Saturday, October 19, 2013

Anniversary of Schalit's release 2 years after deal to release IDF soldier Schalit, Hamas warns of more abductions


The spokesman for Hamas's bureau in Qatar warns that there will be more abductions if Palestinians remain in the "enemy's" jails; Hamas handed Schalit over to Israel in 2011 for 1027 Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas members take part in a rally
Hamas members take part in a rally Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A senior Hamas official said Friday that the abduction of Gilad Schalit was not the first, and he will not be the last Israeli soldier to be abducted so long as there are Palestinian in the "enemy's" jails. 

Issat al-Rishq made the remarks in Qatar, Israel Radio reported. Al-Rishq is the spokesman for the Islamist organization's Qatar bureau. He made the statement to mark two years since the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit who was released in 2011 from the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip in exchange for 1,027 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Embrace J Street U

CAMPUS ISSUES: The Jewish Student Union should admit J Street U to its membership, despite legitimate concerns raised by the union.

Once again, individuals within and without the UC Berkeley Jewish community are struggling to understand the Jewish Student Union’s vote to deny membership to the student group J Street U at Berkeley. While leaders of the union have offered some compelling justification for the decision, the union — and the student body at large — would greatly benefit by including J Street U.
For the second time in as many years, J Street U unsuccessfully applied to join the union, which acts as an umbrella organization for Jewish student groups on campus. This time around, defenses of J Street’s rejection have largely rested on the grounds that the progressive campus group aligns itself with another organization composed of Israeli military veterans who speak out critically about their experiences. That group, Breaking the Silence, understandably makes some students uncomfortable, but it is not a sufficient reason to exclude J Street U from the union.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fatah: "All means of struggle until statehood"

Fatah about its military wing:
"When they strike - they cause pain"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
Recent postings on one of Fatah's official Facebook pages reiterate the PA-Fatah strategy documented by Palestinian Media Watch of alternating between violence and diplomacy to put pressure on Israel to give in to the PA's demands.

[Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," Sept. 8, 2013]

Under the headline "Fatah - All means of struggle until statehood" the administrator of the Fatah Facebook page posted three pictures showing different "means of struggle." One picture represents diplomacy as a "means of struggle," exemplified by a picture of PA Chairman Abbas speaking at the UN. The other two pictures represent the use of different kinds of violence as a "means of struggle." One shows a man wearing an Arab headscarf throwing a stone, while the other shows a man holding a rifle.

Reversing a Weak Defense

Peter Huessy

At present the military is not being allocated enough money to carry out the tasks it is being asked to do by the realities of our security. "While the military will run to the sound of the guns, we may not be ready to go." — General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, July 18, 2013
The U.S. national defense is in jeopardy. So long as important military capabilities are cut to meet arbitrary budget reduction targets, and so long as there is not some long-term budget-and-strategy agreement, the U.S. Department of Defense -- and therefore the nation's security -- are positioned to take a beating.

Palestinian Corruption -- Again

Shoshana Bryen

No word from the "humanitarians" on the [Palestinian] diversion of civilian aid to more nefarious ends.
If the Palestinian movement believes it lives outside the laws of politics, nature and economics, it may be right.

The PA and Hamas occupy a split territory with two feuding governments -- both dictatorships with all the arbitrariness and lack of accountability implied by that; multiple armed services that fight each other and, occasionally, kill Israelis; a school system that teaches children that the IDF ate Mickey Mouse and Jews have no history in the land of the Bible; a civic culture that venerates suicide bombers and the mothers who seem to revel in their children's bloody demise; and an economy that produces nothing of export value. Yet it operates on the principle that it will be bailed out by European and American political support and international largesse. And that Israel will be blamed for the Palestinian failure to thrive.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Who Stole $3 Billion from the PA Cookie Jar?

The money was not used to better the lives of Palestinian Authority Arabs, of that one can be sure.

When I was a kid, there was a fun saying when you took a cookie before you were allowed to.
We would all declaim in turn: "who stole the cookie from the cookie jar? Not me, not you, couldn't be, then who?"

Well, the Sunday Times just reported that according to a recent report of the European Court of Auditors, a Luxembourg-based watchdog, more than $3 billion dollars (or 2 billion Euros) of European aid given to the Palestinian Authority between 2008 and 2012 "may have been misspent, squandered or lost to corruption."

Taliban Uses Exploding Koran to Kill Afghan Governor in Mosque

First came the suicide bomber. There were attempts at suicide donkey. Then the Islamic terrorists began recruiting children. Finally they booby trapped the thing most precious to them.

A Koran.
Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) – the country’s intelligence agency – issued a report on Wednesday that said its initial investigation into the blast that killed Arsala Jamal, the governor of Logar province, showed that the perpetrators had placed the bomb in a copy of the Koran, not a microphone
Jamal was killed at the main mosque in Pul-e-Alam, the provincial capital, on Tuesday as he gave a speech to worshippers to mark the start of Eid al-Adha, the “Festival of Sacrifice.”
The NDS also released a video of a Koran with burned pages inside the mosque and said the attack showed the militants had no respect for the Islamic holy book or the religion’s houses of worship.

