Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From Ian:

Bereaved families continue their legal fight against 'Jenin, Jenin'
Representatives of bereaved family members and Israeli soldiers who fought in the Battle of Jenin in 2002 are outraged that police were called over the tent they set up to protest the film, which they say defames Israeli soldiers.
Last Wednesday, on Israel's Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism, the protest tent was erected outside Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein's office to protest his decision not to open judicial proceedings against Israeli Arab filmmaker Mohammad Bakri for his film "Jenin Jenin" and its portrayal of Israeli soldiers.
In many Israelis' eyes, the film constitutes libel against Israeli soldiers by portraying the battle, in which 23 Israeli soldiers and 52 Palestinians were killed, as a wide-scale massacre of Palestinian civilians, a claim refuted by the U.N., as well as Human Rights Watch and other nongovernmental organizations. Weinstein, upholding the decision made by his two predecessors, said in December 2014 he had not been presented with "extraordinary claims not known before."
Representatives for the soldiers who fought in the battle have appealed to the president, prime minister, Knesset speaker, defense minister, Israel Defense Forces chief and attorney general to overturn the decision.
Attorney Israel Caspi, who fought in the Jenin battle and is representing the bereaved families and the soldiers, told Israel Hayom, "Police came to us and questioned us under the pretense that there had been a disturbance, which is a lie."
We Must Sever All Connections to Unesco
In 1975, the great violinist Yehuda Menuhin refused to participate in a Unesco event in Paris after the agency passed an anti-Israel resolution. From Germany, even leftist writer, the famous Heinrich Böll, denounced Unesco for its stance on Israel.
That should be the behaviour of cultural personalities today, those who believe in truth and fairness, as well: they should stop working with Unesco unless it withdraws its anti-Semitic resolutions, while academicians from around the world should express their support for the Israeli archeologists working in Jerusalem.
The measures taken by Unesco against Israel, in addition to being intolerable, are grotesque. The cultural cancellation of Israel justifies its physical annihilation. It is a process of extermination already used by the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century, which led to the death of million of Jews.
Unesco is a United Nations body that has the task to defend education, science and culture. What is happening is a perversion and a reversal of its role.
I will personally refuse to cooperate with this body until it eliminates its intolerable anti-Semitic spirit. This entails not accepting their invitations and refusing to report on their good initiatives. Brave and free people should do the same.
Israel can win this battle only with the support of the Westerners who still care about the fate of their civilization.
Red Cross chief slams his own group’s WWII record
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross attacked his organization’s World War II record, saying it “lost its moral compass.”
Peter Maurer, presenting the keynote address Tuesday at a Geneva commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps, said the ICRC “failed to protect civilians and, most notably, the Jews persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime.” Maurer said his group “failed as a humanitarian organization because it lost its moral compass.”
The commemoration event, jointly sponsored by the ICRC and World Jewish Congress, was attended by 200 senior members of Geneva’s diplomatic corps. It featured a panel discussion with Deborah Lipstadt, an Emory University Jewish history and Holocaust studies professor, and James Orbinski, the former international president of Doctors Without Borders, according to a WJC news release.
During World War II, the ICRC, headquartered in Geneva, was the principal humanitarian institution maintaining communications with both the Allied and Axis powers. While the ICRC provided assistance and protection to Allied prisoners of war held by Nazi Germany, it did not do the same for Jewish deportees because the Nazis refused all humanitarian requests to help Jewish victims. At the same time, the ICRC did not publicly denounce the deportation of Jews to concentration camps.



Hollywood tackles Holocaust denial
Hollywood takes on the subject of Holocaust denial as a film about Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt’s legal battle against David Irving goes into production.
“Denial,” a courtroom drama, will star Oscar winner Hilary Swank as Lipstadt, and Oscar nominee Tom Wilkinson as a barrister. There has been no word yet as to who will play Irving in the work written by acclaimed British playwright and screenwriter David Hare, based on Lipstadt’s “History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier,” about her legal battle against Irving.
