Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, December 5, 2014


From the Independent

The West is to blame for Syrian conflict, says Saudi prince

 The West’s failure to intervene in Syria’s civil war contributed to its descent into a bloodbath and not enough is being done, even now, to protect the battered population, according to a senior and influential member of the Saudi royal family.

The decision by western European states to restrict air strikes against Isis was “unacceptable” and “boggles one’s mind”, said Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former head of the kingdom’s intelligence service who served as ambassador to both Britain and the US.

While America and its Middle East allies bomb Isis in Syria and Iraq, Britain, France and other countries are limiting air strikes to Iraq. “How does this make sense, to bomb one place and not the other? It is like taking action against a thief stealing from one neighbour’s home, but not [doing] anything about the home next door. It boggles one’s mind and is unacceptable,” the Prince told the European Council on Foreign Relations in London.

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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Jewish group leading N.Y. protest march on Eric Garner decision

NEW YORK (JTA) – Several high-profile New York rabbis are scheduled to join a Manhattan protest of a grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner, an unarmed black man.

The march set for Thursday night on the heavily Jewish Upper West Side neighborhood is being coordinated by the Jews for Racial & Economic Justice advocacy group. The protest is in solidarity with a coalition of 64 local and national organizations.

Among the rabbis scheduled to take part are Rolando Matalon of B’nai Jeshurun, a major Upper West Side congregation; Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah, a Jewish human rights advocacy organization; and Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the largest LGBT synagogue in North America.

On Wednesday, a Staten Island grand jury decided not to indict Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who was shown in a video from July 17 holding Garner in a chokehold while arresting him. The medical examiner ruled that Garner’s death was a homicide.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Eric Cantor’s son is member of frat at center of Univ. of Virginia rape scandal

(JTA) — A son of the former congressman Eric Cantor is a member of the University of Virginia fraternity at the center of a high-profile rape scandal.

Michael “Mikey” Cantor, whose father until recently was the sole Jewish Republican in Congress, belongs to Phi Kappa Psi at the Charlottesville school, according to The Daily Caller website.

The younger Cantor has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

An investigative report published last month in Rolling Stone magazine chronicles the story of a woman named Jackie, who alleges that she was gang-raped at the fraternity house in 2012 by seven men while two other men looked on. In response to the article, the university suspended all fraternity activities through Jan. 9.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

House approves bill that strengthens U.S. alliance with Israel

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that strengthens the U.S.-Israel alliance.

The 2014 United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act, which passed the House on Wednesday night, declares Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, thus expanding authority for U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel and upgrading Israel’s trade status to expedite export licensing.

The measure, which passed the Senate unanimously in September, awaits the signature of President Obama.

It also encourages the inclusion of Israel in the United States’ visa waiver program if it meets program requirements. Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, water, homeland security, agriculture and alternative fuel technologies also is included in the legislation.
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From PressTV

Israel regularly arrests Palestinian children

An Israeli soldier arrests a Palestinian child. (file photo)
Thu Dec 4, 2014 12:14AM

The Israeli regime arrests Palestinian children on a daily basis in an attempt to intimidate the families under occupation, Press TV reports.

“Around 1,200 Palestinians have been arrested, mostly children. Many of them were assaulted during arrest,” said an activist on Wednesday.

He also said Tel Aviv was even breaking the Israeli law by the arrests.

“Even the method of arrest is facing severe criticism in all levels, even in the level of the Israeli law… (which) dictates that it  is forbidden to arrest a child alone or to interrogate him alone. It has also forbidden the arrest of children at night. All these procedures exist today out in the open to frighten families and their children.”

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From PressTV

Israeli soldiers shoot, injure Palestinian teen in West Bank

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

Israeli soldiers take position during clashes in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. (File photo)
Wed Dec 3, 2014 5:18PM

Israeli soldiers have shot and injured a Palestinian teenager during clashes near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.

