Saturday, July 07, 2012

srael says it won't cooperate with UNHRC settlement probe


Three jurists appointed to fact-finding probe into Israeli settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem; Israel calls probe a "hijacking of the important human rights agenda."

A settlement in the Jordan Valley [illustrative] Photo: REUTERS
Israel reiterated Friday that it would refuse cooperation with a a UN Human Rights Council fact finding mission to probe Israeli West Bank settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem.
The Geneva-based council appointed three international jurists to the mission on Friday, eliciting a rebuke from Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
"The fact finding mission will find no cooperation in Israel and its members will not be allowed to enter Israel and the territories. Its existence embodies the inherent distortion that typifies the UNHRC treatment of Israel and the hijacking of the important human rights agenda by non democratic countries," he said.

The three jurists are: Christine Chanet of France, Unity Dow of Botswana and Asma Jahangir of Pakistan.

“I have appointed three highly distinguished individuals to carry out the Council’s fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem,” said UNHRC President Laura Dupuy Lasserre.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Nationalists’ Knesset Strength Soars in New Poll

The National Union and Jewish Home parties would win 12 Knesset seats if elections were held today, according to a new independent poll.

MKs Hershkowitz and Katz
MKs Hershkowitz and Katz

The National Union and Jewish Home parties would win 12 Knesset seats if elections were held today, according to a new independent poll.

The combined total of 12 seats is almost twice the current number and reflects a movement of nationalists from the Likud party after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu averted new elections by coaxing the center-left Kadima party to join a national unity coalition.

Rescue at Entebbe: An Interview With the Chief Pilot

Lt. Col. (res.) Joshua Shani was the lead pilot in Operation Entebbe, flying the first C-130 Hercules cargo plane with the entire rescue force on board. This week, for the 36th anniversary of the rescue operation on June 4th, he agreed to answer a few questions.
Joshua Shani
Lt. Col. (res.) Joshua Shani, Israel Air Force
Tell us a bit about your family background.
My parents lived in what is now Ukraine. Their small town was part of Poland at the time. They escaped the Nazis and ended up in Siberia, where I was born in 1945. We were refugees, wherever we were.

Soon after the war ended, my family lived in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in Germany, which was run by the British. We were there for almost a year. And then we made our way from Germany to Israel, via France and Egypt.
My parents were lifelong Zionists and fluent in Hebrew, which they spoke to me as a baby. They were thrilled to arrive in Israel and begin a new life, never again to be refugees.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Did Arafat die of AIDS, poisoning, or something else?

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Al-Jazeera reported this week that a Swiss lab hired to examine the clothes of Yasser Arafat found high levels of radioactive polonium. According to Al-Jazeera, while the findings are not conclusive, it could indicate that Arafat may have been poisoned. [

Yasser Arafat died in November 2004 in a hospital in Paris after being treated for an unnamed illness. The French hospital never publicly disclosed the cause of death and the Palestinian Authority never released the medical records it received from the hospital.

In 2007, Ahmad Jibril, head of the PFLP-GC (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command) told Al-Manar TV (Hezbollah) that at a meeting with PA Chairman Abbas, he was told by one of the delegation that the French medical report concluded that Arafat died of AIDS:

"When [PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas came to Damascus, I asked: "What was found in the [medical] inquiry of the death of brother Arafat?" One [of the delegation] said: "Frankly, the French gave us the medical report, and the cause of Arafat's death was AIDS." 

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Deadheads for Israel: What’s Your Problem?

The Times of Israel just ran a piece by Shaul Magid in which he berates the former counter-culture hippies of the 60s/70s who came to Israel and defend their adopted land without feeling guilty about the “Occupation” of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), of having betryaed their universalistic commitment to equality and justice into a mystical, romantic nationalism. He asks how anyone could justify such a thing?

Being one of those “60s” counter-culture types who has made Aliyah and do not feel that the “Occupation” represents an indelible moral stain on the character of Israel and its Jews, I welcome an opportunity to respond to such a challenge.
It’s the ‘spirituality,’ stupid
Shaul Magid, Times of Israel, July 2.
Some years ago I happened to notice on the “Political Views” of a Facebook “friend” living in Israel the following line: “Right on Israel, left on everything else.” The woman is a long-time ba’alat teshuva and an unreconstructed hippie from the ’60s. Her description stayed with me in part because I too was a baal teshuva and a hippie from the early ’70s who very much identified with her return to Judaism, her romantic ties to Israel, and her spiritual path, which was for the most part non-political. (I also happen to know her well and have great respect for her as a person.)
You can add me to the group. Spent over a year in the Pyrenees mountains in an abandoned farmhouse with no electricity or running water, guiding myself with Buba Rumcake’s Cookbook for a Sacred Life in the early 70s. And the Grateful Dead have always been my favorite group. (Indeed I’d say, my understanding of millennialism comes precisely from having participated in a [demotic] millennial movement, and dealt with the disappointment.)

