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THE BIMBO OR THE BASHER

By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
May 22, 2015


ImageAyelet Shaked: Scathing scorn was heaped on her – whether in the Paritzky or Rozin idiom

Another Mideastern spring is in full swing (as distinct from the sadistically ongoing Arab Spring, not long ago confidently proclaimed by the never-erring enlightened ones as the hope of all democracies everywhere).

Springtime in our setting is notoriously unstable and in the lowly Coastal Plain some steamy nights already cause us to toss and turn when we ought to be chilling. In particularly wearisome instances our restlessness is aggravated by agitated replays of the day’s news when we ought to escape to cozy dreamland.

Thus on a recent nocturnal occasion, while my insomnia imperceptibly morphed into nightmare, new Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked rudely disturbed my peace by jumping off a pinup calendar in a dingy auto repair shop someplace in darkest Israel.

 
Iran-backed jihadi threat is top priority for new government, Netanyahu says

Prime minister presents cabinet to Rivlin, calls for ‘responsible political settlement’ with Palestinians

By Stuart Winer
Times of Israel
May 19, 2015


ImagePrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally presented his new cabinet at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday, and vowed to put the fight against Islamist extremists at the top of his agenda.

“This government has been established at a time of great challenges and opportunities,” Netanyahu said. “Our first challenge is to ensure the security of Israel in the face of accumulating threats around us. Radical Islam is lapping at all our borders, nearly all in the form of factions and forces led by Iran and other radical elements.”

He said, however, that the country would seek to forge new alliances given the regional turmoil, hinting at Israel’s shared interests with Sunni states against Iran’s nuclear program.

“Many states in the area have joint interests with us and see eye to with us on the dangers. We will make every effort to translate that partnership into peace.”

 
Getting Away with It: What Has Happened to Rule of Law?

By Douglas Murray
Gatestone Institute
May 19, 2015

But the question that hangs over Rotherham -- and which even the latest independent review could not answer -- is why so many people got away with these crimes for so long. It was left to a few intrepid journalists and four private citizens to uphold the law.

"It appears inevitable that Mr. Rahman will denounce this judgement as yet another instance of the racism and Islamophobia that have hounded him. ... It is nothing of the sort. The law must apply fairly and equally to everyone. Otherwise we are lost." — Judge Richard Mawrey QC.

Bad people do bad things, but when all the institutions of state fail to stop them, that is a problem for us all.

A veteran of the 1968 protest movements once confided what, looking back, troubled him about his generation's rebellion. "All young people rebel." he said. "What is strange is that our parents' generation gave in." It is a sentiment that could just as easily be applied to modern Britain, if not the West. It is not surprising that people do bad things. What is surprising is that so many institutions and authorities allow them to get away with it.

 
A Delegitimization Called Nakba

By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
May 15, 2015

ImageNakba instigator Husseini giving the Heil Hitler salute to Bosnian Muslim volunteers to the notorious Waffen SS (the Hanzar SS Division) in November, 1943

Delegitimization provides the sociopsychological rationale, the moral and discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways… Delegitimized groups are rhetorically constructed as worthy targets of violence.

                                                                        The Oxford Handbook of Intergroup Conflict, 2012

The above is what we Israelis, as this volatile region’s most relentlessly delegitimized group, must keep uppermost in mind every mid-May.

Whereas we celebrate our state’s Independence Day according to the Hebrew calendar, the Gregorian anniversary, May 15, is annually commemorated by Arabs as a day of lamentation for the Nakba. It’s the catastrophe according to their loaded terminology, which renascent Jewish sovereignty supposedly inflicted on the supposedly indigenous people of this land – the Palestinians.

The notion that Israel was born in sin is delegitimization in the most extreme sense.

Israel is painted as a wrong and righting the wrong means eradicating Israel. There’s no getting away from the conclusion to which this representation unavoidably leads. Israel is illegitimate both in its inception and subsequent survival. Peace can be restored only when the illegitimacy is removed.

 
By Narrowest of Majorities, Netanyahu’s Coalition Sworn In

PM leaves ‘door open’ for Herzog, who scoffs at the offer and calls new government a ‘circus'; Likud No. 2 Erdan denied ministership

By Times of Israel staff and Marissa Newman
May 14, 2015

ImagePrime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition was formally sworn in on Thursday night after a raucous Knesset session that saw constant heckling, along with accusations by opposition leader Isaac Herzog that the freshly inaugurated government was “a circus.”
The Netanyahu government, formed after arduous negotiations following the March 17 elections, thus finally took office almost two months after polling day, with the narrowest possible parliamentary majority.

The vote on the new cabinet passed by 61 to 59 — representing the balance of forces in the Knesset: Netanyahu’s five-party coalition numbers 61 members (Likud, 30; Kulanu, 10; Jewish Home, 8; Shas, 7; and United Torah Judaism, 6), to the opposition’s 59 seats (Zionist Union, 24; Joint Arab List, 13; Yesh Atid, 11; Yisrael Beytenu, 6; and Meretz, 5).

