Tuesday, July 28, 2015

From Ian:

Pollard will be freed November 20, Israel's justice minister announces
Jonathan Pollard, the former civilian analyst for the US Navy convicted of spying for Israel, will be released from US jail on November 20 after serving 30 years of a life sentence.
“The decision to grant parole was made unanimously by the three members of the [US] Parole Commission, who make their decisions independently of any other US government agency,” Pollard’s lawyers said in a statement. “The decision is not connected to recent developments in the Middle East.”
In a statement Tuesday evening, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked also confirmed Pollard’s impending release.
Pollard was formally eligible for parole on November 21, but will be freed a day earlier — Friday the 20th — as the 21st is a Saturday, Channel 2 television said.
Under the terms of his parole, Pollard will not be able to leave the US for five years, Channel 2 said, although President Barack Obama can overrule this condition.
His lawyers, Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman, have asked Obama to intervene and allow Pollard to leave the country and relocate to Israel, the Wall Street Journal reported. (h/t Yenta Press)
How to Treat Jonathan Pollard in the Age of Edward Snowden
What Pollard did was bad enough; I have no desire to sugarcoat it. But the constitutional fact of the matter is that it stopped well short of treason. The government poisoned the very proceeding in which it had promised not to seek a life term. So Pollard went away for a longer stretch than America has ever given anyone for a similar crime. No one need feel shy about calling it an injustice.
Williams himself likened the government to the witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. He ended his opinion by quoting the famous curse against them — “And be these juggling fiends no more believ’d, / That palter with us in a double sense; / That keep the word of promise to our ear, / And break it to our hope.” In all my years covering the courts, I don’t think I’ve read an opinion quite like it.
How ironic it is that Pollard, who went away before the rise of the World Wide Web, will emerge from prison — if he does emerge — into the age of Wikileaks. Today our university campuses are lionizing those who have disclosed our secrets in a protest against what they see as abuses by the government. They fear the very government from which Pollard purloined his packets.
So what are all those who rode the high horse against Pollard going to do when Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are put in the dock? Pollard passed his secrets to an American friend. Assange ran a Web site that made our secrets available not only to friends but to enemies. Snowden did something similar, passing secrets to the press. They claim to be acting on high-minded principles. So did Jonathan Pollard.
NGO Monitor: Questions for Amnesty on the Rafah Report and Pseudo-Fact-Finding
At a press conference tomorrow (July 29) in Jerusalem, officials from Amnesty International will market a new report, building on its error-filled and blatantly biased “Gaza Platform,” and promote claims that it can “shed[]s new light on violations of international law committed” during the 2014 Gaza conflict. Amnesty is repackaging the pseudo-research of other non-credible political advocacy NGOs, and masking the absence of substance with the illusion of “forensic” work, according to Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.
Any journalists, diplomats, and others who might be in attendance, having cleared Amnesty’s selection process used to block potential critics, should avoid taking these “research” claims at face value. Amnesty has been shown to lack any credible research methodology, as well as military and legal expertise.
Here are 10 questions that Amnesty should answer about its Rafah report, “Gaza Platform” (which forms the basis for Amnesty’s Rafah publication), and partnership with other anti-Israel political advocacy NGOs:

Canadian Terrorists Wanted to Kill Jewish Children
Amanda Korody, a Canadian woman found guilty of taking part in a terrorist bomb plot, also wanted to infiltrate a synagogue and kill Jewish children, according to a report in the Western Canadian newspaper, the Times Colonist.
Both Korody and co-defendant, John Nuttall, her husband, are self-described Muslim converts.
Police notes presented in British Columbia (B.C.) Supreme Court on Monday described how Korody's husband John Nuttall told an undercover officer that his wife believed she would be doing Jewish children a favor by sending them to paradise, since she believed "grown-up Jews" go to "eternal hell" when they die.
"I asked Nuttall how he thinks he will have access to Jewish kids and he said they were both white and could pass for Jewish," according to the undercover officer's notes, dated from March 2013.
"They will be regulars in the synagogue. They will gain the trust of everybody. And once they have everything they will get enough guns and ammo to go ahead with their mission."
The Times Colonist added that Nuttall acknowledged that Jewish children were non-combatants but explained that their killing was justified since they would be raised to hate Arabs and Muslims. However, he eventually conceded that to the officer that "you never know, they may convert (to Islam) in their adulthood."
Toronto Jewish community on alert after threats by hooded men taking photos of synagogue
The greater Toronto Jewish community is disquieted and on the alert after three hooded men took photos and yelled threats outside a Thornhill synagogue.
