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Monday, April 24, 2017

From Ian:

Who Does the Anne Frank Center Represent?
The center’s transformation was no accident. It recently got a new board chair, a private-wealth manager named Peter Rapaport, and he brought on Goldstein, who has a background in political organizing. It shuttered its small museum and disbanded its board of advisers comprised of Holocaust experts. All of the staffers who were working there when Goldstein arrived have left.
With just its famous name and a savvy social-media strategy, the Anne Frank Center has transformed into a putative authority on anti-Semitism and American politics. But it’s not at all clear the organization speaks for anybody other than its own leaders—not Holocaust scholars, Anne Frank’s family, or the Jewish community. Ultimately, by politicizing Anne Frank, the group may undermine her legacy.
And it’s acted accordingly. Over the last year and a half or so, all of the former employees, who mostly had backgrounds in museum work, have left. At least one was fired, said Rapaport. In an email, Yvonne Simons, the former executive director, said only that “the board of directors choose a different path for the Anne Frank Center and changed its mission after my 10-year tenure.” Several longtime board members have also departed.
In other words, it is a tiny organization in the process of reinventing itself. The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and Understanding may not be a Holocaust organization, a Jewish organization, or one founded by Anne Frank’s father. Its may not have leaders with a scholarly background, a mass membership, or institutional standing among Jewish groups and Holocaust museums. But because it talks a big game and wields the name of Anne Frank, the media has awarded it authority it never earned.
The Recent Discovery of Heinrich Himmler’s Telegram of November 2, 1943, the Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, to Amin al-Husseini, Mufti of Jerusalem
Himmler’s telegram, the Mufti’s response, and the demonstrative political rally of protest on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration show Nazi Germany’s positive support of the Palestinian Arabs and their reciprocally warm feelings. With the benefit of recent scholarship, we may better appreciate the nature and extent of this type of collaboration.
In his recent article in this journal, Johannes Houwink ten Cate cited the Swiss historian and journalist, Werner Rings, who identified four different forms of collaboration, according to their degree of identification with the ideology of Nazism, as follows: “tactical, neutral, conditional and unconditional collaboration.” Using these categories as his standard of comparison, Ten Cate concludes that Amin al-Husseini was one of the few unconditional collaborationists because of his ideological collaboration with the Waffen-SS. Separately, Barry Rubin and Wolfgang Schwanitz list examples of the Mufti’s contributions to the cause of Nazi-Germany. These include, “… fomenting a pro-Axis revolt and a massacre of Jews in Iraq; collaborating with Hitler; gathering intelligence for the Germans; recruiting Muslim army units for the German army and SS; preparing a Middle East Holocaust against the Jews; promoting pro-Axis revolts in Egypt and elsewhere; and conducting pro-Nazi propaganda by every means at his disposal.”
Any discussion of Amin al-Husseini’s ideological collaboration must also point out his remarkable claim that Nazism and Islam have a basic affinity. Examples of such shared values are the “Führer Principle,” discipline, and obedience which, according to him, find clear expression in the Koran. Rubin and Schwanitz observe that “… Islamists did not need to take ideas from German Nazis or Italian fascists. As al-Husaini had argued in the 1930s and 1940s, they had a parallel yet symbiotic world view, drawn from their own societies’ political traditions, history, and religion.” Such views clearly indicate that the Mufti’s commitment to the principles of National Socialism represented a form of unconditional ideological collaboration.
One should not overlook the essential fact that this ideological collaboration was reciprocal. The Nazi elite had a special respect and great admiration for Islam. Although these views have been documented, they have not yet been placed in context. In his recently published study, Islam and Germany’s War, David Motadel describes the admiration of the Nazi elite for Islam, an admiration which frequently predicated the rejection of Christianity. According to Motadel, who cites the scholarship of Peter Longerich, “The man who was perhaps most fascinated with the Muslim faith and enthusiastic about what he believed to be an affinity between National Socialism and Islam, was Himmler.” Himmler’s doctor, Felix Kersten, wrote an entire chapter on his patient’s “Enthusiasm for Islam,” which was excluded from the English translation. According to Kersten, “Himmler saw Islam as a masculine, soldierly religion.”
David Singer: United Nations Rewrites Balfour Declaration Parliamentary Debate Records
An official United Nations document published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat contains a deliberately altered record of a 1922 parliamentary House of Lords debate on the Balfour Declaration.
The Balfour Declaration – dated 2 November 1917 – called for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people – it being clearly understood that nothing would be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.
The Balfour Declaration was subsequently written into international law after being incorporated into the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine on 24 July 1922.
The upcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration has prompted a concerted international campaign calling on the British Government to apologise for another Government’s decision taken 100 years ago. Baroness Anelay – Minister of State (Foreign Commonwealth Office) – told the House of Lords on 3 April 2017 that no such apology would be forthcoming.

NGO Monitor: United Nations Human Rights Defenders 2017
At the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council (February 27 – March 24), a common theme was “growing challenges” and “shrinking space” for human rights defenders (HRDs). Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and “Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967” Michael Lynk repeatedly demonized Israel as non-democratic for supposedly attacking HRDs and interfering in their human rights work.
As defined by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, an HRD is “a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights.” At a minimum, an HRD must accept the universality of human rights and partake only in peaceful action.
So, who are the HRDs being championed by NGOs and Lynk?
It turns out that the NGOs and Lynk celebrate individuals whose actions epitomize the opposite of universal human rights and peace. They falsely label as “HRDs” virulent antisemites, individuals convicted of terrorism, and someone who has allegedly funneled millions of dollars away from humanitarian causes and towards violent extremism.
In his report, Lynk further relies on the claims made by politicized NGOs that receive funding from European governments. Information provided in a November 2016 joint letter to Lynk by Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), BADIL, Al-Mezan, and more is echoed in the UN Rapporteur’s report, and both documents name many of the same controversial individuals as HRDs. Addameer, Al Haq, and DCI-P are linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization.
Hearing the Politics of Despair For Ourselves: HR’s Field Trip to the Gaza Border Region
On April 19, 40 people, many of them visiting Israel for the Passover holiday, spent a unique day with HonestReporting, focusing on the policy, economics, infrastructure, society and security of the Gaza Strip, both from a historical perspective, current issues, and what to expect from the future.
The tour was led by former Head of the Civilian Department in the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit, Colonel (Ret.) Grisha Yakubovich.
Field tour participant Brenda Yablon is an award winning journalist who divides her time between Tel Aviv and Vancouver and gives her thoughts on the day here.
“There are over a million people in Gaza today under the age of 18. They are taught to hate us, and that Israel is the cause of all their problems.”
This was one of the many disturbing facts related by IDF Colonel (Ret.) Grisha Yakubovich who was giving a group of us an intensive crash course in the history of Gaza since 1967, and the enormously complex problems inherent in governing it. As a member of COGAT – the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the body charged with implementing the policies of the Israeli government in civilian matters in the West Bank and Gaza, and as a former mayor of Gaza City, Yakubovich is intimately acquainted with the inherent challenges and frustrations which often make governing next to impossible.
UN Secretary-General: Denial of Israel's Right to Exist Is "Modern Form of Anti-Semitism"
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres vowed to take action to end anti-Semitism and called the denial of Israel’s right to exist a modern form of anti-Jewish hatred.
Speaking Sunday night at the World Jewish Congress’ Plenary Assembly in New York, Guterres said he could not control all expressions of bias against Israel at the United Nations. But he said Israel has the right to be treated like any other U.N. member state.
“A modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist,” Guterres said. “As secretary-general of the United Nations, I can say that the State of Israel needs to be treated as any other state, with exactly the same rules.”
Israeli and U.S. officials, along with supporters of Israel, have long accused the United Nations of irredeemable bias against Israel. According to U.N. Watch, a pro-Israel group that monitors the international body, the U.N. General Assembly condemned Israel 20 times in 2016, compared to six condemnations for the rest of the world combined.
But Guterres emphasized that treating Israel fairly “does not mean I will always be in agreement with all the decisions made by any government position taken by any government that sits in Israel,” but adding he supports “the absolutely undeniable right of Israel to exist and to live in peace and security with its neighbors.” He also advocated the establishment of a Palestinian state.
'It's like making an arsonist the fire chief': Saudi Arabia joins UN women's group
Saudi Arabia has been appointed to the United Nations body responsible for the "promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women", despite its reputation as one of the least women-friendly countries on the planet.
The Islamic kingdom, where every woman must have a male guardian, usually the father or husband, was elected to the UN's Commission on the Status of Women for the 2018-2022 term, according to UN Watch, a Geneva-based human rights group.
Among the many restrictions on women's rights in Saudi Arabia, dubbed "the world's most misogynistic regime", is a ban on them driving and a strict Islamic dress code that requires by law nearly the entire body to be covered.
Violations of the law in Saudi Arabia are sometimes met with corporal and even capital punishment, including whipping and beheading.
"Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women's rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. "It's absurd."
U.N. elects Saudis to woman rights body, but U.S. forces recorded vote

