Money Jihad

IS kills five militiamen in Libya

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 09:29
Militants with the Islamic State group killed five Islamist-backed militia fighters in an attack on a checkpoint Wednesday in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, a local official said. The militia fighters are part of the so-called Brigade 166 tasked by the Islamist-backed Tripoli government with securing Sirte. They have engaged in sporadic fighting with...  [Read More...]

ISIS attack kills 5 militiamen in Libya

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 09:23
TRIPOLI, Libya – Militants with the ...

.:Middle East Online:::.

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 08:24
‘Islamic State’ jihadists attack checkpoint west of Sirte, killing five members of Brigade 166 belonging to Libya Dawn group. Race to show who's more ‘Muslim’?

IS attack kills 5 militiamen in Libya's Sirte

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 19:43
Militants with the Islamic State group killed five Islamist-backed militia fighters in an attack on a checkpoint Wednesday in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, a local official said. The militia fighters are part of the so-called Brigade 166 tasked by the Islamist-backed Tripoli government with securing Sirte. They have engaged in sporadic fighting with IS jihadists around the city, the home ...

Austria says receives no demand of ransom from IS

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 22:25
VIENNA - The Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry said Monday it has not received any demand from extremist group Islamic State (IS) to pay ransom for the release of an Austrian national allegedly kidnapped by the group.

Jizya tax receipt for Christians published

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 10:00
Arab media have published a photo of a receipt given by ISIS to a Christian for paying the jizya tax.

The receipt, from December, was given to a Syrian Armenian Christian in the city of Raqqa.

ISIS is enforcing Islamic law by requiring Christians (and, theoretically, Jews) to pay a poll tax to their Muslim masters. If they refuse then they are branded as enemies and given a "choice" of exile or death.

Tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians have fled their homes when ISIS took over.

The Islamic law states that the second-class dhimmis must pay on a graded scale: wealthy ones pay the value of 13 grams of gold, average people half that amount and poor people a quarter of the amount. This Armenian, Sargis Araklian, was poor so he only paid the equivalent of $136.

While there is no love of ISIS in much of the Arab world, the articles seem to be written with a sense of pride, as if this was a historic occasion. The articles are proudly showing the first photographic proof in recent history of a Christian paying the jizya tax that most Muslims believe is their due for "protecting" them.

8 things you didn’t know about Assyrian Christians

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 13:33
An Assyrian woman attends a mass in solidarity with Assyrians abducted by Islamic State fighters in Syria, March 1, 2015. Islamic State militants have taken hundreds of Assyrian prisoners in Iraq and Syria. Photo by Omar Sanadiki/Reuters On NewsHour Weekend Saturday, we travel to Alqosh, a Christian town in northern Iraq just 30 miles from the ISIS stronghold of Mosul. Alqosh was overrun last ...

7 things you didn’t know about Assyrian Christians

Sat, 03/21/2015 - 13:03
An Assyrian woman attends a mass in solidarity with Assyrians abducted by Islamic State fighters in Syria, March 1, 2015. Islamic State militants have taken hundreds of Assyrian prisoners in Iraq and Syria. Photo by Omar Sanadiki/Reuters On NewsHour Weekend Saturday, we travel to Alqosh, a Christian town in northern Iraq just 30 miles from the ISIS stronghold of Mosul. Alqosh was overrun last ...

03/11 Links Pt2: Fatah celebrates most lethal Palestinian terror attack; The ISIS Penal Code

