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HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 27 Aug 2015, 3:22 pm

EU Warns of More Steps Against Settlements
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. EU envoy warns of more steps against Israeli settlements.

2. The Palestinian National Congress, which represents Palestinians both in the PA and the diaspora, is scheduled to meet for the first time in 20 years. The development further fuels speculation that Mahmoud Abbas is grooming Saeb Erekat as a successor.
3. The IDF struck a Hamas munitions factory in Gaza after a rocket landed in Israel. The rocket landed in an open area causing no casualties or damage. Jerusalem Post coverage.
4. Newsweek’s Housing Crisis: Mahmoud Abbas builds a multi-million dollar palace while the Palestinian economy crumbles.
Israel and the Palestinians
• A Palestinian stabbed Border Police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday evening. The officer was lightly wounded and the terrorist was detained. Haaretz adds:

Israel Police said the alleged assailant, a 56-year-old Hebron resident, has served a prison sentence in Israel for the murder of an Israeli in Jerusalem. He was released in 2013 as part of the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel• Israeli Foreign Ministry labor dispute trips up new ambassadors.

The union announced the labor dispute 10 days ago and instructed employees not to print documents for the diplomats’ families, including passports; not to sign their children up for schools in the target countries; and not to transfer their paperwork to officials in their intended countries, who cannot then approve the appointments.
In addition, the union also instructed workers not to provide the new envoys with training courses and background reviews, and not to have any work meetings with them, the Hebrew-language news site Ynet reported.
• Egypt strips three of citizenship for becoming Israeli.

• The Jewish Chronicle‘s in a war of words with The Guardian.

• On a lighter note, check out The Concerned Reader’s Guide to Middle East Reporting Clichés. What would you add to the list?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Brendan O’Neill: Anti-Zionists are not as different from anti-Semities as they’d like to think
– Cnaan Liphshiz: The Matisyahu affair: In Europe, conflating Jew and Israel
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Egypt and the Hamas “cockroaches”
– Jonathan Tobin: Why isn’t Gaza being rebuilt?
– Clifford May: The Parchin precedent

Featured image: CC BY flickr/Official GDC with modifications by HonestReporting

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 25 Aug 2015, 8:19 pm

IAEA Needs Money to Inspect Iranian Sites
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says it needs more money to inspect Iran sites.

2. Lebanon’s garbage crisis continues. The Jerusalem Post reports fears that Hezbollah is trying to hijack the You Stink protest movement. And AFP’s Sara Hussein reports how dismal the situation is:
Sara Hussein
3. A Hamas military court in Gaza sentenced a 28-year-old Palestinian to death for allegedly collaborating with Israel. AFP notes this background:
According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 157 people have been sentenced to death in the occupied territories since the creation of the Palestinian Authority in 1994.
Thirty-two have been executed, including 30 in the Gaza Strip . . .
In Gaza, beyond death sentences handed out by courts, Hamas has also carried out summary executions for collaborating with Israel, sometimes in public places.

4. Matisyahu Faces Down BDS: The reggae star isn’t Israeli. So why did the BDS movement target him?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel busted a Palestinian terror cell planning to attack Jewish worshipers at Joseph’s Tomb with explosives and guns. Jerusalem Post coverage.

• Polish reporter Wojciech Cegielski describes in a Haaretz op-ed how Hamas used journalists as human shields during Operation Protective Edge. It’s worth reading, but I wonder why he waited so long to write this.
The second story happened in the middle of the day. I was sitting with other journalists in a cafe outside one of the hotels near the beach. During wartime, these hotels are occupied by foreign press and some NGOs. Every hotel is full and in its cafes many journalists spend their time discussing, writing, editing stories or just recharging the phones. Suddenly I saw a man firing a rocket from between the hotels. It was obvious that we journalists became a target. If the IDF would strike back, we all would be dead. What would Hamas do? It would not be surprising to hear about the “cruel Zionist regime killing innocent and free press.”
• US judge: Palestinians to pay $10M to secure terror verdict

• Following up on yesterday’s life-among-Gaza-rubble, the New York Times looks at how Israeli villages near the border are bouncing back.
• Gaza parents are refusing to send their kids to school in sympathy with striking UNRWA teachers. Teachers want the agency to address overcrowded classrooms of 50 students. Maan News adds:
The UN agency was only able to announce on Wednesday that the year would go ahead as scheduled, after a last minute scramble for funding secured just short of $80 million in contributions against its deficit.
Kenneth Meshoe

• Responding to the BDS black eye over blacklisting Matisyahu from a Spanish music festival, a South African parliamentarian harsh words for the boycotters and the malicious “Israel apartheid” slur.
Here’s what Kenneth Meshoe, President of the African Christian Democratic Party, told Israeli TV:
“Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid,” Meshoe said, adding that those who voice support for Israel are usually faced with threats and “intimidation.” . . .
“The BDS movement is a real pain… to us in South Africa who love the truth, (the) BDS movement is not a democratic movement; they are a movement of intimidation, a movement that performs hatred,” the parliamentarian said. “People who don’t believe in hatred should not allow the BDS movement to stop them from doing the right thing.”
• A number of Gaza hospitals face an imminent shutdown over a lack of fuel. That’s what Hamas-run health ministry officials told Maan News.

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Author says he leaked Ehud Barak’s Iran tapes “in a dispute over the rights to the English version of his biography.” The Times of Israel elaborates:

Kfir and Dor released the interviews to promote their book on Barak, “Wars of My Life,” after they found out that the former prime minister had concurrently signed with an American publisher to produce an entirely different book for sale overseas.
• Europe doesn’t share US concerns on the Iran deal. The New York Times looks at why.

Around the World
• Brazilian aliyah is on record pace this year as the South American country’s high cost of living and crime rates spark immigration.

But as Michel Abadi, the executive director of Beit Brasil noted, it is a very different demographic of Brazilians relocating to Israel in recent years.
“In the 1960s and 1970s, the aliyah was very idealistically motivated,” he says. “Most of those who came back then were graduates of Zionist youth movements. In the past 10 years or so, we’re seeing many more interfaith couples and individuals who may have one Jewish grandparent and are therefore eligible for aliyah – in other words, people who don’t have as close a connection to Judaism or Israel as they did in the past.”
Rio de Janeiro

• Stephen Daisley weighs in on how the political left ignores anti-Semitism. This is about more than Jeremy Corbyn.

The problem goes deeper than asymmetry. For too many on the Left, Jewish suffering does not touch them the way Muslim suffering or gay suffering or black suffering touches them. Scrutiny of Corbyn’s associations elicits cries of “smear” or just a collective shrug of the shoulders. It was always going to. We lack a language to talk about anti-Semitism because too many on the Left don’t consider it a serious problem and couldn’t recognise it as readily as racism, misogyny or homophobia anyway.
• As Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem seek increasingly Israeli citizenship, here’s Elliott Abrams‘ takeaway:

So what do we learn from this? First, that American and Western–and Israeli– refusal to demand that the Palestinian Authority respect civil and political rights, and build democratic structures, is well recognized by Jerusalem Arabs. They want the creation of a Palestinian state, but they are well aware of its likely nature and prefer to live in a Western-style democracy. Second, that the typical Arab and European denunciations of Israel as a racist society where Arabs are treated so badly is plain false. Those who live under Israeli law–with all its imperfections and failures–know better.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Ben-Dror Yemini: A double-edged boycott
– Ed West: The short road from anti-Westernism to anti-Semitism
– Norman Bailey: How should Israel form an alliance with Saudi Arabia?
– Smadar Perry: Abbas flexes his muscles with Iran
– John Vinocur: French buyer’s remorse on the Iran deal (via Google News)
– Ephraim Asculai: The unbelievable side agreements with Iran
– Richard Cohen: From Nazi Germany to Iran, lessons on twisted leadership

Featured image: CC BY flickr/Adam Baker and flickr/David, Bergin, Emmett, and Elliott with additions by HonestReporting; Meshoe CC BY-ND flickr/GovernmentZA; Rio de Janeiro CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Chantal Wagner Kornin;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 24 Aug 2015, 9:01 pm

Lebanon on the Brink Over Garbage Protests
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Lebanon’s teetering on the brink of chaos. The government’s too paralyzed to respond to a national garbage crisis, and foreign leaders are calling on Prime Minister Tammam Salam not to resign, which he has hinted to do in recent days.

What started as a protest against uncollected garbage and a shortage of landfill space has evolved into demonstrations against government dysfunction and corruption. One person was killed and dozens were injured in clashes over the last two days.
2. Purported Abbas resignation from PLO Executive Committee ridiculed as ‘silly show’.
Aaron David Miller
3. UNRWA schools in Gaza weren’t open for the first day of classes, but it wasn’t because of the agency’s money crunch. The union of UNRWA employees went on strike to protest overcrowded classrooms. According to Maan News, close to a quarter-million students were sent back home:
At present, there are over 50 children in each classroom, with employees urging the agency to reduce the maximum capacity to 38.
4. Two Tales of One City: Big Media discovered that Gaza has a middle class. Why does this matter?

Israel and the Palestinians
• The PA is nudging European diplomats to ban settlers from entering EU member states.

“If the EU argues that settlement products should be ‘discriminated against,’ settlers are among those products and should be viewed the same way,” Maliki said during the interview with Asharq al-Awsat.
• Hillel Neuer‘s taking action against some anti-Semitic, inciting images posted on the Facebook page of a UNRWA school located in the Jaramaneh refugee camp outside Damascus. Why is the UN school disseminating images like this?

UNRWA Rameh School
• The Washington Post takes a closer look at middle class life in Gaza. The strip still has a long way to go towards rehabilitation, but William Booth’s report describing a middle class pursuing fancy cars, upscale dining, saunas, and more certainly debunks the notion of Gaza as “the world’s largest concentration camp.”
Media images beamed from the Gaza Strip rightly focus on the territory’s abundant miseries. But rising from the rubble of last summer’s devastating war with Israel are a handful of new ­luxury-car dealerships, boutiques selling designer jeans and, coming soon to a hip downtown restaurant, “Sushi Nights.” . . .
Gaza has had a lone five-star hotel, the Mashtal, since 2011. It was mothballed for some years but is open again. Across the street is the newest sensation, the Blue Beach Resort, which has an Olympic-size swimming pool, cabana boys and a private beach.
After an Israeli TV news station did a snarky piece on the resort — wondering aloud how tourists would arrive, if not by smuggling tunnel? — the management decided to lower its profile. An employee at the hotel said Hamas security complained that journalists were giving the world the wrong impression about Gaza.
See also the Post’s photo gallery and contrast that with today’s New York Times‘ more conventional “life in the rubble” dispatch.

• An official from the Israeli embassy in Madrid told the Jerusalem Post that while the Matisyahu was a big victory over the BDS movement, there’ a note of caution:
On the negative side of the ledger, however, she said that if very few people in Spain knew about BDS until last week, this has changed because of the front page headlines this story created. Rogel also expressed concern that the attention paid this story may scare off organizers of other music and film festivals who may not have anything against Israel, or want to boycott it, but will simply weigh whether or not it is worth the headache of inviting Israeli artists or films.
Around the World
• Papers are picking up on a Financial Times report (via Google News) that in recent months, Israel has imported three-quarters of its oil from Iraqi Kurdistan. According to the FT, the sales reflect more on the unraveling relationship between the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdish regional government in Erbil.

Traders and industry analysts have suggested that Israel may be acquiring the Kurdish oil at a discounted price, though officials in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) deny this. Others have suggested it may be a way for Israel to funnel financial support to the Kurds.
• Gallup: Only one in three Americans support President Obama’s handling of Iran.

• Larry Cohler-Esses, who was the first Jewish American journalist allowed to visit Iran, shared his observations with CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria. I was intrigued by this out-take regarding Iran’s “genocidal intentions.”

• Signs point to Islamic State using mustard gas in a battle around the Syrian city of Aleppo. The Daily Telegraph reports that it’s not clear whether the chemical weapons were pillaged from stockpiles belonging to Bashar Assad or Saddam Hussein.
• Amsterdam man offers money on Facebook to kill “devilish” Jewish neighbor
• Ehud Barak’s Iran bombshell sounds like a case of premature detonation, argues David Horovitz.

Are we really to believe that an inept chief of staff, some wobbly ministers and an ill-timed US drill combined to prevent an obsessed PM from dealing with the ayatollahs’ nukes?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Mudar Zahran: If Abbas leaves, who will the void?
– Danny Rubinstein: Winners and losers of (alleged) Israel-Hamas talks
– Yossi Beilin: The US must not abandon the Sinai
– Amir Taheri: A might-have-been interview with Obama
– Benjamin Weinthal: Europe unlikely to enforce Iran deal
– Con Coughlin: Ayatollahs will never be friends of the UK
– David Sanger: Future risks of an Iran nuclear deal
– Jonathan Sacerdoti: The skeletons in Jeremy Corbyn’s closet
– New York Post: Stars stand up to BDS bullying (staff-ed)

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Gayle O with additions by HonestReporting; Matisyahu via YouTube/Simon Cobbs;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 23 Aug 2015, 8:15 pm

Egypt Nabs Hamas Commandos In Sinai
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Gazans nabbed by gunmen Egyptian intelligence in the Sinai were Hamas naval commandos en route to Iran for training. Avi Issacharoff explains that Hamas has simply pushed Egypt too far.

2. If you’re following the saga of Mahmoud Abbas’s purported resignation, AFP reports that Assad’s tender will only take effect when the Palestinian National Council meets to elect a new executive committee. What difference does that make?
The PNC, or Palestinian parliament, has 740 members who live in the Palestinian territories and in the diaspora. It has not met in nearly 20 years.
3. After all the BDS sturm und drang, American Jewish reggae star Matisyahu performed Saturday night at the Sunsplash music festival. BDS activists showed up too, and at least one of them waved the flag of Morocco-occupied Western Sahara (hat tip Israel Matzav).

As Eugene Kontorovich has pointed out, if the EU is right about not sanctioning Morocco for occupying Western Sahara, it’s wrong about Israel. Below the tweet is the Western Saharan flag.
Judean Peoples Front
Western Sahara
Western Saharan flag

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Nine Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem (five adults and four minors), were indicted for firebombing an Israeli car two weeks ago and for several other incidents. YNet coverage.

• Australian activist Alex Ryvchin took to The Spectator to respond to a pair of skewed Aussie ABC News radio shows (listen to show one and two) aired at the end of July.
• Hamas apologizes for Jew-rapes-West Bank cartoon
• Was anti-Semitism behind the mass food poisoning of Israeli youth soccer team in Bulgaria?
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• AP published the full text of the draft agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Meanwhile, Israel demands publication of all secret agreements with Iran.

• Israeli arms control expert Emily Landau discussed the state of the Iran deal in a Times of Israel Q+A.
• Jerusalem Post: Iran’s trying to transfer state of the art weaponry to Hezbollah, including Pantsir S1 surface to air missiles, and Yakhont anti-ship cruise missiles.
Ehud Barak
Ehud Barak

• Israel’s leaders ‘furious’ over Ehud Barak tapes describing aborted plans to strike Iran on three occasions between 2010-2012.
But why did the military censor allow Israel’s Channel 2 to air the recordings? Defense officials say they’ll investigate
• Iran unveils new missile with 500 km range, calls for “peace through strength.”
Mideast Matters
• The Israeli Air Force struck targets in Syria after several rockets struck the Golan late Thursday afternoon. Israel said the rockets were fired by Islamic Jihad on orders from Iran. Hezbollah raised its alert level along the border.

• Whoda thought?
Middle East conflicts drastically ‘improves air quality’
Gideon Levy
Gideon Levy

• Heh: Isaac Herzog responded to Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy. The opposition leader didn’t like Levy’s take on Herzog’s recent visit with Mahmoud Abbas. Coming from Herzog, this is a pretty harsh statement:
Levy used to be a Zionist. I’m no longer sure that he is one.
• Iran the instigator and beneficiary of new Israel-Syria escalation

• Veteran Iranian-American foreign correspondent Farnaz Fassihi recounts how she now finds herself targeted as a spy by mouthpieces for Tehran’s regime.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Dan Margalit: Iran’s fingerprints in the north
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Rocket strikes an Iranian retaliation
– Eyal Zisser: Golan cannot become an active front
– Yoav Limor: Avoid being drawn into Syrian war
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians flock to Islamic State
– Fred Maroun: Israel’s so-called pinkwashing conspiracy
– Soeren Kern: Is Spain fueling the BDS war on Israel?
– Robert Reilly: Exterminating Christians in the Mideast (via Google News)
– James Woolsey: A sharia-approved nuclear attack

Featured image: CC BY flickr/John Wright with additions by HonestReporting; Barak via YouTube/CNN Breaking News; Levy via YouTube/CCTV America;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 20 Aug 2015, 6:07 pm

Iran to Self-Inspect Parchin Facility
Israel Daily News Stream5 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The credibility of the Iranian nuclear deal is taking another hit. AP reports that in the side deal cut between Tehran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, inspections of the disputed Parchin military site will be carried out by Iranians.

The Parchin agreement was worked out between the IAEA and Iran. The United States and the five other world powers were not party to it but were briefed by the IAEA and endorsed it as part of the larger package . . .
Olli Heinonen, who was in charge of the Iran probe as deputy IAEA director general from 2005 to 2010, said he could think of no similar concession with any other country.
Following up, the IAEA said the access it will receive to Parchin is satisfactory, and the White House said it’s “comfortable” with Iranian self-inspections.

