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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Very interesting find by MEMRI:

In a recent TV interview, Egyptian historian Maged Farag called for normalized relations with Israel, saying that Egypt would benefit from cultural and economic exchange, from tourism, and from Israel's advanced agricultural and industrial technology. "For 70 years, the Palestinian cause has brought Egypt and the Egyptians nothing but harm, destruction, and expense," said Farag. "We should think with a scientific and open mind, with our eyes set on the future," said the historian, who recently visited Israel to attend a conference on Egyptian Jewry.

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on the Egyptian Mehwar TV channel on May 26, 2015.

Interviewer: You were quoted as saying that we should drop the Palestinian cause, and focus on normalizing our relations with Israel, and thus becoming its friends and buddies. Are you serious?!

Majed Farag: What I'm saying is that we should pay attention to the interests of our country. There are no such things as eternal enmity or eternal love.There are only eternal interests. We should identify our country's interest. Churchill once said that he was ready to cooperate with the Devil in the interest of his country. As a man who knows a little bit about history and about international relations, I believe that it is in our interest to maintain normal relations with Israel. Of course, we have the right to maintain caution in these relations...

Interviewer: Are you talking about national security?

Majed Farag: With regard to national security, according to my information, there is cooperation, and there is dialogue on the political, security, and military levels between Egypt and Israel. The state is not the problem. The problem lies with the people, who still live the old ideology and the cultural heritage on which we were raised. Our generation was raised upon hatred and upon these people being barbaric...

Interviewer: I don't like them.

Majed Farag: You have the right not to like them.

Interviewer: But we were forced to confront them...

Majed Farag: Look, there is a difference between loving them... There is no love or hate in politics and in international relations.

Interviewer: I agree.

Majed Farag: There are only interests. It is in our interest to cooperate with people of culture, science, thought, and technology - all those things that can benefit us.


Majed Farag: As an Egyptian, I care about one thing and one thing only: my country's interests. I care about our national security. For over 70 years, the Palestinian cause has brought upon Egypt and the Egyptians nothing but harm, destruction, and expense. We have been preoccupied all our lives with the Palestinian cause...

Interviewer: Peace in the Middle East...

Majed Farag: No. The Palestinian cause is Palestinian. Egypt's problem has been resolved. The occupied land has been liberated. End of story, as far as I'm concerned. Let us now live and care about the interests of my country. Am I supposed to shackle myself to the Palestinian cause? Let the (Palestinians) resolve it. I have no problem with that. We have tried to help them many times. You remember the story of the (1977) Mena House meeting, to which they did not show up...

Interviewer: Sadat told them to come and sign with him...

Majed Farag: They don't think it is in their interest. They don't want to resolve their own problem.


Majed Farag: I still don't understand what the big deal is. I met many Egyptians there, and many Egyptians have visited Israel. I don't understand why my visit there made people so angry.

Interviewer: Because you are Maged Farag.

Majed Farag: C'mon...

Interviewer: Because you published pictures and said...

Majed Farag: Was I supposed to conceal my visit to Israel, and go there on a different passport, and all that? No. You know that I am not afraid. My principal is: If you are afraid, don't talk about it, and vice versa. I am convinced that this benefits my country. It is in the best interest of my country to have good relations... I won't say "friendly" relations, because friendliness is not the issue. It's about interests. I can benefit from that neighbor in many ways. You prefer to remain enemies with it? Fine. Let's be enemies. But until when? Until the Palestinian issue is resolved? It won't, and you know that better than me. The Palestinian issue will not be resolved because (the Palestinians) do not want it to be resolved. I just want to say one more thing. Some people said to me: "How can you go to an occupying country?" Occupying?! Do you have any doubt that Israel is, and will continue to be, a reality? Do you still hope and believe in the old idea of throwing them into the sea? Is that logical?!


Majed Farag: I'm sure that you have heard that there is a sign in the Knesset, saying: "From the Nile to the Euphrates."

Interviewer: It's from the Euphrates to the Nile.

Majed Farag: No. "From the Nile to the Euphrates."

Interviewer: Okay, I thought it was the other way around.

Majed Farag: This is not true. There is no such thing.

Interviewer: And it does not appear in The Protocols either?

Majed Farag: What protocols?

Interviewer: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That old group.

Majed Farag: Look, sir, let's stick to the Knesset.

Interviewer: Is there a sign saying: "From the Nile to the Euphrates?"

Majed Farag: Of course not.

Interviewer: Is that "for sure"?

Majed Farag: Sure, it's for sure. We all know that this is not true, but people keep saying this to heat up the hostility.


Majed Farag: We have had bad relations with this neighbor for 60-70 years. It is high time that these relations improved. We should first make peace with ourselves and then with our neigbors. We should think with a scientific and open mind, with our eyes set on the future. France and Germany fought for hundreds of years.

Interviewer: People think they fought one another only in the World Wars.

Majed Farag: Of course not. They fought the Hundred Years' War [sic], and whatever... a million different wars. They spent centuries fighting wars. Today, France and Germany have become one country. Not only have they made peace, but they have also united.


Majed Farag: Nations are migrating and occupying certain areas, and they live and coexist there. After a long period of occupying the land and settling in it, they become, as time goes by, the owners of the place, as you might say. How come we did not protest when Turkmen tribes occupied and settled in the Eastern Roman Empire, establishing the Ottoman Empire, which evolved into modern Turkey? Are these really the original owners of land? No, they're not. The Turks are not the original owners of the land. They came from Turkmenistan. Why did we not protest when Turkey occupied north Cyprus? Nobody uttered a word of protest. We do we remain silent over Spain's occupation of parts of Morocco? Cities in Morocco are considered part of Spain, not merely occupied land. England took Gibraltar and considers it part of England. There are many examples in history, but nobody wants to...

Interviewer: But none of these cases is around us. The (Palestinians) are right on our border.

Majed Farag: Cyprus is also on your border.


Interviewer: What is the meaning of having normal relations?

Majed Farag: Normal relations require, first of all, cultural exchange. I must not fear the other. So long as I fear the other, nothing good can develop. We should not fear (Israel). We should visit there.


First there should be cultural exchange. There should be tourist exchange, and economic exchange. There are Israeli companies that specialize in modern drip irrigation. They have very advanced irrigation technology. We have a water problem. We have a shortage of water. Why can't we take advantage of their technology, of their thought, and of the results of their research? They used this technology to cultivate the desert, so why can't we use it here? Why can't I benefit from someone who used to be my enemy? I'm not looking to force him to become my friend. I want him as a partner in developing agriculture and industry in Egypt.


Many Egyptians have dealings with Israel, but in secret. Nobody has the courage to admit it. Many Israeli companies have representatives in Egypt. I have met many Egyptians who work in Israel. They are Muslims, and they marry Jewish Israeli women. They live and work there, and they encounter no problem whatsoever. What's the problem with that? But everybody is afraid to admit this. They think that this is some sort of a crime. It is not a crime. It's very normal. This is how it should be. This is the natural development of things.

Interviewer: What do you want us to teach in Egyptian schools about the wars of '56, '67, and '73?

Majed Farag: We should teach that there were wars in '48, '56, '67, and '73, and that these wars came to an end, that we signed a peace treaty, and we should set our eyes on the future. That's it.


Israel exists, whether we like it or not, and it will continue to exist, whether we like it or not. So let's just accept this.

(h/t Alexi)

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/31/2015 10:10:00 PM
Ma'an reports on something that makes Israel actually seem not so hell-bent on doing everything possible to make life miserable for Arabs:
Palestinians living in Israel will be able to access the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya through the Eyal checkpoint ten years since it was closed by Israeli authorities, officials in Qalqiliya told Ma'an on Sunday.

Director of civil affairs at the governor's office, Muhannad Shawar, said the decision will be put into effect by June 7.

He said it came following a request from Palestinian officials who pointed to the enormous convenience that entry through the Eyal checkpoint would bring for residents of Taybeh, al-Tirah and other towns in northern Israel with a Palestinian majority.

According to the agreement reached with the Israeli authorities, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship will be allowed to visit Qalqiliya in private vehicles between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. They are to return via checkpoint 109.
Good news, right? When terror decreases, freedom of movement for Palestinian Arabs increases.

But this is a Palestinian newspaper, so they have to add some lies to keep their record consistent:

Israeli forces maintain severe restrictions on Palestinians' freedom of movement in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories through a complex combination of fixed checkpoints, flying checkpoints, roads forbidden to Palestinians but open exclusively to Jewish settlers, and various other physical obstructions.
Car with Palestinian plates on a purportedly "Jewish-only" road (CAMERA)

The myth of "Jewish-only roads" has been debunked quite thoroughly,here and  here and here for starters.

Then comes an even bigger whopper:

The West Bank is almost entirely surrounded by the Israeli separation wall, which is more than 700km long.
A separation barrier on only one side of an area is now considered to be "surrounding" it?

