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Friday, March 24, 2017

From Ian:

Jewish Voice For Peace Defends Jew-Killing Palestinian Terrorist
Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), an anti-Semitic group masquerading as a pacifist organization, wrote a press statement on March 23 defending Rasmea Odeh, a convicted Palestinian-Arab terrorist who slaughtered two Jews in a Jerusalem supermarket bombing in 1969. Odeh, who lied to U.S. immigration authorities about her conviction and imprisonment in Israel for the bombing, will be deported back to Jordan instead of facing prison time for committing fraud.
In response to her imminent deportation, JVP wrote the following statement:
When a leader like Rasmea Odeh who fights for justice chooses to leave a fight, she knows the game is rigged.
Rasmea is leaving the U.S. court system, weighed down by the ever-present shadow of Israeli military regime which has already punished and tortured her.
Does Rasmea, Palestinian leader and seeker of justice, have a real chance for a fair trial in the current political climate and courts?
In the context of a Justice Department led by racist attorney general Jeff Sessions, a prosecutor with a record of demonizing Rasmea and her supporters, and a new indictment that turns her immigration trial into a repeat of the false charges of terrorism against her, Rasmea has made the difficult decision to leave the home and community she has built in the U.S. over the last 20 years.

JVP not only defends Odeh over the Justice Department rightfully pursuing the immigration fraud case against her, but it also labels her a freedom fighter and a "seeker of justice." It blames the "racist" Jeff Sessions for calling for her deportation based off "false charges of terrorism" against her. However, former Palestinian-Arab terrorist Aisha Odeh (no relation) implicated Rasmea in the same supermarket bombing that she was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for.

This Ongoing War: Our daughter's smiling killer: "Shocked" that US "decided to go after her for no obvious reason"
The following article was published by Al Jazeera in Arabic on Wednesday and in English yesterday (Thursday). It's an entirely uncritical account of a notably vicious convicted murderer's version of why she should be left alone and not have to face justice. The reporter does not challenge a single one of her claims.
Our comments are interspersed below.
Ahlam al-Tamimi: 'We only wanted freedom'
Al Jazeera speaks to freed Palestinian prisoner, wanted by the US for helping in a Jerusalem cafe bombing 16 years ago | Ali Younes | @ali_reports |
Amman, Jordan - Ahlam al-Tamimi, 37, never imagined that the quiet life she led for several years in Jordan would be turned upside down when the United States Department of Justice filed criminal charges against her demanding her extradition from Jordan and placing her on the FBI's most wanted list.
Our comment: She was freed via an extorted commutation of sentence. Israel was extorted by the Hamas terrorist regime which illegally held captive and incommunicado an Israeli combatant, Gilad Shalit, for five years, eventually trading him for 1,027 convicted Arab terrorists imprisoned by Israel. Tamimi was one of them. Not a single prisoner received a pardon. Instead, their sentences were conditionally commuted - with the conditions including an undertaking never to engage again in terrorism or incitement to terrorism.
Tamimi was serving 16 life terms after confessing to being the mastermind of the Sbarro pizzeria massacre, an especially sickening and horrific terror attack that targeted children and woman. Tamimi was the one who did the actual targeting and, as she has boasted repeatedly, picked the target with great care. She brought the bomb by bus and taxi from a PA-controlled town in the Samaria district into Jerusalem. That bomb was a young newly-religious fanatic from well-to-family: not poor, not uneducated, not living in misery and despair: a human bomb. He was equipped with an explosive-laden, purpose-built guitar case on his back. Tamimi walked him to the central Jerusalem intersection where the Sbarrro pizzeria stood and where, after giving her time to flee to safety, he exploded while standing next to our 15 year-old daughter and her closest friend, the 16 year-old daughter of our neighbours. Both girls, and 13 other innocent victims, were killed. About 130 others, many of them on the street outside the pizzeria, suffered often horrendous, life-changing injuries.
Omar Barghouti Lying With A Straight Face
A group called BDS Norway have uploaded to YouTube this interview with BDS movement founder Omar Barghouti, filmed not too long before he was arrested for being a tax cheat.
The video is an exercise in “counting-the-lies” – the fact he can say what he does with a straight face makes more understandable how he could also cheat on his taxes.
Note in particular:
  • His claim his “refugee background” was a reason he got involved in BDS. As a reminder, he was born in Qatar, before moving to Egypt, the US and only to Israel after marrying an Israeli-Arab woman.
  • His father being one of the founders of terror group PLO in 1964, 3 years before the so-called occupation
  • Him speaking about a “long heritage of non-violent palestinian popular resistance.”
  • “We never lie about our goals.” You just did.

