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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

From Ian:

Isi Leibler: Taking stock and looking ahead
We enter Rosh Hashanah 5778 with conflicting emotions.

Israel has never been stronger, but we live in a world of chaos.

North Korea threatens nuclear Armageddon and Europe is now suffering Islamist terrorist attacks the likes of which Israel has endured since its inception.

The Iranians and Hezbollah seek to move in on Israel’s northern frontiers, repeatedly proclaiming an imminent war that will destroy Israel. Prospects are nonexistent for peace with the Palestinians and Hamas has announced a renewal of its relationship with Iran.

We now realize that the apparent decline in anti-Semitism after the Shoah was illusory. Globally, anti-Semitism – frequently expressed as anti-Israelism – has escalated.

Domestically, Israel has been inundated with accusations of corruption implicating the prime minister and leading government officials, prominent businessmen, senior bureaucrats and even the IDF. Although these charges have yet to be proven, the accused have been proclaimed guilty by undisciplined police officers and the sensationalist media.

Despite these challenges, we must thank the Almighty; the Jewish people is stronger than it has ever been since the destruction of the Second Temple, and Israel is a regional superpower.

Whatever one's views about U.S. President Donald Trump and despite some unfulfilled campaign promises, he supports Israel. In addition, support for Israel in Congress and the overall American public stands at an all-time high.
Caroline Glick: Israel and the American Jewish crisis
As the New Year 5778 begins, 88% of Israeli Jews say that they are happy and satisfied with their lives. This makes sense. Israel’s relative security, its prosperity, freedom and spiritual blossoming make Israeli Jews the most successful Jewish community in 3,500 years of Jewish history.

The same cannot be said for the Jews of the Diaspora. In Western Europe, Jewish communities that just a generation ago were considered safe and prosperous are now besieged. Synagogues and Jewish schools look like army barracks. And the severe security cordons Jews need to pass through to pray and study are entirely justified. For where they are absent, as they were at the Hyper Cacher Jewish supermarket in Paris in 2015, assailants strike.

Western European Jewry’s crisis is exogenous to the Jewish communities. It isn’t the Jews who caused the crisis, which may in time cause the wholesale exodus of the Jews from Europe. The crisis is a function of growing levels of popular antisemitism spurred by mass immigration from the Islamic world and the resurgence of indigenous European Jew-hatred, particularly on the far Left.

The same cannot be said of the American Jewish community, which at the dawn of 5778 also finds itself steeped in an ever deepening crisis. And while antisemitism is a growing problem in America, particularly on university campuses, unlike their European counterparts, American Jews could mount and win a battle against the growing anti-Jewish forces. But in large part, they have chosen not to. And they have chosen not to fight the antisemites because they are in the midst of a self-induced identity crisis.

First, there is the problem of demographic collapse.
Nearing Centennial, Lord Balfour Descendant Shows Pride in Family Support for Jewish Homeland
In anticipation of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, British and Israeli senior officials convened in Jerusalem last week to discuss the past, present and future of British-Israeli relations.

The Balfour Declaration was a British government public statement, issued on November 2, 1917, that offered support for the establishment of a “national home” in Palestine for the Jewish people. The declaration is credited with galvanizing popular support for Zionism.

The recent UK-Israeli conference was dubbed “From Balfour to Brexit,” and held on September 13 and 14 to inaugurate the new Jerusalem-based Sir Naim Dangoor Centre for UK-Israel Relations. Speakers at the conference, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Israeli Ambassador to Britain Mark Regev, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Natan Sharansky, chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, focused on the history and future of British-Israeli relations. They also discussed the possible political and historical implications of Britain’s upcoming exit from the European Union, as mandated by last year’s so-called “Brexit” vote.

At the conference, Lord Roderick Balfour, the 5th Earl of Balfour — and the great-great nephew of former Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur Balfour — reminisced fondly about “family folklore” of his ancestor’s “very important letter.”



Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: Today’s Battles on Behalf of Israel in Media Are ‘Extension of the Historic Jewish Struggle for Emancipation’
Contemporary battles to defend Israel in the media are an “extension of the historic Jewish struggle for emancipation,” Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief Dovid Efune declared on Monday at the paper’s annual gala in New York City.

Speaking in front of an audience of over 600 supporters, Efune recalled, “Even the early pioneers knew that the fight for Jewish self-determination would not end with the founding of the Jewish state. Indeed, there is a long and hard road ahead. And the emergence of today’s Information Age has set forth new challenges that have hindered the Jewish campaign to secure our place in the community of nations.”

“In a world where media consumption is at an all-time high, where TV narratives and social media trends command the attention of policymakers, where editors and producers reign supreme, the Jewish people find themselves vulnerable yet again,” he went on to say.

The purpose of The Algemeiner, Efune stated, was to provide a “media home for the Jewish people and everything that the Jewish people stand for — for truth, for justice, for speaking out, for reaching out to those in need,” serving as a “lighthouse newspaper” to “shine a light of truth over the troubled waters of deception and falsehood, and also to highlight the good and the heroic in this world.”

Watch Efune’s remarks in their entirety below:
Algemeiner Unveils 4th Annual ‘J100’ List at Star-Studded Gala Featuring Miloš Zeman, Yaacov Agam and Stuart and Robbi Force
The Algemeiner unveiled its 4th annual “J100” list of top 100 people “positively influencing Jewish life” on Monday night, at a star-studded gala in New York City. Honorees in attendance included President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman, Israeli artist Yaacov Agam and activists Stuart and Robbi Force.

The event, held at Cipriani’s 25 Broadway location, was attended by over 600 people, who gathered in support of The Algemeiner.

Both Zeman and Agam received The Algemeiner‘s prestigious “Warrior for Truth” award.

Special guests Stuart and Robbi Force — the parents of the late Taylor Force, the US Army veteran murdered in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv last year for whom a proposed bill seeking to restrict American aid to the Palestinian Authority was named — also delivered moving remarks at the event.

Other notable attendees included: James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal; National Security Council member Victoria Coates; Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein; legal scholar Alan Dershowitz; World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder; Refet Kaplan of Fox News; artist Ron Agam; actor Paul Sorvino; former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro; Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan; Czech Ambassador to the US Hynek Kmoníček; Czech Ambassador to the UN Marie Chatardova; and Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein, among a number of community and industry leaders.

The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was TV personality S.E. Cupp, and Event Chairs were Neil and Sharon Book. Bernard-Henri Lévy served as Honorary Chairman, and i24 News anchor Shayna Estulin hosted the red carpet.
Terrorist Rasmea Odeh deported
Today was the day. Convicted terrorist murderer and immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh’s last day on U.S. soil.

She’s been stripped of her citizenship and put on a plane out of O’Hare for Jordan, where she’ll join convicted terrorist murderer Ahlam Tamimi, the mastermind of the Sbarro Pizzeria Massacre.

For background on Rasmea and her pathetic lying supporters, see my post Convicted terrorist and immigration fraudster Rasmea Odeh to be deported September 19.

I also gave a detailed explanation in my interview, The Lies of Rasmea Odeh and Her Supporters Exposed.

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign by Rasmea’s supporters, the Associated Press headline, widely shared, referred to her as an “activist” rather than the terrorist she is and uncritically quoted her claim of a coerced confession:

IsraellyCool: Further Proof BDS Supports Destruction of Israel
In searching for material for my Rasmea Odeh deportation post, I came across the following tweet of some of her supporters, clearly calling for the destruction of Israel (liberation of Palestine = all of British mandate Palestine, including modern Israel).

While I do not recognize most of these people, two stand out.
I do not know who the guy marked on the top left is, but he is part of Adalah NY and advocates for BDS. He is one of the “stars” of one the BDS flash mob fail videos I have featured on this blog.

The woman on the bottom left is Anna Baltzer, another BDS-hole I have featured on the blog a number of times, and who also features in one of the BDS flash mob fail videos I have posted.

So while we can laugh at their lame dance moves and terrible singing, what they stand for is terrifying.
Keith Ellison Compares Illegal Immigrants To Jews In Nazi Germany
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) issued a rather outlandish and gross analogy on Wednesday in which he compared illegal immigrants in the United States to Jews living in Nazi Germany.

Ellison was speaking at a panel in Minneapolis focusing on immigration reform and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and began ranting about how American citizens are supposedly "deeply connected" to illegals.

"Three million DACA recipients live with someone who is a citizen of the United States," Ellison bloviated. "Add that to the people who work with a DACA recipient. Add that to people who are the parents of a DACA recipient. Add that to people who are parents of American citizens."


"You are literally talking over 100 million Americans who are in some way — way more than 100 million, maybe well over that — who are deeply connected to people who have immigrated to the United States, some with official papers some with not."

Ellison went on to claim that this means Americans have a moral obligation to provide sanctuary for illegals and then proceeded to make the disgusting comparison.

"If you ask yourself, 'What I would I do if I was a gentile in 1941 if my Jewish neighbors were under attack by the Nazis, would I give them sanctuary?'" Ellison said. "You might be about to find what you'd do. Will you pass that moral test, or will you fail it?"

To seriously compare illegals living in America today to Jews in Nazi Germany is gross and wrong in a myriad of ways. People who are here illegally — meaning they broke the law and are facing consequences for doing so — are far different than Jews who were gassed to death by the Nazis. To make that comparison trivializes the horrors of the Holocaust.

Ellison is also in no position to be making such a comparison given his extensive ties to Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam and record of anti-Semitism. And he's the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Brendan O’Neill: Parsons Green: silence in the face of terror
This near erasure of terror attacks from the nation’s memory, or at least from the nation’s daily political interactions, is not an accident. All those PC-sounding platitudes – don’t let them get to you, stand together, love conquers hate, move on, etc – are precisely designed to discourage intellectual and political interrogation of the problem of 21st-century terror in favour of encouraging us to feel small, short-lived emotions instead. This post-terror culture, the cultivation of sadness over debate, ‘carrying on’ over confronting the problem, is an attempt by the cultural elite to decommission what it sees as ordinary people’s problematic anger and to ensure we have only a passive response to terror. Lay a flower and go home again, like good, obedient children.

This isn’t stoicism. Stoicism doesn’t mean being silent or refusing to think hard about the problems that face you and your society. Strictly speaking, stoicism is the opposite of that: it’s an Ancient Greek philosophy that encouraged the endurance of hardship and indifference to pain precisely as a means of heightening knowledge and reasoned discussion. What we have post-terror today runs counter to this. It’s the cultivation of national indifference to acts of mass murder as a means of repressing discussion, not facilitating it. When, in earlier periods, people were encouraged to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ – most notably during the Second World War – the aim wasn’t to shush awkward debate or dull the minds and questions of the masses. Debates about the problem of Nazism and other issues abounded even as people kept calm and carried on. People were encouraged not to fear the enemy; they were not encouraged to avoid talking about the enemy. What we have today is something different and pretty terrifying: a situation where ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ really means ‘Do not name the enemy; do not talk about it; it’s nothing to worry about; just go back to work’. Keep calm and the shut the hell up.

But there is much to talk about. And have strong feelings about. And get angry about. If it’s true a refugee planted the failed bomb at Parsons Green, then that raises very serious questions about the recent influx of refugees to Europe and about our societies’ failure to assimilate them; it raises questions about the the failure of multiculturalism. That this was the fourth seemingly Islamist attack in Britain this year raises huge questions about this ideology and what we might do to defeat it. That the powers-that-be do not trust us to have an open, frank debate about these mass murders of our fellow citizens raises big questions about democracy and freedom of speech. We should not fear terrorism but we should confront it, really, freely and honestly. Right now, one gets the impression that officialdom and the media elite fear us and our ideas and feelings more than they do terrorists.
London police on high alert in Jewish communities ahead of High Holy Days
London's Metropolitan Police is on higher alert in the Jewish communities ahead of the High Holy Days, a Jewish volunteer community group posted on Wednesday.

Shomrim UK, a Jewish volunteer community safety patrol organization based in England, tweeted a letter they received by Metropolitan Police saying that London police will be working closely with the Jewish community in the coming weeks "to provide an extra level of visibility and vigilance."

