Monday, August 03, 2015

From Ian:

In the enemy’s sneer: the anti-Semitic Jews
Those who hate Israel use anti-Zionist Jews as examples to “prove” that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. As can be seen from the high proportion of Jews among the fake peace activists who are anti-Israel extremists and Hamas apologists, anti-Zionist Jews play an important role in the international coalition aiming to delegitimize and destroy the Jewish state. As the theory goes, since there are Jews who hate Israel then hating Israel is not anti-Semitic. “Are you telling me that these Jews are anti-Semitic?” anti-Zionists ask with a sneer. Yes actually, that is exactly what I am telling you. Anti-Zionist Jews are anti-Semites, just like all the other anti-Zionists.
According to Bernard Lewis, a professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, anti-Semites believe that Jews must be “judged by a standard different from that applied to others”. The website “Dictionary.com” defines anti-Semitism as “discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews”. These definitions do not require that anti-Semites hate all individual Jews, which is the naïve definition of anti-Semitism that anti-Zionists would like us to use. Except for a tiny minority of truly self-hating Jews, anti-Semitic Jews do not hate themselves; they in fact have an over-inflated opinion of themselves, imagining that they are the only real Jews, the saviors of Jewish morality, and the self-sacrificing defenders of peace.
Many of the anti-Zionists, Jews and non-Jews, are highly educated. They are denouncing Israel while knowing very well about all the wars, terrorist campaigns, and attempts at genocide directed at Israeli Jews. They are denouncing Israel while knowing very well that the methods used by Israel to defend herself are far more ethical than the methods used by her enemies to attack Israel. Educated anti-Zionists pretend to not know all this, but anti-Zionist Jews do not need to pretend although many do so anyway. Anti-Zionist Jews are proud to say that their objective is to correct flaws in Jewish behavior while letting non-Jews worry about correcting flaws in the behavior of Israel’s enemies.
For anti-Semitic Jews, it is wrong for Israel to kill terrorists if there is any risk at all to civilians, regardless of what terrorists may do to ensure that civilians are within harm’s reach. For anti-Semitic Jews, killing terrorists is even wrong in itself because in their view, other ways must be used to appease and reform terrorists. Anti-Semitic Jew Norman Finkelstein referred to Israel’s attacks on Hamas in Gaza as a “massacre”, even implying that it was a “Holocaust”. For anti-Semitic Jews, Israel is ethical only if she totally disarms and if she endures attacks without ever defending herself, but since Israel dares defend herself, anti-Semitic Jews do not hesitate to use the wildest rhetoric against Israel, rhetoric that they would never use against anyone else.
 Ben-Dror Yemini: No dark secrets, just a propaganda film
There are two ways to deal with materials of this kind. The first way is a historical outlook. The testimonies should also be presented in the overall context of the events. In the years, months and weeks before the war there were specific threats of annihilation.
The Arab League decided in 1964 that "the completion of the military preparations will lead to the final destruction of Israel." In 1966, then-Syrian Defense Minister Hafez Assad, who later became president, declared: "We are determined to soak this land in your blood, to throw you in the sea." Nine days before the war broke out, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser said: "Our basic goal is the destruction of the State of Israel." A week before the war broke out, PLO founder and leader Ahmad al-Shukeiri said: "Whoever survives will remain in Palestine. But I don't think anyone will survive."
That's the historical background. That's what those who went out to fight heard. That doesn’t justify any war crimes. And in practice, there were only a few testimonies of war crimes.
But there is another approach – neither historical nor scientific, but propaganda-related. It's the approach who prefers to manipulatively emphasize testimonies over exceptions. It's the approach who joins, perhaps knowingly, the massive campaign aiming to present Israel as a monster. It's the approach of the PR campaign of "Censored Voices," which includes the distorted claim that "70 percent of the material was censored" in order to create the suitable atmosphere to convey the message.
The film will not only be screened around the world, but also in Israel. That's the way it should be. Israel is a democracy. But we should know that it's not an exposure, and there was no exposure there. Everything has already been published. The film's director didn't hesitate to present her political agenda. The result, we should all know, is a propaganda film.
Air France wipes Israel off of the map...literally
An Air France in-flight map omits Israel, according to a passenger who sent a photo to the Facebook page of the pro-Israel organization StandWithUs. In the photo of the map, there were only indicators of where the West Bank and the Gaza strip are. Since posting that photo, other members of the Facebook page have started posting their own photos, taken on Air France flights, of the in-flight maps sans Israel.
In a letter to Air France chairman and CEO, Frédéric Gagey, the Simon Wiesenthal Center director for international Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, noted that, “French members of our center have sent us reportedly captured shots from the English and French language of an Air France flight-path, taken last week between New York and Paris, and the locations ‘Israel’ and ‘Tel Aviv’ are glaringly absent.”
