The embedded video, from Saraqeb in the Idlib province of northwestern
Syria, shows the carrying out of sentences handed down by a rebel sharia
Hundreds of local residents gathered to hear the sentence being
pronounced by a rebel. Two residents were found guilty of offenses
against sharia and sentenced to 40-50 lashes each.
The elder man was convicted of having his daughter, who had divorced
her first husband, married to a second man during the "cooling off"
period of three months required by sharia law. He did this ten days
before the 3-month period had ended and was sentenced to 50 lashes.
The raising of a flag at City Hall on Sunday was like any of the
dozen or so similar events held in the city each year in a nod to its
Except it wasn’t.
That’s because the flag raised — for the first time in Paterson, and
possibly at any city hall in the United States — was Palestinian.
Symbols or assertions of Palestinian statehood are fraught with
political sensitivities, and Khader Abuassab, the event’s organizer,
said he received harassing phone calls before Sunday’s event.
But no problems were on display Sunday when the flag was raised in the rain before elected officials and about 150 people. People cheered, danced, shared sweets and shouted, “Long Live Palestine.”
“Palestine is our country and we are proud of that,” said Clifton
resident Salwa Ramadan. “We’re happy [to be] recognized finally.”
Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-Paterson, and Assemblyman Thomas
Giblin, D-Clifton, showed up — with Pascrell presenting a letter of
Special Congressional Recognition and Giblin presenting an Assembly
resolution marking the event.
I have been told that a 'letter of Special Congressional Recognition' is something that any Congresscritter has the right to present. So is Congress now endorsing the jihad against the Jews?
IRS reinstates Zionist Organization of America's tax exempt status
The IRS has apparently decided to relieve some of the pressure it is facing by reinstating the tax-exempt status of the Zionist Organization of America. Here's a press release from the ZOA.
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is pleased to report that the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has reinstated its recognition of ZOA’s
status as a tax exempt, tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization. In a letter
dated May 15, 2013 to the ZOA, the IRS wrote, “We are pleased to inform you
that upon review of your application for tax exempt status we have
determined that you are exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)
(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to you are deductible under
section 170 of the Code. You are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers of gifts under section 2055, 2104, or 2502 of
the Code.” ZOA wishes to emphasize that all donations to ZOA have remained
tax-deductible throughout this period since they were legally directed to
the “ZOA Donors Fund” managed by the Foundation For Jewish Community
(fjc.org), a third party 501(c)(3) donor-advised fund. Direct gifts to ZOA
will now again be tax-deductible. “The work of the ZOA has never been
altered or diminished one iota during this period. Our campus work; our
Title VI efforts; our Capitol Hill work; our writings, lectures, TV and
radio appearances have continued as always. Our devoted ZOA Board and
virtually all of our major donors and all of our employees remained
committed to and supportive of ZOA,” Klein explained.
We are also pleased to announce that at its November 23, 2013 Brandeis
Dinner, Gov. Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate and Host of the Huckabee Show on Fox TV, will be the speaker and will be receiving the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson Award for Pro-Israel Activism. We would also add
that ZOA is honored to have James Tisch, prominent and distinguished Jewish communal and business leader, as Co-Chair of our upcoming ZOA Dinner. Mr.
Tisch has served as Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major American
Jewish Organizations, and as Chairman of the New York Jewish Federation –
UJC. He serves as CEO of Loews Corp.
Morton Klein, President, Dr. Michael Goldblatt, Chairman, and David Drimer,
Executive Director, said, “We are gratified that the IRS has reinstated our long held tax exempt status. We also want to thank our friends and especially a great group of devoted ZOA employees who helped to expedite the
resolution of this matter. A special thanks must be given to Mr. Tyler B.Korn, our brilliant and tireless tax attorney who gave freely of his time,
energy, and wisdom to help resolve this situation.
We want to emphasize that ZOA’s work never stopped and never changed during
this period. We also want to thank all of our friends and donors for their continuing support. The ZOA looks forward to continuing our critical work promoting strong US/Israel relations; advocating for Israel’s security;
protecting Jewish students from anti-Semitism on America’s campuses; and
educating the public, media, and Congress on the ongoing Arab war against
You think the discovery that the IRS has been openly discriminating against conservative groups had nothing to do with ZOA's tax-exempt status being reinstated? If you really think that, you're a fool.
Kerry poses for photo-op with father of Mavi Marmara terrorist
This is the photo Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu tweeted
showing Secretary of State John Kerry, himself and according to Hurriyet
Daily News, Ahmet Doğan in the center (Photo via Twitter, May 17, 2013)
Last week, TheBlaze reported
that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invited the father of
one of the radical Islamist activists killed on the 2010 Gaza flotilla
to join the official entourage on his visit to the U.S. last week. And
while sources familiar with lat week’s visit told TheBlaze that the
father did not enter the White House or meet President Obama to deliver a
personal letter about his son, according to the Turkish foreign
minister’s Twitter account Secretary of State John Kerry did meet with the father and even posed for a photo with him.
The Turkish news site Hurriyet Daily News reports
that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu arranged the breakfast
meeting Friday where he, the father (Ahmet Doğan) and Kerry were
present. Doğan reportedly updated Kerry on the “pending trial of Israeli
soldiers involved in the” flotilla incident.