This comes after Metropolitan Police arrested two more suspects on Wednesday in the investigation of the September 15 terror attack at London's Parsons Green train station, that Islamic State claimed responsibility for.

A home-made bomb on a packed rush-hour commuter train in London engulfed a carriage in flames, but apparently failed to fully explode, injuring 22 people in the attack.

However, the letter to Shomrim UK stated that this raise in security is "not in response to a raised threat." The British police added that it is an opportunity to work closer with London's Jewish community and to ensure a "happy and safe holy day period."
Twin converts to Islam added to US blacklist after plotting terror attacks against Jews
The United States put twin brothers from South Africa who planned attacks on Jewish institutions in their native country and on the US embassy on its terror blacklist.

Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, 24, were arrested in July 2016 in South Africa and charged with three counts related to terrorism. They had converted to Islam the year before.

The State Department said that because of the threat they pose to US security the pair had been named “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.”

“These designations seek to deny Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie the resources they need to plan and carry out terrorist attacks,” the State Department said in a statement Tuesday.

“Today’s designations notify the U.S. public and the international community that Tony-Lee Thulsie and Brandon-Lee Thulsie have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism. Terrorism designations expose and isolate entities and individuals, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of U.S. agencies and other governments,” the statement said.
We Didn't Normalize Trump. We Normalized the Left's Violence.
Last week, conservative Ben Shapiro gave a speech. At Berkeley. And all across America, people watched their screens to see what sort of violence would erupt.

Reality was anticlimactic. Law enforcement was out in force, at an estimated price tag of $600,000. Concrete barriers were erected to hold back the liberal “antifa,” and police obtained permission in advance to use pepper spray. Much of campus was locked down and cleared out. Nine people were arrested. And so, Shapiro arrived, gave his speech, and departed without the mayhem we’ve become accustomed to seeing at such appearances. And collective relief was sighed.

But how relieved should we be that this is what it takes to maintain order in the face of … a speech? On the one hand it shows that even in the heart of antifa territory, police and authorities that are actually determined to control them can do so. That’s good to know (and gives the lie to chicken authorities who would give antifa a heckler’s veto). And yet, those authorities could be forgiven for feeling daunted, even aggrieved, when they realize that every speaker antifa doesn’t like means vast sums, and considerable effort, expended on turning your public spaces into a demilitarized zone.

I don’t have an ironclad date for when antifa became a recognizable, and destructive, force in our politics. But I really began to notice them around the time of Trump’s election, when I saw people defending their actions on the grounds that they were trying to stop Trump from being “normalized.” It was argued that protesting-as-usual -- show up, mill around for a while, chant a bit, and then go home to see how much news coverage you got -- was inadequate to our uniquely dangerous historical moment. Stronger action was called for.
Masa pulls funding for ‘anti-occupation’ program
A program for Diaspora Jews began a crowdfunding campaign on Monday after Masa Israel pulled its support, citing participants’ involvement in certain disputed activity in the West Bank.

The program in question is Achvat Amim, meaning “Solidarity of Nations,” which for the past four years has operated under the wing of Masa Israel, a division of the Jewish Agency.

The decision comes a month after right-wing watchdog Ad Kan went to the media saying that Achvat Amim, a program organized by the Hashomer Hatza’ir youth group, was carrying out demonstrations in Palestinian villages and provoking IDF soldiers.

Video footage taken by participants in the program revealed members of Achvat Amim volunteering at the “Sumud Freedom Camp” – a Palestinian camp in the South Hebron Hills that was established in May and lasted some 40 days, Ad Kan said. Footage purported to show Achvat Amim participants involved with the reconstruction of this outpost and clashing with security personnel.

Achvat Amim slammed the Ad Kan report as “inaccurate and misleading,” saying that the activity in question referred to a six-week event “that brought together Israelis, Palestinians and Jews from around the world to take part in entirely legal activities – clearing, cleaning and making livable the area of the cave home of a local Palestinian family who were working to bring life back to the land they had left two decades ago.
Illinois Democrats Take Stand against Anti-Israel Boycott Campaign
The Democrats scored an important victory against hatred and intolerance earlier this month when State Senator Daniel Biss announced that he had dropped his running mate, Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor.

A week earlier the Evanston Democrat had selected Ramirez-Rosa to run alongside him in the Democratic primary. But the relationship quickly soured over Ramirez-Rosa’s support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, a fringe anti-Semitic group that calls for the ostracization of companies and institutions that do business with Israel.

Within hours of Ramirez-Rosa’s nomination, Illinois Democrats launched a campaign of protest, expressing a zero-tolerance stance against BDS and anti-Semitism in Democratic Party ranks. A few days later, influential Congressman Brad Schneider had withdrawn his support for Biss’ campaign, citing reservations over Ramirez-Rosa’s “past comments about the United States support of our ally Israel.”

The Democratic Congressman also voiced concern over the alderman’s affiliation with the Democratic Socialists of America, an activist organization which, at its convention in Chicago in August, passed a resolution in support of BDS.

For the Democrats to respond to events quickly and decisively was crucial. It set a standard for the rest of the country that, when you need to move left to win a primary, there is a red line on Israel that makes supporting BDS — on its own — disqualifying for candidates for state-wide office.
IsraellyCool: Michael Moore Hosts Roger Waters
We already know Michael Moore is on the wrong side of history, which includes hatred of Israel.

So it comes as no surprise that he would have rock-n-roll BDS-hole Roger Waters as his guest on his Broadway show.

In this clip, Waters brings up BDS and receives boos from some in the audience – obviously wise to what he and BDS are really all about. But in true Waters dishonest fashion, he suggests the boos are about something else entirely.

These two are turds of a feather.

Hijacking: Anti-Israel language in Cornell Student Assembly statement about racial incidents
The Cornell campus currently is in turmoil over two racial incidents.

In one, a student shouted “build a wall” near the Latino Living Center. At least two reports (Campus Reform and The New American) claim the student was Hispanic and said it to mock Trump. The Cornell administration has declined to confirm or deny those reports, referring me instead to prior general statements from university officials. I may have more on that in a subsequent post.

In a second incident, one or more students who got into a fight off campus with a black student called him the “N” word.

There have been multiple statements from the university administration promising action, and some student assembly members are considering trying to ban “hate speech” as part of a campus code revision.

The Cornell student assembly considered last night a statement on the incidents.

Some students, however, used the opportunity to hijack the student assembly statement to insert language against the completely unrelated Cornell’s partnership with The Technion, Israel’s high tech university.
For Comment on Holocaust Museum, New York Times Turns to Anti-Israel Activist
The New York Times finally tackled the issue of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s report analyzing whether America could have prevented the genocide and refugee crisis in Syria — and, unbelievably, it gives the last word in the story to a notorious anti-Israel agitator.

The Times article, by Sopan Deb and Max Fisher, is error-riddled and tendentious from the very beginning. Its first sentence is: “The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is finding itself in an unfamiliar position: as a lightning rod for the fierce debate over the Obama administration’s role in the Syrian civil war.”

This is wrong on two counts.

First it’s not an “unfamiliar position” for the museum to be at the center of a controversy about the Middle East. In fact it’s been repeatedly in this position. There was the flap over Yasser Arafat’s visit to the museum. There was a flap in the late 1990s — I wrote about it for The Forward at the time — over the museum’s involvement with a book about war crimes that included a section about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian Arabs.

Second, the description of what happened in Syria as a “civil war” is the sort of term that takes the side of those who argued that America shouldn’t get involved. If it was a Syrian “civil war,” then why get in the middle of it? If it was a Syrian genocide, or refugee crisis, or humanitarian crisis, then the case for American intervention might be stronger.
Facebook may be facing a new ‘era of accountability’
The problems keep piling up for Facebook, and it’s unclear how long the internet giant will be able to brush them aside as it barrels toward acquiring its next billion users.

The world’s biggest social network has unwittingly allowed groups backed by the Russian government to target users with ads. That’s after it took months to acknowledge its outsized role in influencing the US election by allowing the spread of fake news — though before news emerged that it let advertisers target messages to “Jew-haters.”

Now Facebook is under siege, facing questions from lawmakers and others seeking to rein in its enormous power. The company has turned over information on the Russia-backed ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the US presidential election. Critics say the company also needs to tell its users how they might have been influenced by outside meddlers.

Speculation is rife that Facebook executives, perhaps including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, could be called to testify before Congress. Hearings might lead to new regulations on the company.

“Facebook appears to have been used as an accomplice in a foreign government’s effort to undermine democratic self-governance in the United States,” writes Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission and now head of a nonpartisan election-law group, in a letter to Zuckerberg.
The 4’11” Jewish woman who entered the lion’s den to spy on Nazi Germany
The 4’11” French Jewish woman was walking through a field of snow when the ground underneath her began to crack. She was a spy for the Allies, sent to infiltrate the German front, but her military guide had neglected to mention the frozen body of water along the way. When the ice broke and Marthe Cohn fell into the canal, she wondered if this was finally the end.

“I told myself, if you don’t get out from here as fast you can, you’re going to die of hypothermia,” recalled Cohn, now 97.

But perishing wasn’t an option. Dying would mean giving up on her top-secret mission and squandering the courage those closest to her had shown in the face of terror.

Her siblings worked to save fellow Jews from the horrors of the Nazi regime. Her fiancé, Jacques, was also involved with the resistance. He was later executed by the German army for his actions.

Cohn herself had been threatened and insulted for her religion. But she was a spy now — a spy with an important task, and she had no intention of returning to her superiors empty handed.
‘I Am a Jew,’ Czech President Milos Zeman Tells Algemeiner Gala
More than 600 guests at The Algemeiner‘s annual gala in New York City on Monday night sat enthralled by a speech from Czech President Miloš Zeman, in which he talked of his love for Israel and the Jewish people, and ridiculed what he called the “yes, but…” method of supporting Israel.

“I paraphrased the famous slogan of John F. Kennedy, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner,'” Zeman told the crowd, as he recalled a speech he’d made at a major international conference.

Said Zeman, “I told them, ‘I am a Jew.'” He then added in Hebrew – to warm applause from the crowd – “ani yehudi.”

Zeman, who was accepting The Algemeiner‘s “Warrior for Truth” award, declared that words by themselves were not enough. He highlighted the global risks facing Israel and the democratic world, especially “Islamic terrorism,” and the need for “concrete action.”

Zeman was scathing towards those who accept Israel as a fact, but do not respect its legitimacy. He noted that there are those who, when asked if they support Israel, answer, “yes, but…”

Zeman cited international refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as an example of this attitude.
IDF guides rename Temple Mount
The IDF has officially expunged the term "Temple Mount," choosing instead to refer to Judaism's holiest site as "behind the Kotel," NRG reported.

In a pamphlet given to soldiers going on a tour of Jerusalem, the guidebook given to soldiers says that the famous Binding of Yitzhak (Isaac) occurred "behind the Kotel," using that term instead of the Temple Mount.

According to Makor Rishon, newer booklets produced by the IDF's Jewish Identity Branch do not discuss the Binding of Yitzhak at all.

The pamphlet, produced by the IDF Rabbinate titled, "The Selichot Tours Booklet," is currently serves as the Slichot excursion guidebook for soldiers. It contains explanations and sources for the selichot prayers, including one which describes the Binding of Yitzhak - an event mentioned both in Sephardic and Ashkenazic selichot prayers.

NRG reported that according to the booklet, the Binding of Yitzhak is "one of the most important events in the history of the Jewish nation. Our forefather Avraham, the founder of the Jewish nation, was willing to give up what meant most to him - his son Yitzhak, for the sake of his lofty ideals. And Yitzhak himself was willing to give up his life for these ideals."
Israel to dispatch rescuers, aid after quake devastates Mexico
Israel said it will dispatch aid to Mexico following a devastating earthquake that shook the center of the country, collapsing buildings and killing at least 149 people.

Dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 places in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed sickeningly.

Hours after the magnitude 7.1 quake, rescue workers were still clawing through the wreckage of a primary school that partly collapsed in the city’s south looking for any children who might be trapped. Some relatives said they had received Whatsapp message from two girls inside.

