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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ron Kampeas, Washington bureau chief of JTA, indignantly tweets:

JTA reported her words in a bit more context, where Hotovely was describing one fo the reasons for a divide in attitudes between US and Israeli Jews:
“The other issue is not understanding the complexity of the region,” she said. “People that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don’t have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, or to Iraq. Most of them are having quite convenient lives. They don’t feel how it feels to be attacked by rockets, and I think part of it is to actually experience what Israel is dealing with on a daily basis.”
It is antisemitic to note that most Jews don't serve in the US military?

A quick back-of-the-envelope calculation: There were, in 2009, just 4,515 Jewish soldiers in the US military. If you assume 5 million Jews in the US and each household having 4 people on the average, that means that about 1 in 270 US Jewish households have a soldier now. Multiply that by 10 or so to account for vets, and I think it would be generous to say that 1 in 25 American Jewish families have a soldier or vet as members.

The military experience is foreign to most American Jews. This is not a controversial position to take, Ron Kampeas knows this as well as anyone.

It is one thing to misrepresent what Hotovely said. It is despicable to imply that her reasonable observation about most American Jews is antisemitic.

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:

Richard Millett: Banksy-inspired film that demonises Jews is shown at SOAS.
Jews are about to be demonised in the soon to be released From Balfour To Banksy, a new documentary film by Martin Buckley. In it Jews are portrayed as Nazis, thieves and thinking they’re the superior race.

Buckley is ex-BBC and now senior lecturer in journalism at Southampton Solent University. In From Balfour To Banksy, which was shown at SOAS on Monday night, he interviews Palestinians living next to Israel’s security wall. His cameraman/editor is Alexander Wilks, a 23-year-old graduate just out of film school. The producer is Miranda Pinch, a Christian-believing Jewish woman.

Soon into the film we hear a Palestinian describe Gaza as a “child concentration camp”. This evokes the image of Jews as Nazis.

We are also sold the lie that “Jewish-only highways feed the settlements”. Then, after more accusations that Israel is an “apartheid state”, Buckley says:

“It’s surely amazing that Israel, built by the survivors of Hitler’s Holocaust, could be accused of the notorious human rights violation that scars South Africa. But for over a decade critics outside and inside Israel, Jews as well as Arabs, have been accusing Israel’s right-wing governments of practising apartheid. Shocking as the accusation of apartheid is it has serious formal backing.”

In Jerusalem Buckley then finds a Jewish-Israeli family who invite him over for dinner. One of the family members tells Buckley that Israeli children are taught in school: “We are the chosen ones, everyone else is beneath us.” This false accusation is an antisemitic trope.

The scene moves to Tel Aviv where we are told “Palestinians have lived for hundreds of years”, eventhough Tel Aviv was founded in 1909. Buckley interviews Palestinian students at Tel Aviv University. The claim is made that TAU is built over a Palestinian village.
IsraellyCool: Deconstructing From Balfour to Banksy: “From Balfour to Bigots”
Like A State of Terror, the makers of this film will want to make it an icon of ‘human rights’, to be shown to young people at institutes of learning worldwide. So it’s important to deconstruct it in detail. The footage is accompanied by interviews conducted by Martin Buckley who is ex-BBC. See his Facebook page for a clue as to where he stands on Israel:

(The film also includes an irrelevant dig at Brexit supporters by Buckley…). I didn’t manage to write down the names of all the interviewees but they included: Sut Jhally, Lucas al-Zouaghi (not sure this is spelt correctly, I couldn’t find his name using Google), Robert Cohen, Edra Gluckman (Women In Black) , Raed Sadeh, Terry Boullata, Mahmoud Muna, Ofra Yeshua-Lyth, Fida Jiryis and Sir Vincent Fean. Plus a young Palestinian called Georgina (not a common Arab name) who clearly attends a good school in East Jerusalem and was clearly coached.

‘Israel has committed genocide and theft’ – Jhall
‘Child concentration camp’ (referring to Gaza) – al-Zouaghi
‘Illegal settlements; Jewish only highways’ – Buckley
(No Court has ever ruled them illegal. The ICJ did but it’s not a proper Court. Those roads can be used by any citizen of Israel regardless of religion – the rule is for security).
‘The settlements are illegal according to the Geneva Convention’ – Cohen.
(Wrong. The Convention refers to forced transfer. No Jew in Judea/Samaria was ‘forced ‘ to move there).
‘Israel’s policies are relentlessly anti-Palestinian’ – Buckley
(Nonsense. The Palestinian leadership consistently refuses peace offers)
‘The Wall is ineffective – kids jump over it’ – Sadeh
(Obvious nonsense)
‘Jews are forcing their way back into the City [Hebron] because they feel they have a historic right to do so’ – Ofra Yeshua-Lyth
(Hebron has a long and rich Jewish history and is the site of the oldest Jewish community in the world).

Dore Gold: Is It True the UN Created Israel? 70 Years since UN General Assembly Resolution 181
It is often incorrectly asserted that the United Nations created the State of Israel by means of UN General Assembly Resolution 181, what is also known as the Partition Plan, which was adopted on November 29, 1947, 70 years ago. That is completely untrue.

UN Resolution 181 called explicitly for an independent Jewish state alongside of an Arab state and provided international legitimacy for the Jewish claim to statehood. It was a morally significant action, but like all UN General Assembly resolutions, it was not legally binding.

What established Israel was not the action of the UN. What actually established Israel was the Declaration of Independence by Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, on May 15, 1948. To this day, what establishes states are not actions in the UN, despite what Mahmoud Abbas might hope.

When I served as Israel's ambassador to the UN, a campaign began which called for reviving Resolution 181, led by the Palestinian UN Observer, Nasser al-Qudwa. At the time, Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon said to me, "Go back to Ben-Gurion's speech in the Knesset from December 1949."

When Arab armies converged on the nascent State of Israel, put Jerusalem under siege, and bombarded the Old City with artillery, the UN did nothing. As Ben-Gurion told the Israeli Knesset in December 1949, "The UN didn't lift a finger."

Ben-Gurion declared, "We cannot regard the decision of the 29th of November 1947 as being possessed of any further moral force since the UN did not succeed in implementing its own decisions." Eight days later he moved the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem just as the Jewish state was being reborn.

Plane crazy discrimination against Israeli student has brought back troubling ghosts of humanity's darkest capacity for hate
A court in Frankfurt has ruled that Kuwait Airways did not break the law by refusing to carry a passenger who had booked a flight with the airline company last year.

Who was this rogue and what unpardonable crime had he committed that led to Kuwait Airways banning him from even setting foot on their plane?

He was a young student, living in Germany, who had booked to fly to Bangkok. But he had an Israeli passport. And the flight would have involved a stopover in Kuwait.

And since the Kuwaiti rulers are involved in a boycott of Israel (along, shamefully, with many academic institutions and so called "liberal" entities in Britain and Ireland) the airline staff refused to allow him to board the plane.

Shocking enough.

But how much worse was that subsequent court ruling that, while it is illegal in Germany to discriminate against someone on grounds of race, religion or ethnicity, it isn't, apparently, illegal to discriminate on the grounds of nationality.

To sum up then, a court in Germany, forever synonymous with the Holocaust, finds that it is perfectly acceptable in 2017 to discriminate openly against someone solely for being a citizen of Israel, the Jewish state.

As darkly ominous as the court finding, I think, has been how little debate this ruling has elicited in the media.
Linda Sarsour is only the 2nd Most Inappropriate speaker at New School antisemitism event
The New School, a liberal Manhattan-based university, has garnered considerable controversy over a program on antisemitism that’s currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 28. The program is titled Antisemitism and the Struggle for Justice and it is designed to promote a book by Jewish Voice for Peace of a similar name.

Criticism of the event has been almost entirely focused on the university’s “misguided invitation” to Linda Sarsour and the “absurdity” of this self-identified anti-Israel firebrand and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement “poster girl” being asked to discuss the nature of contemporary anti-Jewish hatred and how best to tackle it.

The focus on Sarsour is understandable given that she’s a celebrated voice on the progressive left and a controversial public figure, best known for her prominent role as co-chair of the National Women’s March.

But, as I discuss further below, even worse than the spectacle of Sarsour speaking at The New School’s antisemitism event is the fact that leaders of the grossly misnamed Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)—including its Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson—will be sharing the stage with her.

