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Thursday, February 23, 2017

From Ian:

The centenary of the Balfour Declaration
The men who passed the Balfour Declaration believed that they were not taking away one ethnic community’s land to give to another; instead they were taking away land that had for four centuries since 1517 belonged to the Ottoman Turks, and giving it to a national homeland for the Jews, without prejudicing the rights of the Palestinian Arabs. Both communities were native to the land for centuries, after all.The way that it would work, as Churchill pointed out in his 4 July 1922 speech as Colonial Secretary, was by the development of the League of Nations’territory through irrigation of the Red Sea and electrification of the region, making it for the first time economically and agriculturally possible for everyone to live there. One might today think in the light of later events that that was naive, but it was the way the Cabinet felt about the future of the Mandate. It was idealistic rather than, as anti-Israel activists try to argue, cynical.
By February 1918 Balfour was telling a friend: ‘My personal hope is that the Jews will make good in Palestine and eventually found a Jewish state.’ To his relation Lady Rayleigh he said that July: ‘The Jews were too great a race not to count and they ought to have a place where those who had strong racial idealism could develop on their own lines as a nation and govern themselves.’ And that ‘nothing but the Holy Land would satisfy their aspirations.’ When she pointed out that the ‘the Arabs will make difficulties: they say the land is theirs, they are three to one of the Jews’ he answered ‘But there are difficulties in whatever you do.’ He was even more explicit in August 1919 when he wrote: ‘Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-old traditions, in present need, in future hopes, of far profounder importance than the desires and prejudices of the seven hundred thousand Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.’ At the end of his life he said that on looking back it was the thing he was proudest to have done.
Today, from Morocco to Afghanistan, from the Caspian Sea to Aden, the 5.25 million square miles of territory belonging to members of the Arab League is home to over 330 million people, whereas Israel covers only eight thousand square miles, and is home to seven million citizens, one-fifth of whom are Arabs. The Jews of the Holy Land are thus surrounded by hostile states 650 times their size in territory and sixty times their population, yet their last, best hope of ending two millennia of international persecution – the State of Israel - has somehow survived. A century on, the Declaration stands as a righteous blow for genius, development, progress and freedom. Foremost among the types of people who admire these phenomena are the Chinese, who should therefore also celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
Sir Eric Pickles: Planting trees in the bastion of democracy
The Jerusalem Hills are one of the most beautiful sights in the world. The peaceful, rolling green hills, thick with trees and vineyards, are world renowned and deeply evocative.
On a clear day you can see for miles at Jerusalem’s Yad Kennedy Memorial in the Aminadav Forest. So I’ve been led to believe. Last Wednesday was not one of those days. In true British style, heavy mist had fallen upon Jerusalem and rain fell relentlessly sideways.
The inclement weather had arrived just in time for me to plant one of the trees awarded to me by Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) to celebrate my recent knighthood. This moving gift was a particular honor for me and I’d been looking forward to this moment.
I first came to Israel in 1980 and fell in love with the place and its people.
Israel is a bastion of democracy in a region plagued by chaos and autocracy.
Convicted Killer of Israelis Finds Friends on the Radical Jewish Left
Odeh has found allies in the Arab-American community in Chicago, where she lives. That’s disheartening, because one would like to think that the Arab-American community is as horrified by Odeh’s terrorism as everyone else is.
As it turns out, though, Odeh’s Arab-American allies have proven rather ineffective. The Arab-American Action Network (AAAN) — a group that Odeh works for — has advanced two arguments in her defense. One is that Odeh “misunderstood” the question on the form; that’s obviously absurd.
The AAAN’s second line of defense is that Odeh confessed to the bombings only after several weeks of “torture” and “sexual abuse” by Israeli interrogators. That, of course, conflicts with the fact that Odeh confessed after just one day in jail. And the AAAN can’t explain the bombs found in Odeh’s apartment, the statements of her co-conspirators or her undisputed involvement with a terrorist group.
So Odeh has been looking for other allies. And she’s found one — on the edges of the Jewish community.
The far-left JVP has announced that Odeh will be one of the featured speakers at its national conference in Chicago at the end of March.
