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Thursday, September 29, 2016

From Ian:

As Hives Collapse Worldwide, Bees Hold Steady in the Land of Milk and Honey
Honeybees across the world are in a sticky situation. Their numbers are dwindling dramatically due to colony collapse disorder (CCD) for reasons that are not fully understood.
Yet the honeybee population in Israel is holding steady.
That’s great news at this time of year, when sweet Jewish New Year dishes push honey demand to its peak. And most importantly, bees play a crucial role in agriculture by pollinating vegetables and fruits.
Israel takes measures to ensure that its bee population declines no more than 10 percent each year, compared to 30%-50% in the United States, where the problem is so severe that Häagen-Dazs ice cream has donated $1 million to honeybee research since 2008, and President Obama initiated a national strategy to promote bee health.
“We try all kinds of things,” Israeli Honey Board CEO Hertzel Avidor tells ISRAEL21c, such as supporting Israeli research into all the biological and botanical angles on CCD, from boosting bees’ immune systems to developing nectar-rich plants.
The council helps Israel’s 500 beekeepers implement innovative tactics to support a collective 110,000 hives. (The slight reduction in bees does not affect Israel’s honey supply because each year more colonies are introduced to offset the loss. Climate is the main variable in reaching an ideal annual yield of 3,000 tons, Avidor says.)
Hillel Neuer: UNHRC: Australian MP Blasts Silence on Syria Massacre & Distorted Focus on Israel
Testimony before the UN Human Rights Council by the Hon. Michael Danby, MP from Australia, September 26, 2016.
Thank you, Mr. President.
My name is Michael Danby, member of the Australian Parliament. I have the honour to take the floor today on behalf of United Nations Watch.
Australia has announced its candidacy next year to join this Human Rights Council. I support this bid, in the firm belief that Australia can contribute to the global protection of human rights—and to this Council’s founding promise, of renouncing the bias, selectivity and politicization of its discredited predecessor.
Australians have a historic connection to the United Nations and its human rights system. After World War II, Australian Foreign Minister Dr. H. V. Evatt played a key role in establishing the UN. As President of the General Assembly in 1948, he helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose core guarantee, reaffirmed by the Vienna Declaration, is the right to life.
Sadly, however, this is being violated. The most glaring example is the massacre of innocent civilians in Syria. As we assemble, over the past few days the world has witnessed the unprecedented escalation of the murder and maiming of hundreds of men, women and children in Aleppo.
When a UN-backed humanitarian convoy—bringing life-saving aid to hundreds of thousands in that besieged city—was deliberately bombed last week by waves of airstrikes, this Council ought to have convened an urgent debate—and still should.
Australian MP Blasts UNHRC Silence Over Syrian Massacre

David Collier: BDS open the season at SOAS, back into the snake pit
Riya is desperate to skip to talking about what BDS wants these students to do, but first she needs to circumvent the small issue of why Israel is so evil it needs to be (B)oycotted, (D)ivested from and of course (S)anctioned.
This is always an incredible element of any session. And it invariably follows the same pattern of history.
Firstly, 1917. Balfour. The idea that the British gave away the land of the indigenous people to European colonists. In line with this, Riya managed to discuss Balfour without even mentioning the word ‘Jewish’.
Then they skip to 1948. As if the week after 2nd November 1917, was 9th November 1948. This is done for a simple reason. For the Palestinian narrative to hold true, European colonists simply turned violent against an indigenous civilian population so as to ethnically cleanse the villages because they had to make room for more European colonists. It was as Riya suggested a ‘pre-planned expulsion’.
Therefore the entire context of the political and military battles that were to lead to ‘Nakba’ has to be removed. There is no violent opposition to immigration. No massacres of ancient Jewish communities in Jerusalem, Tzfat, Hebron. No attempt at building bridges. No partition plan. No Arab rejectionism. No Arab irregulars. No civil war. No regional conflict. No calls by Arab states for another genocide of the Jews.
Once the history has been sufficiently flattened, the accusations of current crimes begin. The first fact presented is that since the beginning of 2016, 103 Palestinians have been ‘shot dead’ by Israeli armed forces. There is no attempt to provide context, such as this. Apparently Israelis just go around shooting people.