York Regional Police received a call from Beth Avraham Yoseph of Toronto (BAYT) on Friday, according to Const. Laura Nicolle. That afternoon, alerts went out via email and social media from synagogues across the GTA.
“This past Wednesday night, three men with concealed faces were observed taking photos of BAYT,’’ read one alert posted to Facebook and viewed by more than 20,000 people. ‘‘When they were approached, they yelled “F— Jews. Watch!”, jumped into their black Volkswagen Golf and drove off. The car’s licence plates were covered. Unfortunately, they were out of range of the BAYT cameras. Please be alert when walking, especially near our shul, and be on the look-out for such vehicles and/or people.”
Janice Savage, a BAYT member for three years, said the synagogue has increased its security.
‘‘It’s incumbent on all shul members to be vigilant — as the world we live in becomes more dangerous, the shul is responding to our new reality.”
Should Palestinians Visit Nazi Concentration Camps?
A Palestinian professor takes his students to visit Auschwitz to learn about the roots of their conflict with the Israelis.
“We are breaking a big taboo. We are challenging the collective narrative of the Palestinians regarding the Holocaust.” Dr. Mohammed Dajani has become known worldwide as the Palestinian professor who led a group of students to visit the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp. But he began life with a very different point of view. “We grew up in an environment that was totally anti-Jewish,” Dajani – a native of Jerusalem – explains. “People harbored a lot of anger towards the Jews for causing the Nakba (Catastrophe). They lost their property, they lost their home, they lost their identity. I grew up on the idea that the Holocaust was a conspiracy.”
But something happened during Dajani's early adulthood that helped change his black-and-white view of Israelis. And recently, he organized a trip that caused a firestorm. The plan was to take thirty Palestinian students to visit Auschwitz. At the same time, thirty Israeli students planned to visit a Palestinian refugee camp, where they would hear from refugees of the Nakba. Dajani strongly believes that reconciliation between the two communities will never happen without each community understanding the historical, and current, trauma of the other.
“Palestinians should not compare the Nakba with the Holocaust,” he says. “While the Holocaust was the Final Solution for the Jewish people, the Nakba was not the Final Solution for the Palestinian people. It wouldn't have been possible for Jews to sit with Nazis and reach an agreement. Within the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is possible for Palestinians and Israelis to reach a comprehensive, just settlement that will accommodate both peoples. That's why I think that teaching about the Holocaust is important. For Palestinians to realize that there is hope, and that in negotiation the path to peace lies.”
Should Palestinians visit Nazi concentration camps?

JCPA: B’Tselem – Less Reliability and Credibility, More Politics
B’Tselem appears to mislead its readers by deliberately ignoring the fact that the Oslo Accords, which received endorsement by the UN and were witnessed by the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, the U.S., Russia, the EU and Norway, established a new and unique legal and political framework agreed-upon by the Palestinians and Israel. This framework in effect replaced what B’Tselem describes as “the occupation” with an agreed-upon, unique sui generis regime applicable pending attainment of a permanent status agreement. This framework obliged the parties to negotiate between them a permanent status agreement, determining the ultimate sovereign status of the territory and the powers and authority of the respective parties.
The assumption when these accords were finalized was, and still remains, that only through direct and bona fide negotiations between them, and not international intervention and pressure from politicized NGOs and foreign powers, can a final agreement, which will cover all agreed-upon issues, including Jerusalem, borders, refugees, settlements and the like, be reached.
To attribute to Israel the sole responsibility for the non-attainment of the permanent status agreement, and hence to what B’Tselem terms as “the 47-year occupation,” is similarly without any empirical basis and is nothing more than a biased and slanted political determination. It ignores the continuing refusal by the Palestinian leadership to return to a negotiating mode, preferring to by-pass negotiating directly with Israel by seeking international intervention through the UN and other international bodies.
In claiming under the title of “Israeli occupation is here to stay” that Israel is taking advantage of ”a legal framework appropriate for short term solutions,” B’Tselem is also misleading its readers and falsely claiming to make a legal determination regarding the anticipated or actual length of an occupation, or regarding the foreseeable extent of the negotiating process. Such false determination by B’Tselem has absolutely no legal basis.
Israeli Deputy FM Launches Initiative to Curb Anti-Israel NGO Activity in Jewish State
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has accelerated diplomatic efforts to reduce European support for far left nongovernmental organizations deemed to be hostile to the Jewish State, Israel’s NRG reported on Monday.
Echoing comments she has made over the past several weeks in conversations with European diplomats, Hotovely directed all Israeli embassies operating in Europe to focus on the issue.