Supporters of Israel have long been at the forefront of the effort to expose JVP for what it is—a group that promotes the view that the fight for social justice and civil rights requires that people demonize and isolate Israel and denigrate and deny the humanity of Zionists.
Defending Antisemites, Rutgers President Takes Aim at The Algemeiner
After weeks of dogged Algemeiner coverage of antisemitism at Rutgers University, we expected that the school’s president, Robert Barchi, would respond. But when he finally did, it left us astounded.

Speaking over the weekend at a town hall event sponsored by the student government, Barchi dedicated the first part of his remarks to the series of antisemitism scandals plaguing his campus. The first story related to Jasbir Puar, a women’s studies professor who has written a book accusing Israel of injuring Palestinians “in order to control them.” The second concerned Professor Michael Chikindas, who called Judaism “the most racist religion in the world,” and accused Jews — and not the Ottoman Turks — of perpetrating the Armenian genocide. The third called attention to the employment at Rutgers of Mazen Adi, an adjunct professor who formerly served as a UN spokesman for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and who has accused Israeli officials of trafficking children’s organs.

President Barchi rightly noted that the controversies facing the three members of his faculty staff originated with exposés published by The Algemeiner – but his goal wasn’t to offer a vote of thanks to Shiri Moshe, our reputable journalist who brought these vital issues to the public attention. His intention was clearly to disparage, undermine and delegitimize. And on what basis? On the basis that the reports had originated in a Jewish newspaper.

He referred to The Algemeiner, incorrectly, as “a blog out of New York, which is the follow-on to what was a Yiddish-language newspaper that folded 10 years ago.” And then, later in his speech, he advised students to “keep in mind when you hear things and those things get picked up by another newspaper, there is very often a back-story to it.”
Ruthie Blum: Stanford University's Duplicitous Morality Police
Two Stanford administrators present -- Nanci Howe, associate dean and director of student affairs, and Snehal Naik, assistant dean and associate director of student affairs -- not only nodded approvingly at the walk-out, but actively aided it, first by denying entry to many students who actually wanted to attend the event, and then by not allowing them to enter after the walkout, despite the fact that the auditorium was largely empty. They also forbade the hosts from live-streaming the talk on the Internet.

The reason for having to smear Robert Spencer was clear. Portraying him as someone who has led to the killing of Muslims was the way to try to have him banned from the campus, without abandoning the principle of free speech. Yet no student or faculty member produced a shred of evidence linking Spencer to violence against Muslims at Stanford or anywhere else. All they were able to produce as "proof" of Spencer's incitement was the same libelous blurb on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.

What De Leon, Najaer, Beckman and Fine failed to mention was that a mere few months earlier, at the end of May, the Stanford student senate voted to fund an on-campus speech by the son of Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti, serving five life sentences in an Israeli jail for orchestrating three deadly attacks.
Why Was My Voice Silenced at the University of Michigan?
On November 14, the Central Student Government (CSG) at the University of Michigan (UM) passed a BDS resolution against Israel, as reported by the The Algemeiner. Early in the session, many members of the CSG successfully moved to forbid UM history professor Victor Lieberman from speaking during the debate.

What follows is an open letter from Professor Lieberman to the CSG.

On November 14, the [University of Michigan] Central Student Government voted to prevent me from delivering a carefully prepared talk on divestment from Israel. The argument against my speaking was that “a structural power imbalance” within the university militates against the views of UMDivest, which could only be rectified by removing me from the discussion.

This argument cannot withstand scrutiny for three reasons. First, it was claimed that junior faculty who speak against Israel risk being fired. In fact, no junior faculty have ever been fired for expressing political views, and such views have no bearing whatsoever on tenure or promotion.
Middle East Studies Association Panel Considers Undue Influence of Jewish Campus Institutions
A panel at the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) considered the undue influence of Jewish campus and community institutions on the teaching of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

At the Monday afternoon session, Hillel International, a Jewish organization with chapters across North America, was called out for its policies against partnering with those who deny Israel's right to exist.

Ilan Troen, an Israel studies professor at Brandeis University who attended the session, took issue with the contention that a non-academic group should be condemned for having a point of view.

"If an academic department can't sustain a lecture series on its own and chooses to invite the assistance of an outside group, why shouldn't they expect that group will come with requests for how to shape program? If you don't like it, then don't collaborate with Hillel or anyone else," he said.

At the roundtable discussion, which was led by Jewish academics, allegations were made that Jewish donors pressure universities on their Israel education.

One case was mentioned of a Jewish organization participating at Case Western University in a search for a Middle East studies professor.

"The notion of a Jewish cabal that manipulates universities from Harvard to Berkeley is sheer fantasy," said Troen. "And if it's true, then what about all the Saudi money, what about the money flowing in from the Gulf emirates?"
Berkeley Professor Apologizes for Sharing Pictures Depicting Orthodox Jews as Murderous
A University of California-Berkeley professor and leading force in the Palestinian activism movement apologized Tuesday for sharing pictures on social media that depicted Orthodox Jews as murderous and suggested a moral equivalency between North Korea and Israel, but stood by his work focused on "opposition to Zionism."

Hatem Bazian, a lecturer in the Berkeley department of ethnic studies, has said he recognized the "offensive" nature of a post he retweeted, which included a doctored image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wearing a kippah, or Jewish skullcap, standing below the caption, "I just converted all of North Korea to Judaism."

"Now my nukes are legal & I can annex South Korea & you need to start paying me $34 billion a year in welfare," the caption continues, directed at President Donald Trump, suggesting that if North Korea were only Jewish, it might expect to share a similar relationship with the United States as Israel.

The image also bears the phrases "God chose me" and "101 Judaism we teach it" written over images of nuclear weapons.

In the second image Bazian retweeted, the hashtag "#Ashke-Nazi" was applied to the image of a man in mock-Hasidic garb, including a traditional black hat and side curls. The caption reads, "Mom, Look! I is chosen! I can now kill, rape, smuggle organs & steal the land of Palestinians YAY."

Bazian said that he retweeted the post while traveling to teach a course in Spain and France, "and did not read the message or image carefully on my phone."
IsraellyCool: Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian Sprung (Again) Spreading Jew Hatred
In case you missed it, another US University professor just got himself Chikindas-ed: the appropriately named Hatem Bazian was caught retweeting some antisemitic memes.

Wits University Student Says Antisemitism, Holocaust Denial Rampant Among BDS Advocates in South Africa
A student at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa has condemned the “addiction” progressive activists have for the anti-Israel boycott campaign as “akin to insanity.”

Adam Dison wrote in Haaretz last week that the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement helped define his participation in student politics at Wits, and — following four years of hostile and sometimes violent incidents involving BDS supporters — eventually led him to cut ties with progressive activists in South Africa.

“The number of intelligent fellow students who’ve attempted to deny the Holocaust to me is utterly depressing,” Dison observed. “The level of education about Holocaust history, Zionist history and real thinking about the Israel-Palestine conflict is sub-par.”

Dison noted that throughout the years, the flags of the Islamist terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas were waved on campus; a Wits student greeted Jewish peers “with a Hitler salute and goose-stepping”; the Student Representative Council president professed his “love” for Adolf Hitler; representatives from the Congress of South African Students placed a pig’s head in the kosher/halal section of a local shop as an “anti-Israel” protest; a BDS leader defended chants of “Dubula e juda” (“Shoot the Jew”); and graffiti reading “Kill a Jew” and “Fuck the Jews” was found on campus.

“There is no space left for progressive Jews at Wits who don’t support this illogical way of thinking and action,” he warned.
Former Smiths singer Morrissey hits out at Israel boycott and expresses love for Tel Aviv
Morrissey has spoken in detail about his admiration for the people of Israel and his “love” of the city of Tel Aviv.

In an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel to promote the release of his new album, Low In High School, the former Smiths frontman also slammed the anti-Israel BDS movement as “absurd”.

But the same interview has sparked anger with Morrissey attempting to defend both actor Kevin Spacey and disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein over allegations of sexual misconduct.

And in comments like to raise further concern the 58-year-old singer, whose real name is Stephen Patrick Morrissey, compared the conduct of the British media to that of the “Third Reich”.

Asked about a song on his album titled The Girl from TelAviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel, Morrissey replied:” I love this city [Tel Aviv].

