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Saturday, January 20, 2018

From Ian:

Mordechai Kedar: Why Arabs and Muslims Will Not Accept Israel as the Jewish State
Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city dealt the Palestinian nationalist narrative a serious blow, and gave Israel a kind of insurance policy. This maddens the Arabs who flourished on the dream of destroying Israel during the Oslo years. It has now become clear that a very powerful nation, the US, does not see itself as a partner in that dream — and is even willing to act against it.

The Arabs in general, and particularly the Palestinians, can already see the dominos falling. The Czech Republic, Hungary, and other important states are considering moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in recognition that that city is Israel’s capital. In April 2017, even Russian President Vladimir Putin declared his recognition of Western Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. There was no outcry in response to Putin’s declaration for one simple reason: the Arabs are deathly afraid of Putin after he made crystal clear to what lengths he is willing to go during the war in Syria, and they carefully refrain from reacting to his statements or decisions.

For both religious and nationalist reasons, the Arabs and Muslims are incapable of accepting Israel as the Jewish state that it is.

The question that Israelis, both Jewish and Christian, are forced to ask themselves is whether they are going to recognize the Muslim and Arab problem but tell them in no uncertain terms that Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, and that they are going to have to learn to live with it — or whether they are going to give in to the Arab and Muslim dreamers who refuse to accept the reality that the Jewish religion is alive and well.
MEMRI: Kuwaiti Writer: Israel Is a Legitimate State, Not an Occupier; There Was No Palestine

The BDS Movement Doesn’t Want Peace, It Wants to Destroy Israel
The anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement pretends to be working toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but in reality, many of its supporters want to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. For this reason, BDS has attracted support from terrorists, convicted killers and antisemites in the US and abroad.

In fact, at many of BDS demonstrations — like ones filmed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism — demonstrators make no secret of their aims. “And the people of Palestine will wipe the Zionist entity (Israel) off all the world maps” one demonstration leader shouts on the IPT-recorded video.

On the same video demonstrators chant: “We don’t want no two-state, we want 48,” referring to 1948, before Israel was created. And for good measure, they chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” meaning a new Palestinian state will go from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, and swallow up all of Israel. And yet other chants include: “Death to the peace accords,” “smash the settler Zionist state” and “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.”

Law enforcement officials in the US should keep a close eye on demonstrators like these, knowing that inflammatory antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric often leads to violence. The New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have investigated a number of plots directed specifically at Jewish citizens and institutions.

BDS seeks to isolate Israel from world, ostensibly to protest Israel’s presence in the West Bank and to call for the creation of a Palestinian state. BDS seeks a worldwide boycott against Israeli products, universities and cultural institutions; divestment from companies that provide equipment to the Israeli military; and international economic sanctions against Israel — among other things.

L’Oreal’s New Hijab Model Is Virulently Anti-Israel
The face of L’Oreal’s new hijab-friendly hair campaign is virulently anti-Israel.

Amena Khan, a blogger and model, was chosen by L’Oreal UK to model for the beauty company’s newest hair product campaign. The campaign features women in hijabs and argues that their products are still useful for people who do not show their hair in public.

“L’Oréal Paris UK are both proud and excited to be launching such a unique and disruptive campaign for the haircare market, a category which in previous years has been perceived as the cliché of beauty advertising,” Adrien Koskas, L’Oréal Paris UK general manager, said about the new campaign. (RELATED: L’Oreal’s New Hair Product Campaign Features Woman In Hijab)

However, a search of Khan’s Twitter account raises questions about the appropriateness of making her the face of the new campaign. Khan frequently espouses anti-Israel views, calling it a “terrorist” and “illegal” state.

“Remember: the brutal murder of Palestinians had been occurring MANY years before the formation of Hamas,” Khan wrote in July of 2014. “Israel’s excuses are blatant lies.”

“Well, under international law, Israel is an illegal state,” she wrote in the same month.

Scoop: What the Palestinians expect from Trump's peace plan
Erekat's report, which I obtained a copy of, is based on the information gathered by the PLO negotiations department and shows the Palestinian understanding of the plan. Senior White House officials dispute Erekat's description of the Trump plan and claim his information is false.

“It is unfortunate that some parties are seeking to prejudice people against our unfinished plan, which the Palestinians have not seen. This outline is false and the Palestinians should not be basing their reaction, public or private, on it. In the meantime, we remain hard at work on the real draft plan that will benefit both sides.”
— Senior White House official
Erekat sent the 92-page report to Abbas and the other officials 10 days ago. Some of the points in the report turned into lines in Abbas's Anti-Trump speech in front of the council few days later.

Here are the main points of the Trump peace plan, according to Erekat's report:
  • Jerusalem – The Palestinian capital will be in the suburbs of Jerusalem according to its 1967 borders. Israel will commit to maintain the status quo and maintain freedom of worship in the holy sites in the city.
  • Borders - 10% of the West Bank will be annexed by Israel and the other 90% will be the Palestinian state. Erekat wrote that Trump will announce in two to three months that he gives a green light for Israel to annex the big settlement blocks in the West Bank. According the Erekat, the Trump plan also states that the final border line will be drawn in negotiations between the parties.
  • Timetable for implementation – According to Erekat, the Trump plan will include a defined and agreed upon timetable for concluding the negotiations. But, he added, the plan will not include a timetable for Israeli withdrawal but only state that the IDF pullout from most of the West Bank will be gradual and follow security benchmarks that the Palestinians will have to reach.
Security arrangements:
  • Erekat claims that the Trump plan calls for a joint Israeli-Palestinian security architecture but stresses that Israel will have overriding security responsibility everywhere in the Palestinian state with full security authority.
  • According to Erekat, the Trump plan will allow the IDF to maintain its presence on the Jordan river and in strategic points on the West Bank hills in order to keep both states secure.
  • Erekat wrote in the report that according to the Trump plan special parts of Ben Gurion airport and Haifa & Ashdod seaports will be designated for Palestinian use but the security responsibility will stay in Israeli hands.
  • Erekat added that the Trump plan includes a safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank under Israeli sovereignty and also states that the border crossings of the future state of Palestine with Egypt and Jordan will be operated by Palestinians but the security will be in Israeli hands.
  • According to Erekat, the Trump plan gives Israel control of the airspace, maritime borders and electromagnetic frequencies without harming the needs of the Palestinian state.

The refugees issue – The Trump plan will call for a just solution to the refugees issue in the Palestinian state, without a right of return to Israel, Erekat reports.

Mutual recognition – Erekat wrote that the Trump plan states that the international community will recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and Palestine as the homeland of the Palestinian people. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Top PA negotiator ‘urged Abbas to reject US peace deal as details emerged’
According to the TV channel, Erekat told Abbas that under the US peace plan, Israel would retain 10 percent of the West Bank, although the final borders between an Israeli and Palestinian state would be worked out between the two sides. It did not say which specific areas of the West Bank Israel would keep, though Israel has long maintained that settlement blocs should be part of the country under any future peace deal.

Trump would announce his support for Israeli annexation of 10% of the territory within months. Israel was said to have requested 15%, but was refused.

A timetable would be set for negotiations, though no deadline would be given for an Israeli military withdrawal from the West Bank once a deal was reached: the pace of an Israeli pullout would be determined by the Palestinians’ ability to maintain security.

As part of the deal, the Palestinians would receive control of certain sections of Ben Gurion Airport and the ports of Ashdod and Haifa, although security control would remain with Israel. Furthermore, the sides would establish regular passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — under Israeli control.

Regarding the so-called Palestinian right of return, the US proposal outlined by Erekat speaks of a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees that would see them settled in a Palestinian state, without the option to live in Israel.

Countries would recognize Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people,” while a Palestinian state would be the “national home of the Palestinian people,” Channel 10 reported.
No, Mahmoud Abbas is not a “Staunch Champion of the Oslo Accords”
The New York Times, in its Twitter feed describing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech saying that the PA would no longer participate in peace talks led by the United States, described Abbas as a “staunch champion of the Oslo Accords.” It was an odd description of Abbas, and appeared nowhere in the actual report, because it is mistaken. Badly.

The Oslo Accords first agreed to in 1993 and later extended by an interim agreement in 1995 provide the basis for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Abbas, during his time in power, has regularly acted in defiance of the terms of the Oslo Accords.

