Thursday, November 20, 2014

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Not Telling It Like It Is
An Israel Radio reporter recently did random street in interviews in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, where the responders echoed (in fluent Hebrew) Abbas’s characterization of Jews as contaminants.
“Things here will only improve,” argued one fellow, “after the Jews are gone. Yes we want peace, but peace means no Jews.”
Another bystander likewise recommended ethnic cleansing: “Go back to where you came from. Go to Russia, Germany, Poland – anywhere – just not here.”
But there were also kinder voices: “I really don’t like to say so,” remarked a solicitous sort, “but what was done to you in Germany, will be done to you here too.”
These are our peace partners. It’s spine chilling to hear such sentiments from ordinary taxi drivers and greengrocers.
They ring alarmingly authentic.
Day after day, deceptively moderate Abbas hectors that the Jews are out to infest and defile al-Aksa. This is no Johnny-come-lately motif provoked by “Jewish nationalists.” (h/t Yoel)
Michael Lumish: The Third Intifada (Blood Doesn't Lie)
I am getting more than a little tired of constantly having to "absorb" and react to Arab-Muslim violence against my fellow Jews.
These were rabbis praying in a synagogue.
From the perspective of those Arabs and Muslims engaging in these brutal acts of dehumanization and murder against the Jewish people this is a religious war... not a war over land.
They honestly believe that a Jewish presence on the Temple Mount, the holiest site to the Jewish people where David had his temple, is a desecration before Allah and therefore when I went up there a few years ago I was "storming" the very heart of where my people come from.
Many people think that the Jews have it coming for the "Occupation" but there is no occupation.
The word is virtually meaningless in the context of the living of Jews upon Jewish land.
Israel "occupies" Israel like France "occupies" France.
Israel "occupies" Israel like I "occupy" my office.
Interview with Arab pro Israel political activist Orim Shimshon (h/t Daphne Anson)




Israel’s ambassador to return to Sweden on symbolic Nov. 29th date
The Foreign Ministry announced Thursday that Israel will return its ambassador to Sweden on November 29th, the date the UN voted for partition 67 years ago, to underline the fact that the Jews accepted a two state solution, while the Arabs rejected it.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said the choice of Nov. 29th as the date for Bachman’s return sends a message that Israel -- in contrast to the Palestinians -- has always been open to compromise. “We say yes to peace, as we have always done, and the Palestinians say no, as they have always done.”
Nachshon said that recalling the ambassador was meant to send a strong message of Israel’s displeasure, but that relations with Sweden will now return to normal.
“Sweden is an important country, we have extensive relations and hope that our message has been understood clearly: that assisting unilateral steps does not really contribute to peace,” he said.
Israel, according to diplomatic sources, has not received any indication from key actors in Europe that the Swedish move will lead to a flood of similar steps by other European governments.
Plaintiffs beat last obstacle to first ever trial against Palestinian Authority
The heart of the case, brought by the NGO Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center and Kent Yalowitz of Arnold Porter on behalf of 11 victims’ families, is suing the PA for the alleged involvement of its personnel in seven terror attacks from 2001-2004, during the second intifada.
According to the plaintiffs, several of the PA operatives have already been criminally convicted in Israeli courts for involvement in the terror incidents, some with multiple convictions.
They said that every single attack had at least one PA employee involved and that the PA kept the employees on their payroll, in some cases promoting, and even lionizing and glorifying them, even after they were convicted.
On the basis of the PA’s alleged connection to the around 30 perpetrators, the plaintiffs argue that the PA has vicarious liability for the actions of its employees.
Israel Agrees to Work With UN Board of Inquiries into Gaza
Israel has agreed to cooperate with the United Nations Headquarters Board of Inquiry to investigate the damage to UNRWA facilities during Operation Protective Edge this past summer.
The UN Headquarters Board, established by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was announced by Ban last week as an “internal and independent” board that would look into the damage to UN installations.
Ban added that the board would also investigate the multiples cases in which weapons were found at UN facilities.
The board “will review and investigate a number of specific incidents in which death or injuries occurred at, and/or damage was done to United Nations premises,” the UN said in a statement.
