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Thursday, October 31, 2013

And again: Obama administration confirms Israeli attack on Syrian arms supply

This isn't the first time that American officials have confirmed an Israeli strike on Syrian arms supplies to Hezbullah in the face of Israeli silence, and if the previous time is any indication, Israeli officials are going to be awfully ticked off about it.

This is from the second link.
Israel conducted air raids against a Syrian missile base near the port city of Latakia on Thursday night according to a leak by an anonymous US administration official, speaking to CNN.

The US official said that Israel targeted missiles and related equipment out of fear that they would be transferred to Hezbollah.

It is unclear why the US would leak such information as it could put more pressure on Syria to retaliate against Israel.
It's unclear? It's awfully clear to me: Obama is our enemy!

Meanwhile, al-Arabiya is reporting details of the attack.
The bombing targeted a shipment of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that was headed for Hezbollah in Lebanon, the sources said.
The Associated Press quoted U.S. officials confirming that Israel was behind the attacks, which they said targeted Russian missiles, without giving further details.
And you think Israel is going to give Obama advance notice before attacking Iran's nuclear weapons? Have you gone mad?

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The new world capital of Islamic finance

On the London-Tel Aviv leg of my flight on Tuesday, I was sitting next to a Leftist, professor-looking type (so I conclude from the facts that he spoke unaccented Hebrew, read English and had a very different meal than mine) who was reading an article in the Financial Times about Britain's intent to become the largest Islamic banking center in the world outside the Middle East.
The latest pro-City move will be unveiled on Tuesday at the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, known as the “Islamic Davos”. The Treasury hopes to launch a bond-like sukuk worth about £200m next year.
The plan – which has been worked on for many years – will be announced by David Cameron and is endorsed by Mr Osborne in the Financial Times as a means of stimulating Islamic investment in London and Britain. 
“While others in the western world resist change, this government is embracing it: banging the drum for British businesses, seeking out new markets, welcoming overseas investment with open arms,” the chancellor writes.
Islam prohibits interest, so sukuk bonds entitle investors to a share in the returns generated by an underlying asset. In the case of the British bond, it is likely to be backed by rental streams on central government property. [I wonder where they got that idea. CiJ].
Mr Osborne hopes that corporate institutions will follow suit and issue sukuk bonds, promoting Islamic investment and generating more cash to fund British infrastructure.
Mr Cameron will also tell the London conference of plans for a new Islamic index at the London Stock Exchange as a means of identifying Islamic-compliant business activities.
However the Treasury is conscious of the possible political ramifications of the plan, notably any suggestion that the issuance of a sukuk bond might require the British government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned businesses.
And of course the British government would never ever do that....

But what does it mean when the British government is creating a huge bond issue that's designed for Muslim investors? Soeren Kern believes that the British government is on a path to establish two parallel financial systems - one like every other western economy and one that is Islamic. and this quote from British Prime Minister David Cameron sounds downright ominous.
Cameron said the new Islamic bond index on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would help stimulate fixed-income investments from Muslim investors -- especially investors from oil-rich Persian Gulf countries -- by helping them identify which listed companies adhere to Islamic principles.
Investors who practice Islamic finance -- which is said to be structured to conform to a strict code of ethics based on the Koran and Sharia law -- refuse to invest in companies that are linked to alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork. Islamic finance also forbids collecting or paying interest and requires that deals be based on tangible assets.
And unlike the Financial Times, Kern believes that Israeli companies that hope to list in London might be hurt by this as well.
The Treasury also said some sukuk bond issues may require the British government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.
Oh, and by the way, Islamic money is already a powerful force in London.
Britain is already the leading Western center for Islamic financial and related professional services. It is a leading provider of Sharia-compliant finance, with reported assets of $19 billion, according to Islamic Finance 2013, a new report published by The City UK, a financial sector lobby group.
Britain is home to 22 Islamic banks, of which six are fully Sharia-compliant. This is substantially more than in any other Western country or offshore center and is more than double the number in the United States.
In addition, 25 law firms are now supplying services in Islamic finance, which is increasingly being used for major infrastructure projects in London.
Islamic investment has financed London's Shard skyscraper -- the tallest building in the European Union -- and the 2012 Olympic Village. Middle Eastern investors own Harrods, London's most famous luxury department store, and the Manchester City football team.
Muslims also invested in projects such as the massive London Gateway port, the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station and Arsenal Football Club's Emirates Stadium.
Qualifications in Islamic finance are being offered by four professional institutes and at least 16 universities and business schools.
London is also a leader in Islamic retail banking services, with institutions offering a range of Islamic banking products, such as mortgages and car loans.
The growing demand for Islamic retail banking services is being propelled by the demographic transformation taking place in Britain. The Muslim population of Britain will top 3.3 million sometime before the end of 2013 to reach around 5.2% of the overall population of 63 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe.
This demographic earthquake -- which is being attributed to large-scale immigration, coupled with high Muslim birth rates and growing numbers of British converts -- is transforming the country's business landscape.
The Guardian notes that the British government has already had to step in once to ensure there was no discrimination against Israel.
The government moved on Monday night to offer assurances that the Islamic bond, or Sukuk, and the Islamic index would not encourage investments that discriminate against Israel. Boris Johnson was forced to order Transport for London to rewrite the contract for the Emirates Thames cable car in the summer amid fears that Israeli companies could have been blocked from involvement in the project. The United Arab Emirates does not recognise the state of Israel.
The Emirates Thames cable car is a cable car that crosses the Thames River near Greenwich, and is included  in the Oyster card, the London public transport card.

