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Saturday, October 8, 2016

From Ian:

Netanyahu Spokesman Rebuts Atlantic Columnist’s Criticism: Jeffrey Goldberg, Not the Prime Minister, Is the Real Pessimist
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a “staunch optimist” who remains “fully committed” to seeking peace with the Palestinians, a spokesman for the premier wrote this week in a strong rebuttal of an Atlantic op-ed that harshly criticized the leader of the Jewish state.
On Thursday, Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg published a message he had received from David Keyes — Netanyahu’s foreign media spokesman — in response to an article Goldberg wrote last week following the funeral of the late Shimon Peres that was titled, “The Unbearable Smallness of Benjamin Netanyahu.” Keyes’ response, titled “The Unbearable Misunderstanding of Goldberg,” said that none of the accusations the veteran American Jewish columnist made against Netanyahu — including “stymieing peace, paralyzing pessimism, alienating Americans, scapegoating Arabs, misplaying Iran and fetishizing fear” were true.
“Implicit in Goldberg’s piece is the assumption that the Israeli people must be stupid or naive,” Keyes wrote. “Why else would they keep voting for someone Goldberg considers such a short-sighted fear-monger? Prime Minister Netanyahu has been elected to four terms because Israelis trust him to navigate the stormy seas that surround Israel and to keep them safe and prosperous.”
Regarding the peace process with the Palestinians, Keyes noted that Netanyahu has “consistently offered and genuinely hopes to begin peace talks with the Palestinians immediately and without preconditions.” The prime minister, Keyes said, still envisions a peace agreement “based on two states for two peoples where a demilitarized Palestinian state finally recognizes the Jewish State of Israel.”
Keyes also took issue with Goldberg’s assertion that Netanyahu mishandled the Iran nuclear issue. “History will judge Netanyahu differently — boldly taking Israel’s case to the American people and Congress to highlight the existential threat of the world’s worst state sponsor of terror seeking atomic bombs,” Keyes wrote. “Netanyahu’s determination over the years to prevent a nuclear armed Iran was a leading force that helped galvanize sanctions against Iran in the first place. Without Israel’s steadfastness, Iran would have had nuclear weapons long ago.”
Concluding his response, Keyes wrote, “Israel’s future has never been brighter. The real pessimist here is not Prime Minister Netanyahu — it’s Jeffrey Goldberg.”
The Deadly Israeli House
There are few weapons as deadly as the Israeli house. When its bricks and mortar are combined together, the house, whether it is one of those modest one story hilltop affairs or a five floor apartment building complete with hot and cold running water, becomes far more dangerous than anything green and glowing that comes out of the Iranian centrifuges.
Forget the cluster bomb and the mine, the poison gas shell and even tailored viruses. Iran can keep its nuclear bombs. They don't impress anyone in Europe or in Washington D.C. Who can even think about genocide in Africa in the presence of the fearsome weapon of terror that is an Israeli family of four moving into a new apartment.
Sudan may have built a small mountain of African corpses, but it can't expect to command the full and undivided attention of the world until it does something truly outrageous like building a house and filling it with Jews. Since the Sudanese Jews are as gone as the Jews of Egypt, Iraq, Syria and good old Afghanistan, the chances of Bashir the Butcher pulling off that trick are rather slim.
Due to the Muslim world's shortsightedness in driving out its Jews from Cairo, Aleppo and Baghdad to Jerusalem, the ultimate weapon in international affairs is entirely controlled by the Jewish State. The Jewish State's stockpile of Jews should worry the international community far more than its hypothetical stockpiles of nuclear weapons. No one besides Israel, and possibly Saudi Arabia, cares much about the Iranian bomb. But when Israel builds a house, then the international community tears its clothes, wails, threatens to recall its ambassadors and boycott Israeli peaches.
