Palestinians tell Canada to back Geneva Conventions meeting on Israel

Originally posted on National Post | News:

OTTAWA — The top Palestinian diplomat in Canada says the Harper government should not have boycotted a United Nations conference this week that harshly criticized Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Said Hamad says Canada should have joined other countries at a conference in Geneva examining the Fourth Geneva Convention, which governs the rules of war and military occupation.

Some 126 countries of the 196 international parties to the convention adopted a resolution Wednesday saying Israel’s construction of settlements does not conform to its international legal obligations as an occupying power.

Along with Israel and the U.S., Canada boycotted the conference, another example of unwavering Conservative support of Israel — a position that has exposed deep differences with the majority of the United Nations.

“We had hoped Canada would participate in this conference, given its long-standing policy that ’Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are a violation…

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Lac-Mégantic’s Musi-Café quietly reopens

Originally posted on Montreal Gazette:

by Peter Rakobowchuk

The restaurant-bar at Ground Zero of the deadly train derailment and explosion that killed 47 people in Quebec in July 2013 is back in business.

The Musi-Café quietly opened its doors to the public in Lac-Mégantic on Monday, about 400 metres from the original site.

Owner Yannick Gagné said only three of the original employees have returned to work with him in his new establishment.

“One of them is my chef, a friend,” he told The Canadian Press in a phone interview. “I have a girl who worked for me for three or four years — she’s coming back — and one of my good friends, Karine Blanchette, will handle all the artists who will come here.”

At the time of the disaster, Blanchette told reporters two children were left orphans after one of her friends died in the tragedy.

[related_links /]

Many of the 47 victims were inside the…

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Why Not Just Believe in the Afterlife?

Originally posted on Eric Linus Kaplan:

I was sad about my Dad’s death so I looked up my old friend Richie. He had been my best friend in third grade, but everybody from my elementary school had lost touch from him. A friend of a friend told me I might be able to see him if I waited at Church Avenue station. It was a cold night, but I gave it a try.

After a few hours the train came into the station and the doors opened and there was Richie. The rumor was that Richie had died after a bar fight. I couldn’t tell immediately if it was true or not. So I decided to just talk.

I asked him “Why not just believe in an afterlife if it would give me comfort.”

“You mean like heaven?”

“I’m not sure..”

“Yeah you are. You mean like an after life. You and your Dad can live…

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What’s the story

Originally posted on :

To understand people you must understand their story

In fact to understand yourself, you must understand your own story

For example, the conflict of religions, is the conflict of stories

Let’s start with religion

They are very easy stories to know, for they are repeated

As a Rabbi I am authorized to say the Jewish story (though obviously there are sub-stories but the universal Jewish story is) God made the world, at Mount Sinia, he obligated us to keep his 613 commandants, which the Rabbis clarify (through an oral tradition that also came from Mount Sinai) when we’re good, God blesses us – because we were bad, He sent us into exile – the messiah will redeem us and we will all live happily ever after (again there may be deeper dimensions but this is the universal story, for the past few thousand years.)

So for the Christian standpoint I…

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French Vote Urges Recognition of Palestinian State

Meir Weiss:


Originally posted on TIME:

(PARIS)— France’s lower house of Parliament voted Tuesday to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state, in the hope that it would speed up peace efforts after decades of conflict.

The vote, approved with 339 votes to 151, is non-binding. But it is a symbolic boost for the Palestinians, amid growing support in Europe for two states. The measure asks the government “to recognize the state of Palestine in view of reaching a definitive settlement to the conflict.”

The French government supports a Palestinian state but has said it’s too early for recognition. France, a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, wants peace talks to restart first.

Israel is committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state under a peace agreement, but says such resolutions encourage the Palestinians to avoid negotiations.

On Oct. 30, Sweden’s government became the first western European nation in the EU to recognize Palestinian…

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Watch the Robots Shipping Your Amazon Order This Holiday

Meir Weiss:


Originally posted on TIME:

Across the country, laborers are hard at work lifting 700-pound shelves full of multivolume encyclopedias, propane grills or garden gnomes and dragging them across vast warehouse floors. Carefully trained not to bump into one another, the squat workers are 320 pounds and a mere 16 inches tall.

