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Israel Thrashes Obama for Anti-Israeli ‘Shameful Move’ at UN

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The Israeli official’s admission marked a final chapter in the icy relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama over the last eight years and signaled an era of close ties between Israel and the incoming Trump administration.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Josef Federman reports: An Israeli official on Friday accused President Barack Obama of colluding with the Palestinians in a “shameful move against Israel at the U.N.” after learning the White House did not intend to veto a Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem the day before.

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“President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the U.N.. The U.S administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory.”

“President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the U.N.,” the official said. “The U.S administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti-Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tail wind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory,” he said calling it “an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN.”

Earlier he said Israel’s prime minister turned to President-elect Donald Trump to help head off the critical U.N. resolution.

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“Under heavy Israeli pressure, Egypt called off a planned vote in the Security Council hours before it was to take place. In the diplomatic activity ahead of the postponement, both Netanyahu and Trump issued nearly identical statements urging the U.S. to veto the measure.”

Although the U.S. opposes the settlements, it has traditionally used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block resolutions condemning Israel, saying that disputes between Israel and the Palestinians must be resolved through negotiations. But after eight years of failed peace efforts during the Obama Administration, Israel has expressed concern the outgoing president would take an audacious step to leave his mark on the region. In recent weeks, the White House had been especially secretive about its deliberations.

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The Israeli official’s admission marked a final chapter in the icy relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Barack Obama over the last eight years, and signaled an era of close ties between Israel and the incoming Trump administration.

Israel knew even before the Egyptian draft resolution that the White House was planning an “ambush” and coordinating it with the Palestinians, said another Israeli official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal diplomatic conversations.

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Israeli diplomats believe they were misled by the U.S. during a meeting last week between high-ranking Israeli and Obama administration officials in which the U.S. side offered reassurances about its efforts to support Israel but declined to explicitly state that the U.S. would veto such a resolution if it came up. The Israelis told their counterparts that “friends don’t take friends to the Security Council,” the official said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Israel Fires: Tens of Thousands Flee; Arson Suspected

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Tens of thousands of people are being evacuated as wildfires rage through parts of the Israeli city of Haifa, the third largest in the country. On social media, the Arabic-language hashtag #Israel_on_fire began trending, with most tweets expressing pleasure over the outbreak.

Huge flames are being fanned by strong winds in residential areas in the north of the city of about 250,000.

“It’s likely that where it was arson, it goes in the direction of nationalistic. I don’t want to disturb the investigation.”

— Roni Alsheich

Fires are also threatening homes near Jerusalem and in the West Bank.

Israel’s police chief said arson was suspected in some cases and hinted that some of it could be politically motivated.

“It’s likely that where it was arson, it goes in the direction of nationalistic,” Roni Alsheich told reporters, adding: “I don’t want to disturb the investigation.”

Map showing Haifa

“Haifa Mayor Yonah Yahav said there were indications that one of the fires started when ‘someone tossed a cigarette in an area full of oil and flammable fluids’ in an industrial zone.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing religious Jewish Home party, said on Twitter in Hebrew: “Only those to whom the country does not belong are capable of burning it.”

On social media, the Arabic-language hashtag #Israel_on_fire began trending, with most tweets expressing pleasure over the outbreak.

Haifa Mayor Yonah Yahav said there were indications that one of the fires started when “someone tossed a cigarette in an area full of oil and flammable fluids” in an industrial zone.

Four Palestinians have been arrested in connection with a fire near Jerusalem and are due to appear in court on suspicion of starting a bonfire negligently.

Car passing fire in Haifa

Months of dry weather have left the country vulnerable to fires – Reuters

“Four Palestinians have been arrested in connection with a fire near Jerusalem and are due to appear in court on suspicion of starting a bonfire negligently.”

The Palestinian Authority has offered to help Israel’s fire department, a senior Israeli security official told the BBC, but has not yet received a reply.

Meanwhile, hundreds of military reservists have been called up to help battle the three-day outbreak of fires. Read the rest of this entry »


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Clinton Email Probe Going Nowhere Because ‘Legal Experts Agree’ Clinton Did Nothing Illegal

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Del Quentin Wilber writes: Federal prosecutors investigating the possible mishandling of classified materials on Hillary Clinton’s private email server have begun the process of setting up formal interviews with some of her longtime and closest aides, according to two people familiar with the probe, an indication that the inquiry is moving into its final phases.

“Legally it doesn’t matter if the emails were marked as classified or not, since government officials are obligated to recognize sensitive material and guard against its release. But legal experts noted that such labels would be helpful to prosecutors seeking to prove she knew the information was classified, a key element of the law.”

Those interviews and the final review of the case, however, could still take many weeks, all but guaranteeing that the investigation will continue to dog Clinton’s presidential campaign through most, if not all, of the remaining presidential primaries.

No dates have been set for questioning the advisors, but a federal prosecutor in recent weeks has called their lawyers to alert them that he would soon be doing so, the sources said. Prosecutors also are expected to seek an interview with Clinton herself, though the timing remains unclear.

