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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Egypt bans Arab film because it was funded by Israel

Villa Rouma is a film made by an Arab citizen of Israel. She tried to get funded by Arab sponsors, but they refused, so she got funded by the Israel Film Fund and the New Israel Fund:
Before film director and scriptwriter Suha Arraf approached the New Israel Fund (NIF) [sic - not the NIF - EoZ] to produce Villa Touma (2014)—her first fictional film as a director—she applied to a number of Arab corporations for funding, but didn’t even receive a reply.

“I knocked at many Arab and non-Arab doors. Had a single corporation responded, I would not have gone to that fund [NIF]. But what can I do? Arab donors seem to have no objection about me going to the NIF,” Arraf told Asharq Al-Awsat. She added: “As for the media, it is attacking the film aggressively for being funded by the Israeli state.”

This issue has affected other Palestinian film directors in the past, including Mohammad Bakri and Elia Suleiman. There seems to be no Arab cooperation or investment in Arab films directed by Palestinian filmmakers living in Palestine, yet there is a distinct readiness to accuse a film director of “selling themselves” for receiving Israeli funding.
It was shown in a number of film festivals, although Arraf insisted that it be called a "Palestinian" film rather than an Israeli film. Some film festivals decided to say that it did not come from any country.

Egypt, however, didn't like the taint of Israel that the film had:
Egyptian authorities have confiscated the film “Villa Touma” – which was written and directed by Arab-Israeli director Suha Arraf – preventing the film from being screened during the Alexandria Film Festival in Egypt.

The film was registered as Palestinian but was made with primarily Israeli public funds, including $400,000 from the Israel Film Fund.

“Egyptian Customs reserved the film’s copies, and we will not be able to display it within the festival,” said film critic and festival director Amir Abaza.
After the Alexandria Film Festival closed, officials explained its disappearance this way: "The festival's organisers were unable to secure a copy of Villa Touma by Israeli-Arab filmmaker Suha Arraf."

Meanwhile, the Israeli Film Fund is upset that a movie they funded is not being credited to their country, and they want their money back. Arraf argued back that she can define herself however she wants and that her tax dollars pay for the funding like any other citizen's.

(h/t Yoel)


09/30 Links Pt1: Kicking the PLO habit; PA honors murderers of 3 Israeli teens

From Ian:

David Horovitz: Bleak Netanyahu warns of militant Islam’s global ambition
There were no gimmicks. Few excruciating one-liners. Just a single visual aid: a photograph of three children in Gaza at play right next to a rocket launcher.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a no-nonsense address to the United National General Assembly on Monday — presenting himself as the leader of a “proud and unbowed” nation, charged with the “awesome responsibility” of ensuring his much-threatened people’s future in a brutal, unstable region.
It was not a speech entirely bereft of hope. He reached out “to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere” and asserted that a rapprochement with Israel by such Arab players could in turn yield a peace agreement with the Palestinians, which, he also said, “will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise.”
But the outlook he presented was immensely grim, nonetheless. His bitter overview, he said toward the end of his remarks, “may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but it is the truth. And the truth must always be spoken, especially here in the United Nations.”
As spoken by Netanyahu, the truth is that “militant Islam is on the march,” that its ambitions are global, and that all its many, sometimes competing factions are “branches of the same poisonous tree.” Thus it is ridiculous and self-defeating for countries to support the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State but criticize Israel for tackling Hamas. If not stopped in its tracks, he indicated, Islamic extremism would come for everyone.
Caroline Glick: Kicking the PLO habit
The signs are everywhere that the time has come for Israel to abandon the PLO.
So long as the PLO remains in power, the lives of Israelis and Palestinians will only get worse.
PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas’s speech last Friday at the UN General Assembly where he repeatedly accused Israel of committing genocide was not merely an abandonment of direct peace negotiations with Israel. Abbas abandoned the very concept of peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians.
Abbas called for the UN to pass a resolution that will require Israel to cede Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria in their entirety to the PLO within a set period of time. No Israeli consideration can be taken into account. No Israel concern can be attended to.
As he put it, “Palestine refuses to have the right to freedom of her people, who are subjected to the terrorism by the racist occupying Power and its settlers, remain hostage to Israel’s security conditions.”
As is always the case, the immediate victims of Abbas’s blood libels are the Israeli Left. The politicians and media elite that have hitched their horse to the PLO were again left stuttering by the wayside.
For some, like Meretz chair Zehava Gal-On, stuttering is a fine option. So she pushed out an endorsement of Abbas’s genocide speech.
Mahmoud Abbas’s dangerous grandstanding
For several years Mr. Abbas has oscillated between half-hearted participation in peace talks and attempts to advance the Palestinian cause through unilateral action at the United Nations. The latter initiatives have no chance of substantive success and risk being self-defeating, as the Palestinians should have learned from Mr. Abbas’s last such gambit in 2012. Then their lobbyists were unable to win enough support for a U.N. Security Council resolution even to force a U.S. veto, and a compensatory symbolic measure in the General Assembly provoked Israel to impose painful financial sanctions.
Mr. Abbas nevertheless is trying the Security Council again, after refusing to respond to a U.S. framework for peace talks painstakingly developed by Secretary of State John F. Kerry. He proposes a resolution that would mandate the creation of a Palestinian state based on Israel’s 1967 borders in a set period of time; when it is voted down or vetoed by the United States, the Palestinians hint that they will seek a war crimes investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court. That, in turn, would almost certainly prompt retaliatory sanctions by Mr. Netanyahu’s government and possibly by Congress, which supplies the Palestinian Authority with much of its funding.
Mr. Abbas has repeatedly rejected violence, and he has convinced a series of U.S. and Israeli negotiators that he has a realistic view of the terms for a Palestinian state. Yet he has now rejected platforms for a settlement on two occasions from two U.S. presidents. He persists in grandstanding gestures that he must know will only delay the serious negotiations that must precede the creation of a Palestinian state and that undermine those in Israel who support such talks. He has spoken for years of retiring but, at 79, he clings to his post four years after his elected term expired. Hamas has done the most harm to Palestinians and their cause in recent years. But Mr. Abbas has done little good.