Amid ‘Denial’s Hollywood fanfare, Deborah Lipstadt stays focused on spreading truth
“Oh, I’m having a good time!” laughs historian and professor Deborah Lipstadt when asked how she is. “Nothing I did prepared me for the trial and nothing I imagined — even in my wildest dreams — prepared me for this ride. It’s amazing!”
Lipstadt is referring to the film “Denial,” which recounts the true story of her historic, high-profile, legal battle against Holocaust denier David Irving. Directed by Mick Jackson (“The Bodyguard”) and adapted by British playwright David Hare, the film is based on her book, “History on Trial: My Day in Court with David Irving.” Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz plays Lipstadt.
In 1996, Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books were sued for libel in England by Irving, whom she had called a Holocaust denier in her book “Denying the Holocaust.”
In such cases, under English law, the burden of proof rests on the defendant, so Lipstadt and her lawyers had to prove that what she had written about him was true. They had to show that Irving had ignored evidence of the Holocaust — rather than proving that the Holocaust had happened — by using expert witnesses and working through Irving’s historical works to demonstrate where he had lied about it.
At the end of the 10-week trial, High Court Judge Charles Gray found for Lipstadt. In his judgment, he held that Irving had, “for his own ideological reasons persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence” to portray Hitler “in an unwarrantedly favorable light,” particularly in his treatment of the Jews. He also found Irving to be an “active Holocaust denier; that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism.”
The movie’s stellar cast includes Timothy Spall (David Irving), Tom Wilkinson (barrister Richard Rampton) and Andrew Scott (lawyer Anthony Julius). Fifth on the cast list is Jack Lowden, a young, award winning, up-and-coming stage and screen actor who — full disclosure — plays this reporter’s husband, James Libson. He was also Lipstadt’s solicitor and led the case with Anthony Julius.
Palestinian Leaders Slam Saudi Paper For Siding With Netanyahu
Palestinian leaders lambasted a Saudi newspaper for siding with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by criticizing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ refusal to accept the Israeli premier’s invitation to address the Knesset.
“Whoever wrote this editorial is totally unaware of the reality of this so-called invitation,’’ said PLO spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi. “It is a very obvious public relations trick that’s been overused. If Netanyahu wants peace, let him abide by the requirements of international law, the two-state solution, and the 1967 boundaries.’’
The editorial, published Sunday in the Saudi Gazette, suggested that the Palestinians “should not be too quick to dismiss the invitation,” adding that it was “reminiscent of the one issued by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to visit Israel” that led to the signing of a peace treaty between the erstwhile enemies.
“For all its shortcomings, Camp David demonstrated that negotiations with Israel were possible and that progress could be made through sustained efforts at communication and cooperation,’’ it added.
“Netanyahu’s gesture was quickly rejected by the Palestinians as a ‘new gimmick,’” the Saudi newspaper editorial said.
For her part, Ashrawi said the Egypt-Israel scenario was not analogous to the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Report: Hezbollah patrol hit by mine in Lebanon, near Israeli border
Lebanese media reported Wednesday that a mine exploded on a Hezbollah patrol close to the Israeli border in the Metulla region.
The Lebanese media said that a mine or bomb went off on the patrol on the Lebanese side of the border.
One was critically wounded and the Lebanese army had arrived to the scene, according to the reports.
Despite claims from the Lebanese media that the IDF had gathered on the border, the IDF stated that they do not respond to events that occur outside of Israel's borders.
In July, a bag full of explosives was located in a wooded area of Metulla near the Lebanese border and was believed to have been smuggled into Israel by Hezbollah according to the defense establishment .
Defense sources estimated that the explosives were smuggled into Israel from Lebanon with the intention of being used in a terror attack.
Palestinian Militia Assisting Assad in Destruction of Aleppo
A Palestinian militia has been fighting alongside forces loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the ongoing battle for the city of Aleppo, the Long War Journal reported on Wednesday.
The Quds Brigade, also called the Liwa al-Quds, is predominately made up of Palestinian fighters drawn from the al-Nayrab and Handarat Palestinian refugee camps near Aleppo, according to one of the group’s commanders. The Quds Brigade, also known as the Syrian Arab Army Fedayeen, is commanded by Mohammad al-Said.
Lately, the group has been fighting alongside the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iran-led Shiite expeditionary forces against Sunni Islamist rebels for control of the Handarat camp. Since Handarat is located near Castello Road, which leads to rebel-held eastern Aleppo, capturing the territory would “consolidate the pro-regime forces’ siege in the north and position forces next to the neighborhood blocks of eastern Aleppo,” the Journal wrote, citing a Syrian source who spoke to Iranian media.
There are also unconfirmed reports that Hezbollah has joined the SAA in the battles for Handarat heights in the northern parts of Aleppo.
In April, Lebanese journalist Hanin Ghaddar observed that the Palestinians had lost credibility in the Arab world for failing to speak out about the atrocities committed by the Assad regime.
Obama: Congress vote overturning veto of 9/11 legislation ‘a mistake’
President Barack Obama said Congress’ vote Wednesday overturning his veto of September 11 legislation was “a mistake” and “basically a political vote.”
Families of Sept. 11 victims will now be allowed to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged backing of the attackers.
Obama said that a few lawmakers, whom he didn’t name, and who backed the bill were not aware of its potential impact.
Speaking during a CNN town hall event, Obama said he understands why the override went through, given the perceived political peril of voting against 9/11 families before an election.
“I understand why it happened. Obviously all of us still carry the scars and trauma of 9/11. Nobody more than this 9/11 generation that has fought on our behalf in the aftermath of 9/11,” he said.
But, Obama argued, the right and harder thing to do would have been to let his veto stand.
I wish Congress here had done what’s hard,” he said. “It was, you know, basically a political vote.”
Joint Chiefs Chairman Rejects Obama Plan to Share Syria Intel with Russia
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford has just gone where no JCS chairman has ever gone before! Unsurprisingly, it took a Marine general to stand up to President Barack Obama in the wake of yet another of his dubious national security decisions.
The same mindless Obama/Kerry negotiating team that brought us an Iran deal undermining our national security, recently sought to bring us a similarly questionable deal with Russia. This one mandated the Pentagon’s participation in an intelligence-sharing agreement with the Russian Central Command in Syria—built upon a ceasefire paving the way for peace negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland.
But, unlike the Iran nuclear deal where the JCS Chairman did nothing, our current Chairman, General Dunford, publicly voiced his objection.
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 22, Dunford made clear the military would refuse to execute what was the central element of Obama’s new Syria policy, i.e., intelligence-sharing with Russia—despite the president’s order it be done.
Calling it a bad idea, Dunford said, “The U.S. military role will not include intelligence sharing with the Russians.” Sitting at Dunford’s side during the testimony was his civilian boss, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who raised no objection.
Source: Arab Countries Press U.S. To Provide Anti-Aircraft Missiles To Syrian Rebels
Arab countries supporting the Syrian rebels have stepped up pressure on the United States to allow the provision of anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels, an Arab intelligence source told Breitbart Jerusalem.
He said that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Jordan, among other countries, have been lobbying Washington to address the air supremacy that the regime and their Russian patrons have benefited from, as has become apparent in their latest air campaign against the rebels in Aleppo that left the city in ruins.
The source said that the pro-rebel countries are divided on the issue, with some, like Jordan, believing that arming the rebels with antiaircraft missiles would only prolong the conflict and increase the strain of refugees knocking on its doors. Nor does Turkey, for its part, wish to break from the Turkish-Russian understandings that ushered in its intervention in northern Syria.
Saudi Arabia and Qatar, however, are ready to pay for and provide the supplies immediately.
“The Sunni bloc, chiefly Saudi Arabia, are alarmed at the prospect that Aleppo will fall,” he said. “They think it would instigate a domino effect that would demoralize the rebels and discredit them … that’s why they’ve been relentless in lobbying the US.”
Hayden Quotes ‘Monty Python’ to Mock Kerry’s Threat to Russia
Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden on Thursday mocked Secretary of State John Kerry’s threat to Russia the prior day to end bilateral engagement in Syria by quoting Monty Python and the Holy Grail on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“Our lack of leverage on Russian behavior and poor Secretary Kerry is out there. I’m reminded of a line from Monty Python: ‘Go away or I will be forced to taunt you a second time,’” Hayden said.
Hayden, a former director of the CIA and NSA, added there is no pressure or action the United States is willing to take against the Russians to force a change in their military actions in Syria.
The Obama administration announced that it would possibly suspend any coordination with Russia and bilateral engagement after Russian and Syrian forces continued their bombing assault on the city of Aleppo, ending any hopes of saving a recently brokered ceasefire.
ABC News reported that two of the largest hospitals in Aleppo were flattened overnight. Both hospitals are supported by Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). The bombing assault trapped more than 90 patients and staff members in the basement of a hospital.
Hayden said that Obama does not want to take action in Syria with such little time left in his presidency because he does not want his predecessor to bear the consequences of his actions. The former CIA director added that Obama’s inaction in Syria and the humanitarian crisis there will be a part of the president’s legacy.

