Saturday, July 11, 2015

From Ian:

Guy Bechor: Israel must use UN as an offensive tool
On the fifth year of the Middle Eastern destruction, which is going to last for decades, it's time to determine that the United Nations has become irrelevant here, except in regards to one country, which is the last remnant of the old regional order – Israel.
Can the UN do anything in Syria? In Iraq? In Yemen? In Saudi Arabia? In Egypt? In Libya? That's why it focuses on Israel.
It gives this organization's institutions a feeling that they have some advantage, that they are useful. The larger the failure in the region, the more the obsession towards Israel will grow, to the point of a farce. The more the Arab regimes fall apart, their attempt to divert the attention towards us becomes more desperate.
Israel is defending itself – at the grotesque "Human Rights" Council, which is controlled by dictators, at the delusional UNESCO and at the Security Council, where some members don't even recognize Israel. So it might be time to change direction, to turn the regional void into something which could assist us. It's time to use the UN as an offensive tool, not just as a defensive tool. It's time to move the warfare into enemy territory.
From now on, the UN institutions should be flooded with complaints, reports and information about the destruction taking place around us. Every day, a complaint, a report to the media, a resolution in the different institutions. The quality will create the quantity. Even if it isn't accepted, the conscious effect will eventually become fixated. We should embarrass them, just like they seek to embarrass us.
Every day, we should file a report about the Mahmoud Abbas gang which is carrying out mass arrests, including torture, which is persecuting minorities, where UN funds have been disappearing for years, which is responsible for racist incitement against Israel on a daily basis.
Fear and defiance in Paris, 6 months after kosher market attack
On her way home from food shopping, Mirelle Bensason pauses to rearrange wilted wreaths and posters hanging on the perimeter fence that police set up around the kosher supermarket where an Islamist gunned down four Jewish shoppers six months ago.
Bensason, who does not keep strictly kosher, is not a Hyper Cacher regular, but sees the continued flow of customers into the shop as proof of the Jewish community’s resilience.
Hyper Cacher reopened in March, about two months after Amedy Coulibaly entered the chain’s Port de Vincennes location and took its patrons hostage. Since it reopened, the store is guarded during its hours of operation by police officers toting machine guns.
“I take care of the commemorations on this fence to remember the victims and my pain, our pain,” said Bensason, a blue-eyed grandmother of four who was born in Morocco and now lives on the eastern edge of Paris, not far from Hyper Cacher. “But we’re not afraid to come shopping here. We refuse to be cowed by our enemies. Life has not changed much, except for the pain that comes with loss.”
14 French Islamists sentenced for targeting kosher shops
A Paris court on Friday jailed 14 Islamists for planning jihadist attacks on French Jews and other targets.
The Correctional Tribunal of Paris sentenced 39-year-old Mohamed Amchalane, the leader of the banned terrorist group Forsane Alizza, to nine years in prison, Le Figaro reported.
He and 13 of his accomplices, all members of the group, were convicted of “participating in a group formed with a view to preparing terrorist acts.”
The accomplices received lighter punishments of varying severity, ranging from a suspended sentence of one year to six years in prison, Le Figaro reported.
Among the group’s alleged targets were five Jewish supermarkets of the Hyper Cacher chain, the news website reported, and several other Jewish businesses. A Hyper Cacher market in the Paris area was the scene of January’s deadly terrorist siege, in which four French Jews were murdered.

US briefs Israel on final Iran nuclear negotiations
The American team negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program has briefed Israel on the state of the talks, a senior US administration official told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, serving as US President Barack Obama's chief negotiator with Iran, spoke with Israel's National Security Advisor Yossi Cohen on Thursday.
The talks, now in their third straight week, were extended on Thursday evening after a concerted effort to complete a deal by that night. At the time, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that significant issues remained outstanding. But he said on Friday that several of those issues have been resolved.
Kerry did not specify which issues remain sticking points.
World powers seek to cap, restrict, monitor and partially roll back Iran's nuclear program for a limited period in exchange for sanctions relief. Iran seeks to maximize that relief, and wants it delivered immediately.
Iranian general: Foreigners will never enter military sites
Foreigners will never be allowed access to Iran’s military sites, the deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces said on Friday.
