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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

From Ian:

Obama signs anti-BDS bill into law
After a grueling legislative battle, US President Barack Obama signed into law a controversial trade measure that also contains landmark legislation combating the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in Europe.
The broader legislation faced an uphill battle after Obama’s usual allies — Democrats in the House of Representative — bucked his authority and voted against key provisions out of concern that liberalization of trade could impact American jobs.
But on Monday, Obama signed into law the so-called “fast track” authorization that will allow US trade negotiators to work out a long-awaited deal with Asian states known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trade Promotion Authority legislation also contained the anti-BDS provisions, which make rejection of the phenomenon a top priority for US negotiators as they work on a more distant free trade agreement with the European Union.
These guidelines, sponsors hope, will discourage European governments from participating in BDS activities by leveraging the incentive of free trade with the US.
IDF Appoints Special Team to Plan Strike on Iran
A source close to Ya'alon was quoted by Walla! saying, "nothing has changed regarding the military option. Our working assumption is that Iran is lying all the time, beyond the fact that it is funding and directing terror in the Middle East. It (Iran) is our most bitter enemy today, even though we don't share a physical border with it, and we must not put off any kind of preparedness against it."
"In the end we don't believe Iran. We don't believe the (nuclear) project will be stopped. Therefore the (military) option will remain. ...We need to be ready also for the day in which Israel will need to make decisions alone. (What) if it becomes clear they are pushing the envelope in breach of the agreement? Or if Iran goes down deep underground (with its nuclear facilities)? And if new sites are found? Will we wait for the US to take care of them?"
"You have to prepare yourself for all of the threats. Not only for Gaza and Lebanon," added the source. "The military option costs money but the more time goes by, you're better prepared to carry out the mission."
Indicating Israel's growing preparedness ahead of a potential military clash with Iran, the IAF held a special drill with the Greek air force two months ago, in which roughly 100 members of the IAF took part including dozens of crews from all the F-16i squadrons.
‘Seeds of Conflict’ could sow confusion
One day in 1913, a group of Arabs stole some grapes from the vineyards of Jewish pioneers in Rehovot. An altercation followed, leaving one Arab camel driver and one Jewish guard dead. The incident marked an irrevocable break between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, and planted the seeds of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Far-fetched as it may sound, this is the theory advanced by a one-hour PBS documentary, ‘Seeds of Conflict,’ shown in the US on 30 June. Grievances between different communities, once happy to mingle in coffee houses, were allowed to fester, the programme argues, and the conflict soon took on the proportions we know today.

In truth, it could be argued that the breakdown of the traditional dhimmi relationship was one of the root causes of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Perhaps the decisive incident took place, not in 1913, but in 1908, when the Hashomer Hatza’ir pioneers of Sejera dismissed their Circassian guards — who protected their settlement against Bedouin raids — ­ and replaced them with Jewish guards. For the Jews, this was an ideological statement of self-sufficiency. But for the neighbouring Arab fellaheen, they had crossed a red line. They had reneged on their part of the bargain: the dhimmi, who was not allowed to bear arms, should always look to the Muslim for protection.
The arrival of the young Zionist pioneers, with their socialist vision of a brave new world, threatened to overturn the existing pecking order. Yet many Arabs benefited from the influx of European Jews. As the Jews toiled to drain the swamps and make the desert bloom, waves of Arab immigrants flooded in from neighbouring countries, eager to take advantage of the jobs and prosperity created.
The program’s creators say that 1913: Seeds of Conflict dispels a number of myths and is ‘an admittedly arbitrary glimpse that captures the Palestine of a hundred years ago’. But to substitute a tale of ‘European colonialists’ invading Palestine in order to trouble a multiculturalism of mythical equality would be to indulge in dangerous revisionism.



