Friday, September 04, 2015

From Ian:

Elliott Abrams: UNRWA Again: UN Employees Incite Hatred
This is our tax money at work: the United States is by far the largest contributor to UNRWA, at over $400 million.
This discovery is a test both of the UNRWA and United Nations leadership, and of the Obama administration. This kind of behavior is absolutely intolerable, right? So now what happens? Does UNRWA discipline or fire these individuals? Does Ban ki-Moon step in?
Nope, not so far. The only reaction has been–you probably guessed it–attacks on UN Watch by UNRWA’s spokesman. Not a word about these postings or the employees.
The next step should be action by the State Department and by Samantha Power, our UN ambassador, demanding that the UN wake up. The State Department actually has an assistant secretary whose sole duty is supervising the United Nations, and even a Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The next step should be simple: to contact top officials at UN headquarters in New York, and the head of UNRWA, Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl. Either such conduct is tolerated or it is not. Either UNRWA’s reaction is disciplinary moves against these individuals, or it attacks UN Watch. If the latter–UNRWA defends these acts inciting and celebrating violence and terror, defends those who are responsible for them, and assaults UN Watch for finding the truth–the United States should suspend payments to UNRWA. We should not be financing the spreading of hatred by UN employees.
It ought to be simple.
Dexter Van Zile: Will Chris Gunness ever be held to account?
Take a look at Gunness’s Twitter feed, which is followed by anti-Israel journalists throughout the world. There is little, if any condemnation of Hamas in his Tweets, but there are regular denunciations of Israeli policy and actions.
For example, Gunness posted a Tweet calling on Israel to “lift the blockade.” How about asking Hamas to stop endangering Palestinian children with its reckless attacks on Israel? How about asking Hamas to stop teaching children to hate Jews?
Gunness’ behavior is a clear and obvious violation of UNRWA’s stated policy regarding neutrality, which declares that, “neutrality is .. a core obligation and value of UN staff.” (Gunness himself wrote about this policy for the Huffington Post in 2011.)
Recently, UN Watch drew attention to antisemitic Facebook postings of a number of UNRWA employees, some of whom appear to be members of Hamas -- a clear violation of UNRWA’s so-called policies regarding neutrality.
How did Gunness respond? By attacking UN Watch and asking for information about UN Watch’s funding.
In response to these outrages, an activist from California has started a petition on calling for Gunness to be investigated for his violations of UNRWA’s policies on neutrality.
Somebody needs to do something. Gunness’ use of UN resources to assist in Hamas’s cognitive war against the Jewish state is simply intolerable.
UNRWA’s Chris Gunness Offered Lucrative Job as Pro Wrestling Referee (satire)
Based on the keen situational awareness and managerial oversight that he has exhibited at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), World Wrestling Entertainment, Incorporated has extended an offer of employment as a referee to Mr. Christopher Gunness. Mr. Gunness, who has lately been busy investigating where his critics get their money from, was unavailable for comment, but World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) spokesperson Robert C. spoke with the Daily Freier earlier today. “A lack of situational awareness and organizational leadership like Mr. Gunness provides day in and day out…….that doesn’t come around evey day. If WWE wants to continue to build its brand, it needs to jump on talent like this.” When the Daily Freier asked the WWE if there was one event that convinced the organization to extend an offer to Mr. Gunness, Robert noted “When Chris was presented with evidence from UN-WATCH of UNRWA employees calling for the death of Jews on Facebook, and countered with a call to investigate UN-WATCH.……he just exhibited exactly what we look for in a good referee: focus on ‘the Big Picture’…….Either that or he’s full of crap and simply hates Israel. Hard to tell.”

Global Anti-Semitism Now Has a Leader
His name is Ali Khamenei, and he has a lot to say about Jews. With the return of Iran to the world scene, he will emerge as the symbol of hate like never before.
At the height of negotiations with the Iranian regime over its nuclear program, Western advocates of a deal found themselves rationalizing the Islamic Republic’s uncompromising belligerence towards Israel. They did so as part of their bid to persuade a skeptical public that the mullahs would honor their agreements. Thus was born the “domestic consumption” theory of Iran’s internal politics, advanced by, among others, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
In a conversation with The Atlantic, Kerry acknowledged Iran’s “fundamental ideological confrontation” with Israel, but wondered aloud whether the regime was materially committed to the goal of eliminating the Jewish state. One month after the signing of the Iran nuclear deal, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond made a similar observation on a visit to Tehran for the reopening of the British Embassy. “We’ve got to distinguish between revolutionary sloganizing and what Iran actually does in the conduct of its foreign policy,” Hammond told the BBC. “We’ve got to, as we do with quite a number of countries, distinguish the internal political consumption rhetoric from the reality of the way they conduct their foreign policy.”
