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Nepal: Unprecedented Relief Effort 'Shows Israel's True Face'

As the death toll in Saturday's deadly earthquake passes 2,000, and with over 4,500 injured, Israeli aid teams are among the scores of international partners rushing to Nepal, which is struggling to cope with the sheer number of casualties and scale of damage.

The Israeli government has already dispatched its own team, including six IDF medical experts, a rescue team from the Home Front Command, a team from the IDF Medical Corps, and a representative from the Foreign Ministry. Those personnel will be both the general relief efforts, as well as seeking to locate some 200 or so Israelis currently either missing or stranded in the worst-hit areas.

But the devastating quake - the worst in Nepal for eight decades - has also triggered an unprecedented joint-initiative by some of Israel's leading medical NGOs.

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Judge approves 'Killing Jews' posters on New York subways and buses paid for by pro-Israel group

New Yorkers are used to aggressive advertising. Banners for breast implants. Billboards for condoms. But a federal judge's ruling has opened the door for far more controversial posters on buses and subways across the city.

"Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah," reads one such ad next to the image of a young man in a checkered headscarf. "That's His Jihad. What’s yours?"

The poster is at the center of heated legal debate over public safety and free speech. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl ruled that New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority cannot stop the controversial ad from running on scores of subway cars and buses.

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Iran, Hezbollah Removed From U.S. List of Terror Threats

Iran and Hezbollah no longer pose a terror threat to the United States or its allies.  At least according to director of national intelligence,, James Clapper.

Why not?

Well, apparently, they have been very helpful when it comes to fending off other terrorist groups such as ISIS, so this year they're both getting a pass.

The report describes Iran's regional role in largely positive terms focusing on the Islamic States "intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and deescalate tensions with Saudi Arabia," but cautioned that "Iranian leaders-particularly within the security services-are pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran."

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Armenians around the world mark 1915 genocide

Around the world on Friday, tens of thousands of people of Armenian descent commemorated the genocide 100 years ago of 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

The annual April 24 commemorations mark the day when the mass killings started. An estimated 1.5 million died in massacres, deportations and forced marches that began in 1915 as Ottoman officials worried that the Christian Armenians would side with Russia, its enemy in World War I.

Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

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Jews most victimized group in Toronto: Cop report

The most victimized group in Toronto last year was the Jewish community, followed by the LGBTQ community and the black community, according to the 2014 Toronto Police annual hate crime report.

The report shows the number of reported hate crimes in 2014 increased to 146, up from 131 reported in 2013.

The number of people arrested also went up last year, from 17 arrests in 2013 to 22 arrests in 2014.

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Israel celebrates 67th Independence Day

Israel began celebrating its 67th year of independence Wednesday night with a torch-lighting ceremony at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery that marked the transition from the mourning of Memorial Day to the festivities of Independence Day.

"When we see the countries around us, we see the extent to which Israel is unusual in its vibrant democracy and equal rights for all its citizens," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in recorded comments broadcast at the beginning of the ceremony.

Moments after Netanyahu lauded Israel's democracy, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein advised critics of the Israeli government to curb their speech in an address to the crowd.

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Late returns give Netanyahu stunning victory in Israeli election after tight race

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud Party scored a resounding victory in the country's election, final results showed Wednesday, a stunning turnaround after a tight race that had put his lengthy rule in jeopardy.

With nearly all votes counted, Likud appeared to have earned 30 of parliament's 120 seats and was in a position to build with relative ease a coalition government with its nationalist, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies.

Such a government would likely put Israel at odds with the international community over settlement construction and its opposition to Palestinian statehood, and continue clashing with the White House over hard-line policies.

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Israeli NGO wins historic $330m. judgment against North Korea for kidnapping priest

An Israeli NGO announced on Monday that a US federal court in Washington, DC has granted it a landmark $330 million default award judgment against North Korea in a civil damages trial for wrongful death, torture and kidnapping.