Poll: British Jews believe Labour 'too tolerant' of anti-Semitism
Meanwhile, a new poll has found that most British Jews believe Labour is "too tolerant" of anti-Semitism in general and anti-Semites within its ranks.
According to British daily The Independent, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism's Barometer study, which surveyed 1,864 British Jewish adults, found that nine in 10 British Jews believe Labour is soft on anti-Semitism.
"All other political parties scored far lower in the poll, which asked whether Jews believed they were guilty of leniency towards anti-Semitism amongst MPs, members and supporters," the report said.
The poll found that 87% of British Jews say the Labour Party is "too tolerant" of anti-Semites in its ranks. Only 49% said the same of Britain's Green Party, 43% said this of the U.K. Independence Party, 37% believe this is the case for the Liberal Democrats, and 13% said it of the Conservatives.
Joe Glasman, head of Political Investigations and Liaison at the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, said, "Jews are the canaries in the coal mine, and in large numbers are falling silent in Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party."
Corbyn ally under fire for questioning Holocaust Day
A senior activist in the UK Labour Party, who is close to recently reelected leader Jeremy Corbyn and was previously suspended for anti-Semitic remarks, sparked controversy again this week by saying that the national day to honor the victims of the Holocaust should not be solely about Jews.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Remembrance Day was open to all people who’ve experienced holocaust?” Jackie Walker on Monday told a training session on how to confront anti-Semitism and engage Jewish voters. Her recorded comments appeared Wednesday on the Huffington Post.
When attendees at the session — which was organized by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) at the annual party conference in Liverpool — told her that the day did in fact include non-Jewish victims, Walker said that “in practice it is not circulated and advertised as such.”
She told attendees that she had come “seeking information,” and that she still had not heard “a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with.”
She also questioned the need for security at Jewish institutions, implying that attacks against them were not caused by anti-Semitism.
“I was a bit concerned… at your suggestions that the Jewish community is under such threat that they have to use security in all its buildings,” she said, according to the Huffington Post.
Jackie Walker’s latest comments spark outrage
Next she complained that Holocaust Memorial Day was too exclusive – ‘look at the website’ someone in the audience suggested. This would have informed her that HMD is a time to remember all victims of the Nazis, for example the Roma, and victims of other genocides too.
She then sought to trivialise the way Jewish schools (and other Jewish organisations and events) rely on security, and seemed unconcerned when reminded that Jews were targets for terrorist attacks.
Finally she completely garbles ‘the Livingstone theory’ (sic) – ‘if it is an antisemitic issue, if you deny it, it’s antisemitic’. I assume she was referencing the Livingstone formulation which in fact refers to the accusation that the issue of antisemitism is being raised in bad faith to deflect criticism of Israel.
Here’s is Jackie Walker’s response. If she’s now essentially backtracking on every single point she made, why did she make them in the first place?
Walker also spoke at the meeting. She dismissed antisemitism charges as bids to undermine Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters and silence criticism of Israel.
New Jackie Walker Facebook Posts: Holocaust “Not the Preserve of Jews”
New Facebook posts have emerged of Momentum boss Jackie Walker arguing that the Holocaust “is not the preserve of Jews”. She also suggested that Jews were proportionately not the main victim of the Nazis:
And she suggested that Jews shouldn’t use the word Holocaust:
Can Labour and Momentum allow her to remain as a member?
Jackie Walker: “All Holocaust Denial is Acceptable”
Momentum boss Jackie Walker is facing suspension from Labour (again) for criticising Holocaust Memorial Day. So this typo in her tweet explaining her comments is unfortunate…
Labour Anti-Semitism Cover-Up
Labour will keep their response to the Jackie Walker anti-Semitism row private following new procedures adopted after the Chakrabarti inquiry. The party is under pressure to expel Walker over her comments on the Holocaust, yet Labour say they will not update the public on any action taken against her, a new policy recommended by Baroness Chakrabarti. A Labour spokesman says:
“We don’t comment on individuals’ membership status.”
Previously Labour would tell the press as soon as a member had been suspended.
Just hours after Jeremy Corbyn told conference “every one of us has a responsibility” to stand up to anti-Semitism, Labour are covering up their response to anti-Semitic remarks made by members. The new policy aims to make sure those accused of anti-Semitism are not treated unfairly, its priority is to protect those facing investigation. Unless Walker herself discloses what action, if any, is taken, the public will be kept in the dark. A complete cop out from Labour that ends all transparency on how they’re dealing with anti-Semitism. Corbyn’s words yesterday weren’t worth the autocue they were written on…
Jewish Groups and Corbynistas Condemn Jackie Walker
Labour’s standing in the Jewish community is at a new low after the party refused to comment on what action it would take against Jackie Walker. The chair of the Jewish Labour Movement Jeremy Newmark says:
“If Royall, Chakrabarti and Jeremy’s speech yesterday have made any difference to anything we would have expected to see clear, open action against Jackie Walker’s provocative behaviour. Her remarks seem to have been carefully calibrated to cause maximum hurt and pain to many many people.”
The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism says:
“It is beyond disgraceful that she was readmitted to the Labour Party and remains Vice Chair of Momentum. Shortly after her outburst, Jeremy Corbyn promised to fight antisemitism with his every breath but this is just the latest in a string of incidents involving Jackie Walker. What is there to investigate? How many more chances will she be given? Enough is enough. Jackie Walker must be expelled from the Labour Party and Momentum immediately and condemned in the strongest possible terms. Until Labour matches its rhetoric with action, we remain of the view that the Labour Party is not safe for Jews.”
The Jewish Chronicle’s Marcus Dysch says it’s a
“Complete cover up so we don’t know who’s in, who’s out, or what action is taken.”
Controversial President of UK’s Largest Student Union Fails to Apologize for ‘Zionist Outpost’ Comment Widely Condemned as Antisemitic
During a BBC radio interview on Tuesday, the controversial head of the UK’s largest student union failed to apologize for comments widely condemned as antisemitic, British media outlets reported.
National Union of Students (NUS) President Malia Bouattia was unrepentant when challenged about a 2011 article she co-wrote, characterizing the UK’s Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost” because of its large Jewish population.
Bouattia told her BBC Radio 4 interviewer, “I would certainly review my language and would definitely want to explain the political context which I was discussing. I absolutely was not saying the things that it has been interpreted as [being antisemitic], if you will.”
Malia Bouattia asked if she regrets saying that “Birmingham Uni. is a Zionist outpost.” Not sure what her answer was but it wasnt ‘sorry!’
IsraellyCool: Montreal Student Asked to Remove Kippah At “Arabic” Concordia University
Howie Silbiger had just entered the hall building on his way to class when a young man told him to remove his Yarmulke, explaining that he shouldn’t wear one in “an Arabic university.”
“At first, my instinct was to ignore him, but then I decided to engage,” said Silbiger. “I have never backed down from a confrontation nor have I ever taken my yarmulke off for anyone. I steadfastly refused to remove it.”
The young man then took a step closer and shouted at him to take it off. “I looked him dead in the eyes and said, ‘if you want it off my head, go ahead try to take it off,'” reported Silbiger. “He took a step forward, I got mentally ready for a physical confrontation, I planted myself and glared at him. A small crowd was forming around us.”
For a few minutes the two stared at each other until the man told Silbiger “I’m not going to waste my time with you” and walked off.
Silbiger plans on reporting the incident to Concordia security, but has a message for fellow Jewish students. “I call on all Concordia University Jewish Students to proudly wear your yarmulkes. I know a lot of you take them off out of fear, but fear only encourages hate. Don’t be afraid, be Jewish, be proud!”
UK Media Watch prompts Daily Mail correction – admits that Bibi was cheered
We contacted Daily Mail editors to complain, and forwarded them the video of the cheering crowd.
They responded promptly. Though they refused to change the grossly misleading headline, they did agree to add an additional bullet point to the strapline and new text to the story to note the ovation.
Here’s the new bullet point in the strap line:
More importantly, here’s the new opening to the article:
Further in the article, they added this, noting a Facebook post by the prime minister in which he mentions the positive reception he received at the NYC show.
Though we’re of course pleased that editors made these changes, the story is still extremely misleading as the (still unrevised) headline represents pretty much the opposite of the truth.
Facebook Tells U.S. Judge it Takes Terroristic Threats Seriously
Lawyers for Facebook Inc (FB.O) on Tuesday sought to assure a U.S. judge overseeing lawsuits by victims of militant attacks in the Middle East that it took a “zero tolerance” approach to any communications that may promote terrorist threats or activity.
The comments came after U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn on Thursday accused Facebook’s law firm of insulting the court by sending just a junior attorney to address him in lawsuits implicating violent attacks on Israelis.
The judge on Tuesday apologized to the extent his comments may have sounded like criticism of the first-year associate, but said he was concerned about whether Facebook’s lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis LLP were taking the matter seriously.
“We heard you loud and clear, and we apologize,” Craig Primis, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, told Garaufis.
As a sign of the level of attention the judge’s critique drew at Facebook, the company flew Paul Grewal, a deputy general counsel, from California to New York to appear before him for what was otherwise a procedural hearing.
Polish prosecutors absolve priest who called Jews ‘cancer’
The Prosecutor’s Office in Bialystok has ended an investigation of a Polish priest who spoke of Jews being a “cancer” during a sermon, determining that no hate crime had been committed.
In a sermon on April 16 in Bialystok, Father Jacek Miedlar spoke of the “cancer which swept Poland,” apparently meaning Jews. He stressed that political correctness and tolerance enslave Poles.
According to the prosecutor, Miedlar “referred to the historical content and the Bible, pointing to examples of negative behavior of the representatives of the Jewish community from the time of slavery in Egypt, and generally referring to modern times.” The speech did not stigmatize a particular nationality, the prosecutor said Tuesday.
On the same day Miedlar, a known nationalist, wrote in response to the decision on Twitter: “Bialystok investigation discontinued! Zero tolerance for ‘Jewish cowardice’. Salut!”
In Ukraine, Rivlin warns against ‘sin’ of forgetting Nazi atrocities
As Ukraine marks 75 years since the Nazi slaughter of tens of thousands of Jews in Kiev’s Babi Yar ravine, President Reuven Rivlin warned against succumbing to the “sin” of forgetting or denying the atrocities of the Holocaust.
“We must not play a part in the sin of forgetting or denial,” Rivlin told Ukrainian lawmakers at a special parliament session dedicated to commemorating one of the most notorious massacres of WWII.
“National leaders who support anti-Semitic, racist, or neo-Nazi ideas will not be welcomed as friends among the family of nations,” he said.
Rivlin was in Ukraine to participate in memorial events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the murder of more than 33,000 Jews — mostly elderly, women and children — on September 29-30, 1941, as Hitler’s forces advanced toward Moscow on the eastern front.
In his address, Rivlin also urged nations to look towards the future.
Chinese Investors Expected to Invest Billions in Israeli Start-Ups
Chinese investors are expected to fund some 500 Israeli start-up companies with up to $50 billion, as the two countries continue to strengthen ties in many areas including trade and travel.
The deals were discussed at the second annual Innovation China-Israel Investment Summit on Wednesday in Tel Aviv attended by over 1,000 Chinese investors.
“Over the past few years we have seen a series of investments coming to Israel from China, but only now are we beginning to understand the great potential of this cooperation for both countries,” said Amit Lang, director general of Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, speaking at the conference.
“The importance we see in China as a strategic partner has made China the country with the highest number of Israeli trade missions in the world — in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and, starting next week, Chengdu,” Lang said.
He also noted that Israel and China are in negotiations to establish a free-trade zone in an effort to remove any obstacles to trade as well as encourage investment opportunities between the two countries.
This Incredible Team Can Build a Hospital Anywhere In Just 12 Hours
Immediately following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the IDF sent a team of 122 medical workers, 45 physicians, and 95 tons of equipment to set up a field hospital to provide high quality medical relief. The 60-bed field hospital treated nearly 1,600 patients, performed 85 surgeries, and delivered 8 babies over the duration of the aid mission.
The IDF has set up similar humanitarian missions to both Haiti and the Philippines.
Managing the Chaos After The Worst Mass Casualty Disasters
During these humanitarian crises, independent medical teams from around the world came to provide what care they could. The result was chaotic. Inexperienced and unequipped delegations were treating thousands of patients.
To better coordinate care and to ensure that field hospitals are properly equipped and trained the World Health Organization has started a process that permits only certain field hospitals to provide medical treatment during humanitarian crises.
Field Hospital