According to Davutoglu, Kerry promised to give the letter to Obama.
Who says that the Obama administration isn't accommodating to terrorists?
Oh my.... Bashar's army claims to seize Israeli jeep from rebels
This al-Mayadeen TV (Lebanon) exclusive footage shows a Jeep armored vehicle
(armored version of AIL M240 Storm used by the IDF) that was used by the
"Free Syrian Army" (FSA) in the Qusayr city that is currently being
liberated by the Syrian Army. Writings in Hebrew can be seen on the
vehicle, as shown in the footage.
Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: David H). More after the video.
Note that the jeep looks quite old and that we didn't see it running. Could it be left over from the 1967 or 1973 wars? Or for that matter from the 1982 war with Lebanon? Could Bashar's army have put the markings on the jeep themselves?
"The delegation as a delegation has been postponed," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
"The Palestinians violated all the agreements we had with UNESCO:
that this was to be a purely professional, not a political visit," he
said. The official said the Palestinians asked to introduce a "slew" of
political elements into the visit, with PA Foreign Minister Riyad
al-Malki characterizing it as a fact-finding commission to investigate
Israeli steps in Jerusalem.
The spokesman said that contrary to an
agreement brokered in April at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, the PA
was now insisting on taking the delegation to the Temple Mount, and
meeting with Palestinian political personalities, not just "engineers,
architects and professional people".
"We have said this was unacceptable" the spokesman said. "Hopefully the delegation is postponed, and not cancelled."
It was not immediately clear whether some of the delegation participants had already arrived in the country.
agreement in April that paved way for the delegation to inspect
preservation and rehabilitation work in the Old City had Israel
allowing it in exchange for a Palestinian agreement to postpone five
anti-Israel resolutions pending before UNESCO. According to Israel, the
delegation was not to go to the Temple Mount or deal with the issue of
the Mughrabi Bridge, leading from the Western Wall Plaza to the Temple
Jamal al-Dura challenges Israel to an international commission
Jamal al-Dura, the father of fake martyr Muhammad al-Dura, has challenged Israel to agree to an 'international commission' to investigate his son's 'death.'
Jamal al-Dura, the father of 12-year-old Gazan Muhammad al-Dura who
became a symbol of the second intifada, is willing to exhume his son's
body to prove that Muhammad was killed, and that he was killed from
bullets fired by IDF soldiers.
"Are they willing to do an international investigation? Is Israel
willing? I'm not saying the people of Israel, I mean the government, and
IDF soldiers," Jamal told Army Radio.
Dura claimed he had
contacted Israel asking for such an investigation, but he has yet to
receive an answer, leading him to accuse Israel of being afraid of such
"Israel now has a black stain on it in the eyes of the
world," Dura said, claiming the Israeli government is now lying in
order to clear itself of all blame.
A little bit late to try to clear that stain, don't you think?
When asked by Army Radio when did Muhammad die, Jamal insisted his son
died on the spot. "In my opinion, he died on the spot. Yes, yes, he died
next to me. If Muhammad didn't die, who injured me?" he asked.
Actually, we do know who injured Jamal al-Dura. It wasn't Israel and it happened long before the incident at Netzarim in September 2000. He lost a libel lawsuit on that one... in France. Are they impartial enough for him?
When presented with the findings of an Israeli doctor that operated on
him and determined his scars predated the incident, Jamal dismissed it
as lies. When pressed further, he avoided answering the question. "You
can ask my lawyer in France. He'll tell you. Me, I'm not allowed to talk
about this. At court, he will talk about it," he said.
Dura further said he never received compensation - not from Israel nor
from the Palestinian Authority - for the death of his son, that he
claims is buried in al-Bureiz refugee camp.
Sure, let's dig him up... if they can find him. The problem is that even if an international commission finds that Muhammad al-Dura's death was a fake, it won't change the 'Palestinian' claim.... Ask the Turks.
Stuxnet may have helped - rather than hindered - Iran's nuclear program
I've been meaning to post this since Friday. Ruthie Blum explains how Stuxnet, the computer worm that afflicted Iran's nuclear program three years ago, may have helped, rather than hindered, Iran's nuclear ambitions.
according to a new report, published in the Royal United Services
Institute journal, Stuxnet may have done more harm to the West than
The study, "Are
Cyberweapons Effective? Assessing Stuxnet's Impact on the Iranian
Enrichment Program," was conducted by King's College academic Ivanka
Barzashka and calls into question commonly held assumptions about the
famous computer worm and the consequences of its performance.
destructive potential, it is surprising that more machines were not
affected," writes Barzashka. "Clearly, the Iranian operator managed to
contain the problem … Iran's ability to successfully install and operate
new centrifuges was not hindered."
Barzashka based her
detailed report on International Atomic Energy Agency physical inventory
data showing that "uranium-enrichment capacity grew during the time
that Stuxnet was said to have been destroying Iranian centrifuges."
"An increase in
enrichment capacity or centrifuge performance shortens the time Iran
needs to manufacture the nuclear material for a bomb," Barzashka says.
