Tuesday, March 25, 2014

From Ian:

White House expresses 'deep disappointment' after Saudis deny visa to 'Post' journalist
Riyadh on Monday denied a visa to Michael Wilner, The Jerusalem Post’s Washington bureau chief. Wilner, who was the only journalist denied access to the president’s trip, despite firmly-worded requests from US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and assistant to the president Tony Blinken to Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.
"We are deeply disappointed that this credible journalist was denied a visa," US National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said on Tuesday. "We will continue to register our serious concerns about this unfortunate decision."
On the theft of indigenous struggles
I see people claiming commonalities with my people all the time. They tell me “My people are just like yours,” but the reality is quite different. I hear people telling me “My people have similar experiences to yours,” when the reality is that they have undergone nowhere near the marginalisation or oppression that my people have somehow survived.
When someone invokes the experiences of Native North Americans in order to claim commonalities with us, it’s almost always in order to demonise another country. In the majority of cases I see, it’s Arabs or white people trying to demonise Israel, first by calling them colonisers, and second by inferring that they stole the land on which they built their state. The irony should be obvious. (h/t Alexi)
New Anti-Semitism Tailored for Evangelicals
Despite the attempt to shroud the real agenda of the "Christ at the Checkpoint" conference, its manifesto is revealing . It "condemns all forms of violence unequivocally," yet states that "Christians must understand the global context for the rise of extremist Islam" and furthermore "blames the 'occupation' as the core issue of the conflict;" and although CATC boasts a mandate of dialogue and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian believers, there are still those voices that are seemingly rejected from the conference. In a report released by Israel Today, entitled, "The Message 'Christ at the Checkpoint' Didn't Want to Hear," it is argued that CATC organizers do not want to hear from those Israeli voices that have been victimized by Palestinian terrorism or able to expose the Palestinian nationalist agenda.
One case has been highlighted: in late 2010, Israeli tour guide Kay Wilson and her visiting Christian friend, Kristine Luken, were attacked by Palestinian terrorists outside Jerusalem. Luken was killed and Wilson suffered severe injuries. Wilson approached one of the CATC speakers about speaking at the 2012 convocation, but was told that her story was "not what the Lord wants," a phrase that is sadly abused by some Christian leaders to exercise control -- akin to a kind of spiritual or psychological extortion -- over the follower. Wilson then expressed dismay about "how any Israeli.... Messianic believer, could justify participating in a conference that has chosen to associate itself with theologians advocating Replacement Theology and Palestinian officials with clear ties to recognized terrorist organizations." She further stated, "For any self-respecting person, and especially for Israelis such as myself, the endorsement of terror by association, at a Christian conference, is obscene."



Harvard Students Informed Arafat's Grave Will Be Relocated in Jerusalem
Now that the Harvard Israel Trek 2014 has come to a close, students who participated in the trip are starting to speak out via the trip's blog. The results are telling, with one student explaining that the students were told Yasser Arafat's burial location is temporary:
"The man who spoke to us at Yasser Arafat’s grave emphasized the grave’s temporary location, to be moved to Jerusalem when (not if) Palestine reclaims the city. The conflict, for him, is urgent."
Canadian Public Policy Magazine Fawns Over Yasser Arafat
HonestReporting Canada was alarmed to see Canadian public policy magazine, Policy Options, give none other than the godfather of modern terror, the late Yasser Arafat, the front cover of its April 2014 issue.
No, this is NOT an April Fool’s joke.
Policy Options, produced by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP), entitled this edition “Opening Eyes, Second Regard” and the cover page, the most viewed section of a magazine, featured a photo of a mural being painted by Palestinians that presents Arafat in a statesmanlike, almost iconic light. What this magazine failed to tell its readers is that Arafat was responsible for the murder of almost 1,000 Israelis and the maiming of many thousands more. Arafat was responsible for inciting Palestinians to commit terror against Israelis via its official PA media, its educational infrastructure, and in public pronouncements.
Pro-Israel Students Called ‘Kike,’ ‘Dirty Jew’ at University of Michigan
University of Michigan police were first contacted last week after two pro-Palestinian activists shouted “threats of violence” at a student who refused to support their boycott initiative during a “sit-in” at the student government’s headquarters.
