Wednesday, August 12, 2015

From Ian:

Corbyn and the Hamas backer who defends suicide bombs: He'll share stage with extremist... and a 'Holocaust cartoon contest' runner-up
Jeremy Corbyn is to share a stage with supporters of the Palestinian militant group Hamas – including an academic who has defended suicide attacks.
The Labour leadership frontrunner will speak later this month at a London conference hosted by the controversial publication Middle East Monitor.
One speaker will be Palestinian-born Dr Azzam Tamimi, who once told the BBC that ‘sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause... I would do it if I had the opportunity’.
Another is Carlos Latuff, a cartoonist who compares Israel to the Nazis and came second in a Holocaust cartoon competition held by Iran in 2006.
Last night senior Labour MP John Mann, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group against anti-semitism, said: ‘These are not people a would-be Prime Minister should be sharing a platform with – and any contact with them should be to challenge them about their vile views.
‘He should be challenging Tamimi about his view that suicide bombings are in some way noble, and some of Latuff’s cartoons are deeply offensive. This sort of event is not where a would-be Prime Minister should be, it’s hugely inappropriate.’
Repulsive racism from Anna Baltzer
Meet Ilana Kaufman, a self described "black, gay professional Jew"
From the Forward, Ilana writes
I’m about as mainstream as we come. My family lights Sabbath candles and belongs to a synagogue. My daughter goes to religious school and Jewish summer camp. I even grow etrogs in my backyard. My community is mostly Jewish — and many, many are black like me.
Ilana is the JCRC San Francisco Bay Area’s Public Affairs and Civic Engagement Director. She reflects the diversity of the Bay area, and of the larger Jewish community
Its just one of many reasons that Anna Baltzer's (aka Anna Piller aka Anna Nardie) quip about the "white supremacy" of the Jewish Community Relations Council is so repugnant. Anna is the head of the extremist US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation - a group that denies Jewish ties to the land of Israel.
In her thoughtless, senseless and racist attack on the JCRC, Anna belittles and marginalizes the contributions of all Jews of color, including Ilana Kaufman.
Douglas MurrayWill Britain Pass the Choudary Test?
If there was a single flaw in the British Prime Minister's recent speech on countering extremism in the UK, it might be encapsulated in the name "Anjem Choudary." His speech went into terrific detail on the significance of tacking radicalism through the education system, the Charity Commission, the broadcasting license authority and numerous other means. But it failed the Choudary test.
That test is: What do you do about a British-born man who is qualified to work but appears never to have done so, and who instead spends his time taking his "dole" money and using it to fund a lifestyle devoted solely to preaching against the state?
The problem is not quite as straightforward as some commentators make out. The fact that Choudary is British-born and a British citizen makes it legally impossible for Britain to withdraw his citizenship or otherwise render him "stateless." He has a young family who cannot be allowed to starve on the streets, even if he could. These are admittedly late liberalism problems, but they are problems nonetheless.
On the other hand, what the state has allowed from Choudary in recent years looks more like a late Weimar problem. Choudary is not merely a blowhard pseudo-cleric with perhaps never more than a hundred followers at any one time -- although this is certainly the part of his persona that has garnered most attention. Indeed, his attention-seeking is perhaps the only first-rate skill he has. For instance, there was the time he claimed he was planning a "March for Sharia" through the centre of London, culminating at the gates of Buckingham Palace with a demand that the Queen submit to Islam. Having garnered the publicity he desired, Choudary cancelled his march not because there was a fairly measly counter-demo (of which this author was a part) but because his "March for Sharia" would have been unlikely to gather more than a few dozen attendees, and would most likely have descended into a "stroll inviting ridicule," at best.

