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"I'm no expert on the Jews, but May 20th, 2012 might be the most Jewish event in the history of Judaism," writes my friend Baruch Herzfeld. On the money, assuming Baruch means (as I believe he does) that this thing is confusing and self-contradictory like a delicious Talmudic debate.
Friday's French newspapers want an answer to one simple question: How was a known Islamic extremist allowed to murder seven people, including three children, in three separate attacks? And the founder of France's elite police unit asked "How come the police's best unit did not manage to arrest a lone gunman?"
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, ahead of a meeting of the international Quartet scheduled for next month. Clinton's call to Abbas was to follow up on discussions between Abbas and Obama a day earlier.
Israel and Germany signed a contract purchasing the Israeli Navy's sixth submarine Wednesday. It is an SSK Dolphin Class submarine. Last year the newspaper The Welt am Sonntag reported that German chancellor Angela Merkel conditioned the sale of the Dolphin on Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which Netanyahu obliged.
Speaking at last Friday's prayer at the North London Central Mosque, also known as Finsbury Park Mosque—and formerly controlled by convicted terrorist recruiter Abu Hamza al-Masri—Ken Livingstone, the Labor party's candidate for mayor of London, pledged to "educate the mass of Londoners" about Islam.
The French magazine Le Point reports that police are investigating the possibility that three soldiers, who had been forced out of the French army because of their neo-Nazi beliefs, committed the shocking murders of Arab French soldiers and Jewish French school children. Their description matches an eyewitness report of a facial tattoo.
A heavy firefight has broken out in a main district of the Syrian capital Damascus, between Free Syrian Army rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. On Monday the sound of heavy machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades echoed throughout the night from the most heavily guarded neighborhood of the capital, which is home to a number of security facilities.
Five years ago, the SWIFT clearing system ban on Iranian banks would have yielded results, but nowadays Iran is relying on rogue financial systems created by South-American countries, and on its trade with India, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, to maintain the flow of money, goods and services for which it continues to pay with oil. It's business as usual for Iran.
Two Palestinians were killed Monday evening in an IAF strike east of Gaza City, bringing the death toll in Gaza to 25 since Friday. The IDF Spokesman reported that the IAF attacked a terrorist squad Monday night in northern Gaza, shortly before it was able to shoot a high trajectory, medium-range rocket toward Israeli territory.
A survey released two weeks ago, titled “The American Mosque 2011,” revealed a tremendous growth in the number of mosques across the US since 9/11, and claims that Islamic radicalism in the US is on the wane. But Islam expert David Yerushalmi says that many of the numbers presented in the survey don't add up, and in fact contradict similar surveys conducted in recent years.