Inspired by the "Arab Spring": Saudi Arabia's Volatile Shiite Minority

INSS Insight No. 374
The eastern province of Saudi Arabia, home to the kingdom’s Shiite minority, has recently been revisited by violence. The latest wave of protests that began in July 2012 in Awamiyah, a radical Shiite town, was sparked by the arrest and injury of Nemer al-Nemer, a popular Shiite cleric. Nemer, a key figure in the protest movement in the province, was known for his outspoken anti-royal family remarks. Particularly popular among the young, Nemer had called for toppling the House of Saud and for independence for the eastern province; he apparently also instructed his followers to celebrate the death of Crown Prince Nayef in June 2012. In late September 2012, the attempt to arrest some "wanted" individuals resulted in shootings, fatalities, and injuries.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Jewish Majority in the Land of Israel

The Resilient Jewish State

by Yakov Faitelson
Middle East Quarterly
Fall 2013, pp. 15-27 (view PDF)

Growth trends and population forecasts have played a significant role in the political landscape of the Middle East, especially over the thorny question of Israel and the disputed territories. The notion that the Jewish majority of Israel is in danger of being swamped by Arab fertility has repeatedly been used as a political and psychological weapon to extract territorial concessions from the Israeli government. In September 2010, U.S. president Barack Obama referred to the so-called "hard realities of demography" that threaten the survival of the Jewish state.[1]

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Can Israel be both Jewish and Democratic?

October 15, 2013

How Jewish should Israel be? Why does the West recognize that democracy must be accommodated to Arabic culture world over, but not to Judaism in Israel? A thought provoking analysis based on Prof. Paul Eidelberg's "Jewish Statesmanship".

PM Netanyahu has made it clearer than ever, that the PA must recognize “Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People.” But Israel must decide how Jewish it wants to be.
Most Israeli Jews embrace the mantra that Israel should be both democratic and Jewish but pay little attention to whether the two ideas are compatible.  The left in Israel say that being democratic should not be compromised and Israel’s High Court agrees with it. The Right in Israel think otherwise, that being Jewish should take precedence over being democratic where the two are in conflict and they want the Knesset to pass the necessary laws to make it so.

Israel’s Justice Minister, Tziporah Livni, recently said to “those who want to claim that the power of the majority in the Knesset is greater than the power ?of the courts,” that “[The] Knesset operates according to the principle of the majority, but the job of the Supreme Court is to ensure that the Knesset abides by the values of justice, and therefore, one needs to defend it.”

Sex jihad of Tunisian girl in Syria: "They promised me paradise, so I gave myself to 152 men"

Robert Spencer

While Islamic apologists insist that the "sex jihad" is a fabrication, stories like this continue to increase in number. "Sex jihad of Tunisian girl in Syria: 'They promised me paradise, so I gave myself to 152 men," by Cheradenine Zakalwe for Islam Versus Europe, October 14 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):
I've seen some reports in the mainstream media claiming the Syrian "sex jihad" stories are a myth. Some of the stories I've seen in the Tunisian press strongly suggest otherwise.
"You will go to paradise, my sister" was the promise they made to her before convincing her to leave for jihad in Syria. She was 21. Veiled from the age of 17. She attended history classes at the Faculty of Manouba before abandoning her studies and leave for Syria in the company of her husband "orfi".

Up to 50 UK jihadists may have returned from Syria to the UK to plan jihad terrorist attacks

Jihad Watch

But they were welcomed back; only foes of jihad are kept out. British Home Secretary Theresa May warned of Syrian jihadists returning several days ago. Both she and Dr Sally Leivesley, "security expert," seem to have blandly and complacently accepted that the Muslims who travel from Britain to Syria or Afghanistan and train for jihad simply must be admitted back into Britain. Yet when the jihadist imam Omar Bakri left Britain for Lebanon a few years ago, he wasn't allowed back in -- and May didn't hesitate to ban Pamela Geller and me from the U.K. for opposing the same jihad that these "Britons" are now returning from Syria to spread. Britain is, in other words, quite mad, and not long for this world.

Op-Ed: Netanyahu: Stand Alone And Tell Them To Go To Hell!


Op-Ed: Netanyahu: Stand Alone And Tell Them To Go To Hell

Ze'ev Jabotinsky said it first in 1911, but it is the only appropriate answer to the slanted and vicious NYT attack on the Israeli PM.

Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR
The author is CEO of 5WPR, 1 of the 25 largest PR Agencies in the US.

For a long time, the world complained about Israel’s harsh vow to protect themselves from Iran’s building of nuclear arms. Israel - so far - hasn’t yet acted in a defensive strike, yet the Iranian enemy remains at Israel’s doorstep devoted to her destruction.

And on Sunday, The New York Times ran a profile filled with venom for Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Calling him a "shrill" voice on a one-man "messianic crusade" against Iran's nuclear weapons program and saying he is “taking a lonely stance”, indeed may actually prove he is the one sane man in a world filled with delusional fools.  More likely,  it may mean that, like so many times in the past, the Jewish people stands alone in times of danger.