Just as international law is interpreted differently for Israel than for any other country, the dictionary itself is different for Israel as well.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/31/2015 04:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Barack Obama's MidEast fantasy world
Regarding Israel, Obama seems to believe U.S. – Israel relations during the past six years have basically been fine and that the recent drama and public acrimony between himself and Prime Minister Netanyahu has been overblown.
Obama also says, “I have maintained, and I think I can show that no U.S. president has been more forceful in making sure we help Israel protect itself, and even some of my critics in Israel have acknowledged as much.”
The interview sticks to Middle East affairs, though is likely to be of interest to anyone who follows international politics or current debates surrounding U.S. foreign policy. It provides insights into how Obama views both past decisions he has made and the current challenges in front of him.
January 20, 2017 feels so far away. No matter what happens between now and then, we’re going to remember Obama for a very long time.
Rivlin: Ironic that killers of Israeli athletes seek to oust Israel from FIFA
There is a certain irony in the fact that what took place in Zurich last Friday was the outcome of an attempt by those who murdered Israelis in Munich in 1972 to oust Israel from FIFA, President Reuven Rivlin told German Foreign Minister Sr. Frank Walter Steinmeier on Sunday.
The two men previously met in Berlin just over two weeks ago. Rivlin welcomed Steinmeier as “a friends of Israel” and said that Israel appreciates what Steinmeier has done for Israel in the interim.
He was referring to pressures that were being put on Israel by the United Nations and the Palestinians. Israel does not need to be pressured in sport or academically he said, alluding also to BDS.
Israel realizes the importance of rebuilding Gaza, said Rivlin, and was willing to cooperate. Aware that Steinmeier’s next stop during his current visit was to Ramallah, Rivlin asked him to tell Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the only way to bring the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to an end was through direct negotiations.
More diplomatic challenges await Israel after FIFA victory
The Prime Minister's Office is sending out a message loud and clear: Force won't work. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fourth government has kicked off amid massive challenges in the international arena. In the last ten days alone there have been at least four fronts that the Prime Minister's Office has had to tend to: 1. The Egyptian demand to impose nuclear supervision and demilitarization on Israel at the 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference; 2. The Palestinian demand to have Israel removed from the world soccer governing body FIFA; 3. The nuclear negotiations between Western powers and Iran; 4. The French initiative to advance unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the U.N. Security Council.
On the first two fronts, the NPT review conference and the FIFA congress, Netanyahu (who currently holds the foreign affairs portfolio as well) worked diligently to thwart the initiatives. Both ended in Israeli victories and a defeat for the initiators.
Fieldwork conduced by Israel's National Security Council, under the direction of former Mossad deputy chief Yossi Cohen, has yielded success. There were attempts to corner Israel into nuclear supervision by way of legal means at the NPT review conference, but those attempts failed. At the FIFA congress, in addition to trying to oust Israel from the federation, there were attempts to transfer the debate over Israel's alleged crimes to the U.N., but those attempts failed as well.