“The Board will also review and investigate incidents in which weapons were found to be present on United Nations premises. The Secretary-General expects that the Board will enjoy the full cooperation of all parties concerned.”
Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor, submitted a letter to Ban on Tuesday agreeing to participate in the investigation, a senior Foreign Ministry official said. He added that Israel had finite conditions for its cooperation, though he declined to elaborate on what those conditions were.
'The Road to Happiness' According to Federica Mogherini
Immediately after taking office, Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign minister, said she "would be happy if by the end of my term, a Palestinian state existed". Her exact words were - "would be happy".
The solution to the acute and painful conflict in Ukraine, the destruction meted out by ISIS, anarchy in Libya, hundreds of thousands of African migrants rushing to Italy (home of Mogherini, by the way), massacres in Syria, the exodus of Christians from Middle East, the need for stabilization in a Lebanon standing on the brink of chaos - all these are secondary. Her dream is the creation of a Palestinian state. She arrived to Jerusalem and Ramallah only a couple of days after entering the office to demonstrate her stance on the issue.
Mogherini knows that it is a chronic, local, 50-year-old conflict that in reality doesn’t have any impact on the situation in the region, and definitely not in the world. She is aware of Kerry’s desperate efforts. Kerry was so confident that Palestine is a winning ticket, a pass to the cherished post-apocalyptic era. He visited the Holy Land almost every week while forgetting about everything else. Despite all his efforts he suffered a complete fiasco.
EU Foreign Affairs Chief questioned on lack of oversight on EU funds to Gaza
EU Foreign Affairs chief Federica Mogherini has to shed light on how EU aid to Gaza is spent in the coming weeks, in response to a letter from Fulvio Martusciello, chairman of the European Parliament’s pro-Israel caucus.
The Italian member of European Parliament formally requested on Wednesday answers to three questions: How do you intend to check the correct use of the EU fund for the reconstruction of Gaza? Do you think the deployment of observers is the solution to verify the proper allocation of EU aid? How can you make sure that EU taxpayers’ money is not supporting activities other than reconstruction? “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict last summer has left behind a fuse that the implementation of the EU’s foreign policy should try to put out,” Martusciello wrote. “Before spending millions of euros from the contribution of European citizens, we should have the confidence to oversee how it is spent.”
By EU law, Mogherini must answer the MEP’s questions in the next few weeks, which could spark debate in the Brussels corridors of power.
In Spain’s Palestine vote, the fine print makes all the difference
Most Spanish websites reported in their headlines that the Congress of Deputies, Spain’s lower house, unanimously passed a nonbinding motion that called on its government to “recognize Palestine as a state” following similar votes in Britain and Ireland.
But Israel’s victory is in the fine print. It sets the Spanish vote apart from the previous ones by stipulating that Spain’s recognition of a Palestinian state must be the result of talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
ADL Denounces Spanish Parliament Vote as 'Insulting'
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, wrote in the statement decrying the Spanish vote:
"On a day of mourning across Israel and in Jewish communities around the world, the Spanish parliament saw fit to urge its government to recognize a Palestinian state. This insulting decision will not contribute to peace, and will only encourage the Palestinian Authority’s intransigence on direct negotiations with Israel."
"While other European governments have not followed Sweden’s reckless act of unilateral recognition, these so-called symbolic parliamentary votes in Spain – and earlier in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and forthcoming in France – undermine confidence in a constructive role for the European Union to promote Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."
A Light in the Darkness: UCLA Student Body President Makes Courageous and Inspiring Speech in Defense of Israel
After listening to approximately 4 full hours of half truths and gross exaggerations made by SJP and their supporters, it was time to take the vote. It was at this very moment that the President of the student council, Avinoam Baral, made an incredible statement that changed the dynamic in the room and the feeling that there was a landslide, nearly unanimous vote against the only Jewish state in the world.