Christian ecumenical organization confesses Israel's sins
In a few days, Jews will gather in synagogues around the world to ‎atone for their sins on the holiday of Yom Kippur. They will fast for 25 ‎hours, pray, and hope that by the time they sit down to end their fast in a ‎celebratory meal, they will have been purified of their sins and brought to the level of ‎angels.‎
This year, any Jews having difficulty identifying the sins for which they need to ‎atone can consult the website of the World Council of Churches, one of the ‎many Christian organizations that gather stories and images of Jews behaving ‎badly in the Holy Land and then broadcast these stories and images to their ‎Christian supporters around the world.‎
The WCC does this work in a stated effort to promote peace between ‎Israelis and Palestinians, but officials at the council won't mind a bit if Jews in ‎Israel and the rest of the world use their materials for purposes of self-‎flagellation. It would make them happy -- really happy -- to see Jews join in ‎the chorus of condemnations against the Jewish state.‎
One place to look on the WCC's website is the section promoting its World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel, which takes place every ‎September.‎

The Gaza Tunnels Get Too Much Attention
The attack tunnels dug by the Hamas from Gaza into Israel are great for the public relations of terrorists. They make for a deeply unsettling image that intensifies the threat perception among Israelis. Terrorists want to be feared and the tunnels seem to achieve that goal, despite their limited destructive potential.
In January 2016, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot played into the hands of the Hamas terrorists by saying that countering the tunnel threat was the army's "number one mission this year." Eisenkot's statement showed that he prioritized the tunnel threat over Hezbollah's growing rocket capability to Israel's north or the threat from IS in the Sinai. Moreover, he belittled the serious nuclear threat from Iran.
Similarly, Education Minister Naftali Bennett gave in to the popular mood and exaggerated the threat of the Hamas tunnels. He accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of leaving the cabinet in the dark about the grave danger of the tunnels until after Operation Protective Edge had begun.
A leaked draft of a report by the State Comptroller also criticized Netanyahu, then-Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Yaalon and then-IDF CoS Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz for failing to anticipate the Hamas tunnel threat.
In any case, in the summer of 2014, Israel went on a ground attack to destroy tunnels that crossed into Israeli territory. Heavy fighting ensued, particularly in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood of Gaza City. Forty-one Israeli soldiers were killed and many more injured during the ground phase, which ended after 32 tunnels were destroyed.
Following the development of the Iron Dome system, which has largely neutralized the rocket threat from Gaza, tunnels became an important tool in the Hamas arsenal. They are a low-tech challenge and quite difficult to handle. So far, Israeli efforts to develop technologies to locate tunnels have achieved only partial success.
Yet the tunnels' potential ability to cause significant damage to Israel is itself limited. True, they enable terrorist attacks and/or the hijacking of dead or alive Israelis. While Israeli inhabitants around Gaza are most directly affected and obviously the most concerned, this type of threat, while undoubtedly disturbing, is not new.
Analysis: Hezbollah’s drug trail
The Shin Bet and Israel Police’s thwarting of Hezbollah’s plan to carry out terrorist attacks in the North, including in Haifa, was just another manifestation of the ongoing clandestine war between Israel and the Lebanese Shi’ite organization.
It’s a war whose trademark is not to leave behind fingerprints.
Six people, mostly from one family in the Alawite village of Ghajar on the Golan Heights, were arrested on suspicion of severe security offenses. The village is divided between Israel and Lebanon and is considered by Israeli authorities as a hub for drug smuggling and terrorist activity. In the past, some of its residents were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms for both types of offenses.
The unholy world combining drug smuggling, intelligence operations and terrorist plots is neither new nor surprising.
The CIA, Britain’s MI6, French intelligence and other security agencies around the world have used drug dealers as agents or covers for their operations.
Over the years, Israeli military officers have also been suspected, arrested and charged with drug smuggling or dealing from Lebanon and Sinai. In that sense, Hezbollah is walking in the footsteps of well-set precedent.