JVP was founded by three undergraduates at the University of California, Berkeley. It’s ironic that an organization founded by college students should be embracing someone who murdered two college students. I suppose as long as she didn’t murder any members of JVP, they don’t consider her to be the enemy.



NY Times Op-Ed: Muslim Brotherhood Not Terrorists
The New York Times Wednesday posted an op-ed by Gehad El-Haddad called, "I Am a Member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Not a Terrorist." Well, that's comforting. We were under the distinct impression that the Muslim Brotherhood does in fact have a history of terrorism and is the Ur-mother of all Islamic fundamentalist terror groups today. Good thing the Times corrected us.
It's unclear how a man who claims in the opening sentence that he wrote it "from the darkness of solitary confinement in Egypt’s most notorious prison, where I have been held for more than three years" got an op-ed published in the Times, but let's just move on to the blatant lies contained in the piece itself.
"We are not terrorists," El-Haddad, the official spokesman for the MB begins. "The Muslim Brotherhood’s philosophy is inspired by an understanding of Islam that emphasizes the values of social justice, equality and the rule of law." Well, at least he didn't say that his understanding of Islam emphasizes "peace"; we'll give him points for that.
He went on describe the Brotherhood as "a morally conservative, socially aware grass-roots movement that has dedicated its resources to public service for the past nine decades. Our idea is very simple: We believe that... the test of faith is the good you want to do in the lives of others, and that people working together is the only way to develop a nation, meet the aspirations of its youth and engage the world constructively."
He left out the part about destroying western civilization from within and paving the way for a worldwide caliphate, but I suppose he had to keep the op-ed brief, considering he was writing it in dark solitary confinement in Egypt's most notorious prison.
Corrupt State of Affairs at the International Federation of Journalists?
Participation by journalists in political events, especially those which they are covering, is a serious violation of Agence France-Presse's commitment to "rigorous neutrality" and its pledge that it "is independent of the French government and all other economic or political interests."
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) press release is based on a falsehood: that AFP, relying on "misinformation from Israeli extremist websites," unfairly sanctioned its reporter Nasser Abu Baker, and includes a call to action to hundreds of thousands of journalists. It is evident that there is no truth behind the International Federation of Journalists' lofty "respect for truth."
Nor is there any justice at the IFJ, which pretends to fight for freedom of press and against discrimination, but which provides cover and comfort to Abu Baker, and which, based on that falsehood, actively discriminates against Israeli journalists, denies them their freedom of press, and endangers their lives in the West Bank by sending the message to Palestinian officials and journalists that the Israeli reporters are not welcome there.
That Abu Bakr was a delegate to the Fatah Congress and also ran in the elections was first covered in the Palestinian media. There is nothing inaccurate about that.
The IFJ covered up the fact that its own executive committee member ran for political office, and attacked AFP for supposedly persecuting him with no basis.
Sweden: Hate Speech Just for Imams
In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a "virus" is fine.
Antisemitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports.
One of Sweden's main news outlets, in fact, described anti-Semitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, in the eyes of Swedish authorities, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much.
Swedish authorities also give large sums of money to organizations that advocate violence and invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS. One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS and has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with assault rifles alongside his small children.
NGO Monitor: B’Tselem Must Take Responsibility for the Consequences of Its Actions
Over the past few weeks, two of Israel’s largest non-governmental organizations (NGOs) offered radically different visions for the future of human rights advocacy.
On February 9, Haaretz published a lengthy interview with Hagai El-Ad, the executive director of B’Tselem, an organization that documents alleged human rights abuses committed by the Israeli government and army against Palestinians. El-Ad described how his organization has invited European governments and the United Nations to pressure Israel. Within Israel, though, B’Tselem has openly rejected cooperation with the courts and the army, which El-Ad accuses of being complicit in “the occupation.”
By contrast, in a recent email to supporters, Sharon Abraham-Weiss, executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), defended petitioning the Supreme Court to assess controversial legislation instead of letting the government “deal with the consequences of its actions.”
“We cannot stand idly by … there are human lives at stake … as a human rights organization we do not need to consider politics, but rather defend rights,” she wrote. (Michael Sfard, a lawyer affiliated with many Israeli NGOs who is working with ACRI on its case, wrote similarly in Haaretz on February 19, although in the past he has been more skeptical about Israeli courts.)
