Arab writers mock ISIS terrorists in cartoons and comedy programs aimed at ‘rejecting extremism’

Originally posted on National Post | News:

The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town – not realizing he’s fired it backward at his leader.

The “Looney Tunes”-style cartoon targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham comes after its militants have swept across large swaths of Syria and Iraq, declaring their own self-styled caliphate while conducting mass shootings of their prisoners. The group cheers its advances and beheadings in slickly produced Internet videos.

In response, television networks across the Middle East have begun airing cartoons and comedy programs using satire to criticize the group and its claims of representing Islam. And while not directly confronting the group’s battlefield gains, the shows challenge the legitimacy of its claims and chip away at the fear some have that the Islamic militants are unstoppable.

These people are not…

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Israeli army on high alert as UN hostage crisis in Syria raises prospects of Golan Heights operation

Originally posted on National Post | News:

Israel shot down a drone over its border with Syria Sunday as it faced the growing prospect of being drawn into the country’s civil war, prompted by the hostage crisis in which jihadists are holding dozens of UN peacekeepers.

The capture of Fijian and Filipino troops in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) by the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels Jabhat Al-Nusra last week has cast doubt over the future of the UN force on the disputed Golan Heights.

While a dramatic rescue operation spearheaded by the Irish army retrieved 70 Filipino peacekeepers over the weekend, 44 Fijian troops remain in jihadist custody. Israeli officials are believed to be urgently seeking options to shore up the UNDOF mission, which has been in the buffer zone between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights since the 1974 ceasefire.

The force comprises 1,233 international peacekeepers drawn from the Philippines, Fiji, India, Ireland, Nepal and the…

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Israel calls for Arab countries to work togerther to disarm Hamas militants and rebuild Gaza

Originally posted on National Post | News:

Israel and several Arab countries should work together to rebuild the Gaza Strip while disarming Hamas militants who rule the territory, Israel’s finance minister said Sunday.

The remarks by Yair Lapid come almost a week after Israel and Hamas militants reached a truce after almost two months of fighting that devastated parts of Gaza.

“We need a regional conference, with the Egyptians, the Saudis, the Gulf States,” Lapid, a member of the centrist Yesh Atid party, told reporters in Jerusalem. “That conference should focus on one thing, ensuring the rehabilitation takes place alongside demilitarization,” he said.

Our weapons are used to defend our people, and this right was granted by heaven and human laws

It is unclear how he foresaw the group demilitarizing Gaza as Hamas has vowed it will never give up its weapons. Nor was it clear how responsive Arab countries, some of whom like Saudi Arabia have…

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Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan writes letter to ISIS asking to join their terror group

Originally posted on National Post | News:

Nidal Hasan, the former army psychiatrist convicted of killing 13 fellow soldiers in an attack on Fort Hood, has written a letter to the leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), asking whether he may to join the terrorist group.

U.S. Government Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

U.S. Government Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

“I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State,” Hasan wrote in a handwritten letter addressed to “Ameer, Mujahid Dr. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” which was obtained by Fox News.

“It would be an honor for any believer to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don’t compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers,” he says in the undated two-page letter.

Fox News does not indicate how they received the letter or when it was intercepted.

Hasan was convicted last year for the November 2009 mass shooting…

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The Messianic Melody

Originally posted on :

If I could write

If I could sing

If my heart could sense the pain and suffering

If I could feel

If I could bond

If my heart knew the song

I am sure it would say

What all hearts cry

I am sure it would feel

What all hearts feel

I am sure it would compose an ode

To the one thing, from young to old

It is the eternal longing

To belong

But as we seek unity

We seek individuality

As we seek compassion

We seek assertiveness

And to understand how to be me and we

Where can I meld without melt

Where can I be, together with we

Where can I shine, with other stars

For this my friend, is the Messianic-Dream

For in the knowledge of our mission

In the unity of our purpose

In our joint command

In our unified front

In our all-encompassing raison…

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After a serious heart-to-heart, the Parti Québécois declares it’s pushing forward with the sovereignty dream

Meir Weiss:

and the incompetent enemy marches on

Originally posted on National Post | News:

QUEBEC — The Parti Québécois is calling on the government to negotiate with municipal workers in the name of maintaining social peace and to come up urgently with a jobs plan.

And after a serious heart-to-heart behind closed doors, PQ MNAs decided they want to keep the sovereignty dream alive despite the negative message voters sent them in the April election.

“Our objective is not to be the flavour of the month,” interim PQ leader Stéphane Bédard said at a news conference where he reported on the work of a two-day party caucus meeting.

“We think Quebec should become a country. That will never leave me.

“The PQ is an agent of change. That means you have to convince people. Is the task more difficult? Maybe. Are we ready to take it on? Certainly.”

Clement Allard / Canadian Press

Clement Allard / Canadian Press

Bédard then announced the party, even without its new leader, will…

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Palestinian Leader Says Hamas Caused Prolonged War

Originally posted on TIME:

(RAMALLAH, West Bank) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accused Hamas of needlessly extending fighting in the Gaza Strip, causing a high death toll.

Abbas told Palestine TV in remarks broadcast Friday that “it was possible for us to avoid all of that, 2,000 martyrs, 10,000 injured, 50,000 houses (damaged or destroyed).”

Israel and Hamas militants fought for 50 days before reaching a truce on Tuesday.

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of civilians. Seventy one people on the Israeli side, including six civilians, were killed.

Several Egyptian mediated cease-fire attempts failed. Hamas eventually accepted almost the same truce offered at the beginning.

Abbas, whose Palestinian Authority runs the West Bank, formed a unity government backed by Hamas earlier this year. Abbas questioned the future of that arrangement in the interview.

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If you integrate nothing but this, your life will be well lived

Originally posted on :

Like most of the components of Iggeret HaKodesh, this pastoral letter too was addressed to the chassidic community as a whole. Why, then, echoing the words first addressed to Daniel (“To enlighten you with understanding”),1 does the Alter Rebbe open it in the singular?

In this letter the Alter Rebbe demands spiritual service of a caliber so seemingly formidable as to be attainable only by a chosen few. For in it he calls upon the reader not to desire physical things, even those things that are essential for his wellbeing and utilized in his service of G‑d.

Even such essentials, states the Alter Rebbe, should not be desired for their physicality but for their spirituality, for the spark of G‑dliness found within them. So much so, that even if a person finds that he is lacking (G‑d forbid) life’s essentials, he should not be pained by their absence…

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Today’s letters: Roger Waters — the face of modern-day anti-Semitism

Originally posted on National Post | Full Comment:

Re: Dark Side of Roger Waters, Avi Benlolo, Aug. 27.
I agree with Avi Benlolo that the use of the Star of David at Roger Waters’ concerts is offensive, but I feel his critique doesn’t go far enough and omits a couple of pieces of essential information.

Sticking a Star of David on an inflatable pig is offensive enough, but Mr. Benlolo didn’t mention that at a 2013 concert in Belgium, Mr. Waters juxtaposed the Jewish symbol alongside symbols of communism, fascism and corporate greed, and that at a 2010 concert, images of falling bombs shaped as Stars of David were projected onto the stage.

Most modern day anti-Semites hide behind the cloak of anti-Zionism. But what could be more explicitly anti-Semitic? The media and arts community have a double standard regarding expressions of anti-Semitism vs other form of bigotry. Mr. Waters will soon be given the red carpet…

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