Tuesday, December 01, 2015

From Ian:

Hillel Neuer: Report: Despite UNRWA Promises, Teachers Incite to Murder “Jewish Apes & Pigs”
Above: UNRWA’s “Certificate of Ethics” for teacher who posts on Facebook that “Zionists and Jews” are “sons of apes and pigs.”
GENEVA, December 1, 2015 – Despite prior promises by UNRWA, the Palestinian relief agency, to put an end to online incitement by its teachers, numerous UNRWA teachers are still inciting to Palestinian knife attacks against what they describe as “Jewish apes and pigs,” and should be fired, according to a new report issued today by UN Watch, the Geneva-based watchdog group. See selections of report below; full report here.
UNRWA’s reported temporary suspensions of offenders, as reported by London’s Sunday Times, are clearly not working. Giving a slap on the wrist only sends the message that it’s business as usual. Instead, those who incite to racism or murder should be fired, under a zero tolerance policy, just as the UK government recently banned a teacher from the classroom for life over an anti-Semitic Facebook post.
UN Watch submitted the report today to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNRWA chief Pierre Krähenbühl — as well as to EU foreign affairs commissioner Federica Mogherini, and U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, whose governments are the top funders of UNRWA.
The EU and its member states handed UNRWA more than $510 million last year. The US gave more than $400 million.
Watch Alan Dershowitz Debate a Prominent Human Rights Activist on BDS, and Win
Earlier this month at the famed Oxford Union debating society, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz prevailed in a showdown with U.K. human rights activist Peter Tatchell over the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel. The official motion was “Is the BDS movement against Israel wrong?” and after over an hour of debate, Dershowitz emerged victorious by a vote of 137-101. It was a surprising outcome given the general hostility towards the Jewish state on European university campuses. Just last July, Britain’s own National Union of Students voted to boycott Israel. But Dershowitz’s victory becomes more explicable when one examines the arguments put forward by him and his interlocutor.
At the outset, the law professor did not offer a defense of particular Israeli policies, and noted that he opposed some of them, including settlements. Rather, Dershowitz argued that the BDS movement’s opposition to the Jewish state’s existence and the two-state solution put it beyond the pale.
“The BDS movement is against the two-state solution,” he opened. “Listen to its founder Omar Barghouti talk about the two-state solution: ‘Good riddance. The two-state solution is finally dead. Someone has to issue the official death certificate… Definitely, most definitely, we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.’” (Indeed, BDS leaders routinely affirm their opposition to the Jewish state continuing in any borders.)
Dershowitz then called out the anti-Israel movement for holding Israel to a different standard than countries with similar or worse policies. “My major reason for opposing BDS is that BDS is directed only against Israel,” he said. “What about other countries that are enforcing military occupations with far less justification than Israel has had? Russia, Turkey, China, Indonesia, Armenia, Azerbaijan all continue to occupy territories that lawfully belong to their neighbors. Where is the boycott movement, the official BDS movement against these oppressors?”
BDS Movement Debate - Oxford Union

An Israeli Journalist Traveled to the US and was Shocked by What he Found on Campus

Caroline Glick: The American war against the Jews
The foundations of American Jewish life are under assault today in ways that were unimaginable a generation ago. Academia is ground zero of the onslaught. The protest movements on campuses are first and foremost anti-Jewish movements.
For the past decade or so, Jewish communal leaders and activists have focused on just one aspect of this anti-Jewish campaign. Jewish leaders have devoted themselves to helping Jewish students combat the direct anti-Semitism inherent to the anti-Israel student movements.
Despite the substantial funds that have been devoted to fighting anti-Israel forces on campuses, they have not been diminished. To the contrary, with each passing year they have grown more powerful and menacing.
Consider a sampling of the anti-Jewish incidents that took place over the past two weeks.
Academic boycotts
American institution are being spoiled by politicization not from the top, as in Nazi Germany, but from below by clusters of aroused students and faculty members. And as in Nazi Germany, their target is Jews.
This time Jews are part of the mob. Boycott enthusiasts include Jewish students and teachers, and at least one Jewish president of an upper status college who can't resist saying that Israel has done some awful things, even though he opposes a boycott.
Not all American institutions have been affected, and it is also spotty among European universities.