“The rest of the world does not like Israel well. But the people there are very generous and friendly. You should never judge a people by their government. It is very rare for the government to reflect the wishes of the people. “
Guardian article on BDS includes false claim (later retracted) that U2 supports Israel boycott.
An article published yesterday by Guardian Australia’s Culture Editor Steph Harmon (Brian Eno and Roger Waters scorn Nick Cave’s ‘principled stand’ to play in Israel, Nov. 21) continued in this pattern of mischaracterising the moment:
Eno, Waters and Loach are among a group of artists who have joined the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a global campaign that aims to increase pressure on Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories, and lobbies artists, academics and businesses to refrain from engaging with or touring in Israel.

In fact, BDS leader Omar Barghouti has been clear on two points:

Far from being ‘pro-peace’, he openly supports ‘armed Palestinian resistance’ against Israelis, and calls for the end of the Jewish state within any borders.

The Guardian also initially included, in the online and print editions of the article, the erroneous claim that the popular rock band U2 (and Bjork) are among the bands supporting BDS.

In fact, U2 performed in Tel Aviv in 1997, and their front man, Bono, visited the state (which included a trip to the Western Wall) with his family in 2012.

(Two more noteworthy facts: Bono was known for his friendship with the late Israeli leader Shimon Peres. Also, U2’s manager is an Israeli-American named Guy Oseary who has attended fundraisers for Friends of the IDF – a fact ‘noted‘ by the hate site, Electronic Intifada.)

The Guardian error was later corrected in the online edition
PreOccupiedTerritory: New Guide Details How Every Food Shows Israel Either Appropriating Or Hatefully Rejecting Palestinian Culture (satire)
Activists combating what they call Israeli appropriation of indigenous Palestinian culture have published a culinary guide that will help users determine whether by the food they eat they are engaging in colonialist imperialism by eating dishes with local pedigree or in malicious prejudice by eating dishes not of local pedigree.

A group of academics, social protesters, and Palestinian solidarity activists have issued “Hate or Just Appropriation? A Guide to ‘Israeli’ Foods,” an alphabetical guide that features thousands of types of food, each one classified either as “appropriation” or “hateful rejection,” based on whether that food type has any cultural linkage with Palestinian society. The group aims to raise awareness of Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Palestinian culture, and intend to use the guide to help shape discourse around the subject.

“People use words carelessly all the time,” expounded the publication’s editor, Ayama Dusch, a Cultural Studies major at Tel Aviv University. “It doesn’t help to throw around accusations that Israeli consumption and marketing of, for example, pizza, is ‘cultural appropriation’ when as far as we know pizza isn’t a traditional Palestinian food. Such pronouncements get jumped on by the dishonest defenders of Zionism, and we can’t let them create such distractions from the awful truth. Instead of calling all Israeli eating appropriation, it’s helpful to take a more critical approach and accept that some foods are not indigenous to Palestine, so Israelis eating them can’t be committing cultural appropriation merely by doing so. Instead, when Israelis eat them they are specifically rejecting Palestinian cuisine, which is a hateful act.” The guide will soon be released as an app for mobile devices, she added.
Facebook still allowing discrimination against Jews, others in housing ads
A year after Facebook vowed to stamp out discriminatory advertising, landlords can still exclude specific races, minorities and other categories of people from seeing rental ads on the social media site.

ProPublica bought dozens of rental housing ads last week and had no issue filtering out Jews, African-Americans, Spanish speakers and many more groups from viewing them, the news site reported Tuesday.

One ad excluded Facebook users with “interests” such as “Judaism,” “Hasidic Judaism,” “Orthodox Judaism” and “Reform Judaism.”

“This was a failure in our enforcement and we’re disappointed that we fell short of our commitments,” Ami Vora, Facebook’s vice president of product management, said in a statement to ProPublica. “The rental housing ads purchased by ProPublica should have but did not trigger the extra review and certifications we put in place due to a technical failure.”
New York Times Columnist Collected Cash From Zionist Group He Now Calls ‘Disgrace’
When The New York Times hired Bret Stephens earlier this year as an op-ed columnist, I wrote, “His voice will be a welcome addition and corrective to the Times tilt against Israel.”

Who knew then that he’d wind up using his new platform to criticize a pro-Israel organization?

Yet that’s exactly what Stephens did in a recent column lacing into the Zionist Organization of America for allowing a former Trump administration official, Stephen Bannon, to speak at its dinner in New York.

The Times columnist’s overall point — that Jews should beware antisemitism on the right as well as on the left — is perfectly sensible. But the column suffers from a series of flaws that hurt its credibility.

First, it’s hypocritical of Stephens to attack the ZOA for associating with Bannon on the grounds that a website Bannon operated published articles about, and in some cases by, other figures that Stephens finds objectionable. “No organization that purports to represent the interests of the Jewish people should ever embrace anyone who embraces anti-Semites,” is the way that Stephens phrases it. The hypocrisy comes from the fact that the New York Times op-ed page, where Stephens works, has published articles by Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti and by the foreign minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
BBC WS claims Israeli ‘pressure’ and ‘incentives’ led Jews to flee Iraq
Quite what ‘incentives’ Julian Worricker believes Ben Gurion had to offer Iraqi Jews at the time – apart from a shack unconnected to mains water or electricity in a transit camp, dubious employment prospects and loss of social status – is unclear.

Notably though, while Worricker did find time in this item to suggest that Israel ‘pressured’ Jews to leave Iraq, listeners heard nothing at all about the main turning point in the story of that community – the Farhud in 1941. Neither did they hear any explanation of the political events that led to that pogrom or – beyond the one law mentioned by Mr Shuker – the legislations by the Iraqi government that resulted in Jews being criminalised on suspicion of being Zionists, dismissed from government employment and stripped of their assets. No mention was made of another seminal event that contributed to the exodus of Jews from Iraq: the show trial and hanging of a prominent Jewish businessman in 1948.

During the subsequent conversation with Worricker’s studio guests Jonathan Steele and Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, listeners heard the latter describe Iran as having “a vibrant Jewish population” along with the claim that Jews who did leave the country did so “because they didn’t want their boys going off to fight in the Iran-Iraq war”. They did not however hear any mention of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran as a factor that caused Persian Jews to flee the country.

With the BBC having a very dismal track record on reporting the topic of Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim lands, listeners to this programme would not be well placed to fill in its serious omissions for themselves. Hence, the question presented as a description of this item was clearly left largely unanswered.
Reviewing BBC portrayal of Hizballah in Hariri resignation reports
As we see, none of these BBC reports gave audiences a comprehensive view of Hizballah’s designation as a terror organisation by the United States, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Canada, France, the Netherlands and Israel and the designation of its so-called ‘military wing’ by the EU, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The majority of the reports (eight out of eleven) failed to clarify that Hizballah members have been indicted for the murder of a previous Lebanese prime minister.

Portrayal of the extent and significance of Hizballah’s influence on Lebanese politics and armed forces was mostly absent from the BBC reports and the role it played in the “political deadlock” before Saad Hariri became prime minister was ignored.

Most glaring, however, is the fact that none of these eleven reports made any effort to provide BBC audiences with details of the extent of Iran’s financial and military support for the terror group’s activities.

Clearly BBC audiences have not been provided with the full range of information necessary for proper understanding of this story.
CAMERA Prompts Los Angeles Times Correction on Palestinian 'Ambassador'
CAMERA's Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a Los Angeles Times article which upgraded a Palestinian diplomat from envoy to ambassador. The Nov. 18 article ("Trump administration threatens to shut down Palestinian delegation in Washington") by Noga Tarnopolsky had erred regarding Husam Zomlot's title, stating:

Reached in Washington, Palestinian Authority Ambassador to the United States Husam Zomlot said, “I have no comment. No comment at all.”

Given that the Palestinian mission in Washington is not an embassy, Zomlot is not an ambassador. He is an envoy, or head of the delegation. The New York Times accurately referred to Husam Zomlot as an envoy (not ambassador) earlier this month.

Following CAMERA's communication with The Los Angeles Times, editors commendably published this correction at the top of the digital article:
Top French Socialist booted from party over anti-Semitic tweet
A top official in France’s Socialist Party was expelled on Tuesday days after tweeting an image with anti-Semitic overtones against President Emmanuel Macron.

Gerard Filoche, a member of the Socialists’ national bureau, claims to have written the tweet out of “negligence,” but the party’s National Office voted unanimously to exclude him in his absence.

“The National Office has voted for the exclusion of Gerard Filoche. He can no longer speak on behalf of the Socialist Party, nor be a member,” party coordinator Rachid Temal said at a press conference.

“Gerard Filoche is no longer a member of the Socialist Party. He is excluded.”

