Wednesday, July 08, 2015

From Ian:

Michael Lumish: American-Left Politically-Correct Chicken-Shit
There is a moral disconnect between western-left opposition to racism, since the end of World War II, and its general disdain for the lone, sole Jewish state of Israel.
For most "liberals" or "leftists" or "progressives," depending on how one defines such terms, this disconnect is veiled and, therefore, sometimes difficult to see.
One way to put a spot-light on it, however, is to note the negative attention that Israel receives from the western press versus the degree and quality of attention that it gives to countries like Syria or Iraq or Sudan or Congo or Saudi Arabia or North Korea. The press knows very well that while about two thousand Arabs were killed by Israel in its operation against Hamas in Gaza last summer, that hundreds of thousands of Arabs have been killed, and millions displaced, in Syria within the just the last two years alone.
The number of war dead in Syria, in fact, already far outstrips - by perhaps four-fold - the entire number of dead in the Arab-Israel conflict since 1948, which amounts to about fifty thousand dead, total. About two-thirds Arab and one-third Jewish.
The fact that the western-left, and the universities, and the UN, and the EU, and the Obama administration focus their disdain on Israel and not on, say, Syria, gives away the lie.
"Shunned": A film about Palestinian gays and lesbians in Israel
The Rebel is proud to present the world online premiere of Shunned, a documentary by Igal Hecht about Palestinian gays and lesbians seeking refuge in Israel.
See, in North America, we argue over whether or not bakeries should be compelled to bake gay wedding cakes. In much of the Muslim world, the gay rights issues are different: they debate whether to hang gays, as they do in Iran; or throw them off the tops of buildings, as they do in the new Islamic State.
Shunned shows western liberal audiences — who often condemn Israel, for trumped up "human rights offenses” — that when it comes to basic civil rights, Israel is miles ahead of any other country in the region.
An Unpopular Man
Norman Finkelstein was a rock star of the pro-Palestinian movement. Then he came out against BDS.
Norman Finkelstein is an unpopular man. Norman Finkelstein has always been an unpopular man, but for decades he had a cult following among leftists and supporters of the Palestinian cause. Since coming out in 2012 against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, however, he has alienated his core followers. A few years ago, Finkelstein tells me, he made $40,000 in speaking fees from 80 talks to Palestinian Solidarity groups around North America. “This past year when I went to my accountant, he said, ‘I think there’s a mistake, because there’s only $2,000.” He laughs. “I told him there was no error. He said, ‘What happened?’ I thought to myself: Am I going to explain to him BDS?”
Finkelstein, 62, is wearing a t-shirt and shorts in his Coney Island apartment, where he lives alone. He has just completed a year teaching international law, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and political philosophy at Sakarya University in Turkey. He’s working on a book with the Dutch-Palestinian scholar Mouin Rabbani on how to solve the conflict. It includes a chapter on BDS, a movement to divest from Israel over its treatment of Palestinians that began a decade ago, on July 9, 2005. But he hates traveling and is angry that he can’t find a teaching job in North America or Europe. “There was a lot of resentment on my part that with a dozen universities within walking distance, I had to board an 18-hour flight to Turkey once a month,” he says.

In 1976 letter, Iran hailed Entebbe rescue, mourned death of Yoni Netanyahu
Nine days after the successful Israeli hostage rescue mission in Entebbe, the Mossad station chief in Tehran received a letter from the desk of the Supreme Commander’s Staff of the Imperial Iranian Armed Forces praising the mission and extending condolences for “the loss and martyrdom” of Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu, the elder brother of Israel’s current prime minister.
Avner Avraham, a retired Mossad officer with a flare for languages and art, curated a soon-to-be opened exhibit about the rescue mission and collected the letter, which is dated July 13, 1976 — some three years before the Islamic revolution severed the ties between the two countries.
The document, however, will not be featured on Thursday, when the Yitzhak Rabin Center opens the exhibit to the public and to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made his brother’s battle vest available for the display.
“We focused only on events that took place from the hijacking to the end of the rescue,” said Nurit Cohen-Levinovsky, the initiator of the exhibit and the head of educational programming at the Yitzhak Rabin Center. (A fuller article on the exhibit and its other revelations will run Thursday.)
