Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Marijuana farm discovered near Hebron

We don't hear enough stories about Palestinian Arab entrepreneurship.

Palestinian Authority police seized more than 10,000 marijuana plants covering a 3 dunum area south of Hebron on Monday.

The plants filled ten greenhouses. The owner of the greenhouses was arrested.

(This is not an April Fool's post.)

UN To Investigate 10 Plagues As Possible Crimes Against Humanity (PreOccupied Territory)

Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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Geneva, April 1 - The United Nations Human Rights Council has appointed a commission to collect and analyze evidence that the ten plagues wrought against Egypt violated international law, and may constitute crimes against humanity.

Egypt submitted a request last month to the Council alleging that the release of the Israelite nation was secured under duress, and that the Israelite god had perpetrated mass atrocities in the process. As part of the negotiating strategy with the Pharaoh of the time, the Hebrew god YHWH repeatedly struck the nation with various calamities, disrupting life, agriculture, commerce, diet, and causing an unknown number of deaths and injuries. The request asked the Council to investigate, noting that although the events took place nearly 2,500 years ago, there is no statute of limitations on such crimes.

Specifically, the commission's mandate includes a series of ten events in the year leading up to the Israelite exodus, with the addition of a mass murder allegation charging that on the way out, YHWH disproportionately smote the entire cavalry corps of the Egyptian military. The commission will also explore the evidence of two accessories to the crimes identified as Moses and Aaron, brothers who may have participated in some or all of the alleged atrocities.

Investigators will have to sort through varying accounts of the events, but the broad outline of the narrative has been broadly accepted for some time. After encountering Egyptian resistance to his demands, YHWH dispatched Israelite brothers Moses and Aaron to threaten the Pharaoh over possession of at least 600,000 Hebrew slaves that the god wanted to acquire for himself. YHWH allegedly transformed the Nile to blood, then caused a massive frog infestation; according to some reports, vicious and venomous other reptiles also descended upon the land. The first two came with a threat, but then YHWH brought lice with no warning.

The pattern repeated when Moses threatened and brought wild beasts, animal pestilence, but initiated boils with no warning - though some reports claim swarms of gnats instead of beasts; and again, when he threatened hail and locust swarms, but caused thick darkness even in daytime with no advance warning. Finally, YHWH allegedly resorted to actual killing, when he smote all of Egypt's firstborn males.

The commission will attempt to depose Egyptians claiming to be eyewitnesses or victims, then build a coherent case for or against recommending that the International Criminal Court open a formal criminal investigation. However, several important hurdles may impede its work, chief among them an apparent paucity of survivors to interview, leaving only documentary evidence of disputed veracity. Such problems have not hampered other UNHRC commissions in the Middle East, since they often amount to a technicality in the foregone conclusion envisioned by the report authors, but if a bona fide criminal case by the ICC is the goal, and not mere political posturing, then rules of evidence may eliminate the vast majority of universally accepted credible sources.

The Council has already appointed Canadian professor William Schabas to head the commission, citing his experience with similar inquiries.

04/01 Links Pt1: Prosor: The U.N.’s War on Israel; Palestinian Authority incites religious hatred

From Ian:

Ron Prosor: The U.N.’s War on Israel
The United Nations is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. It was intended to be a temple of peace, but this once great global body has been overrun by the repressive regimes that violate human rights and undermine international security.
In 1949, when the United Nations admitted Israel as a member state, it had 58 member countries and about half had a democratic orientation. Today, the landscape of the organization has changed drastically. From 51 member states at its founding in 1945, the institution has grown to 193 members — fewer than half of which are democracies.
The very nations that deny democratic rights to their people abuse the United Nations’ democratic forums to advance their interests. The largest of these groups comprises members from the 120-member-strong bloc known as the Non-Aligned Movement. Since 2012, the bloc has been chaired by Iran, which has used its position to bolster its allies and marginalize Israel.
In March, the United Nations closed the annual meeting of its Commission on the Status of Women by publishing a report that effectively singled out just one country for condemnation: Israel. The commission apparently had nothing to say about the Sudanese girls who are subjected to female genital mutilation. It also had nothing to say about the Iranian women who have been punished for crimes of “adultery” by stoning. These oversights may have something to do with the fact that both Iran and Sudan sit on the 45-member commission.
PMW: Palestinian Authority incites religious hatred
The Palestinian Authority continues to incite religious hatred, spreading the libel that Israel is in the process of destroying the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The text on the above image is supposed to instill fear and hatred in Palestinians that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger, threatened by Israel:
"What are you waiting for?
Are you waiting for them to destroy this? (Visual of the Al-Aqsa Mosque -Ed.)
In order to build this?" (Visual of the Temple -Ed.)
[Al-Asima, Feb. 25, 2015]

