolerance a One-Way Street?
When just about every other magazine in the free world fails to uphold the values of free speech and the right to caricature and offend, who could expect a group of cartoonists and writers who have already paid such a high price to keep holding the line of such freedoms single-handed?
Most of the people who said they cared about the right to say what they wanted when they wanted, were willing to walk the walk -- to walk through Paris with a pencil in the air. Or they were willing to talk the talk, proclaiming "Je Suis Charlie." But almost no one really meant it.
If President Hollande and Chancellor Merkel had really believed in standing up for freedom of expression, then instead of walking arm-in-arm through Paris together with such an inappropriate figure as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, they would have held up covers of Charlie Hebdo and said: "This is what a free society looks like and this is what we back: everyone, political leaders, gods, prophets, the lot can be satirised, and if you do not like it then you should hop off to whatever unenlightened hell-hole you dream of."
The entire world press has internalised what happened at Charlie Hebdo and instead of standing united, has decided never to risk something like that ever happening to them again.
For the last two years, we have learned for certain that any such tolerance is a one-way street. This new submission to Islamist terrorism is possibly why, in 2016, when an athlete with no involvement in politics, religion or satire was caught doing something that might have been seen as less than fully respectful of Islam, there was no one around to defend him.
HonestReporting: Doctor Has More Sympathy for Palestinian Terrorists Than Their Victims
Dr. Robin Briant claims to have lived in the West Bank and Gaza in 2003-2004 while working for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders/MSF). MSF consistently abuses its status as a humanitarian organization, with anti-Israel political campaigns that excuse Palestinian terrorism.
Judging by her recent New Zealand Herald op-ed, Briant’s understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as narrow as it was some 14 years ago, as seen through MSF’s warped lens.
Briant was in Israel during the height of the Second Intifada, yet apparently was unaware of (or ignored) the countless Palestinian suicide bombings and shooting attacks against Israelis at the time that killed hundreds and injured thousands of innocent Israelis. Instead, in her role for MSF, it seems her task was to focus only on providing medical services to Palestinians who were “unable to move” and whose lives were made “miserable and dangerous” because of Israeli settlements.
Given the intense security situation at the time, it is odd that Briant fixates on the issue of settlements and how Palestinians are victims of settlements, considering the horror and trauma that Israelis were going through then. It appears that Briant has simply grabbed on to the latest stick with which to beat Israel – UN resolution 2334 – and attempted to rework it into her former experiences.
She describes the “violent” process of building those settlements:
Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists at it again
The Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists is intent on proving that the fetid intersection where the hard left and the hard right meet is anti-Semitism. They'll be hosting anti-Israel activist Alison Weir for a talk on....wait for it...pro Israel activism. Alison's appearance at the BFUU is part of a rather disturbing pattern of behavior at the fellowship, which has previously hosted holocaust denier and 9/11 truther Ken O'Keefe (We didn't know he was anti-Semitic. Really we didn't!) and Gilad Atzmon (We didn't know he was anti-Semitic! Really, we didn't!)
Alison Weir is the former editor of a Marin penny-saver, who has catapulted 2 trips to the Mid-east into a career. She is the executive director of If Americans Knew, run out of her Richmond home, and president of the Council for the National Interest
Alison Weir is a controversial figure, even among her peers. Groups as extreme as Jewish Voice for Peace and Students for Justice in Palestine have publicly distanced themselves from her. If Americans Knew has been condemned for furthering anti-Semitism by the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation.
Claremont Colleges' Intercollegiate Media Studies Department Mocks Netanyahu, Promotes Anti-Israel Propaganda
The Intercollegiate Media Studies Department at the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five small, private liberal arts colleges east of Los Angeles, posted the following video on its official Vimeo account.
The video mocks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement refuting the false claim that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (commonly known as the West Bank) are a threat to peace. First, the video erroneously claims that those communities are in "occupied territory." Second, it used doctored "Pallywood" images to give the false impression that Israeli "settlers" cause mayhem to supposedly innocent Palestinian-Arab individuals.
It also mocks Netanyahu's truthful assertion that Israel is a diverse country that respects the rights of all of its citizens while copying a video of Netanyahu's problematic election-day video warning about Arabs "going to the polls in droves" for which he has since apologized and recanted. The video omits his apology and insinuates that Netanyahu does possess racist tendencies toward the Arabs.
Finally, the video mocks Netanyahu's correct assertion that the Palestinian leadership does not want to see Jews living in a future Judenrein state of "Palestine." It further perpetuates the myth that Israelis committed ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian-Arab population during the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. On the contrary, most of the Palestinian-Arab refugees today fled their homes to avoid the war or were induced by Arab armies to leave their homes and come back when it defeated Israel.
