Tuesday, April 29, 2014

From Ian:

New York Times Says Abbas ‘Vilified’ for Challenging Number of Holocaust Victims
In an article today about Abbas’ statement condemning the Holocaust, Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren writes: “Mr. Abbas has been vilified as a Holocaust denier because in his doctoral dissertation, published as a book in 1983, he challenged the number of Jewish victims and argued that Zionists had collaborated with Nazis to propel more people to what would become Israel.”
This passage is characteristic Times treatment of Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian claims, no matter how specious or unfounded, are treated with neutrality at best, and afforded credibility, at worst. Abbas had written in his dissertation: “it is possible that the number of Jewish victims reached 6 million, but at the same time it is possible that the figure is much smaller – below one million.”
In stating that Abbas “challenged” the fact that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, The Times journalist falsely implies that there may actually have been substance to his claim.
How did the BBC frame Mahmoud Abbas’ remarks on the Holocaust?
Although it once again downplays Hamas’ terror designation by numerous countries, the BBC article notes correctly that:
“Hamas officials have made statements denying the Holocaust, and in 2009 objected to a UN proposal to teach children about it in UN-run schools in Gaza.”
It goes on to state:
“Mr Abbas’s comments were the strongest that he has made publicly on the Holocaust and appear to be an attempt to reach out to a mistrustful Israeli public, the BBC’s Yolande Knell reports from Jerusalem.”
In fact, Abbas has made numerous public remarks in the past regarding the Holocaust, which Knell’s adjective “strongest” might also be used to describe – though in a decidedly different sense. The Israeli public is of course aware of the fact that Mahmoud Abbas’ PhD dissertation was based on a form of Holocaust denial.
PMW: Abbas' and other PA officials' acknowledgement of the Holocaust
Mahmoud Abbas' recent acknowledgement that "what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era" [Wafa (the official PA news agency), April 27, 2014] is a very rare example of official PA acknowledgement of the Holocaust and that its crimes were directed principally at Jews.
Studying Palestinian Authority officials' statements and PA events publicized in the official PA media, Palestinian Media Watch has found very few other examples of explicit official PA acknowledgement of the Holocaust and its crimes against the Jews and others.
Juan Cole… Definitely Uninformed and Often Wrong
Juan Cole of “Ahmadinejhad really didn’t say he wanted to wipe Israel off the map” fame is at it once again. When it comes to Israel, Cole spends so much time twisting himself and distorting positions that it seems that the man would have to screw his pants on (h/t to Hunter S. Thompson) to get dressed in the morning. On his page “Informed Consent” (a misnomer if there ever was one) Cole writes: John Kerry admits Israeli Apartheid; and 5 Ways he is Understating It. In this article Cole gives us an fact free screed as to how Israel is an “Apartheid State” beginning with his inaccurate headline.
Unless one has the reading comprehension of a small child, it is clear that Secretary Kerry is saying that should there be One State solution (which there is not); Israel would run the risk of becoming an Apartheid type state. What he did not say was “Israel is an Apartheid State”. So, from the very headline this article fails.
From here it simply gets more ridiculous. The entire premise of the article states that there is already a One State solution in place and that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are in fact Israeli Citizens who are treated as “second class citizens”. NOW, if Israel did annex the West Bank and Gaza and did not offer the right of franchise amongst other civil rights to all of its citizens one could make that argument but the Israelis have not done this. AND even if they wanted to ignore all of the security concerns and everything else exactly to whom would they be handing this land over too (but never mind that I guess)? So with that the entire analogy of conflating Israel to South Africa fails miserably.



A Tour and Census of Palestine Year 1695: No sign of Arabian names or Palestinians
The author Relandi, a real scholar, geographer, cartographer and well known philologist, spoke perfect Hebrew, Arabic and ancient Greek, as well as the European languages. The book was written in Latin. In 1695 he was sent on a sightseeing tour to Israel, at that time known as Palestina. In his travels he surveyed approximately 2500 places where people lived that were mentioned in the bible or Mishnah. His research method was interesting.
He first mapped the Land of Israel.
Secondly, Relandi identifies each of the places mentioned in the Mishnah or Talmud along with their original source. If the source was Jewish, he listed it together with the appropriate sentence in the Holy Scriptures. If the source was Roman or Greek he presented the connection in Greek or Latin.
Thirdly, he also arranged a population survey and census of each community. (h/t MtTB)
Report: UK Aid to Palestinians Misused to Pay Convicted Terrorists
UK newspaper reported on Monday that British aid to the Palestinian Authority helps fund the salaries of convicted terrorists.
The Telegraph report is based on research performed by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) and shows the value the Palestinian Authority (PA) places on terrorists.
It has revealed that under 2004 Palestinian legislation known as the Palestinian Law of the Prisoner, people convicted of terror offences are immediately placed on the Palestinian Authority payroll. The salaries are reserved for those “resisting the occupation”, not those guilty of other crimes.
The more serious the offence, the more money is paid. Based on Palestinian documents, PMW says that the longest-serving terrorists receive £2,075 per month, plus bonuses for wives and children. Grants made upon release can be as much as £50,000. The average Palestinian wage is about £312 per month.
Child recites poem on PA TV: "Smash the oppression and destroy the Zionist's soul"


