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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

From Ian:

Some Jew-baiting is more equal than others to the media
Mostly anonymous Trump-bots called out, silence when it comes from the Left.
My point here is not to minimize what happened to Weisman at the hands of the alt-right. The truth is that for the most part we don’t know who the alt-right are who attacked Weisman. What we do know is that ugly anti-Semitic tropes have made their way to the mainstream. During last year’s legislative battle over the Iran nuclear deal there was plenty of anti-Semitic trolling going on, and it wasn’t coming from Trump supporters:
Here’s how Tablet Magazine put it:
What we increasingly can’t stomach—and feel obliged to speak out about right now—is the use of Jew-baiting and other blatant and retrograde forms of racial and ethnic prejudice as tools to sell a political deal, or to smear those who oppose it. Accusing Sen. Schumer of loyalty to a foreign government is bigotry, pure and simple. Accusing senators and congressmen whose misgivings about the Iran deal are shared by a majority of the U.S. electorate of being agents of a foreign power, or of selling their votes to shadowy lobbyists, or of acting contrary to the best interests of the United States is the kind of naked appeal to bigotry and prejudice that would be familiar in the politics of the pre-Civil Rights Era South.
This use of anti-Jewish incitement as a political tool is a sickening new development in American political discourse, and we have heard too much of it lately—some coming, ominously, from our own White House and its representatives. Let’s not mince words: Murmuring about “money” and “lobbying” and “foreign interests” who seek to drag America into war is a direct attempt to play the dual-loyalty card. It’s the kind of dark, nasty stuff we might expect to hear at a white power rally, not from the president of the United States—and it’s gotten so blatant that even many of us who are generally sympathetic to the administration, and even this deal, have been shaken by it.

There has been an increasing acceptability towards using anti-Semitic tropes in political discourse. We really saw an increase in it last year in the battle to get support for the deal to legitimize the illicit nuclear program of a regime founded on anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.
Having read Weisman’s column there’s an air of unreality to his seeming discovery of online trolls who spout anti-Semitism at those they disagree with politically. Of course there were the reactions to the nuclear deal with Iran last year, which Weisman and the Times had a hand in perpetuating.
Daniel Pipes: The Left vs. Israel
Since the creation of Israel, Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims have been the mainstay of anti-Zionism, with the Left, from the Soviet Union to professors of literature, their auxiliary. But this might be in process of change: as Muslims slowly, grudgingly, and unevenly come to accept the Jewish state as a reality, the Left is becoming increasingly vociferous and obsessive in its rejection of Israel.
Much evidence points in this direction: Polls in the Middle East find cracks in the opposition to Israel while a major American survey for the first time shows liberal Democrats to be more anti-Israel than pro-Israel. The Saudi and Egyptian governments have real security relations with Israel while a figure like (the Jewish) Bernie Sanders declares that “to the degree that [Israelis] want us to have a positive relationship, I think they’re going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.”
But I should like to focus on a small illustrative example from a United Nations institution: The World Health Organization churned out report A69/B/CONF./1 on May 24 with the enticing title, “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan: Draft decision proposed by the delegation of Kuwait, on behalf of the Arab Group, and Palestine.”
The three-page document calls for “a field assessment conducted by the World Health Organization,” with special focus on such topics as “incidents of delay or denial of ambulance service” and “access to adequate health services on the part of Palestinian prisoners.” Of course, the entire document singles out Israel as a denier of unimpeded access to health care.
This ranks as a special absurdity given the WHO’s hiring a consultant in next-door Syria who is connected to the very pinnacle of the Assad regime, even as it perpetrates atrocities estimated at a half million dead and 12 million displaced (out of a total pre-war population of 22 million). Conversely, both the wife and brother-in-law of Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the Palestinian Authority, whose status and wealth assures them treatment anywhere in the world, chose to be treated in Israeli hospitals, as did the sister, daughter, and grand-daughter of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, Israel’s sworn enemy.



Edwin Black: The expulsion that backfired: When Iraq kicked out its Jews
After Adolf Hitler’s defeat in May 1945, many Nazis melted away from the Reich, smuggled out by such organizations as the infamous Odessa group and the lesser-known Catholic lay network Intermarium, as well as the CIA and KGB. They ensured the continuation of the Nazi legacy in the postwar Arab world.
Egypt was a prime destination for German Nazi relocation in the Arab world. Dr. Aribert Heim was notoriously known as “Dr. Death” for his grotesque pseudo-medical experiments on Jewish prisoners in the Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, and Mauthausen concentration camps. He was fond of surgical procedures including organ removals without anesthesia, injecting gasoline into prisoners to observe the manner of death, and decapitating Jews with healthy teeth so he could cook the skulls clean to make desk decorations. Dr. Heim converted to Islam and became “Uncle Tarek” Hussein Farid in Cairo, Egypt, where he lived a happy life as a medical doctor for the Egyptian police.
Two of Goebbels’s Nazi propagandists, Alfred Zingler and Dr. Johann von Leers, became Mahmoud Saleh and Omar Amin respectively, working in the Egyptian Information Department. In 1955, Zingler and von Leers helped establish the virulently anti-Semitic Institute for the Study of Zionism in Cairo. Hans Appler, another Goebbels propagandist, became Saleh Shafar who, in 1955, became an expert for an Egyptian unit specializing in anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist hate propaganda. Erich Altern, a Gestapo agent, Himmler coordinator in Poland, and expert in Jewish affairs, became Ali Bella, working as a military instructor in training camps for Palestinian terrorists. A German newspaper estimated there were fully 2,000 Nazis working openly and under state protection in Egypt.
Franz Bartel, an assistant Gestapo chief in Katowice, Poland, became El Hussein and a member of Egypt’s Ministry of Information. Hans Becher, a Gestapo agent in Vienna, became a police instructor in Cairo. Wilhelm Boerner, a brutal Mauthausen guard, became Ali Ben Keshir, working in the Egyptian Interior Ministry and as an instructor for a Palestinian terrorist group.
Egyptian society was so enamored with the Nazi war against the Jews that a young army officer felt compelled to write a postwar letter to Hitler via the Cairo weekly, Al Musawwar, as though Hitler were still alive. “My dear Hitler,” the officer wrote. “I congratulate you from the bottom of my heart. Even if you appear to have been defeated, in reality you are the victor. You succeeded in creating dissensions between Churchill, the old man, and his allies, the Sons of Satan … Germany will be reborn in spite of the Western and Eastern powers … The West, as well as the East, will pay for her rehabilitation—whether they like it or not. Both sides will invest a great deal of money and effort in Germany in order to have her on their side, which is of great benefit to Germany … As for the past, I think you made mistakes, like too many battlefronts and the shortsightedness of [Foreign Minister Joachim von] Ribbentrop vis-a vis the experienced British diplomacy … We will not be surprised if you appear again in Germany or if a new Hitler rises up in your wake.” The letter was signed “with affection” by Col. Anwar Sadat, later president of Egypt and the first Arab leader to sign a peace treaty with Israel.
Edwin Black: Painful Lessons from the 75th Anniversary of the Farhud
June 1-2 is the 75th anniversary of the Farhud, the 1941 pogrom by pro-Nazi Arabs attempting to exterminate the Jews of Baghdad. Hundreds were murdered and raped, and many Jewish homes and business looted and burned during a two-day orgy of hate and violence orchestrated by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.
In Arabic, Farhud means “violent dispossession.” This forgotten Holocaust-era pogrom was the first step toward the extinguishing the 27 centuries of Jewish life in Iraq. It led to the eventual mass expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab lands into Israel, penniless and stateless.
To mark the anniversary, I will be helping to lead commemoration ceremonies with Jewish groups and senior Israeli diplomats in four cities spanning three continents. It was the next logical step after the inauguration of International Farhud Day, which was proclaimed in an official event at the United Nations last year.
The first ceremony begins the morning of May 31 in the U.S. House of Representatives. A program of sorrow—and a cry for recognition—will unfold in the presence of members of Congress, Israeli diplomats, and American-Jewish and Iraqi-Jewish groups. Witness accounts reliving the 1941 massacre will be read by Maurice Shohet, president of the World Organization of Jews from Iraq. Special statements will be delivered by Jewish leaders. Haim Ovadia, the Iraqi-Jewish rabbi of Magen David Sephardic Congregation, will chant Iraqi songs. A congressional letter will express solidarity with the victims and the surviving generations in Israel.
Bernard Lewis and me
The historian Bernard Lewis celebrates his 100th birthday today. ‎
Three quotes establish his career. Martin Kramer, a former student of Lewis, sums up his teacher's ‎accomplishments: ‎
"Bernard Lewis emerged as the most influential postwar historian of Islam and the Middle East. His ‎elegant syntheses made Islamic history accessible to a broad public in Europe and America. In his more ‎specialized studies, he pioneered social and economic history and the use of the vast Ottoman archives. ‎His work on the premodern Muslim world conveyed both its splendid richness and its smug self-‎satisfaction. His studies in modern history rendered intelligible the inner dialogues of Muslim peoples in ‎their encounter with the values and power of the West."
The University of California's R. Stephen Humphreys notes "the extraordinary range of his scholarship [and] his ‎capacity to command the totality of Islamic and Middle Eastern history from Muhammad down to the present ‎day." And, as the late Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins University put it on Lewis' 90th birthday, he is "the oracle ‎of this new age of the Americans in the lands of the Arab and Islamic worlds." ‎
Lewis' career spanned a monumental 75 years, from his first article ("The Islamic Guilds") in 1937 to his ‎autobiography in 2012. Midway, in 1969, he entered my life. In Israel the summer between my sophomore and ‎junior years in college, with my aspirations to become a mathematician in doubt, I thought of switching to ‎Middle East studies. To sample this new field, I visited Ludwig Mayer's renowned bookstore in Jerusalem and ‎purchased "The Arabs in History," Lewis' 1950 book. ‎
Michael Lumish: Nothing Left # 101
Nothing Left - Episode 101 - 31st May 2016 - Mike Lumish, William F Callahan, Pat Condell, Arnold Roth, Steve Leiblich, Isi Leibler and Guest Host Mary Werther
My piece is brief and is concerned with the dispute between Isi Leibler of the Jerusalem Post and the new national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt.
Greenblatt spoke before J Street and Leibler believes that this legitimizes an organization that is decisively not pro-Israel.
I tend to agree.
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Pakistan’s Progressive Wife Beating Reform
Knesset Insider Jeremy Mann Sultan shares the inside scoop on the new Israeli Knesset coalition, plus what passes as progressive wife beating reform in a Muslim country, and Israel breaks another barrier of tolerance by crowning an Arab Christian as Miss Trans Israel.
Ryan Bellerose: The Pendulum
If you cared about human rights wouldn’t you advocate for everyone’s human rights? Wouldn’t you advocate against Muslims changing declarations of humans rights to say “As long as it doesn’t contravene the Koran?” Shouldnt basic human rights trump any belief system?
I believe the “pro palestinian” movement has had its day. It’s still kicking but it’s dying and it’s dying because it is a movement that uses language it has no right to use, that in fact goes directly against. Justice? I would argue that the return of the Jews to their ancestral home was absolute justice. Peace? I would argue that the Jews have been willing to do almost anything for peace. Human rights? Does it even need to be said that Israel is literally the only country in the Middle East that has a decent human rights record? Where women are not property and gays can live openly?
We talk a lot about these things, but we are starting to make these arguments in public where people can see, so remember, perception matters, optics matter, so choose your words carefully but truthfully. That’s OUR advantage and because we have been using it intelligently we are winning. We just have to understand that this is a generational conflict, it won’t be over soon.
The pendulum is swinging and the other side knows it, so they will get more and more radical and stupid out of desperation. As they do, it drives more and more people to look at the truth.
So stay strong, be active and visible and the world will change. It has to.
Labour councillor who called Israel a 'terrorist state' and was married to two women at the same time is appointed equality chief in Birmingham
A Labour politician who was married to two women at the same time and describes Israel as a ‘terrorist state’, has been appointed to oversee equality in Birmingham the Mail can reveal.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar has been selected as the new cabinet member for Transparency, Openness and Equality for Birmingham City Council – tasked with ensuring it is being fair and honest.
This is despite his questionable attitudes towards women and his ‘anti-Semitic’ views.
The Labour politician and magistrate married teacher Ayesha Imdad in a lavish Islamic ceremony in 2014 while still being married to his first wife, Faraz Begum, we revealed last year.
The Mail has now discovered videos of Mr Zaffar, 34, online, describing the ‘Zionist Israeli government’ as ‘terrorists’ at a pro-Palestine demonstration.
At the rally, at which he is one of the lead speakers, he shouts: ‘If you want to know what extremism and terrorism is, you go and look at what the Israelis are doing to those civilians in Palestine.’
He calls on crowds - who repeatedly chant ‘Israel is a terrorist state’ - to ‘stand up in solidarity’ against ‘something that can only be described as state supported terrorism by this Zionist Israeli government.’
French Jews flee Paris suburbs over rising anti-Semitism
Benhamou still lives within the sprawling Seine-Saint-Denis department that sits northeast of the capital and combines run-down immigrant ghettos with trendy new gentrified business districts.
In the last 15 years, it has gone from being one of France’s most densely-populated Jewish areas to what the community now considers “one of the lost territories of the Republic.”
“The Jewish community is expected to disappear from here,” Benhamou says.
In nearby Raincy, Rabbi Moshe Lewin shares Benhamou’s pessimism, fearing he could be one of the last Jewish leaders in Seine-Saint-Denis.
“What upsets me is that in some areas of France, Jews can no longer live peacefully, and that just five minutes from my home, some are forced to hide their kippas (skullcaps) or their Star of David,” he admits.
Even areas with a strong Jewish population, such as Sarcelles to the north, still have major problems.
Francois Pupponi, the Socialist mayor of Sarcelles, says many Jewish residents come to him for help with stories of being assaulted or having swastikas daubed on walls outside their homes.
Some have been caught in “extremely violent situations” that in some cases required families to be “urgently rehoused,” says Pupponi.
He become aware of “a phenomenon of internal migration” about five or six years ago, which he says “is getting worse.”
Argentine ex-minister’s Iran tape admitted as evidence of alleged treason
Argentine judges reviewing treason charges against a former minister admitted as evidence a recording of him speaking about Iranian involvement in a terrorist attack in Buenos Aires.
The justices of the federal appeals court ruled last week to admit the 2012 recording of former foreign minister Hector Timerman, who is Jewish. In it he is heard justifying the negotiations with Iran to jointly investigate the 1994 terrorist attack, even though he is heard saying the Islamic Republic was responsible for the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center, which killed 85 people.
“If there was someone else, they [the Iranians] wouldn’t have planted the bomb. So we are back to the beginning. Do you have someone else for me to negotiate with?” Timerman said in the recording, which came from a telephone conversation he had with then AMIA president Guillermo Borger – an opponent of Argentina’s brief collaboration with Iran on the investigation.
Federal prosecutor Eduardo Taiano decided in December 2015 to start a probe against Timerman for alleged treason and planning a cover up. In addition to Timerman, ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is also being probed for alleged treason, along with members of Congress who in February 2103 voted for a Memorandum of Understanding with Iran.
IsraellyCool: What The Schoolgirl Represents And Why Her Lies Must Be Met With Truth
Blood Libel
Another charge I want to address is whether or not this is a blood libel. It is a blood libel for two main reasons:
- she intimates that the Jewish State of Israel has an absolute policy of bombing and killing children deliberately and she provides a vastly inflated number of times she thinks we’ve done this. In fact, because there are to my knowledge no times the Israeli State has taken a collective decision to kill children (for no other purpose and not in the course of carrying out legitimate acts of self defence or war), she’s inflated numbers from 0 to 30,000;
- the second blood libel is saying her cousin died specifically because Israel doesn’t provide adequate health care to Palestinians on the grounds of their race. There’s even a specific charity, Save a Child’s Heart, which brings children from P.A. areas and all over the world to be treated in our Israeli hospitals.
Those are both libels (defamatory lies) and they involve blood (death).
This is bigger than one school girl and her presentation in a competition. This cuts to the heart of whether the UK is fatally infected with the new anti-Israel strain of Jew hatred and if this is being spread far and wide within the UK’s schools.
IsraellyCool: Speakers Trust Responds And Doesn’t Seem To Understand
I wouldn’t normally post again on the same story, but this statement concerning the Leanne Mohamad story from Speakers Trust needs to be seen in full.
Highlights according to this:
- Leanne Mohamad failed to get through to the final based on regular judging criteria and that happened before any blogger outcry;
- 37 regional winners were cut down to 15 for the final, this happened on May 21st before any blog posts;
- They have not stripped her of her regional win, merely removing her speech and web page announcement owing to negative comments;
- They are concerned that Leanne Mohamad’s experience hasn’t been positive.
So Leanne Mohamad’s unfounded and libellous charges against Israel do not constitute an obvious problem according to the organisers. Any action taken so far is to protect Leanne Mohamad from people like me. I can’t say I’m completely surprised, but I had hoped for something better than this.
It seems the organisers are trying to paint Leanne Mohamad as some kind of victim here. I don’t think they understand, yet, exactly what she said and what it represents.
Edgar Davidson: When you challenge anti-semitic blood libels you become the victim of anti-semitic abuse and threats
When a non-political charity - against its own rules - awarded first prize in the Redbridge finals of its speaking competition for youngsters to a virulently anti-Israel speech full of lies and blood libels, I was one of the first to complain. Not to demand the speech be censored, but simply to point out that this speech should not have won the competition and that the charity should set the record straight by allowing a proper response to the speech (which had been met with enthusiastic applause at Wanstead High School). I also noted that the student in question had been extensively re-tweeting hateful material from a well-know terrorist supporter called Abbas Sarsour.
The charity said that they had already decided a week earlier that the speech was in breach of their two fundamental rules and that because of this the student was not being put through to the Grand Final.
Because the antisemites (of whom there are far more than Israel supporters) decided that I had played a role in 'silencing a child' I have now been abused, threatened in many ways - including being reported to the police - and accused of being a child molester and paedophile. I am currently receiving, for example, hundreds of abusive tweets per hour (even though I only joined twitter a few months ago and before the weekend had received less than a dozen tweets in total). You can see them on my twitter feed and comments on my recent blog postings. There is also a campaign to 'ban' me (whatever that means):
Over 1,500 to take part in anti-BDS conference at UN
More than 1,500 people were expected to take part in an international conference on the fight against the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement set to take place at the U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
The "Building Bridges, Not Boycotts" conference is being co-hosted by the Israel U.N. mission and the World Jewish Congress.
"BDS is the modern incarnation of anti-Semitism," Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said ahead of the conference. "Holding this anti-BDS summit in the U.N. General Assembly will bring together an international coalition against the boycott movement, and will send a clear message to all of our adversaries -- Israel will not relent and will continue to reveal the lies propagated by the BDS movement.
"BDS is continuing to spread and seeks to utilize international institutions to implement its ideology of hate. This summit will create practical tools to battle BDS by training students to serve as 'ambassadors' against boycotts. They will return to their campuses fully equipped and ready to take on the lies of the BDS movement."
Prime Minister Netanyahu's Message - #StopBDS


