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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 Sun 01 Mar 2015, 11:01 pm

Netanyahu Leaves For Washington
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. An Egyptian court designated Hamas a terror organization. If I understand YNet correctly, yesterday’s ruling was a wider designation making no distinction between the terror group’s military and political “wings.”

The decision was reached for Hamas role in terror attacks on Egyptian soil. While the January decision against> Hamas targeted only the armed wing, Saturday’s broader ruling could have greater consequences for the already strained relations between Cairo and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip along Egypt’s border.
Already, Hamas fears Egypt will launch military strikes on Gaza like in Libya, according to Yoni Ben Menachem (Hebrew).

Hamas also has reported on Egyptian aircraft flying above the border and photographing areas in Rafiah and Khan Yunis, possibly to prepare targets.
2. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu left for Washington, where Congress, communication, and controversy, are the key words for this week. The Washington Post previews what’s in store, and CNN asks 6 questions about Bibi’s visit. See below for lots of commentary.

US Capitol
3. Israel and the PA agreed on a deal to (hopefully) resolve the $882 million Palestinian electricity debt. And the new Palestinian city, Rawabi, was hooked up for water too.
The PA agreed to allocate NIS 300 million in tax funds collected by Israel on its behalf to the IEC to cover the last few months’ debt to the electric company, and the IEC agreed to stop power cuts to Nablus and Jenin.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Kerry asks Abbas to bar anti-Israel measures in Fatah conference (until after Israel’s elections).

• I’m impressed that AFP debunked Palestinian dam claims — and its own coverage.
But an examination of the facts on the Israeli side tells another story, shattering a long-held Palestinian myth . . .
 
AFP reported these allegations on Sunday February 22, in the form of a video and photos showing the flooding in the village of Al-Mughraqa in central Gaza.
 
The script of the video and the photo captions said Israel had opened the sluice gates of a dam. And the video included interviews with residents openly accusing the Jewish state.
 
But no such dam exists in Israel that could control the flow of water into Gaza, according to a team of AFP reporters on the ground as well as interviews with Israeli and international experts.
See also AFP’s followup video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4mT9VhjMkk
The Toronto-based Queers Against Israeli Apartheid disbanded.

“It’s quite obvious that they would lose momentum,” Benlolo said.” With extremist massacres in Syria, ISIS going around cutting people’s heads off, Iran executing gays … why would anybody be going after Israel with its pride parades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem?”
• Islamic Jihad took BBC reporter Quentin Sommerville on a tour of one its tunnels.

• If you call George Galloway an anti-Semite on Twitter, you’ll get a letter from his lawyers threatening legal action and demanding £5,000. I liked Tim Marshall‘s take.
• AP looks at the BDS push on US campuses.
• Globe & Mail public editor: Editors should have disclosed that dance critic Martha Schabas (related?) has “previously stated views” on Israel (for example this) in her critical review of an Israeli dance troupe.
In this case, I believe the writer should temper her comments now that she works for The Globe, and she and her editors should be aware of potential conflicts down the road.
Martha Schabas

• Gaza smuggling tunnel collapses, killing a senior Egyptian military officer inspecting it. See Associated Press coverage.
• The European Parliament addressed anti-Semitism for the very first time.
• Ambassador Ron Prosor discussed Israel’s view on the latest Mideast developments in a UN speech (video/transcript)
Commentary/Analysis
• The New York Times is entitled to its views on the Netanyahu speech, as are the authors and cartoonist here. But I can’t ignore the imbalance of anti-speech viewpoints. What should I conclude?

Isaac Herzog: Dividing the US on Israel
Roger Cohen: Did Israel put money ahead of justice?
Patrick Chappatte: Mr. Netanyahu goes to Washington
Also piling on Israel was NYT columnist is Nick Kristof, who continues his visit. Today, Kristof abuses the Bedouin issue as a means of portraying a “dark side” of Israel that he claims is represented by Bibi.

• Why is the left silent on anti-Semitism, wonders Nick Dyrenfurth.
• Montreal hateful acts call for a show of solidarity
• Lots of broken quills and spilled ink on the Israel-US-Iran triangle and Bibi’s speech on Tuesday. All I can do is list ‘em.
- Charles Krauthammer: The fatal flaw in the Iran deal
- David Brooks: Converting the ayatollahs
- Alex Fishman: Nuclear deal will be decided by Khamenei
- Dore Gold: The world moves towards a bad deal
- Yossi Kuperwasser: The struggle over the Iranian nuclear program
- Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs: Why is Obama siding with supporters of terror?
- David Horovitz Bibi so wrong in confronting Obama, so right on Iran
- Boaz Bismuth: An impossible reality for us
- Jeff Jacoby: Spat over speech won’t change US-Israel relations
- Gerald Seib: Rift’s over the deal, not the speech (Wall St. Journal via Google News)
- William Booth: The most important speech of Netanyahu’s life

• For more critical takes on the speech, see Robert Kagan, Jeffrey Goldberg (one and two), and Mitch Potter.
See also staff-eds in the Los Angeles Times (Congress should hear out Netanyahu), Washington Post (Going nuclear over Iran) and Boston Globe (Netanyahu hurts Israel by wading into US politics).
• Last but not least, see cartoons by the Augusta Chronicle‘s Rick McKee, the Charlotte Observer‘s Kevin Siers, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune‘s Steve Sack, and syndicated cartoonist Steve Kelley.
Steve Kelley
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Tobin (If European Jews must live in fear, why is Netanyahu wrong?), Michael Totten (ISIS’ next target), and Brendan O’Neill (MI5 didn’t make Jihadi John; he made himself).
Image: CC BY-NC flickr/Russell Davies; US Capitol CC BY flickr/Phil Roeder
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Feb 2015, 12:10 am

4911.1596 in reply to 4911.1595 
Jihadi John Unmasked
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
IDNS-MenOnBench-770x400
Today’s Top Stories
1. Fleeing ISIS, the first Iraqi Christian refugee reached Israel for medical treatment. Maryam’s an 18-month-old Chaldean born with a hole in her heart.
Miles said he expects to see more Iraqi Christians receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals. He has already received requests from other families.
 
And other minorities may follow suit.
 
“Israel is more and more coming to be seen as the last refuge of sanity in the region, particularly by other embattled minorities,” said Miles.
Jihadi John
Mohammed Emwazi a.k.a. Jihadi John
2. “Jihadi John,” the masked man who beheaded hostages in several ISIS videos, has finally been identified. Everybody’s citing the Washington Post for the scoop.
But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.
3. Pass the popcorn: The Syria-Hezbollah offensive against Al-Qaida-affiliated goons in the Syrian Golan is gaining nothing.
A couple of thousand Syrian army soldiers along with a few hundred Hezbollah fighters indeed did take control of individual villages and several outposts, yet the Syrian opposition — both secular factions and members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front — also managed to capture several villages and outposts.
 
The situation in the Syrian Golan Heights, in essence, has not changed at all following the operation.
4. More Irish Times Hate: ‘Zionism and Anti-Semitism Overlap’ Columnist Eamonn McCann demonstrates his deep and utterly pathological hatred of Israel and Zionism.
Israel and the Palestinians
• After Operation Protective Edge, Mahmoud Abbas rejected a Western push to restore PA rule over Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reports. What was he thinking?
Western governments sought to advance a United Nations Security Council resolution that would confer upon the Ramallah administration a mandate to rule Gaza, which is currently in the hands of Abbas’ arch rival, Hamas.
 
After they were presented with a draft of the resolution, the Palestinian Authority rejected the document out of hand.
• PLO: We don’t have the money to pay out the $655 million verdict.
• Al Jazeera retracted its flood libel coverage and replaced the entire article with an impressive editor’s note.
• YNet reporter Elior Levy followed a literal mob of PA boycott-enforcers visiting Ramallah shops to make sure banned Israeli products were removed from the shelves.
• Israel and Jordan signed a water-sharing deal:
According to Thursday’s agreement, Jordan and Israel will share the potable water produced by a future desalination plant in Aqaba, from which salty brines will be piped to the Dead Sea. In return for its portion of the desalinated water in the South, Israel will be doubling its sales of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) water to Jordan on the countries’ northern border.
Dead Sea
Dead Sea
• The Guardian and Al-Jazeera dish out the latest “accusations” against the Mossad, based on leaked South African intelligence cables. First, Al Jazeera dishes out that the Mossad threatened to launch cyber attacks on South Africa if the government didn’t crack down on BDS activity.
And The Guardian? Israel considered drying up the Nile River and even developed a plant capable of absorbing large amounts of water. At least The Guardian had the sensibility to add this disclaimer that applies to the entire collection of cables:
The reality is often bureaucratic and banal, the information unreliable, uncheckable or available in open sources and their judgments frequently politicised and self-serving. All of those elements can be found throughout the spy cables leaked to al-Jazeera and the Guardian.
In other words, there’s no way to verify if these cables reflect reality. So what the heck are we supposed to do with these so-called disclosures other than dutifully retweet them and feign interest?
On a related note, Emanuele Ottolenghi unpacks the thin evidence The Guardian presents in its “dodgy dossier on Iran’s bomb project.”
• Iran’s Press TV asked people to tweet questions to George Galloway under the hashtag, #AskGalloway. Oh, did he get an earful.
Michael C Moynihan
Around the World
• German Jewish leader: Don’t wear yarmulkes in certain areas.
“The question is whether it makes sense to be recognizable as Jews in certain areas . . . by wearing a yarmulka, or whether it’s better to wear a different head covering. This is indeed a development that I didn’t see five years ago and that is a little frightening.”
• UN experts say Yemen’s ousted president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, amassed a personal ill-gotten fortune of $30-$62 billion during his three decades in power. More at the BBC.
• ISIS holds 150 Assyrian Christians hostage.
• British MPs want to scale down the publicly-funded BBC. A House of Commons select committee issued a report on the Beeb’s future, and it proposes some drastic changes. We’re talking about reforming and decriminalizing the license fee system to follow Germany’s model, greater transparency in the way the Beeb spends public money, abolishing the BBC Trust, and more. See coverage at The Guardian and Daily Mail.
“At best [the BBC Trust] appeared a critical friend, but to many it has seemed to be an apologist for the BBC . . . too protective of the BBC as an institution, rather than acting as an effective and objective regulator.”
• French police arrested three Al Jazeera journalists for illegally flying a drone over Paris.
Commentary/Analysis
atom• Why is Israel fighting Obama’s Iran deal? Michael Crowley says it comes down to one word: Sunset.
One person who talks regularly with members of Congress about Iran says that until recently, many were unaware a nuclear deal would have any sunset clause at all.
 
But no one close to the talks has ever denied that a comprehensive agreement which extends a temporary deal now in effect will also be of finite duration . . .
 
Iran is “a system permeated by ideology, so Khamenei dying tomorrow is not likely to change the system dramatically.”
• Blame the Israel for Palestinian terror, are you, Nicholas Kristof? In the middle of a New York Times column smearing settlers, he writes:
The violence, of course, cuts both ways, and some Israeli settlers have been murdered by Palestinians. I just as easily could have talked to settler children traumatized by Palestinian violence. But that’s the point: As long as Israel maintains these settlements, illegal in the eyes of most of the world, both sides will suffer.
• The Wall St. Journal‘s Bret Stephens discusses the Iranian nuclear talks. Is the US caving in to Tehran?
• Eli Lake and Josh Rogin tag-teamed on a Los Angeles Times op-ed on President Obama lowering the bar on an Iranian nuclear deal.
• A Daily Telegraph staff-ed doesn’t like the idea of a nuclear deal with Iran coming at any price.
Fashionable Western opinion might revolt against the idea, but we should not discount the possibility that Mr Netanyahu might have a point this time. If the West lifts sanctions and allows Iran’s leaders to fill their coffers with oil revenues, in return for graciously agreeing to defer their ambition to be a nuclear threshold state until somewhere between 2025 and 2030, then that would not be good enough. The whole point of this immense diplomatic effort was to remove the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran for the foreseeable future. Simply deferring that possibility by a decade or so – and then leaving the future leaders of the West to deal with the consequences – would be cowardly and unconscionable.
• Worth reading: Julius Kairey, a junior at Cornell University, examines The 4 Causes of Anti-Israelism.
• Over at i24 News, Emmanuel Navon and Yakub Halabi duke out the likelihood of the Palestinian Authority financially collapsing.
• I don’t think apologists for Palestinian terror are going to like this Jimmy Margulies cartoon.
Jimmy Margulies
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Tobin (Why the fake story about the Mossad contradicting Netanyahu?), Professor Abraham Ben-Zvi (More than just centrifuges), Robert Einhorn (Deterring an Iranian nuclear breakout), and Alex Ryvchin (Can the Jews of Europe be saved?).
 
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Feb 2015, 7:21 pm

Hamas Trains Terrorists In Turkey
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas isn’t only using Turkey as a political base. The terror group now doing military training on Turkish soil too. YNet reports:

The students undergo initial screening in Jordan and Turkey; and since Jordan does not allow Hamas activists to undergo military training on its soil, the recruits are sent to the headquarters in Istanbul, where they receive security clearances and are sent for military training just outside the city – under the watchful eye of Turkish intelligence officials.
 
The recruits, hundreds every year, are trained in the use of light weapons, bomb-making and covert operations, and are then sent for additional training in Syria. From there, they go the West Bank to engage in terror activities and establish clandestine terror cells.
Can’t Turkey get kicked out of NATO for this?

2. The Saudis are willing to allow Israel to overfly the kingdom to strike Iran. But, according to Israeli media reports, there’s a catch.
Cooperation with Saudi Arabia would not come free, however. According to the report, the Saudi officials said they would need to see progress between Israelis and Palestinians before having enough legitimacy to allow Israel to use their air space.
Salil Shetty
Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty

3. An Amnesty International report called on the world to put the brakes on war crimes and mass atrocities by halting arms shipments to bad guys such as Israel. The Jerusalem Post writes:
The report gave the impression that Israel’s actions were akin to the other atrocities that occurred in the Middle East, by listing it with countries such as Syria and Iraq.
 
Amnesty mentioned briefly that Hamas had committed war crimes for indiscriminately firing rockets at Israel. But in its five page section on Israel and the territories it rarely referenced the actions of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. It focused almost exclusively on Israeli actions particularly during the conflict with Hamas in the summer of 2014.
And the New York Times gave Amnesty’s top dog, Salil Shetty, op-ed space to reiterate the message, and urge the permanent members of the UN Security Council to give up their veto power in cases of war crimes and atrocities.

Weapons have been allowed to flood into countries where they are used for grave abuses by states and armed groups with huge arms shipments delivered to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria last year alone.

4. Irish Times Journalist “Not Interacting With Zionists Anymore” How will the Irish Times respond to a reporter’s inappropriate tweet?
5. Responding to Rudoren: New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren says media watchdog groups such as HonestReporting don’t base their criticisms on objective standards of journalism, but rather by an agenda. We disagree.
6. HR Radio: Dam Lies and Agendas: Press reports blame Israel for flooding Gaza by opening non-existent dams. And a response to New York Times bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, who claims that groups like HonestReporting criticize her because of a political “agenda.” Click below to hear Yarden Frankl’s interview with the Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• An official PA boycott of products from five major Israeli companies went into effect today. But Ramallah vendors were unmoved.

“People aren’t convinced by the boycott,” he explained. “Most see it as a foolish game, a ploy to placate the public; not as a genuine patriotic move. If the PA sincerely wanted to boycott, it would have blocked the trucks from entering [the Palestinian territories] at the crossings.”
• The Arab boycott of tourism in Israel took another hit, as Turkey added Jerusalem to an official itinerary of Mideast pilgrimage sites. Hurriyet explains:

The Diyanet said they had included the al-Aqsa Mosque into the Umrah trip due to the huge demand they received from citizens
 
While the applications for the new program started on Feb. 24, the first group to visit al-Aqsa under the Umrah trip will fly from Istanbul. The citizens will stay three days in Jerusalem, four days in Medina and seven days in Mecca.
 
Officials from Diyanet said Israeli officials responded positively about the al-Aqsa visit, saying that as long as the Turkish citizens who want to visit al-Aqsa within the concept of Umrah receive a visa from Israel, they would be able to go.
I think this stems from a wider Arab debate about the wisdom of boycotting Jerusalem.

Temple Mount
• For today’s most prejudiced lede sentence, get a load of what Gregg Carlstrom wrote in the Times of London.
Israel set a ten-year record for construction in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank last year, with the pace quickening under Binyamin Netanyahu, a report has disclosed.
Adjectives like disputed or controversial are reasonable, but as Eugene Kontorovich, Mitchell Bard, Eugene Rostow, Jeffrey Helmreich, and Moshe Dann (among others) all make clear, it’s a stretch to say settlements are illegal.

• Heh: William Jacobson traces the story of an academic boycotter who doesn’t like being boycotted.
Mideast Matters
• The White House denied that the US is pursuing a 10-year nuclear freeze with Iran. White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about reports in the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) and Associated Press.

• Iran opposition unveils “secret” nuclear site in Tehran’s northeastern suburbs.
Gen. Khalifa Haftar
• The Jerusalem Post picked up on Arab reports that Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar plans to meet Israeli officials in Amman.
Haftar is described — for better or for worse — as the Libyan version of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and is also reportedly receiving weapons from Egypt for his battle against ISIS.
• Reuters: Egypt is aggressively bolstering Libya’s government:
Egypt is forcing Libyan airliners flying between Turkey and Jordan and the capital Tripoli to stop in eastern Libya to allow the country’s internationally recognized government to screen out potential Islamist fighters, officials said.
• Iran staged a naval drill in the Strait of Hormuz. According to AP, it featured swarming speedboats and deadly missiles attacking a mock US aircraft carrier.

• Fresh reports of Bashar Assad’s army using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. According to the Times of London, all the attacks mention barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, noxious chemicals, and “symptoms consistent with the effects of a choking agent.”
Around the World
• Columbia U. leads list of America’s top 10 colleges “with worst anti-Semitic activity.”

According to the Center, Columbia University is listed first because it is home to the “most well-known antisemitic professors in the nation such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad, who has been accused of harassing Jewish students on multiple occasions. In addition, it is home to a highly active SJP chapter that has recently brought BDS founder Omar Barghouti and disgraced antisemitic professor Steven Salaita to campus.” . . .
 
Cornell University came in second place followed by George Mason University, Loyola University Chicago, Portland State University, San Diego State University and San Francisco State University. Rounding off the list was Temple University, University of California Los Angeles and Vassar College.
Commentary/Analysis
• Interesting discussion about the Palestinian terror trial at the New York Times Room for Debate section. Jonathan Schanzer, Matthew Levitt, and others offer their takes. See also Wall St. Journal editor Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs’s take.