Herb Keinon
2. Israel’s High Court suspended the administrative detention of hunger-striking prisoner Mohammed Allaan. The ruling said that if brain damage suffered from the strike proves to be irreversible, Allaan should be immediately released. As a precaution, the IDF deployed an Iron Dome battery in Ashdod, in case Islamic Jihad uses a deterioration in Allaan’s health as a pretext to fire rockets.
3. Israel accuses a UN official of “modern day anti-Semitism” and has asked the world body to investigate Rima Khalaf, the head of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. AP coverage.
Prosor gave a series of examples including her support for the June 29 “illegal and provocative attempt” to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, a July 7 reference which he said equated “terrorism with a fight for ‘justice’,” and what he called “a hate fueled report” on Arab integration in March 2014 “that once again promotes anti-Israel incitement by blaming Israel for shortcomings in the Arab world.”
4. BDS Valencia Doubles Down on Matisyahu Hypocrisy: Instead of backing down in a dignified manner, the BDS Pais Valencia group dug in its heels with a perplexing statement full of finger-pointing and facile justifications.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Poll finds half of Jerusalem Arabs want Israeli citizenship.

• Iran’s considering appointing an ambassador to the state of Palestine. See Jerusalem Post and Maan News coverage.
• An Israeli soldier was injured when an explosive device was thrown at him outside Jerusalem. The Times of Israel notes a number of other rock-throwing attacks yesterday.
• Hunger striking Palestinians just can’t get the media’s attention when they’re in a Palestinian Authority prison.
Khaled Abu Toameh
• Palestinian “paint bomb” attacks seek to blind Israeli drivers, cause crashes.
• YNet: The IDF believes Hamas naval commandos will pose a major threat in a future conflict.
• Egypt and Hamas confirmed that four Palestinians were abducted in the Sinai. The Jerusalem Post reports that unidentified gunmen stopped a bus traveling from Rafah to the Cairo International Airport.
Around the World
• The Daily Telegraph updates the latest on the controversial anti-Semites who Labor Party front-runner Jeremy Corbyn forgot he knew until photos appeared online.

• McClatchy News wonders if Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons stockpile would be sufficient to deter Iran’s alleged atomic arms ambitions.
• As if Spain and Jews already had enough headaches from the Matisyahu-BDS affair, a Spanish public broadcaster accuses Jews of promoting Satanism. According to the JTA:
The assertion was the focus of a radio program titled “From the Inferno — The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult” aired last month by the state-owned RTVE broadcaster as part of its weekend “A la Carta” program . . .
The broadcast about Jewish Satanism – an ancient trope and element of Christian anti-Semitic blood libels – is part of a series on Satanism in general. On Thursday, “A La Carta” aired another broadcast about Satanism by Vatican societies.
inspector-160143_1280• A staff-ed in the Wall-St. Journal (click via Google News) blasts Iran’s self-inspections at Parchin.

Why not cut out the IAEA middle man and simply let Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, sign a personal affidavit? . . .
The news raises further doubts about a nuclear pact that is already leaking credibility. Unfettered access to Parchin is crucial to understanding Iran’s past nuclear work, which is essential to understanding how close Iran has come to getting the bomb. Without that knowledge it’s impossible to know if Iran really is a year or more away from having the bomb, which is the time period that Mr. Kerry says is built into the accord and makes it so worth doing.
• The IDF dismissed New York Times columnist Tom Friedman‘s comparison drawn between the Israeli and Syrian army tactics.

• To fight Islamic State, US risks empowering Hezbollah
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Armin Rosen: Why the Iran secret side deal is so important
– Jonathan Tobin: Matisyahu and the BDS anti-Semitism connection
– El Pais: Unacceptable discrimination (staff-ed)
– Benny Avni: A Spanish inquisition exposes BDS bigotry

Featured image: CC BY flickr/Max Talbot-Minkin with additions by HonestReporting

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Aug 2015, 8:54 pm

Spanish Music Festival Re-invites Matisyahu
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. In the face of condemnation from the Spanish government, the US embassy in Madrid, and the Spanish media, organizers of the Rototom Sunsplash music festival re-invited Matisyahu, the American Jewish reggae star dropped due to BDS pressure. Sunsplash officials wrote on the festival’s Facebook page:

Rototom Sunplash admits that it made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià because it was perceived that the normal functioning of the festival could be threatened. All of which prevented the organization from reasoning clearly as to how to deal with the situation properly.
Related reading from HonestReporting: BDS May Regret Getting Matisyahu Banned From Festival.

Matthew Kalman
2. It’s looking less likely that France will present a Mideast peace resolution to the UN Security Council; rather, according to the Jerusalem Post, Paris is weighing recognizing Palestine.
One senior Western diplomatic official told The Jerusalem Post recently that the French backtracked from their UN proposal after facing objections from both Israel, who objected to the idea of imposing a solution form the outside, and the Palestinians, because they were unhappy that the resolution did not give them everything they wanted.
Instead, he said, the French would likely offer a trade off: recognition now instead of the resolution.
Yukiya Amano

3. Is the UN’s top nuclear watchdog, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano, succumbing to what I’ll call “battered inspector syndrome?” Adam Kredo picked up on a report in Iran’s English-language Fars News Agency:
Amano was in Washington recently to brief members of Congress and others about the recently inked nuclear accord. However, he did not discuss the nature of side deals with Iran that the United States is not permitted to know about.
Iran apparently threatened Amano in a letter meant to ensure he did not reveal specific information about the nature of nuclear inspections going forward, according to Iranian AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.
This disclosure has only boosted suspicions among some that the Iranians are willing and able to intimidate the top nuclear watchdog and potentially undermine the verification regime that Obama administration officials have dubbed a key component of the nuclear accord.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Reuters sums up the latest on the hunger-striking prisoner, Mohammed Allaan.

Maayan Lubell
• Labor grievances at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs have put on ice, for now, the ambassadorial appointments of Mark Regev, Fiamma Nirenstein, Danny Danon and Dani Dayan.
• So much for recent reports that Mahmoud Abbas is going to visit Iran.
Abbas not welcome in Tehran, Iranian official says
• Israel’s military intelligence is monitoring dozens of BDS groups around the world, Haaretz reports.
• Credit the Jerusalem Post with the lead of the day:
Hamas announced on Wednesday that underwater “frogmen” commandos operating just off the coast of the Gaza Strip managed to stop a dolphin that it claims was spying for Israel.
• In spat with former deputy, Mahmoud Abbas orders closure of a Palestinian NGO. Yasser Abed Rabbo, who was dismissed as PLO secretary general, also chairs the Palestine Peace Coalition. Details at Reuters.

• Tablet took notice of a very heart-warming valedictorian speech at Tel Aviv University’s graduation ceremony for international master’s students.  Haisam Hassanein described how the reality of Israel didn’t match up with the stereotypes he grew up with in Egypt. Watch the video.
Mideast Matters
• Iran widened its media charm offensive by allowing the BBC to report from the country for the first time in several years. Tensions between Tehran and the Beeb were especially tense in 2009 when Iranians demonstrated against 2009 presidential election results. Iran jammed BBC broadcasts and eventually expelled correspondent Jon Leyne. This time around, the mullahs kept Kim Ghattas on a tight leash. The Guardian explains:

But arrangements for Ghattas’s trip reflected continuing Iranian sensitivities: she was apparently selected for the assignment because she is Dutch and not a UK national. It was also agreed that none of the material would be broadcast on the BBC Persian TV channel, which is extremely popular with ordinary Iranians but strongly disliked by the government.
• Moscow and Tehran reached an agreement on the purchase of S-300 long range surface-to-air missile systems. Delivery to take place later this year.

• In pictures: Hezbollah’s child soldiers
Evidence of Hezbollah sending children – defined by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child as all people under 18 – to the frontlines of the war in Syria has mounted steadily.
• The US is reviewing the future of its Sinai peacekeeping contingent. According to AP, “Options range from beefing up their protection or even pulling them out altogether.”

Around the World
Hyper Cacher
French police storming the Paris kosher market where hostages were held.

• A worker who hid from the Charlie Hebdo terrorists last January filed a lawsuit against several French TV stations, saying their live coverage of the police standoff with Cherif and Saïd Kouachi at a printing plant outside Paris endangered the lives of the workers. AFP adds that Lilian Lepere isn’t the only victim of the Paris terror taking legal action against the media:
Six shoppers at a Jewish supermarket that was targeted three days after the Charlie Hebdo killings by gunman Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people, complained in March that the media’s live coverage of the event had put their lives at risk.
The six, who were hidden in the supermarket’s walk-in freezer, are suing BFM TV for broadcasting the position of police around the supermarket, while also revealing that there may have been people hiding in the building that the gunman wasn’t aware of.
• Amnesty International defends senior official’s anti-Israel tweets.

• The situation of hunger-striking prisoner Mohammed Allaan is getting disproportionate media coverage. Reuven Berko wonders why:

The Arabic expression for “Tom, Dick or Harry” is “fallan.” Mohammad Allan, the hunger-striking Palestinian detainee, is one of those “fallan,” yet he has dominated Israeli news outlets. The coverage has turned him into a role model for every aspiring Islamist.
Why would anyone, anywhere, care about the wellbeing of some Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist who recruited suicide bombers that were to detonate themselves in Israel? Why should his fate be the world’s concern when there are Islamic terrorists all over, while Bangkok is rocked by explosions, while Iran is acquiring nuclear weapons, and while thousands of African migrants are flooding into a bankrupt Europe overrun by Islam? . . .
Allan is not just some random detainee. The Shin Bet security agency had every right to seek his incarceration. His rap sheet at the agency was long and his desire to die, it seems, has been just part and parcel of his terrorist life.
• Do Britain’s Jews fear Jeremy Corbyn’s possible Labour leadership election victory?

• Lot of commentary on Matisyahu, mon:

– Jonathan Tobin: Matisyahu and the BDS anti-Semitism connection
– Wall St. Journal: That Anti-Israel Reggae Beat (staff-ed via Google News)
– Eli Hazan: The best defense is a good performance

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Khaled Abu Toameh: What are Palestinians doing with US money?
– Michael Freund: Why is the Red Cross holding seminars for Hamas?
– Yossi Beilin: Prepare for September 18
– Norman Bailey: Western collaborators are financing Islamic State

Featured image: CC BY-NC flickr/David Jones with additions by HonestReporting; Amano via YouTube/AP Archive; Paris via YouTube/ross4999; Matisyahu via YouTube/MatisyahuVEVO;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 18 Aug 2015, 5:01 pm

US Declassifies Israeli Nuke Documents
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The US declassified a number of documents from 1969-1972 dealing with Israel’s nuclear program. The Jerusalem Post wonders about the timing.

The publication of the documents comes as part of a routine release of historical information by the US State Department, however the timing of the revelations, on the background of the disagreement between Israel and the US over the nuclear agreement with Iran, lends them an extra meaning.
There are those who would claim that the timing of the release is not a coincidence, and is in fact intended to embarrass Israel, which staunchly opposes the deal with Iran, and embarrass Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who continues in his efforts to challenge the Obama administration and influence Congress to reject the deal.
2. Israel denies holding truce talks with Hamas.

3. Matisyahu, the American Jewish reggae star, denounced the organizers of a Spanish music festival who bowed to BDS pressure and cancelled his appearance. Music sites like Rolling Stone and Billboard Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post talked to one of the Spanish boycott activists involved in getting Matisyahu bounced.

Ramos repeated the timeworn BDS refrain that the movement is staunchly opposed to “all types of racism…” which he said includes anti-Semitism, homophobia and Islamophobia.” When asked if artists from other parts of the world should have to sign a document opposing global humanitarian crises around the world, such as the war in Syria or in Sudan, Ramos avoided the question, saying simply that his cause is Israel and the Palestinians, though he supports other human rights initiatives around the world.
Adir Bar Yohanan

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4. Palestinian Stabbing Attack Prompts Media Headline Fails: An unarguably vital piece of context went missing from some headlines.

5. Watchdog of the Week: New York Times Letter Defends Israeli Morality: Gavin Gross is our watchdog of the week for getting a letter published in the New York Times.

6. A Reminder About Commenting Etiquette: Let’s make our comments section a place that we can all feel comfortable posting on.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Two Palestinian detainees launched hunger strikes in solidarity with Mohammed Allaan. Samir Issawi and his sister, Shireen, are also being detained without trial in a controversial Israeli measure known as administrative detention. Both are accused of membership in terror organizations. Meanwhile, Haaretz reported Allaan regained consciousness:

Allaan declared after awakening that he will continue his hunger strike, now in its 64th day, and rejects the state’s offer to release him if he leaves the country for four years.
• West Bank cleric Issam Amira fell for a satirical post on The Mideast Beast about a Donald Trump proposal to relocate Palestinians to Puerto Rico. The Times of Israel has the backstory on this video flagged by MEMRI.
VIDEO 1.17 min
• Malachi Rosenfeld’s murderers used PA money (inadvertently) to fund the attack, YNet reports.

• The Media Line: For the first time, a woman was appointed head of an official Palestinian news agency. Mahmoud Abbas tapped the 48-year-old Khoulud Asaf to head the Wafa News Agency.

Around the World
• CNN posted Ambassador Ron Dermer’s full interview with Fareed Zakaria about the Iran deal.

• According to an Iranian official, Tehran will next week sign a deal with Russia to buy an advanced S-300 air-defense missile system. More at the Jerusalem Post.

• Jeremy Corbyn, a front runner for leadership of Britain’s Labor Party, admitted he might have given cash to Holocaust denier Paul Eisen and confirmed attending ‘two or three’ of  his events. But Corbyn maintains he was unaware of Eisen’s views at the time. The Daily Mail dished out the details, but this Times of Israel headline packed a punch.

Times of Israel

• After four years, a quarter-million fatalities, and 12 million homeless, the UN Security Council for the first time agreed on a Syrian plan.

• Second Jewish congregation hit by anti-Semitic graffiti in San Antonio.

• Ofcom, Britain’s media regulatory body, rapped BBC, CNN, and other broadcasters for not disclosing that certain programs were funded by foreign governments, charities, and NGOs. The Independent picked up on the report

The media regulator discovered a series of contraventions of its impartiality guidelines and found hundreds of nominal-fee programmes had been paid for by bodies ranging from United Nations departments to the Indonesian ministry of trade and a Cambodian casino firm.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Dan Margalit: Exploiting the hunger striker
– Emmanuel Navon: An Israel-Turkey-Hamas rapprochement?
– Eyal Zisser: The problems of a truce
– Alan Dershowitz: Stop questioning the motivations of opponents of the Iran deal
– Roger Cohen: Iran and American Jews
– Eli Lake: Add to Obama’s to-do list: regime change in Iran
– Saeed Ghasseminejad: A raw deal for Iran’s dissidents

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Aug 2015, 9:17 pm

Israel and Hamas on Verge of Long-Term Truce?
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. According to the Times of Israel, Hamas and Israel have essentially agreed on a long-term cease-fire. The gist of the deal is that Israel will end the blockade and allow thousands of Palestinian day laborers to enter Israel. Gaza will import items through a Cyprus port overseen by NATO representatives (until a floating offshore port can be developed) and cease all rocket fire and tunneling for eight years. A prisoner swap may be in the works too.

The reported agreement is opposed by the PLO because it wasn’t consulted, and because it would “eventually detach Gaza completely from the West Bank and Jerusalem,” said one Fatah figure. Hamas officials have been dispatched to Egypt, Qatar, and Turkey to discuss the deal.

Hamas gunman

2. Khamenei: Nuclear deal could still be voted down by Iran.

3. There’s a “covert world of people trying to edit Wikipedia — for pay.” The Atlantic shines a spotlight.

4. Straw Men and “Hard Zionists” in UK Political Race: In an ironic twist, a UK columnist dreams up accusations of anti-Semitism against a British politician to silence his critics.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel indicated it would free hunger-striking prisoner Mohammed Allaan if he agrees to leave the country for four years. Haaretz writes:

According to Palestinian officials, a similar offer was made to Allaan during an earlier stage of his hunger strike, and he rejected it.
• For the third time this week, a Palestinian tried to stab an Israeli soldier. YNet reports that the terrorist was shot and killed in the incident at the Tapuach Junction, a popular hitchhiking spot in the northern West Bank.

Peter Lerner

• Israel seized two tons of fiberglass tubing it said was destined for terror groups manufacturing rockets. According to the Times of Israel:

Tax workers at the Nitzana crossing between Egypt and Israel became suspicious of the shipment, which was ordered by a Gaza-based importer and labeled as containing clothes and materials.

After opening the shipment for a closer look, tax officials discovered the rolls of fiberglass hidden inside.
• Hamas and Hezbollah denounced being blacklisted as terror organizations by Canada, claiming they’re moderate. Call it Islamic Statewashing?

The Islamic State is “not accepted” by most Muslims represented by Hamas, said its boss in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan.

A source close to Hezbollah’s top leadership said extremist movements “mushroom, but they never last and don’t find a place with moderate Sunnis and Shias.
• The Times of London introduces us to Gaza’s Blue Beach Resort. If you’re going to be a human shield for Hamas, you might as well go out in style.

On one side, the resort is flanked by a cluster of cinderblock shacks housing refugees. On the other, sand berms conceal two Hamas training facilities that have been frequent targets of Israeli F16 warplanes during periods of heightened tension.

The hotel has already drawn complaints from its neighbours. On Thursday night the hotel disco proved too much for the militants, who said that the noise was interrupting training.
• IDF troops prepare for possible incursion into Syria

Around the World
• With tweets like this, Ayatollah Khamenei isn’t helping the White House sell the Iran deal to skeptical Israelis.

Ayatollah Khamenei

• An anti-terror law adopted by Egypt targets journalists who file “false” reports on terror attacks. Journalists running afoul of the law could be fined or suspended. AFP coverage.

• The recently launched HuffPost Arabi is digging in its heels over recent revelations of its top editors’ ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

amnesty-international-300x300• This Times of London expose of a senior Amnesty International figure Yasin Hussein’s undeclared ties to Islamists would explain a lot about the organization’s animus towards Israel:

The charity was unaware that the husband of its director of faith and human rights featured in documents released after a criminal trial at which connections were revealed between British supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab Islamists accused of plotting to overthrow a Gulf state.

