At first, it was just a trickle, a misguided throw-away line here and there, easily ignored. Then it started picking up momentum, showing up in one Israeli commentary after another. And now, it is conventional wisdom in the Israeli press and public that the U.S. election is already over, that polls show President Obama’s re-election is inevitable, and that Republican Mitt Romney might as well throw in the towel now.
Of course, this is nonsense. It is based on the most superficial reading of the most superficial polls. In fact, as described below, while poll results are all over the map, the most historically accurate pollsters consider the race tied. (Read more…)
The key phrase in Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly today didn’t mention Israel. He had promised Jewish leaders he would recognize Jewish rights to the land that is disputed by Israelis and Palestinians. He moved a little closer to such recognition with his mention of the ties of the three monotheistic religions to the country and did say he didn’t want to delegitimize Israel–though much of his speech was clearly aiming at just such a goal. But the most important sentence was the one where he complained about the Palestinians being moved “to the bottom of the global agenda.” He then went on to claim that the PA alone was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians and that there could not be two such bodies. (Read more…)
Theirs could be the latest battle in the ongoing war over building on private land and its place at the heart of the conflict on both sides of the Green Line….“Does the government have a consistent policy of dealing with land that is privately owned or do they have double-standards?
Mark Ismailoff, who moved to Israel from the UK in 1979, lives in Jerusalem. But his sights are on the Negev, where he owns 6.25 percent of a 640,000-square meter plot of land southeast of Beersheba that he inherited from his grandfather – who bought it in 1935. (Read more…)
Is it really true, as much of the European and American press have been reporting for years, that Jewish “settlers” in the “West Bank” (more properly known as Judea and Samaria) are living on land that they have stolen from Palestinian Arabs?
This is in fact utterly impossible. Every time that the Israeli government has proposed or given tentative approval for the construction of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, it has first advertised its intentions in Arab newspapers, and invited any Arabs who have claims to the land to come forward with them. Only if no such claims were put forward for at least six months; or if, after such claims were made, the Israeli court system had ruled against them following a painstaking and thorough review of the facts, in which the courts bent over backwards to be fair to all Arab claimants, did the Israeli government actually authorize the construction of Jewish communities in this disputed area. Israeli courts have forbidden the Israel government from confiscating any Arab-owned land for Jewish settlement since 1980. And the Israel government has not authorized any new settlements since the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” began in 1993. (Read more…)
The sabotage of the Fordo uranium enrichment facility’s power lines on Aug. 17 gave Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu extra leeway to move his original red line for Iran from late September 2012 – now – to the spring or early summer of 2013. The disruption of the underground enrichment plant’s power supply caused several of the advanced IR-1 and IR-4 centrifuges producing the 20-percent grade uranium to burst into flames. Work was temporarily halted and the accumulation of 240 kilos for Iran’s first nuclear bomb slowed down by at least six months, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report. (Read more…)
September has witnessed a massive—and potentially irreversible—shift in strategy among segments of Jordan’s opposition movement: a number of political activists are now openly and repeatedly calling for a limitation of the monarchy’s powers—with a small (though extremely vocal) minority even explicitly calling for the abdication of King Abdullah II. In a strikingly blunt statement by the organizers of the 8 September protest in East Amman’s Haya al-Tafileh neighborhood—who gathered in response to arrest of a number of fellow activists a day prior and later reorganized on September 11 and 13 at Amman’s Interior Ministry Circle and Second Circle—accusations struck at the king’s carefully curated international image as a modern, democracy-building reformer. Their Facebook statement reads, in part: “You are disguised in the costume of freedom and democracy, while hiding inside of you is absolute fascism and control over the destiny of this country and the livelihood of its people. We can no longer be patient with this repression of our arrested sons, with no guilt other than demanding freedom and social justice for all Jordanians, and fighting corruption that is royally sponsored.” [Full Arabic original and English translation available here] (Read more…)
In the dead of night, convicted GITMO detainee, Canadian al Qaeda fighter Omar Khadr was flown back to Canada by the US and immediately clapped into a Federal Canadian prison, with the likelihood of parole within a year to walk freely on the streets of Toronto. We have posted on the saga of former child warrior for al Qaeda Omar Khadr who killed his American Special Forces medic SFC Christopher Speer at the battle for the Al Qaeda bastion at Khost Afghanistan in July 2002. He was captured and treated for his injuries at the Bagram Air base medical facility. (See: “Omar Khadr’s Hail Mary (Allah) Pass at GITMO Tribunal” April 2011) He was then sent to Guantanamo at the age of 15 to spend eight years in detention until his military tribunal and conviction for the murder of Speers in October 2010. (Read more…)
Several weeks ago the historic Levy Report declared that Judea and Samaria are not “occupied,” and that Israelis have the legal right to live in the area. The ground-breaking report was welcomed by the political right.
