David Collier: Cork, Ireland. Politely wishing the Jews to a nasty death
Today I am in Cork, Southern Ireland. This is a story that began two years ago, with a failed attempt by a twisted academic at Southampton, to place a fake academic veneer on part of the delegitimise Israel campaign. Those that suggest this is not true are simply not listening to the organisers, the speakers or even the delegates. Activism as a central theme was ever present. There is little denying that this conference is about attempting to place additional tools in the arsenal of the anti-Israel activist. Indeed, it is clearly the primary purpose.Col. Kemp: International community ignoring Hezbollah threat to Israel
Two failed attempts to hold a conference in Southampton, sandwiched between legal attempts to force the hand of the university, has led us all to Southern Ireland and to Cork, where finally, Oren Ben-Dor got to hold his circus of hate. This, even though the University at Cork, distanced themselves from the event.
I have just sat through the first day of the three-day conference. I will put together a more complete write up of the entire event when it has finished. I am away from home and do not have access to many of my files for referencing. So today I just want to put some initial thoughts into words.
The setting for today was the impressive Cork County Hall. We are informed that filming is not permitted, which makes life more difficult for someone to report accurately on an event such as this. The organisation, was professionally done. The conference is split into themes, each building part of a picture that sets out to destroy Israel’s standing as a legitimate state. Just as was intended two years ago, in Southampton, each subject is discussed by a panel, all of who were presenting papers on the topic.
Of about 50 academics present, only one would consider himself Zionist. Almost all the others support the boycott of Israel, and most call openly for its demise. There were a few opening remarks to a room of maybe 170 people, and we were underway.
Last year, Col. Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was touring the Wingate Institute south of Netanya. He came across an oil painting of the institute’s namesake, Orde Wingate. Wingate was a former British officer who helped lead the pre-state Special Night Squads that played a role in training Jews who went on to found the Israeli army. Kemp decided the painting deserved better and paid to have it restored. In late March, after a visit to Israel as part of the Friends of Israel Initiative, he stopped by the institute to see the finished product. Now back in England, he wants to emphasize how important it is that the world keep an eye on Hezbollah’s threats and Islamist terrorism.Sisi’s Important White House Visit
“The purpose really [of my visit] is to determine what the current threat is and see how Israel can counter that threat,” he says. “We want to highlight to the international community that unless something is done to prevent Hezbollah under direction of Iran from attacking Israel; and Israel will respond, and there will be civilian casualties and Israel will be condemned by [the] International community; to give notice to the international community that this could happen and so that when it does happen the casualties are not Israel’s fault but Hezbollah’s.” His message is that other countries who have relations with Iran and Lebanon need to focus on this threat rather than wait for war to come and then point fingers.
He points to the UN resolution that has sought to end the militarization of southern Lebanon. Resolution 1701 of 2006 sought to have the Lebanese army exercise full sovereignty and that there would be no other weapons without the consent of the government on Lebanese territory.” And that the area would be “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon.” But this is being “completely ignored,” says Kemp. Pressure should be put on Lebanon to end Hezbollah’s arms buildup. “No one seems to be even paying attention to the 100,000 missiles pointing at Israel’s civilian population.” He also argues that the international community should pressure Iran, which supports Hezbollah, and points to the Iran deal which has resulted in funds being released for Iran that empowers it and Hezbollah.
Kemp thinks the decision to leave the EU will make the UK more secure. This is especially true in light of the recent London terror attack, the first since 2013 and the most serious since the July 2005 bombings. “The current estimate is that there are 3,000 active Jihadists considered to be a threat by MI5 [British intelligence], that same threat extends across the whole of Europe in France, Belgium and elsewhere, and the thing is complicated, one of the reasons the threat is there is because the Islamic State has been allowed to continue to exist, its existence and defiance has inspired terrorists to act,” says the Colonel.
