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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

From Ian:

Ending the Myth of the Poor Terrorist
However, the latest research raises some new questions about the comprehensiveness of Bueno de Mesquita’s model. In 2015, a new Palestinian terrorist campaign erupted. The attacks were substantially different than previous waves of Palestinian violence as the assailants typically worked alone instead of within a greater terrorist group. Because of this individualistic terrorist threat, the campaign is often referred to as the “Lone Wolf” intifada. The violence subsided in 2017, and an ongoing study by Berrebi and Weissbrod is working to analyze the characteristics of the individuals involved. So far, the study has found that while there are many high school dropouts in this new kind of self-selected terrorism, there are also many who are highly educated and from affluent backgrounds. Overall, both the number of highly educated professionals and university graduates among the terrorists, and the number coming from wealthier backgrounds, are well above average. What the research suggests is that although terrorist organizations may eliminate the lowest quality terrorist candidates, as claimed by Bueno de Mesquita and others, separate factors beyond the screening process must play a part in forming the connection between higher education, wealth, and terrorism.

What is clear by now is that nearly all current research shows that terrorists tend to be wealthier and more educated but we still need to test new theories to find out why. If Bueno de Mesquita’s screening model isn’t the entire story, one alternative theory could be that the educational content could itself be radicalizing, thus the more schooling someone receives in a given society the more likely it becomes that they could engage in terrorist acts. Another possible theory is that terrorism is a modern, deadlier form of political protests and revolts that have, throughout history, often been started by the intellectual communities. A third alternative may be that individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds do not have the luxury of participating in revolt as they must worry about feeding their families and the struggles of everyday life.

There are many more unexplored theories that may help to further explain the roots of terrorism, yet one thing is certain: The conventional view is far too simple. Politicians like Jeremy Corbyn need to stop treating terrorist threat as though it is a unidimensional problem which is solvable by raising individual wealth and education. Corbyn’s paeans to the noble suffering of hopeless Hamas terrorists rests on a myth. The massacre against Christians in Sri Lanka was not committed by desperate volunteers drawn from the wretched of the earth. The terrorists who carried out that mass murder were well-educated members of their society’s upper middle class, a background that is not exceptional in the broader context of terrorism and, if anything, suggests that the perpetrators were representative of a common socio-economic class of terrorist.

As terrorism evolves further, we must treat this issue as one impacted not just by poverty, education or terrorist organizations, but other factors as well. This step will allow for greater research in order to fully understand the mechanisms of terrorism and begin to find real solutions that reach beyond political expediency.
From Zion to San Remo and Beyond
Almost a century ago, the international San Remo Conference was held in Italy in April 1920. During this conference, the international community, led by the victorious allies of World War I, recognized the Jewish people’s national and historical rights in its ancestral homeland Israel. The importance of this largely forgotten conference cannot be overstated. Israel’s enemies frequently distort history by falsely presenting Israel as a “foreign imperialist implant” and a “compensation for the Holocaust.” In reality, the recognition of the Jewish people’s historical and national rights in Israel was part of a wider anti-imperialist new world order led by US President Woodrow Wilson after World War I.

This new world order recognized the national and political rights of nations worldwide. The same Arab world, which has frequently been depicted as a “victim of imperialism”, ironically gained far more from the San Remo Conference than the Jewish people did. The same international community that recognized the Jewish people’s rights to its tiny historical homeland recognized Arab political independence over much of the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq. At the time, international and Arab leaders saw no conflict between the reestablishment of a tiny Jewish state in the land of Israel and the establishment of neighboring vast Arab states. Emir Faisal, the head of the Arab kingdom Hejaz, welcomed the Jewish people’s return to its ancestral homeland Israel:

“We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement…. We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home…. We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East, and our two movements complement one another. The movement is national and not imperialistic. There is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a success without the other.”

Merely a century ago, the international community understood a fundamental truth that has largely been lost today: “Palestine” is the Roman imposed term for the Jewish people’s historical homeland Judea. At the time, there were no calls for establishing a “Palestinian” Arab state because neither Arabs nor anyone else was aware of such a “nation”. Local Arabs identified either as Syrians or as part of the wider Arab world.
Document showing America’s official recognition of Israel in May 1948 up for sale
The original exhibition copy of the United States’ recognition of Israel in 1948, signed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, is up for sale for the first time.

The document, valued at $300,000, is the only known signed copy of the final recognition of the Jewish state to exist.
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The Raab Collection, the nation’s leading dealer in important historical documents, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the historical artifact ahead of Israel’s Independence Day in May.

Previously, the document was exhibited by the American and Israeli governments.

It reads: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provision government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.”

“This document speaks to the power of the Jewish hope of a homeland and its realization after World War II,” said Raab Collection president Nathan Raab. “It was signed by Truman for the New York World’s Fair and since then has been used by both the American and Israeli governments as the symbol of the great recognition of Israel by the United States.”
What Does it Mean to be Pro-Israel in 2019?

Celebrities and Entertainment Industry Leaders Speak Out Against Israel Eurovision Boycott
With the much anticipated Eurovision Song Contest just around the corner, more than 100 artists and leading names in the entertainment industry unite in the spirit of peace and togetherness to show their support for the show in Israel.

London, UK (30, 2019) – The entertainment industry non-profit organisation, Creative Community For Peace (CCFP), has released a statement in support of the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held in Tel Aviv, Israel this May.

With over 100 signatories, the statement includes stars such as Sharon Osbourne, Rachel Riley, and Stephen Fry, as well as Gene Simmons and Tracy Ann Oberman, amongst the biggest names across the global entertainment and music industry.

The full statement and list of signatories can be found below. Additionally, over 15,000 people from around the world have signed a similar statement on, asserting that a cultural boycott of Eurovision does not work to advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

This news comes as the BBC recently released its own statement in support of the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel this year, noting that the international song contest, as always, embodies the “values of friendship, inclusion, tolerance, and diversity.”
Alan M. Dershowitz: What if the New York Times Cartoon had depicted a Muslim, a Lesbian, an African American or a Mexican as a Dog?
Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.

I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.

For years now, the New York Times op-ed pages have been one-sidedly anti-Israel. Its reporting has often been provably false, and all the errors tend to favor Israel's enemies.

Most recently, the New York Times published an op-ed declaring, on Easter Sunday, that the crucified Jesus was probably a Palestinian. How absurd. How preposterous. How predictable.
Protest Erupts Outside New York Times Offices Over Anti-Semitic Cartoon
Former New York Assemblyman Dove Hikind rallied the crowd with the chant, “Shame on the New York Times.” He recalled the ways the paper denied the Holocaust as it was happening. He said that from 1939 to 1945, the Times ran 23,000 headlines. Of them, only 26 stories were about the Holocaust. This is not a fantastic record for a paper of record. Hikind said that he is a Democrat, but a very embarrassed one.

During Hikind’s remarks, the crowd began shouting, “Where is Schumer?” Well, the Senate minority leader, a Democrat from New York, wasn’t there today. What his reaction is to this controversy is not entirely clear. Schumer has had no press conference regarding the incident and might fairly be said to be hiding. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler also came under attack for his lack of outrage over the cartoon.

The next speaker was professor Alan Dershowitz, who described himself as a formerly strong supporter of The New York Times who does not understand how this could have happened: “The New York Times has been wrong so often when it comes to Israel and when it comes to the Jewish people.” He suggested that because The New York Times is owned by Jews, they bend over backwards to not be seen as pro-Jewish.

Dershowitz particularly called out the Times for editorializing in its reporting, calling their “news analysis” pieces little more than opinion posing as news. He’s absolutely right.

Ultimately, the biggest question is: How did open and offensive anti-Semitism become something that professional journalists are unable to recognize? Have Jews so completely become white people in the eyes of progressives that they may now be treated, like white people, as a problem in society that has to be fought? If so — and it increasingly seems to be so — can’t that be achieved without literally depicting Jews as dogs?

The New York Times has much to be ashamed about here, and their response has been extremely weak. The good news is that American Jews have taken notice and are prepared to respond.
‘Silence Is Deadly’: Dershowitz, Hikind, Hundreds of Jews Protest Outside NY Times Building
Hundreds of Jews on Monday heeded the call of former NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind who tweeted: “Join me in loudly protesting against the @nytimes for publishing a vile anti-Semitic cartoon only days before a terror attack against Jews! NYC – Today – 5:30 PM @ The NY Times building on 8th Ave and 41 St.”

Meredith Weiss reported on Facebook: “Hundreds of people out today with only a few hours notice to shame the NYT! Hillary Barr of Mothers Against Terrorism, Sarri Singer of Strength to Strength, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Assemblyman Dov Hikind, AFSI, StandWithUs, Rabbi Potasnik of the NYBR, Rabbi Abadi, Michael Cohen of Simon Wiesenthal Ctr, Jeff Weisenfeld, Sid Rosenberg of 77WABC and more joined us on stage. Special thank you to our amazing NYPD. We won’t be silent.”