Avinoam Baral took the moment to express his frustration and belief that there was a double standard against only Israel in the room, and that it was hard for him to have sat through the evening as a silent observer, in spite of what he knows to be the truth and in spite of his own personal background. Avinoam seized the moment to express himself, and those of us who know that divestment hearings like this are by nature anti-Semitic due to the clear double standard being applied to Israel alone, deeply appreciated his heartfelt speech.
Here is Avinoam's amazing speech:
UCLA Student Body President Stands Up to All the Haters


Major UCLA Donor Pledges to Pull Funds If Administration Backs BDS
BDS, the bigoted campaign led by Students for Justice in Palestine and aimed at crippling Israel’s economy, has claimed victory at yet another one of our nation’s universities. This time, UCLA’s student government endorsed the anti-Semitic measure by an overwhelming 8-2 margin.
A wave of students and alumni are outraged with this outcome. Donors are now threatening to withhold funds to the university should it allow BDS to run its course. Mitchell W. Egers, a criminal defense attorney, local philanthropist, and proud member of a major UCLA fraternity alumni group, has firmly stated in an email to TruthRevolt that he will end the flow of any more donations to the University without its public condemnation of such an outrageous resolution.
Undercover Footage Shows Berkeley Students Voicing Support for ISIS While Attacking Israel (VIDEO)
The 3-minute video begins with Horowitz standing on steps at the university waving an ISIS flag while shouting, “ISIS is misunderstood, we just want our own state” and “We do not want to hurt anyone.” He also yelled that “America and Western imperialism are to blame, not ISIS” for the deaths in Syria and Iraq.
Among the many students that passed by, most only stared at Horowitz. Very few spoke up and when they did, they did not criticize his support for ISIS. One student told the filmmaker “Good luck” while another warned him about getting cited for smoking on campus.
However, when Horowitz began waving an Israeli flag on campus he got a different reaction from students. He was laughed at, given the middle finger and one man told him multiple times “F*** Israel.” Other students passing by said “All of Israel are killers,” “Tyranny isn’t cute,” and “That flag you wave is the psychological genocide of this planet.”
“Israel is a thief in the night and a thief in the day,” one passerby called out to him. Horowitz responded, “Hamas is a great place, right?”, the man replied, “It’s the greatest.”


Block the Boat has morphed into Operation Annoy Zim's Customers
Its not over yet. There is a new onslaught of unbridled self-righteous hypocrisy from Block the boat
Just a quick reminder of just how warped the Block the Boat moral compass is:
Block the boat proudly waved a flag in support of the terror group Hamas at their Oakland protest
Block the Boat held banners that glorified gun violence
Block the Boat promoted endless violence throughout the world.
Block the boat used anti-Semitic images
Australia: South African BDS campaigners target David Jones
David Jones is to become the first major retail chain targeted by the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, with protesters angry at the company’s new South African parent seeking to export the campaign to Australia.
Two campaigners from BDS South Africa will fly to Australia this month to launch the boycott against David Jones, which was acquired this year by Cape Town-based Woolworths Holdings in a $2.1 billion takeover.
Woolworths in South Africa — a food, clothing and home merchandise chain that has no ­connection to Woolworths in Australia — has been the subject of a BDS campaign because it ­imports some products from ­Israel. The pro-Palestinian BDS campaign in South Africa is ­larger and far more aggressive than the BDS movement in Australia.
“BDS South ­Africa has been in conversation with our Australian partners … and we are about to roll out the BDS #BoycottWoolworths campaign in Australia, but of course targeting David Jones,” BDS South Africa national co-­ordinator Muhammed Desai told The Australian.
CiF Watch prompts correction to false claim that Western Wall is Judaism’s holiest site
An Oct. 23, 2013 story in The Telegraph by Dina Rickman titled ‘Meet the Women of the Wall: Israel’s answer to Pussy Riot‘ included the claim that the Western Wall in Jerusalem is the holiest site in Judaism.
Later that day, we contacted Telegraph editors and alerted them to the mistake.
We demonstrated that the Temple Mount (where the First and Second Temples stood) is in fact the holiest site in Judaism, while the Western Wall (The Kotel) is merely the holiest site where Jews are currently permitted to pray. We forwarded them information relating to other news sites which corrected their original false claims about the Western Wall (many of which were prompted by communications with CAMERA), as well as a 2008 BBC correction to their false claim.
