Wednesday, December 02, 2015

From Ian:

Amnesty International Sponsors Speaker Who Celebrated 9/11, Denied Holocaust, Bashed Gays and Jews
On December 12, Amnesty International is co-sponsoring an anti-Islamophobia rally in Brussels, Belgium. Combating bigotry against minorities—which is particularly prevalent in Europe against Muslims and Jews—is an honorable and pressing endeavor. Unfortunately, one of the keynote speakers at Amnesty’s event seems far more interested in stoking such hatred rather than fighting it.
Dyab Abou Jahjah is one of four individuals scheduled to speak at the rally. He has called the 9/11 attacks “sweet revenge,” said Europe made “the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion,” and labeled gays “AIDS-spreading faggots.” He has also questioned the existence of the Nazi gas chambers, and is a former fighter for the anti-Semitic group Hezbollah, an officially designated terrorist group by the U.S. and European Union. For his hateful activism, Abou Jahjah has been banned in the United Kingdom since 2009.
Viewed on its own, Amnesty’s sponsorship of Abou Jahjah would appear to simply be a case of insufficient vetting, the result of negligence rather than malice. But unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
In October, Amnesty drew sharp condemnation for sponsoring a U.S. speaking tour for activist Bassem Tamimi, who was revealed to be posting anti-Semitic material on Facebook. Last April, the organization was criticized after its membership rejected a resolution calling for Amnesty to combat anti-Semitism in Britain. Prior to that, Amnesty’s U.K. branch had failed to discipline a senior official who publicly equated Israel with ISIS.
At this point, then, it is worth asking whether the organization—whatever the merits of its other work—is a credible voice on anti-Jewish bigotry in Europe and the Middle East, or if it is becoming part of the problem.
Brendan O'Neill: The Boycott Israel movement is driven by bigotry
My dictionary defines a bigot as someone who “does not like other people who have a different way of life”. Could there be a better description of the Israel-allergic blowhards of BDS?
BDS bullies have shouted down Israeli theatrical productions, booed the Israel Philharmonic when it played at the Proms, yelled at Israeli academics who have the temerity to visit Western campuses. This isn’t a rational movement for change in the Middle East; it’s a visceral expression of rage against a whole nation, against what many Western liberals view as a non-people, a pariah people.
Far from being progressive, BDS is censorious, effectively silencing Israeli universities by repelling their academics from the West. It is shot through with ugly double standards, so that Israeli artists are harried in a way that artists from China or Zimbabwe never are. And worst of all it has ugly echoes of that darkest moment in European history, when Jewish produce was boycotted and Jewish books were burnt by Europeans who also considered themselves good citizens taking a stand against a problematic, polluting people whose things and ideas threatened European values.
And now, even Israeli children are being shunned, shamed, told they aren’t fit to engage with us decent Europeans. You know who else thought certain children were legitimate targets for prejudicial fury and punishment? Do I have to say it?
Eugene Kontorovich: Those Israel Boycotts Are Illegal (Google link*)
The moral myopia and academic perversity of these boycotts have been widely discussed. Less well understood is that in many cases they also are illegal. Under corporate law, an organization, including a nonprofit, can do only what is permitted under the purposes specified in its charter.
Boycott resolutions that are beyond the powers of an organization are void, and individual members can sue to have a court declare them invalid. The individuals serving on the boards of these organizations may be liable for damages.
Consider the American Historical Association. Its constitution—a corporate charter—states that its purpose “shall be the promotion of historical studies” and the “broadening of historical knowledge among the general public.” There’s nothing in this charter that would authorize a boycott. And an anti-Israel boycott will do nothing to promote “historical studies” or broaden “historical knowledge.”
One can go through similar exercises with the charters of other academic associations. A boycott by definition restricts study and research: The explanatory material attached to the AAA resolution, for example, says it would restrict the organization from sharing scholarly journals with Israeli universities.
Saying that organizations cannot act beyond the purposes specified in their charters is no mere legal nitpicking. The charter is an explicit contract with members, declaring that their money will be dedicated to agreed-upon goals and that their group will not turn into a motorcycle club or a political party. (*click the Wall Street Journal‎ link)

Eugene Kontorovich: Academic Israel boycotts can violate corporate law
The AHA boycott resolution is relatively narrow. Unlike the National Women’s Studies Association resolution adopted last week, it is not simply declarative, but it does not bar ties with Israel scholars or institutions. It does, however, give the AHA the job of “monitoring Israeli actions restricting the right to education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
This provision, in effect, turns the AHA from a historical scholarly organization into a human rights watchdog, which is an entity of an entirely different character. There are many organizations dedicated to monitoring Israel’s conduct, and AHA members are free to join them, but this is not a historical endeavor, or even related to one. Neither monitoring “the right to education” nor the real-time conduct of foreign governments is remotely an activity “in the interest of history.” AHA members and donors are protected by the group’s Constitution from having their organization use their membership fees and donations to “monitor Israel actions … in the Occupied Palestinian territories” as much as they are from having the organization turn its efforts to the monitoring of the movements of the planets.
