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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Iran Warns: Foreign Intervention in Syria Will Bury Israel

Massacre in Syria, so where are the demonstrations, boycotts and flotillas?
Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned on Wednesday against the devastating consequences of a Libyan-style intervention in Syria.

According to a report in the Iranian-based Fars news agency, Larijani said that a policy of intervention in Syria would spread to “the occupied Palestinian territories” and would harm Israel.

Noting the recent remarks by U.S. and Western officials on Syria, Larijani was quoted as having said, “It seems that the U.S. and the West are seeking to prepare the ground for a new crisis (in Syria), since a UN military official has said that they may take military action in Syria as they did in Libya.”

He went on to warn about the negative outcomes of such a move and noted, “Possibly, the U.S. military officials are suffering a misunderstanding over themselves and over the regional issues because Syria's specifications are no way similar to those of Libya.”

Larijani warned that foreign intervention in Syria “will spread into (the occupied) Palestine and the ashes of such flame will definitely bury the Zionist regime (of Israel).”

Fars reported that the came after the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, warned Syria that it might face armed intervention.

“'There is always a military option,” Dempsey was quoted as having told Fox News.

On Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said that military action in Syria could be possible, but only if it was backed by a UN resolution.

Larijani’s warnings came a day after Iran tried to displace the blame on Israel for Syrian President Bashar Assad's campaign of terror against his people, and its backlash.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast pointed the finger at “the Zionist regime's hand” in a statement to media about Syrian government attacks on residents in the Houla region.

“We palpably feel the Zionist regime's hand in Syria's internal developments,” Mehman-Parast said, adding that the only side that might gain from Syria's instability would be Israel, saying that “any crime committed [in Syria] can be traced back to the regime's hirelings.”

The central area of Houla saw one of the bloodiest single events in Syria's growing civil war on Friday. U.N. human rights officials on Tuesday said most of the 108 victims of a massacre in Syria last week were shot at close range “execution style,” and accused pro-Assad thugs of carrying out the murders. The massacre on Friday in Houla – which included 34 women, 49 children, and in some cases entire families – generated new international outrage.

Following the massacre, UN envoy Kofi Annan visited Syria to hold talks with Assad, but he reportedly left Damascus on Wednesday without securing any major steps from the Syrian government to implement his faltering peace plan.

PA Rejects Barak's 'Unilateral Disengagement'

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

The Palestinian Authority rejected on Wednesday Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s suggestion that Israel consider a unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria (Yehuda and Shomron), similar to that carried out by the Israeli government in the Gush Katif region of Gaza in August of 2005.

According to a report in the PA-based WAFA news agency, a spokesman for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, rejected Barak’s words, saying such a proposal would not lead to lasting peace agreement, but would only harm the two-state solution.

Abu Rudeineh reiterated that the PA is determined to reach a just and lasting agreement, based on establishing a Palestinian state along the indefensible pre-1967 borders with its capital in east Jerusalem.

Earlier on Wednesday, Barak suggested in his speech to the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies that Israel consider such a unilateral move, saying, “If it is impossible to reach an agreement with the Palestinian [Authority Arabs, we should consider an interim arrangement, or even a unilateral disengagement.”

He added that he now sees an opportunity to explore such a move due to the fact that the current government coalition is very broad, comprising 94 seats. “It's time to lead the political process,” he said.

"We are on borrowed time,” Barak went on to say. “We are going to come up against the wall and pay a price for that. People who are now in a coma are later going to ask, 'how did we get to this point?'”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later said he believes his 94-seat super-coalition is a historic opportunity – and mandate – for peace.

"On the peace process," Netanyahu told attendees at an Institute for National Security Studies conference in Tel Aviv. "We are 94 Members of Knesset. This is an opportunity to advance the peace process, an opportunity which may not repeat itself, in my opinion, in the next ten years."

