Tasers, cameras could help prevent use of deadly force by police: report

Originally posted on Global News:

WATCH: Body cameras and better mental health training — those are just a couple of the 84 recommendations from a report reviewing police use of force. Sean Mallen reports

TORONTO – Expanding the police use of Tasers, equipping officers with body-worn cameras and educating them on mental-health issues could help prevent deadly use of force when police deal with those in crisis, suggests a new report released Thursday.

The ideas were among 84 recommendations in a sweeping review of the Toronto Police Service’s guidelines and practices conducted by former Supreme Court of Canada justice Frank Iacobucci.

“If reasonable steps can be taken to prevent even one unnecessary death, then those steps must be taken,” Iacobucci said as he detailed his work. “It is clear that the police are part of the mental-health system. They have become the front-line mental-health workers.”

Toronto police Chief Bill Blair commissioned the report last year…

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Hillel Neuer: Palestinian ambassador called Hamas missiles a ‘crime against humanity.’ Why won’t the UN?

Originally posted on National Post | Full Comment:

What follows is testimony delivered on Wednesday by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer, at the UN Human Rights Council Emergency Session on Gaza, in Geneva. The Palestinian ambassador to the UNHRC, together with Iran, Syria, Egypt, Cuba and Venezuela had tried but failed to silence Mr. Neuer. As expected, the council voted 29 to 1 (USA), with 17 abstaining (EU & others), to condemn Israel for “gross violations of international human rights,” and it created a new commission of inquiry.

Mr. President, I have just returned here from visiting Israel to tell this assembly, and the world, about the grave situation that I witnessed and experienced.

An entire nation—towns, villages and cities, from the Negev Desert up to the Galilee, from the Judean hills of Jerusalem to the Tel Aviv seashore—has been under brutal and relentless attack, from more than two thousand mortars, rockets and long-range missiles, fired from…

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In debate over Israel’s war with Hamas, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has facts on his side

Originally posted on canada.com:

John Baird, the foreign affairs minister, has elicited the usual outrage from the usual quarters over his recent declarations about Hamas’ war with Israel, currently in its third week. In particular Baird has raised eyebrows with his blunt assertion that Hamas, the terrorist organization that holds power in Gaza, is solely responsible for the now more than 700 deaths on the Palestinian side. It’s more fodder for those who are convinced Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a foreign-policy Neanderthal, and John Baird his senior club-wielder.

But weighing against all that, is this: The facts are on Baird’s side. And the test of that is simply to pose this one question: What can Israel logically do, other than what it is now doing?

There is no minimizing, explaining away, looking away from, or justifying the horror of what is unfolding in Gaza. Thursday, The Associated Press reported, Israeli shells hit a…

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Canadian ‘terror tourist’ Mohamed Hersi gets 10 years in jail for planning to join Islamic jihadist group in Somalia

Originally posted on National Post | News:

The first Canadian convicted under a law criminalizing attempts to join a terrorist group was handed the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison on Thursday in a case his lawyer had argued was one of entrapment.

[np_storybar title="What if Toronto man really is the middle-of-the-road Muslim his family says he is?" link="http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/06/25/christie-blatchford-what-if-toronto-mans-not-a-terrorist-but-the-middle-of-the-road-muslim-family-says-he-is/"]

There are two possibilities that naturally emerge from the sentencing hearing for Mohamed Hersi, the first Canadian to be convicted for attempting to participate in terrorist activity abroad, in his case in his native Somalia, and for counselling someone else to do it too.

The hearing was held Wednesday before Ontario Superior Court Judge Deena Baltman, who reserved her decision until July 24.

The first possibility was raised by Hersi’s lawyer, Paul Slansky, the character letters he submitted on his client’s behalf and to some degree by Hersi’s testimony in his own defence at trial.

This scenario…

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Depravity at the UN Human Rights Council

Anne Bayefsky@AnneBayefsky 10m

at the UN Human Rights Council” by for


For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2014
Contact: info@humanrightsvoices.org
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Depravity at the UN Human Rights Council

This article by Anne Bayefsky originally appeared on The Jerusalem Post.