Prof. Alan Dershowitz, who had not been planning to speak, ended up sending the defining message of the rally, precisely because he had been featured by and written for the NY Times so many times in his long career. Dershowitz suggested there was something deeply wrong with the “newspaper of record” which spends so much of its space every day attacking the Jewish State.

Ron Kampeas: Israeli ambassador calls NYT ‘cesspool of hostility’
The Israeli ambassador to the United States linked The New York Times to the “Jew-hatred of growing parts of the intellectual class.”

Ron Dermer was speaking Monday in the U.S. Capitol at the annual Holocaust Days of Remembrance organized by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

It was an unusually political attack on a day and at an event organized by an institution that generally focuses on the historical meaning of the Holocaust.

Dermer listed recent lethal attacks against Jews, including Saturday’s deadly shooting at the Chabad of Poway, a suburb of San Diego. His remarks were posted on his Facebook page.

He attributed the California attack, which killed one congregant and injured three , and the October massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 worshippers, to white supremacists. But Dermer added that “we have also seen anti-Semitism increasingly poison minds in the political classes of what once proudly called itself the West.”

Describing what he termed “the Jew-hatred of growing parts of the intellectual class,” Dermer referred to anti-Semitism plaguing Britain’s Labour Party and rising anti-Israel activity on campuses.

“We have also seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy,” Dermer said. (h/t MtTB)
Trump’s Mideast envoy blasts NY Times over ‘dangerous and despicable’ cartoon
US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt on Monday slammed the The New York Times after it published a caricature that the paper has since acknowledged was anti-Semitic and for which it has apologized.

The cartoon showed a blind, skullcap-sporting US President Donald Trump being led by a dog-like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with a Star of David collar around the latter’s neck.

“The cartoon wasn’t just dangerous — it was despicable,” Greenblatt wrote in a tweet. “NYT owes us a transparent plan of action to ensure this will never happen again & should share results of their investigation.”

On Sunday, the paper said it was “deeply sorry” for printing the cartoon in its international edition last week. It attributed the misstep to a lack of oversight and vowed to revamp its editorial process to ensure “nothing like this happens again.”
Israeli envoy calls for criminalizing antisemitism after NYT cartoon
The only way to stop antisemitism is to criminalize it, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told reporters in New York on Monday.

“The time for talking and having a conversation is over,” Danon said. “What Israel and the Jewish community around the world demand is action - and now."

Danon, speaking on the sidelines of the United Nations Security Council meeting, said that those who engage in antisemitism "must be punished. Whether it is here at the UN [or by] political leaders, editors, policy pundits or college professors, it does not matter.

“Antisemitism should have no place in our society," he continued. "Until it becomes criminal, this bigotry will persist; it will fester. It is only a matter of time until it erupts again in violence and bloodshed."

Danon spoke just two days after a shooter, believed to be a white supremacist, killed one Jewish worshiper and wounded three others at the Chabad synagogue in Poway California. That same weekend, The New York Times published a cartoon widely held to be classically antisemitic. The paper has since apologized. Danon linked the two events with a shooting that occurred at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue in October, in which 11 worshipers were killed.
Shmuley Boteach: No Holds Barred: The Old York Times
The city of York in England was the site of one of the grisliest mass murders of Jews in medieval times. Antisemitism was being stoked throughout Europe in the 12th century due in large part to the Crusades. Then, on March 16, 1190, the entire Jewish community of York was massacred in a tower where they had attempted to escape. William of Newburgh depicted the annihilation and those who carried it out as indulging in slaughter “without any scruple of Christian conscientiousness.”

It was hoped that New York – a new city in the new world, though named after the old one – would be a city of great refuge for the Jews, and indeed it would go on to become the city with the largest Jewish population in history. But the city’s leading publication, and the newspaper of record, seems to have decided that it’s time to claw back to the spirit of old York.

On Friday, The New York Times published a disgusting antisemitic cartoon of a blind US President Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke, being walked by a dog with the face of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a Star of David collar. Here was the near-perfect constellation of Jew hatred. The giant nose and menacing facial features superimposed on Netanyahu who was himself superimposed on a dog. The hated Trump suddenly Jewified. The Jew, wearing his Magen David as a dog collar like a yellow arm band, manipulating the blind, gullible world leader as he slowly tries to take over the world (did someone say Protocols?) All that was missing was a bar of gold in the dog’s mouth and the trope would have been complete.

Two days later, a murderer attacked a Chabad synagogue in California and killed a precious woman who came to say mourning prayers for her recently deceased mother, blew the fingers off the rabbi, injured a heroic visiting Israeli and inflicted shrapnel wounds on an 8-year-old girl.

The Times cartoon was published in its international edition, so I would not attribute the murderous actions of the Chabad killer to the paper’s visual attack on the Jews. What this despicable example of antisemitism in the “Paper of Record” did do, however, is continue the process of normalizing antisemitism and bringing us closer to Old York.
New York Times cartoonist to 'Post': Caricature was not antisemitic
Antonio Moreira Antunes, the cartoonist behind a recent controversial caricature in The New York Times, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that he does not understand how people view his work as antisemitic.

Antunes has served for several decades as a cartoonist for the Portuguese newspaper Expresso. Last week, a cartoon he drew of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump was reprinted in The International New York Times, igniting a firestorm of controversy. The Times at first deleted the cartoon from its syndication website, said it was offensive and that it was an “error of judgment” to print it. But the paper later offered a full apology, saying it was “deeply sorry” and that “we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again.”

Antunes, for his part, was unapologetic on Tuesday.

“Trump’s erratic, destructive and often blind politics encouraged the expansionist radicalism of Netanyahu,” he wrote in an emailed response to questions from the Post. “To illustrate this situation, an analogy occurred to me with a blind man (Trump) led by a guide dog (Netanyahu) and, to help identify him, little known in Portugal, I added the Star of David, symbol of the State of Israel and central element of its flag.”

Antunes did not explain why he drew a kippa on Trump’s head. He also did not respond to a question about the reactions of either The New York Times or his employer, Expresso, to the cartoon.
Cartoonist Who Penned Anti-Semitic NYT Cartoon Not Backing Dow
The cartoonist who drew the anti-Semitic caricature of President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended his work Monday in a Portuguese newspaper.

The cartoon in question, which appeared in Thursday’s New York Times international paper, featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David collar leading a blind Trump, who is wearing a yarmulke. There was no caption or text alongside the caricature.

“It is a critique of Israeli policy, which has a criminal conduct in Palestine, at the expense of the UN, and not the Jews,” said António Moreira Antunes, who goes by António, in an interview with Expresso, a Portuguese paper where he works.

“The reading I made is that Benjamin Netanyahu’s politics, whether by the approach of elections or by being protected by Donald Trump, who changed the embassy to Jerusalem by recognizing the city as capital, and which first allowed the annexation of the Golan Heights and after the West Bank and more annexations in the Gaza Strip, which means a burial of the Oslo Accord, it represents an increase in verbal, physical and political violence,” he continued. “It is a blind policy that ignores the interests of the Palestinians. And Donald Trump is a blind man The Star of David [Jewish symbol] is an aid to identify a figure [Netanyahu] that is not very well known in Portugal.”
New York Times Suspends All Future Syndicated Cartoons Amid Antisemitism Crisis Inside Newspaper
The New York Times has suspended the publication of all future syndicated political cartoons in its international print edition, the newspaper’s spokeswoman Eileen Murphy confirmed late Monday.

The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove spoke with Murphy in the wake of the newspaper’s publication of a second controversial cartoon that drew critical condemnation from the Jewish community–after a first cartoon, which the paper now admits was antisemitic, was retracted and then subsequently apologized for over the weekend.

The newspaper is in a full internal crisis on this matter, as executives and editors have launched a full-scale internal investigation into what happened, who is responsible, and what procedural and structural changes need to take place so the Times does not publish more antisemitic content.

It all started last Thursday when the Times published a cartoon on the opinion pages of its international print edition showing Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as a dog with a Star of David around his collar on a leash leading U.S. President Donald Trump–depicted as blind and wearing a skullcap–around.

Under immense criticism, the Times on Saturday retracted the cartoon and issued an “editor’s note” in response admitting it was antisemitic and an “error in judgement to publish it.”
The New York Times, which published the Congress Jew tracker in 2015, is sorry for distributing anti-Semitic cartoon
On Sunday, Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy issued a lengthier explanation separate from the paper’s initial “error of judgment” statement. Unlike the note published in Monday’s international edition, Murphy’s remarks contain an actual attempt to apologize for the cartoon.

“We are deeply sorry for the publication of an anti-Semitic political cartoon last Thursday in the print edition of The New York Times that circulates outside of the United States, and we are committed to making sure nothing like this happens again. Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable,” she said. "We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor acting without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”

The Times reported that the cartoon came from Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes.

