Thursday, November 26, 2009

Netanyahu meets Obama's demand

Israel Announces 10 Month West Bank Construction Freeze
-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

My cabinet authorized a policy of restraint regarding settlements which will include a suspension of new permits and new construction in Judea and Samaria for a period of ten months.

We hope that this decision will help launch meaningful peace negotiations. We have been told by many friends [read the United States] that once Israel takes the first step towards peace, the Palestinians and the Arab world would respond positively with steps of their own to create a virtuous cycle of goodwill.

I have already said that we will not build new settlements and that we would not expropriate additional land for existing settlements. I promised to enable normal life to continue for the three hundred thousand Israeli citizens, our brothers and sisters, who live in Judea and Samaria. That is why this suspension will not affect construction currently underway.

Regarding Jerusalem, our sovereign capital...we do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital.
View Video of Netanyahu Statement
(Prime Minister's Office)

Settlements Have Never Been Obstacle to Peace -Tovah Lazaroff

The gaze of the international community will now turn to the Palestinians and to the Arab world, something that the Palestinians in particular have fought hard to prevent for the last eight months.
(Jerusalem Post)

Palestinians Reject Temporary Israeli Settlement Ease -Ron Bousso

The Palestinians rejected the offer as insufficient. "Netanyahu did not advance any formula for the relaunching of negotiations," said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat.

But Washington praised the offer.

Will U.S. Twist Arab Arms as Firmly as It Twisted Israel's?
-David Horovitz

Prime Minister Netanyahu appreciate[s] the irreplaceable strategic value of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

President Obama was emphatically of the opinion that Israel needed to call a settlement freeze in order to generate goodwill for Arab states to bolster international leverage against Tehran, and goodwill for some of those same Arab states to begin the process of normalizing their ties with Israel.

[I]n order to prevent a crisis in ties with Washington, while placing the negotiating ball firmly in the Palestinian and Arab court, Netanyahu made his choice.

Presumably, the U.S. is now trying to twist Arab arms as firmly as it twisted his.
(Jerusalem Post)



Settlement Freeze Improves U.S.-Israel Relations - Barry Rubin

In giving something in exchange for no material gain or even a gesture from the other side, Israel can only hope that the president appreciates this and remembers that he did not deliver on his promise to get some concession from the Arab side to match it.
(Jerusalem Post)

Women in the Israel Defense Force: the most feminist army in history

Female Soldiers Command Missile Batteries -Yaakov Katz

[T]he IDF Air Defense Division appointed its fourth female battery commander.

"[U]ltimately there is no difference if the battery commanders are male or female," said Capt. Revital Uzon, 23, commander of a Hawk missile battery.

"It is a lot of responsibility, but we are ready and train for what we do every day," she said.
(Jerusalem Post)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Outrageous: Pakistan fails to act against terror king

Mastermind of Mumbai Attack Preaches in Pakistan -Zahid Hussain

Hafiz Mohammed Saeed [pictured above], the alleged mastermind of the Mumbai attacks, is neither in hiding nor in jail. The founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba is instead delivering a sermon to thousands of devotees at the Jamia al-Qadsia mosque - one of the biggest in the city.

"God has promised to make Muslims a superpower if we follow the right path," Saeed told his followers.

Timothy Roemer, the U.S. Ambassador in Delhi, backed Indian calls this week for Pakistan to bring Saeed and six other Mumbai suspects to justice, after India handed Pakistan a seventh dossier of evidence on the Mumbai attacks.

Analysts say the problem lies with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, which backed Saeed when he founded Lashkar-e-Taiba in 1990 to fight Indian rule in Kashmir.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Columbia & Rutgers Pimping for Iran

Rutgers University Professor Hooshang Amirahmadi pictured alone and with Iranian President Ahmadinejad

Columbia & Rutgers on Iran's Gift List -Isabel Vincent

Anti-Israel, pro-Iran university professors are being funded by a shadowy multimillion-dollar Islamic charity that the feds charge is an illegal front for the repressive Iranian regime.

The Alavi Foundation has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars to Columbia University and Rutgers University for Middle Eastern and Persian studies programs that employ professors sympathetic to the Iranian dictatorship.

