Dead, innocent pali children

Those are some hairy kidlets!

Skafi Ahmed-202x300

Syrian opposition group to Israel: Next year we celebrate Independence Day in Damascus

An official from one of the main opposition groups in Syria sent a letter of congratulations to Israel for Independence Day on Thursday in which he said he hoped that next year the day would be marked at the Israeli embassy in Damascus.

The letter was sent by  the Free Syrian Army’s Mousa Ahmed Nabhan to Mendi Safadi who served as chief of staff for Likud’s newly-elected Druse MK Ayoub Kara.

Safadi has independently met with members of the liberal and democratic Syrian opposition who oppose the Islamist groups in Syria and want friendly relations with Israel.

Take back The Temple Mount

It began as a routine remodeling project: Muslim authorities replacing an old carpet worn thin by masses of worshipers at the Dome of the Rock, the iconic, gold-topped shrine that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem.

But there is no such thing as routine remodeling when it comes to the most contested piece of real estate in Jerusalem, where the presence of a mere screwdriver can threaten to ignite religious tensions.

The carpet has sparked a verbal holy war over the hilltop compound, which is revered by Jews and Muslims whose competing claims often spill over into violence.

Israeli archaeological authorities say the repairs were carried out behind their backs, and an Israeli government minister urged an immediate halt to the work, claiming it might cause irreparable damage. Frustrated Israeli researchers say previously undocumented ancient floor designs were discovered when the old carpets were peeled off, but they didn’t get a chance to document the designs before workmen covered them up with the new carpet.

And some researchers claim the Bible’s deepest secrets may lie beneath some of the newly exposed floor designs.

“Something is there. I don’t know what. But something is hidden there,” said Israeli archaeologist Zachi Dvira, who studies the site.

‘Made in Israel’ labels thrive, defying boycott movement

The boycott, divest, and sanction movement, which seeks to cut economic ties with Israel, shows no sign of letting up. Yet concern over the possibility that their products will be boycotted has not stopped Israeli manufacturers and exporters from identifying with Israel. Quite the opposite, according to Economy Ministry figures; while in 2013, 760 Israeli manufacturers marked their products marketed abroad as “made in Israel,” by 2014 that number had grown to 1,024.

Clinton: Saudi Arabia is ‘biggest funder of terrorists’

Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism and is unwilling to cut off the money supply, according to a leaked note from Hillary Clinton.

The US Secretary of State says in a secret memorandum that donors in the kingdom still “constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide” and that “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority”.

In a separate diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks last night, the militant group which carried out the Mumbai bombings in 2008, Lashkar-e-Toiba, is reported to have secured money in Saudi Arabia via one of its charity offshoots which raises money for schools.

Saudi Arabia is accused, along with Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, of failing to prevent some of its richest citizens financing the insurgency against Nato troops in Afghanistan. Fund-raisers from the Taliban regularly travel to UAE to take advantage of its weak borders and financial regulation to launder money.

However, it is Saudi Arabia that receives the harshest assessment. The country from which Osama bin Laden and most of the 9/11 terrorists originated, according to Mrs Clinton, “a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during the Haj and Ramadan”.

These pilgrimages, especially the Haj, are described as a “big problem” in another cable dated 29 May 2009. Detailing a briefing from the Saudi interior ministry to Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, it notes: “The Haj is still a major security loophole for the Saudis, since pilgrims often travel with large amounts of cash and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry into Saudi Arabia.”

It also quotes one of the officials admitting that the Haj is “a vacuum in our security”. The huge annual influx of Muslims from around the world offers a prime opportunity for militants and their donors to enter the kingdom to exchange funds, launder money through front companies and accept money from government-approved charities.

The memo underlines that the US supports the work of Islamic charities, but is frustrated that they are so easily exploited to fund terrorism.

“In 2002, the Saudi government promised to set up a charities committee that would address this issue, but has yet to do so,” Mrs Clinton’s cable reads, before seeming to admit with disappointment that merely “obtaining Saudi acknowledgement of the scope of this problem and a commitment to take decisive action” has proved hard.

SOURCE

Liberal Jews Push Obama to Drop Support for Israel at UN During White House Parley

Members of a group of Jewish supporters of the Democratic Party who met with President Barack Obama this week urged him to remove the long-standing American veto protection of Israel at the United Nations. The group, affiliated with the left-wing lobby group J Street, pledged to support the president within the Jewish community in the event of a Security Council resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian State.

The exchange took place in the second of two meetings Obama held with American Jewish leaders to discuss the current negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, as well as other regional issues. According to a source who was in the room, one J Street supporter told the president that if he decided to back a Palestinian state resolution over Israeli objections, “let us know first, and we’ll do the legwork for you, in the community… so you’re not going to come in cold.”

The $100,000 club: Who’s really making big money these days

In the past three years alone, the total number of provincially paid public sector workers earning six-figure incomes jumped a staggering 39 per cent in Ontario and 32 per cent in British Columbia—the two provinces that release so-called “sunshine lists” detailing the earnings of the highest-paid public sector workers. That number is inevitably growing as the years go by, and it’s true, of course, that a six-figure income is not the milestone it was 15 years ago. Nevertheless, hefty raises and generous pensions and benefits have public sector workers earning, on average, 12 per cent more than their private sector counterparts nationally.