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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Calls for a UK Apology to the Palestinian People . Motion to the Scottish Parliament Aug 24, 2015

The following motion has been presented to the Scottish Parliament by Jean Urquhart MSP.
Ms Urquhart is Co-Convener of the Cross-Party Group on Palestine at the Scottish Parliament.
For several months, Scottish Friends of Israel (SFI) has been been warning the Israel Embassy and advocating that serious notice be taken by pro-Israel groups, and anyone else who would listen, of the activities of an anti-Israel campaign, the Balfour Project, planned, led and promoted by, among others, the Rev Stephen Sizer who was recently censured by the Church of England Bishop of Guilford for disseminating “openly racist” and  “anti-Semitic” material.
The main thrust of the Balfour Project is a call to the Westminster Parliament to make an apology (as framed in this motion) and to engage willing MPs, MSPs and others in promotion of its aims, leading up to the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in 2017. This motion to the Scottish Parliament is the first salvo.
There has also been a concerted effort by this campaign to have this narrative inserted into the curriculum of Scottish schools. Their activists, promoted the contents of the after-mentioned motion at a recent meeting of the Cross-party Group on Palestine at the Scottish Parliament, where it was suggested by an education Quality Improvement Officer from West Dunbartonshire Council that such a narrative was“Needed to balance the Holocaust one”.
I think that quote alone sums up the mind-set of those willing to promote this narrative.
SFI is currently in communications with the Scottish Government and local authority education officials to alert them accordingly.   
Calls for a UK Apology to the Palestinian People 

That the Parliament regrets the decision of the UK to disengage from Palestine on 14 May 1948; believes that this contributed to the subsequent Arab-Israeli conflict and the displacement or expulsion of around 700,000 Palestinians in an event known as al-Nakba or "the Catastrophe"; considers that it constituted a failure by the UK in its duty to protect the Palestinian people during partition; offers an apology on behalf of the people of Scotland, and calls on the UK Government to offer a similar apology. 

Supported by: John Finnie, Bill Kidd

Monday, 24 August 2015

Hamas Forced to Apologize for Anti-Semitic 'Rape' Cartoon

Hamas Forced to Apologize for Anti-Semitic 'Rape' Cartoon

Both Hamas and notorious Arab cartoonist apologize for graphic anti-Semitic cartoon - for insulting Palestinians in 'West Bank.'

Hamas has been forced to apologize for a graphic cartoon depicting a Jew "raping" the "West Bank" (Judea and Samaria) - because it offended Arabs in the area.

The cartoon, which was highlighted and translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) incitement watchdog, once again underlined the ongoing culture of incitement within the Palestinian media, as well as the prevalence of anti-Semitism among Palestinian Arabs.

But it also highlights the ongoing tension between the rival Islamist Hamas and Arab-nationalist Fatah, who have been at loggerheads since Fatah's ouster from Gaza by Hamas in 2007.

The image, seen above, depicts a long-nosed Jew wearing black clothing raping an Arab woman wearing a yellow dress - the color of Fatah, which rules Judea-Samaria via the Palestinian Authority - while simultaneously shooting her young children. The woman is labeled "West Bank".

Next to the scene are two men; one, a member of the PA security forces, stands next to a sign saying "West Bank [Palestinian] Authority," smoking a cigar and ignoring the rape and murder. The other man - whose face is masked by a keffiyeh, stands behind a barbed wire fence next to a sign reading "Gaza", and is standing on a blood-drenched Israel army helmet. The man in Gaza is shouting to the woman "West Bank, get up and defend your honor and your children!" who responds "Yes, I would like to, but I have no permit."

The vulgar anti-Semitic cartoon was posted onto Hamas's Twitter account, and triggered an almost immediate outrage - not for its anti-Semitism, but for being perceived as an insult to Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria. 

It was drawn by Palestinian cartoonist Baha Yassin, who regularly glorifies terrorism and other forms of violence against Jews in his graphic, often bloody caricatures.

Both Hamas and Yassin apologized for the cartoon and removed it from their social media pages. 

Yassin also replaced the cartoon on his Facebook page with a second cartoon, which appears to be the next "scene" to the previous one.