U.N. elects Saudi Arabia to women's rights commission - Hillel Neuer on i24 News
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

Bill O’Reilly to Chair UN Women’s Rights Commission (satire)
Days after electing Saudi Arabia as a member, the UN Commission on the Status of Women has chosen former Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly to take over as the group’s chair.
“Here at the UN, we are always looking for alternative perspectives on human rights,” one commission representative noted. “We think the Saudis have some really unique interpretations on women’s issues, like not letting women drive, and we want to encourage other countries to explore these kinds of arrangements.”
Commission members said that they were shocked to find a high-profile figure like O’Reilly available.
“We even heard that in his last position, he made women uncomfortable in the workplace,” one commission delegate said. “Given that our newest member doesn’t believe women should be working, these two additions come together really nicely.”
Report: Adelson angry at Jerusalem embassy move delay
American Jewish businessman Sheldon Adelson has recently expressed indignation at President Trump's conduct with respect to his promise to transfer the Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, Politico reported Monday. Edelson, who is considered one of Trump's biggest campaign contributors, reportedly said this to three of his closest associates.
The three also said that Adelson "is despairing of the chaos in the Trump administration," in their words, in relation to the various appointments and general conduct. However, an Adelson spokesman, Andy Abboud, said that "Trump is not angry at all," and that he is satisfied with the conduct so far. "Adelson is waiting patiently for real action on transfer of the embassy," he added.
At the end of last week, a special report was published in the United States revealing the extent of donations to Trump's inauguration. According to the report, Adelson gave Trump five million dollars for the swearing-in ceremony, the largest contribution in US history to a presidential inauguration ceremony.
France’s next leader: Centrist Macron vs. far-rightist Le Pen
Centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right populist Marine Le Pen advanced Sunday to a runoff in France’s presidential election, remaking the country’s political landscape and setting up a showdown over its participation in the European Union.
French politicians on the left and right immediately urged voters to block Le Pen’s path to power in the May 7 runoff, saying her virulently nationalist anti-EU and anti-immigration politics would spell disaster for France.
“Extremism can only bring unhappiness and division to France,” defeated conservative candidate Francois Fillon said. “As such, there is no other choice than to vote against the extreme right.”
The selection of Le Pen and Macron presented voters with the starkest possible choice between two diametrically opposed visions of the EU’s future and France’s place in it. It set up a battle between Macron’s optimistic vision of a tolerant France and a united Europe with open borders against Le Pen’s darker, inward-looking platform that called for closed borders, tougher security, less immigration and dropping the shared euro currency to return to the French franc.
With Le Pen wanting France to leave the EU and Macron wanting even closer cooperation between the bloc’s 28 nations, Sunday’s outcome meant the May 7 runoff will have undertones of a referendum on France’s EU membership.
French Jews worried over Le Pen’s success in presidential vote’s 1st round
Leaders of French Jewry had mixed reactions to the success of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential elections.
“Satisfaction and concern,” Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, wrote on Twitter Sunday after exit polls showed that Macron, a centrist independent candidate, won the first round with 23.8 percent of the vote, followed by Le Pen, the far-right leader of the National Front, with 21.7 percent.
Kalifat has called Le Pen, who will run against Macron in the final round on May 7, a “candidate of hate.” He called on voters to elect Macron regardless of their opinion of his policies just to make sure Le Pen does not become president, in a pattern known in France as a “republican front,” which has been used to keep the National Front out of power.
Such a vote is “indispensable” in the second round, Kalifat wrote.
Kalifat said he was “worried to see National Front making it to the main event of French democracy,” but “satisfied to see a republican in the lead” — a term which means a person who is attached to the French nation’s founding values.
Sharpton Guest: Jesus was a “brown-skinned Palestinian man who understood he needed to resist”
Jesus: social justice warrior? Apparently so, if you believe Jacqui Lewis, senior minister of the very liberal Middle Collegiate Church in NYC. During her appearance on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show this morning, Lewis described Jesus as a “brown-skinned Palestinian man who understood he needed to resist.”
The notion that Jesus was Palestinian has been thoroughly debunked. He was Jewish, after all. But that hasn’t stopped anti-Semites like Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, from also making the claim.
Claiming that “America has forgotten what it means to be Christian,” Lewis said that “Jesus can be too white and too empired for us to understand.”
And was Lewis alluding to Jews, sometimes referred to as the Chosen People, when she said “the Jesus that is created by the white church . . . believes that because, quote, folks are chosen, that they have more money, more assets, more wealth, better education”?
Anti-Semitic fliers found posted at Princeton
Fliers with anti-Semitic, racist and anti-immigrant messages were posted on the campus of Princeton University.
The fliers were discovered in at least four areas of the campus on Thursday, the Daily Princetonian student newspaper reported, including on the door to the main entrance of the campus Center for Jewish Life.
The person posting the fliers was wearing dark clothing and a ski mask, the Daily Princetonian reported.
The fliers were from a white nationalist organization called Vanguard America, which bills itself as a group for “White Nationalist American youth working to secure the existence of their people.”
Among the charges made on the flier: “Jews are 10% of Princeton’s students, an overrepresentation of 500%,” and 80 percent of the first Soviet government was Jewish.”
The flier also was posted on the group’s Twitter feed on Thursday, the anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
The fliers were removed after a complaint was called in to the university.
Iqra the Eliminationist?
It shocks me not in the least that the MP who sponsored that anti-blasphemy anti-"Islamophobia" motion would be hobnobbing with, and accepting an award from, the eliminationists of Palestine House (h/t MW):
Liberal MP Iqra Khalid attended on Saturday, April 15, 2017 the annual Gala of the Palestine House marking the Land Day that symbolizes the Palestinian commitment to defend the land and to “liberate” Palestine. Fadlu Michael, the chairperson of the Palestine House awarded MP Khalid a “thanks and appreciation” plaque.
On January 18, 2016, MP Khalid met with senior members of the Canadian Palestinian community and board members of the Palestine House including its deputy chairperson Dr. Nazih Khatatba who serves also as the editor of Meshwar newspaper.
The Palestine House was de-funded in 2012 by the federal government for what then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney referred to as a “pattern of support for extremism.”

How do we know that that's bollocks and that Palestine House is playing the eliminationist game? Its own logo--a map of Israel + the Palestinian Territories covered "from the river to the sea" in an Arafat kefiyah print--is proof of its bad intentions.
IsraellyCool: Mark Bryce, Owner Of Cold Steel Piercing, Defends His “No Israelis” Sign
It’s purely about the Palestinian issue, and it has nothing to do with race or religion,” he said.
“We support the BDS movement.”