The charge that the Mosque will be destroyed unless Palestinians take active steps to prevent it, was published alongside an article in Al-Asima, a bi-weekly distributed with the official PA daily, which repeated the libel that Israel seeks to destroy the Mosque in order to build the third Temple in its place:
"It is no secret that the 'Israeli' aspiration since the occupation of East Jerusalem in the war of 1967 has been to first divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque and perhaps even to destroy it, in order to build, eventually, their alleged Temple."
[Al-Asima, distributed with official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 25, 2015]

These PA libels that incite fear and hatred of Israelis are widely believed by Palestinians. A poll conducted four months ago found that 56% of Palestinians believe that "Israel intends to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque" and 86% of Palestinians believe that "Al-Haram Al-Sharif (i.e., the Temple Mount) is in grave danger."
Hamas Chief Haniyeh Calls for Palestinian Unity for West Bank Intifada
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh called on Palestinian factions, including the Palestinian Authority, to unite and wage war on Israel with an intifada and armed resistance in the West Bank, Israel’s NRG reported on Tuesday.
Haniyeh also addressed the results of Israel’s elections earlier this month, saying that the “re-election of Netanyahu and the reinforcement of the Likud Party have revealed the true face of the occupation.” He then stressed the need to move on to a real strategy of Palestinian unity against the “occupation.”
Mohammad Al-Hindi, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s political bureau also commented on the Israeli elections, claiming that they showed there was really no difference between Israel’s political parties. “We have been in negotiation for 20 years, and have been led astray after the minor political differences [between Israel's political parties.] Israel continuously announces that it is building new settlements, and says very clearly that there is no reason for negotiation, yet the Palestinian Authority continues to shout ‘two states!’ Netanyahu said that there will not be two states, and we are crying and begging the world.”
Al-Hindi said there was no point in waiting for a change in the world’s opinion. “How does the Authority intend to resume negotiations with Netanyahu, when he declares that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel only?”

The reason J-Street will never condemn Marcia Freedman

Over the past several days I have shown that, to applause at the J-Street Conference, former Ratz MK Marcia Freedman called for the end of the concept of a Jewish state and instead for a "Jewish homeland" within some sort of (presumably Arab) political entity in Palestine, with Jews as a "protected minority."

I noted that no one from J-Street condemned or even distanced themselves from her comments, and wondered why an organization that pretends that it is so concerned about a two-state solution would not say a word against its own speaker advocating a one-state solution with no Jewish state.

It turns out that if you parse J-Street's official position, it is not a whole lot different from Marcia Freedman's.

J-Street's home page does not call for a Jewish state. Like Freedman, it calls for a Jewish "homeland."

Their six principles also don't say anything about Israel being a Jewish state.

1. We support the people and the state of Israel and their right to live in security and peace and to defend themselves against those who would harm them.

2. The future of Israel depends on achieving a two-state resolution of the conflict with the Palestinian people.

3. The resolution of the conflict requires serious and sustained US leadership.

4. Israel's supporters have not only the right but the obligation to speak out when we think the policies or actions of the Israeli government are hurting Israel's and the Jewish people's long-term interests.

5. Vibrant and respectful debate about Israel benefits the American Jewish community and Israel.

6. It is both possible and necessary to engage in a warm relationship with Israel and to remain true to the values we hold most dear as Jews and as Americans--and on which Israel was founded.
There is very little here that contradict's Freedman's solution. If one of the "two states" is not recognized as the Jewish state, then J-Street's core principles does not preclude the "right of return" - Israel could become a Muslim majority state alongside "Palestine" as a prelude to Freedman's ultimate goal.

To be sure, they will sometimes sprinkle in phrases like "Jewish and democratic state" in their articles, even when they are dead-set against requiring that Israel be recognized as the Jewish state by its "peace partner." In a final agreement, they say, it would be nice if there was mutual recognition of the rights of the Jewish people to a state along with the rights of the "Palestinian people" to a state - but nothing about recognizing Israel as that state.

It is clear that J-Street's philosophy is far to the left of most American Jews, but they will downplay their true position in order to raise funding for their jihad against Israel's elected leadership.