The letter – written during a period of close cooperation between Israel and Iran and made public now, as the two states battle over Iran’s nuclear program – is striped with colorful language and saturated in praise.
Michael Totten: Iran is Not a Bulwark
An unnamed American diplomat told the Sunday Times in Britain that President Barack Obama “believes a peaceful Iran could be a bulwark against ISIS in the Middle East and the key to peace there.”
The Iranian people and government strongly oppose ISIS, no doubt about it. They are predominantly Shias while ISIS is the most deranged Sunni Islamist terrorist organization in the world. Its attitude toward the Shia is outright genocidal. It’s easy, then, to see why a powerful Shia bloc might act as a “bulwark.”
The problem here is that the Iranian-led Resistance Bloc—which includes the Assad regime in Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and a smorgasbord of Iraqi Shia militias—is the primary instigator of ISIS.
Look: ISIS is just Al Qaeda in Iraq with a different name and under new management. The Sunni tribes of Iraq forged an alliance with the previously hated American military in the late 2000s in order to vomit out the old version of ISIS.
The only reason it came back—aside from the fact that it grew strong enough to come back while resisting the Assad regime next-door in Syria—is because Iraq’s central Iranian-backed government scares the daylights out of Iraq’s Sunni minority with its heavy-handed Shia sectarianism.
An exhaustive public opinion survey in the Middle East conducted by the Doha-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies found that support for ISIS in Iraq stands at four percent. Support for ISIS in Lebanon is as low as one percent. Support for ISIS in Jordan—where it’s strongest—stands at a mere eight percent.
So forget the ludicrous notion that ISIS has a groundswell of public support. It doesn’t.
WFB Video: 12 Times Obama Admin Caved to Iran
As another deadline for the Iran deal came and went, the Washington Free Beacon posted a new devastating SUPERcuts video highlighting twelve times that the Obama administration blatantly caved to Iran during its nuclear deal negotiations.
In its accompanying article, WFB provides a summary of the administration's key concessions to the terrorisim-supporting Iranian regime demonstrating that "[o]n issue after issue over a potential nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration has caved." Here's an excerpt:
President Obama claimed in his 2015 State of the Union address to have “halted” Iran’s nuclear program and “reduced” its stockpile, sweeping and inaccurate claims for which he earned three Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact-checker.
On April 2, when Obama touted the framework agreement and “historic understanding” between Iran and world powers, he claimed “Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.”
Reports emerged in the weeks and months following that the U.S. had backed off this demand and Iran would not be subjected to the “anytime, anywhere” inspections that many experts deem a red line in any negotiations.
12 Times the Obama Administration Caved to Iran on Nuclear Deal SUPERcuts!

Obama Officials Tout J Street Polls for Jewish Support on Iran Deal
The Obama administration is leaning on Jewish leftists to pressure Jewish Congressmen to support an Iran deal by touting a J Street poll claiming that nearly two-thirds of American Jews support an agreement.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Matt Nosanchuk, the White House’s liaison to the Jewish community, advised dozens of “progressive” groups Monday to use the poll to convinced Jews in Congress to back a deal.
Nosanchuk reportedly talked with more than 100 Jewish officials in a meeting organized by the Ploughshares Fund, which the Beacon wrote “has spent millions of dollars to slant Iran-related coverage and protect the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts.”
The report comes two days after wrote here that a recent meeting between senior White House officials and the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence group furthers President Barack Obama’s attempt to make the Jewish left, led by J Street, appear to represent the mainstream American Jewish community.
The J Street website last year ran a headline in capital letters, “Tell your senators: Don’t undermine Iran negotiations with new sanctions.”
It followed with the results of its own poll and an incredulous claim that implies that J Street speaks for most American Jews and that anyone who thinks differently is “underling” President Obama.
Post deadline, Iran talks face ‘very, very tough’ challenges
This is the latest in a string of extensions aimed at ending almost two years of talks to resolve a 13-year standoff with the Islamic Republic after foreign ministers failed to bridge the last few gaps in Vienna last week.
“Removing the remaining brackets [in the text of the agreement], this seems to be very, very, very tough,” the senior diplomat said Tuesday as an 11th day of talks stretched late into the night.
But the envoy insisted the negotiations, originally due to end on June 30, are “not an open-ended process. We’ve given ourselves a couple more days because we think it can be done.”