Luis Felipe Puente, head of the national Civil Defense agency, reported Tuesday night that the confirmed death toll had been raised to 149.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Mexico had asked Israel for aid after Netanyahu offered help.

“Netanyahu ordered that aid and a search and rescue operation be organized to leave to Mexico as soon as possible,” his office said late Tuesday.
IDF to send 50-person delegation to earthquake-hit Mexico
A delegation of 50 soldiers from the IDF’s Home Front Command is expected to travel to Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon to assist local teams after a large earthquake devastated portions of the country, an army spokesperson said.

At least 248 people were killed when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, including 21 children crushed beneath an elementary school that was reduced to rubble.

Late Tuesday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Mexico had asked Israel for aid after Netanyahu offered help.

“Netanyahu ordered that aid and a search and rescue operation be organized to leave to Mexico as soon as possible,” his office said.

The 50-person delegation is made up mostly of engineers who will help assess the structural integrity of buildings in Mexico City and other affected areas. It will include only a small number of search and rescue personnel, and no field hospital. The IDF spokesperson said such delegations may be sent in the future, but that has yet to be decided as of Wednesday morning.
16 UN ambassadors wish Jews, Israel a happy new year in video compilation
Sixteen United Nations ambassadors wished Jews around the world a happy new year in a video compilation posted to Facebook Wednesday by Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon.

“We have many friends in the world who are true allies that support Israel here in the United Nations. These countries wish us a happy new year,” said Danon at the opening of the one-minute clip.

While UN ambassadors from 15 countries earned short cameos wishing the Jewish people a happy and healthy new year, US Ambassador Nikki Haley received the most spotlight. “Happy new year to all of our friends. Whether its in the United States, Israel or around the globe. Shanah Tovah. We wish you all the best in health happiness and peace. God bless,” she said.

Along with the US and Israel, the other countries represented in the clip were Germany, Hungary, Albania, India, Argentina, Australia, Rwanda, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Estonia, Uruguay, Austria and Togo
Stand With Us: A Rosh HaShana Message From Roz Rothstein, CEO




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.
From Ian:

Trump’s Turtle Bay Triumph
President Trump delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, and it was a triumph.

The speech offered the clearest sign yet that the administration has parted with Steve Bannon and other Breitbart types who wanted to use Trump as a bulldozer against liberal order. At Turtle Bay, Trump recommitted Washington to the defense of a U.S.-led world order. He also called out forcefully the rogue states that seek “to collapse the values, the systems and alliances that prevented conflict and tilted the world toward freedom.”

Trump praised the founding of the U.N. and the Marshall Plan, based on the “noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent and free” and the “vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security and promote their prosperity.” Robert Kagan couldn’t have said it better.

Turning to specific global security challenges, Trump similarly telegraphed a return to the GOP’s postwar foreign-policy traditions.
  • On Iran: “We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities [in Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen] while building dangerous missiles. And we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program . . . Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever. The day will come when the people will face a choice: Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror? Or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth, where their people can be happy and prosperous?”
  • On socialism in Venezuela and beyond: “The problem in Venezuela isn’t that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba, to Venezuela; wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems.”
  • On U.N. reform: “Too often, the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble ends have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them. For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the U.N. Human Rights Council.”
  • On the threat from revanchist regimes in Moscow and Beijing: “We must reject threats to sovereignty, from the Ukraine to the South China Sea.”

Netanyahu at UN: Despite Iranian Threats, “The Light of Israel Will Never be Extinguished”
In his speech before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hailed what he called a “revolution” in Israel’s acceptance around the world and warned that despite Iranian threats “the light of Israel will never be extinguished.”

“This is happening because so many countries around the world have finally woken up to what Israel can do for them,” Netanyahu explained. “Those countries now recognize what brilliant investors like Warren Buffet and great companies like Google and Intel, what they’ve recognized and known for years: That Israel is the innovation nation – the place for cutting-edge technology in agriculture, in water, in cyber security, in medicine, in autonomous vehicles – you name it, we’ve got it.”

Netanyahu added that Israel doesn’t just give the world the technology to improve lives, but the information needed to save lives, “Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world. We have saved countless lives. You may not know this, but your governments do, and they are working closely together with Israel to keep your countries safe and your citizens safe.”

After noting that hundreds of foreign dignitaries visited Israel in the past year, Netanyahu said, “After 70 years, the world is embracing Israel, and Israel is embracing the world.”

Despite the positive changes, the Prime Minister also noted that Israel still isn’t fully accepted, a problem that, he observed, was apparent at the UN.


Pal. activist: Flotillas are for propaganda, not humanitarian goals
Hamas-affiliated flotilla leader Zaher Birawi has admitted that the goal of flotillas sailing toward Gaza is not really humanitarian, but propaganda, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center reported on Tuesday.

The British-Palestinian activist has also predicted that the next flotilla designed to break Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas in Gaza will take place in summer 2018.

He made the statements in a recent interview by Felesteen, Hamas’s daily newspaper, translated and analyzed by the intelligence center.

Birawi is the chairman of the International Committee for Breaking the Siege on Gaza, an umbrella organization established to send flotillas to Gaza.

According to the Center, the flotilla leader said the flotillas’ main goal is propaganda aimed at keeping the Palestinians, Gaza and the “siege” as “live” topics in global discourse.

He stated that the objectives of the flotillas are to defame Israel, and to increase the effect of the political and media campaigns accompanying the flotillas.



At UN, Netanyahu Declares a Belligerent Iran ‘Has No Fiercer Enemy Than Israel,’ Lauds Jewish State’s Enhanced Global Status
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu devoted much of his address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday afternoon to a blistering attack on the Iranian regime, pointedly citing similarly strong remarks made by US President Donald Trump from the same podium a few hours earlier.

“Iran vows to destroy my country every day,” Netanyahu told the gathered delegates, quickly turning to his criticism of the Iran nuclear deal of 2015.

“Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn’t block Iran’s path to a bomb, but paves its way to a bomb,” Netanyahu said.

The Israeli leader argued that the deal’s fatal flaw is the “sunset clause” governing restrictions on Iran’s nuclear development — echoing his 2015 speech before the UN in which he stated, “what makes matters even worse is that we see a world celebrating this bad deal, rushing to embrace and do business with a regime openly committed to our destruction.”

“In a few years, those restrictions will be automatically removed, not by a change in Iran’s behavior or a lessening of its aggression, they will be removed by a mere change in the calendar,” Netanyahu asserted on Tuesday. “The sunset will cast a dark shadow over the Middle East and the world. Iran will be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons.”
PMO: Prime Minister Netanyahu at the UN: Iran Vows to Destroy My Country Every Day
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday:

In recent years, Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world. We have saved countless lives. You may not know this, but your governments do, and they are working closely together with Israel to keep your countries safe and your citizens safe.

Iran vows to destroy my country every day, including by its chief of staff the other day. Iran is conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East and Iran is developing ballistic missiles to threaten the entire world.

In the last few months, we've all seen how dangerous even a few nuclear weapons can be in the hands of a small rogue regime. Now imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the hands of a vast Iranian Islamist empire, with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth. I know there are those who still defend the dangerous deal with Iran, arguing that it will block Iran's path to the bomb. That's exactly what they said about the nuclear deal with North Korea, and we all know how that turned out.

Fixing the deal means getting rid of the sunset clause. And beyond fixing this bad deal, we must also stop Iran's development of ballistic missiles and roll back its growing aggression in the region. I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations, one after the other. And that's precisely what Iran is doing today.

We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us. And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border.
Netanyahu slams Iran deal in fiery UN speech, urges world to ‘fix it or nix it’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harshly condemned the Iran nuclear deal in a speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, warning that the accord will pave the way for Iran to obtain nuclear weapons if it is not scrapped or altered.

After praising Donald Trump’s address earlier in the day from the same podium, in which the US president called the Islamic Republic a “murderous” regime and the nuclear deal an “embarrassment,” Netanyahu said the 2015 accord strengthened Iran’s nuclear program and posed a grave threat to the entire world.

“Imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the hands of a vast Iranian Islamist empire, with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth,” he said.

Netanyahu singled out for criticism the deal’s so-called sunset clause, which will lift limitations on Iran’s nuclear program when the accord expires in over a decade.

“When that sunset comes, a dark shadow will be cast over the entire Middle East and the world, because Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that the failure of past agreements meant to limit North Korea’s nuclear program showed that the Iran pact “will turn out exactly the same way.”
David Horovitz: With US president in his corner, Netanyahu brings new swagger to his UN address
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an accomplished veteran of United Nations General Assemblies, a reliably eloquent orator, whose team devotes immense time and effort to formulating his annual appearances at the global podium. Unlike some of his Israeli prime ministerial predecessors, his English is flawless. He never stumbles over his words. He never mangles those carefully constructed sentences.

And so it was on Tuesday, at the Assembly’s 72nd session. The difference, this time, was in the prime minister’s air of assurance.

He has never been short of self-belief. But Netanyahu spoke not as the embittered outsider protesting the world body’s history of anti-Israel bias, not as the friendless target of our region’s aggressors, and not as the exasperated lone voice despairing at his peers’ refusal to interpret current affairs with his wisdom. Netanyahu spoke, rather, with the ultra-confident mien of a national leader who believes the tide of history is turning toward him and his country.

One key factor in that dramatically elevated level of confidence, of course, is the change of US presidency since the last such gathering. Where president Barack Obama championed the Iranian nuclear accord, pushed a reluctant Netanyahu relentlessly for compromise with the Palestinians, and voted an extremely discomfiting resolution through the United Nations Security Council, President Donald Trump shares his horror at the nuclear deal, has made no public demands of Netanyahu regarding the Palestinians, and is determined to reform the UN’s anti-Israel obsessions.

Another major cause of the prime minister’s undisguised sense of growing vindication, as he made plain in his speech, is the simple fact that he is finding a friendly welcome among numerous countries around the world that are gradually recognizing how much of a powerhouse Israel has become in areas central to their national well-being — innovation, technological advances, intel, counter-terrorism and more.
Netanyahu hails Trump’s ‘courageous’ UN speech blasting Iran
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised US President Donald Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, in which the American blasted Iran and North Korea, calling it the most “courageous speech” he had ever heard at the world body.

“In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech,” Netanyahu said in a statement after the speech. “President Trump spoke the truth about the great dangers facing our world, and issued a powerful call to confront them in order to ensure the future of humanity.”

Netanyahu, who, in attendance at Trump’s speech along with his wife Sara, applauded enthusiastically at turns. He is set to speak at the UN later Tuesday in an address expected to include a scathing rebuke of the Iran nuclear deal and Tehran’s support for terror groups.

In a video filmed at the UN ahead of his speech and posted on social media, Netanyahu said his speech would not be one the Iranians will soon forget.
Macron defends ‘solid, robust’ Iran nuke deal after Trump speech
French President Emmanuel Macron stood firm Tuesday that the landmark agreements limiting Iran’s nuclear program and climate change would not change, as he gently nudged US President Donald Trump to drop his opposition to the accords.

Macron, like Trump appearing for the first time at the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders, met his US counterpart on Monday for their latest meeting — which appeared to be friendly, but did not bridge differences.

Trump devoted much of his own address at the General Assembly to denouncing Iran, calling the seven-nation agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program championed by his predecessor Barack Obama an “embarrassment to the United States.”

But Macron said that the 2015 deal — reached between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany — was a “solid, robust agreement that verifies that Iran will not build a nuclear weapon.”

“To reject it now without proposing anything else would be a grave error, and not respecting it would be irresponsible,” Macron told assembly.
Families of Americans Imprisoned in Iran Applaud Trump’s Call for Their Return in UN Speech
Families and advocates for Americans imprisoned in Iran applauded President Trump for demanding the release of all U.S. prisoners and others unjustly detained in Tehran during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

Family members of Siamak and Baquer Namazi, a father and son who are being held in Iran's notorious Evin prison, also urged Trump to take urgent action to try to secure their release. They warned that 81-year-old Baquer Namazi's life is hanging in the balance after he underwent heart surgery to install a pacemaker just hours before Trump spoke.

