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January 31, 2012

IDF covert operations rise over past year


By YAAKOV KATZ The Jerusalem Post 01/31/2012 01:47

As regional threats grow, Israel increases operations overseas in Iran,
Lebanon, and Sudan, according to foreign reports.
By IDF Spokesman's Unit

The IDF has significantly increased the number of overseas covert operations
it has conducted over the past year, an indication of the growing threats
Israel faces in the region, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Most of the details about the operations are classified, including the exact
number, but according to foreign reports, the IDF has operated in places
such as Sudan, Lebanon and Iran.

The one confirmed covert operation in the past year was in March 2011, when
commandos from the navy’s elite Flotilla 13 – or Shayetet 13 – boarded the
Victoria cargo ship sailing in the Mediterranean from Turkey en route to
Egypt.

The ship was carrying 50 tons of weaponry, including a number of advanced
radar-guided anti-ship missiles destined for Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In December, foreign reports claimed the Israel Air Forcebombed two arms
convoys on their way to the Gaza Strip in Sudan. One of the reports claimed
an Israeli helicopter was spotted over an island near Sudan and that a
submarine was also detected in the area.

Last April a car was bombed near Port Sudan. Arab media reports accused
Israel of the strike against the car whose occupants were reportedly
Islamist terrorists involved in arms-smuggling to Hamas.

The IDF has a number of units that specialize in covert operations – the Air
Force is in command of Shaldag, Military Intelligence in command of the
General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal) and the navy in command
of Shayetet 13.

While the number of operations conducted by Israel’s special forces has
increased over the past year, there has been a feeling within the General
Staff since the Second Lebanon War that the units could do more if they
worked closer together and if there was better coordination between their
respective branches.

In an effort to improve their capabilities, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.
Benny Gantz decided in December to establish the “Depth Corps” – a new unit
that will oversee operations deep in enemy territory.

The corps will be headed by Maj.-Gen. Shai Avital, a former commander of the
General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, who has been out of the IDF for over a
decade. Gantz selected Avital due to his expertise in deep-covert
operations.

The purpose of the corps will be to enable each unit – Sayeret Matkal,
Shaldag and Shayetet – to retain their unique capabilities and at the same
time create better coordination between themselves.

The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World

Posted: January 31, 2012 at 6:49 am


In the past 50 years, college graduation rates in developed countries have increased nearly 200%, according to Education at a Glance 2011, a recently published report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The report shows that while education has improved across the board, it has not improved evenly, with some countries enjoying much greater rates of educational attainment than others. Based on the report, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 10 developed countries with the most educated populations.

The countries with the most highly educated citizens are also some of the wealthiest in the world. The United States, Japan and Canada are on our list and also have among the largest GDPs. Norway and Australia, also featured, have the second and sixth-highest GDPs per capita, respectively. All these countries aggressively invest in education.

The countries that invest the most in education have the most-educated people. All of the best-educated countries, except for the UK, fall within the top 15 OECD countries for greatest spending on tertiary — that is, college or college-equivalent — spending as a percentage of GDP. The U.S. spends the second most and Canada spends the fourth most.

Interestingly, public expenditure on educational institutions relative to private spending by these countries is small compared with other countries in the OECD. While the majority of education is still funded with public money, eight of the countries on our list rely the least on public funding as a percentage of total education spending.

The countries included here have had educated populations for a long time. While they have steadily increased the percentages of their populations with postsecondary educations, the increases are modest compared to developing countries. The U.S., Canada and Japan have had tertiary educational attainment above 30% since at least 1997. Poland, a recently developed country that is not on our list, had a tertiary educational rate of 10% in 1997. As of 2009, that rate had grown to 21%.

These are the 10 most educated countries in the world.

10. Finland
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 1.8% (3rd lowest)
> GDP per capita: $36,585 (14th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 3.15% (10th lowest)

Finland is a small country relative to the other OECD members. The share of its adult population with some sort of postsecondary education, however, is rather large. This select group is reaching the end of its expansion. From 1999 to 2009, the number of college-educated adults increased only 1.8% annually — the third-smallest amount among all OECD countries. Finland is also one of only two countries, the other being Korea, in which the fields of social sciences, business and law are not the most popular among students. In Finland, new entrants are most likely to study engineering, manufacturing and construction.

9. Australia
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 3.3% (11th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $40,719 (6th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 14.63% (3rd highest)

Australia’s population grew 14.63% between 2000 and 2009. This is the third-largest increase among OECD countries. Its tertiary-educated adult population is increasing at the much less impressive annual rate of 3.3%. Australia also spends the sixth-least amount in public funds on education as a percentage of all expenditures. The country also draws large numbers of international students.

8. United Kingdom
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 4.0% (9th highest)
> GDP per capita: $35,504 (16th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 3.47% (13th lowest)

Unlike most of the countries with the highest percentage of educated adults, the UK’s educated group increased measurably — more than 4% between 1999 and 2009. Its entire population only grew 3.5% between 2000 and 2009. One aspect that the UK does share with a number of other countries on this list is relatively low public expenditure on education institutions as a percentage of all educational spending. As of 2008, 69.5% of spending came from public sources — the fourth-smallest amount among OECD countries.

7. Norway
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 37%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): N/A
> GDP per capita: $56,617 (2nd highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 7.52% (14th highest)

Norway has the third-greatest expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP, at 7.3%. Roughly 23% of that is spent on tertiary education. In Norway, more than 60% of all tertiary graduates were in a bachelor’s program, well more than the U.S., which is close to the OECD average of 45%. The country is one of the wealthiest in the world. GDP per capita is $56,617, second only to Luxembourg in the OECD.

6. South Korea
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 39%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 5.3% (5th highest)
> GDP per capita: $29,101 (13th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 3.70% (14th lowest)

Korea is another standout country for its recent increase in the percentage of its population that has a tertiary education. Graduates increased 5.3% between 1999 and 2009, the fifth-highest among OECD countries. Like the UK, this rate is greater than the country’s recent population growth. Korea is also one of only two countries — the other being Finland — in which the most popular fields of study are not social sciences, business and law. In Korea, new students choose to study education, humanities and arts at the greatest rates. Only 59.6% of expenditures on educational institutions come from public funds — the second-lowest rate.

5. New Zealand
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 40%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 3.5% (14th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $29,871 (14th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 11.88% (8th largest)

New Zealand is not a particularly wealthy country. GDP per capita is less than $30,000, and is the 14th lowest in the OECD. However, 40% of the population engages in tertiary education, the fifth-highest rate in the world. The country actually has a rapidly growing population, increasing 11.88% between 2000 and 2009. This was the eighth-largest increase in the OECD. Part of the reason for the high rate of tertiary graduates is the high output from secondary schools. More than 90% of residents graduate from secondary school.

4. United States
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 41%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 1.4% (the lowest)
> GDP per capita: $46,588 (4th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 8.68% (12th highest)

The U.S. experienced a fairly large growth in population from 2000 to 2009. During the period, the population increased 8.68% — the 12th highest among OECD countries. Meanwhile, the rate at which the share of the population with a tertiary education is growing has slowed to an annual rate of 1.4% — the lowest among the 34 OECD countries. Just 71% of funding for educational institutions in the country comes from public funds, placing the U.S. sixth-lowest in this measure. Among OECD countries, the largest share of adults with a tertiary education live in the United States — 25.8%.

3. Japan
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 44%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 3.2% (10th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $33,751 (17th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 0.46% (6th lowest)

In Japan, 44% of the adult population has some form of tertiary education. The U.S. by comparison has a rate of 41%. Japan’s population increased just 0.46% between 2000 and 2009, the sixth-slowest growth rate in the OECD, and the slowest among our list of 10. Japan is tied with Finland for the third-highest upper-secondary graduation rate in the world, at 95%. It has the third-highest tertiary graduation rate in the world, but only spends the equivalent of 1.5% of GDP on tertiary education — the 17th lowest rate in the OECD.

2. Israel
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 45%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): N/A
> GDP per capita: $28,596 (12th lowest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 19.02% (the highest)

Although there is no data on the percentage of Israeli citizens with postsecondary education dating back to 1999, the numbers going back to 2002 show that growth is slowing dramatically compared to other countries. In fact, in 2006, 46% of adults ages 25 to 64 had a tertiary education. In 2007 this number fell to 44%. Only 78% of funds spent on educational institutions in Israel are public funds. The country is also only one of three — the other two being Ireland and Sweden — where expenditure on educational institutions as a proportion of GDP decreased from 2000 to 2008. Israel also had the largest increase in overall population, approximately 19% from 2000 to 2009.

1. Canada
> Pct. population with postsecondary education: 50%
> Avg. annual growth rate (1999 – 2009): 2.3% (5th lowest)
> GDP per capita: $39,070 (10th highest)
> Pop. change (2000 – 2009): 9.89% (10th highest)

In Canada, 50% of the adult population has completed tertiary education, easily the highest rate in the OECD. Each year, public and private expenditure on education amount to 2.5% of GDP, the fourth-highest rate in the world. Tertiary education spending accounts for 41% of total education spending in the country. In the U.S., the proportion is closer to 37%. In Israel, the rate is 22%. In Canada, nearly 25% of students have an immigrant background.

Charles B. Stockdale, Michael B. Sauter

Read more: The 10 Most Educated Countries in the World - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/2012/01/31/the-10-most-educated-countries-in-the-world/#ixzz1l2HpiQhY

Israelis are Europe's baking champions


Leaving culinary powers like France and Germany behind, Israeli team takes first place in 2012 Bread Baking Cup in Rimini, Italy
Sarit Sardas-Trotino

The Israeli team took the first place in the European 2012 Bread Baking Cup over the weekend, beating culinary powers like France and Germany and leaving countries like Portugal and Britain far behind.

The competition, held in Rimini Fiera in Italy, included four different categories. Israel won two of them: Innovative Bread with a Health Focus and Baked Dessert.


Culinary Cooperation
In the first category, the Israelis prepared a modern version of pita bread with falafel. They baked green pita bread (with spinach), filled it with cheese balls coated with pistachio, and sprinkled yogurt sauce on top.

For dessert, the team prepared Black Forest-style strawberry and fruit brioche.

In the Traditional Bread category, the Israelis came in second after serving the judges whole-wheat bread with eggplant and Pecorino cheese.

In the last category, Artistic Bread Centerpiece, the bakers created a tambourine alongside Jacob's Ladder and the angels, but were only ranked fourth.

The team captain was baker Eli Avraham, and other member included pastry chef Eran Schwarzbard, artistic bread designer Osnat Lipson and baker Alex Besser.

"We prepared for the competition for a long time, making many changes in the pastries until we came up with the perfect recipes," said team trainer Jacky Hazan, the bakers and pastry chefs' representative at the Israel Chef Association. "This victory proves that Israeli chefs and bakers are at the forefront in the world."

The German team took the second place in the championship, while Australia came in third.

Israel 4th in Mideast standard of living

Yedioth Ahronoth inquiry based on international organizations' figures reveals Jewish state has GDP per capita of some $30,000– 10 times higher than Palestinian Authority
Gad Lior

Israel ranks fourth compared to 30 Arab countries in its standard of living and gross domestic product per capita, and is preceded by only Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, according to a Yedioth Ahronoth inquiry.

The inquiry was based on figures compiled by international economic organizations, like the IMF and OECD, and the CIA and Economist.

According to the data, at the end of 2011 Israel preceded nearly all Arab countries, and by a huge gap. Most figures fail to include the drop in GDP in countries which recently experiences a popular uprising or change of government (Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya).

Qatar, which has a population of only one million people, has the highest GDP in the world: $177,591 per capita. Second and third in the world are Lichtenstein (35,000 residents and a GDP per capita of $142,695) and Luxemburg (500,000 residents and a GDP per capita of $81,641).

In the Arab world, Kuwait ranks second (eighth in the world) with a GDP of $52,588, and UAE third (10th in the world) with $47,935 per capita.

Israel ranks fourth in the Middle East with a population of some eight millions people and a $29,359 GDP per capita. The Jewish state ranks 44th in the world in its residents' GDP.

Oman ranks fifth in the Arab world and 52nd in the world (three million residents and a $25,047 GDP per capita), just before Bahrain which is 53rd in the world with a GDP per capita of $24,459.

Saudi Arabia – the first large Muslim country on the list – is sixth (54th in the world) with a GDP per capita of $23,803 for its 26 million residents.

Malaysia ranks seventh with 29 million residents and a GDP per capita of $14,425, followed by Lebanon (80th in the world) with a $14,330 GDP per capita.

The top 10 countries list concludes with Libya (a population of seven million people and a $13,727 GDP per capita) and Turkey (71 million people and a $12,300 GDP). They are followed by Iran in the 11th place with 78 million people and a GDP of 10,511 per capita.

In the Palestinian Authority territories, which have a population of four million people, the GDP totals $3,027 – about one-tenth of Israel's GDP.

At the bottom of the Muslim countries list one can find Tanzania (GDP of $1,367 per capita), Niger ($671) and Somalia ($594 per capita for 10 million residents).

South Sudan ranks 223rd in the world, with an estimated $500 per capita for its eight million residents – 0.016% of the Israeli standard of living.

January 30, 2012

Iranians were armed with sniper rifles - Deputy FSA commander


28/01/2012 By Caroline Akoum
http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=1&id=28274

Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – Free Syrian Army [FSA] Deputy Commander Colonel
Malik al-Kurdi informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the al-Farouq Brigade of the
FSA captured 7 Iranians involved in the suppression of Syrian citizens in
the city of Homs last week. He revealed that 5 of the Iranians are “military
specialists belonging to the Iranian Republic Guard”, whilst the other two
are civilians.

The Deputy FSA commander told Asharq Al-Awsat that “the operation to capture
this group took place after an FSA reconnaissance patrol observed a group
affiliated to the Syrian army – with armed escorts – scouting the Bab
al-Seba area of Homs.”

He said “this operation was undertaken after the al-Farouq Brigade noticed
this group and their armed escorts were acting suspiciously in Bab el-Seba”
adding “they were armed with automatic weapons and sniper rifles.”

Colonel al-Kurdi revealed that “a firefight broke out between the [Iranian]
group’s armed escorts and the al-Farouq Brigade, but they were able to
arrest 7 members of this group in Bab al-Seba…which was later subject to
heavy bombardment from the Syrian regime. This is why we transferred them
outside of Homs, for fear that the Syrian security services would launch
operations against civilians [in Homs].”

Al-Kurdi claimed that these Iranians had taken part in the brutal crackdown
launched by the al-Assad regime against the Syrian protesters. A video
showing the 7 Iranians was released by the FSA yesterday, the video showed
the captives’ travel documents, whilst the deputy FSA commander informed
Asharq Al-Awsat that the Iranian’s did not have Syrian visas or work permits
or any other indication as to how and indeed when they arrived in the
country.

In the short video, one of the captives, speaking Farsi, reportedly
confesses “I am Sajjad Amirian, a member of the Revolutionary Guards of the
Iranian armed forces. I am a member of the team in charge of cracking down
on protesters in Syria, and we received our orders directly from the
security division of the Syrian Air Force in Homs.”

He adds “I urge Mr. Khamenei to work on securing our release and return to
our homes.”

