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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: Liberals have a special obligation to condemn bigotry of the Left
Famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that liberals had a special obligation to condemn bigotry on the left side of the political spectrum, just as President Trump did for those on the right who claim to speak on his behalf.
"I don't want to make moral equivalence," Dershowitz told AM 970's John Catsimatidis, responding to a question about the Charlottesville violence and the ensuing national conversation around race relations and Confederate monuments. "But having said that, that doesn't give a pass to the people on the hard left, who are themselves engaged in violence and also some bigotry of their own."
He continued, saying Confederate statues needed to be put in context -- for example, in a museum -- rather than simply being destroyed.
Turning to the Russian probe, Dershowitz said that special counsel Robert Mueller was endangering democracy because the investigation could criminalize politics.
"The idea of trying to create crimes just because we disagree with (President Trump) politically and target him really endangers democracy," Dershowitz said. "We should only be using the criminal justice system against obvious crimes, crimes that are not stretched and manufactured to fit a particular person."
2016: Black Lives Matter blindsides Jewish supporters with anti-Israel platform
The Black Lives Matter movement blindsided its Jewish supporters with the recent unveiling of its social and political policy agenda, a far-left manifesto that strays well beyond police brutality and accuses Israel of “genocide” and “apartheid.”
“The U.S. justifies and advances the global war on terror via its alliance with Israel and is complicit in the genocide taking place against the Palestinian people,” said the platform’s “Invest-Divest” policy brief.
Through foreign aid to Israel, which the platform describes as an “apartheid state,” Americans are made “complicit in the abuses committed by the Israeli government,” the brief says.
The strong anti-Israel language stunned liberal Jews, many of whom have expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement’s protests against shootings by police of unarmed black men.
“It is a real tragedy that Black Lives Matter — which has done so much good in raising awareness of police abuses — has now moved away from its central mission and has declared war against the nation state of the Jewish people,” said Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz in a Friday column in The Boston Globe.
He called on the Movement for Black Lives coalition to rescind the anti-Israel component of the platform, issued Aug. 1 and backed by 67 groups, including Color of Change, which is funded by top Democratic Party donors George Soros and the Center for American Progress.

Shmuley Boteach: President Trump, where is your ‘fire and fury’ when it comes to Nazis?
After withering and justified criticism for calling some of the protesters at a neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville “some very fine people,” US President Donald Trump has a unique opportunity to re-establish his moral credibility as a leader through an eloquent condemnation of racism, neo-Nazism and white supremacy. He should devote an entire address to a complete and utter condemnation of racism and bigotry and reaffirm the American and biblical proclamation of all people being created equally in the image of God. It is in this spirit that I suggest the following:
My fellow Americans.
Last weekend we witnessed one of the truly shameful episodes in modern American history. A group of white nationalists and racists tried to emulate Hitler’s torchlight parade of January 1933 upon becoming chancellor of Germany, right here in America. The torchlight parade of Hitler’s followers and SS marked the beginning of the darkest period in the history of humankind.
That any American group would seek to copy that procession to make a political statement demonstrates that hatred and bigotry continue to flourish not just far away in Europe but here in the United States. But events only cascaded from there, with the demonstrations turning violent and an innocent and courageous woman, Heather Heyer, who had a reputation for fighting injustice, losing her life when a hate-filled racist assailant rammed his car into a crowd of counter-demonstrators.
I am the first American president to have Jewish children. My daughter Ivanka was not born Jewish. Rather, she chose to become a Jew. This was a decision that I supported fully and although I am not Jewish myself I put on a kosher Jewish wedding for her and her husband who is now my senior adviser in the White House. Since then, I have watched my Jewish grandchildren celebrating Hanukka and Passover and I have personally witnessed the richness of Jewish life. Millions of parents were robbed of the opportunity to watch children grow up and millions of children were denied the opportunity to be hugged and loved by parents because of the white supremacist cancer known as Nazism that was allowed to grow unchecked in Europe.
Let me be clear: I will never allow bigotry of any kind to flourish in the United States.

'They're turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe'
Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the famed Nazi-hunter and Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, warned that a rising tide of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe is being largely ignored, even as white supremacist rallies in the West draw extensive coverage.
“The neo-Nazi demonstrations in the US definitely raise the level of fear among blacks and Jews, but practically speaking, they [American neo-Nazis] do not pose a threat, statistically speaking. Of course it is horrible to see swastika flags, but that’s a problem in the world’s biggest democracy, which has freedom of speech.”
“In smaller countries, however, like Lithuania or Latvia, the government’s ability to act against [neo-Nazis] is limited, and [in Eastern Europe] there is really a serious threat to the Jewish community.”
Even Israeli leaders, Zuroff said, seem to show disproportionate focus on demonstrations by white supremacists in the West, while all but ignoring the far more dangerous growth of neo-Nazism in Eastern Europe.
“It seems that these [Israeli] politicians who were quick to speak with the media in response to what happened in [Charlottesville] perhaps did so in order to get themselves a headline; but I would really expect them to respond to similar incidents that have already happened in Eastern European countries, yet in those cases there is Israeli silence.”
Trump official once called defender of Holocaust deniers a ‘national treasure’
The person US President Donald Trump chose to lead federal family-planning programs once referred to a defender of Holocaust deniers as a “national treasure.”
Teresa Manning, Trump’s pick for deputy assistant secretary for population affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services is known for her history as a fierce anti-abortion activist and former lobbyist with the National Right to Life Committee.
She also has a history defending and praising Joe Sobran, a former columnist and editor for the conservative magazine National Review until its then editor William Buckley fired him for writings he considered “contextually anti-Semitic.”
Mother Jones was first to report Manning’s history with Sobran, who died in 2010.
During a January 2003 event promoting her book “Back to The Drawing Board: The Future of the Pro-Life Movement,” Manning introduced Sobran, who was a speaker, and said of him: “He has been called ‘the finest columnist of his generation’ as well as a national treasure.’ I wholeheartedly agree with both statements.”
In fact, it was Pat Buchanan, who himself has doubted the death toll of the Holocaust and who the Anti-Defamation League has called “an unrepentant bigot,” who was responsible for the former quote.
Additionally, Sobran had in the past blamed US policies, particularly regarding its anti-terrorism measures after the September 11 attacks, as being “dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United States.”
“What began as a war on terror is morphing into a war to crush Israel’s enemies. And naturally so,” he said. “The 9/11 attacks would never have occurred except for the US Government’s Middle East policies, which are pretty much dictated by the Jewish-Zionist powers that be in the United Staes. The Zionists boast privately of their power, but they don’t want the gentiles talking about it. Readers of Orwell will recognize the principle of Doublethink.”
Manning did not respond to a request for comment.
Report: Argentina Finds Veterinary Drug in Blood of Prosecutor Shot Dead amid Iran Probe
The Argentine newspaper Clarín revealed Friday that investigators had found a bizarre drug cocktail of the tranquilizers clonazepam and ketamine in the blood of Alberto Nisman, a top prosecutor found shot dead the night before testifying to Iranian meddling in Argentina’s government.
Nisman was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head on January 18, 2015, in his apartment, the night before he was to testify to Congress that his research suggested that then-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner agreed to help the Iranian authors of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA) evade justice in exchange for favorable oil prices from that country. The AMIA bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack in the Western Hemisphere before September 11, 2001, killing 85 people.
Kirchner’s legal team initially ruled the death a suicide. President Mauricio Macri launched a new investigation, using a new legal team, following his succession of Kirchner that has found evidence Nisman’s death was a homicide.
Clarín reported last week that the new toxicology findings suggest that Nisman had either tried to use a nearly unprecedented mix of drugs—clonazepam is a tranquilizer typically prescribed to help with anxiety, while ketamine is a veterinary anesthetic sometimes illicitly used by humans for recreation—recreationally and killed himself, or someone drugged Nisman in order to kill him without a struggle. While initial toxicology tests had found the clonazepam, commonly prescribed enough to not raise suspicions, the discovery of ketamine creates many new legal questions.
FLASHBACK – Cloudflare Refused to Ban ISIS Sites: 'It's Not Right For Us' to Censor, We Don't Tolerate 'Mob Rule'
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said that he “woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the internet” following his company’s decision to terminate service for neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer last week.
However, in 2015, Prince defended himself after facing pressure to rescind service to ISIS-affiliated sites.
“Individuals have decided that there is content they disagree with but the right way to deal with this is to follow the established law enforcement procedures,” Prince proclaimed after a hacking collective provided Cloudflare with a list of ISIS-related websites. “There is no society on Earth that tolerates mob rule because the mob is fickle.”
“We’re the plumbers of the internet… We make the pipes work but it’s not right for us to inspect what is or isn’t going through the pipes,” he continued. “If companies like ours or ISPs (internet service providers) start censoring there would be an uproar. It would lead us down a path of internet censors and controls akin to a country like China.”
According to the IB Times, Google and GoDaddy were also revealed to be providing service to pro-ISIS websites in 2015.
Reem’s Oakland bakery seeks Ct order halting protests over terrorist mural
Based on Prof. Elman’s prior reporting, it appears that the allegations of harassment and threats from Lumish and the others holding vigil will be contested. It is significant that the Court already found that the allegations were insufficient for an ex parte TRO.
Faith Meltzer, one of the protestors, pushed back against the narrative that the bakery is being protested because Assil is Palestinian-American, or that the protesters have been violent. Meltzer wrote in Berkleyside, The vigils at Reem’s Bakery are not about Israelis vs Palestinians, but about a symbol offensive to many:
I’ve participated in several vigils at Reem’s Bakery in Oakland, and would like to take this opportunity to clear up some inaccuracies in Carol Sanders’ August 11 opinion piece.
The vigils at Reem’s Bakery in Oakland are not about Israelis vs. Palestinians. They are not about Jews vs. Muslims, or even about the left vs. the right….
Rolling vigils have been held at Reem’s for several weeks, protesting a mural that features a convicted terrorist, Rasmea Odeh…. Two young men, Leon Kanner and Edward Joffee, were killed and nine others injured in the attacks….
Participants in the vigils at Reem’s include animal justice advocates, a local labor leader, LGBTQ activists and a former Bernie Sanders delegate, hardly the “right wing” brigade described by Sanders in her op-ed.
At the July 8 vigil a wheelchair bound participant and a 78-year-old survivor of the Warsaw ghetto were viciously attacked by patrons and employees of Reem’s. They were not “blocking the entrances.” They were standing silently with signs that stated, “Honor the Victims. Not their Killer.” Police reports were filed. This incident was documented in the local Jewish paper, The J Weekly, and by photos and videos taken by bystanders at the scene. The attackers strutted around with the signs they ripped out of people’s hands.
Reem’s has repeatedly used the Oakland Police Department to silence the voices of those in peaceful protest. At the August 8 vigil, two squad cars and four police officers were dispatched to deal with seven protesters in an effort to deprive them not only of their right to free assembly, but their right to free expression….