Actually, nothing in the present conduct of Iranian foreign policy—which, in its immediate neighborhood, involves a destabilization strategy based upon support for proxy terrorist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon—suggests that the Islamist regime is becoming less revolutionary or, in Hammond’s phrase, “more nuanced.”
They want to kill us and the law does nothing.
In a bile-filled rant, a Sydney preacher recently called for death to a group of Australians because of their ethnic identity. The law was unable to do anything about it. It was impotent, powerless to act.
Ismail al-Wahwah, spiritual leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, accused Jews of corrupting the world, describing them as
“the most evil creature of Allah”
and threatening
“the ember of jihad against the Jews will continue to burn … an eye for an eye, blood for blood, destruction for destruction. Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews,”
he fulminated.
“There is only one solution for this cancerous tumour: it must be uprooted and thrown back to where it came from.”
Wahwah insists he was referring only to Israel; his words and numerous references to “Jews” unmask this claim.
The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies referred the incident to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, which forwarded it to the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the police, who said they were powerless to prosecute.
Melanie Phillips: As I See It: Imagine! John Lennon and the Jews
A book that I first read a few years ago so captivated me that I bought bulk copies to give away to friends.
The book, John Lennon and the Jews by Ze’ev Maghen, originally surfaced in 2010 and has just been republished by Toby Press. I have never laughed so hard at a piece of writing which both stirred and taught me so much.
The book isn’t merely dazzling, profound, off-the-wall, learned, hilarious, original, biting and passionate.
It speaks urgently to an issue which threatens to tear the Jews apart in both the Diaspora and in Israel.
In America, Jews who vote Democrat support the Iran deal. Republican Jews are frantically opposed.
The row over President Obama’s attitude toward Israel and the world is bitter and visceral.
The fault line in the American Jewish community is, however, far more profound than domestic political allegiance. The split goes even deeper than the issue of Israel, support for which is showing such alarming signs of weakening particularly among the younger generation.
This deepest of all divisions extends to Diaspora Jews in general and even to Jews in Israel, too. It is a chasm that has opened up over the meaning of Jewish identity itself and about the part played in that identity by religion.
French Jews advised to avoid using the term ‘Zionism’
Stanley Greenberg, a prominent American political strategist from the United States, advised representatives of French Jewry to avoid mentioning Zionism when speaking to non-Jews.
Zionism “is seen as extremist and a force mainly in Israel, rather than Europe. Use of the term links your spokespeople to what is seen as an external conflict,” Greenberg, who has advised the campaigns of Bill Clinton and John Kerry, wrote in July to Robert Ejnes, the executive director of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities.
Zionism is seen as an “extremist movement that is uncompromising and aggressively pursues its goals.”
In the 17-page recommendation, obtained by JTA, Greenberg also advised CRIF to frame safety issues as pertaining to “French citizens,” rather than French Jews.
Greenberg’s advice was based on findings from a 70-person focus group that tested the impact of messaging on subjects relevant to CRIF’s work. The results were released last year.
An Exercise in Extreme Moral Relativism: The UNHRC Gaza Reports
Moral relativism is blatantly evident in the choice of information used. The 452 page report makes no mention, for example, of the Hamas charter, which calls for genocide against the Jews. The report also fails to mention Hamas’s use of private houses and civilian areas as rocket-launching pads, or its deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians. The report’s authors even disputed a statement made by Fathi Hammad, a high-ranking Hamas member, a month after the operation ended. Hammad described Hamas’ strategy as “death seeking” in its use of civilians as human shields, and of women and children, in particular, to fight “the Zionist bombing machine.”
The commission wrote that this was not indicative of Hamas strategy and that Hammad’s words did not “constitute evidence” of the use of human shields.
Only twenty pages of the report focus on Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians. Eight of these deal with rocket attacks on unrecognized Bedouin and recognized “Palestinian” villages in Southern Israel. The report claims that the dearth of information on Hamas’ targeting of Israeli civilians was due to Israel’s government’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation. However, this did not prevent the commission from exhaustive descriptions of Israel’s treatment of Arab-Israeli citizens.