Sudanese uproar over playing chess against "Jews"

Sudanese news site Al Nilin reports that head of the Sudan Fatwa Authority Sheikh Abdul Rahman Hassan Ahmed Hamed issued a scathing criticism to the Sudanese government for allowing a young chess player to compete against an Israeli at the World Youth Chess Championships held recently in Durban.

Omar Eltigani faced Israeli Matan Poleg on September 25.

Abdul Rahman said that the country is in a state of war with the Jews, and to play against an Israeli is a tacit recognition of Israel. Rahman added that a Sudanese playing against a Jew in one table means "reconciliation and tolerance," saying that the meeting was a great disservice to the Muslims and the Sudanese, because the situation requires "not mixing with Jews" as he put it.

He also said that chess was not a game for Muslims to play, according to most authorities, although a minority felt that it had value.

Poleg won the match. 

Meanwhile, the president of the Sudanese Chess Federation Tariq Zarrouk resigned from his position in protest of the match.

Saeb Erekat describes his strategy of lying

Yesterday, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat added another to his long list of lies that he spouts to the media, and this one was a doozy:

Escalating the Palestinian leadership’s rhetorical assault on Israel, the chief Palestinian Authority negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on Monday claimed that 96 percent of Gazans killed in the summer’s Israel-Hamas conflict were civilians, reiterated PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s charge of Israeli “genocide,” and accused Israel of seeking to impose apartheid on the Palestinians.

Erekat, in the radio interview, defined genocide as “a direct attempt to eliminate, horrify, relocate, destroy a way of life” and claimed “Israel committed the killing of 12,000 and wounding 12,000 Palestinians; 96 percent of them are civilians.”

Not even the most extreme anti-Israel Gaza NGO claimed that 96% of those killed in Gaza were civilians, or that 12,000 were killed.

The radio interview is in English and these absurd lies can be heard at the 30 second mark here. He also says Israel "demolished" 50,000 homes (according to anti-Israel site Electronic Intifada, 15,670 homes were damaged, not demolished,) and that 500,000 Gazans are homeless (that is the maximum number displaced during the war but only about 50,000 remain in shelters as of a few weeks ago.)

I cannot remember a single interview of his or article he's written that was not filled with lies.

So how can Erekat continue to lie so openly and brazenly in literally every statement he ever makes in public? What is behind it?

It turns out that Erekat explains his strategy perfectly - in his response to Netanyahu's speech at the UN yesterday:

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, “There’s a saying that if you don’t stop a man who is lying after 24 hours, the lies turn into facts. That’s what happened to Netanyahu.”
This saying is Erekat's credo!

He lies, not one reporter - even the interviewer from Israel Army Radio here - bothers to counter his lies in any timely fashion, and Erekat wins! His lies turn into facts for his audience, or at the very least they are considered a legitimate part of the "narrative."  He literally lives his life by the saying "if you don’t stop a man who is lying after 24 hours, the lies turn into facts."

No one has the guts to tell him that he is a liar to his face and list all his lies, chapter and verse. And it is a very long list.

Erekat knows that once he puts his lies out there, no one will counter him - after all, he is a "moderate" and a "peacemaker," and reporters aren't conditioned to believe that a soft-spoken man in a suit who is considered a "moderate" will lie right to their faces.

There is literally no negative repercussion to Erekat's constant lies. So...why shouldn't he continue them?

(By the way, for all the PLO officials who railed against Bibi's "lies," not one of them actually cited any.)

Abbas spokesman says any "peace" must include banning Jews from holy places

The Times of Israel seriously botched up a news story:
Abbas spokesman says he’s ‘ready for historic compromise’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready for a historic compromise for peace, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said on Monday.

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s fiery response to Abbas’s UN speech last week in which the Pa leader accused Israel of conducting a “war of genocide” in Gaza, Abu Rudeineh said that the solution must be based on UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, Israel Radio reported.

