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Tel Aviv: A Beach-to-Market Food Tour Israeli food is having its global moment, spurring ever more inventive cooking in trendsetting Tel Aviv. Here’s how to find the city’s most exciting restaurants, food stalls—and the king of all pita sandwiches By Raphael Kadushin

When I was 7 my family moved from the Midwest, in the dead of winter, to Israel and everything shifted. Our snow boots gave way to sandals, blizzards turned into salty sea breezes and food that used to arrive wrapped in plastic came alive, in very real ways. On Friday mornings the poultry vendor would chase our Sabbath chicken around the market yard, until we heard the last strangled squawk. The oranges from our neighbor’s tree would spray juice when we halved them, and hummus was always spilling out of pita and running down our bare arms.

We left Israel before I entered high school and returned for short visits in the years that followed. But I hadn’t gone back for an extended visit until last year, around the same time the rest of the world was busy discovering the tastes I remembered. Israeli cuisine is having a huge global moment, from Jerusalem-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s network of Middle-Eastern restaurants in London to Alon Shaya’s Shaya, currently one of the toughest reservations in New Orleans. And all that excitement isn’t just an Israeli export. The Tel Aviv I knew, a relatively quiet, provincial town, has morphed into Israel’s largely secular trendsetter; new restaurants are debuting weekly. “We’re open to the world now,” chef Eytan Vanunu later told me, “in fashion, art, music and, of course, food.”
On this return trip, the proof of that voracious appetite, and Tel Aviv’s ascendance as style maker, were obvious my first day in town. I passed the Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s glossy new contemporary wing, and the warren of boutiques and galleries crowding the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, before my cab deposited me in the hipsterized Florentin district at Halutzim 3, the restaurant Mr. Vanunu runs with his partner, Naama Szterenlicht. Housed in a small renovated warehouse, the bistro is anchored by a recycled wood counter and filled with flea-market-find tables. But if the dining room’s casual design doesn’t suggest the dynamism of Israeli food, the amped-up menu unequivocally does. The parents of Mr. Vanunu and Ms. Szterenlicht variously came to Israel from Argentina, Poland, Germany and Morocco. A decade ago northern European Jewish (Ashkenazi) and southern (Sephardic) recipes would have ended up in different pots. But Mr. Vanunu and Ms. Szterenlicht, representing a new generation of Israeli chefs, bring all those international accents to the freshest local produce and turn out a coherent tumble of flavors. At Halutzim 3, my bowl of black lentils, true to Israel’s abiding vegetarian palate, came tossed with coriander, cured lemon, tomatoes, roasted almonds and goat yogurt. Unabashedly non-kosher, the kitchen also serves a challah loaf stuffed with minced pork and a calamari salad brightened by lime and parsley.

‘When you look at a national cuisine, it’s usually the history of a people. But we come from all over.’

“Israeli cuisine,” Mr. Vanunu told me, as he dished up the lentils, “is a dialogue that starts now. When you look at a national cuisine, it’s usually the history of a people. But we come from all over. The flavors on your plate aren’t just Naama and my own personal heritage. They also blend in lots of other strands of Israeli culture—Palestinian, Lebanese, Russian, Tunisian, Turkish, Algerian, Romanian, Bulgarian.” Add the growing number of French and Iraqi immigrants and Tel Aviv’s border-hopping food, taking shape before our eyes, is driven by an exuberant flavor profile that won’t be confined by any rigid tradition.

The lesson got reinforced that night when I dined at Yaffo Tel Aviv, an industrial-cool restaurant sitting at the base of downtown’s sleek Electra Tower. The standout hybrid dishes included a puffy focaccia that read more like pita, and an Italo-Israeli gnocchi with shavings of local goat cheese, for a taste of Tel Aviv on the Tiber.

