03/19 Links: 3 Israelis said killed, at least 11 others hurt in Istanbul bombing; Tuvia does Germany
Turkish officials said three Israelis were among the five people killed in a suicide bombing that rocked a main pedestrian thoroughfare in the heart of Istanbul on Saturday. At least 11 Israelis were among the 36 injured in the explosion.
Turkish authorities identified another of the people killed as an Iranian national.
Turkish Deputy Health Minister Ahmet Baha Ogutken confirmed in a statement to the Daily Sabah newspaper that an Israeli woman was killed in the explosion.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that two Israelis had been killed and said it was possible there was a third Israeli fatality.
An official from Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party was reportedly fired Saturday after saying she hoped Israeli tourists injured in Saturday’s deadly suicide bombing in downtown Istanbul had died.
Irem Atkas sent her ill-wishes over Twitter shortly after a bomb was detonated in central Istanbul, killing three Israelis and wounding 11 others, according to Turkish officials.
“I wish that the wounded Israeli tourists were dead,” Irem Aktas, a board member in the women’s branch of the party in the Istanbul neighborhood of Eyup tweeted shortly after the attack. Her account was removed from social media site not long thereafter.
Aktas was reportedly dismissed from her duties immediately afterwards.
When he talked to Germans, “I found out that eight out of 10 Germans hold anti-Semitic views,” he said. “By anti-Semitic, I mean that most of them, if you ask them if they are, would scream ‘Not me!’ but if you ask them they tell you that Jews control world politics, all the money, and the stock exchanges and the banks. I ask them stupid questions.
“I go to Wannsee, where they decided to kill the Jews.” Tuvia’s talking about the Berlin suburb where Nazi officials, meeting in January 1942, decided to commit genocide. “Right cross the street from it there is a hotel and restaurant. It is packed. They do weddings there, and you have to reserve well ahead of time. I ask the owner stupid but honest questions about how it works, how do young German girls say to their young German lovers, ‘Honey, let’s get married right next to where they decided to gas the Jews’?
“I ask childlike questions like that. That’s how you get people to talk.”
Germans are “obsessed with the Jews,” Tuvia continued. “Why do they know the names of Israel’s prime minster, defense minister, foreign minister? When you ask about German ministers they have no idea. Why do they know about everything that’s going on in Israel? When I ask them what about Chechnya” — which after all is far closer to them than Israel — “they can’t answer.”
Germany is building “a beautiful Jewish center,” he continued. “But when you go to the synagogues, there is nobody there, except maybe tourists. Germany is rebranding themselves as being Jewish. Germany is actively engaged in covering up its soul. But are Germans nice to the Jews? F••• no.”
Alas, she a married a terrorist.
Hanan Al-Hroub was born and raised in the alleys of Dheisheh refugee camp and has experienced first-hand the suffering of its people. The camp is close to the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, where she went to school. She married a Palestinian freedom fighter, Omar Al-Hroub, who took part in one of the most daring guerrilla operations in the occupied territories, the Dabboya operation, in Hebron in May 1980. When the guerrillas were being pursued in the mountains they attacked a group of settlers going from the illegal Kiryat Arba settlement to the Dabboya building near the Ibrahimi Mosque. Thirteen settlers were killed, including their military leader in Hebron, and dozens were injured. Months after the operation, the guerrillas were captured; Omar was imprisoned and spent many years in Israeli prisons before being released. It was then that he met and married his life partner who became the best teacher in the world.
Did the adjudicators of this prize do their due diligence?
Today is Sport Relief (brought to us by Comic Relief) with millions of people throughout the country raising money for charity. It is set to dominate the BBC TV tonight.
It is a tragic question but one has to ask how much of these funds are used properly?
Comic Relief makes grants to certain charities one of which is War On Want whom I have been writing about for many years now and, in particular, its executive director John Hilary.
John Hilary’s War On Want has been spending War On Want time and precious resources on targeting one specific country; Israel. You know, the country that also happens to be the only Jewish one.
A Palestinian assailant stabbed and lightly wounded a Border Police officer near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Saturday morning.
Magen David Adom paramedics were treating the man, in his twenties, who was lightly injured with stab wounds to his upper body, and were evacuating him to hospital in Jerusalem.
An initial investigation of the attack showed that the suspect, a resident of Hebron, arrived at the Pharmacy Checkpoint at the entrance to Kiryat Arba, and when Border Police forces at the crossing asked him to identify himself he pulled out a knife and attacked one of the men with it.
The forces shot and killed the 17-year-old Palestinian suspect.
