May 29, 2020

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09/03 Links: Hijacking the Laws of Occupation; Lessons from the Syrian strike

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: Hijacking the Laws of Occupation
  • There are 40 or more ongoing conflict and occupation situations throughout the world, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Western Sahara, East Timor, East Congo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, and the Crimea.
  • Curiously, these situations, which involve extensive transfer of people in order to settle in the occupied territory, are rarely seen by the international community as “occupations.” Nor are the respective parties involved described as “belligerent occupants,” “occupying powers,” or “settlers.”
  • From the extent and volume of international attention directed toward Israel and the excessive number of UN resolutions, one might be led to assume that Israel is considered within the international community to be the only “occupying power.”
  • The accepted rules of occupation are overly general and do not take into consideration the often unique political, legal, and historical status of the territory in dispute, as is the case regarding Israel.
  • The language of occupation law has been politicized, and partisan political expressions such as “Occupied Palestinian Territories” have become common language by the UN and by such humanitarian organizations as the International Red Cross.
  • This terminology has no legal basis and prejudges ongoing, agreed-upon, and internationally-endorsed negotiation issues between Israel and the Palestinians. Their use by humanitarian organizations such as the International Red Cross is incompatible with its own constitutional principles of neutrality and impartiality.

Lessons from the Syrian strike

This week will mark 10 years since the destruction of the nuclear reactor Syrian President Bashar Assad wanted to build in northern Syria, with help from North Korea. Although Israel refrained from claiming responsibility for the reactor strike, it was the Syrians who were quick to blame it on Jerusalem. Later, official American sources, notably then-President George. W. Bush, confirmed that Israel had been behind the strike on the Syrian reactor.
Although there was concern about a Syrian reprisal, Assad avoided the risk of confronting Israel militarily and preferred to ignore the destruction of his reactor, which marked an end to his nuclear aspirations, which he had hoped would make his regime bulletproof against any domestic or foreign threat, and might even have hoped would give him full, absolute strategic balance with Israel’s power.
The fact that the Syrians attributed the 2007 strike to Israel helped rebuild Israeli deterrence, which had sustained a severe blow in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. That war ended with the other side feeling that Israel had taken a bad hit and had no effective response to Hezbollah missiles. Damascus had the same kind.
After the 2006 war, Assad even toyed with the idea of following in the footsteps of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and green light terrorist attacks on the Golan Heights and the threat of missile volleys if Israel were to strike Syria in response. Taking out the Syrian nuclear reactor completely changed the direction in which things were headed.

Watch: ‘Children should be taught to love, not hate and kill’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu released a new video Sunday, slamming the Palestinian Authority propensity for naming streets and schools after terrorists who murdered Jews.
“I want you to close your eyes and imagine,” Netanyahu began. “I want you to imagine a seven-year old girl named Fatima. She is walking to school with her mother, and sees a statue, and asks ‘who is that?’ Her mother answers-that is Khaled Nazzal. He planned the murder of 22 Israeli school children and four grown ups.”
Netanyahu continues on a similar vein, pointing out the various monuments the Palestinian Authority has erected to terrorists Dalal Maghrabi, who murdered 38 Israelis in 1978’s Coastal Road Massacre, and Abu Sakkar, responsible for the death of 15 Israelis.
“Children should be taught to love and respect, not hate and kill,” Netanyahu concluded. “There are so many champions of peace to dedicate statues to. Why do the Palestinians consistently choose to honor mass murderers?”
The carefully-crafted video style has become one of Netanyahu’s trademarks. The Prime Minister started releasing short video clips of himself speaking out on a certain issue back in 2016, with the videos often going viral, racking up hundreds of thousands of views within a few hours.

The Arab Herzl

In the era of “isms,” Zionism has defeated all the rest. Maoism, Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism, Nasserism and fascism have all come and gone, having delivered their believers calamity and despair. The current totalitarianism, fundamentalism, has served its followers no better and will ultimately end up similarly extinct.
Marxism has been reduced from dream to nightmare, especially where it was tried. Socialism, after having floored healthy economies, has been elbowed by capitalism which, after brief universal applause, is now something between a moral monstrosity and an aristocratic plot.
Even pacifism, fashionable a century ago when war was the business of idiots, lost currency once the following war became the business of madmen.
Only Theodor Herzl’s ism has bucked the trend, remaining fresh, relevant, and a very big success 120 years after its launch.
THE 200 JEWS who convened in Basel 120 years ago this week spoke softly, but effectively they declared war: war on fatalism; war on the fatalism that had paralyzed their nation for nearly 2,000 years.
Gone was the submissiveness with which a luminary like Rashi responded to the Crusader massacres, admonishing the Torah to “Demand the insult of your followers… At the hands of sons of whoredom,” but demanding neither justice from the gentiles nor revolt from the Jews.
Gone was the culture of lamentation with which Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg, who after having been forced to attend the public burning of the Talmud in Paris in 1244, decried the Jews as a nation “breathing the dirt of the Earth” while “walking in the moonless dark, craving the light of day.”