Telegraph editors responded positively to our complaint, informing us that they had corrected the piece accordingly, noting that the Western Wall is merely “the holiest site in the Jewish world where Jews are permitted to pray”.
BBC coverage of Har Nof terror attack: the backgrounder
Beyond the glaring fact that the word terrorism does not (once again) get a mention in a video purporting to explain a terrorist attack, audiences are not told that Hamas carried out the kidnappings and murders of the three Israeli teenagers or who killed the Palestinian teenager. Neither are they told (yet again) that it was actually the hundreds of missiles fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli civilians by Hamas and other terrorist groups which sparked the conflict in Gaza (and of course in Israel too, although the BBC manages to make that fact disappear) and the discovery of dozens of cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hamas which exacerbated the hostilities.
The claim of “a dispute over a holy site in Jerusalem” is of course misleading and inaccurate. Israeli officials of the highest level have repeatedly and unequivocally stated that there will be no change in the status quo at Temple Mount, so no “dispute” actually exists. What does exist, however, is a deliberately manufactured campaign of incitement by Palestinian leaders from assorted factions which has been going on since long before October, and of which the myth of ‘threats’ to Muslim holy sites is just one aspect. The BBC of course erased PA incitement and glorification of terrorism during the period following the kidnappings and murders of the three Israeli teenagers from audience view, just as it ignored incitement from the same source during the summer conflict and continues to do even after four weeks of terror attacks in Israel.
4 Sunni Muslim Groups Responsible for 66% of All 17,958 Terror Killings in 2013
The number of people killed by terrorists worldwide in 2013 rose by 60 percent compared to the previous year – from 11,133 to 17,958 – with four Sunni Muslim extremist groups responsible for two-thirds of all fatalities, according to a comprehensive annual study.
Eighty-two percent of fatalities occurred in just five countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, although the number of countries that experienced more than 50 terror-related deaths also rose – to 24, compared with 15 the previous year.
Among the many findings in the new Global Terrorism Index, a project of the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace, is one that calls into question claims that poverty is a key driver of terrorism.
“One of the most important findings in this report is that there is not a strong statistical link between poverty and terrorism,” it says. “Many people who join terrorist groups in wealthy countries are well educated and come from middle class families.”
Nuclear watchdog says Iran still evasive on nuke issues
The head of International Atomic Energy Agency said on Thursday that Iran has failed to provide explanations in response to allegations about aspects of its nuclear research that could be used for making atomic bombs.
“I call upon Iran to increase its cooperation with the agency and to provide timely access to all relevant information, documentation, sites, material and personnel,” IAEA director general Yukiya Amano told a meeting of the organizations’s 35-nation board of governors, Reuters reported.
Meanwhile, Tehran’s nuclear chief said Iran sees “no more room” for negotiations on the design of its Arak reactor, refusing to give ground on a key issue in international negotiations.
Western nations fear the unfinished reactor could provide Iran with weapons-grade plutonium, but Tehran insists it is solely for research purposes.
Ayatollah Claims IS Created to Spread ‘Islamophobia’
During a speech on Monday at Tehran’s Imam Ali Military Academy, Iran’s Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei charged that the enemies of Islam created the Islamic State to spread “Islamophobia.”
The West sets up armed extremist groups such as the Islamic State and trains them to commit mass murder to discredit Islam, Khamanei said.
The “arrogant powers of the world” feel threatened by the message of what he called “authentic Islam” and want to frighten people about the religion’s message.
“By creating armed groups in the name of Islam and [the] Islamic State, and massacr[ing] innocent people, the enemies of Islam plan to create Islamophobia, but the message of authentic Islam for humanity is peace, dignity, security, and safe life, and that is why the enemies do not want the world to hear this message,” Khamenei said.
PA Official Mocks Khamenei's Offer to Arm West Bank Palestinians: We Are Waiting on Tenterhooks


Jews worldwide beef up security following Jerusalem synagogue attack
Speaking from New York, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the human rights NGO Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, told The Jerusalem Post the center is in touch with key Los Angeles police department officials. He noted the US “has the second largest Jewish community in the world and the intelligence folks have to be ahead of the curve.” He said there is a “deep sense of unease” because of the Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem.