But if you're a Brit, here's what ought to sound most ominous.
Speaking on a stage that included Jordanian King Abdullah and the Sultan of Brunei, Cameron dismissed criticism of increasing foreign ownership in Britain: "I know some people look at foreign companies investing in our businesses, financing our infrastructure or taking over our football clubs and ask, shouldn't we do something to stop it? Well, let me tell you, the answer is no."
I guess Cameron thinks he won't be around by the time they say 'convert or die.' What could go wrong? 

Read the whole thing.

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Israel building 5th largest solar power station on the planet

Israel is planning to start construction in 2014 on what would be the fifth largest solar power plant in the world (Hat Tip: Sunlight).
The $1.1 billion solar plant will be able to generate 121 megawatts of electricity by the time it's finished in 2016. That's enough juice to power 40,000 homes, and it's only part of the 250 megawatts that all three solar plants will generate. That's about 2.5% of Israel's energy consumption, according to Inhabitat. The project will also contribute to the nation's plan to generate 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The station works by setting up heliostat mirrors that bounce sun rays toward solar power towers. The towers transform those rays into steam, which then powers turbines to make electricity.
Construction of the plants will be a joint venture teaming American company Brightsource with the French firm Alstom. Brightsource already has experience in building large solar stations. Its biggest project is the Ivanpah solar facility in California's Mojave desert.
Brightsource declined to answer questions about its Israel venture, and Alstom did not immediately respond for comment.
 And you thought Brightsource (which was originally an Israeli company) had gone bankrupt.... Hmmm....

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He kissed and embraced each one of them

Israel's 'peace partner,' 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen kissed and embraced each of the 21 freed 'Palestinian' terrorists who were in Ramallah on Wednesday night.
On Tuesday, Israel released 26 Palestinian terrorist murderers, the second group of a total of 104 prisoners whom Israel has agreed to release, fulfilling the Palestinian Authority's precondition for renewing peace talks.

PA Chairman Abbas and many other senior PA and Fatah leaders welcomed 21 of the terrorists, celebrating their release. Greeting them as heroes on stage and kissing each one, Abbas addressed the audience and the terrorists, each of whom was convicted of murder:

"We welcome our heroic brothers who come from behind bars to the world of freedom. We congratulate ourselves and we congratulate all of you in this great celebration that unifies and returns our sons to us."
Let's go to the videotape.

What amazes me is how we continue to allow our collective face to be rubbed in the dirt (I thought of using something cruder, but you all get my drift). It's like the humiliation of Auschwitz all over again. (The Nazis - may their names be obliterated - did things with the specific intent of humiliating the Jews under their control).

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Different strokes for different folks

Our 'peace partner' in action....

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Of course: US knew of Israeli housing plans... and so did the 'Palestinians'

So this is how it works in Bibiland these days.

The Israeli government releases murderous 'Palestinian' terrorists. Trying to make it look like a tradeoff, Netanyahu announces construction in 'east' Jerusalem and the 'settlements,' to which the United States and the 'Palestinians' have been tipped off in advance. The housing units are never built. But the non-'settler' population blames the Jewish Home party (which deserves plenty of blame, just not for this) for the 'deal' with the 'Palestinians' allowing 'settlement construction' in exchange for terrorist releases. Netanyahu publicizes the fact that the US and the 'Palestinians' 'knew I was going to do this' just to make sure everyone gets that this is an exchange. I'll prove it you after the excerpt.
The US and the Palestinians knew in advance that the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists would be accompanied by announcements of settlement construction plans, government officials said Wednesday.
The comments came as Palestinian spokesmen slammed Israel for announcing that final permits have been given to build more than 1,500 units in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the pre-1967 lines and in communities in the large settlement blocs, as well as preliminary plans to build another 2,000 units in various settlements beyond the security barrier and the large blocs.
The announcement of the new settlement plans came soon after a second batch of 26 Palestinian prisoners was released late Tuesday night.
While the US and the Palestinians did not know about all the details of what new settlement plans would be announced, they knew of the intention to announce new plans, as well as the timing, the official said.
In order to pacify right wing elements inside his coalition, Netanyahu planned the timing of announcements of new building to coincide with each of the four batches of prisoner releases that are to take place by April under an agreement that led in July to the restarting of talks with the Palestinians. Some 104 convicted terrorists are to be released in four stages, two of which have now been carried out. 

According to a Channel 2 report, on July 19, the day that Israel approved US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework for restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Netanyahu agreed with Kerry that every time the prisoners would be released, there would be an announcement of new settlement construction plans to make the bitter pill easier to swallow for some of his coalition partners.
According to the report, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett knew this was the agreement, but still came out strongly against the recent release of prisoners, as well as against linking their release to construction in the settlements.
Bennett’s party issued a statement Thursday on the prisoner release, saying “the attempt to link the release of the murderers to construction tenders is manipulative and morally wrong. It will be better if the prime minister does not release murderers and does not build. This looks like a despicable attempt to free murderers and tarnish the settlement enterprise.”
Bennett’s public opposition to the move has strained his ties with Netanyahu and caused friction inside the coalition.
You want me to prove to you that there won't be any building either? Go here.  Aside from this post, look at the other posts. The promise to build in Ramat Shlomo has been recycled at least twice (2010 and the summer of 2012). This is the third time. So far, they haven't lifted a shovelful of earth.

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Guess who's not the most powerful person in the world

Forbes Magazine names the most powerful people in the world, and Barack Hussein Obama is number 1 2.
FORBES launched its latest issue on Wednesday, including the list of the most powerful people. Russian President Vladimir Putin ranked first and generated a hefty debate among readers. Read the story naming Putin the World’s Most Powerful Person here and check out the full list here.
Steve Forbes also contributed to the debate. “The criticism of Forbes dropping Barack Obama to the number two spot behind Vladimir Putin as the most powerful man in the world misses two big points.” Read Is Putin Really More Powerful Than Obama?