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The interviews by FBI agents and prosecutors will play a significant role in helping them better understand whether Clinton or her aides knowingly or negligently discussed classified government secrets over a non-secure email system when she served as secretary of State.

“This is clearly disruptive to the campaign. It will take her off message and coverage about important aides being questioned is not coverage you’d like to have. However, this issue is largely dismissed by Democratic primary voters and baked into the cake for the general electorate.”

— Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster.

The meetings also are an indication that much of the investigators’ background work – recovering deleted emails, understanding how the server operated and determining whether it was breached – is nearing completion.

“The interviews are critical to understand the volume of information they have accumulated,” said James McJunkin, former head of the FBI’s Washington field office.  “They are likely nearing the end of the investigation and the agents need to interview these people to put the information in context. They will then spend time aligning these statements with other information, emails, classified documents, etc., to determine whether there is a prosecutable case.”

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“The facts of the case do not fit the law. Reasonable folks may think that federal law ought to prohibit what Hillary did, but it’s just not clear to me that it currently does.”

— Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University

Many legal experts believe that Clinton faces little risk of being prosecuted for using the private email system to conduct official business when she served as secretary of State, though that decision has raised questions among some about her judgment. They noted that using a private email system was not banned at the time, and others in government had used personal email to transact official business.

The bigger question is whether she or her aides distributed classified material in email systems that fell outside of the department’s secure classified system. But even if prosecutors determine that she did, chances she will be found criminally liable are low. U.S. law makes it a crime for someone to knowingly or willfully retain classified information, handle it in a grossly negligent manner or to pass it to someone not entitled to see it. Read the rest of this entry »


Clothing-Optional ‘Adults-Only’ Class: Air Aviv ‘Taking the Pleasure of Flying to a New Level’

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Air Aviv, branded as “The World’s Sexiest Airline,” flies to over 40 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas

 reports: Tel Aviv – For the first time in aviation history, Tel Aviv-based carrier Air Aviv will offer a restricted, clothing-optional “Adults-Only Class” on selected trans-Mediterranean routes.

“Air Aviv, branded as ‘The World’s Sexiest Airline’… is known for its risqué marketing campaigns, rainbow plane liveries, scantily clad flight attendants, top-notch vegan cuisine and delectable in-flight hash brownies.”

The separate section – to be located at the rear of each aircraft – will offer five rows of business class-quality seats, each with widescreen flat screen with over 10,000 free adult films, retractable privacy shutters, complimentary lubricant, hand towel and one disposable sex toy per passenger.

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“With our adults-only class, we are taking the pleasure of flying to a new level.”

— Air Aviv CEO Dana Dagdani

Exclusive double and triple pods will also be available, and an inflight “Sky Spa” will offer an assortment of massage and beauty therapies.

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“With our adults-only class, we are taking the pleasure of flying to a new level,” said Air Aviv CEO Dana Dagdani. “Just wait till we launch entire adults-only flights to selected destinations – themed, chartered and perfect for bachelor or bachelorette parties, Gay Pride convoys and groups of kinky Arabian princes.” Read the rest of this entry »


BIBI REBOOT: Exit Polls Show Show Obama’s Israel Regime Change Efforts May Not Succeed

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TV exit polls Tuesday night showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud set to retain the Israeli leadership at the end of a bitter election campaign.

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Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and Israeli citizens headed for the ballots to vote for Israel’s 20th Knesset. Polls from the end of last week had left options open for a tight race. The TV exit polls were published at 10 p.m., as polling stations closed, after which official results began to roll in. The official final results won’t be publicized until Thursday.

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Netanyahu, vying for the role for his fourth time (third consecutively), had made a last-ditch attempt over the past days to win back voters mainly from the right-wing bloc, vowing Monday night to block a Palestinian state should he remain in office.

Unlike years past, analysts had said the race between Likud and Zionist Union, the two leading factions, was too close to call with confidence, but the exit polls showed Netanyahu clearly better placed to build the next coalition.Bibi-Obama-AFP-Jim-Watson

UMM AL-FAHM — “We are in a historic moment,” Arab Joint List leader Ayman Odeh tells supporters at the party’s post-election event.

“We have the highest Arab voting rates since 1999,” he adds.

“We will block Netanyahu from forming the government.”

— Elhanan Miller

The Zionist Union’s candidate for defense minister, Amos Yadlin, insists the left and right are “tied” in the wake of tonight’s exit polls.

“I think this is a major achievement for Zionist Union. No poll gave us 27 mandates,” which the party gets in the polls. “I think you have to remember where Labor was three months ago, at 14 mandates, and where it is today.”

“Nothing is finished,” Yadlin insists. “Meretz passed the electoral threshold nicely and Yachad didn’t pass the threshold,” he notes, “so let’s wait for the final results. This is a tie, and the keys are in Moshe Kahlon’s hands,” he concludes.