As in the 1930s, individuals aspiring to an academic career must be concerned that the places they choose to prepare are Jew-friendly, or at least Jew-neutral.
In contrast to the 1930s, high quality higher education has spread beyond Europe and America to Israel and other places. Americans looking for a decent academic experience might consider polishing their Hebrew or some other language, and hunting for good teachers who don't think that Israel is the source of all evil.
David Singer: Israel Ensures European Union Swallows Poison Pill
Attempting to influence any political resolution regarding secure and recognized boundaries – using its labelling requirements to pressure Israeli territorial concessions – could spell the death knell for President Bush’s Roadmap and its “two-state solution”.
The EU is free to pursue any policy it wants – but also must take full responsibility for the consequences of its reprehensible labelling laws and Israel’s rapid response.
Should the EU now gracefully bow out of the Quartet due to its clearly revealed conflict of interest and one-sided bias – or does it have to be told to go packing by the other members of the Quartet if their impartiality in the peace process is to be maintained?
The EU cannot remain a member of the Quartet whilst implementing labelling requirements that favour Arab claims over Jewish claims.
The EU now faces swallowing a poison pill of its own making.
Israel to review EU Palestinian projects in labeling feud
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon seemed to expand the scope of Israel's steps against the EU, a major donor to the Palestinian Authority, by saying it could be frozen out of some initiatives aimed at bettering Palestinian lives.
"It is true that there is no peace process ... but the European Union wants to be involved in a variety of projects, some of them ... regarding Palestinian welfare," he said.
"With all those projects, we will need to re-examine whether it is feasible to consider the European Union as a partner while it is using measures of discrimination and boycott against the State of Israel."
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called the Israeli move a "stupid threat" that he said exposed arrogance and enmity toward the EU.
Israel made clear that contacts with individual EU countries -- it named Germany, France and Britain -- would not be affected by the move against EU projects with Palestinians.
Greece set to oppose EU settlement labeling
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informing him of Athens’s opposition to the EU guidelines on the labeling of goods produced in Israeli settlements, The Times of Israel learns.
Kotzias’s message to Netanyahu came three day after Greek PM Alexis Tsipras visited Israel on Wednesday of last week.
Other than Greece, the only countries to break ranks on the measure are Hungary, which has declared its opposition; and Germany, which has yet to say whether it will implement it.
Cyber Monday: Israeli E-Commerce Websites Work to Combat BDS
Black Friday 2015 has passed, but Cyber Monday is upon us, and several Israeli vendors are hoping to appeal to consumers on two fronts: fight BDS (the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel) and save money.
Black Friday is primarily an American phenomenon, but with the growing popularity of e-commerce, its sales are becoming ubiquitous worldwide. While in the past many Jewish stores shied away from Black Friday marketing, perhaps to avoid associations with Christmas, in recent years Black Friday sales have become more acceptable.
With the influence of the BDS movement spreading rapidly, and especially in the wake of the European decision to label products made in Judea and Samaria, some Israeli vendors marketed Black Friday as a way of showing Blue and White support.
Encouraging shoppers to “buy Blue and White” gifts from Israeli artists, musicians and authors, Israel365’s online store is offering 33 percent off all purchases made from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
For Jewish College Students, Knowledge on Israel is Power
A new Brandeis University study shows that over half of all Birthright candidates do not know how to answer even ‎the most basic questions about the Jewish state, making them functionally illiterate concerning Israel. The ‎study seeks to understand and assess Israel literacy and is a continuing project with participation of ‎researchers from the university’s Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and Cohen Center for ‎Modern Jewish Studies. ‎
The study found that regardless of the students’ background — for example, whether they had attended Jewish ‎day school or not — and the ranking of their university, relatively few Jewish students were Israel literate. ‎This is among students who are interested enough in Israel to apply to go on a Birthright trip; results would most likely be even more depressing among those who were not ‎Birthright candidates.‎
The results are truly disconcerting at a time when anti-Israel motions and boycott, divestment, and sanctions activity are rampant on US college ‎campuses and Jewish students are met by an unprecedented wave of antisemitism. As the authors of ‎the study say, Israel literacy is “the requisite knowledge to participate in productive conversations about ‎Israel.” Without knowledge, it is going to be near impossible to participate in any kind of meaningful ‎conversation about Israel. The authors go on to say that “we were surprised that Jewish graduate ‎students, including some who were training to become Jewish professional leaders, lacked some of the ‎foundational knowledge that would equip them to engage in Israel-related activity and education.”‎
David Collier: From Stanford to Milgram to BDS, we all know how this plays out.