There is an irony to so many progressives prioritizing the Israel-Palestinian peace process yet seeking simultaneously to ostracize Egypt. There simply cannot be any lasting solution without Egypt’s input and security guarantees. Individuals need not necessarily like either Sisi or Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but establishing trust between the Israeli and Egyptian leader is crucial given all the security issues at play. Sisi’s presence—and the establishment of trust between Jerusalem and Cairo—opens a number of doors on the peace process and is also crucial to preventing the further establishment of Iranian influence in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Make no mistake: the human rights concerns are real, although prominent advocacy groups like Human Rights Watch have delegitimized themselves by showing their numbers in Egypt are based more on their executive director’s pique than on any scientific surveying. Across the region as well, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have partnered with radical groups to push a political agenda that has very little to do with human rights and everything to do with its employees’ partisan worldview.
Trump may not bring up human rights with Sisi, but the Egyptian leader risks enclosing himself in a bubble of sycophancy if he continues to crack down on the Egyptian press. Transparency is also essential in business. Longtime Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak delayed making the tough decisions and undercut opportunities for ordinary Egyptians as he privileged a military oligarchy. Should that repeat, the Egyptian people might again turn on the state. The State Department should not cease to advocate liberalization, but diplomacy isn’t about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Mainstream Media Distorts Reality on Israeli Settlements
Yesterday, Israel’s government approved construction of a new settlement in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank). Media outlets CNN, BBC and the NY Times wasted no time publishing stories that distort the truth, if not outright lie. These mistakes range from offering a false impression of reality to actually getting facts wrong. Such elementary mistakes expose the disconnect between mainstream media outlets and basic truths of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.White House Cautions Israel on ‘Unrestrained’ Settlement Building
For example, CNN wrote that this is Israel’s ‘first new settlement in Palestinian territory in more than 20 years’. The first part of the sentence is misleading and the second part is false. Israel has not built new communities in Judea and Samaria (aka West Bank) because it gave an abundant amount of chances for the Palestinian leadership to come to the table and reach an agreement. However, the Palestinians continually refused. Instead, the article leads the reader to believe that this is a new policy meant to stifle any chance for a peace agreement.
The second part of the statement asserts that Israel is building in Palestinian territory. This is because CNN incorrectly believes that Israel has no legal rights to the West Bank. Israel’s legal rights to controlling the West Bank and building communities there under international law have been affirmed time and again by respected authorities on the subject including: Professor Eugene Rostow, Professor Julius Stone , Professor Eugene Kontorovich, Professor Avi Bell and more.
BBC wrote that this new settlement is being built after ‘the largest settlement, Amona, was evacuated by police last month.’ Amona, far from being the largest settlement, was probably one of the smallest settlements existing in the West Bank, approximately 40 families. Yet, this gives the impression that even the largest settlement in the West Bank was evacuated, and thus why not evacuate the entire West Bank.
And the New York Times topped it off by cherry picking statements to make it look as if Israel was disrespecting the Trump Administration. Author of the article, Isabel Kershner, who has been accused of anti-Israel bias in the past, writes that Israel is building settlements despite President Trump’s request ‘to hold off on settlement activity’. Then she writes that ‘the United States has long considered the settlements an obstacle to peace.’ Those two statements are mixing apples with oranges.
The White House on Friday cautioned Israel on large-scale settlement building, refraining from criticism of a major project just approved but warning further expansion could block peace efforts, and the EU and UK outright condemned the move.Shmuley Boteach: David Friedman emerges as a symbol of Jewish pride
"While the existence of settlements is not in itself an impediment to peace, further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace," a White House official said.
The Israeli Security Cabinet gave unanimous backing late Thursday to the first officially sanctioned new settlement in the West Bank in more than 20 years.
The White House official said that settlement, a new home for the former residents of the illegal outpost of Amona, was in the pipeline during Barack Obama's administration, and refrained from criticizing the decision.
"We would note that the Israeli prime minister made a commitment to the Amona settlers prior to President Trump laying out his expectations, and has consistently indicated that he intended to move forward with this plan," the official said.