UK blasts UNHRC’s bias, after it adopts 5 anti-Israel resolutions
The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted five resolutions critical of Israel on Friday, despite opposition from the US and an unprecedented critique from the UK.
Britain supported two of the five resolutions, but threatened to vote against any future such motions against the Jewish state because of the “bias” by the UN body.
“We are putting the Human Rights Council on notice,” Britain warned in a statement. “If things do not change, in the future we will adopt a policy of voting against all resolutions concerning Israel’s conduct in the Occupied Syrian and Palestinian Territories.”
The 47-member council passed five resolutions on alleged Israeli human rights abuses: 1) a vote on “Human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan” passed with 26 in favor, 3 against and 18 abstentions; 2) a resolution called “Ensuring accountability and justice for all violations of International law in the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” garnered 30 votes in favor, 2 against and 15 abstentions; 3) 43 members voted for a resolution called “Right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” while 2 voted against and 2 abstained; 4) the resolution “Human Rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem garnered 41 votes in favor, 2 against and 4 abstentions; 5) a resolution condemning Israeli had 36 in favor, 2 against and 9 abstentions.
The Unites States and Togo consistently voted against the five resolutions.
The UK broke with the other European countries, voting “no” on the resolution condemning alleged human rights abuses in the Golan Heights. It voted in favor of two of the resolutions “according to long-standing policy” and “serious concerns” about Israeli settlement activity, demolitions and the use of administrative detention, and abstained on two others.
The UK mission to the UN issued a statement saying that while it voted “no” on the Syria resolution, this did not signal a recognition of Israel’s annexation of the territory in 1981.
The British mission also blasted the UN body as biased and overly focused on Israel.
“Nowhere is the disproportionate focus on Israel starker and more absurd than in the case of today’s resolution on the occupation of Syria’s Golan,” the UK statement read.
Alan Dershowitz: The Origin of "Fake News" in Holocaust Denial
"Fake news" has become a subject of real news. But there's nothing new about "fake news." Holocaust deniers have generated fake news for decades. The deniers have funded "research" "institutes," "journals," books, magazines, videos, websites, newsflashes – all designed to provide a patina of academic respectability to demonstrable falsehoods.
This entire enterprise is devoted to proving that the holocaust – the systematic murder of more than six million Jews in gas chambers, mass shootings, mobile killing units and other means of implementing the carefully planned genocide – simply did not occur. It was made up whole cloth out of "The Jews" for financial and political gain.
No reasonable person with a modicum of intelligence can actually believe that Hitler and his Nazis co-conspirators did not plan the mass extermination of Jews at the Wannsse Conference, and that they did not carry it out at death camps, such as Treblinka, Sorbibor, Majdanek and Auschwitz, Birkenau, as well as by SS mobile killing units that gathered Jews in such places as Babi Yar and the Ponary Woods.
Yet, thousands of people, many with academic degrees, and some with professorial positions, persist in denying the undeniable. These professional liars are given legitimacy by some reputable scholars such as Noam Chomsky, who not only champions the right of these fake historians to perpetrate their malicious lies, but who actually lend their names to the quality of the "research" that produce the lies of denial. In a widely circulated petition signed by numerous scholars, Chomsky and the other signatories actually described the false history of the notorious denier, Robert Faurisson, as "findings" based on "extensive historical research," thus giving them an academic imprimatur.
Canada: Bring on the Islamization!
Imams in Canadian mosques have been inciting the killing of "infidels", primarily Jews, for years. This agitation appears to have had no visible impact on Canadian parliamentarians, evidently too busy with petitions and motions banning alleged "Islamophobia".
In 2009, for example, Toronto-area imam Said Rageah, at the Abu Huraira Centre, called on Allah to "destroy" the enemies of Islam from within and "damn" the "infidel" Jews and Christians.
"Allah protect us from the fitna [sedition, affliction] of these people; Allah protect us from the evil agenda of these people; Allah destroy them from within themselves, and do not allow them to raise their heads" prayed the imam.
In 2012, Sheikh Abdulqani Mursal, imam at Masjid Al Hikma mosque in Toronto, explained that Jews are destined to be killed by the Muslims. Citing text from a hadith, he said:
"You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them... Muslims [will] kill them until the Jews [will] hide themselves... and a stone or a tree [will] say: Muslim... there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him...."
In 2014, imam Sayed AlGhitawi, at Al Andalous Islamic Center in Montreal, prayed for success in jihad and the total destruction of the Jews:
"O Allah, give victory to our brothers who engage in jihad... destroy the accursed Jews... make their children orphans and their women widows... kill them one by one... do not leave any of them [alive]".
Anti-Semitic post uploaded to social media every 83 seconds
Posts with anti-Semitic content are uploaded to social media an average of 43 times per hour, or every 83 seconds, according to a new study by the World Jewish Congress, an excerpt of which was released on Friday.
In a joint research project with the Israeli monitoring firm Vigo Social Intelligence, the WJC analyzed millions of posts uploaded in 2016 in 20 languages on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, blogs and other forums, mining for anti-Semitic sentiments, memes, images and so on.
More than 382,000 of the posts were found to have been anti-Semitic. Posts critical of Israel or its policies were not included in the study.
The study found that a majority, some 63 percent, of all anti-Semitic content online can be found on Twitter. Blogs made up 16%, Facebook 11%, Instagram 6%, YouTube 2% and 2% on the other forums.
Will the West Please Stop Siding with Criminals?
Why has no one -- especially politicized, self-absorbed women's groups -- come to help? Instead, as in the recent Women's March, they have been advocating for more women's imprisonment.
The notion that a hijab or a conservative lifestyle is a matter of choice for Muslim women might sound sympathetic to Westerners. It is not. In reality, there is no choice. The supposed choice is, in fact, a one-way street from which trying to exit can cost a woman her life.
These extremist Muslims need to be taught by society itself that they must respect individual freedoms and equality -- by law.
Many liberal women, doubtlessly well-intended, seem love to wearing hijabs supposedly "in solidarity"; what they do not understand is that for millions and millions of Muslim women, who dare not say so, it is not a symbol of freedom and "protection" -- like a slave-owner "protecting" his property -- but of repression and imprisonment. It is forced upon women, now even in the West, and, worse, with the wholehearted complicity of the West.
It is also a time for governments purportedly in favour of human rights no longer to sweep these mafia tactics under the carpet.
It is time for politicians, governments, policy-makers, clerics, human rights groups and "liberals" to stop siding with criminals who commit assault, battery, and even murder, and to start protecting their citizens.
Two-thirds of UN Member States Sponsor Anti-Israel Resolution On Women's Rights, Ignore Women in All Other States
At a meeting of the UN's top women's rights body, 133 of 193 UN member states have backed a move that would condemn only one country in the world for violating women's rights - Israel. The action comes in the form of a resolution of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women, introduced by Ecuador on March 22, 2017. Ecuador is acting on behalf of a coalition of developing countries known as the "Group of 77 and China." No resolution or expression of concern has been, or will be, introduced on any other country. Nothing on the mass enslavement of Yazidi women by ISIS or the repression of women in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia. The resolution is scheduled for a vote on March 24, 2017, where it is expected to be overwhelmingly endorsed.
In Ecuador's words:
"On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, it gives me pleasure to introduce the draft resolution E/CN.6/2017/L.3, entitled 'The Situation of and Assistance to Palestinian Women." As has been emphasized in the Secretary-General's report, the dire humanitarian and socioeconomic crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, have significantly affected Palestinian women in the most detrimental way. The continuing difficulties faced by Palestinian women, and the need to provide them with assistance in overcoming the obstacles to their development and advancement are essential to this draft resolution.
The draft resolution contains 20 preamble paragraphs and 9 operative paragraphs. These paragraphs are identical to the ones contained in last year's resolution, with only 2 technical changes regarding the date in the early part of preamble and the last OP on the Secretary-General to report to the next CSW session.
Linda Sarsour and liberal Jews’ hard choices
It is not a wise move from an otherwise media-savvy woman, given that she now runs ‎the risk of alienating an important ally and squandering all the goodwill she has racked ‎up over the past weeks with her interfaith outreach. Liberal Jews who ‎marched with her and defended her gave Sarsour much-needed credibility. Given ‎her somewhat checkered political past, showing her cards could prove costly. ‎
But more important than any of Sarsour's future endeavors is the future of Zionism ‎within the American Jewish community, and judging by the legitimate outrage I have seen ‎since Sarsour's statements, some hard choices need to be made, based on a ‎simple set of questions.‎
If you believe in Israel's right to exist, in its right to defend itself from external and internal ‎threats, then there is no right- or left-wing Zionism -- only Zionism, itself. The description of ‎the world that I have seen from liberal Jewry and its Zionist branches is ‎beautiful but fails to match up to reality. We cannot build ‎bridges if our partners insist on burning them to the ground and a coalition in which one ‎gives and the other takes is no coalition at all but rather an abusive relationship based on ‎anything but understanding, love and respect. ‎
Liberal Jews can take solace in the fact that they did not close the door on this ‎partnership, nor did they rescind any offers. Sarsour did, by choosing to so ‎narrowly define the struggle and thereby leave Zionists with no means of entry. It is a ‎sad fact, but a good thing for Zionism, as we now have been given a chance to make our ‎own definitions and finally focus our considerable strengths. ‎
Foreign Min. cadet course to include first Muslim woman
31-year-old Rasha Uthmani from the northern city of Baqa al-Gharbiyye is the first Muslim woman to be accepted to the Foreign Ministry's cadet course. Uthmani is currently nominated to be Israeli Embassy in Turkey's spokesperson. She had previously represented Israel in a delegation to the United Nations.
Uthmani passed the cadet course's rigorous selection process and was accepted together with 21 other cadets. In the past, Israeli Christian Arabs and Muslim men have been accepted to the course, which is considered to be akin to the IDF pilot's training course in terms of difficulty, selectiveness and prestige. Rania Joubran, the Christian daughter of Surpreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, was accepted to the course, but quite after three and a half years. Muslim men have previously served as Israeli ambassadors, though never a Muslim woman.
Uthmani is a Psychology graduate from the Hebrew University who currently resides in Jerusalem. Toward the end of her studies, she joined the university's Model UN club and represented Israel at the (actual) UN Human Rights Council for three months.
Just how out of Touch is BDS?
Even if they have suffered some recent setbacks among academic umbrella groups, the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is an increasingly loud presence on university campuses and among activist organizations in Washington, D.C.
As Middle Eastern prime ministers, foreign ministers, and defense ministers descend on Washington for the anti-Islamic State summit, it’s been a useful reminder that the hatreds upon which BDS feeds are increasingly out-of-date in the region itself.
Far from being a pariah state, Israel has never been so broadly accepted in the Middle East. Its relationship with Egypt has never been better, and its relationship with Jordan is stable. The looming threat of a nuclear Iran—one at best delayed but not resolved by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—has brought Israel and Saudi Arabia and the various Gulf emirates closer together than they have ever been. Morocco and Tunisia also maintain informal relations with the Jewish state.
Over the last few days, I have had the opportunity to sit down with Arab ministers and officials from a variety of states. Each recognizes Israel’s permanence and envisions Israel as a Jewish state better integrated into the region. Each favors a two-state solution. Whatever their views of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, they recognize internal Israeli politics are not their business.
Taking the war to the BDS activists
Israel is in a war against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that includes using preemptive measures to curb the potential impact on the Jewish state, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post in a wide-ranging interview on Wednesday.
Erdan rejected criticism of his ministry’s actions saying, when at war, a plan is needed to put the other side on the defensive.
His strategy seems to be working and has rattled BDS activists and their sympathizers.
“We are trying to gather information and intelligence on BDS activists around the world because of the need to predict what they will do,” said Erdan, who will be addressing the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York City on May 7.
His main modus operandi: Move rapidly from a defensive posture to an assertive, offensive approach.
Recent examples of that strategy include blocking entry to Israel of the hardcore British BDS activist Hugh Lanning, who reportedly has links to the terrorist organization Hamas. Another example is the use of publicly available information to identify a tiny group of Israelis conducting economic warfare against the state.
One tool used to stymie BDS unleashed criticism in an article and editorial in Haaretz.
House and Senate introduce bipartisan bills combating Israel boycotts
Republican and Democratic leaders in both houses of Congress introduced legislation on Thursday that would penalize international governmental organizations and foreign countries seeking to boycott, divest and sanction the state of Israel for its handling of its conflict with the Palestinians.
The bill, supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, would amend the Export Administration Act of 1979 to include in its prohibitions on boycotts against "allies of the United States" those fostered by NGOs against Israel. The bill also directs the US Export-Import Bank to combat boycotts against the Jewish state.
"The United States should bring its foreign policy and its economic institutions, its relationships, and its leverage to bear to combat boycott, divestment, and sanctions actions against Israel," Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) said in a statement, introducing the bill alongside Rob Portman (R-Ohio). "We should not stand idle when foreign countries or international governmental organizations use BDS tactics to isolate one of our key allies. We cannot allow these attempts to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to go unchecked."
Cardin and Portman introduced a similar bill last year. But they now enjoy companion House language as well as the attention of AIPAC, which will encourage swift passage of the bill at its annual policy conference in Washington next week.
De Anza College Student Government Passes BDS Resolution in Effort to Keep School ‘Neutral’ on Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
The student government at a Cupertino, California college passed a resolution last week demanding the school divest from companies profiting from Israel’s “human rights violations,” in an effort to keep the campus “neutral” on the Palestinian issue, student paper La Voz News reported Tuesday.
The De Anza Associated Student Body (DASB) Senate motion called on the college to cut ties with firms supposedly benefiting from Israeli “apartheid,” including Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Motorola Solutions and security services company G4S, according to the report.
One of the chairs of the group behind the motion, Students for Justice, told the paper, “By asking De Anza to divest, you are asking them to no longer take a side in this conflict that undermines a two-state solution.”
“Please don’t force Palestinian students on this campus to fund the bombing of children back home, and don’t force them to fund the bulldozing of their homes and occupation of their people,” a student said in support of the motion at the senate meeting.
Those opposing the resolution were reportedly not given an opportunity to present their case.
According to La Voz, the resolution passed 12-1, with four abstentions. It was based on a similar 2015 resolution passed by San Jose State University’s student government.
Canadian University Investigating ‘Jews Are Rodents’ Facebook Post Rejects Student Group’s Charge of ‘Witch-Hunt, Racial Profiling’
A Canadian university investigating a Facebook post comparing Jews to rodents rejected the charge that it was conducting a “witch hunt” involving “racial profiling,” a spokesperson told The Algemeiner on Thursday.
