Monday, July 13, 2015

From Ian:

Ben-Dror Yemini: BDS' useful idiots at Haaretz
Omar Barghouti, one of the leaders of the BDS movement, said in an interview recently that he wants Jews to live in peace under Arab democracy. He ignores a long and bloody history of persecution of Jews in Arab countries – and, surprisingly, there are some Israelis who buy that nonsense.
This week Le Monde published an interview with Omar Barghouti, one of the leaders of BDS. His argument, in essence, was that there is no problem with the Jews living as a minority under Arab rule in the exemplary state he aims to create.
After all, the Jews, he explained, "did not suffer in Arab countries. There were no pogroms. There was no persecution. And in general, the Jews thrive as minorities in Europe and the United States." So what's the problem? Please live as a minority under Arab democracy, which is known for its protection of minorities, especially if they are Jews.
The man suffers from double blindness - both to the past and to the present. It's doubtful whether there is a Jewish community under Muslim rule that did not suffer from persecution, with or without any relation to Zionism. The list is long. And the leader of the British Mandate-era Arab Higher Committee, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, was actually a well-known fan of Jews. That's why he apparently led the pogrom against the Jews of Baghdad in 1941, the "Farhud", and from there traveled to Berlin in order to turn more Muslims into Nazis. He also wrote about his plans to destroy all of the Arab countries' Jews.
It's Barghouti's right to spout nonsense. But when he's given such an important platform, he should be asked: Excuse me, what are you talking about? And did you forget the pogroms against Jews in Libya in 1945 and 1948, and in Aden in 1948, and in Morocco, in Damascus, and in Aleppo? Hundreds were murdered, merely because they were Jewish. And if we turn to the present, where exactly are minorities living in peace and quiet in Arab nations? It's possible that Barghouti means the black Muslims of Darfur in Sudan.
How is it that the interviewer did not push him? Well, it turns out that the interviewer is an Israeli, Nirit Ben-Ari. In the past she supported the Israeli-Arab nationalist party Balad. Towards the last elections she published an article supporting the Joint Arab List. She is also an avid supporter of BDS. She asked to interview Barghouti for Haaretz, but he made it clear that he refused to be interviewed for any Israeli newspaper, because of Zionist hegemony.
Eugene Kontorovich: Abe Foxman says that banning the use of public money to support companies that boycott Israel is unconstitutional and illegal. Is he right?
Abe Foxman says that banning the use of public money to support companies that boycott Israel is unconstitutional and illegal. Is he right?
In the latest act of a decades-long fight against discriminatory boycotts of Israel, two states have passed, and several are considering, legislation that protects their taxpayers from inadvertently underwriting such boycotts. Legislation recently passed by Congress denounced “politically motivated” boycotts of Israel.
In recent months, South Carolina has passed a law restricting state contracting with those who boycott on a nationality basis (the law is not limited to Israel; I advised on the drafting), and Illinois will prevent its pension fund from holding stock in boycotting companies. Legislators in these and other states have concluded that the movement to undermine the world’s only Jewish country through boycotts—while professing noble motives—is a thinly veiled form of anti-Semitism.
These laws have bipartisan support, and they passed unanimously. They enjoy the broad support of mainstream Jewish organizations. Yet some, including Anti-Defamation League head Abraham Foxman, have expressed concerns that legislation that “bars BDS activity by private groups” would raise First Amendment concerns.
Such concerns are entirely misplaced. The current legislation by states does not bar any BDS activity and does not otherwise violate the First Amendment. Indeed, these laws are far milder versions of long-standing federal anti-boycott laws that were adopted through the vigorous efforts of the ADL itself and that have enjoyed broad and uncontroversial support ever since.
US pathologist says Nisman death likely a homicide
A US forensic pathologist believes that the late Argentine special prosecutor Alberto Nisman likely was murdered.
“The evidence argues strongly and scientifically against it being a suicide,” Cyril Wecht said in an interview aired by Argentina television’s Channel 13 on Sunday night. “It is much more likely that this was a homicide than a suicide.”
Wecht has been president of the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine, and has performed about 17,000 autopsies. He has consulted on several high-profile cases, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
At the request of the Argentine current events show “Periodismo para todos,” hosted by the eminent Argentine journalist Jorge Lanata, Wecht analyzed Nisman’s case photos, videos, studies and forensic reports. Interviewed from Pittsburgh, Wecht said that the position of the gun would have made it difficult for Nisman to shoot himself.
Forensic experts have differed on the cause of death. Many have said it will be difficult to establish one unified version of how Nisman died, with some experts believing it was suicide and others murder.