JTA Misleads Readers About Keith Ellison's Anti-Semitism
The JTA's latest news story about Ellison and the allegations of anti-Semitism is misleading in a very basic way.
Some 300 Jewish community leaders have signed a letter in support of Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., who is running to serve as head of the Democratic National Committee.
About 100 rabbis are among the signatories to the letter that was issued ahead of the DNC-sponsored regional candidate forum in Phoenix on Saturday. The letter states that it is not an endorsement of Ellison for DNC chair, but rather “a call to reject the unfair and baseless accusations some have leveled at him.”

The story goes on this way largely quoting the letter and adding almost nothing to it. It does not specify who actually signed the letter or link to it. There's a very good reason for that.
The source of this "Jewish" letter is Keith for DNC. A website prepared and paid for by the campaign to make Ellison the head of the DNC. It's an open online signing setup trolling for signatures.
The JTA story functions as a press release repeating most of the letter's contents while making it seem like this was an independent initiative. No names are listed raising serious questions about whether the JTA's writer even saw such a list. The story is blatantly dishonest and it's another example of the extremists in the media promoting an extremist candidate using deceptive and dishonest tactics.
UPDATE: The JTA has updated its article/press release with several names. Most of them are anti-Israel activists, e.g. Jill Jacobs, Arthur Waskow, Sharon Brous. And there's Ilya Sheyman of MoveOn, whose tenure witnessed the group engage in a blatantly anti-Semitic campaign in defense of the Iran nuke sellout.
Blurry Lines: Anti-Zionism and antisemitism on UK campuses
As an Austrian who has worked in Israel, as well as for the UN on Palestinian rights, I always thought I was aware of the full spectrum of emotion, double-standards and the fine line between the criticism of Israel and antisemitism that usually accompany the debate on the Israel- Palestinian conflict. Yet it seems that I was wrong.
I recently moved to London to pursue postgraduate studies at University College London (UCL). Pro-Palestinian protests and demonstrations are certainly not unique to the UK and I can sympathize with them to the extent that they are conducted peacefully and call for the upholding of human rights, a stop to settlement construction or even a withdrawal from occupied territory. But these, some might say reasonable, demands, seem to be far outside the scope of campus protests.
When I wanted to attend a presentation by Hen Mazzig, a former IDF soldier who during his service had been responsible for humanitarian affairs in the West Bank, I didn’t see banners calling for the end of occupation or the construction of settlements, nor did I hear calls for the end of human rights violations. The protesters demanded a Palestine “from the river to the sea,” implicitly denying any right of existence of the Jewish state. Later, a young woman proudly faced a camera demanding that Israel cannot be allowed to exist in the 21st century.
Protesters broke into the lecture room through the windows and two Jewish students were reportedly assaulted. 30 policemen were needed to restore order. A few weeks earlier, the same society organized a discussion with Israel’s ambassador who praised Israel for its high-tech innovation and LGBT community. A Jewish student sighed and asked: “This is all wonderful, but how does that help us not being harassed [on] campus?”
These are not isolated events. Earlier last year an anti-Israel mob smashed windows at King’s College London and assaulted the organizer of an event, as well as an Israeli peace activist and leftwing politician.
The REAL Question Is: Who Benefits From The Woodchuck Chucking All That Wood? By Ali Abunimah (satire)
All of you dupes repeatedly wondering how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood are falling into the trap the Elders of Zion have set for you. What you really should be asking is cui bono? Who benefits from the chucking of all that wood? If you start down that path you might reach some productive answers, instead of the useless drivel your Jewish puppetmasters want you to consume.
Think about it critically for a moment. What difference does it make to the world how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? It seems a rather far-fetched scenario – one that might be entertained by students of that notorious work, the Talmud. If you want to go into the rabbit-hole of determining the quantities of arboreal material a groundhog could chuck if said mammal were possessed of the requisite capacity, you’re playing into the hands of the very forces who wish to distract you and seize control while you’re not paying attention. Be ever vigilant. Ask the important questions, such as: who stands to gain from a scenario in which woodchucks chuck whatever amount of wood they could chuck? And even more important, who stands to gain from a scenario in which blind or ignorant folks ponder the quantities of chucked wood instead of asking where or why that wood is chucked?
Exactly: you don’t like the answers any more than I. But the bitter truth remains that unless we stay alert to the kinds of manipulations our would-be masters constantly attempt to wreak upon us, we are doomed to servitude. We will end up chucking our own wood, kicking ourselves for failing to realize how unwise it was to neglect what was before us the whole time. They WANT you to think you’re being bold and courageous by inquiring how much wood a woodchuck would chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. It makes you feel worthy. Don’t buy it. None of it.
