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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

From Ian:

Major Documentary on UK Labour Party Antisemitism Premieres in London
Some of the UK’s leading Jewish intellectuals gathered with Labour Party parliamentarians at London’s JW3 Jewish community center on Monday night for the public launch of a major documentary on the issue of antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Read The Algemeiner’s review of “Whitewashed: Antisemitism in the Labour Party”
Among those speaking at the first screening of “Whitewashed” — based on the testimonies of loyal Labour Party members and supporters who submitted evidence to the party’s internal inquiry into antisemitism in 2016 — was award-winning British Jewish novelist Howard Jacobson, whose books include The Finkler Question, a satire on modern British antisemitism.
Jacobson noted that the author of the party’s internal report, civil rights activist Shami Chakrabarti, was quickly elevated to the House of Lords, the British parliament’s upper chamber, after submitting her findings.
Holding up his middle finger, Jacobson said he felt “that was what [Labour Party leader Jeremy] Corbyn was saying to all of us who complained.”
“Corbyn has never yet said ‘antisemitism’ without also saying ‘all racism,’ as though he has to apologize to everybody else before he can apologize for antisemitism,” Jacobson continued.
Three Labour MPs — John Mann, Louise Ellman and Joan Ryan — were present for the screening of the documentary and the discussion afterwards, which took place between Jacobson and academic David Hirsh, who narrated the film, the Jewish Chronicle reported. (h/t Jewess)
Whitewashed: Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party

As reported here, a study by the University of Oslo has found that most anti-Jewish violence in France, Sweden, Germany and the UK is committed by Muslim extremists. This is all the more striking considering that Muslims currently make up only relatively small proportions of the populations of these countries.
Scarcely less notable (though no surprise to some of us) is that left-wing violence was the next largest category of anti-Jewish attacks, with right-wing violence trailing into insignificance. Only in Germany were right-wing attacks more numerous than left-wing ones, and then by a relatively small margin.
Last weekend, London hosted an al Quds-day rally. Al Quds-day was introduced to the world in 1979 by the Islamic Republic of Iran “in opposition to the existence of Israel”. The day itself is therefore innately anti-Israel and anti-Jew.
The good news was that the number of marchers, estimated at around 250, was lower than in previous years. Better still, they were stopped from claiming the streets as their own by brave and determined Jewish resistance activists. These faced them down by effectively saying, as the anti-fascists had said of Oswald Mosley’s marchers in London’s East End in the 1930s: “They shall not pass”; and they brought the Islamo-fascists to an unexpected halt.
The bad news was that those marchers were carrying the flag of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed genocidal terror organisation, and screamed vile anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement. This took place under the noses of the police who were reportedly following guidance, in accordance with British government policy, that distinguishes the “political” wing of Hezbollah from its terrorist activities.
David Collier: Avi Shlaim, the foolish old man and the adoring church goers
It is the 27th June 2017. I have just returned from an event at St James’s Church, an Anglican church in Piccadilly, London. It has a history of anti-Israel activism. Tonight Avi Shlaim was speaking at the ‘Embrace Annual Lecture’. The official subject was to ‘explore Britain’s historical and current relationship with Palestine’. The main drumbeat provided another anti-Israel festival. This one was delivered with the impeccable presentation and captivating tones of Avi Shlaim.
This event wouldn’t have gone ahead without an anti-Israel under-current. The main purpose of the evening was to raise funds for ‘Palestinian refugees’, wherever they may be. When it came to the fund raising speech, we were even told that some ‘Palestinians’ in Akko (Israel) are living in what is basically a refugee camp. With this level of distortion trying to send church goers reaching for their wallets, a little balance would have been a very distracting and self-destructive strategy. It was simply not going to happen.
Hidden dangers
But I find events like this far more dangerous, far more damaging, than a university hate-fest or Al Quds day march. At a university, the hate is in your face, out in the open. Everyone knows the score. Here in the church it is very different. The hate is hidden, insidious and dealt out with a smile. Avi Shlaim starts speaking, and with a CV like his, who would doubt his words. A packed crowd of about three hundred and fifty, are about to feed from the poison tree, believing it to be hand-picked, freshly squeezed, fruit juice. The type of fruit juice the people in this church would buy in Waitrose.
Avi Shlaim and the missing pages
Shlaim recounts a history that is entirely devoid of balance and actual context. It isn’t that Avi is factually wrong about the nuts and bolts of the conflict, nor is it that Avi Shlaim is deliberately deceptive. Shlaim is simply building his understandings on assumptions that are fundamentally flawed. It doesn’t matter how much he reads, or what data is placed on the page, Avi Shlaim will not be able to order it properly. For as long as he fails to address the basic mistaken concepts driving his ideas, he will remain forever wrong.

