Thursday, August 20, 2015

From Ian:

Amnesty found biased in series of reports you probably have not read
Anonymous blogger, Elder of Ziyon, the internet’s Mike Royko has been uncovering and reporting a pattern of bias and seemingly intentional misinformation by Amnesty International. Some of the reporting has been factual correction caused by Amnesty for being at minimum far too credulous with reportage from Gaza such as this article from July 10th, “@Amnesty says this house had no terrorists. Wrong again.” Amnesty accepts Tawfiq Abu Jame’s claim their house was no involved in the fighting but was bombed anyhow but B’Tselem, an NGO and frequent critic of Israel reported that Ahmad Sahoud was living there and listed as a Hamas Operative. The original post appears to no longer be on the B’Tselem website but the family is listed here, but an archive of the site shows the listing of the Abu Jame’ family as reported by Eder of Ziyon here. To my untrained eye, the dropping off of the Abu Jame family by B’Tselem looks like collusion with Amnesty International to remove an embarrassing fact from the B’Tselem website.
In a July 31st Article, “Amnesty ignores Amnesty's own research in anti-Israel tweets” noted that while Amnesty accused Israel of attacking a house without warning, neighbors reported to Amnesty that Hamas was using the empty apartment “for some time prior to the attack” and then the Elder of Ziyon further noted,
As we have shown, under international law, an attack on a communications hub in Serbia that was only knocked out for a single day was not considered a violation of the laws of armed conflict even though the number of fatalities were higher than this instance. Amnesty's claim of "clearly disproportionate" is flatly wrong. The entire reason Israel did not give warning in this case - as opposed to hundreds of other cases - was obviously because this was a high-value military target.
Phyllis Chesler: Why Worry About Yazidis when You can Focus on Palestinian "Refugees"
Even as the Western intelligentsia continue to focus upon the fake and inflated refugee crisis among Palestinians, the world’s real refugee crisis– Christians and Yazidis persecuted by ISIS– has become both overwhelming and hidden in plain sight.
There may be sixty million refugees and “internally displaced people” in all, primarily from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Congo, and other countries. Nine and a half million“refugees” and “internally displaced people” are Syrians. Some now live in refugee camps in Jordan, Israel (where they are also treated in hospitals), Lebanon, Iraq, and on the Syrian-Turkish border.
Half are children. Most of the children are no longer in school; worse, unvaccinated, they remain in deadly danger of contracting polio and measles in addition to other camp related diseases such as dysentery. Families are destitute and cannot afford the emergency surgeries that will save young lives, limbs, or eyes.
One young Yazidi girl, “Dilleen”, has been suffering from retinal blastoma which, according to her advocate, Gulie Khalaf, “has moved to her other eye and, without surgery, will move to her brain. She is unable to see from either eye.” Surgeons will perform the operation in Dohuk and her advocates are trying to raise money for it.
Many children are also starving and at best, severely undernourished. “Lucky” young Muslim virgin girls are being given in marriage to much older Muslim men in Jordan and the Gulf States in the hope that they will be fed and cared for. “Unlucky” Christian and Yazidi girls and women are being kidnapped and used as sex slaves by ISIS–something these barbarians view as an Islamic religious right.
British tourist under attack for expressing love for Israel
Emma Carter, 34, from London fell utterly in love with Israel and its people during her first visit to the Holy Land. She took to social media to share her new found passion for Israel, but found herself under attack by her friends. It got so bad that she had to close her Facebook account altogether.
Carter's good friend, Dafna Endoditch-Rau, a young Jew who lives in the British capital, decided to celebrate her 40th birthday in Tel Aviv and invited her to join her for the trip.
"I was worried about visiting Israel and I hesitated quite a bit before I agreed," Carter said. "As an Englishwoman, all I knew about Israel were the wars in Gaza. But Dafna told me that I would be safer in Israel than in London, and I decided to go and see the country for myself."
Twenty-four hours is all it took for Carter to fall in love with Israel. She said she clicked with Tel Aviv on the very first night.
"Everything I saw was completely different from the way Israel is portrayed in the media," she recounted. "Tel Aviv is a vibrant and liberal city, people here are kind, and the welcome I have received here was more incredible than any other place I have ever visited in the world. Strangers invited me to visit their homes. Israelis are warm and inviting, not aggressive or bad as described in the news."
Carter ended her post with a recommendation to her friends: "I've just finished spending an amazing day in a country the BBC describes as barbaric just to pander to Muslim viewers. I recommend you place a question mark next to any piece of news, especially when you are watching a news network financed by the government."
