Friday, December 31, 2010

Coalition behind Nuke Sabotage of Iran? Did the US, UK & Israel collaborate on Stuxnet attack?

Report: Israel, U.S., UK Cooperating to Sabotage Iran Nukes

U.S. and UK intelligence services are cooperating with Israel to sabotage Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for Israel agreeing not to launch a military strike on Iran, the French weekly Le Canard enchaine reported, quoting French intelligence sources.

Acts of sabotage carried out in the past year in Iran were conducted by Israel with the help of the CIA and MI6, the sources said.

The sabotage included the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into 30,000 computers in Iran's nuclear reactors, explosions in October in which 18 Iranian technicians were killed at a factory in the Zagros mountains that manufactured Shihab missiles, and the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists. 
(Jerusalem Post)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What Palestinians are thinking

Everyone Does Not Know What Everyone Supposedly Knows -Rick Richman

For more than a decade, the guiding principle of the peace process has been that "everyone knows" what peace will look like: a Palestinian state on roughly the 1967 lines, with land swaps for the major Israeli settlement blocs, a shared Jerusalem, international compensation for the Palestinian refugees, and a "right of return" to the new Palestinian state rather than Israel.

Yet a new poll conducted jointly by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace shows that the Palestinian public opposes such a solution by a lopsided majority.

The Palestinians rejected the Clinton Parameters in 2000 and effectively rejected them again in 2008 in the Annapolis Process. The new poll makes it clear they would reject them a third time, despite what "everyone knows." 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas terror plot targets Big Ben

Big Ben was a potential target in a recently uncovered Christmas terror plot

Plot: Christmas Bombing Campaign in London -Caroline Gammell

Nine alleged terrorists of Bangladeshi origin were charged with plotting a Christmas bombing campaign in London, targeting sites that included the Stock Exchange, Big Ben, the Mayor's Office, and the U.S. Embassy.

Police searches uncovered two issues of the al-Qaeda extremist magazine Inspire. An article in one issue was entitled "How to make a pipe bomb in the kitchen of your mom," while another included "What to expect in jihad." Other extremist material found was entitled "39 Ways," which said it was intended to help people "serve and participate in jihad."

Merry Christmas from Jerusalem

Jerusalem's lovely Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

Merry Christmas From Jerusalem  -Jeffrey Goldberg

Christmas Eve we headed to the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer [pictured above] in the Christian Quarter of the Old City [of Jerusalem] for a beautiful and slightly bizarre Christmas service.

Beautiful because the church is itself beautiful and because the service opens with a gorgeous candle-lighting ceremony and is lifted-up by a choir singing "Silent Night" in German.  [A]nd bizarre in a good way, because many of the visitors to the church last night were Israeli Jews, there to experience multicultural Jerusalem...

James Snyder, the director of the stunningly re-imagined and reinvigorated Israel Museum brought us to the service, and whispered to me that "the dirty little secret of Jerusalem is that it is a fully-functioning intercommunal city." I think this is true. Yes, there are terrifically difficult issues but this city is so much more complicated than news accounts would suggest.

Earlier yesterday, I took [my son] to a local medical clinic for a strep test. The clinic, called Terem, is well-known in Jerusalem in part because it was started by a physician named David Applebaum, who was killed in the September 9, 2003 terrorist bombing of a cafe in the Germany Colony neighborhood, along with his daughter Naava, who was scheduled to get married the next day.

The physician who saw my son at Terem, like many of the clinic's physicians, is an Arab from East Jerualem. In Terem, and at Hadassah Hospital, and the other hospitals in town, Jews treat Arabs, Arabs treat Jews, and no one thinks twice about it. No one who lives here, I mean.

For visitors these sorts of commonplace facts of life -- Germans praying in Hebrew, Arab physicians treating Jews in a clinic founded by a terror victim, and on, and on -- can be astonishing. Merry Christmas.
[The Atlantic]

Monday, December 27, 2010

Child abuse charges for teacher who mentions ham in a class with a Muslim student

Geography teacher Jose Reyes Fernandez 

Spanish ham wraps

The Spanish Ham Lawsuit -Soeren Kern

A high school teacher in southern Spain is being sued for child abuse by the parents of a Muslim student who claims that the teacher "defamed Islam" by talking about Spanish ham in class.

Jose Reyes Fernandez [pictured], a geography teacher, was giving a lecture about the different types of climates in Spain and mentioned that the climate in Andalusia offers the perfect temperature conditions for curing Spanish ham, a world-famous delicacy.

At this point, a Muslim student interrupted Reyes and argued that any talk of pork products is offensive to his religion. The student informed his parents, who then filed a lawsuit accusing Reyes of "abuse with xenophobic motivations." Spain's Muslim community now numbers 1.5 million (compared to only 100,000 in 1990).
(Hudson Institute-New York)


Muslim ham complaint thrown out

A Prosecutor has thrown out a complaint made by a Muslim family against a geography teacher who mentioned pork in their son’s class.

The Children’s Prosecutor of Algeciras, Juan Cisneros, described the complaining pupil’s attitude as ‘abusive, sectarian, capricious and inadmissible.

