Friday, October 09, 2015

From Ian:

Sarah Honig: Abu-Mazen Proved Ezer Wrong
If things truly went our way, Palestinian Authority figurehead Mahmoud “Abu-Mazen” Abbas would for sure have announced unequivocally from the UN General Assembly podium that he is revoking the Oslo Accords with immediate effect.
Without much ado, he would have torn up the documents on which Oslo’s convoluted clauses, subsections, stipulations and provisos are listed. That would have been dramatic and would have left no uncertainty in anyone’s cerebral recesses that Oslo has at long belated last been ignominiously dispatched to the netherworld.
In fact, Oslo has been a smelly decomposing cadaver for years but no one, least of all diplomatically timid Israel, dared say it like it is.
Across the Green Line, Abbas and his front men hectored ominously in a refrain of irascible rants. If we don’t bow to Ramallah’s diktats, we were warned, Abbas will do the unthinkable and actually bury Oslo’s putrid remains.
Presumably that should have sent us all into a tizzy of trepidation.
In fact, though, Israel would have heaved a sincere sigh of relief had Abbas actually done the decent thing for once and pronounced the demise of the evil poltergeist that imperils our self-preservation prospects.
But it was apparently way too good to be true. Perhaps in a rare moment of clarity amid his petulant outbursts about “filthy Jewish feet contaminating Arab Jerusalem’s sanctity,” Abbas understood that he’d only be doing the “filthy Jews” a favor by taking them off the Oslo hook.
I am embarrassed to be an Arab
I have long resisted saying this, but the ongoing Arab violence in Jerusalem has pushed Arab idiocy beyond my capacity for tolerance. I now need to say it and to say it publicly: I am embarrassed to be an Arab.
From the start, we have refused to accept the existence of one tiny Jewish state. We fought that state tooth and nail using all the venom and anti-Semitism that we could muster. We isolated and mistreated our own Palestinian siblings so we could use them as tools against the Jews. We have not relented. We have not shown an ounce of compassion, humanity, or even smarts. We made the destruction of the Jewish home our signature cause. We made hate our religion. When will this nonsense stop?
Even some of us Arabs who have the privilege of also being Israeli have not learned to behave like civilized people. We dismissed, threatened, and silenced Mohammad Zoabi, one of our own, because he dared profess love for his country and revulsion towards terrorists. We have demonstrated in support, not of our own state, Israel, but in support of the terrorists who want her destroyed. (h/t Yenta Press)
There Was a Temple on the Temple Mount
I have many friends who find the New York Times’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be “anti-Israel.” By this, I think that they mean that given a (surprisingly large) number of possible narratives through which to present a news story, the Times often picks one that lies somewhere within the Palestinian spectrum. I never really bought this argument. The Times to me reads somewhat to the right of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. While the Times maintains a fairly consistent bias, that bias would fit well within the current Israeli spectrum, and not even all that close to the left edge. So I have not always agreed with the coverage, but it has rarely riled me. Today’s article by Rick Gladstone, though, Historical Certainty Proves Elusive at Jerusalem’s Holiest Place, was so misleading and confused that it really got my goat.
The article claims that there is no definitive evidence that the two ancient Jewish temples stood on the present day Temple Mount. The article strongly implies that this remains a live historical controversy. The problem with posing the issue that way is that it confuses several distinct historical questions. Once those questions are teased apart, it is clear that there is actually very little disagreement among professional historians about most of them. These questions are:
Did a Jewish temple stand on the present day Temple Mount? Yes. This is as historically certain a fact as one can get in the study of ancient history. The Temple Mount was built by Herod beginning at the end of the first century BCE – the Western Wall is the western retaining wall of that reshaping of the natural hill – and on top of it were a number of structures that belonged to the Jewish temple. These included courtyards, altars, and the Holy of Holies. Now it is true (and has long been recognized even in Jewish law) that we do not know precisely where on the Temple Mount those structures stood, but there is no question that they stood there.