"We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation," said Adam Kaufmann, investigations chief at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Federal law-enforcement authorities are in the midst of seizing up to $650 million in assets from the Alavi Foundation, which they charge funnels money to Iran-supported Islamic schools in the U.S. and to a syndicate of Iranian spies based in Europe.

The foundation donated $100,000 to Columbia University after the school agreed to host Iranian leader and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the foundation's 2007 tax filings.

Rutgers professor Hooshang Amirahmadi [pictured above], [who] head[ed]the school's Center for Middle Eastern Studies and [is] president of the American-Iranian Council, unabashedly has touted Hizbullah and Hamas as legitimate organizations and not terrorists.
(New York Post)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Israel's Medical Miracles

Israeli Invention: Early Detection of Skin Tumors -Dan Even

A new Israeli invention allows cancerous tumors on the skin to be detected and examined before they become visible to the naked eye, Ben-Gurion University announced. The developer of the new instrument said the technology "allows manipulation of different light frequencies and adjustments to electric fields to examine skin lesions."

Tel Aviv University: New Wound Dressing with Antibiotics

About 70% of all people with severe burns die from related infections. But a revolutionary new wound dressing developed at Tel Aviv University could cut that number dramatically.

Prof. Meital Zilberman of TAU's Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed a new wound dressing based on fibers she engineered that can be loaded with drugs like antibiotics to speed up the healing process, and then dissolve when they've done their job.
(Medical News)

Bone Repair "Breakthrough" at Hadassah -Judy Siegel-Itzkovich

A team at Jerusalem's Hadassah University Medical Center has managed to separate platelets and adult stem cells from the blood and bone marrow of patients with fractures and inject them - causing the bones to meld in a quarter to third of the time, and repairing some breaks that would have failed to heal.
(Jerusalem Post)

Should the curtain fall on the "Peace Process?"

The Show Needn't Go On -Michael J. Totten

It has been years since I spoke to a single person in the Middle East who thinks the Arab-Israeli conflict will be resolved any time soon. Almost everyone knows, at least in their gut if not their head, that peace today between Israelis and Arabs is a fantasy.

The Middle East will stop performing its "peace process" theater as soon as we stop demanding it. And as soon as we stop demanding it, time, resources, and energy can be spent on something that might be slightly productive.

We can't solve this problem right now, but we can try to make it less deadly...

Lebanese Newspaper: Abbas playing charades

Palestinians Need Clarity, Not Charades -Rami G. Khouri

Mahmoud Abbas has reverted to an old political trick by saying he will resign and not run for re-election, and he only accentuates his own weaknesses and the dysfunctionalities of the Palestinian national institutions he heads when he engages in silly charades like his current tour of Palestinian towns and villages where the multitudes demand that he remain in power.

The last thing the Palestinians need now is to be reminded that they are on track to become yet another Arab security state with a leader for life who basks in hero worship and personality cults and faces no serious forms of accountability.

The Palestinians need honesty, humility, consensus-building and clarity from their leaders, and Abbas gives them none of these.
(Daily Star-Lebanon)

Another Unilateral Declaration of Independence -Victor Kattan

The Palestinian Authority is reportedly seeking international support for issuing another unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).

This would not be the first declaration of "independence" the Palestinians have issued. In 1948, the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini declared the independence of Palestine. In 1988, the Palestinian National Council issued a declaration of a state of Palestine.

The Palestinians did not attain independence in 1948 or in 1988 and are unlikely to attain independence now if the PA goes ahead with another UDI.

The EU and the U.S. have cautioned Abbas from prematurely issuing a UDI. And their support is crucial.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Target: Tel Aviv

The Implications of Long-Range Hamas Rockets -Jeffrey White

The IDF recently monitored Hamas' launch of a 60-km-range Iranian rocket from Gaza into the Mediterranean Sea. A rocket with such a range can reach the southern outskirts of Tel Aviv as well as targets across much of southern Israel.

According to [the] IDF director of military intelligence, Hamas now has "dozens" of rockets with a 60-km range.

