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Fayyad Warns: No Tax Money - No More PA


The Palestinian Authority may soon fail financially and cease to exist, its prime minister warned on Thursday. Salam Fayyad warned that if Israel does not resume the transfer of tax revenues it collects for the PA, the entity will collapse economically and thus cease to exist. Already now, Fayyad claimed, the PA cannot pay salaries to its employees.

Israel's Channel 10 News reported that Fayyad made the comments following a meeting with Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre. According to the report, Fayyad said that the collapse of PA institutions "is advancing rapidly toward the point at which they will stop operating."

"We have no money," Fayyad was quoted as having said. "It's not about donations or international assistance we receive," he added, blaming the Israeli decision to freeze the taxes it collects for the PA as being the reason for the impending collapse.

A recent World Bank report, while admitting that the PA is undergoing a financial crisis, said the crisis was primarily due to the lack of donor countries fulfilling their pledges to fork over billions of dollars to Ramallah.

Israeli officials decided to halt the transfer of taxes to the PA as part of a round of sanctions against the entity, following its ascension as a 'full-member state' to UNESCO. Last week, Israel's cabinet voted to maintain the freeze. Israel transfers some $100 million in tax payments to the PA every month.

Foreign Minister Støre reportedly said Fayyad is correct in saying that the PA will soon cease to exist, and compared the Israeli decision to waterboarding, the method of torture used by the United States on security prisoners, when interrogators simulate drowning by pouring water on the head of the prisoner. "This is waterboarding-style torture only that it has to do with the economy."

Sarkozy: My Remarks About Netanyahu 'Taken Out of Context'


French President Nicolas Sarkozy met for lunch on Thursday with leaders of the French Jewish community, and said that his description of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a liar "was taken out of context." The meeting was held at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

Sarkozy made the comment during a private conversation with Obama during a G20 summit in the French Riviera town of Cannes earlier this month and the remarks were overheard by a small number of journalists but not initially reported.

"You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him even more often than you," Obama replied, according to wire service reports.

"I cannot bear Netanyahu, he's a liar," Sarkozy told Obama during a frank exchange where the U.S. president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

"The President reaffirmed his friendship and support for the state of Israel from the very beginning of our conversation," Francis Kalifat, one of the Jewish community leaders, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Kalifat added that Sarkozy also stressed his "strong, long relationship and friendship with Netanyahu and his family," and "expressed his firm desire to move beyond the misunderstanding." Kalifat told JTA that Sarkozy provided a number of explanations for his remarks about Netanyahu, but asked the Jewish leaders not to publicize them.

PA TV Commemorates Arafat: "Death for the Sake of Palestine"


On the recent anniversary of former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat's death, official PA TV produced and broadcast a music video which glorified "death for the sake of Palestine." The video was translated by the Palestinian Media Watch research institution and the translated video was presented on its website.

The song honors Arafat as someone who was "friends with the rifle," who "declared the revolution and continued to fight," "did not tire," and "did not give up on the principles."

The lyrics end with a promise to Arafat to continue his militant path: "We swear at your grave, by Allah, not to forget your name and your oath. We have not abandoned your weapon."

The music video portrays Arafat as the military man he was most of his life, and does not make any mention of Arafat as a peace negotiator and Nobel Peace Prize recipient. The video was broadcast daily for a week on PA TV, which is directly under the control of current PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Official PA TV often honors terrorists who carried out deadly attacks against Israelis. Abbas has been personally involved in these glorifications.

Rabbinate Presents Pork-Flavored Foie Gras


Israel's Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger on Tuesday announced the discovery of a special goose species, which tastes exactly like pork. "We are looking into the possibility of industrial imports of goose," the rabbi said during a culinary conference at the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, tantalizing the taste buds of every kashrut observer in Israel.

No virus database has been updated The move presents a real culinary and halachic revolution, as it offers a solution allowing religious and traditional Jews to discover the taste of pork, which is forbidden according to Jewish dietary laws.

It turns out that farmers in Spain recently decided to breed geese in non-industrialized pasture lands. As opposed to the modern methods, they didn't fatten the geese, but gave them natural food. When the farmers tasted the first chunk of goose liver, they were amazed. "It tastes like pork," they cried out.

They decided to share the sensational discovery with the chosen people, and sent a halachic query to Chief Rabbi Metzger. The latter demanded a second opinion, and asked that the goose liver be sent to three non-Jewish professional chefs in Europe, who are very familiar with the taste of pork. The three chefs confirmed the discovery of a "rare culinary duplicate".

Rabbi Metzger struggled with the problem and finally gave his answer: The meat is completely kosher. His ruling was based on a citation from the Talmud, which states that for every prohibition God imposed on the people of Israel – he created a kosher substitute with the exact same taste.

So how close are we to a pork-flavored Shabbat meal? Metzger tried to lower expectations on Tuesday, saying that the geese were still young and that the import of the mean is still being examined.

"We plan to approve the move and help it happen," the rabbi told Yedioth Ahronoth. "It could serve as an original Jewish solution for consumers of non-kosher meat, who will be receiving a proper substitute. As for religious Jews, I believe they will be disgusted at first, but will eventually get used to it."


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