Isi Leibler: Combating the new anti-Semitism
How does one effectively fight anti-Semitism and its newest mutation, anti-Israelism? The first step must be to understand how these phenomena are manifested and who is behind them.
Over the past decade, as anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism increased exponentially, many books covering the subject have been published. Until now, aside from magisterial works of the late Robert Wistrich and the excellent analysis by Daniel Goldhagen, "The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Anti-Semitism," there has not been a contemporary review of the global battlefield covering the world's oldest hatred. There are other valuable studies but they are of limited scope.
Now a new study of considerable significance has become available. Manfred Gerstenfeld's "The War of a Million Cuts: The Struggle Against the Delegitimization of Israel and the Jews and the Growth of the New Anti-Semitism" is a compelling book that outlines the components of the new anti-Semitism. The seemingly obscure title is explained in the text as referring to an unlimited number of often small hate attacks from a huge number of sources. This differs from the traditional anti-Semitism of concentrated attacks by major players, such as initially the Catholic Church and much later Nazism and its many allies. What is radically new in this book is that it presents a detailed strategy on how to fight the enemy.
Obama says he would ‘walk away’ from bad Iran deal
US President Barack Obama on Tuesday reiterated that he would not hesitate to “walk away” from a nuclear deal with Iran if the conditions are not satisfactory.
Obama told reporters at a White House press conference that Tehran would have to agree to a “strong, rigorous verification mechanism” on curbing its disputed nuclear program.
Iran and six major powers on Tuesday gave themselves until July 7 to clinch a historic nuclear deal as a midnight deadline approached in marathon talks, with no breakthrough in sight.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who joined the talks in Vienna earlier Tuesday, said he believes that, after almost two years of trying, a deal ending the 13-year standoff is “within reach.”
How Obama is Selling Out the Middle East to Iran
A running theme of pro-Israel Democrats is that President Obama’s approach to achieving a nuclear deal with Iran is consistent with his “unshakable” support for the Jewish state. In that view, nothing that the administration has done undermines President Obama’s promise that “the United States will always have Israel’s back when it comes to Israel’s security.” However, when Israel’s security interests are considered in the context of the P5+1 deal with Iran, the president’s promise rings hollow. Even as Obama claimed the U.S. had Israel’s back, the administration was moving to sell out the region to Iran — and to prevent Jerusalem from doing anything that might disrupt the deal.
Because it repeatedly failed in negotiations, the administration was compelled to shift its policy from rolling back Iran’s nuclear program to managing its nuclear threshold status. Moreover, it became necessary for the U.S. to court Iran on the one hand, while alienating Israel on the other, to prevent Israel from building an effective case against the emerging terms of the deal.
By manufacturing a series of mini-crises, President Obama has created a justification for downgrading the U.S. relationship with Israel. The fissures between the two countries — which have resulted from a combination of national-security leaks and diplomatic strong-arming — have empowered the White House to arrest the flow of security cooperation with Israel and isolate it internationally.
The sensitive information released has not always pertained specifically to Iran, but the leaks generally disrupt Israel’s ability to act against what its government considers a bad deal. The same principle applies to the diplomatic pressure being exerted on Israel. Through thinly veiled threats indicating it could terminate or soften its defense of Israel at the United Nations, the Obama administration has sought to silence any criticism of the looming rapprochement with Iran.
John Bolton’s Grim Outlook on Iran and the Middle East (INTERVIEW)
The setting was informal on a recent Sunday afternoon in New York City: a small-but-dry room providing a haven during a Central Park downpour that followed the Celebrate Israel Parade. But the large crowd and the weather outside were far from the mind of John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Instead, the vocal supporter of Israel and former official in the Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations honed in on a different kind of storm.
“My focus is on the threat of a nuclear Iran and how close it is to creating deliverable nuclear weapons,” Bolton said in an interview with JNS.org. “That, and how serious the threat of a nuclear Iran is to Israel and the United States.”
Bolton, who more than a decade ago testified before Congress that Iran was lying about enriched uranium contamination, laid out what he considers essential components of an acceptable nuclear agreement between world powers and the Islamic Republic, saying that “any facility that we believe is associated with the nuclear program must be subject to inspection.”
“The current negotiations with Iran are inherently flawed,” said Bolton. “Congress is not strong enough. Even the recent legislation [giving Congress 30 days to review a nuclear deal] allows Congress to do what it already had the power to do.”
Is the Iran Inspection Process Really Unfettered?
The news that a solution has been found to offer United Nations inspectors access to Iranian nuclear sites makes it appear as if the Obama administration will gets the deal it has been working toward. The Times of Israel is reporting that “a senior U.S. official” is saying that the two sides in the nuclear talks have reached an agreement that, in theory, ought to grant the International Atomic Energy Agency the ability to inspect Iran’s facilities to ensure they aren’t cheating on an agreement that is supposed to prevent from working toward a bomb over the next ten years. If true, that would mean a major obstacle to completion of the negotiations is completed allowing the White House to be able to trumpet the pact as a triumph for American diplomacy and enhance its chances of surviving a Congressional vote on ratification. But the language used by the senior official to describe this achievement ought to give pause to those seeking to declare the deal a success before it is even signed. If, as the source said, a “process” will be required to allow the IAEA to show up at a nuclear or military site, then it’s not clear that what will follow could possibly be the sort of surprise inspection that would actually catch any cheating. Moreover, since it we’re also told it won’t mean that inspectors will have access to all Iranian military sites, the diplomatic victory we may be hearing about in the coming days may not be anything like the unfettered inspections without warning that would be needed for the deal to work.
The administration has already begun selling this “compromise” by saying that it’s completely reasonable for Iran to deny access to all of its military sites because the U.S. wouldn’t allow such inspections either. That may be true but, again, as with every other retreat by American negotiators, what the administration has done here is to put the Islamist regime and its nuclear ambitions on the same moral plane as the United States. The U.S. is treating Iran with kid gloves because it sees the rogue regime as a potential partner in a new détente rather than as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism with dreams of regional hegemony.
Nuke talks: Iran keeps holding out for a more complete surrender from the West
You may have heard that the Iran nuclear talks will continue past the 30 June deadline. It just won’t be possible to negotiate a “deal” on this charged topic by tomorrow. That’s not really because no matter how much the Obama-Kerry negotiating team gives in, the Iranians keep reiterating terms for our surrender. The Iranians have been quite consistent all along. It’s because Team Obama is dragging its heels on the surrender, making our concessions piecemeal.
The latest concession by the Obama-Kerry team involves the earlier demand, by the U.S. and EU-3, that Iran allow international inspection of the military sites potentially connected with a nuclear weapons program. Like the other demands once outlined by Team Obama as indispensable (e.g., the “freeze” on new enrichment-related activities, the long-sought disclosures on earlier weaponization work, or “possible military dimensions”), this one was categorically rejected last week by Ayatollah Khamenei in a major policy speech.
The Iranian majlis – the parliament – backed Khamenei’s intransigent stance on military site inspections with a bill prohibiting such foreign inspections. (Chanting “Death to America!” during the voting added a theatrical touch.)
There’s nothing new about this posture, however. Iran stated it clearly back in April, when a premature tocsin was being rung for a “deal” that didn’t materialize. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois captured the utter incompatibility of the U.S. and Iranian positions in a handy graphic, which remains as valid today as it was then.
WSJ: U.S. Expedited Release of Arms Smugglers to Build Confidence for Nuclear Talks with Iran
In an analysis of the secret diplomacy between the United States and Iran that led to the nuclear talks, The Wall Street Journal today reported that in order to build confidence with Iran, the United States expedited the release of four Iranians, among them convicted arms smugglers, who were held in U.S. and U.K. custody. During the talks, which were facilitated by the government of Oman, Iran held three American hikers, eventually releasing them when Oman paid $500,000 bail for each of them.
Iran also campaigned for the release of Shahrzad Mir Gholikan, who was convicted in 2009 and sentenced to more than five years for illegally exporting night-vision equipment to Iran from Europe. Iranian state TV showed one of the American hikers in custody, Sarah Shourd, posing with Ms. Gholikan’s twin daughters and calling for their mother’s release.
Ms. Gholikan returned to Iran via Oman in August 2012, nearly a year after Ms. Shourd’s release. U.S. officials denied it was a prisoner swap because Ms. Gholikan had served her sentence.
France preparing to resume business with Iran
France is gearing up for the resumption of its substantial economic dealings with Iran, under the assumption that a nuclear agreement with Tehran is likely in the near future, Reuters reported Monday night.
Around 100 French companies are reportedly planning to participate in a delegation to Tehran in September to review business opportunities in the Islamic republic.
And a French diplomat told Reuters that Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius planned to visit the Iranian capital soon after an agreement is signed in a bid to normalize relations.
French diplomats have met with businessmen and have told them there is “no time to waste” in preparing for renewed economic ties.
France Renames Itself Palestine & Applies For UN Relief After England Announces Calais Apartheid Wall
Britain is to build more than two miles of high-security fencing at the Channel Tunnel port in northern France, in an attempt to stop thousands of illegal migrants breaking into lorries bound for the UK.
James Brokenshire, the Immigration Minister, told the Telegraph he was taking action after a surge in the number of “clandestines” storming the border in the Calais area last week.
He announced plans to protect the lorry terminal in Coquelles, near Calais, with nine-foot high police barrier that has previously been used to secure the London Olympics and last year’s Nato summit in Wales.
US church votes to divest from companies operating in West Bank
The top legislative body of the United Church of Christ voted Tuesday to divest from companies with business in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a sign of the growing momentum of a protest movement against Israeli policy.
The church also voted to boycott products made in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The US-based liberal Protestant group’s General Synod endorsed the action on a vote of 508-124 with 38 abstentions.
Later Tuesday, the denomination was to vote on whether to label Israeli policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “apartheid.”
The resolution urged the divestment from “the following companies that have been found to profit from the occupation of the Palestinian territories by the state of Israel: Caterpillar Inc., Motorola Solutions, Hewlett-Packard Development Company LP or its successors, G4S, and Veolia Environnement[sic] plus its 352 subsidiaries.”
Desmond Tutu: Once a hero, now forlorn anti-Israel loser
Desmond Tutu was once a hero in the eyes of freedom fighters around the world. But talk about a tragic flaw: he's now best known for having fallen in with the bigotry amongst bigotries -- irrational hatred of the Jewish State of Israel. It keeps getting worse. Someone should pray for his soul
It is always a moment of amusement to read the latest fulmination of the venerable archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu. On June 17, 2015, he beguiled us again with his message to his dear sisters and brothers in the United Church of Christ, which is holding its general synod in Cleveland June 26-30, 2015.
He assured the congregation of his support for its divestment resolution targeting the “Israeli occupation.” He fully endorsed the proposal to use the powerful nonviolent tools of economic leverage against the State of Israel.
Tutu is following in the footsteps of individuals and groups, all well-known and respected for their intimate knowledge and understanding of Middle East affairs, and very familiar with all the alleged misdeeds and violations of international law by the State of Israel and the diabolical enemies of peace in the Hebrew University and the Hadassah medical facilities.
The experts are too numerous to mention, but among the most knowledgeable are the executive board of the American Studies Society, most of whom specialize in gender studies; the Irish Students Union, which apparently does not have a map of Israel; the U.K. National Union of Students; Alice Walker, who views Israel as black, not the color purple; and the rock singer Roger Water, whose mission in life is apparently to call on fellow entertainers not to rock in Israel since, unlike Mick Jagger, he gets no satisfaction from this.
Activist Works to Cut Funding for Rachel Corrie Play
Could the next cultural storm be on the horizon?
After the Al Midan Theater's play "A Parallel Time" was exposed as being inspired by the life of terrorist Walid Daka, nationalist activist Shai Glick told Arutz Sheva of a second controversial play readying for performance at another state-sponsored theater.
The play, "My Name is Rachel Corrie," on the life of an American who was killed during a confrontation with the IDF in Gaza, will be performed at the Jaffa Theater.
Addressing Corrie's backstory and her attempts to prevent IDF demolitions in Rafah, Glick refused to call her a human rights activist, instead an "anarchist" whose activities bordered on terrorism.
The play, based on Corrie's diary entries, has been criticized as oversimplifying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and describing Corrie as someone who wanted to exercise good in the face of great evil, i.e. the IDF.
The Emperor Has No Clothes: The NIF and Brian Lurie Are Anti-Israel
The New Israel Fund is conspicuously behind many efforts to harm Israel worldwide – and while they incessantly maintain innocence, that is far from the situation..
The New Israel Fund uses words as subterfuge – and it fools some people.
In a recent letter to the editor to the New York Post (published in response to my op-ed), NIF’s Vice President wrote, “…our alleged support for the global Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement and bringing Israeli soldiers to trial in foreign courts should preclude NIF from marching in New York’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade. However, our opposition to both positions is clear and unequivocal.”
The boycott issue has been debated before and NIF’s position is clearly stated on their website. The NIF claims that it does not support boycotts of Israel; yet in an article written in 2014, ironically titled, “Op-Ed: Boycotting settlements is not anti-Israel,” they made clear that certain boycott efforts were perfectly fine with them. The boycott word is part of a game.
Smoothie drinks not so innocently funding anti-Israel hatred
I have no doubt that the Innocent Foundation will say (just as Comic Relief did) that the War on Want projects they have funded are unconnected with Israel. But how can they possibly know that War on Want did not use that money to subsidise its political campaign to deligitimize the Jewish State?. Its campaign against Israel has been almost the ONLY activity War on Want has undertaken in the last 5 years (as proven by the material I have previously provided). Every one of their employees spends almost 100% of their time on the campaign against Israel and it is therefore impossible that money from organisations like Innocent does not contribute to this.
It is also interesting to note that War on Want seems to get all of its funding not from members of the public who really want to fund it, but rather from other organisations (like the British Government, the EU, Comic Relief and Innocent) whose 'leaders' believe it is a cause that should be supported. Yet these 'leaders' are simply using money from consumers and tax payers who would never dream of donating to a bunch of freaks and bigots like War on Want. It's all very well to say that Innocent is being noble in donating 10% of its profits to such 'charities'; but that 10% all comes directly from consumers who buy their products and who have no say in how that profit is spent. If they were asked they may very well prefer that the price was lowered by 10%. Seems like Innocent is not much different from Lush.
BBC Peddles Anti-Israel Lies, Helps Whitewash Hamas
Unfortunately, rather than clarifying to audiences that the Gaza Strip has not been under occupation for a decade and instead of pursuing the subject of what Gilbert really means when he talks of a “right to resist” (in a recent interview with the Guardian, Gilbert stated that “[t]he right to resist implies also the right to resist with arms, if you’re occupied”), Coomarasamy gets into a futile academic discussion with Gilbert about medicine and politics before providing him with the opportunity to whitewash Hamas abuses.
JC: “What about…I mean have you tried to understand the point of view of Hamas and what they were doing in the hospital? Because if you look at the Amnesty International report from last month they very clearly say ‘Hamas forces used the abandoned areas of Shifa, including the outpatients clinic area, to detain, interrogate torture and otherwise ill-treat suspects even as other parts of the hospital continued to function as a medical centre’. And first of all, do you recognize that portrait?”
MG: “I don’t support Hamas. I don’t support Fatah. I don’t support any Palestinian faction. I support the Palestinian people.”
JC: “But do you recognize the Amnesty International characterization of what was happening in the hospital when you were there?”
MG: “Bear in mind that Amnesty was not allowed to enter Gaza. I am not saying that this is not taking place. I’m saying that where I worked it was a proper hospital. And yes, the Palestinian Authorities had their press conferences outside. I am allowed to work freely. I walk around wherever I want. I’m never controlled. I never have my pictures controlled. So from what I have seen in Shifa hospital and in the other Palestinian hospitals in Gaza, this is not the picture I recognize.”