Hamas' new rocket capabilities must also be seen in the context of Hizbullah's acquisition of rockets with a 300-km range. In a possible two-front war, this means that most of Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, would be within rocket range.
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

US Students organize against Israel

Student poster tries to portray Israel as child killers and Palestinians as helpless victims

What Does "Pro-Palestinian" Really Mean? -Khaled Abu Toameh

In recent years there has been a significant rise in the number of non-Palestinians who describe themselves as "pro-Palestinian" activists. Many of these activists have never been to the Middle East. What these folks have not realized is that their actions and words often do little to advance the interests of the Palestinians, and in some instances are even counterproductive.

It is hard to see how organizing an "Israel Apartheid Week" on a university campus could help the cause of the Palestinians.

Instead of investing money and efforts in organizing Israel Apartheid Week, self-described "pro-Palestinians" could dispatch teachers to teach young Palestinians English. Or they could send a delegation to Gaza to monitor human rights violations by Hamas and help Palestinian women confront Muslim fundamentalists who are trying to limit their role to cooking, raising children and looking after the needs of their husbands.

Let's substitute Israel Apartheid Week with Palestine Democracy Week. Or is delegitimizing Israel and inciting against "Zionists" much more important that pushing for an end to financial corruption and violence in Palestinian society?
(Hudson Institute New York)

Obama spits fire at Israel: calls Jerusalem neighborhood "settlement"

Concrete barrier protects residents of Jerusalem's Gilo neighborhood from sniper's bullets. The barriers were painted by local artists after children living close by were upset by the barrier

Obama Criticizes New Israeli Move

President Barack Obama says Israel's latest move to build hundreds of new apartments in a [Jerusalem] neighborhood complicates administration efforts to relaunch peace talks and embitters the Palestinians.

Livni: No Debate in Israel Over Gilo -Attila Somfalvi

Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni [said] that "there is Israeli consensus on the neighborhood of Gilo."
(Ynet News)

Israel: No Restriction on Jerusalem Building -Herb Keinon & Hilary Leila Krieger

It is highly unusual for the U.S. to criticize construction in Gilo, a neighborhood straddling the Green Line in the city's south and considered noncontroversial among Israelis.

Initially the White House statement was titled a response to "the approval of settlement expansion in Jerusalem," but the version the White House later posted on its Web site does not use the word "settlement."
(Jerusalem Post)

Jewish Neighborhood Had Been Under Palestinian Seige -Ronen Medzini

Gilo's residents remember the Second Intifada at the start of the decade when their homes became a target for attacks from the neighboring Palestinian town of Beit Jala for many months.

At the time, the managers of the American CNN network issued an instruction to stop referring to Gilo as a "settlement" and call it a "Jewish neighborhood."
(Ynet News)

Abbas Has Only Himself to Blame -Shmuel Rosner

[T]he frustrated Obama administration has finally realized that negotiations are unlikely to happen anytime soon.
(New Republic)


U.S. Demands Deemed "Strange and Bizarre" -Naama Lanir

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Zalman Shoval said: "The demand not to build in Gilo seems strange and even bizarre since it has been inhabited for 30 years....It's not east Jerusalem - Arabs have never lived in Gilo and its houses weren't built on private Arab land."
(Ynet News)


Monday, November 16, 2009

Mumbai terror shocker: Attackers assisted by American

The Taj Hotel in Mumbai, during the terror attack

Pakistani American Mapped Mumbai Terror Targets
-Samyabrata Ray Goswami

[Pakistani American] David Coleman Headley personally visited every target site of the terror strikes last year in Mumbai, carrying out reconnaissance on behalf of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Posing as a Jew, he even visited Nariman House, the Jewish Chabad center, in July 2008. Headley, a Pakistani-born U.S. national, was arrest by the FBI last month.

Headley, who changed his name from Daood Gilani in 2006, posed as a Jewish American during his Mumbai stay. "The FBI seized a book called [T]o Pray [As] a Jew from him at the time of his arrest in Chicago. He had prepared himself thoroughly to pose as a Jew," a top Mumbai police officer said.
(Calcutta Telegraph-India)


Tiny Survivor Doesn't Remember Mumbai Attack -Amy Teibel

Moshe Holtzberg celebrated his third birthday with his first haircut. He appeared not to recall the tragic events of a year ago, when his parents were killed in a terror attack at Chabad House in Mumbai, India.