In agreeing to make peace with the Palestinians, Israel changed its longstanding insistence that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was a terrorist organization in exchange for the PLO recognizing Israel’s right to exist and promising to abandon terror. In an exchange of letters prior to the actual agreement, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat committed to having all “outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations,” confirming “that those articles of the Palestinian Covenant which deny Israel’s right to exist, and the provisions of the Covenant which are inconsistent with the commitments of this letter are now inoperative and no longer valid,” and rejecting “the use of terrorism and other acts of violence.”

On paper, these commitments look promising; in practice the Palestinians, first under Arafat and, now, under Abbas, have to uphold these basic and necessary commitments.
Think Tank Offers $1 Million to UNRWA After Trump Cut, Proposes Reforms to Agency
The Middle East Forum (MEF) think tank announced that it is offering a $1 million donation to UNRWA, the United Nations agency dedicated to Palestinian refugees, following a $65 million funding cut by the US.

The Trump administration announced the cut on Jan. 16. According to the State Department, the US — UNRWA’s largest donor — sent the agency $60 million to keep it operating through the end of the year, but withheld additional planned funding of $65 million and is encouraging other countries to share the burden.

After the US decision, UNRWA called on “people of good will in every corner of the globe where solidarity and partnerships exist for Palestine Refugees” to “join us in responding to this crisis and #FundUNRWA.”

MEF President Daniel Pipes responded to the call by stating, “We are prepared to help UNRWA, conditional on it making some reforms. We are delighted to contribute in solidarity if UNRWA takes steps to end the Palestine refugee problem.”

According to Pipes, the think tank’s $1 million contribution would come with the condition that UNRWA “end the automatic registering in perpetuity to the descendants of refugees, those who hold a nationality, and those who live in their purported homeland, the West Bank and Gaza.”
Arab MK calls Pence ‘dangerous, messianic,’ will boycott his Knesset speech
Arab Israeli lawmakers will boycott Mike Pence’s speech to the Knesset, with the head of a coalition of Arab parties saying Saturday that the US vice president is “dangerous” and has a “messianic vision” that threatens the region.

Pence landed in Egypt Saturday to kick off a Middle East trip that will also include stops in Jordan and Israel, after canceling a December visit due to the passage of US tax reform.

Ahead of his arrival, Joint (Arab) List leader Ayman Odeh said MKs in his party would not attend Pence’s Knesset speech due to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a Twitter post Saturday, Odeh said his party would go through with an earlier promise to skip Pence’s address to the Knesset plenum.

“[Pence] is a dangerous man with a messianic vision that includes the destruction of the entire region,” he also said.

Odeh also attacked Trump, saying he was “even more dangerous” than Pence and a “political pyromaniac” and a “racist” woman-hater. He slammed the US president’s Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts and said Trump “must not have a [political] road map for the region.”
Top Egyptian imam doubles down on refusal to meet Pence over Jerusalem
A top Egyptian imam is insisting he will not meet with US Vice President Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to Cairo, due to the “rash and uncalculated” American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In an interview with CNN Thursday, Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand iman of al-Azhar, said meeting Pence would “tear up my identity” and come across as “contradictory in front of people.”

In the wake of US President Donald Trump’s declaration, Tayeb cancelled a planned meeting with Pence, who will be in Egypt, Jordan and Israel in the coming days. The US vice president had been set to visit the region in December, but his trip was rescheduled amid Congress’s efforts to pass tax reform.

Tayeb, who has urged Trump to reverse his decision, called the recognition an “aggression toward people, countries, cultures and civilizations,” and said it would “feed terrorism in the region.

“Decisions like this one nurture terrorism, create it and propel it forward to act and express itself in methods we all reject,” he told CNN. “When terrorism rises again, the East and West will drown in seas of blood.”
‘A Crime Against Humanity:’ Three Years Later, Relatives and Friends Reflect on AMIA Prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s Murder
Argentina solemnly marked the third anniversary of the murder of Alberto Nisman on Thursday, with relatives and colleagues of the late federal prosecutor — who spent more than a decade investigating Iran’s responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — gathering at La Tablada Jewish cemetery in the Argentine capital in tribute.

Those present at the service included Nisman’s mother, Sara Garfunkel, his daughters Iara and Kala, Argentine Environment Minister Sergio Bergman, Ariel Cohen-Sabbah, the head of the Argentine Jewish communal organization DAIA, and Luis Czyzewski, the father of one of the AMIA victims. Rabbi Marcelo Polakoff led the group in prayers of remembrance.

Nisman had “sacrificed his life in the pursuit of his work,” Czyzewski told the gathering. “From now on, it is up to the judicial system to determine who killed him.”

Nisman’s body was discovered in his Buenos Aires apartment on January 18, 2015 — the day he was due to present before Argentina’s Congress a complaint that charged the former government of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of colluding with Iran to secure the lifting of six “Red Notices,” issued by the global law enforcement agency Interpol, for the capture of the Iranian operatives wanted in connection with the AMIA atrocity.

While Kirchner initially portrayed Nisman’s death as a suicide, a forensic police investigation in 2017 determined that the prosecutor had been murdered, following an assault involving two individuals who broke into his apartment. Many Argentines suspect that Nisman’s killing was ordered from within Kirchner’s office.
Congress introduces resolutions honoring Argentina’s slain prosecutor Alberto Nisman
Resolutions calling for a “full and just investigation” into the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman were introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

In the House, Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ted Deutch, a Republican and a Democrat, respectively, from Florida, introduced the resolution, they said in a statement Friday, the three-year anniversary of the Jewish prosecutor’s death.

Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a companion resolution in the Senate, according to the statement.

A federal judge in Argentina said last month that Nisman, who was investigating the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, was murdered. For nearly three years, Argentina had failed to say definitively whether the shooting of Nisman was murder or suicide.

Nisman’s body was found on Jan. 18, 2015, hours before he was to present evidence to Argentine lawmakers that then-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner covered up Iran’s role in the attack, which left 85 dead and hundreds wounded.

An Argentine court and Western intelligence services believe Iran and Hezbollah were involved, though Tehran denies the claim.
Jordanian media: Israel paid $5 million to families of killed Jordanians
Jordanian media reported Saturday that the Israeli government paid $5 million to the families of Mohammed Jawaedeh and Bashar Hamarneh, the two men who were shot by Israeli security guard Ziv Moyal in July 2017 in what Israel claimed was a nationaattack.

The Israeli government didn't pay the families directly, instead it transferred the funds to the Jordanian government.

The families accepted the compensation and what they saw as an expression of regret by the Israeli government, according to the report.

Money was also given to the family of judge Raid Zaitar, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers who claimed he tried to grab a weapon from one of the soldiers by force in March 2014.

The Jordanian newspaper Al-Ad reported Saturday that these formal Israeli actions fulfill the Jordanian conditions for the reopening of the Israeli embassy in Jordan.

The newspaper also reported that Israel said it will initiate legal action against the security guard.
Hezbollah accuses Israel of Sidon bombing
The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah on Friday accused Israel of a bomb attack that wounded a member of the Palestinian group Hamas in the Lebanese city of Sidon, calling it an act of aggression.

The Israeli military said it does not comment on foreign reports.

The bomb blast injured the Hamas member on Sunday, destroying his car as he was about to get in.

"The bomb that targeted a Hamas member in Sidon is a dangerous beginning and it is not possible to be silent about it," said Nasrallah, leader of the Iran-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah.

In a televised address, he said "all indications" pointed to Israel.

The target, Mohamed Hamdan, was not a publicly known Hamas figure in Lebanon. A statement from Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, confirmed he was a member of the group, without detailing his role.

Al-Manar television, run by the Lebanese political and military group Hezbollah, described Hamdan as an important figure in Hamas, adding that he appeared to have a security role and was being tracked by Israel.
Hezbollah Criticizes Lebanon Decision to Allow Spielberg Film
Hezbollah criticized the Lebanese government on Friday for allowing cinemas to screen Steven Spielberg’s film “The Post” despite calls for a ban because of the director’s links to Israel.

The movie premiered in Beirut this week after Lebanon’s interior minister ruled against any ban.

Activists in Lebanon had campaigned against the film because Spielberg gave funds to Israel during its 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The two countries are officially enemy states.

“We reject this decision. We consider it a mistake,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Iran-backed Shi’ite terrorist group.