When Carter wrote the post, she never could have imagined the wave of opposition it would provoke. Within a short amount of time, a couple of her Facebook friends started to attack her: "Israel murders innocent Palestinian children and steals their land," wrote one of them. Another added: "You're justifying an apartheid state."
A little while later Carter even received a message from Facebook, in which she was told that her post was described as offensive. An hour later she received another message with the same information. (h/t Yoel)

Records from the Tribunal of the Office of the Holy Inquisition: The Trial of Matisyahu Paul Miller at Benicassim (satire)
In the Royal Palace of the Inquisition of Valencia, on the sixteenth day of August, the Inquisitor officiated in the presence of over one thousand people; having examined information received against Matthew Paul Miller, of the parish of West Chester, diocese of Pennsylvania, in the kingdom of America – by occupation troubadour, the same being in custody – ordered that the abovementioned person be transferred to the secret prison of this palace of the Inquisition, and that his trial should be instituted in form; also ordered that the Commissioner aforesaid be instructed to attest ad perpetuam the evidence of the witnesses, ascertain the identity of the person whom they depose against, and whether the same person whom they charge with having supported the crimes of the Jews by refusal to condemn them.
We have heard it said that in some places Jews – who still celebrate Good Friday, which commemorates the Passion, by way of contempt – are known to the Inquisition to be stealing Palestinian children and fastening them to crosses, and making images of wax and crucifying them, when they cannot obtain children; we order that, hereafter, if in any part of our dominions anything like this is done, and can be proved, all persons who were present when the act was committed shall be seized, arrested and brought before the king; and after the king ascertains that they are guilty, he shall cause them to be relaxed to the secular arm. Furthermore, those Jews who remain true to their stiff-necked nature and stubbornly refuse to disassociate themselves from their murderous countrymen, should the necessary evidences be collected in order to ascertain their guilt, shall also be relaxed to the secular arm.
Wall Street Journal: Matisyahu Debacle Highlights ‘Anti-Jewish Bigotry’ of BDS in Europe
The recent fiasco surrounding a Spanish reggae’s festival’s ban on Jewish-American reggae star Matisyahu underlines concerns that the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) has overreached its purported goal of promoting Palestinian rights and become a front for “anti-Jewish bigotry,” the Wall Street Journal declared in an editorial on Wednesday.
Extending its criticism beyond the Rototom Sunsplash festival itself, which re-invited Matisyahu to perform at the festival next week after its ban spurred outrage among Jewish communities worldwide, as well as the local Valencia government and Madrid, the Wall Street Journal editorial staff said the incident highlighted the “connection between singling out the world’s sole Jewish state for opprobrium and the explosion of” antisemitic sentiment in Europe.
After all, Jamaican artists Micah Shemaiah and Andrae Jay Sutherland were not required to issue public statements concerning violence against the LGBT community in their country, neither was Sudanese journalist and festival presenter Sami al-Hajj demanded to address Khartoum’s myriad human rights abuses.
“Remember the Matisyahu affair the next time proponents of the anti-Israel boycott, divest and sanction movement insist their aim is to promote Palestinian rights, not anti-Jewish bigotry,” they wrote.
NGO Monitor: European Funds for BDS NGOs and the Antisemitic Matisyahu Affair
In Rototom Sunsplash’s apology, the organizers admitted their mistake, which they attributed to “the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià … which prevented the organization from reasoning clearly….”
NGO Monitor notes that the music festival received public funds from local and regional governments. Likewise, leading BDS groups, including Who Profits (via Spanish NGO Nova), Alternative Information Center (via Mundubat), Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC), and Al Haq, have received substantial funding from the Spanish federal government.
“The deep embarrassment should give pause to the Spanish government, as well as other European governments and the EU,” continued Steinberg. “Will they learn the lessons from the antisemitism directed at Matisyahu by BDS activists, and reconsider NGO support that enables and bolsters such campaigns?”
BDS Valencia Doubles Down on Matisyahu Hypocrisy
The BDS campaign against reggae singer Matisyahu vividly demonstrates that what starts with a boycott against Israel will end with a campaign against Jews.
But instead of backing down in dignified manner, as the Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival did when it reversed its decision to cancel his performance, the BDS Pais Valencia group dug its heels in with a perplexing statement full of finger-pointing and facile justifications.
The biggest head-scratcher on the list of points is certainly number 6 :
While the media has portrayed this effort as part of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, we wish to make clear that our efforts are outside the remit of the cultural boycott of Israel as per the guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI). BDS calls for boycotts against Israeli institutions that are complicit in Israel’s violations of international law, not against individuals. Unlike the cultural boycott movement against apartheid South Africa, the Palestinian-led BDS movement does not call for boycotting individual artists, academics, etc. [bold type in the original]
So wait, according to this, the perception that this is a BDS campaign is just a product of the media? Might not people assume it’s BDS on their own simply because it’s run by a group with BDS in its name and aims to boycott an artist for alleged sympathies to Israel?