In 1971 a team of psychologists designed and executed an unusual experiment that was to be aborted before it had reached the half way stage. The Stanford Prison Experiment is now mandatory in the curriculum of first year students in a wide spread of disciplines. What was most notable about this experiment wasn’t just the abuse of power, nor that the head of the experiment lost his impartiality and objectivity, it was that despite approximately 50 outsiders encountering the ongoing experiment as it deteriorated, only one questioned its morality (this led to the early termination of the experiment).
There were a range of experiments after the 2nd World War designed to question ‘how it happened’, how it was that the horror of the holocaust could develop from within an industrial, relatively enlightened society. In 1961 the Milgram experiments began, spurred by the Eichmann trial, with the intent of answering the question, ‘just following orders or accomplices?’. In 1967, the Third Wave experiment, demonstrated the appeal of fascism through the creation of a social movement at school. This from one of the students involved:
I studied these experiments and others in the first year of university. I also studied experiments that show the extent and manipulative power of peer pressure. As a whole, what we learn from them is that we exist within the rule of law for a reason. We receive our power through law, our laws are created through a democratic system and we balance these powers delicately through three bodies, a legislative an executive and a judiciary. Of all the people in the world who should be well aware what happens when power is created outside of this bubble, it is academics within universities.
Jeremy Corbyn versus ”Free Iran”
Here is another telling scene from Jeremy Corbyn’s tawdry career.
It’s January 2012. A stopper crowd gathers outside the US Embassy in London to demand that the Iranian regime be left alone. Huge Hezbollah banners are flying and Syrian flags are adorned with pictures of Assad.
Some intrepid Iranians for freedom step in to have their say with a “Free Iran” banner. Stopper thugs led by Chris Nineham tear it down. Jeremy Corbyn and Lindsey German harangue the Iranians for freedom from the platform. The Hezbollah banners are left untouched, of course.
US 'troubled' by Russian ban on Soros fund
A spokesperson for the US State Department said Tuesday that Washington is "troubled" by Russia's banning of the Open Society fund founded by US hedge fund billionaire George Soros.
Spokesperson Mark Toner said the November 30 designation of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation as so-called "undesirable" organizations "will only further restrict the work of civil society in Russia for the benefit of the Russian people."
A spokesperson with Russia's Prosecutor-General's Office said the activities of the two branches of Soros's charity network represent a threat to both state security and the Russian constitution.
"It was found that the activity of the Open Society Foundations and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation represents a threat to the foundations of the constitutional system of the Russian Federation and the security of the state," a translated version of the press statement read.
The Russian government hinted in July that it might ban the foundation along with a number of other "pro-democracy" organizations accused of launching "soft aggression" in the country.
Watchdog Report Slams Indy Columnist Mira Bar-Hillel’s ‘Abusive Antisemitism Denial’
Mira Bar-Hillel is a journalist for the London Evening Standard (who works on property and land issues). She has been a frequent contributor at The Independent on issues pertaining to British Jewry and antisemitism — this despite the fact that Bar-Hillel acknowledged being prejudiced against Jews and, as this blog has demonstrated, has a long record of engaging in anti-Jewish racism.
Here’s what CST wrote about that very op-ed in their newly released annual report on antisemitic discourse in Britain:
Mira Bar Hillel’s opinion article 30 of 7 August 2014 for the website of The Independent, was perhaps the most extreme example of abusive antisemitism denial to be published by a mainstream media outlet during the conflict. Entitled, “Despite claims that antisemitism is on the rise in the UK, its Israel’s critics who need protection”, the article included: “…Around the world, Jewish communities are now trying to regain the sympathy they forfeited by blindly supporting the devastating Israeli offensive. The traditional way of doing this is to announce a rise in anti-Semitism and whipping up fears of “another holocaust”
Hillel also stated that antisemitism had not increased. Following a CST intervention this was amended by The Independent to clarify that it was her own opinion.