He said: “There is not even the minimal indication of any type of crime.”
[The Olive Press - Spain]

Spain Goes on Mosque-Building Spree -Soeren Kern

The city of Barcelona has agreed to build an official mega-mosque with a capacity for thousands of Muslim worshipers. The new structure would rival the massive Islamic Cultural Center in Madrid, currently the biggest mosque in Spain.

There are now 13 mega-mosques in Spain, and more than 1,000 smaller mosques and prayer centers.
(Hudson Institute New York)

Understanding the puzzle

The Arabs vs. Iran: What They Really Think -Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

One of the major points raised about the recent leak of U.S. diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks is the apparent hostility Gulf Arab leaders display towards Iran in private. However, viewing the present Middle East as a cold war between an Arab front and Iran is simplistic.

It is more accurate to note that the current cold war is between what Daniel Pipes terms a "revolutionary bloc," led primarily by Turkey, Syria and Iran, and a "status-quo" bloc, headed by Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
(Hudson Institute-New York)

The Education of Obama: The US Pulled The Plug

Israel Did Not Refuse to Extend Settlement Freeze -Gary Rosenblatt

I wrote of "Jerusalem's refusal to accept a U.S. deal, including military and diplomatic perks, in return for a 90-day extension of the freeze on building in the settlements." The next day a senior Israeli official contacted me to say that "contrary to widespread conventional wisdom, Jerusalem did not refuse Washington's offer." The official said Netanyahu was "willing and ready to bring it to a vote" when "the U.S. informed us, much to our surprise, that they did not want to move forward on that path."

Sources in Washington confirm that scenario, noting that the administration, after much bargaining, concluded that extending the freeze on building in the settlements for another 90 days was not likely to produce any diplomatic results.
(New York Jewish Week)

Christians Under Attack

There is nothing funny about the persecution of Christians.  However, Latma has found a way to point to it in a humorous way that does not diminish the seriousness of the issue.

Christianity Near Extinction in the Ancient Lands of Its Origin -Jeffrey T. Kuhner

Many Christians across the Middle East are in peril: Muslim fanatics seek to exterminate them. After al-Qaeda gunmen stormed an Assyrian Catholic church in Baghdad during Mass, slaughtering 51 worshippers and two priests, al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia issued a bulletin claiming that "all Christian centers, organizations and institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for" jihadists. The Assyrians are one of the oldest Christian sects in the world, going back to the time of Christ. Some even speak Aramaic. Nearly two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed. In Mosul, about 100,000 Christians used to live there. Now, just 5,000 remain.

In Egypt, Coptic Christians routinely are murdered, persecuted and prevented from worshipping. In Saudi Arabia, Muslim converts to Christianity are executed. In Turkey, Islamists have butchered priests and nuns. In Lebanon, Christians have dwindled, menaced by surging Shiite and Sunni populations.

If Muslims - funded and supported by Saudi Arabia - can build mosques and madrassas in Europe and America, then Christians should be entitled to build churches in the Arab world. Clearly, some Muslims cannot live in peaceful coexistence with non-Muslim peoples - especially in countries where Muslims form the majority.
(Washington Times)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hot Tuna plays Tel Aviv, Israel! UPDATE: Videos added

Tuna Takes Tel Aviv -David Brinn

[I]t’s not too often that Israel gets the chance to play host to two members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at the same time.

Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady were both integral components of Jefferson Airplane, the San Francisco rockers who epitomized the freewheeling music and lifestyle of the 1960s.

For Kaukonen, his Israel debut on December 22 will complete a Jewish circle begun when he bought his first electric guitar for the Airplane in 1965 – with money cashed in from Israeli bonds.

My [maternal] grandmother, who was a Russian [Jewish] immigrant to the United States, was an ardent Zionist, and every year she would give me a $100 bond. When I joined the Airplane, I withdrew something like $500, which was a lot of money back then, and bought a Rickenbacker,” chuckled the 69-year-old Kaukonen.
My wife converted to Judaism six years ago. I never really practiced myself, so of course I got involved with the Jewish community. And our four-and-a-half-year-old daughter is being raised Jewish,” he added.
[Jerusalem Post]
Still in flight -David Brinn
45 years after using his Israel Bonds money to make rock & roll history, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 1996 inductee Kaukonen is going to repay his debt by making his Israel debut with Hot Tuna on December 22.
I’m very excited about coming to Israel for the first time,” said Kaukonen with a relaxed, slightly Southern drawl which hinted at his upbringing close to Virginia.

While he wasn’t raised as a practicing Jew, he was aware that he was different from his friends from an early age. “[E]ven though [we] weren’t observant in the home, the culture and the food was absolutely Jewish,” he said.

In another twist of fate, Kaukonen, whose Judaism sat dormant for much of his life, experienced a spiritual renewal of sorts when his wife, Vanessa, decided to convert to Judaism six years ago.

She was raised Catholic but this woman was born to be Jewish,” said Kaukonen. “Everyone who meets her says so.  “I had never really practiced Judaism myself, so of course, I got involved with Vanessa in the Jewish community. I went along for the ride with a lot of it, and we studied Hebrew together,” said Kaukonen.

"I’ve always felt at home with Jews, and I look forward to having that feeling in Israel as well,” he said, adding that the family was planning to spend five days in the country around the show.

[T]he legacy of the Jefferson Airplane is one that Kaukonen takes great pride in. And he doesn’t shy away from identifying with it. Besides Casady, he retains an ongoing relationship with vocalist Marty Balin, which last year resulted in another, more organic mini-reunion.

