Friday, 20 February 2009

Israel Matzav: Obama administration looking to end Hamas isolation#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Obama administration looking to end Hamas isolation#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Ticked off terrorists and their friends#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Ticked off terrorists and their friends#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Kerry's visit to Gaza better than expected#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Kerry's visit to Gaza better than expected#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Syria: If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, smells like a duck and acts like a duck, it's a duck#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Syria: If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, smells like a duck and acts like a duck, it's a duck#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Livni says she won't sit in Netanyahu-led government#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Livni says she won't sit in Netanyahu-led government#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Maybe they should fund Israel Matzav instead#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Maybe they should fund Israel Matzav instead#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Video: Israel's suicide drone#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Video: Israel's suicide drone#links#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Lieberman recommends Netanyahu#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Lieberman recommends Netanyahu#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Corporate directors sued for funding terror#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Corporate directors sued for funding terror#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: A McCarthy-style witch hunt?#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: A McCarthy-style witch hunt?#links#links#links

Israel Matzav: Israel's once and future Prime Minister?#links#links

Israel Matzav: Israel's once and future Prime Minister?#links#links


A few days ago Juan Cole had this to say:

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has ruled out allowing needed goods into Gaza, which Israel has virtually surrounded from land and sea, until Hamas releases captured Israeli soldier Sgt. Gilad Shalit. Olmert is thereby committing a war crime. You can't collectively punish the general Gaza population if you are the occupying authority. It is not allowed to torture that wailing child in the video above by keeping out painkillers, just because some adult somewhere from the same territory captured an Israeli soldier. But Olmert will get a pass on his war crimes. Apparently you only get punished for them if you are weak or lose; it isn't the crime but the power of the criminal that matters.

This is more or less what the Palestinian representative at the UN says, too (and keep in mind that he's a PA, i.e. Fatah person, not a Hamas appointee)

The Palestinian UN observer, Riyad Mansour, stressed the importance of achieving a long-lasting cease-fire so that Israel does not go and attack our people as they want but said Shalit's release should not be linked to the opening of border crossings.

"These are two separate issues," he told reporters. "To connect them in this manner, it means that the Israeli government is not interested in a long-lasting cease-fire now, and not interested in opening the crossings and lifting the siege."

Not everyone, however, agrees. Among the dissenting voices one can find - mildly astonishingly - Robert Serry, the UN's top Mideast envoy (same link as Mansour):

Serry told council members that a durable cease-fire can only be achieved if there is broad progress including an exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Shalit, who was captured in a 2006 cross-border raid, action to prevent the smuggling of weapons into Gaza, the opening of borders, and unity among rival Palestinian factions.

These steps, he said, would also pave the way for the longer term recovery and reconstruction of Gaza.

"I emphasize these points...because one month since unilateral cease-fires were declared, a proper cease-fire is still not in place, and there is an ever present danger of a return to the unsustainable conditions of last year, or even for renewed and more devastating violence," Serry warned.

Asked afterward about Israel's decision to link the border openings withShalit's release, the UN's special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said, "If you want to improve the situation in Gaza, you have to look at the other issues as well, and Shalit is a very important one."

So, on one side we've got Cole and the Palestinians, while on the other side we've got an important UN fellow and Israel. How very peculiar.
taken from : Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations (


Report: Vatican readmits society that propagates anti-Semitism

By Cnaan Liphshiz, Haaretz Correspondent

Tags: Vatican, Holocaust

In lifting the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson who has been accused of Holocaust denial last month, the Catholic Church also readmitted a priestly society that openly propagates virulent anti-Semitism, according to a probe by a Belgian Jewish newspaper.

The Roman Catholic Church excommunicated The Society of St. Pius X in 1988 along with Williamson and three other member priests, declaring their consecrations were "unlawful" and "schismatic."

In January of this year the Vatican lifted the excommunication. On the same day, a Swedish television station aired an interview with Williamson in which he denied the existence of gas chambers during the Holocaust.

In a research performed after the readmittance, a team of journalists from Joods Actueel, an Antwerp-based Jewish news publication, found what they describe as "a slew of anti-Semitic content" on the society's Web sites in five languages.

The probe whose results were made public on Thursday, found that the society's official U.S. Web site described Jews as "the enemy of man, whose secret weapon is the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy," adding that "heads of Jewry have for centuries conspired methodically and out of an undying hatred against the Catholic name."

The South African site said that "Jews have come closer and closer to fulfilling their substitute-Messianic drive towards world dominion." The Irish site asks whether "the Jews are guilty of Deicide," answering: "We must say yes."