During Trump's speech to the United Nations, he demanded that Iran free all Americans, as well as those from other countries, who the regime is holding captive on false charges.

"It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations they have unjustly detained," Trump said.

The president also condemned North Korea for its "deadly abuse" of Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia college student held in North Korea for more than a year and a half, much of it in a coma. Pyongyang released Warmbier in June while still in a coma to his parents in the United States, and he died just days later.

"My family is rapidly running out of time," Babak Namazi, the brother of Siamak and son of Baquer, said in a statement Tuesday after Trump's speech. "I hope and a pray that my father and brother won't suffer the same fate [as Otto Warmbier] at the hands of the Iranian government. I urge the president to spare no effort to bring my family home."
U.S. Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt: International Community Should Help the Palestinian People and Isolate Hamas
Speaking at a conference of donor nations to the PA on Monday, Jason Greenblatt, the U.S. special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, said, "The United States is deeply committed to achieving an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement....After years of well-meaning attempts to negotiate an end to this conflict, we have all learned some valuable lessons. Instead of working to impose a solution from the outside, we are giving the parties space to make their own decisions about their future. Instead of laying blame for the conflict at the feet of one party or the other, we are focused on implementing existing agreements and unlocking new areas of cooperation which benefit both Palestinians and Israelis."

"The time has come to stop monitoring the situation in Gaza and start changing the situation in Gaza. For too long, Hamas has exploited the people of Gaza as hostages and shields, bullying them into submission. Hamas rules by the fist, instead of by improving the lives of the people it purports to govern. Hamas continues to divert money belonging to the Palestinians of Gaza - including funds provided by international donors - and uses these funds to build terror tunnels, missiles and for other nefarious uses....It's time for the Palestinian Authority to take control of Gaza - and for the international community to take steps to help this happen. Relief from the suffering in Gaza can only be found when all interested parties gather together to help the Palestinian people and isolate Hamas." (U.S. Mission to the UN)
MEMRI: 'Abbas Ahead Of UNGA Speech: I Will Continue Payments To Families Of Prisoners And Martyrs
On the eve of his speech at the UN General Assembly and his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, Palestinian President Mahmoud 'Abbas reiterated his refusal to meet the U.S. and Israeli demand to halt the payment of salaries and allowances to the prisoners and to the families of the martyrs, calling them Palestinian fighters and stressing his commitment to them.[1]

In an interview with the London-based Qatari daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, 'Abbas referred to the Al-Aqsa events – which erupted following Israel's decision to install metal detectors at the Al-Aqsa compound gates in response to the deadly shooting perpetrated on July 14, 2017 by three Arabs – as "non-violent popular resistance" and stressed that such activity would continue. He also said that security coordination with Israel will not be renewed, explaining that the Al-Aqsa events had provided an opportunity to implement the decision taken two years ago by the PLO Central Committee to suspend the security coordination.

'Abbas criticized Arab countries that are acting to normalize their relations with Israel prior to the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, stating that this contravenes the Arab peace initiative. He also said that he would take legal and diplomatic action to compel Britain to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration,[2] and criticized the U.S. for failing to pressure Israel to withdraw to the 1967 borders.
UN: Economic peace can’t replace Palestinian statehood
Refueling the Palestinian economy must go hand-in-hand with a plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman told a high level donor meeting in New York on Monday night.

“Economic development, critical as it is, is no substitute for sovereignty and statehood,” Feltman said.

“For more than 20 years, we have told Palestinians that they need to focus on institution building and socioeconomic development.

“We have encouraged and supported them in preparing for statehood. The time has come for us to deliver on that promise,” he told the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which held its annual meeting in New York on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

The forum is held twice a year and is the only venue in which Israelis and Palestinians hold a regular dialogue with the donor and international community.
JPost Editorial: Bibi and Sisi
Egypt and Israel also share an interest in preventing Iranian influence in the region, whether it be via proxies such as Hamas and Hezbollah or in areas of Syria that have remained under the control of Bashar Assad.

In short, there is much of common concern to Netanyahu and Sisi and it is only natural that they meet regularly and publicly.

The toxic atmosphere that surrounds any attempts at normalization between Israel and Egypt is largely the result of deep-seated perceptions in the Muslim world about Israel and Jews. Antisemitism and the vilification of Israel are rampant in Egypt. Wild conspiracy stories are widely believed. If Sisi wants to be able to meet with Netanyahu without being lambasted at home, he needs to take steps as the leader to change perceptions.

But Israel is not completely without blame. Netanyahu might be successful as a political survivor, but he also needs to provide vision and direction as a leader of the Jewish state. An honest attempt needs to be made to reengage with the Palestinians. Though Netanyahu had hoped during his meeting this week with US President Donald Trump that the Palestinian issue would not come up, Trump made it clear via Tweets and public statements that he still views the peace process as a prerequisite to improved relations between Israel and Muslim countries in the region. There are no short cuts. Improved relations with Egypt depend on the success of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

One day a public meeting between Israeli and Egyptian heads of state will be taken for granted. But before that happens both Netanyahu and Sisi have to fulfill their duties as leaders.
Egypt Expert: Public Netanyahu-Sisi Meeting Likely Meant to Signal a Further Warming of Jerusalem-Cairo Ties
Monday’s public sit-down in New York City between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was a manifestation of increasingly close Jerusalem-Cairo ties, an expert on Egyptian politics told The Algemeiner on Tuesday.

“It appears as though this meeting was designed to signal a further warming of relations, and take what had been a behind-the-scenes strategic relationship public,” Eric Trager — the Esther K. Wagner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank — said of the event, which took place on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly session.

“Sisi and Netanyahu met, ostensibly, to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but, in all likelihood, it covered a range of shared interests, including the situation in Sinai, as well as their mutual concerns regarding Turkish and Qatari support for various Islamist movements,” Trager noted.

Furthermore, he said, the two leaders “likely also covered recent developments regarding Hamas, which is increasingly in Egypt’s orbit, rather than Qatar’s.”

“From Israel’s standpoint, that is likely preferable, given that it trusts Sisi more than it trusts Doha,” Trager explained.
Egypt's President Sisi Urges Palestinians to Co-Exist with Israelis
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Palestinians to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security.

"I tell the Palestinian people it's extremely important ... to overcome the differences and not to lose opportunities and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis in safety and security," Sisi told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders in New York.

Following Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Western-backed Fatah faction, Islamist Hamas said on Sunday it would dissolve its "administrative committee" to enable Abbas' administration to retake control in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas urged Abbas on Tuesday to respond by ending his sanctions on the impoverished enclave.

Addressing the Israelis, Sisi said: "We have an excellent experience in Egypt in peace with you for longer than 40 years."

"We can repeat this experience and this excellent step once again - the peace and security of the Israeli citizens together with the peace and security of the Palestinian citizens," Sisi told the 193-member General Assembly to a round of applause.
Iran translator mocked for soft-balling Trump’s UN speech on state TV
An Iranian television translator defended himself Wednesday after being widely criticised for soft-balling US President Donald Trump’s attacks on Iran in his maiden speech to the UN General Assembly.

Nima Chitsaz, a translator for state broadcaster IRIB, said he had decided in the heat of the moment to spare his Persian-speaking viewers from the verbal attacks by the US president.

“I don’t think it would be nice for me to speak on national TV against my own country,” he later told IRINN television.

As a result, when Trump accused Iran of being a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos”, Chitsaz’s Persian translation was simply: “Iran speaks of destroying Israel.”

Trump later told the UN assembly: “Other than the vast military power of the United States… Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most.”

Which was translated for Iranian viewers as: “The US Army is a very strong army and the Iranian nation is a very strong nation.”
A year of security challenges
On the eve of Rosh Hashanah 2017, it seems there are three main regional and global factors that Israel must consider as it forges ahead: The first is an unstable world, which apparently no longer has agreed-upon tools with which to deal with issues that arise between states.

The second is an ambiguous system of world order, in which the United States has withdrawn from its role as the world's policeman; Russia uses its military power to promote its interests in the Middle East while breaking familiar rules; and China, which is gaining economic power, is flexing its muscles and all but ignoring the U.S.

The third is a dynamic Middle East that is undergoing one of the most violent transition processes in its history. In this Middle East, Iran plays an active role and is the main beneficiary of the events of the past seven years, mostly over its support – alongside Russia – of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

The combination of these conditions presents Israel with both an improved strategic situation and several real challenges. On the one hand, these changes have resulted in the fact that none of Israel's neighbors enjoy a true alliance with a superpower, as Israel has with the U.S. Russia may have spared no effort to save Assad, but it did so to demonstrate its power more than out of any sense of deep friendship, and Moscow's relations with Tehran are nothing more than a marriage of convenience.
5 soldiers talk about the year in which they became heroes
These past few years have entailed a difficult and complex day-to-day reality in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria that requires the country's defense and security forces to be on the alert for every possible scenario.

On more than one occasion, these individuals' bravery has made them heroes as they thwarted attacks, saving people and avoiding a disaster.

Meitar Arbiv, 20, from Ahuzat Barak in the Jezreel Valley, serves in the IDF's 282nd Artillery Brigade. In her first years as an officer in the Etzion Brigade, while on a routine patrol near Tekoa, she spotted a suspicious figure and engaged him in conversation. Then he tried to stab her.

"He started to come at me and we physically grappled," Arbiv says.

"At one point, I managed to push him away so there would be room for the officer who was with me during the incident to shoot him and immobilize him."

Arbiv was wounded in the attack, but she says, "Even when it was happening, I was thinking about how to get back to my routine and my soldiers as quickly as possible."
Israeli Security Services Uncover, Dismantle 8-Member Terrorist Cell in Jerusalem
An eight-man terrorist cell in Jerusalem nicknamed the “Ghosts of Silwan” was uncovered and dismantled by Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), police and the Border Police undercover unit in recent weeks, the security organization said on Tuesday.

Eight men, who are Israeli citizens, were arrested in connection with planning to carry out shooting attacks on Israeli vehicles and other targets in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

According to the investigation the cell members were involved in several attacks in the Silwan area such as throwing Molotov cocktails, fireworks, and stones at security forces and security vehicles.

The investigation also found that the cell planned to purchase weapons in order to carry out a shooting attack against Jewish targets in Silwan, such as against Jewish vehicles or homes in the neighborhood.

According to the Shin Bet, the head of the cell identified as 19-year-old Silwan resident Muhammad Farouk was in contact with sources in Lebanon and Gaza who were financing the cell.
The True Enemies of the Palestinians
The agreement makes no reference to Hamas's security control over the Gaza Strip. This means that Hamas and its armed wing, Ezaddin Al-Qassam, will remain the main "law-enforcers" in the Gaza Strip. The idea that Hamas would allow Mahmoud Abbas's security forces to return to the Gaza Strip is pure illusion.

There is no mention in the agreement of Hamas's political and ideological agenda. The agreement does not require Hamas to abandon its charter, which calls for the elimination of Israel. Nor does it require Hamas to lay down its arms and accept Israel's right to exist.

The agreement absolves Hamas of its financial responsibilities towards its constituents in the Gaza Strip. The resumption of Palestinian Authority (PA) funds to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip will allow Hamas to redirect its resources and energies to building up its military capabilities in preparation for war with Israel. Hamas will no longer have to worry about salaries and electricity and medical supplies to the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip because Abbas will be taking care of that.

The agreement facilitates Hamas's effort to project itself as a legitimate player in the Palestinian arena and win international recognition and sympathy. Hamas will now be able to market itself as a legitimate partner in Abbas's Western-funded PA governments.
Quietly, Israeli high-tech companies contract Gaza engineers
So far the Gazan company hasn’t faced pressure from Hamas.

When Mellanox announced it was going to take on staff in Gaza, it was covered in both Israeli and Palestinian media.

Hamas, the Gazan CEO said, could reasonably guess the company but taking action would make dozens of people unemployed and their families poorer.

“Gaza is small and everyone saw the news. No one said anything,” he said.

Yet having lost a family member in the 2014 war, he said he could understand that most Gazans were not ready to work with Israelis.

Waldman said right-wing Israeli politicians had spoken out against the idea.

