Archive | January 8th, 2012



ed note–this is a story from many years back, but still serves an extremely vital service in contextualizing the world we live in.
It is a constant mantra we in the west are constantly subjected–how DEM MOOZLEMS ‘treat their women’. Mohammed the pedophile…72 virgins…female circumcision, etc, etc, etc.
However, here we have a story taking place in Germany, the one-time HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE for Pete’s sake, where a young woman is told if she refuses to take on the degrading and dangerous job of prostituting herself she will lose her unemplyment benefits.
We can JUST IMAGINE if this were to take place in an Islamic country, all the screeching and howling we would get from the JMSM, but when it happens in one of those countries tasked with fighting Israel’s wars for her, it barely gets notice.

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing “sexual services” at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.

Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – were granted access to official databases of jobseekers.

The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe.

She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her “profile” and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realise that she was calling a brothel.

Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990.

The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.

When the waitress looked into suing the job centre, she found out that it had not broken the law. Job centres that refuse to penalise people who turn down a job by cutting their benefits face legal action from the potential employer.

“There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry,” said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. “The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits.”

Miss Garweg said that women who had worked in call centres had been offered jobs on telephone sex lines. At one job centre in the city of Gotha, a 23-year-old woman was told that she had to attend an interview as a “nude model”, and should report back on the meeting. Employers in the sex industry can also advertise in job centres, a move that came into force this month. A job centre that refuses to accept the advertisement can be sued.

Tatiana Ulyanova, who owns a brothel in central Berlin, has been searching the online database of her local job centre for recruits.

“Why shouldn’t I look for employees through the job centre when I pay my taxes just like anybody else?” said Miss Ulyanova.

Ulrich Kueperkoch wanted to open a brothel in Goerlitz, in former East Germany, but his local job centre withdrew his advertisement for 12 prostitutes, saying it would be impossible to find them.

Mr Kueperkoch said that he was confident of demand for a brothel in the area and planned to take a claim for compensation to the highest court. Prostitution was legalised in Germany in 2002 because the government believed that this would help to combat trafficking in women and cut links to organised crime.

Miss Garweg believes that pressure on job centres to meet employment targets will soon result in them using their powers to cut the benefits of women who refuse jobs providing sexual services.

“They are already prepared to push women into jobs related to sexual services, but which don’t count as prostitution,” she said.

“Now that prostitution is no longer considered by the law to be immoral, there is really nothing but the goodwill of the job centres to stop them from pushing women into jobs they don’t want to do.”




Doctors and residents blame US weapons for catastrophic levels of birth defects in Fallujah’s newborns.

Dahr Jamail

Fallujah, Iraq – While the US military has formally withdrawn from Iraq, doctors and residents of Fallujah are blaming weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorous used during two devastating US attacks on Fallujah in 2004 for what are being described as “catastrophic” levels of birth defects and abnormalities.

Dr Samira Alani, a paediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005.

“We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Al Jazeera at her office in the hospital, while showing countless photos of shocking birth defects.

As of December 21, Alani, who has worked at the hospital since 1997, told Al Jazeera she had personally logged 677 cases of birth defects since October 2009. Just eight days later when Al Jazeera visited the city on December 29, that number had already risen to 699.

“There are not even medical terms to describe some of these conditions because we’ve never seen them until now,” she said. “So when I describe it all I can do is describe the physical defects, but I’m unable to provide a medical term.”

Most of these babies in Fallujah die within 20 to 30 minutes after being born, but not all.

Four-year-old Abdul Jaleel Mohammed was born in October 2007. His clinical diagnosis includes dilation of two heart ventricles, and a growth on his lower back that doctors have not been able to remove.

Abdul has trouble controlling his muscles, struggles to walk, cannot control his bladder, and weakens easily. Doctors told his father, Mohamed Jaleel Abdul Rahim, that his son has severe nervous system problems, and could develop fluid build-up in his brain as he ages, which could prove fatal.

“This is the first instance of something like this in all our family,” Rahim told Al Jazeera. “We lived in an area that was heavily bombed by the Americans in 2004, and a missile landed right in front of our home. What else could cause these health problems besides this?”

Dr Alani told Al Jazeera that in the vast majority of cases she has documented, the family had no prior history of congenital abnormalities.

Alani showed Al Jazeera hundreds of photos of babies born with cleft palates, elongated heads, a baby born with one eye in the centre of its face, overgrown limbs, short limbs, and malformed ears, noses and spines.