The commander of the Border Police forces at the checkpoint praised his unit’s reaction.
One of the most widely broadcast news stories associated with Israel this week was Real Madrid’s invitation of Ahmad Dawabshe – the 5-year-old Palestinian survivor of the 2015 Duma house fire-bombing (in January 2016 two Jewish Israelis, one of them a minor, were charged with three counts of murder and being an accessory to murder – the defendants deny all charges and Abu Yehuda has been tracking the many inconsistencies in the case).
It might seem mean to raise concerns about somebody committing a good deed – which this certainly is for the child – but there is serious baggage associated with this “act of kindness”.
The media have, as expected, used this as an opportunity to engage in an orgy of demonization of Israel and its “Jewish terrorists”. In doing so, the media have of course ignored both the incredible rarity of Jewish acts of terrorism and the incredible frequency of Muslim acts of terrorism specifically against the Jews of Israel. They also ignored the fact that, whereas Israelis were universally disgusted at even the possibility that Jews could have committed the fire-bombing, the Palestinian population in contrast rejoices every time Muslims slaughter Jewish civilians – including children – in cold blood.
On March 10th BBC News School Report celebrated its tenth annual News Day. Reports produced by schoolchildren in the UK and abroad with the help of the BBC appeared on television and radio throughout the day and it is reasonable to assume that the 30,000 pupils taking part in the project were among the audience.
One of those reports was produced by a school in Jerusalem and it opened with a portrayal of the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism against Israelis which did nothing to contribute to viewers’ understanding of the background to that issue.
“The holy city of Jerusalem. In recent months there has been a rise in tensions and violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
A daily reality of growing intolerance and mutual fear. Despite the divisions, some are trying to get along together.”
We have of course seen similar promotion of the notion of equivalence in reports from BBC journalists throughout the last six months – not least the frequent use of variations of the phrase “Israeli-Palestinian violence” to describe a surge in terror attacks against Israelis. We have also seen that the BBC has during the last half-year conscientiously avoided providing its audiences with any serious reporting on the subject of the incitement and glorification of terrorism from official Palestinian sources which underpins those attacks.
The revelation of his praise for Palestinians who chose “the jihad way” to liberation forced northern Virginia surgeon Esam Omeish to resign from a statewide immigration commission in 2007. But it hasn’t stopped him from enjoying red carpet treatment from Obama administration officials.
Omeish briefly drew national attention in 2007 when he was forced to resign from the Virginia immigration panel. The move resulted from Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) video showing him praising for Palestinians who chose the “jihad way” during a rally in 2000.
This was no slip of the tongue. At a different event two months earlier, Omeish congratulated Palestinians who gave “up their lives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of Al-Aqsa. They have spearheaded the effort to bring victory upon the believers in Filastin, insha’allah [God willing]. They are spearing the effort to free the land of Filastin, all of Palestine, for the Muslims and for all the believing people in Allah.”
Nonetheless, high-ranking Obama administration officials engaged with him despite this and his praise for Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. They consulted with him on Libya and included him in other events aimed at engagement with the Muslim community and countering violent extremism.
Now, Omeish is hoping those contacts will help him persuade U.S. officials to change gears in Libya, shifting support from a secular political figure to one with links to al-Qaida. He spelled out those ambitions in a Feb. 29 letter addressed to President Obama posted on Omeish’s Facebook page.
After finally declaring that ISIS’s murder of thousands of Christians, Yazidis, and Shia Muslims constitutes genocide, the Obama administration is reportedly seriously considering officially recognizing that the Pope is Catholic.
“The genocide recognition wasn’t an easy decision to make. It took more than two years for us to conclusively determine whether ISIS’s killing of tens of thousands of these minorities was in fact systematic or whether it was a highly coincidental series of freak hunting accidents,” Secretary of State John Kerry told The Mideast Beast. “We’re going to be just as deliberate as we examine whether Pope Francis is, in fact, Catholic.”
Kerry noted that Pope Francis’s position as head of the Catholic church, his previous stint as a Catholic Cardinal, and his tendency to wear a large hat usually worn by Catholic leaders suggested that he was likely Catholic, but added that further investigation was needed.
“We don’t want to jump to any premature conclusions, like when we thought [Syrian President Bashar] Assad had used chemical weapons,” Kerry explained. “I hope Obama and his successor give this question the careful deliberation it deserves.”
President of the Arab American Institute James Zogby – Sanders’ other stated go-to source for foreign policy advice – is notoriously anti-Israel. He refers to the “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions” (BDS) movement as a “legitimate and moral response to Israeli policy.”