• Anne Herzberg wonders: Why have non-governmental organizations and humanitarian organizations gone radio silent on the PLO terror verdict?
• If you want to insist that Benyamin Netanyahu’s “crying wolf” over Iran — as Richard Dalton does — I don’t think the leaked Mossad South Africa State Security Agency cables prove anything. Yossi Melman and Mitch Ginsburg explain why the leaks ballyhooed leaks didn’t come close to meeting expectations.
• For more commentary/analysis, see David Ignatius (A compelling argument on Iran), Michael Weiss (The cost of US-Iran rapprochement), Eyal Zisser (A US-Iran convergence), Benny Avni (Obama’s Iran deal has few fans), Yifat Erlich (Americans have understood: PA=terror), Petra Marquardt Bigman (Israeli Apartheid Week: anti-Semitism 101), Khaled Abu Toameh (Empowering women, Palestinian-style). See also staff-eds in the New York Daily News (Comeuppance for bad guys)
Featured image: CC BY-SA S. Carter via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Shetty CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Amnistia Internacional Espana; Temple Mount CC BY-NC-ND flickr/J. Griffin Stewart; Haftar via YouTube/baz
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Feb 2015, 9:27 pm

Landmark Verdict for Terror Victims
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. American victims of Palestinian terror won a historic lawsuit. A jury in New York City found the PA and PLO were liable for their supporting role in six terror attacks during the Second Intifada in which 33 people were killed and 390 others injured

The victims were, awarded $218 million; under US anti-terror laws, those damages are automatically tripled. The PA said it will appeal. The Jerusalem Post writes:
The wrongful death civil damages trial could have massive diplomatic and financial implications for the PA, as it teeters, according to some dangerously, near collapse and as it tries to rally international support for its push for the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli soldiers and officials for alleged war crimes related to the summer Gaza war.
The Times of Israel has more background on the terror attacks and victims at the heart of the trial.

justice

2. Al-Jazeera and The Guardian released leaked “Mossad cables” that supposedly tell the inside story of differences between Bibi and the Mossad on the severity of Iran’s nuclear threat.
Yossi Melman says the cables are second-hand assessments of Mossad thinking, while Mitch Ginsburg says the cables hardly contradict the prime minister. Calling this “The Mossad Cables” is a stretch, but it’s sexier than “The South Africa State Security Agency Cables.”
As expected, Al Jazeera did not obtain an original and authentic document from the Mossad, Israel’s foreign espionage agency.
 
What they published was a South Africa State Security Agency (SSA) document that is based on a briefing given to them by the Mossad. The document from 2013 contains no secrets and any reader, or follower of public reports on Iran’s nuclear program, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is familiar with the facts written in that document.
3. A secret memo reveals that Jonathan Pollard’s life-sentence was based on a sham. Sections of Caspar Weinberger’s 49-page memorandum — which was the basis for the US government to renege on a plea bargain — were recently declassified. Aaron Klein got a look-see.

4. Dam Busted Pt. 2: More Dam Lies: HonestReporting secured a correction when the Daily Mail, the world’s most-read newspaper, tried to “balance out” truth and falsehood.
Israel and the Palestinians
• As a warning to the PA about unpaid power bills, the Israel Electric Corporation cut off electricity to Nablus and Jenin for 45 minutes yesterday. The Palestinians owe the $492 million. Reuters coverage.

kiwi crossing• Resolving a months-long diplomatic impasse, New Zealand agreed to appoint separate envoys to Israel and the PA. Haaretz reports that Jonathan Curr will become the next ambassador to Israel, while former UN ambassador John McLay will serve as special envoy to the PA.
New Zealand just joined the UN Security Council, which apparently catalyzed Jerusalem and Wellington to quickly work out a solution.
• The British government announced that the next UK ambassador to Israel will be David Quarrey. He’ll replace Ambassador Matthew Gould in July.
Around the World
• The JTA picked up on an academic study (pdf format) which found rising rates of anti-Semitic activity on US campuses. The study was done last spring, before the Gaza war, so it’s a good bet the number of incidents has risen even more.

Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in the survey released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year.
• According to Reuters, Iran managed to skirt international sanctions by smuggling $1 billion in US bank notes.

Commentary/Analysis
• Yonah Bob explains how the terror trial verdict could be game-changer with the ICC:

Until now, PA President Mahmoud Abbas had no personal risk going to the ICC, as the Gaza war at most, put Israel and Hamas at risk.
 
Investigating the second intifada could put him and his inner circle at legal risk – producing a situation where the ICC would be reliant on Abbas providing evidence against Israel, which in turn could present equally damaging testimony against him.
• David Horovitz: Now we know who to believe on Iran

The Obama administration claimed Israel was misrepresenting its deal with the ayatollahs. Reports from Geneva indicate Israel’s concerns were all too accurate.
Wesleyan University• Students take on Israel Apartheid Week at Wesleyan U.

No country that feels threatened, both by its allies and its enemies, will willingly make concessions at the expense of its own security. Since any ceded land could potentially fall into the hands of terrorist organizations like Hamas, we must recognize that Israel will only make territorial concessions when it feels its allies, particularly the United States, would support it under attack.
• For more commentary/analysis of the Iranian situation, see Boaz Bismuth (Crying “wolf” for a reason), Jonathan Tobin (Iran talks continue US nuclear retreat), Dr. Haim Shine (Israel must only rely on itself), Myriam Miedzian (Danish ambassador to Israel exposes Mideast double standard), and PunditFact (Why Obama won’t label ISIS “Islamic extremists”).


Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Emiliano via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; gavel CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Rosario Esquivel;
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 23 Feb 2015, 8:46 pm

Phased Iranian Nuclear Deal Reportedly in the Works
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif met in Geneva yesterday. According to AP, a “phased” deal is taking shape.

The United States and Iran are shaping the contours of a deal that would initially freeze Tehran’s nuclear program but would allow it to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms over the last years of the agreement’s duration . . .
 
The idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement, by gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment program imposed as part of a deal that would also would slowly ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Meanwhile, leaked documents due to be published in the coming days supposedly highlight disagreements between the Mossad and the Prime Minister’s office regarding the Iranian nuclear threat. Stay tuned.

2. Mayor Nir Barkat became an instant hero online when he and his bodyguard subdued a Palestinian who stabbed a Jewish man near city hall yesterday. The CCTV footage is all over the internet. The victim, Avraham Goldschmidt, is expected to be released from the hospital today.
Hizzoner shared his thoughts on the attack in today’s Israel HaYom. The attack came 11 years to the day after Barkat saved the life of a teenager from a bus bombing. (See this 2004 Washington Post report.)
Mitch Ginsburg
3. Israeli officials hit back at accusations that Jerusalem’s causing the collapse of the Palestinian Authority by freezing tax transfers. The Jerusalem Post writes:
One Israeli official said Jerusalem, which has held up two monthly payments and the transfer of some $200 million since the beginning of the year in response to the PA joining the International Criminal Court and initiating proceedings against Israel, has done an assessment and concluded that while “there is pressure on the PA,” there is “time” and the PA is not on the verge of collapse.
 
“We believe that people should focus on what brought about this situation, which is the PA breaking fundamental commitments to the peace process by going to the UN Security Council and the ICC,” the official said. He added that Israel could not be expected to sit idly by as the PA wages “diplomatic warfare “ against it.
 
According to the official, Israel’s response has so far been “very measured,” adding that the funds are being held in escrow and not being used to pay the PA’s large water and electricity bills, a move that would be “irreversible.”
The Palestinians, meanwhile, threatened (once again) to end security ties with Israel. (Here’s why they won’t.)

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4. Dam Busted: Palestinian Lie Exposed: Reports circulating online that Israel flooded Gaza by opening dams don’t hold water. You see, there are no dams in southern Israel.
dam busted
Israel and the Palestinians
• A Hamas terror cell in Hebron planning suicide bombings and other terror attacks was busted.

• Kristin Landow, a senior vice president at Moody’s, told Forbes that the boycott movement against Israel only hurts the Palestinian economy. Forbes concludes:
Such trade flow asymmetry shows Palestine needs Israel, economically speaking. Yet the BDS crowd would impair economic ties between these areas, despite evidence that trade between peoples lessens outbreak of war. BDS-ers want to obliterate the vast trade surplus Israel extends to Palestine and offer nothing in its place.
• Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby blamed Israel Hamas-Fatah bickering for the sorry state of reconstruction in Gaza.

• Israel to purchase 14 advanced stealth F-35 fighter jets (a.k.a. Joint Strike Fighters) from the US for $3 billion. AP reports:
The recent signing with Lockheed Martin Corp. includes an option for 17 more in the future. The first such planes are to arrive in Israel in late 2016.
F-35
An F-35 in action at a test range in 2013.

Around the World
• Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo discussed French anti-Semitism and the battle against Islamic terror in a Washington Post Q+A.

• Danish police shot down a proposal by Muslims to form a ring of peace around the Copenhagen Synagogue. The idea was inspired by Norwegian Muslims who formed a protective ring around the Oslo synagogue in a show of solidarity with the Jewish community. The Times of Israel writes:
“We have chosen to say no because of a specific security assessment of the situation we have here right now,” Copenhagen police spokesman Mads Jensen told TV 2.
• Reuters picked up on Russian reports that Moscow has offered Iran Antey-2500 missiles that could be used to defend nuclear sites from possible future air strikes.

Commentary/Analysis
• Must read: Widen the Israel discussion on campus

Contrary to what many may think, the real challenge on campus is not necessarily on the quads. The main challenge is in the academic realm. Tragically, and not without our own contribution, the academic discussion about Israel has been almost solely confined to Israel’s geopolitical hardships.
 
In the classroom, students are often exposed to Israel as a political issue usually within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict. The powerfully positive and optimistic narrative of Zionism, one of the most successful national liberation movements in history, has been reduced to a narrow, one-dimensional, discussion of the conflict. Sadly, many of Israel’s well-wishers have contributed to this reduction.
How to address the challenges? Read the whole piece.

campus
• Joseph Lieberman urges Democrats to “hear out Israel’s leader.”
• For more commentary/analysis, see Walter Reich (Obama must be clear: War on extremism is a war on violent Islamism), Dani Garavelli (Growing anti-Semitism in Scotland),
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Feb 2015, 6:50 pm

The Politics and Rage of Israeli Tax Transfers to the PA
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
*** BREAKING NEWS: *** Shortly after this roundup was published, a Palestinian stabbed a Jewish man in central Jerusalem. YNet reports that the 27-year-old victim was taken to Shaare Tzedek Hospital with moderate wounds. The assailant — identified only as an 18-year-old male from Ramallah — was apprehended by Mayor Nir Barkat and his body guard, who chanced upon the attack.

1. AP reports that Palestinian officials are sweating over the New York terror trial brought against the PA by victims of Palestinian terror during the second intifada. Why?
Although the cases are not directly linked, a ruling against the Palestinian Authority in New York federal court threatens to undermine Palestinian efforts to rally international support for a brewing battle at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. With American plaintiffs seeking billions of dollars in damages, it could also deliver a tough financial blow to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank.
Lawyers for both sides made their closing arguments.

2. The US fears that the PA will collapse without more cash. And Avi Issacharoff warns that “politics” and “rage” are coming to a head over Israel’s decision to freeze PA tax transfers. Which brings us to the tweet of the day, courtesy Gregg Carlstrom. The tweeted Maan News link is in Arabic, but you can read what Saeb Erekat had to say in English at Xinhua.
Gregg Carlstrom
3. Libyan militias have captured chemical weapons from Col. Gaddafi’s stockpiles. Libyan sources told Asharq al-Awsat:

The military official warned that the caches, which contain deadly chemicals such as mustard gas and the nerve agent Sarin, may fall into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
 
The quantity of chemical weapons taken is not known.

4. BBC Rejects Tim Willcox Complaints: The BBC responds with a whitewash to HonestReporting’s complaint concerning Tim Willcox’s appalling reporting from the Paris terror attacks.
5. The Irish Independent Gets Careless With the Facts: Ireland’s largest daily erroneously states that Gaza is “surrounded by Israel” and the West Bank is “surrounded by a huge wall.”
6. The Daily Beast Lets its BDS Support Show: Taylor Swift, queen of the Zionists? The Daily Beast plays a part in a cynical BDS publicity tactic.
Taylor Swift
Israel and the Palestinians
• If anyone’s interested, Col. Richard Kemp, the former top UK commander in Afghanistan, submitted to UN investigators his views on Operation Protective Edge.

• Why is Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city, waterless? Depends on why you ask.
• Christian Science Monitor: The Israeli cabinet approved plans to establish a “cyberdefense authority”
The authority will require the government to set higher standards of cyberdefense for its own ministries, encourage private companies to do the same, and establish a national Cyber Event Readiness Team (CERT), a sort of 911 center for responding to cyberattacks on the civilian sector.
 
Many countries such as the US already have national centers or programs designed to bridge the gap between the government and privacy sector to help improve cybersecurity. But Israeli cybersecurity experts says because of the broad powers of the new authority, Israel is taking a pioneering step and in effect leap-frogging other top cyber powers in the world.
binary

Mideast Matters
• According to the latest document leaked by the NSA’s Edward Snowden, Israeli intelligence cooperated with US and UK counterparts to electronically snoop on Iranian leaders. Haaretz explains the leaked cable du jour.

• Arab nations are deeply disturbed by the emerging Iranian nuclear deal, reports the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News).
“At this stage, we prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal,” said an Arab official who has discussed Iran with the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.
• Israel demands UN condemn Iran’s Holocaust-themed cartoon contest.

• Iran flexes muscle in Indian Ocean
• Egypt’s largest state-owned paper accused Hamas of plotting a Cairo coup. It’s a very titillating allegation, but you have to take Egyptian media claims with a heavy dose of skepticism. This weekend, two Egyptian papers published cartoons blaming Israel and the US for ISIS.
Around the World
• More than 1,000 Muslims showed up at the Oslo Synagogue to form a protective “ring of peace” and show solidarity with the Jewish community.

• Will Nisman row hurt Israel-Argentina relations?
Miriam Margolyes
• It’s hard to imagine the Daily Telegraph finding a more twisted viewpoint on European anti-Semitism: The actress, serial Israel-hater and BDS supporter, Miriam Margolyes:
“People understandably and correctly associate Israel with Jews and Jews are killing people. Innocent people,” the 73 year-old star of Harry Potter and Dickens’ Women says. “And the Jewish community thinks it’s OK because they say that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel. And some of them do, that’s quite true, so they feel it’s alright to treat them in the way that they’re being treated. But I don’t think it is. I just can’t bear to see it.”
Commentary/Analysis
• Must read: David Ignatius discusses with Yuval Steinitz why Israel and the US are at odds over the Iranian nuclear talks. Ignatius gives Steinitz a fair and frank hearing.

People who think that a nuclear deal with Iran is desirable, as I do, need to be able to answer Steinitz’s critique.
• At what point would Israel push back against Iran-Hezbollah activity in the Syrian Golan? And how much would Israeli activity in Syria ruffle already strained Jerusalem-Washington ties? Tony Badran points out:

While the White House now sees Iran as a de facto partner against ISIS, Israel continues to see Iran as an existential threat. In order to deter Iran, Israel may well decide to go after Assad. That will also mean going against Washington, which stands on the opposite side in Syria.
• Israel’s per capita GNP made a huge leap in the past decade, jumping from $15,600 in 2003 to $40,620 by the end of December, 2014. This puts the Israeli economy and quality of life on par with France, Germany, and the UK. Guy Bechor explains the significance.

• Jan Fleischhauer nails it:
Israel is the first democracy to have extensive experience with Islamist terrorism. Before recent attacks on our own soil, Europeans loved nothing better than scorning the Jewish state’s efforts to address terror. In the future, we may need to turn to the Israelis for advice.
Chris Gunness
UNRWA director Chris Gunness

• UNRWA director Chris Gunness plugs for Gaza in The Guardian. The word “Hamas” appears absolutely nowhere in this piece. I wonder why . . .
Gaza is not a natural disaster. It is man-made, the result of deliberate political choices . . .
 
People in Gaza need urgent change: they need all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law; the removal by Israel of all obstacles to the enjoyment of human rights; and the immediate lifting of the blockade, allowing imports and exports, a necessary step to enabling economic recovery.
 
The rockets fired from Gaza must cease.
• An awful lot of commentary/analysis, on Europe, the Jews, and Israel. See Rod Liddle (It’s not Netanyahu’s fault that European Jews are afraid), Seth Frantzman (Using Netanyahu to distract from anti-Semitism), Ben-Dror Yemini (The intellectual terrorism of Roger Waters and BDS), Bernard Avishai (Why Netanyahu can’t lure a mass migration of European Jews to Israel), The Economist (European anti-Semitism: fear of a new darkness), Stephen Pollard (“You never know when they’ll turn on the Jews”), Marc Goldberg (I don’t care that Muslims are standing in front of a synagogue), Lawrence Solomon (Jewish (capital) flight from Europe), and Rick Salutin (Anti-Semitism won’t stand still).

• For more commentary/analysis on Iran, see Yaakov Amidror (An American about face, into the arms of Iran), Gary Gambill (Seven problems with John Kerry’s Iranian nuclear clock), Victor Davis Hanson (Our dangerous historical moment), and a New York Post staff-ed (Iran’s Israel intentions).

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

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Feb 2015, 4:00 pm

EU: Israel Not Fully Briefed on Iran Talks
Israel Daily News Streamabout 1 hour ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Adele Biton who was injured in a 2013 stone-throwing attack, died Tuesday evening. Hundreds attended as the four-year-old girl was laid to rest this afternoon. I hope New York Times coverage is a sign, however small, that bureau chief Jodi Rudoren is moving away from her previous spin that stone-throwing’s an understandable “rite of passage and an honored act of defiance.”

“This serves as a reminder to everyone in Israel that rocks can kill,” Gershon Mesika, a leader of the West Bank settlers’ movement, said on Israeli television.
And where are you, Amira Hass?



2. Egypt and Jordan are seeking natural gas elsewhere while Israel regulators hash out the future of the Leviathan offshore gas field. Globes coverage.

“Egypt and Jordan are in great need of natural gas, but there is other natural gas in the region besides Israeli gas. The world won’t sit still and wait for Leviathan,” says Energy, Financial & Strategic Consulting CEO Amit Mor.
3. European officials confirmed to the New York Times that the US isn’t exactly keeping Israel fully up-to-date on the Iranian nuclear talks. This despite Washington’s denials to the contrary.