“We also have some employees that have extreme right political views. They definitely voiced their views,” he said.

None of the staff working in Gaza for Mellanox were willing to speak, even on condition of anonymity.

And while the 10 staff in Gaza are effectively employees of Mellanox, their salaries are paid through a Palestinian firm to avoid tensions.

“We felt it was too sensitive for them to have an Israeli company there,” Waldman said. “One missile can blow the whole thing up.”
The Hubris of Hizbullah
So, for nearly two years now, Israeli military and intelligence officials have been warning every American official who comes through Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that the next war is coming. Israel has methodically prepared its allies—and most especially the Americans— for a very, very ugly war on the horizon. I don’t claim to know the precise spark that will ignite the next conflict, but Israel has been clear about the things it considers to be casus belli, and Hezbollah has consistently ignored them.

I shudder to think what the next conflict will look like. Since 1993, each clash between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon has been successively more violent. 1993’s Operation “Accountability” in southern Lebanon involved mostly air and artillery. 1996 brought Operation “Grapes of Wrath,” and the destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure beyond southern Lebanon. The war in 2006 leveled entire neighborhoods in Beirut, and led to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of civilians in both Lebanon and Israel.

Now, especially since Hezbollah has dispersed its arsenal across Lebanon, the entire country will burn, and Israel will suffer mightily. Not one but two U.S. allies—for the United States has invested heavily in the Lebanese army, which Israel will almost certainly treat as hostile, and which will almost certainly attempt to defend Lebanese territory—will suffer.

And for what? What will Hezbollah have accomplished, other than the destruction of its villages and cities? It has duped its young fighters, who have been fighting the Israeli project of late in such hotbeds of Zionism as Aleppo and Deir az-Zour, into thinking Israel is weak.

Hezbollah has grossly underestimated Israel, a mistake that will prove costly. Hundreds and perhaps thousands of Israelis could die in another conflict, but Israel isn’t going anywhere. This is existential for them. It will be the Lebanese who suffer immeasurably more.

If only Hezbollah could realize that, rather than pursue its present course, so much pain could be avoided.
Syria war crimes investigator blasts impunity in farewell speech
"Outgoing Syria war crimes investigator Carla Del Ponte said on Monday she had quit her post out of frustration over 'total impunity', in a fiery farewell speech.

Del Ponte, an accomplished war crimes prosecutor, announced last month that she was leaving the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Syria, a UN-backed panel that has collected evidence of alleged atrocities committed in the country since the outbreak of civil war in 2011.

'I resign to put an end to my frustration,' Del Ponte told the Human Rights Council, after the COI presented its latest report.

'Seven years of crimes in Syria and total impunity. That is not acceptable'...

She said that when she joined the COI she did not anticipate that the international community would fail to set up a court capable of trying crimes committed in Syria. The commission has repeatedly urged the United Nations Security Council to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court, an effort that has been blocked by the Damascus regime's ally Russia...
US Reminds Russia It Will Defend US-Backed Militias In Syria
The U.S. sent a veiled warning to Russia on Monday, saying that it will not hesitate to defend the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which Russia reportedly hit Saturday with airstrikes.

“@CJTFOIR will defend itself and #SDF against threats; continue to defeat #ISIS in Syria,” Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, tweeted out Monday.

Dillon’s tweet is clearly in reference to the Pentagon’s claim that Russian airstrikes targeted the U.S.-backed, Kurdish-led SDF in Deir Ezzor east of the Euphrates River.

“Russian munitions impacted a location known to the Russians to contain Syrian Democratic Forces and coalition advisers,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “Several SDF fighters were wounded.”

No U.S. advisers embedded with SDF were hit, but a U.S. official told CNN that U.S. special operators were only a couple miles away from the location where the Russian airstrikes hit. The U.S. is still exploring the possibility that the strike was merely an error by the Russians, as opposed to a deliberate attack.
ISIS Propaganda Online Draws More Clicks in U.S. Than Anywhere in Europe
Islamic State propaganda disseminated online draws more clicks in the United States than in any country in Europe despite much-publicized counter efforts by Silicon Valley, according to a new report published Monday night.

Analysts from the Britain-based Policy Exchange think tank reported that over a six-month span beginning in February, the United States was the second most frequent location from which jihadist content was accessed online, preceded only by Turkey.

By a conservative estimate, ISIS produces about 100 items of new content each week, including execution videos and orders for suicide attacks, despite significant territorial losses in Iraq and Syria over the past year.

The analysts said ISIS penetrates western social media platforms through an online "ecosystem" in which content is first disseminated to its core followers through the encrypted Telegram app, and then dispersed by so-called "missionaries" across various mainstream domains such as Twitter and Facebook. The strategy enables the group to reach tens of thousands of users worldwide, many of whom are based in the United States.

The report arrives before British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron this week to deliberate possible measures to crackdown on online extremism. Penalties could include fines against tech companies such as Google and Facebook if they fail to ramp up efforts to remove jihadist content.

The summit comes after the attempted bombing of a subway in London on Friday using an explosive device that can be built from instructions found online.
Iran Dramatically Increases Funding to Hezbollah in Wake of Nuclear Deal
Iran has drastically increased financial support for its Lebanese-based terrorist proxy Hezbollah since the Iran nuclear deal was signed two years ago, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Iran secured $100 billion in frozen assets and sanction relief in January 2016 as a result of the deal with the United States and European countries. Flush with cash, Iran immediately increased its support for terrorist proxies in the region — and nefarious activities worldwide. Hezbollah was receiving $200 million from Iran before the nuclear deal. Now, it’s reportedly $800 million.

Last month, Hamas terrorist leader Yahya Sinwar admitted that “relations with Iran are excellent and Iran is the largest supporter of the [Hamas military wing] Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades with money and arms.” Iran reportedly provides Hamas with about $60-$70 million a year.

Both Hezbollah and Hamas remain dedicated to Israel’s destruction, and continue to invest considerable resources to fight the Jewish state. Iran also spends hundreds of millions of dollars on Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, while increasing support for Houthi militants in Yemen.

Shortly after the July 2015 nuclear deal was signed, Iran expanded its presence in regional conflicts, and even increased its own intervention in Syria’s civil war, leading to mounting Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) casualties.
Al Qaeda: Trump ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’
An al Qaeda-backed media group has issued a "wanted poster" for President Donald Trump that features a picture of the U.S. president with the words, "Wanted dead or alive for crimes against Islam," according to a copy of the poster and accompanying screed published by a Middle East media watchdog group.

Al-Hijrah Media, a pro al Qaeda group, released a statement earlier this week seeking the death of Trump for the United States' involvement in Afghanistan, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

In addition to the wanted poster, the group released a statement lashing out at America for its continued presence in Afghanistan.

The "message to Trump and the Americans" claims that the United States is "weaker today than ever" and that it continues to fail in its efforts to defeat jihadi groups in Afghanistan.

"The U.S. was unable to defeat the Mujahideen when it had more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan," the message states.
Iran frees one of seven Baha’i members jailed for spying for Israel
The Baha’i community on Tuesday welcomed the release of a member serving a 10-year prison term in Iran, but expressed concern for six co-religionists tried alongside her.

Mahvesh Sabet, 64, was released on Monday, Diane Ala’i of the Geneva-based Baha’i International Community told AFP.

Sabet, a former teacher and school principal, and six other leaders of the minority community were arrested in March 2008 and sentenced to 20 years in jail for heresy and espionage for Israel.

Their sentences were later reduced to 10 years.

Iran allows prisoners more than halfway through their sentences to win parole for good behavior.

Sabet “will naturally be awaiting the release of her six colleagues who continue to be unjustly imprisoned,” BIC said in a statement.

“Although the news of the release of Ms Sabet… is a welcome development, it does not signal the end of the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran,” it added.



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An abstract of a paper at the British Journal of Criminology:

Child Arrest, Settler Colonialism, and the Israeli Juvenile System: A Case Study of Occupied East Jerusalem
Bella Kovner  Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

The British Journal of Criminology, azx059, http://ift.tt/2w7vxFe

Published: 15 September 2017

Abstract

Based on three interrelated theoretical frameworksinstitutional racism, settler colonialism and security reasoning—the study examines child arrests in Occupied East Jerusalem (OEJ), addressing how the Israeli justice and law enforcement systems treat Palestinian children. Through analyses of Knesset protocols, court watch participatory observations, review of court proceedings and verdicts, interviews with children, families and professionals in juvenile justice, and a round table discussion, we found that criminalization and punishment are embedded in a systematic, racialized violence that characterizes the Israeli criminal justice system when dealing with Palestinian children in OEJ. The Israeli justice and law enforcement systems categorize Palestinian children as security threats, born terrorists and ideological criminals, lacking all rights.
 This very "study" takes as its starting point that Israel is a racist, colonial state - and then adds a veneer of  "scholarship" based on pure lies and bias. So its conclusion is not surprisingly an affirmation of its initial biased assumptions.

Even the conclusion cannot possibly be based on any empirical evidence. How can anyone prove that the Israeli justice system considers all Arab children terrorists unless there is a court decision that says this - which of course there isn't, because the idea is absurd? Stone throwing and Molotov cocktail throwing 17 year olds who are the ones who get arrested are not the same as all Palestinian children

Even without reading the paper, it is provably garbage.

But good enough to get published by a British journal.



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I haven't yet found the entire show, but here is the beginning at least:



His one minute history of the region is pretty good  - and infinitely better better than some I've seen.

If I get a chance before the holiday I'll add more clips as I find them.





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If there is any topic that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International are known to be concerned with, it is torture (or alleged torture.) The two groups will interview former prisoners and detainees and, often without any corroboration of the stories, publish the most lurid details of the types of tortures endured (or allegedly endured) by the victims.

It is difficult to think of something that human rights groups are better equipped to do than to publicize cases of torture.

There is one group of people that HRW and Amnesty have completely ignored, however.

Last July, the Jerusalem District Court ruled in an 1,800 page decision that some 52 Arabs who were accused of "collaboration" with Israel were entitled to damages for being tortured, often horrifically, by the Palestinian Authority.

The proceedings lasted 14 years. The verdict was announced two months ago. The stories are horrific:

The 1,800-page court decision written by Justice Moshe Drori elaborates on the details of the torture. The gruesome stories, it found, were confirmed by eyewitnesses, the scars on their bodies, and testimony from psychologists.

The victims are being represented by the law office of Barak Kedem, Aryeh Arbus, Netanel Rom and David Zur. Kedem, in an interview with The Times of Israel, described some of the worst cases of torture he can remember from the trial.

For days on end, prisoners were hung upside down. After they lost consciousness, they would be put right side up until they regained consciousness. Then the process would be repeated, he said.

Another method of torture was transferring prisoners back and forth between hot and cold baths. Many had their teeth pulled out with pliers, while some had fingernails extracted. Many spent weeks at a time in a tiny metal closet in which they couldn’t move their bodies.

One man was placed inside a metal barrel and left for five hours in the hot August sun. When they took him out, his interrogators placed salt all over his blistering skin.

Walid himself said that the worst torture method was forcing prisoners to sit on the head of a broken bottle of glass, which tore up their insides.

Though the prisoners were placed in different jails throughout the West Bank, many described the same methods of torture.

Kedem said this showed that these methods “were ordered from up top and not at the discretion of individual interrogators.” In his decision, Justice Drori agreed with this assessment.

At no point while in PA custody were the prisoners brought before a judge.

A few alleged ex-Shin Bet agent prisoners were killed while in jail. (They were represented in the lawsuit by their parents.)

Walid said he witnessed more than one of the executions.
I could not find a single story about torture in Palestinian Authority prisons for any reason on the Amnesty website although there are several that allege Israel tortures Palestinian prisoners.

HRW has a couple of articles about Palestinian rights abuses that mention torture of detainees, but not a word about the "collaborators" with Israel who suffered - provably - the worst kinds of torture, abuse and death.

I mentioned recently that the only people in the world without human rights protection from NGOs   are the Jews of Judea and Samaria, whom these groups are urging to be subject to mass population transfer, an explicit war crime.