Former Israeli president Shimon Peres pointed out the moral relativism in the Goldstone Report. He said that it “makes a mockery of history" and "does not distinguish between the aggressor and the defender. War is crime and the attacker is the criminal. The defender has no choice. The Hamas terror organization is the one who started the war and also carried out other awful crimes. Hamas has used terrorism for years against Israeli children."
UN expected to easily pass resolution allowing Palestinian flag to fly at New York HQ
The UN General assembly is likely to adopt a resolution next week that would allow the Palestinian flag to be raised at the United Nations in time for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' visit to New York, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said Thursday.
The 193-nation body will vote on September 10 on the measure, predicted to easily garner enough support for easy passage, according to AFP.
"We have the votes and we are working to get as many votes as we can," Mansour said.
Abbas is scheduled to visit the UN in New York on September 30, in time for the UN to execute its decision, yet Mansour declined to say whether there would be a formal flag-raising ceremony during the PA president's trip.
"It is a symbolic thing but it is another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena and give our people a small hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine," the Plaestinian envoy added.
Last week, the UN General Assembly was presented with a resolution that would allow both the Palestinians and the Vatican to raise their flags alongside the other 193-member nations of the UN.
European Countries May Abstain at UN Vote on PA Flag
European countries could decide to abstain in next week’s vote on a draft resolution on raising the Palestinian flag at the UN, a diplomat told the AFP news agency on Thursday night.
The countries are still discussing the vote, the report added.
Earlier Thursday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) UN envoy, Riyad Mansour, expressed confidence that the resolution would pass in time for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas's upcoming visit to New York.
"We have the votes and we are working to get as many votes as we can," he said.
Once adopted, the UN will have 20 days to carry out the decision, which would be in time for Abbas's visit on September 30.
Mansour declined to say whether a formal flag-raising ceremony would be held during Abbas's visit, an event that would highlight the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood.
The Truth About the Middle East in One Viral Video
Perhaps even those who are not regular consumers of news about the Middle East have seen the viral Palestinian video of a confrontation between an Israeli soldier and Palestinians outside a village named Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. The New York Times dubbed it a “Rashomon” — after the classic Japanese film about an incident viewed from three perspectives. The left-wing Vox site called it “Israel’s Eric Garner Moment.” Meanwhile Israelis have been ardently debating whether it shows the soldier’s commendable restraint, as evidence of the army showing too much restraint, or as with some of their country’s critics, proof of the inherent problems that the “occupation” causes. But what most of those who have written about the incident and a video that serves as something of a Rorschach test of the conflict are missing is that it would never have happened if the Palestinians had chosen to make peace when Israeli governments offered them independence and statehood in 2000, 2001 and 2008. Nor would any Israeli have been there if Palestinians leaders had chosen to negotiate with the current Israeli government rather than to blow up the peace talks as they had every previous opportunity for a solution.
The argument about what the kid and the Palestinians did or what the soldier was trying to do is an opportunity for all sides in the century-old war between the two peoples to trot out familiar talking points. But it occurs to me that maybe what those who are unhappy about the presence of Jews in the vicinity of Nabi Saleh should do is to ask why it is that the Palestinians chose not to take yes for an answer all those times when saying no ensured that Israelis would remain there.
Bassem Tamimi and the Use of Children as Political Props
Just a week before the prominent Palestinian activist leader Bassem al-Tamimi embarks on a month-long speaking tour in the U.S., he and his family attracted massive media attention when a clip of one of the clashes they provoked with the IDF went viral.
The Tamimis are used to sympathetic media coverage, including a fawning New York Times Magazine cover story in March 2013 on the family’s ambition to start a “Third Intifada”.
Bassem Tamimi is usually presented as an admirable organizer of “nonviolent resistance” who can count on the support of Amnesty International and who has been praised as a “human rights defender” by the European Union. By contrast, Bassem Tamimi’s views on the “right to resist” that he often invokes and the use of his children in his activism – including regular efforts to challenge the IDF into responding to provocations like rock-throwing – have so far largely escaped scrutiny.
Yet, just a few hours of research reveal many easily discoverable cracks in the carefully cultivated image of the Tamimis as peaceful activists and “non-violent” protesters. (h/t Bob Knot)
Cardiff Council cancels photography exhibition of Muslims, Jews and Christians playing football together because the pictures were taken in Israel
An exhibition of photographs of Muslims, Jews and Christians playing football peacefully seems like an unlikely target of a boycott.