But European officials say that the Israeli reports, while overblown, are not entirely based on fiction. One recalled a recent call from Wendy Sherman, the No. 3 State Department official and lead American negotiator with Iran, saying she had cautioned against telling the Israelis too much because the details could be twisted to undermine a deal

Israel and the Palestinians
Tony Blair speaking in Gaza this week.

• Hamas isn’t pleased with Quartet envoy Tony Blair’s latest visit to Gaza. They claim he imposed new preconditions on international aid for Gaza’s rebuilding. Maan News writes:
Blair’s five new preconditions, says Abu Marzouk, include Palestinian reconciliation, a Palestinian political program based on a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders, and confirmation that Hamas is a Palestinian movement seeking to achieve Palestinian goals rather than being part of an Islamic movement with regional dimensions.
 
He also says Blair wants approval that the two-state solution is a final solution to the conflict and a reassuring message to Egypt that Hamas won’t be a base for “terrorism in Sinai” and that it would hold talks with the Egyptian government to “prevent terrorism.”
• Next time Palestinian youths in Israeli prisons becomes an issue, keep in mind that a lot of the kids want to be behind the bars. And its the New York Times that reports this.

Ibrahim is one of an increasing number of young Palestinians from Gaza who have been caught trying to cross into Israel in the nearly six months since the latest conflagration subsided. . .
 
Some are shot in the process. Some are harassed upon their return by Hamas, the Islamist faction that dominates Gaza, as suspected collaborators with Israel. Still, many fantasize about finding work in Israel and see even the all-but-inevitable time behind bars as worth it, given that it comes with a monthly stipend the Palestinian Authority pays all its prisoners.
 
Compared with Gaza, “the prison in Israel is like a five-star hotel,” said Youssef Abbas, 21, who did stints there after crossing the border in 2010 and 2008. He said he headed toward the fence twice more in September but was turned back, once by Gaza security forces and once by a call from his fiancée.
Around the World
Oslo synagogue

• Norwegian Muslims are planning a protective human “peace ring” around Oslo’s synagogue, reports The Local, According to the organizers’ Facebook page, 760 (so far) will come to the  synagogue on Saturday to show solidarity. An estimated 1,400 Jews live in Norway, mostly in Oslo and Trondheim.
Hajrad Arshad, the event’s 17-year-old organiser, told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK that the group aimed to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims”.
 
“We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,” she said.
• Sweden’s public broadcaster apologized after journalist Helena Groll asked the Israeli ambassador an ugly question about anti-Semitism. The interview has been removed from the web site. (YouTube link via Elder of Ziyon.)

On Tuesday, a journalist for Sveriges Radio (SR) asked ambassador Isaac Bachman on air: “Are Jews themselves responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?”
 
The ambassador appeared shocked by the suggestion, and replied: “I purely and simply reject the question.”


• The Times of London obtained transcripts of messages sent by Preston town council member defending their decision to fly a Palestinian flag from town hall last year during the Gaza war. The main takeaway: Council leader Peter Rankin blamed Israel for anti-Semitism.

Mr Rankin, whose wife and two children are Jewish, wrote identical responses to both those objectors, saying: “I agree antisemitism is increasing and . . . you need to think why this antisemitism is getting worse. It’s because of the actions of the IDF [Israeli defence forces] shelling schools and hospitals and killing and maiming thousands of men, women and children.”
• A British teacher was fined and could lose his job after he posted a photo of Adolf Hitler on Facebook along with an anti-Semitic message. Daily Telegraph coverage.

• French president Francois Hollande‘s question of the day:
“Must we put soldiers in front of cemeteries?”
• Reuters: Italy is deploying 4,800 soldiers around the country to augment security against possible terror attacks. Italy fears an ISIS invasion from Libya. On a related note, Michael Ledeen explains in a Wall St. Journal op-ed (click via Google News) how Italy can distinguish itself by fighting anti-Semitism and Islamic terror.

Rome
Rome’s Piazza Venezia

• Is ISIS harvesting organs?
Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim told reporters that in the past few weeks, bodies with surgical incisions and missing kidneys or other body parts have been found in shallow mass graves.
 
“We have bodies. Come and examine them,” he said. “It is clear they are missing certain parts.”
• Argentina is bracing for a massive protest march against the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

Commentary/Analysis
Europe• Must-read: Deutsche Welle editor-in-chief Alexander Kudascheff minces no words on European anti-Semitism.

Europeans must give Jews in their countries the feeling that as a matter of course, they stand by their side. It’s a scandal that many people appear to have got used to police protection for Jewish kindergartens, schools and synagogues.
 
Politically, it is more than alarming that criticism of Israel (for instance in the Gaza war) often turns out to be nothing but veiled anti-Semitism.
 
But Europe, and every single European, must stand united against rampant anti-Semitism.
• Martin Indyk suggests the US offer Israel a “nuclear guarantee” to ease fears of Iran. But experts who talked to the Times of Israel say an American atomic umbrella would also constrain Israel’s ability to respond to possible threats.

• For more commentary/analysis, see Khaled Abu Toameh (Hamas’s new army of children) and Dr. Reuven Berko (Iran and Hamas publicly outed).

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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Feb 2015, 11:34 pm

Copenhagen terror: They just don’t get it
SIMON PLOSKER February 16, 2015, 4:26 pm 50
BLOGGERSimon Plosker
Simon Plosker is the Managing Editor of HonestReporting
Follow or contact:TwitterRSSWebsiteBLOGS EDITOR

About those unsubstantiated allegations“Three young Jewish settlers”Irish journalist abuses Holocaust to attack IsraelSeeing SodaStream for myselfMazal tov New York Times!
Metro is a free newspaper handed out on major UK transport networks and other outlets. It has a readership of millions. This is its front page today:

metro160115Once again, a European Jewish community has been targeted by Islamist terrorism, this time in the Danish capital Copenhagen. For Metro, however, the story isn’t about 37-year-old Dan Uzan, murdered as he stood guard outside a synagogue.
No, it’s all about Benjamin Netanyahu and the opportunity to turn his call for European Jews to make Aliyah into the issue of the day. And splashed all over the front page no less.
And what about The Guardian? Simon Tisdall is the assistant editor and a foreign affairs columnist. His reaction to the Copenhagen terror attack reveals so much about the current trend of thought that still blames the victims for the terror.
Some choice excerpts:
The Copenhagen gunman may turn out to have a similar background [to those of the Paris terrorists], and likewise to have been a lone loose cannon. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility. But the febrile backdrop against which this individual’s crime took place is only too evident: a shooting war with Islamists across large swaths of the Muslim world, growing Islamophobia in western Europe, ever greater polarisation over Israel-Palestine – especially since last year’s Gaza conflict – and a linked rise in antisemitism.
In The Guardian’s universe, it is western actions and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that are the motivators for young Muslims in Europe to seek out Jews to kill along with cartoonists and media that they disagree with. No responsibility whatsoever lies with the perverted and fascistic ideology of Islamism that has been propagated through radical preachers and promoted with Saudi and Qatari cash.

To further buttress his willful blindness, Tisdall writes:
David Cameron and Barack Obama lined up on Sunday to defend these values [freedom of speech and religion]. They might be more usefully employed in acknowledging that many current problems can be traced back to the Anglo-American destabilisation of post-2003 Iraq and to the west’s connivance in the suppression of Arab spring pro-democracy uprisings.
But perhaps most insultingly, Tisdall concludes:

In the short term, calls for increased security for frightened Jewish communities, including in Britain, are wholly understandable. Muslim communities deserve similar consideration.
Both Jews and Muslims deserve to live their lives in Europe. But only Jews are being murdered on the streets of European capitals simply for being Jewish. That The Guardian and Simon Tisdall believe that there is some false equivalence between Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe demonstrates just how warped their ideologically inspired view of this serious situation is.

Both Metro and The Guardian just don’t get it.
Read more: Copenhagen terror: They just don't get it | Simon Plosker | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/copenhagen-terror-they-just-dont-get-it/#ixzz3S2zyYAss 
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook


Copenhagen’s Jewish Radio Silenced for Security Reasons
Israel Daily News Stream 9 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Copenhagen’s Jewish community radio station went off the air for security reasons. Radio host Abraham Kopenhagen turned down an offer of police protection for Radio Shalom.

“We must do as instructed, but we will not have police standing outside the door,” he said. “We would rather close down until it is quiet again. I do not know how long that will take.”
Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

2. This is truly bizarre. According to Turkish opposition figures, the ruling AK Party “spent $65.4 million up until 2013 on efforts to portray itself as a pro-Israeli administration while pretending to its voter base that it is one of Israel’s staunchest critics.”
He said that the AK Party government is exploiting the sensitivities of Turkish people to the Palestine-Israel conflict in order to solidify its support among its conservative voter base.
 
“On the one hand they portray themselves to the Turkish people as being in a constant fight with the Israel while on the other hand they worked hard to make the Jewish lobby in the US believe that the AK Party is a pro-Israeli administration and paid millions of dollars to that end. This is completely hypocritical,” said Erdogdu.

3. For the first time, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged the open secret that Hezbollah’s fighting ISIS in Iraq. The Washington Post writes:
He described Hezbollah’s presence as small and “in its earliest stages.”
 
He also said new volunteers are welcome.
4. Hey BDSers! Let’s Get Serious! Elijah Granet, the winner of HonestReporting’s Blankfeld Award, congratulates student BDS activists for openly demonstrating the idiocy of anti-Israel divestment campaigns on campus.

5. NBC News: Can You Shoot Your Gun for Us? Victims of Palestinian terror describe how Brian Williams dishonestly manipulated an interview, leaving a grieving Israeli family sucker-punched.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Two senior Fatah officials survived assassination attempts, reports the Jerusalem Post.

• Terrorist or activist? You be the judge. Rasmieh Odeh was convicted of placing a bomb inside a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two people and injured nine others and for planting another bomb outside the British consulate, which only damaged the building. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine took credit for the 1969 attacks.
Odeh would go on to spend the next 10 years in an Israeli prison before being released in a 1980 prisoner swap. She is now about to be deported from the US for lying to immigration officials about her involvement in the attack and has apparently run out of legal appeals.
This Associated Press headline calls Odeh an activist. Of course, activism isn’t what killed Edward Joffe and his best friend Leon Kanner . . .
Associated Press
• Shimon Peres sat down with the Los Angeles Times for a Q+A touching on Israeli-US relations, Iran, the Palestinians, and ISIS.
Around the World
• Details about the Copenhagen terrorist, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, are coming to light. He’s a Danish national of Palestinian descent. He was imprisoned for stabbing a man and police are looking into the possibility that he was radicalized behind bars.

And in a Facebook post, not long before the attacks, Hussein pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. More at CNN, The Guardian, and Reuters.
• Egypt wants UN-backed coalition against Libya
• Egypt and France signed a deal to purchase advanced war planes. AP notes:
The deal for 24 of Dassault Aviation’s multi-role Rafale aircraft as well as a frigate and munitions, underlines how many are willing to overlook Egypt’s poor human rights record when it comes to weapons sales as Cairo emerges as a key player in the fight against the Islamic State group.
• Police in Madison, Wisconsin, are investigating an outbreak of anti-Semitic vandalism. According to WKOW, around 30 homes and cars were defaced with hate messages and symbols.

• If you’re wondering why the PA wants a role in the FBI’s investigation of the shooting of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the JTA explains:
The three murder victims — sisters Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Yusor’s husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23 — were of Palestinian descent.
Chapel Hill murders
Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha

Commentary/Analysis
• I think the term, “a perfect storm” is over-used, but as David Ignatius points out, it’s an apt description for the confluence of a lot of key dates in March. Mark your calendars — you’ve been warned . . .

The Iran issue will come to a head next month. Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is scheduled for March 3. Israeli elections, in which Netanyahu is running against a coalition of more moderate Israeli politicians, will take place March 17. The deadline for reaching a framework deal in the Iran negotiations is March 24. It’s a month that could shape the future of the Middle East, not to mention the U.S.-Israeli relationship, for years to come.
money• Over at Spiked, Brendan O’Neill rips British artists who shun Israeli “blood money” but accept Britain’s.

It would not be surprising to discover that the vast majority of creatives on this Israel-shunning list had, at some point, received money from the public purse in Britain, because that’s what creatives do these days.
 
So, that question again: why is it bad to have anything to do with institutions linked to the Israeli government because of that whole Gaza thing but fine and dandy to take money from institutions linked to the British government despite the Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya thing? Are Israel’s wars somehow worse than Britain’s? Is being killed by a solider from the Jewish State somehow worse than being killed by a soldier of the British state? Is Israel more evil than Britain? Is Israel’s money bloodier than British money?
 
Come on. Give us answers.
 
You criticise those who say that any protest or boycott against Israel is anti-Semitic, and I agree with you that there’s sometimes a kneejerk tendency to interpret every political protest against Israel’s actions as anti-Jewish in sentiment. But that might be because there’s such a glaring double standard in how Israel is judged and treated by radical Westerners, including you, in comparison to how the British government is judged and treated, or the French government, or the American government, none of which you are actively boycotting.
 
So, help to offset this search for the ‘real reason’ for boycotts of Israel by giving us a straight answer to one of the great moral conundrums of our time: why are artists so allergic to working with a government whose army killed 2,000 people in Gaza last year yet will demand the right to spend the cash of a government whose army killed 150,000 people in Iraq?
• For more commentary/analysis, see Ralph Ellis (Anti-Semitism in Europe: Will it cause Jews to leave?),Keith Kahn-Harris (If British Jews are attacked, respect our dignity — and keep your agenda to yourself), Dr. Dov Levitan (Denmark will grieve, then forget), Wes Pruden (As anti-Semitism makes a comeback, Obama remains ignorant),and  Zvi Barel (In joining war on ISIS, Egypt is now a target).

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Post  Admin on Mon 16 Feb 2015, 3:13 pm

Palestinian Refugees Join Syrian Jihadists
Israel Daily News Stream40 mins ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The Sydney Morning Herald takes a look at a Palestinian refugee camp from which a lot of Palestinian youth leave to join Al-Qaida affiliates in Syria. Why have 52 young adults from UNRWA-administered refugee camps like Ain al-Hilweh died fighting with the Islamists?

The overcrowded camp 40 kilometres south of Beirut is a prime recruiting ground for militant groups. Barred by Lebanese law from working in a wide variety of fields, unemployment rates for Palestinianrun as high as 70 to 80 per cent. Such is the concern about the potential for the Syrian conflict to further spill over into Lebanon that the camp’s main Palestinian factions have formed a dedicated security force . . .
 
It is vital that Palestinians do not get drawn into the Syrian conflict, Makdah says, regardless of the challenges and restrictions they face as long-term refugees. “We have 60 per cent of European countries supporting Palestine – this is unprecedented – and we must continue to fight for Palestine and for our land, which is disappearing under Israeli occupation. The Syrian fight is not our fight.”
UNRWA
2. Government officials in Jerusalem and Washington deny Israeli media reports that the US scaling back the information it shares with Israel about the Iranian nuclear talks. Haaretz further reported:

The administration apparently believes that Israel and the U.S. now have a conflict of interests regarding the Iranian issue, the source said. While U.S. President Barack Obama wants to make every effort to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran, Netanyahu is doing everything he can to block one.
 
One of the main reasons for the decision to limit the information the U.S. shares with Israel on the nuclear talks is a fear of leaks.

3. Mita Bentow talked to YNet about the terror at Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue while she was celebrating her daughter’s bat mitzvah. And the city’s shaken Jews said they weren’t surprised by the attack they knew was coming.
The terrorist, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, was a Danish national with a history of gang violence and apparently was released from prison. Reports speculate that he was influenced by ISIS or the Charlie Hebdo attack. Danish police arrested two suspected accomplices.
4. Copenhagen Terror: They Just Don’t Get It: While Jews are targeted in Europe, for some media, the story’s anything but that.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Is the White House using Martin Indyk as a proxy to interfere in Israeli elections? Just wondering about his latest comments . . .

Jerusalem Post
But if there is not an Israeli initiative or support for a two state solution, Indyk warned, there will be “international actions” pursued not by the Palestinians, but rather by the international community “in terms of a security council resolution” to “lay out and preserve the principles of a two-state solution in the future.”
 
By saying this resolution may come from all five members of the UN Security Council, he hinted that the US would be involved.
• The Egyptian military discovered a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) long smuggling tunnel leading into Gaza. It’s the longest smuggling tunnel found, so far. Cairo says the tunnel was operated by Hamas:

Detonators and communications devices were among the devices found in the tunnel, which will be destroyed, officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to brief reporters.
• Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot was formally installed as the new IDF chief of staff.

Mideast Matters
• Officials in Jerusalem and Beirut aren’t commenting on reports that a drone from Lebanon entered Israeli airspace, flew over the Galilee for 20 minutes, and returned back. It probably belongs to Hezbollah — nobody else in Lebanon is known to have unmanned aerial vehicles, and Hezbollah’s getting valuable experience using UAVs against Syrian jihadists.

• Persian Gulf states warned the UN they may intervene in Yemen if the world fails to respond to the Iranian-backed Houthi takeover of Yemen. AP coverage.
• Yemen‘s last Jews eye exodus after Houthi takeover.
• Egypt launched airstrikes on ISIS positions in Libya (yes, in Libya) after the Islamists beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians and posted the footage online.
• The BBC visited Haifa’s Rambam Hospital, where a wounded Syrian farmer’s face was reconstructed with a titanium jaw created by a 3D printer.
Around the World
• Sweden‘s Jews are in fear after the Copenhagen terror.

• Metro is one of Britain’s most widely-read newspapers simply because it’s free. Here’s the over-the-top front page UK commuters saw on their way to work today.
The sensationalized front page touches on a conversation that’s sensitive in both Denmark and France these days. On a related note, Dan Margalit argues that its the Prime Minister’s “right and duty” to speak out.
• Vandals desecrated hundreds of graves in northeastern France. You know the situation’s tenuous when this is the government’s reaction:
French PM Manuel Valls urges Jews to stay after tombs defaced
Meanwhile, former French foreign minister Roland Dumas is under fire for saying the prime minister is “under Jewish influence.” Dumas was referring to Valls’s Jewish wife, Anne Gravoin.
• To get a better sense of French anti-Semitism, Israeli journalist Zvika Klein donned a skullcap for 10 Hours of Walking Around Paris as a Jew. Klein explains the video’s backstory.
• Prosecutors have formally charged Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner with covering up Iran’s role in the 1994 AMIA bombing. What happens next?
If a judge decides there is enough evidence to proceed with the case, the investigation could lead to a trial. Should there be a request for the president to be arrested — which at this time seems very unlikely — the request will have to go through Congress so that her immunity can be lifted. In addition, such a request would have limited prospects as the ruling Victory Front (FpV) has control in both houses of Congress at least until presidential and legislative elections slated for October of this year. The president will lose that immunity when she leaves office in December 2015, provided she does not run for another position.
Commentary/Analysis
Times of London• Terrific staff-ed in the Times of London on Copenhagen terror and European anti-Semitism:

These barbarous murders exemplify a sickness and a stubborn social pathology whose virulence is easy to overlook. Faced with such barbarism, there is a serious risk that European governments will underreact. They must not; not this time.
 
