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Sunday, May 15, 2016

From Ian:

Vic Rosenthal: On observing the nakba
Many of you have seen the traffic coming to a stop on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance day and Memorial Day, with drivers getting out of their cars and pedestrians standing stock still, at attention while a siren sounds for two minutes. It never ceases to move me to tears, no matter how many times I’ve experienced it. Ordinary Israelis understand quite well why their independence is important and what it still costs them.
If you’ve seen videos of the event, you may have noticed a few vehicles that don’t stop. These are primarily Arabs. After all, it’s not their grandparents who were murdered by the Nazis (the father of Palestinian nationalism, al-Husseini, was a Nazi himself), and the last people they would want to honor are the soldiers who died to keep the Arabs from finishing al-Husseini and Hitler’s program. Indeed, today the Arabs of Judea and Samaria will sound a siren of their own to commemorate “nakba day,” the day they failed to prevent Jewish sovereignty from returning to the Land of Israel.
The experience of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day, which all come within the space of a week, always affects me profoundly, creating feelings of love for the Jewish people and pride at what we have accomplished. I don’t have the slightest twinge of regret for what my people had to do to get their independence, and what we continue to do to keep it. And I don’t think there is a place in the state of Israel for the observance of the nakba, the catastrophic failure of our enemies to kill or re-disperse us.
French Jews oppose Cannes film defending Munich terrorists
The umbrella group of French Jewish communities objected to the planned marketing at Cannes of a film it said falsely blames German security forces for the deaths of 11 Israeli athletes held hostage by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Roger Cukierman, the president of CRIF, made the objection in a May 3 letter to Pierre Lescure, president of the Cannes Film Festival, and to French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay, CRIF revealed on its website Thursday.
Cukierman said he was “concerned” about the planned screening of the film, “Munich: A Palestinian Story,” at a promotional event for Arab cinema at the Cannes Film Festival.
The film depicts as freedom fighters Palestinians who during the Summer Olympics in Munich in 1972 are believed to have shot and killed at least two of 11 Israeli athletes they took hostage. It wrongly accuses German police of the killings, Cukierman said in the letter.
Directed by Nasri Hajjaj, “Munich” is part of a partnership between the Cannes Film Festival, which is one of the most important events in cinema, and the Dubai International Film Festival. This year for the first time, the Dubai festival sent a selection of Arab films, including the one about Munich, to Cannes’s Le Marche du Film — a platform for international cinema that takes place alongside Cannes.
Stop giving British aid money to Palestinian terrorists, Jewish community say in new campaign
Jewish groups are launching a campaign to stop British aid being used to fund Palestinian terrorists following shocking revelations in The Mail on Sunday.
They are demanding the Government cut all funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ends support for payments of ‘salaries’ to suicide bombers and child killers.
The Department for International Development (DFID) will this year give the PA £25.5 million.
The campaign is backed by former Labour MP Michael McCann, who reveals today how the PA finance minister openly admitted to such funding during a visit two years ago by Parliament’s International Development Select Committee, whose members were investigating aid spending in Palestine.
McCann says DFID is ‘guilty of turning a blind eye to UK taxpayers’ money being used to incentivise murder’.
In March, we exposed how ‘rewards for murder’ flowed from British and European funding bodies to terrorists accused of atrocities.

Hamas to 'never forgive' the UK for enabling Israel's existence
Hamas will "never forgive" the United Kingdom for enabling Israel's existence, a spokesperson for the terror group said Saturday.
"Britain conquered the land of Palestine and was the first to support the 'Nakba'," Yasser Ali, Hamas's "Palestinian refugees" official, stated to Palestine magazine. 'Nakba' is the Arabic term for 'Catastrophe,' i.e. Israeli Independence in 1948.
"[Britain] helped establish the entity of Israel on the ruins of the historic land of Palestine, which resulted in expulsion of the Palestinians after they are slaughtered and killed dozens of massacres."
"Any harm to the Palestinian people during the Nakba, including pain and suffering, were caused by Britain and its allies, and our people cannot forget that," Ali continued.
The official then claimed that the 'Nakba' validated a Palestinian Right of Return, which would see terrorists flood Israel - and that such fulfills prophesies from Mohammed.
Watch: 'We came to wish a happy Nakba holiday'
Dozens of Arab student group members at Tel Aviv University together with radical leftists held a ceremony at the campus on Sunday morning, commemorating the Nakba (catastrophe in Arabic) which is how they refer to the Arab states' inability to destroy the fledgling state of Israel in 1948.