According to the report, the Foreign Ministry also sent documentation highlighting data on the European funding for anti-Israel NGOs to the diplomatic missions.
According to the data, European funding for the groups totals more than 100 million euros ($111 million) annually. The memo said that “foreign government funding is one of the central pillars of anti-Israel organizations operating under the guise of human rights organizations.”
The initiative will target a number of countries providing the bulk of the funding for the extremist NGOs, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, and even the European Union itself.
Hotovely instructed the Israeli delegations to “create diplomatic dialogue with Israel and set up red lines around the activities of organizations that support the boycott of Israel, work towards the [Palestinian] ‘Right of Return,’ or slander and delegitimize IDF soldiers.”
IsraellyCool: Latest Blood Libel: The Case Of Mohammed Abu Latifa
A palestinian suspected of planning a terror attack has reportedly fallen to his death from a roof, at least according to the Israeli police.
Naturally, the palestinians dispute this, claiming he was murdered. And naturally, we have a number of different versions.
Version A: He was shot dead on the roof and soldiers then removed his body.
Version B: He was injured on the roof, arrested alive and then shot in the chest and electrocuted.
Version C: He was shot in his thighs and leg and died from loss of blood.
Notice how different and contradictory the three versions are.
Which begs the question: if there were witnesses, how is this possible?
The only logical answer is they are lying.
Update: No surprises here. They say he was a a commander in Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ brigade.
Left presents new outlook: 2 states without uprooting Jews
Is Israel's Left revamping its diplomatic vision? On Monday, Zionist Union MK Hilik Bar presented a new outline for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, afterward, Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog said Bar's proposal was worthy of "in-depth consideration."
Bar's plan includes the establishment of a Palestinian state with borders based on the 1949 armistice lines. The main settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria would remain part of Israel and there would be land swaps to compensate the Palestinians for these areas.
Also, Bar envisions letting Jews who live in areas that become part of the Palestinian state remain in their homes as residents of the new country. Bar said these Jews could become a "flourishing minority" in the Palestinian state, like the contemporary Jewish communities in London and Berlin.
Herzog called Bar's ideas "stimulating."
"I'm not afraid to put these things on the table and examine them," Herzog said.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Deputy FM: ‘Dove of peace’ unlikely to emerge from meeting between Israeli, Palestinian officials
There is no chance for serious peace talks as long as the Palestinians are internationalizing the conflict, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Monday following a meeting last week between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Amman.
Hotovely, who was discussing a meeting between Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, said Shalom did not tell her about the meeting in advance.
“Let’s just say I don’t think the dove of peace will fly out from that meeting,” she said.
“He can do what he wants. It’s a free country.”
Sources in Shalom’s office said the meeting was in the works for some time, and followed a phone call last week, the first in more than a year, between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of Id al-Fitr.
PLO to investigate reports of secret talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials
PLO leaders are scheduled to hold a meeting in Ramallah in the coming days to discuss reports about secret meetings between Palestinian and Israeli officials.
Jamil Shehadeh, member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that he and his colleagues were surprised to hear about the meetings.
“The Executive Committee will demand answers concerning the meetings with the Israelis,” Shehadeh said. He pointed out that the Palestinian leadership had decided to refrain from holding such meetings, especially in the aftermath of the “increased Israeli aggression against the Palestinians.”
Shehadeh claimed that under the current circumstances the Israeli government would not meet any of the Palestinian conditions for the resumption of the peace talks, particularly a full cessation of construction in settlements and the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Fatah Demands That Hamas Hand Over Control of Gaza
The back and forth between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas continued on Monday, with a Fatah official saying that Hamas must hand over rule of Gaza as a condition to forming a unity government.
Speaking to the Ma’an news agency, Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said Hamas has to "lift their hands" from Gaza and allow the unity government to work.
Al-Ahmad, who heads reconciliation talks for Fatah, added that his Hamas counterpart, Moussa Abu Marzouk, is "unqualified" to call for a unity government after their work was "foiled" by Hamas.
The Palestinian unity agreement signed in April 2014 sought to end seven years of bad blood between Fatah and Hamas, but the sides have continued to quarrel over many issues.
The unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in June when Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who heads Fatah, decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the sides.
Hamas: Iran Cut Us Off
Iran's financial assistance to Hamas has stopped completely, a senior Hamas official stated Monday night.
"All assistance has stopped - both civilian aid to the Gaza Strip and military assistance to Hamas," Hamas politiburo chief Moussa Abu Marzouk admitted in an Al Jazeera interview. "It's difficult for us to deal with."