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 13:00
From Ian:
PMW: Fatah celebrates murder of 80 (sic) Israelis in most lethal Palestinian terror attack
Yesterday, Abbas' Fatah party celebrated the anniversary of a bus hijacking in which Fatah terrorists murdered 37 Israeli civilians. On Facebook, Fatah posted a text glorifying the attack. A striking element of Fatah's glorification and celebration of the attack was the decision to exaggerate the number of Israelis killed, in order to make the "operation" seem greater and more successful:
"A huge self-sacrificing operation in Herzliya, Tel Aviv. 80 Israelis killed and over 100 wounded." [Facebook, "Fatah - The Main Page," March 10, 2015]
In March 1978, a group of Fatah terrorists from Lebanon hijacked a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway. Confronted by the Israeli army, the terrorists killed many of the passengers on the bus, in total 37 civilians,12 of them children, and wounded more than 70. The attack is known in Israel as the Coastal Road massacre.
In 2010, the PA dedicated a square in Ramallah to Dalal Mughrabi, who led the attack, by naming it after her. That square was also chosen this year by Fatah for a public event taking place today, celebrating its killing of Israeli civilians:MEMRI: ISIS Campaign Of Executing Homosexuals – By Stoning, Shooting, Throwing Off Roofs, Public Torture
In recent months, the Islamic State (ISIS) has publicly executed men they have convicted of homosexuality in Iraq and Syria, including by burning them alive and by stoning them to death. The most common method of execution, however, has been throwing them off tall buildings; if they survive, they are usually shot or stoned, sometimes by the crowd of observers. This punishment for homosexuals was detailed, featured, and praised in the latest issue (published February 2015) of ISIS's English-language magazine Dabiq, in an article titled "Clamping Down on Sexual Deviance."
According to majority interpretations of Islamic shari'a law, homosexuality is indeed punishable by death; this has been clearly stated by well-known and highly influential Sunni Muslim authorities, sheikhs, professors, and Muslim Brotherhood leaders. These have included leading Sunni authority and head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi; highly influential Kuwaiti Islamic preacher and Muslim Brotherhood leader Tareq Al-Suweidan; Saudi cleric and Islamic University professor 'Abd Al-Qader Shiba Al-Hamad; and many others. Such punishments are also based on the Biblical story of Lot, which is often cited by both mainstream sheikhs and ISIS to justify the killing of homosexuals. These statements and teachings regarding the death penalty for homosexuality appear in Muslim school curricula, on mainstream television, and in mosque sermons across the Arab and Muslim world, and are also expressed by Muslim authorities in the West. They have also been expressed by jihadi leaders, including Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who was reportedly directly involved in the prosecution and death of a youth accused of homosexuality in the 1990s. Recent examples of executions of homosexuals by Al-Qaeda and ISIS using these methods – stoning to death, throwing off high buildings, and shooting – are documented in this report; it should also be noted that ISIS has continued to use U.S. social media, particularly Twitter, to disseminate to its supporters online images of its executions of homosexuals.
To date, there has been very little discussion in the Arab media about these executions, and there has been no significant Arab or Muslim religious or political leader who has denounced them. Daniel Pipes: Why politicians pretend Islam has no role in violence
Why, then, do powerful politicians make ignorant and counterproductive arguments, ones they ‎surely know to be false, especially as violent Islamism spreads (think of Boko Haram, al-Shabab and the Taliban)? Cowardice and multiculturalism play a role, to be sure, but two other ‎reasons have more importance:‎
First, they do not want to offend Muslims, who they fear are more prone to violence if they perceive ‎non-Muslims pursuing a "war on Islam." Second, they worry that focusing on Muslims means ‎fundamental changes to the secular order, while denying an Islamic element permits avoiding ‎troubling issues. For example, it permits airplane security to look for passengers' weapons rather ‎than engage in Israeli-style interrogations.‎
My prediction: Denial will continue unless violence increases. In retrospect, the 3,000 victims of ‎‎9/11 did not shake non-Muslim complacency. The nearly 30,000 fatalities from Islamist terrorism ‎since then also have not altered the official line. Perhaps 300,000 dead will cast aside worries ‎about Islamist sensibilities and a reluctance to make profound social changes, replacing these ‎with a determination to fight a radical utopian ideology; 3 million dead will surely suffice.‎
Without such casualties, however, politicians will likely continue with denial because it is easier ‎that way. I regret this -- but prefer denial to the alternative.‎

Phyllis Chesler: The ISIS Penal Code
The global allure of a self-designated Caliphate, especially one that insists that its every barbaric action is Qur'an-based and Sharia-true, should not be underestimated.
In October 2014, ISIS released the fourth issue of Dabiq, its online English- and multi-language newsletter. ISIS described a "successful consolidation of the judiciary," and the formation of "sharia courts" that render decisions in a speedy and non-corrupt manner.
ISIS has implemented a "radical interpretation of sharia law, killing men accused of blasphemy or homosexuality. The group has also carried out amputations and lashings for reasons as trivial as smoking or improper dressing."
ISIS has taken over the education system in horrendous ways: one must memorize the Qur'an, there is to be no teaching of science, history, civics, physical education, and geography. Basic mathematics is allowed. ISIS has also established military training on children, imposed early curfews and full-face and body niqab on women, including those who work at hospitals.
While Westerners may find this as horrifying as ISIS's systematic and taped destruction of ancient, precious pre-Islamic sculptures and artifacts, according to Jonathan Spyer and Jawad al-Tamimi in Middle East Forum, ISIS has, nevertheless, been carefully justifying their every atrocity as based on the Qur'an and Sharia law. For example, in terms of crucifixions, ISIS invoked Qur'an 5:33 (Those "who wage war on God and His Messenger" may be crucified).Europe’s undercover yarmulke journalists
Sending a yarmulke-wearing man out with a hidden video camera to document anti-Semitism on the streets of Europe, particularly in Muslim neighborhoods, is quickly becoming a journalistic trope.
First, in January, a reporter wearing a kippah walked around the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Malmo, Sweden, where he was assaulted and cursed at. Next, in February, an Orthodox Jewish journalist walked through the streets of Paris, where he was taunted and intimidated, as shown in a video recording. (A Muslim man’s similar experiment in Milan in February, in which he wore a “traditional Muslim outfit” and carried a Koran, also garnered discriminatory comments from passersby.)
Either to respond to or trump these examples, British tabloid the Daily Mail deployed an entire team of kippah-wearing reporters to multiple European countries. The results were mixed.
The worst report of anti-Semitism reported by a kippah-wearer in the Daily Mail occurred in England. Jonathan Kalmus, who has written for England’s Jewish Chronicle magazine, was spit on and yelled at on the streets of Manchester and Bradford, two midsize cities with sizable Muslim populations. British Prime Minister David Cameron, Labour party leader Ed Miliband, a spokesman for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, and the Labour parliament representative for Manchester central all responded in the Daily Mail to Kalmus’ account. Cameron said “There are no excuses for the shocking anti-Semitism revealed in this report” and Miliband said “We need to renew our vigilance and ensure every family of every faith can be secure in our country.”French journalist reprimanded for asking politician if PM under ‘Jewish influence’