NGOs: German mayor’s Israel boycott anti-Semitic

Source: Jerusalem Post
By Benjamin Weinthal
Submitted by correspondent Tom Ifrach

Leading German NGOs on Tuesday accused Social Democratic Mayor Albrecht Schröter, from the city of Jena in the state of Thuringia, of advocating a boycott of Israeli products that is so aggressive it recalls the Nazi-era campaign “Don’t buy from Jews” and contributes to the delegitimization of the Jewish state.

In an email to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, Kevin Zdiara, deputy representative of the German-Israeli friendship society in Erfurt, Thuringia’s capital city, wrote, “The campaign makes no distinctions; de facto, all Israeli products are to be boycotted, which does not contribute to peace. It also strongly recalls the Nazi slogan ‘Don’t buy from Jews.’” Zdiara added that “Schröter has been known for years for his attitude toward Israel. The mayor has participated in pro-Palestinian demonstrations in the West Bank and with a lecture at a pro-Hamas conference in Bad Boll. Schröter is an example of the classic Christian peace activist who only accuses Israel but closes his eyes to Palestinian crimes.”

Klaus Faber and Daniel Kilpert, two representatives of the  Coordinating Council of German Non-governmental Organizations against Anti-Semitism, told the Post on Tuesday in a statement that the mayor’s conduct “crosses the line into anti-Semitism and delegitimizes the state of Israel. Why does Mr. Schröter see no occasion to call for a boycott against products from the anti-Semitic Islamic Republic of Iran, or from North Sudan, which has engaged in many massacres?” Klaus Faber, a prominent member of the Social Democratic Party, served as a high level minister in the department for education, science, research, culture and religious communities in the East German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Dr. Reinhard Schramm, the deputy chairman of the Jewish community in Thuringia, told the Post on Tuesday in a telephone interview that the “boycott call is indecent and painful. The Mayor Dr. Schröter should not resign because he is not an anti-Semite. But he should know that with his signature he fosters anti-Semitic tendencies. Pax Christi is steeped in anti-Semitism because its variation of anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. “ Dr. Schramm is a retired professor of engineering and survived the Holocaust in hiding with his  mother, Rosel.

Mayor  Schröter  signed the German  catholic peace organization Pax Christi’s petition “Occupation tastes bitter” that calls for a sweeping boycott of Israeli goods.

 Dr. Shimon Samuels, director of international relations for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post that Schröter’s call for a boycott “can work both ways. It is bad for Jena businesses.”

Samuels said that what Schröter was doing was “racist,” adding that the mayor had “brought a shadow over the city of light.” Jena is known for its optics-based industries.

Barbara Glasser, a spokeswoman for Schröter, told the Post by phone that the mayor is “guaranteed not an anti-Semite. He is for peace. He was awarded a civil courage prize.”

Zdiara, of Erfurt’s German-Israeli friendship society, says Pax Christi is known for its anti-Israel attitude.

“For years it has demonized only Israel and now, with its call for a boycott, has taken the side of the most aggressive Israel haters, whose goal is to delegitimize the Jewish state,” he said of the organization.

World Leaders Ignore International Law

Source: Myths and Facts

Jewish Settlements in Judea and Samaria are Perfectly Legal and Legitimate

May 30, 2012 | Eli. E. Hertz


The U.S. Administration, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia's decision to rewrite history by labeling the Territories 'Occupied Territories,' the Settlements as an 'Obstacle to Peace' and 'Not Legitimate,' thus endowing them with an aura of bogus statehood and a false history. The use of these dishonest loaded terms, empowers terrorism and incites Palestinian Arabs with the right to use all measures to expel Israel.

The Jewish People's Right to the Land of Israel
The "Mandate for Palestine" & the Law of War
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, United States President Barack Obama, and the European Union Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton became victims to the 'Occupation' mantra their own organization has repeated over and over in their propaganda campaign to legitimize the Arab position.

Continuous pressure by the "Quartet" (U.S., the European Union, the UN and Russia) to surrender parts of the Land of Israel are contrary to international law as stated in the "Mandate for Palestine" document, that in article 6 firmly call to "encourage ... close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes." It also requires, under Article 5 of the Mandate to "seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the government of any foreign power."

