Sunday, September 27, 2015

From Ian:

Jews against Themselves
J Street is an organization that describes itself as “pro-Israel” and proclaims itself “devoted and committed to Israel’s future.” Yet, as Edward Alexander observes in an important new book, J Street “misses no opportunities to blacken Israel’s reputation and very few opportunities to encourage campaigns to delegitimize it.”
And J Street is not alone. Similar Jewish organizations, some without J Street’s pretensions to Zionist commitment, have been proliferating in recent years both here and abroad. In the United States, they include, among others, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews against the Occupation, Jews for Free Palestine, Jews for Justice in the Middle East, and a multitude of local chapters, offshoots, and branches.
In Jews against Themselves, Alexander takes up the curious and disturbing phenomenon of his volume’s title. A professor emeritus at the University of Washington, Alexander is a distinguished student of American and English literature and an essayist whose erudition is ornamented by a coruscating wit. Among his highly regarded books is The Jewish Idea and Its Enemies (1988), an examination of the various intellectual strands—liberalism, rationalism, relativism—that, emerging from the Enlightenment, have long been in tension with, or in outright opposition to, central tenets of the Jewish tradition.
In Jews against Themselves, Alexander engages in a related project but one that entails turning over a rock. His inquiry examines the disfiguring yet critical subject of Jews who defame their own people. Over the centuries, Alexander writes, there has been “fruitful interaction” between Jewish apostates and the world’s anti-Semites, making for a distinctive Jewish contribution to “the politics and ideology of anti-Semitism” itself.
Ben-Dror Yemini: The treachery of the free world
Global jihad and terrible diseases plague the third world, but cameras only seem to capture little girls biting IDF soldiers.
This outcome is one of the biggest frauds of international opinion. The outcome is a hate campaign against Israel. The outcome is the ignoring of the genuine suffering in the world. The responsibility belongs to "B'Tselem" and to the abundance of inciting articles. The manipulation is winning. And because of this distortion of morality millions continue to be wretched. They are the victims of global jihad, from Syria to Somalia, from Libya to Iran, from Afghanistan to Cameroon.
And instead of fighting a murderous ideology, Žižek and Judith Butler and Jeremy Corbyn and the rest of the "forces of progress" concern themselves with the supply of girls and justifications and empathy for an ideology that inflicts destruction, oppression, ruin and bloodshed. They send aid packages to the terror regime of Hamas, and Noam Chomsky even rose to honor Nasrallah. All in the name of progress. And they sling mud on the only country in the world that is fighting jihad.
The global left will continue to cleanse its conscience with boycotts and demonstrations against Israel. B'Tselem will continue to provide video clips in order to pour oil on the fire. Preferably with a little blonde girl, loud and cute. This is how one can distort the reality. This is how one can ignore the monster that creates millions of refugees. See you at the next demonstration against Israel, in London or San Francisco. And don't forget the Hamas and Hezbollah flags.
JPost Editorial: UN bias
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to prevent Jews from “defiling Al-Aksa Mosque with their filthy feet.” Was there no-nonsense condemnation of such incitement from the UN? Not a hint thereof.
The UN never ceases to blow our minds although the organization’s barefaced bias shouldn’t surprise any reasonable Israeli. Yet somehow we compulsively continue to assume that abundant, incontrovertible evidence before all eyes would finally even the skewed international scales.
Invariably, however, we are shown that no absurdity is too absurd for the UN.
The UN Security Council for instance managed in one outlandish statement to ignore the in-your-face aggression by Muslims on the Temple Mount while inter alia also expunging all trace of Jewish links to Judaism’s holiest site.
It was a fantastic feat of obliterating the truth and propping up the lie.



Israel's biggest fears are materializing
Two years ago to the day, in September 2013, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry compared Bashar Assad to Adolf Hitler, after the Syrian dictator once again used chemical weapons against his own people. "This is our Munich moment," Kerry said at the time.
As far as the Americans were concerned, Assad had crossed a line. In those days (more like in those hours, actually), Washington briefly believed that a failure to respond to Assad's actions would send a dangerous message to Iran regarding its nuclear ambitions.
"Will [Iran] remember that the Assad regime was stopped from those weapons' current or future use, or will they remember that the world stood aside and created impunity?" Kerry asked at the time. History and retrospect have turned what may have been Kerry's greatest speech into remarks entirely detached from reality.
