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Category: Israel News (page 8 of 103)

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Bibi Takes Ma’ariv and Channel 10 News to Court

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu filed a lawsuit with the Jerusalem Magistrates Court against Hebrew daily “Ma’ariv” and Channel 10 News on Tuesday, over an investigative report by Raviv Drucker about Netanyahu’s donors in the 2005 Likud primaries. He is insisting on NIS 1 million from each, in damages.

The Channel 10 report claimed the Prime Minister spent more than $50,000 while on a six-day public relations tour during the 2006 Lebanon invasion. The tab included staying with his wife at the Connaught Hotel – among London’s finest – bar bills, first class airfare, meals, dry cleaning and $3,170 for theater tickets.

Netanyahu’s statement said:

“The mention of the prime minister in the mendacious article is contemptuous and very hurtful. It creates a negative image and presents him as a criminal in a way that humiliates in the eyes of society and to make him a target of ridicule and mockery for alleged acts which have no factual basis.”

The statement said Channel 10 and Drucker published the article :

“Maliciously and in bad faith, as part of a witch-hunt against Netanyahu. The blood of the prime minister will not be spilled with impunity. There is no place to allow a witch-hunt of the prime minister when there is not an iota of truth in the facts.”

The libel suit against “Ma’ariv” is based on the report, Netanyahu claims “gives the reader the erroneous impression that the value of dinner eaten by Netanyahu and his wife is NIS 60,000, and that similar dinners were part of their ostensible ‘spendthrift travels’.”

The Prime Minister’s attorney said Bibi and his wife “never ate a dinner whose cost approaches the value stated in the article’s headline and the impression obtained from reading the article and the subhead is erroneous and misleading.”

Song of a Prisoner

Alan GrossLast month, Alan Gross, a 61 year-old US aid contractor was sentenced to 15 years in a Cuban prison for crimes against the state. After a two-day trial, a panel of judges accused the American Jew of being involved in a US-funded “subversive project” to “topple the Revolution.” Actually, Gross was working for the Bethesda, Maryland-based Development Alternatives, Inc. on a USAID-backed democracy-building project. He was hired under an $8.6 million contract.

Bonnie Goldstein of PoliticsDaily.com, wrote last year, of the project, from the American perspective:

“Since 1996, a small effort to stick our thumb in the island’s eye developed with the formation of a “Cuba democracy program” within USAID to deliver “humanitarian aid” and “information” to “human rights and political activists” and families of dissidents. For years the democracy program’s budget, about $2 million to start with, was funneled into grants to Cuban American groups in Miami that ostensibly used the money to somehow promote freedoms for Cubans still on the island.”

Unfortunately, program funds were misused. A 2006 audit and investigation by the GAO highlighted taxpayer monies used to purchase Godiva chocolates, Nintendo GameBoys and cashmere sweaters. An alleged embezzlement scheme by another grantee was discovered in 2008, leading a member of the House to challenge USAID’s annual program allocation, which had by then grown to $45 million per year. The agency agreed to more closely monitor its contractors, and soon after Alan Gross was hired via DAI to travel to Cuba.

He was convicted of “acts against the independence and territorial integrity of the state” for setting up covert Internet networks for Cuba dissidents utilizing “sophisticated” communications technology. The prosecutors sought a 20-year sentence for the worker, who has been jailed since his Havana arrest on December 3, 2009.

Immediately, the United States, who contended Gross was only setting up Internet access for the island’s Jewish community, came to his defense.

CubaThis week, former US President, Jimmy Carter, (famous for criticizing Israeli policy) is scheduled to meet with Jewish leaders in Cuba concerning Gross. According to the agenda, Carter is scheduled to meet with Cuban President Raul Castro and Roman Catholic Cardinal Jaime Ortega before leaving on Wednesday.

The trip is under the aegis of the Carter Center, who insist the trip’s aim is to discuss economic policies and improve relations between the US and Cuba.

US officials insist that the 15-year sentence imposed on Gross is a “stumbling block to any rapprochement…” between the nations.