Palestinian security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said scuffles broke out between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces after the latter stormed Askar refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus, located approximately 49 kilometers (30 miles) north of al-Quds (Jerusalem), on Wednesday morning.

The Israeli troopers fired gunshots to disperse the crowd and a 14-year-old Palestinian teenager, identified as Ahmad Mazin, was shot in the foot.

Israeli troops also raided downtown Nablus and the city’s eastern neighborhood of al-Makhfiyya, where clashes also erupted. There were no immediate reports on possible casualties.
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From PressTV

Israeli forces target Palestinian fishermen off Gaza, injure one

This file photo shows Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza City.
Wed Dec 3, 2014 3:0PM

Israeli warships have opened fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, seriously wounding a fisherman.

Head of the Gaza Fishermen’s Syndicate, Nizar Ayash, said the fisherman, identified as 32-year-old Fakher Nizar Abu Riyaleh, was critically injured in the head by shrapnel from Israeli shells on Wednesday.

Ayash added that the injured Palestinian fisherman was taken to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City to receive medical treatment.

On November 9, Israeli gunboats targeted a Palestinian fishing boat off the coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, injuring three fishermen.
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From PressTV

Lebanese army opens fire at intruding Israeli drone

An Israeli soldier launches a drone near the border with the Gaza Strip (File photo).

An Israeli soldier launches a drone near the border with the Gaza Strip (File photo).
Fri Dec 5, 2014 6:31AM

The Lebanese army has fired at an intruding Israeli reconnaissance drone flying at low altitude in the Bekaa region. 

In a statement, the Lebanese army said it opened anti-aircraft fire at an Israeli reconnaissance drone over Riyaq military airport in east-central Bekaa region on Thursday.

“Around 10:30 am an Israeli reconnaissance plane overflew Riyaq region and army units in the area responded by opening anti-aircraft fire,” the army said.

It is unclear whether the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was shot down.
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From PressTV

UN raps Israel over demolition of Palestinian houses

The file photo shows a Palestinian woman mourning after her house was demolished by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.
Fri Dec 5, 2014 12:29AM

The United Nations has censured the Israeli regime for demolishing Palestinian houses in the occupied West Bank, calling it a violation of the most basic human rights.

The demolition of homes as a “punitive” measure against Palestinians runs counter to international laws and must stop, UN Humanitarian Coordinator James W. Rawley told a press conference on Thursday.

The Israeli regime routinely demolishes the houses of those Palestinians whom it accuses of being involved in attacks against Israelis.

Rawley said, “Punitive demolitions are a form of collective penalty that punishes people for acts they did not commit. They render innocent people homeless. The impact on children, women and the elderly is particularly devastating.”

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From PressTV

Some 14,000 Israelis raided al-Aqsa Mosque in 2014: NGO

File photo shows Israeli forces firing tear gas at Palestinian worshippers at al-Aqsa Mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Thu Dec 4, 2014 6:53PM

A Palestinian non-governmental organization says nearly 14,000 Israelis, most of them extremist settlers, have forced their way into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) since the beginning of 2014.

The al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said in a statement issued on Thursday that as many as 13,757 Israelis have stormed the site since the start of 2014, compared to 12,771 who stormed the compound throughout the preceding year.

The organization stated that some 1,600 Israelis, including 1,411 settlers, 104 soldiers and 83 intelligence agents, stormed the sacred site in October alone.

In November, over 1,200 Israelis entered the place, including 1,081 settlers, 104 soldiers and 22 Israeli intelligence officers.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Ben Carson, potential GOP presidential candidate, stands by U.S.-Nazi Germany comparison

(JTA) — Dr. Ben Carson, who is considering a 2016 Republican presidential run, reiterated his provocative opinion that the United States is comparable to Nazi Germany.

Carson, asked Wednesday in an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer whether he would like to qualify or retract his comparison, said “absolutely not.”

In March, the prominent retired neurosurgeon and author had made the analogy in an interview with the conservative outlet Breitbart News. He said then that the U.S. government uses “its tools to intimidate the population.”