University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) vice president of external relations Susan McGovern said the inquiry into an online celebration earlier this month by suspected members of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), following the covering up of an Israeli flag with its Algerian counterpart at an on-campus multicultural language festival, was “being done according to university policies.”
McGovern said part of the “democratic investigation process includes bringing in people from both sides, to ensure that we hear both sides of the story,” and that the administration has not made SJP and the Arab Students Association “subjects of racism and intimidation,” as SJP alleged in a statement posted Wednesday on Facebook.
In its statement, SJP also rejected that it or any of its members had any “part in the events that unfolded” at the festival or later on social media, where a Jewish student was told to “go back to Palestine,” according to the Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada.
“We are speaking to those students identified as relevant,” McGovern explained. “And without speaking to everyone believed to be connected with this issue, we couldn’t get to the real face of the matter and determine if our university’s code of conduct has been breached.”
Did Nazi That Coming Ken Livingstone Name-Drops Hitler AGAIN
Surely he’s not Goering to do it again, you thought, but he did: Ken Livingstone name-dropped Hitler this morning in a radio interview where he called for mandatory re-selection of Labour MPs. Red Ken also said those Labour MPs who have “been most over the top” should be “suspended“. Pushed on whether he meant Tom Watson, Ken said “Tom is not bad“. He continued:
“I’m particularly talking about Chuka Ummuna, Wes Streeting, it’s the same group of MPs who were screaming that I said Hitler was a Zionist… the simple fact is they are consciously undermining Jeremy…”
Yvette Cooper was also mentioned. Ken may well have gone full tonto but this will still go down like a bucket of cold sick with the PLP…
Pro-Len Unite Insider Sending Anti-Semitic Tweets to Coyne
Well this is certainly a curious one. An anonymous Twitter account going by the name “Union bloke” has been sending Red Len’s rival Gerard Coyne a slew of anti-Semitic tweets. You might think anonymous anti-Semitic abuse is part and parcel of hard-left politics, yet there is something different about “Union bloke”. Other tweets from the account include internal union documents which Unite sources say would only be available to serving, high-ranking officials in the union. A Unite source tells Guido:
“@1UnionBloke is internally believed to be a senior official in the Unite union. He has also tweeted details of the location of Gerard’s home, including a picture, which is particularly sinister.“
Screenshots taken before the account was deleted also reveal it was followed by senior Unite officials and activists including Len McCluskey’s baby momma Jennie Formby. It would appear that someone relatively senior in Unite is sending racist abuse to opponents of Red Len…
MSN News Promotes Anti-Israel Water Libel
Israel isn’t even responsible for the flow of water to the Palestinians. This is the responsibility of the Palestinian Water Authority, which has, over a long period of time, refused to cooperate with Israel to upgrade and repair its leaky infrastructure in the West Bank.
As for the second MSN News claim that the “crisis is further exaggerated during times of strife when water pipelines can get shelled and damaged,” this is presumably referring to Israeli operations against Hamas in Gaza.
To be clear – Israel has not shelled Palestinian water pipelines and has not and would never intentionally damage Gaza’s water infrastructure. While there is undeniably a water crisis in Gaza, the JCPA notes, however, that it has been created completely by Hamas, and the Palestinian Authority before it.
MSN News also claims that Israel “has discriminatory water-sharing agreements with Palestine.” As NGO Monitor points out, water issues are dictated by the mutually agreed 1995 Oslo II Interim Agreement. In addition, COGAT (the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories) told HonestReporting in November 2016:
New York Times Falsely Suggests Israelis Want War With Jordan
A New York Times news article falsely suggests that Israelis oppose peace with Jordan.
The article, about Jordan’s decision to release from prison the person convicted of murdering seven Israeli schoolchildren, reports:
The Israeli-Jordanian peace has proved firm and lasting, but it still exists mainly at the government level and has not been popularly embraced.
There’s little evidence that the Israeli-Jordanian peace “has not been popularly embraced” by Israelis. If there is any such proof, the Times doesn’t offer it in its story.
Some 100,000 Israeli tourists reportedly visit Jordan each year; in some years, there have been as many as 200,000. There’s no significant political movement in Israel that calls for scrapping the peace treaty with Jordan, and I’ve yet to meet an Israeli who says, “Gee, I really wish we were at war with Jordan.”
It is true that there are some Jordanians who, like a variety of other Muslims and Arabs, haven’t yet accepted the idea that Israel will continue to exist as a Jewish state. They reject the idea of peace with Israel. But there’s no similarly widespread feeling in Israel.
CAMERA Prompts Washington Post Correction on 'Occupied Gaza'
After contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post has changed inaccurate wording in a March 3, 2017 online report.
That article,by reporter Colby Itkowitz, initially referred to the Gaza Strip as "occupied Gaza" and inferred that Israel occupied the Gaza Strip.
Yet, as CAMERA pointed out to Post editors and staff, Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005. Although Israel, like Egypt, has maintained security measures, including blockades, the Jewish state does not occupy the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist group whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and the genocide of Jews.
On March 22, the dispatch was commendably changed to read "Gaza" and a note was appended stating that the article had been updated.
Toronto Star Columnist Smears Israel as an “Apartheid” State
In a column published in the Toronto Star today, Azeekha Kanji’s smearing Israel as an “apartheid” state is baseless, lacks substantive argumentation and is wholly disingenuous. Kanji employs empty rhetoric to tarnish Israel’s reputation and to isolate only the Jewish state with boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.
Don’t Israelis deserve justice? Faced with relentless Palestinian terror in the form of thousands of deadly rockets fired at its cities, which endures daily car-ramming and stabbing attacks of the likes that we saw at the British parliament yesterday, and whose many foes (Hamas, Hezbollah, ISIS and Iran) are committed to its destruction.
Importantly, Prime Minister Trudeau’s principled support for Israel is deserving of praise, not opprobrium by Kanji. Trudeau’s standing with Israel and confronting systemic bias at the United Nations, condemning the BDS movement, and deploring the pernicious rise of antisemitism, should be lauded – not lamented.
Untold by Ms. Kanji (a self-proclaimed “legal analyst”), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) report was written by notorious antisemite Richard Falk, whom she regards as an “academic expert”. According to UN Watch, Falk was denounced on repeated occasions by former UN chief Ban Ki-moon and other world leaders for espousing 9/11 conspiracy theories, blaming the U.S. and Israel for the Boston Marathon bombing, and for spreading antisemitism. Even the Palestinian leadership considers Falk “a partisan of Hamas.”
Exhibit trains overdue lens on secret record of life under Nazis
In the spring of 1945, Henryk Ross, one of the few survivors of the Lodz ghetto, unearthed a box containing some 6,000 photo negatives. He’d snapped the photos while confined to the ghetto over the past four years. A few months prior to its final liquidation, he’d buried them.
“I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy… I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom,” he wrote four decades later, from his home in Jaffa, Israel.
Ross, who died in 1991, had been a professional photojournalist before the Nazi occupation of Poland. He was one of two Jews in the ghetto, along with Mendel Grossman, who took official photographs for the Statistics Department of the Judenrat, the Jewish Council, set up under Nazi rule.
Ross’s official duties required him to take identification photographs of ghetto residents as well as photographs of the factories. These images were used as propaganda to promote the productivity of the ghetto’s slave labor workforce.
But at great risk to his own life, Ross ventured beyond his official duties. Often accompanied by his wife, Stefania, he clandestinely took thousands of additional photographs.
Israeli President Rivlin Witnesses Jewish State’s Technology in Action in Vietnam
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin this week visited the Southeast Asian nation of Vietnam, where the countries signed an agreement on collaboration in the fields of industrial research and development.
“When the state of Israel was very young, we, the Israelis, called ourselves ‘sabras.’ Sabra is the fruit from the cactus plant and only grows in the desert. Like the sabra, we managed to provide water and food to make us flourish even when we didn’t have enough water. We did it by becoming experts in making the most out of every drop. We have a shared vision, and we must let this vision grow together. Only together can we face global challenges,” Rivlin said at an Israeli-Vietnamese business conference.
The Israeli leader made a stop Thursday in the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City. Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, visited the Dairy Demonstration and Experimental Farm, a joint project established in 2013 between the city’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam and MASHAV, Israel’s international development cooperation agency. The farm, which holds around 200 cows, was modeled after Israeli dairy farms and utilizes advanced dairy technology developed in Israel.
The Rivlins also visited Nguyen Van Troi Elementary School, which uses Israeli technology to educate more than 1,000 students in the fields of science and technology.
Israel, China Sign $10 Million Deal to Open Three Artificial Intelligence Centers
Three Israeli-Chinese artificial intelligence technology centers are to be constructed in Israel and China with an initial investment of $10 million, according to an agreement signed March 20 in China by the University of Haifa, the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, and the Institute of Automation at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The Israeli center will be located in Haifa, while its Chinese counterparts will be based in Hangzhou and Beijing. The institutes will aim to develop and industrialize cutting-edge application technologies from the University of Haifa and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, including vision tracking through mobile devices, image processing and big data for medical applications, 3D image learning, chip technologies, biometric identification, and more.
The initiative will be financed by Zong Qinghou, chairman and CEO of the Hangzhou Wahaha Group, an umbrella of private companies and the largest beverage producer in China. The agreement with University of Haifa is its first step in fostering academia and research, with construction of the institute set to be completed within the next two years.
The deal was inked while a delegation including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen, and University of Haifa President Ron Robin was in China for a three-day trip to boost business ties and celebrate 25 years since Israel and China established diplomatic relations.
In First, Israeli Students to Receive Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship
The first two Israeli students to receive the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University will be announced next week, following a years-long campaign to let Israelis join the list of eligible nationalities.
The Israeli students will participate in the program along with the first Rhodes Scholars from Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon, The Jewish Chronicle reported. The program, established by the Rhodes Trust in 1902, was originally open to students from English-speaking British colonies, the United States, and Germany. Since then, it has expanded to include candidates from West Africa, China, the United Arab Emirates, and Malaysia, among others.
The campaign to include Israel was led by Gary Pickholz, chairman of the Weird Science Lab at Oxford University.
“We are ecstatic at the decision to include Israel in the most prestigious scholarship awarded,” Pickholz said. “We are also delighted that Israel will become a regular annual candidate country. This should significantly assist the UK’s academic research at the most elite level.”
Pickholz’s efforts were reportedly met with resistance from proponents of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign, which aims to demonize and isolate Israel until it accedes to a number of unilateral Palestinian demands.
Israeli Agriculture Ministry Unveils Plan to Use Country’s $5 Billion of Food Waste to Feed the Needy
In Israel, about 18 billion shekels ($5 billion) of food is wasted each year, which is the equivalent of 1.6 percent of the state’s gross domestic product. The estimate—calculated during a study conducted last year by the non-profit food rescue organization Leket Israel in conjunction with the BDO consulting group—includes food lost at all stages of production and distribution, from the farm to food retailers’ shelves to consumers’ homes. For comparison, about 33% of domestically produced food is wasted around the world.
As a solution, the Jewish state’s Agriculture Ministry has developed a program to support the harvesting of produce that farmers do not typically collect due to low financial turnaround. The ministry will then distribute these fruits and vegetables to families in need. Another component of the plan calls for the agricultural industry to use packaging that will increase the shelf life of fresh produce and sell cosmetically-flawed but safe-to-eat items at a lower price. A consumer education campaign is also in the works.
According to Leket and BDO’s projections, the ministry’s proposed program could help reduce Israel’s food waste by half if consumers also use up leftover food from processing plants, restaurants, and hotels and food on the cusp of expiration that would otherwise be thrown out by retailers before being sold.
“Food loss is a substantial problem not only [elsewhere] in the world but also in Israel,” Uri Tzuk-Bar, the deputy director general for research, economics and strategy at the Agriculture Ministry, told Haaretz. Around 18 percent of the Israeli population faces moderate to severe food insecurity, he added.
Israel works to lead $50 billion medical marijuana market
Israel, a leader in marijuana research and health technology, is attracting international investment as it tries to position itself as a cutting-edge exporter in the rapidly growing market for medical-grade cannabis.
With estimates that the global market for medical marijuana could reach $50 billion by 2025, the Israeli government is set to allow the local industry to start exporting, and it projects annual revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Medical cannabis is a relatively new field with no universal clinical standards. Israel aims to fill the void by combining its expertise in agriculture, technology and cannabis-based medicine, said Yuval Landschaft, head of the Health Ministry's medical cannabis unit.
"In the United States, for example, they use recreational marijuana for medical use -- that's like making chicken soup when you have a cold," Landschaft told Reuters. "We're the ones making the antibiotics."
The strategy is to create medical-grade cannabis with quality and efficacy ensured along the entire supply chain, from cultivation to manufacture and distribution.
Israeli-American partnership launching cannabis sleep aid
The American pharmaceutical company CannRx and accelerator iCAN:Israel-Cannabis have partnered to launch a sleep aid, called ican.sleep, made from cannabis extracts. The product will be the first pharmaceutical grade cannabis formulation for sleep on the market, and could be a boon for the pharmaceutical industry in Israel, said Bill Levine, the executive chairman of CannRx Technologies.
The product will consist of a precise cannabis formulation that will be inhaled by users for a rapid onset. The formulation will also determine the duration of users’ sleep.
“You take a puff or two, depending upon the dosage, and basically within ten minutes you’ll be drowsy enough to sleep,” Levine said. “We can give you a predictable, dose dependent response every single time.”
The companies announced the new product at the CannaTech medical cannabis conference in Tel Aviv this week. CannRx and iCAN plan to launch the sleep supplement globally following patent trials this year.
After bureaucracy battle, 9 Venezuelan converts immigrate to Israel
It’s not quite Moses’ 40 years in the desert, but for a group of nine struggling Venezuelan converts to Judaism their torturous journey to a better life in the promised land finally brought them to Israel on Thursday.
They immigrated under the Law of Return, which gives Jews the world over the right to settle in Israel.
The journey almost fell apart late last year when, after seven months of correspondence with officials in Israel, they were denied entry over concerns they weren’t involved enough with Venezuela’s Jewish community and were looking to take advantage of Israel’s immigration policies to flee the troubled South American nation.
But that decision was reversed in January. As part of a face-saving deal worked out by liberal Israeli lawmakers and ultra-Orthodox officials, the group marked their conversion — for the second time — with a ritual immersion last Sunday at a synagogue in Colombia before picking up their visas and setting off for Israel.
“May you find your heart’s desire, healing and peace with all of your brothers in Israel — those who are traveling with you and those you’ve yet to meet,” Rabbi Juan Mejia said as leaned his forehead against Jackson Marrone’s, offering him a blessing for a safe journey. Shouts of “mazel tov” echoed off the sanctuary’s high ceiling.