"Going forward… the Israeli government has made clear that Israel's intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes President Trump's concerns into consideration."
I’ve been to many public and political events in my life, but today was one of the most electrifying. Not because I was privileged to be at the swearing-in ceremony of America’s ambassador to Israel at the White House. And not because I got to be part of a historic moment presided over by the vice president of the United States, one of Israel’s greatest friends.American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley: All I’ve Done With Israel Is Tell the Truth
Rather, what I will never forget about the swearing-in of United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was how David, an Orthodox Jew, took out his yarmulke, placed it proudly on his head in front of the global media, assembled guests and the vice president of the United States, placed his hands on his Hebrew Bible and took the oath of office. In accordance with the strictures of Jewish law, he did not “swear” but rather “affirmed” the oath administered to him by the vice president.
And there it was. In the Indian Treaty Room, one of the most beautiful rooms of the White House compound, the United States had an Orthodox Jewish ambassador to the world’s only Jewish state, a man who celebrates his Jewish observance as making him a greater American.
For the past few months, I have watched David Friedman as he has navigated the turbulent waters of public life.
I have watched him as he has been viciously attacked by people who know nothing about him. I have watched him in public settings and private surroundings. I have watched him praying Mincha, the afternoon prayer, in his lawyer’s office. I have seen him at his home interacting with his family. I have seen him in conversation with my children. And I saw him on his father’s yahrzeit as he movingly retold stories of his father’s American patriotism and love for Israel.
“All I’ve done with Israel is tell the truth,” US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley told a New York City gathering on Wednesday about the prominent role she has taken in defending the Jewish state since she assumed her current position two months ago. “So when I saw something wrong, I called it out.”Wiesenthal Center opposes Qatari candidate for UNESCO head
At a Council on Foreign Relations event, the former South Carolina governor was asked by Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove of Park Avenue Synagogue, “How can you signal to Israel that we are Israel’s friend and ally but also when we see something that might not be in the best interests of a two-state solution, communicate that?”
In response, Haley said, “I will tell you, there is such a huge want of so many people to see Israel and the Palestinian Authority come together. And I think that’s why you have seen President [Donald] Trump, who’s just adamant that this is going to happen, do that. I met…with the representative from the Palestinian Authority, and we talked about the situation here at the United Nations. And what I said to him was: Look, we just want balance. We just want it to be fair. And in doing that, what I, you know, had asked of him was, don’t put any more resolutions on the table bashing Israel. But at the same time, we’re not going to be able to really support you going forward in moving up if you don’t come to the table and negotiate.”
“So we’ve actually been pretty tough on both in terms of Israel having to come to the table and the Palestinian Authority coming to the table,” she continued. “I think that they will. The two need to decide what that solution looks like, and the two need to come together. They both claim they are. We’ll see what happens.”
“And I know the settlements issue is going to be an area of contention, but they’ve got to work it out,” Haley added. “They’ve got to figure out exactly where they’re going to be so that we can finally have peace in that area. And that’s my hope and prayer, is that that happens.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has protested to UNESCO over the candidature of Qatar’s former culture minister to lead the world cultural body, charging he has repeatedly endorsed anti-Semitic works and denied a Jewish connection to Jerusalem.Three hurt in Jerusalem Old City stabbing, attacker shot dead
Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari was announced as one of nine short-listed candidates for the post of UNESCO director-general this week, prompting the protest from the Jewish NGO.
In recent months UNESCO has frequently drawn protest from Israel and Jewish groups for a series of resolutions that sought to deny Jewish or Christian links to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
A letter sent Friday to Ambassador Michael Worbs, Chair of the UNESCO Executive Board, by Shimon Samuels, the director of international relations at the center, expressed surprise to see Al-Kawari’s name on the list of candidates, noting that “only yesterday, Qatar supported a draft resolution contesting all Israeli/Jewish ties to Jerusalem, both East and West.”
