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The Daily TIP: Another California Imam Accuses Jews of Plot to Take Over Mecca, Medina

Posted by Tip Staff - July 26, 2017

Another California Imam Accuses Jews of Plot to Take Over Mecca, Medina
Expert: Hezbollah’s Control of Lebanese Military Undercuts U.S. Anti-Terror Plans
EU's Top Court Rules That Hamas is a Terrorist Organization
Yeah, Right: Israeli Researchers Develop Program to Detect Sarcasm in Language

Another California Imam Accuses Jews of Plot to Take Over Mecca, Medina

Jews who fled Europe for what is now Israel eventually "will be demanding" the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina, a Muslim imam said in a southern California mosque on Friday.

When Jews emigrated to the Middle East from Europe between the two world wars, “Muslims were opening their homes and saying: Those are our brethren, persecuted by the Christians in Europe," Syrian-born Sheikh Mahmoud Harmoush said at the Islamic Center of Riverside, according to a transcript published by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

A video of the sermon was first uploaded to the YouTube account of the Islamic center, which is where Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the December 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attacks with his wife, worshiped.

Harmoush described Muslims generously taking in Jews, omitting mention of atrocities that were carried out against Jews at the time, including the 1920 Nebi Musa riots, the 1929 Hebron and Safed massacres, and the Arab riots of 1936.

Harmoush continued, "I promise you, it is not only Palestine. If you are going to be like that, most of the Middle East, and even, as I said, Mecca and Medina...”

In an implicit call to violence, Harmoush then urged, "Wake up, it is time to be a Muslim. Prayer is not the only thing."

"Oh Allah, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque and all the Muslim lands from the unjust tyrants and the occupiers," he prayed, "Oh Allah, destroy them, they are no match for You.”

Expert: Hezbollah’s Control of Lebanese Military Undercuts U.S. Anti-Terror Plans

Hezbollah's effective control over Lebanon will undermine President Donald Trump's efforts to counter all terror threats in the Middle East, an expert on Lebanon argued in an analysis published Wednesday in Tablet Magazine.

Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote that Trump's praise for and encouragement of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as a counterforce to Hezbollah is misplaced because Hezbollah controls Lebanon.

During his joint press conference with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Tuesday, President Trump praised Lebanon for its resilience “on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Hizballah.” The President also added that “Hizballah is a menace to the Lebanese state.”

In theory, that sounds good. But as Badran explained, the president’s statement, in reality, was self-contradictory. Hezbollah is not a menace to the Lebanese state. Hezbollah is the Lebanese state, a force in control of central state organs.

Trying to combine an anti-Hezbollah and anti-Iran policy with a strategy that defines cooperation with the Lebanese state and the LAF as a desirable outcome, therefore can only end in failure.

“It doesn’t work, and it only reinforces a pro-Iranian configuration, partly because the previous administration reconfigured its Lebanon policy to be part of its broader regional policy of realignment with Iran,” Badran explained, adding “and partly because Hezbollah controls Lebanon, its strategic orientation, and its security policy and apparatuses. In fact, Hezbollah controls the government of which Hariri is prime minister.”

EU's Top Court Rules That Hamas is a Terrorist Organization

The European Union's top court ruled on Wednesday that Hamas is a terrorist organization, rejecting a 2014 decision by a lower court.

The ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the Gaza-based terror group was unexpected, as Eleanor Sharpston---an advocate general of the court---had argued that the General Court was right to delist Hamas in 2014, The Times of Israel reported. Usually the ECJ follows the advice of its lawyers.

The ECJ found that the General Court's 2014 ruling was based on "an error of law."

"With regard to Hamas, the Court observes that the General Court annulled the continued freezing of funds solely on the ground that the Council had not referred, by way of justification, to national decisions by competent authorities," the ECJ said in a statement. However, the “national decisions” cited by the General Court applied only to the initial listing of a terrorist group on the list, not for keeping it there. Hamas has been on the EU's list of terrorist organizations since it was first created in 2001.

Hamas first appealed its placement on the EU's terrorism list in 2010. When ruling in favor of the Islamist group, the General Court argued that Hamas was placed on the list "not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet."

The decision was immediately appealed by the EU Council, resulting in Wednesday's ruling.

Yeah, Right: Israeli Researchers Develop Program to Detect Sarcasm in Language

Sarcasm is no laughing matter for people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, who have difficulty interpreting subtle irony and humor.

It’s an issue that’s become increasingly important as sarcastic comments abound on social media. A tweet like “The new ‘Fast and Furious’ movie is awesome. #sarcasm” is meant to be read the opposite of how it is written, but for some people, this literary twist is not readily apparent.

Researchers in the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology say they can transform sarcasm into straightforward statements using machine translation and artificial intelligence.

Sarcasm SIGN (for “Sentimental Interpretation GeNerator”) would transform the sarcastic sentence above to read “The new ‘Fast and Furious’ movie is terrible.”

Existing apps get stuck interpreting sarcasm, says Lotam Peled, the industrial engineering and management graduate student who developed Sarcasm SIGN.

Peled, under the guidance of Assistant Prof. Roi Reichart, compiled a database of some 3,000 sarcastic tweets tagged with the #sarcasm hashtag. Five human experts then turned the tweets into non-sarcastic sentiments. (“Best day ever” became “worst day ever,” for example.) The tweet pairings were subsequently fed into the Sarcasm SIGN system, training it to identify words with strong sarcastic sentiments.

A second batch of human judges scored the system’s interpretations for fluency and adequacy. In most cases, the judges said it produced “a semantically and linguistically correct sentence.”

If Sarcasm SIGN becomes available to people with autism and Asperger’s, it could improve communication between people and computers and between social media users.

(via Israeli21c )

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