But that is just what happened when Cardiff Council hosted the show at the local library - because the pictures had been taken in Israel.
In advance of the football match between Wales and Israel on Sunday, Cardiff Library agreed to host 'Jewish-Arab football: diversity and coexistence through lower-league football'.
But a spokesperson for Cardiff Council said that 'following a complaint', the exhibition had been taken down less than 24 hours after it opened.
'The Council is aware there are protests planned around the Wales Israel game at the weekend and this was taken into consideration,' the spokesperson said.
'Our libraries are buildings which promote free speech, but it was felt that running this exhibition could lead visitors to suppose that the Council was displaying bias.'
Israel/Palestine:Two libraries – two exhibitions
Last year an exhibition of photographs of Gaza and the West Bank was displayed in Cambridge’s central library. This was in no way a neutral event:
‘Postcards from Palestine’, on the top floor of the Central Library until next Monday, features pictures taken Fredi Canvander-Attwood, Richard Hopper, and Ahmed Hegazi.
The exhibition is part of a programme of events organised by Cambridge Palestine Solidarity Campaign, highlighting what it describes as Israel’s role as an ‘apartheid state’

I don’t know whether any complaints were received, but the exhibition was certainly allowed to go ahead.
Another exhibition of photographs from the region hasn’t fared so well. This one was hosted by a Cardiff library and its focus was on how different communities in Israel can be brought together by sport. But now it has been cancelled following allegations of bias:
Ben-Dror Yemini: Anti-Israel "BDS movement has proven that ignorance is power"
The "Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions" movement, commonly known as "BDS", was started in 2005 in an effort to put economic pressure on Israel to end what the movement calls Israel's occupation, and colonization of Palestinian land.
It's hard to measure the impact the movement has had over the past 10 years but the political and social ramifications have been a constant struggle for the country's reputation.
I recently sat down with Ben-Dror Yemini, Israeli journalist and author of The Industry of Lies, a book which explores the BDS movement which he says has grown even stronger in American colleges and universities over the last five years.
Ben-Dror Yemini: BDS proves "ignorance is power"

Pig-ignorant click activists are in charge now. Jeremy Corbyn’s success proves it
Daily they drop into my email account — alongside the more obviously useful stuff about how I might elongate my penis or ensure it performs with greater fortitude than at present, and the charitable offers from women who live ‘nearby your house, Roderick’ and apparently wish to test whether or not those previous solicitations I mentioned have been acceded to with success. Alongside all that stuff are the fecund exhortations from a bunch of online campaigning organisations. Click democracy, a sort of spastic form of activism whereby you stick it to da man simply by pressing a button. They come, these missives, from the likes of and 38 Degrees. Sometimes shrill, sometimes cloying, almost always stupid.
Click here to stop the Tories selling off our hospitals to their vile friends in the City. Click here to stop austerity right now. Click here to let everyone into the country and click here to stop us deporting Mohammed Jihadi al-Semtex, a really lovely bloke who somehow got stitched up by Cameron’s fascist goons. Oh, and the bees, the bees. The bees are dropping dead all over the place. Click here to save the bees. If you don’t save the bees your children will be next, etc. So click here. Put your name to the petition and make a bee happy today. It’s always from the maniacally obsessive, relentlessly involved liberal left, this stuff. Always. There is never a right-wing petition to be signed. You never get an offer which says ‘Click here to deport everyone and don’t let anyone else in’. Or ‘Click here to gas a badger’. (h/t dcomplex)
LISTEN: Jeremy Corbyn Really Hates Israel A Lot
The fact that Jeremy Corbyn even sits down with a virulent hate site like Electronic Intifada should tell you a lot about him. Corbyn is all set to take over the leadership of the UK’s Labour Party. That’s the party of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown who were so massively defeated in the last election, they’re struggling to remain relevant. This is the chap they’re going to pin their hopes on.
We’ve already shown he has a Palestine obsession: this interview double underlines it and gift wraps it.
If there’s anyone in the UK’s Jewish population still thinking this guy can be worked with, they’re probably the same people thinking the Mullahs should have a nuclear bomb next week.
His own words are pretty chilling for us but mother’s milk for the looniest extremists in the Israel/Jew hating BDS world today:
- He want’s to close down Elbit factories in the UK and has some dream that other work can be found for all those British people employed there;
- He seriously believes that the hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Judea Samaria can be turfed out to give him is dream of a racially pure, Jew free region of ancient Israel. It was tens of thousands of Jews were dragged from Gaza;
- Labelling of “settlement” goods isn’t enough, the UK and the EU just needs to ban everything.