Jerusalem Band 'Portnoy Brothers' Dedicates Dire Straits Cover To Peres
Jerusalem band The Portnoy Brothers dedicated a chilling rendition of Dire Straits’ hit “Brothers In Arms” to the memory of late Israeli statesman, Shimon Peres.
Released on the eve of Peres’ passing, the band’s soloist Sruli Portnoy said he was in shock at the serendipity of the timing, especially in light of the poignancy of the lyrics.
“The song is a perfect homage to Shimon,” Portnoy said.
“Lyrics like ‘Let me bid you farewell/ Every man has to die’ and ‘We are fools to make war on our brothers in arms’ capture the sadness of this day,” he added.
Portnoy said that in addition to being in awe of Peres’ indefatigable quest for peace, he also admired the Nobel Peace Prize winner as a poet.

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.
This is the time of year that religious Jews wake up early to say Selichot, prayers to prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Many of these prayers are in the form of intricate poetry that draws heavily on astounding knowledge of the entire Hebrew Bible, called piyutim. Every day different piyutim are recited. Unfortunately, they are often said so quickly that the multiple layers of meanings behind them get left behind.

On Wednesday, I was struck by the end of a piyut where the author - who is unknown but certainly lived before the 13th century - almost demanded that God take the Jews out of the Diaspora, using an audacious argument.

The piyut, #13 in the Ashkenaz nusach, is called Khoker HaKol. ends by noting that according to Jewish law, a slave must be freed by the end of a six year period. If the slave decides that he loves his master, he can stay on until the end of a 49-year period (Yovel, or Jubilee.)

The poet says that the Jewish people have gone through many of these six year periods, and they do not love their foreign masters, so we should have been freed long ago, to live back in our land.

However, the author adds, non-Jewish slaveowners do not submit to Jewish law and are not compelled to free Jewish slaves. Yet, he goes on, there is an obligation for Jews, especially family to pay to redeem these slaves and set them free, even if they must pay an exorbitant fee.

Therefore, it is up to God Himself to redeem the prisoners, since the Jews have no other kinsmen to redeem them! (God is variously described as the father or the bridegroom of the Jewish people in the Hebrew scripture and other sources.)

The poet is essentially telling God that according to His own laws, He has no choice but to free His children and return them to their home in Israel!

This is a small example of a fairly obscure Jewish prayer, yet it explains a lot about the Jewish people.

It shows that the yearning to end the state of diaspora has been keen and painful for a very long time.

And it shows that the Jewish people have, even in the worst of times, felt intimate enough with God to approach Him so audaciously.

Yet most stories of such audacious actions that I am aware of have had a common thread - the audacity was tied to saving the Jewish people.

The famous Israeli rudeness is because everyone feels like family and you can say things to family you can't say to strangers. The relationship with God Himself is similar throughout Jewish history, where He can be approached with the intimacy of a family member - especially when the purpose is to help save the entire family.

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.
 Vic Rosenthal's Weekly Column

This week I would like to wish all of my readers the very best possible year, in the personal, spiritual and economic realms. I would like to thank the Elder of Ziyon for the opportunity to appear on his pages, and wish him continued success. And I beg the pardon of those I have offended.

There are also some other people, most of whom are not my readers, for whom I also have wishes. In no particular order, here they are:

For Barack H. Obama, may Hashem (or Allah as the case may be) grant you the humility to understand the mistakes that you have made; and may he keep you from making any more during the coming lame duck period. May you leave Israel alone and work on becoming the next UN Secretary-General.

For Amos Schocken, Gideon Levy, Rogel Alpher, and Amira Hass, may you learn that despite your distaste for the Jewish people and especially the Israeli public, you are and will remain Jews and Israelis, even if you move to Berlin, and there is still time to do tshuvah for your treason. May your ‘newspaper’ line a thousand cat boxes and wrap ten thousand fishes.

For Ari Shavit, may you be healed of the irrational feelings of Jewish guilt that plague you. We belong here, we did what was necessary to keep from being murdered or expelled, and in the words of Naftali Bennett, we don’t need to apologize.

For Liberal American Jews, may you learn that Israel is not the US, Palestinians are not African-Americans, and you really don’t have a clue about how things work here. 

For Union for Reform Judaism President Rick Jacobs, may it dawn on you that Israelis are not bothered by threats that your membership will stop supporting Israel, because they know that by and large it already doesn’t.

For the New Israel Fund, may you merge with Peace Now.

For Peace Now, may you merge with J Street.

For J Street, may you merge with Jewish Voice for Peace.

For Jewish Voice for Peace, may you merge with Students for Justice in Palestine.

For Students for Justice in Palestine, may you become recognized as the US campus wing of Hamas.

For Peter Beinart, may you realize in time that you will not be comforted in later life by the realization that you have built a career out of helping the enemies of your people.

For those who have uttered the phrase “only a two-state solution can bring peace,” may you be required to study the Palestinian Media Watch website for an hour a day for the next year. 