When the beautiful game turned ugly
Sport and politics don't mix, as the saying goes. But when they do, they can have deadly consequences.
A football match in 1917 between Tunisian Muslims and Jews almost caused civil war.
Just after the 1917 armistice was signed and in honour of Tunisian soldiers returning from the front, the Stade Tunisois all-Jewish team were due to play the Franco-Arab Stade Africain in the Franco-Arab Cup.
Tunisia was then a French protectorate: Tunisian Muslims were recruited into the French colonial army, but Jews were given dispensation from military service, thus causing great resentment among the Arabs. Matters were not helped by the recent announcement of the Balfour Declaration in favour of a Jewish home in Palestine.
The atmosphere during the match was electric. The Jewish team won 2 -1. Resentment boiled over: scuffles broke out between supporters of the opposing teams. Some were professional boxers: Hassen Karroche, Tunisian heavyweight champion, together with Abderrahmane Gamane, exchanged blows with Judas Cohen, a Stade Tunisois player and career boxer.
Next 'Sportsfare': Campaign Against Israel in 2016 Olympics?
The Palestinian Authority (PA)'s soccer chief Jibril Rajoub may have failed miserably to get Israel booted from world soccer organization FIFA, but the Foreign Ministry predicts a greater challenge ahead - the fight to keep Israel in the Olympics.
Rajoub is expected to attempt to oust Israel from the 2016 Rio Olympics, officials told Army Radio Sunday, and the Foreign Ministry has already delved into the International Olympic Committee (IOC) bylaws ahead of the potential threat.
Israel is unlikely to be banned from the event, officials notes, as the IOC's rules are far more complex than FIFA's due to its unique regulations.
Yaakov Finkelstein, from the Foreign Ministry delegation to the FIFA Congress on Friday, spoke on the station's "Good Morning Israel" program, about the next steps.
"We are not afraid and we are prepared," Finkelstein noted. "Every time there's a new [boycott] attempt, so I do not say after FIFA that this is an achievement that we can sit and rest on our laurels over."
"I'm sure there will be another round [of sportsfare and] we will come ready."
All Activists Agree: Jibril Rajoub must go.
These are days of miracles and wonder. Israel advocacy group StandWithUs has a petition online at, Petitioning Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) to "Kick Extremism Out of Football: Show Jibril Rajoub the Red Card".
Be sure to sign it at
Sports are a unique way to bring diverse peoples together through shared passion. International sporting events like the World Cup are wonderful examples of this. Unfortunately, the Palestinian Authority has used sports to indoctrinate children with hatred for the state of Israel, instead of allowing football, and other sports, to peacefully bring together Israelis and Palestinians of all ages.
Rajoub: Israel Suspension from FIFA Still on the Table
A day after withdrawing his request to have Israel suspended from FIFA, the head of the Palestine Football Association, Jibril Rajoub, on Saturday clarified he intends to try to have Israel suspended again in the future.
"I hope that the Israelis understand that the suspension has not been removed from the agenda of FIFA but the sanctions were postponed until the committee that was established completes its work,” Rajoub told Kol Yisrael radio.
"Soccer players and fans in Israel should pressure their racist government. We will assess the situation and see if Israel changed its tune and if not - we will move forward," he threatened.
In the interview, Rajoub also responded to a comment made on Facebook by Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz on Friday. Katz, responding to Rajoub’s withdrawing the suspension bid at FIFA, wrote that Rajoub should be “jailed in the Muqata” in Ramallah.
“Let him bark as much as he wants,” said Rajoub.
PFLP Terrorists Condemn Rajoub for ‘Wasting Blood of Martyrs’
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) accused the Palestinian Authority’s soccer league director Jibril Rajoub of “outrageous deviation from our values, principles and efforts to expose the Israeli occupation’s crimes and to oust Israel from international organizations.”
Rajoub on Friday backed down from trying to oust Israel from FIFA and settled for an amendment adopted by FIFA to discuss his complaints.
Rajoub previously had insisted there would be “no compromise” on his demand that Israel kick out five teams from Judea and Samaria. The new committee will discuss the issue as well as complaints of Israel delaying Palestinian Authority soccer players, more than one of whom previously having been caught running errands for Hamas.
But that is racism, in Rajoub’s book.
Hamas condemns dropped FIFA bid as missed opportunity
Hamas lashed out at Palestinian soccer chief Jibril Rajoub over the weekend for abandoning the bid to expel Israel from FIFA, the International Federation of Association Football, calling it a squandered opportunity that went against mainstream Palestinian opinion.
The terror group maintained that the retraction raised questions about whether the PA would follow through on its promises to lodge war crimes charges against Israel with the International Criminal Court, and end its security cooperation with the Jewish state.
Rajoub was also vilified as a “traitor,” a “loser” and an “Israeli collaborator” on Palestinian social media, with users calling on the soccer chief to be fired from his post, according to the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, and various mocking political cartoons surfacing online.
Hamas criticized both Rajoub and the Palestinian Authority, dubbing the non-event a missed opportunity, with spokesman Husam Badran telling followers on Twitter Friday that the move was “contrary to the general trend of the Palestinian people.”
“After this retreat, how can the Palestinians trust the Palestinian Authority to take Israel to the International Criminal Court or to end security cooperation?” a Hamas statement said.
“Some seize opportunities, some squander them,” the statement said, adding that “there’s a malfunction in the leadership that addresses the world on our [the Palestinians] behalf.”
Netanyahu: Israel need not engage in self-flagellation over delegitimization efforts
The international delegitimization campaign of Israel need not cause Israel to “bow it's head,” ask where it erred and justify itself, but rather continue to tell the truth, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Netanyahu's comments came at the start of the weekly cabinet session, and two days after the Palestinians failed in their attempt to get Israel kicked out of the international football association, FIFA.
It doesn't matter what we do, but rather what we represent," Netanyahu said. "What hasn't been said about the Jewish people?” he asked. “They said we were the source of all evil in the world, that we poisoned their wells, that we drink the blood of small children. They are saying the same thing about us today. It was not true then, and it is not true now. There is no truth in it. “
Netanyahu said there was no justification in the delegitimization campaign against Israel, and “the last thing we have to do is bow our head, and ask where to we erred. We did not err. We are not a perfect state, and don't claim to be. But they they are putting distorted standards for us, higher than for any other country, any other democracy.”
Jeb Bush supports moving US embassy to Jerusalem
Potential Republican US presidential candidate in 2016, Jeb Bush told reporters on Saturday that he believes the US embassy in Tel Aviv should be moved to Jerusalem, according to CNN.
When asked whether Jerusalem should be Israel's capital forever, Bush said he "supported that absolutely."
"I also support moving the embassy to Jerusalem as well -- our embassy. Not just as a symbol but a show of solidarity," he added.
"Clearly, the number one ally we have in the Middle East is Israel," Bush said. "And we should show our support consistently because if not us, who?"
Ted Cruz Calls for Financial Boycott of Universities Backing BDS Israel
Ted Cruz has revved up his campaign to win the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential elections with a speech calling for the government to cut off funds from universities supporting the Boycott Israel (BDS) movement.
He said at an event, attended by casino magnate and Republican party backer Sheldon Adelson and where he received the Defender of Israel Award at the Champions of Jewish Values International Awards Gala.
In 2017, we need a president who will stand up directly and confront the [Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions] movement. BDS is premised on a lie and it is anti-Semitism plain and simple. And we need a president of the United States who will stand up and say if a university in this country boycotts the nation of Israel than that university will forfeit federal taxpayer dollars.
Cruz’s tough talk may have jingled Adelson’s pockets, but it also is likely to scare moderate Republicans and drive down the drain any possible support from conservative-oriented Democrats.
Netanyahu: Germany Must Stop PA Campaign of Delegitimization
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Sunday with German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, one of six international foreign ministers visiting Israel in the coming weeks with plans to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Netanyahu called on Steinmeier to exert pressure on Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to halt all unilateral actions against Israel and to reignite peace talks with the Jewish state.
"We have to send a clear message to the Palestinians and I hope you will use your meetings with them to do it," Netanyahu told Steinmeier during an announcement to the press after their meeting.
Specifically addressing the PA's recent move to have Israel booted from international soccer, Netanyahu stressed to Steinmeier: "Tell the Palestinians to stop their campaign to delegitimize Israel and get back to the negotiating table without preconditions."
Despite the Palestinians' unilateral actions, Netanyahu noted, he was still interested in renewing negotiations, emphasizing that he was committed to "two states for two peoples."
Hotovely urges German FM to prevent labeling of West Bank products
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely urged German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday to lead efforts to prevent the labeling of Israeli products manufactured in the West Bank, saying the initiative would harm both Israelis and Palestinians.
“The State of Israel stands against a tough onslaught of boycotts coming from Europe,” she said, adding Israel anticipated “that Germany would lead the struggle against the phenomenon of labeling products from Judea and Samaria (West Bank).”
“The boycott of products hurts the quality of life in Judea and Samaria both for the Palestinian side and for the Israeli side,” Hotovely said.
PreOccupied Territory: It’s Racist To Point Out Our Racism By Saeb Erekat, Chief Palestinian Negotiator (satire)
In 2015, one should not have to point out racist behavior that should have disappeared long ago. I should not need to call people’s attention to racism, since they should, by now, have grown sensitive to it o their own. That is why I feel both regret and frustration that I must remind you all that it is racist to point out that Palestinian society is racist.
We take for granted that Israel is a racist Apartheid state; that any and all negative generalizations about Israelis – and, if necessary, Jews – are fair game in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. That is because we have firmly established our status as victims, who enjoy a certain level of immunity from accusations of discrimination. As such, anyone who documents, publishes, or otherwise produces evidence that Palestinians – especially Palestinian leadership – are racist may be freely labeled a racist.
All enlightened individuals and societies have internalized the fact that we cannot expect individuals or societies to act according to all of the same norms. So much variety in societal mores prevails that selecting one set of norms as universally binding necessarily discriminates against those societies to which such norms are foreign. In other words, applying the same standard, not accounting for local sensibilities, is racist. Therefore, exposing Palestinian society and leadership as racist is itself a racist act, since it feeds the negative stereotype of Palestinians as backward, violent bigots. It is not too far a stretch to say no one wants that characterization to serve as the default for relating to any ethnic group. Do not be racist.
World powers said to agree on ‘snapback’ sanctions mechanism
The global powers in negotiations with Iran have established a mechanism of “snapping back” sanctions against Tehran in the event the Islamic Republic violates a nuclear deal, but are awaiting Iranian approval, Reuters reported Sunday.
“We pretty much have a solid agreement between the six on the snapback mechanism, Russians and Chinese included,” a Western official told Reuters. “But now the Iranians need to agree.”
Meanwhile, an anonymous Iranian official told Reuters there were several suggestions on the table with regard to sanctions, warning that Tehran reserves the right to resume its activities if the world powers “do not fulfill their obligations.”
“At least three or four different suggestions have been put on the table, which are being reviewed,” the official said. “Iran also can immediately resume its activities if the other parties involved do not fulfill their obligations under the deal.”
The timeline for sanctions relief has been one of the key sticking points to achieving a final agreement.
Iranian official slams France over military site inspections
Tehran on Saturday rejected a key Western demand for military site inspections and slammed the French foreign minister for refusing to back down on this issue, with the supreme leader’s senior aide maintaining Paris has little influence on the nuclear negotiations.
“France does not play any determining role on the international scene other than the harsh statements it makes through some individuals who do not feel responsible,” Ali Akbar Velayati, a former foreign minister, said Saturday, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
With a deadline a month away, both sides appeared unwilling to back down on the issue, with France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius saying Wednesday that any deal without access to military sites “will not be accepted.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also lashed out Thursday, calling on Paris “to refrain from making excessive demands.”
The Guardian: Palestine's abandoned parliament
Just beyond an 8-metre-high grey concrete wall – in some places decorated with graffiti and in some places burnt black by demonstrators – lies the building that was slated to become the Palestinian parliament. Today, it is a white behemoth of a building that sits hollow and unfinished, locked behind towering gates on a road that leads from Jerusalem into Abu Dis, a West Bank village just outside the Israeli-declared municipal boundaries of its capital.
A nearby guard provides the key to a building that seems to embody the dashed hopes of a failed peace process, and in particular, of a people who were told that the Oslo Peace Accords signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in 1993 would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.
Soon after, Israel began to withdraw its army from major cities in the West Bank, and the two sides agreed on a plan to divide the West Bank into three temporary territorial categories: A, B and C. Among the other creative ideas bandied about in those heady days was to base the Palestinian capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem.
The building is a hulking skeleton on the scarred landscape of the city’s outskirts, a city whose boundaries may yet be redefined and redrawn in peace negotiations. Other cities around the world have their own white elephants – large empty buildings that have failed for a variety of reasons – often due to poor planning or a financial shortfall. Sometimes, such buildings can bring down a whole neighbourhood and contribute to urban blight. But here, the story is further complicated by political realities, and stands as an architectural reminder of the dysfunction that reins in this part of the world.
Despite Amnesty Report ICC 'Stonewalling' Hamas War Crime Trial
Amnesty International made waves last Tuesday with its report detailing how Hamas executed citizens in Gaza last summer in war crimes at the close of Operation Protective Edge, but just what impact will the development have on the legal struggle to bring the terrorist organization to justice?
To find out Arutz Sheva spoke with attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Director of the legal NGO Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) which is currently in the midst of a lawsuit against Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and other terrorist leaders at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Darshan-Leitner said that last September her organization filed a criminal complaint on all the cases of Hamas executing citizens in Gaza. The new report "bolsters the allegations that we made concerning Mashaal and other Hamas officials over the extra judicial executions of their fellow Palestinians last summer."
She noted that Amnesty International submitted their report to the ICC meaning the court will be hard pressed to ignore the war crimes, and that her group is pressuring the ICC and UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) "to actually open the investigation" on the case, calling the court's clerk frequently.
Terrorist Gives Gaza Interview from Prison
Terrorist Abdullah Barghouti was interviewed on a Gaza radio station Sunday, despite being currently interred in an Israeli prison for his crimes.
During the interview, Barghouti turned to Hamas and urged them not to rush to reach a deal on the issue of releasing terrorists, which the terror organization has vowed to do numerous times over the past year and a half and in various contexts.
"We are patient," he said, "and will continue to be so even if we'd be released in a thousand years."
Barghouti was arrested in March 2003 and sentenced in 2004 to 67 life sentences for his role in the murders of Israelis in a string of suicide bombings - including the suicide attack at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, the Ben Yehuda street bombings in 2001, the Cafe Moment bombing in 2002, the Hebrew University bombing in 2002, and the 2002 Rishon Letzion club bombing, among others.
Anti-Israel activity on US campuses sees ‘marked increase’
The past academic year has seen a significant increase in anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic activities across US college campuses, the Anti-Defamation League warned on Friday.
The anti-Semitism watchdog said it had recorded 520 anti-Israel events on campuses during the 2014-2015 year, an increase of 38 percent over the previous year. It also counted 29 campaigns related to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, noting this was almost double the instances seen in the previous year.
The ADL also listed various cases of anti-Semitism on campuses, many of which involved vandalism, graffiti and hateful epithets targeting Jewish students.
“These incidents are troubling and are generating heightened concern in the Jewish community about the atmosphere on campus for Jewish students,” ADL Director Abraham Foxman said. “While the vast majority of Jewish students report feeling safe on their campuses, the incidents reported at certain schools are disturbing and must be proactively addressed.
Terrorists Blow Up Gas Pipeline in Sinai.
Unidentified terrorists blew up the natural gas pipeline in the Sinai once again on Sunday morning, cutting off supplies to factories.
The Islamic State ISIS) and ISIS-linked terrorists have made inroads in the Sinai, where the Egyptian regime has lost hundreds of soldiers and policemen in failed attempts to maintain stability in the region.
Egyptian media have reported that the ISIS branch in the Sinai “threatened to strike the Eilat Port, following coordination with Islamic State’s wing in Gaza,” where Hamas is trying to retain control.
The Islamic State also has made inroads in Asia as its threat to expand its radical Islamic terrorist empire becomes more real.
Sinai Bedouin and the Egyptian government never have been on good terms with each other, but since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, accelerated with President Barack Obama’s support of the Arab Spring rebellion in 2012, terrorists have staked out most of the peninsula.
Turkish Jews not leaving yet, but eyeing exit amid Erdogan’s hostile rhetoric
Arslan, a real estate developer, says the tight security “neither poses a real obstacle for communal life nor differs greatly from other at-risk communities — say in France or Britain.”
Turkey’s government, he said, “protects its Jews.” His view reflects the party line of Turkey’s small Jewish community, whose estimated 15,000-20,000 members generally have been careful not to appear ungrateful to a government they believe protects them from growing radicalism in a predominantly Muslim society.
But that long tradition of self-censorship is fading as Turkish Jews grow increasingly uneasy with the hostile rhetoric emanating from the mouths of officials in Turkey’s ruling Islamist AKP party — especially President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“Erdogan and AKP use blatant anti-Israel rhetoric for votes, and this comes back to us as anti-Semitic hatred,” said Denis Ojalvo, a Jewish expert on international relations living in Istanbul. “Ordinary Turks are unable to make the distinction between Israeli and Jew.”
US paid $20 million in benefits to ex Nazis, state watchdog finds
More than 130 suspected Nazi war criminals, SS guards and others who may have participated in the Third Reich’s atrocities during World War II collected $20.2 million in retirement benefits, according to the Social Security Administration’s inspector general.
In a report scheduled for public release next week and obtained by The Associated Press, the inspector general said nearly a quarter of the total, $5.7 million, went to individuals who were found to have played a role in the Nazi persecution and had been deported. More than $14 million was paid to people who weren’t deported but were alleged or found to have assisted the Nazis during a period in which millions of Jews perished in the Holocaust.
The report comes seven months after an AP investigation revealed benefits were paid to former Nazis after they were forced out of the United States. AP found that the Justice Department used a legal loophole to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the US in exchange for Social Security benefits. If they agreed to go voluntarily, or simply fled the country before being deported, they could keep their benefits.
Congress reacted swiftly by passing legislation to close the loophole and bar Nazi suspects from receiving benefits. President Barack Obama signed the measure into law late last year.
ADL Praises Pacino for Backing Out of Nazi Supporter's Play
Acclaimed American actor Al Pacino has received staunch support from the Anti-Defamation League over his decision to bow out of a play adapted from the novel of a well-known supporter of Nazism and its leader Adolf Hitler.
Knut Hamsun, a Norwegian author known for pioneering psychological literature, turned to Nazism later in life, advocating for the Nazi occupation of Norway and keeping correspondence with a number of high-ranking Nazi officials.
After Hitler's death, the aged author wrote a glowing eulogy for him, saying: "He was a warrior, a warrior for mankind, and a prophet of the gospel of justice for all nations."
Pacino pulled out of an Aveny-T stage adaptation of "Hunger" by Hamsun "because he couldn’t come to terms with Knut Hamsun's support for the German occupation and Nazism," the Copenhagen theater company's manager, Joh Stephensen, said.
ADL Thanks Pope for 'Defending Israel's Legitimacy'
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed Sunday deep gratitude to Pope Francis following remarks he made to Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman in which the Pope made clear that those who do not accept Israel’s right to exist are “guilty of anti-Semitism.”
Pope Francis told Cymerman that, “…we must distinguish between the Jewish people and the state of Israel – and their right to exist – and the current governments of each state. Whoever does not accept the first two is guilty of anti-Semitism.”
In a letter to the Pope, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman, and ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs Rabbi David Sandmel said his words “send an unequivocal message to those who reject the legitimacy of the state of Israel as well as to those who question or distort the Holy See’s stand on the issue.”
“Not only has Pope Francis placed a tremendous importance on Catholic-Jewish relations throughout his life, he has also always understood and respected the religious significance of Israel to the Jewish people,” Mr. Foxman and Rabbi Sandmel said. “His comments remind us that the Church, the Jewish people and the state of Israel share an unshakable friendship.”
Clinical Trial Brings Revolutionary Israeli-Developed Insulin Pill Closer to Market
The Israeli drug company Oramed Pharmaceuticals has taken another step closer to the world’s first insulin pill when it announced this week that it has submitted the study protocol for the company’s Phase IIb trial of ORMD-0801 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
ORMD-0801 is the company’s proprietary flagship product, an orally ingestible insulin capsule. Upon FDA approval, it will revolutionize the treatment of diabetes.
The Phase IIb study of ORMD-0801 for type 2 diabetics is designed to generate ample data for both efficacy and safety endpoints.
The double-blind, randomized study will recruit approximately 180 patients and has a 28-day treatment period.
The study has already received Institutional Review Board approval, and patient enrollment is expected to start in the short term, the company says in a statement.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals’ technology is based on over 30 years of research by top scientists at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center. The company is considered a technology pioneer in the field of oral delivery solutions for drugs currently delivered via injection.
India to Test Barak 8 Missile Jointly Developed With Israel (VIDEO)
About six years after Israel signed a $1.1 billion deal to upgrade the Barak 8 surface-to-air missile system with India, India was gearing up to conduct its own test-fire of the projectile, Indian NDTV reported on Friday.
If successful, the test would pave the way for the Barak 8 system to become a fully operational and incorporated defense system in the Indian navy.
Defense sources in India told NDTV that the country’s navy would test the missile during the upcoming monsoon season so that “operational challenge is created.”
The Barak 8, based on Israel’s Barak 1 shipborne point-defense missile system, can intercept an incoming missile from as little as 500 meters away, as well as other aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Barak 8 missile is 4.5 meters long and has a 0.225 meter diameter. The system includes the missile, a fire control system and 360-degree track-and-guidance radar and a vertical launch unit, which can accommodate up to eight missiles.
According to the report, the radar and launch unit are already in place on Indian destroyers, awaiting the upcoming test.

