October 4, 2022

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05/12 Links Pt1: Glick: The PLO’s most powerful lobbyists; Has The Red Cross Visited Israeli Prisoners in Gaza?


From Ian:

Caroline Glick: The PLO’s most powerful lobbyists
In choosing to treat anti-Israel groups like Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem with kid gloves, the General Staff is inserting itself directly into Israeli politics.
Likewise, when IDF generals lobby Congress to maintain US funding of the PA , and when “military sources” express their opposition to Trump’s plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, they are behaving as political activists.
This returns us to Netanyahu and his frustration at Trump’s sudden embrace of the PLO , which places the most pro-Israel president in history on a collision course with Israel.
Netanyahu is right to be angry. But his rage at Lauder is misdirected. The real culprit is the General Staff.
Since no prime minister can dispute the holy grail of “security concerns,” Lauder got blamed.
This situation is insufferable. Our generals cannot continue to receive a pass for their political activism.
When they lobby for the PLO and against moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem they cross the line into gross insubordination. When they protect Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem rather than their soldiers, they commit a grave dereliction of duty.

Sheri Oz: Question. How Many Times Has The Red Cross Visited Israeli Prisoners in Gaza?

Tell me, Mr Barghouti – how do your prison conditions compare with those of Gilad Shalit who was abducted and held by Hamas in Gaza for five years? How do they compare with the conditions Hamas offers to current Israeli prisoners: Abera Mengistu, Israeli of Ethiopian origin being held in Gaza since September 2014, Hisham al-Syed, Israeli Bedouin held since April 2015, and Juma Ibrahim Abu Anima, Israeli Bedouin who has been held since July last year?
The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) has agreed to let the International Red Cross visit you today (Thursday) in lieu of the pre-scheduled meeting with your lawyer that was cancelled since you called on security prisoners to join you in a hunger strike and you were consequently put into solitary. The reports note that you have not seen anyone from the Red Cross since before the hunger strike. That means that you HAVE seen Red Cross staff before that – and we have no idea how many times these visits have taken place but apparently the IRC visits security prisoners in Israel on a regular basis.
Out of curiousity, I wanted to know how many times the IRC has visited with Abera Mengistu so I called Uri Perednik, Parliamentary Aide to MK Avraham Neguise (pronounced Negosa), who serves as chair of the Caucus for the Return of Avraham (Abera) Mengistu. Perednik told me that the IRC has visited Mengistu a total of zero times. Furthermore, while the Israeli government and Hamas insist that Mengistu is alive, there have been no signs of life presented in fact, according to Perednik.

PM: All embassies, especially the US, should be in Jerusalem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that all foreign embassies in Israel should be located in Jerusalem, chief among them the American embassy.
Speaking at a Likud event on Thursday, Netanyahu said Jerusalem is the “eternal capital of the Israeli people and it is fitting that all embassies, especially that of our friend the United States, be moved the Jerusalem.”
The remark came less than two weeks ahead of the expected visit of US President Donald Trump, who during his presidential campaign last year, promised to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a potential move he has distanced himself from since his election in November.
Israel considers Jerusalem its undivided capital while the Palestinians want East Jerusalem, including the Old City, as the capital of a future state. The international community has never recognized Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem after Israel captured it in 1967.
Most foreign embassies in Israel are in Tel Aviv, with some nations also maintaining consulate-generals in Jerusalem.

​Hundreds bid farewell to ‘bright and fearless’ Jerusalem stabbing victim Hannah Bladon from Burton

Hundreds of people gathered today to say goodbye to a “bright and fearless” young woman from Burton who was killed when she was stabbed during an exchange programme in Jerusalem.
Friends, family, classmates and teachers united at the funeral service to pay tribute to former Abbot Beyne School pupil Hannah Bladon, who died on April 14, after being attacked on a tram by a man, who has since been arrested.
Described as an “extraordinary young woman” who “packed such a lot of life into a very short time”, those who had their lives touched by the 20-year-old shared memories and kind words about her during a fitting service at the Church of Saint John the Divine in Rolleston Road, Burton.
Rev Stanley Monkhouse led the tributes as he looked back on the first time he met Hannah back in 2014.
He said he was “dumbfounded” by Hannah, after she made “intellectual comments far beyond her years.”


The Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to Britain has unbelievably said he is “not aware” of a terror attack in which a young British woman was murdered last month. Exchange student Hannah Bladon, 20, was stabbed to death on a Jerusalem tram by a Palestinian man, Jamil Tamimi, in a high profile case covered extensively in Britain and the international media. Tamimi, 51 – now indicted for the attack – told police he had stabbed Bladon in the hope that an Israeli soldier would shoot him. Tamimi will be paid a £800 per month ‘hero’s salary’ by the Palestinian Authority for his part in ‘resisting the occupation’. The PA receives £25 million-a-year in aid from the British taxpayer…
During a Q&A at Imperial College London on May 4th, PA ambassador Manuel Hassassian was asked about the attack and the ‘martyr’s fund’. In his reply, he spoke mostly about Palestinian prisoners in Israel rather than the attack itself, of which he denied knowledge:
“I’m not aware of the incident itself that you mention…”
Palestine’s ambassador to Britain pretending he’s unaware of a British student being murdered by a Palestinian terrorist last month? Speaks volumes…

Danon calls on UNSC to take action against PA’s payments to terrorists

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon asked the UN Security Council on Thursday to “take action” and call on the Palestinian Authority to stop paying terrorists for killing civilians in Israel.
“In 2016, the PA dedicated almost $130 million of its budget to paying imprisoned terrorists,” he said during a short press conference. “They spent another $175 million in allowances to the families of so-called martyrs. Altogether, the PA paid more than $300 million directly in support of terrorists every single year.”
This amount, he said, comes up to about seven percent of the Palestinian Authority’s yearly budget, and almost 30 percent of the foreign aid donated by the international community.
“So many members of the Security Council, so many UN member-states are sending their people’s money to support terrorists,” he pointed out.
Danon cited the cases of American citizens Taylor Force and Ezra Schwartz, as well as British citizen Hannah Bladon, all killed by Palestinian terrorists in Israel, who he said were later compensated thousands of dollars for their actions.
“This is all part of an organized system by the PA which glorifies terrorists and encourages terrorism, these payments are mandated by their laws,” he said. “Think about the simple message this sends to young Palestinians. Mahmoud Abbas is telling them that there is a simple equation: kill innocent people and you and your family will be paid for the rest of your life.”

Palestinian Authority Withholds Funds To Pay Hospital Bills Of Child Cancer Patients, Pays Terrorists Instead

At a recent meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas, President Donald Trump urged the Palestinian Authority to stop paying off terrorist and their families. Trump’s pleas came after all 100 members of the U.S. Senate signed a letter asking United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to “address what the lawmakers call entrenched bias against Israel at the world body.”
For years now, the U.N. has turned a blind eye to the brutality and incitement of the Palestinian leadership, allowing President Abbas, Fatah, and Hamas to run roughshod over their own people. Exhibit A: The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) refusal to pay the hospital bills for sick and dying children. Instead, the PA is funding terrorism.
According to CAMERA analyst Dexter Van Zile, the Augusta Victoria Hospital Jerusalem, a medical institution under Palestinian control, “has been forced to cut back services because the Palestinian Authority has not paid millions of dollars it owes the hospital.”
“Palestinian children go to the hospital for cancer treatment and the PA is supposed to pay for the treatment, but hasn’t,” adds Van Zile in a letter penned to Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).