It is not enough to condemn them as savagery, bigotry and barbarism, though they are all of those things. Antisemitism, it has been often remarked, is a light sleeper. Western democracies have a moral obligation and a pragmatic interest in declaring their solidarity and not only sympathy with Danish Jews. Western leaders should have no hesitation in declaring: Vi er jøder (We are Jews) . . .
 
The egregious campaigns for a cultural boycott of Israel are stoking ugly, atavistic movements in Europe. These need to be confronted by civilised opinion. Israeli governments are fallible but the Jewish state is a force for democracy in a region that is short of it. Europe’s Jews need to know that Israel is not their only refuge and defence.
• Howard Jacobson, the award-winning UK author, weighs in on British anti-Semitism and we can’t stay silent about it. Published in the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News).

• Roger Cohen poses today’s best question:
But what, pray, was the “provocation” of Dan Uzan, the Jewish security guard outside the Copenhagen synagogue?
• Einat Wilf’s worth reading: Why the UN Security Council can’t solve the Arab-Israel conflict by itself.

• Plenty of commentary on Copenhagen and its fallout. See David Harris (After Copenhagen, what next for Europe?), Elliott Abrams (Why can’t the White House see terrorism and anti-Semitism?), Boaz Bismuth (Another non-random attack), and staff-eds in the Wall St. Journal staff ed (Europe’s new terrorist normal; click via Google News) and New York Daily News (Denmark and its Jews).
Copenhagen

• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Spyer (The Iran axis strikes back in the Golan), Avi Issacharoff (As Hezbollah fights on Golan, borders are redrawn), and Sean Naylor (Washington’s uneasy partnership with Tehran now extends to Yemen).
Featured image: CC BY Hendrik Wieduwilt via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Lebanese camps via UNRWA; Copenhagen CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Jim Nix
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Feb 2015, 1:22 pm

Terror Rocks Denmark
Today’s Top Stories
1. Denmark is on edge after a pair of shootings in Copenhagen killed two people and injured five. In the first attack, a terrorist sprayed gunfire on a cafe during a debate on freedom of speech and blasphemy, killing one person and injuring three policemen. One of the panelists was Lars Vilks, who in 2007 drew a series of cartoons depicting Mohammed as a dog.

Hours later, shots were fired on Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue during a bar mitzvah celebration, killing a Jewish guard identified as Dan Uzan, and injuring two policemen. Israeli radio reports said the guard prevented a larger attack on the synagogue and its 80 guests.
A suspect who police believe was responsible for both attacks was killed after he opened fire on police. The city’s in lockdown; Jews are scared to leave their homes. More at the Copenhagen Post and AP.
“Denmark has been hit by terror,” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt said on Sunday.
Daniel Brenner2
2. ISIS claims it’s holding a Palestinian who was sent to spy for the Mossad. The family of 19-year-old Muhammad Musallam acknowledges he traveled to Turkey to join up with ISIS, but denied he has any association with the Mossad.

3. Almost half of the names that appear on a Palestinian list of “journalists” killed during last summer’s conflict with Israel were members or operatives of Hamas and Islamic Jihad media outlets. The Jerusalem Post picked up on a report (in Hebrew) by Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.
Dr. Reuven Erlich, head of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, compared the operatives to Islamic State cameramen who film the beheadings of hostages.
 
To call them journalists is completely absurd. The fact that there are those in the world who bought into these lies is scandalous,” Erlich stated.

4. HonestReporting’s proud to announce two can’t-miss events. Advanced registration’s required for both activities, so don’t delay.
First up is An Evening With Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who will discuss “Fighting Terrorism Through the Courts. Its on Wed., Feb. 25 at Jerusalem’s Agron Guest House. Click for details.
We also have A Trip to Israel’s Northern Border guided by military analyst and IDF Major (res.) Elliot Chodoff. That’s on Tues. April 14, departing from Jerusalem’s Heichal Shlomo Building. Click for details.
Space is limited. Sign up now!
Israel and the Palestinians
APlogo• The Associated Press cranked out an in-depth study (with sidebar) on Israeli airstrikes on Gaza civilian homes during Operation Protective Edge. On one hand, I’m  glad the Western press is taking a stab at independently verifying the info.

But investigative reporter Richard Behar‘s take-down rips AP’s methodology.
So what was AP’s methodology for its current “examination” of the 247 airstrikes on houses? We’ll never know, because the wire service doesn’t tell us.
• The Washington Post took a more general look at Gaza life six months after the war.

In the months since the summer war, Hamas has rid itself of many of the responsibilities of governing, but not its grip on power.
 
Last month, the group’s military wing ran training camps for 17,000 youths, ages 15 to 21, to learn to shoot Kalashnikov rifles, jump through hoops of fire and perform basic first aid in preparation for the next battle with Israel. The camps were staged even as Hamas municipal employees went unpaid.
There’s an accompanying photo spread of maimed Palestinians I found very emotive. After seeing something that powerful, I gotta ask: Is the Washington Post going to look at Israeli suffering from the war? Psychological trauma, rehabbing soldiers, and the thankfully comparatively small handful of fatalities aren’t as sexy as reveling in the rubble of Gaza. It’s bad enough there were almost no photos of Hamas during the war; six months later, it’s the Israeli victims who are invisible.

• After reading this Wall St. Journal dispatch, (via Google News) I’m wondering if Hamas is really cracking down on Gaza’s Salafists as hard as it would like to. The Daily Beast spent time with some rocket men from Gaza’s Popular Resistance Committee who are remarkably open about the support they get from Iran and Hezbollah.
• The Guardian was the paper of choice for a few hundred British musicians I never heard of to announce they’re boycotting Israel. If Roger Waters is removing himself from the argument, then this is hopefully the last time I mention his name here.
Around the World
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner

• Argentine prosecutor wants to formally investigate President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other lawmakers and judges. Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the 1994 AMIA bombing. Nisman mysteriously died while preparing to charge Kirchner with covering up Tehran’s role in the bombing in exchange for increased trade with Iran. More at the Buenos Aires Herald.
Buckle your seatbelts, the public’s not letting go of this scandal. According to the BBC:
Meanwhile, prosecutors are calling for a massive protest on the streets of Buenos Aires next week in what is expected to become the largest anti-government march in recent years.
 
Opposition leaders, unions and even the Catholic Church are joining calls for a fair and independent investigation into a death that has shocked this nation.
• Philadelphia city councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez regrets honoring visiting Palestinian governor Leila Ghannam after Palestinian Media Watch exposed Ghannam’s history of glorifying terrorists.

Related reading: Oops: Did I just honor a terror supporter?
• UK cabinet minister: A ‘creeping cultural acceptance’ of anti-Semitism is sweeping Britain.
• The Wall St. Journal takes a fascinating look at the  Jewish community of Djerba, Tunisia.
Commentary/Analysis
flag• Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid speaks out:

Despite what we tell ourselves, Israel is here to stay. What’s more, it has a right to exist. It is the nation of the Jews but also a nation for Israeli Arabs who have better lives than Arabs anywhere in Arab countries. We must accept these facts and move on. The antisemitism promoted by Hamas, Fatah, and the BDS movement is not the answer for us Palestinians.
 
The answer is to live in peace and democracy, side by side with Israel. We missed many opportunities to do that . . .
 
What we Palestinians need is a strong civil society and strong democratic institutions, and we need an end to human rights violations, including those perpetrated by Palestinians and other Arabs. Well-meaning international donors must ensure that their money is spent towards this goal, and not towards propping up either Hamas or Fatah. There is no doubt that much work is needed, but at the very least we need to reverse the current trend that is causing Palestinian society to drift even further towards corrupt and brutal rule, both in Gaza and in the West Bank. Ironically, it is only in East Jerusalem, under Israeli rule, that most Palestinians feel adequately represented by their politicians.
• Daniel Siryoti: The recently announced PA boycott of Israeli products wasn’t a presidential decree, making it an empty declaration.

Both the vendors and the consumers in the Palestinian Authority assume that the boycott will not be very strictly enforced, if at all. They know that at best, a black market will develop whereby the boycotted products will be sold “under the table” at all the stores only without tax, and at worst, the Palestinian consumers will have to venture out just beyond the Green Line to the Israeli operated stores to purchase said items.
Bissli

• Ambassador Ron Prosor: The inmates have taken over the UN asylum
• Worth reading: Ehud Yairi on Israel’s unprecedented efforts to save civilian lives  in warfare Between Dresden and Gaza.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Einat Wilf (The Australian(via Google News – Palestinian moves in the ICC have nothing to do with justice), Eyal Zisser (The battle for the Golan), Ron Ben-Yishai (Assad and Hezbollah are taking advantage of rebels’ weakness), Dore Gold (anatomy of a bad nuclear deal), Yoram Ettinger (Israel’s BDS: bounce, develop, surge), Jasmine Garsd (In Argentina, an explosion triggers a life-long lesson), and Peter Kann (Wall St. Journal via Google News: Brian Williams and the things a war correspondent should never say).
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Feb 2015, 10:15 pm

Iran, Hezbollah Expand Presence in Golan
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago
IDNS-mobile-bench-park-spain-770x400
Today’s Top Stories
1. Iran and Hezbollah are expanding their presence in the Syrian Golan as Bashar Assad’s offensive rolls on.

2. According Arab reports, an Egyptian airstrike killed a Hamas commander in the Sinai. But the family of Abdallah Saeed Kashta maintains he was killed with fellow jihadis in Libya. Hamas denies Kashta was one of theirs and insists it’s not interfering in Egypt’s internal affairs.
3. The White House formally requested War Powers authorization from Congress to fight ISIS. CNN notes that the request strangely omits Jews as ISIS targets.
Freshman Lee Zeldin is the only Republican Jewish member of Congress, and says it immediately leapt off the page that the President’s proposed resolution specifically singles out several ethnic groups threatened by ISIS: Iraqi Christians, Yezidis and Turkmens, but says nothing about Jews.
US Capitol

4. Media Fairness and Israel: The Biggest Fails and How You Can Create Change: HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams discusses media failures and how the public can become more involved to make a difference.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel intercepted a boat trying to smuggle materials for rocket production into Gaza. See Jerusalem Post and YNet coverage.
Kayla Mueller

• Prime Minister Netanyahu sent condolences to the US on the death of ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller.
Among her many pursuits, the Arizona native once volunteered in Israeli with the Palestinian International Solidarity Movement a few years ago; Mueller was kidnapped by ISIS one day after arriving in Syria as a humanitarian volunteer smf reportedly given as a “bride” to an ISIS commander before being killed in a Jordanian airstrike on Raqqa. Nobody deserves a fate like that.
• Israeli food companies shrugged off a PA boycott of their products. Executives who talked to Haaretz explained their indifference:
“The products they sell in the PA are the most basic of the basic, and they sell them at low prices because they know consumers don’t have money to spend,” said the industry executive. “Profitability is much lower than in Israel.”
• The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Rachel Corrie’s parents, who sought to have the state held responsible for her death. Corrie, a US citizen and volunteer with the Palestinian International Solidarity Campaign, was accidentally run over by an army bulldozer looking for smuggling tunnels in Rafah in 2003.

Asaf Ronel
Around the World
• Never again? More like, here we go again — in Austria.

Facebook postings from a Turkish man showing Adolf Hitler, with a statement praising the death of Jews, are a legitimate expression of criticizing the Jewish state, the spokesman for the prosecutor office in the city of Linz, Philip Christl, said on Tuesday.
DUT• The student representative council (SRC) of the Durban University of Technology called for Jews to be expelled from the school.

The newspaper quoted SRC secretary Mqondisi Duma as saying: “As the SRC we had a meeting and analysed international politics. We took the decision that Jewish students, especially those who do not support the Palestinian struggle, should deregister.”
 
The university’s vice chancellor Prof Ahmed Bawa told the newspaper the demand was “totally unacceptable”.
To which Gerhard Jacobs responds:

Perhaps the SRC should place more focus on their members’ pass-rates, rather than busy themselves with matters they might not know all that much about.
• I assume Jean-Christophe Cambedelis meant well, but he could’ve said it better.

ISIS
• George Galloway is (once again) going off the deep end.
• Greece to hold joint military exercises with Israel, Cyprus, and possibly Egypt.
• Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized vehicles from the US embassy in Yemen after embassy staff evacuated the country. Britain and France embassy personnel have also left the country. See Reuters, and Washington Post coverage.
• Tears of happiness as Egypt releases jailed Al Jazeera journalists.
• It’s only an outrage when Israel does this.
Police: Man killed after hit 2 officers with rocks
• 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon was killed in a car crash. Simon was based in Tel Aviv for more than 20 years as CBS News’s chief Mideast correspondent.
In 1991, Simon was captured and tortured by Iraqi soldiers, and he later said he feared his Jewishness would be more likely to cost him life than the fact he worked in Tel Aviv. I’ll link to the CBS News obit and a remembrance by Allison Kaplan Sommer. She notes that Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai “predicted” Simon’s death in a 2012 interview. Plenty of Western ex-pats in Israel will relate to this conversation; given Simon’s demise, the irony is eerie.
Commentary/Analysis
• Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, is also the head of the PA committee tasked with collecting evidence that can be used in the International Criminal Court against Israeli leaders. Alan Baker asks:

Clearly the question here, taking into consideration these two news items, is how can the Palestinians push for bringing Israeli leaders before the ICC on the one hand while on the other intimating to the world their desire to resume negotiations with those same leaders? That the person heading their ICC preparation committee is the chief Palestinian negotiator to both the US and the EU would alone seem to render this whole picture rather absurd. It begs the question: which Israelis does Erekat intend to negotiate with, if his aim is to have them all arrested for war crimes? It is perhaps high time that the international community faced the reality that the Palestinian leadership, in attempting to stem the rise of popular support for Hamas among its population, is resorting to this ICC gambit as a public relations exercise, blatantly deceiving themselves, their constituency and the international community.
• The Wall St. Journal‘s Bari Weiss raises the Chapel Hill shooting to make an interesting point about President Obama calling the Paris kosher market attack “random.”

• For more commentary/analysis, see Elliott Abrams (The president’s “papal infallibility:), Annika Hernroth-Rothstein (Sweden’s blank check to Abbas), Mort Zuckerman (Rolling back the Iranian threat), Jeff Neumann (Is Hezbollah going broke?), Hanin Ghaddar (Hezbollah is turning into an unreliable state),and Maurice Ostroff (B’tselem’s Gaza casualty figures based largely on phone interviews).

Featured image: CC BY-SA Estitxu Carton via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Capitol CC BY-NC-SA flickr/The Q Speaks; Simon via YouTube/ca c
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Feb 2015, 3:46 pm

EU Preparing Fresh Sanctions On Israel?
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Fatah cadres pushing for the appointment of a vice president may get their wish at a party congress next month. The Media Line explains why Fatah’s feeling the urgency and Hamas is sure to object:

Concerns for the health of Abbas and the law of succession appear to be the driving force behind the call for the new position. Abbas is 78 years old and Palestinian Basic Law stipulates that the chairman of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) – by law a member of Hamas — be next in line in the event the PA president is unable to perform his functions.
Spoiler alert: Mohammed Dahlan is the most talked about name in this conversation.

2. Here’s an interesting juxtaposition of headlines:
- EU states said to be planning fresh sanctions against Israel
- US bill seeks to tie massive trade pact to EU rejection of BDS
3. The Obama administration was forced into damage control mode after the president described the terror attack on a Paris kosher supermarket as “random violence.” Barack Obama told Matthew Yglesias of Vox.com (see video, skip to 19:45; or read the transcript):
 Look, the point is this: my first job is to protect the American people. It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris. 

France’s anti-Semitic watchdog organization denounced Obama’s language. But Yair Rosenberg attributes the mess to ineptitude, not malice.

4. Casualties of War: The media eyes Jordanian airstrikes on ISIS differently than Israeli airstrikes on Gaza terror targets.
5. Alan Parsons to Roger Waters: Don’t Meddle: Musician gives his former a colleague a slap, while demonstrating how BDS is an immoral movement.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Worth reading: Rights organizations losing Gaza battle against Hamas teen recruitment camps, Haaretz coverage.

• Hanan Ashrawi testified at the PLO terror trial in New York City. Sounds like she was all spin and little substance:
Plaintiffs lawyers had opposed allowing Ashrawi, a last-second addition by the defense, to testify. But the court noted that she could help explain the payments made to prisoners—a subject she never actually addressed. Plaintiffs had argued she had no specific knowledge of the events at issue in the trial. After a general testimony that largely chronicled her work in the Oslo Accords and other touchstone moments in the Arab-Israeli peace process, the plaintiffs lawyers hadn’t changed their minds.
• From the Association of Tennis Professionals:

The ATP dropped its investigation Tuesday into Tunisian player Malek Jaziri’s withdrawal before a possible match against an Israeli opponent, saying it was “fully satisfied” that he had a legitimate injury.
tennis

• According to Arab media reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post, Hezbollah planned to assassinate Ehud Olmert as revenge for the death of Imad Mughniyeh.
Mideast Matters
• Russia and Egypt signed a memorandum of understanding to build a nuclear power plant to address Egypt’s chronic electricity shortages. AP writes:

The plant would be built at an existing nuclear site in Dabaa, on the Mediterranean coast west of the port city of Alexandria, where a research reactor has stood for years.
 
