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Thursday, June 8, 2017

From Ian:

David Collier: ‘The only good Jew is a dead Jew’ (the Suarez – Barkan threshold)
‘The only good Jew is a dead Jew’. A horrific statement not so openly suggested in Europe or the USA in 2017. In reality, this line is actually being propagated in almost every university campus in the west. Yes, it is camouflaged, but do not let that distract us from the sickening message underneath. Let me explain.
Thomas Suarez recently published a work of revisionist history titled ‘State of Terror’. What Suarez did is simple. He engaged in research using the British archives in Kew as a way of proving what he already believed, that Israel is a nasty little state created by nasty people, who did awful things. With a highly distorted personal radar, careful document selection, and an unerring ability to misinterpret intentions, Suarez produced a piece of writing far removed from both historicity and context.
Because therein lies the rub, part of the missing context of the book is the Holocaust.
When I pointed this out on Twitter, I received a response from anti-Zionist Jew and founder of ‘Boycott from within’ Ronnie Barkan:
It is a stock response from the Jewish anti-Zionist camp. Telling me, a Zionist, not to mix Zionism with being Jewish. To add insult to injury, Barkan even called me an antisemite. Perhaps this empty rhetoric plays well to antisemites and anti-Israel activists in 2017, although I find the argument highly offensive. He is, like Suarez, suggesting ‘the only good Jew is a dead Jew’.
Tunisian Court Suspends 'Wonder Woman' Viewings Due To Lawsuit Calling Gal Gadot A 'Champion Zionist'
Tunisia is the latest country to ban the hit movie Wonder Woman because they don't like that the star of the movie is an Israeli.
According to Variety, all viewings of the film in the country were blocked on Monday when Tunisia's Young Lawyers Association filed a lawsuit against Wonder Woman. The association cited the star of the movie, Gal Gadot, as being Israeli, her vocal support for Israel during the 2014 conflict with Hamas, and her prior service in the Israeli military, as reasons to block the movie from being shown in the country. The lawsuit also refers to Gadot as a "champion Zionist."
The Tunisian court suspended any future showings of Wonder Woman until the lawsuit is resolved, including a Wednesday premiere in 3D that 237 people were planning to attend, according to a Facebook event page.
Tunisia is not the only country to suspend viewings of Wonder Woman; Lebanon has banned the film altogether due to pressure from the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel in Lebanon. Rana Masri, an organization for the group, told the Associated Press that the main reason for their opposition to the movie was the fact that Gadot is Israeli.
"We don’t distinguish between a good Israeli and a bad Israeli," Masi said.
ICRC: Missing Israeli nationals: Hamas must abide by international humanitarian law
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) urges the Hamas authorities to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law to the five Israeli nationals who went missing in Gaza between July 2014 and 2016, and remain unaccounted for.
Missing persons, regardless of their status – fallen or captured soldiers during fighting, or civilians taken captive by an adverse party – are protected by humanitarian law. They and their families must be shown due regard under the law.
"Persons captured alive must be accounted for and treated humanely. Human remains, too, must be handled with dignity, identified and returned to the families concerned," said Jacques de Maio, the head of the ICRC's delegation in Israel and the occupied territories. "These are among the most widely accepted rules of warfare."
The ICRC has consistently reminded the Hamas authorities, at the highest level, of their legal and humanitarian obligations, and told them that intentionally withholding information about missing persons is acting in violation of humanitarian law.



Elliott Hamilton: Why The Jewish Left Laments The Six-Day War
Despite all of the facts and the international law that negates the arguments that the Jewish Left tends to promulgate, they do not matter. As long as Israel remains a powerful force and it maintains the status quo that has existed since the 1995 Interim Agreement, the Jewish Left will not stop in its quest to undermine Israel and its moral obligation to defend itself from genocidal threats. In a rather sickening irony, it would rather see the Jewish people weakened and on the verge of genocide than see the Jewish people as a strong people willing to fight back and hold both a moral and a militaristic high ground. However, the Jewish Left refuses to recognize that the Jewish community is no longer riddled with those with trembling knees but rather those that former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin described in his autobiography "The Revolt":
Out of blood and fire and tears and ashes a new specimen of human being was born, a specimen completely unknown to the world for over eighteen hundred years, "the Fighting Jew." That Jew, whom the world considered dead and buried never to rise again, has arisen. For he has learned that "simple truth" of life and death, and he will never again go down to the sides of the pit and vanish from off the earth.