The center noted that as Qatari culture minister, Al-Kawari had overseen cultural displays that foment “conspiracy theories and Jew-hatred.”
An assailant stabbed two young men and a police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City Saturday afternoon, wounding them, before being shot and killed by security forces, police said.Mother of JCC bomb hoaxer: He’s autistic, doesn’t know what he’s doing
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the teenage terrorist stabbed two Jewish youths before fleeing, with police forces giving chase. He then stabbed one of the policemen before he was shot.
The victims — two civilians aged 18 and 20, and a border policeman in his early 20s — received treatment at the scene and were taken to hospital. They were said to suffer light-to-moderate wounds.
The attack took place on Haggai Street in the Muslim Quarter. This was the second stabbing attack in the Old City this week.
A video filmed by a bystander showed the immediate aftermath of the stabbing.
The assailant was identified by Palestinian media as 17-year-old Ahmad Jazal from the West Bank village of Sebastia, near Nablus.
Shortly before carrying out the attack Jazal photographed himself smiling outside the Temple Mount’s Dome of the Rock. The photos were shared by Palestinians on social media, with some praising the “martyr” for his actions.
The mother of an Israeli-American teen believed to have been behind hundreds of hoax bomb threats against Jewish institutions in the US has said her son has diagnosed autism and could not control his actions due to a tumor in his brain.Hamas vows ‘divine punishment’ for assassins of top commander
The mother, who spoke with Channel 2 news in an interview broadcast Saturday evening, said she was “shocked” to discover her son was behind a spate of US bomb scares and wished “I had known and could have prevented it.”
But, speaking with her face concealed, she insisted that the teen was not responsible for his actions.
“My son is not a criminal, he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” she said, repeating claims by the suspect’s lawyer that a non-malignant brain tumor discovered in his brain several years ago had had an adverse affect on his behavior.
The teen, whose family lives in Ashkelon, was ordered to remain behind bars for an additional week on Thursday. He is facing charges of extortion, making threats, publishing false information and is accused of sowing widespread fear and panic. His name is under a gag order in Israel.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Saturday vowed “divine punishment” for the assassins of one of its terror chiefs and those who sent them.UN agency suspends Gaza missions after Hamas restrictions
“Assassinations do not frighten us,” Haniyeh said, according to Channel 2 news. “These murderers and their dispatchers will not escape divine punishment, punishment by the people and punishment by the resistance organizations.”
Hamas has accused Israel of being behind the assassination last Friday night of Mazen Faqha, a Hamas operative previously released during the prisoner exchange in 2011 that secured the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Faqha was shot dead near his home in Tel el-Hawa, a neighborhood in southwestern Gaza City, by assailants using a weapon equipped with a silencer. He was hit by four bullets to the head,according to Gaza reports.
There was no official comment from Israel on his killing.
Haniyeh promised that Hamas would capture those involved in Faqha’s killing and that “every hand that hurt the martyr Mazen…will be cut off.”
A United Nations political agency suspended its missions to Gaza Friday after the Hamas authorities in the Palestinian enclave partly closed the key border crossing into Israel, a source said.Hamas to allow UN, Red Cross officials to leave Gaza
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process (UNSCO) will not send staff to Gaza until further notice, the source close to the organization told AFP on condition of anonymity, after Hamas imposed tough new restrictions following the assassination of one of its terror chiefs.
The decision was made, the source added, as frustration grows at the negative impact of the restrictions for aid work and Gazan citizens.
UNSCO is the key UN agency working on the currently stagnant Palestinian-Israeli peace process, and the restrictions will apply to its head, UN envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov.
In previous conflicts between Hamas and Israel UNSCO helped to negotiate ceasefires, and Mladenov reports regularly to the UN Security Council.
Hamas will allow foreign UN and Red Cross workers to leave Gaza, the Islamist terror group ruling the Palestinian enclave said Saturday, after closing the only foot crossing with Israel.Terror threats transform China's Uighur heartland into security state
Hamas shut the Erez crossing on March 26 after it blamed the Jewish state for the assassination two days earlier of one of its leaders.