This was rammed home by a second diplomat, who said the new target date is the “final” one.
“It’s difficult to see why and how we could go on any longer. Either this works in the next 48 hours or it doesn’t,” the second diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
Twizzlers and brothels: Iran negotiations behind closed doors
AFP reports that keeping the peace during the negotiations themselves is sustained by using the strongest olive branch at their disposal: Junk food.
According to calculations reported by AFP, the negotiation table has seen over 10 pounds of strawberry Twizzler sticks, 30 pounds of mixed nuts, 20 pounds of string cheese, and approximately 200 Rice Krispie treats. A team member's birthday was celebrated with three liters of ice cream-although their flavors remain undisclosed, and the number of espresso pods used in the coffee machine is said to be in the hundreds.
When the US negotiation team was asked who they thought should play them in a theoretical feature film entitled "Iran Talks: the Movie," (title subject to change), the team came up with a cornucopia of A-list actors that they felt would do justice to their characters, including celebrities such as Meryl Streep, Ted Danson, and Kirsten Dunst.
The candy business isn't the only one benefiting from these meetings. According to Reuters, the Brothel business, legal in Vienna, has been booming since the masses of diplomats, officials, security agents, analysts and reporters have flocked to town. According to their report, everyone has been in particularly good spirits, because unlike in Switzerland, which was host to previous negotiations, Vienna boasts "affordable short-term companionship." Rumors have even circulated that the Palais Coburg Hotel, a 19th century palace, and the home of talks since February 2014, has a network of underground tunnels connecting to brothels and other x-rated establishments.
Why Iran Banned Street Parties Ahead Of A Pending Nuke Deal
If the U.S. reaches a nuclear deal with Iran in the coming days, don’t expect Iranians to be dancing in the streets and honking car horns late into the night.
Iran’s interior ministry announced Monday that it has preemptively banned massive public celebrations like those surrounding April’s preliminary agreement.
Americans often see the ongoing discussions with Iran as a dangerous concession of freedom to the Islamic Republic. But while ordinary Iranians welcomed a step toward normal relations with the U.S., their government is doing everything it can to keep the Great Satan in its place.
As Iranian diplomats meet with their international counterparts in Vienna, back home the country is in a state of ceremonial mourning. Wednesday is the annual holiday marking the martyrdom of Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law who is one of the a major figure in Shiite Islam. Consequently, public dancing and music are forbidden by public law, according to Germany’s DPA press agency.
Iran's 'Death to Israel Day' Coincides with Nuke Deal Deadline
It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction, and indeed it would be hard to imagine scripting the signing of a nuclear deal with the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism on the very day that this regime holds an annual global protest calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.
And yet that plot twist is fully set to happen, as Iran's "Death to Israel Day," officially known as Quds Day or Jerusalem Day, will take place this Friday July 10 - bizarrely timed to coincide with the newly re-extended deadline for a final deal on Iran's nuclear program.
American officials said Tuesday that the latest extension on the deadline will be the last, indicating that there is a great likelihood that calls to destroy Israel will echo Iranian celebrations of a deal that Israel and other critics see as paving the Islamic regime's path to a nuclear arsenal.
Quds Day is held annually on the final Friday of the Muslim fast month of Ramadan.
It was instituted on August 7, 1979 by then-Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini just after the Islamic Revolution, as a day of solidarity against the "usurper Israel."
Toronto’s Jewish community braces for al-Quds day protest
Al-Quds Day is internationally observed annually on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan, which this year falls on July 17. The controversial holiday was proclaimed in 1979 by Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as a religious duty for all Muslims to rally in solidarity against Israel and for the “liberation” of Jerusalem.
At the 2014 rally, which attracted thousands of demonstrators, Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri of Canada’s Council for Islamic Guidance called Jews, Israelis and Zionism “inhuman.” Local Palestinian leader Elias Hazineh stated, “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine… We say get out or you are dead. We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand.”
B’nai B’rith Canada, the country’s oldest Jewish rights organization, led a “Stop Al-Quds Day” effort over the past several months to prevent the rally from taking place at the Ontario legislature. The organization ran an information campaign, which included a petition against the event that garnered close to 3,000 signatures.
Al-Quds Day, the petition said, “is an annual event created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. The hateful nature of this event at Queen’s Park has been well documented since 2009 and there is no reason to believe this year will be any different.”