Spanish public broadcaster accuses Jews of promoting Satanism
A Spanish public broadcaster accused Jews of promoting Satanism.
The assertion was the focus of a radio program titled From the Inferno — The Jewish People: Propagator of the Satan Cult aired last month by the state-owned RTVE broadcaster as part of its weekend A la Carta program.
The program begins with ominous music, followed by a gravel-voiced announcer who quotes from Jacob Frank, an 18th century Jew from Poland who had been excommunicated by his community for his heretic Kabalistic interpretations. “The Jews first propagated the cult of Lucifer in several secret satanical societies,” the monologue continues.
“Through black magic, the Israelites called on the powers of darkness with demonic rational,” the announcer continues.
The synopsis on RTVE’s website for the 30-minute program states: “The Jewish founders of the occult and masonry society introduced the cult of Lucifer” to some organizations.
The broadcast about Jewish Satanism – an ancient trope and element of Christian anti-Semitic blood libels – is part of a series on Satanism in general. On Thursday, A La Carta aired another broadcast about Satanism by Vatican societies.
Isi Leibler: Jews and the Lucky Country
I have just returned from Down Under, Australia, the country that nurtured me prior to my aliyah. It remains one of the most delightful countries in the world, providing an unparalleled quality of life. Indeed, Australians remain so laid back that many even now still tend to begin their daily newspapers directly at the sports pages. Its 120,000 Jews comprise a model Diaspora Jewish community.
The purpose of my visit was to celebrate the marriage of a grandson to the charming granddaughter of the late Sir Zelman Cowan, a former governor general who was recognized as a great Australian as well as being a proud Jew and passionate Zionist.
The Jewish community can trace its roots back to the 18th century, with Jews being among the first convicts deported from England to Australia. Until World War II, it was a rapidly declining community, which was reinvigorated by the influx of Jewish refugees and survivors fleeing Nazi persecution, to whom Australia provided a haven. In fact, the Australian Jewish community absorbed more Holocaust survivors proportionately than any other Jewish community, with the obvious exception of Israel.
Australian governments have also supported broader Jewish concerns. In 1962, Australia became the first country at the United Nations to raise the issue of Soviet state-sponsored anti-Semitism and called for the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate. Successive governments subsequently made significant global contributions toward ameliorating the plight of Soviet Jews. The Australian Embassy in Moscow was regarded as a haven for refuseniks who were invited to receptions despite the tensions this created with the Soviet authorities. Australian governments also made major contributions to the global campaign to rescind the U.N. resolution equating Zionism with racism, and acted as intermediaries for Jewish leaders who sought to promote diplomatic relations between Israel and Asian countries.
Until now, with the solitary exception of Gough Whitlam's anti-Israel stance during the Yom Kippur War, successive governments since the establishment of the State of Israel when Labor leader Dr. H.V. Evatt occupied the role of president at the United Nations General Assembly, were all supportive of Israel.
Regrettably, today, this bipartisanship has dramatically eroded. Although there are still strong forces within the Labor Party that support Israel, the national conference which took place a few weeks ago endorsed a highly negative resolution according moral equivalence to both parties and giving notice of intent to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.
Michael Danby MP. (Australia): Triumph of hope over experience

If the only problem of the Iran deal was that it, all but, guarantees Iran will become a nuclear weapons power whenever it so chooses in 10 to 15 years, that would be bad enough. But concern rightly remains about the benefits the nuclear deal will provide to Iran’s aggressive regional policy. It’s not just that lifting of sanctions will deliver Tehran a $150 billion cash infusion. The deal also sends the message that the international community is willing to live with Iranian regional aggression, including through its proxy groups like Hezbollah (classified as a terrorist organisation by parliaments all over the world, including Australia). As Walter Russell Mead said in his testimony to the US Senate Committee on Armed Services, “it is quite possible that the regional consequences of the agreement would be so severe that even a relatively effective nuclear agreement could be a net negative for American interests in the region.”
Saudi (and most other Arab) leaders snubbed even the prospective deal by not attending a summit with Obama before the deal was signed. Worse, from the point of view of proliferation, the Saudis have since hinted they need their own nukes.