Israel’s statement on The Rise of Global Genocidal Antisemitism
Israel’s Counselor on Human Rights, Nelly Shiloh, spoke today at the UN on The Rise of Global Genocidal Antisemitism

The Riegner Cable, and the Knowing Failure of the West To Act During the Shoah
When and how did authentic information about the Shoah first become known? The question has been discussed in detail in my book The Terrible Secret and in Breaking the Silence (Laqueur and Richard Breitman). In the 30 years that have passed, additional information has become known. News about Hitler’s decision to destroy European Jewry and its implementation percolated out of the Nazi-occupied countries in various ways. The information came from individuals and groups including the Bund and Orthodox Jewish organizations. The central document was Gerhart Riegner’s cable sent to Washington on August 10, 1942. The general picture as presented in the 1980s need not be revised; specific issues have been clarified, others, on the contrary, are now less clear than before. My intention in the following essay is to point to some aspects that deserve further investigation.
Riegner, a native of Berlin and a lawyer by profession who was thirty years of age at the time, represented the World Jewish Congress (WJC) in Geneva. He had received the information through two intermediaries (Benno Sagalowitz, the press officer of the Swiss Jewish community, and Isidor Koppelmann, a businessman) from a German industrialist whose name he had sworn never to reveal. Riegner did in fact have to reveal it to the American diplomats in Switzerland, who made it a condition for transmitting his cable to Washington. However, these Americans were the exception. In a letter to me dated Geneva, September 21, 1984, he writes, “May I remind you, however, of our gentleman’s agreement. Somewhere you will have to say that up to this date I refused to identify the German source.” Riegner subsequently mentioned the name in his 2001 autobiography—once. He also mentioned it in a long interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel in October 2001.
Breitman and I had written that there were not many interesting jobs for young émigré lawyers at the time in connection with Riegner being offered the position of representing the WJC at the League of Nations. Riegner in his letter says, “It was not that I was looking for a job. I had still a fellowship (in Geneva) which had just been renewed for another year. The real reason: I felt I could not refuse to cooperate in the fight against Hitler with the only Jewish group which tried to fight him.”
Riegner mentions in that same document that news about mass killings of Jews had reached him well before the summer of 1942. He specifically mentions reports on several thousand Jews being killed in Westpreussen (broadly speaking, the region south of Danzig), tens of thousands killed in various Polish towns, and killings by injections and in mobile gas vans. When Riegner and Lichtheim met Bernardini, the papal nuncio in mid-March 1942, they reported inter alia on eighteen thousand Jews shot in eastern Galicia and of massacres in Romania (Jassy?) and elsewhere.
Ronn Torossian: Could a Jewish State Have Stopped the Holocaust? (REVIEW)
When Ambassador Yehuda Avner heard then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres address a large crowd on Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, he listened as Peres apologized to the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust, saying “we were ten years too late.” This apology plagued Avner in the last few years before his 2014 death. Knowing that he did not have much time left, Avner decided to write a gripping historical narrative that explores this overwhelming hypothesis.
As Israel’s former ambassador to Britain, Ireland, and Australia, Avner’s political knowledge is used to craft a captivating work of historical fiction that allows us to consider how Israel’s existence even a decade earlier might have changed the outcome of events. Along with Matt Rees, an award-winning novelist, they created The Ambassador in the last six months of Avner’s prosperous life.
The fictional work is laced with historical events and the plot is set in 1937, it tells the tale of profound leadership in times of crisis, and provides an evocative look at the urgent need for Jews to take their fate into their own hands in order to make a difference in the world.
However, this is no narrative that should be labeled as complete fantasy. The book speaks volumes in a world dealing with the continuing rise of rampant antisemitism. As constant threats against the state of Israel are increasing and amid the rising statistics of global hatred against the Jewish people, the publication of this novel cannot be any more relevant.
Myth: Israel Caused Terrorism
Another myth has been making the rounds recently, and it is a persistent one. It is the claim that because of Israel’s occupations, Palestinians have been encouraged towards terrorism. This not only removes agency from Palestinians in a way that reeks of paternalism and bigotry, it ignores facts that prove Palestinians themselves are primarily the source of terrorism’s perpetuation. It ignores indoctrination, something that I was told is “an Islamophobic red herring”, despite it having nothing to do with Islam at all.
