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October 2, 2014 / 8 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘news’

National Union Reaction to New “Israel Strength” Party

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

The National Union (HaIchud HaLeumi)’s reaction to Eldad and Ben-Ari’s announcement: “The Israeli political left-wing is elated at the news that our partners are splitting away and setting up a new party, because it means that tens of thousands of right-wing votes will be wasted, and that we have returned to the type of politics that brought about the Oslo Accords. We have always promoted unity in the National and National-Orthodox camps and we are sorry that our partners, who oppose running together with the Bayit Yehudi in the upcoming elections, have not learned the lessons of the past, which brought us the ‘victims of peace’. ”

When Palestinians Blow Themselves Up, Before Reaching Israel

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Here’s a small and modest experiment.

Since we believe Palestinian Arab casualties that result from Palestinian Arab mis-handling or misfiring of Palestinian Arab explosives, guns, rockets, mortars and the like almost never get reported in the mainstream news media, we will be watching to see how much coverage this incident below gets. It appears at this moment on a Bethlehem-based (and somewhat Hamas-hostile) Palestinian news site.

Shooting themselves and their families, friends and neighbors is an everyday event in the catastrophic societies (both Gaza and Judea/Samaria) occupied and created by the Palestinian Arabs. But the news channels wake up only when there’s an Israeli party to blame.

Man wounded in Gaza explosion  (updated) 08/11/2012 10:35 GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was wounded on Thursday morning when a home-made bomb exploded in central Gaza, a medical official said. Ashraf al-Qidra, Gaza ministry of health spokesman, said that a 23-year-old was moderately wounded in al-Maghazi refugee camp. He was transferred to al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah.

We don’t know but It’s possible this 23-year-old Gazan’s injuries are related to one of two incidents, both evidently self-inflicted, reported at this hour on the GANSO site:

Separately:

* 11/08/2012 - 07:50: MU, 08 NOV: Overnight, 1 HMR fired from E of Rafah toward the Green Line. No injuries reported.

* 11/08/2012 - 10:45: 08 NOV, 1010hrs: An explosive device went off E of Al Bureij, MA. 1 Pal. injury reported.

Visit This Ongoing War.

No! No! Don’t Rebuild Galut!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

I know that I promised to lay the sledgehammer aside for awhile, but a few of yesterday’s news items made me batty. In one of them, the UJA-Federation of New York announced it was earmarking ten million dollars in emergency hurricane relief to its local network agencies and synagogues. Chevre! Chaval al hakesev!

Another thing that made me bonkers was the video appeal of Mordechai Ben David showing his damaged recording studio and asking people to donate money to rebuild his battered hometown of Seagate.

When will Diaspora Jews get the message?

Now, don’t accuse me of not having compassion. I sympathize with Sandy’s victims as much as the next guy, believe me. That’s not the point.

The point is that Jewish life in the Galut is supposed to come to an end. If Hashem has smashed things down, why rebuild them? The exile is a curse. A punishment. By definition, it’s not meant to last forever. We’re not supposed to make exile in foreign lands into our permanent home. So if Hashem knocks down a Diaspora community, or a recording studio, why rebuild them? So that the next hurricane, or earthquake, or pogrom can smash them down once again?

Brothers and sisters of New York and New Jersey– rebuild your washed-out communities in Israel! Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried, and Shwekey  – we have beautiful recording studios in Israel, as dry as can be! Instead of coming here for concerts on Chol HaMoed Sukkot and Pesach, come here to live, and give your holiday concerts in Brooklyn instead! It’s a lot safer living in Israel!

“It can never happen inAmerica,” they always claim when we warn them.

Pay attention, my friends. Hashem has many messengers. The Almighty can use anti-Semitism and persecution to shatter the fantasy of galut, or He can use fires, earthquakes, and floods to drive his recalcitrant children back home toI srael. The destruction that the shiksa Sand yhas left in her wake is just a warning. Brothers and sisters, we have been saying it all along. Life is much more dangerous in America than it is in Israel. Wake up! Read the writing on the wall before it is too late! Your bastions of Yiddishkeit, and friends in high places, and Jewish Federations won’t help you. Not in Seagate, Englewood, Long Island, or even in Boca. Don’t make the mistake by pretending that this hurricane was just a freak outburst of nature. Everything that happens in the world is from Hashem, and it’s all for the sake of the Jews. So take some good advice and sell your houses now before there is nothing left of them. Come home to Israel while you can.