In it, the "Jew" lies dead with stab wound in his back, while his killer, a woman labeled "West Bank" - but dressed in Hamas's color, green - towers over him, brandishing a knife dripping with blood. The knife-wielding woman is seen rebuking another woman, dressed in Fatah's colors, who is renamed "[Palestinian] Authority," telling her: "I will attain what my children deserve and what you deserve, [Palestinian] Authority of shame."

The police post is labeled "Security Cooperation Position," and a line of text accompanying the cartoon says "This is the West Bank that I know."

According to the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi, widespread anger on social media "caused the Ministry of Interior in Gaza - run by the Hamas movement - to announce that it intends to 'take legal action against this caricaturist, who harms our people, its culture, its resistance, and its struggle.'"

Hamas's official Al-Risala website disassociated itself from cartoonist Yassin, while pan-Arab Al-Hayat Al-Jadida said the "Palestinian journalists' union expressed dismay" over the caricature, which it said "very severely harmed the holy sites of our people, its unity, and its symbols."

Unsurprisingly, both cartoon's blatant anti-Semitism went totally unremarked upon.

Such anti-Semitic caricatures and stereotypes are a staple feature of Palestinian Arab media, as PMW has regularly highlighted.

source: israelnationalnews

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Isis in Syria: Islamic State and other rebels now control most of the country



Islamic State (Isis) militants and other rebel groups now control five-sixths of Syria, with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad left controlling an area the size of Belgium, according to a military intelligence report. The area Syria under the control of government forces has shrunk by a further 18% to 11,500 square miles (29,800 sq km) since January of this year.

In July, Assad said that the Syrian Army had to relinquish control of some areas of the country because of a lack of soldiers.

Analysts from IHS Jane’s Information Group say the regime is focusing on shoring up its defence of the capital city Damascus and a strip of territory along the Mediterranean coast. The strategy is to defend the ancestral home of Assad’s family and of the Alawite sect of Shi’ite Islam from which his support base is drawn, the Times reported.

“The key areas which Assad cannot afford to lose include Damascus, the Alawite coastal provinces of Latakia and Tartous, and the city of Homs,” senior Middle East analyst of IHS Jane’s Information Group Columb Strack told the Times. “These cities are likely to be defended, even at the expense of other cities like Aleppo or Daraa.”

Assad facing defeat

Rebel fighters – which include IS militants – have made significant gains in recent times. The Jaish al-Fatah rebel group, which is backed by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, having gained ground in the northern province of Idlib. Meanwhile, in the last two weeks, other rebel fighters reached the al-Jibal Sahiliyah Mountains, a range of peaks that run from north to south that offers a natural defence to the coastal plain, the Times reported.

Assad’s forces appear to be weak and depleted despite financial assistance from Russia and Iran, Voice of America reported. The regime’s defensive weakness is at the hinge around the border with Lebanon, and IS has forces on both the east and west sides of the vital link road, according to analysts from Jane’s.

“The bigger picture is that Assad is not going to last much longer,” Strack said.

The four year-old civil war has killed around 250,000 people, mostly civilians. In addition, around 8 million people have been displaced, more than half becoming refugees attempting to enter Europe.

- See more at:

Monday, 17 August 2015

Labour to investigate after MP called ‘Zionist scumbag’ for opposing Jeremy Corbyn

