Trump warns UN for hypocrisy on PLO, Hamas and Israel

Last year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Haley named and shamed.

President Trump has challenged United Nations (UN) member States to put their money where their mouths are in a hard hitting speech delivered by US Permanent Representative to the UN - Ambassador Nikki Haley – at a UN Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East on 24 July.

Following Trump’s dressing down of NATO – Haley attacked UN member States who are full of words but short on money when it comes to supporting the Palestinian Arabs.

“Haley:??? all?the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe, or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up.
Haley did not mince her words. “

"Here at the UN, thousands of miles away from Palestinians who do have real needs, there is no end to the speeches on their behalf. Country after country claims solidarity with the Palestinian people. If those words were useful in the schools, the hospitals, and the streets of their communities, the Palestinian people would not be facing the desperate conditions we are discussing here today. Talk is cheap.

"No group of countries is more generous with their words than the Palestinians’ Arab neighbors, and other OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – ed.] member states. But all of the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe, or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up."

Haley used members’ contributions to UNRWA to prove her case:

Last year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero.

Other countries did provide some funding. Pakistan gave $20,000. Egypt gave 20,000. Oman gave 668,000.

Haley did not spare non-Arab and non-Islamic countries from similar naming and shaming:

Other countries talk a big game about the Palestinian cause. In 2017, China provided $350,000 to UNRWA. Russia provided two million dollars to UNWRA.

Haley contrasted America’s generosity: ?

"Last year … the United States gave 364 million dollars… And that’s on top of what the American people give annually to the Palestinians in bilateral assistance. That is another 300 million dollars just last year, and it averages to more than a quarter of a billion dollars every year since 1993."

Haley delivered this stern warning:

“But we are not fools. If we extend a hand in friendship and generosity, we do not expect our hand to be bitten. And as we extend our hand, we also expect others to extend their hands as well.”

Haley emphasised that Arab countries’ giving more money was not the only issue confronting them:

"Too often, the Arab countries give just enough money and mouth just enough uncompromising words to stay out of the crosshairs of Palestinian representatives. But if they really cared about the Palestinian people, they would not do that. Instead, they would condemn extremism and they would put forth serious ideas for compromises that could end this struggle and lead to a better life for the Palestinian people. They would tell the Palestinian leadership how foolish they look for condemning a peace proposal [Trumps’ “ultimate deal” – ed.] they haven’t even seen yet."? Dry Bones 1.8.18

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Haley called out both aberrant PLO and Hamas leaderships:

"The Palestinian leadership has been allowed to live a false reality for too long because Arab leaders are afraid to tell them the truth… It is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away.

"Those regional States - Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon – can really help by sitting down with Israel and negotiating an end to the 100-years old Arab-Jewish conflict as formulated 51 years ago by UN Security Council Resolution 242."

Delivering this message to the UN has been long overdue.

Chomsky Calls Russian Interference a Joke – Blames Guess Who?

  • Transparency and public accountability are the cornerstones of democracy. Prime Minister Netanyahu's very public opposition to Obama's Iran Deal -- a deal opposed by most members of Congress and most Americans -- was just as consistent with democracy as Winston Churchill's public demands for the United States to help Great Britain fight the Nazis.

  • Holocaust denial is quintessentially anti-Semitic, because it falsely accuses the Jews of fabricating stories of the murder of six million Jews.

  • Noam Chomsky may be intelligent when it comes to linguistics, but his statements regarding Israel, Russia, and the Holocaust are simply counter-factual. There is no other word for his bizarre views, if he actually believes them. If he does not, then there is another word that aptly describes his statements: bigotry.