"If anything, the malware, if it did in fact infiltrate Natanz, has made
the Iranians more cautious about protecting their nuclear facilities,
making the future use of cyberweapons against Iranian nuclear targets
In a funny yet
predictable twist coming from a British academic, Barzashka's conclusion
from her own research is that cyberwarfare is not the way to go about
extending goodwill gestures toward Iran while engaging in talks. What
the rest of us can and should glean from her study is that even Stuxnet
seems to have sped up, rather than retarded, Iran's nuclear program.
Welcome to the socialist paradise, where everyone is equal except for those who are more equal. And don't expect Finance Minister Yair Lapid to change that.
Seventeen percent of Israel’s population paid over three-fourths of the
direct taxes in 2008, while about half fell beneath the income tax
threshold, a report by the Finance Ministry’s State revenue
administration revealed Sunday.
The report, which used data from
2008, the last year of complete available data, and modeled estimates
for 2011 and 2012, found that the overall greatest contribution to the
state’s direct tax revenues came from the second highest tax bracket, in
which 6.4% of the population paid out 30.9% of the total.
third as many people--1.8%--paid into the top top tax bracket, but the
higher rate meant they represented 27.2% of the overall direct taxes
collected. Fully 43.7% of the population fell into the lowest tax
brackets of 10% or less, and represented a mere 2.4% of the tax revenue.
On average, Israelis paid 20.6% in direct taxes, 13.4% in income tax and 7.6% on Health and National Insurance taxes.
Two babies narrowly escaped a rock attack near the Samarian town of Shilo on Saturday night (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News).
Among those targeted by the attackers was the Shlissel family from
Ariel. Mother Ayelet was driving, while her husband sat in the passenger
seat and the couple’s three young children slept in the back seat.
Ayelet Shlissel recalled the attack in an interview Sunday with Arutz Sheva.
“We passed Wadi Harmiya and suddenly I heard the boom,” she said. “My husband was hit by a rock and fell onto me.”
“After a few seconds he came to, and he checked to see that everyone
was OK,” she recalled. He husband would later require hospital care.
They did not stop to fully assess the damage, but simply left the
scene as quickly as possible, she said. She realized the danger they had
been in only after reaching the Eli junction and stopping to report the
attack to security forces.
There, they saw how large the stone that had hit her husband had
been, and saw that a smaller stone had hit the carseat in which their
four-month-old daughter was sleeping. “I don’t want to think what would
have happened if the [large] rock had hit the baby,” she said.
It's official: Government inquiry finds al-Dura 'killing' was a hoax
As I reported last week, a government commission of inquiry has concluded that the Mohammed al-Dura 'killing' was a hoax. The official report has now been released.
government review committee of the incident and its implications found
that "the France 2 report's central claims and accusations had no basis
in the material which the station had in its possession at the
time…There is no evidence that the IDF was in any way responsible for
causing any of the alleged injuries to Jamal or the boy."
Minister Netanyahu directed then-minister of strategic affairs Moshe
Ya'alon to set up the governmental review committee in September 2012.
According to the Prime Minister's Office "the purpose of the committee
was to examine the al-Dura affair in light of the continued damage it
has caused to Israel, and to formulate the Government of Israel's
position with regards to it."
Upon receiving the report on
Sunday, Netanyau stated that "It is important to focus on this incident –
which has slandered Israel's reputation. This is a manifestation of
the ongoing, mendacious campaign to delegitimize Israel. There is only
one way to counter lies, and that is through the truth. Only the truth
can prevail over lies."
International Affairs Minister Yuval
Steinitz, who presented the report to Netanyahu, called the al-Dura
affair "a modern-day blood libel against the State of Israel, alongside
other blood libels like the claims of an alleged massacre in Jenin. The
France 2 report was utterly baseless."
The committee determined
that, " Contrary to the report's claim that the boy is killed, the
committee's review of the raw footage showed that in the final scenes,
which were not broadcast by France 2, the boy is seen to be alive."
addition, the review revealed that "there is no evidence that Jamal or
the boy were wounded in the manner claimed in the report, and that the
footage does not depict Jamal as having been badly injured. In contrast,
there are numerous indications that the two were not struck by bullets
The committee added: "The review showed that it
is highly-doubtful that bullet holes in the vicinity of the two could
have had their source in fire from the Israeli position, as implied in
the France 2 report."
The review committee criticized France 2,
stating that the television station's report was "edited and narrated in
such a way as to create the misleading impression that it substantiated
the claims made therein."
I'm sure you're all shocked.
But 13 years later, with Israel having already 'confessed,' who is going to believe it?
UPDATE 8:04 PM
The government report (in English) is here. The evidence that was before the government commission may be found here.
Yiftah Shapir, director of the
military balance project at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel
Aviv, published a paper on the system in which he argued that “it is highly
doubtful that the Syrian army, in its current situation, is able to invest the
manpower and resources” to learn how to use the S-300.
doubted that Syria can, at this time, set up the facilities to make the S-300
operational on its soil.
Those factors could prompt Assad to try and send
the S-300 to a “safer place,” to Hezbollah’s custody in Lebanon, although this
is unlikely to happen, Shapir said.