It was “originally published by Expresso, a newspaper in Lisbon. It was then picked up by CartoonArts International, a syndicate for cartoons from around the world,” the paper explained. “The New York Times Licensing Group sells content from CartoonArts and other publishers along with material from The New York Times to news sites and other customers.”

In 2015, the Times published — and then quietly removed — a list tracking which Jewish U.S. lawmakers opposed the Iran nuclear deal. The list included categories that read “Jewish?” and “State and estimated Jewish population.” Later, in 2017, the Times published a report insinuating the Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movement Chabad might be a puppet organization for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Last week, the Times published a clearly anti-Semitic cartoon.

At what point do we draw a trend line?
The New York Times’ Jewish Problem
In other words, publishing the cartoon was, according to the Times, a major blunder due to a poor internal process. Beyond that, nothing to see here: once the problem is fixed, everyone can go on living his or her lives. But this incident was much more than a one-time mistake; it is part of a deeply entrenched culture at the paper that goes back decades.

In his latest column, Bret Stephens writes in the Times that, for some readers, the paper "has a longstanding Jewish problem, dating back to World War II, when it mostly buried news about the Holocaust, and continuing into the present day in the form of intensely adversarial coverage of Israel." This description is correct but does not quite show the extent of the Times‘ "Jewish problem."

In 2015, for example, the Times famously created a Jew tracker. No, that is not a typo. For those who may not remember, the Times published a list tracking which Jewish American lawmakers voted against the nuclear deal with Iran. The list included columns that read "Jewish?" and "State and estimated Jewish population." Even worse, Jewish lawmakers and those who represent a district with a larger Jewish population than the U.S. average were singled out with a yellow highlight. For those who do not get the significance, during the Holocaust Jews were forced to wear yellow Stars of David, also to single them out from the crowd. The list was just plain creepy, and chilling. Consider the clear implication: that Jews were more likely to oppose the nuclear deal out of loyalty to Israel. How is that not anti-Semitic? The Times quietly removed the list after the backlash became too much.

Another example: just last week, the Times had to issue a correction to an opinion piece to clarify that Jesus was "a Jew born in Bethlehem." An original version of the article said that Jesus "was most likely a Palestinian man with dark skin." It took a full week for the paper to acknowledge the error. Apparently the Times did not see a problem with rewriting history to make Jews look bad—at least until it got hammered for doing so.

And then there is the Times‘ coverage of Israel, both in its straight-news and opinion sections, which consistently demonizes the Jewish state and supports those who seek to delegitimize it. The paper constantly publishes articles that back the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is a form of economic warfare against Israel meant to destroy the Jewish state. Moreover, a study from 2014 by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America found that the Times is nearly seven times more likely to publish pieces "primarily critical of Israel than those primarily critical of the Palestinians," and that the paper is "twice as likely to publish opinion pieces that predominantly support the Palestinian narrative about which side deserves more sympathy or criticism than pieces that predominantly support the Israeli narrative." The numbers do not always capture the egregiousness of some of these stories, such as a 4,700-word article from December that portrayed Israeli soldiers as bloodthirsty savages in the death of a young Gazan medic when, in reality, the killing was unintentional, the result of an "improbable" incident involving a ricocheting bullet.
New York Times Hires Ilhan Omar as Anti-Semitism Sensitivity Advisor (satire)
Following backlash over a recent cartoon criticized as anti-Semitic, The New York Times has responded by hiring Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to advise the paper on sensitivity towards Jewish readers.

“Really, we had no idea that portraying Jews as dogs with giant noses could be viewed as offensive,” the publication said in a statement. “We decided that we need someone with an expertise in showing respect and decency towards Jews to help us avoid future cases of anti-Semitism.”

The paper quickly determined Omar was the right person the help chart a new course.

“There is no one better than Mrs. Omar at identifying cases of anti-Semitism,” one editor told The Mideast Beast. “We Googled ‘Ilham Omar’ and ‘anti-Semitism’ and got literally millions of results. Clearly she is an expert on this.”

Shortly after hiring Omar, the Times followed with an announcement stating that a review had determined that the Times’ coverage was not the least bit anti-Semitic.
Florida Senate passes anti-Semitism bill with clear mandate
The Florida Senate unanimously passed an anti-Semitism bill previously passed unanimously by the Florida House, which adopts the U.S. State Department definition of anti-Semitism and mandates that discrimination against Jewish people be considered similar to acts of racial discrimination in Florida’s public-education institutions.

Passed by a vote of 26-0, the bill moves to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law.
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Jewish and pro-Israel groups applauded the bill’s passage.

“We praise them for recognizing the need to pass strong legislation defining anti-Semitism, thus making it easier for law enforcement to investigate unprotected conduct, such as harassment and vandalism as hate crimes,” said StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein. “Florida is acting as a role model during these challenging times. We encourage every state to follow Florida’s lead and protect all of its citizens, especially its students, from discrimination based on race, religion or ethnic origin.”

The political arm of the Israeli-American Council hailed what they called “a groundbreaking law that codifies a uniform definition of anti-Semitism and works against its manifestation as criminal and discriminatory activity.” (h/t NormanF )

NGO Monitor: UN Officials Promote HRW’s In-House BDS Activist
On April 25, 2019, three UN Special Rapporteurs issued a statement titled “UN experts call on Israel to overturn deportation of Human Rights Watch director.” The statement supports Human Rights Watch (HRW) Israel/Palestine Director and long-time BDS activist Omar Shakir, who failed to convince an Israeli court to force the Interior Ministry to grant him a new work visa.

Shakir’s visa was not renewed by the Israeli government in April 2018, and Shakir and HRW took the government to court challenging the denial and the law upon which the government’s decision was based. Shakir – one of several HRW employees in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza – was allowed to remain in Israel for an extra year during the duration of the court proceedings.

Despite the unequivocal right for a country to control entry into its borders and the issuance of work visas, and the extensive due process afforded to Shakir throughout the process, the three UN Special Rapporteurs claimed the court decision “threatens advocacy, research, and free expression for all and reflects a troubling resistance to open debate.”

The statement reflects the close collaboration between HRW and the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR),1 particularly on BDS, and largely parrots HRW’s tendentious April 16, 2019 press release. Notably, one of the authors is Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk, who has troubling associations with fringe NGOs that promote antisemitic BDS campaigns against Israel; his self-admitted lack of expertise in international law; and numerous moral failures, as shown in labeling a virulent antisemite as a “human rights defender” in his March 2017 report to the UN Human Rights Council (see NGO Monitor’s report “Special Rapporteur on Israel: The UN’s Weakest Lynk”).
UMass Students File Emergency Motion to Block Anti-Israel Event
Students at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst filed an emergency motion on Thursday asking a Massachusetts court to block an upcoming event featuring several anti-Israel speakers that is being sponsored by university departments.

The May 4 event, titled “Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech & the Battle for Palestinian Rights,” is being organized by the NGO Media Education Foundation (MEF), whose director, Sut Jhally, is also a UMass professor and chair of the communication department.

Speakers will include supporters of the anti-Israel BDS movement, including musician Roger Waters, Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, and professor and former CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill.

The event is being sponsored by three UMass departments: the Department of Communication; the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and the Resistance Studies Initiative UMass.

“These departments are basically sponsoring a hate-fest,” attorney Karen Hurvitz, representing the students, said. “They need to move this rally off campus and not sponsor it in any way.”
Anti-Zionist Group at Columbia University Calls for Boycott of ‘Pro-Israel’ Clubs, Equates Zionism With Antisemitism
Anti-Zionist students at Columbia University in New York have called for a boycott of “pro-Israel” campus clubs, and equated Zionism, the movement for Jewish national self-determination, with antisemitism.

In a statement shared on Sunday, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) urged “our peers and allied organizations to boycott all pro-Israel advocacy groups and clubs,” specifically naming Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Columbia and Aryeh: Columbia Students Association for Israel.

J Street CU, a third campus advocacy group that in part describes itself as “Pro Israel,” was not explicitly mentioned.

“Any advocacy on behalf of the State of Israel effectively amounts to a defense of its settler-colonial foundations and apartheid regime,” SJP maintained.

The statement came a less than a week after SSI invited SJP and its allied organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, to host a joint event that would allow students “to engage with our various perspectives” through debates and conversations.

The initiative would aim to improve student understanding and “create a less divisive relationship between our groups,” SSI wrote in its email invitation, which was also sent to members of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC).
Facebook Fights Fake News With Biased Gaza Video
While covering the human toll is fair and important journalism, totally neglecting to mention the petrol bombs, grenades, and knives with which the more violent protesters equipped themselves lets Hamas off the hook. The video fails to inform viewers of the wider context of Hamas sporadically firing hundreds of rockets on Israeli cities and towns, hiding lethal improvised explosive devices IEDs on the border, shooting directly at Israeli soldiers, and constructing numerous tunnels into Israeli territory with the aim of kidnapping and killing Israelis, leaving Israel with a very real need to clamp down on the Gaza border.