Get the message?

Kahlon Announces He Will Stick with Likud, Stay Out of Elections

Monday, November 5th, 2012

The hype over a potential independent Knesset bid by popular Likud Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon has been quashed with news that Kahlon is putting his name behind prime minister and Likud chief Binyamin Netanyahu and announced that he will not abandon the party.

Kahlon is known for introducing reforms to the telecomm industry which led to significantly reduced prices to cellphone users.  He was projected to win as many as 20 seats in an election with him as the head of his own party.

However Kahlon announced that he will be taking a two year leave-of-absence from politics – which he had announced prior to the swell in publicity surrounding a rumored run for Knesset – enrolling at Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.

Kahlon said he will work to ensure the success of Likud in the upcoming elections, as well as to continue reforms to lower the cost of living and promote social consciousness.

The decision comes after reported tension between Kahlon and Netanyahu, due to Kahlon’s alleged belief that Netanyahu was elbowing him out, keeping him out of the loop on decisions such as the merger with Yisrael Beiteinu.

Kahlon faced significant heat from Likud leaders for considering an independent run, with some calling him a traitor to the party.

Blackout

Thursday, November 1st, 2012
In Union Square the chess players sit alone under the statue of George Washington waiting for a game. A Latino family, father, mother and son, sit on the sidewalk holding cardboard signs and singing. “I’ll be your friend, when you’re not strong.”  The big chain stores are closed but the bodegas are open and Muslim and Chinese storekeepers charge up to ten dollars for a gallon of water. New York City in blackout, in short, is much like New York City as usual.
The electronics stores are closed and the wine stores are open. A chalk sign outside one darkened store reads, “Screw electricity.”  NYU students crowd the bus stops and French tourists elbow their way through the crowd on the way to a cheaply expensive hotel. A massive ancient tree lies torn out of the earth in the old 16thStreet park and residents crowd around sticking their iPhones through the 19thCentury ironwork of the shuttered park to get a photo. A photo of devastation.
Recording disaster has become instinct. I saw dozens of people taking photos on September 11 and the number would have increased by a factor of x10 If the modern smartphone with its 8 megapixel camera had been present in 2001. A click of a touchscreen and the photo is uploaded to Facebook to be shared around the world with people who like gawking at broken things.
The departure of the internet accompanies the return of drive time news radio and the shocking reminder of what the media is really like. On WINS a cheerful male anchor runs through the list of catastrophes. “Gone in Sixty Seconds,” he says about a flooded town, almost chuckling at the joke. “The town of Little Ferry sure lived up to its name,” he says of another.  The obscenities repeat themselves every 10 minutes intersecting with audio clips of survivors who only have a few seconds to mention the water or how much they lost before the whole things cut to a commercial.
With a million Con Edison customers out of power, the commercial is naturally for Con Edison, but it isn’t one of those, “We’re working as hard as we can” ads that utilities run while their customers curse them in the dark, instead it’s an ad touting Con Edison’s Diversity Supplier Program which distributes supplier contracts based on race, instead of competence. Even liberals would not have been reassured by the timing.
Chris Christie is everywhere, flying around in the helicopter and landing just long enough to survey the destruction. A few minutes later he is launching into an anecdote about jet skiers rescuing 80 year old ladies on jet skis. “All they wanted was a photo with me and then they were off,” he says, reminding the audience that while the governor is trying to be the Rudy Guiliani of this news cycle, he isn’t Rudy.
While shopping for supplies, Senator Schumer comes on the radio and in his best oily voice, informs beleaguered shoppers that he has gotten calls from Republicans and Democrats and assures us that this issue will not be politicized. Unlike Hurricane Katrina, an unseen heckler supplies in the rugs and mops aisle.