The True Palestinian ‘Nakba’

Arab states marshalled their collective influence to sell this narrative to the rest of the world, with much success. Most Europeans and their governments, including the European Union, and many Americans risk apoplexy in their violent denunciations of Israel, while tripping over themselves offering sympathy and money to the Palestinians. The United Nations has established a complex bureaucracy devoted solely to their needs.
This narrative has received a particularly warm reception in the academic world, where Western imperialism, rationalized by disparaging “Orientalist” stereotypes of Middle Easterners, is seen as the single greatest cause of the region’s ills.
Of course, blaming all Palestinian problems on Israel makes even less sense than attributing the Arab-Islamic world’s economic, political, and cultural decline in recent centuries to relatively brief and limited Western interventions.
Though the narrative has grown more and more fantastical over the years, its acceptance remains disturbingly widespread. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ condemnation of Israel for “destroying the environment” at a signing ceremony for the Paris climate accord last year encountered no howls of diplomatic protest. Dubravka Simonovic, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, could claim weeks later that Palestinian men beat their women because of “the clear linkage between the prolonged occupation and violence against women” without being promptly terminated.
In the end, of course, the Palestinian victimization narrative hurts Palestinians by obscuring the actual sources of their misery — their failed supremacist ideology, despotic and corrupt leaders, and irrational hate of Jews — preventing the emergence of genuine solutions to a tragic, festering problem.

From terrorist to the face of the Palestinian struggle

Twenty-three years after arriving in the land of endless possibilities, Rasmea Yousef Odeh was ordered to leave the United States without returning.
Odeh, who was born in the village of Lifta near Jerusalem, was found responsible for the murder of two Israeli civilians in a terrorist bombing at a supermarket in the capital on February 21, 1969.
On Thursday, a federal judge has ruled that the Palestinian terrorist will have to leave the country she has lived in for more than two decades on September 19, forcing her to start her life anew in Jordan.
Thus ended a long legal battle conducted by Odeh, 70, against the local immigration authorities who demanded her expulsion—not because of her terrorism conviction, but because of her conviction in fraud. Her attempt to conceal her past failed as it returned to haunt her in the US.
As a young activist in the ranks of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), she was sent to a Jerusalem supermarket to plant an explosive charge in a candy bag. The explosion took the lives of two Israeli students in their early 20s, Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe, and wounded nine others.
After being captured, she was charged with murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. In March 1979, she was released as part of a prisoner exchange deal to release captive soldier Avraham Amram, and was deported from Israel to Jordan.
Fifteen years later she immigrated to the United States, and in 2004 received her American citizenship. Now Odeh is forced to relinquish it as part of a plea bargain which seals the long legal battle waged by her against the authorities.
Acted for women—and attacked Israel
Over the years, as an American citizen in the city of Chicago, Odeh has invested heavily in community activism and was one of the organizers of “A Day Without a Woman” which takes place on March 8, continuing the tradition of the women’s march in Washington.
But while part of her time was devoted to women’s rights, most of it was invested in the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), where she served as an associate director. In this framework, Odeh frequently attacked the State of Israel, accusing the state of racial segregation, discrimination and war crimes against the Palestinian people.

The Left-Wing Threat To Liberalism

This expansion of the unutterable stems from the fact that left-wing authoritarianism is not just an excess of zeal but the expression of a world-view. It is an ideology that treats individuals solely as a product of their racial, ethnic, sexual and other identities; treats “privilege” as original sin; and seeks to eradicate anything that may be perceived as oppressive to the “marginalized”—a utopian project that inherently requires speech- and thought-policing. (Ironically, Jews are a suspect category for progressive “identitarians” just as they are for reactionary ones: since Jews in Western societies are viewed as “privileged,” the anti-racist rhetoric of the left often erases anti-Semitism.)
Identitarian leftism is openly and proudly illiberal. It reviles the murdered cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo for offending Muslims’ sensibilities. It defends calls for the destruction of a painting decried as “appropriation” because its subject is a black lynching victim and the artist is white.
Illiberal leftism also derides liberalism itself as a “philosophy of rich white male domination,” pillorying Enlightenment philosophers and free speech proponents for their racist, sexist, or imperialist views. Such attacks miss an essential fact: The liberal philosophers of the past may have shared many prejudices of their time, but they created the doctrine of universal human rights that has allowed us to transcend these prejudices.
Defending the liberal order from right-wing attacks is not made easier when progressives try to discredit its foundational values as a tool of the privileged—or when liberal society itself becomes less free because of pressures from the cultural left.
Those who fear the rise of anti-liberalism today often look to the 1930s for ominous parallels. In those dark times, liberal democracy’s enemies came from both the right and the left. We should heed that lesson.