Any attempt by the World Leaders to negate the Jewish people's right to Palestine - Eretz-Israel, and to deny them access and control in the area designated for the Jewish people by the League of Nations, is a serious infringement of international law, and as such - illegitimate.
International Law - The "Mandate for Palestine"
The "Mandate for Palestine" an historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right under international law to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law. Fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:

"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine":

"Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.

"Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which should prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected." [italics in the original]

Law of War - Arab Unlawful Acts of Aggression in 1948
Six months before the War of Independence in 1948, Palestinian Arabs launched a series of riots, pillaging, and bloodletting. Then came the invasion of seven Arab armies from neighboring states attempting to prevent the establishment of a Jewish state in accordance with the UN's 1947 recommendation to Partition Palestine, a plan the Arabs rejected.

The Jewish state not only survived, it came into possession of territories - land from which its adversaries launched their first attempt to destroy the newly created State of Israel.

Israel's citizens understood that defeat meant the end of their Jewish state before it could even get off the ground. In the first critical weeks of battle, and against all odds, Israel prevailed on several fronts.

The metaphor of Israel having her back to the sea reflected the image crafted by Arab political and religious leaders' rhetoric and incitement. Already in 1948 several car bombs had killed Jews, and massacres of Jewish civilians underscored Arab determination to wipe out the Jews and their state.

6,000 Israelis died as a result of that war, in a population of 600,000. One percent of the Jewish population was gone. In American terms, the equivalent is 3 million American civilians and soldiers killed over an 18-month period.

Israel's War of Independence in 1948 was considered lawful and in self-defence as may be reflected in UN resolutions naming Israel a "peace loving State" when it applied for membership at the United Nations. Both the Security Council (4 March, 1949, S/RES/69) and the UN General Assembly (11 May, 1949, (A/RES/273 (III)) declared:

"[Security Council] Decides in its judgment that Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter ..."

Arab Unlawful Acts of Aggression in 1967
In June 1967, the combined armies of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attacked Israel with the clear purpose expressed by Egypt's President: "Destruction of Israel." At the end of what is now known as the Six-Day War, Israel, against all odds, was victorious and in possession of the territories of Judea and Samaria [E.H., The West Bank], Sinai and the Golan Heights.

International law makes a clear distinction between defensive wars and wars of aggression. More than half a century after the 1948 War, and more than four decades since the 1967 Six-Day War, it is hard to imagine the dire circumstances Israel faced and the price it paid to fend off its neighbors' attacks.

Who Starts Wars Does Matter
Professor, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, past President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) states the following facts:

"The facts of the June 1967 'Six Day War' demonstrate that Israel reacted defensively against the threat and use of force against her by her Arab neighbors. This is indicated by the fact that Israel responded to Egypt's prior closure of the Straits of Tiran, its proclamation of a blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the manifest threat of the UAR's [The state formed by the union of the republics of Egypt and Syria in 1958] use of force inherent in its massing of troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of UNEF.

"It is indicated by the fact that, upon Israeli responsive action against the UAR, Jordan initiated hostilities against Israel. It is suggested as well by the fact that, despite the most intense efforts by the Arab States and their supporters, led by the Premier of the Soviet Union, to gain condemnation of Israel as an aggressor by the hospitable organs of the United Nations, those efforts were decisively defeated.

"The conclusion to which these facts lead is that the Israeli conquest of Arab and Arab-held territory was defensive rather than aggressive conquest."

Judge Sir Elihu Lauterpacht wrote in 1968, one year after the 1967 Six-Day War:

"On 5th June, 1967, Jordan deliberately overthrew the Armistice Agreement by attacking the Israeli-held part of Jerusalem. There was no question of this Jordanian action being a reaction to any Israeli attack. It took place notwithstanding explicit Israeli assurances, conveyed to King Hussein through the U.N. Commander, that if Jordan did not attack Israel, Israel would not attack Jordan.