The Superior Audiovisual Council, or CSA, criticized Jean-Jacques Bourdin, a presenter for the BFMTV television station and the RMC radio broadcaster, over an interview he conducted last month with ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, the Le Figaro daily reported Sunday.
During the Feb. 16 interview, Dumas said of Prime Minister Manuel Valls, “He has personal alliances, everyone knows he is married to someone – a distinguished person – who has influence over him.”
Following up on Dumas’ statement, Jean-Jacques Bourdin asked Dumas, “Is Valls under Jewish influence?” Dumas replied, “Probably, I would think so.”
Valls, who many Jews hold in high esteem for his strong-worded rejections of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and prosecution of inciters of hate, is married to Jewish violinist Anne Garvoin. In 2011 he said during a public appearance that his marriage connected him “in an eternal way” to Israel and the Jewish people.IsraellyCool: Shocking Truth About Israeli Elections: Electoral Apartheid
With a week left until Israeli elections, ridiculous animated videos, negative campaign ads and media attacks have been flying fast and furious. Many are so absurd they are offensive.
“Investigative journalists” have checked accounts down to the money on return deposits of old bottles.
But how many in Israel or abroad know who is the chairman of the Central Election Committee for this Israeli election?
The person in charge of this election for the 20th Israeli Knesset, is Israeli Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran. Not only is there a joint Arab list running for seats in this election, there is an Arab Judge in charge of it!On-campus BDS is feeding anti-Semitism: UCLA is case in point
“Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.” This is not a line from a Goebbels film or Hitler’s Mein Kampf, but the University of Chicago's Yik Yak, an anonymous, local social media app.
What began with a post about Northwestern University passing a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions motion against Israel turned into a discussion about Palestinian death tolls and those who “support slaughter of innocents on the basis that the killers have the same race/religion.” It wasn't long before jabs were made at individual Jewish students. A social media intifada had erupted.
The assaults spilled into posts on the moderated, anonymous UChicago Secrets Facebook page: “As a person of Palestinian descent, I don’t think it is unreasonable for me to hate Jews;” ”People are hypocrites. This is Fact. One example? The Jews at UChicago. Why? They all have grandparents who survived the Holocaust. This doesn’t stop them from denying the Holocaust in Palestine right now;” and “There is no more backwards and conservative community at UChicago than the genocide apologists in hillel and other jewish organizations."
It is shocking that students at one of the top universities in America – where liberal values are enshrined and Plato is a rite of passage – could hold such parochial views and express them behind the cowardly mask of anonymous social media. I wonder if the timing of these attacks – just a week after the BDS motion passed at Northwestern and days before “Israeli Apartheid Week”– had anything to do with the assaults. Charities Cut Funds to Rights Group Linked to 'Jihadi John'
Two charities have stopped funding a rights group in contact with the man thought to be Islamic State group executioner "Jihadi John" before he left for Syria, Britain's charities regulator has said.
Rights group Cage describes its work as supporting people arrested or raided as a result of the "war on terror" following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
It worked with Mohammed Emwazi for over two years and, when he was identified by the Washington Post as "Jihadi John" last month, its research director Asim Qureshi described him as a "beautiful young man" and blamed British intelligence for radicalising him.
That claim was described as "reprehensible" by Prime Minister David Cameron's official spokesman.
The Charity Commission, a government body, said Friday that two charities, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation, have ceased giving money to Cage and will not do so in future.A Shameful Attack on Alberto Nisman
Predictably, elements of the left are now waking up to the political implications of the death, on January 18, of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine Special Prosecutor who spent the last decade investigating the culpability of Iran and its Hezbollah ally in the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, in which 85 people were murdered. A party line is coming together, uniting a rainbow coalition that extends from the Argentine government to the pro-Iranian conspiracy theorist Gareth Porter, which holds that Nisman, in accusing President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and other top officials of fabricating Iran’s innocence over the atrocity, was acting at the behest of foreign powers–chiefly the U.S. and Israel.
A particularly heinous example of this thinking appeared today, in the pages, regrettably, of the liberal American Jewish newspaper The Forward. Written by Graciela Mochkofsky, an Argentine journalist who is the author of an “acclaimed” biography of Jacobo Timerman–the late dissident journalist whose son, Hector, is now Argentina’s foreign minister, and one of the officials named in the complaint Nisman was due to present to a congressional committee the day after his death–the piece carries the headline “Why Alberto Nisman is No Hero for Argentina – or the Jews,” and slides steadily downhill from there.The continuing farce in Argentina