Eli Lake: A Modest Proposal for America’s Fascists and Anti-Fascists

As America feels like it’s coming apart at the seams, I have a modest proposal. The hard-right and hard-left activists who so enjoy protesting one another should meet every few weekends in a large national park and have at it.
The rest of us could begin to treat this wave of street agitation as the sideshow it is.
After all, this is not a fight for the soul of America. Neither the Tiki-torch Nazis nor the masked anarchists represent a viable American future. They are simply engaging in nostalgia, a scarier version of Civil War battle re-enactments.
Lumping them together does not equate two unequal sides. The cause of anti-fascism is noble, whereas the racists marching in Charlottesville are telling journalists like me I should be sent to the ovens. I’m not talking about the folks on the left who are nonviolent and unmasked, showing up to protest the fascists. I’m referring to the extreme wing that invites itself to these gatherings to “protect” these model citizens. Those “antifa” are something altogether different.

To fight racism, the Left should first look to their own

Here’s the thing. The Democrats’ determination of late to associate Republicans with not just racism, but full-blown white supremacy, has marched well beyond the realms of hysteria. And with the usual leftist smoke-and-mirrors in the media, it could maybe be possible to do that – if not for those pesky Confederate statues. See, it was the Republicans who abolished slavery, and the Democrats who wanted to maintain it. The Democrats in the South formed the Confederate states in the first place, and believed in the enslaving of blacks so fervently they were willing to go to war over it. Quite a dark smear on the face of a party which, nowadays, will do anything to pretend it’s on the side of ‘tolerance’.
But it gets worse. The Democrats not only opposed Abraham Lincoln’s three Civil War Amendments (abolishing slavery, granting citizenship to African slaves born in America, and prohibiting state governments from denying them voting rights), but instigated the Jim Crow laws. These laws legitimised racial segregation in the Southern States, and introduced a number of systemic economic, educational, and social disadvantages for African Americans. And most notoriously, it was the Democrats who, after losing the war, proudly founded the Ku Klux Klan. So what better way to avoid these awkward historical facts than to erase a history that is, well, their own?
Of course, the minute all of this is brought up, the Democrats and the left at large open their eyes wide, and insist Lincoln fought the war over money, not slavery. And that the racist history of the Democratic Party died long ago. And that white supremacists and the KKK identify with the right now so therefore their prior association doesn’t matter. But nothing changes the fact the Jim Crow laws were enforced by the Democrats right up until 1965. In fact, it was only in the sixties, when the Democrats (to their credit) took a turn to the civil rights movement, that the racist Southern Dems, or ‘Dixiecrats’, made a move to the Republican Party. Even then, they were only on the fringe.
Some of these ‘vintage’ Democrats even stuck around, such as the late Senator Robert C Byrd. This former KKK member and recruiter (who died in 2010) was also a lifelong Democrat, and was pictured cosying up to Hillary Clinton a number of times. Or infamous former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, who originally ran as a Democrat in the 1988 presidential primaries, before switching sides. And who could forget the 1992 Democratic presidential campaign, when nondescript supporters grafted “Clinton-Gore” onto buttons bearing the Confederate flag? Or the fact in 1987, Bill Clinton, as Democratic Governor of Arkansas, signed Act 116, which stated, “The blue star above the word ‘ARKANSAS’ [on the state’s flag] is to commemorate the Confederate States of America”?