Ironically, Abraham-Weiss replaced El-Ad at ACRI in 2014. El-Ad left in order to implement B’Tselem’s “strategic realignment,” i.e. its embrace of the radical fringe of Israeli politics.
Israeli TV Personality Lucy Aharish Tells San Diego Students How Pride in Muslim Arab Heritage, Patriotism Helped Her Overcome Obstacles in Jewish State
A celebrity Israeli anchor who hosts a morning current-affairs program told an audience at San Diego State University (SDSU) earlier this month about the parental lesson that has stood her in good stead where confronting the challenges of being a Muslim Arab citizen of the Jewish state is concerned, the campus paper The Daily Aztec reported.
Lucy Aharish of Israel’s Channel 2 said that on her first day of school, her mother made her promise always to “be proud of the fact that you’re Arab, that you’re Muslim and that you’re Israeli.”
Aharish – the first Arab newscaster on an Israeli station to present in Hebrew — recounted entering kindergarten in her hometown of Dimona and repeating the mantra. By the fourth day, she said, “I started getting beaten up.” That was when she was five years old.
Thirty years later, she still sees that experience as pivotal. Refusing to allow bullying by her peers to disrupt her education, she said, she made it her mission to excel. “I participated in every single thing in school. And I was the best in every single thing in school.”
Pence visits damaged Jewish cemetery, condemns ‘vile’ vandalism
US Vice President Mike Pence condemned Wednesday a “vile act of vandalism” at a suburban St. Louis Jewish cemetery where more than 150 headstones were damaged earlier this week.
Pence, speaking to small business owners at a business in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton, Missouri, called the incident a “vile act of vandalism.”
He said he condemned “those who perpetrate it in the strongest possible terms.”
The Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Missouri, was found Monday with 154 headstones vandalized, many of them toppled over.
Since the vandalism, the cemetery has gotten a show of support from cleanup volunteers, well-wishers and financial contributors from across many faiths.
Mike Pence Tours Damaged Graves in St. Louis Jewish Cemetery
Vice President Mike Pence makes unannounced visit to damaged gravestones in St. Louis Jewish cemetery. He gave a speech through a loudspeaker.
“People in St. Louis are inspiring the nation,” said Vice President Mike Pence “You are showing the world what America is all about.”
Nearly 200 headstones that were damaged and toppled in the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in the St. Louis suburb of University City in Missouri. Members of the community have been left rattled.


Why no uproar over Jewish cemetery desecration when Obama was in office?
Exploitation of anti-Semitism by people who never cared about anti-Semitism but now see political opportunity.
The Arab desecration of the Mount of Olives cemetery, including smashing gravestones, continues to this day.
There also is a long history in Europe of Jewish cemetery desecration, including in just the past few years in France and even Belfast, which has a tiny Jewish community.
But it’s not just the Middle East and Europe. Prior to Trump there was a sordid history of desecration of Jewish cemeteries in the U.S. during Obama’s administration as well.
Yet there was no uproar. No mass media attention. No social media frenzy.
Given this long history, why is it only now that the problem is all over the media? We know the answer to that question.
Trump didn’t cause the problem, but Trump is the cause of the media attention. It’s exploitation of anti-Semitism by people who never cared about anti-Semitism but now see political opportunity.
IsraellyCool: Revealed: The Twisted Version of Tikkun Olam in Linda Sarsour’s Playbook
Sarsour says it loudly and clearly.
By helping non-Muslims and marginalized groups, they will be “the staunchest supporters and best defenders of Islam against Islamophobia.”
In other words, showing this kindness and support is a way to get people on the side of Muslims, and not because it is the right thing to do. What’s in it for Islam? The support comes with strings and expectations attached to it. We help you and you will be our future cheerleaders.
Compare this to the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam (the actual concept, and not the corrupted one espoused by Richard Silverstein) which is about doing good deeds because it is the right thing to do.