She told Al Jazeera of cases of “thanatophoric dysplasia”, an abnormality in bones and the thoracic cage that “render the newborn incompatible with life”.

Rahim said many of his relatives that have had babies after 2004 are having problems as well.

“One of them was born and looks like a fish,” Rahim said. “I also personally know of at least three other families who live near us who have these problems also.”

For now, the family is worried how Abdul will fare in school when he is enrolled next year. Maloud Ahmed Jassim, Abdul’s grandfather, added, “We’ve seen so many miscarriages happen, and we don’t know why.”

“The growth on his back is so sensitive and painful for him,” Rahim said. “What will happen in school?”

Jassim is angered by a lack of thorough investigations into the health crisis.

“Why is the government not investigating this,” he asked. “Western media seem interested, but neither our local media nor the government are. Why not?”

In April 2011, Iraqi lawmakers debated whether the US attacks on the city constituted genocide. Resolutions that called for international prosecution, however, went nowhere.

Alani, along with Dr Christopher Busby, a British scientist and activist who has carried out research into the risks of radioactive pollution, collected hair samples from 25 parents of families with children who have birth defects and sent them to a laboratory in Germany for analysis.

Alani and Busby, along with other doctors and researchers, published a study in September 2011 from data obtained by analysing the hair samples, as well as soil and water samples from the city.

Mercury, Uranium, Bizmuth and other trace elements were found.

The report’s conclusion states:

“Whilst caution must be exercised about ruling out other possibilities, because none of the elements found in excess are reported to cause congenital diseases and cancer except Uranium, these findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases. Questions are thus raised about the characteristics and composition of weapons now being deployed in modern battlefields.”

“As doctors, we know Mercury, Uranium and Bismuth can contribute to the development of congenital abnormalities, and we think it could be related to the use of prohibited weapons by the Americans during these battles,” Alani said.

“Findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases,” says a recent scientific report on the incidence of birth defects in Fallujah [Dr Samira Alani]

“I made this link to a coroner’s inquest in the West Midlands into the death of a Gulf War One veteran… and a coroner’s jury accepted my evidence,” he told Al Jazeera.

“It’s been found by a coroner’s court that cancer was caused by an exposure to depleted uranium,” Busby added, “In the last 10 years, research has emerged that has made it quite clear that uranium is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, certainly in the form that it takes when used in these wars.”

In July 2010, Busby released a study that showed a 12-fold increase in childhood cancer in Fallujah since the 2004 attacks. The report also showed the sex ratio had declined from normal to 86 boys to 100 girls, together with a spread of diseases indicative of genetic damage similar to but of far greater incidence than Hiroshima.

Dr Alani visited Japan recently, where she met with Japanese doctors who study birth defect rates they believe related to radiation from the US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

She was told birth defect incidence rates there are between 1-2 per cent. Alani’s log of cases of birth defects amounts to a rate of 14.7 per cent of all babies born in Fallujah, more than 14 times the rate in the affected areas of Japan.

In Babil Province in southern Iraq, the head of the Babil Cancer Centre, Dr Sharif al-Alwachi, said cancer rates have been escalating at alarming rates since 2003, for which he blames the use of depleted uranium weapons by US forces during and following the 2003 invasion.

“The environment could be contaminated by chemical weapons and depleted uranium from the aftermath of the war on Iraq,” Dr Alwachi told Al Jazeera. “The air, soil and water are all polluted by these weapons, and as they come into contact with human beings they become poisonous. This is new to our region, and people are suffering here.”

The US and UK militaries have sent mixed signals about the effects of depleted uranium, but Iraqi doctors like Alwachi and Alani, and along with researchers, blame the increasing cancer and birth defect rates on the weapon.

Abdulhaq Al-Ani, author of Uranium in Iraq, has been researching the effects of depleted uranium on Iraqis since 1991. He told Al Jazeera he personally measured radiation levels in the city of Kerbala, as well as in Basra, and his Geiger counter was “screaming” because “the indicator went beyond the range”.

Alani explained that she is the only doctor in Fallujah registering cases of congenital abnormalities.

“We have no system to register all of them, so we have so many cases we are missing,” she said. “Just yesterday a colleague told me of a newborn with thanatophoric dysplasia and she did not register it. I think I only know of 40-50 per cent of the cases because so many families have their babies at home and we never know of these, and other clinics are not registering them either.”