Irving had sued Lipstadt for libel for calling him a pseudohistorian and Holocaust denier in her 1993 book, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth & Memory.” Despite the fact that in Britain, where the trial took place, the burden of proof is on the defendant rather than the plaintiff, Lipstadt won the case in 2000 by demonstrating that her accusations against Irving were substantially true.
Lipstadt, the Dorot professor of modern Jewish and Holocaust studies at Emory University, told The Times of Israel that the film’s producers have kept her in the loop and consulted her on many aspects of the project.
Holocaust Denial is Real – and Frightening
Everyone – except the idiots of the world – knows the truth about Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi death camps, and the one where an estimated 1.3 million people were murdered. It is preserved as it was in January 1945 when the camp was liberated. The gas chambers at Birkenau were destroyed by the Nazis to remove evidence of their atrocities. But the reminders of the horrors are the plentiful human hair, shoes, suitcases, and eyeglasses of the victims. Above all, there are the empty canisters of Zyklon B poison, and evidence of documentation of the Nazi planning of the genocide, mostly – at least 90 percent- against Jews.
Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated at different times in different countries. On April 19, the UK held a Holocaust memorial event marking the anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp by the British Army. It is therefore doubly horrifying that a few days before that, a group of more than a hundred people in London displayed their indifference to the ultimate catastrophe of the 20th century by laughing at the ashes rising from the crematoria in the Nazi death camps and doubting, wholly or in part, the slaughter that occurred there.
The disreputable members of the group are more than what Lenin called “political idiots.” It was the largest gathering of sheer idiots, extreme haters of Jews, that London has endured for some time. Indeed, their very extreme rhetoric and absurd falsifications of history does not allow, or makes it difficult for, anyone to be a “moderate” anti-Semite. It’s all or nothing at all.
Many of this infamous group, mostly but not all British, had been or were still members of the neo-Nazi parties: the National Front and British National Party. One of the organizers carried the book, Tomorrow We Live, written by Oswald Mosley, the leader of the old Fascist Party. Another was the 71-year-old former national organizer of the NF, and another was the former editor of the NF publications. One was the former national organizer for the BNP, who had been jailed for three months for attacking a black man with a beer bottle; he was scarred for life. One was a BNP councilor in East London, and two were NF candidates for the UK Parliament.
Obama vows 'never again' on 70th anniversary of liberation of Nazi's Dachau camp
US President Barack Obama mourned on Wednesday the more than 40,000 people who were killed at Dachau as the world marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp in Germany.
"On this day, we remember when American forces liberated Dachau 70 years ago, dismantling the first concentration camp established by the Nazi regime. Dachau is a lesson in the evolution of darkness, how unchecked intolerance and hatred spiral out of control," a statement released by the US president read.
The Nazis set up the camp in Dachau outside Munich only weeks after Adolf Hitler took power. Initially designed to detain political rivals, it became the prototype for a network of death camps where six million Jews were murdered.
"From its sinister inception in 1933, Dachau held political prisoners – opponents of the Third Reich. It became the prototype for Nazi concentration camps and the training ground for Schutzstaffel (SS) camp guards," Obama said.
"As the seed of Nazi evil grew, the camp swelled with thousands of others across Europe targeted by the Nazis, including Jews, other religious sects, Sinti, Roma, LGBT persons, the disabled, and those deemed asocial," he added.
Why America needs Israel
The Obama Doctrine on foreign affairs is not only to nurture a new relationship with Iran, but also to find opportunities to weaken the longstanding bonds between America and Israel.
For years, Israeli and American interests were virtually identical: stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Muslim world, fighting Iranian hegemonic ambitions and opposing state sponsorship of terror. The president’s new vision for an Iranian-dominated Middle East certainly will come at Israel’s expense.
While Israel stays the course, the Obama administration has turned American foreign policy on its head.
The Obama Doctrine of engaging our enemies and distancing ourselves from reliable allies may defy logic, but does fit with the president’s progressive worldview of an America that has done more harm than good in the world. President Obama offers carefully chosen words of support to those who care about the US-Israel relationship, but his words are constantly betrayed by his policies and actions regarding the Jewish state.