Opposing the Arabs and leftists mourning the foundation of the modern Jewish state were dozens of right-wing activists, ex-MKs and students in the university's Zionist student groups, who protested against the anti-Israeli ceremony being held on campus.
Arutz Sheva was on hand to speak with students taking part in the protest.
As part of the protest against the Nakba event, activists of the grassroots Zionist group Im Tirtzu passed out Israel flags and booklets entitled "Nakba Nonsense" which expose the truth behind the distorted Nakba narrative.
Im Tirtzu activists also brought a 15-foot tall inflatable Pinocchio doll to the counter-protest to emphasize the falsehoods being spread in the Nakba narrative, which seeks to turn those who sought to destroy the nascent state of Israel and slaughter its citizens into victims.
BDS Meta-Losery at Brown
First, word went out that the original program would not take place (accompanied by the aforementioned kvetching). But, as it turns out, a small group of participants were clued into the fact that the event was going to secretly take place after all and were invited to attend the Nakba program earlier than originally scheduled so long as they swore to stay mum about it.
Unsurprisingly, word of this furtive event got out. And so began a war of words over who was responsible and/or complicit in allowing an event to take place under Hillel’s roof that defied the organization’s principles while kicking pro-Israel students in the teeth (and lying to them to boot).
I’m going to allow others to sort out those details and assign blame and responsibility accordingly. But while we wait for various shoes to drop, consider for a moment all the options the organizers of that Nakba screening had to solve the problem of not being able to hold their event at Hillel. If you look at this map, you’ll see that the Brown campus has over 100 buildings, some of which have dozens of classrooms and other public spaces, which means Nakba Day could have taken place in any of a thousand other locations. But what was vital for the organizers was not the substance of their programming (problematical as that is) but rather the ability to claim that their propaganda message reflects mainstream Jewish belief.
In other words, this was one more attempt to infiltrate and subvert in order to speak in the name of someone else (rule #1 in the BDS playbook). But if sneaking around behind people’s backs, sending out false flag messages and swearing everyone to secrecy was the only way to accomplish this goal, how can they then turn around to claim communal support?
PreOccupiedTerritory: Arab MKs Blast Gov’t For Nakba-Day Heat Wave (satire)
Members of the Arab Joint List delegation to Knesset denounced the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today, saying that the timing of an oppressive heat wave to coincide with commemorations of Palestinian displacement in 1948 could not have been a coincidence.
As Arab and Palestinian leaders gathered in various places throughout the country to mark Nakba Day – when they lament the creation of Israel – they also cast suspicious eyes at the outside temperature, which began rising sharply yesterday and will remain oppressively high at least through Monday. Multiple public figures pointed an accusing finger at the right-leaning, Likud-led government.
“Any country capable of stealing an activist’s shoe and making it disappear without a trace is capable of engineering the hottest days on record in living memory,” suggested MK Ahmad Tibi of the Raam-Taal Party, referring to the enduringly mysterious, suspicious, and alleged theft of London-based Muslim activist Asghar Bukhari’s footwear last year. “This government continually boasts how the country made the desert bloom. Anyone with such power over nature is automatically suspect in inclement weather that affects political opponents.”
Palestinian leaders amplified Tibi’s accusations. “We would not put anything past the Zionists,” pronounced Fatah official Saeb Erekat. “The Zionists were already manipulating the weather back in the days of our direct ancestors on this land, the… the… whoever was before the Natufians. The Pre-Clovis people, maybe? Is that far back enough?” Erekat’s Bedouin ancestors moved to the area in the nineteenth century.
Plan to apply Israeli law in West Bank: Equal rights or ‘creeping annexation’?
Those who oppose the bill see it as a backdoor method by Shaked and her Jewish Home party to achieve their stated and most sought-after goal — the annexation of Area C of the West Bank, where nearly all 400,000 Jewish settlers live. The UN estimates around 300,000 Palestinians live in Area C, though this number is highly contested. The Jewish Home party puts the number as low as 48,000, while one Israeli expert told The Times of Israel the reality was closer to 75,000.
Centrist lawmakers have blasted the idea as a stage in the process of creeping annexation and a lethal blow to the two-state solution. On the left, the proposed bill was denounced as another brick in the infrastructure of Israel’s “apartheid” in the West Bank.