‘Palestine’ Will Be There, But Taiwan Faces Exclusion From Annual UN Health Assembly

When the World Health Organization holds its annual general assembly in Geneva this month, the “State of Palestine” will be among observers but – unless China relents – the independent island democracy of Taiwan will not.
For the first time in eight years Taiwan has not been invited to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body. Beijing’s refusal to assent this year has been attributed to its unhappiness with the policies of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leans towards formal independence from China.
The one-year-old Tsai administration signaled Tuesday that it would not be cowed, announcing that it will send a delegation to Geneva, headed by its health minister, whether or not it would be allowed to attend the May 22-31 WHA.
“We will never succumb to Beijing’s pressure, but will continue to make our voice heard in the international community, and fight for our right to participate in the WHA and other international organizations,” said the government’s mainland affairs council, which deals with relations across the Taiwan Strait.

Ruthie Blum: The next failed peace talks

There is nothing novel about the glorification of terrorists in the PA or about the hypocrisy of killers like Barghouti. Nor is it new for an American administration to fantasize about finding the magic formula for striking peace between Israel and the Palestinians. But it is interesting that Abbas reportedly requested of Trump that the starting point of any new talks be based on the parameters of his negotiations with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. He also was said to have presented the U.S. president with maps and other documents related to Olmert’s offer, which involved a nearly complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem. It was an offer — as Abbas acknowledged for the first time in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 in 2015 — which he then flatly refused.
During the interview, which appeared in a three-part series about the peace talks between PLO chief Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000 and those between Abbas and Olmert eight years later, Abbas made the preposterous statement that one of the reasons he rejected the deal was because he didn’t understand Olmert’s map. Apparently, he has been boning up on his cartography ahead of the next round of bad-faith negotiations that will be marked by and culminate in Palestinian violence.
The only question now is how Trump will respond to the inevitable failure of such negotiations, if they take place at all. Will he follow in the footsteps of his shameful predecessor and hold Israel responsible, or will he realize he’s been duped? Let us hope it is the latter.

How Netanyahu and Abbas are fighting not to lose blame game with Trump

I tell this story since a similar scenario is playing out now with the Taylor Force Act, a bill that Sen. Lindsey Graham is trying to push through the Senate to block US aid to the PA as long as it continues paying salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons and pensions to the families of dead terrorists.
While the law is ethically and morally right, it couldn’t be more of a political land mine right now for Netanyahu.
On the one hand, he can’t come out against the bill since it would damage him politically like in 2011. He also can’t come out publicly and endorse the bill, since he does not want to be seen undermining President Donald Trump’s upcoming peace initiative. If Trump doesn’t support it, Netanyahu can’t either.
So what does he do instead? He slams the PA repeatedly for its “pay-to-slay” policy but always stops short of publicly endorsing the bill. Rhetoric is one thing. Lobbying the Hill on something that could torpedo the president’s peace initiative is another.
But what exactly is Trump’s peace initiative? That is the question that has the entire Israeli government on edge these days. No one, it seems, has a clear idea what Trump is going to ask of Israel when he arrives here in two weeks.
Trump’s trip needs to be looked at on two different levels.
On the one hand, he has a genuine desire to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He has called it the “ultimate deal,” and is someone who is motivated to do things that are the best and the biggest; achieving the most elusive peace in the world definitely falls into that category.
He also wants to distinguish himself from Barack Obama who in 2009 made his famous trip to the region with stops in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt but not Israel. Trump is coming to Israel on his first overseas visit.
That itself sends a message.

US envoy said to advise Israelis to cooperate with Trump on peace

Washington’s newly appointed Ambassador to Israel David Friedman recently told Israeli diplomats that US President Donald Trump is intent on reaching a peace deal, and urged them to cooperate and aid the president in his endeavor, Haaretz reported Friday.
An Israeli government source told the newspaper that Friedman claimed Trump’s enthusiasm for relaunching the peace process presented a great opportunity for the Jewish state, and advised officials to avoid confrontation with the president over the matter.
However, Friedman has also advised Trump that the prospects of achieving peace at present are low, two people who spoke with the envoy told Haaretz.
“People whose opinion he values have told him it will be very difficult, perhaps even impossible, but he has so far not changed his mind,” one recounted.