Fatah leader calls for Israel's destruction: Palestine from river to sea


Fatah leader calls for future without Israel: Haifa, Jaffa, and Acre will all be part of Palestine


UN office in Geneva holds 2-day Israel-bashing confab; bans all but anti-Israel NGOs
The UN Committee, created in 1975 to implement the infamous Zionism-is-racism General Assembly resolution, has held yet another vile session. On April 24 and 25, 2014 the UN "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People" had what was billed as a "Roundtable on Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine" in Geneva. All but the opening session were closed to the public. Or more accurately, after the representative of the UN-accredited Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust reported what had occurred at the opening session, she was barred from an additional session which had been advertised as open to the public.
In fact, though the event was advertised as closed except for two sessions, the published "List of Participants" reveals that 9 civil society organizations – all 9 with well-established anti-Israel credentials and 7 based in Ramallah - were actually taking part.
BDS Movement Echoes Germany in the 1930s
In the 1930s, thousands of Jewish professors were kicked out of German universities because they were Jews. Shamefully, today in the U.S., Jewish professors are threatened with being thrown out of scholarly conferences, prevented from publishing in scholarly journals, and denied research or employment opportunities, simply because they are citizens of the Jewish State.
NYU Student on 'Evictions': 'This Flyer is Clearly Spreading Anti-Semitism'
NYU sophomore Laura Adkins appeared on "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren to discuss the anti-Semitic mock eviction notices that were distributed Thursday morning. Students for Justice in Palestine, the group responsible for the propaganda flyers, denies Israel's legal right to exist and features photos on their Facebook page that call for the annihilation of the Jewish state and claim "from the river to the sea Palestine will be free."
Adkins pointed out the anti-Semitic content on the flyer, which alleges that Israel ethnically cleanses non-Jews and claims that the Israeli government has a policy known as 'Judaization.' She also explained that many students on campus feel threatened and that the mock eviction notices "totally cross the line and became hate speech targeting the Jewish people."


Shapiro: Islamic Groups Pushed Brandeis to Rescind Ayaan Hirsi Ali
TruthRevolt Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro appeared on The Kelly File Friday night to rebut Brandeis President Fred Lawrence's recent letter claiming he rescinded Ayaan Hirsi Ali's invitation to receive an honorary degree based on internal pressure in the Brandeis faculty and students. Shapiro argued instead that the university president had in fact caved to pressure from outside Islamic groups.
Shapiro called the President Lawrence's claims "untrue" because the groups responsible for much of the pressure, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Council for American Islam Relations (CAIR), had been coordinating with students and faculty to rescind Ali's invitation. Both Kelly and Shapiro highlighted CAIR's association with Islamic radicals like Imam Webb, who had a history of anti-Semitism, and Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike for connections with Al-Qaeda.