We were playing in Florida near where Marty lives on the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, so we called him up, and he came to the show and we performed 'Volunteers,'” said Kaukonen.
[Jerusalem Post]

The video above features the final song of the Tel Aviv concert: a wonderfully executed version of Water Song

This second video includes a birthday cake for Jorma at the conclusion

Islamists Take Aim At Christmas

'Christmas is evil': Muslim group in campaign against festive period

Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign [in the United Kingdom] denouncing Christmas as evil. Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia.

They hope the campaign will help 'destroy Christmas' in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.

The campaign's organiser is 27-year-old Abu Rumaysah, who once called for Sharia Law in Britain at a press conference held by hate preacher leader Anjem Choudary, the leader of militant group Islam4UK.

Mr Rumaysah told the Mail that he was unconcerned about offending Christians. He said: 'Christmas is a lie and as Muslims it is our duty to attack it.
[Daily Mail - UK]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Terror Salad Bar

Latest Terror Threat in U.S. Aimed to Poison Food -Armen Keteyian

The latest terror attack on America involves the use of poisons in simultaneous attacks targeting hotels and restaurants at many locations over a single weekend.

A plot uncovered earlier this year is said to involve the use of two poisons - ricin and cyanide - slipped into salad bars and buffets.

The plotters are believed to be tied to the same terror group that attempted to blow up cargo planes over the east coast in October, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
(CBS News)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

VideoBite: Cobert comments on Egyptian paranoia

Egypt thinks its spate of shark attacks are a Mossad plot

Harry Potter Star Escapes Honor Killing in UK

A Harry Potter actress fled her home after her father and brother threatened to kill her for going out with a Hindu man, a court heard yesterday.

Afshan Azad, 22, who appeared in the blockbuster movies as Padma Patil, was attacked and branded a ‘slag’ when Muslim relatives found out about her boyfriend. The actress was so scared that she escaped out of her bedroom window and later fled her home city.

Police were called and her father, Abul Azad, 54, and brother, Ashraf, 28, were arrested and charged with making threats to kill her. But Miss Azad refused to testify and yesterday failed to turn up at their trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Instead Crown prosecutors decided to accept a guilty plea to assault by her brother while both men were formally found not guilty of making threats to kill.

Her father was said to have threatened to take her to Bangladesh and force her into an arranged marriage.  Miss Azad, who was born in Manchester and is of Bengali descent, attended Xaverian College in the city.  She had no formal acting training but won the part of Padma Patil when casting agents visited her school. They invited her to attend auditions and, after several tests, she was chosen for the role.

Miss Azad has appeared in four of the five film adaptations of JK Rowling’s novels, most recently in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
[Daily Mail - UK]

Hillary Strikes Out At Saban

Clinton Should Press the Arab Side -Saul Singer

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech at the Saban Center was a classic example of the historic and failed U.S. approach. Almost every sentence was crafted to convey absolute evenhandedness. Every ounce of praise or pressure on one side was carefully balanced by an equal weight on the other.

Yet the reality is that the conflict is asymmetrical: Israelis are much more ready for the two-state solution than is the Arab world. Almost no Palestinian leader can openly admit the most basic tenets underlying a two-state solution: that there is a Jewish people; that Jewish temples stood under independent Jewish sovereignty for centuries; and that Jewish moral, legal, and historic rights to sovereignty are not inferior to those of Palestinians.

If tomorrow a peace agreement were announced in the Arab world there would be much more mourning than dancing. For Arabs, the two-state solution represents the abandonment of a century-old dream: the eviction of the Jews from Palestine. A Jewish state of any size would be a defeat, not a victory.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Palestinians: Playing chess with the dead

Palestinians Embark on "Intifada of Graves"

For the past week, representatives of the Popular Palestinian Committees (PPC) have been urging West Bank residents to bury their dead in Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank, identified as Area C. The plan has been endorsed by several ministers in the Palestinian Authority.

Proponents of the "Intifada of Graves" believe it will be more difficult for Israelis to take control over parts of the West Bank in a final agreement if there are Arab cemeteries throughout the disputed territories.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stranger Than Fiction: Hezbullah Theme Park

This video is not a joke...Hezbullah indeed runs a family-friendly theme park whose central pillar is the destruction of Israel

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Flashback: Fundraising for Israel with Edward G. Robinson

An amazing 1948 video with Edward G. Robinson,
raising funds for the soon-to-emerge State of Israel
[Spielberg Jewish Film Archive]

Friday, December 17, 2010

Israel Cannot Turn Enemies into Peacemakers

Can we ever admit failure? -David Suissa

The State of Israel was built not by whiners but by Jews for whom no miracle was impossible - whether that meant defending against an Arab invasion or turning a desert into lush fields of agriculture. This can-do attitude has been the life force behind Israel's military success as well as its economic and cultural renaissance. There is one area, however, where Israel's can-do attitude has been a big failure, and that is in making peace with the Palestinians.