“We call on the negotiating sides to avoid stepping into this realm; because access to military centers will not be allowed under any condition,” Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri said, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.
Inspection procedures for suspect sites has been a major point of disagreement in world powers’ nuclear talks with Iran. The Iranian leadership has consistently said it will not allow outside inspectors into suspect military facilities.
On Friday Ehud Yaari, the Middle East affairs commentator for Israel’s Channel 2 television said a deal had been reached between the world powers and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program after a series of major American concessions.
According to Yaari US negotiators have given in to Iranian demands that inspections of military sites are “managed” — in other words, there will be no surprise visits, only those that are pre-arranged and approved by the Iranian regime.
Will Obama Endanger Navy for Sake of Deal?
Let us hope that Kerry and his team do hold firm, though. Over recent weeks, Bahraini authorities have intercepted an Iranian weapons shipment meant to take the low-grade protest campaigns by the Bahraini Shi‘ite opposition and Saudi Shi‘ites to a new level. During the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War, Hezbollah crippled an Israeli ship with an Iranian-made C-802 missile. Hezbollah has since bragged both about restocking and upgrading its missile arsenal and about developing an underwater sabotage capability. The Houthis in Yemen, meanwhile, have not only allowed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to transform them into an Iranian proxy, but they have also seized territory along the southeastern Yemeni coast, thereby endangering shipping through the Bab al-Mandab. In addition, the windfall the Obama administration is prepared to allow Tehran to go on a veritable shopping spree with not only Russia and China, but also perhaps even North Korea, France, and Germany.
Who will be most vulnerable to this Iranian military build-up? Well, certainly ordinary Syrian citizens who are already suffering between the twin evils of the Assad regime and the Islamic State. But also the U.S. Navy. Khamenei has repeatedly demanded that U.S. forces leave the Persian Gulf, international waters be damned. And contrary to left-wing political activist turned Washington Post correspondent Ishaan Tharoor, the Iranian regime does subscribe to a notion of “Iranzamin” or “Greater Iran” based on the Persian Empire’s historical legacy. This will put Iran and the U.S. Navy on a collision course. That might be inevitable, but allowing Iran to equip itself with sophisticated missiles and weaponry that might have a higher chance to penetrate American defenses, that is unconscionable. Let Obama be a neighborhood organizer for the world after his term ends; while he is in the White House his chief job is to protect Americans lives, livelihood, and security.
Iranian Ship Targets U.S. Destroyer with Laser in Latest Act of Naval “Harassment”
An Iranian-flagged vessel targeted a United States Navy destroyer and helicopter in the Gulf of Aden with a laser device multiple times this week, CNN reported Thursday. According to a U.S. defense official, the USS Forrest Sherman was “conducting routine maritime operations” in international waters when its bridge area and the aircraft were targeted.
No damage was reported, and the incidents are being regarded as “harassment from the Iranians.”
The report comes in the wake of a series of confrontations between Iranian naval forces and U.S. and allied vessels in the region. This April, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired on, diverted and boarded the MV Maersk Tigris, a cargo ship that was sailing in international waters under the flag of the Marshall Islands, the defense of which is under the “full authority and responsibility” of the United States.
Iran newspaper: If US attacks us, White House would be destroyed in 10 minutes
An Iranian newspaper affiliated with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that the White House would be “destroyed in under 10 minutes” were Iran’s nuclear facilities to come under attack, implied that the US was “on its deathbed” and argued that a nuclear deal with the US-led world powers would contradict the Quran, the media watchdog MEMRI reported.
“Let us have faith that America is incapable of any misstep [against Iran], and that it cannot even attack Iranian facilities without the White House being destroyed in under 10 minutes,” the editorial said, according to MEMRI. “Let us have faith that the old ‘village leader’ [i.e. the US] has fallen onto his deathbed, and that even in his youth, he never made the mistake [of daring to attack Iran], and that he, like Israel, remains mired in quicksand.”
The conservative, Khamenei-linked Iranian daily Kayhan published the comments in a June 17 editorial, MEMRI said Friday.
The Kayhan editorial said Iran was currently in a situation similar to that of the early battles of Islam, when Muhammad won the Battle of Badr and annihilated the Jews of Khaybar, MEMRI said. The newspaper called on the Iranian nation to use the month of Ramadan to redeem Islam, “which is entangled by the Jews’ deception” and by the trickery of the US – “The Great Satan” – and Britain – “the wily fox.”
