Wednesday, July 01, 2015

From Ian:

Palestinian Authority Head Admits "Palestinian People" Don't Exist
The Palestinians are one of the more ridiculous historical hoaxes. If you believe the media, they're an ancient distinct people with a historical claim on the land of Israel.
In reality they're a collection of invaders, colonists and migrants. A sizable group among them, the Afro-Palestinians, are African Muslims who arrived there in the 20th century to fight against Israel.
Many other Arab Muslims came to work in industries created by the British Mandate. The entire thing became more convoluted when Jordan was split off under one of the Hashemite kings creating a country full of the same Arab Muslims, but who are deemed not to be Palestinians, even though Jordan is in fact full of "Palestinians". It got sillier when Jordan seized parts of Israel and annexed them, at which point the "Palestinians" there ceased to be "Palestinians" who needed national rights, but became "Palestinians" again once Israel liberated the area.
But this has to be denied because otherwise the mandate for a "Palestinian State" collapses. Sometimes though the truth slips out.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has described Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs as "one people living in two states," during a meeting with the head of the Jordan Football Association on Tuesday. Bethlehem-based Maan News cited the Jordanian al-Ghad newspaper as saying that Abbas arrived in Jordan from Doha along with several other senior PA officials, including its intelligence chief Majid Faraj. The Arabic-language Al-Quds news outlet directly quoted Abbas, who it said "stressed that the relationship between Jordan and Palestine is the relationship of 'one people living in two states,' adding that this relationship will not be affected by anything."
The Pope, the Queen, and why we didn't bomb Auschwitz
It was an important, meaningful gesture that a ceremonial visit on June 26, 2015 was made to Belsen by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. She laid a wreath on the monument there and stopped at the stone honoring Anne Frank.
The Queen did not speak at the place, resembling the behavior of General Eisenhower, unable to describe the horrors he was witnessing when he visited the liberated Ohrdurf camp on April 12, 1945.
The queen’s visit is symbolically important not only in itself, but also implicitly to refute and rebuke the atrocious fabrications of Holocaust deniers, such as Mark Weber, director of the Institute for Historical Review, who have argued that the image of Belsen is essentially a product of hateful wartime propaganda.
The remarks made and the question posed by Pope Francis, and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Belsen, remind the world today of the hatred and intolerance of extremist forces in the past.
Today, there are echoes of the past Nazi brutalities in the actions and rhetoric of Islamist terrorists. The pattern in past and present is similar: mass graves, indiscriminate murders, villages and towns burned, historic sites destroyed, barbarism at the gates of civilization, the misuse of children to commit war crimes, the extent of human evil and depravity.
In his speech on June 4, 2009 at the camp of Buchenwald, where 56,000 had been murdered, President Barack Obama was conscious of the Nazi crimes and of the need to be vigilant about the spread of evil in our own time.
At a moment when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is expanding its control of territory and when European and American youngsters are joining IS and becoming jihadists, the Western world must recall the results of evil.
The lesson must be learned. The Western democracies must act decisively to counter Islamist terrorism and overcome those who exhibit and are eager to implement their capacity for evil and anti-Semitism.
Obama’s Unicorn Deal With Iran
What’s curious is that the deal that the Obama Administration now celebrates is based on the same principles that the White House now derides as fairy tales. Like parents putting their children to bed, the White House once sang lullabies to congress and U.S. allies to quiet their concerns about the administration’s diplomatic approach to the Iranian nuclear program. Comparing the administration’s past public statements about the deal with its current positions is a lesson in the political uses of fairy tales:
There was a time when the administration was intent on dismantling the Iranian nuclear program. As John Kerry said in December 2013, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran “because we knew that it would hopefully help Iran dismantle its nuclear program. That was the whole point of the regime.”
Today, the administration is not talking about dismantling anything. The whole point of the deal, as the White House sees it, is simply to extend Iran’s break-out time to a year, which won’t really be a year, according to the administration, but is still somehow a useful round number.