He also said the solution would have to include a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem, an immediate end to settlement activity, and the lifting of the blockade in Gaza.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh did not say that Abbas is ready for a historic compromise. He was responding that Netanyahu's statement that Israel is ready to accept a historic compromise, insisting that Israel must include certain conditions in any peace plan.

And the Western media missed one of his conditions: to make holy places like the Temple Mount, Rachel's Tomb and the Ma'arat HaMachpela (Tomb of the Patriarchs) Judenfrei.

As Arabic media widely reports, Rudeineh said that any agreement must also include "stopping the activities of extremists in holy places."

Anyone who follows Arab media knows that to them, any Jews who want to visit their own holy sites, no matter how peacefully, are called "extremists." Abbas is saying that  Jews must be banned from their holy spots.

When Netanyahu said he was ready for a "historic compromise," the response of the PA leadership was to add a new obstacle to peace, one that must disgust any truly peace-seeking Westerner, to ban Jews from their most sacred sites.

The Abbas' spokesman's response to Netanyahu's speech proves yet again that Palestinian hate is the obstacle to peace. This is the basic fact about the conflict that the Western media and governments adamantly refuse to believe..

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Star of David Molecule

From The University of Manchester:

Scientists at The University of Manchester have generated a new star-shaped molecule made up of interlocking rings, which is the most complex of its kind ever created.


Known as a ‘Star of David’ molecule, scientists have been trying to create one for over a quarter of a century and the team’s findings are published at 1800 London time / 1300 US Eastern Time on 21 September 2014 in the journal Nature Chemistry.

Consisting of two molecular triangles, entwined about each other three times into a hexagram, the structure’s interlocked molecules are tiny – each triangle is 114 atoms in length around the perimeter. The molecular triangles are threaded around each other at the same time that the triangles are formed, by a process called ‘self-assembly’, similar to how the DNA double helix is formed in biology.

The molecule was created at The University of Manchester by PhD student Alex Stephens.

Professor David Leigh, in Manchester’s School of Chemistry, said: “It was a great day when Alex finally got it in the lab. In nature, biology already uses molecular chainmail to make the tough, light shells of certain viruses and now we are on the path towards being able to reproduce its remarkable properties.

“It’s the next step on the road to man-made molecular chainmail, which could lead to the development of new materials which are light, flexible and very strong. Just as chainmail was a breakthrough over heavy suits of armour in medieval times, this could be a big step towards materials created using nanotechnology. I hope this will lead to many exciting developments in the future.”

The team’s next step will be to make larger, more elaborate, interlocked structures.
What - no molecular sukkah?

(h/t Ronald)


09/29 Links Pt2: Lady Gaga: World is wrong about Israel; Abbas Finds a Friend in The NYTs

From Ian:

Lady Gaga: World is wrong about Israel
Pop star Lady Gaga says the world’s image of Israel is inaccurate, calling the country “a beautiful place.”
“Oh it was fantastic!” said Lady Gaga in an interview published Friday by The Independent, talking about her September 13 performance in Tel Aviv. “Tel Aviv was magnificent. The world view of Israel is just not reality. It’s in a beautiful place, the people are in good spirits.”
“I had a very emotional show with those fans. It was wonderful,” she said.
The 28-year-old singer also said her duet at the Tel Aviv show with famed crooner Tony Bennett was not planned, but was rather his idea.
“And I was very overwhelmed when Tony surprised me there. I knew he was coming in [to Tel Aviv] for a show, but he came a day early and he said: ‘Hey, you wanna sing “Anything But Love” at the ArtRave?’ And I thought: ‘Gosh, how magnificent! To bridge the jazz and the pop world at the same time.’ And at that show there were 25,000 people singing every word.”
Outrage over top German politician comparing Hamas to Israel
The Social Democratic Party of Germany has stepped up the rhetoric against Israel. Rainer Arnold, a defense expert and deputy for the SPD, told the SPD party newspaper Forward in September that “radical forces in both camps” - meaning Israel and Hamas - were fueling the ongoing conflict in Gaza.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor and political science professor at Bar-Ilan University, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that Arnold “has displayed a disturbing inability to distinguish between the aggression of Hamas and the defense by Israel.”
The SPD is Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner in government. Dr. Elvira Grözinger, a member of the German branch of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, told the Post that “some people in the SPD like Arnold seem to be totally ignorant of the fact that Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the EU, the US and Israel. Israel has not only the right but a duty to defend itself and its citizens.”
She added, “Whoever denies Israel this right [self-defense] is an anti-Semite willing to eventually approve the destruction of the Jewish state. It is high time for this party [SPD] to repudiate such opinions and take measures against its members who belittle terror.”
'Lancet' Editor Visiting Israel Amid Anti-Semitism Uproar
As the scandal over The Lancet's recent article, "Open Letter for the People in Gaza," grew at week's end, following NGO Monitor's discovery that two of the primary authors promoted an anti-Semitic video by white supremacist David Duke, NGO Monitor called on Dr. Richard Horton to take responsibility for his decisions as editor of the journal.
NGO Monitor noted that, rather than retracting the letter and apologizing, Horton is coming to visit Israel this week.
"The trip will not provide Horton immunity from the justifiable moral outrage of Israelis, the Jewish community, and medical professionals," said Yitzhak Santis, Chief Programs Officer at NGO watchdog group, NGO Monitor. "Nor will it absolve Horton of his responsibility to correct his politicized, non-scientific editorial distortions. If he cannot do so, he should resign," Santis said.