The letter noted that, “We are asked whether Air France has succumbed to the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] campaign to delegitimize the Jewish State by literally wiping it off the map?”
Air France issued an apology, saying they “deeply regret this incident, due to a map scale and display problem which is currently being resolved.”
In 2009, British Midland International Airlines, a subset of of British Airways, apologized for omitting Israel from their in-flight maps, also attributed the mistake to a technical error. (h/t Yenta Press)



Jewish Demographic Tailwind; There is NO Demographic Time Bomb
In 1898, the top Jewish demographer, Simon Dubnov, projected 0.5mn Jews in Israel in 2000. He was off by 5.5mn Jews.
In 1944, the founder of Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Prof. Roberto Bacchi, projected 2.3mn Jews in 2001, a 33% minority. He was wrong by 3.7mn Jews.
In 2015, there are 6.5mn Jews and 3.4mn Arabs in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel: a 66% majority.
In June 2015, there is a 1.1mn gap between the real number of Arabs in Judea & Samaria (1.7mn) and the number claimed by the Palestinians (2.8mn).
The 1.1mn excess consists of the inclusion of 400,000 Arabs living abroad for over a year, in defiance of internationally accepted standards, which stipulate their inclusion in the count of their new country of residence.
The 300,000 Jerusalem Arabs are doubly-counted as Israeli Arabs, by Israel, and as Palestinians by the Palestinian Authority.
A 32% excess in the number of births claimed by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics was documented by The World Bank in a September 7, 2006 study.
 Can Jewish refugees claim billions from Arab states?
By the mid 1960s, more than 700,000 Jews had left the Arab states, most of them immigrating to Israel.
How much Jewish property was left behind?
The estimates regarding the property left by Jews in Arab states vary from one source to another and are very difficult to verify, especially as there is a need to conduct a general evaluation of the real estate left behind in today's prices.
A large portion of nationalized Jewish real estate was left, for example, in the most posh neighborhoods of Cairo, Alexandria and Baghdad. The communal property of Egypt's Jews covered huge areas, including about half of the district of Maadi (a city of villas and gardens located about 20 kilometers from Cairo, where all the luxurious houses have turned into the residences of ambassadors from various countries).
In addition, there is a need to assess the flow of income from the factories, stores and businesses that the Arab regimes (or Arab neighbors) gained control of after the Jews fled, and which remained operational for many years (in rare cases, some are still operating today). Even the most conservative assessments point to compensation of billions of dollars, which according to some estimates reaches $15-20 billion, and much more.
Schools teaching 'pro-Palestinian extremist agenda’
An “extremist agenda” is being taught to children as young as three, it has been claimed, with the National Union of Teachers accused of “spreading political propaganda” in classrooms by promoting Palestinian “resistance”.
The NUT has designed and promoted a teaching resources pack, under a partnership with Edukid, a children’s education charity, which asks teachers to explore themes of Palestinian “occupation, freedom and resistance”.
The resource pack, titled “My Name is Saleh”, and a video were launched at the NUT annual conference in April.
Writing in the pack’s foreword, Christine Blower, the NUT general secretary, explains the project was “inspired by a union delegation visit [to the Palestinian territories] in 2013”.
However, concerns have been raised that the resource pack gives a “one sided” and “divisive” view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Images in the pack’s appendix feature a Palestinian child who has been “assaulted by settlers” and the video contains a reference to “Jews” as opposed to “Israelis”.
Film highlights struggles of gay Arabs in Israel
During last summer’s Gaza war, Khader Abu Seif was living with his then Israeli boyfriend in Tel Aviv, wondering whether Hamas rockets could reach them from the coastal strip and forced yet again to confront the dichotomy of his life — a gay Arab Israeli citizen considered an outcast by the Palestinian society for his sexuality and viewed with unease by some Israelis for his brand of nationality.
The rockets were not the only thing that made him feel unsafe. Outside, Israeli extremists rallied on the streets against Hamas’ attacks with chants of “Death to Arabs.” Abu Seif was afraid to speak Arabic, his mother tongue, in his native Tel Aviv, the Middle East’s most gay-friendly city.
For the 27-year-old, a well-known socialite in Tel Aviv’s LGBT community, the city is a haven for gay men, but Abu Seif says he considers himself a Palestinian and that as such, he can never fully integrate.
His struggles, along with those of two other protagonists are the subject of “Oriented,” a new Israeli documentary, touted as the first to focus on gay Palestinian citizens.