The great Churchill said, in an earlier era, that this strategy of accommodation was premised on feeding the “crocodile, hoping it will eat him last”. This Vienna arrangement is being voted on by responsible US Congressman and Senators. Hopefully with a vote on all sides, it will not be ratified. There are people of goodwill who have different views. President Obama genuinely believes that his pressure on his own legislature, as well as Germany, France and Britain was the right thing to edge Tehran towards less belligerence. It is infantile to support the deal because the current Israeli PM (who many people disagree with on other issues) opposes it.
Autonomous sanctions passed by countries like Australia and Canada should not be abandoned as they were prompted by illegal Iranian behaviour documented by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The alternative is not war. The alternative is a good dose of patience, sticking with the sanctions that bought Iran to the table in the first place. Rejection and sanctions can bring us to a better nuclear control arrangement with Iran, as eventually happened with the START Treaty and the Russians.
Canberra provides a look at how civilized societies view the jihadists
Encouraging developments in Australia today where the federal government announced the re-listing for the purpose of its criminal code of several Islamist terror groups.
The Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are both named, having been originally listed in November 2003 and May 2004 respectively. (Our source for this information is Jwire, a Sydney-based site focusing on news of Jewish interest in Australia and New Zealand.)
The accompanying statement by Senator George Brandis, the Australian Attorney-General, explains the effect:
"It is a criminal offence to direct the activities of, be a member of, recruit for, or participate in training with these organisations. It is also a criminal offence to get funds to, from or for, provide support to, and associate with, the members of these organisations. Participation in any of these activities could result in imprisonment of up to 25 years... "
Getting listed in this way requires that the Attorney-General be satisfied ("on reasonable grounds") that
the organisation is directly or indirectly engaged in, preparing, planning, assisting in or fostering the doing of a terrorist act or advocates the doing of a terrorist act. [Jwire]
Allow us to mention that we believe fiercely in governments getting as involved as needed to prevent the advocacy of terrorist acts and their fostering.
Activist Says Historical Black Struggle ‘Hijacked’ After ‘Black Lives Matter’ Activists Endorse BDS
African-American pro-Israel activists on Wednesday blasted a group of 1,000 civil rights leaders who sought to connect the “Palestinian struggle” to the plight of blacks in the U.S., with a statement endorsing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“Quite frankly, it is a shame that the BDS movement has hijacked the historical black struggle in an attempt to build solidarity with a blatantly antisemitic campaign that seeks to strip Jews of their rights to their homeland,” Chloe Valdary told The Algemeiner. “That one would protest police brutality against a minority on the one hand and promote the disenfranchisement of another historical minority on the other — namely the Jews — is philosophically inconsistent and morally bankrupt.”
The group of black activists, scholars, artists and students, some tied with the Black Lives Matter movement, published their statement on Tuesday offering a “wholehearted” endorsement of “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel” and proclaiming their “solidarity with the Palestinian struggle and commitment to the liberation of Palestine’s land and people.”
Linking their cause with that of the Palestinians, the activists said, “We continue to see connections between the situation of Palestinians and Black people. Israel’s widespread use of detention and imprisonment against Palestinians evokes the mass incarceration of Black people in the U.S., including the political imprisonment of our own revolutionaries.”
The statement also accused Israel of racism in its treatment of Palestinians and claimed that the Jewish state is guilty of mistreating its African population.
Signatories included political activist Angela Davis; philosopher Cornel West; journalist Rosa Clemente; death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal; rapper Talib Kweli; Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; and 39 affiliated organizations.
Documentary on Campus Anti-Semitism Draws Big Crowd Near Chicago
More than 250 supporters of Israel, including dozens of high school and college students, packed into a Chicago-area AMC movie theatre on Sunday for a screening of the documentary “Crossing The Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism On Campus,” a half-hour film that takes a look at when criticism of Israel “crosses the line” into anti-Semitism on North American college campuses.
Directed by Shoshana Palatnik and written by Yitz Brilliant, “Crossing the Line 2” was produced by Raphael Shore and Amy Holtz forJerusalem U, an Israel advocacy group describing itself as “committed to strengthening the emotional and intellectual connection of young Jews to Judaism and Israel.”
Jerusalem U sponsored Sunday’s event together with StandWithUs and Step Up For Israel, with additional participation from more than 20 area organizations and synagogues.
From the opening moments of the film, the audience experiences campus rallies that portray Israel and Jews as Nazis and equate Palestinians with Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
J Street's Campus Wing Elects Muslim as President
J Street U, the campus wing of the larger J Street organization, has elected a Muslim student, Amna Farooqi, as president of its national board, according to reports in Ha’aretz and the Times of Israel.
It is an entirely appropriate choice, given that Farooqi’s views are hostile to the Israeli government, like those of J Street itself.
It is also a well-timed choice, given that J Street is trying to persuade Congress to back the Iran deal, to which a growing proportion of American Jews is opposed.