Khamenei: Iran will fight against US arrogance regardless of nuke deal
Iran will continue to fight the United States’ “global arrogance” whether or not the world powers and Iran reach a nuclear agreement, said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday.
Speaking to a group of students in Tehran, Khamenei said Iran’s “fight [against] global arrogance is the core of our [1979 Islamic] revolution and we cannot put it on hold.
“Get ready to continue your fight against the global arrogance. The US is the true embodiment of the global arrogance,” said the Iranian leader in response to a student’s question about what would happen if the talks to curb the country’s nuclear program were successful.
At the annual al-Quds Day march in Tehran on Friday, hundreds of thousands shouted “Death to America,” burned American flags and displayed posters of President Barack Obama in flames.
Nasrallah: 'You can't be a supporter of Palestine unless you support Iran'
Speaking on Friday, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah called on all those who support the Palestinian cause to rally behind it's sponsor and ideological backer, Iran.
In the speech, published on Lebanese news sites, Nasrallah claims that "Iran's enemies are the enemies of Jerusalem. " He further commemorated Iran on International Quds day, and called the Islamic Republic and its support for "resistance movements" the "only hope left for this region, after God."
Nasrallah, whose forces have been fighting on behalf of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, another of Iran's allies, has routinely championed the Palestinian cause, this time tying his rhetoric to his group's ongoing fight against Sunni militants, such as the Nusra Front and the Islamic State, in neighboring Syria.
"Our fighters who fall in Syria are dying for the sake of the resistant Syria, Lebanon and Palestine," and "if Syria is lost, Palestine would be lost."
Iran launches ‘missile strike’ on Israel in game app
Iran has developed a new mobile game that simulates a missile attack on Israel, according to the semi-official news agency Fars News.
The game — “Missile Strike” — was unveiled on Friday in honor of al-Quds Day, during which vast numbers of Iranians marched against Israel and the US and called for the “liberation” of Jerusalem.
As part of the game, users “break into the Zionist regime’s air defense and target Israel” using “Iranian-made missiles,” according to the game’s developer, Mehdi Atash Jaam.
Jaam said the game was produced in response to the US-made video game Battlefield, which includes scenes simulating attacks on Tehran.
On Friday, vast crowds of people marched in Iran, Lebanon and Iraq chanting “Down with America” and “Death to Israel” on Al-Quds Day, internationally observed annually on the last Friday of the month of Ramadan.
Stop the Bomb! Israeli confronts Iran in new phone ad
Israelis may be gravely concerned by the threat posed by a potentially nuclear Iran, but they evidently haven’t lost their sense of humor about it.
A new ad for the national Bezeq phone company’s “smart home” technology features one of the country’s most popular entertainers, Gidi Gov, playing the role of an asthmatic salesman purportedly flying into Tehran airport and nervously clearing passport control.
He grabs a taxi, stops for a snack, and then arrives at an Iranian nuclear control center just as the ayatollahs are in the final seconds of a countdown to launch a nuclear device.
A general’s hand is poised over the red button when Gov bursts into the room through what looks like an air-conditioning grill.
“Stop the bomb! This isn’t the time to blow up the world,” he pleads to the rows full of Iran’s top military and clerical leadership.
“Not now, when Bezeq is offering it’s smart home service,” salesman Gov elaborates rather lamely.
‘Soup Nazi’ Replaces John Kerry in Iran Deal (satire)
United States President Barack Obama has replaced Secretary of State John Kerry the lead US negotiator in the Iran talks with the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame.
Speaking to The Israeli Daily aboard Air Force One en route to a golf outing in Florida, President Obama said John Kerry has done an outstanding job as Team America negotiator, but expressed his frustration that no final deal had been brokered.
“John’s shuttle diplomacy has racked up hundreds of thousand of Sky Miles good for spa getaways and trips to exotic locations, but not enough for a Nobel Prize,” Obama noted. “In my view, a hard line negotiator who would set limits and present a firm time table was required at this stage. The Soup Nazi not only makes a great bowl of Mulligatawny, but was the right ingredient to make it happen. His ‘no nukes for you, one year!’ approach is exactly what we’re looking for.”