PBS Ombudsman Calls for ‘Clarification, Correction’ Over Ben Rhodes’ False Claim That ‘Tens of Thousands’ of New Israeli Settlements Are Under Construction
A PBS news program should issue a “clarifying or correcting” statement in the wake of a claim made by a top Obama administration official during an interview last month that Israel was constructing “tens of thousands” of new settlements in the West Bank, the station’s ombudsman said on Friday.
Michael Getler was commenting on a Dec. 23 interview with Ben Rhodes — outgoing President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications — conducted by PBS “NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff. Getler’s attention was brought to the matter by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) media watchdog group, which pointed out that the total number of settlements and outposts is 228, and that no new settlements have been built in recent years.
“[I]t seems clear to me that Rhodes misspoke when he talked about thousands and tens of thousands of settlements,” Getler wrote.
In response to a query from Getler, Rhodes said, “I assume I was referring to settlers/individual settlement units, rather than settlement blocs.” In his email, Rhodes went on to describe settlement units as “housing, whereas settlements are generally used to refer to a cluster of houses (which can obviously take different forms –apartments, houses, etc).”
Another Biased Report by Fox News' Conor Powell
Fox News correspondent Conor Powell is at it again, substituting balanced reporting and informed analysis with partisan, parroted phrases and biased, unsupported assertions. Reporting on the January 15th Mideast peace conference in Paris, Powell editorialized:
Trump is an avid supporter of Israel's building settlements on Palestinian land, and he's vowed to shift the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that would undermine any hopes of a negotiated two-state agreement. Israeli officials are overwhelmingly excited for a Trump administration, but his policies have the potential to fracture European support for Israel, which it desperately needs.
There are several problems with this reporting:
1) By declaring the land on which Israel's settlements are built "Palestinian," Powell abandons his role as an objective journalist to side with Palestinians who view the land as rightfully theirs.
If Hamas Assaults a Journalist, Does it Even Make the News?
On. Jan. 12, 2017, Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, assaulted an Agence France-Press (AFP) photographer and detained—at gunpoint—an Associated Press journalist. Western media outlets largely ignored the violence against members of the press.
The unidentified photographer and journalist were covering a protest in which “thousands” of Palestinians “took to the streets…to protest chronic power cuts in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip,” the AP reported (“In Rare Demonstration, Thousands Protest Power Cuts in Gaza,” Jan. 12, 2017).
Hamas blocked journalists attempting to cover the event and the AP journalist “was briefly detained at gunpoint until he handed over his mobile phones to plainclothes security men.”
The Foreign Press Association, which represents international media, reported that an AFP photographer was severely beaten in the head by Hamas members after he refused to hand over his camera.
Iyad Bozom, a Hamas spokesperson, denied that that the assault happened and that a journalist had been detained at gunpoint.
In its statement on the incident, the FPA said it “condemns this violent behavior in the strongest terms, and finds it especially shocking in light of verbal promises we have received from the Hamas officials to respect the freedom of the press. We hope that Hamas will properly investigate this incident and provide an explanation and apology for this unacceptable behavior by their forces.”
Listen - Breitbart’s Aaron Klein Calls Out ‘Fake News Media’ For Biased Reporting on Israel
Speaking on Monday’s edition of Breitbart News Daily, broadcast live on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125 from 6AM to 9AM Eastern, Aaron Klein, Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief, called out what he termed the “fake news media” for failing to report accurately on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Klein was a guest on the program, which was hosted by Breitbart London Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam. (h/t Yerushalimey)
Germany's top court rejects ban for 'racist and antisemitic' party
Germany's Constitutional Court on Tuesday rejected an attempt by the country's 16 federal states to ban the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), described by the intelligence agency as racist and anti-Semitic, saying it was too weak to pose a threat.
In the closely-watched ruling, which comes amid concern over rising support for right-wing groups due to resentment about an influx of migrants, court President Andreas Vosskuhle said, however, that the party was anti-constitutional in nature.
"The NPD pursues anti-constitutional goals but at the moment there is an insufficient weight of evidence to make it appear possible that their behavior will result in success," said Vosskuhle.
The federal states started exploring a legal ban after the chance discovery of the National Socialist Underground (NSU) in 2011, blamed for killing nine immigrants and a police woman between 2000 and 2007.
Amazon employee fired for ‘Uncle Adolf’ note
An Amazon employee was fired after allegedly leaving a note in a package for a Jewish customer that read: “Greetings from Uncle Adolf.”
The Amazon employee correctly guessed that the woman, who purchased a toy for her niece, was Jewish based on her last name, the Daily Mail reported on Monday. The customer was not named in the article.
“Adolf” presumably referred to Adolf Hitler.