Prior to Herod’s renovation of the temple, did it stand at this site? Almost certainly. I would give it a 98% possibility. The second temple was built around 520 BCE and underwent a few renovations before Herod gave it a major overhaul. If Herod moved the site of the temple we would know, both from the extensive archaeological excavations conducted all around the temple as well from literary sources. People notice stuff like that.
Ryan Bellerose: History Matters: 5 Myths About Israel
Myth One: Israel was created by the colonialists
The truth is that the Jews had to fight tooth and nail for their ancestral lands. While the British opened the door with the San Remo accords, and then the Balfour Declaration, the subsequent partition plan and the Palestinian mandate handing over 75% of the promised land (sorry bad pun) to the Hashemite Arabs to create Jordan, showed pretty clearly that the British were not particularly helpful. When you look at the arms embargo that ended up being completely one-sided, the fact that the British armed and trained the Jordanian legion, and then limited Jewish immigration while encouraging Arab immigration, gives you a very different picture.
It’s rather amusing to me that the same people who claim that the British created Israel, are the same ones who bring up the King David hotel bombing as proof of how bad the Jews are. First, the King David was the centre of the OCCUPATIONAL BRITISH GOVERNMENT. More importantly, they never ask why the Jews would be fighting against the people who were supposedly creating the Jewish nation. It’s a perfect example of why we need to not just listen to the colonialist narrative. They of course want us to believe that without colonialist aid, the Jews would have failed, when in fact the Jews were fighting the colonialists. Feel free to verify this – the British don’t like to admit it but the facts are all there for anyone who wants to actually dig.

Jewish history’s greatest archaeological crime
In 1999, thousands of years’ worth of fragile and irreplaceable Jewish archaeological antiquities were surreptitiously and violently dug up by Arab bulldozers at Judaism’s holiest site, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, to build an entrance to a subterranean mosque.
The resulting thousands of tons of invaluable debris – believed to contain over 1 million artifacts dating back to the First Temple period – were then carted off in dump trunks and discarded like garbage to a nearby landfill in Jerusalem’s Kidron Valley.
According to internationally recognized archaeologist Gabriel Barkay, PhD, who is the co-director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, located near Mount Scopus, the removal represents perhaps the greatest archaeological crime in history.
“Approximately 400 truckloads saturated with the history of Jerusalem were illicitly removed – barbarically removed – from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Wakf in November 1999 to promote a political agenda,” says Barkay at the sifting projects headquarters earlier this month.
The professor emeritus from the Hebrew University and recipient of the 1996 Jerusalem Prize for Archaeological Research says the debris was taken from the southeastern section of the contested holy site without the knowledge of authorities, including the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).
“All of that was dug up with bulldozers in a place where even a toothbrush is too large a tool to carry out excavations,” he says.
 Bassam Tawil: First Step to Resolve the Palestinian Problem: Eliminate UNRWA
Adnan Abu Hasna, an UNRWA spokesman, suggested that donor countries, instead of contributions, should be charged a compulsory annual fee.
The desire of the Palestinian political class is to preserve the refugee problem at all costs, and not to resolve it in any just way -- not in the Arab states and not in the Palestinian state that will be established next to Israel.
It is therefore clear that the Palestinians refuse to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, and are not willing to agree to the return of the refugees to the Palestinian state; their only objective is to destroy and displace Israel.
If Israel is genuinely an "apartheid state," why do its people accept Arabs as citizens, while our racist brother Arabs refuse to?
Does anyone really think the Jews so stupid as to believe that we Arabs, who slaughter one another without giving it a second thought, will be particularly generous towards them if we succeed in realizing the right of return to Palestine?
After the senseless agreement the world powers signed with Iran -- an agreement that endangers Arab and Jew alike -- we have to say plainly that the EU's demands on Israel to sign a delusional peace agreement, which would only serve to endanger its existence, are hypocritical at best, and that it is only natural that Israel would refuse.
