Santa is chased out of a Turkish town
There is also another dispatch today which can be read here:
-- Tom Gross
* Please “like” these dispatches on Facebook here www.facebook.com/TomGrossMedia, where you can also find other items that are not in these dispatches.
1. Israeli NGO files war crimes charges against Palestinian leaders at ICC
2. Fatah: Netanyahu will hang “soon”
3. Fatah distances itself from latest “genocidal, anti-Semitic” Facebook post
4. Why June 13? Because they kidnapped the teens on June 12
5. “Palestine to join Interpol”
6. Iran claims to “builds world’s first missile-evading drone”
7. Egypt threatened to arrest George Clooney’s wife
8. Saudi Airlines reportedly plans to segregate sexes
9. Ayatollah compares Ferguson, Gaza; Iran police arrest 50 women for “un-Islamic” dress
10. Hamas condemns shooting of Gazan teen by Egyptian guards
11. “Female slavery the biggest honor for non-Muslim women, says jihadist”
12. Santa chased out of Turkish town in anti-New Year’s celebration
[Notes below by Tom Gross]
ISRAELI NGO FILES WAR CRIMES CHARGES AGAINST PALESTINIAN LEADERS AT ICC
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s controversial move last week to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and seek to prosecute Israelis there, has also exposed Palestinian leaders to war crime charges. And an Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin (“the Israel Law Center”) is doing just that.
Yesterday Shurat HaDin filed lawsuits at the ICC against three Palestinian Authority leaders – Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Abbas’s deputy; minister Jibril Rajoub, and intelligence chief Majed Faraj – for “war crimes, terrorism and human rights offenses”.
All three are members of Abbas’s Fatah party and serve in his regime.
The Israeli NGO pointed out that during last summer’s Israel-Gaza conflict, “Fatah openly boasted in media channels that it launched rockets that caused the injury and death of Israeli civilians – a war crime under international law.”
(Tom Gross: Most rocket attacks from Gaza came from Hamas or Islamic Jihad, but Fatah also launched rockets at Israeli civilians from Gaza.)
“Abbas and his friends in terror organizations believe that the courts can be used as a weapon against Israel, while at the same time, the Palestinian leadership carries out crimes with utter impunity against their own people and against Israeli civilians,” Shurat HaDin’s chairwoman, attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said.
The case brought against the three Palestinians leaders lists widespread torture and killings of Palestinian civilians who dare to oppose Abbas’s authoritarian rule.
The ICC can prosecute individuals accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide, committed since July 1, 2002, when the court’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, came into force.
FATAH: NETANYAHU WILL HANG “SOON”
The Western-backed and funded Palestinian Fatah party has suggested that the democratically elected prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be hanged by the International Criminal Court.
You can see a montage of Netanyahu with a noose dangling in front of him produced on the official Facebook page here:
The image of the noose and Netanyahu, together with the logo of the ICC, also appears on the official Fatah website with the phrase “coming soon.”
Israel has long accused Palestinian groups, including the governing Fatah party, of inciting to kill Israelis and Jews.
FATAH DISTANCES ITSELF FROM LATEST “GENOCIDAL, ANTI-SEMITIC” FACEBOOK POST
Following criticism on CNN, Fatah has distanced itself from an image of skulls adorned with Jewish stars of David that was post to its Facebook page.
The image, posted last week to mark Fatah’s 50th anniversary, displayed a rifle, the Fatah flag and the words “lingering on your skulls.” It showed a pile of skulls marked with Jewish stars of David.
But after a CNN anchor asked a Fatah spokesman about the image on Friday, Fatah distanced itself from it in a statement (in English though not in Arabic). Unsurprisingly, the BBC hasn’t reported on this at all.
As reported in previous dispatches last year, Fatah was criticized after the kidnapping and subsequent murder of three Israeli teenagers last summer, when its webpage displayed a cartoon depicting the kidnapped teens as rats caught on a fishing line.
You can see the cartoon here: Fatah mocks kidnapped boys as rats (while Abbas’s wife treated in Israeli hospital) (June 16, 2014).
WHY RETROACTIVE TO JUNE 13? BECAUSE THEY KIDNAPPED THE TEENS ON JUNE 12
This leading blogger points out:
“Here is the letter from Mahmoud Abbas to the ICC. Why is the application requesting it to be effective retroactively to June 13, 2014?
“Because on June 12, 2014, Palestinian terrorists kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teens, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah, which is a war crime under the Rome Statute…
“The exact same thing was done by William Schabas, chair of the UNHRC investigation into the events of last summer – a mandate that explicitly excludes the kidnapping of the three Israeli teens but that includes Israel’s response to the kidnappings by choosing to only investigate events from June 13th.”
Tom Gross adds: Members of Congress say that using their tax-money to introduce war crimes charges at the ICC against America’s Israeli allies, may be the last straw and that they will soon stop Washington’s annual $400 million aid to the Palestinian Authority.
* Firebomb attack victim Ayala Shapira (aged 11), who I referred to in a previous dispatch, has woken up and has been able to speak with her family. She was critically wounded in a firebomb attack just before Christmas, while she was returning home after an extra-curricular math class. Her condition remains life-threatening such is the extent of her burns, according to doctors.
“PALESTINE TO JOIN INTERPOL”
The Palestinian Maan News Agency reports that “Palestinian authorities have decided to join the International Criminal Police Organization, widely known as Interpol, an official revealed Saturday.”
Some observers have expressed surprise that the Palestinian Authority wants to join the world’s prime organization for fighting cross-border crimes and terrorism, pointing out that arrest warrants may be issued against Palestinian officials and fugitive Palestinian terrorists.
