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Sunday, July 31, 2016

The headline in the New York Times says "How Benjamin Netanyahu Is Crushing Israel’s Free Press."

So how is Israel's free press being "crushed"?

The article gives exactly three examples:

1. The Israel Hayom newspaper is unabashedly (and embarrassingly) pro-Bibi. While it might chill any staffers on the paper from writing anything against the prime minister, that does not "crush" Israel's free press.

2. Walla News became more pro-Netanyahu when its parent company, the Bezeq communications company, benefited from some government legislation.

3. The government has tried to open up TV channels to more competition, which is regarded by the op-ed writer as a cynical ploy to kill networks that Bibi doesn't like.

So how is the Israeli press responding to being "crushed"?
Although for years the most widely read daily, Yediot Ahronot, and its owner took a decidedly anti-Netanyahu line, claims of left-wing bias fall flat these days, when most Israelis are getting their news from Israel Hayom or Walla News, and when the only remaining liberal bastion — Haaretz — struggles to stay afloat. And yet Mr. Netanyahu continues to present himself as a victim of a vindictive press.
But Yediot is still around. Haaretz is still around. No one is pressuring them to change their editorial line. The success of Israel Hayom and the poor performance of Haaretz have nothing to do with governmental policies, and everything to do with Israelis considering Haaretz to be way too far left and Israel Hayom being free.

There must be more evidence for this crushing of free press , right?
The only heartening thing in all this is that news outlets are pushing back to maintain their independence. Investigative “60 Minutes”-type programs like “Uvda” (“Fact”) and “Hamakor” (“The Source”) continue to delve into government corruption and to air in prime-time slots. “Despite the assault on the press, the Israeli media remains very critical, very aggressive, and has a lot of chutzpah. It’s a kind of basic instinct that’s part of our DNA,” Ms. Dayan, who hosts Uvda, told me.
OK. We determined that major TV and newspaper outlets are quite harsh on Bibi even after he's "crushed" the free press. But at least the article proved that Walla is firmly under Bibi's control, right?

Earlier this year, Walla News’ diplomatic correspondent Amir Tibon wrote an article critical of Mr. Netanyahu’s response to the latest wave of Palestinian violence under the headline “Netanyahu’s Promises of Calm Replaced by Cheerleading.” Soon after the piece was published, Mr. Tibon was told that the prime minister’s office was pressuring editors to remove it from the website. Taking to Twitter, Mr. Tibon wrote of the prime minister’s “attempts to silence criticism.” Apparently as a result, his article remained in place. One thing did change, however: The word “Netanyahu” was removed from its headline.
Hold on - Walla published an anti-Netanyahu article? But I thought they were in his pocket! You know, the whole Bezeq thing?

I don't know why the headline was changed, but could it be that it was not accurate? Hell, I've prompted the New York Times to make changes in its articles - does that mean that I am crushing America's free press?

So, there you have it. Free speech is being "crushed" by Bibi while a vibrant, free press continues to attack him with no fear - and that free press is documented in the very article that claims the opposite.

Words have no meaning any more when dealing with Israel.

(h/t Yenta, Leo dam Hofshi)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

Reporter Ariel Kahane heard my talk in Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago, and wrote about it in Makor Rishon's magazine.

The atmosphere was reminiscent of an underground meeting in the pre-state days. Late at night, in a remote synagogue at the southern outskirts of Jerusalem, about two dozen people gathered. [I counted over 30 - EoZ] They came to hear a man whose name they do not know and whose picture they were not allowed to take. Not only Orthodox Jews were there, even a German government official took the trouble to come from one of the Arab countries in the region. Like the rest of those who came, she too has been following for years the man who lives in New Jersey but calls himself Elder of Ziyon, a US high-tech worker who has become a one-man hasbara machine.

"Elder," as he calls himself after the famous protocols, has for years run a free blog that is witty, tenacious and knowledgeable. On a daily basis he crushes Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda, and ridicules the hypocrisy of its liberal supports. You could say he's one of the few that does not succumb to political correctness and refutes it with intelligent and well reasoned arguments.

Here's a typical example from Tuesday. In this short but well-sourced article, Eldar established how the New York Times ignored the murder attacks on the 'Hyper-Cacher' market and the Jewish school in Toulouse in its reports on Islamic terrorism in France. "According to the New York Times and others Muslim attacks on non-Jews belong to a different, more outrageous, category than attacks on Jews. There's a kind of understanding for anti-Semitism" he says, touching the root of the matter.

His achievements include exposing the Nazi tendencies of a researcher at Human Rights Watch; discovering anti-Semitic teachers and anti-Semitic content at UNRWA's institutions in Gaza; the discovery that Omar Mashrawi, a Gazan child whose father works for the BBC, was killed by a Hamas rocket and not by IDF fire, and more.

This record may not cross the threshold of the mainstream media but it is certainly familiar with the insiders, both supporters of Israel and its opponents. Therefore, when Elder announced he was coming to Jerusalem and that he would give a lecture there, it was obvious that one should go hear it. In the overview he gave he turned a spotlight on the permanent anti-Semitism published daily in Arab media, and which isn't reported in Israel.

"One still has to say that European anti-Semitism was far worse," he said, "but the Arabs have permanent anti-Semitism, including Holocaust denial. In Egypt, Jordan, and by Mahmoud Abbas, of course. Anti-Semitism in the Arab world today is the worst it has ever been". Elder buttressed these arguments with clear-cut cartoons and quotes from Arab media.

His words were surprisingly reinforced by the German representative. "You talk about everything that appears in the Arab media for all to see, but it's nothing compared to what is said in mosques. I've been living in Arab countries for ten years. I was in Yemen, Jordan and other places. You have no idea about the things they say about you. For them you were and still are sons of monkeys and pigs". In a personal conversation with her later she was shocked to hear that most Israelis do not speak Arabic, so we do not know how our neighbors are talking about us.

For his part, Elder stressed that Arab anti-Semitism gets routinely ignored by the civilized world, "except for one situation. When the Israeli government shouts and calls attention to displays of anti-Semitism in the Arab world or the Palestinian Authority, the international media wakes up. When Israel is silent, the West is silent as well. But that's what needs to be done to combat the phenomenon, to expose them and shame them, and that's what I, with my dull resources, intend to continue doing.

"From the place I am today I would like to reveal myself, institutionalize my activity and immigrate to Israel. I'm happy each moment I'm here. I don't reveal myself because I still need to make a living" says the still anonymous blogger, hoping his words reach wealthy Israel supporters who are looking for new avenues for their donations.

If you are one of those wealthy Israel supporters....let's talk!

(h/t Yoel)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
From Ian:

PMW: Fatah cartoon: Long-nosed Jew explodes Muslim world
Fatah posted a cartoon showing a long-nosed Jew with an Israeli flag on his arm lighting a fuse to blow up a bomb. Inside the bomb, a Shi'ite Muslim and a Sunni Muslim are lighting fuses to blow up each other.
The cartoon, which was posted on Fatah's Information and Culture Commission website, expresses the libel that Jews/Israel seek to destroy the Muslim world, and are possibly taking advantage of the internal Muslim fighting to do so. The cartoon is also critical of the Muslim world, which is depicted as so focused on killing each other that they do not see the Jews taking advantage of it to kill them.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented the PA libels that Israel/Jews are behind all conflicts in the world and that Israel/Jews are to blame for all bad in the world.

Netanyahu accuses France of funding anti-Israel groups
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he ordered an investigation into French-funded organizations that he labeled anti-Israel, as Paris moved to limit the foreign financing of mosques.
After a spate of deadly jihadist attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Saturday announced Paris was considering banning foreign funding of mosques.
“This sounds familiar to us. We are also disturbed by such donations to organizations that deny the State of Israel’s right to exist,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.
A preliminary inquiry has revealed that several European countries, including France, directly support organizations that engage in anti-Israel incitement, call to boycott the country and do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, Netanyahu said.
“We will discuss this with them because terror is terror everywhere and incitement is incitement which, apparently, encompasses the world, [and] governments must be as united as possible in dealing with them,” the prime minister said.
Netanyahu said the findings of the completed investigation would be submitted to the French government.