As I noted two years ago, after the announcement of an Argentianian-Iranian “truth commission” to investigate the bombing, Iran specifically rejected the claim of Argentina’s foreign minister that an Argentinian judge would be allowed to question Iranian suspects.
As for the chances of the Iranian regime approving the extradition of any suspects to Argentina to face trial– they are about as good as the chances of Supreme Leader Khamenei declaring the end of the Islamic Republic and its replacement with a secular democracy.
And yet the regime of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announces that it wants to revive this thoroughly discredited scheme while again taking the opportunity to smear Nisman.Jerusalem U documentary explores anti-Semitism on US campuses
Between classes, student loans, parties and extracurricular obligations, who has time to recognize that there’s a systematic and widespread campaign on college campuses to demonize Israel and promote a generation of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters? This is what the producers of Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus had in mind when they collaborated with Jerusalem U to make a follow-up to 2010’s Crossing the Line, which also tackled the portrayal of Israel on US campuses, but was in need of an update, the makers said.
“Over the past five years, there’s been new and more sophisticated and aggressive strategies,” said Raphael Shore, the film’s producer. “The problem has increased, and we felt it was necessary to update and show what’s happening.”
“There’s a variety of new tactics that didn’t exist five years ago,” said Shoshana Palatnik, who directed the film, pointing to the growing BDS movement, groups like Students for Justice in Palestine becoming more organized and opening new chapters, events like Israel Apartheid Week launching, and the general growth of social media which has contributed to what seems to be a proliferation of anti-Israel activity.
The ultimate goal, said Palatnik, is both to reach out to parents and school leaders, and to the students who are in the “middle ground” – who might be apathetic, or who don’t realize that if they want to speak out, resources are available.Fighting BDS With Billboards
The pro-Israel billboard visible on I-95 at Lehigh Road since March 5 is a part of a much bigger campaign.
StandWithUs (SWU) has countered anti-Israel messages on mass transit and highways across the U.S. since they first appeared in 2007. For the first time, SWU is running a billboard in Philadelphia. Reinforcing the U.S.-Israel relationship, the billboard’s run will last four weeks. It tells commuters, “Now Is the Time to Stand With Israel. Join Us.”
SWU is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about Israel, and to combat anti-Semitism. Its goal is to promote discussions that will lead to peace in the Middle East.
The director of SWU-Philadelphia, Joseph Puder, explained the billboard‘s message:
Israel shares the same core values that the United States holds dear: freedom of religion, speech, and a respect for human rights. The connection between both countries is strategically sound and mutually beneficial and we felt that it is important to emphasize this in these perilous times.Anti-Israel marchers in the Celebrate Israel Parade
The Celebrate Israel Parade is a place for friends of Israel. It should reject extremists of all kinds. It’s simply unspeakable that New York’s mainstream Jewish advocates would lend credibility to the New Israel Fund.
This isn’t an issue of right versus left, but one of right versus wrong.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at last year’s American-Israeli Political Action Committee gathering, “Everyone should know what the letters B-D-S really stand for: bigotry, dishonesty and shame. And those who oppose BDS, like Scarlett Johansson, they should be applauded.”
Those who stand with the New Israel Fund are wrong — as are those who’d let it march in our city’s Celebrate Israel Parade.'Khilafah will rise soon': Now ULTRATUNE has its website hacked to show messages of support for Palestine and Islam
One of Australia's biggest car mechanic groups has had its website hacked to make a statement about the current conflict in the Middle East.
The website was hacked late Tuesday night by a group that referred to itself as 'Security Crews' and claimed to be 'the voice of Palestine'.
'Greetings to all citizens in this world!! I am the voice for Palestine! Please open your eyes wider for what happened around us... humanity is gone in our life now... it's full of cruelty and suppression,' the hackers wrote.
'Killing others is an unacceptable act and this should be stopped. There is no religions and laws permits this action. For that, please open your mind and grab the ideas of which is rights and which is not.'
The hackers added that 'Khilafa will rise soon', which is in reference to a global leadership system for Muslims.
It is not clear why the hackers targeted the Australian company for their pro-Palelstine message across.Southampton University defends anti-Israel conference set for next month
A letter written late last year by leaders of the Jewish community, including representatives of the Jewish Leadership Council, Board of Deputies and the Union of Jewish Students, extracts of which have been exclusively seen by The Jerusalem Post, left Prof. Hazel Biggs, head of the University of Southampton’s Law School, in no doubt of the strength of feelings about the conference.
They wrote that normally, all would defend – unreservedly – the right of any university group to express critical and dissenting views. The proposed conference appeared, however, “to surpass the acceptable,” and that based on title and advertised speakers “it sets out explicitly to question the very legitimacy of a member state of the UN.”
