Saturday, December 18, 2010

Israel Remembers the Holy Temple and the Holocaust on Tevet 10

From Israel National News, 17 December 2010, by Maayana Miskin:

Friday is the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tevet, a fast day on which Jews remember the siege of Jerusalem that preceded the destruction of the First Temple and the Babylonian exile.

The siege is described in the Bible in the Book of Kings.

The day is also the time at which mourning prayers are said for Holocaust victims whose date of death is not known. Many religious Jews mourn the Holocaust on the 10th of Tevet rather than on the date chosen by the Israeli government in the Hebrew month of Nissan.

The tenth of Tevet is observed as a fast from morning until nightfall. It is the only day-long fast day that can fall on a Friday.

Another event that is mourned on the 10th of Tevet is the day on which King Ptolemy of Egypt forced Jewish scholars to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek. Their translation was used by those who sought to assimilate Jews into Greek culture, and later formed the basis of the Christian Bible, which for many centuries was used to promote persecution of Jews.

Yet another is the death of Ezra the Scribe, who led Jews back to Israel from their exile in Babylon and directed the construction of the Second Temple.

Cyprus, Israel sign deal demarcating sea borders

From The Associated Press, Dec 17, 2010, MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS:

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus and Israel signed an accord Friday demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate a search for mineral deposits in the east Mediterranean where huge natural gas reserves have been discovered.

...Cyprus has licensed U.S. firm Noble Energy to explore an 800,000-acre area bordering Israeli waters where massive gas fields have been found under the seabed.

Two fields, Tamar and Dalit, discovered last year, are due to start producing in 2012, and experts say their estimated combined reserves of 5.5 trillion cubic feet (160 billion cubic meters) of natural gas can cover Israel's energy needs for the next two decades.

Noble Energy is also part of a consortium developing the fields and predicted in June that Israel will also have enough gas to export to Europe and Asia from a third field — Leviathan, thought to hold up to 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic meters) of gas.

Cyprus Energy Service Director Solon Kassinis told The Associated Press in an e-mail that there are currently no estimates on gas reserves inside the Cypriot zone because drilling has yet to begin.

Noble has not said when drilling would start inside its Cypriot block.

...Lebanese lawmakers have said that some of Israel's recently discovered gas fields stretch into Lebanese territorial waters. Israel has denied the charge.

Hezbollah has threatened to use force to protect Lebanon's natural wealth.

Meanwhile, Turkey is mulling starting oil and gas exploration off Cyprus' northern coast...

the real peace process: Israeli companies outsourcing to Palestinians

From The Associated Press, 17 December 2010:

HOD HASHARON, Israel (AP) — Within the pastel walls of a modest suburban office, Israeli high-tech workers have accomplished a feat that still eludes their political leaders: They have created a partnership with the Palestinians.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks may be stalled, but that hasn't stopped a small but steady trickle of Israeli technology companies from seeking to work with people on the other side of the decades-old conflict.

Israeli CEOs say it's their way of bringing a little bit of peace to their troubled corner of the world. But the real reason they're hiring Palestinians, they acknowledge, is because it simply makes good business sense.

Israel's high-tech industry is among the country's crowning achievements. Israel has the most start-ups per capita in the world and has helped produce such game-changing innovations as instant messaging and Internet telephony. Many Israeli tech firms send work offshore to eastern Europe, India or China.

In the past three years, however, some have turned to Palestinian engineers and programmers. They are cheaper, ambitious, work in the same time zone, and — surprisingly to many Israelis — are remarkably similar to them.

"The cultural gap is much smaller than we would think," said Gai Anbar, chief executive of Comply, an Israeli start-up in this central Israeli town that develops software for global pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Teva.

At a previous job, he worked with engineers in India and eastern Europe, but found communication difficult. So in 2007, when he was looking to outsource work at his new start-up, he turned to Palestinian engineers. He said they speak like Israelis do — they are direct and uninhibited. Today, Comply employs four Palestinians.

Palestinian engineers have also warmed up to the idea. "I doubt you would find a company who says, 'I am closed for business'" to Israelis, said Ala Alaeddin, chairman of the Palestinian Information Technology Association....