Abbas and Kerry meet in Paris
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris Saturday afternoon.
Saeb Erakat, the chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, told reporters that Abbas expressed his full support for the French initiative in the meeting, according to Wafa, the official Palestinian Authority news site.
Erakat added that Abbas made clear that amending the Arab Peace Initiative is unacceptable.
He also revealed that the Palestinian president condemned the recent terror attacks in France and stated further that the Palestinian territories are part in parcel of the war on terror, saying there is no difference between a criminal killing a journalist and an extremist burning the Dawabsheh family.
Moreover, Erakat remarked that Abbas resolved that the region needs peace and stability, which can be achieved by establishing a Palestinian state.
Erekat compares IS-claimed attacks in Europe to Israeli actions against Palestinians
Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat drew parallels Saturday between the recent spate of terror attacks claimed by the Islamic State in Europe and Israeli actions in the West Bank.
“Those who murder children in Europe in the name of religion are no different than those who murder children on Palestinian land,” Erekat said at a press conference Saturday, according to Haaretz, after a meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris.
The two held a “very constructive” meeting, according to Erekat.
Erekat said Abbas told Kerry that the Palestinians were demanding a timetable for relaunching talks and another for implementing agreements, as well as international supervision, according to AFP.
“We need a timetable for restarting negotiations, a timetable for implementing agreements and an international framework to oversee any future agreements,” Erekat said.
Former British Foreign Secretary Ridicules Palestinian Plan to Sue UK Over Balfour Declaration as Publicity Stunt
A former British foreign secretary ridiculed the recent Palestinian initiative to sue the United Kingdom over the Balfour Declaration as a publicity stunt, Jewish News reported on Thursday.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind was responding to the recent announcement of plans by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to sue the UK for the 1917 document stating that the British government would “view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” According to Abbas, the Balfour Declaration is the direct cause of the “Palestinian Nakba,” the “disaster” of Israel’s founding.
“We are working to open up an international criminal case for the crime which they committed against our nation — from the days of the British Mandate all the way to the massacre which was carried out against us from 1948 onwards,” said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki on behalf of Abbas.
Rifkind said, “This is a purely political initiative. It will have no legal force but might generate some publicity. No more, no less.”
UK media fail to challenge 42 extraordinarily deceitful words on Balfour
Malki also includes the completely ahistorical assertion that Palestinians “had lived for thousands of years on the soil of their homeland”.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When Jews began to immigrate to Palestine in large numbers in the 1880s, fewer than 250,000 Arabs lived there, and the majority of them had arrived in recent decades. While Jews had maintained physical, spiritual and emotional ties to their historic homeland for several thousand years, the great majority of the Palestinian Arabs living in what became Israel (the reborn Jewish state) in 1948 were not indigenous to ‘Palestine’. They were, Middle East Historian David Bukay has written, relative newcomers to the area from surrounding Arab lands and were “either late immigrants or descendents of persons who had immigrated into Palestine in the previous 70 years”.
In testimony before the Anglo-American Committee in 1946, Palestinian-Arab leaders only claimed a connection to the land – of any sort – dating back no further than the 7th century – the period of conquest by Muhammad’s followers.
Such rewriting of history by the PA is of course nothing new. As Palestinian Media Watch continually documents, the Palestinian denial of Jewish history and the invention of Palestinian history represents the foundation of their political ideology.
UNESCO not convinced that Adam Sandler is really Jewish (satire)
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is holding an emergency meeting tomorrow to get down to the bare facts on a question that has confused them for some time: whether famous actor Adam Sandler is really Jewish. While Mr. Sandler has made a name for himself with works to include the Chanukah Song, 8 Crazy Nights, and Don’t Mess with the Zohan, this level of proof simply leaves more questions than answers for the fun folks over at UNESCO. The Daily Freier spoke with UNESCO spokesperson Francesca S. about this fascinating development.
“We just really don’t know whether or not ‘Mr. Sandler’ is actually ‘Jewish’ [when saying these words, she really did make quote-marks in the air with her fingers] so as an organization we are required to do the proper research. Just last week, we learned from President Abbas that Jesus was actually Palestinian.”
When the Daily Freier asked UNESCO if there were any other fairly big problems in the world right now that didn’t involve Israelis or J-E-W-S, she paused, looked at us the same way our teacher did when we used to eat paste, and continued her monologue.
“We’ve been so busy deciding that the Western Wall [she did the air quotes thing again] is actually part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, that we haven’t really had time to catch up with all of our other tasks.”
For its part, Israel reacted with scorn to UNESCO’s move, but in the spirit of compromise, offered to declare Max Blumenthal and Tel Aviv’s Atarim Square as Palestinian.
Member of Saudi delegation: Israeli society wants peace
Abd al-Mujid al-Hakim, a member of the Saudi Arabian delegation that recently visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, told BBC Arabic on Friday that he believes Israeli society wants peace.
“In Arab societies, the picture of Israeli society is that it embraces a culture of death, wants to spill blood, and does not believe in peace. That [picture] is not correct.” He continued, “The Israeli society that I encountered embraces a culture of peace, has accomplishments it wants to (protect), wants coexistence, and wants peace.”
Hakim, who also serves as director of the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Policy in Jedda, added that he thinks that the current stalemate in the peace process does not relate to differences in policy between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“The problem between the Israeli and Palestinian sides is not that they have different positions. When we dialogued with Mr. Dore Gold, members of Knesset, and members of organizations fighting for peace, the disagreements did not relate to the Arab Peace Initiative. They accept the Arab Peace Initiative.” Instead he suggested, “The problem is the lack of mutual trust between the two sides.”
Does Nasrallah have a reason to fear strengthening Israeli-Saudi ties?
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah does indeed have reason to worry about signs of strengthening ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. He expressed his fears on Thursday in a speech in which he condemned the Kingdom for normalizing relations with Israel, and doing so "for free." And indeed, there is more than a hunch in the Middle East that Jerusalem and Riyadh have begun to grow closer.
The warming of relations is interesting on the surface, but it is even more important beneath the surface. Prince Turki bin Faisal, who served as Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief from 1979 to 2001, has appeared publicly on a number of occasions with Israeli military officials and with other Israeli figures at international forums.
Anwar Eshki, a retired general and the chairman of a Saudi think tank, the Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, met with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold and with several MKs. He also granted interviews to several Israel media outlets. Senior Israeli officials, such as Gold and Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, have been covered in Arab media outlets that are either owned by the Saudis or influenced by the Kingdom.
However, on a covert level, according to foreign reports, the ties being cultivated are even more fascinating. Intelligence Online reported that Israel is selling intelligence equipment, as well as control and command centers, to the Saudi security forces. Previously, it had been reported in the foreign media that the heads of the Mossad, the organization responsible for Israel's covert ties, met with their Saudi counterparts. Media outlets affiliated with Hezbollah even reported that officers from the two countries' armies had met.
Hamas asks Saudis to prevent ‘normalization’ visits to Israel
Hamas on Sunday asked the Saudi government to prevent “normalization” visits to Israel, following a recent visit by a Saudi delegation which held talks with Israeli officials and MKs in Jerusalem.
Retired Saudi general Anwar Eshki led the delegation of academics and businessmen on an extremely rare visit last week, in a bid to encourage discussion of the Saudi-led peace plan, which would see 57 Arab and Muslim nations normalize ties with Israel after the completion of an agreement with the Palestinians.
In a statement on its website, Hamas, an Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, called on Saudi Arabia to “take measures to prevent these normalizing visits that [Israel] uses to undermine the rights of Palestinians and penetrate into the [Muslim] nation in thought and culture.”
The statement also expressed appreciation for what Hamas described as growing anger in Saudi Arabia over the former general’s visit to Jerusalem.
Israeli security forces arrest Abbas guard
Border Police last week arrested a guard who had been protecting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, security sources in Israel confirmed on Saturday.
The raid overnight Wednesday in the Palestinian village of Beit Anoun, near Hebron, was launched after the guard became suspected of taking part in terrorist activities. The sources refused to disclose any additional details on the suspicions against the guard.
Separately, security forces arrested two wanted suspects overnight Thursday in the West Bank. One suspect allegedly took part in attacks against civilians and security personnel, while the other is a Hamas member, according to the IDF.
Earlier last week, security forces nabbed 16 suspects in West Bank raids, including seven members of the Kuhla organization, which is affiliated with Hamas, and three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group.
Israeli forces thwart attempted stabbing at West Bank checkpoint
Security forces thwarted an attempted stabbing on Sunday afternoon at the Huwara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus.
During the incident, a Palestinian arrived at the checkpoint in a vehicle and exited it before approaching the IDF soldiers stationed at the post with a knife.
Israeli troops shot the Palestinian, who was later declared dead by a military medic. There were no Israeli casualties in the incident.
Following the attempted stabbing, security forces seal-off entrance to Nablus in order to allow emergency crews to arrive to the scene.
Palestinians arrested after warning cops they possess knives
Two West Bank Palestinian men who told police they possessed knives were arrested and indicted, police said in a statement Sunday.
Last week, a 36-year-old Palestinian man in Israel without a permit called police to tell them he had a knife and was planning to carry out an attack against Israelis.
Officers arrested the West Bank resident after tracing the phone call and determining his location. A body search of the man uncovered a knife in his possession.
He was remanded into custody at a Beersheba court, where he repeated his intentions to attack Israelis.
The Palestinian man, who was not named, was indicted on charges of illegally entering Israel, possession of a knife and making threats.
In a separate incident last week, a 19-year-old Palestinian man called the Israel Police hotline and told officers: “I have a knife.” He was arrested outside the Negev Bedouin town of Hura and taken in for questioning.
Palestinian held after axes, knives, bullets found in his car
A Palestinian man was arrested at a checkpoint on Route 5 in the northern West Bank late Saturday after guards found knives, axes and bullets in his vehicle.
The man was driving an Israeli-registered vehicle with Israeli plates.
Guards at the Trans-Samaria Crossing on Route 5, just east of Rosh Ha’ayin, said the man aroused suspicion. A search of the car uncovered two large knives, two axes and a cache of 25 nine-millimeter bullets.
The Defense Ministry, which runs most of the checkpoints between the West Bank and Israel, said the matter is under investigation.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Mideast Christians Already Feeling No Impact From Pope’s Auschwitz Visit (satire)
Christian communities facing genocide at the hands of the Islamic State and other forms of persecution under Arab-Muslim regimes in the Levant have already noticed that in the wake of Pope Francis’s historic visit to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, nothing has changed in the world’s reaction to the way they are being treated.
The pope walked silently through the iconic “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at the entrance to the Auschwitz complex lat last week, after which he pleaded to governments to act to help Christians who numbers have been shrinking in countries they have inhabited for nearly two thousand years and where Islamic militants have been systematically killing them or driving them out. Immediately following Francis’s remarks, the Armenian, Coptic, Eastern Orthodox, and other Christian groups in the Middle East and North Africa felt no sudden change in their circumstances, or in the attitudes of the nations or organizations in a position to help them.
Copts in Egypt, who face deadly violence almost daily, told reporters that now that the pope has issued his emotional appeal, they expect the world to pay the same lack of attention to their plight. “We’re looking forward to a shift into more of the same,” said Gabriel Jafri, whose family was beaten by a Muslim mob last week amid rumors that the community intended to build a new church. “Pope Francis sounded a call for the Western powers and international organizations to step in and put a stop to the crimes taking place all the time against our persecuted communities across the region. He even compared our treatment to the extermination of Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau, which means the Catholic Church views this situation as a moral issue of the highest urgency and intensity. As such, we anticipate no change at all in our circumstances, given the way things have gone until now.”