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From Reuters:
American University of Beirut, a recipient of U.S. government aid, has agreed to pay $700,000 to settle a civil lawsuit over accusations that it assisted three organizations linked to the militant group Hezbollah, federal prosecutors said.

As part of its deal with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan, a party to the lawsuit, the university also agreed to revise its policies, prosecutors said in a statement on Thursday.

The agreement resolved a case originally filed under seal by an unnamed complainant.

American University of Beirut receives funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said in the statement, "For years, the American University of Beirut accepted grant money from USAID, but failed to take reasonable steps to ensure against providing material support to entities on the Treasury Department's prohibited list."

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the university in the Lebanese capital admitted to training representatives of al Nour Radio and al Manar TV, media groups that the U.S. Treasury Department lists as branches of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Between 2007 and 2009 the university provided the training in workshops to representatives from al Nour and al Manar, who were allowed to participate among a larger group of journalists, a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

For instance, one workshop was titled "Citizen/Online Journalism" and provided instruction on how to produce blogs, videos and podcasts, prosecutors said.

Federal prosecutors said the university used its website to connect students with Jihad al-Binaa, another organization that the U.S. Treasury Department has said is linked to Hezbollah.

American University of Beirut (AUB) said in a statement on Friday that its conduct had been neither "knowing, intentional or reckless."

The $700,000 penalty levied on the university will be paid to the U.S. government.
I'll try to find out more details, but this is good news all around.

(h/t David)

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From The Register, a snarky information technology news site:
Until just minutes before we hit publish on this story, Google was using a YouTube channel run by a fan of Hezbollah to promote potentially lethal drones.

Despite a backlash from advertisers, Amazon, Adobe and Google were among the tech titans advertising on the now-shuttered "Party of Allah"* YouTube channel – which we imagine was not the group's "official" YouTube, though there was no way to verify this.

The Trichordist blog, which has been recording the use of brands on YouTube for five years, found Google's Home (its version of Amazon Alexa) being promoted. We found ads for Adobe Cloud Services and Amazon's Alexa developer initiative. But the most intriguing was for a drone.

The palm-sized Kudrone may not pack much of a punch – but it's remarkable that Google is promoting it at all, given concerns that terror groups are increasingly taking advantage of low-cost consumer drones.