Universities, Academics in Italy, Scotland, Canada and US Pushing Back Against BDS Movement
The University of Edinburgh’s Israel Engagement Society (IES) praised the EUSA’s decision, saying in a statement, “IES strongly believes that BDS is a dangerous, divisive and discriminatory campaign tactic that risks undermining peace talks and cohesion on campus, and made this clear in its representations to EUSA in conjunction with other groups of concerned students. EUSA’s dropping of the policy follows a precedent set by other universities, recognizing the illegality of BDS and the significant risk of increasing intolerance against minority groups on campus that it poses.” While the BDS motion will not be enacted, IES said, the EUSA’s website will continue to display that the Student Council’s referendum passed.
In New York, Cornell Tech announced last week the appointment of a new director to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. The center — to be headed by world renowned artificial intelligence computer scientist Ron Brachman — was launched as an academic partnership in 2011 between Cornell University and the Technion Israel-Institute of Technology.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) strongly condemned the partnership in 2012, stating it was “deeply disturbed” by the collaboration and called on Cornell to break ties with the Technion. PACBI accused both institutions of being “complicit in Israel’s violations of international law and the rights of Palestinians…all New York City residents should, rightfully, be outraged that their tax dollars are being apportioned in the service of such an endeavor.”
McGill University professors sign letter condemning BDS
In yet another blow to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS), more than 150 professors at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, signed an open letter condemning the organization.
“As academics who represent a wide range of political views and methodologies, we all know that open discourse is essential to the pursuit of truth. Boycotts and intellectual bullying have no place at McGill or at any other institution of higher learning,” the professors wrote.
The letter was written as an endorsement of a statement condemning BDS issued by the university’s principal and Vice Chancellor Suzanne Fortier in February.
Fortier issued the statement following the rejection by McGill undergraduate students of an online ratification of a motion to support BDS earlier this year.
BDS Groups at Stanford Hatching ‘Big Plans’ Against Israel Despite Opposition From Student
Majority