With making peace, it's far from clear whether Israel has a product the Palestinians want to buy. Israel has been under enormous pressure over the years, internally and externally, to "do something" to bring peace. Israel has been too embarrassed to admit that "we can't solve this one," that the parties are too far apart, that peace, no matter how desirable, is simply not in the cards at the moment. What if there is nothing Israel can offer the Palestinians to get them to accept and deliver a durable peace with a Jewish state? What if the truth is that Israel can evacuate 300,000 Jews from the West Bank tomorrow and give up half of Jerusalem and that this would still not bring peace - and might even bring more war?

The Palestinian demand for a "right of return" is a deal-killer. So is a return to nondefensible borders, and so is the presence of a terrorist state in Gaza. The fact that peace is immensely desirable has nothing to do with the reality that it is immensely unobtainable. If anything, the more Israel has shown its desire, the more the price has gone up. The Palestinians have said "no" to every peace offer Israel has ever put on the table.

The status quo may be untenable, but a fake peace process makes it even worse. Israel should fess up that it doesn't have the power to turn enemies into peacemakers.
(Los Angeles Jewish Journal)


The Peace Process -Rick Richman

[O]ver the past year and a half:

◦[T]he Palestinians refused to negotiate unless Netanyahu endorsed a two-state solution and froze settlement construction; Netanyahu did both, and the Palestinians refused to negotiate. They had to be dragged into "proximity talks" and then dragged into "direct negotiations" and then left.

◦[T]he Palestinian Authority canceled local elections in the West Bank. The PA is now headed by a "president" currently in the 72nd month of his 48-month term, with a "prime minister" appointed by the holdover "president" rather than by the Palestinian parliament (which is controlled by [Hamas] the terrorist group the Palestinians elected five years ago). As a democratic state, "Palestine" is already a failed one.

◦Palestinians rejected the criteria that Netanyahu set forth for a peace agreement: recognition of a Jewish state and demilitarization of the Palestinian one. The Palestinians cannot have a state and a "right of return."

Israel is currently faced with a PA that is unwilling to meet the basic requirements of a permanent peace, lacks the political authority to enter into a peace agreement, much less the ability to implement one.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Find the Terrorist, Not the Bomb

Israel's Approach: "Are you a terrorist?" -David Rose

The security checks at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport are intense, but they are surprisingly discreet. There are no groups of armed police patrolling through the concourses.

The new intrusive body scanners recently introduced in America are not in use.

Instead, Ben-Gurion's critical line of defense consists of polite, highly trained agents, most of them women, who will speak to every passenger while they wait to check in.

"We operate on the principle that it's much more effective to detect the would-be terrorist than try to find his bomb," says a senior Israeli official.

"The 9/11 hijackers killed 3,000 people without real weapons or explosives. To be safe, you have to be able to stop the person who has hostile intentions. That's how our system works." 

The Israelis call this method 'behaviour pattern analysis'...
(Daily Mail-UK)

Budget cuts woes for Hizbullah terror

Iran Said to Have Cut Hizbullah Aid by 40 Percent -Yaakov Katz

Iran has cut the annual funding it provides Hizbullah by over 40%, stirring an unprecedented crisis within the Lebanese Shi'ite organization, according to recent Israeli intelligence assessments.

Iran has in recent years provided Hizbullah with close to $1 billion in direct military aid, but due to international sanctions it has been forced to cut back on funding.

The cuts have stirred tension between Hizbullah and its Iranian patrons.
(Jerusalem Post)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ayatollah says "Happy Chanukah"

Imprisoned Iranian Ayatollah Offers Hanukkah Greetings  -Stephen Schwartz

Iranian Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi [pictured] has been held in Tehran's notorious Evin prison since 2006. Heir to a distinguished Shia clerical family, Boroujerdi preaches the pre-Khomeini interpretation of Iranian Shiism, which calls for religion to be kept apart from politics. He has continued, from his cell, to denounce the regime of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declaring that the regime's "behavior is no different from that of Osama bin Laden."

Boroujerdi and his group have lately issued a message to the world's Jews, congratulating them on the Hanukkah holiday. The group contrasts its attitude with that of "the current anti-Semitic regime of Iran," which it accuses of sowing animosity and hatred between the descendants of Abraham, the common ancestor of Jews and Arabs.
(Weekly Standard)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

VideoBite: Every feminist should see this movie

The Stoning of Soraya M is a must see film...highly recommended...put it on your list.  Set in Iran, this true story is unforgetable.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Face of Palestine

Abbas Supports Sudan President Accused of Genocide
-Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik

PA TV reported that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his personal support for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, who is accused of being responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

In a letter to the Sudanese president, Abbas wrote that he and Palestinians "have complete faith in the wisdom of President Omar Al-Bashir."
(Palestinian Media Watch)

Palestinian Public Opinion -David Pollock

Palestinian public opinion trends 2010 reveal troubling long-term intentions.

Only a minority - 34% of West Bankers, and 23% of Gazans - choose the formulation: the preferred goal is for a two-state solution that keeps two states living side by side.

This is probably because roughly 60% of respondents in both territories say they are "not so certain" that "Israel will exist 25 years from now as a Jewish state with a Jewish majority."
(Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

MidEast initiative crashes over Obama's refusal to put it in writing

U.S. Abandons Push for Renewal of Israeli Settlement Freeze -Karen DeYoung

The Obama administration has abandoned its effort to persuade Israel to renew a settlement construction freeze, which U.S. diplomats had hoped would invigorate moribund peace talks with the Palestinians. U.S. officials said that the administration had taken off the table a package of political and security incentives offered to Israel in exchange for a 90-day freeze on West Bank settlement construction.