It confirms that J Street is not, in fact, a pro-Israel organization.
Farooqi, who comes from a pro-Palestinian background, has, admirably, studied abroad in Jerusalem, and has engaged to some degree with Jewish student groups in order to understand the other side of the argument.
In a speech to J Street’s recent national conference, Farooqi said that she had learned through her studies that Zionism was “the Jewish people taking control of their future after a history of being trampled on,” and even that she “fell in love with Zionism.”
And yet in the same talk, she disparaged Israeli Jews as racist, and slammed her fellow American students abroad as being apathetic towards Palestinians.
In fact, the only Israeli viewpoint with which she identifies is that of the radical left.
Her Twitter timeline, for example, is dominated by criticisms of Israel, and retweets of criticisms others have made. One tweet, for example, refers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “douchebag.” (She does not criticize the Palestinians.)
Douglas Murray: The left is rapidly losing its moral authority on racism
For years there has been a suspicion that people like Mr Corbyn use ‘racism’ and ‘anti-fascism’ as tools to further their political goals. Amid their overstatements of the problem and the exaggeration of the prevalence and power of these enemies, the suspicion grows that perhaps they don’t really care about it at all and that they are merely means to an end.
Certainly it is clear that Corbyn’s aspirations (‘a duty to oppose any kind of racism wherever it raises its head, in whatever form it raises its head’) is not matched by his actions. Otherwise he would not have spent years palling about with the likes of Paul Eisen, Dyab Abou Jahjah and Raed Saleh. Anymore than he would have welcomed the genocidal anti-Semites of Hezbollah and Hamas as ‘friends’. But the truth is that the left has been running down its ‘anti-racism’ and ‘anti-fascist’ reserves for a long time. Their moral authority on these issues has been dwindling for years, if it was ever there, and if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader then that authority will run out entirely.
At this stage there probably aren’t many ways to shame or shock a Corbyn supporter over the consequences of this. But let me try one other point, in a language they might understand and might find to be worrying: if you do this then the political right will be able to do whatever it likes. And when it does – whether it is Ukip, the Conservatives or anyone else – you won’t have an anti-racist leg, memory or moral left to stand on.
Corbyn finally admits he DID host Muslim firebrand who gloated at murder of British soldiers despite claiming he had never met him just hours earlier
Labour leadership favourite Jeremy Corbyn tonight finally admitted that he had hosted a controversial Muslim firebrand who had praised the murder of British soldiers and described the 9/11 attacks as 'sweet revenge'.
In a live radio interview this afternoon, Mr Corbyn furiously denied ever meeting the Lebanese fanatic Dyab Abu Jahjah despite a photograph of the pair emerging showing them sat together in Parliament in 2009.
However Mr Jahjah flatly rejected the Labour MP's account - insisting the pair had 'worked together closely' and had even shared breakfast and lunch on two separate occasions.
Mr Jahjah added that it was ‘beyond any doubt’ that he had met the Labour MP who he described as a 'political friend'.
Mr Corbyn, 66, tonight finally admitted that he had met the Islamist radical. He said: 'My staff have researched this and it appears I did meet this man.' But he added: 'I meet a lot people on all sides in the Middle East and it does not mean I agree with their views.'
DaphneAnson: From A Corbyn Supporter, A Vile Message Beyond The Fringe
As reported in the Jewish Chronicle, Alison Chabloz, a performer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, will incur no penalty for making the "quenelle" salute, widely regarded as antisemitic.
Ms Chabloz, who posted this photo of herself in action (Edinburgh Castle forms the backdrop) on Twitter, has reportedly made a number of tweets in the past widely interpreted as antisemitic.
On her blog, Ms Quenelle has stated her reasons for making the gesture, meant as a taunt to "hardline Zionists" whom she claims harass her online.
Declaring her support for Jeremy Corbyn, whom most anti-Israel Leftists fervently wish to see voted in as Britain's Labour Party leader, she has also written in that blogpost:
Corbyn Just Can’t Help Meeting With “Dodgy People”
Poor Jeremy Corbyn.
Try as he might, he just can’t help ending up sitting side by side with racists, conspiracy theorists and far Right nutjobs.
Here’s the latest, from a couple of months ago. He’s being interviewed by the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.
Who are they?
Here’s the relevant extract from Wikipedia:
The Citizens Electoral Council of Australia (CEC) is a minor nationalist political party in Australia affiliated with the international LaRouche Movement, led by American political activist and conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche. It reported having 549 members in 2007. They have been described as “far right”, “fascist” and “lunar right,” as well as “ideologues on the economic Left.”
That describes Jeremy Corbyn and his constituency pretty well.