Members of their college arm, J-Street U, have recognized that as they are frustrated that the J-Street conference was tilted more towards public relations and pretending to represent the Jewish community than towards the "progressive" values they hold dear. Stanford J-Street U members were upset that the Palestinian flag was not on stage at any of the J-Street Conference events, and they were nt happy that J-Street told them to not support divestment from Israel - a position that would be consistent with J-Street's position of pressuring Israel from without, but one that would alienate its core of clueless liberal Jews who don't parse J-Street's positions beyond the "two-state" rhetoric.

There isn't much daylight between J-Street's real positions and that of Marcia Freedman. And there is a lot of daylight between J-Street's real positions and what the majority of the American Jewish community desires. J-Street knows that it needs to lie and obfuscate its positions to the Jewish community in its attempts to divide it - and to raise money from it.

That is J-Street in a nutshell.

Passover Hagaddah Conclusion “Next Year in Jerusalem” Deemed Unhelpful by Obama Administration

March 31, 2015 | 11:60PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House Administration has registered "deep disappointment" in the refusal of the Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu to tone down "hostile and aggressive language" of the Passover religious service.

An unidentified Israeli official has confirmed that President Obama delivered a harshly worded message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu which included a strong request that the upcoming Passover holiday not include the familiar refrain of “next year in Jerusalem”, citing the passage as provocative and unhelpful for future peace discussions.

White House sources also confirmed the story. "To have millions of Jews referring to Jerusalem as part of their heritage is an affront to the Palestinians, not to mention a slap in the face to President Obama himself who has worked tirelessly for peace despite Israeli intransigence on requests like this one."

The Administration suggested replacing it with “next year in Haifa” or “next year in peace”, reportedly Mr. Obama's choice. The final wording would best be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority according to the White House source. If the two sides cannot agree on the specific wording, the United Nations General Assembly would be tasked with choosing the most appropriate conclusion to the Passover service.

In a related story, the British Advertising Standards Authority has mandated that the British Library remove the pages of the illuminated Haggadahs in their collections that have the offending phrase "Next Year in Jerusalem," saying that those pages give the impression that Jerusalem has something to do with the Jewish state.

I hate that I have to say this, but yes, this is a joke.

(somewhat modified from an original piece by Andrew Bloom)

Introducing JINO Magazine!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Journalists mock accurate Israeli graphic of Iranian terror

The Israeli embassy in Washington tweeted this today:

I agree there is a disconnect between the tweet, which emphasizes Iran's attempts at hegemony in the Arab world, and the graphic which also includes many terror attacks worldwide that can be traced to Iran.

However, some journalists felt that the point being made is ridiculous:

The embassy responded to Fallows:

That last tweet answers why the Argentina bombing from 1994 is not included - this is a list of aggressive Iranian actions in only the past five years.

All of the sources for the headlines in the graphic are given.

None of the journalists have yet explained exactly what is inaccurate about the original tweet. They just know, deep in their hearts, that it is wrong. Somehow.

That is apparently a skill set that is a prerequisite for being a member of a profession that pompously pretends to value facts.

Arabs condemn approval of 2,200 new Arab houses in Jerusalem

JPost reports:
Amid fierce opposition from right-wing leaders, preliminary plans for the construction of 2,200 new Arab housing units in east Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood were approved by the Interior Ministry’s District Planning and Building Committee on Monday.

The committee also retroactively approved 300 illegally-built Arab homes in the area.

On Tuesday, Aviv Tatarsky, a researcher at the pro-Palestinian NGO Ir Amim, who attended the meeting, described the plan as unprecedented.

Indeed, according to Tatasky the approval serves as a major victory for Arab residents of Jabel Mukaber who have long sought building permits, or feared imminent home demolitions for illegal construction.

“I think this is a very unusual and very good development,” he said. “The housing shortage in east Jerusalem is enormous, and this is the first time that a plan of this extent has been approved for a Palestinian neighborhood.”
But the Secretary General of the Islamic-Christian Committee to Support Occupied Jerusalem and holy sites, Dr. Hanna Issa, condemned the move, saying that the move was illegal, violating the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions.

The anti-Israel IMEMC also says that the new Arab homes are illegal:
The Israeli “Planning and Construction Committee” in occupied Jerusalem has approved, Tuesday, the construction of 2200 illegal settlement units in ‘Arab as-Sawahra neighborhood, in the Sawahra area, between Jabal al-Mokabber and Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Radio said the new plans aims at “legalizing” homes that were built without permits, and to construct what it called “public facilities.”
Just remember, boys and girls: it isn't about loving Arabs. It's about hating Jews.