The AHA, like the ASA and many other groups, is chartered and based in the District of Columbia. Courts in D.C. have in recent years used the ultra vires doctrine against educational non-profits in several cases. These cases have taken a fairly strict view, holding for example that it could be illegal for a group to terminate memberships except for the specific reasons mentioned in its Constitution. Compton v. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., 64 F. Supp. 3d 1, 19 (D. D.C. 2014); Daley v. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., 26 A.3d 723, 731 (D.C. Ct. App. 2011).
Doubtless the board of the AHA (called the Council) would thus exercise its power to veto the boycott resolution, as it is empowered to do for “any measure adopted at the business meeting that it believes to be in violation of the Association’s constitution.” As we note in the article, officers of these groups may be individually liable for damages for ultra vires actions.
German parliament president rejects settlement labeling, says understands Israel's anger
Germany opposes the "unwise" European Commission decision to label products from the West Bank, Golan and Jerusalem, Bundestag President Prof. Norbert Lammert said Wednesday.
Lammert initially avoided the topic of labeling at a joint press conference in the Bundestag with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, speaking about planned joint meetings between the two parliaments, but Edelstein brought it up in his statement.
"We had a very interesting discussion on the product labeling decision that Germany opposed in the first place, but the EU still adopted," Edelstein said. "In our conversation, the question of whether [the decision] was motivated by anti-Semitism or not came up, and we disagreed, and we also did not quite agree on whether [labeling] will have destructive results or somehow bring some good."
"Maybe now the president and members of the Bundestag will understand Israeli sensitivity to the issue," the Speaker added.
Lammert said the labeling decision is "unnecessary and unwise, but it doesn't come from anti-Semitism. We have to understand the situation in the occupied territories is complicated, because of international law."
According to Lammert, "Germany not only didn't agree to the decision, it rejected it."
The True Face of the BDS Movement
I wrote to Dr. Levine to ask why even an ardent supporter of BDS would hold a child—who is not only a private individual but one too young to vote for a government or serve in an army or partake in any other meaningful act of citizenship—responsible for the policies of her country. I asked what kind of an adult would treat a curious and respectful adolescent seeking knowledge this way. I inquired why, as an academic, she considered her innate bias against all Israelis, even 13-year-old ones, paramount to her scholarly mission to educate about her chosen area of research. No answer ever came.
Shachar’s father, on the other hand, did write back. His family lives in Zikhron Ya’akov, he told me, and his daughter studies at a regional school for nearby kibbutzim and moshavim, administered by a regional council that also has a number of Arab villages in its jurisdiction and is, he said, “a very plural and shared environment.”
“I always treated kids as out of the equation,” he said. “For me, as long as a kid is not holding a knife, a rock, or justify violence, is just a kid and I need to help him regardless what his parents do or think. This is why I was so angry from this response to the mail my girl sent.” Political arguments, he concluded by saying, “are something that should be conducted by adults.”
Alas, the BDS movement doesn’t have any decent ones available.
#NoJewsNoNews for the National Women’s Studies Association
As the Times of Israel noted in a short report, the US National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) recently “voted to join the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] movement against Israel.” I have often said that it’s a lucky coincidence that BDS could also stand for bigoted double standards, and the NWSA vote provides yet another excellent case in point.
It’s not just that the NWSA decided to single out the one country in the Middle East where women’s rights are most advanced, and that women elsewhere in the region suffer gruesome abuses, including female genital mutilation and so-called “honor killings” that have broad popular support. The hypocrisy and bigotry reflected in the NWSA’s adoption of BDS was also evident in statements made by two leading boycott advocates for a related Electronic Intifada article by veteran anti-Israel activist and Hamas supporter Ali Abunimah.