Hamas Welcomes UK Labor Frontrunner's Anti-Israel Stance
Hamas on Thursday hailed Jeremy Corbyn, the frontrunner for the leadership of the British Labor party, for his "sympathetic" stance on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, The Telegraph reported.
Senior officials with the group, which rules Gaza, said Corbyn is a “welcome contrast” to other British politicians, most notably former Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom they mistrust and accuse of blindly supporting Israel.
"I find that he has very good sympathy and support for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian struggle and he is frankly against the occupation, against the racist policy of Israel, against settlements," Ghazi Hamad, Hamas' deputy foreign minister, told The Telegraph, though he admitted that he had never met Corbyn but was judging him based on his speeches and media reports.
"According to his statements, I feel that he could be very close to the Palestinians, the Arabs and to the Muslims. He supports all the right things in the world regarding freedom, justice, dignity, the right of people under occupation to get their national rights,” added Hamad.
Corbyn’s election means Ukraine’s stuffed
The UK Labour leadership campaign has made one thing abundantly clear – no one much cares about a war in Europe.
When I first wrote my now viral August 8 post on Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Ukraine it was because no one who was then criticising Corbyn was mentioning Ukraine. Someone had to stick up for them so it might as well be me. But I was cynical and nothing since has told me that I was wrong to be cynical.
Nobody busy citing Corbyn’s alleged links to antisemites, for example, has even tried by hook nor by crook to connect him to those fascists fighting for Mother Russia in the Donbas. His biggest enemies have forgotten all about the persecuted Jews in Ukraine.
When the issue finally came up at the Daily Mirror hustings (well after voting had begun) Liz Kendall quoted Corbyn’s own words back at him, that he believed that NATO was to blame for ‘provoking’ Russian aggression against Ukraine, and he replied, Bart Simpson-like: “I didn’t say that, come on I’ve never said that, so please.”
None of the other candidates followed up. No journalists pulled that, well, lie out and waved it about.
Moazzam Begg to speak at NUS-organised event tour
In July, the Prime Minister criticised the National Union of Students (NUS) for pledging to work with CAGE, saying it: “shame[s] your organisation and your noble history of campaigning for justice”.
This saw the NUS release a response in which it attacked the Prime Minister’s claim, arguing that: “as previously and categorically stated, we will not work with CAGE in any capacity”.
A statement from May, meanwhile, had claimed that suggestions the NUS would work with the group were “highly misleading”, and that “NUS will not work with CAGE”.
The utter hypocrisy of these claims was exposed this week, as senior officers at the NUS have widely promoted a series of events called ‘Students Not Suspects’ due to take place in October.
Part of the NUS campaign to undermine Prevent, and organised by a coalition including the NUS andNUS Black Students’ Campaign, three of the events will feature CAGE Outreach Director MoazzamBegg.
Hungary, Bulgaria ask Israel about barrier to keep out migrants
Hungary and Bulgaria have turned to Israel for advice on building a fence modeled on the one set up on the southern Israeli border with Egypt to stop the influx of refugees.
As thousands of migrants enter the two states from the Middle East and North Africa, leaders from both countries have contacted Jerusalem for information on constructing a border fence, Reuters and Israel Radio reported.
However, an Israeli official told Reuters that Bulgaria and Hungary would both need EU approval for such a move, which they would be unlikely to receive.
“(European countries) all want solutions and see the relevance of our technologies,” a source told Reuters. “But they also need EU support and this has not been forthcoming.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Not Killing Trainfuls Of Unwanted People A New Experience For Europe (satire)
Migrants flooded major train stations in Hungary this week in an attempt to reach the more affluent countries to the north and west, principally Germany. Others caused a disruption of train service in the tunnel under the English Channel connecting Britain with France. The waves of people have forced Europe to remove its blinders to the suffering at the root of the mass migration, pitting the Continental culture’s stated commitment to universal human rights against its proven will to kill off undesirables.
Hungary has become a focal point in the movement of people westward, but Austria, too, must now cope with the new experience of unwanted masses of people entering the country, as opposed to the more familiar deportation of Jews, Roma, Sinti, homosexuals, Communists, mental patients, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other “subhumans” eastward, out of the country, to death camps. The grim discovery this week of a truck full of more than seventy migrants who had, through smugglers’ negligence, died of asphyxiation proved an awkward experience for Europeans – Germans and Poles in particular – who are more accustomed to taking an active part in killing large numbers of people by such means.