Yasmin Hussein was also linked to a Yorkshire-based aid agency that was banned by Israel for its alleged funding of Hamas terrorism; and criticised by colleagues for holding a private meeting with a Muslim Brotherhood government official during an Amnesty mission to Egypt, and staying overnight at his family’s home . . .

Ms Hussein, who is understood to receive a salary of more than £90,000, told The Times that she had “never had any association whatsoever with . . . the Muslim Brotherhood”.
• Douglas Murray weighs in on the BDS thought police getting Jewish reggae star Matisyahu dropped from a Spanish music festival for not making a statement in support of Palestine.

For a while, only Israeli Jews were made pariahs among the nations because of an unresolved border dispute involving their country. Now it is Jews born anywhere else in the world who can be targeted in the same way. They are singling out Jews — Jews and only Jews. And their singling out of Jews, wherever they are from, makes their racist motivation abundantly clear. If the Rototom Sunsplash festival wants to take part in this racist BDS fever then it is them — and not Jews — whom the world must make into global pariahs.
Herb Keinon

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Avi Issacharoff: The IDF as leader of the PA
– William Kristol: Does Israel stand alone?
– David Harris: On Iran, let’s get serious
– Robert Satloff: A better deal with Iran is possible
– Joe Lieberman: Congress should step up to block the terrible Iran agreement
– Morton Klein: No military option against Iran remains
– Robert Jacobs: Israel must defend its citizens as any country would
– Paul Pillar: The backfiring of Israeli strategy on Iran

Featured image: CC BY-NC flickr/Kevin McShane with additions by HonestReporting; Hamas via YouTube/JewishNewsOne

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 16 Aug 2015, 7:52 pm

Hunger-Striking Prisoner in Coma
Israel Daily News Stream 6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Mohammed Allaan was in a coma after losing consciousness on Friday. Allaan, accused of membership in Islamic Jihad, has been protesting his incarceration without trial, a controversial legal status Israel calls “administrative detention.” Islamic Jihad threatened if Allaan dies, the cease-fire is over.

Meanwhile, the former US commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison urged Israel to force-feed Allaan “immediately.” The Jerusalem Post picked up on an interview due to be aired tonight:

In an interview to be aired Sunday night on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and Philadelphia’s NewsTalk 990 AM, Colonel Michael Bumgarner, said of Israel, “Without reservation they should force feed him.” . . .

Drawing on his own experience with hunger-striking prisoners, Bumgarner argued that if Israel does not force-feed Allan and prisoners like him, “You are going to have a constant breakdown within any of your institutional settings there.”
UNRWAmoney2. Although the UNRWA has perpetuated the Palestinian refugee crisis, Israel hasn’t been forced to fund education and health care for thousands of refugees. The Times of Israel takes a closer look at what the UN agency’s money crunch means for Israel:

“When youngsters are out of school, and also suffer from economic hardship, it’s much easier to draw them to political demonstrations,” he told The Times of Israel. “A strike would endanger both the Palestinian Authority and the relative quiet that we [in Israel] have been experiencing in the West Bank. It directly harms Israel’s interests.”
3. Jerusalem Post: The Jordanian-based Arab Bank reached a settlement with US victims of Hamas attacks in Israel, but the terms were not disclosed.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinian Authority faces million dollar lawsuit for torturing prisoner

• Saturday saw a pair of Palestinian stabbing attacks in the West Bank. Two Israeli security personnel were lightly wounded; both Palestinian terrorists were shot. One was killed, the other was lightly wounded and treated on the scene. YNet coverage.

Mark Regev

• You need a scorecard to keep up with the Israeli political system’s version of musical chairs, and the latest developments have the Anglo community buzzing.

First are unconfirmed reports that the Prime Minister’s spokesman, Mark Regev, will be appointed ambassador to Britain. The Melbourne native has served in various spokesman and media roles for 20 years at the Israeli embassy in Washington, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Next, Danny Danon was appointed ambassador to the UN. Replacing Danon in the Knesset is Sharren Haskel, a 31-year-old Canadian-born and Australian-educated veterinarian nurse by trade. She’s also a former debate champion.

• I did a double take when I saw this headline too. Life really is stranger than The Onion.


• The IDF’s facing new challenges as Palestinian, Iranian, and Hezbollah hackers boost the sophistication and frequency of their cyber attacks.

• Senior Hamas official arrives in Israel for medical care

• Here’s another example of thawing ties between Israel and the Gulf states:

Dubai-based company offering services in Israel

Iranian Atomic Urgency
Amb. Daniel Shapiro

• A troubling development that should make all Israelis pause: Israel boosted security for US ambassador Dan Shapiro. According to Israeli media reports, the US embassy received several letters threatening his life, and another threatening message was anonymously posted on Shapiro’s Facebook page.

All the messages denounced Washington’s push for the Iranian nuclear deal.

• Iran says the nuke deal will help it target Israel.

• This weekend, Iran gave the International Atomic Energy Agency documents associated with the Islamic Republic’s alleged nuclear weapons work. AP coverage.

• The unfortunate polarization and demagoguery surrounding the US discourse on the nuclear deal continues. An exhibition at a Manhattan art gallery includes one feature asking, “Chuck Schumer, Israeli Spy?”

• Iranian dissidents spoke up against the nuclear deal, getting a soapbox platform from The Daily Beast.

• Israeli officials continued challenging the Iranian nuclear deal in the mainstream media. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely weighed in with USA Today op-ed (republished in the Detroit Free Press). Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles, David Siegel, discussed Iranian cheating with Breitbart News.

And Ambassador Ron Dermer sat down with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. I couldn’t find the full interview on-line, but here are clips one and two. Dermer also appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

Mideast Matters
• The US says there’s a strong likelihood that Islamic State used mustard gas against Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq. The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) reports:

The attack in question took place late Wednesday, about 40 miles southwest of Erbil in northern Iraq. A German Defense Ministry spokesman said about 60 Peshmerga fighters, who help protect Kurdish areas in northern Iraq, were reported to have suffered injuries to their throats consistent with a chemical attack while fighting Islamic State.
• Egypt continues plans to expand its Sinai-Gaza buffer zone by 500 meters. Cairo completed a survey, and according to the Egypt Daily News, approximately 1,200 families will be evacuated. This is on top of the more than 3,000 families whose homes were demolished during the buffer zone’s earlier stages. Can you imagine the outrage if Israel did that?

• Bahrain arrested five men in connection to a July bombing that killed two policemen in the capital city of Manama. According to Bahraini security, the group was trained and financed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah. More at Gulf News and Reuters.

• There’s been a lot of buzz (and outrage at Islamic State) over the New York Times‘ in-depth expose on the terror group’s systematic campaign of rape and slavery specifically targeting Yazidi women. Reporter Rukmini Callimachi shared with Kaelyn Forde how she got the story and earned the trust of the Yazidi women who escaped.

Around the World
• Britain’s Labor Party is investigating an abusive anti-Semitic hate campaign aimed at one of the party’s critics of front-runner Jeremy Corbyn. MP John Mann has received a slew of ugly emails and tweets over the last six weeks. More at the Sunday Express and Jewish Chronicle.

• Music festival in Spain cancels Matisyahu gig over refusal to endorse Palestinian state

Jeffrey Goldberg

• Fake bomb discovered at Swedish Chabad House.

• Max Boot takes on Fareed Zakaria’s unconvincing case in favor of the Iran deal.

• As the Mideast melts down in sectarian violence and civil war, MEMRI flagged an interesting commentary from Kuwait’s state-run paper, Al-Watan. Columnist Abdallah Al-Hadlaq called on Arab states to sever ties with “fascist” Iran and, dare I say, strengthen political, commercial and even military ties with the Jewish state.

• While the US prepares to release frozen funds to Iran, a Wall St. Journal staff-ed (click via Google News) wonders why victims of Iranian terror who obtained legal judgments are left holding the bag:

By ignoring the $45 billion owed to Iran’s terror victims, the U.S. government mocks its own judiciary and erodes a deterrent to foreign state sponsorship of terrorism. This is one more reason for Congress to reject a deal that blesses Iran as a nuclear-threshold state.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– David Horovitz: Obama’s Iran deal: A fight to the bitter end
– James Fallows: What if Barack and Bibi are both right?
– Alan Dershowitz: Bibi not “interfering” in US foreign policy
– Amir Taheri: When Obama adopts the mullahs’ style
– Judith Bergman: Israeli-Chinese strategic ties
– Wall St. Journal: Islamic State gets mustard gas (via Google News)

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Aug 2015, 9:53 pm

Sanctions on Iran Already Cracking
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Switzerland became the first country to lift sanctions on Iran. In India, “refiners have got the green light to prepare to pay Iran $1.4 billion in oil dues.” And the US is protesting Russia for hosting Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani in late July in violation of a UN travel ban, the Wall St. Journal (via Google News) reported.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. sanctions remain in place and penalties would still apply to any country or company that violates them. He told reporters that the U.S. wasn’t informed in advance of the Swiss move to drops its sanctions before Iran has taken the promised steps to curb its nuclear program and before the U.S., European Union and United Nations have removed their penalties.
David Hazony

2. Israel has foiled 17 suicide attacks so far this year. The Shin Bet’s figures don’t include other attacks foiled by the PA security services.
In all, over the first seven months of 2015, Israel’s defense and security establishment prevented 111 attempted terror attacks, including shooting attacks and bombings along with the kidnappings and suicide attacks.
3. Will Israel lift the Gaza blockade in exchange for a long-term truce with Hamas?

Israel and the Palestinians
• The Israeli government is installing smart fences around communities near the Gaza border.

• Officials in Ankara confirmed that Hamas operative Salah Arouri is no longer in Turkey. Arouri claimed responsibility for masterminding the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers last year, which touched off Operation Protective Edge. On a related note, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with a delegation of Hamas figures, including the terror group’s top leader, Khaled Mashaal. More on that at Today’s Zaman.
• The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at the controversy surrounding force-feeding hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.
• Haaretz updates the latest on the UNRWA’s cash crunch.
• Today’s uh-oh tweet:
Raphael Ahren
• After some initial “snub confusion” Irish President Michael Higgins had a farewell meeting with Israel’s outgoing ambassador, Boaz Modai. According to the Irish Times:
There had been earlier media reports of regret at the Israeli embassy over the fact the normal final meeting with a departing ambassador had not been arranged.
When the matter came to light, the President decided to return to Dublin immediately to ensure protocol was observed and hints of a diplomatic snub were scotched.
• Memo to the boycotters: Globes reports that Ben Gurion Airport is seeing record traffic thanks to the EU Open Skies agreement:

Passenger traffic at Ben Gurion airport is beating all forecasts. There will be an all-time record number of people passing through Ben Gurion airport today as about 80,000 passengers fly in about 457 incoming and outgoing flights.
August is also expected to be a new record month for the Israeli airport with over two million passengers arriving and departing on international flights.
Ben Gurion Airport

• With a heavy police and media presence, Paris followed through with it’s Tel Aviv beach attraction on the banks of the Seine. I loved AFP‘s money quote.
“There are 50 visitors for 500 journalists. I feel like I’m on the red carpet at Cannes,” said one onlooker.
• BDS dilemma over Israeli scientists’ HIV breakthrough.

• A Bedouin tent near Ramallah was burnt down in another arson attack and the Hebrew words “revenge” and “administrative” were spray painted on a nearby rock. Nobody was injured, and police arrested three Jewish suspects.
Mideast Matters
• Recent polls reached the same conclusion: The Israeli public overwhelmingly opposes the Iranian nuclear deal. Haaretz rounded up the different surveys:

Still, a look at some of the public opinion polls conducted after the agreement was signed – as well as before it – shows a broad consensus against the deal that would seem to transcend the conventional political divides. Most Israelis are not convinced the agreement will prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power or that it will eliminate what is often considered the biggest threat to the country. Like their elected leaders, most Israelis, these polls show, don’t think the U.S. administration has their best interests at heart.
• Bashar Assad’s wealthy cousin in shady business with Israeli

Around the World
• Italian Jews fear dual loyalty accusations after ex-MP Fiamma Nirenstein is tapped as Israel’s envoy to Rome. According to Haaretz:

They point to the fact that within two years, Nirenstein went from being a member of the Italian parliament to becoming an Israeli citizen, then running as an Italian for the leadership of Rome’s Jewish community before being tapped as Israel’s ambassador to Italy.
“It’s problematic,” one senior figure in the community said. “If they appointed her as Israel’s envoy in the UN or in another capital it would be alright. But appointing her as ambassador to Rome could make people ask if Italy’s Jews are Israeli or Italian. It could even harm other Jews’ chance of being elected to the Italian parliament, or to senior government posts in the future.”
Rome’s Tiber River

• James Thring, a notorious conspiracy theorist who believes the ‘world is controlled by Jewish elders’ spoke at Westminster event hosted by would-be Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. According to the Daily Mail:
In his unscheduled five-minute address, Thring stated that a Palestinian militia should be armed and equipped.
He also boasted of having close connections to the Chinese authorities, whom he said he was lobbying to provide weapons to the Palestinians.
Thring once described Israel as “an illegal, criminal, psychopathic, belligerent, apartheid entity bent on desecrating the Holy Land,” and is best pals with the American neo-Nazi, David Duke. As news of Thring’s talk spread, Duke came to Corbyn’s defense.

• 30 cars and buildings spray-painted with anti-Semitic graffiti near San Antonio synagogue
amer-jewry-divided-iran-770x400• Worth reading: Iran deal driving Jews farther apart

For now the debate goes on and gets more personal, nastier, uglier. We long for it to be over, one way or another, and to begin the vital effort of healing the wounds and mending Washington-Jerusalem ties.
Let’s start closer to home, though. Even within our own community we need to recognize and address the divide that separates us, one from the other. It has become increasingly difficult to talk about collective “American Jewish attitudes” and shared “Jewish values” when there are such deep differences, not only in our outward views but also in how we define ourselves as Jews.
These issues tend to arise during moments of crisis, and then subside.
But they’re not going away. Dealing with them now may be our last chance before we reach the point where we no longer fit the definition of one Jewish people.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Jeremy Ben-Ami: Let’s keep the Iran debate civil
– Aaron David Miller: Give Bibi the Nobel Peace Prize
– Jonathan Tobin: Distorting the truth about Iran and Israel
– Israel Ziv: Israel only stands to lose from ‘defeating’ Obama
– Zalman Shoval: Challenges await Israeli diplomacy
– Alan Dershowitz: Obama, Iran deal supporters shouldn’t stifle debate
– Orde Kittrie: Congress can rewrite the Iran deal (via Google News)
– Yaakov Amidror: What next for Islamic State?
– Judith Bergman: Delusional warfare
– Christian Science Monitor: The Arab-Israeli courtship (staff-ed)

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 12 Aug 2015, 3:50 pm

Islamic State in Sinai Reportedly Beheads Hostage
Israel Daily News Streamabout 1 hour ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Nice to see the wire services pick up on PA corruption. AP reports Palestinians are furious over the latest revelations of graft and misuse of public money:

Outrage over the documents quickly spread on social media, where Palestinians challenged everything from their leadership’s finances to its political legitimacy in the face of repeatedly delayed elections, last held in 2005.
2. Islamic State in the Sinai reportedly beheaded Croatian hostage Tomislav Salopek.

3. Larry Cohler-Esses of The Forward is the first journalist from an American Jewish paper to get a visa to report from Iran. He filed this dispatch.
During the course of my conversations with several senior ayatollahs and prominent political and government officials, it became clear that there is high-placed dissent to the official line against Israel. No one had anything warm to say about the Jewish state. But pressed as to whether it was Israel’s policies or its very existence to which they objected, several were adamant: It’s Israel’s policies. Others, notwithstanding their ideological objection to a Jewish state, made it clear they would accept a two-state solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians if the Palestinians were to negotiate one and approve it in a referendum . . .
Iran, though, is different from the Soviet Union in one key respect: In most countries, there is a social contract that governs relations between the government of a state and its people. But in Iran there are three players: the people, the government and, for lack of a better term, the Deep State, which in the person of the supreme leader claims to act on God’s behalf to ensure that neither of the other two parties strays beyond God’s boundaries as defined in Islam.
This makes things much more complicated.

4. Stories I’d Like to See: Where Do US Jews Stand on the Iran Deal? Like it or not, American Jews are part of the story now.


Israel and the Palestinians
• The Times of Israel picks up on the latest BDS idiocy:

A Norwegian film festival recently rejected an Israeli documentary on disabled children, telling its director that it supports the boycott on the Jewish state and will not screen Israeli movies unless they deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
• Jeremy Corbyn, who is running for leadership for Britain’s Labor Party, is going to appear at a London conference later this month, sharing a stage with some notable anti-Semitic apologists for Hamas. The Daily Mail reports:

One speaker will be Palestinian-born Dr Azzam Tamimi, who once told the BBC that ‘sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause… I would do it if I had the opportunity’.
Another is Carlos Latuff, a cartoonist who compares Israel to the Nazis and came second in a Holocaust cartoon competition held by Iran in 2006.
• Irish president Michael Higgins is tangled up in another diplomatic tempest with Israel. Was his failure to hold a customary farewell meeting with Israel’s outgoing ambassador, Boaz Modai, a snub, or an unfortunate misunderstanding? Details at the Irish Independent.

• Khaled Mashaal is in Turkey to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Times of Israel coverage.
• The French telecomm giant, Orange, paid the first €15 million in compensation to Israel’s Partner Communications Ltd. The payment marks the beginning of the end of Orange’s ties to Israel after Orange CEO Stephane Richard kicked up a storm earlier this year when he said he’d rather not do business in Israel.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Iran debate devolves with charges of ‘dual loyalty’ and ‘dog whistles’

• John Kerry warns that that the US dollar will suffer if the Iran deal isn’t passed.
• John Kerry says no automatic return of sanctions if Iran breaks arms embargo
Mideast Matters
• Reuters: Russia, Saudis fail in talks to agree on fate of Syria’s Assad

• The Palestinians have offered to mediate a solution to the Syrian conflict, reports The Media Line.
Around the World
• The newly launched HuffPost Arabi is already under fire with its liberal readers for publishing succession of venomous posts criticizing gays, atheists, and selfies. The Independent picked up on the furor after Buzzfeed translated the offensive posts. Ariana Huffington doesn’t seem to realize that the Huffington Post Arabi’s editors have Muslim Brotherhood connections.