The Balfour Declaration Was More than the Promise of One Nation
As November approaches, we will see signs of unease among liberal supporters of Israel, who have been persuaded that the Balfour Declaration bears the stigma of empire. Critics of Israel cite it “as evidence for their allegations that Israel is a colonial cancer in Southwest Asia,” laments one pro-Israel Jewish student, who concludes that it should not be commemorated at all: “When we allow Israel to be labeled a product of the widely hated British Empire, we surrender both our agency and our purpose.”
But why allow Israel to be so labeled? As I’ve shown, the Balfour Declaration was a pledge made by Britain to the Jewish people on behalf of the Allies, including the United States. In the League of Nations mandate, the establishment of a Jewish national home formally became an international legal obligation, entrusted to Britain for implementation. Arthur Koestler was wrong: the Balfour Declaration wasn’t only the promise of “one nation.” Sweeping the Balfour Declaration under the rug would simply be a surrender to partisan distorters of this history. But since Palestinians and their friends won’t leave it under the rug anyway, why not simply teach the truth about it? The purpose of my essay was to promote just that.
But the centennial should not be marked only as a milestone in Israel’s legitimacy in the world. It was also a turning point in the standing of Zionism among the Jews. A wave of euphoria swept the Jewish world, from New York and London to Kiev and Odessa. “After November 1917,” wrote Isaiah Friedman, “Jewry was never the same again. . . . The Zionists had won a tremendous victory. Henceforth, they became the central and most dynamic force within Jewry.”
That couldn’t have been said after the first Zionist congress in 1897. But with the Balfour Declaration, world Jewry entered the Zionist era. We owe the most poignant expression of this to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the reviver of modern Hebrew. He left instructions as to how the year of his death should be recorded on his tombstone. The inscription reads that he died on “26 Kislev, Year Six to the Balfour Declaration.”
This is the Jewish world we still inhabit today. The British later faltered in their adherence to the Balfour Declaration, as did many of the Allies who first backed it. The Jews did not, and they kept its promise.
Knesset Speaker Edelstein Gives Speech at Russian Parliament 33 Years After Release From Soviet Prison
Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein delivered a historic speech Wednesday at the Russian Federation Council — the upper house of the Russian parliament in Moscow — 30 years after he was released from a Soviet labor camp for his Zionist activism.
“Thirty-three years ago I was imprisoned here in Moscow by the authorities of the Soviet Union for teaching the Hebrew language,” Edelstein said in Hebrew to open his address.
“Today, I stand before you as the speaker of Knesset Yisrael (Israel), and, in the same language which I was imprisoned for teaching, I bless you with the ancient Jewish blessing, ‘Shalom aleichem,’” he said, using the greeting for “peace be upon you.”
Edelstein added, “Even in my finest dreams, I never believed I’d reach this moment.”
Speaking before the Russian Federation Council is an honor typically reserved for heads of state. Edelstein was invited by Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko to deliver a speech in reciprocation for her address to the Israeli Knesset last year. During Matviyenko’s visit, the Knesset and Federation Council signed a cooperation agreement.
Lapid to Spanish Parliament: Stop funding anti-Israel NGOs
The Spanish Parliament in Madrid, NGO Monitor and ACOM presented their joint report on Wednesday, highlighting Spanish funding for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that carry out political warfare campaigns against Israel.
At this event, MK Yair Lapid, Chair of the Yesh Atid party, encouraged his counterparts in Spain to take steps to prevent government funding for such organizations, many of which support BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel, incite to violence, and/or promote anti-Semitism. Some of these groups also have alleged ties to terrorist organizations.
MK Yair Lapid stated during the proceedings at the event in Parliament, "I am here to deepen the understanding of the Spanish leadership - that the anti-Israel BDS movement supports terror and pushes peace between Israelis and Palestinians further away. We will work with our friends in the government and opposition to end continued funding, which originates with Spanish taxpayers who oppose terror with all their hearts, for pro-BDS groups."
Olga Deutsch, Director of NGO Monitor's Europe Desk, added, "For years, NGO Monitor has warned of the European funding processes that enable NGO anti-Semitism, incitement, and BDS. MK Lapid understands the seriousness of our findings, and we thank him for contributing to this important dialogue with his fellow parliamentarians in Spain."
We Were at the Anti-Israel Panel Peter Beinart Defended—Here’s What Really Happened
In a recently published op-ed in The Forward, Peter Beinart discusses a video produced by The Israel Project that covers a pro-Palestinian panel discussion on Capitol Hill. Beinart claims that, here at The Israel Project, we don’t want you to watch the hour and a half video of the event. On the contrary: we encourage it. It’s why we published our own commentary on the event. Three TIP fellows were at the event that took place on June 8th, and we want to point out some key issues with Beinart’s article and also direct attention to a major flaw with the event as a whole.
In his June 21 op-ed, Beinart bashes The Israel Project’s video illustrating anti-Semitism in the June 8 panel discussion, which was sponsored by Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) on behalf of the No Way to Treat a Child campaign. Beinart calls the TIP video “a shameless attack,” and defends the content in the panel discussion. In the video, TIP highlights the last speaker on the panel, Nadia Ben-Youssef, who makes a point of placing the Palestinian narrative into the context of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. “The occupation is an outgrowth. The occupation is a symptom,” Ben-Youssef said. “We’re going to start this story in 1948.” Through this rhetoric, Ben-Youssef espouses the belief that the very existence of the state of Israel is the root of the problem for the Palestinians. The TIP video points out that this sort of delegitimation of Israel is unacceptable.
Beinart, however, expresses a slightly different view. In his op-ed, he says, “I believe that in a post-Holocaust world, it’s important to have one country on earth that assumes a special obligation to protect Jewish life.” This directly contradicts the video he is defending, in which Nadia ben-Youssef says, “Nakba. Remember that name, say that name. It means catastrophe in Arabic, and it refers to the founding of the state of Israel in 1948.” She goes on to belittle the nature of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, saying “as if that makes sense.”
TIP CEO: Peter Beinart Whitewashed Anti-Israel Event on Capitol Hill
When journalist Peter Beinart criticized a video that The Israel Project produced of a recently-held anti-Israel event on Capitol Hill, he failed to mention that every speaker opposed Israel’s existence, and instead misleadingly directed his criticism at the group that exposed the speakers’ inflammatory rhetoric, the CEO and president of The Israel Project wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in The Forward. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.
The event in question took place in early June under the sponsorship of Defense for Children International — Palestine (DCI-P) and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), both of which support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, Josh Block observed. The BDS campaign seeks to delegitimize and isolate Israel, according to its founders and supporters, in an effort to bring about the end of the Jewish state.
Each speaker, including Jennifer Bing of AFSC, Brad Parker of DCI-P, Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch, and Nadia Ben-Youssef of Adalah, supported the BDS campaign through their organization or as individuals.
Another speaker at the event, Yazan Meqbil, is a Palestinian student attending college in the United States whose Twitter timeline reflects clear support for BDS.
De Blasio vows to fight BDS, protect NY Jewish community
Mayor Bill De Blasio expressed his commitment to combat the Boycott Divestment and Sanction movement and defend the Jewish community against antisemitism, during an event on Tuesday evening.
The event, held at the Mayor’s official residence of Gracie Mansion in Manhattan, aimed to celebrate Jewish heritage and included the participation of local Jewish politicians, Consul-General of Israel Dani Dayan and other leaders of the community. “We know there has been a rise in antisemitism in this country, and we will not tolerate it here in New York City,” De Blasio said. “We honor every faith in New York City, this is part of our mandate and this is something we have to teach the world.” “The message is abundantly clear: we cherish the community, we protect the community, we cannot be great without every one of our communities,” he added.
De Blasio also praised Israel as the “answer to industrial oppression going back thousands of years” and spoke about the proximity between the City of New York and the State of Israel.
“There is a lot of history that teaches us why the Jewish people have needed a homeland and finally having a homeland, they deserve to know that that homeland will be protected for the long haul,” he said. “This is why I oppose the BDS movement so strongly.”
Yusef Daher Descends to New Low
Yusef Daher, the Executive Secretary of the Jerusalem Inter-Church Center, has posted some ugly stuff on his Facebook page and on his Twitter timeline. Daher is supposed to promote peace at the JICC — which is supported by the World Council of Churches — but for one reason or another, the licensed tour guide has posted a number of images that legitimize, promote or downplay the horror of Palestinian violence against Israelis.
But yesterday, June 26, 2017, Daher hit a new low, posting an image of a young girl holding a plastic water bottle as if to throw at a target off in the distance. She’s standing in front of a stenciled image of a young girl — with a pigtail just like hers — throwing a Molotov cocktail.
The comments posted in response praise the young girl, calling her “precious” and “spontaneous” and “humble.”
Both the image and the comments are indicative of a thoughtlessness and contempt for the victims of Palestinian violence on the part of both Daher and his friends on Facebook.
Do Daher and his friends on Facebook really want to encourage young Palestinian girls to aspire to throwing firebombs at Israelis? Is that the proper message for the Palestinian Christian community to be showing to Christians (and Muslims) in the region?

Controversial Ryerson field placement official on 'leave'
Ryerson U student Kathryn Wallace, a Social Work student going into her third year was told by her Field Coordinator Heather Bain -- the same woman who banned Rebecca Katzman -- that she can't do her placement at a men's organization because it promotes violence. -When Kathryn admitted she'd been the subject of sex assault herself, Bain gave her a colouring book to use on Wednesday June 7, 2017. (Michael Peake/Toronto Sun)
Controversial Ryerson field placement coordinator Heather Bain has left the building, the Toronto Sun has learned.
An “automatically generated message” from Bain's e-mail address says she's “currently on leave” from her position as field education coordinator in Ryerson's School of Social Work.
Bain refers students needing placements for September to another e-mail address or to her immediate boss, Kristie Wright.
Whether that “leave” is with pay or without - and whether she'll be back to Ryerson's leftist social work faculty in some other role - is anybody's guess.
Michael Lumish: This Week on Nothing Left
Because the J-Air studios are being relocated, no live shows are currently available until late July, so Michael and Alan are pre-recording a 1hr program each week featuring two new interviews.
This week speak with Avi Abelow, founder of Israel Video Network which produces many of the Israel advocacy video clips that surface on Facebook. We also hear part 2 of an interview with British political analyst and commentator Denis MacEoin who did some research on Bishop George Browning, head of Australian Palestinian Advocacy Network.
Isi Leibler is having some time off but will return when we resume live programs.
2 min Editorial: Islamic terrorism
7 min Avi Abelow, Israel Video Network
28 min Denis MacEoin, UK commentator on Bishop Browning
Amazon removes controversial bestseller about Palestinian history
Amazon has removed "A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era," a book penned by Israeli author, publicist and editor Assaf A. Voll which inspired a heated debate and became a huge Internet sensation two weeks ago.
The historical account, which raked the impressive second spot on the online shopping site’s list of best-selling books in the category of ‘Israel and Palestine History’ and topped the ‘Middle East History’ section, evoked a lot of fury from many surprised customers.
Why were they so upset? Because the paperback, which is described on the site as “the comprehensive and extensive review of some 3,000 years of Palestinian history,” is actually an empty book. All 120 of its pages are blank.
Voll, the man behind the sensation, told the global pro-Israel organization United with Israel that he had “no intention of deceiving anyone.” Voll says that Amazon sent him a message explaining their decision to remove the book from the site.
According to him, the message stated: “During a quality assurance review of your CSP catalogue, we found that your book(s) are resulting in a disappointing customer experience. Indicators of a poor customer experience may include customer refunds and feedback. As a result, the following book(s) have been removed from sale on Amazon.”
Algemeiner Editor-in-Chief: Anti-Israel Media Bias Rooted in Preconceived Narratives Imposed Upon Journalistic Community
Anti-Israel media bias is rooted in a culture in which “a certain narrative is imposed upon the journalistic community and there’s little room for dissent,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during a recent appearance in the UK on Latest TV.
“As a product of that,” Dovid Efune noted, “stories are sought to fit into a preconceived narrative, as opposed to being a reflection or reality, truth and the correct context, which is the ultimate calling of journalists.”
“The good news,” Efune went on to say, “is the media climate is changing quite radically, turning on its head, and it’s entering a period that we call the democratization of information, which means that people, individuals, communities are able to engage in the spread of information. And my sense, certainly, is that the majority of people are interested in the truth, they’re interested in justice, they’re interested in accuracy, they don’t have the time and the head space for preconceived narratives. And in this new climate, a great opportunity exists for the truth to see the light of day.”
“The same we’re able to set the politicians straight when they get it wrong — we can vote them out of office — we can set the journalists straight, and say listen, if you’re not going to be fair and accurate and balanced here, we’re not going to spread your content on social media and nobody is going to read it,” Efune concluded.