Iran had provided a great deal of assistance to the terror group, Abu Marzouk said; and while relations between the Islamic Republic and Gaza are not as good as they have been in the recent past, the group is redoubling efforts to strengthen ties with Tehran.
"Hamas was torn between wanting to get close to Saudi Arabia and keep a good relationship with Qatar, or come close to Iran," a senior security source told Walla! News. The big money from Iran will push that decision, without a doubt."
When Hamas gets "big money," it will be reflected in further tensions along the Gaza border, the security source predicted - and ominously noted the fact that Iran is due to get billions of dollars due to the Iranian nuclear deal.
Saudi Arabia Increases Financial Aid to the PA
Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that it would increase its monthly aid to the Palestinian Authority's (PA) budget from $14 million to $20 million, the Ma’an news agency reported.
The increase brings Saudi Arabia's yearly aid to the PA budget to $60 million, matching the United Kingdom's budget aid, according to the report.
The PA's total annual budget for 2014 was $3.9 billion.
The Saudi Arabian statement stressed that the Kingdom will always support the “Palestinian cause” at all levels, noting that it has been planning to increase its stake in the budget since 2013.
Saudi Arabia in January provided $60 million in direct support for the PA budget, covering its financial contribution to the PA’s budget for October, November and December 2014.
I hope Israel disappears, says Palestinian teen Merkel brought to tears
The 14-year-old Palestinian refugee who hit the headlines after breaking down when German Chancellor Angela Merkel told her that she could not stop her family’s possible deportation has said she hopes that one day Israel will cease to exist.
In an interview Sunday with the German weekly Die Welt, Reem Sahwil said she hoped to return to live in her ancestral homeland — free of Israel.
“My hope is that one day it [Israel] won’t be there anymore, but only Palestine,” she said.
Reem, who was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon and currently lives in the eastern German city of Rostock, said she does not consider Germany to be her home.
“No, Palestine is my home,” she said.
Although she had never visited, she said, she intended to live there “one day.”
Arab MKs Ascend Temple Mount, Meet with Jordanian Waqf
MKs from the Arab Joint List ascended the Temple Mount on Tuesday, in protest of Jewish visitors and Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) visiting the site on Sunday, the day of Tisha B'Av, the Jewish national day of mourning over the Temple.
According to NRG, members of the List met with members of the Jordanian Waqf after visiting the site, as well as with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammed Hussein.
Included in the delegation were Joint List chairman MK Ayman Odeh, and MKs Masud Ghnaim, Jamal Zahalka, Ahmed Tibi, Hanin Zoabi, Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya, Yousef Jabareen, and Osama Saadi - more than half the List's currently serving MKs.
Afterwards MK Basel Ghattas posted a video of himself speaking at length in Arabic from the Mount on Facebook; video has also surfaced of Tibi asking the Israel Police to remove a group of Jewish visitors to the Mount, as hordes of Arabs on the Mount scream "Allahu Akhbar."
The Arab MKs claimed they were protesting "police brutality" at the Mount, after a gang of violent Arab rioters attacked police.
Daniel Pipes: A pig incident
A few comments:
1. It happens all the time: Islamists openly stride the streets while the victims of Islamist aggression pay the price. Think of Dutch politician Geert Wilders living in what amounts to a jail cell because of the threats against him, or look at the fortress-like synagogues in France. Even the president of Egypt sleeps in an unidentified location, fearing Islamist assault.
2. This fits into a pattern going back at least to 1997, of the Israeli authorities arresting non-Muslims who offend Islamic sensibilities.
3. This arrest can lead to trouble. What if thousands of Israelis uploaded videos of themselves saying "Muhammad khanzeer": Would the police arrest them all? And if not, how could it indict the woman in white?
Again? Third Jew Arrested for Saying 'Mohammed is a Pig'
Police arrested a 26 year-old Jewish Israeli on the Temple Mount on Tuesday, after he stated "Mohammed is a pig."
The suspect tried to flee and was arrested by police officers, the Israel Police stated.
Today he will be brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court.
This marks the third arrest over insults to the deceased initiator of Islam on or near the Mount, after police arrested another young Israeli for similar remarks on Monday.
20-year-old Avia Morris was arrested last Friday for saying "Mohammed is pig" after she faced hostile Arab women hurling threats at her on the Temple Mount - including death threats. She revealed to the press on Sunday that the police were unwilling to intervene to protect her until she had uttered the remarks.