British Jewish Groups Welcome Suspension of UK Funding to Palestinian Authority as International Concerns Over Terror Payments Grow
The British government’s decision to suspend funding to the Palestinian Authority amidst growing international concerns over its payments to terrorists and their families marks a “huge victory not only for the pro-Israel community, but also for everyone who wants to see peace in the region,” the head of the UK’s umbrella Zionist organization said in a statement on Friday.
Paul Charney — the chairman of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland — said of the development, which was reported by The Sun, “For years, the ZF and our supporters have been raising this scandal with our elected representatives. Faced with endless obfustications, denials, and plain falsehoods, we never relented in our determination. Martin Luther King said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice, and we’ve seen that today.”
Also praising the move was Simon Johnson, the chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, who said, “It is vital that the Department for International Development is robust in ensuring funds are used to help those in need and not to support destruction and disruption within an already tense political climate. The Jewish Leadership Council will continue to monitor the situation and liaise with DFID where appropriate.”
According to The Sun’s report, International Development Secretary Priti Patel has ordered a freeze in millions of pounds worth of aid pending an investigation into how it is used by the PA.
The report said the British government was aware that many Palestinian civil servants “were doing other jobs while pocketing UK taxpayers’ cash.”
UN Peacekeepers Refused to Help as Aid Workers Were Raped in South Sudan – Report
"United Nations peacekeepers stayed in their bases rather than protect civilians during an outbreak of fighting in South Sudan in July, a rights group has said.
Chinese UN peacekeepers in the capital Juba 'abandoned their posts entirely' at one civilian protection site where tens of thousands had sought safety from successive bouts of fighting, a report by the US-based Centre for Civilians in Conflict (Civic) said...
The failures came amid clashes in Juba between troops from the government's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), loyal to the president Salva Kiir, and opposition forces of his rival Riek Machar. The street battles, in which scores were killed, were the culmination of months of tension between the two factions, and resulted in the flight of Machar from South Sudan.
During four days of fighting between the rival forces, artillery rounds and gunfire hit two UN bases, killing two Chinese peacekeepers.
The Chinese troops subsequently abandoned their posts, leaving weapons and ammunition behind, the report said...
Civilians died inside and outside the UN bases and hundreds – possibly thousands – of women were raped, including many within view of UN bases. Aid workers were also targeted..."
Israeli Foreign Ministry to Appoint New Ambassador to Turkey
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is scheduled to convene its ambassadorial appointment committee on October 27, with the main agenda item being the appointment of Israel’s next ambassador to Turkey.
At the same time, on the same day, Ankara will simultaneously be engaged in appointing its ambassador to Israel.
The appointment is considered to be one of the most delicate posts in the entire foreign ministry, given the years of negotiation required to reactivate the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Dr. Dore Gold, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, will chair the appointments committee meeting.
Turkey severed relations with Israel in 2010, following an incident involving an illegal flotilla to Gaza that included at least one Turkish-owned vessel. Ten armed Turkish “activists” died after attacking the Israeli commandos who boarded the ship to redirect it to Ashdod Port.
Turkey demanded compensation payment to the families, an apology from the Israeli government, and insisted that Israel drop its blockade of Gaza. Outraged Turkish authorities filed legal charges against Israeli military authorities and soldiers who were involved in the incident as well.
Kite, with camera attached, briefly crosses into Israel from Gaza
A kite with a camera attached to it was spotted hovering across the Gaza Strip border fence Saturday, according to the IDF.
The army said Israeli soldiers fired warning shots into the air in response to the kite’s crossing into Israeli territory.
The kite was immediately pulled back into the Strip after the warning shots were fired, Ynet reported.
The incident came amid an upsurge in tensions at the southern border with the Hamas-run enclave.
Deffense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday that while Israel does not want to spark a war with Hamas, it will answer every attack from the Gaza Strip with a “forceful response.” Liberman was speaking specifically about rocket and mortar attacks that have struck Israeli territory in recent days.
