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Friday, June 30, 2017

From Ian:

Melanie Phillips: Denial: the Labour Party's antisemitism
David Hirsh’s must-see video, Whitewashed: Antisemitism in the Labour Party (which you can view below) starts with a truly shocking clip of Jeremy Corbyn speaking. Having referred to the profoundly anti-Jewish, murderous terrorist organisations Hezbollah and Hamas as his “friends”, he says (of either or both): “The idea that an organisation that is dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about long term peace and social justice, and political justice, in the whole region should be labelled a terrorist organisation by the British government is a big, big historical mistake”.
Hirsh’s film not only highlights examples of the antisemitism in the Labour party, but observes the appalling way in which Jews who draw attention to this are dismissed as “lying for Israel”. It states what so many on the left deny: that while in theory it is possible to be anti-Zionist but not anti-Jew, in practice the distinction is meaningless.
As one speaker observes, the Labour Party cannot call itself an anti-racist party if it denies the existence of left-wing antisemitism. Through interviews with Jewish people whose evidence to Baroness Chakrabarti’s vacuous “inquiry” into the issue was ignored, it shows how a report that was supposed to point to solutions to anti-Jewish attitudes in the party ended up as just another manifestation of the problem.

Former Senator Joseph Lieberman Speaks To The Daily Wire About The Left’s Anti-Semitism Problem
On Friday, The Daily Wire spoke with former Democratic vice presidential candidate and former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman about the rising tide of anti-Semitism on the Left. Acknowledging the political divisions within the Democratic party itself following a contentious primary election battle between the centrist wing of the party, represented by Hillary Clinton, and the left-wing of the party, represented by Bernie Sanders, Lieberman suggested that the anti-Semitism on the Left is inherently intertwined with controversies surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“There are areas where there is a rising opposition [to Israel] but it’s not based on reality,” said Lieberman following a panel discussion in Paris about Iran’s expansionist policies.
But to Lieberman, this anti-Israel sentiment remains confined to the political fringes.
“I think America remains, by every public opinion poll I’ve seen, very pro-Israel,” he said.
When asked directly about the Bernie Sanders movement, and its disturbingly anti-Israel sentiments, Lieberman said he was hopeful about the future of the Democratic party’s relationship with Israel, however, it was impossible to deny that “an element” within the party had moved away from the American political establishment’s traditional bipartisan support for the Jewish State.
“I’m concerned about that,” said the former vice presidential candidate. “When I became active in politics the Democratic party [during the Kennedy era]” was very supportive of Israel.
But things have changed, noted Lieberman.
Caroline Glick: Who cares about Jewish unity?
But what was Netanyahu’s alternative? If the American Jewish community flies off the handle and declares war against the government, threatening to blackball the elected leaders of the Jewish state when they adopt measures that while impolite have little substantive effect on their positions, then why should Israel take their views into account? If everything that the government does is terrible, then dialogue is reduced to recrimination. Sitting with progressive Jewish leaders from America means being subjected to a lecture about how terrible Israel is by people who do not live here and are not interested in having a serious discussion about what is actually on the table.
The fact that they are not interested in having that sort of discussion, and that they have no interest in making Israel their home, is demonstrated by their indifference to the real implications of the draft conversion law. Leaders truly invested in the future of both their communities and of their communities’ ties with Israel would be appalled by the retention of monopoly control over conversions by rabbinic authorities who refuse to recognize the difference between children of intermarriage and non-Jews with no relation to Judaism and the Jewish people.
They would insist that religious-Zionist rabbis be reinstated in the state rabbinate, and work avidly to ensure that conversions once approved cannot be overturned.
The real problem here is that while everyone involved speaks of the need for Jewish unity, no one involved in the conversation seems to be motivated to work toward that goal.
Jewish unity isn’t achieved by mutual recrimination.
And it isn’t achieved by one-upmanship. It is achieved through compromise based on mutual respect and love for fellow Jews. Absent that, nothing good will come from negotiations or laws or agreements. Absent that, nothing good will come at all.

Russia yet to grapple with past crimes, says Knesset speaker, an ex-refusenik
Russia has not engaged in soul-searching about its dark past, Knesset speaker and former refusenik Yuli Edelstein said Thursday, expressing concern over local admiration for the murderous Soviet-era dictator Josef Stalin.
During Edelstein’s three-day official visit to Moscow this week — marking 30 years since his release from Siberian labor camps for the crime of teaching Hebrew — there was no explicit acknowledgment in his high-level meetings of his past personal suffering, he said.
There were, however, some private conversations, including at a courthouse, where local officials expressed sympathy and admiration for his experiences, and a historic speech he delivered in the Russian parliament that provided powerful closure. Ultimately, he said, he didn’t need an apology, and felt he had “won.”
“I don’t think there is soul-searching here. This is one of the problems, because — and this is something that must be said — the ideology of that period is still considered legitimate in this country.” That, Edelstein continued, is exemplified by the active communist political party, and the fact that “recently, you hear voices talking about the need to recognize Stalin as a great leader.”
Wrapping up his trip, Edelstein spoke three days after the annual Levada independent poll showed that Stalin, who is considered the architect of millions of deaths, remains the most popular figure among Russians, ahead of President Vladimir Putin.
'Churches may not sell land to Jews or Zionists'
Islamic Christian Council member and former Gaza Latin Church head Manuel Musallam blamed churches in Judea and Samaria for helping the "Israeli occupation."
In an interview with Hamas newspaper Palestin, Musallem said that there is a large number of unsupervised churches in the Palestinian Authority, and that there is no information on why they were founded.
Before the establishment of the State of Israel, European countries and the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches, as well as other Christian denominations, purchased land in many parts of the country.
After Arutz Sheva exposed a deal in which the Greek Orthodox Church signed 140 year leases basically selling large portions of its land in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Talbieh and Rehavia to the "Nayot" company owned by the Ben David family, Musallam said that selling even one grain of the Church's dirt given to the "Israeli occupation" is "a severe betrayal of the Palestinian nation and of all the Christians in Palestine." (h/t Elder of Lobby)
UK pro-Palestinian event to go ahead despite fears of terrorist links
A pro-Palestine event due to be held in London will go ahead, despite government threats to ban it over alleged links to terror group Hamas.
The Palestine Expo is expected to draw around 10,000 people to the Queen Elizabeth II Centre (QEII) in London, on the weekend of 8 and 9 July.
Earlier in the week, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid wrote a letter to organisers, Friends of Al Aqsa, to express concerns over their links to terror groups.
He is quoted in the Guardian as citing “concerns that your organisation and those connected with it have expressed public support for a proscribed organisation, namely Hamas, and that you have supported events at which Hamas and Hizballah – also proscribed – have been praised”.
Speaking to Jewish News on Tuesday, Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “We have worked with the QEII Centre to carry out checks following concerns raised about the Palestine Expo 2017. Following these checks, we have agreed the event can take place as planned.”
The event is billed as “the biggest social, cultural and entertainment event on Palestine to ever take place in Europe”, and will feature speakers including anti-Zionist Israeli-born speakers Ilan Pappe and Miko Peled, journalists Ben White and Peter Oborne, and controversial former National Union of Students president Malia Bouattia.
Jewish Londoners need their mayor to do his job
‘Will you, Mr. Mayor, look after the interests of the Jewish population of London and write to the home secretary to ask for the clarification of the rules on what is a banned organization?” That is the very simple request that I made of London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, at our meeting last week.
When terrorist flags are being flown openly in your city and antisemitic slogans are being shouted from street corners – as they were during the recent al-Quds Day march in London – any mayor worth his salt should want to do something about it. Whilst freedom of speech is precious, nobody should have to feel intimidated walking around their own city, or put up with racist abuse being hurled at particular groups.
The problem here is that British law is unclear about whether the Hezbollah flag is legal or not – due to a bizarre distinction between the “military” and “political” wings of this terrorist group. Therefore, police were unable to arrest people who openly displayed what is generally agreed to be a terrorist flag.
So I asked our mayor to do something very straightforward, which was to take this up with the government so that this issue can be clarified. This would be helpful to the police – of which the mayor is in charge – in doing their job to protect Londoners and keep public order. And the protection of Londoners is an important part of the mayor’s job description.
Complaint filed against Al-Quds Day speaker
The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC) has filed a hate speech complaint with the Toronto police against a speaker at this year’s Al-Quds Day rally at Queen’s Park.
In his speech at the June 24 event, Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri of the Council of Islamic Guidance and the Al Mahdi Centre said, in English and Arabic, that, “Israel, Zionism, should and must know … it is the law that whoever oppresses, he has to be eliminated. One day or the other,” the FSWC alleges in its complaint.
The organization has provided police with a video of the statements.
In a letter to Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi, the FSWC alleges that Baqri’s speech violates Sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code, “Advocating Genocide and Public Incitement of Hatred.”
Violations of both sections can lead to imprisonment, the FSWC pointed out in a press release.
“Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is disheartened by the vilification of Jewish Canadians and Israel on Toronto’s streets,” the group’s statement said.
The annual Al-Quds Day march and rally in Toronto made its way from Queen’s Park to the American consulate. Members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) organized a counter-protest directly across from the consulate.
Al Quds Day - Toronto - 2017 - Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri

Jewish Student Leadership Calls SJP ‘Hate Group’ After It Supports ‘Dyke March’ Expulsion of LGBTQ Zionists
The leadership of pro-Israel student groups in Illinois and Ohio both called Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) a “hate group” after two chapters of the notorious organization supported the expulsion of LGBTQ Zionists from a Chicago pride march last weekend.
Elan Karoll, president of the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s (UIUC) IlliniPAC, and Sophia Witt, who recently stepped down as president of Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Ohio’s Kent State University, spoke with The Algemeiner on Thursday after the SJP groups at their respective colleges applauded the Dyke March’s ejection of two Jewish women who came to the event holding pride flags with Stars of David on them. March organizers said the symbol made Palestinians feel “threatened.”
A couple of hours after IlliniPAC issued a statement on Facebook condemning the Dyke March organizers’ decision, SJP UIUC wrote on social media, “IlliniPAC cannot claim to respect the rights of all races, religions, nationalities, sexualities, and genders while supporting an occupation that systematically targets people of an entire ethnicity by denying them their lands, safety, and dignity.”
SJP UIUC also insisted that it was “committed to the liberation of all oppressed people.” It later added that “groups with an agenda have falsely accused [march organizers] of being motivated by antisemitism.”
Karoll said that SJP’s endorsement of the Dyke March has erased any doubt of the anti-Israel group’s true motives.
EXCLUSIVE - Gay Porn Kingpin Compares Anti-Israel ‘Dyke March’ Organizers to Nazis
The Chicago Dyke March’s decision to boot three women carrying Jewish pride flags from their event last weekend was “deeply ignorant” and “ridiculous,” Michael Lucas, a gay pornographic film actor and director, told Breitbart Jerusalem in an interview.
Lucas is founder and CEO of Lucas Entertainment, New York’s largest gay adult film company and one of the biggest gay porn production companies in the world.
He compared the Dyke March’s actions to anti-Semitic policies carried out by Nazi Germany.
“One of the first things the Nazis did was claim that Jews were a threat, and exclude them from participating in public events and gatherings,” Lucas stated. “Eventually they required Jews to wear the Star of David on their clothing, the ultimate symbol of the persecution of the Jews.”
“And now these women say the Star of David is a ‘trigger,’ is threatening to them? These are deeply ignorant people who are turning history on its head.”
Lucas criticized the lack of significant response on the matter from major LGBT organizations. “What happened in Chicago was despicable, and it certainly does not represent the thinking of all LGBT people, who should be outraged by this hateful moment. All gay organizations talk about diversity and inclusion, so where are the condemnations now from those groups?”
International artists shun exhibition in northern Israel
The third Mediterranean Biennale in the northern Arab town of Sakhnin opened Thursday evening, but missing were several works whose creators asked to have them removed from the exhibition because it is taking place in Israel.
The exhibition, which is also being shown in the nearby Arab and Jewish towns of Misgav, Arrabeh and Deir Hanna until December 15, features works by 60 artists from 25 countries, including some who hail from Arab nations that have no diplomatic relations with Israel, such as Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria and Lebanon.
The artists who asked to have their works removed are of Algerian, Moroccan and Lebanese descent, though they currently reside in France and England. Some said they hadn’t been informed that their pieces were to be shown in Israel.
According to a spokesperson for the Mediterranean Biennale, the works in question are part of the collection of the FRAC Museum in Marseilles, which has been working with the Biennale for the past year and a half.
In adherence with the standard operating protocol, the museum forwarded the Biennale’s loan request to its art committee, which agreed to lend the works from the collection. The Biennale was required to pay a standard fee for the loan.
But the artists didn’t learn their works would be appearing in Israel until earlier this week, and several said they wouldn’t cooperate with an Israeli institution due to their support of the Palestinian cause.
BBC Blasted for Claiming the Holocaust is “Sensitive” for Muslims Because of Israel
The BBC has come under fire for publishing a news article on Wednesday stating that “The Holocaust is a sensitive topic for many Muslims because Jewish survivors settled in British-mandate Palestine, on land which later became the State of Israel.”
The British Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering anti-Semitism through education and law-enforcement, demanded on its website that the BBC “immediately and unequivocally apologise” for the line.
“The Holocaust is indeed a sensitive topic for many reasons, not least because six million Jews were systematically massacred. It should not be a sensitive topic to Muslims, or anybody else, because of the foundation of the State of Israel,” CAA stated. “Zionism, the movement to create the modern State of Israel began decades before the Holocaust, and had the country existed at the time of the Holocaust, millions of innocent Jewish civilians may have lived.”
CAA claimed that the line published by the BBC was anti-Semitic in nature: “For the BBC to lend credence to the notion that it is legitimate to be ‘sensitive’ about the Holocaust because of the existence of the State of Israel invokes antisemitic notions that the existence of the State of Israel is in some way racist, and it is offensive to tar ‘many Muslims’ in this way.”
The line appeared in a BBC News article about German Muslim schoolgirls who went to visit concentration camps in Poland and suffered racist abuse from locals. The BBC has since removed the controversial statement.
BBC Continues to Whitewash Hamas, Human Shields and War Crimes in Gaza
The program closes with Bowen opining that Hamas — the terror organization whose activities and abuses he has downplayed throughout the whole report — should be party to negotiations.
Until matters change in Gaza there will be more wars between Hamas and Israel. Change means a new attempt at peace with the participation and consent of all sides. Right now, there is no chance of that happening.
Perhaps one of the more disturbing points emerging from this series of programs by the BBC’s Middle East editor is the fact that the passage of time has done nothing to alter Bowen’s opinions and analysis.
Having publicly claimed that he did not come across human shields in the few days that he was in Gaza in the summer of 2014, three years later Bowen cannot accommodate the ample evidence that shows otherwise. Having promoted his own pseudo-legal interpretations of the Law of Armed Combat in his 2014 reporting from Gaza, he is incapable of subsequently adjusting that view in line with the facts.
That, of course, is what happens when the agenda takes precedence over the actual story.
Expert in Nazi Propaganda Omits James Wall’s Affiliation With Neo-Nazi Publication in Wikipedia Article
It is almost impossible that a historian would miss this controversy (even after a quick Google search), and no responsible historian would omit it from an article, but Bytwerk did. After the controversy broke, National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi publication came to Wall’s defense, as did Veterans Today, another racist publication affiliated with Veterans News Now. (No links.)
What makes Bytwerk’s omission even more astounding is that he is an expert on Nazi propaganda and is the curator of Calvin College’s online archive of German Propaganda. Veterans News Now, where Wall served as associate editor, traffics in many of the antisemitic tropes that the Nazis used and would be familiar to Professor Bytwerk.
Did Randall Bytwerk not know about the controversy surrounding James M. Wall’s affiliation with Veterans News Now and his unwholesome enmity toward Israel and its supporters which manifested itself as his career progressed and came into full bloom in his retirement?
How could he miss it?
In any event, CAMERA supporters can be glad because Wikipedia can be edited by its readers. It may take some effort, but the information about James M. Wall’s transformation from a respected mainline Protestant journalist into a purveyor of hate can be inserted into the Wikipedia article by anyone with a computer and a modem.
It is a sad subject, but the fact is, James M. Wall tarnished his legacy all by himself and no encyclopedia article about his life can legitimately ignore the issue.
Why does the BBC describe the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack as ‘suspected’?
Similar conclusions were reached by additional parties including the US, Turkey and the UK as well as Human Rights Watch – an NGO usually considered by the BBC to be an impeccable source.
Is it possible that the BBC is not aware of those reports and hence is still describing the attack as “suspected” and amplifying Assad’s propaganda on the topic? That possibility is ruled out by the fact that included in the related reading at the bottom of this article is a link to a BBC report from April 26th titled “Syria chemical ‘attack’: What we know” that informs readers of the results of the investigations carried out by the OPCW, Turkey and France.
And yet despite that, visitors to the BBC News website still find plenty of content relating to that story which is presented using language and punctuation which suggests to audiences that there is reason to doubt whether an attack took place, what type of weapon was used and who carried it out.
This is of course far from the only case of false balance in BBC reporting that obstructs audience understanding of a story. The BBC News website, for example, still carries a report amplifying inaccurate Hamas claims concerning a 2014 incident in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza despite the fact that the circumstances have been repeatedly clarified over the last three years. The practice of promoting false balance clearly hampers the BBC’s purpose of providing the public with accurate and impartial reporting that enables understanding of global issues.
Social media to blame for growing antisemitism, German president says
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier denounced growing antisemitism in his country on Wednesday, German newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine reported.
Speaking at the 100th anniversary of the Augsburg synagogue, the president noted that while most Germans stand against antisemitism, a growing trend of anti-Jewish hatred is being spread on social media, in part due to some Muslim immigrant groups.
"Social media often propagates the spread of hate messages and antisemitic provocation," he said, noting the trend is growing across Europe.
Despite this, however, Steinmeier noted that, in comparison to France, Germany's Jews are staying put, rather than immigrating to Israel. He affirmed his hope that Germany "can once again be the home of which the Jews were robbed."
Germany gears up to fine social networks for Holocaust denial
German lawmakers are poised to pass a bill designed to enforce the country’s existing limits on free speech — including the long-standing ban on Holocaust denial — in social networks. Critics including tech giants and human rights campaigners say the legislation could have drastic consequences for free speech online.
The proposed measure would fine social networking sites up to 50 million euros ($56 million) if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content, including defamatory “fake news.”
It’s scheduled for a vote in parliament Friday, the last session before summer recess and September’s national election, and is widely expected to pass.
The U.N.’s independent expert on freedom of speech, David Kaye, warned the German government earlier this month that the criteria for removing material were “vague and ambiguous,” adding that the prospect of hefty fines could prompt social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter to delete questionable content without waiting for a court to rule it’s unlawful.
Thieves exhume Holocaust victims from Crimean killing trench
Police in Russia-annexed Crimea are investigating the desecration of a mass grave of Holocaust victims near the city of Simferopol.
The investigation opened Tuesday following the unauthorized exhumations performed last week at the site of a firing trench where Nazis and their collaborators killed hundreds of Jews, the Russian TASS news agency reported. Russia annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014.
“A local resident saw at night strangers digging and immediately informed us,” Anatoly Gendin, head of the Association of Jewish Organizations and Communities of Crimea, told the news agency. His organization also complained to police about the dig, which he said was likely the work of robbers looking for precious items.
The incident, the second case of its kind in five years in Crimea, came amid preparations for enclosing known burial sites with concrete.
“There is a preliminary decision of the Crimea State Committee and Jewish community organizations on setting up concrete enclosures and establish there a surveillance system,” Grigory Ioffe, a deputy speaker of the parliament of Crimea, one of Russia’s semi-autonomous regions, told TASS.
The Germans captured Simferopol in November 1941 when it had approximately 12,000 Jews, including many Krymchaks — a nearly extinct ethnic group of Jews of Turkmen descent who had lived in Crimea for many centuries before the Holocaust.
Top Catholic cleric in Palermo honored for returning ancient synagogue land to Jews
“This is the first step on a long path,” Archbishop of Palermo Corrado Lorefice said Thursday upon receiving the Raoul Wallenberg Medal for having transferred to the Jewish community a churchowned facility built atop the ruins of the Great Synagogue of Palermo.
Addressing the audience at a celebratory event at his residence, Lorefice was moved to tears as a he delivered a heartfelt speech.
“This is the first step on long path that we are called to together, to reach God on the day when all the people will be together in paradise,” he said.
He described the medal as “a sign of friendship that warms my heart, and warms the heart of all the Christians of Palermo, and particularly this archdiocese.”
Technion, Hong Kong VC Launch $200 Million Fund for Israeli Startups
Students, professors and alumni of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology now have a new way to finance their cutting-edge projects: a $200 million venture capital fund focused on creating companies out of the research conducted at the Haifa-based university.
The new fund is a joint venture between the Technion Research & Development Foundation (TRDF) and UG Capital Management (UGC), a fund management company based in Hong Kong.
The management team for the joint venture will be based in both Israel and Hong Kong. It includes Jonathan Mitchell, CY Lau and Thomas Lau of UGI, and Eddy Shalev, Dr. Eyal Kishon and Gary Gannot, the founders of the Genesis venture capital fund, who are joining the new Technion group.
“The Technion has been increasing its commercialization activities in recent years and we have already noted many successes in this field, including more than doubling the number of startup companies set up at the Technion through the new Technion DRIVE Accelerator,” said Prof. Wayne D. Kaplan, executive vice president for research and director general of TRDF.
UGI’s Jonathan Mitchell praised the new venture and team as a kind of “alchemy.”
A Gas Pipeline Connecting Israel to Italy Could Change the Near East
Since January of last year, Greece, Israel, and Cyprus have been working to create a pipeline that could transport natural gas to Europe from the reserves in Israeli coastal waters; Italy joined the negotiations two months ago. If this initiative, which is technically difficult and expensive to implement, does not pan out, Israel will be forced to choose between the less desirable options of cooperating with either Egypt or Turkey. George Tzogopoulos writes:
Turkey will not be considered a reliable partner by Israel for as long as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dominates the political sphere, despite the rapprochement achieved last summer. Israel also has reservations vis-à-vis Egypt: the growing Russian role in Egypt’s energy sector cannot be ignored.
If the EastMed project, [as the proposal is being called], develops, it will certainly improve Israel’s relationship with the EU. Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete has said construction of this pipeline would contribute to the reduction of Europe’s dependency on Russian energy, a potential result also viewed with favor by the U.S.
The traditional division among EU member states regarding their view of Moscow can work in EastMed’s favor. While Germany is looking favorably toward the Nord Stream 2 [pipeline], which will complement Nord Stream 1 in the transporting of Russian gas to Europe under the Baltic Sea, the EU might well emphasize energy security instead and push (with the support of the U.S.) for the realization of EastMed.
New Israeli Diagnostic System Enables Customized Antibiotic Treatments
A diagnostic system developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology enables rapid and accurate customization of the antibiotic to the patient. The system makes for faster diagnostics, earlier and more effective treatment of infectious bacteria, and improved patient recovery times. The findings were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Antibiotics are one of the most effective ways to treat bacterial infections. However, the widespread use of antibiotics accelerates the development of bacterial strains that are resistant to specific antibiotics. In 2014, infections with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) claimed the lives of more than 700,000 people worldwide, in addition to a cumulative expenditure of $35 billion a year in the US alone.
For patients with threatening infections, urgent treatment is required for their health. According to established estimates, for every hour that effective antibiotic treatment is delayed, survival rates drop by ~7.6% for patients with septic shock. Therefore, in order not to leave the patient without adequate protection while awaiting the results, many doctors will prescribe an antibiotic with a broad spectrum of activity in large doses. This phenomenon facilitates the emergence of AMR and also affects the microbiota - the population of "good bacteria" found in the human body that protects it.
Tom Jones brings his brand of old school charm to Tel Aviv
Sir Tom Jones, in his performance in Tel Aviv, proved to the audience that despite being 77 and gray-haired for several years now, he is still a successful singer who has the endurance to hold a crowd captive for a 90-minute show. Jones is still able to hit the standard of professionalism he’s set for himself for the past five decades.
The consummate performer showed up on time, without delay. He began with a big bow to the huge crowd that greeted him at Tel Aviv’s Menorah Mivtachim Arena. He earned brownie points with the crowd after mentioning that he visited Jerusalem for the first time and enjoyed his visit to the Holy City very much.
He began to sing his songs when the audience joined him in applause, with the third song earning him a standing ovation.
The legendary singer did not forget to mention Leonard Cohen, who recently passed away, and performed one of his songs.
In the middle of the performance, he sang to the audience “Yiddishe Maman” followed by his big hit “Delilah.” With the audience’s average age leaning towards an older crowd, most in attendance were able to follow along easily with these old classics . With his booming voice, which may not even need a microphone at all, and his hips, which were constantly in motion, he made sure the audience got their money’s worth.
'Ariel University's medical school reflects our universal mission'
The cornerstone laying ceremony for Ariel University's new School of Medicine and Health Sciences, named after Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, was held on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the Adelsons, who donated $5 million to the project, saying, "You are not only great friends, you are great patriots of the Jewish people and the Jewish state."
Netanyahu said the school reflects Israel's values.
"We will live with our universal mission to provide medical care and relief, but we will simultaneously continue fighting terrorism and lead the global efforts to counter terrorism," he said. "The School of Medicine and Health Sciences will leave a lasting imprint and will serve as a hub for true excellence, and attract great doctors and the sharpest minds. It will train generations of students to come."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett lauded the establishment of a medical school in Ariel. Like Netanyahu, he also thanked the Adelsons.
IsraellyCool: Philip Noel-Baker: I Was Converted to Zionism By Emir Faisal And Lawrence of Arabia
Another absolute pearl from part one of Pillar of Fire (which I posted here): Listen to former British politician and diplomat Philip Noel-Baker explaining how he was converted to Zionism.