According to a senior White House staff member, the President was receiving pressure from a few high ranking Republican senators who wanted him to dump Kerry. One GOP leader who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Israeli Daily, “these talks are a sham and Kerry should piss or get off the pot.”
Lebanese army says it captured crashed Israeli drone
An Israeli drone crashed Saturday morning in the port of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, the Lebanese army announced.
It was the second such incident in the country in three weeks.
“Around 8:30 a.m. (0530 GMT), a drone belonging to the Israeli enemy fell in the port of Tripoli,” said the military statement.
Photos posted on twitter claimed to show the aircraft being pulled out of the water. It bore the insignia of the Israeli Air Force — a blue Star of David on a white background.
A video made by the Lebanese military showed the aircraft on the ground as soldiers milled around it.
The Israeli military would not comment on the incident.
Israel fears Gaza captive may no longer be alive
Israel fears Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mengistu, 28, who disappeared into the Gaza Strip 10 months ago and is said to be held by Hamas, may not be alive.
According to a Channel 2 report Friday night, sources in Jerusalem are considering this possibility based on the behavior of the Gaza Strip rulers since Mengistu was last seen in September of last year. There has been no sign of life from him since.
Hamas has not been clear about whether it is holding the Israeli and has not made any demands for his release. A senior Palestinian official based in the Gaza Strip denied that the group was holding Mengistu. According to the official, Mengistu was briefly held by the group but was released a short while later after Hamas interrogators determined he was not a soldier. The official further claimed that the Israeli citizen left the coastal strip via a tunnel to Sinai, apparently in an attempt to reach Ethiopia.
At a rally in Gaza on Wednesday, however, Hamas displayed a huge model fist holding a mock up of fallen soldier Oren Shaul’s ID card and two other IDF IDs with question marks on them, implying that it holds two Israeli soldiers captive. (Mengistu, who suffered from unspecified mental issues, was rejected for IDF service.)
New Hampshire Governor Silent on Her Church’s Israel Boycott
Gov. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire (D.) has refused to say whether she supports her church’s divestment from Israel as she weighs running for the Senate seat currently held by Kelly Ayotte.
The United Church of Christ voted in June to cut ties with all Israeli companies as part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement. The boycott resolution won support from 80 percent of participants in the church synod.
“This allows us to sustain and strengthen our voice against the occupation. It bolsters and supports the work were are doing there,” Peter Makari, UCC executive for the Middle East and Europe, said following the vote.
The resolution was originally limited to five companies that did business in Israel, but the scope was expanded to include “any direct or substantive indirect holdings in companies profiting from, or complicit in, human rights violations arising from the occupation,” according to the UCC website.
“We are calling and urging all UCC-related entities to stop bringing wood to the fire of this conflict of human rights,” Rev. Richard Edens, who chaired the committee that proposed the resolution, said on the UCC site.
The BDS movement aims to weaken Israel’s economy to pressure the country to disarm and cede territory to the Palestinians. Israel supporters say that the movement is rooted in anti-Semitism.
Christian Zionist leader to direct anti-BDS campus group
An initiative that would combat the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on campuses named its leader the director of a Christian Zionist group.
David Brog, who currently directs Christians United for Israel, will assume the leadership of Campus Maccabees, the Forward reported this week.
Campus Maccabees is an initiative of Sheldon Adelson, a casino magnate who backs Republicans, and Haim Saban, an entertainment mogul who backs Democrats. Both are prominent pro-Isarel donors and have cooperated in the past.
Brog is Jewish. He is expected to resign as CUFI’s director, but to remain involved with the organization, the Forward reported.
CUFI’s annual Washington conference takes place next week.
Daphne Anson: "Glory, Glory, Palestine!": Muslims march against Israel in London (video) (updated)
On so-called Al Quds Day, a massive mob of Muslims march with their banners and slogans condemning Israel. At the head of the procession, a Neturei Karta nut is clearly visible, and later, amid the hijabbed hordes, a couple of western women are spotted ...
The chant "Glory, Glory, Palestine," adapted from Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic," provides a surreal touch ...