He added: “It is not possible for a socialist leader to write an anti-Semitic tweet.”
German artists build Holocaust memorial near far-right leader's home
A German political art group on Wednesday said it had built a pared-down version of Berlin's Holocaust memorial near the home of a far-right politician who sparked outrage by suggesting history books should more focus on German World War II victims.

Bjoern Hoecke, a senior member of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, criticized the memorial in Berlin in January, saying: "Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital."

The Centre for Political Beauty, a Berlin-based art group, was livestreaming work on a copy of the memorial near the politician's house in a small village in the eastern state of Thuringia.

The original memorial includes 2,711 concrete slabs of varying heights, arranged in a grid pattern, that serves as a somber reminder of the six million Jews who were killed by the Nazis.

The group said it has collected a third of the 28,000 euros required to keep the replica memorial in Hoecke's neighborhood until the end of 2019.

It said it offered to remove the memorial if Hoecke would kneel in front of it and ask sincerely for forgiveness.
Four Penn State students charged in menorah vandalism
Four Penn State University students are being charged with stealing a 9-foot menorah from the home of the campus Chabad rabbi and leaving it damaged outside a traditionally Jewish fraternity.

The students, who were caught on surveillance camera footage late last month placing the damaged menorah on the porch of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, reportedly are members of other campus fraternities.

State College Police said Monday that they had filed charges against the students, including misdemeanor counts of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief. They are scheduled to appear in court on December 20.

Rabbi Hershy Gourarie, co-director of Chabad of the Undergrads at Penn State, told The Daily Collegian that the menorah was too damaged to be repaired and would cost about $1,800 to fix.

“I hope that this is a time of introspection for the four suspects. At the right time, I would like to meet with them to educate and heal,” Gourarie said in a statement that also thanked the State College police.

“In response to this act of ignorance, we have resolved to take steps to raise awareness of Jewish history and traditions to the broader campus community and to increase the pride of our Jewish heritage among the Jewish student body,” the statement also said.
Woman who vandalized Virginia synagogue turns herself in
A woman captured on surveillance cameras after breaking in to an Orthodox synagogue in Norfolk, Virginia, turned herself in.

Morghan Rogers, 29, was charged with one count of larceny and one count of trespassing, according to local reports.

Rogers and an unidentified man last week spent two hours inside B’Nai Israel Congregation wandering through its halls, drinking and smoking, and vandalizing the inside of the building. They reportedly entered the synagogue through an unlocked front door at 10:45 p.m. on November 14.

The man has not been identified, though police told local media that Norfolk detectives are working on charging the man.
Haifa’s Broken Fingaz Crew makes video for U2
When Universal Music contacted Haifa’s Broken Fingaz Crew to say that U2 wanted the renowned Israeli street-art group to create an animation lyric video for the band’s new song, “American Soul,” Broken Fingaz didn’t hesitate – even though the crew had only a week to get it done.

“We weren’t sure if it was even possible but of course we said yes,” blogged Unga of Broken Fingaz on November 20.

“We teamed up with Adme [Israeli editor-director Adam Alboher] the genius who we worked with for most of our videos, and shot it all in an intense 4 days, completely DIY.”

Since Broken Fingaz members travel all over the world doing their thing on commission, the video was shot in segments in Haifa, London and Rajasthan.
Why did this Muslim majority country put a Jewish congressman on a stamp?
Rep. Eliot Engel has become the first U.S. congressman to be featured on a postage stamp in Kosovo.

Engel, a New York Democrat, may be the first Jewish member of Congress on a stamp, period. Bella Abzug helped inspire a 1999 stamp celebrating the women’s rights movement, but the late New York Democrat’s face isn’t on it.

There’s a Jewish story behind why a Muslim majority nation honored Engel this week with a two-euro stamp.

Engel was among a cadre of U.S. lawmakers and public figures who urged the Clinton administration to intervene during the Kosovo war in 1999, heading off what many feared would be a genocide of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians at the hands of Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Many of the same figures were part of the push to recognize the Balkan state when it declared independence in 2008.

Among those out front in the push to protect Kosovo were Engel and Rep. Jerry Nadler, a fellow New York Democrat, along with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and two late congressmen, Reps. Tom Lantos and Ben Gilman, as well as the late Holocaust memoirist Elie Wiesel. Ask Kosovar Albanians why, and more often than not they’ll explain that it’s because the men are Jewish. Albanians saved Jews during the Holocaust, and Jews subsequently returned the favor is how it usually goes. (h/t Zvi)
Canada issues first Hanukkah postage stamp
Canada issued its first Hanukkah stamp in its official mail carrier’s 150-year-history.

Described as part of an initiative to highlight the nation’s cultural diversity, the stamps from Canada Post feature two colorful geometric designs: of dreidels and the menorah. Each pattern also has an online explanation of their relevance to the holiday.

They are arriving three weeks before the first candle is lit.

“In offering the great products, Canada Post is enabling our community to share the beauty and inspiration of Hanukkah with all Canadians,” said Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Canada Post made an initial issue of 3 million Hanukkah stamps and has indicated that if trial-run sales go well, it will make more over the next few years and eventually add new designs.
Thanksgiving: A Jewish Holiday After All
In 1789, in response to a resolution offered by Congressman Elias Boudinot of New Jersey, President George Washington issued a proclamation recommending that Thursday November 26th of that year "be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation."

In New York City, Congregation Shearith Israel convened a celebration on that day at which its minister, Gershom Mendes Seixas, embraced the occasion: "As we are made equal partakers of every benefit that results from this good government; for which we cannot sufficiently adore the God of our fathers who hath manifested his care over us in this particular instance; neither can we demonstrate our sense of His benign goodness, for His favourable interposition in behalf of the inhabitants of this land."

While the celebrations at that venerable Orthodox synagogue continue unabated to this day, other American Jewish appreciations of Thanksgiving have ranged from the skeptical to the outright antagonistic. In an essay entitled "Is Thanksgiving Kosher?" Atlanta's Rabbi Michael Broyde examines three rabbis' halakhic positions on the subject: that of Yitzhak Hutner, who ruled Thanksgiving a Gentile holiday and forbade any recognition of it; that of Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who regarded it as a secular holiday and permitted its celebration (particularly by eating turkey), and that of Moshe Feinstein, who permitted turkey but prohibited any other celebration because of reservations over the recognition of even secular holidays.

Newly presented historical information, however, may swing the annual autumnal pendulum back in favor of participation in what now appears to have begun as a holiday with both a patent Jewish theme and associated rituals. In his recent book, Making Haste From Babylon, Nick Bunker reveals an item of particular significance for both Jewish observers and critics of Thanksgiving.

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yellMoscow, November 22 - Environmental groups welcomed the announcement today of an agreement between Russia and the Palestinian Authority to provide the former with a large supply of hot air with which to heat residences and workplaces this winter.

Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and other prominent ecology-minded organizations called the pilot arrangement a step in the right direction and a smart economic move by both parties, and characterized it as a welcome precedent in the ongoing global campaign to reduce dependence on non-renewable fuel sources that damage the environment.

The organizations issued a joint statement Monday praising the deal, which calls for the Palestinians to supply Russian energy companies for the next two years with 350 million cubic meters of hot air, a resource that Palestinians have rendered effectively inexhaustible. In exchange, Russia will pay the equivalent of US $2 billion. That quantity will offset Russian fossil fuel expenditures by several hundred billion rubles, according to estimates, and will provide a boost to a Palestinian economy that struggles to produce much of value.
"We hope this arrangement becomes a model that gets implemented elsewhere," read the statement. "Palestinian hot air production has long sufficed to meet the wintertime heating needs of numerous countries; the main impediment has been a lack of creative thinking. We foresee this welcome development undergoing adaptation for many other potential clients." Important potential clients include China, whose billion-plus population requires immense heating expenditures that have also wreaked havoc on the environment.

Analysts note that Palestinians have made previous attempts to export renewables, with mixed success. "The last several decades have seen the Palestinians introduce renewable technologies that got swiftly adopted by others," noted Mideast commerce expert Albiyeh Shaheed. "But not until this agreement has their innovativeness shown real profit potential. Airplane hijackings, stabbing sprees, vehicular terrorism - others were quick to copy the technology, even though Palestinians were the first to popularize it. The new hot air deal finally means some economic reward for Palestinian efforts."