PreOccupied Territory: Israeli Labor Party Also Considering Corbyn As Leader (satire)
A growing dissatisfaction with the tepid stewarship of party chairman Isaac Herzog has the rank-and-file of Israel’s Labor Party looking for a more robust leader, and are looking to British Labor politician Jeremy Corbyn to potentially fill that role.
Corbyn, 66, is the current front-runner for leadership of Labor in the UK, following the resignation of Ed Milliband after the party’s poorer-than-expected showing in elections earlier this year. His social politics lie farther to the left than most of his Israeli Labor counterparts, but they see him as a charismatic potential leader and the first serious rival to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu since Ehud Barak in 1998. Most tellingly, however, there is even less daylight between Israeli Labor and Corbyn when it comes to Israel’s security.
Herzog met with PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah this week, in what analysts have explained as an attempt to stake a claim to the same credentials as Corbyn, who has called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends, and who has openly associated with antisemites and Holocaust deniers.
“Buji is obviously worried that his British counterpart will muscle in on his territory, so he’s trying to shore up his own image as a fighter for the Palestinian cause,” said veteran political commentator Hanan Crystal, referring to Herzog by his nickname. “The difference between Hamas and the PLO is basically strategy, but they both agree there shouldn’t be a Jewish state in ‘Palestine’ – so consorting with Abu Mazen is a way for Herzog to say to his constituents, ‘Look, I’m just as committed to Palestinians as anyone from Britain, and I’m right here.'”
The Morally Void Cultural Boycott of Israel
Jonathan Tobin and I have written of the appalling decision, by organizers of a European music festival, to ban an American Jewish performer, merely because he refused to issue a public statement in favor of Palestinian statehood. (Update: the festival has backed down, admitting that it “made a mistake, due to the boycott and the campaign of pressure, coercion, and threats employed by the BDS País Valencià.”) Now comes news, from the New York Times (though Ynet was on it last week), of another allegedly unintended but utterly predictable consequence of the cultural boycott of Israel. Roy Zafrani’s film, The Other Dreamers, about disabled children in Israel, has been rejected from Oslo’s Human Rights, Human Wrongs festival because Zafrani is Israeli. As Ketil Magnussen, founder of the Oslo Documentary Cinema explained, “we support the academic and cultural boycott of Israel.” For that reason, the festival will not show films by Israelis that do not deal directly with illegal discrimination against Palestinians.
As I noted earlier in the week, the guidelines for the cultural boycott of Israel, for the most part, target artists funded or sponsored by the Israeli government. But Magnussen’s letter says nothing about such sponsorship or funding, perhaps because Zafrani used his own money and volunteer labor to make his short documentary. Nor does Zafrani, as far as I know, have any involvement in Israeli politics.
The Times interviewed Omar Barghouti, a founder and leader of the BDS movement for the article. He stopped well short of condemning the festival’s discriminatory actions, claiming that he “wasn’t familiar with Mr. Magnussen’s reasoning.” But he did say that the boycott guidelines unambiguously state that “mere affiliation of Israeli cultural workers to an Israeli cultural institution is… not grounds for applying the boycott.” That’s disingenuous, though. Ketil Magnussen’s actions are fully in the spirit of the BDS campaign against “normalization.”
Israel’s pink-washing conspiracy
Anti-Zionists claim that Israel’s advancement of LGBT rights is just one big conspiracy to “wash” away “crimes” against the Palestinians. If that is what Israel is doing, it certainly is a very shrewd strategy, and I would like Iran’s regime and the Arab regimes to adopt the same strategy to compensate slightly for some of their own crimes.
In Israel, LGBT rights are comparable to other liberal democracies. In 2015, the Tel Aviv pride parade alone drew about 180,000 people, and there are such events across the country. Meanwhile in Iran and Arab countries, gay sex is punishable by prison or death in most countries, and not a single country protects LGBT people against discrimination.
If Israel is using LGBT rights to distract from its so-called crimes, why doesn’t the Syrian regime, which is guilty of many crimes against its own people, use pink-washing? Why doesn’t the Palestinian Authority use pink-washing to distract from its corruption? Why doesn’t Hamas use pink-washing to distract from its attacks against Israeli civilians and its stealing of humanitarian aid from Gazans? Why doesn’t any Arab regime take advantage of this handy mechanism to distract world opinion from its crimes?
Watch: African Tourists See the Samaria 'CNN Lies About'
Arutz Sheva got the chance to speak with a group of 53 Christian African tourists on Tuesday, who came to visit Israel for a one-week tour guided by The Africa-Israel Initiative and while in the Holy Land made a stop in Samaria.