Can Iranian Nuclear Deal Compliance Ever be Verified?
In its story the NYT quoted Olli Heinonen – a 27-year veteran of the IAEA who sat atop the agency’s verification shop – all but rolling his eyes.
Mr. Heinonen, the onetime inspection chief, sounded a note of caution, saying it would be naïve to expect that the wave of technology could ensure Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal. In the past, he said, Tehran has often promised much but delivered little. “Iran is not going to accept it easily,” he said, referring to the advanced surveillance. “We tried it for 10 years.” Even if Tehran agrees to high-tech sleuthing, Mr. Heinonen added, that step will be “important but minor” compared with the intense monitoring that Western intelligence agencies must mount to see if Iran is racing ahead in covert facilities to build an atomic bomb.
The most fundamental problem is that IAEA procedures require physical environmental samples to confirm violations. They can use futuristic lasers and satellites to *detect* that Iran is cheating. But to *confirm* the cheating they need environmental samples, and usually multiple rounds of samples. Without that level of proof – which requires access – the agency simply wouldn’t tell the international community that it was certain Iran is violation. If you need a paragraph on the procedure click on this link and ctrl-f to “Yet if Iran tries to conceal what it is doing…” If inspectors can’t get into a facility, it’s highly unlikely they’d ever be comfortable declaring that Iran was violating its obligations.
That’s before even beginning the discussion about why technology can’t make up for access to people, facilities, and documents – without which the IAEA won’t even know where to point its lasers and satellites.
But is what the administration has left: the Iranians can’t be expected to grant anytime/anywhere access but that’s OK because the IAEA has cool toys.
Israel Blasts UNESCO ‘Hypocrisy’ Over Jerusalem Holy Sites
Israel slammed what it called a “hypocritical” United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) resolution that expresses “deep concern” over Israeli activity in and around the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Jerusalem’s Old City and its walls were first submitted to UNESCO’s list of endangered world heritage sites by Jordan in 1982. Since then, UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee periodically reviews the sites on the list.
At its recent annual session in Bonn, Germany, the World Heritage Committee reaffirmed a resolution submitted by Algeria, Lebanon, and Qatar that expressed “deep concern at the persistence of the illegal excavations and works conducted by the Israeli occupation authorities and the extreme settler groups in the Old City of Jerusalem and on both sides of its Walls.”
Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold blasted the UNESCO resolution, noting that it only refers to the Temple Mount as a “Muslim holy site” and “deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital” as well as Christianity’s connection to Jerusalem.
“As the historical heritage sites of this area are being systematically destroyed by jihadist forces, such as the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archaeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best,” Gold said. “The resolution is full of distortions and is totally disconnected from reality on the ground.”
CNN's Extinction of Jerusalem
CNN listed Jerusalem's Old City as the world's most endangered historical site. But anyone who has walked the streets there knows that it is popular and extremely well-maintained. Perhaps CNN is buying into the lies that Israel is endangering Islamic holy places there -- lies that often lead to violence against Israelis.

BDS Trying to Stop Bon Jovi from Performing in Israel
The “Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)” is petitioning anti-Zionists to sign up in a bid to force the rock group Bon Jovi from performing for the first time in Israel.
The attempt to stop the rock group is on the road to another failure. Bon Jovi’s producer in Israel told the group , “Bon Jovi couldn’t care less.”
This question has been asked thousands of times, but it still needs to be presented: Why doesn’t PACBI and other boycott groups stop using computers made with chips at Intel, whose employees include people living in Judea and Samaria?
Irish Dance Festival in Israel Canceled After Palestinians Threaten Dancers, Teachers
Organizers behind an Irish dance festival set to take place in Israel this August announced on Tuesday that they were canceling the event after both instructors and dancers received threats from a Palestinian solidarity group in Ireland.
The “1st Israeli Feis” was being organized by the Carey Academy in Israel, a branch of the Carey Academy in Birmingham, England. The dance academy said on the event’s Facebook page that a group called Irish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) sent “threatening messages” to their teachers, parents and students. There was also a protest outside their dance studio.
“We do not want to risk safety of anyone connected to the Carey Academy. The feis was not meant to be anything more than what it really is – a celebration of dancing, friendship and joy,” organizers wrote on Facebook. “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to people who may have already booked tickets but I am sure you understand the safety of our dancers is our number one priority.”