In light of this, the opposition Syrian National Council [SNC] on Saturday
accused Iran of “participation” in the Syrian crackdown on protesters, and
called on Tehran to stop aiding the Damascus regime.

SNC member Samir Neshar, speaking to a press conference in Istanbul, said
“the SNC condemns the participation of the Iranian regime in killing Syrians
who are demanding freedom and urges it to stop taking part in quelling the
Syrian revolution in order to protect the relations between the two people.”

The Iranian State News agency IRNA did not include any news about the arrest
of Iranian soldiers in Syria; however a report claimed that “11 Iranian
pilgrims travelling by road to Damascus were kidnapped by an unknown group”.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying
“We call on the Syrian government to use all means…to release the Iranian
nationals.”

DM Baraks Comments on Iran: Time is urgently running out


(Communicated by Josh Hantman, International Media Advisor,
MOD)

Following are comments made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak earlier today
(Monday), 30.1.12:

"Yesterday I returned from a few days in Davos. During the global forum, I
was able to meet with a host of leaders, ministers and economic figures. I
met with Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano,
and Swiss Defense and Civil Protection Minister Ueli Maurer, among other
leaders.

Over the course of the various meetings we repeatedly emphasized our stance
that we must urgently intensify and broaden the sanctions against Iran. The
determination of world leaders is critical in order to prevent the Iranians
from advancing their military-nuclear program. We must not waste time on
this matter; the Iranians continue to advance [towards nuclear weapons],
identifying every crack and squeezing through. Time is urgently running
out. "

January 29, 2012

'Conventional bomb not strong enough to destroy Iran's nuclear bunkers'

Pentagon says "bunker-buster" bomb built specifically to penetrate heavily fortified nuclear facilities will not be effective against Iranian bunkers buried deep in the mountains, according to Wall Street Journal report • Pentagon secretly asks for an additional $82 million from Congress to improve bomb's capabilities • Panetta: We're going to have a stronger bomb soon.
Yoni Hirsch and Israel Hayom Staff, with additional reporting by Eli Leon

The U.S.'s biggest conventional bomb is not capable of destroying Iran's most heavily-guarded nuclear bunkers, the Pentagon has concluded, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Saturday.

The report, based on information from U.S. government sources, said the U.S. Department of Defense is boosting its efforts to make the bomb more powerful.

The 14-ton (30,000-pound) Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), known as the "bunker-buster" bomb, was built specifically to be able to pierce through the heavy fortifications surrounding Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities.

However, initial experiments revealed that the bomb, as it is currently built, would not be able to destroy some Iranian nuclear facilities, either because of their depth in the ground or because of new fortifications added by Tehran to secure them.

Among the heavily-protected bunkers that the U.S. bomb would have difficulty penetrating is the Fordow uranium enrichment plant, buried deep in the mountains near the Iranian city of Qom, and surrounded by anti-aircraft batteries.

A U.S. official said some at the Pentagon believe conventional weapons will not be effective against the Fordow facility and that only a tactical nuclear weapon could work if the U.S. wants to completely destroy the facility.

"Once things go into the mountain, then really you have to have something that takes the mountain off," the official said.

He added that the MOP might have a better chance of destroying Iran's Natanz enrichment plant, "but even that is guesswork."

Doubts about the effectiveness of the MOP led the Pentagon this month to secretly seek an additional $82 million from Congress to improve the bomb's capabilities. The move comes as part of stepped-up preparations in the U.S. for a possible attack on Iran.

While some experts question whether any kind of conventional bomb could reach the deeply-hidden Iranian nuclear bunkers, officials in the U.S. Defense Department believe the MOP could already cause enough damage to delay Iran's nuclear program.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told The Wall Street Journal that he expected a more powerful MOP to be ready soon. "We're developing it. I think we're pretty close, let's put it that way. But we're still working at it because these things are not easy to be able to make sure that they will do what we want them to," he said. "But I'm confident, frankly, that we're going to have that capability and have it soon."

Panetta also said that Iran may not be the only potential target of the new bomb. "It's not just aimed at Iran. Frankly, it's aimed at any enemy that decides to locate it in some kind of impenetrable location. The goal here is to be able to get at any enemy, anywhere," he told The Wall Street Journal.

Pentagon spokesman George Little added, "The development of this weapon is not intended to send a signal to any one particular country ... It's a capability we believe we need in our arsenal and will continue to invest in it."

Meanwhile, The New York Times reported last week that Israeli intelligence assessments, supported by academic studies, have cast doubt on the widespread belief that an attack on Iran would ignite a "catastrophic set of events like a regional conflagration, widespread acts of terrorism and sky-high oil prices."

According to the report, the intelligence assessments, which several of the country's top officials have adopted, reveal that the threat of Iranian retaliation to an Israeli or U.S. attack "is partly bluff," and they are being taken into account in Israeli calculations of whether to strike Iran.

Another paper that will soon be published by Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies claims that Iran's recent threat that it will close the Strait of Hormuz is also largely a bluff.

Relatives praise Fogel family murderer on Palestinian TV


Mother, aunt of Palestinian who took part in Itamar massacre appear on show focusing on prisoners held in Israel
Elior Levy

During a program aired on Palestinian television last week, the aunt of one of the Palestinians who took part in the brutal murder of five members of the Fogel family in the West Bank last march referred to him as a "hero" and "legend."

In August an Israeli court sentenced Hakim Awad to five consecutive life sentences for his part in the Itamar settlement massacre.

Awad's cousin Amjad was also sentenced to five life sentences and an additional seven years for brutally stabbing to death Udi and Ruth Fogel and three of their children: Yoav (11) Elad (4) and four-month-old baby Hadas, last March.

In response to the aunt's comments, the show's host said, "We also wish them (murderers) well."

The aunt went on to read a poem she had written in the murderers' honor, while Hakim Awad's mother sent her regards to her son and proudly mentioned that he was the perpetrator of the Itamar massacre.

The broadcast was aired as part of a weekly show on the Palestinian state-run station called "For You," which focuses on Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

The broadcast was reported by Palestinian Media Watch – an Israel-based media watchdog organization.

How can we make peace with such people?

How can we in a modern world, respond to such people?

How can we not have a death penalty in Israel, for such people?

January 27, 2012

MERF Appearance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.


The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11 am Pacific, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

January 26, 2012

Israel's shameless Arabs

Op-ed: Arab parliamentarians endorse tyrants, terrorists while slamming 'undemocratic' Israel
Shaul Rosenfeld

“The shahid is honored throughout the history of nations. He is the one who blazed the trail for us. No value is more noble than martyrdom," Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi waxed poetic a few days ago on the occasion of “Palestinian Martyr Day.” Of course, he did not forget to present the obvious flip-side, whereby in Israel “the real terrorist murderer is considered a hero or a minister.”


Immediately after that, Tibi made sure to make it clear to all his fans that "Israelis are ignorant with regards to the term 'shahid' and misunderstand it. It refers to anyone who was killed by the occupation for the homeland or died for a national cause." That is, there is the active, bogus type of martyr, who seeks to slaughter as many Jews as he can. Then there is the real martyr, the passive, noble type, the most amazing and glorious of all human beings, which only incurable Israeli ignorance fails to appreciate.

Former Palestinian leader Arafat apparently only referred to them, the passive martyrs, when he spoke of Shahids, just like his former advisor Tibi, who did the same while serving in Israel’s Knesset.

The Talmud says that when a person keeps repeating an offence, it’s as though he receives permission to keep doing it. And so, Mr. Tibi can praise the qualities of the martyr while at most prompting weak journalistic protest, and then go back to that same Israeli media in the role of Dr. Tibi and express his amazement about the very question regarding his right to endorse Shahids.


Tibi can also slam others as if he was the lowliest chauvinist, while hurling crude sexual hints at MK Anastasia Michaeli, and at the best prompt a minor reprimand from the media and from various women’s rights groups, which on normal days would harshly slam any harm done to women, by certain men that is.


Gaddafi's friends

Similarly, Hanin Zoabi and other Arab parliamentarians can put their trust in the guardians of Israeli democracy in the media, High Court, academia and the cultural world every time they write a forward to venomous anti-Semitic books, as Zoabi just did in her forward to anti-Semitic British writer Ben White’s book. These Arab MKs also board various Gaza-bound ships or visit Hamas leaders or enlightened Arab rulers such as Gaddafi, may he rest in peace.


Indeed, Arab MKs use these opportunities to talk about Israeli injustice, the apartheid regime adopted there, and the racism that has spread everywhere. Mostly, they explain in their visits to such models of democracy like Hamas or Libya how un-democratic Israel is.


Yet nonetheless, even if only a handful of Israel’s Arabs crossed the lines (for example, “only” some 200 Arab Israelis were involved in terror attacks in the years 2001-2004 that claimed the lives of 136 Israelis,) the vast majority of the Arab sector regularly votes for the same representatives, who view the eradication of the Zionist enterprise and Jewish State as their utmost mission, while serving as members in the Jewish State’s parliament.


Still, we’ll always find the good Jews among us who will keep explaining to us that the involvement of Arab Israelis in terror, their hugely disproportionate share of crimes (in 2011, Arabs were involved in 67% of murders in Israel,) illegal construction or road accidents is all our doing. We are the ones who sinned and mistreated the Arabs. We are the ones at fault, rather than Tibi, Zoabi, or any other Arab victim.

Iranian military plane mysteriously crashes near Bushehr

Iran's semi-official news agency Fars reports that an F-14 jet crashed 3 minutes after takeoff, no reason given • Incident joins list of mysterious and deadly mishaps to shake the country in recent months.


An Iranian military plane crashed early Thursday near the Gulf coast, the country's semi-official Fars news agency reported, saying no reason had yet been given for the incident.

"An F-14 crashed three minutes after take-off at 4:30 a.m. near the city of Bushehr," near one of Iran's nuclear facilities, Fars reported, citing a local government official.

The incident joins a series of mysterious mishaps reported in Iran in recent months. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjead recently stepped up the security protecting the country's top nuclear scientists, several of whom have been victims of assassinations, following the most recent assassination earlier this month.

The assassination was preceded by a series of mysterious explosions at or near Iranian military facilities, including one in the city of Bushehr.

Bushehr province governor Mohammad Hossein Jahanbakhsh said that both the pilot and the co-pilot were killed in the crash.

January 25, 2012

Terror victim's widow gives birth

Puah Palmer, whose husband Asher and son Yonatan were killed in West Bank five months ago, gives birth to girl

Four months after her husband and infant son were killed in a terror attack in the West Bank, Puah Palmer gave birth Wednesday to a baby girl.

Asher Palmer, 25, and his 1-year-old son, Yonatan, died in September when their car overturned after it was stoned as they were traveling on Highway 60.

Puah, who was five months pregnant at the time of the attack, gave birth at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. Both mother and daughter were reported to be doing well.

Friends of the family said that the widow is refusing to return to the home she shared with her husband and son in Kiryat Arba. She now lives with her brother.

"She is having a very difficult time," one friend said. "She wants to try to forget what happened while also continuing his legacy.

"I am glad that we get to witness the best act revenge on her husband and son's killers," he added. "They wanted to wipe Jews off the face of the earth, and instead they got a new generation."

Ofer Ohana, a family friend and one of the first rescue crew members to arrive on the scene of September's attack, said that the birth is a symbol of the Jewish people's perseverance.

"No matter how much they try to destroy us, we multiply and grow stronger," he said.

Two Palestinians were arrested in November and were charged with the murder of Palmer and his son. The two confessed during questioning to throwing the stone that caused their crash. The rock was hurled out of a moving car.

Again full disclosure, the Palmers were at my daughters wedding and Asher was a life long friend of my son in law.

So today is a day of joy combined with sadness.

May G-D ease her pain, and may justice be brought to the murdering scum that murdered Asher and Yonatan.

January 24, 2012

Watch: Palestinian teens open fire on Israeli car

Security forces detain several West Bank Palestinians suspected of carrying out attacks on troops, civilians
Yoav Zitun

The IDF and the Shin Bet security service have recently arrested 19 young Palestinians who are suspected of orchestrating a series of terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank over the past few months, Ynet reported Tuesday.


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Video: Palestinians open fire on Israeli vehicle

Two of the Palestinians are accused of opening fire on an Israeli vehicle as it was heading to the Ma'aleh Shomron settlement last Saturday. The attack was caught on tape.

An indictment against two of the shooters, aged 16 and 17, from the village of Azoun, was filed with a military court. Footage released by the IDF Spokesperson's Office shows the teens opening fire on the passing vehicle and fleeing the scene. No one was injured in the attack, but the car was damaged.


During their interrogation, the two admitted they had carried out the attack and told investigators they were involved on other terrorist acts along with other Azoun residents.


The teens said that in December they attempted to open fire on an Israeli vehicle and fired shots at IDF soldiers. They also threw stones and firebombs at Israeli vehicles and army forces travelling along a main road near Azoun and inside the village itself.


Colonel Ran Kahane, commander of the Ephraim Territorial Brigade, said the teens were not affiliated with any terror organization, adding that they had turned in makeshift weapons they used to carry out the attacks.

January 23, 2012

Social Affairs: Silent no more!
By RUTH EGLASH
14/01/2012
Unlike their parents, the younger generation of Ethiopian-Israelis will not stay quiet about racism.

The words were spoken clearly. Captured on camera and broadcast on national television in the first week of 2012: “The only good Ethiopian is a dead Ethiopian.”

Referring to them also as “jukim,” or cockroaches, a tenant from an apartment block in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi stated proudly that he would never sell his home to an Ethiopian family because “it brings down the value of the neighborhood.”

The man revealed that 120 other families spanning four residential buildings had collectively signed an agreement with the neighborhood council not to sell or rent their apartments to families of Ethiopian descent.

The news report was only the tip of the iceberg. In the week that has followed the broadcast, members of the Ethiopian community have galvanized their people, especially the second generation of immigrants, to speak out against a phenomenon that fails to abate and that spreads far beyond Kiryat Malachi.

“People always tell us that it will take time; they tell us to be patient and that it will take another generation for us to feel part of Israeli society.” says Ethiopian activist Elias Inbram. “But I have lived here for more than 30 years, I have a law degree and a master’s degree, I served in the army, so what else do we need to do in order for people to accept us?” Inbram, who also spent time studying in Chicago, was one of many highly educated and articulate young Ethiopian Israelis that came out Tuesday to protest the discriminatory housing policies in Kiryat Malachi and what he calls “institutionalized racism.”

“This is not something new. We have seen it in so many areas: in the education system, in the job market and in housing,” he says. “We keep hearing a lot of promises [from the government] that things will change but no one does anything.”

“Even though we are talking about something specific that happened in Kiryat Malachi, this kind of racism against Ethiopians happens everywhere in Israeli society,” observes Efrat Yerday, spokeswoman of the Israel Association of Ethiopian Jews (IAEJ), who also joined in Tuesday’s protest.

Yerday, who was born in Israel to Ethiopian immigrant parents, adds that “it stems from similar attitudes within the political system, the education system and even within the police force. It is everywhere and this is just another event in a series of events.”