The worldwide Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement advocating boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Supporters say BDS is a nonviolent movement for Palestinian independence, but Israel says it aims to delegitimise the Jewish state.
Mr Bryce said his sign had been erected above his counter for 10 years, illiciting few complaints until now.
“We don’t want the sign misinterpreted, so we’ve taken it down and we’re going to replace it with one that says we support the BDS movement,” he said.
“I don’t hate anybody, but this issue, it’s affected me.”

I am glad Bryce wants to mention his support for the BDS movement while banning Israelis from his store, because more people need to realize BDS is a manifestation of antisemitism.
And if you do not agree with me about his ban, consider for a second if there was a sign in the store saying “No Palestinians”, with Bryce explaining he opposes rocket fire on Israeli civilians. No-one would contest the bigotry inherent in such a move.
UKMW prompts improvement to Indy headline suggesting there’s an Israeli wall around Gaza.
The text is clearly misleading, as Gaza shares a border with Egypt as well as Israel. The security fence (“wall”) separates Israel and Gaza, but can’t reasonably be characterised in a way suggesting it’s completely surrounding the territory. The error is not insignificant, as the words “around Gaza” (intentionally or otherwise) reinforce the oft-repeated narrative falsely suggesting that Gaza is a “an open-air prison”.
Though the response from Indy editors was delayed, we recently learned that the headline has been corrected. Here’s the new headline, which uses the more accurate word “along”, instead of “around”.
(The other problem with the headline not addressed by editors is the use of the word “wall” to characterise what is clearly a fence. CAMERA has called out multiple media outlets for their erroneous use of terms in reference to Israeli security fences.)
Additionally, the article included the following passage, erroneously suggesting that Gaza borders the West Bank.

Inaccuracies unchallenged in BBC ‘Hardtalk’ interview on UN ‘apartheid’ report
The April 17th edition of the BBC programme ‘Hardtalk‘ was devoted to an interview with Rima Khalaf – the former head of UN ESCWA.
The programme was broadcast on BBC television channels and a clip from the filmed version was promoted on the BBC World News website under the title “Non-Jewish Israelis ‘cannot challenge’ their status”.
“The former head of a UN agency has said that under current laws, non-Jewish citizens of Israel “cannot challenge their subordinate status”.
Rima Khalaf was the executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) until March 2017.
She resigned in March 2017, after the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres asked her to withdraw a report categorising Israel as an apartheid regime.”

Audiences certainly did not hear an honest account from Khalaf of her own motives or those of the member states of the UN agency she headed. They did however hear presenter Stephen Sackur challenge her robustly on that topic as well as on the issue of the controversial choice of authors for the report and on the use of the term ‘apartheid’ in connection with Israel.
However, Sackur was apparently less able or willing to challenge the numerous falsehoods promoted by Khalaf throughout the interview, with the result that audiences were highly likely to go away with numerous inaccurate impressions.
A new BBC ‘explanation’ for its double standards on terror
Once again we see that the BBC chooses to deliberately conflate means with ends, putting forward the obviously flawed argument that if a person commits an act of violence against civilians with the purpose of furthering a political or religious agenda in a country in which there is “an ongoing geopolitical conflict”, that is not terrorism but if he does the exact same in a country where there is no such ongoing conflict, it is.
The bottom falls out of that argument when we recall that the BBC did use the term ‘Jewish terrorists’ to describe the perpetrator/s of the arson attack in Duma, despite the existence of an “ongoing geopolitical conflict”.
The corporation’s complaints department also appears to have tried to find a way of dismissing the fact that UK forces are involved in the military campaign against jihadists in Iraq and Syria by means of use of the term “direct physical combat”. Notably, the BBC is apparently not inclined to promote the notion that those actions of a state fighting terrorism might be “considered as terrorist acts”.
While there appears to be no limit to the ‘creativity’ of BBC Complaints when challenged on the issue of the corporation’s double standards and lack of consistency when reporting acts of terror, audiences are of course likely to remain unimpressed by these repeatedly contorted excuses.
Times of London misleadingly suggests Israeli blockade causes Gaza health crisis
One of the most significant problems disrupting Gaza’s healthcare system, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross and recent reports at the The Washington Post and CNN, is fuel disruptions stemming from a power struggle between Hamas and the PA over the collection of taxes. (Fuel is required to run electricity plants, and Hamas claims it can’t afford to buy a sufficient amount of fuel due to taxes imposed by the PA.) A spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health told CNN on April 17th that, “if the issue will not be solved, then we will have to cancel between 200-250 surgeries a day”.
Carlstrom failed to so much as mention the fuel crisis. Nor, did he note that Israel provides Gaza with 30% of its electricity needs and, despite the fact that the state often isn’t paid for the electricity it provides, announced that their contribution was to increase to address the power needs of Gaza’s new sewage treatment facility.
Moreover, the broader, ongoing problem of Hamas stealing humanitarian aid – medical or otherwise – and using it for military purposes has been widely reported.
Once again, we see how the media’s default narrative, regardless of the particulars, is to hold Israel responsible for every conceivable social and political ill within Palestinian society, while downplaying or ignoring the role its leaders play in perpetuating their suffering.
British Labour Leader Corbyn Stung by Former Aide Over ‘Inability to Understand’ Why He’s Viewed as Antisemitic
As the United Kingdom prepares for general elections in June, the embattled leader of the opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, is once again facing damaging allegations about his personal attitude toward the antisemitism that has swelled in Labour’s ranks.
Writing in the Sunday Times this weekend, Harry Fletcher — who served as Corbyn’s aide during his first year as head of Labour — declared that Corbyn and his colleagues suffered from an “inability to understand why they’re perceived as anti-Semitic.”
Scandals involving antisemitism have plagued Labour ever since Corybn took the helm of the party in 2015. Earlier this month, British Jewish leaders, along with 42 Labour members of the British Parliament, slammed Corbyn’s decision not to expel his ally Ken Livingstone — a former mayor of London — from the party over his repeated claim that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a supporter of Zionism.
In 2016, Labour launched an internal inquiry into antisemitism triggered by the remarks of both Livingstone and Naz Shah, a Labour MP who urged during the 2014 Gaza war that Israel be “relocated” to the United States. However, the inquiry was dismissed by many in the Jewish community as a whitewash for playing down the extent of antisemitic attitudes in the party, and for conceding only that “there is an occasionally toxic atmosphere.”
In his Sunday Times article, Fletcher revealed that he had frequently advised the Labour leader to speak out in support of the British Jewish community, but that Corbyn “just couldn’t see it at all.”
Complaint: Rep. Hank Johnson Violated Rules Assisting Former Aide Jon Ossoff
FACT charges in its complaint that Johnson, who has previously compared Jewish people to termites, is disregarding ethics rules.
"Representative Johnson has simply disregarded the rule and is blatantly using his official website for partisan purposes and campaign related activity," wrote FACT's Matthew Whitaker in his letter to congressional investigators. "Not only is it troubling that Johnson has breached a basic rule that ensures the public’s confidence that our House Members are working for the citizens and not for their own personal political gain, but he has misused taxpayer funded resources."
Ossoff worked for Johnson first as a part-time staffer while he was a student at Georgetown University and then full-time after he graduated. He has used the experience frequently on the trail in attempts to illustrate that he is qualified to run for office despite his young age.
Johnson has officially endorsed his former aide.
'The Promise': A Film Has Finally Been Made About The Armenian Genocide And You Need To Watch
Last year, during the Toronto International Film Festival, the filmmakers behind The Promise premiered their film before an audience of 1,500 and were met with a standing ovation. Yet at the same time, the film was being given thousands of single-star reviews through IMDb.
Films should always be given a chance and many times, given internet culture, people unfairly and impulsively despise or support films. This concerted effort looked different than a trending issue for the internet’s next bandwagon. The negative reviews, which climbed to a massive 85,000 before the film was even released, looked like clear sabotage. It came to light this was a cyber plan put together by the Turkish government and executed through a horde of internet trolls.
With enough negativity, any critical response can bury a film and wreck its release. Look at last year’s flop, The Light Between Oceans, which had many bad reviews premature to its release, thus steering audiences away. To similar effect, the Turkish government’s intent with The Promise was to ruin the release because they claim the movie is propagandizes a false history.
The Promise is an epic drama that tells the tragic and appalling story of the Armenian Genocide. During WWI, the Republic of Turkey and all of the surrounding nations existed as the Ottoman Empire. The empire was a Muslim Turkish majority but there were multiple minorities of Christians in the state, predominantly the Armenian population.
During World War I, the Ottoman Empire started to destabilize; the days of sultans ruling the nation came to an end as a radical, new political party called the Committee of Union and Progress, known as The Young Turks, came into power. They preached reforming the Empire’s political structures from a monarchial system to a democratic, constitutional government. The Committee's agenda was to create a government by the people and for the people in order to achieve more liberty.
The Armenian inhabitants were initially excited about the big changes but The Young Turks were a nationalistic group; their meaning of “the people” didn’t include everyone. The Young Turks’ perspective of reuniting the Ottoman Empire was returning it to the former glory days of being a purely Muslim nation.
Programmed proteins may make malaria vaccine possible
Despite decades of malaria research, the disease still afflicts hundreds of millions and kills around half a million people each year – most of them children in tropical regions.
The best deterrent would be a vaccine composed of some of the parasite’s own proteins. However, those proteins identified as most promising for a malaria vaccine are unstable at tropical temperatures and require complicated, expensive cellular systems to produce them in large quantities.
Yet the vaccines are most needed in areas where refrigeration is lacking and funds to buy vaccines are scarce.
Ahead of World Malaria Day (April 25), a new approach developed at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and tested at England’s University of Oxford shows promise as the basis of a future inexpensive malaria vaccine that can be stored at room temperature.
Sisters win video contest on how Israel inspires
A poetic video exploration made by two sisters about their decision to live in Israel won the $8,000 first prize in an “Inspired by Israel” contest hosted by the Israel Video Network.
Called “Olah Chadasha” (“New Immigrant”), the video was made by sisters Sivan Felder and Batsheva Shachnovitz, and shows Shachnovitz, a twelfth-grade high school student, walking through Jerusalem, in the Mahane Yehuda market, past Yad Vashem and Mt. Herzl, at a bus stop where soldiers wait.
In the video, it is Shachnovitz’s voice reading the words that her sister wrote, using simple, expressive language to describe their feelings of safety and comfort in Israel.
The sisters’ video, and the other winning videos in the contest, are love letters to Israel, whether showing off Israel’s innovations in Africa, its athletes, or the daily lives of regular Israelis, with Israeli soldiers featuring prominently in many of them.
Judges chose the winners from the 10 submissions with the most votes garnered during a 10-day period of public voting hosted on the Israel Video Network.

