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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

Kerry Might Celebrate 4th of July by Talking with Iran on Deal

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

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.

Israeli Researchers: Smartphone App May Help Parkinson’s Patients [video]

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

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.”

US, World Powers Offering Nuclear Equipment to Iran

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

A secret eight-page document obtained Tuesday and revealed exclusively by The Associated Press shows just how far the U.S. and world powers are willing to go for a nuclear deal with a Iran.

Dated June 19 and entitled “Civil Nuclear Cooperation,” the document appears to make it clear the international delegation is providing everything Iran needs to produce peaceful nuclear power. Among the equipment to be provided are “high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment.”

Also on Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a speech broadcast live on national state television that Tehran would not agree to a long-term freeze on nuclear development. Nor would he allow international inspectors into military nuclear sites. Finally, he demanded that all sanctions against Iran be lifted immediately upon signing a deal with the U.S. led group of world powers.

In offering cutting-edge light-water nuclear reactors to replace its heavy-water facility at Arak – which if completed can produce several atomic weapons per year – in effect the group appears to call Iran’s bluff. Either it truly wants to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, or not. If Iran turns the offer down, its intentions are clear.

But according to Omri Ceren of The Israel Project, it may not be that simple. “There is no ‘peaceful only.’ All of this stuff can be re-purposed for weapons work,” he wrote in an emailed reply to JewishPress.com.

“As the annex is written right now… this is no longer a deal to stop the Iranian nuclear program,” he pointed out in a brief prepared for TIP. “It’s a deal to let the Iranians perfect their nuclear program with international assistance and under international protection.

“Some country in the P5+1 will be helping the Iranians develop next-generation centrifuges in a facility impenetrable to American and Israeli bombs,” Ceren contended. “Conversely, any country that wants to sabotage that development will be unable to do so, because the program will be protected and maintained by a major power.

“As the centrifuges are being developed they’ll be spinning non-nuclear elements, but once they’re perfected the Iranians will be able to use them to enrich uranium. The international community will literally be investing in helping Iran achieve a zero breakout.”

UN Releases The Schabes Report: Israeli Self-Defense a ‘War Crime’

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

A wave of disapproval, and perhaps resigned expectation rolled across most of Jewish Israel on Monday afternoon with the release of The Schabes Report (183 pages) by the “Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict.” Professor William Schabes led the Commission, which included Mary McGowan Davis and Doudou Diène.

(The complete 34-page advance executive summary of the report can be viewed by clicking here.)

A Canadian professor of international criminal and human rights law, Schabes has been called “the world expert on the law of genocide and international law.” But Schabes was forced to resign in February 2015 after Israel publicly revealed that he had once been a legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization – a clear conflict of interest. Justice Davis took up the mantle of leadership for the time remaining to the Commission.

Everywhere Israeli soldiers fought in the summer of 2014 was Occupied Palestinian Territory according to the United Nations. But even the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was forced to admit in The Schabes Report that Hamas controls the Gaza region.

As such, even the UN Commission was inspired to refer to the region’s terrorist rulers as a separate governing entity (see item five, page three of the 34-page advance executive summary of the report.) However, the Commission failed to note that it was the population of Gaza who in 2006 democratically elected Hamas* – a terror group whose charter still documents its vow to annihilate the State of Israel — to rule the enclave.

Instead, according to The Schabes Report, anything the Israel Defense Forces did in Gaza to conduct their counter terror military campaign against “Palestinian armed groups” was considered illegal.

There was no mention of the term “human shields,” nor was there any reference to the military activities by Hamas that had provoked the war. Oddly, the Commission blamed the “Occupation” by Israel on page five in item 14: “The hostilities of 2014 erupted in the context of the protracted occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and of the increasing number of rocket attacks on Israel.”

The Commission continued its rant against Israel in a similar vein on page seven, in item six:

“The most important characteristics of the hostilities of 2014 … [were those] that reflect new patterns, notably attacks by Israel on residential buildings resulting in the death of entire families; Israel’s ground operations, which leveled urban neighborhoods; and violations by Palestinian armed groups and authorities in Gaza, including their reliance on attack tunnels.”

The Commission flatly implied that Israel had deliberately set out to murder Gaza civilians and destroy as many civilian residential structures as possible; thereby swallowing terrorist propaganda hook, line and sinker if not in fact actually helping to write the script.

This, despite numerous, concrete satellite imagery and other photographic evidence to the contrary made public during the war by the IDF – all disregarded.

Here’s a snippet from page 12, items 50-52, from the executive summary of the report:

1. The extensive use by the Israel Defense Forces of explosive weapons with wide-area effects, and their probable indiscriminate effects in the built-up neighborhoods of Gaza, are highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks. Such use may, depending on the circumstances, qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime. 2. In addition, the fact that the Israel Defense Forces did not modify the manner in which they conducted their operations after initial episodes of shelling resulted in a large number of civilian deaths indicates that their policies governing the use of artillery in densely populated areas may not be in conformity with international humanitarian law. 3. The commission examined several additional incidents, including attacks on shelters, hospitals and critical infrastructure, in which artillery was used. The use of weapons with wide-area effects against targets in the vicinity of specifically protected objects (such as medical facilities and shelters) is highly likely to constitute a violation of the prohibition of indiscriminate attacks. Depending on the circumstances, indiscriminate attacks may qualify as a direct attack against civilians, and may therefore amount to a war crime.

For the record, according to international law, residential buildings become legitimate military targets when used for military purposes.

France Wants the Whole World to Replace US to Force ‘Peace Process’ [video]

Friday, June 19th, 2015

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is launching a new effort to resurrect the “peace” process” that nobody seems to want, except for Western leaders who see the world from hotel rooms and airplanes.

