Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/18/2014

Two Palestinian youths stormed a synagogue in Jerusalem and killed five people with meat cleavers and guns. Four of those slain were rabbis, and the fifth was a policeman. Afterwards, crowds of Palestinians celebrated the attack and gave out candy in the streets of Gaza.

In other news, despite intense lobbying by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), the Keystone XL pipeline bill was defeated by one vote in the Senate.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Financial Crisis
» EC to Give Judgement on Italy’s Budget Law on Monday
» Italy: Mayor Says Rome Opera Hard Line Paid, Appeals to Muti
» Italy: ISTAT Says Construction Fell by 10.6% in September
» Italy Tops Charts for Primary Surplus, Treasury Says
» News of the Death of American Economic Power is Exaggerated!
» Muslim Groups Seek to Co-Opt Ferguson Protests, Says Watchdog Group
» Regulators Call for Takata Airbag Recall to be Extended Nationwide
» Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline
» Senate Republicans Block Sweeping Overhaul of National Security Agency Program
» Use of Women Guards on Hold at Guantanamo’s Camp 7
Europe and the EU
» France: Jihadists Mostly From Middle Class Atheist Families
» Italy: Marino Says He Will ‘Free Tor Sapienza From Prostitution’
» Italy: Jobs Act Changes to Reinstate Workers Wrongly Fired
» Italy: Clashes During Milan Social Housing Evictions
» Italy Counts Costs After Extreme Weather Lets Up
» Italy: Rome Mayor Heckled at Traffic Fine Hearing
» M5S Says 76 MEPs Sign Motion to Censure Juncker
» Mehdi Hasan: ‘British Papers Should Face Sanctions for Criticising Islam’
Israel and the Palestinians
» Hamas Praises Synagogue Attack
» Netanyahu: We Will Respond Harshly to Jerusalem Terror Attack
» Palestinians Kill 4 in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack
» The Lessons Learned From Today’s Jerusalem Synagogue Attack
Middle East
» Kurds in Kobani Say Victory Over ISIS in Siege is Near
» Turkey Sees Surge in Xenophobia, Research Says
South Asia
» India: Tamil Nadu: 100 Hindu Radicals Attack a Christian Community
Far East
» Hitachi Makes Finmeccanica Offer for Ansaldobreda
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Kenya: Pastor, Three Others Killed in Mombasa

EC to Give Judgement on Italy’s Budget Law on Monday

Renzi executive increased deficit reduction to 0.3% of GDP

(ANSA) — Brussels, November 18 — The European Commission will announce its judgement on Italy’s 2015 budget bill after meeting of commissioners on Monday, ANSA sources said Tuesday.

The sources said the commission’s various department chiefs will work on the final details of their assessments of the budgets of Italy and other EU States this weekend. The European Commission last month gave provisional backing to the budget, after Premier Matteo Renzi agreed to increase the planned cut in the structural deficit from 0.1% of GDP to 0.3%.

But the EC also warned that the budget plan, which features 18 billion euros in tax cuts in a bid to boost the recession-battered economy, faced more tests.

The Italian Lower House’s budget committee on Tuesday approved government plans to cut Italy’s structural deficit by 0.3% of GDP in 2015 in a bid to win European Commission approval. The committee also approved a reverse charge of the value-added tax (VAT) on large retailers, worth about 728 million euros for government coffers in the 2015 budget. That money has been earmarked for deficit reduction and must be approved by the EC. Failing that, the budget bill allows a new excise tax on gasoline and diesel.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Mayor Says Rome Opera Hard Line Paid, Appeals to Muti

Marino hopes conduct will reconsider resignation after deal

(see related) (ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino said Tuesday that the city’s hard line in dealing with the financial crisis at the Rome Opera House, including the threat to sack the whole orchestra and choir, had paid after a cost-cutting deal was reached overnight. Marino also called upon iconic Italian conductor Riccardo Muti to reconsider his September decision to resign from the house after industrial action caused massive disruption to a series of shows. “The Rome Opera House agreement is a success for the whole city,” he said.