In the 1940s, when the Jews in America woke up to the unspeakable horror that their very own relatives or fellow-Jews in Germany, Poland, Vichy France and all over Europe were being savagely, grotesquely, sadistically murdered by Hitler, aided and gleefully abetted by the Muslim Brotherhood…sound familiar?, and that—worse to them—their hero FDR knew about Hitler’s slaughtering rampage but failed to take a moment from puffing tobacco through his pretentious cigarette holder to save them, they went into a period of sustained mourning. (Read more…)
“Don’t boo, vote,” President Obama often says in his stump speech whenever crowds boo a Romney plan.
The off-hand call to vote may be by design. It comes amid a precipitous decline in Democratic voter registration in key swing states — nowhere more apparent than in Ohio.
Voter registration in the Buckeye State is down by 490,000 people from four years ago. Of that reduction, 44 percent is in Cleveland and surrounding Cuyahoga County, where Democrats outnumber Republicans more than two to one. (Read more…)
Following reports for the last months, left me with the impression that differences were being worked out. When Bibi was leaving for the US he asked to speak at on Synagogue. He stressed the importance of his upcoming trip and asked the congregants to pray for his success. It appears that Bibi has agreed not to take action until Iran reaches the very critical stage in March and Obama has clarified his intend to prevent Iran getting the bomb. The fact that Saudi Arabia is dead set against Iran getting the bomb too, may well have factored into Obama’s commitment. I believe the war of words will now end. Ted Belman
Obama, Netanyahu united against Iran nuclear drive US president speaks with Israeli PM following UNGA speech; reiterate US’ commitment to preventing Tehran from going nuclear; GOP candidate Romney says doesn’t think force will ultimately be needed Yitzhak Benhorin, YNET
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday expressed solidarity on the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, the White House said on Friday, amid signs of easing tensions over their differences on how to confront Tehran. (Read more…)
DOHUK, Iraq — Just off a main highway that stretches east of this city and slices through a moonscape of craggy hills, a few hundred Syrian Kurdish men have been training for battle, marching through scrub brush and practicing rifle drills.
The men, many of them defectors from the Syrian Army living in white trailers dotting a hillside camp, are not here to join the armed uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s government. They are preparing for the fight they expect to come after, when Mr. Assad falls and there is a scramble across Syria for power and turf.
These men want an autonomous Kurdish region in what is now Syria, a prospect they see as a step toward fulfilling a centuries-old dream of linking the Kurdish minorities in Iraq, Turkey and Iran into an independent nation. (Read more…)
No doubt, it’s hard for people to give up their lifelong attachments and identity. But there are moments in history when a turning point arrives, and those with eyes to see and ears to hear recognize it. Many Jews have made political liberalism their religion and personal identity and the Democrat Party their unexamined home and comfort zone. But everything changed early September.