Worldwide, anyone concerned with the safety of the West should hope Netanyahu and Israel remain on their crusade to stop Iran from reaching nuclear capacity. With a fool in the White House, it is even more vital.
The New York Times profile states “His office wall is dominated by a map, Iran looming large at the center. Iran has been Mr. Netanyahu’s priority — many say obsession — since 1996.”

The Life of a Yom Kippur War Widow

Israel Defense Forces
For Ora and Nechemia, it was love at first sight. They felt they were meant to be together. But just as they began to build their life together, the Yom Kippur War broke out and changed everything. This is the story of Ora Graiver-Dobrish, widow of one of the 2,691 soldiers who lost their lives in the Yom Kippur War of 1973.
“If it wasn’t for this, my life would have been so different,” says Ora Graiver-Dobrish, widow of a Staff Sergeant Nechemia Dobrish, a soldier who fell defending Israel in the Yom Kippur War.

Monday, October 14, 2013

A legal scholar details ICRC bias against Israel over "occupation" of Gaza

Elder of Ziyon

Last week I wrote a post about how the International Committee of the Red Cross was, in my opinion, hypocritical for ignoring the opinions of experts it gathered to discuss the definition of "occupation" and choosing instead to consider Gaza to still be occupied, against all normative legal opinions.

I received two responses from Juan-Pedro Schaerer, ICRC Head of Delegation, Israel and the Occupied Territories, in the comments. The first one:

While this article provides a summary of an important expert's workshop, the author ignores essential facts used by the ICRC when applying of the Law of Occupation to Gaza.

Israel Put Chip in Muslim Brotherhood Leader to Make him Extremist, says Pal

Well that explains it.

I was worried that the Muslim Brotherhood was a nasty bunch of sociopaths, but apparently that was all due to a chip being put in a stunt double’s head. As soon as Dubai’s top surgeons get the chip out, the Muslim Brotherhood’s “spiritual leader” Yusuf Al-Qaradawi will stop praising Hitler.

I don’t know why Israel needed to both replace Qaradawi with a stunt double and put a chip in his head. It seems like overkill to me.

Click here to view video

Hassan Youssef: Sheik Al-Qaradhawi is very moderate, and is not an extremist. That is why I cannot believe my ears.
Interviewer: He shocked you. When you say that the Sheik Al-Qaradhawi you know is dead, and you even suspect that Israel has planted a chip in his brain – which is a metaphoric way of saying that it has taken control over his mind…

"Outrage without End"

Late on Thursday night, men who are being presumed likely terrorists broke into the home of Shariya Ofer and his wife, Monique.  Shariya -- a retired IDF colonel who had served as a commander of the elite Sayeret Shaked infantry reconnaissance unit -- was bludgeoned to death by Arabs wielding iron bars and axes. 

Credit: nosnondits

His wife, who ran to seek help, was moderately injured and is in the hospital.

The Ofer home is in the community of Brosh in the Jordan Valley.  The location is thought perhaps to not be a coincidence, as the Palestinian Authority is now claiming that all Israelis must leave this area in any settlement. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Expulsions threaten Israeli democracy

Israel’s violation of basic civil rights stems from “emergency laws” enacted during the British Mandate.

“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.”

Written 800 years ago in the Magna Carta, this is one of foundations of English common law and the US Bill of Rights. Prohibiting arbitrary arrest and punishment is a fundamental aspect of every democracy.

Israel, however, seems to be an exception. The expulsion of Boaz Albert and his family from Yitzhar is a good example.

Interview: Khaled Abu Toameh

Charley J. Levine

Photo by Albert Zablit.
Khaled Abu Toameh, 50, an award-winning Israeli journalist and documentary filmmaker, has reported on Arab affairs for three decades. He writes for The Jerusalem Post and the New York-based Gatestone Institute, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank, where he is a senior adviser. Since 1989, he also has been a producer and consultant for NBC News. He grew up in the Arab Israeli town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye near Haifa and studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He now lives in Jerusalem.
Q. What are the challenges of working as a journalist in the West Bank and Gaza?A. Before the Oslo peace process began, Arab journalists had almost no problem traveling throughout the West Bank and Gaza, speaking freely with Palestinians. But ever since the Palestinian Authority came to the West Bank and Gaza, the situation has become much more challenging and dangerous. The P.A. expects you to serve as an official spokesperson and avoid criticism of its leaders.
With Hamas in power in Gaza, it’s become even more dangerous for independent Arab journalists. Because of the BDS [boycott, divestment and sanctions] movement against Israel, journalists representing the Israeli media, like myself, face not only difficulties but threats and even physical violence when we go to Ramallah. The P.A. leadership in the West Bank promotes BDS against Israel and also fights normalization with Israel. It bans meetings between Palestinians and Israelis and condemns the Israeli media as extremely hostile, which makes it impossible to work there and endangers our lives.