The judgment, only announced Monday, included $15 m. each to the son and brother of Rev. Kim Dong Shik, presumed dead, as well as $300 m. in punitive damages.

But default judgments where the defendant does not even appear to defend the charges, are notoriously hard to collect on, especially with a regime like North Korea, which has few connections to the US or the West in general.

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Trudeau didn't just defend the niqab. He defended the niqab by trivializing the Holocaust

When a politician says, "I am not a crook," he does so because many people have reasonable doubts to the contrary. Likewise, when a politician prefaces a political speech with a long and emphatic denial that he's pandering to a "key audience" or "swing voters" - well, brace yourself for pandering delivered in a large, family-sized container.

That's how to understand Justin Trudeau's attention-grabbing speech in Toronto last week. The speech was built to deliver a message astutely aimed at exactly the kind of "key audience" that Trudeau insisted he never, ever, ever thinks about: "We should all shudder to hear the same rhetoric that led to a 'none is too many' immigration policy toward Jews in the '30s and '40s, being used to raise fears against Muslims today."

In case any TV crew missed the soundbite, Trudeau reprised it later in his speech: "This is not the spirit of Canadian liberty, my friends. It is the spirit of the Komagata Maru. Of the St. Louis. Of 'none is too many.'"

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Israel is the 'only safe place' for Christians in Middle East, priest declares

Naddaf pointed to the alarming statistic that the Christian population of the Middle East has gone from 20 percent at the start of the 20th century to only around four percent today.

"If we look at the Middle East, Mr. President, we realize there's only one safe place where Christians are not persecuted. One place where they are protected, enjoying freedom of worship and expression, living in peace and not subjected to killing and genocide," Naddaf said.

"It is Israel, the country I live in. The Jewish state is the only safe place where the Christians of the Holy Land live in safety.

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Boys at Hamas Rally: We Will Capture Soldiers, Fight Jews

Hamas is continuing to incite youths in Gaza towards violence against Israelis. During a Hamas rally held in Gaza on March 6, two boys rapped about fighting "the occupation".

"Through the tunnels, we will capture soldiers and fight Jews," they rapped in the rally, which was broadcast on Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

A clip released by MEMRI last month showed footage from a youth camp organized by Hamas's so-called "military wing", in which young cadets learn how to use weapons and simulate the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier.

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Israel slams International Criminal Court for letting Palestinians join: 'There is no Palestinian state'

In the latest move to press their case using the international community, the "state of Palestine" was officially accepted into the International Criminal Court (ICC) paving the way for the court to bring Israel up on war crimes charges.

"Today is a historic day in the struggle for justice, freedom, and peace for our people and all those seeking justice worldwide," Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said in a statement. We call upon the international community to support the inalienable rights of our people, including our right to self-determination, by supporting our peaceful movement to end decades of impunity, occupation, and exile. Once again we call upon all nations of conscience to recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital."

The Israeli government responds that the ICC has made an error by accepting the Palestinians.

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Netanyahu warns Iran deal could 'threaten the survival' of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Monday that a potential nuclear deal with Iran "could threaten the survival of Israel," as he kicked off a contentious visit to the United States meant to build the case against such an agreement.

The centerpiece of his visit will be an address to Congress on Tuesday. But speaking first to The American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, the Israeli leader underscored the dangers he said are posed by Iran, which he called the world's "foremost sponsor of state terrorism."

"Iran envelops the entire world with its tentacles of terror," he said, displaying a map showing various connections between Iran and terror groups. He warned Iran could pursue Israel's destruction if it obtained a nuclear weapon.

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'Palestine' to become ICC member today

The "State of Palestine" is scheduled to become a member of the International Criminal Court in The Hague on Wednesday, although it remains unclear when and if it will lodge war-crime charges against Israel.

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat was quoted as saying that the Palestinian Authority had concluded all technical and legal preparations for joining the court.

Erekat pointed out that the ICC had already launched an initial investigation into alleged Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, in addition to its "illegal" settlement construction and expansion activities.

