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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 28 Jun 2015, 10:27 pm

Islamic Terror Strikes France, Tunisia, and Kuwait
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Islamic terrorists struck France, Tunisia, and Kuwait this weekend, killing a combined 66 people. The French suspect, Yassin Salhi, was allegedly involved in an anti-Semitic attack in 2012.

2. As the deadline for the Iranian nuclear talks ticks down to June 30, press reports say negotiators will indeed stay past the date. Significant obstacles remain for negotiators in Vienna, especially inspections, sanctions relief, and political challenges from key players. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, flew back to Tehran for instructions and is expected to return on Monday.
ABC News and NBC News lay out where the talks stand. So does Matt Lee, in far fewer words.
Matt Lee
3. According to Haaretz, the Gaza flotilla is down to one ship after Greek authorities ordered two of the boats to turn back for undisclosed reading. The Marianne, a Swedish vessel, is expected to reach Gaza’s coast on Monday night or Sunday morning.
4. Your Weekend Headline Fail: Either AFP doesn’t take headline writing very seriously, or someone at this French wire services wants to demonize Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The Times of Israel picked up on New Zealand media reports on Wellington’s latest efforts to push Mideast peace forward.

• To Israeli ire, the Vatican signed a formal treaty with “the state of Palestine.” New York Times coverage.
• Lt. Col. Peter Lerner clears the air about today’s sirens in the Golan.
Peter Lerner
• It would be one thing if Dutch Socialists shot down a feel-good sister city arrangement between Amsterdam and a settlement. But members of the Amsterdam city council blocked an effort to twin the Dutch capital with Tel Aviv, which is very much inside the Green Line. The JTA adds that the Socialists rejected a compromise twinning Amsterdam with Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
• Prisoner dies in PA police custody in Bethlehem
• Turkey condemned Israel’s deportation of several Turkish journalists and NGO workers who were denied entry into Israel at Ben Gurion Airport. Reuters explains why Israel turned away seven of the nine Turks:
An official from Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, said those denied entry were suspected of having links to Hamas . . .
• Here we go again: Workers at Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs are going to start work sanctions to protest poor pay and working conditions. According to YNet, here’s what this means for you:

Foreign Ministry employees in Israel and abroad were instructed by the union to stop sending communications, issuing passports, offering political and administrative assistance, and more.
• Gaza may be without cellular phone service after Hamas moved against the strip’s only mobile phone service was accused of tax evasion.

• Truth is stranger than The Onion. I’m not making this up.
Mideast Matters
• Iranian-Americans set up lobbying arm to counter pro-Israel groups

• The US State Department issued its annual report on human rights around the world. Iran doesn’t come out looking so good. More at the Washington Post.
• How Iranian oil tankers keep Syria’s war machine alive
New Bloomberg analysis of tanker movement suggests Iran has sent about 10 million barrels of crude to Syria so far this year—or about 60,000 barrels a day. With oil prices averaging $59 a barrel over the past six months, that’s about $600 million in aid since January.
• The threat of Iranian missiles is proving to be a windfall for US defense contractors. Foreign Policy reports that the Gulf States are opening their wallets, especially for missile defense systems.

• The Christian Science Monitor looks at the impact of a nuclear deal on world oil prices.
• Looks like The Guardian discovered terror. Funny how the T-word’s never used when Israelis are victims . . .
The Guardian
• Assad and Hezbollah are inciting the Golan Druze, hoping an incident will draw Israel into the Syrian civil war. Although Golan Druze ambushed an IDF ambulance and lynched an injured Syrian, Israel was smart enough to stay out, argues Tony Badran.

• Over at The Guardian, Saeb Erekat whines that the EU is breaking its own rules by maintaining good relations with Israel.
• Former European Parliament member Struan Stevenson on Iran developing inter-continental ballistic missiles, which the White House conceded last year should be left out of a nuclear deal:
History has repeatedly demonstrated that countries that wish to undertake the vast expense and risk the international criticism of developing intercontinental ballistic missiles do so because they intend to arm their missiles with nuclear warheads and become nuclear powers. The Iranian missile programme makes no military, political or economic sense unless viewed in this context. Signing a nuclear pact with Iran on 30th June would therefore be a major mistake, which could have fatal consequences for countries in the zone and for world peace.

• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .

– Robert Fulford: What’s Israel supposed to do? Ask the UN for help?
– Yonah Bob: PA war crimes charges aren’t really about Gaza
– Giora Eiland: Being right about the Gaza war report isn’t enough
– Melanie Phillips: Time to call out NGOs aiding UNs Israel pogrom
– Benny Avni: UN charges Israel with war crimes — is the US next?
– David Makovsky: The key to averting another Gaza war? Egypt
– Bassam Tawil: Behind the French “peace initiative”
– Guy Bechor: Is France betraying Israel in favor of Qatar?
– Calev Myers: Expose UNRWA’s absurdity
– James Acton: Iran needs to come clean with what, not why
– Ray Takeyh: How to Promote Human Rights in Iran

Image: CC BY flickr/Mo Riza; typewriter CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Allen Skyy

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

Post  Admin on Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:13 pm

Aerial Drone From Gaza Crashes in Israel
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Could Israel hack Hezbollah’s rockets?

2. The US Senate passed legislation against efforts to boycott Israel. The language was piggybacked onto the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which the White House is expected to sign into law. See Times of Israel coverage, plus the Jerusalem Post‘s background.
3. Just before this roundup was published, an aerial drone from Gaza crashed in Israel near the border; IDF engineers retrieved the UAV for further analysis.
4. BDS Has Only One Weapon: The more people see Israel as a force for good in the world, the less susceptible they’ll be to the boycott movement’s effort to turn the world against it.
Israel and the Palestinians
ship to gaza• It’s refreshing to see a reporter ask a straight question to a politician, who gives a frank answer.  Here’s the key question posed by Washington Post reporter Ruth Eglash to Israeli-Arab Knesset member Basel Ghattas about his participation in the Gaza flotilla.

Q: There has been criticism that this is a political action, not a humanitarian one. Can you explain what the goals of this flotilla are?
A: This is a nonviolent political action aimed at bringing attention to the blockade.
• Police manhunt for two illegal Palestinian workers who beat an Israeli farmer to death. David Bar, of Moshav Pedaya near Rehovot, was 70.

• Worth reading: Reporter Dan Ephron really did his homework with an in-depth and frank look at the IDF’s controversial Hannibal directive. Published in Politico, Ephron certainly sheds more light on army tactics than that UN report everyone’s talking about.
To the military in the United States and around the world, Israel serves as a kind of laboratory for battle tactics, especially those involving counterinsurgency. Its wars with guerrilla groups like Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah—four in the past nine years—are pored over for the lessons they hold and the questions they raise. The story of Hadar Goldin raises one question in particular: How far should a modern military go to prevent one of its own from being captured? . . .
Now, nearly a year later, Israeli military lawyers are trying to determine if the Hannibal procedure led soldiers to commit a war crime. The lawyers have a particularly delicate task. Ordering a criminal investigation would put them at odds with the institution they serve. Not ordering one might open the door to a probe by the International Criminal Court.
Operation Protective Edge
Israeli forces in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge

• UN development official to AP: At it’s current pace, Gaza reconstruction will take 30 years because Hamas can’t be trusted not to pilfer cement for terror tunnels because of the nasty Israeli blockade.
• Israel to Jordanian media: ‘Stop praising attacks on Israelis’
• Here’s a fleeting ray of sanity at Turtle Bay: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Gaza flotilla isn’t helpful.
• Nice to see the New York Times conceding that Tel Aviv is not the capital of Israel. This Dia Hadid dispatch was corrected by the time I saw it (see the second paragraph), but there’s a footprint of the lousy Tel Aviv synecdoche on the paper’s Mideast page.
NY Times Mideast page
• Foreign investment in Israel dropped 50 percent in 2014. Experts sharing their conjecture with YNet attributed this primarily to the Gaza war, weak international economic growth which led to other countries seeing similar declines, and, possibly too, the boycott movement against Israel.

Around the World
• Papers picked up on an open letter signed by a number of ex Obama administration officials and diplomats against the unfolding Iranian nuclear deal. More at Reuters.

• Brazilian crooners won’t bend to BDS
• Holocaust memorial in Kiev defaced with swastikas
• Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, slammed the UN’s Gaza report in a New York Times op-ed:

The report is characterized by a lack of understanding of warfare. That is hardly surprising. Judge Davis admitted, when I testified before her in February, that the commission, though investigating a war, had no military expertise. Perhaps that is why no attempt has been made to judge Israeli military operations against the practices of other armies. Without such international benchmarks, the report’s findings are meaningless.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Stephen Huntley: The latest bit of nonsense from the UN on Israel
– Irit Kohn: Faced with criminal tactics, Israel abided by laws of armed conflict
– Jonathan Tobin: It’s ot France, but an Obama diktat that Israel fears
– Zvi Barel: While world finalizes Iran deal, Israel bogged down by UN report
– Bernard-Henri Levy: A yellow star for the Jewish state?
– Washington Post: US shouldn’t be swayed by Khamenei’s nuclear threats
– Wall St. Journal: The UN’s Israel inquisition (staff-ed, click via Google News)

Featured image: CC BY flickr/Kathleen Conklin with additions by HonestReporting; soldiers 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 Wed 24 Jun 2015, 5:13 pm

The UN’s Gaza Report: Aftermath and Analysis
Israel Daily News Stream1 day ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and the mainstream media react to the UN report on the Gaza war. For more on the  fallout and commentary see below.

2. Haaretz: In a secret meeting in Rome, Israeli and Turkish officials renewed reconciliation talks. Ties between Jerusalem and Ankara broke down in 2010 after the Mavi Marmara incident.
It’s hard to tell where this might go. Turkey’s approach to Israel may be softening due to the ruling AK Party losing its outright parliamentary majority. Ironically, the talks are coming just ahead of another Gaza flotilla soon to depart from Greece.
3. Israeli Druze ambushed another IDF ambulance ferrying injured Syrian rebels, killing one, and injuring the other. Two other Israeli soldiers were also hurt in the attack.
The Druze believe the Syrian rebels being treated in Israel may be from the Al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front, which is threatening Syrian Druze communities. The IDF denied that the Syrians were jihadists. It’s the second Druze attack on an ambulance in the last 24 hours. See YNet and Times of Israel coverage. Meanwhile, local Druze leaders say Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar’s inciting Golan Druze to violence.
And Syria’s reaction to the lynching?
4. The Druze in the News: A misconception about the Druze,  the Jews, and Israel gets cleared up.
5. HR Radio: “Shooting Teenagers” and Other Hostile Headlines: HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl discussed coverage of the Schabas report and other media fails. Click below to hear the full interview on the Voice of Israel.
Schabas Report: The Fallout and Commentary
• Israel to launch diplomatic and P.R. campaign against the UN Human Rights Council’s eventual vote on adopting the Schabas report. YNet explains what’s in store and what’s at stake.

Behind the scene talks with key players in the UNHRC have already begun, but if adopted by the council the report will be passed onto the UN General Assembly, as occurred with the infamous Goldstone Report in wake of a previous Gaza conflict in 2009, or Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will be asked directly to monitor its implementation.
The council is scheduled to discuss the report next week. But see Raphael Ahren‘s take on how far the Schabas report is likely to go and why it’s unlikely to get any Israelis dragged off to the International Criminal Court.

• The Jerusalem Post‘s legal affairs correspondent, Yonah Bob, breaks down the Schabas report. In a separate piece, he explains why the Schabas report is more sophisticated than the Goldstone report.
. . . whereas the International Criminal Court in 2008- 9 was just a distant threat, it now sees the Palestinians as having a state that can officially file war crimes complaints and is deep into a preliminary examination of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
• “This is my truth”: IDF soldiers react to war crime accusations

• Jeffrey Robbins is a former US delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission.
Jeffrey Robbins
• Memo to the New York Times: I’m not bothered that your staff-ed holds Israel to a higher standard than Hamas, but how is Israel supposed to defend itself from people you acknowledge don’t follow international law?
It is unrealistic to expect Hamas, which the United States and other countries consider a terrorist group, to comply with international law or police itself. But Israel has a duty, and should have the desire, to adjust its military policies to avoid civilian casualties and hold those who failed to do so accountable.
Other papers weighing in with staff-eds include the National Post, New York Daily News, and The Guardian.

• Here’s more commentary on the Schabas report I’m reading . . .
– Jonathan Tobin: UN Gaza war report leaves no room for Israeli self-defense
– Ron Ben-Yishai: UN report gives Hezbollah a green light
– Gabi Siboni: Did the UN panel not know about the Hamas victim doctrine?
– Raphael Ahren: Softer Gaza accusations may be more damaging to Israel
– Dan Margalit: No comparison between the IDF and Hamas
– Mitch Ginsburg: UN report is ignorant of military realities.
– Avi Issacharoff: Gaza report reveals UN cluelessness
– Boaz Bismuth: The UN Council for the Encouragement of Terrorism

Mideast Matters
• More pressure on the Druze: The Jerusalem Post picked up on Arab reports that “eight Islamist groups active near Israel’s border in southern Syria have united into one bloc.”

• Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog discussed the Iranian threat with the Daily Telegraph.
If the US Administration hoped that Mr Herzog might dilute Israel’s visceral suspicion of an imminent nuclear deal with Iran, however, then he seems likely to disappoint.
• Are peacekeepers from UNIFIL sexually exploiting women in Southern Lebanon?

• SANA, the official news service of the Syrian government, is utterly deluded. This tweet is real.
SANA English
• Reuters reports Egypt’s digging a trench near the Gaza border to prevent smuggling.
Once the trench is dug, no vehicle or person will be able to pass except through the trench.
• I’ll let this headline speak for itself:

Iran’s Forces and U.S. Share a Base in Iraq
• WikiLeaks memos show Saudis use the  media to manipulate students and “enlighten” consumers
Around the World
• Sign of the times? Armed French soldiers were photographed in Paris protecting a Jewish wedding. Algemeiner has the back story on the photos Australian journalist Greg Dyett posted on Twitter.

Greg Dyett
• The Druze peril is giving Israeli-Druze Professor Yakub Halabi a deeper appreciation of Zionism:

First, I must admit that when seeing the calamity of minorities such as the Yazidis, Kurds, Christians and Druze in Syria and Iraq, I become more understanding of Zionism as the antidote to anti-Semitism. Minorities, unfortunately, are the abandoned children of international politics, used by states as pawns for their own interests. Minorities hence are like orphans: they reluctantly seek adoption by whoever might be able to protect them.
• Terrific piece on reporting as propaganda and how autocratic governments make reporters self-censor news. Much of this is about Jason Rezaian’s trial in Iran and blinkered NY Times photo essay from North Korea, but Stephens also ties in the unwritten rules of covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and one CNN executive’s blast from the past. Stephens writes in the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News):

But the Post apparently thought it could play it safe, and last December Post reporters Joby Warrick and Carol Morello explained why. “Although other journalists have been arrested in Iran, Rezaian did not expect that he would be targeted, said his mother,” the Post noted.
“Rezaian had taken great care not to touch any of the tripwires that had gotten other journalists in trouble with Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, the agency that grants credentials to foreign journalists. ‘He knew about the high-profile cases where people had broken the rules,’ she said. ‘He followed the rules.’ ”
Tripwires? Rules? I could be mistaken, but I don’t think I’ve seen the Post spell out what those rules are, so that readers can judge for themselves whether reports datelined Tehran are censored, self-censored, or genuinely comprehensive and unfiltered.
• A Wall St. Journal staff-ed (click via Google News) worries that the State Department will find evidence of Iran cheating on a nuclear agreement, “but fail to act out of bureaucratic neglect—or a political desire to look the other way.” It cites previous failures at Foggy Bottom to provide timely updates to Congress on Iranian, North Korean, and Syrian activities, as well as Russian violations of a 1987 treaty eliminating intermediate range nuclear missiles.

Arms control is an obsession in which belief is inversely proportional to evidence of success, and so it is with this Iran deal. How is the U.S. supposed to enforce an Iran deal when the State Department would rather cover up an adversary’s deceit than face the failure of U.S. diplomacy?
• I’m also reading today . . .

– Lyn Julius: Why Jewish Refugees are the correct response to BDS
– Shimon Shiffer: 10 years since Gaza pullout: Myths vs. reality
– Elliott Abrams: The PA’s nasty little war with Salam Fayyad
– Alan Kuperman: Breakout time and the Iran deal’s fatal flaw
– Nour Samaha: Druze trapped in the crosshairs of war

Featured image: CC BY-SA flickr/Tom Woodward with additions by HonestReporting

Will “Moral Minority” Reject UN’s Gaza Report?
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli officials concede they can’t stop the UN Human Rights Council from adopting the Schabas report, so they’re focusing on getting a “moral minority” of democracies to vote against it and blunt its legitimacy. More at Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post. The latter adds:

In general, the sense in Jerusalem is that the report issued Monday – which charged that both Israel and the Palestinians may have been guilty of war crimes – attracted a great deal less attention abroad than the Goldstone Report.
Meanwhile, US opposes bringing the report to the Security Council.

Vittorio Arrigoni
2. A Palestinian Salafist involved in the kidnap and murder of an Italian activist escaped from Gaza to join Islamic State in Syria. Mahmoud al-Salfiti was on leave from a Hamas prison to visit family during Ramadan.
It’s not yet clear whether he left Gaza through a tunnel or by using a false identity at the Rafah crossing, which Egypt re-opened for several days. Vittorio Arrigoni, who arrived in Gaza on a flotilla, was killed in 2011.
3. Nuclear cooperation with Iran is a powerful carrot for the West dangle. But does this Associated Press scoop describe something going too far?
The United States and other nations negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran are ready to offer high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment to Tehran if it agrees to crimp programs that can make atomic arms, according to a confidential document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press . . .
The West has always held out the prospect of providing Iran peaceful nuclear technology in the nearly decade-long international diplomatic effort designed to reduce Tehran’s potential ability to make nuclear weapons. But the scope of the help now being offered in the draft may displease U.S. congressional critics who already argue that Washington has offered too many concessions at the negotiations.
4. Mad Mads Feted in The Guardian: The Guardian promotes radical Marxist anti-Israel propagandist, Dr. Mads Gilbert’s new book.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Mary McGowan Davis, who led the UN’s inquiry after William Schabas stepped down, discussed the report with Haaretz. Asked about the moral equivalence the report drew between Israel and Hamas:

“We were not in charge of conducting a moral investigation but to check if the international law was violated . . . The law puts them on the same level, and we follow the law.”
Her remarks about Israel bombing civilian areas drew a sharp response from David Bernstein.