“The Opera house can go back to work seriously and serenely,” Marino said. “I hope this can convince Maestro Muti to reconsider his decision in time”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: ISTAT Says Construction Fell by 10.6% in September

Building industry drops by 6.9% in first nine months of 2014

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Construction in Italy is falling dramatically, dropping by 10.6% in September compared to the same time last year, and by 6.9% in the first nine months of the year on an annual basis, Istat said Tuesday. The national statistical agency said weather was not a factor in the September figures as there were 22 working days compared with 21 in September 2013.

On a monthly basis, September’s rate of construction fell by 5.4% from August.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Tops Charts for Primary Surplus, Treasury Says

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Italy has beaten France, Germany, Spain and the UK in terms of its primary surplus for the past 20 years, the Treasury said in a tweet on Tuesday.

Primary surplus is the government budget surplus excluding net interest payments on public debt.

The tweet with the new hashtag #prideandprejudice is one of six that will be sent by the Treasury through Sunday containing data about the Italian economy to counter “prejudice within and outside national borders”. The initiative comes as Italy is struggling to emerge from its longest post-war recession and finds itself once again under scrutiny over its public finances.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

News of the Death of American Economic Power is Exaggerated!

The “cleanest dirty shirt” argument may be an incorrect interpretation.

The obituary of the American century has been written, but the USA will continue to play a dominant role in the 21st century.

America has emerged as the “cleanest of the dirty shirts” of the developed economies.

Economic Resilience

The US economy remains by some distance the world’s largest. Despite rising inequality, Americans remain relatively wealthy.

While the global financial crisis has damaged America’s economic power, its position remains superior to many other countries. The US was among the first nations to be affected. Financial market traders believe that: “if you are going to panic, panic first”. America benefited from first mover advantages during the crisis.

American policymakers, unlike their counterparts, moved aggressively to recapitalise financial institutions to reduce the risk of contagion. Large government budget deficits and specific industry programs (for the motor car industry) helped prop up demand, reducing the effects of the financial problems on the real economy.

The US economy is now growing, albeit modestly…

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Muslim Groups Seek to Co-Opt Ferguson Protests, Says Watchdog Group

Muslim groups have stepped up efforts to co-opt protests over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., with a drive to equate the teen’s death to the death of a radical Islamist shot during an FBI raid in 2009, a Washington-based security watchdog group is warning.

Using social media, conference calling and traditional outreach methods, leaders of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are portraying Brown and Detroit mosque leader Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah as African-American victims of police targeting, according to the Washington-based Center for Security Policy (CSP). In a conference call organized by CAIR-linked “Muslims for Ferguson, a CAIR official called Abdullah a “Shaheed,” or martyr, and said both he and Brown were victims of a national security apparatus that had “completely gone wild” and engaged in “demonizing and criminalizing Muslims.”



“The reality is that this country, in law enforcement, be it local, state or federal law enforcement, people with guns have always seen black men and black people as threats,” Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR’s Michigan Chapter, told the some 100 protest organizers on the call, made on the five-year anniversary of Abdullah’s death and which was monitored by CSP.

Walid claimed Brown was a Muslim, although when pressed, Walid denied he had made such a claim. Brown was buried in August after a memorial service at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis…

[Return to headlines]

Regulators Call for Takata Airbag Recall to be Extended Nationwide

Federal auto safety regulators on Tuesday called on automakers to conduct a nationwide recall of vehicles that contain driver’s side airbags made by the Japanese supplier Takata.

The nationwide move urged by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would expand a recall that has been limited to two states and two territories associated with high humidity. If automakers do not agree to expand the recall, the agency said, it will “use the full extent of its statutory powers” to compel automakers to do so.

The agency said it had yet to put together a detailed list of the models or model years affected. But the expansions affect “millions of” Ford, Honda, Chrysler, Mazda and BMW cars, David Friedman, deputy administrator of the agency, said on a conference call with reporters.