Hezbollah has the ability to send
technicians to Russia to study the S-300, and store it in a safe location in
Lebanon. However, Israel would almost certainly reject such a development, and
A third option, that Russia will send its own crews to
operate the S-300 on Syrian soil, is also unlikely, due to the dangers they
would face from rebels and “a third party,” Shapir said.
Assad is seeking
the air defenses now because of the recent air strikes in Syria – one in January
and two this month – attributed by foreign media sources to Israel.
strikes “demonstrated to Assad what his vulnerabilities are,” Shapir
“At this stage, it is difficult to know whether
Russia intends to proceed with the deal and sell the systems to Syria... or
whether all of the maneuvers of recent weeks are empty... and aimed at
demonstrating Russia’s determination to support Assad, while sending a message
to Israel that there is a heavy price for its attacks in Syria,” Shapir said.
Report: US apologizes to Israel for disclosing that Israel was behind Damscus strikes
Israel Radio reported this morning (Sunday) that the United States has apologized
to Israel for disclosing that Israel was behind the strikes on Damascus
two weeks ago. According to the report, the decision to disclose that Israel was behind the strikes was made at a low level in the Pentagon, and the US Department of Defense is investigating how that happened. According to the report, Israel believes that it is now facing much stronger threats from Bashar al-Assad as a result of the disclosure.
According to the Sunday Times,
reconnaissance satellites have revealed preparations made by the Syrian
army to deploy surface-to-surface Tishreen missiles. Syrian President
Bashar Assad, the report said, is ready to use these missiles should
Israel decide to conduct a strike on Damascus.
The paper quotes Israeli missile export Uzi Rubin as saying Syria has
a lot of Tishreen missiles at its disposal, and that should they fire
them at Israel, they could potentially paralyze all commercial flights
coming in and out of the country.
"Our polices are to stop, as
much as possible, any leaks of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah and other
terrorist organizations. We will continue to act to ensure the security
interests of the citizens of Israels," Netanyahu stressed.
IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai took to his Facebook page on Sunday to criticize the Sunday Times report, calling it "not credible" and "far fetched."
IDF continues to follow any scenario and be prepared to any scenario,
in the northern border as well as any other border, which doesn't leave
us with much time to speculate about the future," Mordechai wrote.
report comes amidst a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the Middle
East and Syria in particular after Israel allegedly carried out two airstrikes on several targets in Syria earlier this month.
Israel declined to confirm the strikes so as not to pressure Syrian
President Bashar Assad into serious retaliation, according to a
confidant of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
However, Israel Radio reported this morning that the United States has apologized to Israel for disclosing that Israel was behind the strikes on Damascus two weeks ago. More in the next post.
Syria told Iran three years ago it would not defend Iran against Israeli strike
According to a cable sent by the US embassy in Damascus in December 2009, Syria warned Iran that it would not help the Iranians to fight Israel in the event of an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and that Hamas and Hezbullah would not do so either. The cable was released by Wikileaks.
The message was passed on during three close visits to Damascus by senior Iranian officials in December 2009. National Security Advisor Saeed Jalili on December 3, Vice President and head of the Environmental Department Mahammed-Javad Mahamadzideh on December 5-6, and Minister of Defense Ahmad Ali Vahidi on December 8-11.
10. (S/NF) More significantly, Syria reportedly resisted Iranian entreaties to commit to joining Iran if fighting broke out between Iran and Israel or Hizballah and Israel. Waddah Abd Rabbo, Editor-in-Chief of Syria's only privately-owned (but still very pro-government) daily, said Iranian officials were in Syria "to round up allies" in anticipation of an Israeli military strike. "It (an Israeli strike on Iran) is not a matter of if, but when," Abd Rabbo said, reporting what Syrian officials had heard from their Iranian counterparts. The Syrian response, he continued, was to tell the Iranians not to look to Syria, Hizballah or Hamas
to "fight this battle." "We told them Iran is strong enough on its own to develop a nuclear program and to fight Israel," he said, adding, "we're too weak." The Iranians know Syria has condemned Israeli threats and would denounce Israeli
military operations against Iran.
"But they were displeased with Asad's response. They needed to hear the truth," Abd Rabo said.
11. (S/NF) Asked what advice Syria was giving Iran, Abd Rabbo replied that Syria, along with Turkey and Qatar, was preparing for an Israeli-Iranian military exchange in the near future. "Military officials tell me they have noticed Israeli drones snooping around our sites," he explained, noting some Syrian officials saw Israeli reconnaissance as an indication that Israel might seek to disable anti-air radar stations as part of a plan to fly bombers over Syrian territory en route to Iran. "We expect to wake up one morning soon and learn the Israeli strike took place. Then we expect an Iranian response. At that point, we, Turkey, and Qatar will spring into action to begin moderating a ceasefire and then a longer-term solution involving both
countries' nuclear programs. That's the best scenario. All the others are bad for us and the region," summed up Abd
Rabbo. "We would hope the U.S. would recognize our diplomatic efforts to resolve a regional crisis and give us
some credit for playing a positive role."
The 8-years-old girl whose story you’ll read in coming lines did not
make it to the 2nd night of her wedding nor did she make it to her 9th
or 10th birthday.
Her name unknown, my source telephoned me last week at 9:30 pm to
tell me her story. At the first I thought it’s just going to be a short
conversation but later it was unveiled that the story is different.