The only way to solve the problem of the Palestinian refugees is to eliminate the toxic UNRWA, which keeps poisoning the minds of our children with a hate leading to violence; for Arab states to award citizenship to the Palestinians who have been living there for decades anyhow; and to establish a totally demilitarized Palestinian state alongside Israel.
Scandal Rocks United Nations Over Revelation That UNRWA Teacher Has No Pictures of Hitler on His Facebook Page (satire)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA) is in turmoil today after published reports revealed that one of their own maintains a Facebook page with absolutely no pictures of Hitler, Jews being hunted down, nor of religious Jews being run over with a car. Fares A., a mathematics teacher at Sayyid Qutb Elementary School in Khan Yunis, maintains a Facebook profile containing strictly pictures of his family, pictures of himself in front of somebody else’s Ferrari, a picture posted by his high school sweetheart (whom his wife can’t stand) of the two of them together in the early 1990’s, and pictures of what appears to be an outdoor barbecue event with particularly tasty lamb.
Hassan’s fellow teachers at Sayyid Qutb Elementary were in a state of shock today. “You think you know a guy, and then, bang, this happens.” stated a disheartened History Teacher Hassan M. ” I mean, he’s been to my house, we talk football…..I guess next time I will be more careful with my friendships.” Geography teacher Layla R. was equally upset. “This man has tarnished the dignity of Gaza. This is even worse than when the Mossad kidnapped our Bumblebee.”
UNRWA’s spokesman Chris Gunness appeared at a hastily prepared press conference to address the growing scandal. “We take this accusation very seriously and we will investigate it as soon as we finish investigating the finances of a blog that criticizes us.“
U.N. Officials on Way to ‘Rescue’ Israel and PA with ‘Peace Process’
There is no “Third Intifada” nor is there “war.” Plain and simple, Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority Arabs are on a murder spree.
The United Nations announced Thursday it will send high-ranking officials to Jerusalem and Ramallah next week to try to dig up the “peace process” and save Israel and the Palestinian Authority from themselves.
Or at least, that is how they see it.
This is an old scene, played hundreds of times. Whenever Israel does not give the Palestinian Authority what it wants, Mahmoud Abbas calls for “peaceful resistance” in English while his Fatah party call for the murder of Jews in Arabic.
The Luxury of Conscience is Too Expensive for the EU
Like in a B-grade Hollywood movie, the flag of a non-existent state which in fact is a conglomerate of terrorists, is flying over UN headquarters, raised there just a few days prior to the vicious pre-meditated series of lethal terrorist attacks claiming lives of innocent civilian people in their own land on their Holidays.
The Palestinian boss of terrorists, he who incites terror repeatedly, speaks at the UN General Assembly as if he is an internationally recognised head of state. It would be one of the cheapest, rock-bottom Hollywood productions if somebody had enough idiocy to write this as a script, but there is no limit to shame in the real UN and EU headquarters when it comes to Israel and its people.
In commenting on most of the EU policies, one cannot help but be sarcastic. There is no other way to relate to the un-working instruments of non-existing policies on many vital issues of that ever-growing monstrous bureaucracy in Brussels which primaily lives for its own satisfaction. Under the current circumstances of an unprecedented vacuum of sensible leadership and efficient administration, over 500 million people living in Europe are left on their own, being brought literally to the brink on chaos.
British FM: End of 'Israeli Occupation' Long Overdue
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Friday issued a statement about the rising wave of Arab terrorism engulfing Israel, but equally blamed Arab terrorists and "Israeli settlers" while urging an end to the Jewish presence in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
"I continue to be deeply concerned by violent clashes across the Occupied Palestinian Territories (i.e. Judea and Samaria - ed.) and Israel which have resulted in a number of deaths and hundreds of injuries," began Hammond.
“We condemn all acts of violence, including attacks by Palestinians and by Israeli settlers," he said, equating pre-planned terror attacks with unspecified "settler violence."