Daphne Anson: "A Sensitive Topic For Many Muslims": The BBC Hits A New Low
Is there no limit to the depths to which the BBC will sink in its biased reportage concerning Israel?
On its news site currently is a story, that sounds more of a propagandistic beat-up, about Muslim schoolgirls from a Berlin school being "racially abused" on a visit to Holocaust memorials in Poland.
For the BBC, as for much of the Left, the "victimisation" of Muslims, real or imagined, is a topic worthy of the maximum exposure, for Muslims, it seems, are "the new Jews".
Thus the BBC's salivating over the theme that "German Muslim schoolgirls who went on a visit to Holocaust memorials in eastern Poland say they were racially abused by locals during their trip" is almost palpable.
Gratuitous attacks on anyone, irrespective of race or creed, are unconscionable and despicable.
But what the blazes does the following statement have to do with the report in question?
"The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British mandate Palestine, on land which later became part of the state of Israel"
Indy cherry picks quote from Israel Electric chief to impute maximum malevolence
An article published at The Independent (Gaza’s only power plant back online after two months following emergency fuel delivery from Egypt, June 23) grossly distorted the comments of Yiftah Ron-Tal, chairman of Israel Electric Corporation, regarding the electricity shortage in Gaza.
The article, by Mid-East correspondent Bethan McKernan, does at least touch upon the fact that a power struggle between Hamas and the PA lies at the root of the Strip’s current electricity shortage. But, she also added the following about Israel’s putative role in the crisis.
Israel was still covering around one-third of Gaza’s power needs, but in the last few days the flow had been cut by 40 per cent at Mr Abbas’ request, the AP reported. When criticised over the decision, which impacted Gaza’s hospitals’ ability to care for patients, Israel Electric director Yiftah Ron-Tal responded, “It’s our job.”
However, the quote, suggesting that head of Israel Electric was indifferent to the suffering of Gazans, was cherry picked from a longer interview published at Haaretz on June 23. As you’ll see, the ambush interview by Haaretz journalist Nir Gontarz is appallingly unprofessional but nonetheless at least includes Ron-Tal’s full reply.
In which the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen repeats his ‘no human shields in Gaza’ claims
Bowen then revisits another of his previously promoted claims concerning Hamas’ use of human shields, while steering listeners towards an incomplete understanding of that term.
“I’ve never seen any evidence of Hamas forcing civilians in Gaza to stay in the firing line. But Israelis repeat time and again that Hamas hides behind human shields.”
The programme closes with Bowen opining that the terror organisation whose activities and abuses he has downplayed throughout the whole report should be party to negotiations.
“Until matters change in Gaza there will be more wars between Hamas and Israel. Change means a new attempt at peace with the participation and consent of all sides. Right now, there is no chance of that happening.”
Perhaps one of the more disturbing points emerging from this series of programmes by the BBC’s Middle East editor is the fact that the passage of time has done nothing to alter his opinions and analysis.
Having publicly claimed that he did not come across human shields in the few days he was in Gaza in the summer of 2014, three years later he cannot accommodate the ample evidence that shows otherwise. Having promoted his own pseudo-legal interpretations of the Law of Armed Combat in his 2014 reporting from Gaza, he is incapable of subsequently adjusting that view in line with the facts.
That, of course, is what happens when the agenda takes precedence over the actual story.
Haaretz (Again) Corrects Inflated Rafah Casualty Figure
For at least the second time, CAMERA has prompted corrections at Haaretz of an inflated figure for Palestinian fatalities Aug. 1, 2014, during so-called "Black Friday," during an Israeli operation to rescue captured soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin.
Most recently, Haaretz's Gideon Levy had reported earlier this week ("Israel's Gold Star Family," June 25, 2017) reported:
Between 130 and 150 people – most of them civilians, including women and children – paid with their lives for his killing and the abduction of his body during the 2014 Gaza war.
Editors apparently forgot that they previously corrected this very same figure in 2015. The Jan. 13, 2015 correction, prompted by CAMERA, had stated:
The exact number of Palestinians killed in Rafah on August 1, 2014, following the abduction of Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin, is not known. However, it seems that the number is lower than the initial Palestinian estimate (between 130-150 fatalities), which was quoted in a Haaretz editorial ("Don't interfere with the probes," on January 4, 2015). According to an investigation by the Israel Defense Forces, 41 Palestinians were killed, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights put the figure at 123.
Los Angeles Times Corrects 'Palestine' Terminology
For at least the sixth time in over a decade, CAMERA has prompted a correction in The Los Angeles Times regarding inaccurate "Palestine" terminology. In the most recent instance, a June 22 calendar article ("Roger Waters is up for any backlash from anti-Trump commentary in his new album and tour") had referred to "tensions between Israel and Palestine."
Editors agreed with CAMERA that the article should have referred to tensions with the "Palestinian Authority" or "Palestinians," as opposed to tensions with Palestine. The following correction appears in today's print edition on page 4:
Roger Waters: An article in the June 22 Calendar section about Roger Waters' new album said Waters supports Palestinians' rights but incorrectly referred to tensions between Israel and Palestine. It should have said tensions between the Israeli government and the Palestinians.
The digital article has yet to be corrected. CAMERA has previously prompted numerous Los Angeles Times corrections on references to Palestine relating to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza post 1948.
DPA Corrects: Jerusalem in Israel, Not Palestinian Territories
CAMERA's Israel office yesterday prompted correction of a DPA (Deusche Presse-Agentur)photo caption which erroneously placed Jerusalem, Israel's capital, in the Palestinian territories. As noted yesterday on CAMERA's Snapshots blog, the English caption of the German news agency had stated:
Gilad Grossman, spokesman of the human rights organisation Jesch Din, in Jerusalem, Palestinian Territories, 26 June 2017. The Israeli government has approved the first state-sanctioned settlement in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the Oslo peace process. The settlements are widely regarded as illegal under international law. Jesch Din is one of the organisations contesting the move.
The erroneous captions were also distributed on the photo sites of leading news agencies AP and AFP. Following communication from CAMERA staff, DPA editors noted that the misinformation was a translation error, and that the original German was correct. Editors commendably corrected the English captions (see below), which now refer to Jerusalem, Israel. The corrected corrections now appear at AP and AFP.
Boston Holocaust memorial vandalized; local man charged
A man from the Boston area was arrested and charged after he allegedly caused serious damage to the New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts on Wednesday morning, according to local media.
Eyewitnesses reported that the alleged perpetrator used a large rock to destroy a pane of glass at the memorial.
Boston police charged the 21-year old man, James Isaac, with two separate charges of malicious destruction of personal property and willful and malicious destruction of a place of a monument.
The suspect was arrested by Boston police shortly after carrying out the act, according to witnesses.
Erected in 1995, the Holocaust memorial consists of six towering glass columns engraved with over two-million numbers. Each tower represents a major Nazi extermination camp, but can also be interpreted as representing the six million Jews that perished in the Holocaust. Steam rises up through the towers from metal grates below.
Ukrainian officials post image of vandals defacing Holocaust memorial
City officials in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv published online security camera footage of vandals painting Nazi symbols on a Holocaust memorial in a bid to identify them.
The municipality made the unusual move last week on its website, in which it showed an image of an individual wearing a backpack and a hat squatting in front of a part of the Space of Synagogues memorial display.
The city inaugurated the display last year on part of the former Golden Rose Synagogue complex with support from some Jewish groups and despite opposition by others, who warned the space could invite vandalism and desecration because it resembles a park.
In the June 20 incident, several young men wrote neo-Nazi slogans on stone slabs meant to evoke headstones. They also drew a swastika and ultra-nationalist Ukrainian symbols, as well as the words “white power” in English.
Israel to present new agricultural innovations at international expo
Israel is slated to host the 2017 Fresh Agro-Mashov International Agriculture Exhibition this week, one of the biggest international expos of its kind in the world.
The two-day convention, which will be held on June 27-28 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center, was organized by the Mashov Company, a 26-year veteran in organizing international exhibitions focused on agriculture, gardening and water, infrastructure and environmental technology.
The exhibition will include professional panels and booths where dozens of new and innovative produce varieties would be introduced to thousands of visitors.
Once available to the general public, the colorful array of new fruits and vegetables promises that this coming summer will be delicious.
The new La Jolla watermelon is expected to be one of the main attractions in the expo. Averaging 6 kilograms (13 pounds), La Jolla is the medium-sized "brother" of the Maxima watermelon, which averages on 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and Anna, which comes in just under 5 kilograms (11 pounds).
The seeds for all three are produced by Origene Seeds, which focuses on research, plant breeding, seed production and processing of hybrid produce varieties.
Israeli exports to India up 60% over past 10 years
Bilateral trade between Israel and India has risen by some 2,000% since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1992, growing from $200 million in 1992 to $4.17 billion in 2016, the Economy and Industry Ministry said Tuesday.
In a special report on Israel and India's trade ties, issued ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic three-day visit to Israel next week, the ministry said that Israeli exports to India have grown by 60% over the past decade. Modi is expected to be accompanied on his visit to Israel by a delegation of some 100 business representatives.
In 2016, Israeli exports to India totaled $1.15 billion (not including diamonds), a dip of 13%, from 2015, when they totaled $1.3 billion. The 2015 figure was 21% higher than the previous year.
"India is a major and important export destination for Israel," Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen said. "Bolstering the political relations with India and the Indian prime minister's historic visit to Israel will lead to an increase in trade beyond defense exports."
Mariah Carey, Citing ‘Love Affair’ With Israel, Promotes New Dead Sea Cosmetics
Five-time Grammy Award winning pop diva Mariah Carey arrived in Israel this week to promote her new line of beauty products, launched in collaboration with Dead Sea-based Premier Cosmetics.
“We can call [my relationship with Israel] a love affair,” she said at a press conference Monday in Tel Aviv. “I’m just so happy to be back in the Holy Land. It’s beautiful here.”
Carey — who reportedly received $1.4 million to appear as the face of the Israeli cosmetics brand — downplayed how the anti-Israel BDS movement might target her for collaborating with an Israeli company and visiting the Jewish state.
“I’m not a political person,” she said. “I don’t care what other people say about different political things that don’t pertain to my life. I don’t think it’s my place to act like a political figure. That’s not who I am.”
Carey’s 6-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, accompanied her during the visit to Israel, where she visited the Dead Sea for the first time.
“I’m hoping they’ll have a good time and won’t get salt in their eyes,” the singer said.
Key Crusader Battle Comes to Life in Israel for 828th Anniversary
A re-enactment of one of the most important Crusader battles that occurred in Jerusalem — the Battle of Hattin in 1187 — takes place in Israel from June 29-July 1 for the battle’s 828th anniversary.
The battle, waged between the Crusader states of the Levant and the forces of the Ayyubid Sultan Salah ad-Din, marked the final defeat of European Crusaders in the Holy Land. The Crusaders’ defeat led to Muslims regaining military dominance in the area.
Every year, the historical re-enactment group “Regnum Hierosolymitanum” meets with similar enthusiasts from Israel and around the world to reconstruct the events that led up to the Battle of Hattin as well as the battle itself.
During the re-enactment, which is based on exhaustive academic and archaeological research, participants are assigned to one of the two armies — that of King of Jerusalem Guy de Lusignan, or Salah ad-Din. The characters featured in the re-enactment include knights, mercenaries, Christian pilgrims, countrymen, Bedouins, musicians and others.
Paddington Bear author Michael Bond dies aged 91
British children’s writer Michael Bond, the creator of the much-loved fictional character Paddington Bear, has died at the age of 91, his publisher HarperCollins said on Wednesday.
Bond’s famous series about a friendly teddy bear from darkest Peru sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and was turned into a blockbuster film in 2014.
“He was a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers,” Ann-Janine Murtagh, executive publisher at HarperCollins Children’s Books, said in a statement.
“He will be forever remembered for his creation of the iconic Paddington, with his duffel coat and Wellington boots, which touched my own heart as a child and will live on in the hearts of future generations,” she said.
Mother of Comedic Actor Sacha Baron Cohen Donates Two Medicycles to Magen David Adom With Ali G Inscription
Two medicycles donated by the mother of British-Jewish actor Sacha Baron Cohen to Magen David Adom (MDM) this weekend bear an inscription that pay homage to the comedic giant’s renowned alter-ego, Ali G.
The two vehicles given to MDM, Israel’s national ambulance service, carry the word “Respect!” — a popular catchphrase commonly said by the actor’s satirical fictional character.
The medicycles were dedicated at a ceremony in Tel Aviv attended by family, friends and MDA representatives, the Jewish Chronicle reported. Baron Cohen was unable to attend and instead sent a video tribute to his late father Gerald, who died last year. At the ceremony, composer and musician Erran Baron Cohen played some of Gerald’s favorite songs on the keyboard.
Gil Weiser, Baron Cohen’s uncle, founded Israeli Friends of Magen David Adom.
IsraellyCool: Palestine 1900-1918
A fascinating historical film with footage from the Holy Land early last century, containing some valuable nuggets of information inconvenient to the haters, such as:
1:40 – mention of how neglected the land is
6:38 – mention that two thirds of the population of Jerusalem are Jewish
10:48 – Chaim’s Weizmann’s statement that we Jews intend to live in peace with the Arabs…as a people returning to its homeland (which did not stop the Arabs from massacring Jews not long afterwards)