Both Inbram and Yerday – who not only participated in the anti-racism protest in Kiryat Malachi on Tuesday but also joined other Ethiopian activists in the Knesset on Wednesday for an emergency hearing in the Committee for Aliya, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs – say that the second generation of Ethiopian Israelis (those who came as young children or who were born here) is no longer willing to sit in silence and suffer from ignorance or racism like their parents’ generation.

“We can no longer sit on our hands and do nothing when we are confronted with this kind of racism,” concurs lawyer Itzik Dessie, executive director of Ethiopian legal rights organization Tebeka, which has already started to lobby parliamentarians to create specific legislation to criminalize racism, including harsh punishments for those who are verbally racist.

He says that in the past, the community tried to be patient and opted to simply ignore “stupid comments” about Ethiopian immigrants.

“We would just say, ‘oh, there is another idiot saying something stupid, it will pass,’ but today we are seeing that it is not passing. It is not only about individuals in the street who are making racist comments but people in politics and other areas of public life too,” Dessie laments, adding that the next generation is ready and willing to take up the battle in a way that has not happened before in Israel.

“We are not afraid to speak out against racism anymore,” he continues. “We want to see change. We are sick of the situation and now there are tools such as Facebook that can reach many other young people all at once.”

According to Dessie, the story in Kiryat Malachi is the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“The fact that Ethiopians are prevented from buying buildings is not really the issue here; it goes much, much deeper,” he says.

Indeed, just over the last few months, several incidents of blatant or unwitting racism and forced segregation of members of the Ethiopian community have been exposed by the media.

In September, attempts to close down a Petah Tikva public school with a student body comprising almost exclusively Ethiopian pupils put the spotlight on what the community calls “ghettos” – neighborhoods where new Ethiopian immigrants are forced to live due to limited financial means.

The incident also raised awareness to government housing policies that limit where the new immigrants can purchase accommodation. In order to receive a subsidized government mortgage, community members are forced to buy on certain streets and neighborhoods in only 10 specific towns. This restriction then creates a problem wherein some have an extremely large concentration of Ethiopian students.

A recent report compiled by the Israel Association for Ethiopian Jews found that more than 10 schools countrywide in which the number of Ethiopian pupils is more than 80 percent of the student body and a further 40 schools in which Ethiopians constitute 40%.

Another example of this problem was discovered last month in Beit Shemesh, where it was revealed that the municipality had forced the majority of Ethiopian children in the town to attend one of three kindergartens. The story was further exacerbated when Mayor Moshe Abutbul explained the policy by likening the Ethiopian immigrant community to small fish in a dangerous aquarium.

“In an aquarium there are big fish and little fish. First you have to take out the little fish in order to help them grown and stop them from being eaten by the big fish. That is how we are helping to better prepare Ethiopian children for first grade,” he told local Israeli media.

“We need to change this situation and break down these ghettoized neighborhoods,” notes Inbram, suggesting that money raised by international Jewry to support Ethiopian immigration and absorption could be put to much better use by focusing more on integration into Israeli society in a holistic way.

“Not only does there need to be a law against racism and efforts to enforce existing laws against discrimination but there also need to be better policies on integration in housing, education, industry and the public sphere,” he says.

At Tuesday’s protest, demonstrators expressed hope that tackling racism would now become a central issue in the struggle for social justice among mainstream Israeli society.

“We hope that this is the first step and that we can really make a change,” comments 27-year-old student Shira Esayas, who traveled from Haifa to join the protest in Kiryat Malachi.

She continues: “We saw our parents being subjected to racism and they tried to protest it but no one listened.

Now we are here and if we do not speak out loud and clear then our children will also have to go out and fight racism.”

Waving a banner with a well-known quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Esayas said that she had always been inspired by the changes King made in the US and is hopeful that this new stand for equality would achieve the same in Israel.

She points out that fight against racism is not exclusive to the Ethiopian community but rather a battle that “everyone in Israeli society should be involved in.”

Avi Yalou, a resident of Kiryat Malachi and one of those who organized the protest this week, says that he too feels this is a battle relevant even to those outside the Ethiopian community.

Although few people – lawmakers, social rights activists or otherwise – from outside of the Ethiopian community joined Tuesday’s anti-racism protest, Yalou says that “this is only the start of more things to come.”

Atlanta paper owner quits over Obama hit article


By JTA
01/23/2012 21:42

Andrew Adler, publisher of 'Atlanta Jewish Times' had suggested Netanyahu deploy Mossad agents to assassinate US president.
Talkbacks (6)


The owner and publisher of the Atlanta Jewish Times has resigned and is seeking a buyer in the wake of a column he wrote speculating that Israel would consider assassinating US President Barack Obama.

Andrew Adler, in an email obtained by JTA, announced Monday that he is "relinquishing all day-to-day activities effective immediately" following the publishing of his opinion piece saying that Obama's assassination was among Israel's options in heading off a nuclear Iran.

RELATED:
Has Obama lost Jews' support – and funding?

Adler named staff writer John McCurdy as interim managing editor until a replacement can be found. Adler said he would publish an apology in his next edition and that reaction from readers had been overwhelmingly negative.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta said earlier Monday that it would suspend its relationship with the Atlanta Jewish Times until Adler removed himself from the newspaper's operations. The federation also called on Adler to sell the weekly.

"While we acknowledge his public apology and remorse, the damage done to the people of Israel, the global Jewish people, and especially the Jewish Community of Atlanta is irreparable," the Atlanta federation said in a statement issued Monday to constituent groups.

In a Jan. 13 column, Adler outlined what he said were three possible responses by Israel to Iran's acquiring a nuclear weapon: a pre-emptive strike against Hamas and Hezbollah, terrorist groups that he said would be emboldened by a nuclear Iran; a direct strike on Iran; and "three, give the go-ahead for US-based Mossad agents to take out a president deemed unfriendly to Israel in order for the current vice president to take his place, and forcefully dictate that the United States policy includes its helping the Jewish state obliterate its enemies."

He continued, "Yes, you read 'three' correctly. Order a hit on a president in order to preserve Israel's existence. Think about it. If I have thought of this Tom Clancy-type scenario, don't you think that this almost unfathomable idea has been discussed in Israel's most inner circles?

The Anti-Defamation League and the National Jewish Democratic Council also condemned Adler for his column. David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, also called on Adler to resign from the newspaper.

CNN reported that the Secret Service is investigating Adler over the column.

I hope you enjoy your jail cell.

I think this is a federal crime.

If it does not rise to the level to being criminal. it is at the very least.

In very bad taste and cast all Jews in a bad light.

I want to share the video below to show that not all Israeli's are racist. El Al must be congratulated for using Kabra Kasi for this advertizement.

Kasi is an Ethiopian singer that is part of the Idan Raichel Project.

"She was born in a Sudanese refugee camp, to Ethiopian Jewish parents on their way to Israel, in what was called Operation Moses. She arrived in Israel when she was one year old, in 1984. At 18, as mandatory in Israel, she began her military service, where she met Idan Raichel. Together, they performed in many military camps and facilities. When they left the army, the Idan Raichel project was acclaimed as a success, and they performed all over Israel and even went on some offshore tours." Wikipedia

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Peres writes song for Ethiopian community

President puts his concerns in writing in wake of racist acts against Israelis of Ethiopian descent, asks musician Idan Raichel to compose music

On the backdrop of recent acts of racism against Israel's Ethiopian community, President Shimon Peres recently visited the Amit Reshit School in Jerusalem, where children of Ethiopian descent have been successfully integrated. There, he was inspired by Rachel, the school choir's lead singer.

After hearing eighth grader Rachel sing, "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem," Peres returned to the President's Residence overwhelmed. That night, he sat down, put his thoughts in writing and composed a song for her and for the Ethiopian community.

"I cannot forget Rachel's beautiful and kind eyes," he told his advisors. "When I looked at her I saw through her eyes the Ethiopian Jews' hardship and endless yearning for the Land of Israel."

But Peres did not settle for just writing a song. He asked his assistants to send it to musician Idan Raichel and have him add music to the lyrics. Raichel worked on the melody for a week and asked singer Kabra Kasai, who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia, to perform the president's song.

When he heard that the song was ready, the president asked to listen to it as soon as possible. On Thursday he arrived at Jerusalem's International Convention Center, where Raichel revealed the song.

Only after he finished singing, Raichel informed the audience that the lyrics were written by Peres and invited the president to sing.

After the two sang together, Peres said: "Every person with a historical memory is filled with emotions and memories upon seeing immigrants."

The president concluded the event by stating, "It was one of the most emotionally moving evenings in my life."

Zoabi endorses anti-Semitic author

Controversial Arab MK writes foreword for new book by British anti-Israel writer, says 'racist' settlement enterprise premised on 'ethnic cleansing'
Yaniv Halili

LONDON – Hanin Zoabi seems to be a particularly hard-working Knesset member: After sailing onboard the Marmara with terrorists, celebrating the release of Hamas men from prison and appearing in anti-Israeli conferences worldwide, the Arab MK now wrote a foreword to a new book by Ben White, a British author considered an anti-Semite.

The book, titled "Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy," presents a blatant anti-Israel approach. In the four-page foreword, Zoabi addresses what she calls the "racist" settlement enterprise, which she says was established on the basis of "ethnic cleansing." She also refers to Israelis as the people who took away Arab land.

Moreover, the Knesset member writes that the core of the conflict includes not only Gaza Strip and West Bank Palestinians, but also Arab Israelis.

Zoabi adds that following 50 years of political experiments, Israel's Arabs have grasped the power inherent in democracy and aim to undermine the moral and political legitimacy of Israel, reducing it to the status of a "colonialist and racist" project.


'She fears nobody'

The British branch of Amnesty is slated to hold an event Thursday to launch White's new book. Several Jewish organizations already sent infuriated letters to the organization's leaders, demanding that the event be called off in favor of a balanced debate on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Jewish leaders have accused White of anti-Semitism in light of various articles he published over the years. In 2002, White wrote that he is not an anti-Semite but that he could understand why other people are. He also charged that Israel's "ongoing crimes" against the Palestinians are one of the reasons for global anti-Semitism.

MK Zoabi declined to comment on the foreword she wrote for White's book. However, her associates at the Knesset noted that some of the views expressed in the foreword have been uttered by her in the past at the Knesset podium.

"She believes in the things she writes and has never tried to hide it," a Zoabi associate said. "She fears nobody and she will continue to express what she believes in at every opportunity."

Sorry, in her foreward by her own words she has committed treason.

Zoabi write that the goal of Israeli Arabs is "aim to undermine the moral and political legitimacy of Israel".

Sounds like treason to me.

The question then becomes how can she do the most damage to Israel, and I see three options.

1. Israel does nothing. She is allowed to stay in the Knesset and continue to engage in treason.

The issue is how much damage is she doing to Israel, by being allowed to continue?

She shows that Israel is truly a free country and her words and actions are in direct contradiction to her claims.

2. She has committed treason and should be placed on trial. She is found guilty and placed in prison for a long period of time or life.

She continue to write against Israel, from prison, spreading lies. She then is released in a future prisoner exchange.

3. She has committed treason and she is sentenced to death.

She is dead and gone forever. End of story.

January 22, 2012

Israel to probe Jerusalem mufti's call to kill Jews

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Hussein, on official Palestinian Authority television, preaches that Islamic holy text justifies killing Jews • Netanyahu asks attorney-general to launch investigation • Landau: "Mufti is inspired by Nazi Germany."
Daniel Siryoti and Shlomo Cesana

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Hussein, gives an inflammatory speech on Palestinian television last week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday ordered an investigation into the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, who called for the killing of Jews in a televised tirade last week.

The prime minister, who has asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to oversee the investigation, said at the weekly Cabinet meeting that the remarks made by the grand mufti, a representative of the Palestinian Authority, should be condemned by every nation in the world.

Netanyahu also spoke about the Iranian threat, saying, "The government of Israel has the right, duty and ability to prevent another extermination of the Jewish people or an attack on our country."

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference, the 1942 meeting of senior Nazi officials convened to plan the "Final Solution,” Netanyahu said, “There is no shortage of evil dictators even today. The same desire to destroy the Jews still exists, and hasn't changed. What has changed is our ability to defend ourselves, and our determination to do so."


Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein said that the fact that the mufti's remarks had been broadcast on Palestinian Authority television and posted on the official website of the Palestinian Authority was disturbing. "If that is not anti-Semitism, I don't know what is," he said.

Just before the Cabinet meeting, National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau (Yisrael Beitenu) said the mufti should stand trial and be thrown in jail. He described the Muslim leader as an "extremist imam who gets his inspiration from Nazi Germany."

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed Israel's ambassadors around the world to condemn the anti-Semitic tirade. Lieberman encouraged the ambassadors to publicly denounce the mufti's remarks, and to approach the governments of their host countries on the issue.

For his part, the mufti told Israel Radio earlier Sunday that he had not in fact encouraged the murder of Jews, but rather had quoted Muslim holy text that makes such a call.


PA Mufti calls for the killing of Jews quoting Islamic Hadith from Palestinian Media Watch on Vimeo.

Last week, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the mufti had said that the murder of Jews was justified by Islamic text. The group said Hussein told television audiences that according to the Hadith, the record of the words and actions of the Prophet Muhammad, Islamic Resurrection would not come until Muslims fought the Jews.

Palestinian Media Watch provided video footage of Hussein's speech in which the mufti says: “Forty-seven years ago the revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution of the Palestinian people’s history. In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem in 637 C.E.], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable Hadith, in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says: 'The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].' Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies."

In 2006, Hussein said suicide bombings were a "legitimate weapon" in the Palestinian struggle for independence.

Notice the mufti did not make a distinction between black or white Jew.

So let's pull together to defeat our real enemies.

Jim Crow, Israeli Style

Racially segregated kindergarten creates uproar

Storm of controversy erupts over Mevaseret Zion's segregated kindergarten for Ethiopian students • Affair first made public in Israel Hayom's Friday edition • Chairman of the Committee for Immigration says a hearing into matter will be held the immediate.

Yori Yalon

Color uncoordinated. The entrance to segregated kindergarten in Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion.
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News of a racially segregated kindergarten in the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion, first made public in Israel Hayom's Friday edition, led to a storm of controversy over the weekend. The children enrolled in the kindergarten are all of Ethiopian origin, and news of the kindergarten comes amid a national uproar over mistreatment of Israel's Ethiopian Jewish minority.

The chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, MK Danny Danon (Likud), said on Saturday he intends to hold an urgent hearing on the matter as well as take a tour of the kindergarten facilities.

"The recent racist incidents that have occurred in Israel will not become part of our daily routine,” Danon said. “Anyone who excludes Ethiopians should be placed behind bars under charges of criminal racism. Mevaseret Zion will not turn into a second Kiryat Malachi or Petach Tikva [cities that have had racial tensions].”

Danon continued: "To eradicate the phenomenon of racism against Ethiopians we need to combine educational initiatives with a full integration of Ethiopian immigrants throughout the country, both in geographic and employment terms." Danon was expected to visit Kiryat Malachi on Sunday, a city recently been rocked by a series of anti-racism demonstrations.