The story came from a village in Khashrood district of Nimruz province in Afghanistan.
A medical doctor assigned in the main hospital in Zaranj city, the
capital of the province, who wished to remain unnamed confirmed that he
was “made aware” of the incident and that it was “too late to do
anything for her” as well the “remote area didn’t allow them to do
The girl was one of the several daughters of a man in his late 30s.
For an unknown reason he gave his daughter to the Mullah of their
village for a big amount of money. It is also common in Afghanistan’s
rural areas or 3rd level provinces/cities to marry young girls to old
men, and trading their daughters for their debts or other items.
The mullah is in his late 50s and is the mosque guy of the village where this incident happened.
The mullah is already married and has many children too.
The two families hold a tribal meeting, agree on the price that the
groom’s family pay to the bride’s family, and they set a date for
In rural areas like this here there are no engagements or any
ceremonies beforehand like there are some in the metropolitan and urban
The two families planned a wedding party, the wedding and Nekah (The
religious process in which a woman is officially married to a man) took
place and the 8-years-old bride became the 50-years-old Mullah’s 2nd
The celebration party was over and the sun downed – the time to have sex (not make love) with the 8-years-old bride.
The girl was just 8 years old and everybody understands the fact that
she knows nothing about sex or wedding or making love or virginity or
sexual related topics; not even at a basic level for two reasons, one
being that she’s just a child – not even a teenager and that in that
part of the country, nobody knows anything about these things nor they
are given trainings or education about a healthy sexual life.
One of the reasons why Israel's conflict with the 'Palestinians' has persisted for so long is the world's inability to acknowledge the simple truth that the 'Palestinians' don't want peace.
Last week, Pew Research published a poll
with a seemingly encouraging headline: “Despite Their Wide Differences,
Many Israelis and Palestinians Want Bigger Role for Obama in Resolving
Conflict.” The poll indeed showed pluralities of both groups wanting
President Barack Obama to up his involvement, and if you only read the
headline, the implication would be clear: The Israeli-Palestinian
conflict is solvable if America would just push a little harder, and
both sides truly want it to do so.
Yet reading the entire poll produces the opposite conclusion: The conflict clearly isn’t solvable
right now, because when asked whether there’s “a way for Israel and an
independent Palestinian state to coexist peacefully,” a whopping 61
percent of Palestinians said “no,” while only 14 percent said “yes.”
(Israelis, in a triumph of hope over experience, said “yes” by a 50-38
margin.) In other words, a huge majority of Palestinians said that even
if a Palestinian state is established, the conflict will continue as
long as Israel continues to exist. So where does that leave the chances
for Israeli-Palestinian peace?
Palestinians have actually been telling pollsters this for years. In a 2007 poll,
for instance, 77 percent of Palestinian respondents said “the rights
and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as
the state of Israel exists.” And in a 2011 poll,
61 percent of Palestinians said they saw a two-state solution only as a
stepping-stone to Israel’s ultimate eradication. Thus the problem isn’t
that Palestinians are dishonest about their intentions; it’s that
Westerners consistently choose to ignore their frank avowals
and focus instead on anything that could possibly be interpreted as
grounds for optimism–like the desire for greater American involvement
voiced in last week’s poll.
When Palestinians say they want more American involvement, what they
mean is more pressure on Israel to make unilateral concessions. But like
Garcia-Margallo, Pew wanted to see hope where none exists.
About one thing, there’s no disagreement between Jerusalem and
Ramallah: Kerry has a lot of good intentions and a real sense of
mission; he truly wants to make peace in the Middle East. But despite
his good intentions, Kerry so far looks like a naive and ham-handed
diplomat who has been acting like a bull in the china shop of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Or as former Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan
once put it, he’s a good chap in the worst sense of the term.
the last two months, Kerry has managed to upset both sides and make
both more suspicious of him by a series of misguided moves and
statements. In early April, for instance, at the end of a visit to
Jerusalem and Ramallah, he said that within a few weeks, he would launch
a plan to rescue the Palestinian economy. But an Israeli source said
the enthusiastic Kerry forgot one small thing − to coordinate the
statement in advance with the Israelis and Palestinians.
Ravid reports that Kerry's clumsy attempts to prevent the resignation of 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Salam Fayyad probably brought about Fayyad's resignation.
Senior Israeli and Palestinian officials both said that Kerry’s telephone calls to Fayyad and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he applied heavy pressure to prevent the resignation, did more harm than good.
The incidence of these phone calls leaked out, and Fayyad was painted as
an American puppet. The furious prime minister then declared that he
was determined to leave. “This was Kerry’s biggest mistake,” a senior
Palestinian official said. “If he hadn’t intervened, Fayyad wouldn’t
Since taking office, Kerry has devoted many hours to the
Israeli-Palestinian issue, perhaps more than to any other issue. A large
portion of this time has been spent in one-on-one meetings and phone
calls with Netanyahu and Abbas.
calls this “personal diplomacy.” He thinks that his main advantage over
everyone else when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian issue is his
long years of acquaintance with both leaders and the relations of trust
he has built with them. He believes that this will enable him to bring
about a breakthrough in the peace process. But it’s not clear on what
Kerry bases this belief. After two months of such conversations, neither
Netanyahu nor Abbas has yet displayed any flexibility.
senior Israeli official who has met with Kerry several times said the
secretary of state has a messianic enthusiasm for the
Israeli-Palestinian issue and acts like someone who was sent to bring
the redemption. A Western official familiar with Kerry’s activity agreed
with this assessment.
there’s a feeling that Kerry thinks the only reason his predecessors in
the job didn’t bring about a peace agreement is that they weren’t John
Kerry,” he said.