...About 10 Israeli start-ups and international companies with centers in Israel have been outsourcing to the West Bank in the past three years, said Tova Scherr of Mercy Corps, an international aid group working to encourage these ventures. Scherr said visits by Israeli businessmen to Ramallah — with Israeli military permission — are becoming more common.

Networking giant Cisco says it was the first international corporation with research and development centers in Israel to begin outsourcing work to the West Bank. Israeli branches of Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have followed Cisco's example and begun to outsource to the Palestinian territories this year, according to Mercy Corps.

...Word of the West Bank's potential is spreading: Tahboub of Asal Technologies said he received about 20 inquiries this year from Israeli companies.

"We are doing great work for our country," Tahboub said, referring to the yet-to-be-born Palestinian state. "I believe the (technology) sector will become one of the pillars of the Palestinian economy."

France gives Lebanon anti-tank missiles

From AFP, 17 December 2010:

BEIRUT — France will give Lebanon 100 anti-tank missiles, a government official said on Friday, confirming a deal that raised concerns in Israel and the United States earlier this year.

"Prime Minister Saad Hariri was informed on Wednesday of the French decision to supply the army with 100 ... HOT missiles that will be used by the military's Gazelle helicopters," the official told AFP.

"The missiles will be delivered before the end of February and are being given with no conditions attached," the official added. In Paris, the office of French Prime Minister Francois Fillon confirmed that a letter to that effect had been sent to Hariri.

In August, a US lawmaker objected to the transfer saying the missiles could end up being used against Israel given the influence of the powerful militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"The influence of Hezbollah militants and their Iranian and Syrian backers in the Lebanese government is rising," Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had said.

"Therefore, to sell weapons to Lebanon at this time would be very irresponsible and could jeopardise security and stability in the region," she said.

Local press reports had said Israel, which fought a devastating war with Hezbollah in 2006, also expressed concerns.

In November, Washington lifted a hold it had placed on 100 million dollars in military aid to Lebanon after receiving assurances that the army would closely monitor the border with Israel and that the assistance would not be diverted to Hezbollah.

The Shiite movement is considered the most powerful military and political force in Lebanon.

Intelligence officials estimate Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of more than 40,000 short and long-range rockets as well as other sophisticated weapons, including anti-aircraft guns, that the party claims can reach deep inside Israel.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kissinger: court Jew and Antisemite

From JPost, December 17, 2010, by Isi Leibler:

Few would be shocked with details of further anti-Semitic outbursts by former president Richard Nixon revealed in the latest transcripts of tapes released from the Nixon library. He was a vulgar man whose foul mouthing extended beyond Jews to Afro-Americans, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans and other ethnic groups.

...Nixon's anti-Semitism primarily amounted to appalling negative stereotyping. But he did employ a Jewish Secretary of State and, according to his Jewish speechwriter William Safire, his heroes included Benjamin Disraeli, Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter and Herman Wouk.

... despite his unsavory character and negative traits,  ...during the 1973 Yom Kippur War [Nixon] overruled his Jewish Secretary of State [Henry Kissinger] who sought to delay arms to Israel in order to boost Sadat and make Israel more pliable in negotiating with the Egyptians. Nixon's massive weapons airlift provided Israel with desperately needed arms. ...We should remain eternally grateful to him for having avoided countless additional Israeli casualties and possibly even having averted a disaster for the Jewish State.

Kissinger: antisemitic "Court Jew" with Nixon

...We are now privy to Kissinger's notorious outburst to Nixon following a meeting with Golda Meir during which she pleaded for the White House to support efforts to free Soviet Jews...
"The immigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern."

He ended this obscene remark by conceding that gassing Jews "may be a humanitarian concern."

...Far from apologizing now for his outburst Kissinger justified it. In an email to the JTA, he insisted that the most callous statement about Jews ever recorded by a senior US official "had to be viewed in the context of what was happening".
Kissinger at the time had just lost a tough battle with Senator Henry Jackson who had managed to persuade Congress to adopt the Jackson-Vanik amendment linking trade with the Soviet Union to the extension of human rights and freedom of emigration.