Abunimah first quotes San Francisco State University professor of ethnic studies Rabab Abdulhadi who attributed NWSA’s support for BDS to the “browning of the organization” and successful efforts to challenge “white supremacy which went hand in hand with Zionist influence in the women’s movement and women’s and feminist scholarship.” Well, white supremacists like David Duke would be devastated to learn that their most fervent ambition goes “hand in hand with Zionist influence”…
Former AP Reporters: Wire Service Suppressed 'World-Changing' Story on 2008 Israeli Peace Offer
In predictably disingenuous fashion, the Associated Press claimed in a November 18 story that "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has shined new light on the breakdown of a potentially history-altering round of 2008 peace talks." Abbas acknowledged that Israel offered Palestinians 93.5 percent of the West Bank and other significant concessions.
The "light" isn't "new" at all. The wire service had the news almost seven years ago, and, according to former AP reporters, refused to publish it. An AP reporter who "discovered the Israeli peace offer in early 2009, got it confirmed on the record and brought it" to the AP in Jerusalem has substantiated the assertion that it "suppressed a world-changing story for no acceptable reason." It is perhaps the most damming validation yet that prudent people should never trust establishment press reports out of the Middle East — particularly in regards to Israel — because of their "pattern ... of accepting the Palestinian narrative as truth and branding the Israelis as oppressors."
Abbas told the AP that he rejected the Israeli offer, in AP's words, "because he was not allowed to study the map" detailing the Israeli proposal.
Unfortunately for Abbas, a September 2008 story in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that "A senior Israeli official said the Palestinians were given preliminary maps of the proposed borders."
Haaretz's reporting apparently didn't cross the international establishment press's artificial credibility threshold, which is bad enough. (How hard would it have been to tell the world that "an Israeli newspaper is claiming that 'Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday rejected an Israeli peace proposal, which included withdrawal from 93 percent of the West Bank, because it does not provide for a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital'"?)
In early 2009, though, AP reporters obtained sufficient confirmation of the rejected offer. Here's what followed, according to an August 2014 item in Tablet Magazine filed by Matti Friedman
New US ISIS Czar was Bumped From Obama Election Team as too Pro-Terrorist
While President Obama was in Paris for the past few days cavorting with other world leaders on the dire global threat of climate change (never a junior varsity issue in his book), his spokesperson made the announcement that Obama’s new ISIS czar will be none other than Robert Malley.
For a president who thinks that world leaders meeting in Paris to discuss climate change is the equivalent of a body blow to ISIS after the Nov. 13 Paris Terror Attacks, the appointment of Malley makes perfect sense.
Malley is the kind of new-age negotiator who thinks there is no tyrant too awful to shun – unless, of course, you are talking about Israel – and is always eager to play up the “positive” aspects of genocidal terrorist regimes as the justification for allowing them right there in the tent, seated next to you.
An early wet noodle in Malley’s public career was a 2001 New York Times op-ed in which he blamed Israel for the Camp David Peace Talks. Malley’s recollection squarely conflicted with every other major player present at the talks, including President Bill Clinton and Clinton’s Middle East Envoy, Dennis Ross.
Imagine ISIS with a nuclear reactor: But for Israel's 2007 air strike, terrorists might have control of a Syrian site giving them the capacity to build dirty bombs
So you’re shocked at the scope of the ISIS attack in Paris? It could have been far worse if one little country hadn’t taken decisive action against a budding threat more than eight years ago.
The world is still reeling from the awful ISIS terror attacks in Paris on Nov. 13. They followed a series of ruthless strikes in Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, away from the large swaths of territory ISIS controls.
These plots abroad were new but should not have been unexpected: ISIS describes its goals as “enduring and expanding,” based on an explicitly apocalyptic ideology that seeks to draw the infidels into a battle that will hasten Judgment Day. Geography does not matter to them and Paris just marks a tactical but not a strategic shift.
What is shocking, however, is that we learn now — only now — about ISIS dabbling with chemical and radioactive material in the heart of Europe. Over the summer came reports that ISIS had obtained radioactive materials from hospitals and research facilities captured in Iraq, with the likely goal being to develop a radioactive “dirty bomb.”
But they could have been much further along in that quest. In 2007, Syria was suspected of initiating a nuclear program — quite possibly designed to produce weapons-grade plutonium, with a sizable assist by North Korea. When it became clear that the United States — or anyone else for that matter — was not going to intervene, Israel went for it herself, and destroyed the Al Kibar nuclear reactor construction site, located in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor region.
Michael Totten: Don't Bother Talking to ISIS
Jonathan Powell, formerly the chief of staff of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has done the impossible. He has written an article for The Guardian that is almost entirely correctly yet utterly wrong.