As Sohrab Ahmari, editorial-page writer for The Wall Street Journal in London, opined in Commentary, “The worse the White House’s treatment of Jerusalem gets, the more ardent its pro-Israel rhetoric becomes...The Jewish state now faces a White House that is oblivious to regional realities, is disdainful of the Israeli body politic, and is flirting with the lexicon and tactics of delegitimization...To radically alter the US-Israel relationship, the White House also needed the backing of a domestic lobby (J Street) to counterbalance the pro-Israel establishment...The administration’s bet all along has been that it can degrade the alliance from within while maintaining an outward narrative of stalwart support for Israel.”
British PM offers defense of Israeli attacks in Gaza
Just over a week before his country’s general election, Britain’s Conservative leader Prime Minister David Cameron came out firmly in support of “standing by Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself.”
In an interview with the British Jewish newspaper The Jewish Chronicle, Cameron contrasted Hamas rocket fire with Israeli strikes against Gaza in last summer’s war between the two sides.
“Obviously we regret the loss of life wherever it takes place, but I do think there’s an important difference – as Prime Minister Netanyahu put it: Israel uses its weapons to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons,” Cameron said in the interview, which is due to be published in full on Thursday.
“What I’ve seen is the attacks that take place on Israel and the indiscriminate nature of them. As PM, putting yourself in the shoes of the Israeli people, who want peace but have to put up with these indiscriminate attacks — that reinforces to me the importance of standing by Israel and Israel’s right to defend itself,” Cameron said.
“I feel very strongly that this equivalence that sometimes people try to draw when these attacks take place is so completely wrong and unfair. Because Israel is trying defend against indiscriminate attacks, while trying to stop the attackers – and there’s such a difference between that and the nature of the indiscriminate attacks that Israel receives. I feel that very clearly. I’ve seen it very clearly as prime minister and I think it’s important to speak out about it,” he said.
It's Official: Obama 'The Worst US President for Israel'
Israelis overwhelmingly view Barack Obama as the worst US president for Israel in the last 30 years, a poll has shown. And while that result may come as no surprise, the degree to which respondents viewed Obama negatively is certainly remarkable.
The survey was conducted by veteran pollster Menacham Lazar of Panels Politics, and the results revealed by The Jewish Journal's Shmuel Rosner, who helped draft the survey.
The poll asked Israelis who they thought were the best and worst presidents for the State of Israel in the past 30 years.
A full 63% of Israelis voted for Barack Obama as the worst-ever president. Trailing at a distant second was former president and current outspoken anti-Israel activist Jimmy Carter, with 16%.
Khaled Abu Toameh: The Palestinians No One Talks About
Western journalists covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict regularly focus on the "plight" of Palestinians who are affected by Israeli security policies, while ignoring what is happening to Palestinians in neighboring Arab countries.
These journalists, for example, often turn a blind eye to the daily killings of Palestinians in Syria and the fact that Palestinians living in Lebanon and other Arab countries are subjected to Apartheid and discriminatory laws.
A Palestinian who is shot dead after stabbing an Israeli soldier in Hebron receives more coverage in the international media than a Palestinian woman who dies of starvation in Syria.
The story and photos of Mahmoud Abu Jheisha, who was fatally shot after stabbing a soldier in Hebron, attracted the attention of many Western media outlets, whose journalists and photographers arrived in the city to cover the story.
But on the same day that Abu Jheisha was brought to burial, a Palestinian woman living in Syria died due to lack of food and medicine. The woman was identified as Amneh Hussein Omari of the Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, which has been under siege by the Syrian army for the past 670 days. Her death raises the number of Palestinian refugees who have died as a result of lack of medicine and food in the camp to 176.
Al Jazeera Employee 'Fired for Complaining about Anti-Semitism'
The former employee alleges Mahmud regularly and openly displayed "offensive and discriminatory behavior" of other forms as well, often making "anti-Semitic" and "anti-American" comments, including a rant in which he allegedly said that "Whoever supports Israel should die a fiery death in hell!"