Antifa: The 21st Century’s KKK

Several decades ago, black people were regularly terrorized by an organized group of violent racists who used terrorist tactics, including fear, intimidation, physical assault, and even murder against groups or individuals they opposed. These virulent gangs of masked marauders began their treacherous campaign of bigotry soon after the end of the Civil War and became known as the Ku Klux Klan.
The derivation of the name is vague, but the terror it symbolized to millions of defenseless blacks was frighteningly clear. The first known Klan was organized in the Southern States in the late 1860s, and its goal was to overthrow the Republican state governments during Reconstruction. Members of the brutal gangs wore masks and cone-shaped hats, giving them a fearsome image while hiding their identities. In many cases, the local police authorities refused to take action to stop the violence or to investigate those who engaged in it.
The foregoing description is pretty close to what we know today as Antifa, a violent mob of masked terrorists who appear suddenly at peaceful demonstrations and mercilessly beat the participants, who may be guilty only of wearing a shirt supporting President Trump or carrying the flag that represents our country. Once again, it seems as though these thugs have a goal to overthrow the duly elected Republican government in several states and in Washington, D.C. In many instances, they are also being protected by local authorities who instruct police to stand down during the vicious mêlées that leave a bloody trail of bodies on our streets.
As for the Klan, when they began their sadistic crusade, blacks were their only target. However, as they became larger and more feared, they added Jews and Catholics to their hate-filled rampages.
Now, I don’t need anyone to tell me that the Klan was much more savage in its attacks, because that should go without saying. That monstrously bigoted strain of diseased DNA took countless lives and created an image of Southerners that lingers to this day. The era of Alabama governor George Wallace, Birmingham, Alabama commissioner of “public safety” Bull Connor, and other racists of their ilk ended when good people of all colors risked their lives to fight the cancer that was eating away at the foundation of our country. The gruesome stories of lives lost are part of the shocking history that must forever remain in our rearview mirror. Nevertheless, Antifa is the latest example of Gestapo tactics, and it is growing rapidly before our eyes.

‘Antifa’ are despicable fascists — call them that, openly, now

Antifa and Black Bloc, in one or other of their various incarnations, have been around for two decades, and provided they were in sync with any “progressive” agenda item, earned a media pass. They sprinkled every violent protest with the apologetic cant of “but the majority of the protestors were peaceful.”
And for all the talk of “right-wing violence” now, and of “white supremacists” (they are a scorned and miserable sub-sub-minority of malcontents), actual violence by the black-clad mobs — as long as it is simply called anti-fascist — gets a free halo. It earns either no mention, no condemnation if mentioned, or if condemned done in a plaintive whisper of sadness and rue that antifa violence might give ammunition to the dread “right wing.” The kind of reporting that gives sophism a bad name.
Just because a group chooses to call itself anti-fascist, and chooses to say it’s against hate, there is no obligation on the press to accept the self-promotion of a violent masked mob. A lazy and timid press, however, does just that.
There is a kernel of real fascism and real hate in North America. And it is the antifa movement, and its organizers, who are that kernel. They deserve no respect, and less tolerance. And trying to make them heroes of a non-existent, fatuous Resistance to a democratic vote only encourages street-violence that may grow to riot and mayhem, and ultimately stimulate the very breakdown of democratic order and respect for it the mob lying professes to be defending.
Antifa is not a friend of democracy. It despises democracy, and equally despises those who believe in democracy. There’s not a spit of difference between them and the neo-Nazis — except, and it’s a big except — they have supporters outside the coven.

Antifa Supporters Cry Over Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Segment Mocking Antifa
Naturally, members of Antifa and their left-wing sympathizers did not take Noah’s jokes lightly. From accusations of Nazi sympathizing to all-out death threats, leftists are upset by the comedian’s right to tell jokes.
Responding to a tweet promoting the segment and mocking Antifa, far-left extremists railed against the show and its host ranging between milquetoast criticism like “this is not comedy anymore” to lame insults against moderates who found the segment funny.
Many of the comments were hyperbolic, warning that Antifa are the only thing standing between democracy and full-blown Nazism.
Many of the responders, who identify as “leftist” rather than liberal, were upset by the liberal comedian’s criticism of their extremist beliefs, and responded with childish insults.
The Daily Show, which has always courted the establishment left, may now find itself at odds with a significant chunk of its audience who otherwise agree with everything else Noah says. But none of this should come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention to Antifa’s antics. After all, “liberals get the bullet too” is an Antifa mantra.
North Korea carries out powerful new nuclear test

It has been subjected to seven rounds of United Nations Security Council sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, but always insists it will continue to pursue them.
Its first nuclear test was in 2006, and successive blasts are believed to have been aimed at refining designs and reliability as well as increasing yield.
its fifth detonation, in September last year, had a 10-kiloton yield according to Seoul — still less than the 15-kiloton US device which destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
Atomic or “A-bombs” work on the principle of nuclear fission, where energy is released by splitting atoms of enriched uranium or plutonium encased in the warhead.
Hydrogen or H-bombs, also known as thermonuclear weapons, work on fusion and are far more powerful, with a nuclear blast taking place first to create the intense temperatures required.
In Sunday’s announcement before the earthquake, KCNA said the North’s H-bomb had “explosive power that can be adjusted from tens to hundreds of kilotons depending on the target”, KCNA said Sunday, claiming technological advances “on the basis of precious successes made in the first H-bomb test”.
No H-bomb has ever been used in combat, but they make up most of the world’s nuclear arsenals.