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Our weekly column from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

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flippers and snorkelJenin, June 28 - Educators in the Palestinian Authority school system and in the parallel institutions run by the United nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees voiced concern this week over the impending two-month summer break from formal studies, during which the hard work they invested inculcating in the children vengeful animosity toward Jews might dissipate.

With the school year reaching its formal completion this Friday, teachers and other staff members at schools across the Palestinian Territories expressed anxiety over how successful they had been at instilling lasting Jew-hate in their students during the last ten months. Summer camps will provide some of the same treatment to the children during July and August in informal settings, but the educators can only hope the hard work they have put into growing the next generation of stabbers, bombers, vehicular homicide perpetrators, hijackers, and inciters to murder does not go to waste once their young charges leave behind the school walls for the summer.

"I know summer camp can provide some of that content, but I still worry," admitted Jenin sixth-grade teacher Sobbi Bor. "When the kids move up to seventh grade in September, will they retain the same level of murderous ill will, or will their new teachers have to go over some of the ground I was supposed to cover, just to get them up to speed? It's a real worry of mine - basically, was I good enough? Am I good enough?"

For veteran Palestinian educators, the feelings are all too familiar. "Man, not a year goes by that I don't dread the summer for this reason," concurred Mustafa Massikr, who teaches fourth grade in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. "It doesn't get any easier. My mind fills up with visions of the children losing what I've tried to teach them, and actually starting to see Jews as human, or at least deserving of compassion or respect. Only through mindfulness training have I managed to overcome those nightmares and push forward."

He added that he had yet to be disappointed in any of his classes. "I'm happy to say the nightmare has never come true," he boasted, but with relief visible on his face. "I mean, it's possible there were former students who may have gone astray like that, but you never find out about those cases directly. Their colleagues or neighbors always make sure to kill them off for collaborating, but there are enough personal vendettas or 'family honor' killings disguised as vigilante justice for 'collaborators' that you can never be sure, and I'm OK with that."