The hospital where Alani does her work was constructed in the Dhubadh district of Fallujah in 2008. According to Alani, the district was bombed heavily during the November 2004 siege.

“There is also a primary school that was built nearby, and from that school alone three teachers developed breast cancer, and now two of them are dead,” Alani said. “We get so many cases from this area, right where the hospital is.”

Even with a vast amount of anecdotal evidence, the exact cause of the health crisis in Fallujah is currently inconclusive without an in-depth, comprehensive study, which has yet to be carried out.        

But despite lack of governmental support, and very little support from outside Iraq, Alani is determined to continue her work.

“I will not leave this subject”, she told Al Jazeera. “I will not stop.”





Bradley Hope

A day after the 10th bombing of a pipeline that provides natural gas to Israel and Jordan near the village of Midan in this frontier region of Egypt, Abdel Moneim Harb decided to investigate the dunes himself for clues.

What he found were five sets of footprints: the steady steps of a Sinai man, and four clumsy foreigners following close behind.

“Nothing can be done in our lands without a guide,” said Mr Harb, 36, who travels widely across North Sinai as a tribal property dealer. “But the footprints show outsiders were involved.”

The footprints he saw on December 18 are just a small piece of the puzzle of the bombings, a deadly assault on a police station in Al Arish and attacks on Israel from Egyptian soil that have emerged in the security vacuum after the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power.

The evidence points to an alliance of long-dormant extremist groups and foreign supporters, possibly based in the Gaza Strip.

Rooting out violent extremists in this far-flung corner of Egypt has become one of the most important security concerns for the military, which is balancing its role in running the government during the transition after Mubarak’s resignation with its traditional responsibility for national security.

The resurgence on the peninsula of groups such as Takfir wal-Hijra, an Islamist extremist organisation dating to the 1960s, has put new pressure on Egypt’s relations with Israel and posed questions about the military’s ability to prevent clashes along its borders. It is also a task for the new government, still being formed, to improve the livelihoods of a Sinai population long repressed by the Mubarak regime.

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Sinai, 60,000 square kilometres of mountains, deserts and coasts on the Red Sea and the Mediterranean, has a population of about half a million. It is at once one of Egypt’s least populous lands, and its most tumultuous.

The Egyptian military, with the agreement of the Israelis, swept into Sinai in August in what it dubbed Operation Eagle to clamp down on the violence. About 20,000 soldiers set up checkpoints and moved in on suspects and weapons smugglers. Despite their efforts, the pipeline attacks have continued.

Under the 1978 Camp David Accords, Sinai was returned to Egypt, but conditions included the Egyptian government agreeing not to station military forces there.

Retired Maj Gen Sameh Seif Al Yazal, a consultant to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), said the army was now exploring the possibility of installing an array of sensors and cameras along the pipeline to discourage more attacks along the roughly 250km section from the city of Taba to Al Arish.

“They can’t have men everywhere all the time,” he said. “The idea now is to use technology to solve the security problem.”

Israel has fast-tracked the construction of a steel wall on its side of the border, after a deadly incident on August 18 near the resort of Eilat. Eight Israelis were killed and more than 30 were injured in attacks on a bus full of tourists by assailants who crossed into Israel from Sinai.

Several of the men arrested by the military so far have admitted to being members of Takfir wal-Hijra, a group that has been relatively inactive in Egypt for the past three decades, said Reg Maj Gen Al Yazal. He said the men admitted they were part of a particular offshoot, the Shukri Mustafa Wing, which takes its name from an agricultural engineer who was executed in 1978 for his role in kidnapping and killing a government minister.

“The fact that they call themselves the Shukri Mustafa Wing means they believe they have to correct the state of society with aggression,” he said. “That’s what they were trying to do until the second army of Egypt entered the area. The situation has improved somewhat, but there have still been attacks.”

Mustafa was the founder of Jama’at Al Muslimin, a radical group that took inspiration from Sayyid Qutb’s idea that even Egyptian Muslims were worthy targets of attacks because they failed to fight against an un-Islamic government.

The name Takfir wal-Hijra, which means excommunication and exile, came from Egyptian newspapers and marked the group’s decline as an increasingly marginal movement. In 1977, Muhammad Al Dhahabi, a critic of the group and a minister of Awqaf, or Islamic endowments, was kidnapped and killed. Hundreds of group members were soon arrested and Mustafa was executed after being found guilty by a military tribunal in 1978.

Sinai Bedouins say modern-day Takfir wal-Hijra members live in isolation have not had a wide following in recent years.