In a statement welcoming Carter’s mission, Gross’s wife, Judy, said:

“If he is able to help Alan in any way while he is there, we will be extraordinarily grateful,” she said in the emailed statement. “Our family is desperate for Alan to return home, after nearly 16 months in prison. We continue to hope and pray that the Cuban authorities will release him immediately on humanitarian grounds.”

Last month, the Reverend Jesse Jackson also complained to Cuba concerning the situation; saying “granting him freedom on humanitarian grounds could open the door for better relations.”

He said:

“I am not making a legal case. I am making a humanitarian plea, a moral appeal…I hope that Raul [Castro] and the governing officials see the advantage of letting him go. Every time a prisoner is let go, it opens the door for increased dialogue and possibilities.”

Rumble in the Strip

The Obama administration commended the progress of Palestinian security services.
In a statement last Sunday, the U.S. State Department said:

“The program has witnessed increased coordination of activities amongst international donors, and is achieving notable progress on security, justice, corrections, and other new fronts…”

The statement marked a visit to the Middle East, last week by William Brownfield, assistant secretary of state, responsible for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the American department running the training program for Palestinian Authority police.

Obama has been urging Israel to cede more authority to the Palestinian security services, in that it would boost Palestinian confidence, pushing the peace process into progress.

Meanwhile, Israel is pressing the United States as well as certain governments in Europe to pressure Mahmoud Abbas not to establish a unity government with Hamas, who is centered in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas is calling for new Palestinian elections within six months, though he says they cannot be held unless residents in the Gaza Strip participate. Hamas declines to hold elections in Gaza unless there is a reconciliation deal.

Meanwhile, on earth, Israel thwarted an attempt by Gazans to launch an anti-tank missile at an IDF force in northern Gaza. Also on Tuesday, a Kassam was fired from Gaza into southern Israel. Last week Israel suffered the worst rain of mortars fired from the strip in two years – upwards of fifty mortar shells landed.

The IDF responded with an attack causing three or four unfortunate casualties and successfully hitting all targets. Two terror tunnels, two weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, and two additional sites.

All this, though, before a bomb in a bag exploded next to a bus in Jerusalem, causing 39 injured Israelis and one 60 year old woman, killed.

The Jerusalem Marathon, set to take place Friday at the site of the terror incident will happen as scheduled.

This Week Around the World

Jews in Danger

Last week in London, two men were arrested by the police when a pro-Israel protester, standing outside the School of Oriental and African studies was bitten on the cheek and subsequently taken to the hospital.

Four members of the organization, Stand With Us, decided to go to SOAS after
learning that a Celebrate Palestine event was going down – part of Israel Apartheid Week. Two of these Jewish gentlemen, Tony Coren and Gili Brenner, went into the university and held a conversation with the student
participants.

Palestinian child

“We had placards and some information packs, and we had some very interesting and civilised discussions,” said Mr. Coren. However, the situation quickly, unexpectedly turned antagonistic, “About four or five people were standing around Gili, Ro’i Goldman, and the fourth member of our group, Dean Gold. One man
began to say some extremely unpleasant things about Jews. He said that
the best thing the Jews had ever done was to go into the gas chambers.
Dean asked if he could film him. The man said yes, adding that ‘these
things should be heard
.'”

“Another man then came forward and told the abusive man that he did not
have to be filmed or interviewed. Despite the abusive man agreeing to be
filmed, Mr Coren said, the second man, who was “big and burly and of
Middle East appearance,” allegedly launched himself at Dean, grabbing at his
camera, punching him and then biting him on the cheek….There was a struggle and the university security guards came out. A number of other people then began to say we shouldn’t be there. The president of the union came out and said we had made our point. A policeman strongly advised us to leave.”

Jenni Frazer, of the Jewish Chronicle Online, reported:

“Ro’i Goldman, who plans to study in the UK next year, said he was very shocked by the experience. But Tony Coren said he was not shocked, but was angry that the university authorities had indicated that by their very presence, the Stand With Us
protesters had possibly provoked the attack.”

