My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam.
I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)
Iran elected to UN Commission on Women's Rights...
Well, they need a nation with expertise...
Without fanfare, the United Nations this week elected Iran to its Commission on the Status of Women, handing a four-year seat on the influential human rights body to a theocratic state in which stoning is enshrined in law and lashings are required for women judged "immodest."
Just days after Iran abandoned a high-profile bid for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council, it began a covert campaign to claim a seat on the Commission on the Status of Women, which is "dedicated exclusively to gender equality and advancement of women," according to its website.
Buried 2,000 words deep in a U.N. press release distributed Wednesday on the filling of "vacancies in subsidiary bodies," was the stark announcement: Iran, along with representatives from 10 other nations, was "elected by acclamation," meaning that no open vote was requested or required by any member states — including the United States.
The U.S. currently holds one of the 45 seats on the body, a position set to expire in 2012. The U.S. Mission to the U.N. did not return requests for comment on whether it actively opposed elevating Iran to the women's commission.
And, how old is your wife???
Well, maybe she's younger than 13...
A Nigerian senator accused of marrying a 13-year-old Egyptian girl says he has done nothing wrong.
Ahmad Sani Yerima, 49, told the BBC that his fourth wife was not 13, but would not say how old she was.
He denied breaking the law but said he would not respect any law that contradicted his religious beliefs.
Some Somali ransom money coming to Canada...
We've got to track these funds...
Some Somali-Canadians have received a cut of the ransoms collected by pirates operating off the Horn of Africa and money may have been sent back to Somalia to fund other hijackings, according to an intelligence specialist on piracy.
Karsten von Hoesslin, a senior analyst for Risk Intelligence, told naval officers from Pacific Ocean nations gathered in Victoria for a three-day maritime security conference, that the transfer of ransom money has been tracked from Somalia to Ottawa and a number of other locations that are home to Somali communities.
"It's coming to Ottawa, it's in London and Nairobi," he said. "We know where the money is going."
Do the Palestinians want a state and to continue the conflict????
A report by Khaled Abu Toameh and David Horovitz...
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has essentially partnered the PA and Fayyad via his “economic peace” moves over the past year, dismantling roadblocks, reducing checkpoints and easing freedom of movement to help the PA toward an estimated 10-percent-plus growth in gross domestic product over the past 12 months. But some in the prime minister’s inner circle nonetheless have profound reservations about Fayyad’s strategy.
It is noted, for instance, that the “Program of the Thirteenth Government” issued by Fayyad last August, and entitled “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State,” contains no direct, unambiguous reference to making peace with Israel.
At the same time, it describes the establishment of a Palestinian state within two years as “not only possible,” but “essential.”
The fact that the PA refused to resume direct talks with Israel after Netanyahu took office last year, and sought to impose preconditions that contributed to the repeated postponement of even the indirect “proximity” talks, has reinforced the sense of many senior figures in the Netanyahu government that the PA is not urgently seeking progress via the negotiating process, and instead intends to take the UN route.
The latest from Palestinian Authority TV.....
Israel's deputy ambassador to Britain attacked...
She had to seek refuge....
Israel’s deputy ambassador to Britain was forced to seek refuge in a police station after protesters attempted to attack her following a university lecture.
Talya Lador-Fresher said she feared she would be physically assaulted when demonstrators climbed on the bonnet of her car and attempted to smash the windscreen.
She had been speaking to members of Manchester University’s politics society when the incident occurred on Wednesday evening. Around 40 demonstrators had gathered at the venue.
Ms Lador-Fresher had been asked back to the university after a previous invitation to address students in February was withdrawn when more than 300 protesters from the Action Palestine student society scuffled with Jewish students and police.
Speaking about Wednesday’s protest she said: “It was quite a shocking experience. I have had people stand up and shout and wave the Palestinian flag when I have spoken, but it was the first time I have been in this situation.
“When we finished I could not get out of the university building. The demonstrators saw me on the way to the car and they started running towards me.
“The security team rushed me back into the building and we were standing in the corridor for a few minutes.”
The diminutive deputy ambassador was eventually escorted through a back door to a police car but the demonstrators discovered the evacuation plan and surrounded the car.
Ms Lador-Fresher said: “They were screaming and shouting. Two of them were on the bonnet trying to break the windscreen. It was very unpleasant.
“I don’t think they wanted to kill me but I genuinely believed they wanted to physically hurt me. If I had not had the police and security team I would have been beaten up.”
The police eventually moved her to a nearby police station for her own safety. She was later picked up by her Embassy driver.
Women with suntans are illegal in Iran...
They are violating Islamic law....
Women with suntans are violating Islamic law and will be arrested in Iran, the capital city's police chief was reported by The Daily Telegraph as saying Wednesday.
"The public expects us to act firmly and swiftly if we see any social misbehavior by women, and men, who defy our Islamic values," Brigadier Hossien Sajedinia said.
"In some areas of north Tehran we can see many suntanned women and young girls who look like walking mannequins," he continued. "We are not going to tolerate this situation and will first warn those found in this manner and then arrest and imprison them.
Now Obama tries to soften sanctions against Iran....
Is this guy really serious???
The Obama administration is pressing Congress to provide an exemption from Iran sanctions to companies based in "cooperating countries," a move that likely would exempt Chinese and Russian concerns from penalties meant to discourage investment in Iran.
The Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act is in a House-Senate conference committee and is expected to reach President Obama's desk by Memorial Day.
"It's incredible the administration is asking for exemptions, under the table and winking and nodding, before the legislation is signed into law," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and a conference committee member, said in an interview. A White House official confirmed Wednesday that the administration was pushing the conference committee to adopt the exemption of "cooperating countries" in the legislation.
Could you imagine if the Israelis had done this???
The Egyptians blow up a tunnel in Gaza and kill four Palestinians....
Four Palestinians were killed and at least 10 others were wounded Wednesday following the collapse of a smuggling tunnel on the border between Gaza and Egypt, according to Palestinian medical sources in Gaza.
Palestinian police accused Egyptian security forces of killing the Gaza smugglers by blowing up their cross-border tunnel. The Palestinians also charged that Egyptian security forces spread toxic gas in the collapsed tunnels.
Witnesses said the incident was apparently caused by an explosion that occurred on the Egyptian side of the tunnel.
Detonating a bomb underground, Egyptian security forces collapsed a tunnel in which seven smugglers were working, a Palestinian police official said. Three died of smoke inhalation and a fourth from flying debris.
One reason for Brits NOT to vote Lib-Dem
A candidate warns of the Jewish Lobby...
A Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in Yorkshire told a hustings meeting that “the power of the Jewish lobbies in Washington and Britain” are the reason a full arms embargo has not been imposed on Israel.
Madeleine Kirk, standing for the party in the new seat of York Outer, was speaking at the York University event on Wednesday afternoon.
A question was asked about whether the candidates believed arms sales to Israel should be banned.
Ms Kirk, a long-standing local city councillor, replied that an embargo should be in place, but was not, "because of the Jewish lobby”.
She then went on to back disgraced Lib Dem peer Jenny Tonge’s call for an inquiry to disprove allegations that Israeli army medical teams in Haiti “harvested” organs of earthquake victims.
Is there a crime wave targeting Jews in Montreal????
This sounds scary....
Some members of Montreal’s visible Lubavitch community residing in the Côte des Neiges district of Montreal are afraid to go out of their homes, even during the daytime, in the wake of a number of reported acts of violence.
In addition, three locations in the Montreal suburb of Outremont – home to a large segment of visible Chassidic Jews – had swastikas spray painted on or near their properties last week.
“I live in the area and if I compare the situation now to five years ago there is a serious problem,” Rabbi Mendel Marasow, executive director of Beth Rivkah Academy in Côte des Neiges, told the Jewish Tribune. “There is a gang atmosphere, with tough individuals walking the streets. Last week a man got mugged walking home from shul at 8:30 in the morning. It is uncomfortable and unsafe out there. Is it antisemitic? Listen, all I can say is that Jews make good targets.”
An email sent out by a member of the small Anshei Lubavitch Congregation set off alarm bells. The sender, whose name is not being disclosed, suggested that local Montreal Police Station 26 has not taken a number of incidents seriously. In the email, the alleged robbery of a 12-year-old boy, acts of vandalism at Jewish homes and the mugging of a pregnant woman were cited.
An in-depth look at Human Rights Watch....
Taken over by Israel-bashers...