“In recognition of the need for humanitarian aid in Gaza, the Ministry of Interior decided to permit foreign workers of the UN and the Red Cross free movement to enter and leave the Gaza Strip,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement.
Other restrictions remain in place, the statement added, but “humanitarian cases in urgent need of travel” would be examined individually.
On Monday, Hamas authorities reopened Erez for those entering Gaza, but men between 18 and 45 are still largely prevented from leaving the enclave of two million people.
Reports said Hamas was looking for the assassins of senior military figure Mazen Faqha, 38, believing they are still in Gaza, but the knock-on effects have been significant.
On Friday, the Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process suspended its missions to Gaza as frustrations grew over the restrictions, according to a source close to the organization.
Three times a day, alarms ring out through the streets of China's ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar, and shopkeepers rush out of their stores swinging government-issued wooden clubs.Israeli report: Thousands of Chinese jihadists are fighting in Syria
In mandatory anti-terror drills conducted under police supervision and witnessed by Reuters on a recent visit, they fight off imaginary knife-wielding assailants. Armored paramilitary and police vehicles circle with sirens blaring.
China says it faces a serious threat from Islamist extremists in this far Western Xinjiang region. Beijing accuses separatists among the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority there of stirring up tensions with the ethnic Han Chinese majority and plotting attacks elsewhere in China.
A historic trading post, Kashgar is also central to China's One Belt, One Road (OBOR) Initiative, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign and economic policy involving massive infrastructure spending linking China to Asia, the Middle East and beyond.
China's worst fears are that a large-scale attack would blight this year's diplomatic setpiece, an OBOR summit attended by world leaders planned for Beijing in May.
A report by the Israeli Foreign Ministry found that thousands of Chinese Muslims are fighting in the ranks of jihadi organizations in Syria. China is very concerned about their return and their influence on the security of its citizens and its worldwide interests, which is why they have recently increased their involvement in Syria, and have pushed to strengthen their ties with the Assad regime.Germany rebukes institute for hosting pro-Hezbollah academic
Traditionally, China attributed little importance to Syria, but current circumstances are changing the situation. The report of one of Israel's three intelligence assessment bodies, along with Military Intelligence and the Mossad, stated, "The arrival of tens of thousands of Chinese citizens fighting and living in the country raises the need for monitoring them. China is interested in as much data that can be collected on them, and it is our understanding that they would prefer to liquidate them on Syrian soil, in order to prevent their return to their region."
Chinese jihadists singing: 'I am a Jihad warrior'
In order to achieve these goals, China has to be assisted by those who are active in the field and with which it has friendly relations: Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.
The Chinese who fight in Syria are members of the Muslim Uyghur minority, a Sunni minority that speaks in a Turkish dialect and mainly resides in the northwestern province of Xinjiang.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration reprimanded the Max Planck Institute for sponsoring an Islamic propaganda event featuring the pro-Hezbollah US academic Norman Finkelstein. The government “assesses critically the public presentation of the event,” according to a parliamentary inquiry statement The Jerusalem Post obtained on Thursday.Hundreds protest against ‘Israeli occupier’ in Paris
The federal government’s rebuke in late March comes after a US senator and congressman delivered harsh words for the Max Planck Institute’s vigorous defense of Finkelstein’s anti-Israel event in the city of Halle.
Dr. Elvira Groezinger, chairwoman of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East section in Germany, told the Post, “Norman Finkelstein, an American political scholar, not an ethnologist, was invited by Halle’s renowned German research Ethnological Institute, despite the fact that he is well known for his non-scientific and biased approach to the Middle East conflict, merely because he – a Jew – is a fanatical critic of Israel. Using Jewish self-haters for anti-Israel campaigns in disguised as a ‘workshop’ is a classical antisemitic device against the Jewish state and must have no place whatsoever at a German scholarly institution.”