No, they’re not Christmas elves—they’re some of the most advanced robots that e-commerce giant Amazon now uses to ship its goods. In an exclusive video for TIME, photographer and videographer Stephen Wilkes captured these Amazon robots in action at the company’s Tracy, Calif., warehouse.

The robots are made by Kiva Systems, a company Amazon purchased for $775 million in 2012 to better handle the hundreds of worldwide orders Amazon customers make every second. Kiva’s robots bring shelves of goods out of storage and carry them to employees, allowing Amazon to retrieve more items for more customers simultaneously. Amazon began using these robots in…

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Netanyahu Fires Key Cabinet Ministers as Elections Appear Imminent

Meir Weiss:

bh UHH OHH HERE WE GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Originally posted on TIME:

(JERUSALEM) — Israel’s prime minister has fired two senior Cabinet ministers, setting the stage for an expected announcement of early elections.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Tuesday he had ordered the dismissals of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

The coalition government has been divided over key issues in recent weeks, and Lapid and Livni have emerged as fierce critics of the prime minister.

Netanyahu planned a nationwide address later Tuesday.

With his coalition in tatters, Netanyahu is expected to order new elections, more than two years ahead of schedule.

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Letters: Where is the Quebec wealth to which Pierre Karl Péladeau keeps referring?

Originally posted on Montreal Gazette:

Re: “Péladeau makes a case for sovereignty” (Montreal Gazette, Nov. 29) and “Péladeau raises the stakes” (Don Macpherson, Nov. 29) 

When the provincial election was held this April, Quebecers voted in the Quebec Liberal Party, expecting that it would create a more stable provincial environment by removing the sovereignty option. So what has occurred over the last eight months and what does the future hold?

Pierre Karl Péladeau, Parti Québécois leader aspirant, has constantly been in the news, will continue to be in the news until the May 2015 PQ leadership vote, and then plans to spend the next three years explaining and promoting Quebec independence.

So much for hoping to create a stable provincial environment.

Robert MarcoglieseMontreal

Presumably, as an avowed sovereignist, Pierre Karl Péladeau was using the royal we when he said “sovereignty will make us richer.”

It is unusual, but most laudable, for a politician…

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Police find 13-year-old boy behind fake wall in father’s house — four years after mother reported him missing

Originally posted on National Post | News:

The bungalow on Duke Court, in a southern suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, looks for all the world like a comfortable family home, the lawn neatly mown and surrounded by mature trees garlanded in lights, with a Christmas wreath hung just so on the front door.

But for police who came knocking late Friday night in pursuit of a tip, it was a crime scene of monstrous proportions, where a 13-year-old boy appears to have been concealed in a secret room behind a false wall in a linen closet, allegedly held against his will for four years, as he was mistreated and beaten by his father and stepmother.

“From all indications, it appears that the child was being hidden,” said a Clayton County police spokesman. Neighbours reported the unnamed boy had been hidden in plain sight, playing with neighbourhood kids, and often doing yard work. The stepmother, identified as Samantha Joy…

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The UN’s theater of the absurd

Originally posted on :

The UN’s theater of the absurd, Israel Hayom, Ron Prosor, November 30, 2014

(Please see also Ambassador Proser’s recent address to the U.N. General assembly. — DM)

In 1975, after repeated attempts to kick Israel out of the U.N., the General Assembly succumbed to the pressure exerted by the Arab countries and determined that Zionism is racism. The decision was the cornerstone of the institutionalized factory of discrimination against Israel at the United Nations. The U.N. waited 16 long years before retracting its “Zionism is racism” decision. The protocols have been updated, but even with no official reminder, the stain remains on the walls of the general assembly hall and the stench is still in the U.N.’s corridors today.

Of the 193 states that belong to the U.N., only 87 are democracies — less than half. The countries that are taking advantage of the democratic process at the…

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