"We urge all sides to take immediate steps to de-escalate the tensions and avoid actions that threaten to exacerbate the situation."
“Every Israeli and Palestinian has the right to live in peace and security. We understand, and share, the deep frustration on all sides at the lack of progress on the Middle East Peace Process."
"The current violence underlines that a just and lasting resolution that ends the occupation and delivers peace for both Israelis and Palestinians is long overdue," concluded the British Foreign Secretary.
Left, Arab MKs Protest Against 'Occupation' in Tel Aviv
Leftists held a protest in Tel Aviv on Friday, calling to renew peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in light of the wave of terror attacks striking Israel over the past several weeks.
Demonstrators chanted slogans such as "the answer to the Right is Israel and Palestine," "Netanyahu, resign - peace is worth more," and "Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies."
Several Arab MKs attended the rally, according to Maariv, including Joint List chairman Aymen Odeh, MK Dov Khenin (Joint List), and MK Abdullah Abu Ma'aruf (Joint List).
"We came here to break the silence and shout in two languages over one policy," Odeh stated. "We say that Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies."
Egyptian Playwright Ali Salem in Final Interview: Israel Is Not an Enemy
In an interview held several days before his death, renowned Egyptian playwright, author and political critic Ali Salem reiterated his view that Israel was not an enemy and expressed his hope that "that the political leadership in Egypt will not be ashamed of the peace accords." The interview aired on the Egyptian ON TV channel on September 20, 2015, two days before his death.

EXCLUSIVE: US officials conclude part of Iran deal violates federal law
Some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision – a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime – conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.
At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall…license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”
In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole.
'Obama didn't come through on his promise to Netanyahu'
Extracts from the book, "Doomed to Succeed: The US-Israeli relationship from Truman to Obama," were published on the Politico website on Thursday, and indicate that the dispute in the U.S. administration between the supporters of containment and the supporters of attacking if necessary created confusion in Israel.
According to Ross, the "mixed messages" led to Israeli complaints, because the Israelis understood that they stemmed from a fundamental disagreement on preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability versus "containing" that capability.
Ross also writes that in May 2009, in one of their first meetings, Obama explained to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the need to make an effort to engage Iran, and stressed that "if nothing happened before the end of the first year, [the U.S.] would pivot toward sanctions" -- a promise that Obama did not end up keeping.
Why Susan Rice Played the Race Card
Israelis witnessed more Palestinian terror attacks today as what may be a third intifada continued on its roads and cities. But whatever decisions the Israeli government takes in the coming days to defend its citizens, it knows one thing: the Obama administration doesn’t have its back. The discord between the two governments has reached the point where Prime Minister Netanyahu knows that no matter what it is said publicly, the White House can’t be trusted to back any moves it might be forced to make. That’s especially true since the White House hasn’t chosen to publicly admonish Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for his failure to condemn the bloody attacks on Israelis or to cease stirring up hatred by exploiting fears about the future of the Temple Mount. But understanding their dilemma requires more than a review of the last week’s events or the maneuvering at the United Nations where the U.S. is still threatening to undermine Israel’s position.
The Israelis know that, as has been the case for the last seven years, the administration is always spoiling for a fight with them under virtually any circumstances. That’s why the excerpts from Dennis Ross’s upcoming book that were published today in Politico about the way the U.S. bypassed Israel during the Iran nuclear talks provide insight into more than just that series of events. The inclination of Obama and National Security Director Susan Rice to attack the Israelis rather than cooperate with them, up to the point where Rice played the race card in an effort to undermine Netanyahu, illustrates the extent of the damage that has been done to the U.S.-Israel relationship.