PA Minister: Israel has "evil plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and establish the alleged Temple”
PA Minister of Religious Affairs, Sheikh Yusuf Ida'is: ”Indeed, the Israeli establishment insists on carrying out its evil plan to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and establish the alleged Temple. This is [done] by establishing facts on the ground, for the Muslims, so they will accept the inevitability of the situation. Every month there are invasions. Last month, there were more than 184 invasions into places of worship, and especially into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] (i.e., the Temple Mount), as the Israeli establishment allows the herds of settlers to enter the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque [plaza] daily - which provokes the feelings of Muslims - under protection of the Israeli occupation police.” [Official PA TV, July 8, 2015]

Al-Aqsa Mosque Address: The Caliphate Will Eliminate the West in Its Entirety
During an address delivered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on July 24, Sheik Ahmad Al-Dweik said that Allah had promised to restore the Islamic Caliphate and that it would "fight the U.S. and bring it down" and would "eliminate the West in its entirety."

Sami Yusuf's music banned in Iran after Nazareth concert
The Iranian-born British Muslim singer Sami Yusuf, whose records sell millions in the Middle East, has been banned by state television in Iran because of his recent performance in the Israeli city of Nazareth.
Iranian news websites reported earlier this week that state TV had banned Yusuf’s music from all its channels after he performed in Nazareth, even though the city has a predominantly Palestinian population and most of his audience was Palestinian. The performance took place during the fasting month of Ramadan.
“Sami Yusuf’s recent trip to the occupied territories (Christian and Jewish holy sites including the site of the baptism of Jesus Christ) is the reason why his works are banned from the state television,” reported Entekhab, an Iranian news website.
Iran does not recognise Israel and world artists who perform there become persona non grata in the Islamic Republic. Foreigners who travel to both Iran and Israel usually use two separate passports or ask Israeli border guards not to stamp their travel document. Iranians are banned from travelling to Israel and the Iranian passport is not valid for travel there. Those defying the ban risk being sentenced to five years in jail.
Yusuf, 35, who Time magazine has called Islam’s biggest rock star, is one of Britain’s most famous Muslims worldwide. He reacted to the controversy on Monday by issuing a statement on his official website with the headline: “Banned by my very own.”
South Africans should visit Israel
South Africans should visit Israel. They should visit Israel’s Supreme Court in Jerusalem and listen as its world-renowned jurists rule on thousands of cases each year. Judge Salim Joubran, an Israeli Arab from Haifa, has sat on the court since 2003 and earlier this year served as the chairman of Israel’s Central Election Committee for parliamentary elections. The court’s president, Miriam Naor, is the second woman to lead Israel’s highest court.
The universal truth that “knowledge is power” is often attributed to Francis Bacon (Meditationes Sacrae from 1597). That basic idea is no less true today and is directly applicable to last week’s misguided and aggressive attempts to punish some young South Africans who visited Israel and the West Bank to learn more about the Middle East and about themselves.
South Africans should visit Israel. Israel is a tiny country the size of the Kruger Park but it is a superpower in innovation. The world’s largest hi-tech companies, including Intel, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft, all do research and development and invest in Israel because they know Israeli engineers, technicians and entrepreneurs are among the best in the world. Israel’s spirit of creativity and innovation is directly applicable to many current challenges here in SA.
It’s Time to Evict J Street From the Jewish Communal Tent
The recent announcement of the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran has sparked deep concern and even outrage in the Jewish community. In an almost unprecedented moment for American Jewry, the majority of prominent Jewish organizations have lined up in order to combat this deal. This includes AIPAC, the ADL, and various Jewish Federation chapters, including those in Boston and Miami. This historic display of Jewish unity comes because of a clear belief that Israel and the Jewish people have been placed in a life-threatening situation.
But the J Street lobby has broken ranks with that sentiment. Back when the deal’s framework was reached in early April, J Street co-authored a statement with the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and the Arab American Institute, welcoming the agreement. Now that the details have become known and almost every major Jewish organization is trying to kill the deal, J Street is undertaking a multi-million dollar campaign to get Jews to support an arrangement that at best keeps Iran nuke-free for about a decade while it gives the mullahs $150 billion to arm Israel’s enemies. This puts J Street in direct confrontation with the more than 80 percent of the Jews of Israel, whose political parties from left to right are fiercely united against President Barack Obama’s deal.
J Street’s campaigning for the Iran deal comes as no surprise to those who have been carefully watching the organization since its inception in 2008. J Street’s policy on Iran has never been aligned with the rest of the American Jewish community. In Americans for Peace and Tolerance’s film “The J Street Challenge,” Professor Alan Dershowitz complains that: “It’s impossible to know what J Street’s position on Iran is. I actually offered to contribute money to J Street if they would answer a series of specific questions about their positions on Iran, and I couldn’t get an answer to any of those questions.”