The original plan, however, did not come from a right-wing lawmaker. Its author is the former military advocate general Maj. Gen. (res) Danny Efroni, who slaughtered sacred cows by refusing to call the IDF “the most moral army in the world,” and pursued an investigation that could have incriminated former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi as part of the Harpaz document affair.
He was described in the left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz as someone who sees his job as “to find out the truth and investigate suspicions of offenses, regardless of external pressures.”
On Sunday, Efroni gave his first-ever briefing to journalists after retiring six months ago as the top lawyer in the IDF, a position he assumed in 2011.
French FM: New peace initiative necessary to stop deterioration of Israeli-Palestinian conflict
An international peace process is necessary to stop the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from deteriorating, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told reporters on Sunday after separately briefing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on his country’s new initiative to jump start direct talks.
“The process is frozen so there is a need for international intervention, because the situation is getting worse day by day,” he told reporters at a press conference he held in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon before boarding a plane for China. He spoke to them in French, with the help of a Hebrew translator as he described a two-step process, that includes a May 30 ministerial meeting with some countries to be followed by a larger international peace conference in the fall.
Israeli and Palestinian leaders are not invited to the May ministerial meeting, but will be asked to attend the fall parley.
Ayrault said he hoped that Netanyahu would get on board with the process by the time the fall peace conference is held.
Netanyahu told Ayrault that he opposed the idea of a French led internationalized peace process, given that the only thing standing in the way of renewed negotiations was Abbas’s refusal to hold direct talks.
'Peace requires Palestinian recognition of Jewish state'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with visiting French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on Sunday, as France continues to push ahead with an initiative to hold an international peace conference in Paris later this month in a bid to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"This morning, I met with the foreign minister of France," Netanyahu said at the start of Sunday's cabinet meeting. "I told him that the scandalous decision passed by UNESCO with French support that did not recognize the millenia-old connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount casts a shadow on the fairness of any forum France tries to bring together. He told me that the decision stemmed from a misunderstanding and that he would personally ensure that it would not recur.
"I told him that the only way to advance true peace between us and the Palestinians is via direct negotiations between us and them, without preconditions. Historical experience shows that is how we achieved peace with Egypt and that is how we achieved peace with Jordan. Any other method only pushes peace further away and gives the Palestinians an escape hatch to avoid dealing with the root of the conflict -- which is their non-recognition of the State of Israel. They simply avoid negotiating with us, due to their wish to avoid [recognizing Israel as the national home of the Jewish people]."
Meanwhile, France has backtracked from the UNESCO decision approved last month which referred to the Temple Mount exclusively as "Al-Aqsa mosque," thereby ignoring the Jewish connection to the site.
Netanyahu: French initiative gives Palestinians 'escape hatch' to avoid negotiations
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the French peace initiative on Sunday morning when he told his cabinet ministers during their weekly meeting in Jerusalem that it gave the Palestinians an opportunity to evade direct negotiations.
“Any other process [like the French initiative] just pushes peace farther away and gives the Palestinians an escape hatch to avoid confronting the root of the conflict, which is the recognition of the state of Israel [as Jewish state],” Netanyahu said.
“They are avoiding talking with us, because they do not want to deal with this,” he said.
Netanyahu added that Israel’s historical experience is that direct talks do lead to peace, such as what occurred with Egypt and Jordan.
Pal Rep to UN: Palestinian Murder of Israelis is not Terrorism
According to the Palestinian representative to the UN Riyadh Mansour, a Palestinian who bombs, shoots, stabs or drives a car into an Israeli is by definition not a terrorist. Speaking at the Security Council session on "Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts: Countering the Narratives and Ideologies of Terrorism" held on May 11, 2016, Mansour stated that all terrorism is unjustifiable - unless the targets are Israelis.
In his words: "Violent criminal actions intended to provoke a state of terror among persons whatever purposes, whatever and by whomever, are unjustifiable in any circumstances. There should be no exceptions or selectivity in the applications of this principle as we seek to confront extremist ideologies and groups and bring a halt to their terror. Lastly, we must reaffirm that terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggles of peoples under colonial domination or foreign occupation for self-determination and national liberation... The struggles of people under colonial domination and foreign occupation for self-determination and national liberation, including the decades long struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom and justice, does not constitute terrorism, and any such characterizations and analogies must be rejected."
Former Syrian general calls for peace with Israel
Al-Dandal sent the letter to Edelstein through Israeli researchers. Other Syrian activists, who purport to represent the Syrian opposition, have sent similar letters before, but the very fact al-Dandel was part of the Syrian regime's own flesh and blood before the civil war broke out gives his open letter an entirely different meaning.
