Palestinian Authority officials have expressed outrage at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) decision to ban any display of Palestinian Authority flags at next month’s Eurovision song contest in Sweden.
But it wasn’t personal — a fact that seems to have escaped the notice of the PA government in Ramallah.
EBU released the “flag policy” on their website on Friday. “Particularly, the organizers request and urge the fan community to respect and appreciate the non-political nature of the Eurovision Song Contest,” the statement read. Only flags representing UN member states are to be permitted, along with the “rainbow flag” and the European Union flag – but only if they are not “used as [a] tool to intentionally make a political statement during the show.”
There is a long list of “not” permitted flags, which include local, regional, or provincial flags, those with commercial messages, “flags of disputed territories,” offensive statements, non-English statements and high objects such as selfie-sticks that might obstruct the cameras. There are also size restrictions as well.
Nevertheless, newly-appointed PLO secretary-general and heir-apparent Saeb Erekat slammed the decision on Saturday.
Writing to EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot, Erekat expressed his “outrage and indignation” according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency, and a post on Twitter. Erekat called the decision “discriminatory and a serious offense against our nation.”
The EBU, which produces the show, also banned flags from other disputed political entities such as Crimea, Northern Cyprus and – as the “Palestine Chronicle” noted – the Islamic State. (No, this is no joke – the PC really did write that and apparently really intended it as a geographical and political reference.)
The first semi-final will be held on May 10, the second on May 12 and the final date is set for May 14.
According to a report this week on the U.S.-based Fox News network, the data-mining technology would have helped French authorities “connect all the dots” in the Islamist extremist community, because it works by analyzing and matching up fragmented intelligence reports from several different national and international databases. The software then provides the most up-to-date information available on potential terrorists for its clients, such as counter terrorism agents.
The offer was made to the Directorate-General for Internal Security (DGSI) of France, the country’s main intelligence agency, in accordance with a pledge made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to work closely with Europe on enhancing security following attacks in France and Brussels. In Israel, that was seen as a call to share intelligence and technology.
“In Paris or Brussels or San Bernardino or Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, terror must be condemned equally and it must be fought equally,” Netanyahu warned at the time.
But Israel’s offer was rejected.
An Israeli counter terror specialist familiar with the technology and the company told FoxNews.com, “French authorities liked it but the official came back and said there was a higher-level instruction not to buy Israeli technology.
“The discussion just stopped.”
Instead, Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists carried out a series of eight attacks terror attacks, including several suicide bombings, on November 13, 2015, in central Paris. President Francois Hollande called the attacks an “act of war” by ISIS. They were planned in Syria, organized in Belgium and carried out with help from citizens of France. All of the known attackers were EU citizens who had fought with Da’esh in Syria.
The European Union is now paying the price for its unswerving commitment to uphold the “rights” of the Palestinian Authority, right or wrong, against Israel even at the cost of its own security. The EU has been directly involved in the funding and construction of infrastructure, homes and schools by Palestinian Authority Arabs on Israeli-controlled land in Area C under the Oslo Accords, despite its illegality. The EU has also been supportive of a boycott against Israeli-produced goods, even going so far as to issue guidelines urging its member states to label products manufactured in post-1967 Jewish communities as non-Israeli, regardless of the citizenship of the producers.
The European Union has just barely avoided an outright stance supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
France complied – it obviously agreed with the stance, nor is President Hollande’s dislike for Prime Minister Netanyahu any national secret – and the bill has now come due for French hatred at the top.
The British Labour Party is similarly afflicted with rampant anti-Semitism. What price will the UK end up paying for its love of Arab hatred?
The European Union released a statement earlier today in which it condemned the military courts in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip for sentencing to death five convicts accused of collaborating with Israel.
“The EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah condemn the five death sentences issued by military courts in the Gaza Strip on 18 April,” said the EU statement. “These include three new death sentences and the confirmation of two previous ones, all on the grounds of collaboration with enemy forces.”
“This brings to ten the total number of death sentences to be issued in Gaza this year,” the EU added.
Death sentences for convicted informants and collaborators with Israel are nothing new for the Hamas regime as the terror organization has executed many such individuals over the years. However, the EU focused less on opposition to the punishment of suspected collaborators with Israel and more on the use of the death penalty in general.
“As in their most recent statement on 13 April, the EU Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah recall the EU’s firm opposition under all circumstances to the use of capital punishment,” the EU stressed in its statement.
“It considers capital punishment to be cruel and inhuman, that it fails to provide deterrence to criminal behavior, and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity,” the statement continued.
The EU expressed its belief that the removal of the death penalty would help to serve as a step forward in the advancement of human rights under the Hamas terror regime in Gaza.
The EU also asked that the Hamas authorities in Gaza abide by the decision of the Palestinian Authority, which only governs over Palestinian communities in Judea and Samaria and not in Gaza, to implement a moratorium on the death penalty.
“The authorities in Gaza must refrain from carrying out any executions of prisoners and comply with the moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority, pending abolition of the death penalty in line with the global trend,” insisted the EU.