SPME BDS Monitor: Hillary Clinton Takes a Stand Against BDS
July saw the conclusion of an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, and focus is being shifted back to the Arab-Israeli conflict. With it are explicit threats that Israel will be blamed and isolated if the U.S. Congress blocks the agreement. But presidential candidate Hillary Clinton went on record opposing BDS, thus bringing the issue into the campaign. At the same time, the U.S. State Department has gone on record stating it will not enforce new anti-BDS legislation included in a recent trade bill. BDS is thus now a full-fledged partisan political issue in the U.S. This will likely empower additional European boycott proposals, several of which were reported in July.
Analysis
July’s most important BDS developments occurred in the political arena. Democratic candidate for President Hillary Clinton stated that she was “alarmed” by the BDS movement. In a letter to Democratic Party supporter Haim Saban, Clinton stated “From Congress and state legislatures to boardrooms and classrooms, we need to engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
Clinton’s letter was applauded by pro-peace activists but condemned by BDS advocates who called her “a creature of Washington that is out of touch with the progressive base of her party.” The Clinton statement also presidential candidate Ted Cruz, mostly recently that universities that boycott Israel should lose Federal funding. BDS is thus a presidential campaign issue as well as another fissure within the Democratic Party.
Pro-Israel ‘lone warrior’ stares down weekly anti-Israel protests in London
A familiar figure at anti-Israel demonstrations, with his gigantic bushy red beard and white crocheted deep skullcap, he could well be — at first sight — a white Englishman who has converted to Islam.
But Joseph Cohen, 32, is in fact a lone warrior, putting the case for Israel while standing in a sea of dissent. Intriguingly, Cohen says he draws much inspiration for his methods from young Muslim activists.
Cohen was a founder of the grassroots Campaign Against Antisemitism last year, but has recently decided that “anti-Semitism wasn’t the problem — anti-Israel/Zionism is.” He left the CAA and launched his own campaign, the Israel Advocacy Movement.
Today a strictly Orthodox Jew, Cohen was brought up in Langley Park, a small former mining village in County Durham in northern England, famous for its use as a rustic location for film (“Billy Elliot”) and television. His secular parents had moved there “to live the good life,” out of the rat race. His family was undoubtedly the only Jews in the area, and he only came to religious observance in his 20s.
However, as importantly, his parents brought him up on a diet of Marx and Engels, so unlike almost every other British fringe or maverick group drawn to challenge the anti-Israel narrative, his viewpoint is from left-wing politics rather than the right.
Charity Executive Uses Position to Bash Israel: Will Directors Act?
Jeremy Moodey, chief executive officer of the English charity Embrace the Middle East, seems intent on converting anti-Israel sentiment into charitable donations. In his semi-regular rants about Israel, Moodey portrays the Jewish state as singularly responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Moodey’s writings might prompt Israel-haters in Great Britain to open their wallets and reward Embrace the Middle East with donations, but is that how the organization really wants to operate, by using anti-Israel animus to generate income? Apparently so.
One example of Moodey’s tendency to demonize Israel is a 2012 blog entry on Embrace the Middle East’s website. The entry highlights the tragic death of Omar Misharawi. In the entry, Moodey wrote, “Omar Misharawi was killed by shrapnel when an Israeli bomb hit their family home in Gaza City on 14 November.”
Invoking the iconic picture of Omar’s father Jihad holding his dead son, Moodey adds that the image does not conform to Western stereotypes of Palestinian men. Omar’s father, who works for the BBC, lacks the Islamist beard and Hamas uniform we expect to see, Moodey reports, adding that Jihad is “A man whose innocent baby child has just been murdered; his pregnant sister-in-law was also killed, and his brother seriously injured.” Read what Moodey wrote closely and you’ll see that he’s accusing the Jewish state of murdering a baby.
But according to a UN report issued in 2013, Omar’s death was likely caused by a Hamas rocket that fell onto his home. The board of directors at Embrace the Middle East may not be paying attention, but the fact remains, their organization’s CEO has propagated a blood libel at Israel and no one involved with the charity has seen fit to offer a correction when it becomes clear that the allegation is false. Moodey’s libelous blog entry has not been updated two years later.
More misleading BBC reporting on Tisha B’Av Temple Mount rioting
Johnston’s messaging for BBC audiences is amply evident. In addition to the implication that this particular bout of violence was brought about because Jews went to pray “in large numbers”, viewers are clearly told that the problem of violence in Jerusalem in general is also caused by Israelis and their “occupation”.
According to Johnston’s narrative ‘frustrated’ Palestinians are devoid of any agency or responsibility and there is no room in his account for uncomfortable facts such as the racist hatred, incitement and glorification of terror regularly preached in the Al Aqsa mosque and others, propagated by official PA media and schoolbooks and promoted by Palestinian leaders. Neither does Johnston’s narrative include any mention of the female ‘guardians of the compound’ – paid by the Hamas-linked Northern Islamic Movement to harass non-Muslim visitors to Temple Mount – or of the paid rioters at the same site.