“This man announced his support for the Israeli aggression against Lebanon,” Nasrallah said in an address. “He paid Israel from his own money…to kill your children and destroy your houses.”
Parents of Fallen IDF Soldier Whose Body Is Held by Hamas Call for Israel to Not Return Remains of Terrorist Killed in Jenin
The parents of a fallen IDF soldier whose body has been held by Hamas for three and a half years have called on the Israeli government to not return the body of a Palestinian terrorist killed in a shootout in Jenin this week, the Hebrew news site Mako reported on Friday.

In a letter sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Simha and Leah Goldin — the parents of late IDF Lt. Hadar Goldin — wrote, “Hamas does not act in accordance with international and is holding slain IDF soldiers in a pirated and inhumane manner.”

“The non-release of terrorists’ bodies will send a clear message to Hamas leadership that Israeli policy has changed and the humanitarian gestures from us have ended until the return of Hadar and Oron [a reference to Staff. Sgt. Oron Shaul, another IDF soldier who fell in battle in Gaza in the summer of 2014 and whose body is in Hamas’ possession],” they continued.

In an interview with The Algemeiner last year, Leah Goldin said, “Bringing a soldier back to Israel to burial is, first and foremost, a humanitarian issue. This is an important value in all religions. It’s about human dignity.”
Palestinians appeal to ICC to halt alleged Israeli crimes
The Palestinian Authority on Saturday called on the International Criminal Court in The Hague to execute its authority to prevent crimes it said were being perpetrated against the Palestinian people, particularly children.

Marking three years since ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda launched a “preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine,” PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki issued a letter to the prosecutor in which he denounced what he described as an escalation of unlawful practices by Israel, the PA’s official Wafa news agency reported.

Preliminary examinations establish whether there is probable cause to conduct a full criminal investigation and whether the court has jurisdiction. Such probes can drag on for years.

Earlier this month Israel’s National Security Council reportedly warned members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the ICC could this year move from the examination phase and open investigations into the 2014 Gaza war, as well as West Bank settlement construction.
Sanctions Expert: Proposed House Iran Legislation “Gold Standard” for Fixing Nuke Deal
A leading legislative architect of previous sanctions against Iran has described the proposed Congressional legislation as the “gold standard” in fixing the weaknesses in the nuclear deal with Iran that President Donald Trump demanded last week, Axios reported on Thursday.

Richard Goldberg, a onetime aide to former Sen. Mark Kirk (R – Ill.), said of the proposed legislation authored by Rep. Peter Roskam (R – Ill.), “The Roskam legislation is the gold standard for how to fix the Iran deal when it comes to ballistic missiles. The UN Security Council called on Iran to halt any activity related to nuclear capable ballistic missiles — and this legislation mandates a snapback of all our toughest sanctions if Iran violates that Security Council directive.”

While it is expected that most Democrats and some Republicans will object to the proposed legislation, Axios described the Roskam bill as the “last chance” for Congress to prevent Trump from leaving the deal unilaterally.

The proposed legislation addressed a number of weaknesses that Trump identified last week as needing to be strengthened: a complete ban on Iran’s ballistic missile development, permanently keeping Iran’s breakout time for a nuclear weapon at a year or more, insisting on “anytime, anywhere” inspections to avoid Iran blocking access to its military sites, and imposing more sanctions on Iran for its terror support and human rights abuses.

Keeping Iran’s breakout time to being at least a year addresses the problem of “sunset clauses,” which would allow the Islamic Republic to legally have an industrial nuclear enrichment program by the end of the deal. In April 2015, President Barack Obama acknowledged that according to its terms Iran’s breakout time would be “near zero” by the end of the deal.
Democrats Go Soft on Anti-Semitism
Marcus’s crime here is that he wrote a letter urging, among other things, that some of the students responsible be disciplined for their behavior. We are supposed to believe, I suppose, that this letter is a sign that Marcus has an authoritarian streak. But in fact, the student judiciary at UW-Madison, not exactly a bastion of the alt-right, determined that, in the case in question, “Jewish students were the subject of discrimination by their elected representatives.” Although no students were disciplined, one representative was ordered to issue an apology while another was urged to apologize and attend a training course on religious tolerance.

In other words, if the New York Times is to be believed, Democrats stood against Marcus because he is not far enough to the left of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the most left-leaning universities in a universe of left-leaning higher education institutions. He is just too damned hard on anti-Semitism.

To be sure, Marcus has also been criticized for failing to adopt the Obama administration’s deeply controversial positions on how schools should handle sexual assault allegations and for having–as nearly any Republican appointee in any of the past several administrations would have–reservations about affirmative action policies. But, in his capacity as president of the Brandeis Center, Marcus is best known for being a tireless opponent of anti-Semitism. The Brandeis Center has also condemned hatred of and violence against Muslims. The Times acknowledged that, during his stint in the Bush administration, Marcus “reinforced protections for women and Jews as well as Muslims and Sikhs who faced religious discrimination in the wake of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

The Democrats knew that they did not have the votes to block Marcus. So their vote was symbolic. But what does it symbolize that a mainstream Republican appointee with an extraordinary record of combating anti-Semitism, and a respectable record of combating other forms of discrimination and hatred, merited not one Democratic vote? The only answer I can think of is this: It is all right to say you are against anti-Semitism, but it is unacceptable to act too vigorously against it. Such action offends those on the left who will tolerate no opposition to their mission to demonize the Jewish state. Democrats, sure of their Jews, seem determined to hold on to those who do Jews harm.
IsraellyCool: Israel Haters Have Hard Time Dealing with Martin Luther King’s Zionism
Martin Luther King Day earlier this week gave rise to many pro-Israel memes on social media, pointing out MLK’s support for Israel. They were along the lines of the following:

Of course, this is highly inconvenient for the haters, especially those like Linda Sarsour trying to invoke intersectionality to drum up support for her bankrupt palestinian cause.

But not to worry! Some, like Richard Silverstein, found a solution: claim he would have renounced his pro-Israel position had he lived.

This leads to a long-winded blog post. I’ll save you the hassle and reproduce Silverstein’s conclusion:
If, as Irving Kristol once said, a neocon is a liberal who’s been mugged by reality; then BDS supporters are liberal Zionists who’ve been mugged by Israeli reality (i.e. racism, Occupation and apartheid). King too would not have been blind to this phenomenon.

Finally, Black Zionist shills like Chloe Valdary and other pro-Israel advocates who quote King approvingly this Martin Luther King Day offer a Madame Tussaud version of this great man. When he lived, his thinking was not embalmed in wax or history. It changed and developed as circumstances required. That’s why King would far more likely have followed a path staked out by Nelson Mandela, who wholeheartedly endorsed Palestinian national rights.

Silverstein’s position is as condescending as it is fallacious. But to be expected from a person who thinks it is ok to disparage African-Americans.
Jewish Labour leader criticizes party for inaction on anti-Semitism
A Jewish Labour group has criticized the UK opposition party for failing to deal with a number of incidents of anti-Semitism, saying that Labour did not appear serious about tackling anti-Semitism in the party’s ranks.

Jeremy Newmark, the head of the Jewish Labour Movement, said the lack of action in dealing with the recent cases raises concerns over whether the party has internalized the findings of a report on anti-Semitism in Labour, The Guardian reported Saturday.

That probe, which was led by Labour Peer Shami Chakrabarti, was criticized by the British Jewish community for downplaying anti-Semitism within the party.

“We remain seriously concerned about what is now a vast backlog of cases involving alleged anti-Semitism that appear to be stuck in the system, in some cases for over a year,” said Newmark, according The Guardian. “That is not a good indicator of the party having embraced Shami Chakrabarti’s imperative to adopt a gold standard in dealing with antisemitism.”