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The Chicago Dyke March Collective issued a statement on their telling a lesbian marcher with a rainbow flag with a Jewish star to leave.

It is a truly amazing statement.

On June 24th, 2017, a small group of individuals were asked to leave Chicago Dyke March for expressing Zionist views that go directly against the march’s anti-racist core values.
...Zionism is an inherently white-supremacist ideology. It is based on the premise that Jewish people have a God-given entitlement to the lands of historic Palestine and the surrounding areas. 
Yes, the Chicago Dykes are saying that people who believe in the right of Jews to national self-determination are white supremacists.

These paragons of intersectional virtue say that of all the people of all types that attend their events, only Jews have to pass an ideology test to make it acceptable to them.

The Jewish state has about 125,000 black Jews from Africa as full citizens. It also has millions of Jews from Middle East countries whose non-Jewish neighbors are not considered "white" by these people.

What do you call people who automatically consider all Jews from any background who live in ISrel  to be "white supremacists"?

This is pure, unadulterated antisemitism.

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From Ian:

Pressuring the PA Is Key to Ending Terrorist Payments
by 13 Senior Former Israeli Security Officials
The Palestinian Authority considers legitimate all forms of "struggle" to achieve their goals and therefore pays salaries both to incarcerated and released terrorists from every terrorist organization, including Hamas, according to PA law that refers to the terrorists as the "fighting sector of Palestinian society."
Providing funds to the PA to enable it to keep paying those salaries, which are soliciting terrorism, is illogical, illegal and immoral.
There is no chance that the PA will stop paying those salaries unless it is pressured politically, legally, and most of all economically. The U.S., Europe and Israel have approached the Palestinians on this matter many times and beyond cosmetic adjustments nothing has changed.
Even confronted with direct demands from the new U.S. administration, the PA makes it clear that it is not going to make a real change in its terrorist payments policy. Only real, tangible pressure will make the PA leadership seriously consider the need to change.
There is no reason to believe that if the U.S. Congress passes the Taylor Force Act, the PA's security cooperation with Israel is going to stop. The security cooperation serves the interests of the PA. It is focused on thwarting terrorist attacks planned by Hamas, the PA's nemesis, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Islamic State. These attacks may kill Israelis, but are also intended to embarrass the PA and weaken it in the power struggle against Hamas.
The real threats to the PA are its commitment to unattainable political goals and to a long-lasting struggle against Israel instead of a genuine peace process, its low level of functioning, the corruption and the lack of a system that guarantees popular trust in the leadership.
There is little we can do about these, but supporting the just demand to stop paying terrorists with real pressure is very much in accord with Israel's security interests.
'The next war will be bloody' A trip along Israel’s tense northern border
Israel’s northernmost village of Metulla with a population of close to 2,000 people sits on the Lebanese border and despite the ever-present risk of conflict with Hezbollah, the community continues to grow. Metulla is one of the communities that is expected to be evacuated in the event of a war between Israel and the Shiite Lebanese terror group.
“The next war will be pretty bloody for both sides. Israel will evacuate its population and I suggest the Lebanese do the same,” Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, the head of Alma, an organization that gives briefings on Israel’s security challenges on the northern border told The Jerusalem Post. As Lebanesefarmers worked a field in the distance, and tractors waddled down the streets of Metulla, the situation seemed quiet, but threats overshadow the border.
Israel has never carried out a mandatory evacuation of any community since the founding of the state. However, the IDF is now concerned about the very real possibility of ground attacks by the terror group against Israeli civilian communities in border communities in addition to the threat posed by Hezbollah’s stockpile of more than 100,000 rockets.
“Hezbollah knows how to fight and how to move large forces,” Zehavi said, stressing that the group will likely not “occupy” any Israeli villages but aims to create fear by massacring Israeli civilians.
“It will be a totally new battlefield than what we saw in 2006,” she said i reference to the Second Lebanon War, explaining that the group has significantly increased its battlefield knowledge due to its fighting in Syria for the regime of Bashar Assad.
“Everything they learn in Syria, including from the Russians, is being brought here.”
Iran's flag on Israel’s border: ‘We are coming’
Lebanon seems to be having a flag sale. Iranian flags, Hezbollah, the UN, Spain, Palestinian flags. They are all flying provocatively along the border with the northern Israeli community of Metulla. Just meters from the fence that separates the countries, not far from the site of a 1985 terror attack, Hezbollah has festooned the roads with signs of its presence. It’s purposely done so Israeli residents can see the flags and the billboards next to them. In Metulla there is a memorial for the 12 Israeli soldiers killed in the 1985 suicide bombing, while just across the border a huge billboard celebrates the same killing.
I spent Tuesday touring the Lebanese and Syrian borders with Israel to see the tense situation in the north of the country. The flags across the border seemed representative of the situation that prevails today. Next to the Hezbollah flags is a small post that has a UN logo. Near it the Amal Shia Lebanese movement has erected a large banner reading “to he of pure hands and a generous soul, thank you speaker of parliament Nabih Berri.” On the banner is the Iranian flag. Here is a visible presence of Iran just a stone’s throw from Israel. It’s not the only Iranian symbol here. On a hill overlooking new houses being constructed in Metulla is another huge poster with a photo of the Dome of the Rock. The face of Ayatollah Khomeini glowers down over the dome and Hezbollah has written “we are coming” in Hebrew and Arabic. They’ve put a giant Palestinian flag next to the poster.
The message is clear, as it is disconcerting. Here is Iran glowering down on Israel from the north. As we toured the border area with Lt. Col. (Res.) Sarit Zehavi, the head of Alma, an organization that gives briefings on Israel’s security Challenges on the Northern Border, what should be a tense situation seemed quiet. This area has known war for many years. There is an old British police fort here from the 1930s when terror also struck at Jewish communities. Zehavi stresses that the situation along the Lebanese border has not affected tourism or housing prices, and the new construction is evidence of that.