The headline on the Politico website for the Ross excerpts when it went up on Thursday morning was one that used a quote in which the State Department veteran claimed that Rice spread the word that “Netanyahu did everything but ‘use the N-word’ in his interactions with Obama over Iran. Later in the day, that was changed to the more neutral (and actually more in keeping with thrust of the content of the story) headline, “How Obama got to “Yes” on Iran.” But as inflammatory as that initial headline was, that one line was what has everyone talking about Ross’s book today. Indeed, although Ross’s purpose is to try to repair what he correctly terms the unnecessary damage to the alliance that was caused by the administration’s combative attitude toward Netanyahu, that false allegation by Rice actually tells us more about what’s wrong between Washington and Jerusalem than anything else.
Kerry and Zarif Snubbed by Nobel Peace Prize
While expectations were high that US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif would be selected for the Nobel Peace Prize after being recommended for the prize in July, their controversial nuclear deal was not selected as worthy of a peace prize.
Instead, the Nobel committee on Friday selected the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a union of civil society groups in the war-torn North African state.
In declaring the winners, the committee said the Quartet was selected "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011. The Quartet was formed in the summer of 2013 when the democratization process was in danger of collapsing as a result of political assassinations and widespread social unrest."
Top Iranian General Killed in Syria
Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists have killed a senior commander in the elite Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) in Syria, Iran reported Friday.
General Hossein Hamedani was killed on Thursday by ISIS "during an advisory mission" in the northern region of Aleppo, a Guards statement said.
Iran has been propping up President Bashar al-Assad, and recently sent hundreds of soldiers to bolster his badly overstretched forces.
Hamedani was in Syria leading the Quds Force, Iran's foreign operations unit that is recognized as a terrorist organization by the US.
NGO: Russia Committed War Crimes By Striking Three Syrian Hospitals
Russian warplanes have committed war crimes by striking three medical facilities in Syria in just two days, according to a New-York based humanitarian nonprofit group.
The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) group on Tuesday said it has “confirmed” that Russian air strikes, which began last week, have “damaged three medical facilities in Syria in two days, exacerbating an already dire situation for civilians living in areas where the health system has been systematically attacked by the Syrian government.”
“Bashar al-Assad’s forces have been relentlessly attacking Syria’s health care system for the past four years and the Russian government is now following in their footsteps,” said Widney Brown, director of programs at PHR. “These attacks are inexcusable.”
Anti-Israel student group destroys foundational myths of Boycott movement
So what did NYC SJP do to incur the wrath of BDS central command? Call for compromise with Israel? Accept “normalization” of relations with Israeli youth? In some way ask BDS to scale back?
No, in fact NYC SJP demands more aggressive action against Israel and pro-Israeli students.
Rather, NYC SJP questioned the BDS movement’s money connections and the dominance of the movement by NGO’s beholden to Western donors, while much of the movements’ actions are exercises in futility promoted to make liberals feel good about themselves with no tangible effect on the ground.
The NYC SJP analysis is quite perceptive in parts. Here are some excerpts from NYC SJP’s analysis, The BDS Ceiling.
NYC SJP takes issue with the entire premise of the BDS movement, that boycotts against South Africa ended Apartheid and therefore serve as a model for eliminating Israel.
Kasim Hafeez: Get Over The Victimology
I’m so sick of the hypocrisy, from groups claiming to be pro-Israel and Pro-Peace but don’t have the courage to call out Palestinian leaders for incitement and terror: no they’ll go and set up meetings with them. I’m sick of the Muslim world, a region with the highest rates of domestic abuse, religious intolerance, gender inequality and no democracy, yet we’ll preach to the world how YOU need to respect US, and that we are the victims. Yes I’m looking at Saudi princes and 40 Bentleys and think about the poor victims, but instead of helping the Muslims less fortunate than themselves, they’ll build mosques to foment extremism and arm terror groups….. but hey its all a Christian – Jewish conspiracy, its pathetic. But it’s the so called ‘liberals’, those morally bankrupt individuals who talk about women rights, liberty and freedom, but won’t dare say anything about the situation in the Muslim world, but will sit and preach to Israel, America, Canada well anyone as long as they’re not ‘ethnic’.