Instead, all viewers are told is that, “traumatized and trapped, life in Gaza is suffocating.”

Hamas wants gullible audiences around the world to believe that its protests are mild and met with unreasonable force by the IDF. It wants to be viewed as the plucky underdog instead of seen for what it is; an aggressive, dangerous terrorist organization seeking to disturb the peace for the sake of political gain. In humanizing the protesters without subjecting Hamas officials or the protesters themselves to probing questions, the piece helps give Hamas what it’s looking for: legitimacy.

It all starts when Israel fires back
In one telling sentence, the presenter, clad in helmet and flak jacket, speaks directly to the camera:
These Friday protests follow a familiar pattern: first, the tear gas comes in, then the live ammunition starts, and then they bring back the injured.

Incredibly, the presenter’s summary simply avoids all mention of the Gazan rock-throwing, tire-burning, and attempts to rush the border en masse that would entail an Israeli response. As per usual, it is Israel that is the aggressor and the initiator of violence.

Romanticizing violence
Asking viewers to “meet Gaza’s young protesters” who are “risking their lives,” the video romanticizes the violence. A young boy tells the camera, “I didn’t have any weapons or gas bombs. I just had a slingshot and a stone, nothing else.” Portraying thuggish behavior as heroic, the video ignores the fact that hundreds of teens and children were allowed or even encouraged to be anywhere near a conflict zone. The video accepts wholesale the claim that protesters wanted to cross into Israel, but doesn’t question what their plans were after breaking through the border fence.

Here’s one video which might suggest the protesters’ true plans and the very real threat to Israeli lives:
BBC senior editor defends double standards on terrorism
Roger Bolton is of course understandably confused by the BBC’s approach to the issue because despite Ahmed’s claim that the BBC wants “to be consistent”, it is anything but.

Just over a month before the New Zealand attacks the BBC News website had once again described the 2015 attacks against mainly British tourists in Tunisia as terror.

The 2017 Westminster Bridge incident mentioned by Ahmed was described from the outset by the BBC as terrorism and the term has been used in reports on the Manchester and London Bridge attacks.

Attacks in Barcelona, Stockholm, Nice, Berlin, Brussels and Paris have been reported using the term terrorism while attacks in Egypt – and of course Israel – have not.

Notably among the BBC reports tagged ‘Christchurch mosque shootings’ is an article headlined “Far-right terror poses ‘biggest threat’ to north of England”.

Kamal Ahmed is of course not the first senior BBC journalist to defend the corporation’s double standards on language when reporting terrorism but his claim that “there is no definition of what is a terrorist attack and who is a terrorist” is weakened by the fact that when it has wanted to, the BBC has found just such a definition.
Times of London corrects claim Jews prayed in mosque, but other allegation remains
Yesterday, Times of London responded to our complaint and corrected an April 27th column by Janice Turner which alleged that, earlier in the month while on vacation, she personally watched Jews enter and pray in Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

As we noted in our post about the claim, Jews (and all non-Muslims) are forbidden from entering the mosque. But, just to be sure, we confirmed, in a phone call with the Israeli Police spokesperson, that there have been no such Jewish visits to the Muslim holy site. The revised article now asserts only that Jews entered the larger Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa compound, which they are legally permitted to do, as the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site – a fact Turner obfuscates by suggesting Jewish visitors are interlopers.

However, the column still asserts that these Jews prayed at the compound, “protected by Israeli soldiers”, which strikes us as unlikely given that Jews aren’t permitted to do so, and those even suspected of praying silently whilst on the Temple Mount are often arrested by police.
BBC Business ‘forgets’ to clarify that quoted academic is BDS campaigner
The 1994 Paris Protocol was of course signed by the PLO rather than “the Palestinian Authority” and was incorporated into the Oslo II agreement of 1995. Rowley fails to provide any proper explanation of her dubious claim that “Palestinians cannot import what they like from abroad and are prevented from developing their own products freely” which apparently relates to restrictions on dual-use goods which can be used for terrorism.

Neither does Rowley bother to inform readers that while her quoted ‘authority’ Magid Shihade is not an economist, he is a ‘one-stater’ who co-founded the ‘US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel’ as well as (together with his wife) another pro-BDS group called ‘Pakistanis for Palestine’.

The Paris Protocol is seen by the BDS movement as part of the cooperation with Israel which it rejects and in 2007 PACBI (The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel) recommended that the BDS campaign “Build pressure on PA officials for ending normalization with Israel (end security coordination, rescind Paris Protocol on economic cooperation, etc.)”. It therefore comes as no surprise to see BDS campaigner Magid Shihade advocating the annulment of that treaty.

Unfortunately it is equally unsurprising to see the BBC amplifying a position taken by the anti-peace BDS campaign without full disclosure – as required by BBC editorial guidelines on impartiality – of the ‘particular viewpoint’ of the sole academic ‘expert’ quoted in this article.
ADL: Assaults on US Jews rise in 2018, anti-Semitism at ‘near-historic’ high
American Jews experienced “near-historic levels of anti-Semitism” in 2018, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The year saw a more than doubling of the number of anti-Semitic physical assaults compared to 2017, as well as the single deadliest attack against the American Jewish community with the October killing of 11 congregants at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.

Last year saw the third-highest number of overall anti-Semitic incidents since 1979, despite a decrease from the previous year, according to the audit. The highest number was recorded in 1994 and the second highest in 2017. Last year’s figures match the total for 1991, the third highest tally in a single year.

The report counts cases of assault, harassment and vandalism, as reported to ADL by victims, law enforcement and the media.

Though the 1,879 total incidents in 2018 were a decrease from the 1,986 incidents in 2017, the number of anti-Semitic physical assaults more than doubled, to 39 from 17.
Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada hit record number for 3rd straight year
Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada rose to a record high for the third consecutive year, according to an annual audit by B’nai Brith Canada released Monday.

The audit showed 2,041 anti-Semitic incidents recorded last year in Canada — 16.5 percent more than the 1,752 incidents in 2017.

“To put that in stark perspective, this represents the third straight record-breaking year for anti-Semitism in Canada, reflecting a ‘new normal’ regarding the landscape of anti-Semitism here,” said Ran Ukashi, director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights.

The group said the surge was fueled by social media and was a worldwide trend.

According to the audit, despite the troubling increase in incidents, they remain a “marginal phenomenon” in Canada. Nearly 90 percent of the incidents took the form of “harassment,” and 80 percent came from online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
German Intelligence Agency Issues Report on Muslim Anti-Semitism
The German Agency for Domestic Security recently published a report entitled "Anti-Semitism in Islamism." It is the first official publication by a national body that exposes in detail the anti-Semitism originating in parts of the country's Muslim community. The report defines Islamism as a form of political extremism among Muslims that aims to eliminate democracy.

The report states that a pattern of common, "daily" anti-Semitism is widespread in the social and political center of German society, and that anti-Semitic opinions in Islamism are even more far-reaching. It notes that the arrival of more than a million Muslims in Germany between 2014 and 2017 increased the influence of Islamist anti-Semitism inside the country.

JPost Editorial: The Israeli spirit
As the country prepares for the uniquely Israeli phenomenon of the back-to-back Remembrance Day and Independence Day, the 16 torch lighters at the traditional ceremony on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl have begun intensive rehearsals. There is comfort in the tradition that brings the country together as we make the transition from commemoration of loss to a celebration of freedom.

The torch lighters are chosen by a public committee, based on recommendations submitted by the general public, and requiring final approval by the head of the Ministerial Committee for Ceremonies and Symbols, currently Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev.

Twelve torches are lit, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. This year’s theme is “Saluting the Israeli spirit” and the torch lighters personify those “who have overcome difficulties against all odds.”

The list of those granted the honor is impressive, comprised of inspiring personalities – some famous, others almost unknown – and covers the spectrum of Israeli society: Jew and non-Jew, young and old, male and female.

As Regev said, “This is a praiseworthy team of men and women who will succeed in moving the entire public.”
German Christians to present 265-pound golden menorah to Jerusalem
A group of 11 pro-Israel German Christians left on a boat for Israel Monday, bringing with them a 5-foot, 265-pound gilded menorah.

A life-size replica of the Temple lamp, the menorah is traveling from Germany via Rome to the port of Haifa. It will arrive on May 5 and be presented to the public on May 9 at a special ceremony in Jerusalem.

The group of independent Germans, who call themselves simply “The Menorah Project," said they have been working on the piece for a year and a half. They raised 120,000 euros (about half a million shekels) in private donations to fund the initiative.

“The seven-branched menorah is a symbol of the State of Israel,” said Luca-Elias Hezel, who initiated the project. “For us, it is a symbol that speaks louder and more meaningful than all words.”

He said the menorah, modeled after the menorah at the Titus Gate in Rome, is being given to the Jewish people with “a broad heart and in solidarity” and as a gift on Israel's 71st Independence Day.