Hezbollah itself – it's both a militant group and a political party in Lebanon, where its paramilitary wing is rumoured to outsize the country's army – has been using drones since 2004. Just recently researchers warned [PDF] of the difficulty of preventing a drone being used on a civilian population. Even a "nanodrone" can still deliver a lethal payload; two years ago a drone was used to land a bottle of radioactive sand from Fukushima on the roof of the office of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Google claims to have prevented ads being served on "over 300 million YouTube videos and removed 100,000 publishers from its AdSense program". Earlier this week Google promised to make better "tools" to advertisers allowing them to choose – but no significant shift in the content it hosts.

Google's "Community Guidelines" say it forbids "hateful" and "harmful or dangerous" content.

The terror research initiative at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands explains that Hezbollah operates an extensive criminal network in Europe, including arms and narcotics smuggling, and in 2013 the US blacklisted four fund-raisers for raising money for the Lebanese organisation.

We asked Google for details of the revenue share with the individual or organisation running the Hezbollah channel, but have yet to hear a reply. In fact, within an hour of alerting them to the ads, The Party of Allah YouTube channel had been "terminated for violating YouTube's Community Guidelines".
It sounds like the controversy over Google's serving ads to unsavory groups is making it far more interested in policing itself than ordinary complaints used to.

Amazing how much monetary incentives work.

(h/t James)

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From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: Westminster Carnage, Turkish Delight
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t know he was going to get so lucky on Wednesday, when a threat he issued instantly materialized.
Indeed, the Islamist leader of the former modernizing democracy was probably happily amazed at the news of the terrorist attack in London, as it came on the heels of a speech he delivered in Ankara warning, “[i]n no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully.” This fate would befall them, he said, if they “continue to behave like this.”
Of course, Erdogan was not personally responsible for the rampage of UK-born Khalid Masood, who managed to murder three people before being killed by police. Nor had he specified what he meant by claiming that the West would not be safe.
He did, however, caution that Turkey is “not a country to push, to prod, to play with its honor, to shove its ministers out of the door, drag its citizens on the floor.” He had a point; it is only Erdogan and his goons who are at liberty to drag Turkish citizens on the floor.
This was not the point he was trying to make, however. No, Erdogan denies that he imprisons anyone he considers critical of his regime. But he has to do that when he spends so much time accusing Europe of human-rights abuses.
Douglas Murray: Pray for London, for Antwerp, for Nice: this is Europe’s new normal
The hashtag ‘PrayForLondon’ is trending on social media. But so is ‘Antwerp’. Because no sooner were we invited to pray for London than a man of ‘North African descent’ was narrowly prevented from doing something similar in the Belgian city. This is life as usual in Europe now, of course. But among the endless replays to date – and the endless replays yet to come – there are several things worth noting about Wednesday’s attack in London.
The first is that the perpetrator – now identified as one Khalid Masood – was in one sense unusual. A recent comprehensive analysis published by my colleague Hannah Stuart found that among Islamist-related offences in the UK the most common age of the offender was 22. So at 52 years old Khalid Masood was some decades older than the average attacker. Although this is wholly speculative, that is a possible reason why he avoided being regarded as an imminent threat by MI5. There has only been one other individual in the UK who has sought to participate in remotely similar acts at Masood’s age.
The second thing worth noting is that by the jihadists’ own lights Masood’s attack was an expression of failure. It demonstrated once again that people inspired by Isis in the UK aren’t able to get hold of the kind of munitions they would like. Put another way, the fact that Wednesday’s attacker used a car and a knife is not a demonstration of operational strength.
After more than a decade of bomb plots successfully thwarted by our police and security services, the mass casualty bomb attack remains out of reach for Isis supporters in Britain. Likewise, although Isis recruits have been able to attack Paris with Kalashnikov rifles, a mix of geographical good luck and hard work by the authorities has meant Isis supporters have not been able to acquire such arms in the UK. Had they been, then Westminster would have been the scene of even greater carnage on Wednesday. This is not entirely good news, of course. For as in Israel in recent years, while vehicle and knife attacks show that the terrorists can’t get hold of anything else, the downside is that anyone can get hold of such weapons and there is not very much that the authorities can do to stop them.
Melanie Phillips: In the midst of grief, still confusion
In the aftermath of yesterday’s dreadful terror attack on the Palace of Westminster, which has so far left four victims dead and around 40 people injured, many of them seriously, the Prime Minister Theresa May today addressed the House of Commons.
Among other remarks by Mrs May which struck the right tone of steely calm, there was however this exchange. A Conservative MP, Michael Tomlinson, said:
“It is reported that what happened yesterday was an act of Islamic terror. Does the Prime Minister agree that what happened was not Islamic, just as the murder of Airey Neave was not Christian, and that both were perversions of religion?”
To which the Prime Minister answered:
“I absolutely agree. It is wrong to describe what happened as Islamic terrorism; it is Islamist terrorism—a perversion of a great faith.”
To which one can only groan, head in hands: here we go again. Since 9/11 the British political establishment has refused to acknowledge that the jihadi terrorism being conducted in the name of Islam is actually inspired by… Islam. Islamic jihadi terror has instead been called “un-Islamic” or even “anti-Islamic” or “ a perversion of Islam” or “a warped ideology”. Everything but what it actually is: terrorism inspired by a fanatical but legitimate interpretation of Islam.
This Week - London Terror Attack tribute to Keith Palmer

