Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From Ian:

Alan Dershowitz: War of Principles: Fighting ISIS, other terrorist groups under democracy’s rule of law
When democracies seek to protect their citizens against new threats posed by terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hamas, and Boko Haram, the old rules — designed for conventional warfare among nations — sometimes become anachronistic. New balances must be struck between preserving people’s civil liberties and protecting them against terrorist violence. As Aharon Barak, the former president of the Supreme Court of Israel — a nation that has confronted this issue over many decades — once put it: “Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand.”
Barak was right on two scores: The commitment to the rule of law constrains democracies in fighting terrorists who have no concern for international law; yet although we must fight terrorism with one hand behind our back, that does not mean that we cannot use the other hand forcefully, effectively, and legally.
Employing military force against terrorists who take hostages, as ISIS does, or use human shields, as Hamas does, raises one of the many difficult challenges currently facing democracies.
How Europe's Pro-Gaza Movement Cultivates Violence, Anti-Semitism
Even if one differentiates between the people and their leaders, as the Algerian author Anwar Malek stated: "Arab leaders are a reflection of their people. Arab leaders don't come from Mars or the sun, they emerged from among the people and share the same beliefs. If you placed any Arab citizen in power... I challenge any Arab citizen who may become a ruler to do anything beyond what current Arab leaders are doing."
Although a sovereign Palestinian state might seem desirable "on paper" -- at least if it is not next to you and calling for your death -- the exaltation of a future Palestinian State, glorified during anti-Israeli demonstrations as a haven of peace and harmony, seems for the near future unfortunately baseless.
What the protestors in the Netherlands also revealed -- in terms of hypocrisy -- is that a killed Palestinian is only worth demonstrating for when the blame can be pinned on Israel.
In February 2014, 2000 Palestinian civilians had already been in killed in Syria. The Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk in Damascus, has seen over 128 Palestinians literally die of starvation. Hamas executes Palestinians on a near-daily basis. Where are the demonstrators?
Anne Bayefsky: The United Nations: World's Leading Purveyor of Antisemitism
My time is short, too short to try to emulate the diplomatic sophistry that passes for respect in the meeting rooms of the United Nations. So I will get right to the point.
The UN is not having a conference on the threat that global antisemitism poses to international peace and security. This is lunch-time. The courageous organizer, assisted by the principled representatives of the small state of Palau, is independent of the UN. The facilities are not free.
But why couldn't the UN, founded on the ashes of the Jewish people, and presently witnessing a widespread resurgence in antisemitism, sponsor a conference on combating global antisemitism?
The answer is clear. Because the United Nations itself is the leading global purveyor of antisemitism.
Photo-ops of the UN Secretary-General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at the gates of Auschwitz are not an alibi.
One does not honor the memory of Jews murdered by intolerance six decades ago by inciting murderous intolerance towards the remnant of the Jewish people in the here and now.




World Jewish Congress holds historic conference in Berlin for first time since WWII
For the first time since the Second World War, the World Jewish Congress convened its annual governing board in Berlin, the day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly declared in front of 5,000 spectators that Jewish life belongs in Germany.
Despite the general feelings of support and solidarity that were on display on Sunday, the Monday morning sessions, touching on the Jewish communities in Europe, the rise of anti-Semitism around the world, and the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, were less than cheery.
Shooting out rapid-fire statistics, chairman WJC vice president Vivian Wineman touched on the massive rise of anti-Semitic incidents around the world. Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge in July, Wineman said, the world has seen a 383% increase in anti-Semitic activity. But, he emphasized, Protective Edge wasn’t the only event to blame. In the UK alone, such incidents were occurring at five times previous levels in the past six months, before the Gaza operation started. The same was true in France.
Study: 40% of European Jews hide their religion
About forty percent of European Jews hide their identity, the Rabbinical Center of Europe and the European Jewish Association claimed on Monday.
The organizations, both of which are run by Menachem Margolin, a Chabad rabbi from Brussels, stated that they had gathered their data from over 800 rabbis and RCE members across the continent but did not provide any detailed explanation of how they arrived at the 40% figure or of the study’s methodology.
According to Margolin, half-amillion Jews will attend prayer services on Rosh Hashana this year at 1,353 synagogues in Europe.