In this video by our old friend Alex Seymour, more westerners hove into view, and more chants assail the eardrums:
Oh, and if you can bear to watch, check it out for the German Israel-demoniser.
Revealed: The Muslim Brotherhood’s British Property Portfolio Bankrolling Global Islamism
A registered charity with an £8.5million property portfolio in the UK, whose leaders have alleged links to al-Qaeda, Hamas and even the terrorists behind 9/11, has been revealed to exist solely to fund international Islamist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. The trust owns 47 student flats in Leeds and the student rents have been unwittingly bankrolling political Islam in Europe for years.
The Leicestershire-based Europe Trust, which was created in 1996 with the backing of Gulf donors, claims to be “a non-political, non-profit making and independent, charitable organisation” on its website, which seeks to “contribute to a harmonious society where equal opportunity and quality of life are a reality for everyone” by supporting “the advancement of the Islamic religion.”
However, it sends funds to the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE), identified as the Brotherhood’s unofficial representative network on the Continent by experts; the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), a member FIOE identified as “the Brotherhood’s representative in the UK” by a government minister in 2010, and a network of Arabic-language religious schools attended by one of Lee Rigby’s murders.
The activities of the trust and the unofficial network of Brotherhood-linked organisations it funds were exposed in an investigation by Andrew Norfolk in The Times.
'Independent' Publishes Letter from Islamist Sympathisers Calling for End to Anti-Terror Strategy
An open letter published in this morning’s Independent calling for the government to abandon its PREVENT counter-terror strategy has been signed by 280 individuals including known Islamists and terror sympathizers.
The letter argues that terrorism is a “social, economic and political” issue and that “dialogue,” rather than “fixating” on ideology, is the correct response. It claims PREVENT will harm free speech, lead to Muslims who grow beards being labelled “potential terrorists” and could even be used against anti-austerity and environmental campaigners.
Signatures include Haitham Al Haddad, a members of Hizb ut-Tahrir and the Sharia Council of Britain who believes apostates should be killed and supports FGM; Asim Quresi of CAGE, who called Jihadi John “a beautiful man;” and Shakeel Begg, a hardline Imam from a mosque where the killers of Lee Rigby worshipped.
The Government’s counter-radicalisation strategy, PREVENT was introduced after 9/11, however new powers were brought into effect this month under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CST Act), which require teachers, social workers, prison officers and NHS managers to report signs of radicalisation. People thought to be embracing extremism will be sent on deradicalisation programmes.
Hate speech, lies and antisemitism on BBC News Facebook page
The promotion of dialogue and free speech is of course a commendable aspiration but unfortunately, all too often BBC message boards become a forum for hate speech, dehumanization and delegitimisation – at least where Israelis are concerned.
A post promoting Lyse Doucet’s recent programme ‘Children of the Gaza War’ which appeared on the BBC News Facebook account on July 7th was viewed by over 450,000 people and generated over a thousand comments.
Among the comments left standing by the BBC were several promoting the notion that Israel carried out ‘genocide’, ‘extermination’, ‘slaughter’, ‘rape’ and deliberately targets Muslims.
The BBC cannot possibly claim that this sort of display falls into the category of ‘informing conversation and debate’. Not only do many of the comments on that thread distort reality and promote falsehoods and conspiracy theories but others clearly spread antisemitic discourse and hate speech.
BBC’s Doucet explains why Yemen gets less coverage than Gaza
BBC audiences would no doubt be very interested to hear more details about the easier access and safer reporting conditions in the Gaza Strip.
But of course it is not just the volume of reporting which distinguishes the BBC’s coverage of last summer’s conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip from its reporting on the ongoing conflict in Yemen: the difference in tone of reporting is remarkable too.
With the casualty toll in Yemen having surpassed that in the Gaza Strip last year, it is worth taking a look at how that news was presented in the latest report to appear on the BBC News website’s Middle East page.
IS claims bombing at Italian consulate in Cairo
The Islamic State group said it was responsible for a deadly car bomb Saturday outside the Italian consulate in Cairo, warning Muslims to stay away from such places, SITE Intelligence Group reported.
“Soldiers of the Islamic State in Cairo were able to detonate a parked booby-trapped vehicle laden with 450 kg (990 pounds) of explosives at the headquarters of the Italian consulate,” the US-based security monitor quoted an IS tweet as saying.