Mary McGowan Davis
Judge Mary McGowan Davis

• An IAF air strike destroyed a rocket launcher in Gaza after a rocket was fired at Israel last night. The rocket landed in an open area causing no casualties or damage. Israel also responded by cancelling entry permits to 500 Gazans to visit the Temple Mount during Ramadan.
• PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah is leading talks with Hamas on a new unity government that will have “factional leaders replacing independent technocrats.” More at Maan News.
• A study found that German school books found that Israel is portrayed “as an aggressive, warlike country while ignoring that the Jewish state is the only functioning democracy in the Middle East.” The Jerusalem Post writes:
“Pupils connect Israel with a warmongering society,” said Simone Lässig, director of the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research.
Mideast Matters
• For Egypt, TV Show’s Shocking Twist Is Its Sympathetic Jews

• Dozens of Druze recruits defected en masse from the Syrian army while a convoy carrying more was blocked from leaving the Suweida province. It seems Bashar Assad’s officers broke a promise that the Druze recruits would only serve in Suweida, their home province.
• AFP describes the latest sick, sick, sick Islamic State execution video. It’s apparently filmed in Iraq. Do you really want people like this setting up shop in the Syrian Golan too? And in another Syrian town, two children were reportedly crucified for breaking the fast of Ramadan.
Mohammed Dahlan

• Why are Mahmoud Abbas and Mohammed Dahlan trying to outdo each other sponsoring mass weddings? Danny Rubinstein explains that the Palestinian “wedding war” highlights the problem of Palestinian succession.
If succession comes down to Dahlan and the imprisoned Marwan Barghouti, things could get messy for Israel.
• Worth reading: Over at Lawfare, Benjamin Wittes and Yishai Schwartz impressively unpack the Schabas report:
In a more rigorous report, Hamas’s tactics would be the fundamental lens through which Israeli conduct got analyzed. When one side systematically violates the rules designed to protect civilians, after all, and a lot of civilians then get killed, those systematic violations have to be central to the inquiry into the reasons for those civilian deaths. In this report, those systematic violations are an afterthought. And somewhat shockingly—and very tellingly—they are also entirely absent from the report’s “conclusions and recommendations.”
The report’s main act, by contrast, is the evaluation of Israeli targeting decisions, evaluated in almost total isolation from the context of Hamas’s behavior
• Diana Moukalled warns Arabs not to let Bashar Assad get away with what I’ll call “Druzewashing.” (Takfirist, as Moukalled uses it, refers to radical Islamists.)

We must not make the mistake of undermining the threat which takfirists pose to minorities. However, one should not forget the risk posed by authoritarian regimes, like the Ba’athists in Syria, who use minorities as a means to protect themselves. The Syrian regime’s exploitation of these minorities threatens the latter’s existence just as much as the takfirists do. This is not to mention that the Syrian regime has always used scaremongering over takfirism to gain legitimacy.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– David Horovitz: Shame on you, Mary McGowan Davis
– Nahum Barnea: What war crimes did Israel commit in Gaza?
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel must take action to reduce international damage
– Ian O’Doherty: Boycott of Tel Aviv dance festival shows the face of real bigotry
– Clifford May: How to exacerbate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
– Avi Issacharoff: Druze mob’s rash attack may have doomed Syrian cousins
– Aaron David Miller: Nuclear deal unlikely to transform Iranian regime

• Lastly, a Chicago Sun-Times staff-ed weighed in on the Schabas report, while the French peace initiative got a thumbs up from an Irish Times staff-ed.
Featured image: CC BY-SA flickr/Rob Hurson with additions by HonestReporting; Arrigoni via YouTube/Al Jazeera English; McGowan Davis via YouTube/GNews; Dahlan CC BY-NC-SA flickr/World Economic Forum;

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

Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jun 2015, 12:00 am

UN Releases Schabas Report, Israel Mulls Response
Today’s Top Stories
1. The UN released the full Schabas report on the Gaza war. The report itself will be formally presented to the UN Human Rights Council. As expected, Israel took harsh criticism. The Palestinians didn’t come out clean either. Israel rejected the report, as did Hamas.

I wonder if media coverage will reflect a certain moral equivalence between the IDF and Hamas. This is the report’s key sentence setting the tone for the headlines:
The commission was able to gather substantial information pointing to serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by Israel and by Palestinian armed groups.
See below for early reactions. Now that the report’s out, here are 3 media angles to beware of.

2. UN Watch: Leaked Saudi diplomatic cables indicate that the Saudis and Russians traded votes and cash to assure each other seats on the UN Human Rights Council. This is the same UN Human Rights Council due to self-righteously discuss the Schabas report next week.
3. In the Golan village of Horfish, Israeli Druze attacked an IDF ambulance carrying an injured Syrian rebel. Haaretz reports that the Druze demanded that the army check whether the injured Syrian was a member of one of the rebel groups threatening Syrian Druze.
4. Media Headline Fails as Israeli Policeman Stabbed: Why is a Palestinian shot while an Israeli is “reportedly” stabbed in the same incident?
Israel and the Palestinians
• The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the Schabas report as “politically motivated and morally flawed from the outset.” Cabinet ministers were ordered not to discuss the report.

• Yesterday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius visited Jerusalem and Ramallah. Fabius told reporters the US is “more open than ever before” to allowing a Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Fabius also that Abbas told him that a PA national unity government would only include parties recognizing Israel. Details at Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post.
• Is the PA curtailing civil society? Mahmoud Abbas turning on ex-Prime Minister Salam Fayyad? The Times of Israel reports a non-governmental organization started by Fayyad, had its assets confiscated by the PA. And Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh tweeted this:
Khaled Abu Toameh
• YNet; Palestinian rock throwing in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank seems to be rising since Ramadan began on Thursday.
• Arab MK Basel Ghattas told the Jerusalem Post he’s joining the Gaza flotilla while fellow MK Haneen Zoabi expressed interest.
Ghattas said that the Marianne av Göteborg trawler would likely depart from Athens in the next day or two and that he does not expect any violence, as “we activists decided not to resist violently.” Three or four other ships have plans to join the Gaza “flotilla,” but only the Marianne av Göteborg is currently approaching Israel.
The IDF is monitoring the flotilla‘s progress.

• Egypt appointed a new ambassador to Israel. Hazem Khairat replaces the current ambassador, Atef Salem el-Ahl. Ambassador Salem hasn’t returned to Egypt’s embassy in Tel Aviv since 2012, when he was withdrawn in protest to Operation Pillar of Defense. According to YNet, Khairat will take up his new post in September.
• Gotta respect Israeli journalist Miri Michaeli for standing her ground when pro-Palestinian activists hollering slogans and waving flags tried to disturb her live stand up from London. The backstory’s at Algemeiner while the video’s on Facebook.
Michaeli was covering a conference on fighting BDS at the London School of Economics. Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog and former IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz were among the speakers (Mofaz arrived with diplomatic escort to prevent an attempt to arrest him, but that’s a separate story.) Michaeli’s tweet says, “Always fun to report from the London School of Economics.”
Miri Michaeli
• According to Israeli media reports, Germany indirectly funds an anti-Israel church group that backs BDS.
• Associated Press looks at Israel and Hamas as frenemies.
• Thumbs up to the Christian Science Monitor’s in-depth look at the success of Israeli irrigation techniques with an impressive cover story, sidebar, and commentary.
• Israeli family from Sakhnin feared to have joined ISIS
Reactions to the Schabas Report
• The BBC acknowledged why William Schabas resigned as head of the inquiry.

The head of the inquiry, William Schabas, quit part-way through amid Israeli allegations of bias, acknowledging he had previously done work for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).
• Here are a four tweets that had my antennae twitching.

Eugene Kontorovich
Hillel Neuer
Shimrit Meir
Lenny Ben-David
Around the World
• India‘s boosting security as intelligence agencies warn of terror threat against Israelis.

• Top rebel leader accuses Jews of masterminding Ukrainian revolution.
• Iranian lawmakers advanced a bill banning nuclear inspectors from military sites. AP coverage.
• The BBC’s utterly riddled with liberal bias and groupthink, but don’t take my word for it. The Times of London published excerpts from the memoirs of Roger Mosey, a former editorial director. Here’s the overview story, one of the excerpts elaborating on the aforementioned bias and groupthink, and a staff-ed which sums up the problem:
He describes a news management system inclined to distort the news rather than report it; a delusional notion of the BBC’s typical local radio listener; and a “liberal-defensive” default mindset that bears scant relation to the real world. Publication of the memoir may not be welcomed in the corporation’s upper reaches as it prepares to defend the licence fee in a climate of continuing austerity, but this insider’s view is all the more timely and important for that.
PalUK• MK Yair Lapid‘s message to the UK: Don’t let your love of the underdog blind you to Hamas:

You always favour the underdog — any underdog. They seem to be right because they are weak, and in the best tradition of British gallantry you want to protect them and hit the stronger party over the head with your umbrella.
The strong, in our case, is Israel. We have the bad luck of being the stronger side in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which causes many in Britain to prefer the other side. They like themselves much more when they stand by the weak Palestinians and miss the fact that being weak is not the same as being just . . .
Support for the underdog is being translated into support for boycotts of Israel. Most people don’t know that behind the campaign is the most distorted version of Islam, hidden by heavy financial backing from Iran and the Gulf States. Maybe now is the time for Britain to act according to the second of the great British traditions: fair play.
• I couldn’t agree more with James West. Best coverage of breaking news with national repercussions is always in the local paper because they know their community better than the network correspondents who parachute in. You can see the nuance and sensitivity of the Charleston Post & Courier.

From Boston to Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston, one thing has become crystal clear: To get real reporting—and to get it fast—you’ve got to switch off cable and go local. It’s here you’ll find the scoops, the sense of place, the authentic compassion; it’s here you can avoid the predictable blather from a candidate, or pundit, or hack filling airtime. It’s here you’ll find out what’s really happening to a particular group of Americans who have just been shoved into a tragic spotlight. Turn off the TV and Google the local paper on your phone. Find their Twitter feed. Follow their journalists.
• I’m also reading:

– Jeff Robbins: UN beats familiar anti-Israel drum
– Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinians’ real strategy
– Dan Margalit: Block the flotilla of terror
– Alan Johnson: Israel’s allies cannot defeat BDS alone – we need Israel’s help

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

Post  Admin on Sun 21 Jun 2015, 10:33 pm

One Israeli Killed, Another on Life Support After Terror Attacks
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli police are still searching for the Palestinian who shot and killed an Israeli man in a Friday terror attack. Danny Gonen, of Lod was killed while hiking to a spring in the West Bank, near the community of Dolev. His friend, Netanel Hadad, who was wounded in the attack, recounted the incident to YNet.

Gonen was laid to rest Saturday night. More at the Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.
Israeli officials were especially angered by the UN’s “balanced response” to the terror, calling “on all sides to exercise the utmost restraint.”
Danny Gonen
2. An Israeli border policeman is on life-support after being stabbed by a Palestinian in Jerusalem this morning, at the Old City’s Damascus Gate. He managed to shoot his attacker — an 18-year-old, who succumbed to his wounds. Haaretz coverage. Meanwhile, Avi Issacharoff wonders whether this was pre-planned, or opportunistic.
3. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah today. to push his country’s peace initiative. Ahead of today’s meeting, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said he would oppose “international dictates” on the Mideast peace process. The foreign minister responded urging Israelis not to prejudge the French proposal. Netanyahu and Fabius are scheduled to meet this evening.
4. Bad Headline, Worse Picture: The headline makes this article misleading, but it’s the picture that really lies.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Former IDF chief of staff Shaul Mofaz arrived in London amid drama and intrigue described by YNet. Palestinians still seek the arrest of Israelis on war crimes charges, and Britain says it can’t guarantee immunity to Citizen Mofaz. I wonder if there’s a plan for leaving Britain . . .

Amichai Stein
• A day after Gonen’s death, a Palestinian woman driving near Dolev was hurt by stone throwers. Gotta credit AFP for noting this point:
Palestinians said Saturday’s incident could have been an act of revenge by settlers for Gonen’s death, although the stones could also have been thrown by Palestinians mistaking the woman’s vehicle for an Israeli one.
• Where’s the coverage? I found zero coverage of the fatal Dolev attack on the CNN, NPR, and BBC web sites, whhile the Times of London gave it one sentence hastily tacked to the bottom of a report about Hebron shops being allowed to reopen. If it bleeds, it leads, right?

• Still trying to wrap your head around Israel and Hamas as frenemies? The Christian Science Monitor and NPR take a closer look at what’s happening to Israeli-Hamas “ties.”
• YNet: Israeli students traveling abroad in youth delegations will receive a 10-hour crash course in public diplomacy.
• Former ambassador Michael Oren continues making waves ahead of the release of his book on Israel-US ties. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed, Oren rips the White House’s argument that the Iranians are rational actors. In a separate piece for Foreign Policy, he examines President Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world.
• Thumbs up to NPR for looking at freedom of expression in the Palestinian Authority. PA police don’t like everything Palestinians post on Facebook.
• Lebanese man to stand trial in Cyprus over alleged Hezbollah bomb plot. Proceedings to begin June 29.
• Worth listening: The BBC recounts the terrifying end of Libya’s Jewish community in the weeks after the Six Day War.
Libyan Jews
Libyan Jews returning to Tripoli from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp, 1945.

• Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs removed a video poking fun at the foreign press. Haaretz explains:
“The aim of the video was to illustrate Hamas’ crimes, and once it was interpreted otherwise it was decided to remove it,” Ministry Spokesman Immanuel Nachshon said Sunday, after Foreign Ministry Director Dori Gold ordered the English-language short off the ministry’s website.
BDS Battles
• Publix supermarket chain investigating BDS vandalism of Jewish products at a Miami store after stickers were attached to a number of Jewish products. I say Jewish, because Kedem products aren’t made in Israel. Seems like the boycotters are ignorant at best, or anti-Semitic at worst.

The supermarket’s announcement came after a photo of a Kedem product apparently from a North Miami Beach store was posted to Twitter, with a mock-up “Occupation Facts” sticker pasted on the front. Kedem is a Kosher foods product, but it is not Israeli.
• NY State Assembly condemns BDS

• Boycotters are trying to trip up an Irish dance festival due to take place in Tel Aviv this August. But London’s Sunday Times reports the organizers aren’t toeing the Irish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign’s line:
“With due respect to the genuine motives of the IPSC, I will not be taking part in the boycott,” he said. “To a lesser extent, there is a similar campaign afoot to have us boycott feiseanna in Russia because of the actions of President Putin in Crimea and Ukraine. Once we travel down that route, where will we draw a line?”
Iranian Atomic Urgency
atom• The State Department’s annual report on terror (388 pages of pdf joy) couldn’t whitewash Iranian support for international terror. The report also cited Hamas and Hezbollah activities.  The Times of Israel rounded up key take-aways

In 2014, Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism worldwide remained undiminished through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its Ministry of Intelligence and Security, and Tehran’s ally Hizballah, which remained a significant threat to the stability of Lebanon and the broader region.
Cabinet minister Yuval Steinitz‘s take was the most-quoted Israeli response I saw.

The minister said the report’s conclusions “dealt a death knell” to “the American delusion, according to which an easing of sanctions as part of an interim nuclear treaty would lead to a moderation of its position.”
“That’s why the report should serve as a warning sign for anyone who thinks Iran will moderate its behavior after a final-status nuclear treaty,” he said.
• The White House may appoint a “czar” to oversee implementation and enforcement of a nuclear deal with Iran. According to Politico:

It’s an idea that some argue is smart — even crucial — because of the multiple agencies, countries and international bodies that will be involved in the deal.
• Russia and Riyadh signed a nuclear cooperation deal. According to Reuters, the Russians will build 16 nuclear reactors. Abdulrahman al-Rashed notes that the deal comes at a time when the US and Europe are boycotting and sanctioning Russia over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Around the World
• This is bizarre: According to Hezbollah,a loud explosion heard in the Bekaa Valley was an Israeli air strike on one of its own crashed drones. But the Daily Star adds this contradictory information:

However, photos of the reported drone published on media websites show Cyrillic script on a piece of the wreckage, indicating that the drone may have been manufactured either in Russia or Eastern Europe.
• Done toying with British Muslim activist Asghar Bukhari, the Mossad, now joined by the “Jewish lobby,” are turning their attention to the Barcelona Football Club. According to Spanish sports columnist Xavier Bosch, Jews seeking to “control the world and its international institutions,” are pressuring club officials to end a $200 million sponsorship with a Qatari foundation, while the Mossad infiltrated the team.

Bosch’s original column (in Spanish) was published in Mundo Deportivo.
Barcelona FC
• At Egypt’s request, Gemany arrested one of Al Jazeera’s most senior journalists, Ahmed Mansour. Reuters got the scoop on the arrest.
Cairo’s criminal court sentenced Mansour, who has dual Egyptian and British citizenship, to 15 years in prison in absentia last year on the charge of torturing a lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011.
Does Mansour’s arrest mean the Germans too are playing Calvinball in Cairo?

• Without getting involved the US gun control debate sparked by the Charleston church shooting, I can’t say I was thrilled the last time Israel was dragged into it (after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre). Now, we’re talking about a White House tweet. At least Israel’s not being lumped together with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Boko Haram . . .
By the way, a website believed to have been created by the Charleston suspect, Dylann Roof, featured a rambling anti-Semitic, racist manifesto.
• Was today’s stabbing of a border policeman really a “lone wolf” attack? Ron Ben-Yishai explains why not. Here’s the context:

The main reason is the religious fervor among the Muslims on the holy month of Ramadan. It is not just a matter of the sermons they hear, or of their religious inclinations, but also the lengthy fast, the extreme changes to daily lives and maintaining their day-to-day routine while not sleeping at night – all of these create a situation in which the Muslim street all over the world, including in the Palestinian Authority, sensitivity and anger run high. This psychological analysis is important because it explains a significant amount of attacks that seemingly reveal no rational reason for the murderer to choose to risk his life and his surroundings.
The second reason is that an act of murder like the one on Friday near the Dolev settlement instantly brings about copycat attempts, mostly among those who were already feeling anger or religious fervor, or wanted to prove something to those around them.
The third reason is inspiration drawn from Islamist terror organizations, particularly Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Most of the attackers are linked in one way or another to one of the external circles affected by Hamas media and sermons from radical imams. Even though the attack was not directly sanctioned by one of the Islamist groups preaching for such actions, the guidance or inspiration came from them. In this manner, one could say that Hamas, which claimed responsibility for the shooting attack that killed Danny Gonen on Friday, prepared the ground for Sunday’s stabbing attack.

• It’s not often that Mordechai Kedar and Yossi Beilin are on the same page, but they both make compelling arguments that Israel must take action to protect the Syrian Druze. But Professor Eyal Zisser urges caution.
• No, U.S. doesn’t have “absolute knowledge’ on Iran’s nukes
• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .
– Efraim Halevy: Hamas has become Israel’s frenemy
– Yoram Ettinger: The nature of the Abbas regime
– David Harris: “The Middle East Peace Process?” High Time for a New Name
– Daniel Gordis: It’s easy to be an anti-Semite
– Jonathan Tobin: US-Israel alliance won’t be fixed without honesty
– Michael Totten: The “snap back” delusion”
– Amos Harel: ‘Lone wolf’ terrorists remain biggest threat in West Bank, Jerusalem
– Einat Wilf: The BDS war of words
– Smadar Perry: Working to prevent another round in Gaza
– Tony Badran: Assad wants the Druze for cannon fodder

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

Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jun 2015, 6:40 pm

Rebels Surround Druze Village Near Israeli Border
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Khader, a Syrian Druze village near the Israeli border was surrounded by rebel forces.  (Spellings vary if you Google the name.)