This group of "collaborators" with Israel are an even worse example of people whom the NGOs willfully ignore or want to see tortured and dead.

Because they were trying to stop Palestinians from killing Jews.






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(Posting early so my Australian and Israeli readers can see it before the holiday.)


Another year has passed. And it has been a good year for the blog. As far as the rest of the world...hard to say.

Israel is in better diplomatic shape than any time since 1967. Terrorism in Israel is down, again thanks to brilliant IDF intelligence and smart police work.

But Iran is one year closer to the bomb. And it is best friends with North Korea, where it gets much of its missile technology. (And probably nuclear tech as well.) And no one knows what is going to happen with the current resident of the White House.

Praying for two days sounds like a great idea.

On the blog front, I have nearly 25,000 Twitter followers. An article I quickly wrote last week went viral on Facebook and is now my most popular news post ever, with nearly 100,000 views across all platforms. (#1 rule of social media: You never know what will go viral!) I can't even keep up with the comments here any more (if you need to bring something to my attention, please email me!)

I didn't send out my quarterly donation appeal yet, but if you think that this blog is valuable, please use the donation buttons on the sidebar or the subscription Patreon link below.

I created the graphic above a few years ago, to symbolize the 30 mandatory sounds of the shofar as a kind of art (stealing the idea from a mystical artist in Tzfat/Safed.) Feel free to use it as a Sukkah decoration!

May the coming year be one of blessing, health, prosperity, joy and, above all, peace.

I will not be blogging from Wednesday afternoon until at least Saturday night.





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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

From Ian:

Professors Stand Up to BDS
A new academic year has begun and, with it, we can expect new attempts to demonize Israel on our college campuses. As ever, the immoderation of those who support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement should help. The most recent visible move by prominent BDSers has been to try to align their colleagues—in however hedged a manner—with the politically toxic Antifa movement.

So yes, we are not dealing here with strategic masterminds. But, in academia, such people have an advantage, nonetheless. They are “scholar-activists,” distant cousins of the 1960s New Left, who view campuses, as their forebearers did, as grounds from which to assail the powers that be. That is to say, they are there primarily, not incidentally, to engage in political activism. They have an influence far out of proportion to their numbers because most academics are at colleges and universities to teach and engage in research. They don’t, as people say in the movies, want no trouble. So they are inclined to leave politics to the people who care about it, so long as they are allowed to do their work in peace.

It is in part for this reason that organizations like Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and the newer Academic Engagement Network exist (full disclosure: I have worked with both organizations). On the one hand, they enable scholars drawn reluctantly into a fight against BDS to learn from and support each other’s efforts. On the other hand, they try to spread the news that BDS is not only unjust to Israel—a fact that may worry those with no dog in the fight only a little—but also damaging to the academic enterprise, for which BDS seeks to substitute propagandizing.

At the beginning of the academic year, it is worth pausing to notice how many professors have been willing to put their reputations on the line to turn back BDS efforts and how often they have been successful. These include figures like Cary Nelson, Russell Berman, Rachel Harris, Sharon Musher, and Jeffrey Herf, to name just a few. These academicians have well-deserved reputations for waging long and successful campaigns for the integrity of their disciplines in the Modern Language Association and the American Historical Association. But they also include physicist Azriel Genacka and biochemist Fred Naider, who, along with many of their colleagues at the City University of New York, stood up and opposed a pro-BDS resolution passed by a graduate student union there, and supported by some CUNY faculty.

Perhaps most impressively, they include scholars like the anthropologist Gila Silverman, who, despite working in a field that includes many BDS supporters and without the protection of tenure, was willing to fight publicly against a BDS resolution that very narrowly failed to win the support of the American Anthropological Association. Credit is due to the Academic Engagement Network for pulling together, as part of a new guide for faculty, these and other examples of faculty efforts to counter BDS.

Most of the participants in these efforts are left-liberals; in a profession in which conservatives have neither numbers nor much influence, that can hardly be surprising. But BDS has inadvertently brought together people on the left and right who have in common, at the very least, an interest in the health and integrity of their universities and professional associations.

Why Does the U.N. Exist? Secret Deals, Sex Scandals and Silence Harm United Nations Mission
For more than seven decades, the United Nations has been a leading international authority on world affairs. However, its credibility has been damaged by allegations of corruption, and political stalemates among leading powers undermine the U.N.'s core values and often produce more talk than change, critics say.

This week, world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly in New York are set to deliver major speeches addressing some of the most pressing issues facing the international community. President Donald Trump, a frequent critic of the U.N., is widely expected to take on rivals Iran and North Korea in his first appearance at the forum. While the gathering is likely to host some fiery rhetoric from all sides, critics such as U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer are more concerned with what's going on behind closed doors, something he says could compromise the integrity of the organization as a whole.

"People don't realize this, but most of what happens at the U.N. is vote-trading," Neuer told Newsweek.

"Sadly, too often European democracies do deals in the darkness; they do secret deals that end up being sort of a deal with the devil," he added.

U.N. Watch is a Geneva-based monitoring group founded in 1993 by lawyer and civil rights activist Morris Berthold Abram. Its stated goal is to hold the U.N. accountable when it fails to live up to its mission. While Neuer cites U.N. inaction on humanitarian crises in Syria and Venezuela as examples of times when states needed to step up and effect real change, he expressed particular indignation toward a recent U.N. scandal that highlighted the practice of nations offering votes for individual political gains, as opposed to dealing on ethical and moral grounds.



Shimon Peres' Seven Lessons For An Eight-Year-Old Boy
It has been one year since the passing of Shimon Peres. Visionary, soldier, statesman, founder of the State of Israel, prime minister, president, Nobel laureate: no title, description or accolade can fully capture the immensity of his contribution — not only to Israel but to all who aspire to a better, more peaceful, more just world.

We now have President Peres’ story in his own words. Just weeks before his death at 93, he completed the memoir, No Room for Small Dreams, not only chronicling nearly seven decades of public service but exploring the principles and values that guided him in his life’s journey. His commitment to these principles was unwavering. As Peres’s children Tsvia, Yoni and Chemi recall in a moving introduction to the book, their mother would say to them, “Your father is like the wind. You will never be able to stop him or hold him back.”

Indeed, “No Room for Small Dreams” proves that Peres’ voice and vision are not only still with us, but as forceful and relevant as ever. Much has already been said and written of Peres, and this book will, rightly, launch a thousand new conversations. There will be dissections of his policies and their impact, debates about his legacy, and wide-ranging political analyses in the context of Israel’s past, present and future.

But what I want to share is a deeply meaningful personal encounter between Peres and my son Lev. Peres’s extraordinary career brought him into contact with the world’s most powerful people, but something special shone in him while conversing with a child. His message had an undeniable purity and simplicity, as well as a quality that mattered dearly to him — hope. As Tsvia, Yoni and Chemi explain, “his greatest tool of all, always, was hope.”

Lev was eight at the time of the meeting. I had taken him to Israel for his first of what I hoped would be many visits. Wanting his experience to be an indelible one, I brought him to meet Peres on August 31, 2016, the first day of our visit. For me, the president was the very personification of Israel’s hope, strength and spirit — its dreams, ideals and tensions. He was gracious enough to meet with my son and my wife and me at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa. We did not know then that it would be one of his last meetings.

At one point in the conversation, I asked Peres to share with Lev how, after 93 years of life, he stayed so young.
From Helping Soviet Jewry to Guiding America’s Israel Policy: An Insider’s Tale
Working as an aide to the Democratic senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson in the 1970s, Elliott Abrams played a crucial role in formulating an approach to foreign policy that prioritized human rights in a way that could further American geopolitical interests. These efforts came to fruition in legislation that used economic pressure to alleviate the plight of Soviet Jewry and later became a basis of the outlook on international affairs now known as neoconservative. In an interview with Jonathan Silver, Abrams discusses his own Jewish upbringing, his political evolution, his career in public service, and his involvement in guiding Israel policy in the George W. Bush administration.
Douglas Murray: Are refugees welcome to plant bombs on our trains?
Unlike events some weeks ago at, say, Charlottesville (which is on another continent), blame for events in London on Friday will not be allowed to spill out anywhere. Probably not even onto the culprits themselves. They will be described as ‘boys’ or ‘young men’ or ‘kids’. We will hear about how they were ‘pushed’ to their actions in some way. If their country of origin was one we were militarily engaged in (Iraq) this will be deemed a contributing factor. If their country of origin is a country we have not been militarily engaged in (Syria) this will be deemed a contributing factor.

There are other ways in which we will wonder how our society failed our bombers. Politicians and the media will ponder whether they had a good enough foster family. Or whether they got their dream job at the first opportunity, like everyone else in our society does. And all the while people like O’Grady will try to patrol the boundaries, pointing out that any discussion of the facts is ‘Islamophobic’ and ‘pointless’.

Perhaps I might issue a note of warning to such people. Imagine the detonating device had worked on Friday. Think about what happens when it works next time. And the time after that. And imagine that instead of engaging in a reflex defence of all refugees you are instead staring at the photos of people of every age and background who just happened to have the misfortune to be commuting through Parsons Green last Friday. In other words, imagine what happens when being indeterminately ‘generous’ and ‘open-hearted’ stops looking cute and begins to look like you were just unforgivably lax with the security of your fellow-citizens for nothing more than short-term ideological reasons. In other words, imagine what happens when there is a political price to pay rather than just brownie-points to collect.

Because that day will come. It wasn’t Friday. But it will be another day, sooner or later. And wouldn’t it be a good thing to be ready for that day when it comes?
Douglas Murray: Mass-Migration: The Tiniest Dose of Reality Hits
If you do not have control of your borders, with a meaningful set of immigration laws and the right to keep people out of your country, then you do not really have a country.

While the public wants their representatives to control their borders, politicians seem to see only political capital in running the other way. In part this is because there appears to be some kind of "bonus" to be achieved by looking welcoming and kindly, in contrast to the unwelcoming and mean things that borders now appear to represent.

By the end of August, it was estimated that almost 12,000 people had arrived in Canada through this route so far this year. It is a number that constitutes little more than an averagely busy week in Italy at any time over recent years. But even this comparatively tiny movement across an entire year has proven too much for Canada. At the end of last month, Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters: "For someone to successfully seek asylum it's not about economic migration. It's about vulnerability, exposure to torture or death, or being stateless people. If they are seeking asylum we'll evaluate them on the basis of what it is to be a refugee or asylum seeker."
Leftism, not the neo-Nazis, is what we should worry about
A fine and honorable Rabbi I heard on the East Coast recently is very worried about Nazis in America. He and many other Jewish clergy and lay people, particularly in the Reform and Conservative movement see them as a clear and present danger in America and associate them with President Trump and Republicans in general. Putting aside calumny and falsehoods directed at our President and Republicans, I am as much worried about Nazi’s in America as I am the Army of the Dead from Game of Thrones.

I am, however, very worried about the statist/leftist/progressive, whatever label you wish, invading and terribly harming America. Nasty accusations hurled at a duly elected President accomplishing a lot of middle of the road American things under incredible attack, reminded me of the Civil War we are in, the intense cultural war in which we find ourselves between American and Leftist values. The war is threatening the pillars holding up American civilization.

There are three pillars of Judaism- God, Torah, and Israel. So too are there three pillars of Americanism- In God We Trust, Liberty, and E Pluribus Unum. The Left attacks all three of these precious American foundations. They are the main targets of their battle to undo America and Western culture. Our clerical elite, the normative Democratic party, its violent Antifa wing, going on to our college professors, public school teachers and mainstream media continue yanking down not only statues of our vital historical memory, but the core values undergirding our American civilization. It's been going on for a hundred years, starting with Karl Marx, on to John Dewy, Crowley, and the fathers of American progressivism - Woodrow Wilson, TR and FDR. It now is widespread and powerful, affecting the minds of millions of our citizens.