A year on, father of slain teen seeks to ‘translate pain into something positive’
As the first anniversary of his son’s death approaches, Shaer reflected on what it has been like to mourn in the spotlight.
“It’s been complicated to be in the public eye. It’s been a challenge to find a balance between the public and the private,” he said.
He has felt a sense of responsibility to give back to those who have supported him and his family and to take the unity agenda forward. At the same time, he has an equally urgent responsibility to take care of his family, especially his five daughters, aged 5 to 19, as they grieve.
“We and the other two families are each trying to carry on with our private lives, to try to return to a pre-murder normalcy. But at the same time, the connection among us is very intense,” he said.
The families use a WhatsApp social media group they have created (it’s called GAON – an acronym of the boys’ first initials in Hebrew) to keep in touch and coordinate plans. According to Shaer, some of the boys’ siblings have become close with one another.
Shaer does not have control over the pain he feels from having lost his son Gil-ad. However, there is one thing about which he is absolutely resolute: “We have five wonderful daughters who are living, and who want to live happily. We need to go forward for them,” he said.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/31/2015 01:00:00 PM

Screen ShotAnyone who reads my material knows that I often use the popular American pro-Democratic Party blog, Daily Kos, as one guide, among others, to progressive-left thinking.  Over years of observing prominent left-leaning venues I came to a conclusion that seems to irritate them.

My conclusion was not, as it is sometimes claimed, that the western-left is crawling with veiled anti-Semites who use the "Palestinians," and sometimes even the Holocaust, as a club with which to beat up on the Jews of the Middle East and their diaspora supporters.

On the contrary.  In my experience, a majority of left-leaning westerners are most certainly not anti-Semitic.  However, after decades of rolling around in the sour and ahistorical muck of the so-called "Palestinian Narrative" they have come to look upon the Palestinian-Arabs as the quintessential victims.  Having won the Grand Sweepstakes of Victimhood, the Palesinian-Arabs represent victimhood lifted skyward to an iconic status.  Look up the word "victim" in the proverbial dictionary and find the grinning visage of a keffiyeh-draped Yassir Arafat leering back at you.

{If the Jews were the twentieth-century recipient of this dubious prize, the Palestinian-Arabs have certainly taken the trophy from us within the progressive imagination.  Speaking strictly for myself, I am perfectly happy to be rid of it.}

What this has resulted in, though, is the infiltration of western-left venues by anti-Semitic anti-Zionists who do, in fact, veil their anti-Semitism behind a veneer of human rights concerns.

The truth is that "pro-Palestinian" activists are not pro-Palestinian at all, for if they were they would care about human rights abuses toward Palestinian-Arabs committed by non-Jews.  But they don't.  They only care about the Palestinian-Arabs to the extent that they can use them as grotesque props in a staged drama intended to defame the Jewish people and justify violence against us.

{See Pallywood.}

It is within this setting that the acceptance of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism within the progressive-left is currently taking place.  And this represents the heart of my argument.  It is not that the western-left is filled with anti-Jewish racists, it is that they have come to accept anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as just another normal part of the left-leaning coalition.  There are feminists and peace activists.  There are the various ethnic constituencies, including the Jews.  There are the environmentalists.  The anti-Zionists.  The anti-Capitalists.  The Gay community.

And so forth and so on.

Most people, of course, are not single-issue and, thereby, represent a patchwork of interests and concerns.

In order to demonstrate the tension within progressive-left circles around the Arab-Israel conflict lets take a look at the reception of a Daily Kos "diary" entitled, Amnesty International: Hamas tortured and killed Palestinians by someone writing under the Nom de Blog, unapologeticliberal777.

Now, to my mind, this is pretty straight-forward stuff.  He or she writes:
Amnesty International said in a report released today that the militant group Hamas tortured and killed Palestinians during the war against Israel in the Gaza Strip last year.

Hamas exploited the fighting against Israel in July and August to “ruthlessly settle scores,” including with members of Fatah, the rival political faction and political base of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, which is led by Mahmoud Abbas, according to Amnesty.
Indeed.  And it is refreshing to see Amnesty go after someone aside from Jewish Israelis for a change.

If you observe the comments beneath the piece, which is what I am primarily interested in, you will see pro-Jewish / pro-Israel left-wingers endeavoring to engage with anti-Jewish / anti-Israel left-wingers.  Thus we get to enjoy the following exchange:

9 month old truce broken yesterday too (9+ / 0-)

Rockets were fired into Israel yesterday for the first time since the August truce. Won't be long now before the sympathizers come and tell us how Israel forced them to indiscriminately fire rockets, intentionally, into civilian areas. I can hear their collective yawns over these new war crimes.

by Angryallen on Wed May 27, 2015 at 06:49:17 AM PDT
Such a pro-Israel comment cannot be allowed to stand alone and so we get this response:
Won't be long now (8+ / 0-)
before the apologists come and tell us hundreds more Palestinian children need be to be killed and entire neighborhoods leveled because Defend Itself.

Oh wait, already here.

by nosleep4u on Wed May 27, 2015 at 07:31:55 AM PDT 
Note, of course, the anti-Semitic blood libel embedded in nosleep4u's comment.  He or she honestly thinks that Israeli Jews love to kill non-Jewish children.  This emphasis on the Jewish killing of non-Jewish children is directly out of the Middle Ages and finds ongoing prominent expression in all left-leaning western venues, today, including Daily Kos.