[Return to headlines]

Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Democrats narrowly defeated a bill 59 to 41 that would have approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, rebuffing their Democratic colleague, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, who had hoped to muscle the legislation through in advance of her uphill runoff election fight back home.

The battle over approving the pipeline, which would carry petroleum from the oil sands of Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas, ultimately became a proxy war for the Louisiana Senate seat, where Ms. Landrieu and Republican Representative Bill Cassidy are locked in fight for votes in their oil-rich state ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff election.

[Return to headlines]

Senate Republicans Block Sweeping Overhaul of National Security Agency Program

Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a sweeping overhaul of the once-secret National Security Agency program that collects records of Americans’ phone calls in bulk.

Democrats and a handful of Republicans who supported the measure fell two votes short of the 60 votes they needed to take up the legislation, which sponsors named the U.S.A. Freedom Act.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, worked hard to defeat the bill, which had the support of the Obama administration and a coalition of technology companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

[Return to headlines]

Use of Women Guards on Hold at Guantanamo’s Camp 7

“A military judge is putting off a resolution of a dispute over the use of female guards in the highest security unit of the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Navy Capt. J.K. Waits agreed on Tuesday to delay a hearing until January at the request of lawyers for an alleged al-Qaida commander. Lawyers for Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi asked to put it off because of delays collecting evidence.

Al-Iraqi is held with other top prisoners in the secret unit on the U.S. base in Cuba known as Camp 7. Some of the prisoners have refused to meet with their lawyers unless the military only uses male guards to move them. Prisoners say physical contact with female guards violates with their Muslim faith.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

France: Jihadists Mostly From Middle Class Atheist Families

Contrary to stereotypes, only 10% of immigrant origins

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — The average would-be French jihadist is between 15 and 21 and is from a middle class, atheist family, reports the Centre de Prévention contre les Dérives Sectaires Liées à l’Islam (CPDSI). This is the typical profile of youths leaving to fight with Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq and contrasts greatly with the most widespread stereotypes. The survey was conducted on over 160 families. Researcher, anthropologist and CPDSI founder Dounia Bouzar said that the youths were “ordinary” and that 67% of them are from the middle class. Only 16% are from the working class and 17% from wealthy families. A tiny 5% of them have committed any sort of petty crime.

Most are “hyper-sensitive” individuals that have suffered lengthy bouts of depression and “question the meaning of life”. Would-be jihadists who convert to radical Islam do not grow up in practicing Muslim families: some 80% of them are from families that consider themselves “atheists”, and only 10% have immigrant parents. Most (91%) of recruitment is online or through social media networks.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Marino Says He Will ‘Free Tor Sapienza From Prostitution’

Mayor met with residents after violent anti-immigrant attacks

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Mayor Ignazio Marino on Tuesday told delegates from Rome’s troubled Tor Sapienza neighborhood that the city will rid “some of its streets” of prostitution.

The mayor spoke after meeting with local citizens from the predominantly blue-collar and immigrant neighborhood where gangs of masked residents last week violently attacked a center housing underage refugees, forcing the city to transfer them.

The incident brought to light long-held grievances in the run-down neighborhood inhabited by a medley of Italians, Albanians, Romanians, and Roma people, and which residents say is plagued with lack of services, poor street lighting, and a spiking crime rate including several attacks on women.

“We will act in the most rigorous possible way to free some streets from prostitution, which is causing social tensions,” the mayor said, adding that city government will not let matters end here.

“We have decided this…is the beginning of a road we must travel together,” said the center-left mayor, who is from Premier Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party (PD) and who firmly condemned last week’s racist and xenophobic attack on the refugees.

“The meeting was productive,” Marino said. “We reached decisions on what needs to be done in the coming hours and weeks”.

Citizen delegates were very specific about which of their demands they wanted met first.