The strangely aged "14-year old" martyr

On July 13, the Gaza Ministry of Health announced the death of 14-year old Hussein Abdelkader Muheisen, who died of his wounds suffered a few days earlier.

It was published in a number of Arabic sites, including Palestine Today.

His death was not mentioned by PCHR.

Today, Palestine Today celebrates the young man, who actually was 24 years old:



Islamic Jihad claims that Muheisen led a team that ambushed elite Israeli soldiers, killing several. That is not true, since the first Israeli casualty was on July 15.

The Meir Amit Terrorism Center so far has identified 354 terrorists, 49%, out of 751 Gaza dead that they identified positively. They note that many of the terrorists killed were not listed in various NGO reports, so when PCHR was claiming a high percentage of civilians killed, one reason it was exaggerated was because they ignored some people they knew were terrorists.

Bibi speech at UN (video, transcript)

Full video of Bibi Netanyahu's speech at the UN today:



Here's the transcript:

Thank you, Mr. President,
Distinguished delegates,

I come here from Jerusalem to speak on behalf of my people, the people of Israel. I've come here to speak about the dangers we face and about the opportunities we see. I've come here to expose the brazen lies spoken from this very podium against my country and against the brave soldiers who defend it. Ladies and Gentlemen, The people of Israel pray for peace. But our hopes and the world's hope for peace are in danger. Because everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It's not militants. It's not Islam. It's militant Islam.

Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds – no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it's rapidly spreading in every part of the world. You know the famous American saying: "All politics is local"? For the militant Islamists, "All politics is global." Because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world. Now, that threat might seem exaggerated to some, since it starts out small, like a cancer that attacks a particular part of the body. But left unchecked, the cancer grows, metastasizing over wider and wider areas.

To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it's too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.

Listen to ISIS’s self-declared caliph,Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. This is what he said two months ago: A day will soon come when the Muslim will walk everywhere as a master… The Muslims will cause the world to hear and understand the meaning of terrorism… and destroy the idol of democracy. Now listen to Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas. He proclaims a similar vision of the future: We say this to the West… By Allah you will be defeated. Tomorrow our nation will sit on the throne of the world. As Hamas's charter makes clear, Hamas’s immediate goal is to destroy Israel. But Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists. That’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered on 9/11. And that's why its leaders condemned the United States for killing Osama Bin Laden, whom they praised as a holy warrior. So when it comes to their ultimate goals, Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas. And what they share in common, all militant Islamists share in common: • Boko Haram in Nigeria; • Ash-Shabab in Somalia; • Hezbollah in Lebanon; • An-Nusrah in Syria; • The Mahdi Army in Iraq; • And the Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen, Libya, the Philippines, India and elsewhere.

Some are radical Sunnis, some are radical Shi'ites. Some want to restore a pre-medieval caliphate from the 7th century. Others want to trigger the apocalyptic return of an imam from the 9th century. They operate in different lands, they target different victims and they even kill each other in their quest for supremacy. But they all share a fanatic ideology. They all seek to create ever expanding enclaves of militant Islam where there is no freedom and no tolerance – Where women are treated as chattel, Christians are decimated, and minorities are subjugated, sometimes given the stark choice: convert or die. For them, anyone can be an infidel, including fellow Muslims. Ladies and Gentlemen, Militant Islam's ambition to dominate the world seems mad. But so too did the global ambitions of another fanatic ideology that swept to power eight decades ago. The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith. They just disagree about who among them will be the master… of the master faith. That’s what they truly disagree about. Therefore, the question before us is whether militant Islam will have the power to realize its unbridled ambitions.

There is one place where that could soon happen: The Islamic State of Iran. For 35 years, Iran has relentlessly pursued the global mission which was set forth by its founding ruler, Ayatollah Khomeini, in these words: We will export our revolution to the entire world. Until the cry "There is no God but Allah" will echo throughout the world over… And ever since, the regime’s brutal enforcers, Iran's Revolutionary Guards, have done exactly that. Listen to its current commander, General Muhammad Ali Ja'afari. And he clearly stated this goal. He said: Our Imam did not limit the Islamic Revolution to this country… Our duty is to prepare the way for an Islamic world government… Iran's President Rouhani stood here last week, and shed crocodile tears over what he called "the globalization of terrorism." Maybe he should spare us those phony tears and have a word instead with the commanders of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

He could ask them to call off Iran's global terror campaign, which has included attacks in two dozen countries on five continents since 2011 alone. To say that Iran doesn't practice terrorism is like saying Derek Jeter never played shortstop for the New York Yankees. This bemoaning of the Iranian president of the spread of terrorism has got to be one of history’s greatest displays of doubletalk. Now, Some still argue that Iran's global terror campaign, its subversion of countries throughout the Middle East and well beyond the Middle East, some argue that this is the work of the extremists. They say things are changing. They point to last year's elections in Iran. They claim that Iran’s smooth talking President and Foreign Minister, they’ve changed not only the tone of Iran's foreign policy but also its substance.