Al-Qaeda, Hamas & Muslim Brotherhood Use PR Firms To Influence America
As America fights a war against terror, there is a slew of lobbying and PR firms helping to promote questionable causes.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) requires Americans acting as agents of foreign principals in a political capacity to make public disclosures of their relationships. Just revealed FARA filings indicate that The Belew Law Group, a Washington-based company, has registered to lobby for the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammed al-Thani Charitable Foundation. The Qatar-based charity has been “linked with Hamas and was one of 36 funds declared as banned by Israel in 2008. U.S. officials have also accused one of its founding members of funneling millions of dollars to al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria.”
Warren Belew – founder of The Belew Group - has previously represented the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation (AHIF), a funder of Al-Qaeda which had a direct relationship with Osama Bin-Laden and whose leader reportedly was involved in “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts of activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf or in support of" Al-Qaeda.
The Belew Group is not the only American group. March 2015 filings reveal that The Raben Group is representing Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which is considered a terrorist organization by multiple governments for supporting Hamas, and last year, one of the largest public relations firms in the world, Burson-Marsteller, represented the Tunisian Branch of the Muslim Brotherhood while refusing to represent Israel.
15-ton hummus record bid ‘foiled’ by Guinness security jitters
Preparing 15 tons of hummus should suffice to earn the world record for the largest hummus plate, Oren Rosenfeld thought.
But when the 39-year-old Israeli organizing the record attempt contacted Guinness World Records, they declined to send an adjudicator to Israel, citing security concerns.
“When everything was set in time and place, I decided it was time to contact Guinness,” said Rosenfeld. “But that’s when it started to get complicated.”
A Guinness official responded via email to his inquiry in early July that they “wouldn’t be able to provide an official adjudicator to attend the record breaking event in Israel” because of a “security warning.”
Rosenfeld then completed a risk assessment form, but was informed that Guinness’ decision had not changed.
“Guinness World Record’s decision to travel is informed by expert advice from a number of sources, including the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the US Department of State,” a representative from the organization explained.
Rosenfeld, a filmmaker looking to set the record in early October as part of a documentary he is producing about hummus, said the decision struck him as bizarre, given past record attempts in Israel.
In June, a magician in Haifa set the world record for the largest magic lesson, and in 2014, former president Shimon Peres held the largest online civics class.
Honest Reporting: The Jewish Reporter Takes the Train
HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankl Joins Josh Hasten to review this week’s slanted media coverage of Israel.
A BBC reporter cited his Jewish credentials when presenting a slanted documentary on the Jerusalem light rail, claiming it is a racist train that divides the city. In fact, says Yarden, it brings people together every day, and the BBC should report the truth.
.@Guardian provides head of antisemitic, pro-caliphate group full page to ‘explain’ his ideas
In previous editions, we have covered anti-Semitic cartoonists, terrorist leaders and hate preachers. So it was with some abhorrence, but little surprise, that today [July 25] I read a piece by the Guardian (and former Telegraph) columnist Peter Oborne, with Abdul Wahid, the British leader of Hizb-ut-Tahrir, an awful proto-extremist organisation with typical apologia for the usual Islamist terrorists.
Oborne is so consistently wrong with almost everything that he writes, of course, he generally provides a useful service to readers of what not to think. But even for him, this was pretty dire.
It is not so much the fact that he interviewed him – journalists should, of course, interview all sorts of people, including unpleasant ones – it is more the tone of the narrative which tries to strikes a weaselly balance between saying “of course, I don’t agree with him” and “but he’s so misunderstood”. In particular, Oborne tries to dress up the suggestion that Cameron or others might want to ban his organisation as a free speech issue.
But it is a straw man: no-one is saying that Wahid’s personal speech should be curtailed as an individual. The debate is about whether he is allowed to run an organisation, raise money and so on, in a way which multiplies the power of his and other similar voices in a way that might influence others, ultimately, to violence. There is a huge difference.
Western Media Confused After Discovering Israel Not Involved in Most Middle East Conflicts (satire)
Despite heavy media attention on Israel, a deeper analysis has uncovered that the Middle East / Northern Africa geographic areas are, to use a technical term, ‘ridiculously f*cked up’. Between the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, a Syrian civil war, a Yemeni civil war, a failed Libyan government, two ousted Egyptian leaders, a FUBAR-Iraq, and Iran funding proxy terror organizations while marching toward nuclear arms, the Elders of Zion apparently had their hands quite full over the past several years.