“The people of Tor Sapienza no longer want the Roma encampment or the migrant reception center,” they said. “These are the emergencies we need fixed. We will monitor you every week,” they promised.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Jobs Act Changes to Reinstate Workers Wrongly Fired

Alfano’s NCD close to labour reform deal with Renzi’s PD

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Workers who are wrongly dismissed on the basis of groundless disciplinary complaints will be able to get their posts back in specific circumstances under amendments to the Jobs Act presented Tuesday by Premier Matteo Renzi’s government to the Lower House labour committee.

But workers laid off for economic reasons will only get compensation under the controversial legislation that has triggered labour protests.

Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said that his New Centre Right (NCD) party was close to reaching a deal with Renzi’s centre-left Democratic Party (PD) over changes to the labour reform bill.

The NCD, a junior partner in Renzi’s executive, has been threatening to rebel after the government said last week it had reached a deal with dissidents within PD about elements of the controversial labour reform. “We are very, very close to a deal with the PD over labour,” Alfano said.

“I spoke to (NCD Senate whip) Maurizio Sacconi last night and I think we’re there”. Last week, the government struck a deal with the PD rebels to amend the Jobs Act and soften down changes to Article 18 of the 1970 Workers Statute, which protects workers from unfair dismissal.

Originally the Jobs Act stipulated that people hired from now on who are unfairly dismissed would only have the right to their jobs back if they are victims of discrimination, while in other cases they would get compensation.

But under the terms of the deal with the PD rebels, people who are sacked on the basis of a groundless disciplinary complaint would also be entitled to get rehired.

The NCD complained that this distorted the original aim of giving firms more freedom to hire and fire, and thus encourage them to hire and help combat record unemployment levels.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Clashes During Milan Social Housing Evictions

Eviction drive causing tension in Italy’s second city

(ANSA) — Milan, November 18 — Police clashed with protestors in Milan on Tuesday during the eviction of two left-wing social centres from public housing premises in the south of the city that had been illegally occupied. The police baton charged the activists and fired teargas after coming under a barrage of stones. The social centre activists also set light to rubbish bins.

A city campaign to evict families and social centres illegally occupying Milan council houses has caused considerable tension in recent weeks. On Monday scuffles broke out after a family was evicted from a flat in the city. Many families who illegally occupy social housing say there are forced to do so because of the length of waiting lists to obtain a flat via the proper procedures.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Counts Costs After Extreme Weather Lets Up

Undersecretary Delrio appeals to EU, damage up to four bn euros

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Italy was counting the cost of damage caused by recent extreme weather, particularly in northern regions, as the sun returned to some of the worst-hit areas on Tuesday.

Government Secretary Graziano Delrio estimated the price to the State of the weather damage at between three billion euros and four billion euros, and said there would be exemptions on local and regional budget constraints for areas hit by the emergency.

“We have prepared a budget that reduces the (budget constraints) with local authorities by 70%,” he said.

“We will now give particular attention to those municipalities facing extraordinary expenses,” he added.

“Those that have money in their coffers will be able to spend it,” Delrio said ahead of a meeting of the EU’s General Affairs Council in Brussels.

There, the balance between budget constraints set out under the European Stability and Growth Pact and the necessity of helping needy populations is expected to be discussed.

“It is obvious that emergency intervention and reconstruction are absolutely necessary and the (European) treaties provide for solidarity,” he concluded. The comments came as the sun returned to the northern regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria.

There, farmers association Coldiretti put the damage to agriculture caused by the recent torrential rainfall and mudslides in the northwestern coastal region at an estimated 30 million euros.

The calculation included “landslides, roads that have been wiped out, drywalls that have collapsed, flooded fields, greenhouses that have been destroyed, crops that have been lost, from vegetables to potted herbs, from daisies to basil,” said Coldiretti.

It added that “prized vineyards were also in danger”.

And in spite of the respite Tuesday from the bad weather, problems remained. In the northeast Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, railway connections between Cervignano and Udine were disrupted by a landslide.

In Emilia Romagna, authorities were on pre-alert, watching rising water levels in the Uniti river basin.