It used to be that the White House wasn’t going to let Iran enrich any uranium at all. As former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in April 2012, “Our position is clear: Iran must live up to its international obligations, including full suspension of uranium enrichment as required by multiple UN Security Council resolutions.”
However the Joint Plan of Action in November 2013 acknowledged Iran’s right to enrich uranium.

100 extremists a year lecture at universities: Fanatics given a platform to spread hatred of the West despite ministers demanding crackdown on radicalism
Universities are providing a platform for more than 100 Islamist extremists every year, a disturbing report will reveal next week.
The fanatics are being allowed to make speeches at leading academic institutions despite ministers calling for a crackdown on radicalism.
The study says that more than 20 students who attended UK universities have been convicted of terrorism, or have lost their lives waging jihad in Syria.
They include young men guilty of planning a 'dirty bomb' attack and a plot to blow up a crowded London night club.
The report was compiled by the Student Rights group, which is a project run by the Henry Jackson Society – a respected Westminster think-tank.
10 Ways In 30 Days: How Iran Outmaneuvered the West as the Nuclear Deadline Approached
As the P5+1 nations and Iran have negotiated to reach a deal by the June 30 deadline (recently pushed to July 7), a number of news stories were published that showed Iran to be outmaneuvering the West in the negotiations. Iran has sought advantages in the negotiations by violating past agreements, and benefited from the West failing to take advantage of opportunities to push its interests.
1) The State Department blasts The New York Times for reporting that Iran had stockpiled enriched uranium in excess of the limits allowed by the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA).
New York Times reporters David Sanger and William Broad reported on June 2 that Iran had stockpiled Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) in excess of the cap it had agreed to meet by the June 30 deadline. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf disputed the Times‘ report, and even took to Twitter to call it “not true.” But Sanger and Broad were reporting based on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) own interim report. Iran was supposed to be converting the LEU into oxide, but hadn’t done so in months, and likely didn’t have the time to reduce its stockpile before the deadline.
Expert: West Must Establish Deterrence to Prevent Nuclear Iran
The United States and its partners must re-establish strategic deterrence in order to ensure that the emerging nuclear deal with Iran preserves regional security, argued an analysis written Monday by Gen. (ret) Michael Herzog, an international fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
After noting that elements of the deal leave Iran with the ability to enrich uranium and, thus, be a nuclear threshold state, Herzog outlined the steps the P5+1 nations must take to ensure that Iran never crosses that threshold.
The six world powers negotiating with Iran should insist on certain critical elements: anytime, anywhere inspection and verification; irreversible conversion of excess enriched material in Iran; significant restrictions on research and development relating to centrifuges; a clear and binding pathway to resolving concerns expressed by international inspectors about the possible military dimensions of Iran’s programme. Sanctions relief should be phased over years and be conditional on Tehran meeting these requirements.
But that is not enough. The key to stopping Iran from crossing the threshold at short notice is deterrence. Most of all, the U.S. needs to make clear there will be punishing consequences for violations. In addition, the international community should formally affirm its determination to prevent Iran from acquiring enough fissile material for a weapon, even after the restrictions lapse. The U.S. should also adopt a tough stance against Iran’s hegemonic regional ambitions to reassure traditional allies who have lost faith in American political will to guarantee their security. …
Nuclear Deal Would Leave Iran With 5,000 Centrifuges
Iran will be permitted to operate more than 5,000 nuclear centrifuges under any final deal secured in the coming days, according to Western sources who fear that the Islamic Republic could use such technology to continue building a nuclear weapon.
Sources commenting on the resumed talks indicated on Tuesday that Iran and Western powers have reached a deal that would enable Iran to continue operating more than 5,000 nuclear centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium to a level needed for a weapon.
As negotiators struggle to work around a new set of Iranian red lines announced last week in a speech by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, U.S. officials announced Tuesday that the talks would be extended through at least July 7.