“We advise Muslims to stay away from these security dens, because they are legitimate targets for strikes of the mujahedeen,” the statement added.
The early morning explosion killed a civilian and wounded nine people, including police and passers-by, the Egyptian health ministry said.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said on Saturday that his country will not be intimidated by the bombing.
MEMRI: Expulsion Of Coptic Families From Their Homes Sparks Uproar In Egypt
The expulsion of several Coptic families from Kafr Darwish in Beni Suef governorate in Egypt has recently caused a stir in the country. The families were expelled in attempt to ease severe tension between Muslims and Copts in the village; the tension was sparked after a member of one of the Coptic families who resides in Jordan posted on his Facebook page images and content that were deemed offensive to Islam and the Prophet. Enraged by his posts, Muslim teens in the village attacked his family and other local Copts. This prompted intervention by the security forces, who surrounded the homes of the Coptic families to prevent further violence.
The decision to expel the families was taken at a reconciliation assembly held on May 17, 2015, which was attended by Coptic and Muslim families, village dignitaries, and representatives of the security forces and local government. This solution was presented as a necessary evil that would prevent the greater evil of continued clashes between Copts and Muslims.
The expulsion of the Copts sparked harsh criticism from Coptic and human rights activists in Egypt, who said that this measure – decided on as part of an informal arbitration procedure – was a flagrant violation of human rights and of the Egyptian constitution. Criticism was leveled especially at the local governor and local security officials, who had given their blessing to the move. Some even called upon Egyptian president 'Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi to intervene in the matter. Outrage was also voiced on social media, under hashtags such as "No to the expulsion of the Copts of Kafr Darwish." Users condemned the move as an expression of racism and sectarianism, and criticized the custom of settling conflicts in informal frameworks such as reconciliation assemblies, rather than through the courts and the rule of law.
Turkish Writers Go On Trial for Printing Charlie Hebdo Cartoons
Facing up to four-and-a-half years in prison if found guilty, two Turkish newspaper commentators went on trial yesterday for illustrating columns with a cartoon of Mohammed.
Charges of “inciting public hatred” and “insulting religious values” were brought against Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya by over 100 plaintiffs including close relatives of President Erdogan.
AFP reports that although many of the plaintiffs attended the first hearing on Thursday, Karan and Cetinkaya, both writers at the centre-left secular newspaper Cumhuriyet which is strongly critical of Erdogan’s Presidency, were no shows saying they were out of Istanbul on business. The hearing was adjourned to 12 October.
In January Cumhuriyet published a four-page Turkish language sample of Charlie Hebdo. It commemorated the satirical weekly’s first issue following the Islamist terrorist attack that killed 12 people at its offices. While it did not include the front cover featuring Mohammed, a smaller version of the cartoon was twice used inside the main newspaper to illustrate columns on the subject by Karan and Cetinkaya.
An editorial in that newspaper said the Charlie Hebdo cover drawing did not seem to have “anything to do with Prophet Mohammed. That drawing is a symbol of a humane and conscientious attitude and it says, ‘All is forgiven.'” Nevertheless CNN reports people called the Cumhuriyet offices following publication to issue death threats.
US Jewish groups talk security with senior officials
Jewish community leaders met Wednesday with the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and other top security agencies staff to discuss protection for Jewish institutions.
Jeh Johnson and his deputy, Alejandro Mayorkas, “underscored the department’s continued efforts to expand partnerships with faith-based and community organizations and state and local officials on civil rights and civil liberties to safeguard local communities,” said a DHS statement released after the event in Washington, DC.
Following the meeting with Johnson, Mayorkas helped lead a tabletop simulation of an attack on Jewish institutions that included leaders of an array of national Jewish groups and representatives from DHS, the FBI and state police agencies.
The simulation underscored “the importance of community engagement to effectively protect communities from violent extremist threats,” the DHS statement said.
The exercise was planned before last month’s deadly attack on a black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Jewish Groups Enraged After New 49ers Running Back Jarryd Hayne Claims That Jews Killed Jesus
Former Australian rugby player and 2014 NFL grab Jarryd Hayne grabbed headlines and angered Jewish groups over a tweet last week accusing Jews of killing Jesus Christ.