Further south in the central Tuscany region water levels were also being monitored and there were reports of flooding around Pisa and of a landslide in Versilia.

And on Tuesday morning there were disruptions and fallen trees due to a violent storm in the Ciociaria area of southern Lazio.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Rome Mayor Heckled at Traffic Fine Hearing

Marino says he paid fines, won’t step down

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Some members of the public disguised as clowns on Tuesday heckled Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino as he entered a city council hearing on his allegedly unpaid traffic fines.

“Resign, resign,” they shouted. The mayor said he “paid the fines, even though they were not his to pay”, and went on to apologize for parking in a no-parking spot.

“As far as I’m concerned, I won’t resign and there are no early elections on the horizon,” he said.

Eight 80-euro fines were slapped on Marino’s car after he allegedly forgot to renew a permit, but the mayor says someone deleted from the system his authorization to drive his red Fiat Panda to work while his permit was being renewed.

The incident came to light earlier this month after opposition New Centre Right (NCD) Senator Andrea Augelio accused authorities of “freezing” the fines as a favor to the center-left mayor, who has incensed many by extending pedestrian zones in Rome’s historic center and removing free parking spots.

Marino, who is from Premier Matteo Renzi’s Democratic Party, has also incurred the wrath of the right by taking strong stands in favor of gay marriage and immigrant integration.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

M5S Says 76 MEPs Sign Motion to Censure Juncker

Northern League members sign European Parliament petition

(ANSA) — Brussels, November 18 — Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) said Tuesday that 76 members of the European Parliament have signed the political party’s motion to censure Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, for allegedly helping big business dodge taxes. The complaints date from Juncker’s period as finance minister and prime minister of Luxembourg, which offered reduced business tax rates. Members of Italy’s Northern League said they also signed the petition launched by the euro-skeptic M5S.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mehdi Hasan: ‘British Papers Should Face Sanctions for Criticising Islam’

Mehdi Hasan, the Islamist apologist and political director of the Huffington Post has called for boycotts, strict regulation, and enforcement of diversity quotas to tackle “demonising press coverage” of Muslims. He presented his solution is a speech yesterday at a media event in central London.

Hasan insisted that the British press had proven “singularly unable or unwilling to change the discourse, the tone or the approach,” and that it would only do so if “there is some sanction, there is some penalty. This is not just about Muslims; it is about all minorities,” the Guardian has reported.

He suggested that there was a double standard at play in the industry, and that advertisers would have boycotted publications if they had carried stories on other minorities similar to those written about Muslims. “Therefore you have to ask questions about: does it need to be externally imposed, either by better regulation or via some form of commercial imperative? Though, that requires a separate campaign to get companies to give a damn about this stuff,” he said.

His comments came in a session titled “The Muslims are Coming!” delivered to an audience of media figures at media agency Mindshare’s Huddle event. Mindshare describes itself as exploiting “the space where data, content and technology collide to create memorable experiences for people and brands.”

During the session, Hasan presented a slideshow of British newspaper headlines which he argued alienated Muslims from the rest of the British population…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Hamas Praises Synagogue Attack

Spokesman, ‘heroic revenge’ for dead Palestinian driver

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, NOVEMBER 18 — Hamas has praised a deadly attack on Tuesday against a synagogue in Jerusalem.

According to Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri the attack was a “heroic and quick revenge against the execution of Yusuf al-Rmani”, a Palestinian bus driver found dead Monday in Jerusalem.

According to Israeli authorities, the man committed suicide but the family has blamed Jewish extremists for his death.

“It is our right to seek revenge for the blood of our martyrs”, said al-Masri from Gaza.

He added that Tuesday’s attack was also connected to recent tensions over a disputed holy site in Jerusalem known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount.

Islamic Jihad also issued a similar message following the attack.

Meanwhile the armed wing of Hamas posted a video to the web, in which it threatens to carry out attacks targeting the Israeli city, both in Arabic and Hebrew. The video said civilians would be run over by cars driven by Palestinians or knifed on the street.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Netanyahu: We Will Respond Harshly to Jerusalem Terror Attack

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that Israel would “respond harshly” to a terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue compound a short time earlier, in which four people were killed.