A smaller scale drama is taking place at a Druze enclave in the village of Khader, adjacent to the border with Israel. Opposition forces have now taken over two Syria army positions there, 1.5 kilometers from the village. The fighting is taking place in view of Druze on the Israeli side of the border, with growing concern for the fate of the Druze population in Khader . . .
Is the situation in Khader as critical as portrayed? Obviously, Israeli Druze are concerned about their relatives across the border, with the fighting getting ever closer. So far, it has not reached the village. It is possible that the rebels have taken Israel’s warnings not to enter it into account. The struggle of Israeli Druze leaders on behalf of Khader residents has become more open, with the army and police shutting off an area close to the border two days ago out of concern that a planned demonstration there would get out of hand.
However, an unidentified IDF officer told Israeli media that the situation in Khader was being blown out of proportion. More on the story at the Daily Telegraph.

2. Is Iran’s Revolutionary Guard fighting in Yemen?
3. Ex-ambassador Michael Oren’s forthcoming book on American-Israeli ties continues making waves as Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu refused a US request to disavow the book. The irony is that escalating the diplomatic spat will only confirm the thrust of Oren’s criticisms of the Obama administration.
If you’re following the story, Oren discussed Obama and Israel in a Times of Israel Q&A, alongside a separate list of 20 revelations from the book. Moshe Kahlon, the leader of the Kulanu Party, of which Oren is a member, distanced the party from the book.
Israel and the Palestinians
• A plan to drop Israeli products from three supermarkets in the Swedish city of Varberg was cancelled after the Israeli embassy in Sweden launched a social media campaign demanding fair trade and denouncing discrimination. The embassy feared the boycott would spread to the COOP chain’s 655 branches across Sweden:

This led the chain’s national management to reject the boycott and threaten that if the Varberg stores do not stop the boycott, they will no longer be a part of the chain, effectively putting an end to the boycott.
• Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, the mastermind of a 1982 terror attack in Paris was arrested in Jordan, but then released on bail. Don’t worry, Amman officials are reassuring everyone that the Palestinian won’t be allowed to leave the country while they decide whether to extradite Abassi.

Six people were killed and 22 wounded when two terrorists associated with Abu Nidal Organization threw a grenade into the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant and then rushed inside opening fire. Abassi, who goes by the nom de guerre, Amjad Atta, is now 62.
• UNRWA chief: Gaza militants hid weapons in our facilities
• Questioning the legality of its PA-funding, Prime Minister Netanyahu seeks to shut down the Palestine 48 TV station hours before it goes on air. More at YNet.
Tzipi Livni
• Tzipi Livni dodged a war crimes arrest in London thanks to a legal loophole
However, Livni’s attendance at the recent women’s summit could have been considered a personal visit, leaving her vulnerable to arrest. To preempt the problem Livni, whose party leads Israel’s opposition, arranged to meet with senior UK government officials, enabling the Knesset speaker to approve her travel as an official visit, the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.
• Israel accuses UN children’s rights envoy of “improper conduct” and bias against Israel. Reuters saw Ambassador Ron Prosor’s letter of complaint to Ban Ki-moon.

• Foreign Policy takes a closer look at Gaza’s rising support for ISIS and other radical Islamic groups. What do their threats mean for Hamas?
Worryingly, these new radical groups are finding support from within Hamas itself, among rank-and-file members who want to go back to war with Israel.
• Israeli academic figures told Knesset lawmakers they’re experiencing a latent boycott. More at the Jerusalem Post and Haaretz.

• AFP points out that the PA unity government which resigned yesterday will continue functioning with caretaker status until the next cabinet is formed. And there’s no telling how long that will take.
• The flotilla of boats heading hoping to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza is currently in Italy. The Jerusalem Post updates the latest on the IDF’s plans and Islamic Jihad threats should the ships be intercepted.
• Police detained 16 Jewish suspects, mostly minors, for questioning over a fire and vandalism at the Church of the Multiplication at Tagbha, on the Kinneret. Times of Israel coverage.
Around the World
atom• Resigned to the fact that a bad Iranian nuclear deal will be signed, Israeli officials are examining how to best protect the country’s interests after sanctions are lifted. Reuters looks at how Israel’s getting ready for the day after.

Rather than coordination in the shape of a regional missile defense agreement or something similar, Israeli experts say it is more likely that the Sunni states and Israel would quietly share intelligence, something the Israelis say they are already doing, and cooperate when necessary.
“Indirect secret cooperation vis-a-vis Iran is happening with these countries and there is the possibility to deepen it,” said Haim Tomer, a former head of international operations at Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency.
• With two weeks left to end negotiations, Iranian nuke talks are imperiled by disagreements on all main elements.

• I wonder what the editors of the Harvard International Review were thinking when they decided to publish an article on fighting violent extremism by the foreign minister of Iran. (Via Elder of Ziyon.)
• Sign of the times: The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) describes executives welcoming potential customer Iran to the Paris air show.
• Melbourne Jewish institutions are on high alert following intelligence that a “radicalized” individual may carry out an attack.
• The Louvre denied discriminating against Israeli art students from Tel Aviv University, saying the museum’s reservation system is automated.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Yoav Limor: Quiet in the Golan, for now
– Dr. Ronen Yitzhak: What if the Druze turn to Hezbollah?
– Herb Keinon: Israel did what Obama asked
– Eitan Haber: UN investigators fighting wars on paper
– Danny Rubinstein: Abbas shows Hamas who’s boss
– Joseph Spoerl: Boycott goal is to dismantle Israel
– Skip Grinburg: BDS and Palestinian economic annihilation
– Emmanuel Navon: BDS hates Israel more than it loves human rights
– Maj.-Gen. (res.) Prof. Isaac Ben-Israel: Cyber warfare: A new, dangerous world

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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jun 2015, 8:06 am

Abbas Dissolves Unity Government With Hamas
Israel Daily News Stream19 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The PA government resigned and Mahmoud Abbas tasked Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah with forming a new cabinet. Abbas objects to the Hamas-Israel rapprochement, which the Times of Israel elaborates on.

Others, like Reuters bureau chief, Luke Baker, note they’ve seen this dance before.
Luke Baker
2. Israel’s Justice Ministry is reportedly getting ready to take legal action against BDS activists around the world:
The tactic came after a review by the international department of the Justice Ministry found that although boycott activists have appealed to many courts in Western countries for sanctions against Israel, they have never succeed in a obtaining a ruling in their favor, the Hebrew-language NRG news site reported on Wednesday.
Ministry officials believe that legal circumstances present the option of suing activists with civil and criminal law suits for damaging Israeli trade, for discrimination and racism, based on the laws in various countries, the report said.
3. John Kerry: The US won’t press Iran on giving a full account of its nuclear activities to date. “Absolute knowledge” is today’s buzzword because the Secretary of State claims the US already has it. See Reuters coverage. More on the issue at Foreign Policy.

4. BBC to Livni: “Would You Describe Your Parents as Terrorists?” In an interview full of leading questions, the Beeb tries baiting Tzipi Livni into calling her parents terrorists and Israel an apartheid state.
Israel and the Palestinians
• French diplomats continue pushing for a UN resolution creating a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. The Jerusalem Post updates the latest developments.

• Israel eased travel restrictions so Palestinians can visit the Temple Mount during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Thursday.
And how did Mahmoud Abbas respond to this goodwill gesture? Normalization’s a dirty word in Ramallah.
Khaled Abu Toameh

• IDF sees growing support for ISIS in Gaza. Details at Haaretz.
Mideast Matters
• Syrian rebels launched a fresh offensive against government-held positions in the Quneitra province, near the Israeli border. Flying shells sparked warning sirens in northern Israel.

• AFP: In northern Syria, rebels surrounded the Druze village of Hader.
• This is a really dumb article. As far as the Christian Science Monitor‘s concerned, jihadists massacring villagers is an image problem?
Christian Science Monitor
• Saudi journalist: I want to be Saudi ambassador to Israel.
• French immigration to Israel surges in summer 2015.
• Douglas Murray weighs in on artists leading the cultural boycott against Israel:

These people, step by step, want to make every expression of Israeli and Jewish cultural life subject to their idea of how a nation under constant threat of terrorist bombardment should behave. They denounce Israel as a militaristic society and then attempt to outlaw every non-militaristic cultural and artistic expression from that society.
It is the bigotry of our time.
• Tweet of the Day from Gidon Shaviv

Gidon Shaviv
• Unbelievable how the press corps is so holier than thou over the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s video poking fun at Gaza war reporters. The New York Times and Vox weighed in, among others. Big Media doth protest too much.
• While Israeli energy executives, government bureaucrats, and anti-trust investigators try to untangle the small print of offshore gas reserves and who profits, the Cypriot media is getting impatient . . .
• A few days after the New York Times published an op-ed criticizing Israel’s abortion policies, Yair Rosenberg clears the air.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Evil spirit of BDS growing stronger in US
– New York Daily News (staff-ed): Obama vs. Israel
– Ofir Haivry: Moment of truth drawing near for Syria’s Druze – and for Israel
– Ben Judah: Why Israel welcomes chaos on its borders
– Dan Margalit: Israel’s Druze dilemma
– Avi Issacharoff: Druze have more to fear from Nusra than ISIS
– Michael Totten: Al Qaida’s bogus apology
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed): Obama’s snap-back fantasy (click Google News)

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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 8:12 pm

Israel to Nusra Front: Don’t Mess With Druze
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and Hamas reportedly discussing a 5-year truce. YNet writes:

The truce proposal is said to stipulate that Israel allow the construction of a floating sea port off the Gaza coast, to be subject to Israeli or international supervision.
In return, Hamas would agree to cease fire for five years, with the possibility of extending it.
2. Israel warns Nusra Front: Don’t mess with Druze. Jerusalem Post coverage.

3. Israeli papers were buzzing over ex-Ambassador Michael Oren’s accusations that the Obama administration deliberately damaged US-Israel ties. Oren, now a Knesset member whose memoirs are due to be released soon, disclosed his charges in a a Wall St. Journal op-ed (click via Google News).
News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
and never miss a thing.

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4. Israeli Foreign Ministry Video: Doth the Media Protest Too Much? Why is a video poking fun at the foreign press causing so much offense?
Open your eyes about Gaza 50 SECOND VIDEO

5. CNN Bias, Definitively Explained: Unfortunately, CNN’s still source-free.
6. Thinking of joining an HonestReporting mission to Israel? See what the Jewish Press had to say about our most recent one.
7. NPR Host Labels Jewish Senator “Dual Citizen”: Yarden Frankl discusses Diane Rehm’s flubbed interview, a bizarre New York Times headline, and the upcoming UN Human Rights Council report on the Gaza war. Click below to hear interview on Voice of Israel. 12.37 listen
Israel and the Palestinians
• The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is facing its “worst-ever cash crunch.”

It’s hardly surprising. The UNRWA cares exclusively for Palestinian refugees with a staff of over 30,000 personnel, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees cares for all other refugees in the world with a staff of 9,300. The UNRWA also serves a bloated number of people because, unlike the High Commissioner, UNRWA’s unprecedented definition of refugees includes descendants of the original Palestinian refugees.
Meanwhile, Palestinian refugees protested against budget cuts outside the agency’s Beirut headquarters.
• Israeli lawmakers want to boost security at the Mt. of Olives cemetery. Arab lawmakers want Waqf involvement. Jerusalem Post coverage.
• The UN selected Norwegian diplomat Mogens Lykketoft as president of the General Assembly. He has a sour history with Israel.
• Orange CEO Stephane Richard’s taking legal action after receiving death threats.
• Good news: Asghar Bukhari, a founder and spokesman for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, found his missing shoe. In a rambling followup video, he says the shoe was stolen by an amazing Mossad fox that picked a lock on his front door, stole the shoe, kindly locked the door on its way out, eventually leaving the shoe in a neighbor’s garden.
Mideast Matters
• Addressing the Druze implications for Israel, James Dorsey raises a notable piece of info I wasn’t aware of.

Mitigating in favour of intervention is not just the Israeli government’s need to cater to a key domestic community but also a desire to counter a Syrian government proposal to arm the Druze in exchange for a pledge that those weapons would not be used against government forces. Syrian Druze acceptance of the government’s offer would, in Israeli and Saudi eyes, effectively expand Iranian influence.
• The Daily Telegraph visited Majdal Shams to take the pulse of the Israeli Druze community.

• Israel Helped Obama Skirt ‘Red Line’ on Syria
• An Egyptian court sentenced ex-president Mohammed Morsi to life in prison for spying for Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran. The BBC explains why some headlines say it was a 25-year sentence.
In Egypt, a life sentence is 25 years in jail.
Around the World
• Holland indefinitely postponed the release of a government survey submitting a higher preponderance of anti-Semitism among Muslim youths than among Christian youths. Is it too politically incorrect for Amsterdam?

De Telegraaf nonetheless reviewed a copy of the synopsis, which said that 12 percent of Muslim respondents expressed a “not positive” view of Dutch Jews compared to 2 percent among Christian respondents.
Asked by De Telegraaf why the report has not been released, a ministry spokesman said the ministry needs “clarification, for example, on how to explain some results.” The ministry declined to elaborate, De Telegraaf reported.
• Maybe it’s just me: Is the auto da fe making a comeback, or is this just an oddly worded Jerusalem Post headline?

• Everybody’s issuing reports on the Gaza war, or about to, so it’s understandable if your head’s spinning a little. But how much do they matter? Jonathan Tobin summed up my own head space pretty good:

The battle over the reports provides a microcosm of the entire conflict precisely because the facts are irrelevant to the debate. It doesn’t matter how much care the IDF takes to avoid hurting noncombatants. If, like the HRC and other Israel-haters, you don’t think the Jewish state has a right to exist or to defend itself, everything it does is illegitimate. By the same token, it doesn’t matter how culpable Hamas is, their crimes are always going to be rationalized or even justified by those determined to smear Israel.
• It’s bad enough that Sudan’s president dodged arrest in South Africa to attend an African Union summit in Johannesburg. But what to make of Palestinian support for Omar Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for Darfur genocide? Eugene Kontorovich weighs in:
The Palestinian Authority is not alone in this – the entire Arab League backs Bashir against the ICC. But what makes the PA’s position on Bashir even more outrageous is that they have actually purported to join the ICC, and seek to invoke its jurisdiction against Israeli officials. The only other Arab League members to join the ICC are Comoros, Djibouti, and Jordan, which has distanced itself from the Bashir policy, unlike the PA.
Thus even as the Palestinians got the ICC to bend its rules about statehood to join, they were advocating the defiance of the Court’s writ in the single most important and grave kind of case, genocide cases initiated by the Security Council. In short, the Palestinians seek to exempt genocidaires from the Court’s jurisdiction while pushing for it to prosecute Israelis for allowing Jews to live in Jerusalem. The PA is involved in the trivialization and corruption of the Court from both ends.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Thomas Elias: Define anti-Semitism or enable it
– Michael Curtis: UNRWA in Gaza is counterproductive
– Dror Eydar: BDS: It’s not about “the occupation”
– New York Post: Israel’s preemptive strike at a United Nations smear (staff-ed)
– Julien Bauer: Western anti-Semitism is very well alive

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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Jun 2015, 12:01 am

Israel to Create Buffer Zone for Syrian Druze?
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Today’s main story was the release of Israel’s report on Operation Protective Edge and upcoming release of the UN Human Rights Council’s report (any day now). While Bloomberg News coverage suffices, one Israeli lawmaker who accompanied Israelis to testify to the Schabas commission in Geneva told Israel media he was stunned by the questions investigators posed.

“It is truly ignorance,” Jelin said. “I felt that they were asking questions that were utterly disconnected from reality. It shows the enormous gap that exists between what they know and think and the truth.”
Meanwhile, William Schabas discussed the upcoming UN report with Israel’s Channel 2.

Last, but not least, see HonestReporting’s Three Media Angles to Beware Ahead of the Schabas Report’s Release. Here’s what you need to know.
2. Does Israel plan to create a buffer zone to protect Syrian Druze? That’s what i24 News reports, citing a YNet story (that isn’t online) which in turn cited Israel’s Walla News (in Hebrew).
A diplomatic source told Walla that “there is no intention to ignore the possibility of a massacre against the Druze.” Several weeks ago a senior Israeli military official, briefing reporters, also said “Israel would not stand idle if it sees a massacre.”
Last week, at least 20 Druze were massacred in the northwest Syrian town of Qalb Lawzah by the Al Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front. In an unusual step, the Nusra Front apologized, which has Yossi Melman‘s antennae twitching.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Druze community raised $2.6 million for their Syrian brethren to buy arms and other necessities.
3. Haaretz: French officials are investigating the Louvre Museum for illegally discriminating against a group of Israeli art history students from Tel Aviv University who sought to arrange a tour of the Paris museum.
After being turned down, Hendler attempted to make arrangements for a visit on the same dates and times, using names of fictitious educational institutions from Italy and Abu Dhabi in the Persian Gulf – and was told that space was available.
The Louvre

Israel and the Palestinians
• New York Times coverage of Israel’s Gaza report was a little prickly. Despite international demands that Israel conduct a thorough and transparent investigation, Jodi Rudoren put it in the context of a propaganda exercise:

Mr. Netanyahu suggested instead that people read the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s 280-page study of the operation, or one produced over the weekend by five former generals from other countries. They are among a dozen in-depth reviews by human rights organizations, pro-Israel advocacy groups and Israel’s military promoted in recent months as an intense propaganda war continues long after the last bombs were dropped.
• Israel refuses entry to the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, Makarim Wibisono. He’s not attached to the UN Human Rights Council, rather, Wibisono reports directly to the UN General Assembly, and he’s working on his own report on Israeli human rights violations in the Palestinian areas. Just to be clear on why Israel’s not cooperating, the Jerusalem Post adds:

Israel remains the only country for which a special investigator is permanently assigned.
• US trade bills seek to halt boycotts of Israel. YNet updates the latest from Capitol Hill.

• NPR takes a nice look at an Israeli company opening a desalination plant in San Diego.
Around the World
• Iranian hackers continue their ongoing attacks on Israeli targets. YNet picked up on the findings of ClearSky, an Israeli cyber security firm.

• Iran brought home from Syria the body of Hadi Kajbaf, a major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the highest ranking Iranian killed there. Reuters reports he was killed in April by rebels who retrieved his body; it’s not clear Tehran got it back.
Manuel Valls
Prime Minister Manuel Valls

• AFP: French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called on Islamic leaders to reject anti-Semitism posing as anti-Zionism.
“We must say all of this is not Islam,” said Valls. “The hate speech, anti-Semitism that hides behind anti-Zionism and hate for Israel… the self-proclaimed imams in our neighborhoods and our prisons who are promoting violence and terrorism.”
• French comedian Dieudonne loses appeal on parody of Holocaust survivor’s song, fined $146,000.

