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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve with Guy Lombardo

Okay, I was actually in Times Square on January 1, 1976 - the year before this one happened.

Let's go to the videotape.

Happy New Year everyone.

Next post will be in 2014....


No, I won't explain this



Bill would ban pardons for convicted murderers

In a bid to prevent future releases of terrorists, MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) has introduced a bill that would prevent pardons for convicted murderers.
The bill, if passed, would change one of the Basic Laws of Israel, which forms the basis for the formation and role of Israel's institutions, and the relations between the state's different ministries and authorities. The Basic Law of the President of the State, passed in 1964, allows the President to pardon criminals - at least until now.
The new amendment would change this rule, preventing any convicted terrorist from being pardoned for his crimes under certain conditions. The amendment seeks to allow the judges of the court during trials for nationalist murders, terrorist activity or any other heinous crime, to negate at the time of sentencing the possibility of providing future amnesty.
The bill has already garnered tremendous cross-party support: it was signed by members of Jewish Home, HaTnua, Likud, Yisrael Beyteinu and Kadima.
Shaked explained, "Releasing terrorists has never been a 'red line' of any government.
Therefore it is important for us as legislators to stop the contemptible and despicable pardoning of terrorists and murderers. Right now, in the shadow of the terrorist releases, it is more important than ever to determine the 'red lines' of our governing system."
"From now on, the courts will decide on a case-by-case basis whether or not a criminal can ever be pardoned," Shaked continued. "Extreme cases will be denied the right to pardon, so that murderers cannot generally become a tool for future negotiations."
"If, legally, we can prevent future terrorist releases [. . .] we can put the country back on track."
 I wonder if Tzipi Livni will try to block this one in the Ministerial Legislation Committee.

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Poll faked!

No, this post is not about the poll in the previous post.

It's about another poll that claimed that Jewish residents of the Jordan Valley would like to leave. That poll was a lie.
Left-wing organizations are waging a psychological war on Israelis living in the Jordan Valley, activist Danny Dayan, the former head of the Yesha (Judea and Samaria) Council, has accused.
Dayan revealed a recent incident in which one organization tried to rally support based on a poll showing that most Israelis living in the Jordan Valley want to leave – a poll which, he says, turned out to have been a complete fabrication.
“They called me from Reshet Bet. The group ‘Atid Kachol Lavan’ [‘A Blue and White Future’, which promotes a withdrawal from Judea and Samaria - ed.] was going to present the results of a survey conducted among residents of the Jordan Valley showing that most wanted to evacuate with or without a diplomatic agreement [between Israel and the Palestinian Authority],” he recalled.
“’Would you like to reply on air?’ they asked. ‘Yes, definitely. It sounds very strange to me,’” Dayan continued. “'It’s a poll done by Mina Tzemach,' they announced happily."
Mina Tzemach is widely renowned as a political pollster.
“So we went on the air. The chairman of that organization, and me. He said that according to the poll by Mina Tzemach, so-and-so many people want to leave the Jordan Valley,” Dayan said.
“I saw there was clear manipulation, because the results contradicted reality – which is that new residents are moving to the Jordan Valley. ‘It can’t be true,’ I said. ‘But Mina Tzemach did a poll!’ was his unequivocal response.
“A poll that nobody in the Jordan Valley heard about?” Dayan wondered. “After all, a poll would need to include at least 500 households. In the Jordan Valley, news [of the poll] would spread like wildfire.”
Dayan’s skepticism led him to conduct his own investigation. “I asked them to speak to Mina Tzemach, and she said, ‘I haven’t done any recent poll about the Jordan Valley. I have no idea what they are talking about,’” he reported.
The incident with the fake poll is a sign of things to come, he warned. “In the near future, we – residents of Judea and Samaria in general, and of the Jordan Valley in particular – are likely to face psychological warfare against us from the extreme left, in an attempt to weaken us, to delegitimize us, to cause us to despair,” he said.
After all, all is fair in the war against the Jews. I just have to wonder why they messed up by forgetting to ask Mina Tzemach to cover for them. 

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Smart diplomacy: Poll names US the greatest threat to world peace

He was going to remake US foreign relations and boy has he ever done that. A newly released Gallup poll finds that the United States under Obama is deemed the greatest threat to world peace by other countries in the world. And the country in second place trails by a factor of 3:1.
Not only did the U.S. top the list with an aggregate of 24 percent, but the runner-up threat country, Pakistan, was way behind at eight percent. China was third at six percent, followed by North Korea, Iran and Israel at five percent each.
The survey of opinions across 65 countries by pollster Win/Gallup International recorded some of the strongest anti-American sentiment, predictably, in countries widely regarded as rivals, led by Russia (where 54 percent of respondents said the U.S. was the greatest threat to peace) and China (49 percent).
But the view that the U.S. poses the greatest threat to peace was also strongly held in some purported U.S. allies – such as NATO partners Greece and Turkey (45 percent each), and Pakistan (44 percent), which is also a top recipient of U.S. aid.
Two other countries where strongly negative opinion of the U.S. was found were Bosnia, a candidate for European Union membership (49 percent), and, closer to home, Argentina (46 percent).
Elsewhere in Latin America the U.S. topped the list of threats to peace for a significant number of respondents in Mexico (37 percent), Brazil (26 percent) and Peru (24 percent).
I guess that smart diplomacy is really going well, isn't it?

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'Too bad we hung Eichmann - we could have freed him too'

Okay, this is a parody. But not by much.
Mark Regev, the spokesman, told reporters that the decision to release the convicted murderers was a difficult one, primarily because even taken together, the number of murder victims that Israel has now betrayed will number only in the dozens, and the Netanyahu government currently lacks a prisoner of the caliber of Eichmann, responsible for the deaths of millions.  He said the government had considered the feasibility of a military or Mossad operation to kidnap and then release someone with a more impressive number of Jewish victims, but the logistics and cost of such an operation were deemed prohibitive. Candidates for such an operation were said to include Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, and Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.
In the end, explained Regev, the Likud-run government could only go so far in cheapening the memory of the dead and depositing a massive political bowel movement on their graves while thumbing its nose at the families of those murdered.
MK Zahava Gal-On of the Meretz party, currently sitting in the opposition, expressed reluctant support for the move, saying it represented only a small step in the right direction. Ideally, she said, Israel should have absolved the convicts of their crimes concurrent with freeing them, to demonstrate more effectively that killing Jews is nothing to be ashamed of. “But that can always be accomplished later, and can be made part of the Knesset’s legislative goals for the upcoming Parliamentary session,” she noted.
I gather that we no longer make them sign those letters promising not to be involved in terrorism like we did in the '90's. Sickness. Pure sickness.....