She continued, “The German section of the Scholars for Peace in the Middle East is combating the proliferation of false and one-sided anti-Israel and antisemitic information in the academic institution that took place in Halle. There is no excuse for the invitation to Finkelstein, and the MPI [Max Planck Institute] discredited itself within the international scientific community by participating in the BDS campaign Finkelstein is a part of.”
Some 200 people gathered in Paris on Saturday to “celebrate Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and colonization,” a controversial demonstration under heavy police surveillance, AFP reported.Address to United Nations for Ambassadors Against BDS Summit
“We are here today to say ‘No to occupation and colonization’ and call for the immediate lifting of the blockade of Gaza,” explained Olivia Zemor, president of the CAPJPO-EuroPalestine organization which organized the rally.
Pro-Palestinian protesters rallied at the Place du Chatelet in central Paris, chanting anti-Israel slogans and waving placards calling “No to collaboration with the Israeli occupier,” according to RT France.
Shortly after the rally began, about a hundred pro-Israeli demonstrators arrived with Israeli flags, shouting slogans and singing the Israeli national anthem.
“It is abnormal that this demonstration, whose slogans are anti-Semitic, is authorized. It is a gathering contrary to the values of France and living together,” said Benjamin, 30 years old.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo had called on Friday for the demonstration to be canceled, warning that it would disturb public order and “could be considered as a public, anti-Semitic act to French Jews,” according to AFP.
Below are the remarks delivered by IAC CEO Shoham Nicolet at the United Nations during the Ambassadors Against BDS Summit.Anti-Semitism Spurs Hundreds to Act
BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is an organized network of dark forces – based entirely on a big and ugly fraud. We always need to remember that it attacks not only Israel’s existence, but also the values central to our future as Americans.
To face BDS, we must be creative and innovative. We must bring people and organizations together.
In my opinion the solution is building a community.
The definition of a community is a group of interconnected people that have a particular characteristic in common.
It only makes sense for us to build a community because we have much more in common than one particular characteristic. We have shared values and moral sense, a shared heritage and history, shared passion and love for Israel, and a shared future and destiny.
The need to do something about an apparent surge in anti-Semitism brought about 250 people of all faiths to Temple Emanu-El on Thursday morning, March 30, for the first Atlanta Leadership Forum on Anti-Semitism.Tributes for a Jihadist Godfather: from Moazzam Begg to Al Qaeda Central
“We can’t be complacent in the face of anti-Semitism and any other form of hate,” said Lauren Menis, who less than five weeks earlier launched the event’s organizer, the Atlanta Initiative Against Anti-Semitism, with several fellow Davis Academy mothers in response to acts of anti-Semitism and waves of bomb threats against Jewish organizations, including the Marcus Jewish Community Center.
The extent of the problem across the United States and Canada since January was laid out by Shelley Rose, the interim director of the Southeast Region of the Anti-Defamation League, which co-sponsored the event with the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Chapter: 165 fake bomb threats called or emailed in to JCCs, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions, including the ADL’s Buckhead office, and vandalism at three Jewish cemeteries.
“My 14-year-old shocked me to the core,” AIAAS founding partner Danielle Cohen said, breaking into tears before managing to explain her daughter’s reaction to the bomb threats. “She said she believed another Holocaust could happen.”
Death and martyrdom are key parts of jihadist ideology. It is, therefore, vitally important to note the reactions to the deaths of leading jihadists: whether by actual terrorist groups, or by those British Islamists who push victimhood narratives.How YouTube Can Fix Its White Nationalism and Anti-Semitism Problem
The above image was released by GreenBirdsMedia, an Al Qaeda-linked outlet, after the group’s revered “blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman recently died in an American prison. A leading jihadist since the 1970s, he was imprisoned on numerous conspiracy charges that included his followers’ role in the 1993 terrorist plot to try and destroy New York’s World Trade Center (using explosives not passenger jets).