Ex-IDF Intelligence Chief: Trump should strike preemptively in N.Korea

United States President Donald Trump “should attack North Korea preemptively,” Former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin said in an interview on Israeli radio on Sunday.
Yadlin added that Trump “needs excellent military intelligence” to carry out a preemptive strike as “the counter strike might reach South Korea and Japan.”
“The question is if the US has the military intelligence that will enable it to destroy North Korean nuclear capacities in a preemptive strike,” said Yadlin. “The entire topic of a military strike is complex. If after an [American] attack a missile will be launched against him [Trump] then the attack makes no sense.”
Yadlin, now the head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), went on to compare the realities of Iran and North Korea, warning that they are very different.
“Unlike the situation in Iran in which Saudi Arabia and Israel encourage the US to act, South Korea and Japan understand the price a preemptive strike might cost them so they caution the US to show restraint.”
“The [US] Secretary of Defense [James Mattis] said that a war against North Korea is a type of war that has not been waged in decades,” stressed Yadlin. “He understands the meaning of such a war so he serves as a cautionary element working with a president who says that all options are on the table.”
The reactions to these threats must thus be adjusted accordingly.

Ex-Israeli Defense Minister: Iran Will Be Watching How World Reacts to North Korea’s Nuclear Provocations

Iran will be watching how the world reacts to North Korea’s latest nuclear test, a former Israeli defense minister said on Sunday.
Following the news that Pyongyang had detonated what it claimed to be an advanced hydrogen bomb that could be put on an intercontinental ballistic missile, Moshe Ya’alon — a retired IDF lieutenant general who now heads the Manhigut Aheret NGO — tweeted, “The response of the international system, led by the US, to the North Korean regime’s provocations will reflected in the Iranian regime’s behavior on the nuclear issue in the near future.”
“Although the nuclear test is not our concern, the tension should worry us,” Ya’alon continued.
In a March interview with The Algemeiner, proliferation expert David Albright said that paying attention to any potential nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Iran should be a priority for the Trump administration.

Palestinian suspect shot by IDF said to die of wounds

A Palestinian official said Sunday that a 21-year-old Palestinian man, Raed Al-Salihi, has died of wounds he incurred during an arrest by Israeli soldiers in August.
According to Issa Qaraqe, head of the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Salihi, who was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group, was arrested in his home in the Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem on August 9.
During his arrest, Salihi was reportedly shot and critically wounded by IDF soldiers. Qaraqe said in a statement that Salihi was shot five times at close range.
He was being treated at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
A spokesperson for the hospital confirmed Salihi’s death.

PA fumes over new plan to bolster Jewish community in Hebron

The Palestinian Authority warned Saturday that a recent decision by Israel to set up a municipal administration to oversee the needs of the Jewish community in Hebron was a “destructive move.”
According to Channel 2 News, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Roni Numa on Thursday signed an administrative order allowing the community’s administrative council to form a municipal services directorate that would make decisions on social, educational and health issues independently of Hebron’s municipality, which is run by the Palestinian Authority.
But the move, intended to improve the daily lives of the Jewish residents of the city sparked the Palestinian Authority’s outrage, as it claimed it was a violation of the status quo in the city.
Fatah officials labeled the move “racist,” “destructive” and “very dangerous,” warning it could bring about “the collapse of all agreements.”
An official Fatah statement quoted by Channel 2 News said the move was “the implementation of apartheid policy and an attempt to Judaize the Old City [of Hebron]. This is a preliminary step to imposing Israeli sovereignty and preventing any diplomatic solution in the region.”
Hebron Governor Kamal Hamid warned the move could “lead to chaos and threaten stability in the region.”