“We will be closely monitoring the outcomes of a number of high-profile cases due to be determined by the national constitutional committee over the weeks ahead. These include former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker and [activist] Marc Wadsworth,” said Newmark.
John McDonnell will share a platform with controversial ousted NUS chief Malia Bouattia at an event in Parliament next month. Divisive Bouattia boasts a catalogue of eyebrow-raising views. She:
  • Received an open letter from Jewish societies in 48 universities, demanding she explain the numerous allegations of anti-Semitism levelled at her;
  • Suggested the government’s anti-terror Prevent programme is backed by a “Zionist lobby“;
  • Spoke at an event alongside Leila Khaled, a terrorist hijacker; Bouattia used her platform to defend armed struggle. She also lashed out against the “mainstream Zionist led media outlets”;
  • Spearheaded the scrapping of an NUS motion that proposed the organisation should condemn ISIS, on the grounds that it was “islamophobic”;
  • Was celebrated by Jihadi John apologist group CAGE;
  • Called her own university, Birmingham, “something of a Zionist outpost”;
  • Claimed the EU’s definition of anti-semitism is “ominous”.
Outrage at Bouattia among NUS members and officers led to a widespread campaign which saw student unions disaffiliate from the organisation. McDonnell will speak alongside her at the launch of a new Corbynista book, For The Many: Preparing Labour for Power in February. Also at the event will be newly time-rich Chris Williamson. McDonnell’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment. Jezza will be feeling left out…
Daphne Anson: Hart Disease
As many readers will know by now, Alan Hart is no more. Aged 75, the (non-Jewish) inveterate Israel-demoniser, whose Twitter page shows that he was tweeting anti-Israel propaganda almost to the end, shuffled off this mortal coil last week, deeply mourned by inveterate Israel-demoniser Gilad Atzmon (see, for instance, here) and others of that ilk.

Hart (Arafat's biographer and author of the odious 2010 book Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews) was a former newspaper journalist, chief Middle East correspondent for Independent Television News (ITN), and presenter of the BBC's flagship current affairs programme Panorama. He became a regular on Iran's satellite news channel Press TV, delighting his masters with his diatribes against the Jewish State and its supporters.

Wikipedia's article about him (which provides footnoted sources) tells us of such sentiments of his as:
"The colonial enterprise that Zionism is has corrupted everything it touched, beginning with the United Nations and including the mainstream media, what passes for democracy in the Western world (America especially) and Judaism itself"
Anti-Semitism is still on the table
An advance copy of the draft bill, leaked by CDU members, reveals that the legislation focuses mostly on stepping up punitive measures against migrants and refugees involved in anti-Semitic and anti-Israel activity. According to the bill's authors, those who do not accept Jewish life in Germany or the right of Israel to exist have no place in Germany.

Under the bill, which represents a significant shift in Germany's attitude toward the anti-Semitism that runs rampant among Arab and Muslim immigrants, migrants and refugees involved in anti-Semitic incitement or activity will be stripped of their residency rights. However, violators will not be immediately deported, in fact, deportation would not be guaranteed. In addition, the revocation of residency rights would also be subject to legal contest.

The German legal establishment's problematic approach toward the issue of anti-Semitism was demonstrated this week in the city of Wuppertal, when the high court upheld a lower court's ruling defining the firebombing of a synagogue as a criminal, rather than an anti-Semitic act.

The firebombing in question was perpetrated by a group of three young Palestinians living in Germany in the summer of 2014, as Operation Protective Edge was raging in Gaza. Anti-Semitic riots were raging across Germany, drawing mainly Arab and Muslim crowds. The law enforcement authorities failed to respond in any way.

When the perpetrators who hurled Molotov cocktails at a synagogue in Wuppertal were apprehended, they claimed it was an act of "protest against Israeli policy" and not, heaven forbid, and act of anti-Semitism, which would result in harsher punishment.

The German judges sided with the perpetrators' arguments time and time again, despite vocal protests from the German Jewish community.
Film to show new details of Jewish post-war revenge plot to poison German cities
A new documentary promises to release never-before seen evidence on the plot by a group of Holocaust survivors to poison hundreds of thousands of Germans in an act of revenge after World War II.

The film “Holocaust: The Revenge Plot” revolves around tapes of resistance fighter and later-poet Abba Kovner detailing his recollections of the plan, according to Britian’s Channel 4, which commissioned the documentary.

The tapes were recorded in 1985 as Kovner was dying from cancer and explore the 1946 plans to poison the water supplies in several German cities, and a second plot to kill thousands of SS officers being held in an American prisoner camp.

Kovner is said to reveal how his secret organization, codenamed Nakam (Hebrew for vengeance), infiltrated the waterworks of Hamburg, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, and Munich in order to poison the water supply with arsenic.

But there were deep reservations even among the Avengers that such an operation would kill innocent Germans and undermine international support for the establishment of Israel. Either way, when Kovner sailed for Europe with the poison, he drew suspicion from British authorities and was forced to toss it overboard before he was arrested.
Are Poland’s Proposed Holocaust Restitution Laws A Form of Historical Denial?
People with knowledge of Jewish restitution issues argue that it is not a question of blame, but simply a matter of recognizing the fact that the Polish state and many of its citizens benefited materially from the post-war absence of Polish Jewry, whatever the circumstances of their death or departure.

“Considering Poland was not a welcoming place after the war for Jewish survivors with some pogroms and waves of expulsions, many Jews may have left before the Communists got around to the nationalization of their property so would be disqualified from claiming [under the present proposals], as they had already departed,” said David Tilles. “The Communists nationalized properties, nationalized industries, many of which were owned before the war by Polish Jews. Those assets have been transferred from government to government. After the fall of Communism they privatized some and pocketed the money, sometimes they may have sold them at underpriced levels to their friends, there were also Jewish schools that are now state schools, Jewish hospitals established by the Jewish community but are now in state ownership.”

As Schudrich puts it, “The Polish state is being sued for my bicycle because they have my bicycle. It’s not because the Germans have my bicycle, the Polish government has my bicycle!”

Whilst noting the importance of acknowledging the specific circumstances of many Holocaust survivors and their heirs, however, advocates reject the idea of restitution as somehow solely a “Jewish issue,” suggesting it is an unhelpful way for anyone to look at it. A comprehensive restitution law that takes into consideration a range of perspectives and circumstances, they argue, is the fairest resolution for Poles and non-Poles, Jews and non-Jews alike.

“It’s both a Polish issue and a Jewish issue, and it’s as much a moral and historical issue as it is financial,” said Gideon Taylor, of the World Jewish Restitution Organization. “It’s the history of Polish Jewry. A house that stood in Poland—a family lived in that house. A shop—it was their shop. A synagogue—it was where they prayed. To ignore those claims, to exclude those people, is to reject that history, it’s to reject what was. That’s why it’s deep, that’s why it’s important, that’s why it matters.”
US website offers yellow star patches for ‘persecuted’ gun owners
A US website for gun enthusiasts is selling Holocaust-style Star of David patches to its clientele, encouraging them to wear them to highlight their perceived persecution by liberals.

The website “Tactical Shit” is offering a yellow star badge with the words “Gun Owner” emblazoned upon it, replacing “Jew.”

The website explains: “We do not invoke this historical symbol lightly. The similarities of the current attitude of the legislative environment and the systematic persecution that this star represents are uncanny. There’s no difference.”

It goes on to claim the product “is a strong reminder of how quickly an unarmed society can be toppled by a dictatorship. How have we reached this point? How has the persecution of a single group of people become so socially acceptable? Well, to us, it’s not. It’s time to remind these people of history. Line in the sand: drawn.”

A final addendum notes that “this patch will fray nicely at the edges with usage (intentionally).”
What driving will look like in 2028
New technology for cars drew big crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week.
Foresight Doron Cohadier

A company called Foresight, which listed on the Nasdaq in the spring of 2017 has seen its shares jump and drop since going public. But in the last month the stock has seen a dramatic turn around, rising 35 percent in the month before the signature electronics show on the Vegas strip.

Israel based Foresight gave CNBC a test drive, to demonstrate what it's like behind the wheel.
Foresight Demo One

The company separates itself with a unique technology using a system of "stereo cameras" to detect threats. "We're using technology mainly based on a combination of visible light and infrared vision in order to increase the visibility of drivers, beyond what human beings can see" said Foresight's Vice President of Business Development Doron Cohadier.

Cohadier previously worked at Israeli defense contractor Elbit before coming to the start-up, where he gained valuable experience working with complicated multi-system projects.
India signs on with Israeli firm to fight drought
In a move that could alleviate India’s deadly drought problem, the country’s Tata corporation signed a memorandum of understanding with an Israeli firm that specializes in extracting drinking water from the air.

Watergen and Tata representatives signed the document in New Delhi during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India this week, the Israeli firm said in a statement. The memorandum seeks to create a mutual entity in India to manufacture Watergen units. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Watergen’s president, Mikhael Mirilashvili, showcased his company’s plan for solving the water crisis in India by 2022 to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Modi’s visit to Israel.

Watergen’s two models of atmospheric water generators can extract up to 6,000 liters of water from the air every day, depending on the air humidity, the company said. The medium scale units produce up to 600 liters of water daily.