An hour of this is enough to remind me of how unprofessional professional news is and how much better Sean Hannity was at this during the last blackout through the simple expedient of jettisoning the formula and supplying helpful information. There is no helpful information on AM news anymore, with the brief exceptions of traffic and weather, just ghoulish exploitation of tragedy in the same cheerful voice that is then used to sell Carbonite, computer backup for only 59.99 a year.
The NYPD is doing what it does best, cutting off streets and telling people where to go. A pile of ordure in the morning acts as evidence that the mounted police were deployed at some point during the night. But the amount of actual crime appears negligible. One store window is lightly broken, more likely a result of the storm than casual vandalism. But being cut off from collective news sources also acts as a reminder of how news shapes perceptions.
Without a news report, I have no idea if the blackout and storm were accompanied by a massive crime wave or hardly any crime at all. As people did a century ago and as many still do, I can only judge larger events by my perceptions. The status of crime in New York City is determined entirely by the number of unbroken store windows that I pass among the darkened stores selling handbags, artisanal cookies and neck massages on my quest to find working internet. But the moment I pass along that perception, then I am once again creating news and the entire cycle of collective perception repeats itself again.
Past 40th Street on the East Side and 26th Street on the West Side, there is power and I recognize the phenomenon first through the sight of distant red traffic lights. “Do Not Walk,” they say, and I walk on. On the radio a politician talks about revisiting the unity of September 11, but that’s a cheerful story to sandwich between commercials for motor oil and a reality show about Texas bachelorettes.
On September 11, we briefly came to the awareness of a common enemy, but now we remain in our old divisions, those who have and those who have not, those who define themselves by race and those who do not, the woman screaming loudly about how Bush did not find any Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq four years past the point when that kind of thing was fashionable and the young girl in duck boots saying, “Omigod,” over and over again into a cellphone until it becomes its own mantra.
We are on an island and we are islands. The prosperous smiling natives paying 10 dollars for a quart of sink water reprocessed in Michigan bottling plants and paying double to travel downtown in a taxi and the immigrants who take their money, but hardly ever smile. There are the gangs who plot looting sprees on Twitter and the Long Island cops who leave behind their families to drive around the streets telling them to go home. There are the people in flooded homes and the news anchors cheerfully asking them how it felt to lose everything they have.
The finance expert with a Lithuanian accent tells his broker over a shaky connection in an internet café to sell the dollar and a male model named Justice chats about San Francisco. They are all New York and they aren’t New York, because New York City is an idea and it can be hard to live inside an idea. New York is immigrant neighborhoods full of people who want to live just like they did back home while making more money and having access to free social services. New York is British brokers straight out of the City putting in their time before they go somewhere glamorous, like Dubai.
New York is the remnants of its working class, hiding out deep in Brooklyn or leaving city limits for Long Island or New Jersey. New York is the place that you see in movies which shoot on every block, tangling their cables like snakes around fire hydrants while their refreshment tables full of sliced avocados stretch on forever.
New York is the idea of the Everycity, the city that never stops because it is always busy doing things and being things. It is the idea that we can leave behind our roots and our histories to create a new glamorous history out of the fragments of everyone else trying to do the same thing at the same time. And when I look back, surrounded by the floor to sky video screens of Times Square as the darkness grows, all I see are the outlines of dark towers and the lights of the endless traffic of secretaries, brokers, cops and doctors, professors, porters, drug dealers, antiques appraisers, actors and drivers, prowling through the night.
Originally published at Sultan Knish.