The site from Germany, a country with strict limitations on anti-Semitic speech, clarifies that "contemporary Jews are for sure guilty of the murder of God, as long as they don't recognize Christ as God."

The Belgian site accuses Jews of "still believing they are the chosen people" while "awaiting world domination." The Austrian site warns that the Jewish organization B'nai Brith is "found everywhere" and "commands the entire world."

Michael Freilich, editor-in-chief of Joods Actueel, told Haaretz that anti-Semitic content was being pulled offline even as the team of four journalists were documenting and saving the material ? which Haaretz obtained from Joods Actueel.

Noting that The Society of St. Pius X is believed to have between 600,000 and a million followers, Frielich said: "Williamson's Holocaust denial has attracted much attention, but this anti-Semitic content is in many ways worse because he is a lone fool and not taken seriously by the masses, whereas here we are talking about an entire society spreading hatred around the world."

Freilich added that "while Williamson's lies negate the past, what we have uncovered here is preaching of lies and hate against Jews today."

The Society of St. Pius X was founded in 1970 by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

Experts on the Catholic Church such as Dirk Verhofstadt - brother of the former Belgian prime minister - have said that in addition to expressing these positions on Jews, society members have also disavows the Nostra Aetate - a document whereby the Church says Jews were not responsible for the death of Christ.


Jailed Cleric Qatada Gets Human Rights Payout

Radical preacher Abu Qatada has been awarded £2,500 compensation after European judges ruled his detention without trial breached his human rights.

Abu Qatada was described by UK immigration as a "truly dangerous individual"
The European Court of Human Rights ruled anti-terror laws introduced by the Government after the 2001 attacks on the US violated the Human Rights Convention.

Qatada's victory comes 24 hours after he lost the latest round of his legal battle to stay in Britain.

Ten others detained under the rules - none named by the court - received similar modest cash awards.

The ruling acknowledged that at the time of the detentions, "there had been a public emergency threatening the life of the nation".

But it said the issue was whether the legal measures adopted by the Government in response were "strictly required by the exigencies of the situation".

The human rights judges said the rules had "discriminated unjustifiably" between UK nationals and non-nationals - targeting only non-UK citizens.

Qatada was first detained in 2002, when the UK's Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) described him as a "truly dangerous individual".

The Siac said he had given religious authority to numerous high-profile terrorists across the world, including those behind the September 11 attacks.

On Wednesday Law Lords ruled Qatada could be deported to his native Jordan despite claims he could be tortured there.
taken from :


'Kosher' GPS device gets official launch



It lists thousands of kosher restaurants and includes the Book of Psalms, the three daily prayer services, the Traveler's Prayer, a Hebrew calendar, and two versions of Grace After Meals.

Welcome to the "kosher" GPS device.

The state-of the art electronic gadget geared to the religious public will be unveiled Thursday morning at a Tel Aviv press conference in the office of the city's Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, who will "give his blessings" to the device.

The device, which was developed over the last year by Mio Technology, will also list thousands of other points of interest in Israel, including holy sites, synagogues, cemeteries, and ritual baths.

In keeping with the strictest religious sensitivities, the device, aptly dubbed Mio Ma'amin ("Mio Believer"), will use only a man's voice and does not have telephone functions or allow Internet access.

Some of the device's attractions will only be available in either Hebrew or English, while the blessings and prayers are currently only in Hebrew.

"These are new tidings for millions of mitzva-observant people in Israel who are looking for suitable solutions for their lifestyle," said Guy De-Piccotto, director general of Ronlight Digital, the exclusive marketer of Mio Technology products in Israel.

"It has already been proven that you can use the most advanced technologies for a traditional lifestyle, and we have done so again with this GPS."

The price of the kosher GPS starts at NIS 990.


Yemenite family makes aliya in secret op


Stepping off their plane and into the bright lights of Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday afternoon, the Ben-Yisrael family was on the final leg of its journey from one world to the next.

The latest immigrants from the Yemenite community of Raida - a town fraught with tension between its Jewish and Muslim residents in recent months - the Ben-Yisraels, accompanied by another young man from their community, arrived in a special aliya operation, shrouded in secrecy, organized by the Jewish Agency and Yemenite Jewish Federation of America.

As they stepped into the arrivals hall, the Ben-Yisraels looked as if they had walked through a time warp. "Thank God, I'm happy to be here," said family patriarch Said Ben-Yisrael, clad in a felt yarmulke and long black side curls as he stood in front of his wife and seven children.