His caretaker, Sandra Samuel, rescued Moshe from the bullet-raked building. She said he recognizes his parents in pictures, but he no longer cries out when he sees them. The child is being raised by his grandparents.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

VideoBite: Krauthammer takes on Obama's 9-11 trial decision

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a 2009 photo

Video of Charles Krauthammer on Obama's decision to give Sheikh Mohammed a criminal trial

NYC trial of 9/11 suspects -Delvin Barrett

In a move both politically and legally risky, the Obama administration plans to put on trial the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and four alleged accomplices in a lower Manhattan courthouse.

Held at Guantanamo since September 2006, [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammed said in military proceedings there that he wanted to plead guilty and be executed to achieve martyrdom. In a letter from him released by the war crimes court, he referred to the attacks as a "noble victory."
[Associated Press]

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cartoon Bites Iran

For a larger view, click on the image above

Understanding How Iran Negotiates -Emily Landau

[O]ver the past seven years we've seen Iran agree, then disagree, then agree a little bit, then reject again, then say more time is needed to consider, then finally present a counter-proposal, then say it wants cooperation, then say it will never give up on its rights.

[T]he Iranians never took cooperation so far that it diverted them from their overall goal in the nuclear realm.

Iran knows that when armed with a military nuclear capability it will be much better positioned to get a better deal from the international community. Iran's rational interest is to put off any real negotiation until it has reached [nuclear] capability.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

VideoBite: Major Hasan's radical ties

CBS News video highlighting Major Hasan's radical ties

A cartoon is worth a thousand words

Click image for larger view

The Rush to Therapy -David Brooks

[M]any Americans had an understandable reaction. They didn’t want the horror to become a pretext for anti-Muslim bigotry. The possibility of Islamic extremism was immediately played down. This was an isolated personal breakdown, not an ideological assault, many people emphasized. Major Hasan was portrayed as a disturbed individual who was under a lot of stress.

A shroud of political correctness settled over the conversation. Hasan was portrayed as a victim of society, a poor soul who was pushed over the edge by prejudice and unhappiness. There was a national rush to therapy. Hasan was a loner who had trouble finding a wife and socializing with his neighbors.

The conversation was a willful flight from reality. It ignored the fact that the war narrative can be embraced by a self-radicalizing individual in the U.S. as much as by groups in Tehran, Gaza or Kandahar.

It denied, before the evidence was in, the possibility of evil. It sought to reduce a heinous act to social maladjustment. It wasn’t the reaction of a morally or politically serious nation.
[New York Times]

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pretend Play: when will we stop playing?

Stop Pretending that Iran Might Compromise -Editorial

The single greatest threat to peace and stability in the world is Iran's headlong rush to gain nuclear weapons to cow their Mideast neighbors, export Shiite fundamentalism and obliterate Israel.

At what point will the world take "no" for an answer?
(New York Daily News)

Iran's "Great Satan" Addiction -David Ignatius

It has been more than a month since what was touted as a breakthrough meeting with the Iranians in Geneva over their nuclear program.

[T]he Iranians now seem to be backpedaling - disavowing the tentative agreement that their own negotiators had signaled they supported. A Stanford professor, Abbas Milani, who closely follows events in Iran, says: "They clearly want to back out of the deal."
(Washington Post)

Abbas: 'moderate' or rejectionist

Abbas Hardens PA Position over Talks -Steven J. Rosen

It is a matter of record that Mahmoud Abbas [pictured] participated in 18 years of direct negotiations with seven Israeli governments, all without the settlements freeze that he now insists is an absolute precondition to begin even low-level talks.
(Foreign Policy)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Ft. Hood attack: Sudden Jihad Syndrome

Sudden Jihad or "Inordinate Stress" at Ft. Hood? -Daniel Pipes

When a Muslim in the West for no apparent reason violently attacks non-Muslims, a predictable argument ensues about motives.

[L]aw enforcement, politicians, the media, and the academy – stands on one side of this debate, insisting that some kind of oppression caused Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, to kill 13 and wound 38 at Ft. Hood.

It disagrees on the specifics, however, presenting Hasan as the victim alternatively of "racism," "harassment he had received as a Muslim," a sense of not belonging," "pre-traumatic stress disorder," "mental problems," "emotional problems," "an inordinate amount of stress," or being deployed to Afghanistan as his "worst nightmare." Accordingly, a typical newspaper headline reads "Mindset of Rogue Major a Mystery."