Sarsour’s fundraising for the Jewish community seems to be a PR stunt straight from her own playbook. And not just for Muslims in general, but also Sarsour personally, who has been reeling from the exposure of her misdeeds, and is engaging in damage control as she prepares herself for what looks like a political career.
Settler leader takes Anne Frank Center to task over antisemitism
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan attacked the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, after it criticized US President Donald Trump for failing to take a strong stand on antisemitism in the United States.
Trump “has proven time and again his commitment to the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Dagan said.
It’s “absurd” for the center to “attack the most supportive leader the Jewish people and the state of Israel have ever had.”
He spoke out after the New York-based human rights organization sharply criticized Trump for his delayed response to antisemitic attacks that have occurred in the United States since he took office on January 20.
US lawmakers demand ‘urgency’ in probe of JCC bomb threats
More than 150 members of Congress signed on to a letter urging federal law enforcement officials to investigate recent bomb threats leveled at Jewish community centers around the country.
Wednesday’s bipartisan letter, initiated by Rep. Joe Crowley (D-New York) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida), urged the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Attorney General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “approach this issue with a sense of urgency, and to work in partnership with state and territory governments, local law enforcement officials, JCC Association of North America, individual JCCs, and Jewish community institutions and leaders to address the threat in a holistic manner.”
Since Jan. 9, there have been at least 69 bomb threat incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province. All were hoaxes. The latest wave of threats came on Monday, when threats were called in to 11 JCCs.
“We urge the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to swiftly assess the situation and to advise Congress on what specific steps are being taken, or will be taken, to deter such threats from being made, to identify and prosecute the perpetrators for violations of federal criminal laws, and to enable JCCs to enhance security measures such as physical barriers and guards, in the event that an individual seeks to act upon these threats,” the letter reads.
ADL headquarters receives bomb threat in latest scare
The New York headquarters of the Anti-Defamation League received a bomb threat on Wednesday morning, the latest Jewish institution to be targeted in a wave of similar scares.
ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt said that the organization treated the anonymous threat seriously, but law enforcement found it to be “not credible.”
“This is not the first time that ADL has been targeted, and it will not deter us in our efforts to combat anti-Semitism and hate against people of all races and religions,” Greenblatt said in a statement.
The threat against the ADL comes days after at least 10 Jewish community centers were hit with bomb threats, forcing many of them to evacuate.
On Tuesday, another bomb threat was emailed to a Jewish center in San Diego.
Toronto police step up patrols of Jewish areas after anti-Semitic incident
Toronto police have stepped up patrols of Jewish areas after a series of anti-Semitic messages targeted members of the city’s Jewish community, police said Wednesday.
Yellow Post-it notes with hand-drawn swastikas and anti-Semitic language were stuck on the doors of a Toronto condominium building with many Jewish residents.
At least one of the notes said “No Jews,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported. Also, mezuzahs on the doorposts of several apartments were removed or damaged, including a replacement for one that had been vandalized several days before the incident only hours after it had been mounted.
The mezuzah is a small parchment scroll affixed to the doorpost and containing the text of the “Shema Yisrael” prayer. Religious believers commonly kiss the fixture upon entering or leaving a room or building.
Student Activist at Washington U: Campus Police Said ‘Little We Can Do’ About Vandalism of ‘Pro-Palestine, Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace’ Display
A student activist at University of Washington (UW) told The Algemeiner that campus police have said there is “little they can do” about the vandalization of a display “promoting peace in Israel and Palestine.”
Uri Zvi — a member of a bipartisan pro-Israel student coalition Chai UW — said he was told by officers that the “chances are very, very slim of finding” the unidentified male who ran up to the group’s display of educational materials; behaved in a menacing manner toward the students manning the table; ripped a sign in two; and fled the scene.
The sign, which was made by students affiliated with the left-wing organization J Street, read, “Pro-Palestine, Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.”
“The officer asked us how much the sign was worth, and it wasn’t much — it was just something we printed ourselves. But it was still destruction of property,” said Zvi, who was not in the immediate area at the time of the incident.
He added that it took nearly an hour for an officer to arrive after the incident was reported.
Report: Antisemitic Organization ‘Strategically Targets’ UK Universities
A popular UK blogger told The Algemeiner that branches of a national anti-Israel organization rife with “hard-core antisemitism” have strategically opened up “wherever there is a large university.”