Whilst this proved to be a turning point and a major victory for the campaign to free Soviet Jewry, it was enormously frustrating for Kissinger, whose principal objective was to bring about detente with the Soviet Union, even if that required ignoring human rights violations including the persecution of his own people...

There were other occasions when Kissinger adopted inexplicably negative attitudes relating to Jews. For example, he opposed the construction of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington claiming that it would provide too high a profile for the Jews and reignite anti-Semitism.

...Menachem Rosensaft of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors called on Jewish organizations which had previously honored Kissinger, to strip him of his honorary doctorates, medals and awards. He caustically suggested that Kissinger still felt closer to Germany than to his Jewishness, noting that in 2007 when receiving a medal from the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, Kissinger had referred vaguely to "the difficulties of my childhood" and then went on to lavishly praise Germany without making any reference to Nazism or the Holocaust.

...God help us from dependency on [such] Jews [like Kissinger,] appointed or elected to public office ...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Stuxnet virus set back Iran’s nuclear program by 2 years'

From JPost, 15 December 2010, by YAAKOV KATZ:

The Stuxnet virus, which has attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities and which Israel is suspected of creating, has set back the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program by two years....

...[Top German computer consultant] Langer said ... “This was nearly as effective as a military strike, but even better since there are no fatalities and no full-blown war. From a military perspective, this was a huge success.”

...Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, said that Iran had suspended work at its nuclear-field production facilities, likely a result of the Stuxnet virus.

According to Langer, Iran’s best move would be to throw out all of the computers that have been infected by the worm, which he said was the most “advanced and aggressive malware in history.” ...
“It is extremely difficult to clean up installations from Stuxnet...Just to get their systems running again they have to get rid of the virus, and this will take time, and then they need to replace the equipment, and they have to rebuild the centrifuges at Natanz and possibly buy a new turbine for Bushehr.”

Widespread speculation has named Israel’s Military Intelligence Unit 8200, known for its advanced Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities, as the possible creator of the software, as well as the United States...

Jordan hedges its bets with Iran

From Ynet News, 12 December 2010:
Jordan's King Abdullah II said Sunday he was seeking "practical steps" to improve his frosty relations with Iran, a contrast to his regime's frequent criticism of Iran's policies.

...Abdullah has been one of Iran's harshest critics in recent years, warning that its growing influence in the region could undermine him and other pro-American moderates.

The Royal Court statement said Abdullah accepted Ahmadinejad's invitation to visit Tehran soon, but no date was set.

...As early as 2004, Abdullah warned of Iran's growing influence in Iraq and the rest of the region.

In US cables released by WikiLeaks, US Ambassador to Jordan Stephen Beecroft quoted Jordanian officials describing Iran as an "octopus" whose tentacles "reach out insidiously to manipulate, foment, and undermine the best laid plans of the West and regional moderates."

Iran's "tentacles" include Qatar, Syria, the militant Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories, an Iraqi government linked to Iran and Shiite communities across the Mideast, according to the cables.

ISM: Cheerleaders for Boycotts and Terroism

From Israel National News, 16 December 2010, by Elad Benari:

According to a study released last week by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is clearly an organization which supports terrorism.

The study says that ISM, originally a network of anti-Israeli activists founded by a group of young, extreme leftist Americans, attracted to it leftist Arab activists and several extreme leftist pro-Arab Israelis. Later, the organization also recruited volunteers from various Western countries, some of them Jews, on a platform of hostility to Israel and its policies towards Palestinian Authority Arabs.

...The ISM, stressed [Dafka investigative reporter Lee] Kaplan, was put together by the Arab communist and terror-linked PLFP group which is
“allied with communist anarchists...and now with Hamas... to promote the destruction of the State of Israel. They are doing a great job. I believe they pose a greater threat than the armed terrorists do.”