Lebanese PM denies Iran building weapons facilities in his country

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri over the weekend rebuffed Israeli claims that Iran was building missile production facilities in Lebanon.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Monde, Hariri said that Israel is accustomed to “running these disinformation campaigns. The Israelis know very well that there are no [Iranian] missile factories in Lebanon.”
Israel Hayom reported Friday that Israeli defense officials believes that the weapon manufacturing facilities Iran is building in Syria and Lebanon will become operational in the foreseeable future, unless some action is taken to prevent it.
Senior Israeli defense officials further said that “Hezbollah doesn’t pay attention to Hariri” and ignores his concerns over the matter.
In his interview with Le Monde, however, Hariri was adamant in his denial of the Israeli claims.
“We are a country of laws with government institutions, and Hezbollah cannot do as they please. Everyone is equal before the law in Lebanon,” he insisted.

Western aggression will ‘entail heavy costs,’ Iran warns

Enemies are unlikely to attack Iran, especially on the ground, the country’s military chief predicted on Saturday, saying even “unwise” leaders in the West know that any such conflict would have huge costs for them.
U.S. President Donald Trump, adopting an aggressive posture towards Iran after its test launch of a ballistic missile, said in February that “nothing is off the table” in dealing with Tehran, and the White House said it was putting Iran “on notice.”
“In the remote case of aggression [by enemies], this won’t be on the ground because they would face brave warriors,” Iran’s semiofficial news agency Tasnim quoted military Chief of Staff Gen. Mohammad Bagheri as saying.
“Thank God, even the unwise who lead world arrogance [the West] … can conclude that attacking the Islamic republic would entail heavy costs,” Bagheri said at an air defense exhibition.
“Even if they would control the start of an aggression, they would not have a say about its end and they won’t even be able to limit the war to Iran’s borders,” Bagheri added.
Meanwhile, Iran’s new defense minister said Saturday his priority was to boost the country’s missile program and export weapons to shore up neighboring allies.

Warning US, Iran threatens to destroy ‘rabid’ airplanes

Iran’s Arabic language TV station al-Alam reported that the country’s air defense base sent two warnings in the last six months to US spy aircraft that approached Iranian airspace.
The TV’s website quoted the country’s chief of air defense, Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili, as saying Iran warned a U2 reconnaissance aircraft on March 21. He did not mention the location.
He also said the country’s air defense warned an American drone on August 26.
Gen. Esmaili said: “We do not allow such rabid aircrafts to enter our territory and if necessary, will not hesitate to destroy them.”
Iran has repeatedly announced such activities over the past years to demonstrate the capabilities of the country’s armed forces.
In an interview on Saturday, Esmaili said Iran has tested its homegrown air defense system, designed to match the Russian S-300.

Ryerson students looking for answers over prof’s ‘anti-Semitic’ tweets

Students at Ryerson and York University began complaining last December that tweets from Valentina Capurri, a contract lecturer in Ryerson’s department of geography and environmental studies, were littered with references to “zio,” a short pejorative for “Zionist.”
Capurri’s tweets said she does “not engage in conversation with zio trolls,” that there is a “zio-fanatic PM here in Canada” and that ISIS and Israel “are in bed together.”
One message warned that “the day will come when the zio-murderer will have to pay a price for this. #GenocideInGaza.”
Another tweet linked to an article by the notorious U.S. conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett, who fulminated about the Rothschild banking family and its plans for global domination.
The Israeli Students Association at York University lodged the complaint in conjunction with Ryerson students in December 2016. Capurri’s Twitter account and her offending posts were made inaccessible to the public shortly thereafter.
At least one Jewish student wants to know more.

Canada’s largest private sector union adopts BDS resolution

Canada’s largest private union, Unifor, has reportedly adopted a motion supporting the BDS movement.
According to the Canadian Jewish News, Unifor voted in favor of the resolution titled “Palestinian Self-Determination and the Movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” at the Unifor Canadian Council.
The resolution stated that Unifor does not condone violence against innocent civilians “or other human rights violations by either side of the conflict.”
Unifor will implement BDS tactics to hit “sectors of Israel’s economy and society which profit from the ongoing occupation of the OPT (occupied Palestinian territories).”
The resolution continued: “Unifor will support such a form of BDS until such time as Israel implements a permanent ban on further settlement construction in the OPT, and enters into good faith negotiations with representatives of the Palestinian people for the purpose of establishing a viable, contiguous and truly sovereign Palestinian state.”
The motion condemns Israel’s settlement policy and continued settlement building, calling it a violation of international law and “an undeniable obstacle to the Israel – Palestine peace-process.”

Guardian’s Peter Beaumont provides a perfect example of media double standards on Israel.