Red Cross to cut visits to Palestinian prisoners
In late May, the International Committee for the Red Cross, which has run a Family Visit Program since 1968, announced that it would be cutting back its program from two visits a month to only one, a decision which has led to uproar in the Palestinian community.
Although ICRC emphasized this would not affect prisoners who are minors or women, as well as those held in Gaza, the decision still affects thousands of prisoners and their families.
Bashar Bana, a young man recently released after 26 months in administrative detention, told The Jerusalem Post that “family visits are the only oxygen that we [prisoners] breathe of the outside world, and they are cutting if off.”
Across every governorate of the West Bank and in every major Palestinian city and in east Jerusalem, protesters gathered on Thursday to voice their frustration with the ICRC’s announcement, and to show support for prisoners.
Meanwhile, Palestinian detainees in at least two prisons staged a symbolic hunger strike.
Its pockets lined with Qatari-paid wages, Hamas is on the rise
Officially, Israel refuses to comment on the measure or publicize any information about it, even though the government should be fully transparent, especially in light of the dramatic change of direction in its policy.
The government vigorously opposed paying Hamas officials’ salaries in the summer of 2014, on the eve of the 50-day war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Avigdor Liberman, the foreign minister at the time, threatened to expel Robert Serry, the UN’s envoy to the Middle East, for trying to arrange the salary payments, and Israel rejected a proposal for a ceasefire because it would have provided for the payment of the officials. How is it possible that Israel now agrees to the very same measures?
Is it conceivable that Liberman, who promised two months ago to kill Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s top official in Gaza, if the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin were not returned to Israel, is agreeing that 40,000 Hamas officials, among them Haniyeh, will receive their July salaries thanks to the Israeli government, even as Hamas continues to hold on to the bodies?
One thing needs to be said here: If the Qatari-Israeli measure really does go into effect and persists into the future, it could prevent the next war in Gaza. There is an enormous gap between a Hamas that can pay full salaries to its employees, and a group that tries every month to scrape by on almost nothing in a bid to keep the frustration and ferment at bay in Gaza. And there is quite a bit of ferment there, even after Turkey’s “dramatic” gesture that saw the entry of several trucks carrying humanitarian aid.
The Hamas administration’s employees have difficulty making a living, and the pressure on Hamas’s leadership to change the status quo hasn’t let up for a moment.
Rest and recreation in Gaza City
Sparkling Mediterranean beaches, expensive restaurants and state-of-the-art health clubs do not readily spring to mind when it comes to the Gaza Strip.
But with their borders tightly restricted by Israel and Egypt, Palestinians in an enclave known for economic hardship and war have no choice but to find some respite close to home.
Some leisure spots may be out of the financial reach of many of Gaza's 1.9 million inhabitants, especially with unemployment at 42 percent. But the sea is free and thousands pack sandy beaches daily to escape the withering summer heat, erecting tents and preparing barbecues.
"We are fed up and this is the only place to entertain ourselves. Other places require money," Ibrahim Shweideh, 26, who is unemployed.
In the evening, cafes are filled with men, many of them jobless, playing cards and drinking coffee and tea.
Turkish officers surround Incirlik air base
Some 7,000 police officers in heavy vehicles overnight Saturday surrounded the Incirlik air base in Turkey, which is used by NATO forces in Adana, in what a Turkish minister called a “security check”, Russia Today reports.
While there was no official explanation for the move, the Turkish daily Hurriyet reported earlier that Adana police had been tipped off about a new coup attempt, and forces were immediately alerted.
The entrance to the base was closed off, noted Russia Today.
Security forces armed with rifles and armored TOMA vehicles used by Turkish riot police could be seen at the site in photos taken by witnesses.
Turkey’s minister for EU affairs downplayed the situation , saying a “security inspection” was carried out.
Why the two presidential nominees left Israel in the backseat at their party conventions
At both the Republican and Democratic parties’ nominating conventions last week, each candidate rolled out their general election campaign with high-profile addresses to their respective party’s confab.
While presenting vastly different visions for America and its role in the world, Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic choice Hillary Clinton each devoted just one sentence to Israel. Both indicated they strongly believe in the importance of the US-Israel alliance, but said little else — each for their own reasons.
In his speech, Trump called Israel America’s “greatest ally in the region” and described the relationship as one that would be instrumental in achieving his goal of making the US safer and repairing its standing in the international arena.
“We must have the best intelligence gathering operation in the world,” he said. “We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria. Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terror.”
Israeli-American mogul Haim Saban: Trump win would be ‘disastrous’ for Israel
Israeli-American mogul Haim Saban said Friday that a US presidential win by Republican nominee Donald Trump would be “disastrous, disastrous for Israel.”
Speaking to Channel 10 news just minutes before Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, Saban said Trump was “not a Republican, he’s not a Democrat, he’s not an independent. Trump is Trump. Trump, as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg defined him, is a conman,” Saban said.
Turning to the camera, Saban said his message to the public in Israel, for those who are not sure which candidate would make a president more likely to hold Israel’s best interest at heart, was this: “Don’t believe a single word this man says. He is a conman, a liar, a cheat, a thief and he’s cynical. Everyone he does is to serve Trump alone.”
The interview, conducted in Hebrew, was aired on the Friday evening news edition.
Asked if Clinton as president would get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saban said that since Netanyahu said he was committed to the two-state solution the two would get along.
IsraellyCool: Green Party Candidate Supports “Ethnic Cleansing” Libel
Since Bernie Sanders’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton, Green Party candidate Jill Stein has been getting a lot of attention from Bernie’s former supporters, including anti-Israel Cornel West. Her campaign illustrates just how completely off the deep end the far-left has gone when it comes to Israel.
Stein’s website states
The Stein campaign supports actions of nonviolent resistance to the policies of the occupation and of the Israeli apartheid regime, including those of the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign….
Today, in a move that shows that she truly is unable to distinguish fact from fantasy, she retweeted a tweet from infamous antisemite Steven Salaita, in which he claimed that “Hillary Clinton vigorously supports Israeli ethnic cleansing.”

Actress Rosario Dawson: WikiLeaks Exposed Democratic Committee’s ‘Willingness to Be Antisemitic’
Activist actress Rosario Dawson attacked the Democratic National Committee for “willingness to be antisemitic,” the Washington Times reported on Thursday.
According to the report, Dawson, the star of “Dardevil” and an avid Bernie Sanders supporter, was responding to a the release by Wikileaks of nearly 20,000 documents showing the DNC’s active efforts to undermine Sanders — as a result of which Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to step down as DNC chairman.
Among the exposed documents was an email by DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall that called into question Sanders’ religion. Marshall wrote about the senator, “Does he believe in a God? He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist…My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Jewish High School Student Says DNC Attendee Called Him A ‘Terrorist Sympathizer’ Over Israeli Flag
A Jewish high school student and Bernie Sanders supporter claims he was called a “terrorist sympathizer” by a fellow attendee at the Democratic National Convention, where he also witnessed the burning of the Israeli flag by left-wing protesters outside.
Shabbos Kestenbaum, a 17-year from the Bronx who attends high school in Riverdale, New York says he saw Palestinian flags being flown “high and proudly” on the floor of the Democratic National Convention, yet when he brought an Israeli flag into the convention hall, he says many attendees shunned him.
I was contacted by a rabbi to get into the convention for the sole purpose of flying the Israeli flag; both as a Jew and a fervent democrat. However, from when I first entered the arena with the flag tied to my back, I was given strange looks by many. Many people stared in shock and one even called me “terrorist sympathizer.”
Again, to be perfectly clear: I 100% believe the Democratic Party is one that strongly supports the Jewish state of Israel, but there seems to be a undeniably small and negligible but increasing faction that is reluctant to show support for the only democracy in the region. Having said that, the vast majority of comments I received were supportive and grateful, but there were outliers that made me uncomfortable, especially as I was able to finally get into the arena. Immediately, those in their seats turned their attention to me and it was clear the flag was a problem.
Alon Day poised to make NASCAR history as first Israeli driver
USA TODAY Sports' Jeff Gluck looks ahead to the Pennsylvania 400 and the story lines that fans should keep an eye on leading up to this weekend.
One of the stars of Duck Dynasty may have been the catalyst for NASCAR’s first Israeli driver.
On April 9, NASCAR fan David Levin was sitting at home in Florida when he saw Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame give the invocation before a race at Texas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR invocations are televised, and Robertson used the platform to “pray that we put a Jesus man in the White House.”
It didn’t sit well with Levin, who is Jewish.
“That was pretty insulting,” Levin told USA TODAY Sports. “It reinforced the impression that NASCAR is a white, Christian sport. But NASCAR is for everyone. There’s no reason it can’t also include Jews, blacks and Mexicans.”
Levin, an environmental/waterfront property lawyer in Sarasota, decided to act. He reached out to MBM Motorsports owner Carl Long and found an opportunity for Israeli driver Alon Day, who is Jewish.
China consortium buys Israel’s Playtika for $4.4 billion
A Chinese consortium has bought Playtika, an Israeli online games company, for $4.4 billion in cash, the consortium and US-based Caesars Interactive Entertainment said in a joint statement on Sunday.
Caesars acquired the Herzliya-based Playtika in 2011.
The Chinese group includes Giant Investment (HK) Limited, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co. Ltd., China Minsheng Trust Co. Ltd., CDH China HF Holdings Company Limited, the Hony Capital Fund, and Yunfeng Capital — a private equity firm co-founded by Alibaba’s Jack Ma.
According to the statement, Playtika will continue to run independently with its headquarters remaining in Herzliya, and its existing management team will continue to run its day-to-day operations.
“We are incredibly excited by the commercial opportunities the consortium will make available to us, particularly in its ability to provide us access to a large and rapidly growing emerging market,” said Robert Antokol, co-founder and CEO of Playtika.
Playtika also has offices in Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Japan, Romania, Ukraine and the United States.
Santana wows Israel with masterful guitar and message of peace
In a mix of English, Spanish, and masterful guitar riffs, the Latin rock legend Carlos Santana shared his soulful music with a crowd of nearly 50,000 Saturday night at HaYarkon Park in Tel-Aviv. The stage was packed with multifaceted musicians and lead singers who doubled as trumpet or tambourine players. Among the two drummers was Santana's wife, Cindy Blackman, who beamed on stage during multiple solos featuring fast-paced, energized beats that made onlookers cheer with excitement. A second guitar player, keyboardist, bass player, and conga player were also part of the ensemble, and the entire band's multi-talented vibe was accompanied by footage of Santana's original shining moment at Woodstock in 1969.
"Love Makes the World Go Round," featured on his latest album, "Santana IV," opened the concert with a gradual build-up, first showcasing Santana's unmistakable sound on the guitar, and then tossing the focus to the two primary singers. The interplay between each of the band's members was effortless as their leader guided them in a clear, yet periodically spontaneous manner. Santana even allowed a young boy to strum his guitar mid-song, evoking loud whistles from the crowd.
"It's an honor to be in your light, in your love, with so much beauty and grace," he said to the audience, right before adding, "let's make the women happy," and commencing the intro to all-time-favorite, "Maria, Maria."
Other songs hailing from the time of Santana's reemergence in the 90s such as "Smooth" and "Corazon Espinado" were met with much enthusiasm, and the crowd didn't let language differences get in the way as they loudly sang along in Spanish. Santana himself began to communicate with the crowd in both English and Spanish, demonstrating his central message of the power of connection through peace and love, no matter what barriers may stand in the way.
"In any language, somos una familia, we're one family," he said. "We can conquer fear in this planet. You and I, we are the architects of tomorrow. Everything that's happening in the world, in Europe and America, it's happening because we need to change."

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B'Tselem's Gaza war site lets you filter deaths by many criteria. Even though they tend to avoid labeling people as militants if they can, something interesting can be seen when you look at men between 20 and 30 killed during Protective Edge:

A total of 771 men in that age group were killed during the war, according to B'Tselem. Of those, the site says, only 184 did not participate in hostilities. About 3 out of 4 of all men killed in that category were terrorists.

Now, Gaza has about 200,000 men between 20 and 30. Perhaps 10% of those men are members of terror groups. So Israel did an excellent job in targeting terrorists in that age group - even though terrorists generally wouldn't wear uniforms during the war.

Some of the "civilians" in that age group appear to be miscategorized:
'Abd a-Rahman Muhammad 'Odeh Barrak. 24 years old, resident of Wadi a-Salqa, Deir al-Balah district. Killed on 19 Jul 2014, in Deir al-Balah, by gunfire. Did not participate in hostilities. Additional information: Killed along with three other operatives in a military branch in the bombing of farmland in the east of the city of Deir al-Balah.

Some of the "civilians" were probably not so innocent, as B'Tselem's description of this man shows:
'Udai Rafiq Sa'id a-Sultan. 21 years old, resident of Beit Lahiya, North Gaza district. Killed on 10 Jul 2014, in Jabalya, North Gaza district, by missile fired from an aircraft, during the course of a targeted killing. Did not participate in hostilities. Additional information: Killed along with two people he was driving in his car, one of them an operative in the Islamic Jihad's military branch.
If you are driving terrorists around during wartime, that pretty much makes you a combatant under international law.