Meanwhile, an IDF officer suffered slight injuries on Yom Purim during a scuffle on Yehuda Hayamit Street in Jaffa. A captain in the Armored Corps, the officer was attacked from behind by an unidentified assailant while sitting on a bench. The assailant stabbed him once in the chest and snatched his rifle.

The officer was evacuated to the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Beyond the Palin

Meanwhile, 2008 vice Presidential nominee, former Alaskan governor, and American Republican Party mogul, Sarah Palin visited the Kotel on Purim. She is scheduled to have dinner with Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife on Monday. Reuters reported that she said Israel is “too apologetic.”

Reuters Has the Scoop

Meanwhile, on Saturday night, Hamas men broke into a Reuters office in Gaza and assaulted one journalist, clobbering him with a metal pole and breaking his arm.

Hamas is divided over Mahmoud Abbas’ offer to visit Gaza and conduct conference with Hamas leaders about the formation of a Palestinian Unity government.

Seizing the Victoria

Last Tuesday, the Israeli Navy seized a German merchant vessel chartered by a French company transporting weapons from Syria to Gaza 200 miles west off the Israeli. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said the “Victoria” ship sailed under the Liberian flag and was carrying various types of weapons.

Netanyahu said:

“We had reason to assume the ship carried weapons meant to hurt Israeli citizens. The source of the weapons is Iran…The takeover was carried out mid sea in accordance with international law. The ship is being escorted to Ashdod.”

In addition to weapons, the soldiers that boarded the “Victoria” found a radar used for detecting ships prior to the launch of anti-ship missiles.

At least four anti-ship missiles with a range of roughly 22 miles was found on the vessel. Deputy Navy Commander Rear Admiral Rani Ben-Yehuda said the C-704 missiles were a threat to Israeli sea-based strategic installations and navy vessels.

During the Second Lebanon War, in 2006, a Chinese-made C-802 missile struck the INS Hanit off the coast of Beirut, killing four Israeli sailors.

En route to Alexandria, Egypt from Syria, the ship docked at Turkey’s Mersin Port. It is thought that the weapons on board were meant for terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

Security officials had been tracking the vessel for several days. It is thought the weapons were intended to pass Rafah’s tunnels en route to Gaza hence avoiding the naval blockade.

Netanyahu authorized the Navy operation Monday night and was briefed on the developments on Tuesday. The PM told a conference in Eilat Tuesday afternoon:

“Iran sends weapons to terrorist organizations in Gaza that would target the heads of our children. It is our right and duty to take action. We will unload the equipment and show it to the world, a world that rushes to blame Israel, which is struggling for the lives of its citizens.”

Also on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff, Benny Gantz, told Defense Minister Ehud Barak that the weapons found on the ship. The Foreign Ministry informed German authorities of the arrest as the ship belongs to a German company as well as the government of Liberia.
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They Shoot, We Build

EMG, the East Mediterranean Gas Company is restarting its gas supply, after it was severed on February 5th, after a terror attack on a pipeline between Suez and El Arish, shortly after the onset of the mutiny in Egypt. This move will renew the natural gas flow to Israel.

Bedouin opposition groups have been staging protests against resuming the flow and the cooperation of Egyptian officials with the Jordanian government to raise the prices. At the cost of $460 million, EMG built the pipeline from the Sinai to Ashkelon in 2008.

Meanwhile, Lebanese demonstrators gathered in Beirut’s Martyrs Square on Sunday to protest the Iranian-led Hezbollah, who has taken over that feeble nation. Apropos, the building of a Palestinian State may be hurried along this way: a “Tahrir Square” in the West Bank, or, or, or, The Gaza Strip. However, the Palestinian people are not seemingly capable of such a high-level of organization and order.

Amidst the push for Democracy in Lebanon and the nebulous nature of Egypt, if there is one person doing justice to democracy in the Middle East it is no other than Israel Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

While reactionary Jewish “price-taggers” are playing vigilante by stoning and igniting Palestinian vehicles, Bibi has the right idea. “Hem Yorim – Anachnu Bonim: They shoot, we build.” He is responding to the murder of the Fogel family by building. 500 new homes are going up in Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Sefer and Gush Etzion.