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Cartoon: John Kerry applauds terrorists' release

From Israel's Yedioth Aharonoth (largest paid circulation daily newspaper).

Sad but true.

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Whom does Jordan want controlling its border with Israel/the 'Palestinians'

With all of the discussion about the Jordan Valley in recent weeks, one question that has largely been ignored is the preference of the party on the other side of the border. Whom does Jordan want to see in control of the Jordan Valley and its western border: Israel or the 'Palestinians'? The answer - from Khaled Abu Toameh - might surprise you.
In private off-the-record meetings, top Jordanian officials make it crystal clear that they prefer to see Israel sitting along their shared border.
It is no secret that the Jordanians have long been worried about the repercussions of the presence of Palestinians on their border.
In a recent closed briefing with a high-ranking Jordanian security official, he was asked about the kingdom's position regarding the possibility that Palestinians might one day replace Israel along the border with Jordan.
"May God forbid!" the official retorted. "We have repeatedly made it clear to the Israeli side that we will not agree to the presence of a third party at our border."
The official explained that Jordan's stance was not new. "This has been our position since 1967," he said. "The late King Hussein made this clear to all Israeli governments and now His majesty, King Abdullah, remains committed to this position."
Jordan's opposition to placing the border crossings with the West Bank under Palestinian control is not only based on security concerns.
Besides the security concerns, the Jordanians are also worried about the demographic implications of Palestinian security and civilian presence over the border.
Their worst nightmare, as a veteran Jordanian diplomat once told Israeli colleagues during a private encounter, is that once the Palestinians are given control over the border, thousands of them from the future Palestinian state would pour into Jordan.
The Jordanians already have a "problem" with the fact that their kingdom's population consists of a Palestinian majority, which some say has reached over 80%. The last thing the Jordanians want is to see hundreds of thousands of Palestinians move from the West Bank or Gaza Strip into the kingdom.
Although the Jordanians are not part of the ongoing peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, they are hoping that Israel will not rush to abandon security control over its long border with the kingdom. Understandably, the Jordanian monarchy cannot go public with its stance for fear of being accused by Arabs and Muslims of treason and collaboration with the "Zionist enemy."
The Egyptians today know what the Jordanians have been aware of for a long time -- that a shared border with Fatah or Hamas or any other Palestinian group is a recipe for instability and anarchy.
King Abdullah is motivated by his instinct for self-preservation. We should be no less motivated by the same instinct.

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Why a terrorist release and not a 'settlement freeze'

As was the case the previous two times, a lot of Israelis are questioning why our government chose to release terrorists from prison rather than agreeing to an easily reversible 'settlement freeze.'

Eugene Kontorovich might have the answer.
Not allowing Jews to build houses in most of Jerusalem, in settlement blocs like Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, and elsewhere that would surely remain under Israel sovereignty sends one message: we have absolutely no right to be here. We are trespassers. It is one thing to say the Palestinians can have a state because of demographic reasons, international pressure, and so forth. It is another thing to say we are trespassers in the Old City of Jerusalem and Hebron, where Jews lived until being expelled by Arab armies and mobs. A settlement freeze in effect agrees to the 1967 lines as the basis for negotiations–which even if it were a good idea, is a lot more than a “gesture of good faith.” It is one thing to say these territories should become Palestinian territory. It is another to say Israel took them from the Palestinians, that they always were, as Abbas claims, Palestinian territory.
Of course, the way the narrative of the peace process is structured, Israel should not be surprised at the pay-to-play. And for this situation, the tireless proponents of “peace” bear primary responsibility. If, as the left argues, Israel needs peace more than the Palestinians need it, no wonder the Palestinians will charge Israel heavily for the privilege of giving them a state.
That is indeed why the Palestinian demands go far beyond the end of occupation or having an independent state. The right of return? What does that have to do with the end of occupation? A capital in Jerusalem, which no Arab state has had? An end to Jewish control over the Holy Basin? Nothing to do with an independent state. These are additional political add-ons. Sovereignty over the Jordan Valley? Ditto; almost no Arabs (or Jews) live there; control over it is a territorial demand rather than an independence-related one.
Interestingly, the Labor Party, while favoring a two-state solution, was until recently against icing the cake–against the division of Jerusalem, ceding sovereignty over Jerusalem, and a right of return. Yet in succeeding rounds of peace negotiations, they have accepted all three in some form. This erosion of their position is natural. Once peace is defined as an existential Israeli interest–once Israeli politicians have resorted to the cheap tactic of threatening apartheid and illegitimacy–there is nowhere back to go, only forward with endless concessions.
Read the whole thing.

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This is terrorism?

In what's being called a 'price tag' attack, three cars were burnt and a wall was covered with graffiti in Jalazoun, an Arab village in Samaria.
The cars were reportedly set on fire during the night, and sprayed onto a wall near the village was a message to the US Secretary of State John Kerry, saying "Regards to Kerry. to be continued."
Meretz MK Zany Zehava Gal-On thinks this is terrorism.
After the overnight vandalism, Meretz head Zahava Gal'on urged leaders to deem 'Price tag' attacks as acts of terrorism.

The attacks "constitute further evidence for the recent escalation price tag actions, and the urgent need to define them as terrorism immediately.
Really? How many people were killed? How many people were injured? How many people did they try to kill or injure?

It's property damage - vandalism. But terrorism? Save that inflammatory term for the real thing, R"L (God Save us). 

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Their Father in Heaven

Here's Yosef Chaim Shwekey with Avihem She'Ba'Shamayim (Their Father in Heaven).

Let's go to the videotape.

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London's Saint James Church promotes Christian torment in 'Palestine'

London's Saint James Church is running something called the 'Bethlehem Unwrapped' festival in the heart of London. As I have noted previously, the festival includes what claims to be a replica of Israel's 'security fence,' on which visitors are invited to scrawl graffiti.