Terrorism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
It is clear that terrorism has never been tied in a convincingly and statistically correlated way with the quality of life of Palestinians. While survey data is lacking, a mere look at the number of terrorist operations undertaken by Palestinians and their targets show that quality of life had no effect on support for terror.
Whereas Israel was not responsible for the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza until 1967 (Jordan and Egypt were, respectively), Israel was still the target of Palestinian terror. The terror, with the goal of ensnaring the Arab states in a war with Israel, typically targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure, ignoring entirely the occupations of Jordan and Egypt. By 1967, however, that changed with Israel’s control of the West Bank and Gaza. Of course, even pre-Israel and pre-Zionism there were terrorist attacks on Jews in Ottoman Palestine, but this is an aside.
From 1967-on, Palestinians did indeed lack in self-determination. But this was no change from prior to 1967, when Palestinians were still occupied. Even so, from 1967 to 1987 something did significantly change for Palestinians under Israeli rule: they became significantly healthier, well-educated, and wealthier at that. Working in the richer state of Israel, and benefiting from its care, few Palestinians actually died in the West Bank and Gaza during this period.
The Lie that Broke Israel’s Back
The world body was called on “to create the state of Palestine on the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967.” No one blinked. There is a catchphrase for every cause, and the anti-Israel cause can boast the Coca Cola of catchphrases, a mantra for many. ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’ (OPT) has the power to mesmerize. The mantra recurred some dozen times in a resolution that recalled many things and reaffirmed many others. And no one in that great assembly batted an eye, not even the Ambassador for Israel. Repeated ad nauseam, nonsense can pour into sense, plot can merge with policy, and fiction can turn to wisdom. The catchphrase-mantra made Israel’s defeat a long time in the making. When defeat came her ambassador took it stoically. A forty-year lie can do that – slip into the skin of truth with barely a sigh.
Now you see it now you don’t, OPT is a trick of smoke and mirrors, the stuff of mumbo jumbo. Historically, there’s never been Palestinian territory for Israel to occupy. Legally, Israel snapped up the territories fair and square from Egypt and Jordan. Logically, how can Israel be an occupier when no one else holds a lawful claim? Turn Middle East wars and laws upside down and any way you like, but the 'West Bank' is neither occupied nor Palestinian.
Expelled from one dugout, pro-Palestinians will scamper to another, firing the next volley from that landmark Security Council Resolution 242 of 1968. It’s the one that required Israel to withdraw from territory (only some) it snapped up in six days of war. The Palestinian camp says, ‘No; Resolution 242 told Israel to withdraw from all the territory.’ Some or all – quite how it connects to the narrative of OPT is not well explained, if at all. It may be a bridge too far for those that want ‘Palestine’ to prevail. But it cannot.
Ten Years Later, Gaza Withdrawal Was a Clear Mistake
The tenth anniversary of Israel’s retreat from Gaza has occasioned a number of interesting commentaries. Perhaps the most innovative comes from Shmuel Rosner, of Haaretz and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, who views the withdrawal as a kind of triumph for Zionism, surprisingly enough.
We should “rejoice” over the fact that Israel “chose” on its own to leave Gaza, Rosner contends. “We took our fate in our own hands…The Jews were not evicted…We were not driven out.” He is alluding to the classic Zionist concept of Jews taking their fate into their own hands by creating a Jewish state, instead of always having their fate determined by the various other countries in which they lived.
Rosner’s argument is certainly an innovative way of trying to see some good in a withdrawal that most Israelis now think was bad. But Rosner is absolutely mistaken.
The Gaza withdrawal decision was not made in some kind of vacuum. The Israeli government did not wake up one day and decide, on its own, that the time had come to leave Gaza.
The decision to withdraw came in response to decades of international pressure and frequent Palestinian Arab terrorism – not to mention relentless lobbying by the Jewish “peace” movement.
Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad Official Says All of Israel Now in Range of Rockets
Just one year after Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza, a senior commander for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group claimed that all of Israel was now within range of their rockets, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Tuesday.
The senior official, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Mujahid, claimed that his organization had learned from last summer’s war and other armed conflicts with Israel.
“All of Israel’s cities are currently within the range of our rockets,” he said, adding that during the past year Palestinian Islamic Jihad had improved its arsenal.
“We have many surprises [for Israel] that we will keep secret,” he said, also claiming that it was the Gazans who had started the war last summer in response to Israeli “provocation.”
Israeli combat troops react angrily to new rules of engagement in West Bank
In light of heightened security tensions in the West Bank, the Israeli defense establishment on Tuesday temporarily revised the rules of engagement for combat soldiers on the ground serving in the Palestinian territories, triggering a wave of resentment within the ranks.
According to the 0404 web site, IDF soldiers were furious over the newly issued rules of engagement that they say will encourage more Palestinian terrorism.
The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew-language sister publication Ma'ariv learned on Tuesday that the defense establishment is now requiring soldiers to hold their fire except for instances in which there is a genuine threat to their lives.
Under the previous rules, soldiers were permitted to fire a number of warning shots in the air before taking aim at a potential terrorist.
Soldier testimonials indicate that the new rules forbid troops from shooting at a terror suspect's lower extremities during an arrest. The interim guidelines now instruct soldiers to fire in the air.
The defense establishment wishes to avoid situations in which IDF gunfire leads to the death of an alleged terrorist, a development that is liable to spark widespread protest and further fan nationalistic flames.
IDF may look to indoor drone system to explore Gaza tunnels
YouTube videos notwithstanding, operating an unmanned aerial vehicle – a drone – isn’t as easy as it looks, according to Shimon Mizrahi of the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Lev Academic Institute.
“It takes a good couple of weeks of intense practice to be able to avoid obstacles and walls, and even then you have to be very quick. And in closed quarters indoors, it’s very difficult even for a practiced operator to avoid crashes.”
So a JCT team led by Mizrahi has developed a low-cost (about NIS 17,000 or $3,800) idiot-proof navigation system for a sensor- and camera-laden drone that can be used in a wide variety of safety and security scenarios.
“Our four propeller quadcopter is designed for use by an ordinary person who is not skilled in operating advanced remote controls,” Mizrahi said. “It’s the first indoor drone, and the ideal solution for use in structures or scenarios where it would be dangerous for individuals to venture.”
That would include, said Mizrahi, a Gaza terror tunnel.
Israeli Defense Ministry Rebuffs String of Cyber Infiltration Attempts
In recent weeks, Israel’s Ministry of Defense thwarted multiple cyber-attacks against its computers, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Monday.
The infiltrations were attempted through infected e-mails sent to Ministry of Defense employees. The subject line used in the e-mails hasn’t yet been cleared for publication, but the report said they contained malicious files which, if opened, would allow remote monitoring of a number of the Ministry’s computers.
The Defense Ministry was quick to note however, that the targeted computers were far from the most sensitive ones.
“We’re not talking about the internal computer systems and/or the classified matters of the Ministry, but instead the open internet network which is not classified,” an official said. “The Ministry’s defense systems went into action so that the internet network was not harmed at all.”
The goal of the attacks was to infiltrate the computers by attracting recipients of the e-mails to click on a link which would prompt the spyware to download. According to testing conducted at the Ministry of Defense, the malicious file would then allow the sender to remotely control the computer, record keystrokes, search through files and transmit them, as well as transfer screenshots.
While the e-mails were sent to many users in a number of the Defense Ministry’s divisions, testing showed there were no users who clicked on the malicious links.
The Answer to Digital Terror – IDF’s Cyber Warriors
The new face of warfare: Instead of guns and rockets, our soldiers may be fighting with keyboards and screens, proactively defending our networks against potential digital terrorists.
A recently developed cyber defense course is geared towards preparing its soldiers for any and all cyber threats. They have the weapons at their fingertips and entire model cities at their disposal. They are training to become the masters of cyber warfare and to defeat the cyber enemy.