United Nations special coordinator, Robert Serry, complained about the decision:

“It is not conducive to efforts to renew negotiations and achieve a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Dear Mr. Netanyahu and Barak, Time to Replace West Bank Checkposts

The five members of the Israeli family murdered at Itamar, 1:00 a.m. Shabbat morning were Udi Fogel, 38; Ruth Fogel, 35; Yoav 11; Elad, 3; and Hadas, four-months old. They are survived by Roi, 8; Yishai, 2; and sister Tamar, 12, who discovered her family, butchered, when arriving home late that night. Security officials in the settlement did not know of the incident until three hours after it happened.

The family moved to Itamar in the “West Bank,” after Jewish communities were forcibly evicted from the Gaza Strip in 2007; part of the Sharon government’s disengagement.

Hamas networks have been regrouping in Judea and Samaria for the purpose of attacking and kidnapping Israelis on either side of the Green Line. Several Palestinians were detained recently at the few remaining “West Bank” checkposts with pipe bombs, knives and fire bombs.

Leading up to last fall’s failed peace talks, U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had pressured Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to grant West Bank Palestinians nearly unrestricted freedom of movement and generous aid for their economic development.

Last September, on the eve of peace negotiations in Washington, a loan Palestinian gunman fired at a vehicle traveling on Route 60 near the entrance to Kiryatr Arba. The victims were Yitzhak Ames, 47, and his wife Tali Ames, 45; Kochava Even-Haim, 37, and Avishai Schindler, 24. The ames had six children, including a toddler of one-and-a-half years.

Hamas was responsible for that attack. Hamas hailed the murder of the Fogel family, whose throats were slashed, as “a heroic operation.” The attack was the initial result of an Iran-funded secret conference in Khartoum last week of the heads of the national branches of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to one source:

“Iranian intelligence officers attending the conference used the occasion to set up direct contacts with Brotherhood leaders who came from Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Great Britain. The Palestinian delegation representing Hamas-Gaza was headed by Mahmoud A-Zahar and Hamas-Damascus headed by Khaled Meshaal.”

Both PA Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and Abu Mazen condemned the action. However, Netanyahu accuses them of “hypocritically mouthing peace slogans abroad while promoting anti-Israel incitation and propaganda on a daily basis in Palestinian schools and mosques.”

Netanyahu said in a statement:

“I noticed that some of the states that rushed to the Security Council to condemn Israel, the Jewish State, for planning to build a home somewhere, are slow in issuing a harsh condemnation over the murder of Jewish babies…There’ is no justification whatsoever, no excuse and no forgiveness for the murder of babies.”

Officials of the Prime Minister’s Office are pondering the option of releasing grotesque photographs of the terror attack aftermath in Itamar to the foreign media. Photographs are not usually published in Israel following terror attacks. Should such protocol be overturned, Israel’s Government Press Office will hand over the photographs to global media outlets.

Between Survival and Democracy

Hosni Mubarak, Abdullah II, ObamaMubarak was in tight with the West. He was progressive, but progressing toward what? He wanted peace between Palestine and Israel, but no democracy in Egypt. Obama wants more land and more time for the Palestinians, yet he does not demand democracy among the Palestinians whose political chasm often results in the jailing of journalists and citizen bloggers, and even sectarian violence.

Yair Lapid wrote in his column in Yediot Achronot Saturday:

“We’re both good and bad, we love our country and hate it, we think we cannot go on like this but also know there is no other choice.”

He wrote,

“We are both Jewish and democratic, even though it’s unclear what this means. We thank God for choosing us from all nations, but we also remember that he disappeared once, when we most needed him.”

The article continued in a state of uncertainty, bouncing between one extreme and another; symbolic of Israel’s foggy reality, and evocative of, well, democracy.