Responses to Terrorism: Europe v. India
In Europe, displays of ferocity were clearly not a "spontaneous reaction" to the developing situation in Gaza. They were an opportune moment for many to act on their anti-Semitism by dressing it up as a supposedly "genuine concern" for human suffering.
In India, youth groups rallied to show their support for Israel, a fellow democracy under terrorist siege -- a pain known only too well by Indians, who have lost more than 30,000 of their countrymen to terrorism since 1994.
A majority if Indians, whose culture is not tainted by anti-Semitism, can see that Israel not only has the right to defend itself, but an obligation to protect its citizens from terrorism.
The media elites of Europe seem unable to see the threat posed to the West by radical Islamist ideology, which drives countless terrorist outfits, including IS, Hamas and al-Qaida. They also seem unable to distinguish their friends from their foes.
Hirsi Ali Criticizes Radical Islam at Yale
Women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Monday urged Muslims to reject the violence and intolerance of radical Islam in a talk for more than 300 attendees at Yale University, the Yale Daily News reports.
Hirsi Ali’s speech was not without controversy. The Muslim Students Association (MSA) at Yale sent a letter to students last week questioning her lack of academic credentials and allegedly anti-Islamic beliefs. Hirsi Ali, born in Somalia, was raised in a society that practiced female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
She spoke about the process of Muslim “indoctrination” during her youth:
Yale's Muslim Students Association Lied In Its Attempt To Rally Against Hirsi Ali
Yale's Muslim Student Association is under fire for forging signatures on their petition condemning women's rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. According to the Yale Daily News, the MSA erroneously included organizations in its open letter challenging the William F. Buckley club's decision to hear Hirsi Ali speak about Islam:
"In the days that have passed since the Muslim Students Association (MSA) sent a campus-wide email expressing concern over Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s planned appearance, some campus organizations listed as signatories have withdrawn their signatures, claiming that they never gave their clear support.
Organizations including the Slifka Center, Yale Friends of Israel (YFI), and the Yale Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) said they did not grant MSA explicit permission to use their names. Some of these groups have sent emails to their respective panlists clarifying that they are not, in fact, signatories on the letter. In addition, over the weekend, the MSA sent two correction emails to student leaders of the listed signing groups with updates to the list following the withdrawal of student groups."
Controversial DHS Adviser Let Go Amid Allegations of Cover Up

Mohamed Elibiary was until last week a senior member of DHS’ Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). After years of controversy about his status at DHS, Elibiary announced his final day with the department on Twitter earlier this month and said he would remain close to the agency.
Media outlets have raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his departure, speculating that his provocative comments about the “inevitable” return of the Muslim “caliphate” may have played a role.
While these comment have sparked outrage among critics who call Elibiary an extremist unfit to serve in such a sensitive role, the most concerning issue for lawmakers has been Elibiary’s alleged role in the “inappropriate disclosure of sensitive law enforcement documents,” as the letter from DHS frames it.
The exact details of the case have long been shrouded in mystery, with various officials providing unclear and at times contradictory answers about whether DHS ever properly investigated the allegations that Elibiary inappropriately accessed classified documents from a secure site and may have attempted to pass them to reporters.
Lawmakers such as Gohmert have expressed particular concern about how exactly Elibiary was vetted for a security clearance and what he did with it after being approved by DHS, which continues to maintain that no wrongdoing took place.
Shut Down the UN, Says Likud Donor
Philanthropist Kenneth S. Abramowitz has issued a call to “save western civilization from itself” by shutting down the United Nations, among other measures.
As part of a general effort to fight the false narratives and terminology propagated by the left wing, Abramowitz says that the UN should no longer be portrayed as an important advance for world peace. In fact, he states, it has been taken over by dictatorships and should be closed.
Abramowitz says that the rational citizens of the West must cease using the enemy's terms – like “Second Intifada” for the terror war unleashed against Israel in the wake of the Oslo Accords, or “occupation” and “West Bank” for the Jewish liberation of the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
A Cruz Critic at The New York Times Discovers Christians in the Middle East
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has discovered the plight of Christians in the Middle East. In a September 14, 2014, column about Ted Cruz’s appearance at a Gala Dinner organized by In Defense of Christians, Douthat acknowledged the threat radical Islam presents to Christians in the region. He states that the American government has done little to prevent the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East and that for a number of reasons, American elites have failed to lift up the cudgel on behalf of these beleaguered Christians.