During Operation Protective Edge, many Israeli infrastructures were targeted by hacking groups hoping to disrupt operations and communication efforts. Therefore, cyber defense is exceedingly important.
If any anonymous individuals decide to carry out a computerized attack against the IDF, our cyber warriors stand ready to defend. They are trained to implement immense defensive measures against any and all cyber attacks through the creation of intricate firewalls and hack-proof systems.
Cyber defense plays a very significant role in Israeli society today because of the amount of cyber attacks against Israel in recent years. The IDF, along with many other Israeli institutions such as banks and government offices, are required by law to protect themselves from any attacks. Training our soldiers through this revolutionary course is all part of the process to safeguard our vital networks.
Israeli-Arab Actor Defends Hijacker: He Was No 'Terrorist'
Award-winning Israeli Arab actor George Iskandar spoke with Arutz Sheva on Tuesday night at the premier screening of the film "Sabena" at Cinema City in Jerusalem, and claimed that the Black September terrorist he portrays in the film "isn't a terrorist."
The film recreates the May 9, 1972 hijacking by four Black September terrorists of Sabena Flight 571, a passenger flight arriving from Vienna to Lod Airport with 90 passengers on board, and the ensuing heroic rescue mission by Israeli commandos - including future prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
But Iskandar said, "I don't like this word 'terrorist.'"
Referring to Ali Taha Abu Sanina, who he plays in the movie, he said, "I don't call him a 'terrorist,' I call him a 'fighter,' he's a person who had something stolen from him, something taken from him, and he fights to get it back."
"I can not agree or agree with the way in which he fought. But I don't think that a person who had something stolen from him and fights for it back can be called a 'terrorist,'" he said, terminologically justifying attacks on civilians with the "stealing" of land at Israel's foundation.
Israel 'forgotten' by Egypt yet again
Israel has a great interest in seeing Egypt's dreams fulfilled, in seeing the number of vessels in the canal doubled, in seeing the proceeds stabilize the Cairo treasury's coffers, in seeing the Sinai terror erased (with a significant Israeli contribution), and in seeing Egypt's citizens finally go out to elect a parliament. The Egyptian top echelon knows exactly what we think – that Israel, in the Egyptian context, belongs to the "good guys" camp.
And yet, we were left with a feeling of a missed opportunity. After being forced to "show an understanding" towards the fact that Israel was excluded from the list of countries invited to the Economic Development Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh several months ago, Egypt deleted us once again.
An official spokesperson in Cairo went to the trouble of informing the press that four countries had not been invited to the Suez Canal's inauguration ceremony: Iran, because of its support for Hamas, its funding of Hezbollah and its long fingers against Saudi Arabia; Syria, because of the anger at President Bashar Assad; Turkey, because of the long score with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's big mouth and his dangerous embrace of Hamas; and Israel.
What are we doing in the same line with Egypt's enemies? Al-Sisi could have taken advantage of the event, invited President Reuven Rivlin to the yacht or to the VIP tent in Ismailia and called the press to take a picture of the leaders joining hands with the guests of honor, Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Mashaal heading Hamas delegation to Turkey
A Hamas delegation headed by the group’s political bureau leader, Khaled Mashaal, is to visit Turkey, Osama Hamdan, the terror organization’s official in charge of international relations, said Wednesday.
Hamdan did not specify when the delegation would leave but said the visit would take place soon. He said Mashaal and the group would meet senior Turkish officials in order to discuss the situation of the Palestinians.
Mashaal will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, Israel Radio reported.
The Hamas leader met Erdogan last December in Ankara.
Hamas recently denied Israeli reports saying Turkey has expelled Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas official who Israel says is in charge of training terror cells in the West Bank.
Emails show Clinton sought to counter Israeli film boycott
As US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton sought to counter a boycott campaign in 2009 that blocked the screening of an Israeli film at the Edinburgh Film Festival, as revealed by emails recently made available by the former secretary of state and presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.