In the past, Zogby has attempted to rationalize Palestinian terrorism against Israelis, saying that he was trying to understand “why the perpetrators [of terrorist acts] acted as they did or why there are people whose anger and despair bring them to support this or that crime.”
Zogby, who is of Lebanese descent, has described Hezbollah terrorists as “the Lebanese armed resistance.”
Also last month, Politico reported that Sanders has been advised for his presidential run by Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired U.S. Army colonel who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell and later became a staunch opponent of the war in Iraq. Wilkerson previously espoused the conspiracy theory that Israel may have carried out chemical attacks in Syria as a false-flag operation against the Assad regime.
A pamphlet distributed at an official side panel of the UN “Human Rights” Council session on March 17, 2016 contained the following:
“Let us bolster our connection with the blessed al-Aqsa mosque and leave it not alone for the plots of the Israeli settlers that are constantly attempting to storm and desecrate our mosque…”
The pamphlet distributed at an official side panel of the UN “Human RIghts” Council session on March 17, 2016 contained the following:
“The Hebron Old City Rehabilitation Committee, or, HRC, was founded in 1996 in line with the Palestinian Authority’s aspiration … (iii) to save the Old City from the greed of Jewish settlers.”
The following material was distributed at an official side panel of the UN “Human Rights” Council session on March 17, 2016: a CD titled “Hebron’s Old City: Ethnic Cleansing via Systematic Oppression”
After the main Syrian Kurdish group officially declared areas under its control in northern Syria a federalized autonomous region this week, the Syrian regime and opposition, as well as Turkey, immediately rejected the declaration.
The group was also not given a seat at the table of peace negotiations taking place in Geneva.
Despite not being recognized, the Syrian Kurds have fully governed their region for two years. Their governance has been overwhelmingly democratic, egalitarian and secular in a region where totalitarian and Islamist ideologies prevail.
The only other areas in the Middle East that can be characterized in this way are the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq — where minorities are well-protected under new laws — and Israel.
Former German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the first openly gay leader of a mainstream political party, has died from blood cancer at the age of 54, his foundation said on its website on Friday.
MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who served as foreign minister between 2009 and 2013, eulogized Westerwelle, praising him for his friendship and sympathy with Israel.
“Westerwelle was a true friend of Israel, and I had the privilege of working with him,” Liberman said. “Together, we worked to strengthen and develop ties between Israel and Germany.”
Westerwelle was leader of the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP) from 2001 until 2011 and foreign minister during Chancellor Angela Merkel’s second term from 2009 until 2013.
His foundation announced in mid-2014 that he had been diagnosed with acute leukemia. He last appeared in public in November, presenting a book on his battle with blood cancer called Between Two Lives.
Still think Israel is a racist, apartheid state? You wouldn’t know it to listen to these young Muslim and Christian Arab girls, who are joining the Israeli army in ever greater numbers.
Young Muslim girls are joining the fight, on Israel’s side! These courageous young women have a unique and important story to tell, and together with a growing number of Christian Arab girls, they are breaking new ground joining ranks with the Israeli army.
When Private ‘A’, one of the Muslim girls now serving in the IDF decided to enlist, her parents refused to support her. She had to leave home and received support from the army as a lone soldier.
“I need to support myself,” she says, “and it’s really difficult, even with the help I get from the army. It is rare for a Muslim girl to join the army, because our families will not accept it. Even so, I would still recommend others to enlist. It is a great, life-changing experience.”
Private ‘G’, a devout Muslim, grew up in a Jewish neighborhood. She decided to enlist after she saw all of her neighbors going to serve.
The radical leftist organization Breaking the Silence responded to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s announcement Thursday night, according to which they will be investigated after having “crossed another red line.”
Netanyahu’s announcement was sparked by a Channel 2 investigative report, which revealed that members of the organization apparently tried to gather classified intelligence about sensitive IDF operations along the Gaza border with Hamas.
In response the radical group said in a statement that “the Prime Minister who turns the security services of Israel into a political tool – that’s the true and dangerous crossing of a red line, and that needs to be investigated.”
“The attempt by Prime Minister Netanyahu to close the organization and harm soldiers and warriors who oppose the occupation needs to worry all those who are concerned about the future of the state of Israel,” continued the group, saying it has nothing to hide from an investigation.
