Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, December 30, 2014


From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

State Dept: Palestinian U.N. statehood resolution is not constructive

(JTA) — A draft Palestinian statehood resolution set to be introduced at the United Nations is counterproductive, the U.S. State Department said.

“We don’t think this resolution is constructive,” State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters Monday at a regular news briefing. “We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion.”

Rathke added that the resolution “fails to account for Israel’s legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, is integral to a sustainable settlement.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday that the Palestinians would take the initiative to the U.N. Security Council on Monday, despite U.S. opposition, according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.
Click here for the full story

From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Shas leader attempts to resign in aftermath of leaked video

Aryeh Deri said Monday that he was retiring from Shas and politics, the Times of Israel reported. However, the party’s council of rabbis rejected his resignation and ordered that he continue in his post.

Deri’s rival Eli Yishai, who headed the party for years, broke away from Shas earlier this month to start his own party, Ha’am Itanu.
Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Israeli forces kill another Palestinian in West Bank

A Palestinian throws a rock at Israeli troops during a protest in the northern West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum. (File photo)

Israeli forces have shot at least one Palestinian teenager dead in the occupied West Bank in the Tel Aviv regime’s latest act of aggression against Palestinians.

The teenager was killed in the town of Beit Ummar, located near the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), while two others were injured there by Israeli forces on Monday.

One of the wounded was shot in the head and is said to be in critical condition.

The violence came shortly after a young Palestinian was shot to death and another suffered gunshot wounds when Israeli soldiers opened fire on them southeast of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, on Monday.
Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Israeli soldiers shoot dead young Palestinian man

Israeli soldiers take position during clashes in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. (File photo)

A young Palestinian man has been shot dead and another suffered gunshot wounds when Israeli forces opened fire on them southeast of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Local Palestinian sources fired shots at the two young Palestinian men in the town of Beita, located about 13 kilometers (8.1 miles) southeast of Nablus, on Monday.

Imam Jamil Dweikat was killed on the spot, while 19-year-old Nael Thiab sustained moderate to serious injuries. He was rushed to a hospital in Nablus.

On December 24, five-year-old Palestinian child, Muhammad Jamal Ubeid, was severely wounded after Israeli forces fired a rubber bullet that hit him in the face, while he was getting out of a school bus in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Click here for the full story

From the Jewish Daily Forward

Orthodox Union Launches Push for Millions in Funding for New York Yeshivas

Watershed Lobby Effort Targets Tech and Special Ed Cash

Published December 29, 2014.

(JTA) — The Orthodox Union is launching a multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign to increase government funding for Jewish day schools in New York.

The organization will be adding staff to the 10 full-timers already working on the issue and launching a multi-year campaign, according to its executive vice president, Allen Fagin. He also said the O.U. will retain “one of the leading political strategists in New York” to guide the effort. The O.U. declined to disclose the strategist’s identity.

“We all recognize that the real solution to the tuition crisis lies in using our political power and our advocacy efforts to increase state and local government funding for yeshivot and day schools,” Fagin said Saturday night at a speech at the O.U.’s biannual convention, which drew a crowd of about 350 to a hotel in this suburban village not far from Manhattan.
Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Gazans suffering from severe electricity shortage

Palestinian children hold candles during a protest against power cuts in Gaza City. (File photo)

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip live in dire conditions as they have to struggle with lengthy and annoying power cuts since the latest Israeli war on the besieged territory, Press TV reports.

The situation in the coastal enclave has not improved since Israel’s 50-day offensive this summer while power cuts are a major daily concern for the people in Gaza.

The territory has one diesel-powered plant that on its best days before the Israeli aggression provided a quarter of what Gaza’s 1.8 million residents consume. The Israeli regime targeted it several times during the war and it is not yet fully operational.

Gaza’s population currently has electricity at homes, schools and hospitals for only six hours per day and in some areas power cuts last longer.

Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Israel’s arrest campaign targting Palestinian children

Israeli policemen detain a Palestinian boy in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). (File photo)

The Israeli regime proceeds with its arrest campaign against Palestinians, which has gained momentum over the past several months, Press TV reports.

This comes as there are many minors among those arrested by Israeli forces, while most of them receive heavy sentences for actions like hurling stones.

“The Palestinians have a right to resist the occupation in different forms, and there is nothing to justify the increase in the number of Palestinians’ arrests. The Israeli forces often target minors and school students in their arrest operations. The Israeli courts fabricate charges against them saying that those who have been detained were throwing stones,” said Abdelal Anany, the director of the Palestinian Prisoners Society which is a non-governmental organization.