"Bombing ISIS is not enough—we’ll need to talk to them too."
He recognizes that bombing ISIS is necessary.
He also realizes destroying ISIS will require boots on the ground. But whose? Kurdish militias do very well in battle, but they’re neither equipped nor willing to conquer or liberate the vast swaths of Arab territory.
And Powell realizes that Iranian-backed Shia militias like Hezbollah are out of the question for entirely different reasons. Unlike the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, Iranian militias are themselves terrorist organizations.
Sunni militias in Syria, meanwhile, are mostly unwilling to fight ISIS until they first drag Bashar al-Assad out of his palace in Damascus.
So he thinks we’ll have no choice but to talk to ISIS at some point.
What on earth would we say?
Well, he acknowledges that we have nothing to say to each other right now, but he thinks we’ll eventually think of something once everyone realizes there is no military solution.
He’s wrong.
Shiite Militias in Iraq Vow to Treat U.S. Special Ops as 'Primary Target'
Shiite groups in Iraq have issued a statement vowing to fight any American troops on the ground following the announcement of a new deployment of special operations forces to fight the Islamic State in the war-torn nation.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced that the United States would create a special operations force in Iraq, tasked with carrying out raids and intelligence-gathering missions against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.
Although the administration still claims President Obama’s “no boots on the ground” promise is intact, Carter’s plan seemed like a natural escalation from increased U.S. special forces activity, especially the combat role they took against ISIS in the raid on a prison in late October.
Carter’s announcement was not taken well by Shiite militia groups in Iraq. Although these militias have seen significant action against ISIS, they did not welcome the possibility of American assistance. Instead, they immediately vowed to attack the American troops.
Russia: We have proof Erdogan and his family benefit from Turkey-ISIS oil trade
Russia's defense ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.
Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Russian border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century.
In a briefing in Moscow, defense ministry officials displayed satellite images which they said showed columns of tanker trucks loading with oil at installations controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and then crossing the border into neighboring Turkey.
The officials did not specify what direct evidence they had of the involvement of Erdogan and his family, an allegation that the Turkish president has vehemently denied.
UN: Iran worked on nukes until at least 2003; no proof it did so after 2009
Iran conducted activities “relevant” to developing nuclear weapons at least until the end of 2003, but there is no concrete proof of such activity after 2009, the UN atomic watchdog said in a report Wednesday.
“The agency assesses that a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device were conducted in Iran prior to the end of 2003 as a coordinated effort, and some activities took place after 2003,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
It said however that “these activities did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.”
It added: “The agency has no credible indications of activities in Iran relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device after 2009.”
The IAEA has long suspected that such activities — known as the “possibile military dimensions” (PMD) of Iran’s civilian nuclear program — may have taken place.
Iran Nuclear Deal reflects Obama’s Diplomatic Malpractice
Armin Rosen of Business Insider had a bombshell report on Monday about the Obama administration’s diplomatic malpractice with Iran in the context of the nuclear deal announced earlier this summer.
Citing a recently obtained State Department document, Rosen reported that the administration has no intention of ensuring that Iran provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with all the details of its past nuclear research.
Though “extensive evidence” exists that Iran had a nuclear weapons program until at least 2003, the United States has so watered down Iran’s requirements for answering questions about its past nuclear work, that the IAEA will not have a complete picture of the extent of Iran’s military nuclear program. As IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano made clear earlier this week, Iran is still stonewalling. The problem is that the United States is okay with that.
Obama’s $150 Billion ‘Signing Bonus’ to Iran Hits Legal Snag
Iran may need to wait a while to collect its $150 billion “signing bonus” in this year’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 nations.
As part of July’s nuclear deal, President Barack Obama agreed to release Iranian assets that have been frozen in US banks since the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979. But Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, a non-profit legal assistance group based in Tel Aviv, has sent a letter to 11 American banks warning them that releasing the money now would be a violation of a current US court order intended to compensate victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism.
The banks addressed in the letter are believed to be holding frozen Iranian assets, and awaiting certification by the administration than Iran has met certain preliminary benchmarks for the release of that money.
US courts, however, have awarded judgments to a number of American families against the Iranian government as victims of terrorism perpetrated by Iran-sponsored terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
One such case dates back to Sept. 4, 1997, when Hamas executed triple suicide bombings on the Ben Yehuda Street pedestrian mall in Jerusalem. The attack killed five Israelis and severely injured a number of Americans.