Iranian leaders have demanded in recent days that the United States agree to allow the country to maintain its core nuclear structure, including centrifuges and other nuclear research efforts.
Such a large number of centrifuges could enable Tehran to enrich enough uranium for several bombs, experts say. Countries such as Pakistan and North Korea have successfully achieved nuclear weapons status with far fewer centrifuges.
Lebanese Politician: Iran Nuke Deal Will Solidify Hezbollah’s Hold On Lebanon
The $150 billion “signing bonus” in unfrozen funds that Iran would receive in a nuclear deal will strengthen the hold that its proxy terrorist group Hezbollah has over Lebanon, Lebanese politician Ahmad el-Assaad wrote Monday in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal.
El-Assaad noted that Iran is stretched thin due to its support of the Assad regime in Syria and allied groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon. But the windfall from the emerging deal would boost the fortunes of Hezbollah, which has little to offer Lebanon other than money to recruit poor youth as fighters.
Now the Obama administration is negotiating a flawed nuclear deal with the Iranian regime that will see Tehran get a windfall of up to $150 billion. With so much cash on hand, Tehran would surely create new Hezbollah franchises elsewhere in the Middle East and order all these radical proxy groups to wage even more wars in the region.
At the very least, Tehran would be eager to give a good boost to its pride and joy—Hezbollah—and help it buy its way out of the problems it is facing in Lebanon now.
Pro-Israel Group: Tell Chuck Schumer Not to Cave [video]
The Emergency Committee for Israel, a D.C. based pro-Israel organization, is urging New Yorkers to contact Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and tell him to put his money where his mouth is, or at least where it was.
A video the ECI released shows Schumer several times explaining to constituents that any deal with Iran must include “anywhere, anytime” inspections of Iranian nuclear sites. ECI suggests those who expect Schumer to ensure that no deal be passed which does not include such inspections should call the senator’s office. That number is 202.224.6542.
Will Schumer vote for a deal that doesn’t include this provision? Word has it the Obama administration already caved to the Islamic Republic of Iran on this issue.
Footage shows Israeli troops intercepting Gaza-bound ship
A commando then addresses ex-Tunisian president, Moncef Marzouki, another activist aboard. “I am surprised that you are on your way to support a regime that has the same ideology as those who committed this [attack] on your coast,” he says, referencing the brutal massacre in Sousse last Friday.
“Why this bullshit? We are not supporting any regime,” an activist replies.
The video then skips to show the commandos already on board the ship, tasering a pro-Palestinian activist.
Israeli soldiers are later shown talking to Ghattas, urging him to cooperate and leave the boat peacefully.
“You are our member of Knesset, I respect you as an MK,” a commando says in Hebrew.
“You are attacking a ship on international waters,” Ghattas replies.
The Israeli military reported Monday that the interception occurred without incident and there were no injuries.
The ship docked in Ashdod on Monday night and on Tuesday, former Marzouki, Spanish-European parliament member Ana Miranda and Israeli-born activist Dror Feiler, who lives abroad, were expelled from Israel.
CNN’s Blockade Against Accuracy
A CNN video report about the recent attempt to circumvent the Gaza naval blockade contains a shocking inaccuracy. Towards the end of the segment, correspondent Paula Hancocks says:
A UN Fact Finding Mission concluded in 2011 that the blockade was unlawful, while Israel defends its rights to protect its borders.
This is false. The Palmer Report, commissioned by the UN in 2011, found that the Israeli blockade was in compliance with international law. According to the report:
The fundamental principle of the freedom of navigation on the high seas is subject to only certain limited exceptions under international law. Israel faces a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.
The legality of the blockade is a key point for viewers to understand the current situation and this error must be fixed immediately. International Law Professor Eugene Kontorovich, writing in the Washington Post (and Commentary) points out that it’s not just the 2011 Palmer Commission that showed the legality of the blockade. The relative lack of criticism against the blockade today points to an admission that, yes, Israel is within its right to stop and search ships headed for Hamas-controlled Gaza.