The U.S. decided not to comply with an Israeli request to put its offer in writing, including $3 billion worth of jet fighters, a commitment to object to anti-Israel resolutions in international organizations, and an agreement never again to ask for a suspension of settlement construction.
(Washington Post)

U.S. Drops Bid to Sway Israel on Settlements -Mark Landler

"Wisely, in my view, the administration is bending to reality," said Robert Malley, a peace negotiator in the Clinton administration.
(New York Times)

Obama Ends Push for Israeli Settlements Halt -Eli Lake & Ben Birnbaum

President Obama has abandoned a two-year policy of trying to persuade Israel to stop some settlement construction as a condition for negotiations with the Palestinians, a major recalibration of the administration's strategy for brokering a deal for a Palestinian state.

A senior Israeli official said the decision to end the settlement freeze was based on a calculation that the Palestinians had expected too much from the Israelis just as a condition of their participation in peace talks. "First of all, the mutual understanding with the Americans was that we could go on forever with this package, it would still not get the Palestinians back to the negotiations table," a senior Israeli official told the Washington Times. "They wanted Jerusalem, they wanted more than three months, they wanted a freeze until negotiations are concluded."

Elliott Abrams, a senior director for Near East and North African affairs for President George W. Bush's National Security Council, said, "We are not seeing a new approach. We are seeing the end of the old approach." He added, "One has to remember the Arabs had not ever insisted on such a precondition. This was something that was added by the administration and it proved to be disastrous." One of the first things the Obama administration did with regard to the peace process was to inform the Israelis that understandings forged under Mr. Bush that limited settlement expansion were no longer U.S. policy.
(Washington Times)

Obama's Settlement Freeze Fold Is Blow to President, Not to Peace 
-Jonathan S. Tobin

[T]he problem with Obama's push for a freeze had little to do with any actual chance for peace and everything to do with the administration's obsession with trying to corner Netanyahu. 

This is no blow to peace. Sensible observers have been saying all along that the Palestinians' lack of interest in a final-status agreement, as well as the split between Hamas and Fatah, ensured the failure of Obama's initiative no matter how much Netanyahu was willing to give up. The blame for the lack of peace belongs to the Palestinians.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Happy Chanukah to my readers!

May this Chanukah video serve as my gift to my readers. 

In response to the forest fire tragedy, graduates of the En Prat Academy for Leadership near Jerusalem, joined together to create this spirited song to bring some fun and joy to us.
Enjoy, enjoy. 
Bruce :}

Helen Thomas Resurfaces: still offensive

The Myth of Jewish-Only Roads -Michael J. Totten

"I can call a president of the United States anything in the book," Helen Thomas said at an anti-Arab-bias workshop in Detroit, "but I can't touch Israel, which has Jewish-only roads in the West Bank. No American would tolerate that - white-only roads."

[S]uch roads don't exist.

The roads she's referring to in the West Bank are Israeli, and they're not just for Jews. Israeli Arabs can drive on them, and so can non-Jewish foreigners, including Arab and Muslim foreigners.

Palestinians were once able to drive on them but have not been allowed to do so since the second intifada, when suicide bombers used them to penetrate Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in order to massacre people.

There are also, by the way, Palestinian roads in the West Bank that Israelis can't use.

Princeton Rejects Sabra Hummus Ban

Princeton Students Reject Pro-Palestinian Hummus Initiative

Princeton University students voted 1,014 to 699 to reject a referendum initiative by a pro-Palestinian student group calling for the university to expand its hummus offerings to compete with the Sabra brand, owned by PepsiCo and the Israeli food conglomerate Strauss, the school's student government said.
(AP-Washington Post)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Israel is a "Bird Superhighway"

Bird Watchers Heaven in "Superhighway" Israel -Jon Donnison

Bird migration is big in Israel. Per square kilometer, the country has one of the highest levels of bird traffic in the world. Every autumn, over 500 million birds cross Israel's airspace, heading south to warming weather in Africa. "Israel sits on the junction of three continents," says Dr. Yossi Leshem, director of Israel's International Center for the Study of Bird Migration. "Politically, it's a disaster, but for bird migration, it's heaven. We have a huge bird bottleneck, a superhighway."

Many birds flying south from Northern Europe and Asia to Africa want to avoid the Mediterranean and Caspian seas and are therefore funneled down over Israel. Hundreds of different species cross the region every autumn. In the spring, they head back the other way.  
(BBC News)

Friday, December 03, 2010

Devastating Fire Hits Israel

Click HERE for a short video report with stunning visuals

The worst forest fire in Israel's history devastated the Carmel forest in Israel's Galilee, killing at least 36 guards on their way to rescue inmates at a prison in the fire zone, destroying homes and forcing the evacuation of thousands. Most of the 41 dead were students on the Prison Service's guards' course racing through the fire toward a prison to evacuate the inmates, most of them Palestinians. A tree fell across the road, blocking their bus. Some guards were burned alive inside, while others died as they tried to flee.