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.

Nasreen Qadri is an Israeli Arab singer who became famous when she won a TV singing competition in 2014.

Qadri has been named to sing in both Israel's Remembrance Day and Independence Day ceremonies.

She says she is part of this country and represents it therefore it's an honor for her to sing at those ceremonies and that it gives her a sense of belonging. She hopes this will convey a message of peace and brotherhood and against racism and violence.

She is scheduled to tour the US with Radiohead together with another Israeli band, Dudu Tassa and the Kuwaitis, this summer.

(h/t Yoel)

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

Israel pauses to remember 6 million murdered in Holocaust
Israelis across the country paused for two minutes Monday morning in memory of the six million Jews who were murdered in Europe under Nazi rule as a siren pierced the clear blue sky in an annual marking of Holocaust Remembrance Day.
The 10 a.m. siren was to be followed by ceremonies at schools, memorials and elsewhere in honor of those who lost their lives, as well as Shoah survivors.
The country’s central commemoration event got underway immediately after the siren at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, where dignitaries will lay wreaths next to a monument commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943.
Among those taking part in the wreath-laying are President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein.
Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance) Siren 2017
Today at 10:00 AM something incredible happens: sirens sound all over Israel and for two minutes everything stops. Today we remember the Holocaust.

JPost Editorial: Never Again
Last year on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we published an editorial calling for measures to be taken to ensure that survivors in Israel do not live out their last years in poverty.
Despite the best efforts of volunteer and professional organizations and new legislation that provide some survivors with increased benefits, the goal of providing every survivor with the care and dignity that was robbed of him or her earlier in life is still far from being achieved.
According to data provided by the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Survivors, about 25% of the country’s approximately 200,000 Holocaust survivors live below the poverty line. A fifth skip meals because they do not have enough money to buy food.
A report issued last week by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira highlighted glitches within the system – whether it’s the failure to allocate sufficient financial, housing or medical assistance, or the failure to have a central authority responsible for standing up for Holocaust survivors, while pointing a finger at the government for inadequately safeguarding survivors’ rights.
“The state’s attitude toward survivors may affect the memory of the Holocaust for future generations,” Shapira’s report cautioned.
As The Jerusalem Post’s legal affairs reporter Yonah Jeremy Bob wrote, Shapira warned that time is running out and the government must improvement things for survivors, whose average age is 85.
According to the report, 16,000 survivors are waiting, some for years, to receive subsidized housing for which their eligibility has already been approved. In addition, in 2014 and 2015, NIS 60 million earmarked as aid to elderly survivors was never used for that purpose due to lack of oversight and of plans by the Social Equality Ministry to use the funds.
'The IDF is the voice of those lost in the Holocaust'
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot addressed the annual March of the Living in Poland Monday, marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Eizenkot, who led the IDF delegation to this year’s event, brought the Torah scroll held by then-Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren (later Chief Rabbi of Israel) during the liberation of the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem.
During his speech, Eizenkot emphasized the importance of the IDF’s inclusion in the March of Life and its role in sustaining the legacy of Holocaust victims and survivors.
“For generation after generation, our brothers and sisters lived scattered and separated from one another, but were joined in spirit, in their hearts, and in their vision from time immemorial to return to the land of their forefathers,” said Eizenkot.
“But before they could build a [national] home and defense forces, disaster struck, and many Jewish communities of Europe were destroyed.
“Here, on this land, they were taken off in darkened cattle cars, brutally ripped away from their families, and led away to the identical fate – extermination.
“Their only sin was being Jewish, and for that they were tortured, crushed, and put to death - because there was no one who would stand up and fight for them.”