Salon’s Bogus Ethnic Cleansing Claim
This week’s anniversary of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, which led to the creation of Israel as an independent state in 1948, is a good opportunity to look at a key point in the history of Palestinian rejectionism.
Unless, like Internet magazine Salon, you subscribe to the media narrative of the pristine and innocent Palestinians, ever the victims and never the aggressors. Then it’s an opportunity to rewrite history and whitewash Palestinian and Arab violence.
The UN voted to divide the area under the British Mandate into a state for Jews and a state for Arabs. The Jewish leadership accepted the plan and the Arabs rejected it and turned to violence, leading eventually the Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.
But you’ll get quite a different picture from the Salon article, a deeply flawed, one-sided picture that completely ignores Arab or Palestinian aggression in order to paint a picture of Israeli “ethnic cleansing”:
Netanyahu confirms Israel strikes Syria ‘from time to time’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday acknowledged the Israel Air Force operates in Syria “from time to time” to thwart weapons transfers to Lebanon.
Speaking at the Galilee Conference in Acre, the prime minister praised the Israeli-Russian coordination in Syria, echoing comments from his defense minister in recent days.
“We operate in Syria from time to time to prevent it turning into another front against us. We act, of course, to prevent the transfer of deadly weaponry from Syria to Lebanon,” Netanyahu said.
Israeli airstrikes in Syria have been widely reported over the last nearly-five years of the country’s civil war, though officials have refused to confirm them on the record.
Netanyahu: Israel, Russia to Increase Military Coordination
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel and Russia will deepen military coordination amid Russia’s ongoing operations in Syria.
“I just had an important talk with Russian President Vladimir Putin. We agreed to deepen the coordination between us in order to prevent mishaps and to do so on a broad basis,” Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the Paris climate conference on Monday.
“I think that every citizen of Israel understands today, in light of recent events on the Turkish border, the great importance of my trip to Moscow and these ongoing contacts with the Russian president,” he added.
Netanyahu’s announcement comes on the heels of a statement by Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon praising security coordination with Russia that has prevented Russia-Israel clashes in the region. According to Ya’alon, a Russian jet recently breached airspace, but the issue was “immediately fixed through communications channels.”
When it comes to war on ISIS, Israel must take Putin's side
Three insights can be concluded from the connection between those meetings and today's reality: First of all, Russia predicted the formation of ISIS a long time ago and sees the organization as a top strategic threat; second, the Russians are right to expect the West to upgrade its fighting priorities similarly - in other words, to team up to defeat ISIS first and only then find the time to solve internal disputes; third, Turkey is a NATO member state, but instead of working in favor of NATO's shared interests, it is dragging it to defend Turkish interests - including hurting the Kurds, who are the only ones fighting ISIS on the ground, and well as an unnecessary provocation against Russia and, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin's accusations, providing economic aid to ISIS.
The conclusion must be clear: The threat posed by ISIS is similar in its totalitarian ideology to the threat which was created by Nazi Germany. Coordination between Russia and the West is not a sufficient condition for winning this war, but it is a necessary condition. The person who seems to understand this properly is French President Francois Hollande, and one can only hope that he will succeed in getting NATO to both restrain the Turks and team up with Russia.
Israel allegedly has opposing interests on this issue - but we should think about our situation if ISIS grows stronger and goes on to control Syria, Jordan and Sinai. For us too, the conclusion is clear - defeating ISIS comes first.
Obama Won’t Fight the Islamic State
It’s been more than two weeks since the terrible attacks in Paris. And what has been the response? French President Francois Hollande has tried to bring the U.S. and Russia into a wider anti-ISIS coalition. That effort, predictably, has gone nowhere because of the stark differences between the U.S. (which sees Assad as part of the problem in Syria) and Russia (which sees Assad as the solution). The fracas over Turkey’s shoot down of a Russian fighter has further splintered any attempt to create international solidarity against the Islamic State.
So where does that leave us? With a slightly intensified air campaign against ISIS that has now been joined by French aircraft and possibly soon by the British, too, assuming that Prime Minister Cameron wins parliamentary approval, as appears likely. In retaliation for the bombing of a Russian civilian airliner, the Russians have already dropped some bombs and missiles on Raqqa, the ISIS capital, although they are saving most of their firepower for more moderate Syrian rebels. And the U.S. has slightly increased the tempo of its air strikes — it is now willing to target ISIS oil tankers (after warning the drivers to leave their trucks) but still not ISIS oil wells, apparently for fear of causing environmental damage!