Employees were all aware of his behavior but afraid to act because he is so "well-connected" within Al Jazeera, the suit adds, noting that when Luke complained to the human resources director he was told "candidly" that similar complaints had also been made by other employees.
Luke says that when he was eventually fired, he was told by the company he was dismissed because he "did not fit into the company culture".
"When Mr. Luke… reported the biased and discriminatory conduct of a high-level newsroom executive, the response was to circle the wagons and fire the messenger," his attorney Jeffrey Kimmel told the New York Post.
"One would expect more from an organization whose mission statement is ‘to be recognized as the world’s leading and most trusted media network.’"
Muslim Terrorism and European Jew Hatred: What’s Changed in 35 Years?
In the book Semites & Anti-Semites, renowned author and historian Bernard Lewis introduces the work with a summary of a terror attack on a Paris synagogue in 1980. When a bomb exploded at the synagogue, it killed four people including two non-Jewish passers-by. The French Prime Minister at the time, Raymond Barre, expressed his sympathies for the victims but made an interesting statement:
“They aimed at the Jews, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.”
Now imagine the impact this statement would have had, if “Jews” had been replaced with something else:
“They aimed at the Muslims, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.”
“They aimed at the English, and they hit innocent Frenchmen.”
“They aimed at the Australians… the Italians… the Indians...”
Any of these groups would understand the implication instantly.
It was a response that made a bold statement. While he did feel sorry for what had happened, he did not see French Jews the same as the ethnic French, who were somehow more “innocent” in this tragedy.
What has changed? Now France has recognized the “State of Palestine,” which is not a State but is ruled by both a terror-supporting government and a terrorist organization, neither side willing to accept Israel as the Jewish State or to accept a Jewish presence there at all, ready to commit whatever violence they deem necessary on any Jewish civilians. France is experiencing just a taste of that same terror, yet has chosen to recognize Palestine, which is nothing short of an endorsement for this terror.
UN Condemns France's 'Trivialization' of Racism
A special UN panel on Tuesday condemned the "trivialization" of hate speech in France, as it launched a two-day review of racial discrimination in the country which has seen a sharp rise in violent anti-Semitism.
"We see that the principle of equality is not completely reflected...above all due to intolerance and racism," said Ion Diaconu, the president of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Deploring a "certain trivialization of hate speech" in the country, Diaconu said numerous reports had shown that the was a "massive exclusion" of the Roma minority from mainstream French society in particular.
Authors in Search of Some Character: Salman Rushdie Calls Charlie Hebdo Boycotters 'Pussies'
A bunch of “pussies” who lacked “character”. That is the free character analysis offered by author Salman Rushdie for the group of six fellow writers who decided to boycott a Freedom of Expression award due to their reservations about Charlie Hebdo.
The six withdrew from the American PEN Center gala awards dinner in New York, an annual event thrown by the literary and freedom of expression group, after it was announced the centre would give its Freedom of Expression Courage award to Charlie Hebdo. The French satirical magazine has received a raft of awards this year after its uncompromising attitude to Islam was used as justification by Islamist terrorists to execute the editorial team and a number of contributors.
Double Man Booker Prize-winning author Peter Carey was one of those who decided to withdraw from the awards. The Australian blamed the attack on French “arrogance”, remarking: “a hideous crime was committed, but was it a freedom-of-speech issue for PEN America to be self-righteous about?”
“All this is complicated by PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognise its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population”.
Writer Says Charlie Hebdo Artists Were Kind Of Like Neo-Nazis
An editorial in The Guardian decries PEN American Center’s decision to give Charlie Hebdo the Freedom of Expression Courage Award, comparing the cartoonists to Nazis.
Under the headline, “I Admire Charlie Hebdo’s Courage. But It Does Not Deserve A PEN Award,” contributor Francine Prose explains her position. “As a friend wrote me: the First Amendment guarantees the right of the neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois, but we don’t give them an award,” she said.