The case also raises serious constitutional and free speech issues, as the bakery owner seeks to punish protest, to halt or move continued protest, and a prior restraint of speech.
We will continue to follow the case.
Deconstructing a fake "Friend of Palestine"
In an online op-ed for the Adelaide Advertiser on Friday 11 August, AIJAC guest Dr Eran Lerman congratulated the South Australian Legislative Council for rightly calling for a negotiated outcome between Israel and the Palestinian Authority prior to a Palestinian state being recognised.
Presumably in response to this, Australian Friends of Palestine Association executive officer Mike Khizam had his own piece published on the Advertiser's website on Monday 14 August.
While Dr Lerman used nuance and reason to make his point, Khizam relied on anti-Israel canards, missing context and blatant mistruths to press his own misinformed views.
There is much wrong with the piece, but I will focus on a few key issues:
BDS camapigners show their colours
Last Sunday afternoon, the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) and the United Israel Appeal (UIA) held a public event at a local Jewish School hall
Rabbi Shalom White, from Perth's Chabad congregation, attended the AIJAC/UIA event, together with his children.
As they approached the venue and saw about ten protesters at a Boycott ("BDS") rally, chanting “free, free Palestine…” and holding placards reading “Palestine will be free, from the river to the sea”. They stopped to take a selfie with the rally as background.
When the Rabbi and his children arrived at the entrance to the venue, with the BDS rally on the opposite side of the street, the BDS rallyists shouted “Shame on you: child murderers!”
The Rabbi responded: “My children go to this school. They must be protected by these same guards you see here, because of the possibility of a terrorist attack targeting Jewish children. Are their lives worth less than Arab children’s lives?”
BDS rally: “YES! You brought it on yourselves…”
Rabbi White: “Are you saying that my child's life is not worth anything?”
BDS: “Shame on you, child murderers!”
Switzerland stops funds to Palestinian NGO due to terrorism connection
The Swiss foreign ministry announced that it suspended funds and support for the Ramallah-based Palestininian NGO Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat because the organization failed to slash ties to terrorism, according to a Sunday report from the paper SonntagsZeitung.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the president of the Jerusalem-based NGO-Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday, "This is an important first step in NGO funding accountability by the Swiss Foreign Ministry, and reflects the recent legislation on this issue. In halting payment to WATC [Women Affairs Technical Committee] , the Swiss follow similar moves by Denmark and Holland. The radical Palestinian NGO is one of many funded by these countries through the Ramallah-based Human Rights Secretariat, with an annual budget of $4 million."
He added, "A number of the recipients are affiliated with the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terror organization. Having now frozen WATC funding, the question is whether the Swiss Federal Government will seriously re-examine participation in the very problematic Secretariat mechanism, and in other frameworks that misuse tax money under the facade of human rights and peace. "
The Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat provides funds to the WATC, which named a youth center after a Palestinian terrorist. Critics of the Human Rights International Humanitarian Law Secretariat say it glorifies Palestinian terrorism.
Despite Zionist Presence, Israel Bashing Upstages Women’s Rights at SlutWalk Chicago
Last weekend, approximately 150 progressive activists attended the annual SlutWalk Chicago. Billed as a rally in support of women and to end “sexual violence and the social codes of shame, silence, and blame,” the event at times seemed more like an anti-Israel rally, with women’s rights serving as a mere opening act.
Controversy surrounding SlutWalk Chicago began long before the first speaker grabbed the megaphone.
In June, three Jewish women were ejected from the Chicago Dyke March for carrying LGBTQ Pride flags featuring a Star of David. Organizers declared the Dyke March to be an anti-Zionist event, and removed the Jewish activists even though they did not display anything advocating for Israel. In solidarity with the Dyke March decision, SlutWalk Chicago originally banned the Star of David from their event. They later reversed that decision, stating: “Bring symbols of your respective faiths, if that is what you choose to do. Bring symbols of resistance, but leave symbols of nationalism and oppression at home.”
According to attorney Amanda Berman, Jews and supporters of Israel have found themselves unwelcome in some elements of the progressive movement.
“In the progressive Jewish community, it’s been very difficult to participate in progressive activism as a proud Jew and proud Zionist. We’ve been unwelcome for quite some time,” Berman told the Haym Salomon Center. “This year has been especially challenging, considering the Women’s March, support for BDS and this notion that Zionists can’t be feminists and Zionists can’t be progressive. Meanwhile, we are excluded based on our innate characteristics.”
‘Resistance Journalism’ Doesn’t Deserve Press Credentials
The Government Press Office held a hearing for Al Jazeera’s Israeli-Arab reporter Elias Karram.
The GPO revoked Karram’s press credentials last week after an interview surfaced in which the Al Jazeera Jerusalem bureau chief said that journalists like himself sided with the Palestinians as part of their “resistance” to Israel. The hearing was essentially about whether to reinstate his accreditation.
Karam said in an interview to the Muslim Brotherhood television channel Dar Al-Iman in May 2016 that “as a Palestinian journalist who is in an occupied area or a conflict area, journalistic work is an integral part of the resistance and of political and educational action.
“A journalist fulfills his role in the resistance through his pen, voice or camera, because he is part of this nation and is resisting in his unique way,” he added.

At Monday’s hearing, Karram told the GPO that “the resistance he spoke about was not a violent one, adding that he denounces the use of violence.”
LA Times Op-Ed: Israel the “Occupying Power” in Gaza
There is no dispute over the hardships that Gazans are enduring as a result of chronic electricity outages. It is difficult not to feel sympathy with LA Times opinion piece writer Abier Almasri as she describes life in Gaza with only limited electricity.
However, Almasri states:
To Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Gazans are pawns in a shameful quest for political domination. As the occupying power, Israel bears responsibility under international law to facilitate normal life for the people of Gaza. Hamas exercises internal control and is responsible for protecting our rights. The Palestinian Authority oversees millions in donor funds and should also protect our rights, including paying for vital services.
As Almasri well knows, Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and is not “occupying” it. Moreover, Almasri fails to mention anywhere in her article the major reason for the lack of “normal life” in Gaza: Hamas terror.