Look, but don’t touch: Moscow’s Schneerson Collection goes online
In 1922, a few years before he fled the Soviet Union, the sixth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson petitioned the Russian government to return 35 crates of books they had seized years earlier.
The books had been passed down to his father, Rabbi Shalom DovBer Schneerson, by his grandfather and had belonged collectively to generations of Lubavitch Hasidim going back to Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liady, who began the collection in the 18th century.
There was an illustrated haggadah, published in 1712 in Amsterdam, its pages stained by wine that was spilled at Passover seders hundreds of years ago. There was a book printed in 1552 in Venice, not long after the printing press was invented, with a handwritten inscription in cursive Hebrew reminiscent of Arabic. There was a Torah from 1631, with comments in Latin, written in pencil by Christian scholars who had studied the Jewish holy book.
The Soviet government did not return the books, and for almost a century they remained on the shelves of the Lenin public library in Moscow. But this month the Russian State Library will finish scanning and putting online the more than 4,500 books in the Schneerson Collection, making them accessible to everyone in the world at the click of a mouse.
“We have about 10 to 20 books left to scan. They’ll be on the site in a month,” said Svetlana Khvostova, the Russian State Library employee in charge of the Schneerson Collection at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow.

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I just went through a long article at Al Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network, talking about what strategy Palestinians need to use to achieve their goals. It was written by Nadia Hijab and Ingrid Jaradat Gassner.

Hijab is a senior fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies and Gassner is one of the founders of BDS.

The actual goals are not spelled out, but it becomes pretty clear what they are - destroying Israel, on both sides of the Green Line.
 There is a problem in the debate itself. By focusing on the ultimate settlement and whether it should be one state or two, the discussion too often leapfrogs the need for a process of decolonization as well as reparations for the damage inflicted upon the Palestinians. Decolonization and reparations must be part of the final settlement, whether it is that of a Palestinian state in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) adopted at the Palestinian National Council in 1988 as an expression of the Palestinian right to self-determination, or that of one state in all of the former British Mandate Palestine in which all citizens are equal.
Decolonization is not really defined well, but the goals become clear when the writers speak about the Green Line:

Perhaps at the end of the day a just one-state solution will become a reality, and then there will be no need to insist on holding on to the Green Line to ensure that IHL is applied to the OPT. Until then, however, Palestinians must not give up the sources of strength and power they have today. Otherwise, we risk losing the tools offered by IHL and legitimizing the Israeli settlements instead of advancing our cause.

So talking about a two-state solution is a scam - but it is necessary because they believe that they have solid legal grounds to insist on a state in the territories to begin with, based on pressuring Israel on "occupation". But that isn't the goal - it is a stage.

This is a little more explicit here:
A framework of analysis is strategic if it allows Palestinians to make effective use of their available sources of power in a struggle for decolonization and reparations that pursues a set of clear core goals.  The question that arises at this point is: What are the Palestinians’ core goals? To date, the “goal” has been largely defined as a sovereign state along the 1967 borders with Israel. Yet referring to what is actually a political settlement as a goal confuses the issue. The Palestinian struggle has always been about Palestinian rights in and to the land of Palestine. The original solution adopted by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the 1960s was that of a secular democratic state in all of Palestine. This was followed in 1974 by a decision on an interim solution for a state in any part of Palestine that was freed, and in 1988 by a decision for a state on the 1967 borders. However, the purpose of all these political solutions was to fulfill Palestinian rights in and to the land of Palestine.

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From Ian:

Major (res.) Eyal Harel, don’t blame the system
[This was NOT translated from the Hebrew edition to the English one at Haaretz (Which is fake news by omission) - Guess why. (h/t Yenta Press)]
An IDF officer answers claims by a fellow (Breaking The Silence) officer: My name is Eran Ben Yaakov, and I am a major in reserve duty. Eyal Harel has served under my command in most of the incidents he describes ("What Really Happens in the World's Most Moral Army", Haaretz,June 19). He was a platoon commander in the engineering company in which I served as deputy commander. In the absence of the company’s commander, I was also the de facto commander of Girit outpost during a large part of the period in question. Later I was appointed commander of the company, and Harel was my deputy during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Overall, we served together in reserve duty for nearly a decade. I read Harel’s words with sorrow, not only because he distorts the truth, but also because he does so in order to portray himself as a victim, full of regret and yet not responsible for his own actions. But this is not the case. I know him to be a good, virtuous and disciplined person.
But, in my opinion, his decisions as a commander weren’t always the best, and it angers me that he blames the system.
Regarding the incident in which a body appeared at Gaza’s shore near Rafah (an Egyptian soldier murdered [in Egypt] drifted to the shore), I was next to Harel when he fired into the air in order to drive the crowd away. I didn’t give him the order. He
did it of his own volition, and I scolded him for it was unnecessary. I wasn’t present at the second incident, but according to soldiers who were there, that was an unneeded shooting as well. No one pushed him into this. (h/t Yenta Press)
Abbas's Lies and Palestinian Child Victims
Hamas and human rights groups hold Abbas personally responsible for the deaths of the children and the possible deaths of other patients in need of urgent medical treatment not available in Gaza Strip hospitals. One human rights group went so far as to call for the International Criminal Court in The Hague to launch an investigation against Abbas.
In a move of mind-bending irony, we are witnessing a Palestinian president waging war not only against Hamas, but also against the two million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip -- while Israel continues to provide the Palestinians living under Hamas with humanitarian aid.
That is the standard operating procedure of the man who lied straight to the face of President Donald Trump, by claiming that he had stopped incitement against Israel and was promoting a "culture of peace" among his people. Will the last sick Palestinian child please stand up?
PA to again allow Gazan patients to be treated in Israeli hospitals
The Palestinian Authority will reportedly once again allow patients from the Gaza Strip to be treated in Israel after three babies died on Tuesday in the enclave controlled by the Hamas terror group.
Following an international outcry over the deaths, the Palestinian Health Ministry will on Sunday increase the number of permits it issues for Gaza residents to receive medical care in Israel, the Haaretz newspaper reported on Friday.
The Palestinian Authority has severely cut back on medical aid to the Gaza Strip as part of a series of tough measures aimed at forcing Hamas to cede control of the coastal enclave, including reducing the amount of electricity it provides the Strip and slashing PA salaries to Gaza residents.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry blamed the Palestinian Authority for the deaths of the three babies, all less than a year old, saying Ramallah has refused to grant permits for them to be treated in Israel.
To leave Gaza and travel to Israel for medical treatment, or to receive treatment in the West Bank or abroad, Gazans must first get confirmation from the PA that it will pay for the treatments.

The UNRWA Problem
UNRWA, created in the aftermath of Israel's existential victory in the 1948 war, was formed with modest and sensible goals - to provide emergency aid to all needy refugees of that war with an eye to gradually decreasing the need for aid through job creation, resettlement and regional cooperation. In the early days of UNRWA, it operated inside Israel, and aid recipients included Jewish refugees of the war who had previously lived in areas conquered by Jordan and Egypt. Israel quickly absorbed its internally displaced Arab and Jewish refugees, taking them off UNRWA's rolls.
Then UNRWA became an advocacy organization for the political goals of Palestinian Arabs and expanded its definition of Palestinian refugee identity to include all the descendants of the original refugees. UNRWA's mandate to resettle these refugees was removed in 1965, formalizing a perpetual state of Palestinian dependency on the organization.
UNRWA's institutionalized perpetuation of Palestinian refugee camps and culture makes peacemaking more difficult and deprives generations of Palestinians who were not refugees themselves the right to choose their own destiny. It does so at an unsustainable level for the mostly Western countries that financially support the organization.
JCPA: Lessons from Israel's Response to Terrorism
Amb. Dore Gold: Is the Terror against Europe Different from the Terror against Israel?
Effective solidarity among states has become a prerequisite for ultimately succeeding in the war of the West against jihadist terrorism. Yet, in the aftermath of the Islamic State’s brutal attacks in Paris during 2015 that left 129 dead, there began a discussion in the international media of whether the terrorist attacks against Israelis could be compared with the newest jihadist assault on European capitals. Recent events have challenged this European distinction. A cohesive military strategy is needed for the West, the Arab states that are threatened, and Israel. It stands to reason that, just as all three face similar threats, the models developed in Israel for dealing with terror merit attention in Europe and beyond.
Fiamma Nirenstein: Resilience, the Israeli People’s Weapon against Terror
An important component of Israel’s struggle against terrorism is its population’s psychology, resilience, and capacity to counter what has unfortunately been one of the characteristics of this state from its very origins: the constant attacks against civilians in the streets, public structures, cafes, and buses. How do the Israeli people overcome being on the front line against terror? The answer lies in Israel’s history, sociology, education, and social values, from which today’s vulnerable Europe can learn much.
Brig-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser: The National Security Aspect of Fighting Terror – The Israeli Experience
Israel’s overall strategy of fighting terror is a comprehensive approach that was developed out of ongoing learning efforts. Understanding the goals and strategy of the enemy and the context in which it operates, and being agile enough to rapidly adopt adequate responses that build on former solutions, enabled Israel to become a world leader in the fight against terror.
Lessons from Israel's Response to Terrorism

