From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency
In new recording, Barak calls Netanyahu ‘weak’
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called Benjamin Netanyahu “weak” in recordings aired on an Israeli news channel.
“Bibi is weak, he doesn’t…he doesn’t want to take tough steps unless he is forced to do so,” Barak said in the recordings aired on Sunday on Israel’s Channel 2.
“Bibi himself is immersed in a kind of deep pessimism and has a tendency … in the balance between fear and hope, he prefers, generally, to err on the side of fear. He once referred to it as ‘worried,’” Barak said.
The recordings are the latest in a series of interviews with Barak that have come to light in recent days. In a recording aired Friday, Barak said he and Netanyahu wanted to order an Israel Air Force attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi stopped them in 2010, saying the Israeli military was not prepared. Later, Barak said, Moshe Ya’alon, now the defense minister, and Yuval Steinitz, then finance minister and now the minister of energy, objected.
Israel issues more demolition directives in East al-Quds
The Israeli regime has given green light for the demolition of three more Palestinian properties, including a mosque in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), Palestinian sources say.
Majdi al-Abbasi, a Palestinian official from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan, said on Sunday that Israeli municipality authorities also ordered the demolition of a studio apartment and a house in the area, Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
The al-Qaaqaa Mosque, whose demolition Israel has ordered, was built three years ago. With a built-up area of 110 square meters, it serves 5,000 worshipers.
Earlier this week, an Israeli court ordered the demolition of a soccer field and a neighboring warehouse in Silwan.
Silwan is one of many neighborhoods where Palestinians are being forced from their property to make room for Israeli settlements.
Over 76k sign UK online petition calling for Israeli PM’s arrest
More than 76,000 people have signed a petition on the website of the British Parliament, calling on the government to arrest Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for war crimes against Palestinians when he visits London next month.
The online petition, which went viral on August 7, demands the apprehension of Israel’s 65-year-old chairman of the Likud party upon arrival in London.
The arrest petition is for Netanyahu’s involvement in the massacre of thousands of Palestinians during the summer 2014 Israeli onslaught against the blockaded Gaza Strip. The petition collected 76,062 signatures as of Sunday morning.
“Under international law, he should be arrested for war crimes upon arrival in the UK for the massacre of over 2,000 civilians in 2014,” the petition says, referring to the Israeli prime minister’s scheduled September visit.
After 10,000 signatures, the British government must respond to the petition, and after 100,000 signatures, it will be considered for debate in the parliament. The deadline for signing the petition is February 7, 2016.
Meanwhile, the British government has responded by saying, “Under UK and international law, visiting heads of foreign governments, such as Prime Minister Netanyahu, have immunity from legal process, and cannot be arrested or detained.”
From The Times of Israel
Liberman: Barak revealed ‘state secrets’ on Iran
Former foreign minister says ex-defense minister’s statements on plans to strike nuclear facilities strengthen Tehran
August 23, 2015, 9:22 am
Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman on Sunday accused erstwhile defense minister Ehud Barak of exposing state secrets, after the latter detailed on tape three occasions between 2010 and 2012 when Israel was ostensibly poised to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Liberman told Army Radio that he was “more than surprised” at Barak, and said statements such as those given by the former minister would ultimately strengthen Iran.
“I think that when moves and discussions that should have been closely guarded state secrets are discussed by the press, it relays that you are a talker, that you aren’t serious, that you’re unreliable,” he said.
“That is why, among other reasons, Iran is being coddled by the international community, and we have been backed into a corner… These things should only have been discussed in closed forums.”
Asked whether he believed Barak was guilty of revealing state secrets, Liberman responded that he had “no doubt” that was the case.
From The Times of Israel
Defiant Matisyahu sings ‘Jerusalem’ at Spain festival
WATCH: Jewish American artist faces down pro-Palestinian protesters after organizers backtrack on move to cancel his performance
August 23, 2015, 2:25 pm
Jewish American singer Matisyahu took part in a Spanish music festival on Saturday and performed his monumental hit “Jerusalem” in front of a large crowd, only days after organizers apologized for initially canceling his appearance amid pressure by pro-Palestinian groups.
Several pro-Palestinian activists waved Palestinian flags and heckled Matisyahu during his performance.
“Tonight was difficult but special,” Matisyahu wrote on his Facebook page after the concert. “Thank you to everyone who made it possible! Every chance to make music is a blessing.”
The initial decision by the Rototom SunSplash festival to pull Matisyahu’s act, which fuses reggae and hip-hop with Jewish music, from its lineup was criticized by Jewish groups, the Spanish government and the US and Israeli embassies in Spain.
The decision came after a local branch of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement accused the 36-year-old of being a “Zionist” who supports the practice of “apartheid and ethnic cleansing.” When Matisyahu refused to reply to festival organizers’ questions about whether he was in favor of a Palestinian state, they canceled his appearance.