• Could India act as go-between for Israel and the Arab world? New Delhi-based journalist Aditi Bhaduri makes the case.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today:
– David Harris: 10 ways Israel is treated unfairly
– Dror Eydar: Without the Jews, there is no Jerusalem
– Seth Lipsky: Refusing to acknowledge that Jerusalem is in Israel has drained Obama of power
– Reuven Berko: What goes around comes around
– Avner Golov: Preventing Iran’s nuclear checkmate
– Eyal Zisser: The Druze’s growing predicament

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flicrk/Ed Yourdon with additions by HonestReporting; Louvre CC BY-NC flickr/Mariano Mantel; Valls CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Parti socialiste;

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

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Jun 2015, 9:01 pm

Al Jazeera America Sued By Another Ex-Employee Over Bias
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel released its own report on Operation Protective Edge, which, as the Jerusalem Post notes, is “intended to preempt the UN Human Right’s Council commission report on the Gaza operation that is expected to be released this week.” The government’s full report is online.

The UN report was originally scheduled to be presented to the UNHRC in March. This was delayed by the resignation of the inquiry  chairman, Judge William Schabas, who had a record of anti-Israel statements. His fingerprints will be all over the final UNHRC report. (Judge Mary McGowan Davis replaced Schabas as the commission’s head.)

2. Another ex-al-Jazeera America journalist sued the station over its anti-Israel and anti-women bias. Shannon High-Bassalik was fired after heading AJAM’s documentary unit for three years. According to AP:

“As ratings failed to live up to the expectations of management, Al Jazeera openly decided to abandon all pretense of neutrality in favor of putting the Arabic viewpoint front and center, openly demanding that programs be aired that criticized countries such as America, Israel and Egypt,” High-Bassalik’s lawsuit stated.
She said she was told that if abandonment of journalistic integrity led people to regard them as terrorists, “that was an acceptable risk for the company to take.”
AJAM was already rocked by former-employee Matt Luke‘s $15 million lawsuit, saying higher-ups were anti-Semitic, sexist, and anti-American. That led to the resignations of CEO Ehab Al Shihabi, Marcy McGinnis, and two other executives.

3. Israeli Druze demonstrated for government action to protect their Syrian brethren from a “Druze Holocaust.” Government officials ruled out IDF intervention but appealed to the US to increase its aid to the Syrian Druze.
Israel is prepared to offer humanitarian aid to the residents of Khadr, near the Israeli border. However, after consultations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and other senior security officials, intervention to assist the Druze in the Jabal al-Druze region, deep in Syrian territory, was ruled out as it would be perceived as direct intervention in the Syrian civil war and could entangle Israel in the fighting there..
Israel and the Palestinians
• Expect tensions between Israel and the US to rise a little over the upcoming release of Ambassador Michael Oren’s memoir. Oren, a former historian, now a Knesset member, wrote an insider’s account of the fraying Jerusalem-Washington ties. Oren discussed the book with New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt.

The book’s due out next week, just a few days before (coincidentally or not) the June 3o deadline for the Iranian nuclear talks, so this may not be comfortable reading for some American Jews.
President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu as Ambassador Michael Oren walks behind.
• Careful, Associated Press, or you’re going to be accused of “pinkwashing.” Big Media picked up on gay rights in Israel after more than 100,000 people turned up for Tel Aviv’s gay pride parade.
Israel has emerged as one of the world’s most gay-friendly travel destinations in recent years, in sharp contrast to the rest of the Middle East where gay culture is not tolerated and gays are persecuted and even killed.
Across the rest of the Mideast, gay and lesbian relationships are mostly taboo. The pervasiveness of religion in everyday life, along with strict cultural norms, plays a major factor in that. Same-sex relations are punishable by death in Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen.
See also Washington Post coverage.

• With the UN Human Rights Council’s report on the Gaza war due this week, UN Watch obtained the key preliminary findings of high-level military experts. It praised IDF restraint, and accused Hamas of committing war crimes.
• The IDF closed its probe of an airstrike that killed four Palestinian children playing soccer on a Gaza beach during Operation Protective Edge. The incident was ruled a case of mistaken identity as the air force failed to identify them as children who were in an area “utilized exclusively by militants.” Reuters overage.
• Reuters: A Madrid court suspended its investigation into the Mavi Marmara affair, but “the probe could potentially be re-opened if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ever visits Spain.” The investigation is based on Spain’s laws of universal jurisdiction, which displeased lawmakers are trying to rein in.
• Asghar Bukhari, a founder and spokesman for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK, had an epic meltdown on social media, starting when he claimed on Facebook that the Mossad stole his shoe.(!?) After taking ridicule online (see the Twitter hashtag, #MossadStoleMyShoe), Bukhari posted an impassioned 15-minute rant on YouTube, then continued his meltdown on Twitter with tweets like this. The story was picked up by a number of  British and Israeli papers and made for some funny tweets.
The BDS Battle
• What’s known as “corporate social responsibility” is good for business, but what happens when it collides with politics, especially BDS? As the Jerusalem Post points out:

In Europe, some companies and investors have taken the view that BDS is an act of social responsibility.
• Haaretz: Norwegian insurance giant excludes two multinational building material companies from its investment portfolio because of their operations in the West Bank.

The decision is relatively unusual for divesting from companies operating in the West Bank because it constitutes a tertiary boycott – not on acquiring a product made in the West Bank or from an Israeli company producing it but rather a multinational company involved in a financial relationship with an Israeli company operating over the Green Line.
• During an international gathering of religious leaders, Israel’s chief Sephardi rabbi called on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to help fight against boycotts. YNet coverage.

• Thumbs up to the Christian Science Monitor‘s Christa Case Bryant for a look at BDS that notes the movement’s opposition to anything smacking of normalized ties with Israel — business, athletic, or cultural programs, or even dialogue. Leslie Ordeman, a press attache at the US consulate in Jerusalem told the Monitor:
“However, the anti-normalization movement feels almost Orwellian,” he says. “It effectively cuts off any type of interaction between average Palestinians and average Israelis, which makes it very easy for each side to dehumanize the other…. There is no room to engage with anyone who might actually need to be convinced.”
• Breaking the Silence comes under fire amid boycott threat, tsk.

• Israel and Canada expect to iron out the details of a free-trade agreement this summer. The National Post reports it will expand on an already-existing free-trade pact signed in 1997.
Around the World
• As expected, Spain‘s parliament passed a “law of return” for the descendants of Jews expelled during the Inquisition.

• Old tweets have a way of catching up with government officials, especially when they’re tasteles and anti-Semitic. The Spanish Report is calling for two Madrid city council members to be dismissed over offensive tweets posted years before they were elected. It appears that Guillermo Zapata shut down his Twitter account; Pablo Soto hasn’t tweeted anything since August.
• Anti-Semitic incidents reach an all-time high in Canada.
• Hungarian ex-mayor fired over anti-Semitic tirade
• Khaled Abu Toameh ties BDS to Hamas.

Hamas views these BDS activities as an extension of the campaign to destroy Israel that the Islamist movement has been waging since its founding in 1988. While Hamas has been unable to send its representatives to speak to students and professors at the university campuses, BDS supporters seem to be doing the job on its behalf.
The U.S. universities that allow BDS activists to disseminate their hate against Israel are unaware that these people are serving as Hamas’s ambassadors.
• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend:

– David Bernstein: Why did Diane Rehm fall for an anti-Semitic hoax?
– Adrian Hilton: The evil of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel
– Nadav Shragai: Is the UN legitimizing a Hamas affiliate?
– Norman Bailey: Potential Israeli dilemmas: one Saudi, one Chinese
– Michael Totten: The Saudis team up with Israel
– Soeren Kern: Germany: Muslims Exempt from School Trips to Holocaust Sites?
– New York Times (staff-ed): Accounting for the Benefits of Mideast Peace

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Zuhair A. Al-Traifi with additions by HonestReporting; Oren via Facebook/Israel in the USA; Canada via Pixabay/Kurious;

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

Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jun 2015, 8:54 pm

Nusra Front Massacres Druze Villagers
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago
 Today’s Top Stories
1. The International Criminal Court is sending a team of investigators to Israel at the end of June. A number of papers picked up on Haaretz‘s scoop:

The purpose of the preliminary examination is to determine if there is a reasonable basis to the claim that crimes have been committed that are within the court’s authority to investigate . . .
Israel has yet to respond to the prosecution request and will hold discussions about it over the next few days. “We will examine every request for a visit while taking into account all the relevant considerations, including Israel’s position that Palestine is not a state and therefore the court has no authority to consider the Palestinian complaint.”
2. Jihadis from the Nusra Front gunned down at least 20 Druze villagers in northwest Syria. The Nusra Front, which is affiliated with Al-Qaida, has already forced hundreds of Druze in the Idlib province to convert to Islam. More at the BBC and AP.
3. What steps are West Bank businesses taking to protect themselves from imminent EU labeling laws? The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) finds entrepreneurs bypassing boycott-embracing importers by relocating factories, setting up warehouses abroad, and courting non-European customers.

4. Pulp Content and the New York Times’s Dead Palestinian: Hopefully, the paper’s one-sentence stories for smart watches will have more nuance than today’s bizarre headline
Israel and the Palestinians
• Once again, Abbas calls for reviewing agreements with Israel. Big yawn.

• Academics from around the world gathered at Concordia University to discuss the problem of professors abusing their positions to advocate and recruit for BDS.
Educators discussed, among other things, the need for a working definition of “abuse of the podium,” and how pro-Israel professors can fight BDS without abusing their own positions.
• French telecom CEO Stephane Richard arrived in Israel to mend fences and clean up Orange’s blue and white mess.
• Cinemas reject BDS call to boycott the London Israel Film Festival.
• Palestinian activist Bassem Eid discussed his opposition to BDS with YNet. He elaborated on how the boycott movement has already taken away jobs from Palestinians, why it complicates efforts to restart peace talks, and questioned its international leverage.
• Government officials in Jerusalem denies reports it snooped on the Iranian nuclear talks through malware which infected the hotels hosting the negotiations.
• Israel concerned as US provides arms to Gulf states to deter Iran
Around the World
• Radio personality Diane Rehm apologized to Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for falsely claiming that the Jewish senator from Vermont had dual Israeli citizenship. Moral of the story: Don’t believe everything you read on social media.

Rather than asking Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders whether he had dual U.S./Israeli citizenship, as I had read in a comment on Facebook, I stated it as fact.
Rehm works at the Washington D.C. radio station WAMU. Her show is carried nationally by National Public Radio.

• Ukrainian rights group blasts Russia for faking anti-Semitic news.
• The Israeli embassy in Germany blocked a Breaking the Silence exhibit from being part of a celebration of Israeli-German ties. The same exhibit recently drew criticism from Swiss politicians.
• Worth reading: Tim Marshall on BDS:

Whether or not you agree with that, it is necessary to look at the BDS in two ways. It is a failure insofar as the Israeli economy has doubled in size in the period BDS has been in operation, but it is a success when you see the effect of the campaign on thousands of university students, many who will go on to become opinion formers. It is a decades-long strategy.
• Britain’s outgoing ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, weighed in on BDS.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today
– Anshel Pfeffer: It tried to court boycotters — but Orange got squashed
– Emmanuel Navon: Why and how Orange got itself into a fine legal mess
– Aaron David Miller: It’s a happy Israel after all
– Hanin Ghaddar: What Iran will buy with Obama’s $50 billion

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

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

Post  Admin on Wed 10 Jun 2015, 4:09 pm

Is Turkey Reining in Hamas?
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
1. A computer virus associated with Israel targeted three European hotels while they were hosting Iranian nuclear talks. According to the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News):

Researchers at the company acknowledge that many questions remain unanswered about how the virus was used and what information may have been stolen. Among the possibilities, the researchers say, the intruders might have been able to eavesdrop on conversations and steal electronic files by commandeering the hotel systems that connect to computers, phones, elevators and alarms, allowing them to turn them on and off at will to collect information.
2. Keeping nuclear sanctions (e.g. restrictions on nuclear research, materials and weaponization) in place while scaling back non-nuclear sanctions (e.g. restrictions on trade, investment, petrochemicals, etc.) is awfully complicated. Associated Press reports that the White House may have to lower some nuclear sanctions as well because of the way they overlap.

Administration officials vehemently reject that any backtracking is taking place, but they are lumping sanctions together differently from the way members of Congress and critics of the negotiations separate them.
Under the sanctions developed over decades, hundreds of companies and individuals have been penalized not only for their role in the country’s nuclear program but also for ballistic missile research, terrorism, human rights violations and money laundering.
Meanwhile, the UN wonders why countries have reported some blatant Iranian violations of sanctions.
3. Haaretz: A senior Hamas terror leader based in Turkey was told by Turkish intelligence to cool down his terror planning. Salah Arouri, who masterminded the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers last year, recruits operatives, transfers money, and “gives general instructions” to the group’s people in the West Bank. Hamas also has terror training camps in Turkey.

Haaretz adds that Turkey’s move to rein in Hamas comes from concern that “Washington will accuse it of abetting terror.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• A 20 year-old Palestinian with an IED was killed by Israeli security forces in Jenin last night. It’s not clear what the objective of the IDF’s raid was. YNet coverage.

• Big Media picked up on the latest survey results from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research. The main take-away: 63 percent of Gazans are dissatisfied with Hamas’s achievements from last year’s war, and 50 percent want to leave the strip for other countries.
• G4S, a British-based security company,was cleared of accusations of human rights breaches against Palestinians. BDS activists targeted the company because of its contracts with Israel. The Times of London explains:
G4S, known for its security failings at the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and for the mis-tagging of British prisoners, said that the OECD’s UK National Contact Point had found no “general failure” in respecting Palestinians’ human rights. It added that the ruling into its involvement in Israeli detention centres and border controls would allow it to pitch to other governments in future.
More on the story at the Financial Times (click via Google News).

orange-blue-white-500wide• Orange operates in other disputed areas, but condemns only Jews
For example, a simple survey of the company website reveals that it operates, among other places, in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia which is formally part of Azerbaijan; and in Tuva and Kutuzov Island, two areas of dispute between Russia and China since the 1980s.
Several European companies that are at least partially state-funded operate in Western Sahara and disputed areas of Cyprus as well.
• Jerusalem Post: Israelis and Palestinians launching an initiative to support the two-state solution had to move their inaugural meeting after getting threats from Palestinian BDS goons. Normalization isn’t part of the BDS vocabulary as Lionel Messi, Palestinian entrepreneurs, Haaretz columnist Amira Hass learned the hard way.

• Hadash, one of the Israeli-Arab political parties making up the Joint Arab List, announced that will support boycotting settlement products. This comes on the heels of Prime Minister Netanyahu urging the left-wing Meretz party to drop a Knesset bill seeking to label settlement products.
Ahava• The Israeli cosmetics company, Ahava, is considering relocating its factory from Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem in the West Bank to within Israel proper. Judging from the company’s statement quoted by Globes, imminent EU labeling laws on settlement products may be forcing Ahava’s hand.
Even if the move happens, I wouldn’t necessarily call it a BDS victory: Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem controls Ahava.
Around the World
• Gen. Martin Dempsey visited Israel. And I don’t think President Obama will be happy with what the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff had to say.

US military chief: Iran will increase funds to proxies after nuclear deal
• Lawmakers in Spain are widely expected to approve a bill granting automatic citizenship to the descendants of exiled Spanish Jews.
• Luxembourg apologized for Jewish suffering during World War II.
The public apology comes after a government-commissioned report found that “the Luxembourg administration collaborated politically with the German administration in anti-Semitic persecution . . .
Jim Molan
Maj. Gen. Jim Molan

• Worth reading: Jim Molan, a retired major-general in the Australia, comments on the upcoming release of the UN Human Rights Council report on Operation Protective Edge. He writes in The Australian (click via Google News):
Given our examination of the cause of Operation Protective Edge, it would be indefensible to argue that Israel wanted it, init­iated it or sustained it, or that ­Israel acted in anything other than defence of its citizens. On this basis alone, Israel’s war was just. It will be interesting to see if the imminent UNHRC report and the ICC inquiry can deliver fairness. Many do not understand it is not illegal to kill civilians in war as long as that is not the purpose of your actions, hence the appalling term “collateral damage”. Unlike our fight in Iraq or Afghanistan, Israel fights repeatedly in the same neighbourhood, and so its understanding and its intelligence is far superior to anything that I have enjoyed in similar targeting decisions that I have made.
While acknowledging the tragedy of death in war and given the immense capability of the IDF, it stands to Israel’s everlasting credit that far more did not die. But from the very top of the command chain down to the infantry and ­pilots, the personal moral position that individuals took was mirrored in the targeting processes, decisions on the ground and in the real care taken.
• For today’s lead screed, see the Herald Scotland‘s David Pratt on Israel and the Palestinians. Be sure to hold your nose.

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Yonah Bob: How big a blow to Israel was the Supreme Court’s passport decision?
– Eugene Kontorovich: Court ruling not about recognition by Congress or President
– Alex Young: Hezbollah offsets setbacks with rhetoric

 Featured image: CC BY flickr/Nicolas Alejandro with additions by HonestReporting

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

Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jun 2015, 10:34 pm

Supreme Court Strikes Down Jerusalem Passport Law
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The US Supreme Court struck down a law ordering US passports to include the word “Israel” as place of birth for US citizens born in Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Post sums up the outcome of Zivotofsky vs. Kerry:

The 6-3 split ruling was also a victory for the administration of US President Barack Obama, which said the law unlawfully encroached on the president’s power to set foreign policy and would, if enforced, undermine the US government’s claim to be a neutral peacemaker in the Middle East.
You can read the court’s ruling — it’s 93 pages of pdf joy. (Disclosure: My kids were born in the never-occupied western side of Jerusalem and have US passports.)

2. The UN left Israel and Hamas off a list of entities violating children’s rights. The list includes groups like ISIS, Al Qaida, and the Taliban. According to Reuters:
U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui, had included Israel’s army and Hamas in a draft of the report she had sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban had final say on the blacklist, which was distributed to Security Council members on Monday.
U.N. sources have said Ban’s decision to override Zerrougui’s recommendation was unusual. They also said Israel lobbied Ban hard to stay off the list, though it denied pressuring him.
3. Research estimates that Tehran managed to spend “between $14 and $15 billion in military and economic aid to the Damascus regime in 2012 and 2013″ despite sanctions that left Iranian banks unable to access international banking transfer systems. Eli Lake explains why this matters:

Such figures undermine recent claims from Obama and his top officials suggesting that Iran spends a relative pittance to challenge U.S. interests and allies in the region. While the administration has never disclosed its own estimates on how much Iran spends to back Syria and other allies in the Middle East, Obama himself has played down the financial dimension of the regime’s support.
4. The Irish Times: Multiple Lies and Distortions in Three Parts: The Irish Times’s Michael Jansen publishes a three-part series of anti-Israel lies and distortions.
5. HR Radio: Benefits, Boycotts, and Bedouins: Is Israel forcing Bedouins off their land or is there more to the story? Is the CEO of Orange telecom really unaware of the movement to boycott Israel? HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl discusses this and more with Voice of Israel. Click to listen.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The EU’s representative to the PA urged Israel not to demolish a Palestinian “village” of tents and shacks built illegally with EU support. Around 340 Palestinians live in Sussiya, near Hebron. The Jerusalem Post writes:

The EU, he said, has worked to support the village through educational initiatives and by providing temporary shelters. The EU symbol is on the sign to the village and on at least one of its structures. Last month, the nongovernmental group Regavim charged that the EU is helping Palestinians build hundreds of illegal structures in the West Bank, in an attempt to help shore up the Palestinian hold on Area C of the West Bank.
That would explain why the Daily Telegraph reports that envoys from all 28 EU-member states went to Sussiya to show solidarity with the Bedouins.