He called it a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers.”

Two terrorists wielding axes, knives and guns arrived at the compound on Harav Shimon Agassi Street, which includes a synagogue and yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), and carried out two attacks in two locations.

The prime minister said the attack was the result of incitment by Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which the world had ignored.

His comments were echoed by Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz who said that “the terrorists wielded axes, but the voice was that of Mahmoud Abbas.”…

[Return to headlines]

Palestinians Kill 4 in Jerusalem Synagogue Attack

JERUSALEM (AP) — Two Palestinian cousins armed with meat cleavers and a gun stormed a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayers Tuesday, killing four people in the city’s bloodiest attack in years. Police killed the attackers in a shootout.

The attack ratcheted up fears of sustained violence in a city already on edge amid soaring tensions over its most contested holy site.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to “respond harshly,” describing the attack as a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers.” He immediately ordered the demolition of the attackers’ homes, as well as homes of Palestinians who carried out several other recent attacks.

Police said the dead worshippers were three Americans and a Briton, and that all held dual Israeli citizenship. The attack occurred in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood that has a large population of English-speaking immigrants…

[Return to headlines]

The Lessons Learned From Today’s Jerusalem Synagogue Attack

The attack by two Palestinian terrorists from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) early today at 7:00AM Israel Standard Time at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem send a shock wave through Israel and the Jewish diaspora. The perpetrators shot and slaughtered four rabbis; three Americans and a Brit, six other worshipers were wounded at early morning minyan prayers CNN reported:

The four killed were all rabbis: Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 58; Aryeh Kopinsky, 43; Moshe Twersky, 59; and Calman Levine. Goldberg was a dual British-Israeli citizen, and the other three were U.S.-Israeli citizens — which is why the FBI is investigating the attack, according to a U.S. law enforcement official.

An arm of a Jewish worshipper wrapped in tefillin (phylacteries) was chopped off by one of the two assailants. Blood according to one of the eyewitnesses was splattered over the pews, prayer books and prayer shawls or tallit of the dead and wounded.

The message to Israelis may mean revising Israel’s Basic Law to conform to what we in the US know is the legal doctrine propounded by the revered US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. That is the limits of free speech verging on incitement, the famed yelling fire in a theater paradigm. But there is more that might be considered by Likud and junior coalition partners in the Netanyahu government on the verge of a new election campaign. That is punishing sedition by sitting Members of the Arab Knesset list seeking Israel’s destruction at the hands of its Muslim fundamentalist enemies. Witness Salafist Israeli Sheik Rael Salah perennially jailed for violent incitement to create a Caliphate in Jerusalem. He and others like him should be deprived of citizenship and ejected from Israel. Israel should foster loyalty among its Muslim citizens by including them in service to the State. Israeli Arab Muslims already have the fourth highest level of living standards in the region and live under the rule of law; something they can’t claim elsewhere. Minority Christians and Druze in Israel know that. They readily admit, the Jewish nation is the only safe place for Druze and Christians in the Middle East with civil and human rights. They demonstrate that loyalty by serving in the IDF and the border police.

The wake up message to Americans is that the Administration has fostered this violence by suggesting that Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, must be divided to provide a capital for a Palestinian State. That is exemplified by the mantra of the West Wing and the State Department that no peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will continue to inflame violence by Salafist jihadists like the Islamic State, formerly ISIS. That myopic delusion must end. For the incoming GOP controlled Congress, it means sending a message in Twitter terms to #defund the PA and #depopulate Gaza instead of reconstructing it. Israel has valued allies in the new 114th Congress, perhaps those initiatives could be brought to the fore for possible legislative action. Already we read of stirrings by Congress to deal with possible Administration unilateral action implementing a P5+1 deal with a nuclear Iran, Israel’s mortal threat in the region. In the meantime, Israel knows that notwithstanding the attempts at isolating it by the Administration and by some members of the EU, America has the Jewish nation’s back.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Kurds in Kobani Say Victory Over ISIS in Siege is Near

The Los Angerles Times reported, “Kurds say Islamic State militants near defeat in Kobani.”