The question now for France is whether Hollande’s efforts to reimpose French law are any more successful than the efforts of Sarkozy, and whether they are a spasm or a mission. You could argue that Hollande now at least has events behind him. But in the past there have been quite a number of occasions, although not as bloody as this one, when individual cases have broken the surface and temporarily shocked France from its sleep-walk into dissolution and civil war: the stoning to death of a young Muslim woman in Marseilles in 2004; the torture and murder of a young Jewish man by a Muslim gang in the Parisian suburb of Bagneux in 2006; the murders of pupils at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012. Each time the Republic rallies, but the country’s pulling apart continues.
It is easy for outsiders to point to holes in France’s post-war immigration strategy or the failure of its model of integration. And it is true that France has done immigration and integration badly. But who has not? Yes, travelling on public transport in France you notice lines and routes on which everyone is black and others where nobody is. But there are similar phenomena now across Scandinavia, central and southern Europe.
Nor can we be complacent in Britain. It was appropriate for the Prime Minister to leap to Birmingham’s defence when Fox broadcast their piece in January. But Birmingham is in fact a striking example of our own problem. The city remains one of the biggest producers of domestic terrorists and Isis fighters in Britain. Perhaps most striking is the fact that nine tenths of Birmingham’s convicted terrorists come from areas where the Muslim population is between 25 and 50 per cent (the latter figure being more than ten times the national average). Likewise, before anyone notices the centrality of ‘Sharia 4 Belgium’ to the continent’s jihad, it is worth noting that the group’s launch was enabled by Muslim extremists from Britain.
Riot police were called in to disperse the crowds who gathered in the Brussels suburb after missiles were thrown at the Belgian authorities.
Tensions were sparked after young people from the troubled area started declaring their support for their “hero” Abdeslam, according to a witness.
An eyewitness posted on Twitter: “Great tension in Molenbeek with young people from the area praising their ‘hero’ Salah Abdeslam.”
Police officers were targeted by locals, many of which were young people, who threw objects including bottles, according Belgian newspaper La Libre.
Video footage of the incident shows large crowds in the road where the dramatic terror raid took place, with shouts heard before objects are thrown at officers.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a measure prohibiting state and local agencies from contracting entities that boycott Israel, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.
The bill requires that all companies doing business with the state certify that they are not boycotting Israel. The state treasurer and pension funds are also required to divest public holdings from such companies.
The legislation passed Arizona’s House of Representatives by a margin of 42-16 and its Senate by 23-6.
“Boycotts and related tactics have become a tool of economic warfare that threaten the sovereignty and security of key allies and trade partners of the United States,” explained State Representative David Gowan, who sponsored the bill. “The state of Israel is the most prominent target of such boycott activity [and] companies that refuse to deal with the United States’ trade partners such as Israel … make discriminatory decisions on the basis of national origin that impair those companies’ commercial soundness.”
IsraellyCool: BDSFail Central – 2016 Upcoming Concerts In Israel
The concert announcements are big this year in Israel and every time a new one is made, Roger Waters gets a hernia.
The following is a quick summary of international artists that have either confirmed a concert date or announced their intent to play in Israel:
I will be updating this list when new shows are announced, so keep checking!
The secretary’s remarks came shortly after an Iranian general boasted that the Islamic Republic retrieved over 13,000 pages of intelligence from the sailors’ computers, GPS devices, and maps. The Washington Post characterized the latest revelation as yet another instance of Iran “[exploiting] the incident for propaganda purposes” and “angering American officials.”
Other incidents cited by the Post included broadcasting images of the sailors kneeling at gunpoint, of one sailor crying, of a drone flying near a U.S. aircraft carrier on the day of the capture, and of a video apology from one of the sailors, as well as the awarding of medals to the Iranian officers involved in the seizure.
Shortly after the incident, Sen. John McCain (R – Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, raised the possibility that Iran violated international law by detaining the naval boats and their crews.
Iran is reportedly planning to build a statue of 10 US sailors it briefly detained in its territorial waters in January.
The head of naval forces in the country’s Revolutionary Guards said the monument would be a “tourist attraction,” Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported Friday.
According to the report, the statue will be erected on Kharg, a small Iranian island in the Persian Gulf close to the site of the arrests.
The sailors, nine men and one woman, were detained in January after they drifted into Iranian waters off Farsi Island, an outpost in the middle of the Persian Gulf that has been used as a base for Revolutionary Guards speedboats since the 1980s.
“There are very many photographs of the major incident of arresting US Marines in the Persian Gulf in the media and we intend to build a symbol out of them inside one of our naval monuments,” Commander Ali Fadavi told the Iranian Defense Press news agency, the Telegraph said.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s interview in The Atlantic magazine earlier this month has sent shockwaves across Saudi social media.