Doing so, would be “a perverse, existential attack on a state” they wrote, and they accused Southampton’s Law School of “being used as an academic platform to advance not just legitimate Palestinian national rights, to which we have no objection, but rather to blacken, demonize and delegitimize the very right of existence of the State of Israel.
“What other state in the global community of nations – democratic or tyrannical – is ever subjected to such a critique? The Conference causes us great concern and distress. It will undoubtedly trouble greatly the members of the UK Jewish community,” they wrote.
Hosting of such an unbalanced conference, the Jewish leaders warned, would have “damaging consequences for student welfare and community relations on campus,” and might well affect the attractiveness of the School of Law for future UK and international students.Edgar Davidson: Another update to the story of Southampton University's anti-Semitic hatefest
As previously reported, the University of Southampton is funding a three-day event in April devoted to searching for ways to use international law to deny the world’s only Jewish state the right to exist (the ZF has a petition about it). David Collier has done a very thorough analysis of the speakers - it is even worse than most people originally imagined.
My friend has had a further response from the University. Below is that response and his follow-up.
Letter from Southampton University 10 March 2015 South Africa’s Shameful BDS Protest
Except for one startling aspect. Mainstream South African press outlets are now reporting that the BDS movement “bussed in” protestors who had no idea as to why they were there. They quote a woman from an impoverished area with a prettier name than it warrants – Orange Farm – saying that she was not aware as to why she was there or whom she was supporting or even protesting against. And she was not the only one.
The irony of this should not be allowed to go unnoticed. Orange Farm has a population of around 100,000 people. It is an “informal settlement” with few paved roads and most people living in shacks. Only small areas of Orange Farm have been electrified. Access to clean water is limited and when it rains, the dongas on the roads fill with muddy water that makes living there almost impossible. It is poverty stricken, with more than 40% of the population being unemployed. It is a stain on South Africa’s record of transformation. Its people are desperate, but they have done nothing to deserve being exploited, being paraded, and being used to further a political and racial goal of an organization that claims to support human rights but ignores their plight.
The rhetoric of the BDS protests outside the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg was desperate and ill-concealed. In many ways, we have been spoiled by the slick pretense that tries to separate Jews from Zionists, and BDS has tried for some time to convince us that it is not all Jews they detest. Despite the famous “Kill the Jew” and other priceless humanitarian comments, BDS has spent a lot of energy trying to sell a concept that no one has bought. Sunday’s protest, perhaps due to lack of success dissolved very quickly, and real agendas and racism quickly were exposed. “You Jews don’t belong in South Africa!” “This is not Israel, we will kill you!” were some of the poisonous comments recorded from the ranks of the BDS protestors.Professors of Propaganda at the University of Washington
Edward Alexander, author of the forthcoming Jews Against Themselves, reports on a program at the University of Washington that, even by the relatively low standards of contemporary humanities scholarship, is a travesty of scholarship.
The Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington supports “cross disciplinary understanding, collaboration, and research.” In the service of that goal, it funds “cross disciplinary research clusters,” which “seed new collaborations between faculty and graduate students who share research interests.” Among the clusters presently funded is Palestine and the Public Sphere.
One notices right away that the project was chosen because of its cross disciplinary character, as it takes in a professor from the Department of English, another professor from the Department of English, and a third professor from the Department of English. So far, so good.
But there are further indications that the project will elevate our level of discourse about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For example, only two of the three professors involved, Anis Bawarshi and Eva Cherniavsky, have signed on to the 2009 “Dear President Elect Obama” letter, which describes Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as “one of the most massive, ethnocidal atrocities of modern times” and opines that a one state solution—that is the erasure of Israel as a Jewish state—is “almost certainly” the only hope. They do not straightforwardly say, as University of Pennsylvania professor and one-stater Ian Lustick has, that such a solution is almost certainly bound to entail “ruthless oppression, mass mobilization, riots, brutality, terror [and] Jewish and Arab emigration” before Israel is brought to its knees. But we can cross that bridge when we come to it.Has BDS Contributed to Israel’s Economic Success?
Basic economic principles tell us that stronger economic activity creates jobs and brings prosperity to the economy as a whole. This has happened to the Israeli economy, but not the economies of the West Bank and Gaza. Surprisingly, the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) may have been a catalyst in both the recent Israeli economic growth and Palestinian economic downturn.