On Thursday, an IDF tank hit a Hamas outpost in the southern Gaza Strip in response to a mortar shell fired at southern Israel earlier in the day. Reports within the Gaza Strip also indicated that Israeli forces struck a site in central Gaza, east of the Bureij refugee camp, though that was not immediately confirmed by the IDF.
The mortar shell fired from Gaza struck an open field in the Eshkol region, the army said.
It was the second such attack by Palestinians in two days.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II awarded peace prize in Germany
Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been awarded a prestigious prize in Germany for his peace efforts in the Middle East.
At the award ceremony Saturday for the Westphalian Peace Prize in Muenster’s town hall, German President Joachim Gauck said Abdullah and his fellow Jordanians had “set standards for humanity” for their work in the region’s refugee crisis.
Jordan, with a population of about 6.5 million, is hosting about 635,000 refugees from neighboring war-torn Syria.
The annual prize commemorates the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia, a series of treaties concluded and announced in Muenster town hall in 1648 that ended the Thirty Years’ War and other conflicts.
‘Huge disaster’ averted in Turkey as suspects blow themselves up
Two people suspected of planning a car bomb attack on the Turkish capital Ankara on Saturday blew themselves up after being confronted by police, averting what the justice minister called a “huge disaster”.
The suspects, who both died in the explosion, were believed to be preparing an attack when they set off the explosives, the official Anadolu news agency said.
“A huge disaster has been prevented. It is probable they would have attacked Ankara…. All signs are pointing to the PKK terrorist organization,” Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag told the CNN-Turk broadcaster.
The bombing comes two days before the first anniversary of Turkey’s deadliest terror attack in its modern history in Ankara which left 103 dead. The attack was blamed on jihadists from the Islamic State group.
Ankara governor Ercan Topaca told reporters at the scene it was “highly likely” that the suspects had connections to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Iran’s media considers German female minister a man, sparking outrage over handshake
Iran’s press and social media users blasted a handshake between Germany’s Minister for the Environment Barbara Hendricks and Iranian Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar on Thursday.
The Iranian news outlet IRIB reported that Ebtekar shook a man’s hand while visiting her counterpart Hendricks in Berlin. Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported on Friday that Hendricks is a woman who “looks like a man.”
Tasnim is linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Iran’s radical theological state prohibits hand contact between a religious woman and a man who does not know her. Tehran also mandates a public policy of strict separation between men and women.
“This handshake [created an] uproar for [a] few hours in conservative media & social network pages. They thought the #Germanminister is a man. #Iran,” wrote Sadegh Ghorbani, a Tehran-based journalist, on his Twitter feed.
Prominent Holocaust survivor slams Syria analogies
A prominent Israeli Holocaust survivor from Poland who lived through World War II as a refugee in Russia spoke out what he called “demagogues who falsely compare persecuted Jews to migrants from Syria.”
Natan Rom, 87, who is among the best-known survivors of the group of refugees known as the Tehran Children, spoke out against recent analogies in international media during an interview ahead of the Russia premiere of a 2007 documentary film about the group’s trials.
“The Muslim migrants arriving to Europe are for the most part not refugees but job seekers who belong to what is de facto an invasion,” Rom, nee Norbert Kurtzman, told JTA after the Russia premiere of the film “The Children of Tehran” in the city of Kazan during its Limmud FSU conference of Jewish learning.
“The attempts to pass off the new arrivals, people who left and in many cases participated in a murderous civil war, as refugees and then to liken their experiences to what Holocaust survivors had to endure is false,” Rom, who survived the Holocaust with his sister, said last month.
The rebuke by Rom, a supporter of the left-wing Meretz party and one of the founders of Kibbutz Afikim, followed the publication in August of an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl,” in which the journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof argued that the reasons for the opposition to absorbing Jewish Holocaust refugees in the United States “were the same as they are for rejecting Syrians or Hondurans today.”