Notice, also, that both comments received almost the same number of recommendations.  The pro-Jewish / pro-Israel commenter received 9, while his anti-Jewish / anti-Israel interlocutor received 8.

Then we get this:
Yes, by all means. When all of Palestine has been (3+ / 0-)converted into a gigantic walled prison with all points of entry controlled by Israel, with access to food and water limited to somewhere between starvation and subsistence and with assassination via helicopter gunships or airstrikes by an occupying power a constant threat, let's shine a light on the bad behavior of some of the inmates of this massive prison. Because that's clearly the most important thing going on.

by Ralphdog on Wed May 27, 2015 at 11:35:15 AM PDT 
Wow.  That is some kind of serious indictment.

All of Palestine is a gigantic walled prison!

All points of entry are controlled by Israel!

They have limited access to food and water for the native population to somewhere between starvation and subsistence!

They assassinate Palestinian-Arabs via helicopter gunships or airstrikes for no reason whatsoever!

I embellished a bit, but the obvious implication of Ralphdog's dark fantasies about the Jews of Israel is that, much like every other generation of Jews for millennia, we deserve whatever beating anyone wishes to dish out.

Every generation we are told why it is that the Jews need a sound thrashing - if not the occasional helpful genocide - and Ralphdog is simply doing his bit to see to it that the current generation of Jews are no less maligned than the previous ones.

Ralphdog has rolled around in the poisonous muck of the "Palestinian Narrative" for so long that vomiting outrageous accusations against Jewish Israelis has become a gag reflex.  When anyone dares to criticize even the most vicious of Islamist dictatorships people like Ralphdog  (by the way, if you give it a moment's thought you will realize the appropriateness of his moniker)  inevitably spit poison at the Jews.  This despite the fact that the Hamas charter calls quite specifically for the murder of the Jewish people wherever we might be found.

According to the Hamas charter, anyone for any reason should have every right to walk into my house and chop my head off merely because I happen to be a Jew.

And, yet, western-leftists continue to believe that diaspora Jews have a moral imperative to support the progressive movement, despite the fact that the progressive movement, and the Democratic Party, have made homes of themselves for people like Ralphdog.

The American right-wing, of course, has its David Dukes, but it must be acknowledged that the American Right has done a very good job of purging the anti-Semites from their midst ever since William F. Buckley, as an editor for The American Mercury in 1951 and 1952, stood up against anti-Jewish racism before launching The National Review.

The same, unfortunately, cannot be said of the American Left.  Again, it is not that the Left is crawling with anti-Jewish racists, but that, given The Narrative, they have accepted a fundamentally anti-Semitic sub-movement - anti-Zionism and BDS - into left-leaning organizations throughout the West.

This represents a betrayal of its Jewish constituency, at least among those of us who care about the well-being of the Jewish people and thereby the well-being of the Jewish State of Israel.  The question is, what is to be done about this betrayal?

What I chose to do was conclude any association with the progressive-left and the Democratic Party.

I no longer march.  I no longer donate.  I no longer phone-bank.  None of it.  The day that I looked up during an anti-war rally in Civic Center, San Francisco, and saw a Nazi Swastika entwined within a Star of David at a "peace rally" was the day that I knew that the Left was dead.  For me that sign represented a worm, a leach, gnawing its way into the movement.

Perhaps if the person who held aloft that image had been confronted, I might have felt differently.  Of course, I did not confront him either.  My group, which was almost entirely non-Jewish, simply walked out of the rally.

Leaving the Left, however, is not the only reasonable response to such circumstances by western Jews.  One can also stand one's ground and fight.  Western-left Jews who confront the Ralphdog's of the world are needed and, if you follow the thread, you will see that Ralphdog was, in fact, confronted.

However, Jews who remain on the Left, who also wish to support Israel, need to do so from a position of strength, not weakness.  They need to be pro-active, not merely reactive.

When I was still mouthing-off in left-leaning venues it always seemed that the anti-Semitic anti-Zionists would attack and we would defend.  They attack, we defend.

It is long past time for this pattern to change and we are the ones who must change it, because sure as heck no one else is going to do it for us.

I recommend two tactics:

1)  Expand the terms of the discussion both historically and geographically.

This is not a fight that started in the twentieth century, but in the seventh.  That is, the struggle is not over land, but is, in fact, part of much longer Arab-Muslim effort to oppress the Jewish minority in the Middle East for Koranically-based religious reasons.

Nor is it a squabble between Israelis and Palestinian-Arabs, but between the Jews of that part of the world and the great Arab-Muslim nation that surrounds them and refuses to allow them normal status as human beings in the world.

Both of these assertions have the advantage of historical accuracy.

2)  Put the Left on notice.

Make for them to understand that the Jewish people are not going to accept the betrayal.

The western-left and the Democratic party have betrayed their Jewish constituencies through accepting anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the general coalition.

That is what the well-meaning Left needs to understand.

Jewish progressives can stay and fight, but they cannot do so without acknowledging the obvious.

Unless you confront your non-Jewish left-leaning friends and colleagues directly on that score then, at best, you're trimming the hedge.

Michael Lumish is a blogger at the Israel Thrives blog as well as a regular contributor/blogger at Times of Israel and Jews Down Under.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/31/2015 11:00:00 AM
The Palestinian Ministry of Information, run by the "moderates" of the Palesttnian Authority under that man of peace Mahmoud Abbas, has denounced terrorism.

Suicide bombings? Hamas rockets? Knife attacks in Jerusalem? Arabs running over Jews in cars?

No, of course not. The terrorism that they condemn is of a more heinous variety altogether.

Jews walking around their most sacred spot.

The Ministry issued this press release on May 25:
The Ministry of Information considers the invitations of the so-called "Temple Mount" organizations to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday and today, on the occasion of the so-called holiday of the revelation of the Torah, to be extremist government-sponsored terrorism.

The Ministry confirms that the occupation's facilitating people to break into the holy mosque, and its protection of the extremists, and its attack on worshipers, and cracking down on freedom of prayer in it, reveals Israel's true intentions to launch the terrorism of aggression all the way to seizing and establishing a "temple" in its place!

The Ministry calls on our people to decamp to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and defend it against what is being plotted against it. And it urges the ambassadors of countries of the world and members of diplomatic missions to carry out their responsibilities, and to intervene with their governments to force Israel to stop its terrorism against the Islamic and Christian holy sites before it is too late.

The Ministry says that the occupation is responsiblefor all the consequences of the intrusion, and exposure to the worshipers, and the threat to the first Islamic Qibla.

The Ministry of Information
Here are some of the terrorists, who presumably must be stopped by any means before they perform their next act of terror.

Which makes another question that reporters will never ask Mahmoud Abbas - "Do you really consider Jews walking around a holy site to be terrorists?"

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/31/2015 08:00:00 AM
Last month I noted a report written by many NGOs, including Oxfam and CARE  International, that blamed Israel for the slow pace of Gaza reconstruction.

More recently Amnesty also blamed Israel (in a purportedly anti-Hamas report) saying that it needed to lift the blockade on Gaza to help reconstruction, implying that somehow Israeli restrictions were to blame for the slow pace.

I showed already in April that they were lying. Israel was not the bottleneck at all, but many countries that promised to fund the Gaza reconstruction - mostly Muslim countries - have been not paying their pledges.

Now, proof that Oxfam and Amnesty are falsely blaming Israel comes from an unlikely source - Qatar.

Qatar continues to aid reconstruction efforts in the war-torn Gaza Strip as new projects start, says committee chief Muhammad al-Amadi.

"The reconstruction process is progressing very well as construction material is being shipped to Gaza everyday without any obstacles," al-Amadi said to Ma'an, adding that contracts for new projects have been signed and bids for more projects will be made.

Israel has approved all the Qatari-funded projects in the Gaza Strip, he said.
In March, Emadi admitted that most of the cement going to Gaza is being diverted to the black market, with homeowners selling cement meant to rebuild their homes. And even then he praised Israel's efforts in helping to rebuild Gaza.

Emadi's honesty about Israel exposes the hundreds of Western-funded NGOs in Israel and the territories to be nothing more than a giant scam to raise money from, and spend money on behalf of, those who hate Israel.

Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/31/2015 05:00:00 AM

Saturday, May 30, 2015

From Ian:

The Jewish Revolt
Review: Bruce Hoffman, ‘Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947’
Bruce Hoffman’s Anonymous Soldiers is a deftly written account of the Jewish revolt against the British in 1940s Palestine. Despite its scholarship—it draws heavily on recently declassified British documents—and its significant bulk, it is a page-turner that leaves the reader feeling sorry once the book is finished.
Unlike most accounts of the Jewish underground, this one tells the story from the British point of view, though without taking Britain’s side. It leaves the reader with no doubt that it was the Irgun, and to a lesser extent the much smaller Lehi, that drove the British from Palestine, and not, as the longtime mythology of Israel’s Laborites would have it, David Ben-Gurion’s skillful politicking.
It was Lehi that began the terror war against the British in 1940. Its members were completely isolated at first, perceived by the Yishuv—a term for Palestine’s Jewish community—as a criminal gang. Lehi was led by Avraham (Yair) Stern, whom Hoffman describes as a man “of grandiose dreams and half-baked plans,” an outstanding classics student at Hebrew University, and a poet. The title of Hoffman’s book comes from a poem written by Stern, which would become Lehi’s anthem. Stern was killed by the British in 1941, and the group’s remaining members killed or captured. The group was revived in 1943 under the leadership of Yitzhak Shamir, decades later to become Israel’s prime minister.
In 1944, when it was clear that the Nazis would be defeated, the Irgun, too, declared a revolt. Its new leader was Menachem Begin, who had led the Jewish nationalist youth group Betar in Poland. Hoffman considers Begin a first-class strategic thinker who recognized that he could not defeat Britain militarily and so decided “systemically [to] undermine its authority,” believing that if the Irgun could destroy the government’s prestige “the removal of its rule would follow automatically.” Through the Irgun’s violent actions, he made Palestine a center of world attention, a “glass house” as he described it, where every British misstep was broadcast to the world.
Post-WWII, Jews were ‘used as pawns’ by world superpowers
The end of World War II brought with it the end of the Holocaust, and beginning in July 1944 with Majdanek, concentration camps in Poland and Germany including Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Dachau, were liberated by Allied forces. On May 8, 1945, the day Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally, Soviet troops also liberated Theresienstadt.
But the end of the Holocaust shouldn’t be confused with the end of liberation itself. In his new book “The Liberation of the Camps: The End of the Holocaust and Its Aftermath,” Dan Stone, a professor of Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London, argues liberation “was a process, something that happened over time.” It did not “immediately bring about an end to the camp inmates’ suffering,” particularly for the thousands of Jewish displaced persons (DPs) who remained stuck in camps in Europe for years after the war.
In “The Liberation of the Camps,” published mid-May, Stone also makes clear that “the murder of the Jews and the collapse of the Third Reich helped to shape the pattern of the postwar world,” including in the Middle East.
The Times of Israel sat with Stone at his University of London office at Royal Holloway to discuss the fate of Jewish DPs and how, as both a refugee problem and an international question, they became caught up in the politics of the Cold War and the domestic affairs of the superpowers.
NYT Prints Anti-Israel Op-ed by Player from Terrorist-Linked Palestinian Soccer Club
The New York Times has published an op-ed by Palestinian soccer player Iyad Abu Gharqoud, demanding that FIFA kick Israel out of international soccer. The Times allows Gharquod to play the role of the aggrieved victim but ignores the fact that his soccer team, the Hilal Al-Quds club, held a tournament for 12-year-olds named for terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who led an attack on a bus in 1978 that killed 37 Israeli civilians, including 12 children, according to Palestinian Media Watch.
Gharqoud’s main complaint is that Palestinian “coaches and referees are blocked from moving between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and frequently are barred from tournaments.” That is for the very simple reason that Palestinian terrorists are still at war with Israel.
The terrorist group Hamas, for example, controls the Gaza Strip and uses it to launch deadly attacks on Israeli civilians, resulting in restrictions on travel that necessarily apply to all Palestinians, not just elite soccer players.
When peace-oriented groups have organized friendly soccer matches between Palestinians and Israelis, the Palestinian Authority has denounced them. Last year, Palestinian officials called a game between Israeli and Palestinian boys, which was sponsored by the Peres Center for Peace, a “crime against humanity.”
The man who made that statement, Jibril Rajoub, is leading the effort to have Israel suspended from FIFA. Gharqoud mentions none of that in his Times op-ed.