Instances of Muslim-on-unbeliever violence inspire the victim school to dig up new and imaginative excuses. Colorful examples include:

*1990: "A prescription drug for … depression" (to explain the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane)
*1991: "A robbery gone wrong" (the murder of Makin Morcos in Sydney)
*1994: "Road rage" (the killing of a random Jew on the Brooklyn Bridge)
*1997: "Many, many enemies in his mind" (the shooting murder atop the Empire State Building)
*2000: A traffic incident (the attack on a bus of Jewish schoolchildren near Paris)
*2002: "A work dispute" (the double murder at LAX)
*2002: A "stormy [family] relationship" (the Beltway snipers)
*2003: An "attitude problem" (Hasan Karim Akbar's attack on fellow soldiers, killing two)
*2003: Mental illness (the mutilation murder of Sebastian Sellam)
*2004: "Loneliness and depression" (an explosion in Brescia, Italy outside a McDonald's restaurant)
*2005: "A disagreement between the suspect and another staff member" (a rampage at a retirement center in Virginia)
*2006: "An animus toward women" (a murderous rampage at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle)
*2006: "His recent, arranged marriage may have made him stressed" (killing with an SUV in northern California)

Additionally, when a Osama bin Laden-admiring Arab-American crashed a plane into a Tampa high-rise, blame fell on the acne drug Accutane.

As a charter member of the jihad school of interpretation, I reject these explanations as weak, obfuscatory, and apologetic. The jihadi school, still in the minority, perceives Hasan's attack as one of many Muslim efforts to vanquish infidels and impose Islamic law. We recall a prior episode of sudden jihad syndrome in the U.S. military, as well as the numerous cases of non-lethal Pentagon jihadi plots and the history of Muslim violence on American soil.

Far from being mystified by Hasan, we see overwhelming evidence of his jihadi intentions. He handed out Korans to neighbors just before going on his rampage and yelled "Allahu Akbar," the jihadi's cry, as he fired off over 100 rounds from two pistols. His superiors reportedly put him on probation for inappropriately proselytizing about Islam.

We note what former associates say about him: one, Val Finnell, quotes Hasan saying, "I'm a Muslim first and an American second" and recalls Hasan justifying suicide terrorism; another, Col Terry Lee, recalls that Hasan "claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans"; the third, a psychiatrist who worked very closely with Hasan, described him as "almost belligerent about being Muslim."

Finally, the jihad school of thought attributes importance to the Islamic authorities' urging American Muslim soldiers to refuse to fight their co-religionists, thereby providing a basis for sudden jihad. In 2001, for example, responding to the U.S. attack on the Taliban, the mufti of Egypt, Ali Gum'a, issued a fatwa stating that "The Muslim soldier in the American army must refrain [from participating] in this war." Hasan himself, echoing that message, advised a young Muslim disciple, Duane Reasoner Jr., not to join the U.S. army because "Muslims shouldn't kill Muslims."

If the jihad explanation is overwhelmingly more persuasive than the victim one, it's also far more awkward to articulate. Everyone finds blaming road rage, Accutane, or an arranged marriage easier than discussing Islamic doctrines. And so, a prediction: what Ralph Peters calls the army's "unforgivable political correctness" will officially ascribe Hasan's assault to his victimization and will leave jihad unmentioned.

And thus will the army blind itself and not prepare for its next jihadi attack.


Fort Hood Gunman: Infidels Should Have Their Throats Cut -Nick Allen

Hasan once gave a lecture to other doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in which he said non-believers should be beheaded and have boiling oil poured down their throats. Colleagues had expected a discussion on a medical issue but were instead given an extremist interpretation of the Koran, which Hasan appeared to believe.

One Army doctor who knew him said a fear of appearing discriminatory against a Muslim soldier had stopped fellow officers from filing formal complaints.