“When I was a part of the regime, I was convinced that former President Hafez Al-Assad missed an opportunity to make peace like former Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat. But when you serve the regime, you need to say what it wants (you to say) and not what you really think,” said al-Dandal in a phone call with Ynet.
“Israel has an opportunity to make peace with the Syrian people, who now, since the revolution against al-Assad, have made sense of many things including the lie that the regime is selling regarding its resistance to Israel.
According al-Dandel, Israel is not doing enough for the Syrian people, especially in comparison to other peoples. He mentioned that Israel’s non-intervention policy in the civil war and what he calls the “outrageous” statements of Israeli officials who believe that Assad remaining in power would be more beneficial for Israel.
Jordanian parliament speaker: We oppose the peace treaty with Israel
Jordanian House Speaker, Atef Tarawneh, has stated that the Jordanian parliament, which represents the Jordanian people, adamantly disagrees with the government over the peace treaty with Israel.
In an interview with the London-based TV channel Al-Ghad, on Friday, Tarawneh commented about his decision to ban the participation of an Israeli delegation in the 2016 Women in Parliaments Global Forum, which took place in Amman last week.
"The Jordanian parliament is an independent authority which represents the Jordanian people. Its opinion toward the peace treaty with Israel is different in essence from the government's position," Tarawneh said.
"Israel does not respect the peace treaty it signed. When a Jordanian judge was killed by Israeli security forces (in March 2014, Israeli soldiers mistakenly killed a Jordanian judge at Allenby border crossing), the Israeli Knesset did not take any measure to investigate the issue," Tarawneh added.
Watch: Two suspects arrested in Hizme bombing
Security officials arrested two suspects in last Tuesday's bombing at Hizme north of Jerusalem, it was cleared for publication Sunday.
"Significant" developments have allegedly been uncovered during interrogation, but details about the two remain under media gag order.
Last Tuesday’s attack occurred when an IDF officer spotted suspicious objects during a patrol on the road leading to the village of Hizme, and one of them exploded. A subsequent investigation revealed that the suspicious objects were pipe bombs that were placed by terrorists on the road.
The attack was the second terrorist attack in one day, coming hours after two elderly women were stabbed by Arab terrorists in Jerusalem.
IDF AquaShield™ Blocking Hamas’ ‘Blue Tunnel’
Alongside the efforts to discover and destroy the Hamas terror tunnels leading into Israel, the IDF has been following the terrorist organization’s efforts to improve its ability to attack Israel using commando divers, Army Radio reported Sunday. According to the report, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas underwater special forces managed to reach Israeli shore at Zikim beach, between Ashkelon and the northern Gaza Strip, and engaged IDF forces in a battle.
916 Navy Squadron Commander Lieutenant Colonel Liav Silverman, told Army Radio about the “blue tunnel” threat, as those attempts to enter Israel from the sea are referred to. “The blue tunnel, this ‘underwater tunnel,’ is extremely challenging defensively,” he said. “Any attempt by the enemy to develop the capacity for diving and sailing, is challenging above and under water.”
Following Operation Protective Edge and the terrorist encroachment at Zikim Beach, the IDF has invested in strengthening the communication and cooperation between the Navy and the Infantry Gaza Division. Deputy Commander of the Northern Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Asaf Hamami told Army Radio, “We want civilians to be able to come here. We don’t want to disturb the civilians, as far as we’re concerned they should continue with their lives. When we see tourists and swimmers here, in Banana Beach, it means I fulfilled my mission. We’re not influenced by fear, we will know how to protect them, our forces are in the area.”
Alan Johnson: Alternative to demonisation of Israel on campus
University campuses are a vital part of global civil society and can play an important role in supporting Israeli and Palestinian democrats working for the ‘two-states for two peoples’ solution to the conflict. Only this solution can balance the legitimate demand of the Jewish and Palestinian peoples for sovereign independence and national self-determination.
However, too often these days, students are invited to pick sides and hate. They are told to participate vicariously in the dead-end conflict between what the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish called ‘Me or Him’ rather than help the two parties work out together how to become ‘Me and him’.
They are urged to cheer and boo, reducing the conflict to the simple tale of right and wrong, rather than see it for what it is, a tragic clash between right and right, as the Israeli novelist Amos Oz put it.
Students are told they must boycott Israel (and only Israel) but rarely if ever are they helped to see how they can work with Israelis and Palestinians to encourage their deep mutual recognition and so contribute to peace.