‘Suddenly, Tranquil London Was Like Jerusalem,’ Recounts Bereaved Israeli Mother of Two Fallen IDF Soldiers Upon Witnessing UK Parliament Terror Attack Aftermath
Israeli educator Miriam Peretz — a bereaved mother of two fallen IDF soldiers — was an eyewitness on Wednesday to the aftermath of the deadly terrorist rampage next to the British Parliament building in central London, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
Peretz was visiting London on behalf of the Jewish Agency and was on her way to meet with Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev when she came across the scene of the incident, the report said.
“The sirens and hysteria reminded me of attacks in Jerusalem,” she was quoted as telling Israel’s Army Radio. “Suddenly, tranquil London was like Jerusalem. I can’t say I wasn’t scared or that the thought of ‘God, why are you chasing me with these disasters?’ didn’t cross my mind. But thank God, we are ok.”
“The world is learning,” she went on to say, “that attacks take place not only in Israel, but all over the globe. Coping [with terrorism] is not just for Israel, but also for England, France and the US.”
Despite her close brush with Wednesday’s attack, Peretz plans to stay in London through Saturday. Her time in the UK is being filled with meetings with British Jews, including students.
Terror, Not Donald Trump Jr., Is the Problem
On Wednesday, London was attacked. Just before 3 p.m. in the British capital, a terrorist drove a vehicle at high speed down the Westminster Bridge toward Parliament, running over pedestrians along the way. In an attempt to gain entry to Parliament, the man stabbed and killed a police officer before being shot to death. Forty people were injured in the assault. Three died. The attack occurred on the one-year anniversary of a deadly ISIS-linked incident in Brussels. It happened as an anti-ISIS coalition of Middle Eastern leaders met in Washington D.C. and as militias prepare for the siege of the Islamic State capital, Raqqa. Hours later, ISIS took credit for the attack.
Londoners have a right to be furious, but many have chosen a misguided target for their ire: Donald Trump Jr. With artless timing, the son of the American president took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to criticize London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan. “You have to be kidding me?!,” the Trump family scion wrote, linking to an article published in the autumn of 2016. “Terror attacks are part of living in big city, says London Mayor Sadiq Khan.” In the interview, Khan described how preventing acts of terror was his priority as mayor, but he added that the threat of terror was “part and parcel of living in a big city.”
Rather than direct their outrage at the terrorists who attacked their city or the mayor who had advised them to make their peace with such events, the British are directing their rage at Trump. “You’re a disgrace,” wrote Minister of Parliament Wes Streeting. “Is this helpful,” asked Britain’s Channel 4 journalist, Ciaran Jenkins. “Did you even read the article before goading London’s Mayor during a live incident?” The BBC quoted “many British people on Twitter” who were “incensed” by the tweet. When asked for a response to Trump’s tweet, Mayor Khan said that he had more important matters on his mind. CNN described this dismissive response as “London mayor shuts down Trump Jr. tweet.”
All this may be forgivable in a moment of national psychological trauma, and Donald Trump Jr. did himself no favors with his ill-timed attack on London’s mayor, but this outrage amounts to projection. The sentiment Khan expressed is not an uncommon one on the left. He is hardly the first liberal political figure to advise the public to get used to terrorism as they would unfortunately destructive weather events.
Will Jeremy Corbyn condemn the shooting of Khalid Masood?
Will Jeremy Corbyn have the courage of his stated convictions and condemn the killing of Khalid Masood by armed police yesterday?
Corbyn has stated on record that he was “not happy” with police or security services operating a “shoot to kill” policy in the event of a terror attack.
In November 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was asked by the BBC’s political editor Laura Kuenssberg whether he would be happy to order police or the military to shoot to kill if there an attack on Britain’s streets similar to the ones in France.
Corbyn answered: “I’m not happy with the shoot-to-kill policy in general – I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often can be counterproductive.”
In the aftermath of yesterday’s attack on Westminster, the Labour Party leader has issued only a short and bland statement about being “united in adversity” and thanking the police for their “bravery”. But he appears to have completely forgotten his previous stated position. Or, when put to the test, his courage has failed him.
Was Khalid Masood Eliminated Elor Aazariah-style?
An IDF soldier, Elor Azariah, shot dead a neutralized terrorist in Hebron last year.
After stabbing a soldier, the terrorist was wounded, seriously, and then Azariah, claiming he felt threatened by perceived movement by the terrorist, shot him dead. It sent off a storm in Israel, politicians' declarations, and a trial.
What happened in London on Wednesday?
A terrorist rammed dozens of pedestrians, stabbed a policemen (who died), was shot and seriously wounded.
But was he shot after wounded and on the ground? By two policemen?
Italy: ‘North African’ Arrested After Driving at Police, Stabbing Officer
A “North African” migrant has attempted to ram police with a car in a southern Italian town Wednesday, before attacking and injuring an officer with a knife.
Italian press said the attack in the Railway neighbourhood of Foggia “recalls the dynamics” of Wednesday’s attack in Westminster, London, which saw three people killed.
According to Repubblica, the “African citizen” failed to stop at a police checkpoint and ran over the foot of an officer. As he attempted to escape in his vehicle, he crashed into a parked lorry.
He then emerged from the immobilised car and launched a knife attack on officers, stabbing and wounding one in the hand.
Absurdity of BBC’s ‘Language when Reporting Terrorism’ guidance on display again
As was noted here (Reviewing BBC reporting of vehicular attacks in France and Israel) when a vehicular terror attack took place in Nice in July 2016, terror attacks using vehicles have not been afforded the same clarity of description by the BBC when perpetrated against Israelis.
When four people were murdered in a vehicular attack in Jerusalem in January 2017, the BBC did stick to its guideline of only using the word terror with attribution and avoiding the term itself.
Likewise, the BBC consistently refrains from using the word terror to describe stabbing attacks on Israeli civilians or members of the security forces.
When the BBC does manage to report terror attacks in London, Nice, Berlin, Brussels or Paris using appropriate language, its long-standing editorial policy of eschewing accurate terminology in coverage of Palestinian attacks on Israelis becomes even more discordant and the redundancy of its inconsistently applied guidelines and guidance is highlighted all the more.
Those guidelines are clearly in need of serious review if the BBC wants its audiences to believe that its reporting is impartial.
Yes, the Jew Who Called in Bomb Threats Was Anti-Semitic
On March 1, I penned a column excoriating Donald Trump and other mainstream conservatives for suggesting attacks on Jewish sites—bomb threats, vandalism, and otherwise—were false flag attacks designed to discredit the right.
Later that week, Juan Thompson—a former journalist for the left-wing outlet The Intercept—became the first man arrested for calling in some of these threats, allegedly in the hopes that he could blame his ex-girlfriend for the crime. Clearly, I lack the gift of timing.
Today, Israeli officials announced the arrest of a 19-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship who is alleged to have been behind many of the remaining bomb calls. For anti-Semites, it is a glorious moment (indeed, the anti-Semites are not hard to identify: they’re the ones who are more ecstatic that the perpetrator was Jewish than they are relieved that he was caught.)
For Jews, by contrast, this is agonizing. First having to endure these threats, we must now also deal with the painful knowledge that many of them were acts of betrayal. Likewise, all of us know we will as a class lose credibility for the actions of one deranged member. It is difficult to fathom a greater act of treason against the Jewish people than what this man did. It was all I could do not to keep thinking of Cynthia Ozick’s curse against Simon Wiesenthal’s SS officer in The Sunflower: “Let [him] die unshriven. Let him go to hell. Sooner the fly to God than he.”
But now we must deal with the aftermath. I am grateful that the perpetrator has been caught; I hope it signals the end of this terrible moment in Jewish history. Still, there continues to be much we don’t know. In particular, the suspect’s motive has not been revealed; there is some talk that he is mentally ill. But even at this juncture, there is something we can say with absolute confidence:
The man who did this was anti-Semitic.
Online slip-up led police to JCC bomb threat suspect
The Israeli-American teenager arrested Thursday as the main suspect in a string of hoax bomb threats against Jewish institutions across the US and elsewhere appears to have made a key slip-up that led police to track him down, after months of evasion.
Israeli police described the suspect, an 18-year-old resident of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, as a hacker but said his motives were still unclear.
The Daily Beast reported Thursday that the youth used a number of sophisticated technologies, including Google Voice and spoofing technology to mask his IP when making the threats and remained untraceable for some time.
Over time, according to the report, he grew careless and failed on at least one occation to route his intenet connection through a proxy, leaving behind a real IP address traced back to Israel.
The location was traced to a nearby Wi-Fi access point the suspect was reaching via a large antenna pointing out his window.
York U Evacuated After Bomb Threat Targeting Jewish Campus Community Discovered Scrawled on Bathroom Wall
A written bomb threat targeting the Jewish community at Canada’s York University prompted the evacuation of campus buildings on Wednesday, though no explosive devices were discovered.
The threat — along with antisemitic graffiti — was found on the wall of a men’s bathroom on the school’s Glendon campus.
Toronto Police Constable Victor Kwong told Jewish human rights group B’nai Brith Canada that since March 8, there have been seven racially motivated incidents at the Glendon campus.
“Not all of them have targeted Jewish people. There have been scribbles and graffiti in bathrooms against blacks and Muslims, too. We think one person is responsible for this and he is desperately attempting to get attention,” he said. “Every time we get a call of a bomb threat, we treat it as the highest priority, which is why the building has been evacuated on a few occasions.”
Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada, said in a statement Wednesday’s incident at York “is merely the latest pattern of outrageous attacks against Jewish students on Canadian campuses.”
ADL: Arrest of bomb threat suspect doesn’t allay anti-Semitism concerns
After Israeli police arrested a Jewish Israeli teenager Thursday suspected of calling in dozens of bomb threats to Jewish community centers and other institutions around the country, the Anti-Defamation League warned against minimizing the extent of anti-Semitism in the United States.
“Even though it appears that the main culprit behind the majority of these attacks has allegedly been identified, anti-Semitism in the US remains a very serous concern,” the group’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “No arrests have been made in three cemetery desecrations of a serious of other anti-Semitic incidents involving swastika graffiti and hate fliers. JCCs and other institutions should not relax security or become less vigilant.”
Since January, nearly 150 bomb threats have hit JCCs, Jewish day schools and other institutions, causing the evacuation of dozens of Jewish community centers and prompting some parents to remove their children from JCC programs.
The threats have come in repeated waves, via phone and email, and many of the institutions have been targeted more than once.
Is Trump owed an apology after the JCC bomb threat arrest? Is anybody?
Literally within seconds of the news of the arrest in Israel of an Israeli-American teenager for the bulk of the JCC bomb threats, Twitter lit up with Jewish anxiety.
“[I] fear the inevitable backlash from haters who we whipped [into] a frenzy for our own nefarious political aims” is how someone responded to the JTA story about the arrest.