• Visiting Czech Foreign Minister attacked settlements, saying construction “reinforces the atmosphere of hate.”
• Greece officially starts using term “Palestine.”
The BDS Battle
• Diplomats: EU has Israel sanctions ready, and Uncle Sam may not be able to help

• Some 30 graduate students and Ph.D candidates at Tel Aviv University gathered to discuss BDS. You won’t believe what happened next.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

• Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: BDS makes it “almost impossible” for European Jews to support Israel. Britain’s former chief rabbi explained why at a forum in Herzliya:
“Jews have been faced with a choice: live in Europe and criticize Israel or be silent, or leave Europe,” he said.
• If you’re looking for free publicity for your cause, get a whole bunch of people to sign your letter to the editor. If your cause is part of The Guardian’s left-wing groupthink, the editors will elevate your letter to an important news story. Works for BDS all the time.

Around the World
• The Bashar Assad regime’s morale is down, and visiting Iranians are furious. According to the Times of London, we’re edging towards an Alawite rump state.

Diplomatic sources in Damascus say they believe that the regime is moving towards accepting partition, retreating to and entrenching the strategically important areas that it can best defend — Latakia, the cities of Hama, Homs and Damascus, and the stretch of territory linking them all together.
“The reality of the facts on the ground appears to be setting in,” one source said. “The regime is turning its attentions to defending only those parts of the country that it can, and leave the rest for the rebels and Isis to fight it out.”
• The Saudis are reminding everyone they’re prepared to go nuclear if that’s what it takes to counter-balance Iran. Prince Mohammed bin Nawwaf bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the Saudi ambassador to Britain, reiterated the message in a Daily Telegraph interview.

• Iranian commanders reportedly execute Syrian officers
• Al-Jazeera’s recent interview with Nusra Front leader Abu Mohammad Al-Golani still stirs controversy. Arabs are debating whether the interview was a legitimate scoop or an inappropriate platform for a terrorist.
“The whole principle of interviewing the leaders of terrorist organizations is a crime when considering the legal side of things, and is totally unacceptable according to international media standards and agreements, in addition to the fact that the [Arab League’s] Media Charter forbids incitement to violence [on television],” Abu Zeid said.
But others have praised the channel for airing the interview, and said it was important for the public to know and understand what organizations such the Al-Nusra Front actually want in order to successfully counter their ideology on a wider scale.
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera interviews hooded Nusra Front leader, Abu Mohammad Al-Golani

• 15 charged with planning jihadist attacks on French Jews
• Tourists and locals were shocked by a graphic display of anti-Israel images set up in Amsterdam‘s Dam Square featuring “disturbing images of the bodies of Palestinian children supposedly killed by IDF soldiers,” and more.
• Frida Ghitis came closes to capturing my head space on the Supreme Court’s Jerusalem passport ruling.

But U.S. policy should reflect the fact that the western side of the city is not in play, because the only people who reject Israeli sovereignty over the west are those who reject Israel’s right to exist. Why, then, does Washington not acknowledge that western Jerusalem, at the very least, is Israel’s capital?
• Legal beagles weighing in on ruling include Julian Ku of Opinio Juris, Jack Goldsmith of Lawfare, and Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog. See also  Jonathan Tobin and Chemi Shalev.Staff-eds in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times gave the court a thumbs up.

• Analysts talking to the Jerusalem Post assess what the Turkish election results mean for Israel.
• I’m also reading today:
– Mitch Ginsburg: Israel favors “cumulative deterrence” in Gaza
– Richard Cohen: The ugly effort to boycott Israel
– Dror Eydar: The truth about international law and BDS
– Danny Rubinstein: Syria’s disintegration: the death of Arab nationalism?

Featured image: CC BY-NC flickr/Jens Schott Knudsen with additions by HonestReporting; passport CC BY flickr/Tony Webster; Rabbi Sacks CC BY-NC flickr/UK in Holy See; Al Jazeera via YouTube/Mahabbah Cinta;

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Post  Admin on Mon 08 Jun 2015, 3:32 pm

Turkish Voters Bloody Erdogan’s Nose
Israel Daily News Stream28 mins ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Elections results are in and Turkey’s ruling AKP Party lost it’s parliamentary majority. As it remains the country’s largest party,  the question is what kind of governing coalition President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu can cobble together. Opposition leaders say they’ll push for early elections if AKP is unable to form one.

And what does Erdogan’s bloodied nose mean for Israel? Citing a YNet report I couldn’t find online, i24 News wrote:
All of his potential partners – the nationalists, the Kurds and the Social Democrats – have criticized his hostile attitude toward Israel, believing that given the regional circumstances, Turkey should have joined forces with Israel to stand against their mutual enemy – Iran, according to the Israeli web site Ynet.
The experts interviewed by Ynet agree that Erdogan will have to balance his policy toward Israel and stop his rantings against the Jewish state in order to take into account his partners. This could be even more pronounced if the foreign minister is a member of one of his future coalition partner or partners and not of his Islamist-rooted AKP . . .
According to some analysts Erdogan may now be more concerned about his political survival than about fighting Israel – although this could have the opposite effect: as a result of his weakness, he could increase incitement against Israel in order to increase popular support for himself.

2. What do Iranian textbooks teach?
According to Professor Pardo, “Iran had created a war curriculum to prepare an entire generation for global war, based on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s vision of collective martyrdom. … The battle between the new Islamic (Iranian) civilization and the evil Western civilization is seen as one between good and evil, and is being waged on a global scale. … The school textbooks prepare the Iranian people for a constant state of emergency, requiring Iranians to foment revolutions throughout the world.”
3. Orange CEO Stephane Richard will visit Israel to mend fences. The Prime Minister’s office turned the screws on the French telecom by instructing the Israeli embassy in Paris not to receive Richard, as “any remarks regarding the termination of his company’s activities in Israel should be made in Israel itself.”

The BDS Battle
• Israel HaYom: Qatari pressure on Orange led to Richard’s boycott talk.

 Ireland‘s impatient with the EU to move forward with settlement labeling laws.
• Palestinian activist Bassem Eid explains to the Voice of Israel how BDS assaults against Israel will end up dismantling the Palestinian Authority.
Voice of Israel 2.56 mins
BDS Is strangling Palestinians,Says, Arab Affairs Expert

Israel and the Palestinians
• Haaretz: Fearing a radioactive terror attack, Israel tested some “dirty” bombs in the Negev to measure their effect and potential damage. The tests began in 2010.

Most of the detonations were carried out in the desert and one was performed at a closed facility. The research concluded that high-level radiation was measured at the center of the explosions, with a low level of dispersal of radiation by particles carried by the wind. Sources at the reactor said this doesn’t pose a substantial danger beyond the psychological effect.
• Hamas is “nervously” taking on the Salafists firing rockets at Israel.

• Residents near Gaza border say they hear underground tunnel-digging
• There’s a backlash in Switzerland over public funding given to Breaking the Silence’s “hate-filled exhibit targeting the Jewish state” in Zurich. The Jerusalem Post explains:
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation provided funding to Breaking the Silence for the period 2014-2016 in the amount of $65,000, the Zurich-based Blick newspaper reported.
The Foreign Ministry’s Human Security Division gave Breaking the Silence $53,275 for 2015. The ministry’s spokesman Stefan von Below said $15,963 was transferred to the Reform Church’s Kulturhaus Helferei, the location of the Breaking the Silence exhibit.
The exhibit is running for 10 days at the Kulturhaus Helferei.

• Palestinians advertise soccer game with photos of slain soldiers
Photographs of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul, both of whose remains are believed to be in Hamas hands, were printed on ads for a game between Khadamat Rafah and Itehad Shujaiyya, the cities where they were killed. The writing alongside the soldiers’ pictures reads: “The two teams of kidnapping soldiers compete in the Gaza Cup final.”
• According to a RAND Corporation study picked up by AP. Israel stands to gain $120 billion a decade after making peace with the Palestinians. The Palestinians would gain $50 billion.
In contrast, the Israeli economy would lose some $250 billion in foregone economic opportunities in a return to violence, and the Palestinians would see their per-capita gross domestic product fall by as much as 46 percent, the report said.
The findings are in line with long-time arguments that peace is in the economic interest of both sides.
But thumbs up to the New York Times for more critical coverage of the assumptions behind RAND’s study:

“It’s a mistake to think this can be dealt with as a mathematical equation that you solve and then you proceed to implement it,” said Manuel Trachtenberg, a renowned Israeli economist who was recently elected to Parliament. He declined to participate in RAND’s research.
“Money is infinitely divisible, you can have solutions or offers that can be resolved in terms of more or less,” Mr. Trachtenberg noted. “When it comes to rights, that’s much tougher, because that’s zero sum, there is no compromise.”

• The BBC’s culture of political correctness and bias against Jews goes back a long way. Turns out the Beeb twisted itself into knots to keep reporter Richard Dimbleby from mentioning the word “Jew.” Dimbleby’s son told London’s Sunday Times:
Not only was Dimbleby’s April 1945 report initially rejected by his bosses, until he threatened to resign, but the agreed version was cut from 11 minutes to nearer 6, and edited so that the word Jews was removed.
“It was, I think, because the BBC needed more sources to support what had happened to the Jews, and worries that, if you mentioned one group of people and not others, it might seem biased or wrong,” Jonathan Dimbleby said in an interview with The Sunday Times in advance of his two-part documentary, The BBC at War, which begins next Sunday on BBC2. In fact most prisoners in Belsen were Jewish; others were there because they were gay, Roma, Polish or Czech.

Around the World
• Druze communities in Syria and Israel are watching nervously as the Syrian army withdrew heavy weaponry from the Suweida province, ahead of an expected ISIS offensive. The redeployment will apparently shore up the Assad regime’s defenses around Damascus, but Druze communities are now essentially defenseless against ISIS. More at NOW Lebanon.

• In response to a recent New York Times report, the Spanish Embassy in Ankara told a Turkish paper, the Daily Sabah (and picked up by the JTA), that no Turkish Jews have applied for citizenship. Here’s the Times’s contentious snippet, to which I added a one-word qualifier:
Rafi is one of thousands of Sephardic Jews in Turkey who trace their ancestry to Spain and are now considering applying for Spanish citizenship in anticipation of a parliamentary bill expected to pass this month in Madrid that would grant nationality to the Jews who were expelled in 1492, during the Inquisition.
• Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon decries Scotland‘s rising anti-Semitism.

• The EU insists it won’t sign on any nuclear deal without a UN probe of Iran’s nuclear history. AP coverage.
Orange• The Orange affair is undermining France’s peace initiative, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The Orange affair exploded at the worst possible moment, as far as Fabius was concerned. He is scheduled to arrive in Israel and visit the West Bank on June 21 or 22 carrying one message only – that of the French proposal for a UN resolution to define an 18-month framework for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. So far, Paris has discussed this proposal mainly with the Arab League and Washington. The French are set to present their draft to the UN Security Council right after June 30 – the deadline for negotiations with Iran; hence the urgency to officially discuss it with Jerusalem.
Obviously, the Orange affair was not constructive in preparing such a delicate diplomatic visit.
• Sever Plocker calls on the Israeli left to join the fight against BDS, especially on campuses.

It is only the Israeli political left that can loudly and unwaveringly criticize the wrongs of the occupation and the actual occupation – and all the more so the settlement enterprise – and at the same breath, reject with disgust the calls for a boycott and sanctions on Israel.
• Gaza Salafists firing rockets are trying to trigger an Israeli response that will weaken Hamas. But Israel’s letting Hamas deal with the Salafists. Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel weigh in on the Israel-Hamas-Salafi triangle.

• Here’s what else I’m also reading today:
– Amb. Freddy Eytan: Anti-Semitism is the motivation for BDS
– Dr. Limor Samimian-Darash: Fight boycotts, abandon delusions
– Manfred Gerstenfeld: Israel as a punching bag and government inertia
– Rev. Chuck Currie: United Church Of Christ should reject BDS
– Moshe Arens: The Orange affair highlights France’s two faces

Featured image: CC BY-SA flickr/Gage Skidmore with additions by HonestReporting; Erdogan via YouTube/euronews (in English);

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Post  Admin on Sun 07 Jun 2015, 8:50 pm

Israel and Saudis Disclose Secret Talks on Iran
Today’s Top Stories
1. Orange CEO Stephane Richard walked back his comments about leaving Israel, but his Israeli affiliate, Partner Communications Ltd, called it a “smoke cloud” to win back public support. AFP sums up why Israelis aren’t buying Richard’s regrets

Although the Orange boss said earlier this week the move was not political, his remarks in Cairo came after the publication on May 6 of a report accusing the telecoms giant of indirectly supporting Jewish settlement activity in the occupied West Bank through its relationship with Partner.
Partner CEO Haim Saban called Richard a liar and is joining Israeli tycoon Sheldon Adelson’s fight against BDS. Meanwhile, the French government said it opposes boycotting Israel.

Best commentary on the ruckus? That would be Eugene Kontorovich, who weighed in on business with occupied territories, Orange telecom, and the French approach to international law.
See HonestReporting’s take: Cleaning Up a Big Orange Mess. And see below for more background and commentary.
2. Israel and the Saudis disclosed they’ve held secret talks since 2014 on countering Iran. Weekend papers picked up on Eli Lake’s scoop for Bloomberg News. The key Saudi figure, government adviser Anwar Eshki, gave an interview to an Israeli TV station. Meanwhile, a survey found that Saudis consider Iran their main adversary, not Israel. AP coverage.
3. Israel retaliated with airstrikes on Gaza after Salafists fired another rocket at Israel. The IDF deployed two Iron Dome batteries — one near Ashdod, the other near Netivot. The Palestinian rocket landed in an open area near Ashkelon, causing no casualties or damage. Blame the Salafis, but hold Hamas responsible?

4. Say No to Anti-Semitism at the BBC: Today is the last day to join HonestReporting’s formal appeal to the BBC Trust demanding action against anti-Semitic comments by reporter Tim Willcox. While covering the Paris anti-terror rally in January, Willcox said the Paris terror attacks should be understood because “Jewish hands” were responsible for Palestinian suffering. Tell the BBC this is unacceptable and sign the petition.
Say No to Anti-Semitism at the BBC
The Broadening BDS Battle
• The Times of Israel examines the potential impact of Europe’s unfolding plans to label products from Israeli settlements. And Haaretz updates Israel’s latest diplomatic efforts against the directive.

• An agreement to bring thousands of Chinese laborers to Israel is being held up by Beijing’s insistence on a promise from Jerusalem that the workers won’t be employed in West Bank settlements. However, Haaretz adds that Israel isn’t giving in to China’s demand.
• A BDS campaign in Egypt contributed to Orange cutting ties with Israel. According to YNet, the campaign targeted Orange’s Egyptian affiliate, Mobinil,
A campaign titled “Boycott Mobinil” was established on Egyptian social networks, blaming the company for having worked with Israel, and even supporting IDF units who served during operation Protective Edge.
In a letter that was sent by the campaign to Orange and Mobinil, the companies where asked to cancel the “embarrassing” contract that was signed, extending the cooperation with Israel’s Partner until 2015.
 South Carolina legislature passes anti-BDS bill.

• Citing freedom of information, a pro-BDS deputy dean at Brazil’s Federal University of Santa Maria is seeking a list of Israelis on campus. Activists have filed complaints, but as Harry’s Place points out, BDS, in theory at least, only boycotts Israel, not individuals.
But in a statement to media, the university’s dean, Paulo Afonso Burmann, insisted that the flyer, which he said was issued at the request last year of five groups, was “in compliance with the law on freedom of information.”
• Nobel winners to flock to Israel, for August confab, ignoring campus boycott push.

• Other news services taking a closer look at the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) include the New York Times, AP, and Sky News.
Israel and the Palestinians
Jordan2• As Palestinian-Jordanian ties deteriorate, Amman is reportedly threatening to revoke the citizenship of senior PA officials. According to the Jerusalem Post, the issue isn’t only Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub’s reported failure to support Jordanian candidate Prince Ali Hussein’s bid for FIFA’s presidency:

The Jordanians are also said to be angry with the PA leadership for conducting “secret talks” with Israel to reach another peace agreement, the newspaper said. Some Jordanian officials were recently quoted as claiming that the PA and Israel were holding secret talks to reach an “Oslo 2” agreement without coordinating the move with the kingdom. The PA has strongly denied the claims, saying there are no secret or public talks with Israel.
• Must read: If you really want to know what steps the IDF took to protect Palestinian civilians during Operation Protective Edge, you need to learn about the army’s international law department. One key question raised by the Weekly Standard: Are IDF precautions — such as leaflets and phone calls warning civilians away, the “knock on the roof,” and the lawyers signing off on targets — going beyond international law? Is Israel unwittingly setting an unreasonable precedent for democracies fighting asymmetric warfare?

• Gazans are starting to take the risk of renewing tunnel digging into Egypt, reports NPR (audio or transcript).
• Reuters: An Egyptian court cancelled a lower court’s designation of Hamas as a terror organization. Chalk it up as another example of Calvinball in Cairo.
• With Indian Prime Minister due to make a yet-to-be-scheduled visit to Israel, the Hindustan Times takes a look at India’s Jewish community and what the development means to them.
Mideast Matters
• Druze Knesset member Ayoob Kara told reporters that the Israel is protecting the Syrian Druze without specifying the nature of the protective steps.

• Cypriot police arrested a second man in connection to a Hezbollah bomb plot.
• Ahead of Sunday’s elections in Turkey, President Tayyip Recep Erdogan lashed out at the foreign media. He’s playing the Jewish media card. AFP explains that Erdogan singled out two of my favorite papers for daring to criticize his growing autocracy.  I added the links to my fellow Zionist media conspirators:
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday stepped up his attacks on foreign media a day ahead of legislative elections, telling the Guardian to “know your limits” and lamenting that “Jewish capital” was behind the New York Times.
• Young Turkish Jews trickling away from shrinking community.