“Jesus wanted to help people but was killed by his own people,” Hayne wrote through his Twitter handle, followed by over 120,000 Twitter users, on July 1.
Unperturbed by the potential for backlash among some of his fans, Hayne went on to tweet the next day: “The Jews were the people who took him to the Romans n forced them to give the order because they couldn’t.”
Hayne, 27, described as a “Christian superstar rugby player,” ultimately deleted the tweets on Friday morning. The Australian native — twice a top player in the NRL — announced a $100,000 futures contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March.
The accusation that Jewish people killed Jesus led to antisemitism and violence against Jewish communities for centuries, mainly in Europe but also in other parts of the world. The Catholic Church signed a document just half a century ago recognizing that Jews were not culpable for Jesus’ death.
Chairman of the B’nai Brith Anti-Defamation Commission, Dvir Abromovich, criticized Hayne for bringing up the thousands-of-years-old accusation, thus “fueling antisemitism.”
German Textbooks and Anti-Israel Liberal Elites
The background to the new German study is a series of polls showing shocking levels of anti-Israel sentiment among ordinary Germans: For instance, fully 35 percent “equate Israeli policies toward the Palestinians with Nazi policies toward the Jews.” Given the vaunted “special relationship” between Germany and Israel, such findings raise obvious questions about how so many Germans developed such warped views.
So a group of German and Israeli researchers decided to analyze German textbooks to see what exactly German schools are teaching their students. They examined 1,200 history, geography and social studies textbooks from five German states, and concluded that these books portray Israel almost exclusively as a militarist, warmongering society.
Israel’s robust democracy, respect for human rights and other achievements are absent in these books. The illustrations consist of “tendentious and one-sided photographic presentations” of Israeli soldiers threatening or inflicting violence on Palestinians.
“Occupation and settlements” are depicted as the main obstacles to peace; the fact that both Israelis and Palestinians have claims to the land goes unmentioned, and Palestinian terror gets a free pass – or as the report puts it, most of the authors “find it difficult to unequivocally call Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians acts of terror.”
In short, it’s not surprising that so many Germans have such negative views of Israel, because that’s precisely what they are taught in school. True, the textbooks don’t actually compare Israel to the Nazis, but the comparison doesn’t require a big leap of logic for graduates of these schools; after all, to a German, the paradigmatic example of a militarist, warmongering society is Nazi Germany. So once you tell students that Israel, too, is a militarist, warmongering society, the Nazi analogy comes naturally.
But who writes the textbooks that give these pupils such a warped view of Israel? Hint: It’s not the neo-Nazi skinheads. It’s the liberal elites.
Researchers Say Women Less Likely Than Men to Kill Hitler, if They Could Travel Back in Time
Women are less likely than men to want to kill Nazi leader Adolph Hitler if given the ability to travel back in time, a recently published research paper revealed.
The paper analyzed 40 studies involving 6,100 respondents in a time-travel thought experiment, the New York Post reported on Friday. While 60 percent of men said they would theoretically be willing to kill Hitler, only 55 percent of women said they would be comfortable doing the same.
The paper was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Dr. Paul Conway, Ph.D., one of three authors of the paper, said the research describes a gender bias that surfaces across all aspects of moral decision-making, even regarding real-world decisions that do not involve imaginary time travel.
Israeli Court Rules: Priceless Kafka Collection Goes to Israel’s National Library
After decades of legal wrangling, the Tel Aviv District Court last Wednesday awarded custody of the estate of Max Brod, Franz Kafka’s friend and publisher, to the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.
The Court’s decision ended a longstanding dispute between Eva and Ruti Hoffe – the daughters of Brod’s secretary Esther Hoffe, whom Brod had left in charge of his estate upon his death in 1968 – and Israel’s National Library, which was suing for possession of the documents.
The judges found that upon her death in 2007, Ester Hoffe had illegally bequeathed the collection to her daughters, after having, also illegally, sold several of its most important manuscripts to private archives around the world for impressive sums.
“Is the placing of Kafka’s personal writings – which he ordered to be destroyed – for public sale to the highest bidder by the secretary of his friend and by her daughters in keeping with justice? It appears that the answer to this is clear,” the judges wrote in their ruling.