American Billionaires Ignore BDS, Invest in Israel
From Bill Gates and Donald Trump to Warren Buffet and Mark Cuban, the richest of Americans are ignoring the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement and are funneling their millions into tech startups based in Israel in ever-increasing numbers.
The startup investment crowdfunding site OurCrowd is using the profiles of these billionaires to promote its eBook, How to Invest in Israel. Among the quotes collected for the book:
Bill Gates — "While startups in Israel are similar to those in Silicon Valley, there are specialists in Israel in fields like information security who get much of their experience from their service in the army. The science and technology curriculum in Israeli universities is also of a very high standard. The level of technological integration in the country is evident. The use of fast speed internet, laptops and cell phones is advanced here and puts Israel at cutting edge of world technology.”
Warren Buffet — “[Israel is] a nation of entrepreneurs with fantastic capabilities. You [Israel] need to continue providing the best and most comfortable conditions for investors. This is the responsibility of the government, which ensures a positive climate for investors.”
Carlos Slim Helu — “We like to have our finger on the pulse of everything regarding new technologies and I know that in this Israel is a world leader, so we are interested in Israeli developments.”
Foreign Ministry: United Church of Christ's decision to divest from Israel 'immoral'
The Foreign Ministry slammed the tiny, United States-based United Church of Christ (UCC) on Wednesday for passing a resolution calling for the boycott of settlement products and the divestment from companies that “profit from the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.”
“The UCC resolutions on the Middle East conflict have reflected the most radical politics for more than a decade, and in no way reflect a moral stance or reality-based position,” a statement put out by the ministry read. “People of faith ought to be acting to help Israel and the Palestinians to renew efforts to achieve peace, rather than endlessly demonizing one part in the conflict – in our view, the aggrieved party.”
One of the more well-known churches affiliated with this movement is Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which for many years was headed by controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright, and which US President Barack Obama attended for years, before quitting during the presidential campaign in 2008 as a result of a series of incendiary statements made by Wright.
The divestment decision was taken at the liberal denomination’s biennial General Synod. Two other Protestant churches -- the Episcopal Church, with under 2 million members, and the Mennonite Church USA, with under 100,000 adherents -- were scheduled to take up similar divestment resolutions this week.
NGO Monitor Statement on NGOs and the United Church of Christ Vote for BDS
The divestment resolutions were pressed on the UCC delegates by political advocacy NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and other supporters of international anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) campaigns. The vote shows that most delegates either failed to recognize that BDS seeks to end the existence of Israel, or did understand and supported the resolution nonetheless.
BDS is anti-peace as it promotes the destruction of Israel and opposes dialogue, cooperation, and developing peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians. The church's decision has made the UCC a participant in the conflict, the opposite of peacemakers.
The vote was driven by a vocal minority of anti-Israel activists in the church, and bolstered by enablers such as Jewish Voice for Peace. The resolutions put before the delegates overwhelmingly relied on "evidence" and materials provided by a narrow group of NGOs. The consequence was a highly distorted approach in UCC deliberations on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that resulted in today's misguided vote.
The Biggest Mistakes Pro-Israel Advocates Make #11: How to Avoid Washing Away Your Message
I’m sure other kinds of “washing” accusations exist but these are the main four I see. I’m also pretty sure about 95% of you readers have already rolled your eyes at least once. That’s understandable. It annoys me too.
_____washing accusations, derived from the term “whitewashing,” are yet another brilliant tactic that anti-Israel activists use to silence us. More importantly, it’s a tactic used to get left-wing activists who ordinarily would support Israel based on their ideals and values to close their minds to pro-Israel arguments that would otherwise appeal to them.
The concept of “washing” is so ingrained into the leftist psyche by anti-Israel activists that the second they hear any pro-Israel argument that makes sense to them, their first impulse is to believe that 1) It’s propaganda and nonsense or 2) That it’s meant to distract activists from the inhumane way Israel is treating the Palestinians.