The Church is actually doing a disservice to Christians in the Middle East, leaving aside whether what they are doing is also anti-Israel.
The decision by a Christian church to cooperate with Muslim Palestinians in an anti-Israel Christmas exhibit focusing on Bethlehem will be seen as incongruous by some, given the record of oppression of Christians by Palestinian Muslims in that city and elsewhere.
Under the Fatah and Hamas regimes in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the resident Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuses including “intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycott, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion,” notes writer Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld.
As a result of this persecution, the Christian population of Bethlehem went from a 60 percent majority in 1990 to a 40 percent minority in 2000, to about 15 percent of the city's total population five years ago.
It was estimated that in 2000-2007, more than one thousand Christians emigrated from the Bethlehem area annually and that only 10,000 to 13,000 Christians remained in the city by 2008.
According to international human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner, the crimes committed against Christian Arabs reflects their inferior social status in Islam, known as dhimmitude. 
"As dhimmis, Christians living in Palestinian-controlled territories are subjected to debilitating legal, political, cultural, and religious restrictions. Muslim groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad have built a culture of hatred upon the age-old foundations of Islamic society. Moreover, the PA has adopted Islamic law into its draft constitution.
"In such an environment, Christian Arabs have found themselves victims of prejudice and hate crimes," he explains. "Tens of thousands of Palestinian Christians have left their ancestral homes and emigrated. They flee to almost any country that will issue them a visa."
Weiner points out that the first Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman, Yasser Arafat, determined the policy that led to this demographic shift. "After the PA gained control of Bethlehem, it redistricted the municipal boundaries of the city. Arafat also defied tradition by appointing a Muslim governor of the city. The Bethlehem City Council, which by Palestinian law must have a Christian majority, has been taken over by Muslims. Eight of the fifteen seats on the Council are still reserved for Christians, but Hamas controls the City Council with some Christian allies. Arafat crowned his efforts when he converted the Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of Nativity into his official Bethlehem residence.
Read the whole thing

The festival is so hopelessly anti-Israel that the Israeli embassy in London has canceled its participation in a debate there.

The church's behavior is completely in keeping with the spirit in London. Here's a letter that our ambassador, Daniel Taub, recently had published in the Times of London (the paper is behind a paywall and all I have is the letter, which someone sent me by email).
‘Jack Straw refuses to countenance the possibility that anyone other than Israel might have a part to play in the plight of the Palestinians’
Sir, Jack Straw (Opinion, Dec 26) asserts that Palestinian shacks in the South Hebron hills are being gratuitously demolished by Israel while their residents are charged exorbitant sums for water.
In fact, although these structures were built without regard to planning permission, the Israeli authorities, which under the Israeli-Palestinian agreements are charged with responsibility for planning regulations in the area, invited the residents to submit a master plan to regularise the situation.
The proposed master plan which was submitted was rejected. Not, as Straw suggests, because of gratuitous harassment, but because the planning committee found that it did not provide adequately for welfare services for the residents, and in particular would deprive Palestinian women of access to educational and professional opportunities. The committee has invited the residents to make an amended application.
The price of water is determined by the Palestinian Water Authority, not by Israel. Jack Straw refuses to countenance the possibility that anyone other than Israel might have a part to play in the plight of the Palestinians. Far more damaging than the castigation of Israel, however, is the effect of such condescension and low expectations on the Palestinian side.
Ultimately, the most effective way of dealing with the issue of the South Hebron hills is for the two sides to reach a final status agreement. But ignoring the fact that the Palestinians too have responsibilities will not help bring that agreement closer.
Daniel Taub
Ambassador of Israel to the Court of St James’s

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Another San Antonio Spur from France does the Nazi quenelle with Dieudonne

In case you're wondering, there are nine more French players currently in the NBA other than Parker and Diaw.

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Guess who's a Fab 50 blogger!

YES!!!!! For the second year in a row, yours truly is a Fab 50 blogger, winning the Golda Meir Award for Best Israel Blogger! (Doug - maybe next year you might want to change it to the Menachem Begin award...).

Thanks to all of you who voted for me or were otherwise involved in my selection.

And congratulations to all the other winners!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Netanyahu gets tickled by a backbone

It's taken a long time - too long for my tastes - but it seems that Israel's Prime Minister might just be starting to discover that he has a backbone and that he can use it after all.

Israel's Channel 2 is reporting that the Prime Minister has informed the United States that Israel will not release 'Israeli Arab' terrorists as a gesture to the 'Palestinians,' but that it will release them in exchange for Jonathan Pollard.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel would not release any Israeli-Arab prisoners in the fourth and final release, Channel 2 reported on Monday night, citing an Israeli official.
Israel has been reluctant to release those prisoners that, unlike the Palestinian prisoners, live within the Green Line and have an Israeli ID.
Netanyahu has reportedly asked the Shin Bet and the Israeli Prisons Service to compile a list of other prisoners to replace the Israeli-Arab prisoners already on the list.
The Prime Minister's Office, however, said that Israel never committed itself at any stage to release Israeli Arabs. A decision to do so would entail another cabinet vote.
Why should we have to 'replace' anyone we take off the list? Especially in light of the next line...
The official told Channel 2 that Israel felt "deceived" by Kerry, who caved to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' demand to increase the number of prisoners released from 82 to 104, and led him to believe Israel would be willing to release prisoners with Israeli citizenship.
Why didn't Netanyahu say so six months ago? And since when have we outsourced our negotiations to John FN Kerry?

And then there's this.
Netanyahu reportedly told Kerry that while Israel was not willing to release Israeli-Arab prisoners as a gesture to the Palestinians, it would be willing to release them as a gesture to the US, in return for the release of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.
According to the report, Kerry has agreed to consider the proposal, but has yet to respond to it.
 Pollard is not going to go for that.

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Why IPO's and not M&A?

In an earlier post, I discussed the possibility that Israeli companies would be switching from being targets for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to trying to do initial public offerings (IPO's) in 2014. At the time, I speculated that all of the M&A that has been done in the last 8-10 years has been motivated by impatience and by the desire to cash in quickly.

That may well be the case, but there is also a strong incentive for Israeli companies to try to maintain their independence, and that was driven home to me this evening by stories I heard about two local companies that have been bought by foreigners - one recently and one several years ago.

The Israeli corporate culture is very different from the culture in the US. In Israeli companies, employees aren't afraid to speak to their bosses as equals. They don't expect massive layoffs for efficiency or because the company was profitable last year, 'but not profitable enough.' They don't want their businesses driven by analysts' expectations and they don't want to live in constant fear that the company will downsize.

Foreigners who have come here and bought companies have often tended to take the parts they want and shut down (rather than sell - which would at least leave people with jobs) the rest. I know one Israeli company that within a month saw its entire local operation shut down, the entire company moved to the US, and all the Israeli employees (including the founder!) fired. I know another Israeli company where employees have been told that they have to work four times as hard because they will have half the employees and must produce twice the output.

Israelis don't work that way. We are a family-centered society. We like to be home with our kids in the evening. We don't work on holidays. And as long as we're earning decent salaries and our companies are profitable (even if 'not as profitable as expected') we tend to be happy.

The way to keep that culture seems to militate toward staying independent and 'going public' rather than selling out completely and placing our corporations at the mercy of purchasers from abroad who think nothing of laying off women the day after they give birth, forcing employees to take off for Christmas (not a holiday here) or freezing salaries so that a promotion just means that you work harder.

The Israeli mentality tends to be that if you want our technology but you don't want our people, you won't get our technology either.