If it were not for the fighting Jews, Israel would not have won the Six-Day War and it would have been wiped off the face of the earth. However, the fighting Jews prevailed and the war put an exclamation point on their return. Since then, fighting Jews have remained steadfast in Israel's politick; they have no intention of disappearing or relenting to the demands of those who seek to weaken its position. As long as there are fighting Jews running Israel, the Jewish Left will always take issue with its existence as an example of what "never again" truly embodies.
How the K.G.B. Started the War That Changed the Middle East
On June 1, when it became clear that the United States wouldn’t or couldn’t open the Tiran Straits with an international flotilla, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told Meir Amit, the head of the Mossad: “I read you very clearly. Go home, young man, that is where you need to be now.” Amit understood from McNamara’s response that he had obtained what he later described to me as a “flashing green light” to launch a pre-emptive attack. It came on June 5.
Shortly after, the K.G.B. in Tel Aviv began receiving reports of Israeli victories and “were at a complete loss,” according to Reuven Merhav, who headed the Shin Bet’s counterespionage Soviet desk at the time. They were the first to grasp the dimensions of the disaster for the Soviet Union.
The Active Measure brought the exact opposite of what they had planned for. In six days, Israel had become the regional power and a more significant ally for the United States; Syria and Egypt were humiliated. American arms had won a knockout over the Soviets’ weaponry and military doctrines.
On June 10, the Soviet Union broke off diplomatic relations with Israel. Eight days later, a ship docked at Haifa and took aboard the embassy’s contents, as well as the staff, including the K.G.B. station. A minute after they vacated the building, Shin Bet operatives broke in and found that the K.G.B. had “not left anything behind,” according to Mr. Merhav. “I realized that an era had ended,” he said, but he reckoned that “the Middle East is far too important to them. They’ll be back.”
He was right. Russia is back, again playing a destructive, diabolical role in world politics. The technology for spreading disinformation and the use of that fake fact to spread friction and discord, to deceive and to menace, may have changed, but the mind-set has remained the same. With an old K.G.B. hand, Vladimir Putin, at the helm, Russia still sees Active Measures as a legitimate means of closing the gap between Russia and the West, and increasing Moscow’s influence across the globe — including in the Middle East.
The difference between June 1967 and today is that now they seem to be doing pretty well.
‘Viewpoint’: The Six-Day War’s 50th Anniversary, Part 1 with Elliott Abrams
In this episode of ‘Viewpoint,’ AEI’s Danielle Pletka sits down with Elliott Abrams (Council on Foreign Relations) for the first of three conversations about the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War. Elliott discusses his thoughts on this major turning point in the Middle East and how it has shaped the world today.
The Six-Day War, otherwise known as the June War, between Israel and its neighbors, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, marked a turning point in how Arab countries would see the Jewish state for the next half century, and had lasting implications for US-Middle East relations more broadly. Despite being heavily outnumbered and out-armed, Israel won the war, which lasted from June 5 – 10, 1967. Israel seized control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. All of these, besides the Sinai Peninsula, remain disputed territories today.
‘Viewpoint’: The Six-Day War’s 50th Anniversary, Part 2 with Dr. Ziad Asali
In this episode of ‘Viewpoint,’ AEI’s Danielle Pletka sits down with Dr. Ziad Asali, president and founder of the American Task Force on Palestine, to discuss a Palestinian perspective on the monumental Six-Day War and the struggles of establishing a Palestinian state.
The Six-Day War, otherwise known as the June War, between Israel and its neighbors, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, marked a turning point in how Arab countries would see the Jewish state for the next half century, and had lasting implications for US-Middle East relations more broadly. Despite being heavily outnumbered and out-armed, Israel won the war, which lasted from June 5 – 10, 1967. Israel seized control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. All of these, besides the Sinai Peninsula, remain disputed territories today.
Legal Insurrection: Six-Day War Day 3 — “The Temple Mount is in Our Hands”
Israel’s armed forces are emerging triumphant in a lightning war which today saw the Egyptians defeated and forced back to the banks of the Suez Canal.
The blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba has also been broken with the Israel’s Navy now holding Sharm el-Sheikh and reopening the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. This afternoon, Egypt’s President Nasser also surrendered Gaza.