Many others of the Gazans between 20-30 who were killed happened to be nearby when Israel targeted terrorists, such as this guy:
Saleh a-Zgheibi, 21 years old
Killed on 18 Jul 2014, in Rafah, by gunfire from a tank.
Saleh Suliman Muhammad a-Zgheibi. 21 years old, resident of Rafah. Killed on 18 Jul 2014, in Rafah, by gunfire from a tank. Did not participate in hostilities. Additional information: Killed in the Bahraini neighborhood together with an operative in the military branch of Fatah.
While there are certainly some who cannot be identified as having done anything wrong, the statistics within that age group show very clearly that Israel was targeting only militants among a much larger population.

Which strongly indicates that the children and women and elderly who were killed were also the victims of Hamas' human shield policy far more than of any sort of carelessness on the IDF's part. It makes no sense to assert that Israel would be so efficient at targeting terrorists out of the young adult male group and at the same time randomly tossing bombs at houses filled with innocent people, as the NGOs are trying very hard to imply.

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I put subtitles on this video that has been going around. I'm not sure when it was originally shot.

It reveals the depths of immorality in parts of Palestinian Arab society as a father urges soldiers to kill his son, whom he is demanding to throw stones.

The father clearly wants his son to be killed on video, with his Palestinian flag. He wants to create another Mohammed Al Dura for his "cause."

This child abuse and desire to use children's lives for cynical public relations purposes is sickness that is simply not reported.

(h/t Ibn Boutros)

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Egypt's Sky News has an interview with Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki.

In a TV appearance, Zaki said that the purpose of the Balfour Declaration was for the West to place a Jewish state in a position where it would divide the Asian and North African Arab worlds. And that the US is now pursuing a policy to keep the Arabs fighting each other in order to ensure that Israel is the most powerful nation in the region.

The conspiracy theories don't stop there for this Fatah official. He also says that the purpose of Netanyahu's visit to African nations earlier this month was to threaten Egypt with cutting off the supply of water upstream of the Nile with the Renaissance Dam being constructed now in Ethiopia.

This is yet another example of how Palestinian officials can say outrageous things and the world media is silent, while every statement from every Israeli politician is examined in minute detail to look for evidence of anything unprofessional.

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The Hamas government closed 6 swimming pools in northern Gaza on Saturday, because the water was not being properly filtered.

This came after an expose by Palestine Today (Islamic Jihad) about numerous private swimming pools in Gaza that did not have adequate filtering or chlorination. Swimmers complain about itching after swimming in those pools.

In other news - Gaza seems to have quite a few swimming pools, even as the media and NGOs talk about their water shortages.

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

From Ian:

Israel fires back at US over criticism of settlement building
The Israeli government on Friday fired back at the US State Department over its criticism a day earlier that Israeli construction over the Green Line is “provocative and counterproductive.”
In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry rejected the US argument that recently announced plans to build in East Jerusalem were undermining the prospects for a two-state solution, calling that argument “factually baseless.”
On Wednesday, Israel announced the approval of 323 tenders for housing units in East Jerusalem, and plans to build 770 units in Gilo. While much of the international community considers Gilo a settlement, Israel considers it a neighborhood of annexed East Jerusalem and argues that it will be part of Israel in any negotiated peace agreement.
The international outcry, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emanuel Nachshon on Friday according to Haaretz, “was done with the full knowledge that the neighborhood of Gilo in Jerusalem will be part of Israel in any conceivable agreement reached through negotiations. The argument that building in Gilo undermines the two-state solution is factually baseless and distracts from the real obstacle to peace — the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, under any borders.”

Golan Druze leader disputes UN statement on ‘hardship of Israeli occupation’
A leader of the Druze population of the Golan Heights disputed the assertion of a United Nations committee that accused Israel of imposing economic and social hardships on his community.
Dulan abu-Saleh, the mayor of Majdal Shams, the largest Druze town in the Golan, told Makor Rishon that the UN Economic and Social Council’s recent statement on the area was “a total joke,” the daily reported Friday.
Unlike other Druze populations in Israel who serve in the Israel Defense Forces, the Golan’s Druze population of some 20,000 has been careful not to align itself publicly with the Jewish state, which annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 after capturing it from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967.
The eruption in 2011 of a civil war in Syria changed that, causing a sharp increase in the number of Golan Druze who applied for Israeli citizenship, which has been available to them since 1981.
Abu-Saleh objected to the inclusion of his native area in the UN panel’s statement earlier this month, which said that “economic and social repercussions of the occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
The UN Funds Repressive Regimes at the Expense of US Taxpayers
A new report shows how the U.S. contributes more money to the U.N. than it spends on shipbuilding for the Navy, yet there is a huge disparity in what it receives back compared to many repressive countries.
The United Nations recently released a report detailing the countries of registration of the recipient vendors of $17.6 billion the U.N. system spent on goods and services in 2015.
The report received some modest attention in the press. However, the general unfamiliarity with the U.N. can lead to misunderstandings about what information this report was actually providing. For instance, a Forbes article misinterpreted the report as one listing which countries contribute most to the U.N. system. This misinterpretation inspired this article piece to illustrate the difference.
Unfortunately, the U.N. system does not report its revenues as frequently as it does procurement. Analysis requires going back to 2013, which is the last year that both procurement and revenue data were published by the U.N. Chief Executives Board for Coordination.
In 2013, the U.N. system procured $16.38 billion in goods and services (the summary page for procurement of goods says $16.1 billion, but the dataset yields the higher number) and (after eliminating duplicate information for Aruba, the “State of Palestine,” the Republic of Korea, and the Holy See) $53.9 billion in revenues from governments in 2013. In other words, in 2013 the U.N. system spent about 30 percent of the revenues received from governments on goods and services.
Many nations benefit significantly from this system, receiving far more from the U.N. than they pay into the system in contributions. For instance, a Swiss news outlet observed, “Switzerland is the United Nation’s fourth-biggest supplier, behind only the United States, India, and the United Arab Emirates, providing almost 5 percent of all the world body’s goods and services in 2015.”

The following video is truly shocking and enraging! (h/t k)
An Arab father sends his three year old son to confront the Israeli border police, while shouting at the solders to "shoot the child".
In addition, the Arab father urges his little son to throw rocks at the solders, but the youngster misunderstands and throws them sideways.
Now do you understand what we are dealing with?
The whole thing is being encouraged by radical left-wing protestors (you can hear them shouting through loudspeakers)

Douglas Murray - The Origins of Islamic Violence
Douglas Murray on BBC Radio Ulster arguing about the origins of Islamic violence.

Belgian police arrest 2 suspected of plotting attack
Belgian police arrested two men “suspected of planning an attack” in Belgium following raids late Friday ordered by an anti-terror judge, federal prosecutors said on Saturday.
Belgium has remained on high alert following deadly March bombings claimed by the Islamic State group in Brussels and a wave of deadly attacks in the last month in France and Germany, some of them claimed by IS.
The two men, identified as Noureddine H. and his brother Hamza H., were arrested following house searches in the French-speaking areas of Mons and Liege, a spokesman for the federal prosecutors said.
“Both are suspected of planning a terrorist attack somewhere in Belgium,” the spokesman said in an English version of the statement. The French version referred to “planning attacks” in the plural.
The prosecutor’s office said there was for now no connection with the bombings on March 22 at Brussels airport and a metro station near the European Union headquarters that left 32 people dead.
Normandy mosque refuses to hold funeral for terrorist who killed priest
A local mosque in the French town where an elderly priest was killed in a jihadist terror attack at a church on Tuesday has refused to hold a funeral service for one of the two terrorists who perpetrated the attack.
The two, Adel Kermiche, 19 and Abdel Malik Nabil Petitjean, also 19, were killed by police after a standoff outside the church which they had stormed during morning mass. They took at least five people hostage before slitting the priest’s throat at the altar and leaving another person in a critical condition.
The killing of 85-year-old Rev. Jacques Hamel as he celebrated morning Mass sent shockwaves around France and deeply touched many among the nation’s five million Muslims. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, as well as the July 14 truck attack in Nice, where 84 people were killed by a man who plowed his truck down a seaside promenade.
According to Le Parisien on Saturday, the leader of the mosque in Saint-Etienne-Du-Rouvray in Normandy where the church attack occurred — and a personal friend of the murdered priest — said the mosque would not bury Kermiche in a Muslim service so as not to “sully Islam with this person.”
Washington Post Commentary Engages in Sharia Myth-Making
Writing in The Washington Post's Outlook section, University of Wisconsin law Prof. Asifa Quraishi-Landes's Op-Ed “Five Myths on Sharia” (June 26, 2016) offered an at times informative, but too often misleading commentary on Islamic law.
Quraishi-Landes claimed it is a “myth” that “Sharia” means Islamic law. This is incorrect. As writer Immanuel al-Manteeqi noted in The Counter Jihad Report, a Web site on Islam and Islamism, in the Arabic language sharia “does in fact mean Islamic law. Indeed, the word ‘Sharia' in Arabic comes from the trilateral root, sh-r-a, which means ‘to legislate.'”
Quraishi-Landes asserted that “Sharia is not a book of statues or judicial precedent imposed by a government, and it's not a set of regulations adjudicated in court. Rather, it is a body of Koran-based guidance that points.” However, later in her Op-Ed, Quraishi-Landes seems to contradict herself by noting that Sharia is “Islam's legal framework.”
The law professor erred in tackling what she said is the second myth: “In Muslim countries, sharia is the law of the land.” Although conceding that “it's true that sharia influences the legal codes in most Muslim-majority countries,” Quraishi-Landes then claimed that “these codes have been shaped by a lot of things, including, most powerfully, European colonialism. France, England and others imposed nation-state models on nearly every Muslim-majority land, inadvertently joining the crown and the faith.”
Yet, this deflection fails to take into account that many of these countries, upon gaining freedom from European mandates and trusteeships, either kept such measures or adopted them after the fact. One strict enforcer of sharia law, Saudi Arabia, was never under direct European control.
Additionally, sharia does not merely “influence” the legal codes in most Muslim-majority countries; this misleading description minimizes the extensive role which it plays. As al-Manteeqi noted, both the Egyptian and Pakistani constitutions, among others, state in some form that “Islam is the religion of the state” and “the principles of Islamic Sharia are the principal source of legislation.”
Between ‘martyr’ and murderer: Abbas’s top cleric takes on a most emotive term
How can the Palestinians condemn the act of murdering an innocent Israeli, but label the murderer a martyr?
During his most recent interview on prime time Hebrew news, in April, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas set the stage for this question.
Speaking directly to Israelis, Abbas spoke out against the hundreds of attacks against Israeli civilians since a spike in violence began in October 2015. And yet, he also insisted on referring to these attackers as martyrs, which Israelis argue is incitement to more violence and terrorism.
“Once he is dead, he is a martyr,” Abbas said. But doesn’t that set a bad example for the next generation? the interviewer asked. “No, no,” Abbas answered, shaking his head — and they left it at that, with the question hanging.
The Times of Israel met recently with Dr. Mahmoud Habbash, the supreme sharia judge in the Palestinian Authority and Abbas’s adviser on religious and Islamic affairs, to see if he could answer this question, as well as get his opinion on other pressing religious matters central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The judge defined a martyr, or shahid in Arabic, as “anybody who has been killed in a war against non-Muslims.” He also said Palestinians are in an open “state of war” with the “Israeli occupation.” In the context of this state of war, he argued, any Palestinian killed as a result of it — whether directly or indirectly, whether an Israeli fundamentalist firebombed his home, or whether he attacked a soldier or a civilian, and yes, even if he was killed while stabbing to death a teenage Israeli girl in her bedroom as was the case of the murderer of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel last month — is a “victim” of the conflict because his actions were a product of it. And therefore, said Habbash, he is a shahid.
South African NGO brings together Palestinian factions for unity talks
An initiative geared towards creating Palestinian unity is taking place in South Africa this week.
A conflict resolution non-governmental organization, In Transition Initiative, is hosting Palestinians from across the political spectrum to “hammer out their differences and forge a common political vision for the future,” in partnership with the Institute for Palestine in South Africa, according to the Cape Times.
This is the second intra-Palestinian dialogue to be organized by the NGO in the country this year.
“No other country has invited us to engage in dialogue among ourselves; it is only to South Africa that we would go to do that,” Dr. Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian figure in Fatah and former chief negotiator for the Palestinians during peace talks with the Israelis, told Independent Media. Shaath was due to meet the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, as well as Gwede Mantashe, secretary-general of the country’s ruling party, the African National Congress.
Palestinian Authority President making laws by decree, highlighting problems
A new social security law in the West Bank has sparked protests against both the content of the law and the way it was legislated. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed the law with a presidential decree, as the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC) has not functioned for almost ten years.
Palestinians who work for the Palestinian Authority (PA) already have a social security plan, but the new law, which Abbas signed in March, will apply to Palestinians working in the private sector and for NGO’s. Opponents say it abandons rights for disabled workers, includes a minimum wage that retirement benefits that will not be enough to live on, and a provision that discriminates against women by denying death benefits to dependents of female workers.
“A lot of the Palestinian NGOs have their own provident fund mechanism already in place for their staff and employees,” Lubnah Shomali, administrative and financial affairs manager of BADIL, a Palestinian human rights organization told The Media line. “This law would force them to pay into the national social security fund instead.”
News of the law sparked protests in April in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the political and financial capital of the West Bank, with one demonstration attracting almost 10,000 people. The PA leadership formed a ministerial committee that met with NGO’s, trade unions and human rights organizations to discuss amendments to the law, but media reports say those amendments were recently cancelled.
In financial plight, Hamas hands out former settler lands
Earth movers dig into sand dunes on land where once Jewish settlements stood — prime real estate that the Gaza Strip’s ruling Hamas group hopes will ease its worsening financial crisis.
Hamas has begun handing out plots of the land to 40,000 civil servants loyal to the group, to make up for millions of dollars in salaries it owes them for the past two years.
The land giveaway is the latest sign that Hamas is struggling financially after almost a decade of uncontested power in the coastal strip.
Gazans grumble about lack of jobs, constant electricity shortages and a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt that has confined the territory’s 1.8 million people to the tiny strip. The World Bank says unemployment is 38 percent.
Since 2014, Hamas’s main problem has been a dire lack of cash amid Egypt’s clampdown on smuggling tunnels underneath Gaza’s border with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Before the tunnels closed, Hamas earned millions of dollars from taxes on smuggled consumer goods, including subsidized Egyptian fuel.
New Mall to open in Gaza
Oh, that cruel, cruel "siege".
The mass media and social media are full of testimony claiming the "siege" of Gaza has prevented rebuilding and construction. The reality is quite different.
Gaza is anxiously awaiting the grand opening of its new "Capital mall"
The new plan was designed by Gaza's Innovative Design team
It seems modern and quite luxurious.
Its yet another snapshot from Gaza that you'll never see in the mainstream media, because it doesn't play into the Palestinian narrative of eternal victimhood.