10,000 youths mark Holocaust Remembrance Day at Auschwitz
Thousands of Jews from Israel and around the world were walking between the two parts of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in Poland on Monday in memory of Holocaust victims.
The annual March of the Living began with the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn used for Jewish religious ceremonies, at the former death camp’s notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) gate.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor led a delegation of Israeli officials joining Jewish students from around the world at the annual march marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
As in previous years, the march was being led by Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, a child survivor of the Auschwitz camp.
Elisha Wiesel, son of the late Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, was also slated join the march for the first time. He is scheduled to speak and light a torch at a ceremony.
Many of the participants carried Israeli flags on the somber memorial march of about three kilometers (two miles) from the original Auschwitz camp to Birkenau, a much larger death camp where victims were murdered in gas chambers.
Netanyahu: Allies could have saved 4 million Jews if they’d bombed death camps in 1942
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday launched a blistering assault on Allied policy during World War II, saying world powers’ failure to bomb the Nazi concentration camps from 1942 cost the lives of four million Jews and millions of others.
Citing recently released UN documents that show the Allies were aware of the scale of the Holocaust in 1942, some two years earlier than previously assumed, Netanyahu said in a speech marking Holocaust Remembrance Day that this new research assumed “a terrible significance.”
“If the powers in 1942 had acted against the death camps — and all that was needed was repeated bombing of the camps — had they acted then, they could have saved 4 million Jews and millions of other people,” he said at the official state ceremony marking the start of the memorial day.
“The powers knew, and they did not act,” he told the audience at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
“When terrible crimes were being committed against the Jews, when our brothers and sisters were being sent to the furnaces,” he went on, “the powers knew and did not act.”
Trump In memory of those lost in the Holocaust, we must stamp out antisemitism
In the memory of those who were lost in the Holocaust, we must stamp out prejudice and antisemitism everywhere it is found, US President Donald Trump said in a video address to the 15th plenary assembly of the World Jewish Congress, which opened on Sunday evening in New York.
“On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history,” President Trump said. “We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.”
“The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide,” he continued. “They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.”
Quoting Theodor Herzl’s “If you will, it is no dream”, Trump added that Israel is a “great nation that has risen from the desert”.
The President reiterated his commitment to defeating terrorism, and said the US must not ignore the threats of the Iranian regime, who talks openly of Israel’s destruction. “We cannot let that ever even be thought,” he said.
More than 9.2-million canceled stamps later, Holocaust postage project recognized in Boston
For teachers tasked with introducing the Holocaust to children, a question often heard is, “How many people is six million?”
Since 2009, a charter school southwest of Boston has implemented a project to answer that question. From kindergarten to high school, students at the Foxboro Regional Charter School are working to gather 11-million canceled postage stamps from around the world — one for each victim of the Nazis’ genocidal policies, including the Shoah’s six-million Jewish victims.
During its annual Yom HaShoah Holocaust commemoration on Sunday, two of the school’s teachers received a Holocaust education award from Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council. Taking place inside historic Faneuil Hall, the gathering was addressed by local survivors and diplomats from Israel and Germany, as well as the teachers behind the Holocaust Stamps Project.
Since 2011, a select few of the 9.2-million (and counting) stamps have been used to create Holocaust-related collages, with topics including music as resistance and the “kindertransport” rescue of Jewish children. Finished works are shown at events in schools around town, ensuring that Shoah education takes place year-round in Foxboro, best known as home to football’s New England Patriots.
Special interview with Elie Wiesel's son
Arutz Sheva spoke to Elisha Wiesel, the son of Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate the late Eli Wiesel.
Wiesel was in Krakow, Poland, to participate in the annual March of the Living Holocaust commemoration.
"To see this cemetery, and to see a thousand years of Polish Jewry, and some of the great names that are buried here, brings you to remember that it's not just that there was death here in Poland. There was vibrant life for Jews here, before the war, in Poland," Wiesel said.
"I don't think you can boil [the Holocaust] down to just one message," he said. "I think there was a message for the world, which very much resonated on 'we can't allow this to happen again.' Humanity should treat itself in a humane way, not in an inhumane way."
The Holocaust: Who are the missing million?
The importance of the mission to recover victims' names received global recognition in 2013 when the United Nations cultural agency, Unesco, included the collection in its Memory of the World register.
The agency lauded it as "unprecedented in human history", pointing out that the project had given rise to similar efforts in other places of genocide, such as Rwanda and Cambodia.
Despite the millions of names recorded so far, there is still a long way to go if all six million are ever to be recovered, but those behind the project remain determined.
"I personally would like that we do reach that goal, that at least among those who perished there won't be a person who remains unknown. It's our moral imperative," says Sara Berkowitz.
"Until I sit in the office and days will pass by and I won't have work to do, I'll know that we've more or less raked the universe to try to get to every name and there is no more there."
Vast German archive holds the secret to combating Holocaust denial
Israeli Holocaust survivor Moshe Bar-Yuda was a young boy in Czechoslovakia when World War II broke out. He managed to survive in Hungary by assuming false identities and made it to Palestine before the end of the war. Later, he reunited with his mother, who was released from her married status by the Tel Aviv rabbinical court in 1948, on the presumption that her husband Alfred Kastner had been murdered in the Holocaust. There were rumors that Kastner had been killed at Majdanek, or perhaps Auschwitz.
In 2008, Bar-Yuda wanted to see if he could finally get an answer as to where his father died, so he approached Yad Vashem in Jerusalem for help. A list of deportees to the Novaky camp in Slovakia from March 27, 1942 in the Holocaust remembrance center’s archives confirmed Bar-Yuda’s childhood recollection that his father had been snatched from the street as they walked on the Sabbath before Passover.
But the answer to where Kastner was killed was not at Yad Vashem. It was in Bad Arolsen, Germany, buried somewhere in a complex of six buildings filled from floor to ceiling with 30 million original documents relating to the fates of 17.5 million victims of Nazi persecution. This massive archive, known at the International Tracing Service (ITS), contains a staggering amount of material, most of it collected by Allied forces as they liberated Europe, beginning in 1943.
The ITS shelves are crammed with concentration camp documents, transport and deportation lists, Gestapo arrest and prison records, and forced and slave labor documentation. The archive also includes millions of displaced persons’ I.D. cards and files, as well as post-war resettlement and emigration records. There are cemetery records for deceased forced laborers and prisoners, and concentration camp survivor testimonies taken by liberating forces. Some 2.5 million files alone contain post-WWII correspondence from people inquiring about the fates and whereabouts of their loved ones.
Japanese ‘Schindler’ a model of diplomacy at Holocaust remembrance event
The legacy of Japan’s “Schindler,” vice consul Chiune Sugihara, was celebrated as a model of diplomacy at an event held Thursday night in Jerusalem that delved into the relationship between diplomacy and the Holocaust.
Sugihara was the Japanese vice consul in Kaunas, Lithuania, between the years of 1939 and 1940. Against his government’s orders, he granted thousands of visas to European Jews, allowing them to exit occupied Lithuania and flee to Japan using the Trans-Siberian railway. When he was rushing out of Lithuania, he continued signing visas and even left signed open visas to help more Jews. He rescued thousands of Jews and is the only Japanese Righteous Among the Nations.
The American Jewish Committee Jerusalem’s annual Holocaust commemoration event featured a panel discussion between Japanese Ambassador to Israel Koji Tomita, Italian Ambassador to Israel Francesco Maria Talo and Greek Ambassador to Israel Konstantinos Bikas.
Noting the homogeneous nature of Japanese society, Tomita acknowledged that Japan lacks a communal mechanism to remember the Holocaust. “The Japanese don’t have relatives who can tell them what happened,” he said, highlighting education as the main vehicle through which to keep alive the memory of the Holocaust.
Nonetheless, he said that history textbooks are not always sufficient and that a conscious outreach to the general public is necessary. Retelling Sugihara’s story is key to these efforts.
Anti-Semitic incidents surge 86% in US in 2017 – ADL
Anti-Semitic incidents in the United States saw a massive spike of 86 percent in the first quarter of 2017, according to new data compiled by the Anti-Defamation League.
The jump in incidents comes after a 34% increase in 2016 from the previous year.
“There’s been a significant, sustained increase in anti-Semitic activity since the start of 2016 and what’s most concerning is the fact that the numbers have accelerated over the past five months,” the group’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
The Jewish civil rights group’s annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents found 541 reported anti-Semitic incidents in the first four months of the current year, including 380 episodes of harassment, 161 bomb threats to Jewish institutions and 155 cases of anti-Jewish vandalism.
Rising anti-semitism in the UK fuelled by social media, report finds
The UK has one of the fastest-rising levels of anti-Semitism in the world, a report has found.
The report, by Tel Aviv University-based researchers the Kantor Centre, found that anti-Semitism had worsened in English-speaking countries where Jewish people had historically been welcomed.
While in France and Belgium anti-Semitism dropped sharply between 2015 and 2016, incidences in the UK rose by 11 per cent and in Australia they increased by 10 per cent.
In the United States the report found that there had been a "troubling, year-long rise" in anti-Semitism directed at journalists covering the Presidential election.
The report includes an overview of anti-Semitic incidents in the UK and in around 40 other countries worldwide.
Overall violent anti-Semitic incidents fell by 12 per cent worldwide, and antisemitic incidents of all types appeared to fall in most of the countries studied.
Melanie Phillips: Not a deal but a surrender
What President Trump should be saying instead to Mahmoud Abbas and his people is that the US demands they stop waging this war of extermination, stop inculcating in their children hatred of the Jews and the goal of murdering Israelis and taking their land away from them, and stop paying terrorists’ families and glorifying mass murder. Trump should be telling them that, until and unless they do this, they will receive absolutely nothing from the US: no money, no diplomatic recognition, no concessions of any kind. Instead they will be treated as pariahs.