He is traveling to the Middle East, where he plans to meet with Arab League ministers on Saturday and then with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday.

What new angle could Fabius possibly have in mind to succeed after failures of U.S. Secretaries of State James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher, Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Kerry and special envoy George Mitchell, and who else?

The common denominator in the above names is that they all are Americans, and Fabius figures that is the problem. A senior French diplomat told Reuters:

The method to reach a definitive solution has been for both sides to meet face to face with the Americans as an honest broker, but this method has failed. It needs international support.

It is not as if the United States failed alone, the Quartet – consisting the U.S., Russia, the United Nations and the European Union – also escorted the Palestinian Authority to the grave pit that all of them dug for the peace process.

Fabius is building his illusion on the fallacy that, according to the same diplomat, “We can no longer isolate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the regional context.”

Once upon a time, the failure of an agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel was the supposed root cause of unrest in the Arab world.

Then the disagreement became the reason that no one, except perhaps Israel, could stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Now the fall guy is the Islamic State (ISIS). The diplomat said the current “inertia” is “deadly” because if there is not agreement, the ISIS will adopt the Palestinian Authority cause.

Abbas already has rejected the French proposal for a resolution in the U.N. Security Council to give both sides 18 months to agree, meaning Israel must agree to Abbas’ terms. Abbas; problem is that the French resolution would recognize Israel as a “Jewish” state, and he cannot stomach that.

Fabius, like Kerry, doesn’t take “no” for an answer, at least not for 18 months.

The French Foreign Minister forgets it is “He,” and not “he,” who has the whole in His hands.

Kulanu Chairman Kachlon Apologizes to US for Oren Criticizing Obama

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kachlon rushed off a letter of apology on Wednesday to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro in the wake of Oren’s sharp criticism of President Barack Obama by Kulanu  Knesset Member Michael Oren.

Oren gave a sneak preview of his book, “Ally: My Journey Across the American-Israeli Divide,” in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this week in which he charged that Obama purposely harmed the relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Kachlon is the Finance Minister in the Netanyahu coalition government, but Oren’s new book, which records his observations of his term as Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, set off fears in Kachlon’s mind that everyone in Washington is saying, “Oh, rats. The Kulanu party is out to get us, so let’s get out the darts and use them for target practice on its leader Kachlon, because we are going to have deal with this guy one day.”

Naftali Bennett, chairman  of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, must be rolling the floor laughing today after reading Kachlon’s letter.

Bennett led a “stop apologizing” campaign in the elections, in which he said it is time for Israel to stop saying it is sorry for being such a thorn in the side of the world that wants them to behave like toy soldiers and let the gods of the State Dept. and the European Union run the country.

The entire text of Kachlon’s letter is printed below. Before he apologized, he made it clear that has concern is for the image of his party, as if Shapiro cares. He wrote:

Allow me to state that when I initiated ‘Kulanu’ my main goal was to establish a Zionist party that puts Israel’s security and its citizens’ prosperity and well-being as top priority.”

After setting out his credentials as another pompous politician, Kachlon explained to the Ambassador how much he believes  that the “intimate” relationship between Israel and the United States and American support for Israel are great assets.

He then told Oren how smart he is for figuring out all by himself, in a single day, that Oren’s book might cause controversy.

Assuming Shapiro had not already thrown the letter away, he read that Kachlon wrote:

First, “Ally” was written long before Dr. Oren joined ‘Kulanu’ or was even considered by me to join the party.

Second, ‘Ally” is a personal memoir of Dr. Oren….and therefore present s personal perspective and experience while serving as Ambassador.

Kachlon did not even mention the content of the book. His only problem with the book is that it was written by a member of his party, which one day he hopes will run the country.

Kachlon does not understand that President Barack Obama leaves office in 2016 and that there is reasonable chance that a Republican will be in the White House.

Any Republican, no matter who, will have a better understanding of the world than Obama.

The next American Ambassador to Israel might be scratching his head and wondering why Kachlon did not endorse Oren’s book.


Oren's letter

Abbas Rejects ‘Two States’ if One is ‘Jewish’

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas once again has grabbed an opportunity to miss an opportunity and has rejected a French-sponsored resolution in the United Nations that would give him a Palestinian Authority state based on the old 1949-1967 borders.

So what is his problem?

The problem is that the French proposal not only recognizes the Palestinian Authority as a country but also recognizes Israel as a Jewish country.

This is not the first time that Abbas has rejected recognizing “the Jewish State of Israel,” but he has never done so in the face of such a golden opportunity to emasculate the country.

Abbas has no problem with Israel as long as it does not exist, and recognizing it as “Jewish” would preclude the dream of the Arab world and UNRWA to transform Jews into a minority in the country by importing a few million Arabs who have been under the U.N. agency’s so-called care for decades.

Israel has lobbied against the French proposal, and the United States has not promised it would veto it.

But it turns out that Abbas will cast the veto, just as he has scotched every other chance for an agreement with Israel for 11 years since being elected to a four-term that expired seven years ago.

The French resolution calls for the principle of “two states for two peoples,” borders as demanded by Abbas, and “compensation:” for UNRWA camp prisoners, called “refugees.”

The resolution sets a limit of 18 months for negotiations to reach a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace, and if the deadline passed, France would recognize the “State of Palestine.”

His rejection of the French resolution got lost in the today’s less significant and befuddled headlines that the Palestinian Authority government is breaking up or is not breaking up, depending on which version you read.

Abbas thrives on three things: money from the European Union, the non-recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a country, and an eternal crisis in his regime that allows him to hold on to power. All three are intertwined.
He was at his best today.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-rejects-two-states-if-one-is-jewish/2015/06/17/

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