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Netanyahu tries to head off Iran's machinations after Obama empowers Tehran as favored Mid East ally

Almost the last words Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heard Sunday, March 1, as he took off for Washington to address Congress on Iran, was in effect "Don’t do it!" They came from a group of 180 senior ex-IDF military officers. After the personal abuse is weeded out of their message, what remains is that Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of the US Congress Tuesday, March 3, was not worth making because it would damage relations with the US.

Maj. Gen. Amiram Levin, former Northern Command chief and ex-Deputy Director of the Mossad, put it this way: "Bibi, you are making an error in navigation; the target is Tehran not Washington." He went on to say: "[Instead] of working hand in hand with the president... you go there and poke a finger in his eye."

DEBKAfile's analysts maintain that the navigation error is the general's. Before shooting his slings and arrows at the Israeli prime minister's office, he should long ago have taken note of President Barack Obama's Middle East record in relation to Israel's during his six years in the White House.

Saudi Arabia Gives Israel Clear Skies to Attack Iranian Nuke Sites

Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran's nuclear facilities, The Times of London reported Saturday.

In the week that the U.N. Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defense sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran. To ensure the Israeli bombers pass without hindrance, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defense systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom's air defenses will return to full alert.

"The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way," said a U.S. defense source in the area. "They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren't scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [U.S.] State Department."

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Kerry questions Netanyahu's judgement over Iran deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice offered choice words this week for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his criticism of their diplomatic overtures to Iran.

In doing so, they joined several other senior US officials who, over the course of a week, have accused Israel of leaking details of a diplomatic effort of which it is not a part; of political partisanship; and of hyping the threat Israel would face from a nuclear deal not yet fully formed.

At a briefing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Kerry told members of Congress that Netanyahu has cried wolf once before over Iran, citing his comments last year after world powers and Tehran signed the interim Joint Plan of Action on November 24, 2013.

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UN says Israel, not Iran, North Korea or Syria worst violator of human rights

What country deserves more condemnation for violating human rights than any other nation on earth? According to the U.N.'s top human rights body, that would be Israel.

Last week, Israel was the U.N.'s number one women's rights violator. This week it is the U.N.'s all-round human rights villain.

The U.N. Human Rights Council wrapped up its latest session in Geneva on Friday, March 27 by adopting four resolutions condemning Israel.  That's four times more than any of the other 192 UN member states.

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Facebook removes Hamas news page with 2.7 million likes

Facebook removed on Tuesday the page of Hamas' news agency Shehab, after Israeli students who are a part of a program to fight anti-Semitism reported the page.

The students received a message from Facebook saying the page, one of the more popular Facebook pages in the Arab world with 2.7 million likes, has been removed because it was found to be containing graphic violence, which violates Facebook's terms of use.

The students made several complaints to Facebook over the past year, including an official request to examine the activity of the news page, which shares Hamas' ideology.

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US Declassifies Report, Exposes Details on Israel's Nuclear Program

The United States has just revealed a stunning amount of information on some of Israel's the most closely guarded secrets: information about its military cooperation with America and 20 years' worth of details on Israel's nuclear technology development, up to the 1980s.

The 386-page report, composed in 1987 by the federally funded Institute for Defense Analysis, (an NGO that operates under the Pentagon), is titled "Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations."

It was declassified by the Pentagon in early February - but oddly, the report has been redacted so as to black out or withhold everything the Institute wrote on America's NATO allies - but to reveal all that American experts assembled in Israel.

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Defense Minister Ya'alon: Iran has 'apocalyptic messianic ambition'

Iran, whose regime has "apocalyptic messianic ambition," would become a nuclear threshold state under the terms of an agreement now under negotiation between Tehran and the six world powers, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said on Monday morning in Tel Aviv.

"This agreement will allow Iran to be a nuclear threshold state," he said.

The choice before the world powers is "no deal or a bad deal," Ya'alon said at a conference by the Institute for National Security Studies.

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