Prosecutor Viviana Fein has not yet released a final ruling.

Alberto Nisman’s Mysterious Death in Argentina
Manfred Gerstenfeld’s interviews Gustavo Perednik
There is evidence that much of the evidence collected by Nisman was destroyed in his apartment before the bullet killed him. His former wife and federal judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado requested that the prosecutor investigating the death of Nisman be replaced. This was refused. In addition, a character assassination of Nisman was promoted by governmental officials.
“In the meantime, there have been consequences of this affair for Argentinian Jewry as well. The next presidential elections are being held in October 2015. Kirschner cannot run as she has already served the maximum two terms. In April she tweeted an accusation that seems to have inspired by the Protocols of the Elders of Sion. Her comment claimed that Nisman, some American Jews and local Jewish leaders are conspiring with world financial forces to destabilize governments the world over –including hers. In July 2015, Kirschner told a class of 10-year-old schoolchildren that “in order to understand the financial greed and usury against Argentina, they should read The Merchant of Venice.”
“The Washington Post, in an editorial article, has asked for an international investigation of Nisman’s death. They are convinced that the matter will never be properly investigated by the Argentinian judicial system because it is becoming increasingly politicized under the current government.”
Perednik concludes, “Argentinian Jews, and Jews in general, are rendered scapegoats when there is a need to deviate public attention from governmental misdeeds and failures. It is a classic story, isn’t it?”
Alberto Nisman's Secret Recordings, Revealed
Before he was murdered, the Argentinian prosecutor investigating the massive 1994 Buenos Aires bombing wiretapped over 40,000 phone calls. His one question: Did the Argentinian government conspire to cover up Iran’s involvement in the attack?
Nisman, who was found dead in his apartment in suspicious circumstances last January, had accused the president and some of her colleagues of covering up Iran’s involvement in the AMIA massacre, which claimed the lives of 85 people and injured hundreds more. Nisman had been investigating the AMIA atrocity for more than ten years, adding an additional layer to his inquiries when he unearthed what he believed to be evidence of back-channel negotiations between the Argentine government and the Iranian regime to cover up the massacre.
The court’s decision signaled that, as far as the Argentine judicial system is concerned, there is no possibility, for now, of Nisman’s complaint against the government being properly and impartially examined. However, it is important to note that since no investigation has taken place, no verdicts have been handed down. The prospect remains of the case being reopened at a later date, subject to a change in Argentina’s political climate and the presentation of new evidence.
Such evidence may be present in the trove of some 41,606 recordings of wire-tapped telephone conversations that Nisman obtained through a court order. What those recordings strongly suggest is that Jorge Alejandro “Yusuf” Khalil, an Argentine citizen now seen as Tehran’s main back-channel interlocutor with the Argentine government, was actively involved in negotiating the fateful Memorandum of Understanding with Iran. This, in Nisman’s view, was designed to have the international arrest warrants against the five Iranian suspects in the AMIA atrocity dropped, thus putting an end to Argentina’s demand to extradite them for trial.
NGO Monitor: An Israeli Human Rights Walkout? Weighing Pros and Cons
Commenting on a recent performance of the “theater of the absurd” at the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Prime Minister Netanyahu made a reference to “reevaluating Israel’s ties” with this body. Since Israel is not among the 47 member states that were elected to sit on the UNHRC, quitting is not an option, but Israel could again suspend all cooperation and activities.
What would a walkout from a body in which Israel is not even a member accomplish, and what would be the costs? At first glance, the benefits are hard to discern. Such a move would not end the use of the HRC as a staging ground for political warfare, including the thinly disguised “investigations” of Israeli responses to terror.
These commissions are created by a majority dominated by the Islamic bloc (officially the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), and the anti-Israel publications are written by UN staff members who are beholden to them. This staff, along with many diplomats from the European Union and elsewhere that are based in Geneva, work closely with powerful NGOs that exploit human rights, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, B’tselem, and others. And when the reports attacking Israel for “war crimes” and other charges, are published, these are automatically adopted by the states that sit on the Council. Israel’s strong opposition, often supported by the US, and the exposure of systematic inaccuracies and bias, have made little difference in the outcome.
But the threat of an Israeli boycott is not entirely without impact. The HRC, like many other UN frameworks, derives some of its legitimacy (to the degree that this remains) from universal participation. A few years ago, when Israel froze cooperation with the process known as the Universal Periodic Review of human rights practices, in protest against the bias and abuse, a number of governments paid attention. As a result, and in order to convince Israel to end the walkout, the WEOG (Western Europe and Others) group agreed not to participate in or provide legitimacy to the HRC sessions that blatantly single-out Israel, among other concessions.