International Community Sends Help in Fighting Fire -Yaakov Lappin

The first of 23 international aircraft carrying firefighters, supplies and fire retardant chemicals landed in Israel. According to Army Radio, in addition to four Greek aircraft, four aircraft are expected to arrive from France, three from Britain, two from Spain, two from Russia, two from Turkey, two from Cyprus, two from Bulgaria, one from Croatia and one from Azerbaijan.
(Jerusalem Post)

Eyewitness Accounts of the Fire -Adi Sardas

"The sights were horrifying, a true apocalypse. I saw flames as high as 50 meters," said Magen David Adom ambulance driver Pninit Boyev. IDF paramedic Daria Nicolyenko was called to the site where the Prison Service bus was burned. "I saw dozens of bodies lying on the ground, and I realized no one survived. It was horrifying."

A Prison Service course cadet from Kiryat Ata, Shlomi Cohen, was lightly hurt and hospitalized at Rambam Hospital. "He hasn't stopped crying about his dead friends," said his father, Avi. "He's crying and crying nonstop. Almost the entire course is gone. He said there are only three or four survivors."
(Ynet News)

Reflections on WikiLeaks

Egypt May Seek Atomic Arms If Iran Does -Alexander Dziadosz & Marwa Awad

President Hosni Mubarak warned U.S. officials that Egypt might develop nuclear arms if Iran obtained atomic weapons, WikiLeaks cables showed.

A May 2008 cable quoted Mubarak saying "we are all terrified" about a nuclear Iran. "Mubarak said that Egypt might be forced to begin its own nuclear weapons program if Iran succeeds in those efforts."

Shattered Accepted Dogma in MidEast -Ari Shavit

WikiLeaks has shattered the accepted dogma that the main problem in the Middle East is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and if we just stop the settlements, the conflict will be solved and the Middle East will be stable. This was the truth they swore to in the White House. The secret documents that WikiLeaks published proved that the world they were talking about was an imaginary world. They revealed that the entire Arab world is currently busy with one problem only - Iran. The cables proved that the West is contaminated by political correctness that cuts it off from the diplomatic reality.

The confidential e-mails say there is no chance for the current diplomatic process. There is no chance of signing an Israeli-Palestinian agreement as long as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is living under the menacing shadow of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. There is no chance of regional peace as long as the Arab world is living under Tehran's incessant threat. As long as Iran is growing stronger, is seeking nuclear weapons and is terrorizing the Middle East, there is no chance for peace.

If Iran develops nuclear weapons, peace will disappear. A nuclear Iran will deal a final blow to the chance of achieving a compromise between Israelis and Arabs.

Therefore the dove of peace has to be extremely hawkish toward Iran. The peace-seeker must deal with Iran.

Has Disclosures Made a Military Strike on Iran More Likely?
-Alan Dershowitz

President Obama understated the threat when he said a nuclear Iran would be "a game changer." It would be a disaster, threatening Middle East peace, putting an end to any hope of nuclear non-proliferation, and engendering the greatest arms race in modern history.
(Guardian-UK) *

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Blasting Obama on WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks ought to be hiding from America -Charles Krauthammer

[W]e've suffered a major blow to our ability to collect information. Talking candidly to a U.S. diplomat can now earn you headlines around the world, reprisals at home, or worse. Success in the war on terror depends on being trusted with other countries' secrets. Who's going to trust us now?

What is notable, indeed shocking, is the administration's torpid and passive response to the leaks. What's appalling is the helplessness of a superpower that not only cannot protect its own secrets but shows the world that if you violate its secrets - massively, wantonly and maliciously - there are no consequences.

Putting U.S. secrets on the Internet, a medium of universal dissemination new in human history, requires a reconceptualization of sabotage and espionage - and the laws to punish and prevent them. Where is the Justice Department?
[Washington Post]

Obama wastes diplomatic capital

The irrelevance of START -Charles Krauthammer [pictured above]

From the naval treaties of the 1920s to this day, arms control has oscillated between mere symbolism at its best to major harm at its worst, with general uselessness being the norm.

The reason is obvious. The problem is never the weapon; it is the nature of the regime controlling the weapon. That's why no one stays up nights worrying about British nukes, while everyone worries about Iranian nukes.

The worst thing about this treaty is that it is simply a distraction. It gives the illusion of doing something about nuclear danger by addressing a non-problem, Russia, while doing nothing about the real problem - Iran and North Korea.

The Russians are no longer an existential threat. A nuclear exchange between Washington and Moscow is inconceivable. What difference does it make how many nukes Russia builds? If they want to spend themselves into penury creating a bloated nuclear arsenal, be our guest.

The utter irrelevance of New START to nuclear safety was dramatically underscored last week by the revelation of that North Korean uranium enrichment plant, built with such sophistication that it left the former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory "stunned." It could become the ultimate proliferation factory. Pyongyang is already a serial proliferator. It has nothing else to sell. Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda have the money to buy.
[The Washington Post] 

Turkish Sleazeball Outed by WikiLeaks

In response to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said that he would file legal action against U.S. envoys he accused of making false claims against him.

"Those who have slandered us will be crushed under these claims, will be finished and will disappear," he said.