The United States did not attack, Assad is still in power, and an ominous nuclear deal has been signed with Iran. It is no wonder that there is a new kind of atmosphere in the region, under American auspices. There are no more good guys and bad guys; everyone is a partner. And thanks to this new reality, Assad now has a renewed license to rule, after having received a license to kill.
Washington is reaching out to Russia, which is openly helping Assad in Syria, who is working in conjunction with Iran, which in turn supports Hezbollah. Europe (Angela Merkel), in the meantime, startled by its refugee crisis, is already prepared to talk with Assad; the same Assad who was compared to Hitler only two years ago. But what about us, for heaven's sake?
Moscow enters the Syrian fray, but to what end?
The nuclear deal with Iran, to which Russia was a party, has also managed to telegraph American weakness to Moscow
In theory, the agreement should have strengthened US President Barack Obama and proved his regional leadership. But in reality the opposite has happened, and the Middle East saw the deal as proof that the US will compromise at any price, even if this will have negative implications in the future.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, other Gulf states, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinians and, of course, the Shiite-Alawite axis all understand the focal point of global decision-making is moving from Washington to Moscow.
All the above-mentioned countries will need to deal with an increasing Iranian threat, and the referee or mediator who will solve problems between them and Tehran will be Russia – not the US.
This new power balance between superpowers in the Middle East, together with the nuclear agreement, will reverberate far beyond what any analysis can fully comprehend.
As far as Israel is concerned, it is obvious that the rules of using military force in Syria will change. Israeli airstrikes against weapons convoys traveling inside Syria will likely become more complicated, at the very least.
Contradicting Kerry, Iran says it didn’t discuss Syria crisis with him
Openly contradicting John Kerry, Iran on Sunday insisted its foreign minister did not discuss the Syrian crisis or any other regional issues in talks with the US secretary on Saturday in New York.
“There were no negotiations on the regional issues in the meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said.
Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif held talks only on the nuclear issue, and measures for implementing the July nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers, Afkhan added. “During the meeting, the two sides also discussed and exchanged views on methods to prevent the Iranian people’s increasing distrust of the trend of the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” Afkham said.
Kerry’s spokesman had said the secretary, in the talks, raised concerns about the instability in Syria and Yemen, and the fate of Americans detained by or missing in Iran.
Watch: Haunting Video Shows Darker Side of 'Moderate' Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has done his best to cultivate an image of moderation, contrasting himself as more pragmatic and less extremist than his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is in part that image which helped woo western powers into signing the controversial nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic - despite Rouhani's prior record of conning inspectors during his tenure as Iranian chief nuclear negotiator.
But as a haunting video by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran illustrates, behind the spin lies a far darker reality.
Under Hassan Rouhani's presidency the number of political prisoners in Iran has continued to soar, with many jailed either on blatantly political "crimes" or trumped-up drugs charges.
More alarmingly still, the rate of executions in Iran - already the second-highest in the world in 2014 - has skyrocketed, with as many as 800 executed since the beginning of this year alone, in what Amnesty International has branded a "killing spree."
The video harks back to Rouhani's election pledge to solve the many domestic problems plaguing Iran - in large part due to sanctions leveled by world powers over Tehran's illegal nuclear weapons program - but notes how in reality, behind his promises and speeches at the UN Rouhani's government continues to imprison and kill peaceful protesters and other political dissidents.


Rouhani: Iran has 'religious duty' to abide by terms of nuclear deal
Iran has a "religious duty" to adhere to the terms of the nuclear deal reached with world powers, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) News.
"Well, my country, my nation, if it accepts an agreement, if it signs an agreement, if it gives its commitment to live up to the terms of an agreement, it will certainly do so," Rouhani was quoted as saying in a preview of the full interview set to air Monday on NPR's Morning Edition.
The Iranian president responded to a question regarding skepticism that Iran would permit international nuclear inspectors access to military bases, by claiming his country "always lived up to" signed commitments.
Analysis: Despite nuclear deal, Iran remains dangerous for European banks
The closure by Commerzbank this month of an account belonging to supporters of Hezbollah and the Tehran regime opens a window into the challenges faced by financial institutions seeking to re-enter the Iranian market.