The Washington Free Beacon has further learned that the pro-Israel student received death threats and that others have allegedly been called “kikes” and “dirty Jews” by backers of the virulently anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which aims to delegitimize the Jewish state through economic means.
The atmosphere of intimidation and violence could leave the University of Michigan vulnerable to legal action and political retribution on a national scale, according to multiple sources in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere who are monitoring the situation. (h/t Zvi, fixed link h/t Alexi)
French University That Banished Israelis From Campus Issues Formal Apology
The University of Paris 8 issued an apology to visiting representatives of an Israeli organization who were forced to flee the campus after being harassed by anti-Israeli members of the student body, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
The incident occurred last week when delegates from What Israel, a group that promotes dialogue and a more balanced approach towards Israel, were touring the university. A planned conference hosted by the organization was canceled and the delegation was forced to return to Israel, Channel 2 said.
U.K. universities minister: No academic boycotts of Israel in Britain
Fewer Israeli students have been coming to England to study because of mistaken perceptions that Britain is “an unfriendly or hostile place” to Israel or Israelis. That mistaken perception needs addressing, said David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, in a visit to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on Monday.
There has been no boycott of Israeli academia in the U.K., Willetts said at a meeting with Israeli and English academics and with Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron at the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus.
"[Boycotts] would be completely wrong, and there is no [U.K.] university that is boycotting Israel," he said. (h/t Zvi)
Jimmy Carter Rejects BDS
Jimmy Carter, whose book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid did more to legitimize the Apartheid smear than anything published by the BDS movement, is now publicly opposed to boycotts against Israel, including boycotts limited to the West Bank.
Carter told the AP this week that he and “The Elders” – a group former world leaders that includes outspoken Israel critics such as Desmond Tutu, among others – had discussed BDS and decided against it. “We decided not to publicly endorse any kind of embargo, or so forth, against Israeli invasion, or occupying troops in Palestine,” Carter said.
The move represents a significant break with Carter’s previous rhetoric on Israel, especially since the publication of his book in 2006. After all, if he still believes that Israel is an apartheid state, why would he not support the same tactics of boycott and sanctions that brought down the apartheid regime in South Africa?
Carter, History and the Jewish State
Former President Jimmy Carter is apparently confused about the Israeli demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. And the historical record seems to elude him as well.
Both President Clinton and President George W. Bush have encountered the Israeli demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state put forward by the administrations of three Israeli prime ministers prior to Netanyahu.
First, a few days ago, American negotiator Dennis Ross noted that the Israeli demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish state came up during and immediately following the Camp David negotiations. Later, in 2003, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon listed Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state as his sixth reservation to President Bush's Mideast "road map." Finally, during the Annapolis talks in 2007 under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the Israelis again raised the issue with President Bush.
Fighting BDS – Can We ‘Buycott’ the Cultural Boycott?
The attack on De Burgh is far from an isolated incident. In fact, De Burgh is just one of 15 cultural figures targeted on a Cultural BDS Checklist published publicly on Facebook and updated regularly.
The list includes instructions on how express displeasure to all of the major international acts due to appear in Israel, including the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, on their associations with Israel and calls on people to “spare about 10 minutes of your time and add your voice to these wonderful initiatives.”
But in the spirit of buycott, the checklist might provide some “wonderful initiatives” for Israel supporters as well. These are the artists who are willing to stand up to the bullies and deserve to know that Israelis appreciate what it means to perform in Israel in the current climate.
Twenty Six Thousand Sign petition in support of Neil Young's Israel Visit
We have submitted an Anti-Boycott Petition to Neil Young. The petition was presented on March 21, 2014, by 32 prominent members of the entertainment industry and garnered nearly twenty-six thousand signatures from people around the globe. It lets Neil know that boycott proponents do not represent the mainstream view which in fact supports liberal, open democracies such as Israel and the independence of artists.
Boycott advocates, such as CJPME, attempt to use the forums of music and culture to make inflammatory and incorrect political points. However, their message does not resonate with the vast majority of people who believe in the power of art and music to bring people together.