In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg published last week, Obama raised questions about Riyadh’s links to terrorist groups that have destabilized the Middle East.
Saudi twitterati were indignant at what they saw as the President’s betrayal of his country’s longstanding ally.
“Obama talked like a little man… reflecting Washington’s poor contribution to global security,” tweeted Salah.
Tensions are boiling over in the Western Sahara, a region Morocco has occupied since 1976, and local Sahrawi groups warn that if the UN pulls out its troops from the region in a concession to the Moroccan government, war will likely follow.
Morocco has occupied the region since it was handed to its troops by Spain, when Madrid ended its colony there. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) holds a government-in-exile in Algeria, arguing for its rights to rule over the region, and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front has been fighting for independence in the disputed territory.
If the UN ends its peacekeeping mission in the vast and mineral-rich Western Sahara that would be “the shortest way to the resumption of war,” warned Polisario Front’s UN representative Ahmed Boukhari, as reported by Associated Press on Friday.
“If there is no mission, there is a vacuum and an invitation to war,” he warned, calling on the UN Security Council to maintain the UN presence in the region.
Greece’s interior minister on Friday likened the grim camp holding thousands of refugees on the border with Macedonia to the Nazi concentration camp Dachau.
His comments came as EU leaders were meeting in Brussels to try to reach a deal with Turkey on the migration crisis.
“I do not hesitate to say that this is a modern-day Dachau, a result of the logic of closed borders,” Panagiotis Kouroumblis said in televised remarks from the squalid Idomeni camp.
“Whoever comes here takes several blows to the stomach,” he told reporters, pledging to boost policing and medical supervision in the area.
The Anne Frank foundation on Friday criticized an “escape room” game made to look like the small Amsterdam apartment where the teenage Jewish diarist hid with her family from the Netherlands’ Nazi occupiers during World War II.
According to its website, the recently opened Escape Bunker in the town of Valkenswaard, 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Amsterdam, has a room styled to look like the apartment. As part of the game, visitors are locked in and have to escape within an hour using teamwork, creativity and “out-of-the-box” thinking.
The Anne Frank foundation, which manages the museum in the canal-side house that includes the Frank family’s hidden apartment, said the apartment was one of the places where the Holocaust, or Shoah, played out and said, “It shows very little empathy for survivors of the Shoah to use the annex as a backdrop for an escape room.”
A kosher butcher shop in Copenhagen was vandalized for the second time in a year.
The attack on the shop in the Danish capital occurred Wednesday night and was discovered early Thursday, the news website BT reported, based on a statement by the local police force.
At around 3:40 a.m., a patrol car reported that a brick had been thrown through the shop display window.
The previous attack, in April 2015, involved the scrawling of the words: “Jew pig” on the window.
But a police spokesperson told BT, “There’s nothing that points in a direction” of a hate crime in the investigation of the more recent attack.
On the surface, the relationship between Israel and the United Kingdom appears to be rife with politics. Artists have said that they will not appear in Israel, while teachers and academics have called for boycotting Israeli conferences. Even the renown physicist Stephen Hawking has said he wants nothing to do with Israel.
In the tech world, though, Israelis and Britons get along famously. Geoff Iddison, a top executive at MasterCard and a UK national himself, said that at his company, the issue of politics “has never come up. There has never been a question in our company about working with Israel, certainly not because of such matters,” said Iddison, executive vice president for M&A and Investments at MasterCard Europe. “For us, it’s all about the innovation we find in Israel.”
Iddison was in Israel to meet financial technology start-ups, as part of a new MasterCard program called TechTrek.
“Israeli innovation is a byword in our industry, and the skill set of Israelis for financial technology is extremely strong. We are used to seeing good ideas come out of the Israeli start-up community and we would like to establish stronger and more meaningful ties within this network of innovative companies,” Iddison said. Politics, he insisted, was not on the agenda of MasterCard, and other businesses that are serious about innovation and growth.
IsraellyCool: MUST WATCH: Straight Talking Golda Meir
Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of Golda Meir becoming Israeli Prime Minister after Levi Eshkol’s sudden death in February 1969.
Here is an interview with her from 1970. Watching this, I can’t help thinking
– What a woman
– What a leader
– I forgot she had such an “American” accent
– The more things change, the more they stay the same
The whole thing is fascinating as Golda navigates through a hostile interview. There are many highlights but pay special attention at around 18:05, when the hostile interviewer admits something. As well as what Golda says from 19:00 about palestinians.
Israel – Prime Minister interview – Golda Meir