I didn't care much for Hillary Clinton either, but perhaps because she was very publicly betrayed by her philandering husband, she at least did not have the ego of Kerry or Obama.
The future of the State of Israel lies with those who are committed to
Jewish observance and tradition in some way that can be deemed
significant. This certainly does not mean that all Israelis will be
fully observant, orthodox, or hareidi in the foreseeable future; but
there is no future for those with an exclusively secular ideology.
Nearly one third of all first graders in Israel today are enrolled in Hareidi schools. Close to 60%
of all first graders are enrolled in Hareidi, Hareidi Le’umi
(Nationalist Hareidi), or Dati Le’umi (Religious Zionist) schools. It is
routine for religious/hareidi families to have 6-10 children. It is
rare to find a secular family in Israel with more than one or two.
If Secularism struggles to provide the depth of motivation and
commitment necessary to bring children into the world, how can it
possibly hope to provide the commitment and motivation necessary to
maintain a Jewish state in the face of worldwide demonization – the UN
has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than any other nation in
existence – and fanatical Arab/Islamic hordes bent on her destruction?
The Torah describes our slavery in Egypt as a “fiery refining furnace.”
In the ensuing 3,400 years nothing has really changed. The mission of
our people has required us to endure an ongoing series of “refining
furnaces” across the ages. In the end only those that cling to the
eternal values of the Torah can thrive and grow through such a process.
If Dov Lipman would like to make a real contribution he should point out to Yair Lapid – as I wrote about at length in an earlier article
– that the Hareidi community has been demonized and marginalized since
the early days of Zionism. The Hareidim has been treated as 2nd
class citizens since the founding of the state. Secular Israelis have
bent over backwards in their attempts to make peace with the murderous
Arabs/Islamists who surround them. It is time to now to make peace with
their own Hareidi brothers and sisters. The study of Torah is the only
thing that kept the Jewish people alive for thousands of years; the
study of Torah is national service of the highest order and without it
the Jewish people and the State of Israel would disappear.
A final message to Dov Lipman: If you want to return to your true Torah
roots and accept the authority of the great Torah sages when it comes to
the education of our children, we will accept you back with open arms.
If not, remember one thing and one thing only: When you hear Yair Lapid
say “jump,” that is your cue to say, “how high boss?!”
U.S. officials told The Wall
Street Journal on Thursday that another round of Israeli airstrikes
could target a new Russian transfer of advanced anti-ship missiles in
the near future. Israeli and Western intelligence services believe the
Yakhont missiles, which have been sold by Russia to Syria in recent
years, could be transferred to Hezbollah within days, the newspaper
reported on its website Friday.
At the same time, The New York Times reported
Friday that the Yakhont missiles have already been delivered to Syria's
armed forces. Israel has repeatedly reinforced, with words and actions,
its stated red line: that it will not allow the transfer of
"game-changing" weaponry to Islamic terror groups such as Hezbollah.
Israel has also relayed messages that it is not seeking a confrontation
with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces, but will act against
transfers of weaponry through his territory.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
last-minute trip to Russia on Tuesday apparently did not change the
Russians' intentions to also deliver the advanced S-300 anti-aircraft
missile system to Syria. According to the Journal, U.S. officials
believe that Russia is moving more quickly than previously thought to
deliver S-300 surface-to-air defense systems to Syria. U.S. officials
told the paper that the S-300 system, which is capable of shooting down
guided missiles and could make it more risky for any warplanes to enter
Syrian airspace, could leave Russia for Syrian port of Tartus by the end
Together, the S-300 anti-aircraft and
anti-missile system, and the Yakhont anti-ship system, would pose a
formidable threat to any outside intervention in Syria, based on the
international Libya model. The anti-ship missiles would be a serious
threat to the Israeli navy, as well as the facilities above Israel's
newfound underwater gas reserves. The S-300 could threaten Israeli
military and civilian aircraft flying Israeli airspace, and not just
over Lebanese and Syrian airspace.
In a sign of the growing
tension in the region, CIA Director John Brennan arrived in Israel
Thursday and met with the top officials in Israel's defense
establishment, with a central focus on the developments in Syria. It was
Brennan's first trip to Israel since assuming his position two months
ago. The CIA chief went straight into a meeting in Tel Aviv with Defense
Minister Moshe Ya'alon, a senior Israeli official told AFP.
Channel 10 TV said that Ya'alon reaffirmed
during the talks that Israel "will not permit the transfer of weapons"
from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon. According to local press reports,
Brennan's visit is aimed at coordinating U.S. and Israeli positions over
the escalating crisis in Syria, specifically as international
diplomatic momentum between the U.S. and Russia gathers for a peaceful
resolution to the crisis.