Hamas has made every effort over the years to ensure that Israelis, and not only those living in border communities, cannot live normal lives free from the threat of terrorism, rockets, mortars, attack tunnels, and kidnappings.
This is the reason that Israel has to maintain security protocols that affect the lives of Gazans. Were Hamas to give up its Jew-killing desires, there would simply be no reason for Israel to secure its borders against terror.
Australian broadcaster explains why it left Israel off the map
Australia’s national news service defended its decision to broadcast a graphic showing a map of the Middle East that included Palestine but not Israel.
Shown during an Aug. 17 segment on ABC News Australia, the map illustrated a story about how laws in 11 Muslim-majority countries and the Palestinian territories treat rape victims.
“The story was about the repealing of a law in Lebanon that allowed rapists to escape punishment if they married their victims,” a senior executive for the Australian Broadcasting Corp. told JTA. “The map showed other countries where this law had already been repealed (in the blue) and countries where campaigners are actively trying to have it repealed (in the yellow).”
Israel, the executive explained, never had the law to begin with, so it was not included. Had it been included, the spokesman suggested, the criticism might have been even more intense.
“In context, I wonder if including Israel in the map might have attracted more warranted criticism … The story had nothing at all to do with it,” the spokesman said. “We have commented on the story to the Daily Mail and they’ve amended the story.”
BBC WS ‘The History Hour’ promotes equivalence between reactions to cartoons
Then, in the very next breath – and as though it were comparable to murders, terrorism, death threats and violence over cartoons deemed offensive by some Muslims – Rowson went straight on to the topic of entirely non-violent criticism from a particular group.
Rowson: “A few years ago I just stopped doing cartoons about Israel because I was fed up of every time I did a cartoon about Israel getting literally thousands of emails accusing me of being a worst anti-Semite than Hitler, which is just not true. But everybody will use this excuse of being offended to shut up the person they’re engaged in an argument with.”
While Martin Rowson is rightly protective of his own freedom to ‘speak truth to power’ (as long as it’s not Muslim power), he is obviously less keen on the idea of anyone else criticising the power that he holds as a widely published cartoonist influencing public opinion. In the past Rowson has accused “the Israel lobby” of using antisemitism (i.e. the Livingstone Formulation) to try to silence his “criticism of their brutally oppressive colonialism”.
This is a Martin Rowson cartoon from July 2006 relating to the second Lebanon war that began when Hizballah conducted a cross-border raid and fired missiles at Israeli civilian communities:
Max Pearson, however, had nothing to tell listeners about Rowson’s trite, monochrome, one-sided Israel-related cartoons or why some people might find them objectionable. Instead – immediately after Rowson’s remarks about “getting…emails” he said:
Pearson: “So almost by definition – going back to my original point – the political cartoon is dangerous.”
Rowson: “Yeah. It’s meant to be dangerous. It’s a sort of point of licence to anarchy.”

Pearson closed by thanking the “esteemed cartoonist” and BBC World Service audiences went away with the impression that indignant e-mails carry the same weight and importance as the terrorist murders of cartoonists who drew Mohammed.
Austrian soccer fan gets 18 months for Nazi salute
An Austrian soccer fan has been given an 18-month prison sentence for a Hitler salute during a match, falling foul of the country’s tough laws against Nazi glorification.
The unemployed 39-year-old from top-flight Rapid Vienna’s “ultra” wing of hardline fans was spotted performing the banned gesture during a match in August 2016 and sentenced in Vienna on Monday.
“I didn’t really give it much thought. But it clearly wasn’t a good idea,” the skinhead told the court, saying he had had “a few beers and spritzers” before the game.
Similar convictions are relatively common but usually the sentences are suspended. In this case, however, than man had a previous conviction for wishing Hitler happy birthday on Facebook in 2013.
Rapid Vienna is Austria’s most successful club with 32 league titles but its hardcore “ultra” supporters have a reputation for hooliganism and anti-Semitism.
Swiss parliament to vote on banning kosher meat imports
The Swiss Federal Assembly is to vote on whether to ban the import of kosher meat into the country, with the head of the country’s Jewish community describing such a move as a huge blow to religious freedom.
The bill, which was introduced to the Swiss parliament in June, would make it illegal to bring in any meat slaughtered in what the law would deem to be an inhumane fashion. This would include both kosher and halal meat, where the animal is still conscious at the point of slaughter. A date for the vote has not yet been scheduled.
According to the Tages Anzeiger newspaper, there has been strong opposition to the bill – not due to any perceived racist overtones, but rather because it would also ban foie gras, goose liver pâté, which is popular in Switzerland.
Herbert Winter, president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, said the bill would “be a massive limitation on the religious freedoms of Jews” in Switzerland. According to figures from the European Jewish Congress, the country’s Jewish community is around 18,000.
IsraellyCool: Synagogue Pisher Charged. Spoiler: He’s Not A Neo Nazi
The perpetrator of this hate crime against a synagogue has turned himself in – probably because his ugly mug was all over social media and his identity revealed due to Internet sleuths.
But call me a cynic.
This gives new meaning to the expression, “caught with your pants down.”
Days after Philadelphia Police reported that an unidentified man had been caught on surveillance footage urinating on a synagogue, the suspect has been identified as Sheidali Dzhalilov.
According to authorities, the 23-year-old was charged with a slew of crimes, including ethnic intimidation, indecent exposure, institutional vandalism and open lewdness.
Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum told ABC 6 the department was almost certain the attack was rooted in anti-Semitism.

Yes, thanks for that Sherlock.
Here’s something else they won’t say, but is obvious: he is not antisemitic because he is a Neo Nazi or KKK member.
Nope, I am willing to bet Mr Sheidali Dzhalilov learns his antisemitism from another place entirely.
Unless you want to claim he is only an “anti-Zionist.”
Holocaust monument defaced in Bulgarian town
A monument put up by Jews in Bulgaria to thank the town of Vidin for preventing the deportation of its Jews during the Holocaust was vandalized over the weekend.
The Thanksgiving Monument, erected in 2003, was spray-painted with the words “Allah,” “Palestine,” “Hamas,” and the Islamic star and crescent moon symbol, the Shalom Organization of Jewish in Bulgaria said in a Facebook post on Monday.
The organization posted photos of the vandalism, which occurred on Saturday, on its Facebook page.
The mayor of the Vidin municipality, Ognyan Tsenkov, called the vandalism an “outrageous and unacceptable” act, the Shalom Organization said in its post. He reportedly ordered that the monument be cleaned immediately.
Bizarre 18th century Jewish items seized from archaeology smuggler in Egypt
A collection of 18th century Jewish items was seized from archaeology smugglers by Egyptian authorities late last week in a joint operation between the Hurghada Ports Authority and the Egyptian Ports Antiquities Unit of the Ministry of Antiquities.
The smugglers attempted to move six Jewish artifacts via the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada. According to a report in AhramOnline, Ahmed Al-Rawi, head of the Central Administration of Seized Antiquities Unit at the antiquities ministry, said the seized loot was discovered in the possession of a Saudi citizen. Al-Rawi said the finds were authenticated in accordance with law 117/1983.
Included in the trove was a cane with a handle carved in stone which depicts a bearded man wearing a yarmulke.
Additionally, five stone reliefs engraved with texts written in Hebrew and other Jewish decorative elements were discovered, according to a Facebook post from the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.
An additional find in the seized collection was a 29-page Hebrew book described by the Egyptians as “the commandments of Judas Iscariot,” one of the 12 disciples of Jesus. This item was not dated to the 18th century and its typeface points to a much more modern provenance.
Shell in Talks to Pump Israeli and Cypriot Natural Gas to Egypt
Royal Dutch Shell is reportedly seeking to purchase natural gas from Israel and Cyprus, and to deliver the gas to Egypt.
Shell is currently in private discussions to purchase natural gas from Israel’s Leviathan offshore field, which will be combined with output from Cyprus’s Aphrodite field and pumped to a plant in Egypt, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.
Gas deliveries to Egypt would be channeled through a Shell plant pipeline located on the country’s Mediterranean coast.
The Israeli and Cypriot offshore gas fields, together with Egypt’s large Zohr field, could see the region become a hub for natural gas production in Europe’s backyard.
In April, government ministers from Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the European Union signed a joint statement agreeing to collaboratively develop the world’s longest gas pipeline, running undersea between Israel and Italy.
The agreement boosted Israel’s position as “a significant player in the international energy economy,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said at the time.
Einstein’s letter criticising Chamberlain’s appeasement policy to be auctioned
A letter from Albert Einstein to his best friend in which he criticises Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Nazi Germany is to be sold at auction.
One of a series of letters from the Nobel Prize winning physicist to Michele Besso in 1938, it outlines how Einstein thought Chamberlain – then British prime minister – was “naïve” to think Hitler would turn his attentions away from the UK.
Due to be sold by Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions, its covers Einstein’s reactions to world news in the days after Chamberlain returned from Germany with an undertaking from Hitler not to attack, declaring “peace in our time”.
To Besso, who together with Einstein was helping save European Jews, the genius wrote: “You have confidence in the British and even Chamberlain? O sancta simplicitas …!” The Latin phrase translates as ‘Oh holy innocence’ or ‘naiveté.
Of Churchill’s predecessor, who had just signed the Munich Agreement allowing Nazi Germany to annex Czechoslovakia, Einstein wrote: “Hoping that Hitler might let off steam by attacking Russia, he sacrifices Eastern Europe. But we will come to see once more that shrewdness does not win in the long term.”
Giving back to Israel: Seven Taiwanese volunteers share their stories
In a café in Jerusalem’s Cinema City complex, over plates of Israeli breakfast, shakshuka and a communal bowl of fries, a group of seven young Taiwanese volunteers share their experiences during their time in Israel and recount with humor the similarities and differences between the two cultures.
“I still remember Independence Day, there was supposed to be a celebration party in Gilo Park, and originally they told me it started at 8 o’clock and I was there until 9, maybe a little later, and they finally started and I thought, ‘Okay, this kind of reminds me of home,’” recounts Cindy, with a lighthearted chuckle, a volunteer who has been spending the past five months at the Gilo branch of ILAN, the Israel foundation for handicapped children.
Cindy then adds: “Transportation is really different here; when you cross the street, the cars stop.”
She along with six other volunteers are taking time off from their studies or their current careers to explore Israel and to serve some of its most needy citizens, working with organizations like ILAN, the Israeli society for autistic children ALUT, and Elwyn, which is an organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities.
Both Israeli and Taiwanese cultures put a strong emphasis on the family and when asked about how their families took the news that their children would be spending an extended period of time in the Middle East, one volunteer explained: “Our parents tried to stop us from coming, but I take a lot of pictures and send them so they feel better about me being here.” This comment was met with emphatic head nods and hand-overmouth laughter from the rest of the group.
Billy Joel wears yellow Star of David during New York concert
Legendary singer Billy Joel appeared onstage for an encore during his monthly concert at Madison Square Garden wearing a yellow Star of David on his jacket.
Photos of Joel wearing the yellow star began appearing on Facebook shortly after Monday night’s concert. At least one tweet bore the hashtag #Charlottesville. Other tweets called Joel “a true hero,” and his decision to wear the star “Epic and brave.” A tweet read: “So dope seeing Billy Joel live and seeing him take a stand to the hate in our country. Wearing the star of david is a huge statement.”
Another tweet took issue with Joel’s statement. “What is Billy Joel protesting? A president with part Jewish kids? The fact that Muslim immigrants in the US tend to be anti-semitic? WHAT!?” The tweet was in response to another which said “Ok, so Billy Joel has lost his mind.”
Joel’s parents are Jewish but he was not brought up religious. He has been described as a secular Jew and an atheist.