Sources from SJP told the Review on condition of anonymity about their concern that the move is part of “big plans” being formulated against Israel for the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War.
According to a poll conducted by the student newspaper — among freshmen, sophomores and juniors — 70 percent of the school’s students oppose the international anti-Israel movement. When broken down, 65 percent of freshmen, 72 percent of sophomores and 73 percent of juniors oppose sanctions and boycotts against Israel.
Using unique identifiers, the Review was able to block multiple votes from being cast by each voter. The newspaper noted that “over 90 percent of those people who tried to vote more than once were voting ‘yes’ in support of BDS.”
SJP and SOOP will face significant pressure against pushing their agenda forward, the Review reported, “given the divisiveness it caused in 2015, the accusation of antisemitism levied against past ASSU Senators, the increasing skepticism towards anti-Israel university movements across the Atlantic, and the fact the administration has already rejected divestment once.”
One student senator told the paper that “SJP would have to be raving lunatics to bring this issue to the Senate.” He called out the anti-Israel group for distracting the governing student body from more important issues, such as sexual violence prevention. “If it [the BDS referendum] is going to fail, why pursue it?” he questioned.
According to campus antisemitism watchdog group the AMCHA Initiative, between 2012 and 2016, there have been 89 divestment votes recorded across American college campuses.
PayPal terminates anti-Israel BDS France account
PayPal, a global leader in online payment services, has cut off payments to the anti-Israel group BDS France.
Early Monday, the website’s link to the money processing site returned an error message that “the recipient is currently unable to receive money.” Later in the day, the link to Paypal was removed entirely from the group’s webpage. Earlier in the month, the site’s connection to Paypal remained fully operational. PayPal would not confirm directly that they shut the account, telling The Jerusalem Post that they are “subject to very strict customer confidentiality rules.”
“We can’t confirm or deny any limitation of a specific account,” said company spokeswoman Daphan Mackover. France has Europe’s strongest anti-BDS law – the 2003 Lellouche law – and has applied the anti-discrimination statue to punish Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) activists. The law bars discrimination against people based on national origin. French courts view BDS as an illicit act targeting Israelis because of their nationality.
“Compliance with all local laws is something we take very seriously,” Mackover continued. “PayPal has dedicated significant resources to combat the use of our secure payment platform for illegal activities and works collaboratively with law enforcement agencies around the world to support both the detection of crime and the conviction of criminals.
“We have 184 million active customer accounts and regularly screen their activities to make sure they respect the laws, and if they don’t, per our user agreement, we then suspend, limit or close them,” she said. “PayPal encourages anyone who has information about the potential unlawful use of our service to contact us.”
Spanish court annuls BDS boycott
A Spanish Magistrate’s Court has recently annulled the decision of a local city council to boycott Israel and endorse the BDS campaign against it.
The court in the city of Langreo ruled Thursday that such a move was illegal on the grounds of being discriminatory. A lawsuit against the city council’s decision was filed by ACOM, a Spanish pro-Israel lobby. Actions by ACOM across Spain have resulted in a swath of similar results over the past few months, seeing rulings against BDS of council revoking decisions in Gijon, Aviles, Tarragona, Malaga and more.
However, in March, month four municipalities – Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Sant Quirze del Vallès and Buñol – passed motions supporting the BDS movement, joining about a dozen other municipalities that earlier subscribed to the movement’s goals.
Irish FM: BDS is a 'legitimate political viewpoint'
In advance of his June visit to Israel, Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan has confirmed the legitimacy of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“While the [Irish] government does not itself support such a policy, it is a legitimate political viewpoint, albeit one regarded in Israel as deeply hostile,” he told the Irish parliament last Thursday during a question and answer session.
“I do not agree with attempts to demonize those who advocate this policy, or to equate them with violent terrorists,” he said.
“I am deeply concerned about wider attempts to pressure NGOs and human rights defenders through legislation and other means to hinder their important work. We have raised this both at the EU level and directly with the Israeli authorities,” he said.
Holland and Sweden have similarly confirmed that the BDS movement, which seeks to push Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines and allow refugees to return, is protected under the laws of free speech.
Israel, however, holds that the movement is not about support for the creation of a Palestinian state, but rather seeks the destruction of the Jewish state.
Moroccan BDS calls on Muslims to boycott Israeli dates during Ramadan
The upcoming Islamic fasting month of Ramadan is stirring up a vibrant debate in the Arab world regarding the Israeli date, which is popularly consumed by Muslims during the holy month.
The Moroccan BDS movement has recently launched a new campaign that calls on Moroccans not to consume the Israeli-produced Medjool dates, which flood Middle Eastern markets.
In a statement the anti-Israel movement issued to mark the launch of the campaign, the local activists appeared to try to reassure their countrymen of the origin of the date species. The statement claimed that the Medjool dates were in fact grown on Moroccan trees that had been stolen by Israel. They alleged that Israel has changed the genetics of these trees and planted them in "stolen lands...just like the Argan tree which was also uprooted by Israel and replanted in the Negev."
BDS activists have lately taken to the streets in many Moroccan cities to distribute pamphlets with the slogan: "Boycott the Zionist dates. Don't finance the bullets lodged in the Palestinians' chest."
IsraellyCool: Horrid Media Bias: The Dangerous Dishonesty Of The Independent’s Indy100
Indy100 seems like The Independent’s attempt to appeal to the younger, trendier set. It bills itself as “Seriously addictive news,” and seems to use headlines of a more “link-baity” nature.
These Palestinians went to prison because of Facebook posts cries out this headline of theirs from yesterday. And reading that, you’d be forgiven for thinking these palestinians had somehow been treated really unfairly.
Heck, the entire article – written by one Narjas Zatat – continues in the same vein, demonizing Israel at every turn.
Indy100 then goes into specific examples. Let’s have a closer look at some of them to see just how dishonest this piece truly is.
Ukraine honors nationalist whose troops killed 50,000 Jews
Amid a divisive debate in Ukraine on state honors for nationalists viewed as responsible for anti-Semitic pogroms, the country for the first time observed a minute of silence in memory of Symon Petliura, a 1920s statesman blamed for the murder of 50,000 Jewish compatriots.
The minute was observed on May 25, the 90th anniversary of Petliura’s assassination in Paris. National television channels interrupted their programs and broadcast the image of a burning candle for 60 seconds, Ukraine’s Federal News Agency reported.
A French court acquitted Sholom Schwartzbard, a Russia-born Jew, of the murder even though he admitted to it after the court found that Petliura had been involved in or knew of pogroms by members of his militia fighting for Ukrainian independence from Russia in the years 1917-1921. Fifteen of Schwartzbard’s relatives perished in the pogroms.
Separately, the director of Ukraine’s Institute of National Remembrance, Vladimir Vyatrovich, said in a statement on Monday that Kiev will soon name a street for two other Ukrainian nationalists — Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych — who are widely believed to be responsible for lethal violence against Jews. Another street is to be named for Janusz Korczak, the pen name of Henryk Goldszmit, a Polish Jewish teacher who was murdered in Auschwitz.
No school for Dutch Muslim group whose ex-chief wished a tsunami on Israel
Citing potential radicalization, the Dutch government prevented the opening of a Muslim school by a group whose former leader praised Islamic State terrorists and wished for Allah to drown Israel in a tsunami.
Education Ministry Undersecretary Sander Dekker on Monday said that the government is withholding funding and permits for SIO — a Dutch-language acronym for “Association of Islamic studies” — because its board is working against giving pupils real knowledge. It was the first time that the government cited Islamist radicalization in withholding its permission for the opening of a Muslim school, the Het Parool daily reported.
“Affording education and understanding is, in our society, an important mission for schools. There is no room in this framework for a school board whose actions contradict this mission,” Dekker said in a statement about the decision not to grant SIO, which already runs a school in The Hague, permission to open another school in Amsterdam.
According to Het Parool, Dekker’s statement and decision are connected to remarks made by Abdoe Khoulani, a former secretary of SIO, who in 2014 praised the Islamic State terrorist group, or ISIS, on Facebook, said it was no worse than Israel and also wished for the destruction of Israel in a divine flood.
French-Israeli Actress Says She Hears ‘Shocking’ Antisemitic Comments From People Who Think She’s Not Jewish
Popular French-Israeli actress Julia Levy-Boeken said that people would be shocked at the antisemitic comments people say in front of her, assuming she is not Jewish.
In an interview with French magazine Paris Match, Levy-Boeken, who was born in France, was complimented by the interviewer for not having a “Jewish appearance” — and for not even “look[ing] like an Israeli” — and asked whether Levy-Boeken whether had personally encountered antisemitism.
Immediately taking issue with the question, Levy-Boeken said that “Israeli girls are the most beautiful in the world” and that her “European” looks enable her to know what people around her really think.
“It is precisely because of my blond hair and fair skin that many people think I’m not Jewish, and I often hear comments that they wouldn’t dare say if they knew, like, ‘They [Jews] are everywhere’ or, ‘We are no longer the majority here.’ This has shocked me more than anything,” she said.
Surf's up for Brian Wilson ahead of Israel visit
When the weather heats up, the sea seductively beckons and the bathing suits come out of the closet, it's time for the music of the Beach Boys. The perennial all-American band - built on Chuck Berry riffs, surfing, hot rods, girls and the allure of eternal youth – has remained in the psyche and on the Ipods of music fans around the world mainly due to the talent and vision of Brian Wilson, the gifted but troubled writer of some of rock's most enduring songs.
Wilson's scope expanded significantly in the second half of the 1960s, as along with the Beatles, he began making rock music for adults. And no better example of that growth exists than on the Beach Boys' pinnacle Pet Sounds, released in 1966. Now on its 50th anniversary, the 74-year-old Wilson is performing the album in its entirety on a world tour that stops at the Ra'anana Amphitheater on June 8.
Pet Sounds, featuring songs like "God Only Knows," "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and the self-prophetic "I Just Wasn't Made for These Times," offer a palette far removed from the happy-go-lucky hits the band made only a year or two earlier. Dominated by slower tempos, complex arrangements with orchestration and introspective lyrics, the material still retains the unmistakable Beach Boys sound, thanks to the intricate soaring harmonies Wilson arranged for brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and members Al Jardine and Bruce Johnston to sing.
"I wanted to do something good like Rubber Soul," Wilson told The Jerusalem Post recently, referring to The Beatles' landmark 1965 album, when asked why he abandoned the Beach Boys traditional sound for the ethereal tones of Pet Sounds. "I was young, happy and creative," Wilson added in a promotional video released last week ahead of his Israel show.
JPost Editorial: Gay freedoms
How do you measure freedom? If you ask 10 people, you’re likely to get 10 different answers.
To what extent is Israel a free country? If one’s criterion is, for instance, the Index of Economic Freedom, the Jewish state is not exceedingly free. In 2016, Israel managed to receive a “mostly free” rating, but was surpassed by Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. It was ranked 35 out of 178 countries.
If one’s focus is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and if one’s tendency is to place the majority of the blame for the conflict on Israel, Israel will once again not be considered particularly free, at least not from the point of the view of the Palestinians.
There is, however, one measure of freedom in which Israel excels: the freedom of sexual expression. When speaking of Israel’s outstanding record on gay rights, one risks being accused of pinkwashing. But this week – Gay Pride Week – we have decided to take that chance.
'Orange is the New Black' actress visits Israel to participate in Pride Week
Lea DeLaria, American comedian, actress and musician, most famous for her recurring role as Carrie 'Big Boo' Black in the Netflix prison drama, 'Orange is the New Black,' landed in Israel Monday to take part in Tel Aviv Pride Week.
DeLaria could hardly contain her excitement upon her arrival, posting a photo of herself to her Facebook page standing in front of a sign reading, "Welcome to Israel," saying, "This is almost too much even for me."
Delaria spent her first day taking in Israel's sites, including the Western Wall where an IDF soldier, originally from Brooklyn, told her he was a big fan and asked for a photo.
Delaria's Facebook posts received a largely positive response as Israeli fans who welcomed her to the country and celebrated her choice to join in on the Tel Aviv Pride week celebrations.
20,000 walk through Toronto in support of Israel
Some 20,00 people marched through Toronto on Sunday in an annual show of support for Israel that also raised over one million dollars for education and projects in the Jewish state.
The Greater Toronto’s 46th annual Walk with Israel event attracted even more participants than last year’s 17,000, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
Among the dignitaries who took part were Israel’s Consul General to Canada DJ Schneeweiss, Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett, provincial Tory Leader Patrick Brown, Toronto councilor James Pasternak and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Bennett read out a statement prepared by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Canada has been a friend of Israel for almost seven decades, through triumph and tragedy,” Trudeau said. “We will continue to stand with Israel, one of our closest friends and partners, thanks to our shared values and the presence of a dynamic and thriving Jewish Canadian community.”



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The Movenpick Ramallah hotel


From Wafa:
An estimated 80,228 guests stayed in West Bank hotels in the first quarter of 2016, marking a drop by 32% from the previous quarter and 20% lower than in the first quarter of 2015, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) said Monday.

It said 33% of the hotel patrons were from European Union countries and 13% were Palestinian.

The PCBS said room occupancy rate was 16.5% in the first quarter - 25% lower than in the previous quarter and 17% lower than in the first quarter of 2015.
Nobody really talks about the financial hit that comes with each new terror spree but it is pretty obvious that European tourists are going to be less likely to visit the West Bank when its residents are cheering civilians being stabbed and run over by cars.

The last people to ever mention this would be the cheerleaders for terror who pretend that they are "pro-Palestinian."

In Israel, the number of hotel rooms rented in the first quarter was slightly higher than the year before, but still significantly down from 2014 before the Gaza war.



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After my articles about the Guggenheim Museum's blog post that was filled with lies and half-truths about Israel, and its hypocrisy at claiming Israel is engaging in censorship of art while it is building a museum in Abu Dhabi which explicitly does censor art, the Algemeiner asked the museum for a statement.

In response to The Algemeiner’s request for clarification as to why the Guggenheim would promote on its website an article demonizing Israel, a spokesman for the museum said, “As an arts institution, the Guggenheim welcomes a multitude of voices and perspectives on topics of interest to the wider artistic and cultural community. The views expressed are those of the writer, a curator who lives and works in Israel, not necessarily those of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.”

This is a cop-out. Editors in any medium, whether it is a newspaper or a blog or a museum's website, chooses what content it decides to publish and what to exclude. But in all cases, it is the responsibility of the editors to ensure that the pieces are accurate. In this case, the Guggenheim was completely wrong to publish an article that calls withholding of funds to artists who are free to show their art anywhere to be "censorship."

In the case of the Guggenheim website, there are a number of articles praising Arab art, but none about Arab censorship of art. In fact, very few articles even mention censorship worldwide, let alone use the word in their title. One tangentially mentioned self-censorship in Vietmanese art, for example. Only Israel has an article dedicated to its supposed censorship of art.

If the Guggenheim cared about free expression so much, it would write about censorship in the UAE and how it will inform what kinds of shows they will show there. That is a relevant topic that they wouldn't touch. So much for the "multitude of voices and perspectives" that the museum claims to give its readers.