Gaza Amusement Center Opens
Among the social justice warriors of the hard left and the hard right, the Gaza as "open air prison" meme predominates. They paint a vision where a besieged people live a hard scrabble life among the rubble, completely cut off from the outside world.
Its a false narrative. Just yesterday there were 1,085 crossings of foreigners, merchants and others between Gaza and Israel.
Where are the merchants heading? Some are off to China.
From Xinhua
Dozens of Gaza merchants and businessmen are importing Chinese-made goods by traveling to China to buy products, ship them to an Israeli port and then deliver them to Gaza through Israeli-controlled crossing points.
There are no official figures to show how big the scale of the import is. However, Maher Taba'a, the man who is in charge of public relations in Gaza Chamber of Commerce, told Xinhua that more than 50 percent of the general import of goods is coming from China.
In spite of the big challenges and deterioration of economy, around 2,000 Palestinian businessmen are seeking opportunities in Chinese goods, because the Chinese products are "special and distinctive" ...
Highlighting some of these Chinese imports, the StarsCenter - an indoor amusement park has recently opened in Gaza, featuring bumper cars, rides and arcade games.
Nasrallah slams Saudis for ‘normalization with Israel for free’
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah criticized Saudi Arabia on Thursday night for an apparent warming of ties with Israel, accusing it of “normalizing for free, without receiving anything in return.”
Nasrallah, whose Shiite terror group is closely allied with Saudi rival Iran, said in a speech that “It seems the future of Palestine and the fate of its children have become a trivial matter for some Arab states recently.”
He warned that recent public meetings between Saudis and Israelis — including a recent visit to Israel by a former Saudi general and a joint appearance of the kingdom’s prince and Jerusalem’s former national security adviser — were giving “a problematic and dangerous example” to other Arab nations.
Israel, he said, had effectively ceased to be an enemy for many Arab states, and Palestine had become an issue “that is touched on only as a cursory matter.”
Nasrallah accused Riyadh of having long-held clandestine ties with Israel, but was aghast at the change “from secret channels to public channels.”
Hezbollah to air ‘new footage’ on raid that sparked 2006 Lebanon war
The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah said it will broadcast new footage showing the moments leading up to the 2006 cross-border raid into Israel, in which three soldiers were killed and two — Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev — were captured. The raid sparked the 34-day Second Lebanon War where thousands of rockets fell mainly in northern Israel.
The war claimed the lives of 165 Israelis, including 44 civilians. Over 1,100 Lebanese, including both Hezbollah fighters and civilians, were killed.
In a promo video released on the Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen TV station on Friday, the terror group said it prepared a three-part “documentary” on the reconnaissance preparations for the raid and the subsequent kidnapping. The first part of the “documentary” is set to air on Saturday.
The promo clip shows Hezbollah commandos training for the raid, which is said to have taken three months of planning. The training, according to al-Mayadeen, was under the watchful eye of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who can be heard saying “someone just needs to fire at them.”
Mughniyeh was assassinated in Syria in 2008.
Report: Syrian commander escapes Israeli assassination attempt
A senior commander in the Syrian army recently escaped unharmed an Israeli assassination attempt in the Golan Heights, the Iranian semiofficial Fars news agency reported Friday.
According to the report, the man in question is Majid Heymoud, who was visiting the town of Eastern al-Samdaniya.
Heymoud's convoy, according to the report, came under two missile attacks in the part of the Golan Heights which is under Israel's control, but he escaped unharmed.
The report did not specify when this incident took place. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit told Kol Yisrael radio on Friday that it does not respond to reports in foreign outlets.
According to the Fars report, the Al-Nusra Front Syrian rebel group also tried to kill Heymoud after the alleged failed Israeli missile attack, but they did not succeed to do so.
Iran Ranked World’s Top Money Laundering Risk, Despite Relaxing of Financial Sanctions
Iran was ranked as the world’s top global money laundering threat by the Basel Institute on Governance this week, marking the third straight year that the Islamic Republic held the position.
The 2016 Basel Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Index identified Iran as the highest money laundering risk out of 149 countries surveyed, The Wall Street Journal reported. A statement (.pdf) accompanying the index explained that “Although a majority of countries legally comply with current AML/countering terrorism financing (CTF) standards, they fall short in the effective implementation and enforcement of these laws.”
According to the Journal, companies are hesitant to resume commercial ties with Iran because of money laundering concerns.
The publication of the index comes a month after the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering watchdog, suspended financial countermeasures against Iran for one year. At the time, sanctions experts Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) wrote that the decision to temporarily suspend sanctions rather than totally remove Iran from the FATF’s high-risk blacklist indicated that the country “still has a long way to go before it’s safe to do business there.”
Dershowitz and Saeed Ghasseminejad, an associate fellow at FDD, wrote earlier this week that Iran is attempting to convince nations that it is serious about complying with FATF standards, including on combating the financing of terrorist groups, by referring to recent legislation passed by its parliament. However, according to Abdolmahdi Arjmandnejad, the Central Bank of Iran’s deputy for anti-money laundering affairs, “liberation organizations are not subject to this law and the Supreme National Security Council decides who is a terrorist.”
Iran's global banking problems deepen with rise of Trump, Brexit
Britain's vote to leave the European Union and the rise of U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump have paralyzed efforts by Western governments to encourage already highly reluctant international banks to do business with Iran.
Uncertainty is frustrating Tehran's push for foreign investment to revive its struggling economy: over Britain's political and economic future, over whether Trump - who wants to scrap a nuclear deal with Iran - will get into the White House, and over whether banks will fall foul of U.S. sanctions if they process transactions with the Islamic Republic.
Iran's failure to get full access to the global financial system a year after it signed the nuclear deal with world powers has intensified domestic political infighting. It has also turned up the heat on President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist facing re-election next year, who has gambled on attracting foreign investment to help raise voters' living standards.
Under the deal, international financial sanctions on Iran were officially lifted in January this year and yet it has secured banking ties with only a limited number of smaller foreign institutions.
One senior Iranian official said Tehran was examining alternatives. "Iran will continue to work with small banks, institutions as long as major European banks are reluctant to return to Iran," said the official.
"Our estimation is that this uncertainty will continue for a few years. We are in talks with many countries, mainly China, Russia and African countries to widen our banking cooperation aimed at resolving existing banking, financial problems."
U.S. banks are still forbidden to do business with Iran under domestic sanctions that remain in force. European lenders also face major problems, notably rules prohibiting transactions with Iran in dollars - the world's main business currency - from being processed through the U.S. financial system.
Convicted bomber Rasmea Odeh opposes mental examination in immigration fraud case
Rasmea Odeh is the Palestinian terrorist group member convicted of the 1969 supermarket bombing in Jerusalem that killed two Hebrew University students, Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.
Rasmea was released in a prisoner exchange in 1979 for an Israeli soldier captured in Lebanon.
Rasmea eventually made her way to the U.S., where she lied on both her visa and naturalization applications, by falsely stating that she never was convicted of a crime or served time in prison. She told other lies as well, such as not disclosing the time she spent in Lebanon after release from Israeli prison, or that she was a military member of the terrorist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Rasmea became a U.S. citizen in 2004 on the basis of those lies.
Catholic Charity Promotes Hamas Narrative in Fundraising Magazine
Unfortunately, there is another article in One magazine that demonizes Israel. It was titled “A Letter from Gaza,” written by Suhaila Tarazi, a Palestinian Christian who directs the Al Ahli Hospital operated by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem and supported by CNEWA.
In her letter, Tarazi told an all-too-familiar narrative of innocent suffering on the part of the Palestinians and unrelenting villainy on the part of the Israelis.
For example, she describes the installation of the Palestinian Authority after the signing of the Oslo Accords in the early 1990s as heralding a moment of “peace and tranquility” that was brought to an end when Israel imposed restrictions on Palestinian economy, restricted freedom of movement and constructed a “separation” wall, which she says “have left no hope for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
She also complained about the construction of settlements in the West Bank.
Nowhere does she recount the failure of Palestinian leaders to negotiate in good faith at Camp David in 2000, nor does she mention Yassir Arafat's refusal to accept the Clinton Parameters, which, if accepted, would have established a Palestinian state on all of the Gaza Strip and most of the West Bank and would have brought an end to the settlement construction she condemned.
Nor does she mention the suicide attacks that took place during the Second Intifada that prompted Israel to build the security barrier she bemoans. Tarazi also failed to mention that Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 only to be met by increased violence, rocket attacks, especially, perpetrated by Hamas. No Christian can offer a reasonable judgment about the rights and wrongs of the Arab-Israeli conflict without knowing about these things.
As Tarazi's letter progresses, it becomes a pro-Hamas screed, stating that in 2006, “Hamas won parliamentary elections in Gaza, which the international community described as transparent and legitimate.”
In her effort to portray Hamas as a legitimately elected government, Tarazi fails to include any reference to Hamas's deeply antisemitic ideology and well-documented calls for Israel's destruction and its support for Muslim supremacism over Christians in Gaza. How can a Catholic publication publish an article that ignores these issues?
Los Angeles Times Whitewashes Murder of 3 Israelis
On New Years' Day, Israeli Arab Nashat Milhem opened fire in a Tel Aviv bar, killing Alon Bakal and Shimon Ruimi and injuring at least three others. During his flight from the killing scene, Milhem killed taxi driver Amin Shaaban, his third murder victim.
Here's how The Los Angeles Times whitewashed that deadly attack this week:
"After an Arab citizen attacked a Tel Aviv bar in January. . . "
The assailant did not merely attack a Tel Aviv bar. He murdered three people, so why the obfuscation?
Israeli, American Teams Emerge as Frontrunners in Google Space Challenge
The Israeli and American teams vying to win Google’s Lunar XPRIZE challenge have emerged as the competition’s two frontrunners, CNN reported on Tuesday.
Thirty private teams from 16 countries initially entered the competition, which challenged participants to land a spacecraft on the moon, move it 500 meters in any direction, and send live high-definition video back to Earth. The competition began in 2007 as a way to open a new era of space exploration.
The teams have until December 31, 2017 to complete their mission. The two main challengers still remaining — the Israeli team SpaceIL and the American team Moon Express — have scheduled launches for some time in 2017.
The first team to complete the mission will receive a $20 million prize, though that’s a fraction of the total cost of building, launching, and landing a spacecraft on the moon.
SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman said that his team did not enter the competition for any monetary reward. “There are many reasons why [we want] to be there. We, as the Israeli team, would like to put Israeli technology on the moon next to the Russians, the Americans, and China. That by its own will be a great achievement.”
Accomplishing the mission could open a new era of commercial travel to the moon, Mars, or elsewhere, Privman said.
From British battles to Bauhaus, touring a century’s stunning Tel Aviv architecture
Nearby, Brender Park, on the other side of Hyrcanus Street, features a large, movable menorah created by contemporary artist Yaakov Agam. Famous the world over for his kinetic and optic art, Agam produces interactive works that allow viewers to create their own abstract designs.
Then, continuing on, streets are named for biblical figures – mainly prophets. Here, one enters the world of Bauhaus.
In 2003, Tel Aviv was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations because of the predominance of Bauhaus architecture (a 1930’s style also called International) that originated in pre-Nazi Germany. Turns out that Tel Aviv has more buildings designed in Bauhaus than any other city in the world.
Some of the houses on the streets here are slightly newer than the original 1930’s structures on Rothschild Boulevard, Ahad HaAm, Engel and Melchett streets in Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, they were influenced greatly by Bauhaus principles: the use of pure classical architecture without any kind of ornamentation, and the addition of flat roofs, smooth exteriors and geometric shapes.
Others are completely eclectic: one, on the corner of Yehashua Ben Nun and Simon HaTarshi, features an unusual turret.
Among the structures on Hagai, Amos and Ovadia streets are houses built on thick stilts – a Middle Eastern adaptation of the Bauhaus style. For when new immigrant architects who had been studying Bauhaus in Europe began designing in this country, they realized that they had to adapt their designs to a new climate and type of land.
Tel Aviv was only a mass of sand dunes when established in 1909, and it is difficult to build foundations on sand. So the Bauhaus architects raised them up on thick stilts, which created air flow and left plenty of space for gardens.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