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During the Gulf war, the 400,000 Palestinian residents of Kuwait fled or were forced to leave because they were fans of Saddam Hussein.

For some reason this event isn't described as a "naqba" or by any other similar name.

Now, 25 years later, Kuwait is allowing a trickle to come back - because it needs teachers. And it is downplaying its human rights violations, just like Palestinians themselves have.

Palestinian teachers are returning to Kuwait, ending an absence that spanned over a quarter of a century, to join their counterparts from Kuwait and other nationalities to contribute to the development of education. The government of Kuwait agreed to re-hire Palestinian teachers, many of whom left the country during Iraq’s 1990-91 invasion and occupation of Kuwait, thus paving the way for the Ministry of Education to contact the Palestinian embassy to recruit the teachers.
MP Dr Mohammad Al-Huwailah, Chairman of the Education Committee at the National Assembly, said he was confident the Palestinian teachers would boost educational level in Kuwait. “We in the educational parliamentary committee are keen on recruiting excellent teachers from abroad, in addition to emphasizing on the special role of the Kuwaiti teachers,” he said in previous press remarks.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in a statement earlier this month, rallied behind the teachers who are on their way to Kuwait, a nation that had heavily depended on Palestinian educators years ago.
Kuwait fondly recollects Palestinian contributions to pedagogy and the passion with which Palestinian instructors have imparted their knowledge to the people of Kuwait,” Abbas told the contingent of teachers. He noted that the success of the educators will “open the door for the triumphant return of Palestinian instructors to the Gulf region. “We trust you to carry on the legacy of the Palestinian teacher,” Abbas said. Palestinian teachers accounted for 49 percent of overall teachers in Kuwait between 1965 and 1975.
All is forgiven! I mean, you know, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave and there was no compensation or apology. But since it all came from fellow Arab, it's just one of those things.

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Once again, Palestinians are trying to incite the Muslim world to jihad against Israel.

The annual report of the "Al Quds International Foundation" released on Monday claims that Israel now is engaged in 64 separate excavations underneath the Temple Mount, "threatening the collapse" of the Al Aqsa mosque.

The report, which goes through the past year's event, notes that an Israeli government meeting in one of the tunnels for Yom Haatzmaut sends a clear message that these excavations are supported by the highest levels of the Israeli government "to promote fake Jewish history."

The incitement against Jews by falsely claiming that they are trying to take over the AL Aqsa Mosque is a lie that has never stopped since the Mufti of Jerusalem started it in the early 1920s. And it is just as potentially fatal now as it was then.

This is every day incitement that the West chooses to ignore.

Here is a photo of the Al Aqsa Mosque after the earthquake in 1927. 

The roof caved in and it took several years to repair.

Notice the rafters. They were examined with carbon dating and found to date from between 1500 and 2900 years ago. The authors of the paper determined that the later beams of cedar and cypress came from the Byzantine church that was erected on the Temple Mount. The older ones, from millennium before the mosque was built?  The authors conjecture that they probably come from a n earlier massive structure built in that time period, but don't venture a guess as to what it possibly could be.
[T]he existence of the cypress logs dated to the 9th–2nd centuries BCE in the Al-Aqsa Mosque raises many questions concerning their origin in constructions built more than 1500 years earlier.
Israel isn't trying to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque, but if it would be destroyed it would help to fix a historic tragedy.

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From Ian:

PMW: PA tries to increase hatred regarding Jerusalem
With Palestinian-Israeli tensions over Jerusalem's Old City and the Temple Mount still simmering, the Palestinian Authority has chosen to intensify Palestinian anger and hate by repeating one of its most dangerous libels - that "senior Jews of high position" planned the arson of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. In a documentary broadcast on PA TV, it was presented as fact that not only did Jews plan the arson of the Mosque but also that after the fire started Israel shut off the water supply, preventing fire fighters from efficiently putting out the fire.
The following is some of the narration from the documentary:
"From investigations conducted by the Islamic Council it became clear that there was more than one perpetrator [of the Al-Aqsa Mosque arson in 1969] and that the fire was planned by senior Jews of high position, especially since the roof can only be reached from a wooden spiral staircase located outside the Al-Aqsa building. This proves that careful, premeditated measures were taken to completely destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The proof is that the occupation authorities were slow to extinguish [the fire] and that the water supply to the Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) had been cut off during those hours." [Official PA TV, Aug. 21, 2017]
The 1969 fire in the Mosque was started by a Christian Australian man, who was arrested immediately afterward and found to be mentally unstable.
PA TV's decision to broadcast this Al-Aqsa libel now, follows its ongoing attempts to keep Palestinian hatred of Israel simmering over the Temple Mount issue. Last month the Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs told Palestinian viewers on television that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

Trump Administration Urges UN Not to Publish Blacklist of Companies Trading With Israel
US President Donald Trump’s administration is urging the United Nations not to publish what it calls a “blacklist” of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements on land claimed by the Palestinians for a future state, diplomats and others said, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
The UN Human Rights Council voted to approve the database of companies last year, over objections from the United States and Israel, which describe the list as a prelude to anti-Israel boycotts.
American companies on the list drawn up by the Geneva-based council include Caterpillar, TripAdvisor,, Airbnb and others, according to people familiar with it. It is not clear whether the list has been finalized.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, has told US officials he plans to publish the list by the end of the year and has asked for comments by Sept. 1 from countries where affected firms are headquartered, diplomats said.
“The United States has been adamantly opposed to this … from the start” and has fought against it before several UN bodies, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “These types of resolutions are counterproductive and do nothing to advance Israeli-Palestinian issues.”
The United States joined Israel in unsuccessfully opposing UN funding for work related to the database, Nauert said.
Danon: UN Human Rights chief 'world’s most senior BDS activist'
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, reacted harshly to reports on the names of companies on a ‘blacklist’ of businesses being complied by the UN Human Rights Council. The full list of companies operating in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights is set to be published at the end of the year.
The UN General Assembly voted to fund the compilation of the blacklist in December, 2016.
“This shameful step is an expression of modern anti-Semitism and reminds us of dark periods in history. Instead of focusing on the terrible humanitarian problems plaguing the globe, the Human Rights Commissioner is seeking to harm Israel, and in doing so has become the world’s most senior BDS activist. I call on the UN, and the international community as a whole, to halt this dangerous policy and put an end to this anti-Israel initiative," Danon said.