As you can see, the Al Qaeda image shows Rahman and the twin towers of the World Trade Center. It calls Rahman “a source of inspiration”, “a great example”, adding, “May Allah have mercy on his soul”.
Globally, Al Qaeda has led the tributes to Rahman, including calls for attacks to avenge his death. In Britain, eulogies came from Moazzam Begg of CAGE, Dilly Hussain of 5 Pillars, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Fahad Ansari, Sheikh Hani al-Sibai and Sheikh Dr Khaled Fikry.
These non-violent British Islamists do not praise Rahman for his role in terrorism, far less call for revenge attacks. Rather, they vary from claiming his innocence to praising him as a martyr and a unifier of Muslims. They promote Rahman as a Muslim role model and victim par excellence.
The tributes are similar to a crime movie, in which the mafia godfather dies and the FBI inevitably watch his associates gather at the funeral. Some are wanted murderers, others run legitimate businesses. All do their duty, distinguishing themselves from normal society by coming to the funeral like moths to a flame, regardless of reputational risk.
This has not been a good month for YouTube. In recent weeks, the Google-owned video giant has been hit with a string of bad press, as prominent brands like AT&T, Johnson & Johnson, J.P. Morgan, and Lyft have pulled the plug on their advertising with the service. The reason? The site’s automated system for ad placement has repeatedly and embarrassingly resulted in products being showcased alongside videos promoting racism, terrorism, and hate speech. The result? Google’s shares have fallen significantly due to an advertiser exodus which has also included Toyota, Heinz, Volkswagen, and Verizon.Krav Maga, an Israeli martial art, is trending in Paris
It did not have to be this way, but YouTube has long allowed this problem to fester. On March 2, I warned about the fundamental flaws in YouTube’s content moderation system. As currently constituted, the service does not police videos itself, but instead relies on users to flag offensive content. This system is entirely inadequate to its task. Bigotry typically targets minorities, who are by definition fewer in number. As such, there are simply fewer users around to flag offensive content directed at minorities, yet that is precisely what YouTube requires for it to take action.
Moreover, as I noted, this system is ripe for abuse by malicious users, who can and have successfully targeted journalists and researchers reporting about hate speech for take-downs. Thus, Hamas videos promoting brutal violence against Jewish civilians remain on the site, while Tablet’s translation of one such video to raise awareness of its bigotry was removed.
There is another way. If YouTube wants to finally get serious about hate speech on its platform, if only for financial reasons, here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling.
In a dark alley in a poor suburb of this city, five men with violence on their minds closed in fast on 17-year-old Netanel Azoulay and his older brother, Yaakov.After the deluge: Smart designs offer relief for disaster victims
“Dirty Jews, you’re going to die!” one man yelled.
The driving dispute quickly transformed into something physical, with one of the assailants wielding a saw. Azoulay — who, along with his brother, wears a kippah — nearly lost his finger and had his shoulder dislocated before passers-by broke up the brawl.
The Feb. 21 incident in Bondy was one of dozens of anti-Semitic assaults — among hundreds of less violent episodes — recorded annually in the Paris region. This altercation, however, was particularly shocking because of its bloodiness, and how it illustrated how quickly harassment can lead to bloodshed.
But Azoulay’s injuries could have been worse. Azoulay has a brown belt in Krav Contact, a variant of Krav Maga, the self-defense martial art developed in Israel. And, in fact, he has been training for such a moment for years.
“I think Krav saved our lives,” said Azoulay, who started training as a child, like his brother, in order to defend himself on Bondy’s rough streets.
Generally associated with death and destruction, natural disasters don’t usually engender thoughts about design.New clues help doctors cure patients, not diseases
Yet a new exhibit at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art offers an unusual focus on the creative entrepreneurship and industrial design used in the aftermath of a disaster, when people desperately require shelter, medical care and relief of all sorts.
Called “3.5 Square Meters: Constructive Responses to Natural Disasters,” the exhibit curated by Maya Vinitsky at the museum’s Amir wing opened March 24 and closes September 9.