On October 19 of last year, the op-ed page of The New York Times contained a bombshell: a piece by Robert Bernstein, the founder and former chairman of Human Rights Watch (HRW), attacking his own organization. HRW, Bernstein wrote, was “helping those who wish to turn Israel into a pariah state.” The allegation was certainly not new: HRW had been under assault for years by American Jews and other supporters of Israel, who argued that it was biased against the Jewish state. And these attacks had intensified in recent months, with a number of unflattering revelations about the organization. In July, HRW found itself under fire when a Wall Street Journal op-ed noted that the organization had solicited donations in Saudi Arabia by trumpeting the criticism it faces from “pro-Israel pressure groups.” In August, the blogosphere leapt on one of the organization’s top Middle East officials for having once been part of a team that edited a radical anti-Israel journal. And, in September, HRW suspended one of the primary contributors to its reports on the wars in Gaza and Lebanon after his private hobby—collecting Nazi memorabilia—became public. (Click here for HRW's response to this piece.)
Still, to most readers of the Times last October, even those who closely followed debates over Israel, Bernstein’s piece would have seemed odd: It isn’t every day that the founder of a group turns so publicly on his own creation. What few people outside HRW knew, however, was that Bernstein’s op-ed was the culmination of a long struggle inside the organization that had turned increasingly acrimonious over the years. The debate revolved around a single question: Was the world’s most respected human rights group being fair to Israel? Bob Bernstein wasn’t the only person at Human Rights Watch who thought the answer was no.
Please read the whole thing...it's a long article...
Will the IMF bailout Gaza????
Cash-strapped in Gaza...
The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip is increasing taxes and introducing a string of levies to fight what officials and business leaders say is a mounting financial crisis in the Palestinian territory.
The Islamist group this month sharply raised taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products, in some cases trebling levies on certain brands. Fuel taxes have also been increased, as have administrative charges for granting licences to shop owners and businesses. Operators of smugglers’ along the Gaza-Egypt border say Hamas is now taxing the import of almost all goods brought in underground.
In another sign that the Hamas government is becoming unable to fulfil its financial commitments, most of the 25,000-30,000 Gazans employed by the local government received their wages for the past two months either late or only partially.
“Hamas is running into a financial crisis in the Gaza Strip,” said Mokhemra Abu Saada, a professor of political science at Gaza’s al-Azhar University. “That is why Hamas is collecting all these taxes.”
A primer on Jerusalem....
Mortimer Zuckerman writes in the Wall Street Journal...
President Obama's attitude toward Jerusalem betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the history of the city. After Israel was recognized as a new state in 1948, it was immediately attacked by the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The attacks were repelled, but the Jordanians, who were asked not to join the Egyptian war effort, conquered East Jerusalem and separated it from its western half. In 1967, the Arab armies again sought to destroy Israel, but it prevailed in the famous Six Day War and reconquered East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip.
Under Jordanian rule, from 1948 to 1967, dozens of synagogues were destroyed or vandalized. The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was desecrated, its tombstones used for the construction of roads and Jordanian army latrines. The rights of Christians as well as Jews were abused, with some churches converted into mosques.
When Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967 it built, and has since continued to build, neighborhoods for its Jewish residents. Palestinian Arabs have also built in Jerusalem throughout this period. Incidentally, today there is more new Arab housing (legal and illegal) being built than Jewish housing according to a report by Middle East expert Tom Gross—without any criticism from the Obama administration.
But this is all recent history: Israel's claim over Jerusalem does not spring from 1948 or 1967. Rather, it signifies the revival of historic rights stemming from biblical times.
Jerusalem is not just another piece of territory on a political chessboard: It is integral to the identity and faith of the Jewish people. Since the city was founded by King David some 3,500 years ago, Jews have lived there, worked there, and prayed there. During the First and Second Temple periods, Jews from across the kingdom would travel to Jerusalem three times a year for the Jewish holy days, until the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple in 70 A.D. That ended Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem for the next 2,000 years, but the Jews never relinquished their bond.
Jerusalem is much less embedded in Muslim culture. When Muslims pray, they face Mecca, not Jerusalem. The Old Testament mentions Jerusalem, or its alternative name Zion, a total of 457 times. The Koran does not mention Jerusalem once. Muhammad, who founded Islam in 622 A.D., was born and raised in what is now Saudi Arabia; he never set foot in Jerusalem. And in the 1,300 years that various Islamic dynasties ruled Jerusalem, not one Islamic dynasty ever made the city its capital. Indeed, even the National Covenant of the PLO, written in 1964, never mentions Jerusalem. It was only added after Israel regained control of the city in 1967.
The reality today is that in the area referred to as East Jerusalem— that is, an area north, south and east of the city's 1967 borders—there are roughly a half a million Jews and Arabs living in intertwined neighborhoods. The idea of a purely Jewish West Jerusalem or a purely Palestinian East Jerusalem is a myth: Building in particular neighborhoods in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution.
Ramat Shlomo, the center of the most recent row, is a thriving community of over 100,000 Jews located between two larger Jewish communities called Ramat and French Hill. Its growth would in no way interfere with the contiguity of new Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. And in every peace agreement that has ever been discussed, these areas would remain a part of Israel.
Morocco dismantles terror cell...
Nice to see, but how many do they catch and how many actually end up in Iraq and Afghanistan???
Moroccan security services dismantled a cell of 24 suspected terrorists with ties to al-Qaida who are believed to have been plotting killings and attacks and preparing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, the official news agency said Monday.
The suspects were rounded up in recent days after some members of the alleged cell assaulted a police officer in the city of Casablanca, Morocco's economic capital, the MAP news agency said.
The suspects "were preparing to commit murders and acts of sabotage in the country, including against security services and foreign interests in Morocco," MAP said, quoting a statement from the Interior Ministry.
Four of those arrested had already served prison time on terror-related charges, the agency said. Some of the men were being interrogated by a prosecutor, it said.
The Interior Ministry said some cell members were getting ready to head to Iraq and Afghanistan to battle foreign troops there. Other suspects were on the verge of joining Islamist militants in Somalia and in the Sahara and Sahel desert regions, where an al-Qaida offshoot known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, has been increasingly active in recent months.
Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Meetings in Edmonton and Calgary...
If you live in Calgary and Edmonton, please go to these important meetings on the future of the Canadian mission in Afghanistan post-2011.
CASC Event in Edmonton on April 27
Date & Time:
Tuesday April 27th, Time: 7-9pm
Telus Centre on the University of Alberta campus (87 Avenue NW & 112 St NW, Edmonton)
H.E. Jawed Ludin, Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada
Terry Glavin, award-winning writer, journalist and founding member of CASC
Najia Haneefi, Founder of the Women's Political Participation Committee (Afghanistan)
Lauryn Oates, Canadian human rights and education activist
There is no cost for this event, but seating is limited. RSVP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message by phone (604) 754-2413 (leave your phone number, name and number of seats to be held).
CASC Event in Calgary on April 28
A Panel Responding to the Question: What Should Canada Do in Afghanistan Post-2011?
Date and Time
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
6:30-9 pm (Panel begins at 7 pm)
Kahanoff Conference Centre
200-1202 Volunteer Way (Centre Street) S.E., Calgary, AB
H.E. Jawed Ludin, Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada
Terry Glavin, award-winning writer, journalist and founding member of CASC
Najia Haneefi, Founder of the Women's Political Participation Committee (Afghanistan)
Lauryn Oates, Canadian human rights and education activist
There is no cost for this event, but seating is limited. RSVP by email at Calgary@CW4WAfghan.ca before April 20 or message by phone 1-403-244-5625 (leave your phone number, name and number of seats to be held).
Co-hosted by Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan www.cw4wafghan.ca Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee www.afghanistan-canada-solidarity.org
English-only sex toys???
Illegal in Quebec....
Quebec’s language police have cracked the whip on a Montreal sex-toy emporium.
Distribution Percour Inc., owner of Boutique Séduction in Montreal North, has been ordered by a Quebec Court judge to pay $500 for selling an item called Sleeve Super Stretch whose packaging was in English only.
The April 19 ruling came after a failed six-year effort by the Office québécois de la langue française to get the store to stick French labels on Sleeve Super Stretch boxes.
Acting on a citizen’s complaint, an OQLF inspector visited the store in 2004 and photographed the packaging of the sex-toy accessory worn by men.
Subsequent meetings between OQLF officials and store manager Mireille Gaudreau aimed to force the store to produce French labels to conform to the law.
Though court records show that the store agreed to translate the packaging, it never followed through.
In his 10-page ruling, Judge Gilles Michaud slammed the defendant’s claim that the device is exempt under Quebec’s law on the language of commerce and trade.
For safety reasons, Michaud said, it’s important for consumers to be able to understand written instructions on the items they buy.
Are Jews safe on campus?
This article is just about California...for now....