Danny Danon: Hizbullah Is Running Rings around UN Monitors in Lebanon
I have given dozens of UN ambassadors tours of Israel's border with Lebanon, where IDF officers identified Hizbullah positions along the border. Our guests asked where the UN Interim Force in Lebanon was, and why nothing was being done to stop Hizbullah terrorists from blatantly violating numerous Security Council resolutions. Our answer was that the UNIFIL force is there, but they are not effectively fulfilling their mandate.
In 2006, UNIFIL was charged with ensuring that the territory south of the Litani River remained free of weapons and fighters other than the Lebanese army. When UNIFIL's mandate comes before the Security Council later this month, there are practical steps that can be taken to ensure that this important UN force succeeds and another conflict with Hizbullah is avoided.
UNIFIL must meticulously inspect the towns and villages of southern Lebanon. Hizbullah strongholds must be dismantled, and other villages must be kept free of rockets and weapons aimed at Israeli population centers.
UNIFIL forces also must insist on unlimited access to all suspicious installations under their mandate. As a report by the UN secretary-general recently noted, UNIFIL is regularly obstructed in southern Lebanon.
No one wants UNIFIL to succeed more than Israel does. With Hamas rearming in Gaza and Islamic State increasing its strength along our frontier with Syria, we seek calm and stability on our northern border.
To achieve this, the Security Council must step up its efforts to ensure that UNIFIL's renewed mandate fulfills the goals outlined above.
NGO uses government funds to broadcast support for BDS
Israel's Communications Ministry pays out some 100,000 shekels a year to Israel Social TV, a nongovernmental organization that broadcasts programs through satellite and on the internet, and which has expressed support for the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, Israel Hayom recently discovered.
In 2015, for example, the Communications Ministry paid 99,050 shekels ($27,350) to the NGO, classified as a "public benefit company." In 2016, that amount increased to 121,000 shekels ($33,400).
Moreover, it was decided two years ago that the organization would not be included in the national service program, making it ineligible for national service volunteers (who volunteer in various capacities in lieu of mandatory military service). But Israel Hayom investigated this and discovered that Social TV is still allocated two volunteer slots each year.
According to NGO Monitor, the group's advisory public council includes Professor Noam Chomsky, who has been very vocal against Israel's policies and has called Israel an "apartheid state"; human rights attorney Dr. Michael Sfard, who represents several radical Israeli organizations; Naomi Chazan, a former Meretz MK and former president of the left-wing New Israel Fund; and Dalia Baum, the founder of Who Profits?, an organization that supports a boycott of "the occupation."
Terror Will Continue until Muslims Reject the Idea of the Caliphate
Responding to the recent terrorist attacks in Spain, Ed Husain—a former radical Islamist—assails the Western tendency toward self-flagellation and points to the true motives behind the violence.
Consider the facts on Spain: on March 11, 2004, al-Qaeda terrorists killed 192 and injured 2,000 on trains in Madrid. Spain had 1,300 troops in Iraq at the time (America had 135,000 and Britain 8,700). Three days after the bombing, Prime Minister José Maria Aznar lost the general election to a left-wing party committed to ending Spain’s involvement in Iraq. On April 18, 2004, the new prime minister ordered the withdrawal of Spain’s troops. Scarred by the Madrid bombing, fearful of reprisals after the terrorist attacks in France, in November 2015 the Spanish government refused to join a global coalition against Islamic State. So what did Spain do wrong?
We are asking the wrong questions. Spain’s foreign policy shows that we cannot stop terrorism by changing our behavior. In the mind of the Muslim extremists, Spain is not Spain, but al-Andalus, part of a Muslim empire that lasted in Spain for 700 years. Today’s Spain is considered to be “occupied land” that must be liberated. . . .
We have to be honest. Across the West we now have 30-million Muslims who are Westerners. There is no war against Islam. The freedom of Muslims to worship and live proves that the old, imperialist paradigms of Islamic State’s Dar al-Harb [the “abode of war” to be invaded by the caliphate] and Dar al-Islam [the “abode of Islam”] are outdated. Most Muslims are quietly thriving in business, politics, media, sports, and more. In Britain, Mishal Husain’s voice wakes us up on the Today program. Nadiya Hussain of The Great British Bake Off prepares cake for the queen. [The distance runner] Mo Farah reinstates British sporting pride. The list goes on. But there is a dark, sinister movement growing, too. . . .
Enough of blaming the West. . . . Muslims must reject the idea that we need a caliphate. Unless we discard the drive for a Muslim super-state, many more will be killed in pursuit of it.