Report: Iranian-American Hanged in Iran
(Updated) State Department confirms it knew of scheduled execution
A human rights organization claimed on Tuesday that an Iranian-American man had been hanged by the Islamic regime for committing murder in California.
The report could not be independently verified and it remains unclear if the man was an American citizen, as he had not been listed among any of the known U.S. prisoners being held in Iran.
“According to confirmed sources, Iranian authorities carried out the death sentence for Hamid Samiee and another prisoner at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison on Wednesday November 4,” Iran Human Rights, a nonprofit organization that claims to have sources within Iran, disclosed on Tuesday.
“Samiee, reportedly accused of committing an act of murder in California, was arrested by Iranian authorities upon his return to Iran,” according to the organization’s report. “He was sentenced to death by Branch 71 of Tehran’s Criminal Court for the murder of an Iranian man identified as Behrouz Janmohammadi.”
Ex-Clinton aide proposed 'shaming Israel' by soliciting funds for Palestinians, email shows
A former top policy aide to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton proposed a "pledge for Palestine" fundraising initiative that would have a "shaming effect on Israel" while bolstering the Palestinian leadership, newly declassified State Department emails show.
Anne-Marie Slaughter, who served as Clinton's director of policy planning at Foggy Bottom from 2009 until 2011, wrote the email to senior Clinton staffers in late September 2010, just before the anticipated expiration of Israel's 10-month moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements.
The Israeli government agreed to a temporary hiatus in building across the Green Line as a gesture to facilitate direct peace talks with the Palestinian Authority in late 2009.
As the peace process was stagnating, Slaughter believed that the US needed to pursue "what may be a crazy idea" as a means of reigniting talks and expressing "a vote of confidence in a Palestinian state."
Slaughter suggested that the US government solicit donations from wealthy philanthropists who would contribute to the Palestinian territories "as an expression of global solidarity with the Palestinians" while at the same time bolstering the political standing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Fundamentally Freund: Why is the White House hosting an Arab extremist?
Indeed, other prominent Israeli Arabs have spoken out against Odeh and denounced him for causing irreparable damage to Jewish-Arab coexistence.
Last month, Nazareth Mayor Ali Salam publicly berated Odeh during a live interview the latter was giving on Israel’s Channel 2 television, saying that he had “ruined this city, ruined everything,” by scaring Israeli Jews away from visiting the area. “You have destroyed the world! Get out of here!” Salam said.
In a radio interview that day, Salam added that, “This cannot go on. We must find a way to live together. We are all only hurting ourselves. The leaders are destroying coexistence, which is our future.”
Odeh’s record speaks for itself. He is a man who has consorted with terrorists, refused to deplore stone-throwing attacks against Israelis, and heads a Knesset faction that includes the likes of Haneen Zoabi, who has compared Israel to the Nazis.
Is this really the kind of person that should be invited to the White House? It is of course important to cultivate moderate forces among Israeli Arabs, but Odeh simply is not one of them. His actions and rhetoric belie any claim that he might make to such a mantle.
And they should definitely preclude him from being feted by those interested in peace.
Israeli-Arab Party Leader Among Foreign Policy Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Global Thinkers’
An Israeli-Arab politician was listed among Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015, the Israeli news site nrg reported on Tuesday.
Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh, head of the Joint (Arab) List Party, will make his first official visit to the United States to take part in a panel and ceremony organized by the magazine in honor of the publication of this year’s list.
Odeh told nrg he is happy for the “opportunity to present the unique challenges of the Arab citizens of the state [of Israel], which are not yet part of the international dialogue.” (h/t Yenta Press)
John Kerry Spins a Fantasy About the Palestinians
Secretary of State John Kerry’s assertion that the Palestinian Arabs are in a “very dire situation” is not only absurd, but also very revealing — about the fantasies that guide the Obama Administration’s Middle East policy.
After emerging from a meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on November 24, Kerry declared: “I know that the situation for Palestinians in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, in Gaza is, at this moment, very dire, that there are extraordinary concerns, obviously, about the violence.”
“Dire”? Is he kidding or just ill-informed? When was the last time Secretary Kerry read his briefings on even the most basic information about conditions among the Palestinians?
Artistic freedom showdown as BDS protests Matisyahu appearance in Ithaca, NY
I reported on November 22, 2015, that local Ithaca, NY, anti-Israel activists were objecting to the appearance of American Jewish reggae musician Matisyahu, Anti-Israel boycott movement targets Matisyahu again. The appearance is scheduled for this Friday night, December 4, 2015.