Judea and Samaria of the Bible—the birthplace of the Jewish people, and until 1948 a place where Jews had a continuous presence—today came into Israeli hands after the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) captured the major cities of Bethlehem, Jericho, Tulkarem, and Nablus.
The ancient Old City of Jerusalem is also now under Israel’s control.
At day’s end, snipers are still firing in the Old City; the IDF will need to mop up these remaining pockets of Jordanian resistance.
But, aside from that, the battle on the eastern front is now over.
50 Years After 1967: A Decisive Moment for Israel’s Future
What does the future hold for Israel 50 years after the pivotal Six-Day War? Find out when Israeli journalists debate, discuss, and delve into the pressing issues facing the Jewish state. Featuring:
Barak Ravid, Diplomatic Correspondent, Ha’aretz; Sivan Rahav Meir, Journalist, Channel 2 Israel and Galey Tzahal Radio; Amit Segal, Chief Political Correspondent and Commentator, Channel 2 Israel; Ilana Dayan, Investigative Journalist, Channel 2 Israel (h/t Elder of Lobby)


The Arab World Has Never Recovered From the Loss of 1967
Fifty years after Arab intellectuals started to mercilessly deconstruct their ossified political orders, reactionary and primitive religious structures, and stagnant societies, the Arab world has descended further into darkness. Physical, intellectual, and political desolation has claimed many of the once lively metropolises of the Arab region - Damascus, Aleppo, Baghdad, Mosul, Cairo, and Alexandria.
In 1967, as a young man, I witnessed the surprising outburst of enthusiasm that arose in the wake of the collective Arab disbelief and humiliation following the swift, crushing defeat of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan at the hands of Israel in six days. The war marked the death knell for the idea of Arab nationalism embodied by Egypt's then-president, Gamal Abdel Nasser.
Today, Cairo has ceased to be the cultural mecca of the Arabs, with none of its universities, research centers, laboratories, publications, studios, or galleries producing meaningful science, knowledge, or art. Beirut, the imperfect liberal oasis of my youth, is meanwhile being suffocated by an ossified, corrupt, and feudal political system and by a predatory, cunning, and ruthless paramilitary force: Hizbullah.
In 1979, the Middle East was shaken to its core by three major political earthquakes: the Islamic revolution in Iran, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and the violent takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
But after decades of atrocious governance, rapacious authoritarianism, predatory economic monopolies, and the hollowing out of civil society, the rickety scaffolding of those new nation-states, built over ancient civilizations like Iraq and Syria, began to fray and disintegrate.
In the June 1967 war, three Arab states were defeated and lost territories to Israel, but their very existence was not in jeopardy. Today, the multiple wars raging in Syria and Iraq, as well as those in Libya and Yemen, are more dangerous, as they grind at the weak foundations of the states. The unraveling of Syria may well drag into its maelstrom the fractured country of Lebanon or even Jordan.
Liberating the Old City of Jerusalem - a Personal Story


Why Have So Many Jewish Leaders Come Out in Support of Activist Linda Sarsour
Speaking last month at Dartmouth College, Sarsour was asked by a student to comment on a highly offensive and vulgar tweet directed at Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the genital mutilation survivor who is a vocal critic of radical Islam and its brutal treatment of women. Rather than answer the question, Sarsour denied the student his right to ask it: “This is an event organized by an Asian American, right?” she asked. “Talking about communities of color who are being directly impacted at this moment. And I have a young white man in the back who is not directly impacted by any of the issues I mentioned.”
You hardly have to be a Talmudic scholar to understand what Sarsour is saying. Your right to speak, she believes, depends on your group affiliation. You are judged not by the content of your character but by the color of your skin. And when another group organizes an event, then sit down and shut up if you even bother showing up at all.
This way of seeing the world as tribes competing for primacy is not only profoundly non-American but un-American as well. It’s the logic of the Hutu telling the Tutsi to expect retribution now that the balance of power has shifted. It’s the language of Milosevic lashing out at those he saw not as fellow Yugoslavs but as Croatians or Bosnians or Kosovars. It’s traditional suspicion and separatism couched in the flaccid language of human rights. It should fool no one.