By Marcus Dysch, August 17, 2015
Labour MP and leading campaigner against antisemitism John Mann
Labour MP and leading campaigner against antisemitism John Mann
Labour will investigate after dozens of antisemitic messages were sent to non-Jewish MPs who have criticised party leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn.
John Mann, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, said he had received more than 40 abusive emails and tweets in the past six weeks.
They referred to him as “utter filth” and a “Zionist stooge”.
Mr Mann has been vocal in his opposition to Mr Corbyn’s campaign to lead the party. He claimed the abuse was coming from supporters of the favourite to be leader.
On Sunday Mr Mann re-tweeted a number of the messages, including some suggesting he was under the influence of Israel.
He said other Labour supporters had sent him tweets to report similar abuse, including from Jewish party members who had been accused of dual loyalty.
“I have very serious concerns about Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters,” Mr Mann told the Sunday Express. “I’ve received some vicious antisemitic abuse and I’m expecting the Labour Party to take action against this.
“This began six weeks ago when I challenged the membership system. I said it was crazy. This was something I’ve done several times, including in Parliament on May 10, before Corbyn was a leadership candidate.
“I warned the system would lead to all sort of groups joining in. It is a mad system open to abuse by everyone, from the far-right to the far-left.
“It seems I was right. I have been described as a servant of the Israeli Prime Minister, a Nazi Zionist, a Zionist scumbag. This is all because I chair the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-Semitism.”
Mr Mann said many of those sending abuse had openly expressed their support for Mr Corbyn.
He said other non-Jewish MPs, including leadership candidate Liz Kendall and new Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan were among those targeted for antisemitic abuse.
Mr Corbyn said last week that there “should not be any antisemitic, Islamophobic or racist slogans or banners at any demonstration, ever”.
In a major speech in London on Sunday, former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a veiled reference to Mr Corbyn's positions.
Although not mentioning the MP by name, Mr Brown said: "I have to say that if our global alliances are going to be alliances with Hezbollah and Hamas and Hugo Chavez's Venezuela and Vladimir Putin's Russia, there is absolutely no chance of building a world-wide alliance that can deal with poverty and inequality and climate change and financial instability, and we've got to face up to that fact."
Mr Corbyn has previously described Hezbollah and Hamas as "friends".

Amnesty defends senior official’s anti-Israel tweets

By Naomi Firsht, August 17, 2015
Amnesty International has defended their campaigns manager after the Israeli embassy complained about alleged anti-Israel tweets, saying the posts highlighted “the need for justice and accountability”.
Kristyan Benedict posted messages about the arson attack on a Palestinian home in the village of Douma in July, which resulted in two deaths.
One of the tweets read: “Palestinian baby burned to death in settler attack. They see their government getting away with murder every day.”
Mr Benedict also retweeted a post by Hamas relating to “Israel’s war crimes”.
Eitan Na’eh, charge d’affaires at the Israeli embassy, complained about the tweets to Amnesty UK director Kate Allen.
In response Fionna Smyth, Amnesty’s head of priority campaigns, said Mr Benedict’s tweet on the arson attack highlighted a “lack of accountability” over “settler violence” on the West Bank.
In a statement, she wrote: “Our work is focused on exposing human rights violations by all parties in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and in working toward justice and accountability.
“Kristyan Benedict’s tweet concerning an Amnesty report on Rafah clearly conveyed a message about the need for justice and accountability, including through the International Criminal Court.
“Kristyan’s tweet on the dreadful killing of 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha referred to a past history of a lack of accountability over so-called “Price Tag” attacks and settler violence in the West Bank.
“We condemn human rights abuses committed by all parties, whether Hamas, by other armed Palestinian groups, or indeed Israeli forces.
“This year we’ve published a major report condemning Palestinian armed groups’ indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks on civilian areas in Israel during the conflict last July and August, a report on how Hamas tortured and killed Palestinian ‘collaborators' during the conflict, and also a report on Israel’s attack on Rafah in July 2014.
“We have responded in writing to the Israeli embassy, making some of these points.”
● A report in Monday's The Times claimed Senior Amnesty official Yasmin Hussein had undeclared private links to Islamists.
Ms Hussein, the charity’s faith and human rights director, was claimed to have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.
She denied the claim, and was reported as telling the charity that the alleged connections were purely circumstantial.

Mahmoud Abbas to visit Iran as PA - Iran strengthen bilateral ties

Itamar Marcus 

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will be visiting Teheran in the near future in order to strengthen bilateral ties. Senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki, who is traveling to Iran to arrange Abbas’ visit, said the ties are “an inevitable step if we [the palestinians] want to confront the Israeli occupation.” In the past Iran was a significant supplier of weapons used in terror against Israel and was behind the shipping of 50 tons of weapons to the Palestinian Authority on the ship "Karine A" that Israel intercepted in 2002. 

Earlier this month Abbas already sent a senior official to Teheran to deliver a personal letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani about the “Israeli offensives against ‘our people and its holy places.’” PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmed Majdalani was sent “to repair its relations with Iran... and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect.”

Significantly, the PA has been reluctant up until now to publicly take sides in the Syrian civil war, in which Iran has been the main supporter of the forces of Syrian President Assad. It may be that in the interest of receiving Iranian aid the PA is willing to side with the Assad regime.