For European Jewish Students, Anti-Israel Vibes All Around (INTERVIEW)
In Europe, it’s very common to not have this centralized campus structure so you feel the anti-Israel vibes all around,” Saskia Pantell, coordinator of the Global Campus Initiative (GCI), told The Algemeiner in a recent interview.
The Initiative, launched in April of last year, is a joint project of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) and the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS). The group aims to counteract threats from the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and similar attempts to “delegitimize” Israel in educational environments.
Pantell, raised Jewish herself, explained just how challenging it can be for pro-Israel campus activists in European countries.
Europeans Fund Lawfare Against “Allies” Israel and Canada
Yet, in addition to this direct funding to the PA, European countries are also channeling large amounts of money to highly politicized activist groups, and in doing so financing the legitimacy war being waged against Israel. In a report released by NGO Monitor earlier this month, it has been exposed that the EU, along with several other European governments, is paying for the waging of what has come to be known as “lawfare” against Israel. More noteworthy still is the way this funding is also being used by one particularly hostile and activist NGO to even pursue Canada, a close of ally of Israel, at the UN. The large body of evidence here really does have to be seen to be believed. Yet there is no denying it: European countries are indeed financing “lawfare” against two nations that they purport to consider friends.
The Palestinian NGO in question is the cryptically named Norwegian Refugee Council, a title that offers few clues as to the group’s actual activities. Quite simply, the primary function of this organization appears to be to wage “lawfare” against Israel’s judicial system in an effort to sabotage its legal process and subvert the democratic structures for determining Israeli policy. NGO Monitor reports that NRC has financed at least 677 cases that received full legal representation in court and other administrative bodies in Israel. According to an eyewitness report, the strategy here is to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and that as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.”
BBC reports on Hamas rally in Arabic – but not in English
Whilst visitors to the BBC Arabic website on March 23rd were informed that a Hamas rally attended by tens of thousands had taken place in Gaza City earlier in the day, those visiting the main English language BBC News website found no report on that topic and hence would have no idea of the rhetoric against Israel, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority which was part and parcel of the event.
With the BBC lately having taken to sedately describing Hamas as the body “which governs the Gaza Strip” and with audiences having been told on several recent occasions that Hamas has “refrained” from attacking Israel since the ceasefire of October 2012, it would of course have been useful to audiences to have an up to the minute appraisal of the terrorist organisation’s stance regarding its neighbours.
Jews Brought Holocaust on Themselves, Russian TV Host Says (VIDEO)
A Russian TV presenter, in a conversation with a writer about the Ukrainian protests and Crimea, said that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves.
Writer Aleksandr Prokhanov, while being interviewed by anchor Evelina Zakamskaya on the state-funded Rossiya 24 TV channel, said (as translated by JNS.org) that it is “strange that Jewish organizations, the European and our own Russian organizations, support the Maidan [protests]. What are they doing? Do they not understand that they are bringing about a second Holocaust with their own hands? This is monstrous.”
Zakamskaya replied that the Jews “brought about the first [Holocaust] similarly.”
UK’s Channel 4 Under Fire for Buying Lock of Hitler’s Hair From Holocaust Denier
Britain’s Channel 4 came under fire from a member of parliament for paying Holocaust denier David Irving £3,000 ($5,000) for a lock of Adolf Hitler’s hair for a DNA test on a television program to be broadcast this week, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Monday.
Labor Party MP Ian Austin, whose Jewish father lost his family in the Treblinka extermination camp, said Channel 4′s move was a “sick” and “tawdry” stunt by ‘Dead Famous DNA,’ which will also feature DNA tests for Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon and Charles Darwin.
“It’s appalling that Channel 4 would get involved with a Holocaust denier in some bizarre and tawdry show purporting to be entertainment. It’s disgusting, and raises questions about Channel 4’s public broadcasting remit,” Austin told the Daily Mirror at the weekend.
Chilean art school set to teach Nazi ideology
The “Art school, President General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte,” is named after a former far-right Chilean dictator, and its founder, Godofredo Rodríguez Pacheco, who has described himself in the past as a purveyor of Hitler’s ideology, has been promoting the opening in the town of Ancúd with swastika posters and said that he doesn’t mind being associated with the Nazis.