Then we have this ferret of a man, Bassem al-Tamimi speaking in the US, about how he’s an ‘activist’ against the ‘occupation’, you know him as the father of the blonde girl trying to provoke Israeli soldiers and lauded by the anti-Israel groups, little Ahed al-Tamimi (aka Shirley Temper), who because of the restraint of the IDF, has remained unharmed. Yet lets ask the Fogle family what restraint their children got, just sleeping in their beds, lets ask what restraint Chaya Zissel Braun, when her life ended at 3 months as terrorists rammed her stroller. A man who has his daughter confronting armed soldiers, while he films she be locked away for child abuse not invited to speak in the US by campuses and churches.
SO in summary, I’m sick of the Muslim worlds’ victimology, get over it! The Gulf states do NOTHING to actually help Muslims suffering from poverty and oppression, probably as they’re not Arabs, so the Gulf states don’t care. If you can not condemn terror against Israel, let’s be honest it’s because they’re Jews, the issue isn’t a lack of a Palestinian state it’s that theirs IS a Jewish Israel, then you have NO right to condemn Israel when it defends its citizens from terror. A world that said NO to Jews escaping from Nazi Germany, a world which watched Britain bar Jewish entry to the holy land, a world which did nothing as Jews we’re marched in to gas chambers, has no right today to tell Jews when they can defend themselves. To my friends in Israel, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, WE STAND WITH YOU. Oh to add I’ll be in Israel very soon to show my support and solidarity, WE ARE NOT AFRAID!
 Palestinian Activist Given Platform, Money to Spew Hate in Cambridge, MA
Bassam Tamimi, the Palestinian propagandist who has made a name for himself by using his children as props in regular confrontations with Israeli soldiers, has been on tour in the United States for the past few weeks.
On Wednesday, October 7, he performed at the Friends Meeting House in Cambridge, Massachusetts — telling a tale of Israeli villainy and violence, countered by Palestinian innocence and peace. His talk was at odds with the recent spate of murders in the West Bank and Jerusalem, which have left at least four Israeli Jews dead and a number of children without their parents.
These attacks (which took place after a series of incendiary comments from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) went unacknowledged and unlamented at Tamimi’s event.
When Tamimi was done talking, audience members competed with one another in an orgy of moral preening, narcissism and virtue signaling. “As an American and a Jew, I’m sorry and I apologize for what’s done in our name,” one audience member said to a round of applause.
The overall narrative Tamimi offered was one in which Palestinians are committed to non-violence, but have to resist the occupation — the source of all their suffering.
David Collier: My weekend with the antisemites (and 2 Zionists) at Exeter
I have just returned from Exeter, where the university held a 3-day conference discussing ‘Settler Colonialism in Palestine’. Far smaller and less organised than the conference that the University of Southampton cancelled, this collection of anti-Zionists ranged from well- known ‘academics’ from the US, Beirut and Australia to several ‘wannabees’ currently working on research at Exeter; these ‘wannabees’ are Ilan Pappe’s academic children.
I always engage these ideas, however far-fetched or obscene they may seem. Solely reading pro-Israeli output is little more than patting yourself on the back, and real challenges to what we consider as truth will rarely come from within. If you ferociously challenge your position with external and conflicting viewpoints, it will either survive or crumble on merit.
So for me, an opportunity like the Exeter conference, a 3-day anti-Zionist festival, molded into place by Ilan Pappe was difficult to resist. A real life case study into the workings of some of those who truly hate the State of Israel, or in some cases, those that simply hate the entire gene pool of the people behind Zionism.
Having spent so much of the last decade in university, I have learnt to become highly selective over which academics deserve praise. For what is true, certainly in these areas of pseudo-science, is that the research is often merely a reflection of the bias of the academic.
Cameron’s Conservatives Battle BDS
In the run-up to the general election this past spring, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised the Jewish community that his party is deeply concerned about Anglo-Jewry’s security and welfare. This past week, he showed he was serious.
