* Surreal: Top Muslim cleric boycotts interfaith conference because Jews were invited
* “Moderate” Abbas refuses to condemn this week’s Palestinian murder of an Israeli Jewish father of five young children
* United Nations Development Program sponsors Palestinian sports tournament organized by President Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and named after terrorist Abu Jihad, who proudly murdered 125 Israelis in various terrorist attacks, including many children. (That is 41 times the death toll of last month’s Boston bombing). Western-financed PA TV News calls Abu Jihad “the most noble of men”.
* New Pew Research Center global survey of Muslims finds that the people that most support suicide bombings are the Palestinians. Four out of ten Palestinians say killing Jews is a justifiable means “to defend Islam”
* You can comment on this dispatch here: www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia. Please also press “Like” on that page.
1. Netanyahu again says Israel needs peace for Israel’s sake, not just for the Palestinians
2. Top Muslim cleric boycotts interfaith conference because Jews were invited
3. An Israeli Arab woman defies calls to shun Jews
4. Women to blame for earthquakes, says top Iranian cleric
5. Iranian leader and website claim Jews use sorcery to control Iran
6. 40 percent of Palestinians say they think suicide bombings are “a good thing”
7. UN joins Palestinians in celebrating killer of 125 Israelis including children
8. Abbas refuses to condemn this week’s murder of Israeli Jew
9. Assad in rare May Day public showing
10. Cable car to link Western Wall with other parts of Jerusalem
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
NETANYAHU AGAIN SAYS ISRAEL NEEDS PEACE WITH THE PALESTINIANS FOR ISRAEL’S SAKE, NOT JUST FOR THE PALESTINIANS
Speaking to a visiting delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has again said Israel needs to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians to avoid becoming a binational state of Israelis and Palestinians. But he emphasized that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not territory but the continuing refusal by the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s legitimacy.
Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed a statement by the Arab League that they would be prepared to accept a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with minor modifications, bringing them into line with President Obama’s proposal. Hamas, which controls Gaza, said it would not accept any such proposal. There is broad consensus in Israel that the 1967 borders (famously referred to by Abba Eban as the “Auschwitz borders”) are indefensible.
Netanyahu said that unless the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state, and Israel has solid security arrangements, there would not be any peace following a “two state solution”.
In separate comments yesterday, Netanyahu added that any peace agreement with the Palestinians should be put to a referendum.
Israel Harel, a leader of the settlement movement, wrote yesterday in Ha’aretz, “On such a crucial matter of their very existence and of their Jewish and Zionist identity and faith, the settlers will not agree to their own removal unless they are convinced that it truly is the will of the nation.”
Israel unilaterally forced the Jewish population out of a Gaza in 2005 without a referendum. See: Exodus from Gaza, after 3,000 years.
SURREAL: TOP MUSLIM CLERIC BOYCOTTS INTERFAITH CONFERENCE BECAUSE JEWS WERE INVITED
The Egyptian Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most respected figures in Sunni Islam, refused to attend the inter-faith dialogue conference that opened in Doha last week on the grounds that Jewish representatives had been invited.
“I decided not to participate so I wouldn’t sit at the same platform alongside Jews,” Qaradawi told the “Al-Arab|” daily of Qatar.
The conference brought together 500 personalities from 75 countries representing the three monotheistic religions.
Qaradawi is a controversial religious figure in the West and has millions of supporters, including many from the Muslim Brotherhood. He hosts a popular show on Al-Jazeera satellite television.
Qaradawi will visit Gaza later this month, the head of Hamas’s Islamic affairs ministry announced earlier this week. It would be the first visit there by the Qatar-based cleric.
Qaradawi is banned from many Western countries because of his encouragement of terrorism. For example, he was barred from entering France last year, with the French government saying that it does not want “extremist preachers” on its soil.
In 2008, he was refused entry to Britain after the UK announced it would “not tolerate the presence of those who seek to justify any acts of terrorist violence or express views that could foster inter-community violence.”
Qaradawi has frequently encourage suicide attacks and has been dubbed the “sheikh of death,” and been accused of “providing a religious cover for terrorism.”
AN ISRAELI ARAB WOMAN DEFYING CALLS TO SHUN JEWS
Below is a link to a short video of one of the many Israeli Arabs who ignore the bigotry of the kind expressed by Qaradawi.
Ulfat Khaider shares her experiences in Haifa.
She has not only reached high peaks in joint Jewish-Arab mountaineering expeditions, but she plays volleyball for the Israeli national team, and is project manager at a Jewish-Arab cultural center in Haifa.
She had better be careful she doesn’t cause any earthquakes. (See item below).
WOMEN TO BLAME FOR EARTHQUAKES, SAYS TOP IRANIAN CLERIC
A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.
Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.
“Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi told Iranian media.
“What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon last week. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.”
Seismologists have warned that it is likely Tehran will be struck by a major quake in the near future. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, including one more than 50 miles long, though it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.