The boycott drive came after the Israeli government made a donation of £300 ($450) to organizers, a sum meant to cover the cost of sending Israeli filmmaker Tali Shalom Ezer to the festival to screen her film “Surrogate.”
Clinton had apparently ordered her staff to find ways via the British and Scottish governments to defeat the boycott. Details of her intervention came to light when thousands of her emails were made public this year. The court decision to release the emails came after it after it was revealed that she had used a private email account to send state-related messages.
Pro-Palestinian boycott campaigners, including the prominent filmmaker Ken Loach, called on festival-goers to boycott the event in protest over the money paid by the Israeli government. Ultimately, the festival organizers returned the money and didn’t screen the film.
Norwegian fest boycotts Israeli film on kids with disabilities
A Norwegian film festival recently rejected an Israeli documentary on children with disabilities, telling its director that it supports the boycott on the Jewish state and will not screen Israeli movies unless they deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Roy Zafrani, the director of “The Other Dreamers,” was turned down by organizers in a decision he termed “absurd,” the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Wednesday.
“I’m sorry but we can’t show this film,” a letter from the organizers to Zafrani said. “We support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel so unless the films are about the illegal occupation, or deals with the occupation or the blockade of Gaza, or otherwise about the discrimination of Palestinians, we can’t show them.”
Zafrani denounced the decision while declining to name the film festival in question.
Tunisian filmmakers exit Locarno in Israel protest
Tunisian filmmakers have withdrawn projects destined for Locarno’s Open Doors co-production lab in protest at the festival’s refusal to drop the Israeli focus in the Industry Days’ revamped First Look showcase.
Answering a call from the Tunisian branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Tunis-based Propaganda Productions decided to pull Nadia Rais’ debut, the animation feature Aller Simple, and Nejib Belkadhi’s third feature Retina, from the line-up of 12 projects from Open Doors’ focus on the Maghreb.
Producers Imed Marzouk and Badi Chouka and the two directors said in a statement that this decision had been taken as a reaction to Locarno’s partnership with the Israel Film Fund for the First Look showcase and “at the end of a week of fruitless negotiations with the festival’s management to revoke this partnership.”
According to the Tunisian news service Nawaat, Nomadis Images’ Dora Bouchoucha and Lina Chaabane, producers of Mohamed Ben Attia’s directorial debut Inhebek Hedi, had also issued a declaration withdrawing their project from Open Doors.
In addition, this declaration was signed by filmmaker Raja Amari whose film Printemps Tunesien had been scheduled to feature in the Open Doors Screenings.
Polish Jewish activist goes on trial over pro-Israel rally
A Polish-Jewish activist appeared in a Warsaw court to face charges stemming from a pro-Israel demonstration he organized.
Tadeusz Markiewicz had permission for the July 2014 rally in Warsaw to run until 4 p.m., but it lasted longer, leading to the indictment and the trial that started Tuesday. The demonstration, which attracted about 80 people, was held during Israel’s war last summer with Hamas in Gaza.
The pro-Israel rally was in response to a pro-Palestinian demonstration held the same day. Both were held next to the Israeli Embassy. Police separated the two groups of demonstrators.
In November, Markiewicz received a warrant issued by the court to pay the $570 penalty for “disruption of the second demonstration by using a sound system.” Markiewicz’s lawyer, Monika Krawczyk, appealed the judgment.
Markiewicz calls his case a matter of freedom of assembly.
Air France Puts Israel Back on its Map
Air France on Wednesday responded to popular backlash and put Israel back on its in-flight maps, after shocked passengers documented how the maps wiped Israel out even while listing "West Bank" and "Gaza Strip" - areas that don't even have flight service.
Panasonic France, the company responsible for Air France's in-flight electronic maps, said Wednesday it has put Israel back on the map.
"We have been able to confirm that the changes we made to our service were deployed on the Air France aircraft on or about August 4th," the company released in a response to Simon Wiesenthal Center's direct complaint.