So far so good.
Douthat goes off the rails, however, when he unfairly blames the Israel-supporting Evangelical right – a group that has vocally condemned religious persecution in the Middle East – for America’s failure to respond to violence against Christians in the region.
Douthat’s ignorance became known in a tweet he issued prior to the article’s publication. In the tweet, Douthat stated that Christians in the Middle East were “insufficiently pro-Israel” to merit Ted Cruz’s support.
‘American Conservative’ Magazine Fundraises by Attacking Cruz’s Pro-Israel Comments

Cruz was shouted down during a speech to a group of Middle Eastern Christian leaders last week after he praised the close relationship between Christians and Israel. The Washington Free Beacon previously reported that top speakers and funders at the In Defense of Christians conference included supporters of Hezbollah and the Syrian regime.
The magazine sent out a fundraising email blast Monday afternoon headlined “Ted Cruz vs. the Suffering Church,” just days after one of the American Conservative’s writers inaccurately claimed Cruz was trying to raise money off of pro-Israel comments at the In Defense of Christians conference.
Similar claims were retracted by other media outlets.
The American Conservative, a paleoconservative magazine founded by Patrick Buchanan that has come under fire for its pro-Vladimir Putin perspective, has criticized Cruz for bringing up his support for Israel during the speech.
Scottish Separatist Leader Compares Israel To Isis
Salmond appeared on the program to discuss Thursday's vote for Scottish independence. But the discussion began with the brutal murder of British aid worker David Haines, the tape of which was revealed by ISIS Saturday evening. When asked to comment on the ISIS terror group’s beheading of Haines, the Scottish leader said:
The Muslim community of Scotland isn't responsible in any shape or form for atrocities or extremism, just like a few weeks ago the Jewish community of Scotland wasn't responsible for the policies of the state of Israel. Thankfully we have strong communities and therefore we haven't had difficulty in that, but it's something we must have total vigilance [over]."
Vivian Wineman, The President of the Board of Deputies of Board of Deputies of British Jews, commented on Salmond's comparison in the "Jewish Chronicle:"
"Any attempt to equate the actions of the democratically-elected Israeli government in defending its citizens from attack with the despicable cold-blooded murder of a British aid worker by terrorists would be self-evidently absurd and vile and we cannot conceive that this was the First Minister’s intention.
There has been a sharp rise in Antisemitism in Scotland following the Israeli military operation in Gaza in July."

According to Y. Y. Rubinstein, writing in the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Jews in Scotland are concerned that a pro-independence vote on Thursday will be accompanied by news waves of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment in the country:


Palestinian Bagpipers Back Scottish Independence
Scottish independence campaigners have found an unexpected source of support ahead of a landmark referendum on the fate of the United Kingdom -- Palestinian bagpipers.
In a small hall in the occupied West Bank, far from the tussle over Scotland's future, pipers and stick-twirling drummers burst into action as local scout troop members march up and down for weekly practice.
The deafening display appears more like the kind of spectacle seen on the streets of Edinburgh than in the predominantly Christian town of Beit Jala.
But the scouts insist the bagpipes' Scottish heritage translates perfectly to the Palestinian struggle for their own independence.
"The Scots used to have bagpipes on the battlefield, so for me, it's part of resistance," said Majeed Qonqar, 31, who joined the scouts aged 10 and has played the pipes since he was a teenager.
"As a bagpipe player, and knowing the history of bagpipes, I like to call it an instrument of war," he said.
And as they long for their own Palestinian state, the band members say they support those Scots seeking to break away from Britain in the historic referendum on Thursday.
Berkeley SJP Opposes Senate Bill in Support of International Academic Collaboration
Who would possibly object to a School Senate bill in support of the Free Flow of Ideas?
If you guessed UC Berkeley Students for Just us in Palestine, you'd be correct.
SJP's impressively Orwellian spin:
Block the Boat Vancouver: Another BDS Fail.
We know whats bugging the Zim Djibouti.
The cargo ship arrived in Vancouver Deltaport on September 5th, and abruptly left.
Declaring a BDS victory when only 6 people showed up to the protest seemed a bit grandiose even for the reality challenged anti-Israel cru. Yet in their warped minds what possible explanation could there be for the sudden departure of the Zim Djibouti other than a victory for their noble cause?