Democratic lawmakers urge Tillerson to stop Israeli trial
Thirty-two Democratic members of Congress have urged the secretary of state to help an Arab activist who is going on trial in Israel.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the lawmakers asked Rex Tillerson to utilize his influence in the case of Issa Amro, who is facing charges connected to protests he organized in Hevron.
US Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, both of Minnesota, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin circulated the letter organized by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, CODEPINK, Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine.
Amro will appear July 9 in a military court to face 18 charges, most dating back to 2013, that include “spitting at a settler, obstructing soldiers and insulting them, and entering closed military zones,” Haaretz reported. An Israeli military spokesman described his actions as “disturbances,” but did not claim his protests are violent.
“After evidence of these offenses was collected, the indictment was served,” the spokesman said.
According to the congressional letter, Amro has been recognized by the United Nations and the European Union as a human rights defender for his organization, Youth Against Settlements. The UN and Amnesty International have condemned the case against him.
The letter questioned whether Amro would be judged fairly in the Israeli judicial system. (h/t Jewess)
UN trumpets Palestinian revisionist fraud: all of Israel is Palestinian, no to a Jewish state.
His remarks were made at a forum organized by the U.N.'s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which was created to implement the 1975 General Assembly "Zionism is racism" resolution.
Said Palestinian representative Erekat:
"I'm the son of Jericho. I'm 10,000 years a son of the Natufians. We were there 5,500 years before Isho ben Nun came to my home town, Jericho. That's the truth. This is my narrative....So when Mr. Netanyahu says you must recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he is telling me hey, change your narrative. That's what he's doing. He's turning this conflict into a religious conflict...Call it Islamic state, Jewish state, that should be a forbidden zone..."
Erekat's hate-filled UN-sponsored diatribe also included classic antisemitism, blaming money-grubbing Jews for the regions' ills.
In his words:
"So I think a question that I would like to see answered or a general opinion is, is the Jewish religion being exploited for economic gains by a key elite segment within Israeli society? And are they the ones that are driving this conflict..."
All of the proceedings were webcast around the world - courtesy of taxpayers everywhere, including Americans.
Man blinded in terror attack to speak at UN against PA terrorist stipends
Oren Almog, who lost five members of his family along with his eyesight in a terrorist attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in 2003, where 21 died and 51 were wounded, will speak at the UN Security Council next month as part of the Israeli government's struggle against the Palestinian Authority's payments to convicted terrorists.
Almog will travel to the UN Security Council at the initiative of Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, and in cooperation with the pro-Israel advocacy organization StandWithUs.
"Those responsible for the murder of my family receive a monthly payment from the PA," Almog told Yedioth Ahronoth. "The Palestinian leadership speaks to the world about peace, but pays the terrorists and their families. This is explicit support for the murder of innocents. I will come to the UN and call upon the international community to act to stop this funding and to prevent future terror attacks."
The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing was perpetrated by Hanadi Jaradat, who blew herself up in as an act of revenge after Israel Defense Forces undercover operatives in Jenin killed her cousin and her younger brother, both of whom were members of Islamic Jihad, with her cousin being a senior member of the Al-Quds Brigades group.
Report: Palestinian Authority has ceased paying 500 terrorists
Researcher Bushara al-Tawil, who specializes in the subject of Palestinian Arab prisoners, told Hamas newspaper Palestin that the Palestinian Authority had ceased paying salaries to 500 prisoners.
"We need a real intifada, of all the freed prisoners. They need their salaries," al-Tawil said.
According to her, the Palestinian Authority has a large budget intended for its prisoners, but decided to slash the budget in accordance with its new and changing guidelines.
According to Abdullah Abu Shalbak, spokesman for the demonstrating ex-prisoners who claims to have spent 21 years in Israeli jails,, the Palestinian Authority ceased paying monthly salaries to 277 prisoners, including 23 who are currently in Judea, Samaria, or abroad, and 48 who were released in the "Shalit deal" and later recaptured by Israel.
Freed terrorists who no longer receive their monthly salaries protested this week in the center of Ramallah, setting up a protest tent in the city's "Hasha'on Square." One of the claims is that Fatah convicts continued to receive payments, with only Hamas and Islamic Jihad members losing their stipends.
UN hosts hatefest comparing Israelis to ISIS
At an anti-Israel U.N. "Forum to Mark 50 Years of Occupation" on June 29, 2017, an invited Palestinian official equated the "Jewish State", with ISIS, the "Islamic State." Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian representative and top negotiator, made the remarks during the opening of an extraordinary two-day UN-sponsored Israel-bashing event.
In Erekat's words:
"There are two ways combined to defeat ISIS. One is ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967...Ending the Israeli occupation is a must, is a responsibility for the international community. And the logic of some of those who argue that why should Israel make peace, it has 5,000 tanks, it has 3,000 fighting planes and nuclear weapons, Congress, Senate, and Nikki Haley to defend them justly or unjustly. And then these people stand to speak about defeating ISIS. Enough. Enough."
Hamas and PFLP Are ‘Not Terrorist Organizations,’ Top Palestinian Official Claims at UN Anti-Israel Forum
A senior PLO official and former negotiator with Israel went before a UN forum on Thursday to emphatically deny that Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) were terror groups.
“Hamas and the PFLP are not terrorist organizations,” Saeb Erekat — the PLO’s secretary-general and a principal negotiator of the 1993 Oslo Accords with Israel — declared.
“We are a people who strive to achieve our independence — and our choice in the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, is to achieve peace peacefully,” Erekat went on to say in a speech given on the opening day of a two-day UN conference “to mark 50 years of occupation.”
Indicating that Palestinian enthusiasm for US President Donald Trump’s bid to revive direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) was quickly diminishing, Erekat — who spoke to the forum as a representative of the “State of Palestine” — asserted, “We do not have a partner in Israel today. ”
“The Israeli government, headed by Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, is trying to replace the two-state solution with ‘one state, two systems’ apartheid,” Erekat said, invoking one of the most persistent themes of anti-Israel propaganda: that the Jewish state legally discriminates against Palestinians in the same manner as the former white supremacist regime in South Africa.
Other speakers at the first day of the conference — titled “Ending the Occupation: The Path to Independence, Justice and Peace for Palestine” — included Nabil Elaraby, a former secretary-general of the Arab League, Aida Touma-Sliman, a member of the Knesset from the anti-Zionist “Joint List,” and Nasser al-Kidwa, a former PLO foreign minister.
Indian prime minister to meet massacre survivor Moshe Holtzberg
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Israel next week for an historical visit, during which he will meet Moshe Holtzberg, the young boy who miraculously survived a terror attack and massacre in 2008.
Modi's 3-day trip will mark the first time an Indian prime minister visits Israel.
Moshe's parents were killed in the attack, and his nanny Sandra miraculously managed to escape the besieged building holding Moshe in her arms. After the attack, Sandra brought Moshe to Israel and was granted Israeli citizenship.
Four other Jews were killed in the attack.
According to Yediot Aharonot, Modi is expected to meet Holtzberg, his grandparents, and Sandra in the Tel Aviv Convention Center.
Israel’s Opposition Aids Delegitimizers
The very fact that the left-wing opposition can continuously castigate the current coalition with impunity without any real fear of retribution arguably most resoundingly repudiates the repeated accusations of “fascism.”
What self-respecting fascist regime would tolerate such recalcitrant behavior? The perpetrators would have long been dispatched, post haste, to either prison or the hereafter.
Surely the time has come for the left-wing opposition to realize that their reckless rhetoric inflicts tremendous and unwarranted harm on their country; surely the time has come for them to desist from this egregious tactic for electoral advantage, especially as it has proven so hopelessly ineffectual.
In this regard, perhaps the Left would do well to recall that is has always prided itself on its acceptance of the “The Other.”
So, in its quest for greater success in the democratic process, perhaps it’s time for the representatives of the Israeli Left to come to terms with the existence of “The Other” and reconcile itself with the idea that people who think differently to them are just as legitimate as those who look different to them.
Israel awarded highest ranking for combating human trafficking
For the sixth year in a row, the U.S. State Department has named Israel a Tier 1 country in combatting human trafficking for its efforts to identify and rescue trafficking victims and punish traffickers.
Since 2001, the State Department has assigned countries to one of four tiers in its annual report, based on their government efforts to put a stop to trafficking in persons. Until 2012, the State Department ranked Israel a Tier 2 nation in its annual report on the fight against human trafficking. A Tier 2 ranking indicates a country that does not meet the minimum standards of combating human trafficking but is making efforts to do so. Israel became a Tier 1 country in June 2012.
In a statement, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that "the Justice Ministry is leading the government's activity on the issue. We will continue to act so that the phenomenon of modern-day slavery disappears from our region."
In a step that could aggravate tensions between Washington and Beijing, which have eased under U.S. President Donald Trump, China was downgraded to the State Department's global list of the worst offenders in human trafficking and forced labor.
State Dept. Sanctions 4 of 6 Nations in Trump Travel Ban for Child Soldiers, Child Sex Slaves
The U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report singles out eight nations for specifically trafficking children for purposes ranging from training and arming them as soldiers to servants and sex slaves. This designation brings sanctions to those countries on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment.
The list and sanctions, congressionally mandated by the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, apply on Oct. 1, 2016, and for fiscal year 2018 for the following countries: Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Four of these nations – Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen – are on the list of nations in President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration seeking to limit and closely screen individuals coming into the United States from these countries. Their governments are either unwilling or unable to properly vet individuals for ties to terrorism before leaving the country. The other two countries on Trump’s travel list are Libya and Iran.
“The term ‘child soldier’ includes any person… who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a ‘cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard, or sex slave,’” the trafficking report states.
This applies to individuals under 18 for all trafficking of children and children under 15 used as child soldiers.
GOOD TRUMP: Administration Cuts Funds For U.N. Peacekeeping
The Trump administration is making good on a promise to hold the increasingly corrupt United Nations accountable. Early Thursday, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley put to rest any suggestions that the White House was bluffing when it said it would cut funds to the international body.
“Just 5 months into our time here, we've cut over half a billion [dollars] from the UN peacekeeping budget and we’re only getting started,” she tweeted.
The post “left many on social media bewildered,” according to The Hill.
As The Daily Wire reported, Trump has long promised a day of reckoning for the despots, theocrats, and charlatans at the U.N.
After the Obama administration’s shameful encouragement of the international body’s staunchly anti-Israel agenda, Trump called for a more serious review of the U.N.’s so-called “peacekeeping” work.
In his first month in office, Trump signed an executive order asking for “at least a 40% overall decrease” in U.S. funding for the U.N. organizations that violate certain criteria. One such criterion was whether a given U.N. body recognizes full membership to the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, Islamist-inspired political projects accused of promoting terrorism and violence against Jews.
JPost Editorial: Keep your promise
According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq is not the only Palestinian nonprofit that has ties to the PFLP. Others include Addameer, the Alternative Information Center, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Health Work Committee, Stop the Wall, the Palestine Center for Human Rights, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.
Jewish Voice for Peace, another group that took part together with Al-Haq in the UN forum, organized a 2017 National Member Meeting in April that featured Rasmea Odeh, a PFLP operative convicted of US immigration fraud after concealing her role in two terrorist bombings in Israel.
Slightly more surprising was the participation of former foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, Joint List MK Aida Touma- Sliman and executive director of B’Tselem Hagai El-Ad.
How can we take these individuals’ calls for justice seriously when their ideological bedfellows are members of an organization that is willing to use suicide bombings and coldblooded attacks on civilians – including stabbing to death babies and little children as they sleep – to further their goals? The same question must be asked of NGOs that collaborate with Hamas, which like PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the US, Canada, the EU and Israel.
In April, during a speech to delegates at the World Jewish Congress’s plenary assembly while Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UN secretary-general said that he would be “on the front lines in the fight against antisemitism,” and promised to “make sure the UN is able to conduct all possible actions for antisemitism to be... eradicated from the face of the earth.” Guterres added that “a modern form of antisemitism is the denial of the right of the State of Israel to exist.”
It is time for Guterres to keep his promise.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to Visit Israel in August
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will visit Israel in August for his first trip to the Jewish state since assuming the leadership of the world body at the start of this year.
Guterres will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, receive briefings from senior security officials, and visit Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who will accompany Guterres during the visit, said he was “looking forward to showing [Guterres] the true Israel, which is an island of prosperity and stability in the tumultuous Middle East.”
“Particularly because of the UN’s discriminating treatment of Israel, it’s important for the secretary-general to see the complex challenges Israel is dealing with up close, along with its great contribution to the world as an innovative and groundbreaking country in many fields,” Danon added, Yedioth Ahronoth reported.
U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Visit Israel for First Time in 17 Years
A United States aircraft carrier is slated to dock in an Israeli port for the first time in 17 years on Saturday.
The USS George H. W. Bush, named for the World War II naval aviator and 41st U.S. president, is scheduled to arrive in Haifa for a four day stopover with a crew of about 5,700 sailors and pilots and some 90 planes, Haaretz reported. The crew will spend the Fourth of July in Israel.
Because of its massive size, the George H. W. Bush will be unable to dock at Haifa’s port, but will remain offshore. Ferries will transport the crew to land.
The carrier, a Nimitz class nuclear-powered vessel, was deployed to the Persian Gulf to serve as a base for air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria.
On a visit to Israel in April, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that Washington “maintains absolute and unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”
Israeli plane hits Syrian army after shell lands in Golan
An Israeli warplane struck a Syrian army post on Friday, hours after stray fire from Syria’s civil war hit the Israeli Golan Heights, in the 16th such spillover just this week, the IDF said.
“In response to the projectile launched earlier today at Israel from Syria, an Israel Air Force aircraft targeted the Syrian army position that fired the mortar,” the English-language Israeli statement said.
“The errant projectile was a result of internal fighting in Syria.”
No one was hurt and no damage was reported in the incident. IDF forces located the shell casing near the border fence not far from Quneitra.
Rebels recently launched an offensive against government forces in Quneitra on the Syrian side of the armistice line.
Syrian rebels near Golan ask world for support against 'Assad’s terrorist regime'
Syrian rebels who have been fighting against the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad near Quneitra on the Golan claim to have killed 108 Syrian army soldiers in recent clashes, including high ranking officers.
In an exclusive interview with The Jerusalem Post, the spokesman Abo Omar Algolany said Syrian rebel factions were still trying to liberate Quneitra province.
Over the weekend of June 24th fighting between Syrian rebels and Assad’s forces led to projectiles falling on the Israeli side of the border and Israel struck Syrian regime tanks in response. According to Algolany a number of “revolutionary factions” that are active near the Golan border formed a unified “operations room” under the name “Operations of the Army of Muhammed” and launched an attack dubbed “there is no God but you, O God” to push Assad’s forces out of the Quneitra area. “The regime forces shell civilian homes, villages and towns adjacent to the Golan heights,” said Algolany. His statements correspond with other information online that says five different rebel groups cooperated in the attacks last week against an area called “Ba’ath city” which is around one kilometer from the Israeli border and near the ruins of the old town of Quneitra. This area can be easily seen from the Israeli side.
The Syrian rebels are facing reinforcements from Hezbollah as well as “Iranian Shi’ite militias” that prop-up Assad’s forces in the area, according to the source. “The rebels managed to control the first defensive lines of the Assad militia in Ba’ath City and eastern Samadaniyah, which is located near the city. They killed 108 members of the Assad regime, including high ranking officers. They destroyed three tanks.” Video posted on twitter claims to show the successes of the battle.
UN tells Syrian forces to leave buffer zone on border with Israel
The UN Security Council on Thursday strongly condemned fighting in the buffer zone between Syria and Israel and urged the Syrian government and opposition groups to withdraw from the area which is patrolled by UN peacekeepers.
A resolution sponsored by Russia and the United States and adopted unanimously Thursday by the UN Security Council extends the mandate of the peacekeeping mission known as UNDOF until Dececember 31.
Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and later extended civil law over the strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, in a move that is not internationally recognized.
The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force has patrolled the buffer zone between Syria and Israel since 1974, a year after the 1973 Yom Kippur War. For nearly four decades UNDOF helped enforce a stable truce between the two countries but the Syrian war spilled into the zone.
The six-year conflict has not only seen some intense fighting in the buffer zone but the abduction of peacekeepers by al-Qaeda-linked anti-Syrian government militants, and other attacks that prompted several countries to withdraw their soldiers.
Sarin nerve gas used in deadly Syria attack, says chemical weapons watchdog
An investigation by the international chemical weapons watchdog confirmed Friday that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly April 4 attack on a Syrian town, the latest confirmation of chemical weapons use in Syria’s civil war.
The attack on Khan Sheikhoun in Syria’s Idlib province left more than 90 people dead, including women and children, and sparked outrage around the world as photos and video of the aftermath, including quivering children dying on camera, were widely broadcast.
“I strongly condemn this atrocity, which wholly contradicts the norms enshrined in the Chemical Weapons Convention,” Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said in a statement. “The perpetrators of this horrific attack must be held accountable for their crimes.”
The investigation did not apportion blame. Its findings will be used by a joint United Nations-OPCW investigation team to assess who was responsible.
The OPCW scheduled a meeting of its Executive Council July 5 to discuss the findings.
The US State Department said in a statement issued Thursday night after the report was circulated to OPCW member states that “The facts reflect a despicable and highly dangerous record of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime.”
Hamas Official: Trump Administration Seeking to Establish ‘Palestinian Entity,’ Not an ‘Independent State’
The US is seeking to establish a “Palestinian entity,” not an “independent state,” a top Hamas official claimed this week, the Hebrew news site nrg reported.
Furthermore, Moussa Abu Marzouk — the deputy chairman of the Hamas political bureau — asserted that the Trump administration’s nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative was meant to “serve Jewish interests.”
“American policy is pushing for the implementation of a confederation plan with Jordan and Egypt,” Marzouk tweeted.
Marzouk’s statements came a week after top Trump administration officials Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
That meeting, nrg said, left PA officials pessimistic, feeling that the Trump administration was biased in favor of Israel.
Abbas — according to PA officials quoted by nrg — tried to raise issues such as borders and refugees, while the American officials were focused on the PA’s payments to terrorists and their families and its incitement against Israel.
No understandings were reached and t
PreOccupiedTerritory: Palestinian Teachers Fear Students’ Murderous Hate For Jews Will Atrophy Over Summer (satire)
Educators in the Palestinian Authority school system and in the parallel institutions run by the United nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees voiced concern this week over the impending two-month summer break from formal studies, during which the hard work they invested inculcating in the children vengeful animosity toward Jews might dissipate.
With the school year reaching its formal completion this Friday, teachers and other staff members at schools across the Palestinian Territories expressed anxiety over how successful they had been at instilling lasting Jew-hate in their students during the last ten months. Summer camps will provide some of the same treatment to the children during July and August in informal settings, but the educators can only hope the hard work they have put into growing the next generation of stabbers, bombers, vehicular homicide perpetrators, hijackers, and inciters to murder does not go to waste once their young charges leave behind the school walls for the summer.
“I know summer camp can provide some of that content, but I still worry,” admitted Jenin sixth-grade teacher Sobbi Bor. “When the kids move up to seventh grade in September, will they retain the same level of murderous ill will, or will their new teachers have to go over some of the ground I was supposed to cover, just to get them up to speed? It’s a real worry of mine – basically, was I good enough? Am I good enough?”
For veteran Palestinian educators, the feelings are all too familiar. “Man, not a year goes by that I don’t dread the summer for this reason,” concurred Mustafa Massikr, who teaches fourth grade in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. “It doesn’t get any easier. My mind fills up with visions of the children losing what I’ve tried to teach them, and actually starting to see Jews as human, or at least deserving of compassion or respect. Only through mindfulness training have I managed to overcome those nightmares and push forward.”
Five suicide bombers attack Lebanese army during raids
Five suicide bombers attacked Lebanese soldiers as they raided two Syrian refugee camps in the Arsal area at the border with Syria on Friday and a sixth militant threw a hand grenade at a patrol, the army said.
The army said seven soldiers were wounded and a girl was killed after one of the suicide bombers blew himself up in the midst of a family of refugees. It did not elaborate.
The raids were part of a major security sweep by the army in an area that has been a flashpoint for violent spillover from the Syria crisis, and several Islamic State officials were among some 350 people detained, a security source said.
The defense minister was quoted as saying the incident showed the importance of tackling the refugee crisis - Lebanon is hosting over 1 million refugees - and vindicated a policy of "pre-emptive strikes" against militant sleeper cells.
US accuses UN of failing to address Iran’s ‘repeated’ flouting of nuclear deal
The United States on Thursday accused Iran of “repeatedly and deliberately” violating a UN resolution that endorsed the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and said the Security Council had failed to respond.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley pointed to “repeated ballistic missile launches, proven arms smuggling,” purchases of missile technology and a violations of a travel ban on Iranian military officials as proof that Iran was not upholding its international obligations.
“The Security Council has failed to take even minimal steps to respond to these violations,” Haley told a council meeting called to discuss Iran.
“These measures are here for a reason. This council should be here to enforce them,” she said.
The Security Council adopted resolution 2231 two years ago to endorse the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers, lifting economic sanctions in exchange for curbs to Tehran’s nuclear program.
The resolution called on Iran not to test ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and an arms embargo remained in place.
US set to seize NYC skyscraper whose owner violated Iran sanctions
The US government said it’s ready to seize a Manhattan skyscraper from an Iranian-American charity after a jury found Thursday that the charity’s majority ownership was derived from financial dealings that violated sanctions against Iran.
Acting US Attorney Joon H. Kim said the owners of the office tower near Rockefeller Center “gave the Iranian government a critical foothold in the very heart of Manhattan through which Iran successfully circumvented US economic sanctions.”
“For over a decade, hiding in plain sight, this 36-story Manhattan office tower secretly served as a front for the Iranian government and as a gateway for millions of dollars to be funneled to Iran in clear violation of US sanctions laws,” Kim said in a statement. “In this trial, 650 Fifth Avenue’s secret was laid bare for all to see, and today’s jury verdict affirms what we have been alleging since 2008.”