Because gay rights, green technology, tech startups, hot chicks, and saving Nepalese orphans have everything to do with the Palestinians. Duh.
Everything, even completely unrelated events such as the Ferguson shooting in the US has to be related to the Palestinians if they want to keep themselves at the forefront of global concern. And it works.
Hillary Clinton Really Liked Max Blumenthal’s First Book
Hillary Clinton praised a book written by the anti-Israel activist Max Blumenthal in emails released by the State Department on Tuesday, garnering Blumenthal his most prominent public endorsement since David Duke’s website gave another of his books its stamp of approval.
Clinton called Blumenthal’s book Republican Gomorrah—which sought to document radicalism in the GOP—“great” in a Sept. 11, 2009 email to the author’s father, Sidney Blumenthal, a long-time Clinton confidante.
“Max is #10 [on the Amazon bestseller list], now ahead of Glenn Beck; #1 political and history book,” wrote the elder Blumenthal.
Clinton replied with a congratulatory note.
“[Max] should be–I just finished the book and it’s great. Congrats to all!” she wrote.
A few days later, Clinton emailed Sidney Blumenthal again and asked, “Is Max still rising up the best seller list?”
The book Republican Gomorrah is described as a “bestiary of dysfunction, scandal and sordidmess [sic] from the dark heart of the forces that now have a leash on the [Republican] party.”
Since writing the 2009 book, Max Blumenthal has turned his attention to anti-Israel activism. His latest book, Goliath, was published in 2013 and drew parallels between Israel and Nazi Germany.
South African Jewish Group Brings Charges Against ‘I Love Hitler’ Student Activist
The South Africa Jewish Board of Deputies brought charges of hate speech against the former student president at the University of the Witwaterstrand in Johannesburg, South African media reported on Tuesday.
The charges against Mcebo Dlamini are over remarks he made on the radio lashing out at the university’s vice chancellor, Adam Habib, who forced Dlamini to resign from his leadership role, apparently because of charges of assault, among other issues.
“They (Jews) are devils. They are good for nothing. They are hypocritical‚ just like Adam Habib. They are uncircumcised in heart,” Dlamini told South African power FM radio, prompting the Jewish Board of Deputies suit.
The SAJBD had previously brought a complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission over a rant the firebrand student activist made on Facebook, which declared among other things, “I love Hitler.”
Auntie Beeb has anti-Israel bias
Changes to the BBC’s funding will not, however, be enough to reign in some of its worst behavioural excesses – the chief of which is its politically correct bias.
The worst example of this is not how it reported the referendum – for every complaint by a Nationalist of the BBC being against the Yes campaign I could match it with a complaint about how it gave Salmond and co an easy ride – but how it reports the news of the regular attacks on Israel by Hamas and its terrorist proxies from Gaza.
Despite the existence of a ceasefire, the missile strikes by Palestinian terrorist groups – and the Israeli counter strikes by air force jets – have continued, but this is not how the BBC reports it.
The BBC Arabic language website reported on May 26, June 3, 6 and 23 that Israel had launched air strikes into Gaza – without mentioning they were responses to earlier rocket attacks on its people, and that having identified where they were launched from had sought to eliminate the missile launchers.
Even more strangely, there were no reports of these breaches of the ceasefire in the BBC’s English language pages, not even the reports forgetting to mention the provocations! This demonstrates a clear bias in reporting Israel as the belligerent to the rest of the world when it was simply taking defensive action. That the BBC chooses to be so one-sided, if not duplicitous, in reporting these incidents helps to develop the 
marginalisation of the one true liberal democracy in the Middle East – while painting Hamas and its violent allies in Gaza as the victims.