Expect to see a lot more of that in the coming year.

JMHO (Just my humble opinion).

And PS - I do both public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.

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Video: A year of MSNBC lowlights in 72 seconds

And now for your entertainment pleasure....

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Shy Guy via Hot Air).



Livni: 'If there are no 'Palestinian' partners for peace, make peace with aliens'

This conversation doesn't need a whole lot of comment.
Livni assailed the Right on Monday morning, criticizing the groups who send their families to establish new illegal outposts in the West Bank, implying that they endanger and encumber the IDF with defending them as well as misusing the state's funds which could otherwise be used to improve the inflated housing prices across the country.
The justice minister also said that she was angry with those who "are happy whenever they can say that there is no peace partner," so they tell us "do not even try."
She added that really these same groups would say that "even if there was a partner we should not give up one meter of land, because they are not really ready for any compromise."
"The question is not whether or not there is a partner [for peace]. We need to set a goal and act, and if there is no Palestinian partner - we must sign an agreement with the world," she said.
Livni's comments received a mocking response from Economy Minister Bennett who suggested that if the Palestinians are not partners for peace, Israel should make peace with aliens.

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What if 15 'Palestinians' died of hunger and no one cared?

It was just last week that Israel released a 'Palestinian' terrorist from jail to get him to end a 266-day hunger strike.
The terrorist, Samir Issawi, was sentenced to 26 years in prison for terrorism in 2002, and was set free as part of the 'terrorists for Gilad deal' in 2011. He was rearrested for engaging in terrorism again. Now, he has been released again....
In 2002 Issawi was sentenced to 26 years in jail for terrorism, going free after a mere 10 years in the deal to free Gilad Shalit. After signing a promise not to return to terrorist activities, Issawi promptly broke those conditions and was rearrested in August 2012.
After 8 months of hunger striking, Issawi was admitted to an Israeli hospital, and offered an arrangement to stop his hunger strike and go home after 8 more months of imprisonment. Issawi agreed to the deal, and was subsequently freed this week to his Jerusalem home.
Issawi was released because of international pressure brought to bear on Israel to release the terrorist. 

Similarly, the 'international community' rushes to decry the 'blockade' of Gaza and to send 'flotillas' of supplies to help its 'poor, starving' people.

But when 15 'Palestinians' starve to death, you don't read about it in the New York Times or the Guardian. You have to go to Maan to read about it. Because these 15 'Palestinians' weren't in Gaza and they weren't in the 'West Bank.' They were in Syria.
At least 15 Palestinians have died of hunger since September in a besieged refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees told AFP on Monday.

"Reports have come in over the weekend that at least five Palestinian refugees in the besieged refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus have died because of malnutrition, bringing the total number of reported cases to 15," UN Relief and Works Agency spokesman Chris Gunness told AFP.

He warned of a deteriorating situation in the camp, where some 20,000 Palestinians are trapped, with limited food and medical supplies.

"Since September 2013 we have been unable to enter the area to deliver desperately needed relief supplies," Gunness said.

"The continued presence of armed groups that entered the area at the end of 2012 and its closure by government forces have thwarted all our humanitarian efforts."

Most of the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus is under the control of the armed opposition, and it has been under a siege by troops loyal to President Bashar Assad for around a year.
Nothing to see here.... Just Muslims killing Muslims.... 

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Shame on the State of Israel

There's a list of the terrorists being released at 1:00 am on Tuesday - and their crimes - here.

Shame on the State of Israel for releasing this scum of the earth.

May each and every one of the terrorists die a slow and painful death as soon as possible.

And shame on Barack Hussein Obama and John FN Kerry for pressuring Israel to release these fiends. But they're secondary to the shame of the Israeli government itself, which at least ought to own its actions.

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'I'm glad my son's murderers have not been found'

What a powerful indictment of the Israeli government's deer-in-the-headlights approach to releasing terrorists.
Please, Israeli government, I beg you: Don’t go looking for my son’s killers. The ones who cruelly beat Koby and Yosef to death with rocks, the barbarians who attacked two eighth grade boys —  my son and his friend — who were on a hike near our home in Israel. Please don’t find them. Don’t apprehend them and put them in jail and make my family and me sit through a long trial and sentencing, where my heart will quake and my stomach will constrict and I will feel that I am about to faint. 
Don’t find them guilty and put them in jail. Because I don’t want the torture of knowing that these killers will find their way to freedom one day, will be greeted by their mothers with hugs, while my son and Yosef lie in the ground. I could not bear to go through what 26 Israeli families are going through today: betrayal by the government that is supposed to protect them.  
As a bereaved mother, it is difficult to speak out. It hurts. Yet a group of bereaved mothers created an organization called Forever Mothers. We visited the Knesset last week to lobby against the prison release. Tali Ben Yishai is a member of our group. Her daughter Ruthie and her son-in-law and three grandchildren, including a three-month-old baby, were murdered when a terrorist broke into their house close to midnight and stabbed them all to death in their beds. It is conceivable that one day their murderer could be released. After all, today the Israeli government is releasing the murderers of Rachel Weiss who along with her three children was killed in a bus bombing. As the bus burned, she tried to get her children off. A soldier who was on the bus, on his way home, David Delerosa, tried to help her but the bus exploded before they could exit. They were burned to death.
Shira Avraham, a member of Forever Mothers, knows what happens when terrorists are released. Her nine-month-old baby Shaked was murdered in her home by a terrorist who had been released in a former deal. He broke into Shira’s home the night of the festive meal of Rosh Hashanah, and murdered her baby and the friend who was holding her.
At our meeting, one of the few Knesset members who attended said, “It’s a disgrace that you bereaved mothers have to come fight for your children. It is the government that should be protecting you.”
He is right. It should not be bereaved families leading this fight. The government should be protecting the most vulnerable families. In addition, every Israeli citizen should be protesting.

Read it all.

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Wow: Lebanese Armed Forces fire on Syrian warplanes

The Lebanese Armed Forces have fired on Syrian warplanes, which were likely firing on Syrian rebels who were escaping to Lebanon.

It was the first time since the outbreak of the Syria's conflict three years ago that the Lebanese military took action to prevent Syrian warplanes from violating its airspace.

Syrian forces have fired toward Lebanon in the past, trying to deter rebels from fleeing to the neighboring country or from sheltering in Lebanese border towns.

The Lebanese officials say the military opened anti-aircraft fire at two Syrian warplanes on Monday after the aircraft bombed a border area close to the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal.
Faster, faster. 

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At least someone gets something

Defense Minister Moshe "Boogie" Yaalon got it partly right:
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on Monday said that if compromises in peace negotiations would lead to "rockets from Nablus, Ramallah and Jenin on to Ben-Gurion Airport, then I would rather have a European boycott" on Israel.