A colleague’s friend wrote, “And now people will have another excuse to not take anti-Semitism seriously.”
The shock and anxiety inspired by news of the arrest were understandable. After all, anti-Semitic organizations and websites keep tallies of “false flag” anti-Semitic attacks carried out by Jews in order to discredit the very idea that anti-Semitism exists. (Such incidents are few and far between, and pale next to the actual tally of attacks on people and property, but never mind.)
But the JCC bomb threat hoax wasn’t just an isolated swastika daubing — it was an ongoing story affecting Jewish institutions in nearly every American Jewish community. It shaped a communal narrative that something ugly and insidious was happening out there. And it fueled a political crisis among most American Jewish organizations and the White House, with the former accusing the latter of taking too long to denounce anti-Semitism and to comfort Jews traumatized by the bomb threats and at least two major cemetery desecrations.
Line for apologies to @realDonaldTrump over JCC threats forms on the Left
This arrest is consistent with earlier reports, NYPD: Single Caller May Be Behind Most Jewish Community Bomb Threats.
The other arrest in JCC threats was made in early March of disgraced liberal journalist Juan Thompson. Thompson allegedly made threats to JCCs and the ADL in a manner trying to frame his former girlfriend, What We Know About Juan Thompson, Arrested for Threats Against Jews.
So what we have is a Jewish Israeli-American teenager and a liberal journalist responsible for all or most of the bomb threats.
Yet Donald Trump was raked over the coals by liberals, particularly liberal Jewish organizations and activists, for allegedly fomenting a culture of anti-Semitism that led to the bomb threats. Yet it was a false narrative.
I don’t have time today to name names, but that’s going to happen. It needs to happen. Groups like the Anne Frank Center (US), which last year reconfigured itself focus its efforts on social justice activism, have done great damage to the fight against real anti-Semitism by trying to use the JCC threats as a political hammer against Trump.
There need to be apologies. The line forms on the Left.
Joel Pollak: ADL Owes Trump Supporters an Apology
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has led a campaign of defamation over the last several months, involving false claims of bigotry, and targeting President Donald Trump; his adviser, Steve Bannon; and Breitbart News.
The charges were false, but that did not stop the ADL from making them, whether directly or indirectly — nor did it stop the wide array of organizations, inside and outside the Jewish community, who, relying on the ADL’s authority, echoed those claims for political purposes.
Now the whole narrative has fallen apart.
On Thursday, Israeli authorities announced that they had arrested a 19-year-old Jewish dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, who happens to be Jewish, for carrying out “most” of the antisemitic bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country and around the world. Not only were these “hate crimes” hoaxes, but they appear to have been perpetrated by a fellow member of the Jewish community, for motives that have yet to be made clear.
The arrest is deeply damaging to the fight against antisemitism, which remains a real and very dangerous phenomenon. Future antisemitic threats may not be taken as seriously because of the way these were allegedly faked, and who faked them.
Caroline Glick: Trump’s greatest deal
The Iran deal Trump needs to make with the Russians is clear.
What can be done about Iran? In Israel, a dispute is reportedly raging between the IDF and the Mossad about the greatest threat facing Israel. IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot thinks that Hezbollah is the greatest threat facing Israel. Mossad Director Yossi Cohen thinks Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest danger facing the Jewish state.
While the media highlight the two men’s disagreement, the underlying truth about their concerns has been ignored.
Hezbollah and Iran’s nuclear program are two aspects of the same threat: the regime in Tehran.
Hezbollah is a wholly owned subsidiary of the regime. If the regime disappeared, Hezbollah would fall apart. As for the nuclear installations, in the hands of less fanatical leaders, they would represent a far less acute danger to global security.
So if you undermine the Iranian regime, you defeat Hezbollah and defuse the nuclear threat.
If you fail to deal with the regime in Tehran, both threats will continue to grow no matter what you do, until they become all but insurmountable.
So what can be done about Tehran? With each passing day we discover new ways Iran endangers Israel and the rest of the region.
Israeli official denies US demanding freeze in isolated settlements
A senior Israeli official on Thursday denied reports that the Trump administration has demanded Israel stop all construction in isolated West Bank settlements and put curbs on new building inside the major settlement blocs.
According to Wednesday’s reports, the terms were laid out by US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt in a pair of lengthy meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week on Israeli settlement activity.
Israeli and US officials have been engaging in ongoing talks in efforts to reach an understanding on construction in the West Bank, since Trump last month asked Netanyahu to “hold back” on settlements.
“The reports concerning Mr. Greenblatt’s visit to Israel and any purported US demands of Israel in talks regarding the settlements are false,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The official said a statement on the status of the negotiations between Jerusalem and Washington would be provided later Thursday.
After more deadlocked talks, White House expresses ‘concerns’ with settlement building
After four days of high-level discussions between the Trump administration and an Israeli delegation, which concluded Thursday, no agreement has been forged regarding Israel’s ongoing settlement construction, an issue that concerns US President Donald Trump, the Trump administration indicated Thursday evening.
“The United States delegation reiterated President Trump’s concerns regarding settlement activity in the context of moving towards a peace agreement,” according to a joint readout of the talks. “The Israeli delegation made clear that Israel’s intent going forward is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes those concerns into consideration.”
The two sides said they will continue to engage in dialogue over Israel’s continued building in disputed areas of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. They described the discussions as “serious and constructive, and they are ongoing.”
Trump publicly asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”
Top Republican senator Not time for ‘splashy’ peace talks
Fresh from a visit to the region, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) cautioned the Trump administration against rushing into a new, highly publicized round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Cotton, who will be speaking at the annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on May 7, told the Post this week that neither Israelis nor Palestinians are interested in a peace process along the lines of what former secretary of state John Kerry tried to orchestrate in 2013 and 2014, when he spent much of his time shuttling between sides in the hope of getting both to the same table.
“The timing for a splashy, high-profile, new set of a negotiations does not seem to be right,” Cotton said. “Quiet confidence- building measures might be appropriate.”
But the senator, who this week traveled to Lebanon, Jordan and Israel for security consultations, acknowledged the fluid nature of the political environment in which Palestinians now find themselves. He questioned whether Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a true partner for peace, or the last, best hope for a comprehensive agreement, given the apparent dearth of moderate leaders waiting in the wings.
“It’s hard to predict the internal maneuvering of internal Palestinian politics,” Cotton said, but predicted there will be a short period of stasis after Abbas leaves office followed by a “jockeying for power.”
Merkel: 'No reasonable alternative' to two-state solution
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday she was concerned about Israel's building of settlements in the West Bank, which she said was undermining progress towards a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel is building settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, where Palestinians want to establish their state and capital.
"As before, I see no reasonable alternative to the goal of a two-state solution," Merkel told reporters before holding talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin.
On the issue of the settlements, she added: "I am very concerned about developments in the West Bank, which are leading to an erosion of the basis for a two-state solution."
US Holocaust Museum to award Angela Merkel with top honor named for Elie Wiesel
The US Holocaust Memorial Museum will bestow its highest honor, the Elie Wiesel Award, on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her work advancing Holocaust awareness.
“Chancellor Merkel has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making the preservation of Holocaust memory a priority for Germany,” said Tom Bernstein, who chairs the council governing the museum, in a release Thursday.
“The Museum has partnered with the German government and institutions on many initiatives, and those partnerships have only grown deeper and more fruitful under Chancellor Merkel.”
Merkel was instrumental in 2011 in overcoming the reluctance among the 11 nations that run the International Tracing Service, the Germany-based documentation center of Nazi atrocities, to opening up its archives.
She will receive the award on April 24 during the museum’s National Tribute Dinner, which takes place on Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in Washington, D.C. Merkel will accept the honor by video from Germany.
With Only Two Democrats Voting in Favor, Senate Confirms David Friedman as Next US Ambassador to Israel
Attorney David Friedman was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday to be the next US ambassador to Israel.
President Donald Trump’s nomination of Friedman was approved by a 52-46 vote. Only two Democratic senators – Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Joe Manchin of West Virginia supported the confirmation.
“We strongly applaud the Senate in approving David Friedman as our next ambassador to Israel,” the Republican Jewish Coalition said in a statement. “As someone deeply versed in the issues affecting the region, as well as being a long time confidant of President Trump, Mr. Friedman will be an effective and important voice representing the United States. With Mr. Friedman as our new ambassador, there is no question that the relationship between the US and Israel will grow stronger.”
Christians United for Israel (CUFI) also hailed the Senate vote, with Pastor John Hagee — CUFI’s founder and chairman — saying that Friedman was “the right man for this extremely challenging post.”
“We look forward to working with Amb. Friedman and the entire Trump team to advance our shared goal of strengthening the US-Israel relationship,” Hagee went on to say.
Zionist Organization of America National President Morton A. Klein said, “This is a great day for America, Israel, the Jewish people, and Amb. David Friedman. He will be the most pro-Israel pro-America ambassador to Israel in history. He is the first US ambassador to Israel that has a realistic, rational view of the issues affecting all the parties there.”
10 Questions for Bill English on NZ’s ‘longstanding policy’.
After months of evasion, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Bill English, has finally admitted, in response to another question from Winston Peters about UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in Parliament earlier this week, that the resolution was not put to cabinet for approval. It did not need to be, English said, because it was in line with “longstanding policy”, a refrain we have now heard repeatedly from the Government.
However, Shalom.Kiwi has already shown how the resolution was not in line with longstanding policy. The “longstanding policy” mantra does not become more convincing by repetition. Here are 10 questions that reveal how dramatic a departure from previous policy McCully’s resolution was:
When did the NZ government…
1) …declare that East Jerusalem (including the Temple Mount, Western Wall, Hadassah hospital, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) is “occupied Palestinian territory”?
