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Friday, October 28, 2011

Turkey Accepts Earthquake Aid from... Israel

Israel has provided specialized equipment to Turkey to aid Istanbul’s rescue and recovery efforts following a deadly 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the country’s Van district on Sunday.
According to the Ministry of Defense the decision came after a request from Turkish officials, which was subsequently approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The ministry did not specify what equipment was being loaned to Turkey.
Turkish officials had initially said they required no aid in dealing with the effects of the disaster.
According to Turkish authorities, the death toll from the earthquake rose dramatically, and is expected to continue rising. Some 2,262 buildings collapsed in the wake and large numbers of local residents are still missing.
On Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday evening to personally offer assistance with the recovery efforts from the devastating earthquake, as well as to express his “condolences.”
Erdogan thanked Netanyahu for his concern and for the offer of support, said the official.
It was reportedly the first contact between Netanyahu and Erdogan since the diplomatic row that erupted between Anarka and Jerusalem in the wake of the UN Palmer Report on the 2010 Mavi Marmara “Gaza Flotilla” incident.
The report, which described Israel’s naval blockade on Hamas-run Gaza as a “legal and appropriate” means of interdicting the flow of arms to the Hamas run enclave. Israel agreed to “express remorse” for the deaths of 9 Turkish nationals who were killed while trying to lynch Israeli naval commandos who had boarded the ship in accordance with international maritime law, but refused to apologize.
Since then relations between Israel and Turkey have chilled to the point where officials in both capitals have stopped referring to one another as ‘allies’ amid a torrent of bellicose rhetoric and reckless posturing on Erdogan’s part.
Last December, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan dispatched firefighting planes to Israel to help tame forest fires which killed 44 people, and sent aid to victims of the blaze.
In 1999, relations between the Anarka and Jerusalem were cemented in part by the aid which Israel sent to assist in the aftermath of two massive earthquakes in northwest Turkey that killed some 20,000 people.
It is unclear if Israel’s current gesture with serve to warm relations presently in deep freeze.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Riots: Tony Parsons says ordinary people are coming together to say 'no more'

TWO hard and bitter lessons in these days of burning and looting – the police can’t protect you and one good person alone is powerless against the mob.

A white man with grey hair who ­remonstrated with a gang burning a bin was beaten within an inch of his life. His identity remains a mystery. The mob stole his wallet and his phone.

These days you can’t expect the emergency services to save your family from being burned alive or beaten to death.

So in this atmosphere of lawlessness, communities are coming together to stand up for themselves.

Family men are patrolling streets where they have had their fill of blood and broken glass to say: “No more.”

Turks in Dalston. Sikhs in Southall. White communities in Enfield and Eltham. They are standing up for ­themselves and their families because they no longer trust the police to do it.

Some say the English Defence League was active in Eltham. But whether this is true or not, surely white communities are allowed to protect themselves too?


In these streets, where the police did not come and the firemen could not do their job, we have been taught that ­goodness will not conquer evil.

Look at these yobs the wrong way and they will kill you, take your wallet and toss your children’s photos into a bush.

They will torch your home or your business, and your wife and children will weep, and you will dial 999 and nobody will come to help.

So good luck to the street patrols. When the police are reeling, ­communities either come together or learn to cower behind closed doors.

Even Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, says that citizens can use ­reasonable force to fight back.

Suddenly our country feels far more tribal than it did last week.

The street patrols divide along racial and ethnic grounds, with people seeking the safety of their own.

But don’t blame these gangs, be they Turkish or white or Sikh.

Blame the witless morons who smashed and robbed and burned.

In the patrols, we see hope of a better day. These are not vigilantes – they are family men who are protecting their homes and loved ones.

There are real dangers in standing up against lawlessness, as we see from the tragic deaths in Birmingham. The good guys don’t always win.

We want to get back to where we were just a week ago, when we had faith in the police to protect us.

Sadly, I don’t know if we ever will.

Save Brazil's Internet!

Next week, Congress could vote to radically restrict internet freedom in Brazil -- criminalizing everyday online activities like sharing music and restricting fundamental blogging tools. We have just six days to stop them.

Public pressure defeated an attack on internet freedom in 2009, and we can do it again! The bill is in three committees in the Chamber of Deputies to stop the bill from passing. These politicians are carefully watching public response to the proposed bill in the days leading up to the big vote -- now is our chance to launch a national outcry and force them to protect internet freedoms.

Brazil has over 75 million internet users -- we can be deafening if we join together. Send a message now to leaders of the Constitution and Justice, Science and Technology, and Public Safety Committees, then share it with your friends and family across Brazil!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Video That’s Driving the Palestinians Crazy!

: Recently the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel, Danny Ayalon, released a video with facts about the legal status of Judea and Samaria, or as many call it, the “West Bank” (watch the video below). In response to the video release, Saeb Erekat, representing the Palestinian Authority, put out a two page official press release, condemning the alleged “lies and distortions” of the video. In actuality, Erekat did not respond to any of the factual points raised by Deputy Minister Ayalon in the video.
In response to the Erekat press release, Deputy Minister Ayalon issued his own press release asking Mr. Erekat why he did not address even one factual issue in the video. Ayalon also invited Erekat to a public debate on all the issues. “I challenge any of the Palestinian Authority political leadership to an open debate on all the issues ahead of September.” Mr. Erekat refused to take part in a public debate saying that “ending the Israeli occupation is not a point needed to discuss”.
This episode did not end there. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister sent out another press release saying the following:
“I am more than a little surprised that Erekat rejected my offer of an open and public debate, especially considering he was concerned enough about our video to release a two page official press release”.
“Erekat is used to telling the world that Israel’s policies are illegal and against international law and I offered him the chance to back up his own statements and he is proving unable or unwilling to do so.”
“Like its diplomatic policies, it appears that the Palestinian Authority is only able to debate unilaterally.”
The sad thing about this episode is that it clearly demonstrates how the Palestinian Authority in general, and Erekat in particular, are scared of debating the facts regarding the dispute.
Please join us in thanking Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon for standing up for Israel’s right by sharing this video with your friends and family.