"Although the charge of aggression is freely made against Israel in relation to the Six-Days War the fact remains that the two attempts made in the General Assembly in June-July 1967 to secure the condemnation of Israel as an aggressor failed. A clear and striking majority of the members of the U.N. voted against the proposition that Israel was an aggressor."

Israel Has the Better Title to the Territory of  Palestine, Including the Whole of Jerusalem
International law makes it clear: All of Israel's wars with its Arab neighbors were in self-defence.

Professor, Judge Schwebel, wrote in What Weight to Conquest:

"(a) a state [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defense may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defense;
"(b) as a condition of its withdrawal from such territory, that State may require the institution of security measures reasonably designed to ensure that that territory shall not again be used to mount a threat or use of force against it of such a nature as to justify exercise of self-defense;
"(c) Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.
"... as between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."

"No legal Right Shall Spring from a Wrong"
Professor Schwebel explains that the principle of "acquisition of territory by war is inadmissible" must be read together with other principles:

"... namely, that no legal right shall spring from a wrong, and the Charter principle that the Members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State."

Simply stated: Arab illegal aggression against the territorial integrity and political independence of Israel, cannot and should not be rewarded.

Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, stated:

"Territorial Rights Under International Law.... By their [Arab countries] armed attacks against the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and by various acts of belligerency throughout this period, these Arab states flouted their basic obligations as United Nations members to refrain from threat or use of force against Israel's territorial integrity and political independence. These acts were in flagrant violation inter alia of Article 2(4) and paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of the same article."

Thus, under international law Israel acted lawfully by exercising its right to self-defence when it redeemed and legally reoccupied Judea and Samaria, known also as the West Bank.

Legalities aside, before 1967 there were no Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and for the first ten years of so-called occupation there were almost no Jewish settlers in the West Bank. And still there was no peace with the Palestinians. The notion that Jewish communities pose an obstacle to peace is a red herring designed to blame Israel for lack of progress in the 'Peace Process' and enable Palestinian leadership to continue to reject any form of compromise and reconciliation with Israel as a Jewish state.

Ten Reasons I Admire Israel

Source: Huff Post WORLD
By David Harris
Submitted by correspondent Tom Ifrach

In the daily news coverage, as they say, if it doesn't bleed, it doesn't lead. The larger story of Israel, therefore, is rarely told.

And the steady barrage of anti-Israel assaults -- from the UN's Arab-led automatic majority to the boycott-sanctions-divestment crowd; from some PR-savvy NGOs to the red-green (extreme left-radical Muslim) alliance -- doesn't always leave much room for the bigger picture, either.

But the larger story of Israel is well worth telling. Indeed it is, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, one of the great chapters in the annals of history.

Here's what I admire most:

First, the Jewish people's identity is built on three legs -- a faith, a people, and a land.

The land is inextricable to the equation. Even when Jews were forcibly removed from the land, as they were more than once, they never, not for a single moment, lost the connection. It was core to their prayers and their belief systems. Jerusalem, physically and metaphysically, is at the center of Jewish existence. The determination of Jews to reaffirm that link, over literally thousands of years, is awe-inspiring.

Second, those who lived in or returned to the land before the rebirth of the state in 1948 faced indescribable challenges.

Those challenges could easily have defeated less determined people. The terrain itself was harsh and unyielding. The swamps were disease-infested. Water was scarce. Marauding Arab bands put them at risk. But they persisted.

Third, these pioneers, against all the odds, gave birth to field after field, tree after tree, job after job (for Jews and Arabs alike), and neighborhood after neighborhood.

And, equally, they gave birth to Modern Hebrew. They took an ancient language and rendered it contemporary, which in turn became the lingua franca of the new state.

Fourth, the politics of statehood were not uncomplicated.

It took 50 years from Theodore Herzl's vision of a reborn Jewish nation to the UN Partition Plan of 1947, which called for Jewish and Arab states to emerge from British-ruled Mandatory Palestine. During those five decades -- and all the global ups and downs, governments' sleights-of-hand, and power politics -- Jewish leadership in the land persevered. They were undeterred.