Israel changes tactics to tackle street terror
Most of the recent attacks in the Old City of Jerusalem have been with knives, occasionally with guns and rarely now with bombs.
The pattern of individual “lone wolf” assaults matches those in the UK, France, Germany and Belgium. Many are carried out by one or two individuals, armed with knives and crashing into crowds or bus queues with hijacked vehicles. Israel is undergoing a continuous update of its counter-terror strategy, involving public awareness, new police and counter-terrorist force tactics and improved surveillance.
The fresh thinking has lessons from which Britain could learn as it also faces the threat of street terrorism, although the circumstances are very different. “London and Jerusalem are very different in scale alone,” says Micky Rosenfeld, the senior police liaison officer in Jerusalem. “You can cross central Jerusalem by motorbike in around eight minutes.”
In the past 18 months there have been 12 attacks near the Damascus Gate. Earlier this month Hadas Malka, a 23-year-old border police sergeant major, was fatally wounded when three men attacked officers at the entrance with a knife and home-made pistol. In all there have been 45 victims of lethal attacks since the autumn of 2015. Most were Israelis but two were American and one British. Last April exchange student Hannah Bladon, 20, was stabbed on a tram by a deranged man armed with a kitchen knife.
“Unfortunately, I think we really have to learn to live with this kind of terrorism — and just do everything to minimise its effect,” the commander at the Israeli Defence Force’s Counter Terrorist Training School explains. “Their tactics change all the time, and we must change ours.”
The commander, who declines to be named, says the public has to be made vigilant, though not anxious. He ventures that he thinks more public awareness is needed in Britain now.
But there are huge differences between Israel and Britain. He shows us practice videos of attacks at bus queues with crashing cars and knives. In most examples a bystander draws a weapon and shoots the perpetrator.
JCPA: Whatever Happened to the Term “Palestinian State?”
Abbas and senior Palestinian Authority officials also have not heard Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu say the words “Palestinian state.” On the contrary, Netanyahu made it clear that he is willing to give the Palestinians a “state minus” and made it clear that that security control along the Jordan River will remain in the hands of Israel, as well as full Israeli sovereignty in east Jerusalem.
The political contacts made between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority and Israel are supposed to get new momentum after the Eid al-Fitr Muslim holiday. Senior teams with five people from each side are scheduled to go to Washington for separate discussions. The American administration is still formulating the “deal,” but there is no sign so far that the “deal” includes the establishment of an independent “Palestinian state” whose capital is east Jerusalem.
Senior officials in Fatah say in private conversations that Mahmoud Abbas may still regret that he rejected the deal proposed by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, because it now seems that what President Trump is going to offer him is much less than what Olmert offered.
The pressure on the Palestinian Authority leadership is great. Abbas is afraid of betrayal by the “moderate” Arab states on the Palestinian issue. There are signs that they are ready to begin the normalization process with Israel before the Palestinian issue is solved, and after the Riyadh conference attended by President Trump on May 20, 2017, there is a feeling among the Palestinians that Trump can recruit the Arab countries for almost any mission.
There is no doubt that President Trump is trying to square the circle and find a creative solution that both sides will find difficult to reject. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority still don’t know what he is planning, but it appears the Palestinian side is much more worried than the Israeli side. It appears that the Palestinians who crave to hear the words “Palestinian state” will need to wait at least several more weeks in order to understand the essence of the “deal” formulated by President Trump. In the meantime, they are very worried and probably with good reason.
US ‘not pulling out in any way’ from Mideast peace efforts, says official
The State Department rejected claims that a meeting last week between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and senior White House official Jared Kushner went awry and an unconfirmed report that US President Donald Trump was ready to pull the plug on efforts to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert reiterated that Trump has made Mideast peace “one of his top priorities,” adding that allegations that Abbas left his meeting with Trump’s son-in-law fuming were “false,” while conceding that “some meetings and conversations may be a little bit more difficult than others.”
Palestinian sources told Hebrew and Arabic media last week that the sit-down had not gone well and that the Palestinian leader had accused the US of taking Israel’s side while refusing US demands that Ramallah cut off payments for some convicted terrorists and their families.
Kushner met with Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday, along with Trump’s international negotiator Jason Greenblatt.
Nauert said Tuesday that the Trump administration knows “that this is not going to be a one-shot deal” and that peace would not materialize “in one meeting or one trip.”
Haley promises to block any appointment of Palestinian official to senior UN post
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley indicated she would block any appointment of a Palestinian official to a senior role at the UN because Washington “does not recognize Palestine” as an independent state.
Speaking on Tuesday before the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, Haley was asked about the move by the US in February to oppose the appointment of former Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad to be the new world body envoy to Libya.
“Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the US, called Mr. Fayyad a peace partner,” Representative David Price (D-NC) was quoted by the Jewish Insider as saying during the hearing. “Was Mr. Fayyad denied simply because of his nationality? Would any Palestinian have been blocked? As you know, this isn’t a state representative.”
Haley said that while Fayyad was “very well qualified and is a good, decent person,” the decision was based on the fact “that the US does not recognize Palestine… and because that is how he was presented, we did oppose that position.”
“If we don’t recognize Palestine as a state, we needed to acknowledge also that we could not sit there and put a Palestinian forward until the US changed its determination on that front,” she said.
Reenactment of historic partition vote at UN this November
This November, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon will host a reenactment of one of the key moments in the process of the establishment of the State of Israel, the United Nations General Assembly vote to partition the British Mandate in the land of Israel into an Arab and a Jewish state.
The reenactment will be held on the 70th anniversary of the vote, which took place on November 29, 1947.
Diplomats who voted in favor the establishment of a Jewish state will take part in the event along with their colleagues from around the world. Jewish community leaders and pro-Israel supporters will attend the event as well. During the reenactment of the vote, the hall will be redesigned to appear in its original state and the delegates will sit in their designated seats from 1947.
“We are proud to celebrate next year seventy years since Israel’s establishment,” said Ambassador Danon. “The vote on November 29, 1947 was a milestone on the path leading to the creation of the State of Israel. Despite the attempts at the UN to question our right to exist, we will present the support that Israel receives from so many countries around the globe as we celebrate seventy years of success and prosperity,” the Ambassador concluded.
Conflict Will Remain until Palestinians Accept Israel
This [month] marks the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, in which Israel captured parts of Egypt, Syria and Jordan, including the Old City of Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.
Since that time, even as every Israeli yearns for peace, we have been subjected to constant pressure to make a deal with the Palestinians and to exchange land for it. We've tried many times, but every effort has fallen apart.
Most see this as an issue of negotiations and compromise. Nevertheless, a process to end a conflict without one side emerging as victor while the other accepts defeat in its aims would be ahistorical.
Throughout history, peace has emerged only when war and conflict has ended. As many historians and political scientists have attested, victors have achieved long-term peace by identifying the core of the enemy's ideological, political, and social support for a war, fiercely striking at this objective, and demanding that the enemy acknowledge its defeat.
In fact, a cursory reading of modern history amply demonstrates that defensive positions and appeasement bring about greater conflict and bloodshed. This has certainly been true of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, which has cost both sides more lives since the Oslo Peace Process began than in the many decades leading up to it.
US court to decide if Israel terror victims can be paid with Iran artifacts
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide on a long-running legal battle over whether Persian artifacts in Chicago museums can be seized as compensation for victims of a terror attack in Israel.
The court will have the final word in the more than decade-long saga between Iran and five US citizens, who blame the Islamic Republic for its support of terror group Hamas.
The case highlights the difficulty for victims in obtaining judgments in their favor against sovereign states accused of supporting organizations considered by Washington to be terror groups.
The last decision in the case favored Tehran: a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that the artifacts being kept at the Field Museum and at the University of Chicago were immune to seizure.
The case stems from a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem that was carried out by Hamas.
Togo blocks Syrian efforts to thwart 'Africa-Israel' summit
A Syrian bid to have Israel's invitation to an "Africa-Israel" summit in Togo this October revoked has been thwarted by the host country.
Israel's improving ties with African countries, a process Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu helped kickstart by visiting the continent earlier this month, appears to be making Arab countries anxious.
After Israel was invited in January to take part in this October's AU summit in the Togolese capital of Lome, Arab League member states called for an emergency summit to impede Israel's participation.
Syria, which was itself expelled from the Arab League amid the civil war there, submitted an official letter of protest over the conference. According to the document, which has been obtained by Israel Hayom, Syria is demanding that Israel's invitation be revoked. Syria also said it does not want Israel to regain observer status in the AU.
The Syrian Embassy in Nigeria delivered the letter to the Togolese Embassy there on June 1.
According to the Syrian letter, the pro-Israel initiative would "adversely affect the Palestinian cause and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the occupied Arab territories, including the Syrian Golan Heights, and could lead to a rift in the Arab-African relations."
Army nabs would-be stabber at Bethlehem checkpoint