Ya'alon also addressed Sunday's rocket attack from Lebanon. Despite Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's assigning responsibility to Lebanon and Hezbollah, the defense minister implied that preliminary information indicated that the attack was perpetrated by Sunnis fighting Hezbollah in Syria who hoped to fool Israel into retaliating against Hezbollah.

Elaborating on his comments about rockets and boycotts, he said that wide-eyed and naïve people in the West and even some Israelis constantly press the state that "peace must happen immediately" though he listed many life problems which take time to resolve and must be managed patiently.

Assailing the West as "paternalistic," Ya'alon said that instead of them explaining to him, with all of his experience on the ground, how he misunderstands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we need "to explain to Europe why they're wrong."

He also complained that some in the West were what he considered obsessed with solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the solution to all problems in the Middle East when really he said that it is currently clear that "problems in Tunisia and Egypt have nothing to do with us."
He's right about all of this. But then he comes up with....
Regarding the Palestinians he said, "we don’t want to rule over them," but said the focus should be helping them improve the Palestinians "economy, government, institutions, courts, and most importantly education."
Gevald! They made their own mess - let them lie in it. 

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Building in Jerusalem is about Jewish rights

A great piece on building in Jerusalem by Nadav Shragai (who, incredibly, used to write for Haaretz!) in Israel HaYom.

We've almost forgotten, but Zionism was formed in Zion. Building in Jerusalem -- the manifestation of the Jewish right to return to the homeland -- is Zionism. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his European counterparts may not applaud those sentiments, but its high time we got used to that. More importantly -- Kerry has, for months, been speaking to us in one language, the language of security and security arrangements. We need to remind Kerry that Jews are living in Jerusalem and other cities and towns in Israel because of our bond and right to the land itself, not for the sake of security. We absolutely need to hold a discussion with Kerry and his counterparts about Jewish rights. That's what the Palestinians have done and that's what we need to do. Security is indeed a goal in and of itself, but it's also a means, and we tend to ignore that fact. Building in Jerusalem is the perfect reminder that we are living here in Israel not simply thanks to our might (which is extremely important), but more importantly by the might of our right.
Whether or not we release terrorists from prison, we must speed up our building in and around Jerusalem for other reasons as well. There's a struggle in the city and its environs that the public does not know about. That struggle is going to determine whether Israel could divide Jerusalem -- as the Left so desires -- or not. As Israelis and Palestinians compete to develop various parts of the city (most Palestinian development is illegal), urban contiguity is called into question. 
Take, for example, the Jewish neighborhood in Shimon Hatzadik-Sheikh Jarrah, which is only half finished. The city, under government orders, has halted construction. Once complete, the community would connect the neighborhoods of Ramot Eshkol and Maalot Dafna with Mount Scopus, where the Hadassah Medical Center and Hebrew University are located. If we don't tighten our grip on Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon Hatzadik, the Palestinians are going to do it themselves, bolstering their claims to the area as part of a final arrangement. Disconnecting Mount Scopus from the rest of Jerusalem -- before 1967 it was tiny enclave administered by the U.N. -- is one of the possible outcomes of that scenario.
The picture is similar over the hills between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim (inside the E1 zone). The U.S. has so far prevented Israel from building there, but the consequences of that decision are acute: Either there will be contiguous Israeli development from west to east, connecting Maaleh Adumim to Jerusalem, or contiguous Palestinian development from north to south, which would sever Maaleh Adumim from the capital. In the meantime, the Israelis have stopped building, while the Bedouin, encouraged by the Palestinians to disregard the Israeli authorities, are continuing to build. Even the fragile Israeli link between downtown Jerusalem and the string of neighborhoods Israel built up after 1967 is not secure. Between the two, there are swaths of land that, lacking Israeli development, the Palestinians will utilize. 
Housing in the capital is also a pressing matter. Some 18,000 Jews leave the city every year. Prices have skyrocketed because of the great demand and minimal supply. The Arabs also use the demographic angle to their advantage -- the Jewish majority is shrinking all the time. For these reasons and more, when Israel decides to build, it needs to be in the direction of Jerusalem.

Read the whole thing.

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11-year old terror victim: Why are they releasing murderers?

11-year old Roi Fogel, whose parents and three siblings were murdered by 'Palestinian' terrorists in March 2011, is asking why his government is releasing murderers.
The 11-year-old boy, who survived the brutal terror attack, asked this question over this past Sabbath, as he was celebrating his birthday.
Elihai Ben-Yishai, Roi’s uncle and the brother of Ruth Fogel hy”d, recalled his nephew’s remarks in a conversation on Sunday with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. The conversation took place as Barkat visited the bereaved families protesting outside the Prime Minister's residence. 
"My nephew asked why the State of Israel releases terrorists back to Judea and Samaria, when half of them resume terrorist activities? Why do they do it? The 11-year-old child understands what this government does not understand. My nephew really does not understand the government's decision,” Ben-Yishai told Barkat.
"It's a shame. The wheel is spinning and no one is stopping it,” he added. “A terrorist who killed a family or a baby will do it again and the State conveys the message that there is no problem with committing murders. I have no words.”
"They kill civilians and are later released with a master's degree into Jerusalem. They can reach anywhere in the city. I am concerned and I am full of shame," said Ben Yishai with rage.
Roi, eldest son of Udi and Ruth Fogel, was at home during the 2011 massacre in Itamar. As the terrorists brutally murdered his parents and siblings, Roi lay under a blanket in the living room.
The terrorists did not notice that there was someone under the blanket, and his life was spared.
There are a lot of smart 11-year olds who are much wiser than the Israeli government. I have one in my house too....

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San Antonio Spurs point guard caught giving Nazi quenelle salute

Now we'll see how the NBA deals with this.

The guy on the right in the picture above is the San Antonio Spurs' star point guard Tony Parker, who is - you guessed it - French. And he's a friend of Dieudonne, who is pictured on the left....
According to Fox News, the Simon Wiesenthal Center is demanding on Monday that Parker, the star point guard for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs, apologize for making the "quenelle," a hand gesture which is considered the Nazi sign in reverse.
The gesture was made famous in France by controversial comedian Dieudonné, whom French authorities are considering banning due to what they say are his repeated insults of the memory of the Holocaust. A picture of the comedian and Parker doing the quenelle has been circulating on social media.
The Spurs are at home the rest of this week, but the next time they go to New York or LA, Parker should get quite a greeting.