They believe Rouhani and Zarif genuinely want to reconcile with the West, that they’ve abandoned the global mission of the Islamic Revolution. Really? So let's look at what Foreign Minister Zarif wrote in his book just a few years ago: We have a fundamental problem with the West, and especially with America. This is because we are heirs to a global mission, which is tied to our raison d'etre… A global mission which is tied to our very reason of being. And then Zarif asks a question, I think an interesting one. He says: How come Malaysia [he’s referring to an overwhelmingly Muslim country] – how come Malaysia doesn't have similar problems? And he answers: Because Malaysia is not trying to change the international order. That's your moderate.



So don’t be fooled by Iran’s manipulative charm offensive. It’s designed for one purpose, and for one purpose only: To lift the sanctions and remove the obstacles to Iran's path to the bomb. The Islamic Republic is now trying to bamboozle its way to an agreement that will remove the sanctions it still faces, and leave it with the capacity of thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium. This would effectively cement Iran's place as a threshold military nuclear power. In the future, at a time of its choosing, Iran, the world’s most dangerous state in the world's most dangerous region, would obtain the world’s most dangerous weapons. Allowing that to happen would pose the gravest threat to us all. It’s one thing to confront militant Islamists on pick-up trucks, armed with Kalashnikov rifles. It’s another thing to confront militant Islamists armed with weapons of mass destruction.

I remember that last year, everyone here was rightly concerned about the chemical weapons in Syria, including the possibility that they would fall into the hands of terrorists. That didn't happen. And President Obama deserves great credit for leading the diplomatic effort to dismantle virtually all of Syria's chemical weapons capability. Imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic State, ISIS, would be if it possessed chemical weapons. Now imagine how much more dangerous the Islamic state of Iran would be if it possessed nuclear weapons. Ladies and Gentlemen, Would you let ISIS enrich uranium? Would you let ISIS build a heavy water reactor? Would you let ISIS develop intercontinental ballistic missiles? Of course you wouldn’t. Then you mustn't let the Islamic State of Iran do those things either. Because here’s what will happen: Once Iran produces atomic bombs, all the charm and all the smiles will suddenly disappear. They’ll just vanish. It's then that the ayatollahs will show their true face and unleash their aggressive fanaticism on the entire world.

There is only one responsible course of action to address this threat: Iran's nuclear military capabilities must be fully dismantled. Make no mistake – ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war. To defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war.

Ladies and Gentlemen, The fight against militant Islam is indivisible. When militant Islam succeeds anywhere, it’s emboldened everywhere. When it suffers a blow in one place, it's set back in every place. That’s why Israel’s fight against Hamas is not just our fight. It’s your fight. Israel is fighting a fanaticism today that your countries may be forced to fight tomorrow.

For 50 days this past summer, Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, many of them supplied by Iran. I want you to think about what your countries would do if thousands of rockets were fired at your cities. Imagine millions of your citizens having seconds at most to scramble to bomb shelters, day after day. You wouldn't let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity. Nor would you let terrorists dig dozens of terror tunnels under your borders to infiltrate your towns in order to murder and kidnap your citizens. Israel justly defended itself against both rocket attacks and terror tunnels. Yet Israel also faced another challenge. We faced a propaganda war. Because, in an attempt to win the world’s sympathy, Hamas cynically used Palestinian civilians as human shields. It used schools, not just schools - UN schools, private homes, mosques, even hospitals to store and fire rockets at Israel. As Israel surgically struck at the rocket launchers and at the tunnels, Palestinian civilians were tragically but unintentionally killed. There are heartrending images that resulted, and these fueled libelous charges that Israel was deliberately targeting civilians.

We were not. We deeply regret every single civilian casualty. And the truth is this: Israel was doing everything to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Hamas was doing everything to maximize Israeli civilian casualties and Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel dropped flyers, made phone calls, sent text messages, broadcast warnings in Arabic on Palestinian television, always to enable Palestinian civilians to evacuate targeted areas. No other country and no other army in history have gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemies. This concern for Palestinian life was all the more remarkable, given that Israeli civilians were being bombarded by rockets day after day, night after night. As their families were being rocketed by Hamas, Israel's citizen army – the brave soldiers of the IDF, our young boys and girls – they upheld the highest moral values of any army in the world. Israel's soldiers deserve not condemnation, but admiration. Admiration from decent people everywhere. Now here’s what Hamas did: Hamas embedded its missile batteries in residential areas and told Palestinians to ignore Israel’s warnings to leave. And just in case people didn’t get the message, they executed Palestinian civilians in Gaza who dared to protest. No less reprehensible, Hamas deliberately placed its rockets where Palestinian children live and play. Let me show you a photograph. It was taken by a France 24 crew during the recent conflict. It shows two Hamas rocket launchers, which were used to attack us. You see three children playing next to them.