"Anyone who supports equality, immigrant absorption and the humane treatment of all people should view the separation of Ethiopian children as intolerable,” said Dr. Yitzhak Kadman,

the executive director of the Israel National Council for the Child. “It is unfortunate that this trend has reached all the way down to the kindergarten level. It is impossible to rate students as first-class and second-class."

Kadman said he intended to handle the incident swiflyt and seriously, saying, "It is quite possible that this affair violates the laws on students’ rights, which prohibit the discrimination in registration or admission of a student based on religion, gender, ethnic background or other factors."

Gadi Yavarkan, chairman of an Ethiopian rights advocacy group, echoed Kadman's statements. "They are hurting these children, but we will take the good education we got at home and force it upon the state of Israel. We are the salt of the earth," Yavarkan said.

Are you kidding me?

Jim Crow, alive and well in Israel?

I remember in the South segregation, as a very young boy.

My families history in the south, goes way back.

We are all Jews in this together, it is time for Am Achad, one people.

We must fight this evil, with all the power of the State of Israel.

Light Unto The Nations

Non-invasive tool identifies Alzheimer's, depression and ADHD
By Abigail Klein Leichman
January 12, 2012


Revolutionary Israeli system takes the guesswork out of diagnosing and treating ADHD, depression, Alzheimer's and other brain-related diseases.
Elminda system
ElMindA aims to revolutionize treatment of a number of brain disorders by opening a new window in to the way the brain works.

One out of every three people suffer from a brain-related disorder such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ADHD, chronic pain or depression. But because the human brain and the conditions that affect it are so complex, blood tests and imaging are of limited value for diagnosing brain diseases and documenting the effects of treatment.

Even in the 21st century, there's a lot of guesswork involved, and that means low treatment success rates at high costs.

The Israeli company ElMindA could revolutionize the field by opening a new window into how the brain works. Its trademarked, non-invasive BNA (brain network activation) technology has shown promise in clinical studies.

"Our vision is that every psychiatrist and neurologist in the world will routinely send every patient for BNA tests," says Dr. Eli Zangvil, ElMindA's strategic advisor for business development. "Our test would add information and aid in diagnostics in a way no other existing technology can do."

The procedure is simple and painless. Patients sit at a computer for 15 to 30 minutes, performing a specific task many times while the device maps network activation points in the brain. The repetition allows the device to sift out brain activity unrelated to the task (such as thinking about what to eat for lunch). The result is a three-dimensional image of nerve cell connectivity and synchronization that is highly sensitive, specific and reproducible.

The tool is sensitive enough to show subtle differences in the severity of the condition from one day to another, says Zangvil. It can also optimize drug dosing by monitoring the changes in brain network activities as the drug takes effect.

Concentrating on concussion

Within five years or so, BNA could be helping doctors pinpoint the stage of disease and predict which patients will respond to which drugs.

"To do that, we must collect a lot of data," says Zangvil. "To say this person has a certain disease or condition, I have to be able to compare their pattern to a normal brain pattern of a person of the same age and gender."

To gather adequate data, the company is pouring millions into experiments at the hospitals of Michigan and Pittsburgh universities. These studies focus on mild traumatic brain injury (concussion) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

"We hope we'll get FDA approval by the end of 2012 and be in the US market for monitoring and decision-making for the treatment of concussion -- especially sports-related concussion -- in 2013," Zangvil tells ISRAEL21c.

Why concussion? It's long been known that boxers develop chronic brain conditions after taking many blows to the head. But newer research shows that someone who gets hit in the head just a few times -- not even hard enough to knock him out -- is at great risk of developing irreversible brain damage, depression and Parkinson's.

For now, doctors must rely on information from patient questionnaires to assess these injuries because CT and MRI scans can't detect mild trauma. "We believe our technology offers an objective way to measure the situation and be useful as a tool for making decisions, like whether the player can go back on the field. This is a concern for every mother whose child plays contact sports," says Zangvil.

Better diagnosis of ADHD

In much the same way, clinical trials are proving the tool's value for objectively diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which affects up to one in 20 US children.

Diagnosis today is based on a subjective behavioral and clinical evaluation, with a high rate of misdiagnosis and unnecessary drug treatment. BNA mapping would simplify diagnosis by comparing the patient's scan to a normal and an ADHD profile. It would also play a role in treatment decisions and monitoring.

ElMindA is collaborating with some of the world's biggest pharma companies, and negotiating partnerships with others, to fund research into how the technology can help in diagnosis and treatment evaluation not only for ADHD but also for Parkinson's disease, depression, migraine, chronic pain and addictions.

This is a win-win effort, says Zangvil. "We get the data we need, and they get a powerful tool to assess what their drug does in the brain in a way they can't do today. Maybe they know a certain drug affects a certain receptor, but they don't know how it affects the disease process."

BNA will also be helpful in making more accurate dosage recommendations and in identifying patients who are best suited to test new drugs.

"Sometimes clinical trials for drugs fail only because certain types of patients don't respond to the drug, and it needs to be targeted to the proper sub-population," says Zangvil. "Our product represents another brick toward building personalized medicine."

The work of two extraordinary brains

The privately funded ElMindA was founded in 2006 by Prof. Amir Geva, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (currently the company's chief technology officer) with Dr. Goded Shahaf, who is no longer with ElMindA.
"They come from totally different approaches," relates Zangvil.

"Amir thought about a different analysis of electrophysiology of the brain more than 30 years ago, when doing research on Israeli Navy SEALS suffering from seizures. He was looking at the problem top down, trying to predict seizures. Goded came from the micro level, taking small clusters of brain cells and measuring electric currents and behavior of these cells."

Putting their opposite approaches together, the two found they could vastly improve on the capabilities of existing mapping techniques, such as the EEG.

The company, under CEO Ronen Gadot, has about 18 employees at its Herzliya office and is backed by a world-class scientific advisory board.

January 20, 2012

MERF Appearance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.


The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11 am Pacific, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

Catch 22

More Arab MKs met with Hamas official

MK Hanin Zoabi is not alone: new images show United Arab List-Ta'al MKs Msud Ganaim and Ibrahim Sarsur visiting Hamas official Aziz Dwaik days prior to Zoabi's visit
Moran Azulay

After recent reports of a meeting between MK Hanin Zoabi and a Hamas official it is now revealed that two United Arab List-Ta'al MKs had met with the figure earlier.

Masud Ganaim and Ibrahim Sarsur visited the home of Hamas parliamentary speaker Aziz Dwaik, 64, to offer their support after he was released from an Israeli prison in June 2009. Dwaik was arrested again on Thursday.

The Hamas man was first arrested in August 2006 by IDF forces in Ramallah as part of a series of arrests in the wake of the abduction of Gilad Shalit. A geography professor, Dwaik was convicted of membership in a terrorist organization in 2008. He was sentenced to three years in prison, two years of probation and was ordered to pay a NIS 5,000 fine (roughly $1,318).

After his release, and several days prior to Zoabi's visit, the Hamas leader met with Ganaim and Sarsur as well as former Rahat council head and senior official in the Islamic Movement's northern branch Jumaa Qsasi.

The MKs are claiming the meeting was legitimate as the people concerned were "political figures fighting against the occupation." MK Ganaim said, "We visited the house together with several other members of the Palestinian council. Hamas was legally and legitimately elected in what the whole world admitted were just elections and we went to visit the officials after they were released from jail."

Referring to claims they were in contact with figures who were jailed for aiding terror, Ganaim said: "As political figures they should never have been arrested. Our arrival there was not in violation of the law. I, as a Knesset member or a private person, am allowed to visit a person who was wrongly arrested. It has never been proven they were involved in the alleged activity. They have a right as occupied individuals to fight for life in dignity."

Likud MK and chairman of the Knesset house committee Yariv Levin said in response: "The Arab MKs are competing who is the greatest traitor and terrorist sponsor while using the weakness of the legal system. The Attorney General must take a firm hand and put an end to the parade of MKs spitting in the State's face and protect Israel and the Knesset from the terror sponsors amongst us."

Ganahim retorted, "MKs make protest everything. They protest us being Arab and our very presence in the Knesset. We shall stay there whether they like it or not. If Israel honors a different world view it should not be dragged by some rightist extremists who seek press at the expense of the Arab MKs. If we broke the law with our visit let them charge us."

Ganaim noted that the issues discussed during the meeting mainly concerned the Palestinian council and the rift between Fatah and Hamas. "We didn't discuss specific issues. We are no Hamas members but it was a visit meant to support their struggle against the occupation."

MK Sarsur added, "It was not the first time we visited Dwaik. I personally visited him twice during his incarceration. He was ill at the time and I went to see how he was. He's a good friend of mine, from the time before he was elected to the Palestinian council."

He described the accusations against Dwaik as terror sponsor as false. "All those who Israel held hostage were arrested because of Shalit's abduction. They were victims of the Netanyahu government's policy.

"Israel treats the Palestinian people as the enemy. They treat Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) and Fatah leaders in the same manner. The problem isn’t the Palestinian people. Dwaik is a political person, not a terror facilitator."

Catch 22.

By wanting to be PC and acceptable to the world, Israel is in a catch 22.

Bibi has said yes to a Palestinian state, Zoabi and the others says she meets these Hamas terrorist as part of the effort to build a Palestinian state.

Catch 22.

Who is the bigger traitor?

January 19, 2012

MKs: Zoabi should be tried for treason

Knesset members furious with Balad MK for meeting with Hamas officials. National Union demands House revoke her parliamentary immunity; urges AG to file treason charges
Ynet reporters

The political arena was up in arms Thursday, following Ynet's report of a meeting between MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) and several Hamas officials.

Zoabi met with several senior Hamas members, including former parliament chair Aziz Dwaik and Mariam Saleh, the former minister of women's affairs in Hamas government in Gaza, in December.

The National Union party released a statement on Thursday, condemning Zoabi and urging the Knesset the revoke her parliamentary immunity: "Zoabi and Tibi both prove that they do not belong in the Knesset but in jail – where all traitors to the State of Israel belong.

"We expect the Attorney General's Office to file charges of treason and aiding a terror group against her," the statement said. "He cannot cite 'lack of evidence' as an excuse this time."

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) added that Zoabi's meeting with Hamas officials was a "first-class scandal" adding: "She is a traitor and should be tried as such. The Knesset speaker must order her immunity revoked without delay."

MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) said that the Balad Party should be disqualified from the Knesset, "since every one of its members has been questioned, at some point, for aiding a terror organization.

"It's time to disqualify Balad and end this charade. Elected public officials cannot be allowed to legitimize terrorists how target Israeli citizens," he said.

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel petitioned Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to order the police to officially investigate Zoabi for aiding a terror organization.

The pictures of Zoabi with Hamas officials "prove that her loyalty to Israel and its laws is questionable. MK Zoabi's meetings with Hamas officials are not irregular and are in direct continuity with the events of the Gaza flotilla, in which she participated alongside other lawless individuals who endangered the lives of IDF soldiers," the petition said.

MK Yoel Hasson, chairman of the Kadima faction, added: "Zoabi has long since forgotten who her public is – she has abandoned them from preliminary action on behalf of various terror groups."

In light of her involvement in the Marama and the photos depicting her with Hamas officials, he added, "I find it deeply disconcerting that she is still serving as an Knesset member in Israel."

Zoabi herself confirmed the meeting, saying she saw nothing wrong with her actions: "The entire world recognizes Hamas now and I think it's time Israel did so as well. We don't consider Hamas to be a terror organization," she said.

Yoav Zitun, Moran Azulay and Aviad Glickman contributed to this report


Let's be clear the time has come to arrest both Tibi and Zoabi .

Give them a fair trial, then hang them both by the neck until dead and spread their ashes in the Med.

January 18, 2012

All Jews

Israel seeks to end ancient Ethiopian Jewish customs

Ethiopian Jews spent millennia isolated from the rest of the Jewish world • Israel's rabbinate seeks to eliminate the kessoch, the Ethiopian Jewish clergy who continued the traditions of biblical priests, sacrificing animals and collecting the first fruits of the harvest.
The Associated Press

Abio, an Ethiopian kess, Amharic for priest, attends a wedding celebration in Ashkelon, southern Israel on Jan. 14.
|
Photo credit: AP

Nearly three decades after Israel began airlifting Ethiopia's ancient Jewish community out of the Horn of Africa, Israel's rabbis are now working to phase out the community's white-turbaned clergy, the kessoch, whose unusual religious practices are at odds with the rabbinate's Orthodox Judaism.

The effort has added to the sense of discrimination felt by Israel's 120,000 Ethiopian citizens. These sentiments boiled over this month after a group of landlords in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi refused to accept them as tenants, prompting a large rally planned for Wednesday outside the Knesset.

"We are just like all the other Jews. We don't have any other religion," said Kess Semai Elias, 42.

Believed by some to be descendants of the lost Israelite tribe of Dan, Ethiopian Jews spent millennia isolated from the rest of the Jewish world. In most Jewish communities, the priests of the Bible were replaced by rabbis who emphasized textual study and prayer. Ethiopia's Jewish clergy, the kessoch, continued the traditions of the biblical priests, sacrificing animals and collecting the first fruits of the harvest.


The two traditions diverged so much that the first trickle of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants to Israel were asked to undergo a quickened conversion ceremony to appease rabbis who were dubious about their religious pedigrees.

When Israeli clandestine operations rescued large groups of Ethiopian Jews from war and famine in the 1980s and early 1990s, a rabbinic consensus was reached and the newcomers did not have to convert — except for a group known as the Falash Mura, whose ancestors had been forcibly converted to Christianity generations earlier.

The 58 kessoch who arrived in Israel in those early days maintained their leadership role in the Ethiopian Jewish community, and in 1992 successfully lobbied the Israeli government to grant them salaries and status similar to those of government rabbis. But as the aging clergy began ordaining a new generation of kessoch over the past decade, and those new leaders also wanted recognition, Israel's rabbinate objected.

After public demonstrations and a brief hunger strike, the newly ordained kessoch struck a bittersweet deal last month with Israel's Religious Services Ministry. The agreement will see the ministry finally implementing a 2010 government resolution to recognize 13 kessoch and give them state salaries. But Israel's state rabbis have made it very clear that these new kessoch will be the last.

"It's for the best," said Rabbi Yosef Hadana, 63, of the Israeli rabbinate.

Himself the son of a respected kess, Hadana long ago traded the shash, the white turban of his father's tradition, for the black suit and fedora of ultra-Orthodox Jews.

"After 2,500 years of isolation from the nation of Israel, we have returned. Now we need to find a way to be one people," Hadana said.

Hadana said he had great respect for the kessoch, who had spun tales of Jerusalem's splendor at evening storytelling sessions and had kept Ethiopian Jewry’s religious tradition alive. But he said that anyone in Israel who wanted to continue that tradition had to have rabbinic training. Streamlining their religious practice could help integrate Ethiopian immigrants into Israeli society, he said.

Ethiopian-Israelis have long struggled in Israel, with literacy rates relatively low, the culture gap wide and rates of poverty and domestic violence well above the national average.

Many of the older generation have menial jobs, with the men working as security guards and the women as cleaners. Their children, most of whom grew up in Israel's Orthodox Jewish religious schools, speak fluent Hebrew, serve in the army alongside native Israelis and are increasingly studying engineering and sciences in Israel's universities. Despite these gains, the younger generation is still struggling compared to other Israelis.