A recent article by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Peter Beaumont, again shows how what media outlets ignore in their coverage of the conflict is as misleading to news consumers than the errors in the stories they do cover. The piece (“Trump’s ambassador refers to ‘alleged occupation’, Sept. 1) is critical of the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, for his characterisation, during a Jerusalem Post interview, of the situation in the Palestinian territories as an “alleged occupation”

Beaumont quoted a response by an unnamed Palestinian official who warned that “Mr Friedman should realise that denying facts doesn’t mean that they don’t exist”.
Of course, the hypocrisy of a PA official lecturing anyone on factual or historical accuracy was no doubt lost on Beaumont, as the veteran Guardian journalist has consistently ignored the continuous Palestinian denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem and the existence of the Jewish Temple. Whilst Beaumont critically reported on Friedman’s use of the word “alleged” before “occupation”, he’s failed over the years to acknowledge PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s use of the term “alleged Temple” to question the existence of the First and Second Temples.
As Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) demonstrated, such denial of Jewish history is actually quite common among PA officials. PMW reported that, during a one year period, from 2011 to 2012, Abbas and the PA have used the term “alleged Temple” at least 97 times in official statements. And, the PA’s efforts to erase the Jewish historical connection to Israel continues to this day. In July 2017 alone, an Abbas speech included use of the term “alleged Temple”, as did his ministers of Religious Affairs and Foreign Affairs.
Such historical lies about the Temple are often used in the context of PA incitement over al-Aqsa Mosque. Here’s a clip of the PA Religious Affairs Minister using the term “alleged Temple” whilst exploiting recent tensions in Jerusalem to warn of Israeli ‘plans’ to destroy the mosque.

Germany must ask forgiveness

The presidents of Germany and Israel will meet on Tuesday to inaugurate a memorial in Munich’s Olympic Village in commemoration of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Olympic Games in the Bavarian capital.
It took the Germans 45 years to build this memorial, and it would not have happened without Israeli pressure or, more precisely, without the actions of Israeli diplomats.
When the new Israeli Consulate opened six years ago in Munich, a dumbfounded Esther Roth-Shahamorov, who survived the massacre and was invited to participate in that capacity at the consulate’s inauguration ceremony, asked Consul Tibor Shalev-Schlosser how it could be that the German authorities had not yet built a memorial commemorating the victims of the massacre. Shalev-Schlosser’s response was to immediately begin working to establish a memorial. During his time working there, he banged on every door imaginable in an effort to secure the approval of the relevant authorities.
The inauguration ceremony will be an opportunity to thank all those who worked for the blessed initiative, which comes better late than never. Moreover, it provides a one-time opportunity for German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to ask forgiveness from the victims’ relatives, from the survivors of the terrorist attack and from Israel on behalf of his country.

German soccer ‘fans’ shout Nazi-era chants, shocking team

Germany players have blasted a hardcore group of “fans” for shouting Nazi-era chants during a World Cup qualifier as the world champions hope to secure a finals berth on Monday.
Germany have three qualifiers left but can wrap up their place at next year’s tournament in Russia by beating Norway in Stuttgart on Monday if nearest rivals Northern Ireland fail to beat the Czech Republic the same night in Belfast.
However, the behavior of a group of traveling fans in Friday’s 2-1 win against the Czechs in Prague has shocked Joachim Loew’s team.
The chants were particularly embarrassing from a German perspective as they came on the anniversary of the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, which started World War II in 1939.
Mats Hummels’ late header in Prague maintained Germany’s perfect record of seven wins from seven World Cup qualifiers.
But the result was tainted by the repulsive chants, while German fans whistled during the minute’s silence before kick-off for two deceased Czech officials.

Netflix to release film on how ‘Curb’ influenced a murder trial

Larry David, creator of hit shows “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” claims to have “done at least one decent thing” in his life, “albeit inadvertently.”
Despite the characteristic self-deprecation, David’s good deed was significant enough to have an impact on a murder trial. And now Netflix is releasing a short documentary about it.
The much-hyped doc, entitled “Long Shot,” will be available on the streaming site beginning September 29.
Fans of the show “Curb” might already be familiar with the story: Back in August, 2003, Juan Catalan faced a murder charge for the shooting of 16-year-old Martha Puebla. The charge potentially could have carried the death penalty for Catalan, who was then 24 years old, because Puebla had testified against Catalan’s brother Mario in separate a gang-related murder case.
Catalan maintained that he was at a Los Angeles Dodgers game at the time of the murder, but the only proof of his alibi were a couple of ticket stubs that could have belonged to anybody.