Six writers have withdrawn from PEN’s annual gala event in protest of the award. Their argument? “Charlie Hebdo’s satirists were racist and Islamophobic—no less so because they were killed for their cartoons. To honor them, so the criticism goes, would signal support not only for their right to free expression but also the powerful bigotry that speech served,” writes Daily Beast reporter Jason Siegel.
Prose says the events surrounding the killing of Charlie Ebdo artists contribute to stereotypes that permit foreign policy missteps.
Amnesty International: Anti-Semitic or Simply Misguided?
Nevertheless, it has long been apparent that AI is critical of Israel in a totally disproportionate fashion compared with its criticism of other countries. AI has had officials and staff members who may or may not be overtly anti-Semitic but who are strongly unsympathetic toward the State of Israel and can be considered pro-Palestinian. The former executive director of AIFinland, Frank Johansson, was prone to refer to Israel as “nikkimaa” (scum state). He confessed he could not think of any other country that could be described in this way. A former staff member, Deborah Hyams, in 2008 signed a statement that Israel was a state founded on terrorism and massacres.
Probably the staff member currently most critical of Israel is Kristyan Benedict, of Indian and Trinidadian descent and a convert to Islam who has defended the implementation of sharia law in the U.K. He is described as the campaign manager for crisis work with special focus on Syria. As such, he has not commented on the 220,000 killed and the 9 million displaced in the brutal war in Syria, but he has been critical of Israel’s “occupation of the Golan Heights,” which, he declares, violates international law.
Benedict has described Gaza as an outdoor prison – not because of Hamas terrorist control of the area, but because of Israel. On a number of occasions he has equated Israel with apartheid South Africa and compared Israel with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. He also knew, as many of us did not, that Israel is included in the list of dictatorial regimes, such as Burma, North Korea, Iran, and Sudan, that abuse basic universal rights.
It is pitiful that AI should have descended so low in its partiality in Middle Eastern affairs and in its lack of genuine concern for human rights – at least for the human rights of Jews.
Activists corrupt noble principles in defence of Lynch
The defence of Jake Lynch and the students who stormed the lecture theatre at the University of Sydney during a talk by Colonel Richard Kemp, has been speciously framed as a struggle for the right of free speech and dissent.
No mention is made of the protesters having admitted that it was they who were trying to suppress free speech by shutting down Richard Kemp’s lecture altogether. There is a rich irony in anti-Israel academics and students invoking the right of free speech in order to deny the right of free speech to anyone they disagree with, and specifically of anyone who dissents from the disingenuous, one-dimensional caricature that constitutes their portrayal of Israel.
The right to protest or hold opposing views is not in question. When protesters held anti-Israel banners outside the lecture theatre and distributed flyers to all who entered to hear Kemp speak, they were exercising these important rights, no matter how misguided their message was. Their subsequent conduct had an altogether different and darker purpose — to deny Kemp his right to speak, and to deny the students, academics and visitors in the audience their right to listen and engage with his ideas. There is no room for competing ideas or opinions in the narrow, grim worldview of the far-left.
IsraellyCool: Roger Waters Turns His Attention To Robbie Williams
Not long after failing miserably with Alan Parsons, rock’n’roll BDSHole Roger Waters has turned his attention to Robbie Williams, set to perform in Israel in a few days.
No mention of Hamas using their children as human shields.
No mention of Hamas firing at Israeli children.
Just the usual one-sided drivel we have come to expect from Waters.
I trust Robbie will see through this and entertain us.
Madness: Tel Aviv U Issues a Call for 'Nakba' Films
In an official university email, Tel Aviv University has issued a call for submissions of films on the topic of the “Nakba and the return of Palestinian refugees.” The films are to participate in a film festival organized by the radical leftist group Zochrot, about the so-called “Nakba,” or catastrophe, as nationalist Arabs call the 1948 war for the independence of Israel.
The call for entries for the festival, which was sent to students and graduates of the university's film department, reads: “Zochrot’s initiative aims to promote the recognition and responsibility of the Jewish public in Israel for the Nakba, the perception that a return [of Arabs to the Land of Israel – ed.] would be a correction of the Nakba, and the opportunity for a better life.”