Ali Abu Ghoneim, 40, a farmer in Toma, a tiny village nestled in desert hills, said members rarely engaged with residents of north Sinai and refused to send their children to public schools. But when police fled their posts on January 28 after the collapse of the Ministry of Interior amid demonstrations in the rest of Egypt, many of them began to exhibit a more confident swagger.

“Suddenly, they started coming out more and terrorising the area,” he said, although the army’s push into Sinai late last year had quietened things down somewhat. “These people have a completely different mentality. They are brainwashed. They don’t even realise they are being supported by other powers.”

If not for Sinai’s strategic location, Takfir wal-Hijra would not be a major threat. But being based so close to Israel and with ready access to smuggled weapons from tunnels connected to Gaza, the group’s re-emergence is of particular concern to Egypt and its neighbours.

For Mr Harb, the property dealer who found the footprints near the bombing site, the answer to security in Sinai is not just in militarising the peninsula. Long neglected by Mubarak’s government, the residents of Sinai are seeking more development, recognition of tribal ownership rights and making residents partners in security.

“If we had more jobs, more education, more health care, there would be less resentment,” he said. “Smuggling is bread for some people. Just like the sand prints – the military needs us as the guide and we want their support.”




ISLAMABAD —  The ex-ambassador’s quarters, decorated in placid blue, lie behind a half-dozen security gates. Outside are pine-studded gardens to stroll in. He has left the compound only three times in six weeks.It is a dramatic change of pace for Husain Haqqani, who two months ago darted about Washington as Pakistan’s envoy to the United States. Now facing a court investigation in connection with a memo that has roiled Pakistani politics and led to his resignation, Haqqani says he fears that leaving his guest suite at the prime minister’s residence would be to invite death on the streets of his own country.

 “I could be killed by a suicide bomber for being an American lackey,” Haqqani said in an interview this week, referring to one common characterization of him here. “There’s so much hype against me that I could meet the fate of Salman Taseer.”

Taseer was a liberal ruling-party governor who was assassinated one year ago by his own police guard, who disagreed with the politician’s criticism of Pakistan’s controversial anti-blasphemy laws. The accusations circling Haqqani — that he committed treason by engineering a memo asking for American help to rein in Pakistan’s powerful military — provoke similar passions here, his supporters say.Haqqani’s attorney has offered another reason he must stay inside: The fearsome Pakistani military intelligence agency, she said, might capture and torture him into giving a false statement. And so Haqqani confines himself to an official mansion, offering what might be the starkest illustration yet of the chasm between Pakistan’s embattled civilian government and the military it technically directs.

That gap has only widened as furor over the scandal, known here as “Memogate,” escalates, plunging this volatile nation into deeper crisis. It came to light three months ago when a Pakistani American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, said he delivered the memo to Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has said he ignored it.

Ijaz later said he wrote the memo on Haqqani’s instructions. Haqqani has denied involvement, and many Pakistani observers initially expected his resignation to quell the commotion. That did not happen.

Officials from the ruling party and some analysts say the saga is aimed at bringing down Pakistan’s U.S.-backed government or triggering the impeachment of President Asif Ali Zardari, who is himself so unpopular that he rarely appears in public. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has suggested a military plot is underway. But many — among them opposition politicians, sectors of the media and the military — are convinced Haqqani arranged the memo on Zardari’s orders, and they are doggedly pursuing the matter.

U.S. senators’ support

On Thursday, U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) issued a statement condemning the “harassment” of Haqqani, whom they called a “principled advocate” for Pakistan.

As ambassador, Haqqani, a former journalist and Boston University professor, was a seemingly tireless man about Washington, combining seductive sound bites and scholarly analysis to crystallize Pakistan’s case on the Hill, in television interviews and at exclusive dinner parties. But in Pakistan, his deft handling of Americans — and his history of switching political sides — was viewed as suspect. Pakistan’s generals saw him as Zardari’s ambassador, not Pakistan’s.

The controversy has reached the Supreme Court, which is admired by many as the most independent in the nation’s history but is regarded by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party as a tool of the army and the opposition. After he returned to Pakistan in November to face questions over the scandal, the court banned Haqqani from leaving the country, although he has not been charged with a crime. Last weekend, the court appointed a fact-finding judicial commission to investigate the origin of the memo, which, among other things, promised to hand over terrorism suspects to the United States or allow U.S. forces to capture or kill them in Pakistan.