"Of course the reward will accrue to Abbas and his cronies," added Shaheed, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "But let's also keep in mind that Palestinian production of hot air is also concentrated in the circles surrounding the president, so the typical fleecing of the Palestinian public so the leadership can line their pockets is less pronounced in this case."

Israeli representatives voiced support for the deal. "Anything that strengthens the Palestinian economy is good for stability," declared Ministry of Trade spokesman Avir Ham. "It's helpful to remove all that hot air from around here in any case, because its accumulation contributes to global warming, and no one wants that."

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From Ian:

Girl injured in 2011 Jerusalem bombing dies of her wounds
A woman who was wounded as a girl in a March 2011 bombing in Jerusalem succumbed to her wounds Wednesday, after more than six years in a coma.

Hodaya Asulin had been heading home to the Mevo Horon settlement when a bomb hidden in a backpack exploded at a bus stop outside the Jerusalem International Convention Center.

The blast killed British national Mary Jean Gardner and injured dozens of passersby.

In November 2013, a military court in the West Bank sentenced Palestinian Hussein Ali Qawasmeh to life in prison for orchestrating the terror bombing.
Forensics personnel at the scene of a March 2011 bombing at a Jerusalem bus stop (Abir Sultan / Flash90)

Asulin, who was 14 at the time of the attack, had been unconscious for the six and a half years since, receiving round-the-clock care from family, friends and volunteers.

She succumbed to her wounds early in the morning at the Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem

“Her fight for her life inspired people to do so much good over these past six and a half years. It’s impossible to describe,” her uncle Rafi Asulin told The Times of Israel.
NY Post Editorial: John Kerry’s Mideast idiocy
Recordings have just surfaced of a speech the then-secretary of state gave in Dubai last December — where he explained that the failure to reach an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is . . . Israel’s fault.

“The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence,” he said — ignoring that fact that the Palestinian Authority rewards terrorists (“martyrs”) and their survivors with cash stipends and has its schools teach Jew-hatred.

And Hamas, which rules Gaza and is now once again partnering with the PA’s Fatah leadership, doesn’t even pretend to believe in nonviolence: It’s dedicated to Israel’s destruction and to atrocities against Jews.

Kerry also complained that “the majority of the Cabinet currently in the Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state.” Actually, most simply won’t support one as long as Palestinians refuse to accept Israel’s right to exist.

The secretary even managed to ignore his own experience: Kerry spent months wringing concessions out of Israel for a possible peace deal — only to have PA chief Mahmoud Abbas reject the draft out of hand, and refuse further negotiations.

Sadly, President Barack Obama fully shared Kerry’s “up is down” denial of reality. No wonder their leadership left the world in such a mess.

PMW: Proud Palestinian parents of "Martyrs": "The blood... made gardens bloom"
A private university in Ramallah held a memorial for five student terrorists who died as "Martyrs." At the event, a mother of one of the terrorists spoke on behalf of the families and stated:

"The blood of the Martyrs has watered the ground and made gardens bloom"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Nov. 20, 2017]

The official PA daily further reported that she "expressed pride at being the mother of a Martyr who did not hesitate to sacrifice his blood and soul for his homeland and people."

Likewise a father of one of the terrorists "emphasized that the blood of the Martyrs is a beacon that lights the path to liberation and freedom."

Coordinator of the Fatah Shabiba Student Movement at Modern University College Hussein Ajouli "repeated the commitment and loyalty to... the blood of our people's Martyrs, among them the Martyrs of Modern University College who have ascended [to Heaven] in defense of the honor and for the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and Palestine." Fatah official Jamal Muhaisen was also present at the event.

Among the five terrorists, one attempted to ram his car into Israeli soldiers, another stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier, and a third attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. The fourth was injured during a confrontation with Israeli security forces and later died of his wounds, while the fifth died of a fatal disease after being released from an Israeli prison.

Israel thwarts attempt to smuggle tons of explosive material into Gaza
An attempt to smuggle tons of explosive material into the Gaza Strip has been thwarted by the Israeli Ministry of Defense's Crossing Authority, it was announced on Wednesday.

The attempt was foiled thanks to a new, advanced chemistry laboratory that was set up in recent weeks at Israel's Kerem Shalom crossing with Gaza.

The new laboratory is a joint project of the Ministry of Defense's Crossing Authority, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police.

Advanced technology permits experts to precisely identify gases, liquids, powders, metals and other substances before they enter the Gaza Strip. The primary focus is to prevent substances which could benefit terror groups in the enclave.

During the laboratory's initial trial period, a truck transporting motor oil raised the suspicions of the border crossing's security inspectors.

Chemical testing subsequently revealed that the supposed vehicle oil was actually a dangerous substance, destined to assist the production of large quantities of explosive material by terror groups in the Gaza Strip.
Only an Outsider Sees the Obvious
Since Trump has taken office, the administration has been busily restoring sanctions on the Iranian regime that were relieved as a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aka the Iran nuclear deal. President Trump’s decision to punt the Iran deal back to Congress is likely to preserve the deal while avoiding responsibility for that outcome. Yet his administration’s outward determination to abrogate the agreement has allowed it the freedom to call balls and strikes when it comes to the Islamic Republic, even if that angers America’s “partners” in Tehran.

Take, for example, the U.S. Treasury Department’s most recent sanctions on Iran. On Monday, Treasury singled out a network of Iranians believed to be responsible for counterfeiting hundreds of millions in Yemeni bank notes for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Qods Force. The scheme allegedly circumvented European sanctions and allowed the IRGC to support what Secretary Steven Mnuchin called “destabilizing activities” in Europe and the Gulf States. Trump declared the IRGC a terrorist network last month, providing the Treasury with all the authority it needed to take action against this plot.

This is not the first time Iran has been implicated in currency counterfeiting. In 2010, U.S. military officials seized at least $4.3 million in counterfeit American dollars in Iraq. Some of it, officials said, was crude and easily detected while many of these $100 notes were printed on special presses using sophisticated ink and paper—a revelation that indicated some level of complicity by or cooperation with the Iranian government or its regional proxies. The sudden influx of false notes was believed to be part of a campaign by Iran to influence forthcoming elections in Iraq, which was apparently successful. Within days of those elections, three of the country’s four major political alliances sent delegations to Iran for political guidance. The head of Iraq’s secular, anti-Iranian bloc noted at the time that America’s silence was deafening. Now, with a new round of Iraqi elections scheduled to take place next year and amid increasing sectarian divisions and Iranian interference, the United States is abandoning its self-defeating neutrality. Try as we might, the U.S. cannot pretend it has no stake in Iraq’s political evolution.

Donald Trump’s flatterers like to reinforce this administration’s image as a group of outsiders “draining the swamp” of its corrupt professional class. That’s a self-serving narrative that confounds the diplomatic class and has led to a confused foreign policy. At the same time, though, declaring North Korea and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps supporters of terrorism is a decision that seems obvious only to those who are not steeped in granular diplomatic contrivances. In May, I noted that no American governmental institution would benefit more from an outsider-led shakeup than the diplomatic corps. The Trump administration’s actions over the last 48 hours show how true that was.
Mueller probing Kushner’s 2016 attempts to block UNSC settlement resolution
Special counsel for the United States Department of Justice Robert Mueller is investigating an attempt by US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to block the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 condemning Israeli settlement activity, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The probe is part of a larger investigation by Mueller into Kushner and his conversations with foreign leaders, including Israelis, during the two month transition period between the November election and the time that Trump took office.

Under the Obama Administration the US abstained and was the only one of the 14 countries on the UNSC not to approve the measure in December 2016.

But the decision not to use its veto power to block the move, something it did in 2011, was widely seen as a form of tacit approval by the Obama Administration.

The Trump team’s opposition was well known at the time. Trump, then president-elect, issued a number of tweets on the matter.
Lawmakers to Trump: Stop Stalling on Moving U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem
A group of leading House lawmakers have petitioned President Donald Trump to immediately move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem ahead of a deadline that could see the White House delaying the move for at least another six months, according to a letter sent to the president and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), chair of the House Subcommittee on National Security, spearheaded the letter, which urges Trump to finally make good on a heavily scrutinized campaign promise to relocate the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Jewish state's capital city.

While Trump has promised to move the embassy—which Congress legally mandated in 1995—as one of his first moves in office, the White House sent shockwaves through the pro-Israel community earlier this year when it renewed a longstanding waiver that ignores the congressional mandate and requires the embassy to remain located in Tel Aviv.