For Bashar al-Assad, may you be swallowed by the earth and may it close over you without leaving a trace.

For Vladimir Putin, may you start worrying about those Iranian missiles that can reach Moscow.

For Minister Uri Ariel, may you continue to fight for Jews settling the Land of Israel, while leaving the stray cats alone.

For Ehud Barak, may you continue to enjoy your complete retirement from politics.

For Ehud Olmert, may you enjoy your additional 8 months in prison. Use it to think about what it means for a mayor of Jerusalem to sell out his city for envelopes of cash. 

For Minister Miri Regev, may you become even more annoying to the self-styled cultural elite in Israel.

For University professors and administrators, may you remember the difference between politics and academics, and grow the necessary balls to keep them separate. And understand that as the permanent adults on campus, you have a responsibility to maintain the ideals of the academy.

For Israel’s extreme Left, may you get an opportunity to demonstrate your proletarian principles by losing your jobs as professors, columnists and directors of cultural institutions, and being forced to move from North Tel Aviv to the periphery and work as taxi drivers, farmers and security guards.

For Yossi Beilin, in the absence of Shimon Peres, may you make an official announcement that Oslo was an absolutely terrible idea, that you should have known Arafat couldn’t be trusted, and that you are really, really sorry for being such an idiot.

For Neturei Karta and other anti-Zionist Haredim, may you practice what you preach and leave the Jewish state that you oppose.

For Jeremy Corbyn, may you merge with Ken Livingstone.

For European Jews, may you stay safe, and may you think seriously about aliyah. Although most of you will not obtain the standard of living here that you are used to in Europe, your children will thank you in the long run.

For the Kurdish people, may you obtain the independence you have fought for so long and so richly deserve.

For the American people, may you somehow – and it’s not obvious how – get the kind of leadership you need to restore your country to great power status, and reverse the accelerating economic and social decline that it is experiencing.

For the Arab citizens of Israel, may you experience growing prosperity as a result of your partnership with the Jewish people. May you get Members of the Knesset to represent you that don’t want to wreck it.

For the Palestinian Arabs, may you understand that the Jews aren’t leaving or committing suicide. May you banish the ghost of Yasser Arafat, his henchmen and his vicious system of inciting racist hatred. May you learn that only death will come from confrontation and rejectionism, and that dignity and self-rule are possible by taking a different path.

For Mahmoud Abbas, may you be prosecuted as the vicious war criminal and murderer that you are.

For Hamas, may your tunnels collapse and your rockets blow up in your faces. 

For the whole gang down at the UN, may Barack H. Obama be your next Secretary-General and run the organization into the ground.

For Benjamin Netanyahu, may your own people finally understand that despite everything that irritates them about you, you are a better leader than they deserve, and they should be grateful for the superhuman job you do.

And for all the rest, they should only have a sweet, charitable and peaceful year.

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:

President Reuven Rivlin: You were our heart
I am writing to you for the last time, Shimon, "one president to another," as you would say every time you called to lend me support and advice, after I followed you into this office. As a young boy, you proposed adopting the surname "Ben Amotz," the name of the prophet Isaiah, a man of vision.
You, however, were not only a visionary, but a man of action as well.
You had the rare ability to formulate an idea that seemed unbelievable and turn it into reality. Your gaze was affixed far afield, your hands worked ceaselessly, and your feet traveled boundlessly on the path of Zionist and Jewish history. Your steps, Shimon, were always pointed upward and onward.
Like a mountain climber who first plants a stake in the ground and then assaults the summit, you lived your life, Shimon. First you dreamed, picturing the summit in your mind and your soul; and like a professional climber, once you were able to envision the State of Israel on the next summit -- you would begin the arduous climb, dragging us all with you, toward the objective.
You were able to move the most intractable of statesmen and thaw the hearts of our toughest adversaries. You strove toward the pinnacle of the Zionist dream -- an independent country living in peace with its neighbors -- and you received the most distinguished recognition, the Nobel Peace Prize.

Shimon Peres: A Life for Israel
The death of Shimon Peres yesterday at the age of 93 is a moment to take stock not only of one of the most remarkable Jewish figures of the last hundred years but of the history of the state of Israel, which he served for his entire adult life. As a longtime aide to Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, who then went on to serve in just about every significant position of authority in the state, Peres’s story is very much that of his nation. And it is in that context, rather than solely through the prism of some of the policy choices he advocated, that his enormous contributions to Israel must be judged.
As one of Ben Gurion’s “boys,” it was Peres more than any other person, in his capacity as the director general of the Defense Ministry, who helped build Israel’s security infrastructure and its defense industry. His diplomacy was key to the alliance Israel struck with France in this period. That not only led to the Suez Campaign of 1956 (a great success for Israel even if it was a disaster for Britain and France), Israel’s acquisition of its first generation of sophisticated weaponry, and the birth of its nuclear program. He went on to follow his boss out of government and into opposition but he resurfaced as a leader of the Labor Party and served in a variety of posts, including minister of defense and two stints as prime minister despite never winning a national election in his own right.
But it is not for his role as the organizer of Israel’s defense in an era when its security hung by a thread that he is best remembered. Rather, his political legacy rests more on his actions as foreign minister, when he served in the government of his longtime bitter rival Yitzhak Rabin in the early 1990s. Peres was the driving force behind the decision to reach out to the Palestine Liberation Organization and to try and end the conflict with the Arabs that had begun long before Israel’s founding. Though he shared a Nobel Peace Prize with Rabin and the PLO’s Yasir Arafat, he was the one who not only pushed hardest for the agreement that would be known as the Oslo Peace Accords but was also the one who actually believed in what they were doing.
Peres liked to describe himself as more of a philosopher than a politician. This label explained his devotion to the idea that a land-for-peace deal could end decades of warfare in the face of facts that persuaded more sober figures it was bound to fail. His goal was not so much a security agreement as the creation what he hopefully described as a “New Middle East”—the title of the book he wrote about his objectives published in the midst of the post-Oslo euphoria in 1994—in which the dangerous neighborhood in which the Jewish state dwelled would be transformed into a Benelux on the Mediterranean.