From Ian:

Richard Landes: Anti-Zionism: 21st Century Avatar of the Longest Hatred
The supersessionism among progressives rests on a morally sadistic ‘secular’ replacement narrative: Israel has replaced the Nazis while the Palestinians have replaced the Holocaust-era Jews. As pleasing an historical irony as such moral inversions may seem to Nobel Prize winners, it would be dangerous to mistake it for the reality on the ground, where Israel does everything it can to avoid behaving like Nazis, while some of its enemies openly admire Nazis.
This replacement narrative offers not only freedom from Holocaust guilt; it also offers moral elevation, the chance to tower over Israel and judge her harshly. ‘Israel has lost all moral high ground,’ pronounced UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen in response to the Jenin ‘massacre,’ when in fact, he was looking at the lowest score for civilian casualty ratios in the history of urban warfare. Deep moral disorientation ensues: a mainstream news commentator claims that the picture of 12-year-old Muhammad al Durah, caught in a crossfire, ‘symbolically replaces, erases the image of the boy in the Warsaw Ghetto.’
From these heights, European moral superpowers like Sweden, and individuals like Jostein Gaarder, sit in judgment on Israel, despising these sovereign Jews, feeding their supersessionist fantasies at the price of becoming untethered from reality. It is a small step to transforming Holocaust Commemorations into platforms for attacking Israel as the new genocidal force on the planet.
The megaphone effect
‘Leftist’ anti-Zionism has allowed internet-empowered Jihadis to spread their memes and icons of hatred the world over. Activist journalists, post-colonial scholars, feminists, ASHamed Jews, NGO activists, all reaffirm and reinforce the narrative: Blame Israel; exculpate the Palestinian ‘resistance’; conversely do not exculpate Israel and do not blame Jihadi extremism. Indeed, the more sincere the Western anti-Zionism, the better is the cover under which the hatreds spread. Progressives introduce the campus to virulent ‘human-rights’ anti-Zionism and mobilise the ensuing indignation to make Israel an international pariah.
It is common wisdom on today’s global progressive left to consider anti-Zionism as unrelated to anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia as the new anti-Semitism. The evidence presented at the Bloomington conference suggested that this is a serious misreading. In the 21st century anti–Zionism plays, mutatis mutandis, the role that anti-Semitism played in early 20th century Europe. The papers delivered at Bloomington made clear that in this current climate, being a vocal anti-Zionist, laboring to see the global humiliation or elimination of Israel, means you put wind in the sails of real-live exterminationist Jew-haters, with people who harbor paranoid, genocidal fantasies. When Leftists chant ‘We are all Hezbollah, Now!’ or ‘Muqtada al Sadr – Anti-Imperialist Solidarity!’ they encourage and empower the real 21st century avatars of the Nazi delirium, namely the triumphalist Jihadis.

DNC Featured Denial of the Existence of Israel
It wouldn't be the DNC convention without an anti-Israel theme. And, in tune with the theme, it's thinly disguised as positivity.
The Democratic convention audience erupted in cheers Thursday night when the Rev. William Barber II urged them to love Jews and Palestinians equally.
"When we love the Jewish child and the Palestinian child ... we are reviving the heart of our democracy," said Barber, who is also the president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.
"Jesus, a brown-skinned Palestinian Jew, called us to preach good news to the poor, the broken and the bruised and all those who are made to feel unaccepted," he said.

Barber denied the historical existence of Israel in typical PLO propaganda fashion. Jesus was not a Palestinian. He was a Judean.
Palestine was a Roman colonialist term and the term Palestine has no reference and no relevance to the current Muslim settlers and colonialists who call themselves "Palestinians". (h/t dabney)
RJC Ad Hammers ‘Today’s Democratic Party’ for Anti-Israel Displays
The Republican Jewish Coalition released an ad Friday charging that the Democratic Party of today is hardly the one of old when it comes to support for Israel.
Citing the Washington Free Beacon report that Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.), a Hillary Clinton superdelegate, called Jewish settlers “termites” before an anti-Israeli group, the narrator said “anti-Israeli Democrats are on full display at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.” Johnson offered up a half-hearted apology for the comment, calling it a “poor choice of words.”
While Democrats waved the Palestinian flag at the convention, the Israeli flag was burned outside the arena while onlookers chanted in support of the intifada. The Clinton campaign condemned the burning.
However, the ad featured other activists around the convention in Philadelphia speaking out against Israel, including one woman who said the U.S. was acting like a “terrorist” by giving money to Israel and another making the oft-repeated slur against Israel as an “apartheid” state.
Secretary of State John Kerry used this slur in 2014, remarking his concern that Israel could become an apartheid state if a two-state solution was not reached soon.
“Radical Democrats. Stridently anti-Israel,” the narrator said. “Sadly, this isn’t the old Democratic Party. It’s today’s Democratic Party.”