Hamas deliberately put its rockets in hundreds of residential areas like this. Hundreds of them. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a war crime. And I say to President Abbas, these are the war crimes committed by your Hamas partners in the national unity government which you head and you are responsible for. And these are the real war crimes you should have investigated, or spoken out against from this podium last week. Ladies and Gentlemen, As Israeli children huddled in bomb shelters and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system knocked Hamas rockets out of the sky, the profound moral difference between Israel and Hamas couldn’t have been clearer: Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles. By investigating Israel rather than Hamas for war crimes, the UN Human Rights Council has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. In fact, what it’s doing is to turn the laws of war upside-down. Israel, which took unprecedented steps to minimize civilian casualties, Israel is condemned.

Hamas, which both targeted and hid behind civilians – that a double war crime - Hamas is given a pass. The Human Rights Council is thus sending a clear message to terrorists everywhere: Use civilians as human shields. Use them again and again and again. You know why? Because sadly, it works. By granting international legitimacy to the use of human shields, the UN’s Human Rights Council has thus become a Terrorist Rights Council, and it will have repercussions. It probably already has, about the use of civilians as human shields. It’s not just our interest. It’s not just our values that are under attack. It’s your interests and your values.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We live in a world steeped in tyranny and terror, where gays are hanged from cranes in Tehran, political prisoners are executed in Gaza, young girls are abducted en masse in Nigeria and hundreds of thousands are butchered in Syria, Libya and Iraq. Yet nearly half, nearly half of the UN Human Rights Council's resolutions focusing on a single country have been directed against Israel, the one true democracy in the Middle East – Israel. where issues are openly debated in a boisterous parliament, where human rights are protected by independent courts and where women, gays and minorities live in a genuinely free society. The Human Rights… (that’s an oxymoron, the UN Human Rights Council, but I’ll use it just the same), the Council’s biased treatment of Israel is only one manifestation of the return of the world’s oldest prejudices.

We hear mobs today in Europe call for the gassing of Jews. We hear some national leaders compare Israel to the Nazis. This is not a function of Israel’s policies. It's a function of diseased minds. And that disease has a name. It’s called anti-Semitism. It is now spreading in polite society, where it masquerades as legitimate criticism of Israel. For centuries the Jewish people have been demonized with blood libels and charges of deicide. Today, the Jewish state is demonized with the apartheid libel and charges of genocide. Genocide? In what moral universe does genocide include warning the enemy's civilian population to get out of harm's way? Or ensuring that they receive tons, tons of humanitarian aid each day, even as thousands of rockets are being fired at us? Or setting up a field hospital to aid for their wounded? Well, I suppose it's the same moral universe where a man who wrote a dissertation of lies about the Holocaust, and who insists on a Palestine free of Jews, Judenrein, can stand at this podium and shamelessly accuse Israel of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

In the past, outrageous lies against the Jews were the precursors to the wholesale slaughter of our people. But no more. Today we, the Jewish people, have the power to defend ourselves. We will defend ourselves against our enemies on the battlefield. We will expose their lies against us in the court of public opinion. Israel will continue to stand proud and unbowed. Ladies and Gentlemen, Despite the enormous challenges facing Israel, I believe we have an historic opportunity. After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world. Our challenge is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East. Together we can strengthen regional security. We can advance projects in water, agriculture, in transportation, in health, in energy, in so many fields. I believe the partnership between us can also help facilitate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World.

But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere. I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support. I’m ready to make a historic compromise, not because Israel is occupying a foreign land.
The people of Israel are not occupiers in the Land of Israel.
History, archeology and common sense all make clear that we have had a singular attachment to this land for over 3,000 years. I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people. But it must be a genuine peace, one that is anchored in mutual recognition and enduring security arrangements, rock solid security arrangements on the ground.

Because you see, Israel's withdrawals from Lebanon and Gaza created two militant Islamic enclaves on our borders from which tens of thousands of rockets have been fired at Israel. These sobering experiences heighten Israel's security concerns regarding potential territorial concessions in the future. Those security concerns are even greater today. Just look around you. The Middle East is in chaos. States are disintegrating. Militant Islamists are filling the void. Israel cannot have territories from which it withdraws taken over by Islamic militants yet again, as happened in Gaza and Lebanon. That would place the likes of ISIS within mortar range – a few miles – of 80% of our population. Think about that. The distance between the 1967 lines and the suburbs of Tel Aviv is like the distance between the UN building here and Times Square. Israel’s a tiny country.

That’s why in any peace agreement, which will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise, I will always insist that Israel be able to defend itself by itself against any threat. Yet despite all that has happened, some still don't take Israel’s security concerns seriously. But I do, and I always will. Because, as Prime Minister of Israel, I am entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish state. And no matter what pressure is brought to bear, I will never waver in fulfilling that responsibility. I believe that with a fresh approach from our neighbors, we can advance peace despite the difficulties we face.