Fifth, that same Jewish leadership understood that half a loaf was better than none. While the Jews would have wished for a bigger state, and believed the historical facts warranted it, pragmatism prevailed over maximalism. And therein lies the fundamental difference between Jewish and Arab leadership at the time, and since.

The 1947 Partition Plan could have solved the national aspirations of Jews and Arabs alike (i.e., Palestinians, though the term was not then used by the UN). There would have been two states for two peoples, living, ideally, side by side in peace and cooperation. But the Arab insistence on the whole loaf triggered war. The war in turn created a Palestinian refugee problem, and that dream of the whole loaf continues to be nurtured by too many Palestinian leaders.

Sixth, the 1948 war to annihilate the new state might have been Israel's first and, yes, last war, but it wasn't.

Vastly outnumbered and outarmed, the 650,000 Jews could have been vanquished by the five attacking Arab armies, including the British-trained Jordanians. But they dug in, fought on with often hard-to-acquire weapons, and eventually won, while losing one percent of their entire population -- the first of several wars Israel was to win to defend its very right to exist.

Seventh, Israel's ability to defend itself is nothing short of extraordinary. A country the size of New Jersey, and without a favorable military topography, has withstood repeated assaults of every kind -- wars, missile barrages, suicide bombings, kidnappings, lawfare, and modern-day blood libels.

The morale and commitment of Israelis to fulfill their national obligations -- when, no doubt, they'd much rather be studying, socializing, and traveling -- is remarkable. Alone, having never asked for the help of other nations' troops, they defend the state. And Israel's technical ingenuity in meeting each new challenge head-on has served as an object lesson for other countries. From Entebbe to Iron Dome, from Osirak to the Syrian nuclear plant, Israel has come up with viable answers to seemingly insurmountable threats.

Eighth, Israel has forged a far more cohesive, vibrant society than many predicted.

How, the skeptics asked, could Israel absorb Jews from scores of countries with different languages, political traditions, cultural norms, and religious practices? How could Israel forge a democratic state when so many refugees came from non-democratic Arab lands and communist societies -- and in a region, the Middle East, where there was absolutely no tradition of free, open societies? How could religious and secular Jews coexist? How could Israel absorb over 100,000 Ethiopian Jews, who hailed from villages that had no electricity or other modern accoutrements? And how would non-Jews, especially a large Arab community, fare as citizens of the State of Israel?

These are all works in progress, but, 64 years after the rebirth of Israel, it can be said that the centripetal forces binding the state together far outweigh the centrifugal forces at work -- and that's no mean feat, given the magnitude of each of the challenges.

Ninth, in the face of unrelenting threats and dangers, Israel could have turned inward, abandoned hope, and given up on peace, but it most assuredly has not.

Instead, Israel has embraced the world, sharing its vast know-how with developing countries and often being among the first on the scene when disaster strikes. It has affirmed life in a way that outsiders can hardly imagine. And, despite one spurned peace effort after another since the landmark treaties with Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) -- not to mention the experiences of withdrawal from southern Lebanon only to have Iranian-backed Hezbollah step in, or from Gaza only to have Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel's destruction, take control -- Israel still clings to the belief that peace, based on major territorial compromise and a two-state solution, is possible.

And tenth is what travelers see for themselves when they come to Israel.

As many first-time visitors have commented, they had no idea that Israel was so small or its security challenges so complex.

They had no clue that Arabic was an official language and Israeli Arabs, even those opposed to the state's very existence, have been elected to the Israeli parliament.

They were unaware that churches and mosques are found everywhere, with full freedom of worship protected.

They had no sense of how ancient and modern, at one and the same time, the country is.

They had no understanding of what a full-throttled democracy Israel is, including a feisty press, an independent judiciary, an array of active NGOs, political parties galore, and an argumentative, self-critical culture.

And they had no hint how proud of their country -- and optimistic about the future -- are the vast majority of Israelis.