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Birds' tune

Here's Shlomo Katz with Nigun of the Birds (Birds' tune). Here's what he says about it:
After not being able to fall asleep, I began walking toward the Holy Wall at dawn. This is what I heard from the birds chirping away.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Oh my: Look who else gives Nazi salute

French soccer player Nicolas Anelka posted the picture above to defend himself from charges of giving the Quenelle modified Nazi salute on a British soccer pitch on Saturday. Recognize anyone (Hat Tip: Sunlight)?
After making the “quenelle” salute, regarded as a neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic gesture, to celebrate scoring a goal in the English Premier League on Saturday, Anelka posted a picture of Obama, rapper Jay Z, and his wife singer Beyonce making a similar gesture.
But of course, Obama couldn't have done THAT, could he?
Obama and the two star performers were in fact posing for a picture doing the well-known “brush off the shoulders” hip-hop move at a NYC fundraiser, which has no connection to the quenelle.
No, of course, they were just brushing off dandruff.

And besides, Anelka has a history of this stuff.
Israel’s Sport 2 TV Channel, which broadcast the game and whose commentator condemned Anelka for the signal, said the soccer player had previously been photographed with Dieudonné making the salute.

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Iran shows 'true intentions'

Senator Robert Menendez called for new sanctions against Iran on Sunday, saying that the mullahcracy had showed its true intentions by developing a faster centrifuge.

Let's go to the videotape.

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

You mean it was 'symbolic'?

Israel's Ministerial Legislative Committee voted 8-3 on Sunday to advance a bill to annex the Jordan Valley. Now, I've explained before why the Jordan Valley is not going to be annexed in the foreseeable future (even though it ought to be along with the rest of Judea and Samaria. Still, I never thought until now that the bill was actually 'symbolic.'
In a show of support for the Jordan Valley which the Palestinians claim should be an essential part of their state, the Ministerial Legislative Committee voted 8 to 3 to annex it to Israel.
Justice Minister Tizpi Livni (Hatenua) and three Yesh Atid politicians, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Health Minister Yael German and Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri have all said they will appeal the vote.
Such an appeal places the matter directly into the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a move which many believes effectively kills the legislation, which can be revoted only with his approval.
The bill, which was sponsored by MK Miri Regev (Likud) had the support of ministers from her party as well as those from Yisrael Beiteinu and Bayit Yehudi.
Livni and Lapid accused the ministers of attempting to foil the peace talks with the Palestinians by supporting a bill that had no chance of passing.
“This is an irresponsible bill and those who support it are irresponsible,” said Livni.
“It is a proposal that harms the state of Israel and isolates it," she said. “It is also designed to harm the government because this is a matter of government policy and not [the subject] for a private bill," Livni said.
Does the Knesset still play a role in running this country? Or is it reduced to accepting the diktats of Netanyahu, Livni and Lapid? 

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New report shows Israeli government conspiring to maintain Wakf control over Temple Mount

I saw this report last week, and unfortunately thought it was just another report about about how the Muslims are destroying priceless Jewish archaeology on the Temple Mount (see picture above). Sadly, there's more to it than that.

In 2008, Israel's state comptroller produced a report that was highly critical of the State's handling of the Temple Mount. The issues involved included the aforementioned destruction, the prevention of Jewish prayer on the Mount (which as some of you may recall is not something my rabbis permit me to do), and the general control that the Muslim Wakf exercises on the Mount.

From 2008 (during the Olmert government) to 2010 (during the Netanyahu government), the government managed to force the comptroller to cut out two thirds of the report. In 2010, the Netanyahu government convinced a Knesset subcommittee that the report should be buried out of 'national security' and 'foreign policy' concerns.

The report has been buried for three years. Last week, it showed up on a website called The Jewish Voice of New York. Parts of the report have also been translated into English on that site, and they are truly shocking. Moshe Dayan apparently continues to determine Israel's approach to the Temple Mount from his grave.

This is from the first link.
The following report issued by the Israeli government is of a previously classified nature. It reveals the terrifying truth about the Israeli conspiracy to relinquish control of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount to hands of the Muslim Waqf. Each past of this report provides a detailed account of the methods taken by the Waqf to vanquish the inextricable ties that the Jewish people have to Jerusalem. As a place that is of significant holiness to Jews around the globe; the Waqf has strictly forbidden Jews to pray there and they enforce their draconian decrees against Jews with a palpable zeal. The photo that accompany this article graphically depict the massive and well orchestrated Muslim campaign to maintain sole autonomy of the Temple Mount; with the clandestine cooperation of the Israeli government.
I'm embedding the parts that are in English for your convenience.

Here's a second part:

Will we wake up in time?

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Video: Shock and awe in Beirut

On Friday morning, Mohammed Shattah, an adviser to former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri - who was assassinated himself in 2005 - was assassinated in downtown Beirut.

MEMRI has posted video of the reaction during the morning television show of Future TV, whose studios are near the blast site. It's worth watching.

Let's go to the videotape.

Notice how she immediately assumes it was Israel's doing....

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OJ vows to find real killers UNIFIL vows to find rocket shooters

UNIFIL vowed to find the terrorists who shot four Katyusha rockets at Israel early Sunday morning. This is from the first link.
After the projectiles landed in Israel near the norther city of Kiryat Shmona and the ensuing IDF response of massive artillery fire, UNIFIL head, Commander Major-General Paolo Serra immediately contacted the Lebanese Armed Forces and the IDF.
Serra said, “This is a very serious incident in violation of UN Security Council resolution 1701 and is clearly directed at undermining stability in the area. UNIFIL’s first imperative is to ensure that there is no further escalation of the situation and I have been assured by the parties of their full cooperation with UNIFIL in this effort and of their continued commitment to the cessation of hostilities.”
He added, “Our troops on the ground are working with the Lebanese Armed Forces to reinforce security and locate the rocket launching site. UNIFIL has intensified its patrols across our area of operations to prevent any further incidents.”
“It is of paramount importance to identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this attack and we will spare no efforts to this end working in cooperation with the Lebanese Armed Forces.”
Israel Radio reported on Sunday afternoon that the Lebanese Armed Forces had located the rocket launchers used by the terrorists.

Maybe if UNIFIL had reasonable engagement rules they might actually have a chance of being effective.  But then, given who negotiated UN Security Council Resolution 1701 for Israel, the rules' ineffectiveness was all but guaranteed.