On Feb. 13th, Al-Awda (The Palestine Right to Return Coalition) held its Fifth Al-Awda West Coast Regional Conference in the La Mesa Community Center in San Diego. Undercover investigative journalist Lee Kaplan attended the meeting and wrote an article that raises several issues that should be very troubling for anyone concerned about the safety of Jewish students on California campuses.
Al-Awda is an organization that, according to the Anti-Defamation League, opposes Israel's right to exist; supports groups on the U.S. State Department's list of foreign terrorist organizations, including Hamas and Hezb'allah; organizes numerous rallies, demonstrations, and events to demonize Israel and her supporters; and actively encourages boycott, divestment, and sanctions in order to isolate and economically strangle the Jewish state. (Two of Al-Awda's three co-founders are leaders of major anti-Israel boycott campaigns: Mazin Qumsiyeh co-founded the Boycott Israeli Goods campaign, and Jess Ghannam co-founded the U.S. Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel). Al-Awda's annual international conventions and regional conferences feature virulently anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic speakers and films, as well as workshops which teach how to mount successful boycott and divestment campaigns against Israel.
Unfortunately, Al-Awda has also made significant inroads on college and university campuses in North America by partnering with dozens of Muslim and pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel student groups. The first four of Al-Awda's seven annual international conventions were held on university campuses (University of Toronto, Hunter College, University of California Los Angeles, and San Francisco State University), and all of its conventions and regional conferences have been sponsored by numerous student groups, particularly Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Muslim Student Association (MSA). In California, SJP and MSA groups from more than ten California public colleges and universities -- including UC Los Angeles, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, San Francisco State University, San Diego State University, CSU Fullerton, and CSU San Bernadino -- have collaborated with Al Awda in hosting events.
The Al-Awda regional conference in February is a case in point of how much influence Al-Awda wields over California university campuses. A major emphasis of the conference was the promotion at California universities and colleges of a campaign to divest university holdings from Israel. The featured speakers came from diverse University of California and California State University campuses, and included Dr. Jess Ghannam, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health Sciences at UC San Francisco and Adjunct Professor of Ethnic Studies at SFSU; students from SDSU and Cal State Northridge; and Dr. Jamal Nassar, Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cal State San Bernadino.
The first to speak, Dr. Ghannam gloried in the success of efforts to delegitimize Israel. He singled out for praise the members of the UC Irvine MSU for their "heroic efforts" disrupting an invited lecture at UCI by Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, and he added: "Now, every single Israeli military official and politician will be afraid to speak publicly. It's huge!" At a special workshop promoting divestment on California public university campuses, one SJP student from SDSU explained how the UC Divestment program has developed a campus-wide network in California, tailored to each campus community. She also reported on an SJP campaign to take control of the student government at SDSU by filling ten senate seats and the senate body presidency with SJP members, who would then be able to promote their divestment campaign. The meeting concluded with Dr. Jamal Nassar, Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Cal State San Bernadino, who promised that Al-Awda could host a conference at Cal State San Bernadino anytime, because Arabs have special connections within his campus administration.
More and more Iranian defectors.....
This is nice to see...
Iran's political turmoil has prompted a growing number of the country's officials to defect or leak information to the West, creating a new flow of intelligence about its secretive nuclear program, U.S. officials said.
The gains have complicated work on a long-awaited assessment of Iran's nuclear activities, a report that will represent the combined judgment of more than a dozen U.S. spy agencies. The National Intelligence Estimate was due last fall but has been delayed at least twice amid efforts to incorporate information from sources who are still being vetted.
Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said in a brief interview last week that the delay in the completion of the NIE "has to do with the information coming in and the pace of developments."
Some of the most significant new material has come from informants, including scientists and others with access to Iran's military programs, who are motivated by antipathy toward the government and its suppression of the opposition movement after a disputed presidential election in June, according to current and former officials in the United States and Europe who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence gains.
"There is a wealth of information-sharing going on, and it reflects enormous discontent among Iranian technocrats," said a former U.S. government official who until recently was privy to classified reports about intelligence-gathering inside Iran. He said that among senior technocrats in the nuclear program and other fields, "the morale is very low."
In recent weeks, U.S. officials have acknowledged that an Iranian nuclear scientist defected to the West in June. Shahram Amiri, 32, vanished while on a religious pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and has provided spy agencies with details about sensitive programs, including a long-hidden uranium-enrichment plant near the city of Qom, intelligence officials and Europe-based diplomats said.
Amiri is described by some as the most significant Iranian defector since Brig. Gen. Ali Reza Asgari, a former deputy defense minister and Revolutionary Guard Corps commander who switched sides during a 2007 trip to Turkey.
But sources said there has been a spate of other recent defections by diplomatic and military officials, some of which have not been made public. Among the defectors was a top diplomat at the Iranian mission in Oslo, who said he was pressured to falsify election returns for Iranian nationals who had cast votes at the embassy.
George Galloway lies in the Globe & Mail....
Here's a quote from George Galloway in the Globe & Mail...
The Canadian government says you gave about $45,000 to Hamas and that’s part of why you shouldn’t be allowed here.Now, here the actual quote from George Galloway on Al-Jazeera from his trip to Gaza...
I didn’t give any money to Hamas, I gave it to the ministry of health in Gaza to pay for the salaries of the doctors and nurses who hadn’t been paid. By the way, we’re talking about 20 odd thousand pounds, not millions. It’s a symbolic donation. I gave it to the ministry of health in Gaza and I’m proud to have done so.
But I, now, here, on behalf of myself, my sister Yvonne Ridley, and the two Respect councillors – Muhammad Ishtiaq and Naim Khan – are giving three cars and 25,000 pounds in cash to Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. Here is the money. This is not charity. This is politics. The government of Palestine is the best people where this money is needed. We are giving this money now to the government of Palestine. If I could, I would give them 10 times, 100 times more. We are against this siege. We are opposing this siege. We are breaking this siege. We are breaking this siege.
Thieves break into Dutch prison to steal TVs...
Well, the inmates were on weekend furlough...
Thieves have broken into a Dutch prison to steal the inmates’ televisions.
A number of prisoners from prison Het Keern in Hoorn were victim of a crime.
The thieves targeted a “modestly protected” minimum-security prison twice in the town of Hoorn. The thieves struck when the prisoners were on weekend furloughs, a justice ministry spokesman said. They broke open some cells and stole the prisoners TV screens.
Iran and Zimbabwe strike nuclear deal.....
Uranium for oil...
Iran has struck a nuclear mining deal with Zimbabwe, The Sunday Telegraph reported Sunday as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was visiting Africa.
According to the UK paper, the deal was sealed in Teheran in March by a close aide of Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe. The agreement will reportedly entail Zimbabwe to provide Iran with access to deposits of uranium ore in return for oil.
"Iran secured the exclusive uranium rights last month, when the minister of state for presidential affairs, Didymus Mutasa, visited Teheran," a Zimbabwean official told the Telegraph.
Iran's president is in Africa this week to build alliances to evade stronger UN sanctions for his country's nuclear program, ease its international isolation and strengthen its economy.
On Saturday, Ahmadinejad flouted any more United Nations sanctions on his nuclear program as illegal, insisting he would not submit to any such pressure based on the United States and Britain "lying" about the evidence.
The Iranian leader, wrapping up two days of talks with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, lambasted the Western allies for pressing for another round of UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.He let loose when asked by an Associated Press reporter to discuss his effort to evade more UN sanctions by meeting with Uganda, a non-permanent member of the 15-nation council. The council is preparing to consider a fourth round of sanctions on Teheran for its nuclear defiance.
"The nuclear issue of Iran has turned into a big test for the entire world," Ahmadinejad said, adding that the US and Britain "say they are concerned about the building of a nuclear bomb, but they are lying like the other previous lies.
A gas attack on Afghan schoolgirls???
How low can the Taliban go???
More than 80 girls have fallen mysteriously ill in northern Afghanistan and authorities fear extremists may have poisoned them to keep them away from school.
Kunduz provincial spokesman Mahbobullah Sayedi blamed the illnesses on "enemies" who oppose education for girls. Girls were banned from going to school in most of Afghanistan before the Taliban government was overthrown in 2001.
Thirteen girls got sick at a school in Kunduz Sunday. Another 47 developed nausea and dizziness on Saturday, and 23 fell ill last Wednesday. The girls said they smelled something strange in their classroom before they got sick.
Israel saves life of Hamas' leader's daughter.....
What other country at war would do this???
An Israeli hospital has given emergency first-aid to the three-year-old daughter of a Hamas leader involved in talks to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit and then escorted a Jordanian plane that flew her to a hospital in Amman. The girl was in critical condition in Gaza after having undergone what apparently was an unsuccessful heart operation.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, with the knowledge of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, immediately agreed to Jordan’s King Abdullah’s request to Israel to allow the transfer of the daughter of Elham Fathi Hammad, Interior Minister of the de facto Hamas government. Arab media, including the English-language Jordan Times, reported that the girl was transferred to Jordan but omitted that Israeli doctors at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon treated the child for several hours in life-saving measures after the army arranged for her transfer through the Erez Crossing.