The next morning, though, the very idea of another restaurant seemed claustrophobic. In a city where the sun rarely dives behind clouds, nobody stays inside too long, and Tel Aviv’s dense network of markets and street vendors do a brisk business. The choices are legion. Determined to recover a nostalgic taste of my childhood, I started just down the block from Halutzim 3 at the Levinksy Market, where the fruit stalls displayed pyramids of pomegranates and the market’s long-running Yom Tov Deli was selling cream cheese-stuffed hibiscus flowers in a dollhouse-sized storefront. “What’s good?” I stupidly asked the sale clerk. “Everything,” he said, with a classic Tel Aviv shrug, as I popped a rice-filled grape leaf in mouth, “We’re a deli.

After Islamic State, Fears of a ‘Shiite Crescent’ in Mideast Sunni Arab countries could face a potentially more dangerous challenge if Iranian allies establish a land corridor from Tehran to Beirut By Yaroslav Trofimov

From the point of view of Sunni Arab regimes anxious about Iran’s regional ambitions, Islamic State—as repellent as it is—provides a silver lining. The extremist group’s firewall blocks territorial contiguity between Iran and its Arab proxies in Syria and Lebanon.

This means that now, as Islamic State is losing more and more land to Iranian allies, these Sunni countries—particularly Saudi Arabia—face a potentially more dangerous challenge: a land corridor from Tehran to Beirut that would reinforce a more capable and no less implacable enemy.

Pro-Iranian Shiite militias such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraq’s Badr and Asaib Ahl al-Haq are filling the void left by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and they are much better equipped and trained than the Sunni extremist group. They are also just as hostile to the Saudi regime, openly talking about dismantling the kingdom and freeing Islam’s holy places from the House of Saud.

That rhetoric only intensified after January’s breakup in diplomatic ties between Riyadh and Tehran.

Many Western officials see these Shiite militias—which currently refrain from attacking Western targets—as an undoubtedly preferable alternative to Islamic State’s murderous rule, and some of the groups operating in Iraq indirectly coordinate with U.S. air power. But that isn’t how those militias are viewed in Riyadh and other Gulf capitals.

Abuses committed by Iranian proxies in Sunni areas are just as bad as those of Islamic State, argued Prince Turki al-Faisal, the former head of Saudi intelligence and a nephew of the current king.

“They are equally threatening, and one feeds off the other,” Prince Turki said in an interview. “Both of them are equally vicious, equally treacherous, and equally destructive.”

The West, he added, fundamentally misunderstood Iranian intentions in the region. “It’s wishful thinking that, if we try to embrace them, they may tango with us. That’s an illusion,” he said.

Fears over a “Shiite crescent” of Iranian influence in the Middle East aren’t new. They were first aired by Jordan’s King Abdullah a year after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq brought pro-Iranian politicians to power in Baghdad.

In the following years, the huge U.S. military presence in Iraq and the Sunni insurgency there kept Iranian power in check. Then, just as the U.S. withdrawal and the taming of the insurgency seemed to herald a new era of Iranian prominence in the region, the 2011 upheaval of the Arab Spring unleashed the Syrian civil war.

The dramatic rise of Islamic State that followed created a Britain-sized Sunni statelet in Syria and Iraq—and severed all land communications in the middle of that “Shiite crescent.”

“Prior to 2011, Iran already had overwhelming influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. So Iran has not significantly expanded its influence in the region, but rather it has been forced to provide military protection to pivotal allies it risked losing,” said Ali Vaez, Iran expert at the International Crisis Group. “If this has caused panic in Riyadh, it’s mainly because the Arab world is in a state of disarray.” CONTINUE AT SITE

Chess Players Forced to Compete in Hijabs At World Championship in Iran By Kieran Corcoran see note please

Female chess grandmasters will be forced to wear hijabs at the world chess championship in Iran next year.


Women hoping to prove themselves the best player in the world have been told to respect “cultural differences” and cover up at the Islamic theocracy was named the host nation.
Players threatened to boycott the event in response and attacked the sport’s governing body for kowtowing to the demands of Iran’s religious police.Visitors to Iran face fines and even arrest if they appear in public with their hair on show.

France’s New Sharia Police by Yves Mamou

Are French institutions sacrificing one freedom for another? Is equality between men and women being sacrificed to freedom of religion (Islam) to impose its diktats on French society?

If someone still does not realize that the Islamic dress code is the Trojan horse of Islamist jihad, he will learn it fast.