The UN Human Rights Council held a special session in Geneva on July 23, 2014 to declare effectively that Israelis do not have human rights. The vote was 29 in favor, 1 against and 17 abstentions.

The Obama administration voted against – after joining and legitimizing the virulently anti-Jewish Council for the past five years, and now feigning disappointment for American cameras.

The Europeans abstained because they did not want to upset their violent Muslim minorities, and because their sordid past didn’t leave the resolution’s message too foreign in any case. A few cowardly countries that Israelis have magnanimously befriended over the years also abstained.

But the majority of the UN world cheered – literally. Speakers during the procession of hatemongers at the Council were greeted with applause.

As is their wont, CNN, the New York Times and company derived from this spectacle the lesson that Israel is pathetic, isolated and doomed.

But the real takeaway is the polar opposite.

Israel really is a light unto the nations.

The light years between the UN “human rights” machinery and genuine human rights is actually pretty obvious. At least to folks without years of foreign policy wonking, diplomatic double-talk language schooling, or blinkered war correspondence training.

Here is how it went down.

The “Human Rights” Council session on Gaza was presided over by President Baudelaire Ndong Ella of Gabon, a member of the Islamic bloc of states (OIC), and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.

Pillay retires in August after six years dedicated to the demonization of Israel. A native of Durban, South Africa, Pillay spent her time in office championing the racist anti-racism conference that took place in her hometown in 2001 (after Durban’s mayor requested that she resurrect the city’s good name). She choreographed the second and third UN Durban conferences in 2009 and 2011 that “reaffirmed” the Israel-is-racist canard.

Pillay also initiated, and subsequently became the lead spokesperson for, the 2009 slanderous UN Goldstone report. Though Goldstone himself later recanted the charge, the report accused Israel of deliberately targeting Palestinian civilians the last time Israel had the audacity to mount a sustained response to the Hamas killing machine in Gaza.

In short, Pillay was bent on leaving office with a bang. Along with Durban II and III, Goldstone I and II would be her anti-human rights legacy.

Pillay opened the Council session on July 23, 2014. For her, “suffering” was a description applicable only to Palestinians. She carefully presented the charge of “crimes against humanity” – knowing full well that the image projected was one of Israelis as the new Nazis. She simultaneously called for an investigation to discern the facts and recounted a list of supposed Israeli-driven horrors, like killing little children while their pious parents prepared for Muslim rituals. She summed up Israeli operations in Gaza as having “inflicted” “unimaginable death, destruction, terror and life-long consequences.”

The feeding frenzy that followed her at the UN’s highest human rights body was raw unadulterated antisemitism. It was a verbal blitz timed to coincide with the blitz of Hamas rocket attacks that Israelis were experiencing from the skies. The Council session revealed – for the umpteenth time – that these offensives are a continuation of the rejection of a Jewish state, period. Or in the words of Palestinian foreign minister Riyad Maliki himself at the Council, first came the “Israeli atrocities of 1948.” Maliki went on to charge Israel with having “exterminated” Palestinians. His language included: “the smell of death is pursuing Palestinian children because of Israel…who have transformed children into shreds…while they tried to escape the machinery of death.”

Over and over again the despicable antisemitic analogy of Israelis to Nazis was repeated, along with maniacal claims from a parade of human rights abusers. Algeria said “Gaza is a concentration camp.” Sudan said Israel had a “policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide.” Iran claimed Israel was engaged in “massacres and crimes against humanity.” Venezuela said “Israel seeks to exterminate the Palestinian people.” Tunisia said “Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism and is acting in Gaza like the Nazis.” And then there were charges of “barbaric, inhuman acts,” “heinous massacres,” and “crimes unparalleled in recent history.”

In the end, the Human Rights Council’s resolution “deplores” and “condemns in the strongest terms” Israel’s “grave,” “widespread, systematic, and gross” “violations of human rights.” The word “Hamas” is never mentioned.

And the UN launched what might be called Goldstone II – another so-called “human rights” investigation into “violations of law in the occupied Palestinian territory” – not Israeli territory of course.

Goldstone II joins the voluminous UN anti-Israel mechanisms already in operation, such as: the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People; the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories; the UN Division for Palestinian Rights, and the UN Information System on the Question of Palestine.