Black Lives Matter – vs Israel?
DELEGATIONS OF Israeli police officers who’ve visited in the US share their counterparts’ enthusiasm. Twelve conferences have been held in the US in the last decade, in which over 10,000 local police officers have participated.
Former MK David Tzur, a former Tel Aviv SWAT commander, took part in one of them. “If we stop sending delegations of police officers to the US and hosting American police in Israel, we will just be playing into the hands of BDS,” Tzur says. “There’s a group of people who’s been campaigning to destroy our cooperation for years, but linking American police brutality with training by Israel Police is ridiculous. It has no basis in reality.”
Asked why he thought it was not logical to think that American police officers who’ve participated in Israeli workshops would use this knowledge to harm American citizens, he said that “the US police force has been around for much longer than ours.
“When it comes to traditional policing issues, we are the ones who learn from them. We both benefit from technological developments, and teach each other ideas. The people who are calling for our police cooperation to be severed will also soon be asking for our military cooperation to cease, too. There is no end to it.”
BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti: “the right of our people to the 1948 lands is in danger”
Omar Barghouti is the co-founder of the BDS movement. He lives in Israel because he married an Israeli woman and is a Ph.D. student at Tel Aviv University. Yet he supports the academic boycott of Israel.
Contrary to Barghouti’s narrative, the BDS movement was founded at the anti-Semitic 2001 Durban Conference, not by a gathering of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005. The 2005 boycott call, co-founded by Barghouti, was simply window dressing designed to trick naive Western liberals into thinking BDS is about social justice and equal rights.
In fact, BDS is about destroying Israel and, in their minds, reclaiming not just the territory re-captured by Israel in 1967, but all of Israel.
BDS in its literature, again to fool naive liberals, plays coy with what it means when it says it wants an end to Israeli occupation of “Palestinian lands.” That allows groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and the U.S. Campaign to End to Israeli Occupation to claim that BDS only is about liberating the post-1967 territories. But that vagueness also allows BDS to appeal to those who do not accept the existence of Israel within any border.
That latter goal, the elimination of Israel within any border, is the goal of the BDS leadership. And Barghouti just admitted it on Lebanese Mayadeen TV, where he made clear that BDS was about liberating “the 1948 lands.”
IsraellyCool: Reader Post: When Anti-Normalization Crossed A Line On My Campus
My decision to support Israel impacted my life outside of advocacy – both academically and interpersonally. It takes a lot of courage to approach a group of people who you know don’t like you and or have conflicting issues with, let alone SJP. But by now we have come to accept the fact that the SJP students do not want anything to do with us. They also made it a point to complicate our lives for no reason. We are in the same learning community where we are expected to act professional and respectful toward each other, putting aside our personal differences while in the classroom; but that wasn’t the case between myself and one of the SJP members.
I found myself in the same class as one of SJP’s active members, something that had never occurred in the past, so I expected it to be an interesting experience and it sure was. This was a small business law class, maybe about 10 students, so it was pretty clear and noticeable that she never acknowledged my presence. I was perfectly fine with her attitude towards me until our professor assigned the both of us to work on some class work together. The SJP student was sitting at the desk in front of me with her back towards me, staying exactly in that position after we were assigned to the same group. I was completely surprised by her lack of professionalism in a business class, and was not at all expecting that from her when politics was not on the table. I understood that our beliefs differed but we were in a college classroom given instructions from a professor for a project that had nothing to do with the Middle East. I then asked her if we were going to start doing our work but I received no answer. Luckily, for some unknown reason, perhaps noticing the discord, the professor decided to give both of us different partners to work with.
This behavior from the SJP student was rude, disrespectful and unprofessional. Our views and positions on the “conflict” should not affect our progress in the classroom. This behavior, probably the result of SJP’s “anti-normalization” policy that purposely eschews dialogue, compromise, and reconciliation, needs to end if we want any hope of peace. You can not negotiate, settle or dispute anything without conversation, which needs to begin within our college campuses.