Faced with no concrete evidence, the anti-Israel activists did what they do best. They lied.
Slideshow: Top Five Media Fails, Gaza Conflict Edition
Reporting during wartime may be the ultimate challenge for the media. But the conflict between Israel and Hamas revealed, yet again, the severe limitations of traditional journalism.


Guardian champions their favorite Israeli causes: Disloyalty and Insubordination
Former AP correspondent Matti Friedman, in his essay at Tablet on media coverage of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, explained that reporters “working in the international press corps here understands quickly that what is important in the Israel-Palestinian story is Israel”, whose “every action and flaw is analyzed, criticized and aggressively reported”, while, alternately, “Palestinians are not taken seriously as agents of their own fate”.
The Guardian coverage of Israel and the greater region perfectly reflects this principle.
Though the Guardian has completely ignored an AP story on growing evidence that Hamas used human shields during the war, and failed to report even more dramatic reports that Hamas may have used violence against UNRWA employees, they’ve published over 10,600 words in 7 separate stories relating to one protest letter by 43 Israelis (who serve or have served in the IDF’s 8200 intelligence unit), threatening that they’d no longer serve in the unit due to their political opposition to participating in “Israel’s military occupation over the territories”.
No follow up on story which got four separate BBC News reports in one day
Back in the first week of July the BBC News website produced two written reports (here and here) and two filmed reports (here and here) all in Reynolds Abu Khdeir story one day on the topic of American teenager Tariq Abu Khdeir who was arrested on July 5th in the Shuafat neighbourhood of Jerusalem during violent rioting following the murder of his cousin Mohammed Abu Khdeir and allegedly beaten by a member of the Border Police.
In addition to appearing on the BBC News website, the two filmed items were also shown on BBC television news programmes and they – together with the second written report – remained on the website’s Middle East page for three consecutive days. In the first of those filmed reports the BBC’s James Reynolds told viewers that rioters “accuse Israel of failing to deliver justice”.
On September 10th it was announced that an indictment had been filed at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court against the Border Policeman in question.
BBC’s ‘reporter in the rubble’ theme gets its own feature
Note how this conflict has been turned into “Israel’s recent 50-day military operation” with all mention of the missile attacks on the civilian population of Israel – which not only sparked the conflict but persisted until its final minutes – erased from the picture presented to BBC audiences. Notably, another article appearing on the BBC News website the previous day similarly referred to “Israel’s bombardment of Gaza in July” – suggesting that such framing is not coincidental.
As has been the case in all of its reporting from the Gaza Strip since July 8th, the BBC continues in this item to conceal from audience view the issue of buildings deliberately booby-trapped by Hamas and other terrorist organisations or those hit by missiles misfired by terrorists or destroyed as a result of their being used to store explosives. BBC audiences are hence led towards the mistaken belief that every single structure damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip during the seven weeks of conflict was the result of Israeli actions.
Once again, the BBC fails to adequately inform audiences of the true scale of Hamas operations in Shuja’iya, opting instead for its usual “Israel says” formulation. The fact is of course that the only reason fighting – and the resulting damage – occurred in Shuja’iya was because Hamas had turned it into a neighbourhood replete with military targets, including entrances to some ten cross-border attack tunnels, ammunition and weapons stores, missile launching sites and command and control centres.
Sky News Arabia: bSkyb’s Faustian Pact with the UAE government
Jessy El Murr is the Deputy News Editor of Sky News Arabia.
She tweets at @JessyTrends – mostly about Israel and Gaza. Writing in The Daily Star Lebanon last month, she opposed the idea of journalistic objectivity in Gaza. She excitedly tweets and retweets outrageous views of Jews and Israel.
So how could someone with as views so obviously prejudiced as Jessy El-Murr become a deputy editor at a major international news brand?
Sky News Arabia is not a straightforward news channel.
You would be forgiven for thinking that Sky News Arabia is basically Sky News in Arabic. Not quite.
bSkyb has outsourced the “Sky News” brand to an outfit that pays well, but this outfit is diametrically opposed to the very principles that Sky News is founded upon.
Michael Lumish: Are Jews Allowed to Even Visit Mecca?
I am a Jew.
Can I go to Mecca?