Grassrotts Zionist group Im Tirtzu sent a letter to the president of Hebrew University and to its major donors saying: “We are dismayed to see the distribution of this call for film submissions on an official distribution list of students and graduates. This encourages university students to take part in a propaganda festival calling for destruction of Israel and its citizens. Therefore, we demand that the president of the university strongly and unequivocally condemn this action and ensure that it is not repeated.”
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange CEO Is a Leader of a Pro-Boycott Organization
Considering the outrage at boycotting Israel, it is shocking that the CEO of the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE), Yossi Beinart is a New Israel Fund leader. Beinart is a member of their International Council which “is an advisory group established in 2002 to supplement the work of the organization’s governing Board. The role of the IC is to sustain involvement of past Board members and to educate, motivate, and nurture future leadership for the Fund.”
The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange is Israel’s only stock exchange, with hundreds of public companies listed. The head of start-up nation’s stock exchange serving on the board of an organization that advocates a boycott of Israel raises many questions.
Boycotts are beyond the pale. Several Knesset members from Israel’s political left have expressed their opposition to the boycott against Israel. MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Camp), for example, lambasted 16 foreign ministers from the European Union who called for the labeling of products from the "settlements". He said, “This is blatant anti-Israel activity and should be condemned…”
Users on Twitter Compare Baltimore Riots With Palestinian Intifada
Memes contrasting photographs purporting to show youths in Baltimore throwing stones at police officers and similar images showing Palestinian youths doing the same toward Israeli security personnel have circulated online following the outbreak of violence in Baltimore, which began last Saturday.
Pro-Israel news blog Legal Insurrection accused pro-Palestinian activists of trying to “hijack” the riots that broke out in Baltimore following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray to promulgate their cause.
The blog revealed various tweets, including one from human rights attorney and law professor Noura Elkat that compared the riots to an Intifada, attempting to draw a connection between Baltimore police and Israeli security tactics.
One, from anti-Israel activist Max Blumenthal, claimed Baltimore police were using a sound cannon that was “tested on Palestinians.”
MEMRI: ISIS Fighters, Supporters Hijack #BaltimoreRiots Twitter Hashtag, Discuss Race Issues, Urge Attacks On Policemen
On April 28, 2015, Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and fighters took over the trending Twitter hashtags "#BaltimoreRiots" and "#BaltimorePurge," in order to champion the merits of the Islamic State, criticize democracy, and shed light on the race-related riots currently making headlines in the U.S. It should be noted that ISIS frequently takes advantage of such calamitous events, including those involving race, in the West, in order to promote their beliefs.

The following is a review of some of the tweets from these accounts.
British Islamist Anjem Choudary tweeted: "#BaltimoreRiots even where they absurdly celebrate a black skinned leader racism still rears its ugly head. Time for change, time for Islam!"
A Jordanian ISIS fighter hijacked the trending Baltimore hashtags to show off his weapons, with a photo of rifles, bullets, grenades and an ISIS flag accompanied by the hashtags "#BlackLivesMatter, #BaltimoreRiots, and #Islamic State." In Arabic he wrote: "Strife is dormant. May Allah bless whoever awakens it. #America_Burning."
Recognizing the non-existent won't help anyone
Recognizing the non-existent won't help anyone
In the light of reports that the ALP [Australian Labor Party] may consider recognizing a non-existent Arab state of "Palestine", we should, remember that statehood requires a series of criteria, as set out in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States,including
- capability of governance,
- permanence of population,
- defined territory, and
- capacity to enter into relations with other states.
In fact, the Convention specifies that “the political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states.”
For the Arabs of Palestine, these criteria must be read in the context of the commitments by the Arabs in several agreements signed with Israel over the years.
In the attempt to declare "Palestinian" statehood in 1988, over 100 states gave their recognition. But this attempt to unilaterally dictate a solution to the Israel-Arab conflict without agreement from Israel, did nothing to resolve the conflict
So any act of recognition of a non-existent Arab state, whether by the ALP or anyone else, can have no validity nor make any contribution to resolving the conflict with Israel.