The British customer told the Daily Mail that the note found in the Amazon packaging upset her so much that she had to take two days off from work.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime, according to the Daily Mail.
Israeli device to prevent GPS disruptions hits the market
Aiming to curb situations in which civilian vehicles are stuck “off the grid,” a Caesarea- based firm has begun shipments of a system that prevents disruptions to GPS.
The cybersecurity company GPSdome Ltd. is marketing a miniature “GPS anti-jammer,” a pocket-sized gadget that protects GPSbased systems from disturbances at a more affordable cost than comparable military appliances, according to the firm. The product works to counteract the effects of jamming devices – radio frequency transmitters that deliberately block communications like GPS.
“Our affordable GPS anti-jammer has been developed for civilian applications, which cannot afford paying over $30,000 for the existing military-oriented anti-jammers,” said GPSdome CEO Ehud Sharar.
Jamming has become particularly problematic due to the increasing prevalence of low-cost GPS jammers that can be purchased online for just $30, the company explained. While the drivers using these jammers may do so in order to prevent cars from recording their travels, the impact radius of these devices can reach hundreds of meters and potentially hamper critical communications and infrastructural systems, the firm said.
French godfather of electronic music to play at Masada
It’s been one year since the godfather of electronic music, Jean-Michel Jarre, first visited Israel and partied in Jerusalem. Now he’s set April 7 as the date for his first concert in the country.
The 67-year-old French performer is best known for his groundbreaking, electronic music live shows featuring fireworks, his famed laser harp, and videos projected on the sides of buildings.
This time he will be performing outdoors at the foot of Masada, where other performers and the Israeli Opera have staged concerts and shows.
As a UNESCO goodwill ambassador of ecology and the environment, Jarre said the concert will be held to raise awareness of the dire straits of the nearby Dead Sea.
Jarre has set four Guiness World Book records for staging the world’s largest concerts at historical landmarks. He has hosted a total of millions at his various outdoor performances — in China, where he was the first-ever Western performer; at the pyramids in Egypt; and on a series of barges on London’s Thames River.
His plans are grand for the Masada show, and his international team has been working with a local, Israeli crew to find the right spot for building the 3,280-square-foot stage that will have a futuristic ambiance, with the appearance of a landing strip and hub, and with separate stages for seating and dancing.
Jarre isn’t the only international artist who has expressed interest in performing in the hilly expanses of Israel’s desert region.
Syrian woman gives birth to healthy girl in Israeli hospital
A 29-year-old Syrian woman gave birth to a healthy girl last weekend in Ziv Medical Center in Safed, and in gratitude to the State of Israel, named the baby Sarah.
The woman came from a village around which every hospital and clinic had been destroyed in the long civil war. Nearing the end of her pregnancy, she made the dangerous trek to the Israeli border, and was brought to the hospital by the Israel Defense Forces, where she gave birth by caesarian section.
"When my husband heard I insisted on going to the border to give birth in a hospital, he asked that if she was born healthy, to give her a Jewish name in gratitude to Israel," she said.
The woman said she was grateful to the Israeli army for bringing her to Ziv, and to the medical staff there who delivered her baby. She asked to be allowed to return quickly to her home and her relatives, despite the difficult conditions there caused by the civil war and the winter weather.
Memorial to Alberto Nisman to be consecrated in northern Israel
A monument to assassinated Argentinian Jewish prosecutor Alberto Nisman will be erected in the northern town of Nahariya on Wednesday, on the second anniversary of his death.
Nisman was found dead on January 18, 2015, just days after accusing then-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of the the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires.
The bombing of the AMIA center killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others. Iran has denied any connection with the attack and declined to turn over the suspects in the case.
The country’s top criminal tribunal accepted a request by a delegation of Argentine Jewish associations to reexamine the charge Nisman made on January 14, 2015, against Kirchner; her foreign minister, Hector Timerman; and other officials in her government.
Nisman, who had traced the AMIA bombing to orders issued in Iran, and identified the suicide bomber as a Hezbollah member, was found dead with a gunshot to the head four days later. Authorities never determined if he was killed or took his own life.
IDF Marks Martin Luther King Day With Video of Soldiers Spreading Civil Rights Leader’s Message of Compassion
In honor of Martin Luther King Day on Monday, the Israel Defense Forces produced a video clip reiterating the assassinated civil rights leader’s message of choosing compassion over hatred.
In the clip, seven IDF soldiers, each in turn, says part of the following: “Dr Martin Luther King once said, ‘Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgement. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?'”

Though King never visited the Jewish state he once said in an interview: “The whole world must see that Israel must exist and has the right to exist, and is one of the great outposts of democracy in the world.”
A street in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood is named after King.



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Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"