On top of that, Goldstone I is still alive and kicking. It generates annual reports by the UN human rights commissioner, produced as recently as January 13, 2014. And it spawns annual resolutions by the Human Rights Council calling for its implementation, adopted as recently as March 28, 2014.

Before the vote on the resolution, the UN staff announced that the initial price tag for Goldstone II will be $2,321,500 – twenty-two percent of which will come from the American taxpayer, thanks to Obama’s ownership of the Council. Just on June 19, 2014, Keith Harper, U.S. Ambassador to the Council gushed: “The Obama Administration decided to seek membership because the United States believes the Council can make a difference. And on July 3, 2014 he claimed: “the most powerful tool we wield at the Human Rights Council is information – the ability to bring into stark focus the realities of injustice and abuse in the world…[T]he United Nations Human Rights Council is making a difference.”

What difference is it making?

There have been twice as many urgent debates and special sessions of the Council on Israel in its entire eight-year lifespan than there have been on Syria with upwards of 200,000 dead.

There has never been a single special session on a place like Iran or China or Russia.

One-third of all the resolutions and decisions critical of a single state – for all 193 UN members – have been directed at Israel alone.

There has never been a single resolution on a place like Saudi Arabia or Cuba.

So the difference the UN’s top human rights body is making is the perversion and defeat of human rights – the human rights of Israelis and the human rights of the Jewish people.

We are witnessing a terrible acquiescence to the suffering of the nation of Israel, a nation dedicated to life, freedom and equality. A nation committed to profound spirituality and compassion for all humankind.

Abandon Israel at the peril of all human decency.

The UN is lost. It is not too late for America.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her @AnneBayefsky.


For more human rights and United Nations coverage see www.HumanRightsVoices.org.

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A New Jersey Rabbi’s Visit to Israel Moves a Community to Action


Jewish News »Israel

A New Jersey Rabbi’s Visit to Israel Moves a Community to Action

A New Jersey Rabbi’s Visit to Israel Moves a Community to Action

Toms River congregants now sponsoring new tefillin for IDF troops

When Rabbi Moshe Gourarie, co-director of Chabad of Toms River, N.J., with his wife, Chanie, invited community members to a special Shabbat dinner last Friday to hear about his recent trip in Israel, he hadn’t planned on it being more than a briefing.

But one particular anecdote wound up touching the guests significantly.

As Gourarie explained, while on his five-day trip to the Jewish state, he visited the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and happened to meet Chabad emissary Rabbi Yossi Nachshon there. The two men got to talking, and after a while, Nachson invited Gourarie to accompany him to a nearby military base for a ceremony.


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Write to an IDF Soldier

The occasion? Ten soldiers from the Israeli Defense Forces who had committed to putting on tefillin daily were about to get their own set of phylacteries. The tefillin were donated through the fundraising efforts of another Chabad emissary, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Zekri, co-director of Beth Loubavitch St-Cloud in France. (Another 10 soldiers near Gaza were also slated to get tefillin as well, but Gourarie did not attend that event.)

“It’s a very special thing,” says Gourarie. “It tells those of us here [outside of Israel] who are not yet putting on tefillin daily that they can at least add another day, or get their own set of tefillin and emulate these brave soldiers.”

It was this story that moved members of the Toms River Jewish community to act.

“People approached me after dinner and said they would like to sponsor a pair of tefillin for soldiers,” says the rabbi, adding that it looks like enough money will be raised to purchase four pairs of high-quality tefillin, which cost several hundred dollars each.

Gourarie with one of the soldiers; when the rabbi returned home and spoke of his experiences, community members jumped at the chance to donate four pairs of tefillin to IDF soldiers.

Gourarie with one of the soldiers; when the rabbi returned home and spoke of his experiences, community members jumped at the chance to donate four pairs of tefillin to IDF soldiers.

Visits to Children and Soldiers

During what was his first-ever visit to Israel and traveling solo—his wife and eight children stayed in New Jersey—Gourarie, 35, devoted much of his time in Israel to helping out where he could. Along with Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov of the Chabad Terror Victims Project, he visited a Chabad preschool in the southern town of Sderot, which has been under heavy rocket fire for years now.