It is sad, then, and deeply disturbing, that so many otherwise excellent Jewish leaders and thinkers are rushing to position themselves by Sarsour’s side. The question here isn’t whether or not one supports Sarsour’s views on Israel, BDS, or any other political issue; the question is whether one is willing to align oneself with a bigot who proclaims herself a victim while working assiduously to shut up anyone who dares to question her views. It’s precisely to defend us from people like Sarsour that the ADL was formed; to see the organization now rush to her defense in a misguided attempt to appear righteous and impartial is disheartening. We Jews have thrived in America because it allowed us, along with anybody else, to stand up and speak whenever we wished; anyone who suppresses the same right is not, and will never be, our ally.
Israel a ‘complicated place,’ says J Street’s former campus leader
In the summer of 2015 a synagogue in Ramle, popular with the Jewish community from Pakistan, received an unlikely visitor: an American active in J Street, who also understood their unique dialect of Urdu and Hindi. Amna Farooqi still remembers her visit there. She had rented a car specially after she heard that there were Pakistani Jews in Israel. Her Muslim family came from the same region.
“Israel has its own dynamics and Israel is a complicated place; Diaspora Jews come in with privilege, and it’s so easy to come and see the occupation and see the real and horrible violence Palestinians face daily and only see that,” Farooqi recalled on Sunday.
Farooqi, 23, a past president of J Street U, is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland.
When she was elected to her position at J Street, it raised eyebrows because she is Muslim. In May she returned to Israel with the Center For Jewish Nonviolence to participate in the Sumud Freedom Camp alongside 130 Diaspora Jews. The purpose of the trip was to support Palestinians.
Franco-German TV network drops film on antisemitism because it is ‘pro-Israel’
Editors from the Franco- German TV network ARTE have reneged on showing a widely acclaimed documentary on the explosion of lethal antisemitism in Europe, because the film is considered pro-Israel.
ARTE commissioned the 90-minute documentary, Chosen and Excluded – Jew Hatred in Europe, in 2015.
Joachim Schroeder, who filmed the documentary, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that the editors failed to recognize that “modern antisemitism is anti-Zionism.”
He added that there is fierce opposition within European television outlets to refrain from bashing Israel.
“You can’t make a film on antisemitism without saying every three minutes that the Palestinians are the victims of Israelis.”
Le Monde wrote in its headline about the row: “ARTE, a hint of the censor.”
Schroeder, along with Sophie Hafner from his Munich-based Preview Production company, covered the most serious outbreaks of violent antisemitism in Europe in the film, including the Islamic-animated murders of French Jews and Israelis in Belgium and France.
EOZ Monday: French/German public TV refuses to show documentary on European anti-semitism - film is too honest
University of Minnesota Reports Religious Discrimination Behind Most On-Campus Bias Incidents in Past Year, With 9 Antisemitic Episodes in February Alone
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN) reported last month that religious discrimination was behind a plurality of on-campus “bias incidents” over the past year, with nine antisemitic incidents occurring in February alone.
The report, a first from the school’s Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN), found a dramatic spike overall this February, with a total of 22 episodes occurring — 12 more than any other month. All of that month’s religion-fueled bias incidents were reportedly antisemitic in nature.
These included a Jewish student finding his dorm room broken into and a drawing of Jews being marched into gas chambers on his personal whiteboard.
At the time, the director of the campus Chabad center, Rabbi Yitzi Steiner, told The Algemeiner that “though such incidents used to be very rare, antisemitism on campus has been skyrocketing of late.”
After that incident, the BRRN had announced there had been seven discoveries of antisemitic graffiti on campus since December 2016.
Following the release of the report, the campus Hillel’s executive director, Benjie Kaplan, told campus paper MN Daily, “The biggest thing that students were feeling was disbelief that in today’s day and age, these things still happen.”
Jewish Human Rights Group Slams Top French News Agency Over Map Excluding Israel
A leading Jewish human rights organization has called on Agence France-Presse (AFP) to conduct an urgent internal inquiry after it published a map of the Middle East on its Twitter feed that excluded Israel.
In a map detailing the Arab countries that have cut links with Qatar over the emirate’s ties with the Iranian regime and its support for terrorist groups in the region, Israel’s territory was visible on the map, but not its name. Both the West Bank and Gaza were specifically pinpointed, as was non-Arab nation Turkey.
Shimon Samuels — the European representative of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) — said that “inaction on this issue will be construed as an AFP endorsement of Iranian-declared policy to exterminate the Jewish state.”