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Here we go again: Syrian air base destroyed in missile attack from sea

Rebel sources are reporting that seaborne missiles have destroyed a Syrian airbase near Latakia. The IAF is being blamed. Israel has no comment.
According to reports emanating from the rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, a large explosion occurred near the army base in Latakia on Wednesday night. Witness posted on Twitter that the explosion happened near coastal city Jableh, 30 kilometers south of Latakia, a stronghold of Assad's Alawites.
It is unclear who is behind the explosion or its purpose. There were no reports of casualties.
Members of the Syrian and Lebanese media have charged that Israel is behind the attack. Israel's defense establishment has not responded to the report.

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We are the Champions!

Let's go to the videotape.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm floating.

Once a Bostonian, always a Bostonian.

I hope that Dad z"l - who was a major Red Sox fan - is celebrating in Heaven. He never got to see the Red Sox win it all at home.

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What if Saudi Arabia became irrelevant to the world economy?

An oil discovery in a remote area of Australia threatens to make Saudi Arabia irrelevant to the world's oil markets and economy.
It is 6 times larger than the Bakken, 17 times the size of the Marcellus formation, and 80 times larger than the Eagle Ford shale.

All told the recent discovery outside a sleepy Australian town contains more black gold than in all of Iran, Iraq, Canada, or Venezuela.

The current estimates of 233 billion barrels are just 30 billion barrels shy of the estimated reserves in all of Saudi Arabia.

Now, one renowned international energy expert predicts the proven reserves will be much bigger.

"The find may land at 300 or 400 billion barrels, making it one of the greatest unconventional oil discoveries any of us will see in our lifetimes," says Dr. Kent Moors and advisor to six of the top 10 oil producers and active consultant to 20 world governments.

"It represents a bona-fide redrawing of the global energy map as we know it," Moors says, "and the mainstream media is completely ignoring it."
The boom is centered around a place called Coober Pedy, an inhospitable speck on the map in Southern Australia.

The big draw is the riches found in the region's vast geological structure, the Arckaringa basin.

Encompassing an area in excess of 30,000 square miles, what's buried within the
is enough black gold to completely change the global oil landscape-not to mention the lives of early investors.

Analysts believe this is equivalent to investing in Saudi Arabia in the early 1950's.
This won't change anything on the political front. The world hates Jews so much that it really doesn't need the Saudis anymore.

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Remember this? It's coming again

Two years ago, Senator Robert Menendez smacked down the Obama administration for opposing sanctions against Iran.

Let's go to the videotape.

With the Obama administration gearing up to oppose a Senate bill being promoted by Menendez to increase sanctions against Iran, it looks like another battle between Menendez and Obama on Iran could be brewing.
"We asked for a pause, to provide flexibility, of new sanctions," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday. "We believe that congressional action needs to be aligned with our negotiating strategy."
Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will be on Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon, where they will brief Senate leadership behind closed doors on developments with Iran in an effort to dissuade them from moving forward with the bill.
The Senate legislation targets roughly half of what remains of Iran's oil exports, cutting their sales of crude to less than 500,000 barrels a day. That is a significant reduction from what was proposed in a bill that passed the House of Representatives last August, which would cut virtually all of Iran's remaining exports down to zero.
The White House has urged legislators to water down the bill, but concurrently aims to delay its passage. If given a vote, the bill would likely pass with bipartisan support.
Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and an active proponent of the new penalties, told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Monday that the Senate would only consider halting additional sanctions if Iran completely froze its uranium enrichment work.
"We can’t want a deal more than the Iranians and we can’t be so anxious for a deal that we weaken our hand at a moment when we hold the best cards," Menendez said. 
"When I began this drive, I was told that it wouldn’t work– that other nations wouldn’t comply, and that you couldn’t force Iran back to the table," Menendez said. "The fact is they were wrong then and they are wrong now."
Will any other Democrats come to Menendez's side?

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Obama tries to convince Jewish groups to disregard Israel's interests

On Tuesday, President Hussein Obama sent White House national security advisor Susan Rice, her deputies Ben Rhodes and Tony Blinken and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to meet with four Jewish organizations to convince them not to lobby Congress in favor of new sanctions against Iran.
The White House meeting witnessed forceful exchanges between the two sides on the merits of the sanctions package, sources tell The Jerusalem Post
The afternoon meeting lasted over an hour and was characterized as a "serious exchange" over strategy during this delicate diplomatic window.
One White House official called the meeting "constructive" and said no animus was expressed.
In recent days a number of leading Jewish groups, including AIPAC, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs and the Jewish Federations of North America, have reiterated support for advancing through Congress new and enhanced Iran sanctions, although the Obama administration has made clear publicly that it would prefer Congress put off dealing with the legislation until after the next round of talks in mid-November.
 If there were 'forceful exchanges' you can bet that J Street and 'Jewish' Voice for 'Peace' weren't there.

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Mooch Obama and Obamacare pal were trustees of group that hosted PLO's Rahman

Michelle "Mooch" Obama and her friend Toni Townes-Whitley - a Senior Vice President at the company that developed the dysfunctional Obamacare website (for those not in the US, you cannot imagine how much of last week's news was dominated by that website's failure) - were trustees of a group called Third World Center at Princeton. In 1981, Third World Center hosted PLO terror supporter Hassan Rahman on the Princeton campus, forcing whites to sit separately from blacks, and raising tensions with Jewish groups on campus (Hat Tip: Jack W).
The two groups stirred considerable tension with Princeton’s Jewish community by inviting Hassan Rahman, then deputy United Nations observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization, to speak on campus, according to the Daily Caller, which cited  contemporary press accounts.
Rahman “reiterated the PLO’s position that the Palestinians deserve a homeland and that they are entitled to use terrorism to achieve their goal, just as American revolutionaries did against the British,” according to an article in the Princeton Alumni Weekly from Jan. 25, 1982.
During Rahman’s speech, seating was segregated, the Alumni Weekly reported, with seating in the  center reserved for members of the sponsoring groups – who were mainly black. Other students, mainly Jews, were seated on the periphery, according to the report.
“It was an ugly scene, but few expected perfect harmony,” the report stated.
Old news, right? Thirty years ago, these two women were part of two groups that caused a campus contretemps by inviting a speaker who openly advocated terror in his chosen cause – and segregating seating for the event on a de facto racial basis.
Trent Lott was driven from the minority leader spot for less than that.
And consider that Townes-Whitely, then a member of a group called the Third World Center, is now still a close friend of the first lady and a top executive of the company that obtained the no-bid contract to build the Obamacare website for more than half-a-billion dollars.
Terrorism, corruption, cronyism and ineptitude.