BBC News amplifies inaccurate US claim of ‘new settlement’
The 98 approved housing units – and not 300 as this article inaccurately suggests – are indeed intended to be built in a neighbourhood of Shilo, with the purpose of providing accommodation for residents of the unauthorised outpost of Amona which is to be evacuated according to a High Court ruling.
Notably, the BBC did not tell its readers that part of the story. Instead, audiences were left to reach their own conclusions as to whether a “new settlement” is to be constructed or not.
The impartiality of BBC reporting on the subject of construction in Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria and some areas of Jerusalem is already compromised because of the repeated promotion of a politicised narrative. The bizarre style of reporting seen in this latest article not only does nothing to persuade audiences that the BBC is committed to their going away with an accurate and impartial understanding of the story but also clearly fails to contribute to meeting the corporation’s remit of building understanding of international issues.
Politico and The Washington Post Get Oslo Wrong
When Israeli statesman Shimon Peres passed away, aged 93 on Sept. 27, 2016, it occasioned tributes and expressions of grief from many world leaders. Unfortunately, it also occasioned some bad history. In particular, there was an inaccurate recounting of the Oslo process that Peres participated in by Politico and The Washington Post.
As the U.S. State Department's office of the historian notes, the Oslo accords occurred when:
“On September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiator Mahmoud Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, commonly referred to as the ‘Oslo Accord,' at the White House. Israel accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians, and the PLO renounced terrorism and recognized Israel's right to exist in peace. Both sides agreed that a Palestinian Authority (PA) would be established and assume governing responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over a five-year period. Then, permanent status talks on the issues of borders, refugees, and Jerusalem would be held.”
Peres, as Rabin's foreign minister, participated in the drafting and signing of the accords. For these efforts at peace, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Rabin and PLO head Yasser Arafat.
What happened next?
US bill seeks to keep closer eye on European anti-Semitism
Motivated by what they described as rising anti-Semitism in Europe, members of a Congressional bipartisan task force introduced legislation Friday that aims to increase Washington’s monitoring of anti-Jewish incidents and the steps taken by European governments to combat them.
While much of the nation’s focus was trained on Hurricane Matthew smashing into the southeastern seaboard, Democratic representatives Nita Lowey, Steve Israel, Eliot Engel and Ted Deutch joined Republicans Chris Smith, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Kay Granger and Peter Roskam — all co-chairs of the House of Representatives Bipartisan Taskforce for Combating Anti-Semitism — in introducing the Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2016.
In 2004, then-president George W. Bush signed into law the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act, which provides the legal foundation for an annual State Department report documenting anti-Semitism around the world. Over a decade later, in the face of rising anti-Semitism in Europe, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution in November 2015 calling on the secretary of state to continue robust reporting on anti-Semitism.
After that resolution, however, anti-Semitism continued to flourish.
Police Force Give Go-Ahead to Neo-Nazi Rally, Say ‘No Crimes Committed’
The Cambridgeshire Constabulary have allowed an anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi rally to take place despite knowing that the event was organised by extremists, as they say they believed it to be a charity event.
The police force is the same one which ejected Tommy Robinson from a pub while he was watching football with his children in August.
About 350 skinhead neo-Nazis gathered in Haddenham on the 23rd and 24th September at the rally organised by Blood and Honour, to commemorate the death of its founder Ian Stuart Donaldson in a car crash in 1993.
Blood and Honour has been banned in a number of European countries and Russia, but approximately three quarters of attendees are thought to have travelled from abroad to attend.
A witness to the event, who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC that there were “a lot of cars, a big bonfire and a lot of music. The one that I heard was a song about white power and this kept going on and on. It was very loud and distinctive.”