• Brian Williams’ six-month suspension (without pay) is over. NBC executives told CNNMoney that the disgraced anchor “will assume his new role as a breaking news anchor for MSNBC in mid-September, but no date has been set.”
The network moved against Williams amid revelations he exaggerated personal stories of his experiences covering the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006 and in Iraq. Lester Holt will continue anchoring NBC Nightly News.
Lorrie Goldstein
• Jeffrey Goldberg‘s troubled by Obama and Kerry’s difficulty grasping Iran’s desire to eliminate Israel in recent interviews. After describing the President’s take, Goldberg explains his regret for not following up with a more incisive question bringing Hitler into the conversation:

I made a decision on the spot—later partially regretted—not to deploy the H-bomb just then because I am a) very mindful of Godwin’s Law; b) I don’t believe the Iranian regime is the modern-day equivalent of the Nazi regime, in part because the Nazi regime is without peer; and c) the invocation of Hitler’s name in these matters tends to set teeth too much on edge.
In retrospect, though, I should have raised it, because Hitler is the perfect, but not singular, example of a world leader who made decisions that seemed, to his adversaries, deeply irrational except if you understood his desire to wipe out the Jews of Europe as an actual overriding policy goal, a raison d’etre of his rule. Anti-Semitism was not simply an “organizing tool” for him. And if you’re paying attention, you will see that bringing about the end of the sovereign Jewish state in the Middle East is a paramount political and theological mission of the Iranian regime.
• Spare me your pompous pontificating and specious speculations, Thomas Friedman. You’re not an Israeli, and pigs don’t fly, so spare me your What ifs.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Ron Ben-Yishai: Israel dealing with two Hamas entities
– Eitan Haber: Israelis will pay the price for Obama-Netanyahu battle
– Ari Harow: Does the Iran deal serve Israeli interests?
– Ephraim Kam: Obama’s hollow arguments

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Aug 2015, 6:31 pm

Abbas, Iran to Campaign Against Israel’s Nuclear Program
4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Mahmoud Abbas will visit Iran sometime in the next two months. Although the visit needs to be seen in the context of frosty Hamas-Tehran ties, the Jerusalem Post reports that one item on the PA-Iran agenda is a campaign against Israel’s nuclear program.

Majdalani said on Monday his visit to Iran resulted in an agreement to revive the idea of an international conference to rid the region of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and weapons of mass destruction.
Israel has never confirmed whether it possesses nuclear weapons.

2. A delegation of US Congressmen visiting the Temple Mount were stalked and harassed by Muslim men, including members of the Waqf staff. The Jerusalem Post‘s scoop includes a video.
3. A Hamas tunnel digger arrested by the Shin Bet last month had a lot to say to his interrogators. According to the Times of Israel, we’re talking about the routes and locations of new tunnels and their entrances and exits, and goodies from Tehran:
Iranian support came in the form of cash, advanced weapons and sophisticated electronic equipment meant to interfere with control signals for Israeli drones over the coastal enclave . . .
Shaer told investigators that material for Hamas’s war infrastructure is now being brought into Gaza under the guise of reconstruction programs aimed at repairing the damage caused during the fighting, when thousands of buildings were destroyed.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinian hunger-striker Mohammed Allaan was transferred to Barzilai hospital amid fears he will be force-fed. Jerusalem Post coverage.

World Science Conference Israel• If you listen carefully, you can hear BDSniks gnashing their teeth as 15 Nobel laureates and hundreds of science students arrive in Jerusalem for next week’s World Science Conference Israel. The Times of Israel writes:
Such a gathering would be notable at any time – but it’s especially relevant, and encouraging, at a time when the BDS movement has scored some victories on college campuses, as well as in the corporate word, said Guy Kibetz of the Foreign Ministry, who is helping coordinate and organize the event.”
• The Obama administration requested lower bond for Palestinian appeal of terror case.

• Paris is moving forward with plans to dedicate a day of beach festivities (along the Seine) to Tel Aviv. While I appreciate Mayor Anne Hidalgo for standing fast against BDS criticism, I have to wonder about back-handed “compliments” like this coming from her office. Here’s what AFP wrote:
Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s deputy Bruno Julliard said Israel’s critics should distinguish between “the brutal politics of the Israeli government and Tel Aviv, a progressive city“.
Fiamma Nirenstein

• Former Italian lawmaker and journalist Fiamma Nirenstein was appointed as Israel’s next ambassador to Rome. Haaretz reports that if she’s approved, Nirenstein would begin serving next summer, and have to give up her Italian citizenship.
Nirenstein is considered one of the strongest pro-Israel voices in Europe, and would often appear on broadcasts in Italy and elsewhere to debate politicians or other personalities who criticized Israel.
• Germans use Holocaust street memorials to bash Israel?

• At the World Badminton Championships, Israeli’s Misha Zilberman blamed his first round defeat on Indonesia issuing a last-minute visa. Zilberman was stuck in Singapore and only arrived in Jakarta the day before his match. AFP reports:
“I am very disappointed that I didn’t show even 50 per cent of what I could because I didn’t practise for the last five days or hit any shuttles,” he said.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• CNN: Obama’s Iran deal rhetoric troubles American Jews

• President Obama continued his media offensive for the Iran deal, discussing the accord with Steve Inskeep of NPR (take your pick of video or transcript). He also discussed the deal and its implications with Mic and answered questions submitted by young adults around the world.
• Russian warships dock in Iran for war training
Mideast Matters
• There’s a new Syrian Druze militia apparently armed with the financial support of the Israeli Druze. It opposes Assad, Islamic State, and the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front.

The Druze sheikh explained the funding for the new armed group, saying that they had acquired weapons “from our own free money, the fear of our people in Palestine [for our safety] and the fear of expatriates who wish to protect the mountain.”
Although the Druze leader implied private donors in Israel and elsewhere abroad had helped finance his group, he insisted that it “would not take funding from states.”
• Quite a few people are speaking out against the rising anti-Semitic tone in the public discourse over the Iran deal. Ben-Dror Yemini weighs in on the illusion of Jewish power. William Jacobson comments on the dual-loyalty flack Senator Charles Schumer is taking for opposing the accord. Lenny Ben-David recalls how George Bush Sr. responded to anti-Semitism during a 1991 battle over loan guarantees. See also Bret Stephens (Wall St. Journal via Google News), Abraham Ben-Zvi, Elliott Abrams, Shmuel Rosner, and a slightly more generous Jonathan Chait.

And thank you, James Taranto, for citing HonestReporting (and linking to yesterday’s roundup) in your Wall St. Journal column today (click via Google News).
On the other side, for example, we have Stephen Walt plugging David Bromwich’s little screed at the Huffington Post. For a sampling of tweets, see MJ Rosenberg and Judith Millstead.
Stephen Walt
• I can think of reasons for and against pulling international peacekeepers out of the Sinai, but it’s fair of this New York Times staff-ed raise the question. Is their mission obsolete, no longer justifying the danger they face from Islamic State?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Ehud Yaari: How Iran plans to destroy Israel
– Yoel Cohen: Can Israel’s image be normalized?
– Marion Bernard: From Riyadh in the French Riviera to Tel Aviv in Paris
– Emily Landau: What 29 top US scientists don’t know
– Omer Dostri: Palestinian terror reinvents itself

Featured image: CC BY flickr/John Ragai with modifications by HonestReporting; Nirenstein CC BY Wikimedia Commons/Shomroni

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 10 Aug 2015, 9:31 pm

Polls Skew Jews’ Views on Iran Deal
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. According to Israeli media reports, Turkey expelled senior Hamas official Salah Arouri. He masterminded the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers last year.

2. numbersWhere do American Jews really stand on Iran deal? If you’re looking at recent polls by J Street, AIPAC, or The Israel Project, skepticism is in order. And if you’re trying to gauge who really speaks for US Jewry, don’t bother.
Here’s what Professor Leonard Saxe of Brandeis U. told The Forward after studying the surveys:
“They’re all problematic,” Saxe told the Forward after examining the polls . . . “These are not wonderful studies,” Saxe said. “They’re quick and dirty studies.”
All of the surveys Saxe’s team studied had serious flaws, he related. More importantly, Saxe’s study took issue with the conclusion the polls reached . . .
For Jewish communal leaders seeking a bottom line, the surveys are of little help. At best they provide a picture of a Jewish community skeptical of the details of the deal and split about how to translate these doubts into political action.

3. Will Mohammed Allaan become the first hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainee to be force-fed under new regulations recently passed by the Knesset? The Times of Israel reports that doctors are refusing to force-feed Allaan, who is allegedly affiliated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad. In an impressive and sobering background piece, The Media Line looks at what’s involved and why this is happening now. See also Haaretz‘s afternoon update.
4. Why You Should Care About Iran: If you care about human rights, democracy, and freedom, you should be concerned about Iran. View and share the slide show.

Why You Should Care About Iran from HonestReporting
Israel and the Palestinians
• Last night, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli at a gas station on Route 443 near Modiin. The Palestinian man was shot and killed by nearby IDF soldiers. The Israeli was hospitalized with light to moderate stab wounds.

• Vatican seeks indictment of Jewish supremacist for supporting church burning
• Merely one day before the Badminton World Championships begin in Jakarta, Israeli player Misha Zilberman finally received a visa to enter Indonesia. According to the Jerusalem Post:
The Olympic Committee of Israel said on Sunday that it will demand to compensate Zilberman with ranking points due to the ordeal he was forced to endure in recent weeks.
Zilberman can close in on a berth at the Rio 2016 Olympics with a couple of wins in Jakarta, but would have faced a tough test against Hsu even in the best of times, not to mention in his current situation.
BDS• Globes: A network of Israeli businesses set up an anti-BDS hotline to help owners dealing with boycotts.

“BDS is not a uniform phenomenon; it is expressed differently in each country. When complaints or reports of such cases are received, we will address the situation specifically, using the tools we have, in order to provide them with a relevant and correct response.”
• Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo insists that the city’s “Tel Aviv on the Seine” event will go on this week, despite BDS pressure to cancel the event.

• Confused Hamas leader posts pro-Israel cartoon
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• A whole bunch of companies linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards will win sanctions relief. According to Reuters, Westerners looking to do business in the Islamic Republic will likely find the Revolutionary Guards serving as a gatekeeper of sorts.

The process is complex and will unfold in stages, with some firms obliged to wait eight years for sanctions relief and others who can expect no concession even then from Washington, a reflection of concerns over activities beyond Iran’s borders . . .
In all, about 90 current and former IRGC officials, entities such as the IRGC itself, and firms that conducted transactions for the Guards will be taken off nuclear sanctions lists by either the United States, EU or United Nations, according to a Reuters tally based on annexes to the text of the nuclear deal.
A handful will see EU sanctions removed once the nuclear deal is enacted on “Implementation Day” expected within the next year.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards
Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on parade in 2013.

• If you want to see CNN’s Fareed Zakaria’s full interview with President Obama, it was posted on YouTube in part 1, part 2, and part 3. Meanwhile, Jerusalem responded to the interview’s contentious charge that Israel is unduly meddling in US politics.
But a senior Israeli official told The Times of Israel that the Iranian nuclear issue is not an internal American concern, but rather “has a direct and crucially important impact on Israel’s security.”
Israel, said this official adamantly, “is not meddling in internal American affairs.”
Mideast Matters
• Two Golan Druze were indicted for the murder of wounded Syrian who had been brought to Israel for treatment. Details at YNet and Haaretz: The latter explains:

Bashira Mahmoud, 48, and Amal Abu Salah, 21, were among approximately 30 suspects arrested after a mob attacked a military ambulance carrying two wounded Syrians thought to be linked to a rebel organization that was targeting Syria’s Druze as part of the civil war raging across the border.
• Bashar Assad is desperately pushing for diplomacy, but rebels are more interested in carving up Syria.

paleyewitnessflag• Why does the mainstream media look away when Palestinians in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, face torture and ethnic cleansing? Khaled Abu Toameh answers that question:

Similarly, the international media seems to have forgotten that there are tens of thousands of Palestinians living in various Arab countries. The only Palestinians that Western journalists know and care about are those living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
International journalists do not care about the Palestinians in the Arab world because this is not a story that can be blamed on Israel. An Arab killing or torturing an Arab is not an item worth publishing in a major newspaper in the U.S., Canada or Britain. But when a Palestinian in the West Bank complains against the Israeli authorities or Jewish settlers, many Western journalists waste no time rushing to the scene to cover this “major” development.
• Israel wasn’t invited to the inauguration of the new Suez Canal. Did President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi miss an opportunity to make a statement?

• Food for thought: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham assesses the state of Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Dan Margalit: Administrative detentions are legitimate
– Ray Takeyh: How likely will accord transform revolutionary Iran?
– Roy Gutman: Iran: promoter of upheaval or defender of the status quo?
– Washington Post: The risks of investing in Iran (staff-ed)

• Last but not least, Mark Dubowitz and Jonathan Schanzer tag-teamed on a New York Post op-ed laying out how the Iran deal will “unchain Ayatollah Khamenei’s slush fund.”
Featured image: CC BY flickr/Dustin Smous with additions by HonestReporting; numbers CC BY-NC flickr/eltpics; Revolutionary Guards via YouTube/Monitor Mideast;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Aug 2015, 5:55 pm

CNN Smearing Iran Deal Critics With Dual Loyalty Charge?
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The father of the Palestinian baby killed in the Duma arson attack died of his injuries. Saad Dawabsha was buried in Nablus. Afterwards, the PA announced it would pursue Israel diplomatically, while Hamas called on Palestinians to take revenge. Israel is bracing for escalation in the West Bank.

Israel arrested nine people and placed three suspected Jewish extremists, Meir Ettinger, Eviatar Slonim, and Mordechai Meyer, in “administrative detention.” None are suspected of involvement in the Duma firebombing; Meyer is suspected of involvement in an arson attack at the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fishes in June. According to Reuters:
Yaalon accused Ettinger and Slonim of “involvement in activity by an extremist Jewish group”. Meyer had been involved in “recent terrorist attacks as part of a Jewish terror group,” Yaalon said. No specific incidents were mentioned.
2. Are critics of the Iran deal getting unfairly smeared with charges of “dual loyalty?” The question starts with Senator Charles Schumer, who, in announcing his opposition to the accord, took the unusual step of explaining why in writing. I’ll come back to Schumer in a moment.

Interviewed by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, President Obama said he can’t recall any foreign leader interfering in a policy debate more than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has done with the Iran deal. That’s from the excerpt CNN released ahead of tonight’s airing of the full interview
Previewing tonight’s broadcast on the CNN show, New Day, Zakaria claimed Schumer was motivated by money. Zakaria doesn’t overtly brand the anti-accord deal as Jewish or Israeli. But his comments to Brooke Baldwin certainly dance on the edge:
Zakaria: If you look at somebody like Senator Schumer, if you ask yourself what does he gain by supporting the deal? Not very much. What does he gain by opposing the deal? If he were to support President Obama on this, if he were to support this deal, he knows it would create a firestorm of opposition, particularly among, perhaps, you know wealthy supporters; he wouldn’t be able to raise as much money
Baldwin: So it’s money.
Zakaria: It’s money, it’s the possibility that you lose support of a core group of supporters. There’s a very strongly organized campaign against the deal. There isn’t a particularly strong campaign organized for the deal, so there’s an asymmetry of cost. So if you vote for this deal, you don’t get a lot. But you get a huge opposition against it.
So senators like Cory Booker, like Chuck Schumer, are probably looking at it in those terms, and asking themselves, “Look, if I were to support the president on this, I’m going to — funding sources are going to dry up, a lot of the core supporters I have are going to be upset with me, because there is this well-financed campaign against it. I don’t get that much, you know, on the upside.”
You can watch Zakaria’s “money quote” if you skip to 1:36.

A must-read staff-ed in Tablet denounced the White House and its allies of playing the “dual loyalty card” to silence critics of the Iran deal.
What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Senator Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing Senators and Congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States, is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the President of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.
Post script: Liberal advocacy organizations said they will withhold $8.3 million in potential donations from Schumer and other Democratic lawmakers opposing the Iran deal.

It’s unfortunate, but the Wall St. Journal’s Sohrab Ahmari‘s tweet of the day is an unpleasant truth.
Sohrab Ahmari
3. Israel arrested a Lebanese-Swedish man of Palestinian descent at Ben-Gurion Airport suspected of trying to gather intelligence for Hezbollah. Take your pick of Jerusalem Post or YNet coverage.
Israel and the Palestinians
• France is tweaking a draft UN resolution that reportedly demands Israel withdraw from the West Bank within 18 months. Algemeiner picked up on Arab media coverage.

• The IDF launched an air strike on unspecified Gaza terror infrastructure after a Palestinian rocket hit southern Israel. It landed in an open area causing no damage.
• Worth reading: Israel HaYom‘s Yoav Limor discussed “the battle of narratives” and Operation Protective Edge with IDF Brig.  Gen. Mickey Edelstein.
• Looks like Hamas is in Iran’s doghouse again.
Iran has canceled a scheduled visit by a Hamas delegation to the Islamic Republic in response to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal’s visit to Tehran’s rival Saudi Arabia last month, the Huffington Post’s Arabic edition quoted informed sources as saying Saturday.
• Brazil passports will no longer list Israel as the country of birth for Brazilian nationals born in Jerusalem.