JPost Editorial: Peres’s legacy
Shimon Peres’s life is the story of a nation. In every major event that occurred throughout the State of Israel’s 68 years, Peres was there, playing a leading role.
At the establishment of the state in 1948, he served as an aide to David Ben-Gurion. In 1956, he crafted the Kadesh operation during the Suez Crisis and got Israel a nuclear reactor from France in return. He later was the brains behind the 1976 Entebbe rescue operation and the mastermind of the 1990s Oslo Accords. The list goes on and on.
Despite his achievements and contribution to Israel and particularly to its military strength, Peres was at times a divisive and controversial figure. His political career had its ups and downs and he was not always liked. All of that changed though when he became president. The people suddenly adored and respected him. Foreign leaders, Hollywood stars and opinion-makers flocked to meet him, to bask in his presence and receive even just a few words of wise counsel.
The list of dignitaries expected to come to his funeral on Friday is a demonstration of this admiration.
US President Barack Obama, Britain’s Prince Charles, German President Joachim Gauck, French President François Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are just a handful of the leaders scheduled to attend.
While summing up Peres’s life is difficult, two features stand out and are worth highlighting today, before he is interred on Mount Herzl.
Shimon Peres was Israel’s quintessential Zionist
Shimon Peres will be memorialized everywhere as being one of the world’s elder statesman. Yet the term elder conveys a sense of distance, perhaps suggesting someone who dwells on the past.
Nothing could be further from the truth about Peres. He was defined by his endless vitality. He might be the oldest person in the room, but his very alert mind and boundless energy ensured he was endlessly vibrant. Peres embodied the maxim Abraham Lincoln coined at his second inaugural when he told his fellow citizens it was time to “think anew and act anew.” Moreover, Peres was famously focused on the future. His critics will claim he was even futuristic. Peres, however, was relentlessly intent on securing Zionism in the present to ensure a better future for his people and for the region.
I remember how, as president of Israel, he basked in the love of the Israeli people, as he finally emerged as a father figure, no longer immersed in the politics of the moment that were so contentious and intense. When I visited him at Beit HaNasi a few years ago when he was president, he said to me, “I found the love of my people.” When I asked him why he thought it eluded him till now, he insisted this was because for his entire life he was too busy with matters of state. “I travelled to Washington a lot, always trying to help Israel’s situation,” he told me. In this way he was a true disciple of Ben-Gurion, who always wanted Israel aligned with the world’s leading power. Ben-Gurion studied law in Turkey during the Ottoman period. When British power ebbed during World War II, he detected early on an ascendant US. Peres was proud of his ability to detect trends early.
Scores of Israelis arrive at Knesset to pay tribute to Peres
The flag-draped coffin of former President Shimon Peres was laid in state in the Knesset Plaza on Thursday to allow the public to bid farewell to the last of Israel's founding fathers and its most veteran statesman.
The ninth president died on Wednesday, aged 93, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.
Israeli flags were lowered to half-mast Wednesday at all government and state buildings, military and police bases, and Israeli embassies worldwide. The directive will remain in effect until sunset Friday.
Peres' coffin arrived at the Knesset Plaza shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday. At 8:45 a.m., President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog laid wreaths at its base.
MKs from all political factions, as well as members of Peres' staff, passed by the coffin to pay their respects.
The Knesset allocated 12 hours, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., for the public to pay their respects. Scores of Israelis huddled outside the Knesset Plaza from early Thursday to await their turn. The Knesset Guard said hundreds of thousands of people were expected to pass by the coffin.
With 80 foreign leaders en route, Israel gears up for Peres funeral
Police on Wednesday issued hasty traffic notifications across Jerusalem as security services prepared for the arrival of dozens of foreign heads of state, ministers and public figures making their way to Israel to attend the funeral ceremony in the capital on Friday of former president Shimon Peres, who died early Wednesday morning at the age of 93.
Thousands of Israelis were also expected to pay their tributes to the last of the country’s founding fathers as his body will lie in state at the Knesset starting at 9:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Members of the public will be able to file past the casket to pay their last respects to the former president and prime minister for the next 12 hours.
Peres’s body will be moved to the Mount Herzl cemetery Friday at 8:30 a.m. and the official state ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. After the eulogies, a procession will head out at 11:00 a.m. to the cemetery’s Great Leaders of the Nation section where a burial ceremony will then begin at 12:00 p.m. Peres will be interred between the late prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin.
Beginning at 7:00 a.m on Friday, all roads leading to Mount Herzl will be closed to traffic including Agron, Ramban, Hecht, and Herzl Boulevard.
Late president's last wish fulfilled as family donates his corneas
Former President Shimon Peres, who died Wednesday at the age of 93, requested to donate his corneas, his family said.
Israel's ninth president was a lifelong advocate for organ donation.
Corneas from donors over the age of 80 are used in bridge procedures, meaning they are used in emergency transplantations to stabilize patients in dire need, providing more time to find a better match. These corneas are also useful in glaucoma surgeries.
"We all believed that he had more up his sleeve, that Israel and the world could still enjoy his contributions," said Peres' son-in-law and personal physician, Professor Rafi Walden.
"Shimon's biggest contributions after death are his corneas, which will be donated for transplantation. His life was cut short as he carried out his great passion of strengthening Israel by advancing peace. His legacy will live on with us, always."
Walden thanked the medical team at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where Peres was hospitalized for the last two weeks of his life, following his stroke on Sept. 13.
Obama orders US flags be flown at half-staff in honor of Peres
US President Barack Obama ordered Wednesday that US flags at the White House and at all federal buildings across the country and abroad be flown at half-staff in honor of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who passed away early Wednesday morning at the age of 93.
The order also applies to US embassies, military posts, naval stations and naval vessels across the world.
In a White House proclamation sent out overnight Wednesday-Thursday entitled “Death of Shimon Peres”, Obama said he has instructed “that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on September 30, 2016.”
The rare honor was previously extended to Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, in 2013; Pope John Paul II, in 2005; King Hussein of Jordan, in 1999, Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, 1995, and Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt, in 1981.
The president confirmed late Wednesday that he would lead a US delegation to Israel to attend Peres’s funeral this coming Friday, after some initial ambiguity from the White House.
While eulogizing Peres, key leaders eschew chance to push two states
In their tributes to Israel’s late president Shimon Peres on Wednesday, innumerable world leaders praised his tireless fight for peace. Some also used the occasion to call on the country’s current leadership to advance a two-state solution, but several others, including perennial critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tellingly eschewed the opportunity to connect condolences with appeals for the future.
Just as most Israeli hawks in their eulogies avoided mentioning some of the fundamental policy disagreements they had with the dovish Peres, a number of key international dignitaries — including people who usually jump at every chance to exhort the Israeli government to take bold steps toward peace — decided not to link Peres’s death with such calls.
This is noteworthy especially in light of the many condolence messages issued by world leaders after the death of former prime minister Ariel Sharon in early 2014. Like Peres, Sharon was considered a hawk in his earlier years (though the latter was a member of the center-right Likud party while Peres was practically a lifelong Laborite) who later prioritized the need to make peace and took concrete steps to achieve that goal.
Many messages of condolences issued by world leaders after Sharon’s death read like not-so-subtle pleas to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and undergo a similar transformation from a hawk to a dove.
Bill Clinton pays last respects to Shimon Peres in Jerusalem
Former US President Bill Clinton paid his respects to former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres immediately after landing in Israel on Thursday, viewing the late statesman’s coffin where it lay in state at the Knesset.
Clinton drove directly from Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv to the Knesset in Jerusalem, where Peres’s casket has been placed. He was welcomed to the Knesset with a “warm embrace” from President Reuven Rivlin, according to the Knesset spokesman. Rivlin, together with Speaker Yuli Edelstein, then accompanied Clinton to the Knesset plaza to pay his last respects to Israel`s ninth president.
Clinton is one of dozens of world leaders and dignitaries expected to land in Israel Thursday ahead of the funeral at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery on Friday.
Peres died early Wednesday at the age of 93, some two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.
Donald Trump says Peres personified ‘dignity and grace’
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump extended his condolences to the family of former president Shimon Peres, who died early Wednesday two weeks after suffering a severe stroke.
Trump lauded the “dignity and grace” of Israel’s last founding father.
“Melania and I extend our deepest condolences to the family of Shimon Peres on the passing of their beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather,” he said in a statement.
“On the world stage, Shimon Peres was a visible and highly effective patriarch to another, much larger family — the people of Israel, whom he led as prime minister and president,” he added.
“Shimon Peres’s life always pointed toward peace. Bearing witness to more than his share of war and its human toll, Shimon Peres devoted his leadership skills to cultivating peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors. He was a consummate statesman, a distinguished patriot and a friend of peace-loving people everywhere. With his hand outstretched in peace and friendship, Shimon Peres personified dignity and grace in a region of the world where both run far too short. May he rest in peace.”