Witnesses Back Israel Activist in Dispute With J-Street Leader at Brandeis
According to The Washington Free Beacon, Talia Lepson called Daniel Mael a “s*** bag” and angrily told the Brandeis junior that “Jews hate you” at 12:45 AM on Friday night.
Moshe Yaghoubian, via Facebook on Sunday, confirmed Mael’s version of events: “I was with Daniel Mael on the Friday night when the incident occurred and I can verify that his account is 100% accurate.”
Student Elad Ohayon said, ”In all honestly, I’ve never heard a lie come out of either Moshe Yaghoubian or Daniel Mael mouths, not even as a joke. I could never imagine either one of them lying about something as serious as the incident that took place.”
J Street issues media Fatwa against its toughest pro-Israel student opponent
Mael has wrapped his keyboard around J Street’s metaphorical political neck, and won’t let go. (That should sound familiar to Legal Insurrection readers.)
One of Mael’s articles even is featured in the trailer for the J Street Challenge (see featured image). Considering that The J Street Challenge is one of the biggest thorns in J Street’s side, it’s not much of a guess to believe that Mael’s affiliation with the movie is not popular at J Street.
Mael’s vigorous opposition to J Street has extended to Brandeis J Street U. Mael penned an expose about anti-Israel actions by leaders of Brandeis J Street U for The Times of Israel, only to have the blog post taken down by The Times after the Brandeis J Street U students complained that mentioning their names would harm their employment prospects.
Fight over NY’s Celebrate Israel Parade reignites debate over New Israel Fund
In a letter Sunday to Richard Allen of the JCC Watch organization, Allen objected to the inclusion of Partners for Progressive Israel, the New Israel Fund, and B’tselem in the annual Zionist march, accusing them of supporting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
JCC Watch is a rightwing organization with the stated goal of “monitor[ing] treachery by Jewish groups.”
“As coalition chairman at the Knesset in Jerusalem, I am deeply moved by the tireless supporters and marchers in the Celebrate Israel Parade and by the courageous stance of so many friends of Israel involved in the parade, calling to delegitimize those who delegitimize Israel,” Levin wrote Allen. “It is not logical or reasonable for Israel supporters to condone or overlook or indirectly cooperate with BDS groups which represent the antithesis of support for Israel.”
Shot Ukrainian Jewish mayor airlifted to Israel for surgery
The Jewish mayor of Ukraine’s second-largest city, in critical condition after being shot on Monday, was flown to Israel early Tuesday morning to receive medical treatment.
Kharkiv mayor Hennady Kernes was hit in the back in an attack while he was out jogging, his office said. Kernes underwent immediate surgery, with local doctors “fighting for his life,” according to a Kharkiv municipal spokesman.
A statement from Elisha hospital in Haifa, where Kernes was taken during the night, said the surgery was successful.
In NYC, Ukrainian Holocaust Survivors & Their Supporters Rally Against Ukrainian Antisemitism
"And one of the things when I think about the Ukraine, and I'm sure there are a lot of wonderful people there, but let me tell you what my mother used to say, that the Ukrainians who worked with the Nazis, were worse than the Nazis. That's what my mother always told us in our home, in terms of brutality and so on."
So declared New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind at a rally in NYC on Sunday morning to mark Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day) and send out the message to contemporary Ukrainian antisemites "Never Again".
On Yom HaShoah, World Leaders Call for Combating of Anti-Semitism
President Barack Obama said in a statement, “On this Yom HaShoah, let us recommit ourselves to the task of remembrance, and to always oppose anti-Semitism wherever it takes root. Together, we must give enduring meaning to the words ‘Never Again.’”
On his Facebook account, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called on the world to “combat anti-Semitism in all its forms.”
“Yom HaShoah reminds us that the Holocaust must never be forgotten and that we must remain vigilant against all forms of prejudice and hatred to ensure that such unspeakable acts of inhumanity never happen again,” Harper said.
Young Jews march through Auschwitz
Thousands of young Jews from Israel and around the world marched on Monday between the two parts of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German death camp in Poland in memory of Holocaust victims, notably some 430,000 Hungarian Jews who perished there.
The silent annual “March of the Living” began when the shofar, a ram’s horn used for Jewish religious ceremonies, sounded by the former camp’s notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) gate.
FDA okays start of BrainStorm stem cell trial in ALS patients
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the start of a mid-stage clinical trial of its adult stem cell treatment for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
The Phase II trial will be launched initially at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Worcester.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Connell O'Reilly Cell Manipulation Core Facility will manufacture BrainStorm's NurOwn cells for these two clinical sites. The trial will also be conducted at the Mayo Clinic, the Israel-based company said on Sunday. The trials are expected to start soon.
Max Brenner wins Webby for best food and drink website
The digital experts and people agree: the best food and drink website of 2014 is that of a chocolate-themed restaurant chain that serves syringes filled with liquid chocolate, pizza chocolate and vanilla ice cream bars with a fudgy dipping sauce and chocolate dots.
In the Webby Awards' coveted food and drink category, Israeli-based chocolate chain Maxbrenner.com was voted the best website by both the public and the academy's panel of experts.
Israel – The wifi nation
Welcome to Israel – the wifi nation. It starts when you arrive at Ben Gurion Airport and are treated to free wifi. Then you get on the train; for over a year now, Israel Railways provides free wifi. The Kavim bus that I take to work offers free wifi.
It doesn’t always work and the speed can be slow, but for basic news and email reading, free public wifi is fine. Enter a restaurant in Tel Aviv and you will likely be served free wifi. Many office buildings offer the same.
As I sat in a Tel Aviv cafe today, a friend agreed. “It’s like air. They just don’t get it in Europe and the US.” There are many things in Israel that need to be fixed, but free wifi access is one area where we are ahead of the game. According to recent news reports, Tel Aviv has over 80 wifi hotspots around the city in places that serve tourists – beaches, attractions and parks.
Want to be a billionaire? Come to Israel
Israel, according to the center’s “Super-Entrepreneurs: And How Your Country Can Get Them” report, has the right conditions for breeding billionaires, who are only the tip of the iceberg of a society that encourages enterprise, innovation, education and leaves entrepreneurs alone to come up with the innovations in advanced industries that create wealth.
The survey of the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which served as the basis for the center’s report, shows that Israel has about two billionaires per million people. Third on the list was the United States, with about 1.4 billionaires per million people, followed by Switzerland (1.3), Singapore and Norway (1.2 each), and Ireland (less than one). Israel has a bigger population than any of the list’s top seven countries, besides the US.


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