Conan O’Brien Meets Gal Gadot, Hits Tel Aviv Beach and Drinks Guinness as Week-Long Israel Trip Draws to Close

American talk show host Conan O’Brien kept popping across Tel Aviv this weekend as his week-long tour of Israel drew to a close.
O’Brien has provided frequent social media updates throughout his journey, during which he was filming an episode of his “Conan Without Borders” show for TBS.
On Saturday, O’Brien posted a photo he took with Israeli actress and “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot.
“Besides being beautiful and talented, Gal Gadot is easily the nicest superhero I’ve ever met,” O’Brien wrote.
Also on Saturday, O’Brien stopped by the Tel Aviv shoreline, from where he posted a picture of him meeting a picnicking Israeli Arab family and a video of him playing “matkot” on the beach.
The comedian’s social media feed also includes a photo of him imbibing a Guinness at a Tel Aviv Irish pub, Molly Bloom’s. O’Brien often refers proudly to his Irish roots.

Watch: Conan O’Brien on the set of ‘Fauda’

American comedian Conan O’Brien visited the set of the popular Israeli TV show ‘Fauda’ last week, snapping pictures with the actors and expressing his love for the show to everyone in earshot.
“I am a huge fan of Fauda. I’ve binged watched it.” O’Brien said. “It’s very exciting for me to come here and see the actors.”
O’Brien said that he never lost the excitement of meeting his favorite actors. “Throughout all my years in show business, I never lost the feeling of seeing my favorite actors in person. I’m like oh my God, its them!”
“What I love about Fauda is that characters from every single viewpoint are represented. Its addictive.”
Fauda is a show about an Israeli undercover counter terrorism unit that is desperately trying to locate arch-terrorist Abu Ahmed before he can commit another attack. Always popular in Israel, the series recently took off in the United States after it became available on Netflix in November.

What BDS movement? Conan O’Brien defies critics on Israel tour

When most celebrities come to Israel, they have a photo-op or two, give a performance where an occasional ‘shalom!’ is uttered and then are quickly whisked away to go back home.
But late night TV host Conan O’Brien raised the bar.
The brazen red-haired funny man spent a week collecting footage for a special episode that will highlight all the high-jinks that ensued while here.
This is far from the first time O’Brien has traveled the world to joke around with locals. Armenia, Mexico, and Cuba have all been featured in his TBS show Conan.
When O’Brien travels the world speaking to political officials, entertainers and regular everyday folks, he doesn’t usually get weighty accusations like “apartheid apologist” and “enabler of an occupation” leveled at him. But Israel is a unique place, where every move, every tourist attraction visit is seen as a political statement.
The most interesting aspect of the his visit, though, is that he defiantly ignored his critics and treated Israel like it’s an attractive (and normal) tourist destination.
And that’s because it is.
Take a look at all of Conan’s stops here:
A visit of the set of the hit Israeli TV show Fauda (what O’Brien referred to as a favorite of his), floating and singing Hava Nagila in the Dead Sea, meeting doctors of Ziv hospital who are saving the lives of Syrian refugees and hitting up an Israeli hummus restaurant.
By all accounts it seems like O’Brien enjoyed an immersive experience during his stay here, with a joy that far surpassed most celebrity visits.
We saw a mere glimpse of a love for Israel when Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith jokingly declared that he’s “making aliya,” but O’Brien has gone a step further than any standard celebrity tour. He’s joking around with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and feeding his dog cucumbers, he’s posing with IDF female combatants of the Carcal battalion and he’s posting everything on social media for his 25.4 million followers to see.
He is, essentially, Roger Water’s worst nightmare.

Battle of Beersheba” -Centenary 2017

On October 31 1917, 400 years to the day Islamic forces had taken over the Jewish settlement of Beersheba, the 4th and 12th Australian Light Horse regiments took back the town, with just bayonets in hand, in the last great cavalry charge in history. The Turkish and German armies were taken by surprise as, even in 1917, a cavalry charge was considered old-school and primitive. The Turkish artillery in particular found it impossible to adjust the sights on their heavy equipment quickly enough to fire at the Australians advancing 5 times faster than the tanks they had become used to. Later that day the captured German Commander was to say of the Australians: “They are not soldiers at all; they are madmen”. The taking back of Jerusalem 6 weeks later would have been impossible if the crucial water supplies of Beersheba weren’t captured first. And so it was that the youngest nation on Earth (then just 16 years extant) opened the way for the eventual restoration of the world’s oldest nation, Israel. Thanks to Glenn Jones and the Australian Outback Spectacular, Gold Coast Australia for their generous assistance in the making of this film. Black and white footage from the classic 1940 Australian film “40,000 horsemen” used with permission-Director Charles Chauvel

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