PM hails diplomatic victory as FIFA thwarts Palestinian suspension bid
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday commended FIFA members for helping thwart a Palestinian bid to have Israel suspended from international soccer, and hailed the efforts of Israel’s football chief in orchestrating the diplomatic effort.
The prime minister spoke shortly after the Palestinian delegation to FIFA on Friday dropped a motion to have the Israeli soccer federation suspended from international football amid pressure from dozens of national delegates.
“Our international effort has proven itself and led to the failure of the Palestinian Authority attempt to oust us from FIFA. I thank all those took part in the international effort that led to the failure of this attempt, including the Israeli delegation in Switzerland led by Israel Football Association Chairman Ofer Eini,” Netanyahu said.
“The State of Israel is interested in a peace that will ensure security for its citizens but this will not be achieved through coercion and distorting the truth. The only way to achieve peace is to begin negotiations between the sides,” he added.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking with international media about the framework agreement and Iran's nuclear program on April 12, 2015. (screen capture: Facebook/The Prime Minister of Israel)
So long as the Palestinians take unilateral steps against Israel, said Netanyahu, “they will only push peace further away instead of bringing it closer.”
Joel Pollak: FIFA Stands for 'F--- Israel, F--- America'
For decades, our global betters have been urging Americans to take more of an interest in soccer. And we have–though not the interest the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) had in mind.
This week, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that 14 FIFA officials had been indicted for corruption.
In somewhat related news, FIFA is to vote Friday on suspending Israel from international soccer because of security-related travel restrictions on some Palestinian players. (Update: The Palestinians have since withdrawn their motion.)
Of course, only Israel is being singled out–part of a Palestinian strategy to delegitimize Israel through global institutions in which Third World despotisms have disproportionate clout.
For years, the Palestinians have used soccer to promote terror–naming teams, fields and tournaments after suicide bombers, for example–but FIFA has never cared about that, nor does it care much about the human rights practices of Russia and Qatar, hosts of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, respectively.
Now that America (and Switzerland) have stood up to the bribery and graft behind the scenes that soccer fans have long suspected, the usual suspects are coming to FIFA’s defense.
FIFA = ‘Federation International for Football Antisemitism’ or ‘Football International Felony Association’
Facing a pro-Palestinian demonstration of some 150 people outside the FIFA Congress Hall in Zurich, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was the only Jewish organization to present a counter-protest.
Supported by a few Christian friends of Israel, we sang Hatikva and “Am Israel Chaï.” The pro-Palestinians lunged forward, smashing my IPAD screen. Glass may crack but our position was unassailable.
The police ran between us, snatching our handkerchief-size Israeli pennants and fining an evangelical lady for wearing a tiny Star of David necklace.
We few Zionists were, apparently, the “provocateurs,” while, to background screams of “Zionism is Racism,” “Apartheid Israel,” the world’s television cameras focused on “Blattergate,” oblivious to the genocidal display behind them of terrorist wannabes.
The several associations combating racism in football – with which we have cooperated for years – sat out this new threshold of antisemitism in football. I felt as safe at FIFA as if I were sitting on the terraces of a recent Netherlands match to the cries of “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”
Luckily, the Wiesenthal Centre, as a human rights agency, was spontaneously invited by Solidar – the Swiss international workers’ rights lobby – to join their demonstration against Qatar’s abuse of foreign labor.
FIFA chief commends ‘exceptional Palestinian gesture’
FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Saturday thanked the Palestinian Authority for withdrawing a motion Friday to have Israel suspended from international soccer, saying the PA had shown “a big heart” and expressing hope that the sport could help foster better relations between the two sides.
“Yesterday we witnessed how Palestine acted with a big heart,” Blatter said in a statement. “They were convinced that they could win a vote to suspend the other federation, but that didn’t happen: they amended their own proposal and removed it. This is an exceptional gesture that deserves to be commended, and I hope that this gesture will serve as a happy omen in the region between the two federations, but also between the two countries.
“Maybe (soccer) can be the precursor towards a solution that everybody wants,” he said. “The two federations are independent, but they have proved that they can work together.”
The head of the Palestinian Football Association maintained on Saturday that the Palestinian decision to drop the motion was not the result of diplomatic failure, and said the Palestinians had made achievements at the summit.
Palestinians pan withdrawal of motion to suspend Israel from FIFA
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, residents voiced criticism and disappointment after PFA President Jabril Rajoub announced the withdrawal of the bid that would have meant that Israeli teams could not take part in international competitions.
"The Palestinian BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) national committee is disappointed that that the entire FIFA congress, including the Palestinian Football Association, have not lived up to their obligations and stated principles.
"FIFA and its membership have delayed the suspension of Israel, but they cannot delay the growth of the international boycott of Israel or prevent the continued isolation of Israel," said Zeid Shueidi, an official from the Palestinian BDS national committee.
"What happened today was a betrayal by the Palestinian leadership for the demands of the Palestinian people and tens of thousands of people around the world who were asking for suspension of Israel until it ended discrimination," he added.
Many Palestinian Facebook posts were also bitter, accusing Rajoub's climbdown as "humiliating" and "cowardly."
Despite corruption scandal, Blatter elected FIFA boss for fifth term
Sepp Blatter was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term on Friday, chosen to lead world soccer despite separate US and Swiss criminal investigations into corruption.
The 209 FIFA member federations gave the 79-year-old Blatter another four-year term after Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan conceded defeat after losing 133-73 in the first round.
Prince Ali’s promise of a clean break from FIFA’s tarnished recent history was rejected despite the worst scandal in the organization’s 111-year history.
The election went ahead Friday after US and Swiss federal investigations struck at the heart of Blatter’s “football family” this week. Two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member were still in custody Friday as the votes were counted.
What the Palestinian Soccer Attack Meant
In the end, the Palestinians backed down on their attempt to get Israel expelled from FIFA, international soccer’s ruling body. Former terrorist Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian soccer federation, told the FIFA Congress today that, under pressure from other countries, he withdrew the request for a vote on Israel’s expulsion. For the moment, that ends the threat the Jewish state will be thrown out of the governing body of the world’s most popular sport. That’s a great relief to Israelis who were rightly concerned about the possibility of a step that would be an emotional blow to the country as well as a highly symbolic move that would accelerate the movement to isolate it. But no one should think this marks the end of the campaign against Israeli soccer. More to the point, it’s important to unravel the origins of this dispute and what it means. The effort to kick the Israelis out of world soccer is just one more indication that the Middle East conflict isn’t about borders or settlements but a desire to wipe Israel off the map.
In the end, as Ben Cohen predicted here earlier this week, the corruption scandal that has devastated FIFA may have played a role in the pressure exerted on the Palestinians to stand down. With the entire structure of world soccer tottering, the last thing FIFA needed was a boycott of Israel that might have triggered counter-measures by friends of the Jewish state and embroiled it in a dispute that would have done it little good.
Moreover, the core dispute between Israel and those in charge of Palestinian soccer had already been resolved before the FIFA Congress convened. The Israeli government offered to set up a process by which Palestinian soccer players could move more easily between the West Bank and Gaza as well as between the territories and Israel. The difficulties players encounter is an annoyance but was caused by the constant threat of Palestinian terrorism directed against Israel. Moreover, on top of that the Israelis also offered to make it easier to import soccer equipment into the West Bank and to help facilitate the construction of sports facilities for Palestinians. Those moves, which went above and beyond what reasonable observers, would expect Israel to make under the circumstances. But the resolution of the transit issue wasn’t the Palestinian goal since they persisted in their expulsion effort even after these concessions were offered.
Netanyahu backs ‘general idea’ behind Arab Peace Initiative
While stopping short of fully endorsing the Arab Peace Initiative, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that he welcomed the general idea behind it — a regional agreement between Israel and the moderate Arab states.
The Arab Peace Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, has many problematic aspects to it, the prime minister said, such as its call for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the return of Palestinians refuges to Israel. “There are positive aspects and negative aspects to it,” he told Israeli diplomatic correspondents at a rare on-record briefing. “This initiative is 13 years old, and the situation in the Middle East has changed since it was first proposed. But the general idea — to try and reach understandings with leading Arab countries — is a good idea.”
In the framework proposed by the initiative, all Arab and Islamic states would establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel after the successful conclusion of the peace process with the Palestinians.
The Israeli government has never fully endorsed the plan. But Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that given Iran’s nuclear and regional aspirations, the moderate Arab states and Israel have a common enemy and grounds for increased cooperation.
Ben-Dror Yemini: Take Netanyahu at his word on negotiations
In a meeting a few days ago with EU Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed holding a series of talks about the "settlement borders." Gilad Erdan, whose new titles make him one of Israel's six foreign ministers, added in response that "the negotiations will involve territorial concessions."
Like with any proposal linked to Netanyahu, the regular choir broke out into its well-known chorus: He's fooling everyone; he doesn't mean it; it's simply another move to buy time; he's deceiving us again.
Interestingly, when Netanyahu says something in the opposite vein, the likes of the statement: "There won't be a Palestinian state during my term in office," he becomes the most trustworthy individual who truly means every word he says – even if the statement came in the heat of the election campaign and was designed to attract voters right of the Likud.
Why the hell is Netanyahu viewed as a con artist only when he says something that rings of moderation? And how come those very same leftists know that every rejectionist statement from Mahmoud Abbas is made "for internal purposes," only, whereas every moderate statement is "proof that the Palestinian leader wants peace" and should be taken seriously?
IAEA not sure all nuclear material in Iran is for ‘peaceful activities’
Amid accelerated international efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, the UN atomic agency on Friday reported that work on a key element — an assessment of allegations that Tehran worked on atomic arms — remains essentially stalled.
The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency also reiterated that more cooperation is needed by Iran for full clarity on its present activities. Without it, the IAEA said it cannot “conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
After years of deadlock, Iran and the IAEA agreed in November 2013 on a new attempt to probe the accusations. The U.S. and its allies also included the investigation into a to-do list for talks with Iran meant to curb its nuclear programs in exchange for sanctions relief.
Washington continues to insist that full lifting of sanctions depends on the IAEA’s ability to thoroughly probe the accusations and deliver an assessment on its findings.
Iran denies any work on — or interest — in nuclear arms. It accuses Israel, the United States and other adversaries of providing phony evidence to the agency for the probe.
Iran rejects site inspections in nuclear deal
Iran said Saturday it would be “out of the question” for the UN atomic watchdog to question Iranian scientists and inspect military sites as part of a final nuclear agreement with world powers.
“Interviews with scientists is completely out of the question and so is inspection of military sites,” senior Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi told state television.
The head of the UN’s atomic watchdog Yukiya Amano told AFP in an interview this week that if Iran signs a nuclear deal with world powers it will have to accept inspections of its military sites.
Araqchi’s comments come as Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his US counterpart John Kerry were holding crucial talks in Geneva to try and hammer out a historic nuclear deal ahead of a June 30 deadline.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last week ruled out allowing nuclear inspectors to visit military sites or the questioning of scientists.
Guy Bechor: An ethnic war in Iran is only a matter of time
Imagine Iran falling apart like Syria, Iraq, Libya or Yemen in a civil war with armed militias and nuclear facilities all over the area – what a danger of mass destruction that will be. It doesn’t have to be ready bombs. With radioactive materials one can prepare "dirty nuclear bombs" or other means of horror, and we already know that there is no mercy between the Sunnis and the Shiites – they just don’t have a nuclear weapon yet.
The American administration is naively assuming that the Iranian regime will continue to rule the area, but the Bashar Assad or Muammar Gaddafi regimes were as strong, and so were the regimes in Egypt and Yemen. In addition, Iran is a sort of transit country with representatives from all the nations in the region – from Afghanistan to Pakistan, from the Persian Gulf to Turkey – and if it falls apart, dark terroristic forces will penetrate and infiltrate it.
The Persians are actually a relatively weak force among the regional forces, and it will spark a competition over who will take over the nuclear facilities faster and who will also use them – because forces like ISIS have no responsibility or limits.
So how exactly will US President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement help? It's like flogging a dead horse. Only one question will remain: Who is the dead horse? Now no one can say they didn’t know.
Hamas Threatens to Take ‘Crazy’ Action Over Israeli Blockade
The terror group Hamas is threatening to carry out an act that “could be described as crazy” against Israel as a result of the Jewish state’s continued blockade of the Gaza Strip, which is meant to prevent the terror organization from smuggling arms and other illicit materials.
Hamas will enlist its armed affiliate, the Al-Qassam Brigades, to carry out attacks on Israel if the blockade is not lifted, according to Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.
“The continuation of the blockade will push Hamas to carry out actions which could be described as crazy. We will not give in to the blockade,” Abu Zuhri was quoted as telling an audience in Rafah on Thursday, according to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.
The Hamas leader went on to claim “that the Al-Qassam Brigades have the right to respond,” according to Ma’an.
Hamas paves road near Gaza border ‘to attack Zionists’