On the West Coast, Jewish clergy fasted because of the election of a Republican leader , the leader of a party whose normative member cherishes all three American pillars. For some reason these clergy never thought to fast when a radical Leftist President did one of the most despicable things in American and Jewish history, handing $150 billion dollars to hundreds of thousands of true Nazis in Iran . On the East Coast , from the tony Democrat enclave of Bethesda to the chiq leftist bubble of the Upper West Side, Jewish clergy mimic the Palestinian Authority, while America-trashing professors are widespread on our campuses and call what is good bad and bad good.
New Report: Anti-Israel BDS Campaigns Drop by 40 Percent on US Campuses in Past Year, but Are Turning Increasingly Aggressive
The number of campaigns supporting the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement at American universities dropped by nearly 40 percent during the past academic year, even as professional anti-Israel organizations invested more resources to advance campus efforts, a new report by a pro-Israel advocacy group has found.

Twenty BDS campaigns took place on US campuses during the 2016-17 academic year, compared to 33 campaigns during the 2015-16 academic year, the Israel on Campus Coalition determined. The amount of anti-Israel activity also decreased by 19 percent last year, with pro-Israel events outnumbering those hostile to Israel by more than 2-1.

Despite these gains, “BDS campaigns were more sophisticated and aggressive, with professional organizations investing greater resources in campus divestment efforts,” the report said.

These groups, which “provided Israel’s detractors with financial, material, and programming support,” include American Muslims for Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, Palestine Legal, the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Jewish Voice for Peace, according to the report.

“These national organizations played a significant role in supporting the intense battles waged by Israel detractors on campus,” ICC spokesperson Megan Nathan told The Algemeiner, including by drafting student BDS resolutions and pursuing legal action on behalf of activists.
McGill University Ratifies Ruling Rejecting BDS for Promoting Discrimination Based on Nationality
The undergraduate student government at McGill University in Montreal, Canada on Sunday ratified a ruling against the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement for violating its policy against discrimination based on national origin.

The Judicial Board of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) initially issued the ruling on June 2016, after anti-Israel activists failed to pass a motion in support of BDS during an online referendum. That vote was the third unsuccessful effort organized by anti-Israel activists at McGill in 18 months.

In its ruling, the board explained that “picking a side” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by supporting BDS will inhibit “SSMU’s ability to create an open, inviting atmosphere for students of Israeli origins, and [undermine] SSMU’s ability to serve them without bias.”

The board further noted that such a decision would conflict with the SSMU’s mandate to represent all students equally, including those who hold Israeli citizenship. It also emphasized that endorsing BDS would violate the body’s own Equity Policy, which precludes discrimination based on national origin.

“When all of these considerations are read together, the inescapable conclusion is that motions similar to the BDS Motion, which target one specific nation, breach values inherent in our Constitution and the Equity Policy,” the board determined.
New Jersey fails to enforce anti-BDS law with Danish bank
The State of New Jersey has come under fire for allegedly not punishing a giant Danish bank that engages in anti-Israel economic activity.

Danske Bank, the largest bank in the Scandinavian country, is blacklisted by New York State for violating its anti-BDS law shielding Israel from economic warfare. An intense row over whether Danske – a financial institution that seeks to aid its clients in Iran – is in violation of New Jersey’s 2016 anti-BDS law unfolded in August.

Marc Greendorfer, an attorney and founder of the Zachor Legal Institute, told The Jerusalem Post by email this week that New Jersey “has investments in Danske Bank, but the state refuses to divest from Danske even though under the New Jersey law, there is no question that Danske qualifies as a company that is boycotting Israel (and is thus subject to divestiture by the state).”

The Zachor Legal Institute is a legal think tank and advocacy organization that combats BDS.

Danske, with a customer base of over 3.5 million, blacklisted two Israeli defense companies – Aryt Industries and Elbit Systems – from its customers’ investments.

A nine-page, unpublished report from a private research organization on the bank’s investment policies and relations with Israel concluded that “Danske was never legally required to divest from any Israeli company... Dankse’s alignment with a specific political agenda concerning Israel reveals Danske’s intentions to penalize the State of Israel to create an environment of political duress to influence Israeli state policy.”
Reem’s Cafe Owner Has a First Amendment Problem
The evidence of Rasmea Odeh’s guilt is conclusive. Not only did she confess a day after her arrest, bomb-making materials were found in her room. Her co-conspirator, Ayesha Odeh, in a documentary interview willingly offered up how Odeh was directly involved in the bombings.

A few of us have been holding peaceful vigils at Reem’s to honor the memories of Kanner and Joffe. Assil is degrading their memories by grotesquely honoring their killer. We cannot let this stand.

We are also asking that Assil take down the mural. Though she said Reem’s is a place where people can “speak their mind and maybe have the hard conversations” she refuses to speak with any of us.

Instead, Assil wants to silence us. She repeatedly calls security and the Oakland Police Department to monitor our every move. Initially law enforcement even asked us to leave. But we know our rights.

Now Assil has gone much further. She has sued three of the protestors to obtain temporary restraining orders. The Alameda County Superior Court has twice denied Assil’s requests. Yet she perseveres with lawsuits aimed at quashing the voices of conscience about Odeh’s many crimes.

Why would Assil choose to lionize a convicted terrorist in a larger than life mural and not expect people to respond? And when they do, she quickly calls for cover from law enforcement and applies for restraining orders?

It is safe to say that Reem Assil only values free speech when it agrees with her own biased views.

A few days ago, we returned to Reem’s to again honor the memories of Leon Kanner and Edward Joffee.
Michael Lumish: Today on Nothing Left
Today's Rosh Hashanah show with Maurice Klein filling for Alan on holiday.

Special guest today, practicing orthodox Muslim Raheel Raza with a powerful message for our Jewish community, with Muslim Scholar Rev Dr Mark Durie explaining the connection between Islam and AntiSemitism. As always Isi Leibler from Jerusalem talking sense.

Raheel Raza 2.50

Rev Durie 22.45

Isi Leibler 41.00
Teacher who spewed anti-Israel rhetoric back in classroom
She’s back.
Controversial Mississauga Catholic elementary teacher Nadia Shoufani, suspended with pay last summer for spewing anti-Israel rhetoric at the 2016 Al-Quds Day hatefest, has resurfaced in a Sept. 10 online issue of al-Meshwar, a Holocaust-denying Arabic-language newspaper, which tried to endorse Niki Ashton for NDP leader last month.

In the article (translated from Arabic by the B’nai Brith and entitled, “Here I have Won, and Woe to the Losers”), Shoufani contends that she has triumphed after a “fierce Zionist campaign” to intimidate and silence her and to “destroy” her life and career.

Shoufani, who teaches special education, science and ESL at St. Catherine of Siena separate school claims all she was doing in her 2016 Al-Quds day speech was “supporting Palestine and exposing the crimes and practices of the Zionist occupation.”

Attempts to reach Shoufani at her school Monday were unsuccessful.

During her 10-minute Al-Quds Day speech, posted on YouTube, Shoufani urges attendees to “support the resistance (against Israel) in any form imaginable.” She also expresses “glory to the martyrs” — including a member of a known terrorist organization who smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl on beach rocks.
IsraellyCool: Huge BDS Fail: Turkish Cyclist Joins Israeli Team
Only a day after yesterday’s huge cycling news regarding Israel comes more: a star Turkish cyclist has joined the Israeli team!
Ahmet Örken, a 24-year-old cyclist who has dominated the Turkish cycling scene for the last four years, has joined pro-continental Israel Cycling Academy (ICA) to become the first Turkish athlete to join a cycling team at this level.
“I waited for a chance to ride for a successful Pro team that is on the move and I am sure that with ICA I can make my dreams come true,” Örken, who recently won the sprinter’s green jersey at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, told his new club’s website on Sept. 18.
“My biggest motivation joining this team was the chance to win races but I also strongly believe that it also a great chance to contribute to peace and brotherhood,” said Örken, adding that he had no concerns about joining an Israeli team considering the recent tensions in the ties between Turkey and Israel.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Researchers Develop Strongest-Yet Virtue-Signaling Transmitter (satire)
Engineers and physicists working on a joint project between Tel Aviv University and the research departments of several communications companies have created the most powerful virtue-signaling equipment to date, which they claim is capable of conveying a user’s ideological and political moral superiority at more than three times the distance and intensity of existing methods.

A representative of the team announced the achievement this morning (Tuesday), at a press conference enabled by the device. “Thanks to the Wokie-Talkie, as we’re calling it, we knew to hold this event at a makeshift community center for African migrants in South Tel Aviv,” boasted Dr. Piyelef Yoter-Progressivi. “Without the Wokie-Talkie, that never would have occurred to us. Thanks to our device, woke folks can demonstrate their more-progressive-than-thou social conscience with a force not possible before.”

Dr. Yoter-Progressivi contrasted the sorry state of sensitivity of only eighteen years ago with what the device no makes possible. “In 1999 it took a special kind of progressive attitude, ear, and eye to spot racism or other forms of oppression,” she recalled. “It took quite some effort to get the world to react negatively to when a staffer in the DC Mayor’s office used the word ‘niggardly,’ since the word bears no relation to the n-word. Remember that? Well, the Wokie-Talkie has sensors that detect such utterances or images from three hundred kilometers away, and immediately produces an outraged press release and tweet.”

The researchers hope to market the device as a standalone, and later as an app for smartphones. “Soon, the wokest hot take on any development won’t just be the province of Slate, Vox, or Jezebel,” she predicted. “Every college sophomore will be able to generate righteous outrage that conservatives are admitted to the institution at all, let alone form any clubs. The Wokie-Talkie will enable everyone, not just the coastal commentators, to explain how some beloved cultural phenomenon or critical everyday activity is actually racist or supports oppression.”
Guardian ignores antisemitism study which challenges one of their cherished beliefs
This paradigm seems an apt way to understand the Guardian’s failure to devote any coverage to the “largest and most detailed survey of attitudes towards Jews and Israel ever conducted” in the UK. The study, released last week by CST and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research (JPR), which was covered by Times of London and The Telegraph, produces “the first robust empirical documentation” on what most British Jews have understood all along: that there’s a strong correlation between antisemitic and anti-Israel attitudes. The CST and JPR report demonstrates conclusively that those who hold strong anti-Israel views (such as calling Israel an apartheid state, accusing it of genocide and denying its right to exist, etc.) are dramatically more likely to hold antisemitic views than the general population.

This of course contradicts the dominant Guardian Left view that hatred of Jews qua Jews is distinct and separate from hatred of Israel. This erroneous belief has informed their coverage of anti-Israel movements for years, articles and op-eds which invariably frame pro-Palestinian groups as progressive and anti-racist – regardless of evidence to the contrary.

Though, over the years, we’ve been relentless in our criticism of the Guardian, we’ve also acknowledged that there are at least a few fair-minded journalists employed by the media group who understand and take seriously the problem of antisemitism. We can only hope that these voices will speak up, and start a desperately needed conversation with their colleagues – many of whom fancy themselves ‘free thinkers’, yet seem impervious to new information as it concerns relationship between Israel, Jews and antisemitism.
The New York Times Got Their Israel Reading List All Wrong. Here’s a Better One.
Readers learned that these three books “look at Jewish heritage, the Holocaust, and what has followed.” Indeed, two of the recommendations are novels deeply connected with the Holocaust and its legacy: Aharon Appelfeld’s 1998 The Iron Tracks (translated by Jeffrey M. Green) and Jonathan Safran Foer’s 2002 Everything Is Illuminated. Devotees of Appelfeld’s work might argue over which one of his many books merits such spotlighting. (My kind of argument!) And some readers may prefer other American writers’ explorations of Holocaust legacy to Foer’s. (For some of my own reading recommendations on writings by descendants of those who were either chased out of Nazi Europe “just in time” or somehow survived the Holocaust, see my essay in this book.)

But if you’re going to recommend a mini-list of titles that convey a sense of “Jewish heritage,” particularly insofar as “Jewish culture in Europe” may be concerned, these choices are eminently justifiable ones. What’s more problematic is the single selection that is presumably intended to inform would-be travelers about Israel: Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation, an anthology edited by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman that was published earlier this year.

You can read more about Kingdom of Olives and Ash right here on Tablet. And you may well opt to devote further time to the Chabon/Waldman project. As Tablet’s Liel Leibovitz noted in June, it’s “a meaningful book that deserves to be read, if not always for the reasons its editors had imagined,” and perhaps less for what it may say about Jewish culture than for its portraits of the Palestinians whom “Chabon, Waldman, and their friends profile” throughout.