For nearly 2,000 years, Jews could only dream of, and pray for, the rebirth of Israel. Today, it is a living, breathing, and pulsating reality. And I count myself among the lucky ones to see it unfold before my very eyes.

Madonna Performing Tonight in Ramat Gan Stadium, Israel - AVICII performing in Tel Aviv, Israel. May 31, 2012

Source: Tourist Israel

Madonna, the Queen of Pop, is set to return to give a concert in Tel Aviv, Israel in May 2012 as part of her new world tour. Tickets are on sale now. Madonna will be performing at the Ramat Gan Stadium just outside Tel Aviv as the first stop on her MDNA concert tour on May 31, 2012. These will be her first concerts in Israel since 2009. Tickets cost NIS 240-490. Tickets for the VIP section, including seats in front of the stage, will cost an average of NIS 1,500.

Madonna is returning to Israel. By (Live Earth Photos by Marcin Kokowki) [CC-BY-SA-3.0

Update 25 May: Tickets are on sale for the Standing area and Golden Ring are still available from Eventim (the date might say May 29 – this is because the May 29 concert was rescheduled to be on May 31, however these tickets are for May 31.) For VIP or exchange tickets try Viagogo
If you’re curious about why Madonna might have chosen Tel Aviv as the setting for the launch of her world tour, read a little about the city and you will soon understand…

NB: The original first concert on May 29 has been moved to May 31. People who bought tickets for what would have been the second concert on May 31 will receive equivilant seats at the new concert which is the launch of the world tour. There will now only be one concert in Tel Aviv.

The concert Madonna will give in Tel Aviv is also a “concert for peace”. Announcing the concert, Madonna said  ”music is so universal and If there’s any chance that through my performance I can bring further attention and enlightenment to honor the peace efforts in the Middle East and help people come together, it would be an honor for me. It is my way of thanking those who are making so much effort toward bringing peace to the Middle East.” As part of its purpose as a ‘concert for peace’, Madonna is arranging for organizations in Israel working towards the aim of peace to receive tickets to the show.

Because Madonna’s concerts in Tel Aviv will be the first on her world tour, hundreds of media representatives and fans from around the world will be coming to Tel Aviv. Madonna will travel with a 350-person entourage.

Source: Tourist Israel

International DJ sensation, AVICII, will be performing for the first time in Israel in Tel Aviv this May. AVICII, whose full name is Tim Bergling, was ranked in 2011 as the 6th best DJ in the world, and his music has been well received around the world. He will be performing in Tel Aviv on May 31, 2012 as part of the XL Nightlife Festival at the Bitan 1 club in Tel Aviv.
Tickets are on sale for NIS 180 for standard seating, or NIS 220 for VIP seating and can be purchased from the Eventim booking agency.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

'Britain Has Muslim Supporters of Israel'

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari

Ari Soffer, Director of the British Israel Coalition, told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday about what his organization did in response to anti-Israeli protesters who tried to stop a performance by Israel's HaBima theater company before a packed Globe Theater in London Monday night.

About 15 anti-Israel protesters were removed during the performance after they unfurled banners and PLO flags.

Ten minutes into the show, protesters unfurled PLO flags and a banner reading "Israel apartheid leave the stage" from the first-floor balcony. More banners and flags were unfurled on two more occasions before the intermission.

According to Soffer, the protesters were “haters of Israel and extreme anti-Semites. We know most of them and we knew they would come to the theater. They spread lies about Israel and there are both Arabs and leftists among them. Yesterday they held a demonstration both outside and inside the hall.”

He added that the coalition held a counter-protest, saying, “We had a demonstration of our own outside the theater and waved Israeli flags. They are very extreme and some are anti-Semitic, so it was important for us to counter-protest. We followed a few of them into the theater and watched them. When they began to riot, we called the ushers to remove them from the theater, and we plan to do the same at this evening’s performance.”

Soffer noted that the British Israel Coalition includes both Jews and non-Jews, and even Muslim supporters of Israel.

“You will not believe it, but there are Muslims who support Israel in our group, as well as Christians and of course Jews,” he said. “Our goal is to convey the message that the problem of radical Islam is not just a problem of Israelis but is a global problem. Terrorism is global.”