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, said “the world will miss” Shimon Peres, who “showed equal courage in war and peace.”
Honor Peres’s legacy by striving for peace, says Pope Francis
Pope Francis on Wednesday said he was “deeply saddened” by the death of Shimon Peres, expressing hope that the Israeli statesman’s legacy would live on through international peace efforts.
The 93-year-old former president, prime minister and defense minister died in the early hours of Wednesday morning, some two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.
“As the State of Israel mourns Mr Peres, I hope that his memory and many years of service will inspire us all to work with ever greater urgency for peace and reconciliation between peoples,” Francis wrote in a telegram to President Reuven Rivlin.
“In this way, his legacy will truly be honored and the common good for which he so diligently labored will find new expressions, as humanity strives to advance on the path towards enduring peace.”
The pontiff is due to visit Georgia on Friday and will not be joining global leaders heading to Jerusalem for Peres’s funeral, with US President Barack Obama, former president Bill Clinton, French President Francois Hollande and Britain’s Prince Charles among those attending.
He offered prayers for “all who grieve, especially for the Peres family.”
Peres visited the Vatican several times and enjoyed good relations with Francis.
In 2014 the former Israeli president and Nobel peace laureate met with the pope to discuss the idea of a UN-style “Organization of United Religions” to combat violence committed in the name of God.
A statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth of England said the monarch was “greatly saddened to learn of the death of Shimon Peres today. Her Majesty warmly recalls her meeting with Mr Peres in 2008, and sends her heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Israel at this sad time.”
“Her Majesty will be represented at the funeral of Shimon Peres by HRH The Prince of Wales,” the statement added.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, remembering Shimon Peres as a “tireless supporter” of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, hailed him as a “symbol of peace.”
In Belarus, locals pay respects at Peres’s childhood home
Residents of the Belarus birthplace of Shimon Peres gathered outside his childhood home to pay their respects to the most eminent international figure to emerge from their village.
Villagers in Vishnyeva learned about the Israeli statesman’s death Wednesday from Limmud FSU, a Jewish education organization that has remained in regular contact with the remote community since holding 90th birthday celebrations there for Peres three years ago.
“Shimon Peres brought pride to our village through his life and accomplishments, and we felt obliged to pay our respects following his death,” said Oleg Demidchik, 63. “We are humbled that he is from our town and we will never forget this.”
The events for Peres’s 90th birthday celebration, held as part of the Limmud FSU Belarus conference, included a permanent photo exhibition showcasing his childhood. A plaque was also dedicated to Peres at a house on the site of his one-time family residence.
Iraqi Kurds Hold Memorial for Fmr. Israeli President Peres, Who Recognized Kurdish Democracy
Iraqi Kurds held a memorial service for former Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday, hours after the veteran statesman passed away at the age of 93, according to various Kurdish news sources.
Kurds in the Duhok region, which is north of Mosul in Iraq, reportedly held a half hour service in honor of Peres, who in June 2014 advised President Barack Obama to recognize the reality of Kurdish separation from the rest of Iraq.
“The Kurds have, de facto, created their own state, which is democratic. One of the signs of a democracy is the granting of equality to women,” Peres said while briefing reporters on the meeting.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed Peres’ sentiment shortly afterwards, saying that Jerusalem must “support the Kurds’ aspiration for independence.”
Bayar Zawitayi, a Kurdish activist who spoke to the media, said that the memorial service was meant to express condolences to Peres’ family and gratitude for his friendship.
In addition to recent expressions of support from Israeli officials, the Jewish state played a role in helping establish the modern Kurdish army in the 1960s. Sherzad Omer Mamsani, the Kurdish Regional Government’s first director of Jewish affairs, told The Tower in May that Kurds “have really a soft heart towards Israel.”
Arab party head: Peres brought disaster to my people, despite merits of the 90s
Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh defended his party’s decision not to release a statement eulogizing former president and prime minister Shimon Peres, saying Thursday that it kept quiet out of respect for the dead, despite having a “complex message” about him.
After Peres’ death, not one MK from the Joint List released a statement about Peres, even upon request, while multiple law makers from every other party in the Knesset did eulogize the former president on Wednesday.
The next day, no Joint List MKs paid respect to Peres as he lied in state at the Knesset.
Odeh tweeted to explain the silence: “The memory of Peres in the Arab public is different from the narrative discussed in recent years, and I realize such complex messages are difficult to hear a moment after someone died.
Bahrain FM eulogizes Peres as ‘man of war’ and ‘elusive peace’
The foreign minister of Bahrain, a country with no diplomatic ties to Israel, eulogized former president and prime minister Shimon Peres on Thursday, calling the late Israeli leader “a man of war and a man of the still elusive peace.”
While most Arab countries have declined to comment on Peres’s death, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa joined leaders from around the world on Thursday in expressing praise of the former statesman, who died early Wednesday morning.
“Rest in peace President Shimon Peres, a man of war and a man of the still elusive peace in the Middle East,” Al Khalifa wrote on Twitter.
The tweet is the first official response to Peres’s death from any of the Gulf states.
The short eulogy came hours after the Bahraini Foreign Ministry tweeted what appeared to be a section of Al Khalifa’s speech to the United National General Assembly last week, in which he spoke acceptingly about Israel.
Anti-Israel Activists Join Hamas and Hezbollah in Celebrating Death of Former Israeli President Shimon Peres
While the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres drew countless heartfelt condolence messages from around the world on Wednesday, the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups — as well as a number of prominent anti-Israel personalities — celebrated the renowned statesman’s passing at the age of 93.
Palestinians “are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed,” the Associated Press quoted Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri as saying. “Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.”
The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar television station in Lebanon called Peres “the real face of the bloody and colonial policies adopted by the Zionist regime.”
Anti-Israel activist Max Blumenthal — the son of longtime Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal — tweeted, “To call Shimon Peres a man of peace besmirches the very concept of peace.”
Ali Abuminah, the co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website, tweeted, “Peres perfectly represents ‘Israel’: all ‘peace’ marketing on the surface, but his real story is unabated racism, ethnic cleansing and war.”
Electronic Intifada associate editor Rania Khalek tweeted, “Shimon Peres was a ‘man of peace’ like Saudi King Abdullah was a ‘reformer.’ Our media always fawns when western-backed criminals die.”
Hamas calls for ‘Day of Rage’ during Peres funeral
The Hamas terror group urged Palestinians to hold a “Day of Rage” on Friday, coinciding with the state funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, which will be held in Jerusalem on that day.
The call is meant to mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of a wave of terror attacks, including stabbings and car-rammings throughout the West Bank and in Jerusalem, that launched in September 2015.
Hamas’s call follows a Wednesday statement by the group’s spokesman in Gaza that expressed happiness at Peres’s death.
A spokesman for the group, Sami Abu Zuhri, told AP on Wednesday that “the Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed.”
He added, “Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.”
Mahmoud Abbas to attend Peres funeral, ‘send message of peace’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to attend Shimon Peres’s funeral in Jerusalem tomorrow, at the head of a PA delegation, Palestinian and Israeli officials said Thursday.
Abbas’s office contacted the head of COGAT, Israel’s civilian authority in the Palestinian territories, Yoav Mordechai, to coordinate the president’s attendance, a COGAT statement said.
The bureau of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the okay for the visit, several Hebrew media outlets reported a short time later, citing a senior diplomatic official.
A senior Palestinian official confirmed that Abbas was seeking to attend the funeral.
The official said Abbas wanted to “send a strong message to Israeli society that the Palestinians are for peace, and appreciate the efforts of peaceful men like Shimon Peres.”
Abbas will be joined by a delegation comprising senior negotiator Saeb Erekat, Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh, security chief Majid Faraj and Muhammad Al-Madani, who heads up relations with Israelis. Former Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei may also attend.
Palestinians Slam Abbas for Extending Condolences to Peres’ Family
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has come under fire for extending his condolences to the family of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday.
Abbas’ critics slammed him for calling Peres a man of peace, saying the founder of Israel’s nuclear program and the man who supposedly presided over numerous massacres of Palestinians does not deserve it. They launched the hashtag #condolences_to_the_butcher.
In Wednesday afternoon, Palestinian news reported that Abbas sent a letter to Peres’ relatives praising him as the man responsible for kick-starting the “peace of the brave” together with former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.
He also said that Peres labored intensively, from the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993 to his dying day, to establish a durable peace.
The letter won Abbas a torrent of criticism from fellow Palestinians.
“Abbas’ statements are a constant provocation,” Dr Usama Alshaqar wrote. “But this is beyond provocation, it’s political disgust! When was Peres, the engineer of the Israeli nuclear bomb, a man of peace?”
PMW: Fatah presents Shimon Peres as destined for Hell