That post had the history of how Matisyahu has been singled out for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement scorn because he is an American Jew who refuses to renounce and denounce Israel. In fact, Matisyahu has expressed support for Israel’s right to exist and has come out against media demonization of Israel.
That makes Matisyahu a marked man by BDS, and led to cancellation of his appearance last August at the Spanish Rototom Reggae Festival. The ban was reversed after a public outcry and Spanish government and media denunciations of religious discrimination.
I also detailed how the local protest was organized by the same core group of people who organize just about every anti-Israel event in the Ithaca area, particularly Ariel Gold.
Jewish Voice for Peace can’t seem to stay away from Alison Weir
Last week on November 22, Al-Awda—the Palestine Right to Return Coalition—proudly announced on Twitter the co-hosting, with Jewish Voice for Peace and others, of Alison Weir at an event in Cleveland:
It isn’t surprising that Al-Awda would take the lead in promoting Weir and her group and website If Americans Knew (IAK). The two organizations are basically cut from the same cloth.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Al-Awda is a notorious anti-Israel campaigner that views Zionism as “inherently racist” and is unwilling to accept Israel’s existence.
Meanwhile, Weir’s criticism of Israel and Zionism over the last fifteen years so consistently “crosses the line into distortions customarily found in the literature of anti-Semites” that the ADL has issued a ten page comprehensive report on her work. The highlights include a nasty habit of modernizing anti-Jewish blood libels and characterizing Jews as conspiratorial groups of people who control America and the world.
So Al-Awda collaborating with Weir is exactly what we’d expect.
What’s really interesting here is Al-Awda’s mention of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as one of the Cleveland event co-sponsors.
Bal Harbour Village (FL) Is The First Municipality to Pass Anti-BDS Ordinance
After two public readings, the Village Council of Bal Harbour unanimously passed an ordinance prohibiting the Village from contracting with any business unless the contract includes a representation that the business is not currently engaged in, and will not engage in, the boycott of a person or an entity based in or doing business with a country or jurisdiction with which the United States has free trade or other agreements.
This Anti-BDS Ordinance is aimed at ensuring open and nondiscriminatory trade with partners, such as the State of Israel. Under this ground-breaking ordinance, any business which contracts with the Village, must first represent that it is “not currently engaged in..., and will not engage in the [b]oycott of a person or an entity based in or doing business with an 'Open Trade Jurisdiction.'” (An Open Trade Jurisdiction is defined in the ordinance as World Trade Organization members and those countries with which the United States has free trade or other agreements aimed at ensuring open and nondiscriminatory trade regulations.) The ordinance is similar to SB 86, a bill sponsored by Florida State Senator Joe Negron, which recently passed unanimously through a Florida Senate budget panel.
Councilman Gabriel Groisman, who first presented the Bal Habour Village Ordinance in September, shared the following remarks:
Bal Harbour has a history of discrimination, which residents of years past fought hard to change. There was a time where African-American and Jews were not permitted to even own homes in Bal Harbour. Thankfully, these practices have changed, and Bal Harbour is now a symbol of diversity and success in the State of Florida. Given our history, we have a responsibility to be leaders on these very issues.
Here’s what the Guardian didn’t tell you about the anti-#Israel bias of ABC’s [Australia] Sophie McNeill
McNeill has contributed to the extremist site Electronic Intifada. Ali Abunimah – the co-founder of Electronic Intifada – is a former Guardian contributor who supports terrorism, advances conspiracy theories, opposes the existence of a Jewish state within any borders and has engaged in antisemitic tropes.
Additionally, in 2013, McNeill spoke at an event sponsored by a Sydney Palestinian student activist group called “Silence is Betrayal”. Panelists at the event discussed “activism, Palestine and Journalism”, and featured pro-Palestinian propagandist Harry Fear.
The event was also reportedly co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine – a group which has hosted extremist speakers, staged chapter events with Hamas and Islamic Jihad supporters and was condemned for using social media site to post antisemitic graphics.
More recently, a check of her twitter account revealed this response legitimizing a tweet by Marian Houk contextualizing the ‘insanity defense’ of a defendant on trial for the murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir by bizarrely complaining that Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, including those killed while carrying out attacks against Jews, have been “summarily killed” and haven’t been afforded the right to plead insanity.