Primarily through technology exports and counter to BDS intentions, Israel’s economy has grown significantly over the past number of years. What’s more, Israel’s economy grew by a staggering 7.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2014, which demonstrated a significant uptick of economic activity after a third quarter lag due to the Gaza war (the high fourth quarter number is likely a correction after a war-filled third quarter). Concurrently, in an effort to pressure Israel into territorial concessions with the Palestinians, BDS movement increased its activity worldwide. Specifically boycott “targets products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights”. Divestment “means targeting corporations complicit in the violation of Palestinian rights and ensuring that the likes of the university investment portfolios and pension funds are not used to finance such companies”. Sanctions are “an essential part of demonstrating disapproval for a country’s actions.” Nonetheless, Israel’s economic numbers demonstrate that BDS’s mission has failed. At the same time, the Palestinian economy has floundered, in part due to BDS-inspired sanctions.
Moreover, the BDS movement may have partially triggered the current Israeli economic tech boom. In 2006, then-Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer devalued the shekel in attempt to increase technology exports. The strategy succeeded, as a flood of Israeli technology startups mushroomed, exporting technological goods such as aviation, communications, computer-aided design, medical electronics, and fiber optics. In fact, Israeli companies currently comprise the largest number of non-North American companies listed on the tech-heavy NASDAQ. There has been a dramatic shift from agrarian and manufacturing exports, which used cheap Palestinian labor, to technological exports, which relies less on manual Palestinian labor. The combination of the world’s growing appetite for technology, shekel devaluation, and BDS pressure may have pulled Israel’s economy away from the kibbutz model to its current model.Israeli envoy pans Sweden for nixing cooking show
TV4, a commercial channel, stopped airing reruns of the Israel episode of celebrity chef Tina Nordstrom’s “Tina Visiting” last month following viewers’ complaints over her characterization of Jerusalem, the news website reported last week.
A spokesman for TV4 said the footage was pulled to avoid having the show deal with political issues.
“Only under the most hateful of interpretations can this be deemed offensive,” Isaac Bachman, Israel’s ambassador to Stockholm, wrote in an open letter.
The show was first aired last year.
On the show, the announcer says, “Jerusalem, Israel’s heart. Here lives the present, side by side with the past. Israel is also one of the world’s most multicultural countries. It has an incredible mix of everything. Wherever you are in Israel you are reminded of religions.”CNN Errs on Israel Again
During the 10 a.m. CNN news hour on March 5, 2015 in a discussion starting at 10:52 a.m. about the CNN documentary “Finding Jesus,” guest Catholic priest Fr. Jim Martin, author of “Jesus, a pilgrimage," at 10:55 a.m. used the erroneous phrase “first century Palestine” in conversation with CNN’s Carol Costello. Typically for CNN, Costello was either unaware of or unwilling to correct the error.
Misleading its viewers about Israel is commonplace at CNN.
The problem with the phrase “first century Palestine” is that it reinforces the false Palestinian narrative (and hence, resentment against Israel by the Palestinians and others) that the ancestors of today’s Palestinian Arabs, supposedly the Philistines, preceded the Jews in the land.EU's Mogherini calls for creation of European taskforce on anti-Semitism
After months of calls by Jewish leaders, a senior European Union official has voiced support for the creation of a continental task-force on anti-Semitism.
In a statement published in Italy’s La Repubblica, European Commission President and High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini endorsed the idea and stated that she had passed on a policy recommendation to that effect to Frans Timmerman, the EU Commissioner dealing with issues of fundamental rights.
“I transferred the idea to (EU commission vice-president) Frans Timmermans, who has the formal authority in this issue, and we are already working on various initiatives,” she said, according to a translation of the statement published by the EU Observer.
In January a delegation from the European Jewish Congress stated that in the wake of the recent attack by Islamists against Paris’s Hyper Cacher kosher market which killed four Jews, it is incumbent that the EU ramp up it’s efforts to protect its Jewish citizens.Police charge 8 over Nazi slogans at Vienna anti-Islam rally
Austrian police charged eight participants in the country’s first protest against perceived “Islamization” with yelling “Heil Hitler!” and other actions that contravene Austria’s anti-Nazi laws Tuesday.
Beyond shouting slogans, police spokesman Roman Hahslinger said some suspects flashed the Hitler salute or other gestures associated with the Nazis during last month’s demonstration, which was modeled after Germany’s PEGIDA movement.
As many as 25,000 supporters of PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, turned out in German cities last year. In Vienna, the demonstration attracted about 200 people.Israeli crowdfunding giant to open office in Canada
The world’s largest equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd is setting up shop in Toronto, lured by rock-bottom startup valuations and a technology ecosystem that is starving for investment capital.