While a spokesman for Germany’s second largest bank did not disclose the reason to The Jerusalem Post for pulling the plug on the account, Commerzbank’s March agreement to pay US financial regulators a $1.45 billion fine as part of its illicit dealings with Iran probably played a role.
Put simply, Iran is still toxic for many banks.
The UK’s The Independent reported on Tuesday in an article titled “Sanctions-busting fears could drive banks away from Iran” that Ross Denton, sanctions expert at law firm Baker and McKenzie, said: “I can’t see any Western banks wanting to get involved with Iran for a long time. So if companies want to work out there, they’ll have to do it in euros and with banks from Russia, China or India. It’s going to be difficult and take time. Jump the gun, cut corners and you’re going to get absolutely murdered in the US.”
Rouhani meets with American CEOs, seeks Iran investment
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met on Saturday with a group of American CEOs and managers to discuss possibilities for future, private US investment in Iran once the nuclear deal signed in July is implemented and sanctions are lifted in exchange for Tehran curbing its nuclear activities.
The meeting came on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and a day after Rouhani met with a group of editors of American media outlets.
“The post-sanctions atmosphere has created new economic and political conditions which should be used by major trade, economic and industrial firms,” Rouhani told the group of American business leaders.
 Iran to buy $21 billion in Russian space equipment and aircraft
Iran has signed contracts worth $21 billion to buy satellite equipment and aircraft from Russia, Manouchehr Manteghi, the managing director of Iran Aviation Industries Organization, said in an interview with Russian news agency Sputnik on Saturday.
Manteghi said the contracts had been signed at the MAKS-2015 air show in Russia last month.
The contracts involved satellite-related equipment as well as the Sukhoi Superjet 100 regional passenger aircraft, Sputnik said.
Russia and Iran have been working to boost economic ties since Iran signed a deal with six world powers in July, which offers Iran relief from sanctions in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
Netanyahu praises Sisi's call to expand Egypt-Israel peace to other Arab states
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday praised Egyptian President Abdul Fatah al-Sisi for calling to expand Egypt's peace with Israel to include more Arab countries.
In a statement released from his office hours before the Succot holiday was scheduled to set in, Netanyahu also called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table.
"Prime Minister Netanyahu calls once again on the Palestinian Authority president, Abu Mazen (Abbas), to return immediately to the negotiating table in order to make progress in the diplomatic process."
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also praised Sisi's comments, made in an interview with the Associated Press released Sunday, saying that they prove there is a chance to pursue a regional agreement.
PA must take control of Gaza crossings, Sissi tells Abbas
The Palestinian Authority must take charge of the crossings in and out of the Gaza Strip, and restore control to the coastal area, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi told PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a meeting Saturday in New York, Al Jazeera reported.
The two met on the sidelines of a United Nations summit on climate change, as world leaders gathered in New York for the annual UN General Assembly, the report said.
During the meeting, Sissi said PA control over the Gaza access points would have major impact on the Rafah crossing between the Strip and Egypt.
According to the report, Sissi stressed that the Palestinian issue remains “an issue for all Arab states,” a statement for which Abbas thanked the president.
Report: Kerry Blocked Netanyahu-Abbas Meeting
US Secretary of State John Kerry has blocked a meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, senior Palestinian and Israeli officials say.
During a meeting with four retired Israeli ambassadors in Paris last Monday, Haaretz reported, Abbas said that despite his willingness to meet with Netanyahu, "a third party who is not Israeli" had recently prevented the meeting.
Netanyahu has reportedly been sending Abbas messages for weeks about reviving the long-stalled peace process amid escalating Arab violence and Abbas' threat to suspend key clauses of the Oslo Accords during his visit to the United Nations in New York.
During communications between the two, Abbas relayed that he would be interesting in attending a meeting with Netanyahu, but first wanted to consult with Kerry on the subject.
Israeli and Palestinian officials claim that Kerry asked the PA chairman to push off a meeting with Netanyahu for a few weeks until after the two met at the UN General Assembly.
Palestinian sources say Kerry blocked the meeting because he did not want it to take place without American involvement and his own personal mediation.
PreOccupiedTerritory: US Complains Was Not Notified Of Sukkah-Building Frenzy (satire)
Aides to US President Barack Obama expressed displeasure today over not being informed of plans to assemble tens of thousands of makeshift residential structures over the last week in Jewish communities in areas both Israel and the Palestinians claim.