Sussex Friends of Israel, a U.K.-based pro-Israel group, responded to the announcement saying that the cancellation is “so sad and such a reflection of these times that a simple act of dance can be turned into such hate.”
“We hope that someday soon you will be able to visit Israel, free of intimidation or aggression,” Sussex Friends of Israel said. “You will love it.”
On its own social media page, the pro-Israel group described IPSC’s actions as “disgusting” adding, “The hate of the PSC attacking people because they wanted to dance, shame on the lot of them.”
CAMERA Deplores UCC Vote Targeting Israel with Boycott and Divestment
CAMERA deplores the actions of proponents of these resolutions in citing JVP as representative of the mainstream Jewish community in the United States. Interestingly enough, the boycott and divestment resolution passed by General Synod calls on UCC churches to dialogue with Jews in their community. How exactly are Jews supposed to engage in dialogue with a church whose General Synod has repeatedly – and for decades – singled out their homeland for condemnation while remaining silent about the misdeeds of its adversaries? How are Jews in the U.S. supposed to dialogue with congregants of a denomination whose General Synod has endorsed the antisemitic Kairos Document?
Fortunately, there are some people within the UCC who understand what is at stake. One delegate, Joanne Marchetto from Pennsylvania, pointed out the one-sided aspect of the deliberations at the UCC's 2015 General Synod. Prior to the vote in favor of boycotts and divestment, she told her fellow delegates that "it does not seem that we really allow Israel to tell their [sic] story or that we have heard their story. We have named the enemy and we do not allow them to have a voice at our table."
The delegates heard stories about the "occupation" and "settlements," Marchetto said, but "we never heard about how Israelis have not been safe in their own schools or homes or on buses and how they face threats of terror from their many borders. We do not know what it means to live in the constant threat of fear."
Marchetto added that delegates did not hear about Israeli peace offers made in 2000 and 2008. "We condemn them for the occupation, but we don't want to hear about any efforts they have made to end it."
Another delegate, Dawn Berry from New Hampshire, asked the General Synod to think seriously about the fear Israelis endure on a regular basis. "Do you know what frightens Israelis more than rockets and suicide bombers that have terrified them for years? It's people like us who ignore or dismiss the very real threats they live under and negate or misinterpret the very viable peace offers they agreed to in 2000 and 2008."
Anti-Israel activists shut down drone factories
Protesters shut down four factories in a co-ordinated move against Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems.
Three British factories, owned by Instro Precision, a subsidiary of Elbit, were forced to suspend operations after sit-ins by pro-Palestinian activists.
A factory in Melbourne, Australia, was also targeted.
Camera systems similar to those made by Instro Precision are used in Israeli drones supplied by Elbit to survey the West Bank security fence.
Groups including London Palestine Action, War on Want and the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign took part in the “Block the Factory” protest, the third of its kind in the last year.
Banners proclaiming “Elbit Drones Murder,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Elbit Kills Kids For Profit” were displayed and slogans spray-painted on walls.
Block the Factory spokesperson Alex Levan reported that “at least 10, and up to 20” of the group’s demonstrators at the Shenstone factory in Staffordshire had been arrested.
No arrests were at protests at the Instro Precision works in Tamworth, Staffordshire and in Kent.
British group welcomes hate cleric Abu Qatada just hours after Tunisia attack he inspired
Islamic group Cage UK laid on a warm welcome for the radical cleric, whose warped ideology is the key founding principle of the terror organisation behind the Sousse massacre.
The exiled preacher appeared via video-link at the group's annual conference despite being subject to a United Nations (UN) embargo because of his alleged links to al-Qaeda.
He spoke to the charity's members on Friday, just hours after Kalshnikov wielding student Seifeddine Rezgui ran amok, gunning down 38 holidaymakers whilst high on cocaine.
Rezgui is believed to have been part of the terror group Ansar al-sharia, which is run by Qatada's former disciple Saifallah Ben Hassine.
On the same day ISIS carried out a bombing at a mixed mosque in Kuwait and massacres in Somalia and Syria, whilst an Islamist fanatic beheaded his boss and put his head on a spike outside a factory in southern France.