Other conflicting experiences involve the hurried construction of a wall along Hungary’s border with Slovakia to stem the tide of unwanted people. Europeans have traditionally expressed vehement opposition to Israel’s construction of a separation barrier with Palestinian-controlled areas to block terrorist attacks, accusing the Jewish State of “Apartheid.” The position of building a wall in response to a threat has forced Europeans to explain the contradictory behaviors, such as the danger of people looking for jobs and safety being a much better justification for building a wall than the physical protection from being killed.
IsraellyCool: BBC Lays The Love On Tel Aviv, Calls Jerusalem Israel’s “Capital”
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
Nope, just a pig.
The Mediterranean coastal city is hot right now, and not just for its nearly year-round summer temperatures, which can reach 40 degrees Celsius. In the last few years, Tel Aviv has been ranked the best smart city by the Smart City Expo World Congress, one of the best beach cities in the world byNational Geographic, the best gay travel destination by and an outstanding culinary destination by Saveur Magazine.
While Jerusalem is Israel’s holiest city and capital, Tel Aviv is its defacto economic capital. Easily reached via the Ben Gurion international airport, Tel Aviv is also home to Tel Aviv University — one of Israel’s largest — the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, foreign embassies and one of the highest start-up densities in the world, according to Compass’s 2015 Startup Ecosystem Ranking.
No BBC coverage of Gaza border shooting incident
Later that night the IDF responded with strikes on the source of the gunfire, which has for several months been a concern for residents of Netiv Ha’Asara.
The BBC did not report on that incident despite clearly being aware that it had taken place.
Similarly, missile fire claimed by Salafists in the Gaza Strip early on the morning of September 1st and an additional incident later the same day did not receive BBC coverage. In both cases the missiles fell short and there were reports that the second missile attack caused injuries to civilians in the Gaza Strip when one of the missiles fell on a house.
How the Guardian inserts ‘the occupation’ into even the most mundane Palestinian acts
Of course, we can think of other stresses some Palestinians may be trying to ameliorate while assuming the lotus position, such as the stress caused by their misogynistic, homophobic and religiously oppressive culture, and living under the yoke of an autocratic regime which doesn’t tolerate dissent, led by a president currently serving the 11th year of his 4 year term, for instance.
Or, maybe they’re simply trying to relieve the stress of everyday life.
But, as former AP Jerusalem correspondent observed about coverage of the region, reporters covering Israel and the Palestinian territories understand quickly that the only thing that matters in the broader Israel-Palestinian story is Israel. “If you follow mainstream coverage,” he adds, “you will find nearly no real analysis of Palestinian society…or investigation of Palestinian government.”
Finally, we’ll note that some friends of this blog have suggested that we post an occasional satire post to lampoon the often risible coverage of Israel.
However, in addition to the fact that other blogs already claim such territory, Guardian stories such as these suggest that the UK media will continue to provide a supply of unintended parodies to satisfy those of us who can’t help but laugh in the face of reporters’ bizarre fixation on Israel’s putative role in shaping even the most mundane Palestinian acts.
German Man Convicted for Facebook Post Wishing a Jewish ‘Friend’ Gassed to Death With Zyklon-B
A German man was ordered to pay 900 euros ($1,000) for a series of antisemitic and violent statements he made on Facebook, Osthessen News reported this week.
According to the report, the 37-year-old defendant from the city of Fulda in Hesse announced on Facebook that he wished a Jewish “friend,” Jennifer P., would be gassed to death, specifically by Zyklon B, the cyanide-based pesticide the Nazi regime used to kill at least one million people during WWII.
“Six million satisfied customers can not be wrong!” the defendant apparently wrote. Later, he posted a separate death wish against untermenschen, a pejorative Nazi term for Jews, which means “sub-human.”
The man, who had no previous criminal record, argued in front of the Hesse court that he was no antisemite or racist. While he pleaded guilty, he claimed he had been under the influence of alcohol at the time of his posting.
Google steps in to stop ‘Jews’ running Hollywood
Google on Friday removed a “direct answers” search result that replied “Jews” in response to the query: “Who runs Hollywood?”
