Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Palestinian elections postponed, highlighting Fatah-Hamas rift

Posted by Tip Staff - September 08, 2016


A Palestinian high court ruled Thursday that the much-awaited municipal elections originally scheduled for October 8 would be postponed until at least December 21. Disputes between Hamas and Fatah over candidate eligibility, as well as questions over voter participation in Jerusalem, led to the breakdown. Trouble had been brewing for quite some time, with both main Palestinian parties accusing each other of trying to sabotage the vote. Even journalists who reported unfavorably on one faction or another have been targeted.“This is a political decision,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said of the ruling made in a court in Ramallah, where Fatah is in power. “We reject the decision to cancel the election and call on everyone to reject it.” Hamas, which boycotted the last West Bank elections in 2012, was a heavy favorite and expected to make great gains.
At stake were 3,818 seats on 416 municipal councils in cities and villages across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This is the first election in which both parties are participating since 2006, which Hamas won overwhelmingly. A brutal civil war ensued the next year, leaving 161 Palestinians killed and more than 700 wounded, which led to Hamas’ complete control over the Gaza Strip.


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas worked as a KGB agent in Syria during the 1980s, Israel’s Channel 1 reported, citing a newly uncovered Soviet-era archive document.The document reportedly shows that Abbas worked in 1983 for Damascus’ KGB station chief, Mikhail Bogdanov, who is currently a top Russian diplomat in the Middle East. Earlier this week, Bogdanov unsuccessfully attempted to arrange a meeting between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow to discuss peace negotiations.
It is not certain if Abbas, who received a doctorate from Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow, served as a KGB agent either before or after his time in Damascus.
Abbas’ alleged role was uncovered by researchers Isabela Ginor and Gideon Remez, who found a reference to Abbas (code-named Krotov or “mole”) in the papers of famed KGB defector Vasily Mitrokhin. The authenticity of the document was confirmed by University of Cambridge’s Churchill Archives Centre.
In response, Fatah official Nabil Shaath asserted that Abbas was not an “agent of the KGB or any other intelligence agency.” Shaath claimed that the report was an excuse for Netanyahu to avoid the Moscow meeting with Abbas.
In How Holocaust Denial Shaped Mahmoud Abbas’ Worldview, which was published in the May 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Edy Cohen wrote that while studying in Moscow, Abbas absorbed “Soviet anti-Jewish propaganda” and incorporated it into his PhD thesis, which questioned historical details of the Holocaust.
This anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial comes from the top. Although it is either unknown or denied in the West, PA President Mahmoud Abbas is profoundly fascinated by Nazi propaganda and has employed it in his own writings, particularly in his doctoral dissertation on the subject of the Holocaust, “The Other Face: The Secret Connections Between Nazism and the Leadership of the Zionist Movement,” which he wrote in Moscow in 1982. Two years later, Abbas published a book based on his dissertation. It is written in Arabic and, tellingly, has never been translated into any other language.
There is a reason for this: The book is inspired by and based on the work of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust. While he was a fugitive in Argentina, Eichmann formulated and disseminated Nazi propaganda according to which the Holocaust was a Jewish-Nazi conspiracy that sacrificed Jewish lives in order to create a Jewish state in Palestine. In his book, Abbas adopts this worldview wholesale….

German para-cycling champion Denise Schindler is creating a buzz at the Paralympic Games in Rio because she is the first Paralympic cyclist to compete with a 3D-printed prosthetic leg. Her artificial limb — created by the US software company, Autodesk, with a heaping spoonful of Israeli R+D — is lightweight, has a sleek design and costs a fraction of other sports prostheses on the market. “This is an excellent example to the way in which technology and innovative tools change the way in which we make things,” Eitan Tzarfati, the head of Autodesk’s Israel R&D center in Tel Aviv, told The Jerusalem Post. “In using generative design powered by algorithms we are at the beginning of a revolution in design and manufacturing. Human designers cooperate with powerful computers and advanced software in dealing with design limits.” Autodesk opened its first development center in Tel Aviv in 2009. The center develops technology in the fields of 2D and 3D design, as well as for web, mobile and cloud computing platforms.


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