Unfortunately, there is no reason to think that air strikes alone will defeat ISIS any more than they have ever defeated any other determined foe in the past century.
PreOccupiedTerritory: ISIS Waiting For Westerners To Decide Whether It’s Real Islam (satire)
Leaders of the Islamic State expressed anxiousness as liberal elites in the West failed to reach a consensus over whether the group’s Islamic credentials are legitimate.
Self-proclaimed Caliph of ISIS Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and several of his top officials voiced impatience tinged with worry that others might decide their movement might not constitute authentic Islamic practice, a prospect that they conceded fills them with dread. Without the imprimatur of apologists in the West, it is believed, the entire societal basis for the Islamic State will come crashing down, since it is the Western elites who serve as the ultimate arbiters of what is and is not Islam.
“I’m losing sleep over it,” confessed Baghdadi. “Everything we’ve achieved in the last decade is worthless if, for example, John Kerry doesn’t agree that ours is a genuine manifestation of Muhammad’s creed. Can you imagine what it’s like to have your religious identity subject to the veto of some guys thousands of miles away? And they can’t seem to decide one way or the other, either. The wait is excruciating.”
An Unnecessary Crisis
Still, even if the Turks were confident of NATO support and correctly judged the growing Putin fatigue in the West, this remains too risky of a decision for any country to take. The decision requires a great deal of self-confidence, as well as an element of risk-taking. All this points to President Erdogan, who possesses both of these attributes.
Turkey may now realize that it has overplayed its hand. Erdogan, who initially said there was nothing to apologize for, is now saying that if they knew it was a Russian plane they would probably have acted differently. Erdogan likely changed his tune because Putin didn’t lose any time in retaliating against Turkish interests: Turkish convoys in Syria delivering supplies to the opposition have been bombed, Turkish businessmen have been denied entry at the Moscow airport, tourism packages are being cancelled, and Moscow is contemplating other measures, including the elimination starting January 1, 2016 of the visa-free travel program. The most worrisome, however, is the increasing arsenal, including S400 advanced air defense systems Russia has brought into Syria. This, more than anything else, will make life harder for allied aircraft over Syria and is clearly something Washington wished would never have happen.
Eventually the tensions will subside, but for the moment two mercurial leaders are confronting one another. How long the confrontation will last depends on their particular calculations.
Putin vs Erdogan
The incident this week illustrates just how fragile the situation is. In Syria, among many other points of friction, two nations each in the midst of a sense of national resurgence and led by charismatic and assertive leaders (Russia and Turkey) are arrayed on opposite sides of a long, brutal and unresolved conflict.
One of these nations — Turkey — is a NATO member.
The stakes are perhaps not quite sufficiently high in Syria for either side to risk a deterioration to direct conflict over events there.
But with the US pursuing a confused and limited policy against Islamic State further east in Syria, the Islamic State jihadi entity itself holding its ground while engaging in international terror further afield, the Kurds successfully defending their secular national project along the borders, and an assertive Iran promoting its own proxy war broadly aligned with Russia in the same space, the sense of a Middle East in disarray and dangerous flux has never been greater.
Nevertheless, the downing of the Sukhoi SU-24 probably is not the spark that will lead to a dramatic escalation into the unfamiliar territory of state-against-state war.
Rather, it is a milestone in an ongoing, fierce and bloody proxy war among the ruins of northern Syria that looks set to continue.
Turkish PM: We will not apologize for downing Russian jet
Turkey will not apologize for downing a Russian fighter jet along the Syrian border but urged Moscow to reconsider retaliatory sanctions in the hope of calming the crisis, Turkish Premier Ahmet Davutoglu said Monday.
“Protection of our airspace, our border is not only a right but a duty for my government and no Turkish premier or president … will apologize (for) doing our duty,” Davutoglu told a joint press conference with NATO head Jens Stoltenberg after talks in Brussels.
Davutoglu added that “we hope Russia will reconsider these measures in both our interests,” referring to the sanctions that Moscow imposed after the shooting down of the jet earlier this month.