Meanwhile, as the Algemeiner mentioned, former ADL director Abraham Foxman commented on the Guggenheim:

Foxman told The Algemeiner he was “surprised” that the Guggenheim “would permit itself to be used for such blatant anti-Israel propaganda. This article goes beyond the discussion of art, its political. It’s inappropriate and ill-advised. If the Guggenheim wants to make their website a place to discuss censorship, I can give them a list of 25 countries they should start with and not Israel.”

Foxman said that if the Guggenheim “wants to become a platform to discuss art and censorship, this is legitimate. However, to the best of my knowledge, Tamir’s article seems to be the only one about Israel, which is a blatant distortion on what is happening in Israel.”




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From Ian:

PMW: France continues funding PA general budget which pays salaries to terrorists
Following Palestinian Media Watch's exposure that the Palestinian Authority general budget funds the PA hate and terror promotion and rewards terrorist prisoners with high salaries, the US, the EU, Norway, and other European donors all stopped giving money to the PA general budget so that their money would not go directly to pay salaries for Palestinian terrorists.
This is not true for France. The PA announced last week that France signed agreements to give the PA money for various projects and in addition: "financial aid directly to the public treasury in the amount of 8 million euro."
The PA general budget that France is contributing to pays monthly salaries to terrorists like Hamas bomb maker Abdallah Barghouti, whose bombs murdered 67 people, and Abbas Al-Sayid, who planned two suicide bombings in which 35 were killed, as well as all other Palestinians imprisoned for terror crimes.
The French government should note that the PA pays more than $12 million a month in salaries to terrorist prisoners. [Official PA TV, June 11, 2014] Accordingly, France's 8 million euro ($8.9 million) will cover approximately three weeks of terrorists' salaries.
The PA salary payments to terrorists have been documented extensively by PMW since 2011, most recently in the report The PA's Billion Dollar Fraud, which documents that despite having promised international donors that it had ceased rewarding terrorists with salaries, the PA still continues this practice.
MEMRI: Terror Show at a Gaza Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony; Islamic Jihad Leader to Israelis: We Are Not Terrorists, Don’t Force Us to Kill You


The Other Middle East Lobby
The influence of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington remains a subject of intense debate in the United States. However, as uncertainty grows throughout much of the Middle East -- and a geopolitical and economic cold war blossoms between two regional heavyweights -- rulers across the region are increasingly vying for the attention of America’s elected officials.
Few do a better job of covering the comings and goings of Mideast power brokers on Capitol Hill than Al-Monitor’s Congressional Correspondent Julian Pecquet. The Memo reached out to Pecquet this week for his thoughts and insights on Mideast lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital.
RCW: Among other things, Al-Monitor tracks Mideast lobbying on Capitol Hill. Which Mideast country -- or countries -- might surprise the casual American observer for its outsize influence in our nation’s capital?
Morocco has to be one of the most interesting cases. The kingdom spends upwards of $3 million a year on more than a half-dozen lobbying and PR firms -- not to mention a seven-figure donation to the Clinton Foundation -- to project a friendly image. Mind you, we’re talking about a relatively poor country that’s still eligible for Millennium Challenge Corporation grants. All of that lobbying is directed at one main goal: obtaining U.S. approval -- or at least tacit acquiescence -- for its exploitation of the disputed Western Sahara, where Sahrawi activists have long demanded a vote on independence. The campaign has been largely successful, with neither the State Department nor Congress in any great rush to upset the apple cart and undermine a longtime Western ally by ushering in a potentially ungovernable new state on its borders.
Another player with outsize influence is Jordan, whose King Abdullah II has parlayed the kingdom’s strategic position and his personal popularity with Congress and the executive branch into a $1.275 billion aid package this year, and all without any need for lobbyist middle-men.