“My ultimate goal is to form a political party, a nationalist proposal designed from Chiloé, and I don’t mind if people tell me I’m a Nazi,” Pacheco told local press, according to the Latin American Democracy Defense Organization.
Pacheco also said that the posters reflect the school’s goal of “strengthening the political right in the Chiloé Region.”
Israeli and Palestinian business leaders join forces
Four members of Breaking The Impasse, a group of Palestinian and Israeli business people, came to the Jerusalem Press Club on Monday to explain the benefits to the region if peace is attained and two states lived side by side with mutual respect and cooperation.
Some 200 Israeli and 150 Palestinian business people and civil society leaders have been in long-term dialogue to support political leaders in their aim to reach a two-state solution to the conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people. (h/t Zvi)
10 Groups Bid to Export Israel’s Leviathan Gas to Turkey; Deal Worth $22-$31 Billion
At least 10 bids have been received in a tender by the partners in Israel’s Leviathan offshore natural gas field to export the fuel to Turkey via a pipeline they will construct, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Monday.
The value of the bids ranged from $22 billion to $31 billion in revenue for Leviathan, the newspaper said, based on their requested orders for between 7 billion cubic meters (BCM) a year to 10 BCM, and a 15-year gas supply contract at $6 per million British Thermal Units (mmBTU ), the price of natural gas in Israel’s domestic market.
The deal the companies bid for would include laying a pipeline to Turkey from Leviathan’s proposed floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) ship, which delivers gas to Israeli and regional customers, Globes said. The bids included both groups that were willing to build and finance the pipeline independently, and those asking to partner with Leviathan.
Israel-China Alliance Moves Forward With $2 Billion ‘Red-Med’ Freight Rail Link Alternative to Suez Canal
The growing economic alliance between Israel and China is moving forward with a $2 billion, 300 kilometer freight rail link connecting Eilat, on the Red Sea, with Ashdod Port, on the Mediterranean, Germany’s Deutsche Welle news magazine reported on Monday.
The project, nicknamed the ‘Red-Med,’ was greenlit by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet, and construction, which is expected to take five years, will begin within the year.
About the link, Netanyahu said, “It’s the first time we’d be able to assist the countries in Europe and Asia to make sure they always have an open connection between Europe and Asia and between Asia and Europe.” For Netanyahu, the rail link also has a civilian use, doubling as a line for a two-hour passenger ride between Tel Aviv and Eilat, DW said. (h/t Zvi)
Jinpeng to acquire Israeli healthcare provider
Guangzhou-based Jinpeng Group will acquire Natali Healthcare Solutions, the largest private healthcare and homecare service provider in Israel, China Business News reported on Monday.
The newspaper cited a source close to the deal as saying that Natali is a quality cash cow and will explore business opportunities in the elder support industry in China and Southeast Asia after the acquisition.
The deal is worth about $100 million and is expected to be inked soon, CBN reported. Jinpeng, a company focused on security system development, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guangzhou-based Sanpower Group, a conglomerate focused on IT and services industries.
Israelis finally get some satisfaction as Rolling Stones confirm concert date
After months - even years – of speculation, Israelis can finally get some satisfaction. The Rolling Stones are officially booked to perform on June 4 at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv.
Nobody was more satisfied than promoter Shuki Weiss, who announced the long-coveted show Tuesday morning in Tel Aviv. The announcement came days after the suicide of vocalist Mick Jagger's partner, fashion designer L'Wren Scott, which forced the cancellation of seven Stones' Australian and New Zealand shows as part of their '14 on Fire' tour.
“This is a historic and very meaningful visit,” said Weiss. “In these days when we hear calls for boycotts from around the world, it’s not taken for granted that a band of this magnitude will come to Israel.”
“I am an Israeli”
Today the Australasian Union of Jewish Students launched a campaign to celebrate diversity in Israeli society.
The campaign, entitled “I am an Israeli”, highlights the stories of ten Israelis—ranging from a Muslim former army officer, to an observant Jewish artist and storyteller.
Each individual describes themselves through key identifying attributes and finishes by stating that they are Israeli.


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