David Collier — who covers antisemitism in Britain at Beyond the Great Divide, released Wednesday the findings of his two-year investigation into the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which defines itself as a human rights group — said, “It seems as if university connections are part of the PSC” game plan.
He identified branches near Oxford, Cambridge, Canterbury, Exeter, York, Manchester, Sheffield and other schools.
“Remember that, because students have a quick turnover, maintaining campus activism might be a logistical problem,” he said. “I would argue that they clearly see it as important and effective way of sustaining campus activism to place a PSC branch nearby.”
PSC Durham, for example, is described in Collier’s report as “a satellite that uses both the university” and other nearby PSC branches for “logistical survival.”
Imam Calls For Genocide Of Jews. Later Clarifies He Only Meant Zionists.
After regaling reams of Muslims at his sermons with patent paeans to Jewish genocide, the imam claims he simply “misspoke.”
Attempting to salvage any vestiges of his public image, Elkasrawy jumped back to the age-old “I didn’t mean kill ALL the Jews, only the Israelis! Seriously, I am not a genocidal anti-Semite. I’m just anti-Zionist. That’s a perfectly normal political position to hold.”
Masjid Toronto’s website has Elkasrawy listed as a certified Qur’an instructor. His classes run every Thursday, at around 6 PM. Looks like I’ll have to cancel next week’s personal training session!
Mosque sorry for “misspeaking” about killing Jews


What CBC left out of Toronto mosque protest story


UCLA Professor Accuses University of Hypocrisy on Anti-Hamas Posters
In his appearance on Tucker Carlson, Fink immediately shot down Johnson’s claims as specious, stating “I’m happy to teach hundreds of students, the bigger class you give me, the happier I am to teach as many as can sit in a room.”
Fink believes that UCLA’s top administrators may be hindering enrollment in his classes because he is unafraid to criticize the University’s dismal record on free speech.
He told Carlson:
I use UCLA quite often as concrete examples in applying these principles…they continuously and consistently trample students’ rights and we can go over some recent examples…
There was an SJP and MSA, two student organizations on campus. There were posters linking them to Hamas. Now the university again came out and criticized these posters as being hateful, offensive, and if students were found involved, they would be brought up on conduct code charges. Again…that violates the First Amendment. UCLA has a viewpoint discriminatory application of its own policies….
Last week in the Daily Bruin there was an anti-Semitic cartoon of the worst sort. It was a standard anti-Semitic trope with Netanyahu with a big nose. And it had the Ten Commandments in the background, ‘Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not murder,’ implying that Israel will murder to achieve itself, not a word from the administration. How is this instance with the cartoon any different than with the poster? It isn’t, it’s just not consistent with their narrative!
Success: PBS Ombudsman Blogs About Miko Peled Interview
Earlier this month, CAMERA sent an alert to our members and posted an article on our website regarding Tavis Smiley and his interview with radical anti-Israel activist Miko Peled, which was aired on PBS. During the interview, Peled made several false claims that were not corrected or challenged by his host. Many of our letter-writers wrote to Smiley, as well as to the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler.
Getler responded in a column late last week, in which he linked to our article and discussed our critiques. He agreed that Smiley could have challenged Peled more, and that he “could have bounced some of Peled's most controversial assertions off on his follow-up guest, Rabbi Leder, which Smiley did not do.” Getler also noted that he forwarded CAMERA’s critique to Smiley.
Although Smiley did not respond, he will have hopefully taken the critique under consideration and will think about these issues before bringing similar guests to his show in the future.
In his blog post, Getler also published excerpts from many of the letters that CAMERA members and others sent in. Below are the letters as Getler published them:
The guest, Miko Peled, on the show made so many incorrect assertions that it would take a very long letter to point out all of them. Mr. Smiley, you, as an informed journalist, should have at least questioned, if not corrected, some of them. Peled's description of Israel as an apartheid state has no basis in fact. In an apartheid state the oppressed do not have recourse to the courts nor do they have equal transit and health opportunities. Patently untrue in Israel.