Johnston’s messaging is of course symptomatic of the BBC’s general approach to this issue. After the rioting on July 26th, Hamas issued calls for one of its ubiquitous ‘days of rage’ this coming Friday (July 31st).
BBC audiences have of course been told nothing about that by the media organization supposedly committed to building “a global understanding of international issues”.
Guy Bechor: French government's moves creating anti-Semitism
The French government cannot have it both ways: Level poisonous criticism and diplomatically press Israel while claiming that it is fighting anti-Semitism. These moves against Israel are the ones creating anti-Semitism.
The French, like other countries in the European Union, cannot criticize the evacuation of several dozen Bedouins from an insignificant spot in Judea and Samaria, and ignore the evacuation of tens of thousands of Jews from France's cities. This hypocrisy cannot go on: From now on, we must call it by its name.
"Zionism" has become an almost derogatory term among the French elite, which has been trying so hard to disguise its anti-Semitism. But that same Zionism is fulfilling its purpose again: To open the Jewish state's arms to every Jew who feels persecuted. Zionism, which grew stronger following the anti-Semitism that generated the Dreyfus affairs, is more relevant and justified than ever.
I feel for the other French people, those who don’t have Zionism or a nation state to redeem them from the calamity taking over their country, until the likely inevitable explosion. What a shame that they don’t have a State of Israel of their own.
Beating BDS and getting paid to do so
Shlomo (Momo) Lifshitz, is back and this time is fighting Israel boycotts by recruiting students to study in Israel. Momo is a bulldozer and doesn’t believe in the status quo.
Founder and CEO of Lirom Global Education Ltd. and Study in Israel LLC. You may remember him as as founder and president of Oranim Educational Initiatives where he brought over 125,000 young adults and teens to programs in Israel, mainly on Taglit-Birthright.
Continuing with his life-long passion of bringing people to Israel, he established Lirom Global Education so that overseas students can find programs in English in Israel.
“We at Lirom – Study in Israel LLC are fueled by the vision of Israel as a center for global education. For anyone looking to study, tour and live in the Holy Land, here is your chance. We created a wide range of Israel programs for all ages 7 to 70! We have programs that are tailored just you. You’ll find English-speaking Israel programs from full Academic Degrees and Study Abroad programs to Summer Camps and Language Immersion excursions.”
Get Paid for Being an Israel Program Ambassador
Momo is paying recruiters.
“I need your help to spread the word about these amazing programs. With the help of private donors, we’re launching the Israel Program Ambassadors. As an ambassador, you spend a few minutes a day simply on social media and sending emails about the Israel programs to your social network. If one of your friends comes to Israel and participates in one of our programs you will be rewarded. Rewards range from $150 -$500 USD (or local equivalent)”
Condemn Israel or Don’t get Published in Swedish Press
I am one of the few Swedish pro-Israeli opinion makers who refuse to give up on what we believe is right and avoid an anti-Israeli rhetoric, that is not part of describing the real Israel. But avoiding that rhetoric is hard if you want to be published in the Swedish media.
Recently I had a conversation on this rhetoric with the editorial office of SVT Opinion, the Swedish Public Service online forum for opinion makers.
The reason why I had that conversation is that some weeks ago SVT Opinion published an anti-Israeli op-ed by Jonatan Stanczak, a Swedish citizen who resides in Jenin in Judea and Samaria. Stanczak accused Israel of having an ”apartheid regime” and ”racist government”. I wrote an op-ed to SVT Opinion, in which I stressed how important it is, if you want to criticize Israel, to use facts and not lies. My op-ed was not published, so I called the editorial office to know why. From our conversation I understood that if I do not surrender to an anti-Israeli narrative my op-eds will not be published. I have never surrendered and that is why many of the big mainstream news papers in Sweden have never published my perspectives on Israel. Does it mean that I do not get published? Of course not. I do get published in Swedish media but not in paper edition media or the public service media who have the majority of the readers and viewers.
Liberal Muslim activist Maajid Nawaz goes on Facebook to slam Guardian’s ‘hatchet job’ on him
The following was posted an hour ago on Facebook by Maajid Nawaz, a liberal Muslim counter-extremism activist, in response to a Guardian article on Aug. 2nd titled “Maajid Nawaz: how a former Islamist became David Cameron’s anti-extremism adviser” written by David Shariatmadari.
My reply to Mr Shariatmadari of the Guardian:Dear Mr Shariatmadari, I do wonder what exactly about me made you feel so insecure?Anyway, below are some reflections of mine, and a bit of fact-checking for you, on your rather personalised hatchet-job of me in the Guardian.