German Mayor Cancels BDS Events Due to Anti-Semitism
Mayor Jürgen Krogmann of the northern German city of Oldenburg pulled the plug Wednesday on two events slated to call for boycott of the Jewish state.
The events were canceled because of concerns that “a large number of the supporters of BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] hold antisemitic positions,” the municipality said in a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post.
“So long as it cannot be clarified that the BDS movement officially and publicly does not question Israel’s right to exist, such events cannot take place in city facilities,” Krogmann stressed.
BDS speakers were slated to appear at the PFL Kulturzentrum PFL cultural center next week and speak about “Palestinian suffering and how the injustice can be stopped,” and “Israel’s military industry.”
Amazon selling ‘Free Palestine’ clothes, after Sears and Walmart stop
Online sales giant Amazon continues to sell shirts and other clothing items calling to “Free Palestine,” after Sears and Walmart removed similar items from their websites.
The items are offered by Amazon via various third parties, and include shirts, hats and pins, some bearing Palestinian flags and many featuring a fist symbolizing resistance.
One shirt demanding “Free Palestine” features a drawing the covers the entire area between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, thus including all of Israel.
Sears said Wednesday it had removed a line of clothing featuring the slogan from its website. The clothing was offered for sale by another company, Spreadshirt Collection, and included tank tops, T-shirts and hoodies featuring a variety of pro-Palestinian messages.
The clothing was offered for sale through Sears Marketplace, which provides a platform for third-party sellers to market their wares through websites managed by Sears.
NY Times: Nathan Thrall's Ode to Palestinian Violence
It is hard to miss Thrall's repeated references to anti-Israel violence — and the subtext of those references. He notes that the threat of Palestinian violence has failed because Israel "has repeatedly demonstrated that it can endure and outlast whatever bursts of resistance the divided and exhausted Palestinians can muster." This apparent disappointment is underscored by Thrall's use of the euphemism "bursts of resistance" to describe Palestinian violence which, in actuality, includes the brutal slaughter and maiming of men, women, children, and infants in shopping malls, city buses, pizza shops, and in the street.
Thrall's dismay is also apparent when he impugns American payments to the Palestinians as an example of "unconditional support for Israel" because, he claims, the Palestinian Authority (PA) receives the money "on condition that it continues preventing attacks and protests against Israeli settlements." Of course, there is no American prohibition on "protests" against Israeli settlements. That is simply a fabrication. What is true is that since fiscal year 2015, US aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) was reduced by the amount paid by the PA to convicted terrorists or their families for the acts of terror they committed. The real question is why, exactly, would Thrall take issue at all with the prevention of violent attacks?
But take issue he does, lamenting that the "Palestinians themselves have done much to support the status quo," and specifically naming "The myth upheld by leaders of the Palestinian government … that cooperating with Israel's occupation — which, in fact, makes the occupation less costly, more invisible to Israelis and easier to sustain — will somehow bring it to an end."
Honest Reporting: French Journalist Forced to Apologize After Comparing Israel to ISIS
While the story itself was of limited interest, it did draw attention to Ms. Le Priol, who worked for some time as the newspaper’s correspondent in the Palestinian territories before returning to France. What we discovered was disturbing to say the least.
On Mélinée Le Priol’s Facebook profile, we found the following image that compares the horrific terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris, carried out by ISIS, to what “Palestine” supposedly suffers 24/7 at the hands of Israel:
We immediately contacted the editor of La Croix to request an explanation. He then put us in direct contact with Mélinée Le Priol who expressed her sorrow and regret for having posted this image.
Despite her apology, it still begs the question as to whether a journalist who has expressed such views is capable of covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a professional manner.
BBC Arabic’s Sally Nabil promotes more uncorroborated Six Day War hearsay
Obviously Sally Nabil can not have independently verified those claims and allegations before publishing this item. However, as indicated in its synopsis, her agenda in this report (as well as in her World Service item) also includes promotion of attempts by some parties to claim compensation on the basis of such unproven allegations. In the English language item broadcast on June 3rd she told listeners that her interviewee:
“…said ‘I tried to get a compensation from Israel’ but you know there is a peace treaty between Egypt and Israel that was signed in the late ’70s. He said that according to the Camp David peace treaty that each country should compensate its own citizens, so it was the Egyptian government that was supposed to compensate him for what happened to him but he said that the government paid him nothing. He said ‘my pension now it’s about 500 Egyptian pounds’ which is less than $50.”