The immigrants have also long complained of discrimination. In the late 1990s it was discovered that Israel's health services were throwing out Ethiopian-Israelis' blood donations over fears of diseases contracted in Africa.

This is not the first time in history that Ethiopian Jews have been asked to reform. Jacques Faitlovitch, one of the first Jewish outsiders to meet the community, told the kessoch back in 1904 that they would have to stop antiquated Paschal sacrifices if they wanted acceptance in the wider Jewish world.

Polish-born Faitlovitch also pushed the Ethiopians to stop Judaism's last existing monastic tradition. Ethiopia's last Jewish monk spent his final days in Israel, secluded in a synagogue annex and preparing his own food for reasons of purity. He died about 10 years ago.

Other traditions, like priestly tithes and huts for menstruating women, were also given up upon moving to Israel.

Still, the kessoch, easily recognized by their ceremonial fly-swatting tassels and rainbow-colored sunbrellas, are not ready to be relegated to history. First-generation Ethiopian immigrants still call on them to adjudicate family conflicts, lead funeral prayers, and slaughter meat according to tradition.

Israel only recently allowed kessoch into butcheries to slaughter their own animals — even though their method is not considered kosher by rabbinic standards.

But the rabbis have put their feet down when it comes to marriage. To be legal, weddings must be presided over by state-recognized rabbis and include mainstream Jewish practices.

Despite the country's secular majority, Israel’s Orthodox rabbis strictly govern Jewish weddings. Israel does not recognize civil marriages, intermarriages or marriages performed by rabbis from the more liberal Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism, unless they took place abroad.

Israeli rabbis have now agreed to train the 13 new kessoch to perform marriages the mainstream Jewish way. For most of the kessoch, this is such a slap in the face that they cannot bear to show up at the weddings of their own community members. Instead, they perform their own private wedding ceremonies for the newlyweds a few days later — a modest re-enactment of the week-long marriage celebrations they used to hold back in Africa.

At one nighttime ceremony in seaside Ashkelon, women in embroidered cotton robes bounced their shoulders to African beats. Family and friends greeted the couple with the toot of a golden horn. Honey beer flowed from a steel kettle, and an army of men scooped curried lamb — slaughtered by the presiding kess — onto flat injera bread.

Newly ordained Kess Abiyu Azariya, 44, pushed his way to the head of the dance floor. Wearing a white turban and shawl, he recited the wedding blessings in the ancient Ethiopian tongue, Geez. "I am singing these prayers to remind the young people what a wedding was like in Ethiopia," he told the crowd in spoken Amharic.

But the young people were nowhere in sight. Most of the 300 revelers in the room were of the older generation. The dozen young Ethiopian-Israelis who showed up that evening were outside drinking cheap Israeli beer and fiddling with their smartphones. When asked about the practice, they were ambivalent.

"I hope it continues, but it probably won't," said David Nadou, 24, shrugging.

The newly ordained kessoch are trying to work against that tide. Kess Semai says they are close to ordaining yet another group of 30 kessoch — even though Israel vows not to recognize any more.

"We kept this tradition for more than 2,500 years," Kess Semai said. "Our community won't allow in the span of 30 years for this tradition to be erased completely."

Sorry the Ethiopians have as much right to this tradition, as a bunch of pasty white guys have the right to dress like it is the 1500 in Poland.

Who cares, but for power and money.

We are all Jews, in this mess together.

Do you think that a nuke from Iran, will be able to tell the difference between pasty white guys that are racist and black Jews that just want to be accepted?

Can you tell, I am upset by this?

Answer is simple, pay these guys like any other communities Rabbis. Then ask them to learn to bring the level of knowledge to a higher level.

Wow, how simple it can be.

IDF holds first brigade-level parachute jump in 15 years


By YAAKOV KATZ
01/18/2012 17:00

Skill viewed as critical ahead of future conflicts where fighting could be far from Israel; "We can't know what will happen in the changing Mideast," Paratroopers Brigade commander says.

In preparation for future conflicts far from Israel, the IDF Paratroopers Brigade held a brigade-level parachute jump late Tuesday night, the first time the military has conducted such an exercise in close to two decades.

The last time such a drill was held was over 15 years ago, even though soldiers in the Paratroopers Brigade, as well as some other IDF units, continue to undergo parachuting training on a regular basis.

In military conflict, the IDF has not parachuted large forces into enemy territory since the jump into the Mitla Pass during the 1956 Sinai Campaign.

Retaining the capability however, is believed to be of extreme importance today particularly in face of a potential future war with Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon or even with Egypt.

"We are restoring a capability that we once had," Paratroopers Brigade commander Col. Amir Baram told reporters ahead of the jump which was done from Israel Air Force C-130 Hercules transport aircraft over the Negev Desert.

"We cannot know what will happen in the changing Middle East and every western military which respects itself needs to know how to parachute large forces, bring them back together and then launch an attack," he added.

According to Baram, dropping large forces behind enemy lines - either by parachute or helicopters - could be done to surprise the enemy as part of the opening act of a war or in the middle, after the fighting has already begun.

During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, for example, the IDF helicoptered large forces deep inside Lebanon as part of a last-ditch effort to weaken Hezbollah before the United Nations-brokered ceasefire went into effect.

Following the war, the IDF also bolstered its fleet of landing craft that can be used to drop forces on the coasts of enemy countries.

The brigade-level parachute jump came towards the end of weeks of training for the Paratroopers Brigade ahead of its deployment along the border with Lebanon and then the Gaza Strip. Earlier in the week, The Jerusalem Post revealed that the IDF General Staff has instructed the Southern Command to complete preparations for a large-scale operation in Gaza that could be launched in the near future.

Ahead of the brigade-level jump, Baram studied the American and British doctrine for such jumps and military sources said that the IDF Operations Directorate was currently working on drafting its own set of commands that could be activated for drills or real military operations.

One of the IDF's main concerns was that soldiers would be injured during the jump due to the heavy loads they were carrying on their backs which was expected to make the landing harder on their legs and knees. In the end, however, out of around 1,000 soldiers who jumped, only four were hospitalized with injuries to their legs.

Looking to points east are we?

Government MIA

Jerusalem: Thousands protest against racism

Marchers protesting discrimination against members of Ethiopian community, carrying signs reading 'Today it's me, tomorrow it's you'
Yoav Malka

Some 5,000 protesters marched from the Knesset compound to Jerusalem's Independence Park to protest racism against Ethiopians. They carried Israeli flags and signs reading "Today it's me, tomorrow it's you" and "Stop racism."

Some Knesset members such as Labor chairman Shelly Yachimovitch and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni came to support the protesters. This was met by claims from some of the protesters that the MKs were trying to ride the media wave.

The protest was also attended by leaders of the social protest Daphni Leef and Oren Pasternak. Leading the marchers is 26-year-old student Mulet Hararo, who started his own personal march from Kiryat Malakhi to Jerusalem on Monday.

"It was very heart warming to see people support me on my way to Jerusalem," Hararo said. "It gave me the strength to go on. My goal is to expose the Israeli society and the Israeli establishment to the phenomenon of racism."

Prior to the March, Livni told Ynet that "the Ethiopian immigrants made aliyah for Zionist purposes and lost many on the way to Israel. Now, instead of accepting them we encounter severe racism in the Israeli society and a failure on the government's part in dealing with the matter."

Yachimovitch claimed that the protest was a reaction to escalation in racism against members of the Ethiopian community. "These young people are taking matters into their own hands. This will bring a change in Israeli society," she said.

Shame on the government.

The cabinet including the Prime Minister, should have joined this protest.

Bibi, it would have been right, moral and the Jewish thing to do.

Show that racism has no part of Israel.

But no, the government was MIA,missing in action, missing in heart and soul.

January 17, 2012

Palestinian Authority mufti advocates the killing of Jews

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammed Ahmad Hussein, says the Hadith, an Islamic text believed to contain the words of the Prophet Muhammad, supports the killing of Jews • Until Muslims fight the Jews, Hussein says, Islamic Resurrection will not occur.
Israel Hayom Staff

A Muslim religious leader and representative of the Palestinian Authority has called for the killing of the Jews, saying this is justified by Islamic text.

Palestinian Media Watch reports that Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, last week told television audiences that according to the Hadith, the record of the words and actions of the the Prophet Muhammad, Islamic Resurrection would not come until Muslims fought the Jews. Palestinian Media Watch has video footage of Hussein's speech (below).


In the video, the mufti says: “Forty-seven years ago the revolution started. Which revolution? The modern revolution of the Palestinian people’s history. In fact, Palestine in its entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem in 637 C.E.], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable Hadith, in the two reliable collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says: 'The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘O Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’ Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent].' Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies."

In 2006, Hussein said suicide bombings were a "legitimate weapon" in the Palestinian struggle for independence.

 
So why are we amazed?

January 16, 2012

Netanyahu: Infiltration law is a welcome and necessary change

Law approved last week aims to curb influx of African work migrants into Israel • Under law, fines on employers of illegal workers will increase, infiltrators can be detained for up to three years • Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers visits Negev detention facility: Egypt border fence has not succeeded in reducing number of infiltrators.
Shlomo Cesana

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defended a recently approved law that stipulates harsher measures against illegal infiltrators and Israelis who assist them.

The law, approved by Knesset last Tuesday, allows the state to incarcerate illegal immigrants for three years. "This law changes the current reality, in which an infiltrator is detained and two weeks later he is released and then he goes to Eilat or Tel Aviv, or wherever," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday.

The prime minister lauded the law, saying, "This is a welcome and important change. It is essential to our efforts to maintain the character of the state of Israel and to ensure its future as a Jewish and democratic state. In coming days, we will increase the fines imposed on anyone who illegally employs illegal immigrants."


Netanyahu said the new law would not apply to refugees, saying, "These actions are not aimed at refugees, who comprise a negligible percentage of the total number of infiltrators. We're talking about illegal work migrants."

The prime minister announced further that the fence being erected along the border with Egypt in efforts to curb the influx of illegal infiltrators would be completed within 10 months.

He thanked the ministers for their "semi-voluntary" contribution to the effort, referring to a recently agreed budget cut which will affect nearly all the ministries. "Thank you very much," he said. "Thanks to the ministers who contributed, all in all, 6% of the ministries' budgets. It is a significant contribution -- I appreciate it and the people of Israel appreciate it.

Meanwhile, members of the Knesset Committee on Foreign Workers visited the Saharonim detention center in the Negev this week and discovered that the portion of the fence completed so far has not deterred infiltrators. The committee heard that there had been no decreased in the number of infiltrators illegally crossing the border from Egypt into Israel since construction on the fence began.

January 15, 2012

PMW Bulletin: PA Mufti calls for genocide of Jews quoting Islamic Hadith


Jan. 15, 2012

PA's highest religious authority, the Mufti, at Fatah event:

Muslims' destiny is to kill Jews

Resurrection will come
only after Jews are killed by Muslims

Moderator at Fatah event:
"Our war with the descendants
of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews)
is a war of religion and faith"
http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=6098

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
p:+972 2 625 4140 e: pmw@palwatch.org
f: +972 2 624 2803 w: www.palwatch.org

Last week, the principal Palestinian Authority religious leader, the Mufti
Muhammad Hussein, presented the killing of Jews by Muslims as a religious
Islamic goal. At an event celebrating the 47th anniversary of the founding
of Fatah, he cited the Hadith (Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad)
saying that the Hour of Resurrection will not come until Muslims fight the
Jews and kill them:

"The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
Then the stones or trees will call:
'Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'"
Click to view
http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=ovtqbicab&et=1109076496274&s=4998&e=0016dkCDM9Pvn49JCrJNGlaCDWAvdz4uTEEUDPege6IWhgNiUXx3RXVmNDBpoqzQHwfeWekbtghak5qH65WdjnZK5SPo2_bbCDtsMNo35ehbUbOhi0rZGKqqOUkhM4mtkyZjuP_Zn3z4yZEFF6tnS6ErCTuvB1N5Hv5GB4lJT-HoYg0oWQ3MJ7urw==

Palestinian Media Watch reported regularly during the PA terror campaign
(Intifada, 2000-2005) on the repeated use of this Hadith by PA clerics on
official PA TV to motivate Palestinians to terror attacks, preaching that
Muslims had an Islamic obligation to kill Jews. The fact that the Mufti
quotes this now indicates that this may have remained part of the PA's
religious establishment's teachings, even though it is less frequently
promoted on PA TV.

The last time official PA TV broadcast a sermon during which this Hadith
calling to kill Jews was quoted was in 2010.

The years of PA promotion of killing Jews and PA religious leaders' citing
this Hadith to justify it, may have contributed to the high acceptance of it
in PA society. A poll sponsored by the Israel Project last year found that
73% of Palestinians "believe" this Hadith. [July 2011, Greenberg Quinlan
Rosner.]

The moderator who introduced the Mufti at the Fatah event last week
reiterated another Islamic belief; that the Jews are the descendants of apes
and pigs:
"Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews) is a war of
religion and faith."

The Mufti did not distance himself from this hate statement that Islam is in
a religious war with the Jews, but added to it that Islam's goal is to kill
Jews.

There are numerous collections of Hadith, some of which are not accepted as
reliable. However, the Mufti stressed that the Islamic belief that Jews will
be killed by Muslims as a precursor to Resurrection, is an authentic Islamic
belief because it appears in "the reliable" and trusted Hadith collections
of Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

This Islamic tradition asserts that as the killing of Jews will progress,
Jews will hide behind stones and trees, but even they will expose the Jews
and call out: "Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come
and kill him." One tree however, called the Gharqad, will hide the Jews from
the Muslims. The Mufti in his talk at the Fatah event claimed that in
response to this Islamic belief, Israelis have been planting Gharqad trees
around their cities and towns, in order to have a place to hide from the
Muslims who will be coming to kill them.

This is not the first time the Mufti has incited to hatred against Jews in
the name of Islam. In a sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 2010, he preached
that the Jews are the "enemies of Allah."

The Mufti is appointed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He voiced this latest
hate speech, that Jews are to be killed by Muslims, at an official Fatah
celebration. Abbas is also the Chairman of Fatah.

The following is an excerpt from the Fatah ceremony broadcast on PA TV:

Moderator at Fatah ceremony:

"Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs (i.e., Jews)
is a war of religion and faith.
Long Live Fatah! [I invite you,] our honorable Sheikh."

PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein comes to the podium and says:

"47 years ago the [Fatah] revolution started. Which revolution? The modern
revolution of the Palestinian people's history. In fact, Palestine in its
entirety is a revolution, since [Caliph] Umar came [to conquer Jerusalem,
637 CE], and continuing today, and until the End of Days. The reliable
Hadith (tradition attributed to Muhammad), [found] in the two reliable
collections, Bukhari and Muslim, says:

"The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews.
The Jew will hide behind stones or trees.
Then the stones or trees will call:
'Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.'
Except the Gharqad tree [which will keep silent]."
Therefore it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees]
surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.."
[PA TV (Fatah), Jan. 9, 2012]

January 13, 2012

MERF Apperance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.