Solve Arab-Israeli conflict without UN
Even worse, the U.N. has symmetrically attacked and compromised economic progress between Palestinians and Israelis by endorsing the boycott of Israeli ‎products, which results in our Palestinian brothers and sisters losing employment opportunities in Israeli ‎companies. This pushes Palestinians toward ‎hopelessness and radicalization and further kills the potential for peace.‎
In addition, the U.N.'s proposed solutions to the conflict are all based on outdated ‎circumstances that could have been applicable to the situation decades ago but not today. ‎For example, Jordan has been ignored as a major part of the peace puzzle. The U.N. has failed to include Jordan as a major potential partner for establishing a true ‎peace through the offer of equal economic, political and civil rights to all of its citizens and ‎ending the regime's systematic discrimination against Jordanians of Palestinian, Bedouin ‎and northern peasants heritage.‎
In the dynamic aftermath of the Arab Spring, the U.N. sticks to solutions that are based on the Middle East of six decades ago. Today, things are much more fluid: Governments change, regimes ‎fall and the future is highly unpredictable. It is unrealistic to think that anyone would accept the U.N.'s outdated ‎solutions. ‎
The world must realize that we, the people of the region, Arabs and Israelis, can solve our problems without outside influence or U.N. involvement. The Jordanian Opposition Coalition strongly believes the U.S. government must seek to ‎neutralize the U.N.'s influence on the peace process while enhancing peace between ‎Arabs and Jews through economic, social and civil integration.‎
Caroline Glick: The old generals’ old plan
There is no Palestinian constituency for peace with Israel. The more Israel offers the Palestinians, the less interested they are in settling.
By announcing that Israel renounces its claims to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, and treating the Jews east of the 1949 cease-fire lines as second class citizens, the generals will not only widen Israel’s social cleavages. They will tell the Palestinians that they are right to feel contempt for us. The worse they behave, the more we will offer them. The more Jews they murder, the more the Jews will turn against one another.
As for improving Israel’s international position, it is hard to understand why the generals refuse to learn the lessons of the Gaza withdrawal. Despite the fact that Israel uprooted 24 Jewish communities in Gaza and northern Samaria, and removed its military forces from the area, without exception, the international community insists that Israel still “occupies” Gaza. How can the generals expect the world to act more fairly towards a more limited withdrawal plan from Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem? As for Gaza, Operation Protective Edge brought out into the open the fact that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab states support Israel in its war against Hamas. They do so because they fear Islamic State and Iran more than they hate Israel, whose power they trust.
If Israel announces its intention of leaving Judea and Samaria, which the Arabs know will become a Hamas enclave faster than Gaza did, the Arab faith in Israel’s power will diminish. As a consequence, if Israel follows the generals’ advice our relations with the Sunnis will worsen, not improve.
It is a tragedy for Israel that the generals have allowed the Left to use them in this way. Their role in perpetuating Israel’s destructive adherence to the devastating two-state policy model diminishes their past contributions and endangers Israel’s future.
Israel braces itself for Paris peace confab… by doing nothing
This coming Friday, foreign ministers from some of the world’s most powerful countries, including the United States, Russia and Germany, as well as a handful of Arab states, will gather in Paris to discuss ways to reanimate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The two parties at the heart of the conflict will not send official representatives to this week’s conference, a precursor to a second gathering later this year that Israelis and Palestinians are urged to attend.
How is Jerusalem bracing for an event that will likely lead to additional demands on Israel to make concessions toward a peace deal?
Israeli officials this week refused to speak on record about their preparations ahead of the confab, but in private conversations indicated that Jerusalem is against the initiative, has not been invited to it, and is therefore not doing anything about it.
Paris "Peace" Talks the Usual Charade
This Friday’s one-day “peace conference” in Paris, convened by the French government to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, has a wearisome, all-too-familiar look to it: same farce, different day.
Representatives of some 20 political entities will be sharing their “thoughts” about the conflict for several hours, sandwiched between photo opportunities and a fine meal. Thankfully, such reliably constructive actors as the Arab League, Turkey, Saudi Arabia
and Indonesia have been invited.
France, which in diplomatic matters famously regards itself as superior to all others, and to the U.S. in particular, has looked a good deal like Abbott and Costello when it comes to the Mideast. Eager to curry favor with its large Muslim population in advance of upcoming elections, it recently backed a Palestinian resolution in UNESCO denying any link between Jews and Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. Within days French President Francois Hollande announced that his government’s vote was the result of a “misunderstanding.”
The government that was unable to “understand” what the Palestinians were seeking to do by its UNESCO gambit — and so many others like it — or to “understand” the ceaseless Palestinian con job, will be chairing the peace conference. That should come as excellent news for those hoping for peace.
In surprise move, Netanyahu says he’s ready to negotiate based on Saudi peace initiative
Israel is prepared to hold peace talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surprisingly declared Monday just moments after new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took the oath of office, ending a month-long saga over which party would join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
“I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors,” Netanyahu said in a press conference following the swearing- in ceremony. “The Arab peace initiative includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians.
“We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”
The controversial Arab Peace Initiative – long rejected by Jerusalem and also known as the Saudi Initiative – calls for normalizing relations between Arab countries and Israel, in exchange for a complete withdrawal by Israel to pre-1967 lines and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.
The Jerusalem Post has learned that Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, who was sworn in as minister-without-portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office and will deal with foreign affairs and defense issues, will be involved in new regional diplomatic initiatives Netanyahu intends to advance in coming weeks. He is the Likud’s most dovish minister.
UN envoy welcomes comments lending support for Arab peace plan
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process on Tuesday welcomed statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman lending some support for an Arab peace plan.
Nickolay Mladenov said the comments made a day earlier could “help advance negotiations on achieving a two-state solution.”
In a dramatic move, Netanyahu on Monday partially endorsed the Arab Peace Initiative, offering to negotiate with the Arab world regarding the parameters of the plan, which promises Israel full diplomatic ties with 57 Arab and Muslim states in return for cementing a peace accord with the Palestinians.
Mladenov said that the Middle East Quartet, which brings the United Nations, the US, the European Union and Russia together to mediate an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, had “repeatedly emphasized the significance and importance of the Arab Peace Initiative with its vision for a comprehensive settlement of the conflict and as an opportunity for building a regional security framework.”
Liberman quick to proclaim: I support the 'two-state solution'
Newly sworn in Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman was quick to announce on Monday evening that he supports the “two-state solution” to solve the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.
In a joint statement, Liberman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed support for the recent call by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for the sides to reach a peace agreement.
“I am committed to peace with our Palestinian neighbors and with all our neighbors,” the Prime Minister said in the statement. “The Arab peace initiative includes essential elements that can help restore constructive negotiations with the Palestinians. We are ready to negotiate with the Arab countries on updating the initiative, to reflect the dramatic changes since 2002, and to maintain the agreed goal of two states for two peoples.”
“We welcome the recent speech of al-Sisi and his willingness to promote peace in the region,” added Netanyahu.
Incoming Defense Minister Liberman said in the statement, “I agree to everything, including the two-state solution. I often spoke about recognition of the solution of two states for two peoples. I certainly agree that the Arab initiative has several very positive elements that allow for a serious dialogue with the countries of the region.”
Top Palestinian official: Israeli peace overtures just a PR campaign
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Tuesday rejected comments by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman lending some support for an Arab peace plan, saying it was a PR campaign designed to distract the world from Israel’s “continued settler-colonial policies and rejectionist positions.”
In a dramatic move, Netanyahu on Monday partially endorsed the Arab Peace Initiative, offering to negotiate with the Arab world regarding the parameters of the plan, which promises Israel full diplomatic ties with 57 Arab and Muslim states in return for cementing a peace accord with the Palestinians.
A statement from Erekat’s office described the position adopted by “war minister” Liberman and Netanyahu as “new public relations strategies promoted by the occupying government to shield Israel from having to adhere to the will of the international community and distract from its continued settler-colonial policies and rejectionist positions.”
Hamas slams French initiative as Abbas’s ‘personal step’
Ahead of next week’s Middle East peace summit to be held in Paris and attended by foreign minsters of 20 countries, the Hamas terrorist group reaffirmed Monday its rejection of the initiative.
The group called the initiative a “personal step” by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, despite the fact that the Arab League passed a resolution on Friday adopting the French peace push.
“The French initiative is an attempt to distract the Palestinian people and circumvent their national rights, especially the right of return,” Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement, referring to the Palestinian demand that all refugees from the 1948 war in Israel — as well as their descendants, around five million people — be allowed to settle in Israel.
“Mahmoud Abbas’s response to this initiative is a personal step and does not have any national consensus,” the statement said.
PFLP calls for 'mass struggle' against French initiative
The Communist terror organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has called for a "mass struggle" to stop the French initiative, which seeks to impose peace talks on Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).
Just last Sunday French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited Israel in an attempt to garner support for the initiative, even as Israel reiterated its rejection of the move. PA Chairperson Mahmoud Abbas for his part has eagerly embraced the international effort.
The French initiative - which is to hold a meeting of foreign ministers from a range of world powers on June 3 ahead of a meeting with Israel and the PA in autumn - is based on the 2002 Saudi initiative, which called for Israel to make massive concessions in exchange for paper promises not to attack from its Arab neighbors.
But the PFLP did not see fit to back the international initiative to press Israel into concessions, rejecting any negotiations with the Jewish state.
American Jewish Group: Move Over, Israelis, We’re Taking Over
A group of prominent American Jews, in tandem with a group of retired, left-wing Israeli military and security officials and an American security think tank, is seeking—via the next U.S. president, whoever he or she will be—to force policies on Israel that its government and a large majority of its population oppose.
Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports:
In a rare and sharp split with Israeli government policy, a group of Jewish community leaders wants to get a proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the next president’s desk….
Elements of the proposals…are radical departures from the policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s current government…. Tactically, getting the next president to kick-start new talks is also anathema to Netanyahu, who regards outside pressure as counterproductive.
Kampeas explains that the organization behind this initiative, the Israel Policy Forum,
was established in the early 1990s at the behest of then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who went over the head of what was then a hawkish pro-Israel establishment to seek U.S. Jewish backing for his peace talks with the Palestinians.
In other words, Rabin made that move during the early euphoria over achieving “peace” with Yasser Arafat and his PLO. From that point until Arafat’s death in 2004, well over a thousand Israelis were killed in unprecedented waves of terror attacks.
Turkish Deputy PM: Jerusalem Conceded on 2 of 3 Conditions for Reconciliation; Ankara Won’t Relinquish Demand That Israel Lift Gaza Blockade
Though Jerusalem has conceded on two out of three demands made by Turkey during reconciliation talks with the Jewish state, Ankara will not relinquish its insistence that the blockade on the Gaza Strip be lifted, a representative of the government in Ankara said on Monday, the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
In a conversation with journalists following a cabinet meeting, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus called the lifting of the security blockade a “necessary condition” for normalizing relations with Israel.
Turkey is also demanding an official apology and monetary compensation for the deaths of 10 activists on the Mavi Marmara – one of the ships of the “Free Gaza” flotilla in 2010 – at the hands of Israeli commandoes.
Though, according to the report, the Israeli government has agreed to the apology and compensation, it ruled out lifting its naval and aerial blockade on the Hamas-controlled enclave that shares a border with southern Israel and Egypt.
Israel Daily Picture: The Long History of Jewish/Israeli Ties with Jordan
History books provide glimpses of nearly a century of ties between Hashemite rulers and Jewish leaders, starting with the pre-state of Israel. Dr. Chaim Weizman of the Zionist Organization met with Emir Faisal in January 1919 and signed an agreement of understanding. T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) was the interpreter for the meeting, but it is not certain to this day just how much of an "agreement" it was. Nevertheless the acts of meeting and dialogue were monumental.
Weizmann - Faisal meeting, 1919 (Syrian Times)
Days before Israel's declaration of independence in May 1948, Golda Meir travelled to Jordan disguised as an Arab peasant to meet with King Abdullah to urge him to stay out of the pending Arab attack on the soon-to-be state. (He didn't.)
On September 25, 1973, Abdullah's grandson, King Hussein of Jordan, secretly visited Israel to warn Prime Minister Golda Meir of imminent attacks on Israel by Egypt and Syria. (Tragically, his warnings were not given their due seriousness.)
These two photographs, however, fill in some of the years. The first shows Emir Abdullah's personal bodyguards in 1922 -- armed Jewish Yemenite warriors from the Habani tribe. The three men were brothers -- Sayeed, Salaah, and Saadia Sofer. Notice their traditional side curls (peyot). The men of the Habani tribe were known as tall, muscular and fierce warriors.
Hashemites also used Circassian bodyguards.
Jerusalem now home to 10% of Israelis
Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel, data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reveals Tuesday, as part of data released in honor of Jerusalem Day (Sunday).
870,000 people lived in the Holy City in 2015, about 10% of the national population. Its population grew by over 20,000 people over last year, including 19,800 by birth and 3,700 through Aliyah. At the same time, some 3,500 people left Jerusalem.
Beit Shemesh, Tel Aviv and Bnei Brak residents are major 'feeder populations' for Jerusalem, i.e. the main cities people leave to go live in the capital. Emigrants of Jerusalem, likewise, often live in Beit Shemesh and Tel Aviv, as well as Givat Ze'ev.
The total fertility rate (average number of children a woman is expected to have during her lifetime) in Jerusalem was 3.91 children per woman. This is higher than the national average (3.08).
78% of Israelis support unilateral annexation of Ma'ale Adumim, poll finds
The Knesset Land of Israel caucus called to annex Ma’aleh Adumim Tuesday, citing a poll showing nearly 78 percent of Israelis agree to it, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he’s ready to negotiate based on the Arab Peace Initiative.
The controversial Arab Peace Initiative – long rejected by Jerusalem and also known as the Saudi Initiative – calls for normalizing relations between Arab countries and Israel, in exchange for a complete withdrawal by Israel to pre-1967 lines, which Ma’aleh Adumim is beyond. Most calls for a two-state solution on pre-1967 lines with land swaps put the city east of Jerusalem on the Israeli side of the proposed border.
Still, Land of Israel Caucus chairmen MKs Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) submitted legislation calling to apply Israeli law to Ma’aleh Adumim, which would be de facto annexation of the city.
The MKs called for the right-wing government, newly infused with a five-seat boost from Yisrael Beytenu, to “realize the will of the people and apply sovereignty to Ma’aleh Adumim.”
Palestinian teen stabs, lightly injures soldier in Tel Aviv
A soldier was lightly wounded Monday evening during a stabbing attack in the center of Tel Aviv.
Security forces arrested a Palestinian teenager near the scene of the attack, after he fled and tried to hide in a residential building. Police said the stabber likely had nationalistic motives and they were therefore treating the incident as terrorism.
The attacker was identified as a 17-year-old resident of the West Bank.
Eyewitnesses said the teen shouted “Allaha akbar” — the Arabic for “God is great” — during the incident. The attack was apparently carried out with a screwdriver, Channel 2 news reported.
Medical personnel at the scene administered first aid to the 19-year-old soldier for injuries to his upper body before taking him to Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.
The hospital said the soldier was likely to be discharged within several hours.
Israel to demolish home of Dafna Meir's killer
Israel's Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the demolition of the home of Murad Bader Abdullah Adais, who stabbed to death a Jewish mother in front of her children last January in the Judean community of Otniel.
Dafna Meir was repeatedly stabbed as she fought desperately to prevent the young Arab terrorist from entering her house and massacring three of her children who were home with her at the time.
Though the mother of six succeeded in heroically fighting him off, she herself was fatally wounded in the attack.
Her killer fled the scene, but was eventually captured by security forces.
Under interrogation, he claimed he had been inspired to carry out the attack by incitement broadcast on the Palestinian Authority's official TV channel.
In handing down its ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court noted that it had been proven that the murderer's family actively supported his terrorist actions.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Islamic Martyrs Seem Disappointed With 72 White Grapes (satire)
Supernal sources are reporting that recent arrivals in the Islamic Martyrs Pavilion in Heaven are expressing bewilderment and disappointment at the delights that they were given as promised for battling the infidel.
Archangels and their aides told reporters this week that since approximately 1980, an increasing number of shaheeds, or holy martyrs, who entered Heaven by virtue of fighting non-believers and other enemies of Islam, appear confused and angry that they receive seventy-two white grapes, a rare delicacy on Earth. The huri, as the term appears in Arabic, is the reward guaranteed by Muhammad to all who give their lives for Islamic causes – but the last two or three generations of shaheeds seem unimpressed.
Archangel Gabriel was the first to notice the trend. “We have guys sitting around, supposed to be enjoying everlasting bliss, but there’s this obvious undercurrent of resentment that rears its head every time one of our Islamic martyrs is offered huri,” he explained. “It’s what they were promised they would enjoy once they got here, and there’s no end to the promotion of the white grapes as the eternal reward for Islamic warriors in Earthly Islamic media, so it’s unclear to me what the problem is.”
Digging terror tunnels to carry 15-year jail sentence
Israel's new anti-terrorism legislation will soon face its second and third Knesset readings, after its final draft was approved for a parliament vote. The Knesset's Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday backed the bill with a vote of 10 in favor versus two against.
The legislation proposal, which seeks to reconcile Israel's need to fight terrorism with the need to maintain democratic values, civil and human rights, and the demands of international law, was first presented to the 18th Knesset in 2009. Debated during the 19th and 20th Knesset's terms, the final, 100-page draft includes 135 articles that have weathered 165 objections filed by opposition MKs.
The bill grants law enforcement agencies, particularly the Shin Bet security agency and the Israel Police, more tools to fight terrorism and terrorist organizations. It includes articles meant to fight terrorism in a global age, as well as amendments to existing terrorism-related offenses.
One of the amendments introduced in the bill concerns the offense of incitement to commit acts of terror: Where the law once demanded "clear and imminent probability" that such incitement would result in actual acts of terror, the amended article now states a "clear call to commit an act of terror" -- regardless of imminent probability -- will constitute criminal incitement.
IsraellyCool: The Background Clue To The PLO’s Hatred Of Jews
Saturda(May 28th) was the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the PLO. Earlier this year, I uncovered a New York Times report from May 31st of that year. I recommend you read it again, to get some insight into the PLO and their goals, as well as what they meant by “Palestine.”
Ma’an News has reported that 52 years on, the different palestinian terror groups are disillusioned with the PLO – mainly for not delivering on destroying Israel. But it is the photo accompanying their report that piqued my curiosity.
That poster in the background looks suspiciously like Jesus nailed to a Star of David. Heck, it is not just a suspicion – that is what it shows.
Which begs the question: If the PLO and the other groups were only about liberating “Palestine”, then why the antisemitism? I think the answer is that this not just about “liberating” the land but doing so from those filthy, rotten Jews. And when you understand the contempt with which they view us, it might just help explain why peace has been so elusive.
Palestinian factions attack 'meaningless' PLO on anniversary
Numerous Palestinian terror organizations spoke out in criticism of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) after it marked its 52nd anniversary on Saturday.
The PLO was established by arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat in 1964 in order to wage "armed struggle" to "liberate Palestine." The group's pro-terror stance has remained constant, with one PLO official last October calling the murder of Jews a "national duty."
It was an internationally recognized terrorist organization until that status was removed in the 1994 Oslo Accords - even though the group never rejected terrorism or recognized Israel's right to exist.
But on its 52nd anniversary, the PLO came in for criticism from numerous terror groups including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), reports the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency on Monday.
"There is a big difference between the beginnings and the result of the PLO," said Yahya al-Abadsah, a Palestinian Authority (PA) lawmaker affiliated with Hamas. The PA was created in the 1994 Oslo Accords.
Navy shoots Gaza fisherman who leaves ‘designated zone’
Israeli sailors shot a Palestinian fisherman in the leg off the coast of the Gaza Strip Tuesday, after his vessel and a second boat didn’t obey orders to halt, the military said.
The two boats had been sailing in the waters near central Gaza, when they “deviated from a designated fishing zone” and “turned toward the south,” the Israel Defense Forces said.
“IDF troops called for the vessels to halt, firing warning shots into the air. Upon the suspects’ continued advance, forces fired toward one of the vessels,” the army said.
One of the fisherman on board the ship was struck in the leg by a bullet, a military spokesperson said.
Russian raids on Syria hospital, mosque kill 60 civilians
Turkey said Tuesday that heavy air raids carried out by Russian forces on a hospital and a mosque in the Syrian city of Idlib, a provincial capital held by al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front and its allies, resulted in 60 dead and some 200 injured, Reuters reported.
Al-Nusra is not party to a Russia- and US-brokered ceasefire that went into force on February 27 between Moscow-backed government forces and Washington-backed non-jihadist rebels.
“The airstrikes are the most intensive on Idlib since the beginning of the truce,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
“Even though Idlib is not covered by the truce, it had been relatively calm with only intermittent raids,” he added.
At least five children were among those killed in the strikes, which hit several residential areas and near a hospital and a public garden, according to the Observatory.
Rouhani: Iran at turning point after defeating ‘Zionist plots’
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Iran is at a “historic turning point” after overcoming the sanctions on its nuclear program, which he partly attributed to “Zionism.”
“We lie at a historic turning point after passing through the plots of the Zionism and the arrogance which had put us under sanctions,” Rouhani said, according to the state-run Press TV.
He also said that post-sanctions Tehran was “intent on opening the road of exports to the world countries.” The first step, he said, was “for the government to open the doors that were shut in the past.”
Rouhani told his audience in Urumieh, in northwest Iran, there was a marked rise in visits by foreign trade delegations since the sanctions were lifted, and agreements had been reached for the first investments.
Ex-Miss Turkey sentenced ‘for insulting Erdogan’
A Turkish court Tuesday found a former Miss Turkey beauty queen guilty of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media, handing her a suspended sentence of over one year in jail.
The Istanbul court sentenced model, 27, to one year and two months in prison for “publicly insulting” Erdogan in a satirical poem she posted on her Instagram account, the Dogan news agency reported.
The punishment has been suspended, it added, without giving further details.
The “Master’s Poem” — which was shared by the model while Erdogan was serving as prime minister — criticizes the Turkish strongman with verses adapted from the national anthem.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Assad Furious Olympic Firing Squad Unable To Compete In Rio (satire)
Syrian President Basher Assad is reportedly fuming at a decision of the International Olympic Committee not to recognize execution by firing squad as an Olympic sport for this year’s set of contests, scheduled for August in Brazil.
Assad had hoped to showcase his country’s firing squad on the biggest stage in international sports, but the IOC issued a ruling today that the inclusion of execution by firing squad in an Olympiad will happen no sooner than 2020, possibly 2024. Aides to the president said he was considering retaliatory steps against the IOC, but remains wary of measures that might alienate allies with vested interests in the Committee, such as Russia.
Trainers and staff with the Syrian firing squad team have been practicing intensively for years, often gunning down hundreds of people a week. A member of the squad told PreOccupied Territory that he and his teammates were looking forward with a mixture of anticipation and curiosity to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but now all the preparation appears to be for naught.
“I can’t tell you how many magazines I’ve emptied into the bodies of regime opponents and their relatives, friends, neighbors, business associates, and old schoolmates, getting in shape for Rio,” said Shoudhim Shoudhim, 30, a squad leader. “We were all looking forward to finding out who the targets would be for the Olympics – does Brazil have many political prisoners? Would they import them from Guatemala? Venezuela? Or would we have to bring our own? We have plenty.”