“It’s an unusual exhibit,” said Suzanne Landau, director of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, before a tour of the exhibit. “It answers the question of whether museums are involved in discussions of politics, social issues and economy; here’s the answer.”
Vinitsky, a member of the museum’s design and architecture department, began working on “3.5 Square Meters” two years ago, culminating in the display of 26 different projects engaged in natural disaster relief, from sharing knowledge and using social technology to storytelling and DIY approaches.
There are featured projects from small and large organizations, ranging from Airbnb’s work in emergency hosting and Ikea’s pre-fab houses for refugees to an MIT-made earthquake app, and pre-fab plastic walls created by Israel’s Keter plastics company.
Why is a certain type of cancer more often fatal in obese patients, and another type more fatal in the elderly? Why does a serious eye disease develop in many Bedouin children?In Tel Aviv, a glimpse into the turbulent years when the British ruled
Doctors and researchers in Israel search for answers to medical mysteries like these at the Nancy & Stephen Grand Israel National Center for Personalized Medicine (G-INCPM) at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.
G-INCPM began in October 2012 as a small entity with labs spread across the Weizmann campus. In mid-2015 it moved into a newly renovated dedicated building with state-of-the-art equipment.
“As of December 2016, we have worked with 230 scientists and academics from all over Israel and from all the universities, on 900 projects; and with 30 clinicians from Israeli medical centers on 67 projects,” founding director Berta Strulovici tells ISRAEL21c.
Displays feature descriptions and photographs from Lehi actions, including the airfield where fighters blew up eight British Spitfires and the assassination of British diplomat Lord Moyne. At the end of your tour you will view an unusual photograph of Stern, made up of tiny pictures of all 850 Lehi members.
Our guide to the museum was Moshe Ben Yehuda (code name Giora) whose tales and explanations vastly enriched our visit. Call ahead, if you, too, want a guided tour. If you are in Tel Aviv and just stop by, however, you will still see the movie and can move through the museum on your own, reading the excellent signs in English.
The Freedom Fighters of Israel Heritage Association (FFI-LEHI), a non-profit run by former Lehi members and their families, occupies a room in Beit Yair where they plan memorial ceremonies and events, produce movies, and prepare books for publication. Anyone interested in Lehi can peruse the extensive archives and get information. Or browse the web site: http://www:lehi.org.il.
Lehi Forest, at Kibbutz Mishmar Ayalon is among the sites where memorial ceremonies are held.
So are other ceremonies: in 2005, soon after a monument to 127 fallen Lehi fighters was inaugurated, the Jewish National Fund held a tree-planting ceremony at the site, where people of all ages planted tiny shoots in the ground.
Last month we took our dog with us to the forest. What a difference we found. Tall, beautiful trees now surrounded the impressive monument, designed by Ayelet Bitan-Shlonsky, while bright red anemones were in bloom nearby, and a tree-shaded recreation area featured picnic tables and playgrounds for the kiddies. Scattered around in the forest were other monuments and groves, with several dedicated to the Jews of Palestine who fought with the British in both World Wars. This lovely place to visit is where the FFI-LEHI holds its annual Memorial Day ceremonies (this year, on May 1).
Possibly the greatest article correction ever
Eddie Izzard Pressured Into Missing Palestine Marathon Amid Backlash for Performing in Israel
PRESIDENT'S NOTE TO CONCERNED READERS: The use of the term "Palestine Marathon" in no way condones nor recognizes the existence of a place called "Palestine." Free Beacon editorial policy strictly forbids the use of the term Palestine unless referring to an actual official title of a proper noun. A similar example would be reference to the title of "The Wizard of Oz." Use of the term Oz in such a case, would in no way suggest official Free Beacon recognition of the existence of a magical land of Oz, same goes for use of the phrase "Palestine Marathon," which in no way, shape or form suggests a recognition of the existence of a place called "Palestine." So is the ruling of the Free Beacon President, 5 Nisan 5774.
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