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J-Street sent out an action alert:


Tell Amb. Nikki Haley to reverse her discriminatory policy against Palestinians at the United Nations.

The world was stunned in February when Ambassador Nikki Haley made it clear she was blocking the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad to a United Nations post solely because he was Palestinian.

Under questioning from Rep. David Price this week, Amb. Haley took it a step further, outrageously pledging to block any Palestinian from serving in senior United Nations positions, no matter their qualifications. It's an indefensible, discriminatory policy.

Haley's aim to combat the anti-Israel bias of some UN bodies is admirable. But it won't be accomplished by imposing anti-Palestinian policies. It certainly won't be accomplished by shutting out widely respected Palestinians like Fayyad who have dedicated themselves to the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Since the PLO started to join world bodies, it has consistently used its position to do only one thing: bash Israel.

It has used UNESCO for years to deny Jewish heritage and history in the Middle East. It has tried to hijack refugee conferences, conferences on children, Human Rights Day,  and conferences on women - all to pursue an anti-Israel agenda.

It gets farcical. The "State of Palestine" has used its position to bash Israel at climate conferences and even a recent conference dedicated to saving the world's oceans. It has nothing positive to add to these venues - they are merely excuses to find more ammunition against Israel.

As far as I can tell, this is 100% consistent. The entire point of gaining recognition as a state in international forums is to add new platforms to attack Israel.

Nikki Haley is entirely correct. Palestinians haven't done a thing to prove that they are worthy of being treated like a real nation. On the contrary, everything they do is negative - all attempts to delegitimize another nation.

If they start actually working hard at ocean conferences or climate conferences together with other delegates to work towards policies that affect the entire world, that would be one thing. But they don't. They parachute in, make their anti-Israel statements, try as hard as they can to cajole Arab countries to add anti-Israel text in the final statements, and they leave. I have no doubt that real diplomats, who are too diplomatic to say this out loud, are sick and tired of having important issues being pushed aside for the Palestinian ego and non-stop effort to erase Israel.

J-Street here shows that they share the PLO agenda of bashing Israel at every opportunity - in the name of "peace."

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From Albawaba:
“Saudis support naturalization” with Israel. This, the surprising hashtag that has been trending on Twitter in the Gulf state over the last few days.

Saudi Arabia currently has no diplomatic ties with Israel, which it does not recognize, and anti-Israeli sentiment has typically been widespread in the kingdom.

This much is evident from the majority of the responses to the hashtag, which directed vitriol towards any such naturalization-backing Saudis.

Still, and rather unexpectedly, some did use the tag to express their backing for dialogue and the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two Middle Eastern states. [For example]

There is no shame in peace, dialogue and agreement. In the end, it is what all peoples and nations want and is the best choice for all.

They did so despite critics of government policy in the Gulf state risking hefty prison sentences. That in itself is a hint at a softening of attitudes with regards to Israel in Saudi Arabia, where there is evidence to suggest a potential shift in government policy towards Tel Aviv.
The hashtag was not that popular, but the underlying sea change in Saudi attitudes towards Israel is evident.
John R. Bradley wrote in The Spectator that Trump’s Middle East trip had highlighted his “championing” of a “new geopolitical reality”.
In this new reality, Bradley suggested, Saudi policy may be refocused to consider “Iran, not Israel [ its] regional enemy.”
His evidence? He points to Israeli Channel 2’s interview earlier this month with a Saudi political analyst in Jeddah, which received no backlash from the authorities, indicating, he suggests, tacit Saudi approval.
Bradley goes further, describing the interview as “just the opening salvo of an orchestrated, pro-Israel propaganda campaign.”
This “campaign”, according to Bradley, has so far witnessed the publishing of an “unprecedented” column in government-monitored Saudi daily which suggested that “there was no reason for Arabs to ‘unjustifiably demonise’” Israel.
Elsewhere, The Wall Street Journal has also reported a secret Saudi-Israeli deal to support Syrian rebels, while The Times has suggested that the two nations are engaged in talks over potential economic ties, a claim denied by Riyadh. 
Iran and its allies are very worried about this. Al Manar, a Hezbollah newspaper, this week disparaged Saudi Arabia by pointing out that one of their Grand Muftis, when asked about whether Arabs are allowed to make peace with Israel in the 1990s, issued a fatwa  that it was OK depending on the specifics and if it would benefit the Arab country. (And if the Jews are too powerful to be defeated militarily.)

The Iranians now realize that the old playbook of  using "Zionist" as an insult to bully people to do what you want no longer works. Iran is trying to save face by saying that the Saudis have been pro-Israel for decades and there is nothing new in their Zionist position - implying that Iranian policies are not the reason for the Saudi softening of its attitude towards Israel.