Defeating Israel with funny law
The word ‘disproportionate’ sets off another red light, ticks a third box. UN-hired cursers rely heavily on that word, never stopping to explain how and why IDF acts are disproportionate. Some don’t even wait to gather evidence. Christine Chinkin, law professor at the London School of Economics, simply can’t suppress the impulse to demonize weapon-wielding Jews. “Israel’s bombardment of Gaza is not self-defense - it’s a war crime. Israel’s (disproportionate) actions amount to aggression, not self-defense.” When delivering her verdict Chinkin had yet to set foot in Gaza; had not weighed a shred of evidence for herself.
Professor Dugard keeps his cool better. “It is not possible to adopt an armchair attitude in assessing Israel’s response to suicide bombings and Palestinian violence. Israel is entitled to a wide margin of appreciation in its response. But, even allowing for this, it is suggested, on the basis of evidence provided, that Israel’s response to terror is disproportionate.”
That word again. Has it a dimension that can be measured? Probably not when even a law professor takes disproportionate to mean what he considers to be excessive force – force that offends him. But how much weight to give the feelings of an investigator whose brief it was to hear no evil, speak no evil, report no evil about crimes that Palestinians commit? The hired hitmen indict Israel without legal argument. Jews kill indiscriminately. Period.
The International Criminal Tribunal on Yugoslavia long ago confessed: there are no hard and fast rules for disproportionate force, or for targeting civilians. War crimes have to be proven one by one, case by case. The Jew prosecutor not only fails to do that, he applies no objective yardstick at all. One terrorist victim of Israel is a victim too many. An Israeli attack is simply an attack that MacGowan Davis and her ilk don’t like – or an attack by people they don't like.
Concerning all of this, Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer posed the right question. Charles Krauthammer “If no military tactic is permissible for Israel, what's left? Ah, but that's the point. What's left? Nothing. The whole point is to deprive Israel of any legitimate form of self-defense. The world is tired of these troublesome Jews, six million, refusing every invitation to national suicide.”
It’s right there, in the small print of the funny law: “No right to live.”
Daniel Taub (Amb. to UK): Israel’s people want peace too. Pressure doesn’t help
As much as Israelis want peace, when they look at the fate of international assurances in Gaza, Lebanon and elsewhere in the region, they cannot help but ask what is to stop an evacuated West Bank turning into yet another launch pad for attacks against Israel, but this time only miles from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
In a region undergoing such tectonic changes, with ungoverned spaces increasingly dominated by brutal jihadist extremists and Iranian proxies, Israelis are perplexed that the song sung by international voices in relation to their corner of the region remains the same. Israelis have come to recognise that new regional realities must mean new thinking, including embracing opportunities to cooperate with states with which we have never worked before. Yet away from our region, debate on the peace process continues as if Israelis and Palestinians exist in a vacuum.
The value of emulating the sun rather than the wind is not just about recognising the concerns of the Israeli people. It is about seeing the reality that exists today; not the reality of 10 years ago, or of 1948. The resilience of Israel’s peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan shows how transformative constructive international engagement can be. But the attempt to change the Middle East by brute pressure will only ever be so much hot air.
Tuvia Tenenbom: The Only Abe Foxman Interview You Need To Read
Watching Abraham Foxman, outgoing national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wipe the tears off his face in front of an audience of about 1,200 people is an experience that one is not likely to witness often, if ever again. But it happened at a recent tribute to Foxman that took place at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel.
This was not the only exceptional experience that has ever taken place at the Waldorf. I’ve been to more events at the Waldorf than I care to count, but this one topped them all. First off, the food. I’ve never tried pierogies with honey. “Delicious,” is a word that does not come close to doing them justice. There were mountains of food of all sorts — all kinds, all tastes and sizes.
Foxman is leaving the arena with the most powerful rebuke he could have given to Jew haters everywhere. If any of them had shown up there and seen Jews having such a kingly feast, they would have plotzed and immediately died of disappointment and rage.
I’ve known Abe for years. At times I’ve yelled at him, but I’ve always recognized that he is the last of the Mohicans; they don’t manufacture this kind anymore. Like him or hate him, he has always been one of a kind.
I’m about to leave New York for a long trip through America for my next book, so I sat down with Foxman and asked him to sum up his years at the ADL, his feelings about anti-Semitism here and what he thinks I might find on my journey.