IsraellyCool: Mocking The Flotilla-holes: Robert ‘Bob’ Lovelace

"Cruel & Very Grim" in Gaza: Insufferable Anti-Israel Bias On Australia's National Broadcaster
In it, the ABC's Fran Kelly, having informed listeners that "the situation [in Gaza] is cruel and very grim, " that "food is scarce," and so on, proceeds to interview Conny Lenneberg of World Vision International, an NGO whose Jerusalem/West Bank/Gaza is described as follows (inter alia) by NGO Monitor (see that site for more and for supporting links to statements):
Promotes a highly politicized and biased agenda, placing sole blame for the continuation of the conflict on Israel and paying little attention to legitimate Israeli security concerns or Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians.
Needless to say, Fran Kelly did not provide listeners with any hint of World Vision's skewed agenda.
Speaking from Nicosia, Lenneberg was given ample time to put the boot into Israel, with no countervailing balance from anyone else, but with plenty of encouragement from Fran Kelly, who at one point declared: "I get a sense of shock talking to you..."
Yes, the "situation is cruel and very grim". I mean the situation that prevails in an organisation that, like the BBC itself, is bound to impartiality by the terms of its Charter but which flouts its leftist prejudice every day.
Florida Newspaper Publishes Hoax Quote Accusing the Jewish People of Controlling America
The Ledger - formerly known as - The Lakeland Ledger - is a newspaper that serves Lakeland, Florida and adjacent towns. On June 12, 2015, it published a 276-word letter, "The Jewish People Control America, and Americans Know It" that included false claims and a fictitious statement attributed to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The last paragraph of the letter states,
A few years ago, here's what Sharon told Shimon Peres, former president and prime minister of Israel: "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.
It would be a provocative and irresponsible statement if it were true. But it is not. The incident never happened and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon never uttered these words. The source of this fabricated quote is the Islamic Association for Palestine, an American-based organization that sympathizes with Hamas. The fabrication was an attempt to stir up antagonistic feelings toward Jews. The title of the letter published in The Ledger is taken verbatim from the original fabrication.
Jeremy Corbyn and antisemitism: questions to answer
The appearance of Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn MP at a hustings for the Jewish community later this month is likely to focus more attention on his reported remarks praising Hamas and Hezbollah. Corbyn will be speaking alongside the other three leadership candidates and, with the hustings chaired by Jonathan Freedland, he can expect some difficult questions.
These questions shouldn’t stop at his support for Hamas and Hezbollah. As Alan Johnson has explained in detail, Corbyn’s support for extremists with a record of antisemitic statements or activities is extensive. There is another example due next month: this conference that Corbyn is scheduled to speak at, organised by the Islamist lobby group Middle East Monitor (MEMO) on “Palestine & Latin America: Building solidarity for national rights”.
I don’t know what Corbyn plans to talk about at the MEMO conference. I don’t expect him to say anything antisemitic – he rarely if ever does. But I do know that a prospective leader of the Labour Party should not be associating with MEMO, or with some of the other speakers at that conference, and that Corbyn does this kind of thing far too often.
MEMO has featured repeatedly on the CST Blog for peddling conspiracy theories and myths about Jews, Zionists, money and power. This has included questioning the suitability of Matthew Gould for the post of UK Ambassador to Israel simply because he is Jewish. MEMO also continued to spread the untrue story that the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film was a Zionist plot to stir up hatred of Muslims, several days after it had been widely established that the film was made by Egyptian Christians. One MEMO article, titled ‘How money from pro-Israel donors controls Westminster’, was even praised by American neo-Nazi David Duke.
Dutch Man Discovers Message Written by Jewish Couple Who Hid in His House During the Holocaust
A Dutch man discovered a last will of sorts inscribed by a Jewish couple from Amsterdam who hid in his house during the Holocaust, Israel’s NRG reported on Monday.
In the message, the two Jews asked for whoever discovered their letter to contact their relatives after the war.
The man who found the message, Yale Captan, is a resident of the Dutch town of Bilthoven.
The secret note was written in 1942 underneath the panel of a door frame by Levi Site and Ester Zilberstein. Writing in pencil, the couple included a blessing for the person who would discover the message, and a prayer that God should, “have mercy upon the Jewish people.”
The message remained undiscovered until Captan recently decided to renovate his home and stumbled upon it.