Haqqani’s attorney, prominent human rights lawyer Asma Jehangir, denounced the court for overstepping its boundaries and acting as an “acolyte” of the military establishment. She has refused to appear before the commission.

Babar Sattar, a constitutional law expert, said the court had acted appropriately and showed a rare willingness to take up a matter involving national security, an area long ceded to the military. But he and other legal experts questioned the court’s quickness, even as it allows other cases implicating the military establishment to languish.

“The criticism is that the judicial scrutiny is happening only because the military wants it to happen and that that’s not a level playing field for Husain Haqqani and Asif Ali Zardari,” Sattar said.

The civil-military divide is clear in affidavits presented to the Supreme Court. Government officials denied involvement and noted that a parliamentary committee was already probing the matter. But spy chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha said that Ijaz, during an October meeting in London, presented “enough corroborative evidence to prove” his story.

So far, the bulk of evidence has come from Ijaz, who released logs of what he says are BlackBerry message conversations between him and Haqqani. Haqqani’s attorneys say none directly refer to the memo.

 ‘What is all the fuss about?’

The scandal is distracting attention from graver national problems, some analysts argue, including shortages of gas used to heat homes and power cars, a faltering economy and regular insurgent attacks.

The memo “has led to no consequences for Pakistan . . . so what is all the fuss about?” said Ayaz Amir, an opposition politician who is critical of Haqqani.

The judicial commission is expected to report its findings to the Supreme Court at the end of January. At that point, the court could drop the matter, urge Parliament to pursue Zardari’s impeachment or order investigators to charge Haqqani with a crime such as treason, which carries the death penalty. Neither of the latter two options would proceed quickly, legal experts said.

Another possibility, viewed as remote, is that the commission could fault Pasha for traveling to meet Ijaz without the prime minister’s permission, Sattar said.

Haqqani, who has written critically about military dominance in Pakistan, said he is ready for a long stay at the prime minister’s residence. There, he greets a stream of visitors and sends e-mails energetically, just as he did as ambassador. He said he has left to go to the dentist, to meet his attorney and to testify before a commission examining the U.S. raid to kill Osama bin Laden.

Haqqani shrugged off the loss of liberty.

“If that’s all I wanted, I would have remained a correspondent or a professor,” he said. “You come into politics because you believe in something. In a country like this, you take risks.”

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Gabriel Cadis, head of the Orthodox Church Association in Jaffa, was stabbed in front of many witnesses outside the St. George Church in Jaffa.

Gabriel Cadis, a senior figure in Jaffa’s Christian community was stabbed to death on Friday evening, during festivities at the St. George Church in Jaffa.

Cadis, who served as head of the Orthodox Church Association in Jaffa, was taken to Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, but succumbed to his injuries very quickly.

Jaffa residents described Cadis’ death as as “an earthquake”.

According to initial reports, those participating in a carnival left St. George’s Church for their homes at around 18:30. Cadis, who was walking in the street, felt a sharp stab to his back. Witnesses said that he told those around him that he had been stabbed.  He then fell to the floor and witnesses say they saw a red blood stain on his back. 

Gabriel Cadis was an important local figure, who was involved in local Jaffa politics. Those close to him say that he was not involved in any disagreements with anyone, and that he at no time feared to walk alone in Jaffa. 

Cadis had attended Friday prayers with a nearby Muslim community earlier in the day to show empathy after police had confiscated the mosque’s loudspeaker system following neighbors’ complaints. At the end of the prayer service, Cadis said, “Today it’s loudspeakers, tomorrow it will be the church bells,” according to Jaffa resident and Tel Aviv City Council member Ahmed Masharawi (Meretz).

Later, Cadis led a celebratory march with the Orthodox Christian community in light of the Christmas holiday, which, for that community, is on January 7. “For Orthodox [Christians], today is Christmas Eve; the most holy day of the year. Everyone is wearing joyful holiday attire, everything is red, a carnival,” said Masharawi.

Hundreds of people participated in the march. At the end of the march Cadis made a speech, descended from the stage and walked toward his car. “There were many people dressed in Christmas clothing. You could not recognize them because it was dark. I walked 20 meters ahead and then, outside Tara Sante, (a private Arab school in Jaffa), he was stabbed,” added Masharawi.

Israel police, including the commander of the Tel Aviv district, arrived on the scene and have opened an investigation.

Police Commander David Gaz said that the stabbing may have been caused by a business disagreement.