Every president since the law was initiated has signed the waiver, claiming that moving the embassy would interfere with U.S. diplomatic efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Many observers in Congress and elsewhere thought Trump would finally break that cycle.

Since deciding to renew the waiver preventing the embassy's move, DeSantis and other lawmakers have been pressuring the administration publicly and privately to make good on its promise.
Egyptian envoy: Peace with Israel only ‘partial’ without Palestinian state
The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt remains incomplete as long as a Palestinian state has not been created, Cairo’s ambassador to Israel said Wednesday, urging Jerusalem to restate its commitment to a two-state solution and accept the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative.

At an event at the President’s Residence marking the 40th anniversary of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s groundbreaking speech to the Knesset, Hazem Khairat also urged Israel to support the reconciliation deal between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party and the terrorist group Hamas.

“In the absence to a just solution to the Palestinian problem, never will there be a durable and just peace,” Khairat said, paraphrasing Sadat’s November 20, 1977, speech. “We cannot attempt to achieve partial peace and export the whole problem to future generations.”

In his address to the Knesset, which paved the way for the signing of an Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty months later, Sadat had said that even if Israel achieved peace with all Arab states, “in the absence of a just solution to the Palestinian problem, never will there be that durable and just peace upon which the entire world insists today.”
How the ICC going after US for war crimes impacts Israel
From the Israeli perspective, there is both some bad news and some good news with regards to the legal bombshell that the International Criminal Court prosecutor dropped on the US on Monday.

The ICC prosecutor filed a formal submission to move the US’s conduct in the Afghanistan War and its interrogation of its prisoners to a full criminal war crimes investigation.

In short, the bad news for Israel is four-fold. The ICC crossed the Rubicon in daring: 1) to go after a democracy, the US, which said it had investigated itself, 2) to go after the world’s superpower despite the diplomatic consequences, 3) to go after “war crimes” beyond the traditional paradigm of prosecuting genocide, namely the US’s “torture” interrogations, which many thought the ICC would stay away from, and 4) to go after top US defense and intelligence officials and not just the rank and file.

Until now, Israel’s main hopeful defenses to keep the ICC out of its affairs have been: 1) that it is a democracy which said it had investigated itself, 2) that the ICC would be afraid to endure diplomatic sanctions from the US and other Israeli allies, 3) that it would shy away from going after non-traditional “war crimes” beyond genocide, such as the settlement enterprise or Israeli interrogations of Palestinians, and 4) it would be deterred from going after senior Israeli officials.

But if the ICC dared to go after the US despite all four of these issues, what will stop it from going after little Israel next? If it went after the Americans for torture (and after Malians for destruction of cultural heritage sites as war crimes), why won’t it go after Israel for settlements and interrogations – even if these have never been prosecuted as war crimes before? The simple answer is that the ICC going after the US ensures that it is more likely than ever that it will also go after Israel at some point.

And yet there is also good news from the Israeli perspective.

The ICC is not going after the US for its targeting decisions which killed Afghan civilians. This is despite its conclusion that the US and allied forces have killed at least 1,600 civilians.
The Trump administration says it wants to shut down the PLO mission. Now what?
In 1987, Congress passed legislation that declared there would never be an office of the Palestine Liberation Organization on US soil. US President Ronald Reagan agreed and signed the law.

Seven years later the law was still on the books. But that year the PLO opened an office in Washington — with the blessing of Congress and US President Bill Clinton.

Since then, a PLO office has remained in the US capital, navigating a persistent anomaly: The 1987 law officially bans the existence of a PLO office, but it remains open as long as the Palestinians abide by certain conditions.

Now, however, the PLO may have violated some of those conditions — consequently, its DC office may close.

Late Friday, the Trump administration announced that the PLO cannot operate a Washington office because it tried to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for crimes against Palestinians.

Confused? You’re not alone. Here’s an explanation of the law and what’s happening.

The law is clear, but Congress has been lenient.
Washington rebuffs Palestinians’ claim they’ve frozen communications
The Trump administration on Tuesday rebuffed the Palestinian Authority’s claim that it has frozen communications with the United States over Washington’s recent threat to shutter the Palestine Liberation Office’s DC office.

“In our view, communications are not frozen,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters in a briefing Tuesday afternoon.

“Conversations will be taking place,” she went on. “We are in contact with Palestinian officials about the status of that PLO office in Washington, as well as having conversations with them about our larger efforts on the part of a lasting and comprehensive peace process.”

A spokesman for the PLO confirmed that it had received instructions from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “regarding closing down all communication lines with the Americans.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told AFP on Tuesday that “by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official.”
Palestinians downplay directive to suspend ties with US
Abbas' spokesman, currently with the PA president in Madrid, clarified that the directive issued by Abbas was issued only to low-ranking staffers in the U.S.

"Relations with the U.S. and its leader are excellent," Nabil Abu Rudeineh said. "U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Bethlehem next month will go ahead as planned."

A State Department official said on Saturday that under U.S. law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could not renew a certification for the PLO office to operate "given certain statements made by the Palestinian leaders about the International Criminal Court."

Under the law, the PLO, the main Palestinian umbrella political body, cannot operate a Washington office if it urges the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for alleged crimes against Palestinians.

In September at the United Nations, Abbas called on the ICC "to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggression against our people."

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a press briefing that the matter was under discussion and that, as far as she knew, the office was up and running.
Abbas adviser to Jpost: Contacts with US consulate, visiting American officials are frozen
The Palestinians have frozen ties with the US Consulate in Jerusalem and with American officials visiting the West Bank in response to the State Department’s decision not to renew the certification of the PLO’s representative office in Washington, a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday.

The PLO representative office is the unofficial Palestinian Embassy in the American capital. Without a certification, it could be shut down.

“Communications with the consulate in Jerusalem and meetings between American and Palestinian officials in Palestine are currently frozen because of the decision not to renew the PLO office in Washington’s certification,” Abbas’s diplomatic affairs adviser, Majdi al-Khalidi, told The Jerusalem Post. “This is temporary until they clarify to us if the office is closed or open. If they tell us the office is closed, we will continue to freeze our communications.”

According to Khalidi, if Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, or Jason Greenblatt, the administration’s main peace envoy, came to the West Bank, PA officials would not be able to meet with them.

Khalidi added that the PLO representative in Washington, Husam Zomlot, and top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat were in contact with the Trump Administration.

“Saeb Erekat and Ambassador Zomlot are meeting with the higher authorities in Washington to seek clarifications about whether the office is going to be closed or not,” Khalidi said. “We are still waiting to know if they actually plan to close the office.”
Outrage over German Green Party partnership with Hamas event
The policy organization for the German Green Party - the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation - is co-sponsoring November conferences in Gaza and Beirut with top Hamas leaders.

The Jerusalem Post obtained a copy of the program listing the German tax-payer funded Böll-Foundation as one of the partner organizations for the late November conferences titled: "The 1987 Intifada, : History and Memory, Commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the first uprising against the Israeli occupation."

The conferences are slated to take place in Gaza (November 24-26) and Beirut (November 28-30) and will feature the Gaza-based Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad and the Hamas movement leader Hasan Yusuf as listed speakers on the program.

The US, the EU and Germany classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Olga Deutsch, director of the European desk of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told the Post on Tuesday: "The record reflects years of support and cooperation between the Heinrich Boll Stiftung in Ramallah and other groups including those allegedly linked to terror organizations. The Stiftung's involvement in an event which lends a platform to a Hamas leader is unprecedented in its severity."

She added, "This sort of activity is inconsistent with the body of the Stiftung's activities and its values. The management's silence, as well as the silence of the Israel branch, is difficult to understand."
Dutch parliament rejects motions on Jerusalem, Palestinian state
A draft motion urging the Dutch government to recognize immediately a Palestinian state and a second urging it to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital foundered in the country’s parliament.

The motion on Jerusalem, which was voted on Tuesday at the Tweede Kamer, the lower house, received the support of parties accounting for 30 lawmakers out of 150, the Center for Information and Documentation, or CIDI, reported. The motion on recognizing a Palestinian state received the support of parties with a total of 64 seats.

The Jerusalem motion was submitted by the anti-Islam Party for Freedom of Geert Wilders, who coauthored the draft motion with Raymond de Roon.

Denk, a radical pro-Muslim party, submitted a counter draft motion on recognition of a Palestinian state.

Both motions were submitted in connection with annual negotiations over the foreign ministry’s budget, which in the Netherlands also features scrutiny of the kingdom’s foreign relations.