Why the Left’s Failure to Confront Palestine’s Extreme-Right Values Prevents Peace
Though Leftists in the West who champion the Palestinian cause can reasonably argue that their opposition to the occupation, and related support for Palestinian self-determination, is guided by liberal principles, they are rarely asked why they’re not burdened by the question of what kind of state – politically and ideologically – Palestine will become.
Indeed, there is a vast amount of evidence – including polling data – suggesting that on issues that matter most to the Left (anti-racism, gay rights, women’s rights, religious freedom, freedom of speech, a free press, democracy, etc.), Palestine – even if it’s ruled by the “moderate” Fatah – will be on the extreme right on most or all of these issues.
On gay rights: Polling data by Pew Global indicates that a staggering 93% of Palestinians reject the idea that society should accept homosexuality.
On racism: Palestinians have the highest rate of antisemitic attitudes in the world per an ADL poll in 2014 and Pew Global studies from previous years. Further, officially sanctioned antisemitic incitement continues unabated.
On women’s rights: Pew Global revealed that 84% of Palestinians believe that adulterers should be stoned.
On democracy: 89% of Palestinians expressed their belief, in a Pew Global poll, that Islamic law (Sharia) should be the official law of the land.
On support for violence: In addition to the glorification of terrorism by PA leaders, Palestinians, again per Pew Global, have the highest level of support for suicide bombings in the world.
UK Media Watch prompts revision to Financial Times claim regarding Veolia and BDS
Our post about an article in the Financial Times by their Jerusalem correspondent John Reed (Israel, a new kind of war, June 12) took issue with their implicit claim of a BDS victory in the following passage:
Veolia Environment, the French infrastructure group, in April sold most of its Israeli holdings to a private equity group after campaigners criticised it for involvement in projects such as the Jerusalem tram line, which links the city’s Jewish west to a settlement.
However, a report in the Israeli business magazine Globes reported (Oaktree acquires Veolia’s Israel activities, April 1) that what transpired was a business transaction, one which appears to have had nothing to do with BDS.
Additionally, we contacted Yoni Itzhak, spokesman for Veolia Israel, and asked him to comment on the Financial Times suggestion that the transaction in question was due to pressure from anti-Israel boycott activists. Itzhak emphatically denied, in an email to UK Media Watch, that BDS was a factor in the business decision.
On the New York Times’s Hilarious Charlie Hebdo Double-Standard
Over at the Washington Examiner, the New York Times attempts to explain to T. Becket Adams why its decision to print a photograph of the Pope-made-out-in-condoms is Really Very Different from its decision not to reprint the Charlie Hebdo cartoons earlier this year. Here’s Phil Corbett, the paper’s “associate managing editor for standards” tying himself in knots:
“I don’t think these situations – the Milwaukee artwork and the various Muhammad caricatures – are really equivalent. For one thing, many people might disagree, but museum officials clearly consider this Johnson piece to be a significant artwork.”
“Also, there’s no indication that the primary intent of the portrait is to offend or blaspheme (the artist and the museum both say that it is not intended to offend people but to raise a social question about the fight against AIDS). And finally, the very different reactions bears this out,” he added. “Hundreds of thousands of people protested worldwide, for instance, after the Danish cartoons were published some years ago. While some people might genuinely dislike this Milwaukee work, there doesn’t seem to be any comparable level of outrage.”

I’m not sure what Corbett thinks he is arguing here, but, whatever it is, it’s downright impossible not to read all of his words as such: “The difference between the two cases is that Catholics take this stuff in their stride and Muslims do not.” That a random museum happens to think that one piece is more worthwhile than another is frankly neither here nor there. All that contention does is move the first stage of the debate from the New York Times to the museum upon whose judgment it is relying. And so the core question remains: Why do museum officials think that one contribution is “significant” and the other is not?
ADL Poll Shows More than Half of Western European Muslims Harbor Antisemitic Beliefs
Though antisemitic attitudes in France, Germany and Belgium have dipped dramatically so far this year, more than half of all Muslims in Western Europe harbor antisemitic beliefs, a survey released by the Anti-Defamation League revealed on Tuesday.