• Lots of commentary about Orange’s blue and white mess, and about BDS in general
 Worth reading: Jordanian-Palestinian journalist Mudar Zahran lays out why the BDS movement is bad for the Palestinians:

The unfairness and obvious bias that characterize the BDS movement are not only bad for Israel, but are in fact detrimental to us all. Driving Israeli businesses out of areas with a high Palestinian population results in young men being unemployed, and we all know a hungry man is an angry man. Those men could easily be radicalized even more than they already are, which is very dangerous today, as Islamists try to engulf the entire Middle East in flames.
• Time‘s Karl Vick made my antennae twitch. He ties the BDS movement back to liberal Zionists who opposed settlements well before the Palestinians adopted the boycott tactic.

The irony is that the liberal Zionists only sought to boycott settlements, not all Israeli products. Israelis who support targeted settlement boycotts with the aim of pressuring the Israeli government to advance a two-state solution are the ones with the most to lose to today’s BDS.
• More commentary on L’affaire Orange and BDS:
– Anshel Pfeffer: For Israel, Orange is the new blacklist
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Evil spirit of BDS not only threatens Israel
– Jonathan Tobin: French move illustrates BDS peril
– Dan Margalit: A war on BDS
– Prof. Ze’ev Zahor: The silent exclusion of Israeli academics
– Cnaan Lipshiz: Orange pullout seen as sign of BDS influence on French policy
– Haviv Rettig Gur: When it comes to tackling BDS, Israel is all talk, no action
– Gad Perez: Partner can come out ahead

Tzipi Hotovely
Tzipi Hotovely

• Jeff Jacoby gives a thumbs up to Tzipi Hotovely’s call to Israeli diplomats to assert Jewish rights to the land, not just security. Touching on an important Israeli debate, the Boston Globe columnist writes:
Israel has gained nothing from its unwillingness to assert vigorously the Jewish claim to the land as a matter of historical justice and biblical legitimacy. It has only made it easier for its enemies to promote a false narrative of Zionist aggression and illegal occupation. Hotovely may have “raised eyebrows” in exhorting Israel’s diplomats to focus unapologetically on Jewish rights and history, but the record is clear: Those are the arguments that have always gained the most traction.
To repeat: Diplomacy isn’t Bible class. But the strongest case for Israel is rooted in more than security. Even now, according to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of American adults — and 55 percent of American Christians — believe Jews have a God-given right to the land of Israel. A backward superstition? On the contrary. The Jewish nation’s ties to its homeland are an enduring element of the human story, and an asset that Israel underrates at its peril.
• Hamas and Fatah are blocking Palestinian elections. Khaled Abu Toameh explains why.

• If Not for Israel, Islamic State Would Control Saddam Hussein’s Nuclear Reactor
• Here’s what else I’m reading this weekend . . .
– Elliott Abrams: The Saudis and Israel
– Lawrence Franklin: Why Iran will walk away from Obama’s nuclear deal
– Baltimore Sun (staff-ed): Iran’s dangerous game
– David Harris: Why history matters: The 1967 Six-Day War
– R.W. Johnson: A grim prospect for South Africa’s Jews
– Wall St. Journal (staff-ed): Sanctions relief for Hezbollah (click via Google News)

Featured image: CC BY-NC flickr/Sander Spolspoel with additions by HonestReporting; Hotovely via YouTube/BBC News;

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Post  Admin on Fri 05 Jun 2015, 5:36 pm

French Telecom Giant Cuts Ties With Israeli Subsidiary
Israel Daily News Stream1 day ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The French telecom giant, Orange, severed ties with its Israeli subsidiary after CEO Stephane Richard provoked a firestorm by saying he’d cut ties with Israel “tomorrow” if not for the huge penalties that would be incurred.

Israeli officials demanded the French government denounce Richard’s boycott call. Partner Communications Ltd, which operates Orange’s Israeli franchise, is weighing legal action. Partner’s owner, Haim Saban spoke out, while employees in Rosh HaAyin turned Orange blue and white.
See HonestReporting’s take: Orange CEO: We’d Leave Israel “Tomorrow.”
2. YNet: The Israeli Air Force hit three Hamas targets in Gaza in response to overnight rocket fire. Three Palestinian rockets landed in open areas causing no injuries or damage.
Ron Ben-Yishai and Avi Issacharoff explain an Israel-Hamas-Salafist triangle of sorts. Only in Israel, right? Issacharoff writes:
The Salafis threatened to respond within 48 hours to the killing of one of their prominent activists by Hamas security forces. While one may have thought that the Salafi retaliation would target Hamas headquarters or positions in the Strip, now it is clear that the preferred response is rocket fire at Israel. Even the jihadi groups have realized that Hamas’s main priority right now is to keep the peace.
Ironically, Israel in recent months has been the main lifeline for the Hamas regime in the Strip. Moreover, the Jewish state is virtually the only regional and global player keen on keeping Hamas in power.
3. IDF source: “We’ll evacuate more than a million civilians in south Lebanon within 24 hours before proceeding to strike thousands of Hezbollah targets in some 240 villages and built-up regions.”

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Israel and the Palestinians
• If Paris doesn’t handle L’affaire Orange carefully, it’ll waste political capital with Israel by the time French diplomats present a Mideast peace initiative to the UN later this year. That’s what came to mind when I saw this tweet by the French ambassador to the US, Gerard Araud.

Gerard Araud
• Worth reading: Professor William Jacobson visits the Negev Bedouins to get a first-hand look at problems both “real and imagined.”
The heart of the conflict is Israel’s attempt to bring organization to the Negev population, including utility services, building codes and education to the Bedouin spread out in hundreds of locations in rundown tents and shacks. A nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyle is incompatible with a modern state, particularly in such confined space . . .
There is an element of exploitation at two levels. First, tents sometimes are pitched with the knowledge of where a road is planned, in the hope that the government will pay extra. Also, false claims sometimes are made as to how long a home or group of homes have been in a location. We passed one solo hilltop tent/shack, and the official explained that the family rotates having someone stay there; they claim that they have been there for years, but he has satellite images showing that they were not there even a month ago.
Second, international organizations exploit situation to organize protests . . .
• Irish Times journalist Michael Jansen wins today’s Lead Screed, tying together quotes from various Palestinian personalities and left-wing Israeli activist Jeff Halper. It’s the first of a three-part series, so stay tuned for more headlines and chestnuts like these:

Irish Times
He argues Palestinians do not face South African-style apartheid but “warehousing”, the situation of inmates in US prisons, locked away and excluded from society.
• YNet takes a closer look at how Israeli banks, real-estate companies, security firms, hi-tech products, and agriculture are impacted by BDS.

• An umbrella group representing 113 UK universities distanced itself from the National Union of Students vote to align itself with the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). This is from the statement of Universities UK.
Given the reported perception in Israel that UK universities support an academic boycott, the board of Universities UK wishes to confirm its previously stated position that it is firmly opposed to any academic boycott of Israeli universities. The board also confirms its view that all universities must uphold, in the interests of free expression of ideas, the fundamental right of academics to question national and international policies.
Around the World
• Washington Post reporter Lally Weymouth discussed Mideast issues with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

• With Qatar spending $200 billion on stadiums, roads, real estate, and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, the Wall St. Journal reports that the country’s banking, construction, and tourism sectors are at risk if it loses the tournament and investor confidence.
• Tony Blair to fight anti-Semitism and religious extremism in Europe. Blair laid out his plans in a Times of London op-ed co-written with European Jewish Congress chief Moshe Kantor. More background and links at the Daily Telegraph.
• The French town of La Seyne-sur-Mer voted to name a street after Yasser Arafat. The town already has a street named after Yitzhak Rabin.
• Spanish police arrested a woman who uploaded a number of videos calling for the maiming and “extermination” of Jews and Zionists.
• Tweet of the day goes to Anshel Pfeffer:

• Campus anti-Semitism has been decades in the making. Daryl Deino shares his perspective as a long-time California teacher:
Many educators will claim that although they are against Zionism, they are not necessarily anti-Semitic. There are blurred lines here, especially when the same educators revise history and teach students that Israel is similar to Nazi Germany in many ways. This is why millennials have contributed so much to Jew-hatred. It’s all based on lies they learned in their classrooms.
• On the fifth anniversary of the Mavi Marmara, Turkish journalist Burak Bekdil ponders what “Turkey’s flotilla” was really about.

By discreetly encouraging the flotilla, and possibly calculating its aftermath, the Turkish government aimed at two things: boosting then Prime Minister [now president] Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity on the Arab Street and consolidating his votes among Turkey’s conservative masses. The first aim has dramatically failed, except in the Palestinian territories and Qatar; but the second has been achieved.
• I’m also reading:

– Dan Margalit: Anti-Semitism rejoices over boycotts
– Josh Mitnick: Sports as a new BDS arena
– Aaron David Miller: The Obama-Netanyahu wars continue
– Khaled Abu Toameh: Who is blocking Palestinian elections?
– Gregory Gause: Why isn’t there an anti-Iran alliance?
– Karl Vick: You really can’t tell your terrorists without a scorecard

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Ed Yourdon with additions by HonestReporting; Cambridge CC BY-NC-ND flickr/King’s College, Cambridge

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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:25 pm

Jordan Clamors for Palestinian Soccer Chief’s Head
Israel Daily News Stream11 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Jordanians are clamoring for Jibril Rajoub’s head amid claims the Palestinian soccer chief voted for Sepp Blatter instead of Jordanian Prince Ali Bin al-Hussein for the position of FIFA president. Many Jordanians are calling for Rajoub to be banned from the country and his Jordanian citizenship revoked. Rajoub says he voted for Prince Ali. That’s the background behind Mahmoud Abbas’s damage-control visit to Amman yesterday.

Blatter resigned four days after being re-elected. FIFA will choose a new president sometime in the next 6-9 months. Prince Ali is expected to toss his hat in the ring.
2. President Obama’s interview on Israeli Channel 2 aired last night. The president insisted to reporter Ilana Dayan that sanctions and military action were only “temporary” solutions for Iranian nukes. Obama was also quite critical of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu on the peace process.
Watch the video or read the transcript, and take your pick of Times of Israel or YNet coverage.
3. Britain’s National Union of Students voted to align itself with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel, and also boycott Israeli companies. See Jewish Chronicle coverage.
4. Filmmaker: Islamic State is Closer to Israel than People Realize: Israeli film maker Itai Anghel documented ISIS and lived to tell about it.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israeli academics fear they’re being subjected to an unofficial “latent” boycott by their peers. Here’s what they told Haaretz:

These signs include turning down invitations to attend conferences held in Israel, ignoring requests to write recommendation letters for Israeli scholars seeking promotions, and rejecting submissions from Israeli scholars in peer-reviewed journals. Hostility toward Israel is not typically cited as the reason, but Israeli university leaders say the growing incidence of such cases has them worried.
• Britain and France aren’t participating in this year’s Israel defense expo in Tel Aviv. The Jerusalem Post doesn’t attribute this to any formal boycott, just a “climate.”

In the days and weeks leading up to this year’s exhibition, a number of companies were denied permission to participate in the Tel Aviv show by the governments of France, Britain, the Scandinavian countries, and other western European nations. One Spanish defense firm will present its wares in a booth but under a different name so as not to risk economic ties with nations that have boycotted Israel.
“There are companies that have no desire to attach their names to the expo and to be seen selling offensive weapons to Israel,” a defense official told The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication Ma’ariv Hashavua.
• It’s been one year (on the Hebrew calendar) since Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Fraenkel, and Gil-ad Shaer were kidnapped and brutally murdered by Palestinians. One million people around the world are marking the anniversary with a Day of Unity. See also the Jerusalem Post and YNet, who talked to the parents.

• BBC Radio 4 presenter Sarah Montague’s interview with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon breached impartiality rules as not challenging enough, according to a provisional BBC ruling. Meanwhile, we’re still trying to hold Tim Willcox accountable.
• Haaretz: The PA is launching a new TV station for Israeli Arabs. The station, F48 (short for Falastin 1948), will be controlled by the PA and is due to broadcast for the first time on June 18, to coincide with the start of Ramadan.
• Nice CNN interview with The head of the civil department at Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) about Gaza reconstruction. Col. Grisha Yakubovich is Israel’s point man on food, construction material, and humanitarian aid going into the strip.
• Dutch travel warning cautions travelers about “sometimes violent” stone-throwing Jewish “colonists.”
Taj Mahal• India’s media gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi a thumbs up for announcing plans to visit Israel (date to be determined).

Reactions include a Business Standard staff-ed, and Hindustan Times assistant editor Viju Cherian, who explains the mistake of “hyphenating Israel-Palestine relations.” Last, but not least, Professor Harsh V. Pant weighed in:
If Arab nations, such as Jordan, have been able to keep their traditional ties with Palestine intact while building a new relationship with Israel, there is no reason for India not to take a similar route, which might give it more room for diplomatic manoeuvring.
• I’m also reading:

– David Horovitz: No, Mr. President, you don’t fully understand our fears
– Dan Margalit: Obama’s unanswered questions
– Ron Kampeas: Where the Obama-Netanyahu relationship went wrong
– Mati Wagner: Does Obama not see that Jew hatred distorts Iran’s view of reality?

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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 5:19 pm

Israeli Airstrike in Eastern Lebanon?
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. As this roundup went to press, there were conflicting reports of an alleged Israeli airstrike in eastern Lebanon, near the Syrian border. It’s not yet clear what may have been targeted or if there were casualties.

2. Syrian Druze could flee to Israel as Assad may abandon them to ISIS. Israeli Druze activists told government officials and the Jerusalem Post that the ISIS threat to their co-religionists in southern Syria is now “existential.” For more on the IDF assessment of the Syrian situation, see Haaretz.
3. A cyberattack tied to Hezbollah ups the ante for Israel’s digital defenses:
The malware discovered is more advanced than most and signals a high degree of technical ability among the militant group, he says. This is the first time Hezbollah has been tied to a major cyberattack.
4. HR Radio: Time Correction, Battling the BBC, and Weymouth’s Double Standards: The Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth interviews an Israeli and a Palestinian official, but makes clear whose view she thinks is more reasonable. HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl also discusses a new petition demanding BBC accountability. Click below to hear the full interview on the Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Gaza’s ISIS supporters warned Hamas to end its crackdown on them, though no specific consequence was threatened, reports AP. Later in the day saw reports that Hamas killed a Salafist supporter of ISIS. I’d like to say “pass the popcorn,” but when Palestinians fight like this, someone eventually has to demonstrate his jihadi machismo by firing rockets at Israel.

• Israel slammed the UN for granting accredited NGO status to a Hamas front organization. Reuters and AFP picked up on the story.
• Der Spiegel was accused of manufacturing a German-Israeli diplomatic crisis. I added links to the German language sites referred to in the Jerusalem Post:
Spiegel alleged that Israel denied Steinmeier’s plane permission to fly through its airspace during a trip to the Middle East in May because he snubbed a visit to Israel.
“Spiegel’s contention is astonishing, because at that time it was already known that Steinmeier would be coming to Israel in two weeks to receive an honorary doctorate at Hebrew University, “ wrote Ulrich Sahm, a prominent German journalist in the German-language website Israelnetz.

• Haaretz updates the latest on the European drive to label settlement products.
• The Times of Israel takes a closer look at New Zealand’s foray into Mideast diplomacy.
• Professor William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection visited Sderot.
Around the World
• Iran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel grew 20 percent during the course of 18 months of international negotiations. According to the New York Times, nobody’s sure how how or why, but one thing is clear: The disclosure is a serious headache for President Obama:

In essence, the administration will have to convince Congress and America’s allies that Iran will shrink its stockpile by 96 percent in a matter of months after a deal is signed, even while it continues to produce new material and has demonstrated little success in reducing its current stockpile.
• President Obama to Israeli media: There’s no military solution to stop Iran. The full interview airs tonight.

• According to Iranian estimates, it would take 50,000 troops to save Bashar Assad. If sent, their task would be to ensure that Syria’s coastal region isn’t cut off from Damascus.
• A Belgian cop faces dismissal after writing on Facebook how he’d “kill each and every Jew.”
• George Galloway says he wants to be London mayor to rally support for Palestinian cause.
• Worth reading: Foreign Policy picked Jeffrey Goldberg’s brain about Obama, Israel, Iran and the peace process.

But I also worry that he is unrealistic about aspects of the Iran deal, for a number of reasons — the way they will spend their money, his belief that his negotiators are dealing with rational people — rational in the way that you and I think of rationality — and so on.
On Gulf issues, the hardest swallow is that he appeared to be warning Saudi Arabia of the consequences associated with gearing-up its own nuclear program, but he’s attempting to strike a deal with Iran that allows it, in essence, to maintain the infrastructure of a nuclear program. In other words, an ally is being treated more harshly, in this one way, than an adversary. Of course, his answer to this is that Saudi Arabia has America behind it, so it doesn’t need a nuclear program. Still, the optics are strange, and the unhappiness of certain Arab leaders is understandable.
By the way, Goldberg posted a critique of Obama’s understanding of Israel by former IDF general and intelligence expert Yossi Kuperwasser.

rupees• Elliott Abrams on BDS and Israel’s burgeoning business ties with India and China:
The perils for Israel in the hostility shown by many Europeans, and from the BDS movement, are real, but they should not crowd out understanding of the rest of the picture. While the American ‘pivot to Asia’ is largely illusory, Israel’s own is real–and successful. Often more attention is directed at critical actions toward Israel by nations such as Ireland, population 4.6 million, than to Israel’s developing political and economic relations with the world’s two most populous countries. One might even wonder who is growing more isolated–Israel or its most hostile critics?
• I’m also reading:

– Benny Avni: Obama’s nuke deal will leave Iran funding even more terror.
– Jennifer Rubin: The concessions to Iran keep on coming
– Professor Abraham Miller: The common core of BDS and campus anti-Semitism.
– Yoaz Hendel: BDS is an asymmetric war for world opinion
– Dore Gold: The Gaza War 2014: The war Israel didn’t want and the disaster it averted.
– Colum Lynch: Behind scenes, US shields Israel at UN
– Omer Dostri: Hezbollah’s indirect war on Israel

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

Post  Admin on Mon 01 Jun 2015, 6:04 pm

What Reassurances Did the US Give the PA?
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas continues cracking down hard on ISIS supporters. But if ISIS popularity continues to rise in Gaza, it could make for some interesting bedfellows, according to the Financial Times (click via Google News).

Some regional analysts now speculate that, were Isis’s influence to expand further in Gaza or Egypt’s adjoining Sinai peninsula, Hamas could end up forging a common cause — openly or otherwise — with either Israel or Egypt, whose military government it also despises.
“There might be indirect and undeclared co-operation between Hamas and Egypt, and between Hamas and Israel,” Yoram Schweitzer of Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies wrote in a paper about Isis in Gaza published last week.