One leaked cable claimed that Erdogan had eight secret accounts in Swiss banks. Other documents accused him of reaping personal gain from a billion-dollar privatization.
(Hurriyet Daily News-Turkey)

VideoBite: Documentary on a Nuclearizing Iran

Iranium, can be viewed for free online on February 8, 2011

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Muslim American: "Profile Me...Please"

In the video above, Asra Nomani, a Muslim American, advocates religious profiling in airport security

VideoBite 1947: 10 Minute History Lesson

Eyewitness accounts of the November 1947 UN vote to partition Mandate Palestine into two states
[Aish HaTorah]

Stranger than Fiction: Iranian Airport sports Jewish Star

Iran Outraged as Star of David Revealed on Airport -Nayef Zidani

A satellite image of Tehran airport taken by Google Earth [pictured above] has outraged Iranian government officials as it reveals a Star of David on the roof of the headquarters of the national carrier Iran Air.

Iranian media explained that the building was constructed by Israeli engineers during the time of the Shah.

Palestinian National Band: music of hate

-Itamar Marcus & Nan Jacques Zilberdik

The Alashekeen song and dance group that has recently performed hate and violence promotion songs in the Palestinian Authority, has been honored and turned into an official Palestinian national band by decree of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
(Palestinian Media Watch)

WikiLeaks Reveals that Arabs pressed US to hit Iran

Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. to Attack Iran Nukes -Ian Black & Simon Tisdall

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the U.S. to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear program, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables that describe how other Arab allies have secretly agitated for military action against Tehran. 

"He told you [Americans] to cut off the head of the snake," the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Adel al-Jubeir said, according to a report on Abdullah's meeting with U.S. Gen. David Petraeus in April 2008.

The leaked U.S. cables also reveal that officials in Jordan and Bahrain have openly called for Iran's nuclear program to be stopped by any means, including military.

Arab States Scorn "Evil" Iran -Ian Black

Leaked U.S. State Department cables catalogue a litany of complaints from the Saudis and smaller Gulf states, as well as Egypt, Jordan and others, on issues from Tehran's nuclear ambitions, to its involvement in Iraq and support for Hizbullah in Lebanon and the Palestinian Hamas. "You as Persians have no business meddling in Arab matters," Saudi King Abdullah was quoted as telling Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister. Abdullah declared: "May God prevent us from falling victim to their evil. We have had correct relations over the years, but the bottom line is that they cannot be trusted."

Abu Dhabi's crown prince and deputy commander of the UAE armed forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, referred to Iran as an "existential threat" and even suggested that the U.S. should send in ground forces if air strikes were not enough to "take out" Iranian nuclear targets. The UAE foreign minister is described as viewing "Iran as a huge problem that goes far beyond nuclear capabilities....Iranian support for terrorism is broader than just Hamas and Hizbullah. Iran has influence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and Africa."

Israel Tried to Coordinate Gaza War with Abbas -Barak Ravid

Israel tried to coordinate the 2009 Gaza war with the Palestinian Authority, classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks said, but both the PA and Egypt refused to take over Gaza in case of a Hamas defeat.
WikiLeaks Vindicate Israel -Yaakov Katz

WikiLeaks may have done Israel a service, presenting Arab leaders as more extreme in their remarks than Israeli leaders regarding the danger involved in allowing Iran to continue with its nuclear program.
(Jerusalem Post) 


WikiLeaks Tell Us That Linkage Was Nonsense -Jennifer Rubin

The Obama team over and over again has made the argument that progress on the Palestinian conflict was essential to obtaining the help of the Arab states in confronting Iran's nuclear threat. We know that this is simply and completely false. The documents show that the Arab states were hounding the administration to take action against Iran.

Beautiful Gaza

"Is this the Gaza we have been hearing about?" asked a Sudanese official who arrived about a month ago on the "Viva Palestina" aid convoy and was quoted by Palestinian news agency Maan.

"Where is the siege? I don't see it in Gaza. I wish Sudan's residents could live under the conditions of the Gaza siege," he added.
(Ynet News)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Israel's Western Wall Heats Up

Western Wall Feud Heightens Israeli-Palestinian Tensions -Isabel Kershner

The prime minister of Israel strongly denounced a Palestinian Authority paper that denies any Jewish connection to the Western Wall, the iconic holy site and place of Jewish worship in the Old City of Jerusalem, describing the report as "reprehensible and scandalous." The episode appeared to signal a worsening atmosphere after a two-month hiatus in peace talks. Netanyahu's statement referred to a long article that appeared in Arabic on the Information Ministry Web site of the Western-backed Palestinian government.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the retaining wall of a plateau revered by Jews as the Temple Mount, the site where their ancient temples once stood. The Palestinian paper denying any Jewish historical connection with the site was written by Al-Mutawakel Taha, an Information Ministry official. In it, he stated that "the Al Buraq Wall is the western wall of Al Aksa, which the Zionist occupation falsely claims ownership of and calls the Wailing Wall or Kotel."

Palestinian officials have often denied claims of Jewish heritage in Jerusalem. Netanyahu said the Western Wall "has been the Jewish people's most sacred place for almost 2,000 years, since the destruction of the Second Temple." He added that the Palestinian Authority's denial of a Jewish link "calls into serious question its intentions of reaching a peace agreement, the foundations of which are coexistence and mutual recognition." Netanyahu called on the authority's leaders to disavow the document.
(New York Times)

Palestinians: We Won't Give Up a Single Stone

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the Wall is part of occupied eastern Jerusalem and that its historic, cultural, and religious characteristics must not be changed, Al-Hayat reported.