Because there can be no concessions whatever to an absolute evil. The intention to exterminate the State of Israel is just such an evil. And that is the agenda of the Palestinian leadership, and has been so for the best part of a century.
Anyone who still doesn’t understand this basic fact understands nothing about the Arab war against Israel. By offering the Palestinians this reported concession, Trump is offering them a reward for stopping rewarding mass murder. This is not only morally vacuous, but shows that for all his emotional support of Israel Trump does not understand the most basic fact about this conflict.
Nor presumably does his son-in-law and trusted adviser Jared Kushner. Although he is an orthodox Jew, as a former Democrat voter he presumably subscribes to the group-think prevalent in such circles that airbrushes the Palestinians’ real aim out of the picture altogether as incompatible with the liberal fantasy that this is a dispute over land boundaries between two peoples with genuine but incompatible claims to that land and is thus capable of a negotiated solution. It is not such a dispute. It is instead a century-old attempt to drive out the Jews from their own historic home.
This fantasy, however, is widespread in the west and has informed its approach to the Arab/Israel dispute for many decades. In this persistent attempt to negotiate with the non-negotiable and thus reward the unconscionable, it is the single most important reason why the Arab war against Israel continues without end.
A “deal” in these circumstances cannot be a deal at all. It would be a further signal of surrender.
Exclusive: UK singles out Israel in effort to 'protect' Palestinian minors
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a tender two weeks ago for organizations interested in developing projects working toward the “protection of human rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention.”
The move raised eyebrows in Jerusalem because of a concern that Israel was being singled out for arresting minors, as Britain was not expending similar funds on projects aimed at guaranteeing the rights of underage detainees in the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip or other countries around the world and was not looking for project proposals dealing with the abuse of Palestinian minors by Hamas, such as using them as civilian shields or to build attack tunnels to infiltrate Israel.
“The British Embassy in Israel and British Consulate General in Jerusalem are accepting concept notes for our program fund,” reads the publication of the call for project proposals that appears on the British government’s official website.
According to the website, projects are being sought from “civil society, commercial organizations, governments, think tanks [and] other UK government departments and international organizations” that will “work with Israeli and Palestinian stakeholders to effect change in one of the following areas: 1. Protection of human rights of Palestinian minors in Israeli detention. 2. Engaging with the Israeli authorities on improving Gaza movement and access.”
Although Israeli diplomatic officials declined to respond to the call for project proposals, Jerusalem is used to dealing with questions regarding Palestinian minors in detention.
Germany is a hotbed of Iranian spy activity that targets Israel
The German Interior Ministry notified a Left Party deputy last week that agents from Iran have been some of the most active spies in the Federal Republic between 2007 and 2017, including assassination attempts on Israel advocates.
German authorities conducted criminal investigations into Iran for 22 cases of espionage, while Russia’s illicit spy activity led with 27 cases. China and Turkey both registered 15 spy cases. Syrian agents were involved in 8 espionage operations. According to the Interior Ministry letter sent to Left Party deputy Jan Korte, the federal government declared four Syrian agents persona non grata.
Other Middle Eastern and North African countries caught engaging in illegal covert operations inside Germany include Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Morocco. Germany initiated a total of 123 investigations over the last decade for espionage.
Last month, a Berlin court sentenced 31-year-old Pakistani citizen Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi to four years and three months in prison for working for Iran’s intelligence service to spy “against Germany and another NATO member.”
According to German prosecutors, Haidar Syed-Naqfi was assigned to identify Israeli and Jewish institutions and Israel advocates in Germany, France and other unnamed Western European countries for possible attacks. He monitored a German-Jewish newspaper’s headquarters in Berlin and Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German-Israel Friendship Society.
German foreign minister to press Israel for 2-state solution
Deep and "unbreakable" ties between Germany and Israel are part of Germany's national identity and pillars of its foreign policy, but Berlin will continue to press for a two-state solution, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday.
"With respect to the Middle East conflict, our solidarity with Israel also means working to ensure that Israel and Palestine can live side by side in dignity and peace. Only a two-state solution will be sustainable," Gabriel said in a statement released as he departed for the region.
Gabriel's visit, his first since becoming foreign minister in January, comes as German concerns about Israeli settlement building have dragged ties to their lowest point in years.
German governments have made strong relations with Israel a top priority since after World War II, going to great lengths to make amends for the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.
Gabriel was scheduled to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum on Monday and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is also scheduled to meet with Israeli and Palestinian government officials, his spokesman, Martin Schaefer, told reporters on Friday.
JCC bomb hoaxer charged with vast list of offenses, including threats to execute children, blow up planes
Israel on Monday filed a massive laundry list of criminal charges against an Israeli-American teenager accused of making thousands of bomb threat calls and other violent threats to Jewish institutions, schools, hospitals and airlines all over the world. His alleged threats caused fighter jets to scramble, planes to dump fuel and make emergency landings, large numbers of schools to evacuate, and numerous other chaotic consequences. In some cases, he allegedly threatened to execute children he claimed to be holding hostage.
The Justice Ministry said the 18-year-old hacker from Ashkelon was charged at the Tel Aviv District Court with thousands of counts of extortion, publishing false information that caused panic, computer offenses and money laundering, among other charges.
The indictment says that in addition to the previously reported threats to Jewish community centers, the unnamed teen also targeted hundreds of non-Jewish schools, airlines and airports, malls, and police stations, in the US, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and Britain, and tried to extort Republican State Senator Ernesto Lopez from Delaware. He also offered extortion services over the internet in return for compensation in the cryptocurrency bitcoin.
The Israeli indictment reveals a pattern of threats far more numerous, more vicious, and against a far wider range of targets, than previously reported.
IDF Soldier Stabbed at Jerusalem Area Checkpoint, Female Assailant Detained
A female soldier was stabbed at the Qalandiya checkpoint Monday morning, north of Jerusalem.
The female assailant was neutralized at the scene, while the soldier—an NCO in the Civil Administration—was lightly wounded in the upper body.
The woman who carried out the stabbing attack was identified as Asya Kabaneh, 41, from the village of Duma in the Nablus area.
Asya, who is a married mother of 9, said during investigation that for a long time she has been in conflict with her husband, who threatened to deport her to her family in Jordan.
The investigation also revealed that she had fought with her husband last night over the education of their children and as a result, she decided to carry out an attack in order for the security forces to shoot her because—in her words—she was fed up with her life.
'We'll be more careful next time'
The leftist organization which brought the terrorist responsible for Sunday’s stabbing attack into Israel pledged Monday to reassess its screening mechanism to ensure its day-trips program is not used to aid terrorism in the future.
On Sunday it was revealed that the Natural Peace Tour organization, which brings Palestinian Authority residents into Israel for tours and meetings with Israelis, had secured the one-day visitation entry permit for the 18-year old Arab terrorist who stabbed four Israelis in north Tel Aviv on Sunday.
Following the revelation, NPT announced it was investigating the incident, and would be temporarily suspending its tour programs inside Israel.
“We’re working with governmental agencies who approved the entry permit,” an NPT spokesperson told Army Radio. “We will be much more careful. For the time being we have halted our activities, like the [Defense Ministry’s] Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories requested.”
Two Jewish Israelis rescued from East Jerusalem Arab neighborhood
Police rescued two Jewish Israeli men from an Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem on Sunday night after rocks were thrown at them.
The police officers were called to Sur Baher to retrieve the two men, who reportedly went to the area for business. Hebrew media reported that they had come to the neighborhood to sell unauthorized eggs on the black market.
Police said that they were called to the neighborhood amid a report that two Jews were being pelted with rocks. The two fled in their vehicle to a health clinic, hitting a parked car on the way, and remained there until the cops arrived.
As they left the area, a riot broke out and Molotov cocktails and rocks were hurled at a police car. There were no injuries but the vehicle sustained damaged, police said.
Israel security forces arrest Palestinians linked to violent attacks
Israeli security forces arrested 12 Palestinians overnight Monday, including six from the village of Nabi Saleh who had allegedly thrown stones at a Border Police jeep while at a gas station in early March.
Villagers threw stones and paint bombs at the security forces during the overnight raid. One family filmed the soldiers who entered their home to carry out arrests.
Border police said their forces arrested two minors and four young adults.
“As soon we had incriminating documentation of the rioters who threw stones at the jeep, we knew we would settle a score with them and arrest them,” said the Border Police commander who led the raid.
On Friday, Palestinians held a rally in Nabi Saleh in support of the Palestinian prisoners, including those jailed for killing Israelis. Protesters and the IDF clashed at the entry to the village. Young Palestinian men and teenagers threw stones at the soldiers, who in turn threw tear gas at the rioters.
84 more Hamas men quit hunger strike – Prisons Service
Dozens of Palestinian prisoners on Saturday ended their participation in a mass hunger strike, a Prisons Service spokesman said. “Eighty-four Hamas prisoners in Gilboa Prison ended their hunger strikes and were returned to their normal cells,” the spokesman said on Sunday.
Earlier in the weekend, the Prisons Service said that 100 other hunger-striking prisoners, held in a variety of facilities, quit the hunger strike
More than a thousand security prisoners, led by Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who was convicted in 2004 of five counts of murder, are carrying out a hunger strike in Israeli prisons. They are demanding an end to solitary confinement and administrative detention, an increase in family visitations, and an improvement in medical care and amenities.
PLO Commission for Prisoner Affairs Chairman Issa Qaraqaa denied that prisoners ended their hunger strike. “The opposite is true,” he told Wafa, the official Palestinian Authority news site.