There are many sectarians on the prowl in the universities these days. They want to establish a culture of hatred against Israel on campus, so they abuse ‘the Zios’ and smear Israel as the ultimate Bad Guy.
It’s not surprising there have been some violent incidents and a growth in antisemitism. If the ‘debate’ continues like this, there will be more of both.
Controversial Prof: ‘Israel Manifests Implicit Claim to Right to Maim as Form of Biopolitical Control’
The content of a controversial lecture delivered at Dartmouth College by an infamous Rutgers professor was published by the website Dartblog on Friday.
As was reported by The Algemeiner, Jasbir Puar — an associate professor of women and gender studies, with an emphasis on queer theory, feminism, globalization and diaspora studies — was accused of making antisemitic comments, cloaked in academic language, during her Dartmouth speech, entitled “Inhumanist Biopolitics: How Palestine Matters.”
The transcript of her remarks — made during an April 30 event related to feminism and the environment and sponsored by the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth (GRID) — reads in part:
In a rebuttal against Puar’s claims, Dr. Alex Safian, associate director of the watchdog group the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), wrote, “Israel does not claim a right to maim, but it does claim a right to live and not to be killed, and this Puar apparently can’t accept. If Israeli forces shoot to kill, she would condemn them for that. But if they shoot to injure rather than kill, including with less-than-lethal rounds like rubber bullets, she would condemn them for that. Puar rejects any Israeli effort at self-defense, because she fundamentally rejects Israel’s legitimacy. So nothing that Israel does can ever be legitimate.”
Sneaker Advice: BDS Edition
In the latest BDS dust-up, the sneaker company Reebok has distanced itself from a sneaker commemorating Israel’s Independence Day. Although the story appears to be the result of a mix-up, Reebok’s reaction is nonetheless deplorable.
The blue and white shoe, meant to evoke Israel’s flag, was to have “Israel 68” on the heel, marking 68 years of Israel’s independence. The shoe was not designed or meant to be sold by Reebok. Rather an individual, not employed by Reebok, designed it, using the “design your own” feature of Reebok’s website, with the intention of auctioning one pair off as a collector’s item. But Reebok Israel promoted the design and announced plans to auction the shoes on its own Facebook page, as a one-time, Independence Day release.
This announcement, predictably, generated outraged releases from the usual suspects. “Reebok Tramples on Palestinians,” one read.
So Reebok made a run for it. They said, truly enough, that Reebok International had nothing to do with the shoe. But a representative added, according to the Jerusalem Post, that Reebok “does not allow its sportswear to be politicized and refrains from distributing shoes tied to national emblems or countries.”
But first, the latter claim is simply and demonstrably false. Reebok collaborated with a German sneaker boutique to distribute a shoe, “featuring some German military inspiration,” with a German flag patch on its tongue. And Reebok hardly refrains from using other national emblems that some people find offensive.
IsraellyCool: Palestinian Authority Revokes 50 NGO Licenses
The US State Department “expressed concerns about the dangers [the proposed law] could pose to a “free and functioning civil society,” and Seymour Reich, the long-forgotten one-time Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, also saw fit to lambaste the law in an op-ed in the Jewish week.
A few days ago, Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reported,
Khaled Abu Toameh ‎@KhaledAbuToameh
Palestinian Authority revokes licenses of 50 NGO's in Ramallah area for 'breaking the law.'
According to Maan News, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of the Interior claimed that these NGOs had failed to begin operating within a year of the registration being issued. Whether that’s true or not, we’ll never know, since no other news agency seems to have noticed.
No word yet on any response from the “pro-Palestinian” Europeans or the US State Department. Those who claim to be so concerned about Palestinian human rights just snore when those rights are potentially being violated by the PA.
Omar Barghouti asks Nefesh B’Nefesh for help with Residency Permit (satire)
atari Boycott Divest and Sanctions mascot Omar Barghouti is in a bit of a conundrum lately, as the country he is trying to take down through lawfare apparently is not being terribly helpful with his travel permits. Barghouti, who is a PhD Candidate at Tel Aviv University when he is not trying to destroy the country that funds his education, has lately turned to Nefesh B’Nefesh to help straighten things out. The Daily Freier got a copy of Barghouti’s letter to Nefesh B’Nefesh by pestering their receptionist for 30 minutes until she gave it to us if we would just go away.