The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11 am Pacific, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

Classified information on elite IDF soldiers exposed online


A terrorist's dream come true: Personal details posted online pertaining to soldiers from classified IDF units participating in Tiberias Marathon • IDF spokesperson: "Marathon organizers weren't careful, despite instructions."
Lilach Shoval

The names of dozens of Israel Defense Forces officers and soldiers, some of whom serve in elite and classified units, could have been found online in the past 24 hours, along with their ranks and unit numbers. The information was first published on Thursday after the city of Tiberias held its annual marathon, in which soldiers traditionally participate.

The classified information found its way online after marathon organizers published the results of the race. The leaked information consisted of the names and ranks of soldiers and officers serving in Sayeret Matkal (the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) and from Unit 8200 of Military Intelligence (the IDF's wiretapping unit), as well as from units unknown to the general public.


In recent months, the defense establishment, particularly the IDF, has invested vast resources in the field of cyber warfare. The IDF's Teleprocessing Branch is responsible for cyber defense, while Military Intelligence is responsible for cyber offense.

The IDF takes especially meticulous precautions to prevent the exposure of names and photographs of soldiers who serve in classified units such as Sayeret Matkal, Israel Air Force and others. For years, the army has deemed the issue to be of the utmost importance and the IDF Censor forbids publication of such information for fear it could be damaging to the state's sensitive and classified information.

The IDF forbids, for example, soldiers from publishing details about their military service on social media websites (such as Facebook) and regularly instructs units on how to protect information from being leaked.

Thursday's publication of the soldiers' classified information sparked anger within the IDF, especially considering the growing use of cyberwarfare by terrorists seeking to harm Israel. The Internet being used as a new form of warfare against Israel was made evident most recently after a Saudi hacker last week exposed the credit card numbers of thousands of Israelis.

After the accidental publication of the soldiers' names by Tiberias Marathon organizers on Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson's Office said, "We're talking about a private website, which, through a lapse of attention and as a result of human error, published the information. The IDF regrets that the publishers were not more careful, despite the clear instructions they received prior to the incident."

The names of dozens of Israel Defense Forces officers and soldiers, some of whom serve in elite and classified units, could have been found online in the past 24 hours, along with their ranks and unit numbers. The information was first published on Thursday after the city of Tiberias held its annual marathon, in which soldiers traditionally participate.

The classified information found its way online after marathon organizers published the results of the race. The leaked information consisted of the names and ranks of soldiers and officers serving in Sayeret Matkal (the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) and from Unit 8200 of Military Intelligence (the IDF's wiretapping unit), as well as from units unknown to the general public.

In recent months, the defense establishment, particularly the IDF, has invested vast resources in the field of cyber warfare. The IDF's Teleprocessing Branch is responsible for cyber defense, while Military Intelligence is responsible for cyber offense.

The IDF takes especially meticulous precautions to prevent the exposure of names and photographs of soldiers who serve in classified units such as Sayeret Matkal, Israel Air Force and others. For years, the army has deemed the issue to be of the utmost importance and the IDF Censor forbids publication of such information for fear it could be damaging to the state's sensitive and classified information.

The IDF forbids, for example, soldiers from publishing details about their military service on social media websites (such as Facebook) and regularly instructs units on how to protect information from being leaked.

Thursday's publication of the soldiers' classified information sparked anger within the IDF, especially considering the growing use of cyberwarfare by terrorists seeking to harm Israel. The Internet being used as a new form of warfare against Israel was made evident most recently after a Saudi hacker last week exposed the credit card numbers of thousands of Israelis.

After the accidental publication of the soldiers' names by Tiberias Marathon organizers on Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson's Office said, "We're talking about a private website, which, through a lapse of attention and as a result of human error, published the information. The IDF regrets that the publishers were not more careful, despite the clear instructions they received prior to the incident."

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=2654

IDF: Report on soldier abduction attempts 'very disturbing'

Recent IDF Operations Directorate report says there were 11 soldier abduction attempts in 2011, and an additional four attempts since the beginning of 2012 • Most attempts are believed to be terror-related • IDF says it will launch campaign to prevent soldiers from hitchhiking.
Israel Hayom Staff

An Israel Defense Forces report claiming that there were 11 suspected soldier abduction attempts in 2011, and an additional four attempts - in the span of two weeks - since the beginning of 2012, is "very disturbing," the IDF said on Thursday, according to Army Radio.

This is what happens when you release a bunch of terrorist for one soldier.

Israel must make it clear we will never engage in prisoner swaps again, that the response in the future will be assassinations of PA leaders.

January 12, 2012

Palestinians marrying Israelis not entitled to citizenship, court rules

In 6-5 decision, court upholds Citizenship Law amendment allowing government to deny citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israelis • "Human rights should not be a prescription for national suicide," justices say • Human rights groups decry decision.

An extended 11-judge panel upheld a controversial law denying citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israelis (archive).


An extended 11-member panel of High Court justices on Wednesday rejected a petition against an amendment to the country's citizenship law, effectively banning Palestinians who are married to Israeli citizens from living in Israel.

In a 6-5 ruling, the judges determined that an amendment to the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law is constitutional, and that Palestinians who gain Israeli citizenship through marriage pose a security threat. The law is believed to have prevented thousands of Palestinians from living with their spouses.

Parliament passed the law in 2003, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising, a time when terrorists from the West Bank frequently entered Israel to carry out deadly attacks.


Civil rights groups had argued that Israel's Basic Laws – the country's de facto constitution – grant all citizens the right to family life. They also say that few Palestinian spouses of Israelis have ever been involved in violence.

"Human rights are not a prescription for national suicide," Justice Asher Grunis wrote in the majority opinion.

According to the ruling, about 135,000 Palestinians were granted Israeli citizenship through marriage between 1994 and 2002. Most of them were married to Israeli Arabs. This was a jump from just a few hundred such cases before 1994.

About 20 percent of Israel's citizens are Arabs. They share common roots with the Palestinian community in the West Bank, Gaza and abroad, and frequently intermarry.

The law bans granting citizenship or residency to Palestinian spouses of Israelis, but allows for certain exemptions to those who are not believed to pose security risks, including Palestinian men older than 35 and women older than 25.

Last year, only 33 out of 3,000 applications for exemptions were approved, said attorney Sawsan Zaher, who filed a challenge to the law on behalf of the Adalah Arab rights advocacy group. She accused the government of interfering in the personal lives of its citizens.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) praised the court's decision, saying he concurs with the justices' rationale. "They are not denying Israelis their right to marry Palestinians, they just ask that the couple reunite on the other side of the border. This is a defensive measure," Rivlin said Thursday.

Former Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann echoed Rivlin's remarks, saying the decision is in line with citizenship laws in other countries. "Even the European Court of Human Rights does not recognize a right for automatic citizenship through marriage," Freidmann said Thursday.

The majority opinion – penned by Deputy Chief Justice Eliezer Rivlin and Justices Asher Dan Grunis, Miriam Naor, Elyakim Rubinstein, Hanan Melcer and Neal Hendel – said that while there is a constitutionally guaranteed right to have a family life, which is premised on the notion of human dignity, exercising this right on Israeli territory is not protected by law.

In their dissent, Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, retired Justice Edmund Levy and Justices Edna Arbel, Salim Joubran and Esther Hayut said that the constitutional right of equality before the law has been compromised by the law as it is applied disproportionately to Arabs.

The overwhelming majority of the cases where its restrictions have been invoked, they say, relate to family unification cases in which Israeli Arabs seek to have their spouses join them in Israel. "The question we faced was, what risks are we willing to take and what action are we willing to pursue to ensure our safety without compromising human rights or causing disproportionate harm," Beinisch wrote.

The ruling comes after years of deliberations and hearings on several petitions. Among the challengers to the bill were human rights groups such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Hamoked - Center for the Defense of the Individual, Arab rights advocacy group Adalah, and MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz), a prominent champion of social causes.

The government asked the court to reject the petitions, saying that between 2005 and 2010 some 54 Palestinians who had become prospective citizens through the family reunification process plotted deadly terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Responding to the decision, Gal-On said it is "a result of the campaign waged against the Supreme Court. It is unfortunate that the High Court of Justice did not expunge one of the most shameful blemishes from Israel's law books."

Zaher, the lawyer who works for Adalah, similarly attacked the decision, saying the court has "shirked its duty as the defender of minority rights in cases where the Knesset abuses its political clout to undercut democracy and target the Arab minority." A statement from ACRI said that this is "a bad day for the protection of human rights and the Supreme Court."

Otniel Schneller (Kadima) expressed support for the decision. "For the court, the rights of the general public trump individual liberties."

This is not what we have come to expect from the Supreme Court of Israel.

I want to say job well done.

We need the court to stand firm on Israel's right to protect the Jewish people from all threats.

January 11, 2012

Ethiopians cry: Stop the racism!

Thousands of Ethiopians protest in southern town against perceived bias and racism among landlords renting housing • Signs say, "Our blood isn't only good for wars" • Knesset to hold emergency session of Absorption Committee.
Shlomo Diaz, Edna Adato and Yael Branovsky

Some 2,500 Israelis of Ethiopian descent demonstrated on Tuesday in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi against perceived racism, calling attention to a spate of recent refusals to rent apartments to Ethiopians on Rabbi Pinto Street. Marching protesters clashed with neighborhood residents and later continued on to city hall brandishing signs saying, "Racism is the devil" and "Our blood isn't only good for wars."

Rahamim Adana, an Ethiopian commander in the IDF reserves, said, "Regretfully, to be an Ethiopian in Israel is to be the other, weaker and excluded. I call on the prime minister, the president and the Knesset – it is up to them to take a stance and publicly condemn the phenomenon of racism spreading in our land."

Meanwhile, police continue to investigate the vandalism of 18 cars on Rabbi Pinto Street. They suspect that the perpetrators are Ethiopians seeking revenge for acts of racism against them. Police also investigated allegations that property owners put clauses in their purchase agreements barring them from re-selling apartments to Ethiopians, but did not find enough evidence to convict anyone or make any arrests.

Kiryat Malchi Mayor Moti Malha said, "I am delighted that Ethiopian residents decided to demand what they deserve."

Meanwhile, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat submitted a request to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to examine whether refusals to rent apartments to citizens of Ethiopian descent is a criminal offense.

The Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs will conduct an emergency meeting on the matter on Wednesday morning. Committee chairman MK Danny Danon, who called for the meeting, said, "We will not allow any authority or local committee to discriminate between one Jew and another. I have called this meeting so as not to allow a small handful of hooligans to cause an entire population to feel as if they are second-class citizens in this country."

MK Shlomo Molla, who was present at the demonstration, said, "People don't understand that Ethiopian immigrants are not playing games. So long as the system doesn't accept them, this struggle will not end. I hope that we will eventually reach equality."

More Knesset Trash Talk

Minister: Ethiopians should 'say thank you' for what they got

Ethiopian social activist draws Immigrant Absorption minister's ire after telling Knesset Committee they are 'hypocrites' who are 'creating a 21st Century version of Apartheid in Israel'
Omri Efraim

In a case of new immigrants versus the more established immigrants, Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver caused an already heated Knesset Committee meeting to get out of control.

Speaking at a Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee meeting on discrimination against the Ethiopian community in Kiryat Malachi, Landver told an Ethiopian social activist: "Say thank you for what you got."

Her statements came in response to those made by the social activist, Gadi Yiberkan, who called the MKs hypocrites and said: "You have created a 21st Century version of Apartheid in Israel."

Landver then replied: "While you hand out marks you need to understand that the State of Israel invests a lot in this matter," and stressed "Say thank you for what you got." MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) then joined the argument, screaming at Yiberkan: "When they were speaking against haredim no one said a word, I wish I was Ethiopian."

The Ethiopian community is angered by what they believe is the racist behavior of Kiryat Malachi's established residents who are unwilling to rent out or sell them apartments. Some of the residents have even signed contracts under which they have made a commitment not to sell or rent out apartments to members of the Ethiopian community.

Members of the Ethiopian community and their supporters numbering in the thousands demonstrated against the discrimination in Kiryat Malachi on Tuesday night.

Speaking at the Knesset meeting, Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon (Likud) said: The Kiryat Malachi case is a warning bell but it isn't the only case. We want to come out of the committee meeting not just with platitudes and empathy but with decisions on the legislative level."

Danon announced his intention to promote a legislation package that would aggravate punishment and declare racial discrimination as a criminal offense with a NIS 100,000 ($26,000) fine and up to six months imprisonment.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau announced that Netanyahu has directed his advisor on Ethiopian affairs Allali Admaso to act to strike out against the phenomenon of racism against Ethiopian immigrants.

Admaso met on Tuesday night with the organizers of the demonstration. According to the bureau, the prime minister stressed that "racist phenomenon are inciting and have no place in Israeli society."

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-4174325,00.html

Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report

Are you kidding me, Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver you are a white racist, elitist, that should be forced not only from being a Minister in the cabinet, but from the Knesset as a whole.,

Let me remind everyone of some of the things the Ethiopians have had to endure.

When they donated blood to MDA, it was thrown away. When MDA was called on it they said it was because of AIDS, however the Russians have a higher AIDS rate and their blood was not thrown away.

Ethiopian parents that wanted to send their children to religious schools have been turned away.

Ethiopians have be screamed at on buses by not only passengers but drivers as well.

It was not Ethiopians that raped the system in Israel so that Israelis would say villa, volvo, it was you Madame Minister and your fellow Russians.

Ethiopians are some of the best people, that Israel has had the honor to bring into our country.

January 10, 2012

Good First Step

Israel approves harsh penalties for illegal immigrants

In effort to stem wave of illegal African immigrants from the Sinai, Knesset grants authorities power to imprison illegal migrants for life over property crimes and detain them for up to three years without trial • Human rights advocates decry measure, calling it a "stain" on Israel's legal code.
The Associated Press and Israel Hayom Staff

Detained immigrants (archive). Tough measure complements construction of 150-mile fence to counter illegal immigration.


Israel's parliament on Tuesday approved harsh new penalties on illegal immigrants and Israelis who help them, passing one of several controversial measures designed to stop the flood of Africans seeking sanctuary from poverty and conflict.

The bill makes it possible to imprison illegal migrants for life over property crimes and detain them for up to three years without trial. Anyone caught helping migrants could face prison terms of five to 15 years.

Critics deplore the new law and say it is an unconstitutional trampling of human rights. They accuse the government of failing to formulate a coherent, humane policy on illegal immigration that would address an issue that has become increasingly urgent over the years.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has called the swelling number of illegal immigrants a "national scourge," voted for the bill. His spokesman, Mark Regev, called the legislation part of a "multi-tier strategy to deal with the challenge of illegal immigration to Israel." But he would not comment on critics' concerns about the new law.

MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) called the new law a "stain" on Israel's legal code. In a commentary Monday, retired Judge Boaz Okon, the legal affairs analyst for the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, called it "unlimited license to employ terror against anyone who reaches Israel."

Africans began trickling into Israel through its porous southern border with Egypt's Sinai Peninsula after Egyptian security forces violently quashed a demonstration by a group of Sudanese refugees in 2005, killing at least 20. The number of migrants surged as word spread of safety and job opportunities in the relatively prosperous Jewish state.