“Let’s take what’s going on in Yemen for example,” a New York Times reporter said. “It gets super complicated when you have a predominantly Muslim country that’s fractured along sectarian lines, with Saudi Arabia and Iran, two other Muslim countries, arming the two opposite sides…… yada, yada, yada, my brain is starting to hurt. It’s a lot simpler to just reinforce the Judaism vs. Islam narrative, so historically, that’s what we’ve tried to do.”
Upon learning about the range of problems facing the Middle East, leaders of the BDS movements said, “Well, we can still blame it all on the Jews, right?”
Renovated Wagner museum addresses anti-Semitic essays
A renovated museum in Germany devoted to Richard Wagner addresses the 19th-century composer’s anti-Semitism and his family’s ties to Hitler.
The museum in Bayreuth, in northern Bavaria, was rededicated on Sunday in conjunction with the annual Bayreuth Wagner Festival, Reuters reported, following a five-year, $22 million renovation project. Several speakers at the opening mentioned the Wagner family’s links to Nazism.
Opened originally in 1976, the museum comprises the composer’s home and the home of his son. It now exhibits the anti-Semitic tracts published anonymously at first by the composer and then under his name, and includes displays showing his family’s close links to Hitler and the Nazi movement that occurred after his death in 1883, according to Reuters.
Wagner was Hitler’s favorite composer and he often attended the festival in Bayreuth
Le Pen indicted for ‘gas chamber’ remark
Far-right French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen has been summoned to appear in a Paris court in the wake of his defense of his description of the Nazi gas chambers as “just a detail of WWII.”
Le Pen was summoned a few weeks ago to stand trial for denying crimes against humanity, the French news agency AFP reported Friday, citing a source close to the investigation.
Le Pen, 87, the longtime leader of the National Front that is now headed by his daughter, Marine, in April told French TV that he does not regret the statement he made in 1987.
“Gas chambers were a detail of the war, unless we accept that the war is a detail of the gas chambers,” he told BFM in April.
“I continue to uphold the view because I think it is the truth and it should not shock anyone. They have exploited this affair against me, implying this is about anti-Semitism. But I defy anyone to quote me on anything anti-Semitic I have said in my political career,” he said.
Jewish Camp Grounds in Michigan Daubed With Antisemitic Swastika Graffiti
A Jewish overnight camp in Michigan was vandalized with swastika graffiti over the weekend, Orthodox-Jewish news website Matzav.com reported.
Photos published by the website show the Nazi symbol spray painted on exterior areas of Camp Agudah Midwest, including picnic tables, a parked car and the camp’s welcome sign.
Camp management immediately alerted police about the vandalism after discovering it on Sunday morning. Officers were dispatched to the scene and talked with camp leaders about the incident. The graffiti was removed and officials are investigating the hate crime.
According to the report, Camp Agudah is working with local law enforcement personnel to identify the vandals and the group is reviewing surveillance footage from camp grounds as well as other evidence gathered from the scene.
Israeli-Filipina joins IDF unit that saves grandmother’s life
Joanna Chris Arfon, 19, understands the importance of the unit in which she serves more than anyone else. When she enlisted in the IDF, Arfon, an Israeli of Filipino descent, asked to join the search and rescue unit of the Home Front Command, after soldiers from the unit saved her grandmother from a vicious typhoon that hit the Philippines.
Arfon was born in Israel. Her father Ridim Nama Imelda Bliblos arrived in Israel from the Philippines with her older brother, and stayed in the country after receiving temporary resident status.
In 2013, the Philippines was hit by a strong typhoon named Haiyan, which left large-scale destruction. Thousands were killed and tens of thousands lost their homes.
Arfon's grandmother lived in an area that was hit by the storm, and after the family could not reach her, they decided to fly out to the Philippines to search for her.
"We lost contact with grandma, but we knew her situation was not good. They transferred her from the island where she lives to the city, and she was hospitalized. We were there for three weeks, at a time when life there was very difficult, with many dead, and a lot of destruction," Arfon said.
During the time she accompanied her grandmother in the Philippines, Arfon saw the search and rescue forces of the Home Front Command in action saving lives.
Mukherjee to become first Indian president to visit Israel
India's President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Israel in October to further boost the burgeoning ties between the two countries, local media reported earlier this week.
The trip that will also include stops at Jordan and the West Bank will make Mukherjee the first Indian head of state to visit the Jewish state.