Greetings Facilitators of the Ongoing Illegal Occupation of the 1948 Territories,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing your Entity because I hear that you know how to “grease the wheels” of the bureaucracy for Semites who wish to live here. So Please help. You’re a Semite. And I am also a Semite…. who dislikes certain other Semites. But that is neither here nor there. The Bottom Line is that my Inalienable Right to attend overseas conferences and be feted as the awesome guy that I am is being jeopardized. Besides, Max Blumenthal owes me 30 Bucks and if I can catch up with him at the Berkeley Confab I am pretty sure I can collect. Anyhoo, hook me up. Because if I am not allowed to travel overseas it would be a total disaster. Or, you know, a Naqba.
Honest Reporting: UNICEF and AFP: Israel the “Child Killer”
Is a 17-year-old armed with a knife really a “child” in the purest sense of the word? Did Israeli security forces see an innocent child when they opened fire? Of course not and nor would they have been expected to question the assailant’s age in the midst of a terror attack.
AFP continues:
UNICEF also voiced alarm over the number of Palestinian children aged between 12 and 17 detained by the Israeli army.
It said the tally stood at 422 at the end of December according to the Israeli prison service, the highest recorded since March 2009.

Perhaps the real alarm should be the number of Palestinian juveniles who are involving themselves in acts of terror or violence against Israeli soldiers and civilians. Shouldn’t UNICEF be voicing its alarm at the Palestinian incitement on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, that is encouraging these young people to endanger their own lives and the lives of others?
But neither the UNICEF report nor AFP is prepared to include an alternative to the blood libel that Israel is simply and criminally shooting dead Palestinian children.
Honest Reporting: Daily Beast Anti-Semitic Image Shocker
The use in the image of a traditional Jewish skullcap complete with a Star of David makes a wholly false linkage between a private Israeli clinic and the Jewish people as a whole. The implication is that any wrongdoing by this clinic is linked to Judaism as well as Israel.
While the clinic’s director happens to be a rabbi, is the Daily Beast implying that Jewish / Israeli ownership of this clinic is somehow an indication of inherent wrongdoing?
There’s a word for this: Anti-Semitism.
HonestReporting has contacted the Daily Beast to request that the image is removed. We’ve also tweeted the journalists behind the article:
BBC Charter Renewal – White Paper
On May 12th the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport published a White Paper relating to the upcoming renewal of the BBC Charter. The document – titled “A BBC for the future: a broadcaster of distinction” – can be found here.pic BBC
Many BBC Watch readers will find section 3 of the report to be of particular interest, including the recommendations (page 60) concerning the complaints system.
“The new Charter will introduce two changes:
−a single complaints system with regards to the BBC in relation to editorial matters. In the first instance the BBC will handle the complaint. Where a complainant is unsatisfied with the response, or where the BBC fails to respond in a timely manner, the complainant will then be able to complain to Ofcom;
The New York Times Gets Lost in Jerusalem
A New York Times dispatch from Jerusalem about a court’s conviction of a Palestinian teenager for the October 2015 stabbing two Israelis — a 13-year-old boy and a man — describes the city’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood as being “in a part of the city that Israel conquered from Jordan in the 1967 war and annexed in a move that was never internationally recognized.”
As so often in newspaper articles, the bias shows through in the decision to choose when to begin telling the story. Did Jerusalem’s history begin in 1967? Wikipedia’s entry on the neighborhood reports that “three ritual baths from the Second Temple period have been excavated in Pisgat Ze’ev” — evidence of Jewish population dating back 2,000 years. The entry goes on to report that “overlooking the neighborhood is Tell el-Ful, believed to be the capital of the Tribe of Judah and site of the Israelite King Saul’s palace.” It further reports that in the 1930s, land nearby was bought “by European Jews for the establishment of a Jewish farming cooperative, Havatzelet Binyamin. Most of the landowners died in the Holocaust.”
Jordan’s control of Jerusalem was never internationally recognized either. The Times doesn’t mention that. Not even the other Arab countries recognized it, though Britain, the outgoing colonial power, did. By now, Israel has controlled eastern Jerusalem for far longer than Jordan’s brief tenure there during the period from the end of the British mandate in 1948 (or Jordan’s formal annexation of the city in 1950) to the Six Day War in 1967.