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Mrs. Elder and I are planning to visit Israel towards the end of June and beginning of July.

Last time some EoZ readers in Israel hooked us up with some very interesting interviews and exclusive tours. We made some videos on topics that one doesn't usually hear about.  And one group invited me to speak.

So if you have any connections, whether it is with politicians like Bibi or Bennett or simply an interesting organization that does great work - let me know.

Save a Child's Heart - Gaza patient





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From the Facebook page of the Salem-Dir Hatab Boys High School, near Nablus:


This was to commemorate the "20th anniversary of the Ibrahimi mosque massacre" in Hebron.

A caricature of a stereotypical haredi Jew with blood dripping from his hands and mouth? Nah, they are only talking about "Zionists."

This school is aligned with Fatah.


Girls' schools are no better. This Nablus girl's school shows a woman brandishing a show at a Jew who is in the middle of performing the unpardonable crime of Walking While Jewish.


The shorthand phrase "no Jews, no news" isn't quite accurate. It is closer to "no blaming Jews, no news." Because Palestinian antisemitism being taught to children is simply not considered newsworthy



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From The Telegraph:
Hamas executed three people reportedly by firing squad and hanging this morning, in a move that defied protests from the UN and will likely deepen tensions with the Palestinian government in the West Bank.

The Islamist group, which has controlled the Gaza Strip for more than a decade, said it had executed three alleged murderers at dawn.

The executions were not carried out in public even though Hamas had threatened public killings when it announced the death sentences earlier this month.

Two of the men were shot dead by firing squad while a third, a policeman, was hanged, security sources told Reuters.

"To achieve public deterrence and block crime, the relevant authorities implemented at dawn on Tuesday execution rulings against three convicted of horrifying murders,” Hamas’s prosecutors office said.

The group said earlier this month that it has 13 people on death row and intended to carry out further executions.
While the executions weren't public, they did take place in front of the families of their victims. They had the right to pardon the murderers from execution but refused to do so.

Here is one of the rare cases where human rights groups actually denounced Hamas, mostly because they are against the death penalty altogether and they couldn't find any legal loopholes to let this slide, as both HRW and Amnesty try to do with other cases of Hamas (and Hezbollah) crimes.

The rule from Amnesty and HRW is that they only condemn Hamas when Hamas freely admits to violating international law, as they do with rockets and executions. Israeli officials are assumed to be liars but Hamas officials' lies are accepted as truth. 

So don't be fooled by condemnations of Hamas by these human rights NGOs. They are happy to find isolated cases where they condemn Israel's enemies, so they can claim that they are equal in their criticisms as they issue about 6 anti-Israel reports for every one on Israel's enemies.



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Monday, May 30, 2016

From Ian:

David Collier: Applauding the nakba myth
I wasn’t going to write about the ‘nakba’ incident at Wanstead High School. Let down by a society that doesn’t believe in truth, the schoolgirl Leanne Muhammed, aged only 15, has already been weaponised. With the publicity her speech received, I felt sorry for her.
The child will become further affected by the hurricane surrounding the speech. It is unlikely she will draw the correct conclusions. Those that have influenced her before today, will ensure that the reasons behind her ‘inability to speak freely’ are understood the way they want them to be. A reinforcement of another antisemitic myth, that secret Jewish control stops people from telling the truth. Nobody will tell Leanne that her speech turned history upside down.
The parents, the community, social media, the school, the teachers, these are the ones that remain responsible for the fact that a child of the UK has been brought up to propagate a myth that divides communities, a myth that spreads hate, a myth that seeks conflict. In our society that nakba myth is fostered and nurtured, as if truth and history are no longer relevant elements that need to be considered.
Others have already written on the content of the speech itself. Edgar Davidson wrote on the subject and ‘Brian of London’ also covered the issue. The general consensus seems to be that there is no future for Jews in the UK.
I agree with both of them.
Edgar Davidson: This explains Leanne Mohamad's perverse views about 'Palestine' and the 'Zionists'
This explains Leanne Mohamad's perverse views about 'Palestine' and the 'Zionists'
Based on her retweets, 'Peace loving' Leanne Mohamad gets all her information about 'Palestine' from Hamas supporter Abbas Sarsour, who glories in the murder of 'Zionists'. Above are some screenshots from his twitter feed
The story of schoolgirl Leanne Mohamad's award-winning anti-Israel speech, full of ignorant lies and blood libels, keeps getting more interesting. I don't normally 'do' twitter but I posted about the story there today and got back a torrent of abuse.
IsraellyCool: Brian Explains Who’s Indigenous
I put this together just before shabbat. It’s a spoken version of Ryan Bellerose’s original Israellycool post “Israel Palestine – Who’s Indigenous”. Let me know what you think.