Prominent rabbi indicted for sexually assaulting minors


Rabbi Yaakov Deutsch allegedly committed sexual offenses against four minors, two boys, and two girls, from the city of Afula.

By Eli Ashkenazi


Rabbi Yaakov Deutsch, a prominent rabbi from the city of Afula in northern Israel, was indicted on Sunday for committing sexual offenses against four minors, two boys and two girls.

According to the indictment, which was served by the northern district attorney’s office at Nazareth District Court, Deutsch, who has lived in Afula for forty years and has become an important local figure with a large following, abused his position to carry out a number of sexual offenses against minors.

Yaakov Deutsch - Gil Eliyahu

Rabbi Yaakov Deutsch in court.

Photo by: Gil Eliyahu

The charges include unlawful sexual intercourse with consent, sodomy, and indecent assault of a fifteen year-old girl, indecent assault of a thirteen year-old girl, indecent assault of a thirteen year-old boy, and indecent assault of a fourteen year-old boy.

Rabbi Deutch’s lawyers argue that the complaints against the sixty-year-old rabbi are the result of behind-the-scenes activity. “We know that there are people who are going from house to house in the local community convincing children to complain against the rabbi,” they said.

“The complaints were not created in a vacuum,” they said.

The lawyers claim that the father of one of the alleged victims was caught stealing money collected for charity at the institution that Rabbi Deutsch heads, and that a number of other people who were fired from their jobs at the institution have been plotting against him.

The Rabbi’s lawyers have also passed police recordings of conversations in which they claim some of the alleged victims deny the abuse, and that a third party had pushed them into lodging their complaint.

The case was revealed a year ago, when Deutsch was detained by Afula police.

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Report: Russian naval force arrives at Syria port in ‘show of solidarity’


Russian visit comes as Arab League scheduled to meet in Cairo to assess the performance of the a widely criticized observer mission; Syria activists say clashes between soldiers, defectors leave 11 dead.

By Haaretz

A large Russian naval force arrived at the Syrian port city of Tartus, the French AFP news agency reported on Sunday, in what the regime of President Bashar Assad is calling a show of “friendship.”

Last November, a Syrian news agency reported that Russian warships were planned to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest.

“The commanders of the Russian naval vessels docked in Tartus took turns to express their solidarity with the Syrian people,” SANA added.Citing the official Syrian news agency SANA on Sunday, AFP reported that a large Russian naval flotilla, led by an aircraft carrier, is making a six-day port call to Tartus. SANA also quoted a Russian naval officer as saying that the a visit was “aimed at bringing the two countries closer together and strengthening their ties of friendship.”

The Russian visit came as the Arab League ruled out considering a withdrawal of its widely criticized peace observers from Syria, ahead of a meeting in Cairo to assess the performance of the mission.

Led by Qatar, an Arab League committee on Sunday was to review a report about the mission, which was dispatched two weeks ago to Syria to verify the Damascus government’s compliance with a plan to end a violent crackdown on dissent.

According to leaked excerpts, the report cites continued violence by the Syrian government on pro-democracy protesters, Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera reported.

The report mentions that Syrian authorities hold detainees in unknown places, Al Jazeera said.

The Arab League’s assistant chief, Adnan Eissa, said Saturday it was unlikely for the meeting to discuss the possibility of recalling the observers any time soon.

“No Arab country has talked about the necessity of withdrawing the observers,” he told reporters in Cairo.

He said that the Arab countries were favoring more support for the observers and better equipping them to do their job.

The observer mission reached 163 members on Saturday, after 10 more colleagues from Jordan arrived, according to Eissa.

Meanwhile, Syrian activists say 11 soldiers and several civilians have died in clashes and attacks.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighting between government troops and military defectors in the town of Basr al-Harir in southern Daraa province Sunday killed 11 soldiers and wounded more than 20.

The Observatory and other activist networks reported several civilians killed in government raids in the central Homs region and eastern Deir el-Zour province. The number of civilians killed was not immediately clear and the reports could not be independently confirmed as Syria has barred most foreign journalists from the country.

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Saudi hackers claim to post personal information of 400,000 in IsraHell


Credit card companies say list is repetitive and contains details of hundreds, not thousands of Israelis.

By Sefi Krupsky and Oded Yaron

Saudi hackers claimed Monday to have released the credit card information of hundreds of thousands of Israelis, after hacking one of Israel’s leading sports websites.