Trump’s Arafat Problem

White House officials say that they’ve foiled a plan by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to have President Donald Trump walk near the tomb of Yasser Arafat on his upcoming trip to Israel. Supposedly, the PA wanted to photograph Trump with the tomb in the background.
I wouldn’t put it past the PA to concoct a scheme of this nature. Staging photographs, faking photographs, lying about photographs — it’s all old hat for the PA. But keeping Arafat’s tomb out of the picture will not resolve Trump’s Arafat problem, because last week, Trump embraced and praised Arafat’s loyal, longtime number two man: PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
Let’s not play “good terrorist/bad terrorist.” Let’s not pretend that Arafat was the bad guy, but that the rest of the Palestinian leadership is moderate and reasonable. If Arafat was a terrorist, so is Abbas. The late Yitzhak Rabin told me so.
Every one of the pro-terrorist policies that Arafat carried out following the Oslo Accords was supported and facilitated by his number two man: Abbas.
When Arafat exposed his true colors by trying to smuggle in 50 tons of weapons on the “Karine A” vessel in January 2002, where was Abbas? Asleep? When Arafat organized a mass “intifada” against Israel, where was Abbas? On vacation?

Peace process rituals

First, President Trump should state clearly that the US continues to consider direct, bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations the only viable path to achieve comprehensive peace.
Second, he should make clear that the two-state solution remains the destined outcome of any peace talks.
At the same time, Gaza’s status must be addressed at some point. This significant piece of a putative Palestinian state, which Israel handed over to the PA a dozen years ago, remains under Hamas control. The terrorist organization, in its new policy document, still refuses to join with the PA in recognizing Israel.
Third, the president, following up on what he told Abbas at the White House, should call on the PA to end incitement and payments to terrorists, and also encourage the PA leader to take concrete measures to reform Palestinian educational materials and Palestinian media to truly nurture a culture of peace.
Fourth, President Trump should affirm unequivocally that Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel, and to that end announce that the US embassy in Israel will move to Jerusalem.
Fifth, he should encourage the Saudis and other Gulf states to take concrete steps to engage with Israel openly, not only to cooperate in combating common regional adversaries, but also, harking to the 1990s when Israel and two GCC members established trade offices, move toward closer relations on many fronts.
The record of past pitfalls is clear, and the administration should not underestimate the challenges ahead.
But, then again, similar obstacles were present nearly 27 years ago at Camp David, when the contours of a peace were first envisioned. As President Trump indicated, if the parties are willing, it is worth trying.

Abbas, in meeting with Putin, says Moscow must be part of peace process

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Sochi resort in Western Russia on Thursday, and said that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be “impossible” without the participation of Moscow in the peace process.
“It is impossible to solve the Palestinian issue without Russia’s meaningful participation in the peace process. That is what we have been emphasizing at all international meetings,” Abbas said in his meeting with Putin, according to the official Russian State news agency Tass.
Putin said Russia “will continue to give its full support to the resumption of direct dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis.”
“The peaceful coexistence of the two states — Palestine and Israel — is an indispensable condition to ensure genuine security and stability in this region,” Putin said.
Abbas, according to a report in the official PA news site Wafa, also reiterated that he is still willing to participate in a three-way summit with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow.

Netanyahu Tells Putin Syrian ‘Safe Zones’ Are Not to Be Used by Iran or Hezbollah

In a phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the two leaders discussed the agreed upon “safe-zones” in Syria between Russia with Iran and Turkey.
While Netanyahu did not express opposition to the arrangement in the call, according to an unnamed senior Israeli official to Haaretz, he warned that such “safe zones” must not allow Iran or Hezbollah (primarily based in Lebanon) to establish bases near Israel’s borders.
Fighting eased in Syria last week after a deal signed by government backers Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey to create four “deescalation zones” began to take effect.
The United States gave an extremely cautious welcome, citing Iran’s role as a guarantor even as it expressed hope that the deal could set the stage for a settlement.
It provides for a ceasefire, rapid deliveries of humanitarian aid and the return of refugees after the creation of “deescalation zones” across stretches of eight Syrian provinces in rebel-held areas not affiliated with ISIS jihadists or the Jahbat al-Nusra group.
Those zones would see a halt to hostilities, including air strikes. The plan also proposes the deployment of “third-party” monitoring forces.