On its website, the Menorah Project explains its vision: “As the Jewish people need to publicly deal with injustice and robbery, we want to publicly bring back the menorah from Rome to Jerusalem.”

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.
Here is part 3 of my interview with extremist-turned-Zionist Kasim Hafeez in Tel Aviv last month. In this part we discuss the Arab world's attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinians.

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

"Travels in the Great Desert of Sahara, in the Years of 1845 and 1846" by James Richardson, includes an anecdote that explains a lot of the hate from the Arab world towards Israel today.

My turjeman is surprised we Christians receive the books of the Jews as sacred and inspired, and so are many other people. They are quite astonished when I tell them that Christians esteem the Scriptures of the Jews equally divine with their own. They have a confused notion that the whole of the Jewish Scriptures consist of the five books of Moses, which they call the Torat, and the Psalms of David. Some of them say Abraham was not a Jew. I explain to them, that the Christians give a different interpretation to the Jewish Scriptures from the Jews themselves, and believe “the Son of Mary” to be the Messiah of the Jews and all the world. They hardly believe me; and say, “The Jews are corrupt and their books corrupt.” When I told them one day before the Rais that we had had Jews in India, they flatly replied it was a lie, for said they, “It is impossible for such a miserable being as a Jew to be a soldier.”
I have long assumed that the hate that Arabs and Muslims have for Israel comes from the honor/shame dynamic - weak Jews defeating Arabs who consider themselves experts in war was a huge psychological blow, far worse than the physical defeat. This is why only the 1948 war, among all the many wars that Muslims and Arabs have lost to the West and others, is called a "nakba," a catastrophe.

Here is the first time I have seen this thinking written specifically. To the Arabs of north Africa, the idea of a Jew being a soldier altogether was not believable. Jews were "miserable beings" and "corrupt" and therefore cannot possibly learn to fight, as honorable Arabs do.

When these "miserable beings" showed that not only can they fight, but they can defeat the combined armies of the Arab world outnumbering the Jews, the psychic damage to the Arab world cannot be overstated.

The only thing that can cure this is a combination of Israeli military strength continuing to dominate the region, and time for the Arabs to get used to the fact that Jews are not what they have been taught for many centuries. Arabs measure time in centuries, not months, so it takes a few generations for changes to occur.

They are occurring, though.

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

Rabbi Goldstein: A Terrorist Tried to Kill Me Because I Am a Jew. I Will Never Back Down.
I do not know why God spared my life in my Poway synagogue. All I can do is make this borrowed time matter.

From here on in I am going to be more brazen. I am going to be even more proud about walking down the street wearing my tzitzit and kippah, acknowledging God’s presence. And I’m going to use my voice until I am hoarse to urge my fellow Jews to do Jewish. To light candles before Shabbat. To put up mezuzas on their doorposts. To do acts of kindness. And to show up in synagogue — especially this coming Shabbat.

I am a proud emissary of Chabad-Lubavitch, a movement of Hasidic Judaism. Our leader, the great Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, famously taught that a little light expels a lot of darkness. That is why Chabad rabbis travel all over the world to set up Jewish communities: I have colleagues in Kathmandu, in Ghana, as well as in Paris and Sydney. We believe that helping any human being tap into their divine spark is a step toward fixing this broken world and bringing closer the redemption of humanity. It is why 33 years ago my wife and I came to this corner of California to build a house of light.

Because we are obviously Jewish, identifiable by our black hats and beards, it has also meant that some of us have been targets before. Eleven years ago, my colleagues Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who ran the Chabad of Mumbai, India, were murdered with four of their guests. They were targeted by the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba because they were Jewish. And over the years people I know have been harassed and assaulted by thugs in the neighborhood where I grew up, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, in incidents that typically go unreported by the press.

In his vile manifesto, the terrorist who shot up my synagogue called my people, the Jewish people, a “squalid and parasitic race.” No. We are a people divinely commanded to bring God’s light into the world.

Technology has made our lives easier. But it also means that your data is no longer your own. We'll examine who is hoarding your information — and give you a guide for what you can do about it.

So it is with this country. America is unique in world history. Never before was a country founded on the ideals that all people are created in God’s image and that all people deserve freedom and liberty. We fought a war to make that promise real.

And I believe we can make it real again. That is what I pledge to do with my borrowed time.
John Podhoretz: Caricaturing Jews, Hating Jews, Killing Jews
Last Thursday, the international edition of the New York Times published a cartoon depicting Benjamin Netanyahu, in the form of a dachshund wearing a Star-of-David necklace, leading a blind and be-yarmulked Donald Trump. Two days later, a white supremacist—who shares the cartoonist’s belief that the U.S. president is a “Jew-lover” subject to “Zionist” control—entered a Chabad house in Poway, California and opened fire, killing one and wounding three others. John Podhoretz comments:

It likely did not occur to the editor [who approved the cartoon for publication] that he was acting as the unwitting reincarnation of Julius Streicher. It is, rather, likely that this editor has not had a conversation in years with anyone who did not think Benjamin Netanyahu was a monster and therefore fair game. The idea that exactly such imagery was part and parcel of the conscious effort to gas and to incinerate the Jewish people was unknown to him. Indeed, the very idea that the Jewish people are only a few generations removed from near-destruction and that a certain degree of sensitivity is required in depicting them may not ever have occurred to him. Indeed, perhaps something close to the opposite is at work in his understanding of the world.

We know about the selective expectations involved in the unique criticism of Israel for behaving in ways that dozens of other countries behave when it comes to contested territories. The constantly harping critics of the world’s only Jewish state say disingenuously that they are doing it for Israel’s own good or to hold Israel to the standards of its own prophets when they tend to hold no other state in the world to any standards. We are told we are not to consider this anti-Semitic because criticizing a country isn’t the same as criticizing a people. Well, . . . while it is true that criticizing a country can be different from criticizing a people, it is also true that it can be, and often is, exactly the same.

Yisroel Goldstein, the rabbi of Chabad of Poway, emerged from surgery, [having been shot in the hand], and issued a statement—a beautiful, defiant, eloquent, and life-affirming declaration at the end of Passover—that while, as we say in the Haggadah, “in every generation they rise up to destroy us,” we will not be destroyed.

A Hatred Of Israel Is The One Thing All Anti-Semites Have In Common
The only anti-Semitism still widely used in public discourse is the kind masquerading as “anti-Zionism.” That is why there was warranted outrage when The New York Times’s international edition publishes a Der Sturmer-style cartoon and when members of Congress protect a woman who has persistently smeared Americans Jews as money-grubbing interlopers and when progressive activists march behind those who embrace the most noxious anti-Semitic notions imaginable.

Now, a Jew-baiting cartoon or an ugly tweet isn’t going to shoot you. But anti-Israel rhetoric doesn’t just hurt feelings, it leads to policy that puts people in danger. It is why, whatever the intentions were behind the Iran deal, many Jews were rightly disturbed when the antagonist Obama administration made a sweetheart agreement and sent pallets of cash to a Holocaust-denying terror state that openly threatens to throw six million Jews into an “inferno.” It’s a bit on-the-nose.

Since Israel is increasingly detested by the American left—often for the very same reasons the United States is detested—progressives have also been increasingly comfortable attacking Jews or defending those who do. And no, these people aren’t merely being “critical of Israel.” The New York Times cartoon depicting Trump as a blind man being led by the Star of David-bedecked Benjamin Netanyahu was a pictorial interpretation of a paranoid grievance that many anti-Israel progressives and paleocons have been peddling for years: that Jews control the U.S. government.

Claiming that Americans are dying to protect Jewish interests isn’t only a lie, it’s a fresh iteration of an old slur. Whereas once there were “bankers” and “money lenders,” today there are “Zionists.” I see this smear every day, and not merely from randos on Twitter.

Some progressives, in fact, argue that the concept of “Zionism” is itself a form of white supremacy. Liberal editors of major publications now contend that the democratically elected prime minister of this Jewish state is one of “global anti-semitism’s greatest allies.” Writers for major magazines breezily blame Jews who support Israel for their own massacres. Among them are a small number of progressives, who defraud the public by falsely using their abandoned Jewish heritage to promote their leftist ideology.

Hundreds gather to mourn Chabad hero Lori Gilbert-Kaye
A standing-room-only crowd of about 700 came to the funeral service at Chabad of Poway synagogue on Monday for Lori Gilbert-Kaye, the 60-year-old congregant murdered on Saturday during an attack on the house of prayer north of San Diego that also left Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein and two worshipers wounded.

Witnesses said that Gilbert-Kaye, jumped in front of the congregation’s rabbi as John Earnest, 19, opened fire.
Three congregants, including Rabbi Goldstein, an eight-year-old girl and her 31-year-old uncle were also wounded in the shooting.

Gilbert-Kaye’s husband, Dr. Howard Kaye, recalled how his “wife was a person who did so much good in her life. Whatever I did that might not have been good, she repaired. She had a soul that was greater than any of us ever could believe.”