The British Israeli Coalition holds pro-Israeli activities throughout the year, Soffer said, adding that he believes that British Jews should support Israel as much as possible.

“We all love Israel and want to do things for the country,” he said. “We try to be as effective as possible and expose those people who operate against Israel. These are very extreme people who try to portray themselves as liberals. We do not care who the people who come from Israel are, it could be Tzipi Livni or Avigdor Lieberman or the actors from the Habima theater company. As long as we are abroad, we have no right to interfere in Israeli politics and what matters to us the most is the support for Israel. After we make aliyah we’ll have the right to intervene in Israeli politics.”

Last week, hundreds of pro-Israel activists and local residents rallied behind Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as he addressed the Jewish National Fund in Hendon, UK.

The counter-protest by British Israel Coalition began as Israel activists challenged anti-Israel and Islamist groups protesting Lieberman's presence.

Empire State Building to Shine Blue and White for Israel Parade

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Rachel Hirshfeld

The Empire State Building in New York City will be lit up in blue and white in honor of the Israeli flag to mark the June 3 Israel Day Parade, as hundreds of thousands celebrate and take pride in the 64th anniversary of the modern State of Israel.

More than 200 groups from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Israel will march down Fifth Avenue in the momentous event, organized by the Community Relations Council of New York, in conjunction with the City of New York, the Israeli Consulate in New York and Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to follow the event and cheer on the approximated 35,000 participants and 29 floats. 

The event will be attended by an Israeli delegation including Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom.

“We are proud to be the major supporter of what is the largest annual pro-Israel event outside the Jewish State itself,” said John S. Ruskay, Executive Vice President of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of New York.

The parade will be televised live in the New York metropolitan area for the second consecutive year.

Useful Idiots Hijack NYC's Israel Parade

New Israel Fund financed 5 groups that urged the
Norwegian Government Pension Fund to divest from Israel.
Meretz USA urges a boycott of
9 Israeli products on its website, including Ahava cosmetics.
B'Tselem's chairman of the board publicly calls for
"effective sanctions" against Israel. 
let's give New Israel Fund, Meretz USA and B'Tselem
a Bronx Cheer when they march by.
Tell the UJA-Federation NO BDS in the Israel Day Parade!
Call John Ruskay
CEO, UJA-Federation
              212.980.1000         212.980.1000
Email Jerry Levin
UJA-Federation Board Pres.
Sponsored by
Committee for a Pro-Israel Parade
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Israeli Tech: Advanced Cell Separation Technology

Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari and Yoni kempinski

Arutz Sheva met and spoke with the scientists behind BioCep, an advanced cell separation system which has the ability to isolate even rare cells of one to ten million cells.

BioCep’s patented Cell Enrichment Process (CEP) yields larger, purer and less damaged cell populations in comparison with existing technologies, setting a new standard in cell separation.

The CEP cell separation device can be applied in numerous medical processes, bringing exceptional benefits to each. BioCep is currently developing applications in non-invasive prenatal testing and stem cell separation, based on its advanced technology.

According to Rachel Leibovitze, Business Development Manager at BioCep, the device could isolate tumor cells in cancer patients in order to see whether the treatment the patient is undergoing has been successful or not.

The device can also isolate rare fetal cells in the first few weeks of pregnancy for the purpose of replacing an amniocentesis with a non-invasive diagnostic test. This enables to determine if termination of the pregnancy is required and, if so, it can be done at an early stage.

BioCep is an Israeli innovation and the company’s headquarters are located at the Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat.

“We’ve sold two devices, one to a European company and one internally in Israel,” said Leibovitze. “We’re looking to expand our base of sales.”

BioCep recently won a third place award at the ILSI-Biomed 2012 Conference startup competition. The company will present its technology at the Youngstartup summit which will be held in New York in June.