When my great-uncle liberated a Nazi concentration camp
Published here for the first time, a collection of pictures taken by Jules Helfner, a Brooklyn-born son of Russian immigrants, offer a rare first-person perspective of the march into Germany — the horror, the outrage, some rare moments of pleasure
Seventy years earlier, in April of ’45, the German army was in tatters and retreating before the Allies. American troops approached the city of Weimar in central Germany on April 11 and liberated the first Nazi concentration camp: Buchenwald. Among the skeletal prisoners famously photographed in the grim barracks was future Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel.
But that same day, 40 miles to the north, a US Army detachment entered another, lesser-known camp outside the town of Nordhausen. The Mittelbau-Dora facility used slave labor to build V-2 rockets and worked thousands to death. Among the men of the 104th Infantry Division was a medic from Brooklyn, New York. A 21-year-old American-born son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Jules Helfner was fluent in German, kept a pistol in his boot, and was armed with a camera.
Together with his handwritten notes, Jules’s unique photographs, published here for the first time, bring to life a Jewish foot soldier’s personal experience in the 104th. They document four months of Helfner’s service after landing in France in late 1944, chronicling the march into Germany, liberation of a Nazi labor camp, and his eventual encounter with fellow Jewish soldiers in the Red Army at the climax of World War II.
'French Jews’ situation worst since 1945'
French Jews are experiencing the most difficult situation they have encountered since the end of World War II, the newly-elected president of France’s umbrella of Jewish communities said.
Francis Kalifat, 64, said Sunday that his first priority as president of CRIF is to fight against the anti-Semitism that he said was responsible for the situation he described.
“The fight against anti-Semitism is our main cause because French Jews are in the most difficult situation they have experience since World War II,” Kalifat said during an interview with Radio J shortly after his unanimous election to succeed Roger Cukierman as president.
Kalifat, who was born in Algeria and is the first Sephardic Jew to hold the position since CRIF’s establishment in 1944, was the only candidate running this election.
His presidency, which will become effective next month, comes at a time of record emigration by Jews from France, partly because of anti-Semitic violence that included hundreds of anti-Semitic incidents annually in recent years, and dozens of physical assaults. Since 2012, attacks on Jewish targets by French Islamists in France and Belgium claimed the lives of 12 people. Last year, roughly 8,000 French Jews left for Israel — the highest number on record for any year, which made France for the second year straight Israel’s largest provider of newcomers.
Anti-Semitism is not the Israeli government’s fault
One of the highlights of the annual report released on Tuesday by State Comptroller Judge Yosef Shapira is the government’s failure to combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and other attempts at delegitimizing the Jewish state.
According to Shapira, no significant victories have been won in this battle, because the two ministries charged with waging it – the Foreign Ministry and Strategic Affairs Ministry– have been too busy bickering with each other over purviews and powers to join forces in what should be a common war with a shared goal.
One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry at such a critique.
Though it’s healthy to have an independent body monitoring government activities, certain phenomena are so inherent, self-evident and redundant that they’re not worth wasting paper to expose. Two of these can’t be stressed enough.
The first is that democratic governments by their nature are bureaucracies whose biggest claim to fame is inefficiency. This is true in general and of countries like Israel in particular. Though headed by a highly savvy, free-market maven, it continues to operate like a socialist apparatus. And though its citizens have ample evidence at their disposal that private endeavors always get things done better and more cheaply, they still can’t get it through their simultaneously innovative and thick skulls that the government is a necessary pill to swallow, not some doctor who should be capable of curing all ills. This is an irrefutable truth.
Another is that no amount of quality “hasbara” – an untranslatable Hebrew word for public diplomacy, the field of Israel’s making a case for itself in the international arena – can prevent or eliminate anti-Semitism.
Douglas Murray: UK Labour Party Inquiry: Deny, Divert, Cover Up
In the run-up to his election as Labour party leader, Corbyn was often asked about his tendency to hang around with Holocaust deniers, anti-Semitic hate-preachers and others of a similar ilk. Apart from not quite owning up to his connections to such people, the other technique he employed at this time was to put on a look of extreme affront and say that he had spent his entire life "fighting racism." Whenever the specific question of anti-Semitism was raised, he would say how opposed he was to all forms of racism "including Islamophobia." It has apparently proven impossible for Corbyn to realize the specific nature of anti-Semitism; whenever it has come up, he has used the opportunity to talk not about racial hatred against Jews but what he believes to be an epidemic of hatred towards Muslims.
Leaving aside the obvious fact that Muslims are not a race, there is in any case no evidence whatsoever to support the allegation of Corbyn and others that there is an epidemic of "Islamophobia" in the UK, and specifically no evidence of such an issue in the Conservative party. But this attempt to turn around the narrative was pushed by certain Labour apparatchiks to complain that any and all questioning of the newly elected London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, for his past affiliations with Islamist extremists was not a legitimate line of questioning of the judgement of anyone running for elected office, but instead an "Islamophobic" attack purely motivated by "racism." Even now, Corbyn supporters are trying to distract attention from their own party's very evident problem and turn racism allegations around on the Conservative party. None of which suggests any serious desire to get on top of their problem.
We can already predict what the conclusions of the Chakrabarti Inquiry will be, from the manner in which she has started it. Will she able to explain that the main originator of anti-Semitism in the Labour party today comes from its growing Muslim base? If she does identify that, will she then need to have an inquiry into herself for such flagrant "Islamophobia"? More likely she will find the party entirely blameless. Just a few dozen bad apples, and so on. And even then, we now have a nice demonstration of what will happen if any unpleasant findings do accidentally slip through.
The Labour party has another inquiry: into allegations, reported earlier this month, of anti-Semitism at its Oxford University club. Amazingly enough, while that inquiry (led by Baroness Royall) found "difficulties," it claimed to find no "institutional anti-Semitism." These careful headline facts having been released, the rest of the report was then swiftly supressed on the orders of the Labour party. Only a bland executive summary and some recommendations were made public, evidently leaving even the author of the inquiry "frustrated." So there is the state of the British Labour party in 2016. A party evidently riddled with anti-Semitism from top to bottom, and led by people who want to divert attention from the fact or cover it over entirely. The Labour party has a serious problem, and it is in institutional denial. Things can only get worse.
NY Post blasts liberal Democrats for anti-Israel trend
The editorial then questioned whether the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, would stand up against the anti-Israel trend in her party.
"Maybe not," the editorial said. "She wants to avoid any public convention fights. Indeed, her own committee pick, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois), says he sees room in the platform for more avowedly pro-Palestinian language on 'their hope for justice.'
"But even if Hillary does choose to stand up for her own professed commitment to Israel, will the convention delegates follow?"
The editorial went on to lament that the shift among liberal Democrats is occurring just as the Pew poll found increasing support for Israel among all other ideological groups, including moderate and conservative Democrats and all Republicans.
"It's beyond depressing to see liberal Democrats breaking ranks with the rest of America -- and pressing to destroy a seven-decade bipartisan pro-Israel consensus," the editorial concluded.
When the Labour Party Was Zionist
I’m currently reading Bruce Hoffman’s latest book Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle For Israel 1917-47. It’s a great book, one passage seemed to provide an almost incredible juxtaposition to the events of the modern day Corbyn Labour Party;
In December 1917, just weeks after the Balfour Declaration was issued, the [Labour] party had enthusiastically endorsed the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. Ten successive party conferences, including the most recent one held in December 1944, had reaffirmed that pledge. That conference in fact had endorsed a geographically and politically expansive pro-Zionist platform that included monetary incentives to persuade Palestine’s Arab population to relocate elsewhere. Such proposals went beyond what even Ben-Gurion and the Jewish Agency were advocating. The Labour Party had also staunchly opposed the 1939 white paper, which it had previously denounced as both a regrettable “breach of faith” and a “breach of British honour.” Indeed, as the end of the war in Europe neared, its National Executive Committee had called for the gates of Palestine to be opened to the Jewish survivors of Hitler’s death camps. “There is surely neither hope nor meaning in a ‘Jewish National Home,’” a report of the executive’s 1944 meeting had proclaimed, “unless we are prepared to let Jews, if they wish, enter this land in such numbers as to become a majority. There was a strong case for this before the War. There is an irresistible case now, after the unspeakable atrocities of the…Nazi plan to kill all Jews in Europe.”
Suspended UK lawmaker tells synagogue: ‘I was ignorant about Judaism’
Suspended MP Naz Shah has admitted she was “ignorant” about Judaism when she endorsed the relocation of Israel to America and vowed to take personal “responsibility” for talking to fellow Muslims about anti-Semitism.
The MP for Bradford West remains suspended from the party for sharing a post on Facebook that called for the transportation of Israel to America, and adding the words “problem solved”.
But, appearing at Sinai Synagogue in Leeds on Sunday night, she insisted her views had changed since the 2014 post as a result of engaging with the local Jewish community – something she insisted set her apart from her predecessor George Galloway.
“He used Palestine as a political tool and he never engaged with people. When I engaged with the Synagogue and had conversations that is when I changed. Until we have those conversations we won’t achieve change,” she told the audience during her first public appearance at a Jewish event since the controversy erupted.
“It is my job in the Muslim Community to highlight the issues of anti-Semitism. Going to Auschwitz is a fantastic idea but it won’t fix the problem. We need to educate the community. It’s up to me to own the narrative. To have conversations with the Muslim community [about anti-semitism] and that’s my responsibility.”
UK's Co-operative Group - Boycotting Israeli Produce
The UK's Co-operative Group is closely linked to -- and a major funder of -- the Co-operative Party, which has an electoral pact with the Labour Party, the UK's official opposition.
This assumes that those advocating the boycott know exactly where the new borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state will be, despite that they are yet to be determined through negotiation. The enterprises boycotted by the Co-op Group employ many local Arab workers, whose livelihoods are endangered by the boycott.
The Co-op Group continues to refer to Israel's "illegal settlements" as if these were the only disputed territories in the world. There is no boycott, of course, of major exporting countries with appalling human rights records, such as China (invasion of Tibet), Russia (invasion of the Ukraine) and other countries whose occupation of other areas is not recognized internationally, such as Nagorno-Karabakh or Northern Cyprus.
As usual, of all the countries in the world, Israel is being singled out. For the boycotters of the Co-op Group, Israel is the usual soft target.
Barry Shaw: Real Clear Thoughts to Misguided Governments on BDS “free speech.”
BDS activists claim that they are a non-violent protest movement supporting the Palestinian cause.
Non-violent? Here is what Omar Barghouti, the founder of BDS, has said;
“Palestinians have the right of resistance, including armed resistance.”
We Israelis, from our long history of Palestinian “armed resistance” tend to call it “terrorism.” It includes everything from stabbings, shootings, suicide bombings, rocket attacks on our civilians, the killing of our Olympic athletes and, in the past, plane and ship hijackings.
So much for “non- violence.”
Would, I wonder, the Dutch government tolerate the free speech of an organization that called for non-violent protest against some of their policies and then condoned lethal force as part of their campaign? For how long would the Dutch government protect anti-Dutch BDS rights to free speech if they recruited people to their call for the elimination of The Netherlands as part of their protected free speech rights?
As for protected BDS free speech, the Dutch appear to tolerate Barghouti saying, “Most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No rational Palestinian will ever accept a Jewish state.”
Such anti-Semitic remarks have to be protected under Dutch and Swedish law, it seems.
Depravity: Anti-Israel ‘pinkwashing’ group seeks boycott of ‘Tel Aviv Pride’ events
Scheduled from May 25th through June 3rd, Tel Aviv Pride is a week-long series of events that celebrate gay life.
For over nearly two decades, it’s become one of the city’s most popular annual festivals. Tens of thousands of gay Israelis and LGBTQ tourists from around the world enjoy the extravaganza, which seems to get bigger and better each year with new events added and more people taking part.
But for anti-Israel gay activists, Tel Aviv Pride is a means for discrediting the one state in the Middle East which actually treats its gay community with dignity and respect.
Below I highlight the latest campaign to put Tel Aviv Pride Week into service for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions).
In the Case of Gay Gaza Commander Executed for ‘Moral Crimes,’ New York Times Editorialists Are MIA
A brief news article in the New York Times last week reported that Hamas has called for resuming the death penalty in Gaza. According to the report, capital punishment there has “mostly stopped” since 2014, though “an exception was the case of Mahmoud Ishtiwi, a Hamas commander, who was fatally shot in April for ‘moral crimes’ after he was accused of theft and of having sex with another man.”
Good for the Times for reporting on the issue, and for its earlier enterprising page one coverage of the Ishtiwi case. But, one wonders: Where is the follow-up from the Times’ editorial page and columnists?
The appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel’s defense minister generated a lead Times editorial denouncing him, in part, because, he “has proposed instituting the death penalty for convicted terrorists.” The Times also ran two op-ed columns hostile to Mr. Lieberman.
So, in the case of an Israeli official who merely proposes executing terrorists, the Times mounted a full-fledged editorial campaign. In the case of the Palestinian Arab regime in Gaza actually carrying out a death sentence on a suspected homosexual, the Times editorial page fell totally silent. And not merely silent.
Poll: A third of Americans back
A new landmark poll has revealed that a full third of Americans believe the BDS movement's boycott of the Jewish state is justified, in a sign of shifting support from the US which has traditionally been a staunch ally of Israel.
A full 33% of Americans called a boycott of Israel justifiable, according to the poll conducted by Ipsos among 1,100 respondents in the US, which was reported by Channel 2.
The poll shows that the intense BDS college campaigns are gaining traction in the wider public consciousness of the US, as well as in the UK.
A similar poll in the UK found that a full 40% back a boycott of Israel, showing hostility to the Jewish state is even higher in Great Britain.
However, in a telling result, 62% of respondents in the US and 50% in the UK said the BDS boycott movement is a form of anti-Semitism.
The findings come ahead of a special conference at the UN on Tuesday entitled "Building Bridges, Not Boycotts," which will be held by Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
Italy spurns BDS with largest ever academic delegation to Israel
Defying BDS calls for a boycott of Israel, Italy has committed itself to bring the largest ever delegation of Italian academics to Israel.
A series of conferences and events will take place across the country for four days this week. Italian and Israeli researchers will be invited to participate in an exchange of information and ideas in their various fields of interest, from electronic innovations to revolutions in medical technology.
Renewed efforts to counteract BDS activity spurn earlier attempts to cut links with Israeli institutions. Earlier this year, 300 Italian professors and researchers signed a petition to halt academic cooperation with Israel. According to Al Jazeera, 50 Italian universities committed themselves to the boycott, citing a refusal to be complicit in Israel’s “intolerable human rights violations” against the Palestinians as their reason for ceasing academic relations.
The Italian ambassador to Israel told Haaretz that this cooperation is a fitting response to previous attempts to halt academic exchange. According to Italian ambassador Francesco Talo, universities should maintain dialogue and allow for the free exchange of information and ideas.
Edinburgh University BDS vote overturned
The board of trustees of Edinburgh University Student’s Association (EUSA) has refused to enforce the BDS policy passed by the student council earlier this year.
The motion to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policy was passed on 31 March by 249-153 votes with 22 abstentions, giving a majority of 74.
The Israel Engagement Society (IES) described the motion as "irresponsible" and “intolerant" and welcomed the move, saying that “EUSA’s dropping of the policy follows a precedent set by other universities, recognising the illegality of BDS and the significant risk of increasing intolerance against minority groups on campus that it poses.”
Theo Robertson-Bonds, IES vice-chair, said he was “delighted” by the verdict.
“Singling out and boycotting the world’s only Jewish state is a reckless, divisive policy that does nothing to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said.
“I am delighted that EUSA’s Trustee Board has taken this issue seriously and ensured our campus remains safe and inclusive for all students by refusing to enact it. IES will continue to work with the university and EUSA to promote peace and discussion around a two-state solution on campus.”
Despite anti-Semitism gaffe, Stanford students oppose BDS
A significant majority of Stanford University students oppose the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement - despite an anti-Semitism and BDS crises that rocked the university student board earlier this year.
69% of students oppose the anti-Israel movement - including 65% of freshmen, 72% of sophomores, and 73% of juniors, the Stanford Review poll of 288 students revealed.
The poll contradicts a high-profile anti-Semitism crisis related to BDS at Stanford - and raises questions about the power of pro-Palestinian groups on campus.
In April, Stanford student senate member Gabriel Knight infamously argued it is “not anti-Semitism” to claim Jews control “the media, economy, government and other social institutions," as well as questioning the reliability of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
After an Arutz Sheva investigation and a media outcry, as well as backlash from the ADL itself, Knight stepped down from his post.
Canadian student assaulted at anti-Israel protest
The anti-Israel protest, which was organized by Actions4Palestine, was made up of a group of less than 30 people who chanted “free free Palestine” while waving Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Communist flags, and signs denouncing Peres, Kissinger, and Israeli “war crimes.”
Jordan Justein told CIJNews that he counter-protested, “because both my grandparents are Holocaust survivors, and as a young person I feel it’s my responsibility to stand up against anti-Semitism and for Israel.”
Upon arriving at the protest with an Israeli flag, a police officer warned him that simply being at the demonstration with the flag could “incite a riot."
However, when Jordan Justein walked to the other side of the street, the Actions4Palestine protesters called him a “Zionist pig," a “Zionist piece of sh*t," a “kike” and a “provocateur”.
Then, a man with a PLO flag kicked him twice in the leg and told him to leave. When Jordan Justein told the police officer about the incident, he was simply told to go and file a report.
New York Times Photo Bias Militarizes Israeli Kids
What exactly is the message of the photo? Well that depends on whether you are familiar with Israeli culture, which most New York Times readers are not.
The most obvious reaction to this photo would be distaste that children are interacting with any kind of weaponry while promoting the portrayal of Israel as a highly militarized society. And what is a “traditional weapons display?” That the photo states its location “near a West Bank settlement” is also meant to add a sinister element to the image.
The reality is that on Independence Day, many IDF bases all over the country are open to the public. Israeli children have the opportunity to see the IDF up close much in the same way as American children are thrilled to see military paraphernalia on board the USS Intrepid docked in Manhattan, New York City.
While the photo may show Israeli girls handling a machine gun, you can guarantee that the weapon is not loaded and these girls are not receiving actual military training. Contrast this with Hamas and Islamic Jihad “summer camps” where Palestinian children actually undergo military training with the intent to murder Israelis. There is no moral equivalence between this and Israelis visiting military bases on Independence Day.
So why did the New York Times choose this particular photo to accompany the story? Unfortunately we probably know the answer.