2. The Washington Post‘s Lally Weymouth interviewed PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. She pressed Hamdallah on Palestinian precondition for peace talks.
I’d like know more about the reassurances Hamdallah says the US gave the PA  about resuming peace talks after an Iranian nuclear deal is reached.
3. A Hamas-affiliated journalist writing in a Hamas-affiliated newspaper called on the group to hold negotiations with Israel. According to the Jerusalem Post:
He said that Hamas could negotiate with Israel over specific issues concerning the Gaza Strip without making political concessions, such as recognizing Israel’s right to exist.
Al-Sawwaf made the call in an article published in the Hamas-affiliated online newspaper Al-Resalah. The article is entitled, “Why should there be no negotiations?”
It was the first time that a leading journalist with close ties to Hamas had come out in favor of negotiations with Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinian activists got into tiff with New York Times correspondent Jodi Rudoren. Describing the BDS movement, Rudoren correctly wrote:

The founding document of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement includes a reference to Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes inside Israel proper, and some of its leaders call for a single state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Most Israeli Jews, as well as many outside experts, see either such a one-state solution or the return of all refugees and their descendants as a demographic death warrant for Israel as a Jewish state, which is how it was founded in 1948.
You can see sturm und drang on Twitter after one Palestinian journalist didn’t quote Rudoren accurately . . .

• India announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modri will visit Israel in the near future. No date has been specified, but it will be the first visit by an Indian head of state to Israel. The Hindustan Times suggests the trip might take place in November, while the Times of India wrote:
Modi’s visit to Israel is almost a foregone conclusion. There aren’t many world leaders he refers to as “my friend”, which is a regular prefix he uses for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
• Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, wrapped up talks in Jerusalem with Israeli officials. He’s continuing on to Gaza, though he won’t be meeting with anyone from Hamas. Both Israel and Hamas denied that Steinmeier is mediating a deal to release Palestinian prisoners for the bodies of IDF soldiers killed during Operation Protective Edge.
• CNN: Israel’s Knesset includes more women than ever before.
• Things that make me go hmmmm: It looks like IDF guidelines will crack down on social media but ease up on marijuana.
Around the World
• Times of Israel: Disgraced FIFA executive Jack Warner, who already blamed “Zionism” for the soccer scandal, was now called out for using fake news in his defense. After discovering that The Onion was a satirical web site and that the 2015 Summer World Cup  doesn’t exist, Warner removed the video from his YouTube channel and replaced it with an Onion-free version. Warner wasn’t fast enough: Other bloggers saved and re-posted the original video.

By the way, Zionists South Africa confirmed paying Warner $10 million in 2008, two years before hosting the 2010 World Cup.
• Light earthquake hits town near Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant
• B’Tselem’s executive director, Haggai El-Ad, got op-ed space in the New York Times to discuss voting rights for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank.

The hole in El-Ad’s argument is that Palestinians do have voting rights, and the reason they’re not holding elections is because Hamas and Fatah remain at loggerheads. That’s an internal Palestinian problem, of course, but it’s so much easier to blame Israel:
To be sure, after the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, Palestinians in the occupied territories got to cast ballots for some institutions of their own. But Palestinian independence never came to pass, and the interim partial autonomy established in its stead underscored how “temporariness” is abused while ultimate control remains with Israel.
• Even if Bashar Assad is toppled, Hezbollah’s too entrenched in Lebanon to be dragged down too, argues Yoav Stern.

• According to Johns Hopkins University’s Dr. Christina Lin, China may be a more constructive broker for Mideast peace than the west.
• Tweet of the Day, courtesy Eugene Kontorovich
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

– Smadar Perry: When the political game reaches the soccer field
– Ben-Dror Yemini: BDS is a threat to Israel’s very existence
– Tony Badran: Obama will even defend anti-Semitism to spin his Iran deal
– Daniel Gordis: Israel’s president sings a different tune
– Seth Frantzman: Success and pitfalls of Palestinian anti-normalization
– Yossi Klein Halevi: Navigating existential divides
– Professor Efraim Inbar: The European peace offensive
– Faisal Abbas: Is it called ‘terrorism’ or ‘violent extremism’?

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

Post  Admin on Sun 31 May 2015, 3:34 pm

Palestinians Drop Bid to Kick Israel Out of World Soccer
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. The Palestinians dropped their bid to kick Israel out of international soccer. Haaretz describes the compromise that was reached with International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) executives:

Then, the Congress passed an amended version of the Palestinian proposal, which called for the formation of a committee to look into freedom of movement of Palestinian soccer players. The committee would also look at Israeli racism and the status of Israeli league teams based in the West Bank.
More on the fallout below.

2. Pope Francis: “anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel — and their right to exist — is guilty of anti-Semitism.” The Times of Israel has background on the Pope’s comments to Portuguese-Jewish journalist Henrique Cymerman.
The pope got thumbs-ups from Jonathan Tobin and a New York Daily News staff-ed.
3. Cypriot police busted a Hezbollah operative with nearly two tons of ammonium nitrate in his Larnaca home.
Security sources in Israel say they believe the apartment in which the suspect was captured was an explosive- materials storeroom that belonged to Hezbollah and was supposed to constitute an outlet for carrying out a large-scale series of terrorist attacks across Europe against Jewish, Israeli and Western targets.
This has Benjamin Weinthal asking if Europe will now fully ban Hezbollah.

4. “Modern and Hip”: Journalist expresses surprise that “modern and hip” cabinet minister has a differing opinion on the peace process.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Diplomats to YNet: With the FIFA fight over for now, Israel’s next battle will be over the Olympics.

• Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub is under fire back home and on social media.
Many Palestinians fear that dropping the bid will also set a precedent and lead to international pressure to withdraw other appeals to the international community.
• Israel gave a green light to a number of Qatari-funded Gaza reconstruction projects.
• The Olympia Food Co-Op lost its protection from lawsuits over its boycott of Israeli products. The JTA and Legal Insurrection explain how it unfolded and what it means.
• Whatever happened to the Palestinian parliament building that went up in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu Dis?
• Terrific New York Times piece on Israel’s pioneering conservation of water. Reporter Isabel Kershner looks at the Jewish state’s water recycling, desalination, and other technologies making water use more efficient.
Israel has, in the meantime, become the world leader in recycling and reusing wastewater for agriculture. It treats 86 percent of its domestic wastewater and recycles it for agricultural use — about 55 percent of the total water used for agriculture. Spain is second to Israel, recycling 17 percent of its effluent, while the United States recycles just 1 percent, according to Water Authority data.
Around the World
• World powers said to agree on ‘snapback’ sanctions mechanism

• Businessmen unable to wait for international sanctions on Iran to end are already beating a path to Persia, scouting out opportunities and lining up partners. But all the wheeling and dealing could pose problems for the White House. The Washington Times explains why:
The enthusiasm for deals could prove a political headache for the Obama administration, which has insisted that current sanctions could quickly “snap back” into effect if Tehran was caught cheating on its pledge not to seek a nuclear weapon and to allow international inspections. The more deals that are struck in the wake of a deal, the more difficult it will be to cut them off later on, critics of the deal have argued.
• Judging from Arab reports picked up by YNet, Russia’s abandoning Bashar Assad.

• If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a video of Professor Robert Wistrich’s last public appearance before he died of a heart attack last week. Wistrich, the world’s foremost authority on anti-Semitism, addressed the biennial Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism.
Robert Wistrich addresses Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism

• Egypt has only opened the Rafah border crossing to Gaza for five days all year, though 10 Palestinians have died at the crossing waiting to return to their homes. Had these people died stranded at the Israel-Gaza border, the foreign press would’ve been all over the story, writes Khaled Abu Toameh:

Egypt’s continued closure of the Rafah terminal has failed to attract the attention of many Western journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some of the journalists say they are unable to report about the plight of the Palestinian travellers stranded on the Egyptian side of the border because the Egyptian authorities will not allow them to reach the area. Other journalists find it easier to cover the story from the Israeli side, which allows them to put the onus of the blockade on Israel.
• Jonathan Tobin points out that the core disputes between Israel and Palestinian soccer executives were resolved before the FIFA meeting. So why did Jibril Rajoub keep pushing for Israel’s ouster until it was clear he didn’t have enough votes?
Every time Israel makes a concession, whether by setting up the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords, offering statehood as it first did in 2000 or withdrawing from all of Gaza, it not only gets no credit. Israel’s willingness to be compromise only seems to generate more hostility from its foes and their foreign cheerleaders.
The problems of athletes was only a pretext for another straightforward effort to ostracize the Jewish state and stemmed from a political culture that regards the war on Zionism to be indistinguishable from the assertion of Palestinian identity.
• I’m also reading:

– Boaz Bismuth: No red card for Israel
– Melanie Phillips: Israel’s foreign ministry moves to be right
– Jeff Robbins: Hamas quashes reasons for hope
– Jonathan Spyer: Hezbollah deepens its involvement in Syria

• For a sense of what the other side’s saying, see Hebrew University’s radical anti-Zionist professor, David Shulman, and his take on Breaking the Silence, at the New York Review of Books.

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Post  Admin on Thu 28 May 2015, 10:05 pm

Will FIFA Scandal Undermine Palestinians?
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. The corruption scandal in FIFA (I liked how Vox explained this complicated story), punctuated by the arrest of seven high-level officials, will probably kill Palestinian efforts to kick Israel out of international soccer. The Jerusalem Post explains why:

Suspending the Jewish state from international play would have rocked world soccer’s boat, inviting allegations of anti-Semitism and double standards. Israel, to say the least, likely would not have gone quietly into the night.
Now, with FIFA’s boat already rocking, member states will probably be loath to pile one controversy on another. FIFA President Sepp Blatter, already opposed to Israel’s suspension (he met last week with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) is probably looking to avoid two crises on his hands at once.
Palestinians quoted by Time insisted that the scandal won’t wreck their plans, but the Times of Israel suggests PA soccer chief Jibril Rajoub may be softening. Tomorrow’s vote could be delayed as soccer officials go into crisis mode.

As Palestinians hijack soccer to score political goals against Israel, the New York Times becomes a cheerleader. See HonestReporting’s latest critique: New York Times Deserves a Red Card.
2. Is Qatar paying countries to support Palestinians in FIFA vote?
“The corruption affair calls into question FIFA’s credibility,” diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.
“If indeed the allegations are true, and countries did pay to buy votes on hosting the World Cup, who can guarantee us that votes on the bid to suspend Israel are not being bought? We suspect that Qatar, about whom claims are circulating that it paid in order to host the 2022 World Cup, is now paying countries to vote in favor of the Palestinians.”

3. Tony Blair is resigning after representing the Quartet (the US, UN, EU, and Russia) in the Mideast for eight years. He was primarily tasked with helping the Palestinian economy and institutions prepare for statehood:

Western diplomatic sources said that two factors within the Quartet had pushed Blair to resign. The first was the feeling that he work was ineffective and that he had lost credibility in the region. The second was criticism in the international community that his activity as an emissary of the Quartet was contrary to his business interests with some governments in the Middle East. Obama administration officials also said in the past that Blair was no longer an asset.
Israel and the Palestinians
• One of the disgraced FIFA executives suggests Zionists have a hand in the scandal. In a 1,400-word letter to the Trinidad Guardian, FIFA’s ex-vice president Jack Warner wrote:

I will talk about the racism that is within FIFA. I will talk about the levels of religious discrimination which I sought to correct. I will talk about the Zionism, which probably is the most important reason why this acrid attack on Bin Hammam and me was mounted. These are just some of the issues of which I will speak as it relates to the FIFA.
• Former US envoy Dennis Ross had some strong criticisms of President Obama’s handling of Mideast peace talks. The Jerusalem Post picked up on his comments to the Voice of Israel.

• President Reuven Rivlin made some waves for saying he’s open to negotiating with Hamas.
“It is really not important to me with whom I speak, but rather about what we are speaking. I have no aversion to holding negotiations with anyone who is prepared to negotiate. The question is what do they want to negotiate about. If they want to negotiate my very existence, then I would not negotiate with them,” the president said, when asked specifically about talks with Hamas.
• French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will visit the Mideast in June to push the peace process. AFP/Times of Israel coverage.

Iranian Atomic Urgency
atom• Iranian dissidents detailed to Reuters how North Korea is helping Iran develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

• With the Iranian trial of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian underway behind closed doors, the New York Times rounds up a list of other foreigners — including several journalists — detained in Iran
• Wendy Sherman, the chief US negotiator in the Iranian nuclear talks, announced that she’ll step down shortly after the talks’ June 30 deadline. The New York Times lays out the significance:
With her departure, all the top officials who have negotiated with Iran over those two years will have left the administration, leaving questions about who will coordinate the complex process of carrying out a deal if one is struck by the deadline.
Around the World
• Vienna landlord orders Jewish tenant to remove Israeli flag and mezuzah or face eviction.

• Anti-Semitism in Malmo reveals flaws in Sweden‘s immigration system
• A Hungarian university’s decision to make Holocaust education mandatory for all students is a first of its kind initiative in Europe.
• Al Pacino pulls out of “Nazi play” in Denmark over author’s support for Hitler.
• Anti-Semitic fliers left in Chevy Chase, Maryland, driveways.
• Nepalese see Israel as source of inspiration.
• Ambassador Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize winning ex-journalist, called on the UN to protect journalists in conflict zones as Russia portrays itself as victim
NYTicon• Your daily dose of idiocy, courtesy a New York Times staff-ed on the secret trial of the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian:

The best hope for a resolution might be the personal intervention of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Surely he recognizes that the case against Mr. Rezaian and his wife has been a travesty from the start.
• A New York Daily News staff-ed weighs in on Amnesty International’s report on Hamas killing and torturing Palestinians.

• Here’s what else I’m reading:
– Sam Kiley: Blair unlikely to be missed
– Elias Groll: After eight years and few wins, Blair steps down
– Rabbi David Wolpe: Why boycotting Israel is a bad idea
– Clifford May: Anti-Semitism: the longest hatred
– Gary Rosenblatt: Signs of growing disconnect between U.S. Jews and Israel

• Last, but not least, Fisk’s being Fisk, again.

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Post  Admin on Thu 28 May 2015, 9:55 am

Amnesty International Slams Hamas Executions
Today’s Top Stories
1. Amnesty International released a report (summary or full report) on Hamas torture and executions during last year’s Gaza war. According to the report Hamas used Operation Protective Edge as a cover to settle scores with rivals.

Many of these unlawful killings were publicly billed as attacks against people assisting Israel during the July and August 2014 conflict as part of an operation, codenamed “Strangling Necks”, to target “collaborators”. However, in reality, at least 16 of those executed had been in Hamas custody since before the conflict broke out. Many had been awaiting the outcome of their trials when they were taken away from prison and summarily executed.
Hamas forces also abducted, tortured or attacked members and supporters of Fatah, their main rival political organization within Gaza, including former members of the Palestinian Authority security forces.
Not a single person has been held accountable for the crimes committed by Hamas forces against Palestinians during the 2014 conflict, indicating that these crimes were either ordered or condoned by the authorities.
Quite a few news services picked up on this. Strongest coverage was from the Associated Press and Daily Mail. But I’m glad the BBC, New York Times, and The Guardian, among others, gave the story the attention it deserved.

2. The Israeli Air Force struck terror targets in Gaza after Palestinians fired a rocket at Israel, which landed in the Ashdod area last night. The Times of Israel reports that the rocket fire “was the result of an internal dispute inside the Islamic Jihad terror group, which has included kidnappings of people in northern Gaza.” Hamas told YNet the people responsible for the attack were arrested.
No Israelis were injured, though the Jerusalem Post reports a 15 year-old girl was hospitalized after suffering a panic attack. Classes were cancelled today at 14 Ashdod schools lacking fortified rooms. Other city schools had classes as usual.
Meanwhile, Time magazine’s headline fail is the latest example of the phenomenon we call “It All Started When Israel Fired Back.”
3. ISIS and Palestinian forces are fighting again as the jihadis try to retake positions in the Yarmouk refugee camp. Around 18,000 Palestinians remain in the camp, located in southern Damascus. AFP coverage.
4. Imprisoned Soldier or Free Speech Martyr? Why did the Daily Telegraph portray an IDF soldier imprisoned for breaking army regulations as a free speech martyr?
5. Some Straight Talk About the BDS: When it comes to the goals of BDS, the only people who are confused are the ones in denial.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Europe’s soccer body, UEFA, will reportedly oppose Palestinian bid to oust Israel from FIFA, reports Haaretz.

• YNet takes a closer look at how politics is leaving Israel’s Foreign Ministry stripped of powers. In most countries, diplomacy and P.R. is overseen by a foreign minister who delegates responsibility for various tasks and brings consistency to various efforts.
As an Israeli, I can’t help but be concerned about turf wars, budgeting mishaps, and issues falling through the cracks. YNet’s infographic will help you keep track of who’s doing what from which ministry.
Mideast Matters
• AP: Washington and Moscow are reportedly closing in on a formula for snapback sanctions that can quickly be reimposed if Iran violates a nuclear agreement.

• French diplomats quoted by Reuters say that an Iranian nuclear deal isn’t likely to be reached by the June 30 deadline. But Iranian envoys say the negotiating deadline could be extended.
• IAEA chief Yukiya Amano to AFP: Military site inspections must be part of Iran deal
• How an ayatollah’s daughter came to preach peace between Israel and Iran
• Rate of executions doubles in Saudi Arabia.
Around the World
• Fed up with anti-Semitism, Turkey’s Jews feel a pull to Spain. Why Spain?

Rafi is one of thousands of Sephardic Jews in Turkey who trace their ancestry to Spain and are now applying for Spanish citizenship in anticipation of a parliamentary bill expected to pass this month in Madrid that would grant nationality to the Jews who were expelled in 1492, during the Inquisition.
Most are seeking visa-free travel within Europe and an opportunity to escape what they see as rising anti-Semitism in Turkey. But many are taken with the idea of reversing the trek their ancestors took centuries ago as they escaped persecution in Spain and settled in the more tolerant environs of the Ottoman Empire.

• Israeli consul in Budapest called a ‘dirty Jew’
• A Dutch high school text book says Jewish militias murdered Arabs during Israel’s War of Independence.
Teenager Barak Gorani, who describes himself as an Israeli patriot, complained to his teacher about the book. The teacher agreed that the text was riddled with historical errors, but that she was required to teach it because the Education Ministry required it.
• The BBC spends £2,500 a week buying copies of The Guardian – that’s the equivalent of 900 licence fees a year. (Related reading: How Your Tax Money Funds Media Groupthink)

• UCLA’s Professor Saree Makdisi claims (in a Los Angeles Times op-ed) that Jewish efforts to define anti-Semitism are really aimed at stifling academic debate. Memo to Makdisi: Israel-haters using the tactics of intimidation go beyond academic debate.

• I’m also reading
– Giora Eiland: How to postpone the third Lebanon war
– Raphael Ahren: Can Dore Gold make Israeli diplomacy relevant again?
– Lyn Julius: The demons of the Farhud pogrom are with us still

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

Post  Admin on Tue 26 May 2015, 5:58 pm

Netanyahu Offers to Discuss Borders
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Haaretz: Prime Minister Netanyahu told the EU’s Federica Mogherini he wants to resume peace talks, with an eye to “reach understandings on the borders of settlement blocs that Israel would annex under any peace agreement.”

An Israeli source briefed on Netanyahu’s meeting with Federica Mogherini last Wednesday said the prime minister explained that in this way, it would be clear what parts of the West Bank Israel could continue building in.
Later in the day, the PLO rejected the prime minister’s proposal, but I’m not convinced this is the end of the story.