For years, “big brothers” have been obliging their mothers and sisters to wear a veil when they go out. Now that this job is done, they have begun to fight non-Muslim women who wear shorts and skirts — no longer just in the sensitive Muslim “no-go zones” of the suburbs, where women no longer dare to wear skirts — but now also in the heart of big cities.

“The law guarantees women, in all fields, same equal rights as men.”

What people do not seem to know is that in the heart of Paris, a Muslim man can insult a woman for drinking a cola in the street and is served in stores first, before women.

Many people evidently still do not know that Islam is a religion and a political movement at war with the West — and openly intent on subjugating the West. It must be responded to as such. The problem is, every time it is responded to as such, Muslim extremists run for cover under the claim of freedom of religion.

It is crucial for Western societies to start making a distinction between freedom of speech and incitement to violence, and to begin seriously penalizing attacks on innocents, as well as calls to attack innocents.

The Council of State, the highest administrative court in France, decided that, to allow freedom of religion, the burkini must not be banned. At first the ruling looked sound: why should people not be able to wear what they wish when they wish? What is not visible, however, is that the harm comes later.

Clinton’s undebatable Iran message: Ruthie Blum

During the first U.S. presidential debate on Monday night, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton articulated her party’s positions clearly, while defending the Obama administration’s policies that she helped forge and implement.

One topic absent from the verbal boxing match between Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump was Israel. This may or may not have been intentional on the part of moderator Lester Holt, who asked a general question about American security. Whether the candidates purposely avoided the subject is also unclear.

But what Clinton said about the Islamic Republic of Iran was plain as day.

She claimed that when she was secretary of state, Iran was on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons. To confront this threat, she boasted, she was instrumental in imposing the sanctions that “brought” the ayatollahs to the negotiating table. Finally, she asserted, America achieved a deal that “put the lid” on Iran’s nuclear program. Such, she crowed, is the stuff that “diplomacy” and “coalition-building” are made of.

This echoed what she is reported to have told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday in New York City, where the two met in the aftermath of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly. According to a statement released by her office after the tete-a-tete, Clinton said she would “enforce” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear agreement signed in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 powers led by the United States.

She failed to mention that the JCPOA is not worth the paper on which it was written; that secret addenda provide loopholes for Iranian military operations; that billions of dollars in cash and gold were transferred clandestinely to Tehran in exchange for the release of American hostages, among other things; and that Iran has already violated several clauses that do appear in the document.

Which brings us to Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, the key negotiator of the disastrous deal.

Kerry, who kept his mouth shut while his counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, shouted at him during every summit, has no problem whatsoever berating the Jewish state.

As Haaretz reported on Sunday, at a meeting last week of nations that fund the Palestinian Authority, Kerry chastised Israel.

“How does increasing the number of settlers indicate an attempt to create a Palestinian state?” he was quoted as saying. “The status quo is not sustainable. So either we mean it and we act on it, or we should shut up. … The consequences of the current trends reverberate far beyond the immediate damage the destruction and displacement may cause. What’s happening today destroys hope. It empowers extremists.”

Lisa Daftari:ISIS-linked group promoting ‘lone jihadi’ tutorials on the dark web

A pro-Islamic State hacking group operating on the dark web has called on Muslims in the U.S. and Europe to launch attacks in their own countries.

The ‘cyber Kahilafah’ group issued a message addressing so-called ‘lone wolves’ operating in “Europe, America and Gulf States involved in the coalition fighting the Islamic State.”

“We invite you to train for combat and learn how to build and detonate improvised explosives” a chilling message on the front page of a new Zeronet portal observed by The Foreign Desk said.

“If you cannot migrate from the land of the infidels to the Caliphate, then carrying out jihad in your own country will also be a victory for the Islamic State and all Muslims,” the message read.

The website appeared on the ZeroNet network, a serverless peer-to-peer group of websites that rely on bitcoin cryptography and the BitTorrent network. These websites, though encrypted, making simple detection challenging for authorities, are accessible via a regular web browser.

According to analysts there is presently no way to take down a ZeroNet webpage that still has seeders.