(h/t Yoel, Ibn Boutros)

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Ma'an English reports it this way:

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a Palestinian shot towards Israeli soldiers during a dawn raid in Jenin, before dropping his weapon and fleeing.
No Israelis were injured in the incident, the spokesperson said, adding that the army recovered the weapon on the scene.
The spokesperson added that the soldiers were targeted as they were undertaking an operation to remove a memorial stone commemorating Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) leader Khalid Nazzal.
Nazzal, who was assassinated by Israeli intelligence in 1986, was a leader in a deadly hostage operation in the northern Israeli town of Tarshiha-Maalot in 1974, during which some 29 people were killed.
The Jenin municipality had removed the memorial a week earlier, but placed it back a day later following local uproar, as Palestinian residents perceived the removal as capitulation to Israeli accusations that the monument would incite to anti-Israeli violence.
Following the restitution of the plaque, the Israeli army informed the Palestinian Authority (PA) that it would carry out a raid to remove the stone once again.
Ma'an Arabic has a different way of reporting, calling Nazzal a "martyr" in its headline.

What neither story mentions is that the majority of victims were teenage children staying overnight in the Netiv Meir elementary school in Ma'alot.

Even Ma'an's English article sees nothing wrong with a monument to a mass murderer, saying that Israel only claims that such honors incite violence and Palestinians disagree and say that the "occupation" is what causes them to be violent. (Of course, Ma'alot is within the Green Line.)

The idea of honoring a terrorist responsible for the murder of 22 children (including a four year old boy) is not even a subject of debate in Palestinian media. It is obvious hat Nazzal is a hero deserving of honor, and the only bad guys are Israelis who are offended by this.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

From Ian:

Anti-Semitism without anti-Semites
This kind of logic results in a German court ruling that throwing Molotov cocktails at a German synagogue is an acceptable expression of protest. It is not anti-Semitism, but rather a legitimate criticism of Israel's policies! In German, this is simply called Israelkritik -- not a critique of any specific policy by whatever government is in power at the time, but rather of Israel in general. In practice, it would be very easy to go from this to completely rejecting the existence of Israel, or, in other words, to anti-Zionism, or to rejecting the Jews' right to self-determination and a state, or to anti-Semitism.
Germany, with the help of authorities in the Israeli and Jewish Left, goes out of its way to assert that Israelkritik should be seen not as a variant of anti-Semitism but merely as another legitimate form of criticism. Does the same kind of legitimate criticism, of similar dimensions, exist toward any another Middle Eastern country, not to mention the Palestinian Authority? No. Israel is getting special treatment in this regard.
If Germany ever stops denying its anti-Semitism and finally acknowledges that anti-Semitism is still alive and well, under the guise of strong anti-Israel sentiments, the problem may begin to be resolved. But Germany prefers to ignore the problem. The German obsession with projecting their anti-Semitism onto the State of Israel has turned Germany's relationship with Israel into a neurotic one, preventing positive development.
Furthermore, this obsession poses a threat to Germany, itself. The reason Muslims today feel free to display unbridled anti-Semitic violence is not just their upbringing but the fact that they are acting out what many Germans privately believe. This violence is bound to ultimately target Germans, too, because the radical Islamists don't distinguish between Jews and Christians. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Fathom: Aaron Aaronsohn, the NILI intelligence network and the Balfour Declaration
Intelligence in World War One
Jewish patriots joined the armed forces of Britain, France and Germany and saw combat on both sides of the divide. There was no Jewish international unity in World War One – contrary to what emerged in World War Two. The Jewish ‘issue’ and its resolution seemed almost absent from the international agenda.
From the outset of World War One intelligence-gathering became critically important to all sides. The Ottoman Empire naturally had in place a vast system of control over potentially disloyal elements within the territories under its rule. London and Paris were jockeying to succeed Istanbul and its ally Berlin, whose basic goal was to ensure its interests the strategic south-eastern flank under Ottoman rule. On the other side of the divide Britain and France, and later the US, sought to cultivate support within areas under Ottoman control in anticipation of the ultimate fall of the Empire at the end of the war.
What was required was reliable military information concerning the Ottomans and their allies, detailed local knowledge of the areas under Ottoman rule, a list of high-level contacts with local players (such as Princes, Sheiks, Tribes etc.), and an intimate understanding of the conflicting interests between them. It also required identifying local players with combat capabilities and the provision of on-the-spot strategic and military guidance for them. All of this could only be handled by intelligence services and seasoned intelligence officers with experience in the field.
The most prominent was T.E. Lawrence from Great Britain – ‘Lawrence of Arabia’. But he was not alone; there was Curt Prufer from Berlin, who rose to prominence in World War One and spent part of his time in Jerusalem and who was active on many fronts; and there was William Yale from the Standard Oil Company of New York, who doubled up as an intelligence officer. There was also Edouard Bremond of France, who primarily operated in the Arabian Peninsula. (h/t Elder of Lobby)
Seth Frantzman: The Palestinian mufti’s intersectionality with the Nazis
When these left-wing groups talk about “intersectionality” the reality of the “intersection” is that it always intersects at Israel and “Zionism.” Always “anti-Zionism.”
Anti-Islamism? No. They never oppose Islamist extremism. Not even ISIS.
They talk about racism, but groups that commit genocide against Kurds, like Saddam Hussein did, are not rejected. Iraqi flags are welcome. Bashar Assad and his murderous regime are fine, along with Syria’s allies in Iran and Hezbollah. And the mufti is also acceptable.
There is an intersection between the mufti and his Nazi camp visits and today’s hatred of Israel and Jewish symbols. The intersection is that we turn a blind eye to the mufti’s disgusting racist politics, excusing it and even hiding his collaboration, while refusing to demand Palestinian nationalism reject him. At the same time, for too long the cause of “anti-Zionism” has been allowed to infiltrate every organization involved in liberal and progressive activism, such that Jewish symbols are not even allowed, as activists claim they cannot tell the difference between those symbols and Israel.
Every other religion and state in the world is accepted, no other symbol is thus conflated. They can tell the difference between 1,000 other symbols and flags, except for one. This is today’s tragic intersection.
Just as in 1942 the mufti found willing collaborators throughout Europe, hatred of Jews and Israel finds willing collaborators today.

Jewish activist couple marries surreptitiously on Temple Mount
An Israeli Jewish couple surreptitiously held their marriage ceremony Thursday at the Temple Mount, in an act of protest against Israeli-imposed rules forbidding Jewish religious rituals at the flash point site.
The couple, who are both activists in the Students for the Temple Mount group which seeks to increase Jewish access to the site, videotaped the hurried ceremony and distributed the clip to the press.
The couple had to carry out the nuptials without being seen by the Israeli police escort who would have stopped them, fearing such incidents could provoke unrest among the Palestinians.
Footage from the event showed Students for the Temple Mount chair Tom Nisani walking alongside his fiancé and fellow Temple Mount activist Sarah Lurcat, accompanied by friends as well as the customary police escort for Israeli-Jewish visitors to the site.
Speaking to the camera, Nisani explained the importance of the site before footage skipped to him hastily placing a ring on the index finger of Lurcat in the presence of two witnesses and reciting a blessing officially marking the consecration of the marriage.
The Flip Side of the Western Wall Crisis
Despite all this, liberal American Jews are convinced that they know better. They know that the continued “occupation” is mostly Israel’s fault, and that Israel must end it immediately regardless of the price in Israeli blood and their job as American Jews isn’t to support Israelis’ painfully reached conclusions, but to pressure Israelis to disregard the lessons of their lived experience. If there’s a better way of telling Israelis “You don’t actually matter to us,” I don’t know what it might be.
Moreover, pursuant to that attitude, many American Jews–and again, not just fringe groups like JVP–are actively undermining Israel in various ways. Mainstream American Jewish groups like campus Hillels repeatedly host speakers from organizations that spew outright lies about Israel, such as Breaking the Silence, which even recycles the medieval blood libel about Jews poisoning wells.
American Jews also provide substantial financial support to such organizations, mainly through the New Israel Fund. Rabbis and Jewish organizations provide cover for anti-Israel activists. Leading liberal rabbi Sharon Brous, for instance, praised Linda Sarsour for “building a movement that can hold all of us in our diversity with love” even as Sarsour explicitly banned all Israel supporters from her movement. The Anti-Defamation League defended Keith Ellison, one of the few congressmen who consistently backs anti-Israel resolutions while shunning pro-Israel ones, as “an important ally in the fight against anti-Semitism” right up until he was caught out in overt anti-Semitism. American rabbinical students term Israel’s very existence a cause for mourning and engage in anti-Israel commercial boycotts. The Union for Reform Judaism urges members to step up their criticism of Israel. And on, and on.
American Jews no longer the bastion of support for Israel that they once were. If they still believe they have a familial relationship with Israelis, it increasingly feels like an abusive one in which the abuser shows his “love” by causing pain. Thus, it’s no surprise that support for Israel has plummeted among young American Jews; how many of them ever hear anything positive about Israel from their “pro-Israel” elders?
The result is that some Israelis are starting to feel, as Hillel Halkin wrote in Mosaic last month, “The distance between Israeli and American Jews is growing? Let it grow … so what?” Until recently, few Israelis would have said such a thing, and I still consider it a tragedy. But if American Jews keep telling Israelis that everything they think, feel and experience “doesn’t actually matter to us,” the number of Israelis who agree with Halkin will only grow.
Melanie Phillips: Hypocrisy and worse over the Western Wall
Progressive Jews claim that Israel’s behaviour over equal access to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City is driving a wedge between it and the diaspora. Yet they are often the very same people who attack Israel for being in the Old City at all. Join me as I discuss with Avi Abelow of Israel Video Network the manifest hypocrisy and worse of this row.