03/31 Links Pt2: Hamas sued for BG Airport attack; New Daily Show host's vile tweets on Jews, women

From Ian:

Daniel Mael: The notorious anti-Israel writer is using a lie to drag Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name through the mud.
The notorious anti-Israel writer is using a lie to drag Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s name through the mud. In a recent article that has been widely circulated online by an unholy alliance of Islamists and extreme Leftists, the notorious anti-Israel propagandist Max Blumenthal has accused women’s-rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali of “deception.” Unfortunately for Blumenthal, it is his own latest deception that has now come to light.
Blumenthal claimed that a statement by Hirsi Ali — that “at least 70% of all the fatalities in armed conflicts around the world last year were in wars involving Muslims” — was “suspect.” His evidence was an email from a spokesperson for the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, whose Armed Conflict Database is the basis for Hirsi Ali’s calculation. Triumphantly, Blumenthal tweeted that the IISS had “totally disowned her abuse of its data.”
However, it turns out that the IISS did nothing of the kind. Reached for comment on Friday, Nicholas Redman, the IISS’s director of editorial, said:
At no point did Max Blumenthal request an official quotation or statement from the IISS. Therefore, none was provided. Some of the remarks made were then reported out of context. Any information was provided on the understanding on our part that it was a research request. We have asked him to remove it from the article.
The IISS does not subdivide its conflict data according to the religions of combatants. It is, however, unambiguously clear from the Armed Conflict Database that fatalities from armed conflict last year were disproportionately caused by wars involving Muslims. If anything, Hirsi Ali’s 70% figure is too low.
Past tweets of 'Daily Show' successor on Israel, Jews cause social media uproar
What a difference a day makes. Just 24 hours after being named the new host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, has found himself in hot water for tweets he posted over five years ago.
The Internet was abuzz with criticism on Tuesday after tweets about Jews and the Jewish State, dating as far back as 2010, surfaced online, sparking a maelstrom of angry comments.
“South Africans know how to recycle like Israel knows how to be peaceful,” read a 2010 tweet dug up by social media users.
The online backlash follows Comedy Central’s announcement that Noah, who made his Daily Show debut late last year, would take over the satirical talk show after longtime host Jon Stewart hangs up his hat.
In 2009, the up-and-coming star shared this tweet on his account: “Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road.
He didn’t look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!” Just last May, Noah played on a quintessential Jewish stereotype, posting, “Behind every successful Rap billionaire is a double as rich Jewish man” – a reference to Apple buying American rapper-turned-producer Dr. Dre’s Beats company for $3 billion.
Buzzfeed: People Are Mad About Trevor Noah’s Old Tweets About Women And Jews
On Monday, Comedy Central confirmed Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as The Daily Show host.
But after some digging, Twitter users grew more acquainted with Noah…and found some of his old tweets about Israel and Jews.
And some other tweets about women…
As his old tweets made the rounds, some were no longer impressed with Stewart’s replacement.
People immediately started tweeting at Comedy Central about their new hire.
Even Roseanne chimed in.
26 Americans to sue Hamas for rocket fire at Ben Gurion Airport
Twenty-six American citizens who were present at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport when it was targeted by Hamas missile fire during last summer’s war will file a lawsuit against the terror group in a US court, it was announced Tuesday.
The litigation, which was inspired and organized by Israeli legal group Shurat HaDin, seeks to have various top Hamas commanders tried on war crimes charges.
Under US law, targeting or committing acts of violence against American citizens in an international airport can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
War crimes suits will be filed against Hamas leaders and rocket fire cells, specifically, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal, senior spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, and officials Hamdan Awad, Hudeiffe Samir, Abdullah Al’halut, Ahmed Jandoor, Ra’ad Sa’ad, Marwan Abed-el, Karim Issa and Salah Amer Daloul. (h/t Yenta Press)

Haaretz columnist calls Israeli flag a "fascistic symbol"

What's wrong with this picture?

According to Haaretz' clown Rogel Alpher, it is the tiny Israeli flag in the bottom left.

Channel 20 is the only television station in Israel which proudly waves a political flag. It is blatantly right wing. Sharon Gal was one of its presenters, until he joined Avigdor Lieberman's party and started to issue blood-chilling warnings to Arab Knesset members; the stomach churns just to hear the language that Gal used. Ar'el Segal, Zvi Yehezkeli, Kalman Liebskind and Avri Gilad – card-carrying members of right-leaning stream of the mainstream media – are the channel's stars. The channel itself is part of the inevitable trend of increasingly rightist content in Israeli news broadcasts.