Radio New Zealand’s Biased Sources
A pair of Radio New Zealand Morning Show segments included incorrect information about Israel and a proposal, now withdrawn, to expand the use of the death penalty against terrorists.
During the first segment, they interviewed journalist Kate Shuttleworth (whose anti-Israel bias we have exposed before) who claimed that Prime Minister Netanyahu:
Supported an Israeli soldier who was filmed shooting a Palestinian attacker in the head while he was already disarmed and lying on the ground.
Netanyahu actually said that the soldier’s actions:
…do not represent the values of the Israeli Defense Forces. The IDF expects its soldiers to act calmly and according to the rules of engagement.
In the second segment, RNZ interviewed Mouin Rabbani with the Institute for Palestine Studies. His main point was that under current law, an Israeli military court must vote unanimously to impose the death penalty and under the proposal, that requirement would be changed to a simple majority. This change, according to Mabbani, would lead to a wide expansion in the use of the death penalty as prosecutors would be expected to “demand” and “implement” capital punishment because of the change.
CDC Map Fail?
The first map clearly shows that there have been reported cases of the disease in Israel. Yet, Israel is not named on the map. While it could be argued that this is not necessarily a map that Israel would want to appear on, it is nonetheless strange.
So we investigated further. The maps are credited to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the public health institute of the US. We located the maps on the CDC website where they are described as:
Cutaneous leishmaniasis prevalence within Syria and neighboring countries of the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Region, 2013.
It transpires that the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Region does not include Israel, which is, instead part of the WHO’s European regional office. That could go some way to explaining why Israel is not on the map.
But the trail goes further.
A click on this link takes you to a large map of Syrian refugees produced by the US State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit. While the map includes Jerusalem, Tel Aviv-Yafo, West Bank, Gaza and even “Golan Heights (Israeli occupied),” the map pointedly does not include the word “Israel” on the appropriate country.
Irish Times legitimizes Israel-Nazi analogy
Of course, the suggestion that any legislation in the Knesset resembles early Nazi laws, or that discrimination against Arab-Israelis or Palestinians is akin to the discrimination against Jews “in the first phase of Nazi Germany” is completely ahistorical. Here’s a list of significant antisemitic legislation and acts during the first two years of Nazi rule:
1933
- March 31: Decree of the Berlin city commissioner for health suspends Jewish doctors from the city’s charity services.
- April 1: Nazi leadership stages an economic boycott of German Jews (Thousands of Stars of David were painted on doors and windows by Nazi Stormtroopers with accompanying antisemitic slogans such as, “The Jews Are Our Misfortune.”)
- April 7: Law for the Reestablishment of the Professional Civil Service removes Jews from government service.
- April 7: Law on the Admission to the Legal Profession forbids the admission of Jews to the bar.
- April 25: Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities limits the number of Jewish students in public schools.
- July 14: De-Naturalization Law revokes the citizenship of naturalized Jews and “undesirables.”
- October 4: Law on Editors bans Jews from editorial posts.
1935
- May 21: Army law expels Jewish officers from the army.
- September 15: Nazi leaders announce the Nuremberg Laws, stripping Jews of German citizenship.
Avnery doesn’t provide any examples of the Nazi-like “rain of racist bills” in the Knesset, perhaps because there are none which could even remotely stand up to such a comparison. Merely the fact that some Israelis have made racist statements and proposed racist ideas – as some people do in every democratic society – is not similar to the codification of a system of racial discrimination enforced by despotic regimes.
The New York Times Wistfully Mourns an Anti-Israel Activist
A virulently anti-Israel (Jewish) activist named Hedy Epstein gets a long and respectful obituary in the Sunday New York Times.
The Times doesn’t describe what Jewish Voice for Peace is, but, just for the record, notwithstanding its name, it is a boycott, divestment and sanctions group dedicated to policies that would eradicate Israel as a Jewish state.
The headline on the Times article describes Epstein as a “rights activist.” Whatever “rights” the Times thinks she was active on behalf of, they apparently did not include the right of Israeli Jews to live in peace and security in a Jewish state.
Finally, given the narrative of Epstein emerging as an anti-Israel activist “after” the Sabra and Shatila massacre, a young Times reader unfamiliar with the event might imagine that it had been committed by Israel. In fact, the massacre was perpetrated by a Lebanese Christian militia, and the victims included not only Palestinian Arabs but also Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians and Algerians. The logic of someone emerging as an anti-Israel activist following it is only just marginally more than someone deciding to take up against Israel after the Boston, My Lai or Tiananmen Square massacres.
Israeli’s Ohio restaurant closes doors in aftermath of machete attack
Hany Baransi, the Christian Israeli Arab whose Columbus, Ohio, restaurant was attacked in February by a machete-wielding assailant, has announced he will soon file for bankruptcy and close his restaurant.
Only months ago, Baransi triumphantly reopened the Nazareth Restaurant & Deli, wielding his signature baseball in front of Israeli flags, only weeks after the attack by Mohamed Bary, a West African Muslim with a history of making radical Islamist statements.
The news was shared by Baransi on his Facebook page and came as a surprise to many who had followed his story.
Four people were injured in the attack, one seriously. All have since recovered.
Baransi blamed his financial woes on not receiving any compensation from local, state or federal governments following the attack. He said he personally footed the bill for the expensive cleanup.
Holocaust monuments vandalized in Poland, Italy
Newly-erected Holocaust monuments in Poland and Italy were vandalized by individuals who wrote on them far-right and far-left slogans, respectively.
The Polish monument, which was unveiled in 2014 in the country’s northeast, was hit for the second time in a little over a year by unidentified culprits who broke off part of its surface and spray-painted expletives and a neo-Nazi symbol on what remained. In Italy, the assailants wrote “Burn the banks” on a Holocaust monument that was erected in February.
The Italian monument vandalized was the Shoah Memorial of Bologna, 190 miles northwest of Rome, that was inaugurated at a central square in February. “Extinguish your mortgage, burn your banks,” the culprits wrote on one of the monument’s walls. They added an Anarchist symbol to the graffiti. Police was handling the case as a possible hate crime, the Corriere di Bologna daily reported Thursday.
In Poland, the monument’s stone tablet, which resembles a headstone, was shattered where it used to feature a Start of David etching according to Radio Bialystok, which reported that the attack occurred in recent days in Raigrod and was discovered Friday.
The assailants spray painted in red offensive slogans and Odin’s Cross – a White supremacist version of the Celtic Cross, which consists of a square cross interlocking with or surrounded by a circle.
Leviathan partners sign $3b gas deal
Leviathan will supply 13 BCM over 18 years to the IPM power plant in Be'er Tuvia.
The partners in the Leviathan natural gas reservoir today announced the signing of a gas supply agreement with the IPM company in Be'er Tuvia. The partnership will supply 13 BCM of gas to the power station slated for construction in the Be'er Tuvia industrial zone. The value of the 18-year agreement is estimated at $3 billion. The contract is the second for the partners, following a contract with Edeltech, owned by the Edelsberg family, last January.
The IPM power station is controlled by Triple M and Israel Power Management 3000. It is designed for construction on a 62-dunam (15.5-acre) site, and will produce 430 megawatts of electricity using combined cycle power technology (natural gas as the main fuel and diesel oil as a backup).
The government approved the revised natural gas plan only a few days ago, with the omission of the commitment to refrain from changing anything in the gas sector for the next 10 years. The gas companies assert that the approval of the plan enabled them to sign the agreement with IPM. Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) added that the agreement shows its continued commitment to developing Leviathan and the natural gas industry in Israel.
Actor Alan Cumming gets Tel Aviv Gay Pride envoy nod
If you were a viewer of “The Good Wife,” then you have more than a passing familiarity with Scottish actor Alan Cumming, who plays Jewish chief of staff and conniving fixer Eli Gold on the award-winning show.
What you may not have known is that Cumming, a bisexual who married his long-time partner, Grant Shaffer, in New York in 2012, is an ambassador for this week’s Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade, and is currently romping around the country’s sites and posting selfies on Twitter as he traipses around Jerusalem’s Old City.
Cumming is taking part in TLV Fest, Tel Aviv’s LGBT Film Festival, held for the 11th year at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque from May 29 to June 7 and presenting dozens of films about the LGBT experience that have been screened at other film festivals worldwide.
He will receive an award at the festival, and will take part in a broader conversation held on June 2, at 8 p.m.
Cumming, a Scot by birth who is a naturalized American citizen, was a recurring character in season two of Lisa Kudrow’s web series “Web Therapy,” playing a possible love interest for Kudrow’s character.
Christian-Jewish Group Brings 26 African-American Christian Leaders to Israel
The visiting delegation is from the National Baptist Convention of America, a predominately black church. Yael Eckstein, senior vice president of The Fellowship, said the trip is part of an effort to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and to “build strategic friends and allies for the Jewish people both financially and politically.”
“Just seeing the country and experiencing [it] is something which can build a greater connection with Israel,” she said.
Rev. Samuel C. Tolbert Jr.—president of the National Baptist Convention of America—said he hoped to use the trip to help find “common ground” between Palestinians and Israelis.
“How do we hear what the Palestinians say, how do we hear what the Jews say, how can we partner with them both and help find the common ground to help them live in more peaceable society?” Tolbert said, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Restoration work starts at Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre shrine
A major restoration project has begun at the shrine inside Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus is said to have been buried before his resurrection.
An AFP photographer visiting the church on Sunday saw scaffolding going up around the grotto tomb site and workers welding steel supports.
Church officials had said in March that work was to be carried out by a team of Greek specialists.
They said the project was expected to be completed in early 2017 and that the site would remain open to visitors in the meantime.
The shrine, several meters tall and wide and standing under the church’s dome, has for decades been held together by a metal frame.
Teacher sent to Nepal after quake named outstanding reservist
One of the 45 IDF reservists to be cited Monday for outstanding service is Tom Shay, 32, a civic teacher from Tel Aviv.
Shay performs her reserve duty with the National Search and Rescue Unit in the IDF Homefront Command, and will receive a certificate of merit from IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot for her actions last year when she was dispatched to Nepal following the devastating earthquake that struck the Himalayan country.
When she arrived in Nepal, Shay realized that 180 Israelis in the country were unreachable. She set up an emergency situation room and within 24 hours had contacted all of them. Meanwhile, other Israeli workers set out to search for Or Asraf, a backpacker from Lehavim, whose body was eventually located.
Shay is calm about her distinction.
"I'm still not clear why I'm being cited for excellence," she said. "We're all deserving of the citation. It was a team effort."
IDF Blog: Serving Together in the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion




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