Alan Dershowitz: An advocate for genocide against Jewish ‘babies’ and ‘old ladies’
The president of Black Lawyers for Justice, Malik Zulu Shabazz, has called for genocide against the Jews of Israel: “Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel! Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies? Blow up Zionist supermarkets.”
Nor has he limited his hateful vitriol to Zionists. He had blamed Jews for blowing up the World Trade Center: “They got their people out.” He has accused the Jews of “[k]illing Christ,” and said that “God condemns you.” He has said that “Jews” set up the death of Martin Luther King Jr. He blames “[t]he Jewish rabbis” and “the Talmud” for “the African holocaust.” He has said that “the European Jews have America under control, lock stock and barrel, the media, foreign policy.” He introduced a fellow anti-Semite named Khalid Abdul Muhammad, a man “who make the Jews pee in their pants.” He has railed against “the white, Jewish, Zionist onslaught” and has demanded that “[a]ll Jewish people and all white people... stop pushing your Holocaust down my throat.” He has led a Hitler-like question and answer chant at Howard University in which he asked the assembled crowd, who committed crimes against the Black people? Who controls the Federal Reserve? Hollywood and other institutions? After each question, he elicited the response: “Jews! Jews!” He has demanded that Jews and Zionists be “shut down” and have “no right to open [their] mouth anywhere on the planet.”
This bigoted inciter of genocide is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia, despite having been disciplined by that bar for numerous acts of unprofessional conduct, including “failing to provide competent representation” to clients, “failing to safe-keep his client’s property” and “knowingly assisting another to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.”
In a recent article titled, “Amid Push to Curb Police Abuse, Some Act on Fringe,” The New York Times quoted Shabazz’s call to kill all Zionists in Israel, including their “old ladies” and “little babies,” but the reporters failed to properly identify Shabazz.
Israel slams German university for claim it harvests Palestinian organs
The Berlin-based Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an organization devoted to combating anti-Semitism, racism and xenophobia, wrote a detailed expert opinion in 2015 on the HAWK seminar.
According to the report’s findings, which was authored by Jan Riebe, the seminar is not about “ the social situation of young people in the Palestinian territories. It serves to demonize Israel. “
Riebe said the seminar aims to convey that Israel could be construed in the same way as National Socialism, as well as the former apartheid regime in South Africa. Riebe wrote the course material propagates “old and new anti-Semitic resentments” and a historical picture that is hostile to Israel. He described the syllabus material as “non-academic.”
The Associate Dean of the Los Angeles-based human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, told the Post on Thursday: “Genocidal Jew-hatred and racist ideology were incubated, validated, and promoted by German universities from the earliest days of the Third Reich.”
Cooper added, “In 2016, this despicable, extreme anti-Semitism and anti-Israel canard masquerading as a 'course' should be denounced by leaders of German academic and Medical circles.
Further, no German taxpayer funds should be used to promote the blood libel.”
The complaints of Seidler, the German Jewish academic who refused to teach the seminar, were rebuffed by Christa Paulini, the dean of the social work department, in 2015. Paulini told Seidler that she reacted in a ”personally sensitive” way to the seminar material.
Corbyn Aide: Some in Leader’s Office Oppose Creation of Israel
Harry Fletcher, who has been a key aide in Jeremy Corbyn’s office for the last year, has blasted the leader’s team for their failings on anti-Semitism. Fletcher tells the Jewish Chronicle that Corbyn has a “reluctance” to speak with the Jewish community, suggests there could be a “deliberate refusal to engage with Jewish issues”, and says Jez has a “deep-seated problem” with Israel. Fletcher also made a barely veiled dig at a certain key member of Jezza’s team:
“there’s certainly a view held by some people within his office that the state of Israel should never have been created. It’s very difficult, if that’s what you believe, to accept any dialogue.”
As you can see in the video above, Seumas Milne is on the record saying the founding of Israel is a crime. Well Corbynistas, is Harry Fletcher a Zionist stooge too?
 Accepting historic presidential nomination, Clinton touts Israel’s security, Iran deal
Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination for president at the close of the party’s convention on Thursday, becoming the first woman nominee of a major political party. She blasted Republican rival Donald Trump for fear-mongering, pledged to keep Israel safe and vowed to be a president for “all Americans,” whether they voted for her or not.
Clinton said she accepted the nomination with “humility, determination and boundless confidence in America’s promise.
“Keeping our nation safe and honoring the people who do that work will be my highest priority,” she maintained. “For the struggling, the striving and the successful. For those who vote for me and those who don’t. For all Americans.”
She also underlined the “milestone” in becoming the first female nominee.
“When any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone,” she continued. “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit.”
The Democratic nominee said she was “proud” of the Iranian nuclear deal clinched between world powers and the Islamic Republic last year, and urged continued US support for Israel’s security.
“I’m proud that we put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot — now we have to enforce it, and keep supporting Israel’s security,” she stated.
Clinton Ally, Lawmaker Rejects U.S. Funding for Israeli Security Needs
A Democratic lawmaker scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Thursday evening has come out against U.S. funding for critical Israeli security needs, sparking criticism about her commitment to joint U.S.-Israeli efforts to fight terrorists.
Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.), a House Armed Services Committee member and Hillary Clinton ally, told observers that U.S. funding for Israel’s missile defense systems is not the “best solution.”
Duckworth’s criticism of longstanding U.S. funding for Israeli security needs drew criticism from pro-Israel congressional advocates who have sought for years to ensure the Jewish state can defend against attacks by rogue terror groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
The comments come as criticism of Israel has emerged as a centerpiece of the Democratic convention. One lawmaker compared Jewish Israeli settlers to “termites” earlier this week, and protesters on the streets of Philadelphia have burned the Israeli flag.
“Oftentimes the best path to a security is peace,” Duckworth said at an event sponsored by J Street, a Middle East advocacy group known for its criticism of Israel. “Sometimes the best solution is not more weapons; sometimes the best solution is actually entering negotiations and find a way to work together in peace.”
IsraellyCool: Sickening Display Of Antisemitism & Jews Fine With It Outside DNC
The following video took place outside the DNC. In it, an Israel supporter exchanges words with an anti-Zionist-not-antisemite.
The Israel supporter mocks the idea that Jews own the world, something the anti-Zionist-not-antisemite really believes.
Watch as the anti-Zionist-not-antisemite lets the mask slip, before the video shows the Neturei Karta nuts attacking Israel, with the same anti-Zionist-not-antisemite standing in front of them sprouting his Jew hatred. They seem fine with his presence and words, while he no doubt does not mind these Jews on his side since he can them claim some his best friends are Jewish.
Language warning.