In Israel, we have a record of making the impossible possible. We’ve made a desolate land flourish. And with very few natural resources, we have used the fertile minds of our people to turn Israel into a global center of technology and innovation. Peace, of course, would enable Israel to realize its full potential and to bring a promising future not only for our people, not only for the Palestinian people, but for many, many others in our region. But the old template for peace must be updated. It must take into account new realities and new roles and responsibilities for our Arab neighbors. Ladies and Gentlemen, There is a new Middle East. It presents new dangers, but also new opportunities.

Israel is prepared to work with Arab partners and the international community to confront those dangers and to seize those opportunities. Together we must recognize the global threat of militant Islam, the primacy of dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons capability and the indispensable role of Arab states in advancing peace with the Palestinians. All this may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, but it’s the truth.
And the truth must always be spoken, especially here, in the United Nations. Isaiah, our great prophet of peace, taught us nearly 3,000 years ago in Jerusalem to speak truth to power.

לְמַעַן צִיּוֹן לֹא אֶחֱשֶׁה וּלְמַעַן יְרוּשָׁלִַם לֹא אֶשְׁקוֹט עַד-יֵצֵא כַּנֹּגַהּ צִדְקָהּ וִישׁוּעָתָהּ כְּלַפִּיד יִבְעָר. For the sake of Zion, I will not be silent. For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still. Until her justice shines bright, And her salvation glows like a flaming torch.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Let's light a torch of truth and justice to safeguard our common future.
Thank you.

09/29 Links Pt1: From Arab Spring to Islamic Winter - to Total Chaos; Dig In For a Long War

From Ian:

From Arab Spring to Islamic Winter - to Total Chaos
Middle East experts Dr. Mordechai Kedar and Prof. Eyal Zisser recently sat down with Arutz Sheva ahead of the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), and recapped the tumultuous and bloody events of the Arab world over the past year.
Kedar, a senior lecturer at Bar Ilan University, began by noting the current warfare is the continuation of a trend of disorder since the "Arab spring" revolutions began in 2011, leading to the "deterioration of states like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen."
"On the ruins of these countries we see already enclaves of Islamic states," said Kedar, noting the Islamic State (aka ISIS) that has brutally seized power and declared statehood in parts of Iraq and Syria, as well as the Al Qaeda-linked Boko Haram terror group that similarly declared statehood in Nigeria.
Zisser, an expert on Syria and Lebanon and Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities at Tel Aviv University, concurred with Kedar's appraisal, saying "the Arab spring turned out to be an Islamic winter, and now it's not a spring, it's not a winter - it's simply chaos and anarchy."
The western world has exhibited "hypocrisy" towards the developing bloodshed in the Middle East according to Kedar, who remarked the world only wakes up when Westerners are beheaded.
Summing Up the Year in the Arab World - Dr. Mordechai Kedar and Prof. Eyal Zisser


Michael J. Totten: Dig In For a Long War
So we’re resisting one group of odious actors and boosting the other.
We’ve done this before, most famously during World War II when the US and Britain formed an alliance with Josef Stalin against Adolf Hitler in Germany. The long Cold War against Russia began almost immediately after the allies defeated the Nazi regime. One of the West’s last moves in that war was backing the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation, some of which later formed the Taliban as others joined the Northern Alliance.
If there were an easier way to clean up the world, believe me, we’d do it. But there’s not. So here we are.
When the Syrian civil war started I argued that the Assad should take be taken care of before the Sunni Islamists, but the latter were weaker then, and in any case we’ll have to deal with both in the long run either way. Because there can be no chance whatsoever of peace and quiet in the Middle East until both the Islamic State and the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah axis are defeated. Effectively dealing with just one of those factions will take many years.
The Obama administration has been perfectly in line with American public opinion these last few years in wishing the Middle East would just sod off and leave us alone. Huge numbers of Middle Easterners have felt the same way about us. After working in and writing about the region for ten years, I’m sick of it too. But we’re stuck with each other, like it or not.
PA’s Erekat claims 96% of Gaza dead were civilians
In an Army Radio interview conducted in English, Erekat also claimed that Israel killed 12,000 people and injured another 12,000 in Gaza, though it was possible that he misspoke and intended to say 2,000 fatalities — the widely accepted figure.
Responding to Erekat’s interview, Israel’s Communication Minister Gilad Erdan said the Palestinian leadership was operating “an industry of lies” aimed at fundamentally delegitimizing Israel, and that there was “no one to talk to” about peace on the Palestinian side.
Erekat spoke three days after Abbas leveled the genocide allegation against Israel in his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to address the General Assembly later Monday, having vowed to “refute the lies” disseminated by Abbas against Israel.
Erekat, in the radio interview, defined genocide as “a direct attempt to eliminate, horrify, relocate, destroy a way of life” and claimed “Israel committed the killing of 12,000 and wounding 12,000 Palestinians; 96 percent of them are civilians.”