Coomarasamy ends the interview there and, as has so often been the case in the past, BBC audiences have once again been fed Gilbert’s unhindered falsehoods and propaganda – as well as promotion of his book.
Honest Reporting: Media Failures: The Flotilla, a Skewed Headline and the New York Times
VOI's Josh Hasten is joined by HonestReporting's Yarden Frankl.
They discuss this week’s media coverage of Israel: The “flotilla” story sinks; a headline again neglects to mention that a Palestinian was killed after opening fire on IDF soldiers; the New York Times editorializes that the United National Human Rights Council is not obsessed with Israel.
BBC WS radio’s ‘balanced’ account of the Six Day War excludes Israelis
Of course with the previous programme having been devoted to the stories told by two Palestinian interviewees, a truly balanced presentation of the Six Day War would have included accounts from Israelis equally affected by the war at the time. Such accounts could have included an explanation of the sense of impending disaster which gripped Israelis in the weeks preceding the outbreak of war and the feeling of fighting for their very existence. It could also, for example, have recounted the experiences of those who had been expelled from their homes in the Old City of Jerusalem or Gush Etzion nineteen years previously by Jordan and told stories of the first visits by Israelis to the holy sites from which they were barred throughout the years of Jordanian occupation.
But curiously, the BBC chose to tick its impartiality box by comparing apples to oranges. Whilst the story of the Libyan Jewish community is obviously important and interesting – and its airing a very rare event in BBC broadcasting – this is not “the other side” of the narrative heard the previous week by BBC audiences.
The same item by Louise Hidalgo broadcast on ‘The History Hour’ also appeared in the June 19th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Witness’ – available here – where it was described as “…the second of two programmes about the effect of the Six Day War between Israel and the armed forces of Egypt, Syria and Jordan”.
Pine Bush schools settle anti-Semitic lawsuit for $4.5 million
The 2012 lawsuit by five former and current students was due to go to trial next month.
In the settlement, filed in court papers on Monday, according to The New York Times, district officials also agreed to make significant curriculum and training reforms.
The suit alleged that officials in the district, located about 90 miles north of Manhattan, long had failed to respond adequately to complaints by the students and their families of pervasive anti-Semitic bullying and harassment.
The students said they were forced to endure anti-Semitic epithets and jokes about the Holocaust, including Nazi salutes, and to retrieve coins from dumpsters. They also said they were subject to physical violence.
School officials responded with “deliberate indifference,” according to the lawsuit.
Anti-Semitic Arson Attack Destroys Hatzolah Ambulance in Ukraine
Jews in Ukraine are without one of their life-saving Hatzolah ambulances after an arsonist targeted the vehicle Sunday.
Preliminary findings by police after the overnight destruction pointed to an anti-Semitic attack that badly damaged the vehicle and its equipment.
The ambulance is well known in the city – as is the Jewish community it serves, according to police who spoke with media.
It’s not the first time anti-Semites have targeted Hatzolah Ukraine. One year ago, the head of Hatzolah emergency services in the country, Rabbi Hillel Cohen, was beaten and stabbed in the capital city of Kiev by two young men who spoke Russian. The two called him a “zid” — the derogatory Russian slur for “Jew” — and other gutteral words that were unclear. A young couple was also assaulted that same night on their way to the synagogue, a Friday night.
The burned ambulance has been key in accommodating the tens of thousands who visit Uman on their annual pilgrimage to the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov for Rosh Hashana.
European anti-Semitism dipped after attacks on Jews, poll finds
However, the poll by the US-based Anti-Defamation League also found negative feelings about Jews remained at a constant level in most other countries surveyed.
The survey came after two deadly shooting incidents in a little over a year that targeted, among others, Jews in France and Belgium.
It sampled 10,000 people in 19 countries and was conducted between March 10 and April 3 this year.
France showed the biggest decrease, with anti-Semitic attitudes dropping to 17% compared with a figure of 37% from a survey in 2014.
Germany saw a dip from 27% the year before to 16% in 2015 and Belgium from 27% to 21%.
Vandals deface Jewish history exhibit in Munich
Police in Munich are investigating a graffiti attack on an outdoor exhibit about local Jewish history.
The exhibit is located in front of the Jewish museum and community center on Jakobsplatz, called the new Jewish center, in central Munich.
The graffiti, which was discovered Monday, includes Hitler mustaches burned onto photographs of rabbis and politicians. The department for politically motivated crimes is investigating, according to local reports.
The exhibit was erected last week following a public celebration of 200 years since the founding of Munich’s Jewish community and 70 years since its reestablishment after the Holocaust.
Bavaria’s minister of culture, Ludwig Spaenle, said in a statement that “the attack on these images must be seen as an attack on the people themselves.”
Facing Western diplomatic and economic pressure, Israel looks east
Facing mounting Western diplomatic and economic pressure, Israel has been assiduously cultivating ties with what it hopes will be the less judgmental Asian giants, China and India. In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s view, the potential in Israel’s “pivot to Asia” is unlimited.
On the economic level, it has been impressive. With annual trade of over $11 billion, China is already Israel’s second largest single country trading partner after the US. With purchases of around $1 billion a year, India is the world’s largest consumer of Israeli military equipment.
Despite the huge disparity in size and economic needs, Israel and the Asian giants have been able to find scores of mutually beneficial economic fits. Israeli hi-tech is of particular interest. China is looking to Israeli R&D to help produce innovative products; India seeks to manufacture sophisticated weaponry and civilian goods based on Israeli know-how.
But if Israel’s strategic planners think the Asian giants can step in for Europe and the US on the diplomatic level, they are making a huge mistake. Asia can help pick up economic slack created by European antipathies. But neither China nor India is likely to champion or defend Israel on the world stage. To maintain its international standing, Israel needs the support of what it itself acknowledges as the “moral majority” the US and Europe provide.
Better booster seat gives British immigrant a leg up
Booster seats are supposed to make kids in cars safer, but they often do the opposite, according to Israeli entrepreneur Jon Sumroy. Bulky, oversized seats are not good fits for smaller children, plus it’s unlikely that parents will schlep around a big booster seat when taking their kids on the bus or in taxis.
To solve that, Sumroy developed mifold, a booster seat that is 10 times smaller than the typical booster seat and just as safe. The 48-year-old immigrant to Israel from the United Kingdom does not fit the profile of a typical young Israeli entrepreneur, and booster seats are not a tech product. But the start-up culture here has been a crucial part of his success, Sumroy said.
Unlike baby seats, which are usually very secure and have their own harness and shoulder straps, booster seats are meant for older kids and allow them to be securely fastened into regular seat and shoulder belts. But getting the child centered and belted safely can be difficult. Many parents – as many as 25% in Western countries -don’t know how to use the seats properly, and many of them just give up, strapping their kids into the back seat and hoping for the best.
Israeli App Catches New Zealand Burglar
Israel's hi-tech industry has long been praised in the world, but one New Zealander recently had a harrowing first-hand experience in which she learned how Israeli ingenuity can save one's belongings - and even save one's life.
Melissa Rodrigues of Wellington, New Zealand, was skeptical after her three-year-old son said he had heard an intruder trying to break into the family home. The second time it happened he found proof to show her, in the form of footprints left in the mud by the thief.
Rodrigues and her husband then turned to Salient Eye, a free Israeli cell phone application that turns old smartphones into a camera and motion detector alarm system.
The app caught the thief trying to break in and notified Melissa with an email alert, at which point she called the police. In a manhunt consisting of five police cars the police tracking dog lost the burglar's scent, but pictures captured by Salient Eye gave enough details to identify the man, who turned out to be a neighbor living a few houses away.
After being caught by police thanks to the Israeli app, the man confessed to stealing tools from the Rodrigues family, as well as stealing from other neighbors as well.
Photos: ZAKA Takes Part in Drill with American Military
For the second time, members of the ZAKA emergency medical service participated in a multi-nation drill with the United States Military. The drill, which takes place once every two years, was held in the state of Indiana this year.
This year’s drill simulated a scenario of an 8.3-magnitude earthquake hitting the city of Bloomington in Indiana, similar to the earthquake that occurred in Nepal last month, which killed and injured thousands of civilians, and also left thousands homeless.
The purpose of the drill was to place an emphasis on international cooperation between the National Guard and the rescue units of Israel’s Home Front Command and ZAKA, which is recognized as an international organization by the United Nations.
The commanders of the National Guard who took part in the drill were particularly impressed with the capabilities of the ZAKA delegation and its professional conduct as reflected by the organization’s experience in disaster relief around the world. It was also agreed that ZAKA and the American military will continue their cooperation.
Prestigious German start-up program to invest in Israelis
The German government will invest €500,000 annually in Israeli entrepreneurs, starting in the fall of 2015, it was announced Monday.
This will be the first time Germany’s EXIST program, which aims to encourage entrepreneurship in German universities and research institutes, will invest in another country’s start-ups. The program is designed for young people who are finishing their university studies.
Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, made the announcement at a special event marking the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic and business relations with Israel.
The event in Tel Aviv brought together dozens of German firms and investors with Israeli counterparts, with diplomats and executives praising the annual €6.5 billion trade between the two countries.
First nonstop Boston-TLV route launched by El Al
Just a few miles south of where the Puritans built their New Jerusalem, the first nonstop commercial flight from New England to Israel took off Sunday night from Boston’s Logan International Airport.
More than 200 business and community leaders gathered at Logan for a pre-flight ceremony, during which Israel’s flag was hoisted to the ceiling of the international departures hall. Calling the new route’s opening “a true act of Zionism,” representatives of the Israeli government and El Al Israel Airlines noted that 600,000 Americans fly to the Jewish state each year.
Having edged out contenders like Chicago, Miami and San Francisco, Boston became El Al’s fourth North American gateway city with Sunday night’s maiden voyage to Tel Aviv. The route is the first of any airline since the signing of the 2010 US-Israel Open Skies agreement, designed to encourage more flights between the two countries.
Starting Monday night, three weekly nonstop flights will depart from Israel’s Ben-Gurion International airport and land in Boston before the morning rush hour. Return trips to Israel will also take place at night, allowing passengers to arrive in Israel mid-afternoon. Until this week, Bostonians flying to the Jewish state were forced to go through other cities, including the congested, time-consuming JFK airport in New York City, adding several hours of travel each way.