“If I was in Jew in Britain, I would feel safer if the British political establishment and media spoke out against the cheerleaders of Islamic extremism,” Cooper said, adding there is “no pushback.”
In “North America we have a different kind of mentality,” he said.
London police charge two for anti-Semitic crimes
London Police charged two men Wednesday in connection to a series of suspected anti-Semitic attacks in the capital’s Stamford Hill neighborhood.
Tires of over 50 cars were slashed early Monday morning in one of the UK’s largest Jewish communities, the Jewish Chronicle reported.
Huseiyn Seyel, 27, and Steven Truran, 25, were charged with racially aggravated criminal damage and were scheduled to appear before the Thames Magistrate Court Wednesday.
Students paint over SS and Nazi symbols in Buenos Aires park
Argentine students from four non-Jewish schools, the local Jewish community, the national political Jewish umbrella and the municipal government joined forces to paint over anti-Semitic graffiti.
The students painted tolerance messages and art to cover neo-Nazi inscriptions at the Parque Urquiza public park in the city of Parana, in the Argentine province of Entre Rios.
Entre Rios is the province of the famed Jewish gauchos, or cowboys, and farmers, and the home of the agricultural settlements sponsored by Baron de Hirsch in the late 1880’s.
The public park was vandalized with SS and Nazi symbols and also the inscription in German “Achtun juden,” or Warning Jews.
Venezuelan MP Adel Al-Sughayar: Bush Family Financed Hitler; the Nazis Did Not Kill Zionist Jews


New App Puts Dead Scrolls on iPhone and iPad
The Dead Sea Scrolls are now available on iPhone and iPad, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Thursday with the launch of its first App featuring archaeology games and puzzles for kids.
Genesis 1:1 (the account of creation), the Ten Commandments, Psalms, and 11 other 2,000 year old manuscripts are featured in the ”Dig Quest” App that introduces kids ages 7-11 to archaeology with a suite of unique games, featuring beautiful artifacts from the National Treasures of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The App transforms a kid’s iPhone or iPad into an archaeological tool and lets them play games to hone their skills, discover secret meanings, solve puzzles, and piece the past together like true archaeologists. Along the way, they unlock ancient artifacts and create their own personal collection.
Ethiopians celebrate Sigd holiday in tense Jerusalem
It was a distinctly celebratory occasion, current events notwithstanding. Despite a heavy police presence and the drone of helicopters overhead, several thousand people gathered Thursday for Sigd, the Ethiopian holiday marking their receiving of the Torah and immigration to Israel.
The main celebration was held Thursday along the stone paths and green lawns of Jerusalem’s Haas Promenade, part of a contiguous public park connecting the neighborhoods of Abu Tor and Jabel Mukaber and overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City and the Dead Sea.
There are those who believe that Abraham was shown Mount Moriah from this spot, which is one of the reasons the Ethiopian Jewish community gathers there each year.
Time picks Outbrain for content discovery
Israeli content-discovery platform Outbrain has entered into a multi-year partnership with Time, expected to generate more than $100 million in revenue sharing for the global publishing powerhouse over the course of the agreement, whose length was not disclosed.
According to the deal, made public on November 18, Time will deploy the full suite of Outbrain’s solutions to power content recommendations across its global digital portfolio, including the online versions of top-selling magazines Time, People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle, Real Simple, Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine.
“Additionally, we are providing Time Inc. with robust tools for their editorial team, empowering editors to better program and optimize content to meet their KPIs [key performance indicators],” reported Tom Foran, the New York-based chief revenue officer at Outbrain.
‘Nonstop Gay Festival’ to be held in Tel Aviv this winter
In keeping with Tel Aviv’s reputation as the best gay travel destination in the world – with its neighborhood of Gan Hahashmal ranking second on Thrillist’s “Top ten sexiest neighborhoods on Earth” — a major LGBT festival is on the horizon for the “city that never stops.”