A Jordanian helicopter, escorted by an Israeli jet, then ferried the girl and her mother from the Israeli hospital to Amman.
The girl’s father, Fathi Hammad, publicly thanked Jordan and King Abdullah for their efforts. He did not mention Israel, which is usually referred to by Hamas as the “Zionist enemy.”
Saudis replace liberal cleric....
He's a religious police officer....
A senior Saudi religious police officer was replaced on Sunday after irking hardliners with comments about easing the rules for prayer in mosques, and allowing men and women to mix freely.
Sheikh Ahmed al-Ghamdi was replaced as general manager for the Mecca branch of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in an announcement from the organisation's president, Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Humain.
Humain gave no reason for the move, which included several other new appointments of senior officials of the religious police, popularly known as the muttawa.
But the move came three days after Ghamdi was reportedly dressed down by the country's highest cleric for saying that Muslims are not necessarily required to pray inside a mosque with a group of other Muslims in daily prayers.
Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh told Ghamdi he was getting involved in matters of Islamic sharia law that were outside his authority, the Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Friday.
Al-Sheikh also said in his sermon during Friday prayers that anyone suggesting that congregation prayer is not necessary is "leading people to hell," according to reports.
Ghamdi's replacement followed his denial on Wednesday that he had already been sacked for statements advocating free mixing of unrelated men and women.
Ghamdi, who could not immediately be contacted, has said several times since December that there is nothing in scripture supporting the strict segregation enforced by Saudi Arabia's ultra-strict Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam.
Iranian nuclear scientist seeks asylum in Israel....
Love to be in on his debriefing...
An Iranian nuclear scientist has asked for asylum in Israel, Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara, of the Druze community, said Saturday.
"My office has received a request from an Iranian scientist who is currently staying in a friendly country, by means of an Israeli Jewish woman of Iranian birth,” Kara revealed in a interview panel appearance in Ramat Gan. “I am making an effort to assist in this matter because I believe in helping anyone to remove the strategic and nuclear threat upon the enlightened and democratic world.”
He said he had received permission from Israeli intelligence officials to reveal the matter publicly, without going into details that could compromise the scientist. The woman who is mediating between the scientist and Israel was in Kara's office on Wednesday, he said.
Kara added that Arab countries are also “not indifferent” to the Iranian nuclear threat. “They are aware of the Iranian ambitions to go back to being the Persian superpower, and they are aware that they are on the Iranian crosshairs no less than Israel.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, however, “is lulling them to apathy by focusing his threats upon Israel, but no one has any doubt that the Arab countries will be part of the [targets of] Iranian nuclear attack, if the world continues to sleep and allows this option to materialize, G-d forbid.”
If the information is true, this would apparaet to be the second case involving an Iranian defector-scientist to be revealed in less than a month. On March 31, an award-winning Iranian nuclear physicist was reported to have defected to the CIA and been resettled in the United States.
ABC news quoted officials who termed the defection of the scientist, Shahram Amiri, "an intelligence coup" in the CIA effort to undermine Iran's nuclear program. Amiri went missing in June 2009 while in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage, according to the Iranian government. He had worked at a Tehran university that is closely connected to Revolutionary Guard, according to the Associated Press.
Everybody draw Muhammed Day!
Everybody - get out your crayons, pencils...
After Comedy Central cut a portion of a South Park episode following a death threat from a radical Muslim group, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris wanted to counter the fear. She has declared May 20th “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.”
Grad rocket pulled from Red Sea....
Looks like it was fired from the Sinai....
The suspicious object pulled out of the water of Eilat Bay earlier Saturday is a 120mm Grad rocket, officials say.
The object was identified after it was examined by the Navy, other IDF officials, and the police. The rocket's identification reinforces the estimate that it was fired from Sinai Thursday.
However, at this time the rocket's target is unclear. No answers to the question have been found on the intelligence front, while Israel, Egypt, and Jordan continue to look into the incident.
A security official said that Palestinian organizations affiliated with Global Jihad were believed to be behind the attack, and may very well have tried to target Eilat, Israel's most southern city and a thriving tourist site.
Would-be terrorist blames zionist Jews....
A wanna-be terrorist pleaded guilty Friday to a diabolical plan to bomb subways for Al Qaeda - ranting about "Zionist Jews" and blaming Americans for provoking attacks.
Zarein Ahmedzay also revealed that the cell led by plot mastermind Najibullah Zazi originally intended to blow city landmarks to bits but couldn't gather enough chemicals.
Although the judge urged him to stick to the details of the crime, Ahmedzay insisted on reading a passage about jihad from the Koran and making sweeping statements.
"I strongly urge the American people to stop supporting the war against Islam. It would be in their interest," he said in Brooklyn Federal Court.
"I'm thankful for myself that I did not do anything to harm anyone. But I fear someone else might do the same."
He later added: "The real enemy of this country are the ones destroying the country from within. I believe it's a special group - Zionist Jews, I believe, who run a permanent government in the United States."
Clerics fighting child bride laws in Yemen....
Culture is threatened by this law...
Yemen's most influential Islamic cleric vowed on Saturday to gather a "million" signatures to protest a draft law banning child brides, in an increasingly vocal showdown against the country's weak government which needs the support of powerful religious leaders to hold onto power.
The issue of child brides in Yemen has attracted broad international attention, most recently when a 13-year-old girl bled to death earlier this month after her 23-year-old husband allegedly tied her down and forced her to have sex with him.
The cleric, Sheik Adbul-Majid al-Zindani, said a ban on child brides "threatens our culture and society and spreads immorality." Al-Zindani is Yemen's most powerful Islamic scholar and believed by the U.S. to be a spiritual mentor of Osama Bin Laden.
Speaking at a conference at Iman University in the Yemeni capital San'a, al-Zindani called on the dozens of radical clerics and Islamic law students in the crowd to opposed the draft law.
"You have to gather a million signatures ... that supports the demands of clerics," said al-Zindani. "If the issue calls on us to gather a million protesters, we'll organize it," al-Zindani said.
Al-Zindani's calls against the ban have become increasingly strident ahead of an expected vote by Yemeni lawmakers next month on raising the marriage age to 17.
The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen, where a quarter of all females marry before they turn 15, according to a 2009 report by the country's Ministry of Social Affairs.
Why does Europe ignore Iran's deadly intent???
Left-wing politicians are just blind...
Where do Iran’s quest to speed up the production of uranium centrifuges for its alleged nuclear weapons program and global anti-Semitism cross paths? Both processes are proliferating at an astonishingly fast pace, and are not being met by fierce resistance. Just days before Israelis observed Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Islamic Republic marked its National Nuclear Day last Friday, proclaiming its accelerated drive to go nuclear.
Israeli diplomats in Germany go to great lengths to note that the Iranian “nuclear clock” ticks at a faster rate in Israel because of the Islamic Republic’s oft-repeated statements on intentions to wipe the Jewish state off the map. The deadly anti-Semitism clock is also ticking but, like its counterpart the Iranian atomic weapon, remains largely insulated from meek domestic and international pressure.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu voiced pained frustration over global indifference toward Iran, saying at Yad Vashem on Sunday that “at best we encounter a limp reaction, and even that is fading.”
The European reaction to the Shoah, however, is not evaporating, but instead turned into envy of the Holocaust. Europeans frequently view the Iranian regime’s genocidal threats against Israel not as a lesson to be extracted from the Holocaust to stop Iran’s lethal mix of anti-Semitism and atomic weaponry, but as a way to make use of the annihilation of European Jewry during World War II as a catharsis to alleviate their guilt-ridden history.
That partially explains a demonstration in late March where Germans depicted today’s Muslims as the new persecuted Jews of post-Holocaust Germany at a rally against “Islamophobia” in front of the largest mosque in Germany, located in the gritty industrial city of Duisburg.
An amalgam of 6,000 protesters from left-liberal political parties and organizations such as trade unions, churches and anti-fascist groups – some of whom donned striped pajamas with a Star of David – rallied against racist right-wing extremists groups.
The protest – with its crude show of concentration camp imagery – took place against a backdrop in which the Left Party Duisburg city councilman Hermann Dierkes belittled the Holocaust and played down Israel’s right to exist as “trivial.” After The Jerusalem Post exposed Dierkes’s anti-Israeli tirade in March, the WDR television station aired a news report, citing the Post story, with statements from regional politicians.