A permit for the event was required from East Cambridgeshire District Council, and an application was lodged for a “private party with music.” During the application process Cambridgeshire Constabulary was consulted as to whether they had any objections. They said they had none as the organiser claimed the event was being held in support of Help for Heroes.
Axe-wielding man threatens Jews near synagogue in England
A man carrying an axe made anti-Semitic threats to a group of Jews in a town near Manchester, England on Rosh Hashanah.
The man reportedly was inside a vehicle close to a synagogue in the town of Prestwich when he made the threats on Oct. 3, according to The Manchester Evening News.
Police were called to the scene, and later the same day arrested a 45-year-old man suspected of possessing a weapon and committing a racially motivated public order crime.
The man was let out on bail until Oct. 31.
“This was unfortunately a very ugly incident and we are glad that the police response has been so speedy and correct,” said a spokesman for the Jewish group Community Security Trust, according to The Manchester Evening News.
Local police said the incident was still under investigation.
Israel’s Top Wildlife Cop Wins International Award for Protecting Endangered Species
Rony Malka, director of law enforcement for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA), received a 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at the 17th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora on Monday in Johannesburg.
He was recognized for numerous accomplishments during his 40-year career to protect wildlife and improve wildlife law enforcement efforts in Israel.
Since 1997, 96 individuals and/or agencies from 30 countries have received the award, named after the late chief of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.
Malka worked as an INPA ranger, nature reserve manager, and regional director prior before being appointed to his current position in 1998. He obtained a law degree to improve his abilities to combat wildlife crime.
During his career, he reestablished populations of white oryx and onagers; campaigned to create the Marine Peace Park in the Gulf of Aqaba; developed a new enforcement regime for the regulation of wildlife trade; enhanced cooperation among Israel’s law-enforcement agencies; led the promulgation of regulations to prohibit private possession of primates, raptors, and carnivores and prohibit falconry and animal use in circuses; contributed to INPA’s effort to help the Kenya Wildlife Service establish a wildlife forensics laboratory; helped create Interpol’s Wildlife Crime Working Group; and engaged in capacity-building work around the world.
He is currently promoting new regulations to protect endangered species in Israel, including amphibians, reptiles, cetaceans, felids, sharks, rays, and other species.
Israeli Cows are Taking Over the World
Israel’s high-tech expertise is being applied to milk and cheese. Dairy farmers from India to Italy are learning how to increase their yields by traveling to kibbutzim. And that’s no bull.
On a recent hot afternoon, a group of farmers from around the world wandered through the cow barns at Kibbutz Afikim, an agricultural cooperative founded by Jewish immigrants from Russia in 1924. It was late June in the Jordan Valley; the temperature spiked at 90 degrees. But the delegation of farmers had just asked to leave an air-conditioned conference room and use their limited time to see the cow barns. Despite the high temperatures, the nearly 900 cows were calm, many lying in the mud that covers the floor of their barns, which are partly open to the outside and cooled by large fans.
These barns at Afikim, and Israeli milk cows in general, are a growing attraction for visitors as Israel’s dairy industry has emerged as one of the most efficient and productive in the world. Despite limited rainfall and high summer temperatures, Israel has the highest national average of milk production per cow. And amid the fast-growing global demand for dairy products, especially in the developing world, there is increasing interest in how Israel gets so much milk out of each cow and the technology it uses to do so.
“Happy cows give a lot of milk. People from around the world are coming here, and they see that it’s terribly hot, but that the cows are happy,” said Ofier Langer, a former executive at several Israeli high-tech companies who established the Israeli Dairy School six years ago. The school organizes seminars and tours of farms and other facilities. “We have a lot of ways to teach the world’s farmers how to make their cows happy,” he says.
According to the Israeli Dairy Board, dairy and agricultural tours are also organized by the government, corporations, and other organizations. Many of the sites they visit—including dairy barns, milking technology companies, and cattle feed production centers—are located on or were founded by kibbutzim. Because of its connection to the kibbutz movement, an in-depth look at the dairy sector offers these visitors a window into the history and culture of Israel and the changes it has seen over the years. Those who come to see the dairy sector also come away with a deeper understanding of the country.