1) Concerning your passage:
“…If much of Quilliam’s – and now Cameron’s – positioning reflects Nawaz’s own journey, it’s reasonable to ask how representative his experience has been. Hizb-ut Tahrir, which does not advocate violence, sees the creation of a new caliphate as the solution to the Muslim world’s problems.”
Unfortunately, as has become a habit with your paper, you are too soft on Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) here. It is true that HT does not advocate terrorism. However it is not true that it does not advocate violence. All terrorism is violent, but not all violence is terrorism.HT’s aims to come to power via military coups, these are inherently violent, even if non-terrorist, acts.“(This would) normally be done by the Party seeking to access the military in order to take the authority…After this the military would be capable of establishing the authority of Islam. Hence a coup d’etat would be the manifestation of a political change…” (The Method to Re-establish the Caliphate and Resume the Islamic Way of Life’, Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain [al-Khilāfah Publications], pp. 105-6.) Once in power, pretty much like ISIS, which is a group HT’s ideology played a large part in inspiring, HT advocates the use of state orchestrated massacres to further its aims.“Hence, it is imperative to put back this issue in its rightful place and consider it to be a vital issue, by killing every apostate even if they numbered millions”. (Abdul Qadeem Zalloom [2nd global leader for HT], How the Caliphate Was Destroyed, Khilafah Publications, p.193)
BBC reporting on Hamas youth camps
Footage from that visit to a Hamas organized youth camp did appear in Lyse Doucet’s recent film titled “Children of the Gaza War” – for less than one minute. Doucet’s commentary during that segment was as follows:
“Some boys as young as Abdul Rahman [phonetic] take part in this first youth camp organized by Hamas’ military wing. It’s for men aged 15 to 21. Some are clearly younger and at the closing ceremony there’s younger still. For the outside world it’s hard to comprehend why parents would put children in situations like this. Hamas says the camps keep boys off the street and teach values and martial arts for defence. But the young also learn about weapons and hatred: it’s what Hamas calls a culture of resistance.”
Doucet’s categorisation of the camp’s participants as “men” is obviously questionable in relation to half its age range and the camp she attended was not the “first”. Seeing as the BBC is not averse to amplifying the Hamas narrative of ‘resistance’, one might perhaps have expected that Doucet would have seized this rare opportunity to expand on a subject usually avoided by the BBC in order to inform audiences more comprehensively about what that “culture of resistance” really means.
In which James Menendez ditches the BBC’s remit for political grandstanding
Throughout this entire seven minute segment listeners hoping to hear some new information on international issues from the perspective of a senior Israeli minister actually only heard him speak for just over one minute more than the person supposedly facilitating the conveyance of that information.
Audiences did however hear Menendez’s unrelenting grandstanding of his own political views (which, interestingly, appear to absolve one party to peace negotiations from all agency or responsibility) and his inaccurate promotion of the notion that new Israeli communities have “sprung up…all over the West Bank”. Apparently the BBC also intends its audiences to adopt the belief that Israeli concerns about the terms of the JCPOA deal with Iran are baseless and unjustified.
Once again the BBC’s own political messaging takes priority over its obligation to enhance “audiences’ awareness and understanding of international issues”.
The Guardian attacks its favorite targets: A Jewish billionaire, AIPAC and Bibi
Naturally, Borger ignores polls with different results. A poll by The Israel Project showed that a plurality of Jews want Congress to reject the deal.
Now, here’s Borger’s final distortion:
Not only does Aipac not represent mainstream American Jewish opinion, it also presents quite a narrow window into Israeli opinion, faithfully echoing the hawkish line of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.
This passage is extraordinarily misleading in that it suggests that opposition to the Iran Deal is emanating from the Israeli right. However, as anyone following the debate would surely know, the overwhelming majority of Israelis – including leaders of the opposition – oppose the deal.
Borger concludes the passage by noting the alleged support for the deal by Israel’s security establishment:
According to sources familiar with planning for the trip, it has resisted appeals to include briefings from former members of the Israeli security establishment who are supportive of the deal.
It’s not clear which “Israeli security establishment” officials Borger is referring to. As CAMERA demonstrated last week, of four prominent Israeli security experts cited by The Washington Post, the Forward, J Street and John Kerry’s Senior Advisor Marie Harf as supposedly supportive of the deal, none – the evidence shows – actually have described the agreement as “good for Israel.”
Guardian gets it wrong: falsely claims “mocked-up coffin of Rabin” at ’94 rightwing rally
He then cites another alleged example, from the mid-90s.