How antisemitism hides among the intellectual elite - Ed Husain's offensive tweet (updated)

Over the weekend, a number of newspapers breathlessly published a story about nn El Al flight that was delayed due to the apparent inconsiderateness of some Haredi passengers:

A flight from New York to Tel-Aviv descended into an “11-hour long nightmare” after ultra-orthodox Jewish passengers on board refused to sit next to women, delaying take-off and causing further disruption during the flight.

On Wednesday, the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the El Al flight to Israel was carrying a large number of ultra-Orthodox Jews intending to celebrate the Jewish New Year in Israel, alongside a number of secular Jews.

But the flight did not take off on time, according to Shalom Life, after a group of Haredi Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women, believing that men and women should be segregated.

“People stood in the aisles and refused to go forward,” a passenger on board the flight, Amit Ben-Natan, told the publication.

“Although everyone had tickets with seat numbers that they purchased in advance, they asked us to trade seats with them, and even offered to pay money, since they cannot sit next to a woman. It was obvious that the plane won’t take off as long as they’re standing in the aisles,” he said.

The Haredi passengers agreed to sit in their assigned seats for take-off, but one passenger described the overall experience as an “11-hour long nightmare,” referring to the difficulty before take-off and the ensuing disturbances on board, caused by the Haredi passengers “jumping out” of their seats when the fasten-seatbelt sign was switched off.
The newspaper then added that there was controversy in London recently when religious Jews put up signs on a public street requesting that men and women who were attending a religious procession walk on opposite sides of the street for the duration.

I'm not defending the reported rudeness of the haredim. They could have bought extra seats to remain empty, they could charter flights, they could wrap themselves in large garbage bags if they mistakenly believe that Judaism doesn't allow them to sit next to women. (Somehow, there are plenty on New York subways and buses jostling people next to them like everyone else.) There is no excuse for them to inconvenience others by standing in the aisles during the flight. But this is hardly a big news story.

A little research shows that the flight left about 25 minutes after its average departure time and it arrived 7 minutes behind its usual arrival. This is hardly earth-shaking news. But when you have strange black-clad men acting weird, it turns into a story.

Ed Husain is the model of a modern, moderate Muslim. He is a senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York,[2] and a Senior Advisor at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. A former Islamist who wrote about his experiences, he was appointed to the Freedom of Religion or Belief Advisory Group of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

When he read this article he was moved to tweet:



Really? Religious Jews who offer to pay people so they can better adhere to their own beliefs are the inspiration for jihadists who would behead them instead?

Religious Jews in the Diaspora try, by and large, try to adhere to their beliefs from within the system. They might ask for reasonable accommodation but not to change how everyone else lives their lives. (It is the non-religious Jews who get upset over, and try to ban, Christmas displays and trees in malls, not the haredim.)

Tolerance works both ways.

It is 100% true that the haredim need to ensure that their beliefs do not impinge on the rights of others.

On the other hand, supposedly progressive people need to be at least as tolerant towards others as they insist others be. It is easy to say that you aren't an antisemite when the Jews you don't object to are indistinguishable from everyone else. But real tolerance means that you accept everybody who is not like you. It applies to the disabled, to those of different skin colors, and to those who wear what you consider funny clothing for religious reasons.

Ed Husain may be considered a shining example of a progressive Muslim - but he just revealed himself to be a bigot nonetheless. The comparison he makes is thoroughly offensive and patently false on a number of levels. Any supposed liberal who is not offended by his comparison needs to examine his or her own beliefs a lot more carefully.

This is an example of how supposed intellectuals - people who are in the forefront of religious freedom! - can still be racist. It is disheartening that the response on Twitter has been so tepid.

I hope that Husain realizes how truly disgusting and bigoted his tweet was and apologizes for it.

(h/t Theo, Arsen)

UPDATE: Here was Husain's tweeted response to this post:

Then he called me a "muppet":





Saudi paper says Lincoln assassination was a Jewish plot

Kennedy assassination and 9/11 done by Jews? Come on, that isn't cutting edge antisemitism.

If you want to push the envelope on getting people to hate Jews, you have to go back further in history.

A Saudi columnist, Abdullah Sultan, has written a history of sorts of how American presidents have been victimized by Da Joooz!

Writing in the official Saudi press Agency Okaz, Sultan tells us that Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Quincy Adams that "I am a believer that these banking institutions, which are controlled by the Jews, are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies .. The gaseous existence also created a financial aristocracy that has become its own power to defy the government." (A small part of that quote seems accurate but it was not in reference to Jews.)

The article has a similar anecdote about Andrew Jackson, who was known to have problems with corruption at banks but Sultan again pretends that his antipathy was towards Jews, supposedly saying to them "You are a group of thieves and vampires."

Finally, the article goes into detail about how the Rothschilds connived with American Jews to start the Civil War in order to preserve their usurious practices and how Lincoln tried to fight heroically against them, only to be assassinated by the Jewish traitors.

This isn't the first antisemitic screen by al-Sultan.  His last five articles have all been about Jews, including this one I noted a few weeks ago.

Again, this is in the official Saudi state-run media.