The government estimates that 50,000 Africans have entered Israel illegally since then. The overwhelming majority, officials say, have come in pursuit of a more comfortable life and are not fleeing persecution.

Migrant advocates contend the Africans are bona fide refugees and should be granted asylum. They accuse the government of ignoring the retribution most of the migrants face should they return home.

The influx has touched off a national debate in a country that grew out of the Nazi genocide of Jews. Some Israelis call the migrants an economic and social burden and fear their mounting numbers will dilute Israel's Jewish character.

Others say the Jewish people, because of their history of persecution, must be especially accommodating of others escaping persecution or conflict.

The Africans have congregated in several cities, but the lack of a coherent government policy has led to the creation of slums and friction with locals who claim the migrants have brought crime and harassment of women.

Israel already has repatriated hundreds of Africans, and Netanyahu has said he will explore the possibility of repatriating others when he visits Africa this year.

Last month, the government voted to finance a $160 million program to finish building a 150-mile (250-kilometer) border fence along the Egyptian border and expand detention facilities to hold thousands of new arrivals. Employers who hire illegal migrants now face stiffened fines of up to $18,000.

Israel's Population Immigration and Border Authority says infiltrations through the Egyptian border reached an all-time high in December. According to its website, 2,931 people were detained in the Saharonim Detention Center last month for crossing illegally into Israeli territory from the Sinai, the largest figure ever recorded for a single month. For 2011, the number stands at more than 16,000. Almost 55,000 have crossed into Israel from Egypt since 2006.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai recently said that the swift action must be taken. "The current state of affairs is unacceptable and we must act to stem the tide," Yishai said. "I spoke with the prime minister and asked that alongside the construction of the fence [along the Egyptian border] and the new detention center that he step-up negotiations with African nations, particularly Eritrea and South Sudan, to send all the infiltrators back to their homelands."

According to the authority, Yishai also favors constructing detention centers in Africa to stop the would-be immigrants in their tracks.

As harsh as these laws sound, they do not go far enough.

I would rather see a person that aids or hires an illegal migrant to be punished financially.

If you are an NGO and you assist the migrants you will be fined at a cost of $50,000 per migrant. The staff of the NGO should be fined at a rate of $5,000 per migrant.

If you are a business and you hire illegal migrants, you should be fined at a rate of $100,000 or 5% of the prior years profit of your limited company, what ever is larger.

If you engage in using illegal migrants in the sex trade or as slave labor, you will be punished by 100% of your property seized. In addition to this you will be sentenced to 25 years in prison per migrant abused by you.

Knesset is not fit for Normal people

MK Anastassia Michaeli in hot water over assault on Arab MK

Michaeli barred from Knesset for throwing water at Raleb Majadale • The incident could end her political career, say insiders • Michaeli apologizes to Ethics Committee, but not to Majadale, who, she says, "insulted me as a woman."
Gideon Allon and Mati Tuchfeld

MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beitenu) has been barred from the Knesset for a month after she splashed a glass of water at MK Raleb Majadale (Labor) during a hearing of the Education Committee on Monday.

Following the incident, Knesset Chairman Reuven Rivlin registered a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee, which decided on Tuesday to bar Michaeli for a month. Michaeli ultimately apologized to the committee.

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"This is an act that undermines the entire Knesset and we cannot let it pass," Rivlin said. Labor Chairwoman MK Shelly Yachimovich also filed a complaint with the Ethics Committee. "This is violence pure and simple, outright criminal violence that we cannot abide in a dignified and official place like the Israeli Knesset," she said.

Michaeli's party, Yisrael Beitenu, also criticized her conduct, saying, "There are no circumstances that justify such behavior. We demand that all Knesset employees, particularly legislators, act in a way that respects the Knesset and refrain from any deed that does not befit parliamentarians."

Yisrael Beitenu insiders say this incident likely spells the end of Michaeli's political career. Party Chairman and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lambasted Michaeli on Monday, calling her behavior unacceptable. At the same time, Yisrael Beitenu condemned what it called the insulting remarks by Majadale that preceded Michaeli’s actions.

Michaeli remained worked up for the remainder of the day and speculated that Lieberman would try to shut her out of the party in the next elections.

On Monday night Michaeli sent a letter of apology to the Ethics Committee. "Such conduct has no place in the Knesset," she wrote, but stressed that her apology was meant only for the Ethics Committee and not for Majadale himself. She did not attend the committee's hearing Tuesday morning.

The incident occurred at an Education Committee hearing over the participation by Israeli Arab students from the town of Arara in a human rights march in Tel Aviv in December.

While Majadle was speaking, Michaeli shouted at him, "You were marching against the state, you were inciting." Majadle shouted back, "Shut up," and addressing committee chairman Alex Miller (Yisrael Beitenu), said, "This one from your party, shut her up."

Michaeli then approached Majadle, poured a glass of water and threw its contents into his stunned face. Later, she said, "He insulted me as a woman and called me a fascist." Majadle responded, "I did not say anything disparaging to her."

The Knesset is mentally ill.

MK Zoabi has physically assault an usher stomping on the foot of the usher and pushing them.

She got one day suspension.

MK Zoabi was on the flotilla, an act of treason, where IDF soldiers were assaulted that resulted in stab wounds and head trauma that were life threatening. As a result the IDF soldiers were forced to open fire ,resulting in the deaths of 9 terrorist.

In a normal country Zoabi would be charged ,with treason and 9 counts of murder. She may even be given the death penalty.

She was not even charged.

So what are we to think of these incidents.

That if you are an Arab in the Knesset you can get away with murder and assault.

But if you are a Jew, we will ruin you if you loose your cool and pour water on someone's head that is a traitor.

What a bunch of misguided idiots.

January 09, 2012

MK Michaeli throws water in MK Majadele's face

Yisrael Beiteinu lawmaker decided to help Labor MK 'cool off' after he calls her 'fascist' during heated debate at Knesset's Education Committee meeting
Moran Azulay

Knesset Member Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu) threw water in MK Ghaleb Majadele's face Monday, during a Knesset's Education, Culture and Sports Committee meeting, after he called her a "fascist."

"Majadele will learn not to insult women. He hurt the honor of the Knesset and of this place," Michaeli said afterwards.

A confrontation broke out between Arab MKs and Michaeli after the latter spoke against the principal who decided to take his students to a human rights march in the Arab town of Arara in the Galilee.

באדיבות ערוץ הכנסת
Video: Knesset Channel

The Arab MKs called Michaeli a "fascist" and "impudent". Majadele asked that Committee Chariman MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beiteinu) silence Michaeli. In response Michaeli poured a glass of water on Majadele, who then said: "What are you doing? You're crazy."

"Majadele is going to learn how to speak to women. I intend to file a complaint with the Ethics Committee," Michaeli claimed.

"This incident must be taken seriously," said Majadele. "A Knesset member has never taken a glass of water and poured it on a colleague before. I had the floor, and the committee chairman belongs to her faction. I don't suspect anything, on the contrary. She poured water on me, on my face and clothes, because of the topic of discussion on today's agenda. It's my right to talk about it."


Rivlin files complaint

In response to the claim he had insulted Michaeli, Majadele explained: "What I said was in line with the accepted regulations of the place. I didn't use any offensive words to hurt her honor and status. When she continued to disrupt I told her: 'Please shut up.'"

"On the one hand, Majadele's words are worthless. But on the other hand, the times when a man can curse a woman in public, offend her and act violently are over. Times have changed. I won't let anyone, as dignified a Knesset member he may be, the privilege to act violently. Especially not in the Knesset," stressed Michaeli. "Water is great way to cool down. For a Knesset member, water is a small price to pay because (the price) for getting arrested for violence towards women is much higher."

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said that he would file a complaint with the Knesset Ethics Committee against Michaeli over the incident.

Rivlin said: "It was with deep sorrow that I heard of the incident in the Education Committee. This is an act that hurts the entire Knesset and it cannot be ignored - and so I will file a complaint with the Ethics Committee."

Yisrael Beiteinu chided Michaeli for the incident, saying that "no circumstances justify this kind of behavior.

"The Yisrael Beiteinu faction requires its members, and all members of the house… to avoid all unparliamentarily behavior," the faction said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the party also blasted Majadele for provoking Michaeli: "We must condemn Raleb Majadele's hurtful statements, which triggered MK Michaeli's outburst," the statement said. "We hope that this kind of incident won't repeat itself in the Knesset."

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-4173224,00.html

I want to say Kol HaKavod, good for you.

How can we have traitors in the Knesset that support actions that harm Israel?

Yes getting a glass of water in the face is an assault, but at least one member of Knesset had the courage to take a stand.

Why didn't any of the male members of Knesset stand up for Israel?

January 08, 2012

It's Simple, It's War


Palestinian detained in possession of improvised gun, commando knife and
ammunition. Man, three others suspected of aiding him, taken in for
questioning
Yoav Zitun YNET Published: 01.08.12, 13:52 / Israel News
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4172728,00.html

A Palestinian was arrested by Military Police and Border Guard officers
Sunday morning at the entrance to a checkpoint in the Jenin area in
possession of an improvised gun, a commando knife and 11 explosive devices
of different sizes.

Three other men suspected of aiding him were also detained. According to
suspicions, the four were on their way to carry out a terror attack. The
checkpoint has been closed.

After being arrested at the entrance to the Salem crossing in the Jenin
area, the suspects were taken in for questioning by the security forces. The
explosive devices they were carrying were destroyed.

The devices were found in the Salem crossing, where Palestinians wait in
line for the Jenin Military Court, located nearby. It's unclear whether the
court was the target of the attack.

A Military Police soldier spotted the four Palestinians trying to enter the
checkpoint and wires sticking out of the clothes of one of them. He ordered
him to lift up his hands and undress and found three pipe bombs on his body.

A search of the Palestinian's bag revealed eight more pipe bombs, a knife
and an improvised gun. The four Palestinians were locked in the building and
police sappers were dispatched to the area.

The other three Palestinians were not carrying anything on their body, but
were questioned on suspicion of aiding the man caught with the explosives.

A senior officer explained that this was an unusual incident. "Eleven
devices is an exceptional amount in one time. We've had incidents this year
of three or four devices seized at the same time."

Last week, a Border Guard force arrested a Jenin resident on suspicion of
planning a stabbing attack in Beersheba. The man was located in a hideout in
the southern city and taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet, as was
another Palestinian arrested at the Shoket Junction.

Yair Altman contributed to this report

This is why we must remain at war, for our enemies are at war with us.

Simple.

But in the minds of so many fools, both Jewish and Gentile it is not as simple as what the truth is.

War is reality of our future not peace, sorry.

January 06, 2012

MERF Appearance

For those who would like to hear me on the radio, I am very pleased to announce that I will be having a weekly appearance on the Middle East Radio Forum, the show is hosted By William Wolf.


The time of the show is 2pm EDT, 11 am Pacific, 9pm Israel, every Sunday. Please feel free to call in if you have any questions about my weekly comments. If you should happen to miss the show then you can go to the MERF web page and listen to me and other guest in the archives.

You can listen to the show by going to the MERF web page
http://www.middleeastradioforum.org/

January 05, 2012

Haredi rioters stone buses

Stones hurled at non-segregated buses; elsewhere, haredi detained for cursing woman
Yair Altman

Clash of civilizations: Two haredi men were detained in Beit Shemesh Thursday evening on suspicion of hurling stones at non-segregated buses and hurting a police officer.

The ultra-Orthodox men were protesting the detention of their friends in recent days.

The incident began after haredim hurled stones at buses that do not offer segregation between males and females. A police force called to the scene dispersed the rioters and detained two suspects.

A police officer sustained light shoulder wounds during the arrest.

Meanwhile, a haredi man was detained in Jerusalem after cursing at a secular woman walking in the ultra-Orthodox Meah Shearim neighborhood. The man referred to the woman as a "whore" and a "shiksa."

A Jerusalem police force on an undercover patrol in the area witnessed the incident and detained the suspect. During the arrest, a stone was hurled at a police cruiser at the site and damaged it. The suspect was taken in for interrogation.

Please I am begging the rest of the haredi community, descend on these thugs in your community and stop them.

Failure to act in the end will result in the whole haredi world suffering.

Bravo

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: To disrespect women is to desecrate God

Shas spiritual leader lashes out against ultra-Orthodox sect whose practices are seen as demeaning to women • Revered rabbi instructs followers to oppose Tzohar Law, which Shas views as a threat to the rabbinate's authority over marriages in Israel.
Yehuda Shlezinger and Israel Hayom Staff


The spiritual leader of the influential ultra-Orthodox Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, broke his silence on Thursday over the recent media storm surrounding practices by some ultra-Orthodox sects seen as demeaning to women. "They are desecrating the name of God in public," Ovadia said.

In a letter published in the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yom Leyom on Thursday, Yosef spoke against the members of an extremist religious sect in Beit Shemesh, whose acts of violence toward women and their subsequent riots have been heavily documented by the media in recent weeks. He accused them of "making Israel's Torah stink with deeds that mustn't be done, without considering the consequences of their actions" and declared that "our sages aren't pleased with them."

Yosef added that he could no longer keep quiet in the face of such public humiliation, saying, "This is not the way of our sacred Torah. As our rabbis taught us, it is better for a man to throw himself into the fire than to humiliate someone in public." He added that even repentance on Yom Kippur would not atone for these deeds.


He quoted the sage Maimonides, who said, "Every man must love his wife as he loves himself, and respect her more than he respects himself, and speak to her calmly, respectfully and politely," and, “A woman must respect her husband very carefully, he must be as an important minister in her eyes."

At the conclusion of the letter, Ovadia warned the Israeli public not to use these incidents to attack the religious public as a whole, saying, "Anyone who carries the name Israel must refrain from taking advantage of this difficult time to incite, inflame, and instill contention within our people."

"I ask of my brother, don't hurt, humiliate or disgrace the sanctity of the Torah and of Judaism ... we must respect one another and bring the people closer to God in heaven. Let us all seek truth and peace," he concluded.

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=2521

January 04, 2012

'Price tag' attack attempted at Knesset


By MELANIE LIDMAN, YAAKOV LAPPIN, LAHAV HARKOV
04/01/2012
Guards thwart suspect wanted for involvement in previous attacks from entering Knesset; 2 Arab cars burned in J'lem.

After more than a week of quiet from right-wing attacks, Jerusalem experienced one price tag attack against Arab property and an attempted attack against the Knesset on Wednesday. Two cars were burned in the Arab neighborhood of Sharafat, a small neighborhood located north of Gilo near Beit Safafa. Next to the burned vehicles, police found graffiti with the words “price tag” and “revenge.” Police opened an investigation into the incident.

On Wednesday afternoon, Knesset Guards thwarted an attempted “price tag” attack on the Knesset.

Police had briefed the Knesset Guards about the suspect, who had a warrant out for his arrest for his involvement in previous “price tag” attacks. The suspect requested to enter the Knesset, but security forces detained the man and he was transferred to police custody.

Meanwhile, three right-wing activists arrested last month in Jerusalem on suspicion of illegally carrying out surveillance on security forces in the West Bank will be charged in the coming days, police said.