The Authentic G-d Particle

David Wilder
July 04, 2012

This morning we were greeted with headlines explaining discovery of what is called the 'God particle.' Decades of research and millions of dollars were invested in this project, which according to an article in Fox explains that this particle 'gives things mass.' As elucidated, ""all elementary particles get their masses from their interactions with the [Higgs] field, kind of like being 'slowed down' by passing through a thick syrup,""

In other words, if I understand correctly, this syrup-particle is sort of like the glue of existence.
Interesting, significant and amusing. Why amusing? Because even a simpleton as myself, with almost no scientific background at all, could have come to the same conclusion and revealed it to the world without spending all that money. The glue of humanity, the precursor of the world as we know it, came into existence over 5772 years ago. As our Sages have taught, G-d looked into the Torah, and then created the world. The Bible, the word of G-d, is the syrup that all creation must pass through in order to have any kind of mass. For without the Torah, as is written in the above-mentioned article, "Without it, they — we — would zip around frantically at the speed of light, too foot-loose to form atoms." In other words, humanity would be lost, running around, chasing its shadow, so to speak, without being able to take any real, relevant, substantial form. That is what Torah, the Bible, the word of G-d, gives us.

Who 'Lost' Egypt?

Today, the question for voters in the 2012 election to ponder might be posed as “Who lost Egypt?” To make matters worse, it is likely that the losses won’t stop there.

Indeed, before it’s over, we may well see nearly all the Middle East fall under the sway of the team President Obama has helped come to power in Cairo – the Muslim Brotherhood, to the grave detriment of the people most immediately affected, of Israel and of our interests, there and here.

To be sure, it is unclear at the moment exactly how things will shake-out in Egypt. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party succeeded in having its candidate, Mohammed Morsi, elected president in recent weeks and installed in that office on Saturday. But the Egyptian military continues to be very much a force to be reckoned with and the extent and timing of any formal relinquishing of its current control of virtually all aspects of the government – from the armed services to the many industries they own to the parliament and constitution-writing mechanisms – remains to be seen.

We're Unoccupied‏


Reported in Hebrew (English later in the day but here's the gist):-

Superior Court Judge retired, Edmond Levy, who heads the Committee to examine the state of construction in Judea and Samaria, ruled yesterday the findings of the committee's report that "under international law, Israelis possess the legal right to settle in Judea and Samaria, and at the least in the areas under Israel's control by virtue of agreements with the PA and therefore the establishment of settlements in itself does not suffer from illegality".

In the findings of the report, transmitted to the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, wrote Levi that "after examining the work of the Committee and considering all things heard and learned, the fundamental conclusion is that from the perspective of international law, the laws of 'occupation' do not apply, due to historical circumstances and legal details, to the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria for decades . In addition, the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the transfer of population does not apply and was not intended to apply for settlement such as that of Israel and Judea and Samaria ".

Al-Jazeera suggests Arafat poisoned by Israel

Every once in a while, the Arab media brushes off the blood libel that Israel poisoned Arafat and tries to make hay out of it. Al-Jazeera has done it again.
Arafat's widow provided Al Jazeera with his clothing and toothbrush for laboratory testing at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland. “I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” Al Jazeera quoted Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute as saying.

According to the report, Russian spy-turned-dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London in 2006 under suspicious circumstances, was found to have been poisoned with polonium slipped into his tea.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Egypt under Islamists

by Mudar Zahran
July 3, 2012
Since the US Administration insisted early on that the Muslim Brotherhood be invited to the Cairo speech and presented with the choicest seats there – all in direct violation of the wishes of then-President Hosni Mubarak, who ultimately refused even to attend the speech – all options but surrender seem to have been off the table, not only in the Middle East, but in Russia, China and South America as well.
When Mohammad Morsi, a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, won the presidential elections in Egypt on June 24, he addressed the Egyptian nation, promising he would "be a president for all Egyptian, Muslims and Christian, men and women." As the Muslim Brotherhood has a history of double-talk and hostility against all forms of opposition, however, why would the Muslim Brotherhood president act any differently from the organization with which he is affiliated?