Edwin Black: Foxman Exit Interview — Predictions Were Terribly Wrong Q-A
Looking back after 50 years of service to the Anti-Defamation League, retiring national director Abraham Foxman expressed passionate worry about the safety and security of Jews overseas and Israel’s position in the world. Excerpts from his exit interview follow, edited and condensed for continuity, clarity, and length.
Edwin Black: Looking back over a half century, how does it strike you?
Abraham Foxman: Boy, how wrong they were! When I came on this job, I read a lot of stuff about the future of the Jewish community. I wanted to know what I would be facing. One thing that the sociologists and prognosticators said 50 years ago was “Anti-Semitism, it’s a historical fact of the past. You don’t have to worry about it — we’re just going to point to it when we fight other prejudices.” Boy how wrong they were! The other thing they said was “In 50 years, Israel will be a normal nation among all the nations.” Boy how wrong they were! Israel has become “the Jew amongst the nations.”
David Horovitz: ADL chief warns anti-Semitism worst since WWII, US Jewish kids feel intimidated
After 50 years at the Anti-Defamation League, the last 28 as its national director, Abe Foxman is stepping down this month. He’s making headlines to the end, including by castigating ex-Israeli ambassador Michael Oren for “veering into the realm of conspiracy theories” with his critiques of US President Barack Obama. But that’s always been Foxman’s way — calling it like he sees it, letting the chips fall where they may.
It’s an approach that has made the ADL and its leader a central, frequently controversial, and always compelling element of the American Jewish leadership. And the outspokenness in the cause of justice is undoubtedly rooted in Foxman’s own early biography: He survived the Holocaust as a baby in Poland because his Catholic nanny raised him as one of her own; he only found out he was Jewish after the war when his parents returned to reclaim him. “I’m a product of the worst in humankind and the best in humankind,” he said recently.
In Jerusalem a few days ago, The Times of Israel sat down with Foxman, 75, to talk through the Jewish condition in 2015, and found a worried optimist who is hopeful, because that’s his nature, and because the Jews have always somehow managed to adapt and thus survive, but troubled by threats without and within: dismayed that the future of the Jews of Europe is in doubt for the second time in his life; concerned that Jewish kids feel intimidated in America; anguished by this Israeli leadership’s seeming insensitivity to key concerns of Diaspora Jews; very unhappy about the “pushback” against pluralism and about signs of rising intolerance in the Jewish state; troubled that the West refuses to call Islamic extremism by its name. And we barely touched upon Iran.
Campus thought control
Former US ambassador Michael Oren relates in Ally: My Journey Across the American- Israeli Divide how he was warned by journalist Jeffrey Goldberg that US President Barack Obama would pick a fight with Israel from day one. Sadly, that prediction – unlike Goldberg’s repeated assurances that Obama was serious about a military option against Iran – proved correct. On day one, Obama demanded a complete settlement freeze and made no distinction, in Oren’s words, between the extension of a balcony in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood and building in Itamar.
Soon thereafter, the administration declared president George W. Bush’s April 14, 2004, letter acknowledging that Israel would retain the settlement blocs in any peace deal to be null and void, even though the letter was the quid pro quo for Israel’s 2005 expulsion of 8,000 Jews from their homes in the Gaza Strip.
In a meeting with Democratic Jewish congressmen shortly thereafter, the latter were almost unanimously supportive of the president.
Oren exited the meeting concerned about both the American-Jewish community and continued bipartisan support for Israel.
He had good cause on both counts. By the time he left office, Oren had sized up the Jewish community’s response to the threat of Israel’s annihilation by an Iranian nuclear weapon as “for the most part removed and impassive.”
Ronn Torossian: Jewish Voice for Peace – “Jew Washing” the anti-Israel movement
The New Israel Fund (NIF) raises $30 Million annually from American Jews, including prominent people such as Alisa Doctoroff, President of UJA-Federation, Karen R. Adler & Brian Lurie, organizations including The Jewish Communal Fund, Jim Joseph Foundation and others. Let’s look at where this money has been spent in the last 30 days:
NIF Grantee B’Tselem is saddened about the fact that on July 1, Israeli police officers sealed the home of Udai Abu al-Jamal – who was one of the perpetrators of the massacre of Jews at prayer in the synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood last November, in which four worshippers were killed and seven were injured. The organization issued a press release which said ‘The demolition or sealing of a home is a draconian, vindictive measure..”
Jews should care more about the victims of the terror attack than about protecting a terrorist support network. Strong measures are necessary to protect Israel.