Netanyahu Responds to News of Bruce Springsteen’s Interest in Visiting Israel: ‘Hey Boss, We Are Waiting for You’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter on Thursday to encourage American singer Bruce Springsteen to visit Israel after reports that the artist had expressed a desire to perform in the Jewish state.
“I really need to play there [Israel],” the superstar rocker reportedly told a fan from Jerusalem. To which the Prime Minister responded: “Hey Boss, I agree. We are waiting for you.”
The fan, Amy Kalman, had flown into New Jersey for a day to attend a book signing for the singer’s new autobiography, “Born to Run.” The mother-of-four joined a line of 2,000 people who came to purchase pre-signed copies of the book and pose for photos with the 67-year-old singer. During that brief moment, Kalman asked Springsteen if he would perform in Israel.
Speaking with The Times of Israel, Kalman said, “I’d been thinking on the plane about, how could I say to him, ‘Nu, play in Israel already.’ But I didn’t get to say any of that because he immediately said, ‘I really need to play there.’ And I said, ‘Yes, you really do!’”
Pope Francis Welcomes 33 Auschwitz Survivors in Vatican
On Wednesday, Pope Francis greeted a group of 33 survivors of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp after his general audience in St Peter’s Square.
Addressing the 33 former prisoners as well as the Polish pilgrims present, the Pope said that the day’s feast of St Faustina Kowalska reminds the world of her message that God’s love “is more powerful than death, than sin and every evil.”
Francis greeted the Auschwitz survivors one by one, as well as family members of prisoners deported to the camps of Ravensbrück, Mauthausen and Flossenbürg.
One former prisoner, Zdisława Włodarczyk, a representative of the Polish Maximilian Kolbe Foundation, said she arrived in Auschwitz when she was a child of just 11, in August 1944, and was liberated by the allied forces on January 27, 1945.
“We were part of the group of the children of Silesia, the last and youngest prisoners of the Auschwitz lager, and we literally survived hell,” she said earlier this week to the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. At the moment of the arrest, “we were torn from the arms of our parents, who were all exterminated.”
Pope Francis visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps last July during his trip to Poland for World Youth Day. For nearly the duration of his two-hour visit to the camps, the Pope remained silent, only exchanging private words with a small group of Holocaust survivors, including a 101-year-old. He also greeted 25 “Righteous among the Nations,” an honorific title bestowed by the State of Israel on gentiles who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews.
Why Did It Take So Long to Love Shimon Peres?
Shimon Peres was in the political arena for more than 60 years, and yet only won the country’s respect in his old age. But that wasn’t just a reflection of his longevity and experience—he earned it by remaining true to his principles, for better and for worse.
There is always something tragic about great men, particularly when they are the last of their generation. This was driven home for Israelis on September 28 with the death of Shimon Peres: former Israeli president, prime minister, foreign minister, defense minister, and practically everything else.
Like Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon before him, Peres seemed to personify both his era and his people. But where Dayan, Rabin, and Sharon personified the staunch soldier, the indefatigable sabra—hard-nosed, stoic, and security-minded—Peres seemed to be a throwback, a holdover, perhaps even an anachronistic remnant of diaspora Zionism’s earliest incarnation: the hopeful dreamer with visions that far outstripped the reality of the real world, and yet seemed somehow just within the realm of possibility.
And this was perhaps why Peres, for most of his career, seemed a somewhat disappointed, even tragic figure. His persona as a kind of apostle, a visionary entranced by the possibilities of the future, never quite captured the hearts of the Israeli people. He served for almost five decades in the Knesset and held almost every major government office, but his tenures at the top were always fleeting and controversial, and he found himself defeated at almost every turn, to the point where he earned the distasteful moniker “loser” from his detractors.

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