The court ruling mentioned in the synopsis relates to a case that has been going on for years. While similar allegations have been made throughout more than two decades, that court case rests largely on an Israeli documentary called ‘Ruah Shaked’ from 2007 which caused a diplomatic incident at the time. The fact that the film-maker later admitted that he had made a series of mistakes that created the inaccurate impression that Israeli soldiers had killed Egyptian prisoners of war in 1967 does not interest those pursuing that case in the Egyptian courts.
Obviously it does not interest Sally Nabil either; as we see she is quite happy to promote unverified claims and to amplify allegations that have never been proven to BBC Arabic’s audience of 37 million people.
Senate bill would elevate role of anti-Semitism envoy
A Republican and a Democrat in the US Senate introduced legislation that would enhance the role of the State Department’s anti-Semitism envoy.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, on Monday introduced the “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017,” a companion bill to one introduced earlier this year in the House by US Representatives Reps. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, and Eliot Engel, D-New York.
The Senate bill would elevate the existing position to ambassador-level and ban “double-hatting,” or giving the position to someone who already has another assignment.
The Trump administration has yet to name someone to the position. Earlier this year, administration officials denied reports that they planned to do away with the position.
“At a time of growing anti-Semitism across the globe and here at home, it is vital that we prioritize the fight against this scourge,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “This bill would empower the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and it would ensure that we have someone in that role who can raise the profile of this issue within the Department and in all of our diplomatic efforts.”
Father of UK Jewish teen beaten in London park says police a no-show
A Jewish chaplain in London said his 16-year-old daughter was punched and kicked in a local park in an anti-Semitic attack, and that police did not respond to an emergency call.
Alex Goldberg, the Jewish Chaplain at the University of Surrey and Chaplain to Surrey Police, said in a post on Facebook Sunday that he is proud of his daughter, Hannah, “for standing up to sexism, racism and religious abuse,” and “Less proud of the police service that I have worked with for over two decades in failing to respond to three girls being attacked and racially abused.”
Hannah Goldberg and her two friends, who her father said were identifiable as religious Jews due to their long skirts, were in a London-area park on May 27 when they were attacked by teens playing basketball. A basketball thrown at her head cut and injured her. She was also punched in the face and kicked in the chest by at least two of the boys. One of them said “Hitler should have killed all you Jews” and “You should have all been gassed,” while the second said, “Jews are the worst.” Hannah reportedly responded to their comments saying Hitler would have killed their families too for being minorities, her father said.
A bystander called the police. The girls waited for two hours for the police to come before leaving the park, Alexander Goldberg said.
Belgian court upholds jail term for anti-Semitic comedian
Belgium’s top court Wednesday upheld a two-month jail term imposed on French comedian Dieudonne over racist and anti-Semitic remarks, Belga news agency said.
Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala, who has faced similar cases in France, made the comments at a show in the southeastern Belgian city of Liege in 2012.
He was sentenced to jail and a 9,000-euro ($9,566) fine by a criminal court in Liege in November 2015, and had an original appeal rejected by an appeals court in January.
Judges at Belgium’s top court rejected by a majority his latest appeal, overruling only a part of the sentence demanding that he contribute to a victims’ fund, Belga said.
Over Half of Muslim Migrants in Bavaria Hold Antisemitic Views, New Study Finds
Over half of Muslim migrants residing in the German state of Bavaria “showed clear tendencies of an antisemitic attitude pattern,” according to a new study.
“[E]motional prejudices against Israeli families” were also widespread in the nearly 800 migrants interviewed from countries including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the study conducted by the Hanns Seidel Foundation think tank.
When asked if Jews “have too much influence in the world,” nearly 60 percent of Afghans, 52 percent of Syrians and 53 percent of Iraqis agreed with the statement. In comparison, some 20 percent of German respondents replied “yes” to that statement.
Only 5.4 percent of migrants surveyed from Eritrea, a Christian-majority country, were found to hold antisemitic views.
The study was based on findings collected throughout 2016 in the Bavarian cities of Nuremberg and Poing und Pliening.
Israeli Researchers Develop New Therapy to Treat Heart Disease
Israeli researchers have developed a new therapy to treat atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries, also called arteriosclerosis) and prevent heart failure, using a new biomedical polymer that reduces arterial plaque and inflammation in the cardiovascular system.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease causes 56 million deaths annually worldwide, according to the 2015 Lancet Global Burden of Disease Report.