At last week’s Canadian Crowdfunding Summit, OurCrowd CEO Jonathan Medved disclosed that his Israel-based firm will open a Toronto office by year’s end.
“We think there is a very much under-served innovation community here, where there are a lot more technology startups, a lot more entrepreneurs, and not enough money,” said Medved, who was a keynote speaker at the inaugural summit hosted by the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada at MaRS.
“In Canada you’ve got a classic ‘good problem’ for people like me, which is too little money chasing too many deals, and that’s why things are so cheap here,” said Medved. “Your valuations are on the floor relative to Silicon Valley . . . I find that pretty attractive.”
A hybrid venture capital-crowdfunding platform, OurCrowd has raised and deployed over $100 million for 59 early-stage technology startups around the world since its February 2013 launch. Medved said OurCrowd will open its Toronto office by the end of this year or in early 2016, and could later expand to Montreal and Vancouver. The initial focus will be on Toronto’s high net worth individuals who OurCrowd wants to get investing in tech startups now that Canada’s traditional investment darlings oil and mining have turned sour.The Bengal Tiger and the Lion of Judah
Israel and India are finally coming out in the open: with the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, India has outwardly expressed its desire to expand the relationship between itself and the Jewish State.
Arutz Sheva spoke with an expert on Israel-India ties to understand why those ties have only begun to expand in the last few years, and why they seemed to expand exponentially this last year on the background of a complicated history between the two countries that was never the fault of Israel.
"From an intellectual standpoint the Indian intelligentsia had to reject Israel simply because it was a 'Jewish' state," says Mark Sloman, former Director of the India Program at The Israel Project (TIP). "(Mahatma) Gandhi was unwilling to accept that India and Pakistan should split because of religious reasons."
As Sloman noted, Gandhi showed unwillingness to accept that India and Pakistan had split because religious differences had made problems between Hindus and Muslims irreconcilable.
It became a philosophical point of departure for Gandhi's Congress Party, which saw Israel's "Jewishness" as an anathema.Israeli Teens Win Intel Science Competition With Diverse Projects
Winners were announced Tuesday for the 18th annual Intel-Israel Young Scientists Competition, which is organized by the Bloomfield Science Museum, the Israeli Science and Education Ministries, and Intel-Israel.
The final ceremony was held at Hebrew University’s Givat Ram campus. Winners of this year’s top prize are Noam Yungerman of the Jerusalem High School of the Sciences and Arts for researching “the growth and decay of sticky fingering structures” in life sciences and mathematics, Noa Eden of Jerusalem’s Boyer School for researching the “role of the Pax6 factor in preserving the identify of adult beta cells in the pancreas,” and Kedem Snir of the Sciences and Arts School for researching the coding of the predictive relation in languages focusing on themes and sign languages.
These winners—who were selected among 59 projects that had reached the finals—will have the chance to go to Pittsburgh, Pa., in May as representatives of Israel in the ISEF (Intel World) competition of Young Scientists, and they will also receive academic scholarships, The Jerusalem Post reported.Smart bio-sensors in your workout hat
Two former Israel Air Force pilots, both passionate athletes, devised a bio-sensing technology embedded in headgear to measure vital signs.
Now, the smart sensors that power their LifeBEAM line of sport caps, visors and helmets are going into Samsung’s future Simband platform for wearable devices to measure heart rate, blood flow, sweat production, calories burned, skin temperature and other fitness parameters.
The idea is to provide a broad spectrum of precision monitoring without weighing down the athlete.
“Chest straps are really uncomfortable, so we’ve taken the technology and put it in an existing wearable,” LifeBEAM marketing manager Cid Carver explains.“You’re already wearing a helmet when you cycle. When you’re running, you already need a hat or visor.”
LifeBEAM’s first product, a smart bicycle helmet ($229), was funded by an Indiegogo crowdsourcing campaign and went on sale in September last year followed by the fitness caps and visors ($99).They’re available from LifeBEAM’s ecommerce platform and vendors all around the world.UK Groups Circulate Declaration of Appreciation for Israel as Safe Haven for Christians
British Christian groups are circulating a declaration expressing appreciation for Israel as a safe haven for Middle East Christians, support for bolstering ties with the Jewish state, and a call to combat antisemitism.
Called the “Shalom Declaration,” the document states, “We deeply appreciate that Israel is the only country in the Middle East which extends freedom of worship to all its citizens and where the Christian community is growing,” the UK-based Jewish News reported.
“We grieve and stand with families in Israel and the wider Middle East, who have lost loved ones and with all who are persecuted by the rise of violent extremism and intolerance in the region,” the document adds.
The declaration also calls on Christians and UK leaders to work to combat the growing threat of antisemitism and forge closer British-Israeli relations.
Antisemitic incidents in the UK reached their highest levels ever in 2014, according to a report by the British watchdog group Community Security Trust.