• Christians Joining Israel Defense Forces At Record Rates
• We’ve written about the silly charge of Israeli pinkwashing before. Now, thanks to the fatal attack on Jerusalem’s recent gay pride parade, we’re seeing charges of what Legal Insurrection calls reverse pinkwashing. Israel can do no right. Sheesh . . .
• Jerusalem Post: PA security arrested a Ramallah man for naming his baby after Mohammed Dahlan, who is Mahmoud Abbas’s political rival.
• An event organized by the Paris municipality honoring Tel Aviv beaches generated anti-Semitic reactions
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon made some waves in a Q+A with Der Spiegel:

SPIEGEL: So will we see further deaths of Iranian nuclear scientists through attacks or malware compromising Iranian computer networks?
Yaalon: We should be ready to defend ourselves. I’m not responsible for the lives of Iranian scientists.
• Iran reportedly gave Hezbollah strict orders not to respond to a recent (Israeli?) air strike in Syria.

• Journalist Amir Taheri reports that John Kerry actually negotiated with the other P5+1 parties (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Germany) on Iran’s behalf.
Salehi recalls that when he briefed newly elected President Rouhani on the secret talks, the latter was “astonished” at Obama’s readiness to bend backwards to appease Tehran. For Tehran, Obama and Kerry made an ideal team.
During lengthy negotiations in Geneva, Lausanne and finally Vienna, the Iranian and US teams were often on the same side, fighting to persuade other members of the P5+1 to soften their positions vis-a-vis Iran.
In an off-the-record briefing in Tehran which was nevertheless partly leaked, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi cited a number of occasions when Kerry fought hard to win others to Iran’s position.
One occasion was when the French and the British insisted that Iran formally undertake not to finance and arm the Lebanese branch of Hezbollah. “Naturally, we refused,” Araqchi said. “And it was [John] Kerry who persuaded others to drop the issue.”
• Hebrew University chemistry professor accepts academic invitation from Tehran

Around the World
• Dominic Kennedy, an editor at the Times of London, got himself in some hot water with Jews and other people over an ill-advised tweet (which quickly apologized for and deleted). Kennedy was responding to his paper’s staff editorial on revelations of child abuse leveled against former prime minister Edward Heath. Screen grab via Breitbart.

Dominic Kennedy
What the heck was Kennedy thinking when he posted that?
• The New York Times gave cabinet minister Naftali Bennett an op-ed platform to denounce Jewish terror.

The terrorists who killed Shira and Ali do not represent Israel or its people. They are a fringe group, made up of radical extremists who do not only seek to kill. Their ultimate goal is the destruction of the State of Israel. They act against and threaten the very premise of what the Zionist movement envisioned when returning to the Land of Israel after 2,000 years in exile — a Jewish and democratic state committed to equality and freedom for all its citizens. They are anarchists, a fifth column within Israel and like Hamas and Hezbollah, they must face the full force of Israel’s justice system and its defense establishment.
But they are also a tiny group. They do not represent the 400,000 residents of Jewish communities throughout the West Bank, the overwhelming majority of whom are law-abiding citizens and have condemned these acts of violence.
• Israeli officials continued speaking out on the Iran deal. Cabinet minister Silvan Shalom got an op-ed platform in The Guardian, while MK Yair Lapid was published in Die Welt (with Israel HaYom summarizing in English).

• Plenty more Iran deal commentary:
– Efraim HaLevy: It’s not American Jewry’s responsibility to save Israel from Iran deal
– Benjamin Weinthal: Does Germany’s pro-Iran deal diplomatic push endanger Israel?
– Eyal Zisser: The day after the deal
– Charles Krauthammer: Just who is helping Iran’s hard-liners?
– David Brooks: 3 U.S. Defeats: Vietnam, Iraq and Now Iran
– New York Sun (staff-ed): Obama’s version
– David Ignatius: Obama’s cry of despair on the Iran deal

Ballycarbery Castle
• Ambassador Boaz Modai is stepping down as Israel’s envoy to Ireland this month. The outgoing ambassador shared his parting thoughts in an Irish Independent op-ed.
Those who wish to demonise my country find it easy to get a platform in the media to repeat non-specific charges such as “Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians”. The more extreme ones speak of “genocide”. Has amnesia progressed so far that some people have forgotten the meaning of a word like “genocide”? One-third of the world’s Jews wiped out in the Holocaust – that was genocide. One million Tutsis eliminated in Rwanda that was genocide.
• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .

– Aaron David Miller: How Obama plans to create a virtual Palestinian state
– Avi Issacharoff: Is Abbas about to quit?
– Fred Maroun; I am a Zionist because I am an Arab

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Aug 2015, 6:44 pm

ran Already Sanitizing Parchin Facility
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Breaking News: Shortly before this roundup was published, a Palestinian terrorist rammed his car into a group of Israelis near the West Bank community of Shiloh, injuring three. The Palestinian was shot and is in critical condition. Jerusalem Post coverage.

2. The US already has intelligence that the Iranians are already sanitizing its Parchin nuclear facility, which is suspected of being a military site. Eli Lake and Josh Rogin of Bloomberg News report:
A senior intelligence official, when asked about the satellite imagery, told us the IAEA was also familiar with what he called “sanitization efforts” since the deal was reached in Vienna, but that the U.S. government and its allies had confidence that the IAEA had the technical means to detect past nuclear work anyway . . .
Several senior lawmakers, including Democrats, are concerned that Iran will be able to collect its own soil samples at Parchin with only limited supervision, a practice several lawmakers have compared to giving suspected drug users the benefit of the doubt to submit specimens unsupervised. Iran’s sanitization of the site further complicates that verification.
3. YNet and an AFP video picked up on Gazans celebrating the graduation of 25,000 participants of Hamas summer camps.

4. Israel Accused of Genocide in Outrageous Cartoon: Does a prominent French cartoonist’s portrayal of Israelis demonize Jews as well?
Israel and the Palestinians
• 39 Palestinians released in the Gilad Shalit exchange are to be re-jailed after committee found they committed further crimes warranting their return to prison to complete their sentences.

• Israel sent a message to Mahmoud Abbas reassuring the PA leader that Jerusalem isn’t negotiating a long-term cease fire with Hamas. Ramallah officials fret that Israeli-Hamas contacts would undermine popular support of the PA. But according to the Times of Israel, the PA’s not the only player Israel’s keeping in mind:
Although Israel is aware that an agreement would harm the Palestinian Authority and boost Hamas, its refusal to discuss a truce has mostly to do with Egypt’s opposition. Cairo is wary of bolstering Hamas because the Gaza group is a close ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opponent of the Egyptian regime.
• Hamas detained Gazan journalist; Mushira al-Hajj had previously criticized the Hamas-run Health Ministry and rebuffed demands that she apologize.

• Four Gazans were killed and another 29 were injured in an explosion in Rafah. According to Haaretz, the blast is believed to have been caused by unexploded Israeli ordnance left over from Operation Protective Edge.
The unexploded bomb was in the ruins of a house that used to belong to Sheikh Attia Abu-Nakira, senior member of Hamas’ military wing. He apparently wasn’t hurt in Thursday’s blast. Israeli forces struck his house last July, during the war with Gaza.
• First victim of intifada visits latest terror victims

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• President Obama gave delivered a speech (video or transcript) on the Iran deal. The President singled out Israel as the only country objecting to the accord, and insisted that the only alternative to this deal is “some sort of war.” See below for commentary and analysis.

• UN inspectors trying to learn more about Iran’s covert nuclear weapons program are already being denied access to scientists and military officials they need to interview. Under the terms of the accords, the International Atomic Energy Agency is supposed to complete a report, as a precursor to the lifting of sanctions. Details at the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News).
• Iranian foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif insists that the IDF’s interception of the Karine-A arms ship was an Israeli false flag operation. In 2002, the Israeli navy seized 50 tons of weapons being smuggled to Palestinian terror groups.
• Israeli rights group sues to block release of Iranian funds; The Shurat HaDin Law Center says releasing frozen money would deprive two dozen American victims of terror of losing leverage to collect a $1 billion judgement.
• Iran’s shopping spree begins . . .
People's Daily
Around the World
• Survey: Nearly 1 in 4 Romanians want their country free of Jews.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents indicated they had heard of the Holocaust — a 12 percent increase over a similar poll conducted in 2007 — but only a third of those respondents who knew about the Holocaust believe it happened in their country. Only 19 percent of respondents who were aware of the Holocaust and said it occurred in Romania said Antonescu’s government was responsible. Some 54 percent of survey respondents called Antonescu as “a patriot.”
• The trial of ex-Argentine president Carlos Menem began today. He and other officials are accused of covering up information about the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community headquarters, and allowing suspects to get away. More at the Buenos Aires Herald.

John Kennedy meets with Nikita Khrushchev in 1961

• Absolutely no shortage of commentary assessing President Obama’s speech. Here are 5 reasons the Iran deal doesn’t follow in John Kennedy’s footsteps.
For one, JFK never forked over $100 billion in sanctions relief to the Soviets as an inducement to make an arms-control deal.
• Does this New York Times staff-ed discount Netanyahu’s concerns, in part because Bibi supported the war in Iraq? And in the face of Jackson Diehl‘s take, does that even matter?

The speech was so trenchant because Mr. Obama ably connected the opposition to the Iran agreement to recent history. “If the rhetoric in these ads and the accompanying commentary sounds familiar, it should, for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal,” he said.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama opposed the Iraq war. Invading Iraq was a catastrophic mistake that destabilized the country and, more than anything, has enabled Iran to expand its influence in Iraq and in the region. Mr. Netanyahu, of course, was a strong supporter of the Iraq war and in September 2002 made that case in congressional testimony as a private citizen.
Jackson Diehl

• Former national security adviser Yaakov Amidror assessed what the accord means for Israel. See the full report, or the Jerusalem Post‘s synopsis.
• Here’s what else I’m reading on the Iran deal today . . .
– Boaz Bismuth: Khamenei is not Khrushchev
– James Taranto: Kerry’s perverse warning (via Google News)
– Raphael Ahren: Obama to Israel: You stand alone
– Graham Allison: Iran deal keeps our military options open
– Alan Dershowitz: Obama gets personal about the Iran deal

• What caught Benny Avni‘s attention about the president’s speech?
Benny Avni
– Jose Maria Aznar: Confrontation with Iran is inevitable (via Google News)
– George Mitchell: Agreement will cut off Iran’s path to nuclear bomb
– Jonathan Tobin: Obama’s heavy handed and misleading Iran deal advocacy isn’t working
– Kevin Liptak: Will Obama’s attacks on critics hurt his cause?
– Bassam Tawil: Nuclearizing Iran, sabotaging Arabs

• See also staff editorials in Bloomberg News, the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News), Boston Globe, and USA Today, Last but not least, the Irish Times lumped Israel together with low-brow company:
The fear today is less the likelihood of an exchange between the two giants, and more the proliferation of such weapons to “rogue” states like North Korea, the danger of them falling into terrorist hands, and the deeply destabilising effect on regional politics of the possession of weapons by states like Israel and Pakistan.
• Sandy Tolan got op-ed space in the Los Angeles Times to blame the deadly Duma firebombing on Israel’s “colonization” of the West Bank and “a Jim Crow-like system of occupation.”

The dominion settlers claim over the West Bank only becomes darker and more violent as their numbers sharply increase and Israel’s occupation grows more entrenched.
The extremists aren’t as mainstream as Tolan claims. See this related tweet by Jeffrey Goldberg:

Jeffrey Goldberg
• Avi Issacharoff worries about the end of the two-state solution.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 05 Aug 2015, 4:57 pm

Israeli, US Leaders Wage Media Offensive Over Iran Deal
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration upped their media offensives for and against the Iran deal. Bibi made his case in a webcast to American and Canadian Jews yesterday and answered some pre-submitted questions. See Times of Israel coverage or watch the video. President Obama hosted a delegation of top American Jewish leaders in the White House. Participants told Haaretz, and YNet the same thing:

US President Barack Obama told Jewish leaders on Tuesday that if the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Iran is rejected by Congress, the United States will be forced to attack Tehran, which will lead to Hezbollah retaliating with rockets on Tel Aviv.
John Kerry defended the Iran deal in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. The Secretary of State maintains that Congressional rejection will “screw” Ayatollah Khamenei, confirm Tehran’s suspicions that the US can’t be trusted lead to war.

As this roundup went to press, the President was due to deliver a speech at American University.

2. Following an outcry of criticism, Britain’s National Union of Teachers pulled a package of one-sided educational material designed to teach kids about “the daily struggles of Palestinian children” to UK kids as young as three or four. More at the Daily Telegraph and Jewish Chronicle.
3. According to Arab reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post, Hamas is focusing its efforts on rebuilding its ability to launch terror attacks from the West Bank in order to avoid devastating IDF reprisals in Gaza. What will be the strategic game changer?
Hamas will not return to open war with Israel until it obtains anti-aircraft missiles to prevent IAF attacks on its positions . . . .

4. HR Radio: Cecil the Lion and Saeb Erekat: Were recent the murders of Ali Dawabsha and Shira Banki the acts of a select few or the product of a “culture of hate?” Yarden Frankl discusses that and more on the Voice of Israel. Click to listen to the interview.
5. PLO Still Lying About Arafat’s Legacy: Yasser Arafat wasn’t a freedom fighter, and he certainly wasn’t born in Jerusalem. Why does it matter?
Israel and the Palestinians
• If you’re trying to get a handle on Israel’s Jewish extremism in the news, check out AP‘s background piece.

• New York Times bureau chief Jodi Rudoren visited a new dirt road Hamas bulldozed along the border with Israel and touts as a symbol of victory against Israel. The best angle, unfortunately, is buried in the last paragraph, and it was raised by Palestinian tweeter Abdelrahman Thabet.
But the celebration was not universal. “I think the houses of people and the streets that were destroyed during the war should be rebuilt first,” said another Twitter user, identified as BenThabet71, “instead of building a new street that will be bulldozed in the next war.”
Hamas border patrols began using the road in June.

atomic explosion• The US couldn’t possibly defend Israel from an Iranian nuclear attack, Ron Ben-Yishai argues.

If Iran decides to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon – or even not with a nuclear weapon – it is completely reasonable to assume that it will be a surprise attack. There is no chance that the US will be able to defend us against such an attack, especially a nuclear attack, unless the Americans deploy a significant amount of forces on Israeli territory – tens of thousands of soldiers with missile batteries, radars and other measures, who will be on constant alert and ready to intercept ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and planes arriving with a deadly cargo from Iran or from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, Iran’s allies.
Stationing tens of thousands of American soldiers on Israeli territory will be the most efficient way to deter Iran or anyone else from attacking Israel with a mass destruction weapon – nuclear, chemical or biological.
Such a deployment of American defense forces against missiles will violate the principle reiterated by all Israeli prime ministers and defense ministers, starting from David Ben-Gurion in the 1960s, that “Israel will defend itself on its own, and I don’t want even one American soldier to shed blood for our sake.”
• Heavy world interest in Iran’s natural gas will fuel a breakdown in sanctions, even if Congress votes down the nuclear accord. According to Emmanuel Navon, the EU wants to lower its dependency on Russian gas, the Russians want to form a cartel with Iran, and China has its own interests.

Those who think that building a two-thirds majority in the US Congress would derail the deal with Iran are deluding themselves.
• Former US ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer plugs the Iran deal in a CNN op-ed.

To be sure, nothing in this agreement commits Iran to change its aggressive behavior in the region or its support for terrorism. But likewise, nothing in the agreement commits the United States and its partners to tolerate that behavior and that support.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Clifford May: Mounting a defense against economic warfare
– Daniel Gordis: The terror consuming Israel from within
– Shoshana Bryen: What society says children are murdered
– Eli Lake: Obama plays politics of fear to get Iran deal
– Tony Badran: There will be neither snapback nor pushback
– Danielle Pletka: How Congress can make a bad Iran deal better

Featured image: CC BY flickr/Max Talbot-Minkin with additions by HonestReporting; Arafat crossing the Delaware public domain images of Yasser Arafat and Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” via Wikimedia Commons, remixed by HonestReporting

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 04 Aug 2015, 6:51 pm

Israel Arrests Inciting Al-Aqsa Preacher
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli police arrested an Islamic preacher known for his raging anti-Semitic sermons in the Al-Aqsa mosque. See Jerusalem Post coverage and Palestine Media Watch‘s background on Sheikh Khaled Al-Mughrabi. Police took him into custody from his home.
During his homily, Mughrabi had asserted that “the Children of Israel… would look for a small child, kidnap and steal him, bring a barrel called the barrel of nails . . . . They would put the small child in the barrel and his body would be pierced by these nails. In the bottom of the barrel, they would put a faucet and pour the blood.”
Such actions, he said, were directly responsible for the Holocaust, adding that Jews masterminded the September 11 attacks and control Hollywood.
2. A thoroughly isolated Hamas got a lifeline: the terror group’s leader, Khaled Mashaal weedled an invitation to Moscow from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

3. Our old friend, ex-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is making a political comeback. AP points out that, populist or not, ‘Najad’s would-be return will be a function of the ruling mullahs, not popular support.
In the absence of reliable polling, it’s impossible to gauge Ahmadinejad’s level of support. Any comeback would depend on Khamenei, who along with his hand-picked appointees vets candidates for parliamentary and presidential elections . . .
“He can’t reappear without approval from the top echelons of power,” he added. “His comeback means Khamenei wants to use him as a counterbalance to control reformists in the upcoming elections.”
4. Stop the Hate: The media should not suggest that the horrible murders of Ali Dawabsha and Shira Banki crimes are reflective of Israeli society. We want the world to know that these acts do not represent us. Please join our effort to show the world that we stand together, united against hate. Click here to add your name our statement.

5. Video: Offensive, Misleading New York Times Op-Ed: The “Gray Lady” gives a soapbox to claims that Israelis don’t care about the recent deaths of a Palestinian toddler and an Israeli teenager. But HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl points out, the missive misses key information. Watch the video.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Reuters takes a closer look at the growing number of Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem breaking taboos in seeking and obtaining Israeli citizenship.