Arteries are lined by a thin layer of cells, the endothelium, which keep them toned and smooth and maintains blood flow. Atherosclerosis begins with damage to the endothelium, typically caused by high blood pressure, smoking or high cholesterol.
When endothelial cells become inflamed, they produce a molecule called E-selectin, which brings white blood cells (monocytes) to the area. That leads to dangerous plaque buildup in the arteries.
At present, there are several available treatment options for atherosclerosis, but no therapy can reverse arterial damage and improve the heart muscle. An innovative nano-polymer made in Israel shows promise in actually reducing arterial damage and improving the heart muscle.
Israeli startup looks to develop blood pressure finger monitor
Tel Aviv-based startup BiPS Health is looking to change the way patients’ vital signs are monitored at hospitals and at home.
The firm is developing a medical device that enables the constant monitoring of various vital parameters, including blood pressure, blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), respiration rate and heart rate. The accessory is a bracelet attached to two short inflatable finger cuffs with sensors. The bracelet and the sensors are able to regularly analyze the information obtained, said BiPS CEO Ran Keren in a phone interview.
The aim is to replace the current monitoring performed by nurses in hospitals. Currently, 80 percent of patients in hospitals in Israel and throughout the world are not monitored continuously, but only on average every eight hours, once per a nursing cycle. Studies show that 50%-70% of the cases of patient deterioration can be predicted hours before it happens. The new device will enable reliable, continuous monitoring of blood pressure and other vital indicators, Keren said, and also ease pressure on nursing staff.
The technology “will dramatically improve treatment and the ability to detect deterioration in the patient’s condition hours before it actually occurs,” he said.
OECD praises Israel's growing economy, low unemployment
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development issued a new report on the Israeli economy on Wednesday, and the results were flattering.
Handed to Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon during a Paris conference, the report said that after economic growth of 4% in 2016, the Israeli economy was expected to grow 3.25% in 2017-2018.
Unemployment was projected to remain low.
The OECD also projected that as the economy continued to grow, increased budget allocations would also encourage economic growth by increasing spending on transportation and housing for young families. These developments will happen faster if additional steps Kahlon announced in his recent tax reform plan are implemented, in the amount of 0.3% of the gross domestic product, to increase the rate of employment among parents of young children and increase pensions.
According to the report, the rise in real estate prices has slowed down, but still stands at about 5% per year, and tensions in the real estate market still need to be addressed by the authorities for the sake of maintaining a stable banking sector.
Solid gold
It was the golden throat that defined an era. There was a time when nobody could touch Rod Stewart as a rock & roll vocalist – not Jagger, Daltrey or Lennon.
His seminal bluesy work with The Jeff Beck Group in the late 1960s paved the way for an astounding, simultaneous one-two punch of rootsy solo albums like Gasoline Alley and Every Picture Tells a Story and rollicking swagger and roll as the ebullient front man of The Faces, one of the most under-appreciated British rock bands of the early 1970s.
“A teller of tall tales and honest heart breaker, he had an unmatched eye for the tiny details around which lives turn, shatter, and reform – and a voice to make those details indelible,” wrote Rolling Stone magazine in 1980.
“His solo albums were defined by two special qualities: warmth, which was redemptive, and modesty, which was liberating. If ever any rocker chose the role of everyman and lived up to it, it was Rod Stewart.”
Ancient Roman Weapons Support Josephus’ Account of the Siege of Jerusalem
Over the past four years, archaeologists have discovered military equipment used by Roman legions in the battle for Jerusalem in 70 CE. Some of the artefacts were recently put on public display by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Sue Surkes writes:
According to the IAA, an account by the 1st-century Roman-Jewish historian Josephus of the fall of Jerusalem is being confirmed by objects discovered on an ancient road that once ascended from the city’s gates and the Pool of Siloam to the Temple. “On the following day, the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set all on fire as far as Siloam,” Josephus wrote in The Jewish Wars.
Among other finds, archaeologists dug up ballista stones flung by Roman catapults and arrowheads used by Jewish rebels behind barricades as the city fell to the Romans in 70 CE.
“Josephus’ descriptions of the battle in the lower city have come face-to-face for the first time with evidence that was revealed in the field in a clear and chilling manner,” the [archaeologists] Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi said in a statement.



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