In the framework of the memorandum, a pilot program featuring the midsize unit will be set up this year in India. Last year, Watergen instituted a GEN-350G pilot in New Delhi’s Connaught Place, where nearly 2,000 people received drinking water from the air every day, the firm said. Some of the units can operate on solar energy.

The Tata-Watergen agreement is one of at least nine deals sealed during the visit, in which businessmen from Israel accompanied Netanyahu.
Why Israel rocks at commercializing academic innovations
It’s no coincidence that Harvard and UCLA chose experienced Israelis to direct their technology-transfer offices. Cash-strapped universities urgently need to streamline the transfer of inventions from lab bench to market, and Israeli TTOs have a remarkable track record of generating more revenue from IP sales than any other country except the United States.

“Universities are reinventing themselves as micro environments for innovation and entrepreneurship. A university that can’t demonstrate its impact on industry and the marketplace will become less relevant in the future,” says Benjamin Soffer, chairman of Israel Tech Transfer Network.

Soffer, who frequently hosts TTO officials from top universities in the United States, Europe and the Far East, also heads the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’s T3 TTO, which encompasses two technology incubators and 90 spinoff companies including ReWalk Robotics and Mazor Robotics.

The Technion’s net research budget of roughly $90 million pales in comparison to MIT’s $1.5 billion, yet its income from commercialization of research is similar, says Soffer.

“Even more remarkable, the combined research budget of all Israeli universities is half the research budget of MIT. This is validation of the strength of the technology we produce.”

Soffer says Israel’s startup ecosystem provides an efficient “packaging” system for the flood of innovation from universities and military tech units.

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.

Arab media is showing this video an aerial view of the ruins of Khybar, the Jewish city that Mohammed defeated:

The text accompanying the story on some sites says "Do you think that the Jews forgot this humiliating exit? They do not have the ambition to return, but there is no fear on the lands ruled by the House of Saud."

Arabs naturally think that Jews obsess over their military defeats - because that is what Arabs do.

Arabs naturally think that Jews are pining to wreak vengeance and re-take the lands that were once theres - because that's what Muslims are taught.

Jewish kids don't learn about Khybar in school. They aren't taught about their "humiliating" defeat. There are literally thousands of things that are more important to teach.

Arabs like to taunt Jews with the chant "Khybar, Khybar O Jews, the army of Mohammed will return." But the average Jew would not even get the reference. The battle is irrelevant in the scope of Jewish history.

And the Arabs simply cannot understand that.

There really is a difference between how Arabs think and how Jews think.

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.

Friday, January 19, 2018

From Ian:

Enjoy the moment
The Western world embraced our book of books and 2,000 years of Christianity have been characterized by an obvious (though one-sided) competition for the title of "the chosen people" and disputes over how to interpret the Bible. But not in India. The Bible holds no significant presence in the history and practice of Hindu culture. They have their own sacred texts, a pantheon of gods and goddesses, their own intricate mythology, philosophy, religious faith, methods of worship and a way of looking at things that is, at times, radically different than ours.

One ancient culture that worships one god versus another ancient culture that sanctifies a vast plurality of gods. Each approach profoundly influences the way of life and character of a culture. That is why there is no anti-Semitic baggage in the history of the relations between our two peoples. The world does not distinguish between Israel and the Jewish people, contrary to what our enemies may mendaciously claim. They say that they "don't hate Jews" only "Zionists." But in India, conversely and positively, they actually don't make the distinction.

Listening to Modi speak, I often heard ancient refrains behind his iron words that echoed the sentiments expressed by our own exiled forefathers – "we were as dreamers" – when they spoke about returning to Zion.

"Then said they among the nations: 'The Lord hath done great things with these" (Psalms 126). In historical terms, "these," meaning us, were ashes and dirt just a moment ago, when we returned to Zion. Now, a nation of 1.3 billion people is actively seeking a partnership with us. Right before our eyes, Israel is turning into a world player.

In one of his speeches, Netanyahu noted our commitment not only to ourselves, but also to serve as a light unto the nations. The rest of the Psalms verse mentioned above talks about what happens to us after the nations express awe at our good fortune. "We rejoiced," the verse says. It is okay to rejoice at Israel's success in the world. For one short minute, let us set aside our well-known Israeli cynicism – the product of many disappointments – and enjoy the moment. We were as dreamers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu loved every moment of his visit to India: from the warm welcome he received from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to the defense and business pacts they signed, to the visit to the Taj Mahal, to the food.

Yes, Netanyahu confessed repeatedly on the trip, he loves Indian food. He even revealed that his first date with his wife, Sara, 27 years ago, was at the Tandoori restaurant in Tel Aviv.

When Netanyahu comes back, he should celebrate by eating a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal – not just because turkey is called tarnegol hodu (literally, both Indian fowl and fowl of thankfulness) in Hebrew, but because he has so much to be thankful for.

This past week might have been the best for Netanyahu of his current term in office. He has had, of course, many, many other trips abroad this term, but none received as positive coverage in the mainstream Hebrew media. After past trips, Netanyahu complained that while he was accomplishing a lot for Israel, the media back home was focusing on minutia involving his family and criminal probes.

This time, Sara Netanyahu’s lawyers were in court while she was in India, but it wasn’t a top story. And Yair Netanyahu stayed home and skipped a trial date, but he was not on the front pages anymore.

Instead, even newspapers normally hostile to the prime minister gave prominence to pictures of him in India, leaving him nothing to kvetch about.

Moshe's Return to Mumbai

What is India's de-hyphenation policy toward Israel and why does it matter?
When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, he instituted a policy toward Israel called de-hyphenation.

What that meant was simple: India’s relationship with Israel would stand on its own merits, independent and separate from India’s relationship with the Palestinians. It would no longer be India’s relationship with Israel-Palestine, but India’s relationship with Israel, and India’s relationship with the Palestinians.

This policy first became obvious when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Modi at the UN in 2014, soon after the latter’s election.

When it became clear that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would not be in New York at the same time, there was concern in Jerusalem that the Indians would call off the meeting with Netanyahu, to preserve a holy balance in its ties with Israel and its ties with the Palestinian Authority.

This “de-hyphenation” was even more apparent when Modi came to Israel last July, when Modi came to Jerusalem but did not go to the Palestinian Authority – he did not feel compelled to balance his trip to Jerusalem with one to Ramallah.

Similarly, he is scheduled to travel to the PA next month, and if does go ahead with that trip, he is not expected to visit Israel. Again, the idea is that relations which each side should stand on their own merits.

Hyphenating the ties with Israel – linking them to ties with the Palestinian Authority – essentially prevented India from pursuing a pragmatic policy of what was in India’s best interests.
Netanyahu meets Bollywood stars, ends event with Oscars-style selfie
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu attended a special gala event with various noted stars in the Indian film industry such as actress Sara Ali Khan, actor and producer Amitabh Bachchan and former Miss World contestant and actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Netanyahu said that the rise of Bollywood is ''a part of India rising as a world power, which goes hand-in-hand with the ascent of Israel as a world leader in technology."

Netanyahu said that innovation is not limited to medicine or space but is also present in the arts. "I think that if we join our forces," he said, "magic will happen."

"We believe in Bollywood, we believe in India, we believe in the relations between India and Israel," he stated. Inspired by the Hollywood celebrities who took a selfie at the Academy Awards, the prime minister invited the Indian celebrities to take a shared picture with him on stage.

Netanyahu is wrapping up a five-day visit to India, during which he criss-crossed the country attending various events related to diplomacy, trade, technology, education and aid.

Baroness Deech blasts the UNHRC in the British House of Lords
I fear that these excellent intentions may not achieve much, because at the apex of all international effort lies the UN Human Rights Council, a body now so perverted that it no longer makes sense to support it. What is the use of the UK lobbying other countries and supporting UN resolutions on religious persecution when the UNHRC is peopled with representatives of the most egregious offenders?

My Lords, Iraq is a member of the UNHRC, along with Saudi Arabia, China and Venezuela, to mention just a few of them. When Iraq campaigned for membership of the UNHRC they cited in support the happy condition of the Christian minority. In China, 1.3 billion people are denied freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Tibetans are occupied and tortured. In Russia, dissidents are harassed, arrested and assassinated. Crimea is annexed and Ukraine bombarded. In Saudi Arabia beheadings are at an all-time high. They bomb Yemeni civilians.