“An average of 55 percent of Western European Muslims harbored antisemitic attitudes. Acceptance of antisemitic stereotypes by Muslims in these countries was substantially higher than among the national population in each country,” said the ADL report.
The survey, which ADL said was the first to document antisemitic attitudes among Western European Muslims, revealed Belgian Muslims to be the most antisemitic, with 68 percent harboring antisemitic beliefs. This is compared to 21 percent overall in the country.
In Germany — where an MP recently came under fire for saying Muslim students should not be made to visit concentration camps like the rest of the country’s students — the number was lower, but still above half, at 56 percent compared to the country’s 16 percent, which was down from 27 percent in 2014.
Australian Financial Adviser Loses License After Antisemitic Tirade Against Jewish MP
An Australian financial adviser had his professional license revoked after he spewed an antisemitic tirade against a Jewish member of Parliament, the UK’s Daily Mail reported on Monday.
James Howarth posted on Twitter a series of racist comments calling Australian Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg a “tinkering Jew,” a “central planning Jew,” and accusing the politician of “tendencies toward Communism.”
“Get your Josh Frydenberg ‘Central Planning Jew’ punching bag AB. I ordered 5000 in on the next Cargo flight out of ShenZhen,” Howarth said on Sunday in a Twitter post, which has since been removed.
Neo-Nazis Vandalize Borough Park Talmud Torah
In the wee hours of Monday morning, one or several neo-Nazi vandals broke into a children’s yeshiva in the Brooklyn Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.
The vandals spray-painted vicious obscenities and swastikas in various glaring colors on the walls and floors of hallways and numerous classrooms in the school.
They also spray-painted a bright blue swastika with the word “NAZI” above it in big bold letters on several hallway walls.
The incident took place at the Talmud Torah of Rachmastrivka on 38th Street between 13th and 14th Avenue. Rachmastrivka is a Chassidic dynasty named after the town of Rachmistrivka, Ukraine. It is an offshoot of the Chernobyl dynasty dating back to the 19th century.
Local Jewish Patrols Report Two Antisemitic Attacks Against Jewish Property in London Borough
As London police announced a decision to move an “anti-Judaization” rally in the city from the heavily Jewish Golders Green neighborhood to Westminster, local patrols in the London borough of Hackney reported two incidents of vandalism of Jewish property in 24 hours, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
Graffiti with the words “f*** the Jews” was spray-painted across the gates of the Simon Marks Jewish Primary School, a local unofficial Jewish security group, called shomrim, said via Twitter.
The graffiti was apparently removed before students arrived for class on Tuesday, and local police announced they had launched an investigation, according to the report.
The local shomrim also called for help to identify the vandals, stating that on-site cameras were being used to find the assailants.
Star Trek-style ‘tricorders’ on their way to customers
In just a few weeks, early adopters will receive the world’s first device that can scan products and provide a list of ingredients, components, materials, and other important information about food, pharmaceuticals, plants, and much more. Consumer Physics, the company behind the device, called the SCIO device, announced Monday that it was preparing to ship its first units to researchers who ordered the device. With the SCIO device in hand, researchers will be able to develop apps to expand the device’s capabilities.
The SCIO device, say many observers, reminds them of the “tricorder” – the device from the Star Trek TV show that the crew of the USS Enterprise used to figure out what the fascinating things they found on alien worlds consisted of.
The SCIO has been heralded by scientists, researchers, journalists – anyone who has seen it in action – as a major tech development. The device uses near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy to scan physical materials for their molecular fingerprint, discovering the specific components of a piece of fruit, a hamburger, a pill, and, eventually, anything else, depending on what apps are developed on the platform. Once the molecular components are detected, the data is uploaded to a user’s smartphone, from where it is transmitted to the SCIO database. The database then provides information about the materials, and the product – vitamins, calories, product recalls, active ingredients in over-the-counter pills, and more.