The physician recalled how he performed CPR on his wife after she took the bullet. “There was no blood,” he said. “She went very quickly. And she did not suffer. She went straight up” to heaven.

He had a strong message for his wife’s murderer, calling on him to turn his life around, “come back to the real world, which is the world of Lori, which is peace and love on Earth.”
Poway Rabbi Goes on MSNBC to Thank Trump for his Support and Comfort
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was injured in the attack on the Chabad synagogue in Poway, Ca. On Saturday, told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt Monday that he was grateful to President Donald Trump, and described how Trump had been “so gracious and generous” in a phone call to him.

“He was so gracious and generous with his words; exceedingly comforting to me, to my community, and he spoke to me like a friend,” Goldstein said. “I’m talking to the president of the United States. He was just exceedingly kind and sensitive, and we spoke for close to 15 minutes.”

Rabbi Goldstein told Hunt, “I thought to myself, for the president of the United States of America to take 15 minutes to talk to me about the issues at hand was just absolutely incredible and admirable. And we spoke about anti-Semitism.”

The gunman, John Earnest, was a Trump hater, and called him in a post he entered an hour before his attack, “that Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous [expletive].”

Uncle reenacts rush for safety in Chabad attack as girls recover from nightmare
Eight-year-old Noya Dahan had finished praying and gone to play with other children at her Poway, California synagogue when gunshots rang out out Saturday.

“I was scared, really, really scared,” said Noya, recalling how the group of children cried out of fear after a gunman entered Chabad of Poway on Saturday morning and started shooting. “I didn’t see my dad. I thought he was dead.”

Dahan was one of three people injured in a shooting rampage at the Chabad synagogue near San Diego, along with her uncle, and the rabbi of the congregation. Another woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye was killed in the attack.

with barely a day having passed since the attack, Dahan and others in her family recalled the moments that the synagogue where she would attend services and play with friends turned into a blood-filled nightmare.

“I saw the rabbi shout and scream and run towards the man who shot, then a bullet hit him and I saw two of his fingers were cut off, it was so scary,” she recounted.

FBI got tips about threat minutes before synagogue shooting
The FBI said Monday that it received tips on a threatening social media post about five minutes before a gunman burst into a Southern California synagogue and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing a woman and wounding a rabbi and two Israelis.

The tips to the FBI’s website and phone number included a link to the anonymous post but did not offer specific information about its author or location of the threat. The FBI said employees immediately tried to determine who wrote the post, but the shooting occurred before they could establish his identity.

“The FBI thanks the alert citizens who saw and reported the post,” the agency said.

One of the tipsters told The Associated Press that he called the FBI tip line at 11:15 a.m. Saturday because the post linked to a manifesto that said the author was responsible for a mosque arson in the city of Escondido last month. He says he found online that the mosque attack had happened and feared the new threat was real.

The tipster, who refused to provide his name because of security concerns, said the call with the FBI lasted four or five minutes and the shooting happened soon after. He described the FBI as quick and professional and said he doesn’t know what they could have done.

The shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. Moments afterward, police arrested 19-year-old John T. Earnest of San Diego. He is being held on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.
Poway shooter’s family denounces son as part of ‘history of evil’ against Jews
The parents of a 19-year-old college student suspected of attacking a Southern California synagogue said Monday that they are shocked and saddened that “he is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries.”

John T. Earnest’s parents said they raised him and his five siblings in a family, faith and community that rejected hate.

“Our son’s actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold,” the parents said in a statement, which did not include their names.

A gunman on Saturday burst into the Chabad of Poway near San Diego on the last day of Passover and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing a woman and wounding a rabbi and two others.

“How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us, though we are confident that law enforcement will uncover many details of the path that he took to this evil and despicable act,” the statement said.

Earnest’s parents, who are cooperating with investigators, said their sadness “pales in comparison to the grief and anguish our son has caused for so many innocent people.”
Poway, the NY Times Cartoon and Rising Anti-Semitism

Confronting Anti-Semitism in the United States

Trump Administration: 'We Are at War' Against Antisemitism
Noting the recent spate of attacks on Jews, including the murder of eleven Jews at the Tree of Life synagogue exactly six months before, and the rise of hate speech on campuses, Carr declared: “These hate-filled movements have no place on earth, and no place in the United States of America.”

“America was built on freedom and redemption — just like Passover is the holiday of freedom and redemption,” he noted.

Carr added, forcefully: “And so I am here to say: we are at war with these people. We are at war with the antisemites who don’t conceal the antisemitism — the unvarnished, naked antisemitism of the supremacists — and we are at war also with the hidden, concealed antisemitism of those who hate the State of Israel and dress up their antisemitism under the fig leaf of anti-Zionism.”

At that point, Carr was interrupted by applause.

He continued: “We will in every city in the United States, we will fight it on every campus, and we will fight it in every capital of the world throughout the world. Because it is the policy of the United States to combat this ‘vile poison,’ as President Trump so correctly called it.”

After more applause, Carr continued, quoting the Psalm: “May God grants strength to His people; may God bless His people with peace.”

He noted that without strength, there could be no peace.

“First we must ask for courage and strength and might, because only then do we have peace.”

He vowed to do “everything in our power to confront and fight and vanquish evil from our midst.”

Patience, Rather Than Rushing to Failure with Grand Solutions, Is the Best U.S. Approach to the Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Examining the current situation in the Middle East, and arguing that the U.S. cannot afford to ignore the region, James Jay Carafano outlines some principles to guide its policy over the next few years, among them:

Iran remains the chief threat to U.S. interests, U.S. allies, and stability in the Middle East. Economic sanctions have . . . severely undermined Iran’s state-dominated economy, [but] Washington also needs to maintain strong military forces in the region to deter Iranian aggression and work with its allies to strengthen missile defenses to offset the potential threat of Iran’s arsenal of ballistic missiles, the largest in the Middle East.

[In addition], U.S. intelligence, reconnaissance, and air-strike capabilities are still needed to aid Iraqi and local Syrian forces against Islamic State (IS). Washington also should press the Iraqi government to fight corruption and be more respectful of the needs of Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority to convince them they are better off supporting the government rather than IS. . . .

[Concerning the Israel-Palestinian conflict], the time is not ripe for a comprehensive peace settlement. . . . Washington should revert to an incremental, long-term approach to peace negotiations, based on the realistic assessment that a genuine peace is not possible until Hamas has been squeezed out of power in Gaza. Two pillars should undergird the U.S. approach: strong support for Israel, and credible, effective means to advance good governance in Gaza and the West Bank. Until that has happened, Washington should try to manage the consequences of the . . . conflict, rather than rush to failure on a comprehensive settlement. It is never too late for peace. The United States should continue to lay the groundwork, even if it is years in the making.
Dore Gold: The Israeli Public Supports a Strong Position on National Security
Just prior to his election victory, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to consider annexing Israeli communities in the West Bank. Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN and now president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told Newsweek: "Since Israel put up its first string of settlements in the Jordan Valley under the Labor government after the 1967 war, there has always been a view in Israel that the settlements have a link to Israel's future security. So if we ever get to a point where we are asked to lay out our vital interests in the West Bank, they will include settlements. They will include Israel retaining vital territories for its defense and because it has also historical right."

"In a certain sense, the position the prime minister took is not terribly surprising if you understand Israel's history." The Israeli public "has moved in a direction where they are very sympathetic with a strong position on national security....I think that has to do with the fact that, first of all, the past negotiating efforts with the Palestinians led to nothing, led nowhere. And frankly the Middle East is moving in a dangerous direction with the rise of Iranian power across the Arab world. You put those two things together and you get a position that Israel has to be very careful about what its future borders will look like."
JCAP: Israel and the Gulf States: On the Way to Open Normalization
Despite the resolutions of the Arab Summit and Palestinian opposition, the United Arab Emirates has agreed to host Israel at the Expo 2020 exhibition in October.

The Gulf States no longer fear normalization with Israel and are promoting it in a slow process in tandem with the crafting of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century.”

The news about Israel’s participation in the Expo 2020 international exhibition, to be held in Dubai this October, has spread like wildfire in the Arab world as the unveiling of details of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” draws near.

At the exhibition, Israel will present its achievements in the fields of water, medicine, technology, and information, highlighting the spirit of Israeli innovation.

Opponents of the new U.S. plan – with the Palestinians, the Palestinian Authority, and Hamas at the forefront – are tracking every sign of open normalization between Israel and the moderate Arab states in order to condemn it. It is now the United Arab Emirates’ turn for their opprobrium.

Israel has been openly and proudly publicizing its upcoming participation in the Dubai event. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement lauding Israel’s participation, noting: “This is another expression of Israel’s rising status in the world and in the region.”