Earlier on Monday, Davutoglu urged Greek premier Alexis Tsipras to focus on a “positive agenda” after Tsipras lashed out at Turkey over the shooting down of a Russian warplane in a series of tweets.
Without resorting to the niceties of diplomatic language, Tsipras blasted Turkey’s shooting down of the Russian plane last week.
The Greek prime minister met Davutoglu at the EU summit on the migrant crisis. He accused Turkish jets of repeatedly violating Greek airspace over the Aegean, saying the ensuing defense spending would be better used on refugees.
If Putin keeps escalating, Turkey will close the straits
Putin is close to boxing himself into the Black Sea with the full might of NATO standing behind a Turkish closure of the Bosphorus Straits and the Dardenelles under the 1936 Montreux Convention. The “military” provisions of the Montreux Convention were never really fully engaged during World WarII because Turkey was always technically neutral. With the critical loss of Iraq to Great Britain in the Nazi’s failed Golden Square Coup attempt in May 1941, and Churchill’s concomitant capture and occupation of Iraq, Hitler never had the order of battle available to fight with Turkey.
However, with Putin escalating his war of words against Turkey, Turkey may very well invoke articles 20 or 21 of the Montreux Convention which would mean Turkey could immediately shut-down any Russian military naval vessel through the Straits, crippling Putin’s Syrian War efforts. Therefore, Putin would be well advised to dampen-down his rhetoric, and start fighting the Islamic State instead of Turkish, Saudi, and Western-backed Syrian Rebels.
Erdogan: I'll resign if Putin proves we shot down plane to protect ISIS oil trade
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he would resign if Russia could prove that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border in order to protect its oil trade with Islamic State.
Erdogan's comments, made to reporters at the UN climate summit in Paris, came in response to allegations made by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.
Putin, who has signed a decree imposing economic sanctions on Turkey over the incident, said on Monday Turkey shot down the Russian jet because it wanted to protect supplies of oil from Islamic State militants.
"As soon as such a claim is proved, the nobility of our nation requires [me] to do this," CNN quoted Erdogan as telling reporters at the climate change summit in Paris on Monday.
Erdogan added, however, that should the claims prove to be false, Putin should be the one to step down.
Ukrainians erect monument to ‘national heroes’ who killed Uman’s Jews in 18th century
Ukrainian Jews are outraged over the erection of a monument to the perpetrators of an eighteenth century massacre that killed thousands of their co-religionists.
Residents of the western city of Uman earlier this month unveiled the statue to Ivan Gonta and Maxim Zheleznyakov, who were among the leaders of a 1768 uprising against Poland, and carried out a pogrom, which, according to some estimates, killed between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews.
According to Russian-language media reports, the five-ton granite monument, topped with statues of Gonta and Zheleznyakov, was built with funds donated by local businesses, a fact that enraged Russian Jewish Congress president Yuri Kanner.
Much of the local economy in Uman rests upon the annual high-holiday pilgrimage to the grave of the hassidic master Rebbe Nachman, who requested that he be buried there to be close to the martyrs.
Calling it “a monument to thugs built by Jewish money,” Kanner asserted that building such a memorial near the mass grave of the victims was “not just blasphemy [but] savagery.”
Holocaust denier abuses High Court process
Fredrick Toben, who gained notoriety when his promotion of claims regarding Jews and the Nazi genocide were judged to be in breach of Australian law, and subsequently served jail time for contempt of court, has failed in yet another legal matter.
In this latest case, Toben, represented by Barrister Clive Evatt, brought defamation proceedings against The Australian newspaper editor Clive Mathieson, Senior Reporter Christian Kerr and former Greens leader Christine Milne, after Milne’s description of Toben as a person who fabricated history and spread antisemitism was published by the paper.
Justice Lucy McCallum of the Supreme Court of NSW ruled that Toben had been attempting to “manipulate the process of the Court to create a forum” in arguing the very propositions which he had claimed it was defamatory to accuse him of holding, those being Holocaust denial and broader antisemitic propositions.
Historic synagogue in Australian outback vandalized
A historic synagogue in the Australian outback mining city of Broken Hill was defaced with Nazi and Islamic symbols on its 105th anniversary.
The curator of the synagogue, Margaret Price, said she arrived at work Monday to prepare for a visit by tourists and found the front of the building had been vandalized with the symbols and slogans.