Necktie cameras and invisibility cloaks star at Israeli spy expo
Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks and mini-drones were among the gadgets on display Tuesday at an exhibition of Israeli surveillance technology, offering a rare peek into the secretive world of Israeli espionage.
The expo was part of a conference promoting business partnerships between military and civilian industries. About two dozen Israeli companies — some of them founded by ex-intelligence officers — exhibited products used by militaries, police units and intelligence agencies in Israel and around the world.
It was the first such display of Israeli-made surveillance products in a non-covert setting in Israel, said Ron Kitrey, a retired Israeli military intelligence official who chaired the conference.
“It’s the tip of the iceberg, what we show here,” Kitrey said. “We would be irresponsible and stupid to show people the roots of the iceberg.”
No-stitch corneal transplants
Katzir’s group developed optical fibers made of silver halides. The fibers deliver an infrared laser beam that heats spots on the edges of an incision in a carefully controlled manner, and also deliver infrared light from the heated spot to an infrared detector, which monitors the temperature. This makes it possible to heat each spot to just the right temperature –140 to 150 degrees F — to create a strong bond without causing thermal damage.
“The most important aspect of our technique is temperature,” said Katzir. “Take an egg, for example. If you cook it at 70-80 degrees F, nothing happens. However, if you fry it at 250 degrees F, you destroy it altogether. At an intermediate temperature, however, one gets a hard-boiled egg. The same goes for laser bonding, where heating at an intermediate temperature, under precise controls, ensures strong bonding without scarring.”
In collaboration with surgeons from Tel Aviv and Sheba medical centers, Katzir and his team did corneal transplants in eyes taken from deceased cows and pigs. They used the fiber-optic laser system to achieve a permanent tight seal with minimal thermal damage to the surrounding eye tissue. Conducting biopsies on the eyes, the researchers found neither leaks nor signs of overheating.
Jerusalem family finds 2,000-year-old ritual bath under living room
Home renovation usually entails picking paints, buying furniture, and dealing with contractors. For the Shimshoni family living in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood, it meant calling in archaeologists after stumbling upon a perfectly preserved 2,000-year-old ritual bath under their living room.
Last week the Israel Antiquities Authority finished excavating the subterranean bath, which archaeologist Amit Reem said Wednesday was “a significant find” and may have belonged to a private home in a first century Jewish village.
The ritual bath adheres to Jewish halachic requirements and measures 1.8 meters (5 feet, 11 inches) deep, 3.5 meters long and 2.4 meters wide.
More intriguingly, it lends some support to Christian tradition linking Ein Kerem, today a quaint neighborhood clinging to a hill on Jerusalem’s southwestern edge, with the birthplace of John the Baptist.
Starting in the 6th century, Christians began associating the “town in the hill country of Judea” mentioned in the Book of Luke as the birthplace of John the Baptist, the mentor of Jesus, with Ein Kerem. The village is home to the Catholic Church of St. John the Baptist, dedicated to his birthplace.
“All these events took place 2,000 years ago in the days of the Second Temple [in Jerusalem] but until now we didn’t have archaeological evidence supporting the notion that there was a Jewish community in Ein Kerem” during that period, he said, standing next to the gaping maw of the mikveh in the Shimshonis’ living room.
PHOTOS: Mayim Bialik Is Having a Blast in Israel
Mayim Bialik is in Israel, and by the looks of it, she’s having a blast.
Pool views, spice-scenes from the shuk, visit to ruins , not to mention a 14-hour flight with the kids in tow — the actress has recorded all the sights and sounds of her Holy Land vacation on her Instagram feed .
A self-described “staunch Zionizt,” Bialik was vocal about her support for the Jewish state during Israel’s war against Hamas last summer (despite being “devastated by the violence” ), going so far as to write a blog post justifying her decision to donate bullet-proof vests to the IDF. More recently, had this to say about the Israeli elections:

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