The huts mostly consist of wood panels, or of metal frames holding up canvas walls, with reeds or palm leaves as roofing. Satellite images and eyewitness reports alerted the Obama administration of the flurry of new construction activity, all of which appears to be taking place within the boundaries of existing Jewish communities in those contentious areas. The structures are apparently functioning as additional living space, as the inhabitants of those communities have been observed transferring tables, chairs, beds, and even rugs into the booth-like structures.
The administration stopped short of actively rebuking the Netanyahu government over the construction, as the effort has the hallmarks of a grass-roots initiative and not an officially sanctioned building spree of the kind that has infuriated White House officials in the past. In fact, hundreds of thousands of such structures have been hastily built over the last week even within the pre-1967 lines, indicating broad popular support for the initiative. However, Obama aides did communicate the president’s concern over any kind of development on land claimed by Palestinians for a state.
Errant rocket launched from Syria hits Israel's north
A rocket fired from Syria struck an open area in the northern Golan Heights on Saturday evening. No damage or injuries were reported.
According to IDF assessments, this was an incident of errant fire spilling over from infighting in Syria.
Meanwhile Saturday, residents of Israeli towns along the northern border reported hearing loud explosions as a result of the heavy fighting in Quneitra.
Last month, four rockets launched from Syria exploded in the Golan Heights and the Galilee. These were not errant projectiles, but rather rockets intentionally targeting Israeli towns. No injuries or damage were reported. Firefighters quickly put out several small blazes that were sparked by the explosions.
Givati Soldiers Accuse Reporters of Provoking IDF
According to official reports, during a demonstration in the Palestinian town near Shechem on Friday, IDF soldiers hit two journalists from Agence France-Presse (AFP) and broke their equipment, all without provocation.
But, according to the Givati Brigade infantry soldiers, the real provocateurs were the two video journalists themselves.
The soldiers claim the AFP photographers began to provoke forces in the area during clashes following the funeral of Ahmed Khatatbeh - a terrorist who was fatally shot after throwing a firebomb at Givati soldiers.
The journalists, Givati soldiers claim, approached the forces patrolling the sensitive area and began to photograph them from only a foot away. The soldiers say the journalists were not beaten, but only pushed back by the troops.
5 Arabs Attack Haredi Man in Jerusalem's Old City
Five Arabs attacked a haredi man near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem last night (Friday) before running off towards the New Gate.
The victim reportedly did not need medical attention.
Police reviewed security footage and located the perpetrators, still in the Old City. All five were quickly arrested and have been brought for questioning.
In addition, a group of Arabs threw stones at vehicles near Hevron shortly before Shabbat began. One of the cars, which was carrying a baby and several children at the time, was hit and its windshield smashed. Fortunately, there were no injuries to the people inside.
Other stone throwers were reported on the road between Kiryat Arba and Hevron, as well as around the community of Itamar. Others threw explosive devices at IDF forces in Abu Dis and Bil'in.
There were no injuries reported in any of the attacks.
Police clash with Palestinians on Temple Mount in fresh violence
Palestinians on the Temple Mount hurled rocks and firecrackers at Israeli police Sunday morning, as Muslims closed out the four-day Eid al-Adha holiday and Jews prepared to begin the week-long festival of Sukkot.
There were no reports of injuries at the flashpoint site. Police used riot dispersal means to break up the riot by dozens of masked Palestinians, according to Army Radio.
The police said they had the rioting under control shortly after.
“Masked youths threw stones and shot firecrackers at police and Border Police securing the site,” police said in a statement.
Police were on alert Sunday morning amid reports that extremists had barricaded themselves in the compound overnight, in anticipation of possible clashes.
Sunday marked the last day of Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, and the eve of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, or Feast of Tabernacles, when some religious Jews traditionally ascend to the site, considered the holiest in Judaism.
Israeli Diplomats Told to Expect Temple Mt. Riots Monday
The Foreign Ministry sent Israel's diplomatic representatives worldwide instructions Sunday on how to deal with criticism of Israel if and when violence on the Temple Mount continues on Monday, during the Sukkot holiday.
The instructions are an indication that Israel expects the rioting to spill over into the holiday.
Ambassadors and consuls are expected to initiate conversations with local counterparts about the riots on the Temple Mount, and present the real version of events, “especially against the background of assessments that more incidents may take place tomorrow.”