The issue was first publicized by the pro-Israel group Stand With Us, which two weeks ago published photos of the map with the text: "Apparently, Air France removed Israel/Tel Aviv from their flight tracker map, despite the fact Tel Aviv is one of their official destinations. Additionally, they now note ‘West Bank’ and ‘Gaza Strip’ despite the fact neither of these are destinations of Air France."
French court to rule on pork school meals for Jews, Muslims
A French court will rule this week on the decision by a right-wing mayor to ban non-pork meals in schools for Muslims and Jews, his lawyer said Tuesday.
Mayor Gilles Platret announced in March that pupils in his town of Chalon-sur-Saone near Dijon in eastern France would no longer be guaranteed a non-pork option at lunchtime from the start of the next school year in September.
It triggered controversy across the country, including within his Republican party, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem accused Platret of “taking children hostage” with his politics.
Former French Synagogue Burns Down in Suspected Arson
A 19th century building in northeastern France that once housed a synagogue burned to the ground overnight Sunday/Monday.
Police are examining the circumstances of the fire, which utterly consumed the out-of-use synagogue in the town of Maizières-lès-Vic.
According to news website republican-lorrain, the building was privately owned and has not served as a synagogue in decades. Before burning down, it was being used by a local poultry farmer.
Although police have urged caution, they are not ruling out arson. The officer in charge of the investigation did, however, warn AFP against jumping to conclusions, noting the investigation is still ongoing.
The town's mayor, Alain Guise, believes it is an arson, though. "The synagogue had no electrical feed and it didn’t burn itself down,” he was quoted as saying.
Liverpool Jews Brace for Neo-Nazi ‘White Man March’ Set for Sabbath
Jews in Liverpool are bracing themselves to face a nasty round of ugly neo-Nazi hate with the ‘White Man March’ held on the Sabbath, courtesy of British law.
In fact, neo-Nazis all over the Twitterverse are salivating over the upcoming event. As the organizers themselves explained in a tweet:
White Man March UK @WhiteManMarchUK – Jun 6
We do not stand to oppose the colour of a man’s skin, we stand to oppose a sick Jewish ideological system @SmashCM79
Previous similar marches have been held as a platform for neo-Nazis to commit hate crimes in Britain, the Merseyside Jewish Representative Council noted in a petition to Chief Constable Sir Jon Murphy QPM of Merseyside Police.
The first ‘White Man March’ was held on March 21 of this year in Newcastle where neo-Nazis were “completely unopposed,” organizers bragged in a tweet. Footage of that event is self-explanatory.
Ukraine Jewish headstones, Hungary Holocaust monument smashed
Headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Ukraine and a Holocaust memorial monument in Hungary were destroyed in suspected anti-Semitic vandalism.
Ukrainian Police received a report of the vandalism at the Jewish cemetery of Uzhgorod in the country’s west earlier this week, the news site reported.
Unidentified individuals smashed 19 headstones at the cemetery sometime between July 28 and August 1, according to police, who urged anyone with information on the incident to assist with their investigation.
Separately, vandals in the northeastern Hungarian city of Nyiregyhaza are believed to have dislodged and smashed a large stone slab that served as a memorial for the local Jewish population that was murdered in the Holocaust, the news site szon. hu reported on Tuesday.
16 Things That Give Israel a Bad Name But Aren’t Really True
1 "Jews in Israel are White European Colonialists"
The Jewish people are indigenous to Israel, the birthplace of their identity and unique culture, and have maintained a documented presence there for over 3,000 years. Half of modern Israel’s Jews returned home to Israel from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Jews who came from Europe were not colonialists. They did not represent a foreign power and rejected any identification with European nations. They were idealists who sought to restore and preserve their unique heritage and fought for the same rights that are granted to all peoples: self-determination and independence in their ancestral home. over 150 years ago, jews returned in ever-larger numbers, again became the majority in Jerusalem in the 1860s, and established Tel Aviv in 1909. In 1920 the international community officially recognized the indigenous rights of the Jewish people and endorsed the restoration of the Jewish Homeland.