“We are dismayed by this scurrilous attack on the building on the very day of its 105th anniversary,” Price, the coordinator of the Synagogue of the Outback Museum, told JTA.
Price said the synagogue, which is under the ownership of the Broken Hill Historical Society, was vandalized about 10 years ago, when it was painted with swastikas on Hitler’s birthday. In 2010, a local bookstore that featured Hanukkah material in its window also was defaced with Nazi symbols.
“Although there is no Jewish presence in the city these days, I grew up with Jews and my family worked with them,” Price said. “They were Broken Hillers and a strong part of our community.”
Israel, Jordan unveil $800m joint plan for ‘Red-Dead’ canal
Israel and Jordan are moving ahead with a plan to build a water-carrying canal from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea, which will rehabilitate the shrinking Dead Sea and supply drinking water to Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians.
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and Jordanian Water Minister Hazim Nasser on Monday announced the release of the $800 million tender, which will be formally published Tuesday. The two nations, which made peace in 1994, are seeking a company to construct the canal and operate it for 25 years.
“Today we took an additional historic step to save the Dead Sea,” said Shalom, who served as water minister in the last government, on a trip to Jordan on Monday. “The joint international tender to be published tomorrow is proof of the cooperation between Israel and Jordan, and a response to those who cast doubt on whether the canal project would ever go ahead. This is an exceptional environmental and diplomatic achievement that testifies more than anything to the fertile cooperation between the [two] countries.”
The pipeline will take some four or five years to complete. It will be 180 kilometers long and will pass through Jordanian territory, carrying around 200 million cubic meters of seawater from the Red Sea — at the very southern tip of Israel — per annum.
Eight Israeli Companies To Be Showcased At International Climate Change Conference
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to address the conference along with Ron Adam, special envoy for energy and permanent representative of Israel to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and Eitan Parnass, director general and founder of the Green Energy Association of Israel.
Several side events will be hosted by members of the Israeli delegation. The Ministry of Environmental Protection, along with its counterpart in Bavaria, will lead a session on the use of alternative refrigerants with reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The Jewish National Fund will host a session on deforestation.
Next Sunday and Monday, the Foreign Ministry will offer presentations on renewable energy, including a showcase of eight Israeli companies with innovative clean-tech for renewable energy and climate change mitigation:
Let it shine: Israel hypes solar at Paris talks
The purpose of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) is to get all 166 UN member countries to sign a binding agreement that will keep global warming below an increase of two degrees Celsius over the next century. A global increase of two degrees is considered a tipping point that will lead to widespread environmental disasters. Hundreds of leaders will gather in Paris for the 11-day summit to try to hammer out a deal capping emissions for all countries and looking for creative solutions to halt the warming of the planet.
“The main focus for the Israeli delegation is that Israeli innovation can help all countries achieve their development and reduction goals,” Yosef Abramowitz, the president of solar company Energiya Global, and part of the Israeli delegation, told The Times of Israel ahead of his trip.
Abramowitz is one of the pioneers in the Israeli solar energy industry with the Arava Power Company, which is responsible for many of the solar fields in the region. He is one of three founders of Gigawatt Global, an American/Dutch/Israeli company which completed a solar field in Rwanda in February, the largest in eastern Africa.
Sean Penn lauds Israeli aid agency as Haiti ‘mentor’
From a first conversation about sharing out kosher food, Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID was a source of inspiration in earthquake-battered Haiti, actor Sean Penn said Monday, as he praised the Israeli aid agency in the keynote address at its Tel Aviv conference.
“They became mentors in moving forward,” Penn said, saying the agency had provided him with greater understanding of what could be done in Haiti.
The IsraAID nonprofit was present in Haiti four days after the devastating 2010 earthquake, providing emergency aid and support and later implementing short and long-term programs focused on community needs.
Penn’s group, which eventually became his nonprofit, J/P Haitian Relief Organization, set up its own camp before encountering the IsraAID team.
“We had moved to an old clay tennis court,” said Penn, where they were starting a school overlooking the growing displaced persons camp.
Noting his lack of experience as a formal public speaker, Penn warned the audience that he would be delivering “less a keynote speech than a story told perhaps through the fog of disaster.”

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 22,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

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