Putin stressed that the deal was not finalized but that it had major potential. Egypt began its nuclear program in 1954 and in 1961, acquired a 2-megawatt research reactor, built by the Soviet Union. Plans to expand the site have been decades in the making but repeatedly fell through. In 2010, that reactor suffered a breakdown, though no radiation was reported to have leaked out.
Dabaa

• According to US intelligence estimates obtained by AP, foreigners are streaming into Syria and Iraq to join ISIS and other radical Muslim groups. We’re talking about 20,000 people, including 3,400 from Western countries.
Around the World
• NBC News suspended Brian Williams without pay for six months. And for the first time I’ve seen, someone fact-checking the anchor’s recollections bothered to quote the IDF about Williams’ puffed up helicopter ride during the Lebanon war. AP writes:

An Israeli army official who traveled with Williams that day, Jacob Dallal, on Tuesday called the anchor’s account “generally reasonable.” He said it was fair to assume rockets flew beneath their helicopter.
On a related note, Ben Shapiro gets the tweet of the day. Ben Shapiro • Australia foiled an “imminent” Sydney terror attack linked to ISIS. More on the story at Reuters.

• Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman told the Washington Post the conspiracy charges aimed at him and President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner surrounding the death of Alberto Nisman are “ridiculous,” and that Buenos Aires doesn’t need US help to solve the case.
• Jewish groups slam German government for creating anti-Semitism commission without Jews.
• Teacher quits French Muslim school, citing anti-Semitism and radicalism among students.
Commentary/Analysis
• If the Palestinians hanged Jews from trees instead of opting for suicide bombings, would the New York Times would call it terror? Just wondering . . .

NYT
• For more commentary/analysis, see David Stavrou (Why did Sweden fete Palestine?), Dana Kennedy (Terror is the new normal in France), and Al Tompkins (Here’s why NBC didn’t fire Brian Willaims).  
Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Michael Holm via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; tennis CC BY-NC flickr/Mike Hoff
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Post  Admin on Tue 10 Feb 2015, 10:50 am

Israel to Demolish Illegal EU Structures
Israel Daily News Stream21 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. A UK parliamentary committee report called for urgent government action against anti-Semitism. Most attention was drawn to the suggestion that restraining orders (in UK, they’re called anti-social behavior orders, or asbo for short) against anti-Semitic online trolls.

The report noted that there’s a precedent for using restraining orders to keep sex offenders offline. Take your pick of Daily Telegraph, Reuters or Mashable coverage. [url=http://www.antisemitism.org.uk/wp-content/themes/PCAA/images/4189_PCAA_Antisemitism Report_spreads_v9 REPRO-DPS_FOR WEB_v3.pdf]The official report‘s online[/url] (pdf format).
Other proposals in the report included setting up a government fund to cover the costs of security at synagogues and providing guidance for teachers on handling the Middle East conflict in the classroom.
2. Israel to demolish illegal EU-built structures in West Bank.
While the EU has not denied providing construction aid, it categorizes it as construction for humanitarian and public purposes.
3. AFP picked up on Hamas recruiting, training, and brainwashing kids for junior jihad. Notably, this is the first report on the kiddy corps I can think of with “critical” quotes from the non-governmental organizations.

But local human rights groups are accusing Hamas of exploiting children for political purposes.
 
“We are not disputing the right of an occupied people to resist, but it must be done by adults, not children,” one human rights activist told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
 
“The camps are making young people aggressive instead of educating them and teaching them to abide by the law,” the activist said.
4. What Universities Can Learn From Israel’s Status on Campus: The status of Israel on campus serves as a warning of encroaching dogmatism and lack of room for diversity of thought, argues Professor Emerita Cherryl Smith in a special guest post.

Israel and the Palestinians

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

• The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the principal leader of the Church of England, publicly admonished Twitter and Facebook to work harder to keep anti-Semitic posts, graphics and videos off their social media platforms. The Times of London writes:
The archbishop, who has previously waged war on payday lenders, said that he had been shown “utterly nauseating” online material that “would have fitted very nicely into 1930s Germany”. Companies must take down such posts immediately, he said . . .
 
“To put on Twitter a photograph of someone on a bar of soap because they’re Jewish, that is so disgusting they shouldn’t allow it to go up. They should remove it at once. And stop the account of anyone who’s doing that. It would mean monitoring but there’s the software to do it.”
• The Church of England took the unusual step of banning Rev. Stephen Sizer from using social media or speaking out on Mideast issues for six months. This comes days after the vicar posted on Facebook a link to an article entitled “9/11 Israel did it.” Judging from this church statement, Sizer apparently agreed to the ban rather than be defrocked. The Daily Telegraph adds that Rev. Sizer doesn’t have a very good relationship with the Jewish community:

The Rev Stephen Sizer, who has a long history of disputes with Jewish community leaders over blog postings and other online activities voicing his strident views on Israel and Zionism.
 
Last year he infuriated Jewish community leaders by taking part in a conference in Iran which was dubbed an “anti-Semitic hate-fest”.
• Roger Waters tried and failed to convince Alan Parsons to cancel this week’s Tel Aviv gig.

• Bureaucracy is as bureaucracy does. Reporter Ben Lynfield‘s having trouble registering his daughter with the US consulate. American ex-pats who hope to one day register their kids’ passports to say “Jerusalem, Israel” can surely commiserate. There, there, Ben.

Commentary/Analysis
Abbas• Over at The Daily Beast, David Keyes unloads on Mahmoud Abbas and his lousy human rights records.

Decades of propping up Palestinian dictators from Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas have not solved the problem of radicalism—they’ve actually strengthened it. An unelected strongman like Abbas will not defeat extremism by investigating cartoonists, jailing critics and censoring the Internet . . .
 
Tyrants that stifle dissent are not moderates. The free world should stop pretending that they are. Giving a pass to Palestinian dictatorship serves no one—least of all the Palestinians.

• Worth reading: The return of Fatah-sponsored terrorism

• Yemen falls to Iran in regional proxy war.
• The ISIS threat is bringing Jordan and Egypt closer to Israel, points out Amos Harel.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Anthony Cordesman (Iran uses Israel to distract from its Persian Gulf goals), and a New York Daily News staff-ed (UN-acceptable bias as anti-Israel fanatic is bounced from the probe).
Featured image: CC BY Jon S via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; parliament CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Johan Lindstrom ;archbishop CC BY-NC-ND flickr/International Monetary Fund; Abbas via YouTube/Charlie Rose
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 08 Feb 2015, 5:52 pm

EU Funds Illegally-Built Palestinian Structures
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The EU’s funding illegally built Palestinian structures in the West Bank. According to the Daily Mail, the financial support — at taxpayer expense — violates international agreements:

More than 400 EU-funded Palestinian homes have been erected in Area C of the West Bank, which was placed under Israeli jurisdiction during the Oslo Accords – a part of international law to which the EU is a signatory.
 
The Palestinian buildings, which have no permits, come at a cost of tens of millions of Euros in public money, a proportion of which comes from the British taxpayer.
 
This has raised concerns that the EU is using valuable resources to take sides in a foreign territorial dispute.
More on the story at the Jerusalem Post. They were picking up on a report by Regavim
2. I can’t say I’m satisfied with it, but Sky News apologized for airing images of Gaza destruction during a Holocaust Memorial Day interview with Britain’s chief rabbi:

Mr Lowe said showing images of Gaza while the Chief Rabbi talked about the conflict was logical, but that with hindsight he would not have combined the two, calling it “an indelicate clash”.
 
He added: “I’m sorry if you or anyone was upset by the interview Adam did with the Chief Rabbi. I agree that the particular circumstances of the use of the pictures from Gaza was unfortunate”.
3. The Uruguayan government confirmed that an Iranian fled the country after a bomb was planted near the Israeli embassy in Montevideo. According to Haaretz, it’s not clear if Ahmed Sabatgold, a political consultant in the Iranian embassy, was trying to harm anyone, or test the embassy’s security preparedness.

4. Brian Williams on the Couch: Did the embattled NBC News anchor embellish a ride in an Israeli Blackhawk during the Lebanon War?
5. How The Media Gets It Totally Wrong About Israel: Sometimes the media can’t tell the difference between victims and terrorists. See HonestReporting on Buzzfeed.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The PA, including Mahmoud Abbas, meticulously studies the details of terror attacks before issuing salaries and rank promotions to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and their families. The Times of Israel looks at Ahmad Talab Mustafa Barghouti and Sa’id Ibrahim Sa’id Ramadan as case studies.

The Barghouti and Ramadan cases are just two of hundreds of terrorists who are rewarded for their actions — not in a blind, faceless program, but in a meticulous, exacting official process that can remain in place for years. The money is represented to donor countries as “government salaries.”
The journalist, Edwin Black, has raised this issue before. See The Guardian from 2013 for more background.
 Reports that UNESCO nixed a collection of Palestinian posters for special heritage status because they were anti-Semitic aren’t entirely accurate, UNESCO officials say.

But it turns out that the Liberation Graphics Collection of Palestine Posters still has a shot at being honored in UNESCO’s Memory of the World program.
“The nomination has not been rejected. The nominator is requested to revise it,” a representative of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said.
 
“It is absolutely normal for the committee to ask for revisions and improvements of the nominations to make them meet the program’s selection criteria,” the representative added.
You can view the posters and draw your own conclusions.

• Abbas appoints committee to oversee ICC cases
• A Palestinian attempted to run over soldiers at near Bethlehem. Soldiers fired on the car, which got away. No reports of injuries. Times of Israel coverage.
• While reading this BBC dispatch from the new Palestinian city of Rawabi (still under construction), keep in mind how the Palestinians use water as a weapon against Israel.
• After all the sturm und drang, George Galloway appeared on BBC’s Question Time (already on YouTube), broadcast from the London’s Jewish neighborhood of Finchley. See the Jewish Chronicle‘s recap, plus reactions from Harry’s Place and Jake Wallis Simons.
• What took them so long? Diplomats from the Quartet (the US, UN, Russia, and EU) met for the first time in a year and came out in opposition to Palestinian unilateralism. Jerusalem Post coverage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guAjF0csFI0
• The name sound like something protecting your teeth from plaque, but AquaShield’s an advanced sonar system protecting the Israeli coast (and, perhaps, offshore gas rigs), from hostile divers trying to infiltrate. It was installed along Israel’s southern coast near Gaza.
• Reuters: In the latest diplomatic snub, Turkish foreign minister skipped security conference in Munich, refusing to attend a joint a session with an Israeli delegation. Judging from Herb Keinon, I don’t think the Turks missed very much.
 
Mideast Matters
• Defying Shiite mainstream, Lebanese cleric reaches out to Jews.

• According to CNN, Israel and Jordan are bolstering security ties as they deal with a common threat from ISIS.
Israel has already flown drone sorties over the Jordanian-Syrian border to help Jordan thwart potential attacks from ISIS.
Without accusing the Jordanians of being disproportionate, tweet of the day goes to Max Abrahams of the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
 Voice of America was on hand as Jordanian Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, visited the US Holocaust Museum, called on the world to learn about it, and tied in the ISIS threat.

He referred to the militants as “takfiri” or “infidels,” despite their claims to be acting in the name of Islam, and said they were deceiving their followers with Nazi-like lies and chauvinistic logic.
• Politico: At the CIA’s request, Newsweek sat on its story on CIA-Mossad cooperation in the death of Hezbollah arch-terrorist Imad Mughniyeh, only to be scooped by the Washington Post.

• Will Egypt designate Turkey as a state that supports terror? That’s the goal of one Egyptian’s lawsuit. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24.
Around the World
• Greek guerrillas who call themselves The Group of Popular Rebels claimed responsibility for firing shots at the Israeli embassy in Athens in December.

• The Washington Post reports that French Jews are planning an “exodus.”
Far from comforting, the troops’ presence has become for many Jews a symbol of their vulnerability.
 
“It’s more stressful than reassuring,” said Sebag, who walks past the troops each day as she drops her kids at preschool. Even with all the threats facing Israel, she notes, soldiers are not regularly deployed to defend toddlers.
• The New York Times wants to make up for its biased coverage of Israel with crossword puzzles that only Hebrew speakers can complete. But they botched that too.
 
Commentary/Analysis
• Robert Fulford‘s wondering: How the heck did ISIS get this far?

• For more commentary/analysis, see Elliott Abrams (“Calling Out” Iran), Boaz Bismuth (“Moderate” ambitions — for a bomb), Uzay Bulut (It’s really hard to please the Jew-haters), and Doyle McManus (Why the US is courting Houthi control of Yemen). See also staff-eds in the Washington Post (The emerging Iran nuclear agreement raises concerns) and Wall St. Journal (via Google News — Another UN human rights fraud).

Featured image: CC BY-SA Estitxu Carton via flickr with additions by HonestReporting
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Feb 2015, 6:58 pm

UN Condemns Israel, Orders Another Investigation
Israel Daily News Stream 4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The UN Security Council condemned Israel “in the strongest terms” for cross-border fire that killed a Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper, it also appointed a panel to investigate. Here’s another example of Israel being singled out by the UN:

The Security Council offered no condemnation of the Hezbollah attack that killed the two Israeli soldiers which set off the Israeli response.
Brian Williams

2. Speaking to the US military publication, Stars and Stripes, NBC News anchor Brian Williams recanted and apologized for claiming to have been on a helicopter downed in Iraq back in 2003.
Williams has repeated the story  numerous times since then, but the tale got new attention when Williams aired a followup and was then called out by a US military veteran who was there. The anchor apologized on air.
The admission came after crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that was hit by two rockets and small arms fire told Stars and Stripes that the NBC anchor was nowhere near that aircraft or two other Chinooks flying in the formation that took fire. Williams arrived in the area about an hour later on another helicopter after the other three had made an emergency landing, the crew members said.
 
“I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
I don’t know what screwed up his mind to “conflate,” or imagine, being on a downed helicopter, and neither does the Twitterverse. Last word for now goes to Jay Rosen.

Jay Rosen
3. A new judge is taking over Alberto Nisman’s investigation of the 1994 AMIA bombing. Judge Daniel Rafecas is an expert in Holocaust studies and has been honored by several Argentine Jewish groups in the past.
4. Did Sky News Presenter Justify Anti-Semitism? Can UK anti-Semitism ever be justified? “It can, if you are a Palestinian,” according to Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes.
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Israel and the Palestinians
Mohammed Dahlan
Mohammed Dahlan

• Palestinians look to exiled Mohammed Dahlan for successor to Abbas. According to the Financial Times (click via Google News), the former Gaza security boss has the backing of Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and even Hamas. Hamas?
Hamas, which is voicing frustration over the Palestinian Authority’s failure to rebuild after the war last summer or pay its 40,000 civil servants, has allowed the Dahlanists to organise “as a pressuring tool on President Abbas,” Mr al-Masri acknowledges.
• Israel set to withhold more Palestinian customs revenues

• The UN appointed Nikolay Mladenov to replace Robert Serry as its top envoy to the Mideast. Mladenov formerly served as Bulgaria’s foreign minister and the UN’s top envoy to Iraq. Associated Press coverage.
• Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri sure knows how to raise a racket. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is investigating Jaziri who (once again) dodged a match against an Israeli opponent. No love here:
Malek Jaziri quit after winning the first set 6-3 against sixth-seeded Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan in the first round of the Open Sud de France.
 
Tournament organizers said in an email to The Associated Press that Jaziri, who called for a trainer twice during the match, “suffered again from an elbow injury he picked up” at the Australian Open.
 
Had Jaziri beaten Istomin, he would have played Israel’s Dudi Sela in the next round. In 2013, Tunisia’s tennis federation ordered Jaziri to withdraw from a match against an Israeli opponent at a second-tier tournament in Uzbekistan.
ATP
No love? Israeli Dudi Sela and Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.

• The Prime Minister’s Office is pushing for a web site dedicated to official government news and PR. Haaretz reports that a tender has already been issued.
• Hamas is investigating the kidnap and torture of Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Maghayer. Maghayer, now free, also works as an advisor for Dutch diplomats was tortured for several hours by people claiming to belong to ISIS. Details at the Jerusalem Post and AFP.
Around the World
• A Jordanian airstrike on ISIS killed 55 goons. And according to Arab reports picked up by the Jerusalem Post, Jordan is mulling a ground campaign against ISIS.

The Amman-based daily newspaper Al Arab Al Yawm reported on Thursday that the Jordanians are mulling a “quick-strike, lightning blow” against ISIS. The report also stated that the government would then re-evaluate its strategy within the framework of the international, US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State.
• Don’t say the world didn’t know about ISIS atrocities:

ISIS executed nearly 100 prisoners in Janury
UN: ISIS tortures, kills Iraqi children
ISIS executes 3 of its Chinese militants
• Iran’s shielding Bashar Assad from chemical weapons condemnation.

Amid the diplomatic wrangling, Syrians have suffered — grotesquely and agonizingly — in chlorine attacks across the country.
• British media picked up on a Community Security Trust report (pdf format) finding the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK at an all-time high. Take your pick of Reuters, The Guardian, or BBC coverage. The Times of London put the numbers in perspective:

Antisemitic attacks and hate crimes doubled last year to a record of 1,168 — or more than three a day on average.
Commentary/Analysis
William Schabas

• Jeff Robbins, a former US delegate to the UN Human Rights Council, slammed William Schabas and the UN’s bias against Israel. He writes in the Boston Herald:
Hillel Neuer, head of United Nations Watch, put it succinctly. “You can’t spend several years calling for the prosecution of someone,” he pointed out, “and then suddenly act as his judge.” But this was no inadvertent ethical lapse; it was a deliberate disregard of ethics by a body whose treatment of Israel is one part “Alice in Wonderland,” one part Pinocchio. As Schabas himself said in his resignation letter, his record of anti-Israelism was well-known to the U.N.
 
Georgetown University Law Professor Christine Cerna, whose candidacy for chair of the inquiry was apparently vetoed by the Arab bloc, has written that Schabas was selected precisely because of his bias. “I don’t think Bill Schabas could have been selected to lead the ‘independent’ inquiry,” she observed, “if he hadn’t made the comments he has made.”
See also Ambassador Alan Baker, who lays out how the Schabas appointment violated all accepted rules and norms governing fact-finding missions.

• For more commentary/analysis, see Allison Kaplan Sommer (ISIS horror movies: To watch, or cover the eyes?), and Andy Carvin (Graphic footage: Fanning the flames or bearing witness?). Last but not least, a New York Daily News staff-ed calls out the hypocrisy of Mahmoud Abbas investigating a Mohammed cartoon so soon after marching in Paris for Charlie Hebdo.
Featured image: CC BY-SA Estitxu Carton via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; tennis CC BY-SA Assaf Yekuel and si.robi via Wikimedia Commons; Dahlan via YouTube/Dahlan; Schabas via YouTube/RobertHJacksonCenter
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Feb 2015, 6:38 pm

Did Sky News Presenter Justify Anti-Semitism?
Featured Media Critiques4 hours ago
The release of figures showing a record increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK in 2014 has garnered coverage in a number of British media outlets. That this increase has been fueled by last summer’s Gaza war is not in dispute. However, while the situation in the Middle East may offer an explanation as to why anti-Semitism has increased, it can never be used as an excuse or justification.