In part it reflects a loss of hope that an independent Palestinian state will ever emerge. But it also reflects a hard-headed pragmatism – an acknowledgement that having Israeli citizenship will make it easier to get or change jobs, buy or move house, travel abroad and receive access to services.
Israeli officials are reluctant to confirm figures, but data obtained by the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies indicates a jump over the past decade, rising from 114 applications in 2003 to between 800 and 1,000 a year now, around half of which are successful. On top of that, hundreds have made inquiries before the formal application process begins.
Interior Ministry figures obtained by Reuters show there were 1,434 applications in 2012-13, of which 189 were approved, 1,061 are still being processed and 169 were rejected. The remainder are in limbo.

• Three people were injured when Palestinians threw a firebomb at an Israeli car driving in eastern Jerusalem.
• A French Christian tourist visiting the Temple Mount was assaulted by Palestinians after waving an Israeli flag. AFP reports that both the tourist and the four Palestinians have been detained.
• Fatah official Jibril Rajoub: Israeli condemnations of the Duma firebombing didn’t fallen on deaf ears. PA leaders meeting to discuss a response to the terror attack were influenced by the outpouring of Israeli sentiments, he told YNet.
Rajoub told Ynet that the outrage expressed in Israel over the murder and wounding of the Dawabshe family changed the spirit of those in attendance. “We said we must reach the right conclusion from this exceptional event in Israeli society, and understand that there are rational people with whom we can build ties in order to overcome the lack of a diplomatic process. The majority of the meeting’s attendees spoke against incitement for revenge. I think that the reaction in Israel had influence (on the decision).”
• Leading House Republican, Democrat introduce anti-BDS resolution.

• What’s the Arab media saying about Ali Dawabsha? MEMRI flagged this ugly Saudi cartoon.
• Israel plugging for Egypt’s Sisi regime has gotten quiet results.
Egyptian diplomats say the support of Israel has been “crucial” and “huge” in converting the position of the White House from one of being clearly unfavorable towards the Sisi government in Cairo, to being a lot more engaging.
• Air France wipes Israel off of the map . . . literally

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• I’m not into anonymous sources, so it doesn’t reassure me that a US “promise” to defend Israel from an Iranian attack came from an unidentified “senior American defense official” briefing Israeli reporters. Anonymous US officials slinging mud at Israel have created enough headaches over the Iran deal.

Anonymity casts doubt on US reassurances.

• Haaretz: In the wake of the Iran deal, Israeli officials objected to Washington’s arms sales to the Gulf state.
“There were some key capabilities that the Israelis rather the Gulf States not have,” he said. “It is a discussion that started before the Iran deal.”
• Congress, Iran and ‘side deals': What you need to know

• Mounting Shiite casualties in Syria highlight the depth of Iran’s involvement in the civil war.
Even so, Iran is unlikely to abandon its commitment to its proxy regime in Damascus in the short term. The Islamic Republic in general, and the [Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps] in particular, have invested so much blood and treasure in the war that they no longer believe they can withdraw their support. Arguably, easier access to foreign currency in the wake of the U.S.-led nuclear deal will translate into increased funding for the IRGC’s operations in Syria.
reaction• Palestinian scholar Bassam Tawil draws a stunningly frank conclusion from Israeli condemnations of last week’s fatal firebombing in Duma:

The strong response of the Israeli public and leaders to the arson attack is, truthfully, somewhat comforting. The wall-to-wall Israeli condemnation of this crime has left me and other Palestinians not only ashamed, but also embarrassed — because this is not how we Palestinians have been reacting to terror attacks against Jews — even the despicable murder of Jewish children.
Our response has, in fact, brought feelings of disgrace and dishonor. While the Israeli prime minister, president and other officials were quick strongly to condemn the murder of Dawabsha, our leaders rarely denounce terror attacks against Jews. And when a Palestinian leader such as Mahmoud Abbas does issue a condemnation, it is often vague and equivocal . . .
We have failed to educate our people on the principles of tolerance and peace. Instead, we continue to condone and applaud terrorism, especially when it is directed against Jews. We want the whole world to condemn terrorism only when it claims the lives of Palestinians. We have reached a point where many of us are either afraid to speak out against terrorism or simply accept it when it claims the lives of Jews.
The Israeli president has good reason to be ashamed for the murder of the baby. But when will we Palestinians ever have a sense of shame over the way we are reacting to the murder of Jews?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Ofer Israeli: The secret of Iran’s success
– Investor’s Business Daily: UN nuclear watchdog refuses to bark and can’t bite (staff-ed)
– Michael Gerson: How the nuclear deal will fund Iran’s imperialism
– Norman Bailey: What are Israel’s options on Iran?
– Christian Science Monitor: A universal answer to religious violence (staff-ed)

Featured image: CC BY flickr/John Ragai with modifications by HonestReporting; Ahmadinejad CC BY Wikimedia Commons; anonymous sources CC BY flickr/Zaheer Mohiuddin with modifications by HonestReporting

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 03 Aug 2015, 6:07 pm

Arabs Move to Monitor Israel’s Nuclear Program
srael Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Following up on the Iran deal, Jerusalem’s trying to thwart an Arab move to place Israel’s nuclear program under international supervision. Haaretz reports:

The resolution, titled “Israeli nuclear capabilities,” has been repeatedly proposed by Egypt in recent years. It condemns Israel, demands that it open its reported nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection, and calls for an international conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone.
Unlike Security Council resolutions, this one wouldn’t be binding. But it could still cause Israel great diplomatic damage, focus international attention on Israel’s nuclear program and prompt further IAEA action.
NUT2. Britain’s National Union of Teachers is under fire for a teaching resource package “which asks teachers to explore themes of Palestinian “occupation, freedom and resistance.” The Daily Telegraph writes:

However, concerns have been raised that the resource pack gives a “one sided” and “divisive” view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Images in the pack’s appendix feature a Palestinian child who has been “assaulted by settlers” and the video contains a reference to “Jews” as opposed to “Israelis”
3. Palestinians filed a report with International Criminal Court over the deadly Duma firebombing.

4. Discovering Terror — When the Suspects Are Jews: The Guardian won’t call Palestinian violence “terror” any more than it’ll call the people responsible for Ali Dawabsha’s death “freedom fighters.”
Israel and the World
• The Times of Israel visited the Dawabsha family’s mourning tent in Duma.

• More congressmen are confirming that French national security adviser told US lawmakers that if the nuclear accords are voted down, Iran will eventually come back to the negotiating table and “we’ll get a better deal.”
• Is Iran accord tearing US Jewry apart?
• Quite a few Arab countries that denounced Israel’s security fence are putting up border barriers of their own, reports Bloomberg News.
• British Jewish community expresses relief as High Court orders end to invasive autopsies
• Euro Maccabi games marred by anti-Semitism in Berlin.
• Iran Deal: Did the P5+1 Perform a ‘Bait and Switch’?

• Despite the pride parade stabbing, Israel is still a beacon of gay rights, says New York Post columnist David Kaufman.
• Can Jewish refugees claim billions from Arab states?
But the Arab states’ current disintegration process is not helping the chances of actually receiving compensation. Syria no longer exists as a state, as only 25 percent of the territory is controlled by the Assad regime and the rest is divided between the Islamic State, Jabhat al-Nusra, the national rebels and the Kurds.
The situation is similar in Iraq, where almost one-third of the territory is already controlled by ISIS. Libya has essentially been divided between a number of large tribes, and the situation in Algeria and Tunisia isn’t promising either
Iraqi Jews
Iraqi Jews arriving at Lod airport, 1951.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Jonathan Tobin: Zero tolerance for Jewish and Arab terror
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Who is destroying the Palestinian dream?
– Jackson Diehl: Why Iran won’t give up Syria
– John Bolton: The Iran deal’s dangerous precedent
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: Is the Gulf’s relationship with US a mistake?

Featured image: CC0 from flickr/Unsplash/Image Catalog with modifications by HonestReporting; terror CC BY southtyrolean/flickr and flickr/Ryan Brunsvold with modifications by HonestReporting

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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Aug 2015, 9:24 pm

Toddler Killed in Arson Attack, Teen Stabbed at Pride Parade Succumbs
Backspin6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Jewish-Arab tensions rose faster than the mercury in a heat wave after a Palestinian toddler, Ali Dawabsha was killed in a fire likely started by Jewish extremists terrorists who threw a Molotov cocktail into the family’s home in the West Bank village of Duma, near Nablus.

Hebrew graffiti saying “revenge” and “long live the messiah” along with a Jewish star was found spray painted one wall of the charred house. According to Israeli media reports, the suspects are believed to have come from an illegal settler outpost near Shiloh.
Ali’s parents, Saad and Riham, and four year-old brother, Ahmed, were injured in the attack. They’re hospitalized in Israel and fighting for their lives.
The charred remains of Dawabsha family photo

2. Shortly before this roundup was published, Shira Banki, the 16-year-old girl stabbed at Thursday’s gay pride parade in Jerusalem succumbed to her injuries. Five other people were injured when Yishai Schlissel began stabbing marchers.
Schlissel had served 10 years in prison for stabbing people at Jerusalem’s 2005 pride parade. He was released from prison just three weeks ago. More at the Jerusalem Post.
3. Still not convinced that Iran wants to destroy Israel? Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a book outlining his views on Israel. Amir Taheri describes an Islamist Mein Kampf that counts on a combination of Hezbollah-style units in the West Bank and the world’s eventual “Israel fatigue.”
Edited by Saeed Solh-Mirzai, the 416-page book has received approval from Khamenei’s office and is thus the most authoritative document regarding his position on the issue.
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state . . .
Khamenei insist that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.
His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have dual-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States or Europe to daily threats of death.
Khamenei makes no reference to Iran’s nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei’s strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: counting on the world’s “Israel fatigue”

Israel and the Palestinians
• In the aftermath of the deadly Duma arson, Palestinians clashed with the IDF. A 17-year-old Palestinian was killed at one riot near Ramallah; soldiers opened fire with rubber bullets after someone threw a firebomb at them. In Nablus, a gang of Palestinian youths sought to torch Joseph’s tomb.

• Haaretz reports that Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon will seek administrative detention against the suspects if there isn’t enough evidence for indictments.
• Bizarro headline of the day, courtesy the Sunday Times of London. Teenager Laith al-Khalidi was killed when soldiers opened fire after a demonstrator threw a Molotov cocktail near Ramallah. But the other fatality had nothing to do with the Dawabsha tragedy.
According to the Jerusalem Post, Mohammed al-Masri, 17, died in Gaza after approaching the border fence, ignoring soldiers’ warnings, and possibly throwing stones at the Israeli troops.
Sunday Times of London
• Israelis rallied on Saturday against hate and violence following the attacks on the Dawabsha family and the pride parade.
• AP took a closer look at Jewish violence, including last month’s arson attack at the Church of the Loaves of and Fishes.
Despite the recent spike, it still exists only on the fringes of society.
• A pair of rockets fired from Gaza exploded near the border fence on Saturday night. According to the Jerusalem Post, they apparently landed in Gaza.

GlobeandMail• The Globe & Mail‘s Patrick Martin suggests Israel deliberately destroyed a Gaza mosque for no good reason during last year’s war. Only the army can explain why it targeted the mosque (if in fact, it did so), and nothing in the article indicates Martin sought the IDF’s response. Instead we’re treated to speculative could’ve-should’ve talk.
It’s hard to understand why this old place was levelled. Israel didn’t need its strategic outlook – it has aerial balloons and drones with much better views of the area.
No tunnels would have emanated from this high ground, and any Hamas or other Palestinian forces there could have been defeated from the air without destroying the mosque and the large concrete water tower that also sat on the hilltop, bringing water to the community below.
Israel could have occupied the hilltop without destroying the mosque and it is not one of the religious sites claimed to be hiding Hamas rockets and other munitions.
The attack smacks more of punishment than of military necessity. And the imam and followers at Ali al-Muntar, who remember appreciatively how Israel safeguarded the place in the past, are at a loss to explain what they did to deserve this.
But if you want a better understanding of the war’s destruction, Victor Davis Hanson explains how the IDF borrowed a page from the Civil War and General William Tecumseh Sherman’s march to the sea.

• Congress held hearings on the boycott movement against Israel. Among the people testifying were SodaStream CEO Dan Birnbaum, and Professor Eugene Kontorovich.

• If Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow ever comes back to Israel, you can be sure customs officials at Ben Gurion Airport will give him extra attention.
Palestinian artist’s work to go on display in London after Channel 4’s Jon Snow smuggles it out of Gaza
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking his battle against the Iran deal to social media. On Tuesday, (August, 4, at 1:00 pm EDT) Bibi will appear in a live webcast making remarks and fielding questions. Haaretz adds:

The hashtag #JFedTalk was picked to promote and discuss the prime minister’s objection of the deal on Twitter.
The live feed will be available on computers, mobile phones and synagogues across the U.S., AFP reported.
On the day after Bibi’s webast, President Obama will give a speech at American University plugging the accord.

• France’s national security adviser told Congress the US will get a better deal if lawmakers kill this accord. A senator who was briefed by Jacques Audibert told reporter Josh Rogin:
“He basically said, if Congress votes this down, there will be some saber-rattling and some chaos for a year or two, but in the end nothing will change and Iran will come back to the table to negotiate again and that would be to our advantage,” Sanchez told me in an interview. “He thought if the Congress voted it down, that we could get a better deal.” . . .
He told them that if U.S. sanctions were kept in place, it would effectively prevent the West from doing extensive business in Iran.
IAEA• Congress is feeling in the dark: The White House is raising questions by what portions of the deal it has selected to keep classified. And as for the side agreements between the IAEA and Iran, both Iran and the IAEA object to Congress having any access to it. John Kerry claims nobody in the Obama administration even knows the terms of the side agreement.

• Despite the nuclear deal, the Interpol arrest warrant against Iran’s former Defense Minister is “still valid” despite nuclear deal, an EU spokesperson said. Ahmad Vahidi is wanted for questioning by Argentinian investigators for his role in 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community headquarters, which killed 85 people.
• Iranian authorities demolished the only Sunni mosque Tehran.
Mideast Matters
• Advances by Islamic State are pushing Egypt and Jordan into “unprecedented levels of security cooperation” with Israel.

• Egypt inaugurated its expansion of the Suez Canal.
Around the World
• AP‘s quantification of French aliyah is fascinating:

The surge, which marked the first time in Israeli history that more than 1 percent of a Western country’s Jewish population immigrated in a single year, came even before the shooting rampage that killed four Jews in a Paris kosher supermarket in January and devastated the community’s already shaky sense of security.
• Robbers leave pro-Palestine expletive at French Jewish leader’s home after stealing $10,000 worth of jewelry.

• Writing in The Atlantic, David Graham unpacks the use of the word “terror” when the suspects are Israeli Jews:

The speed with which top Israeli officials labeled the attack “terrorism” presents an interesting contrast with the U.S., where questions about whether Dylann Roof’s massacre of nine black worshippers in Charleston, South Carolina, should be labeled terrorism (or perhaps a hate crime) consumed days of public discourse. (Incidentally, the U.S. also labeled Friday’s attack terrorism.)
• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .

– Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas’s child abuse camps
– Ruth Wisse: Obama’s blind spot: accord will fuel anti-Semtisim (via Google News)
– Aaron David Miller: The “truth” about the Iran deal
– Michael Memoli: Obama’s Iran nuclear deal enters a danger zone
– Wall St. Journal: Iran’s closed covenants (staff-ed via Google News)
– Ron Ben-Yishai: How to stop Jewish jihad
– Charles Krauthammer: Syrian Christians and the English Jew

Featured image: Public domain image from flickr/The British Library with modifications by HonestReporting; Khamenei via YouTube/Khamenei.ir

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Post  Admin on Fri 31 Jul 2015, 12:39 pm

IDF Warns of Preemptive Strikes in Sinai
Israel Daily News Stream23 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. What’s behind the IDF’s warnings about launching preemptive strikes in the Sinai on Islamic State?

2. The Knesset gave Israeli prison officials authorization to force-feed hunger-striking inmates.
Israel has long been concerned that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could end in death and trigger waves of protests in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
But Israel’s Medical Association, which considers force- feeding a form of torture and medically risky, has urged Israeli doctors not to abide by the law.
See former Soviet gulag prisoner Michael Rivkin’s perspective on force-feeding at i24 News.

HuffPostArabi3. It turns out the two people running the Huffington Post’s new Arab-language site, HuffPost Arabi, have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Anas Fouda and Wadah Khanfar bring their Islamist agenda to Ariana Huffington’s new venture:
An Egyptian national now living in Turkey, Fouda was arrested in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 on suspicion of affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) – an affiliation which he freely admitted had existed since 1988, though he claimed to have held no formal party role since 1995. A browse of his Twitter timeline shows his politics to be fairly bread-and-butter MB . . .
Khanfar, however, is the heavyweight of the pair; the man who made Al Jazeera the titan of Arabic media that it is today. He’s also, according to ex-colleagues, the man who made Al Jazeera the Muslim Brotherhood mouthpiece that it is today.

Israel and the Palestinians
• A group of Hamas delegates to the Palestinian parliament called for a revolt against the PA. The Palestinian parliament’s last official meeting was in 2007, before Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip. The deputies were protesting the PA’s West Bank crackdown on Hamas.

• Yesterday, two Israelis were indicted for last month’s arson attack at the Church of the Loaves and Fishes in Tagbha, with a third indicted today.
Church of the Loaves and Fishes
Mosaic from the Church of the Loaves and Fishes.

• An Iraqi parliamentarian called on his country to establish ties with Israel. Mithal al-Alusi, who is leader of the secular Ummah party, was interviewed by a Kuwaiti newspaper. The Jerusalem Post picked up:
The outspoken al-Alusi, who has previously visited Israel a number of times, referred to diplomatic relations with Israel as “our [Iraqi] interest,” and added that he does not want Baghdad’s interests to be solely to “Abu Mazen,” the name by which Mahmoud Abbas is commonly referred to in the Arab World.
• Why is Muslim harassment of Jews on the Temple Mount increasing?