But if you’re truly interested in discovering Jewish culture in Israel—and how its history, richness, complexity, and challenges can be explored in fiction and in fact ahead of any actual voyage—please consider some other titles. As we embark on the Days of Awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, you might opt to place to these possibilities on your reading list for the new year 5778.
Where does the BBC report on air-raid sirens and shelters?
A look inside a South Korean public shelter September 13th 2017
“Public shelters have been set up across the country in the event of an attack from the North.”
“When you live here, in the closest village to the border – this is only about three miles away – you need a proper shelter.”

North Korea missile: People under threat react September 15th 2017
“People living in South Korea and Japan react to North Korea’s latest missile launch.”
“That’s a nice wake-up call. My phone translated as ‘a North Korea missile launch’. What do you do in a circumstance like that?”
“The strongest feeling I have is a feeling of fear. I don’t know when I might be killed. That is the scariest part.”

In contrast, the BBC has produced no English language reporting whatsoever on the dozen actual missile hits so far this year in a region just ninety minutes away from its Jerusalem office that has previously seen thousands of such attacks over the past sixteen years.
French teens get suspended sentences for vandalizing Jewish gravestones
A juvenile court in northeastern France suspended the prison sentences of five teenagers who vandalized a Jewish cemetery and damaged a Holocaust memorial.

The defendants, who were 15 to 17 in February 2015 when the vandalism occurred, were sentenced last week to eight to 18 months in prison for toppling and breaking some 300 gravestones in the Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, located in the Bas-Rhin region in Alsace. The cemetery is still in use.

A Holocaust memorial monument on the cemetery property was also vandalized.

The five are also each required to serve 140 hours of community service.

Each defendant had faced up to seven years in prison. They all reportedly expressed regret for their actions during court hearings on Thursday and Friday.

Several relatives of people buried in the vandalized graves attended the court hearings. Most of the gravestones have not yet been repaired due to the astronomical cost, the French news agency AFP reported.
Neo-Nazis parade through Swedish city ahead of Yom Kippur march
Dozens of people belonging to a violent Swedish neo-Nazi group paraded through the streets of the country’s second-largest city on Sunday, ahead of a planned march that has raised alarms for its route near a synagogue on Yom Kippur.

According to reports in Swedish media, some 50 members of the Nordic Resistance Movement marched through downtown Gothenburg waving flags and banners.

A minor scuffle between a counter protester and a marcher was broken up by police. Swedish authorities said no arrests were made.

The NRM used Sunday’s march to advertise for their upcoming rally, which is scheduled to pass near Gothenburg’s main synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar.

The group initially sought to hold its September 30 march adjacent to the Gothenburg Book Fair, when some 100,000 people are expected to gather in the city for the largest literary festival in Scandinavia.

Police denied the request, offering the group an alternative, less central route. That route would take the marchers some 200 meters from the Gothenburg Synagogue.
Israeli Kibbutz to Become Worldwide Medical Marijuana Hub
Earlier this month, the kibbutz partnered with Cronos, a Canadian cannabis conglomerate, and will soon begin building a 45,000 square feet greenhouse that will produce up to five tons annually, a capacity both partners hope will expand to 24 tons a year before too long. An additional 11,000 laboratory will serve for research and development of effective new brands of weed.

“Israel has an ideal climate for growing cannabis with abundant light to support year-round greenhouse cultivation without the need for supplemental flower lighting,” read a statement from Cronos. “The Israeli climate, combined with Gan Shmuel’s existing manufacturing infrastructure and skilled labor force, will enable Cronos Israel to produce high quality medical cannabis at an expected cost of between $0.40 and $0.50 per gram.” Some of the supply will serve the local medical marijuana market, instantly making Gan Shmuel the largest player in the Israeli market. The rest will be exported.

“This isn’t just about becoming the lowest cost producer in the world,” said Mike Gorenstein, Cronos’s CEO. “Establishing a major operation in Israel gives us frontline exposure to leading medical cannabis research and innovation. Cronos Israel is a significant step in raising the standard of medical cannabis globally.” In start-up nation, the standards just keep getting higher.
StandWithUs+: Israel's Leading Research in Medical Marijuana


Does Morrissey have Israel on his mind?
It seems like prominent indie rock singer Morrissey might have been thinking a lot about the Jewish state when he recorded his latest album "Low in High School."

Two track names on the album, which is slated to be released November 17, appear to make references to Israel. Those are titled "The Girl from Tel Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel" and "Israel," according to the listing published by Pitchfork.com on Tuesday.

The same day, the singer released his first single from the album, his 11th, entitled "Spent the Day in Bed." Lyrics of that song include "And I recommend that you stop watching the news/ Because the news contrives to frighten you/ To make you feel small and alone/ To make you feel that your mind isn't your own."

Purported images of the album cover posted online feature a child holding an axe and a poster reading "Axe the monarchy."

When the album was first announced last month, BMG record company released a statement saying that “Morrissey’s talent for combining political statements and melodies is more prevalent than ever on Low in High-School, capturing the zeitgeist of an ever-changing world.”

Morrissey last performed in Israel in August 2016, when he played in Tel Aviv and then Caesarea. He previously played concerts in Israel in 2012 and 2008. In 2012 he ended his show wrapped in an Israeli flag.
Israeli Aid Workers Welcomed by U.S. Hurricane Victims
On a house-to-house mission in the Florida Keys, search-and-rescue volunteers from Israel discovered an ailing American military veteran who spent four days without water, electricity or telephone reception in his home as Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc outside.

“You are the first people to come down here and offer aid,” the grateful man told Tamar Citron, a member of the team from the Israel Rescue Coalition and United Hatzalah.

“We provided him with water, food and a lot of positivity,” Citron reported. “We notified local authorities and EMS teams and made sure that they followed up. Unfortunately, there are many people stuck on the Keys right now without access to food, water, electricity or a method of communication. Our entire team is heading down to the Keys to help rescue more of these people.”

Citron and volunteers from other Israeli humanitarian aid groups, who dropped everything to fly over and assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, are finding their expertise is needed and appreciated. Israel is the only country to send multiple groups of volunteers in addition to material aid.

“Our first night in Texas [September 8] we went to a restaurant and the waiter asked us if we were in Houston for business or pleasure,” says Smadar Harpak, a therapeutic clown with Israel’s Dream Doctors Project.
Israel Shipyards launches patrol vessel built for Cyprus Navy
Israel Shipyards has unveiled an offshore patrol vessel designed and built for the Cypriot Navy. The project has been valued at tens of millions of Euros. The high-end vessel is slated to be delivered to the Cypriot Navy by the end of the year and integrated into the fleet patrolling Cyprus' exclusive maritime economic zone.

In a statement released on Sunday, Israel Shipyards said the OPV, ordered in December 2015, was launched at a ceremony held last week at Israel Shipyards' facility at Haifa Bay. Senior members of the Cypriot Defense Ministry, representatives of Israel's Defense Cooperation Authority, and company executives attended the ceremony.

"The project is of great importance for the company, and we invested our knowledge, experience and ingenuity in order to build and supply this unique, technologically advanced ship," said Israel Shipyards CEO Avi Shahaf.

"We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the Cypriot Defense Ministry for the trust they invested in Israel Shipyards to deliver this vessel."
British MP and family honored as Righteous Gentiles in Poland
British MP Daniel Kawczynski and his family were honored on Monday for saving hundreds of Polish Jews during the Holocaust at an award ceremony held by the NGO From the Depths at the Warsaw Zoo.

The venue is the site where Antonina and Jan Zabinski, after whom the From The Depths Zabinski Awards are named, rescued more than 300 Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943-1945.

Kawczynski’s family was one of three to receive the award this year, which was handed out for the second year running. The MP’s great-uncle Jan Kawczynski and his wife and 10-year-old daughter were killed by German soldiers for helping to hide Jews in their home.

Kawczynski is the first Polish Brit to serve in the British Parliament. Ahead of his attendance at Monday’s ceremony, he received a letter from British Prime Minister Theresa May, who wrote: “I was interested to hear of your impending trip to Poland to attend the ‘From The Depths Zabinski Awards,’ and wanted to send my best wishes for what I am sure will be a very moving ceremony.

“You must be incredibly proud of your great-uncle, Jan Kawczynski, and his heroic efforts to save Jews during the Second World War. Such acts of bravery and defiance must never be forgotten – they remind us not only of the horrors of the past, but also of the continuing need to confront bigotry and antisemitism wherever we see it,” she continued.
The Story of Israel’s National Emblem
Shortly after declaring independence, the Israeli government ran not one but two contests in its search for an official seal. The winning design, submitted by the Shamir brothers, featured a menorah with an olive branch on either side and the Hebrew word “Israel” beneath. The committee tasked with choosing an emblem asked the Shamirs to make one change: replace the stylized, modern-looking menorah with one modeled on the menorah depicted on the Arch of Titus in Rome. Saul Singer writes:

Many, including particularly then-Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog, vociferously objected to the use of this design because the menorah, which the Romans had proudly paraded as the ultimate symbol of Jewish defeat and degradation, represented the expulsion of the Jews from the land of Israel and the destruction of the Second Temple.

But the members of the committee and Israel’s provisional government, both of which unanimously adopted the design, believed the use of the Titus menorah would serve as an important metaphor for the rebirth of Israel: that after itself joining the Jews in exile, the menorah would now stand as testimony to the ultimate victory and eternal survival of the Jewish people. . . .

Because the ultimate design does not seem to reflect religious practice or belief—no verses from the Torah, no reference to the God of Israel—many argue that secularists prevailed [in choosing the seal]. In fact, however, the national emblem reflects one of the great . . . visions of the prophet Zechariah, [in which an angel shows him a menorah flanked by two olive trees].
Rosh Hashanah Message: British PM Theresa May Salutes 'Remarkable' Israel, Vows to Fight Anti-Semitism
British Prime Minister Theresa May reaffirmed her government’s determination to fight anti-Semitism as she saluted the resiliance of the State of Israel.

Speaking on the eve of the Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, Mrs. May told members of the Jewish community from business, the arts, politics, public services and charities about her plans to fight anti-Semitism as well as celebrate this year’s centenary of the signing of the Balfour Declaration.

Through our new definition of anti-Semitism we will call out anyone guilty of any language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews.

And we will actively encourage the use of this definition by the police, the legal profession, universities and other public bodies.

But the ultimate way of defeating anti-Semitism is to create an environment that prevents it happening in the first place.
Watch: Happy New Year from President Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday wished the Jewish people a Happy New Year, ahead of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah which will be celebrated on Wednesday at sundown.

“The High Holy Days are a time of both reflection on the past year and hope for renewal in the year to come. Jewish communities across the country and around the world enter into a time of prayer, repentance and rededication to the sacred values and traditions that guide the incredible character and spirit of the Jewish people,” he said.

“We reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel, and we ask God to deliver justice, dignity and peace on earth.”

“Melania and I wish everyone a sweet, healthy and peaceful year which we hope will bring many blessings to all.”


Conan O’Brien’s Israel special set to air September 19
Even the most cosmopolitan Tel Avivi can’t help but be charmed by Conan O’Brien, one of America’s most popular late-night hosts.

If you doubt it (and really, who can blame you?), simply look for proof to the comedian’s spontaneous romps around Rothschild Boulevard and the Jaffa port, among other notable landmarks, when he visited Israel in late August.

Heck, one starstruck Sabra even gave him the shirt off his back.

And what’s not to love? Though he describes himself as pale compared to his swarthier Levantine counterparts (“Does white float?” he asks buoyantly while drifting along the Dead Sea), O’Brien possesses a keen, self-deprecating sense of humor any Jewish comedy fan can be proud of.

The visit was part of the latest installment of “Conan Without Borders,” a series of shows which O’Brien films in various exotic (and not-so-exotic) locations throughout the world. Previous trips include Berlin, Mexico, and Armenia.
#ConanIsrael Sneak Peak: The Dead Sea




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