Another NIF grantee, Hamoked, had filed a petition in Israel’s High Court of Justice trying to prevent the action, and ‘stated that the demolition constitutes collective punishment’
American Jews help pay to represent the terrorists families in court, and also to help them after Israeli police sealed the home.
American Jews Who Shamefully Support A Boycott of Israel
Funded heavily by the New Israel Fund ($237,980 from 2006-2013), Israel Social TV is an NGO often used as a platform for conveying the anti-Israel ideologies of numerous NIF organizations. It is also used to promote the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement. Former NIF president, Naomi Chazan, serves on Social TV’s Public Council, along with noted supporter of sanctions against Israel, Noam Chomsky and Michael Sfard, the radical leftist Israeli lawyer who testified for the PLO during a federal trial in New York.
The New Israel Fund is so often – and so regularly – involved in boycotts against Israel it should pose a challenge for donors to New Israel Fund, such as UJA’s president Alisa Doctoroff and New York JCRC board member Karen Adler, who both represent American Jewish groups with Pro Israel philosophies.
Doctor Ilan Pappé, a leading advocate of the BDS movement, which calls for a political, academic and economic boycott of Israel is, unsurprisingly, a frequent lecturer during Israel Apartheid week. Pappé is a political activist whose portrayal of extremist anti-Zionist views, promoting the boycott of Israel, has led to his expulsion from Israel's academia. Despite the anti-boycott law enacted in Israel, which designates boycott initiatives as civil torts, allowing a boycotted body to sue for compensations from the party initiating the boycott, Ilan Pappé was able to find a privileged podium for his message - the "Social TV" website.
On September 13, 2014, Israel Social TV’s website screened Pappé 's lecture "The Role of Israelis in the BDS Movement," in which he preaches the importance of campaigning against Israel for over an hour, and emphasizes the important role of Israeli Jews in the BDS campaign.
Stand With NIF and Support Boycotts, Terrorist Families and Jihad
In recent posts we have discussed Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), a U.S. based organization that has established itself as the “Jewish wing” of the Palestinian solidarity movement.
JVP plays a critical role in numerous aspects of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in the United States by giving Jewish cover.
In so presenting itself as the Jewish justification for BDS, JVP serves the role of washing away the stains of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism which are central to the BDS movement’s founding and conduct.

Founded in 1996 by a small group of left-wing San Francisco Bay Area Jews, JVP worked in relative obscurity for years.
Today it looks poised to break into the big leagues of American Jewish organizational life.
According to its website and recent press releases, JVP currently has a youth wing and a Rabbinic Council, over 65 member-led chapters across the country, and 200,000+ online supporters.
But looks can be deceiving. It’s difficult to pin these numbers down.
According to Yitzhak Santis, Chief Programs Officer for the Jerusalem-based watchdog group NGO Monitor, “JVP provides no evidence” for its claim of tens of thousands of Jewish American followers.
It doesn’t actually require that its members be Jewish or American.
Everything Bill Maher says about Islamic extremism was confirmed at Toronto's al Quds Day rally
The al Quds Day rallies don't change much from year-to-year. They feature the same speakers, all fanatics who desperately want the destruction of Israel, who claim that Iran, under its murderous ayatollahs, is a beacon of human rights, and exhibit religiously-inspired depravity that seems indistinguishable from severe mental illness.
Anyone who doubts Bill Maher and Sam Harris' assertion that "Islam is the motherload of bad ideas" only needs to attend an al Quds Day rally to see it confirmed. No, most Muslims in Canada and the US are not represented by the savage Khomeinists at al Quds Day. But it's also not just a small handful. The al Quds Day Islamofascists are bused in by the thousands from their Islamic Centres, mosques, and madrassahs and it highlights the need for immigration reform to prevent more such poison from infecting Canadian cities.
Following a frenzy of fury they directed at the US consulate, Islamists admiringly carried portraits of Khomeini and Hezbollah leader Nasrallah as they snaked their way up University Avenue and around Queen's Park Circle . Among the al Quds Day organizers was Ali Mallah, a former leader of the Canadian Arab Federation, an organization which a federal judge ruled is both a supporter of terrorism and is anti-Semitic. Mallah is a nexus of the grotesque wedding between radical leftists masquerading as peace activists and fanatical, pro-terrorist Islamists. In addition to his involvement with radical Islamists, he has served on the boards of socialist organizations opposed to Israel's survival, such as the so-called Canadian Peace Alliance and Alternatives International. Mallah is also a former vice-President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, who used his union position to try to suppress criticism of the genocide in Darfur, because according to him, drawing attention to it is also Islamophobic.