Prosecutors seek jail time for ‘bookkeeper of Auschwitz’
German prosecutors on Tuesday said they were seeking three and a half years’ jail for a former SS officer known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz.”
Oskar Groening, 94, stands accused before a court in the northern city of Lueneburg of 300,000 counts of “accessory to murder” in the cases of deported Hungarian Jews sent to the gas chambers between May and July 1944.
Public prosecutor Jens Lehmann said in closing arguments that his sentencing request was based on the “nearly incomprehensible number of victims”, but mitigated by “the limited contribution of the accused” to their deaths.
Lehmann also argued that the court should consider viewing some of the sentence as already served because Groening had been repeatedly investigated in recent decades with no charges brought until last year.
Groening’s trial, expected to be one of the last of its kind, began in April.
Don’t honor Nazi government minister, WJC tells Hungarian city
The World Jewish Congress has called on a central Hungarian city to abandon plans to honor a government minister who supported the Nazis.
Balint Homan served as Minister of Religion and Education under Nazi-allied World War II Hungarian leader Miklos Horthy and the Arrow Cross regime from October 1944 to March 1945 during which up to 15,000 Hungarian civilians, mostly Jews, were killed and 80,000 deported to Nazi concentration and death camps.
Municipal leaders in Székesfehérvár, which with a population of 100,000 is one of Hungary’s largest cities, are planning to erect a life-size bronze statue in honor of Homan. It will be funded in large part through a grant from the Hungarian Justice Ministry, according to WJC.
“Seventy years after the end of World War II, it is inconceivable and wrong for a city to erect a statue in honor of a known anti-Semite and a key figure in the persecution of Hungarian Jews before and during World War II. Homan was an outspoken supporter of Nazi Germany and the fascist Arrow Cross regime in 1944, and he remained unrepentant until his death,” said WJC President Ronald Lauder in a statement.
Orthodox Jews, kosher market hit by paintballs in Brooklyn
Police are searching for suspects who targeted a kosher market and some Orthodox Jewish individuals in Brooklyn with a paintball gun.
On June 29, Bondo’s 24 supermarket in the Williamsburg section and 62-year-old Chaim Klein were hit with paintballs. An unnamed man and his two grandchildren walking home from synagogue were targeted as well on the same day, WCBS-TV in New York reported.
Police said the attacks could be linked to three similar incidents that occurred in the same area in March and may be investigated as hate crimes, the New York Daily News reported.
The suspects fired at the supermarket before driving off in a dark car and targeting the other victims. Klein was hit nearby.
Argentine president evokes anger with perceived anti-Semitic slur
Kirchner tweeted the remarks, made on a July 2 visit to a Buenos Aries school, where she told students that to better understand Argentina’s economic crisis, they should read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. One of the protagonists in the play, a Jewish moneylender named Shylock, is portrayed as scheming, vindictive and greedy.
In one tweet, Kirchner recounted how she had asked students she met which Shakespeare play they were studying. When they told the president they were studying Romeo and Juliet, Kirchner said she responded, “I said, ‘Have you read The Merchant of Venice to understand the vulture funds?’ They all laughed.
“No, don’t laugh. Usury and the bloodsuckers were immortalized by the best literature for centuries,” she then tweeted to her two million twitter followers.
Vulture funds are funds that deliberately invest in companies or properties that perform poorly and are typically undervalued. The investment fund then buys the debt cheaply and sues the debtors, usually governments, for a higher price.
Years in the making, Israel-India détente picks up steam
After Friday’s historic abstention at UN vote on Gaza war, senior Foreign Ministry delegation from New Delhi visits Jerusalem
The rapid rapprochement between Israel and India received a major boost Tuesday when a senior Foreign Ministry delegation visited Jerusalem, just days after New Delhi dramatically changed its traditional voting pattern at the United Nations in Israel’s favor.
Headed by Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa, who holds the top bureaucratic position in the ministry, the group of Indian diplomats is in Israel for a “strategical dialogue” on various issues.
The trip is the newest sign of flowering ties between the countries in both defense and diplomacy, which will soon culminate in the first ever visit by an sitting Indian head of state to Israel.
“This dialogue expresses the special relationship that developed” between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement this week. “At the heart of the dialogue stand a number of bilateral topics, with an emphasis on diplomatic, economic and development issues.”