The automatic first answer produced by the search also highlighted a link to a news story on the New Observer website headlined, “Jews Boast of Owning Hollywood—But Slam Gentiles Who Say the Same.” The site, which features sensationalist stories heavy on conspiracy theories, describes itself as “a free and independent news service designed to present current affairs without the spin of the controlled media.”
The same “Jews” answer was also produced for Google mobile searches, and also appeared when Google auto-completed a “Who Runs Hollywood?” search request.
News of the problematic result prompted a slew of headlines early Friday ridiculing Google. The Guardian, for instance, went with, “Who runs Hollywood? Google has an answer, but it’s not a good one.” The New York Daily News was straighter: “Who runs Hollywood? Google to fix search result that claims ‘Jews’ do.”
Released IDF soldiers volunteer in poverty-stricken countries
Efforts to delegitimize Israel continue unhindered all over the world every day. In an attempt to improve Israel's bad image in the world, three IDF veterans from the elite Duvdevan Unit, who dedicated years of their lives to fighting terrorism, have decided to move the battle to the hasbara front.
The three former military commanders established a non-profit organization called Fighters For Life, which encourages freed soldiers who are about to embark on their post-army trip to do volunteer work in poverty-stricken areas worldwide.
Young Israelis happily embraced the idea, and so far some 7,000 of them have signed up to volunteer.
Even before leaving to go on their trip, the young Israelis volunteer with at-risk youth in Israel. Then, during the first two weeks of their trip, they volunteer in aid missions abroad. After that, they each go on their way on the trip of their dreams.
Film on Rabin Assassination Competes for Major Prize at Venice Film Festival
A film by Israeli director Amos Gitai about the 1995 assassination of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin is competing for the Golden Lion award at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, held Sept. 2-12.
“Rabin, the Last Day” uses real live footage in combination with actors to tell the story of the last night of Rabin’s life through the rally during which he was shot by Jewish extremist Yigal Amir.
“It’s a portrait of Israeli society at that time and a lot of the figures are still active today,” Gitai told the Screen Daily.
“Israeli society is still feeling the shockwaves of his killing even if it’s already 20 years ago. It’s an open wound,” added Gitai.
Gitai’s film is competing against the Russian film “Francofonia” about the Louvre museum and the Italian vampire-themed movie “Blood of My Blood.” Another Israeli film being screened at the festival is “Mountain,” the story of religious Jewish woman living with her family on a desolate section of Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.
'A few days in Israel are worth everything to me'
The failed campaign by BDS activists to force Jewish reggae star Matisyahu to sign a declaration of support for a Palestinian state exposed him to levels of "hostility and hatred" he had never seen, and prompted him to end his latest tour in Jerusalem.
For Matisyahu, or Matityahu Shaul Miller -- his Hebrew name -- who takes care to visit Israel frequently, the choice was a natural one. Often in his life, he says in an interview following his appearance at the Days of Jewish Culture Festival in Berlin, one can see that "everything that happens is part of a bigger plan. The anti-Semitic incident with the Israel boycott activists, was apparently one of those incidents that make it clear where you belong."
It appears that at least in his case, Israel was a key part of the personal journey that led him to where he is today.
'This is how we freed the hostages on Sabena Flight 571'
The accolades went mainly to the elite IDF unit Sayeret Matkal when a small team brazenly confronted four hijackers who took over a flight to Israel in 1972, but one of the brave fighters was former air marshal Mordechai Rahamim • This is his story.
"I was convinced that I would not return from this mission alive," says Mordechai Rahamim with excitement in his voice. "When I met my good friend Shmulik, a Mossad man, near the hijacked plane, I said to him 'If anything should happen to me, take care of my parents.' I was the one who took care of them all those years and I was afraid there would be no one around to care for them if I died. But apparently it is not that easy to bring me down."
It happened more than 43 years ago, on May 8, 1972. Four terrorists belonging to the Black September Organization -- two men and two women -- boarded Belgian airline Sabena's Flight 571 from Brussels to Tel Aviv through Vienna. There were 99 passengers and 10 crew members aboard the Boeing 707 aircraft.
The head of the terrorist cell was Ali Taha, a native of Hebron, who worked as a tour guide in the Old City of Jerusalem. The cell included Abed al-Aziz Atrash, of Druze origin, Rima Tannous, a native of Bethlehem and resident of Jordan and Theresa Khalsa, an Israeli Arab born in Acre. All four were fluent in Hebrew and used forged Israeli passports to board the flight.

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