A Palestinian woman was detained Wednesday while trying to cross a West Bank checkpoint with a knife, apparently while on her way to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.
Border police officers who searched the 36-year-old at the crossing near the city of Bethlehem found the weapon during a search, police said.
The woman, from the town of Yatta, near Hebron, was taken for questioning, where she reportedly told investigators she wanted to carry out a stabbing attack in Jerusalem.
Nobody was injured during the incident, which came less than two weeks after three Palestinian men carried out an attack in the Old City of Jerusalem that killed a Border Police officer, 23-year-old Hadas Malka.
Since September 2015, some 43 Israelis, two visiting Americans, an Eritrean national, a Palestinian man and a British student have been killed in stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks by Palestinian assailants. In that time, more than 270 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.
Israeli airlines sued over claims of 'violating' Arab passengers
Israeli airline companies Arkia and El Al were presented with a legal challenge this week after being sued by three female Arab-Israeli students who claim to have been brutally frisked without cause before boarding a flight from Serbia to Israel.
The three students booked an organized tour in Serbia that was offered by Israeli airline Arkia.
Upon their return to Israel they were asked to step away from other group members and frisked in a manner that they claim to be brutal and without due cause.
El Al is jointly being sued as it provides all Israeli airlines with security services outside the country. The students are being represented by the lawyer Awni Banna.
The students had been asked to remove their clothes and were thoroughly frisked by an all-female team of Israeli security workers.
Allegedly, the students were told that unless they comply with all of the demands made to them by the female security team they would not be allowed to board the flight home.
They were asked to remove their clothes, searched in a way they felt is inappropriate, and one student was ordered to hand over her mobile phone for further inquiries, claim their lawyers.
Allegedly, one student fainted during these procedures.
'Israeli readiness prevented mass damage from global cyberattack'
Three Israeli companies reported they were hit on Tuesday as part of a global cyberattack that began in Russia and Ukraine and quickly spread across Europe and to the United States, wreaking havoc on government and corporate computer systems.
The National Cyber Defense Authority in the Prime Minister's Office said that Israeli companies hit by the ransomware attack should contact it for assistance and not pay the hackers.
The virulent data-scrambling software infected scores of computers across Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, the U.K. and the U.S. Several multinational firms said they were targeted, including U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck, Russian state oil giant Rosneft, British advertising giant WPP, and the French industrial group Saint-Gobain. But the impact on Israel seems to have been marginal.
The attack came two months after another global ransomware assault, the "WannaCry" virus, hit 100 nations.
Some IT experts identified the latest virus as "Petrwrap," a modified version of the Petya ransomware that hit last year and demanded money from victims in exchange for the return of their data.
60% of illegal Palestinian homes in Area C still standing, IDF says
Sixty percent of illegal Palestinian structures in Area C of the West Bank have not been destroyed since 2010, the head of the area’s enforcement division Marco Ben-Shabat told a Knesset committee on Tuesday.
Until 2010, only 10% to 15% of such structures were taken down and over the last seven years only about 30 or 35% have been demolished, which means that about 60% are still standing, Ben-Shabat told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee during a hearing on the matter.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Avi Dichter of Likud mused that any mayor of a city with those kinds of tax collection numbers would have been replaced.
Ben-Shabat blamed the enforcement failure in part on the 100% increase from 2015 to 2016 in petitions to the High Court of Justice against such demolitions.
In actual numbers for 2015, he said, the Civil Administration identified 945 illegal Palestinian structures, of which 335 were destroyed. Last year there were 941 structures, of which 490 were taken down.
A new island in the Mediterranean... just off Gaza
At first glance the video looks like a promotion for a luxury offshore development, a Dubai Palm-style project on the Mediterranean. Then it becomes clear it's about Gaza.
Israel's intelligence and transport minister has long pushed the idea of an artificial island off the coast of the Gaza Strip, with plans for a port, cargo terminal and even an airport to boost the territory's economy and connect it to the world.
But now the minister, Israel Katz, has released a slick, high-production video setting out his proposal in more detail, complete with a dramatic, English-speaking narration, colorful graphics and stirring music.
"The artificial island initiative is aimed at providing an answer to a reality that is bad for the Palestinians and not good for Israel," says the narrator, acknowledging that the aim is in part to change the view that Israel is to blame for the deteriorating circumstances of Gaza's two million people.
The Islamist militant group Hamas has controlled Gaza for the past decade, during which time Israel and neighboring Egypt have maintained a tight blockade, restricting the flow of goods and people in and out, in part to pressure Hamas.
Egyptian Air Force destroys ISIS convoy carrying weapons to Sinai
The Egyptian Armed Forces released a video on Tuesday showing the country's air force destroying an Islamic State convoy of weapons near Egypt's western border with Libya.
The successful operation came as part of continuing Egyptian efforts to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in the Sinai Peninsula, as the convoy was headed toward that area and would have brought weapons and supplies to Islamic State-affiliated terrorist groups there. Some of the weapons would have traveled further and would have been smuggled into the Gaza Strip.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi recently ordered the large-scale mobilization of Egyptian forces in the Sinai Peninsula as part of the emergency steps.
Due to the large number of troops in Sinai and agreements with Bedouin tribes in the peninsula, Egyptian forces have managed to confiscate large quantities of weapons and locate tunnels used to smuggle arms between the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza.
Egypt’s Sisi Approves Deal to Hand Over Strategic Red Sea Islands to Saudi Arabia
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ratified a treaty that hands over two strategic islands in the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, despite protests about the move in Egypt.
The deal to hand over the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir was reached in 2016 after a visit to Egypt by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman. Yet the deal has faced widespread opposition and legal challenges by opponents who accuse Sisi of selling out the country for Saudi money. Nevertheless, the deal was approved by Egypt’s parliament and was signed Saturday by Sisi.
The uninhabited islands that sit on the southern entry to the Gulf of Aqaba were originally given to Egypt in 1950 by Saudi Arabia, in order to protect them from Israel. Later, the islands played an important role in setting off the 1967 Six-Day War when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, preventing Israeli access to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
United Nations peacekeepers maintain a presence on Tiran Island as part of the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty. Under the treaty’s terms, Israel gave its approval for the Egyptian-Saudi agreement as long as the Saudis maintained the treaty’s clauses pertaining to Israeli shipping through the Straits of Tiran.
Israel, Jordan and Russia Reportedly Negotiating Safe Zones in Southern Syria
Russia is reportedly in the midst of negotiations with Israel and Jordan to create safe zones in southern Syria that would shield Israel from an Iranian-led “Shiite corridor” developing on the Jewish state’s northern border.
Russian media reports state the negotiations were initiated following four recent US-led coalition airstrikes on Syrian military targets in that area. The talks are focusing on creating zones for the respective militaries to operate on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, adjacent to Israel’s northern border.
Reports of the negotiations follow the firing of mortar shells from Syria into the Israeli Golan Heights last weekend, which prompted the IDF to respond with a retaliatory strike in Syria.
During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in March, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his strong opposition to Iranian forces and terror proxies — many equipped with Russian-made heavy artillery — operating in Syria, near northern Israel. Netanyahu has lobbied for a security zone along the Israel-Syria border as part of any future negotiated resolution to end the Syrian Civil War.
Syrian Opposition Leader Says Real Enemy Is Iran, Not Israel
A leading member of Syria’s political opposition said most Syrians view Iran as the real enemy and not Israel, adding that Israel could do more to help the Syrian people.
“We want peace with Israel, and today, among the opposition in Syria, most people understand that the enemy is Iran and not Israel, so there is a good chance that there will be peace in the future,” said Salim Hudaifa, a former Syrian military officer who serves as a political representative of the opposition’s Free Syrian Army, at the Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan.
Hudaifa is a former intelligence officer who abandoned Syria’s military in the 1990s and eventually gained asylum in Denmark. During the Syrian Civil War, Hudaifa was recruited by the US to head a program to train the Free Syrian Army, but the program was eventually abandoned by the US Defense Department.
“Israel needs to do more and help the rebels. People here are disappointed [with Israel]. There are also quite a few who think that [the Israelis] are helping [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, because they see that the Israeli-Syrian border is quiet,” Hudaifa said during a forum attended by Israeli dignitaries such as Gilead Sher, the Jewish state’s former chief peace negotiator.
“I think [Israel] can be more proactive and help us,” added Hudaifa. “Regarding the treatment of the wounded in your hospitals, it certainly improved Israel’s image in the eyes of Syrians, but only in a limited way. The reason is that the Arab media does not report it.”
Why Israel Destroyed Syrian Tanks Last Weekend
As Syrian government forces, with help from Iran and Russia, mount an offensive to drive rebel groups from their strongholds in the southwestern part of the country, and the rebels counterattack, fighting has intensified in Quneitra just over the border from the Israeli Golan. Last weekend, ten Syrian mortar and tank shells—aimed at rebel troops along the border—landed in Israel, causing the IDF to respond by attacking Syrian positions. Ron Ben-Yishai explains:
[T]he Syrian army tossed aside all of its rules of caution and fired at the rebel forces that attacked it without considering the fact the fire could spill over into Israel. The Syrian army usually avoids firing into Israeli territory, knowing how rapidly and aggressively Israel will respond, as part of its policy not to allow any fire into, or violation of sovereignty on, its territory.