At that first meeting it was decided to schedule the Abbas visit to Iran and that Abbas Zaki will lead a Fatah delegation to Iran to plan the details of the visit.
The following are the articles about the Abbas visit and Iran- PA ties in greater detail:

“Palestinian officials stated yesterday [Aug. 15, 2015] that the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement are working for the development of ties with Iran, after an agreement was reached last month with the powers regarding its nuclear program.
A senior PLO official said to AFP that ‘there is an agreement in principle from Iran’s side to receive President Mahmoud Abbas,’ without the date being set. On the same topic, Fatah officials said that a high level delegation from the movement will visit Iran ‘soon,’ in order to organize President Abbas’ visit.
Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki stated to a local radio station that he will head a delegation to Iran,’ as part of the efforts to strengthen ties with it [Iran], and in order to organize President Abbas’ visit. He said that ‘the development of our ties with Iran is an inevitable step if we want to confront the Israeli occupation.’"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 16, 2015]

“PLO Executive Committee Member Ahmed Majdalani, delivered a letter from President Mahmoud Abbas to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani yesterday [Aug. 9, 2015], Sunday.
This took place during a meeting Majdalani held with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Majdalani said that the letter refers to the current state of affairs and Israeli offensives against ‘our people and its holy places, and the bilateral relations between the State of Palestine and the Iranian Republic.’”
[Wattan News Agency, Aug. 10, 2015]

"The [Palestinian] Authority hastened to repair its relations with Iran and the President hastened to send a messenger to Tehran, and it was agreed to determine actual steps to bring the occupation to an end, in addition to Palestinian participation in resolving the Syrian crisis. This is due to the fact that President Abbas’ initiative and the Iranian initiative to end the war taking place there intersect. Interestingly, President Abbas’ messenger to Tehran, [PLO Executive Committee Member] Dr. Ahmed Majdalani said to the Ma’an news agency that ‘the visit was planned in advance, and not meant to coincide with the signing of the nuclear agreement, but rather occurred at the same time by chance ... The Iranian agreement will open the way for the Palestinian cause.’
Majdalani and the Iranian Foreign Minister, who met in Tehran on Sunday [Aug. 9, 2015], agreed on the development of mutual relations. Likewise, the president’s messenger revealed that there will be significant developments in the bilateral relations in the near future, through the establishment of a high-level joint committee to discuss politics, trade, culture and students. The [Palestinian] Authority clarified to the Iranian leadership its position regarding a reconciliation with the Hamas movement through the establishment of a national unity government, and Majdalani added that ‘the Iranian effort to support our efforts to bring about the success of the internal reconciliation process with Hamas is important.’
Likewise, Majdalani discussed with the Iranian minister the results of the nuclear agreement with the US, especially in light of the fact that it will open the way for an international committee to clean the region of Israeli nuclear weapons since Israel no longer has the excuse that there is a nuclear Iran that threatens its existence.”
[Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, Aug. 9, 2015 
(updated Aug. 10, 2015)]


Matisyahu is victim of BDS antisemitism, say Spanish Jews

By Jessica Weinstein, August 17, 2015
Spanish Reggae festival Rototom has droppedJewish musician Matisyahu from its line-up after he refused a request to publicly back a Palestinian state.
The ex-Chasid was given an ultimatum by the festival organisers, who told him the if he “sign[ed] such a declaration [publicly affirming his support for the Palestinians, he] can perform,” according to Spanish daily El Pais.
The request came as a result of pressure from the BDS movement and other artists scheduled to perform at the festival , who said that Matisyahu was “seen to represent Israel”, even though he is not Israeli.
The Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain said that the cancellation was "cowardly, unfair and discriminatory".
It added: “As Spaniards, we are ashamed of the organisers. In this case, the BDS Movement employed all its antisemitic arsenal against the participation of Matthew Paul Miller [Matisyahu’s offstage name].”
In a statement on Rototom’s official Facebook page, festival organisers said that the event had a “sensitivity to Palestine, its people and the occupation of its land by Israel”.
Five other artists due to appear at the festival have backed out because of the BDS campaign, according to El Pais.