'RECRUITING FOR ISIS' Terror experts slam Channel 4 drama The State which shows ISIS fighters having fun in Syria
TERROR experts today blasted Channel 4 for airing a drama about ISIS described as a “recruiting sergeant” for the extremist group.
Viewers told of their disgust at the content of The State, which tells the story of a group of British Muslims fleeing to Syria to fight for ISIS.
In the programme, characters describe life in ISIS as “super-cool” and dismiss Britain as a “dump”.
The first episode was broadcast last night, with three more going out this week – just days after the latest ISIS atrocity in Barcelona.
The former commander of British forces in Afghanistan warned that the series would encourage more young Brits to sign up to Islamic State.
Colonel Richard Kemp told The Sun that the programme was the jihadist equivalent of inspiring war epics such as Band of Brothers or Dunkirk.
The drama follows British Muslims who flee to Syria and fight for ISIS
He said: “It supports our enemies’ cause quite well.
“You have a moral responsiblity not to do anything that would encourage it.”
The respected ex-soldier said potential ISIS recruits would be attracted by scenes which show Brit fighters “learning their skills, bonding, having a good time in the pool and so on”.
And he also expressed concern that forthcoming episodes – which will feature brutal violence – will draw more young Muslims to the ISIS cause.
Col Kemp said: “It’s quite likely they will serve as a recruiting sergeant for Islamic State.”
Target the Nurseries of Terror Indoctrination
Europe bleeds again as terrorists in Spain plowed their vehicles into crowds of pedestrians in tourist areas in Barcelona and Cambrils. The men killed 14 people and injured more than 100.
Spanish police are currently investigating a local imam for possibly having radicalized the terrorists. The imam had apparently been preaching at a mosque in the town of Ripoll for two years, but stopped just a few months ago. The question has arisen if the mosque administration may have found out something about the imam and fired him, but never bothered to report the information to the local police and to clear the mosque of blame.
The day after the attacks in Spain, two people in Finland were hacked to death in another Islamist terrorist attack, leaving some eight injured.
We hear yet again the promises to root out the terrorism, with a warning from security agencies that they cannot stop each and every terrorist attack -- words that translate into the admission that terror has gone beyond the control of European governments.
Yes, there were candlelight vigils for the victims; flags of Spain and Finland on social media profiles; there might even be a "Je Suis Barcelona" campaign -- and then the long silence as if we are all in a loop, waiting for another terrorist attack..
We have seen -- and these are just the recent ones -- Islamist-inspired attacks in London, Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin and Stockholm, all of the violence leaving scores of women, children and men dead, and even more injured and possibly disabled for life.
It does not take much common sense to understand that individuals cannot commit mass murder without any training, support and most importantly, indoctrination.
Spain: Barcelona Attack Was Preventable
Many of Catalonia's problems with radical Islam are self-inflicted. In an effort to promote Catalan nationalism and the Catalan language, Catalonian pro-independence parties have deliberately promoted immigration from Arabic-speaking Muslim countries for more than three decades, in the belief that these immigrants (unlike those from Latin America) would learn the Catalan language rather than speak Spanish.
Although some Catalans are having second thoughts about the wisdom of promoting Muslim mass immigration as a strategy to achieve Catalan independence, at least 10,000 Catalans with links to the separatist movement have actually converted to Islam in recent years.
It is believed that two out of every ten Catalan radicals who belong to the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), a far-left political party, are converts to Islam. The ERC, which now governs Catalonia, has vehemently refused to sign a cooperation agreement with the central government in Madrid to fight jihadist terrorism.
The imam who ‘ate up the brains’ of youths
A dead Moroccan imam has become a key target of the probe into Spain’s twin terror attacks, suspected of having created the cell in a picturesque town near the Spanish Pyrenees that allegedly launched the deadly assaults last week.
Those who knew him described Abdelbaki Es Satty as a discreet and religious man, who had recently asked for a holiday from the mosque he was preaching in, apparently to return to Morocco for personal business.
But in fact, he was among those blown up in an accidental explosion Wednesday in the house where the suspected attackers were believed to be building bombs, police confirmed on Monday.
The blast likely changed the plans of the attackers, who instead used vehicles to smash into pedestrians on Barcelona’s busy Las Ramblas boulevard and in the seaside resort town of Cambrils.
“On Tuesday morning, he left saying he was going on vacation to Morocco,” said fruit-seller Nordeen El Haji, 45, who four months ago moved into the apartment that Satty occupied in Ripoll.
Why Barcelona, a tourist paradise, is a ‘Salafist city’
Harking back to 'al-Andalus' in the Middle Ages
Experts are still trying to understand why the IS group decided to target Spain. Although a staunch NATO member, Spain has not played a major role in the international coalition against the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq. Neither has the country been the source of many foreign fighters headed for the IS group battlefields in the Levant.
"We can assume that Madrid is paying the price for its involvement in the [anti-IS group] coalition, like France, Germany or Great Britain," said Conesa, although he conceded that "this country is much less involved than the main Western powers ". The Spanish government has deployed troops in Iraq to participate solely in a mission to train Iraqi troops.
But attacking Spain has symbolic weight for IS group sympathisers. “There’s a bunch of evidence in recent years, in the IS group and other radical Islamist propaganda, which castigated Spain by recalling that part of its territory was Muslim for several centuries," explained Alexandre Vautravers of the University of Geneva’s Global Studies Institute.
Indeed, in its propaganda messages, the jihadist group often cites the Islamic past of Andalusia – or al-Andalus in Arabic -- during the Middle Ages, and its willingness to incorporate it into its self-proclaimed caliphate.
PA to Give Trump Team Ultimatum on Peace Plan
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas surprised participants of an Aug. 20 meeting at his Ramallah headquarters with members of the left-wing Israeli Meretz Party when he launched a broadside attack on the Trump administration just days ahead of a planned visit to the region by Trump's top envoys, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. Abbas said he had met with the American representatives 20 times since Trump took office in January, but he was no closer to understanding what Israeli-Palestinian peace plan they have in mind. “Each time they reiterate their commitment to a two-state solution and the stop to settlement building. I urge them to tell [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that, but they refrain,” he said.
The Israelis were not the only ones taken aback by Abbas’ remarks. Senior Palestinian officials present at the meeting were, too. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has, after all, trod wearily with the Americans until recently in an effort to achieve legitimacy in the eyes of the new administration. Abbas set up a top-level team, including experts on US politics, in a bid to decipher the nature of the new president and the best way to approach him. The group even scored some points: Trump rolled back his election campaign commitment to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and even hosted Abbas last May at the White House less than four months after moving in. But since then, the Palestinians are under the impression that the Trump administration is not interested in getting entangled in the complex task of restarting the moribund Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which have been the undoing of many previous administrations that were far more focused. “I don't understand their conduct toward us, as inside his country the administration is in chaos,” the Palestinian president was quoted as saying.
Al-Monitor has learned that Abbas’ remarks to the Meretz delegation were only the prelude to far harsher talking points he has prepared for his Aug. 24 meeting with the Trump envoys. A senior Palestinian source who spoke on condition of anonymity said a decision had been reached after lengthy negotiations at top PA levels, including consultations with its team of Trump experts, to present Kushner and Greenblatt with a clear ultimatum: Unless progress is made within 45 days on launching talks with the Israelis, the Palestinians will consider themselves no longer committed to the US channel and will turn to an alternative plan on which they have been working for the past two years.
Israeli Delegation Reportedly Fails to Secure US Guarantees on Syria
Israeli government officials have expressed “grave concern” after a high-level defense delegation from the Jewish state met with US officials in Washington, DC, last week and failed to secure commitments regarding the situation in Syria and Lebanon.
The delegation, headed by Mossad intelligence agency Director Yossi Cohen, reportedly met with US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, President Donald Trump’s international negotiations representative Jason Greenblatt and others.
Israeli intelligence officials said they presented the US officials with “sensitive, credible and highly disturbing intelligence information” detailing Iran’s expanding military presence in Syria, including documents and photographs, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
The US officials, however, purportedly did not commit to preventing the spread of Iranian influence in Syria. Delegation members noted “a kind of embarrassment and lack of a clear position” among Trump administration officials regarding America’s commitments in Syria and the Middle East.
'Grave concern' in Israel in light of US positions on Syria
There is "grave concern" in Israel after a delegation of high ranking Israeli defense officials sent to Washington was not able to secure a commitment from the Americans to ensure any agreement to end the war in Syria would include the evacuation of Iranian military forces from the country.
During its visit to the American capital, the Israeli delegation met with the heads of the US intelligence community, National Security Council officials and President Donald Trump's envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt.
Among the delegation's members were Mossad Director Yossi Cohen, Military Intelligence Directorate (MID) Chief Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevi, head of the Political-Military Affairs Bureau in the Defense Ministry Zohar Palti (former chief of intelligence for the Mossad), Israel's Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer and Deputy National Security Advisor Eitan Ben-David.
Israeli intelligence officials said the delegation "presented sensitive, credible and highly disturbing intelligence information," backed by documents and photographs, which showed the ever-growing spread of Iranian influence in Syria.
The US and Russia are currently working to formulate an agreement to bring an end to fighting in Syria. Thanks to Russian and American understandings vis-à-vis military coordination between them, there has been a decline in the fighting in Syria since May. Israeli intelligence agencies documented a significant drop both in fighting and in the number of casualties, while jihadist groups such as ISIS and the Nusra Front appear to be weakening. This situation, Israeli intelligence officials explain, implies there is a strong chance that world powers may reach a final-status agreement.
The Israeli defense officials' talks with their American counterparts were described as detailed and professional, while the atmosphere was described as friendly (Greenblatt posted a photo of the participants, without ties or jackets, eating dinner at the home of US National Security Advisor Herbert Raymond McMaster.)
Putin Unlikely to Allay Netanyahu’s Concerns Over Iranian Presence in Syria at Upcoming Sochi Parley, Expert Says
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin this week for the first time since the Russia-US deal on a ceasefire in southwestern Syria was announced in July — but Jerusalem should not expect any concessions from Moscow over Iran’s growing military presence in Syria, a leading expert on Russian policy toward the Middle East said on Monday.
“Putin is not going to say anything that’s going to surprise Russia analysts,” Anna Borshchevskaya — the Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank — told The Algemeiner.
Netanyahu arrives in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Wednesday with the issue of Iran’s footprint in Syria uppermost in his mind.
Announced on July 7 following the first encounter in person between Putin and US President Donald Trump, the exact details of the Syria ceasefire deal have remained sketchy. While both leaders said that concerns about the potential spillover of the Syrian war had been taken into account, Israel is known to be deeply concerned that the so-called “de-escalation zones” in Syria — created under a separate agreement between Russia, Turkey and Iran, without US involvement — will provide a major opportunity for Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah to continue establishing weapons factories, command posts, missile launch sites and other threats that directly endanger Israel. These worries led Netanyahu to publicly reject the deal, as other influential Israelis warned that Jerusalem would not hesitate to militarily destroy Iranian and Hezbollah assets in Syria should the imperative arise.
Kissinger's Analysis of Mideast is Full of Loopholes
The good doctor's latest contribution concerns the campaign against ISIS. Kissinger warns that destroying ISIS could lead to an "Iranian radical empire".
In other words, we must leave ISIS, which is a clear and active threat to large chunks of the Middle East and Europe, intact, for fear of seeing it replaced by an arguably bigger threat represented by a "radical Iranian empire."
As usual, there are many problems with Kissinger's attempt at using medieval European concepts to analyze situations in other parts of the world.
To start with, he seems to think that the Khomeinist regime in Tehran and the so-called ISIS "caliphate" in Raqqa belong to two different categories. The truth, however, is that they are two versions of the same ugly reality, peddling the same ideology, using the same methods, and helping bestow legitimacy on one another.
What is the difference between Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claiming "supreme leadership of all Muslims throughout the world" as "Imam" and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's similar claim as "Caliph"? And aren't both regimes claiming to have the only true version of Islam with a mission to conquer the entire world in its name? One may even argue that without Khomeinism in Iran, there would not have been ISIS and ISIS-like groups, not to mention the Taliban, in our part of the world -- at least at this time.
That ISIS and the Khomeinist regime feed on each other is also illustrated by Tehran's current line of propaganda, which is telling the Iranians they must tolerate brutal oppression as the price for protection against ISIS.
Kissinger's second error is to think that it's not possible to fight against two versions of evil without favoring one.
North Korea shipments to Syria chemical arms agency intercepted
Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country's chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential United Nations report on North Korea sanctions violations.
The report by a panel of independent UN experts, which was submitted to the UN Security Council earlier this month and seen by Reuters on Monday, gave no details on when or where the interdictions occurred or what the shipments contained.
"The panel is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and the DPRK (North Korea)," the experts wrote in the 37-page report.
"Two member states interdicted shipments destined for Syria. Another Member state informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria," according to the report.
KOMID is the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation. It was blacklisted by the Security Council in 2009 and described as Pyongyang's key arms dealer and exporter of equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons. In March 2016 the council also blacklisted two KOMID representatives in Syria.
"The consignees were Syrian entities designated by the European Union and the United States as front companies for Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC), a Syrian entity identified by the Panel as cooperating with KOMID in previous prohibited item transfers," the UN experts wrote.
SSRC has overseen the country's chemical weapons program since the 1970s.
Israel in South Africa's sights
South Africa has recently been attempting to impede the development and strengthening of ties between Israel and other nations on the African continent.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has made strengthening Israel's ties with Africa a priority with the stated goal of breaking the automatic anti-Israel majority at the UN.
A senior South African diplomat said today that his country would boycott a planned summit in two months in Togo because it was "designed to normalize the relations between the African countries and a country whose sole concern is the occupation of another people."
He added that Israel "behaves in a shocking manner when it maintains a blockade of the Gaza Strip and causes great suffering to the Palestinian population."
The official said that South Africa would call on other countries to hold a dialogue on the need to boycott Israel and not strengthen relations with the Jewish State. "We can not turn a blind eye to the Israeli efforts to enlist support from Africa and elsewhere in order to undermine the Palestinian cause."
South African diplomat says country will boycott Africa-Israel summit
The organizers of the Africa- Israel summit scheduled for the end of October in Lomé, Togo, have not received official word from Pretoria that South Africa will be boycotting the summit, despite remarks to the contrary made last week by that country’s ambassador to Lebanon and Syria.
Nevertheless, there is no expectation at all that South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma would attend the conference, as South Africa has emerged as one of the leading forces in sub-Saharan Africa working against Israeli efforts to make inroads on the continent. For instance, it was South Africa, according to Israeli diplomatic officials, which has blocked for years Israel’s acceptance as an observer to the African Union.
The South African newspaper The Citizen last week quoted Sean Benfeldt, the country’s ambassador to Lebanon and Syria as telling a delegation of the Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad that Pretoria will not take part in the event which he described as a step to normalize relations between Africa and an “occupation state.”
According to the report, “the South African ambassador highlighted what he believed was Israel’s inhumane blockade of the Gaza Strip, stressing the need for practical solutions to the humanitarian suffering of the population in the besieged territory. Benfeldt also adopted the delegation’s proposal to invite ambassadors of African countries in Lebanon to a special meeting soon to talk about the summit with Israel and the need to boycott it.”
Al Jazeera reported last week that in addition to South Africa, several other African countries – including Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania – have decided to boycott the summit.
Police nab Hebron man suspected of trying to smuggle gun into Israel
Israeli troops arrested a Hebron man in possession of an M-4 assault rifle as he was apparently trying to smuggle it into Israel from the southern West Bank on Monday night, officials said.
According to police, the suspect, a Jordanian national living in Hebron, drove through a barricade that had been set up in the southern Hebron Hills in light of intelligence gathered by detectives.
As he sped away, police officers gave chase in their car. The man, 30, abandoned his vehicle and took off on foot, with the detectives in pursuit.
He was arrested near the area of Tel Arad in the southern Hebron Hills, police said.
Inside the car, the detectives found the M-4 assault rifle with a fully loaded magazine. In his interrogation, the suspect said he was paid NIS 500 ($140) to drive the car into Israel. According to police, the man knew a gun was inside the vehicle.
Footage of the arrest was captured by a soldier from the Combat Intelligence Corps who was monitoring the scene through a surveillance camera, the army said.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Eclipse Distraction So Successful, Mossad Plans More (satire)
Israeli secret intelligence officials enjoyed such success with the operation to distract Earth’s population from their nefarious doings by blocking the sun with the moon that more such events are planned.
A source within the Mossad told PreOccupied Territory today (Monday) that the extent to which the day’s solar eclipse diverted attention from the organization’s efforts to cement control over the world’s governments, economy, and media proved effective far beyond organizers had predicted, and the Mossad’s Deputy Director for Operations has ordered three such eclipses in 2018 and 2019, plus two each year afterwards until 2028.
Department heads congratulated one another on a task well done, with special recognition reserved for the Outer Space Operations Division, which has seen some the Mossad’s most daring successes in recent decades. Today’s coup comes on the heels of the lunar eclipse two weeks ago, which concealed a mass movement of alien vessels away from Earth following a mind-control-technology exchange.
“We’re chuffed to bits,” gushed a section chief in uncharacteristic exuberance. “We haven’t had a string of uninterrupted successes like this since at least the First Gulf War, perhaps even 1967. Of course nothing can compare to the sense of accomplishment had by those who contributed to the Seven Years’ War of the eighteenth century – the first world war, in a sense – but only a handful of operatives are still around who had a hand in that, since longevity pills were discontinued in 1917.”
Palestinians flock to Bethlehem Shepherds fest to celebrate newest brewery
Four years ago, when 29-year-old Alaa Sayej was setting up a brewery in his hometown of Birzeit, north of Ramallah, he encountered a problem he didn’t foresee: Palestinian authorities insisted his logo looked too much like Jesus.
Officials from the Palestinian Authority found the image of a staff-holding shepherd dressed in somewhat biblical garb, surrounded by olive branches, hops, and barley too troublesome for the market. Look a little more closely and you can see a single star above the shepherd — a not-so-subtle allusion to the stars that guided shepherds to baby Jesus’s birthplace in Bethlehem, according to the biblical account.
“If they knew anything about religion, they would have known that Jesus would have been a baby in this image. Do you see a baby,” said Sayej, who learned to love beer while working as a banker in London.
“He looks more like Moses with the staff,” Sayej laughed. After convincing the Palestinian authorities the figure was not Jesus, his biggest challenge actually came from the Israeli border control, that held up imports of machinery and supplies from Europe, he said.
The brewery began selling beer in 2015. The issues with the Palestinian Authority and Israel have been smoothed over, and Sayej’s beer is sold across the Palestinian territories, in Israel, Italy and Chile, the last being home to a large Palestinian diaspora.
Between Saturday and Sunday, some 7,000-8,000 Palestinians and tourists showed their love for the beer by traveling to the edge of a little village at the far eastern end of Bethlehem called Beit Sahour for the second annual Shepherds Beer Festival.
EXCLUSIVE - Jihadist: More Than 170 Islamic State-Inspired Terrorists Arrested In Gaza
Hamas security forces arrested over 170 Islamic State-inspired jihadists last week, senior Gaza-based jihadist Abou Baker al-Maqdesi told Breitbart Jerusalem.
According to al-Maqdesi, who is aligned with IS ideology, the Salafi jihadists were arrested on Sunday morning in the wake of the explosion last week on the border between Egypt and Gaza in which a Hamas security officer was killed while detaining a jihadist who was trying to infiltrate the Sinai Peninsula.
The incident occurred early Thursday morning when a Salafi blew himself up next to Hamas security personnel after being stopped at a checkpoint along with another jihadist. The two planned to infiltrate Sinai but were caught by surprise by Hamas security personnel. During the ensuing security check, the Salafi triggered his explosives, killing one of the Hamas members.
Hamas immediately embarked on a wide-ranging wave of arrests, al-Maqdesi stated, resulting in the detention of over 170 individuals. He also said that Hamas raided the homes of dozens more. According to al-Maqdesi, Hamas members were among those arrested, suspected of supporting the Islamic State and the organization’s ideology.
Hamas's Terror Summer Camp