During Thursday morning’s review of the press on Sky News, the two studio guest reviewers made this point perfectly clear, particularly Jonny Gould. But what about Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes’ reaction?
Jonny Gould: “The fact that it is happening around the Gaza conflict and as a consequence of it might be an understanding as to how to tackle it, but it can never be justification.
Eamonn Holmes: “It can, if you are Palestinian.”
Jonny Gould: “If you are an anti-Semitic Palestinian, yes.”
You can watch the full exchange here in this short clip.
BELOW
What exactly did Eamonn Holmes mean? The context of the conversation was specifically dealing with anti-Semitism in Britain. Would Holmes find it justifiable for a Palestinian living in the UK to carry out an anti-Semitic act against a British Jew?

Or is he simply stating that Palestinian anti-Semitism against Israeli Jews is understandable and even justified?
Rabbi Gideon Sylvester is the British United Synagogue’s rabbi in Israel, Senior Rabbinic Educator in Israel for T’ruah – The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and a contributor to Haaretz. Rabbi Sylvester alerted HonestReporting to this issue and added:
Eamonn Holmes is a responsible journalist, so it is surprising that even he should have been duped into believing Israel must carry full responsibility for retaliating against missiles fired from a territory that will not even recognize her right to exist. More surprising is that Mr. Holmes should find in this justification for attacks on British Jews who have no connection to the Middle East conflict whatsoever. And most shocking of all is that he should voice these outrageous ideas to an audience of millions.
 
All credit to the panelists and especially Jonny Gould who made it clear that dissatisfaction or even anger with the policies of the Israeli Government is no license to launch anti-Jewish attacks on Jews in Britain or anywhere else. Our community has the right to live safely wherever it chooses without fear of attack from Palestinian or Islamist fanatics and without incitement against it from the media.
This latest example demonstrates how the Middle East conflict continues to act as some form of justification for anti-Semitism in Europe and elsewhere, even for those who consider themselves opponents of Jew hatred in their own countries.

We are not suggesting that Eamonn Holmes is anti-Semitic and he would surely be horrified at any such suggestion. What he is symptomatic of, however, is the way in which negative views of Israel are able to distort attitudes towards Jews and anti-Semitism.
We hope that this is a teachable moment for both Holmes and the media.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Feb 2015, 6:40 pm

UN Gaza Investigator Quits
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
IDNS-ColorfulNewspapers-770x400
Today’s Top Stories
1. The head of the UN’s inquiry into the Gaza war, William Schabas, resigned after Israel uncovered that he was once a paid consultant for the PLO. Reuters got the scoop:

In a letter to the commission, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, Schabas said he would step down immediately to prevent the issue from overshadowing the preparation of the report and its findings, which are due to be published in March . . .
 
In the letter, Schabas said a legal opinion he wrote for the Palestine Liberation Organisation in 2012, for which he was paid $1,300, was not different from advice he had given to many other governments and organisations.
It’s not clear yet which of the remaining investigators will replace Schabas: Mary McGowan Davis, or the more problematic Doudou Diene. More on the story at YNet and UN Watch.

2. The Palestinian Authority’s investigating a newspaper that published a cartoon depicting Mohammed. This just a few weeks after Mahmoud Abbas flew to Paris show solidarity with pay lip service to Charlie Hebdo. Reuters explains:
A drawing in the West Bank-based newspaper al-Hayat al-Jadidah on Sunday showed a robed man standing astride Earth and reaching into a heart-shaped pouch to sow seeds of love around the world. The caption reads: “Our Prophet Muhammad”.
 
Artist Mohammed Saba’aneh, a Muslim, said he meant no harm. The figure was not Muhammad but “a symbol of humanity enlightened by what the Prophet Muhammad brought”, he wrote on Facebook.
Mohammed
Mohammed Sabanneh’s cartoon which prompted a PA investigation.

Not so long ago, an anonymous Palestinian journalist’s open letter to French President Francois Hollande laid out why Abbas’s presence in Paris would damage Palestinian freedom of expression. And so it has.
3. The Tim Willcox mess rumbles on, with Ofcom, the UK media regulator, wading into the controversy. While interviewing a French Jew during last month’s Paris solidarity rally, the news presenter said “Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well.” The Daily Express reports that Ofcom ruled that Willcox’s remarks don’t warrant censure. What’s strange here is that Ofcom has very limited purview over the publicly funded BBC. It’s the internal BBC inquiry that really matters here.
A spokesman said: “After assessing complaints about alleged anti-Semitic comments made by Tim Willcox at a Paris rally, Ofcom ruled that, while the comments had the potential to cause offence, they were justified by the context in which they were presented.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Jordan announced it is ready to return its ambassador to Israel three months after Temple Mount tensions. The New York Times encouragingly writes:

In a telephone interview, Mr. Momani said that Jordan had seen “significant improvements” in the access Israel allowed Muslim worshipers to the mosque on Fridays, and that there had been better coordination on tourist visits between the Israeli authorities and the Islamic authorities who administer the site under Jordanian supervision.
• Victims of Palestinian terror shared their stories in a US courtroom as part of a trial against the PLO. Reuters and AP were on hand.

• Buzzfeed unpacked a photo a lot of people think is a real selfie by a Palestinian running from the IDF. Posted on Facebook and Twitter by the Palestinian rap group, DAM, the photo’s been retweeted more than 13,000 times. A few hours later, the group came clean on Facebook and Twitter.
It appears that the three people in the photo are band members Tamer Nafar, Suhell Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri.
 
An associate of the band has confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the photo was staged, but did not want to be quoted on record as they’ve enjoyed watching the reaction the photo is generating online.
DAM

• Times of Israel: The PA detained 15 Palestinians for having links to ISIS, and said an Israeli-Arab from eastern Jerusalem is now in Raqqa with ISIS. The Times was also told that another ISIS fugitive is hunkering down in Gaza:
The Palestinian sources also said Tuesday that one of the most wanted men in Egypt, a leader of the Islamic State-affiliate Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, has been hiding out in Gaza. Islamist leader Shadi al-Menei escaped from Sinai to the Gaza Strip, and is in contact with senior Hamas officials there, including Iman Nofel, one of the commanders of Hamas’s armed wing.
nyt thumb• Picking up on the Schabas resignation, the New York Times made an especially sloppy fact-checking fail.

His decision to resign came against a backdrop of resilient anger in the Israeli government over what it considers prejudicial attitudes at the United Nations over the Israeli military’s conduct during the Gaza conflict, in which Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel and the Israelis attacked targets in Gaza with bombs and missiles.
But the Times’s own post-war coverage put the number of rockets well in the thousands.

Hamas and other militant groups fired 4,564 rockets and mortars . . .
As this roundup went to press, the error remained uncorrected.

• Reuters: Egyptian troops fired warning shots on Palestinian positions in Gaza.
Egyptian security sources blamed Hamas for a blast on Gaza territory which they said targeted an Egyptian military convoy near the Salah al-Din checkpoint. They said they had fired warning shots back.
Around the World
• Greece’s new finance minister is accused of having anti-Semitic views. Yanis Varoufakis apparently also voiced empathy for Palestinian suicide bombers. The Times of Israel writes:

Varoufakis, who at the time was an economics professor at the University of Athens, defended himself a few years later by stating that in his criticism of Israeli policies he was merely basing himself on reports in the Israeli daily Haaretz.
• Rebel chief: Ukraine run by “miserable Jews”

• Anti-Semitic posters referencing Nisman appear in Buenos Aires.
• Egypt is expected to release jailed Al-Jazeera journalist  Mohamed Fahmy after he renounced his Egyptian citizenship. According to reports, Egypt made this a condition for releasing Fahmy, who also holds Canadian citizenship. His colleague, Peter Greste, was already freed. Producer Baher Mohamed remains behind bars. CBC coverage.
Commentary/Analysis
• Omri Ceren discussed the US, Iran, and the nuclear issue with the Wall St. Journal.

• Iran and Hezbollah’s expansion into the Golan Heights spells disaster for Lebanon as Israel will inevitably have to re-establish its deterrance. Tony Badran argues that the Iranians will continue this for the duration of the Obama presidency:
The Iranians know they have two years left to press their advantage and maximize their gains, not only without any pushback from the US, but with its de facto consent. And the White House’s open hostility toward Netanyahu will only encourage the Iranians to take shots at Israel. Which is why, over time, a limited tit-for-tat Israeli approach would work to Tehran’s advantage, failing to deter it, and making the Golan front a fact. With Iran racing toward the nuclear bomb, its operational presence in the Golan, integrating the Lebanese and south Syrian fronts, is untenable for Israel. It is a matter of upholding Israeli deterrence and containing the Iranian expansion taking place with the seeming acquiescence of the Obama administration.
Beirut
Evening on Beirut’s seaside promenade.

• A concerned Lebanese individual writes an open letter to Israel.
The reality is that Hezbollah is terrorizing not just Israel, but also Lebanon and its population. We are hostages in our own country, and have become subservient to Hezbollah’s foolish political, ideological and military ambitions, which the vast majority in Lebanon want nothing to do with . . .
 
But if you must strike within Lebanon, please spare it from total destruction and collateral damage, so you end up with an ally, and not an apocalypse. Make an effort to preserve Lebanon and its institutions, so we can end up as partners for a long-lasting peace, just as it was many years ago.
 
If you destroy Lebanon, it will become even more infested with rogue groups, terrorists and extremists; you might even have Islamic State at your doors . . .
 
Just as the US and Canada came to finally help the Jewish people from the Holocaust atrocities of World War II; and just as you have earned their respect and alliances for life, I’m hopeful that Israel will do the right thing and destroy the Nazi-style movements that are currently at its doors, while sparing the good people (and innocent civilians) in the process.
• Richard Cohen‘s take on anti-Semitism and its causes is spot-on. Here’s the money quote:

Anti-Semitism does not need a reason. It needs only an excuse.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Tobin (New chair can’t salvage UN Gaza travesty), Guy Bechor (Let Hezbollah and Islamic State destroy each other), and AP (Hezbollah faces hard choices between fighting Israel, Sunnis).


Featured image: CC BY Jon S via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; cartoon via Jerusalem Post; Beirut CC BY flickr/Evan Bench
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Post  Admin on Mon 02 Feb 2015, 7:08 pm

Iran Expands Influence In Red Sea
Israel Daily News Stream5 hours ago
IDNS-BW-lady-reading-on-phone-770x400
Today’s Top Stories
1. Egypt freed Peter Greste, the Al-Jazeera reporter accused of helping the Muslim Brotherhood and fabricating news.

The Australian journalist’s release needs to be viewed in the larger context of Egypt’s rapprochement with Qatar, whose royal family owns Al-Jazeera, as Amin Saikal explains. Its easier to understand these maneuverings as Calvinball in Cairo.
Greste’s colleagues, Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief, Mohamed Fahmy (a Canadian-Egyptian national), and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, remain behind bars. Reuters reports that Fahmy may be released soon.
2. Fascinating: A German judge ruled that anti-Zionism is a code for anti-Semitism for purposes of incitement. The Times of Israel explains:
At his Essen hearing this winter Can was prosecuted for his use of the term “Zionist” as incitement against a minority.
 
During the hearing, Can claimed he was not an anti-Semite and had nothing against the Jewish people but only against the Zionist state. In response, Judge Sastry is quoted by Die Welt saying, “‘Zionist’ is the language of anti-Semites, the code for ‘Jew.’”
 
Sastry’s judgment, which does not form a binding precedent in German law, essentially semantically equates anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

3. According to Asharq al-Awsat, Yemen’s pro-Iranian Houthis are trying to take control of the Bab el-Manded strait, a key maritime choke point connecting the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, and further along, the Suez Canal and Mediterranean.
Iranian influence over the strait would complicate Israeli efforts to interdict Iranian weapons smuggling and potentially threaten Israeli shipping. And as a Jerusalem Post op-ed points out, it gives Iran a “non-nuclear choke hold” on both Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Bab_el_Mandeb-HR-map
Mideast Matters
• Haaretz: Jordan is reinstating its ambassador to Israel three months after Temple Mount tensions.

• The brother of a Jordanian jihadist’s Israeli victim opposes her release in possible ISIS prisoner swap, reports the Israeli media reports. Ibrahim Abu-Garuf’s brother, Hussam, was among the 60 people killed in a coordinated set of suicide bombings of Amman hotels in 2005.
•  Hamas says it’s ready to cooperate with Iran “to destroy the Israeli occupation.” And Tehran says it wants to strengthen Iran’s foothold in the West Bank.
• An in-depth UNESCO study (pdf format) of Holocaust education around the world found severe shortcomings in the Mideast.
• Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal (remember him?) launched a pan-Arab satellite TV station, the Alarab News Channel, to compete with Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya. Alarab general manager Jamal Khashoggi said all the right things to AFP. From his lips to Allah’s ears:
Jamal Khashoggi, Alarab’s general manager, said the new channel will be even-handed.
 
“We are not going to take sides,” he told AFP in an interview.
 
“I think a news channel should not have a political agenda… We should just be a news channel that provides accurate, objective information.”
Commentary/Analysis
• Spengler: China’s Emergence as a Middle Eastern Power and Israel’s Opportunity

Some Chinese strategists predict an Israeli role in the project on par with, or possibly even more important, than that of Turkey. China calls the project “One Belt and One Road,” referring to a belt of railroads, highways, pipelines and broadband communications stretching through China to the West, and a “maritime Silk Road” combining sea routes with port infrastructure from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.
 
Israel’s location makes it possible for the Jewish state to “play the role of bridgehead for ‘One Belt and One Road’ with the completion of the ‘Red-Med’ rail project,” said Dr. Liu Zongyi at a November seminar at Remnin University. Dr. Liu based at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, spoke of a $2 billion, 300 km rail line linking Ashkelon with the Red Sea. The “Red-Med” project is usually presented in more modest terms, as a way of absorbing excess traffic from the Suez Canal, or an alternative route in the event of political disruption.
While Israel and China move forward with the Red-Med railway, Egypt last year announced a $4 billion plan to dig a second, parallel Suez Canal to expand traffic.

Shanghai
Shanghai sunrise

• A Washington Post staff-ed blasts Hamas Gaza suffering.
THE POST’S William Booth witnessed a chilling event in the Gaza Strip on Thursday: thousands of youths lined up “in crisp military fashion” for a “graduation ceremony” after a week of training by the armed wing of the Hamas movement. Even as thousands of Gazan families struggle to survive amid the rubble of last summer’s war with Israel, and children are reported to be dying from exposure, Hamas is once again investing its resources in preparing for another unwinnable battle.
 
That this is happening is yet another indictment of this Islamic terrorist movement, which has started three wars with Israel in six years while depriving the 1.8 million people on its devastated territory any hope of peaceful development.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Aaron David Miller (The US-Israel relationship is too big to fail), Robert Jacobs (Hamas, not Israel, is responsible for Gaza’s suffering), Eyal Zisser (Gone are the days of quiet),  Yakub Halabi (Israel and Hezbollah’s common interest in Syria), Louis Rene Beres (Seeking “Palestine” while fighting ISIS: a self-contradictory foreign policy),

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Thomas Szynkiewicz via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; map CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com; Shanghai CC BY-NC-ND flickr/JERRYANG
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 28 Jan 2015, 5:01 pm

Syrian Rockets Hit Israeli Golan
Israel Daily News Stream1 day ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. At least two rockets fired from Syria landed in the Golan Heights, prompting the IDF to return fire. No injuries or damages reported. According to the IDF, the rockets didn’t appear to be errant. The IDF hasn’t indicated who it holds responsible.

2. Reuters: The UN suspended Gaza house repairs saying donors are following through on their commitments.

He said UNRWA received only $135 million (89.56 million pounds) of the $720 million pledged by donors to its cash assistance programme for 96,000 refugee families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the 50-day conflict between the Hamas Islamist movement and Israel.
It’s easy be snarky about Arabs repeatedly failing to follow through on pledges; I’d like to see Reuters acknowledge something else: If benefactors expect another Gaza war in the near future — a new cycle of destruction, demands, and donations — they won’t be rushing to bail Hamas out.

3. Big Media and the world honored International Holocaust Memorial Day. Angela Merkel was talking about Germany, but this quote of the day really applies to all of Europe:

“It is a disgrace that people in Germany are harassed, threatened or attacked if they somehow identify as Jews or if they take the side of the State of Israel.”
And on a media note, the Daily Telegraph looks back on a 1942 article about the murder of 700,000 Jews by the Nazis. A Jewish member of the Polish government in exile and his network of informants took enormous risks to get word out of the atrocities, and then what happened?

The Telegraph chose to report the “greatest massacre in the world’s history” on page five of a six-page newspaper.
See below for a roundup of the more notable commentary.

Auschwitz


4. The Guardian’s Warped Lessons from the Holocaust: On International Holocaust Memorial Day, a staff-ed infers that Israeli leaders improperly exploit the Holocaust.

5. BBC’s Holocaust Tweet Shocker: Why does the BBC think its appropriate to question whether the Holocaust should be laid to rest?

6. Paris Attacks Terror? Not According to the BBC: For reasonable people, the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and kosher supermarket in Paris were clear cases of terrorism.

7. HR Radio: We Don’t Whip Journalists: he New York Times Jerusalem Bureau seems obsessed with painting the Jewish state and its defenders in a negative light, while neglecting to report on the many ‘Israel haters’ disguised as NGO-sponsored ‘do-gooders.’ Click below to hear HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl interview with the Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas test-fired rockets into the Mediterranean.

• The Christian Science Monitor takes a closer look at Hamas-Qatar ties and the regional realignments that prompted the Gulf state to kick out Khaled Mashaal.

• NPR talked to the Swedish journalist who walked around Malmo in a skullcap to expose anti-Semitism. There was one especially important point Robert Siegel raised with Petter Ljunggren:

SIEGEL: Now, this is not the old problem of anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi skinheads. This is anti-Israel sentiment that is turned into outright anti-Semitism. Do I have that right? And how common would you say that is?
 
LJUNGGREN: It’s – you are right. And it’s common enough to be a big problem.
• Never again, right?

Daily Mail

Around the World
• Iranian official: Yemen’s Houthis are “similar” to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

• Israel is prepared to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. That’s how the Russian media‘s quoting Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is visiting Moscow.

Commentary/Analysis
• What has Iran done for Gaza, anyway? Khaled Abu Toameh weighs in on Hamas-Iran rapprochement.

