Zio-Watch News Round-up

Dr. Patrick Slattery’s News Roundup, February 18, 2015



From the Independent

Sudan’s President claims CIA and Mossad ‘stand behind’ Isis and Boko Haram

Omar al-Bashir says ‘there is no Muslim who would carry out such acts’

Sudan’s President has claimed the CIA, America’s intelligence agency, and Israel’s Mossad are behind the Islamist militant groups Boko Haram and Isis.

Omar al-Bashir used an interview with Euronews to claim there was a connection between the American and Israeli intelligence organisations and both extremist groups.

He spoke after Isis released a video purporting to show the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, an act that prompted Egypt to respond with air strikes avenging the massacre.

Al-Bashir told the broadcaster: “I said CIA and the Mossad stand behind these organisations; there is no Muslim who would carry out such acts.”

Boko Haram abducted 300 girls from a school in Nigeria last year and recently claimed responsibility for the massacre in the north-east Nigerian town of Baga, warning in the video that the killings were “just the tip of the iceberg”.

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From Russia Today

Libya crisis ‘created by NATO intervention’ – scholar

Published time: February 18, 2015 03:24

RT Ameruca screenshotNATO’s 2011 intervention created the devastation and chaos in Libya that enabled the rise of Islamic State militants and the current crisis surrounding the killing of 21 Egyptian Christians, an American scholar told RT.

The current situation is “precisely the consequence of the kind of war NATO waged in Libya, destroying the infrastructure, collapsing the state, and allowing a bunch of different militia groups to be treated as heroes,” said Vijay Prashad, a professor at Trinity College in Connecticut, and the author of “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter.”

According to Prashad, the intervention “created the situation where today there are two governments. And in that chaos, of course, what breeds most effectively is this group that calls itself the Islamic State.”

Militants proclaiming loyalty to the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) – a terror group laying claim to parts of Syria and Iraq – captured and beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians on Sunday. In response, the Egyptian air force bombed the eastern Libyan city of Derna on Monday. Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi also called for a United Nations resolution mandating international intervention in Libya.

Following a February 2011 rebellion in eastern Libya, and a crackdown by the government, the United Nations adopted Resolution 1973, authorizing a no-fly zone in the country. NATO later expanded its operations to include direct air support to rebels, resulting in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi’s government in October 2011.

“The question of impunity has to be on the table,” Prashad said, noting that NATO’s lawyers responded to a UN request to have the intervention audited, as per UN rules, with a note saying that“NATO does not conduct human rights violations.”

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From The Times of Israel

Bennett: No Palestinian state, even if world ‘penalizes’ Israel

Jewish Home party leader says there’s no point relinquishing land to ‘satisfy the radical Islamist beast’

February 17, 2015, 11:18 am

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, speaks during an interview to The Associated Press in Jerusalem, Monday, February. 16, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, speaks during an interview to The Associated Press in Jerusalem, Monday, February. 16, 2015. (photo credit: AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

AP — With the prime minister under fire internationally for his hard-line policies, a key partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is standing firmly behind him ahead of the March parliamentary elections — heralding what could be an even tougher stance toward the Palestinians if the two sit together in the next government.

Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party — a lynchpin of Israel’s nationalist right that takes an even tougher line toward the Palestinians than Netanyahu’s Likud — told The Associated Press that the Palestinians should lower their expectations and forget about statehood.

“We are not going to give up more land. This approach has failed,” said Bennett, who is angling to become defense minister as part of the next coalition government if Netanyahu prevails in the March 17 vote. “Now, if it means that the world will penalize us, that is unfair but so be it.”

“I think the world right now is trying to twist Israel’s arm into committing a huge mistake that would damage our own future,” Bennett said.

While critics attack Netanyahu for resisting concessions to the Palestinians and being combative with the United States, Bennett insists the prime minister has not gone far enough. He said Netanyahu has embraced dovish policies by agreeing in principle to a Palestinian state, temporarily freezing West Bank settlement construction and releasing convicted Palestinian murderers in prisoner swaps.
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From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Argentina’s FM calls on Kerry to include AMIA bombing in Iran talks

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Argentina’ s foreign minister asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to include  the 1994 bombing attack on the AMIA Jewish center in the negotiations with Iran.

Hector Timerman on Tuesday sent a letter to Kerry and another to Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman, calling for the attack to be added to the agenda for world powers in their talks with Iran on its nuclear program. The letter noted that similar requests have gone unheeded.

“Today, I am asking you again that the AMIA issue be included in the negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the letter urged.

On Tuesday, Timerman summoned the U.S. ambassador to Buenos Aires, Noah Mamet, and Israel’s ambassador, Dorit Shavit, to a meeting in which they were informed of the letter.
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From Russia Today

Putin: West already supplies arms to Kiev, but Moscow optimistic about Minsk deal

Published time: February 17, 2015 19:32

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolskyi)

Vladimir Putin said that Kiev is being armed by Western allies, according to Moscow’s information, but insisted he was “optimistic” about implementing the Minsk agreement, noting that the intensity of fighting has declined.

“According to our data, weapons are already being supplied [to Kiev],” the Russian leader said at a press conference following his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. “This is not surprising. I am convinced that whoever is supplying the weapons, the number of victims may grow, but the outcome will not change. The vast majority of soldiers serving in the Ukrainian army have no motivation to participate in an internecine conflict away from home, while the Donbass militia have every reason to defend their families.”