The main impresario of Toronto's al Quds Day is a local Islamic leader named Zafar Bangash. He is president of the Islamic Society of York Region and an avid acolyte of Iran's psychopathic ayatollahs. This person who equates Zionism with racism refers to US President Barack Obama as "a perfect Uncle Tom" and "that black man in the White House."
BBC News ignores Al Quds Day – in English
Notably, however, neither that July 10th article nor any other English language BBC report informed audiences about the annual day of Iranian state sponsored hate known as Al Quds Day which this year fell on that same date – even as negotiations continued.
The BBC News website’s UK and regional pages were also devoid of reporting on the British version of that event which took place near BBC premises. Apparently the flying of a terrorist organisation’s flag, calls for the eradication of a member state of the United Nations and the negation of Jews’ right to self-determination on London’s streets is not news these days.
BBC Persian’s audiences were, however, provided with an album of photographs from the events in Iran (attended by the president the BBC persists in portraying as ‘moderate’) and those visiting the BBC Arabic website found an article about Al Quds Day in Yemen.
An Al Quds Day March To Make Us Smile (video)
After watching the vile footage from the Al Quds Day march in London that comprises my previous post, how welcome is this footage of a German counter-demo on the same day.
Demo gegen den AlQuds-Marsch am 11. Juli 2015 in B

CAMERA: Millions of C-SPAN Viewers Fed Anti-Jewish, Anti-Israel Messages
CAMERA, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, reports that
potentially millions of television viewers are regularly subjected to antisemitic, anti-Israel callers on C-SPAN's flagship daily three-hour morning talk-show, Washington Journal. No other religious or ethnic minority or country receives such treatment on the program. Caller diatribes are generally uninterrupted and rarely refuted, and then more often by a program guest rather than a C-SPAN host.
One example among many: Recently, viewers were subjected to a phone caller’s pernicious accusation, "…the Jews killing Jesus, you know, which was a historical fact." That lie was not corrected by either C-SPAN's host or guest for the segment. C-SPAN’s chief counsel and eight other C-SPAN officials did not reply to an email from CAMERA concerning the matter.
A few examples of the more than 1000 antisemitic, anti-Israel Washington Journal phone calls monitored and documented by CAMERA since November 2008:
Muslim hired as British government terror watchdog is extremist who called US ‘vicious world empire’
A British government worker who helped regulate the country’s anti-terror planning was fired after superiors learned of his Islamist sympathies, the Telegraph reported.
Abdullah al Andalusi said the brutal exploits of ISIS were “no different to the history of some Western armies” and supported the right of youths to venture to Syria to fight.
“If merely going to fight overseas is condemned as terrorism, shouldn’t the UK arrest British volunteers joining the Israeli Defense Force which kills civilians in Gaza in a war against the Gazan government?” al Andalusi wrote in a September 2014 article for the Muslim Debate Initiative, a group he co-founded.
He compared ISIS to Western armies “and even some of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of Western nations” in a June 2014 post on his own website.
“IS’s crime is being actually a good student of the West, right down to their corporate structure and organization and ability to use social media!” al Andalusi wrote.
During a Jan. 16 talk at Queen Mary University, he dismissed the 9/11 terror attacks as “the day a vicious world empire found a publicly-acceptable excuse to bomb others, invade non-threatening nations, torture political dissidents and kill at least 300,000 innocent people,” according to the Telegraph.
No evidence, but UN says Jesus baptised on Jordan’s side of river, not Israel’s
For years, Christian pilgrims have waded into the Jordan River from both its eastern and western banks to connect with a core event of their faith — the baptism of Jesus. The parallel traditions allowed Jordan and Israel to compete for tourism dollars in marketing one of Christianity’s most important sites.
But now UNESCO has weighed in on the rivalry, designating Jordan’s baptismal area on the eastern bank a World Heritage Site. The UN cultural agency declared this month that the site “is believed to be” the location of Jesus’ baptism, based on what it said is a view shared by most Christian churches.
The decision drew cheers in Jordan, where the number of tourists has dropped sharply since the 2011 Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamic State group.
Israel has kept silent while a Palestinian official said the western baptismal site, located in the West Bank, should have been included.
The UNESCO decision also raised eyebrows among some scholars.
It “has nothing to do with archaeological reality,” said Jodi Magness, an archaeologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We don’t have any sites with evidence or archaeological remains that were continuously venerated from the first century on.”
Honest Reporting: Sign our letter to CNN
In a photo slideshow, CNN initially claimed that Jerusalem’s Old City was on the “verge of extinction.” When we pointed out that the city is actually protected and well-maintained by Israel and visited by millions from around the world, they changed the headline, removing the word “extinction” in favor of “endangered.”