As part of the Conservative Party’s annual conference, the government announced its intention to ban local councils (municipal bodies that run local services) from engaging in boycotts of foreign states or the UK defense industry that are not in line with central government policy. This was intended and interpreted as a prohibition on local councils from endorsing the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Traditionally, the UK has been fertile ground for BDS efforts, with multiple local councils, student unions, trades unions, and charities answering the call to boycott the Jewish State, its institutions, and its citizens. The Anglo-Jewish community has long viewed these efforts, reminiscent as they are of historic boycotts of Jews, as anti-Semitic. It therefore comes as no surprise that whenever BDS is endorsed, it leads to harassment of non-Israeli Jews as well.
With anti-Semitism in the UK persisting at high levels, BDS is a key front in the fight. Hence at the beginning of the year, a new group, Jewish Human Rights Watch (of which I am a director), was formed to counter BDS. Over the summer, JHRW took the unprecedented step of initiating legal action against Leicester City Council for its boycott resolution, and followed that move with actions against two other councils in Wales and threats to take several councils in Scotland to court, too. In launching these proceedings, JHRW and the Jewish community were declaring their outright opposition to BDS, and the government listened.
IsraellyCool: 10 Reasons We Know The New York Times Is The Hamas PR Department
1. Its reporters share pictures of Shirley Temper like she’s a Kardashian.
2. The Associated Press, the Foreign Press Association, and many others have admitted that Hamas harasses and intimidates journalists in Gaza, but the Times’s Jerusalem Bureau Chief is sticking to her story.
3. If the Times’s staff hasn’t been harassed by Hamas, maybe it’s because they voluntarily repeat Hamas’s propaganda . . . like the time Rudoren bought the story about the son of the Gaza “Minister of Tourism” . . .
Guardian gives more credibility to Palestinian hoax than the Palestinians themselves
Amidst recent Palestinian violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank which has claimed the lives of four Israeli civilians over the course of three days, another story has been making the rounds – the claim that Israeli settlers shot a 6-year-old Palestinian boy in the town of Qalqilya.
However, the story was almost immediately revealed to be a hoax in, of all places, Haaretz.
Remarkably, what was dismissed by even Haaretz – and even ‘Palestinian sources’ – as a likely hoax was elevated by the Guardian reporter to a “he said, she said” narrative, giving equal weight to both accounts.
Though we’re of course all too used to such Pallywood-style Palestinian fabrications, serious media outlets have the responsibility to distinguish between such wild, unverified claims and those which may have merit.  Shuttleworth’s credulousness in the face of such a fanciful tale does a disservice to her readers and serves to inflame an increasingly volatile regional conflagration.
UK Conservative Told to 'Get Back to Auschwitz'
A Conservative Party delegate was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse from protesters outside a conference in Manchester, he told The Jewish Chronicle on Thursday.
The delegate, Stephen Woods, chairman of the Conservative Sale East and Wythenshawe Association, was leaving the center with a group of Jewish friends, wearing kippot, on Sunday.
“The abuse we had to endure was despicable, with a number of protesters screaming ‘Jewish Tory scum, get back to Auschwitz,’” Woods told The Chronicle.
“I have never heard such vile language. The whole incident left us all shaken up,” hre recalled.
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Conservative party conference over three days to protest against austerity.
What Syria’s refugees think about Israel
Israel’s government is in cahoots with Syrian President Bashar Assad. America wants to keep the Syrian civil war going for as long as possible. Russia is outmaneuvering the United States on the global stage.
Those are some of the viewpoints you’re likely to hear if you talk politics with Syrians pouring out of their war-torn country and into Europe.
When I went to Berlin recently to write about the wave of migrants arriving in Germany, one of the questions I was most curious about was something that had nagged at me since the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad began bombing its own people back in 2011: Now that you see the true face of your government, do you look at its longtime adversary, Israel, any differently? Could the enemy of your enemy be your friend?