The WDR report showed a classic split along left-right lines. While conservative CDU councilman Frank Heidenreich called for Dierkes to resign, his Green Party colleague Ralf Krumpholz said he “could not evaluate” Dierkes’ statements because the Greens are preoccupied with working with the Social Democrats and the Left Party on the new “city budget.” According to WDR, the Social Democrats on the city council were not available for comment. The indifference of Krumpholz, the Green Party member, toward modern anti-Semitism raised eyebrows because the Greens purport to fight contemporary expressions of Israel hatred.
The marriage of European leftists and political Islam to promote an intense loathing of Israel was the subject of the new anti-Semitism study released on Sunday by Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Anti-Semitism and Racism showing a massive spike in anti-Semitic violence in 2009.
According to the report, which only gauged physical acts of violence and not widespread verbal aggression, the number of attacks increased from 559 in 2008 to 1,129 in 2009. The United Kingdom is currently the hotbed of anti-Semitic violence, with 374 acts compared to 112 in 2008. Anti-Jewish violence in France, which followed England as the number two violator of human rights, mushroomed to 195 attacks from 50 in the previous year.
Dr. Dina Porat, the director of the Stephen Roth Institute, summed up what is considered common knowledge among observers of modern Jew-hatred, namely, the explosion of anti-Semitism expresses itself as disgust for and rejection of Israel. In short, anti-Semitism equals anti-Zionism.
The actual number of anti-Semitic acts of violence is considered to be significantly higher because of the feeble, or simple lack of, reporting and monitoring structures. A telling example: There is no centralized operation in Germany that could be modeled on the Community Security Trust in the United Kingdom, which aims to protect British Jews against anti-Semitism and terror. Combative watchdog organizations like the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League – much to the disappointment of many Jews in the Federal Republic – do not maintain satellite offices in Germany.
In late March, two men and a woman were asked if they are Jews and then viciously beaten by apparently Muslim perpetrators. The Berlin Jewish community issued a statement calling for an “urgent need to fight the roots of anti-Semitism, especially coming from young Turks and Arabs, and to effectively counter it.”
When asked about the case, Martin Otter, a Berlin police spokesman, told the Post on Monday that the assailants have not been arrested and the investigation is ongoing.
The Stephen Roth study dovetails with previous Israeli and German studies in late 2009 and early 2010 documenting extraordinarily high levels of anti-Israeli sentiments across Europe, with Scandinavian Jews on the front lines of modern anti-Semitism.
Swedish Jews are fleeing the southern city of Malmö because of anti-Jewish violence and hostility. The Social Democratic Mayor Ilmar Reepalu aligned himself with a contingent of fanatically anti-Semitic Muslims and condemned the Jewish community for deciding “to hold a pro-Israel demonstration” during Operation Cast Lead.
In Norway, many Jewish students are subjected to violence and harassment linked to Muslim students, according to media reports. Critics argue that Socialist Education Minister Kristin Halvorsen’s strident attacks against Israel coupled with her efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state through boycott measures has contributed to a vile anti-Semitic climate in the country.
Palestinians admist they don't want to negotiate....
They want an imposed solution.....
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the Obama administration on Saturday to impose a solution to the Middle East conflict that would give his people an independent state.
"Mr. President [Barack Obama] and members of the American administration, since you believe in this [an independent Palestinian state], it is your duty to take steps toward a solution and to impose this solution," Abbas said in a speech.
Nick Cohen interviews Pascal Bruckner....
Israel boycott again in the UK....
This is their favorite topic...
A British academic trade union responsible for continual calls to ostracize Israeli academia is again set to consider a boycott call and alignment with the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” campaign at its annual conference in Manchester next month.
The University College Union, Britain's largest academic trade union, will consider three motions concerning the Israel boycott during its national conference at the end of May. A motion that castigates the UCU’s decision to invite a South African trade unionist charged with inciting hatred against the Jewish community will also be discussed.
In December, the UCU invited Bongani Masuku, international secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), to a forum to discuss the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” campaign against Israel.
In the weeks prior to his invitation, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) found Masuku guilty of using inflammatory, threatening and insulting statements against the South African Jewish community after he issued threats against Jewish businesses and supporters of Israel and pronouncements declaring that Jews who support Israel must leave the country.
Asked at the time whether it was acceptable to give Masuku a platform, the UCU stated that the sources were “not credible,” suggesting the allegations against Masuku were unsubstantiated.
“We don't comment on stuff doing the rounds on the Internet and in the blogosphere and never will,” a UCU spokesman told The Jerusalem Post at the time.
The UCU spokesman added that the SAHRC ruling was made after Masuku had been
invited by the UCU.
At May’s conference, the UCU will be asked to sever all relations with the Histadrut and to urge other trade unions and bodies to follow suit, as part of a motion raised by the University of Oxford’s OCU branch. The motion invokes a “call from the Palestinian Boycott National Committee” for “an isolation of Israel while it continues to act in breach of international law.”
Yay! Archie gets a gay character.....
I wish they had one when I was reading Archie...
There's a new kid in Riverdale – and you won't catch him chasing the skirts of Betty and Veronica.
Archie Comics is adding its first openly gay character to the clan in September, a move designed to update the classic comic, its makers said Thursday.
The hunky, blond Kevin Keller will stroll into town in Veronica issue #202 titled “Isn’t it Bromantic?”
A preview of the comic shows the young man openly telling Jughead he's not interested in the ladies who have fawned all over him because he is, in fact, gay.
That's all unbeknownst to Veronica, of course, who apparently dumps Archie to pursue Kevin.
Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater said it was high time they added a gay character to Riverdale. The addition is also a way of making the comic more “inclusive.”
“Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone,” he said in a statement. “It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books.”
The Palestinians Dirty War....
No one says it like Khaled Abu Toameh...
Were it not for Israel’s presence between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Fatah and Hamas would most likely be dispatching suicide bombers and rockets at each other.
And they would perhaps still be throwing each other’s supporters from the fifteenth and sixteenth floors of tall buildings had not Israel, in the summer of 2007, helped Fatah members and their families run away from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.
This is not a conflict over which side will bring democracy and good government to the Palestinians so much as it is a power struggle over money and power.
The fight between Hamas and Fatah is not a power struggle between good guys and bad guys: it is a rivalry between bad guys and bad guys.
Fatah leaders hate Hamas to a point where they are even prepared to ally themselves with the “Israeli enemy” to achieve their goal of overthrowing the Hamas government. During Israel’s last massive military operation in the Gaza Strip over a year ago, Fatah officials provided Israel with valuable intelligence that resulted in the killing of many Hamas operatives.
A state is not something that Palestinians should expect Binyamin Netanyahu or Ehud Olmert or Shimon Peres to give them on a silver platter. A state is something that the people earn by standing united and establishing good government and proper institutions and infrastructure, as well as democracy and a strong economy.
The only way to make progress towards peace is by insisting that the Palestinians first get their act together.
Silence regarding Malmo.....
A nice essay by Philip Wendahl at Norway's Human Rights Service (and translated by Bruce Bawer)...
Last year in Malmö, the number of hate crimes against Jews quadrupled in comparison with the preceding year. The grim figures are especially surprising given that, as is usual with hate crimes, many victims do not dare to report them out of fear that doing so might bring on further harassment.
As the same time that this is happening, the city’s leading politician, Social Democrat Ilmar Reepalu, maintains that there have been no attacks on Jews and that if Jews wish to leave Malmö for Israel it is not the city’s concern.
One is tempted to pinch oneself in the arm in hopes of waking up from all this. The situation I am describing is that of Sweden in the year 2010, yet the odor of 1930s Germany lingers in Reepalu’s words: there have been no attacks on Jews.
That the harassment of Malmö’s Jews is principally the work of Muslims is a source of bewilderment for Swedish politics, which is fixated on, first, ethnicizing conflicts and then assuming the perspective of the victimized minority. At best, the anti-racist groups blind themselves to the current reality, and at worst they choose instead to take on the alleged enemy known as Islamophobia.
That there is Muslim anti-Semitism in our country should not surprise anyone – not even the sleepy Social Democrats – but Reepalu’s words give it a tacit approval, and for this reason Swedish politicians share the blame for these atrocities which are an offense against individuals as well as aganst our civilized society.
Malmö’s politicians should stand up for the Jewish minority whose numbers are lower than those of the Muslim street terrorists and should defend them. There are about 1500 Jews in Malmö and (one hopes) an equal number of friends of Israel. There are hundreds of thousands of people in Malmö with Muslim or Arabic backgrounds.
The Swedish state, too, in its dealings with those who come from homophobic, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, and anti-democratic countries around the world, should consider it an imperative to stress our nation’s democratic and humanistic values.
We must stop being ashamed of our openness and stop apologizing for our values. And the Swedish nation must abandon the legalistic multicultural ideology that all cultures are always equal and equally admirable.