• The Canadian military is purchasing Iron Dome radar technology. According to Vice News, the system will likely be deployed in the Arctic, to counter increasing Russian activity, adding that Ottawa doesn’t expect the harsh weather to pose problems for the system. Defense Minister Jason Kenney posted this enthusiastic tweet.
Jason Kenney
• Here’s a nice win-win situation: Arab companies in the Mideast are outsourcing work to Gaza. The practice is called “offshoring” because the outsourced work — such as web design, programming and translation — is specifically done out of the company’s home country. The Financial Times (via Google News) explains what this means for the Palestinians:

Offshoring, with its promises of a flat, connected world, is on the face of it a godsend for Gaza. The enclave has a captive market of young graduates with marketable skills and few other areas to deploy them. Good jobs of any kind are a prize in Gaza.
Around the World
• Israel’s consul general in Philadelphia warned Jerusalem that American Jews are too divided on the Iran deal to unite with Israel. According to Haaretz:

Many diplomats feel that the American Jewish community is caught in a vise between Israel’s fight against the agreement with Iran and the internal American political conflict over it.
• Anti-Semitic incidents in Britain rose 53 percent rise 2015. The JTA picked up on a report by UK Jewry’s watchdog organization, Community Security Trust.

• Over at the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News), Chloe Valdary takes a closer look at Palestinian hostility to ex-PA prime minister Salam Fayyad and why his nation-building agenda and reforms are unfortunately unwelcome in Ramallah.

Hezbollah2• Hezbollah’s presence in the Syrian Golan has no strategic value to Bashar Assad. The Lebanese terror group is taking advantage of the situation to expand its threat against Israel. Yoav Stern explains:
But what is the link between the protection of the Syrian regime against its enemies and the activity on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights? This is neither a major supply route towards Damascus, nor an area of strategic importance to the activity of the Syrian army and its allies. Nearly 50 kilometers separate al-Khader and the presidential palace in Damascus, and a short distance from the Syrian capital, determined opposition forces are at work.
It would make much more sense that Hezbollah fighters spill their blood in the Qalamun Mountains or the town of Zabadani, areas whose control are far more important to the survival of Assad, and not in the Golan Heights, a sparsely inhabited area that does not present a real threat to Damascus.
• Israel rejects Obama’s olive branch, for now

• Israeli officials who got op-ed soapboxes to weigh in on the Iran deal include ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni and consul general Ido Aharoni.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Amos Yadlin: How Israel and US can manage Iran deal aftermath
– Anshel Pfeffer: Iran-deal evangelists are biggest threat to its success
– Jay Bergman: Is Obama’s foreign policy similar to Cold War diplomacy?
– Dennis Ross: How to make Iran keep its word
– David Makovsky: Why Jonathan Pollard’s release means little

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Jonathan Pollard to Be Freed in November
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. It’s official: A federal parole board decided that Jonathan Pollard will be released from prison in November. Pollard, a former intelligence analyst, has served 30 years of a life sentence for passing classified information to Israel. Reuters writes:

The U.S. Justice Department helped smooth the way for the freeing of Pollard, who was already eligible for mandatory parole in November, by declining to raise objections that could have delayed his release, Pollard’s attorneys said.
Secretary of State John Kerry denied that the unanimous decision by the U.S. Parole Commission was in any way linked to the Iran nuclear agreement, which Netanyahu fiercely opposes.
Under the parole terms, Pollard will not be allowed to leave the US for five years. The White House announced it will not alter the terms. Obama administration officials insist that Pollard’s parole is unrelated to the Iran deal. Lawyers for the 60-year-old Pollard say they have assurances of their client having a job and a home in the New York area. More at YNet.

2. According to Arab media reports, an Israeli airstrike killed five Syrians in Quneitra. The IDF has neither confirmed nor denied the reports.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in turn, reported that three members of a Syrian militia group, which is reportedly supervised by the infamous Druze anti-Israeli figure Samir Kuntar, and two Hezbollah members were killed in an Israeli air strike in Syria’s Quneitra.

3. Israel slammed an Amnesty International report accusing the IDF of war crimes on “Black Friday,” during last year’s Gaza war. That was the day 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin was abducted and killed by Hamas.
The statement said that Amnesty also built a false narrative, claiming that four days of IDF military operations were in response to the killing and kidnapping of one IDF soldier, ignoring the fact that there was an ongoing conflict during which the IDF was trying to stop rocket fire and neutralize assault tunnels.
4. Corrosive Atmosphere on Campus Harming Young Jews: At what point will Jewish students opt out of the fight for Israel to avoid the high level of hostility they face?

5. Dr. Jonathan Spyer Makes Sense of the Middle East: At an HonestReporting event, Dr. Jonathan Spyer wove together the threads linking the Mideast’s multiple conflicts and their effects on Israeli security and diplomacy.

Israel and the Palestinians
• To jump start peace talks, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas may be invited to address European heads of state at the EU Council. Jerusalem Post coverage.

• Jordan jails 12 Hamas terrorists for planning attacks on Israel
• The US government may take its first formal role in a landmark lawsuit filed by victims of Palestinian terror against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Reuters explains there’s a lot of money at stake:
The U.S. government may weigh in on whether the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority must post a multimillion-dollar bond, which they have resisted doing, while the groups appeal a jury’s finding that they supported terrorist attacks in Israel.
The U.S. Department of Justice disclosed its potential interest in the case in a letter filed Monday in Manhattan federal court, six months after 10 American families won a $655 million verdict against the PLO and Palestinian Authority.
Federal Judge George Daniels already ruled this week that the PA and PLO don’t have to pay interest on the judgment.

• “Force majeure” in Israel. Don’t count on it
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Worth reading: What info collected by Israeli intelligence reveals about the Iran talks.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
• Adam Kredo reports that the US is going to lift sanctions on the $100 billion network of companies that make up Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s personal financial empire. The conglomerate — sometimes referred to as EIKO or Setad — controls vast holdings in Iranian finance, oil, telecommunications, real estate, and more.
An in-depth Reuters investigation in 2013 found that Setad empowers Ayatollah Khamenei because he personally controls it, giving Iran’s supreme leader financial independence beyond government purview.
• AP on the latest nuclear deal disclosures:
Iran wants its own officials to take soil samples at a site where it is alleged to have experimented with ways to detonate a nuclear weapon, and the U.N. agency probing the suspicions may agree provided it is allowed to monitor the process, two officials told The Associated Press Tuesday.
• This makes me feel better:

Barak Ravid
• When you speak up, you never know what kind of impact you’ll make. Case in point: At yesterday’s House of Representatives hearings on the Iran deal, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson read aloud a column by the Times of Israel’s chief editor, David Horovitz.
The congressman said that as lawmakers debate the accords over the coming weeks, he will expect John Kerry to respond to the concerns raised in Horovitz’s July 14 column, 16 reasons nuke deal is an Iranian victory and a Western catastrophe. You can watch Wilson on video (starting at 1:51:10).
• New York Times: In Iran, Jason Rezaian’s reporting strengths led to suspicion, then detention
Mideast Matters
• Pass the popcorn: Fearing an Islamic State assassination attempt, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah is reportedly holed up in a tunnel somewhere below Beirut. Only six guards are said to have access to him. The Jerusalem Post picked up on Arab media reports.

• Turkey’s focus on crushing Kurdish separatists complicates the fight against Islamic State. Has the US sold out the Kurds?
Around the World
• Denmark bans kosher and halal animal slaughter

• Couple conspired to kill Canadian Jewish children
• In the last five years, 20,000 families have moved to Israel from France. Around 7,200 came in 2014 alone.
• World inspection didn’t stop Syria’s chemical weapons use – why would Iran be different? Ely Karmon wonders.

• Plenty of spilled ink and broken quills over Jonathan Pollard.
– Raphael Ahren: Pollard parole won’t improve Israel-US ties
– Lawrence Korb: Pollard headlines are misleading
– Jerusalem Post: Pollard and Iran (staff-ed)
– Ronen Bergman: Pollard’s release shows Israelis just don’t America
– Seth Lipsky; Pollard’s disproportionate punishment
– Elie Barnavi: Pollard, a tale of many betrayals
– Michael Weiss: Why is the US releasing Pollard?

typing cat
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Elliott Abrams: Bensouda saves the ICC
– Norman Podhoretz: Israel’s choice: Conventional war now, or nuclear war later (via Google News)
– Amnon Reshef: Teaming up with Arab states for Israel’s security
– Roger Boyes: Feeble Obama is leaving the world in a spin
– David Singer: Possibility opens for UN to destroy Islamic State

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ICC Prosecutor Rejects Reopening Probe of Mavi Marmara
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Sanity prevails in The Hague: The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court rejected an order to reopen her probe into flotilla deaths during the 2010 Israeli intercept of the Mavi Marmara. Times of Israel coverage.

2. Meet George Deek, Israel’s highest ranking Christian Arab diplomat.
3. There was an interesting backstory on Thursday’s meeting between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators Silvan Shalom and Saeb Erekat in Amman. Does this Haaretz report represent a real shift in US and European diplomacy?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were aware of talks about the meeting and approved it. Senior officials in the Jordanian government and the European Union were also involved. The United States, however, was kept in the dark and Israel did not update the Americans before or after the meeting took place.
4. HR Radio: The Jewish Reporter Takes the Train: A BBC reporter touts his Jewish credentials to present a slanted documentary about the “racist” Jerusalem light rail. But as Yarden Frankl tells the Voice of Israel, the train brings people together every day. Click on the image below to hear the interview.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides humanitarian assistance and education for Palestinian refugees, is facing a money crunch. Palestinians are protesting cuts in services and the likelihood of UNRWA schools postponing classes — possibly for months. One idea being floated is to place the UNRWA under Arab League auspices.

Khaled Abu Toameh
• Jerusalem Post: Twitter removes offensive images of Israeli leaders clad in Nazi uniforms and keffiyehs.
• With ambassadors stepping down from their posts and no replacements announced, Israel will soon be without permanent envoys in the UN, Britain, Russia, and several other countries, according to Israeli media reports.
The report noted that four of positions in question are political appointments which need to be filled by Israel’s foreign minister, a position which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu currently fills. While some of the ambassadors have agreed to stay on until their replacement is appointed, Jewish organizations abroad have criticized the diplomatic disorder, saying that at a time when Israeli diplomacy is so critical, Israel ought to have a more orderly changing of the guard, Channel 2 reported.
Gidon Shaviv

• The Daily Beast picked up on the story of Dr. Mohammed Dajani, who takes Palestinian university students to Nazi concentration camps to teach the Holocaust.
“Palestinians should not compare the Nakba with the Holocaust,” he says. “While the Holocaust was the Final Solution for the Jewish people, the Nakba was not the Final Solution for the Palestinian people. It wouldn’t have been possible for Jews to sit with Nazis and reach an agreement. Within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is possible for Palestinians and Israelis to reach a comprehensive, just settlement that will accommodate both peoples. That’s why I think that teaching about the Holocaust is important. For Palestinians to realize that there is hope, and that in negotiation the path to peace lies.”

• Tears for jeers? The 14-year-old Palestinian girl whom Angela Merkel caused to cry wants to abolish Israel.

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, told lawmakers in Tehran the nuclear deal permits Iran to violate current embargoes on the shipment of arms and construction of missiles. Zarif also boasted that the accord “puts the Zionist Regime in an irrecoverable danger.” Adam Kredo got the scoop.

• CNN/ORC poll: Majority of Americans want Congress to reject Iran deal
• Sami Yusuf, a popular Iranian-British singer, who has been called “Islam’s biggest rock star,” now faces an Iranian blacklist. The Guardian reports tht Iranian television will no longer feature his work because he recently performed in Israel:
Iranian news websites reported earlier this week that state TV had banned Yusuf’s music from all its channels after he performed in Nazareth, even though the city has a predominantly Palestinian population and most of his audience was Palestinian. The performance took place during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Yusuf posted a statement on his web site refusing to back down.

• Reporter Hannah Allam quotes State Dept. spokesman John Kirby on the latest revelations that the Syrians snookered international monitors overseeing what was supposed to be the dismantling of Assad’s chemical weapons program. (See the Wall St. Journal via Google News.) Why do I get the feeling this is prelude for what’s to come with Iran’s nukes?
Hannah Allam
• Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer discussed the rhetoric of the Iran debate with USA Today.
“Look, we have a very serious disagreement with the administration on a very serious issue,” Ambassador Ron Dermer told Capital Download. “But what I don’t doubt is the sincerity of the president or his team when they say they believe this deal not only makes America safe but makes Israel safe. Where we disagree is the judgment of actually what this deal is going to do.”
• Need a scorecard to keep track of the visiting and (non-visiting) VIPs in the news?

– John Kerry to visit Mideast, but skip Israel.
– French PM Valls to visit region, but not Israel
– Mukherjee to become first Indian president to visit Israel (in place of PM Modi)
– Buzz Aldrin, 2nd man on the moon, to visit Israel
– Amb. Arthur Lenk: South Africans should visit Israel

• Food for thought:

How to Treat Jonathan Pollard in the Age of Edward Snowden
John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry

• Leon Wieseltier offers a damning take on the Iran deal in The Atlantic.
But what is the alternative? This is the question that is supposed to silence all objections. It is, for a start, a demagogic question. This agreement was designed to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. If it does not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons—and it seems uncontroversial to suggest that it does not guarantee such an outcome—then it does not solve the problem that it was designed to solve. And if it does not solve the problem that it was designed to solve, then it is itself not an alternative, is it?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Jennifer Rubin: Blaming failure of a rotten deal on Israel?!
– Max Boot: What the Syrian weapons charade says about the Iran deal
– Bret Stephens: The Syria sham and the Iran deal (via Google News)
– Leon Hadar: Israel’s long-term interests – Saudi Arabia or Iran?
– Tony Badran: Obama’s equilibrium fantasy
– Danny Rubinstein: Abbas has come to the end of the road
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel’s Arabs don’t have to be Zionists to be loyal

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Ed Yourdon with modifications by HonestReporting

Palestinians Clash With Police on Temple Mount
Israel Daily News Stream1 day ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Police clashed with Palestinians on the Temple Mount yesterday, during the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av. The Jerusalem Post posted footage of Palestinians barricaded in the Al-Aqsa Mosque throwing rocks and firecrackers at police.

The rioting took place as tens of thousands of Jews fasted and made a pilgrimage to the Western Wall amid oppressive heat to mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temples that once sat atop the contested holy site.
According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, officers entered the compound shortly after 7:30 a.m., after receiving intelligence that a large group of masked Palestinian youths barricaded themselves overnight in al-Aksa Mosque to attack Jewish visitors on Sunday morning.
See below for more on the clashes.

2. Latest talk coming out of Washington is that the Obama administration will not object to Jonathan Pollard’s release in November — in hopes of smoothing ties rocky ties with Israel. Pollard, who has been imprisoned for 30 years for spying for Israel, is next eligible for parole this coming November.
The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) and New York Times have more on the Pollard story. AP’s Matt Lee tweets that it’s not as dramatic as you’d think . . .
3. International monitors responsible for removing Syria’s chemical weapons told the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) that Assad cheated and hasn’t given up everything he was supposed to. This snippet sounds like a prelude to Iran.
Because the regime was responsible for providing security, it had an effective veto over inspectors’ movements. The team decided it couldn’t afford to antagonize its hosts, explains one of the inspectors, or it “would lose all access to all sites.” And the inspectors decided they couldn’t visit some sites in contested areas, fearing rebels would attack them.
Under the terms of their deployment, the inspectors had access only to sites that the Assad regime had declared were part of its chemical-weapons program. The U.S. and other powers had the right to demand access to undeclared sites if they had evidence they were part of the chemical-weapons program. But that right was never exercised, in part, inspectors and Western officials say, because their governments didn’t want a standoff with the regime.
chemical weapons

Israel and the Palestinians
• The firecrackers from yesterday’s Temple Mount clash were obtained en masse from an eastern Jerusalem toy store that police raided. According to YNet:

Investigators said that the gunpowder found inside the fireworks was used in the past as an explosive in makeshift pipe bombs.
• In an interview on Israeli radio, Arab MK Masud Ganaim denied the Temple Mount ever held a Jewish temple:

When asked if a Jewish temple ever existed at the site, Ganaim said, “No, no.”
“As a history teacher I know this… Perhaps it is known [that there was a temple somewhere], but not there, not there. You are welcome to go look for the Temple in a different place, at a different time,” Ganaim said.
The Independent• It’s been almost 15 years since Ariel Sharon’s controversial visit to the Temple Mount, which is ancient history in blog years. It still gets my goat that papers like The Independent today still believe Sharon’s visit sparked the second intifada.

In 2000, a visit by then Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in the midst of collapsing peace talks caused what became known as the “Second Intifada” where thousands of Palestinians died in an uprising.
It’s already been confirmed by Suha Arafat and former PA cabinet minister Imad Faluji that Yasser Arafat planned the second intifada well before Sharon’s Sept. 28, 2000 walkabout.

• A wanted Palestinian died trying to escape an IDF arrest raid in the Kalandiya refugee camp last night. Mohammed Abu Latifa, 19, fell from a rooftop while trying to jump across to another roof. Palestinians claim Latifa was simply shot dead and did not fall. More at the Jerusalem Post and Reuters.
• The Times of Israel reports that chief negotiators Silvan Shalom and Saeb Erekat held low-key talks in Amman to calm Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
• Summertime means Hamas summer camps are open. AFP reports that 25,000 people are getting two weeks of training in “military techniques,” firing a rifle, and first aid. This year, the camps are open to anyone between the ages of 15-60. AFP coverage.
• The PA has denied Israeli media reports that Mahmoud Abbas intends to resign in the next two months “due to fatigue.”
• Google removed a Hamas app from its Android store
• On the 10th anniversary of the Gaza disengagement, Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor addressed the UN Security Council on what has changed and the lessons learned. Take your pick of the transcript or video.
• Two suspects are expected to be indicted on Wednesday for the arson attack in June on the Church of Loaves and Fishes in Tabgha, by Lake Kinneret. Details at Haaretz.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Israeli officials are rejecting US “intimidation” after several administration officials gave a highly dubious anonymous “briefing” to Haaretz.