Kurdish forces say the battle against Islamic State for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani has turned definitively in their favor following weeks of punishing U.S.-led airstrikes and the arrival of Kurdish reinforcements from Iraq.

Commanders belonging to the Popular Protection Units — YPG, by its Kurdish initials — said the intensive bombardment in recent days had allowed their fighters to seize several strategic hills from Islamic State militants.”Daesh is not retreating as much as we want, but it is retreating,” said Anwar Muslim, a political leader in Kobani reached by telephone, who used the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.”The initiative is now with the YPG and the coalition’s air power.”

About 250 Islamic State fighters remain in Kobani, concentrated in the southeastern corner of town, Rafiq Baradar, a YPG commander from Kobani, said during a visit to the Turkish border town of Suruc.

“They will probably be finished in four or five days,” Baradar said in an interview here.

But the Kurds say it will likely take weeks and possibly months to clear traces of the militants from the area, in part because of lingering snipers, roadside bombs and explosive-rigged buildings. Islamic State also seized scores of villages outside Kobani that must be secured, the Kurds note.

Many Kurds in the region and elsewhere view the fight for Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, as a global symbol of resistance against Islamic State’s extreme interpretation of Islam. The Kurdish militia defending Kobani has a strong secular orientation.

Islamic State is reported to have lost hundreds of fighters in the two-month siege of Kobani, situated just south of the Turkish border. A defeat in Kobani would be a major strategic blow for the militants, who have also seen their advances in Iraq stall in recent weeks.

“The initiative is now with the YPG and the coalition’s air power.”“The airstrikes have allowed us to capture the hills,” said Nareen Khalil, 19, one of many female fighters with the Kurdish forces in Kobani.

“As soon as my wound heals, I will go back to Kobani to fight and die there,” said Khalil, who was recovering from a bullet to the abdomen sustained in Kobani.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

Turkey Sees Surge in Xenophobia, Research Says

(ANSAmed) — ISTANBUL — Turkey, a NATO member and European Union applicant, is witnessing a surge in xenophobia, as VOA website reports quoting a new research by Washington-based Pew Research Center. Findings of the new survey coincide with an increasing amount of conflict along the country’s southern border and strained diplomatic relations with neighbors and allies. Diplomatic columnist Semih Idiz of Taraf and Al Monitor says the anti-foreigner sentiment isn’t reserved for Western countries alone — the traditional source perceived antagonism among Turks. “This is almost universal,” Idiz told VOA. “Some 70% percent of those surveyed said they were anti-American, but an equal 70% said they were anti-Russian; then we find most Turks are against Saudi Arabia and China; they’re against NATO; they are against the EU. So there is this kind of national reformation, that everyone hates us.” The shift also coincides with Ankara’s recently strained or suspended diplomatic relations with neighboring Syria, Iraq and Iran, and differences with some Western allies over the conflict in Syria and the fight against Islamic State militants. The perceived sense of isolation on the world stage that Turkish citizens report in the survey, says political scientist Cengiz Aktar of Istanbul’s Suleyman Shah University, is the result of the Turkish government campaign that fuels public hostility toward the world. “The government is pumping this idea of splendid isolation, which they call ‘worthy loneliness’ — a bit like Russia, by the way — trying to making its case, but of course no avail,” said Aktar. Analysts say Turkey’s suspicion and even outright hostility toward outsiders is nothing new. Throughout much of the 20th century, for example, Turkish schoolchildren were taught that their country was surrounded by enemies, and that collapse of the Ottoman Empire was the result of collusion among Western and Arab countries. According to Aktar, that sentiment, along with the post-WWI occupation of Turkey by European countries, still shapes the national psyche.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

India: Tamil Nadu: 100 Hindu Radicals Attack a Christian Community

Four people, including the Reverend, are hospitalized in serious condition. The extremists also attempted to attack them in the hospital. Desecrated the altar, and a Bible, community’s vehicles destroyed. Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): “The violence spreads a culture that holds religious conversions to be illegal “.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — A crowd of more than 100 Hindu extremists have attacked and beaten a Pentecostal Christian community in Udumalpet, the southern state of Tamil Nadu. The attack took place on November 16 and was confirmed to AsiaNews, by the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).