At the heart of the debate lay the equivocal legal status of the Kafka estate. Brod – himself a major cultural figure known for his work as a novelist, journalist, Zionist activist and composer – had received the collection from Kafka; several decades later, he made a present of it to his secretary and associate Hoffe, whom he also named sole executor of his estate in his will.
New Intel accelerator could be company’s latest Israeli export
The company this week announced its Ingenuity Partner Program (IPP), an accelerator program that will provide assistance, mentoring, and connections to companies that Intel Israel accepts into the program.
And like other successful tech accelerators that got their start in Israel – notably the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator, now a flagship program of the company worldwide, Intel Israel sees IPP as a model to be built and developed in Israel and duplicated elsewhere in the Intel empire, said Intel Israel IPP director Roy Ramon.
IPP may be new, but Intel has had a lot of experience with start-ups. That experience, though hasn’t been organized in single unit.
“The big innovation of IPP is that we are formalizing the process to help start-ups. We’ve had 40 years of experience working with start-ups in different units and departments. Now we will marshal all that experience to develop a partnership program to help companies bring their products to market,” said Ramon.
With the announcement of IPP, the first round of the program is already under way, and nine start-ups are currently enrolled for the first six-month program. According to the Intel model, start-ups spend two months getting to know the resources inside the company that they can take advantage of, followed by four months of lab work.
“We didn’t really announce the program publicly in advance so that we could do a ‘test run’ with companies we were already set to work with. Now that the program is officially open we are getting ready to recruit new companies that will participate in the next round,” said Ramon.
Milan Jewish Center Runs Soup Kitchen for Muslim Refugees Fleeing to Northern Europe
A kosher soup kitchen in Milan is supplying food and shelter for Muslim refugees attempting to traverse the continent to Northern Europe, the website of major Jewish outreach group Chabad reported on Thursday.
Eritrean, Ethiopian, Sudanese and Syrian refugees—most of them Muslim – usually stay one or two nights at the Chabad-affiliated Beteavon soup kitchen before boarding northbound trains, as they seek safety, and better prospects than in their home countries.
The soup kitchen, which also serves as a Holocaust memorial and museum, provides refugees with a hot kosher meal upon arrival. They also provide towels and toiletries, and direct the visitors to a shower area. The meal is often the first food the refugees have tasted since the previous night as many observe Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting during daylight hours.
Roberto Jarach, vice president of the memorial and former president of the local Jewish community, organized for an area to be set aside for the refugees and added beds and a shower to the space, which already had its own toilets and sinks.
More than 1,000 refugees sleep in areas across Milan every night and mainly in public shelters, he told Chabad.
Wounded Israeli Soldiers Unite With American Veterans to Help Their ‘Brothers for Life’ Heal (INTERVIEW)
An organization in Israel is helping wounded U.S. veterans move past their physical and psychological difficulties by connecting them with injured Israeli soldiers who understand what they’ve been through.
“What we discovered very early is that there’s no ‘professional, psychiatrist, social worker’ or anything like that [or] pills that can come even close to helping a soldier who fought in combat, who was wounded, who lost his friends. No one can help him like another person who’s been through exactly what he has,” Rabbi Chaim Levine, executive director of Brothers for Life, told The Algemeiner.
Brothers for Life organizes sessions for wounded Israeli combat soldiers to spend time with injured U.S. veterans, sometimes for half a day, a full day or even a week.
The first couple of hours the soldiers do an icebreaker such as a sporting event, which Levine says may include an American teaching an Israeli how to play basketball. The soldiers then start talking and opening up to each other about the challenges they face, such as dealing with their injuries, suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and what has helped them along the way.
The soldiers create “a really special bond” in the short period of time that they spend together, Levine told The Algemeiner. He said what would typically take a year with a psychiatrist, the soldiers accomplish in a day with someone who understands first hand what they have experienced.
A recent group session in Boston brought together about 25 U.S. veteran soldiers and 10 Israeli soldiers. The group spent a day at Gillette Stadium playing football and the Israeli beach sport, called “matkot” in Hebrew, before sharing lunch and speaking about their injuries.
Brothers for Life has also united Israeli and U.S. soldiers in Washington, New York , San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston. The organization is based on the model of “injured soldiers helping injured soldiers.”

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