IRAN CLAIMS TO “BUILDS WORLD’S FIRST MISSILE-EVADING DRONE”
Iran’s Fars news agency (FNA) claimed yesterday that:
“An Iranian expert has built the world’s first missile-evading drone with a self-destructive capability for dangerous situations.
“‘Given the daily progress of drones as well as the increased missile power to destroy them, a missile-evading drone was designed and built for the first time in the world which can escape thermal and air-to-air missiles and no missile can approach the drone any closer than 250 meters,’ Hassan Akbari Layeq who has built the ‘Sarallah Drone’ told FNA on Sunday.
“He said the drone is equipped with a deceptive system and can speed up and escape incoming missiles, ‘And this is the first time that this technology has been designed and used for a 4-kilogram drone.’”
Full report here.
Tom Gross adds: Reports by the Fars News Agency are not always accurate.
Editors at Fars also appear to read these dispatches and have quoted from them in the past, as well as reproducing this interview with me here:
EGYPT THREATENED TO ARREST GEORGE CLOONEY’S WIFE
The wife of film star George Clooney, British-Lebanese lawyer Amal Alamuddin, has revealed that in 2013 the Egyptian authorities threatened to arrest her over her criticism of the country’s justice system. She had criticized Egypt for legal flaws that led to the jailing of three al-Jazeera journalists.
As I have noted before in these dispatches, al-Jazeera’s Egyptian-Canadian bureau chief in Cairo, Mohamed Fahmy, Australian citizen Peret Greste, and Egyptian freelance producer Baher Mohamed, are all imprisoned in Egypt on what are widely believed to be trumped-up, politically motivated terrorism charges.
They were sentenced to between seven and ten years in prison but last week, under international pressure, Egypt’s highest court ordered a retrial.
Mrs. Clooney wrote in relation to other Egyptians sentenced to death: “Sentencing a political opponent to death after a show trial is no different to taking him out on the street and shooting him. In fact, it is worse because using the court system as a tool of state repression makes a mockery of the rule of law.”
SAUDI AIRLINES REPORTEDLY PLANS TO SEGREGATE SEXES
Saudi Arabia’s state-run airline has decided to impose separate seating on its male and female passengers, according to reports in the Arab media.
The plan is being implemented due to an increase in complaints from men who said they did not want their wives sitting next to other men, the Saudi daily, Ajel, and the Emirates 24/7 news website reported. According to the reports, only close relatives will be allowed to sit together.
A spokesman for Saudi Airlines said the story “had been taken out of context” and no decision had been made yet.
Saudi women are not employed as flight attendants by the airline, which instead hires women from other countries.
Saudi Arabia famously forbids women from driving motor vehicles. In public spaces such as restaurants, beaches, amusement parks or banks, women are required to enter and exit through special doors. And women who are seen socializing with a man who is not a relative can even be charged with committing adultery, fornication or prostitution.
(In the past, I have written on Saudi Arabia. For example, here, after the 9/11 attacks:
Time to face up to Mecca: Why wasn’t Saudi Arabia on Bush’s Axis of Evil? (February 8, 2002))
AYATOLLAH COMPARES FERGUSON, GAZA
Last week, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used his English-language Twitter page to criticize the United States’ treatment of Native Americans and African Americans, highlighting the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri.
Among his tweets:
“Was it not colonialists who killed Native Americans& enslaved millions of Africans?Are these American values? #Ferguson #WoundedKnee”
“If #Jesus were among us today he wouldn't spare a second to fight the arrogants&support the oppressed.#Ferguson #Gaza”
IRANIAN POLICE ARREST 50 WOMEN FOR “UN-ISLAMIC” DRESS
“Morality police” have stepped up their arrests of women in Tehran for wearing “immodest dress”, arresting 50 women just last week, according to reports from the Islamic Republic.
The Islamic code was established by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1981. It orders women to cover all body parts except the face and wrists.
Many Iranian women have defied it over the years and some have lately started wearing high heeled boots with tight leggings, enraging regime hardliners.
Among related past dispatches, please see:
HAMAS CONDEMNS SHOOTING OF GAZAN TEEN BY EGYPTIAN GUARDS
Hamas on Saturday condemned the fatal shooting by Egyptian border guards of a Palestinian minor on the Gaza border.
An Egyptian security official said that troops opened fire on Gazans who had illegally crossed into the Sinai, where the army has created a buffer zone to prevent the movement of Gaza-based militants.
“Soldiers charged with protecting the frontier fired at six Gazans, of whom three succeeded in returning to Gaza while three were arrested. One was probably hit by the fire,” an official said.
Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said that 17-year-old Zaki al-Houbi was killed. The Egyptians shot him “in the back and the bullet settled in the heart. He died on the spot,” he told AFP.
“FEMALE SLAVERY THE BIGGEST HONOR FOR NON-MUSLIM WOMEN, SAYS JIHADIST”
The Australian (one of Australia’s main papers) reports (January 2, 2015)
“An Australian Islamic State fighter who has been used in a propaganda video has claimed non-Muslim women are ‘used and abused’ and should become slaves as it would be ‘the biggest honor for them’…
“The comments were made after Islamic State forced women and children of the Yazidi religious sect to be slaves who are often subjected to rape.
“At least four Australian fighters have been identified as having Yazidi slaves, and horrific stories of their treatment – including sexual abuse – have emerged in recent weeks…”
Tom Gross adds: Extreme Islamists point to verses in the Koran that seem to imply that Muslim men can take “captive … wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war”.
SANTA CHASED OUT OF TURKISH TOWN IN ANTI-NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATION
Hurriyet Daily News, one of Turkey’s main papers, reports:
“Amid increasing anger at official and popular levels at the supposed Christian aspects of New Year’s celebrations in Turkey, members of the far-right Great Unity Party (BBP) symbolically ran Santa out of town Dec. 31 in the northwestern province of Bolu.”