ISIS Orders Assyrian Christian Hostages to Convert to Islam, but All Boldly Refuse to Deny Jesus Christ

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 07:50
Two of the 200-plus Assyrian hostages kidnapped by the Islamic State during an assault on Christian villages along Syria's Khabur River in February have provided insight into their abduction in recent interviews where one revealed that the ISIS militants tried to force the Christian hostages to convert to Islam, but the captives boldly refused.

Nigeria kidnappers lower ransom demand for US missionary, Boko Haram not suspected

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 05:52
Nigerian kidnappers holding an American missionary reportedly slashed their ransom demand in half Thursday, in yet another sign that they are most likely a small time criminal gang and not the feared Islamist group Boko Haram.

IS frees 19 Syrian Christians as ransom paid: Activists

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 05:25
Islamic State group jihadists freed 19 of the 220 Assyrian Christians they took hostage in Syria last week, after a ransom was paid for their release, activists said.

Islamic State Jihadists Kidnap 90 Christians in Syria: Human Rights Monitor

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 05:04
Jihadists from the Islamic State also known as IS have kidnapped at least 90 Assyrian Christians in northeast Syria, a monitor said.

Assyrian Forces Request International Support After IS Offensive

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 02:13
Local forces battling Islamic State militants in northeast Syria are asking the international community for military equipment "capable of changing the balance of power on the ground," as hundreds of area residents remain missing after an IS offensive. "We call on the international community and all democratic forces in the world to stand up against these violations and crimes, as they do not ...

ISIS release 19 hostages from group of 220 Assyrian Christians kidnapped in Syria

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 01:41
The members of Christian Assyrian community were among 220 people kidnapped by jihadis from a string of villages along the Khabur River in Hassakeh province last week.

IS frees 19 Syrian Christians as ransom paid: activists

Sun, 03/08/2015 - 00:51
BEIRUT: Islamic State group jihadists on Sunday freed 19 of the 220 Assyrian Christians they took hostage in Syria last week, after a ransom was paid for their release, activists said.

.:Middle East Online:::.

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 08:59
Jihadists launch fierce assault in bid to gain control of strategic town in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province. BEIRUT - Islamic State group jihadists launched a fierce assault Saturday in a bid to gain control of a strategic town in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, a monitoring group said.

IS advances on strategic town in northeast Syria: monitor

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 08:08
Islamic State group jihadists launched a fierce assault Saturday in a bid to gain control of a strategic town in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province, a monitoring group said. In Hama province, meanwhile, government forces conducted air strikes on an IS convoy, killing 26 jihadists, including a senior local commander, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said. The IS offensive on the Hasakeh ...

Pope slams ‘intolerable brutality’ in Iraq, Syria

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 14:25
Pope Francis on Sunday denounced the “intolerable brutality” being inflicted on Christians and other minorities by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group militants.

Israel says it foiled Gaza smuggling ring helping Hamas

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 04:39

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has foiled a ring that smuggled iron, electronic equipment and other prohibited materials to Hamas to rebuild its infrastructure following last year's war.

Israel's internal security agency says Hamas paid the Israeli companies at least $375,000 to store and deliver the goods, which entered through the Kerem Shalom cargo crossing and were listed as destined for straw companies.

Israel has charged nine people in the ring, among them three Israelis who own companies that sell the materials, with assisting an enemy in wartime, terror financing and fraud.