The men are suspected of observing the army’s movements and preparation for dismantling settlement outposts and then passing on that classified information in order to disrupt the evacuations.

On Wednesday, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court extended the custody of three of the right-wing suspects who police said were involved in the vandalism raid on the Ephraim military base in the West Bank last month. They will be held in detention until Sunday.

On December 13, 30-50 right-wing rioters broke into the Ephraim Brigade military base and threw stones, slashed tires, and otherwise tried to disrupt soldiers' operations. A series of text messages had alerted the activists to troop activity similar to preparations for outpost dismantlement.

I am happy, that this scum was arrested.

A price tag attack at the Knesset would have seriously damaged the settler movement.

I still feel that the settler movement needs to move against these radical elements.

But they wouldn't.

Much like the ultra Orthodox community outside of the radical elements, will not move against the radicals.

I was speaking to my Rabbi who had just come from one of his children in Betar Ellit and he said the whole Beit Shemesh and bus problem was a non event for them.

Israel needs both communities to speak out against radicals.

January 03, 2012

An orgy of hatred

Op-ed: Amnon Levy slams blatant, seemingly liberal incitement against the haredim
Amnon Levy

In recent days I’ve been quarreling with all my friends. They are good people, these friends – liberal, tolerant, moderate and sensitive to any injustice. These are people that in our complex reality were never confused between good and bad. This is why I love them, among other things. I’d like to think that we are cut from the same cloth. That’s why I’m so amazed to see how uncaring and hateful they become when a group of people known as the haredim comes up for discussion.


My liberal friends propose various steps against the haredim and religious: A cadet who cannot bear female singing will not be an officer in the IDF, said one friend. As simple as that (“as simple as that” or “at once” are words that always accompany discussions about the haredim.) A segregated bus shall be stopped! The driver and bus operators should be sent to jail. A yeshiva that will not teach the core curriculum shall be closed at once! We shall not allow primitive ignoramuses to be raised here, and at our expense no less. A neighborhood that features separate sidewalks for women shall immediately lose its municipal services! They can go ahead and choke in their own garbage.

Religious Clash
Not at my expense / Jacob Kirsch
Op-ed: Solution to religious clash is simple - government should stop financing haredim
Full Story


There are more proposals that are even more terrifying. Disconnect haredi neighborhoods from electricity, water and whatnot. The same people who would quiver, and rightfully so, if such proposals were made about Gaza, forget that behind the dark clothes, odd views and challenging (and annoying) behavior lie human beings. They are different than us, but they are human beings.


I’ve been following haredi society for many years yet I don’t remember such anger. And that’s odd, because the secular fury comes at a time when secularism is winning while the haredim are on the defense. Once upon a time the haredim sought to educate us. They made pretenses of telling us where and what to eat, what to do on Shabbat, where and how to be buried, and how to get married. Some time has passed, and the seculars won most battles.


Today it’s the seculars who wish to educate the haredim. The seculars are upset by the segregated bus routes. This doesn’t upset haredi women, but it does upset the secular Tania Rosenblit. The seculars are upset that math is not being taught at yeshivas. They know better than haredi parents what’s good for their sons. The seculars are upset by the relationship between men and women in haredi society. Why can’t the haredim be like us?


Wild incitement

I look at the holy secular anger and fail to understand it. It lacks the modesty of one who looks at another society from the outside. It has no hesitation – maybe we are wrong after all? Perhaps we failed in understanding the other?


I, for example, very much want the haredim to study the core curriculum, I will try to convince them this is needed, but I won’t enforce it upon them. Why? Because somewhere in my head I’m not certain that the core curriculum is truly important for the life meant for a haredi child. Perhaps for him math and English are less necessary than another Talmud class? In all such matters I will hesitate, because in my view when a civilized liberal looks at someone who is different, this should be done with the required modesty.


However, the seculars are furious and are unwilling to show any modesty in the way they look at the haredim. Had I been a religious Jew, I would be concerned. I would take this fury seriously and understand how I contributed to it. I would try to calm the atmosphere through some concessions.


And here I get to the heart of the matter: We need a new social covenant. The old status-quo may have secured political calm, yet caused a flare-up in secular-haredi relations. Both sides must be brave and go for a new covenant premised on a simple principle: Life in the country will be secular in every way. The haredim will let go of their need to care for our secular souls. This means buses on Shabbat, civil marriage and everything associated with a modern state.


On the other hand, the secular majority would allow the haredim to have full cultural autonomy within their neighborhoods. This means letting go of the need to education them and allowing them to live their life as they see fit. And yes, this means segregated buses in haredi population centers and tolerance to haredi education.


That’s the principle. Implementing it isn’t simple because there would be red lines, of course. If the haredim want to educate their children by beating them up, we won’t agree to. However, within the boundaries of logic, we must make every effort to accept the differences of the other.

In my arguments with my liberal friends, one of them sometimes places a hand on my shoulder and asks in a concerned voice: “Amnon, what happened to you? After all, you are secular, a devout atheist; what’s happening to you?” So here is the answer: It appears to me that being a liberal, progressive and humanist today means resisting this blatant incitement against the haredim; standing up against the bon-ton and saying: I’m not taking part in this orgy of hatred.

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-4170686,00.html

Tough Guys, Ha

Ultra-Orthodox girl attacked by secular passenger on bus

A young man reportedly got on a bus in Jerusalem, shouted "the cursed ultra-Orthodox," and threatened a 10-year-old girl • The man allegedly kicked the young girl from behind and warned her not to ride the bus again.

A 10-year-old ultra-Orthodox girl was apparently attacked by a secular passenger on a bus in Jerusalem on Monday, according to a report by Army Radio.

After 8-year-old Na'ama Margolese, a modern Orthodox girl who immigrated to Israel with her American parents, was accosted by ultra-Orthodox men on her way to school last month, Bluma Spitzer -- also on her way to school -- was reportedly spat on, cursed and physically attacked by a young man.


The young man reportedly got on the bus, shouted "the cursed ultra-Orthodox," and threatened Bluma. He also allegedly warned her not to ride on the bus again. Shimon Moses, a Jerusalem-based businessman and friend of the Spitzer family, said, "When the bus arrived at her stop, she started to get off and the man kicked her in the back, causing her to stumble out of the bus. Secular people on the bus yelled at her to 'get off the bus, it's ours.'"

Moses was shocked by the incident, but the Spitzer family refused to speak with the media, designating Moses as their spokesman. Moses believes the incident, as well as many others like it in recent weeks, was the result of "unrestrained incitement against the ultra-Orthodox."

The Spitzer family hopes the police will deal with their daughter's attacker the same way they dealt with the ultra-Orthodox men who accosted Na'ama Margolese.

Meanwhile, 44-year-old Shlomo Fuchs -- who was indicted on charges of sexually harassing a female soldier, calling her a whore -- believes the indictment against him was the result of widespread anti-Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) sentiment in Israeli society. Fuchs spoke with reporters on Monday for the first time since he was accused of the crime, saying, "I saw a girl's head among all the men. I said to her, why are you butting in, whore? What are you doing among all the Torah students? The place of women on the bus is at the back. I didn't do anything bad to her. It's legitimate that women not mix with the men. It's not modest. It's defilement."


http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=2488

For the guy that assaulted the little Haredi girl on the bus.

So do you feel like a tough guy now?

You have shown the world you are tough enough to kick a little girl and from behind no less.

I would love to meet both you and Shlomo Fuchs in a dark alley one night and see how the two of you fair against a man.

We can not let this turn into Jew on Jew violence, as this will cost us our country.

poster anti Israel 2.jpg


Poster reads "In those days, in this time"

poster anti Israel.jpg

Poster reads "Freshly imported from Berlin"

I

Strength


'Posters depicting police commander as Hitler appalling'

Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch outraged by online posters of Jerusalem District Police commander in Nazi uniform
Kobi Nahshoni

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch expressed his shock Tuesday over the release of images depicting Jerusalem District Police Commander Niso Shaham as Adolf Hitler.

The posters were published online on Monday by unknown users, presumably as part of the haredi protest over what some religious elements called the "community's persecution."

Aharonovitch said that the police have several leads in the investigation and vowed that the perpetrator would be caught: "It's inconceivable that such heinous acts would be carried out in the Jewish state."


"רוצח עם". אחת הכרזות נגד שחם (בצילום: בחדרי חרדים)

'Freshly imported from Berlin' (Screenshot)


One of the posters depicts Shaham wearing a Nazi uniform with a caption reading "Freshly imported from Berlin" and "Adolf Niso Shaham is a murderer." Additional text expressed hope that Shaham meet the same fate as Hitler.

A second poster used what by now has became an iconic image of a haredi boy with a yellow star, meshed with a picture of a Jewish boy taken during the Holocaust, with a caption reading "In those days, in this time: European Jews under Nazi occupation in 1940 – Jerusalem Jews under the tyrant Shaham's occupation in 2012."

Aharonovitch stated that "We will not abide such despicable behavior towards any member on the Israel Police. I am appalled by this use of the Holocaust. The police will not rest until the perpetrators are caught."


"איום הרודן". הכרזה השנייה נגד שחם (בצילום: בחדרי חרדים)

'In those days, in this time' (Screenshot)


A statement by the Jerusalem District Police confirmed that an investigation in to the matter was ongoing.

As far as the police know the posters had limited online release and it is unknown whether actual copies were printed or distributed.

A source within the Eda Haredit also expressed their aversion of the posters: "We have a lot to say about Shaham who just like his predecessor is conducting himself in Meah Shearim like a bull in a china shop.

"The statement made by the boy and the yellow star was meant to express that we feel like second and third-rate citizens, but we made sure not to target anyone specifically. We have no idea who's behind this," the source said.

Another member of the Eda Haredit ventured the posters were the handiwork of "external provocateurs."

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino has tasked the National Crimes Unit with the investigation.

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-4170634,00.html

G-D give us the strength, not to hate our fellow Jews.

Once again I call on the Haredi community to remove this evil from their community.

January 02, 2012

Combat Is the Job

Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem

IDF: Religious soldiers cannot leave ceremonies
By YAAKOV KATZ
02/01/2012
Gantz rules there will be no exceptions in official ceremonies but soldiers can be excused from unit parties.

Religious soldiers will not be allowed to leave official IDF ceremonies during performances by female singers, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz ruled on Monday.

Gantz did decide however that soldiers could ask their commanders and receive exemptions from having to attend performances by female singers during private unit parties.

RELATED:
Gantz: IDF does not restrict women from singing
'IDF religious won't hear women sing? Use earplugs'

Gantz’s ruling is part of an IDF effort to end weeks of controversy started by a series of incidents when religious soldiers walked out of military ceremonies to avoid hearing performances by female singers.

“There is room in the IDF for women to contribute in whatever way they can and there is no prohibition on women singing,” Gantz said last week. “Israel and the IDF need to clarify that the commander is the authority in the military and whenever it is a formal event soldiers will be obligated to attend.”

Gantz also announced that rabbis who want to speak to groups of soldiers will need to first receive approval from Chief IDF Rabbi Brig.-Gen. Rafi Peretz. A representative of the IDF Rabbinate Corps will also be present at all outside lectures to ensure that the content is in line with military policy.

In related news, Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh decided recently to ban IDF units from paying singers to perform at military ceremonies or events over the coming year in an effort to cut back on spending.
http://www.jpost.com/LandedPages/PrintArticle.aspx?id=251912

The great Shlomo Baum may he rest in peace, once told me the problem with common sense is that it is not common.

This is a stupid ruling.

I am against women on a public bus being told go to the back of the bus.

I am against thugs in Beit Shemesh spitting on and cursing at little girls.

I am against religious soldiers being forced, to hear female soldiers sing.

The job of the IDF is to fight wars. The majority of many combat units is now religious soldiers. So let them do the job of the IDF and if they don't want to hear a female soldier sing, excuse them from the program.

Haredi who called soldier 'slut': She acted provocatively

Shlomo Fuchs, who is accused of sexually harassing female soldier on public bus, tells Ynet 'it's the most basic concept: A woman should not stand amidst men'
Aviad Glickman

The haredi man who is accused of sexually harassing IDF soldier Doron Matalon after she refused to sit at the back of a public bus in Jerusalem, told Ynet Monday that she had intervened in an argument between him and another woman who stood near the "men-only" section of the bus.

According to Shlomo Fuchs, 44, Matalon acted provocatively. "She stood amidst the ultra-Orthodox men. It's the most basic concept: A woman should not stand amidst men, just like no woman would go into a men's bathroom. So I called her a slut."

Fuchs said he was travelling from his home in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood to a yeshiva in Mea Shearim last Tuesday when "some Russian woman stood by the men's seats at the front of the bus."

"I told her: 'Lady, you don't have to present a ticket if you have a monthly pass.' She said, 'Thank you very much, sir.' Suddenly I heard someone from the middle of the bus saying, 'She'll stand wherever she pleases.' So I answered 'What business is it of yours?' I couldn't see who was speaking, because the bus was full. I only heard her voice. I didn’t see it was a soldier. I could only make out her head, and I yelled 'slut.'"

At this point, Fuchs claimed, Matalon said "Look at you; parasite; parasites, taking money from the State. I protect you."

"She protects me? I sit at shul from eight in the morning till midnight and study, and she's protecting me? I protect her," the ultra-Orthodox man told Ynet. "I understood who I was dealing with, so I went back to studying for my test and things calmed down."

However, Fuchs said, Matalon continued to argue. According to him, she said "these haredim do what they want. We will bring an end to it. Take him to the police."

Fuchs claimed he was not aware of the significance of the word "slut" in the secular world. "I am completely detached from the (secular world). I don’t own a television set and I never have newspapers in the house. People laughed at me because I don't have any idea what women's exclusion is and don't know what happened in Beit Shemesh," he said.

"I do not forgive (Matalon). She cannot give back the hours of studying that I lost; she cannot take away the fear that I have when I go out to the street. She shamed us all and made us out to be criminals," Fuchs said.

He also claimed Israel Police had deliberately assigned female investigators to handle his case. "I always thought police were supposed to protect me, but I will never forgive them for the nightmare they made me go through. Yes, they harassed me only because I am haredi," Fuchs said. "This is a blood libel."

Asked about the controversial Holocaust display at a recent ultra-Orthodox rally in the capital, Fuchs said, "I sympathize with these feelings of persecution. They tried to present me as though I were the worst criminal in the world, and from this perspective it is just like the goyim treated the Jews for generations.

"Let me live in peace. I too sang 'Hatikva' (national anthem) once. I want to be free in our land. Leave me be."

Udi Matalon, the soldier's father, said "apparently (Fuchs) is trying to present himself as the victim. This attempt should not be taken too seriously."

Meanwhile, Ynet has learned that two women told investigators that Fuchs did not confront Matalon. "The incident on the bus involved a different female soldier who does not fit Matalon's description," one of the eyewitnesses said.

The more Fuchs opens his mouth, the more I want him to sit a long time in jail.

The time has come for all of normal Israeli's to put an end to these idiots.

As Rav Ovadia Yosef said we love the secular Jews.

We must love our Jews to Torah.

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