Let's find out.
I called the Saudi Arabian Consulates General office in Los Angeles (310-479-6000) and tried to ask them if I could come to Mecca as a Jewish tourist.
And when I say tried to ask them I mean that I am not at all certain that I was entirely successful in this minor endeavor.
The first nice lady who I spoke with recommended that I speak with the Visa Office.
That office recommended that I speak with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
I asked people for their names, but they said that they were not allowed to give out that information, and I certainly cannot blame them for that.
But, I want to see Mecca.
Israeli passport still a no-go for the Mecca-bound
Though the Gulf countries may be moving closer to the West in light of a shifting power balance in the region, rumors that a thaw in Saudi-Israel relations will ease visa regulations for Israeli Muslims have proven unsubstantiated, a report by Saudi-based Arab News said.
Reports that the Saudi Arabian government would allow Arabs with Israeli passports to enter its territory as long as they were issued in a consulate abroad were denied by Riyadh.
Israeli Muslims wishing to make the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca - a religious duty for practicing Muslims and the largest gathering of Muslims in the world - will have to continue to request temporary passports in Jordan as Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel.
5,000 Arab-Israelis perform the journey every year, Israeli daily Haaretz estimated in a report.
The Jordanian government confirmed it will issue one-month temporary passports this year.
British chain apologizes for not letting Jewish kids in store
The company apologized and removed the guard, who was fired from the security company for which he worked.
The father of one of the boys prevented from entering the store, David Rosen, was quoted by the Chronicle as commending Sports Direct for its actions in the aftermath of the incident.
“The matter has been taken extremely seriously by Sports Direct at the highest managerial level. The area manager, in the first instance, acted swiftly to remove the security guard for the offensive remarks, who in turn, no longer works for the security company.
“Simon Bentley, the senior independent director at Sports Direct, contacted me, and having thoroughly investigated the matter, apologized.
“Sports Direct have confirmed to me that the actions of this guard were entirely contrary to their policies and that Jews are welcome as are all customers, whatever their religious denomination."
The Chronicle quoted a Sports Direct spokesman as saying, "The guard was deeply offensive and disrespectful to the school children. We take pride in the lack of prejudice amongst our trained staff and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind."
Anti-Semitic Crime Skyrockets in New York City
The Big Apple is feeling the heat of recent Middle East conflicts, with hate crimes against Jews and Muslims up sharply this summer.
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the city jumped 35 percent as of Sept. 9, compared to 2013. There were 63 incidents in 2013 and 85 this year. Violent anti-Semitic assaults more than doubled, from three to eight.
German newspaper targeted by neo-Nazis
This week vandals sprayed the words "Jews" and the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil" on the office windows of the Lausitzer Rundschau, a newspaper known for its coverage of far-right groups.
The week before four swastikas were daubed on other offices of the paper as well as "Jews, kill them" and "We'll get you all". There were similar incidents against the daily in 2012.
"These threats and acts of vandalism must be stopped and I am confident that the authorities will take the necessary precautions to ensure journalists' safety," the OSCE's media representative Dunja Mijatovic said.
A Letter to Supporters of the Metropolitan Opera
In summation, "The "Death of Klinghoffer" is a virulently anti-Semitic and pro-terrorist opera.
We ask that the honorable members of the Board of the Annenberg Foundation review the information provided here and much more available in the media, and reconsider your support of an institution which produces this sort of hateful propaganda, which some people, especially survivors of the horrors of WWII, find to be reminiscent of the anti-Semitic propaganda literature of Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany.
Sanctions propel Israel, Russia to expand agriculture ties
EU sanctions against Israel and US measures against Russia may be driving the two target nations together. Agricultural Minister Yair Shamir has told Russian media that Russia’s need for fresh produce is “a great opportunity” for Israel.
For Israeli growers, increasing exports to Russia is a way to make up for expected market losses as Europe shies away from Israeli agricultural products. As of September 1, the European Union has banned entry of all dairy, meat, poultry, and egg products from the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and Jerusalem, expanding an existing ban on produce from the region. Reports said that the ban could be extended even further, keeping out food products produced even within the Green Line, unless producers can prove that they did not use any ingredients from the banned regions. The EU sanctions are designed to pressure Israel into negotiating with the Palestinians and withdrawing from the named areas.