“The results reflect the position of the Dutch government which has not changed for many years,” CIDI wrote on its website.
Pakistani Court Frees Alleged Mastermind of Deadly 2008 Mumbai Attacks — Which Included Assault on Jewish Center — From House Arrest
The alleged mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai — in which the Indian city’s Chabad center was one of the targets — was ordered released from house arrest by a Pakistani court on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Hafiz Saeed — the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charity said by the US to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group — has been under house arrest since January.

Prosecutor Sattar Sahil told Reuters on Wednesday that a request by the government of Pakistan’s Punjab province for a 60-day extension of Saeed’s detention had been rejected by the Lahore High Court.

“His previous detention for 30 days is over, which means he would be released tomorrow,” Sahil was quoted as saying.

On November 26, 2008, ten LeT operatives entered Mumbai by sea and launched a coordinated gun-and-bomb assault on multiple sites in India’s most populous metropolis, killing 166 people — including six Jews at the Nariman House.
Belgium Says Construction of Palestinian Schools Still Suspended After Official Spotted at Inauguration of New West Bank Institution
Belgium is upholding its commitment to suspend construction projects with the Palestinian Ministry of Education, a spokesperson for Brussels told The Algemeiner after a Belgian official was spotted at the inauguration of a new Palestinian school.

Last month, the monitoring group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) revealed that a Palestinian school built with Belgian aid in the town of Beit Awwa was renamed in honor of Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 helped massacre 38 people — including 13 children — near Tel Aviv. The school’s logo also includes a map erasing Israel, while its Facebook page has posted pictures glorifying Palestinian attackers.

Didier Vanderhasselt — a spokesperson for the Belgian Foreign Ministry — told The Algemeiner at the time that Belgium was initially unaware of the name change, and has decided to “put on hold any projects related to the construction or equipment of Palestinian schools” while it resolved the matter with the Palestinian Authority.

However, PMW reported last week that a Belgian official — Eric De Muynck, representative of the Belgian Development Cooperation Institution — participated in the inauguration of a new Palestinian Authority school in the West Bank on October 18th, about two weeks after the announced suspension.
PM, Russian president discuss border security in postwar Syria
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone on Tuesday and reiterated Israel's concerns about border security in postwar Syria, given Iran's military entrenchment not far from the Syria-Israel border.

The Kremlin said the call took place at Netanyahu's request.

Putin met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Russia on Tuesday. The two reportedly discussed potential peace initiatives for Syria ahead of a summit between Russia, Turkey and Iran and a new round of Syria peace talks in Geneva later this month.

Putin briefed Netanyahu, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Saudi King Salman on his meeting with Assad, the Kremlin said.

The Prime Minister's Office said Netanyahu and Putin spoke for about 30 minutes and that the prime minister "stressed to the Russian president Israel's security needs and its opposition to any Iranian presence in Syria."

Israel is particularly concerned that the American-Russian deal outlining the situation in postwar Syria, which intends to keep rival factions inside Syria away from each other, would effectively keep Iranian-linked forces only 5 to 30 kilometers (3 to 19 miles) from the Syria-Israel border, depending on current rebel positions on the Syrian Golan Heights
Saudi former minister, speaking to Israeli newspaper, denounces violence against Israel as 'un-Islamic'
A former Saudi minister said on Tuesday that there can be no justification for any violence, even in Israel.

Muhammad Bin abdel-Kareem Aleissa, the former Saudi justice minister, was reported by Israeli newspaper Maariv to have said, "any act of violence or terrorism that tries to hide behind religion has no justification whatsoever, not even in Israel."

Aleissa was appointed last year as the secretary-general to the Muslim World League, and is reportedly close to the Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman.

The Muslim World League is an international organisation, that while is based in Mecca, is not formally affiliated with Saudi Arabia.

Since his appointment, Aleissa has been vocally supportive of the reforms pushed by Bin Salman in his move to "fight extremist Islam". In a talk given before the Diplomatic Academy, he reiterated his country’s commitment to fighting terrorism and those that use religion to serve their own agenda.

When asked by the Maariv correspondent about acts in Israel or Jewish communities around the world that are framed as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Aleissa replied, "any act of violence or terrorism that tries to hide behind religion is unacceptable. Islam cannot be tied to politics, it is a religion of love, tolerance and respecting the other".

Aleissa added that conferences are being organised in the United States with various Jewish communities, and Saudi Arabia is keen on establishing friendly relationships.
Turkish Media Says Ankara Could Disable U.S. Radar Station that Would Warn Israel of Iranian Missile Attack
An editorial in a Turkish conservative pro-government newspaper said Ankara could leave Israel exposed to an Iranian missile attack by disabling a US radar station, in retaliation for a possible Washington ban on the purchase of F-35 fighter jets.

The editorial was published on Sunday by the Yeni Safak newspaper in apparent response to concerns voiced by a US Air Force official. Heidi Grant, the deputy undersecretary of the USAF for international affairs, had earlier said that Turkey’s deployment of the Russian-made S-400 long-range anti-aircraft missile system may expose vulnerabilities of the US-made F-35 Lightning II fighter jets. Turkey plans to purchase over 100 of the advanced warplanes from Lockheed Martin.

The newspaper called the implication that the planned deal may be frozen “blackmail” by Washington, and suggested that in retaliation Ankara could dismantle the Kurecik radar station. The powerful AN/TPY-2 X-band early-warning radar, which was set up by the US in the eastern province of Malatya in 2012, is part of NATO’s system of airspace surveillance in the region.

The newspaper says that unlike similar surveillance sites in Israel, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE, the Kurecik radar station can detect missile launches from the entire western part of Iran. With the site disabled, that airspace would no longer be properly monitored by NATO, the editorial said.

“In case Turkey decides to dismantle the Kurecik radar in response to the ongoing attempts by the US to use the F-35 jets to blackmail Turkey, Israel will lose its ‘early warning system’ in case of a missile launch from eastern or northern Iran,” the newspaper said.

Turkey’s hosting of NATO radar facilities is a matter of controversy in the country. In 2014, the ruling AKP party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then prime minister, had to defend itself from opposition accusations which said the site only benefits Israeli security and fails to make Turkey safer. The accusations were part of a heated presidential race laden with anti-Israeli sentiment.
Parole Board Rejects Hamas Prison Release Request, Citing Hamas Refusal to Release Remains of IDF Soldiers
A parole board recently refused to grant early release from prison to a Palestinian from Gaza who was sentenced for a number of security-related crimes, citing the fact that Hamas is still holding onto the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

A gag order was placed on the prisoner’s identity, but he is said to be serving a three-year sentence for a list of offences, including establishing contact with foreign agents, training in an outlawed militia, weapons offences and affiliation with illegal groups—namely Hamas.

Among the reasons for the rejection, the parole board insisted that weight had to be given to the fact that the prisoner in question belongs to Hamas’s military wing, which has been holding onto Goldin and Shaul’s bodies since they fell in battle, and refuses to hand them back to Israel.

He joined the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and agreed with his brother to participate in riots. To that end, he crossed the border into Israel where he was arrested.

The parole board said that its decision was not guided by a desire to exert pressure on Hamas, but rather to maintain faith in the legal system.

“It is not the job of the parole board to produce levers to pressure Hamas for their (Shaul and Goldin’s) return, but the board believes that the early release of the prisoner who is affiliated with the Hamas terror organization could and would be harmful to the public’s confidence in the judicial system.”

Furthermore, the board went on to say that the onus rested on the prisoner to prove that he had repudiated the beliefs that resulted in his incarceration.

“The burden of proof is on the prisoner to show that he deserves to be released and that the release will not endanger public safety,” it was written in the board’s summary.
60% of Israeli Arabs say they are 'proud' to be Israeli, poll shows
Some 73% of Israeli Arabs feel a sense of belonging and 60% are proud to be Israelis, according to a new poll commissioned by Israel Hayom and conducted by the New Wave Research Institute that was released Tuesday. The poll questioned 426 Arab Israelis aged 18 and up, and did not include the Druze community.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (65%) defined themselves as not religious, while 35% said they were religious. Some 46% identified as Israeli Arabs and 42% identified as Palestinian Arabs, while only 3% identified as Israelis.

Almost three-quarters of the respondents (73%) believe that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is about land, while 19% believe it is about religion. The remaining respondents either did not know or declined to answer.

A total of 60% said they were "very proud" or "fairly proud" to be Israeli, while 37% said they were "not proud" to be Israeli.