But when it came to their views on Israel, there seemed to be more conspiracy theory than political theory. And I was surprised (though I probably shouldn’t have been) that for many Syrians, the defining element of their identity is sectarian rather than national, and therefore they’re more concerned with the divides among Alawites, Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds than the divide between Arab and Jew.
On Tel Aviv’s Nahalat Binyamin, a wild mix of eclectic architecture
In 1909, 66 wealthy Jewish families founded Ahuzat Bayit, the original core of today’s thriving Tel Aviv metropolis. Watching from afar as their landsmen moved out of the crowded, filthy Old City were several dozen small craftsmen, laborers, shopkeepers, a baker and a laundress. And they wondered: why they shouldn’t have a nice little neighborhood of their own.
But there was a problem: Not only did they lack the money necessary to build themselves houses, they also didn’t have what it took to purchase the property on which they would put them.
Obviously the group, called the Nahalat Binyamin Association, would need some help. But the Jewish National Fund, which had acquired the land for Ahuzat Bayit, refused to assist. And the bank turned down repeated requests for money – until 1911, when a journalist who went by the pen name of “Rabbi Binyamin” wrote a scathing article accusing both bank and JNF of favoring the rich over hard working common folk.
Soon afterwards, they were able to get their hands on a long north-to-south strip of sand dune. The first very modest, one-story houses began going up in 1914, along a dirt road they called Nahalat Binyamin. Laborers – mostly women – paved the street a decade or so later.
Nahalat Binyamin Street is a unique combination of simple structures, wild art-deco, eclectic buildings and 1930’s Bauhaus houses. It begins at Magen David Square, where six streets intersect: Sheinkin, King George, HaCarmel, Allenby (in two directions) and Nahalat Binyamin. The square gets its name from the Magen David Adom ambulances that once raced noisily along on their way to nearby Hadassah Hospital.
Despite violence, Jerusalem to host world astronautical congress
Some 2,000 participants from 60 countries, among them the heads of every space agency around the globe, are expected to attend the International Astronautical Congress that begins Monday at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.
Despite the current tensions and wave of terrorist attacks across the country, particularly in Jerusalem, no participant has canceled their attendance. Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis said this was "a vote of confidence and certificate of recognition for Israeli science." The conference is being hosted by the Israel Space Agency, part of the Science, Technology and Space Ministry.
"The State of Israel is perhaps 'only' 68 years old, but it stands in the front row of global entrepreneurship and innovation," Akunis said.
International Astronautical Federation President Kiyoshi Higuchi said: "The IAC is returning to Israel 21 years after Jerusalem hosted the 45th Congress. Despite being a small country, Israel is regarded internationally as a global leader in space science and technology. With its diverse space industrial facilities and technical expertise, Israel has much to offer to the international space community. ...
Rabbi appointed Pope Francis’s ‘comedic advisor’
A rabbi has been named Pope Francis’s official “comedic advisor.”
Bob Alper, 70, a rabbi turned stand-up comedian and author, managed to craft the perfect pontifical punchline to beat out thousands of other entrants in the “Joke with the Pope” competition — earning himself the title “honorary comedic advisor to the pope.”
The night before Pope Francis arrived for his first US visit on September 22, the Pontifical Mission Societies, the Catholic Church’s missionary arm, launched The website called on comedians to submit “a clean and kind” joke — the sort the pope might crack — to be judged by a panel of holy humorists. Aside from the title, up for grabs was $10,000 for a charity of the winner’s choosing.
According to The Pontifical Mission Societies, thousands of jokes from 47 different countries were sent in over the course of three weeks. Alper, who delivered his joke via video, bested comic giants like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien. He will donate his prize money to housing the homeless in Ethiopia.
What was Alper’s winning entry?
“My wife and I have been married for 46 years, and our lives are totally in sync. At the same time that I got a hearing aid, she stopped mumbling,” he jokes in the video.

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