Iran is not interested in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip or providing shelter to thousands of Palestinian families who lost their homes during the last war. The only thing Iran is interested in there is turning Hamas into another Iranian-backed army that would be used to attack Israel. This is all happening at a time when the Obama Administration is busy preparing for another round of talks with Iran over its nuclear program. It is obvious by now that Tehran is using these negotiations to divert attention from its efforts to deepen its involvement in the Middle East, with the hope of taking over the oil fields and eliminating Israel.
• Jeffrey Goldberg‘s worth reading.

Jeffrey Goldberg


• Israel’s former ambassador to Greece, Arye Mekel, comments on the new ruling party in Athens.

While Syriza is not a monolithic bloc, some of its members have been involved in organizing anti-Israel protests, including during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. At least one senior MP – Theodoris Dritsas, a possible candidate for defense minister – joined one of the anti-blockade flotillas to the Gaza Strip.
 
It won’t happen right away, but Greece’s current close relationship with Israel, including on defense, could certainly be compromised.
• CNN discussed Israel’s airstrike on Hezbollah in Syria with David Horovitz and Sharid Nashashibi.


• Big Media marked International Holocaust Memorial Day. Notable commentary included current and former Chief Rabbis Ephraim Mirvis (What have we learned?) and Jonathan Sacks (Why we need a Holocaust Memorial Day). Last but not least, a staff-ed in the Times of London rightly noted:

It is an ugly slur, and widespread not only in the Islamic world, that the commemoration of the Holocaust is an implicitly Zionist obsession.
• Holocaust articles by Douglas Murray and Robert Satloff made me go hmmmmm.

Eichmann hoped “Arab friends” would continue battle against the Jews
Acknowledge the righteous Muslims
• The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11.

• For more commentary/analysis, see a Detroit News staff-ed (Keep US dollars away from terrorists), and Mohammed Wattad (Only Muslims can change the world’s view of Islam).

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Joel Meadows via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Auschwitz CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Hauptillusionator;

Hezbollah Escalates Shelling, 2 Soldiers Killed
Today’s Top Stories
1. As this roundup was being published, the IDF confirmed two soldiers were killed when an anti-tank rocket fired from Lebanon hit a military vehicle in the Har Dov area. Mortars also fell in the Hermon region. Several other soldiers were hospitalized and a Spanish member of UNIFIL died of injuries from the crossfire. Israel denied any soldiers were abducted. More on the story at the Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, and YNet.

The media fun and games quickly got underway. Turns out this image making the rounds dates back to Pakistan, 2007. The pro-Hezbollah Al-Mayadeen News didn’t bother adding the words, “for illustrative purposes only.” To its credit, Reported.ly, which is Andy Carvin’s new venture, corrected the record pretty quickly. I’m not sure about others though . . .

Reportedly1

Reportedly2

2. YNet: 10,000 Palestinian teens, some as young as 15, graduated from a Hamas terror camp developing the next generation of cannon fodder.

The participants of the militant camp were also trained in firing sniper rifles, using the portraits of Israeli leaders for targets. The Palestinian youth simulated attacks on Israeli destinations through model terror tunnels, meant to recreate the experience of infiltrating Israeli territory.
3. BBC Question Time’s an interesting town hall format show. Every week, you assemble a mixture of five public officials, activists, and (sometimes) outspoken celebrities, in venues around Britain, and let the public pose questions. Now the Beeb’s under fire because MP George Galloway is scheduled to be a panelist in an upcoming show in Finchley, a London suburb with one of Britain’s highest concentrations of Jewish residents.

Galloway’s Israel-bashing credentials are certainly impeccable. He refuses to debate Israelis, was censured by Ofcom for using his show to slam Israel, and was briefly investigated by police for declaring his constituency in Bradford-West an “Israel-free zone.”

The producer of Question Time responsible for booking Galloway for Finchley clearly knew what he was doing. Harry’s Place offered one terrific way the BBC can fix the problem.

4. While following developments along the northern border, keep in 5 Tips for Sorting Through the News and Sharing Responsibly on Social Media.

social-media-icons-art-crayon-colors-770x400

Israel and the Palestinians
• Mahmoud Abbas has decided not to submit another statehood bid to the UN Security Council till after Israel’s elections. The Jerusalem Post reports that he came under a lot of US and Arab League pressure.

• The Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, issued a report accusing the IDF of violating the rules of war during Operation Protective Edge. AP never acknowledged that Hamas fueled Gaza’s death and destruction by embedding itself among civilians. Even B’tselem acknowledged this, but in a way that absolves Hamas for any and all culpability. AFP wrote:

The report also criticised what it said were attempts to shirk responsibility for civilian deaths by blaming Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas.
 
“It is true that Hamas and other organisations operating in the Gaza Strip do not abide by international humanitarian law,” it said, referring to Hamas firing rockets at Israeli cities from densely populated civilian areas inside Gaza.
 
But Netanyahu’s insistence that Hamas was to blame for all civilian deaths in Gaza was an attempt to place “no restrictions whatsoever on Israeli action… no matter how horrifying the consequences,” it said.
 
“This policy is unlawful through and through.”
For what it’s worth, Isabel Kershner’s coverage for the New York Times was the most fair.

Parthenon
The Parthenon in Athens

• Greece’s ambassador to Israel explained to the Times of Israel why his country’s new leftist government shouldn’t raise Israeli angst.

But there are several indications that Jerusalem has no need to worry, he added. For one, politicians act differently once they are in charge of running a country. “It’s a party has [entered] the government, therefore [party leaders might become] much more responsible and careful in the policies they are about to advocate.” Secondly, the diplomat said, Syriza’s junior coalition partner is “very well-known for its pro-Israeli attitudes.”
 
“There is a reality called ‘instability in the Mediterranean’. No matter who is in the democratically elected government in Greece, [one] cannot ignore the fact that there are very few democratic prosperous states with Westerns ideals in the region. Israel is one of them. See around you, there is a very limited array of countries with which Greece can cooperate.”
• Throwing stones at cars is illegal, no matter whether the incident is in Malaysia, Mumbai, Trinidad & Tobago, or Accrington. So why is it worth the attention of an international wire service like AP that a 14-year-old stone-throwing Palestinian girl was sentenced to two months in prison?

Around the World
• French President Francois Hollande is talking tough against online anti-Semitism. AP reports:

During a visit to France’s Holocaust Memorial on Tuesday, Hollande said Internet service providers cannot ignore anti-Semitic and Holocaust- denial theories that are disseminated on social networks. Otherwise, he says, “they will be regarded as accomplices.”
 
Hollande also called European and international leaders to define new regulations with penalties for Internet service providers which do not comply.
• British actress Maureen Lipman made some waves when she told LBC radio she’s considering leaving the UK for either Israel or New York because of rising UK anti-Semitism. The Daily Telegraph picked up on the story, including figures on the incidents.

• Jordan agrees to release terrorist in exchange for pilot held by ISIS

Commentary/Analysis
• Tweets that make me go hmmmm.
Naharnet

• Avi Issacharoff explains why Hezbollah may be trying to draw Israel into sending ground forces into Syria.

The next stage, as far as Hezbollah is concerned, could be to try to further upset the security situation by firing rockets sporadically into the Israeli Golan Heights, in a manner that may force the IDF to send troops deep into Syrian territory. This would make it easier for Hezbollah to exact losses from Israelis casualties and at the same time focus Arab public opinion on the battles in the Golan Heights, distracting it from the daily acts of carnage perpetrated by Assad loyalists.
 
Furthermore, if Hezbollah manages to draw Israel into committing even a small number of troops to a ground incursion in the Syrian Golan Heights, the Sunni radical groups Islamic State and al Nusra Front will be in the problematic position of being portrayed as collaborators with Israel in its battle against the Assad regime and its Lebanese ally.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Ron Ben-Yishai (Israel must think hard about latest Hezbollah attack), Amos Harel (Israel and Hezbollah’s new battle ground: The Golan Heights), Yoav Limor (An active northern front), Omer Einav (Rising tension in the Golan Heights), and Nicholas Saidel (10 Reasons Hezbollah Should Be Worried).

Featured image: CC BY-NC Tobia Myrstrand Leander via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Parthenon CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Glorgos
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 25 Jan 2015, 2:37 pm

Argentine Journalist Flees to Israel
Israel Daily News Stream 40 mins ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Damian Pachter, the journalist who first broke the news of Nisman’s death, has fled Argentina for his own safety. According to Haaretz, Pachter’s on his way to Israel:

Pachter lives in Argentina but holds Israeli citizenship, and has written for Haaretz about Nisman’s death.
Meanwhile, Iran denies it had anything to do with Nisman’s death.

2. The UN General Assembly held its first ever meeting on anti-Semitism. Best coverage was in the New York Times.Keynote address was by Bernard-Henri Levy, whose talk was republished in the Huffington Post.
And I say here that even if Israel’s conduct were exemplary, even if Israel were a nation of angels, even if the Palestinians were granted the state that is their right, even then, alas, this old, enigmatic hatred would not dissipate one iota.
Since the UN is as the UN does, the Saudis blamed Israel for anti-Semitism. See also Hillel Neuer’s take at UN Watch.

Mr. Bernard-Henri Levy addressing the UN General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism.
3. Report: 400 percent rise in anti-Semitism during Gaza war. France was found to be the most dangerous country for Jews today.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The UN slammed Israel for “illegally” demolishing 77 homes in eastern Jerusalem. AFP coverage.

• Times of Israel: Mahmoud Abbas isn’t just feuding with Hamas in Gaza. He’s feuding with Mohammed Dahlan’s supporters there too.
• “Strike in Syria targeted new, Iran-backed terror unit that planned kidnappings,” according to Israeli media reports.
• Iranian general was killed in Israeli strike because he didn’t turn off his phone, according to Arab media reports.
Mideast Matters
Pinocchio3• The Washington Post fact-checks President Obama’s statement that the US has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Bottom line: The president was awarded three Pinocchios.

Words have consequences, especially in a State of the Union address. The president could have claimed that “we’ve slowed the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of the most dangerous nuclear material.” But instead he choose to make sweeping claims for which there is little basis. Thus he earns Three Pinocchios.
• Now that everybody knows Hezbollah’s operating in the Syrian Golan after previous denials, the organization appears to be going all in on publicizing its activities — showing Lebanon that its adventures are making a difference. Lebanese media outlets aired — for the first time — footage of Hezbollah and Syrian army forces ambushing members of Jahbat al-Nusra. According to reports cited by YNet, 30 of the Nusra Front’s personnel were killed.

• Prince Salman ascended to the Saudi throne following death of King Abdullah. The New York Times looks at what’s in store for the kingdom.
Around the World
• Swedish reporter Peter Lindgren donned a skullcap and walked around Malmo with a hidden camera to get a better understanding of how locals treated the Jews. It was anything but pleasant. The video‘s in Swedish with English subtitles; YNet explains the background.

 
• According to Scotland Yard, anti-Semitic hate crimes against Jews in London have risen dramaticallyJewish Chronicle coverage.
• Dutch Jews demand soldiers be deployed near synagogues.
Commentary/Analysis
• Worth reading: Award-winning British author Howard Jacobson says:

Try ‘and’ instead of ‘but’ and you’ll find that America and Israel are not to blame for all the world’s atrocities.
• Khaled Abu Toameh explains why the PA and Hamas are burying their heads in the sand over the rising popularity of ISIS in the West Bank and Gaza. Both fear that acknowledging the problem will scare away international donors and scare off global support for statehood.

The glorification of terrorists and jihadists by the PA and the ongoing anti-Israel incitement by both the PA and Hamas, are driving many Palestinians into the open arms of the Islamic State.
 
This is something that the UN Security Council members will have to consider the next time they are asked to vote in favor of the establishment of a Palestinian state. Otherwise, they will be voting for the creation of an Islamic, and not a Palestinian, state.
helicopter
IDF attack helicopter, 2011

• The Israeli airstrike on the Hezbollah/Iran convoy also sent a message to Washington, says Tony Badran:
To understand Israeli behavior, we must take into account three key factors: Iranian influence in the Levant is expanding rapidly, it is doing so with American consent; and, moreover, no one in the Middle East actually believes that the Obama administration will stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. With the real prospect of a nuclear Iran on the horizon, no Israeli government can afford to have the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) set up base in the Golan. Ultimately, this was the point Israel wanted to make — not just to Tehran, but to Washington as well. . . .
 
The Obama administration’s de facto embrace of Iran and acceptance of its expanded domain in the Levant has put the US at odds with Israel’s interests. With this strike against senior Iranian officers, Israel also sent a message to President Obama: “Your accommodation with Iran will not come at our expense.”
• Boaz Bismuth on Yemen, Israel, and the West:

The Obama government is unquestionably caught up in the Iranian knot when it should be pressuring Iran and its nuclear program to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. At the same time, U.S. forces are currently in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and now in Yemen. Tehran has tripped Obama up: On one hand, it’s on the same side as the Americans in dealing with the al-Qaida jihadists and the barbaric Islamic State terrorists, while on the other, it’s protecting Syrian President Bashar Assad and refusing to relinquish its nuclear dreams. It’s not surprising that Persians were the ones who invented chess . . .
 
The Houthis’ slogan is “Allahu akbar: Death to America, death to Israel.” Yet more proof of why the U.S. and Israel, along with Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, must understand that they all have all the reasons in the world to see Iran checked.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Alan Baker (Some legal truths about the Palestinian ICC exercise), Yossi Melman (Fearing entanglement with Iran and Hezbollah on the northern border), Yoram Ettinger (The myth of Palestinian centrality), Douglas Alexander (Anti-Semitism: the old disease has found new hosts), and Andrew Gilligan ((The rising tide of anti-Semitism).

See also David Ignatius (Saudi Arabia’s coming struggle), Simon Henderson (Royal roulette: the Saudi succession struggle), Charles Krauthammer (Iran’s emerging empire), and The Economist (In an unstable region, Iran expands its reach).
 
Featured image: CC BY Jon S via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Levy via UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe; Pinocchio via YouTube/De Niro; helicopter CC BY-NC flickr/Israel Defense Forces
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 5:12 pm

What Does Yemen Coup Mean For Israel and the West?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Through an interview with a Free Syrian commander and some articles in the Lebanese press, the Times of Israel sheds some light on what Hezbollah and Iran may be doing in the Syrian Golan:

Lebanese news agency El-Nashra reported on Wednesday that Iran and Hezbollah, in coordination with the Assad regime, were preparing “a large strategic plan” for Quneitra. The plan included engaging the IDF along the 150-kilometer (93-mile) Israeli border with Syria and Lebanon, and training local militias on the Syrian Golan to combat Israel.
 
“The calculations of Hezbollah and Iran for the region go beyond merely a tactical, limited response to the Israeli air assassination in Quneitra,” read the report in El-Nashra. “The rules of the game dominating the area only yesterday will change.”
2. If ISIS can do this, why not Israel too?

ISIS Reportedly Plans to Get in the 24-Hour Cable News Game
3. Yemen’s pro-Western government accepted a power-sharing deal with Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.
The coup complicates the US war on terror, spells trouble for what’s left of Yemen’s Jewish community, and is not good news for Israel. It will open up the field for ISIS to gain ground on Al-Qaeda in their competition for popularity and recruits. Max Boot gets the last word, for now.
Max Boot
4. Foreign Workers: Another Angle to Bash Israel: The Guardian and Channel 4 News promote a Human Rights Watch report claiming Israeli abuse of Thai laborers.
5. Anti-Semitic Facebook Page Still Up: Why is Facebook still giving a platform for anti-Semitism?
Israel and the Palestinians
• After yesterday’s stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, enough people tweeted #JeSuisCouteau (I am a knife) in support of stabbing Israelis to get the Daily Mail‘s attention. Sick.

Antonella Sfeir
• Jerusalem Post: A Muslim preacher was indicted for an impromptu sermon inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque in November calling the faithful to “slaughter the Jews.”
• The Asian Football Confederation has some explaining to do after a video documenting the history of the Asian Cup omitted any mention of Israel. Israel hosted and won the Asian Cup in 1964; a few months ago, on the 50th anniversary of the victory, players reminisced with Reuters.
AFC officials told Guardian Australia they were baffled by the omission, and would be seeking answers. It is understood the video was produced by an external agency. Israel does appear in a table on the tournament’s website listing all past winners.
 
A spokesman for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, Alexander Ryvchin, said the omission was “highly conspicuous in a film showing extensive footage of every single Asian Cup tournament”.
• Turkish-Israeli trade booms despite harsh rhetoric

Misc. Matters
• Quite a few news services picked up on a Bloomberg News report that the Mossad “has broken ranks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling U.S. officials and lawmakers that a new Iran sanctions bill in the U.S. Congress would tank the Iran nuclear negotiations.”

But later in the day, the Mossad denied that it opposed placing new sanctions on Iran.
Anshel Pfeffer
• Haaretz and Politico elaborate on the story behind Prime Minister Netanyahu’s invitation to talk about Iran in a speech before a joint session of Congress.
• Israeli TV shows “Iranian missile” that can reach far beyond Europe.
• Don’t expect anything substantial. I’ll be satisfied if today’s UN General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism raises awareness and a sense of urgency that something needs to change.
• EU official Frans Timmermans: It’s a “huge challenge” to reassure Jews about their future in Europe.
“Today we see in some of our member states that a majority of the Jewish community is not sure that they have a future in Europe,” he said. “I think this is a huge challenge to the very foundation of European integration,” he added.
• Belgium’s public schools are becoming no-go zones for Jews, according to the country’s anti-Semitism watchdog.

• Several Israeli tourists were hurt during an hours-long anti-Semitic attack at a hostel in southern Argentina.
• An Argentine judge released to the public transcripts of intercepted phone calls which formed the basis for charges that Buenos Aires and Tehran colluded to cover up Iranian involvement in the AMIA building. Meanwhile, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner says prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s death was not a suicide.
Commentary/Analysis
Bashar Assad  celebrating the 2015 New Year with his troops.
Bashar Assad celebrating the 2015 New Year with his troops.

• Bashar Assad is Hezbollah’s Achilles heel, and as it wouldn’t be difficult for Israel to cripple the diminished Damascus dictator, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has little choice but to avoid escalation. Without Assad, Hezbollah is no match for Hezbollah. Eyal Zisser explains:
With no backing from the Syrian regime, Nasrallah would find himself at a severe disadvantage, in part because he would see an influx of Syrian rebels — led by the Islamic State group — inundating Lebanon. These insurgents would be bent on exacting revenge from the Shiites. Denying Hezbollah its Syrian oxygen would hurt the organization’s efforts to lay its hands on more weapons systems and may bring an end to the Hezbollah-bound arm shipments.
• The New York Times assesses the politics behind Bibi’s invitation to address Congress. Chemi Shalev articulates some very valid concerns about the speech.

• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Tobin (Beauty pageant selfie provides a ‘Middle East for dummies’ tutorial), Glen Falkenstein (Not condemning anti-Semitism only fuels extremism),  Allan Massie (Racism against Jews rings alarm bells), and Emmanuel Navon (What Sri Lanka’s elections reveal about the UN and Palestinians).
Featured image: CC BY Elisa via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Assad via YouTube/Syria Fighting Terrorism
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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 4:33 pm

Foreign Workers: Another Angle to Bash Israel
Only hours after Israelis were coming to terms with a Palestinian stabbing rampage on a Tel Aviv bus, Human Rights Watch chose to release a report accusing Israel of abusing the human rights of Thai laborers in the country. That this story was picked up by The Guardian and Channel 4 News is a case study in anti-Israel bias.

Why should a report that claims that Thai farmers in Israel face low pay, hazardous working conditions and excessive working hours be of such interest to UK media outlets?
For one thing, it demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between the media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as HRW.
The obsession with and outright hostility towards Israel by Human Rights Watch has been well-documented. NGO Monitor notes that HRW disproportionately focuses on condemnations of Israel and that publications related to Israel often lack credibility. This is also the organization that promoted its anti-Israel credentials to go fundraising in Saudi Arabia, hardly a bastion of human rights.
As NGO Monitor notes, the evidence shows that many journalists simply reprint NGO reports without question or verification. This is known as the “halo effect”, and violates journalistic ethics, which require skepticism and independent verification.
But when a “highly respected human rights watchdog” such as HRW makes a statement, journalists tend to ignore the bias and repeat this as fact. Media outlets such as The Guardian and Channel 4 News are happy to do this, particularly if it involves bashing Israel. This issue is not only limited to treatment of Israel.
But let’s assume that there is a case to answer for Israeli treatment of foreign workers. Nobody is denying that Israel needs to improve the lot of its Thai workers. There are also many other states in the world where similar problems exist, including within the Middle East. For example, Qatar’s own government has admitted that almost 1,000 workers from Nepal, India and Bangladesh died in 2012 and 2013. The Qatari case has made news as a result of the country’s hosting of the 2022 soccer World Cup and the construction being undertaken by migrant workers to prepare the required infrastructure. This was also the case in Brazil where its own hosting of the 2014 World Cup exposed the appalling conditions for migrant workers there. And what about China’s migrant factory workers?
But it’s not just in the Middle East, South America and Asia. Take this post from the UK’s Migrants Rights Network from as recently as November 2014:
People coming to the UK from overseas are too often at risk of being abused by employers, gangmasters and employment agencies, who may seek to take advantage of their skills, energy and willingness to work.
 
Exploitation of foreign workers commonly takes place in low-paid and often casual work, within a range of sectors including construction, social care, cleaning and hospitality. Workers in these sectors are often subject to zero hours contracts and poor treatment including underpayment of wages, hazardous working conditions and long hours. Some people, and in particular some migrant workers, experience criminal levels of exploitation including bonded labour and slave-like conditions at work.
That’s right; according to a British NGO, the UK also treats its foreign workers poorly. But it seems that for The Guardian and Channel 4 News, there is only one country in the world that UK audiences should be concerned about the welfare of Thai workers: Israel.

Is it proportionate that every fault within Israel (and there are faults to be sure) becomes the focus of and is magnified by NGOs and an unquestioning foreign media? This is just one more example of the excessive over-reporting of Israel and the continuing quest by some to attack the country even beyond the scope of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
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Post  Admin on Wed 21 Jan 2015, 9:30 pm

Netanyahu to Address Joint Session of Congress
Today’s Top Stories
1. A Palestinian stabbed several Israelis on a Tel Aviv bus this morning. At least 12 people were injured. The attacker, a 23-year-old from the Tulkarem refugee camp, was shot after fleeing the bus and is now hospitalized. Don’t sweep Palestinian incitement under the rug after reading what Matrouk told the police:

He further told his Shin Bet interrogators that his attack was motivated by Operation Protective Edge, the religious tension at the Temple Mount and extremist Islamist television programs. Matrouk hoped to make it to heaven by carrying out the terror attack.
Take your pick of Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, or Times of Israel coverage. YNet obtained footage of the fleeing Matrouk stabbing a pedestrian.

Congress
Congress giving Netanyahu a standing ovation during an address in 2011.

2. CNN reports that Benyamin Netanyahu accepted an invitation to talk about Iran in a joint session of Congress on February 11, the anniversary of the fall of the Shah of Iran. More at the Weekly Standard.
It’s going to be really, messy affair, because A) Obama and Congress are at odds over Iranian sanctions, B) Bibi and Obama already have a testy relationship, and C) the speech comes five weeks before Israel’s elections.
3. Hamas is forming “Liberation Army” in Gaza, recruiting teens as young as 15. Parents have happily brought hundreds of kids to be the next generation of cannon fodder, reports Khaled Abu Toameh:
The preparations for the establishment of the “Liberation Army” are taking place at a time when Hamas is complaining about the lack of support for reconstructing the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the last military confrontation with Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli source to Reuters: We didn’t know an Iranian general was in the convoy hit by an airstrike earlier this week.

The remarks by the Israeli source, who declined to be identified because Israel has not officially confirmed it carried out the strike, appeared aimed at containing any escalation with Iran or the Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla group.
• As usual, Palestinian media celebrated today’s stabbing attack. The Times of Israel rounds up today’s incitement. This cartoon, by cartoonist Bahaa Yaseen and tweeted by the Safa News Agency, is titled, “Good morning, Palestine.”

Safa News
• Although it’s quite likely today’s Tel Aviv stabbing was a lone wolf attack, this Times of London headline jumps the gun with the label.
Times of London
• There was a bad disconnect between this Los Angeles Times headline and the facts in Batsheva Sobelman’s dispatch. Nobody else — not even Sobelman herself — reported that the stabber died. Simon Plosker contacted Sobelman, who in turn contacted her higher ups, and in just a few minutes, the headline was corrected.
Los Angeles Times
His condition was not immediately clear although Israeli television showed the suspect face-down on the ground, handcuffed and moving. He was taken for medical treatment and questioning at a nearby hospital.
• It’s official: An Israeli prosecutor ruled that Haaretz columnist Amira Hass did not incite violence in a 2013 column about stone-throwing. As we critiqued at the time,  her piece, The inner syntax of stone-throwing, condoned violence.

• AFP: The EU floated the idea of expanding the Quartet to rejuvenate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The Quartet is made up of the UN, US, EU, and Russia, and its envoy is Tony Blair. And who did EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini hint might join?
Enlarging the Quartet “could be helpful” as it would it enable talks on not just the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but also the broader Arab-Israeli conflict.
 
There could be “an opportunity to work on a common security basis in the region between Israel and some of the Arab countries,” she said, highlighting the role played by Egypt in ending the Gaza war last year.
 
Arab countries were also playing a “positive role” in fighting militants from the Islamic State group, so that could bring an “added value to enlarge the scope of the” peace process, Mogherini said.
Will this be a classic case of too many cooks? Or is there an opportunity here?

• Argentine police still believe the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman was suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. But the public isn’t buying it, and the suicide theory took a big hit when the prosecutor investigating Nisman’s death said no traces of gunpowder were found on Nisman’s hands. More at the JTA.
Commentary/Analysis
• Veteran Arab journalist Abdulrahman Al-Rashed points out that a lot of Arabs are quite happy to see Hezbollah and Iran knocked down a peg, even if it’s by Israel. It’s significant that Al-Rashed openly says what this means:

The hatred held by many Arabs towards Iran and Hezbollah does not necessarily mean they have suddenly developed affection for Israel—that’s another story. Perhaps this would happen in the event of the brokering of a Palestinian–Israeli peace accord that garners more popular acceptance than before.
 
In case a regional struggle happens, like an Arab struggle with Iran, and Israel is an apparent party in the Arab camp, people will, I believe, turn a blind eye to a temporary alliance under the principle of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.”
• Elliot Abrams slams Human Rights Watch and the Destruction of Rafah

• David Bernstein deconstructs Karen Armstrong‘s argument that the terror attack on a Paris kosher supermarket was about Palestine and ISIS, not about anti-Semitism.
• Plenty of commentary on the Miss Israel-Miss Lebanon cat fight over the selfie taken at the Miss Universe competition, including the Toronto Sun, USA Today, Elle, and, of course, Jon Stewart
The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Daily Show on Facebook

• The security of British Jewry is becoming a growing conversation in the UK media. See commentary by Daniel Finkelstein (Here’s why we all have reason to be fearful), and Matthew Norman (There will always be anti-Semitism, but let’s also remember how protected and valued we Jews in the UK are).
• Fisk’s being Fisk again.
• For more commentary/analysis, see a New York Daily News staff-ed (Turnabout is fair play as PLO faces justice), Yaron Friedman (Nasrallah’s revenge will come when he’s ready), David Horovitz (Alberto Nisman committed suicide?), Ronen Bergman (Nisman a martyr in the fight for justice), and a New York Times staff-ed (Suspicious death in Argentina)
Featured image: CC BY-NC Diego Sevilla Ruiz via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Congress via YouTube/PBS NewsHour
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

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ISIS Massing to Attack Lebanon?
Today’s Top Stories
1. ISIS fighters are massed in Syria and threatening to attack Lebanon, according to a Daily Telegraph dispatch from the border.

While Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Isil’s leader is not yet interested in seeking to takeover Lebanon, a source close to the jihadist group said, the group is plotting to target a string of Lebanese towns and villages on the country’s border that form a base of support for Hizbollah.
2. Retaliation? Not in my backyard! Lebanese officials hope Hezbollah’s payback to Israel comes from Syria, not from Lebanese soil. The Daily Star describes Beirut’s wishful thinking it can avoid being dragged into potential Israel-Hezbollah escalation:

“The Israeli raid took place in Syria, which requires that any response, should Hezbollah decide to respond, be carried out from Syria, not Lebanon, which is committed to resolution 1701,” Azzi, who is also the labor minister, told An-Nahar newspaper in comments published Tuesday.
 
“There is no need for Lebanon to shoulder the burden of what happened,” he cautioned.
Hmmmm. If Hezbollah retaliates from Syria, it will complicate things for Bashar Assad, who can’t relish the idea of overt IDF activity in Syria — and Israel will respond in Lebanon anyway. With ISIS a more immediate threat, I can’t imagine many Lebanese buying into more Hezbollah adventurism.

3. Budget-cutting, Ramallah style:
Khaled Abu Toameh
4. Daily Telegraph: Israel Still Occupying South Lebanon: Lebanon’s occupied by a silly selfie, not by Israel.
5. The Times Delineates a “Jewish Border.” HonestReporting prompts the Times of London to correct the record.
6. Noam Chomsky, Please Shut Up: The MIT professor sure enjoys the attention his extreme views bring.
7. HonestReporting Radio: Why is the NY Times Quoting Unnamed Al-Qaeda Members As Reliable Sources? Is there an ethical problem with quoting terrorists anonymously and treating them as credible sources? Click below to hear HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl interview with the Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas reportedly building a new generation of rockets (and reconstructing its cross-border tunnels too).

• BBC‘s “Democracy Day” includes a narrow look at Palestinian democracy. I say narrow, because Yolanda Knell’s report implies that democracy is about elections, and nothing else — not the freedom of speech, assembly, worship, or media, all of which are limited in the PA and Gaza.
Still, I’m glad Knell acknowledged in her own vanilla way the under-reported problem of Mahmoud Abbas’s long-expired mandate to govern.
• Can we describe Hamas-Fatah fighting as tit-for-tat?
Gaza bomb hits car of Hamas security official
• Rear Admiral Dror Friedman briefed Globes on the Israeli Navy’s response to the threats Hezbollah poses.
• AP looks at the significance of the US lawsuit pitting victims of Palestinian terror against the PLO.
Commentary/Analysis
• Jeff Koterba, of the Omaha World-Herald, weighed in on the Miss Israel-Miss Lebanon selfie that has Lebanon up in arms and the rest of us scratching our heads.

Jeff Koterba
• Shimon Shapira: The attack in the Golan exposes Iran’s growing presence along Israel’s borders.
• An escalation? It’s not only up to Hezbollah.
• Israel vs. Hezbollah, Spy vs. Spy
• Assessing the PA’s moves at the International Criminal Court, Pnina Sharvit Baruch describes the prosecutor’s decision to open a preliminary investigation as “a cause for concern, but not for panic.”
• BBC executive Danny Cohen on the rise of anti-Semitism: ‘Old abuse has found a new home on the internet’
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonah Goldberg (Jews, outnumbered by Muslims, suffer under mob rule), Carlos Gurovich (Death of a prosecutor, death of justice), Bret Stephens (Packing time for France’s Jews, see Wall St. Journal via Google News), and David Conn (Just how antisemitic is Britain?).

Featured image: CC BY Javier Micora via flickr with cropping and additions by HonestReporting
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 10:33 pm

Israeli Air Strike Kills Hezbollah and Iranian Commanders
Today’s Top Stories
1. We now know that yesterday’s Israeli airstrike in the Syrian Golan killed Jihad Mughniyeh, a Hezbollah commander, and six Iranians, most prominently General Mohammed Ali Allahdadi of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

An Israeli security source (anonymously) confirmed to Reuters that the IDF carried out the attack. YNet lays out what the group had in store beyond the reconnaissance they were apparently doing when they met their demise:
“Jihad Mughniyeh was already planning, and had prepared, more major murderous attacks against Israel in the Golan Heights. These attacks include rocket fire, infiltrations, explosive devices, anti-tank missile fire, etc., with the goal of killing soldiers, hitting Israeli communities in the Golan Heights and killing Israeli civilians.”
2. Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his home hours before he was due to testify to lawmakers about his explosive allegations that President Christine Fernández de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center.

Nisman had filed a 300-page complaint naming Fernández, Timerman and others of seeking to “erase” Iran’s role in the bombing at the AMIA community center offices in which 85 people were killed. He had said he wanted to question the president and other officials whom he claimed were involved in the cover-up.
Investigators believe, so far, that Nisman killed himself. Merco Press reported (before his death) the points Nisman was to have raised with lawmakers about his investigation’s stunning turn. Chris Dickey wonders if Iran murdered the prosecutor, while David Horovitz asks the question I was wondering: Who will obtain justice for Nisman?

Alberto Nisman
Alberto Nisman addressing one of Argentina’s Jewish organizations in 2010.

3. The EU is appealing the removal of Hamas from its terror blacklist. Reuters coverage.
As a result of the appeal, Hamas will remain on the EU’s terrorism list and its assets will remain frozen for now, pending a final judgment by the European Court of Justice.
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Israelis testified in Geneva to the UN commission investigating the Gaza war. The Jerusalem Post describes the testimony.

• My two cents says to wait till the ICC’s preliminary investigation is over before taking action. But what do I know?
Netanyahu to launch media campaign against ICC
• Europe’s turning to Israeli homeland security technology  and services to fight terror; YNet foresees even more business on the horizon.
“Over the coming years, Europe is expected to spend some $50 billion on procurement in this field; and although most of the money will remain on the continent, there are enough niches for Israeli companies to link up with.”
• Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Israel to discuss economic ties. His three-day itinerary includes visits to Cairo and Ramallah. AFP coverage.

• Egypt’s ban on Jewish festival is a reflection of nation’s attitudes, reports the Los Angeles Times.
In its heyday, the festival drew thousands of Jewish pilgrims paying tribute at the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira, a revered Moroccan holy man who died in Egypt while on a pilgrimage to what is now Israel.
Misc. Matters
money• Is Hezbollah Going Broke?

With oil forecasters predicting a long run of prices for crude, Hezbollah’s cuts are likely to become extreme. The military budget shouldn’t be affected, at least not yet. But the slowdown could anger the group’s foot soldiers in Syria. Already, some complain that higher-ups and their relatives are inured to the daily hardships of war. Umm Ayman, a middle-aged widow and resident of the Dahiyeh, Beirut’s southern suburbs, from which Hezbollah draws much of its support, has a 17-year-old son fighting in Syria. In recent weeks, she says, Hezbollah has cut support to the relatives of soldiers.
• Israel wants to turn Beersheva into a cyber hub, reports Bloomberg News.

• Time: Not all French Jews moving to Israel adapt so easily.
• Discouraging news from Scotland:
The number of anti-semitic incidents in Scotland has soared by more than 300% in the last year, Jewish leaders have told the Sunday Herald.
Commentary/Analysis
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah
Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

• Retaliation for yesterday’s air strike will be Iran’s decision, not Hezbollah’s. And it’s not in Tehran’s interest to escalate, says Avi Issacharoff:
Iran’s dilemma right now is whether or not to allow Hezbollah to respond with force, which could well lead to a general escalation. A Hezbollah response is not necessarily what Iran wants, especially when the White House is pressuring Congress not to enact new sanctions on Iran. Tehran does not want to be seen as responsible for a regional deterioration, which could bring about new sanctions. In addition, it doesn’t want to get Hezbollah stuck in another active front while the drop in oil prices has left Iran with less and less money to fund its operations in Syria. What’s more, Hezbollah continues to lose men fighting the Islamic State and other jihadist organizations.
• Ron Ben-Yishai offers an additional reason Hezbollah likely won’t retaliate:

The second reason that Hezbollah is uninterested in an escalation is that its militants were killed Sunday in the Syrian Golan, where the group has no justification to operate against Israel while priding itself on being the protector of Lebanon. In an interview last week, Nasrallah strenuously denied that Hezbollah had operated in the Golan in the past. The very fact that Hezbollah members were killed right on the border in the Golan unmasks him as a liar to the Lebanese people. Hezbollah and Nasrallah see themselves foremost as Lebanese, and they, according to estimates by defense officials, will be in no hurry to drag Lebanon into a war that has no distinct justification and legitimacy.
• “War crimes in Palestine”: Who will investigate, and what?‘

• Washington Post: Palestinian move at International Criminal Court signals a volatile new stage
• For more commentary/analysis, see Yoav Limor (Hezbollah gets hit between the eyes), Norman Bailey (Put the ball in the ICC’s court), Lucy Tobin (Worse things than Peppa Pig are worrying Jews and Muslims here), Dalia Hatuqa (How long can Abbas hold on?), and Dow Marmur (Israel protects Jews against another Holocaust).

Featured image: CC BY-SA flickr/Filipe Soares Dilly; Nisman via YouTube/daniberliner;money CC BY-SA flickr/Themeplus; 
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