Israel expects the representatives to make clear to local diplomats in the countries where they are stationed that may efforts have been made to meet the Muslims halfway, including the lifting of limitations on worshipers at Al Aqsa, which were in place until Eid Al-Adha. The holiday, which began Thursday, ends Sunday.
Police: Arab MKs did nothing to halt Temple Mount violence
In a statement on the violence, the police said, “The guards from the Waqf [Muslim authority that oversees the site] did not attempt to stop the youths rioting, and nor did the members of the Knesset from the Joint (Arab) List who arrived at the Temple Mount stop the desecration of the site by paint, stones and firecrackers.”
The police also singled out MK Hanin Zoabi, accusing her of inflaming the situation with misleading comments about the al-Aqsa Mosque, which sits atop the Mount, as is one of the holiest sites in Islam.
“The puzzling comment by MK Hanin Zoabi, as published in the media, claimed that ‘the closure of the gates of the al-Aqsa Mosque to Muslims is a dangerous step, and perhaps even unprecedented on a holiday. This is the first time that a place sacred to Muslims has been closed. It is a policy that is a declaration of war,'” the police said.
Muslim Extremists Threaten to Camp Out on Temple Mount
As Arab violence on the Temple Mount continued with yet another attack on Israeli police Sunday, several Arabs movements in Israel have urged Muslims to go and defend the compound from Jews.
The radical northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee (HAMC), which represents Arab communities in Israel, called on Muslims across the country to make their way to Jerusalem.
AFP correspondents saw around 150 people at the compound, which also houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, sporting green Islamic Movement caps on Sunday.
"We're going to stay here for the whole day, we want to prevent the Jews from attacking Al-Aqsa," an Arab Israeli woman who gave her name as Hala told AFP.
Arabs Burn Bethlehem Church
Father Gabriel Naddaf reports on his Facebook page that Palestinian Authority Arabs in Bethlehem burned the St. Charbel (Sharbel) church on Saturday night.
Naddaf blames the Palestinian Authority for negligence in protecting the Christian holy sites under its control.
EU labeling of West Bank goods is a ‘red line,’ Israel’s top diplomat warns
The introduction of a labeling regime for settlement products is a “red line” for Israel, the country’s top diplomat said this week, threatening to downgrade economic ties with states that implement such labels.
In an extensive interview, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said the European Union’s intention to publish guidelines for the labeling of Israeli goods produced beyond the pre-1967 lines is “the epitome of boycotts,” vowing to launch a campaign to persuade the Continent’s most important countries not to implement these guidelines. Countries that do decide to label settlement products will no longer be considered by Jerusalem to be significant players in the Middle East conflict, she warned.
“It is possible to work with all the European countries and give a very sharp Israeli response, saying: This is a red line. Israeli diplomacy won’t tolerate this,” she said.
Sometime next month, the European Commission is expected to publish guidelines meant to facilitate the implementation of EU legislation that calls for a distinction between products from Israel proper and those from settlements. These guidelines will not be legally binding, Hotovely said, vowing to convince the Continent’s key powers not implement them. Those who do carry out the Commission’s recommendations risk diplomatic tensions with Israel, she threatened.
Three Bright Spots in Threatening EU Cloud
In the course of just a few days, an Italian parliamentarian launches an anti-BDS initiative, a Swedish MEP rails against the anti-Israel European Union stance, and a Greek government minister is forced to resign for sounding anti-Semitic remarks.
In a recent debate in the European Parliament about the EU's role in the Israel-PA diplomatic process, member Lars Adaktusson from Sweden took a surprisingly objective position: ‘’The only liberal democracy in the Middle East [Israel] will never be a bigger problem than the evil dictatorships and terrorist groups in the surrounding region.’’
European Jewish Press reports that at one point, Adaktusson addressed those who "blame Israel for the non-existent negotiation talks [and] those who pave the way for an EU boycott of Israeli products and those who name Israel an apartheid state," and said: "By doing this, you are not contributing to a constructive EU role in the current situation. A trustful relationship is based upon mutual confidence and trust. A one-sided EU position will not facilitate peace dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.‘’
He said that damage has already been caused: "I fear that the preconceptions we have seen over the years have already damaged the credibility of the EU. Israelis have noted the spread of anti-Israeli sentiments and anti-Semites in Europe. This needs to be confronted.’’