The Rev. K.A. Sathis, pastor of Konkal Marthoma Church, and four faithful are hospitalized in serious condition. Some attackers even followed the victims to the hospital, threatening them and attacking them a second time.

Before breaking into the church, where the community was holding a prayer service, the radical group destroyed more than 20 vehicles parked in Church yard. Once inside, the militants attacked those present, desecrated the altar, burned the Bibles and broke musical instruments.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has already asked for protection for the Christian community of the state from the National Commission for Human Rights, the chief minister of Tamil Nadu and the Minister of Interior of the Central Government of India.

“We strongly condemn this anti-Christian violence — Sajan George told AsiaNews — It spreads a culture that holds religious conversions to be illegal, even if the article 25 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of worship”. According to the GCIC president, “the police silence in responding to this violence remains a pervasive problem for the tiny Christian minority in India.”

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]

Hitachi Makes Finmeccanica Offer for Ansaldobreda

Deal may be worth a reported 1.4 billion euros

(ANSA) — Rome, November 18 — Japanese giant Hitachi has made a binding offer for Finmeccanica’s AnsaldoBreda train-making unit in a deal that may be worth a reported 1.4 billion euros, ANSA sources said. Several companies were bidding for AnsaldoBreda, which State-controlled Finmeccanica wants to sell to focus on its core defence and aerospace production units.

Hitachi is one of two finalists for the passenger train division.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Kenya: Pastor, Three Others Killed in Mombasa

There were unconfirmed reports from Mombasa on Monday night that youths wearing army fatigues went on a killing spree, leaving four people dead.

The bodies were taken to Coast General Hospital.

In one incident, a pastor who was waiting at a bus stop with four women was accosted by the youth and chopped with machetes.

He was cut in the back of his head and in his hands and left sprawled on the ground bleeding. He died on the spot.

The women were, however, left unharmed. One of them, who was said to be the wife of the deceased, identified him as Pastor Joshua Muteti.

The incident took place in the Bakarani area, Kisauni, in Mombasa County.

Police could not be reached for comment and the OCPD’s phone went unanswered.

A relative of another victim said the youths, who were wearing army fatigues, also carried a black flag.

He said that they were singing loudly as they moved, asking the names of the victims before attacking them with the machetes.

He added that the youths numbered more than ten.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

5 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/18/2014

  1. Mehdi Hasan, the Islamist apologist and political director of the Huffington Post has called for boycotts, strict regulation, and enforcement of diversity quotas to tackle “demonising press coverage” of Muslims. He presented his solution is a speech yesterday at a media event in central London.

    Once again, Hasan keeps up his Taqiyya. He is no better than Anjem Choudhary and thoroughly deluded.

  2. The only religion worshiped in Palestine is Hatred of Israel. Unfortunately through their incessant propagandizing through the media, schools, kindergartens and mosques, they are awash in a sea of hatred. They are drowning in hatred. Why else would they issue so many provoking invitations for Israel to annihilate them. It just goes to show that when you hate another, you also hate yourself!

  3. Rarely do I comment here, beneath the news reports. On this occasion it is necessary to mention, apropos the attacks against Jews in Jerusalem, that Israel is a nation. A proper nation, accepted as such by the rest of the world. Palestine has never existed as a nation. For Israel to give exclusive access to Temple Mount to worshippers of a ‘younger’ God, and to give succour (votes too) to followers of Christ and Mohammed is Testament to their peaceful intentions. Does the BBC know and acknowledge this?

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