Final turnout hits 71.8%, highest since 1999

Final voter turnout rises to 71.8%, according to final Central Election Committee data, higher than in the past five elections. It marks a five-point rise from 2013’s 66.6%.

Kahlon also tells Netanyahu to wait

Moshe Kahlon of Kulanu, like the ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism, tells Netanyahu he will not decide who to support for premier until the final official results are published on Thursday.

He reportedly told the same to Isaac Herzog, who is frantically trying to put together a Netanyahu-blocking coalition that might force a unity government. Read the rest of this entry »


FAA Extends WTF Travel Ban to Israel for Another 24 Hours

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ABC News reports: The FAA announced today that they have not lifted their ban against travel to or from Tel Aviv‘s airport and will prohibit travel to the country for an additional 24 hours.

[See [VIDEO] Lowry: FAA Ban ‘an Overreaction and a Real Blow to Israel’]

“The agency is working closely with the Government of Israel to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to U.S. civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible,” the FAA said in a statement.

This comes a day after they barred all American air carriers from flying to or from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv following a rocket attack within a mile of the airport. Read the rest of this entry »


Footage Shows Launcher with Two Missing Rockets Being Smuggled Back into Russia


Despite offensive, Gaza rockets still hit Israel

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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel says its punishing air assault on Hamas militants, their property and their weaponry has delivered a devastating blow to the Islamic militant group. Yet rocket fire at Israel has continued almost unabated.

The military says that due to years of generous Iranian shipments, thousands of rockets remain in Gaza, and there is no quick way to eliminate the threat.Brigadier-General-retd-Shlomo-Brom_large

“There is no attempt here to solve the conflict. We are talking about managing the conflict and as long as it goes on, quiet will only be temporary.”

It says its goal is to inflict so much pain on Hamas that it will be deterred from attacking Israel again — just like Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon have largely remained on the sidelines for the past eight years.

The military also says it wants to punish Hamas for the violence. But both goals are hard to quantify in the short term. A similar offensive in November 2012 was also deemed a military success, though it left Israel vulnerable to rocket fire. Israel also launched a large offensive in late 2008 that delivered a tenuous cease-fire.

“It’s a mistake to think that if you have established deterrence it will stay that way. Deterrence must be maintained.”

— Shlomo Brom, a retired Israeli general, analyst at the Institute for National Security Studies

“There is no knockout, it is more complicated,” said a senior military official involved in the fighting, who spoke on condition of anonymity under military guidelines. But, he added, “if there is a map of pain that the enemy sees, it will have to think about things.” Read the rest of this entry »


Israelis Taking Cover in Tel Aviv


Gaza Terrorists Launch Attack, Iron Dome Intercepts Second Rocket Over Greater Tel Aviv

DF deploys 5th Iron Dome Battery Photo: IDF Spokesman’s Office

DF deploys 5th Iron Dome Battery Photo: IDF Spokesman’s Office

 JPost staff, Yaakov Lappin report:

For second time on Tuesday evening, Gaza terrorists launch rocket at central Israel; air raid sirens sounds in central Israel, blasts heard in Tel Aviv; Tel Aviv opens public bomb shelters; no injuries reported.

For the second time on Tuesday evening, a rocket was launched at central Israel from the Gaza Strip. An Iron Dome battery intercepted a projectile over the greater Tel Aviv area. Sirens sounded in various cities in central Israel on Tuesday night and blasts were heard in Tel Aviv. The air raid siren was activated in cities including Rishon Lezion, Bat Yam, Holon and Bnei Barak, but not in Tel Aviv.

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Earlier on Tuesday evening, the Iron Dome rocket defense system intercepted a projectile near Tel Aviv over the city of Rishon Lezion, as air raid sirens sounded in central Israeli cities for the first time amid recent escalations. Read the rest of this entry »


Pro-Civilization: Lou Reed’s Stand for Israel and against Anti-Semitism

ReedTom Gross writes:  Perhaps even more than other American-Jewish rock stars such as Billy Joel and Bob Dylan, Lou Reed was fiercely proud of being Jewish — and included lyrics on behalf of Israel and against anti-Semitism in some of his songs.

I mention Reed’s Jewishness because not a single obituary I have read of him in the mainstream press mentions it, when for Reed it was an important factor.

Reed, who died yesterday of liver failure at the age of 71, was born Lewis Allan Reed to a Jewish family in Brooklyn. He said that while “he had no god apart from rock ‘n’ roll” his Jewish roots and standing up for Israel meant a lot to him. He was a frequent visitor to the country, last performing in Tel Aviv in 2008, and his aunt and many cousins live in Haifa and other Israeli towns.

Reed even had an Israeli spider named after him to thank him for his support for the country. Read the rest of this entry »


VIDEO: Language Lessons through the Graffiti of South Tel Aviv

Israeli street art reveals the history, culture and slang of an area – and a great way to learn how to speak to Sabras.

Want to learn Hebrew as it’s spoken on the street? Come along as linguist Guy Sharett gives one of his popular but highly unconventional Streetwise Hebrew language lessons through the graffiti of South Tel Aviv.

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