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If this reactor goes online, Iran will be immune to strikes

This is from a daily mailing called the Daily Tip that I receive from the Israel Project.
A heavy-water plutonium reactor that Iran has committed to bringing online would become "invulnerable to military attack" once Iranian scientists activated it, according to analysis conveyed today by TIME, inasmuch as any such attack would release radioactivity that might be "catastrophic." Work toward activating the reactor, which is part of the Arak facility that also includes a heavy water production plant, has been described as part of Iran's "Plan B" for developing a nuclear weapon. Material produced by the reactor could be used to make a plutonium-based bomb, alongside the uranium-based bomb that the international community fears Iran is seeking to construct with material produced via enrichment facilities. Former IAEA Deputy Director Dr. Olli Heinonen, speaking Monday on a conference call organized by The Israel Project, noted that Iran's construction at Arak "appears to be an alternative, at least for a rainy day, to have fissionable material, which could be, for example used for nuclear weapons." There are also fears, according to TIME, that Iran will attempt to surreptitiously activate the reactor under the ruse of conducting a test run, avoiding Western intervention. In May, Iranian officials filed paperwork with the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog to conduct a test run . U.S. lawmakers have demanded that Iran halt work on the reactor as a condition for lifting sanctions, but Iran has thus far shown no willingness to do so. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in fact recently boasted that a diplomatic charm offensive conducted by his government had left Tehran "consolidating its nuclear rights step by step, and removing hurdles from the path of the nation's progress."
This is from the first link.
Because it is not yet up and running, the Arak heavy-water reactor has remained in the background of the nuclear controversy. But it looms larger every day. The reason: once Arak goes online, the option of destroying Iran’s nuclear program with air strikes becomes moot. The reactor is essentially invulnerable to military attack, because bombing one risks a catastrophic release of radioactivity. In the words of Israel’s last chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, who piloted one of the F-16A’s that cratered Iraq’s Osirak heavy-water reactor in 1981 before it was due to become operational: “Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl, and no one wants to do that.”
That reality is the reason why some experts are drawing attention to a peculiar notice filed by Iran’s nuclear agency to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in May. Iran told the U.N. agency that, as it readies the Arak plant for operation, it intends to do a practice run: instead of inserting real fuel rods filled with uranium into the reactor’s core, where nuclear fission occurs, they would insert inert “dummy” fuel rods. And instead of pumping heavy water into the reactor to moderate the nuclear reaction and absorb the thermal energy being released, Iran said it plans to use “light water,” just ordinary H2O.
The plan mystifies experts, who take particular issue with testing the system using light water. The facility would be contaminated by ordinary H2O, which if mixed with heavy water would render the latter unusable, because in order to work heavy water must be 99.75% pure.
“Anything above that is hard to achieve and testing the system with light water would leave a residual atmosphere of H2O that would degrade the heavy water when it is added,” writes one U.S. specialist of heavy-water reactors, who has worked with the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington, D.C.–based think tank, and who shared his assessment on condition he not be identified further. In other words, rather than save time, using ordinary water would delay the project for the weeks required to clean the system thoroughly enough to assure no trace of H2O remained; it wouldn’t take much to dilute the heavy water below 99.75%.
Iran’s stated intentions are unlikely enough that an Israeli nuclear specialist suggests that they might be a ruse. Ephraim Asculai, a scientist retired from the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, warns that Iran may have no intention of carrying out a dry run at all. It may be a cover story, he posits, for a plan to rush the installation of live fuel rods and heavy water instead — essentially getting the Arak facility “hot” before the outside world expects, at which point it becomes invulnerable to military attack. There might then be no way to stop Iran’s nuclear program short of invasion.
“At that point, they are in the ‘zone of immunity’ as it’s called,” says Asculai, who has also worked at ISIS; he is currently a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank at Tel Aviv University.
Read the whole thing. What could wrong?

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The first time since 1918?

When John Lackey takes the mound for the Red Sox tonight, he will have the chance to do something that no Red Sox pitcher has done since Carl Mays in 1918: Clinch a Red Sox World Series win at Fenway Park (Hat Tip: NY Nana).
The last time the Boston Red Sox clinched a championship at Fenway Park, they used carrier pigeons to deliver inning-by-inning updates to soldiers at a fort 40 miles away. The World Series was a September event, with games played in the light of day and lasting less than two hours. And their best young player was a 23-year-old hurler named George Herman Ruth. The year was 1918.

Ninety-five years later, after a wait long enough to create the Curse of the Bambino, lament it for decades, break it and almost forget about it, the city of Boston will have a chance to witness the Red Sox celebrate a title on Massachusetts soil once again.

By beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-1, in Game 5 of the World Series on Monday night at Busch Stadium, the Red Sox took a 3-2 series lead. A win in either Game 6 or Game 7 would clinch the series. A loss in both would go down as a collapse.

It will be sheer ecstasy or stunned agony, with little room for anything in between. The only certainty is bedlam.