Watch: Hezbollah drones attack ISIS positions
The Hezbollah terrorist organization announced that it had attacked two positions belonging to rival terrorist organization ISIS Monday afternoon.
The Shiite terrorist organization coordinated its attack with the Lebanese army. The battle took place on ISIS-controlled territory along the Syrian-Lebanese border.
According to Hezbollah, the Lebanese army succeeded in taking two-thirds of the territory held held ISIS along the border. 15 ISIS terrorists and three Lebanese soldiers were reportedly killed in the fighting.
Hezbollah's military wing announced that it had used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) during Monday's operation and published video showing the drone strikes. This is not the first time Hezbollah drones have been seen in Syria.
Hezbollah is believed to possess hundreds of UAVs.
Syria Proves the World’s Moral Bankruptcy
Much has been written about Syria’s civil war — but sadly the mounting death and destruction there has long since become mere statistics. The international community has grown comfortably numb to the horror, and the external players — especially Russia and Iran — have been nurturing their vested interests by prolonging the deadly conflict.
What happened to the sentiment of “never again” that was universally embraced in the wake of World War II to prevent calamities such as this from occurring? How low will the moral bar of the international community sink before we awake to the unfolding catastrophe in Syria?
How many more men, women and children must die, and how much ruin can the country further sustain before we act to stop this madness that seems to infect every party involved?
“Crimes against humanity” has become a mere slogan. The international community has assumed no responsibility, and discharged their moral culpability while the blood of innocent Syrian people continues to stream, marring what’s left of our collective conscience.
Special Report: How Syria continued to gas its people as the world looked on
Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Ake Sellstrom, who is now chief scientist for the U.N.-OPCW mission, said it is critical that perpetrators of chemical attacks are put on trial to deter future use of weapons of mass destruction. His team should be reporting back to the U.N. by mid-October, he said.
A key unsolved question is what happened to the 2,000 aerial bombs that Syria said it had converted to conventional weapons, a process that would be costly and time-consuming.
"To my knowledge, the Syrian government never furnished any details of where, when and how they changed the bombs' payload," said an OPCW-U.N. source, who took part in investigations in 2015-2016. He said there clearly was "a real, high-level, command structure behind this."
Syrian officials did not respond to requests for comment about the bombs.
The team is also examining the deaths of almost 100 people on April 4 when a gas attack hit Khan Sheikhoun, a town in the rebel-held province of Idlib near the Turkish border. Samples taken from people exposed to the chemicals and tested by the OPCW confirmed sarin use. Meqdad, Syria's deputy foreign minister, said in the interview that Syrian forces were not to blame, repeating earlier denials by Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem.
Sellstrom said the presence of sarin so long after Syria was supposed to have dismantled its chemical weapons program posed difficult questions. "Is there a hideout somewhere, or is there production somewhere and how much is available?" he said, adding that the reported use of aerial bombs in Khan Sheikhoun could point to the Syrian forces keeping some strategic weapons as well.
The attack means either "that someone can produce sarin today, or sarin has been hidden," Sellstrom said.
AUGUST 21, 2017