Multiethnicity without regard to people’s skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or gender expression is a cornerstone of democracy, but values should not be relative.
Even “secular” Muslims, after all, come from countries where the regimes are brutal toward Christians and Jews; to expect that these views will magically be left behind when these people cross the nation’s borders is naïve and dangerous.
But while the streets fall into the hands of the strong, Malmö’s own strong man not only turns a blind eye to the anti-Semitism that is washing over the world, but spurs it on.
When Israeli tennis players were welcomed to Malmö for a friendly Davis Cup match between our two countries’ teams, Reepalu felt palpable unease being in the same room as these Jews. Asked a few years ago who was the world’s worst living individual, Reepalu answered Ariel Sharon.
Of course there is good reason to criticize Sharon – but if I had been asked the same question, such names as Putin, Saddam Hussein (who was alive at the time), Fidel Castro, Omar Al-Bashir, or (why not?) Hu Jintao would have seemed more appropriate, given the thousands of murders, expulsions, rapes, and assaults of which all these men were guilty. Reepalu’s answer fleshes out our picture of him.
When the Jewish community arranged a peace demonstration in the town square, participants scattered when left-wing groups, together with Islamist groups armed with glass bottles, eggs, rockets, and Hamas flags, ran them off. The response from Malmö’s city hall? None.
And when the Jewish funeral chapel was vandalized? Nothing.
And when burkas marked with the words “Zyklon B” were placed at the Jewish cemetery? Not a word.
And when the synagogue in Helsingborg was set on fire – and when Jewish merchants were harassed? Utter silence.
A dense odor of the 1930s hangs over the streets of Malmö.
Did a Palestinian rocket hit Jordan???
Both Eilat and Aqaba were hit...
A rocket launched from outside Jordan struck a refrigerated warehouse in the country's Red Sea port city of Aqaba, officials said Thursday.
Jodanian Information Minister Nabil al-Sharif said initial investigations indicate the rocket was a Russian-designed Grad that was fired from beyond Jordan's borders. He said authorities continue to look into the explosion to determine exactly where the missile was launched from.
Al-Sharif, who is also a government spokesman, told The Associated Press the rocket damaged a refrigerated warehouse on Aqaba's northern outskirts. No deaths or injuries were reported.
Earlier Thursday, police said they found the remains of what they thought was a Katyusha rocket. They said they were trying to determine the launch site and who might have been behind the attack.
Aqaba residents reported hearing at least two early morning explosions in the city.
Israeli media also reported that two rockets hit Aqaba and Israel's nearby port of Eilat.
The Israeli army said it searched the Eilat area after the reports surfaced but found no evidence of anything landing in Israel.
The incident occurred as jitters were high a week after Israel issued an "urgent" warning to its citizens to leave Egypt's nearby Sinai Peninsula immediately, citing "concrete evidence of an expected terrorist attempt to kidnap Israelis in Sinai."
Chinese working hard to weaken sanctions against Iran...
China has proposed changes to a U.S.-drafted resolution that would impose tough new sanctions against Iran to pressure the Islamic Republic to start negotiations on its suspect nuclear program, U.N. diplomats said Wednesday.
The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations are private, indicated the Chinese amendments would weaken the U.S. sanctions proposal. China's U.N. Ambassador Li Baodong said last week that Beijing wants to focus on "diplomacy" rather than harsh sanctions.
These Europeans are right....
Time to put the Iranian Revolutionary Guards on the terrorist list....
A broad swath of prominent European intellectuals and politicians, crisscrossing Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, are slated to announce on Wednesday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) should be put on the European Union terror list, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
The European “Stop the Bomb” coalition, which advocates aggressive European-based sanctions against the Iranian government, organized the petition.
The petition, signed by the likes of Elfriede Jelinek, the Austrian winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004, reads: “As Iran’s most important trading partner, the EU is in a unique position to effect change. Therefore, the EU has the responsibility to impose severe sanctions to thwart Teheran’s drive towards nuclear weapons, and to firmly act towards the protection of human rights in Iran.”
Those who support designating the IRGC a terrorist entity encompass a wide range of the left and conservative political spectrum. Gisela Stuart, Labor MP in the UK and Italy’s Gianni Vernetti, a MP from the liberal Alliance for Italy and former secretary of state for foreign affairs, were two of a number of parliamentarians who advocate isolating the IRGC.
Former Spanish minister of defense and Socialist party member Julian García Vargas also signed the anti-IRGC petition, as did Mats G. Nilsson, a Swedish MP from the Moderate Party, and Claude Goasguen, a French MP from the center-right Union for a Popular Movement.
“By targeting the Revolutionary Guards, Europe can lead the way with ‘smart’ sanctions that cripple the Iranian energy sector – the lifeblood of the men who rule Iran – and, in doing so, support the Iranian reformers against a brutal and illegitimate regime,” according to Mark Dubowitz, executive director the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a leading expert on the Revolutionary Guards and energy sanctions, who spoke to the Post on Tuesday.
South Park Creators Threatened....
How dare they portray Muhammed in a bear suit????
The radical, pro-Jihad website RevolutionMuslim.com has issued a threat to Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of the comedy show "South Park." The website wants the South Park creators to stop pillorying Muhammad on their show. The website rants about how deeply offended it is that Mohammed was portrayed in a bear suit in the South Park episode.
In the midst of the website's threats about South Park sketch about Muhammad they show a photo of the corpse of Theo Von Gogh, with a knife wedged in his chest. This certainly seems to be a death threat to the creators of South Park.
The website states "We have to warn Matt and Trey that what they are doing is stupid and they will probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them."
Netanyahu on Israel's fallen soldiers....
Forty-three years ago, this hill, Ammunition Hill, symbolized a wounded city, a city cut in half, and in its heart- a wall.
Today, along the outline of that same wall, there are light-rail tracks that will connect the flourishing Jerusalem neighborhoods established and built during the decades that have passed since the very day we are marking here today.
Twice we have paid the heavy cost of liberating the siege on Jerusalem–first, during the War of Independence, and again, when the city was bombed during the Six Day War.
One of the most decisive battles of that campaign was fought right here. True heroes fell here, and together with their comrades all along the frontlines, they changed the lives of our people, our country and our city.
Jerusalem, which until that time had been a divided and weakened city, became once again a city full of life, creativity and renewal.
Today, children play in the trenches of Ammunition Hill and in other former battle sites; cultural events are held in Sultan’s Pool. Today, there is a museum at the Tourgeman House, which was a fortified outpost. On the wall of that museum, between the holes left by bullets, there is something written in Hebrew, Arabic and English: “Our borders will be olive trees.”
Not one day has passed without us reaching out to our neighbors in peace. Not even one day, and we still reach out to those of our neighbors that desire peace.
Over the years, we have learned that the olive branches of peace will only be attained if we are strong and are willing to defend our country as did those who have fallen here. The fighters at Ammunition Hill and the other battles gave their lives for the revival and the security of the State of Israel.
It was not out of a lust for battle that they charged this destination and other hills, but out of faith in the justness of the cause of defending the one and only country of the Jewish people.
It was with this same belief that other fighters fell – from the fighters of Latrun during the War of Independence, to those who fell recently, Major Eliraz Peretz and Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky who recently fell in the Gaza Strip.
They all believed in the right of the Jewish people to live in peace and security in the land of their forefathers.
I mentioned olive trees. 182 olive trees surround us on this hill. Each one of them commemorates one of the 182 sons, fathers, brothers and husbands who fell in the campaign for Jerusalem.
Every one of these trees dedicated to one of the fallen symbolizes life out of the grief.
“A staff will emerge from the stump of Yishai and a shoot will sprout from his roots.”
This is our path – the path of Judaism and of Israel, as our non-Jewish brothers also fell.
The life that grows here – in Jerusalem and in the entire State of Israel – is both a duty and an edict that we repay to the fallen on a daily basis. It is the ancient decree to establish a country here whose magnificence will last for generations, a country that through its very existence and the building of its future justifies the painful sacrifice.
My brothers and sisters, members of the bereaved families, I am very familiar with the grief, pain and the feeling of loss that despite all attempts to do so, cannot be assuaged.
I have felt this loss in my heart and seen the scars it left on my late mother, on my father (may he have a long life) and on my brother.
I know the grief we experience every day as members of bereaved families.
My dear family gathered here today,
Independence Day and Memorial Day are an indelible part of each other. We know that the former is impossible without the latter. If only it were different.
But I know that this day is different because the entire people of Israel embrace us in their hearts: parents, siblings, wives and children of the Israeli family of bereavement.
Personally, and on behalf of the entire nation, I too embrace you and remember our loved ones.