Ninety-five years ago, a pitcher named Carl Mays stood on the mound at Fenway Park with two outs in the ninth inning and got Les Mann of the Chicago Cubs to ground out to second base to end the World Series.

On Wednesday or Thursday, if the Red Sox can take the lead and preserve it, that moment will likely belong to Uehara, and it will be seen far and wide. No pigeons required.
Two things that are unmentioned here. First, the Red Sox have had two other opportunities to clinch the Series at Fenway since 1918. In 1967, they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals at Fenway and in 1975 they lost to the Cincinnati Reds. Second, in both those Series, the Sox won Game 6. Game 6 in 1975 was the epic game in which Carlton Fisk waved his home run inside the left field foul poll. Will Fisk be there tonight?

Read the whole thing.

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Security expert shows why any 'Palestinian state' would leave Israel indefensible

On CBN's Erik Stakelback Watchman show, security expert Mark Langfan uses three topographical maps to how any 'Palestinian state' would leave Israel indefensible.

Let's go to the videotape.

Langfan on Stakelbeck The Watchman from Mark Langfan on Vimeo.

Keep that in mind the next time someone tells you about a 'two-state solution.'

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Report: Mystery of Ron Arad's disappearance to be resolved soon - UPDATED

The Kuwaiti newspaper A-Siyassah is reporting that two mysteries will be resolved in the near future. One is the disappearance of four Iranian diplomats in Beirut in 1982. The other is the fate of Israeli Air Force Navigator Ron Arad. Arad was captured in Lebanon after ejecting from his Phantom jet in 1986, and has been missing ever since (link in Hebrew).

The report is based on 'western intelligence sources' and has not been officially confirmed. It says that both mysteries will be resolved 'in an incontrovertible manner.'

In 2009, Israeli intelligence said that it believed that Arad had died in Lebanon in the mid-90's.

A-Siyassah has reported about Arad before.

What makes this report plausible is the fact that the West has had someone connected to both incidents under its control for six years now: Iranian defector Ali Reza Asgari.



 JPost reports that the two mysteries are connected - it's an exchange of information.
Al-Siyasa reported that the deal became possible due to new information on Arad given to Western intelligence officials by Hussein Musawi, the brother of one of the four missing Iranian diplomats.
A former Iranian Foreign Ministry official, Musawi is believed to be one of the few people who know the fate of Arad.
In an interesting twist, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech on Monday that the group had to deal with the missing persons, including the four Iranian diplomats.
"There are 17 thousand missing persons due to the Israeli occupation, including the four Iranian diplomats along with other people during the Lebanese war," he said.
Bigger hmmmm.

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Abu Mazen's garden party

Overnight on Tuesday at the Mukhata, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen celebrated Israel's release of 26 more terrorist murderers.
Twenty-one inmates convicted of killing Israelis before the 1993 Oslo accords were released from Ofer Prison and returned to Ramallah in the West Bank via the Beitunia checkpoint. 
Five prisoners were freed to the Gaza Strip after they set out from the prison earlier in the day to await their release at the Erez border crossing.
Some two-thousand Palestinians gathered late Tuesday at Mukata, the PLO presidential compound, in Ramallah to celebrate the release of the 21 prisoners to the West Bank, Israel Radio reported.
The crowds waved flags baring the symbols of the PLO, Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and carried signs with pictures of the convicted murderers.
"Our heroes are coming home, long live the prisoners," they chanted in the predawn celebrations.
There's something surreal about the world cheering in (relative) silence as the 'Palestinians' cheer the release of their murderous heroes. But that's not the point of this post. Notice this line buried deep in the story.
On August 13, Israel released the first group of 26 prisoners. Israel was given two choices of goodwill gestures at the onset of the current round of peace negotiations, to either freeze settlement construction or release prisoners.
Yes, that's the impression the Netanyahu government has continued to give the media - that Israel chose to release terrorists rather than to  freeze 'settlement construction' - and that has led to anger at the Jewish Home party from everyone who did not vote for the Jewish Home party.

But were those the only choices? Jewish Home Minister of Senior Citizens Uri Orbach denies there is any connection.
"This is just a crass lie that people are repeating over and over again,” he said. “There was no buffet out there, at which we could choose between a release and a freeze. This government opposes a freeze and opposes a return to the 1967 borders.
"What Abu Mazen wants is to release their prisoners, and all the rest is intended to deflect attention. There was never a single moment at which we had to choose between these things. Even if it is repeated 200 times, it is still a lie,” he insisted.
The prisoner release was intended as “maintenance” for the negotiations with the Palestinians, he said, “and this is a very high cost for maintenance.”
Orbach fended off attacks against Bayit Yehudi, regarding its supposed hypocrisy in attacking the terrorist release, when it is part of the government that is carrying it out.
"It does not stand to reason that the release of depraved murderers would pass completely quietly,” he said. Asked why Bayit Yehudi tried to pass a law against future terrorist releases, if it would not have affected the present release anyway, he said, “I think there is an obligation to protest even if there is no immediate result on the ground.”
He rejected Minister of Interior Gideon Saar's demand that the Bayit Yehudi MKs resign from the government if they do not like what it is doing. “We are Gideon Saar's partners, not his lackeys,” he said. “We will decide whether or not to resign, and over what issue.”
In the meantime, Prime Minister Netanyahu continues to take advantage of this perfect storm, announcing that 1,500 new housing units (which have been announced before) will be allowed in Ramat Shlomo (in 'east' Jerusalem), and that each current resident of Ramat Shlomo will be allowed to expand his or her apartment by up to 50 square meters.
Shortly after the second of four prisoner releases to the Palestinian Authority was completed in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Netanyahu said the government planned to approve tenders for the construction of 1,500 additional housing units in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.
In addition, he said current owners of apartments in Ramat Shlomo would be allowed to expand their homes with another room to the size of 50 square-meters.