Melanie Phillips: Astroturfing a lynch-mob
It is crystal clear from this full account of Sisi’s remarks that his words had infinitely greater significance than a rhetorical flourish. It is also clear that, contrary to my accusers’ claim about what he said, he was condemning a currently dominant interpretation of Islam, as I myself did in my own remarks.
Sisi used the word “impossible” interchangeably with “inconceivable” to express his horror that the Muslim world should support the aim of killing the rest of the world’s population. He was not saying that Muslims didn’t have this ambition. On the contrary, he was saying that they did have it (he didn’t even qualify that by saying that many do not) and that they drew for this ambition upon an interpretation of religious texts which could not be allowed to stand. That’s why he called for an Islamic religious reformation.
It is my accusers, therefore, who have cherry-picked Sisi’s words and wrenched them out of context to claim they mean the opposite of what he actually meant – all in order to defame and silence me.
This is not the first attempt to inflame a mob against those who sound the alarm about both Islamism and those who sanitise it, and nor will it be the last. After the Finsbury Park attack two courageous anti-extremist campaigners, Douglas Murray and Maajid Nawaz, were viciously defamed as Islamophobes who must be silenced.
Now Nawaz has been similarly attacked once again, this time alongside the atheist philosopher Sam Harris. As this account reports, the two of them recorded a two-hour podcast in which they discussed Islamic extremism and Muslim integration in the west. Someone else broadcast one minute of the show on social media. Taken grotesquely out of context, this twisted their views to represent them falsely as profoundly anti-Muslim which is the opposite of what they said or believe.
These feverish, ever-more elaborate and shameless attempts to silence what so urgently needs to be said demonstrate just how crucial it is that we keep on saying it.
Author of New Book Calls for Fresh Approach to Pro-Israel Advocacy Based on Highlighting Jewish State’s Morality
David Brog — the founding director of Christians United for Israel (CUFI) and executive director of the Maccabee Task Force — was recently interviewed by The Algemeiner about his latest book, Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights, and the Struggle for Peace.
A transcript of the conversation — in which Brog discusses the current state of pro-Israel advocacy and calls for a fresh approach based on highlighting the Jewish state’s morality — follows.
What prompted you to write this book?
“I wanted to counter a trend. The rising generation of Americans — including so many who consider themselves pro-Israel — are increasingly buying into the fantasy that Israel is the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East. I say ‘fantasy’ because this view is contrary to the facts. And I say ‘fantasy’ because it’s an alluring belief. After all, if Israel is the obstacle to peace, then pressure on Israel can actually bring peace. There can be peace in our time!”
“When our young people buy into this myth, they grow embarrassed and equivocal in their pro-Israel activism. They try to change the topic. They’ll talk about Tel Aviv’s gay pride parades, Israel’s food scene and, of course, high tech. But they’ll never address the underlying moral claims that are doing so much damage to Israel’s reputation because they believe (or fear) that Israel is guilty as charged.”
“Here’s the good news. Most students who accept the prevailing myths about Israel do so simply because they don’t know better — no one’s ever told them otherwise. My experience over years of working with students is that when they learn the facts about Israel they’re both relieved and energized to go out and share these truths. My book is an effort to compile in one accessible, chronological narrative all of the facts and history that my students have found most important over the years.”
French leaders: Gov't covering up antisemitism in slaying of Jewish woman
The umbrella group of French Jewish communities escalated its criticism of authorities’ handling of the slaying of a Jewish woman by her Muslim neighbor, calling it a cover-up.
CRIF made the accusation in a short and poignant statement Wednesday containing four loaded questions concerning the April 4 killing of Sarah Halimi in Paris.
“The murder of Sarah Halimi was 85 days ago already and the investigation is not advancing. Why this silence? Why this omerta?” read the statement, which contained the Italian-language mafia term for a cover-up among accomplices. “What is being hidden? Why this denial of anti-Semitism?”
Prior to this week, CRIF had refrained from openly faulting the handling of the Halimi investigation, saying it was awaiting the conclusion of the police probe. In the past, it has criticized the proliferation of conspiracy theories by some Jewish groups and activists.
Relatives of Sarah Halimi, French Jewish Pensioner Murdered by Islamist, Lodge Negligence Complaint With Paris Prosecutor
Relatives of the brutally murdered Parisian Jewish pensioner Sarah Halimi have lodged a formal complaint with the Paris Public Prosecutor’s office over the manner in which local authorities in the French capital have treated her case.
Dr. Halimi was tortured and murdered in her Paris apartment in April by an Islamist intruder with a prior record of harassment toward her. The complaint filed by her relatives asserted that police reacted with “inertia” after being alerted to the attack by Halimi’s neighbors.
The complaint also slammed the “lack of coordination” in the provision of care and welfare services to Halimi, who lived in public housing in the depressed Belleville neighborhood. Because she knew and feared the intruder, who lived in her building, Halimi had formally requested that the public housing department move her to a new apartment, but without explaining why.
“My sister was terribly afraid of this man, he had called her a ‘dirty Jew,’ but she was afraid that filing a complaint would be dangerous for her,” her brother William Attal explained in an interview with French news agency AFP following the family’s decision last week to take the case to the public prosecutor.
The Grenfell Tower fire: how a tragic accident became a blood libel
On June 14, fire engulfed the Grenfell Tower in London after a refrigerator short circuited and burst into flames in an apartment on the fourth floor. Seventy-nine people died in that fire, shaking the UK to the core, particularly the city of London.
Five days later, on June 19, Al-Quds day marchers blamed the Grenfell Tower fire on the Jews.
The next day, and for at least two days in a row, Muslim rioters stormed the London Jewish neighborhood Stamford Hill with bats, machetes, and swords, effectively instigating a pogrom in 2017 London. This time around, the Jews were lucky and only minor injuries were reported. According to the report, the police dispersed the rioters after some time, but despite the flagrant aggression, there have been no reports of arrests.
Forever Guilty
The history of persecution of the Jews is as long as the history of the Jewish people itself. All of our patriarchs were persecuted by their next of kin, as well as by the rulers of their dwelling places.
When the Jews were exiled from the land of Israel and dispersed throughout the globe, they suffered persecution wherever they went. Whenever and wherever there was a crisis, people blamed it on the Jews. A look at the history of persecution of the Jews and the history of antisemitism reveals a ceaseless march of torments of the Jewish people.
Even today, in the “enlightened” 21st century, antisemitism not only thrives the world over, but is escalating to perilous levels once again. At times, it masquerades itself as hatred of the Jewish state, at times it manifests as hatred of both Jews and the Jewish state, and at times it exposes itself as hatred of Jews. But in all cases, it is antisemitism. And in all cases, it blames the Jews for the misfortunes of the world.
South African unionist ordered to apologize for antisemitic hate speech
A senior South African trade unionist has been ordered to apologize to the South African Jewish community after being found guilty of hate speech by a Johannesburg court on Thursday.
The Equality Court in Johannesburg held that Bongani Masuku, International Relations Spokesperson for the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), made statements that were "hurtful, harmful, incite harm, and propagate hatred, and amount to hate speech," during a 2009 public address at Wits University and in various written communications.
Judge Seun Moshidi ordered Masuku to make an "unconditional apology" to the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD), the umbrella representative organization of the South African Jewish community. Masuku must apologize in the next 30 days or within a time period mutually agreed upon by the parties.
The case was brought by the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) following Masuku's failure to comply with its 2009 ruling that also demanded the trade unionist apologize to the SAJBD.
Kent State SJP applauds eviction of Jews from Pride Parade
Despite acknowledging that the incident would have been an example of anti-Semitism under ordinary circumstances, the Kent State SJP ruffled feathers in the school’s Jewish community with its contention that such behavior is excusable when directed at “racist” or “far right” groups.
“I don’t feel that SJP of Kent State in Ohio have any right to say what the views were of the Jews at the parade,” one Jewish student told Campus Reform. “I personally feel that they are saying that this wasn’t anti-Semitic because they want to seem like the good guy, when in fact they are being anti-Semitic.”
Paul Weinper, who claims to have personally attended the Chicago Pride Parade on three previous occasions, likewise disputed the SJP description of the evicted marchers.
“The flags...were carried on behalf of several congregations in the Chicago area,” he said. “These groups are not far right groups, but they are pro-Israel and Zionist.”
Another student explained that equating Zionism to racism “is outwardly anti-Semitic because it denies the Jewish people our right to self-determination,” adding that it is particularly remarkable that the incident took place at a gay pride parade, because “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where you are allowed to be openly gay without facing persecution.”
Many other Jewish students echoed those sentiments, variously referring to the SJP tweets as “passive-aggressive,” “pitiful,” and “disgusting,” but none registered surprise at the provocative nature of the group’s tweets.
“Time and time again, this oppressive and hateful group of people has made me feel sick and unwelcome on my own campus,” one student told Campus Reform. “This is another clear example of passive aggressive behavior that does not promote mature conversation.”
“I think it’s pitiful that SJP is the ONLY group on Kent State’s campus that belittles another group’s narrative to elevate their own,” a classmate concurred, saying that applying the term “racist” to Zionism “not only is racist in itself, but discriminates against people from every ethnicity, religion, and background,” because “support for the self-determination of the Jewish not exclusive to right wing or left wing groups.”
LGBT Jews say it’s increasingly difficult to be pro-Israel and queer
For years, Laurie Grauer had waved a rainbow flag emblazoned with a Jewish star at the Chicago Dyke March, sometimes marching near activists waving Palestinian flags. It had never been a problem.
But this year, Grauer was confronted by the LGBT parade’s organizers, questioned about her support for Israel and asked to leave because she was carrying the flag. She was one of three women with Jewish flags kicked out of Sunday’s parade.
Grauer says she was used to Israel being a sensitive issue in queer spaces. But she did not expect to be condemned for displaying her Jewish identity.
“To say that you can only identify one way is very dangerous,” said Grauer, the Midwest manager for A Wider Bridge, a pro-Israel LGBT group. “Here you have this march that is supposed to be something for people that feel oppressed, invisible, marginalized, [where] they can be who they are. I wasn’t pushing my views on people and was told the way you’re expressing yourself is unacceptable.”
The incident at the Dyke March was just the latest in a series of clashes over Israel at activist events for the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender, or LGBT, community. Being pro-Israel at LGBT events has become difficult, LGBT Jewish leaders say, and at times the opposition to Israel has spilled over into making Jews feel uncomfortable about displaying their identity.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund President Explains BDS to His Trustees: It’s About “Justice, Dignity, and Security”
On May 24, Tablet published an in-depth story examining the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s (RBF) Middle East programs. The article explored how and why RBF became one of the most prominent U.S.-based institutional funders of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement targeting Israel, and also recounted the fund’s efforts at promoting diplomacy between the U.S. and Iran. Shortly after the article was published, Stephen Heintz, the fund’s president since 2001, sent an email to the organization’s trustees and staff criticizing the story. I have now obtained that email.
The message, sent about 14 hours after the story was published, is a glimpse into the assumptions undergirding RBF’s Israel-related programming. Pro-BDS funding is aimed at “ending the 50-year long occupation in order to bring justice, dignity, and security to all Israelis and Palestinians”—in Heintz’s view, pro-boycott efforts are a valid instrument for ending Israel’s presence in the West Bank, and are therefore in Israel’s long-term good. Even so, Heintz isn’t eager to take credit for everything that RBF’s money helps fund: “The article includes indirect attacks on us and our grantees through guilt by association with several degrees of separation,” he writes, in reference to pro-BDS organizations that have received a total of $880,000 from the Fund, much of it awarded for “general support.”
Heintz makes little attempt to convince the recipients of his letter of the virtue of the Fund’s position. Instead of explaining how funding boycott groups that oppose the two-state solution will, in fact, help to make a fair and just two-state solution possible, he argues that it’s unfair to draw links between RBF and the activities and organizations that RBF actively and publicly funds. In contrast, and as my article demonstrated, RBF’s pro-boycott grantees are not shy about what they stand for.
North Carolina lawmakers approve anti-BDS bill
Legislators from North Carolina's General Assembly passed a bill on Wednesday that would punish companies engaged with state business who participate in the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) campaign targeting Israel.
The bill will now be sent to Governor Roy Cooper for signing. If Cooper endorses the anti-BDS bill, North Carolina would become the 22nd US state with a law imposing punitive measures on companies and entities involved in BDS.
The North Carolina House Bill 261 based its prohibition against BDS activities on "entities that do business with or in such countries, make discriminatory decisions on the basis of national origin that impair those companies' commercial soundness."
The enforcement of France's anti-BDS Larouche Law relies on a similar definition of anti-discrimination based on the national origin of Israelis.
Ohio condemns BDS
Ohio on Wednesday became the 12th U.S. state to publicly condemn the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
State Representative Andy Thompson introduced a resolution before the General Assembly which expands Ohio's condemnation of BDS to include denouncement of the increasing incidents of anti-Semitism being witnessed.
Citing a long history of friendship between the State of Ohio and the State of Israel, the legislation calls for increased ties and interactions in business, government, the arts and culture as well as educational initiatives.
Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) Founder and President Laurie Cardoza-Moore applauded the measure as well as Thompson for introducing it.
“Due to the effective launch of PJTN’s anti-BDS media campaign, we have been tremendously encouraged by the response from state legislators and citizens who want to become engaged in efforts like Ohio’s initiative,” she said.
New Georgetown dean is an avowed supporter of Hezbollah
Georgetown University has promoted an avowed supporter of the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hezbollah as its newest academic chair.