The events surrounding Israel’s 16th annual Gay Pride Week in June were so successful, and attended by a whopping 25,000 gay tourists from abroad, that the Tourism Ministry and the Tel Aviv municipality decided not to lose the momentum. They will provide the international LGBT community with the best that Tel Aviv has to offer in the winter, too.
The Nonstop Gay Festival, taking place December 24 through January 7, will include an array of activities, most of which will be in English and free of charge. To make the happening even more attractive, the city’s hotels will offer special packages at reduced rates.
And because of the mild weather, certainly in comparison to that of the United States and Europe during the Christmas and New Year’s season, even the shores of the Mediterranean will be a draw. The Hilton Beach in particular, a popular LGBT spot throughout the year, will be a venue for parties, as will Rothschild Boulevard, well-known both for its nightlife and daytime bustle.
James Blunt adds TA tour date
The British singer-songwriter James Blunt will perform in Tel Aviv for the first time on February 7, 2015, according to his website.
Blunt, who rose to fame with the chart-topping 2005 single “You’re Beautiful,” will perform in Tel Aviv’s Nokia Arena as part of his world tour promoting the release of his fourth studio album, “Moon Landing.”
Modi revives India-Israel ties as terrorism threat grows
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is openly boosting ties with Israel, strengthening a relationship that has largely grown outside of the public spotlight over the past two decades.
India last month decided to buy Israeli anti-tank guided missiles and launchers, shunning a rival U.S. offer, and is reviving joint development of a long-range missile. The moves came soon after Modi held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the first meeting between Indian and Israeli leaders in a decade.
Modi’s public overtures to Israel since his Hindu-dominated Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide election in May are bolstering a defense relationship as both countries face threats from Islamic terrorists. The previous Congress-led government kept ties with Israel quiet, partly over concerns it’d antagonize Muslim voters the party relied on for support.
“The relationship is coming out of the closet,” said Sadanand Dhume, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “This is unquestionably the most pro-Israel government in India’s history. It’s one of the many signals of a more assertive India and one that takes terrorism very seriously.”
Israeli start-up is Samsung’s secret weapon against Apple Watch
sraeli’s LifeBEAM, a maker of bio-sensing technology to monitor pulse, calories, and other vital signs in athletes, is now a central player in the tech world’s next big product war.
LifeBEAM tech will power devices built using the new Samsung Simband platform, the Korean tech giant announced. Those devices are set to be Samsung’s answer to the Apple Watch – reflecting another facet of the ongoing struggle between the two companies for dominance in the device world.
New film exhibit gives moving glimpse of pre-WWII Jewish Poland
The video art installation is based on films taken by Jewish immigrants who traveled from New York back to Poland during the 1920s and 1930s. With few exceptions, this is the only motion picture documentary record of Jewish life in prewar Poland. “Letters” invites viewers to visit a culture and a people – who unbeknownst to them – were on the brink of destruction. The Nazis murdered about 3 million Polish Jews between 1939 and 1945.
At the time these movies were taken, there were about 3.3 million living in Poland. That knowledge imparts an air of portentousness and poignancy to the show. And yet, the exhibit never mentions the Holocaust. It doesn’t need to.
“The power of this exhibition lays in the non-spoken,” Peter Forgács, 64, said. “I am not forced to talk about the Shoah because that association is borne in you. It is what you see and what you don’t see.”
Tel Aviv wins World's Smartest City award
The Tel Aviv Municipality beat 250 cities from across the globe to receive the World Smart Cities Award, a competition launched as part of the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona this week.
The Smart City Expo in Barcelona is considered an important conference in the city innovation industry. The annual conference began three years ago and last year Rio de Janeiro received the honor of first place in city innovation.
Tel Aviv set up a booth showcasing the various technology a part of Tel Aviv's "Digital" project among leading companies in the industry that were present at the expo.
Tel Aviv was nominated for the adoption of assistive technology such as Wi-Fi throughout the city, location-based technology tools, adaptation for smart phones, and the activation of public round tables, discussions and a collaborative budget. (h/t Yoel)


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