Peres also demonized on official PA TV:
"The greatest fraud in the history of the Zionist movement"
"The crimes he committed in Lebanon could have led him to the International Criminal Court, but the entire world forgave Shimon Peres"
"The spiritual father of all the wars against Arab states"
"Responsible for the Kafr Qana massacre in Lebanon, when he bombed a school in which women and children hid"
"When he began to speak about peace, I believe he was deceiving the world"
"When Shimon Peres focused [in speech] on the issue of peace, this meant that war was coming"
"He would drink whiskey, he and Rabin loved whiskey"
"Even the Arab states believed that Peres was a man of peace, even though he was the greatest man of war in Israel, more than [former Israeli Prime Minister] Menachem Begin and even more than [former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon"
Former Israeli President Shimon Peres demonized on official PA TV

Indy’s Robert Fisk smears Shimon Peres as a man of ‘blood and slaughter’.
Shimon Peres died yesterday at the age of 93. Within hours of his death, British media obituaries for the internationally popular Israeli statesman flooded the internet. Most have been positive, though some have included reasonable criticisms.
Whilst the usual propagandists from the ‘hate Israel’ brigade launched all too predictable attacks on Peres during the day, the Independent was the first ‘mainstream’ British news outlet to go all out smear.
Well, to be fair, it wasn’t just any Indy journalist.
It was Robert Fisk.
Fisk reduced the Israeli leader’s long and distinguished career to one incident carried out by the IDF during an operation against Hezbollah in 1996.
The headline of the Sept. 28th piece says it all.
Don’t remember Peres, Fisk is saying, as the tenacious advocate for peace who held every major government position during his political career, nor as Nobel Peace Prize Winner for his efforts to reach an agreement with the Palestinians.
Rather, he suggests, thoughts of Peres should evoke memories of tortured humanity inflicted by Israel’s cruel machines of war – a legacy of “blood, fire and slaughter”.
Coverage of Shimon Peres’ death promotes the BBC’s political narrative
Obviously Shimon Peres was of the opinion that “territorial compromise” by both Israelis and Palestinians in the form of land swaps of the kind proposed in the Clinton parameters and the Olmert plan is necessary but he clearly did not regard Jewish communities in Judea & Samaria as an “obstacle to peace” as claimed by the BBC in these reports.
As has been noted here on numerous occasions, the BBC’s portrayal of the topic of ‘settlements’ regularly fails to inform audiences of the fact that under any realistic scenario, some of the Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria would remain under Israeli control – preferring instead to amplify an adopted political narrative. It is of course highly regrettable that in its coverage of the death of a statesman strongly associated with efforts to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the BBC has distorted his views in order to promote that same narrative.
BBC radio marks Peres’ death with Palestinian propaganda – part one
At the beginning of this item, Coomarasamy told listeners “we’re going to start though by looking back at the life of Shimon Peres…”. Clearly Barghouti’s long – and entirely predictable – rant did nothing to contribute to that aim. Neither did it enhance audience understanding of the Oslo Accords or why they failed to bring an end to the conflict because Coomarasamy’s weak interjections did not include clarification of the fact that the Palestinians signed the agreements as full and willing partners or that the continuation of the process intended to lead to the formation of a Palestinian state was crippled by Palestinian terror.
The editors of this World Service programme undoubtedly knew exactly what they were going to get from Barghouti in this item and as we will see in part two of this post, they were not alone in reaching the bizarre editorial decision to provide an untimely platform for his tirade of falsehoods and propaganda.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Peres Now Advising Heaven On Economic Reform, Nuclear Development (satire)
Newly-arrived resident of Paradise Shimon Peres got to work immediately today, after it was announced that the longtime public servant would serve as a consultant to the archangels on various strategic issues such as infrastructure, nuclear weapons development, economic reconstruction, and peaceful relations with the Other Side.
Peres, 93, was welcomed into the heavenly realm early Wednesday morning, following an invitation two weeks ago. Brief negotiations resulted in the former president, prime minister, foreign minister, Ministry of Defense director-general, legislator, and functionary of the State through eight decades accepting a position to bring his experience and wisdom to bear on the issues facing Heaven.
A spokesman for the divine administration announced after Peres’s arrival that challenges lie ahead, but that he and the other members of the Heavenly Court have confidence that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate will handle them with grace, optimism, and determination.
“What Shimon Peres has shown us is that so many things once thought impossible are in fact quite possible,” declared Gabriel. “We need some of that kind of thinking in these parts, where, far from being a place of serenity, the dynamic of growing ever-closer to God poses challenges. We have invited Mr. Peres to help us meet those challenges, and look forward to working with him.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Arab MKs To Attend Peres Funeral If Allowed To Distribute Candy (satire)
Leaders of Israel’s Arab political parties softened their stance today on the death and funeral of former president Shimon Peres, saying that they will in fact attend the burial and eulogy ceremony at Mt. Herzl on Friday if they are permitted to give out sweets to others present in honor of the occasion.
Hadash Party chief and Joint List alliance head MK Ayman Odeh told Israel radio this morning that in contrast to an earlier statement that he and his constituents saw nothing to honor, he and his colleagues would moderate their decision on condition that they be allowed to mark the death of a Jew in their traditional fashion, which involves the distribution of candy. Odeh had previously asserted the Joint List would not honor Peres, who represented what the MK called the catastrophe for his people that began in 1948.
Other Arab legislators voiced similar flexibility in their position, saying that they could meet the State halfway on bestowing final respects on Peres, a man who made valiant attempts to reconcile the two peoples. “In the spirit of Mr. Peres’s willingness to compromise for the sake of conciliation, I am perfectly willing to attend his funeral, but on one condition,” stated Ahmad Tibi of the Raam-Taal Party. “In exchange for this display of honor that we provide by our attendance, we will not be disrupted, impeded, or discouraged from marking the occasion by sharing traditional Palestinian sweets and other candies with other attendees. It’s what we do.”
“I’m even willing to be more flexible than that,” offered Balad Party MK Basel Ghattas. “I’ll even go out of my way to make sure the candy and pastries I bring are certified kosher, so everyone can partake with a clear religious conscience. I daresay the Zionist State will refuse this compromise, betraying the very intransigence they have shown all along, and which lies at the root of the conflict.”

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On Twitter, Electronic Intifada's Rania Khalek has an interesting series of tweets trying to draw a distinction between Hamas and ISIS:

Hmmm. Hamas has used Palestinians as human shields by every definition of the term, telling civilians to stay in their homes when the IDF warned them of upcoming bombs and physically forcing Fatah members to stay as human shields.

And while Hamas may not have beheaded people, they certainly executed them. Publicly. Even according to Amnesty.

So why does a Palestinian support the murder and use of human shields of other Palestinians?

Because Hamas' main enemy is Jewish Israelis. And she can forgive a few indiscretions against her own people as long as Hamas' main aim is the righteous murder of Jews.

This is what Rania, and Electronic Intifada, stand for.

(h/t YMikarov)

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