Western Wall Not Jewish Says Palestinian Official -Diaa Hadid

An official Palestinian report claiming that a key Jewish holy site - Jerusalem's Western Wall - has no religious significance to Jews evoked an angry response from Israelis. Decades of archaeology have shown that the Western Wall, the holiest place where Jews can pray, was a retaining wall of the compound where the two biblical Jewish Temples stood 20 centuries ago. The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest site, is built atop the ruins. Al-Mutawakil Taha, deputy minister of information in the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, said his study published on a Palestinian government website reflected the official Palestinian position.
(AP-Arab News-Saudi Arabia)

PA Study on Jerusalem's Western Wall a "Moderate" Outrage -Editorial

The PA's information ministry this week released an official "study" declaring that the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City - revered for 2,000 years as one of Judaism's holiest sites - isn't Jewish at all. In fact, claims the report by a senior ministry official, it is nothing more than the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and has only been a worship site for Jews since World War I - and then, only because of "Muslim tolerance."

This, it should be noted, isn't coming from Hamas. It emanates from the same "moderate" Palestinians whom President Obama and the rest of the world embrace, make concessions to, and trust with Israel's long-term security. What is contemptible is that those efforts increasingly are being endorsed by the world at large.

The whole point of this ongoing exercise is to erase any Jewish connection with the biblical Land of Israel - with an eye toward negating the modern state of Israel's existence.
(New York Post)

Muslim Moderate Hero Condems Anti-Semitism

Tarek Fatah

Moderate Muslim Author Condemns Virulent Anti-Semitism Infiltrating Islam
-Barbara Yaffe

In his newly published book, The Jew Is Not My Enemy, Toronto author Tarek Fatah, 61, founder and former head of the Muslim Canadian Congress, argues that if Muslims in the Middle East have anyone to blame for their plight it's their own political and religious leaders. "Despite my solidarity with the Palestinian cause, I denounce anti-Semitism and refuse to hate either Israel or the Jewish people," says the Pakistani-born journalist, who immigrated to Canada from Saudi Arabia in 1987.

"By any rational standard, Muslims and Jews should have been, and could be, partners." Their faiths are similar, he says, and more unites than divides them. His book is a condemnation of the virulent anti-Semitism that has infiltrated Islam, a "medieval madness that is creating monsters within the Muslim community."

Muslims are told early and often by clerics and in religious tracts that Jews are the descendants of pigs and apes and the brothers of monkeys, that they annually sacrifice people to drink their blood. This nonsense has only been fueled by the spread of Wahhabism, courtesy of a wealthy "Saudi hate machine." He says clerics regularly close Friday prayers with a call to arms to defeat the Jews. By contrast, he notes, Jewish scriptures and teachings do not feature anti-Muslim preachings.
(Vancouver Sun-Canada)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Climbing the Ladder But Not Ascending

Peace Process to Nowhere -Elliott Abrams & Michael Singh

A stand-alone border agreement is a mirage.

For Israelis, more important than where the border lies is what lies beyond it - what security arrangements will be put in place to prevent a barrage of rockets originating from the West Bank, as they now do from Gaza?
(Foreign Policy)

Bad Ideas Come from Bad Premises -Bret Stephens

The consistent willingness of Western news organizations to downplay stories about Palestinian illiberalism and thuggery goes far to explain why so much of the world misdiagnoses the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Settlements are a convenient alibi: They foster the illusion that the conflict can be resolved by Israeli territorial concessions alone. But if that were true, Gaza would have turned peaceful the moment settlements were withdrawn five years ago. The opposite happened.
(Wall Street Journal)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cyberattack worm used on Iran called a "Digital Warhead"

The Stuxnet cyber attack on Iran began with the use of a flash drive like the one above. 
The extent of the damage to the Iranian nuke program is unknown. 

Worm Can Deal Double Blow to Iran's Nuclear Program -John Markoff

German software engineer Ralph Langner, who in September was the first to report that the Stuxnet computer worm was apparently designed to sabotage targets in Iran, said that the program contained two separate "digital warheads," designed to disable both Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium and steam turbines at the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

He described two different attack modules that are designed to run on different industrial controllers made by Siemens. "It appears that warhead one and warhead two were deployed in combination as an all-out cyberstrike against the Iranian nuclear program," he wrote.
(New York Times)


Iran's Nuclear Program Reportedly Struggling - Glenn Kessler

Iran's nuclear program has experienced serious problems, including unexplained fluctuations in the performance of the thousands of centrifuges enriching uranium, leading to a temporary shutdown. Speculation immediately centered on the Stuxnet worm, a computer virus that some researchers say was designed to target Iran's centrifuge machines so that they spin out of control.
(Washington Post)

Report Suggests Problems with Iran's Nuclear Effort -William J. Broad

International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors reported that when visiting the main Iranian enrichment plant at Natanz on Nov. 16, they found that engineers had stopped feeding uranium into the long rows of centrifuges. Six days later, Iran said it had restarted the process.

Independent experts suggested that the computer worm suspected of being aimed at Iran's nuclear program had caused the machines to break down. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said the new disclosures made incapacitation from the Stuxnet worm "sound more credible."

American officials have not claimed responsibility for the worm, but they do say the Obama administration has stepped up a broad covert program, inherited from the Bush administration, to undermine Iran's nuclear program.
(New York Times)