May their souls be forever joined in the bonds of life and be in our memories forever.
Obama's Muslim Outreach....
Are they going too far????
When President Obama took the stage in Cairo last June, promising a new relationship with the Islamic world, Muslims in America wondered only half-jokingly whether the overture included them. After all, Mr. Obama had kept his distance during the campaign, never visiting an American mosque and describing the false claim that he was Muslim as a “smear” on his Web site.
Nearly a year later, Mr. Obama has yet to set foot in an American mosque. And he still has not met with Muslim and Arab-American leaders. But less publicly, his administration has reached out to this politically isolated constituency in a sustained and widening effort that has left even skeptics surprised.
Muslim and Arab-American advocates have participated in policy discussions and received briefings from top White House aides and other officials on health care legislation, foreign policy, the economy, immigration and national security. They have met privately with a senior White House adviser, Valerie Jarrett, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to discuss civil liberties concerns and counterterrorism strategy.
The impact of this continuing dialogue is difficult to measure, but White House officials cited several recent government actions that were influenced, in part, by the discussions. The meeting with Ms. Napolitano was among many factors that contributed to the government’s decision this month to end a policy subjecting passengers from 14 countries, most of them Muslim, to additional scrutiny at airports, the officials said.
That emergency directive, enacted after a failed Dec. 25 bombing plot, has been replaced with a new set of intelligence-based protocols that law enforcement officials consider more effective.
Also this month, Tariq Ramadan, a prominent Muslim academic, visited the United States for the first time in six years after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reversed a decision by the Bush administration, which had barred Mr. Ramadan from entering the country, initially citing the U.S.A. Patriot Act. Mrs. Clinton also cleared the way for another well-known Muslim professor, Adam Habib, who had been denied entry under similar circumstances.
Arab-American and Muslim leaders said they had yet to see substantive changes on a variety of issues, including what they describe as excessive airport screening, policies that have chilled Muslim charitable giving and invasive F.B.I. surveillance guidelines. But they are encouraged by the extent of their consultation by the White House and governmental agencies.
“For the first time in eight years, we have the opportunity to meet, engage, discuss, disagree, but have an impact on policy,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington. “We’re being made to feel a part of that process and that there is somebody listening.”
In the post-9/11 era, Muslims and Arab-Americans have posed something of a conundrum for the government: they are seen as a political liability but also, increasingly, as an important partner in countering the threat of homegrown terrorism. Under President George W. Bush, leaders of these groups met with government representatives from time to time, but said they had limited interaction with senior officials. While Mr. Obama has yet to hold the kind of high-profile meeting that Muslims and Arab-Americans seek, there is a consensus among his policymakers that engagement is no longer optional.
The administration’s approach has been understated. Many meetings have been private; others were publicized only after the fact. A visit to New York University in February by John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, drew little news coverage, but caused a stir among Muslims around the country. Speaking to Muslim students, activists and others, Mr. Brennan acknowledged many of their grievances, including “surveillance that has been excessive,” “overinclusive no-fly lists” and “an unhelpful atmosphere around many Muslim charities.”
The secret behind earthquakes....
Finally, the secret has been revealed....
A senior Iranian cleric has claimed that dolled-up women incite extramarital sex, causing more earthquakes in Iran, a country that straddles several fault lines, newspapers reported on Saturday.
"Many women who dress inappropriately ... cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes," Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi told worshippers at Tehran Friday prayer.
"Calamities are the result of people's deeds," he was quoted as saying by reformist Aftab-e Yazd newspaper. "We have no way but conform to Islam to ward off dangers."
US has no Iran plan....
Now, this is scary....
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document.
Booker on Climategate....
Christopher Booker is one of the best reports on 'global warming'....
The most widely quoted of the Climategate emails was that from the CRU’s director, Philip Jones, saying that he had used “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline”. If there was anything in the CRU’s record which a proper inquiry should have addressed it was the story behind this email, because what it highlighted was the device used by the CRU to get round the fact that its tree-ring data hopelessly failed to show the result the warmist establishment wanted. When their Siberian tree rings showed temperatures in the late 20th century sharply dropping rather than rising, the “trick” used by Prof Jones and his colleague Dr Keith Briffa, copied from Mike Mann’s own “hockey stick”, was simply to delete the downward curve shown by the tree rings, replacing them with late 20th-century temperature data to show the dramatic warming they wanted.
The significance of this sleight of hand can scarcely be exaggerated. Why, in using this misleading graph, did the IPCC not explain the trick that had been played by its leading scientists? If tree rings were so inadequate in reflecting 20th-century temperatures, why should they be relied on to reflect temperatures in earlier centuries? Why, when fresh Siberian tree ring data came to light, making a nonsense of the CRU’s earlier temperature reconstructions, did the CRU simply ignore the new data?
Anyone who has followed the meticulous analysis of this curious story by Steve McIntyre on his Climate Audit website might well conclude that we are looking here at a complete travesty of proper scientific procedure, matched only by the bizarre methods used by Mann himself to construct his original hockey stick. Yet these are the men, Mann, Jones and Briffa, who acted as the “lead authors” of the key chapters of the IPCC’s 2001 and 2007 reports.
They quite shamelessly promoted the rewriting of history produced by themselves and a small group of colleagues – the so-called Hockey Team – which the IPCC in turn used as its main evidence to convince the politicians that the world faces unprecedented warming.
Yet scarcely a hint of this hugely important story is contained in the Oxburgh report, which simply glosses it over, hoping to appease critics by throwing in a few vaguely critical comments about how Jones and his team were a trifle “disorganised” in archiving their data. It ignores the utterly damning critiques of the CRU’s methodology produced by McIntyre and McKitrick. It does not even begin to question the way the CRU has compiled its global temperature record, relied on by the IPCC as the most authoritative of all the official data sources for surface temperatures.
Yet this in turn has given rise to all sorts of controversies, not least when Prof Jones last year admitted that much of his data had been “lost” (following his repeated refusals of applications to see it by McIntyre and others). More damaging still was the charge by senior Russian scientists that, in compiling its global record, CRU had cherry-picked the data supplied from Russia, suppressing that from most of the country while retaining the data from the vicinity of cities which, thanks to the “urban heat island” effect, showed a warming trend. So even the accuracy of CRU’s temperature record has been called seriously in doubt, although one would never have guessed it from Oxburgh.
As is reflected in so many political tragedies, from Macbeth to Watergate, it is often not the original dark act itself which leads to nemesis but the later attempts to “trammel up the consequence”. Nothing will do more to reinforce suspicion of the CRU’s conduct than the failure, first by those MPs, and now by the team led by Lord Oxburgh, to address properly the way in which it appears to have abused the principles of true science – a scandal which should be of concern not just to us here in Britain, who paid for it, but across the world.
Terry Glavin Names Names....
Yes, it's time to look at the anti-war crowd who actually support terror states like Iran...
Michael Petrou reports on an organization in Toronto that describes itself as a non-partisan centre for Iranian culture and scholarship, but is in fact funded by the Iranian embassy in Ottawa. Founded by a well-connected Iranian diplomat, The Center for Iranian Studies, located at 290 Sheppard Ave. W., was incorporated in January 2008. One of its three directors at the time was Fazel Larijani, who was then Iran’s cultural attaché in Ottawa. He is the brother of Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, and Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, head of the judiciary.
It is now time to begin to name names, dates, and places, writes Samira Mohyeddin, whose torments readers will remember from this column. "These students, a lot of them bursary students, were in many of my classes and were adamant supporters of the Islamic Republic. It was often noted by other students that these students from Iran would spy on those of us who would vocalise our opposition to the Iranian regime. I myself have been threatened on numerous occasions, particularly while writing for the University of Toronto newspaper, The Varsity."
Here's some names to keep in mind: The Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War (TCSW) and the Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) jointly sponsored a conference in Toronto that concerned itself with "US imperialism and the increasingly bellicose threats against Islamic Iran." Key speakers: Mohamed Elmasry, Zafar Bangash, Fazel Larijani, Imam Mohammed al-Asi, Sid Lacombe (Canadian Peace Alliance), James Clark (Toronto Coalition to Stop the War) and Barbara Abu Zahra (International Women's Peace Service).
Why I like Don Cherry.....
Of course, I also like him when he is bombastic...
It is when he speaks from the heart that the old hockey coach matters more than ever before.
Cherry would make an abrupt transition toward the end of Wednesday's edition of Coach's Corner. His voice dipped several decibels, while our television screens were filled by the image of Private Tyler Todd, Canada's 142nd casualty in the war in Afghanistan.
Todd was in uniform, and bordered by two Canadian flags. His eyes were bright in the photograph, and his smile slightly crooked. He looked like a kid you might have known in university, or maybe played hockey with. He was not just a statistic.