In the corner of the screen Channel 20 has a strategically placed Israeli flag. It has been designed to look as if it's blowing gently in the breeze. The same flag that we salute and we drape over the coffins of fallen soldiers. What on earth is it doing in the corner of Channel 20's screen?

Even Israel Hayom does not print the Israeli flag on all of its pages. Army radio does not begin each day's broadcasts with a rendition of the national anthem. Is it considered unpatriotic to watch a television station that does not have the national flag on the screen every minute of every day? Is there some law that obligates Israeli TV channels to display the flag? Every time I see that flag on my screen, I want to cover it up or tear it down. Ironically, it reminds me of state-run television channels in some dictatorial Arab country.

This is just another fascistic symbol that is permeating our lives.

A new flotilla to Gaza planned "soon"

From Ma'an:
Former Tunisian President Muncef al-Marzouki will take part in the third "Freedom Flotilla" attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the Freedom Flotilla Coalition said in a statement Monday.

Marzouki reportedly gave the movement his full support at a World Social Forum in Tunis last week, and confirmed that he would be on board of one of the "Freedom Flotilla III" ships.

FFC hopes the flotilla will sail "within the first half of 2015, with at least three ships.
One of the people behind this is Dror Feiler, a Swedish musician who renounced his Israeli citizenship in 1973.

This should be fun.

03/31 Links Pt1: Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’; Obama’s Pax Persarum

From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas Wants Arabs to Bomb Gaza Strip
The Palestinian Authority (PA) is calling on Arab countries to launch a military strike against the Gaza Strip -- even as the PA plans to bring "war crimes" charges against Israel for doing exactly the same thing in the summer of 2014.
The Arabs are allowed to attack the Gaza strip to remove Hamas from power, while Israel is not even allowed to launch airstrikes at those who are firing rockets at its cities.
The PA's call should be brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court if and when Abbas proceeds with his plan to file "war crimes" charges against Israel for its war against Hamas.
This call should also be brought to the attention of Western governments and international human rights organizations that condemned Israel during Operation Protective Edge.
They also need to ask Abbas whether he also plans to file "war crimes" charges against his Arab brethren once they start bombing the Gaza Strip.
John Bolton: Obama Toys With Cutting Israel Adrift in the Security Council
Immediately after Israel’s March 17 election, Obama administration officials threatened to allow (or even encourage) the U.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and confine Israel to its pre-1967 borders. Within days, the president himself joined in, publicly criticizing not just Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom Obama has had notoriously bad relations, but sectors of Israeli opinion and even Israel itself.
The administration leaks suggesting that Israel be cut adrift in the Security Council in effect threatened “collective punishment” as a weapon in U.S.-Israel relations. This is especially ironic coming from “progressives” who have repeatedly accused Israel of “collective punishment” by forcefully retaliating against terrorist attacks. But more important, exposing Israel to the tender mercies of its Security Council opponents harms not only Israel’s interests, but America’s in equal measure. Roughly half of Washington’s Security Council vetoes have been cast against draft resolutions contrary to our Middle East interests.
America’s consistent view since Council Resolution 242 concluded the 1967 Arab-Israeli war is that only the parties themselves can structure a lasting peace. Deviating from that formula would be a radical departure by Obama from a bipartisan Middle East policy nearly half a century old.
In fact, Israel’s “1967 borders” are basically only the 1949 cease-fire lines, but its critics shrink from admitting this tedious reality. The indeterminate status of Israel’s borders from its 1948 creation is in fact a powerful argument why only negotiation with relevant Arab parties can ultimately fix the lines with certainty.
Iran militia chief: Destroying Israel is ‘nonnegotiable’
The commander of the Basij militia of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said that “erasing Israel off the map” is “nonnegotiable,” according to an Israel Radio report Tuesday.
Militia chief Mohammad Reza Naqdi also threatened Saudi Arabia, saying that the offensive it is leading in Yemen “will have a fate like the fate of Saddam Hussein.”
Naqdi’s comments were made public as Iran and six world powers prepared Tuesday to issue a general statement agreeing to continue nuclear negotiations in a new phase aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.
In 2014, Naqdi said Iran was stepping up efforts to arm West Bank Palestinians for battle against Israel, adding the move would lead to Israel’s annihilation, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Naqdi said. (h/t Bob Knot)