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Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 6/30/2015 06:00:00 PM
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Iran secretly passed to the White House beginning in late 2009 the names of prisoners it wanted released from U.S. custody, part of a wish list to test President Barack Obama’s commitment to improving ties and a move that set off years of clandestine dispatches that helped open the door to nuclear negotiations. The secret messages... included a request to blacklist opposition groups hostile to Iran and increase U.S. visas for Iranian students, according to officials familiar with the matter. The U.S. eventually acceded to some of the requests, these officials said, including help with the release of four Iranians detained in the U.S. and U.K.: two convicted arms smugglers, a retired senior diplomat and a prominent scientist convicted of illegal exports to Iran.... With a deal in sight, some worry the U.S. will give up too much without getting significant concessions in return.

The Israel Project has released a factsheet to journalists covering the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna. It includes this amazing list of principles the White House has been willing to throw under the bus to pursue a nuclear deal:

  • -- China expansionism: Last week the NYT reported that the Obama administration has been loath to pressure China on a range of issues because they need the Chinese on Iran.
  • -- Russia expansionism: Articles have been circulating since 2014 suggesting the same thing is going on with Russia, and that Obama has taken a soft line on Ukraine because he needs the Russians on Iran (even Roger Cohen (!) rushed last November to editorialize against what he called the Iran-Ukraine tradeoff).
  • -- Middle East alliances: Differences over the Iran deal have badly undermined Washington's traditional alliances with Jerusalem and Riyadh.
  • -- Syria/U.S. WMD credibility: The President declined to enforce his Syria red line against the reintroduction of weapons of mass destruction to modern battlefields, shredding the U.S.'s nonproliferation credibility and leaving the French seething in the process. Administration spokespeople have been left trying to convince reporters that chlorine bombs don't count.
  • -- IAEA credibility: The IAEA has been kneecapped as the P5+1 global powers moved to conclude a deal with Iran, a country that still owes the agency answers on a dozen unresolved questions.
  • -- UN sanctions credibility: The U.S. has looked the other way while the Iranians busted through binding U.N. sanctions and has ceased providing information to a U.N. panel charged with monitoring the integrity of the U.N.'s sanction regime.
  • -- Iranian human rights: Obama administration officials kept the Green Revolution at arm's length so as not to inflame Tehran's paranoia about regime change.
  • -- Congress/Democrats: The President and his allies have repeatedly clashed with Congress, including with Congressional Democrats, over Iran diplomacy. There have been two full-blown media campaigns, each lasting several weeks, in which sitting Democratic lawmakers were accused of being warmongers beholden to Jewish money. Versions of those accusations came from administration spokespeople talking to reporters from White House and State Department podiums.
The US standing in the world is immeasurably worse in the reckless goal to appease the world's major state sponsor of terrorism whose pursuit of the ultimate weapon is barely hitting a speedbump as a result of the imminent deal.



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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 6/30/2015 04:00:00 PM



Back in the day, the American Library Association (ALA) concerned itself exclusively with such issues as librarians’ pay and conditions, actual and attempted censorship of materials held by or recommended for acquisition by individual libraries, and – it seemed almost to the point of obsession – the comparatively low status of librarianship.  The heavyweights of the American library world (I speak from experience) tended to be men – out of all proportion to male numbers within the profession – and they were acutely conscious that the prevalence of women in their field ensured that librarianship, like teaching and nursing, was considered a “female occupation,” with all that portended for pay scales and for status.

Not uncommon were articles in the professional literature bemoaning the fact that librarians were not accorded the status of doctors, lawyers, and tenured university teachers.  Indeed, while women were the mainstays of the public library system, men dominated the most prestigious bastions of the profession – academic and research libraries – holding most of the administrative positions and what was considered the ne plus ultra of rank and file library jobs: employment at the reference desk.  But for all that, their egos chafed at the realisation that they were categorised as campus “general staff,” not as “academic staff”.  Starting about 1970 – the incipient women’s movement notwithstanding – there was a vigorous campaign to attract more males to university librarianship, in order to boost the profession’s standing vis-à-vis the academic staff: if the male recruit had a “subject” MA (that is, a master’s degree additional to the Master of Library Science or MLS), he was virtually guaranteed a quick and steady rise, the more so if he had a “subject” PhD.

 I would not be surprised to learn that this inferiority complex, this quest for recognition, on the part of sections of the library profession has propelled some members of the professional body – the ALA – to ape such academic and quasi-academic bodies as the American Studies Association and Modern Languages Association in their support for or initiatives favouring BDS, more specifically the “Academic Boycott of Israel”.  Such an affirmation of solidarity with other proponents of the “Academic Boycott” sends a signal that the ALA represents professionals who are equal partners in academia with professors and scholars.  Flirtation with BDS on the part of librarians is an odious development that in my view militates against the role and spirit of the profession: as information providers librarians and their representative body should stand for liberalism in that word’s traditional and best sense, and discriminate against nobody.