During talks with Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar, approval was also received for the establishment of a visitor's center near the City of David National Park in Silwan.
The premier said plans would also be advanced for the previously-halted construction of a national park on the slopes of Mount Scopus, which would allegedly block the expansion of Arab neighborhoods in the area.
Of course, this ensures that everyone who is not a 'settler' will blame the 'settlers' (and not Netanyahu) for the terrorist release. And the neophytes in the Jewish Home party have no clue how to fight that.

As to Ramat Shlomo (where the Jewish Home party has a miniscule constituency - it's a Haredi neighborhood), we've heard about 1,500 new apartments and expanding existing apartments before. Don't hold your breaths waiting for those recycled promises to happen.

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French President Hollande declared 'persona non grata'

Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein has declared French President Francois Hollande persona non grata for choosing to address university students in a visit here three weeks from now, rather than addressing the Knesset.
"Whoever disrespects the Knesset does not deserve the Knesset's respect," Edelstein wrote on Facebook. "International leaders cannot belittle the Knesset, the elected parliament of the State of Israel, and ignore it. As speaker of the Knesset I am determined to protect the dignity of our nation and its representatives, the MKs. I will not allow Israeli democracy to be humiliated and turned into a doormat."
Then why not go all the way and not allow him into the country? (Answer: Edelstein doesn't have the power to do that). This sounds a bit like the mirror image of Groucho Marx's famous quip....

Let's go to the videotape. The story starts at the 4:00 mark.

And if the story of Francois Hollande sounds familiar to you, it should. There was another 'world leader' who recently addressed university students rather than the Knesset. At the time, I wrote:
Given his refusal to speak at the Knesset as well, maybe Obama is trying to avoid recognizing the State of Israel. If so, that should be deeply troubling to all Israelis... I don't  why we invited him, but maybe we can still retract....
So what's the difference? Why wasn't Obama at least declared persona non grata in the Knesset? How's this for a lame excuse....
As for how Hollande is different from US President Barack Obama, who also chose to address students and not the Knesset, Edelstein said he was disappointed then, too, but Obama visited Israel shortly after the government was formed and the situation in the Knesset was messier than it is now.
Right.... The person who is going to 'suffer' from this is not Hollande, but rather French Ambassador to Israel, Patrick Maisonnave.
New French Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave will not be invited to any official Knesset ceremonies, nor will any other French dignitaries or ministers visiting Israel.
"There are plenty of events in universities. I'm sure the French officials will be too busy to find time for the Knesset," Edelstein remarked sarcastically.
And the French reaction?
A French Embassy spokeswoman said she was "surprised" to see Edelstein's reaction, because Hollande's schedule is not finalized yet.
"There is no need to react like this. The president wants to show his attachment to Israeli democracy and its representatives and wants to go to the Knesset. We are in touch with the Knesset to find the best time for [Hollande] to come, working with the Knesset's scheduling constraints. We're working on options and trying to be accommodating," the French Embassy spokeswoman stated.
Isn't it the Knesset that would need to be accommodating in this case? After all, they are the would-be hosts.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all in favor of banning Hollande from the Knesset for this. In fact, I'm in favor of banning him from the country altogether if he won't come address the Knesset.

But we should have done the same to Obama. The mistake was allowing Obama to set the precedent of going over the heads of Israel's elected representatives in the form of a speech to 'university students.'

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The kitchen gets hotter: Kerry blasts Netanyahu

US Secretary of State John Kerry blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday for criticizing Kerry's pandering to Iran.
In what could be construed as a reference to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's warnings to the world not to fall for the "charm offensive" of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Kerry stated that the US would not "succumb to fear tactics," of those who oppose diplomacy.
Speaking at a Washington gala in support of nuclear disarmament, Kerry said that the US has "an opportunity to try to put to test whether or not Iran really desires to pursue only a peaceful program, and will submit to the standards of the international community in the effort to prove that to the world."
Hasn't the US and the other members of the P 5+1 been doing that for the last ten years. Insanity, said Einstein, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Clearly, Kerry is insane.

Good morning Jerusalem....

I'm back, vertical and semi-awake :-)

Just like Israelis are saving Syrians today, they saved 'Palestinians' (who weren't called that yet) in 1949 (Hat Tip: Sara).

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh my: Which Likud MK says Netanyahu betrayed the public's trust?

A Likud MK is accusing Prime Minister Netanyahu of betraying the public's trust. Would you believe... Tzipi Hotovely?
In a Knesset Channel interview, MK Hotovely noted that some Likud ministers, like Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz, have expressed their opposition to the release of the prisoners, who are in fact "'heavy' terrorists and murderers who received punishment on the basis of a judicial process. This is an expression of disrespect for Israel's judicial system and for its system of deterrence," she said.
In words that were clearly deliberately chosen, Hotovely said that the person responsible for the release was Netanyahu. "I am not ashamed to say that Netanyahu, as prime minister, is the one who bears responsibility, and I want to say more than this: as a prime minister who built an entire public career on combating terror, there is a betrayal of the most basic trust on this issue."
The release of terrorists is "the opposite of a peace process," she said. Saying that the terrorists are being released as part of an attempt to restart the peace process is "an oxymoron," she added.
So is Bibi going to complete his morphing into Ariel (the Vegetable) Sharon and fire Hotovely? When are the rest of the Likud's ministers and MK's going to speak out against this absurd 'peace process'?

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Decisions, decisions....

So I'm now 37,000 feet above the Atlantic on my way back to Israel. The Red Sox have just defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 to take a 3-2 lead in the World Series back to Boston for the last two games.

When I get my checked bags, do I take out my playoff hat and 'We play for October' t-shirt before customs? Or wait until after?
Decisions, decisions.....