On September 1, Ahmad S. Dallal will become the dean of Georgetown University in Qatar, a school that is funded with support from its host country. Dallal previously served as the chair of Georgetown’s Islamic Studies department at its Washington, D.C. campus, which is a known cesspool of jihadi sympathizers. Georgetown Qatar is directly affiliated with the main campus, and considered an "additional location for the University in Washington, D.C."
Dallal, like too many of his colleagues in academia, holds some truly fringe beliefs.
First and foremost, he is an open supporter of the Hezbollah terrorist group. He signed a 2006 petition declaring his “conscious support for the Lebanese national resistance [Hezbollah] as it wages a war” against Israel, adding that it is “a war to safeguard the dignity of the Lebanese and Arab people.” The statement declared Hezbollah’s murderous campaign a “heroic operation.”
In his previous position as provost of American University of Beirut, Dallal slammed one of his colleagues for collaborating with Israeli scholars, declaring that the school would boycott the Jewish state.
Richard Millett: Avi Shlaim goes to St James’s Church to slam Israel’s creation and anti-Semitism “allegations”.
Historian Avi Shlaim was invited to speak on Balfour and Palestine: From Balfour to May on Tuesday night at St James’s Church in central London.
St James’s is a church hostile to Israel and no expense is spared. In 2013 St James’s dedicated its entire Christmas to demonising Israel’s security wall at a cost of £30,000.
St James’s knows how to harness extremists’ hatred for Israel and on the way out on Tuesday The Rev Lucy Winkett was beaming with pride at seeing 300 people in her church. One can only imagine the usual turnout on Sunday mornings.
Su McClellan, of Embrace the Middle East (see below), set the dire tone for the evening when she described Shlaim’s family as simply having “left Iraq for Israel for various reasons”.
Those “various reasons” might have included the Farhud massacre visited on Baghdad’s Jewish community in 1941 which was followed up with continued oppression and confiscation of property by the Iraqi government. Shlaim’s father lost everything it seems. None of this was mentioned.
Farhud and Hamas were the main words totally absent from Shlaim’s talk. He blamed the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians solely on Israel. He claimed “settlements only are continuing the conflict.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Ecological Progressives Conflicted: Crude Oil Ban Would Disproportionately Affect Muslim-Majority Countries (satire)
Proponents of a progressive environmental agenda face internal contradictions within the movement over the prospect of banning crude oil imports and other fossil fuels in favor of promoting renewable energy sources, activists reported today, because such a policy would commit the cardinal progressive sin of affecting Muslim-majority states.
Academics, ideologues, demonstrators, and rank-and-file operatives throughout the progressivism-driven segment of the US population reacted with dismay this week at discovering that the worst flaw in President Trump’s travel restrictions against which they have raised bitter protest applies in greater measure to many of their movement’s demands, and they are still struggling to assimilate that revelation into their world view.
“It turns out that if we abandon fossil fuels, which are an ongoing environmental Holocaust, we end up hurting the economies of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, and a whole bunch of other places that are basically Muslim,” explained environmentalist Vic Timhood. “As everyone knows, in the hierarchy of progressive values, not offending or adversely affecting Muslims reigns supreme, and we are now struggling with how to promote a cleaner world in a way that does not commit this grave offense against our values. I mean, what have we been fighting the Muslim Ban for? The way forward is not yet clear.”
“If the Dyke March in Chicago demonstrates anything, it’s that Muslims’ sensibilities trump all others,” observed activist Linda Sarsour. “That’s what I’ve been getting at for years, always couching it in terms of tolerance and openness. But it boils down to Muslims as victims being the ultimate axiom, and therefore Muslims retaining ultimate veto over everything lest it offend or oppress them further. Unfortunately for other elements within the progressive movement, that sets up conflicts. But it’s hardly the first time, and the lesser causes within the movement have to just suck it up.”
Israeli journalist refuses to grant prize to Facebook
Israeli journalist Lital Shemesh refused to grant a prize to a senior official in Facebook due to the Facebook management’s condoning of the barrage of incitement against Jews on the social network.
Shemesh is in London with a delegation of the the “Gesher” organization and the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, and met with Simon Milner, Facebook’s Policy Director in Britain, the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Shemesh, who serves among other things as a journalist for Channel 20 and a presenter for Israel Hayom, asked Milner why Facebook condones incitement against Jews, which can lead to the perpetration of terror attacks and the murder of innocent people.
Milner avoided giving a straight answer, and those present were requested not to quote the words that were said in the room by Facebook representatives.
As was stated, Shemesh refused to grant a prize to Milner from the members of the delegation. She told Arutz Sheva that Milner “has no small part in the incitement to murder of Jews. I just couldn’t.”
Guardian columnist suggests that Israel’s defenders are akin to climate change deniers.
First, contrary to Williams’ claim, Snow made no allegations of “scatter bombing” (cluster bombing) in Gaza, and in fact we could find no such allegations during the war, even by “human rights” groups.
Far more troublesome, however, is Williams’ analogy between Israel’s defenders – whom she characterises as defenders of “killing children” – and climate change deniers is indicative of a view of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, held by many in the media, which sees it as a binary tale of ignorance vs truth, good vs evil.
Herein lies the vicious cycle of media coverage of Israel:
  1. The intrinsic anti-Israel bias of reporters informs their reporting from the region.
  2. This results in coverage portraying the nation’s conflicts through a highly distorted lens, which – as with Williams’ astonishing credulity in reaction to Snow’s Gaza report – is rarely critically examined.
  3. This skewed coverage – which imputes maximum malevolence to Israel and denies Palestinians any semblance of moral agency – informs and reinforces the bias of journalists and editors when covering future stories.
Williams’ capacity to maintain belief in her own commitment to empirically driven conclusions whilst simultaneously disseminating complete fabrications about Israel would only come as a surprise to those unfamiliar with the pro-Palestinian media echo-chamber in which she operates.
Vandal faces charges in 'senseless' assault on Boston's Holocaust memorial
A 21-year-old Roxbury man accused of shattering one of the glass panels at Boston’s downtown Holocaust museum was ordered held today by a judge.
James E. Isaac, 21, was arrested and charged with willful and malicious destruction of property and destruction of a place of memorial in connection with the incident shortly before 2 a.m., according to Boston police spokesman Officer Stephen McNulty.
Isaac had his bail revoked on two open cases, one in Chelsea and the other in Roxbury. The decision by Boston Municipal Court Judge Sally Kelly, who held him on $750 on the latest charges of vandalizing the memorial, will keep Isaac behind bars for at least 60 days.
During the arraignment today, Isaac's attorney, Rebecca Kozak, said her client suffers from a "host" of mental health issues. She also said his father, who helped raise him, was murdered, which contributed to his struggles.
Upstate NY mikvah construction site vandalized with swastikas
A Jewish religious immersion pool under construction in a new ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of an upstate New York village was vandalized with graffiti and swastikas.
The vandalism in at a mikvah in Bloomingburg, in the Catskills area, was discovered Sunday night. The new Satmar neighborhood was built to solve a housing shortage in the ultra-Orthodox community.
The local sheriff’s office has opened an investigation into the incident.
The incident comes after swastikas were discovered spray-painted on a realtor’s sign and street sign in suburban Rockland County, New York, on June 17. In the weeks prior to the recent incidents, swastikas were discovered in a state park and on a neighborhood fence, and the words “No Jews” were spray-painted in a house up for sale.
Anti-Semitic, white supremacist fliers target DC neighborhood
Anti-Semitic and white supremacist fliers were dropped at houses in a Washington DC neighborhood.
Jewish and non-Jewish residents of Glover Park found the two-sided fliers on their front doorsteps Wednesday morning, Fox5 reported. The fliers offer several conspiracy theories against Jews and call for a war on Jews.
The notice is largely incoherent, but seems to suggest that Jews know about impending natural disasters and do nothing to prevent the loss of human life.
The back features a caricature of a white woman and child with the phrase, “defending your people is a social duty not an anti-social crime.”
The same flier has appeared in DC neighborhoods before.
Jewish cemetery vandalism spurs stiffer penalties in Philadelphia
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed into law an ethnic intimidation bill introduced after the vandalism of some 175 headstones at a local Jewish cemetery.
The Ethnic Intimidation and Institutional Vandalism bill signed last week says that fines for desecrating objects will be applied to each individual act of vandalizing a headstone, grave marker or gravesite, according to the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent.
The fine for damaging just one headstone is $2,000. For a third violation, vandals can be imprisoned for 30 days.
The bill was introduced by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, in an effort to amend the city ordinance dealing with hate crimes. It applies to all cemeteries in Philadelphia.
He told the Exponent that he introduced the bill “to send a clear message that these hate crimes will not be tolerated.”
“We should not be dealing with any forms of hate and discrimination. Those who engage in these types of acts are cowards,” he also said.
Belgian Regional Parliament Passes Law Banning Kosher Slaughter
The vote comes one month after the same measure was passed by the parliament in Wallonia, the country’s French-speaking region. Reacting to that vote, Philippe Markiewicz, president of the Consistoire organization of Belgian Jewry, reminded legislators that the “last assault on ritual slaughter was in October 1940 under the Nazi occupation, because they knew how important it was for Jews.”
Following the vote in Flanders, Chief Rabbi of Moscow Pinchas Goldschmidt — the president of the Conference of European Rabbis — declared: “The news that the Flanders region of Belgium has joined Wallonia in passing a legislation banning religious slaughter is a clear attack on religious practices and a worrying omen for the future of religious rites across Europe. We cannot tolerate bans on religious practices. Leaders across Europe must protest against the ban and work to protect our religious freedoms.”
Belgium is one of several countries where Jewish and Muslim ritual slaughter is currently prohibited. Others include Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand.
UK lawmaker recalls antisemitic abuse during general election campaign
A British lawmaker claimed that she was the target of antisemitic abuse during the UK general election after discovering several of her campaign posters were vandalized with swastikas, The Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
Conservative MP Sheryll Murray recalled the experience during a session of Prime Minister's Questions in parliament, saying that her campaign offices were also urinated on in the midst of the campaign season.
"Over the past months, I've had swastikas carved into posters," Murray, a Conservative Friends of Israel supporter, announced during the first PMQ held since May won a narrow victory against Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn earlier this month.
Murray said she was "sickened" by the experience, and noted that the "symbol is incredibly offensive to both Jews who lost so many and the British who stood firm against its tyranny."
The Conservative MP entreated the prime minister on "what can be done to stop this intimidation," which she quipped was "hardly kinder, gentler politics."
How Margaret Thatcher’s family sheltered an Austrian Jew during the Holocaust
On January 21, 1939, Edith Mühlbauer received a letter from a small town in England which would save her life.
The 17-year-old’s life had been a comfortable one. The Mühlbauer family lived on Schubertsgasse in Vienna’s Alsergrund district, an area where many Jewish professionals — doctors, lawyers, businessmen and bankers liked Mühlbauer’s father — had made a home away from the unassimilated Hasidic Jews of the old walled Leopoldstadt ghetto across the Danube.
But all that had changed nearly a year before on March 12, 1938, when the Wehrmacht had crossed the border and, without a shot being fired, occupied Austria. Within days, some 70,000 people — many of them Jews — had been rounded up. Less than a month later, the first convoy departed for Dachau, just across the former German border near Munich. Jewish-owned businesses were subject to a boycott. Jews were made to scrub the streets. Shortly afterwards, the Nuremberg Laws were applied to Austria, Jews were stripped of their citizenship and the doors to many professions barred to them.
Worse was to come on November 9, 1938 — Kristallnacht — as all but one of Vienna’s 42 synagogues were burned to the ground. Mobs attacked and looted shops owned by Jews. The police responded by arresting 8,000 Jews, sending 5,000 of them to Dachau.
For the Mühlbauers and their fellow Jews, the situation was now desperate. At some point during the unfolding tragedy, Mühlbauer wrote to her English penpal, Muriel Roberts, asking if she could come and stay. Muriel passed the letter to her father, Alfred, a grocer who owned two shops. Mühlbauer’s father then wrote directly to Alfred.
Microsoft signs deal to buy US-Israeli startup Cloudyn
Microsoft on Thursday confirmed it acquired based Cloudyn, a startup headquartered in Boston with offices in the Israeli town of Rosh Ha’ayin that has developed technology to monitor and optimize cloud storage. No financial details were disclosed, but earlier this year press reports said the company was being bought by Microsoft for some $50-$70 million.
“I am pleased to announce that Microsoft has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudyn, an innovative company that helps enterprises and managed service providers optimize their investments in cloud services,” Jeremy Winter, director of program management at Microsoft’s Azure Security unit, said in a blog post on Thursday. “This acquisition fits squarely into our commitment to empower customers with the tools they need to govern their cloud adoption and realize the strategic benefits of a global, trusted, intelligent cloud.”
This is Microsoft’s second announced deal this month. On June 8 the US giant said it signed a deal to buy Israel’s Hexadite, a cybersecurity firm.
Six-year-old Cloudyn provides businesses with software that enables them to measure the consumption, cost and performance of their cloud spending. Sharon Wagner, Vittaly Tavor and Boris Goldberg are the three co-founders of the startup, according to their website. Investors include Carmel Ventures and Infosys.
IsraellyCool: Pillar Of Fire – The Jew Returns, The Arab Awakens (1896-1920)
Back in 1976, the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) started production on a documentary series on Zionism, motivated by the Yom Kippur War and the notorious 1975 UN General Assembly Resolution that compared Zionism to Racism. It took five years to make, with the supervision of five historians. The result? Pillars of Fire, one of the biggest productions ever undertaken on Israeli Television.
Pillars of Fire first aired in 1981 and ran for five months. The English version (which first aired in 1988) is narrated by famed actor Ian McKellen.
Here is part one of the English version of the series: The Jew Returns – The Arab Awakens (1896-1920).
Pillar Of Fire - The Jew Returns, The Arab Awakens

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