Red Flags and Antisemitism in America
Indeed, the kind of anti-Israel vitriol spewed on the internet and chanted at rallies is unmistakably defamatory. And though extreme right-wingers are guilty of it, it is the Left that has given it a cloak of legitimacy and intellectual respectability.
This marriage made in hell is producing the satanic progeny that, if not kept in check, will destroy the very fabric of the free society that has enabled it to rear its ugly head and thrive.
“Antisemitism is a kind of barometer to Jews and to nations, both of what is wrong — because it is often a symptom of major pathologies in a given society — and a warning signal of catastrophes to come,” Wistrich said.
The “canary in the coal mine” metaphor could not be more apt today. It is worthy of note in this context that American flags were torched alongside Israeli ones at the DNC in Philadelphia this week.
In 2007, Wistrich explained that, for historical reasons, “antisemitism has been much less of a political force in the US than in Europe.” America, he asserted, “is exceptional; it’s an immigrant society in which there’s no established state religion.”
Though acknowledging that the US had periods of “outspoken antisemitism in the 1930s and 1940s,” he said things “improved dramatically in the 1960s — the beginning of the Golden Age of American Jewry.”
Are we witnessing the tarnishing or even demise of that age? Let us hope, for the world’s sake, that the answer is no.
Dennis Ross urges end to Pollard curfew
Restrictions on Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s movement should be rescinded in order to allow him to reintegrate into American society, Washington Institute for Near East Policy counselor Dennis Ross wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama last week.
Ross, who was an adviser to Obama, came out against Pollard’s parole conditions, which require him to remain in his New York home from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., be monitored by a heavy GPS wrist-device on Shabbat and holidays, and submit his computers to monitoring, which has prevented him from being employed.
Among the reasons cited by the US parole commission for the restrictions are that Pollard still poses a security risk, 31 years after his November 1985 arrest, because he could still remember documents he saw back then. Ross mocked that possibility.
“If after 31 years, he is still considered an intelligence risk, then there is something profoundly wrong with the way we conduct and operationalize our intelligence,” Ross wrote.
Ross stressed that Pollard committed a crime and he had no sympathy for what he did. He noted that in the four administrations in which he served, Pollard’s case was reviewed and the intelligence community opposed his release.
US Police Exchange Programs Pan Black Lives Matter Groups’ Call for End to Israeli Police Training
On July 18 Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed publicly told a group affiliated with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that his city would continue to allow the Atlanta Police Department (APD) to be trained by the Israel Police in spite of the group’s demands to cease the training relationship due to their treatment of the Palestinians.
The decision by Reed comes amid nationwide protests and counter protests over police treatment of minority groups. Despite this heated environment, criminal justice experts and organizers behind US police exchange programs with Israel believe that these claims by BLM groups are unsubstantiated, and that it is vital to maintain cooperation with countries like Israel at a time when police officers face dealing with an increasing number of terrorism incidents.
“I happen to believe that the Israeli police department has some of the best counter-terrorism techniques in the world and it benefits our police department from that long-standing relationship,” Reed said after the ALTisReady group demanded a “termination to APD’s involvement in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) program that trains our officers in Apartheid Israel.”
ALTisReady is only one example of a BLM activist group criticizing US police departments for getting training by Israeli police officers over the unsubstantiated claim that US police departments would learn how to kill black youth in the same way Israeli police officers kill Palestinians.
UK Jewish Students Blast National Union Leader for False Claim of Backtrack on Decision to Exclude Jewish Voice
A major British Jewish student group blasted the head of the country’s largest student union for falsely claiming to have backtracked on what they consider an offensive decision, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday, just as an incriminating video in which she is featured surfaced.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) called out National Union of Students (NUS) President Malia Bouattia for alleging that Jews will, in fact, be able to select a representative to a prominent anti-racism committee — after she had voted against their being able to do so.
In a newly surfaced video which was filmed earlier this year, Bouattia is seen praising anti-Israel activists in Gaza and voicing her commitment to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
According to reporting by Heat Street on Thursday, Bouattia was addressing the Palestinian Students Campaign for the Academic Boycott of Israel (PSCABI), which is “tied to anti-Israel figures who have supported violent struggle” against the Jewish state.
In the minute-long video, Bouattia says she “draws strength from their resistance” and is working hard in her role at NUS to “extend solidarity by passing BDS policy in our unions.”
Haaretz Publisher: Israel ‘Definitely’ an Evil Country
The publisher of Israel’s leading liberal newspaper responded to the question of whether his country is “evil” by declaring, “the answer is definitely (and sadly) a resounding yes.”
Amos Schocken, the longtime publisher of Haaretz, Israel’s leading liberal daily and a popular news source for international journalists, diplomats, and anti-Israel activists, made the statement on Twitter. Schocken said he makes the judgment based on “Israel’s treatment of the refuge seekers,” a reference to waves of illegal immigration from Africa that were stopped by the construction of a fence along Israel’s border with Egypt.
The question of whether Israel is an evil country was raised by Schocken’s paper, in an article headlined, “Is Israel An Evil Country?” Schocken’s statement on Twitter was made in response to several Israeli reporters who criticized the article.
Schocken raised eyebrows in 2013 when he praised Palestinians who had just murdered a four-year-old Israeli girl by throwing rocks at the car she was riding in. “Sometimes, you have to fight violence with violence,” he commented.
New York Times Bureau Chief in Iran Promotes Anti-Israel Agenda
Thomas Erdbrink is the New York Times Bureau Chief in Iran. A Dutch citizen, he has lived in Iran for more than 10 years, and the Times affectionately describes him as “our man in Tehran.” However, the paper should urgently rethink that nickname now that Mr. Erdbrink is using his status to promote anti-Israel extremism on mainstream Dutch TV.
This year, Erdbrink received the honor of hosting Zomergasten (Summer Guests) — one of the most prominent Dutch TV series. It’s a feel-good format show of six episodes that features a famous guest on each.
But after the program already confirmed the Dutch prime minister and four other well-known celebrities as this year’s guests, Mr. Erdbrink shockingly announced that he wanted to invite Lebanese-Belgian extremist (and self-declared Hezbollah member) Dyab Abou Jahjah to be the first guest on the show this Sunday.
Abou Jahjah founded an organization that was convicted of Holocaust denial; he called the 9/11 attacks “sweet revenge;” and he’s said Europe made “the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion.” He is banned in the UK, and deemed so radical that even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was forced to denounce any connection to him late last year.
NPR’s Emily Harris Reflects, Blearily, on Three Years Reporting from Jerusalem
National Public Radio's Emily Harris closed a three-year stint reporting from Jerusalem on Israeli-Arab news in a discussion with “All Things Considered” host Kelly McEvers July 26, 2016. Maybe NPR didn't give Harris enough airtime. In any case, the result, “Middle East: Reflecting on Three Years in Jerusalem,” was deeply superficial. And, as with so much of the network's coverage and commentary on Israel-related topics, misleading.
In response, one CAMERA member e-mailed the following letter to NPR journalists and Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen. The text of the letter as sent appears below in roman type, ex post facto additions by CAMERA staff in italics:
Dear All Things Considered:
Tuesday's program had Emily Harris wrapping up her three years in Jerusalem, and her overall view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
As always, there is the refusal to even hint at the elephant in the room. Not once did she mention the real core issue in the conflict—namely Palestinian refusal to accept a permanent Israel of any size and behind any boundaries.
US man charged over online threats to ‘slaughter’ Jews
A 50-year-old Connecticut man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he made threats against Jews and synagogues on an internet forum for heavy metal music fans.
Prosecutors say Kendall Sullivan posted messages on in May, June and this month threatening to “slaughter” Jews and “burn their Synagogue to the ground.”
Investigators say they got a search warrant for Sullivan’s Stamford home and found more than two dozen firearms, gun parts, high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Patricia Ferrick, the agent in charge of the FBI’s New Haven division, says she believes authorities may have thwarted “a horrific hate crime.”
French teacher investigated for sharing anti-Semitism
CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, complained to the ministry about the teacher earlier this week, according to a report Thursday in the group’s newsletter.
It did not name the female teacher in question but said she teaches at the prestigious Janson-de-Sailly school, a post high-school preparatory course, and that she invited the course’s students to follow her Facebook page.
The CRIF report was based on original reporting by the Le Canard Enchainé, a satirical weekly, which, alongside cartoons and satirical articles, also features investigative journalism items and news.
On the teacher’s Facebook page, she wrote, according to Le Canard Enchainé, against “the American Jewish lobby” that she said supports Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. She also wrote that French President Francois Hollande “is a Jew who benefited from his belonging to that community to ascend in politics and who now denies this,” pretending to have a ‘Catholic’ father on Wikipedia. Hollande “is Jewish and denies it. Backpedaling will begin all over, now that it is less beneficial for Jewry,” the teacher also wrote, according to the CRIF newsletter.
On the Holocaust, she wrote: “The Shoah was designed and organized by Jews.”
‘Indignation’ brings Philip Roth’s novel about anti-Semitism to the big screen
James Schamus remembers the block he faced while writing the screenplay for Ang Lee’s 1994 film “Eat Drink Man Woman.” Creating the right voices for the film’s Taiwanese characters was not going well “and Ang Lee was getting very nervous.”
In a desperate effort to turn the script around, Schamus, who is Jewish, decided he would “just make them all Jewish in my mind,” changing the names to Jewish ones during the writing and then changing them back to Chinese names afterward. The technique succeeded; the result was a modern cinematic classic.
That capacity to bridge cultural differences while working within one’s own idiom is evident in “Indignation,” Schamus’ adaptation of Philip Roth’s 2008 novel. The film traces the effects of subtle institutional anti-Semitism on a “nice Jewish boy” and stellar student from New Jersey attending a conservative, Christian-influenced college in the Midwest in 1951. In his directorial debut, the veteran screenwriter and producer (“The Ice Storm,” “Brokeback Mountain”) manages to remain empathetic to all his characters, even the most seemingly anti-Semitic one.
“Indignation,” which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January, arrives in theaters July 29.
Roth’s novel is set toward the end of the Korean War. Marcus Messner, 19, a bright Jewish kid from Newark, flees his neurotically controlling father, a kosher butcher, by transferring from a local college to the fictional Winesburg College in Ohio. (Despite not being explicitly autobiographical, “Indignation” draws from Roth’s parallel experience transferring as a sophomore to Bucknell College in Pennsylvania from the Newark campus of Rutgers University.)
Though serious and studious, Marcus finds himself in a strange land. Obligated with other students to attend chapel regularly, he is newly constrained and cornered by completely different forces than those that forced him out of Newark.
Pope, at Auschwitz, asks God to forgive 'so much cruelty'
Hunched on a bench near the gate to the Auschwitz death camp site in Poland, Pope Francis prayed silently on Friday in tribute to 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, gassed there by Nazi occupiers during World War Two.
Marking the third day of his trip to Poland for an international gathering of Catholic youth, Francis spent a few minutes speaking quietly and exchanging gifts with about 12 Auschwitz survivors, including a 101-year-old woman.
One of the male survivors gave the pope a picture of himself surrounded by other inmates in a bunk, and asked Francis to sign it. The sombre-looking pope kissed each survivor.
The Argentine-born pontiff, 79, made no statement as he proceeded to walk through the barely-lit corridors of the drab, brick building of Auschwitz Block 11 which had housed prisoners selected for special punishment.
Before his trip, Francis said he had decided that silence in prayer was the best way to pay tribute to those who died.
With aides using small flashlights to light his way, Francis visited the underground cell where Franciscan monk Maksymilian Kolbe was killed after offering his life to save a Polish man whom camp handlers had picked to die of starvation.
In Auschwitz's commemorative book, Francis wrote in Spanish: "Lord, have mercy on your people. Lord, forgiveness for so much cruelty".
Pope Francis walks alone through horrors of Auschwitz
Pope Francis walked alone through the notorious wrought-iron “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work makes you free”) gates at Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday, at the start of a historic visit to the former Nazi death camp.
His head bowed, the pope prayed in silent contemplation before meeting Holocaust survivors in front of the infamous Auschwitz Death Wall, where inmates, chiefly Polish resistance fighters, were executed. He shook survivors’ hands, kissed them on the cheeks and stroked the heads of some.
Among those he met was Helena Dunicz Niwinska, a 101-year-old woman who played the violin in the Auschwitz orchestra, as well as survivors who worked at the camp hospital or who were there as children.
One woman kissed his hand. He also took time to exchange a few words with the survivors, although what they said was not audible.
Some of the survivors made Francis offerings that were linked to their suffering. One held a copy of a black-and-white picture, indicating he was in it.
US rabbi calls on Pope Francis to remove church at Auschwitz
On the eve of Pope Francis’s visit to Auschwitz, a US rabbi has called on him to remove a Catholic church from the premises of the Nazi death camp.
The letter sent from Rabbi Avi Weiss, national president of AMCHA-Coalition for Jewish Concerns, was first reported by The Algemeiner on Wednesday.
Francis arrived in Poland on Wednesday to participate in the church’s World Youth Day. He is scheduled to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday.
Weiss’s letter protesting the presence of the Parish Church of Brzezinka on the grounds of Auschwitz was sent to the pope through New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.
In the letter, Weiss says the presence of the church at the former death camp site is a “clear violation” of a 1987 agreement between Roman Catholic cardinals and Jewish leaders, which he says “stipulates in clear language that ‘there will be no permanent Catholic place of worship on the site of the Auschwitz and Birkenau camps.’”
Auschwitz survivors tell pope tales from the abyss
Pope Francis paid a somber visit in silence to the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau on Friday where he heard harrowing accounts from survivors and rescuers, in a private meeting organized by Poland’s chief rabbi.
Former prisoners of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland were embraced by the Argentine pontiff Friday as he visited the concentration camp to pray for the 1.1 million people, most of them Jewish, who were murdered at the site during World War II.
Francis entered the camp on foot, walking slowly in his white robes beneath the notorious gate at Auschwitz that bears the cynical words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work sets you free).
Among the 11 survivors he met briefly was a woman in her mid-90s who helped deliver babies born to Auschwitz women; another, 101, played the violin in an orchestra the death camp.
Francis moved on to nearby Birkenau, a sprawling complex where people were murdered in factory-like fashion in its gas chambers. There he greeted 25 Holocaust rescuers, including a woman who as a child helped her mother smuggle in bread in their handbags to Jews forced by Nazi occupiers to stay in Warsaw’s ghetto.
Altogether, it was a deeply contemplative and private visit of nearly two hours that Francis passed in total silence, except for a few words he exchanged with the survivors and rescuers.
How a Muslim also became a Zionist
Since I wrote my first blog for The Times of Israel, many have wondered how a Muslim like me came to be a Zionist. Like many Muslims, I started out being very anti-Israel. A few years ago, I would have fully supported BDS, Students for Justice in Palestine, and even the Intifada. I saw Israel as evil. All I heard about Israel was bad – Israel was an apartheid state, Israel was slaughtering children left and right, Israel had no right to exist. Zionism was racism. My undergraduate university taught us that Hamas was an “interest group,” not a terrorist group. Everyone that I knew hated Israel. That is, until last year, when I learned the truth.
In 2015, I became more devout and dedicated to my Muslim faith. I started praying every day and strived to live by the principles of Islam. So imagine my surprise when one day I woke up with an urgent yearning in my chest to learn about Judaism. In what I can only describe as the Will of God, I was drawn to the Jewish faith. My relatives are Jewish, and I grew up with many Jewish friends, but it was not until then that I finally opened my heart to Judaism.
I began to research Judaism and talk to my Jewish friends and family. I learned that my aunt and uncle met in Israel, after my aunt’s family fled Russia due to anti-Semitism. I learned that many of my friends had been shaped by their Jewish identity. A rabbi gave me a book of Hasidic prayers, and I was shocked to see the similarities with my own Muslim prayers. I began to realize that so much of the person I had grown up to be was because of Jewish role models. But I was still anti-Israel, because I avoided honest research about Israel. I thought that I already understood the situation. I could not have been more wrong.
It is by accident that I started to learn about Israel. It occurred in my senior year of university. I decided to gain access to the Kosher Kitchen at the university’s Hillel because most Kosher food is Halal. Instead, I accidentally signed up to join the Hillel Israel Committee. I did not have the heart to tell the Israel Fellow “no,” so I went to meetings, begrudgingly at first. As time went on, I realized that most of what I had learned about Israel was anti-Semitic propaganda. Israel was a country just struggling to keep her people safe. It was not an Evil Oppressor like I had been told all my life. The Hillel became a place where I could be happy and safe, and an environment in which I could grow in my understanding of Israel and Judaism. I attended Shabbat dinners each Friday before my evening mosque services. I started planning events and programming with the Israel Committee.

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