... during the second Intifada Between 2001 and 2005, ISM volunteers waged activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. These activities were not limited to simply helping the Arab population of these areas, but rather included the hindering of IDF operational activities. These included participating in Arab protest demonstrations and rallies, serving as human shields for terrorist operatives wanted by the Israeli security forces, locating themselves near IDF roadblocks throughout Judea and Samaria, providing terrorist operatives and their families with financial, logistic and moral support, hindering the razing and sealing of houses of suicide bombers, and holding protests along the security fence from Jenin to Jerusalem.

...The ISM’s operations did not end with the second Intifada, emphasizes the study. After the second intifada senior ISM activists moved the center of their operations to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas was gaining a foothold before violently taking over it in June 2007.

Four senior American ISM activists played a key role in founding an international pro-Hamas umbrella organization called the Free Gaza Movement, which sends ships to the Gaza Strip for the stated purpose of “breaking the siege,” but in fact aims to strengthen Hamas administration and intensify the delegitimization of Israel.

...The group also takes part in anti-Israeli activities in the United States and European and other countries worldwide, which include calls for boycotting Israel and its products and protests against its policies toward PA Arabs. During these protests, Israel is repeatedly represented as racist, oppressive and employing an apartheid policy.

The study also says that these anti-Israeli activities go far beyond demonstrations in various cities and agitation on campuses, but also make use of visual and digital media, the Internet, and books and plays to engage in anti-Israeli hate propaganda.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recognition of a Palestinian State - Premature, Legally Invalid,

From The The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 12 December Alan Baker:
  • The acts of recognition of a Palestinian state in 1967 borders by Brazil, Argentina, and possibly other Latin American states have no significance other than as a political expression of opinion.
  • These acts of recognition run counter to statements by Brazil and Argentina in the United Nations Security Council in 1967 in favor of freely negotiated borders between the parties and an internationally sponsored peace negotiation process as set out in Resolution 242.
  • The unceasing efforts among states by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to attain recognition of unilateral statehood within the 1967 borders and thereby bypass the accepted negotiation process, runs counter to their commitments in their agreements with Israel, as witnessed and guaranteed by members of the international community.
  • The hostile actions and statements of the Palestinian leadership lack bona fides and prejudice any reasonable negotiating ambiance between parties that seek to establish peaceful relations between them, and are indicative of an utter lack of a genuine will to reach a peaceful settlement.
Click here to read the full article.

NEW (release of) US Intelligence on Nazi War Criminals & The Mufti of Jerusalem

The US National Archives has released to Congress a new report on Nazi War Crimes: Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War. [110 pages]

The report is based on findings from newly-declassified decades-old Army and CIA records released under the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act of 1998 (the Act), these records were processed and reviewed by the National Archives-led Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG), and written by IWG historians Richard Breitman and Norman J.W. Goda. . [110 pages]

Chapter Two refers to the "intent to murder the Jewish population of Palestine with a special task force that was to accompany the Afrika Korps past the Suez Canal in the summer of 1942."

"...Today we have more detailed scholarly accounts today of Husseini’s wartime activities, but Husseini’s CIA file indicates that wartime Allied intelligence organizations gathered a healthy portion of this incriminating evidence. This evidence is significant in light of Husseini’s lenient postwar treatment...."

"Scholars have also re-examined the relationship between the Nazi state and Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, as well as the postwar place of the Holocaust in Arab and Muslim thinking. Newly released CIC and CIA records supplement this scholarship in revealing ways...."

"...Recent books have added greatly to our knowledge of Haj Amin al-Husseini’s activities as leader of anti-Jewish revolts in the British Mandate in Palestine in 1929 and 1936, as the impetus behind the pro-German coup in Iraq in April 1941, and as a pro-Nazi propagandist in Berlin, broadcasting over German short-wave radio to large audiences in the Middle East starting in late 1941.

CIA and U.S. Army files on Husseini offer small pieces of new evidence about his relationship with the Nazi government and his escape from postwar justice..."

"...In the fall of 1943 Husseini went to the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi ally, to recruit Muslims for the Waffen-SS. During that trip he told the troops of the newly formed Bosnian-Muslim 13th Mountain Waffen-SS division that the entire Muslim world ought to follow their example...."