But if circumstance has not plunged us far enough into a state of uncertainty, the White House has. President George W. Bush influenced us to give up the Gaza Strip, resulting in an impossible situation; the tiny strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan in width, and Lebanon/Syria and Egypt in length, has become a hologram. Turned toward the light you see Palestine; turned away from the light, you see Israel. In between the light and the dark is either the humanitarian and democratic push for peace, the splitting of the land into two countries, living side by side in peace; or a giant puddle of Jewish blood.

With the exit from Gaza in the first decade of the millennium, influenced by a Republican American President, partial to Christian Zionism, the IDF was forced to choose between admittedly disproportionate military operations and blockades, or slow but imminent destruction.

On Friday, President Obama met with Democratic donors in Miami saying:

“When you look at what’s happening around the world what’s happening in the Middle East, it is a manifestation of new technologies, the winds of freedom that are blowing through countries that have not felt those winds in decades, a whole new generation that says I want to be a part of this world. It’s a dangerous time, but it’s also a huge opportunity for us.”

He continued, “All the forces that we see building in Egypt are the forces that should be naturally aligned with us. Should be aligned with Israel.”

But three or four months before Obama told Mubarak to step down, he told Netanyahu to continue the moratorium on West Bank housing; organizing peace talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, under the aegis of none other than Hosni Mubarak. Obama is saying this: Israel should sacrifice land; AND endure more and more terrorism as a result. And a new democracy in Egypt will push Israel even FURTHER left; demanding the sacrifice of MORE land, that is the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem; AND to endure missile and mortar attacks with a smile on her face. This, according to Obama, according to Israel’s left, is what is good for us.

If almost every Arab nation is thrown into a state of turmoil, though, dog-paddling between autocracies, monarchies and god-blessed DEMOCRACY; why should the Jewish democracy in Israel be the one getting pushed around? Now we make two observations: The Obama White House becomes more and more admired by the Arab world; and Israel becomes less and less secure. Time will tell, but for now it seems as if the truth is found somewhere between survival and democracy.

University of Pittsburgh Israeli Propaganda War Rages On

Students for Justice in Palestine produced a video of their rude, immature protest of an Israeli speaker at the University of Pittsburgh. Their video was riddled with inaccuracies, out-of-context quotes and a general disregard for character or respect (not to mention shoddy camera work and even worse editing).

This is their video, but edited with subtitles to give it more context, and with the face of the speaker blurred as per his request regarding security concerns. The entire University of Pittsburgh community has been embarrassed by and ashamed of Students for Justice in Palestine, and this video shows why.

Also, a little lawyer speak: This video is a legal commentary production as defined under the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107.

Settlers Clashing With Police and Friendly Farming in the Jordan Valley

Police Commissioner, Dudi Cohen, determined that defense forces acted appropriately during the Havat Gilad incident last week, when 15 Jewish settlers were injured when a Civil Administration team showed up at the illegal outpost with police forces, to demolish the newly built structures. A clash ensued in which settlers threw rocks at the forces and the police were forced to shoot plastic bullets. Eight activists were brought into police custody.

west bank sustainable farmAnd on a more positive note, to the side of the Jordan Valley road, greenhouses and long palm trees ornament the vista, demonstrating the economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians.

Amid al-Masri, an agricultural landowner in the Jordan Valley said:

“Cooperation between us and Israel began at the end of the second intifada because we had much to learn from you…We cooperate with many Israeli companies on issues like de-infestation, irrigation and seedlings.”

A foreman at one of the Palestinian Authority’s foremost agricultural companies, Omad Hossam a-Zorbe, said:

“This project is funded by USAID and we now have 200 dunams (49.4 acres) of greenhouses. Most of the produce is for export, and whatever is left gets sent to the local market.”

Palestinian farmers are exporting their produce to countries with which they have trade agreements, through Israeli companies. Palestinians farmers also export produce from the Valley to Israeli farmers, bypassing the boycott of myriad European countries and economic bodies.

The Civil Administration is the organization supervising the cooperation; and is also responsible for instructing farmers and making sure they meet tough Israeli health standards.