Nasrallah: Next war with Israel could be waged inside Israeli territory

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanese terror group and Iranian proxy Hezbollah, said on Thursday that any possible future war with Israel could be waged inside Israeli territory.
In a televised speech in which he also discussed the group’s heavy involvement in the Syrian civil war, Nasrallah said Israel was “scared and worried of any future confrontation… and knows that it could be inside the occupied Palestinian territories,” according to a translation provided by Reuters.
Nasrallah was speaking on the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah military commander Mustafa Badreddine in Syria, a hit attributed to Israel. Israel’s IDF Chief Gadi Eisenkot said earlier this year that Badreddine was killed by his own men.
Badreddine was killed on May 10, 2016 in a mysterious explosion near Damascus airport shortly after a meeting with his commanders, according to Lebanese media. Badreddine had inherited the leadership of Hezbollah’s terrorist operations from former commander and cousin Imad Mughniyeh, who is believed to have been assassinated by Israel in 2008. Badreddine’s sister, Saada, was reportedly married to Mughniyeh.

By Hosting Hamas, Qatar is Whitewashing Terror

After getting booted from their first two hotels in Qatar over concerns of violating U.S. terror finance sanctions laws, Hamas leaders held a press conference last week at the Sheraton Grand Doha hotel to announce the release of a new political document. The document, promoted as a more moderate version of the group’s founding charter, is neither a new charter nor is it moderate. Hamas remains committed to violence as a strategy. But the entire episode serves to highlight an ongoing problem: Qatar, nominally an American ally, regularly aids in the whitewashing of terrorist organizations.
Doha is home base for many Hamas figures. The country welcomed Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal in 2012, after Hamas could no longer stomach the Assad regime’s slaughter of Sunnis and Palestinians, prompting him to close Hamas’s offices in Damascus. The new political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, is now on his way to Doha from Gaza, along with a coterie of aides. When Hamas military leader Salah al-Arouri was forced to leave Turkey after planning the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers that sparked the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, he made his new home in Doha in 2015. Ezzat al-Rishq, the spokesman for Hamas, calls Qatar home. We could go on.
Qatar is also Hamas’s ATM. In 2012, the former Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani traveled to Gaza and pledged $400 million to the Hamas government. After the 2014 war, Qatar pledged $1 billion over several years to a reconstruction fund for Gaza (more than any other nation). Hamas has reportedly used those funds to rebuild its network of terror tunnels.

Young Israeli Jews are mostly right-wing, increasingly religious — survey

A majority of young Israeli Jews between ages 15-24 define themselves as right-wing, and a growing number of them are religious, a study published Thursday said.
Sixty-seven percent of Jewish youth define themselves as right-wing (or center-right), while just 16% consider themselves to be left-wing in findings from a survey of Israeli youth by the Macro Center for Political Economics and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, cited Thursday in a Yedioth Ahronoth report.
In a similar survey by the two organizations 19 years ago, 50% of respondents classified themselves as secular compared to 9% who referred to themselves as ultra-Orthodox. Those numbers moved to 40% and 15%, respectively, in this year’s edition, demonstrating increased religious tendencies.
Seventy-four percent of Jewish youths indicated that the most pressing issue requiring the government’s attention was the cost of living, and not security issues posed by the Palestinians or Iran.