Earlier, taking the stand in the plenum, Netanyahu issued an appeal for electoral reform, and, in a veiled appeal to Zionist Union party chief Herzog, said he was leaving the “door open” to expanding his cabinet.

“I am leaving the door open to expanding the government for two reasons. The first: Because I think the state needs it. And second: Because this is the only way to amend this [political system],” Netanyahu said.

 
Salami slices some salami

By Sarah Honig
The Jerusalem Post
May 8, 2015


Brigadier General Hossein Salami: “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams.”

ImageWho says history has no sense of humor? Just as US President Barack Obama seeks to hide away the salami slices shaved off his deal with Iran, an Iranian named Salami exposes an extra-thick and very telling slice.

Without much ado, the Deputy Commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, Brigadier General Hossein Salami, gave the lie to one of Obama’s most significant contentions about the deal that America’s Commander in Chief is cooking up with the nuke-craving ayatollah regime.

Significantly, Salami didn’t whisper off the record. He didn’t speculate about hearsay in a back room. He didn’t impart hints given to conflicting interpretations. Salami said his piece openly on state TV. He announced out loud that, contrary to American claims, there would be no foreign inspections of Iranian military sites. Period. End of. No quibbling.

 
The Moderate Muslim Stands Alone

By Samuel Westrop
Gatestone Institute
April 26, 2015


If officials, the police and even Jewish leaders wish to encourage solidarity with the Muslim community against extremist rhetoric and terror attacks such as in Paris, is it not far better to work with Muslims who do not advocate the killing of non-Muslims?

When extremists and the authorities stand together, the true moderates stand alone.

On March 6, the Association of Chief Police Officers, a body funded by the Home Office, launched a national campaign named, "We Stand Together," which called upon British police forces and constabularies across the United Kingdom to bring together local communities to "stand against hate crime and intolerance."

The campaign was apparently a public relations campaign launched in the wake of "recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Denmark, which increased tension in some communities in the UK."

 
Spain: Barcelona's Would-Be Beheaders

By Soeren Kern
Gatestone Institute
April 25, 2015


Prosecutors allege that, among other plots, the group was planning to kidnap a random member of the public, dress their victim in an orange jump suit, and then film him or her being beheaded.

Catalonia not only has the largest Muslim population in Spain, it also has the largest concentration of radical Islamists in Europe, and is a main center for Salafi-Jihadism on the continent.

"But what they do not know is that, once they allow us to vote, we will all vote for Islamic parties because we do not believe in left and right. This will make us win local councils and as we begin to accumulate power in the Catalan autonomous region, Islam will begin to be implemented." — Abdelwahab Huzi, Salafist preacher, Lleida.

Police in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia have arrested eleven members of a jihadist cell that was planning to behead a random person in Barcelona.

The cell, which prosecutors say was actively recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State, is also accused of planning to bomb public and private buildings in Catalonia, including a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona.

The arrests have drawn renewed attention to the spiraling problem of radical Islam in Catalonia, which has one of the largest per capita Muslim populations in Europe.

 
Nearly 900 dead in Nepal 7.9-magnitude earthquake

Israel to send plane to evacuate citizens once airport reopens, Liberman says; at least one Israeli traveler among injured; Israeli embassy building in Kathmandu sustains damage.

By AP, Times of Israel Staff and AFP
April 25, 2015


ImageKATHMANDU, Nepal — The death toll from the magnitude-7.9 earthquake that shook Nepal’s capital and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley before noon Saturday has climbed to 876, Nepalese police said Saturday afternoon. The toll rose to over 1,000 later in the day.

The quake collapsed houses, centuries-old temples and cut open roads in the worst tremor in the Himalayan nation in over 80 years.

Hundreds have been injured, including at least one Israeli traveler. Nepal is a very popular travel destination for Israelis.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel would send a plane to evacuate citizens once the airport reopens for operations, and extended an offer to Nepalese officials to send aid.

Liberman also spoke with the ambassador to Nepal, Yaron Meir, and told him he gave instructions to send reinforcements to the embassy in Kathmandu, according to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry.

 
Air force chief can ‘get job done’ if order comes to hit Iran

Israel has invested ‘immense sums’ over past decade building the capacity to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities, TV report says

By Times of Israel staff
April 23, 2015


The use of Israeli military force against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be an act of “last resort,” Israel’s air force commander said Thursday, but part of his role is to ensure that the air force has “the genuine capacity to get the job done” if ordered to do so.

ImageMajor-General Amir Eshel, in his first television interview in the three years since he took command of the Israeli Air Force, told Israel’s Channel 10 news Thursday that an Iran with a nuclear capability “would have grave significance for the whole Middle East, not just for Israel.”