Cherry told us how Todd grew up on a diary farm in Ontario, and that when he was little boy his favourite thing to do was to try on his grandfather's old army uniform. He told us his mother's name was Bev, and his father, Bryan.
"The troops talk about how [Todd] used to lug around a blanket all the time," Cherry said, his voice wavering, verging on tears. "His Mom had given it to him to remind him of home."
This was not a Peter Mansbridge moment. The trusted CBC anchor was not speaking to the country in a detached, authoritative, newscaster tone. This was a 76-year-old grandfather blubbering away on national television about someone else's son.
Say what you want about Canada's involvement in Afghanistan, and think what you will about the value or the folly of the interventionist enterprise, but we are there, or at least a few thousand of us.
It is easy to forget, especially when the spring is upon us, the sun is shining and our everyday lives are happily humming along as we head toward summer. We get up. We go to work, and those with kids can come home and hug them, eat dinner and then gather as a family in front of a good old NHL playoff game.
It is a national ritual. And Hockey Night in Canada is our church. And Cherry, for all his bad suits, bluster, mangled mispronunciations and old, white male dinosaur attitudes, understands that for five or six minutes, he is in the pulpit, commanding the attention of a flock.
In using some of his hockey sermon to speak to the family of a fallen soldier he is speaking directly to us. Reminding us that there are Tyler Todds out there, in a dusty, faraway place, getting up and doing a dangerous job each day and being willing to die for it.
It is staggering to think about. Cherry makes us think. He has been doing it for several years. And it is the most important thing he does. Listening to the emotion in the old coach's voice as he talks about the latest combat death, and seeing a photograph of a young man's face that will never have a chance to grow old, is heartbreaking. If only for a moment, the faraway place suddenly feels very close to home.
"He was a volunteer fireman," Cherry said of the young soldier. "That's the kind of guy [he was]."
He was 26 years old when he was killed.
When Armageddon lives next door...
Benny Morris says we should take Ahmadinejad's threats personally.....
I take it personally: Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, wants to murder me, my family and my people. Day in, day out, he announces the imminent demise of the "Zionist regime," by which he means Israel. And day in, day out, his scientists and technicians are advancing toward the atomic weaponry that will enable him to bring this about.
The Jews of Europe (and Poles, Russians, Czechs, the French, etc.) should likewise have taken personally Adolf Hitler's threats and his serial defiance of the international community from 1933 to 1939. But he was allowed, by the major powers and the League of Nations, to flex his muscles, rearm, remilitarize the Rhineland and then gobble up neighboring countries. Had he been stopped before the invasion of Poland and the start of World War II, the lives of many millions, Jews and Gentiles, would have been saved. But he wasn't.
And it doesn't look like Ahmadinejad will be either. Not by the United States and the international community, at any rate. President Obama, when not obsessing over the fate of the ever- aggrieved Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, proposes to halt Ahmadinejad's nuclear program by means of international sanctions. But here's the paradox: The wider Obama casts his net to mobilize as many of the world's key players as he can, the weaker the sanctions and the more remote their implementation. China, it appears, will only agree to a U.N. Security Council resolution if the sanctions are diluted to the point of meaninglessness (and maybe not even then). The same appears to apply to the Russians. Meanwhile, Iran advances toward the bomb. Most of the world's intelligence agencies believe that it is only one to three years away.
A Gazan joke....
Are they getting tired of violence???
A MACABRE new joke doing the rounds of Gaza’s cafés makes light of the unpredictability of the home-made rockets sporadically fired at Israel by Palestinian militants from within the besieged territory. One of the missiles falls short inside the Gaza Strip, killing a family of five. “You see how effective they are,” explains a spokesman in his militia’s heroic communiqué.
Of course, something like this just happened last week!
Even Ben-Gurion gets protested....
Everything must be protested....
For President Shimon Peres, one of the crowning achievements in a six decades plus career as a politician and statesman was the inauguration on Thursday of the Ben Gurion Promenade in Paris.
However, the dedication ceremony was not without incident. For several months prior to the event there had been attempts by Communists and pro-Palestinian elements to prevent the naming of the promenade after Ben Gurion. Moreover there was frustration on the part of the same elements because Delanoe would not agree to name a square or promenade after PLO leader Yasser Arafat.
Anti-Israel demonstrators lined the banks of the Seine and some even boarded a pleasure boat from which they displayed banners and posters with anti-Israel slogans. Some of the demonstrators called Ben Gurion a criminal, shouted that he had been responsible for expelling Palestinians from their homeland in 1948 and charged the Netanyahu government with continuing a policy of seizing Palestinian property and indulging in needless killing of Palestinians.
Despite the fact that Peres is widely recognized throughout the world as a peacemaker, and notwithstanding the fact he and Yitzhak Rabin received the Nobel Peace Prize together with Yasser Arafat, his peacemaking efforts were not recognized by the demonstrators who claimed that he was no less a criminal than Ben Gurion.
Hamas executes 2 people.....
They collaborated with Israel...whatever that means...
The Hamas government in Gaza on Thursday executed by firing squad two Palestinians it said had collaborated with Israel during Operation Cast Lead.
The bodies of Muhammad Ismail and Nasr Abu Frayej were transported to the hospital immediately after the execution.
Eight additional Gazans have been sentenced to death on the same charges.
Over the past few weeks human rights groups urged Hamas to reverse the decision to execute the collaborators. The Islamist group published polls according to which the overwhelming majority of Palestinians support the execution of convicted collaborators.
The executions were carried out without the authorization of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as is required by Palestinian law. The rivalry between Hamas and Abbas' Fatah faction has reached a fever pitch and has often turned violent since Hamas took over Gaza in the summer of 2007.
In January 2009, during the IDF offensive, Hamas executed six Palestinians on suspicion of collaboration with Israel.
A letter to President Obama...
Dear President Obama:
I write today as a proud American and a proud Jew.
Jews around the world are concerned today. We are concerned about the nuclear ambitions of an Iranian regime that brags about its genocidal intentions against Israel. We are concerned that the Jewish state is being isolated and delegitimized.
Mr. President, we are concerned about the dramatic deterioration of diplomatic relations between the United States and Israel.
The Israeli housing bureaucracy made a poorly timed announcement and your Administration branded it an “insult.” This diplomatic faux pas was over the fourth stage of a seven stage planning permission process – a plan to build homes years from now in a Jewish area of Jerusalem that under any peace agreement would remain an integral part of Israel.
Our concern grows to alarm as we consider some disturbing questions. Why does the thrust of this Administration’s Middle East rhetoric seem to blame Israel for the lack of movement on peace talks? After all, it is the Palestinians, not Israel, who refuse to negotiate.
Israel has made unprecedented concessions. It has enacted the most far reaching West Bank settlement moratorium in Israeli history.
Israel has publicly declared support for a two-state solution. Conversely, many Palestinians continue their refusal to even acknowledge Israel’s right to exist.
The conflict’s root cause has always been the Palestinian refusal to accept Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Every American President who has tried to broker a peace agreement has collided with that Palestinian intransigence, sooner or later. Recall President Clinton’s anguish when his peace proposals were bluntly rejected by the Palestinians in 2000. Settlements were not the key issue then.
They are not the key issue now.
Another important question is this: what is the Administration’s position on Israel’s borders in any final status agreement? Ambiguity on this matter has provoked a wave of rumors and anxiety. Can it be true that America is no longer committed to a final status agreement that provides defensible borders for Israel? Is a new course being charted that would leave Israel with the indefensible borders that invited invasion prior to 1967?
There are significant moves from the Palestinian side to use those indefensible borders as the basis for a future unilateral declaration of independence. How would the United States respond to such a reckless course of action?
And what are America’s strategic ambitions in the broader Middle East? The Administration’s desire to improve relations with the Muslim world is well known. But is friction with Israel part of this new strategy? Is it assumed worsening relations with Israel can improve relations with Muslims? History is clear on the matter: appeasement does not work. It can achieve the opposite of what is intended.
And what about the most dangerous player in the region? Shouldn’t the United States remain focused on the single biggest threat that confronts the world today? That threat is a nuclear armed Iran. Israel is not only America’s closest ally in the Middle East, it is the one most committed to this Administration’s declared aim of ensuring Iran does not get nuclear weapons.
Mr. President, we embrace your sincerity in your quest to seek a lasting peace. But we urge you to take into consideration the concerns expressed above. Our great country and the tiny State of Israel have long shared the core values of freedom and democracy. It is a bond much treasured by the Jewish people. In that spirit I submit, most respectfully, that it is time to end our public feud with Israel and to confront the real challenges that we face together.
Ronald S. Lauder
World Jewish Congress