Noam Chomsky has gone off the deep end once again. This time he claims that in "most of the world" the issue of Russian interference in U.S. elections is "almost a joke." The real villain, according to him, is, of course, Israel -- as it almost always is with Chomsky. According to the world's "top public intellectual," Israeli intervention in U.S. elections, "vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done." His proof of this absurd and false charge is that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech in front of Congress "with overwhelming applause." Only on Planet Chomsky would it be worse for the Prime Minister of an American ally openly to accept an invitation from the Speaker of the House to address Congress about an issue of mutual concern, than for Russian agents surreptitiously to try to manipulate voters by false social media campaigns, hacking emails, and other illegal actions.

Chomsky simply fails to understand how democracy is supposed to work. Transparency and public accountability are the cornerstones of democracy. Prime Minister Netanyahu's very public opposition to Obama's Iran Deal -- a deal opposed by most members of Congress and most Americans -- was just as consistent with democracy as Winston Churchill's public demands for the United States to help Great Britain fight the Nazis.

Pictured at left: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addresses a joint session of the US Congress on December 27, 1941 (Image source: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images). Pictured at right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of the US Congress on March 3, 2015 (Image source: US House of Representatives/Wikimedia Commons).

American presidents, as well as Israeli prime ministers, seek to influence the policies and electoral choices made by their allies. That, too, is part of democracy. The United States has pressured Israel to stop building settlements, Israel has pressured the United States to be more aggressive in preventing Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. This, too, is part of democracy.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is an American organization that lobbies on behalf of American support for Israel. Lobbying is as American as apple pie.

What is un-American, and what is undemocratic, is for secret agents working surreptitiously on behalf of Vladimir Putin's Russia to commit numerous crimes, for which several of its agents have been indicted, in an effort to influence American elections without transparency or public accountability.

Chomsky is smart enough to understand this, but his willful blindness toward anything involving Israel leads him to make the kind of false comparative statement that no intellectual should ever make. Again, only on Planet Chomsky would Russia's continuous efforts improperly to intervene in American elections would be characterized as "almost a joke." Only on Planet Chomsky would Israel's open, transparent and democratic efforts to have America support its security be deemed worse than Russia's crimes. But such blindness is to be expected from Chomsky when it comes to anything regarding Israel, Jews, or anti-Semitism.

Remember this is the same man who defended the so-called "research" of the notorious Holocaust-denier, Robert Faurisson. Not only did Chomsky defend Faurisson's phony research, but he denied that Faurisson -- who is a notorious Jew-hater -- had said anything that qualifies as anti-Semitic. Here is what Chomsky wrote:

"I see no anti-Semitic implications in denial of the existence of gas chambers, or even denial of the Holocaust. Nor would there be anti-Semitic implications, per se, in the claim that the Holocaust (whether one believes it took place or not) is being exploited, viciously so, by apologists for Israeli repression and violence. I see no hint of anti-Semitic implications in Faurisson's work..."

Chomsky, who is a prominent linguist, knows nothing of the meaning of language in context. Holocaust denial is quintessentially anti-Semitic, because it falsely accuses the Jews of fabricating stories of the murder of six million Jews.

Experts understand that there are different kinds of intelligence. Chomsky may be intelligent when it comes to linguistics, but his statements regarding Israel, Russia, and the Holocaust are simply counter-factual. There is no other word for his bizarre views, if he actually believes them. If he does not, then there is another word that aptly describes his statements: bigotry.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "The Case Against Impeaching Trump," Skyhorse publishing, 2018.

New York Times’ Myths About Israel as a Jewish State

In any debate, opinions must be based on factual reality, not myths:? a professional obligation the New York Times must pay attention to when it publishes?an opinion piece?such as this one by Palestinian-Israeli writer?Sayed Kashua.

This month Israel passed the “Nation State Law,” which among other things, officially declares that Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people. This law has generated support, opposition and legitimate debate both at home and abroad.

Here are a five myths written by Kashua along with the basic the fact checking the NYT should have done in the first place.

Myth #1: “[Israel is] a country where Jews enjoy rights that others don’t have.”