The Muslim Brotherhood is not only financially capable, but, according to Egyptian researcher Nadine Farag, has provided social services, such as food to the poor, in exchange for public support.
The same pattern might have continued as well during Morsi's campaign: according to CNN, Morsi's contender, Shafik, and his campaign members filed several complaints with Egypt's Supreme Presidential Election Commission, alleging that the Muslim Brotherhood's supporters had been bribing voters with "large sums of money and food" to back Morsi; accused him of using "intimidation, threats and violence" against supporters of the candidate Ahmed Shafik, and accusing the Brotherhood of ballot fraud.

Sudan: A Battleground Between Iran and Israel

 on Jul 3rd, 2012 

The UN Security Council warned the Islamic Republic of Sudan (Khartoum) and the new state of South Sudan in May 2012, that sanctions would be imposed on both countries unless their governments stopped the armed conflict they are engaged in and begin negotiating on how to share oil revenues, and come to an arrangement on border demarcation.  Reuters Africa reported on May 2, 2012, that the UNSC resolution demanded that the parties commence talks within two weeks.

South Sudan gained its independence from Khartoum in July 2011 after a long civil war - two previous civil wars lasted from 1955-1972, 1983-2005.  A Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in January 2005 between the People’s Liberation Movement of South Sudan (SPLM) and the Khartoum government, which stipulated that democratic governance would be put in place for all of Sudan and that oil revenue would be shared.  Moreover, the Agreement set a timetable for a referendum in Southern Sudan regarding their independence. John Garang de Mabior, Chairman of the SPLM Army stated that the “peace agreement, in effect, prescribed a one-country-two-systems model, whereby the people of southern Sudan would decide after six years whether to remain within the Sudan or to opt for independence.”

"Coalition Crisis"

But first, your prayers, please:
His name is Noam Jay ben Inbar. 
I've written about him before.  He's a terribly sick little boy of nine, who was found to have cancer growing around his heart.  When I learned about him, I called for prayers.  The doctors said they couldn't do anything for him and he was considered terminal.  But -- Baruch Hashem -- there has been a change in his situation.  The cancer has stopped growing and the doctors are now ready to try an experimental treatment for him.  And so, pray!
A picture of Noam Jay at the hospital with his father:
A very simple housekeeping matter: When I wrote yesterday about nations voting on the Church of the Nativity as a World Heritage site, I said they voted "again."  A typo: they voted "against."  Thanks to those who caught this.

Monday, July 02, 2012

"Brave" Palestinian prisoner responsible for suicide attacks sentenced by Israel to 54 life sentences
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Yesterday Ibrahim Hamed who orchestrated suicide bombings in which more than 45 Israelis were murdered, was sentenced by Israel to 54 life sentences in prison.

The Palestinian Authority views terrorists like Hamed who have orchestrated suicide bombings as heroes. Recently Palestinian Media Watch reported that PA TV twice broadcast a video dedicated to Hamed  and other terrorists serving multiple life sentences for murders, calling them "brave prisoners" and flashing their pictures on the screen.

Hamed, who planned and organized numerous suicide bombings including the ones at Hebrew University (9 killed), Cafe Moment (12 killed), and Cafe Hillel (7 killed), was among the terrorists specifically mentioned by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, when he publicly wished for their release. Speaking at a PA ceremony celebrating the release of Palestinian terrorist prisoners by Israel in exchange for Hamas-captured soldier Gilad Shalit, Abbas said:

PA: Israel spreads drugs to destroy Palestinian society

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

One day after Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi was condemned internationally for saying that Jews and their Talmud are responsible for international drug trafficking, no less than five articles in the official PA daily cited different Palestinian Authority officials accusing Israel of having a policy to disseminate drugs among Palestinian youth.

The Governor of Jericho said that Israel "is encouraging and turning a blind eye to [drug] dealers and their efforts to distribute drugs, through a systematic policy to destroy Palestinian society, targeting the youth."

The District Governor of Jenin said Israel "seeks to harm the Palestinian people and to destroy it and its national enterprise [through drugs] as a continuation of its Zionist enterprise."

The District Governor of Ramallah spoke about the drug problem, mentioning Israel's "efforts to humiliate our youth, to break their willpower, and to distance them from their [Palestinian] cause and their principles, by spreading drugs among them" and emphasized that "the occupation does not hesitate to exercise all forms of control over our youth, using dirty and inhuman methods."

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Irfan Al-Alawi