Greeted by a Yemenite rabbi who lives in Israel, Ben-Yisrael recited the "Sheheheyanu" prayer, which is said upon arriving at a particularly festive or joyous occasion. The crowd of reporters and cameramen who swarmed around the family as they entered the arrival terminal answered "Amen!"

But the transition from old-world Yemen to the modern and fast-paced Israel proved to be daunting for the family, even in their first moments on the ground.

The plane ride had been the family's first, and the shiny marble floors and bright fluorescent lights of the airport were no doubt a stark contrast to their former life in the developing Muslim country.

Ben-Yisrael's wife and young children - the girls clad in traditional Islamic clothing and the boys in suits and ties - milled around, smiling nervously as reporters attempted to speak to them in Arabic.

"We just locked up our house and left," said one of Ben-Yisrael's daughters, Esther, as she marveled at the flashing cameras and jostling news crews in front of her.

Several weeks ago, Islamic extremists threw a hand grenade into the Ben-Yisraels' courtyard, which exploded but caused no injuries. Said hurriedly took his family and went to live in the Yemeni capital city of Sana'a, before departing the country for Israel.

"I don't have much to say," Ben-Yisrael said, smiling. "We're tired, but it's good to finally be here, it's good to be home."

When the family left the airport - bound for Beit Shemesh, accompanied by a Jewish Agency team - the young children sat outside on a bench as their parents loaded luggage into a waiting taxi van.

Passersby, intrigued by the new arrivals, began to inquire about their trip.

"Can you sing a Shabbat song?" David Girafi, a cab driver from Herzliya, asked the children in Arabic. Girafi explained that his parents had immigrated from Yemen before he was born, and after witnessing the scene that unfolded at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday, Girafi said it brought him back to the photographs that had once hung on the walls of his family's home.

"They remind me of my parents," he said, before breaking into song, as Esther, clad in her black hijab, joined him in a Yemenite rendition of "Ki Eshmarei Shabbat".
"It's very emotional," Girafi said.

While Yemenite Jews enjoy the special protection of Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Salah, there has been an increase in the harassment of Jews by Islamic extremists in recent years.

The tension boiled over last December when Moshe Yaish Nahari, a father of nine, was murdered by a local Arab. Threats against Yemen's Jewish community also rose following the recent military operation in the Gaza Strip.

The Ben-Yisrael family are the first Yemenite Jews to leave for Israel since Nahari's murder.
Jewish Agency officials on hand Thursday were all smiles, beaming at the family as they entered the terminal, and reflected on months of hard work against a backdrop of secrecy.

"It's very exciting," said Moshe Vigdor, the Jewish Agency's director-general, as he stood in the background, watching the family arrive.

"But we also hope that this is the beginning of more to come. We're following the situation of the community in Yemen very closely, and this is in no way the end of our work there."

Eli Cohen, the director-general of the Jewish Agency's Aliya and Absorption Department, said that his agency was constantly working to help the Yemenite Jewish community and hoped to bring to Israel most of the Jews in Yemen who wished to immigrate.

The new immigrants will receive special assistance from the JA, including a grant of NIS 40,000 per family.

"This was a delicate operation, both because of the situation in Yemen and because of the family's special [religious and cultural] needs," Cohen said.

"But when I first saw them, I'll tell you, my heart was pounding. This is what we do, this is our goal, and once again, we've brought Jews to live in Israel."

About 280 Jews currently reside in Yemen, 230 of whom live in Raida in the Omran province, with the other 50 in Sana'a. The Jews now in Sana'a fled there from their homes in Sa'ade province about a year ago due to harassment by the Huthi, a terrorist group connected to al-Qaida.

Most of the Jews of Yemen immigrated to Israel during Operation Magic Carpet in 1950. Several hundred Jews immigrated in two subsequent smaller waves - in the mid 1960s and in the beginning of the 1990s.

Dozens of Yemenite Jews have moved to the US and London in recent years, brought there by Satmar Chassidim who object to their immigration to Israel due to concerns that they might abandon their religious observance.

The Satmar are ideologically opposed to the formation of a Jewish state before the Messiah's arrival. When representatives of the sect initially entered Yemen, their message was welcomed by the anti-Israel Yemenite government.

The Satmar sect has expressed its concern for preserving the ancient Jewish community, and recently its leader, the Satmar Rebbe, wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama asking for assistance to enable Yemenite Jews to emigrate to the United States.
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