Reports said that Israeli forces detained seven Palestinians aged between 14 and 21 years in the town of Taqou’ in the occupied West Bank in their latest acts of aggression against Palestinian people.
Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Palestine presents independence draft to UNSC

Supporters of Palestinian statehood are seen outside the UK parliament before the MPs’ historic vote on recognizing a Palestinian state.

Palestinians have formally presented a resolution to the United Nations Security Council, calling for the recognition of an independent Palestinian state and the termination of the Israeli occupation.

The draft resolution, presented on Monday, underscores among other things the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state with East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, an end to the issue of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, and termination of construction of illegal settlements by Tel Aviv regime.

The text of the resolution was submitted to the members of the UNSC by the Jordanian ambassador to the international body, Dina Kawar.

The draft was backed by Arab ambassadors as well.
Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Gazan kids’ mental health raise concerns

A screaming Palestinian child is treated at al-Shifa hospital after Israeli forces shelled her home in Gaza City on July 18, 2014.

Health officials in the war-torn Gaza Strip have voiced concern over the mental health of the Palestinian children who survived Israel’s 50-day onslaught in summer.

In some cases, the trauma is so severe that the children can no longer live normal lives, said health professional, Samir Zaqqut.

“The memories they have acquired during the war are harsh and impossible to erase,” he said, adding, “They have all undergone successive shocks and continuous traumas.”

Dealing with the flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety is made even more difficult by the lack of mental health professionals and clinics in the besieged enclave, the official noted.
Click here for the full story

From PressTV

Gaza Strip flower industry dying: OfficialThe file photo shows a bunch of flowers in a flower shop in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The file photo shows a bunch of flowers in a flower shop in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The flower industry in the besieged Gaza Strip has been experiencing crippling problems, causing a drastic reduction in the number of of flowers produced there, Palestinian sources say.

The Palestine Agriculture Ministry says almost all farmers in the blockaded enclave have stopped cultivating flowers, Sky News Arabia, an Arabic news channel, reported.

The ministry further said that the flower industry in the coastal sliver encountered thorny problems after the Netherlands decided to cut its logistic support for the activity there.

According to reports, the flowers cultivated in the blockaded area used to be exported to European countries. However, the flowers produced in the Gaza Strip are now just sent to local markets.

Click here for the full story

From the Jewish Daily Forward

4 Jewiest TV Shows Are Coming Back in 2015

Tribe’s Great Shows Return For New Season

By Sheerly Avni
Published December 29, 2014, issue of January 02, 2015.
Judaism has never been treated so casually — and by casually I mean as a recognizable and relatable part of American life — as it was last year on American TV. Even though the shows listed below vary in terms of how explicitly “Jewish” they are (“The Americans” is included on the strength of just one devastating episode, for example), they all offer unapologetic reflections of Jewish life in its infinite variety. The anti-assimilationists need never have feared. TV finally reflects what Jews already knew: We’re Americans, but we never stopped being Jews. Our sensibility, humor, curly hair, and questionable family boundaries are everywhere you look on the small screen — with nary a gefilte fish joke in sight. And we’re looking forward to seeing more of ourselves when these shows return in 2015.

1. “Transparent”

With the character of Maura Pfefferman, “Transparent” writer-showrunner Jill Soloway may have provided Jeffrey Tambor with the greatest role of his life (and for fans of “Arrested Development” and the late great “Larry Sanders Show,” that’s saying a lot). When the patriarch-now-turned-matriarch of the mostly lovable, sometimes functional Pfefferman clan wonders out loud “how it is that I raised three people that cannot see beyond themselves,” we share her pain, even as we watch her play an endless round robin of divide-and-conquer with her three grown children. The easy answer would be that selfish parents produce selfish children, but Soloway isn’t interested in easy answers. Rather, she’s interested in transparency itself — how desperately we all want to be seen and loved for who we are, and how one secret begets others, which in turn beget the sort of friction and confusion that can tear families apart. Fortunately, truth also begets more truth, and one of the great delights of this 10-episode dramedy that premiered on Amazon is watching Maura’s children slowly, clumsily, find their way home to each other, all the while bickering over rabbis, allowances, the family house, and missed bat mitzvahs.

2. “The Americans”
Click here for the full story