• CNN: John Kerry said Israel will be blamed if Capitol Hill lawmakers vote down the Iran deal. The Secretary of State was speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations event in New York. If it interests you, the CFR posted the full hour-long video of Kerry’s appearance.
• Iran vows to buy weapons anytime, anywhere
• Owen Alterman of The Hill draws attention to one overlooked point in the Iranian deal — paragraph 36. It’s an “exit ramp” that could be attractive for a future US president or the mullahs:
Iran might need to wait a little longer—an extra 30 working days—to check a box buried in Annex IV. But, after that, under Paragraph 36, Iran can claim that any of the P5+1 is “not meeting its commitments” under the agreement. That triggers a 35-day set of meetings. Once that clock runs, Iran can claim the issue “has not been resolved to [its] satisfaction” and that it “deems” that the issue “constitutes significant non-performance.” Iran can then “cease performing its commitments under this JCPOA in whole or in part.” The agreement is done.
Once Iran has received its $150 billion and locked in long-term business contracts with the West, this quick exit could be an attractive option.
• Kerry has ‘intense exchange’ with American Jewish leaders over Iran deal.

• Congressmen want a more full accounting of the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, but the Obama administration says full disclosure isn’t critical to verify future commitments. The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) takes a closer look at the issue.
• There was some Israeli media buzz over a silver Mercedes with Saudi license plates spotted in Jaffa near the town’s historic clock tower.
Mideast Matters
• Hezbollah 3.0: How Israel’s No. 1 enemy is preparing for the next Lebanon war

• In his first public address in about a year, Syrian President Bashar Assad admitted his army is too short on manpower to be able to control the entire country.
“Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced to give up areas to move those forces to the areas that we want to hold onto.”
• Just as American Jews fought against Nixon administration’s policy of detente 40 years ago, American Jews can and must stand up against the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Natan Sharansky makes a compelling argument.

Today, an American president has once again sought to achieve stability by removing sanctions against a brutal dictatorship without demanding that the latter change its behavior. And once again, a group of outspoken Jews — no longer a small group of dissidents in Moscow but leaders of the state of Israel, from the governing coalition and the opposition alike — are sounding an alarm.
Of course, we are reluctant to criticize our ally and to so vigorously oppose an agreement that purports to promote peace. But we know that we are again at a historic crossroads, and that the United States can either appease a criminal regime — one that supports global terror, relentlessly threatens to eliminate Israel and executes more political prisoners than any other per capita — or stand firm in demanding change in its behavior.
Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and US President Richard Nixon, in 1973.

• Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, tweeted a provocative image of President Barack Obama about to shoot himself in the head. But what’s bothering Washington Post columnist Colbert King?
• The Columbus Dispatch‘s Nate Beeler got my head space on the side deals Iran cut with the IAEA.
Nate Beeler
• Lebanese writer Hussain Abdul-Hussain describes what a better deal might have looked like. One particular item caught my eye:
As a prerequisite for Iran maintaining a nuclear program, Tehran should recognize all other member states at the UN, including Israel. This does not mean that Tehran should befriend Tel Aviv or exchange embassies, but while antagonism against the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is one thing, promising to wipe Israel out is another.
• Plenty more commentary on the Iran deal . . .

– Eyal Zisser: Europe’s misplaced morality
– James Woolsey: Deal surrenders to world’s leading terror sponsor
– Jeff Jacoby: Iran can buy a lot of terror with $100 billion
– Mordechai Kedar: How come America is still “The Great Satan” in Iran?
– Melanie Phillips: Arming all sides for nuclear war
– John Bolton: The consequences of a bad deal with Iran

• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .
– Nadav Shragai: IS and PLO flags on the Temple Mount
– Irwin Stelzer: This EU labelling is bad for Israelis and Palestinians
– Reuven Berko: The false tale of ‘apartheid’
– Vijeta Uniyal: Is India dumping the Palestinian cause?

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US Confirms Iran Side Deal With IAEA
Israel Daily News Stream5 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
Susan Rice

1. US National Security Adviser Susan Rice confirmed that Iran a cut a side deal with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Besides agreeing to discuss the past military dimensions of its nuclear program, Iran struck a deal with the IAEA on inspections at the Parchin military base, one of the most sensitive sites discussed in the U.S.-led international talks.
2. EU officials moved quickly to distance themselves from an influential European think tank report recommending sanctions against Israeli financial institutions with ties to the West Bank. More at Globes and YNet. The latter writes:

“We have no intention of imposing restrictions on Israeli banks that do business in the settlements. This entire issue is complete nonsense. This issue has never been considered,” the diplomat said . . .
The release of the report caused panic in the stock market and led to a drop in Israeli banks’ stocks.

3. Iran has executed nearly 700 people, according to an Amnesty International report picked up by the BBC.
This is equivalent to executing more than three people per day.
4. When Anonymous Washington Sources Sling Mud At Israel:US officials discredit Israeli concerns behind Haaretz’s shield of anonymity.

Israel and the Palestinians
• AFP: Palestinians laid the first brick for Gaza reconstruction that Hamas failed to divert to the tunnels.

Until now the only repairs have been to homes which were partially damaged, while 18,000 totally destroyed houses remain in ruins.
• Reporter Kevin Connolly of the BBC takes a closer look at the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Nuclear experts talking to the New York Times dispute White House assertions that the deal’s inspection regime is airtight.

“If it is on a small scale, they may be able to clear it out in 24 days,” Mr. Albright said in a telephone interview. “They are practiced at cheating. You can’t count on them to make a mistake.”
• When Arab leaders agree with Israel, pay attention. I’m glad the Daily Telegraph did.

Daily Telegraph
• The Washington Post filed a UN petition seeking the immediate release of its Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian. A dual US-Iranian citizen, Rezaian was arrested a year ago on charges of espionage. His trial is being held behind closed doors, and after a year of incarceration in the notorious Evian prison, there are fears for Rezaian’s health.
Mideast Matters
• Who’d have thought we’d see a headline like this?

• Iranian officers interrogated Yemeni government loyalists in Houthi detention, according to Asharq al-Awsat.
• In the best response to the Iran deal I’ve yet seen, Michael Oren clearly articulates A) how the agreement gives Iran two pathways to a nuclear bomb, B) what a realistic alternative deal would look like, and C) that war isn’t inevitable.

peace• According to Elliott Abrams, the EU’s new effort to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks is going to fail.
Moreover, there is no reason whatsoever to think that the two parties are any closer together on basic issues such as refugees and Jerusalem. Some things have changed in the last few years, of course, but all of them will make an agreement even harder to reach. The growth of terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda makes an Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank even more dangerous to Israel and Jordan- and to the Palestinians. Abbas’s advanced age makes it ever less likely that he will take a leap and sign any agreement, and as the years pass since the last Palestinian elections (Abbas was elected to a four year term in 2005) he has less and less legitimacy to make such decisions.
So the European decision to turn its efforts to insisting on a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement are foolish and will lead nowhere. With one exception, perhaps: it seems likely that they will blame Israel for their failure, so perhaps the effort will lead to more criticism of Israel from EU governments.
• Ari Briggs and Nasser Nawaja square off over plans to demolish an illegal Palestinian encampment near the West Bank community of Susiya.

• Short of a conspiracy theory? You can always blame the Jews.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Ari Shavit: The Iran deal: From thriller to horror story
– Emmanuel Navon: Iran deal: Israel’s leaders have it all wrong
– Steven Rosen: Obama gave Europe control of sanctions’ ‘snap back’ mechanism
– William Galston: US needs a two-track strategy on Iran (via Google News)
– Wall St. Journal: The Iranian inspections mirage (staff-ed, via Google News)
– Stephen Bryen: The Iran deal will help Russia have a stealth air force

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EU To Target Israeli Banks Over Settlements?
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. The EU’s next steps against Israeli settlements could go beyond labeling imports. Reuters reports that the European Council of Foreign Relations, a think thank influential among EU policymakers, suggests targeting Israeli financial institutions over their activities in the West Bank:

But the new proposals would go much deeper and further, reaching into banking, loans and mortgages, qualifications earned in settlement institutions and the tax-exempt status of European charities that deal with Israeli settlements.
The most significant proposal is on banking, where large Israeli institutions have daily dealings with major European banks, while also providing loans and financing to Israeli businesses and individuals based in the settlements . . .
Under European Commission guidelines from 2013, EU- and member-state-funded lending cannot be provided to Israeli entities operating in the occupied territories.
But a Jerusalem Post followup says the council’s recommendations don’t worry Israeli officials.

2. In response to a Hamas crackdown on radical Salafists, the Salafists are threatening to fire rockets at Israel. Hamas has been in a power struggle with the Salafists parallel to the rising presence of Islamic State in the neighboring Sinai. More at AFP.
3. French prosecutors recommend closing the file on their investigation of Yasser Arafat’s death. Magistrates will make the final decision, hopefully closing the chapter on allegations that the PLO leader was poisoned. More at Reuters.
4. BBC Panorama Goes Off the Rails: A Jerusalem documentary is derailed by a skewed selection of sources and clumsy context.
5. HR Radio: Donald Trump and an Apartheid Wall: Sparked by Donald Trump, the Washington Post misrepresents the Jewish state’s security barrier. Listen to Yarden Frankl’s interview on the Voice of Israel by clicking on the image below.
6. If you’re in the New York area today, don’t miss the Stop Iran Rally in Times Square. It’s from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. There’s an impressive range of speakers lined up. Find out more and share on Facebook and Twitter.

Israel and the Palestinians
• For the first time in a year, the Israeli government is set to grant permits to build housing units in settlements. According to Haaretz, the bulk of the 906 permits to be granted will for housing in Givat Zeev, Beit El, and Maale Adumim.

• The International Criminal Court may not reopen the Mavi Marmara case. So said chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to the Times of Israel.
• Representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiite Amal powowed in Lebanon, resolving to work together to fight Israel.
• Israel called on EU to stop funding organizations delegitimizing the Jewish state. The European Jewish Press reports:
Otherwise, the minister said, Israel may mull legislation that will directly criminalize funding of anti-Israel groups.
• The PA released Palestinian detainee Islam Hamed two years after he completed his prison term. Maan News reports that Hamed, who also has Brazilian citizenship, had launched a hunger strike in protest. Imagine the outrage if Israel did that.

He was charged in September 2010 with opposing the PA and possessing an unlicensed gun after he reportedly opened fire on a car carrying Israeli settlers.
Palestinian security services refused to release Hamed at the end of his three-year term, claiming that keeping him inside the prison was the only way to protect him from Israeli security forces.
• Visiting a Hamas terror tunnel, CNN‘s Oren Liebermann is astounded by how well it was constructed.

• Haaretz on the latest BDS shenanigans: Turns out that Britain’s National Union of Students, which supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, agreed to a sponsorship deal with Coca Cola for an upcoming NUS awards ceremony. (Coke’s Israeli subsidiary has factories in the West Bank.) The NUS censured its own president. Is SodaStream an NUS option now?
• In a debunked Hamas video, the terror group claims it dug a tunnel all the way to the Temple Mount undermining the Al-Aqsa mosque.
But according to Israel’s Channel 10, the tunnel featured in the report is fake and was a Hamas propaganda stunt to raise Palestinian morale and to mock Israel.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• I’m sure the White House has a perfectly good explanation for Ayatollah Khamenei’s latest rant. He posted this video on his own YouTube channel, then tweeted his own fresh quote.

• The Pew Research Center found that more Americans disapprove of the Iran deal than approve of it.

• Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi visited Israel, the first head of state to do so since the Iran deal.
Around the World
• Has Islamic State already reached Russian soil?

• The US slapped sanctions on three senior Hezbollah military leaders for their coordinating and participating in Syria’s civil war. A Lebanese businessman accused of procuring and shipping weapons to Hezbollah forces in Syria was also sanctioned. More on the story at Reuters.
atom• Worth reading: Even if the Iran accord is a done deal and Israel’s protests fall on deaf ears, Bibi’s still being vocal in his opposition. Herb Keinon explains why the Prime Minister insists on “playing tuba in a string quartet.”

But it would be a mistake, diplomatic officials in Jerusalem explain, to see Netanyahu’s and Israel’s protestations as solely aimed at the unrealistic goal of bringing the accord to a full halt . . .
Jerusalem wants to stress that Israel has serious problems with certain elements of the deal, in the hope that maybe those problems can be fixed – if not through renegotiating the whole agreement, then perhaps through congressional legislation to plug specific holes, similar to legislation Congress recently enacted to battle BDS efforts.
• Iran inspections in 24 days? Not even close! (click via Google News)

Iran can easily stretch out the inspection of suspect nuclear sites for three months or more.
• I liked the straightforward Q&A format of Israeli ambassador Rafael Barak’s Toronto Star op-ed laying out the opposition to the Iran deal.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Raphael Ahren: Khamenei aims to ensure accords won’t lead to regime change
– Norman Bailey: Iran deal: The closer you look, the worse it gets

Featured image: CC BY-NC flickr/Israel Defense Forces with additions by HonestReporting; flag via Pixabay/dmnkltnr; atom CC BY-SA Deviant Art/deejaywill;

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Jul 2015, 11:37 am

EU Brainstorms Next Mideast Peace Moves
Israel Daily News Stream22 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Over Israeli objections, a controversial Hamas-linked organization got UN accreditation as a recognized non-governmental organization. UN Watch unpacked the incitement of the UK-based Palestine Return Center in posts one and two. And Sarah Marusek and David Miller further lay out The Case Against the PRC.

Alberto Nisman
2. The Iranian accord will bury any chance of getting justice for the 85 people killed in the AMIA bombing and Alberto Nisman’s assassination. Damian Pachter, the Israeli-Argentinian journalist who broke the story of Nisman’s assassination, argues why:
Iran’s official removal from “the axis of evil” places a question mark on the future of the moribund investigation into the bombing. The persistent demand for justice seems farther than ever, not only because the attorney charged with the AMIA case is dead, but because the international community has recognized the Ayatollahs’ regime as a partner.
Meanwhile, ex-president Carlos Menem and 13 other defendants were barred from leaving the country. Menem may have had clandestine ties with Iran, and he’s due in court in August to face charges he covered up info about the bombing.

And if you want to sink your teeth into something meatier, see The New Yorker‘s look at the death of Argentinian prosecutor Alberto Nisman and Iran’s connections to the AMIA attack.
3. Feeling heady about the Iran deal, EU diplomats brainstormed in Brussels on push Israeli-Palestinian peace talks ahead. AFP talks about an “international support group,” while YNet described the group’s statement slamming settlements, the security barrier, home demolitions, and more before describing what else Europe has in store. Forget the toothless denunciations — this is what keep Israeli policymakers up at night:
The EU foreign ministers’ plan envisages obtaining formal approval for the so-called support group at the UN General Assembly in New York in September, then a UN Security Council resolution to set parameters for a peace deal.
4. The Iranian Deal and Doublespeak: In a special guest post, Cherryl Smith, PhD, examines the use and abuse of language surrounding the Iran deal.

5. While millions of Iranians chanted “death to Israel” a few days ago, the BBC said Iran no longer poses a threat to the Jewish state. Please sign HonestReporting’s petition demanding the BBC tell the truth about Iranian incitement against Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians
• The Knesset stiffened punishments imposed on Palestinian stone-throwers. YNet coverage.

The amendment also splits the offense of stone-throwing to two different levels of severity. On the first level, stone-throwers could receive up to 10 years in prison without the prosecution having to prove intention to cause harm. On the second level, in cases where the prosecution can prove an intention to cause harm, stone-throwers could receive up to 20 years in prison.
• Tehran’s deeply offended by the Saudi-Hamas rapprochement. The Times of Israel takes a closer look at Khaled Mashaal’s meeting with King Salman.

• Who are the ICC judges who ruled against Israel on the ‘Mavi Marmara’?
• Amid Fatah-Hamas tax dispute, Gaza power plant shuts down. The strip’s getting eight hours of electricity.
norway-01• Israel’s ambassador in Oslo, Raphael Schultz, is still tussling with the Norwegian media’s handling of the Gaza war. The ambassador recently wrote an open letter denouncing the one-sided coverage. I couldn’t find the full letter online, but the unfortunate response Ambassador Schultz got confirms his point. The Local writes:
Arne Jensen, the Secretary General of Norwegian Editors’ Association denied that the media had admitted to bias last year, saying that they had only recognised that the public should have been given more context and background.
“Israel can not expect that there be equal coverage, because the conflict is not equal,” he told ABC Nyheter. “By that I mean that one party in this conflict is superior to the other.”
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Iran’s defense chief forbids international inspections of military sites

• US Secretary of State John Kerry told Al Arabiya he’s “disturbed” by Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments denouncing any change in relations with the “arrogant US.”
• While Indian diplomats praised the nuclear deal, the country’s defense establishment and business community are very, very concerned, reports Vijeta Uniyal.
Around the World
• A quick-thinking Israeli businessman in Colombia outwitted his would-be kidnappers. Here’s how.

• Aw shucks . . .
Saudi-based think tank ranks Hebrew U among world’s best
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Mudar Zahran: Will Israel save the world a third time?
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Iran deal empowers enemies of peace
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Saudi Arabia and Israel are in the same predicament
– George Igler: Europe’s chief negotiator sympathized with Iran
– David Rothkopf: Obama is wrong–the Iran deal is transformational
– Bret Stephens: The Iran deal’s collapsing rationale (via Google News)

• Last, but not least: Is Turkey actively supporting Egypt’s Islamist insurgency against the Sisi regime?

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