On Wednesday, Carson told Blitzer that the pressure to be politically correct is an issue of liberty affecting the entire country.
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

U.S. Holocaust museum gets $25 million gift, largest in its history

WASHINGTON (JTA) – An Arizona family is donating $25 million to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum — the largest gift in the Washington museum’s history — to increase its educational programming.

The gift from the William Levine family of Phoenix will be used to expand and diversify its reach, especially to young people, according to the museum. The museum’s National Institute for Holocaust Education now will be called the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education.

Levine is an investor and real estate developer who founded Outdoor Systems, an outdoor advertising firm. He was appointed to the museum’s governing council by President George W. Bush in 2007.

“The Holocaust is receding in time and yet its lessons have never been more relevant and urgent than they are today as we witness rising anti-Semitism, hatred, and extremism,” museum director Sara Bloomfield said. “Complacency is not an option, and thanks to Bill Levine’s leadership and generosity, we can tackle the future with a very ambitious vision of reaching a global audience.”
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From the Jewish Telegrapic Agency

Matti Friedman vs. alleged anti-Israel media bias, Round 2

 By Raffi Wineburg

Whatever the circumstances surrounding Matti Friedman’s departure from The Associated Press in 2011, it’s safe to say he’s not returning anytime soon.

The former reporter and editor with the international wire service’s Jerusalem bureau made waves in August with a remarkably popular Tablet essay in which he argued that the Western media had a “hostile obsession with Jews.” In a second essay, published Sunday in The Atlantic, Friedman insisted that Western journalists depict the Jews of Israel “more than any other people on earth as examples of moral failure,” and accused AP staffers of a number of questionable journalistic practices.

While the first essay prompted a slew of raves and rebuttals, including a response from former AP Jerusalem Bureau Chief Steve Gutkin, the second was apparently too much for the media giant. The AP shot back at its former employee Monday with an online statement one day after his piece went live on The Atlantic’s website.

“Over the past three months, in one media forum after another, Matti Friedman . . . has eagerly offered himself as an authority on international coverage of Israel and the Palestinian territories, repeatedly referencing the AP. His arguments have been filled with distortions, half-truths and inaccuracies, both about the recent Gaza war and more distant events,” the statement began.
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From PressTV

Israeli troops arrest 13 Palestinians across West Bank

A Palestinian flashes the sign of victory as he is arrested by Israeli forces in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). (File photo)

A Palestinian flashes the sign of victory as he is arrested by Israeli forces in East al-Quds (Jerusalem). (File photo)
Thu Dec 4, 2014 1:29PM

Israeli forces have abducted more than a dozen Palestinian people in overnight operations on a number of houses across the occupied West Bank.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, Israeli troops stormed the Palestinian town of Tuqu’, located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) southeast of Bethlehem, late on Wednesday, and detained six people.

A Palestinian was arrested in the town of Beit Fajjar, situated eight kilometers (about five miles) south of Bethlehem, while an 18-year-old Palestinian, identified as Abd al-Rahman Naim Abd al-Rahman, was detained in the village of Deir Abu Mash’al, located 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of Ramallah.

Israeli soldiers also seized five Palestinians during operation across East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
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From PressTV

US-led coalition airstrikes in Syria illegal: Syria president

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Thu Dec 4, 2014 12:21PM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has described as “an illegal intervention” the US-led aerial bombarding campaign purported to be against Takfiri ISIL militants in his country.

“It is an illegal intervention, first, because it did not receive the approval of the [UN] Security Council. Then, because it has not taken into consideration the sovereignty of a state, which is Syria,” Assad said in an interview given to Paris Match magazine published on Thursday.

Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against the ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. However, the raids have so far failed to dislodge the ISIL.

Assad further said that the war between the Syrian army and the Takfiri militants “is not about a war between two armies, where one occupies a territory and the other another one. It is another type of war. We are dealing with terrorist groups that infiltrate a town or village. So this war will be long and difficult.”
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