Fact:?While Israel struggles with the same tensions as any ethnically diverse democracy, all citizens have equal rights under law.***

Myth #2: “A state in which Judaism is the only national expression permissible by law will, by definition, reject any minority member who wishes to be part of it…”

Fact: It is unclear to which “definition” Kashua is referring, but many countries have an official religion, ethnicity, or people-hood without rejecting minorities: such as Norway, Sweden, France, Germany, Japan?and many more.

Myth #3: “The Nationality Law prevents the possibility of multiculturalism in Israel and rejects any collective history or memory other than the Zionist one.”

Fact:?Israel expresses multiculturalism and varieties of collective histories in its literature, museums,?social/environmental projects?and more. This is unchanged by the passage of the Nation State Law.

Myth #4:
“…the 20 percent of the population who are Arabs and who live in crowded conditions, under continuous threat of having their land appropriated.”

Fact:?This is simply untrue.

Kashua is referring specially to Arab-Israeli citizens: not Palestinians who live in disputed territories such as the West Bank and Gaza.

In some communities, Arab residents complain about inequality in municipal services, permitting and the like. However, most Arab-Israeli citizens live in well established, spacious, modern cities: such as Haifa, well restored ancient ones such as?Acre,?or firmly established towns, such as Abu Gosh.

Haifa, Israel.

Myth #5: “By revoking Arabic’s status as an official state language, the law delivers yet another blow…”

Fact: Arabic’s status?is entirely unchanged:?it always had a special status, but was never an official national language, of Israel.

A common confusion results from a 1948 Israeli law (based on a 1922 British law) that requires the use of Arabic and Hebrew on government documents, signs and the like, but does not designate either as an official national language.

The 1948 law is still in effect, and the relevant section of the Nation State Law specifically provides that, “This clause does not harm the status given to the Arabic language before this law came into effect.”

Sayed Kashua engages in numerous other distortions of fact:?confusing or conflating unrelated topics, misstating international law and more.? The late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” and that is true of the New York Times opinion section too.

Please share your considered comments the New York Times at nytnews@nytimes.com

You can contact us on Twitter: @HonestReporting or talk to the author directly: @DanielSpeaksUp

Image: Haifa via Wikimedia Commons

Satellite Imagery + Social Media = A New Way to Spot Emerging Nuclear Threats



In this Wednesday, July 18, 2018 photo, National Weather Service forecaster Marvin Percha reviews monitors that track satellite and Doppler radar images, as well as his colleagues' forecasts posted on social media, at the agency's operating center in Az.

A research team is training computers to find and fuse clues from wildly different rivers of digital data.

Hiding illicit nuclear programs might be getting harder, thanks to new ways of gleaning and combining clues from various rivers of digital data. That’s the conclusion of new research funded in part by the U.S. Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security?Administration.

Satellites offer one kind of information; social media another — particularly inside countries that may be trying to flout inspections. But large volumes of satellite imagery and social media data aren’t similar. You can have one analyst examine satellite pictures and another look at social media posts to see if they align, but the process is time-consuming and generally far from comprehensive. The study’s authors developed a method for fusing different types of data in a machine-readable way to offer a much clearer?picture.

“In light of their ubiquitous emergence, social media increasingly promise to be of great value even though associated applications have thus far remained simple, and their fusion with other data has been largely ad hoc,” the team from North Carolina State University writes in “Fusing Heterogeneous Data: A Case for Remote Sensing and Social Media.” Only by creating a new statistical method for fusing the outputs of satellite data and social media data do you get something you can use to predict what might happen next within a given area of interest, such as a specific nation’s nuclear enrichment or weapons?development.

The researchers looked at satellite and social media data from August 2013, when deadly floods killed eight people and caused widespread damage in Colorado. They sought to show that if you could algorithmically identify which imagery showed the flooding from space, and which geotagged tweets described it on the ground, you could could much more quickly verify one data set against another — that is, you could determine whether ?incoming social media data supports the conclusions you might be reaching from your satellite data, and vice?versa.