Syria Friday Sermon: The Treacherous Jews Try to Uproot Islam in Line with Elders of Zion Protocols
In a Friday sermon delivered at the Umayyad Mosque of Damascus, Sheikh Muhammad Ma'moun Rahma said that "treachery is one of the characteristics of the Jews" and warned that according to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Jews were trying to control the global news agencies in order to control "global ideology." Their goal, he said, was "to uproot Islam and bring ruin upon its followers." The sermon was delivered on May 6 and was broadcast on the Syrian Sama TV channel.

Netanyahu Says Iran Planning Second Holocaust While Mocking First
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu railed at Iran Sunday for holding its annual Holocaust denial cartoon contest, charging that the Islamic Republic was “preparing another Holocaust” against the Jewish people.
Iran “denies the Holocaust, mocks the Holocaust, and is preparing another Holocaust,” he told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, “and I think all the countries of the world need to stand up and condemn this unequivocally.”
Israel’s problem with Iran, he said, “isn’t just its subversive, aggressive policy in the region. It’s the values on which it’s based.”
Iran’s annual international cartoon contest lampooning the Holocaust features around 150 works from 50 countries. It began Saturday and is running for the next two weeks.
The contest secretary said Saturday it was not denying the Nazi genocide and wasn’t “ridiculing its victims,” but then went on to equate Nazi crimes with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians.
US condemns Iran’s ‘abhorrent’ Holocaust-mocking cartoon contest
The United States on Sunday denounced the “abhorrent” Holocaust-themed cartoon contest mocking the Nazi genocide of six million Jews during World War II currently taking place in Iran.
US State Department spokesman Mark Toner, traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Saudi Arabia, said Washington was concerned the contest could “be used as a platform for Holocaust denial and revisionism and egregiously anti-Semitic speech, as it has in the past.”
“Such offensive speech should be condemned by the authorities and civil society leaders rather than encouraged. We denounce any Holocaust denial and trivialization as inflammatory and abhorrent. It is insulting to the memory of the millions of people who died in the Holocaust,” Toner said.
The denial or questioning of the Holocaust is widespread in the Middle East, where many regard it as a pretext Israel used for its creation.
IRGC Navy Commander: U.S. Vessels Will Be Sunk in Persian Gulf If They Make the Slightest Mistake
In a recent TV interview, IRGC Navy Commander Ali Fadavi said: "The Americans are aware that if they make even the slightest mistake, their naval vessels will be sunk in the Persian Gulf, the Hormuz Strait, and the Sea of Oman." He further claimed that Iran's vessels would emerge from "undersea tunnels," in which "no force will be able to harm our naval vessels." In the interview, which aired on IRINN TV on May 10, Fadavi maintained that the crew of U.S. vessels is now obliged to speak Farsi in the Persian Gulf, and indeed do so.

Escape to victory: 'Anti-Iranian occupation' team wins soccer cup
"Ahwaz Independence," a soccer team representing the al-Ahwaz region’s secession movement, which seeks independence from the Iranian occupation, has won the Iranian soccer championship.
In the match, which took place in the team’s stadium on Friday, the pro-secessionist team beat its rival from the city of Isfahan after scoring two goals.
The al-Ahwaz region is the name of what was once an autonomous emirate within Iran called Arabistan. In 1925, after disputes with Arabistan's emperor, Reza Khan, the then-ruler of Iran invaded the oil-rich emirate and occupied it. The area is mostly inhabited by Arab Ahwazis, who are not affiliated with the Islamic Republic, which is why Iran, striving to change the demographic balance in al-Ahwaz, encourages Persian citizens to move there.
The 50,000 fans of "Ahwaz Independence" who attended the match celebrated their team's momentous victory by donning traditional Arab keffiyeh head coverings and raising banners in solidarity with the Saudi king, thereby expressing their loyalty to the Arab world. They also raised the white flag of Arab Ahwaz.
Suitcase Bomb Scare at Oslo Synagogue
Oslo Police closed off a large area surrounding the Jewish society Det Mosaiske Trossamfund’s synagogue on Friday morning and sent in a bomb squad, in response to a suitcase that had been left outside the synagogue at around 4 AM, The Local reported. Surrounding streets were blocked off, but Police did not at any point evacuate the area, which includes a school and a daycare center.
They were able to call off the alarm shortly after 11 AM.
“The suitcase turned out to be empty. The barricades will remain on Bergstien. Other roadblocks have been removed. No suspect in the case. The case is closed,” Oslo Police tweeted.
Police said that video surveillance cameras recorded a man, described as dark-skinned and dressed in dark clothing, placing the bag at the entrance to the synagogue.