(JNi.media) Despite the EU’s decision to label products from the settlements in Judea and Samaria, an economic cooperation agreement has been signed Wednesday between the Valtellina valley in the Sondrio province in northern Italy and the Shomron Regional Council in Samaria, Walla reported. The signing ceremony, in the city of Sondrio, at the heart of the Valley, was attended by vintners from both regions.
Valtellina is home to 180 thousand inhabitants, the Shomron Council boasts 29 Jewish towns and villages, with an estimated 25 thousand residents. The ceremony was held by Shomron Council Chairman Yossi Dagan and Province of Sondrio President Luca della Briotta. The signing of the cooperation agreement was made possible with the mediation of the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr. Fiorello Provera MEP, formerly the president of Valtellina.
“With great pleasure, We, the undersigned, Regional Directors of Valtellina and Shomron respectively, announce our agreement for bilateral relations between our two regions, which will begin immediately with the signing of this agreement,” reads the pact. “The goal of this declaration of cooperation is to promote culture, science, industry, trade, tourism, agriculture and technology between leaders in each field in our communities.”
After the signing, President della Briotta said “the friendship between the region of Valtellina and Samaria has lasted a long time, and we hope that this friendship will grow stronger, and will gain ground. I am convinced that these days the world needs to cooperate, and sign covenants of peace, so that in the end we will reach a true peace.”
The vintners from both regions said they were looking forward to cooperation in technical knowledge and marketing, despite the EU Commission’s decision, which seeks to limit them, Walla reported. Dr. Provera said, “I think the EU’s decision to boycott Israeli products is a mistake and it would hurt both industry and the common people, including thousands of Palestinian families who actually make their living from working for Israelis in these plants.” He said “it’s a decision that will affect the common people, not the rich.”
The army soon may be allowed to act like an army and actually fire at terrorists even if soldiers might only be liable to be wounded and not killed.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet Wednesday morning that there will be a re-examination of a recent decision to prohibit soldiers from shooting at rock-throwing and firebombing terrorists unless their lives are in immediate danger.
Since the legal system is finding it difficult to deal with stone-throwing by minors, changing open-fire orders regarding the throwing of stones and firebombs will be examined, as will be the imposition – by law – of minimum sentences for those who throw stones and firebombs.
Stiffer sentences, including several years in prison, for rock-throwers already are on the agenda following an imitative by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
The issue of minors throwing rocks, intended to kill Israeli drivers either with a direct hit in the face or by causing them to lose control of their vehicles and crash, was highlighted around the world earlier this week with the video of a Palestinian Authority family whose children are “stars” in rock-throwing attacks on soldiers, whose reactions are filmed and edited to portray the children as innocent victims of a big bad army.
The video showed the children and adults punching and beating the soldier, who sat helpless and without even aiming his semi-automatic rifle at them.
Prime Minister Netanyahu did not refer to the most recent “Pallywood” video and instead focused on the increasing number of attacks on Highway 443, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway that is an alternate to Highway 1 and which also connects the capital with the suburban city of Modi’in.
He told the Security Cabinet:
The policy is zero tolerance for stone-throwing and zero tolerance for terrorism.
That has been said over and over, but the government and military actually have shown 100% tolerance by tying the hands of soldiers trying to defend themselves and civilians.
One young woman told TheJewishPress.com she still is traumatized by an ambush on a vehicle in which she was riding on Highway 60 between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.
“S. B.” said”
Arabs smashed the back windshield and ambushed our car. An IDF officer at the scene communicated with his superior, who told him not shoot. The officer replied, ‘How am I supposed to defend civilians if I can’t shoot?’
The IDF’s answer earlier this month was not encouraging and was so cowardly that even international media such as Newsweek reported:
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has tightened its rules of engagement for soldiers based in the West Bank in a move one analyst says could embolden would-be Palestinian attackers.
IDF soldiers have been instructed not to shoot at Palestinian suspects unless they pose an immediate threat to life in an updated directive issued by Major General Roni Numa, who is in charge of IDF Central Command….
The new directive clarifies existing IDF rules on opening fire against Palestinians. The rules stipulate that soldiers can only shoot when their lives are threatened—so if an attacker throws a firebomb at soldiers before running away, for example, the soldiers can only shoot in the air, as the attacker no longer poses a threat to forces.
Asaf Day, an Israeli security analyst with Tel Aviv-based consultancy Max Security…said, ‘I think [these measures] will encourage Palestinians to carry out more attacks and I think it has been proven in the past.”
That is exactly what has happened, and the Prime Minister gave clear signs today he will rectify the situation.
He also ordered the examination of several defensive measures, such as increasing lighting and the number of security cameras on Highway 443. In addition, two more Border Police companies and approximately 400 more police officers will be stationed in Jerusalem.
That does not solve the problem in Judea and Samaria, where rock-throwing attacks are so common that they no longer are reported by most media, unless someone is seriously injured or killed. That is similar to the rocket attacks from Gaza. If they “land,” meaning “explode,” in “open areas,” the liberal media might consider it important enough for two paragraphs.
The “turn the other cheek for the sake of ‘peace'” mentality that successive U.S. governments and the European Union have imposed on Israel still prevails in many quarters.