But that is not good enough. The Old City is not on the “verge of extinction” or “endangered.” Starting a list of endangered sites of the world with Jerusalem is false and misleading. Under Arab rule before 1967, synagogues were destroyed, the Western Wall was turned into a garbage dump, and Jews were thrown out of their homes. In contrast, under Israeli control, sites holy to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are fully protected. The claim that this is the “last chance” for people to see the brilliant religious and historical sites is nonsense.
Please sign our letter to CNN demanding that they report accurately about the holy city.
Grassroots Groups Can Lead the Fight for Israel
Grassroots organisations in the U.K. came to the forefront last summer at the height of the Gaza conflict. It seemed that new pro-Israel, anti-establishment groups were popping up daily.
These groups formed out of a frustration and perception that the mainstream communal leadership was not listening. People saw Israel being bashed in the media 24/7, they wanted an outlet for their support for Israel and could not find one.
From this, online “Friends of Israel” groups were set up. These gave people a forum not only to express their support for Israel and their disgust at the media but also their exasperation with the leadership. Such was the noise they generated that eventually the main leadership organisations held the infamous JFS Town Hall Meeting.
Grassroots is about being heard; it’s about direct action, about standing up and standing proud. While many groups were formed last year, I believe that it’s older, more established groups, such as my own Sussex Friends of Israel and our colleagues at North West Friends of Israel, who gave people the impetus to stand up and shout instead of waiting for others to take a lead.
Both our organisations came out of a direct response to the BDS/PSC movements. We stood out of the streets of Brighton and Manchester, defending Israel and trying to educate people for a number of years. We were not told what to do or how to do it and at the time received no support from the mainstream organisations.
Students For Justice In Palestine Accidentally Boycotts Self (satire)
An anti-Israel student group sowed confusion today when the chapter president announced that, in what appeared to be a technical foul-up, the organization’s regional delegates had somehow voted to boycott themselves.
Students for Justice in Palestine, a group of pro-Hamas and anti-Israel campus activists, held a conference for leaders of all Illinois chapters over the weekend to coordinate campaign strategies and discuss recruitment. SJP is formally active on two dozen campuses in the state, with informal associations at many more. Representatives of the official chapters gathered at the University of Illinois at Urbana, where they took votes on a number of issues facing the organization, most of which revolved around the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) strategy of undermining Israeli legitimacy through comparisons with South African Apartheid. However, the minutes of the proceedings show that the delegates voted unanimously to boycott their parent organization, a move that has generated anger, confusion, and frustration among the movement’s adherents locally and nationally.
According to attendees, a vote on policy may have been poorly phrased, but SJP’s bylaws do not allow a repeal of any motion that has been adopted at a statewide or regional conference unless delegates from the same chapters convene to do so. The belated release of the vote results means that more than half the delegates have since traveled elsewhere for the summer intercession, or are committed to summer jobs or internships that do not allow them to allocate another weekend to reconvene. In the meantime, those chapters will be hamstrung in their efforts to reestablish themselves as members of the organization in good standing.
One factor in that difficulty is the suspicious eyes other chapters and regions within SJP will cast on Illinois, given the results of the vote. The other, perhaps more damaging, factor, is that the boycott prevents those chapters from coordinating any effort to reconvene and repeal the motion, since doing so would by definition violate the boycott, as it would require access to, and use of, SJP resource and contact information.
Jewish group honors Christian Poles who rescued Jews in WWII
Jewish officials honored nearly 50 elderly Christian Poles who saved Jews during World War II, praising them as heroes during an event in Warsaw on Sunday organized as an expression of gratitude.
The oldest rescuer at the event was 100 and others were in their 80s and 90s, some in wheelchairs or on crutches. They gathered for a luncheon at a luxury hotel in the city center where Poland's chief rabbi, an Israeli diplomat and a representative of the U.S.-based Jewish Foundation for the Righteous paid tribute to them.
"You represent the very best in Polish society. You are heroes," Stanlee Stahl, the foundation's executive vice president, said as she stood before them. "It is so important to acknowledge the courage and heroism of the righteous, for each of you saved the honor of humanity."
Once home to Europe's largest Jewish population, about 3.3 million before the war, Poland was the only country under Nazi occupation where non-Jews caught helping Jews and their entire families were punished with death. Poland also has the largest number of non-Jews recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Israel's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem.