Links on the ZeroNet page refer the user to an archive of PDF and video tutorials on bomb making, hacking tools and jihad guides hosted on the anonymous TOR network and a separate ZeroNet page provides a secure email address for further contact.

The message for attacks in the West echoes the sentiments of a speech given by Islamic State leader Muhammad Al Adnani in May in which he declared that “if the tyrants have shut the doors of hijra [immigration to ISIS territories] in your face, then open the gate of jihad in their faces and make them regret their action. The smallest bit of work that you can carry out in their countries is far better and beloved to us than any major work [i.e. operations] here.”


So Obama let Syria burn. He let Iran and Hezbollah transform the country into their colony. And he let Putin transform the Mediterranean into a Russian lake.A new Syria is emerging. And with it, a new Middle East and world are presenting themselves. Our new world is not a peaceful or stable one. It is a harsh place.

The new Syria is being born in the rubble of Aleppo.The eastern side of the city, which has been under the control of US-supported rebel groups since 2012, is being bombed into the Stone Age by Russian and Syrian aircraft.

All avenues of escape have been blocked. A UN aid convoy was bombed in violation of a fantasy cease-fire.

Medical facilities and personnel are being targeted by Russia and Syrian missiles and barrel bombs to make survival impossible.

It is hard to assess how long the siege of eastern Aleppo by Russia, its Iranian and Hezbollah partners and its Syrian regime puppet will last. But what is an all but foregone conclusion now is that eastern Aleppo will fall. And with its fall, the Russian-Iranian-Hezbollah-Assad axis will consolidate its control over all of western Syria.

For four years, the Iranians, Hezbollah and Bashar Assad played a cat and mouse game with the rebel militias.

Fighting a guerrilla war with the help of the Sunni population, the anti-regime militias were able to fight from and hide from within the civilian population. Consequently, they were all but impossible to defeat.

When Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to join the fight, he and his generals soon recognized that this manner of fighting ensured perpetual war. So they changed tactics. The new strategy involves speeding up the depopulation and ethnic cleansing of rebel-held areas. The massive refugee flows from Syria over the past year are a testament to the success of the barbaric war plan. The idea is to defeat the rebel forces by to destroying the sheltering civilian populations.

Since the Syrian war began some five years ago, half of the pre-war population of 23 million has been displaced.

Sunnis, who before the war comprised 75% of the population, are being targeted for death and exile. More than 4 million predominantly Sunni Syrians are living in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. More than a million have entered Europe. Millions more have been internally displaced. Assad has made clear that they will never be coming home.

James Allan: The Creeping Reach of International Law

Just who asked top judges to inflate the role and authority of rights-related international law? Parliamentarians and those in favour of legislative last-word decision-making need to make clear their unease with this ever-broadening presumption to interpret, expand and impose.
If national democracy is to be maintained in any recognisable form within self-sustaining states, the power and claims of international rule-making will have to decline. —Harry Gelber, Quadrant, October 2015

… since the end of the Cold War the notion of global governance has emerged as an intellectual orthodoxy with powerful support in the academy, the media, the law, the foreign policy establishment, the corporate world, and the bureaucracies that serve international institutions and non-governmental associations.

Global governance is a reversal of our existing political arrangements. It aims to take power from democratically elected parliaments and vest it in courts, NGOs and transnational bodies. Voters would increasingly find their representatives beholden to international treaties, international legal conventions and precedents, transnational bureaucrats and lawyers. Government policy would be decided less by open debate in the national media and more in the comparatively closed world of international conferences, academic seminars, consultant reports, learned journals and legal judgments. —Keith Windschuttle, Quadrant, May 2012

The expanding reach of a fuzzy sort of rights-related international law is enervating democracy in long-established democracies such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. And the courts are playing a significant role in advancing this agenda of global governance, or creeping international legal rule. We should be more sceptical about international law when it deals with human rights, considerably more so than when it deals with more traditional subject matter (such as international trade law and the law of diplomatic immunity).

It is worth beginning by recalling just what the sources of international law are and how this sort of law is made. In a long-established democracy such as Australia or New Zealand or Britain it is also worth considering whether international law or domestic law is likely to be the one that gets things right and lays down the preferable course of action when the two conflict or are in some way inconsistent.