In September, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Modi in New York; it was the first meeting between an Israeli and Indian prime minister since late Israeli PM Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi in 2003.
Trade between India and Israel has grown substantially over the years as well, from $200 million in 1992 to roughly $4.39 billion in 2013.
Speaking in the Knesset on Monday, Netanyahu referred to a recent conversation with Modi, whom he described as "my friend".
Tel Aviv top tech site outside US, report says
Tel Aviv ranked as the fifth best locale for start-ups in a new report from Compass (formerly Startup Genome), a veteran organization that studies “tech ecosystems” around the world and rates them based on the resources they offer start-ups to enable them to succeed.
Along with Tel Aviv, Jerusalem also ranked high in the Compass report. Although it focused on the top 20 areas, comparing metrics such as funding, market reach, the level of talent available, how much start-up experience entrepreneurs have, and more, Jerusalem came in for an “honorable mention” – seventh on the list for European runners-up.
Beating out Israel were Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. That makes Tel Aviv the best setting outside the US, beating out London, Berlin, and Paris, as well as many “hot” ecosystems in the US, such as Seattle and Austin, the report showed.
The Compass report was based on more than 200 interviews with entrepreneurs and local experts from 25 countries. Data was culled from 11,000 surveys completed by entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders over the past five months.
Letters describing Dayan losing eye to be auctioned
An archive of letters detailing former Israeli defense minister Moshe Dayan’s struggle to enlist in the British army after the loss of his left eye is to set be auctioned this week.
The archive includes letters written by Dayan detailing the incident, correspondence between Dayan and British army officials and a hospital bill for a follow-up surgery to repair Dayan’s injuries.
Bidding on the trove is planned to start at $75,000 when it goes under the hammer on Thursday, according to Los Angeles-based dealer Nate D. Sanders, which is auctioning off the archive.
Dayan, who died in 1981, lost his left eye in 1941 while fighting in Syria in World War II against Vichy French troops for the Australian 7th Division of the British army and famously wore a black eye patch to cover up the injury.
In one of the letters, Dayan pleaded with his commander, British Lieutenant General Sir Henry Maitland Wilson, to be reenlisted after having lost his eye, reassuring him that he had recovered from the injury.
Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar, lawyer who advised JFK, dies at 86
American lawyer and writer Samuel Pisar, a Holocaust survivor and former adviser to US President John F. Kennedy, has died in New York aged 86, a French Jewish group said Tuesday.
Pisar was “one of the rare very well-known survivors, along with Elie Wiesel and Simone Veil,” said French Jewish community leader Roger Cukierman, who said he had lost “a friend.”
President Francois Hollande also paid tribute to Pisar, who was deported at the age of 13 to Majdanek, then Auschwitz and Dachau, where he was freed at 16.
“To ensure that the blood spilled became, in his words ‘blood of hope,’ Samuel Pisar dedicated his life to the pressing task of passing down what he had experienced,” said Hollande.
After the war, he became a celebrated academic and international lawyer and in the 1960s served as a trade advisor to Kennedy.
Families of 500 Ethiopian Israeli IDF soldiers to be brought to Israel
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom said Monday he will work to bring the families of some 500 Ethiopian Israeli soldiers to Israel immediately and to advance the immigration of the of the rest of the 7,000 member Jewish Ethiopian community.
“I have a strong will to bring the rest of Ethiopian Jewry [to Israel], and I hope that I will be able to do so in my role as interior minister,” Shalom said at a joint meeting between the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee and the Interior Committee at the Knesset.
Shalom said he would go over the lists of Ethiopian Jews waiting to come to Israel, including those who were refused entry in the past, adding that he already had met with Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit on Sunday to discuss pushing forward a government decision on the matter.
“We are talking about only 6,000 to 7,000 people, that Israel should and must contain.
Maccabi Games open in Berlin in ‘triumph over evil’
The Maccabi Games, dubbed the Jewish Olympics, opened Tuesday at the Berlin site of the 1936 “Nazi Games” in what one community leader called “a triumph of good over evil.”
A record 2,300 athletes from 36 countries have come to the German capital which for the first time hosts the 10-day contest in disciplines from football, swimming and fencing to chess, bridge and bowling.
Visitors from Europe, Israel, the Americas and Australia hailed the event — held 70 years after the Holocaust — as a symbol of reconciliation and an affirmation of Jewish life in Germany.
The games are being staged in the Olympic Park near the stadium where Adolf Hitler opened the 1936 Summer Games that barred Jewish athletes and aimed to showcase “Aryan” athleticism.

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