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'Palestinians' seethe over delayed terrorist release

The 'Palestinians' are seething over a technical delay in the release of 26 terrorists that is now scheduled for 1:00 am Tuesday (it seems that someone forgot that the cabinet will not convene on the Sabbath to give 48 hours' notice of a terrorist release).
Palestinian officials condemned Sunday the "Israeli blackmail" that led to the postponement of the release of 26 Palestinian security prisoners in one day.
The prisoners were scheduled to be released on Monday night at 1 a.m., but technical issues forced the postponement to Tuesday at 1 a.m.
"The prisoner release is a right, and it is our people's right to see its sons back with their families," PA Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Karaka said.
Karka threatened to go to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague in response to "the Israeli government's postponement of the release of the third group of prisoners, as agreed on in a deal mediated by the Americans."
He also accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government of "trying to blackmail the Palestinian Authority using the prisoners issue."
Speaking at a Ramallah rally for the release of the prisoners, Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud al-Aloul said the PA "paid a heavy price for the release of the Palestinian prisoners."
While Aloul did not elaborate on the aforementioned price, he stressed that "the prisoner release is a Palestinian right, since these are the freedom fighters of the Palestinian people."
 Their 'right'? Arrogance. Pure arrogance.

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A picture worth 1,000 words

For the Hebrew impaired....

The sign on the left is an advertisement for a discount supermarket, whose message says "Jerusalemites, no matter what you buy, you'll always get out cheap. The sign on the right is against the terrorist release and tells the Ministers of Israel's government to be ashamed of themselves because "only Israel frees terrorists."


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Supreme Court keeps Vanunu in Israel

Israel's Supreme Court ruled on Sunday that convicted nuclear traitor Mordechai Vanunu may not leave Israel.
The High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected the petition of Mordechai Vanunu, the man who leaked information regarding Israel’s reported nuclear weapons program in 1986, to leave the country via the West Bank.

The court said that while it agreed with Vanunu that his situation should be examined periodically and with rigor to ensure that restrictions on him were not being maintained unnecessarily, it believed the state had met its standard of proof for maintaining the restrictions at this time.

At Wednesday's hearing on the issue, Vanunu’s lawyer, the charismatic and colorful Avigdor Feldman, thundered away at the state, saying, “This man is not allowed to leave a country that does not want him in it and in which he does not want to be.”

He added that Vanunu merely wanted to leave the country to marry his girlfriend and live out his life quietly.

Vanunu was formerly a technician at the Dimona nuclear plant who was imprisoned for 18 years for divulging secrets related to Israel’s purported nuclear weapons program.

Since his release from prison in 2004, Vanunu has had a range of highly unusual restrictions placed on his movement and his right to interact with other persons, particularly foreigners and the press.

The High Court has numerous times approved these restrictions, and Vanunu has numerous times violated them, sometimes being temporarily penalized or reprimanded.
Could someone traveling abroad please bring this man some deodorant on their return? That stuff is very expensive here.... 

Actually, Vanunu is lucky he wasn't executed.

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A dream worth having?

The only problem with this dream is the third line under the masthead.... It's gaffetastic!

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Who will make the delivery?

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has ordered the immediate delivery of emergency food supplies to the besieged 'Palestinian refugee' in Yarmouk, Syria (Hat Tip: IMRA).
President Mahmoud Abbas ordered Saturday dispatch of immediate food supplies to Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria due to the difficult situation the camp is going through.

Abbas ordered Palestine’s ambassador to Syria and other official parties to immediately act to facilitate entry of these supplies.
The president’s decision came following reports that five Palestinian refugees have died of hunger in the besieged camp.
Yarmouk has been under siege by the Syrian army for several months. No one has been allowed in or out of the camp since then, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, UNRWA, which is responsible for all Palestinian refugee camps in the region.
UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi said... that the situation has progressively deteriorated since the camp, the largest refugee camp in Syria, was engulfed in the Syria conflict a year ago and that 20,000 Palestinians remain trapped inside it.
“Although very alarming reports of hardship and hunger have continued to multiply, since September 2013 we have been unable to enter the area to deliver desperately needed relief supplies,” he said.
Who does Abu Bluff think is going to deliver these supplies? The IDF?

But worse, Abu Bluff is actually the cause of this situation. Israel offered to allow all of the 'Palestinians' in this 'refugee camp' re-settle in Judea and Samaria, provided that they waive any 'right of return' they might otherwise be entitled to receive. Abu Bluff turned down the offer a year ago without even asking the potential beneficiaries if it was of interest to them.

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Mothers of terror victims oppose terrorist releases

The picture above comes from a story in Yedioth Aharonoth (and from its Facebook page) about mothers of terror victims who are opposed to the release of 'Palestinian' terrorists.

From left to right, the mothers are Shira Avraham, Chaya Rond, Sherrie Mandel, Ruti-Rina Ishran and Tali Ben Yishai.

For the Hebrew-impaired, Shira Avraham is the mother of Shaked HY"D (May God Avenge her blood), who was murdered in Negohot (home of Avigdor Liberman) at the age of seven months. Her daughter's murderer was released from jail before trial(!) and was subsequently liquidated participating in another terror attack.

Chaya Rond is the mother of Erez HY"D, who was murdered in 2002 in the Arab village of Senjal. Her son's murderer was sentenced to three life terms.

Sherrie Mandel is the mother of Koby Mandel HY"D (as in Camp Koby for terror victims' families). Koby was murdered with his friend and classmate Yossi Ish Ran in 2001 in a cave near Tekoa as they prepared a bonfire for Lag BaOmer. Koby was 13. His murderers were never caught.

Ruti-Rina Ish Ran is the mother of Yosef Ish Ran HY"D (see also above).

Tali Ben Yishai is the mother of Ruti Fogel HY"D, the mother-in-law of Udi Fogel HY"D and the grandmother of Yoav, Elad and Hadas Fogel HY"D, who were murdered in Itamar in 2011. Her offspring's murderers are serving 130 years each in jail.

While some of you might think that these ladies' actions are cathartic, there's more to it than that. A group called the Four Mothers, which was founded in 1997, managed to force Israel's (foolish) withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. If the Left can do it, why can't the Right? (Answer: The Left automatically gets sympathetic media coverage).

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New York Times presents Obama lies on Benghazi as 'news'

The New York Times has published a 'report' that claims that the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was the result of an anti-Islam video that was posted on the internet.

How non-credible is this report?

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: David K).

You don't think that the Obama administration ordered this report, do you?

Consider this: The Democratic National Committee sent out emails on Saturday night, urging recipients to support Democrats in next fall's Congressional elections to keep the Republicans from impeaching President Obama (Hat Tip: Jack W).
The email, subject line “Impeachment,” was sent to Obama for America supporters, imploring them to contribute to the DNC’s 2014 efforts. “What do these people all have in common?,” the email asked, featuring quotes from Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, and Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas discussing the possibility of impeaching Obama for one of his numerous instances of presidential misconduct.
The DNC email discussed the “I-Word” and said that “Republicans are actually excited about the idea.”
“Show these Republicans that they are way, way off-base, and give President Obama a Congress that has his back,” according to the DNC email, noting that Democrats need to win 17 GOP House seats to reclaim a majority.
The DNC, which recently expanded its political tactics to include boycotting independent news outlets, previously supported the last president to be impeached: Bill Clinton.
Obama’s staff changed key talking points on the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack; his Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle; and Obama personally lied to the American people when he told them that they could keep their existing doctors and health insurance plans under Obamacare.
Obama’s expansion of executive branch authority is “setting the stage for something very dangerous in the future” according to Republican Rep. Justin Amash.
Not to mention that Obama is promoting the very dangerous agreement which will lead to a nuclear Iran, and are trying to pummel the United States' sole reliable ally in the Middle East into endangering its security....