And then, regardless of such a motivation or possible motivation on the part of certain BDSers in the ALA, there are the hard-line radicals within the profession whose anti-Israel antics two years ago were described by Lee Kaplan.  As he notes (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/13691#.VY6LAPlEDIU), inter alia:

‘These recent “delegates” were, in part, from the American Library Association in the US, but in particular they represented a roundtable of radical communists and anti-Semites in the Association who hate Israel. Still others are librarians in Canada and EU countries. All were due to return to their respective countries on July 5th. They vaunted themselves as great humanitarians, but their goal was to give support to and conduct propaganda for the terrorist groups that would end the Jewish state. Their purpose was to found yet another way to delegitimize Israel, by gathering “evidence” that Israel destroys Palestinian books and has stolen Palestinian “literature” and should be shunned by the world’s library systems.’

One of the associated groups in the Israel-demonisation process is an organisation calling itself Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP).  Apparently it consists of people who self-describe as practitioners of those occupations, so presumably one need not be a professionally qualified librarian or archivist in order to belong: this does not seem to bother the ALA, which once upon a time would have distanced itself from any persons claiming to be librarians but who lacked the MLS from an accredited “library school”.  Anyway, LAP has its own Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/390037541182068/), from which we learn that on June 27 this year members attended the ALA conference in San Francisco:

Librarians and Archivists with Palestine (LAP) members will be at the 2015 American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco this weekend, and we want to see you! We'll be holding a reportback on our recent trip back to Palestine, followed by a screening of "The Great Book Robbery," followed by a casual meetup. Come to any or all of these events….
Now Showing @ ALA: The Great Book Robbery
http://alaac15.ala.org/node/30941
Saturday, June 27, 4-5:30pm
Moscone Convention Center, 123 (N)
This documentary is about the systematic "collection" of 70,000 Palestinian books by Israeli forces (including librarians) before, during, and after the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. The film tells the story of the books and what has become of them -- many are now labeled "Abandoned Property" at Israel's National Library -- and explores issues of library ethics and cultural heritage. The film will be followed by a Q&A with LAP members
Runtime: 57 Minutes
Preview: https://vimeo.com/6303260

No doubt these librarians, archivists, and other anti-Israel propagandists (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3841252,00.html) spreading this canard about stolen books are unaware – and, if aware, unconcerned – that in Hebron in 1929 Jewish manuscripts, including notable ancient documents, were looted from Jewish homes and synagogues. I’m told by a specialist in Israeli history that it's possible that some of this loot surfaced among Jewish manuscripts shown by Arab dealers to the Rockefeller Museum.  Furthermore, says my informant, Jewish homes and synagogues/yeshivot were looted in the Old City of Jerusalem in 1929 and 1936-38; during the latter period, there was a pogrom in the south Jerusalem neighbourhood of Talpiyot, and at least one important Hebrew writer residing there had his books vandalised and plundered.  (Hat tip: E.G.)

Norman Bentwich, Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, noted in 1948, with regard to the work of the Ministry of Minorities, set up to safeguard the welfare of Arabs (and other non-Jews) in the newly-proclaimed Jewish State:

'Perhaps the most striking work in the Ministry is its effort to develop cultural life, in the midst of the uneasy truce, for the Arab population. It has already established some fifty primary schools in the towns and villages, with free education. A former Jewish Inspector of the Mandatory Education Department is in charge of the schools; another, an Oriental Jew, with a thorough knowledge of Arabic, assists him. The Ministry has also established one or two Arab clubs for reading and recreation, and has promoted a daily Arabic newspaper, El Yom (The Day). This is the first Arabic daily to appear in Israel. Several of the staff are Arabs, who have full freedom of expression; and some educated Arabs write to the Palestine Post, the English[-language] daily, voicing grievances about rent and employment, and the like.

A remarkable cultural enterprise is the establishment in Jaffa of an Arab library, which includes close on 100,000 books and periodicals salvaged from private houses that were deserted and broken into during the fighting. It includes, too, some Arab manuscripts from the ninth and tenth centuries, which may have value for scholars. The books and manuscripts are being catalogued by a Jewish scholar of Baghdad. The library is housed in a private mansion of one of the richer Arabs of Jaffa, and there is a project of making it a cultural centre. The whole cost to the Government so far has been only a few hundred pounds.

In Jerusalem 30,000 books were similarly salvaged and handed over for safe-keeping to the [Hebrew] University of Jerusalem. It is likely that the owners of the books will come to identify their property and collect it back; but the action of the Ministry will have prevented looting and destruction, and it has received the appreciation of the Arab population.'

Hardly a case of deliberate plunder!  I recommend the whole of Bentwich’s article to the librarians.  They of all people should be able to find it easily enough.  It’s in the Jewish Chronicle (31 December 1948) and is entitled "Arabs in Israel".  I’ll have more to say about it in a future article.


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Posted By Elder of Ziyon to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 6/30/2015 02:00:00 PM
From Ian:

Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: Why Salam Fayyad Lacks Popular Support
It is no secret that several senior Palestinian officials see themselves as potential successors to Abbas. Like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, Abbas has stubbornly refused to share power with anyone. And like Arafat, he continues to run the Palestinian Authority as if it were his private fiefdom.
In Palestinian culture, it is more important if one graduates from an Israeli prison than from the University of Texas in Austin. A Palestinian who carries out an attack on Israel has more credentials among his people than one who studied at Harvard or Oxford universities.
It took Salam Fayyad too long to realize that no matter how many good things he does for his people, in the end he will be judged on the basis of his contribution to the fight against Israel, and not how much humanitarian and financial aid he provides.
Police Bar Nazi Rally in London Jewish Neighborhood
A controversial neo-Nazi rally timed for Shabbat this Saturday in Golders Green, the center of the Jewish community in London, will be barred by police according to the Campaign Against anti-Semitism.
While police will be unable to ban the rally outright, the organization announced that police have imposed conditions meaning the rally will not be held in Golders Green.
Instead, the demonstration will be moved to central London, far from the Jewish community, and will be restricted to one hour only in a specially cordoned-off area, after which it will be dispersed by police.
"Today’s decision by the Metropolitan Police Service is a victory for British values and we applaud their firm defense of our community. This vindicates our policy of confronting anti-Semitism wherever it rears its head," said Gideon Falter, Chairman of the Campaign Against anti-Semitism.
Falter pointed out that "this neo-Nazi demonstration was an attempt to intimidate the largest Jewish community the UK on the Jewish Sabbath in the heart of Golders Green, on the very memorial to those who lost their lives fighting Nazis."
"We believe that ‘never again’ is a call to action from our history, which is why we called thousands of Jews and non-Jews to stand together against this disgrace in dignified defiance, unity and pride."
Telecom giant Orange to end Israel presence within 2 years
Orange’s Israeli brand licensee Partner Communications will cease to use the Orange name within 24 months, the two sides announced Tuesday. Partner had previously been expected to use the Orange name until 2025.
The new agreement stipulates that Orange will pay up to €90 million to Partner, a sizable chunk of which will be used to help Partner rebrand itself in the wake of Orange’s departure.
“The discussions were pragmatic, conducted in a positive atmosphere, and the two parties reached a mutually satisfactory agreement,” Pierre Louette, Orange’s deputy CEO, told AFP.
The announcement comes just weeks after Orange CEO Stephane Richard said he would pull the French telecom giant out of Israel “tomorrow” if he could, sparking a firestorm of criticism from Israeli and French officials.
Richard told a gathering in Cairo in early June that he would break off Orange’s relationship with Partner if it weren’t for the fact that the Israeli company would likely sue.