US Supreme Court Affirms Conviction of White Collar Terrorists

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Lingering doubts that remained about the criminality of the organization frequently called the United States’ “largest Islamic charity” [NY Times] ended on Monday. That’s when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that it would not overturn an earlier appeal that went against five officials from Holy Land Foundation convicted of illegally funneling millions of dollars to Hamas. That appears to be the final legal avenue open to the convicted men and concludes the case.

For years, in a pattern which to some of us is already familiar, the supporters of the convicts and their lawyers cast the Holy Land Foundation as being, at minimum, the victim of the extreme angst that afflicted the US after the events of September 11, 2001, as well as “an important case for religious freedom, and for civil rights” [The American Muslim]. The group “merely raised money for needy Palestinians”, it has been argued, and was never connected to any violence.

America’s tribunals of law and fact, one after another, came to a different conclusion. As a result, Ghassan Elashi, Shukri Abu-Baker, Mohammad El-Mezain, Mufid Abdulqader and Abdulrahman Odeh were convicted on 108 counts in 2008 and will remain in prison serving sentences ranging from 15 to 65 years. Just in passing, a reminder that Mufid Abdulqader is the brother of arch-terrorist Khaled Mashal, “the main leader” [Wikipedia] of Hamas’ terrorist operations since 2004.

The fragrantly-named Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development started life as the Occupied Land Fund [US Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, "Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List", updated to October 18, 2012], from offices in Richardson, Texas. In 2007, US federal prosecutors charged the organization and its key leaders with funding Hamas and what it termed other “Islamic terrorist organizations”. Soon afterwards, the assets of the “charity” were frozen by the EU and the US, and it was forced to shut down. AFP’s November 2008 report of the criminal trial [AFP] said the group and its leaders were found to be “acting as a front for Palestinian militants” and called the trial “largest terrorism financing prosecution in American history”.

Far from being an innocent conduit for relieving the poverty of starving children in Gaza, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis who presided over the criminal trial said it plainly: “The purpose of creating the Holy Land Foundation was as a fundraising arm for Hamas”. The men charged and convicted were no mere givers of charity but knowing organizers of a conduit whose end-point was deliberate and well-chosen. The indictment said HLF and its promotors took steps to hide its terrorist-financing purpose from law-enforcement agencies by making a few token donations to harmless, non-Palestinian Arab entities. The bulk of it went to terror. A quote from one of the convicted men, Shukri Abu Baker: “We can give $100,000 to the Islamists and $5,000 to the others.”

Parts of the media in the US and outside it continue to frame this shabby tale in ways that seem calculated to sow doubt about the motivations of the convicted men and to hint at hidden agendas. In a Salon article this past Thursday, the popular website’s “assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing” writes ["SCOTUS to consider fate of jailed Muslim charity leaders"] what was done to the group formerly known as Occupied Land Fund:

“The Bush administration shut it down following reports that the group had donated a portion of their foundation funds to schools and hospitals in Gaza through a “Zakat” (charity-giving) Committee that allegedly had connections to Hamas.”

Their case has made it all the way up the almost endless legal chain for which the US is rightly famous. Yet she and her editors see no problem in insinuating that this was about “alleged” connections to Hamas; that “portion” of the money was channeled to Hamas; that the US government acted on “reports“. This is shamefully inadequate reporting from a source that describes itself as a “pioneering, award-winning news site… with an audience of 10 million monthly unique visitors“.

We’re less offended by the coverage given to the decision by one of the Iranian government’s most prominent mouthpieces, PressTV. Its report ["US Supreme Court spurns justice"] describes the convicted men as

“Five extraordinary human beings… wrongfully convicted and sentenced to long prison terms. They’re doing hard time in America’s gulag. They learned the hard way about being Muslims in America at the wrong time.

As Wikipedia describes, a large number of other parties – are they also “extraordinary”? – are caught up in the Hamas financing net, including prominent American Islamist groups:

In May 2007, the U.S. filed an action against the Holy Land Foundation (the largest Muslim charity in the United States at the time for providing funds to Hamas, and federal prosecutors filed pleadings. Along with 300 other organizations, they listed CAIR (and its chairman emeritus, Omar Ahmad), Islamic Society of North America (largest Muslim umbrella organization in the United States), Muslim American Society and North American Islamic Trust as unindicted co-conspirators, a legal designation that can be employed for a variety of reasons including grants of immunity, pragmatic considerations, and evidentiary concerns. While being listed as co-conspirator does not mean that CAIR has been charged with anything…

From here, the evidence appears to show the existence of an active and thriving Moslem Brotherhood hinterland in the United States delivering political and financial support to the terrorists.

Bedouin Gunmen Injure 6 in Children’s Park in the Sinai

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Gunmen opened fire in a children’s park in south Sinai on Saturday night, wounding six, officials told the Ma’an news agency.

The al-Fayrouz park in al-Tur city was packed with families celebrating the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday, when a group of Bedouin men opened fire, witnesses said.

Four children, a man and a woman suffered injuries, some serious, medics said. One child lost the fingers on her left hand, they said.

Locals said a Bedouin man had been thrown out of the park for harassing a female child, and returned with family members for the shooting.

The assailants fled the scene.

In northern Sinai, two girls escaped an attempted kidnapping when an officer with the traffic police intervened, a Ma’an correspondent reported.

Nada, 13, and Sabha, 14, were walking down the main street of el-Arish city when three men tried to abduct them.

Officer Ahmad al-Saeedi opened fire on the assailants, and one suffered a bullet wound to the leg. Al-Saeedi was also wounded and transferred to al-Arish hospital.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bedouin-gunmen-injure-6-in-childrens-park-in-the-sinai/2012/10/29/

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