The prime example of turning on the tap – only to be appalled by the flood – is Netanyahu himself. Twenty years ago he stirred up crowds livid at then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s apparent concessions to the Palestinians. They waved placards depicting Rabin as a Palestinian terrorist, even as an SS officer – but Netanyahu said nothing. They carried a mocked-up coffin of Rabin and still Netanyahu said nothing. But when a far rightist assassinated Rabin, Netanyahu was of course among the first to be shocked, shocked, by such wickedness.
However, Freedland’s claim that the rally in question (in 1994) included a “mocked-up coffin of Rabin” is flat-out wrong and represents a recycling the far-left myth that Bibi was somehow responsible for the former prime minister’s death. In fact, as blogger Elder of Ziyon demonstrated in response to a CNN program in 2013 which advanced this allegation, one side of the coffin actually said “Rabin is burying us” (”רבין קובר אותנו”), while the other side said “Rabin is bringing about the death of Zionism” (“רבין ממית [ה]ציונות”).
Reuters Corrects: Less Than 400 Administrative Detainees, Not Over 5400
Following communication with CAMERA's Israel office, Reuters corrects an article which overstated the number of Palestinians held in administrative detention by more than a factor of 10. Yesterday's article about the Israeli decision to apply administrative detention to Jewish terror suspects erroneously stated: "According to the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, 5,442 Palestinians were in detention without trial as of June."
In fact, according to the latest data on B'Tselem's Web site, the figure of 5,442 refers to the total number of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, the vast majority of whom have been tried. The number of Palestinians held without trial, according to B'Tselem, stood at 370 as of June 31, 2015 -- less than 10 percent of the figure that Reuters had cited. (See B'Tselem table below.)
UK Media Watch prompts Guardian correction on number of Palestinian detainees
An Aug. 2nd Guardian article by Mairav Zonszein (Israel to detain Jewish terror suspects without trial) included an erroneous statistic on the number of Palestinians held by Israel under what’s known as administrative detention (detention by the state without trial for security reasons).
It appears as if this claim was based on this B’tselem page. However, as you can see from the NGO’s graph, 5,442 represents the total number of security detainees in all categories. The number of administrative detainees (as of June 31) is actually 370.
So, we contacted Guardian editors (and tweeted Zonszein) to alert them about the error. And, within the last hour, we received a tweet back from the Guardian contributor notifying us that the passage had been revised.
 Violent Bulgarian fans chase Israeli soccer team off the field
Ashdod SC players said they feared for their lives after being forced to run for cover from local fans in Bulgaria during Monday's so-called friendly match against CSKA Sofia.
Ashdod, which was relegated from the Premier League to the National League last season, is preparing for the new campaign in Bulgaria and arranged several games against local sides in order to build up match fitness.
However, while most pre-season matches are usually quickly forgotten, Monday's game against CSKA is bound to live long in the memory of Ashdod players who were forced to flee the stadium after dozens of Sofia fans assaulted them, kicking and punching players while also throwing bottles at the team and its staff.
Tempers flared early in the encounter, but matters got completely out of hand in second-half stoppage time when Ashdod's Niv Zrihen was sent off for a rough foul on a Sofia player.
The CSKA players immediately confronted the Ashdod players and soon afterwards dozens of supporters burst onto the pitch and attacked the stunned Israelis. The Ashdod players and staff raced up an empty stand at the other end of the stadium seeking cover and were eventually escorted back to their hotel by local police forces.
Anti-Semitic graffiti painted on mural on remnants of Berlin Wall
It was discovered Friday that unknown vandals defaced a famous mural on remnants of the Berlin Wall with anti-Semitic graffiti.
The attack came during a week when several thousand Jewish visitors were participating in the first ever European Maccabi Games to be held in Germany.
The mural, originally painted in 1988 as a reminder of the 40th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Nazi Germany, features an Israeli flag superimposed on a German one.
The artist, Günther Schaefer, most recently restored the outdoor artwork last March.
The mural reportedly has been defaced at least 51 times over the years – usually by neo-Nazis, extreme left-wingers, racists and Islamic extremists, but also by a-political vandals, the artist told reporters. Schaefer has documented many of the defacements on his website.
Yet Another Anti-Semitic Incident Reported in London
Police in the Hackney quarter of London are investigating an attack against a hareidi Jew that took place last week. One suspect has been arrested in the incident.
The Jewish resident of the quarter was attacked as he walked home from the neighborhood synagogue. He came across an individual who began calling him anti-Semitic names, and threatened to harm him. Quickly, the victim of the attack summoned for assistance, and police arrived within minutes, rescuing him from the thug who was still threatening him with physical harm.
This is the second such attack in a month in the neighborhood. Last month, two religious Jews were “treated” to a raft of curses and epithets as they attended a funeral. The two were threatened with broken necks, with the thug promising to “rub them out.”