2 "Zionism is Racism. Israel by Definition is Undemocratic."
Jews, both secular and religious, are a people who have the right to self-determination. What is racist is denying Jews a right granted to all other peoples bound together by shared identity and heritage. The Jewish people established a democratic government for their state in 1948. When the UN recommended establishing a Jewish state in 1947 and admitted Israel as a member in 1949, it saw no contradiction between Israel’s Jewish and Democratic identity. Israel grants people of jewish heritage a fast track to citizenship, just like Poland, Finland, Greece, and other nations grant citizenship based on ethnic ancestry. Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, is one of the world’s most diverse and progressive countries. Non-jewish Israelis, who make up 24 percent of the population, have equal rights under the law. Over 15 religions are officially recognized, women and the LGBT community are legally protected from discrimination, and affirmative action programs exist to help minorities overcome the disadvantages they face.
WATCH: Snow in Jerusalem in 1957
Men shovel out cars, dogs burrow through snowbanks, and crowds of Jerusalem children build snowmen in this newsreel from February 1957.
“A rare event this. They haven’t had snow in the Holy City for years,” the newscaster announces as a man pats his arms for warmth on the screen. “And somehow it all looks very strange.”
Nevertheless the children — much like Jerusalem children during last winter’s snowfall — delighted in the weather.
“Traffic and communications were almost brought to a full stop, but there are always some people who revel in weather like this,” the narrator comments as a lively snowball fight commences on screen. “All they worry about is getting a direct hit.”

A photo tour of Google Israel’s wild offices
Google came to Israel a decade ago, and its arrival made the nation’s tech industry both excited and nervous.
Google’s arrival was validation that the “start-up nation” had some of the best computer engineers in the world.
But they worried that Google would snap up all the best talent (which some startup founders say it has, indeed, done), drive up wages, and be yet another multi-national that doesn’t “get” the tight-knit Israeli startup culture.
Today Google is known as one of the most important parts of the startup community. It is helping startups succeed, giving them resources for free. Its $US1.1 billion purchase of mapping company Waze, a team still based in Tel Aviv, also helped jump-start a rush of lucrative exits for other startups.
And its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who visits this campus frequently, is one of the most lavish investors in the land.
PreOccupied Territory: Google To Change Alphabetical Order; Israel Branch Tasked (satire)
Just days after announcing its reorganization under a new parent company called Alphabet, internet giant Google announced plans for rearrangement of the actual alphabet to reflect the actual ranking of letters, following the success of its system for displaying search results. The subsidiary of the company in Israel will spearhead the development effort.
Yesterday Google announced it was separating its core internet business functions such as search, Android, and others, from other development projects, such as self-driving cars, and placing both divisions under the ownership of Alphabet. As part of the reorganization, said incoming Alphabet CEO Larry Page, the company would use its clout in online computing and data management to rearrange the letters of the Latin alphabet to represent the real frequency with which they are used in speech and writing. The company’s Israel headquarters will undertake the primary development of the alphabet rearrangement, which a company spokesman said would be rolled out late next year.
Google Israel representative Etaoin Shrdlu anticipates that schools, phone companies, and other organizations that depend on alphabetization will almost all adopt the new alphabet order by 2025. “Obviously it makes sense to maintain the legacy order for some time to allow organizations, governments, and individuals to transition,” he said. “But we anticipate that already by 2022 the bulk of Latin-character-based data will be organized according to the new system.”
In English the first letter will be E, followed by T, A, O, I, and N, with each less-frequently-used letter ranked further down. English-language data will be the first to undergo the shift, said Shrdlu, followed soon after by other Latinate languages, which will have a slightly different order; for example, in English, the letter W occurs more often than almost half the other letters, but in French, it is all but nonexistent. “For languages that use non-Latin alphabets, our developers will conduct a robust study to determine which characters occur most often, and arrange that data accordingly,” he explained.

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