Most Israeli Arabs also said they believed that Jews have historic and religious ties to Israel. Some 82% said they had no desire to live under Palestinian rule, while only 14% said they did. Some 4% said they did not know or refused to answer.

The poll also showed sweeping support for a right of return for Palestinian refugees, and slightly less than half of respondents said they supported Israel's right to exist. Slightly more than half said they opposed Israel's right to exist.
Study finds Jerusalem Jews, Arabs work together despite tensions
About half the employed Arab residents of east Jerusalem, some 35,000 people, work in the Jewish sector, a new study has found. The study, by researchers Marik Shtern and Ahmed Asmar, is due to be published by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research.

Through a series of interviews, questionnaires and focus groups, Shtern and Asmar draw a complex picture of formal and informal ties between Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem workplaces, both in periods of quiet and during waves of terrorist attacks. Often, the picture contains contradictions. For example, the study found that Jews are comfortable interacting with Arab employees, whereas the Arab employees often feel exploited.

The figures show that Arabs comprise 71% of workers in the construction sector and 57% of workers in public transportation. Arabs also make up 40% of workers in the hotel and restaurant industries, 20% of workers in municipal health care and welfare, and 46% of workers in water, sewer, and cleaning services.

Most Arab employees in Jerusalem come from a society in which 82% of families live below the poverty line and which features one of the highest school drop-out rates in the country (36%). City infrastructure in Arab neighborhoods – sewage, water, roads – is also for the most part substandard.
In surprise reversal, Lebanon's Hariri suspends resignation as PM
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Wednesday he would hold off from presenting his resignation in response to a request from Lebanese President Michel Aoun to allow more dialogue.

"I presented today my resignation to President Aoun and he urged me to wait before offering it and to hold onto it for more dialogue about its reasons and political background, and I showed responsiveness," Hariri said in a televised statement.

He said all Lebanese parties must commit to keeping Lebanon out of regional conflicts, a reference to the powerful, Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, whose regional role is a source of deep concern in Saudi Arabia. He said hoped his decision would open "a new gateway for a responsible dialogue."

Earlier Wednesday, Hariri participated in Independence Day celebrations, his first official appearance since he suddenly announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia on Nov. 4, stunning the country.

Hariri, who returned to Lebanon on Tuesday after his puzzling three-week absence, appeared on the parade's grandstand with Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
Beirut Jews live in hiding despite new synagogue
In 1848, some Jewish families came to Mount Chouf seeking sanctuary from growing anti-Semitic violence in Damascus. During this period, the Lebanese-Jewish community settled in Sidon, Hasbaya, and Beirut. Also, Jews immigrated to Beirut from different parts of the world, where the city’s Jewish quarter was home to Ladino-speaking Sephardic Jews, Arabic and Berber speaking Jews from Morocco, and French-speaking Ashkenazi Jews.

Their presence ultimately proved to be pivotal to the economic growth of Lebanon’s most important city. Beirut’s Jewish quarter, Wadi Abu Jamil, became the center of Jewish worship in the city when the Magen Abraham Synagogue was constructed. Even after the neighborhood was deserted at the start of the civil war, it remained known as the Valley of the Jews.

Currently, Wadi Abu Jamil has virtually become Beirut’s safest neighborhood because of its proximity to the Grand Serail, the seat of Lebanon’s Prime Minister, in addition to the offices of several Lebanese politicians.

It is specifically from there, in Wadi Abu Jamil, that the Jewish community is attempting to rebuild itself, and rise from the ashes in a neighborhood that was reduced to rubble during Lebanon’s destructive war. This attempt was put under the spotlight when finally, after a lot of political back and forth, the decision was made to renovate the synagogue.

The main issue was obtaining guarantees from Hezbollah, Lebanon’s most dominant political party and paramilitary organization, for the safety of the workers involved in renovating the structure and the community members it was going to serve. Hezbollah subsequently came out with a statement welcoming the idea behind the project, and declaring that it had no problem with Lebanese Jews as long as they rejected political Zionism and denounced Israel.
MEMRI: Iranian Officials To Europe: Hands Off Our Ballistic Missiles – They're Not Aimed At You, And Can Even Serve Your Security Needs
After comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, and apparently also by other European elements, about a need for a discussion with Tehran on the issue of Iran's ballistic missile development program, Iranian regime spokesmen reiterated Tehran's position of rejection of any and all foreign interference in this matter.

This absolute rejection was expressed in two ways. Officially, Ali Akbar Velayati, advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, threatened harm to French national interests if France continued to act in this direction.[1] At the same time, Iranian Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee member Hashmatollah Falahat-Pishe reassured the Europeans and offered an enticement. He reiterated earlier statements by the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Ali Jafari, who had said that Iran had restricted the range of its missiles so that they would not reach Europe, and that therefore Iran was not a threat to Europe (see MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 1357, IRGC Commander Jafari In Message Meant To Reassure Europe: Right Now, We Are Settling For Missiles With 2,000-Km Range – A Range That Covers U.S. Forces In The Region, November 13, 2017). Moreover, he said, Europe could benefit from the security offered by Iran's missiles, which "can constitute a barrier to threats entering Europe," but gave no details about what such threats might be or who would pose them.

Falahat-Pishe stressed that Iran had made a strategic decision in 2011 not to threaten enemies situated beyond the range of 2,000 km, because, he said, U.S. President George W. Bush had depicted Iran as a threat to Europe. For this reason, Iran announced a halt to the production of its Shihab 4 missile, which has a range of over 2,000 km. It should be noted that according to a statement by then-Iranian chief of staff Hassan Firouzabadi Iran had, in nuclear negotiations in 2013-2015, agreed to restrict the range of its missiles to only 2,000 km, covering Israel – which he said is a red line for the Iranian regime – and the Obama administration agreed to this.[2]

It should be noted that although Falahat-Pishe called the 2,000-km range strictly defensive, this range is accepted in the professional community as clearly offensive.
ISIS Calls For The Assassination Of Barron Trump
After calling for the assassination of Pope Francis, ISIS has called for the assassination of Donald Trump's 11-year-old son, Barron.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, "pro-ISIS internet channels are calling for the assassination of President Donald Trump's son, Barron, and have shared personal details of the child's life on its social media networks, including the address of his school."

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated a mass call for terrorists to assassinate Barron Trump that was disseminated on the widely-used Telegram app. The message not only shared the name of Barron's school, but also a Google map image pinpointing its location.

"Using the hashtag ‘handle the son of the mule of America,' the supporter, who uses the name "Dak Al-Munafiqeen,' Arabic for ‘striking the hypocrites,' wrote: ‘Barron Trump goes to this school in Washington,'" according to MEMRI. "The post was followed by a photo of Barron Trump. To widely disseminate the call for assassination, several pro-ISIS Telegram channels have shared and forwarded the post."

Thankfully for both President Trump and 11-year-old Barron, America's First Family is well protected by the Secret Service, though technology in coming years could make protecting the First Family outside the White House a difficult task.
'Post' uncovers Israeli medical treatment of Syrian gas attack victims
Three Syrian rebels wounded last week in an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad were sent for treatment in Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

If Syrians hurt in the attack entered Israel for treatment, it would be the first confirmed case.

“The [Syrian regime] forces shelled a strategic site controlled by the rebels named ‘Bardaya Hill,’ and three of the rebels who suffered suffocation as a result of the gases were sent to Israel for treatment,” Abo Omar al Golany, spokesman for the Revolutionary Command Council in Quneitra and the Golan, told The Jerusalem Post. “Helicopters belonging to the Assad regime threw explosive drums containing toxic gases on the hill.”

Al Golany said the chemicals were believed to be chlorine, which has been used by the regime in the past.

According to a separate source in Israel, Syrian casualties injured in a chemical attack were transferred to Ziv Medical Center in Safed. The hospital did not respond to the Post’s inquiry by press time.

The attack was part of an ongoing offensive by the Syrian government and its Hezbollah allies to retake an area around Mazra’at Beit Jinn near the Hermon. The offensive has attempted to pressure the rebels in a small finger of territory they control near the Golan and Majdal Shams extending 15 kilometers toward Damascus along the foot of Mount Hermon.

“In recent weeks, Assad was trying to push an offensive and there was difficult fighting on the night of the 15th-16th,” the source said. “They hit [the rebels] from helicopters and used gas in at least three places. The same day, the wounded came to Israel.”

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