Israel advances to Eurovision finals

Imri Ziv, Israel’s entrant in this year’s Eurovision, advanced Thursday night to the finals of the international singing competition.
Ziv sang his heart out with “I Feel Alive,” written by Dolev Ram and Ben Hazut. While his vocals weren’t the strongest of the night, they were enough – together with his wicked grin and devilish wink – to send him through to the next round.
Thursday was a glittery, glitzy night with all the flamboyant, over-the-top things you expect from a Eurovision competition.
The Belarussian singers performed on a makeshift boat, the Irish performer stood on a hot-air balloon and the Swiss singer wore a floor-length dress in a shade of Big Bird yellow.
The Croatian singer, clad in one silver half-glove (and a black suit) alternated between both Italian and English, and an impressive falsetto of sorts and a deep operatic bass.
The Romanians yodeled, the Hungarians rapped and the Austrian perched on the corner of a giant crescent moon.
But above all, there were sequins as far as the eye could see – on the men, on the women, on the audience, probably all over the floor and stuck in the soles of the shoes of everyone in attendance.

US studio acquires award-winning Israeli documentary about terror attack

‘Death in the Terminal,” an award-winning Israeli documentary about an October 2015 terrorist attack in the Beersheba central bus station, has been acquired in the US by Topic, the entertainment studio of First Look Media.
First Look Media — a three-year-old New York-based media company launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar — co-financed and produced the Academy Award best picture winner “Spotlight.” Topic is the company’s new entertainment hub.
Its latest acquisition, “Death in the Terminal,” focuses on the 18 minutes on October 18, 2015, when a terrorist armed with a gun and a knife entered the bus terminal in the southern city and killed a soldier, followed by the lynching of Abtum Zarhum, an Eritrean asylum seeker, who was mistaken by bystanders for the terrorist. Zarhum was also shot by a security guard, and later died from his wounds.
The film is a tense, minute-by-minute playback of that tragic quarter-plus hour, using surveillance and cellphone camera footage interspersed with eyewitness testimonies from police officers, a falafel vendor, an EMT and several bystanders.

PA urges UN to intervene in terrorist hunger strike

Fida Abd Al-Hadi, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) deputy representative to the United Nations, on Thursday sent letters to the UN Secretary General, the chair of the UN Security Council and the chair of the UN General Assembly, asking them to intervene in the hunger strike by terrorists in Israeli prisons.
Abd al-Hadi called on the international community to act immediately to end the “suffering” of more than 1,500 prisoners, according to him, who have been on hunger strike since April 17, noting that their health is rapidly deteriorating.
She claimed that the hunger strike is a “peaceful protest” intended to justify the demands of the prisoners in light of Israel’s disregard for these demands and the continuation of the policy aimed at breaching its international obligations. (See those demands here.)
Hundreds of terrorists in Israeli jails, about a sixth of the total number of those jailed, began a hunger strike on April 17 in an attempt to pressure Israel to improve the conditions of their imprisonment.
The hunger strike is being led by Marwan Barghouti, the archterrorist leader of Fatah who is serving five life sentences in Israel over attacks he planned against Israelis. It is widely felt that he is attempting to improve his political standing in the contest to replace current PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas by gaining publicity through the strike.

NGO allegedly funding Palestinian terrorist group to be dissolved

The Registrar of Associations in Israel has filed a motion seeking to dismantle the east Jerusalem-based Committee of Agricultural Work for allegedly funneling millions of dollars to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated by Israel as a terrorist group.
Under Israeli law, the courts must approve any request to dissolve a registered nonprofit organization. The Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court is schedule to hear the motion in July.
CAW has been under investigation by Israeli authorities for months for alleged donor fraud. The registrar’s decision to seek the nongovernmental organization’s liquidation is based, among other evidence, on documents obtained by the Shin Bet security agency that corroborate suspicion that the organization was used as a front by the Gaza-based PFLP.
The investigation was launched in October 2016, after the International Legal Forum, headed by attorney Yifa Segal, uncovered financial irregularities suggesting that CAW had used its Israeli operating license to defraud foreign nations and entities into thinking they were donating millions of dollars to humanitarian relief projects in the Gaza Strip, while in reality, the funds were transferred to a PFLP-run shell company.
“This is an important step in the war on terror,” Segal said Thursday.