CAMERA Prompts Washington Examiner Correction on 'Palestine'
After contact from CAMERA, The Washington Examiner has changed inaccurate wording in a Feb. 10, 2017 dispatch.
That article, by reporter Anna Giaritelli, initially claimed: “Haley's challenge of U.N. Secretary General Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres was one of the harshest statements a U.S. official has made against Palestine in recent years[emphasis added].”
Yet, as CAMERA pointed out to Examiner editors, “Palestine” is not a country.
On February 22, the dispatch was commendably changed to read "Palestinian leadership."
Guardian normalises antisemitism without even trying
Remarkably, nowhere in the story (including in the photo caption) is the antisemitic placard – depicting the Jewish prime minister as Adolf Hitler – even alluded to. A Times of Israel story about the protest, on the other hand, led with the Hitler sign, in a report titled “Anti-Israel Protesters in Sydney Depict Netanyahu as Hitler”. Australian broadcaster SBS also noted the Hitler comparison in their report on the protest.
Here’s all the Guaridan wrote to describe the nature of the rally:
In the 650-strong crowd, many waved placards and flags and chanted as they moved down Pitt Street and through the central business district as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
Riot police intervened amid tension between different groups. Officers quickly removed a man who approached the crowd yelling “long live Israel”

Let’s conduct a brief thought experiment. Imagine, while Barack Obama was still president, the Guardian covered a right-wing march in which some activists carried large placards depicting Obama as a monkey or an Islamic terrorist. Surely such an unambiguous expression of racism would have been incorporated into the story – if not in the headline (“racism at right-wing protest”), then certainly in the photo caption or body of the text.
Guardian publishes error-ridden anti-Israel diatribe on “weaponised” settlements
An op-ed in the Guardian by George Browning (the former Anglican Bishop of Canberra and the President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network) concerning the Israeli prime minister’s visit to Australia is full of significant errors and distortions.
Let’s go down the list of the most serious examples in Browning’s oped (Turnbull has clearly chosen: Australia stands alone on Israel, Feb. 18th). They begin in the fifth paragraph, where he criticises Israeli settlements as a “weapon” designed to destroy the two-state solution:
The building of Ma’ale Adumim separated the northern and southern halves of the West Bank.
This claim is, at best, extremely misleading. As you can see from this map (and map below), Ma’ale Adumim does not “separate” the northern and southern halves of the West Bank. Moreover, the peace plan offered by Ehud Olmert (often characterised as the most generous offer the Palestinians would hope to receive) included Ma’ale Adumim within Israel – as did the map proposed by President Clinton at Camp David in 2000-01. As Condoleezza Rice told Palestinian negotiators in 2009, “I don’t think that any Israeli leader is going to cede Ma’ale Adumim”.
'Amazon should stop selling Holocaust denial books'
Yad Vashem has called on Amazon to remove Holocaust denial books from its online store, accusing the Internet retail giant of facilitating the spread of hate speech.
The appeal came in the form of a letter penned by Yad Vashem’s director of the libraries, Dr. Robert Rozett, to the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.
“It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers’ reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein,” Rozett wrote, attaching to his message several examples of rave reviews of books titled True History of the Holocaust. Did six million really die? and The Hoax of the Twentieth Century: The Case against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry.
Mentioning that Yad Vashem had – in vain – broached the issue with Amazon soon after the latter’s founding, Rozett told The Jerusalem Post that in light of an unfortunate change in climate with more visible antisemitism, “maybe the time is a little more ripe for them to take up the idea that they need to be more careful in what they sell.”
Minister offers Turkish mayor elephants for ancient Hebrew inscription
Culture Minister Miri Regev used an impromptu trip to southern Turkey for a basketball game to offer a different kind of trade: Two elephants for an ancient inscription from Jerusalem, currently housed in a Turkish museum, that is considered one of the most important ancient Hebrew inscriptions in existence.
Regev was heard making the offer in a video posted online of an informal Hebrew-Turkish-English chat with Gaziantep mayor Fatma Sahin Wednesday. Regev was in Turkey to accompany the Ironi Nahariya basketball team for a Europe Cup game, after Turkish authorities insisted that a minister be present in order for the team to bring its own armed guards.