A hacker claiming to be a member of the Saudi hacking group, Group-XP, claimed Monday that he penetrated one of Israel’s leading sports websites and released the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Israelis.

credit card, shopping, store, purchase, sale, shop

A credit card being swiped at a store.

Photo by: Bloomberg

One hacker, who claimed to be a member of the Saudi hacking group, Group-XP, said he revealed information including credit card details, personal addresses, names, phone numbers and ID numbers of individuals listed on the website,

Israeli credit card companies said Monday that the list is repetitive and only includes 14,000 Israelis.

They said they have blocked all the cards on the list, and will return customers their money should any purchases be made on the cards.

People who visited One’s website on Monday were redirected to a page on, where a message by a hacker who identified himself as xOmar 0 suggested visitors download a linked file containing a database of Israelis and their personal information.

The file included a number of lists with the details of tens of thousands of people. One of the lists included what the hackers termed 65 Zionists, who purchased products from a website called Judaism. Another list included the details of 500 people who donated to rabbis.

Saudi hacker - 03012012

Screen grab of Saudi hackers’ message.

According to the message posted by the Saudi hacker, Group-XP hacked into multiple Israeli websites from which Israelis frequently purchase products with credit cards. He said the group’s goal was to reach the credit card numbers of one million Israelis.

“We decided to give the world a gift for New Year’s – the personal information of 400 thousand Israelis,” he wrote.

He wrote that they found the idea of “400 thousand people crowding Israeli credit card companies and banks and complaining their credit card details were stolen, watching as Israeli banks shredding 400 thousand credit cards and issuing new ones,” was appealing.

The website, One, said they were looking into the issue, and shortly after the page was hacked it returned to normal activity.

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IsraHell’s Haredi minority is ruining the majority’s life


The minority is not waiting for the demographic change turning it into the majority; it is already making life bitter for the majority.

By Amir Oren

The Israel Air Force has two commanders: One is Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan, and the other – who has a lower rank than he does but in practical terms is senior, thanks to his direct channel with the Almighty – is Lt. Col. Moshe Ravad. The chaplain has made a name for himself in his circles as the chief rabbi of the air force who walked out of his second position – that of head of a special program for ultra-Orthodox soldiers – and slammed the door so hard that the mezuzah almost fell off. That’s because Ravad supports the Haredi soldiers’ opposition to being in the presence of women.

This has caused great embarrassment to the entire Israel Defense Forces and in particular to the air force, which prides itself on the fact that five women have just completed the pilots’ training course. Military chaplains, who supply religious services to believers, have been increasingly interfering in the army’s functioning and making the lives of secular soldiers unbearable.

On the memorial day for assassinated prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, the battalion rabbi at an infantry training base torpedoed the plan by a female education officer to add a song by two women soldiers to the program. A moment before the young women were supposed to go on stage, the rabbi turned to the master sergeant who then went to the deputy battalion commander, who was conducting the ceremony in place of the battalion commander. The officer was alarmed and ordered the women soldiers not to sing, out of fear of a scandal. Afterwards, when the commander returned to the base, he apologized to the women soldiers and their commander, put the rabbi on trial for overstepping his authority and fined him. But the damage had been done and everyone saw and they are afraid.

The IDF has been claiming for years that the army is not a place where one chooses one’s own program, where those who want to, take part, and those who don’t want to, don’t have to man army roadblocks in the territories, or evacuate settlements or participate in combat that might harm civilians. But lo and behold, it appears that there is an exception and one that is aimed at half the population of the State of Israel. A soldier that does not want to be exposed to women singing is permitted to leave and do his own thing, as long as it is not an official ceremony. If a secular soldier were to dare to boycott the missionary preaching of a rabbi or a brainwashing tour of a religious site, he would be punished. The excessive rights of the religious have not merely penetrated the army, they have gained control of it.

The commanders of divisions and brigades warn of the creeping subjugation that is characteristic of units where the commanders are afraid of clashing with the rabbis. And even the chief army chaplain, Brig. Gen. Rafi Peretz, who is supposedly the good rabbi in the Rabad story, actively tries to perpetuate the gender separation – there are no women soldiers in the military rabbinical choir. It was not the IDF that created this distortion. It is a practice borrowed from the political world which allows the religious parties – irrespective of their ethnic group, and whether they are composed of settlers or of Haredim – to grab hold of the throats of the decision-makers. The result, in both the civilian and military spheres, makes life in Israel unbearable for a growing number of people who are not prepared to accept a rampant theocracy.