There are two sources or types of international law. The first is treaties (sometimes called conventions). This is what most people, including most lawyers, think of when one talks of international law. Now focus for a moment on rights-related treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) or the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) or any of the various other rights-related treaties. All treaties are entered into under the prerogative power which is exercised by the executive branch of government. Accordingly, even with some newish modifications that give the legislature a tiny bit of say in some Westminster countries, the democratic input into treaties is far less than it is into statutes.

That is true of all treaties. But as we are focused on rights-related treaties, notice that these treaties are framed in vague and amorphous terms (just compare either of the above rights-related conventions to a trade-related treaty such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This makes sense in a world in which a Britain or a Canada is seeking to encourage a Sudan or a China or a Zimbabwe to enter into a treaty about standards of treatment for children or women or the disabled. There needs to be room to finesse disagreement between countries with such different histories and standards of treating their own citizens, and that is precisely what the language of these rights-related treaties and conventions delivers—scope not only for disagreement over meaning between countries that exist in such different moral galaxies but, as a result, also scope for reasonable disagreement between people living in a long-established democracy as to what the provisions mean and require.

If such rights-related treaties went into the sort of prescriptive detail one finds in, say, a trade-related treaty, then the chances of any rights-related treaty ever coming into existence would be slight. So room has been left in rights-related treaties for countries to manoeuvre around disagreements, and this is achieved through open-textured provisions that leave it to future interpreters to add detail and specifics at the point of application—at the further cost of democratic input and legitimacy when this interpreting is done. And if the interpretive approach adopted proves to be of an expansionist, “living tree” type, divorced from the original intentions of the drafters, then the problem of lack of democratic input will be further magnified—possibly substantially so. Put simply, if you believe that democratic input tends to make laws better, on average, over time, then you are likely to think that the domestic law of an Anglosphere country is better than any rights-related international treaty or convention when the two conflict or are inconsistent. (You can hold this belief while also believing that it will not be true as regards the world’s authoritarian regimes. In their cases, international law is better. And you can hold all of the above to be true and also accept that the world’s United Kingdoms and Australias care deeply about the content of rights-related treaties.)

Put bluntly, the domestic law of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and other such long-established democracies is democratically better and in practice more rights-respecting than is rights-related international law, a claim that seems to me to be as patently true as it is unlikely to be heard in polite company. For me, democracy is to be understood in procedural terms. Count us all as equal and give everyone a more or less equal say over contested social issues, including rights-related ones. On that procedural understanding of democracy, the domestic laws of the world’s Britains and New Zealands and Australias clearly score higher than any rights-related international laws.

Let’s Lock The Door To Islam by Geert Wilders

Yesterday, I visited Maassluis. It is a town near Rotterdam, where the indigenous Dutch inhabitants have become the victims of immigrant youths of Moroccan descent.

Cars have been demolished, houses vandalized, people threatened. The Dutch no longer feel free and safe in their own city. When the local radio station interviewed some of the victims and referred to the perpetrators as Moroccans, it received an anonymous letter: “You are racists! Your time will come! I won’t take care of it because I am too old. But our boys are the new soldiers.”

Maassluis. It is just one of the many Dutch towns and neighborhoods terrorized by Moroccan or Turkish youth gangs. Others are Schilderswijk, Oosterwei, Kanaleneiland, Zaandam, Helmond. Not surprisingly, a poll shows that 43% of the Dutch people want fewer Moroccan immigrants in our country. These people are not racists; they are decent people, patriots who love their country and do not want to lose it.

The great Ronald Reagan once said that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” These wise words are more true today than ever before. We are the free men and women of the West.

Freedom is our birthright. But if we fail to defend it, we are bound to lose it. And, sadly, that is exactly what is happening today.

2016’s Black Summer of Jihad, with terror attacks all over the free world, teaches us that the enemies of freedom are already among us. The ruling elites all over the Western world have accepted millions of people into our countries without demanding that they assimilate.

Lejla Colak Video: What My Experience With Islam Tells Me About “Islamophobia”.