This Israeli policy stems from the understanding that failure to respond aggressively to any spillover into Israeli territory, even an unintentional spillover, will be interpreted as a violation of Israeli sovereignty and could turn from a drizzle into a flood, not to mention wearing out the Israeli deterrence in the Golan Heights. Israel, therefore, has made it a point to respond. . . .
Saturday’s errant fire was unusual in two aspects: first, it included an unusual number of mortar shells and tank projectiles that landed in an open area in Israel, as opposed to the usual spillover of one or two mortar shells. Saturday’s incident also included direct tank fire, and the shooters were perfectly aware of the fact the shells would hit Israeli territory.
Fmr. Deputy IAEA Director: Agency Must Reopen Inquiry Into Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Research
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sufficient cause to reopen its investigation into the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear research, the agency’s former deputy director told Fox News on Sunday.
Although the IAEA made a “political” decision in December 2015 to end its investigation into the PMD of Iran’s nuclear research, unresolved issues and new revelations—including fresh allegations that Iran is working with North Korea on its ballistic missile program—provide sufficient reasons for the IAEA to reopen the PMD investigation, Olli Heinonen told Fox’s James Rosen.
While Heinonen said that Iran is not necessarily in violation of the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “the IAEA cannot prove that everything is okay and all nuclear material is under IAEA verification scheme,” he added.
In the memo, Heinonen explained that the PMD investigation ended in 2015 “in order to proceed to the JCPOA’s Implementation Day, which occurred on January 16, 2016.”
“Despite Tehran’s deficient cooperation, the IAEA found some man-made uranium particles at a location in Parchin, where an explosive test chamber associated with PMD studies was believed to have been located and subsequently dismantled,” Heinonen recalled. “The IAEA concluded that Iran’s explanations with regard to the purpose of the chamber did not match its own findings. Such questions would normally trigger follow-up actions such as taking of additional samples, visits to relevant sites, and interviews of relevant persons, according to standard safeguards practices. Subsequent IAEA reports, however, do not indicate that any such steps have been conducted – a situation very likely attributed to the Board’s decision to close the PMD file.”
Global Anti-Financial Crime Agency FATF Keeps Iran on Economic Blacklist
An intergovernmental organization created by G7 nations to combat financial crimes including money-laundering and terrorism financing is to keep Iran on its economic blacklist, in a major blow to the Tehran regime’s hopes of gaining unfettered access to the international financial system following the 2015 nuclear deal with six major world powers.
At its plenary in the Spanish city of Valencia last week, the Financial Action Task Force – made up of 37 member states and two observers, Israel and Saudi Arabia – decided to keep Iran on its “Public Statement” – effectively a blacklist that prevents those countries listed on it from accessing banking and other financial services.
At present, only two countries – Iran and its ally North Korea – are present on the list. In its statement on Iran, the FATF said that while it “welcomed Iran’s high-level political commitment to address” a FATF Action Plan agreed in October last year and confirmed that it would not reimpose punitive “countermeasures” on Tehran, it remained concerned that the regime had not yet fulfilled its obligations under the plan with regard to money laundering and the financing of terror.
“Until Iran implements the measures required to address the deficiencies identified in the Action Plan, the FATF will remain concerned with the terrorist financing risk emanating from Iran and the threat this poses to the international financial system,” the FATF stated.
Qods Day Commemorations Highlight Tehran's Global Reach
The Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies abroad on Friday commemorated Qods (Jerusalem) Day, an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan and established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to express support for Palestinians and opposition to Israel. The regime has not shied away from reiterating its call for Israel’s destruction during the annual event. While the majority of people inside and outside of Iran (including Sunni Arabs) do not partake, Qods Day events held in several continents highlight the Islamic Republic’s soft-power influence and global reach.
Lebanese Hezbollah supporters mark Qods Day, June 23.
In his Qods Day statements, Lebanese Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah underscored the extension of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” in the Levant. Nasrallah – who answers directly to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – threatened that a war between Israel and Lebanon or Syria would draw “thousands” of fighters from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.
Media outlets affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have thus far omitted Nasrallah’s specific reference to those countries and especially Iran, likely because they seek to downplay to domestic audiences the prospect of a large number of Iranians deploying into yet another war. Iranian military deployment to Syria has proven to be a contentious issue at home.
In word and deed, the Islamic Republic has sought to expand its foothold in the Levant to project power and create strategic depth. It loudly calls for fighting and destroying Israel. For instance, the IRGC-controlled Iraqi Harakat al Nujaba formed its “Golan Liberation Brigade” earlier this year, with the expressed goal of taking the Israeli-held Golan Heights.
Violence against Women: Some Inconvenient Data for the Corrupt UN
A 2016 study by the same ministry revealed that no fewer than 86% of Turkish women have suffered physical or psychological violence at the hands of their partners or family. According to the ministry's findings, physical violence is the most common form of abuse, as 70% of women reported they were physically assaulted.
Violence against women is a cultural practice, and culture here is a blend of derivatives including religion and politics. Frenchmen, for instance, did not develop a habit of beating their wives during the German occupation. Nor did the Cypriot men after Turkey invaded the northern third of their island.
Violence finds particularly fertile ground in societies where the dominant "culture" is derived from Islamist conservatism. At the beginning of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, for instance, a Turkish professor of theology, Cevat Aksit, said during a television show that: "Women who are not fasting due to menstruation and eat on the street during Ramadan can get beaten".
How does Erdogan's government respond to that? Not by law enforcement but by gender-based segregation. Bursa, one of Turkey's biggest cities, recently launched a project to designate separate railway carriages for women on intra-city trains, to make women "comfortable" during their rides.
All that is normal in a country where the most popular political figure, Erdogan, is a man who once said that "women should know their place," and that "gender equality is against human nature", and his deputy prime minister once told women not to laugh in public.
So, tell us, Ms. Simonovic: Do Turkish men beat and sometimes kill their wives because of Israeli occupation? Is there "a clear link" between Turkey's rising numbers indicating violence against women and "Israel's prolonged occupation?"
Erdogan Seizes 50 Syriac Churches and Monasteries, Declares Them Turkish State Property
The Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has seized control of at least 50 Syriac churches, monasteries, and cemeteries in Mardin province, report media sources from Turkey:
The Turkish-Armenian daily Agos reports:
After Mardin became a Metropolitan Municipality, its villages were officially turned into neighbourhoods as per the law and attached to the provincial administration. Following the legislative amendment introduced in late 2012, the Governorate of Mardin established a liquidation committee. The Liquidation Committee started to redistribute in the city, the property of institutions whose legal entity had expired. The transfer and liquidation procedures are still ongoing.
In 2016, the Transfer, Liquidation and Redistribution Committee of Mardin Governorate transferred to primarily the Treasury as well as other relevant public institutions numerous churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other assets of the Syriac community in the districts of Mardin.
The Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation appealed to the decision yet the liquidation committee rejected their appeal last May. The churches, monasteries and cemeteries whose ownerships were given to the Treasury were then transferred to the Diyanet.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Man Who Told Wife He Was Going To Be Suicide Bomber Just Hiding Affair (satire)
A Palestinian woman discovered her husband was having an affair when the suicide bombing her told her he was going to commit never happened, local sources have reported.
Neighborhood families in this city of 40,000 buzzed with the story this morning that a Hamas man had told his wife Saturday he was leaving town to become a martyr in a “commando operation” suicide bombing against Israel, but that no such attack took place, and no news reports surfaced of even a foiled attempt. When her call to his mobile phone failed to connect, she tried from a friend’s device, and a woman answered. The wife heard her husband’s voice in the background, giving panicked instructions to his mistress to pretend he was not there, but the wife convinced the woman to come clean. The identity of the couple has not been specified in the reports, but some versions of the story have it as taking place within the Al Qar’an clan of local renown.
“Hamas is not shy about trumpeting when someone conducts a martyrdom operation, even a failed one,” observed Dawood Shreim, a grocer. “So when no announcement of an attack on the Jews came out, and no occupation forces reported arresting anyone in connection with an attempted suicide bombing, well, it’s no surprise the missus got suspicious. A small part of me suspects the story is just a juicy rumor, but the details ring true. It’s just too believable.”

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.

In response to a Haaretz article yesterday (highlighted here) showing that the Palestinian Authority has nearly stopped paying for Gaza medical patients to get treatment in Israel, the PA has responded exactly how one would expect:

They blame Israel.

They claim that it is Israel, not them, who are restricting patients from being treated in Israel. A spokesman for the PA health department explicitly denied that there was any change in their own policies.

However, the Haaretz article was well sourced. Physicians for Human Rights - Israel documented that some 90% of requests to the PA for medical treatment were being ignored and a number of family members of sick children who had routinely been able to get treatment in Israel were interviewed about their frustration on the sudden change in policy.

It is of course no coincidence that the PA policy towards patients in Gaza coincides with its policy limiting medicines, anesthesia and electricity to Gaza hospitals.

They are literally complicit in killing their own people. But they are embarrassed when that fact is publicized.

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.

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