How New is the New Hamas Charter?
The Arab states that reject Israel today forget that they themselves would not exist without the Mandate system – a point seldom if ever acknowledged in public forums where the legitimacy of Israel is debated.
If there is any Palestinian desire for a two-state solution, it is questionable: according to current maps of "Palestine," and the New Hamas Charter, it is supposed to be on its neighbouring state, Israel; not next to it. The wish of Palestinian leaders to have a Palestinian state is never realized solely due to the unending rejection of their Jewish neighbour.
Article 19 of the New Charter repeats that there will never be peace so long as Israel still exists. It declares: "We do not leave any part of the Palestinians' land, under any circumstances, conditions or pressure, as long as the occupation remains. Hamas refuses any alternative which is not the whole liberation of Palestine, from the river to the sea."
PA blames Israel for domestic violence
The Palestinian Authority (PA) bureau in charge of women's affairs is blaming Israel's “violation of human rights” and its alleged “siege” of Gaza for the recent rise in domestic violence.
In an official statement issued on Sunday, the bureau condemned all crimes of violence against women and the murder of women, and demanded that the relevant authorities take aggressive measures to stop them.
It also demanded that criminals not be allowed to escape the law, even if the crime is an honor killing.
According to Islam, the father is the head of the family and has the responsibility and obligation to ensure that all members of the family observe Islamic law. In certain circumstances and under certain conditions, he is permitted to use limited violence for the purposes of education. In a number of Muslim countries, an honor killing is taken into account when issuing a lenient sentence. In many cases, the father or brother carries out the honor killing.
Honor killings have been on the rise in the PA in recent years, leading the UN organization for women to decry the rising rates.
Obama’s hidden Iran deal giveaway
When President Barack Obama announced the “one-time gesture” of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who “were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses” last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran’s pledge to free five Americans.
“Iran had a significantly higher number of individuals, of course, at the beginning of this negotiation that they would have liked to have seen released,” one senior Obama administration official told reporters in a background briefing arranged by the White House, adding that “we were able to winnow that down to these seven individuals, six of whom are Iranian-Americans.”
But Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren’t telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.
In his Sunday morning address to the American people, Obama portrayed the seven men he freed as “civilians.” The senior official described them as businessmen convicted of or awaiting trial for mere “sanctions-related offenses, violations of the trade embargo.”
In reality, some of them were accused by Obama’s own Justice Department of posing threats to national security. Three allegedly were part of an illegal procurement network supplying Iran with U.S.-made microelectronics with applications in surface-to-air and cruise missiles like the kind Tehran test-fired recently, prompting a still-escalating exchange of threats with the Trump administration. Another was serving an eight-year sentence for conspiring to supply Iran with satellite technology and hardware. As part of the deal, U.S. officials even dropped their demand for $10 million that a jury said the aerospace engineer illegally received from Tehran.
Iran’s Presidential Elections Are an Elaborate Charade
The upcoming elections in the Islamic Republic have generated headlines in the Western media that, Amir Taheri writes, seem to misunderstand that this is a sham contest:
Every four years, Iranians and others interested in Iranian affairs are invited to participate in or at least observe what is presented as a dramatic quest for power by rival factions defending sharply different programs. Thus a few weeks of excitement are created out of thin air to give the impression that the peculiar system created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini is an Islamic version of the cursed democracy promoted by the “infidel.” The show is also used to blame all that is wrong in the country on the president in charge for the past four years and, almost always, end up re-electing him for four more years. . . .
To add more spice to the mix, the regime and its lobbyists in the West also urge support for the candidate supposed to be farther from the “supreme leader,” Ali Khamenei. . . . For Khamenei, [however], the presidential election is nothing but a four-year endorsement of the Khomeinist system, a kind of referendum on the regime’s legitimacy rather than a choice of an individual president. . . .
Why Isn’t Qatar Named as a State Sponsor of Terrorism?
On Saturday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis visited the Gulf emirate of Qatar, home to a large and sophisticated American air base crucial for U.S. operations in the Middle East. Jonathan Schanzer hopes that Mattis exerted pressure on Qatar to crack down on the terrorist financiers who operate in its borders with impunity. And, serious as this problem is, it is not the only one:
Qatar harbors the bad guys, too. In 2015, two senior Taliban officials traveled in and out of Qatar to meet members of the notorious Taliban Five—high-level prisoners from Guantanamo Bay who were traded to Qatari custody by the Obama administration for the American prisoner Bowe Bergdahl. The Qataris facilitated the swap through the Taliban embassy they helped set up in Doha. Leaked cables show U.S. officials have long worried about how the Taliban and others may “exploit Qatar as a fundraising locale.”
There is also the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, which enjoys safe haven in Qatar and also raises plenty of cash. Outgoing leader Khaled Meshal has long operated out of Doha. The Hamas military official Saleh Arouri—suspected of masterminding the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, sparking the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel—is [also] now reportedly in Qatar after being booted from Turkey. . . .