“Next steps for the project include evaluating nuclear facilities in the West to identify common characteristics that may also be applicable to facilities in more isolated societies, such as North Korea,” notes a press release on the?paper.

One of the authors, NCSU computer and electrical engineering professor Hamid Krim, said the team would try to “address the insufficient knowledge in general in areas of great interest (e.g. N. Korea and Iran). The goal is to come up with systematic methodologies to transport knowledge about nuclear environments available in other areas (e.g., in the West) to these domains where there is very little available. Creating such an environment in these places of interest will help them ?detect potential undesired?activity.”

Of course, there are limitations to media monitoring in Iran and North Korea. The former’s social media environment is largely underground, thanks to bans on Twitter and many other social networks. The latter has virtually no social media environment at all. Krim noted that the “adversarial strategy” of social-media censorship makes his team’s analysis harder. But even social posts from nearby countries can help illuminate their more secretive neighbors, he said —?think tweets from Japan after earth tremors are?felt.

On Ice, democrats abandon the mainstream

Despite public opposition, numerous Democrats continue to call for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be abolished. It’s a belief that falls squarely outside the American mainstream: According to a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, only 25 percent of voters support getting rid of ICE.
A majority of Americans know we must keep ICE, and for good reason: Eliminating this crucial piece of our national security force would grind immigration enforcement to a halt, with devastating consequences for public safety. Abolishing ICE would mean abolishing the agency responsible for removing drug dealers, gang members, and other criminals who exploit America’s border to take advantage of our communities.

The numbers don’t lie. Criminals arrested by ICE during the 2017 fiscal year were responsible for:?

• More than 76,000 dangerous drug offenses;

• More than 48,000 assault offenses;

• More than 11,000 weapon offenses;a

• More than 5,000 sexual assault offenses;

• More than 2,000 kidnapping offenses; and

• More than 1,800 homicide offenses.

Our immigration law enforcement officers work in dangerous conditions to protect our communities. We must stand with them. Recently, 167 Democrats in the House of Representatives refused to vote for a resolution to support these border officials. “To the courageous public servants at ICE, men and women, we want you to know that the American people are with you and my administration has your back 100 percent,”?President Trump said in his most recent weekly address.

Trump says ‘I’m not pro-Russia’ – hits ex-CIA chief Brennan for calling Putin news conference ‘Treasonous’


President Trump denied he was "pro-Russia" and slammed former CIA Director John Brennan in a Fox News interview airing Tuesday night, after the ex-intelligence chief described Trump's news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin as "treasonous."


"I think Brennan is a very bad guy and if you look at it a lot of things happened under his watch," Trump told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Monday. "I think he's a very bad person."

The "Tucker Carlson Tonight" interview was recorded in Helsinki following the Trump-Putin news conference, at which Trump appeared to dismiss the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Trump backtracked on Tuesday, claiming he meant to say he didn't see why Russia "wouldn't" be responsible for the meddling.

Seized archive shows Iran nuke project was larger than thought, had foreign help


...Under Tehran’s nose

Israeli officials also gave the three US reporters additional, but not full, details of the operation to seize and bring home the Iranian archive, some of which has been previously detailed.

Israel established early last year that the materials related to the Iranian program were being collected at a single warehouse in the Shorabad district of southern Tehran. The anonymous building had no overt security, and very few Iranians knew of its existence, the Israeli officials said last week.

“Mossad agents were able learn the internal layout of the building, including the location and general contents of 32 safes that contained paper records, photos and computer-storage files from ‘Project Amad,’” the Washington Post said.

“Clearly, the Israeli spies had inside help,” the Times claimed, without elaboration.

On His Birthday, Ayatollah Khamenei Calls for Israel’s Destruction

July 16 was Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s birthday. He celebrated it by calling for Israel’s destruction on Twitter.

Khamenei began the four-tweet thread by stating that the “satanic and vicious” deal that the Trump administration has planned for the Israel-Palestinian conflict “will never happen.”