The Vatican Wants the Temple Mount Taken From the Jews
In 2000, speaking in a mosque in Palestinian-held Ramallah, Yasser Arafat declared, “No one will succeed in removing us from our land, including Jerusalem, and the Palestinian flag will fly from the Temple Mount and from the churches in Jerusalem.”
Arafat could say that because he had won the Vatican's support for his terroristic strategy. On June 26th, 2015, the Vatican signed its first treaty with the “State of Palestine”. It is the logical conclusion of a long path.
When the pontiff John Paul II ascended to the Temple Mount in 2000, Judaism’s most holy site, he wasn’t welcomed by Israeli officials, but by representatives of the Palestinian Authority, and the holy complex was bedecked in Arab flags. It was the Pope's implicit recognition of Islamic hegemony. It was taken to mean that Islam and Christianity superseded Judaism and have the right to “inherit” its holy places.
Since then, the Holy See’s taking a stance as the ally of the heads of the Palestinian Authority in the place most holy to the Jewish people, became almost a fait accompli.
The Catholic de-legitimization of Israel passes through the war on Jerusalem and the war on Jerusalem passes through the Temple Mount. The site where the Jewish people worshipped for hundreds of years and the focal point of every practicing Jew’s prayers is under assault from the Vatican.
Islamist Throws Shoes at Jewish Family on Temple Mount
A father and his two sons were attacked on Monday morning by an Arab, who threw stones and shoes at them, as they visited the Temple Mount.
The father said that a group of Muslim women verbally attacked him and his two sons, while a group of ten policeman sat by doing nothing.
"The police just tried to hurry our visit, but at a certain point, an Arab youth arrived and threw shoes and stones at us," the father related. "The police just hurried us off the Mount and told us they would deal with the Arab."
In the meantime, the Arab had apparently managed to escape without detection.
The father, who was hit in the back by one of shoes, turned to legal aid organization Honenu, and together with his sons filed a police complaint against the attacker.
Police later announced that the assailant, a 20-year-old Arab man, had been arrested.
Egyptian TV stages mock Israeli ‘execution’ in sick Ramadan prank
In a vile prank conducted by an Egyptian television station, a well-known Syrian singer was taken on a pleasure cruise off the Egyptian coast, and then arrested by purported Israeli naval forces, interrogated at gunpoint at an elaborately constructed faux Israeli army base, and led out for execution, with a gun put to his head.
The hoax, screened by Egypt’s Al-Hayat TV, is one of a rash of such tasteless pranks filmed and screened by various TV stations in the Arab world to coincide with the current Ramadan festivities.
The victim was the Syrian actor Bassem Yakhour, who was taken out for a pleasure cruise in a yacht at Egypt’s Sharm e-Sheikh Red Sea resort along with a small group of other passengers, all of whom were in on the hoax.
JPost Editorial: Futile flotilla
Strangely, Egypt, which has maintained a much stricter closure of its Rafah crossing with Gaza as part of its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, has not been subjected to the sort of condemnation reserved for Israel. Indeed, since Egypt has more aggressively combated smuggling via tunnels operated by Hamas, the vast majority of goods that make their way into the Strip get there through the Israeli- run Erez crossing.
There is a very simple solution to Palestinian suffering in Gaza: political change. One possibility is that Hamas will accept the three conditions set down by the Mideast Quartet – the UN, the EU, the US, and Russia.
First, it will recognize the State of Israel and repeal Hamas’s charter, which includes among other gems the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Second, it will abandon terrorism and dismantle its terrorist infrastructure.
Third, it will recognize the agreements and understandings that Israel has reached with the Palestinian Authority.
The other possibility is that the Hamas regime will be replaced by a leadership willing to accept these basic conditions. Until this happens, Israel cannot allow itself to remove the naval blockade or the restrictions it imposes on imports and the movement of people. Doing so would be a dereliction of duty to millions of Israelis threatened by Hamas’s terrorism.
So-called Freedom Flotillas do nothing to advance the rights of Palestinians living under Hamas’s Islamist regime. Their real goal is the delegitimization of Israel and its right to self-defense.
Israel expels 3 Gaza flotilla activists after interception
Israel on Tuesday expelled three pro-Palestinian activists who were among 18 arrested when the IDF peacefully intercepted a Gaza-bound boat seeking to defy the Jewish state’s naval blockade Monday morning.
The former Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki, Spanish-European parliament member Ana Miranda and an Israeli-born activist who lives abroad were expelled from the country after the Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg was towed in to Ashdod port late Monday.
The Israeli-Arab Knesset member Basel Ghattas was released from detention Tuesday and is expected to face a Knesset committee in the coming days that will mull stripping him of some of his parliamentary privileges.
The rest of the activists on board were being held in administrative detention in a Ramla prison, awaiting deportation.
Thwarted Gaza-bound ship brought into Ashdod port
The Marianne, a Swedish-registered ship which was intercepted at sea early Monday by Israel Navy commandos en route to the Gaza Strip, was brought into Ashdod port Monday night.
MKs Hanin Zoabi and Jamal Zahalka from the Joint (Arab) List arrived to greet party colleague Basel Ghattas, who was one of the 18 activists on board.
The interception of the ship early Monday morning occurred without incident and there were no injuries, the IDF said.
Hamas condemned the “kidnapping” of the activists, adding that “this ship succeeded in showing the crime of the blockade.”
Why Flotillas Sail to Gaza, Not Syria
If Gaza is a mess, it is not because both Israel and Egypt understand that Hamas terrorism must be quarantined. Rather, it is because the international community stood by indifferently as Hamas transformed the congested strip into a terrorist state that believes it has the right to pursue its war on Israel by any means anytime it sees fit. Hamas not only commits war crimes by engaging in terrorism but by using the population of Gaza as human shields behind which its killers and their armaments find shelter.
Those who want to help Gazans need to think of ways to free them from the despotic control of Hamas, which executes its enemies without mercy and represses every kind of free expression as it enforces its ruthless Islamist ideas on the population. The independent Palestinian state in all but name that they govern is an experiment in tyranny that is particularly cruel. Yet somehow those who purport to care about the Palestinians think the real villain is an Israeli government that withdrew every single soldier, settler and settlement in 2005 and simply wishes in vain for quiet along the border.
Activists seek to go to Gaza, however, for one clear reason, and it has nothing to do with humanitarian concerns. Arabs who are engaged in conflicts with other Arabs don’t interest them no matter how many people are killed or how much suffering is caused. Even at the height of the fighting last year when hundreds of Palestinian civilians were unfortunately killed as they were caught in fighting provoked by Hamas, the casualties there were dwarfed by what is going on in Syria. But it is only when Jews are involved in defending their state that the human rights community discovers a crisis.
The double standard this sort of behavior illustrates has nothing to do with good works for a suffering people. It is nothing less than anti-Semitism, since it treats Israeli self-defense as inherently illegitimate and bolsters those who commit atrocities as valid forms of “resistance” against the presence of Jews inside the 1967 lines and not just in the West Bank. Those who seek to aid the efforts of Hamas to wage war on Israel and oppress their own people are not humanitarians. They are anti-Semites.
IDF Successfully Avoids Negative Press Coverage of Gaza Flotilla
Clever work by the IDF helped reduce international press coverage of the "aid to Gaza" flotilla to practically zero.
Israel Navy commandos boarded the Swedish ship Marianne, part of the anti-Israel flotilla bringing relatively small amounts of aid to Gaza, early Monday morning. As Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained Monday afternoon, the goods on the ship are equal to approximately 1/500,000th of what Israel has transferred to Gaza.
The flotilla was thus virtually worthless, other than for the purposes of anti-Israel publicity – and these, too, were rendered moot by the IDF. This was accomplished by "stalling" the captured ship and leading it ever so slowly to Ashdod – reaching it only in the late evening hours, well after prime time for the many journalists waiting there.
The 0404.co.il news site noted that this was done purposely in order to avoid the expected negative coverage.
BBC’s English and Arabic flotilla reports promote inaccurate information
Unfortunately, the accuracy of some of the information included in that report – titled “Israel intercepts Gaza-bound boat” – was clearly less important.
Readers are told that:
“The Israeli Navy has intercepted a Gaza-bound vessel sailed by pro-Palestinian activists and diverted it to an Israeli port, the military says.
It says it acted in international waters to prevent the “intended breach of the maritime blockade” imposed since 2007 against the Hamas-run territory.”

However, as has been pointed out on these pages on numerous prior occasions, the naval blockade on the Gaza Strip was announced in January 2009 – not in 2007 as stated in this report and certainly not in 2006 – as claimed in another BBC report on the same topic posted on the BBC Arabic website.
Flotilla Activists a Bit Relieved they Don’t Have to Go to Gaza (satire)
After their Gaza-bound flotilla was intercepted by the Israeli Navy and redirected to the Port of Ashdod in southern Israel, pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Marianne admitted they were secretly relieved that they weren’t successful in defying Israel’s blockade and landing in the Hamas-controlled territory.
“To be honest, none of us were really sure what we would have done if we had gotten into Gaza,” said one activist, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “It seems like a pretty scary place, with Hamas executing people and then ISIS trying to execute them. And it would have been impossible to find somewhere to get a drink.”
Another source noted that it had been impossible to find a decent apartment in Gaza on Airbnb.com, adding that she had been so banking on Israel intercepting their ship that she hadn’t even packed a burka. Three boats accompanying the Marianne turned around and returned to their port of origin, reportedly out of fear that Israel would fail to intercept them and they’d actually make it to Gaza.
IsraellyCool: Mocking The Flotilla-holes: Dror Feiler