An officer at the Civil Administration’s agriculture section, Samir Muaddi, said:

“We’re working with farmers and the Palestinian agriculture ministry to help them market their produce in Israel and make sure that the product we get is of a certain quality…Palestinians take part in seminars on modern agriculture and are exposed to Israeli and international innovations through the administration.”

Mazen Snokrut, the one-time Palestinian Economy Minister and now packing-house owner praised the project:

“This project is the best example of a win-win situation,” “This is an Israeli-Palestinian connection that has created trust between the two sides. We are working with no enemies here. We have joint creation with many companies from the Israeli economy – we buy their technology and seedlings and through them export to Europe and the US and even have Israeli agronomists here.”

Republic of Splintered Cedars: “The People Want To Bring Down the Regime”

Good for Lebanon. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Beirut on Sunday to protest their country’s sectarian political system.

Copping a sentiment ubiquitous now throughout the Middle East, protesters chanted, “the people want to bring down the regime!

LebanonAccording to Reuters:

“Lebanon is governed by a delicate power-sharing system to maintain the balance between the country’s many sects. It is unlike many other Arab countries where protests have been against rulers who have governed for decades.”

Actually, you’d have to say Lebanon’s government is still a work in progress. Backed by Iranian proxy, the Shia group, Hezbollah, Najib Migati has taken his place at the helm of the Cedar Republic – so we know who really wears the pants in that family.

The country suffered a 15-year civil war ending in 1990 and killing 150,000 people. Then in 2008, after Israel crushed the Lebanese infrastructure as a reaction to Hezbollah terror on the Jewish State, sectarian violence broke out anew.

The organizers of the recent protest handed out a leaflet explaining their demand “secular, civil, democratic, socially just and equal state” and calling for an increase in the minimum wage, as well for price slashes on basic goods.

As protests continue throughout the Middle East, such uprisings have unseated the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia – with Libya teetering on Civil War if Muammar el-Qhadaffi does not step down.

A few months ago, a WikiLeaks cable divulged that Lebanon defense minister gave advice to Israel back in 2008 on how it will be possible to defeat Hezbollah.

The memo quoted Elias Murr telling US officials that areas under Hezbollah control would not be defended by Lebanese forces:

“If Israel has to bomb all of these places in the Shia areas as a matter of operational concern, that is Hezbollah’s problem…”

The minister also warned that an Israeli drone on Lebanon should avoid hitting Christian areas:

“Murr told us that Israel would do well to avoid two things when it comes for Hezbollah…One, it must not touch the Blue Line or the UNSCR 1701 areas as this will keep Hezbollah out of these areas…Two, Israel cannot bomb bridges and infrastructure in the Christian areas…”

Palestinian Unity Government

A unity government is being formed between Hamas and Fatah representatives. It is to be headed by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and will include members from both factions, as well as independents.

Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, along with a number of Hamas leaders, have acquiesced the new plans. Under the conditions for the unity government, Hamas may continue ruling in the Gaza Strip, so long as it abstains from the use of violence.

Previously, Hamas approached the offer with suspicion. One of the group’s leaders, Salah al-Bardawil said “Fayyad does not represent the Palestinian leadership” and that due to his lack of legitimacy, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority is “not authorized to speak about public affairs.

However, in recent days, the ice has begun to melt. Mahmoud a-Zahar, a Hamas leader in Gaza says he is open to the deal; and according to Israel Radio, Fayad says he is willing to go to Gaza to discuss further, the unity deal with Hamas. Also, Nabil Shaath, a top official in the Fatah Party, told The Associated Press that he would go to Gaza soon to negotiate with Hamas leaders to work out the terms for a unity deal.

Meanwhile, two Grad-model Katyusha rockets hit the southern Israeli town Beersheba for the first time since Operation Cast Lead. The rockets fell in a residential Beersheba neighborhood; one rocket landing in the yard of a home, causing large damage. No physical injuries were reported but five people were treated for shock.