McNeill’s Tweet, as with her affiliations with radical groups and expressed admiration for an extreme anti-Israel propagandist, at the very least raise serious questions about her capacity as a professional journalist to fairly and objectively cover the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Wait, I Was Supposed To Bring Journalistic Integrity To The Job? By Jodi Rudoren, NY Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief (satire)
Headquarters certainly gave me no indication they were displeased with my wholesale rejection of objectivity in favor of pushing the Palestinian narrative of absolute victimhood. I presided over the hiring of Diaa Hadid, who used to work for the antisemitic terrorism apologists at Electronic Intifada, and no one objected. Even Public Editor Margaret O’Sullivan never called me onto the carpet over my constant efforts to put Palestinian terrorism and Israeli self-defense on an equal moral footing, and she’s the one who directly faces the storm of irate readers. So I should feel pretty comfortable with that. But I can’t shake the feeling that I could have done something more, something different from all my colleagues in the Western news media, if I’d strayed, even just a bit, from the need to make Palestinian suffering the primary story.
I could have explored rampant corruption and abuse in Palestinian society; I could have examined the ongoing official Palestinian incitement to murder Jews; I could have written some hard-hitting pieces about how the UN agency for Palestinian refugees only perpetuates their misery and encourages rejection of Israel. Sometimes I paid lip service to integrity, cleverly couching my anti-Israel bias in terms of journalistic skepticism, as when prefacing all official Israeli claims with “police say” or “according to the IDF,” something I didn’t have time for when it came to Palestinian claims that contradicted actual physical evidence. You know, because of space considerations.
But you know what? I’ve been promoted to the International Desk back in New York. I guess they must have missed all those possible lapses. They are busy, after all. As I hope to be. So when my dear colleague Diaa submits another Hamas propaganda piece, she can rest assured we will respect her autonomy, just as my superiors did mine.
Report: Paris Police Tell Jewish Group Not to Celebrate Hanukkah in Public
The European correspondent for for Israel's channel 10 news tweeted out some alarming news about celebrating Hanukkah in Paris.
The tweet was in Hebrew but translated reads:
“Chabad: Paris police order [us] to cancel most of our public [Hanukkah] candlelighting in the city, in light of the terror attack and the fear of additional attacks. Efforts [are underway] to approve a candlelighting at the foot of the Eiffel [Tower].”
The warning comes following a coordinated series of attacks in Paris by Islamist terror group ISIS last month. One hundred and thirty people were killed and 368 were injured. The attacks were the deadliest for France since World War II. In January of this year, Islamic terrorists stormed a kosher grocery store on the eve of the Sabbath, taking customers hostage. Four people were killed in that attack.
New York Jewish Bookstore Manager Beaten by Self-Declared Muslim Yelling ‘F*** You Jews’
The manager of a Jewish bookstore on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was beaten up Monday afternoon by a self-declared Muslim man who threatened to kill him, New York Police Department officials told Jewish politics blog JP Updates.
Brooklyn native Salmon Salczer, 52, was inside West Side Judaica, when he saw a man pacing outside and peering into the store’s window. When Salczer approached the man to see what he wanted, the suspect punched him in the face repeatedly, while yelling, “F*** you Jews. I’ll kill you; I’m a Muslim.”
According to JP Updates, Salczer said he feared the attacker would strike him with a metal razer scooter he was holding. The suspect is believed to have later used the scooter to flee the scene. According to police, he is still on the loose.
Salczer called authorities and filed a police report. Detectives from the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Jewish Human Rights Organization Deplores Antisemitic Assault on New York City Judaica Shop Manager
The Anti-Defamation League said on Tuesday it was horrified by an antisemitic assault at a Judaica shop in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood on Monday.
“We are deeply disturbed by this horrific assault and shocked that it occurred in broad daylight in a neighborhood where Jews largely do not fear being singled out for violence,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, lauding the NYPD for investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The ADL was responding to a police report on Monday stating that the Jewish manager of a Judaica shop on the Upper West Side was beaten up by a self-declared Muslim assailant outside his shop, who threatened to kill him.
Jewish Kurds commemorate expulsion from Iraq
An unprecedented ceremony marking the deportation of Iraqi Jews seven decades ago was held on Monday in Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, Agence France Presse reported.
The report said the ceremony in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil, the capital of Kurdistan, was attended by Kurds of Jewish origin and Kurdish officials.
The report called the event "the beginning of Jewish representation in the Kurdistan region's religious affairs ministry as a result of a law passed in May to promote minority rights."
Sherzad Omar Mamsani, the Jewish representative at the Kurdish regional ministry, was quoted as saying, "The law says that if there was one person from the followers of any religion, his rights are preserved."