Skipping session on Gaza, Israel’s envoy slams UNHRC
Eviatar Manor, who represents Israel in the UNHRC, did not attend the day’s session in protest and instead delivered a scathing condemnation outside the UN building in Geneva.
“I am out here and not in there because the Human Rights Council has abandoned fairness, has become morally flawed and has entirely politicized its concern for universal human rights,” Manor told reporters.
The press conference took place as the Commission of Inquiry’s report on the 2014 Gaza conflict, released last week, was presented to the council in Geneva. The report concluded that Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip may have committed war crimes in the course of the 50 days of fighting. The UNHRC was set to vote on the findings later this week.
“This is not the Human Rights Council. It is the Palestinian Human Rights Council,” Manor said, pointing out that it has adopted more resolutions against Israel than against the rest of the countries in the world combined.
NGO Monitor: How the UN report shot itself and human rights in the foot
The NGOs cited by the UNHRC also lack expertise and access to crucial information. These shortcomings are exemplified by the “fact-finding mission” of the Israeli organization, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), produced in collaboration with the Palestinian NGOs Al-Mezan, Gaza Community Mental Health Program and the PCHR. The PHR-I investigators “did not have access to [relevant] UNRWA facilities…They could therefore investigate neither the public health impact of displacement in these facilities, nor the allegations made by the Israeli government regarding the abuse of such facilities for military purposes.” Similarly, they had “no access to evidence regarding the conduct of Palestinian armed combatants within Gaza.” Yet, the UNHRC deemed PHR-I’s investigation credible enough to cite its findings 16 times.
These and other unreliable claims are found throughout the report. But it is the prominence given to the notorious Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor solicited as an “expert” on Gaza health, which discredits the UNHRC on a deeper level. Gilbert has a well-documented history of abusing his position as doctor to promote hate and conspiracy theories, and is known to have blamed the 9/11 terror attacks on the “policy that the West has led during the last decades,” asserting that “the oppressed also have a moral right to attack the USA with any weapon they can come up with.”
Gilbert is also associated with the highly politicized British NGO Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). Exploiting medicine, MAP plays a central role in the demonization war, accusing Israel of “indiscriminate attacks” and “collective punishment.” MAP also promotes the “Nakba” narrative in order to delegitimize Israel’s very existence.
Former British Commander Kemp Says Mix-Up Cost Him UN Gaza War Commission Appointment
The U.N. Human Rights Council approached the former commander of British troops in Afghanistan to join the panel for investigating the 2014 Gaza war, but his appointment never materialized.
“I was approached by the president’s office of the UNHRC and asked if I would take part in this commission and I agreed to,” explained Col. Richard Kemp during a debate at the U.N. on Monday over its recent report condemning potential war crimes by Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip including Hamas, during last summer’s 50-day Operation Protective Edge.
“I then was told I’d be hearing back soon confirmation. I heard no more, but subsequently I was told, by other sources, I had refused the appointment,” he said, adding that the mix-up was “obviously, unintentional confusion.”
Kemp’s appointment was meant to balance a panel that critics have said was biased against Israel and the Israel Defense Force’s actions during Operation Protective Edge, after high-profile British lawyer Amal Clooney declined the U.N.’s offer to join the commission.
Kemp read from the preliminary findings of the High Level International Military Group, which included five former chiefs of staff from major armies worldwide, that “none of us is aware of any army that takes such extensive measures as did the IDF last summer to protect the lives of the civilian population in such circumstances.”
Hamas blasts UN Gaza war report… for pro-Israel bias
Hamas rejected its characterization as the “de facto authority in Gaza,” perhaps in an attempt to shift blame onto the Palestinian Authority, after the signing of a Palestinian national consensus agreement last May, and recommended that the commission utilize testimonies from left-wing Israeli organization Breaking the Silence.
The statement also suggested that the resignation of the commission’s head, William Schabas — “under Israeli pressure” — contributed to the report’s slant.
Hamas said it welcomed the report’s “condemnation of the crimes Israel has committed,” but took issue with criticism directed toward it and other Gaza-based militant organizations.
The commission found that the “indiscriminate” targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian rockets “may amount to a war crime.”
The commission further found that the Hamas executions of 21 Palestinians accused of serving as Israeli collaborators “constitute a violation of article 3 common to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and therefore amount to a war crime.”
In the statement, Hamas accused the commision of accepting “Israeli fabrications of some events” and said that claims against the group were “exaggerated” and “untrue.”
Col. Kemp tells UNHRC it’s become “tool of Hamas’ murderous strategy”
Mr. President, I fought in combat zones around the world during 30 years’ service in the British Army. I was present as an observer throughout the conflict in Gaza.
Mr. President, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas, to its eternal shame, did more to deliberately and systematically inflict death, suffering and destruction on its own civilian population, including its children, than any other terrorist group in history.
Hamas deliberately positioned its fighters and weapons in civilian areas, knowing that Israel would have no choice but to attack these targets, which were a clear and present threat to the lives of Israel’s own civilian population.
While the IDF made efforts, unprecedented in any other army, and exceeding the requirements of the laws of war, to save Palestinian civilian lives, including warning them to leave target zones, Hamas forced them to remain in those areas.
Unable to defeat Israel by military means, Hamas sought to cause large numbers of casualties among their own people in order to bring international condemnation against Israel, especially from the United Nations.
Legal Expert: UN’s Gaza report “not based on credible military operational expertise”
Lt. Col. Corn, law professor & former senior law of war adviser for U.S. army, addresses UN Human Rights Council on the report of the Gaza inquiry. Geneva, June 29, 2015.
Thank you, Mr. President. I am Geoffrey Corn, a Professor of Law and the U.S. Army’s former senior expert on the Law of Armed Conflict. I advised an independent JINSA-commissioned Task Force on the 2014 Gaza conflict.
I commend the Report’s recognition that all parties to armed conflict must implement and respect the Law of Armed Conflict. While objective critiques of military operations can contribute substantially to the understanding, implementation, and evolution of theLaw of Armed Conflict, findings and recommendations must derive from credible information, legal interpretation, and operational expertise. Otherwise, any critique risks distorting the essential balance between mitigating the suffering of armed conflict and the dictates of military necessity – one that has defined the law since its inception.
I believe the Report lacks this foundation. First, it treats questionable interpretations of this law as conclusive, and fails to apply the principle of distinction comprehensively. Specifically, it omits assessment of how an enemy’s systemic failure to distinguish himself from civilians, and deliberate exploitation of the perception of civilian status, impacts the reasonableness of attack judgments.
U.S. General Blasts Gaza Report in UNHRC Testimony
Major-General Michael D. Jones, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command, addressed the UN Human Rights Council on behalf of UN Watch, in the debate on the Commission of Inquiry into the 2014 Gaza conflict. Geneva, June 29, 2015.
Mr. President,
My name is Mike Jones, a retired U.S. Army general officer who, with four other retired U.S. generals, conducted a JINSA-sponsored, but independent, study of the 2014 Gaza conflict. We conducted research, and interviewed Israeli, UN, and Palestinian Authority officials. Our focus was what the U.S. should learn from the conflict, but our report is relevant to the Council.
I am pleased your report acknowledged that all combatants are required to abide by the law, and that Hamas’ and other groups’ indiscriminate rocket fire at Israel was unlawful.
However, it is disappointing that the report fails to condemn these groups for unlawfully failing to distinguish themselves as combatants, as well as purposefully co-locating amongst civilians, knowingly placing them at risk, with absolutely no military necessity to do so.
I am also disappointed that the report, while acknowledging that lawful targeting is a balance between the military necessity and the known risk to civilians, came to conclusions without sufficient information to make a judgment. Specifically, they condemn the IDF for engagements without any information on the IDF’s objectives, military necessity, or known information on risk.
Breitbart Contributor Anne Bayefsky Lone Pro-Israel Voice at UN Panel on Palestine
Anne Bayefsky, a Breitbart News contributor who serves as director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, made her voice heard on Monday in response to a UN report which charged Israel with committing war crimes during its war last summer with Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.
United States officials, after reviewing the report, said the investigation showed “clear bias” against the Jewish state.
Bayefsky spoke before the United Nations Human Rights panel on the danger terrorist group Hamas presents to the existence of Israel and the nation’s need for self-defense against terrorist groups with clear intentions of erasing the Jewish people from history. (h/t Yenta Press)
In Geneva, Jews and Christians from across Europe rally for Israel
As Jews and Christians from across Europe gathered at Place Des Nations across from the UN Human Rights Council building in Geneva on Monday to protest the latest Gaza report, a familiar Israeli tune played in the background.
Draped in Israeli and European flags and holding aloft signs reading “Israel wants peace, Hamas wants war,” and “We stand for Israel, we stand for democracy,” the crowd listened to the words of David Broza’s 1990 hit “Yihiyeh Tov” (“It Will be Good”).
Children wear wings / and fly to the army / and two years later / they return with no answers / people live in stress / looking for a reason to breathe / and between hatred and murder / talk about peace / … here comes the president of Egypt / how I was happy for his arrival / pyramids in his eyes and peace in his pipe / and we said ‘let’s make up and live like brothers’ / so he said ‘of course, just get out of the territories’
The ironic choice of music was lost on the crowd, however. In the sweltering heat of a Geneva afternoon, good old Israeli cynicism was nowhere to be found.
“It was my duty to come,” said Abramo Eman, who left Milan at 6:30 a.m. aboard one of five Italian buses chartered for the event. “We are one people, one heart, one problem.”
“I hope people will admit that the UN is acting unjustly,” he added. “But I don’t really count on that.”
Is the UN Human Rights Council Obsessed with Israel?
The New York Times makes an editorial comment stuck in the middle of an article that undermines the Israeli Prime Minister's claim that the United Nations Human Rights Council is "obsessed" with Israel. But the facts are on the Prime Minister's side and the comment is harmful and misleading.