“Some 30 children were there, and we gave them each a teddy bear, and sang and danced with them,” the rabbi recalls. “We tried to bring some joy into their little lives.”

He also visited with IDF troops when they initially started amassing on the Gaza border, where they were awaiting their next orders. Gourarie notes that he was a bit hesitant at first so began by telling them, in Hebrew, that he was from New Jersey.

“When I said that, they started cheering,” says Gourarie. “That I was from out of Israel and had come to support them … that was very special to them.”

While in Israel, the rabbi visited troops on the Gaza border, wrapping tefillin with them and offering words of support.

While in Israel, the rabbi visited troops on the Gaza border, wrapping tefillin with them and offering words of support.

Gourarie knows that his trip made a real impact—maybe not as much on the soldiers, he acknowledges, as on himself.

“The Israeli people are steadfast, as are the soldiers, who at the time were geared to enter Gaza at any time. They didn’t know for sure if they were going, but their eagerness and their mesiras nefesh [self-sacrifice] know no bounds.”

Those wishing to show their solidarity with IDF troops can “Write to an IDF Soldier” and dedicate a mitzvah on their behalf here.

Printouts of letters will be hand-delivered to troops in Israel by staff and volunteers from the Chabad Youth Organization of Israel.

Deaf Montreal Deaf Montreal boy gains hearing


Deaf Montreal Deaf Montreal boy gains hearing after experimental Deaf Montreal boy gains hearing after experimental surgery
Surgical implant in brain stem breaks sound barrier for 3-year-old
CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2014 7:24 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 23, 2014 11:17 PM ET
Surgical implant in brain stem breaks sound barrier for 3-year-old
CBC News Posted: Jul 23, 2014 7:24 PM ET Last Updated: Jul 23, 2014 11:17 PM ET gains hearing after experimental surgery

Israel cabinet weighing next step in Gaza operation

24/07/2014        http://www.bicom.org.uk/news-article/21670/

Israel cabinet weighing next step in Gaza operation

Israel’s security cabinet met late yesterday evening to discuss both the direction of military action in Gaza and diplomatic efforts to bring the violence to an end.

Prior to the meeting, Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Channel Two that the government was telling the IDF to “go, achieve your objectives” in parallel with continuing efforts to move towards a ceasefire. Another security cabinet member, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, said that military action remains focused on destroying the tunnels used to launch attacks on Israel, but could be expanded if rocket fire continues.

The deliberations followed another day of fierce fighting in Gaza, especially in the areas of Khuzaa and the Shejaiya neighbourhood in Gaza City. Israeli forces also battled against Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters who fired automatic and anti-tank weapons from the al-Wafa Hospital, which was also being used as a command and control centre. The IDF had ensured that the hospital’s patients and staff had been already evacuated. On Tuesday, a United Nations agency said that it had found rockets stored in one of its Gaza schools for the second time in a week.

Three Israeli soldiers were killed yesterday after entering a booby-trapped house in Khan Younis. The IDF reported that it had struck 30 strategic targets overnight and that so far since the ground incursion commenced last Thursday, more than 200 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists had been killed. At least 30 tunnels, many storing weapons, have also been uncovered in that time. Meanwhile, 95 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza yesterday, one killing a foreign agricultural worker in southern Israel.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported yesterday that 47 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, with a further 18 killed overnight. In total, more than 700 Palestinians are thought to have been killed during Operation Defensive Edge.

This morning, the American aviation authority lifted its temporary ban on flights to Ben Gurion International Airport, introduced after a rocket landed near the airport on Tuesday.

Philosophers For Hamas!

Philosophers For Hamas!

By Gabriel Noah Brahm

Gianni Vattimo is Italy’s most famous philosopher and a former MEP. This week he announced that he wants to personally kill ‘Zionist bastards’ and thinks Europeans should raise money ‘to buy Hamas some more rockets.’ Fathom contributor Gabriel Brahm asks what it all means in this sharp counterblast.  Back in June, Brahm wrote an acclaimed review for Fathom of a new collection of essays edited by Vattimo, Deconstructing Zionism.




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