“The turbulent dream that Al-Quds would be given to the Zionists will never come true,” Khamenei wrote. “The Palestinian nation will stand against it and Muslim nations will back the Palestinian nation, never letting that happen.”

The supreme leader added, “By God’s grace, the Palestinian nation will certainly gain victory over the enemies and will witness the day when the fabricated Zionist regime will be eradicated.”

Palestinians slam Saudi documentary about Israel’s founding

The two-part series, titled The Naqba, is rich with imagery from the Holocaust and from the Yishuv and interviews Israelis, Arabs and historians.

Arabs in Jewish Palestine demonstrate in the Old City of Jerusalem, 1937. (photo credit: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Amid rumors of warming ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Palestinian groups have lashed out against a recently released documentary series from Saudi-owned television news channel Al-Arabiya that depicts the lead-up to and the creation of the Jewish state.

The two-part series, titled The Naqba, is rich with imagery from the Holocaust and from the Yishuv, the pre-state Jewish population. It interviews Israelis, Arabs and historians in what it says is an attempt to depict the controversial topic in an unbiased light.

The documentary “reconstructs the story of the birth of Israel in a way that is free of ideology or partisanism” by reviewing the crucial “moments of this chapter of the 20th century through testimonies and interviews with eyewitnesses and historians on both sides,” the TV channel’s description of the show reads in Arabic.

However, the series depicts the dire situation of European Jewry following the Holocaust with the narrator saying things like “Israel was born, and the dream became reality” and “Arab neighboring armies invaded Palestine [following the UN partition plan].” As a result, many Palestinians have complained that the show is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to normalize the Jewish country.

Israel to impound Gaza flotilla ships to benefit terror victims

A Jerusalem court issues temporary confiscation order for 2 Norwegian ships planning to sail to Gaza; if they are intercepted and towed to an Israeli port, their value will be paid to terror victims families as compensation.

The Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order Wednesday for two Norwegian ships set to partake in a solidarity flotilla to Gaza in the coming weeks.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

Organizers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organizations and local fishermen.

Israel to impound Gaza flotilla ships to benefit terror victims

The Jerusalem District Court issued a temporary confiscation order Wednesday for two Norwegian ships set to partake in a solidarity flotilla to Gaza in the coming weeks.

The court order allows for the Karstein and Freedom, worth approximately 75,000 euros, to be used for monetary compensation for victims of Hamas terrorism the moment they enter Israeli waters.

Organizers of the flotilla say that if they succeed in reaching Gaza they will donate the ships to civilian organizations and local fishermen.

Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, the NGO that submitted the impound claim on behalf of terror victims, says that in the view of former Dep. Navy Commander Brig. Gen. Noam Feig, and Middle East scholar Aryeh Spitzen, the ships are intended to be used by Hamas which is seeking to strengthen its naval forces.

The petition was submitted in the name of the Gavish family which lost the couple David and Rachel, together with their son Avraham, and maternal grandfather Yitzhak Kanner, in an attack on Passover 2002.

It was also submitted in the name of the family of Adam Weinstein who was killed in a 2001 Jerusalem terror attack. Hamas claimed responsibility for both attacks and the families submitted claims for compensation from the organization.

Gaza flotilla (Photo: MCT)
Gaza flotilla (Photo: MCT)

In 2006, the court ruled that Hamas must pay the Gavish family NIS 90 million. The Weinstein family still awaits a ruling. The Gavish family has yet to receive any compensation, leading them to sue for the ships that are headed for Israel.

“Flotilla organizers come over here every year in attempts to breach the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and violate the sovereignty of Israel,” said Shurat HaDin Director Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.

“Every year they are stopped by the IDF and their ships are towed to the Ashdod Port and they are sent home as if nothing occurred. This time, the ships will be turned over to terror victims and the organizers will learn that there is a price to pay for their provocations, for assisting a terror organization and for systematic violations of international law.”