Ntayomba Emmanuel of Rwanda said that this is his eighth visit to Israel, and when in the Holy Land "I learn the Bible better, and I understand the Bible."
Arutz Sheva caught up with the group in Shiloh located in northern Samaria, which as Emmanuel pointed out was the site of the first Tabernacle, the precursor to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
The visitors hailed from various countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Congo and Madagascar, and they were led by guides from Norway.
"When you come to Israel you see different stories from what you see on CNN, in newspapers, you see different things, because Jews here they stay peaceful with Palestinians," said Emmanuel, who revealed that during the trip he saw Palestinian Arabs harass Jews.
"But when we hear the news they tell us that Jews always fight Palestinians which is not true. And when we go back we have to tell our nations that it's a lie."
BBC WS amplifies former ISM activist’s falsehoods about Gaza blockade
The August 16th edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ included an item on 3D printed stethoscopes developed by a person described in the introduction by presenter Julian Marshall as “a Canadian-Palestinian physician.”
At the beginning of the item listeners hear the following false claim from Dr Tarek Loubani:
“I had attended the war in Gaza in 2012. I’ve been working there for about the last five years and while I was there we had patients coming in – no equipment because the siege has gotten so bad even though it’s medical equipment – and we had to listen to patients’ chests by putting our ears to their chests which is exactly what we would have done 200 years ago.” [emphasis added]
There is of course no “siege” on the Gaza Strip and no restrictions are imposed by Israel on the entry of medical equipment. As it has unfortunately been necessary to point out here on numerous prior occasions due to inaccurate BBC reporting on that issue, shortages of medications and medical equipment in the Gaza Strip are due to long-standing disputes between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
BBC News continues to ignore terrorism against Israelis
Earlier this week three men were indicted in connection with the June 19th terror attack in which Danny Gonen was murdered and his friend wounded. At the time, the BBC did not report on that terror attack in English and the later arrest of the suspects also did not receive coverage.
On the same day two additional men were indicted for the June 29th terror attack near Shvut Rachel in which Malachi Rosenfeld was killed and three others injured. That incident was also not reported by the BBC in English.
There has been no BBC coverage of those indictments and the corporation continues to ignore the broader related topic of Hamas activity in Judea & Samaria – some of which is orchestrated from abroad.
Revealed: Jane Seymour’s Great-Aunt Committed Suicide After Discovering Nazis Murdered Her Family
A great-aunt of famed British actress Jane Seymour killed herself after surviving the Holocaust when she discovered that the Nazis murdered her husband and two children, a BBC documentary aired Wednesday revealed.
The death of Seymour’s aunt, Jadwiga, came just over a year after Germany’s defeat. She was related to Seymour’s father, who came from a family of Polish Jews, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
The discovery was revealed on the series Who Do You Think You Are? in which celebrities trace their ancestry.
According to the report, Jadwiga was living in Warsaw with her husband Herman Temerson and their two children Jerzy and Hanna when World War II broke out. In September 1942, as Nazis sent the city’s Jews to the Treblinka death camp, she and her family managed to escape, but they were separated from one another.
'Moroccan Jews in Israel' story pulled?
This piece from the Jerusalem Post was picked up by Moroccan World News, but the JPost page seems to have been pulled. Could it be that the close identification of Moroccan Jews with the IDF was not a wise thing to highlight in case it puts Morocco's remaining Jews in jeopardy? The 'military training' aspect certainly plays into the hands of those who claim that Moroccan Jews are fair game for murder 'because they will soon be killing Arabs as IDF soldiers'.
The program aims to prepare the Moroccan Jewish youth for their eventual immigration to Israel and service in the ranks of the IDF, according to the Jerusalem Post, citing organizers.
The group flew from Morocco to Israel via Rome, Italy last month to participate in the summer program. They will undergo physical and mental training organized by the Amichai pre-military academy, the Israeli Zionist Federation and the World Zionist Organization (WZO).
During their stay in Israel, the Moroccans visited various sites, including the Western Wall, the City of David, Mount Herzl, Palmah museum in Tel Aviv, and Masada.
Stand up tall and sit straight
Usually it’s parents who remind their kids to sit up straight. It worked the other way around for Oded Cohen, CEO of UpRight. He was always trying to help his mother, and himself, to stop slouching. Her poor posture caused her back pain, and this troubled him to the point that he founded a startup and invented a device to cure a problem shared by millions.
The UpRight wearable training device, embedded with dual sensors, attaches to your lower back with hypoallergenic adhesive strips and gently vibrates every time you slouch. The company claims that wearing UpRight less than an hour a day will train your muscles and mind to sit and stand upright after only two or three weeks of use.