Labor sells its soul for the Muslim vote
To know just what Tony Burke will say to win Muslim votes at an Australia Palestine Advocacy Network Fundraising Dinner:
"If you are serious about justice, then we need to acknowledge and acknowledge the truth, that all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land are illegal. If we’re serious about speaking the truth then we must unequivocally be able to say that East Jerusalem is occupied…
For those who are political advocates within Palestine itself, I will never know the bravery that comes with putting your life on the line and at risk, in engaging in politics in different ways."
I’d bet many of Burke’s audience heard that as an implicit endorsement of Palestinian terrorism.
Jewish members of Labor should be fighting like fury against this dangerous pandering. Where are they?
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley is just as craven, issuing this press release:
NEW TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS FOR LABOR MPs
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley announced today that any Labor MPs receiving assisted travel to Israel would be expected to spend an equivalent time in the West Bank and/or Gaza to hear the case of the Palestinians…
“This arrangement will mean MPs understand the Palestinian as well as the Israeli case,” Mr Foley said.
Will Foley now insist that every NSW MP visiting China spend equal time in Taiwan? Every MP visiting South Korea spend equal time in North Korea?
Guardian illustrates article about ‘Killer Robots’ with photo of Israel’s DEFENSE system
Do you see the problem?
The Guardian used a photo of Israel’s Iron Dome defensive missile system to illustrate an article about autonomous offensive weapons systems. Of course, the Iron Dome is a system which knocks down enemy rockets which target populated areas of the country. Plus, the Iron Dome system is managed by soldiers in a command center who decide, once they receive information on the incoming rocket’s trajectory, if a defensive missile is launched.
So, the Iron Dome system is neither offensive nor fully autonomous, and thus can’t be considered a “killer robot”.
The Guardian photo is inappropriate and extremely misleading.
Not all ‘occupied territories’ are equal for the BBC
Apparently though, no comparable instructions are available to BBC journalists writing about Cyprus – at least if an article which appeared on the BBC News website on April 26th under the title “Mustafa Akinci wins northern Cyprus presidential election” is anything to go by.
The word ‘occupied’ did not appear in that report at all: readers are merely told that Turkey ‘controls’ the northern part of Cyprus.
“Voters in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus have elected Mustafa Akinci as their new president.”
Audiences are also informed that:
“The island was divided in 1974 by a Turkish invasion staged in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup staged to secure a union with Greece. In 1983 the Turkish-held area declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”
No mention is made of the fact (noted in the BBC’s Cyprus profile) that the only country to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is Turkey and of course there is no reference in the report(or the profile) to “illegal settlements” or “international law” despite the fact that it was Turkish state policy to facilitate and encourage the immigration of Turkish nationals to the island during the latter half of the 1970s.
Can it really be that the BBC has only issued specific guidelines on the ‘correct’ terminology to be used when reporting on one of the world’s many conflicts?
BBC amends election guide’s ‘wealthy’ Jewish community
The BBC has apologized and amended a general election guide it had produced mainly for use by its journalists, following complaints that a description of a constituency’s wealthy Jews was anti-Semitic.
In describing the Blackley (pronounced “Blakely”) and Broughton constituency in North Manchester, the online guide referred to the “multicultural seat” containing “significant Muslim, Irish, West Indian, Sikh and Polish populations.”
However, the document went on to state that there was a “Jewish community concentrated in a wealthy pocket of large detached houses in the Higher Crumpsall and Broughton Park areas.”
It also noted that the constituency houses the King David School, “a predominantly Jewish institution that regularly ranks as one of the best performers in the country.”
The constituency’s Labor MP since 1997, Graham Stringer, who secured 54.3 percent of the vote in the last election in 2010, said the words the guide used had produced a flood of complaints from Jewish constituents, and that parts of the area’s Orthodox community suffered from some of the highest poverty levels in the country.
Tunisian students admire Hitler and Islamists
French media have revealed that students at at least two high schools in Tunisia, the land where the Arab Spring began, have marked their sports days with huge banners in support of Hitler and Islamic State (Da'esh). Are the students acting out of ignorance or conviction?