“The timing and the location are what make us want to investigate the suitcase. We are assuming that there could be anything in that suitcase,” a police spokesman told broadcaster NRK.
British Healthcare Company Acquires Israeli Cryotherapy Leader for $110 Million
British specialist healthcare company BTG has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Galil Medical, a global leader in delivering innovative cryotherapy solutions for kidney and other cancers. The deal is said to be worth up to $110 million.
Galil Medical owns, manufactures and sells a portfolio of cryoablation systems and needles including Visual-ICE — a minimally invasive, easy-to-use system to precisely destroy solid tumor cancers of the kidney, lung, bone, liver and prostate.
“This bolt-on acquisition builds on our leadership in Interventional Oncology, expanding our portfolio of minimally invasive therapies with the leading technology in the cryoablation of kidney cancer. It also offers significant pipeline opportunities, including lung and bone metastases if regulatory approvals are granted,” said Louise Makin, BTG’s CEO.
In the United States, Galil Medical’s products are indicated for the treatment and palliative care of kidney and other cancers, in addition to a number of other uses, including in urology. Galil Medical is presently conducting two clinical studies, both nearing completion, that could lead to US regulatory clearance for use in lung metastases and bone metastases.
Israeli medical company hopes to save thousands of women’s lives per year
A small team of researchers based in the hills outside Jerusalem is designing technology that could potentially save thousands of women’s lives per year. The company behind this, Illumigyn, is using advanced imaging technology originating in the Israeli military to develop medical hardware that gynecologists could use to better identify and treat cervical cancer and other diseases in routine inspections for women.
“The product is ready, and this is a game-changing experience for the patient, for the quality of service, and for the ability to treat women, not only at the point of injury, or problem, but also through their entire life,” said Ran Poliakine, the serial entrepreneur funding the project.
The company is working under Poliakine’s guidance on a campus near his home in Neve Ilan, a small moshav about a 20-minute drive west of Jerusalem. The campus is home to 12 companies supported by Poliakine, who made his name with the wireless charging company Powermat Technologies, which he founded in 2006.
Most of the staff on the campus are Israeli veterans of the high tech industry with experience in companies like Intel and Microsoft.
“We’re not young here anymore,” Poliakine said. “That brings a lot of nuance to what we do and how we do it.”
Five of the companies at Neve Ilan, including Illumigyn, are health-related.
WATCH: Israel Comes 14th In Eurovision, But An Israeli Wins 6th Place
While Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest contestant Hovi Star secured 14th place in Saturday’s competition, an unofficial representative of the Jewish state, the French contestant and Israeli citizen Amir Haddad, made it to number six.
Ukraine’s Jamala took first place with her song, “1944,” whose lyrics include references to strangers coming to “kill you all” – referring to Josef Stalin’s deportation of ethnic Muslim Tatars from Crimea during World War II.
Even though Israel didn’t make it into the top ten, Star didn’t think the contest was a total waste of time.
“We feel great. Israel got 12 points from Germany, and that’s something that hasn’t happened since 2005,” Star told the Ynet news site from the contest’s host city of Stockholm.
“Thank you to everyone for the support. We’re happy.”
Meanwhile, France’s “J’ai cherché,” sung by Israeli dentist Amir Haddad, was a hit with the judges and audience.
How Israel is turning part of the Negev Desert into a cyber-city
Here in the middle of the Negev Desert, a cyber-city is rising to cement Israel’s place as a major digital power. The new development, an outcropping of glass and steel, will concentrate some of the country’s top talent from the military, academia and business in an area of just a few square miles.
No other country is so purposefully integrating its private, scholarly, government and military ­cyber-expertise.
Israel is a nation of 8 million people with little in the way of natural resources. But in global private investment into cyber­security firms, it is second only to the United States, with half a billion dollars flowing to the sector annually. Israel has not only vowed to repel the thousands of daily hack attacks against targets as diverse as the electric grid and ATMs, but it has also promised to build its commercial cybersector into an economic powerhouse.
More quietly, the Jewish state is also at the cutting edge of cyberoffense, developing stealthy computer weapons to penetrate its enemies’ networks. The United States and Israel, working together, launched the world’s most destructive cyberweapon known to date, Stuxnet, which was let loose on Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility to devastating effect.
But where the two countries diverge is in Israel’s apparent ability, because of its size, history, geography and culture, to organize itself to defeat cyberthreats. Different sectors of society — that in the United States do not have a tradition of collaborating — appear willing in Israel to work closely together under a strong centralized authority.

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