An optional companion mobile app for Android and iOS generates a customized training program offering real-time feedback, posture analytics, statistics, tips and techniques.
“From a young age I was aware of the power of upright posture and was frustrated by the fact that my beautiful mom and I suffered from ‘slouchiness’ and there was nothing we could do about it,” says Cohen.
A 1956 display of youthful Israeli fitness
According to this British newsreel, in 1956 the Jewish State hosted young people from Israel and abroad for a mass display of physical fitness.
“Sixteen countries were among them,” the narrator informs us, as representatives from Great Britain and Switzerland parade across the screen. “But the majority were boys and girls from the Negev Desert areas, shortly to carry out their service with the army.”
Many of the Israeli youth had recently made aliyah. On screen, they dance, wave flags, and perform gymnastics in what the narrator calls “an impressive display.”
“The idea behind this big rally,” the announcer’s voice concludes, “was to unite all the youth of the nation. Whatever their country of origin, they are now Israelis, every one of them.”

Samsung, others wooed by 5-minute electric car recharge dream
Samsung Ventures and Norma Investments Limited (the investment firm that represents business tycoon Roman Abramovich), along with other investors, are providing StoreDot with $18 million for the development of its electric vehicle (EV) charging technology.
Come next May, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf promised at the recent Microsoft ThinkNext event in Tel Aviv, “we will present a technology to recharge an electric car in five minutes. Using an array of 7,000 cells, we’ll take a car that has a zero charge and recharge its batteries to 100% capacity. Then, while next year’s ThinkNext is going on, we’ll send it on a trip to Beersheba and have it come back at the end of the event here to Tel Aviv,” Myersdorf said in May of this year, to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd.
The new round of funding, the company said, is centered on the development and commercialization of its new EV business unit.
StoreDot became famous for its 30-second cellphone recharging technology, which the company says will be on the market in the middle of 2016. Altogether, StoreDot has garnered $66 million in funding in its four years of existence.
4 Israelis among ‘100 most influential fintech leaders’
The Israelis cited for changing the way individuals and businesses manage their finances are Chen Amit, Yoni Assia, Shlomit Kugler and Yaron Samid.
Amit, co-founder and CEO of Tipalti, is a veteran high-tech executive and repeat entrepreneur. His CV includes top positions at Atrica, Verix and ECI Telecom. Amit earned a BSc from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD.
Assia, founded eToro (RetailFX) in 2006 in Tel Aviv with his brother Ronen Assia and David Ring. In December 2014, eToro raised $27 million from Russian and Chinese investors.
Kugler, co-founder and Global CEO of MyCheck, is responsible for establishing some of the company’s key partnerships with the likes of IsraCard (Mastercard’s licensee in Israel), Paypal, and Pango. She received her Executive MBA from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Samid, founder and CEO of BillGuard, has a chock-full CV in fintech as well. He previously founded Pando, and led product management and marketing teams at Zend and BackWeb.
Bar Refaeli cancels Istanbul visit after protests
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli on Thursday canceled plans to attend a Turkish fashion festival next week, citing ill health, after pro-Palestinian groups in the country expressed anger at her inclusion.
A number of anti-Israeli groups had protested against Refaeli’s planned presence, after organizers invited her to visit the Laleli Fashion Shopping Festival in Istanbul (August 24-30) as an honored guest.
The groups called on organizers to withdraw the invitation and to invite any other model, as long as she wasn’t Israeli.
Festival directors refused to budge, and said they would increase security for Refaeli to prevent her from encountering any problems during her stay.
Quoting Turkish media reports, Maariv said the organizers, who had based much of their publicity for the event on her attendance, were disappointed at Refaeli’s move.
Iran media outlet: Captured ‘Mossad dolphin’ a robot
An Iranian media outlet said Wednesday evening that the dolphin Hamas claimed to have caught spying for Israel was actually a “robot.”
While most media outlets quoted Hamas earlier Wednesday as asserting it had captured the aquatic mammal, one of nature’s most intelligent animals, and implausibly asserting that it was equipped with cameras and was engaged in espionage, the regime-linked Fars news agency quoted “media reports” ostensibly claiming that “the divers of the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement have seized a Israeli-made robot dolphin equipped with espionage equipment, including video-recording cameras.”
Fars added of its robotic version: “The spy dolphin was also equipped with small arrows and bullets to enable it to target humans, including Hamas special forces.”
The dolphin was purportedly captured off the Gaza coast several weeks ago by the naval unit of the Hamas military wing.
The Israeli Navy maintains a fleet of Dolphin class submarines. But media reports made clear that Hamas was talking about a mammal, not a boat — or a robot.

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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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