In the video, which was posted by Channel 10 reporter Akiva Novick, Sahin, a politician from the ruling AKP party, speaks of her zoo’s elephant problem: it has just one, and it wants more.
“We’re willing to work for it,” the mayor quips.
Regev is heard telling her aides and translators, “We’ll make a deal. We’ll give them the elephants, and they’ll give us the inscription of Hezekiah.”
India clears major air defense deal with Israel Aerospace Industries
The Indian government has cleared a $2.5 billion deal for the country's army to buy the Medium Range Surface to Air Defense Missile (MR-SAM) system from Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), another step towards the signing of the deal with the Israeli company, Indian media reported on Thursday.
The MR-SAM system, jointly developed by India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in close collaboration with IAI, is a land-based configuration of the long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) or Barak-8 naval air defense system.
Able to shoot down enemy aircraft at a range of 50-70 kilometers, it will help to protect India from enemy aircraft and will replace the country’s aging air defense systems.
Each MR-SAM system includes a command and control system, tracking radar, missiles and mobile launcher systems. The missiles, which can be fired in single or ripple firing modes from a vertical position, are launched in canister configuration, and the launcher will have eight canisterized missiles in two stacks. The system also features an advanced radio frequency (RF) seeker and can determine if the identified target is a friend or if it belongs to an enemy.
According to India Today, the Indian Army “will induct over five regiments of the MR-SAM missile which will have around 40 firing units and over 200 missiles of the system.”
Israel, World Bank Sign Three Agreements to Cooperate in Africa
Israel and the Word Bank will sign three agreements in the coming months to cooperate in helping African nations develop their water, cybersecurity, and agriculture capabilities, The Times of Israel reported Wednesday.
“Cooperation with the World Bank is an opportunity for us to showcase some of the capabilities and innovation that Israel can offer to developing countries,” Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said in a statement.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim visited Israel last week, meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and Cohen. “We are cooperating on so many projects especially in agriculture and water conservation,” Rivlin said to Kim in their meeting. “Israel is committed to advancements in these fields for all peoples around the world and it is an honor to be your partner for the benefit of all humanity.”
Last year witnessed a series of diplomatic breakthroughs for Israel, especially in Africa. Netanyahu embarked on a historic tour of East Africa, Israel restored diplomatic ties with the Muslim-majority nation of Guinea after a 49-year gap shortly thereafter, and Netanyahu met with 15 African heads of state and ambassadors at the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Invasion of the summer shows
Imagine Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Guns & Roses front man Axl Rose bumping into each other at the smoked fish table at the Tel Aviv Hilton breakfast buffet.
Whether or not they would have anything in common beyond small talk about pickled sturgeon, that bong dream scenario could conceivably be consummated in Israel when both bands perform at Tel Aviv's Park Hayarkon within 4 days of each other – G&R on July 15 and Radiohead on July 19.
"We're on the map!" Israeli basketball legend Tal Brody exclaimed back in 1977. And while his now iconic statement was referring to Maccabi Tel Aviv's stunning victory in the European Cup Basketball Championship, the phrase also seems applicable to the Israeli international concert industry.
The announcement earlier this month that giant US promoters Live Nation had purchased a majority stake in Tel Aviv’s Bluestone Entertainment and launched Ticketmaster in Israel, is an indication that Israel has arrived as a respected destination for international touring act, BDS efforts be damned.
‘$3.75 billion investment in Israel's Leviathan gas reservoir a blow to BDS’
The announcement Thursday that the partners of the Leviathan gas reservoir will invest $3.75 billion in its development is a devastating blow to the BDS movement, Eli Groner, director-general of the Prime Minister's Office, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
The development of Leviathan, which is scheduled to take about three years, constitutes both the largest energy project and financial investment in Israel in the country's history.
Groner hailed Thursday’s final investment decision (FID) for ending years of bureaucratic squabbles that all but froze Israel's natural gas sector, the country’s largest natural gas resource is officially on the road to development.
"After seven years, after embarrassing delays, the message we're getting today is that Israel is comfortably on its way to achieving full energy security," Groner said. "This is the biggest investment ever in Israel."



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Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
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