Alarming findings on British anti-Semitism were revealed last Thursday in a new report showing that anti-Semitism incidents jumped by a whopping 53% in the first half of 2015 as compared to the same period last year.
The findings, released in a report by the Community Security Trust (CST) monitoring group, in part indicates a growth in reporting such incidents on the part of UK Jews, who are becoming more willing to step forward and take action against the hate crimes.
France: 'Hate Crime' Robbery Against Prominent Jew
A French anti-Semitism watchdog group reports that burglars recently broke into the home of an elderly Jewish leader. In addition to stealing $10,000 worth of jewelry and valuables, the criminals also wrote "Dirty Jews, long live Palestine" on the wall in lipstick.
The homeowner, who has been identified only as Alain B., told police that he and his wife were on a four-day vacation in Turkey when his home alarm system alerted them that someone had broken in. They called a neighbor, who found that a kitchen window was broken.
"It's truly a tragedy," Alain told the Parisien newspaper. "We have lived in this apartment since 1974 and now we feel we must leave the community. We no longer feel safe. Our children and grandchildren don't want to come see us."
The couple had been the victims of another robbery in May, and expressed concern that it may be the same thieves.
Walt Disney experts rebut dogged anti-Semitic allegations
Walt Disney was a complex figure, both celebrated and condemned, but allegations that he was a rabid anti-Semite are unproven, Disney experts said.
Talking to TV critics Sunday about PBS’ “American Experience” September documentary on Disney, composer Richard Sherman (Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” ”The Jungle Book”) dismissed such lingering criticism outright.
It’s “absolutely preposterous to call him anti-Semitic,” said Sherman, the son of Jewish immigrants. He and his brother Robert, his writing partner, were treated like sons by Disney, he said.
Historian and social critic Neal Gabler, author of “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood,” said he exhaustively researched Disney for the 2006 book “Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination.”
“I saw no evidence other than the casual anti-Semitism that” was common to non-Jews during Disney’s 20th-century era, Gabler said.
Last surviving prisoner attends Treblinka commemoration
The last surviving prisoner of Treblinka was among those in attendance for a commemoration of the Jewish uprising at the Nazi extermination camp in Poland.
“We burned in hell,” said Samuel Willenberg said at Sunday’s ceremony on the 72nd anniversary of the outbreak of the uprising. Some 200 prisoners escaped, but hundreds were killed while trying to flee.
Among those joining Willenberg at the ceremony organized by Poland’s Jewish Historical Institute was the newly appointed spokesman for the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Father Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, who read Psalm 23 in Polish and Hebrew. Rytel-Andrianik was born in Sokolow Podlaski, near Treblinka. He studied in Jerusalem for several years and speaks 16 languages.
Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich read the El Maleh Rachamim prayer and Rabbi Stas Wojciechowicz said the Mourners’ Kaddish.
In conjunction with the ceremony, an exhibition was opened displaying photos taken since 2007 that document the exhumation of mass graves in Treblinka. Pieces of jewelry and a shoe found in the mass grave also were on display.
79 years after Nazi Olympics, Jewish athletes find Berlin welcoming, not entirely safe
Hosting the European Maccabi Games this week, the first since World War II, Berlin was eager to exhibit “the new face of Germany,” as Mayor Frank Henkel told journalists this week at a soiree at the city hall: one of tolerance and acceptance which rejects anti-Semitism and embraces Jews as equals. Like Toge, journalists from far-flung places such as Argentina and San Francisco, Iceland and Israel (this writer included) were flown in to witness the transformed Germany, one in which Jews from around the globe could compete in a secure, welcome environment.
Throughout the official programming, Maccabi and German officials alike touted the new Deutschland as home to a growing Jewish community that lives in peace and prosperity. A country which has now had diplomatic ties with the Jewish state for 50 years.
The games are “historic” and “symbolic,” they pressed home.
Indeed, while ghosts of the past remain, Nazi Germany is gone, and with it the racist ideology that perpetrated so many crimes. Israelis have flocked in droves to the new Germany — 20,000 to 30,000 in recent years according to some estimates. Hebrew chatter can be heard all over the graffitied streets of Berlin. The presence of a uniformed IDF officer in the shadow of the Glockenturm was unimaginable in 1936.

“It’s something unbelievable,” the colonel related in his native Hebrew at a ceremony honoring Jewish athletes banned from the ’36 Olympic Games. Behind him, the hulking mass of the Olympiastadion, the amphitheater where Hitler crowed about the supremacy of the Aryan race and was greeted by cheers from tens of thousands of heiling masses. Empty for the games (organizers said they couldn’t dream of filling its 75,000 seats), the sole difference from outside was the swastika missing from the stelae flanking the stern stone ring, and the Maccabi Games taking place nearby, in the various fields and structures of the stadium complex.