The response of the UNHRC is largely silence and the welcoming as members of those atrocious states. Only one country is permanently on the agenda of the UNHRC and that is Israel, targeted by the Arab members in an effort to deflect attention from themselves.

Earlier this year our Government, thankfully, became a torch-bearer for the truth. The British mission blasted the UN body as biased and overly focused on Israel. The UNHRC has breath-taking double standards and is outrageously biased against the only country in the Middle East whose Christian population has grown, namely Israel.

It is time to call out the hypocrisy of the UNHRC, as a preliminary to safeguarding the religious minorities of Iraq and the wider Middle East. Will the Minister ensure that the UK’s place on the UNHRC is, has been, as it was in the past and I hope will be in the future, to tell the truth and defend the persecuted?
Baroness Deech blasts the UNHRC in the British House of Lords

UNRWA head: US aid freeze ‘not related to our performance’ (not satire)
The head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees said Friday a US decision to freeze tens of millions of dollars in aid resulted from diplomatic disputes rather than the agency’s performance.

The US State Department this week put on hold two planned payments of more than $100 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA.

The State Department denied the freeze was to punish the Palestinian Authority, which has cut ties with US President Donald Trump’s administration following his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with a spokeswoman saying it was linked to necessary “reform” of UNRWA.

But Pierre Krahenbuhl, the agency’s commissioner general, said it had not been informed by the United States of any new reform demands and had been simply “caught up” in a political dispute.

“I have to look at this as not related to our performance but a decision and a debate that was caught up in the aftermath of what of course was the General Assembly resolution on Jerusalem and other matters,” Krahenbuhl told AFP in an interview in Jerusalem.

“My perception is there is a debate in the US administration about funding to the Palestinians and our funding got caught up in that.”
Sexual harassment and assault rife at United Nations, staff claim
The United Nations has allowed sexual harassment and assault to flourish in its offices around the world, with accusers ignored and perpetrators free to act with impunity, the Guardian has been told.

Dozens of current and former UN employees described a culture of silence across the organisation and a flawed grievance system that is stacked against victims.

Of the employees interviewed, 15 said they had experienced or reported sexual harassment or assault within the past five years. The alleged offences ranged from verbal harassment to rape.

Seven of the women had formally reported what happened, a route that campaigners say is rarely pursued by victims for fear of losing their job, or in the belief that no action will be taken.

“If you report it, your career is pretty much over, especially if you’re a consultant,” said one consultant, who alleged she was harassed by her supervisor while working for the World Food Programme. “It’s like an unsaid thing.”

The UN conceded that under-reporting is a concern but said the organisation’s secretary general, António Guterres, has “prioritised addressing sexual harassment and upholding the zero tolerance policy”.
MEMRI: Saudi Journalist: Boycotting American Products May Boomerang On Arabs
In an article in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, economist Dr. 'Abdallah Al-Radadi opposed the calls to boycott American products and companies in response to U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He wrote that boycotts often yield the opposite results from those intended: they help to advertise and increase the popularity and the sales of the thing boycotted. In some cases, he added, they even end up harming the boycotters, as in the case of Arab boycotts on American companies that harmed the livelihood of Arabs workers or franchise holders. He noted that the importance of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa for the Arabs and Muslims cannot be overstated, but a boycott will not help Jerusalem but only hurt Muslims.

The following are excerpts from his article:[1]

"The minute U.S. President Donald Trump announced [his] recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, some activists on social media rushed to market [the idea] of a boycott of American products. The calls started with simple tweets, and developed into infographics presenting well-known American brands like McDonald's, Coca Cola, Burger King and others.

"First of all, let me state that the importance ascribed by Muslims to [Al-Aqsa,] the third most holy mosque after those in Mecca and Medina, and to [Jerusalem], the first direction of prayer, cannot be overstated. Jerusalem has been an Arab capital ever since it was first conquered in 637 by Al-Farouq, 'Umar bin al-Khattab [the second Caliph, who ruled in 634-644]... Muslim blood is a small price to pay for Jerusalem, and it is naïve to think that any Muslim will prioritize a hamburger over Jerusalem.

"[But] as for a boycott of American products, I wonder if it is economically effective. Who will really be hurt by such as boycott, and who will benefit from it? Past economic boycotts have been imposed with a particular intent, only to achieve the opposite effect, as shown by the following examples:
Fear of coroner prompts Jews to move before they die
A controversial coroner’s refusal to respect Jewish burial requirements has led some Jews to consider moving house rather than die under her jurisdiction.

Mary Hassell, the head of St Pancras coroner’s court, is being investigated over her unwillingness to grant quick burials to members of the Jewish and Muslim communities in north London.

Such is the distress sparked by Ms Hassell’s policy that families “should wait in line” for the release of relatives’ bodies, that some Jews are now considering moving to other areas of the capital, or making aliyah, to escape her authority. “We are terrified at what this woman is doing to this community,” said Ita Symons, the chief executive of the Agudas Yisrael Housing Association in Stamford Hill.

“I have acquired a burial plot in Jerusalem, and I will, God willing, try and make sure that before I pass away I will not be in this country.

“I shall get onto a plane — even on a stretcher — and I will not let this women get her powers over me.”

Mrs Symons is also the director of the Schonfeld Square care home, where more than 80 elderly Jewish people live.
Are anti-Israel groups attempting to hijacking Saturday's Women's march?
Anti-Israel groups may be attempting to hijack the Woman's March on Saturday.

In New York Cty, Jewish Voice for Peace, Adalah-NY: Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, Jews Say No! and Women in Black-Union Square are hosting a "FreeAhed" contingent, in support of the young Palestinian woman who called for stabbings and suicide operations against the Jewish, er Zionist people.

Interestingly enough, local activists every bit as committed to the destruction of Israel as Ahed choose not to repeat her message promoting terror and violence.

"Whether it is a stabbing attack or suicide bombing or throwing rocks, everyone needs to do something and unite in order for our message to reach those who want to liberate Palestine”
New Orleans confimed as a BDS hoax
The New Orleans City Council realized quickly that they had been duped.

Members of the New Orleans City Council say they want a do-over after learning they inadvertently stumbled into an international controversy last week.

The council voted 5-0 last Thursday to plan a review of the city’s contracts and investments to ensure that none of them support companies or entities that have violated human, civil or labor rights around the world.
But after belatedly realizing the resolution was part of an international movement to boycott Israel, City Council President Jason Williams and other council members say they will move to reconsider it at their next council meeting.
Speaking to the Advocate, Williams stated

“Let me be very clear to citizens of New Orleans and citizens of the world — this City Council is not anti-Israel. That sentiment is inconsistent with the council's actions and certainly mine personally.... " He said it was a mistake for the council to introduce and vote on the unadvertised measure at the end of a nearly six-hour meeting, as doing so did not give people enough time to voice their opinions.
Note to the BDS movement: If you need to lie about your motives and your intentions to push your agenda, your claim to stand for social justice and civil rights rings hollow.
Sohrab Amari: Harvard Rewards an Iranian Hate-Monger
What is it with the Harvard Kennedy School’s penchant for celebrating dishonorable characters? First came a speaking invitation and fellowship for the traitor formerly known as Bradley Manning. The Kennedy School disinvited Manning following a public outcry in September, but now its leadership has awarded a fellowship to another equally odious figure.

That would be Hossein Derakhshan, an Iranian blogger and vehement apologist for the Tehran regime. Last week, the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy named Derakhshan a fellow for the spring semester. The fellowship brings together “experienced journalists and practitioners who focus on some of today’s most pressing issues: race relations, the urban/rural divide, the role of algorithms in society, and climate change, among other topics,” Shorenstein Center Director Nicco Mele said in a news release.

Derakhshan’s fellowship will focus on technology entrepreneurship, presumably drawing on his experience as one of Iran’s first bloggers in the early aughts, work that won him the moniker “the blogfather.” The Shorenstein release presents Derakhshan as a dissident of sorts, who “was imprisoned in Tehran for six years for his writings and online activism.” Yet spending time in the mullahs’ jails doesn’t necessarily make someone a dissident–or worthy of a top journalism fellowship. Derakhshan has spent years viciously assailing real dissidents, and he has a long record of public statements in support of the regime, its leadership and security apparatus, and its conspiratorial and anti-Semitic worldview.