According to the reports, the U.S. is
concerned that Israel will act independently to strike any advanced arms
shipments in Syria it believes may be headed to Hezbollah, potentially
scuttling the international diplomatic maneuvering.
Just like with Iran, Obama's main focus on Syria is to keep Israel from attacking. What could go wrong?
The letter sent to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on
Wednesday strongly condemned Fatah’s Sultan Abu Al-Einein following his
“open support for the murderer of Eviatar Borovsky,” and called for him
to be removed from office.
Al-Einein called the terrorist an
“heroic fighter,” according to the letter, which was signed by Reps.
Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Brad
Sherman (D-Calif.), and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.).
Al-Einein also stated, “Blessings to the breast that nursed Salam Al-Zaghal,” according to the letter.
congressmen told Abbas that “allowing this type of incitement and
hatemongering to take place within your ranks is intolerable if you are
truly dedicated to non-violence. We ask that you publicly and officially
denounce and condemn Mr. Al-Einein’s remarks at once and remove him
from his position in your government.”
Don't hold your breath waiting for Abu Bluff to denounce Al-Einein's remarks or to fire him. It just won't happen.
Krauthammer: Obama Has Been Parsing Words That Makes Clinton Look Unsophisticated
Charles Krauthammer destroys President Hussein Obama on his response to the IRS scandal. "He says I didn't know about
the IG report. Well if he didn't know about any of this, never heard
any complaints, then he would have said I don't know anything about this
at all. The IG is a peculiar answer by a guy who I have now seen for
weeks now, he and his spokesman have been parsing words that make
Clinton look unsophisticated."
The "IG" (Inspector General) is the same person who claimed on Thursday that there was 'no evidence' that the IRS discriminated against pro-Israel groups.
Let's go to the videotape.
To see why Obama is Clintonian rather than Nixonian go here.
If you want Kentucky Fried Chicken, you'll have to visit me
Those poor starving Gazans are now able to get Kentucky Fried Chicken through their smuggling tunnels at a price of NIS 130 ($35 or €27) for 20 pieces. That's double the price in nearby El Arish, Egypt. And the 'poor' Gazans are gobbling it up (Hat Tip: MFS - The Other News).
Junk-food starved Gazans can now order Kentucky Fried Chicken to go
thanks to a new smuggling service which brings takeout from Egypt via a
network of underground tunnels.
It's not exactly "fast" -- taking
several hours to arrive, with the Palestinian delivery company behind
it charging hefty prices to cover the cost of fuel and transport.
"Last chance to order for the Thursday 6:00 pm delivery is Wednesday night," says the Yamama delivery firm on its Facebook page.
then orders the meals, about 30 on a typical run, from the KFC outlet
in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) away.
place the order with the restaurant in El-Arish, then drive it in a car
to the Egyptian side of Rafah," said Yamama director Khalil al-Ifranji.
takes it from there through the tunnels to (Gazan) Rafah. They then
drive it to our headquarters (in Gaza City)." Motorbikes then deliver
the food, with the entire process taking three to four hours.
For Iyad Jaber, it's a great idea.
"Whenever a KFC advert's on TV, my wife tells me she wants to go to Egypt and have some," says the 34-year-old civil servant.
his wife heard Yamama advertising its new KFC smuggling service on the
radio, she demanded he get some, saying she would wait forever if they
saved up for a trip to El-Arish.
Yamama launched the service
just three weeks ago after several friends came back from El-Arish with a
KFC meal and suggested turning it into a business venture.
Since then, the number of bulk orders placed by the firm has been steadily climbing, due to popular demand.
And you believed those stories that they're starving, didn't you?
Hot off her attempt to 'get' the Haredim by declaring discrimination against women to be a crime, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni now wants to go after her other favorite group, the 'settlers.' Livni wants to declare 'price tag attacks,' which in other countries would be termed vandalism, to be terror attacks.
In a statement issued by Livni and Aharonovitch’s offices
Thursday night, the ministries said that in regards to price-tag attacks,
Aharonovitch, Livni and Weinstein “see eye to eye on the need for more serious
steps to be taken, including making sure law enforcement have the tools at hand
to deal with the criminals responsible.”
They also said that they “see
with severity the seeping of price-tag attacks into Israel, and the danger
inherent in damaging relations with Arab Israelis.”
Participants at the
meeting discussed harsher steps to deter such incidents, including legally
defining “price-tag” incidents as acts of terror, according to political
In the past, Weinstein has opposed such a legal definition, but
according to sources, he is weighing shifting that opinion, given that the legal
tools available have not been able to halt the price-tag incidents.
and Aharonovitch will hold a follow-up meeting on the matter in the near
Morons. Declaring vandalism to be terrorism in Israel is a sure way to ensure that no one takes our claims about terrorism seriously.
Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called
Yakhonts, to Syria. But those delivered recently are outfitted with an
advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American
officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and
would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.
Unlike Scud and other longer-range surface-to-surface missiles that the
Assad government has used against opposition forces, the Yakhont
antiship missile system provides the Syrian military a formidable weapon
to counter any effort by international forces to reinforce Syrian
opposition fighters by imposing a naval embargo, establishing a no-fly
zone or carrying out limited airstrikes.