Israelis grab 61 medals at Special Olympics in LA
The 2015 Special Olympics World games came to a close in Los Angeles on Sunday night with an emotional ceremony.
Israel’s delegation to the games will return home to a hero’s welcome on Tuesday after winning 61 medals over the past week in California. The Israelis claimed 25 golds, 18 silvers and 18 bronzes.
Athletics was the delegation’s most successful sport, with the Israelis winning 12 medals in the different competitions, one gold, six silvers and five bronzes.
Every two years, Special Olympics athletes come together to compete at the World games, with over 6,500 athletes from 165 countries descending upon Los Angeles this year.
Athletes competed in25 different sports at venues throughout Los Angeles.
Unlike other sporting events, Iranian athletes competed against the Israelis in the Special Olympics, with both delegations bonding throughout the event and discussing the political situation between their countries.
One-third of cyber-security contest finalists Israeli
Three Israeli start-ups are among 11 chosen from around the world to compete in the finals next week of the Kaspersky Lab Security Startup Challenge, the firm’s global initiative to seek out “cyber-stars” – students and entrepreneurs who can make a contribution to the burgeoning cyber-security industry.
The contest was a global one, open to entrepreneurs and experts around the world, but Israel has provided nearly a third of the total cyber-brainpower judged by the company and a retinue of industry experts as being worthy of consideration for the finals of the challenge.
The three Israeli finalists include Re-Sec Technologies, which implements software to check for threats in every file that attempts to write itself to a server or computer, without the need for signature-based detection or spotting behavior anomalies; Cyber ​​DriveWare, which uses a unique approach by examining the lower levels of the hard drive, where activity is easier to detect and threats are easier to catch; and Security in Motion, which develops security solutions for connected cars.
Besides the three Israeli teams, companies from the US, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Russia, Germany and Norway made it to the finals. The finals will take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next week, with the companies vying for $80,000 in prizes – a $50,000 top prize, as well as runner-up prizes of $10,000 and $20,000.
What happened when a Lebanese guy met IDF soldiers
Fabian Maamari, a Swedish-Lebanese model and photographer, has Israeli social media excited. Hugging two IDF soldiers in a photo with a short story underneath about his Lebanese roots and love for Israel, Maamari’s July 27 Facebook post has been shared and liked thousands of times.
“WOW WOW WOW WOW!!! It’s been a hectic 3 days for me and all I can say it’s [sic] THANK YOU!!!!!!” Maamari exclaims in his latest Facebook post after seeing his original one go viral. “Thank you for all your kindness and nice words. It really means a lot.”
Maamari has been living in Israel with his Israeli boyfriend for five months. He is a prolific social-media sharer and has uploaded dozens of photos of his trips around the country, night-club excursions, and participation in Tel Aviv Pride events.
But it wasn’t until he uploaded a photo of himself hugging two on-duty IDF soldiers at the Dead Sea that his Facebook page put him in the spotlight.
“This was my first time EVER seeing them live and in duty. At first I was a bit nervous because, as [a] Lebanese it’s in my nature to fear them, because of all the bad things I have heard about them in my life, and let’s face it — they don’t exactly have the BEST reputation in the world either … They are basically big enemies,” Maamari, 28, wrote in his post.
He then explains how, after telling them he’s originally from Lebanon, he was expecting an interrogation. Instead, the soldiers told him they think his country is beautiful.
IDF Blog: Brave, Fierce and Strong: Meet the First Women to Guard in Nablus
The important and challenging task of protecting the city of Nablus and its surrounding area isn’t just a man’s job. Recently, our Home Front Command made history as it welcomed the first female soldiers to guard the line in Nablus.
Female combat soldiers make up thirty percent of the force in the newly co-ed David Company. The soldiers take great pride in securing the volatile area of Nablus, where just last month, the IDF seized several Palestinian weapons caches. They are quick to stress the fact that the question of gender does not come into play when assessing a risky situation.
Driving through the base in an armored vehicle clad with heavy vests and carrying their M-16s, this unique group easily dispels any outdated stereotype about women. Their strong character and unwavering commitment is striking and admirable.
“We guard day and night and we barely sleep so that the citizens can feel protected,” states Sgt. Yanina Jatemliansquy, a soldier in the David Company. Sgt. Jatemliansquy was born in Argentina and immigrated to Israel two years ago, drawn by her lifelong dream to protect the country. When asked what gives her the strength and motivation to get up every day, Sgt. Jatemliansquy’s answer is very straightforward– “My position.”


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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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