Make way for ducklings!

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This could be Netanyahu's dumbest move yet

Just when you thought the Binyamin Netanyahu had run out of stupid things to do when he backed the release of more 'Palestinian' terrorists. Netanyahu has now decided that Israel is going to show up for its 'universal periodic review' at the 'human rights council.' You know - the one we skipped last year. This is from the first link.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the decision to begin the reestablishment of ties with the council with less than 48 hours to go before Israel’s scheduled appearance for its Universal Periodic Review, according to Israeli sources.
Israel had initially failed to appear for its UPR in January and had been granted a number of extensions since then.
Tuesday’s prescheduled hearing was considered to be its last chance to participate in the process.
An Israeli delegation is leaving for Geneva to appear at the UNHRC for the review, the source said.
All UN member states, including those with poor human rights records such as Iran and Syria, have participated in the first round of UPRs.
Had Israel decided not to appear at the hearing, it would have become the first country to boycott the procedures.
Western countries were concerned that such a boycott by Israel could undermine the entire UPR process.
So why did Israel do this?
In negotiations with the UN and Western countries about its return, Israel focused on two central points. The first was Agenda Item 7, which mandates that member states debate Israeli human rights violations in the Palestinian territories at each session.
The second point was a request to be included in the group of UN Western nations that meets in Geneva. While it is part of that group in New York, it has not been included in the Geneva group, making it the only country excluded from regional groupings.
Israel expects that in the next few months it will be formally included in the group of Western nations that meets in Geneva, according to the source.
The issue of Agenda Item 7 is still under debate, but until the matter is resolved, Western countries have agreed not to address the council with that item, the source said.
Only when both issues have been resolved will Israel consider that full ties have been reestablished.
Not worth it. We ought to get out of the UN too. 

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Travel day

I am traveling back to Israel tonight, God willing, and have meetings in Manhattan today. It's a crazy day....


Netanyahu: 'I am still in control'

Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to demonstrate that he still controls something by sending the IAF to strike an empty Gaza rocket launch site on the same day that Israel announced the names of 26 more 'Palestinian' terrorist murderers who are being released on Tuesday.
The Israel Air Force struck two underground rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning in response to earlier rocket fire on the Ashkelon region.
Palestinian sources reported that the IAF strike targeted a site belonging to Hamas's Kassam Brigades terrorist group.
No injuries were reported in the IAF strike, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
Earlier on Monday, the Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted a Palestinian projectile fired from the Gaza Strip toward  the southern city of Ashkelon, the IDF said.
A second Palestinian rocket slammed into an uninhabited area in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council area, an army spokeswoman added.
There were no injuries or damage in the attacks, which triggered a Color Red rocket alert.
The rocket fire came a day after two mortar shells fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel and coincided with the announcement of the names of 26 Palestinian security prisoners set to be released by Israel on Tuesday.
Until he learns to act in Israel's best interests rather than Hussein Obama's, Netanyahu will control nothing. Will he ever learn? Will he learn in time?

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Australian victim was JNF emissary

One of the victims of an anti-Semitic assault in a Sydney, Australia suburb on Friday night was an emissary of the Jewish National Fund.
Efi Stenzler, world chairman of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, announced that he will convene an emergency meeting of his organization’s international representatives following the beating of Australian emissary Shlomo Ben-Haim and his wife in Sydney on Saturday.
The Ben-Haims and three other Jews were beaten on their way home from synagogue, resulting in wounds requiring hospitalization.
“The violent Sydney attack which came just hours after an anti-Israel protest in Denver, Colorado, as well as demonstrations in France and Belgium, require that we address the situation immediately,” Stenzler said.
The KKL-JNF executive was referring to protests outside of the home of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who was hosting KKL-JNF officials in town for their annual conference. The protesters, who also gathered outside the hotel in which the event was being held, waved signs calling for the end of Israeli “ethnic cleansing.”
“Attacks and demonstrations against us [Jews] have picked up momentum of late, we are targeted first and foremost because we are helping to realize the Zionist vision,” Stenzler said. “The protesters denounce KKLJNF since they recognize us as an organization that realizes the vision of Zionism.”
The Sydney attack is suspected of being racially motivated, with Ben-Haim telling the press that his assailants yelled “bloody Jews” during the melee.
You will note that there is still no hint as to the ethnicity of the attackers - not even their names. You'd have to read me or Robert Spencer to know that. Read the whole thing. I hope that at least the Jews are getting it.

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List of released terrorists announced

The government of Israel has released a list of 26 'Palestinian' terrorist murderers it plans to release on Tuesday as a 'gesture' to the 'Palestinians.'
All of the 26 prisoners on the IPS list were either convicted of murder or attempted murder. Among the most notable cases is Damouni Saad Mohammed Ahmed, who was convicted of involvement in the brutal lynch of IDF reservist Amnon Pomerantz in the Gaza Strip in 1990.
Another Palestinian set to be freed is Massoud Issa Rajib Amer, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who in 1993 was convicted of brutally hacking to death Ian Feinberg, a young lawyer who spent time in Gaza cultivating ties to the local Palestinian community while trying to promote economic projects.
Amer was also convicted of killing three Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Israel will also release Tukeman Yusef Suleiman Mahmed, Abu Hanana Zakariya Udia Usama, and Abdel-Aziz Said Kassam Ahmed, three men involved in the 1992 shooting death of Moshe Biton. Biton was shot and killed after entering a convenience store, and his wife was shot after trying to tend to him.
Samarin Mustafa Kalib Asrar and Kra'an Azat Musa Musa, the two Fatah terrorists who abducted and murdered Israeli soldier Tzvi Klein in the West Bank in 1992 are also scheduled to be released this week.
Abu-Dahila Hasan Atik Sharif, a Fatah operative who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Avi Osher, his Israeli employer at the Jordan Valley farm he owned, in 1991, is also among those to be freed this week.
Gnimat Amar Mahmad Mustafa and Gnimat Mahmoud Mahmad Ziad, two Palestinian men convicted in the murder of Meir Ben-Yair and Michal Cohen while they sat in a car in Judean foothills in 1985 are also set to be freed.
The two Palestinians convicted of killing Yoself Eliyahu and Leah Elmakayes are also among the 26 names announced by the IPS late Sunday. Yosef Mahmad Haza Haza and Beni-Hasan Abdalla Mahmud Otman were serving life sentences for the murder of Eliyahu and Elmakayes, two hikers trekking across a forest in the Gilboa Mountains.
Asor Masbach Khalil Mahmad, who was serving a 30-year jail term for the murder of Israeli taxi driver David Kaspi in 1985, will also go free this week, the IPS announced.
Abed al Raba Nimr Jabril Issa, the Palestinian man convicted of killing Revital Seri and Ron Levy while they were hiking in 1984, is also on the list of prisoners scheduled to be released this week.
I'm sure this terrorist release will bring about peace. /sarc