Yo, ZenPayroll, Meerkat among coolest startups in Silicon Valley
Israeli entrepreneurs Or Arbel, Tomer London, Ben Rubin, Uri Haramati, and Itai Danino are spotlighted in Business Insider‘s new list titled, The 38 coolest startups in Silicon Valley.
The 38 companies are all private tech firms that have successfully raised venture capital funding.
Arbel, co-founder and CEO of Yo, is listed in the opening five picks. “Yo is the almost stupidly simple communication tool that briefly took the tech world by storm in 2014. The one-word correspondence app started out as a side project for Arbel, but it went viral and last year was valued at about $10 million,” the report reads. “Arbel is planning on bringing Yo back with Yo 2.0, which will include your location, a photo, or just the good old original yo.”
ZenPayroll’s London is listed with his cofounders Josh Reeves and Edward Kim in the 12th slot on the list for their payroll-processing startup that includes celeb angel investors like Ashton Kutcher and Jared Leto.
London, a Technion Institute graduate, counts his first success in the field of entrepreneurship when he won first place in the Technion-led BizTEC competition in 2009.
Germany to help Tel Aviv preserve Bauhaus buildings
Germany is committed to help Israel preserve an architectural legacy that recalls Jewish design pioneers who fled the Nazi regime in the 1930s.
Germany will invest $3.2 million over the coming nine years to help save Bauhaus-style buildings in the historic “White City” district of Tel Aviv, Barbara Hendricks, German minister for the environment, nature conservation, building and nuclear safety, announced recently.
The funds — the first installment of which was presented to Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai in May — will also go towards creating a Bauhaus Center in the city’s Max Liebling House, which is due to open in 2017. Reportedly, the center will serve as a hub for experts involved in planning and overseeing restoration work.
The “White City” is the world’s largest Bauhaus settlement, with more than 4,000 buildings. The district was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
Its architects were students of German architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969). Many brought building materials to then-British Mandatory Palestine with them.
Israeli Bumblebees Sent to Japan following Mass Death of Local Hives
Whole colonies of Israeli Bees are being sent from Israel to Japan to help farmers overcome the damage caused by the Japanese bees shortage, which has worsened due to the use of pesticides in rice fields.
The Bees making their way to Japan flew in airy hives, each including a fertile queen accompanied by fifty drones who takes care of all her needs.
Members of Bio-Bee, in Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in northern Israel, some two miles south of Beit She’an, who nurture and ship the bees, take care of the queen and the workers to ensure comfortable, first class flight conditions. Each hive is equipped with a small bag of sugar water in a special drinking facility, a delicious alternative to airplane meals.
The bees make only one fast connection in Moscow, but do not enjoy duty free store privileges.
Cousin of Michelle Obama to serve as ‘black chief rabbi’
Rabbi Capers Funnye of Chicago was nominated to become what an international organization is calling the first “black chief rabbi” of the 21st century.
A statement from the International Israelite Board of Rabbis declared that Funnye would serve as the “titular head of a worldwide community of Black Jews.” Along with the United States, the community has branches in the Caribbean, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.
Funnye, a cousin of first lady Michelle Obama, is expected to officially assume his duties in the fall.
His nomination was unanimous; Funnye ran unopposed. The position has been vacant since the 1999 death of Rabbi Levi ben Levy.
In Entebbe rescue exhibit, new stories of anguish and heroism
Avner Avraham, a pudgy Mossad veteran in charcoal jeans and high-top sneakers, has assembled Israel’s first large exhibit of the 1976 Entebbe raid, which was displayed at Mossad headquarters last year and was aired to the public for the first time on Thursday at the Yitzhak Rabin Center, marking 39 years since the rescue operation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose brother led one of the rescue forces and was killed on the tarmac, attended the opening – his first time visiting the Rabin center, a national institute dedicated to the slain former prime minister’s legacy.
“The dramatic hostage rescue operation in Entebbe raised Israel’s stature in the world and gave the Israeli people tremendous pride,” Netanyahu wrote the following morning on his Facebook page. “For my family, the operation led to terrible anguish, which was with my parents until their death and which my younger brother Iddo and I still carry with us every day.”
The exhibit moves chronologically along two tracks – the decision making process in Israel and the plight of the hijacked Israelis in Uganda – and features a trove of never before exhibited material. This includes a hand-written letter by the army’s top commander, several days before the raid, stating that it might well be impossible to free the hostages, and the battle vest worn by Sayeret Matkal commander Lt. Col. Yoni Netanyahu, who was shot and killed by Ugandan forces as he led an Israeli rescue squad to the old terminal at the airport.

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