In response, Hamas issued a statement calling Israel’s participation in Dubai a “dangerous development.” Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zohari, demanded that the UAE not allow it because “it encourages the Israeli crimes and constitutes a violation of the resolutions of the recent Arab Summit in Tunisia.”
Lebanese Druze leader: Disputed Shebaa Farms not part of our country
The political leader of Lebanon’s Druze minority Walid Jumblatt said in a Thursday interview that the disputed Shebaa Farms on the border with Israel is not Lebanese land.

“Following the liberation of South Lebanon in 2000, the Lebanese maps were altered by Lebanese officers, who collaborated with the Syrians. That is when we theoretically ‘occupied’ the Shebaa Farms and Wadi Al-Asal. This was a geographical modification on paper, not on the ground,” Jumblatt said in an interview with Russia Today TV, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“The purpose was to keep the Syrian pretext, which was upheld by others too. That the Shebaa Farms constitute Lebanese land that must be liberated by all possible means, and this is what happened,” he said.

Shebaa Farms, known in Hebrew as Mount Dov, and the adjacent Kfar Chouba hills are small patches of land captured by Israel from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and kept under Israel’s control since. Lebanon maintains that the strip of land is its territory, though it was under Syrian control from the 1950s until it was captured in 1967 along with the Golan Heights.
PMW: Palestinian peace-seekers?
Abbas’ representative on stage with armed masked men at Fatah event honoring terrorists. (April 30, 2019)

PA Chairman Abbas always claims to international audiences that he seeks peace. Yet on Palestinian “Prisoner’s Day,” Abbas sent Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki to represent him at an event arranged by Fatah in Bethlehem to honor the relatives of the “heroic” terrorist prisoners.

On stage with Abbas’ representative were several masked men wearing military uniforms, armed with automatic rifles.

Do they look like peace-seekers?

Posters at the event displayed pictures of numerous terrorist prisoners including at least two terrorist murderers: Marwan Barghouti who planned attacks in which 5 Israelis were murdered and Khalil Jabarin who murdered Ari Fuld, a father of 4, last year.

Were they peace-seekers?

Palestinian Media Watch has reported on other statements by Zaki, which document that he is the opposite of a peace-seeker.
Abbas: ‘Europe invented Zionism and Israel… let’s not fool ourselves’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed on Monday that Europe created Zionism and Israel.

Abbas made the comments at a meeting of the PA cabinet in Ramallah, where he delivered a short speech, much of which focused on the Palestinians’ finances.

“The European position — I don’t want to say it is 100 percent just — but it is has started to [show] understanding. Therefore, Ms. Mogherini [Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief] told the Arab League summit in Tunisia that ‘we support the two-state solution and we are against moving [embassies to] Jerusalem’ and other matters,” he said.

“Of course, everything is not in our favor, but such a position coming from Europe is a good thing. This is what we have historically become used to, because you all know Europe is the one that invented — this slightly annoys our neighbors — Zionism and Israel. It is the one that invented it. Let’s not fool ourselves. This is what history says. Whoever has something that refutes this history, go ahead.”

At the Arab League summit in Tunisia in late March, Mogherini had said: “We need… to get back to meaningful negotiations toward the two-state solution, which is the only viable, realistic solution.”

Abbas did not explain how he believes Europe created Zionism and Israel. However, he has previously made similar comments.
Palestinians on verge of financial collapse
The Palestinian Authority is facing imminent financial collapse over its refusal on principle to accept any tax revenues from Israel, and its dire call for help to the Arab world is mostly going unheeded.

If financial aid is not immediately forthcoming, the whole PA enterprise that has been in place since 1994 is likely to collapse.

The issue is the Israeli decision to withhold the sum of money that the PA gives monthly to terrorists in Israeli jails and their family members.

The PA feels so strongly about continuing payments to the people it holds to be martyrs on behalf of its cause, that it is willing to risk financial collapse.

“In the end, Israel will return our money in our way, and not in its way,” PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday during a meeting of his government in Ramallah.

Abbas accused Israel of “stealing or deducting the money belonging to martyrs, the wounded and security prisoners.”
Can Palestinians Keep Rejecting Israel Tax Transfer?

Saudi Arabia offered Abbas $10 billion to accept Trump’s peace plan - report
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has offered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas $10 billion if he accepts US President Donald Trump’s plan for peace in the Middle East, also known as the “deal of the century,” the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Tuesday.

Salman’s offer also included the establishment of a Palestinian embassy in Abu Dis, a West Bank village located on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, the newspaper said.

A senior Palestinian official in Ramallah refused to comment on the report.

Referring to meetings between the Saudi crown prince and Abbas in, the newspaper said: “According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, Salman briefed Abbas about the details of the deal of the century and asked him to accept it. According to the information, Salman asked Abbas: What is the annual budget of your entourage? Abbas replied: I’m not a prince to have my own entourage.”

At the stage, according to the newspaper, the Saudi crown prince asked Abbas: “How much money does the Palestinian Authority and its ministers and employees need?”

Abbas replied that the Palestinians need $1 billion each year, the report said. “I will give you $10 billion over 10 years if you accept the deal of the century,” Salman was quoted as telling Abbas.

Abbas, however, rejected the offer and said it would “mean the end of my political life,” the report added.

Seth J Frantzman: French envoy summoned after ambassador to US calls Israel 'apartheid state'
Israel on Monday summoned France's ambassador to Israel, Helene Le Gal, to the Foreign Ministry to protest comments by outgoing French Ambassador to the US Gerard Araud, who said that Israel is an apartheid state.

“Israel adamantly protested those remarks,” a Foreign Ministry spokesman said. Senior officials have also reportedly been instructed not to meet Araud, who served from 2003 to 2006 as France's ambassador to Israel, on an upcoming visit.

Earlier in the month, Araud said in an interview with The Atlantic that Israel was already an apartheid state.

“The status quo is extremely comfortable for Israel; they [can] have the[ir] cake and eat it [too]. They have the West Bank, but at the same time they don’t have to make the painful decision about the Palestinians - really making them really, totally stateless or making them citizens of Israel.

"They won’t make them citizens of Israel, so they will have to make it official - which is - we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially an apartheid state. They are, in fact, already,” Araud said.

The French embassy had no comment on Le Gal’s meeting in the Foreign Ministry.

Araud, however, clarified in various tweets on Tuesday that he was referring to the West Bank.

“In 52 years of occupation, what has been incrementally imposed on the West Bank through the colonization is: two people, two laws on the same territory with one people dominating the other. No, Israel itself is obviously not an apartheid state,” he wrote in one tweet.
German NGO disinvites Israeli writer for criticizing pro-Iran policies
The think tank of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) disinvited the distinguished Israeli writer Chaim (Hans) Noll in late April from a talk at the Ariowitsch House in Leipzig, Saxony because he wrote articles critical of the German government’s pro-Iranian regime policies that jeopardize the security of the Jewish state.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is the ideas organization for the SPD, pulled the plug on Noll’s talk at its branch in the state of Saxony because he previously wrote: “German politicians of the ruling parties – like no one else – are trying to strengthen the mullah regime in Iran, which is preparing for Israel’s liquidation, and destroying and expelling the Jews living there.”

Noll, who grew up in Berlin, East Germany, fled the Communist and antisemitic regime in 1984, and moved to Israel in 1995, said: “‘Never again!,’ they [German politicians] declare, sitting with concerned expressions in celebration hours, creating a show business of memorial sites and Jewish museums, commemoration sites and former torture chambers where photo-ops are given. The same politicians are making sure that money is constantly flowing to the mullahs, to terrorists in the Middle East, to organizations that boycott Israel. It is a hypocrisy that makes you speechless. It has long since become mainstreamed and has become ‘normal’ as it was then, because life in German cities was ‘normal’ when they deported the Jews.”

Noll wrote on the pro-Israel and pro-American website “The Axis of Good” on Sunday in connection with the cancellation of his event:” Recently, I have criticized the Middle East policy led by SPD [foreign] minister Heiko Maas’s foreign office several times. Written and verbally. I have reminded that this antiquated, ideology-driven, unsuccessful policy costs German taxpayers millions every year. I have referred to the embarrassment of Maas’s commitment to Auschwitz as an inspiration to his political career and to his persistently anti-Israeli policies. That Maas, as stated recently by the Israeli ambassador, basically sided with the enemies of Israel in the UN, ‘In November, Germany voted 16 times in 21 resolutions against Israel,’ I have criticized German arms deliveries and other help to the belligerent regimes of the region, for example Iran and Saudi Arabia.”
Finland Cozies Up to Iran
Just a little more than ten years ago, Finland's flagship telecommunications company, Nokia, was found to have sold to Tehran surveillance technology, which was used a year later to suppress dissident demonstrators' use of social media.

"[T]here are two documented instances where [the Finnish company] Cargotec-tied cranes have been used for public executions." — United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) press release.