Last Wednesday afternoon, an explosive device detonated while IDF soldiers passed near the Gaza security fence during a routine operation and a mortar shell was fired at the force. No one was injured and no damage was reported.

Along with the border skirmish, five mortar shells fired from Gaza landed in the Sedot Negev Regional Council area on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a strange flipflop for American President Obama, was instructing the U.S. representative to the United Nations to veto the Security Council resolution, last Friday, that would have condemned Israel’s West Bank settlements as illegal.

Beck Commends Orthodox Judaism

Glenn BeckOn his February 22 radio show, Mormon-convert, ex-drug-addict and media mogul, Glenn Beck, compared Reform Judaism to “radical Islam,” saying that both were more about ‘politics'; that is changing what is outside of oneself, rather than actually being about ‘religion’, changing what is inside of oneself.

Beck’s comments came one month after 400 rabbis, many of whom are affiliated with the Reform movement, paid for a full page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal, denouncing what they saw as inappropriate references to the Nazi Holocaust, made by Beck, when referring to George Soros.

Beck said this:

“When you talk about rabbis, understand that most people who are not Jewish don’t understand that there are the Orthodox rabbis and then there are the Reformed (sic) rabbis. Reformed rabbis are generally political in nature. It’s almost like Islam – radicalized Islam – in a way to where radicalized Islam is less about religion than it is about politics…It’s not about terror or anything else, it’s about politics, and so it becomes more about politics than it does about faith. Orthodox rabbis that is about faith. There’s not a single orthodox rabbi on this list. This is all reformed rabbis that made this list…”

Barbara Streisand DUCK SAUCE and state of affairs

It’s almost the weekend. Actually for Israelis this is the last day of the week. So what did we have this week?
Libya is up in flames, Egypt is under new management, New Zealand had a huge earthquake, we seem to be getting some “love” in the south with the Beer Sheva rocket last night…

Have a little duck sauce and a good weekend…

Libya Falls Into It

LibyaOn Tuesday, Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi promised “To fight to the last drop of blood” as clashes intensified between loyalists and rebels in Tripoli. The latter claimed they consolidated their clutch over a chain of cities across half of the country’s 1,000 mile Mediterranean coast. The fiercest fighting happened in Tripoli. Qaddafi-loyal forces drove through the streets shooting at will from the backs of pickup trucks.

As a result, 62 were confirmed dead in the capitol, and 500 people killed elsewhere, mostly in the eastern city of Benghazi, the geographic flashpoint for the uprising.

LibyaThe Colonel appeared twice on state television, speaking from his Tripoli residence on the grounds of an army barracks. In his address, he said all who challenge the government “deserved to die.” He blamed the situation on “foreign hands,” brainwashing, people distributing pills, and the naivety of youngsters to imitate the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Speaking in third-person, his rhetoric showed delusions of grandeur:

“Muammar Qaddafi is history, resistance, liberty, glory, revolution…”

Similar situations have swept across the Middle East in recent weeks, toppling autocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and challenging those in Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere.

Born in 1942, Muammar el-Gaddafi has been in power in Libya for forty years. He funded Black September, the terrorist organization who murdered the eleven Israeli athletes during the Munich Summer Olympics in1972.

According to the New York Times he is:

“The financier of an eclectic array of guerrilla groups around the globe, he was responsible, according to Western intelligence, for many of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the mid-80s, including the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270.”

A tricky politician, though, the New York Times says:

“In an about-face to the West, Colonel Gaddafi has re-established diplomatic and economic ties throughout Europe. He has also changed with regard to Israel. The man who once called for pushing the ”Zionists” into the sea advocates the forming of one nation where Jews and Palestinians would live together in peace.”

Colonel Gaddafi founded a pan-African confederation modeled by the European Union. On February 2, 2009, he was named chairman of the African Union. However, in August 2009, the Colonel drew criticism from the American government with his exultant reaction to the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi from prison, the one man convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Mr. Megrahi was given a hero’s welcome upon arriving in Libya, and Gaddafi thanked Scottish and British officials for releasing him. The Britons looked dumb to the West.

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