As usual, it takes more violence and injures before the government and the IDF begins to think that maybe, just maybe, soldiers should be allowed to shoot at terrorists, whether they are shooting bullets or throwing rocks.
Netanyahu took the first step today by suggesting that perhaps solders can shoot, even if rocks and firebombs might cause them injuries and not death.
Below the photo, a video shows Palestinian children, starring Shirley Temper.
A senior U.S. official said Sunday it is prepared to extend talks with Iran beyond the June 30 deadline, which is a surprise to no one.
This is why The JewishPress.com has been laying low on the negotiations between the P5+1 and the Islamic Republic.
It was clear as the nose on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s face that “deadline” in the Persian language means “maybe tomorrow.”
Talks have been going on for three years, and the “final” deadline of last November has been extended, as was every other deadline before and after.
President Barack Obama knows that Iran is playing games. Iran knows that Obama knows, and Obama knows that Iran knows… and so on and so forth.
The problem is that the game is over a nuclear weapon, which under Iran’s definition of peaceful purposes would be used as a threat to annihilate Israel and rid the world of Zionism, which is responsible for horrors such as the mobile phone, instant messaging, WAZE, drugs against Muscular Sclerosis, USB, Rummikub, the model for desalination, solar energy, drones, computer chips, breast tumor imaging and Natalie Portman.
We will back with more news around July 2 or maybe the 4th of July, when Iran can force Kerry to celebrate American Independence Day by sweating over a bad deal.
As for now, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif is playing out the script and returning to Tehran tonight. He will back on Monday for the next act.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini made one of the most unimportant comments of the year, stating that a final deal can be achieved if both show “strong political will.”
She added, “We stick to the foreseen timetable. If a few days more are needed, we can take them.”
Some say “a few is eight,” and even more. That would push talks dangerously close to mid-July and might muck up President Barack Obama’s rumored invitation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at that time.
If the invitation is valid, it would set the stage for President Obama to snicker at Prime Minister Netanyahu over a deal that Israel would rather go the way of the Titanic, or brag how he backs Israel so much that he did not agree to a lousy deals that he knows Congress won’t approve.
Many patients in the latter stage of Parkinson’s disease are at high risk of dangerous, sometimes fatal, falls. One major reason is the disabling symptom referred to as Freezing of Gait (FoG) — brief episodes of an inability to step forward that typically occurs during gait initiation or when turning while walking.
Patients who experience FoG often lose their independence, which has a direct effect on their already degenerating quality of life. In the absence of effective pharmacological therapies for FoG, technology-based solutions to alleviate the symptom and prolong the patients’ ability to live independently are desperately being sought.
CuPID is a project three years in the making and the product of an eight-member European Union-funded consortium including researchers at Tel Aviv University. It strives to provide personalized rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson’s disease who experience FoG or other gait disturbances.
CuPID is a home-based, personalized rehabilitation tool in the form of a Smartphone app that harnesses wearable sensors, audio biofeedback, and external cueing to provide intense motivational training tailored to each patient. The results are monitored remotely by medical professionals, who provide quality care while enhancing patient compliance.
The CuPID app just completed its pilot run and is being fine-tuned for more widespread use. It utilizes small sensors placed on a patient’s shoes that measure a person’s gait in “real-time.” If certain deviations from a pre-set norm emerge, an audio message alerts the patient to change his or her walking pattern immediately to avoid a dangerous situation.
Tel Aviv University Prof. Jeffrey Hausdorff said:
FoG is a leading cause of disability in patients with Parkinson’s disease. It often occurs during ‘walking transitions’ associated with turning, starting, stopping, and moving in open spaces. It can also occur when people approach narrow spaces, such as doors or elevators, and in crowded places. Recognizing such situations is a very powerful key for prevention — and this is one of the features of this program.
Prof. Hausdorff and his team at Tel Aviv Medical Center conducted a pilot study on 40 subjects: 20 patients with Parkinson’s disease who used the CuPID app and 20 patients who carried out conventional exercises and did not use the app. The results are promising and the investigators are currently exploring the possibility of a larger follow-up study to further demonstrate the app’s efficacy. Tel Aviv University Dr. Anat Mirelman, who co-directed the project, explained that FoG episodes resemble a short-circuit in the brain, rendering it unable to generate the appropriate stepping pattern, often leaving the patient in an untenable and frustrating situation. The app is designed to circumvent that difficulty. She said:
FoG reduces patients’ independence. Patients become afraid of walking by themselves and this leads to self-imposed restrictions in mobility. When their feet get stuck to the ground, their bodies lunge forward — it’s very frightening. People often end up in wheelchairs, and this is a vicious cycle, as it places more reliance on the assisted-living infrastructure.
“The program now integrates the expertise of a patient’s physical therapist, who establishes what is considered a patient’s ‘normal’ or ‘strong’ walking pattern,” said Prof. Hausdorff. “It’s unobtrusive and has the potential to reduce dependence on Parkinson’s medication that has detrimental side effects. How much or how often the app is used depends on how advanced the disease is, but since the system is so small and non-invasive, it can be used just about anywhere.”