For Israeli firm, an answer to global warming is blowing in the wind
The company called NewCO2Fuels, or NCF, has been developing its own version of a technology that allows heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions to be captured and recycled back into useable fuel.
It sounds complicated — and it is — but the company’s founders say it holds real potential in the fight against global warming.
Such capture technologies have gained increased attention as countries seek alternative methods of cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions, the main culprit in global warming.
Around 140 world leaders have gathered this week for highly anticipated talks in Paris with the aim of spearheading a climate pact and heading off a disastrous rise in global temperatures in the coming years.
Hanukkah videos deliver shock and aww
Hanukkah starts Sunday night, so that means that the last couple of weeks have seen a new crop of holiday videos popping up on Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
As every year, some video-makers are surely operating on Jewish time and will take it to the wire, uploading their clips just as we light the first candle and eat what will surely be the first of many latkes and sufganiyot.
But there’s plenty to feast on already, so here’s a good selection to help you get your Hanukkah on right now.
Israel honors GI who told the Nazis, ‘We are all Jews’
The Nazi soldiers made their orders very clear: Jewish American prisoners of war were to be separated from their fellow brothers in arms and sent to an uncertain fate.
But Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds would have none of that. As the highest-ranking noncommissioned officer held in the German POW camp, he ordered more than 1,000 Americans captives to step forward with him and brazenly pronounced: “We are all Jews here.”
He would not waver, even with a pistol to his head, and his captors eventually backed down.
Seventy years later, the Knoxville, Tennessee, native is being posthumously recognized with Israel’s highest honor for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during World War II. He’s the first American serviceman to earn the honor.
UNESCO exhibit showing Jewish roots in Israel opens at Knesset
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, acclaimed author of over 20 books and a frequent Arutz Sheva columnist, is considered today's foremost expert on anti-Semitism. In fact, a review of his recent and timely book on modern day anti-Semitism, The War of a Million Cuts, can be read on Arutz Sheva.
It was only natural, then, that he attended this week's opening in the Knesset of the Simon Wiesenthal Center-UNESCO exhibition "People, Book, Land: The 3500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People to the Holy Land."
Another reason for his attendance was that the author of the exhibition was his late good friend, Prof. Robert Wistrich, head of Hebrew University's Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism and a world-famous expert on the subject as well, who died suddenly several months ago.
At the event, chaired by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Center and hosted by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), the Simon Wiesenthal International Leadership Award was granted to Dr. Gerstenfeld and to Danielle Wistrich in memory of her late husband
1,300-year-old olive press uncovered at Ancient Shiloh
A 1,300-year-old public olive press was unearthed recently at the Ancient Shiloh archaeological park, in the Binyamin region of Judea and Samaria. The olive press is proof that aside from being the capital of ancient Israel for 369 years and housing the Ark of the Covenant, Shiloh was also the region's main manufacturer of olive oil.
Researchers arrived at the conclusion due to the uniquely large size of the olive press, which was discovered during the most recent excavation at Tel Shiloh, headed by archaeologist Dr. Ofer Gat. Another olive press was found nearby in 2011. The sizes of the presses and their proximity to one another indicate the public nature of the oil-manufacturing industry, its importance and its scope.
A large stock of charred olive pits was found near the press, along with shards from terra-cotta candles and light cones characteristic of that period.
During the upcoming Hanukkah holiday, Ancient Shiloh will host activities for families, including olive picking, manufacturing oil with an ancient press, filling bottles with olive oil, and more.
Seal bearing name of Judean king found in Jerusalem
Archaeologists deciphered a seal impression bearing the name of the 8th century BCE biblical King Hezekiah recently found during excavations next to the Old City of Jerusalem, the Hebrew University announced Wednesday.
The bulla, a stamp seal impression, was one of dozens found in recent years in a royal building in the Ophel, excavation leader Dr. Eilat Mazar said at a press conference held at the Mount Scopus campus, and bears the name “Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, king of Judah,” an 8th century Judean ruler.
Mazar called the artifact “the closest as ever that we can get to something that was most likely held by King Hezekiah himself.” She said that the bulla “strengthens what we know already from the Bible about [Hezekiah].”
The bulla in question used to seal a papyrus scroll and an impression of the fibers was preserved on the inverse, Mazar said, suggesting the seal once enclosed a document signed by the king himself. (h/t Yenta Press)
King Hezekiah's Seal Impression Found in the Ophel Excavations, Jerusalem (h/t Yoel)

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


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