“It enables the regime to deter foreign forces looking to supply the
opposition from the sea, or from undertaking a more active role if a
no-fly zone or shipping embargo were to be declared at some point,” said
Nick Brown, editor in chief of IHS Jane’s International Defense Review.
“It’s a real ship killer.”
Jeffrey White, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy
and a former senior American intelligence official, said Syria’s
strengthened arsenal would “tend to push Western or allied naval
activity further off the coast” and was also “a signal of the Russian
commitment to the Syrian government.”
I guess that Obama 'flexibility' with Russia in his second term is really yielding results....
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Russia has sent more than a dozen warships to patrol the waters near its Syrian naval base in Tartus.
Russia has sent a dozen or more warships to patrol waters near its
naval base in Syria, a buildup that U.S. and European officials see as a
newly aggressive stance meant partly to warn the West and Israel not to
intervene in Syria's bloody civil war.
Russia's expanded presence in the
eastern Mediterranean, which began attracting U.S. officials' notice
three months ago, represents one of its largest sustained naval
deployments since the Cold War. While Western officials say they don't
fear an impending conflict with Russia's aged fleet, the presence adds a
new source of potential danger for miscalculation in an increasingly
"It is a show of force. It's muscle
flexing," a senior U.S. defense official said of the Russian
deployments. "It is about demonstrating their commitment to their
The buildup is seen as Moscow's way of
trying to strengthen its hand in any talks over Syria's future and
buttress its influence in the Middle East. It also provides options for
evacuating tens of thousands of Russians still in Syria.
Hmmm.... US has F-22's parked a 6-minute flight from Iran
I'm sure you all remember the F-22, the plane Hussein Obamadidn't want. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel did some mouthing off in Washington on Thursday, and it turns out that the United States now has some F-22's parked in an airbase in the United Arab Emirates just a six-minute flight from Iran (Hat Tip: Sunlight). In fact, they've actually been there since at least April 2012. This is from the third link.
At a dinner in downtown Washington Thursday, US Defense Secretary
Chuck Hagel touted the Pentagon’s deployment of advanced weaponry,
including the Air Force F-22 Raptor, to the Middle East.
The stealthy fighters, as well other “high-end air, missile defense,
and naval assets,” have been positioned in the region “to deter Iranian
aggression and respond to other contingencies,” Hagel said during his
remarks to The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
It just so happens that satellite imagery of those F-22s in the Middle East has popped up on Google Earth.
Five F-22s have turned up on satellite imagery
at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates about 100 miles from
Iranian territory. While it’s no secret the US has deployed the
radar-evading Raptors to the Al Dhafra, this is the first time they have
popped up on publicly available satellite imagery.
The satellite picture was taken about a year ago, however it appears to have been put on Google Earth in recent months.
The US military goes to great lengths not to disclose the location of
Air Force assets in the region, mostly due to host nation sensitivity.
That said, the Air Force has periodically released pictures of F-22s on
the ground and training. Photo captions simply refer to the jets being
in “Southwest Asia.”
Great news: Erdogan plans to 'balance' trip to Gaza with trip to 'West Bank'
In a bid to ensure that his trip to Gaza does not harm 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud AbbasAbu Mazen, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced at a joint press conference with President Hussein Obama on Thursday, that he will 'balance' the trip to Gaza with a trip to the 'West Bank.'
Erdogan again says he will visit Gaza.
This is something that he has long promised on and never delivered. The
U.S. has expressed its concern as Washington worries that any trip to
Gaza to visit the Hamas administration could undermine the Palestinian
authority of Mahmood Abbas.
Erdogan said he will also visit the West Bank, which would go someway
to appease the Obama administration over the visit. "I hope this visit
will contribute to unity," Erdogan said.
The Obama administration has an interest in there being no unity between Fatah and Hamas. But Obama does not respond, and instead we see this observation:
More on the Erdogan statement that he is going to Gaza and the West Bank, possibly in June:
Erdogan has been discussing a trip to Gaza, but the U.S. has concerns
about that without corresponding visits to the West Bank and Tel Aviv.
So, small concession by the Turkish leader to Obama.
And even worse, this one:
So, a news conference billed in Turkey as box office didn't yield much
in the way of surprises. Besides Erdogan appearing to get U.S.
acceptance, if not blessing, to go to Gaza, there seems to have been
little substantive movement on Syria or Iraq.
Erdogan can get to Gaza through Egypt if the Egyptians are willing to let him in. But how does he plan to get to the 'West Bank'? Is Netanyahu going to play along with this show? Now that Obama has apparently agreed to it, does Netanyahu still see that Israel has a sovereign country, which controls the borders and airways and can decide whether or not to let Erdogan go to Ramallah and how he will get there?
I am an Orthodox Jew - some would even call me 'ultra-Orthodox.' Born in Boston, I was a corporate and securities attorney in New York City for seven years before making aliya to Israel in 1991 (I don't look it but I really am that old :-). I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty-one years, and we have eight children (bli ayin hara) ranging in age from 8 to 29 years and five grandchildren. Our eldest daughter and eldest son are married! Before I started blogging I was a heavy contributor on a number of email lists and ran an email list called the Matzav from 2000-2004. You can contact me at: IsraelMatzav at gmail dot com