In Tunisia, "Islamofascism" is not merely a media formula. It can take on a quite concrete appearance. . . .;At the high school in Jendouba in the northeast of the country, a banner showing Hitler saluting the German flag was displayed. (France TV - Geopolis)
In another high school in the area of Jendouba, it was the black flag of the Islamic State that was put on display. . . . . (France TV - Geopolis)
In the girls high school of Kairowan (LJFK), the religious center of Tunisia, a banner showing a representation of the persecutions of the Islamic State was hung on a wall. One can see on it a masked warrior armed with a scimitar accompanied by two prisoners dressed in the typical orange pajama. One of them in flames might represent the Jordanian pilot burned alive by Da`ash [ISIL] last February. (Le Figaro, 15 April 2015)
Indian Minister Invites Israel to Send Delegation to Country: ‘My State Needs It’
The Chief Minister of India’s Maharashtra state, Devendra Fadnavis, on Tuesday invited Israel to send a delegation to the region, saying the state could really use Israel’s agricultural technology.
“We invite Israel & it’s delegation for technologies for drip irrigation, agri-equipments, post-harvest technology,etc as my state needs it,” he posted on Twitter, adding, “We not only want to import technologies but also want to manufacture it in Maharashtra.”
Fadnavis arrived in Israel on Sunday for a four-day visit. On Monday he addressed a symposium on India-Israel collaboration held at Tel Aviv University for a government initiative called Make in Maharashtra. The program’s main goal is to increase the ease of doing business in the southwestern state.
On Tuesday Fadnavis participated in the Agritech Israel 2015 conference, which showcases Israel’s technological advancements in agriculture. The exhibition will be held until Thursday.
Apple seeks to expand its new Israel R&D center
Just months after its opening, Apple is set to expand its R&D center in Herzliya in order to give workers more space, a company source told the Times of Israel Wednesday.
“The company leases a portion of its Herzliya R&D center, and it is going to lease more space in the same building in order to make it easier for the engineers there to work,” the source said.
The source also said that, unlike the news reports that appeared in the Israeli media Wednesday, the company was not quite ready to go on a hiring spree. Apple is still absorbing recent hires, particularly the staff of Linx, the digital photography start-up it acquired in mid-April.
“That said, we can’t rule out the possibility that the company will be hiring in the future,” the source added.
Israeli high school robotics teams excel at international competition
Three Israeli high school robotics teams excelled at the finals of the FIRST international robotics competition, held over the weekend in St. Louis.
The competition announced the guidelines for this year's robotics game at the start of January, and some 3,000 groups all over the world set to work to meet the challenge. Seven Israeli groups made it through the first round, and three of them performed well in the final round.
The Miscar group from Misgav and the Orbit group from Binyamina reached the final games of the first round of the finals, securing places in the top 18.
The youngest Israeli group, BumbleB from Kfar Yona, made it into the knockout round in the competition's Championship games, putting the eight-member team into the top eight in the world, the highest achievement for an Israeli team since in the 21 years of the FIRST competition.
Birthright Israel Projects it Will Surpass 500,000 Trip Participants This Year
The Taglit-Birthright Israel program said that it is on track to surpass 500,000 participants over time during its 15th year of existence, which begins in May. From May to September alone this year, Birthright projects that it will see 28,000 participants on its free 10-day trips to Israel for Jews ages 18-26.
“Prior to the inception of Taglit-Birthright Israel, only 1,500 young American Jewish adults visited Israel each year,” Birthright CEO Gidi Mark said in a statement. “In our first year, we brought 9,000-plus participants. Today, we have increased that number to nearly 45,000 participants annually from around the world.”
Mark said that Birthright’s upcoming milestone of 500,000 participants “is not only inspiring, but also motivation to continue pursuing our goal to bring Jewish young adults from all corners of the diaspora to Israel each year.”
In January 2014, JNS.org was the first to report a change in Birthright’s eligibility rules that opened up the free trips to teenagers who have already taken part in educational trips to Israel during high school.


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