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French soccer player gives Nazi salute

French soccer player Nicolas Anelka, who plays for the British West Bromwich Albion team, may be facing a lengthy ban (not lengthy enough) after giving a Nazi salute as a goal scoring celebration in a British Soccer League game on Saturday.
The 34-year-old striker thrust his straightened right arm downwards while tapping his bicep with the other hand after scoring a goal in a game in Britain between his West Bromwich Albion team and West Ham United.
The gesture - an imitation of a salute frequently used by a French comedian friend of Anelka's who has been convicted several times for anti-Semitic public comments - was immediately and widely condemned.
France's sports minister, Valerie Fourneyron, called it a "shocking, sickening provocation" and said there is "no place for anti-Semitism and inciting hatred on the football pitch".
British media reported that the Football Association was investigating the incident, while the European Jewish Congress demanded English Premier League officials ban Anelka.
"This salute is merely a lesser known Nazi salute and we expect the same kind of punishment to be handed down by the authorities as if Anelka had made the infamous outstretched arm salute," said European Jewish Congress president Moshe Kantor in a statement.
Online, a storm brewed, with some Twitter users calling Anelka, a former member of France's national team, "loathsome" and "racist".
Anelka himself took to Twitter to try to defuse the row, saying in messages in French and in English: "This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonne."
West Bromwich Albion's coach, Keith Downing, echoed that in a post-match press conference in which he said the footballer was "totally surprised" by the backlash.
Anelka's salute, Downing said, was "dedicated to a French comedian he knows very, very well... He is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around."
Either the coach is a fool or he is a damned liar - either way he should be suspended as well. French courts have fined Dieudonne seven times for anti-Semitism - including this gesture - and he may yet be banned from performing in France.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls released a statement Saturday in which he said he would seek to ban Dieudonné's performances altogether.
"Despite a conviction for public defamation, hate speech and racial discrimination, Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala no longer seems to recognize any limits," the statement, read, according to France 24.
"Consequently, the interior minister has decided to thoroughly examine all legal options that would allow a ban on Dieudonné’s public gatherings, which no longer belong to the artistic domain, but rather amount to a public safety risk."
It's long past time. 

Much more here.

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London's Saint James Church makes 'replica wall' in Picadilly Circus

Picadilly Circus is one of London's most visible locations. Saint James Church, which is located in the area, has created a 'replica wall' (can you guess which wall) right in the center of the Circus.

Let's go to the videotape (stay with me after the video).

British Oleh (immigrant) Michael Dickson has written an open letter to the church's pastor.
Dear Pastor Winkett and St. James Church staff,
What a mean-spirited, one-sided and divisive stunt you chose to politicise your church with this Christmas.
In an ideal world there would be no walls.
In an ideal world there would also be no suicide bombers – radical Islamist Palestinians who hate the Jews that live close to them so much that they are willing to indiscriminately kill them and others – be it in a shopping centre, disco, pizza restaurant or if they are sitting at their Passover Seder.
Be in no doubt that Israel built a security barrier only after enduring a wave of horrific terrorism that left thousands dead and maimed for life.
Your completely partial representation of the situation negates their loss of life and shows gross insensitivity to their families – and by extension to all Israelis and the Jewish community in the UK, none of whom were untouched by these murders.
Be in no doubt also that the only reason that this vicious terrorism has died down is not because the extremists stopped trying, but because they are prevented to get to their intended victims.
That includes, by the way, me and my children.
We are Brits who moved to Israel. We are only safe because we have security on our buses (an attempted bombing took place last week), our schools and public places.

Ask yourself this: if you lived in Israel and you knew that mere miles away from you there were people who wanted to blow up your family, or slaughter them in their beds as with the Fogel Family massacre – what would YOU do? As peace-loving as you or I may be, if you are honest you would consider that to protect your family, you would want your government to build a wall. And if they didn’t you might want to build one yourself.
I desperately want peace. I need peace, because I live here in Israel.
Therefore I educate my kids to want and pursue peace.
I wish that Palestinian children – who watch anti-Jewish rhetoric daily on Palestinian Authority-controlled TV – will be taught the same. Those children deserve more than the leadership they have and the terrorists and Islamists that are in their midst.
 Read the whole thing.

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Murderer of 16 Israelis among latest group of terrorists to be freed

Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad, who murdered 16 Israelis, headlines the list of terrorists to be freed by the Israeli government on Tuesday morning as yet another 'gesture' to the 'Palestinian Authority.' Israel Radio reports that US Secretary of State John FN Kerry has delayed his arrival in the region until Wednesday to ensure that the terrorists are actually released.
The list was made public shortly after the cabinet approved the list of the terrorists who will be freed. The terrorists are expected to be freed on Monday.
The names are posted 48 hours before the release takes place, so that bereaved families and others who are opposed to the release of terrorists may appeal to the Supreme Court. However, the court typically rejects the appeals.
One of the terrorists on the list, Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad, was convicted of the murders of 16 Israelis. He was arrested in 1993, just two weeks after the signing of the Oslo Accords.
Among the terrorists to be released one can also find Yakoub Muhammad Ouda Ramadan and Afana Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad, who were involved in the stabbing death of 38-year-old Sara Sharon, a mother of seven, in Netanya in January of 1993.
Abu al Rub Mustafa Mahmoud Faisal, a terrorist who murdered Yoram Cohen in Jenin in September of 1991, will be released as well.
Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal, one of the murderers of Steven Frederick Rosenfeld, will be released as well. Rosenfeld was murdered in 1989 as he went hiking near the city of Ariel.
Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal, who murdered 76-year-old Shlomo Yahya in September of 1991, will be released in this batch. Yahya, a gardener in Moshav Kadima, was stabbed to death as he came out to work in his garden.
The latest release comes despite protests by the families of victims of terrorists and their supporters, who have held rallies outside of the Prime Minister's residence as part of a campaign to halt the release in light of continued terrorist attacks by Arab groups.
I'm assuming that the government is saving the worst murderers for last. Can you imagine what must be awaiting in the fourth group if Ali Ahmad is being released now?

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