Was media spun in fidget toy’s invention tale?

An investigation has thrown doubt on the story of the Florida woman who, looking for a way to distract young Palestinian boys from clashing with Israeli police, claimed to have invented the fidget spinner toy.
Bloomberg News confirmed Thursday that Catherine Hettinger was granted a patent for a spinning device in 1997. But Hettinger’s device, which she pitched unsuccessfully to the toymaker Hasbro, had little in common with the ubiquitous fidget spinner sold today resembling a coaster-sized propeller with a bearing in the middle.
Two patent experts who reviewed Hettinger’s idea at Bloomberg’s request doubt it was the precursor of the current toy, despite an account on Wikipedia suggesting otherwise.
“Let’s just say that I’m claimed to be the inventor,” Catherine Hettinger said. “You know, ‘Wikipedia claims,’ or something like that.”
“In reading it, it doesn’t appear to cover the products that people are selling now,” Jeffrey Blake, a partner at a law firm focused on intellectual property, told Bloomberg.
Hettinger, 62, a chemical engineer by training, did not disagree.
“Let’s just say that I’m claimed to be the inventor,” Catherine Hettinger said. “You know, ‘Wikipedia claims,’ or something like that.”

Hezbollah blames Israel as Lebanese receive thousands of anti-Nasrallah texts

Hezbollah on Friday said tens of thousands of Lebanese citizens received text messages and recorded calls during a speech by group leader Hassan Nasrallah the previous night, branding him a “murderer.”
The terror organization blamed Israel and an alleged “Israeli-Saudi alliance” for the psychological warfare, “as part of its attempts to shake Lebanese faith in the resistance, and to plant seeds of division,” the Ynet news website reported.
Many of the texts and calls were identified as coming from Hezbollah’s official public relations offices.
Texts accused Nasrallah of being a murderer and a liar, according to Lebanon’s Mulhak news site. Some accused Nasrallah of being behind the killing of “our martyr” Mustafa Badreddine, a top Hezbollah commander assassinated in Syria a year ago.
Nasrallah made the televised speech Thursday on the one-year anniversary of Badreddine’s death.

PreOccupiedTerritory: Arab League Delegates Hoping to Catapult Region Forward Into 15th Century (satire)
Representatives of the 22 Arab member states of the Arab League plan to take up economic and cultural development at their next meeting in June, where they will put forward initiatives to drive progress in the Arab world and advance the society by a significant margin, into the fifteenth century CE.
Preparations have begun in earnest for the meeting, which will be chaired by Iraq’s Missa Jinni, who holds the rotating position of president. At the four-day session, delegates will discuss multiple ways to launch Arab society at large farther forward than it has ever reached, a cultural and temporal distance that Jinni claims could reach as far forward, in terms of progress, as the year 1492.
“We have been stuck for so long,” lamented the Iraqi diplomat in an interview. “The Arab world once represented the vanguard of progress, with leading educational and scholarly institutions. Now we need initiatives that will help us reach for a leading role in world culture once again. If we aim high enough, we can reach the once-inconceivable levels of sophistication and advancement associated with the fourteen-hundreds in Europe.”
“Just look at what the fifteenth century represents in terms of progress,” concurred Lebanese delegate Riak Shanari. “Many in our society might be intimidated to reach for a stage in world history as far ahead of us as that, but I believe we are selling ourselves short unless we set ambitious goals. Besides, there are numerous aspects of fifteenth-century progress that can nevertheless speak to the soul of today’s Arab: protracted warfare that devastates entire countries; religious strife that decimates would-be reformers and cements conservatism in place; rampant slavery and human trafficking; and of course, repeated expulsions and massacres of Jews. Everybody’s down with that already. This is not as distant and alien to us as many believe.”

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