One of US President Donald Trump’s most longstanding conservative critics, Bret Stephens of The New York Times, recently challenged pro-Israel conservatives on why they still support the president.
“The president’s Jewish supporters are left to wonder why the Iran deal remains in force... Bashar al-Assad is stronger than ever, [and] the Israeli government is outraged by the deals the administration has cut with Russia at Israel’s strategic expense.”
While America, the media, and the world have completely focused on the presidential melodrama, America has taken its eye off potentially more consequential issues in the Middle East affecting national security interests for years to come. First among the essential decisions coming due is on Iran.
Will Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of Defense James Mattis convince President Trump, for the third time, to recertify Iranian compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in October, despite evidence of serious violations? Only UN Ambassador Nikki Haley seems inclined to oppose recertification, but she is not in the inner circle.
As Ambassador Eric Edelman and Gen. (ret.) Charles Wald, former deputy commander of US European Command, wrote in Politico, abiding by the JCPOA “will only enable a nuclear and hegemonic Iran. It provides Tehran significant financial, military and geopolitical benefits... in exchange for minimal, reversible and temporary concessions on its nuclear program... the JCPOA puts Iran on track to become as intractable a challenge as North Korea is today.”
Weapons Experts: IAEA Needs Full Access to Parchin to Understand Iran’s Nuclear Program
In order to understand Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) needs full access to Iran’s Parchin military installation, two experts on nuclear weapons wrote in a report published Monday.
David Albright, a former weapons inspector and current president of the Institute for Science and International Security, Olli Heinonen, former IAEA Deputy Director, and three others wrote in a report that the IAEA has inadequate means to investigate possible Iranian violations of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to the report, the problem is that the arrangement made for investigating Parchin, a military site where Iran is believed to have conducted nuclear weapons research, “established inadequate rules for on-the-ground investigation and environmental sampling about alleged nuclear weapons-related high explosive work at this Parchin site.”
The IAEA discovered two particles of uranium in its investigation of Parchin. The Obama administration later acknowledged this was likely an indication of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, which, according to the report “should have been a ‘red-flag’ necessitating further follow-up investigation.”
Iran warns it can make weapons-grade material in days if nuke deal scotched
Iran’s atomic chief warned Tuesday the Islamic Republic needs only five days to ramp up its uranium enrichment to 20 percent, a level at which the material could be used for a nuclear weapon.
The comments by Ali Akbar Salehi to Iranian state television come as US President Donald Trump repeatedly has threatened to renegotiate or walk away from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Salehi’s warning, along with recent comments by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, show Iran is willing to push back against Trump while still acknowledging they want to keep the deal, which lifted crippling economic sanctions on the country.
“If there is a plan for a reaction and a challenge, we will definitely surprise them,” said Salehi, who also serves as one of Rouhani’s vice presidents. “If we make the determination, we are able to resume 20 percent-enrichment in at most five days.”

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

The other day, the following tweet got me thinking:

Here is one of those favorites

Here is another:

It got me to thinking about how adults pass on their opinions, and sometimes their hate, on to their children.

But while it got me to thinking about how Palestinian Arabs in general, and Hamas in particular, do this, it also got me thinking closer to home.

I recall when I was teaching, I passed by a class learning Sefer Bamidbar (Numbers). They were learning about the quail mentioned in Chapter 11 and I could see one girl was confused. I went over and asked her what was puzzling her and she said she did not know what the Hebrew word "slav" meant. Rather than just tell her, I asked her "well, what is the name of the Vice-President?" With eyes wide, she turned to me and asked "it means idiot?"

Weeks later, at parent-teacher conferences, the parents assured me they had no idea where their daughter got the idea to say that, and insisted they did not talk that way at home. I had every reason to believe them. I was not concerned.

But I am concerned about something else I remember.

I remember a post on Michelle Malkin's blog years ago in 2005. She wrote about products that were then on sale online on CafePress.

Products such as this:

Anti-Tom Delay T-Shirt, suggesting he kill himself.
Credit: Mike's America

But also this:

“Kill Bush” magnet depicting the president holding a gun to his head
with the caption “End Terrorism Now” Credit: Michelle Malkin
And this:

Bright yellow “Kill Bush” t-shirt splattered with blood.
Credit: Michelle Malkin
And this:

“Kill Bush” messenger bag with a macho pic of John Kerry.
Credit: Michelle Malkin

And this:

Cartoon based on Hadith encouraging murder of Jews
Actually, the cartoon encourages the killing of Jews, not Bush -- but is the incitement really that much different?

On Saturday, columnist Charlie Brooker told the readers of the far-Left British newspaper Guardian:

On November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying, praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy, arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr. - where are you now that we need you?
Brooker did "apologize" later to those who misunderstood his ironic humor :
The final sentence of a column in The Guide on Saturday caused offence to some readers. The Guardian associates itself with the following statement from the writer.

"Charlie Brooker apologises for any offence caused by his comments relating to President Bush in his TV column, Screen Burn. The views expressed in this column are not those of the Guardian. Although flippant and tasteless, his closing comments were intended as an ironic joke, not as a call to action - an intention he believed regular readers of his humorous column would understand. He deplores violence of any kind."

The article has now been removed from the Guardian Unlimited website.
Malkin goes on to note that in April 2005, Pat Buchanan suffered multiple assaults on campus. He was not the only one. The Washington Times reported back then about William Kristol and Patrick Buchanan at two separate campus events having pies and salad dressing tossed at them, while the media played it as a joke. The editorial concluded:
Violence, of course, should be intolerable no matter who is on the receiving end, and must be rejected by people of goodwill, whatever their political ideology. It is ironic that college campuses — which typically style themselves as bastions of free speech and tolerance — are increasingly the scene of intolerant, thuggish behavior. These days it is being directed at folks who don’t subscribe to the prevailing liberal orthodoxies.
This was over a decade ago. What we see happening now on college campuses around the country is nothing new. The cynic in me wonders if the media taking this seriously now might be because of whom this can be blamed on.

No, I am not claiming that this is a purely left wing phenomenon. I am not interested in pointing a finger in that regard.

My concern is that the kind of hate exhibited against President Bush may be likely to emerge against President Trump, especially considering how the media, both the old media and especially the newer social media, have early on indicated the lack of any line which they will not cross, or at least test.

And I wonder again how different this is from what we regularly read about Abbas and Hamas doing to demonize Israel and incite hatred -- and much worse -- against Israel. The government, laws and culture are very different, but we are still only into the first year of Trump's term, and the media onslaught shows no sign of abating. It continues to demonize, delegitimize and apply a double standard to Trump. If the worst that people say is that want to impeach Trump, I can live with that.

And no, I am not a fan of Donald Trump.

As a side note, in some cases, the cure being offered on those campuses is worse than the disease -- and in fact is nothing more than the disease claiming to be the cure in order to pursue its agenda.

Purdue University's Bill Mullen and Stanford University's David Palumbo-Liu have created what they are calling the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN), which they claim is dedicated to combating "fascists" who use "‘free speech' as a façade for attacking faculty who have stood in solidarity with [targeted] students."

But neither Palumbo-Liu nor Mullen are very particular about the kind of free speech they are willing to protect:
Meanwhile, both Palumbo-Liu and Mullen have been leading figures in the academic campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. In 2014, Mullen issued a call on anti-Israel site Electronic Intifada to "de-Zionize our campuses." Palumbo-Liu, in a 2016 piece titled, "9 things you need to know about the Israeli occupation of Palestine," recommended readers look to alternative news sources for their information on the region, including several sites accused of publishing anti-Semitic content. He later updated the article to remove If Americans Knew from the list, after receiving backlash for recommending an outlet that has repeatedly published conspiracy theories about Jews. IAK has been marginalized even by virulently anti-Israel groups, such as the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and Jewish Voice for Peace.
So yes, while threats against Israel in the Middle East grow stronger, so too the threats against both Israel and Jews in the US and on college campuses grow stronger as well. But the heated language on campuses is spreading into society in general and into the media in particular.

The hate being exploited by Abbas and Hamas is one of the reasons for the dysfunctional leadership of the Palestinian Arabs.

We cannot afford for a similar language of hate to be exploited to undercut the US.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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