Start with the anti-Semitism. In December 2015, amid the popular frenzy over Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Derakhshan took to his English-language Twitter account (he also maintains a Persian account) to note that the villain of the movie was identified as “Supreme Leader,” which is also the title of Iran’s ruling theocrat. Wrote Derakhshan: “A Supreme Leader in the new star wars [sic]? What is the very pro-Israel J. J. Abrams hinting at?”

The tweet played on the canard, rampant among Iranian Islamists, that Jews use Hollywood influence to plant pro-Israel and anti-Iran messages in the minds of global audiences. In the real world, there is no evidence that J.J. Abrams is “very pro-Israel”–other than his Jewish last name, of course.
University of Michigan Invited Anti-Israel Activist to Speak on MLK Day
A Palestinian activist with a history of making inflammatory anti-Israel statements was invited to make two appearances at the University of Michigan this week, including one held in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Steven Salaita—who gained popularity in 2014 when the University of Illinois rescinded a job offer following exposure of his anti-Israel tweets, such as posting approvingly of Hamas‘s kidnap and murder of three Israeli teens that summer—was invited by the U-M Detroit Center to participate in a MLK Day panel discussion considering if there is "such thing as a proper protest."

The event was co-sponsored by the U-M Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives and the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies.

The following afternoon, on Tuesday, CMENAS gave Salaita a platform to promote his book "Inter/Nationalism: Decolonizing Native America and Palestine," which argues for an alliance of Palestinian and Native American scholar-activists as two indigenous peoples under colonial occupation.

There Salaita said, "Zionism is one of the reasons the world is so shitty today," according to attendees.

Benjamin Gerstein, a Central Student Government representative who attended the program, said Salaita went on to blame the United States-Israel alliance for much of world inequality and turmoil.

"It was very disturbing to hear the existence of the Jewish homeland described as the reason the world is shitty," said Gerstein.
IsraellyCool: Law Professor Noura Erakat Seems to Be Saying Palestinians Put Themselves on Map Through Terrorism
Noura Erakat is an assistant international law professor at George Mason University and the niece of PA negotiator propagandist Saeb Erekat. And like uncle, she is an Israel hater who plays loose with the truth.

A few days ago she tweeted the following in response to this Washington Post article.

I had been trying to think what Erakat meant by “Palestinians put themselves on the map – literally” from 1968-88. She is referring to some way the palestinians paved the way, from 1968, towards their 1988 Declaration of Independence, which was subsequently acknowledged by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 43/177.

The answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind up in the skies.
Among the many children of the Six-Day War, the most frightening is international terrorism. Of course, terrorism, including Palestinian terrorism, predated 1967, but the war changed its scope, scale, and very nature. Before the war, Palestinian terrorists struck at targets in Israel, often in cooperation with neighboring states. After the war, the Palestinians used terrorism to internationalize the conflict, hijacking and destroying airplanes, holding diplomats hostage, and even attacking Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
IsraellyCool: BDS-Holes in New Zealand Show Their Bigotry
Note the meme the letter begins with, which minimizes the violent rock throwing of palestinians (which can, and has, caused serious injuries and even deaths), and implies it is only ever in response to the IDF killing someone (a blatant lie).

But even more than that; these haters are asking to dis-invite an Israeli just because they are Israeli. Victoria Hanna is an religious Jewess, the mother of 3 children. Her parents are from Egypt and Persia – no doubt kicked out or otherwise forced out due to persecution. She performs Aramaic hip hop and rhythmic raps on ancient Hebrew texts. She is not at all political from what I can see, and is not active on social media. Her crime here is being from Israel. She is not part of some conspiracy as they suggest – she just wants to do what she loves, which is performing.

If that is not bigotry, I do not know what is. And that is just assuming their motivation is not antisemitism (which it more often than not is, when it comes to hating on Israel).

Once again, the true face of BDS is revealed. And it is ugly as hell.
Pro-Palestinian Students On Probation AGAIN

I’m a Transgender Peace Activist Who Converted to Judaism. I Wasn’t Expecting My Fellow Progressives to Turn on Me.
Here’s what they don’t tell you when converting to Judaism: Everyone has an opinion on Israel. And once you convert, everyone has an opinion regarding your opinions on Israel.

To say I chose a rather interesting time to convert to Judaism is an understatement. Considering the current political climate, I’ll admit that I braced myself for certain negative reactions to my being Jewish. Being queer, transgender, and Hispanic, I’ve had my share of slurs thrown at me.

My social group and volunteer work are where I find a safe place from the nonsense outside. If things got bad after my conversion, I had this community to turn to. Imagine my surprise, then, to find accusations and anger not from the usual suspects, but from my own progressive communities. To give a few choice examples:

1) My Catholic parents bought me a Star of David necklace to celebrate my conversion. I showed this to someone I had attended numerous LGBT events with. Their response was to call it “pro-apartheid jewelry” and said I was wearing “that star on the Jewish flag.”

2) For about a year, I catalogued footage of humanitarian disasters during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for use by a humanitarian organization. I’m proud of that work. I mentioned my conversion to a few friends who knew me at the time. All immediately asked if I had changed my views on Israeli politics.

3) Whenever I mention my conversion to anyone in my larger social circle, the response is never congratulations. Four out of five times, I’m immediately grilled on my views regarding Israeli policy.
The BBC’s narrative on ‘East Jerusalem’ omits relevant context
Although the BBC has been telling its audiences that “the Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state” for many years, since the US president’s announcement of recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6th 2017 that messaging has been promoted on a variety of BBC platforms on an almost daily basis.

BBC portrayals of the topic usually include the narrative seen in a frequently reused backgrounder on Jerusalem produced by Yolande Knell in which audiences were led to believe that a Palestinian capital in “east Jerusalem” is an already agreed component of the two-state solution rather than a topic to be discussed in final status negotiations.

“Of course, Palestinians see things starkly differently. They want east Jerusalem as their capital.

And that’s part of the long-standing international formula for peace here, known as the “two-state solution”.

Knell also portrayed the two-state solution in terms that dovetail with the PLO’s interpretation of that term.

“Basically the idea that an independent Palestinian state would be created alongside Israel, along the boundaries that existed before 1967, it’s written up in UN resolutions.”

Of course the prime motivation behind Palestinian claims to a capital in the parts of Jerusalem occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967 is control over Temple Mount but the BBC repeatedly fails to adequately clarify that important point to its audiences.

Neither does it bother to inform them of the Palestinian Authority’s record on upholding agreements it has already signed with Israel regarding other holy places.

Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, freedom of access to and worship at holy sites was guaranteed.
NY Times Mischaracterizes Conversations Between Egyptian Intelligence and Media
We know the White House's position on Jerusalem. In late 2017, the U.S. formally recognized the city's status as Israel's capital.

We also know the view of Congress. Over twenty years earlier, a strong bipartisan majority passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which acknowledges that "since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel as the capital of Israel" and says the city should be recognized as such.

Now, thanks to leaked phone calls between an Egyptian intelligence officer and several prominent media figures, we know what Egypt thinks. They want to avoid war and to encourage some flexibility on the part of the Palestinians, the officer told his contacts.

And finally, we also know what The New York Times thinks of all that Egyptian moderation. It doesn't seem pleased. In a Dec. 7, front-page article about the leaked conversations, the newspaper it did its part to embarrass the Egyptians, framing the story in a way that casts the government in the harshest of lights, and even fabricating portions of what the Egyptian official said.

Here's what's clear: In the days after the U.S. announcement on Jerusalem, Egypt had taken steps to maintain calm, and went so far as to feed talking points to the media figures, who reportedly complied without hesitatio
SoundCloud rejects CAA complaint, refusing to act over Kelechi Okafor’s defence of antisemitic stereotyping in podcast
Responding to a complaint made by Campaign Against Antisemitism, SoundCloud, the popular music streaming service, has stated that it can see no problem with the antisemitic comments made by actress and fitness studio owner Kelechi Okafor during an episode of her podcast series, “Say Your Mind”.

Ms Okafor caused outrage when she defended recent comments about Jews made by BBC presenter Reggie Yates in which he claimed it was “great” that the young generation of grime music artists is not “managed by some random fat Jewish guy from north west London, they’re managed by their brethren”. In her defence of Mr Yates, Ms Okafor insisted that his comments were truthful, and asserted that that the whole affair demonstrated “the power of a specific community”. She went on to make a series of remarks that relied on classic antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jews and money, as well as Jewish power wielded for the exploitation of others.