Putin urged the Ukrainian government “not to prevent the soldiers in the Debaltsevo cauldron from surrendering, or at least not punish those who simply want to save their lives.”

Up to 5,000 Ukrainian troops are thought to be surrounded in this key area deep inside rebel territory.
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From The Times of Israel

Most Americans say inviting PM to DC was wrong

Poll also finds US citizens increasingly believe Washington should stay out of Israeli-Palestinian conflict

February 17, 2015, 2:09 pm

A CNN poll found that most US citizens believe Congress Republicans should have consulted the White House before inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak there.

Earlier Tuesday, Adele Bitton, a girl who was seriously wounded in a terror attack two years ago, died from complications of pneumonia. She was four years old.

In the afternoon, several parties sharply criticized the prime minister’s conduct following the publication of a special State Comptroller report on expenditure at the Prime Minister’s Residence.
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From The Times of Israel

Swedish radio apologizes for Jews’ responsibility question

Public radio presenter asked Israeli ambassador whether Jews are responsible for advancing anti-Semitism

February 18, 2015, 4:39 am

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, third left, and Jewish community leaders pay their respect outside the synagogue Krystalgade in Copenhagen, on February 15, 2015. (photo credit: AFP/Odd Andersen)

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, third left, and Jewish community leaders pay their respect outside the synagogue Krystalgade in Copenhagen, on February 15, 2015. (photo credit: AFP/Odd Andersen)

Swedish public radio apologized on Tuesday after a presenter questioned the Israeli ambassador about the responsibility of Jews for anti-Semitism, in the wake of the shooting of a Jewish man in neighboring Denmark.

Relations between Israel and Sweden are already strained over the Swedish parliament’s decision last year to formally recognize the Palestinian state.

On Tuesday, a journalist for Sveriges Radio (SR) asked ambassador Isaac Bachman on air: “Are Jews themselves responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?”

The ambassador appeared shocked by the suggestion, and replied: “I purely and simply reject the question.”

When the journalist asked “Why?”, Bachman said: “There was no reason to ask this question.”
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From PressTV

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his wife Sara


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again come under fire over the misuse of public money, ahead of the upcoming general elections.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara spend vast amounts of taxpayers’ money on food, furniture, cleaning and gardening at their residences in Jerusalem al-Quds and in the coastal city of Caesarea, an official watchdog report said on Tuesday.

“The way in which the budget of the prime minister’s residence was managed during the years 2009 until 2012 does not comply with the basic principles of money management, saving and efficiency and is likely to result in a waste of public funds,” the report said.

An average of $2,100 a month is spent for the cleaning of their residence in Caesarea, even though the couple rarely even spends a weekend there, the report added.
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From Russia Today

RT crew comes under shelling at Donetsk Airport

Published time: February 17, 2015 12:43

RT correspondent Murad Gazdiev and his crew have come under fire in the area of the Donetsk Airport, which was the scene of intense fighting for months before the ceasefire agreed in Minsk started on February 15.

Gazdiev, cameraman Sam Henderson from RT’s News Team show and a contributing cameraman, were filming at Donetsk International airport when it happened.

Just came under #Ukrainian mortar fire in #donetsk airport. Seemed to be targeting us. Footage on RT. everyone fine pic.twitter.com/TuZwt8wUaX

— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradoRT) February 17, 2015

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From Ynet News

Some Israelis second-guess Gaza op results

Polls taken both during and after Operation Protective Edge show drop in Israelis who believe IDF won conflict, marked increase in those who see Hamas as victor. Public opinion polls conducted for the Institute for National Security Studies reveal that some Israelis have been second-guessing the results of Operation Protective Edge in the months after its conclusion.

According to surveys taken during the operation and this week, the number of Israelis who believe the IDF was victorious in the campaign decreased while the percentage of those who say Hamas won increased significantly.Click here for the full story

From The Times of Israel

Lithuanian fascists march near Holocaust execution site

500 ultra nationalists converge near location where 10,000 Jews were massacred in one day by Nazis in 1941

February 17, 2015, 6:00 pm

Lithuanian fascists marching through Kaunus, Lithuania in February 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)

Lithuanian fascists marching through Kaunus, Lithuania in February 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)

KAUNAS, Lithuania — Approximately 500 ultra nationalists, some bearing Nazi swastikas, marched through a Lithuanian city that during the Holocaust saw the region’s most effective massacre of Jews.

Monday’s march through Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city 60 miles from the capital of Vilnius, was the eighth annual event organized by the Lithuanian Nationalist Youth Union on February 16 – one of the Baltic state’s two independence days.

As the marchers assembled at a local park, they were confronted by 20-odd protesters from the local Jewish community and anti-fascist groups who shadowed the marchers in a silent counter-demonstration.

“This march is particularly offensive because it is taking place where locals and Nazis murdered more than 10,000 Jews in one day,” said Dovid Katz, a US-born Jewish scholar of Yiddish who settled in Vilnius 16 years ago and has led protests against the veneration of Nazis in the Baltic States.

Yiddish scholar Dovid Katz speaking at Fordham University in New York City, NY. (screen capture: YouTube)
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