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M i d e a s t Newsstand

Michael Oren vs. The New York Times -Larry Cohler-Esses/Forward.com

by NewsStand

In Michael Oren’s forthcoming book, “Ally,” Israel’s former ambassador to Washington relates numerous surprising displays of hostility toward Israel by American government officials, media figures and others from whom one might expect something different.

Our faith in these anecdotes is fostered not just by the fact that Oren was there, on the inside; it’s buttressed by his reputation as an historian. Oren’s respect for accuracy and context, not to mention documents and texts, made his meticulous and detailed book on Israel’s 1967 Six Day War one of the best-regarded accounts of that conflict.
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Emerging Israel gas deal ignites fierce debate – AP

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — When natural gas was discovered a few years ago off the shores of resource-poor Israel, it was heralded as nothing short of a miracle, but an emerging deal with developers has been plagued by criticism, with opponents accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of caving to a monopoly.

After long negotiations, a government committee has struck a deal with the firms, which aims to break up their monopolistic control of Israel’s gas reserves and introduce competition while maintaining incentives for fresh investment. But liberal lawmakers and environmentalists say the deal would squander a national treasure.

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Israel Shekel World’s Worst Currency After Central Bank Buys – Bloomberg Business

by NewsStand

The shekel depreciated the most among a basket of global peers, after the Bank of Israel intervened to beat back the currency’s best three-day rally since March.

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ISIS is getting paranoid – Business Insider

by NewsStand

The Islamic State rules over the areas it controls using fear tactics to terrify its populace into submission, and its leaders are proving themselves to be quite paranoid as the militant group loses some ground.

“The Islamic State has turned cartoonish violence into real-life tragedy as a means of control,” strategic security firm The Soufan Group reports.

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WikiLeaks exposes Saudi liquor runs, Clinton’s passport – AP

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CAIRO  — WikiLeaks’ publication of more than 60,000 Saudi documents has set pens racing across the Middle East with disclosures about the secretive Arab monarchy’s foreign affairs. But lost amid the torrent of revelations are offbeat memos showing the underbelly of Riyadh’s diplomacy, including candid accounts of booze runs and pork smuggling.

Among the revelations you may have missed:
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Palestinian minister hands ‘war crimes’ files to ICC – AP

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands  — Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki handed International Criminal Court prosecutors a file Thursday detailing possible Israeli war crimes in Gaza and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The file, based on findings by a Palestinian commission of inquiry and information from non-government groups, feeds into a preliminary investigation by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda into possible crimes on Palestinian territory.
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Orthodox lobbyist: After Charleston, black communities need same security funding as Jews – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

by NewsStand

In reporting on federal funding for securing nonprofits, we’ve noted, almost as a matter of boilerplate, that the vast majority of the funding – over 90 percent – goes to Jewish institutions.

There are several reasons for this:
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GOP Presidential Hopefuls Introduce Sheldon Adelson-Backed Bill to Ban Online Gambling – Dustin Volz/NationalJournal.com

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paul ryan kissing adelsons ass

Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio are among a cohort of senators that revived legislation heavily favored by the billionaire GOP donor.

Two Republican senators running for president reintroduced a bill Wednesday that would effectively ban Internet poker and other forms of online gambling—legislation that has long been championed by casino magnate and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
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US Needs to Think Twice About Antagonizing Russia – David Oualaalou/HuffPo

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Whether it’s a bluff or not, one cannot fathom why the West and specifically NATO would condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin following his decision to place more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) into service this year. After all, his decision is a direct response to the United States’ own announcement that it intends to place heavy weapons in Eastern Europe, basically at Russia’s very doorstep.
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O’Reilly Versus Kirsten Powers on Racism in America

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Here O’Reilly Tears Into ‘Race-Baiters,’ Fox Haters: ‘You Want a War? You Got a War!’

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JVP Loses Its Balance: The Weir Wars – Amith Gupta

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BEGIN CIRCULATED EMAIL:

A personal note: I did not intend on sending this or discussing this any further. But, for the last three years, I have been pushed and pushed to speak about Alison Weir, not out of support for her politics, but out of alienation by those who have attacked her.

Below is a consolidated version of some of the things I have written to associates on organizing lists about the recent statement by JVP to malign Alison Weir, which was mass-mailed to various chapters and list-servs. I
did not intend to write anything further, but I have had ten people contact me to tell me to spread this further in 24 hours.

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Israel Needs African Migrants, So Why Is It Expelling Them? – Bloomberg

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Born and raised in Israel, David Blum always thought of his country as a refuge for the persecuted. Why then, he asks, is the government stepping up efforts to deport African refugees? He says the policy is a betrayal of Israel’s traditions — and bad business given that the Africans are the backbone of the restaurant and hotel industry.

“It’s an embarrassment,” says Blum, human resources chief at Isrotel Ltd., which runs 17 luxury hotels across Israel. “For people who live with the traumas of the Holocaust, how can we have such short memories?”

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Turkey in ‘reconciliation’ talks with Israel – AFP

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Istanbul – Turkey on Wednesday said it was holding talks with Israel over a deal to reconcile the two former allies following a deadly Israeli commando raid on a Turkish aid vessel bound for Gaza.

“It’s quite normal for the two countries to talk for the normalisation of the ties. How can reconciliation be achieved without holding any meetings?” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Ankara.
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The Iran Deal Proves That Peace Is Possible – Trita Parsi/Foreign Policy

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It is difficult to maintain much hope in humanity these days. The Islamic State is on a rampage in Iraq and Syria; Bashar al-Assad’s government continues to massacre its own people; the war in eastern Ukraine grinds on; even in the United States, where war feels like a distant notion, mass shootings have become a regular feature of modern life. More than ever before, peace seems an aberration — and conflict, the norm.

But there are bright spots. And there is one development, in particular, that may be a new frontier in humanity’s ability to be humane: The effort by the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany and Iran, to resolve the latter’s nuclear program through peaceful diplomacy.
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Israel Lobby Pushing US To War With Iran | Veterans Today

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The most powerful part of the overly powerful Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, is increasing its warmongering efforts as it attempts to push the US into a war against Iran for Israel’s benefit. Currently they are working hard to pressure politicians from both parties to torpedo the nuclear agreement being worked on between the US and five other nations with Iran. The top financial donors to AIPAC and to other Israel-over-all organizations are forming their own 501(c)(4) organization to gather the funds to purchase advertising on television, radio and the Internet geared towards putting pressure on politicians to stop the agreement with Iran. The ads will be focused on areas with large Jewish populations.
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