Israel, China in Talks to Become Major Financial Allies
Israel has been rapidly expanding ties with leading Asian nations even as threats of boycotts continue to emanate from Europe, and a major breakthrough regarding Israel's presence in Asia appears to be imminent as the state moves towards a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China.
Chinese media began discussing the prospect of a FTA with Israel last December, and on Monday Economics Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) met in Jerusalem with Chinese Ambassador to Israel Zhan Yongxin for the first time to discuss establishing a free trade zone.
In the meeting Deri expressed Israel's strong desire to establish a free trade zone with the superpower China, holder of the world's second largest GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
For his part Zhan said China is committed to holding negotiations on such an agreement, after Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in March announced his intention to do so in a report to the National People's Congress.
The two sides agreed that a free trade zone agreement would bring bilateral ties to a whole new level; currently Chinese investments in Israel stand at $6 billion, with the Israeli hi-tech industry being a major draw in investment.
In first, imperial Roman legionary camp uncovered near Megiddo
The remains of an imperial Roman legionary camp — the only one of its kind ever to be excavated in Israel or in the entirety of the Eastern Empire from the second and third centuries CE — have come to light at a dig near Megiddo, archaeologists said this week.
Legio, a Roman site situated next to Tel Megiddo in northern Israel, served as the headquarters of the Sixth Legion Ferrata — the Ironclad — in the years following the Jewish Revolt, and would have helped keep order in the Galilee during the Bar Kochba Revolt in 132-135 CE.
“It’s a very, very exciting find,” Yotam Tepper, co-director of the excavation and a field archaeologist at the Israel Antiquities Authority specializing in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, said in a phone interview Monday.
The dig, now in its second season, was conducted by the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research with support from Israel Antiquities Authority as part of the Jezreel Valley Regional Project.
JNF reports finances, holds land worth $2 billion
The Jewish National Fund took a first step toward transparency Tuesday, for the first time in its history releasing details of its financial records and admitting to holding lands in Israel worth a reported $2 billion.
The move by the generally secretive organization appears aimed at quelling criticism over its unique status as a quasi-governmental entity, not officially subject to direct oversight or to state comptroller audits.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the JNF report shows it has control of an estimated $2 billion worth of lands.
The JNF report says the organization generated some $567 million in revenues over the past year, with donations accounting for about 6.2 percent of the total amount ($35.2 million). Close to 57% of those donations, roughly $20.2 million worth of revenue, came from North America.
U2 sings ‘One’ in tribute to Shimon Peres
Hailing Shimon Peres’s lifelong peace efforts, U2 lead singer Bono dedicated the last song of the band’s concert in Toronto on Tuesday to the former president, who was in the audience and who he also met with backstage.
Just before starting to play “One,” the final encore of the show at the 20,000-capacity Air Canada Center, Bono told a cheering audience that the president was in the house, and then launched into a passionate appreciation of him.
The singer introduced “somebody here who’s got one of the hardest jobs on earth…. somebody who has acted as the voice of reason in a region where the loudest voices are often the bellicose ones. Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres is here in the house tonight,” said Bono.
“We understand, president Peres, that you have tried to be the voice of reason. And you’ve dedicated a lot of your life, all of your life, to try and bring peace in this really dangerous region,” said the singer.
Snapchat takes Tel Aviv, sparks anti-Israel outrage
When Snapchat announced Monday via a filter on its photo-application that Tel Aviv would be Tuesday's featured 'live story' on its photo-sharing platform, cheers of joy and excitement were heard amongst Tel Aviv millennials who made it their goal to make it onto the much-anticipated story.
For those less technologically-savvy and unfamiliar with millennial trends, the concept of Snapchat is simple: it's a nifty app which allows users to send friends quick, ephemeral photos and videos - without the hassle of saving them to the pictures folder on your mobile device. Pictures self-destruct instantly, seconds after being opened by the recipient.
It is a technology perfectly tailored for the niche market of young twenty-somethings addicted to social media and unfazed by over-sharing.
With its live story feature, Snapchat gives users insight into the daily happenings of users in a selected number of cities worldwide. It curates a stream of user-submitted photo or video 'snaps' and aggregates them into one "live-story" - a video-collage of chosen snaps - available for viewing for a period of 24 hours by upwards of 100 million Snapchat users.
On Tuesday, Tel Aviv was put on Snapchat's map.

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