Chicago, Cook County join Illinois in rejecting BDS
On Sept. 24, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed -- 50-0 -- Resolution 2015-569 , urging the Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago to divest from foreign companies seeking to economically boycott Israel.
Alderman Michele Smith (43rd Ward) and Alderman Debra Silverstein (50th Ward) were the chief co-sponsors of the resolution.
The vote follows a similar action taken by the Cook County Board of Commissioners July 29. Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer was the chief sponsor of County Resolution R15-4701 .
Modeled after the State of Illinois' historic anti-Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) legislation, these recently adopted resolutions encourage the respective pension boards to divest from foreign companies that engage in economic boycotts against Israel. In both instances, JUF's Government Affairs department worked with the resolutions' co-sponsors and prepared fact sheets and talking points for supporters; in the case of the city ordinance, they also worked with Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (h/t Cliff)
New York Times Claims Palestinian Rock Throwing Attack an “Accident”
Why can’t New York Times reporter Diaa Hadid bring herself to acknowledge that rocks don’t just rise up and strike Israeli vehicles without someone i.e. Palestinians, deliberately picking them up and throwing them?
Perhaps because the former Electronic Intifada writer simply doesn’t see attacks on Israeli civilians as anything but an accident.
Such was the New York Times’s recent reporting after Alexander Levlovich was killed by Palestinians who threw rocks at his car. Now, with the news that Israeli police have arrested four Palestinian youths allegedly responsible, this is how Hadid covers the story in the New York Times:
Four Palestinian youths have been detained in the death of an Israeli man who drove his vehicle into a light pole in East Jerusalem two weeks ago after it was hit by rocks, the Israeli police said Saturday.
The man, Alexander Levlovich, 64, died of his injuries after the accident on the first day of Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, on Sept. 13.
Did Bashar al-Assad prompt a Guardian correction? Editors award Golan to Syria
A September 24th edition of the Guardian ‘Corrections and Clarifications’ included the following entry:
An article about a meeting between Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, to discuss security concerns along Israel’s northern border referred to “the Golan Heights, bordering Syria”. The Golan Heights are in fact part of Syria, but have been occupied by Israel since 1967 (Israel and Russia discuss Syrian civil war, 22 September, page 17).
We’re so glad Guardian editors responded to a complaint from someone (Bashar al-Assad or his propaganda minister, perhaps?) evidently concerned that readers may have gotten the wrong impression concerning rightful possession of the border territory.
Of course, since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, three independent countries have ruled Golan: France, Syria and Israel – and Israel’s possession (at 48 years) has now lasted more than twice as long as Syrian control (21 years).
But, leaving aside the question of possession and rightful ownership, can anyone seriously argue it would be in the interest of the region if Bashar al-Assad – the butcher of Damascus – resumed control of the territory?
Israeli Tops Fortune Magazine's List of Leading Businessmen
Israeli-born Adam Neumann has topped Fortune Magazine's list of the world's most influential business people under the age of 40.
Neumann, 36, is the co-founder and CEO of the New York-based company, WeWork, which provides shared workspaces and community services for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.
According to the magazine, the company has also begun attracting Fortune 500 companies like American Express and Microsoft.
Neumann founded WeWork with his business partner Miguel McKelvey in 2010. After a recent funding round of $400 million from J.P. Morgan and other major investors, the company is now valued at a massive $10 billion.
Wikimedia's Photo Competition Preserves Israeli Culture
The annual Wiki Loves Monuments international photographic competition is taking place this month and until October 13.
The contest, organized worldwide by the Wikipedia community members with the help of local Wikimedia affiliates across the globe, asks participants to take pictures of local historical monuments and heritage sites in their region, upload them to Wikimedia Commons, and perhaps win a prize.
This is the fifth year that Wiki Loves Monuments is taking place around the world, and the fourth year that it is taking place in Israel. Over the past five years, more than one million pictures have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons as part of the competition (of which about 20,000 photos were taken in Israel), which the Guinness Book of Records has said is the world's largest photo competition.
The aim of the event is to highlight the heritage sites of the participating countries with the goal of encouraging people to capture pictures of these monuments, and to put them under a free license which can then be re-used not only in Wikipedia but everywhere by everyone.
Most of the photographs are taken by the general public rather than professional photographers, Dror Lin of Wikimedia Israel told Arutz Sheva.
Happy Sukkot from the IDF!


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