Resolution 2334 potentially criminalises Jews living in the ancient Jewish Quarter, rebuilt after the destruction during the years of Jordanian occupation (1948-67) and makes it illegal for Jews to pray at the Western Wall, the surviving structure of the Second Temple – Judaism’s most holy site. The resolution is in-keeping with a Palestinian strategy of using international organisations to deny any Jewish connection to the Holy Land but it is not NZ foreign policy. In fact, it is ahistorical.
2) …start supporting BDS?
When asked about the anti-Israel Boycotts, Divestments, and Sanctions movement (BDS), Murray McCully said
“I think the move to try and exclude Israel from business activity and the move to try and exclude Israel from engagement in international institutions and normal diplomatic activity is hugely counterproductive.”
However, Resolution 2334 – specifically provision 5 – advances BDS by urging countries to “distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967”. While sanctions on Israel may be called for by terror-sympathising academics, it is not sound government policy and is out of step with previous New Zealand policy.
Netanyahu to Times of Israel Chinese: I hope Beijing’s ‘superb’ relations with Israel will affect its UN votes
Israel’s increasingly strong economic relations with China may yet change the country’s traditionally anti-Israel voting patterns at international organizations such as the United Nations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview for The Times of Israel’s Chinese site on Wednesday.
Speaking to ToI’s diplomatic correspondent Raphael Ahren and Chinese editor Yifeng Zhou as he wrapped up his visit to Beijing, Netanyahu said he raised the issue during his meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. “It is my hope that over time we’ll see a greater consonance between China’s superb relations with Israel on the bilateral side and its votes in multinational forums,” Netanyahu said.
Interviewed by The Times of Israel on the 18th floor of Beijing’s St. Regis hotel, the prime minister made no claim to have changed China’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Iranian nuclear agreement, which are markedly at odds with Israel’s own. But he did see bilateral relations strengthening, and noted that “President Xi said he believes that strong economic ties help diplomacy.”
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: China Should Stay Out of Peacemaking, Focus on Business Ties With Israel
While Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a two-state solution “as soon as possible” during his meeting in Beijing this week with visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Middle East peacemaking is not a priority for the Asian power, the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said in an interview with i24 News on Tuesday.
“China is not leading on this issue, even though they’re speaking to the issue now” Dovid Efune told “Clearcut” anchorwoman Michelle Makori. “They are best sticking out of this, focusing on business in the Israeli relationship.”
Furthermore, Efune noted, “On the Israeli-Palestinian issue, there never really has been another serious player besides for the US, and I don’t think that’s very likely to change. Even if China is becoming more vocal, on the ground they just don’t have the infrastructure and the resources to have that serious influence.”
At his meeting with Xi, Netanyahu said, “We admire China’s capabilities, its position on the world stage and in history. We have always believed, as we discussed on my previous visit [in May 2013], that Israel can be a partner, a junior partner, but a perfect partner for China in the development of a variety of technologies that change the way we live, how long we live, how healthy we live, the water we drink, the food we eat, the milk that we drink — in every area. There are vast and rapid changes in technology, which Israel excels in that we believe that we could cooperate in.”
Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis team up to combat earthquake risk
With the border area with Jordan at high risk for earthquakes, Israeli institutions are collaborating with the Jordanian Red Crescent and Hebron’s Greenland Association to train local residents as first responders in the event of such a catastrophe.
The joint project, called “Community Emergency Response Teams,” was conceived by Ben-Gurion University, the European Union and Magen David Adom.
Limited access and rough terrain after an earthquake mean that rescue teams may take some time to arrive.
This training will give residents tools to provide first aid, shelter and psycho-social support before professional rescue teams appear. Participants underwent a 100-hour course on subjects such as needs assessment, first aid, shelter, hygiene promotion, psycho-social support, search and rescue, firefighting and community resilience.
The teams will be scattered along the Jordan River bank in Israel’s Emek Hama’ayanot region, Hevel Eilot region and Kuseife, a Beduin town. Similar training took place simultaneously in Palestinian and Jordanian communities. First-response teams throughout the region will also be prepared to assist one another in case of an emergency.
IDF forces kill Palestinian throwing Molotov cocktails
IDF troops opened fire on a group of four Palestinians who were throwing Molotov cocktails at the Samaria Jewish community of Beit El on Thursday, killing one and wounding the other three, the IDF and Palestinian health officials reported.
A Palestinian health source said the fatality was a 17-year-old male and that one of the wounded assailants was in critical condition at a hospital in Ramallah.
An IDF spokeswoman said the incident began when the assailants got out of a car and began throwing Molotov cocktails at Beit El. When Israeli troops opened fire at them, the got back into the car and fled, the spokeswoman said.
Ramallah Governor Laila Ghanam denied that the group had been throwing Molotov cocktails, saying they had been driving peacefully toward the Al-Jalazoun refugee camp.
JCPA: Mahmoud Abbas Against Freedom of Expression
The political behavior of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in relation to the Palestinian opposition is no different from any other ruler in an Arab country. In other words, this is another dictator who knows how to suppress his opponents using various pretexts.
Abbas’ bitter rivalry with Mohammad Dahlan and the deep hatred Abbas has towards Dahlan has resulted in some unusual steps, the latest of which was a directive given by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry to all the PLO representatives abroad to restrict the activities of Dahlan in Europe because of a conference he organized two weeks ago in Paris.
Political rivalry is normal and legitimate, but the PA chairman crossed “red lines” by setting his security forces against his political opponents, at the head of which is Dahlan – just as tyrants do in dictatorships.
In recent weeks, Abbas’ security forces have been working to locate hundreds of Palestinian youths who participated in several conferences organized by Dahlan for Fatah activists in Ein a-Sukhna, Egypt.
Some of the students were located and interrogated, and ten of them were transferred to administrative detention, accused of having attempted to co-operate with Egyptian intelligence in an attempt to overthrow the PA chairman.
PreoccupiedTerritory: Palestinians Relinquish All Claims Against Israel (satire)
The Palestinian Authority announced today that it is relinquishing all territorial claims against Israel, and that it encourages all Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem to move elsewhere.
The announcement comes after months of internal wrangling among the Palestinian leadership surrounding efforts to build a government with Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas trounced the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in a brief but bloody conflict, taking control of the coastal territory.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a Palestinian Authority spokesman, made the announcement at a hastily called press conference at the Muqat’a, the government compound. “After years of struggle, we have finally come to the conclusion that the Palestinian cause is best served by the Palestinian people themselves realizing that really, this is Jewish land,” said Rudeineh. “The best thing for the Palestinian people now is to find countries that would welcome an influx of a motivated, well educated, young people.”
Rudeineh went on to suggest that many countries in Eastern Europe could absorb a Palestinian exodus, considering that they were emptied of Jews in the 1940s. “Poland, especially, should have plenty of space, as they got rid of about three million Jews between 1939 and 1945.”
The idea of Eastern Europe as a home for Palestinians represents a turnabout. For decades, Palestinians, and Arabs in general, had opposed the existence of Israel, often through rhetoric that insisted Jews return to Europe, where political Zionism began in the late nineteenth century.
Egypt's former leader Mubarak freed, six years after overthrow
Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president overthrown in 2011 and the first leader to face trial after the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region, was freed on Friday after six years in detention, his lawyer said.
He left the Maadi Military Hospital in Cairo where he had been detained, heading to his home in Heliopolis.
"Yes, he is now in his home in Heliopolis," Mubarak's lawyer, Farid El Deeb told Reuters when asked if Mubarak had left the hospital. Heliopolis is an upscale neighbourhood where the main presidential palace from which Mubarak once governed is located.
Mubarak was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for conspiring to murder 239 demonstrators during the 18-day revolt - an uprising that sowed chaos and created a security vacuum but also inspired hope for democracy and social justice.
An appeals court ordered a retrial that culminated in 2014 in the case against Mubarak and his senior officials being dropped. An appeal by the public prosecution led to a final retrial by the Court of Cassation, the highest in the country, which acquitted him on March 2.
Senators bring new Iran sanctions bill over missile tests, terrorism
A bipartisan slate of senators has introduced new sanctions targeting Iran for its missile testing and destabilizing actions days before AIPAC’s national conference.
The Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017 was introduced Thursday by Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey. Overall, 14 senators, from both parties, co-sponsored the measure.
The act establishes new sanctions targeting Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles and its backing for terrorism, and also seeks to block the property of any entity involved in the sale of arms to or from Iran. It does not reintroduce sanctions lifted from Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear deal.
The bill is timed ahead of the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference taking place March 26-28 in Washington, DC. AIPAC, after two years of tensions with Democrats over Iran policy, and emerging tensions with Republicans over the lobby’s endorsement of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, wants the conference to celebrate its reputation for bipartisanship.
Bipartisanship was a theme in the release announcing the sanctions.
IsraellyCool: Russian Foreign Ministry’s Traveler Advice Is Something To Behold
The Russian Foreign Ministry has published a list of recommendations for citizens traveling the world. Reading the list, you’d think Borat was responsible for writing it.
Here are some of the most helpful.
  • “Comparing a Kenyan to a monkey can cause the very strongest reaction, as can rudely questioning a Kenyan’s mental abilities (knocking yourself on the head, as a gesture during conversation, is considered an insult). If you poke a Kenyan with your finger during conversation, it can also instigate aggression from him.”
  • Russian citizens who do not speak French are strongly recommended to ask for a menu in Russian or English. Attempts to pronounce the names of meals in French without knowledge of the rules of the French language can lead to conflicts.
  • “Canada, where same-sex marriage was long ago legalized and there is a serious ‘obsession’ with gender equality, isn’t the best place for retelling ‘obscene male’ anecdotes and jokes about ‘the non-traditionals.’
And of course, Israel is covered:
“In general, the tolerance threshold for spoken obscenities in Israel is low. Here, you’ll often hear distorted Russian obscenities originally popular among Jewish immigrants to Palestine in the early 20th century. But foreigners are advised to avoid Yiddish colloquialisms (‘putz,’ “schmuck’) and similar Arabic expressions (‘kus ummak,’ ‘sharmuta’), It’s inadmissible to use the word ‘zhid’ [kike] when addressing any Jew, even if he doesn’t understand Russian.
“Visitors to this country should bear in mind Israelites’ extreme sensitivity to virtually any criticism of the state of Israel itself, as well as criticism of any aspects of life in Israel.”

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