Counting "Palestinian Refugees"

Source: Israel Hayom
By Daniel Pipes
Submitted by correspondent Tom Ifrach

The fetid, dark heart of the Arab war on Israel, I have long argued, lies not in disputes over Jerusalem, checkpoints, or "settlements." Rather, it concerns the so-called Palestinian refugees.

So-called, because of the nearly 5 million official refugees served by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, only about 1 percent are real refugees who fit the agency's definition of "people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." The other 99 percent are descendants of those refugees, or what I call fake refugees.

Worse: Those who were alive in 1948 are dying off, and in about 50 years not a single real refugee will remain alive, whereas (extrapolating from an authoritative estimate in Refugee Survey Quarterly by Mike Dumper) their fake refugee descendants will number about 20 million. Unchecked, that population will grow like Topsy until the end of time.

This matters because this refugee status has harmful effects: It blights the lives of these millions of non-refugees by disenfranchising them, while imposing an ugly, unrealistic irredentist dream on them. Even worse, refugee status preserves them as a permanent dagger aimed at Israel's heart, threatening the Jewish state and disrupting the Middle East.

Solving the Arab-Israeli conflict, in short, requires ending the absurd and damaging farce of proliferating fake Palestinian refugees and settling them permanently. 1948 happened; it’s time to get real.

Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is the force behind making long-needed changes to UNRWA.

I am proud to report that, in part based on the work carried out by the Middle East Forum's Steven J. Rosen and myself over the past year, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on May 24 unanimously passed a limited but potentially momentous amendment to the $52.1 billion fiscal 2013 State Department and foreign operations appropriations bill.

Kirk’s proposed amendment requires the State Department to inform Congress about the use of the annual $240 million of direct American taxpayer funds donated to Palestinian refugees via UNRWA. How many recipients, Kirk asks, meet the UNRWA definition cited above, making them real refugees? And how many do not, but are descendants of those refugees?

The Kirk amendment does not call for eliminating or even reducing benefits to fake refugees. Despite its limited nature, Kirk calls the reporting requirement a "watershed." Indeed, it inspired what a senior Senate GOP aide called "enormous opposition" from the Jordanian government and UNRWA itself, bringing on what Foreign Policy magazine's Josh Rogin called a raging battle.

Why the rage? Because, were the State Department compelled to differentiate real Palestine refugees from fake ones, the U.S. and other Western governments (who, together, cover over 80 percent of UNRWA's budget) could eventually decide to cut out the fakes and thereby undermine their claim to a "right of return" to Israel.

Deputy Secretary of State Thomas R. Nides is trying to maintain UNRWA's dysfunctional system.

Sadly, the Obama administration has badly botched this issue. A letter from Nides opposing an earlier version of the Kirk amendment demonstrates complete incoherence. On the one hand, Nides states that Kirk would, by forcing the U.S. government "to make a public judgment on the number and status of Palestinian refugees … prejudge and determine the outcome of this sensitive issue." On the other, Nides himself refers to "approximately 5 million refugees," thereby lumping together real and fake refugees, and prejudging exactly the issue he insists on leaving open. That 5 million refugee statement was no fluke; when asked about it, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell confirmed that "the U.S. government supports" the guiding principle to "recognize descendants of refugees as refugees."

Also, by predicting a "very strong negative reaction [to the amendment] from the Palestinians and our allies in the region, particularly Jordan," Nides invited Arabs to pressure the U.S. Senate, a shoddy maneuver unworthy of the State Department.

Through all of Israel's 64-year existence, one American president after another has vowed to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet every one of them ignored the ugliest aspect of this confrontation — the purposeful exploitation of a refugee issue to challenge the very existence of the Jewish state. Bravo to Kirk and his staff for the wisdom and courage to begin the effort to address unpleasant realities, initiating a change that finally goes to the heart of the conflict.

Daniel Pipes ( is president of the Middle East Forum and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. © 2012 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hamas Spokesman Highlights Group's Strategic Ties With Iran

Hamas prime minister Haniyeh and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei  
Source: IDF on YouTube

Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu discusses his Gaza-based terrorist group's strong ties with Iran.