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During a rally in Bethlehem in support of Palestinians terrorist hunger strikers, I noticed that many of the demonstrators were wearing ski masks (often with keffiyehs) showing the Fatah "destroy-all-Israel" logo:

Terror is so mainstream for Mahmoud Abbas' "moderate" Fatah movement that it is now even manufacturing terror-style ski masks for its members to proudly wear.

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EoZ was the first site to examine and expose the bigoted and pro-terror Facebook posts of many UNRWA employees, including teachers and principals.

According to Arab media, the increased focus on that hate has led UNRWA to withhold salaries from some of their offending employees.

The UNRWA staff union released a statement today saying that UNRWA management has issued sanctions of deducting up to a full month's salary against some employees due to their use of Facebook for  "national issues. "

The union's statement said that it absolutely rejects this punishment by UNRWA, denouncing "the arrogance of the Agency's management and attempt to impose its desires on the staff."

It added: "The relief agency and the laws of neutrality" would not be at the expense of Palestinian national identity and the staff that wants to express their anti-Israel views.

The Union warned that "such action would have serious consequences."

UNRWA unions are notoriously antisemitic. The Gaza teachers' union has engaged in Holocaust denial.  So has the Palestinian teachers' union in Lebanon, where UNRWA dominates.

Notice that the rank and file of UNRWA staff are not only complicit in promulgating hate, but they bitterly oppose any efforts to rein it in.

It looks like the pressure from the West - and the tying of UNRWA's funding to its behavior - is having results.

Since this is the only thing that has ever prompted UNRWA to barely uphold its own standards, this means that the pressure should only be increased.

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Times of Israel reports:

The Defense Ministry suspended single-day work permits for Palestinians to enter Israel Sunday, hours after a Palestinian teen injured four in a stabbing attack on Tel Aviv’s beachfront.

The attacker, identified as an 18-year-old from the Nablus area of the West Bank, apparently entered Israel with one such pass, as part of a group known as “Natural Peace Tours,” which is supposed to forge relationships between Palestinians and Israelis, a defense official said. He was not named.

The ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories said the one-day permits granted to different organizations and groups will be “frozen” until an investigation of the matter can be conducted, the official said.

Four people were hospitalized with light injuries after the attacker, who has not been named, went on a stabbing spree in the Leonardo Beach hotel on Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Street, near the city’s famous beach, on Sunday afternoon.
There is very little about "Natural Peace Tours" online, but it appears to be more a for-profit tourist agency than a "peace NGO."  One Facebook page that is no longer online looked like this:

The other Facebook page with that name has very little description but a number of photos of what are apparently Arabs taking tours and having fun in Israel - at the Lebanon border, at the beach, touring old Tiberias.

The best description I could find was a 2010 article in from a Tel Aviv man named Neri Bar-On:

The idea is to provide a tourist experience for people, Natural Peace Tours provide the services to get the permit plan the tour and arrange the comfort of the customers but for us this is not "Palestinians" these are customers who get the service the deserve and we support them to enjoy the day.

check the photos here
Natural Peace Tours does not think in "conflict terms" we think of human experience term and we want to provide the best experience for the people who decided to spend their day of vocation [sic] with us.

This is a different approach then many "Peace activists" and it is build on Palestinians and Israelis who work together with "business" and "service" mind as it should be in the future of peace we all desire.

we have tours to Tiberia, Akka, Haifa, Tel-Aviv, el hama sorriya, and we provide service to groups and individuals of Palestinians only. all our work is legal and we measure our success with the income Palestinian get from this activity that injected back into the Palestinian economy.

the face book is open only for Palestinians and Arab speakers.
we do not address any political issue, we do not discuss it and do not try to make any political statement. we provide human experience with what exist in our reality we respect all interpretations as private.
Despite its name, the group is not really about peace, but about providing a way for Arabs to visit Israel, doing all the paperwork for a price. I saw nothing about any real interaction with Israelis in these tours.

An unnamed spokesperson for the group told Walla! that they were cooperating with police, and that the stabber could not have taken the knife from their breakfast because they went through security. He claimed that most of the people in that group were women and children.

(h/t Yoel)

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

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Here is President Trump's recorded speech to the World Jewish Congress for Holocaust Remembrance Day this year:

On Yom HaShoah, we look back at the darkest chapter of human history. We mourn, we remember, we pray, and we pledge: Never again. I say it, never again.

The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror, and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.

On this Holocaust Remembrance Day, we tell the stories of the fathers, mothers and children, whose lives were extinguished and whose love was torn from this earth. We also tell the stories of courage in the face of death, humanity in the face of barbarity, and the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people.

Today, only decades removed from the Holocaust, we see a great nation risen from the desert and we see a proud Star of David waving above the State of Israel. That star is a symbol of Jewish perseverance. It’s a monument to unyielding strength. We recall the famous words attributed to Theodor Herzl: If you will, it is no dream. If you will it, it is no dream.

Jews across the world have proved the truth of these words day after day. In the memory of those who were lost, we renew our commitment and our determination not to disregard the warnings of our own times.

We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel’s destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of.

To all of you tonight, who have come from around the world, let it be known, America stands strong with the State of Israel.

The meaning of that state for so many is captured by the words of a German Jewish musician. Escaping Germany before 1937, he settled in the ancient land of Israel. Sometime later, he received a visit from a British official, who found him living in a hut, with only his piano for company. The official recognized the musician and said: This must be a terrible change for you. The musician looked back at him and replied: It is a change - from hell to heaven.

Many of you here today helped fulfill the same dream, the dream of Israel for millions, a dream that burned in the hearts of oppressed and fallen and which now draws the breath of life from a joyous people each and every day.

Thank you for your leadership, for your service, and for your vision of a world that is more free, just and peaceful place for all of God’s people.

Thank you, and God bless you all.
Here is President Obama's statement last year on the same occasion:
Today, on Yom HaShoah, we solemnly remember the six million Jews and the millions of others murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

On this day, we honor the memory of the millions of individuals – the mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, friends and neighbors – who lost their lives during a time of unparalleled depravity and inhumanity. We reaffirm our ongoing responsibility as citizens and as a nation to live out the admonition, “Never forget. Never again.” And we commit ourselves to preserving the memories of those who lived through the horrors of the Shoah, so that their experiences are not forgotten by our generation or by our children or grandchildren.

We also honor those who survived the Holocaust, many of them spared from death because of the righteous individuals who risked their lives to save Jews and other victims from Nazi persecution. The stories of these survivors and their protectors remind us to confront persecution wherever it arises, and that silence can be an accomplice to evil. They remind us of our duty to counter the rising tide of anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred that threaten the values we hold dear—pluralism, diversity, and the freedoms of religion and expression.

Today, and every day, we stand in solidarity with the Jewish community both at home and abroad. We stand with those who are leaving the European cities where they have lived for generations because they no longer feel safe, with the members of institutions that have been attacked because of their Jewish affiliations, and with the college students forced to confront swastikas appearing on their campuses. And we call upon all people of good will to be vigilant and vocal against every form of bigotry.

When we recognize our interconnectedness and the fundamental dignity and equality of every human being, we help to build a world that is more accepting, secure and free. This is the best way to honor the legacy we recognize on Yom HaShoah and to fulfill our responsibilities to repair our world from generation to generation.
President Trump does not have the oratorical skills of President Obama, but his message is a breath of fresh air after the stilted statements from the Obama White House.

Unlike President Trump, President Obama never related the Holocaust to the threats that Israel faces - not in 2016 and not in the previous years either. (201220132014, 2015).

I know that all these statements were drafted by White House speechwriters. But they do reflect the way the President and his administration think.

There is a world of difference between how Obama tried to universalize the Holocaust or would only discuss right-wing antisemitism, and how Trump draws a straight line between antisemitism and today's anti-Zionism.

Obama's White House believed, even if they never said it explicitly,  that Israel causes antisemitism. Trump's White House accurately knows that Israel is the antidote to antisemitism.

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.
The news this week that the Allies knew about the Holocaust two years before they liberated the camps hardly seems like news.

The New York Times did report on the Holocaust in 1942 and 1943 - just they buried the very few reports they had deep inside the paper, sometimes barely mentioning Jews among the victims.

July 2, 1942, page 6:

February 28, 1943, page 12:

April 20, 1943, page 11:

August 8, 1943, page 11:

August 27, 1943, page 7:

Anyone who cared to know, knew, well before the war ended. Even though this is only a fraction of what was discovered about the Holocaust after the war, already in 1943 it was known that millions of Jews were murdered.

They knew. They chose not to do anything about it.

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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