Ft. Hood Shooter Tried to Contact Al-Qaeda -Richard Esposito, et al

U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al-Qaeda, two American officials told ABC News.
(ABC News)


Sunday, November 08, 2009

Israel Innovation: Cancer research

Israeli Scientists Find Drug that Could Help Cure Cancer -Ofri Ilani

Israeli scientists have identified a substance that can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy ones, paving the way for more effective cancer treatment, the journal Breast Cancer Research reported.

"We actually found the Achilles heel of the cancer cell," said Prof. Malka Cohen-Armon from Tel Aviv University, who headed the research team.

"As soon as you can target cancerous cells without killing healthy ones, you can produce medications that would cause a lot less suffering to the patient."

Do Radical Muslims have a veto over EU policy?

Spain and the Fight over UNIFIL -Soeren Kern

Europeans are afraid that if they take a hard line against Hizbullah, their troops in Lebanon may be attacked. They are also afraid that Hizbullah may activate sleeper cells to carry out attacks inside Europe. And Europeans are afraid of inciting the thousands of Muslim immigrants throughout "Eurabia."

Indeed, the fear of angry Muslims is so pervasive in Europe that in practical terms Islam has already established a de facto veto on European foreign policymaking.

Spanish troops must look the other way as Hizbullah rearms for its next war against Israel.
The writer is Senior Analyst at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group
(Pajamas Media)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Fort Hood Massacre: Jihad, insanity or both?

Army Tests Sole-Killer Theory: Details Emerge -Clifford Krauss & James Dao

Major Hasan [pictured], the 39-year-old Army psychiatrist accused of a shooting spree at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded at least 30 others, [is] an American-born Muslim of Palestinian descent.

[O]fficials were not prepared to say whether the attack was the act of a lone and troubled man or connected to terrorist groups, foreign or domestic.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation became aware earlier this year of Internet postings by a man calling himself Nidal Hasan. The postings drew attention because they favorably discussed suicide bombings. But the investigators are still not clear as to whether the writer was Major Hasan.

Major Hasan [was] described as having few friends and being quiet to the point of introversion.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today” show, the Fort Hood commander, was asked about reports that before opening fire, Major Hasan had yelled “Allahu akbar!” — “God is great!”

General Cone said soldiers at the scene had reported “similar” accounts.
[New York Times]

Little Evidence of Plot -David Johnston & Eric Schmitt

After two days of inquiry into the mass shooting, investigators have tentatively concluded that it was not part of a terrorist plot. [But] [i]nvestigators have not ruled out the possibility that Major Hasan believed he was carrying out an extremist’s suicide mission.

[Investigators] have come to believe that Nidal Malik Hasan, acted out under a welter of emotional, ideological and religious pressures.

[O]fficials said a continuing search of Major Hasan’s computer indicates that he had logged on to Web sites that celebrated radical Islamic ideologies and that he had exchanged e-mail messages with like-minded people, some possibly overseas. In addition, they believe that he may have written inflammatory Internet postings that justified suicide attacks.
[New York Times]

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Iran caught shipping deadly cargo to Hizbullah

3,000 Missiles Found on Seized Arms Ship -Aron Heller

At least 3,000 missiles were on board the Francop, a vessel stopped by Israel off the coast of Cyprus and towed to the port of Ashdod.

Containers with dark green missiles inside bore writing in English that said "I.R. Iranian Shipping Lines Group." Israel alleged that the shipment of hundreds of tons of rockets, missiles, mortars, grenades and anti-tank weapons - the largest it ever seized - was headed for Hizbullah in Lebanon.

The ship had departed an Iranian port for Syria. [T]he ship carried ten times as many weapons as the Karine A, a weapons ship captured by Israeli forces in 2002.

Revolutionary Guard Behind Arms Shipment -Hanan Greenberg

Israel hoped the operation will deter shipping companies, European harbors and insurance companies from doing business with seemingly innocent Iranian vessels which can blow up at any time.
(Ynet News)

Ship Proves Iran Supports Terror -Yaakov Katz & Tovah Lazaroff

Prime Minister Netanyahu said:

"Whoever still needed decisive proof that Iran continues to send weapons to terrorist organizations received it today in a very clear and unequivocal way."
(Jerusalem Post)

UPDATE: Click here for a 6 minute IDF Video of the Francop freighter, documenting it's capture and its contents

Iranian protestors appeal to Obama

Dissidents Mass in Tehran to Subvert Anti-U.S. Rally -Robert F. Worth

Tens of thousands of Iranian opposition protesters [pictured above] braved police beatings and clouds of tear gas on the sidelines of a major, government-sponsored anti-American rally.