Security source: West Bank shooting likely a well-planned attack, carried out by terror cell
One of the injured from the terrorist shooting attack on Monday evening in the West Bank was in serious condition with an injury to his upper body and was fighting for his life at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital on Tuesday morning.
Another injured person from the attack was hospitalized at Shaare Zedek with light injuries and two more were being treated at Hadassah University Medical Center in moderate condition.
The Israelis, all in their twenties, were injured when shots were fired late Monday toward an Israeli vehicle traveling near the West Bank settlements of Shilo and Shvut Rachel.
Security forces believe that the attack was carried out by a terror cell and not by an individual, and sweeps were under way to locate the perpetrators. The security forces also believed that the attack was planned in advance.
"This looks like an attack that was well-planned and not a spontaneous attack," a security source told The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Ma'ariv.
Netanyahu slams Palestinian Authority for failing to condemn terror attacks
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday for failing to condemn two terror attacks carried out against Israelis in the West Bank and Jerusalem on Monday.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with visiting Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentilloni, Netanyahu sent his condolences to an Israeli citizen who was seriously wounded in a shooting attack near the Shvut Rachel settlement in the West Bank and to an IDF soldier seriously wounded in a knife attack near Rachel's Tomb.
"The attempts to harm us have not stopped for a moment," Netanyahu said. "The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the IDF have thwarted dozens of terror attacks since the start of this year and more than 200 since the start of 2014."
Netanyahu vowed that Israel would continue to fight back forcefully against terror and bring those responsible for it to justice.
‘US ambassador pressed Arab MKs on gas deal vote’
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has been trying to persuade Knesset members of the opposition Joint (Arab) List to abstain or absent themselves from a Knesset vote advancing a controversial plan to develop Israel’s natural gas reserves, Army Radio reported Tuesday.
A “yes” vote would allow the cabinet to implement its agreement with Israel’s Delek Group and Noble Energy of the US to develop the massive Leviathan gas field, some 130 kilometers off the Haifa coast.
Shapiro reportedly wants Joint (Arab) List lawmakers opposed to the deal — which would grant exclusive development rights of the field to Noble and Delek — to withhold their “no” vote, either by abstaining or by skipping the vote altogether.
The ambassador discussed the vote with Ayman Odeh, the head of the Joint List, and veteran Arab MK Ahmad Tibi on Monday, Army Radio said.
The United States is thought to perceive the gas deal, which would allow Israel to move forward in supplying energy to such US allies as Egypt and Jordan, as a potentially stabilizing force in the region.
Turkey Continues to Reprimand Israel for Airport Incident
Israel's highest-ranking diplomat in Ankara was reprimanded on Monday by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, after seven Turkish nationals were refused entry to Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday.
Embassy charge d'affaires Amira Oron was also summoned to a meeting with the Foreign Ministry on Friday over the incident.
Israel confirmed the meeting took place, but refused to speak of its contents. Turkey, for its, part said it was a clarification meeting, which also included a rebuke of Israel's conduct.
The incident began when a group of nine Turks traveled to Israel to attend an event marking the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem. They were questioned for nine hours and, despite having the required visas, seven of them were sent back.
According to an Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) official, those denied entry were suspected of having links to the Hamas terrorist group.
New PLO Unity Government Talks 'Reach Impasse'
The saga continues as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) negotiations with Hamas and Islamic Jihad continue to sputter in their attempts to form a new unity government, after Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the last dysfunctional government earlier this month.
Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior head of Abbas's Fatah faction and the leader of the PLO committee holding talks with Hamas, told the Palestinian Arab Ma'an News Agency on Monday night that talks have "reached an impasse," and that a meeting will be held with Abbas and all PLO members Tuesday to discuss the deadlock.
The talks, which started Saturday, were meant to form a new government consisting of factional leaders instead of technocrats.
But according to Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri, who responded Monday to al-Ahmad's claims of an "impasse," the talks haven't really begun beyond "some phone calls."
Intelligence Minister: Hamas Cooperating with ISIS in Sinai
Intelligence and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) spoke on Tuesday about the morphing terror threat in Gaza, where a Salafist affiliate of Islamic State (ISIS) has recently been growing active and has coordinated activity with the ISIS branch in the Sinai.
Speaking at an intelligence and special units conference which was held in Tel Aviv for the first time, Katz remarked on the relations between the ISIS groups and Hamas, which has been at tension with the Salafists.
Katz stated that "between Hamas and ISIS in Sinai there is cooperation in the field of smuggling weapons and attacks," in a reference to Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis which earlier this year swore loyalty to ISIS and changed its name to Sinai Province.
"The Egyptians know it and also the Saudis, but at the same time within Gaza ISIS is challenging Hamas. But they have a common denominator, which is their animosity against the Jews, in Israel or abroad."
A year after Gaza war, Hamas entrenched as frustration grows
Emad Firi is angry. During last summer's Israel-Hamas war, a shell slammed through the roof of his house and shredded his right leg. Unable to work, Firi's son now drives his taxi but the family struggles to survive.
The 50-year-old blames Israel, but also the Islamic militant group Hamas which has ruled Gaza since a violent takeover in 2007. In the Hamas era, the tiny territory has endured three wars with Israel and a crippling Israeli-Egyptian border blockade that keeps most of its 1.8 million residents trapped.
"Who is not angry about this difficult situation?" Firi said, waiting at a rehabilitation clinic to finally to be fitted with an artificial leg.
But the people of Gaza won't rise up — some out of fear, he said. "If I say two words, I may go to prison," he says, as Hamas has little tolerance for dissent and often detains critics. "So we stay silent."
A year after the most destructive war in Gaza yet, Hamas remains in control — despite signs of mounting frustration and a poll indicating half the residents would emigrate if borders were open.
Egyptian belly dancer's YouTube clip gets her jailed for 'inciting debauchery'
An Egyptian belly dancer has been sentenced to serve a year in prison on charges of "inciting debauchery" after she starred in a suggestive video on YouYube, the Daily Mail reported on Tuesday.
In the video titled Sib Eddi - or Hands Off, a scantily clad Reda el-Fouly dances while singing about being sexually harassed on a bus and enjoying it.
El-Fouly claimed that the video was a satire of celebrities who behave in an overly-sexual manner, but prosecutors argued that the clip "disrupted morality."
Wael Elsedeki, the video's director, who is also el-Fouly's boyfriend, was sentenced in absentia to a year in jail after having fled the country. He is believed to have fled to Tunisia, according to the Mail.
In the Golan, 7 fallen soldiers get memorial in bullet-ridden basalt
Shimon Balas, a new immigrant from Yemen, was killed by a Syrian sniper on April 4, 1951. His father, Shalom Balas, was so desperate for a male heir that in the next five years he produced two daughters before a son was born in 1956 – when Shalom was about 70 years old. He named him Shimon, too.
“My father would always expect me to be like my brother. If I did A, he’d say, ‘Your brother would have done B,’” said Shimon Balas, 58, who works for the municipal courts.
Balas knew little about the circumstances of his brother’s death until recently, when three people driving in the Golan Heights came upon three boulders that would spur them to research the 1951 attack and, ultimately, to honor the seven Israel Defense Forces soldiers, including Balas, killed there.
On June 1, a monument will be dedicated at the site, called Yad Lashiva’a (Memorial to the Seven). The other men, all, like Balas, IDF privates and immigrants, were Simcha Cohen (from Tunisia), Kalman Salonikov (Bulgaria), Yitzhak Yisraeli (Iran), Mordechai Cohen (Turkey), Shimon Cohen (Morocco) and Nissim Laub (Morocco).
“Now, after 60 years, I’m just learning what happened,” said Salonikov’s sister, Yehudit Zeir, 81, who lives on Moshav Bitzaron, near Rehovot. “We went through the Shoah, everything was fine in Israel – then this happened. Kalman fell at age 19.”


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Posted By Ian to Elder Of Ziyon - Israel News at 6/30/2015 12:00:00 PM

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