IRANIAN LEADER AND WEBSITE CLAIM JEWS USE SORCERY TO CONTROL IRAN
In a speech to religious students in April, Mehdi Taeb, the director of a leading Iranian think tank with close ties to the country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, called Jews sorcerers who are using their powers to subjugate Iran. This view was also placed on the Iranian website Rasanews.ir.
“The Jews are currently subjecting us to an unprecedented trial. As you read in the Koran, [King] Solomon ruled the world and God ordered a group of sorcerers to come out against him. The Jews have the greatest powers of sorcery, and they make use of this tool,” warned Mehdi Taeb.
“The [Jewish] people think that ruling over man, nature, and divine traditions can be achieved only by means of sorcery. They believe that it is possible to conquer nature and control the world, and even to control God’s decisions, by using sorcery methods,” the article said.
Khamenei may soon have a nuclear arsenal at his disposal.
And Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has again called for the destruction of Israel, according to excerpts of a speech he gave at the annual World Conference of Ulama and Islamic Awakening, published on Ahmadinejad’s official website and reported in Iranian state media.
40 PERCENT OF PALESTINIANS SAY THEY THINK SUICIDE BOMBINGS ARE “A GOOD THING”
A new Pew Research Center survey of Muslims around the world finds that the people that most support suicide bombings are the Palestinians.
Four out of ten Palestinians said killing Jews was a justifiable means “to defend Islam.”
49 percent said they were against suicide bombs, and the remainder expressed no opinion.
Elsewhere in the Arab world, 29 percent of Egyptians said suicide bombings could be justified, 15 percent in Jordan, 12 percent in Tunisia, nine percent in Morocco, and seven percent in Iraq.
UNITED NATIONS JOINS PALESTINIANS IN CELEBRATING KILLER OF 125 ISRAELIS INCLUDING CHILDREN
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is sponsoring a Palestinian sports tournament organized by President Abbas’s “moderate” Palestinian Authority and named after terrorist Abu Jihad, who was responsible for the murder of 125 Israelis in various terrorist attacks.
The governor of Jenin in the West Bank, speaking at the opening of the tournament on behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas, said Abu Jihad is “one of the giants and heroes” of the Palestinian nation.
One of the attacks he planned was the Coastal Road Massacre in 1978 led by terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, in which terrorists hijacked a bus and killed 37 civilians, among them 12 children. Western government-financed Palestinian Authority TV glorified the attack in a program broadcast on March 11, 2013, the anniversary of the hijacking, by showing a picture of the burnt out bus while calling the attack as “the most courageous Palestinian self-sacrifice operation.”
And UNDP joined the PA and Fatah in their glorification of this terrorist by sponsoring the annual Prince of Martyrs Abu Jihad Football Tournament, the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported on April 23, 2013.
Among attacks that the Palestinian Authority official newspaper praised Abu Jihad for was the 1975 terror attack at the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv, which killed 10 Israelis; the 1975 truck bomb in Jerusalem; and the 1979 shelling of Eilat .
On April 16, 2013, as part of a special month of celebrations (completely ignored by papers like The New York Times) Palestinian Authority TV News also paid tribute to Abu Jihad calling him “the most noble of men”.
More details here.
ABBAS REFUSES TO CONDEMN THIS WEEK’S MURDER OF ISRAELI JEW
Palestinian president Abbas has refused calls by Israel and American Jewish groups to condemn the murder on Tuesday of Eviatar Borovsky, an Israeli Jewish father of five who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist.
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah Party, took responsibility for the attack. Fatah’s official Facebook page described the killer as a “hero” and posted images glorifying him.
The murderer’s family are now expected to receive large sums of aid money donated to the Palestinian Authority by European governments.
ASSAD IN RARE MAY DAY PUBLIC SHOWING
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, who uses scud missiles and chemical weapons to target civilians, made a rare public appearance in Damascus on May 1, quelling rumors that he has fled the Syrian capital. State television showed Assad chatting casually with a group of employees at a Damascus power station. He looked confident and was wearing an elegant business suit. “They want to scare us, we will not be scared. They want us to live underground, we will not live underground,” Assad told the workers.
Media reports continue to state that the number of dead in the Syrian civil war is 70,000 when the real figure according to more reliable estimates is in excess of 120,000.
CABLE CAR TO LINK WESTERN WALL WITH OTHER PARTS OF JERUSALEM
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has unveiled a plan to build a cable car system that will bring visitors to and from the Western Wall.
One line will connect the Dung Gate of the Old City with the Mount of Olives to the east, and a second line will connect Dung Gate with the Khan Theater on Hinnom Ridge to the west.
The system will be able to transport 6,000 passengers per hour, and each of the one mile routes will take around four minutes to ride.
“Beyond being a transportation solution to visitors to the old city, the cable car will also serve as a unique and innovative tourist attraction that will provide breathtaking views,” Barkat said.
[Notes above by Tom Gross]