Asked why the air force had not been ordered to strike at Iran in the way that it destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor at Osiraq in 1981 and, according to foreign reports, a Syrian reactor in 2007, Eshel said that Israel “has a range of tools” for grappling with threats. “The solution is through the use of a combination of these tools.”

 
A British Conference on Israel's Right to Exist: Really?

By George Phillips
Gatestone Institute
April 12, 2015


Iran has violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty time after time, often undetected; it also continues to violate Article 2, clause 4, of the United Nations Charter: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state..."

During the British Mandate, the entire area was known as Palestine. The official listing for "Place of Birth" on all passports at the time -- for everyone, including Jews -- was Palestine.

One can only hope that what clearly seems such a fatally dangerous deal -- that threatens the existence of not only Israel, the Middle East and Europe, but, with Iran's intercontinental ballistic missile program, also the United States -- will not be allowed to happen.

 
Survivors, veterans recall Buchenwald horror 70 years on

When a friend told inmate Henry Oster the camp was being liberated, he thought he’d gone mad. ‘We had no idea the Allies were in Europe’

By Dorothee Thiesing
The Times of Israel
April 11, 2015


Henry Oster looks over the main square of the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in Weimar, eastern Germany, April 10, 2015 (Photo credit: Markus Schreiber/AP)

ImageWEIMAR, Germany (AP) — Buchenwald survivor Henry Oster recalls thinking that a fellow inmate had “lost his sense of reality” when he said 70 years ago Saturday that the concentration camp was being liberated, bringing an end to the long ordeal of the 21,000 surviving prisoners.

Oster, 86, visited the site near the German city of Weimar for the first time since its liberation on April 11, 1945 — one of a group of survivors and veterans who came to mark the anniversary of the liberation. Buchenwald was the first major concentration camp entered by American forces at the end of World War II.

 
As Iran digs in, US says no to immediate sanctions relief

State Department says penalties will only be eased once nuclear breakout time increased to one year, after Tehran indicates issue could torpedo deal

By AP and Times of Israel staff
April 10, 2015


Any sanctions relief for Iran as part of a landmark nuclear accord will only come once curbs on enrichment are verified, the US State Department said Thursday, rebuffing demands in Tehran for an immediate lifting of the punishing restrictions.

"Sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters in Washington.

“The process of sanctions suspension or relief will only begin after Iran has completed its major nuclear steps and the breakout time has been increased to at least a year,” he said.

“That’s consistent with what we said over the last week or so, and that was agreed upon by all the parties in Lausanne,” Rathke added, referring the Swiss city where the framework agreement was reached last week.

 
Israel: Iran’s latest demands prove nuke deal unworkable

After Khamenei, Rouhani insist sanctions be lifted immediately, in breach of US-claimed understandings, Jerusalem derides notion of ‘deal based on trust with regime that can’t be trusted’

By Times of Israel staff
April 10, 2015


ImageThe demand by Iran’s leaders for the immediate lifting of all sanctions on the day a deal on its nuclear program takes effect represents proof that the US-led powers are adopting an unworkable approach to thwarting Iran’s push to the bomb, Israeli sources said Friday.

A day after Iran’s Supreme Leader Ail Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani insisted that there would be no deal unless sanctions were lifted on the day it went into effect — contradicting what the US says were understandings reached in a framework agreement last week in Lausanne — Channel 2 News said Israel regards the Iranian leaders’ declarations “as proof of its central argument” against the emerging accord: “You can’t make a deal based on trust with a regime that can’t be trusted.”

Despite its relentless objections to the deal, which is supposed to be finalized by June 30, Israel actually believes that Iran will take it, the Channel 2 report said, because the deal as it stands is good for Iran and will pave its path to bomb. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told the TV station that Israel would spend the coming weeks “trying to get some of the loopholes” in the agreement closed. In a Times of Israel interview on Wednesday Steinitz complained that the deal, which he called “a big mistake,” neither full freezes nor fully inspects the Iranian program.

 
Dangers to Democracy in the Prosecution of Senator Menendez

By Alan M. Dershowitz
Gatestone Institute
April 10, 2015


Whenever a prominent political figure is indicted on charges of alleged corruption, serious questions arise. Is the prosecution part of a growing and dangerous trend toward criminalizing policy differences? Does it endanger the free speech rights of contributors? Will it constrain the legislative branch from serving as a check and balance on the executive?

These questions are now being raised in the context of the prosecution of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, as they previously were in several other ill-advised prosecutions, including those of former agriculture secretary Mike Espy, former presidential candidate John Edwards, the late Senator Ted Stevens, former Congressman Tom Delay and former Texas governor Rick Perry.

The reason these questions arise is not because there is no corruption in government. It is because the laws distinguishing between constitutionally protected political activities and illegal payments to office holders are vague and indeterminate. These laws give prosecutors enormous discretion to determine whether to prosecute questionable transactions. And the courts refuse to second guess prosecutorial decisions even in cases where selective prosecution based on improper considerations seems evident.

 
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