Rarely do modern-day political conventions startle. The Democratic National Convention, however, was earthshaking and a warning to Jews to wake up. Democrat delegates decided to stick it to Israel. We no longer care, they roared, if Israel remains a Jewish state; flood her heartland with millions of so-called Palestinians whose goal is to make the state Islamic. We will not condemn Hamas for targeting Jewish population centers with rockets. Jerusalem is not Israel’s indivisible capital but should be divided, like Berlin was. Such was the undeniable sentiment of the delegates at the Convention. (Read more…)
Into the Fray: It would be intriguing to see how “sumud” stands up to a chance of better life and compensation worth two centuries of current GDP per capita.
The most shocking result is related to willingness to [e]migrate… The results also show that 44% of young Palestinians are willing to [e]migrate if given the opportunity.
– Poll #28, Center for Development Studies, Bir Zeit University, September 20, 2006 There has been much talk in Palestine about emigration, especially among the young people…This is being done in search of a better life abroad. Many… rush to the gates of the embassies and consulates of the Western nations with requests for visas in order to reside permanently in those countries.
– Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, mufti of the Palestinian Authority, in an anti-emigration fatwa, 2007
It seems only natural that Pedobear (a symbol for child molesters) would find his way into militant Islam. The image is appropriate noting the Prophet’s fancy for pre-teen girls (Aisha) “According to the traditional sources, Aisha was six or seven years old when she was betrothed to Muhammad and nine when the marriage was consummated.”
Note the difference between militant Muslims, and Jews and Christians. Many of the Hebrew patriarchs (e.g. Abraham) had wives, but they were adults. If Jesus had a wife, she was an adult. Only Pedobear (Peace Be Upon Him) would find his way into a nine year old girl. The Taliban is meanwhile another version of the National Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA). (Read more…)
The peaceful atmosphere of Yom Kippur in Israel provided many citizens with an opportunity to clear the brain of routine thoughts and re-tune to a more spiritual channel. But barely will the sound of the shofar have died away before Israel’s creative minds resume work on their innovative projects.
Lately, the brain has become the most popular organ in the body for medical scientists to focus on. Indeed, “NeuroTech” is the current buzzword amongst leading scientists from academia and industry. The US-Israel Neurotechnology and NeuroscienceConference in Washington recently showcased the latest research and cutting edge technologies in the US and Israel for investigating brain function and brain disorders. An Israeli non-profit organisation - Israel Brain Technologies (IBT) – is even offering a $1 million prize to anyone who can come up with a breakthrough brain technology; one that will make life better for everyone. It is aptly named the Global B.R.A.I.N. (Breakthrough Research And Innovation in Neurotechnology) Prize. (Read more…)
Posted by Ted Belman @ 1:54 pm ET |Plink|Trackback|Comments Off| 999 views
A woman in the Iranian city of Shamirzad, angered earlier this month by a cleric who told her she was insufficiently covered, decided that enough was enough with such religious street harassment and took matters into her own hands. Or rather her fists and feet, to be more exact.
Women in Iran are required to be covered up in public in accordance with a law introduced after the 1979 Iranian Revolution, causing most never to leave home without first wrapping themselves up in a body-encompassing black hijab. Women appearing in public deemed improperly covered are warned, and sometimes even beaten, by an assortment of morality guardians that include a morality police, regular police, busybody clerics or general, run-of-the mill religious fanatics. (Read more…)
If I had been the President of the US for the last four years:
1. I would have forced the PA to negotiate a deal with Israel, i.e., to make the necessary concessions. I would clearly support the settlements and take the position that Israel should include most settlements so that less that 5% of the settlers would have to be moved. This could be done by reducing the PA’s economic and diplomatic support. I would have moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem to indicate my belief that at least the west part of Jerusalem would remain in Israel in any settlement.
2. I would have insisted on UNRWA being unwound. This could be done by economic pressure. I would have insisted that all Palestinians be given citizenship in their host countries or would have arranged for their re-settlement elsewhere but not in Judea and Samaria. (Read more…)
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