How Finland behaves today is eerily reminiscent of its behavior with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. During that time, Finnish politicians, academics and journalists practiced self-censorship. They knew whom not to talk about, let alone criticize. Today it is criticism of Islam that is aggressively prosecuted under the guise of combating "hate-speech" or "disparaging of religious groups". It is the same M.O., just a different place and time.
US army vet accused of plotting terror attacks on Nazis, Jews in California
A terror plot by an Army veteran who converted to Islam and planned to bomb a white supremacist rally in Southern California as retribution for the New Zealand mosque attacks was thwarted, federal prosecutors said Monday.

Mark Domingo, 26, an infantryman who served a combat stint in Afghanistan, was arrested by federal agents Friday, while finalizing plans to plant a bomb at a Nazi rally that had been scheduled on Sunday in Long Beach.

Court papers show that Domingo discussed with an informant different types of attacks that included targeting Jews, churches and police officers.

Domingo was arrested on a charge of providing material support to terrorists and a criminal complaint said he had been planning since March to “manufacture and use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder.”

Domingo allegedly said he wanted revenge for attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month.

According to prosecutors cited by NBC News, Domingo wrote on a private online group in March that “there must be retribution” for the mosque shootings.

“I feel like I should make a christians life miserable tomorrow for our fallen bros n sis in [N]ew Zealand…maybe a jews life…they shed our blood…no Muslim should have to experience this, a message needs to be sent.”
Report: Israel to release more prisoners for remains of more IDF soldiers
Israel will release more Syrian prisoners in return for the remains of other fallen Israeli soldiers recovered by Russian soldiers in Syria, Asharq al-Awsat reported on Tuesday.

The report by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat comes after Israel released two Syrians held in Israeli jails following the repatriation of the remains of fallen IDF soldier Sgt. Zachary Baumel after close to 40 years.

Israel holds several pro-Syrian Druze activists in prison, and according to the report the initial prisoner exchange was the first stage of a broader prisoner swap and two more Syrian prisoners currently held in Israel-Sidqi al-Maqt and Amal Abu Salah- were told by Syrian officials that they will be freed in the next round.

Al-Maqt, was the longest-serving Syrian in Israeli jails after he served 27 years in prison for various security violations. He was released in 2012 and was re-arrested in 2015 and was convicted of spying for Syria and sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2017.

Abu Saleh was convicted of manslaughter after residents of Majdal Shams blocked an Israeli ambulance that was trying to transport two wounded Syrians to hospital and killed one of the wounded.

The report, which quoted sources in their hometown of Majdal Shams in Israel’s Golan Heights, said their families protested to the Syrian authorities as well as to the Russians.
Israel to offer grants to build hotels in West Bank settlements
For first time in the history of the settlement movement, the Tourism Ministry has made monetary grants available for the construction of hotels in Area C of the West Bank.

In the past, such grants could be received only with governmental approval. But grants worth 20%-33% of the project’s cost were available for the construction of hotels within sovereign Israel.

Hotel projects in Judea and Samaria could not receive the grants because the law that provided for their distribution was not applicable to the West Bank.

The ministry has now created a different mechanism exclusively for Judea and Samaria that will allow for automatic application for the grants without the need for special governmental approval, the spokesman for Tourism Minister Yariv Levin told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Tourists who want to stay overnight in West Bank settlements currently rely on private homeowners to rent out rooms through Internet services like AirBnb or with small bed and breakfasts.

The construction of hotels is needed to allow for increased tourism to the area.
IDF accuses Islamic Jihad of Gaza rocket fire, cuts fishing zone as punishment
The Israeli military on Tuesday accused the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group of firing a rocket from the Gaza Strip that landed in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel late Monday night.

In response, Israel scaled back Gaza’s permitted fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to six “until further notice,” Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) liaison unit said.

The Israel Defense Forces said the Palestinian Islamic Jihad “intentionally fired” the rocket from the northern Gaza Strip in an effort to derail ongoing efforts to maintain a ceasefire between Israel and the terrorist groups in the coastal enclave.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is considered the second-most powerful terror group in the Gaza Strip, after the coastal enclave’s de facto rulers, Hamas, despite having a slightly larger arsenal of rockets and mortar shells, mostly locally manufactured varieties based on Iranian designs.

The IDF specifically named Baha Abu al-Ata, an Islamic Jihad commander responsible for the group’s activities in northern Gaza, as having given the order to fire the rocket. The military said the rocket was fired from the al-Attra neighborhood of Beit Lahiya.

Identifying al-Ata by name can be seen as a tacit threat by the military. The IDF also tweeted out a photograph of the Islamic Jihad commander. Al-Ata has been targeted by the IDF in the past, both in the 2014 Gaza war and in the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense.
U.S. working to designate Muslim Brotherhood as terror group
The Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, the White House said on Tuesday, which would bring sanctions against Egypt's oldest Islamist movement.

"The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in an email.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asked President Donald Trump to make the designation, which Egypt has already done, in a private meeting during a visit to Washington on April 9, a senior U.S. official said, confirming a report in the New York Times on Tuesday.

After the meeting, Trump praised Sisi as a "great president" while a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers raised concerns about Sisi’s record on human rights, efforts to keep him in office for many years and planned Russian arms purchases.

Sisi, who ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 and was elected president the following year, has overseen a crackdown on Islamists as well as liberal opposition in Egypt.

White House national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo support the designation but officials at the Pentagon and elsewhere have been opposed and have been seeking more limited action, the senior official said.
MEMRI: Children's Indoctrination: Jordanian Boy Pledges To Be Martyred For Jerusalem In Viral Video
On April 7, 2019, the Gaza TV Media YouTube account posted a video of a small Jordanian boy volunteering to go to Jerusalem and die as a martyr. In the video, the boy, Amir Al-Khasawne, is seen marching with a slingshot and a toy rifle. When his mother asks him where he is going, he says: "I'm going on a journey far away. I might not come back." Later in the video Amir tells his mother that he is going to Jerusalem, to "the martyr Omar Abu Laila and his friends." On March 19, 2019, Omar Abu Laila, fatally stabbed Sgt. Gal Keidan, grabbed his gun and shot to death Rabbi Achiad Ettinger. The boy Al-Khasawne continued: "I will shoot the Jews who shot Omar." When his mother warns him that he would be killed, the boy says: "It's no big deal, mommy. I will die for the sake of Jerusalem. Isn't Jerusalem worth dying for? Isn't Al-Aqsa worth dying for?" In tears, Amir calls out: "For the sake of Allah, oh Arabs! This is Jerusalem! It is the destination of the Prophet's Night Journey! They sold out Jerusalem!" He concluded by calling upon Saladin to "wake up." The video was produced by Mays Alreem for Television Photography.

"I'm Going On A Journey Far Away – I Might Not Come Back"
Amir's mother: "My darling Amir, where are you going?"
Amir Al-Khasawneh: "I'm going on a journey far away. I might not come back."
Amir's mother: "My darling, your father has been looking for you."
Amir Al-Khasawneh: "Send him my regards, ask him to forgive me, and pray for me."
Amir's mother: "You are frightening me. Where are you going?"
Amir Al-Khasawneh: "To Jerusalem."

West Bank city to name a street after late Jewish member of Fatah
In a move initiated by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, al-Bireh Municipality in the central West Bank announced that it has decided to name a street after Ilan Halevi, a late Jewish member of Fatah.

Halevi, who was born in Nazi-occupied Lyon, France but moved to Israel in his twenties, died in 2013 at 69. He was a member of leftist and anti-Zionist groups in Israel before he joined Fatah following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Halevi also served in the PA Foreign Ministry, participated in the Madrid Conference in 1991 on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and described himself as “one-hundred percent Jewish and one-hundred percent Palestinian.”

Members of al-Bireh Municipality unanimously supported a proposal to name a street after Halevi, al-Bireh Mayor Azzam Ismail told Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Abbas, according to a statement posted Saturday on the local governing body’s official Facebook page.

Shaath met members of al-Bireh Municipality last Wednesday and presented them with a proposal formulated by Abbas to name one of the town’s streets after Halevi, an individual “who was committed to defending the Palestinian issue and Fatah without hesitation,” the statement said.

Ismail spoke highly of Halevi and said the Palestinians admire Jews who support the Palestinian issue.
IS chief Baghdadi emerges on video for first time in five years
The elusive chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared for the first time in five years in a propaganda video released Monday by the jihadist organization.

The video released by Al-Furqan on Monday shows Baghdadi with a bushy grey and red beard, wearing a black robe with a beige vest and seated on the floor with what appears to be a machine gun propped up next to him. He is speaking with three men seated opposite him whose faces were covered and blotted out.

It is unclear when the footage was filmed, but Baghdadi referred in the past tense to the months-long fight for Baghouz, IS’s final bastion in eastern Syria, which ended last month.

“The battle for Baghouz is over,” he said.

But he insisted that IS’s operations against the West were part of a “long battle,” and that IS would “take revenge” on members who had been killed.

“There will be more to come after this battle,” he said.

He claimed the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka, which killed over 250 people and have been claimed by Islamic State, were “part of the revenge” that awaits the West.

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