The protests in Tehran and other cities were the opposition's largest street showing in two months.

Protesters declared their impatience with President Obama's policy of dialogue with the Iranian government. Many could be heard chanting, "Obama, Obama - either you're with them or you're with us," witnesses said.
(New York Times)

VideoBite: Israel's clean technology revolution

Israel One of Top Five Cleantech Countries -Shawn Lesser

Israel, the "Silicon Valley" of water technology, is fast becoming the cleantech incubator to the world.

Israel recycles 75% of its wastewater, invented drip irrigation, and is home to the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant. Israel is also the first test-market for a nationwide electric vehicle recharge network.

Monday, November 02, 2009

The end of Yemenite Jewry

History will record that 2,500 years of Jewish life in Yemen is now over.

As The Wall Street Journal reported, the US State Department has completed a clandestine operation which brought 60 of the country's remaining Jews to America. The newspaper quoted Yeshiva University's Hayim Tawil, a Yemeni Jewry expert, as issuing the certificate of death: "This is the end of the Jewish Diaspora of Yemen. That's it."

The rescue illuminates an often overlooked aspect of the 60-year-plus Arab-Israel conflict. Whereas the Arab world has purposefully maintained the 700,000 or so Palestinian Arabs made homeless in the course of the 1948 war and their descendants as permanent refugees and political pawns, the State of Israel and world Jewry have worked hard to resettle a roughly equal number of Jewish refugees forced to flee Arab lands.

In 1947, Arab rioters in Aden [Southern Yemen] killed dozens of Jews to protest a two-state solution in Palestine. In 1949 and 1950 the bulk of Yemen's Jews, some 49,000 souls, were airlifted here in "Operation Magic Carpet."
[Jerusalem Post]

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Negotiating with Iran is like "playing chess with a monkey"

Iran Accused of Playing Games on Nuclear Deal -Richard Spencer

Britain and other EU nations were preparing to reject Iran's counterproposal on sending its uranium abroad for enrichment, raising the threat of a protracted confrontation and new sanctions. Britain, France and Germany believe Iran is trying to use the deal merely as a starting point for another protracted round of talks. During that time they think the Iranians could continue to enrich uranium and conduct more research on the scientific know-how necessary to turn it into a nuclear weapon.

"It's like playing chess with a monkey," said one diplomat close to the talks. "You get them to checkmate, and then they swallow the king."

Iran Counters UN on Uranium Plan -Glenn Kessler & Thomas Erdbrink

Iran appeared to reject a key element of a UN-backed proposal aimed at quickly reducing its stockpile of enriched uranium...

The long-awaited Iranian answer appeared to dash hopes that Tehran would be willing to quickly embrace engagement with the West on its nuclear program.

Obama administration officials will now need to assess whether engagement has run its course - and whether to shift toward tougher sanctions.
(Washington Post)

Palestinians kick sand at Hillary Clinton

Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, appears to be dancing with Hillary Clinton at a press conference this weekend

Clinton Asks Abbas to Return to Talks -Mark Landler & Ethan Bronner

Dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to restart Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton failed to persuade the Palestinian leader [Abbas] to accept an Israeli proposal that would slow but not stop the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
[New York Times]

Clinton: Israel's "Unprecedented" Concessions -Karen DeYoung & Howard Schneider

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had offered "unprecedented" concessions on West Bank settlement construction in an effort to restart peace talks, a departure from the administration's earlier criticism of Israel and a possible signal of impatience with the refusal of Palestinian leaders to join negotiations.
(Washington Post)


PA Accuses Clinton of Taking Bribes -Itamar Marcus & Barbara Crook

The official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, which is controlled by the office of Mahmoud Abbas, accused Secretary of State Clinton of taking bribes from Israel.

"Why, Mrs. Hillary? How much did the Zionists pay you as a bribe?" taunted an article. Al-Hayat Al-Jadida also ran a cartoon reiterating the Palestinian claim that the U.S. is controlled by Jews.
(Palestinian Media Watch)