In recent days heavy construction equipment has been operating on the Palestinian side of the border, several hundred meters from the security fence. Construction work is taking place across from the Israeli community of Nahal Oz.
Former Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said Saturday the road was intended “to create for ourselves convenient opportunities to attack the Zionist enemy.”
Israel security officials told the Ynet News website they were monitoring the road’s construction but said it did not seem to pose a security threat at this point.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Wednesday warned Hamas to rein in any attempts by Gaza terror groups to attack Israel, or “pay a heavy price,” after a rocket launched from Gaza hit near the town of Gan Yavne, outside Ashdod, causing neither casualties nor damage.
Report: France Scaling Back Security of Jewish Communities Though Attacks on the Rise
Although at least three antisemitic acts are committed daily against Jews in France, it appears French security has been scaling back efforts to protect the country’s anxious Jewish communities, the British Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday.
Just five months after a deadly terrorist attack at a kosher supermarket in Paris, “the truth is that this [French] military protection is, unofficially, waning,” reported the JC.
The report stemmed from concerns among synagogues and community centers, especially outside urban centers, that soldiers have begun providing only preliminary security at events, leaving the premises shortly after ceremonies or other engagements begin.
“Some small shuls have been told that they will not be guarded for an event that has fewer than ten participants,” said the JC, which is potentially devastating for Orthodox or other smaller communities in which barely a quorum is summoned for daily prayers.
The report came amid an announcement by the French antisemitism watchdog the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l’Antisemitisme that on average three antisemitic acts are committed against Jews in France every day.
Of German Bishops and Jewish Pawns
I ended a recent article by turning the spotlight on the multitude of foreign-sponsored Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in Israel; at the time, I promised to address the issue in more detail. So here it is.
Despite the pretence, the ‘Israeli NGOs’ are neither ‘Israeli’ nor ‘Non-Governmental’: although operating in Israel, they depend on foreign funding, including directly and indirectly by foreign governments – especially those from the European Union. In short, they are not ‘Israeli NGOs’, but Foreign Political Subversion Groups (FPSG) – and this is how I’ll refer to them henceforth.
There are tens if not hundreds of ‘Israeli’ FPSGs – more than in any other part of the world and certainly more than anywhere else in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia practises a particularly abhorrent form of gender apartheid; it currently occupies Bahrein and is systematically bombing neighbouring Yemen (which committed no act of aggression against Saudi Arabia), causing many hundreds of civilian victims. Yet it is not the Saudi absolute monarchy, but the Israeli democracy that European money is trying to undermine.
In a previous piece, I described ICAHD, Jeff Halper’s neo-Marxist groupuscule, which proposes to dissolve the State of Israel into a ‘regional entity’ to include also the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. But let’s take this time a different (or, on second thought, not that different!) example: an FPSG called ‘Zochrot’.
Jewish Conspiracy Theorists Claim Non-Jews Control Global Politics, Media, Banks (satire)
“I mean, just look around. Open your eyes people!” Steven Goldstein told The Israeli Daily (TID). Goldstein, a self-proclaimed, tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist from south Florida, requested a meeting with TID to discuss one of his newest theories. “They’re controlling everything. You think you’re a unique individual? Wrong. You’re just a cog in their world domination machine. Your whole life, all your efforts are just fuel for their continued rule.” Goldstein is referring to non-Jews, who he believes control the world’s banks, media, and political systems. He knows that his theory will be met with skepticism, and has armed himself with what he considers to be conclusive evidence.
Goldstein continued, unprompted. “It seems every country has taken its shots against the Jews! Britain, Germany, Spain, Russia, and the Vatican; hell even the United States with General Order No.11! How could all these bad things happen to Jews all the time?! What, are we just the most unlucky group of people in history? I think not! Greater powers are at work against us. Non-Jews fill every position of power!”
He contined “just look at the United Nations’ non-Jews in charge. The European Union? Non-Jews. The President of the United States? A Communist Muslim. Bert and Ernie? F*cking non-Jews and they’re raising our children.”
“Have you seen The Matrix? Did you see any Jews? Exactly….”
Mainstreaming anti-Israel rhetoric on the BBC World Service
Amazingly, after that blatantly political and repeatedly inaccurate portrayal, Hearing states:
“In this programme we’re going to try and park the politics and look at how an economy under these circumstances functions at all.”
And to add insult to injury, he goes on to make use of one of the most jaded clichés in the rich lexicon of politically motivated anti-Israel rhetoric.
“One of the reasons Gaza’s often described as the largest open-air prison in the world is the difficulty of getting across the border with Israel.”
That same rhetoric is also used in the programme’s synopsis on the BBC website.
“How does the economy work in what some have described as the world’s biggest prison? Presenter Roger Hearing is live from the seafront in the Gaza Strip at the start of a week of coverage from Israel and the Palestinian territories.”
As we see, the BBC World Service has now extinguished any daylight that remained between itself and numerous assorted Hamas-supporting campaigning groups which employ the “world’s largest open-air prison” canard. And as Hearing’s jaundiced portrayal of the Gaza Strip shows, the problem with the broadcaster supposedly committed to accuracy and impartiality obviously does not by any means stop there.
Russia’s neo-Nazis unmasked — by Israeli Jewish filmmaker
A former elite Israeli soldier infiltrated a group of Russian neo-Nazis, posing as one of their own in order to document their activities and try to solve a gruesome murder.
Documentarist Vladi Antonevicz, an alumnus of Jerusalem’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School, told Channel 2 on Friday that his journey into the dark heart of Russia began after he saw a 2007 internet video of an execution-style double murder committed by neo-Nazis.
The disturbing clip, and the brashness of those who distributed it, led Antonevicz to concoct a plan which most people would find unthinkable: to travel to Russia, disguised as an extremist himself, and film his attempts to get to the bottom of the killings.
“Many tried before me (to solve the murder) and they all failed,” he told Channel 2. “So I decided to try something new: I would ask the killer.”
The result is the film “Credit for Murder,” which was screened during this month’s Docaviv International Documentary Film Festival in Tel Aviv, and will soon air on Israeli cable’s Channel 8.
Israeli recognition, at last, for Jews who fought the Nazis
As a proud patriot, Brooklyn-born Dan Nadel enlisted in the US army right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But there was another force driving him to battle — his Jewish faith.
“What Hitler was doing to the Jews, I knew he had to be killed and stopped,” the 95-year-old decorated veteran said from his home in Jerusalem. “That was my motivation.”
Nadel is among a dwindling population of Jewish war veterans who battled the Nazis — a group that until recently received little recognition in the Jewish state. Seventy years after the war ended, Israel is finally paying homage to the 1.5 million Jewish soldiers with a planned museum and research center.
Nadel became an officer and landed on Normandy shortly after D-Day. He went on to earn five battle stars while leading combat engineer troops in the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of France. Eventually, he helped free his fellow Jews from Nazi concentration camps.
“You can’t imagine what it was like. The stench, people walking around just like skeletons, just bones and skin, that’s all,” he recalled. “It was terrible. Our general, Patton, when he went into the camps, he puked.”
Meet the Makuya, Israel’s most unwavering supporters
For some time now, I’ve been singing the Israeli National Anthem with less fervor than in the past. Indeed, despite the Zionist zeal that brought me to Israel nearly five decades ago and which will undoubtedly keep me rooted to this country forever, I may have become a bit jaded. And so have many of my friends.
Small wonder, then, that when a group of us spent an evening with members of the Japanese Makuya in Jerusalem, we could barely hold back our tears. For when they sang “Zion, Zion, Zion” under the Israeli flag, their enthusiasm and shouts of joy could have raised the roof. With a collective lump in our throats, my friends and I were carried back to a simpler time, when it had all seemed only a matter of survival – and Israel had somehow survived.
The Makuya movement was born In May of 1948, the same month and year in which Israel declared its independence. But the Makuya don’t believe in coincidence. In fact, they consider the establishment of the modern State of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem 19 years later to be the fulfillment of biblical prophecies, miraculous works of God.
Often called New Zionism, the Makuya movement was founded by a successful Japanese businessman, the late Professor Abraham Ikuro Teshima. Professor Teshima was a deeply religious Christian who had early on become disenchanted with the established Church and its western trappings. But he hadn’t yet heard the Divine voice. That would come later, a few years after World War II.
Miamians forge bonds with Israel’s tech innovators
Outsized success can be achieved in places you never expected. That’s why a group of leaders in Miami’s budding start-up community recently packed up and flew to Israel.
Despite few natural resources and ongoing regional instability, Israel has become a hotbed of high-impact entrepreneurship. Cities such as Tel Aviv and Haifa — home to Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology — are leading centers of innovation.
Israeli entrepreneurs have produced everything from the pioneering online messaging program ICQ to the popular traffic app, Waze. No foreign country save China has more tech companies listed on the NASDAQ than Israel, a nation of 8 million people.
Over the past two years, meanwhile, Miami has seen a sharp rise in its own innovative entrepreneurial activity. The recent eMerge Americas conference illustrated the new energy. The trip provided a unique opportunity for leaders in Miami’s burgeoning entrepreneurial community to understand what’s behind the success of the country dubbed “Startup Nation.”
Israeli companies bring jobs to American cities
Israel-based Avgol, a global producer of fabrics, announced it will expand its North American operations by building a new production line at its Mocksville, North Carolina plant, creating dozens of new jobs.
The expansion is part of a recent trend in Israeli business, in which the “home office” in Israel, seeking to expand sales in the United States, opens production facilities there, creating jobs and bringing production closer to markets.
Earlier this week, Bram Plastics Industries, a major producer of food storage and kitchen products, said it would open a new plant in Savannah, Georgia. The Sderot-based firm will invest $3 million in the facility, where it will produce food packaging products, tableware, plastic housewares, plastic storage tools and more for its American customers, which include large chain stores like Walmart. The factory will generate at least 60 new jobs, the Savannah Economic Development Authority said.
And venerable kitchen counter maker Caesarstone, based in Kibbutz Sdot Yam in Israel, this week officially opened its first American manufacturing facility in Richmond Hill, Georgia. In a gala event, Caesarstone CEO Yos Shiran said, according to the Savannah Morning News, that the company “examined many places in the states. We have found Georgia, Bryan County and specifically Richmond Hill as the best place for us, combining proximity to interstates and the port, warm people and the support of everybody around us.”
New Israeli App Lets Drivers Shame Bad Drivers on the Road
A new Israeli app allows users to record and report bad drivers in an effort to promote road safety, tech website Geektime reported on Thursday.
Nexar, a new tech startup from Tel Aviv, launched its network of connected drivers in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The app provides users the ability to flag reckless drivers and help other drivers improve their driving skills by providing them with instant feedback. Nexar users will also know which nearby drivers are dangerous, or satisfactory, behind the wheel through real-time alerts from the Nexar network.
The app continuously films the road the moment a user starts driving, according to Geektime. It then records location and speed information from a user’s smartphone. If a user came in contact with a reckless driver he can press a button and report the offender, which prompts the app to automatically attach a video clip of the incident to the report. The same driver will be flagged if he gets multiple reports.
Reckless driving is also detected at the end of a trip when the entire video is uploaded to the cloud. Nexar uses computer vision algorithms to analyze the video, identify dangerous driving habits, and pull license plate numbers of the cars involved, Geektime explained. The report noted that any video clip flagged as problematic will be reviewed by computer vision algorithms and humans who make the final call.
IsraAID sending team to join Texas flood relief effort
The Israeli organization IsraAID will be sending a team to help relief efforts in Texas which has been hit with massive flooding that has killed at least 21 people and that has prompted evacuations.
“IsraAID will be mobilizing its relief team from Israel to support the thousands of people impacted by these latest storms,” said Shachar Zahavi, IsraAID's Executive Director.
A team of ten IsraAID volunteers will depart for Texas on Sunday where they will help with removing debris from damaged houses, Zahavi told The Jerusalem Post.
The organization will be partnering with US disaster relief organization Team Rubicom and will be helping people in the Austin area.
Water revolution in Israel overcomes any threat of drought
“We were in a situation where we were very, very close to someone opening a tap somewhere in the country and no water would come out,” said Uri Schor, the spokesman and public education director of the government’s Water Authority.
But that was about six years ago. Today, there is plenty of water in Israel. A lighter version of an old “Israel is drying up” campaign has been dusted off to advertise baby diapers. “The fear has gone,” said Mr. Zvieli, whose customers have gone back to planting flowers.
As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts. More than 50 percent of the water for Israeli households, agriculture and industry is now artificially produced.
During the drought years, farmers at Ramat Rachel, a kibbutz on the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, took water-economizing measures like uprooting old apple orchards a few years before their time. With the new plenty, water allocations for Israeli farmers that had been slashed have been raised again, though the price has also gone up.
“Now there is no problem of water,” said Shaul Ben-Dov, an agronomist at Ramat Rachel. “The price is higher, but we can live a normal life in a country that is half desert.”
Legal Insurrection: Yet another reason to move U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem
It’s the humane thing to do.
Ah, the beach in Tel Aviv.
The Featured Image shows the view north from in front of my hotel.
There is a huge amount of construction going on up and down the beach — luxury hotels and residence buildings.
The building on the far right in the Featured Image is the U.S. Embassy.
That’s right, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv is beachfront on the most prized section in Tel Aviv.
Not that the diplomats likely get to enjoy it.
In fact, don’t you think it is unfair to force our diplomats to look out at the people frolicking on the beach knowing they cannot partake? It’s practically torture!
Save the diplomats?!
Yet another reason to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem.
Where our embassy belongs.

Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 5/30/2015 10:00:00 PM

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