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Why have Newton students been "learning" from textbooks that demonize Israel and America while glorifying Islam?

Why have Newton students been "learning" from textbooks that demonize Israel and America while glorifying Islam? Good question (Hat Tip: Lance K).
For over a year local Newton parents and tax-payers have been trying to get the Newton School Committee to stop using religiously and ethnically biased materials in the classrooms. These materials, which are provided to the schools by extremist advocacy groups with a political agenda, promote anti-Western, and anti-Jewish propaganda while verging on proselytizing for Islam.
The School Committee has circled the wagons, and is refusing to conduct an open investigation. Officials told staff not to let citizens see the offending materials and tried to charge parents thousands of dollars just to see what their children are learning.
The schools claim to have removed one problematic text, which claimed that Jews torture Arab women in Israeli jails. Yet they have refused to go back into the classroom and tell students that they’ve been taught propaganda. Since then, students have brought to our attention many more examples of hateful and false materials being taught. Over the next few days, we will be compiling them on

Read the whole thing.

P.S. Newton is my home town.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Israeli government to release more terrorists

The government of Israel has decided to release 26 more terrorist murderers since the 'Palestinians' have done such a good job of keeping promises....
"The list of the Palestinian prisoners will be published tonight on the Prison Service's website, after the bereaved families will be notified," Netanyahu's spokesman said.
Earlier Sunday, a bill sponsored by the Bayit Yehudi Party to ban future Palestinian prisoners release failed to pass the Legislative Ministerial Committee by an eight-to-five vote, as a separate panel prepares this evening to approve such a release.
"It was made clear once again today that this government, as opposed to one of its member parties, is acting out of the nation's interest and not that of cynical partisan interests or according to the instructions of [settler] rabbis," Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (HaTenua) said.
"This government is advancing a diplomatic process, that is in Israel's national and security interests. The responsibility to act in accordance with these interests as well as the shared responsibility for decisions that were taken [by the government], is incumbent on every member of the government, even those who in retrospect are trying to shirk from them," Livni said.
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said, "It was shameful that ministers opposed the legislation. In the Bayit Yehudi, we oppose and will continue to oppose the release of prisoners."
He attacked the justice minister who is in charge of Israel's negotiations with the Palestinians and said, "Today Livni was given additional rope to continue playing at imaginary negotiations with the Palestinians."
The Bayit Yehudi Party plans to appeal the vote. 
Likud, Yesh Atitd and HaTenua ministers opposed the legislation and supported further prisoner releases included: Yuval Steintiz, Gideon Sa'ar, Limor Livnat, Gilad Erdan, Yair Lapid, Yael German, Yaakov Peri, Tzipi Livni.
Those who supported the legislation to ban Palestinian prisoner releases included ministers from the Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beitineu parties such as: Uri Orbach, Uri Ariel, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Sofa Landver and Yair Shamir.
The legislation was proposed by MK Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) and Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levine (Likud) on behalf of the Land for Israel lobby in the Knesset.
Two comments: If Bayit Yehudi were serious about opposing the terrorist release they would threaten to leave and leave the government over it. And remember how Steinitz, Sa'ar, Livnat and Erdan voted the next time they're described as belonging to the Right.

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It's (long past) time to admit it: We don't have a peace partner

Evelyn Gordon says what the State of Israel ought to be saying every single day: We don't have a peace partner.
How can you blame fringe groups like Jewish Voice for Peace for doing exactly what Israel’s so-called “peace partner”–a man feted in capitals the world over, including Washington–does every single day?
The Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, are world leaders in sponsoring anti-Israel activity and promoting boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaigns. Just this week, for instance, Abbas toured European capitals to urge the EU to step up sanctions against Israel, while the PA took the bizarre step of asking the French government to strip French nationals living in Israeli settlements of their citizenship. A few weeks ago, Palestinian legislators asked the Inter-Parliamentary Union to approve a motion urging national parliaments to boycott Israel. Last month, the PA sent letters to 50 countries urging them to impose commercial boycotts on Israel. And all this anti-Israel activity is taking place while Israeli-Palestinian talks are ostensibly at their height, with negotiators meeting several times a week.
Read the whole thing.

One person who should be forced to copy Gordon's words 500 or more times is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who had this to say on Sunday morning.
"We have to honor government decisions even if it is difficult and unpleasant, we can't constantly change our stance," Netanyahu told the ministers.
Netanyahu was referring to Israel's promise to release 104 terrorist murderers while the 'negotiations' with the 'Palestinians' go on. Hey Netanyahu, what were you promised in exchange for that promise? Are the 'Palestinians' keeping their promise to stop terrorism? Clearly not. And that's why you shouldn't keep yours. 

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