2. In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, President Obama insisted that the Washington must be able to criticize Israel if the US is to defend it in international forums. The President also attacked Benyamin Netanyahu’s election day comments, and defended his Iranian nuclear diplomacy.
The interview was in advance of Obama’s Jewish Heritage Month speech at Washington’s Adas Israel synagogue (video or transcript).
Obama’s remarks stirred a lot of online discussion. See below for the commentary.

3. The Times of Israel and YNet picked up on Hezbollah showing off one of its tunnels to a Lebanese reporter. The Party of God claims they’re meant for firing rockets, not infiltrating Israel. Mitch Ginsburg‘s not impressed, saying Hezbollah’s trying to distract the Lebanese public from its wholesale murder of Syrians:
This is the context in which one should view a series of recent IDF briefings — to Israeli TV, the New York Times and others — regarding the damage to Lebanon and its citizens if Hezbollah triggers a war. If Hezbollah, with which Israel fought a bitter war in 2006, sparks another conflict, Israel’s air force chief Amir Eshel told Israel’s Channel 10 last month, “Lebanon will go through an experience whose dimensions it cannot imagine.”
4. Why is BDS Afraid of the State Department? Criticizing Israeli policy isn’t anti-Semitic. But calling it a Nazi state is more than just criticism. BDS must grasp the difference.

5. HR Radio: Green Lines, Jewish Hands, Terror Tunnels: Yarden Frankl discusses HonestReporting’s plans to appeal a BBC ruling whitewashing Tim Willcox, a Newsweek error, and why Hezbollah tunnels are in the news. Click below to hear the full interview on Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians

• Israel HaYom: Because of the Knesset’s one-seat majority, MKs can’t afford to miss any votes. While “zero-absences” ought to make for good government, it also means MKs are also unable to represent Israel in international forums.

Here is another story. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean convened in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this month to discuss immigration and refugee issues. When representatives from Arab states raised the Palestinian issue, there was no Israeli delegate to fend off their proposals. As a result, Israel was dealt a blow, and the assembly adopted a resolution that criticized Israel’s human rights record. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was supposed to be there but he was a no-show (he had to preside over the Knesset vote to expand the number of cabinet ministers). His replacement, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and Kulanu MK Michael Oren, was told he was prohibited from leaving because his presence in Israel was essential.
“Had Israel sent a representative, the resolution could have been torpedoed, or watered down at the very least,” a Foreign Ministry official lamented this week. An internal memo in the ministry said that “the MKs’ absence had the effect of silencing Israel.”

• Israel’s top diplomat, Tzipi Hotovely, instructed envoys to making the case for Israel to emphasize rights to the land, not just security needs. Meanwhile, former ambassador Dore Gold was appointed director general of the foreign ministry.
The Times of Israel took a closer look at what that means for Israeli diplomacy and for Hotovely.
• Oil rich Gulf States aren’t ponying up on their $2 billion pledge to reconstruct. The International Business Times had clearest coverage of figures released by the World Bank. Turkey was one of the countries named and shamed.
• Foreign Affairs takes a closer look at the crisis of Palestinian succession. After Abbas, an abyss.
Abbas has been leading the Palestinian Authority for a decade now, nearly equal in time to Arafat. In this period, Abbas has ensured that no new leaders would come to the fore as realistic successors. This might have made for good politics locally, allowing him to consolidate control over a potentially fractious polity. But as a national strategy, it could be ruinous for Palestinians as a whole. The Palestinian Authority cannot afford a leadership crisis if Abbas were to leave office, it finds itself divided between Gaza and the West Bank, hamstrung by a moribund peace process, and facing growing discontent in the streets and refugee camps.
• Ahead of next year’s Rio games, the International Olympic Committee is making a gesture to Israel and the families of the Munich massacre victims. JNS coverage.

• The problem of UK tax money going to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists and their family through PA stipends caught the attention of the Daily Express.
• The Washington Post visited Ofra, where Israel Harel is celebrating the settlement’s 40th anniversary.
• What took Turkish investigators so long?
Daily Zaman

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Israel thanked the US, Britain, and Canada for blocking a controversial UN nuclear disarmament document. Proposed at a Non-Proliferation Treaty conference, the document sought to make the Mideast a nuclear-free zone by setting a deadline for Israel and other states to disarm their atomic stockpiles. Yossi Melman explains why the move gives Israel “five years of grace.”

• According to media reports, the Saudis rejected an Israeli offer to supply the kingdom with Iron Dome technology. Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have fired rockets at Saudi border towns. One Saudi child was killed and three other kids were injured in a Friday rocket attack. Times of Israel/AP coverage.
• The Jerusalem Post updates the latest on Russia’s sale of S-300 missiles to Iran.
• The trial of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian begins today in Tehran — and it’s closed to the public.
Jon Williams
Mideast Matters
• Since mid-March, Syrian doctors and civil defense personnel have documented 35 chlorine attacks by the Assad regime. The Guardian writes:

“Most of the targeting is of civilian areas, and most of the injured are women and children,” Tennari said. “It’s almost daily now.”
• An Egyptian journalist took to the streets of Cairo streets dressed as Jew to see what would happen. There were unpleasant moments, but it wasn’t as bad as reporters who recently walked the streets of Paris and Bradford.

• Gaza terrorists share their tunnel expertise with Syrian rebels
• Egypt has destroyed 521 tunnels in the last six months.
• Syria’s state-run satellite TV station went off the air, with Damascus blaming “enemy countries” for interference.
• Meet an Israeli doctor saving Syrian lives and limbs
• Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to eight months in prison for taking $150,000 bribes from US businessman Morris Talansky. Last year, Olmert was sentenced to six years for corruption in the separate”Holyland affair.”
Question is, Will Olmert serve the full time?
Around the World
• Anti-Semitism prompts Jews of Scotland to leave.

• Are Belgium‘s Jews any safer now?
• Israeli companies account for 10 percent of the world’s cyber technology sales.
• Reactions to Obama’s interview and speech:

– Bret Stephens: The rational ayatollah hypothesis (click via Google News)
– Eli Lake: Obama cares too much about Israel
– Boaz Bismuth: In Obama’s Middle East there’s only one problem — Netanyahu
– Jonathan Tobin: Iran gives Obama a lesson in negotiating
– Chemi Shalev: I represent American Jewish values better than Netanyahu
– David Bernstein: Obama is nostalgic for “white” Israel
– Omri Ceren: Obama, Israel and “Jewish values”
– Yair Rosenberg: Denying Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish homeland is anti-Semitic

• Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, addressed (see video or transcript) “the amoral revolution in Western values, and its impact on Israel.” He has some choice words for the media corps, but one snippet doesn’t do justice to his criticisms. Col. Kemp expanded on his views in an Israel HaYom interview.
• Should Israel accept Obama’s Iran payoff? Jonathan Tobin offers four reasons Jerusalem should decline Washington’s 1.9 billion arms sale.
• Illinois congressman Peter Roskam weighs in on Congress fighting the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) in a Wall St. Journal op-ed. Click via Google News.
• I’m also reading:
– David Horovitz: Netanyahu and the boiling frog
– Amos Harel: Israel may soon be faced with post-Assad Syria
– Benjamin Pogrund: Israel has many injustices. But it is not an apartheid state
– Yossi Beilin: Could football precipitate a political tsunami?
– Ted Lapkin: Replacing Israel with one Arab-Jewish state is lunacy (via Google News)
– New York Post (staff-ed): The disgraceful drive to kick Israel out of FIFA
– Abdulrahman Al-Rashed: Nasrallah’s morons and traitors
– Michael Totten: The Muslim Brotherhood takes off its mask
– Elliott Abrams: Syria’s chemical warfare continues, unpunished

Featured image: CC BY-NC flickr/Smadar Shilo-Marcus with modifications by HonestReporting; Gold CC BY-SA Wikimedia Commons/EinGedi2; Hotovely via Wikimedia Commons/Eman; Olmert via YouTube/euronews;

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

Post  Admin on Thu 21 May 2015, 4:38 pm

New Palestinian Fighting Force Emerges in Syria
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. A Palestinian force fighting alongside Hezbollah in Syria is emerging as a new player. MEMRI introduces us to the “Galilee Forces” and why should Israel take note.

The reports on the Galilee Forces joining the fighting in Al-Qalamoun alongside Hizbullah and the Syrian regime appeared alongside reports in the Arab press that linked the present fighting in that area to a future battle between Hizbullah and Israel in the Galilee. Senior Hizbullah official Hashem Safi Al-Din declared that “the resistance can replicate its newly acquired experience from the Al-Qalamoun mountains and Syria in the Galilee.”

Paris2. France is seeking an 18-month deadline for Israel-Palestinian peace talks. According to YNet, the Paris initiative, among other things, calls on the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

It won’t be presented to the UN Security Council before June 30, which is the deadline for Iranian nuclear talks.
The plan stipulates the formation of a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines, with swaps of mutually agreed upon lands similar in size, while taking into account Israel’s security needs . . .
If a two-state solution is not reached by the end of the 18 months of talks, France will announce it is officially recognizing the State of Palestine.
3. The State Dept. and Pentagon approved a $1.9 billion weapons sale to Israel meant to ease Jerusalem’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear talks. YNet reports the deal will include more than 700 bunker buster bombs, 3,000 Hellfire missiles for the air force’s helicopters, and hundreds of other precision guided missiles. The sale still requires Congressional approval.

4. BBC’s Internal Complaints Process “Not Fit For Purpose”: The Beeb’s editorial complaints unit just put the finishing touches on a complete whitewash of Tim Willcox.
Israel and the Palestinians
 Iran stops cash flow to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Tehran’s piqued that the Gaza-based terror group didn’t issue a statement in support of Houthi rebels in Yemen. A cash crunch has left PIJ unable to pay salaries for the last four months, tsk.

• FIFA chief’s Mideast peace bid fell apart as Palestinians insisted on continuing to push for Israel’s ouster from international soccer. Meanwhile, Jibril Rajoub discussed his efforts to suspend Israel from FIFA with the Times of Israel.
WHO• The UN’s World Health Organization singled out Israel the world’s worst violator of health rights. UN Watch‘s Hillel Neuer explains:
The resolution, which adopted two reports heaping blame upon Israel for allegedly violating the health rights of both the Palestinians and Druze residents of the Golan, was the 2015 assembly’s only treatment of a specific country situation.
There was no debate on the health of the Yemeni people now under indiscriminate Saudi bombardment, no mention at all of the 1,850 Yemenis killed, the 7,394 wounded, and the 545,000 displaced, many of whom are desperate to find food.
• If you’re trying to make sense of yesterday’s confusion over a separate buses plan for Palestinians (it was shot down hours after it was announced), NPR discussed what happened with Jerusalem Post reporter Lahav Harkov.

• The EU’s Federica Mogherini was in Ramallah to talk about talks with PA officials.
• Oh no, Guardian!
• Israel’s national judo team was detained at Morocco’s airport after authorities refused to allow armed Israeli bodyguards to accompany the team to the annual World Judo Masters event this weekend.

Mideast Matters
• The Free Syrian Army has thwarted ISIS bids to reach the Israeli border, reports YNet.

• Israel fears Obama will stop hiding its nuclear “secret”
• Israel says it won’t pay a $1.1 billion judgment to Iran. A Swiss court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company to pay off commitments predating 1979 Iranian Revolution.
• A video of Syrian airman dropping barrel bombs contradicts Bashar Assad’s denials. The Daily Telegraph explains:
The footage, obtained by al-Jazeera, appears to have been shot on a mobile phone inside a Syrian helicopter. These raids have become so frequent that the airmen behave as if they are following a mundane routine. They laugh and joke as they prime the weapons for use against their fellow Syrians.

• ISIS seized the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. Will the UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its Roman ruins and archaeological treasures be demolished? See also Michael Weiss in The Daily Beast.

• The Jerusalem Post published what turns out to be Professor Robert Wistrich’s last column. Wistrich, The world’s foremost expert on anti-Semitism, died of a heart attack on Tuesday. According to Wistrich, “Today’s anti-Semitism is a product of a new civic religion that could be termed “Palestinianism.””

Third, we must recognize much more clearly than before that since 1975 (with the passing of the scandalous UN resolution condemning Zionism as racism) hatred of Israel has increasingly mutated into the chief vector for the “new” anti-Semitism.
By libeling the Jewish state as “racist,” “Nazi,” “apartheid” and founded from its inception on “ethnic cleansing,” its enemies have turned Zionism into a synonym for criminality and a term of pure opprobrium.
Hence, every Jew (or non- Jew) who supports the totally “illegitimate” or immoral “Zionist entity” is thereby complicit in a cosmic evil.
• Jonathan Schanzer‘s take on US arms sales to Israel and the Gulf states:

Jonathan Schanzer
• Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel takes a closer look at the litany of Al Jazeera America’s woes.
• I’m also reading:
– Karni Eldad: A settler’s view on separation of Jews from Arabs in W. Bank
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Israel scored an own goal in segregated buses decision
– Yakub Halabi: If Israelis and Saudis would only speak in one voice
– Ben Sales: Racism in Israeli soccer?
– Dore Gold: UN failure in southern Lebanon will lead to future civilian casualties

Featured image: CC BY flickr/John Ragai with additions by HonestReporting; Paris CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Geof Wilson; 

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Post  Admin on Wed 20 May 2015, 6:04 pm

Can FIFA Boss Defuse Israel-Palestinian Tensions?
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. FIFA chairman Sepp Blatter is visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah to defuse Palestinian efforts to kick Israel out of international soccer. Blatter reiterated his opposition to any sanctions, and even suggested a peace match. More background at the JTA and Los Angeles Times.

One particular point of friction where the Palestinians think they have the upper hand: five Israeli teams that play in settlements.
Tom Rayner
2. A Palestinian driver rammed his car into a group of Israeli police officers in eastern Jerusalem near the Mount of Olives, injuring two. YNet reports the driver was shot and killed when he tried to reverse his car over one of the injured officers.
3. Prime Minister Netanyahu suspended a controversial pilot program banning Palestinian workers from buses used by Jews in the West Bank. The move came hours after Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon approved the plan for security reasons, which prompted fierce criticism from Palestinians and Israelis alike.
4. Newsweek Mangles the Green Line: HonestReporting gets the correction after Newsweek fudges the history of the Green Line.

5. HR Radio: An Inciting Angel and Missing Trees: The New York Times doesn’t believe that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas incites to violence, saying Israel only “claims” he does. And what happened to all those olive trees that CNN says were chopped down and “seized” by Israeli settlers? Click below to hear Yarden Frankl’s interview on the Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Former British soccer executive Simon Johnson is helping Israel avoid being kicked out of FIFA. Johnson discussed the issue with the Jerusalem Post:

In the long history of FIFA, through many international political disputes, the FIFA Congress had, he believed, never voted to suspend a member association, he said.
“During the Balkan conflict, the Afghan and Iraq wars, the Somalia conflict, the civil wars in Sudan and in the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, FIFA has kept itself above politics and has not taken steps that might favor one side or another in a political conflict.”
Johnson told FIFA and other leading international soccer authority figures that if, in those circumstances, it were to debate and vote to suspend the IFA, having not done so in respect of any other member association, FIFA would be unfairly discriminating against the State of Israel.
• Sky News looks at the history of Israeli soccer in international competition.

Sky News
• The Israeli cabinet approved a five-year plan to upgrade infrastructure and archaeological activity at the Western Wall. AP coverage.
• YNet got a sneak peek at the IDF’s latest non-lethal ammunition for crowd control.
Around the World
• One year after the terror attack at the Jewish museum of Brussels, AFP looks at European Jewish fears of Islamic radicalism.

“The threat of jihadist attacks in Europe is not limited to the Jewish community,” European Jewish Congress chief Moshe Kantor told AFP.
Islamist extremists see European democracy and freedom as their primary enemy. However, Jews remain on the frontlines,” he added . . .
He said fear is beginning to drive members of the 40,000 Jewish community to leave Belgium, adding he knows three families who will leave for Israel over the summer.

• “Unofficial” US-Israel contacts discuss boosting military aid if/when an Iranian nuclear deal is signed. According to Haaretz:
This is in light of the continued defense risk perceived coming from Iran, as well as huge arms deals between the Washington and the Gulf states. The United States is likely to provide Israel with, among other things, more F-35 combat aircraft and another battery of a missile interception system.
• Professor Robert Wistrich, the world’s foremost experts on anti-Semitism, died of a heart attack. Wistrich, who taught at Hebrew University, was in Rome to address the Italian senate on European anti-Semitism. He was 70. See obits at the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post.

• Iranian artist goes on trial for cartoon mocking draft legislation.
• Worth reading: Natan Sharansky on the BDS movement’s campus efforts:

The danger of movements like BDS is not in the economic damage they could do to Israel; rather, it is in their ability to intimidate anyone who is ready to show sympathy to the Jewish state, an interest in traveling to it, or even a readiness to acknowledge his or her own Jewishness. In this environment, the majority of Jewish students very often becomes a silent majority. While it might seem encouraging, then, that on a representative campus 200 students will attend an Israel-related event organized by one of our fellows, while only 100 participate in BDS’s “Anti-Apartheid Week,” it is far less encouraging when one recalls that the same campus houses roughly 6,000 Jewish students, so many of whom simply choose not to get involved.
Many studies and focus groups have shown that even Jews who are sympathetic toward Israel and feel positively about their own Jewishness choose to be silent in order not to defy mainstream opinion, damage their career, or take up what seems to be a losing cause. To change the atmosphere, then, Israel’s sympathizers have to shift gears, from playing defense to launching a confident offense. They have to take back the banner of human rights and liberalism, and not permit this rhetoric to be misused by those who are defending some of the world’s most reactionary forces.
• President Obama’s trying to leverage “other people’s armies” to deal with Iran. David Rothkopf examines the risks and benefits of the US “letting its friends and enemies slug it out.”

At its best, it is a sound idea that recognizes the limits of American power, the often thankless, frustrating experience of being the world’s policeman, and the reasonable expectation that other nations should clean up their own messes.
But the idea is not without its own limitations. There are multiple deep risks associated with defaulting to this approach. They include the inability to influence outcomes so that they advance or protect vital U.S. interests, the problems associated with having allied armies inadequate to tackling the problem at hand trying and then failing to achieve a goal that might have been achievable with greater U.S. involvement, and the danger of being forced by expediency to support or align ourselves with bad actors, thus making matters materially worse for us and our allies.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today:

– Jonathan Schanzer: The next Gaza war that nobody wants
– Varda Muhlbauer: The BDS boomerang effect in Israel
– Arsen Ostrovsky: The not-so-new anti-Semitism in Europe
– Ron Kampeas: Will Vatican’s Palestine reference impact Jewish-Catholic ties?
– Clifford May: The summit that wasn’t
– Michael Burleigh: The BBC must go on a crash diet to survive

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA flickr/patrickdevries2003 with additions by HonestReporting; Brussels CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Juan Rubiano; Sharansky CC BY-ND flickr/Jewish Agency for Israel;

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