In David Ben-Gurion’s archive there is a letter that was sent to him from Paris in 1935. It was written to “friends of Ben-Gurion,” by Zeev Jabotinsky. The core of the letter is Jabotinsky’s position that the establishment of the state is more important than molding its image. “There is a type of Zionist who does not care about the social color of the state. I am one of those. Were I to be convinced that there is no other way to the state but socialism, or even were it merely to make its creation arrive faster, in one generation, I am ready and willing,” he wrote.

And what is worse even than the socialists? “Moreover, a state of observant people in which I would be forced to eat gefilte fish from dawn to dawn, if there were no other way, [to this too] I would agree. And I shall leave a will to my children to make a revolution – but I shall write on the envelope ‘To be opened five years after the inauguration of the Hebrew state.’ “

Not only five years have passed since the establishment of the state but almost 65. Observant Jews have gained control of it and they operate a puppet prime minister from Jabotinsky’s movement, but the envelope has not yet been opened. The minority is not waiting for the demographic change that will turn it into the majority. It is already making life bitter for the majority and setting conditions of how to behave in the very army which safeguards its existence.

We don’t need any favors. They don’t have to enlist. They can take their program for Haredim with them together with their military chaplains, and make it possible for a decent and egalitarian state to exist here.

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The case of Lebanese Shi`ite cleric, Hasan Mushaymish


So it is only fitting that the case of accused Israeli spy, cleric Hasan Mushaymish, is featured in the Weekly Standard.  When a Zionist publication takes up the issue of an accused Israeli spy, his guilt (in my eyes) is almost proven although one has to wait for a court proceeding.  The story in this article is laughable: just as any other story by Smith (an expert on “Arab culture” who does not know Arabic).  He interviewed two people in this article: the son of the cleric and a right-wing Shi`ite Lebanese.  That was it.  I was contacted a few months ago by this guy (the son of the accused cleric when he was still in Syria) on Facebook.

He asked for my help.  I told him I don’t deal with intelligence matters but I can see what I can find out.  The cleric was no big name and he had no political role that one can speak of.  Unlike what the article suggested, the man (how to put it) was no rival to Hasan Nasrallah–the imagination of Mushaymish’s son notwithstanding.  I contacted the security reporter for Al-Akhbar, Hasan `Illiq, who broke the story.  He knew many details about the story and he told me that the information about his espionage for Israel is solid.  I relayed what I found to the son and that was it.  The cleric was then released in Syria but was apprehended in Lebanon by Jihaz Al-Ma`lumat (the Intelligence Apparatus, the Hariri-run and controlled intelligence branch of the government).  If there were doubts about his guilt, or of there were suspicions about a political motive behind his apprehension, this particular branch of government–not known for its sympathy for Hizbullah–would not have intervened.

Furthermore, the notion that he was a political threat to the groups that garnered some 95% of the Shi`ite vote in the last election is just laughable.  More importantly, there is a better known pro-Saudi (Hariri-funded) Shi`ite cleric, `Ali Al-Amin, who is most outspoken against Hizbullah and he was not arrested and was not accused of spying for Israel.  But you know that the family is not telling the truth when you read this:  ““I wrote about Hezbollah’s silence in this affair. When Nasrallah’s deputy Nabil Qaouk came to show us the CD of my father’s confession, he said to me, ‘If you want to write about Hezbollah, go ahead, there are 100 articles about Hezbollah everyday, let there be 101. But if you want your father back, you have to stop writing.’ ””  Where and when did Rida write about the case?  I never read anything by him.

No one knows who this guy is.  No one has ever heard of him but there is now a PR campaign on his behalf and the Lebanese right-wing, racist, and sectarian station, MTV, featured the family the other day, just as it features all agent of Israel within the former South Lebanon Army.  If Rida Mushaymish thinks that Hizbullah is threatened by his “writings”–whatever they are since i have not read a word by him or heard about his writings–he may need to hire someone else to defend his father and do the PR work on his behalf, but I am not in a position to offer advice to an accused Israeli spy.  (thanks Basil)

PS Of course, I won’t argue with Smith’s characterization of Al-Akhbar: the author is too ignorant and he knows no Arabic so he would not know that “the pro-Syria” Al-Akkhbar is banned in Syria, or that Al-Akhbar was publicly criticized by Hasan Nasrallah.  But then again, what do I expect from an author of a racist book about Arabs?

Posted by As’ad AbuKhalil

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