Ms Okafor said that black entertainers had been “so short changed by the kind of people Reggie Yates describes”, adding that “all sorts of ethnicities” can be capable of this but “the fact is, these men has dominated the industry for decades” and are “taking most of the profits”. She claimed that black artists “are having to work [their] entire arse off while they’re keeping everything”. According to Ms Okafor, grime, RnB, and hip-hop music have been “diluted” by these supposed Jewish music managers who “like blackness as long as it’s making them money”. She claimed that annual commemorations of the Holocaust are more prominent than any memory of the slave trade, saying that these historical events were part of the “power dynamic” she was discussing.

DIY Network apologizes for host’s anti-Semitic haggling slur
The DIY Network has apologized after one of its hosts made an anti-Semitic remark during an episode that aired on the channel.

“Texas Flip N Move” host Toni Snow made the comment during the show’s season finale, which aired late last week.

“You’re not even gonna bicker a little bit? Jew us down?” Snow asked a participant who was prepared to pay the full asking price for a refurbished school bus.

Snow’s co-host and sister, Donna Snow, did not react to the comment, but just added: “You’re not even gonna blink an eye?”

“Jew down” is a derogatory expression meaning to haggle based on the anti-Semitic perception that Jews are cheap or love money.

In its apology, the DIY Network said that “an inappropriate comment unfortunately made it past our team.”
Will Holocaust crimes of Finnish volunteers in Ukraine go unpunished?
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, has appealed to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to launch an official inquiry into the participation of Finnish volunteers in Holocaust crimes, in the wake of new research on their service in Ukraine in 1941.

Research published in October by Dr. Andre Swanström, chairman of the Finnish Society of Church History, strongly suggests that Finnish volunteers who served in the Viking Division of the Waffen-SS were actively involved in the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine.

Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that he was awaiting a response to a letter he sent earlier this month to Niinistö in which he wrote: “I am certain that you would agree that such revelations require a forthright response by the Finnish authorities and appropriate measures to investigate this matter.”

“You might recall that in a similar situation in November 2003, president Halonen immediately initiated the establishment of a commission of inquiry to examine the deportation from Finland of approximately 3,000 foreigners to Nazi Germany, among them Soviet political officers and Jewish prisoners of war, who were thereby sentenced to almost certain death,” he added.

The establishment of that commission resulted in extensive research and the publishing of numerous books on the subject. Zuroff hopes that the same will happen now, following the findings of this latest research.

“All the research until now claims the Finns were not involved in killing the Jews,” he said, noting that Finland protected its own Jewish community.

“And this comes as a total surprise to researchers and society – it’s important,” Zuroff told the Post. “It’s a pattern,” he added, noting that similar revelations were made recently regarding the role played by SS volunteers from Denmark and Norway.
What made Muslim Albanians risk their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust?
Most anywhere else in Nazi-occupied Europe, an encounter with police would have likely sealed the fate of Jewish refugees like Nissim and Sarah Aladjem and their 10-year-old son, Aron.

Instead, when the family was detained by police in the Muslim nation of Albania 75 years ago, it was the key to their survival.

The family was fleeing Bulgaria when they were detained by five police officers working for the occupation forces. Instead of turning them over to his occupiers, as he should have done with undocumented Jewish aliens, one of the policemen helped the Aladjems find shelter with other locals.

Far from unusual in Albania, the actions of that officer in 1943 — he has not been identified — attest to the prevalence and boldness of the efforts to rescue Jewish refugees in this nation situated northeast of Greece. It is perhaps the only Nazi-occupied country that had more Jews after the Holocaust than before.

Owing partly to what locals call Besa, a local code of honor and neighborly conduct, the rescue and survival of approximately 2,000 Jews by Albanians for decades had remained largely unknown. But thanks to recent studies and films, it is taking its place as a rare ray of light during otherwise dark times.
Palo Alto Networks opens new office in Tel Aviv
Cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks is opening a new office and research and development site in Tel Aviv, as its local research team in Israel has “grown significantly” in the past three and a half years.

The Santa-Clara, California-based Palo Alto Networks started operations in Israel in 2014 after it acquired Cyvera; it bought LightCyber in 2017. The new offices will house over 200 employees in development, customer support, sales, DevOps, IT, HR, facilities and finance, the company said in a statement.

Tel Aviv is the only research and development site for Palo Alto Networks outside of its global headquarters in Santa Clara.

The teams in Israel and in the US are expected to grow “significantly” in the coming year, the company said.

“Over the last ten years, our growth has been fueled by the ingenuity, skills, and commitment of our global teams, who remain focused on maintaining trust in the digital age by preventing successful cyberattacks. Our Israel-based team has played a pivotal role here and will continue to do so,” said Mark McLaughlin, chairman and chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks.
David Ben-Gurion's 1940 Mission to Rouse the Fighting Spirit of American Jews
In 1940, as millions of Jews came under Nazi control in the countries conquered by Hitler, and as the route to safety in Palestine remained closed by the British Mandatory power, three of Zionism’s greatest leaders traveled to America. They came at different times, on separate missions, but all three—Chaim Weizmann, the president of the Zionist Organization, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, the leader of the Revisionist Zionist movement, and David Ben-Gurion, the Labor Zionist leader who headed the Jewish Agency in Palestine—shared a single goal: to win support in America for a Jewish army to fight the Nazis alongside the British.

This article focuses on Ben-Gurion, the last to come. Writing to his wife Paula before leaving London for the United States, he said he wanted “to see with my own eyes what we can expect from America in wartime.” In particular, he wrote, “I want to know the extent of the contribution America’s Jews are prepared to make for the life of their own people.”

Ben-Gurion would remain in America for four months, on a visit that—like those of his two predecessors—would reveal a great deal not only about American Jews but also about their Zionist visitors. The following brief account draws on Ben-Gurion’s diary, translated into English for the first time, as well as on letters and other contemporaneous documents, most of them previously unpublished.
Israel – A Successful Powerhouse in the Collapsing Middle East
Economic indicators for Israel showed another successful year in 2017 as, for the first time ever, Israel’s GDP per capita has surpassed that of major industrialized countries such as Britain, Japan and France.

Israel stands out among the nations that won their independence after the Second World War. Despite facing more challenges than virtually any other country, Israel has transformed from a poor and fragile socialist backwater to a first world Start-Up nation of cutting-edge technologies and knowledge during seven brief decades, while fighting for its existence.

The failures of the Arab boycott and later the Boycott Divestment Sanction (BDS) campaign movement to destroy Israel’s economy are no less spectacular than the Muslim Arab failures to defeat Israel in the military battlefields. Israel’s economy is far stronger today than when BDS was launched in 2005.

The Economist publishes an annual global report with numerous data on the countries of the world. In its newly released report, Israel’s GDP per capita has, for the first time ever, surpassed $40,000. According to the Economist’s data, Israel’s GDP per capita grew from $38,127 in 2016 to $44,019 in 2017.

Israel’s economy expanded by 4.4 % during 2017, the highest growth rate among advanced economies. By contrast, the GDP per capita of France was almost $41,000 and nearly $40,000 for Japan.
650 works from NY Jewish Museum’s private stockpile on show in massive exhibit
Stepping into the third floor gallery of New York’s Jewish Museum is like walking into a life size curio cabinet where hundreds of objects, some never before seen, beckon.

Here a model of the ancient Temple of Jerusalem in a bottle, there a newly acquired Torah case donated to the museum from the JFK International Synagogue. There’s a beer stein decorated with a Star of David, and a tiny gold heart given from a son to his mother.

It’s a curators’ conundrum: how to decide what goes on display and what stays boxed away. Ironically, for the staff at the Jewish Museum, knowing there are more than 30,000 objects spanning 4,000 years of history in the museum’s permanent collection makes the process harder.

Curators must avoid repetition — how many pairs of Shabbat candlesticks are just enough to get the point across? And they aim to tell stories through artifacts — so as rare as an object might be, if it doesn’t fit into a particular narrative it won’t be added to the exhibit. All this means only a fraction of the museum’s permanent collection is on display at any given time.

Until now.

For the next year the third floor of the museum will serve as a Jewish cultural attic of sorts, as over 650 works from antiquities to contemporary art are on display — many for the first time.
A model of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, in a bottle. (Jewish Museum)

But the new exhibition is about more than the sheer number and breadth of objects in the museum’s inventory. “Scenes from the Collection” reveals how these items fit in to the larger story of how Jewish culture intersects with art.

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