In parallel, the US is clamping down on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Shamir believes its sanctions could benefit Israel in the long run when it comes to the Russian market. “Even if the sanctions are reduced, I believe our products will continue to flow into Russia. It will be easier to deal with us, it will be cheaper and more stable with no political price tag for what you do and what you don’t,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Shamir as saying.
Belarus museum opens exhibit about native son Ariel Sharon
The National History Museum of Belarus inaugurated an exhibition about Ariel Sharon.
Titled “Profile of a Leader,” the exhibition on the late Israeli prime minister was launched Monday on the entrance floor of the state museum. The ceremony was attended by diplomats, Jewish community leaders and Israeli guests connected to Sharon’s life, including his youngest son, Gilad, and Israel Maimon, who served Sharon’s Cabinet secretary.
“Ariel Sharon brought pride to Israel, but also to Belarus, where his roots lay,” said Yuri Ambrazevitch, a senior official of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
Sharon was born in prestate Israel in 1928; his parents had immigrated there from what is now Belarus.
Portuguese state airline honors WWII diplomat
Portugal’s national airline named its newest plane in honor of a diplomat who saved some 30,000 Jews from the Holocaust.
TAP Portugal last week announced the naming of the Airbus A319 after Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who in 1940 served as consul in Bordeaux, France, where he gave visas to refugees fleeing the Nazi advance.
“The naming of one of the planes of our fleet for Aristides de Sousa Mendes is an honor for the Portuguese national airline which, in this way, seeks to pay homage to this person and his exemplary actions,” TAP Executive Director Luiz da Gama Mor said on September 9, according to the news website fugas.publico.pt. The plane “will carry his name to many European cities where we operate.”
12,000 U.S. Physicians Watch New Israeli Brain Catheterization Technique Live Online (VIDEO)
In a first, some 12,000 medical professionals in Washington, D.C., watched a new Israeli brain catheterization technique, livestreamed from Jerusalem’s Sha’are Tzedek Medical Center on Monday, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.
“This is the first-ever such catheterization which has been done in Israel, that they’ll be able to watch in the U.S.,” said Dr. Yaron Almagor, Director of Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology Laboratories at the hospital’s Jesselson Heart Center.
The patient, who was suffering from a life-threatening cranial arterial blockage, was the first to undergo the procedure, which uses a fine metal mesh sleeve that is carefully inserted within the blocked blood vessel, and then expanded to allow proper blood flow again, according to the hospital.
Maccabi TA joins oldest survivor for 111
Israel Krysztal, the world’s oldest Holocaust survivor, celebrated his 111th birthday with Maccabi Tel Aviv players Tuesday.
Born in Żarnów, Poland, Krysztal was orphaned at age 11. Later, in 1944, he and his wife were sent from the Lodz Ghetto to Auschwitz, where she was killed. Krysztal immigrated to Israel in 1950 where he remarried and rebuilt his life in Haifa.
Maccabi Tel Aviv players Barak Itzhaki and Eden Ben Basat visited Krysztal, a confectioner, at his Haifa home and celebrated his birthday with him on behalf of the soccer club.
During the visit, club owner Mitch Goldhar called from Canada to wish Krysztal a happy birthday and told him “we cannot comprehend the challenges that you have endured, but we can and are incredibly inspired by your courage and spirit.”
14 Killed, Dozens Injured In Jerusalem Coffee Wars (satire)
Stiff competition in the high-stakes hot beverage market has led to increasing violence as customers torn between nearly identical competing chains get caught up in it. This month alone, more than a dozen have been killed in the crossfire, with more than 50 others treated for injuries.
Startup enterprise Cofix took the Israeli coffee scene by storm last year after offering the beverage for five shekels, as little as a third of the price charged by established chains. Cofix also slashed the retail price on pastries, another staple of the industry, challenging the competition and reshaping the retail picture across the country. The chain has opened more than a dozen branches, with plans for many more, and has forced ubiquitous chains such as Aroma to cut their price for a fresh cuppa from 15 shekels to 8. Before long, other startups began working their way into the niche, with the nascent Cofizz vying for customers with Cofix in nearly every portion of downtown Jerusalem. The competition has turned violent at times, with employees and loyalists of each chain engaging in brawls and turning hoses of steamed milk and boiling water on one another in the fray.


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